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The A to Z of 2016

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A is Apple, Android, AI: And other state-of-the-art techB is for Brexit: A decision Britain may regretC is for Clinton: Her emails and her shimmyD is for Demonetization: The idea for a cashless economyE is for EU: That claims it has a migrant crisisF is for Fight: The war against terrorism, particularly ISISG is for Gandhis: India’s self-proclaimed first familyH is for Hombres: The good, the bad, and the uglyI is for ISIS: a group that’s anything but rationalJ is for Jingoism: If you don’t believe it, you’re anti-national K is for Kim, Kanye, Kyle and the other celebrities L is for Live streaming: so you’re a part of big storiesM is for Michelle: the Obama who is loved moreN is for Note: The phone that lost Samsung crores and croresO is for Orange: In the United States, it’s the New BlackP is for Potter: The Cursed Child (was it good or did it face flak?)Q is for Questions: For which answers we have noneR is for Russia: Because everyone assumes Putin’s scumS is for Stars: Many left us in 2016 and are now shining brightT is for Trump: Did America play its cards right?U is for Ugly: What we feel about 2016 dailyV is for Virat: Or as fans say, Kohli, Kohli, Kohli!W is for War: It gets murkier, will there be a WW III?X is for X-travagent wedding: Money spent by Janardhan ReddyY is for Yolo: the mantra employed to surviveZ is for Zika: A virus that had a 2016 thrive

DNA Morning Must Reads: Mumbai-bound Jet Airways veers off runway; ED to investigate Mayawati’s kin; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Jet Airways Goa-Mumbai flight with 161 on-board veers off runway, passengers safeJet Airways flight from Goa to Mumbai skids off the runway, Airport operations closed til 12.30 PM. Read more.2. Sonia Gandhi’s attempts to revive Oppn unity coming a cropperCongress’ allies in Bihar—Left and the JD(U) decide to stay away from Tuesday’s meeting. Read more.3. Political parties relying on dubious sources of funding: reportThe report, commissioned during the UPA regime in 2011, explains how political parties receive funds. Read more.4. Rs 104 cr deposited in BSP accounts after note recall, blow to Mayawati as ED investigatesBig blow to Mayawati as ED officials investigate the bank account of her brother as well. Read more.5. IND vs AUS: Nearly two months to go but Smith starts battle with Virat KohliOz captain says India skipper is emotional and will use it against him when they tour subcontinent in February. Read more.

UP: BJP mocks ‘Mahabharat’ in first family of Samajwadi Party over poll tickets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday taunted the ongoing feud between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his bete noire uncle Shivpal Yadav, saying the first family of the Samajwadi Party should resolve the ‘mahabharat’ and focus on law and order, corruption and lack of administration in the politically crucial state.BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli also used the occasion to take a jibe at reports suggesting about the possibility of a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the run up to next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. “However, in the first family of the Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh a ‘Mahabharat’ is already on for quite some time. Now, it appears that there are multiple lists – one by the uncle, one by the nephew who is the Chief Minister and there are all sorts of disputes. They should resolve that,” Kohli said.”As far as the people of Uttar Pradesh are concerned, they are obviously going to vote on the track record of the Samajwadi Party. The substantial issues are law and order, corruption and the lack of administration,” he added.The tussle in Uttar Pradesh’s ruling family reignited yesterday after Akhilesh drew up his own list of poll candidates and submitted it to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, bypassing his uncle and state president Shivpal Yadav.The Chief Minister’s surprise move angered Shivpal, who is officially in-charge of ticket distribution in consultation with the party president.Shivpal tweeted that ticket distribution would be decided by ‘victory potential’. “The party will not tolerate any indiscipline that might hurt the party’s image,” he tweeted.According to sources, Akhilesh while reviewing the list of candidates for 403 assembly seats expressed concern over the party giving 181 tickets to ‘tainted’ persons.This is not the first time that Akhilesh and his uncle have clashed over tickets distribution. The Chief Minister, who is of the view that his image and record is party’s strength, had earlier this month expressed displeasure over the decision to field don-turned politicians Atiq Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibaqtullah Ansari for next year’s elections.The Ansari brothers belong to Quami Ekta Dal, which recently merged with the party despite opposition from Akhilesh.Mulayam has so far made all attempts to engineer a truce between his son and brother, but seat allotment has remained a thorny issue in the Samajwadi Party.

DNA Morning Must Reads: At least 10 dead in Cyclone Vardah in TN; ISI new chief’s agenda against India; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Cyclone Vardah: Death toll rises to 10 in Tamil Nadu, more than 10,000 people rescued, schools to remain shutCyclone helpline numbers in TN are – 044-25619206, 25619511, 25384965, 25383694. WhatsApp number – 9445477207, 9445477203. Read more.2. ISI’s new chief has an agenda: scuttle India-Afghanistan tiesIn his thesis, ‘Afghanistan — Alternative futures and their implications’ he speaks of taking ‘aggressive measures’ to undermine India and prevent Afghanistan from becoming its proxy. Read more.3. India’s landmark forest rights law hobbled by conflicting policies: ReportThe report released by a citizens’ advocacy group said that only 3% of potential community forest rights have been granted so far, and conflicts between states and indigenous communities have been rising. Read more.4. Russian woman who sacrificed freedom for faith gets ‘moksha’Faith transcended all boundaries for Zoia when she embarked on the spiritual journey from St Petersburg to the Amarnath cave in August last year. Read more.5. India v/s England: Champions all the wayIndia trounce England by an innings and 36 runs to clinch series; Skipper Kohli rates this rubber triumph best as it has come on true pitches. Read more.

India v England: Ravichandran Ashwin seals series win in Mumbai

England subside to an innings-and-36-run defeat on the final day of the fourth Test in Mumbai as India seal a series victory.

India v England: Virat Kohli makes 235 & Jayant Yadav 104 as tourists face defeat

England face their seventh Test defeat of the year after Virat Kohli’s fine 235 ensured India dominated day four of the fourth Test in Mumbai.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Live updates from TN post Jayalalithaa’s death; Cyrus Mistry takes battle to Tata Trusts; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Live updates | Amma no more: Mortal remains of Jayalalithaa kept at Rajaji for public Follow Live updates: The mortal remains of J Jayalalithaa kept at Rajaji Hall to pay last respects. Read more.2. Jayalalithaa (1948-2016): A life called Puratchi ThalaiviEnd of an era in Indian politics. Read more.3. O Panneerselvam sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM after Jaya’s deathO Panneerselvam sworn in as TN CM after Jaya’s death. Read more.4. Me to We: Cyrus Mistry takes battle to Tata TrustsFormer chairman tries to rope in minority shareholders of group firms. Read more.5. India v/s England: Chance for India to set track record straightWith curator saying that Wankhede pitch won’t turn from onset, series-clinching victory in 4th Test will improve hosts’ average record at this venue as well as reiterate Kohli’s point that they can win on any surface. Read more.

BJP hails SC verdict on national anthem

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Welcoming the Supreme Court’s order on national anthem, BJP on Wednesday said it will strengthen the spirit of nationalism and the idea of ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’.The apex court today directed that cinema halls across the country must play the national anthem before the screening of a film and people should stand up as a mark of respect. “BJP welcomes this order and commend the court for this. It will strengthen the spirit of nationalism. National anthem and tri-colour unite us as a nation and this unity will be further strengthened,” party’s National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said. A strong national spirit will help India become a ‘vishwa guru’ (world leader), he said.BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the order is a reminder to people that they should have affection and duty towards national institutions and symbols. “Its a welcome order. Of late, there has been certain controversies. People are not standing up in cinema halls when national anthem is being played. “The SC has adjudicated and passed an order in terms of it. That has to be welcomed. It is a reminder to people that we have to have affection and duty towards our national institutions and symbols,” Kohli said.The Supreme Court also directed that the national flag should be shown on screen when the anthem is played. “People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said while stressing that it is the duty of every citizen of the country to show respect to the national anthem and the flag.Directing that its order be shown in electronic and print media and be followed in letter and spirit, the court said, “Time has come when people should feel they live in a nation.”

Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani schemer and manipulator, says secret witness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indrani Mukerjea was a “schemer and a lady of dominant nature” who used to interfere in the affairs of a media group through her husband Peter who was the CEO, though not being on payroll, a ‘secret witness’ in the Sheena Bora murder case has claimed. Peter was arrested in November last year on the charge of murder conspiracy.A special court on Tuesday opened the statement of ‘secret witness’ Ravina Raj Kohli, former president of Star News, from a sealed cover and handed it over to the defence lawyers. On November 21, the CBI had told the Bombay High Court that it will give a copy of the secret witness’s statement, withheld so far by the agency, to Peter and other accused after deleting a portion of it. “To my understanding, Indrani is a schemer, manipulator and a lady of dominant nature,” Kohli said in a four-page statement recorded on February 10.Sheena, daughter of Indrani from her previous relationship, was killed in a car on April 24, 2012, and her body was later dumped and set afire in neighbouring Raigad district. Police had last year arrested Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and former driver Shyamvar Rai for murder and destruction of evidence. Rai later turned approver.
ALSO READ Sheena Bora case: CBI agrees to give Peter Mukerjea statement copy of ‘secret’ witnessPeter and Indrani were said to be against Sheena’s relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, Peter’s son from his former wife. Kohli stated that before Indrani’s marriage with Peter, she had received a message from her saying that the latter had settled everything with Khanna. “In my view it (the message) was sent by her (Indrani) to avoid any problem in her marriage with Peter,” Kohli told CBI.Peter was the chief executive officer of Star India network from 1999-2007. He and Indrani got married in 2002. After leaving Star in 2007, Indrani established news channel INX News, and Peter managed its two channels, 9X and 9XM. Peter and Indrani exited the company in 2009. Kohli stated that Indrani had told her she was running a recruitment agency in Kolkata before shifting to Mumbai.
ALSO READ Sheena Bora murder: Bombay High Court rejects Peter Mukerjea’s bail pleaIndrani later opened branch offices of the agency in Delhi and Bengaluru. “In due course, she (Indrani) started providing HR support to Star and at the time of her marriage with Peter, she was providing maximum human resources to Star. “I came to know from my sources that Indrani had manipulated this contract of recruitment with Star through Peter by throwing the threat of poaching to the media company,” Kohli said.Kohli claimed Peter was allowing Indrani to ‘interfere’ in the affairs of the company (Star) so much that she used to influence all major decisions of his, despite being not on the payroll. “Once I had an occasion to interact with Peter about Indrani and during the discussion Peter mentioned about Indrani as his retirement plan. It was the reason that she was being promoted by Peter in media business circle,” she said in her statement. She claimed Peter had ‘controlled’ all activities of Star and used to ‘manipulate’ things according to his choice and in a manner which used to be beneficial to him. “Indrani was taking advantage of his power on her personal benefit,” according to Kohli.
ALSO READ Sheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea’s bail plea rejected by High CourtShe said Peter resigned from Star in 2006-07 and floated INX media along with Indrani. “In fact, Peter and Indrani had planned to create this media company (INX Media) with he was still with Star. Before floating the company, he also did management diploma from Chicago,” Kohli stated.She further said that since Peter was a British national and there was a non-compete clause in the agreement with Star Channel, Peter made Indrani as CEO of INX Media. According to Kohli, though the planning and execution of concept of launching the firm was conceived by Peter, he kept Indrani as the face of the company but himself used to run the day to day functioning. “The company did not succeed mainly because of funds problem but Indrani’s inexperienced background of this profession also played a major role,” she stated.In her statement, Kohli also said Peter contacted her to join the company but she refused because they were giving her a “low profile job”. “But I came to know from sources that my name was shown by them in their media company records. Moreover, Indrani was not interested in keeping me in their company,” she claimed.Kohli told the CBI that she had learnt through her sources in media that Indrani and Peter had siphoned off money of their media company “through kickbacks” and parked the amount in some unknown bank accounts abroad, which she said “may be HSBC Singapore or Hong Kong.” “I came to know that Indrani and Peter used the company money to receive kickback from the dummy production companies (sic),” Kohli said.In 2009, Peter and Indrani both left India and settled in UK, although they kept coming to India. “I heard that Peter and Indani were planning to again start their media business in India and in this regard, they had arranged New Year Party in 2013-2014,” she stated. Kohli’s statement also said that Peter and Indrani were known as “Bunty and Babli” (names of the characters of con artists in the 2005 Bollywood movie). She further told CBI that she never met Sheena but came to know from media sources that she was daughter of Indrani, who used to project Sheena as her sister. “It was also a rumour that Indrani and Peter had floated some company in the name of Sheena and both of them had parked huge money in the bank accounts in India and abroad,” Kohli added.

India set for first innings lead after England fightback | Reuters

By Amlan Chakraborty
| MOHALI, India

MOHALI, India Half-centuries by Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin kept India on course for a first innings lead after England made a spirited comeback on day two of the third test on Sunday.Having bowled out England for 283 earlier in the morning, India looked in charge at 148-2 at tea before Adil Rashid’s double strike jolted the hosts who lost three wickets in 19 balls to slump to 156-5.Ashwin enhanced his new-found batting reputation with an unbeaten 57 while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was batting on 31 at stumps with India trailing by 12 runs.”I’d say we’ve recovered really well and we’ve an advantage because two of our all-rounders are playing,” Pujara told reporters.”We’d be looking to get a lead of around 75-100 runs… As you saw in the last game, (number nine) Jayant Yadav can also bat.”Our lower order has been contributing in all test matches and we expect them to contribute tomorrow as well,” Pujara added.Paceman Mohammed Shami claimed the last two English wickets earlier in the morning as the tourists added 15 runs to their overnight score before being dismissed for 283.Murali Vijay walked out with Parthiv Patel, his third opening partner of the series, to lead India’s reply and it turned out to be an eventful yet brief stay for the right-hander.

Vijay survived an obstructing-the-field appeal, was dropped by Jos Buttler and the batsman eventually walked off, nicking a harmless Ben Stokes delivery even though umpire Chris Gaffaney did not spot the nick.Patel, by contrast, looked determined to make the most of his chance return to the Indian side after eight years in the wilderness.MIDDLE ORDER COLLAPSE

The diminutive 31-year-old, replacing injured regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, smacked six boundaries in his 42 before Adil Rashid dismissed him leg-before.Pujara and Kohli then joined forces to frustrate the tourists with the steady accumulation of 75 runs for the third wicket.Dropped on 35 by Jonny Bairstow, Pujara went on to make 51 before falling to a Rashid long-hop and his dismissal sparked off a middle order collapse.Rashid, in his next over, trapped the scoreless Ajinkya Rahane leg-before with a googly and Karun Nair’s test debut was soured after his almighty mix-up with Kohli.

Buttler was outstanding at backward point, diving to stop the ball and then throwing down the stumps to send back Nair for four.Kohli showed tremendous restraint for major part of his knock, especially as England attacked him with a heavily-packed off-side, but he eventually fell to a soft dismissal, edging Stokes behind the wicket. Kohli’s 62 included nine boundaries.Ashwin hit eight boundaries in his unbeaten knock, having raised 67 runs with Jadeja for the seventh wicket.”271 for six, we’ll take that at the end of the day. We bowled exceptionally well as a team,” leg-spinner Rashid, who claimed 3-81, said.”We stuck to our plans and we got rewards at the end session. They got a little partnership but you know it happens in cricket. But we come back tomorrow and knock them over.” (Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 27, 2016 18:49 IST

DNA Evening Must Reads: Urjit Patel finally breaks silence, Punjab jailbreak updates, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demonetization: Urjit Patel breaks silence, says RBI is taking action to ease citizens’ painBreaking his silence over the demonetization issue, RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Sunday said the central bank is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and taking all necessary actions to “ease the genuine pain of citizens” with a clear intent to normalise things as early as possible. Read more hereLive updates | Punjab jailbreak: Amarinder Singh demands President’s rule in stateA group of armed men in police uniform attacked the Nabha Jail in Patiala on Sunday and fled with six prisoners including Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo. Read more hereAakrosh Diwas | Protest over demonetization tomorrow, no Bharat bandh: CongressCongress made it clear on Sunday it has not called for a ‘Bharat bandh’ tomorrow, but will hold protests across the country against demonetization, which it alleged “was a political move being sold as a fight against corruption”. Read more hereIndia v/s England: Stokes reserves special message for Kohli as hosts reach 271-6Indian batsmen, including flamboyant and in-form skipper Virat Kohli, were made to toil hard before Ravichandran Ashwin’s counter-attacking 57 enabled the hosts to reach 271/6 at stumps on the second day of the third Test in Mohali on Sunday. Read more hereBox Office: It’s Rs 11.25 crore for Alia Bhatt-SRK’s ‘Dear Zindagi’ on Day 2!The Gauri Shinde directorial latest flick Dear Zindagi starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan among other, has taken a huge leap in its collections on Day 2. Read more here

Newsmaker – Ashwin spins India back to the top | Reuters

By Sudipto Ganguly
| MUMBAI

MUMBAI For those who feared for the future of finger-spin bowling, Ravichandran Ashwin’s stupendous success over the last 16 months has come as a mighty relief.While the art of off-spin has grappled with the menace of chucking, the 30-year-old Indian has risen to the top of the ICC test bowling rankings on the back of seven Man of the Series performances.Apart from skipper Virat Kohli, nobody is more important to India’s test success on home soil and on Saturday he will unpack his bag of tricks in Mohali as the hosts attempt to lock up the five-test series against England.All this success has come against the background of the International Cricket Council’s 2014 declaration of war on off-spinners with illegal actions.Numerous bowlers required remedial work to get back to permissible limits of bend in their elbows and the crackdown wrecked the career of Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, one of the world’s leading spinners in the post-Muttiah Muralitharan era.Ashwin, though, has managed to fox batsmen without ever needing to bend the rules. A tall off-spinner who bowls in half-sleeves, Ashwin is a rarity in an age when many slow bowlers look to hide the extent of their elbow bend under full sleeves.Against New Zealand in September, Ashwin became the second fastest bowler to take 200 test wickets, taking one more match than former Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmet (36) to achieve the feat.It has not always been plain-sailing for Ashwin, however, particularly outside India. OVERSEAS STRUGGLES

An opening batsman in junior cricket whose father Ravichandran was a club paceman, Ashwin transformed himself into a off-spinner and emerged from the southern city of Chennai to overtake Harbhajan Singh as India’s leading slow bowler.Two years after making his debut against West Indies in 2011, he went wicketless in both innings of the Johannesburg test against South Africa and lost his place as number one spinner to left-armer Ravindra Jadeja when India were overseas.”The criticism that came out of that game got the better of me,” Ashwin said recently.”It told me that I wasn’t good enough and that I needed to improve. It made me raise my standards.”Returning to the nets, he made some tweaks to his action and returned to the side in England in August 2014.

A slow bowler with a penchant for targeting the opposition’s best batsman, his ‘carrom’ ball – a finger-spinner delivered with the knuckle – has flummoxed the best players of spin.He also bowls a slider and has the ability to summon up the occasional leg-break when he feels he needs it.With his refurbished armoury, he picked up 62 wickets from nine tests in 2015 to finish as the highest wicket-taker in the world. He is firmly on course to repeat the feat for a second year with 55 wickets in nine matches so far and three more home tests against England to come.PACE GREATS

Against England at Visakhapatnam, his 5-67 gave him his 22nd five-wicket haul in his 41st test, bringing him level with pace greats Waqar Younis (87 tests), Malcolm Marshall (81), Curtly Ambrose (98), Courtney Walsh (132).On a docile Rajkot pitch in the opening test, Ashwin had managed just three wickets but he made some adjustments and took eight on a Visakhapatnam track that offered little spin.”I’m really hungry in terms of how much I want to achieve as a cricketer,” he said.”It’s not about any specific number. If I get on a bit of a roll, then I don’t really want to settle for anything, I just want to keep going and going and going.”The (Rajkot) wicket was easy paced and I wanted to create some sort of pace into my action, so I tried to be a little slingy and load it up differently.”Ashwin goes to Mohali with 231 test wickets at a strike rate of 50.4 and a batting average of 34.22, good enough to warrant the title all-rounder.His success with the bat – he has four test centuries and eight fifties – has given Kohli the luxury of playing five bowlers and Ashwin has been promoted to number six in the Indian order, ahead of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.India are keen to prolong their stay at the top of the ICC test rankings and with another eight tests on home soil before April and Ashwin on fire, it would be foolhardy to bet against it. (Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 19:42 IST

DNA Morning Must Reads: Latest on demonetization; Newborn trafficking racket in Bengal; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Old notes can’t be exchanged now; govt likely to levy 60% tax on unaccounted bank depositsGovt stops swapping of old currency over the counter | Likely to levy 60% tax on unaccounted bank deposits post November 8. Read more.2. Newborn trafficking racket: CID officials recover 10 infants in a midnight raid in West Bengal10 infants recovered from an old age home in West Bengal. Read more.3. India has zero conviction on money laundering: US reportsThe PMLA was introduced in 2002 and was amended in 2012 to align with international laws related to AML/CFT. Read more.4. India v/s England: Time to act, not reactChief coach Anil Kumble rubbishes ball tampering allegations on Kohli; praises his bowlers, particularly Jayant Yadav. Read more.5. I don’t talk about my problems to anybody: Alia BhattAlia Bhatt talks about ‘Dear Zindagi’, her reason for doing the film, her character, and about giving and getting advice. Read more.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Three Indian soldiers killed, one mutilated by Pak troops, updates on demonetization, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmir: Army vows ‘retribution’ after three Indian soldiers killed, body of one mutilated on LoCThree Indian soldiers were killed and body of one of them was mutilated by Pakistan troops on the Line of Control in Machhal sector of Kashmir, the army said. Read more here.Demonetization just a ‘beginning’ in fight against black money, says PM Modi in emotional appeal to BJP lawmakersMaking an emotional address to Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) lawmakers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that the demonetization of high value currency is just a beginning of his government’s deep and continuous struggle against black money. Read more here.BJP wins in MP, TMC in West Bengal, AIADMK sweeps TN & CPM wins in TripuraThe BJP on Tuesday retained Shahdol Lok Sabha and Nepanagar Assembly seats in the by-elections in Madhya Pradesh, defeating the Congress which had brought to the campaign the demonetization issue alongwith local themes against the ruling party. Read more here.Don’t need ‘Daddy’, small children can answer their questions: Babul Supriyo on PM Modi’s absenceOpposition parties on Tuesday joined hands to stall proceedings in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha demanding Rs 10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of the 70 persons who lost their lives post demonetization and the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on the issue. Follow live updates here. Legendary Carnatic musician and Padma Vibushan awardee Dr M Balamuralikrishna passes awayMusic legend Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna passed away in his residence in Chennai on Tuesday. Read more here.Virat Kohli shoots up to career-high 4th in ICC Test Player RankingsIndia captain Virat Kohli reached a career-high fourth position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after producing a man of the match performance in the second Test against England which India won by 246 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Read more here.

India v England: Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed fall late on in second Test

England’s bid to save the second Test against India is hit by the late loss of Haseeb Hameed and Alastair Cook on day four in Visakhapatnam.

Effects of demonetisation: Tea sales go up, but country’s sugar levels are in the dumps

Firstpostimage

Demonetisation: News18 sting operation reveals how black money helps hire Pakistani artistes

Central government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is being projected as a huge blow to the hoarders of unaccounted cash worth crores and has posed a major challenge to those clandestine cash deals which was carried out to evade tax.

A sting operation carried out by the investigation team of News18 India on the managers of some very well known Pakistani artistes shows how black money is used to crack deals with these artistes.

News18 India conducted sting operations on the managers of Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Pakistani model Mawra Hocane and actor Fawad Khan.

Pakistani-artists_380Pakistani-artists_380

Posing as a manager of a Delhi-based industrialist, the reporters of News18 India approached managers of above mentioned Pakistani celebrities with a proposal to perform at the wedding function of the industrialist’s daughter.

In the first case, the reporters of News18 India approached the manager of Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan with a proposal. Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan is famous Pakistani singer, has sung more than 50 Bollywood songs, and has performed in numerous concerts and live performances in India.

A team of undercover reporters of News18 India met Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan’s manager named Manu Kohli who runs an artiste management company in upscale Hauz Khas area in New Delhi. It is Kohli who manages all the performances of Khan in India.

The reporters told Kohli that they have come with a proposal for Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan to perform at a wedding hosted by Agrawal, a Delhi-based industrialist.

Kohli informed the reporters that Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan would charge Rs 25 lakh for the performance excluding other expenses incurred on travel and boarding of his entourage that consists of eight people. He also informed that apart from this there will be additional service tax that needs to be paid.

Further Rakesh Gupta, partner of Kohli told the reporters that they will provide all the invoices and will properly pay the service tax. Gupta said, “There will be no hanky panky. Everything will be clean. If you want to pay by cheque, draft or through real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS).

The conversation made by Gupta hinted at a fair dealing. But the perception was to be soon dismantled.

The reporters after a while asked Kohli and Gupta if it will be possible that on papers the payment can be shown for Rs 5 to 7 lakhs and rest can be paid in cash. After some negotiation, it was agreed that that Rs 10 lakh will be paid legally with proper documents and the rest Rs 15 lakh will be paid in cash.

When asked whether they should first be given the cash or the amount that will be shown as the fees, Gupta settled for taking cash first, to confirm the date.

A similar deal was struck with the manager of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan wherein out of Rs 65 lakh (the total amount to be paid to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for his performance) Rs 23 lakh was to be paid legally by paying proper tax and the rest would be paid in cash.

After striking the deal with the managers of the two singers it was the time to test the waters with Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan.

The reporters posing as managers of Agrawal, a Delhi-based owner of a pharmaceutical company approached the manager of Fawad Khan with a proposal of Khan performing at the wedding function of Agrawal’s daughter.

The script was same and followed the same dialogue pattern. Here’s how it went (edited excerpts):

Reporter: You must have heard about our company. It is into medical products. Mr Agrawal is the owner. It is his daughter’s wedding; it is the first big function in the house. Money is not the problem. His daughter and son-in-law are very excited that some celebrity should participate in the function.

Fawad’s Manager: So you want him basically for the sangeet.

Reporter: Actually there are five functions. Dates for four have been finalised which I have already told you. One is yet to be finalised. Will let you know. They want different celebrities for each occasion; at least for one, they want Fawad Khan. His daughter is a big fan of Fawad.

Fawad’s Manager: Is it in Delhi?

Reporter: Yes!

Fawad’s Manager: Little difficult.

Fawad’s Manager: The issue is of him coming to Delhi. I do not think it is possible as of now.

Reporter: Why?

Fawad’s Manager: You have not heard of India-Pakistan issue

Reporter: That is in Mumbai. There is no problem in Delhi.

Fawad’s Manager: I do not think it will work out. But I will check.

Reporter: We have one function in Gurgaon also.

Fawad’s Manager: That is Delhi only.

Reporter: Yes, it is Delhi only. But Gurgaon is very safe. Delhi is also safe. It will be a private function. There will be no big crowd.

Fawad’s Manager: I will check once.

Reporter: Can you please tell me an estimate?

Fawad’s Manager: I will tell you the estimate.

Reporter: Please tell me how we shall make payment. With all white money, it will be very problematic, assuming if it is Rs 60-70 lakh.

Fawad’s Manager: It is for one person.

Reporter: If it is for one person, so, for a 70-plus group I assume it will be around Rs 70-80 lakh. Giving all in white will be a problem for me.

Fawad’s Manager: The group will go in CR.

Reporter: Whatever it may be. Giving all in white will be a problem.

Fawad’s Manager: We can decide in a percentage. What should I give you as of now? I will give you the original cost then we do not take anything in writing. You can tell about percentage on phone. You just need to tell percentage. I will calculate the amount.

Reporter: I feel if we do not talk these things on the phone it will be better

Fawad’s Manager: OK, if you say 25 percent, I can take in which ways, advance or anything. I can calculate 25 percent out of total percentage and I know this much you want to go in black and rest in white. Then we can decide.

What the conversation simply meant was that 25 percent of the amount that was to be paid to Fawad Khan would be paid in black. Further, Fawad Kahn’s manager told the reporters that by depositing the money directly into Khan’s UAE account they can save a lot on taxes.

Post demonetisation, the effect of the move on black money is being debated upon and this sting operation carried by News18 India highlights the extent to which black money is circulated in the system.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 21:07 IST

Demonetisation: Tribal communities in remote parts of Jammu and Kashmir will bear the brunt

The tribal communities, which comprise 11 percent of the total population of Jammu and Kashmir have been hit the hardest by the demonetisation drive announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. Most of the tribal community of Gujjar and Barkerwals live in the higher reaches and far-flung areas of the state, which remain cut off from the mainland for almost six months during winters.

Javaid Rahi, Chairperson of Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, an NGO, which works for the welfare of the tribal population of the state, said 90 percent of the tribal people, out of the 14.95 lakh population, are uneducated, and only 10 percent of the people have bank accounts.

According to a survey conducted by Rahi’s organisation, last year, all the transactions are on cash payments basis done by the community members throughout the state.

“Their lives are completely dependent on a cash economy. They don’t have any idea at least 90 percent of them have never used one. For example, if a Gujjar sells his 10 buffaloes, it means at least eight lakh rupees, but he is not going to deposit that money in banks. Instead, he will keep that money in cash wherever he goes,” Rahi said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Our people are nomads and they go from one place to another with their stock. And even those who have bank accounts live in mountains and higher areas, which are cut from the mainland for six months. Most of them would be having no idea about government decision,” Rahi told Firstpost on phone.

In Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu region at least 131 villages still lack the proper road connectivity, were most of the tribals live these days, leave aside the concept of banking.

“What about those people. Till the time you don’t tell them in their own language, they will not even agree to change the notes of 500 and 1000. The central government should have immediately deployed people to inform these people. The loss is going to be heavy for these people,” he added.

The government has set a deadline of 30 December for changing the higher denomination currency notes, but Rahi says, up to the time majority of his community members will come down to the plains, it will be too late. They will be hit hard by the decision because majority of them have no bank accounts.

“Our people will be worst affected by this decision,” Rahi added.

The Gujjars and Barkerwals are the third largest ethnic group, after Kashmiri-speaking Muslims and Dogra Hindus, in Jammu and Kashmir. Over the years they have emerged as a significant political entity and influence the winning prospect of at least 20 candidates in eight Assembly constituencies in the state.

A sizeable chunk of the community members migrate in September to the plains of the Jammu region after spending summers letting their livestock graze on the pastures in the valley. They arrive in April and return in October or November. Many of them come with horses and mules and earn a livelihood by ferrying pilgrims to Amarnath in Kashmir.

But, according to Rahi, 60 percent of the population lives in higher areas who remain disconnected for six months from the mainland.

Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Abdul Gani Kohli, the only Muslim candidate who won on a BJP ticket from Kalakote Assembly seat of Rajouri district, said the issue of the tribal population getting affected by the demonetisation drive is already under consideration.

Kohli who recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a delegation of Gujjar (tribals) from Jammu and Kashmir to apprise him about their underdevelopment said that he would try to seek information from agencies concerned about how to inform the tribal communities of the state.

“I assure you I will try to do whatever I can because they are my people and I have won because of them. I know they won’t understand the government’s decision easily but they will have to be informed,” Kohli said.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 07:30 IST

DNA Evening Must Reads: Updates on demonetisation; India vs England Rajkot test ends in draw; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. War on black money: Forces up against me, they may not let me live, says PM ModiAfter demonetising high value notes to curb black money, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he has “more projects” in mind to rid the country of corruption and was ready to face the consequences as forces are “up against me” with their 70 years of loot being in trouble. Read more here.2. Live | War on black money: Modi asks for support, Kejriwal asks for rollbackUrging the people to give him support till December 30 on demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his government would never trouble innocent citizens, but at the same time, it wants to ensure that those who are guilty are punished. Catch the latest happenings from Modi vs Kejriwal on demonetisation here.3. New Zealand: Earthquake of magnitude 7.4 strikes near Christchurch, tsunami warning issuedAn earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck central New Zealand just after midnight (1102 GMT Sunday), the US Geological Survey said, knocking out power in some areas and sending people into the streets of the capital Wellington. Read more here.4. Google Pixel hacked in less than 60 seconds!Google’s new flagship smartphone, which runs the latest Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, supposedly succumbed to a team of hackers in less than 60 seconds. Read more here.5. India v/s England: Kohli helps hosts survive anxious moments as Rajkot Test ends in drawSkipper Virat Kohli showed patience as he consumed 98 balls for his unbeaten 49 that had six boundaries and Ravindra Jadeja (32 not out) also hit some lusty blows after the sixth wicket had fallen at 132. Read more here.

Mishra takes five as India maul New Zealand to win series | Reuters

Mishra takes five as India maul New Zealand to win series | Reuters

Updated: Oct 29, 2016 20:20 IST

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Leg-spinner Amit Mishra picked up his second five-wicket haul in one-day internationals as India skittled New Zealand for 79 to win the final match by 190 runs in Visakhapatnam on Saturday for a 3-2 series victory.Half-centuries from opener Rohit Sharma and the in-form Virat Kohli took India to 269 for six in their 50 overs after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat.Only three New Zealand batsmen could reach double figures with the visiting captain Kane Williamson top-scoring with 27 as his side were bundled out in just 23.1 overs for their lowest ODI score against India.Williamson’s dismissal to Axar Patel, who took two wickets for nine, triggered a collapse which saw New Zealand lose their last seven wickets for 16 runs with Mishra bagging five of them.The 33-year-old fooled the batsmen with his flight and sharp turn and also extracted some extra bounce on the surface during his six overs.

Mishra (5-18) was adjudged man of the match and also the player of the series for picking up 15 wickets in the five matches.Earlier, Rohit and Kohli gave India the momentum with a 79-run stand for the second wicket before the former was out on 70 in the 22nd over.

Kohli, who had already scored 85 not out and an unbeaten 154 in the series, kept India’s innings moving briskly with a 71-run stand with Dhoni but his dismissal for 65 triggered a mini-collapse for the hosts.Dhoni and Manish Pandey were also soon back in the pavilion and India were reduced from 190-2 to 220-5 in quick time.

Kedar Jadhav’s unbeaten 39 and Patel’s 24 gave India, who also blanked New Zealand 3-0 in the tests, the late surge with a sixth-wicket partnership of 46. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Clare Fallon)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Call centre scam: Audi seized from main accused was bought from Virat Kohli

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have seized an Audi car belonging to Sagar Thakkar alias ‘Shaggy’, alleged kingpin of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) call centre scam of Thane in which thousands of Americans were defrauded to the tune of USD 300 million. The car, valued at Rs 2.5 crore, was seized by Thane police from Ahmedabad and was allegedly purchased from Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli in May, police said on Friday.Hindustan Times quoted Thane police commissioner Param Bir Singh as saying, “He (Thakkar) bought the Audi R8 car from Virat Kohli but the cricketer is unaware of Thakkar’s activities.”The ownership of the car is still not changed and it is in Kohli’s name, according to the report. The market price of the posh car is Rs 3 crore and it was sold for Rs 2.5 crore. Thakkar bought the car from Kohli on May 7, 2016, and a document related to this was also signed.Form of notice of ownership of Audi R8 which was sold by Virat Kohli to Sagar Thakkar Police sources informed that Thakkar had gifted the car to his girlfriend for her birthday. The police are yet to record her statement. Thakkar and his sister remain absconding and are said to be hiding in a Gulf country.Incidentally, the US Justice Department has charged 61 people and entities linked to the scam where call centre agents impersonated IRS, immigration and other federal officials and demanded payments for non-existent debts. Asked about this development, Thane Police Commissioner Parambir Singh said “we will see if the accused persons are the same.” “We will ask FBI to give their list. We will share our list too,” the IPS officer said.The scam, which operated since 2013 through at least half a dozen call centres in adjoining Thane, targeted at least 15,000 American citizens. US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday said these call centres stole more than USD 300 million from their victims.A senior US Justice Department official was quoted as saying that “It’s really important for the scammers in India to know that the United States is looking at this, is watching them and they could, if they engage in that activity, be extradited to the United Sates and could sit in jail … for several years.”The scam, wherein US-based taxpayers were allegedly conned by Indian tele-callers posing as American tax and immigration officials, was unearthed early this month when police raided a clutch of call centres at Mira Road in Thane district.Subsequently, police teams raided and shut down five call centres in Ahmedabad which were a part of the racket. Over 70 people, mostly directors and key persons linked to these call centres, have been arrested till now.(Inputs from PTI)

CBI Director breaks silence on BK Bansal suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the alleged suicide of senior bureaucrat BK Bansal and his family as a “painful and unfortunate incident”, Anil Sinha, director of Central Bureau of Investigation, said that if agency officials are found guilty they will be brought to justice. Bansal, who was Corporate Affairs Director-General when CBI arrested him on bribery charges in July this year, in his suicide note, had accused agency officials of torturing him and his family.”This (suicide) is an extremely painful and unfortunate incident.I have personally initiated an internal inquiry into the allegations made by the deceased in the note believed to be written by him before his death,” said Anil Sinha adding that the probe agency wanted to get to the bottom of the case.”Our intention is to get to the bottom of the case and if any wrong doing is established on part of any of our officials they will be brought to justice,” the director while speaking at the sidelines of D P Kohli Memorial event which is organised annually by the CBI in honour of its founder Director, late D P Kohli.Another senior official told dna that the internal inquiry into the allegations made by Bansal “will conclude very soon”. “The Delhi police is probing the alleged suicide of Mr Bansal and three of his family members.Investigators from Delhi police had recently asked for some documents relating to the case of Mr Bansal and we provided the same. On our part, we are probing the allegations of harassment made against CBI officials and will soon conclude our internal probe,” the official said.On July 19, BK Bansal was arrested by the CBI on alleged charges of bribery and attempting to scuttle a probe against a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company. The probe agency had also allegedly caught him accepting a bribe of Rs 9 lakh. Three days after Bansal’s arrest his wife Satyabala, 57, and daughter Neha, 27, committed suicide by hanging themselves. Bansal himself was granted bail in August however on September 27, bodies of BK Bansal and his son were found at their Madhu Vihar residence. In a note left behind and sent to some media house as well, Bansal said he had taken the extreme step due to the harassment and “torture” that his family witnessed at the hands of some officials of the CBI, as claimed in the suicide note.”The inquiry will be fair and conclusive,” said the CBI director at the annual event in National Capital. The event saw lectures delivered by Bob Paulson, the Chief of Royal Canadian Mounted Police , who emphasised on greater co-operation between Indian and Canadian law enforcement agencies.”We have nearly 392 investigation matters underway in over 66 countries and the International Component of investigations is expected to grow manifold in coming years. As the nodal agency for Transnational Organized Crime, Interpol, Anti-corruption and Bank Frauds, CBI has been alive to these unfolding challenges. We have recognized the need to enhance investigation capacity in all emerging areas of investigation and forging partnership with law enforcement agencies of major countries,” the director said.”Time has also come in India to enhance use of technology in trial processes and undertake comprehensive simplification of procedural laws to expedite the delivery of justice,” he added. According to senior CBI officials among the topics discussed between the Canadian and Indian officials were relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots witness along with 13 extradition pleas from India. The agency has also sought co-operation from its Canadian counterparts to investigate Ottawa businessman Nazir Karigar who is accused arranging bribes to Air India officials in India in a failed bid to win a security contract from the airline.

Supreme Kohli, composed Rahane punish New Zealand | Reuters

Supreme Kohli, composed Rahane punish New Zealand | Reuters

Updated: Oct 9, 2016 18:00 IST

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INDORE, India Virat Kohli smashed his second test double century and Ajinkya Rahane made 188 as India flogged a jaded New Zealand attack before declaring their first innings on 557 for five on day two of the third and final test on Sunday.The duo featured in a marathon 365-run stand, India’s highest fourth wicket partnership against any team, applying themselves on a pitch where the occasional ball kept low.Martin Guptill (17) and Tom Latham (six) managed to see through the final nine overs to push New Zealand to 28 for no loss at stumps, still 529 runs behind on a fast-deteriorating track.Rahane had not looked comfortable against the rising delivery on Saturday and the right-hander was predictably subjected to a barrage of short-pitched balls by Matt Henry after India resumed on 267-3.One such delivery had the batsman in two minds whether to duck under a bouncer which smacked him in the helmet.

Rahane took a single off Trent Boult to bring up his century and looked more confident against the spinners, stepping out to hit three sixes, including two off Jeetan Patel’s bowling.Kohli took a single off Henry to bring up his second test double hundred before being hugged by partner Rahane, while rival skipper Kane Williamson came forward to shake his hand.After enduring three sessions without success, New Zealand finally got a breakthrough when Patel struck in the first over after tea, trapping a tired Kohli lbw.

Kohli’s career-best 211 included 20 boundaries, of which there were a couple of crisp down-the-ground drives.Rahane had already bettered his previous high score of 147 and was looking good for his maiden double century when he edged Boult and BJ Watling took a diving catch behind the stumps to end his 381-ball stand.

Rahane’s stellar knock included 18 boundaries and four sixes in the first test match to be staged at Indore’s Holkar Stadium.Rohit Sharma (51 not out) helped himself to his third fifty of the series before Kohli declared. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien and Toby Davis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

2008 Malegaon blasts case: Congress alleges ‘direct interference by PMO’, BJP says charges dropped as per laws

BJP on Sunday rejected Congress charge of “direct interference” by PMO to ensure “reversal” of NIA stand in Malegaon case, insisting that discharge of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and others had occurred in accordance with laws. The ruling party also took a swipe at Congress over its demand for a Supreme Court-monitored probe and said during the UPA rule, “no evidence” could be collected in the case that dragged on for years. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The charges were dropped in accordance with the laws, party national secretary Shrikant Sharma said about the NIA giving a clean chit to Pragya and removing charges under MCOCA against another key accused Colonel P S Purohit. “The case had dragged on for years in court when the UPA was in power but no evidence was produced. Now Congress is questioning the entire legal process. It should not give colour to terrorism and politicise the issue,” he said. “Congress leaders had insulted the Supreme Court by questioning the hanging of (1993 Mumbai blast convict) Yakub Memon and (2001 Parliament attack convict) Afzal Guru. Now they are seeking a SC-monitored probe even though everything has happened in the Malegaon blasts as per law,” Sharma said. He claimed that stringent MCOCA charge was dropped against some accused on the court’s directions. Sharma also raked up the Ishrat Jahan case saying the UPA government had “misled” the apex court by changing affidavit even though goverment agencies had “confirmed” that she was a LeT terrorist. BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli, while rejecting the Congress allegation of “direct interference” by PMO in Malegaon case, charged that during UPA’s 10-year rule, the investigative agencies were not allowed to do their job. “Under Prime Minister Modi’s government, no interference is there. The courts are reposing faith in the agencies, no castigation is there,” he said. Kohli said if the agency finds there is lack of evidence on the basis of which to proceed “which may have been driven by political reasons under the Congress, they will now obviously make those corrections.” Hitting back, he said, “Under the Congress-led UPA rule, scam after scam came, the investigative agencies were not allowed to do their job. The Supreme Court even called CBI a caged parrot,” he said.

Pathankot Attack: It is upto Pakistan to show how serious they are on commitments, says Nalin Kohli

After Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said that the bilateral peace process with remains suspended as New Delhi does not want comprehensive talks, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said it is upto Islamabad to show how serious it is on its commitments and specifically on the issue of combating terrorism.India position is now being acknowledge, recognised and even appreciated. Pakistan Prime Minister has made a commitment, so if Pakistan denies from all of this, despite facing terrorist attacks in its own country then it will show that in Pakistan the old policy of good terrorist, bad terrorist continues and everyone is taking note of it, he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nalin Kohli Spokesperson of Bhartiya Janta Party As far as the issue is concerned, after the Pathankot terrorist attack, it was the Pakistan Prime Minister who said we will ensure that action is taken and it was in that context that the JIT came here and now our team is supposed to go there on a reciprocal basis.He also said as far as the Government of Indian policy is concerned, it is very clear that the three principle under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that all talks will be bilateral, everything should be resolved peacefully, and terror and talks won’t go together.
ALSO READ India counters Abdul Basit’s assertion, reminds Pakistan that both sides agreed on reciprocity on Pathankot probeThe Pakistan High Commissioner had on Thursday said that Pakistan wants peaceful relations with India but India is not cooperating on any level.
ALSO READ Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India will open many bilateral opportunities: Nalin KohliHinting that the NIA will not be given access to JeM chief Masood Azhar for the probe into the, Basit said the dialogue with India is suspended as there are no plans for the Foreign Secretaries to meet.Basit created a stir by stating that Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) visit to India to probe the Pathankot terror attack was not based on reciprocity, the complete opposite of what the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We have seen comments by the Pakistani High Commissioner on the visit of the JIT team to investigate the terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Base that have reference to reciprocity. The MEA would like to clarify that on 26 March, 2016, before the visit of the JIT, the Indian High Commission formally conveyed to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry that the Terms of Reference are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions.”

Pathankot probe: Modi govt ‘messed up’ dealing with Pakistan, accuses Congress

Congress on Friday accused the Modi government of “messing up” while dealing with Pakistan on the Pathankot attack probe and playing into its hands on the issue even as BJP countered the charge, saying India’s stand on all bilateral issues and talks is clear and has been appreciated.Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “I think the government has messed it up completely. There cannot be a bigger mess-up. Pakistanis are to blame…there is no doubt, but the Indian government, unfortunately, is playing into their hands.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan will continue to be a “rogue state and I don’t think we can expect anything better from it”, he said.Singhvi said India “legitimised” Pakistan by inviting its team to Pathankot as such an invitation had never been given in the last 70 years.”Having legitimised them, we got a slap on our face by them going back, debunking us, decrying us, criticising us. We have equated terror perpetrators with victims.”It is adding insult to injury…They and not us are the ones who suspended the peace process after doing nothing about Pathankot,” he said.Countering the charges, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said, “After the Pathankot terror attack, it was the Pakistan Prime Minister who said action is being taken and it is in that context that the JIT came here and now Indian team is supposed to go there on a reciprocal basis.”He said that “now it is upto Pakistan to show how serious it is about its commitment and combating terrorism” and added the world is concerned over what is happening with regard to terrorism and in Pakistan.”India’s position has been acknowledged, recognised and even appreciated. The Pakistan Prime Minister has made a commitment.”So if Pakistan reneges despite itself facing terrorist attacks, then it will show that in Pakistan the old policy of ‘good terrorist’ and ‘bad terrorist’ continues and everyone is taking note of it,” Kohli said.He said the Indian government’s policy is very clear and the three principles under Prime Minister Modi are — all talks should be bilateral, everything should be resolved peacefully, and terror and talks would not go together.The BJP leader said a lot has changed on the border. “When there is bombardment or mortar attacks, the army does not need to take permission and it responds,” he said.”So India is in a more secure position,” he said, adding, “It has extended the hand of friendship and the Pakistan Prime Minister has responded to an extent in various bilateral talks and otherwise.”Kohli said, “Now if it translates into action, then this relationship can be built. Otherwise, it has been a thorny relationship and we have to acknowledge this. While India will proceed on its path, it is upto Pakistan how it wants to see its ties with India.”

Meghalaya: BJP says CM Mukul Sangma on weak ground, lacks confidence of MLAs

BJP on Monday came down heavily on Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma claiming the ruling party did not enjoy the confidence of its own MLAs and appointed aggrieved MLAs as parliamentary secretaries, to accord them rank, status and perks of a cabinet minister apart from the 12 others in the cabinet.The Congress-led coalition in Shillong would collapse under its own ‘contradictions’ and ‘internal conflicts’, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said and predicted there will be no return of the Congress in 2018 due to its ‘non-performance and lack of development’.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The very fact that the government has to appoint 18 parliamentary secretaries in addition to the 12 ministers shows that out of 30, how much confidence they (Congress) have in their own MLAs…,” Kohli said.The chief minister ‘revealed how weak’ his political position is by ‘discovering the need’ to appoint 18 parliamentary secretaries (one having resigned recently) and proved things were not in ‘good condition’ within his party, Kohli said.The BJP spokesperson further referred to the legal aspect in the appointment case and how it was done.Political analysts said the ruling Congress had been appointing “disgruntled” MLAs as parliamentary secretaries and given them the rank, status and perks as that of a cabinet minister following the Constitution (91st Amendment) Act 2003 which directs that the total number of ministers in a state shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of MLAs or not less than 12.The BJP leader added, “This is a government that is stuck within its own contradictions … and irrespective of what the government does for its survival it has washed its hand off development and work for the people.”On Mukul’s petition to the President on the political situation in Arunachal Pradesh, Kohli further stated, “Sangma instead of worrying on Arunachal Pradesh would do well to worry about the condition of the Congress party and what people of Meghalaya think about his government in the state.”Indicating that there was a strong anti-incumbency voice in Meghalaya, Kohli said, “In 2018, there will not be a return of the Mukul Sangma government if the mood of the people today is an indicator.”Boosting that the BJP was able to open its account in the autonomous councils’ elections in the Garo Hills, he said, “We are going to work with this message of development and ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ of the Prime Minister and implement it in every state that we work.”Kohli also presided over the first executive meeting of the party in Meghalaya which was attended by the state executive members and other leaders.

dna Evening must reads: From the latest on Kolkata flyover tragedy to the blast in central Paris

1. Kolkata flyover tragedy: 5 IVRCL officials detained, death toll rises to 24Catch the latest about the flyover tragedy here.2. Major explosion in central Paris, locals evacuatedFind out all about the blast here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. Who is the main character in ‘Game of Thrones’? Mathematicians have figured it outWho will sit on the Iron Throne? Find out here!4. India at World T20: Kohli’s brilliance with bat buried Men in Blue’s inconsistenciesKohli’s Herculean effort with the willow that buried India’s inconsistencies. Read all about it here.5. Electric car major Tesla to enter India with Model 3; global rollout in 2017The CEO and co-founder Elon Musk also announced that Model 3 electric car will be coming to India. Full report here.

Masterful Kohli carries India to World T20 semis | Reuters

MOHALI, India Virat Kohli smashed a masterful 82 to guide India to a six-wicket win against Australia in their final World Twenty20 Super 10 game on Sunday and set up a semi-final against West Indies in Mumbai.

Kohli resurrected India with his unbeaten 51-ball knock from a seemingly tricky position as the hosts sprinted home in the end with five balls to spare.

“That performance certainly has to be in my top three but probably it is top right now because I’m a bit emotional,” said Kohli.

“A lot was riding on us playing at home and with the crowd you want to give them as much entertainment as possible.”

India’s bowlers pulled Australia back from a blistering start to restrict them to 160 for six wickets after Australia won the toss and opted to bat.

Hosts India, inaugural World T20 champions in 2007, and reigning 50-over title holders Australia had won two matches each, with their only loss coming against New Zealand in the Super 10 stage.

New Zealand face England in the other semi-final.

India needed 39 from the last three overs when Kohli decided to show his class which has earned him accolades as one of the world’s best current batsmen.

He smashed James Faulkner, who took Australia’s best T20 figures during a five-wicket haul in the last match, for two fours and a six as the left-arm paceman leaked 19 runs.

Kohli then hit Nathan Coulter-Nile for four boundaries in the next over to bring down India’s target to just four runs off the final six balls with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni finishing it off with another four off Faulkner.

Earlier, Australia’s Aaron Finch (43) and Usman Khawaja (26) smashed the bowlers to all corners of the ground after Smith decided to bat on a pitch that was used for the women’s game between India and West Indies earlier on Sunday.

Left-handed Khawaja’s first six scoring shots were all boundaries, four of them coming against paceman Jasprit Bumrah in one over, with Australia racing past 50 before the completion of the fourth over.

Finch, Australia’s captain in the format before he was replaced by Smith shortly before the tournament, then launched into India’s bowling mainstay Ravichandran Ashwin, hitting the off-spinner for two consecutive sixes over long-on.

But some smart bowling from left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and part-timers Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya, who picked up two wickets, in the middle overs halted Australia’s progress as they struggled to hit the boundaries.

Dangerman Glenn Maxwell (31) took his time at the crease but got out just as he started opening his arms.

Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill smashed Pandya for a four and a six off the last two balls as Australia, yet to win the World T20 title, took 15 runs in their final over to ensure India had to score more than eight runs an over in their chase.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ken Ferris/Alan Baldwin)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Dhoni is right, Kohli should be team’s role model

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s media conference at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, after India beat Pakistan for the 11th time in the ICC tournaments, appeared more like he was addressing his own team-mates.

Like a teacher telling his students which classmate of theirs they should emulate, pointing to the most scholarly in the class, India captain sang paeans of praise for Virat Kohli’s virtues as a cricketer and sincerely seemed to mean every word he uttered. He made sure the message went to his other team-mates.

India limited overs captain MS Dhoni. AFPIndia limited overs captain MS Dhoni. AFP

India limited overs captain MS Dhoni. AFP

For instance, when Dhoni talks of how Kohli handles pressure, he might as well be telling this to Rohit Sharma: When there is lot of pressure, often individuals go for big shots, thinking it to be the best option, but the best way to tackle pressure is to take a single and go to the other end. That will calm you down.

That’s what Dhoni too does, waiting for the opportune moment to lash out.

Dhoni makes no secret of his admiration for Kohli’s hunger to perform and his willingness to take up the challenge — the qualities that make Kohli what he is, a special. These attributes don’t come easily and for that he prepares well, taking care of his fitness.

Dhoni wants youngsters to observe how Kohli bats on different wickets and how once he gets in, he makes sure he converts his starts into big innings.

Like a sage, Dhoni also conveys to the youngsters in the team the universal truth that when they are getting runs, they should make sure they are big because they will never know when they get into a bad patch, which everyone goes through in their careers.

Dhoni has not left any aspect of batting that Kohli does not possess or relish, particularly in shorter formats, when he talks of Kohli’s running between the wickets and how he loves batting with those who can run hard.

A fantastic runner himself between the wickets, Dhoni explains how two energetic runners can convert ones into twos hitting to midwicket and long-on regions. What he did not say is that the fielders invariably fumble attacking the ball in a bid to prevent conceding the second run, thus putting pressure on the fielding side.

Dhoni gently reminded everyone that this is not the first time that his side staged a comeback from a bad beginning in tournaments, and that he is conscious of the fact that at some point in the next two matches the team will have to take the net run-rate into consideration, the result of losing to New Zealand in the opening game by a whopping margin.

Statisticians have numbers to tell us where and why a team has won or lost a match. They can list the games won on seaming pitches or lost on spinning tracks. They stay clear of contradictory figures.

After India lost to New Zealand, failing to chase 126 at an asking rate of a fraction over six runs an over, the commentators thought the Pakistanis could put India under psychological pressure by scoring 120 plus, forgetting cricket is not played on psycho analysis and theories.

To prove the point, after the atrocious showing at Jamtha, Nagpur, quite a few expected India to make at least a couple of changes in the line-up to please the professional mourners. Dhoni went into the Eden match with an unchanged eleven and this time they won it comfortably in the end.

How captains think differently can be seen from the fact that Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi went with four seamers against India while Kane Williamson dropped two of his best pace men to pick three spinners to tweak out India.

It is not that the Pakistanis suffered because of the lack of spin, their pacers Muhammad Amir and Mohammed Sami did as well as any spinner did in the match, it is just that the pitch eased out a bit when India batted.

Even if Pakistan had included another spinner, there was no guarantee that he could have done any better than Afridi. Dhoni did not bowl his best spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s full quota of overs and as he said he was proved wrong when the medium-pacer whom Dhoni preferred over Ashwin went for 10-plus in the over.

Captains can go wrong and there is enough evidence of it already. Dhoni is aware of it as he gets his troops ready for the two must-win remaining matches against Australia and Bangladesh to make the knockout semi-finals.

IANS

dna Morning Must Reads: From India’s World T20 triumph against Pakistan to International Happiness Day

1. World T20 India v/s Pakistan: And, the dominance continuesIndia maintained their win-record against Pakistan in ICC World events in tact as Virat Kohli stars in tricky run-chase of 119. Read more here2. ‘Hurt’ PDP braces up for a showdown against BJPUpset by BJP’s hardened stand, PDP is bracing up for a major showdown to put the saffron party on a defensive. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. Arun Jaitley’s assurance of no ‘inspector raj’ ends 18-day jewellers strikeJewellers on Saturday called off their 18-day old strike demanding roll-back of proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery after the government assured them that there will be no harassment by excise officials. Read more here4. Attack suspect Abdeslam initially wanted to blow himself up at Paris stadiumSalah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect for November’s Paris attacks, told Belgian investigators on Saturday that he had planned to blow himself up on Nov. 13 at the Stade de France. Read more here 5. International Day of Happiness: Here’s a recipe for why we are happyThe takeaways of these studies, the biggest and most credible of which are listed below, shouldn’t surprise all that much. For that’s the wonderful thing about happiness – it’s something that each one of us can discover for ourselves. Read more here

dna Morning Must Reads: From farmers disappointed with the budget to the mystery of Vijay Mallya’s finances

1. Indian farmers see PM Modi’s budget as all promise, no deliveryGrowing discontent in rural India, home to two-thirds of the country’s 1.3 billion people, bodes ill for Modi as he tries to bounce back from a heavy defeat in a state election last year in Bihar and build a support base to keep power in the 2019 general election. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Did Kingfisher use Indian bank loans to pay F1 team’s foreign loans?It is suspected airline diverted loans to other Mallya firms to be routed to the racing team. Read more here3. Dhawan, Kohli, Dhoni take India to record-breaking 6th Asia Cup triumphIndia clinched the Asia Cup trophy for a record sixth time after beating hosts Bangladesh by eight wickets, riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s scintillating 44- ball-60 in a rain-truncated final. Read more here4. Why 5-6 inch display is the right size for a handsetSize matters: With each passing day, smartphones are getting bigger and smarter. And, it’s something everybody should be happy about. Read more here5. Women should respect other women: Anushka SharmaAnushka Sharma says everyone — man or woman or child — should aim to stay fit and offers a lesson in gender equality. Read more here

Can India win the World T20?

Can India win the World T20?

Like a victim supporting her rapist: Taslima Nasreen hits out at Bangladeshis supporting Pak against India

India faced Pakistan in Asia Cup T20 on Saturday and thanks to Virat Kohli’s stellar knock, won by 5 wickets. The match was played at the Sher- E- Bangla stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh and there was almost equal support for both teams. One person who was angered by this, seemed to be controversial author Taslima Nasreen, compared Bangladeshis supporting Pakistan against India to a ‘rape victim supporting her racist’. She wrote on Twitter: “Supporting Pakistan or India? Bangladesh supporting Pakistan is like a rape victim supporting her rapist.I am curious to know what Bangladeshi people are doing. “<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a FB post, the author who left her motherland long time back owing to threats from religious fundamentalists asked whether people cheering for Pakistan were appreciating Pakistan’s cricketing prowess or supporting the team because it was Pakistan. For those who are supporting Pakistan for ‘non- sporting’ reasons, Taslima asked why they are not supporting the country that helped Bangladesh get independence in 1971. Taslima goes on to say that she doesn’t intend to mix politics with sports but asks if the wounds of the brutal 1971 war had healed yet. She says that in the 1971 war, thirty lakh people were killed, two lakh girls were raped. ‘Lajja’ author says that while Pakistani common men or cricketers are not guilty, but are those people apologetic about the misdeed of their armed forces? In the FB post, author who got asylum in India asks how can average Bangladeshis support Pakistan or says Pakistan Zindabad in such a nonchalant way without getting bothered. She signs off by saying such victory celebrations feel like a raped women cheering for her rapist. The Facebook post has already created massive stir and has been garnered 8.3k likes and 1746 shares so far. Here’s the entire Facebook post in Bengali: ভালো খেলার জন্য হাততালি দাও ঠিক আছে। আমি তো ভালো খেললে, সে যে দলই খেলুক, সাপোর্ট করি। বাংলাদেশের স্টেডিয়ামে এখন যে ভার…
Taslima Nasreen on Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sania Mirza, Virat Kohli, Saina Nehwal in Forbes’ list of 30 game changers under 30

Tennis star Sania Mirza, Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli and top-seeded badminton player Saina Nehwal lead the pack of over 50 Indians in Forbes’ inaugural list of top “promising young leaders and game changers” under the age of 30 in Asia.

Virat Kohli. PTIVirat Kohli. PTI

Virat Kohli. PTI

The Forbes ‘30 under 30 Asia’ list includes 300 “young and driven entrepreneurs and game-changers” from countries including India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam and Australia who are contributing to their industries in a significant way. With 10 categories in total, the list highlights inspiring young leaders in various fields covering consumer technology, enterprise technology, arts, healthcare and science, media, social entrepreneurship, finance, industry and retail.

Batting prince and the Indian Badminton queen

As many as 56 Indians feature in the list with 27-year old Kohli, Mirza and Nehwal and 26-year old actress Shraddha Kapoor leading the pack.

“At the top of India’s cricket culture is batting prince Kohli, who led India to clean sweep in their Twenty 20 series against Australia in January,” Forbes said of Kohli, who was named among India’s highest earning celebrities in 2015 at $11.3 million.

Forbes said from the moment 29-year old Mirza turned pro at age 16 in 2003, she has been the “most successful female Indian tennis player ever” and one of the highest paid and highest profile athletes in the country.

She is currently the world’s number one female doubles tennis player with partner Martina Hingis.

Describing 25-year old Nehwal as a “role model” and “Indian badminton queen”, Forbes said the number one ranked women’s singles player in the world is one of 24 top sportspersons from around the world standing for election for the International Olympic Committee’s Athletics Commission during the Rio Games this August.

Chaayos, Court and Mt. Everest

The entertainment and sports category also includes 27-year-old Arunima Sinha, who is the first female and first Indian amputee to climb Mt. Everest in 2013 and 28-year old Chaitanya Tamhane who is the writer and director of the critically acclaimed movie Court.

The retail and e-commerce category features 29-year-old Raghav Verma, who co-founded Indian tea chain ‘Chaayos’ with IIT-Mumbai alumnus Nitin Saluja. Forbes said Chaayos, which also sells chai in disposable kettles via an app, has received at least $5.3 million in venture capital and is expected to end 2014-15 with revenues of about $1.5 million.

The category also includes 29-year-old Mehul Agrawal, cofounder of automotive e-commerce site ‘Cars24’ and online furniture store ‘FabFurnish’. Forbes said he is a “serial entrepreneur with a passion for putting technology to use”.

Kanika Tekriwal, 27, co-founded and heads ‘JetSetGo’, an India-based private jet concierge service that links passengers to planes through an online marketplace. “She defied the odds first by breaking into a male-dominated profession as a woman and again by starting the company in 2013 after a bout with cancer,” Forbes added.

Ritesh Agarwal, 22, founder and CEO of “disruptive hospitality business and app” ‘OYO Rooms’ leads the consumer tech category.

PTI

BJP hits back after Congress closes racks with other parties on JNU

As controversy surrounding crackdown on students assumed bigger political proportions with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi closing ranks with leaders of Left, JDU, RJD and AAP to attack Modi government, the BJP hit back accusing him of supporting “anti-national” forces and speaking the voice of LeT founder and terrorist Hafiz Sayeed.”What kind of ideology is Rahul Gandhi supporting? The ideology that says ‘Pakistan zindabad’ and ‘Bharat ki barbadi tak, jang rahegi jang rahegi’ (Till the downfall of India, we will fight) is anti-national.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”His remarks are an insult to the nation, our Constitution and legal system. It shows his mental bankruptcy…Rahul Gandhi and his friends are speaking in the voice LeT terrorist Hafiz Sayeed who had tweeted in support of anti-India event in JNU,” said national secretary Shrikant Sharma.While there was no reaction from senior BJP leaders, party spokesperson, Nalin Kohli questioned Rahul Gandhi’s definition of nationalism.”Does he believe that the government is supposed to stand a mute spectators to blatant anti-national slogans…Are these supposed to be new nationalistic slogan and when action is taken against it, an investigation is happening on it …is it anti-national? Mr. Rahul Gandhi seemed to have turned Congress ideology on its head from the days of fighting against anti-national forces to now saying this is an astounding new definition of nationalism,” said Kohli.With politics becoming hot after police crackdown on students, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi met union home minister Rajnath Singh and briefed him about the ongoing probe into the sedition case that been slapped on the agitators.Delhi police had arrested JNU students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar on Friday in connection with the case sparking massive outrage among students that in turn drew severe criticism from various political parties that dubbed it as an “emergency-like” situation.Before Bassi, leaders of the Left parties, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, D Raja of CPI and KC Tyagi of the JDU met Rajnath Singh asking him to order impartial probe and release Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been remanded to police custody for three days.”We have told the Home Minister that what is occurring is worse than Emergency and all students should not be painted anti-national and the footage should be properly scanned before action. He has assured us an impartial probe,” said Yechury.Soon after the meeting, Rajnath asserted that no innocent will be harassed but the guilty will not be spared.”No question of harassment of students. But the guilty will not be spared,” said Singh.Later in the day, Bassi tweeted, “As regards DP (Delhi Police), kindly have no doubts. DP is committed to the Rule of Law. We act without any extraneous influence.”However, CPI leader D Raja claimed that he has received calls carrying threats to his daughter, who is a student activist in the university. Raja said late Friday night he got a call from a man who spoke in Hindi and asked him why he was “fighting” with BJP and ABVP. He was also “reminded” that his daughter was a resident of the University and she would be shot down, Raja said.

Pakistan denying visa to Anupam Kher sends a contradictory signal to Indo-Pak talks: BJP

Former home secretary and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP RK Singh on Tuesday said that the Pakistan High Commission denying a visa to actor Anupam Kher to attend the Karachi Literary Festival sends a contradictory signal on what Islamabad wants.”I think this is very unfortunate and this also shows the mentality of some elements in Pakistan, and this also sends a contradictory signal. On the one hand, you say that you want normal relations with us (India), and on the other hand, you deny a visa to one of our leading artists,” Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh asked, “I want to know where are those ‘so called’ intellectuals who were protesting when Ghulam Ali was not allowed to come. Where are their voices?” Singh further said that, “He (Anupam Kher) was raising voice on the right thing as Kashmiri pandit has become refugee in their own country.”So, the issue he was raising was right. And to deny a visa on that account by Pakistan sends a wrong message on what Pakistan wants. You can look at it in connection with an incident where one of Kohli’s fan was given 10 year jail. I mean what does Pakistan want? They should be clear about it,” he added.Kher, who was to attend the Karachi Literature Festival on February 5, has been denied visa by Pakistan. Kher said that he was very sad and disappointed that out of 18 participants, 17 were given a visa and he was denied.However, the Pakistani High Commission has refuted Kher’s claim and said that they have received no visa application from the actor. The actor was denied a Pakistani visa in May 2015 as well, when he wanted to visit Pakistan to attend a literary festival in Lahore.

India clinch thriller to complete sweep over Australia | Reuters

SYDNEY Shane Watson’s unbeaten hundred could not prevent Australia falling to a seven-wicket defeat to India in the third and final Twenty20 match on Sunday as Suresh Raina hit a four on the last ball to complete a 3-0 clean sweep in the series.

India were chasing 198 to win and needed 17 runs in the final over as Yuvraj Singh hit a four and a six off the first two balls from paceman Andrew Tye and Raina hit the final ball through point with his team needing two.

All-rounder Watson, leading Australia in the absence of the injured Aaron Finch, powered the hosts to 197-5 with an unbeaten 124 after winning the toss and opting to bat.

Australia made five changes to the side that lost the last match in Melbourne to concede an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, handing debuts to batsman Usman Khawaja and part-time wicketkeeper Cameron Bancroft.

Watson, named player of the match, was the fulcrum around which the hosts’ batting revolved and it was due to his 71-ball knock, which was studded with 10 fours and six sixes, that Australia posted a strong total.

India replied with half-centuries from in-form opener Rohit Sharma (52) and Virat Kohli (50), who was named the player of the series, and then Raina’s 25-ball 49 to chase down the steep target.

Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan got India off to a rollicking start, scoring 46 in just 3.2 overs, with fast bowler Shaun Tait going for 24 runs in the third over.

Rohit and Kohli then added 78 for the second wicket to keep India strongly on course, before both batsmen fell to leg spinner Cameron Boyce.

Yuvraj, who did not get an opportunity to bat in the last two matches, was sent in ahead of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at number five and though the left-hander struggled initially to put bat on ball, he produced the goods when his team needed.

Raina and Yuvraj added 53 for the unbroken fourth wicket.

The 3-0 sweep in Australia took India to the top of the T20 rankings in a timely boost ahead of the World Twenty20 at home from March 8-April 3.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Toby Davis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Umar Draz faces 10 years in prison: But from where did Kohli’s Pakistani fan get an Indian Flag?

It’s very easy to say sports and politics don’t mix.

Try telling that to Umar Draz of Pakistan who faces 10 years in jail for having got so excited about Virat Kohli’s performance against Australia that he went and ran the Indian Tricolour up the flagpole at his home around 200 kilometres away from Lahore. What was he thinking?

Clearly little beyond cricket.

The neighbours went ballistic, were offended and Umar was dragged off to jail, where he is now under arrest.

One has to marvel at his ingenuity in getting himself the Indian flag. Where does one go shopping for something like that? To be fair, it was a bit stupid. If it was some Indian waving the Pakistani flag for Shahid Afridi in Jalandhar, we would have been hopping mad too.

How could he even be an Indian spy? 22-year-old Umar Draz, in jail for hoisting Indian flag. PTI

How could he even be an Indian spy? 22-year-old Umar Draz, in jail for hoisting Indian flag. PTI

But get over it, slap him on the wrist, chastise him, read him the riot act and let him go.

You cannot seriously lock the fellow up for a decade.

It is a bit of Keystone cops, really. The police raided his home and found the flag on the rooftop and has now levelled a charge of treason and anti-national activity against the cricket-mad fan. Now, they are looking into the possibility he might be an Indian spy.

Give us some credit. Surely, we would have smarter spooks than that.

He might just be a cricket looney who doesn’t see anything anti-national in showing his love for talent.  There are enough of them out there and if it was a flag from another country in support of Cristiano Ronaldo or Novak Djokovic, I don’t think the Pakistani authorities would have flown off the handle. It must be so damn embarrassing now that the story has leaked.

If they were not so knee-jerk in their reactions, they would have downplayed the whole incident and laughed the rage out of it.

The story would have died on the vine.

But now it is Pakistan that is propelling the incident and building it into a major indictment. The poor guy is going to be produced before a judge and might even face trial and if you get one of those uptight fellows on the bench he will throw the book at Umar. Perhaps India could get him off the hook. If Virat Kohli was to request Nawaz Sharif to say, “Okay, let the fellow go, he is just a fan who meant no harm,” it’s possible the Pakistani prime minister might see it as something on which to to put a positive spin.

Taken even further, the BCCI could agree to honour the MoU to play Pakistan in a bilateral series if it lets Umar go home with a kick in the behind.

As a gesture of goodwill, the foreign secretaries could agree to meet (a tryst that is pretty much forgotten) if this latest link in India-Pakistan cricket-lomacy is given a happy ending.

The thing I still cannot figure out is where he went and got a flag.

It’s not as though they are selling the Indian Flag in grocery stores around the corner.

Virat Kohli’s Pakistani fan arrested for hoisting Indian flag

A Pakistani die-hard fan of swashbuckling Indian batsman Virat Kohli has been arrested for hoisting the Indian tri-colour atop his home in Punjab Province which he had done to show his love for the cricketer.Umar Draz, from Okara district of Punjab province, about 200 km from Lahore, was arrested on a complaint that he hoisted the Indian flag on the rooftop of his house as police raided his home yesterday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We raided the house of Umar Draz and seized the Indian flag from his rooftop,” Muhammad Jamil, a police official, said.He said the police have arrested Draz and registered a case under the Maintenance of Public Order. He was presented in court the same day and was remanded into police custody.Draz turned out to be a big fan of India’s Test Cricket team captain Virat Kohli.”I am a big fan of Virat Kohli. I support the Indian team because of Kohli. Hoisting of Indian flag on the rooftop of house only shows my love for the Indian cricketer,” Draz told reporters.Draz said he had no idea that he committed a crime and urged authorities to pardon him. He said he should be seen as “an Indian cricketer’s fan and not as a spy”.Poster size photographs of Kohli were also found pasted on the walls of his house.

Jayalalithaa thanks PM Modi for notification allowing Jallikattu

“I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for paving the way for holding Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.” She blamed the Congress-led UPA for its 2011 notification bringing bulls in the list that cannot be exhibited or treated as a performing animal.

PTI
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Supreme Court allows Gujarat police to file charge sheet against Hardik Patel

Two other aides of Hardik, Amrish Patel and Alpesh Kathiriya, were not arrested as the high court had granted them interim protection. The FIR against Hardik and five others under serious charges of sedition said that the young leader had allegedly instigated his community to kill policemen and adopt violent means to wage “war against Gujarat government”.

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