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Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Man attacks daughter, son-in-law over inter-caste marriage

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A man attacked his daughter and son-in-law with a machete and seriously injured them here on Wednesday, in another case of assault for family honour.
 
Madhavi, 22, was battling for life while her husband Sandeep, 24, too suffered grievous injuries in the attack by Manoharachary. The incident occurred in the busy SR Nagar area, police said.
 
Manoharachary, who was opposed to the marriage because Sandeep comes from another caste, had called the couple to meet them and give them some presents. As soon as they reached the meeting point, he took out a machete from his bag and attacked them.
 
The assailant first targeted his son-in-law and when the latter fell to the ground, he attacked his daughter. Madhavi too collapsed and bled profusely. They were shifted to a hospital, where the condition of Madhavi is stated to be critical. She suffered deep cuts on the neck and a hand.
 
According to police, Madhavi and Sandeep were in love for last five years and wanted to marry. However, her upper caste family opposed it. Manoharachary wanted her to marry his sister's son but she refused and had come to Sandeep's house a few days ago. They went to Arya Samaj and married some 10 days ago.
 
The girl's family refused to accept the marriage but at the counselling conducted by the police they agreed to accept it. Manoharachary later conveyed to his daughter that he wanted to meet them at a location in S. R. Nagar and buy some clothes for them. When they reached there, he attacked them.
 
The attacker later went to police station and surrendered.
 
The incident came close on the heels of the killing of a Dalit youth by his father-in-law in Miryalguda town of Telangana's Nalgonda district. Pranay Kumar was hacked to death when he was coming out of a hospital with his wife Amrutha Varshini on September 14.
 
Police have arrested seven accused including the girl's father Maruthi Rao, who had allegedly struck a Rs. 1 crore deal for the contract killing.
 
IANS
 

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SpiceJet to connect Hyderabad with Bangkok from October 10

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today said it would launch a daily direct flight from Hyderabad to Bangkok with effect from October 10.
 
From the same day, the airline will also introduce a daily direct flight from Hyderabad to Guwahati.
 
The announcement was made in the august presence of Mr. K. T. Rama Rao, Minister for Industry & Commerce, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, ITE&C, Mines, Handloom & Textiles, NRI Affairs, Government of Telangana. 
 
On the occasion, senior SpiceJet officials handed over the first ticket to Mr. Rama Rao, thereby marking the formal announcement of the launch of the new flight service.
 
Ms. Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet said, “We are delighted to launch our new flights from Hyderabad. Bangkok has always been one of the most preferred global destinations and the domestic addition reiterates our conviction in the potential of the north-eastern regions. We believe our consistent efforts to connect the regional markets will revolutionise air travel across the country offering convenience for business and leisure travelers alike.”
 
A press release from the airline said SpiceJet is the only Indian carrier to provide direct connectivity between Hyderabad and Bangkok.
 
"The new flights will provide convenience to the airline’s customers traveling from the city, besides enabling them to travel to a host of other cities both on SpiceJet’s domestic as well as international network via multiple direct and onward connections," the release added.
 
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Man hired for honour killing in Telangana arrested in Bihar

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A hired killer who allegedly murdered a young Dalit man in a case of honour killing in Telangana's Miryalguda town was arrested from Bihar's Samastipur district on Tuesday, police said.
 
Subhash Sharma, who was allegedly hired to murder Pranay Kumar, was taken into custody from Jagatsinhpur. 
 
Samastipur police officer Paritish Kumar said Sharma was arrested by a team of Telangana Police along with the local police. He was produced in a court and handed over to Telangana Police on transit remand. 
 
Pranay Kumar, 23, was hacked to death on Friday as he was coming out of a hospital along with his wife Amrutha Varshini, with whom he had an inter-caste marriage. 
 
They were in love since their school days and had married against the wishes of the girl's parents. Since then, he was facing threats to his life. 
 
Amrutha, who is five-months pregnant, blamed her father, Maruthi Rao, for the murder. 
 
Police earlier arrested Maruthi Rao, his brother Shravan Kumar and three others in the sensational case. 
 
Maruthi Rao allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to the hired killer. He reportedly told police that 'honour' was more important for him than his daughter.
 
Calling her father a devil, Amrutha vowed never to go back to him. She said she would live with her slain husband's parents.
 
IANS
 

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Toll in Telangana bus tragedy rises to 61

 
57 dead in Telangana bus accident
 
 
The death toll in Tuesday's bus tragedy in Telangana rose to 61 with three passengers succumbing to their injuries on Wednesday.
 
As many as 58 people were killed when an overcrowded bus of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) plunged into a gorge near Kondagattu in Jagtial district, about 190 km from Hyderabad, on Tuesday.
 
Two injured succumbed at a hospital in Karimnagar on Wednesday night. One person succumbed earlier in the day.
 
According to officials, 40 injured were still undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Jagtial, Karimnagar and Hyderabad.
 
The bus, carrying 101 passengers, fell into the gorge when the driver lost control at a speed breaker. Brake failure is suspected to be the cause of what is believed to be the worst-ever bus accident in the country.
 
The state government has suspended depot manager of TSRTC's Jagtial depot for alleged negligence and ordered a thorough probe.
 
Meanwhile, a lawyer on Wednesday approached State Human Rights Commission, seeking direction to police to book cases of culpable homicide against the officials whose negligence led to the accident.
 
Arun Kumar, a High Court lawyer, also sought Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of the dead.

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57 dead, 43 injured as bus falls into gorge in Telangana

 
57 dead in Telangana bus accident
 
 
In a ghastly tragedy, as many as 57 people died when an overcrowded state-run bus fell into a gorge in Telangana's Jagtial district on Tuesday, even as the state government suspended an official of the state road transport corporation and ordered an inquiry.
 
As many as 43 people were also injured in the accident.
 
The Telangana State Road Transport Corp (TSRTC) bus carrying 100 passengers fell off Kondagattu Ghat Road while returning from Anjaneya Swamy temple atop Kondagattu Hills, about 190 km from Hyderabad.
 
Overload and brake failure are suspected to be the cause of the accident. Transport Minister Mahender Reddy has ordered a probe into the tragedy.
 
The dead include 30 women and four children, officials said. 
 
The injured are undergoing treatment in hospitals at Jagtial, Karimnagar and Hyderabad. The toll could further go up as the condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical.
 
The dead include driver B. Srinivas who apparently lost control when the bus approached a speed breaker.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. He has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of the dead. TSRTC announced Rs. 3 lakh ex-gratia each.
 
The Transport Minister, who visited the accident site, also announced suspension of Jagtial TSRTC Depot Manager Hanumantha Rao.
 
Jagtial Superintendent of Police Sindhu Sharma said the accident occurred around 11 a.m when the bus was coming down from the hill and was to join the highway.
 
The victims belonged to Jagtial and Peddapalli districts.
 
Heart rending scenes were witnessed at the accident site as some of the injured lay amid bodies crying for help. Wailing relatives of the victims crowded Jagtial Hospital, where the medical staff struggled to deal with the large number of casualties.
 
Meanwhile, locals have voiced their anger against the authorities over poor condition of the road and the alleged negligence of TSRTC.
 
IANS

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52 killed as bus falls into gorge in Telangana

 
52 dead in Telangana bus accident
 
 
In a ghastly tragedy, as many as 52 people were killed and more than 20 others injured when an overcrowded state-run bus fell into a gorge in Telangana's Jagtial district on Tuesday.
 
The bus belonging to the Telangana State Road Transport Corp (TSRTC) fell off Kondagattu Ghat Road while returning from Anjaneya Swamy temple atop Kondagattu Hills, about 190 km from Hyderabad.
 
The bus, carrying more than 70 passengers, met with the accident when the driver reportedly lost control at a speed breaker.
 
Finance Minister Etela Rajender told reports at Jagtial that 52 people were killed in the disaster. He said 47 bodies were brought to Jagtial Hospital while five people succumbed at a hospital in Karimnagar.
 
The dead include driver B. Srinivas. Officials said the victims include 26 women and 10 children. The toll could go up as the condition of some of the injured was stated to be critical.
 
The injured were shifted to a government hospital in Jagtial. A few critically injured were taken to hospitals in Karimnagar and Hyderabad.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. He announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia each for the families of the dead.
 
Jagtial district Superintendent of Police Sindhu Sharma said the accident occurred around 11 a.m. when the bus was coming down from the hill and was to join the highway.
 
The driver apparently applied brakes at a speed breaker and the passengers who were standing fell onto one side, tilting the bus which then hurtled down after breaking an iron railing.
 
The victims belonged to Jagtial and Peddapalli districts.
 
Heart rending scenes were witnessed at the accident site as some of the injured lay amid bodies crying for help. Wailing relatives of the victims crowded Jagtial Hospital, where the medical staff struggled to deal with the large number of casualties.
 
Meanwhile, locals voiced their anger against the authorities over poor condition of the road and the alleged negligence of TSRTC.
 
IANS

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40 dead as bus falls into gorge in Telangana

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In a ghastly tragedy, 40 people died and more than 20 others suffered injuries when a state-owned bus fell into a gorge in Telangana's Jagtial district on Tuesday, police said.
 
The bus belonging to the Telangana State Road Transport Corp (TSRTC) fell off Kondagattu Ghat Road while returning from Anjaneya Swamy temple atop Kondagattu Hills, about 190 km from Hyderabad.
 
The bus, carrying more than 60 passengers, met with the accident when the driver reportedly lost control at a speed breaker.
 
The dead include 20 women and seven children. The toll could go up as the condition of some of the injured was stated to be critical.
 
Senior officials rushed to the scene and launched rescue and relief operations.
 
The injured were shifted to a government-run hospital in Jagtial. A few critically injured were shifted to hospitals in Karimnagar and Hyderabad.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. He announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia for the families of the dead.
 
IANS
 

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Two sentenced to death for 2007 Hyderabad bomb blasts

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Eleven years after twin bomb blasts rocked this southern city killing 42 people, a special court on Monday sentenced two convicts to death and a third to life sentence.
 
Anique Shafiq Syed and Akbar Ismail Choudhary, alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives, were sentenced to death, while the third convict Tariq Anjum was awarded life sentence.
 
Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T. Srinivas Rao delivered the judgment at the high security Cherlapally Central Prison on the city's outskirts.
 
Two powerful explosions had ripped through a popular eatery Gokul Chat and an open-air theatre at Lumbini Park, near State Secretariat, in Hyderabad on August 25, 2007 killing 42 people and wounding 68.
 
While 32 people were killed at Gokul Chat, 10 others lost their lives at Lumbini Park, in near-simultaneous blasts around 7.45 p.m that day.
 
An unexploded bomb was also found under a foot-over-bridge at Dilsukhnagar.
 
Public prosecutor Seshu Reddy told reporters that Anique and Akbar were awarded death sentence in three cases. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on them in each of the cases.
 
The court had convicted them on September 4.
 
Earlier in the day, the court held Tariq guilty of providing shelter to the other accused.
 
Two other accused, Farooq Sharfuddin and Sadiq Ahmed Sheikh, were acquitted last week for lack of evidence.
 
The public prosecutor said the convicts told the court that they were falsely implicated in the case and that since they have already spent 10 years in jail, they may be set free. However, the judge was not inclined.
 
Seshu Reddy said the records relating to the sentence will be sent for confirmation to the high court, where the convicts can challenge the verdict.
 
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The accused were arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in October 2008. Three other accused including IM chief Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal Bhatkal are still at large.
 
The case was initially investigated by the Andhra Pradesh Police and following bifurcation of the state, it was handed over to the Counter Intelligence (CI) wing of Telangana Police.
 
Three chargesheets were filed against the accused. In 2014, the court framed charges against them. They were charged with murder and other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Explosive Substances Act.
 
The trial against them was shifted to a court hall located in the premises of the prison in June this year on security grounds.
 
This is second bomb blast case in which operatives of banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen have been sentenced. In December 2016, five senior operatives of IM were awarded death penalty by a special National Investigation Agency court in February 2013 Hyderabad blasts case.
 
IM co-founder Mohd Ahmed Sidibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Ajaz Shaikh were sentenced to death for 2013 blasts.
 
Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in two deadly explosions in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city, on February 21, 2013.
 
IANS
 

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Two get death sentence for 2007 Hyderabad twin blasts

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A special court here on Monday sentenced two convicts to death and a third to life sentence for the 2007 Hyderabad twin bomb blasts which had claimed 42 lives.
 
Anique Shafiq Syed and Akbar Ismail Choudhary, alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives, were sentenced to death.
 
The third convict Tariq Anjum was awarded life sentence.
 
Two powerful explosions had ripped through a popular eatery and an open-air theatre in Hyderabad on August 25, 2007 killing 42 people and wounding 68.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Three killed in Hyderabad accident

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Three people were killed on Monday here when a bus ran over people waiting at a stop, police said.
 
The accident took place at 6.40 a.m., at the Gachibowli crossroads.
 
The police said the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus was being driven at a high speed which led to the accident.
 
IANS
 

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Prashant Kishore not to be part of 2019 elections

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Election strategist Prashant Kishore on Sunday said that he would not be involved in the 2019 elections as he wants to go back to the grassroots.
 
He said he had worked enough with leaders. He also denied media reports that he is joining politics.
 
Interacting with students of Indian School of Business (ISB) here, he said for last two years he wanted to leave this domain but wanted to leave his organisation IPAC in safe hands before taking the decision.
 
"I will not be part of the 2019 election campaign in the manner and form seen for last 4-5 years," he said.
 
The 41-year-old said he want to go back to grassroots either in Gujarat or Bihar. He, however, did not elaborate.
 
Prashant, who formulated election strategy for Prime Minister Modi in the 2014 elections, said he never met Modi after he left Prime Minister's Office in March 2015 till last year when the PM called him when his mother was on death bed. 
 
Since then he had been meeting and talking to Modi. He, however, ruled out working with him or drafting political strategy for BJP in the next elections.
 
Prashant, who also worked with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Congress party, said he took up the assignment with YSR Congress party's Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy as he had made a commitment earlier.
 
He claimed that Modi, Nitish and Amarinder Singh did not hire him and that money was the last criteria. He denied reports that he or his organization received huge money for working with different parties.
 
IANS
 

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TRS announces candidates for 105 Assembly seats

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Hours after dissolution of the Telangana state Assembly on Thursday, the ruling TRS announced candidates for 105 constituencies.
 
Caretaker Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President K. Chandrasekhar Rao released the list of candidates.
 
He announced the names at a news conference at TRS headquarters -- Telangana Bhavan. He said only two sitting candidates were denied tickets.
 
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said candidates for the remaining 14 constituencies would be announced soon.
 
He was addressing the media a couple of hours after the cabinet meeting, which recommended dissolution of the Assembly to pave way for early polls. Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan accepted the recommendation.
 
KCR was confident that fresh elections to the state Assembly will be held in November. "There is no confusion over this," he said, adding that he has already spoken to the Chief Election Commissioner and requested him to hold the polls at the earliest.
 
IANS
 

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Telangana Assembly dissolved for early polls

K Chandrasekhar Rao. (File Photo: IANS)
K Chandrasekhar Rao. (File Photo: IANS)
Nearly nine months before its term was to end, the Telangana Assembly was on Thursday dissolved by the Governor on a recommendation by the state cabinet.
 
Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan accepted a resolution of the cabinet recommending dissolution of the Assembly. He asked Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his Council of Ministers to continue in office as caretaker Government.
 
Ending the suspense, the state cabinet passed a resolution for dissolution of the Assembly at the meeting held at Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of the Chief Minister.
 
Immediately after the cabinet meet that lasted for less than half an hour, KCR, as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief is popularly known, drove to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor.
 
Minutes later, a statement was issued from Raj Bhava announcing that the Governor had accepted the cabinet recommendation to dissolve the Assembly.
 
The Chief Minister presented to the Governor the resolution recommending the dissolution of the first Legislative Assembly of Telangana state, said the statement.
 
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The Governor while accepting the recommendation requested Rao and his Council of Ministers to continue in office as caretaker government. Rao has agreed, added the statement.
 
The Assembly term is till May 2019 and elections in normal course would have been conducted along with the Lok Sabha polls.
 
The Assembly elections may now be held along with four other states going to polls in December.
 
For the last few weeks, KCR had been giving strong indications of going for early polls. He is scheduled to address a news conference later in the day where he is expected to spell out reasons for his decision.
 
Political observers say the TRS is keen for early elections as the party believes that simultaneous elections to Assembly and the Lok Sabha may not help it properly highlight welfare and developmental works undertaken during the last four years.
 
KCR will formally launch the TRS election campaign with a public meeting at Husnabad in Siddipet district on Friday.
 
Christened 'Prajala Aasirwada Sabha', this will be the first of 100 public meetings planned by TRS over the next 50 days.
 
IANS

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Crucial Telangana cabinet meet on Thursday

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The Telangana cabinet will hold a crucial meeting on Thursday afternoon to take a decision on recommending dissolution of the assembly to pave way for early elections.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has convened the cabinet at 1 p.m. at Pragati Bhavan, his official residence which was a beehive of activity since morning with the arrival of ministers and top officials.
 
The cabinet will adopt a resolution recommending to Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan to dissolve the Assembly. 
 
After the cabinet meeting, Rao will drive to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and convey the cabinet decision, said sources in the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
 
KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, will address a news conference at 2.30 p.m. at the Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters, to announce the cabinet decision. He is also likely to announce the first list of TRS candidates.
 
The Assembly term is till May 2019 and elections in normal course would be conducted along with the Lok Sabha polls.
 
TRS sources said KCR chose September 6 for the key decision as he considers '6' his lucky number. This is the reason cited for not taking the decision during the cabinet meeting on September 2, which was held hours before the massive public meeting organised by the party to sound the poll bugle.
 
KCR will formally launch the TRS election campaign with a public meeting at Husnabad in Siddipet district on Friday.
 
Christened 'Prajala Aasirwada Sabha', this will be the first of 100 public meetings planned by TRS over the next 50 days.
 
Political observers said TRS is keen for early elections as the party believes that simultaneous elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha may not help it properly highlight welfare and developmental works undertaken by it during the last four years.
 
IANS

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Two held guilty in 2007 Hyderabad twin blast case

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A court here on Tuesday held two accused guilty in the 2007 Hyderabad twin bomb blasts which had claimed 42 lives. Two other accused were acquitted while the fate of a fifth accused will be decided next week.
 
The Second Metropolitan Sessions Court held Anique Shafiq Syed and Akbar Ismail Choudhary, both alleged operatives of Indian Mujahideen (IM), guilty. The quantum of punishment will be announced on September 10.
 
Farooq Sharfuddin and Sadiq Ahmed Sheikh were acquitted for lack of evidence.
 
Public Prosecutor Seshu Reddy told reporters that the verdict in the case relating to fifth accused Tariq Anjum will be pronounced on Monday.
 
The near simultaneous bomb blasts at Gokul Chat, a popular eatery, and at Lumbini Park, near the State Secretariat, also injured over 50 on August 25, 2007. 
 
An unexploded bomb was also recovered under a foot-over bridge at Dilsukhnagar.
 
IANS
 

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Gold tiffin box, artefacts stolen from Nizam's Museum

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A gold tiffin box weighing two kilogram, a cup, saucer, and spoon studded with rubies, diamonds and emeralds were stolen from Nizam's Museum in Hyderabad, police said on Monday.
 
Burglars allegedly broke into the museum located in Purani Haveli in the old city of Hyderabad late on Sunday night.
 
The museum authorities lodged a complaint with Mir Chowk police station after they found the valuables missing on Monday.
 
The burglars suspected to have gained entry by removing the iron grill of the ventilator on the first floor. Police believe the burglars used a rope to enter the building.
 
Police have registered a case and launched investigations. They were examining the CCTV footage. A police officer said that they were investigating the role of insiders in the theft.
 
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar and other senior officers visited the museum.
 
The tiffin box, cup, saucer and spoon belonged to the family of Nizams, the rulers of erstwhile Hyderabad State and were on display along with several other personal belongings of the royal family at the museum located in Purani Haveli, one of the palaces of Nizam.
 
The museum showcases several personal belongings of Nizams and their family members and the gifts received by Mir Osman Ali Khan, sixth and the last Nizam from 1911 to 1948 when Hyderabad State was annexed by India.A
 
The museum is also home to Nizam's cars including 1930 Rolls Royce, a 150-year-old manually operated lift and wardrobe of sixth Nizam, who was the richest man in the world in 1930s.
 
Nizam Trust, run by the Nizam's family, opened this museum in 2000 for general public and it is one of the major tourist attractions in the city.
 
IANS
 

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No decision on Assembly dissolution in Telangana cabinet meet

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The Telangana cabinet met here on Sunday amid speculation that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was planning to dissolve the state Assembly and go for early polls but it ended without taking a decision on the issue.
 
After an hour-long meeting at the Pragati Bhavan, official residence of the Chief Minister, Finance Minister Etela Rajender along with a few other ministers briefed the reporters.
 
The cabinet took some decisions on sops for different sections of people. A major decision is for the construction of a community building for the Backward Classes on 75 acres of land in Hyderabad at a cost of Rs 70 crore.
 
Asked whether the issue of Assembly dissolution was also discussed, Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari said they briefed the media on the decisions taken as per the agenda of the meeting. "There will be another cabinet meeting soon to take more decisions."
 
Earlier, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders had said that the cabinet will take some key decisions and the same will be announced by the party chief later in the day at a public meeting titled 'Pragathi Nivedana Sabha', being held on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
 
Rao has already dropped strong hints that he wants to go for early polls. He is likely to take a decision later this week.
 
IANS
 

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TRS to hold mega rally in Hyderabad on Sunday amid talk of early polls

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Amid strong indications of early elections in Telangana, the ruling TRS is all set to hold a massive show of strength here on Sunday.
 
Billed as the mother of all rallies, it will be preceded by a meeting of the state cabinet, which is likely to take a decision on the early polls.
 
Leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will take "key decisions" at the cabinet meeting and announce them at the public meeting.
 
The cabinet may pass a resolution to dissolve the Assembly and recommend this to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan. If the Election Commission agrees, the polls may be held in December along with the elections in three other states.
 
For the last few weeks, Rao had been dropping hints of assembly elections being advanced. He has already declared that the party will announce the candidates in September.
 
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, is keen to advance the assembly polls by six months to avoid simultaneous elections to the Assembly and Parliament. 
 
His two meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August further added to the speculation.
 
KCR's son and cabinet minister K. T. Rama Rao said the Chief Minister would take a final decision on early polls. Rama Rao, who is number two in the party and the government, is confident of TRS retaining power whenever the elections are held as the party enjoys full support of the people.
 
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Titled "Pragati Nivedana", the meeting to be held at Kongara Kalan at Ibrahimpatnam on the city outskirts is expected to attract 25 lakh people. Rama Rao claims that this will be the biggest political rally in the country.
 
According to him, TRS has 47 lakh members and if half of them turn up, the meet would be a huge success. TRS leaders are mobilising people for the meet from across the state.
 
Arrangements were in full swing for the meeting amid allegations by the Congress and other opposition parties that TRS was misusing official machinery. They asked TRS to explain the source of funds for the event.
 
The massive mobilisation of people is expected to hit the traffic on Outer Ring Road (ORR) as thousands of vehicles will be heading towards the venue from different entry points along ORR. Rama Rao has suggested to people not attending the meeting to stay indoors.
 
Hyderabad High Court, while rejecting a petition to bar the meet, directed the organisers to ensure that inconvenience to public is minimised.
 
TRS has turned the city and outskirts pink by putting up billboards, flags and posters.
 
IANS
 

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Andhra CM, NTR family members rush to Nalgonda

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and other members of the NTR family rushed to Telangana's Nalgonda district, where NTR's son Nandamuri Harikrishna died in a road accident early on Wednesday.
 
Shocked family members reached Kamineni Hospital at Narketpally, where Harikrishna, 61, son of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N T Rama Rao, known popularly as NTR, succumbed minutes after he was brought with critical injuries.
 
Harikrishna's sons Junior NTR and Kalyam Ram, both actors, were the first to reach the hospital and broke down on seeing the body of their father.
 
His brother-in-law N. Chandrababu Naidu along with his son Nara Lokesh flew in a helicopter from Vijayawada.
 
Harikrishna's brother actor Balakrishna, sister and former Central minister D. Purandeswari and brother-in-law D. Venkateshwara Rao also reached the hospital. Actor Jagapati Babu was also among those who came to hospital.
 
Police had a tough time controlling the crowd, which had gathered outside the hospital.
 
Meanwhile, several relatives, friends, Telugu Desam Party leaders and Telugu film personalities started pouring in at Harikrishna's house in Hyderabad.
 
Harikrishna's another sister and Naidu's wife Bhuvaneswari and her daughter-in-law Brahmani reached the residence.
 
Naidu, who is also president of the TDP, expressed his shock over the death of Harikrishna, a member of party's highest decision making body, politburo. He described Harkrishna's death as a huge loss to the family and TDP.
 
Naidu recalled his services to the film industry and politics. He also recalled that NTR was very fond of him and picked him to drive his Chaitanya Ratham across Andhra Pradesh.
 
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed grief over Harkrishna's death and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family.
 
IANS
 

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NTR's son and former MP Nandamuri Harikrishna dies in road accident

Nandamuri Harikrishna
Nandamuri Harikrishna
TDP founder NTR's son and actor-politician Nandamuri Harikrishna died in a road accident in Telangana's Nalgonda district early on Wednesday, doctors said. He was 61.
 
Harikrishna, a former Rajya Sabha member and a former Andhra Pradesh minister, sustained critical head injuries when the car in which he was travelling along with two others overturned near Anneparthi. 
 
The vehicle, being driven by Harikrishna, hit the divider while overtaking a vehicle and collided with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
 
He was shifted to Kamineni Hospital at Narketpally, where he succumbed. Two others accompanying him were injured.
 
Harikrishna, son of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao, was on his way to Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh to attend a marriage.
 
He was a member of the TDP politburo and brother-in-law of TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
 
He is survived by two wives Lakshmi and Shalini, two sons Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram, both actors, and daughter Suhasini.
 
His eldest son Janki Ram was also killed in road accident in 2014 in the same district. In 2009, Junior NTR had escaped with injuries in a road accident, also in Nalgonda district.
 
Born on September 2, 1956 at Nimmakur in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Harikrishna, fourth son of NTR, began his film career as a child artiste in the 1960s. 
 
His debut in 1967 was in "Shri Krishnavataram" featuring his father NTR, who was the most popular actor of his times.
 
"Talla Pellamma" (1970), "Tatamma Kala" (1974), "Ram Raheem" (1974), "Daana Veera Shura Karna" (1977), "Sri Ramulayya" (1998) and "Seetharama Raju" (1999) were some of his other films.
 
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Harikrishna was the 'sarathi' (charioteer) of NTR's famous Chaitanya Ratham (chariot of awakening) in 1980s.
 
He had backed Naidu when the latter staged a revolt against NTR in 1995. Following the death of NTR in 1996, he was elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly from Hindupur, a constituency represented by his legendary father.
 
He served as Minister for Transport in Naidu's cabinet and was also the president of youth wing of the TDP.
 
In 1999, he quit TDP accusing Naidu of deviation from the ideals of NTR and formed a new party called Anna TDP, which failed to make a mark. 
 
In 2006, he rejoined TDP and was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2008. Harkrishna resigned from Rajya Sabha in 2013 in protest over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Though he continued as TDP politburo member, Harikrishna had openly expressed his displeasure over Naidu promoting his son Nara Lokesh as his successor. 
 
He was reportedly keen to see his son Junior NTR, a popular actor, taking reins of the party founded by NTR in 1982.
 
IANS
 

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NTR's son and actor-politician Nandamuri Harikrishna dies in road accident

Nandamuri Harikrishna
Nandamuri Harikrishna
Actor-politician Nandamuri Harikrishna, son of late Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder and  former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. T. Rama Rao, died in a road accident in Telangana's Nalgonda district early on Wednesday, doctors said. He was 61.
 
Harikrishna suffered critical head injuries when the car in which he was travelling along with two others overturned while overtaking another vehicle near Anneparthi. 
 
The vehicle hit the median and collided with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
 
He was shifted to Kamineni Hospital at Narketpally, where he succumbed to his injuries.
 
Harikrishna was on his way to Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh to attend a wedding.
 
He was a member of the TDP politburo and brother-in-law of TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. 
 
He is survived by two wives Lakshmi and Shalini, two sons Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram and daughter Suhasini.
 
His eldest son Janki Ram was also killed in a road accident in 2014 in the same district.
 
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Pune Police arrest five Maoist sympathizers in nationwide raids

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For the second time in five months, Pune Police on Tuesday raided alleged Maoist sympathizers across the country and arrested five top activists, some of whom are also human rights advocates.
 
The raids took place at 10 places in Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Haryana. 
 
"We have arrested Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Pereira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha," Joint Police Commissioner of Pune Shivajirao Bodkhe told IANS.
 
Besides, other activists across the country including Kranti, Stan Swami and Anand Teltumbde were raided in the major operation that is part of the ongoing probe into the involvement of Maoist supporters into the Koregaon-Bhima riots of January 1 this year.
 
Scores of supporters of these activists staged noisy protests during the police raids at various locations, including in Mumbai and Thane.
 
Among the angles being probed after Tuesday's crackdown are the modus operandi of the activists, their sources of finance and modes of funding of their activities, their suspected connections with like-minded groups and related issues, officials indicated.
 
Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) President Prakash Ambedkar flayed the action as "the government's attempts to silence the masses" in the wake of the recent crackdown on the Hindu rightwing group Sanatan Sanstha.
 
"But now NGOs which are non-political will become more active and aggressive than they were earlier in opposing this (BJP) government in order to safeguard democracy and human rights," warned Ambedkar, the grandson of B.R. Ambedkar.
 
Officials described Tuesday's operations as a 'follow-up' to similar action taken on April 17 when the Pune Police swooped on over half a dozen Dalit activists and those involved with the Kabir Kala Manch, which organised an Elgar Conference in Pune on December 31.
 
The next day, on January 1, caste riots erupted in Koregaon-Bhima which left one person dead, culminating in a Maharashtra shutdown on January 3 called by the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh of Prakash Ambedkar.
 
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After nearly five months, Pune Police teams fanned out in around half a dozen states and raided the homes and offices of several persons who are suspected to be linked with the Elgar Conference or are alleged Maoist supporters.
 
The police have seized items like computers, laptops, CDs, pen-drives, 'incriminating documents' and books from them and contended that they functioned like an 'urban think tank' for Maoists. Some of them are also Dalit and human rights activists.
 
Previously, during the April action, the Pune police had targetted prominent rights activists like Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale (all arrested) besides raiding Harshali Potdar, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaychor and Sagar Gorke.
 
The arrested persons were charged under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.
 
Tuesday's operations have been condemned by civil society groups, social and Dalit leaders, academics, rights activists and intellectuals who termed the arrests a conspiracy to divert attention from the activities of the Hindu rightwing.
 
Calling the arrests "politically motivated and unjustified", they demanded the immediate release of all the arrested individuals.
 
IANS
 

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I don't believe in soft or hardcore Hindutva: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi made it clear on Tuesday that he was not wedded to Hindutva - "soft or hardcore".
 
In an interaction with editors, Gandhi did not agree that he was embracing soft Hindutva to appease the majority community. 
 
"I don't believe in any kind of Hindutva, soft or hardcore," he said.
 
Gandhi said there was nothing wrong in his meeting religious leaders and visiting religious places.
 
His differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he insisted, were ideological and not personal.
 
Gandhi, on a two-day visit to Hyderabad, predicted that Narendra Modi would not become Prime Minister in 2019.
 
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would not even get 230 Lok Sabha seats and hence there was no question of Modi continuing in office again. The BJP tally would be cut primarily due to the alliance among non-BJP parties in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
 
He also pointed out that several allies of the BJP, including Shiv Sena, were against Modi becoming the Prime Minister for a second term.
 
The Congress President said the party was working with like-minded parties to form a grand alliance to defeat the BJP.
 
He was confident that a Congress-led alliance would form the next government at the Centre.
 
He evaded a direct reply to a question on who would be the Prime Minister in the event of Congress and other non-BJP parties getting a majority. He merely said they would work it out.
 
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He was also non-committal on whether the Congress would repeat the Karnataka formula, where it accepted the leader of a party with fewer seats as the Chief Minister to prevent the BJP from taking power.
 
Asked about his hug to Modi in Parliament, Gandhi said it was intended to show that he doesn't hate people. 
 
He, however, said the Prime Minister was cold in his response. He alleged that Modi doesn't give due respect to political rivals.
 
He voiced concern over growing intolerance in the country. He said that minorities were feeling insecure.
 
Gandhi said the party's state units were free to have alliances with like-minded parties. He was confident that the Congress would come to power in Telangana.
 
Asked about Andhra Pradesh, where Congress drew a blank in the 2014 polls, he said the party was improving its position.
 
He said Modi had failed to implement his promise of providing two crore jobs annually.
 
"China provides employment to 50,000 people in 24 hours while in India only 458 people get employment during this duration," he said.
 
In a lighter vein, Gandhi remarked that he was wedded to the Congress.
 
"I am wedded to Congress," he said when he was asked about his marriage plans.
 
IANS
 

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Rahul Gandhi challenges PM for debate on Rafale deal

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a debate on the Rafale jet deal with France, reiterating his graft charge against the government.
 
He said that he was ready for a debate with Modi at any place and time to prove that the government will get each Rafael jet for Rs 1,600 crore against the Rs 540 crore when the contract was signed during the earlier UPA rule.
 
Addressing a meeting of party workers, he said that Modi could not look him in the eye when he spoke in Parliament on the aircraft deal.
 
"I spoke before the 'chowkidar' with a 56-inch chest. He was looking everywhere but towards me. A corrupt person when told about his theft can't see you in the eye," Gandhi said.
 
The Congress President said that during his 1.5-hour reply to the debate, Modi did not speak a single word about the Rafale deal.
 
He reiterated his charge that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had lied to the nation that the aircraft price can't be revealed as per a pact between India and France. 
 
The Congress leader had claimed that the French President had told him that there is no such pact and that the Indian government can reveal the price to anyone it wants.
 
Gandhi recalled that the UPA government led by his party had given the contract for 126 aircraft to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited because it had been making aircraft for 70 years. He said that when Modi visited France, the contract was snatched from HAL and given to "his (Modi's) friend".
 
"Modi's friend did not make aircraft in his life. That businessman is in Rs 45,000-crore debt," Gandhi alleged.
 
He said that the contract was given to a company formed only 10 days before the contract.
 
Gandhi accused the Modi government of snatching jobs from the Indian youth as manufacture of the aircraft by HAL would have provided employment to lakhs of Indians.
 
The Congress leader said that the non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks shot up to Rs 12 lakh crore during NDA rule from Rs 2.5 lakh crore under the UPA rule. He claimed that the entire Indian banking system has jammed.
 
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The Congress President targeted Modi for failing to fulfil the commitments made to both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at the time of the bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
 
He said that, if voted to power, the Congress would fulfil all commitments, including special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
 
Aiming at Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Gandhi wanted to know why he supported Modi on demonetisation, the Goods and Services Tax and other issues when the Prime Minister failed to fulfil commitments given to Telangana.
 
Gandhi said that Telangana has become the "capital of corruption" as only one family is reaping all the benefits.
 
He said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief was no less than Modi in making false promises.
 
He said that if Modi promised Rs 15 lakh in every bank account and two crore jobs every year, Rao promised a job for every family and double bedroom houses to all the poor in the state. 
 
Gandhi said that during the last four years, the TRS government had filled only 10,000 of the one lakh vacancies in government departments and built only 5,000 of the promised 22 lakh houses.
 
IANS
 

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Best scientific universities increasingly becoming sources of innovation, says Kovind

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President Ram Nath Kovind today said that the best scientific universities and institutions of learning are not just teaching shops or degree factories but increasingly becoming sources of innovation and incubators of technology and technology-driven start-ups.
 
Addressing the 7th convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad, Mr Kovind said that, as a second generation IIT, it is important that the institute borrows from as well as learn from the models of the past.
 
“The conditions are different from the 1950s and 1960s. India has changed. Technology and the very discipline of engineering have evolved. Our aspirations are no longer limited to the heavy industrial base that we created six decades ago. Rather, IIT Hyderabad has to remain relevant to the fourth industrial revolution that will write the script of the 21st century,” he added.
 
The President said he was happy to note that a start has been made by setting up a network of centres for research and promotion of entrepreneurship at this Institute.
 
“The knowledge ecosystem of public investments in science, academic institutions and universities, research laboratories, commercial applications and private enterprise has an almost magical potential. Its best example is, of course, the Silicon Valley in the United States. At the core of the Valley are basic science and technology campuses and their talented faculty and students,” he pointed out.
 
IIT Hyderabad has been set up in a city and in a metropolitan area where several elements for such an ecosystem already exist. Hyderabad has a long tradition of scientific discovery and application. 
 
The city has as many as 19 research facilities and laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Space Research Organisation.
 
Individually, many of these entities are doing excellent work. But there is a need for cross-pollination. IIT Hyderabad is not envisaged as just an add-on to this ecosystem. Rather, it needs to be the hub of this ecosystem. It must be the connecting tissue and the catalyst for a greater synergy, he added.
 
Mr Kovind urged IIT Hyderabad to break out of silos and to encourage others to follow suit. “India will judge the success of IIT Hyderabad by the vitality and the output it can ensure for not just itself but for the entire Hyderabad knowledge ecosystem,” he added.
 
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