40 Indian prisoners released by Pakistan repatriated

40 Indian prisoners including 35 fishermen were on Sunday repatriated by Pakistan government through Attari-Wagah land route.

They were released from Pakistan jail on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif warmly shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the 18th SAARC Summit in Nepal.

They crossed over to India on the basis of ‘Emergency Travel Certificate’ issued by the Islamabad based Indian high Commission, officials said here.

They crossed over to Indian territory through the land transit route of Attari-Wagah border.

‘Afghan president played key role in Modi-Sharif handshake’

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other SAARC leaders played a key role in bringing together Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif for a handshake that ended their cold vibes at the recent SAARC summit, Nepal’s foreign minister said on Sunday.

“Nepal was making efforts not only for a handshake between India and Pakistan, but we were also trying to bring closer the minds of the two leaders,” Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey told.

Sarpanch shot dead by suspected militants in Shopian

Two days ahead of the second phase of Assembly Elections in the state, a National Conference (NC) Sarpanch was shot dead in Nazneen Pora area of the Shopian.

According to news reports, Muhammad Sultan (38) was killed at Nazneen Pora by unknown gunmen on late Sunday night.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the killing so far.

Gauhar Khan slapped on reality show!

‘Bigg Boss 7’ winner Gauhar Khan was shockingly slapped by a member of the audience at a reality show stage.

The model-turned actress was anchoring the grand finale of the show, which was attended by bigwigs like Arjun Kapoor and music director duo Sajid-Wajid.

Reportedly, the accused was present in a crowd of 2000 and was teasing Gauhar during the show. She protested the teasing but events took a sharp turn soon after.

After the show was over the man came over to the stage and slapped her. Gauhar was taken aback and looked shocked and distressed at the incident.

ISIS not fighting a holy war: Kalyan boy Areeb Majeed tells NIA

Areeb Majeed, suspected member of terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has revealed the names of the local contacts, who allegedly provided him the logistics to join the group to take part in the battle in Iraq, NIA officials said today.

Majeed also disclosed how he was completely sidelined by the terror group as he had been asked to carry out menial tasks like cleaning toilets or providing water to those on the battlefield, instead of being pushed into the warzone.

NorthEast coach terms clash against FC Goa as ‘another fixture’

NorthEast United FC head coach Ricki Herbert Sunday kept his cards close to his chest as he downplayed the significance of his team’s clash against FC Goa in an Indian Super League (ISL) match here Monday.

NorthEast United, who are currently sixth on the table, can displace the hosts from the third spot if they win Monday.

Both sides come into the fixture after convincing wins in their last outings but Goa have been in top form in the second half of the tournament, having won thrice in the last five games.

Delhi-bound Air India plane’s tyre gets deflate, delays flight by 3 hours

A tyre of a Delhi-bound Air India plane from Mumbai, with over 120 people onboard, was found deflated after landing at Jodhpur, following which the flight was briefly stalled leading to a delay of over three hours.

The flight (AI-476) operating on Airbus 319 aircraft on Mumbai-Delhi via Jodhpur route landed safely at Jodhpur airport this afternoon, but when it was to take off for Delhi one of its tyres was found deflated, a Jodhpur airport official told PTI over telephone.

Building collapses in Ghaziabad, 60 feared trapped

An under-construction building on Sunday collapsed in the city with at least 60 people being feared to be trapped under the debris, police said.

The incident took place in Tronica City police station area of the district.

One injured person has been rescued so far and sent to hospital for treatment, Ghaziabad District Magistrate Vimal Kumar Sharma said, adding that the rescue operation was on.


Kashmir sarpanch killed by guerrillas

A sarpanch was killed by guerrillas in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district Sunday, police said.

“Militants shot Muhammad Sultan, sarpanch in Nazimpora village in Shopian district, today evening from close range. He succumbed to critical bullet wounds while being shifted to hospital,” a police official said here.

Reports from the village said the slain sarpanch belonged to the National Conference.


Rohtak sisters beat molesters with belt inside moving bus

In yet another shameful incident highlighting concerns about women’s safety while at the same time in a rare show of courage against eve teasing, two sisters fought three men who were reportedly harassing them onboard a bus in Haryana. The two college-going girls thrashed the men inside a Haryana Roadways Bus as fellow passengers played mute spectators to the episode.

The alleged eve-teasers used derogatory language and made obscene gestures before the girls retaliated. The incident took place on Friday.

497,000 people affected by HIV/AIDS in China

The number of HIV/AIDS cases in China had touched 497,000 by the end of October, with 154,000 deaths, the latest official figures said, according to reports Sunday.

Vice director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Wang Guoqiang, revealed the figures Sunday at an HIV/AIDS awareness promotion event, ahead of the World AIDS Day Dec 1 and highlighted an obvious increase in the number of HIV carriers and AIDS patients, Xinhua reported.

Avian flu outbreak in Kerala under control, humans test negative

The avian flu outbreak, confirmed as the H5N1 virus, in three districts of Kerala is coming under control while two human samples have now been cleared as negative, said an official Sunday.

Speaking to IANS, animal husbandry department director B. Brahmanandan said the culling operations will almost end by Sunday evening and around two lakh poultry birds would have been culled in these 12 affected villages.

Renee Dhyani voted out of ‘Bigg Boss 8’

Former “Roadies” contestant Renee Dhyani was Sunday evicted from popular TV reality show “Bigg Boss 8”.

Renee entered the “Bigg Boss” house Nov 6 as a wild card entry, but couldn’t last long.

She was nominated alongside Ali Quli Mirza, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhat and Sonali Raut.

She did manage to entertain the audience when she entered the house, but because of her father’s illness, she was not able to focus much in the following weeks and wanted to leave the show.

During her stay, she was friends with Pritam Singh, Upen and former contestants Nigaar Z. Khan and Aarya Babbar.

Sindhu retains Macau Open title

Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu successfully defended her Macau Open Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title, beating South Korean Kim Hyo Min in straight games at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion here Sunday.

Two-time World Championships bronze medallist Sindhu registered a comprehensive 21-12, 21-17 victory in 45 minutes in the final of the $120,000 event.

Playing against the World No.91 Kim for the first time, the Indian World No.11 won the first game with ease.

Colombian rebels free abducted general, two others

The rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has released a top-ranking military officer and two other hostages Sunday, the country’s President Juan Manuel Santos revealed.

Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate, corporal Jorge Rodriguez and attorney Gloria Urrego were kidnapped by the rebels Nov 16 from northwestern Colombia.

The three released individuals are “in perfect condition” and it is expected that they will be reunited with their families soon, President Santos said in a Twitter post.

Rich haul of gold, fakes notes seized in Bengal in November: BSF

Continuing its operation against smuggling, BSF’s South Bengal Frontier in November has seized 48.78 kgs of ganja (hashish), over 5.5 kg of gold valued at Rs.1.44 crore and fake Indian currency notes (FICN) of the face value of Rs. 23.94 lakh.

“Besides the 48.78 kg ganja and 5.5 kilo gold, we have also seized 26,723 bottles of phensedyl valued at over Rs.25 lakh and cattle heads worth Rs.3.5 crore from across the districts of North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Malda and Nadia in November,” said a Border Security Force (BSF) spokesperson.

Railways minister seeks expediting of pending Bengal projects

Expressing concern over delayed projects resulting into cost escalation, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu Sunday asked authorities of the Kolkata Metro Railway to expedite the implementation of pending projects.

“All pending projects need to be expedited to prevent further escalation of project costs,” said Prabhu post a meeting with officials after reviewing various project works in the state.

On the issue of security, he called for better training of security personnel and emphasised on the need for more women security officials.

Many injured as factory set ablaze near Gurgaon

Around a dozen people were Sunday injured in a clash during which an irate mob set ablaze a number of vehicles and a factory manufacturing auto parts near here, following the mysterious death of a worker, police said.

The clash took place in Rozka Meo industrial area, some 35 km from Gurgaon.

A number of vehicles were vandalised and set afire after a worker of the High Line Auto company was Sunday found hanging from a tree near the factory.

Haneef was found hanging in a park. Police said he may have committed suicide, though no suicide note was found.

Bihar will get special status only after NDA victory: Paswan

Special category status to Bihar will be granted only when a NDA government will come to power in the state after the 2015 assembly polls, union Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said Sunday.

“Special status will be given to Bihar when NDA comes to power in the state and create favourable conditions,” Paswan told media persons here to a question on the ruling Janata Dal-United’s campaign and Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and his predecessor Nitish Kumar’s repeated accusations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had betrayed the state and its people on the issue.

Toll escalates to 450 in Libya clashes

At least 450 people were killed in violent clashes in Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi, officials said Sunday.

“The people killed include civilians hit by random shelling and shooting in the areas of the clashes, as well as armed civilians who participate with the retired general Khalifa Haftar’s forces,” a medical worker at a hospital said.

He added that the toll included “the Islamist fighters whose bodies were transferred to the city’s hospitals,” Xinhua reported.

Don’t see Ukraine joining NATO: German foreign minister

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said that he does not envisage Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), according to reports Sunday.

“For me, Ukraine’s membership in the North Atlantic Alliance cannot be on the agenda. Anyway, I cannot see Ukraine on the way towards NATO,” Steinmeier said in an interview with the ZDF television channel.

Pope calls for full Christian unity

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Sunday prayed in the Turkish city of Istanbul for unity between Catholics and the Orthodox Christians.

During the last day of his visit to Turkey, Pope Francis attended Sunday’s ceremony at the Orthodox cathedral of St. George, Xinhua reported.

The two spiritual leaders then signed a joint declaration giving strong messages of the full unity between the two churches.

“We, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, express our profound gratitude to God for the gift of this new encounter,” the declaration said.

Amit Shah stops speech during azan, ridicules Mamata

BJP president Amit Shah Sunday took a jibe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday, and stopped his speech mid-way following azan (Islamic call to prayer) from a nearby mosque.

“Let us stop. We don’t want to give Mamata any excuse,” Shah said, halting his speech for nearly five minutes after the azan was sounded.

With many supporters shouting slogans during the azan, Shah raised his hands signalling them to stop, and reiterated: “Please let us not give Mamata any excuse.”

AAP gets over Rs.50 lakh at fund raiser, Kejriwal promises VAT reform

The AAP raised over Rs.50 lakh at a fund raising lunch organised by party’s traders’ wing here Sunday ahead of likely assembly polls in February.

At the event, organised at a restaurant in central hub Connaught Place, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal promised “to rationalise Value Added Tax (VAT) in Delhi by reducing it on goods in which it is higher in comparison to other states, particularly neighboring states”.

Women leaders to work for better hygiene

Women leaders from different religions, countries and groups came together on the banks of the Ganga here Sunday to commit themselves to better water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices.

The Women for WASH Summit at Parmarth Niketan was part of the first global mega event organised by the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) with technical support from Unicef.

Over 100 women leaders from India, Britain, the US, Europe and Indonesia took part in the first meeting of women faith leaders on WASH, an issue that is of vital and immediate concern to women and children.