Volvo bus tragedy: Driver, travel company owner arrested

A day after the tragic mishap in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, in which 45 passengers of a Volvo bus were burnt alive after it caught fire, police on Thursday arrested the owner of the bus operator company and its driver.

Owner of Jabbar Travels, Shakeel Jabbar and driver Feroze were arrested from Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district, Wanaparthy DSP Srinivas Reddy told over phone.

The owner and the driver were booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Motor Vehicles Act, he said.

Congress demands action against RSS

The Congress Thursday said the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was against the freedom of press.

Congress party’s media department chief Ajay Maken has written a letter to Home Minister Shushikumar Shinde, demanding action on a First Information Report (FIR) filed by a senior journalist of The Hindu who wrote against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Referring to the article, Maken said it was based on facts and that the RSS was reneging on its promise given to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.


India-Pakistan theatre festival to be revived next year

The Punj Pani Theatre Festival, the only event that brings together theatre performers from Pakistani and Indian sides of Punjab, is being revived after a gap of five years.

The festival, launched by the All Punjab Performing Artists Network (APPAN) and Ajoka in 2004, will be held early
next year.

The idea of establishing the network for performing artists from the two sides of Punjab emerged during Ajoka’s
tour of India’s Punjab state in November 2003.

Domestic air traffic grew over 16 per cent in Sept: IATA

India’s domestic air traffic grew over 16 per cent last month as airlines of the Asia-Pacific market recorded the “strongest performance” in international travel compared to September last year, global airlines’ body IATA said today.

India’s domestic traffic rose 16.4 per cent in September following the strong August growth 18.5, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its latest analysis of air traffic trends worldwide.

The improvement over recent months is inconsistent with continued weakness in the economy and could be reflecting fare

Coal India union seeks meeting to discuss demands

Ahead of a proposed strike by Coal India workers against a stake sale by the government, one of the five trade unions today said it has written to Chairman S Narsing Rao seeking a meeting to discuss demands.

Meeting at CIL (Coal India) level is needed to discuss the remaining demands,” Indian National Mineworkers’
Federation (INMF) Secretary General S Q Zama said in a letter to Rao, without elaborating.

The letter also said that for “policy related demands,” a meeting at the level of the Coal Secretary is “imperative and overdue.”

Pakistan concerned at presence of TTP leaders on Afghan soil

Pakistan today expressed “deep concern” over the presence of Pakistani Taliban leaders in Afghanistan in the wake of media reports that Afghan intelligence was trying to cultivate an alliance with the banned group.

We have deep concerns about the presence of (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander) Latif Mehsud on Afghan
soil,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry told a weekly news briefing.

The New York Times reported that US Special Forces in Afghanistan had recently raided a convoy that was ushering TTP
deputy chief Latif Mehsud to Kabul for secret talks.

Johnson heads back home to prepare for Ashes tour

Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson is returning home to prepare for the upcoming Ashes series and will miss the seventh and deciding one-dayer of the ongoing series against India in Bangalore on Saturday.

Johnson will play in two Sheffield Shield fixtures and another match before Cricket Australia (CA) announces its
squad for the Ashes series against England on November 12.

Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard said that Johnson would return home to prepare for
the longer format of the game.

March conducted to create awareness

In an effort to create awareness about breast cancer, a march was conducted here today.

Care Can Cure’, a non profit initiative functioning from Cochin Medical College, organised ‘THE PINKATHELON’ – a
programme to promote breast cancer awareness among the public, a press release here said.

This included a road march and a public meeting attended by various dignitaries, doctors and students
of CMC Kochi and members of the general public.

The march was held from Marine Drive to Durbar Hall ground, in which around 200 students and doctors from CMC Kochi,

VHP sees Modi as a leader in Patel’s mould

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today came out in full support of BJP’s decision of declaring Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as it’s prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Making his outfit’s stand clear, VHP çhief patron Ashok Singhal described Modi as “a great leader” who stood for
uniting the nation as Sardar Patel did after the Independence.

Modi is a great leader… He unites the entire country irrespective of caste, religion and linguistic divide.

EC serves notice on Rahul Gandhi on BJP complaint

The Election Commission Thursday served notice on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stating that his election speeches in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last week were prima facie “violative” of model code of conduct and asked him to reply by Nov 4. The notice was issued on the BJP’s complaints to the commission.

In a release, Election Commission said it had it had viewed CDs of Gandhi’s speeches at Churu in Rajasthan Oct 23 and Indore in Madhya Pradesh Oct 24 and had detailed delibrations on the issue.

First batch of pilgrims return from Haj

The first batch of Haj pilgrims consisting of 299 pilgrims and a child returned back to Hyderabad after performing the Haj.

The Hajis were given a warm reception at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad on Thursday evening by the Andhra Pradesh State Haj Committee, relatives and friends.

T Cong leaders scared of Vijayamma tour: YSRCP

YSR Congress Party on Thursday objected to the disruption of its honourary president YS Vijayamma’s tour in the flood-hit areas of the Khammam district by the T activists. “The T-JAC and T-Congress leaders have resorted to this denigrating act as they are scared that the Samaikya Andhra sentiment may get strengthened and the T movement may lose its momentum,” party senior leader and political affairs committee member Bajireddy Govardhan told media persons here.

SC concerned over fresh violence in Muzaffarnagar

The Supreme Court today expressed concern over eruption of fresh violence in Muzaffarnagar claiming four lives, saying it will send an independent fact finding team to assess the situation if it is not satisfied with Uttar Pradesh government’s response.
“If needed, we may send an independent team for fact finding,” a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said, directing the Akhilesh Yadav government to apprise it on the next hearing on November 21 of the prevailing situation in riot-hit areas.

8-year-old girl raped in Gr Noida

An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour when she was alone in her house in Gamma Sector, police said today.

The accused was arrested in connection with the incident last night when the victim gathered courage and informed her parents, who took her to police station to lodge a complaint.

The victim was later sent for medical examination.


Last AP Formation Day celebrations on Friday?

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will take the salute of the ceremonial parade on the occasion of Andhra Pradesh Formation Day on Friday.

With the Centre taking a decision in favour of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and formation of new State of Telangana, Friday’s celebrations may go into the history as the last celebrations and Kiran Kumar Reddy will be the last Chief Minister to participate in the ceremonial parade, to be held at NTR Stadium near Indira Park. While addressing a meeting at Visakhapatnam, the Chief Minister reiterated that he was an integrationist.

Karnataka to impart trade skills in 100 schools

The Karnataka government will soon impart skills to students in 100 schools across the state under the centrally sponsored scheme of vocational training in secondary education.

“We have signed an agreement with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to implement the revised scheme across 100 schools in five trades,” the state education department said in a statement here Thursday.

The scheme funded by the central and state governments, will be operated under the national vocational educational qualifications framework to certify school students in vocational skills.

Diesel price hiked by 50 paise a litre; petrol down

Diesel prices will go up by 50 paise a litre, excluding taxes, from Thursday midnight, while petrol will become cheaper by Rs.1.15 a litre, government-run oil marketing firm Indian Oil Corporation said.

This is the second cut in petrol prices in a month. The price was lowered by Rs.3.05 a litre Oct 1 on account of softening of prices in international markets as well as strengthening of the rupee.

Allowing for local taxes, the prices per litre of diesel will be Rs.53.10 in Delhi, Rs.57.49 in Kolkata, Rs.60.08 in Mumbai and Rs.56.61 in Chennai.

Indians to benefit from Australian student visa ‘simplification’

Australia’s new government is set to change its strict visa laws to attract more students from “high risk” countries like India and China.

According to the recommendations of the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 report which was released earlier this week, the Australian government is likely to streamline the student visa Assessment Level Framework (ALF).

One of the recommendations is to relax the financial requirements for student visa applicants from the AL (assesment level) 4 countries like India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Indian wins UAE bank’s prize draw

Suresh Chainrai Basantani, an Indian and a grandfather living in the United Arab Emirates for 40 years, has won 50,000 dirhams (around $13,600) in the third First Gulf Bank’s ChildFirst savings account prize draws.

Basantani enrolled in ChildFirst last year, aiming to ensure a bright future for his grandson.

The award is the first ever prize that Basantani has won during his stay in the UAE.

Huda Abdulla, executive vice-president of branch distribution in First Gulf Bank, presented the award to the winner after the results of the draw were announced.

Philippines police search for abducted Indian businessman

Police in the Philippines have launched an operation to search for a 57-year-old Indian businessman who was abducted by armed men Oct 28.

Mike Khemani, owner of the Sugni Superstore in Cotabato city on Mindanao island, was kidnapped by five armed men Tuesday night. In the abduction bid, they killed one of Khemani’s bodyguards and left another injured, the Philippine Star reported Thursday.

Police said they now have a clue to the ownership of the abandoned car that the kidnappers used in forcibly carrying Khemani away.

Jharkhand High Court rejects Lalu’s bail plea

The Jharkhand High Court Thursday rejected the bail petition of former Bihar chief minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad. The court said it did not find merit in the bail plea.

After the court’s decision, some Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) workers shouted slogans and expressed unhappiness over the denial of bail to their party chief. They were then escorted out of the high court premises.

The CBI completed arguments on his bail petition Wednesday and the Jharkhand High Court bench of Justice R.R. Prasad then reserved judgment.