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Mumbai’s Krishna Mandir to get a new look

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the next two years, devotees who usually visit Shri Krishna Temple in Sion for Krishna Janmasthami will have to visit Ashraya in Navi Mumbai.The temple managed by the 90-year-old Bombay South Kanara Brahmin’s Association (BSKBA), will soon undergo renovation, giving the temple a new south Indian style of architecture. The association members have planned to relocate the existing deity of Lord Krishna on December 31 to Navi Mumbai for the next two years.Speaking about the new structure of the temple and the Lord Krishna idol which was kept in the temple since 1962, Suresh Rao, president of BSKBA, said, “The idol was donated by a Rajasthani sculptor who made the idol in Rajasthan. Most of the south Indian temples have similar structure but the architectural designs depend upon which deity’s idol is kept inside the temple. The temple is a part of a building right now, but, soon we will have a sanctum sanctorum (garbha gudhi) where only priest will be allowed to enter and main hall (mukha mantapa) with around 3500 ft space to conduct various religious function.”According to the history, the association was formed by the Kanara Brahmins who resided in the city for the cultural and social meet-ups and later made a temple adjoining their association building. Currently there are approximately 4,600 members.While the temple was made up of plaster of paris in the past, the new structure will be built from black stones. Giving more information, Rao added, “The structures of the temple will be made in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka by the sculptor and later on will be assembled here. There will be approximately 11 steps — also known as gopuram, on the dome which will have architectural designs of various god and goddess.”To mark this occasion and to give a grand farewell to the Lord, a colourful procession of the idol Krishna will take place from Gokul hall with a group of 70 artists performing various south Indian folk dances like Huli Vesha, Betala, Bhooth Kola Vesha, Keelu Kudure, Tattiraya, famous drummists (Chandai) from Kerala along with large number of members & devotees.“We have made a temporary temple in Ashrayas, a senior citizens’s home of BSKB Association. We will be carrying out a procession in nearby areas at Sion and later on relocate the idol. There are 70 artist who will be travelling from Mangalore.”

Demonetization: Rs 1.4 cr cash seized from civil contractor in Delhi

Fri, 16 Dec 2016-10:51pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax department said on Friday it has seized Rs 1.4 crore cash, including Rs 8 lakh in new currency, in searches on the premises of a civil contractor in Delhi as part of its anti-black money drive post demonetization. Officials said the seizure was made from a civil sub-contractor identified as PL Soni, from a location in the Karol Bagh area.They said the department conducted the searches based on a tip-off of alleged illegal cash being hoarded at this location. ‘The seizure of new currency was made in the denomination of Rs 2,000 notes. The old notes that were seized include the demonetized currencies of Rs 1000/500 and also the legal tender of Rs 100,” they said.The department also conducted a survey operation at the Krishna Nagar branch of Axis bank here in connection with a probe, they said.

Andhra Pradesh: Cops seize Rs 17.30 lakh in new currency from Krishna district

Vijayawada: Police have seized Rs 17.30 lakh in Rs 2,000 denomination, allegedly meant to be exchanged for a commission, from a person in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The man, along with an accomplice, allegedly brokered a deal with some persons for exchanging the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for a six per cent commission, a senior police official said.

He used a police constable, his close relative working in Gudivada rural police station, as a shield for the operation. However, the persons who wanted to exchange the old currency did not turn up and Rahman started on his return journey.

During a routine check, police intercepted his vehicle at Pedaparupudi late last night and found the bundles of new Rs 2,000 notes.

“We have detained the man while a hunt is on for his accomplice. The constable in question seems ignorant of the operation as this man only wanted to use him as a shield,” Gudivada Deputy Superintendent of Police Ankineedu Prasad said.

“We are now investigating from where he got such huge cash,” the DSP added.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 14:42 IST

EAM Sushma Swaraj to undergo kidney transplant at AIIMS today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to undergo a kidney transplant at AIIMS on Saturday, with the organ being harvested from a living unrelated donor.”Living unrelated donor could be anyone who is emotionally attached to the recipient, such as friend, a relative, a neighbour or an in-law. As no suitable donor was available in the immediate family, the transplant will be done with the kidney from a living unrelated donor. As of now the transplant is scheduled to take place this weekend. The clearance from the authorisation committee has been obtained,” PTI sources at AIIMS had said on Tuesday, adding that Swaraj’s pre-transplant process was complete.The surgery will be performed by a team of experts constituted by AIIMS. According to doctors, Swaraj been suffering from diabetes for quite a long time. After the kidney failure diagnosis, she was put on maintenance dialysis. “She undergoes dialysis thrice a week,” a senior doctor said.On November 16, Swaraj had tweeted that she was in AIIMS because of kidney failure. “I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless,” Swaraj had tweeted.64-year-old Swaraj, who has been in and out of the hospital for last few months, was admitted to AIIMS on November 7. After Swaraj made public her health condition on social media, support had poured in for her with several people offering their kidneys for transplant.Earlier she was admitted to AIIMS in April for treatment of pneumonia and other health issues.

West Bengal: Two fires break out in Howrah, no casualties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two fires broke out at Shibpur in Howrah district today.A senior fire brigade official said that five fire tenders put off the flames at Fort William Jute Mill which broke out in the morning.In the second major fire incident, some distance away under Shibpur police station area, 15 fire tenders fought off the blaze at Sri Krishna Garment factory this noon. The same official said, “Our men are at work and the situation is under control.” West Bengal Minister Arup Roy was at the spot along with senior district and police officials.The cause of the twin blazes was also not yet clear.

Demonetization: Police nab van driver who escaped with Rs 1.37 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The van driver of a logistics agency who had allegedly fled with Rs 1.37 crore collected from banks was today apprehended but police are yet to trace the remaining Rs 12.92 lakh. “The driver, Dominic Selvaraj Roy, who had fled with the cash van, was arrested by Upparpet Police this morning near tin factory situated at K R Puram, but we are trying to trace the remaining Rs 12.92 lakh,” DCP West Anucheth told reporters.Police yesterday had nabbed his wife Evlin and recovered Rs 79.80 lakh from her possession.On November 24, a day after the heist, the van was found abandoned at Vasant Nagar and police recovered Rs 45 lakh of the Rs 1.37 crore, the police official said. Replying to a query, Anucheth said the accused had spent some part of the money on buying clothes, lodging, boarding and also to repay loans. Anucheth said after carrying out the heist between 12 noon to 1 pm on November 23, Dominic drove the van to Vasant Nagar.Since the other two trunks were large, he picked up a small trunk with Rs 92 lakh and abandoned the van at Vasant Nagar, Anucheth said. Dominic broke open the small trunk near Krishna Floor Mills at Banaswadi and stuffed Rs 92 lakh in a gunny bag and walked to his house, a km away, Anucheth said. After getting the money, Evlin and her son travelled to Vellore and proceeded to Chennai to visit her relative’s house, the police official said. From Chennai, Evlin and her son went to Coimbatore and from there to Chalakudy, a place near Thrissur, and travelled to Vijaywada, Anucheth said.From Vijaywada, they returned to Bengaluru on November 27, the official added. Anucheth said it was a planned heist.In a daring daylight heist on November 23, Dominic, who was hired by Logicash, an outsourcing agency, had driven away the van carrying the cash when two other employees had gone to a bank at the heart of the city to collect money. The accompanying security personnel had told police that they gone to attend to the nature’s call when the driver fled the spot.

PM Modi’s note ban, Nitish Kumar’s liquor ban hit Bihar’s Beguserai district

In the age of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s bullet train, Bihar’s Beguserai district’s fascination with ‘Ranthi express’ was quite instructive, if not outright amusing. But what was Ranthi Express?

Ranthi Express was a brand of country liquor, brewed locally by liquor barons with huge political connections. The brew was so strong that one would metaphorically ‘drop dead’ after consuming just one pouch of the liquor. The consumer would be as good or worst as a corpse for a few hours after. And herein lies the reason from where this brew derived its brand – ranthi, in local parlance, refers to a stretcher used for carrying corpses.

Until Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dealt a deathly blow to Ranthi Express, by imposing a liquor ban in the state, it was a craze among the delinquent and unemployed youth. Thousands were hooked on to the promise that one pouch of this liquor would transport its consumers to a blissful netherworld, beyond pain and anxiety.

Bihar's Beguserai district's fascination with 'Ranthi express' was seen as quite instructive, if not outright amusing. Agencies.Bihar's Beguserai district's fascination with 'Ranthi express' was seen as quite instructive, if not outright amusing. Agencies.

Beguserai’s fascination with ‘Ranthi express’ was seen as quite instructive, if not outright amusing. Reuters

Though bliss and netherworld may appear to be oxymoronic, Beguserai is a land of umpteen such paradoxes. This immensely fertile Gangetic plain of Bihar is now highly industrialised. It was called the Leningrad of Marxists till it fell to the saffron wave in the recent past. The rich and the poor co-exist amicably, as they have realised over the years that power does indeed flow through the barrel of the gun.

But the people of this land have now been hit by two bans: On the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and on liquor. The denizens of the netherworld found both the bans to be quite devastating. Liquor barons have shut their shops and breweries have been locked. The roadside vends have turned into tea shops. People are not seen roaming on the streets in an inebriated state anymore, a sight which was common in the district till the ban on liquor was enforced.

“Accidents have drastically reduced and street brawls are less in number,” said Dr Hemant, who owns the Life line hospital in Barauni. The positive impact of the liquor ban is quite palpable in the district.

But what about the currency ban? Raj Kumar Singh, who runs the KDM Hotel and an agency for the Enfield motorcycle (commonly known as bullet) points out that life was initially hit but is now returning to normalcy. “Bihar is a low economy state where an informal economy does not allow the life to be disrupted substantially,” he said. In hotels, the business is picking up pace after an initial decline. But buyers for bullet motorcycles have increased two-fold. The reason for that is not far to seek.

In fact, those found in possession of excess cash rushed to the banks and deposited their money in substantial numbers in order to facilitate the purchase of the motorcycle. “They are coming with drafts and cheques to buy bullets (a motorcycle that symbolises masculinity in the region). “We expect to sell nearly 200 motorcycles this month, nearly double the sales of the previous month,” Singh added.

Similarly, in the low-economy rural areas of Beguserai, life has not come to a halt. People have found innovative jugaads (simple work-arounds) to run their economy. For instance, a large section of grocers and street vendors are still accepting the banned currency notes as most of them are confident that they would get the cash deposited in their accounts and get the money back when the situation normalises.

The biggest worry in the region, however, comes from the farmers’ inability to purchase fertiliser and seeds for the Rabi crop. But in Ramdiri village, barely ten kilometers from the district headquarter, villagers do not seem unduly alarmed over being cashless in their routine life. “In rural society, inter-dependence is so strong that we get support,” they point out. “Even micro-ATMs are functioning in the region,” they claimed, giving an air of self-assurance that didn’t appear to be contrived.

Yet some are worried about the agriculture. “If a situation of cash-crunch persists, it would hit the hard wheat sowing,” a farmer said. Do they foresee a disaster following the demonetisation? “Not at all, what we see in media is not reflected on the ground,” they point out.

However, a communist leader in the midst of the crowd rejected this optimism and pointed out that the move was ill-conceived and had caused misery for the poor.

In this cacophony of a debate, local BJP MP Bhola Singh took the discourse to another level. While speaking with Firstpost, Singh, known for his loquaciousness, closed his eyes and compared the present ordeal with a mythological parable.

“You see Kunti sought a blessing from Lord Krishna to give her perpetual sorrow in order to remember God,” he said. On being asked if Modi was Lord Krishna in his reference, he said, “No he is not, but this pain is for the good of people.” Singh is a known party-hopper who began his career as a communist and ended up in the BJP.

Close to Ramdiri village lies Simaria, the birthplace of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, the famous bard who valiantly fought against the emergency and coined the phrase, “singhasan khali karo ki janata aati hai (vacate the throne, lest the people will come)”. In this erstwhile bastion of communists, the bans on currency notes and liquor are hardly frowned upon. In Bhola Singh’s hyperbole it is seen as a blessing in a curse.

First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 14:33 IST

Counter-offensive: Pakistan says at least nine killed, 11 injured in Indian shelling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian shelling across the frontier into Pakistani Occupied Kashmir hit a bus, killing at least nine people and wounding 11, Pakistani officials said, as tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours simmers.Indian troops attacked the bus “with small and big arms” in the town of Lawat, senior police official Jamil Mir told Reuters.Pakistan’s military media wing, ISPR, said in a statement that seven people were killed and seven wounded.Lawat is 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-held Kashmir, in the upper belt of Neelum Valley that straddles the de facto border splitting Kashmir between India and Pakistan.Indian officials did not comment on the deaths but a military spokesman said the Pakistani Army initiated “indiscriminate” firing on Wednesday morning on Indian Army posts in Bhimber Gali, Krishna Ghati and Nawshera sectors.
ALSO READ Another Indian soldier’s body mutilated, Pakistan denies chargesRelations between Pakistan and India have been strained for several months, while cross-frontier shelling has intensified leading to deaths of civilians and soldiers stationed along the disputed frontier.Kashmir lies at the heart of the tension. The countries have fought two of their three wars over the region since partition and independence from Britain in 1947.

Indian Army launches counter-offensive after soldier’s beheading

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army launched a counter offensive against Pakistan along the LoC on Wednesday, a day after three Indian soldiers were killed, with body of one of them being mutilated in a cross-LoC attack. The offensive comes hours after the Indian Army vowed “heavy retribution” to the attack on its soldiers. The firing is underway at the entire Line of Control including areas at Poonch, Rajouri, Kel and Machil, as per NDTV. Heavy mortars and machine guns are being used by the Indian army for this operation.Brigadier, Northern Command, S Gotra said India Army launched a counter offensive along the LoC in retaliation to yesterday’s offensive in Machhil sector of Kashmir. Indian Army posts are responding strongly and giving a befitting reply, Defence PRO Manish Mehta said. After the gruesome attack, the Pakistani Army in Wednesday morning initiated indiscriminate ceasefire violation on Indian Army posts along the Line of Control (LOC ) in Bhimber Gali, Krishna Ghati and Naoshera sector in Jammu and Kashmir. The firing began around 9.00 am to which the Indian Army posts are responding strongly to the attack. Firing is presently underway. India lodged a strong protest with Pakistan against the killing and mutilation when the foreign office in Islamabad summoned deputy high commissioner JP Singh to condemn ‘unprovoked ceasefire violations’. This was the second such incident in two months of an Indian soldier’s body being mutilated. Since the surgical strikes by India on terrorist launch pads along the Line of Control on September 29, there have been over 280 incidents of firing and shelling in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops, in which 26 people, including 14 security personnel, have been killed. With agency inputs.

Indian music legend M Balamurali Krishna dies aged 86

Veteran singer M Balamurali Krishna, a legend of Carnatic music from south India, dies aged 86.

Twitter prays for its favourite minister Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wished speedy recovery to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who is undergoing tests at AIIMS here for a kidney transplant. In their message to the Union Minister, they expressed their good wishes for her early recovery, with the senior Abdullah who has himself underwent a similar surgery, saying: “I will pray that she gets well soon.” 64-year-old Swaraj, who has been in and out of the hospital for last few months, said he was undergoing treatment for kidney failure. “Friends: This is to update you on my health. I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a Kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless,” she tweeted today. She was admitted to AIIMS on November 7 and is being monitored by a team of doctors.The External Affairs Minister was admitted to AIIMS in April also when she underwent treatment for pneumonia and other health issues.

Ceasefire violation: Jawan dies, 4 others injured in Pakistan shelling in Nowshera

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An army jawan who was injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Nowshera sector of the district succumbed on Wednesday while four others were injured in overnight ceasefire violation. “An army jawan, injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops, died late last night in the hospital,” a senior army official said. Four jawans were also injured in the shelling last evening.Yesterday, an army jawan was killed and two others were injured as Pakistani troops shelled Indian posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district following which three posts of Pakistani army were damaged in retaliatory action by the Army. In another case of ceasefire violation yesterday, Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked firing in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district from around 1345 hours.There have been over 100 ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike. The worst-ever Pakistani shelling took place on November 1 when 8 persons were killed and 24 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of the state, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.A total of 20 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 83 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

J-K: Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Nowshera sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has engaged in yet another ceasefire violation on since Tuesday morning in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir Pakistani troops has on Monday fired mortar shells at Indian posts and civilian areeas in Mendhar sector of Poonch district along the Line of Control (LoC), leading to retaliation from Indian security forces. “Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Mendhar sector of Poonch district from 0915 hours,” defence spokesman said.He said that they fired 120 mm mortars, 82 mm mortars and automatic weapons targeting Indian posts and civilian areas. Troops guarding the border line gave a befitting reply resulting in exchange which was still going on when reports last came in.On Sunday, two army jawans were killed and five others — two soldiers, a BSF officer and two women — were injured as Pakistani army opened fire in an attempt to facilitate two infiltration bids along the LoC in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors of Poonch district.There have been over 100 ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike. The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on November 1 when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers. The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 83 injured in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu: Pakistani troops on Monday fired mortar shells at Indian posts and civilian areas in Mendhar sector of Poonch district along the Line of Control (LoC), leading to retaliation from Indian security forces.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Mendhar sector of Poonch district from 0915 hours,” defence spokesman said.

He said that they fired 120 mm mortars, 82 mm mortars and automatic weapons targeting Indian posts and civilian areas.

Troops guarding the border line gave a befitting reply resulting in exchange which was still going on when reports last came in.

On Sunday, two army jawans were killed and five others — two soldiers, a BSF officer and two women — were injured as Pakistani army opened fire in an attempt to facilitate two infiltration bids along the LoC in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors of Poonch district.

There have been over 100 ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike.

The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on 1 November when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.

The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.

A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 83 injured in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

Amity student from Telangana commits suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 21-year-old student of Amity University here allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his hostel room, police said. G Sai Krishna, a native of Telangana, was a first year student of post graduate diploma in facilities management and had joined the course recently, a senior police officer said. He allegedly hanged himself last evening. He has left a note written in Telugu, addressed to his parents. The hostel was empty at that time as other students had gone for Diwali holidays, SHO of Sector 39 Police Station, Amarnath Yadav, said. Krishna was rushed to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead, the SHO said. A few days back, Krishna was scolded by his father regarding his studies and also for borrowing money from someone and not being able to pay it back, he said. Krishna’s father is an advocate. In his note, Krishna wrote that committing suicide is not easy and told his parents that they have done a lot for him, Yadav said. The body has been handed over to his family after post-mortem, police said. In August, a student of BA-LLB course in the university, had allegedly committed suicide at his residence in Delhi. The deceased, who was the son of a joint secretary-level official in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, was debarred from appearing in the sixth semester exams in May due to “shortage of attendance”.

Bhai Dooj 2016: Date, timings and all you need to know about the festival!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the fifth day of Diwali and marks the end of the auspicious festival of light. The festivities of this day are similar to that of Raksha Bandhan where sisters apply red tikka post an aarti, pray for their brother’s well being and get gifts from them. This festival has several other names:– It is called Bhai Dooj in Northern part of India.– Celebrated as the second most important festival, it is called Bhai Tikain Nepal. Here sisters offer prayers to Yamraj and wish for her brother’s long life and prosperity.– In West Bengal it is called Bhai Pota where sisters offer prayers to Yamraj and chants this mantra-“Bhai er kopale dilam phota, Jomer Duar e porlo kata,Jamuna Dae Jomke phota, Ami di amar bhai ke phota,Bhai jeno hoy lohar vata.”This means-On my brother’s forehead I put the “phota”, Death’s door are now closely crossed,Yamuna applies “phota” on Yama, While I give the “phota” to my brother.Let my brother be as tough as Iron”.Sisters chant this mantra in order to keep Lord of Death, Yamraj away from her brother.– Gujarati, Marathi and Konkani community call it as Bhai Beej or Bhau Beej.There are other names for this festival- Bhatru Dviteeya or Bhatri Ditya.Here are the timings for Bhai Dooj:Duration = 2 Hours 15 MinsDwitiya Tithi Begins = 01:39 on 1/Nov/2016Dwitiya Tithi Ends = 04:11 on 2/Nov/2016Significance of the festival:According to Hindu mythology, it is commemorated in significance of Lord Krishna visiting his sister Subhadra, who welcomes him and applies tilak on his forehead, after he slays the demon Narkasur. Another folklore says that the day is celebrated for the God of Death, Yama, as he visits his sister Yami who puts a tilak on his forehead. Here’s wishing all brothers and sisters and very Happy Bhai Dooj!

Diwali bonus: Surat billionaire gives 400 flats, 1200 cars with EMIs to employees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surat billionaire Savji Dholakia has made headlines yet again. This time for his generous Diwali gifts.IANS reports that Dholakia’s firm Hare Krishna Exports has given out four hundred flats and 1,260 cars to the best performing employees, albeit with EMIs.The diamond merchant told IANS, “We have selected 1,716 employees as the best performers this year. We are arranging houses for those who already have cars, while those who don’t have a four-wheeler will get one.”
ALSO READ There was a time when I lived on a plate of sambar rice a day: son of Surat billionaire sent to work in KeralaEmployees getting flats will be allotted 1,100 sq ft in the company’s housing scheme. Dholakia said the flats would be available ‘dirt cheap’ at a cost of Rs 15 lakh. While employees will have to pay for the most part of EMI, the company’s contribution will be Rs 5,000 for five years. Employees will have to pay an EMI of Rs 11,000 after the five years. Dholakia’s firm has been giving rich bonuses to the staff. The company had distributed 491 cars and 200 flats among his employees in 2014. It had spent Rs 50 crore on performance incentives, said Dholakia.

Convene TN Assembly on Cauvery issue: All-party meet to state govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An ‘all-party meeting’ called by DMK on the Cauvery issue on Tuesday urged the Tamil Nadu government to immediately convene the state Assembly to discuss the matter, even as ruling AIADMK and BJP criticised the MK Stalin-led consultations. The meeting, chaired by Stalin, the DMK Treasurer and Opposition Leader in the Assembly, was boycotted by AIADMK, BJP and all constituents of the four-party People’s Welfare Front, comprising MDMK, CPI(M), CPI and VCK. Both AIADMK and BJP lampooned the DMK, saying today’s meeting was that of DMK and its allies and not an all-party meeting as made out by Stalin. DMK’s allies Congress and IUML, besides G K Vasan-led Tamil Maanila Congress(M) and certain farmer’s outfits participated in the meeting. The meeting adopted a slew of resolutions and alleged that upper riparian state Karnataka was “making a mockery” of federal principles by not implementing the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on water sharing. The Central government, “which should advice Karnataka, was instead supporting it for political reasons,” it said in an apparent reference to the 2018 Assembly polls in that state. Such a stand was affecting the Tamil Nadu farmers, it said and urged the state government to convene a session of the Assembly to discuss the matter. “To show that the Tamil people are united and have no differences (on the Cauvery issue) and to condemn Karnataka and the Centre for not showing the slightest respect to court orders, Tamil Nadu government should immediately convene a special session of the state Assembly,” it resolved. The House should adopt a resolution on constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the state government should further “exert pressure” on the Centre by leading an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Modi on the matter, it said. The Prime Minister must be urged to take a ‘dispassionate stand’ on implementation of the final award of the Tribunal and should also be apprised of ‘precedences’ where management boards have been constituted in the Krishna-Godavari and Narmada issues, it said. The meeting also criticised the Centre for reversing its stand on constituting CMB and also demanded that the state government provide compensation of Rs 30,000 per acre for Cauvery delta farmers as they did not get adequate water for kuruvai and samba crops this year. It also alleged that the report of the High Level Committee that surveyed Cauvery delta areas in Tamil Nadu, besides Karnataka, had “not reflected” the prevailing situation in the state. The AIADMK and BJP, however, had no kind words for DMK for the meeting convened by Stalin.

Telangana cabinet to discuss Krishna River water sharing issue tomorrow

Thu, 20 Oct 2016-10:31am , Hyderabad , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A meeting of the Telangana Cabinet would be held tomorrow to discuss the construction of Secretariat and sharing of Krishna River water.Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to hold the Cabinet meeting in the Secretariat tomorrow, a release from his office said on Thursday.The Cabinet meeting is likely to discuss construction of new secretariat and the decision of the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal on sharing of Krishna waters (with neighbouring states).The state government is reportedly contemplating building a new secretariat. The present one reportedly has ‘Vastu’ defects.

Want Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, not ‘lollipop’: BJP leader Vinay Katiyar hits out at Mahesh Sharma’s museum project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>.BJP leader Vinay Katiyar hit out at his own party’s Ramayana Museum project in Ayodhya, comparing it to ‘lollipop’ and said he wanted nothing less than the Ram Mandir in the city. The BJP leader was quoted saying by ANI: “”Ram Mandir ke liye prayaas hona chahiye, yeh lollipop se kuch nahi hone wala (Efforts should be made to build a Ram Temple , other projects will not do), said the BJP leader. Katiyar also complained that whenever he went to Ayodhya, sadhus asked him when the temple would be built. Katiyar said: “Wherever I go in Ayodhya, saints ask me when will Ram Mandir be built, good I did not go today (Union Min Mahesh Sharma’s program).”He also demanded that a legislation be tabled in Lok Sabha. He was quoted saying by News 18: “Why only Subramanian Swamy, every devotee of Ram wants the temple to be constructed soon. Until that happens we cannot live in peace. Be it through a bill in Parliament, through dialogue or a court verdict, the government has to find a solution.” Earlier, Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma has downplayed the political uproar created by the announcement of the allocation of huge funds for the building a Ram Museum in Ayodhya. He said it is being taken to give a boost to tourism in India.‘Elections are a different thing. Our Prime Minister wants that the nation should develop through all means and similarly he wants development of our country through tourism, and this step will attract tourists,’ Sharma told ANI.‘When our government came to power, so, from the tourism perspective, we announced plans for theme based circuits, which included a Ram circuit, a Krishna circuit and a Buddha circuit. And under that announcement for Ramayan circuit, the government announced Rs.225 crore, for the Krishna circuit Rs.15 crore and similar amount for the Buddha circuit,’ he added.Sharma further said the Ram museum will educate the youth about Ramayan and Lord Ram. ‘Ayodhya is known by the name of Lord Ram. A lot of people impose their faiths in Ayodhya. We want that the infrastructure should be developed there. We want to build a museum on Ramayana and the life of Lord Ram there so that our young generation visits the place and learns from it,’ he said.According to reports, Sharma is expected travel to Ayodhya next week to discuss the blueprint for the museum. He is also scheduled to visit the site of the proposed museum that is expected to come up on 25 acres.With agency inputs

UP Guv Ram Naik asks CM Akhilesh Yadav to take action against former MLA Krishna Kumar Sachan

Sun, 9 Oct 2016-12:08am , Lucknow , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has written to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav directing him to take action against former MLA Krishna Kumar Sachan after he was found guilty in the Lokayukta report in a disproportionate assets case.Sachan’s wife is also accused of buying land in an “illegal manner,” a press release from Raj Bhavan said. The Lokayukta after probing the charges had asked the government to lodge a case against Sachan under Anti- Corruption Act.The Lokayukta also asked to initiate action against some local revenue department officials in connection with the land deals of his wife, the release said. The Lokayukta had sent a special report to the Governor after the state government failed to apprise him of the action taken.

Pak shelling leaves trail of destruction on LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up their offensive, Pakistan Army shelled a strategic fuel depot of the security forces, leaving a trail of destruction along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Saujian sector of Poonch district in Jammu division.More than 20 shops were razed to ground after massive fire engulfed the Saujian village when Pakistan shells landed in the fuel depot, which is used for supplying oil to the forward posts of the security forces stationed on the Line of Control.”Almost 20 shops and two bikes were gutted in the fire. A car has also suffered some damages in the firing. It is a place where the fuel barrels are kept for their onward movement to the forward posts. The incident happened 48 hours ago when cross border shelling took place in Saujiyan and Shahpur sectors,” Mohammad Harun Malik, district development commissioner of Poonch, told dna.Malik said they are currently assessing the losses caused to the property due to the cross border shelling. “Loss statement has not been made. I had personally gone for the inspection of the affected area of Saujian today.Wooden works and roofs of the shops have been gutted completely but the walls are intact,” he said.Pakistani army has opened few more fronts and extended shelling to newer areas in Mendhar and Sunderbani sectors of the LoC. “Ceasefire violations in Sunderbani and Mendhar sectors are being strongly retaliated by our forces,” said an army officer.Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, defence spokesman at Jammu, said Pakistan started to unprovoked cease fire violations in Krishna Ghati sector from 5 pm on Tuesday using arms, automatics and mortars.”Firing stopped at Krishna Ghati sector 8 pm but intermittently continues in Naushera sector. Firing is being appropriately responded by own troops,” he said.Deputy inspector general of police, Rajouri-Poonch range, Johnny Williams told dna that the authorities have evacuated few civilians from some areas in Naushera sector of LoC following the shelling.”We had to do evacuation in the wake of shelling. Around 50 to 60 people were evacuated. Basically the shelling is from post to post,” he said.Pakistan has also opened another front in Macchal sector by resorting to heavy shelling on Indian forward posts on Wednesday. “Ceasefire Violation in Machhal Sector by Pakistan is being strongly retaliated,” tweeted Northern Command of the Indian army.Hundreds of families have shifted to safer places after Pakistani army intensified the shelling since the Indian army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir last week.Meanwhile, police in its continuous and sustained drive against the trouble mongers arrested 76 people involved in various offences of disturbing public order in different parts of the valley

Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorists lob grenade at MLA Bhat’s house

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmir Valley remained in a tense situation as terrorists lobbed a grenade at residence of Shopian MLA Muhammad Yusuf Bhat on Tuesday night. However no injuries to Bhat and his families were reported.In fresh ceasefire violations, Pakistan forces resorted to heavy shelling and firing along LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir last evening.Ceasefire violations were also reported from Pakistani forces in Gigriyal, Channi and Planwala areas of Akhnoor.Pakistani forces simultaneously started unprovoked firing and shelling in civilian areas and forward Indian posts in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch and Nowshehra sector of Rajouri around 5 PM.Troops guarding the border line retaliated effectively. The heavy intermittent exchange of fire lasted for nearly three hours in Krisnaghati sector, while it was going on in Nowshehra.Meanwhile, the valley remained shut for the 89th consecutive day as life continues to remain paralysed.

From Sari-Shawl Diplomacy to Surgical Strikes: The evolution of Modi’s Pakistan policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the most pivotal moments in literature is when Arjun found his inner peacenik and told Krishna that he couldn’t wage war against his brethren. What followed was the Gita, the world’s first and most effective powerpoint presentation as Lord Krishna explained the real nature of the universe to Arjun. When asked which was better, action or ‘renunciation’, Krishna explained that the latter was always better.Arjun’s conundrum, the question between action and inaction, might as well have been Modi’s dilemma since he came to power. Should he act against Pakistan — our version of the Kauravas — or does he give peace a chance? In the end, he learned that action was his dharma, but to reach that phase took time, as he realised the hard way that Pakistani establishment were not doves. Here’s how PM Modi’s Pak policy has evolved over the last two years:First Phase of Modi’s Pak Policy: Sari-Shawl DiplomacyModi and Sharif in Lahore in December 2015 (PTI) After coming to power, in a gesture of goodwill, PM Modi invited Sharif and other SAARC leaders to his swearing-in ceremony. Modi wrote to Mian Sahib that he ‘looked forward to working with him in an atmosphere free from confrontation and violence in order to chart a new course in our bilateral relations’. He also thanked him for the lovely saree he had sent for his mother!This was in June 2014, and that happy phase lasted for a while where the PM seemed to believe that his huge mandate gave him the chance to try out things which his predecessor wouldn’t have dared. In an attempt to thaw relations, Modi met Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Ufa, Russia in July 2015. India and Pakistan released a joint statement in which they promised to cooperate to tackle terrorism in the region, planned a meeting between the country’s NSAs and both sides promised to help each other with the 26/11 case. The duo also had a ‘courtesy meeting’ in Paris during the Climate Change Summit. The two NSAs – Gen (Retd.) Nasir Khan Janjua and Ajit Doval – had a hush-hush meeting in Bangkok on December 7. The high point of this in-love phase was on December 25, 2015, when Modi made an impromptu stop in Pakistan to meet Nawaz Sharif and greet him on his birthday. The move came completely out of the blue and flummoxed his critics and political watchers.Second Phase of Modi’s Indo-Pak Policy: Trust thy neighbourPM Modi visits the Pathankot terror attack (File Photo) When the Pathankot attack took place on January 2, 2016, as a confident building measure, India invited a special-investigation team from Pakistan to collect data, a move that signed a departure from past refusal to give Pakistani investigators access after terrorist events like 26/11. The move was severely criticised all around and many felt that the Modi government had allowed culprits onto our crime scene. And they were right. Pakistan washed its hands off the attack, claiming that there was no proof that JEM or any Pakistani-supported group was involved, a move that left the government red-faced.Third Phase of Modi’s Pak Policy: SAARC attack Syed Salahuddin and Rajnath Singh (File Photo)Things really started going distinctly downhill after the death of militant leader Burhan Wani (July 8, 2016) in Kashmir as Sharif hailed him as a ‘martyr’. Many believed that Sharif’s volte-face was thanks to nudges from the Pakistan army who had him under pressure after revelations in the Panama papers.At this moment, the sniping remained at a vocal level and India and Pakistan kept hitting back with comments. HM Rajnath Singh, who earned the moniker Ninda Mama (for saying ‘kadi ninda’ after every terrorist attack), even went down for a SAARC conference in Islamabad where he was met by protests from known terrorists like Syed Salahuddin and Hafiz Saeed leading the protests against him. To his credit ,Rajnath did voice a strong rebuke to Pakistan on its own soil.Fourth Phase of Modi’s Pak Policy: Balochistan, Terror Card and Global Isolation Burhan Wani (File Photo)By now, Modi seemed to have heard enough. He launched a counterattack by using the Balochistan argument— one that had left Manmohan Singh red-faced in Sharm-El-Shaikh, Egypt, when he co-signed a statement with his Pakistani counterpart Geelani in July 2009, for practically owning up to India fomenting trouble in Balochistan, leading to sharp attacks from the BJP in Parliament. But PM Modi is from a different era and he used the same Balochistan card to show Pakistan’s hypocrisy when it came to Kashmir. During his address to the nation on Independence Day, PM Modi set the ball rolling when he said: “Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes. The time has come when Pakistan shall have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against people in Baluchistan and PoK. We are fully committed to the fundamental rights of the people. Our anti-terror laws are more humane than those of any other democracy in the world. Our governments and our security forces have shown restraint in dealing with these incidents.”That restraint broke after Uri (September 18, 2016), a terrorist attack unlike any in recent memory where 19 jawans were burnt to death in their sleep. With the exception of a few liberal voices who think they speak for the rest of us, the nation wanted Uri avenged. In three speeches, India laid down the smack down on Pakistan on a global level to expose its duplicity on home-based terror outfits, its hypocritical stand on Kashmir and its hand in terror across the globe. Chronologically, the first one was Eenam Gambhir’s reply at UNGA to Sharif’s embarrassing eulogy to Burhan Wani, where Gambhir bestowed upon Pakistan the term ‘Ivy League of terrorism’. This was followed by PM Modi’s speech at the BJP National Meet at Kozhikode where he claimed that Sharif’s speeches were written by terrorists and asked Pakistanis why India exported software while Pakistan was known globally for terror. He also went out of his way to pin the link of global terrorism and its Pakistani origin and played up the Obama Bin Laden connection again. The final speech came from EAM Sushma Swaraj at UNGA who pointed out India’s repeated attempts to improve relations.Delivered in crisp Hindi, she said, “We have in fact attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years which is without precedent. We conveyed Eid greetings to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, wished success to his cricket team, extended good wishes for his health and well-being. Did all this come with pre-conditions attached? And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri. Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial.”Fifth Phase of Modi’s Pak Policy: Surgical Strike DGMO Ranbir Singh and Vikas Swarup (PTI)And finally came the ‘action’ bit of Modi’s policy, when Arjuna’s proverbial chariot – stuck between the two armies – finally moved forward. A clandestine pre-emptive surgical strike saw the Indian Army take out 7 terror launch pads inflicting ‘significant damages’. While the reaction was celebrated by most Indians who never thought the government would allow the army to act, it left Pakistani establishment shell-shocked. The reactions from the Pak establishment moved from denial to promises of retribution back to denial. Sharif said that Pakistan also knew about ‘surgical strikes’, something echoed by 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, while Army Chief Raheel Sharif said ‘India’s misadventure wouldn’t go unanswered’.On another note, as Pakistan huffed and puffed, Modi proved that his numerous foreign jaunts weren’t just to regale stadiums of jam-packed NRIs and hear them shout his name. Powers from across the world either backed India’s surgical strike or gave vague statements asking both nations not to escalate tensions. Russia hit out strongly at Pakistan, asking them to stop letting terrorists use their land while the US admonished Pakistan for throwing the N-word around flippantly. India’s decision to pull out of SAARC 2016 at Islamabad also saw other nations follow suit which left the Pakistan establishment looking more red-faced. This seemed to be part of the grander strategy India talked about to globally isolate Pakistan.In his rhetoric, a pre-2014 Modi had promised to be strong and he finally walked the talk in 2016. While there are rumours about earlier governments also carrying out surgical strikes, this stands out because of the sheer scale of the operation and the government publicly owning it. If anyone is surprised by India’s sharp hawkish turn, one ought to know that it has been a long time coming. Time and again, like Modi in his two years, India has tried to turn the other cheek and extend an arm to Pakistan only to find itself hit. The Simla Agreement in 1972 to counter the escalation post the 1971 war petered out, as did the 2004 statement post SAARC to decrease troops. It’s time for us all to accept that we were living in fools’ paradise if we thought that we could be friends as long as Pakistan continued to foment mischief, not on a global level as it allows terrorists to act with impunity from its own soil. To expand upon Hillary Clinton’s metaphor, you simply can’t be friends with people who grow snakes in their backyard. In fact, DGMO Ranbir Singh promised in his post-Uri press conference: “I assure you that Indian army is prepared for any evil design by the adversary, and will give a befitting response. All intelligence agencies and security forces are working in close synergy and necessary action is being taken against various inputs received.” Now it’s pretty clear to everyone out there including the Pakistan army, ISI, terrorists and others that times have changed. The old days of restraint are gone, India is not going to sit around and watch idly. Hell, India will hit you even before you get in range because the days of ‘strategic restraint’ are over.

Captives of Islamic State for 414 days, two Telugu professors return to tell the tale

Two Indian teachers, who were rescued last week after over a year-long captivity by the Islamic State (IS) in Libya, returned home to Hyderabad on Saturday. T Gopi Krishna and C Balram Kishan arrived from New Delhi in the wee hours of the weekend.

The two teachers at the University of Sirte were abducted by Islamic State (IS) terrorists on 29 July, 2015 while on their way to Tripoli airport to return to India. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced on 15 September that they had been rescued.

Gopi Krishna (40), an assistant professor at the University of Sirte, joined the university in 2007. He hails from Tekkali in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, while Balram Kishan (52), a professor at the same university joined a year later. Kishan hails from Telangana‘s Karimnagar district. Balram taught English and Gopi Krishna taught Computer Science at University of Sirte. They were among the four Indians kidnapped by IS on the same day. Two of them were released a few days later. Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar, hailing from Karnataka, had returned safely following their release earlier in 2015.

Gopi Krishna with his family.Gopi Krishna with his family.

Gopi Krishna with his family.

“I would like to thank the Libyan Army and the Government of India, especially the Ministry of External Affairs for their efforts in bringing me safely and reuniting me with my family,” said a visibly happy Gopi Krishna while speaking to mediapersons at his residence in Nacharam. “I have already given all information to the Ministry of External Affairs as to what happened during my 414-day captivity,” he said.

“We have given all the information to Ministry Of External Affairs. They have insisted that we should not reveal any information for the reasons of our safety and security as well as that of our fellow prisoners who are still in captivity there,” said Gopi Krishna and recounted a few of the harrowing details about his experience with the IS.

“In the beginning, they used to keep all of us in one place. Later, due to security reasons, they separated us. Balram and I stayed together during the entire period of captivity. They used to shift us to many places. We are not aware of the places we were taken to. There was no traffic sound near our surroundings. In fact all we could hear were sounds of bombs,” he recalled.

Krishna added that they were confined to a small room for many months with no knowledge of where they were nor about the house where they stayed. “They provided beds and pillows for us  to sleep. They use to leave us free in the room, never tied us. Temperature was normal and they used to provide clothes and water only rarely for a bath,” he said.

Krishna recounted that macaroni and rice was the staple diet. The prisoners were fed once a day and twice, on the rare occasion. “One person used to come and give the food, he would cover his face. We don’t know the reason for our abduction. We used to think there might be some deal happening and that they would release us,” he said.

Despair set in though when some fellow prisoners were released within a few days of captivity while they were still held. “Though we were abducted at the same time, they didn’t tell us the reason for their (other prisoners’) release though we asked them. We thought as they are the university teachers that’s why they might have been given preference. These released captives were the ones who gave information about us to the government. There is still one Indian named Ramamurthy who is in their custody. But he was not with us,” he said.

Perhaps, being a teacher at the local university helped garner better treatment from the IS. Krishna said that none of them were harmed but instead treated with respect as they were teachers.

“The Libyan University is least bothered about us. They didn’t even talk to us after our release. We know that even they are helpless as there is no one to listen to them there,” said Krishna. “In the future I am planning to work in India or given a chance I will go abroad to a country where there is no IS. I came to know about this job through ads in a newspaper. Earlier I worked in Aurora Engineering College for 4 years,” he explained.

“They spoke in Arabic,” said Krishna. “They never used to communicate anything to us they just used to provide food and if there were any health issues, they would give us medicines on request.

I am happy that I didn’t have any health issues. Balram got BP (blood pressure) tablets on request, that too rarely,” he said.

The families of the two abducted professors suffered back home. Krishna said there was no communication from the Indian government about their status to family in Hyderabad, for reasons of security. “We would write dates with fellow prisoners who had pen and paper,” he recounted.

Balram’s family got Rs 5 lakh financial support from the Telangana government and Gopi Krishna’s family got Rs 2 lakh from the Andhra government.

Gopi Lrishna’s wife T Kalyani said they would talk to Minister Sushma Swaraj’s PA about her husband’s status and also to someone called Rasheed in the Indian embassy in Libya.

“Daily I would communicate with him through WhatsApp in the night as we are three and a half hours ahead of Libyan time,” said Kalyani. “I was told one day later after his abduction by our family members. I was very confident that he will come back safely. We have two children — one son and a daughter,” she smiled.

Krishna was abducted while on his way to India on vacation. He had crossed 20 kilometres from Libya before being abducted by the IS.

Balram declined to speak on how they were freed and how they were treated in captivity. “I can’t reveal all those details to you. I have given the information to the Ministry,” he said.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung sets aside AAP govt’s appointment of DERC chief

New Delhi: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday scrapped the appointment of Krishna Saini as chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) by the AAP government on grounds of legal infirmities, further escalating the already intense confrontation between the two sides.

The L-G’s office said Saini was appointed to the top post of DERC in March without approval of Jung as mandated under rules and procedures. “In the given circumstances, the appointment of the chairpersonhas been declared as void, ab initio,” the L-G’s office said in a statement.

Lt Governor Najib Jung. Reuters

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung. Reuters

Jung has also directed the government to initiate the process for selection of the chairperson of the DERC
immediately, in accordance with law.

Saini, a former chief Income Tax commissioner, was appointed to head the regulator, which takes crucial decisions relating to power sector including tariff, in March without Jung’s approval.

“As per Section 85, Electricity Act, 2003, the selection committee is to be constituted by the state government. The power and functions of the state government have been delegated to the L-G vide Government of India notification dated 20 February, 2004. Further, the council of ministers appointed Sh. Krishna Saini as chairperson, DERC without the approval of the Lt Governor,” Jung’s office said in a statement.

It said as the constitution of the selection committee as well as the appointment of DERC chairperson was done without putting up the matter to Jung for his concurrence, the entire process has been vitiated right from the beginning and “suffers from serious legal infirmities”.

While appointing Saini, the AAP government had cited a Delhi High Court order of 24 February saying it was allowed permission to go ahead with his appointment.

Saini had retired as chief commissioner of Income Tax in January.

The L-G and the AAP government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues including appointments and have even been fighting it out in court. The Delhi High Court had last month held that L-G is the administrative head of Delhi following which the AAP government had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.

Later talking to reporters, Jung said Saini’s appointment was quashed as it was “irregular”.

Power experts said the L-G’s decision will further delay the tariff fixation process and all other directives issued by the government to DERC under Section 108 of the Electricity Act without the approval of the LG.

The government, which has time and again held the performance of the discoms as “atrocious”, had ordered the DERC to compensate consumers for unscheduled power cuts

The Delhi High Court, in its 4 August order, had also termed as illegal the appointment of nominee directors of the Delhi government in the boards of the three discoms.

15 fishermen rescued off Mumbai coast after boats sink

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two fishing boats carrying 15 fishermen sank 70 nautical miles off Mumbai, prompting the Coast Guard to launch a search operation on Monday.All the 15 were later rescued by other fishermen.”At about midnight of August 21/22, two fishing boats Himsagar and Krishna Sagar were reportedly sunk at sea 7 NM from Umargam. Reported location is about 70 NM north of Mumbai,” a defence spokesperson said today.”A Sea King 42B, all weather helicopter was launched to search for survivors. Indian Naval Ship Ganga and Indian Coast Guard Ship Agrim were also diverted to the area,” the spokesperson said.All the 15 fishermen were picked up by other fishermen in the area and have landed ashore early this morning, he said, adding that the ships then returned to their respective tasks.The fishermen had set out in two fishing boats from Zai and Gholwad villages on Sunday evening, according to Palghar district’s Talasari taluka tehsildar Vishal Daundkar.Late in the night, the district authorities received a message of them being in trouble following which the authorities asked the Coast Guard and Navy for help, he said.In the meantime, the 15 fishermen jumped out of the sinking boats and swam to the shore at Vrindavan in Umbargaon village at around 4 AM today, he said, adding that they had to swim around eight nautical miles before they reached to safety.The local fishermen also rushed into the sea in a bid to save their community members, he said.

Hyderabad: Child Welfare Committee member booked for sexually assaulting teenager

A member of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Ranga Reddy district in Telangana was on Friday booked for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old orphan boy, police said.Krishna, the accused member of the CWC, was given the responsibility of shifting the boy, who had been rescued and put up at Saidabad children’s home, to Kukatpally in Hyderabad a few days ago, they said.”However, instead of taking the boy to Kukatpally children’s home here, he took him to some other place and sexually assaulted the teen,” KPHB police station Inspector Ch Kushalkar said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A case under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered against Krishna and a hunt has been launched to nab him, as he is absconding, the inspector said.CWC is a quasi-judicial body appointed by the Women and Child Welfare Department under the Juvenile Justice Act. Further investigation into the case is on.

Why India is a nation of foodies

The obsession with food defines Indian identity and personality to the point of both ridicule and delight, writes Ritu Rohagi

On Raj Thackeray’s birthday, cake with Asaduddin Owaisi’s picture cut

A cake with the image of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi was cut during the celebrations to mark the birthday of MNS chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai on Tuesday, evoking a strong reaction from the Hyderabad-based party.Raj was greeted by his supporters at his residence ‘Krishna Kunj’ at Dadar in Central Mumbai, where some supporters brought the cake with Owaisi’s image on it and cut it. The action drew condemnation from AIMIM, whose MLA Waris Pathan demanded action against those who cut the cake.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raj had targeted Owaisi which triggered a row early this year saying he would not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, even if a knife is put to his throat.”Come to Maharashtra, I will put a knife to your throat,” the MNS chief had said.

Karnataka: Gang hijacks truck carrying cigarettes

A truck carrying cigarettes worth Rs 4.49 crore was stolen by miscreants near Nagharbavi Junction in Bengaluru on May 26. The incident came to light on May 30 after the truck driver, who was reportedly kidnapped, registered a complaint at the Chandra Layout police. The truck while nearing the Nagharbhavi junction was waylaid by four miscreants and the driver was bundled into their car, said the complaint.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a report in The Hindu, the truck driver Radha Krishna was carrying the 13 tonnes cigarette consignment towards Kerala from Devanahalli. The truck driver while nearing Outer Ring road was overpowered by the four culprits and his hands and legs were tied. The gang is then alleged to have bundled him into their car at knife point.The complaint by Radha Krishna also said that the truck was hijacked early morning May 26 at around 4.30 am on the outer ring road. Radha Krishna after regaining consciousness tried to free himself and boarded a bus to the same spot where the truck was hijacked. After visiting the spot, he went directly to the Chandra Layout police and narrated the whole incident to them.The police have registered a case based on the complaint given by Radha Krishna on the missing truck and are carrying out investigations. The police have now formed special teams to nab the culprits. The neighbouring state police have also been alerted.

Why drinking in India is an ‘outdoor sport’

Drinking alcohol at home can be taboo, so Indians love to drink on the move, writes Palash Krishna Mehrotra, tongue firmly in cheek.

Buddha Purnima and the politics of convenience

Political waters are known to be treacherous. Often all it needs is a sneeze off guard to fill rivals’ sails with winds, letting them soar past you. This effect is amplified by words uttered without a thought about their repercussions. BJP leaders from Maharashtra, Pankaja Munde and Shaina NC, should know this better than most others given how their Buddha Purnima messages on social media have drawn the ire of many who have taken umbrage to them calling Buddha the ninth incarnation of Vishnu.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In keeping with the newer depths trolls find to plumb, reactions ranged from the acerbic to abusive. Many of those reacting swear by the Buddha and carry the flag of the Ambedkarite movement, that sought to rehabilitate millions of oppressed Dalits from the throes of Hinduism’s orthodoxy to the refuge of Buddhism.While several questioned this “appropriation” calling it another ploy to link everything to an ancient Hindu umbilicus, there were others who called it undermining of Buddhist thought and ideology. Yet others want to know why the Buddha then hadn’t figured as a deity in the Hindu pantheon.In all fairness, while it is another story that several of our politicians seem to open their mouths only to change whichever foot was in it earlier, in this instance the duo have been unfairly accused of appropriating the Buddhist legacy as a subset of Hinduism. There is at least one piece of historic evidence to back this argument.Jayadeva, the 12th Century poet is much revered for his works. The most monumental of his works, Geet Govinda (Krishna through verses), forms the mainstay of Odissi performances and influences the motifs of the patachitra paintings. The Dashavatar Stotram, one of the best-known hymns penned by Jayadeva, depicts Vishnu born as Buddha to condemn the pompous ceremonies and animal sacrifices that religion seemed to have been reduced to. This text predates Ambedkar’s renunciation of Hinduism by almost 800 years, reflecting the then prevalent belief, that Buddha was the ninth incarnation of Vishnu.Interestingly, while the most widely accepted ten incarnations of Vishnu include Krishna as the eighth incarnation, Jayadeva’s Geet Govinda deems Krishna as the central figure, and instead anoints his foster brother Balarama as the eighth incarnation.One takeaway missed by most Dalit rights activists is that while the text itself is a testimony to divided opinion over which deities form the ten incarnations, Buddha has unambiguously figured across all versions as the last known incarnation of Vishnu.Doesn’t this also underline the dynamic, flexible and accommodating nature of Hinduism itself? While no thumb rule applies to the Hindu way of life, Buddhism has come to be acknowledged as a distinctly different way of life. And, in any case, why can’t the outraging ideologues see that the voices making such a claim about Buddha are far outnumbered by Hindus who couldn’t care one way or the other.As for Buddha’s absence in the pantheon of Hindu deities, this is quite unlike the uncelebrated Varaha (boar) avatar or the kurma (tortoise) avatar. Institutionalised Hinduism seems to have made concerted efforts at ‘letting go’ of an avatar who questioned its commercialisation and silence on inequality.Those claiming Puranic origins of Buddha negate his journey on the rational path leading to salvation (moksha). Worse, they don’t even realise that Ambedkar too embarked on a similar journey to break the shackles of casteism and millions followed him. The other extreme, in all historical incorrectness, usurps this moment to further polarise.Increasingly such positions and position-takers, both, seem driven more by the politics of convenience than principle or ideology. Why else would those who unfailingly question Rama’s chivalry as someone who deserted an innocent Sita, conveniently leave out the plight of Yashodhara and Rahul, Gautama’s wife and son, who faced the same plight? Dalit ideologues and scholars, whose sense of entitlement is not entirely misplaced in the recent Buddha Purnima episode, could also do with a little introspection on the justice their community has meted out to the 22 vows Ambedkar prescribed to all those accepting Buddhism. The first five of these renounce every practice and belief of the Hindu religion, explicitly including the one that Buddha is a Puranic incarnation. The rage and rationalism of the thought leaders exerting practice of these vows seems to wane by the time they get to the 13th oath of compassion and kindness for all living beings, falling prey to the reverse hate speech echoing cacophonies of social balkanisation.Pankaja Munde and Shaina NC may have merely raised a historically validated point on a politically incorrect day, but this does beg the question— why is no party ever complete without uninvited party poopers? Party poopers, who may or may not practice a religion they’ve been raised in, but target others religiously.The writer has worked as a journalist with a national television network for eight years and is a communications professional. Opinions expressed are entirely his own and do not reflect those of any organisation, group or other individuals.

Hilarious hug-a-thon: Watch Krishna Kumar break world record for most hugs in a minute!

On March 5, Krishna Kumar set the record of the maximum hugs with 79 hugs in 1 minute, at Rock Town in LB Nagar at Hyderabad. 79 hugs in one minute is a record that’s never going to be easy to beat, even though some of the hugs were disqualified. As he said, hugging boosts morale and what better a reason do you need to hug?Updated by the Facebook page of the Guinness World Records, where people have been seen in critique of the way he hugged, some even came up with suggestions of beating the record of 79 hugs, which was encouraged by the Guinness administrator, saying, “Sounds like an interesting technique Shubham! If you’d like to apply for our guidelines here’s where to start > http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/set-a-record.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Watch the video of Krishna Kumar deliver a stupendous 79 hugs in 1 minute, here:

Gurgaon: 7 year-old victim of hit-and-run case succumbs to her injuries

A class three student of the Ryan International School, who was allegedly hit by a van after being dropped on the wrong side of the road by a school bus on May 9, succumbed to her injuries at the Medanta hospital in Gurgaon on Wednesday.The girl, who had fallen on the ground from the impact of the incident and suffered swelling in the brain, was under constant supervision by the doctors in the intensive care unit after she slipped into coma.The incident took place on May 9 when the school bus, running allegedly without a conductor and an attendant – mandatory for school buses, dropped the girl on the opposite side near Krishna Colony in Sector 9. A speeding car hit the girl Jiya when she was crossing the road. The seven-year-old girl’s parents registered a complaint at Sector 4 police outpost.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The school administration had, however, said that there was no negligence on their part.Ryan International School Principal Peeya Sharma had earlier said that the school would bear all expenses of the child’s treatment.

High alert: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh brace for heavy rains as IMD issues cyclone warning

The MET office has forecast heavy rains in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as the depression over southwest Bay of Bengal may intensify into a cyclone. The depression moved north-northwest and lay centred about 120 km south by southeast of Chennai, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday evening.

“The system is likely to move north northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh coast and further intensify into a deep depression during next 24 hours. The system is likely to be close to Chennai during morning hours of 18 May. It will move northwards and then recurve north northeastwards and may intensify into a cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours,” it said.

Strong winds with speed reaching 50 to 60 km per hour are likely along and off south and north coastal Andhra. Heavy rainfall will continue in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, said the weather department on Wednesday.

It is expected to move north-northeastwards and intensify into a deep depression and further into a cyclonic storm over the next 48 hours. Rainfall is also predicted over south coastal and interior Tamil Nadu durning the next 24 hours.

IMD_IMD

Similarly, heavy rainfall is predicted over south Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 48 hours. According to the IMD, wind speed reaching 55-65 km per hour gusting to 75 km per hour would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours and south Andhra Pradesh coast during next 48 hours.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea as sea condition will be very rough during the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has deputed senior officers to areas that may experience heavy rainfall to oversee precautionary measures.

The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into the sea as sea condition is likely to be rough along and off coastal Andhra, Puducherry and north Tamil Nadu.

The MET office has forecast heavy rain at isolated places in the districts of Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Chittoor, Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool of Rayalaseema on Thursday and Friday.

The MET department has warned of heavy rains in coastal and interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over the next 24 hours. It has also warned of heavy rainfall in isolated regions of south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and coastal Karnataka over the next 48 hours.

Hyderabad Meteorological Centre has forecast thunderstorm accompanies with squalls at isolated places in Telangana till 21 May.

Meanwhile, there was appreciable rise in maximum temperatures at one or two places in Telangana.

Adilabad was the hottest place in the state with maximum temperature of 43.8 degrees Celsius. Ramagundam recorded 43 degrees Celsius.

The heat wave in Telangana has claimed 300 lives this season but rains over past few days significantly brought down the mercury.

Read the full statement on IMD here:

indian_1463558725 by Firstpost

With inputs from IANS

Bay of Bengal depression: Andhra may receive heavy rainfall, cyclone predicted

Hyderabad: The MET office has forecast heavy rains in parts of Andhra Pradesh as the depression over southwest Bay of Bengal may intensify into a cyclonic storm.

The depression moved north northwest and lay centred about 120 km south by southeast of Chennai, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday evening.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The system is likely to move north northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh coast and further intensify into a deep depression during next 24 hours. The system is likely to be close to Chennai during morning hours of 18 May. It will move northwards and then recurve north northeastwards and may intensify into a cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours,” it said.

Strong winds with speed reaching 50 to 60 km per hour are likely along and off south and north coastal Andhra.

The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into the sea as sea condition is likely to be rough along and off coastal Andhra.

The met office has forecast heavy rain at isolated places in the districts of Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Chittoor, Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool of Rayalaseema on Thursday and Friday.

Hyderabad Meteorological Centre has forecast thunderstorm accompanies with squalls at isolated places in Telangana till 21 May.

Meanwhile, there was appreciable rise in maximum temperatures at one or two places in Telangana.

Adilabad was the hottest place in the state with maximum temperature of 43.8 degrees Celsius. Ramagundam recorded 43 degrees Celsius.

The heat wave in Telangana has claimed 300 lives this season but rains over past few days significantly brought down the mercury.

Maharashtra: First full 50-wagon water train to reach Latur tomorrow

The first full 50-wagon water train left from Miraj near Pune for drought-hit Latur at around 10:55 pm on Tuesday. It carries 25 lakh litres of water, railway officials informed.The rake was stabled for loading at around 7:20 am on Tuesday but loading of all 50 wagons could get completed only by 9:45 pm, over 14 hours later.According to railway officials, a power outage at Miraj caused the water-pumping mechanism at Central Railway’s jack-well to stop working between 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. This meant that water could not be drawn from the Krishna river nearby during this time.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to dna, Ashok Tiwari, senior divisional operations manager, Pune railway division said, “The rake should reach Latur by Wednesday morning.”Officials at Latur said unloading the rake should take about three hours.

Maharashtra: Here is why the train carrying water to Latur have only 10 wagons

The two water trains from Miraj to Latur — on April 11 and 13 – were having only 10 wagons each when they could have pulled in 100 wagons.Put another way, the two trains, Latur, which could have got 54 lakh litres of water from the trains got only 10 lakh litres.The slow progress of the 2.7-km water pipeline from the Central Railway’s filtration plant near Miraj station to the latter’s marshalling yard is what is forcing the Railways to send curtailed water rakes.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state was supposed to build a pipeline from the filtration plant to line 6 of Miraj’s marshalling yard, so that the rake could be filled with water at the yard itself. Now, the Railways are drawing water meant to replenish long-distance trains that halt at platform number 2 of Miraj.dna, in its April 11 edition, had front-paged a report that the state started work on the new pipeline only in the first week of April, when the plan to have a water train to Latur was taken on March 22 — a delay of almost a fortnight.
ALSO READ Water express arrives in Latur; Netas, babus and NGOs scramble to clamber onAs per rake logistics, water, after being drawn from the intake well on the Krishna river, is piped into a railway-owned jack-well, and, from there, to the filtration plant near Miraj station.”Since the state has not completed the construction of this pipeline, the rake has to fight for water-loading time with the long-distance trains on platform number 2. So every time a long-distance train comes to the platform, the water rake is taken back to the yard. This juggling, officials said, would take 12-14 hours to fill even 10 wagons with 5 lakh litres of water,” said a senior railway official.
ALSO READ Delhi BJP objects to Arvind Kejriwal’s move to send water to LaturThe lack of a new pipeline means that the 5 lakh litres pumped into the rake has to be from the 18-20 lakh litres of water Miraj station uses for operational purposes like replenishing passenger trains and for railway colony needs.”Thanks to the state’s bungling, the Railways has to send a rake in multiple configurations, which means multiple locomotives, multiple driving crew and multiple time slots that affect the running of passenger trains on this heavily congested route,” said an official.According to sources, only about 700 metres of the 2.7- km line has been built and work on it might last for a few more days. State officials refused to comment.

Here’s how one man wants to enrich the lives of kids in a Bihar government school

SBI Youth for India Fellow Naman Bansal is trying to ‘break the monotony of cynicism’ that he sees around him. He has started this long journey through an initiative called ‘Palak’ for the students of Haripur Krishna Middle School in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. In association with the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, ‘Palak’ is Naman’s endeavour to make a difference to the lives of marginalised kids coming to the school.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“I am trying to sow the seeds of creativity in the minds of these young children and simultaneously provide them with some life skills and computer knowledge through the medium of story-telling,” says Naman, a native of Meerut. He encourages the kids to use the tools of painting, drawing, puppetry, etc. to communicate their thoughts. Naman helps them compile these ideas in a magazine, ‘Palak’ on a monthly basis.To ensure a lasting impact even after the culmination of his 13-month fellowship with the school, Naman wants to scale up the school’s infrastructure and arrange for a few laptops for the students. He is raising money on Ketto for the same.To help similar causes, log on to Ketto – a platform to raise funds for social, personal and creative causes.

Kollam temple fire: It is just another reminder of Kerala’s fireworks craze

Kerala’s craze for fireworks at temple festivals is well-known. Beginning with the Malayali New Year — Vishu, fireworks are the norm for every festival, religious or otherwise. Despite Diwali not being celebrated in the southern state with too much gusto, crackers find their place in all other festivals. Church functions too see displays of fireworks.

Malayalis though take this tradition seriously, despite a long history of such accidents and deaths due to firecrackers gone rogue. Ajay Krishna, a resident of Paravoor, in the vicinity of the Puttingal Temple, says the problem lies in the competitive nature of the bursting of fireworks.

A view of a collapsed building after a massive fire broke out during a fireworks display in Kerala on Sunday. PTI

A view of a collapsed building after a massive fire broke out during a fireworks display in Kerala on Sunday. PTI

“Initially, it began as a way of worship and subsequently it became all about showing off one’s money power,” said Ajay, an eyewitness to the explosion, who managed to escape the disaster in the nick of time. “Rich people began to purchase and burst more expensive firecrackers. It is a dangerous game. It is because of this the authorities banned competitive bursting of firecrackers this year,” he said.

Thiruvananthapuram resident, R Navaneethankannan, a frequent pilgrim at the Puttingal temple told Firstpost that superstition plays a large role in the tradition. “Many people believe that if they burst fireworks, evil forces will stay away,” he explained. “This practice of bursting fireworks can be seen in every temple. People believe that their prayers will be answered if they burst firecrackers,” he added.

“During the era of kings, people would conduct small competitions by bursting fireworks. That tradition continues today. In many districts there are restrictions on this practice. But since it is connected with religious fervor, the authorities are struggling to control this menace,” he continued.

Despite the authorities issuing a ban on competitive firecrackers in Puttingal, temple authorities decided to allow it to go ahead without following proper safety norms. “Even though the residents around the temple kept asking for the practice to be stopped repeatedly, authorities did not take any action,” said Ajay Krishna, a resident of Paravoor.

“The Sabarimala fire accident of 1952 in which 70 people died is notorious and Sunday’s Puttingal tragedy is bigger than that,” said Thiruvananthapuram resident Navaneethakannan. “The media focuses on this issue when such big tragedies take place but everyday there are smaller fire accidents continually happening due to this practice of bursting fireworks,” he said.

In 1990, 25 people were killed in a similar explosion caused by fireworks at the Malanada temple in Kerala. In January this year, one woman lost her life in a similar accident at the Maradu Kottaram Bhagavathy temple near Kochi. 300 people have died between 2006 and 2011 in fireworks mishaps, according to the Kerala government’s data.

The tragedy has already been politicised barely two months before an election that is seeing much polarising rhetoric. Social media is abuzz with allegations that perhaps a particular community has been targeted in this fire.

It will perhaps be the first task of the next government to bring in stringent regulations for fireworks to ensure such loss of lives does not take place once again.

The author tweets @anandkso

Kerala temple tragedy: ‘All over in a few minutes’

Those left behind by the Kerala temple fire

Here’s a look at the 5 worst fire tragedies in south India

The fire at the Puttingal Devi temple has claimed over 100 lives. In south India, there have been numerous fire tragedies that have claimed a large number of lives and remain etched forever in the minds of many. Here’s a look at the worst fire tragedies in south India:Kollam temple fire tragedy, Kerala The Puttingal Devi temple fire that started on 3:30 am on Sunday (April 10) morning is one of the worst fire tragedies in India. The devastating fire that started as a result of firecrackers, has claimed over 108 lives so far and left more than 300 people injured. Many of the injured have suffered serious burns and the state and Central governments are doing their best to provide them with medical help. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Venus Circus fire tragedy, Bengaluru On February 8, 1981, parents and teachers were out at the Venus Circus near Jakkarayanakere enjoying a show with children. But suddenly at 6:30 pm, the circus tent caught fire and it turned out to be the worst fire tragedy in Karnataka. The laughter of children gave way to screams of terror and help. The circus fire claimed 92 lives and about 300 were injured in this disaster. Save for about 11 adults, all those who died in this tragedy were children. It was the last day of the circus and to this day this disaster is unforgettable to those who lost their children and were present near that area. Investigations later revealed that the high-tension electric cables in the circus tent had overheated and caused the fire. Kumbakonam school fire, Tamil NaduThe Sri Krishna Middle School in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, made headlines across India on July 16, 2004 for all the wrong reasons. Three schools – Sri Krishna Aided Primary School, Saraswathy Nursery and Primary School and Sri Krishna Girls High School – were run in the same building which had a thatched roof structure. At 10:30 am, one of the students alerted her teacher that a fire had broken out on the thatched roof. The building had 900 children at that point with a single narrow staircase. The building caught fire but the fire rescue services and locals could not prevent the tragedy that ensued. 94 children died in this fire and many were injured. The school founder Pulavar Palanichamy was sentenced to life imprisonment after the court trial. Hi wife and school correspondent P Saraswathi, headmistress J Santhalakshmi, noon meal organizer R Vijayalakshmi and cook R Vasanthi were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment each. A compensation of Rs 1 lakh from the state government and Rs 50,000 from the Centre was given to each victim’s family.
ALSO READ Kerala Temple fire: 106 killed, 383 injured in devastating fire at Puttingal templeSivaskasi fireworks tragedy, Tamil NaduSivaskasi in Tamil Nadu is the hub of fireworks manufacturing in India. There have been numerous fire accidents in this town because of fireworks, but the worst tragedy took place on September 5, 2012. A fire broke out at Om Sakthi Fireworks, a private cracker manufacturing unit in Mudhalipatti, and it claimed 38 lives. Om Sakthi was also operating without a valid license. Workers were mixing dangerous chemicals in a hot room when the chemicals caught fire. More than 60 people were injured in this fire tragedy making it one of the worst in this town. The Tamil Nadu government then cracked down on fireworks factories shutting down many that had no permits and safety measures.
ALSO READ Worst firework-related tragedy in Kerala in last 50 yearsSrirangam marriage hall fire tragedy, Tamil NaduIt was supposed to be a happy occasion on 23 January, 2004 at the Padmapriya Marriage Hall in Srirangam near Trichy. There was a wedding and people were interacting on the occasion when tragedy struck. At 9:15 am, the thatched roof caught fire, spreading fast to the makeshift stage. The thatched roof that caught fire also fell on the people assembled and 57 people were killed, including the groom. 50 others were injured in this tragedy. An investigation later revealed that a short circuit in the electric wire connecting the video camera set the roof on fire leading to this disaster. On 14 June 2012, Ramasamy (65), the owner of the wedding hall, was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced a cash relief of Rs 50,000 to families of the deceased, Rs 15,000 to people with heavy injuries and Rs 6,000 to those with minor injuries.

Water wagon arrives, but Marathwada will remain parched for a few more days

The first of the 50-wagon water train arrived at Maharashtra’s Miraj station on Sunday morning. But drought-hit Marathwada will have to wait for at least three more days to reap the benefits. The local administration is yet to lay a pipeline from the central railway’s filtration plant to the marshalling yard, where the water rake is parked.Divisional commissioner of Marathwada, Umakant Dangat, told dna that the work on laying the pipeline started only after getting the green signal from the railways last week.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”One has to prepare a plan and do the estimates. Only after that work can be undertaken. After working round-the-clock, the pipeline would be ready in the next three days,” Dangat said on Sunday.Two senior ministers — Eknath Khadse, minister for agriculture, revenue and rehabilitation, and Pankaja Munde, guardian minister for Latur — had visited Latur, Sangli and Miraj on April 5. The preliminary work on the pipeline started only after their visit. This is almost a fortnight after the ‘water wagon for Latur’ plan was set in place.When was the decision taken?The decision to transport water through railway wagons was taken on March 22. By March 26, the first rake reached the wagon repair workshop in Kota, Rajasthan, for steam-cleaning to remove fuel traces.The second rake reached Kota on March 28. On April 1, railway minister Suresh Prabhu had tweeted about these two rakes being cleaned at Kota. On April 8, the West Central Railway dispatched the first rake after steam-cleaning and it reached Miraj on Sunday.A senior CR official told dna that, as of now, the first trip of the water rake has not been decided. However, Dangat told this paper that the water train would reach Latur in a day or two.”The water would be poured into a well, which would be provided to Latur residents with the help of tankers,” said Dangat.In addition, water from the Bhandarwadi dam, Sai Bandhara (barrage) in Latur and Dongargav will also be brought to Latur. “We would lay the pipeline till the water supply scheme at Arwi, in Wardha, in the next 4-5 days,” Dangat said.How the water wagon will collect waterThe plan is to draw water into the rake from the intake-well on the banks of Krishna river near Miraj. The water from this intake well will be pumped to a jack-well owned by the railways. The state will install its own pump at the jack-well to take water to the railway’s filtration plant close to the Miraj station. From the filtration plant, there will be a pipeline to take the water to the water-wagon rake, which will be stabled on track 6 of the marshalling yard at Miraj.

Hyderabad University row: Post V-C Appa Rao’s return, several SC/ST professors resign again

Tension is brewing at the Hyderabad Central University over protests by faculty members over the varsity’s stand on the row after Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

After scores of students belonging to different organisations were taken into police custody for holding protests near the Hyderabad Central University demanding arrest of Vice-Chancellor Professor Appa Rao Podile, the SC/ST Teachers’ Forum of the University have written a letter to the V-C reiterating their position on conditional withdrawal of resignation from their positions.

The letter, addressed to Professor Appa Rao, says, “…we now reiterate our stand that we are resigning from our position since you have returned as VC before the judicial probe is completed as well as in the light of highly disturbing events that have taken place on the campus since your return…”

Read the full letter here:

HCU Letter

The letter further added that the teachers were very disappointed with the allegations against protesting students and faculty, which they termed as unfair.

On 21 January, several Dalit professors had resigned from their administrative posts like chief examination officer, warden and medical officer, in solidarity with the students. They had, however, kept their teaching responsibilities. Appa Rao had then tried to call them for a reconciliation meeting, but failed.

On 6 April, Controller of Examination Professor V Krishna, expressing solidarity with the protesting students against Rao’s removal, resigned from the post and walked out of the Academic Council Meeting going on in HCU. Hyderabad Central University has been on the boil since January this year after Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide in a hostel room of the university.

LK Advani’s wife, Kamla, passes away

BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani’s wife Kamla Advani passed away of cardiac arrest on Wednesday. She was in her early eighties. Sources close to the family said she complained of uneasiness and breathlessness and was rushed to the AIIMS where doctors tried to revive her but in vain.”She suffered cardiac arrest,” they told PTI.Kamla Advani (83) leaves behind, besides her husband, a son and a daughter. She had been suffering from age-related problems for some time and was on wheelchair for the last few months.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Family sources said she was also suffering from memory loss.Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences:Further details are awaited.

Andhra Pradesh first state in India to link rivers, claims CM Naidu

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the country to achieve inter-linking of rivers Godavari and Krishna through the Pattisam Lift Scheme, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Tuesday.

However, Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy said the state government had wasted Rs 1,600 crore as Pattisam did not have any storage capacity.

The chief minister made a suo motu statement in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday afternoon on the Pattisam scheme under which 8,500 cusecs of water from Godavari river would be lifted into the Polavaram right main canal and diverted to Krishna river through the Prakasam Barrage.

Chandrababu Naidu. APChandrababu Naidu. AP

Chandrababu Naidu. AP

“Pattisam scheme has been completed in a record time of just one year. By interlinking Godavari and Krishna, crops in the Krishna Delta region are saved by timely supply of (8.8 tmc ft) water. We spent Rs 1,300 crore on Pattisam but the crops saved in the first year itself were worth Rs 2,500 crore,” Naidu said.

About 80 to 100 tmc ft of water from Godavari river could be diverted into Krishna river on the upstream of Prakasam Barrage through the Pattisam scheme.

“Krishna water to this extent can be saved in Srisailam reservoir and used for the benefit of farmers in the parched Rayalaseema districts of Kurnool, Anantapuramu, Kadapa and Chittoor besides other needy areas in the state,” Naidu added.

Taking part in the discussion on the subject, the opposition leader, however, said Rs 1,600 crore was sent down the drain as Pattisam scheme did not have any storage capacity.

“Krishna Delta requires 180 tmc ft of water but the government is claiming to have done wonders by pumping just four tmc ft. It was my late father (YS Rajasekhara Reddy) who completed 70 percent of works related to the Polavaram right main canal,” Jagan pointed out.

He questioned why the Chandrababu Naidu government remained silent after the Telangana government invited tenders for the Palamuru-Ranga Reddy lift irrigation scheme to divert Krishna water.

“You don’t even have the guts to face KCR (Telangana chief minister). He (KCR) is talking to Maharashtra chief minister over sharing of river waters,” the YSR Congress president said.

For most part of the debate, there was a humorous duel between Chandrababu and Jagan as the former claimed the latter probably never understood the irrigation subject properly.

“Hope you people have understood what I said. Your leader seems to have not got it. I will take a class for you all if you did not understand,” Chandrababu remarked, pointing to the YSRC MLAs.

The chief minister then read out portions of his statement again and stressed that his government would complete the Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project as well by 2018.

PTI

Dentist murder: Arvind Kejriwal alleges BJP, RSS of communalising the case

Joint Commissioner of Police (South Western) Deependra Pathak on Saturday rubbished rumours that Bangladeshi immigrants were involved in the brutal attack on a 42-year-old dentist in Vikaspuri and said that the people should refrain from mischief mongering.”Rumour is bereft of truth; the people should refrain from mischief mongering. It is definitely a very unfortunate incident. All four juvenile have been apprehended and the five accused have been arrested,” Pathak told the media.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have arrested five adults namely Gopal Singh, Naseer Khan, Amir, Aameer and a woman named Mayassar… We are conducting further investigation,” he added.Responding to a poser on whether the accused are Bangladeshis, he said that all of them are from Uttar Pradesh. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to accuse BJP and RSS of trying to communalise the case. In a case of rage, the dentist was beaten to death in front of his family by about a dozen people in west Delhi’s Vikaspuri area on Wednesday night. The victim, Pankaj Narang, lived with his wife and two children at New Krishna Park in Vikaspuri. (With ANI inputs)

Kerala: BJP alleges ‘anti-Hindu’ content in an All India Radio programme

A daily programme, broadcast by All India Radio’s Thrissur regional centre in Kerala, has invited the wrath of BJP which said it was portraying Hindu gods in poor light and it will fight it legally.While the AIR staff alleged that a local BJP leader had threatened them with dire consequences if they did not give a “corrective” version of the programme removing anti-Hindu contents, BJP said it would soon file a case against those behind the act.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’Subhashitham’, a programme presented by scholar Dr C N Parameswaran last week, had allegedly depicted the mythical war between ‘devas’ and ‘asuras’ as the fight between the upper class, who came from outside the country, and the indigenous people.The BJP alleged the morning programme, which has a wide audience, portrayed Hindu gods Lord Rama and Lord Krishna as “oppressors” and had thus hurt the community’s sentiments.The issue triggered a controversy after BJP state secretary B Gopalakrishnan allegedly “threatened” a woman programme executive of AIR and station-director in-charge for broadcasting the programme.Gopalakrishnan, however, denied the charges and said he had not threatened anybody but only asked about the facts.”I did not threaten anybody. I just called the officials and asked how such a programme could be aired through the public broadcaster like AIR. I am a tax payer and have all the right to ask so,” he told PTI.The leader also asked how he could be a just silent listener when someone tried to depict his favourite gods in poor light.”I am a hardcore Sri Krishna devotee. How can I simply sit and listen when someone says Sri Krishna and Sri Rama are not Indians and they are outsiders and they came to the country and oppressed the indigenous people here?” he said.He also said Parameswaran, who presented the programme, could air his views in a public place but cannot use a platform like AIR for hurting the sentiments of a community.Gopalakrishnan said he would soon file a case against the scholar as well as the AIR staff for hurting the sentiments of believers and for attempting to destroy religious harmony. He also said he would upload the recording of the programme on the social media.Denying the charges, station director in-charge M N Rajiv said there were no anti-Hindu contents in the programme.

Breaking traditions: Vrindavan widows celebrate Holi inside ancient Gopinath temple

Vrindavan: In a marked departure from age-old traditions, over a thousand widows played Holi at an ancient Vrindavan temple on Monday.

File image of a widow in Vrindavan. Reuters

File image of a widow in Vrindavan. Reuters

Amid blowing of conch shells and showering of flower petals and dry colour powders, these widows participated in the Holi celebrations at the ancient Gopinath temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.

They were joined by widows from Varanasi. There was palpable excitement as they smeared each other with Holi colours, as this was for the first time they played Holi inside a temple in this town, holy to Hindus.

A number of Sanskrit students and scholars too joined in the Holi revelry with the widows cast away by their families and living in the temple town for several decades.

Bindeshwar Pathak, well-known social reformer and founder of Sulabh International who has waged a steady campaign against ostracised widows in the country, also joined in the celebrations.

The Sulabh International has been taking care of 1,500 widows in Varanasi and Vrindavan in the light of the Supreme Court’s observations in 2012.

“In an effort to bring them into the mainstream of society, Sulabh started organising Holi for them about three years ago at the widows’ ashram. But this time it is special as Holi was organised at a famous temple to give a kind of social acceptance,” Pathak told IANS.

A total of 1,200 kg ‘gulal’ and different coloured powders and 1,500 kg of rose and marigold petals were arranged for the special event.

In many parts of India, widows are traditionally barred from playing Holi or participating in any other festival or auspicious functions.

IANS

The Indian actress who hit back after being Photoshopped into porn

Fed up with seeing the faces of actresses Photoshopped onto other people’s naked bodies, Jyothi Krishna hit back on Facebook.

BJP is making a mockery of parliamentary democracy in Uttarakhand: Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday charged the ruling BJP of “making a mockery” of Parliamentary democracy by “promoting defections” in Uttarakhand. “If the BJP has to do such things (promoting defections), then it should have removed the provisions of the 10th schedule from the Constitution. It is a mockery of Parliamentary democracy,” Kumar said. The 10th schedule of Constitution deals with provisions for disqualification on grounds of defection. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kumar was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a ‘Holi milan’ function organised by the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries. It may be noted that Congress government in Uttarkhand led by Harish Rawat plunged into a crisis two days ago with nine party MLAs turning rebel and opposition BJP staking claim to form the government. Governor Krishna Kant Paul had yesterday asked Rawat to prove his majority on the floor of the state Assembly by March 28.

TV anchor found dead in Secunderabad

A 23-year-old woman TV anchor of a local music channel allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself in a private hostel in Sindhi colony of Secunderabad, police has said.K Nirosha was found hanging in her room by her friends in the early hours of Wednesday, Ramgopalpet police station Sub-Inspector D Krishna Mohan said.No suicide note was found.However, based on preliminary investigation, police said that she was suffering from stomach pain for the past few days and had called up her parents and fiancee late last night before resorting to the extreme step.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nirosha was a native of Somala mandal in Chittoor district of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.A case under section 174 of CrPC was registered and further probe is on.

ONGC plans $5 bln investment to develop eastern gas asset | Reuters

MUMBAI India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation said it will unveil an investment of around £5 billion by the end of March to develop a major gas asset in the east, with a view to tapping higher gas prices.

The asset, which the state-owned company acquired in 2005 under a swap agreement with UK’s Cairn Energy Plc, can produce up to 17 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of natural gas and 75,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020.

The level of output will make it ONGC’s second biggest hydrocarbon asset in India, D.K. Sarraf, chairman and managing director of the country’s biggest explorer, told reporters on Saturday. He indicated that the investment could be more than $5 billion.

The announcement follows a government decision to allow producers demand a higher price for gas extracted from hydrocarbon basins located in the deepwater and ultra deepwater, where costs can be significantly higher.

“With the new gas price announced by the government, our discoveries in the KG (Krishna Godavari) basin are now viable,” Sarraf said, adding that an investment plan would be announced by the end of March or by the first week of April at the latest.

The new investment may boost ONGC’s natural gas output by a quarter and crude oil production by almost 15 percent over the next 4-5 years, a major leap for a company often criticized for failing to arrest a production decline from its ageing fields.

After a decade-long trend of falling production, the company reported a marginal rise in its overall production for the fiscal year ended March 2015. Sarraf said the company expected to maintain the annual production growth.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Clelia Oziel)

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

Shocking: Kanhaiya Kumar was fined by JNU for alleged ‘misbehaviour’ with girl

Amid a raging row at JNU, it has now emerged that its students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charge, was fined by the varsity administration last year for allegedly “misbehaving” with a girl student and “threatening” her.The incident had occurred on June 10, 2015, when the girl student asked Kanhaiya, who at the time was not the students’ union president, to not urinate in the open inside the campus. The girl, who now teaches at Delhi University, alleged that Kanhaiya “misbehaved” with her when she objected and also called her a “psychopath” while threatening her with dire consequences. Following a complaint by her, the JNU administration held a proctorial inquiry that found Kanhaiya guilty.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The university… has found Kanhaiya Kumar guilty of misbehaving with an ex-student (female) and threatening her. “This act is serious in nature and unbecoming of a student of JNU and calls for a strict disciplinary action against him (Kanhaiya)… keeping his career prospects in mind, the Vice Chancellor has taken a lenient view in the matter,” said the office order issued on October 16, 2015 by the then Chief Proctor, Krishna Kumar.”Kanhaiya is fined Rs 3,000 and also warned to be careful and not get involved in any such incidents in future.Otherwise, strict disciplinary action will be taken against him,” the order said. While an unsigned order was shared on social media by the girl, who accused Kanhaiya of being a “false revolutionary making claims about upholding the dignity of women”, the university administration confirmed in a statement that the letter was authentic and action was taken against the student leader.”I am dejected and pained to see how my JNU community has ganged up to create false revolutionary. I want to ask, do you really understand the D for Dignity of a female, Mr Kanhaiya? “Unzipping your private part in public and urinating on road are these your revolutionary tools to uphold a female’s dignity? I am shocked to see how a misogynist like Kanhaiya is being hailed as revolutionary,” she said in an open letter that is circulating online. Kanhaiya faces sedition charges in connection with an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. He was granted interim bail for six months by the Delhi High Court last week after spending 18 days in jail.Meanwhile, All India Students Federation (AISF), the outfit to which Kanhaiya belongs, said in a statement “talk about public urination and threatening are being spread to malign Kanhaiya’s image. He had a verbal argument with the girl following which she had registered a complaint. “We do respect the girl’s right to criticise Kanhaiya but we want to reiterate that he has always stood for gender justice. Also, when the incident took place, he was not the president of the students’ union,” it added.

Chief Proctor resigned before Afzal Guru row: Senior JNU official

Amid speculation that JNU’s Chief Proctor quit from the post over handling of the Afzal Guru row, JNU on Saturday said he had resigned much before the controversy broke out. A section of teachers and students have been claiming that Krishna Kumar, former Chief Proctor, who demitted office on February 29, resigned from the post as the administration was pressurising him about the inquiry of the panel investigating the row over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Krishna Kumar resigned from the post in late January citing personal reasons. The newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor had asked him to continue till the end of February and meanwhile an appointment was finalised to the post,” a senior varsity official told PTI.”His resignation has nothing to do with the present controversy as the event in question took place on February 9, while he had resigned much before than that. The two incidents should not be put together,” he added. AP Dimri from the School of Environmental Sciences assumed office as the Chief Proctor on March 1. Repeated calls and text messages to Kumar for comments on the resignation went unanswered. JNU is caught in a row over an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised. Kumar was also member of the disciplinary committee instituted by the university to probe the February 9 event.A day later, broadening the panel, a three-member committee was appointed. However, under pressure from teachers and students, the university had added two more members to the panel. On the basis of a preliminary report by the panel, the varsity had debarred eight students from academic activity, allowing them to stay as guests in hostels till the inquiry proceedings were over. The students, however, have refused to depose before the inquiry panel demanding that the investigation be started afresh to ensure a fair process. While the JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar was released on bail, two students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, are still in judicial custody.

SIT officer said Parliamentary attack, 26/11 were ‘orchestrated by govt in power’: RVS Mani

RVS Mani, a former Home Ministry official, who had filed two affidavits in Gujarat High Court in the Ishrat Jahan case, had claimed that member of the SIT on the killings had told him that 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and Parliament attack were “orchestrated by the Government in power”.Mani, who filed the affidavits as Under Secretary in the Home Ministry in 2009, had told the then Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna on June 21, 2013 about his deposition before the court-appointed SIT as he was posted in that Ministry at that time.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his statement to Krishna, Mani had said that during the course of recording of the statement in Gandhinagar in Gujarat, the IG of the SIT Satish Chandra Verma had asked him many questions which he was not privy to or which officially were never in his domain during the tenure in the Home Ministry.”He (Verma) started narrating as to how 13.12.2001 attack on Parliament of India and 26.11.2008 attacks are orchestrated by the government in power. He (Verma) stated that both these were the objective of strengthening the counter terrorist legislation. He narrated that December 13, 2001 was followed by POTA and November 26, 2008 was followed by amendment to UAPA wherein even Rs 10 in anybody’s pocket can be treated as proceeds of terrorism. I told him (Verma) that he is entitled to his view but such view is generally held as ISI’s view in the security establishment,” Mani wrote in his note to Krishna.Mani had claimed that Verma “coerced” him to sign some papers “knowing fully well that this would tantamount falsely indicting my seniors at the extant time”.”I declined to sign any statement. They have recorded some contents under the premise the Section 161 of CrPC does not require signature of the witness. In view of the above it is my request that, in future, I shall be willing to record the statements to CBI only in the presence of CVO or his authorised representatives of the Ministry as well as after contents have been duly vetted by the Ministry of Home Affairs,” Mani said.However, Verma denied the allegations against him. He said that most of the officers who are talking in the matter have retired which includes Mani and G K Pillai, former Home Secretary. And as far as allegations levelled by former Special Director of IB Rajinder Kumar are concerned, he is an accused.”So the officers who are talking can afford to state certain things which are not backed by facts. I am in service and I was assisted by the CBI in the investigations. I have been a part of the investigation everywhere, that I say, will be backed up by evidence,” he said.”There was no probe when he (Mani) said it first time and if two and a half years after somebody wants a probe — most welcome,” Verma said.What IPS officer Loknath Behera said todayMeanwhile, an IPS officer, who had earlier worked with the NIA, jumped into the fray and claimed that American-born terrorist David Headley had named Ishrat as LeT operative during his questioning in 2010.Loknath Behera, an IPS officer of Kerala cadre, whose central deputation was unceremoniously cut short, said that he “did not remember exactly what Headley had spoken about Ishrat”. But when he recently heard about his video deposition before the Mumbai court, he could recall “the same things” Headley had told to an NIA team in 2010.Headley, during his deposition before the Mumbai court, did not even remember the name of Ishrat and it was only when public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam prodded him with multiple choice answers that he could reply with deceased name.According to earlier testimony before the NIA, Headley had reportedly claimed that when he was being introduced to Lashker’s top brass, there was a sarcastic remark about Ishrat when he was taken to Muzamil, who was in charge of the Kashmir operations of the terror group.

Millions learned first alphabet of patriotism from Netaji, says Kailash Satyarthi

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Monday said millions of people learned the first alphabet in patriotism from the inspirational life of Subhas Chandra Bose and countrymen still owe a lot to fulfil Netaji’s dream.Satyarthi, who visited Netaji Bhawan, Bose’s ancestral house-turned-museum, in the southern part of the city was shown round the historic building by Netaji Research Bureau Chairperson and Bose’s kin Professor KrishnaBose. After visiting the museum, Satyarthi said, “I am speechless! I have no words to express my feelings! Netaji, we Indians still owe a lot to fulfil your dreams.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Millions have learned the first alphabet of patriotism from your most inspirational life as well as the language of freedom. I humbly continue in freeing children a tribute to you (Netaji).” Later, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient posted a picture of him inside Netaji’s bedroom and tweeted: “Can’t control my emotions here inside this room, where Netaji Bose lived till he escaped.”Netaji Bhawan, from where Bose made the “great escape” during his house arrest by the British in 1941, is currently maintained as a memorial and a research centre on the life of the great leader.

Kerala: One girl dead, two critically injured after tree falls in college campus

On Thursday, a girl student died at the Sree Krishna College in Guruvayoor after a tree fell on her and other students. Two of the students are said to be critically injured and admitted in the ICU of Thrissur Amala Medical College. Malayala Manorama reports that the deceased girl was identified as Anusha, a first-year economics student of the college. The report adds that six students were injured in total, along with several cars which were severely damaged. As soon as the students saw the tree falling, they started to run, but could not escape it.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Calicut University D-zone youth festival was happening when the accident occurred. The youth fest has been put on hold in light of the tragedy.

Bypoll Results: Shiv Sena defeats Congress to retain Palghar Assembly seat

Ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena today retained the Palghar Assembly seat as its candidate Amit Ghoda defeated his nearest Congress rival Rajendra Gavit by a margin of 18,948 votes in the keenly fought by-election.The BJP did not contest the bypoll.Ghoda secured 67,129 votes, while Gavit got 48,181 votes in by-election, necessitated due to the demise of Ghoda’s father and sitting Shiv Sena MLA Krishna A Ghoda on May 24 last year, following a heart attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The other candidates in the fray were former Sena leader Manisha Nimkar, who contested on the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) ticket this time and secured 36,781 votes, Chandrakant Vartha of (CPI-M) who bagged 4,865 votes and Bahujan Mukti Party’s Dileep A Dumada got 1,417 votes.A total 3,162 people chose None of the Above (NOTA) option, while the total number of votes polled was 1,61,535.Out of the total 2.47 lakh electorate, 65.24 per cent had cast their vote during the bypoll held on February 13.The polling percentage in the bye-election came down, as in the 2014 Assembly elections it stood at 68.8 per cent.In the 2014 assembly elections, BJP’s Dr Premchand T Gond had secured 34,149 votes and came third.Krishna Ghoda had won the seat on Shiv Sena ticket in October 2014, defeating Gavit (Congress) by a margin of just 526 votes.Gavit had later challenged the election result in court. However, in the intervening period, Ghoda passed away, which necessitated the by-election.Krishna Ghoda had joined the Sena prior to the Assembly elections in 2014.Before that, he was twice MLA from Congress and once represented the NCP. He had lost the 2009 Assembly election.

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