IAF gets new deputy chief

Air Marshal S.B.P.Sinha Wednesday assumed charge as the deputy chief of air staff at the air headquarters here, a defence ministry statement said.

Sinha, who is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the fighter stream on June 15, 1980. He has over 3,700 hours of flying experience and has flown the Hunter, MiG 21, Mirage 2000 and SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft.

He has previously held important positions at the Air Headquarters which including serving as the deputy director of operations (electronic warfare).

Why Narendra Modi is silent on Ramdev’s controversial remarks: Congress

Questioning the “silence” of Narendra Modi over Ramdev’s controversial remarks against Rahul Gandhi, Congress on Wednesday wondered whether the BJP PM candidate was justifying the insult of dalits by the Yoga guru.

“Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue is deafening. He speaks on every issue, but why is he silent on this? Is he seeking to justify the insult of dalits or is he giving tacit support to what Ramdev has said,” party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Hope luck favours as well in Ahmedabad: Dravid

Rajasthan Royals mentor Rahul Dravid hoped that luck would favour them at their new home in Ahmedabad like it did in Jaipur in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The former India captain said Wednesday that Rajasthan Royals will miss playing at their home ground, the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, in Jaipur.

Their home matches were controversially shifted to Ahmedabad after the Rajasthan government refused to give a no objection certificate (NOC) due to the general elections.

HC notice to Centre, DJB on water scarcity in Delhi’s Dwarka

The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central and Delhi governments, and civic agencies DJB and DDA on a plea seeking direction to authorities to take immediate steps to provide water to resident of Dwarka area of the capital.

A bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath sought response by from authorities by May 15 while asking the Delhi Development Authority to bring the layout plan of the area on next date of hearing.

India hard hit by terrorism from Pakistan: US report

India remained severely affected by and vulnerable to terrorism, including from Pakistan-based groups and their affiliates as well as left-wing violent extremists, last year, according to a new US report.

In response, Government of India “continued to undertake efforts to coordinate its counterterrorism capabilities more effectively”, said the State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 submitted to the US Congress Wednesday.

Ten criminals of notorious gang nabbed outside Delhi court

Police Wednesday claimed to have foiled an attempt at murder by a gang of criminals, who planned to eliminate a rival gang member, by nabbing ten persons outside the Rohini court in west Delhi.

Vikas Dabas, Vinod, Rajkumar, Manjeet, Surender, Ravinder, Ravinder Bania, Vicky, Dinesh and Sunil Rana, all aged between 21 and 30, were nabbed from outside the court Wednesday afternoon.

They had come to eliminate Pradeep alias Bhola, a key member of the Neetu Dabodia gang.

The arrested are active members of the Neeraj-Bawana Baali gang.

Winners of art contest interpret ‘Kya Dilli Kya Lahore’

To celebrate the spirit of India-Pakistan friendship, makers of “Kya Dilli Kya Lahore” had asked fans to draw a poster to interpret the film through art and photography — and the three winners announced Wednesday portrayed many hues of this delicate relationship.

The art work of Iman Jeet Singh, a hotel management student from Mumbai, that is a monochromatic representation of a man who is wearing part-turban and part-skull cap on his head, with the name of film pasted on his face, has won the contest.

Narendra Modi’s mother travels in auto to cast vote

Hiraben, the mother of Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, travelled in an auto rickshaw to cast her vote in the Gujarat Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday.

The 77-year-old travelled quietly in an auto sans the cavalcade to cast her vote in Sector 22 in Gandhinagar.

After casting her vote, Hiraben reportedly said that she believes that her son will become the prime minister of the nation.

Earlier, Modi also cast his ballot and tweeted that he is fortunate to vote for veteran party leader LK Advani in Gandhinagar constituency.

Women paddlers get past Italy, men lose against same rivals

India’s women paddlers maintained their good form as they brushed aside the Italian challenge with a 3-1 victory while the men’s team lost 2-3 against same rivals in the Stage-I of the 2nd division group matches at the World Table Tennis Championships.

In the women’s tie, K Shamini laboured a lot before losing 4-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9 and 9-11 to Chiara Colantoni in what should have been an easy battle for the Indian.

Shamini had everything going for her in the fifth game but a couple of crucial errors cost her dear.

Police lodge FIR against Modi for poll code breach

Gujarat Police Wednesday registered a FIR against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the Election Commission’s directions for violating law by displaying the party’s “lotus” symbol and delivering a political speech after casting his vote.

The complaint was lodged at the Ahmedabad City police station following complaints by Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party that Modi, also the Gujarat chief minister, had displayed a paper lotus after casting his vote at Ranip polling station in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

Only 53.03 per cent polling in Hyderabad district

Despite tall claims by the authorities to take the poll percentage to 75 per cent, nearly half of the voters in Hyderabad district did not cast their vote on Wednesday.

The 15 Assembly segments and two Lok Sabha constituencies in Hyderabad district had an aggregate polling percentage of just 53.03. While the percentage for Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat was 52.79%, it was 53.57% for Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat.

2 FIRs filed against Narendra Modi for violating model code of conduct

Praising the Election Commission’s (EC) order to the Gujarat authorities to file a First Information Report (FIR) against BJP’s PM nominee Narendra Modi and the electronic media that showed him flashing the “lotus” near the polling booth — in violation of election laws, Union Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said he is happy about the decision taken by the EC.

Maya calls for Mulayam’s mental treatment over sexist remark

BSP supremo Mayawati has suggested that Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh be admitted to the Agra mental asylum for treatment following his sexist remark against her.

The long-standing hostility Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati came out in the open Wednesday when, at a rally in Faizabad, the former told party supporters that he did not understand how to address the Dalit leader.

“Meri samajh nahin aata inko kya kahen – behenji, shrimatiji ya kunwari beti (I do not know how to address her – sister, Missus or spinster daughter),” Mulayam Singh told his supporters.

UN chief condemns car bombing in Syria’s Homs

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday condemned the car bombing in central Homs of western Syria in which 36 people were killed and many more injured.

“These are horrendous acts of terror against innocent civilians,” Xinhua quoted a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson.

“The secretary-general deeply regrets that the attack in Homs comes in the midst of ongoing cease-fire negotiations over the Old City of Homs and calls on the government and opposition groups to resist provocative attempts at undermining any peace efforts,” the statement said.

Five Sri Lankans held for fishing in Indian waters

Five Sri Lankan fishermen were taken into custody by marine police in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district Wednesday for fishing in Indian waters, an official said.

The men were fishing in the Bay of Bengal, about 170 nautical miles off the Paradip port, in violation of the country’s maritime laws.

Police official Satyabrata Bhoi said the Coast Guard intercepted the vessel in which they found the Sri Lankan nationals.

Marine police swung into action after the Coast Guard handed over the vessel and the crew members.

One killed, two injured in Srinagar firing

One person was killed and two were injured Wednesday when security forces opened fire at stone-pelters who attacked a polling party in Srinagar, police said.

The incident took place in the old city area of Nawa Kadal.

As voting ended for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat at 5 p.m., a polling party returning with the voting machines was attacked with stones by a mob.

Security forces opened fire in self defence, and one person identified as Wasim Ahmad, 25, was killed.

Lalu does it again; calls Narendra Modi ‘executioner’

Targeting Narendra Modi on the issue of Gujarat riots, RJD President Lalu Prasad on Wednesday described the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate as an “executioner”.

“Narendra Modi is a ‘jallad’ (executioner), is a ‘jallad’, is a ‘jallad’. It doesn’t matter where he goes, where he comes or what he does,” Prasad told reporters at the Patna airport.

Prasad’s jibe followed his ‘butcher’ comment on Modi yesterday.

The RJD leader said that he was sad that people like Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan and others had gone with the Gujarat Chief Minister.

Third Front a post-poll possibility, says Yechury

The CPI-M believes that any possibility of a Third Front government at the centre would only emerge after the results of the Lok Sabha polls come out, party leader Sitaram Yechury said Wednesday.

Talking to reporters here, the Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member, said that “any such formation will only emerge in the post-poll scenario”.

Pakistan eager to work with new Indian government, says envoy

Pakistan is closely watching the unfolding parliamentary elections in India and is eager to work with whichever government come to power, its High Commissioner Abdul Basit said here Wednesday.

“We are keen to resume the engagement process between he two countries, as comprehensive and meaningful as possible,” he said.

“Whoever becomes the next prime minister of India, whichever government comes to power, we are all for having a meaningful engagement,” Basit declared, interacting with media persons informally during his three-day visit to the country’s commercial capital here.

Rs.272 crore seized by EC so far

A total of Rs.272 crore in cash has been seized so far during the ongoing Lok Sabha election, the Election Commission (EC) said Wednesday.

Till Wednesday, the EC has seized 2.12 crore litres of liquor, Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi said here. The poll panel has also seized 1.69 lakh kg of narcotics.

Over 26 percent voting in Srinagar, one killed in firing

Srinagar Lok Sabha seat saw a 26.08 percent turnout Wednesday, slightly higher than in the 2009 polls. Polling was peaceful but a youth was killed and two others injured when security forces, escorting a polling party returning after voting ended, opened fire after a mob pelted stones at them in the old city.

Sikhs, Muslims object to headgear ban at US amusement park

Two Sikh and Muslim groups have filed complaints alleging religious discrimination against a California amusement park after a couple of families wearing religious headgear were denied access to riding go-karts due to “safety concerns”.

The complaints were filed Tuesday with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against Boomers!, which is owned by Newport Beach-based Palace Entertainment, according to CBS Local.

Kapil’s Narendra Modi tweet caused an uproar

Comedian Kapil Sharma’s innocuous re-tweet of Bharatiya Janata Party’s primeministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s remark comparing Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s speeches to Kapil’s comedy sparked of an ugly Twitter battle between supporters and opponents of Modi.

Kapil had to hastily delete the Modi tweet and plead with his fans and followers to stop the ugly war of words.
On being contacted Kapil expressed immense dismay at the turn of events.

UP braves rising mercury for 60 percent voting

Rising day temperatures failed to flag the spirits of voters in Uttar Pradesh with 59.60 percent polling recorded across the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls Wednesday.

While the past three phases saw an impressive turnout with an average of 60 percent, it was feared that extreme heat would hit the fourth round of the Lok Sabha election in the state.

With the mercury in Lucknow and most parts of the state at 42 degrees Celsius Wednesday, Election Commission (EC) officials attributed it to the poor voting in some areas.