Punjab headed to highest-ever polling

Punjab was heading for an all-time high voter turnout of 73 percent with the balloting continuing beyond the 6 p.m. deadline as voters were still queued up, the Election Commission said here Wednesday.

Punjab’s chief electoral officer (CEO) V.K. Singh told media that voting was still continuing at various polling locations with people standing in queues beyond 6 p.m.

Train crashes into another in Sri Lanka; 68 hurt

A train crashed head-on into a stopped train at a station in northwestern Sri Lanka today, injuring 68 people.

It occurred in Pothuhera, about 90 kilometres northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said a train from Colombo travelling to Pallai in the north crashed into a southbound train that was stopped at the station. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Rohana said four of the injured passengers are in serious condition.

Trains are a popular mode of transport in the island nation, and are generally considered safe.

Several injured as blast hits railway station in China

Scores of people were injured today when a powerful blast struck a railway station in Urumqi, the capital of China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, as President Xi Jinping wrapped up his first ever visit to the troubled region during which he vowed to fight terrorism.

The explosion took place this evening at the exit of the south railway station of Urumqi. Ambulances and police cars rushed to the scene, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Modi stokes row, FIR filed against him for poll law violation

Stoking a huge controversy, Narendra Modi today displayed the BJP symbol and made a speech in a polling booth in violation of electoral laws following which police filed an FIR against him.

The police action came after the Election Commission took serious note of the BJP prime ministerial candidate’s violation of the electoral laws, under which no person can display any election matter or address a meeting in a polling booth on the day of election, and ordered filing of FIR against Modi.

Bizman attack case:Cops submit CD of incident, actor Saif Ali

Police today submitted a CD containing CCTV footage of the alleged attack on an NRI businessman and his father-in-law by Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan at a five-star hotel here in 2012.

Police also submitted the clothes worn by the actor at the time of the incident that happened at Wasabi restaurant inside Taj Hotel on February 22 that year.

“We submitted the CD and clothes to the court, which has adjourned the proceedings,” said public prosecutor Wajid Sheikh.

BJP-led NDA to form next Government under Modi: Keshubhai

Veteran Gujarat politician Keshubhai Patel today said BJP was likely to win more than 225 Lok Sabha seats and Narendra Modi will become the next Prime Minister heading a NDA Government.

“I have not deeply analysed the country’s current political situation but I think the next Government would be formed by (BJP-led) NDA under Narendra Modi. BJP will emerge the single largest party wining more than 225 Lok Sabha seats,” he said here.

The 85-year-old former BJP Gujarat Chief Minister, once a betenoire of Modi, was speaking to reporters after casting his vote at a booth here.

Sikh, Muslim groups file complaints against amusement parks

Two prominent Sikh and Muslim groups have filed complaints against a California amusement parks chain that denied access to people from the communities to certain rides for wearing religious head coverings.

In their complaint, United Sikhs and the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) alleged that members of their religious minorities were permitted entry to the Boomers amusement park, a subsidiary of Palace Entertainment Ltd, but then denied access to the Go-Kart rides after employees cited unfounded safety concerns.

Khurshid attacks Modi for invoking Kargil martyr’s phrase

Union Minister Salman Khurshid today slammed Narendra Modi for invoking a Kargil martyr’s phrase “Yeh Dil Maange More” to garner votes for NDA.

He alleged that it has hurt the sentiments of the martyr’s family and termed it disgraceful for those who were fielding a contestant against such a brave martyr’s mother in the elections.

Mumbai Indians elect to field against Sunrisers

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final Indian Premier League (IPL) match of the United Arab Emirates-leg at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here Wednesday.

It is a match between the two bottom-placed teams of the eight-team league. While Sunrisers have won a single match in four outings, the Mumbai outfit are yet to get off the mark having lost four consecutive games.

The squads:

Mentally-ill man axes wife, two sons to death

A 40-year-old mentally-challenged man allegedly axed his wife and two minor sons to death in Chhattisgarh’s Surajpur district today, police said.

Milan Singh Paikra, who is suffering from mental disorder, killed his wife Panmeshwari (35) and sons – Tarud (4) and Guddu (10 months) in Chandameda village under Bhaiyathan police station limits during the intervening night of Tuesday-Wednesday, Surajpur Additional Superintendent of Police Manisha Thakur told PTI.

The victims were killed while they were asleep, she said.

Hrithik Roshan, Sussanne file for separation by mutual consent

Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan and his wife Sussanne approached the family court here today and filed an application for separation by mutual consent, around four months after they decided to end their marriage.

The family court in suburban Bandra would hear their application by November.

On December 14, 2013, they called off their marriage and issued two separate statements to the media.

In his statement Hrithik had said that Sussanne decided to walk out of their 13-years-old marriage.

Blast in China railway station

A blast occurred at a railway station in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Wednesday evening.

The explosion happened around 7 p.m. at the exit of the Urumqi south railway station. The blast was centred around some luggage left on the ground between the station exit and a public bus stop, witnesses told Xinhua.

The blast was so powerful that a man at a nearby hotel said he thought it was an earthquake.

US judge dismisses 1984 riots case against Congress

A federal judge in New York has dismissed a case filed against the Congress Party for its alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Earlier this week, Judge Robert Sweet granted the party’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) advocacy group, which sought damages stemming from the Congress’ alleged responsibility for the riots that engulfed New Delhi and other parts of the nation in violence following the assassination of erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Digvijay singh ‘tweets’ to Marry with Amrita Roy

AICC General Secretary and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijay Singh is expected to ‘get married’ a noted Television Journalist, Amritha Roy, according to information. Singh is said to have tweeted to this exaffect that he is planning to marry Roy. On the other hand, Roy tweeted that she had applied for a divorce from her husband and both are not staying together right now. She confirmed that she will get married to Digvijay Singh soon after court gives a nod for divorce. It may be noted that Digvijay Singh’s wife died last year.(NSS)

Body of Indian killed in Sharjah ship fire still in mortuary

The body of a 20-year-old Indian, who was charred to death in a blaze in a cargo vessel in March end, is still in a mortuary in the UAE, due to ongoing court procedures to claim insurance money.

Deepak Singh, a resident of Uttarakhand, died in the accident aboard cargo ship Al Reem, which later sank 8 km off Sharjah coast on March 24. His completely charred body was found on the ship.

His identity was ascertained from the information provided by three other surviving seamen, of whom two are Indian, undergoing treatment at a hospital in Sharjah, Emirates 24/7 reported yesterday.

Malaysia to release initial MH370 report tomorrow

Malaysia will release the much-anticipated preliminary report on the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 tomorrow, nearly two months after the plane with 239 people on board went missing.

The preliminary report on Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200’s disappearance will be released tomorrow, Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said the report will be similar to the one forwarded to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

Former DGP Dinesh reddy creates a scene at Polling Station

Former DGP and YSRC candidate from Malkajgiri parliamentary constituency Dinesh Reddy today created a scene near a polling station.

At a polling booth in the Malkajgiri constituency, the ex-DGP along with his supporters numbering about 50, entered the booth violating the election code. Unconfirmed reports said that police personnel kept quiet when Dinesh Reddy entered the both since he was a former DGP. The CEO Banwarlal later said that a probe is on into the incident.

India to discuss domestic workers’ issue in Saudi Arabia

The Indian government has sought to create an effective legal framework to address the issues facing Indian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.

Indian officials, who arrived this week, are slated to meet Saudi Deputy Labour Minister for International Affairs Ahmed Al-Fahaid to discuss legal modalities of a framework to facilitate mechanisms to address disputes arising between domestic workers and their employers in Saudi Arabia.

Train rams Rahul’s convoy car in Andhra

A car which was supposed to be used as a jammer in the convoy of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been hit by a train in Hindupur, which falls under Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.

The driver of the car was reportedly injured in the incident. The ambassador car has been badly mangled because of the effect of the accident. (ANI)

Technical snags in EVMs reported in 10 constituencies in city

Polling was affected for a brief period in as many as 10 polling stations in the city due to the technical snags in Electronic Voting Machines.

Technical snags were reported from Polling Stations No 2,15,26, 33, 226 in Jubilee Hills, PS No 58 and 19 in Nampally, PS No 147,148, 149, 217, 218, 219 in Malakpet, PS No 72 in LB Nagar, PS No 80 in Musheerabad, PS No 92, 92 A in Uppal, PS No 3 Malkagiri, LB Nagar and PS No 53 in Khairtabad.

Similarly, technical snags were also reported from more than 50 polling booths across Telangana region. (INN)

Nearly 70 percent, peaceful voting in Telangana’s first poll

Nearly 70 percent peaceful polling was recorded for 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 state assembly seats in the first election in Telangana, which is set to born as India’s 29th state on June 2.

Officials said the polling was 68 percent at 5 p.m. Those standing in queues at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote, said chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal.

Barring minor incidents, balloting was on peacefully amid tight security at 30,574 polling booths across 10 districts of Telangana including Hyderabad.

AAP says Modi is a habitual offender

Welcoming the FIR registered against Narendra Modi for violating the election law, the Aam Aadmi Party today called BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate a habitual offender who has been consistently violating poll norms and model code of conduct.

“Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP candidate from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, Narendra Modi has been consistently violating the election laws and the model code of conduct during the ongoing campaigning.

Good results open the door, bad results spell doom: Modi

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today drew an analogy between examinations and the Lok Sabha elections.

“You prepare for Plus 2 examination with great seriousness … Good result opens the door for a bright career and bad result spells doom,” he said referring to students.

“As the period between 18 and 28 years is a golden phase of your life when you take up jobs and settle down to lead a life depending on success in your academic career, so does a country after electing a party to power for a term of five years,” he said.

Jama Masjid attack case: Court fixes hearing on May 24

A court here today fixed May 24 for hearing a case against Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar who were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police in connection with the September 2010 Jama Masjid terror attack case.

Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash posted the matter for May 24 after the counsel appearing for both the accused said that scrutiny of documents filed along with the charge sheet was going on.