Nobody prevented Salman Rushdie from coming to India: Govt

New Delhi, January 31: The Centre on Tuesday said “nobody” in the government prevented controversial author Salman Rushdie from attending the Jaipur Literature Festival and it was the organisers who cancelled his programme.

“No one prevented Rushdie from coming to India. He is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). He does not require a visa,” Home Minister P Chidambaram told a press conference.

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State seems to be in Emergency period: Jagan

Hyderabad, January 31: YSR Congress party president YS.Jagan Mohan Reddy keeping in view of the interrogations and arrests being made by CBI these days told the media that the situation in the state reminds the emergency period.

Any one can be arrested any time for any reason. There is no assurance that one can live peacefully in the state. The critical situation that I am facing all these days could be anyone’s situation.

People of the state feel insecure. That’s why, my mother Vijayamma wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh describing the situation of the state.”

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Telangana issue delayed due to elections: Keshav Rao

Hyderabad, January 31: Telangana Congress Steering Committee Chairman K Keshav Rao has said that the Telangana statehood issue was delayed because of the elections in five states.

Talking to mediapersons after the Steering Committee meeting at MP Komatireddy Rajagopal’s residence here yesterday, he said that the demand for Telangana statehood was not weakened.

Once the elections are over, the MPs will focus the issue before the Congress high command and mount pressure on the Centre to introduce a Bill on Telangana in the Budget Session of Parliament, he said.

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Fierce battle for Muslim votes in UP Assembly polls

Lucknow, Jan 31 (UNI) A fierce battle for Muslim votes is underway in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as all major parties, barring the BJP, are trying to come out with the best strategy to win over minority voters who have the power to influence results in over 130 seats.

Muslims constitute 18 per cent of the state’s population
and can tilt the balance in around 130 out of 403 Assembly seats. The desperation to win Muslim votes can be gauged from the way parties are digging up old issues like the Batla House encounter and Salman Rushdie controversy.

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Emirati walker reaches Makkah after 47 days

Dubai, January 31: He has finally reached his destination, 47 days after he began the most ambitious journey of his life on foot, walking from Ruwais in Abu Dhabi to Makkah.

Emirati walker Jalal Bin Thaneya, who undertook the walk to raise funds for the Dubai Centre for Special Needs, tweeted this minutes after arriving at the Al Masjid Al Haram in Makkah late on Monday night: “Al Hamdulillah I have reached the sacred Masjid Al Haram on foot from the UAE… I have ended the mission, I will perform Umrah now. Subhanallah, no road is too far .”

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I was denied legal help, Kasab tells apex court

New Delhi, January 31: The 2008 Mumbai terror attack convict and Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab Tuesday told the Supreme Court that he was denied fair trial as he was not provided legal assistance during the initial stages as mandated under the Indian constitution.

Once an accused, including a foreigner, is tried for an offence in India the provisions related to arrest as mentioned in the constitution get applied in his case.

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Andhra Home secretary Acharya admitted to hospital

Hyderabad, January 31: Andhra Pradesh home secretary BP Acharya, who was arrested by CBI for allege irregularity in land transfer and sale of villas and apartments, was on Tuesday admitted to hospital after he complained unease in the chest. The 1983-batch IAS officer, held in connection with Emaar-APIIC case relating to alleged irregularities in construction of an upscale township project, is in CBI custody at present.

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TRS on shaky ground ahead of bypolls

Hyderabad, January 31: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) appears to be on a shaky ground in the run-up to the impending by-elections to six assembly seats in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.

Contrary to expectations that it would ride high on the so-called ‘Telangana sentiment’ in the by-polls, the TRS may have lost a lot of ground in the last few months after the statehood movement remained paralysed, observers say.

Adding to its woes is the strong antagonism being faced by at least two of its probable candidates in their respective segments where by-elections are due.

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Cold wave kills 30 in Ukraine

Ukraine, January 31: According to the country’s emergencies ministry, most of the victims were homeless and froze to death on the streets, while four of the victims died in their homes.

This is while another 500 people have been transferred to hospitals to receive treatment for frostbite and other cold-related ailments.

Authorities have opened more than 1,500 shelters across the country, offering food and heat to the homeless.

Another 150 shelters are to be established, as temperatures continue to drop.

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Asian stripped, tortured and filmed… gang jailed

Dubai, January 31: In an act of revenge, 12 Asian men locked up a compatriot, stripped him naked, tortured him and filmed the actions before dumping him on the street.

According to records, the 25-year-old victim was fooled into meeting the group in one of their homes. The moment he entered, they locked the door and began assaulting him. They allegedly hit him with a big stick and bottle. They burnt his hair, shaved his beard and forced him to drink sewage water. They also stripped him and burnt him with cigarette butts and filmed the acts, before dumping him in a residential area.

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Female Emirati Dubai Metro driver raises curiosity

Dubai, January 31: A new video on Youtube and news reports in the Western media have raised curiosity about a female driver operating Dubai Metro – which is believed to run driverless trains.

The 28-year-old Mariam Al Safar, a native Emirati, is reportedly regular at the controls on the emirate’s metro system. The video also shows her at the controls of the train.

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Two Afghan soldiers killed, 6 injured

Kabul, January 31: The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the blast happened against a military convoy in Bakwa district of Farah province.

Elsewhere in Kandahar and Ghazni provinces, at least three more Afghan soldiers were wounded in attacks on Tuesday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incidents, but the Taliban militants usually carry out the roadside bomb explosions.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism and toppling the Taliban regime.

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One held for cheating fake currency buyers

Hyderabad, January 31: The Central Zone team of Commissioner’s Task Force arrested one person on the charges of cheating innocent persons in the name of exchange of original currency with fake currency in the ratio of 1:3.

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26/11: Kasab didn’t get fair trial, SC told

New Delhi, January 31: The Supreme Court was on Tuesday told that Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, who was sentenced to death for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, did not get a fair trial.

As the apex court today began hearing an appeal by Kasab against his death sentence, his court-appointed lawyer and amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran told the SC that the Pakistani has not been given fair trial in the 26/11 attack case.

After Ramachandran’s opening statement, the SC adjourned the hearing till another date to be announced later, reports said.

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Apex court verdict vindicates PM, says PMO

New Delhi, January 31: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Tuesday said the Supreme Court verdict on time-specific sanction for prosecuting alleged corrupt public servants has “completely vindicated” the prime minister.

“We welcome the fact that both the learned judges have completely vindicated the PM while appreciating the onerous duties of his office,” said a statement from the PMO.

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Hrithik: Shahrukh’s wife Gauri is hot

Mumbai, January 31: The handsome hunk of Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan, finds superstar, Shah Rukh Khan’s wife hot. Hrithik Roshan uploaded a picture on micro blogging wed site Twitter of him embracing Gauri Khan from back and he went on and on praising Mrs Khan.

We all know Hrithik and Shah Rukh are very good friends but he also shares a very good rapport with Gauri. The two families often party together and hang out for some fun.

Recently they all came down to Dubai to spend for their year-end winter vacation together.

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Geelani opposes fatwa to expel Christian priests

Srinagar, January 31: Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani Tuesday locked horns with the local Sharia board over a fatwa seeking expulsion of four Christian priests from the Kashmir Valley.

Geelani, a Hurriyat leader, said in a statement from New Delhi: “Muslims should protect their religion themselves. Expelling somebody from Kashmir is no solution.

“Kashmiris cannot ignore the contributions of Christian missionary schools towards the educational system in the Valley.

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JC finds fault with Vijayamma letter to PM on Jagan probe

Hyderabad, January 31: Former minister and senior Congress leader J C Diwakar Reddy on Tuesday found fault with the letter written by Pulivendula MLA Y S Vijayamma to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh appealing him to direct CBI to conduct impartial probe into mining and Emaar cases.

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I’ll destroy you, SRK said to Shirish Kunder

Mumbai, January 31: He may be shooting thousands of miles away in Cuba but the aura of Salman Khan was presiding over the most interesting maar-dhaad in recent memory.

On Monday morning, at a suburban night club where Sanjay Dutt had thrown a party to celebrate the success of his new film, Shah Rukh Khan bashed up an inebriated Shirish Kunder for misbehaving with him. And for good measure, Sanjay Dutt too slapped the director who was as high as a kite, and clearly overestimated his physical prowess.

So where does Sallu come into the picture?

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Leaked Radia tapes doctored, government tells SC

New Delhi, January 31: The central government Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the versions published in the media of the controversial conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia did not match the original tapes.

The court was told this in a report given in a sealed cover in the course of the hearing of a petition by industrialist Ratan Tata, who contended that though his phone was not tapped his privacy was violated because his conversations with Radia were recorded.

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IAS officer’s wife held for slapping cop

Banglore, Janaury 31: Cubbon Park police on Monday night arrested Anuja Kumar Pandey and produced her before VIII ACMM judge Kiran Kini, who granted her interim bail. Anuja, wife of IAS officer and Hescom MD Pankaj Kumar Pandey, had on Sunday night assaulted a woman police officer on duty.

Earlier in the evening, a special police team traced Anuja to a relative’s house in Koramangala VII Block and arrested her. “She was preparing to get anticipatory bail. But she’s only been given interim bail,” a senior police officer said.

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Man tries to rape Briton near Dubai police academy

Dubai, January 31: A big Afghan man stalking a British woman doing night exercise in the open air waited for her to reach a deserted area behind a police academy, grabbed her, covered her mouth with his hand and tried to rape her.

The woman, a visitor to Dubai, struggled hard but found that the man was too strong. She tried to scream but could not and the man begged to stop struggling. Realising her attempts were futile, she decided to trick him.

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Saudi chaos converted American into Islam

Riyadh, January 31: When an American man who converted to Islam in Saudi Arabia was asked what made him take that decision, he came up with one of the strangest reasons in this respect – chaos on the country’s roads.

The unidentified American said he has been working in the capital Riyadh for a long time and that is still astonished at the daily disorder and anarchy on the streets by both drivers and pedestrians.

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