Protests continue in Shopian

Srinagar, June 10: Normal life remained paralysed in Shopian district of south Kashmir for the 11th day today in protest against the alleged rape and murder of two women of the town, but there were no incidents of violence reported.

All shops and business establishments, banks, government offices, educational institutions remained closed and all modes of transport remained off the road in Shopian, 52 kms from here, official sources said here.

Ten-year girl identifies Kasab

Mumbai, June 10:A ten-year-old girl, rendered disabled during 26/11 terror strikes, today identified in court arrested gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab as one of the two gunmen who had fired indiscriminately at passengers inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Devika Rotawan, the youngest eyewitness to depose in the terror strikes trial, was asked by the court if she could identify the gunman among the three accused present in the dock.

All three accused, including Kasab stood in the dock, and the ten-year-old pointed at the Pakistani gunman. He, however, did not react.

Husband ek, humera do

Mumbai, June 10: Thane resident Meghana Shah finds that her husband of two years, has another wife. Says he insisted on calling her Humera, which incidentally is also the first wife’s name

If you want to know what’s in a name, ask a conman. A man married two women and named them both ‘Humera’ to make life easier for him. And the trick worked for two years, till his luck finally ran out on Sunday, when both women met each other and found out the truth.

Sheetal gets bail, walks out of jail

Mumbai, June 10: After a night in the Byculla Women’s Prison, socialite and businesswoman Sheetal Mafatlal went home to her plush Altamount Road home on Tuesday. Additional metropolitan magistrate M J Mirza took over an hour to dictate the order before pronouncing her release on a bail of Rs 5 lakh.

SIT chief in Ahmedabad to assess probe on Modi’s role in Gujarat riots

Ahmedabad, June 09: Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) chief R K Raghavan is in town to assess the progress made in the probe on the
role of chief minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in post-Godhra riots, officials sources said on Tuesday.

The SC had last month ordered SIT to probe within three months a complaint that Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted post-Godhra riots of 2002.

IAF plane with 12 people goes missing

Shillong, June 09: A transport plane of Indian Air Force carrying six IAF personnel went missing on Tuesday over the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh and is feared to have crashed, an IAF spokesman said here.

The AN-32 plane had flown from Dibrugarh in Assam to Mechuka in Arunachal from where it took off again with the civilians for Jorhat at around 2 pm, after which the aircraft went missing, said IAF spokesman Wing Commander P Sahu.

He said the plane was feared to have crashed. The six civilians were being ferried as part of the IAF plane’s regular sortie.

Indian pilgrims accuse Israel of religious profiling

Panaji, June 09: A group of Goans who went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem Tuesday accused the Israeli authorities of religious profiling even as the state government sought a full fledged probe into a visa racket run by travel agents based in Goa and Israel.

Edmund Antao, co-ordinator of Crusaders for Jesus with Mary – a Christian faith building group that led a batch of 97 pilgrims to Israel’s holy destinations last month, told reporters here that Israeli officials denied visas to 14 members of the entourage on account of religious profiling.

Jammu & Kashmir: 15 wounded in firing, teargassing

Srinagar, June 09: At least 15 persons were injured, five of them seriously, in firing and tear smoke shelling by the police and paramilitary troopers in the south Kashmir district of Shopian Monday.

In Sofan Naman, CRPF troopers opened fire on a peaceful procession injuring four persons, one of them critically. One more protestor was injured critically at Rang Kadal when a tear gas shell hit him on his head.

Bus plunges into river in Kashmir, 21 killed

Srinagar, June 08: A bus veered off a mountain road in Kashmir and fell into a river, killing at least 21 people, police said on Monday.

The driver lost control of the vehicle on Sunday while negotiating a bend and the bus rolled into the Chenab river about 170 km away from Jammu, police and witnesses said.

“Nobody has been traced from the river till this morning,” a police spokesman said.

In another accident on Sunday, three people were killed when a minibus plunged into a river in Doda district.

—Agencies

DMK, AIADMK clash in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi, June 08: Tamil Nadu politics on Monday took the centrestage in the Rajya Sabha where members from DMK clashed with those from AIADMK over insinuations against certain Central ministers from the state.

The House witnessed uproar when V Maitreyan (AIADMK) said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was initially opposed to the induction of two members from the state in his government because they were “tainted”.

Goolam Vahanvati appointed Attorney General

New Delhi, June 08: The new UPA government on Monday appointed senior advocate Goolam E Vahanvati as the new Attorney General of India.

Vahanvati, who hails from Maharashtra, was the Solicitor General during the previous tenure of UPA.

Vahanvati’s elevation was on expected lines as he was widely tipped to be the frontrunner for the post.

The others in the race for the post of Attorney-General were senior advocate P P Rao, former Attorney General K Parasaran, and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.
–Agencies

No more Deemed Universities, for now

New Delhi, June 08: The UPA government, now in its second term, has begun the process of revamping the country’s education system. In the first step taken on Monday, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal announced that the government has decided it would not accept any further applications for ‘Deemed-to-be-University’ status.

The decision comes a day after Sibal spoke of revamping the education system by putting in place a process to bring in transparency and accountability in institutions and curb unethical practices, including capitation fees.

Quota for Muslims is a double-edged sword: Khurshid

New Delhi, June 08: In contrast to predecessor A R Antulay who maintained a studied silence on the the issue of reservation, newly-appointed Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has called quota for Muslims a “double-edged sword” which could create “envy, hostility and resistance”.

He has instead advocated affirmative action as a tool to “inject an ability to compete” rather than make them “constant beneficiaries of additional help”.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Khurshid said it was time to explore “angles” other than reservation.

Govt. orders probe into beating of 06’ Malegaon blast accused’s kin

Mumbai, June 08: Taking apparently tough notice to the case of Malegaon 06’ blast accused Abrar Ahmed’s nephew Aftab Ahmad who was beaten by allegedly some plain-clothed officials of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad outside Byculla Central Jail, state Home Minister Arif Naseem Khan has ordered ATS to probe into the incident.

According to media reports, the Home Minister called acting ATS chief Pramvir Singh at his office and ordered him to conduct a probe into the matter. Khan has promised that tough action will be taken against the culprits.

Gujarat riots forced allies to desert BJP

New Delhi, June 08 : The Bharatiya Janata Party lost the Lok Sabha elections due to absence of key allies who deserted the National Democratic Alliance feeling that the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat could cost them Muslim votes and the party did nothing about it, says a key BJP strategist.

In an article in the latest issue of the Tehelka newsmagazine, Sudheendra Kulkarni, a close aide to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, writes: “In the aftermath of the 2004 defeat, many of our allies left the NDA.

Shiv Sena praises CBI for cracking Nimbalkar case

Mumbai, June 07: Shiv Sena on Sunday showered praise on the CBI for cracking the murder case of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar, and accused the state police of working under pressure from ruling Congress-NCP government.

“The Nimbalkar case was earlier probed by the state police. But it was unable make any headway in the case. Later, the case was transferred to CBI which has done a good job and results are here,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.

Indian Students Rally in Sydney Against Racial Attacks

New Delhi, June 07: Angry over the spate of racial assaults in Australia, hundreds of Indian students on Sunday took out a massive rally in Sydney to protest against the attacks targeting the community.

The rally was organised by the Federation of Indian Students Association, Sydney Chapter, along with the National Union of Students.

Pak used US aid to fight India

New Delhi, June 07: The Pentagon has confirmed one of South Asia’s worst kept secrets – that Pakistan has used billions of dollars of US aid to buy a mind-boggling array of conventional American weaponary to use against India.

Star-studded Haji Ali promenade revamp soon

Mumbai, June 06: After nearly a year-and-a-half of delays, the work on revamping the Haji Ali promenade with structures in the shapes of the zodiac signs will finally begin.

The BMC and state government are ready to invite architects and designers from across the world to recreate the Haji Ali promenade.

“We will soon call for global tenders for this project,” confirmed M K Srivastava, Secretary (special projects) who is one of the men behind the revamp.

As per this Rs 25 crore plan, the BMC will extend the existing promenade with semi-circular curves at 12 places.

I will ruin Chand’s life, says angry Fiza

Mohali, June 06: Fiza, the estranged wife of former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan alias Chand Mohammed, declared here Friday that she would “ruin” Chand’s life.

“I am not going to spare him in any condition and I would prove to be the black chapter of his life. It is just the start of terrible days ahead for Chand and I would certainly ruin his life,” an angry Fiza told reporters at her house here Friday.

No T-20 match on TV at hotels

Mumbai, June 06: Those planning to cheer their favourite teams while dining with friends in city restaurants and hotels may have to change their agenda and stay home to watch T-20 World Cup matches.

Reason: A spat between Novex, which owns screening rights, and Ahar, an association of Indian hotels and restaurants, which has appealed to more than 6,000 of its members in the city to switch off their TV sets till the T-20 World Cup is over.

The tournament, which started in England on Friday will end on June 21.

Lost in Delhi, adopted in US, girl hunts for her family

New Delhi, June 06: Like Latika in Slumdog Millionaire, 17-year-old Janaki Hedstrom escaped a life of poverty through circumstances she had no control over. HOPE FLOATS: 17-yr-old Janaki’s sister used to work as a maid for a family in Delhi.

When she saw the film, this Std X student in a Florida school cried for her mother back in India but hid her emotions from her American mother. Now, she desperately wants to see her original family again.

Secret Swiss patron donates Rs 2cr to TNadu temple

Chennai, June 06: She’s the Rameswaram temple’s biggest — and most mysterious — benefactor. Over the last three years, Swiss national Elizabeth Ziegler has been donating about Rs 4 lakh every year to the Ramanathaswamy temple, and most recently sent Rs 2.08 crore, but none of the temple officials has ever seen her.

Is Qasab more important than Sadhvi?

Treating Qasab and the sadhvi at JJ Hospital together will overburden security forces, say police..

The lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 terror attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Qasab, has been receiving preferential treatment, quite literally. Qasab, who is suffering from an eye infection, will soon be rushed to J J Hospital, but at the cost of the Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. The police seem to have taken Qasab’s infection more seriously than the sadhvi’s spondylosis.

PC confirms link between nabbed LeT man Madni, Saeed

New Delhi, June 05: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday confirmed that Omar Madni, the LeT commander nabbed from Delhi, is indeed a close associate of 26/11 mastermind JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.

“Man who has been arrested does has links with Hafiz Saeed,” said Chidambaram, adding – with regards to reports that a terror attack in imminent in the South – that there’s no need for alarm.