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Modi to embark aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Saturday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to embark INS Vikramaditya, the latest aircraft carrier inducted into the Indian Navy, as part of a "Day at Sea" with the Western Fleet tomorrow.
 
Mr Modi will embark the carrier at sea by helicopter and is expected to witness exercises by frontline warships and aircraft of the Navy.
 
The Prime Minister will be received at INS Hansa, the Naval Air Station in Goa, by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan. He will be accorded a 150-man ceremonial guard of honour on arrival.
 
During the day, he will witness ‘Air Power Demonstration’ by various naval aircraft including MiG 29K, Sea Harriers, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft, TU 142M, IL 38 SD, Dorniers, Kamov and Sea King helicopters. 
 
He will also watch high-speed manoeuvres by Western Fleet ships including aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Delhi class destroyers, Talwar class frigates, and so on.
 
Mr Modi will also witness the take-off and ‘arrestor wire landing operations’ and high speed low level operations of MiG29 K integral fighters onboard the flight deck of INS Vikramaditya. 
 
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to meet and interact with the crew onboard and address the officers and sailors of the Indian Navy, an official press release added.
 
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Ministries of Culture, Tourism to coordinate better, identify areas of convergence

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Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Sripad Yesso Naik has called for greater coordination between the two ministries in existing projects and urged them to take up new projects in which they could converge.
 
At a meeting with senior officials of both Ministries here yesterday, he mentioned in this regard areas such as organising Festivals of India and road shows, projects related to archaeological monuments and heritage sites, the "Clean India" campaign and publicity and image building, including the Brand India campaign.
 
According to an official press release, the Ministry of Culture will conclude memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the Ministry of Tourism and various state governments for improvement of visitor amenities at monuments and heritage sites.
 
The Ministry of Tourism will ensure publicity wherever Festivals of India are organized, with publicity material being supplied to Indian missions abroad. Tour operators will be allowed to set up counters at festival venues, and the two Ministries will collaborate for food festivals. They will coordinate with the Indian Council for Cultural Research (ICCR).
 
The two Ministries will develop a common calendar for road shows and Festivals of India.
 
Publicity and branding of Festivals promoted by the Ministry of Culture,  particularly the “Decennial Exposition of St. Francis Xavier, Goa” in the month of November 2014, including publicity in Lusophone countries and in target countries like Russia, England and Israel will be taken up by the Ministry of Tourism.
 
Similarly, the two Ministries work together on the Nabakalevara Festival at Puri Jagannath Temple in June 2015, the release said.
 
Admission fees of ASI protected monuments will be revised by the Ministry of Culture. Rates charged for film shooting will be reviewed by the Ministry of Culture from time to time in consultation with Ministry of Tourism. 
 
E-ticketing facilities will be initiated in collaboration with the travel booking sites such as irctc.co.in. Other such avenues will be explored.
 
Signages in various monuments will be prepared by Archaeological Survey of India, after consultation with Ministry of Tourism. 
 
The Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Clean India’ campaign will be implemented in monuments under ASI in a phased manner. They will develop tourist circuits such as Gandhi Heritage Circuit and Buddhist Circuit. A Joint-Action Plan will be formulated for guide training programme of Ministry of Tourism, the release added.
 
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Heavy polling in 7 constituences in four states in fourth phase of LS elections

 
Heavy polling in 4th phase of LS election
Voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise in the seven constituencies in four states that went to the polls today in the fourth phase of balloting in the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
More than 55 lakh electors were eligible to choose from 74 candidates in today's polls for three of the 14 seats in Assam, both seats in Goa, the remaining one of two seats in Tripura and the lone seat in Sikkim.
 
Polling began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm.
 
About 82 per cent polling was recorded in Tripura, 76 per cent in Sikkim and more than 75 per cent in Goa and Assam, official sources said.
 
Long queues of voters were seen at many polling stations throughout the day in the four states.
 
Polling was also held today for the 32-member legislative assembly in Sikkim.
 
The first phase of polling was held on April 7, when the electorate in five constituencies of Assam and one in Tripura exercised their franchise.
 
In the second phase of polling, six Lok Sabha seats in the North-East -- two each in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya and one each in Manipur and Nagaland -- went to the polls on April 9.
 
In the third phase of polling on Thursday, polling was held in 91 constituencies in 14 States and Union Territories. They included all the 20 seats in Kerala, 10 in Haryana and seven in Delhi. Voting was also held yesterday for 6 of the 40 seats in Bihar, 1 of 11 in Chhattisgarh, 1 of 6 in Jammu & Kashmir, 4 of 14 in Jharkhand, 10 of 48 in Maharashtra, 9 of 29 in Madhya Pradesh, 10 of 21 in Odisha, 10 of 80 in Uttar Pradesh and 1 each in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep.
 
Polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram, orginally scheduled for April 9, was held yesterday.
 
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Polling begins for 7 seats in four states in 4th phase of LS elections

Seven constituencies in four states -- Assam, Tripura, Sikkim and Goa -- went to the polls on Saturday in the fourth phase of voting in the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
4th phase of LS polls begins in Assam, Goa, Tripura, Sikkim
Seven constituencies in four states went to the polls today in the fourth phase of voting in the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
More than 55 lakh voters will decide the electoral fate of 74 candidates in today's polls for three of the 14 seats in Assam, both seats in Goa, the remaining one of two seats in Tripura and the lone seat in Sikkim.
 
Polling began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.
 
The first phase of polling was held on April 7, when the electorate in five constituencies of Assam and one in Tripura exercised their franchise.
 
In the second phase of polling, six Lok Sabha seats in the North-East -- two each in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya and one each in Manipur and Nagaland -- went to the polls on April 9.
 
In the third phase of polling on Thursday, polling was held in 91 constituencies in 14 States and Union Territories. They included all the 20 seats in Kerala, 10 in Haryana and seven in Delhi. Voting was also held yesterday for 6 of the 40 seats in Bihar, 1 of 11 in Chhattisgarh, 1 of 6 in Jammu & Kashmir, 4 of 14 in Jharkhand, 10 of 48 in Maharashtra, 9 of 29 in Madhya Pradesh, 10 of 21 in Odisha, 10 of 80 in Uttar Pradesh and 1 each in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep.
 
Polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram, orginally scheduled for April 9, was held yesterday.
 
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EC modifies dates of poll for two seats in Goa, one in Jharkhand

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The Election Commission today modified the dates of poll for both Lok Sabha constituencies in Goa and one in Jharkhand following representations received by it from various quarters.
 
Accordingly, the polls will be held for North Goa and South Goa on April 12 (Saturday) instead of April 17 as originally scheduled. The notification for these elections will be issued on March 19.
 
The date of poll in Hazaribagh has been changed from April 10 to April 17 (Thursday). The notification will be issued on March 19.
 
An official press release said the Commission  had received representations from various quarters requesting for change of the date of poll in Goa in view of the fact that the original date, April 17, fell on Maundy Thursday, which is a restricted holiday with local importance.
 
In Hazaribagh, requests were received that, in viw of Ram Navami, there would be processions in the area from April 8 to 10.
 
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Modi says last 10 years under Congress worst India has seen

'India first' should be govt's religion: Mod
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, today launched a frontal attack on the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, saying the last ten years under it were the worst India had seen.
 
Addressing a "Vijay Sankalp" rally here, he tore into the Government on issues such as corruption and price rise, which dominated the recent elections to legislative assemblies in five states and would be the main theme in the Lok Sabha polls.
 
Accusing the Congress of taking India behind by 50 years, he said the people and other parties who supported it were equally responsible. "We used to vote for a person or party. In 2014, vote for India," he said.
 
Mr Modi said the Congress had become dysfunctional and, therefore, a liability for the country.
 
He said the Congress was playing vote-bank politics, and criticised Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for writing to Chief Ministers of all states asking them to ensure that no innocent youth from minority communities is wrongly detained in the name of terrorism.
 
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“The law is equal for all… Do arrests take place on the basis of religion?” he asked.
 
He also accused the Congress of defending and not acting against corruption, of destroying institutions and damaging the federal structure of the country.
 
Mr Modi said his call for a "Congress-free India" was not just a BJP slogan but the "mood of the nation".
 
He said the people of the country had resolved to rid the country of the Congress and of the "Congress culture" which, he said, included dynasty politics, nepotism, corruption, communalism, poverty and such other ills.
 
"We need efforts to integrate the nation, not divide it. The 2014 elections are about voting for India," he said.
 
Mr Modi praised Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's efforts to develop Goa and spoke about the underlying principles of the BJP. He also referred to his counterparts Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and said the BJP encouraged people from humble backgrounds to rise to positions where they could serve the country.
 
He said that, under the Congress, power had gone into the hands of people without any accountability. He said the BJP believed in decentralization and would strengthen offices and institutions.
 
Mr Modi talked about the difficulties being faced by the mining industry in Goa, he said the BJP would not only safeguard the environment but also bring in transparency in the sector for the growth of India.
 
He criticised the previous Union Minister for Environment & Forests Jayanthi Natarajan and accused her of imposing a "Jayanthi tax" on applicants for environmental clearance for projects.
 
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14 killed, 23 injured in Goa building collapse

14 bodies recovered after building collapses in Goa
At least 14 people were killed and 23 others suffered injuries when a four-storeyed building under construction at Canacona in South Goa, 60 km from here, collapsed yesterday afternoon.
 
Rescue teams, including more than 400 Army jawans, worked round the clock to try and extricate several workers still feared trapped under the debris.
 
Officials indicated that the toll could rise further as the rescue workers dug through the rubble.
 
In one of the worst such mishaps in Goa, the four-storeyed structure, Ruby Residency, located in the Chaudi area of Canacona, came crashing down around 3 pm yesterday, taking scores of workers unawares. Many of them were said to be taking an afternoon nap when the tragedy struck.
 
Teams from the fire brigade, police, army and other emergency services were involved in frantic efforts to tr and rescue the trapped workers. Cranes and earth-moving equipment as well as gas-cutters were being used to break the huge concrete slabs.
 
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was among those who rushed to the spot and remained there for long to take stock of the situation.
 
Several doctors had turned up at the site to offer medical assistance to the victims, if necessary.
 
The injured workers were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment in ambulances.
 
Mr Parrikar ordered the authorities to take strict action against those responsible for the mishap. The police have registered a criminal case against the builder, contractor and municipal officials, the sources added.
 
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Seven killed, as four-storeyed under-construction building collapses in Goa

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At least seven people were killed and another 13 suffered injuries when a four-storeyed under-construction building at Canacona in South Goa, 60 km from Panaji, collapsed today.
 
Official sources said scores more, mainly workers working on the construction of the building, were feared trapped under the debris and indicated that the toll could go up as rescue workers dug through the rubble.
 
The army had been called in to help in the rescue operations and about a hundred jawans were at the spot, they said.
 
The building, Ruby Residency located in Chawdi area of Canacona, came crashing down around 1500 hours, the sources said.
 
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was among those who rushed to the scene of the tragedy.
 
Officials from the South Goa district administration, the fire services, police and other agencies were at the spot. Rescue teams were using gas cutters and cranes to dig through the debris.
 
Mr Parrikar ordered the authorities to take strict action against those responsible for the mishap. The police have registered a criminal case against the builder, contractor and municipal officials, the sources added.
 
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India, Maldives agree to strengthen cooperation in defence, security, economic fields

India and Maldives today agreed on a number of initiatives to strengthen their relationship, especially bilateral defence and security cooperation, including through training, supply of equipment, capacity building, joint patrolling and aerial and maritime surveillance.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, in New Delhi on January 2, 2014.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, in New Delhi on January 2, 2014.
India and Maldives today agreed on a number of initiatives to strengthen their relationship, especially  bilateral defence and security cooperation, including through training, supply of equipment, capacity building, joint patrolling and aerial and maritime surveillance.
 
At talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom here, the two sides also agreed that their cooperation was indispensable for the maritime security of the two countries and essential for promoting peace, prosperity and security in the Indian Ocean region.
 
"We are also conscious of the need to remain vigilant against terrorism and we share the firm commitment to remain sensitive to each other’s concerns and not allow our territories to be used by any inimical quarters," Dr Singh said later at a joint media interaction with Mr Yameen.
 
"As two close neighbours, the development aspirations and security interests of India and Maldives are closely linked," he said.
 
This is Mr Yameen's first state visit to any country after assuming office in November last year.
 
"I had the pleasure of receiving him in Delhi in August last year and we are deeply honoured that he has chosen India as his first destination as President of Maldives. I can’t think of a more apt beginning to the New Year than to welcome back in our midst the newly elected President of a very close and friendly neighbor with whom we also share very vital interests," the Prime Minister said.
 
At their discussions, Dr Singh congratulated Mr Yameen on his victory and the people of Maldives for a successful and peaceful election that has consolidated democracy in Maldives and paved the way for reconciliation, stability and continued economic and social progress.
 
He said the two sides had agred to deep their trilateral maritime security cooperation with Sri Lana and looked forward to expanding it to other countries in the Indian Ocean.
 
"India is ready to provide further assistance and support to Maldives in strengthening our collective ability to address our shared security challenges," he said.
 
Dr Singh and Mr Yameen discussed ways and means of expanding bilateral  economic relations.
 
"Our bilateral trade is around Rs. 700 crores, and the balance is overwhelmingly in India’s favour. I would like to see a more balanced growth in our bilateral trade, and we will certainly do all we can to encourage the flow of Indian tourists to Maldives. Increase in Indian investments in Maldives would also contribute to expansion of our economic relations. In this context, I requested President Yameen to amicably settle the issue of Male International Airport and address the problems that some of our investors are facing," he said.
 
He said that, as part of immediate measures, India was extending a standby credit facility of $ 25 million to Maldives for imports from India. 
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India has also agreed to meet the requirements of petroleum products in Maldives and has asked its agencies to work out the best possible terms and arrangements. 
 
"We will continue to further develop our development partnership, including in areas such as education and health," he said.
 
Dr Singh said people-to-people contacts should be characterized by the natural ease of movement that befits two close neighbours. 
 
"Our air connectivity has improved, and we have also agreed to liberalize our visa regimes, especially for those coming from Maldives for medical treatment," he said.
 
The two leaders also discussed the cooperation between the two countries in global and regional fora.
 
"As members of SAARC, we agreed to continue to work for a more integrated and connected South Asia. I also expressed our appreciation to President Yameen for his country’s steadfast support to India's candidature for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council," he said.
 
Dr Singh said India was committed to supporting peace, stability and progress in Maldives.
 
"I am confident that under President Yameen’s able leadership, Maldives will be able to fulfill the aspirations of its citizens and play its due role in the region, thereby opening a new chapter in our bilateral relations," he added.
 
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Delhi, surrounding areas enveloped by very dense fog for second day

A view of the fog in Delhi in the morning of December 17, 2013. Photo: Shine Joy
A view of the fog in Delhi in the morning of December 17, 2013. Photo: Shine Joy
Delhi and surrounding areas were enveloped by thick fog for the second day today, affecting flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here and road and rail traffic in the region.
 
Sources said several flights to and from Delhi were delayed as a result of the fog, as well trains running in the region. 
 
Visibility at the airport had dropped to below 50 metres in very dense fog by 0230 hours and had not improved even at 0830 hours, they said.
 
Sources at the airport said low visibility procedures (LVP) were initiated on runway 11/29 at 2125 hours last night and for runway 10/28 at 0430 hours today.
 
They said 38 flights were operated during this period. Four incoming and eight outbound flights were cancelled, while four flights inbound for Delhi were diverted to other cities.
 
Dense fog has also been reported from other cities in the region in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
 
Yesterday was the first day that the region had witnessed dense fog in this winter, and more than 130 flights had been affected. Eight flights were cancelled and nine inbound flights were diverted to other cities.
 
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India's light combat aircraft Tejas fires missile, hits target with precision

File photo of India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
File photo of India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
India's indigenously developed and productionised fourth generation-plus light combat aircraft (LCA), Tejas, crossed a major milestone when it launched an infrared-seeking air-to-air missile that destroyed the target in a direct and precise hit.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Defence said the test was conducted at around 1100 hours off the coast of Goa in the Arabian Sea.
 
The test demonstrated the required parameters and has taken the aircraft closer to its induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF), it said.
 
Tejas has been developed by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore, as the lead laboratory and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the production partner.
 
Mr Avinash Chander, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, congratulated the team. 
 
"With this launch of missile from Tejas and successfully hitting the target in the first shot, we have demonstrated the total weapon system capability of LCA Tejas," he said.
 
The release said Tejas had been undergoing weapon release flight tests for its operational clearance. As a prelude today, Group Captain Suneet Krishna, flying the Tejas aircraft, commanded the infrared seeker missile through the fire control radar of the aircraft to lock on to the target. 
 
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The target was towed by a pilotless target aircraft Lakshya, also designed and developed by another premier DRDO lab, Aeronautics Development Establishment (ADE), Bangalore.
 
The target mounted on Lakshya was launched by a ship of the Indian Navy off the west coast of India. 
 
A team from the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), ADA, HAL, ADE, CEMILAC, DGAQA and the Indian Navy worked in unison to achieve today's feat.
 
Mr P S Subramanyam, DS, Program Director, Combat Vehicles & Director ADA and Air Cmde KA Muthana, Project Director, Flight Test supervised the operations from the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), the release added.
 
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India offers $ 1 million for destruction of Syria's chemical weapons

 
India has decided to offer a financial contribution of $ 1 million to the Trust Fund set up at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague for use in the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and related facilities.
 
An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said India would  also offer the services of its experts to be used by the OPCW in the destruction verification activity as well as training slots for the personnel participating in the UN/OPCW mission for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
 
India is an original state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and as a possessor state it has completed the destruction of its chemical weapons in accordance with the Convention.
 
"India welcomes progress on the time-bound safeguarding and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and Syria's accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention. India's assistance to the OPCW is a concrete demonstration of India's consistent position of support for the complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons worldwide," the release added.
 
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New integrated terminal inaugurated at Goa airport

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A new integrated terminal building was inaugurated by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh at Goa airport here oday.
 
"Providing quality aviation infrastructure commensurate with the expected passenger traffic growth is high on the priority of my ministry," he said.
 
"Expansion and upgradation of airport at such a tourist and industry destination as Goa assumed significant importance," he said.
 
The new terminal, which can handle both domestic and international operations, is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as passenger boarding bridges, CUTE-enabled check-in counters, inline compatible baggage handling system, building management system and escalators.
 
The terminal has been constructed at a cost of Rs 345 crore.
 
Mr Singh said that Goa airport, with a thousand-plus international charter tourist flights, accunts for almost 90 per cent of the charter tourist flights into India. In 2012-13, the airport handled 1208 charter flights, up 45 per cent from the previous year.
 
He acknowledged the role of Goa Government and Indian Navy for paving way for the development of the new terminal building.
 
Mr Singh said the domestic passenger movement in India in the next ten years would exceed 336 million per annum while international traffic will cross the 84 million mark from the current levels of 117 million domestic and 43 million international passengers.
 
Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
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Tarun Tejpal sent to police custody for six days in sexual assault case

Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, was remanded in police custody for six days by a court here today.
 
The order came after an hour of hearing, during which the Goa Police sought custody of Mr Tejpal, 50, for 14 days.
 
"Mr Tejpal has been remanded in police custody for six days. Th prosecution had asked for 14 days' custody, but they were given his custody for only six days," a lawyer for the journalist said.
 
He was due to be taken to a police station from the court where he would be interrogated on the allegations against him, sources said.
 
Mr Tejpal was formally placed under arrest around 9 pm yesterday by the Goa Police after a court rejected his application for anticipatory bail.
 
Later, he was taken to the Goa Medical College Hospital for a medical examination, after which he spent th night in a police lock-up.
 
Mr Tejpal, who had said he would make himself available for questioning by the Goa Police on Saturday and promised to fully cooperate with the investigating team, had flown to Panaji from Delhi on Friday afternoon.
 
The young journalist had in an e-mail on November 18 to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury (who, incidentally, resigned on Thursday amidst the swirling controversy), alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa during the Thinkfest event organised by the magazine there.
 
 
Tarun Tejpal sent to police custody for six days
Two days later, on November 20, Mr Tejpal had, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa on Wednesday to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
In a statement on Friday, the young journalist asserted that what Mr Tejpal did to her fell within the legal definition of rape.
 
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"Beatriz’s War" from East Timor bags Golden Peacock at IFFI 2013

Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo presenting the Golden Peacock award for best film to 'Beatriz's War' directed by Luigi Acqisto and Bety Reis, at the closing ceremony of the 44th International Film Festival of India, in Panaji on November 30, 2013.
Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo presenting the Golden Peacock award for best film to 'Beatriz's War' directed by Luigi Acqisto and Bety Reis, at the closing ceremony of the 44th International Film Festival of India, in Panaji on November 30, 2013.
"Beatriz's War" from East Timor bagged the Goldean Peacock for the Best Film at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which drew to a close here yesterday evening.
 
The film, directed by Bety Reis and Luigi Acquisto, is the passionate story of one woman’s conviction to remain true to the man she loves. 
 
The award carries a Golden Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 40 lakh. 
 
Indian director Kaushik Ganguli bagged the award for Best Director for his Bengali film Apur Panchali. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh. 
 
The Special Jury Award went to Turkish film Thou Gild’st The Even, directed by Onur Unlu. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh. 
 
Alon Moni Aboutboul won the Best Actor (Male) award  for his performance in Israeli movie A Place in Heaven. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. 
 
The Best Actor (Female) award was presented to Boczarska Magdalena for her role in Polish film In Hiding. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. 
 
The Special Centenary Award was given to Bengali film Meghe Dhaka Tara, directed by Kamaleshwar Mukherjee. The award carries a Silver Peacock, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. 
 
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Justin Chadwick’s film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was the closing film of the festival. The film is based on anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiographic book, Long Walk to Freedom. The film chronicles his life from his childhood in a rural village to his emergence as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. 
 
Goa Governor Bharat Veer Wanchoo, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari, film personalities Asha Parekh, Rohit Shetty, Jimmy Shergil and Deepshika were amongst tose present at the closing ceremony. Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh was the chief guest.
 
The ceremony opened with a performance by renowned Indian rock fusion artiste and film playback singer Remo Fernandes from Goa. 
 
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Tarun Tejpal arrested by Goa Police after court rejects his anticipatory bail plea

Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, was formally arrested tonight by the Goa Police shortly after a local court rejected his application for anticipatory bail.
Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, was formally arrested tonight by the Goa Police shortly after a local court rejected his application for anticipatory bail.
 
"Mr Tejpal has been formally arrested," a lawyer for Mr Tejpal told waiting newspersons, without giving any more details.
 
Sources said Mr Tejpal, 50, would be taken to the Goa Medical College Hospital for a medical examination and later questioned by the police. He is expected to be produced before a magistrate tomorrow.
 
Details of the court's decision, announced by the judge late this evening after arguments from both sides in the day, were not available immediately.
 
But Mr Tejpal's lawyer Geeta Luthra said the court had rejected their application for anticipatory bail. She said the defence had pointed out to the court that Mr Tejpal had joined the investigation and had presented himself to the Crime Branch for questioning.
 
The prosecution, on the other hand, wanted custody of Mr Tejpal for 14 days to question him about the allegations by the young journalist, who has since resigned from the investigative news magazine. Mr Tejpal himself has also "recused" himself from the editor's position for six months after the girl made the complaint.
 
Mr Tejpal had filed the bail application yesterday and had got interim protection from arrest, first until yesterday afternoon and then later until this morning, pending a decision on the plea.
 
Mr Tejpal, who had said he would make himself available for questioning by the Goa Police today and promised to fully cooperate with the investigating team, flew to Panaji from Delhi yesterday afternoon.
Goa Court denies anticipatory bail to Tarun Tejpal
 
The young journalist had in an e-mail on November 18 to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury (who, incidentally, resigned on Thursday amidst the swirling controversy), alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa during the Thinkfest event organised by the magazine there.
 
Two days later, on November 20, Mr Tejpal had, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
They have also issued an alert to all immigration check posts to ensure that he does not leave the country.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa on Wednesday to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
In a statement yesterday, the young journalist asserted that what Mr Tejpal did to her fell within the legal definition of rape.
 
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Goa court rejects Tarun Tejpal's anticipatory bail plea, arrest likely

A court in Goa on Saturday rejected the anticipatory bail application of well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague.
Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
A court in Goa today rejected the anticipatory bail application of well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague.
 
Details of the decision, announced by the judge late this evening after arguments from both sides in the day, were not available immediately.
 
But Mr Tejpal's lawyer Geeta Luthra said the court had rejected their application for anticipatory bail. She said the defence had pointed out to the court that Mr Tejpal had joined the investigation and had presented himself to the Crime Branch for questioning.
 
The prosecution, on the other hand, wanted custody of Mr Tejpal for 14 days to question him about the allegations by the young journalist, who has since resigned from the investigative news magazine. Mr Tejpal himself has also "recused" himself from the editor's position for six months after the girl made the complaint.
 
The court's decision meant that the Goa Police could now go ahead and place him under arrest if it considered it necessary
Goa Court denies anticipatory bail to Tarun Tejpal
 
Mr Tejpal had filed the bail application yesterday and had got interim protection from arrest, first until yesterday afternoon and then later until this morning, pending a decision on the plea.
 
Mr Tejpal, 50, who had said he would make himself available for questioning by the Goa Police today and promised to fully cooperate with the investigating team, flew to Panaji from Delhi yesterday afternoon.
 
The young journalist had in an e-mail on November 18 to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury (who, incidentally, resigned on Thursday amidst the swirling controversy), alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa during the Thinkfest event organised by the magazine there.
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Two days later, on November 20, Mr Tejpal had, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
They have also issued an alert to all immigration check posts to ensure that he does not leave the country.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa on Wednesday to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
In a statement yesterday, the young journalist asserted that what Mr Tejpal did to her fell within the legal definition of rape.
 
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Tejpal gets interim protection from arrest until Saturday morning

Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, on Friday got interim protection from arrest until Saturday morning from a court in Goa.
Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, today got interim protection from arrest until tomorrow morning from a court in Goa.
 
The court began hearing arguments on an anticipatory bail application moved by Mr Tejpal and will resume hearing it tomorrow morning, lawyers appearing for him told newspersons in Panaji.
 
Earlier, this morning, the court had barred his arrest until 2.30 pm today when it took up the bail plea.
 
Mr Tejpal, 50, who had said he would make himself available for questioning by the Goa Police today and promised to fully cooperate with the investigating team, flew to Panaji from Delhi this afternoon.
 
Scores of journalists and cameramen were present at the Delhi airport when he reached there to take his flight, and that was his first public appearance since the allegations first surfaced on November 20.
 
Mr Tejpal had failed to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of Goa Police probing the complaint against him before the 3 pm deadline yesterday given to him.
 
He had sent a letter to the police, seeking time until Saturday to appear before the IO, but she rejected his plea, giving rise to speculation that a non-bailable warrant might be issued against him.
 
Late in the evening yesterday, lawyers for Mr Tejpal said he would make himself available for questioning by the IO on Friday and fully cooperate in the investigations.
 
While pleading for more time, Mr Tejpal had said that he had received the summons late on Wednesday night, which left him no time to travel from Delhi to Goa by the 3 pm deadline on Thursday.
 

 
Tarun Tejpal gets interim relief till 10 am on Saturday
When he finally landed in Panaji this evening, he was greeted by a crowd of protesters.
 
The young journalist had in an e-mail to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury (who, incidentally, resigned yesterday amidst the swirling controversy) on November 18, alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa during the Think festival organised by the magazine there.
 
Two days later, on November 20, Mr Tejpal had, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
They have also issued an alert to all immigration check posts to ensure that he does not leave the country.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa on Wednesday to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
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Tehelka journalist says what Tejpal did to her was rape

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The young journalist who has accused Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her earlier this month in Goa today asserted that what he did to her fell within the legal definition of rape.
 
In a statement, she also expressed deep concern over insinuations that her complaint against him was "part of a pre-election political conspiracy" and categorically refuted them.
 
The journalist, who has since resigned from the investigative news magazine, 
said she was heartened by the broad support she had received over the past fortnight since Mr Tejpal allegedly assaulted her on two separate occasions on November 7 and 8 in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa, where they and other Tehelka journalists were attending an event organized by the magazine.
 
"The struggle for women to assert control over their lives and their bodies is most certainly a political one, but feminist politics and its concerns are wider than the narrow universe of our political parties. Thus, I call upon our political parties to resist the temptation to turn a very important discussion about gender, power and violence into a conversation about themselves," she said.
 
"Suggestions that I am acting on someone else's behest are only the latest depressing indications that sections of our public discourse are unwilling to acknowledge that women are capable to making decisions about themselves for themselves.
 
"In this past week, television commentators who should know better, have questioned my motivations and my actions during and after Mr. Tejpal molested me. Some have questioned the time it took for me to file my complaint, more inquisitive commentators have questioned the use of the word 'sexual molestation' versus words like 'rape'," she said.
 
"Perhaps the hardest part of this unrelentingly painful experience has been my struggle with taxonomy. I don't know if I am ready to see myself as a 'rape victim', for my colleagues, friends, supporters and critics to see me thus. It is not the victim that categorizes crimes: it is the law. And in this case, the law is clear: what Mr. Tejpal did to me falls within the legal definition of rape," she said.
 
The victim said that, now that the country had a new law that broadened the definition of rape, people should stand by what they fought for.
 
"We have spoken, time and again, about how rape is not about lust or sex, but about power, privilege and entitlement. Thus this new law should be applicable to everybody - the wealthy, the powerful, and the well connected - and not just to faceless strangers.
 
"As seen by some of the responses to this case, instances of familial and custodial rape present doughty challenges to even the most adamantine feminists.
 
"Unlike Mr. Tejpal, I am not a person of immense means. I have been raised singlehandedly by my mother's single income. My father's health has been very fragile for many years now. 
 
"Unlike Mr. Tejpal, who is fighting to protect his wealth, his influence and his privilege, I am fighting to preserve nothing except for my integrity and my right to assert that my body is my own and not the plaything of my employer. By filing my complaint, I have lost not just a job that I loved, but much-needed financial security and the independence of my salary. I have also opened myself to personal and slanderous attack. This will not be an easy battle," she said.
 
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The journalist said that, in her life and her writings, she had always urged women to speak out and break the collusive silence that surrounded sexual crime. 
 
"This crisis has only confirmed the myriad difficulties faced by survivors. First, our utterances are questioned, then our motivations, and finally our strength is turned against us:  a politician will issue a statement claiming that speaking out against sexual violence will hurt our professional prospects; an application filed in the Delhi High Court will question why the victim remained 'normal'," she said.
 
She said that had she chosen silence in this instance, she would not have been able to face either herself or the feminist movement that is forged and renewed afresh by generations of strong women.
 
"Finally, an array of men of privilege have expressed sorrow that Tehelka, the institution, has suffered in this crisis. I remind them that this crisis was caused by the abusive violence of the magazine's Editor-in-Chief, and not by an employee who chose to speak out," she added.
 
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Tejpal gets interim protection from arrest until 2.30 pm today

Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, today got interim protection from arrest until 2.30 pm today from a court in Goa which will hear an anticipatory bail application from him this afternoon.
Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a junior colleague, today got interim protection from arrest until 2.30 pm today from a court in Goa which will hear an anticipatory bail application from him this afternoon.
 
Mr Tejpal, 50, has said that he would make himself available for questioning by the Goa Police today. He has promised to cooperate fully with the investigating team.
 
His lawyers applied for bail for him in a Goa court, which said it would hear his request this afternoon and barred his arrest until then.
 
Mr Tejpal failed to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of Goa Police probing the complaint of alleged sexual assault made against him by a junior colleague before the 3 pm deadline yesterday given to him.
 
Mr Tejpal sent a letter to the police, seeking time until Saturday to appear before the IO, but she rejected his plea, giving rise to speculation that a non-bailable warrant might be issued against him.
Tejpal granted interim bail till 2:30 PM
 
Late in the evening yesterday, lawyers for Mr Tejpal said he would make himself available for questioning by the IO on Friday and fully cooperate with the investigations.
 
While pleading for more time, Mr Tejpal had said that he had received the summons late on Wednesday night, which left him no time to travel from Delhi to Goa by the 3 pm deadline on Thursday.
 
Goa Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police told newspersons in Panaji yesterday that the IO had not accepted Mr Tejpal's request for more time in view of the seriousness of the crime allegedly committed by him. He said the IO was proceeding further in the matter "as per law empowered".
 
During the day yesterday, Mr Tejpal sought permission to withdraw his anticipatory bail application from the Delhi High Court, saying he would move the appropriate court for an appropriate remedy.
 
The young journalist had in an e-mail to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury (who, incidentally, resigned yesterday amidst the swirling controversy) on November 18, alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa during the Think festival organised by the magazine there.
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Two days later, on November 20, Mr Tejpal had, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
They have also issued an alert to all immigration check posts to ensure that he does not leave the country.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa on Wednesday to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
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Tejpal fails to appear before Goa Police, says will do so on Friday

Well-known journalist and Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal on Thursay failed to appear before the investigating officer of Goa Police probing a complaint of alleged sexual assault made against him by a junior colleague before the 3 pm deadline given to him.
Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal today failed to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of Goa Police probing a complaint of alleged sexual assault made against him by a junior colleague before the 3 pm deadline given to him.
 
Mr Tejpal sent a letter to the police, seeking time until Saturday to appear before the IO, but she rejected his plea, giving rise to speculation that a non-bailable warrant might be issued against him.
 
Late in the evening, lawyers for Mr Tejpal said he would make himself available for questioning by the IO tomorrow and fully cooperate with the investigations.
 
While pleading for more time, Mr Tejpal had said that he had received the summons late last night, which left him no time to travel from Delhi to Goa by the 3 pm deadline.
 
Goa Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police told newspersons in Panaji that the IO had not accepted Mr Tejpal's request for more time in view of the seriousness of the crime allegedly committed by him. He said the IO was proceeding further in the matter "as per law empowered".
 
During the day, Mr Tejpal sought permission to withdraw his anticipatory bail application from the Delhi High Court, saying he would move the appropriate court for an appropriate remedy.
 
The young journalist had in an e-mail to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury (who, incidentally, resigned today) on November 18, alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, during the Think festival organised by the magazine in Goa, where they and several of their colleagues were present.
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On November 20, Mr Tejpal had, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
They have also issued an alert to all immigration check posts to ensure that he does not leave the country.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa yesterday to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
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Goa Police summon Tejpal in sexual assault case, victim records statement

The Goa Police on Wednesday said they had issued sommons to Tarun Tejpal, one of India's best-known journalists and founder-editor of investigative news magazine Tehelka, to appear before investigators probing the allegations of sexual assault made against him by a junior colleague.
Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal
The Goa Police today said they had issued sommons to Tarun Tejpal, one of India's best-known journalists and founder-editor of investigative news magazine Tehelka, to appear before investigators probing the allegations of sexual assault made against him by a junior colleague.
 
The police said Mr Tejpal, 50, had been asked to apear before the investigating officer at 3 pm in Panaji tomorrow.
 
Meanwhile, the woman journalist recorded her statement before a magistrate, official sources said.
 
The journalist had, in an e-mail to Tehelka's Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary on November 18, alleged that Mr Tejpal had indulged in sexual misconduct with her twice, on November 7 and 8, during the Think festival organised by the magazine in Goa, where they and several of their colleagues were present.
 
Two days later, on November 20, Mr Tejpal, in a letter to Ms Chaudhary, announced his decision to "recuse" himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months as an act of penance.
 
The allegations and the response to them by Mr Tejpal and Ms Chaudhary have evoked outrage across the country, especially in view of the fact that they had acquired the reputation of being fearless crusaders against corruption and injustice.
 
Based on the young journalist's letter to Ms Chaudhary, which was leaked to the media, the Goa police has booked Mr Tejpal for alleged rape and other charges.
 
They have also issued an alert to all immigration check posts to ensure that he does not leave the country.
 
The investigating officer Sunita Sawant had met the victim in Mumbai a few days ago and had accompanied her to Goa today to record her statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Panaji.
 
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Meanwhile, Mr Tejpal has applied for anticipatory bail in the Delhi High Court. The court declined to give him any interim relief and will decide on his plea on Friday.
 
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar said at a press conference in Panaji today that the case was a sensitive matter and made it clear that the law would take its own course.
 
He denied Mr Tejpal's claim that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state was pressurising the police to act against him and said that the case would be put on a fast track.
 
Mr Tejpal had wanted the case to be shifted out of Goa because he felt that the BJP was biased against him because of Tehelka's exposes against BJP leaders in the past.
 
The mother of the young journalist had complained on Tuesday to the Delhi Police that a close relative of Mr Tejpal had tried to intimidate them over the case.
 
The victim had also issued a statement alleging that she and her family were being subjected to pressure and intimidation to protect Mr Tejpal.
 
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Actress Waheeda Rehman to be honoured with Centenary Award at IFFI

Waheeda Rehman
Waheeda Rehman
Renowned actress Waheeda Rehman will be conferred with the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Panaji, Goa later this month.
 
The 2013 edition of the Festival will be held there from November 20 to 30.
 
The award has been instituted to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema, and will be given annually to an outstanding film personality for his or her contribution to Indian cinema.
 
After extensive deliberations, a five-member jury identified Ms Rehman  as the ideal member of the Indian film fraternity to be the first recipient of the award. 
 
An official press release said the award recognizes her prolific body of work through the film industry’s formative years. 
 
The award carries a citation, a certificate, a medal (Silver Peacock), a shawl and a cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs.
 
Ms. Rehman is considered to be one of the most prominent actresses of the "golden era" of Indian cinema, as well as a classic Bollywood beauty. 
 
The protege of film-making icon Guru Dutt, she is known for her roles in critically acclaimed movies like `C.I.D.`, `Pyaasa`, `Kaagaz Ke Phool`, ‘Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam’, ‘Teesri Kasam’, ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’, “Reshma aur Shera” and `Khamoshi`. 
 
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Waheeda Rehman was the perfect  match in terms of histrionics for actors such as Dilip Kumar, and together they delivered some outstanding films like `Ram aur Shyam`, `Dil Diya Dard Liya`,and  `Aadmi`.
 
She also enjoyed great on-screen chemistry with the flamboyant Dev Anand in several  highly entertaining  films, including ‘Guide’, which won her a Filmfare Best Actress Award for a flawless performance as Rosy, the dancer. This film also did  justice to her famed dancing skills, and saw her deliver an exceptional “Sapera” dance sequence which is remembered till date for its unmatched joie de vivre.
 
Organized by the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Secretariat under the aegis of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Goa and the Indian film industry, IFFI brings cinema from around the world to India, and presents a bouquet of contemporary and classic cinema from India to the world, through film screenings, academic sessions and cultural exchange programmes.
 
The festival will be visited by renowned cinema personalities, including Academy Award-winning Hollywood actor Susan Sarandon, critically acclaimed Iranian director, producer and screenwriter Majid Majidi, and Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland.  The Indian celebrity delegation includes veteran actress Rekha, legendary singer Asha Bhonsle, actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, and renowned actor Manoj Kumar.
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Films screened at the festival include a curated selection of the the works of iconic film personalities, documentaries, homages and tributes to cinematic legends as a showcase of changing trends and aesthetics.
 
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Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon to be chief guest at opening of 44th IFFI

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari addressing a press conference on 44th International Film Festival of India and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in New Delhi on November 7, 2013.
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari addressing a press conference on 44th International Film Festival of India and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in New Delhi on November 7, 2013.
Well-known Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon will be the chief guest at the 44th edition of the International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa from November 20-30.
 
Another acclaimed Hollywood actress, Michelle Yeoh, will be the chief guest for the closing ceremony.
 
Briefing newspersons here about the festival here today, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari announced that the Government had decided to institute a special award as part of the initiatives taken by it to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema.
 
The Centenary Award would be given every year to an outstanding Indian film personality, "a film icon", for his or her ocntribution to Indian cinema at IFFI.
 
Mr Tewari said that the award reiterated the rich legacy of Indian cinema where eminent personalities had contributed to its growth through different stages of its evolution. The award is the second in the series instituted by the Government to commemorate the centenary celebrations. 
 
He said that, apart from Ms Sarandon, acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi would also be present at the opening ceremony of the festival.
 
He said the festival screen, for the first time, films on Nobel Prize winners Nelson Mandela (A Long Walk to Freedom) and Lech Walesa .
 
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on legendary Czech film director Jiri Menzel.
 
For the first time, a film on India’s freedom struggle leader Basha Khan would be screened at the Festival. For the first time, a film produced and directed by an Afghan director will also be screened at the festival.
 
Mr Tewari said the festival would highlight for the first time cinema from the North-eastern states of India. 
 
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There will also be a retrospective of the Best Children's Films in commemoration of 100 years of Indian cinema.
 
Mr Tewari said the package would showcase 15 National Award winning and classic Indian children’s films. 
 
Special attention had been given to the animation section where 285 films had been received. For the first time, a separate category of Competitive Section for animation films had been introduced. 
 
For the festival, a record number of entries, 123 in all, had been received for the “Little Director” section, films made by children from India and around the world.
 
For the first time, films had been sourced from prestigious International Children’s Film Festivals. The children’s film festival would have a country focus retrospective of Czech films, he added.
 
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ACC debars B Vijayan from Central deputation till retirement

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has cancelled the orders of appointment of Mr B Vijayan as Director General of National Productivity Council (NPC).
 
An official press release said here today that the ACC had also approved the debarment of Mr Vujayan, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1982 batch (UT cadre) from Central deputation till his date of retirement, that is till September 2014. Mr Vijayan is currently the Chief Secretary of Goa.
 
In other decisions, the ACC cancelled the appointment of Mr Ajit M. Sharan, IAS (HY:79), presently in the cadre, as Member Secretary, National Commission for Women and apppointed him as the Secretary, Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the vacancy of Mr P.K. Deb, IAS(RJ;77) (Retired). 
 
Mr Harbhajan Singh, IAS (UP:83), Joint Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, as Director General, National Productivity Council under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in the pay of Additional Secretary. 
 
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