Pakistani PM Gilani says he, not Zardari, is running government

Islamabad, November 30: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Monday said he, and not President Asif Ali Zadari, is running the country.

Zadari is under growing pressure to relinquish his sweeping powers that the premier is envisaged to have in the country’s original constitution.

‘I should tell you that I am the chief executive and the chief executive is the head of the government,’ Gilani said in an interview with DPA.

Sensex rebounds by 294 pts on robust eco growth

Mumbai, November 30: Robust economic growth for the second quarter, coupled with an Asian rally, pushed the Sensex up by over 290 points to drive past the psychological 17,000 mark today after shrugging off the Dubai worries.

Markets surged in early trade in tune with Asian rally, which was attributed to the easing of Dubai concerns. The sentiment got a further boost after the news trickled in that the economy grew by 7.9 per cent in Q2 and the Sensex greeted it with a rally over 300 points on all-round buying support.

J P Dange named Maharashtra Chief Secretary

Mumbai, November 30: Senior IAS officer J P Dange was today named Maharashtra’s new Chief Secretary.

Dange took over the charge from Johny Joseph, whose extended tenure ended today.

Dange’s appointment came in the backdrop of reports that pressure was mounting on the State Government from Dalit leaders not to ignore the 1973-batch officer for the top post.

The other name in the reckoning was that of Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar, who belongs to the same batch.

500 Blueline buses fail to get CNG safe certificate

New Delhi, November 30: A total of 1,900 commercial vehicles, including 500 Blueline buses, in the capital have failed to get certificates stating their compressed natural gas (CNG) engines are safe.

Stating this, Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said that a special drive would be started against all commercial vehicles to check their documents.

Nearly a dozen mobile teams from the transport department’s enforcement wing would be deputed during the drive.

BSF seizes 117.3 kg heroin in the current year

Jalandhar, November 30: The BSF seized 117.3 kg of heroin and apprehended 35 Pakistani nationals from the frontier areas of Punjab during the current year, a senior officer of the border guarding force said here today.

Coming up with this information on the 44th raising day of the force, its Inspector General Himmat Singh said arrest of 56 Indian nationals and killing of three Pakistanis and one Bangladeshi national besides seizure of fake currency with a face value of Rs 64 lakh from the border were the other achievements of the force during the year.

Government avoiding discussion on China, says BJP

New Delhi, November 30: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday accused the central government of avoiding a discussion on contentious issues relating to China.

Party leader S. S. Ahluwalia said the BJP wanted to raise the issue of China’s plans to construct a dam across the Brahmaputra river in Tibet, its investment in power projects in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and its objections to work on a link road in Demchok area of Ladakh.

“The government is not prepared to talk about China. We can only exert pressure for a discussion,” he said.

Muslim woman seeks justice for murdered Hindu husband

Jammu, November 30: A Muslim woman who married a Hindu man is seeking justice after her husband died in police custody, allegedly killed at the behest of her parents who were opposed to their wedding.

An anguished Anchal Sharma, nee Ameena, addressed a press conference here Monday demanding to know if it was a crime to marry into another religion.

She said she was posing this question to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Anchal Sharma said she wanted justice — for herself and her allegedly murdered husband Rajneesh.

ED to soon move court for Koda’s custody

New Delhi, November 30: The Enforcement Directorate will soon move a court in Jharkhand for obtaining custody of former chief minister Madhu Koda, who was today arrested by the vigilance commission of that state and was sent to 14 days judicial custody.

Official sources said the Directorate, which had repeatedly sent summons to 38-year-old Koda to appear before it in connection with the money laundering case against him, will bring him to the national capital once they get the custody.

ASP shot at, seriously wounded

Gorakhpur(UP), November 30: An Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASI) was shot at and critically wounded by an unidentified person at his official residence here this evening.

Dharmendra Kumar Singh was sipping tea at his home in Cantt Police Station area when the attacker fired at him, DIG Anand Swaroop said.

The ASP was immediately rushed to a private hospital where his condition was described as critical.

The motive behind the firing was yet to be ascertained, he said


Decentralisation paid dividends to Nagaland: Rio

Dimapur, November 30: Acknowledging contributions of two former chief secretaries in channelising social capital of the Nagas into modern development paradigm, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said the democratic decentralisation programme in the state succeeded due to active participation of the community.

Madhuri Dixit to play Indira Gandhi in biopic

London, November 30: Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit will play the role of Indira Gandhi in a two-part biopic directed by Indian-origin filmmaker Krishna Shah which may also feature Hollywood actors Tom Hanks and Tommy Lee Jones.

According to Shah, Madhuri Dixit has been picked to play the lead role in one of the films titled ‘Mother: The Indira Gandhi Story’.

Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren is in talks to reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II while Hanks and Jones are being lined up to play Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Turning track for Rajasthan-Vidarbha Ranji match

Jaipur, November 30: It will be a do or die for Rajasthan and visitors Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group ‘A’ match which begins on Wednesday on a turning track at the K L Saini stadium in Mansarovar.

Both the teams are placed in a situation from where an outright win could propel them to qualify for the next stage from the group.

Rajasthan are third in a seven-team with six points while Vidarbha are fourth with five points from as many matches.

Tripura, with nine points, are at the top while Goa are second with seven points.

Tahawwur Rana denies involvement in 26/11 attacks: Lawyer

Chicago, November 30:Terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, under investigation for possible links to 26/11, has categorically denied any involvement in the Mumbai attacks, his lawyer said today.

Rana’s lawyer Patrick Blegen asserted that the Pakistani-Canadian ”harbours no ill-will” against Indians.

The statement was the first response from Rana’s side after suspicions arose that he and US citizen David Coleman Headley, arrested by the FBI for plotting attacks in India at the behest of Lashkar-e-Taiba, could have links to the Mumbai terror strikes.

Mobile cos in MP dispute payment of entertainment tax

Indore, November 30: Mobile phone companies here have disputed the imposition of entertainment tax on them by the state government, prompting Madhya Pradesh State Excise Department to send notices to the defaulters on the issue.

“During the recent drive against those not paying entertainment tax, the department issued notices to four mobile companies asking them to provide details of customers to whom they were providing different entertainment-related services,” Assistant Excise Commissioner Vinod Raghuwanshi told PTI here today.

Delhi HC acquits murder accused

New Delhi, November 30: The Delhi High Court has let off a man, accused of killing a young girl in the Delhi Zoo as he was jealous of her friendship with another man in 2004, after the prosecution failed to prove the chain of circumstance against him in the murder case.

A Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Ajit Bharihoke upheld the trial court findings while acquitted Nikhil and dismissed an appeal filed by the victim’s father.

The Bench also dismissed another appeal filed by the state against him for allegedly killing the girl.

Wadekar for regular matches in Brabourne Stadium

Mumbai, November 30: Having played several first-class matches in the Brabourne Stadium, former India captain Ajit Wadekar today urged the BCCI to make regular use of the iconic cricket venue to stage international matches.

“This is one venue which is closest to Lord’s in London.

The atmosphere here resembles Lord’s. All visiting players from Australia, England and South Africa enjoy playing here (whenever a match is scheduled). The atmosphere here is great,” said Wadekar, the last man to lead India in a Test match at the ground.

Energy independence should be ultimate goal: Kakodkar

Mumbai, November 30: The outgoing chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar today said India should have a long-term goal to achieve energy independence.

“To achieve energy independence is not going to be easy and what I meant by energy independence is the day India stop importing energy,” Kakodkar said, addressing his staff at Department of Atomic Energy Headquarters on his farewell.

“We all should look for such a day and that should be the ultimate aim,” Kakodkar, a proponent of self-reliance with import option as only ‘additionality’ said.

Amarinder vows to punish cops if voted to power

Jalandhar November 30: Accusing the State Government of indulging in the politics of vendetta, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today said it had registered false cases against Congress workers and vowed to take to task police officials committing such excesses if voted to power.

Amarinder, who was here to meet Congress workers, who had allegedly fallen victims to “police atrocities”, revealed that if voted to power, the party would constitute a high-powered commission to review the cases against Congress workers.

TRS Chief’s Fast-unto death broken, angers followers

Khammam (AP), November 30: The fast-unto-death undertaken by TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao for creation of a separate Telangana state was broken today as he was administered saline at a government hospital here, police said.

A team of doctors, sent by Andhra Pradesh government from Hyderabad, examined Rao after which he was taken to the hospital.

Rao was administered saline and he also had fruit juice, Khammam ASP Parimala Nutan said, adding that the TRS president has also reportedly said that he has ended his fast.

There is no cause for concern about his health, he said.

Kasab’s counsel axed, trial not to be hit

Mumbai, November 30: In a dramatic turn of events, a special trial court today sacked Abbas Kazmi, the lawyer of Ajmal Kasab, the lone captured terrorist in Mumbai attack, for “non-cooperation” and appointed a new advocate, a move the prosecution feels would not delay the trial.

Special judge M L Tahalyani ordered Kazmi’s dismissal after he refused to consider the court’s suggestion to choose the witnesses he would want to cross-examine from a list of 71.

K P Pawar was appointed Kasab’s new lawyer in place of Kazmi.

Dotcom marriages heading for splitsville

Hyderabad,November 30:Alliances made over dotcoms are crashing in the dusty corridors of family courts of Hyderabad. Lawyers working in family courts say 40 to 50 per per cent cases logging on to the city courts seeking separation in the recent past are of those who met on the net.

In most cases, the snag in these marriages is a pre-existing one, rooted in the profiles uploaded by boys and girls that are laced with lies about their wealth and education. In most cases, say family court lawyers, it is the lies about wealth that have ended alliances.

violence marks telangana bandh: KCR continues fast

Hyderabad, November 30:Normal life remained crippled and the entire public transport system came to a grinding halt in various parts of Telangana on Monday as the region observed a total bandh which was marred by violent incidents and sporadic arson.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi has given the call for Telangana Bandh in protest against the arrest of party supremo, Mr K. Chandrasekhara Rao, on Sunday while he was proceeding to Siddipet to begin his indefinite hunger strike.

Table HIV-AIDS bill in this session only, demand victims, experts

New Delhi, November 30:Three years after a bill to protect the rights of people living with HIV-AIDS was drafted and cleared by the health ministry, it is yet to be introduced in parliament. A group of experts and victims Monday demanded that the bill be presented in the current winter session.

Do not expect much from Copenhagen conference: Shyam Saran

New Delhi, November 30:India should not expect much from the Copenhagen conference on climate change as it is more about the defence of national economic interests, the prime minister’s special envoy on climate change Shyam Saran said here Monday.

“We are a few days away from the much awaited Copenhagen conference on climate change. The purpose of the conference is to produce a set of binding agreements between nations to limit the global rise in temperature,” Saran said.

IAF Sukhoi crashes in Rajasthan, pilots safe

New Delhi, November 30:In the second accident involving the frontline Sukhoi-30MKI of the Indian Air Force (IAF) this year, one of the Russian-origin combat jets crashed Monday near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, but both the pilots ejected in time, an official said.

The aircraft, which took off from Bareilly airbase, was participating in a fire power demonstration.

“The aircraft crashed during an ongoing exercise. Both the pilot and the co-pilot are safe,” an IAF official told IANS, requesting anonymity.

The official refused to divulge more information.