Sri Lanka win toss, opt to bat first against India in World Cup final

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and decided to bat first against India in the final of the cricket World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium here today.

Sri Lanka made four changes from the side that won the semi-final against New Zealand. Mathews, Mendis, Herath and Chamara Silva are out, and Perera, Randiv, Kulsaekara and Chamara Kapugedera have been brought in. Their idea clearly is to bolster their middle order.

India made just one change, with the injured seamer Ashish Nehra making way for S Sreesanth.

President Pratibha Patil and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa are among the dignitaries and celebrities who had turned up to watch the match.

The teams:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara, T Dilshan, U Tharanga, M Jayawardene, T Samaraweera, L Malinga, M Muralitharan, T Perera, S Randiv, N Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera

Umpires: S Taufel (Aus), Aleem Dar (Pak)

Third Umpire: Ian Gould (Eng)

Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand).


Unprecendented three-tier secuirty cover for World Cup final

An unprecedented three-tier security cover to maintain vigil over land, air and water has been put in place in the metropolis, turning it into a fortress, ahead of tomorrow's World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede stadium here.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa will watch the grand finale of cricket's biggest extravaganza at the 32,000-capacity stadium.

Apart from Mumbai Police, personnel of the National Security Guard, Maharashtra's elite Force One, Rapid Action Force, State Reserve Police Force and Quick Response Team are maintaining a strict vigil at the venue.

"Nearly 5,000 security men have been deployed for the mega event as part of unprecedented security measures, that I have never seen before in my career. The security men and staff of stadium and the organisers would be issued biometric bar coded access cards," Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik said.

There would be a three-layer security checking of the ticket holders, he said, adding, "It would be good if the spectators reach the stadium three hours before the match begins. The entry and exit gates may be closed after 1700 hrs on the day of the match."

Anti-aircraft guns will be strategically put in place and all air bases near Mumbai, Indian Navy and Coast Guard have been put on high alert to thwart any possible air or sea-based attack. The airspace over and around the stadium has been declared a "No Flying Zone", officials said.

A dedicated helpline number - 09146009090 - has been set up for the citizens to inform the police if they come across any suspicious person or object.

"Restrictions on the movement of public at the Gateway of India and boating in the Arabian sea would be imposed as and when required," Mr Patnaik said.

Both the Indian and Sri Lankan cricket teams are staying at the Taj Mahal hotel, which is opposite the historic monument.

Special security measures have been taken for the players of India and Sri Lanka, he said.

Patnaik said antecedents of ticket holders, particularly online ticket buyers and foreigners, were being checked.

"All the tickets have been sold. I appeal to people not to crowd outside the stadium unnecessarily, and co-operate with the police. We do not want the repeat of Nagpur, Bangalore or Mohali cane charge incidents," he added.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, who reviewed the security arrangements for Saturday's match, said, "I have reviewed the security arrangements made in co-ordination with Maharashtra and Central government. The arrangements would be supervised by Patnaik."

"We have taken all the measures to ensure that everything goes well," he said.

Security along the west coast has been beefed up since early March in the run-up to the World Cup final, defence spokesperson M Nambiar said.

Navy and Coast Guard ships, Fast Attack Craft (FAC), Patrol vessels and Fast Interceptor Craft (FIC), have been deployed in layered defence to prevent possible terrorist attempts to land on shores, he added.

"The Indian Navy, in conjunction with the Coast Guard, Marine Police and other players of the Coastal Security Network, has heightened its state of alert and its ships and aircraft are on continuous patrol off the coasts of Gujarat and Maharashtra," Mr Nambiar said.

Security has also been beefed up ashore with additional check points and manning of boat landing areas, he said.

In addition to coastal security, the Indian Navy has also enhanced its surveillance and patrolling in and around the offshore development areas.

Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Rajkumar Vhatkar said over 180 CCTVs have been installed by the stadium authorities inside and outside the stadium and a special police control room has been set up to keep a watch on the spectators.

Outside food items will not be allowed in the stadium. Water bottles from outside too will not be allowed, a police official said on condition of anonymity.

Police have decided not to allow parking within a radius of one kilometer of the Wankhede Stadium. Spectators will have to park their vehicles either near Inox mall at Nariman Point area or near Azad Maidan.

Police have appealed to spectators to opt for public transport instead of private vehicles.


Shiney Ahuja to be shifted from Arthur Road Jail after World Cup

Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja, who was sentenced to a seven-year jail term for raping his maid servant, will be shifted from the high-security Arthur Road Jail to some other jail in the state after the World Cup final scheduled for tomorrow, sources in the jail said.

Since the Arthur Road Jail is basically a prison for undertrials and the actor has been convicted, he will be shifted. But, as the entire police force is busy in extensive security arrangements for the World Cup, he will be shifted later.

"After the final match, we would get our men and then could escort Ahuja to either Thane Central jail, Pune's Yerwada jail or to Nashik jail," said a senior police officer who supervises the police requirement for the courts, jail and other important places.

A fast-track court on Wednesday convicted Ahuja for raping his maid, although the victim had retracted her statement during the trial. Soon after the verdict delivered, Shiney's bond that he had furnished earlier was cancelled and he was taken to Arthur Road Jail.

Shiney was arrested on June 14 and released on bail three months after the 20-year-old girl in June 2009 lodged a police complaint alleging that she was raped by the actor at his Oshiwara residence in a city suburb.

In September last year, the maid turned hostile though she identified the actor in the in-camera trial held in the fast-track court saying that the incident had never occurred.

The court convicted him based upon the forensic evidences and other materials available against him.


World Cup final: India hold slight edge in clash of Asian titans

India will hold a slight edge when they take on an equally determined Sri Lanka in the World Cup summit clash at the refurbished Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
A sand art creation of the World Cup sculpted by artists of Arts College on the banks of the Ganga in Patna to wish India on the eve of the final match, on Friday. UNI PHOTO
A sand art creation of the World Cup sculpted by artists of Arts College on the banks of the Ganga in Patna to wish India on the eve of the final match, on Friday. UNI PHOTO

India will hold a slight edge when they take on an equally determined Sri Lanka in the World Cup summit clash at the refurbished Wankhede stadium here tomorrow.

Though there is little to choose between the two teams, India will fancy their chances of putting it across the islanders as they are playing at home and are peaking at the right time after a rather patchy beginning to their campaign.

Armed with the wishes of millions of passionate fans and a never-say-die spirit, India are just one win away from crowning themselves the ODI world champions after almost 28 years as they clash with Sri Lanka in the first all-Asian cricket World Cup summit showdown.

More than two decades after their incredible World Cup triumph at the historic Lord's, India find themselves on the threshold of probably their biggest cricketing moment as they brace up for a nerve-wracking battle for supremacy.

A billion Indian hearts will also be beating for Sachin Tendulkar as India bid for their second World Cup title.

Tendulkar returns to his home turf at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai with determination to add the only silverware missing from the collection of the most celebrated cricketer of the modern era.

The Indian star, who turns 38 next month, holds almost all the coveted batting records, but his individual brilliance could not win the ultimate prize in a team sport like cricket.

In five previous appearances in cricket's showpiece event, Tendulkar helped India reach the semifinal at home in 1996 and finish runners-up to Australia in 2003 in South Africa.

Playing in his sixth and possibly last World Cup, a record he shares with Pakistan's great Javed Miandad, Tendulkar has led from the front to lift India into the final.

His 464 runs in the tournament are just three less than Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan's 467, and he goes into the title clash one century away from recording an unprecedented 100 international centuries.

Tendulkar's lucky 85 in Wednesday's semi-final against Pakistan, when he was dropped four times and survived close leg-before and stumping decisions, suggests he was destined to play the final.

"It will be a fantastic occasion," Tendulkar said of the match in his home city. "We will focus on the job in hand and try to get the job done."

Both India and Sri Lanka, who have played against each other frequently in recent times, have won the coveted trophy once each and will leave no stone unturned to regain the Cup.

Both the teams have some injury concerns ahead of the grand finale which will be high on emotions for a variety of reasons.

The match will be the last outing for India's highly respected coach Gary Kirsten who has transformed the team into world-beaters as also Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss, who is set to resign after the World Cup.

It will also be a swan song match for Muttiah Muralitharan, who is racing against time to recover from a knee injury.

The home team has suffered a jolt ahead of the game with Ashish Nehra, who bowled well in the high-voltage semi-final clash against Pakistan in Mohali, being virtually ruled out because of a finger injury.

Similarly, Sri Lanka have injury concerns over Muralitharan and have replaced all-rounder Angelo Matthews with Suraj Randiv. Veteran left-arm medium pacer Chaminda Vaas has been called in as cover for Muralitharan.

The hosts are also grappling with a selection dilemma ahead of the summit showdown which will be watched by millions of fans in both the cricket-crazy nations.

The Indians misread the Mohali track and opted for an additional seamer in Nehra at the expense of spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who did a decent job in the two matches he had played.

The Mohali pitch assisted the slow bowlers more though the three Indian pacers - Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Nehra - bowled well.

The Indians are peaking at the right time, having prevailed over defending champions Australia in the quarters and arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final but it remains to be seen whether they can pull it off when it matters the most.

Captain Dhoni has warned his teammates not to get distracted by the excessive hype surrounding their World Cup campaign and just focus on the job at hand.

"There will be plenty of things happening around us, but what is important is not to get distracted. We all know what our jobs are as professional cricketers so we will stick to that and try to play good cricket," Dhoni said.

"The Sri Lankans have a good side and they have done really well in the tournament. We have to play good cricket to beat them. We have to be at our best," he added.

Both the teams appear to be well-balanced on paper though the islanders certainly have a more potent bowling attack, particularly with the presence of spin wizard Muralitharan who will be keen to make an impression in his swansong game.

Although the Indians have a formidable batting line-up and most of them are quite adept in dealing with spin, Muralitharan is a wily customer and will find a way to put pressure on the batsmen if he takes the field tomorrow.

The home team will look to Tendulkar and the flamboyant Virender Sehwag to provide a rollicking start and set the platform for the middle-order to take India to a decent total at the Wankhede stadium track which is expected to suit the batsmen.

Sehwag, who started with a brilliant 175 against Bangladesh, has not really fired after that knock though he has rattled up quick-fire 30s and 40s. India need him to be at his brutal best to take the game away from the Lankans.

India have the depth in their batting but they need to ensure that they do not collapse in the batting powerplay as they had done against South Africa and the West Indies. They, however, made the powerplay count in the last game against Pakistan.

Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina have enough talent and skill to put runs on the board. Dhoni has been struggling with the bat and will be hoping to make a contribution in the final of the showpiece event.

Yuvraj, who is having a dream World Cup and has already won a record four man-of-the-match awards, will have a key role to play since he is the player in form both with the bat and ball.

The Sri Lankans, on the other hand, have a settled look to their squad and definitely have the resources to spoil India's party.

Their top batsmen - Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene - have all been among the runs.

"It means a lot to us. This is what we planned for over two years. We missed a great opportunity in 2007 when we reached the finals and again we have got a great opportunity tomorrow," Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara said.

"We will be preparing for the finals. We do not have to get carried away. We are in the finals and that is great and we need to keep our heads down and keep in mind that there is a lot of work left to be done. It is the biggest day of our lives," he added.

The eventual winners of the flagship event of the game would be richer by three million dollars, while the runners-up would take home 1.5 million dollars out of the total prize pool of 12.52 million dollars.

Sri Lanka have played four one-dayers at this venue, including a league match in this tournament against New Zealand. Out of those four, they have won two and lost two.

Sri Lanka and India had beaten each other once in their first two encounters at the ground in 1986-87 and 1996-97.

In two other non-India games, the Lankans were beaten by the West Indies in 1993, while they defeated New Zealand earlier this month.

Sri Lanka have prevailed in recent one-dayers against India, winning six of the 10 matches played last year in Dhaka, Harare, Bulawayo and Dambulla.

But India have won five of seven matches against the Islanders on home soil over the last five years.

India will be playing at the refurbished 33,000-capacity Wankhede stadium for the first time, while Sri Lanka know what awaits them having beaten New Zealand by 112 runs in a league match at the ground on March 18.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Munaf Patel.

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (Capt), Mahela Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga,

Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv.

Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Aleem Dar (PAK)

TV Umpire: Ian Gould (ENG)

Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)


Taufel, Dar named as on-field umpires for India-Sri Lanka World Cup final

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that Simon Taufel of Australia and Aleem Dar of Pakistan would officiate as the on-field umpires for the cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium here tomorrow.

Ian Gould will be the third umpire, Steve Davis the fourth umpire and Jeff Crowe the match referee, an ICC press release added.

This will be the first time that Taufel, 40, an Australian and considered the world's best umpire, will be standing in a World Cup final, and that has become possible only because the Australians, champions in the last three editions of the tournament, lost this time in the quarter-finals.

The ICC has a policy of neutral umpires, and Taufel, named the ICC's Umpire of the Year every year from 2004 to 2008, could not stand in the World Cup final because Australia was playing in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

United News of India adds:

"The Australian team's success in the World Cup over a long period of time has been to the detriment of Simon Taufel who has never been able to officiate in a World Cup final," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

"It is fantastic to see him get this opportunity," he added.

Taufel, who was once a promising seam bowler in junior cricket in his native New South Wales, played alongside the likes of Test batsman Michael Slater.

But a back injury cut short his career and he decided to take up umpiring, making his first-class debut at the exceptionally early age of 24.

Just four years later he was standing in his first one-day international and 2003 saw him officiating at his first World Cup.


Multi-layer security in place for World Cup final on Apr 2

Aerial and coastal surveillance has been mounted over the metropolis in the run-up to the April 2 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, which has virtually been turned into a fortress.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil visited the stadium along with city police chief Arup Patnaik in the afternoon and reviewed the security arrangements.

Helicopters are hovering along the Maharashtra coast and boats and ships are patrolling the sea. On the other hand, special teams of Mumbai Police have already been deployed at the stadium.

A multi-layer security is in place, said Deputy Commissioner of police (operations) Rajkumar Vhatkar, the official spokesperson of Mumbai Police.

The National Security Guard, popularly known as Black Cat commandos, have positioned themselves in the stadium. The Mumbai Police, State Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force and Central Industrial Security Force have been deployed around the stadium.


World Cup: Wankhede will be a slow turner, says curator

The Wankhede Stadium wicket for Saturday's World Cup final, to be played between India and Sri Lanka, will be a slow turner, like most wickets in the sub-continent during this time of the year, says curator Sudhir Naik.

Naik, a former India player, however, insisted that the pitch will still be full of runs and the team batting first should have the advantage.

"It will be an ideal one-day wicket," Naik, who toured England with the India team in 1974, said here today.

Naik feels a score of 270-280 would be very much on the cards in the day-nighter.

"The bounce will be even with a good carry. The pacers will get something out of the wicket in the initial overs," said the 66-year-old former opener who played three Tests and two ODIs.

"But the team batting first will be at an advantage as the spinners will get assistance in the second session of the match. But the ball will not turn viciously, it will be a slow turner," said Naik.

"As it is very hot, the high moisture content may make things difficult for the batsmen in the second innings," he said.

Naik, said the authorities have already decided to use a chemical spray to reduce the impact of dew on the game.

Excessive dew late in the evening can swing the balance towards teams batting second in day-night matches. The dew will freshen up the pitch and the bowlers will find it difficult to grip the ball that gets damp on a moist outfield.


CBI arrests Shahid Balwa's brother Asif in 2G spectrum case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested two people including Asif Balwa, brother of DB Realty promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, in connection with its probe into the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Asif and Rajiv Agarwal are the directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, which reportedly loaned Cineyug a sum of Rs 212 crore. But it was not a straightforward loan and had passed through a maze of transactions.

Asif was arrested from his residence in south Mumbai, while Agarwal was apprehended from a hotel in the suburbs, sources said.

Shahid Balwa was arrested in February 8 for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam. He is currently lodged in Tihar jail.

Swan Telecom is believed to be one of the beneficiaries in the spectrum allotted during tenure of former Communications Minister A Raja, who was arrested prior to Balwa and is lodged in the same jail.

The others arrested in connection with the case are Raja's private secretary R K Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behuria.

Asif and Agarwal were later produced in the designated CBI court, which granted transit remand to take them to Delhi, where the investigation is going on.


Tripura Governor Patil suffers cardiac arrest, shifted to Mumbai

Tripura Governor D Y Patil was shifted to a hospital in Mumbai early this morning in a chartered flight following a severe cardiac arrest last evening.

Dr Amlan Datta, Medical Officer of the Governor, told UNI that initial investigations at Mumbai revealed some problem in his heart but the intensity would be ascertained only after a thorough investigation.

Dr Patil was first shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Agartala Government College after he complained of chest pain.

Later, physicians said it was a massive heart attack. By that time, his family, which runs several medical colleges in Maharashtra, had flown down to Agartala.

He was flown out of Agartala in the wee hours of today and a group of specialists had examined him in Mumbai.


Advani in Face-the-Press programme at Mumbai Press Club

In a new public initiative, the Press Club, Mumbai, along with the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Government Watch (GW), will hold periodical sessions called "Face-The-Press" to debate issues of national interest with leading politicians, journalists, economists and activists.

The first Face-The-Press session will be held at the Press Club Central Hall, on March 28, a press release by the Club said here today.

At the inaugural session, senior BJP leader L K Advani will answer questions from a panel of leading journalists, including The Hindu's editor-in-chief N Ram, Star India chief executive officer Uday Shankar and Kumar Ketkar of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, the release said.

Under the initiative, a distinguished national political or policy leader will be invited at regular intervals to interact with a panel of senior editors and thought leaders from across India in front of a select media audience, as well as distinguished personalities from diverse fields, the release added.


Hassan Ali Khan in judicial custody till April 8

Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, accused of stashing away $ 8 billion abroad, was today sent to judicial custody by a Mumbai court.

Khan, who has been in custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), will now be lodged in the Arthur Road jail.

Principal Sessions Judge Swapna Joshi remanded him to judicial custody till April 8.

Meanwhile, the ED has summoned Kashinath Tapuria’s wife Chandrika for questioning. Tapuria, the Kolkata-based businessman was arrested by ED yesterday.

A sessions court here had on March 11 rejected the ED’s plea for custodial interrogation of Khan on the ground that the agency had not gathered sufficient evidence or made any case to justify its plea for Khan’s custodial interrogation.

However, the Supreme Court on March 17, while directing Khan’s custodial interrogation, had criticised the then Mumbai Principal Sessions Judge M L Tahaliyani’s order of granting bail to Khan, saying it was "deeply disturbed" over the manner in which the trial court judge had rejected the ED’s contention and given a lengthy order.

The ED had told the apex court that it was in possession of incriminating evidence against Khan, showing that he has stashed away huge amount of black money in various banks abroad.


Hasan Ali aide Tapuriah remanded to ED custody till March 31

A Sessions court today remanded to the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) till March 31 the Kolkata-based businessman Kashinath Tapuriah for his alleged association with Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, who has been accused of evasion of taxes running into crores of rupees.

While moving the remand application on behalf of ED, noted public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam contended in the court that Tapuriah had played a major role in the transfer of money to a Swiss bank in 14 companies.

He further said that during the Income Tax department raid in 2007 at the residence of Ali, the Department came to know that the accused

was instrumental in transferring $ 80,00,45,300 to foreign banks and ED had seized certain documents in this regard which require a detailed custodial probe.

The court was also told that accused was arrested after being questioned, and department required his custody and wanted to confront him with Khan based upon the available evidence.

The application was strongly opposed by defence lawyer Abad Ponda who said the ED had wrongly booked his client under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as the alleged offence had occurred two years back when the PMLA was not in existence.

While granting custody, the court directed ED to keep him along with Ali and allowed him home food and medicines.


ED raids residence of Hassan Ali's CA in Pune

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today raided the residence of Sunil Shinde, chartered accountant of Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, who has been accused of evading taxes worth crores of rupees.

The eight-member ED team arrived here and proceeded to the house of Shinde, which is located in Heramb Society at Sahkarnagar Area.

According to ED sources, the investigating agency searched the house of Shinde after the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly alleged yesterday that Ali used the money of three former chief ministers and bureaucrats in the stock market.

ED sources told UNI, "We entered the two-storeyed house of Shinde at O945 hrs and the raids will continue till late this evening."

They said they had recovered some clinching evidence but expressed their inability to disclose details.

The sources said Shinde was in Mumbai when the officials arrived at his house and it was intimated to him immediately. He came by road to Pune in a car, owned by Khan, and was now co-operating with agency officials in their investigation.

The ED also called up Shinde's mother, who is staying some distance from the raided premises. It is learnt that he had kept keys of some rooms in her possession. The rooms were later opened by ED officials.


Unidentified woman's body found on railway track in Mumbai

The highly decomposed body of an unidentified woman, aged about 35, was found on the tracks between Dadar and Elphinstone Road stations of the Western Railway, police said today.

According to Railway police, the body was found yesterday. Police believe that the woman could have been strangulated to death after which her body was dumped on the tracks.

A case of murder has been registered and efforts are on to trace the relatives of the woman.

Earlier this month, bodies of two women, stuffed in suitcases, were found on Juhu beach and Sandhurst Road railway station on the Central Railway.

Police have arrested three people in connection with the body found on Sandhurst Road railway station. However, no headway has been made in the Juhu beach case.


Hassan Ali Khan being grilled by ED officials

Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, accused of evading taxes worth crores of rupees, is being grilled by Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on his bank transactions abroad.

In order to unravel his financial dealings, the ED officials have sent fresh requests to UBS AG and UK-headquarted Barclays Bank.

"We will wait for the response and then decide the future course of action," an official said.

The Supreme Court vacation bench extended Khan's custody by three more days yesterday, on the expiry of the four-day remand.

"We have somehow been able to extract some information from Khan that will help us in further probe of the black money trail and foreign exchange violations," sources said.

Earlier, Khan was arrested by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and was interrogated at their Nariman point office for two days before being released on bail by a sessions court.

Last week on the basis of Supreme Court orders, the ED was allowed to interrogate Khan for four days and subsequently yesterday for another three days.


Actor Naveen Nischol passes away in Mumbai

Veteran Bollywood actor Naveen Nischol died after a heart attack at Sion in central Mumbai early today, while he was on his way to Pune.

He was 65 years old and is survived by his daughter Natasha and brother Praveen.

According to sources, Nischol was on his way to Pune, when he suffered a massive heart attack at Sion. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he breathed his last.

Nischol had carved a niche for himself in the industry in the 1970s and had a successful run in films and on television in his later career, spanning four decades till 2010.

The first gold medalist from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Nischol made his debut in Saawan Bhadon with Rekha, which went on to become a box office hit. It was followed by several successful films like Buddha Mil Gaya (1971), Victoria No 203 (1972) and Dhund (1973) in the 1970s.

Being a trained actor, he had no trouble in taking up varied roles and acted in around 100 films, many of them successful like The Burning Train and television series like Rishte Nate.

The handsome and sauve actor is fondly remembered for songs like Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho from Hanste Jakham and Bhali Bhali Se Eak Surat, Bhala Sa Ek Naam from Buddha Mil Gaya.

He later switched from the big screen to television, and had a successful run with Dekh Bhai Dekh. He was last seen on the silver screen in Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006) and Break Ke Baad (2010).


Murali spins Lanka to huge 112 run victory over New Zealand

Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan spun a web of deception, taking four for 25, to pave the way for a huge Sri Lankan victory by 112 runs with 15 overs left after their captain K Sangakkara had earlier cracked a superb century to ensure a competitive total in their last league match of the ICC cricket World Cup Group A, played at the Wankhede stadium here today.

Needing 266 for victory, New Zealand folded up for 153 runs in 35 overs to give the Lankans a thumping victory.

With the qualifiers already settled in Group A, this match made the Lankans sure of a top two finish in the group, while the Kiwis will have to wait a day longer to know where they stand, though they are already in the quarters.

New Zealand began their chase under lights for the first time at the refurbished Wankhede stadium. Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill got them off to a brisk start as they put on 29 runs for the first wicket in 6.2 overs before McCullum was out for a 16-ball 14, inclusive of two boundaries, to all rounder Angelo Mathews.

McCullum was advancing into the steer, then saw it go away and tried to pull away, but the momentum was too far into the shot. It took the edge even as he opened the face and died away to the right of a diving Mahela who took it cleanly, which the replays confirmed after McCullum sought a referral.

The next to go was Guptill, who has been in consistent form this World Cup, caught plumb in front with a Kulasekara in-ducker. Guptill made 13 with the score on 33 for two.

Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor then tried to repair the damage by putting on 49 runs for the third wicket, before the spinners created havoc among the New Zealand batsmen as Ajanta Mendis with one wicket, T Dilshan with one and M Muralitharan with four reduced New Zealand to 129 for eight without much of a fight from the Kiwi batsmen.

Earlier, batting first on winning the toss, captain Kumar Sangakkara along with senior pro Mahela Jayawardene were left to rebuild the innings and the two did it admirably, putting on 145 runs for the third wicket to see their side to a competitive total of 265 for eight.

New Zealand, as is their rule for World Cups, have exceeded expectations so far in this tournament and, with an injury-depleted attack, kept Sri Lanka pinned down.

Tim Southee has had a good World Cup so far and was finding zip and movement off the track early on to trouble Tillakaratne Dilshan.

If Southee was unlucky not to find the edge early on, he was more than compensated when Dilshan scorched back a drive in his direction only for Southee to deflect it onto the stumps at the non-striker's end.

Coming off the back of a century against Zimbabwe, Upal Tharanga was the highest scorer in Group A but was cruelly short of his ground. Southee soon struck again, more conventionally this time to remove Dilshan. Belying his reputation as a top-order dasher, Dilshan was restricted by Southee's nip and Jacob Oram's accuracy.

Eventually, the pressure got the better of Dilshan as he top-edged a pull shot down to Oram at third man. He scored just three runs off 15 balls.

At 19 for 2 it was left to the serene third-wicket pair to ensure Sri Lanka's soft middle order was not exposed too early. With temperatures searing in the afternoon heat, Ross Taylor, captaining the side in place of the injured Vettori, had to rotate his bowlers regularly and both Sangakkara and Jayawardene were content to sit in.

The flowing elegance that both possess, was unfurled only sparingly, with Sangakkara driving the energetic Hamish Bennett through the off side for the best of his six fours. Sangakkara eased towards another fifty and passed 9000 ODI runs, and again looked set to end his wait for an ODI century that stretches back to June 2008.

However, the Lankans had a lucky escape when Nathan McCullum was denied a stunning return catch off Mahela Jayawardene with the score on 100 for two.

In the 24th over, Jayawardene chipped a return catch to McCullum's right and the bowler dived full-length to scoop the ball centimetres from the turf. The batsman, however stood his ground and the on-field umpires, Asad Rauf and Richard Kettleborough, opted to go upstairs. The side-on replay seemed to clearly show McCullum's fingers under the ball but a front-on shot, as it so often does, created doubt. Amiesh Saheba decided in favour of Jayawardene and New Zealand were denied a key wicket.

The Lankans took the batting power play after 36 overs to try and accelerate the scoring, but Southee had his man this time, after bowling the first two deliveries wide down the leg side got one to nip back in from around the off stump which struck Jayawardene on the pads. The umpire raised his finger with the Lankans referring the decision which also saw it going in New Zealand's favour as Jayawardene was dismissed for a 90-ball 66 leaving Lanka on 164 for three. The two put on 145 runs for the third wicket.

Sangakkara then, after completing a well made century, fell for 111 in 128 balls with 12 fours and a six with Lanka on 210 for four after 42 overs.

In a bid to increase the run rate Sangakkara went for a slog sweep of Nathan McCullum, but missed it completely to see his stumps uprooted behind him. The New Zealand bowlers then ran through the Lankan middle and lower-middle order to restrict them to 265 for nine as Angelo Mathews was left stranded on 41 not out.

For the Kiwis Tim Southee with three for 63 and off-spinner Nathan McCullum with two for 48 in his 10 overs were the stand out bowlers.


Hasan Ali Khan surrenders to ED after Supreme Court cancels bail

Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, accused of evading crores in income tax, surrendered late last night to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here after the Supreme court cancelled his bail yesterday and remanded him to the ED's custody for four days.

Khan was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and earlier lodged in the ED office before the sessions court on March 11 granted him bail.

Khan will be interrogated by ED officials to ascertain, through the allegedly incriminating documents recovered by them, his role in stashing black money in various banks abroad.


2 workers die, 3 injured in fire in Thane chemical factory

Two industrial workers died and three others were seriously hurt in a major fire that broke out in the Gharda Chemicals Company at Manpada in the limits of Dombivli in Thane district of Maharashtra today.

Initial reports reaching the district headquarters said a fire broke out in the Plant No 4, possibly due to an electrical short circuit, which spread to its agro chemical plant. The local safety team tried to extinguish the fire but to no avail.

Six fire tenders rushed to the spot and the fire fighters fought the raging flames for more than three hours, before the fire was doused, police said.

G R Rathod and R V Pardesi, who were working in the plant, died on the spot due to the fire, the reports.

Three others who were also present in the plant at the time - Nilesh Madhvi, Datta Korde and Mahesh Terde - received burn injuries and were being treated in a local hospital, they said.

The fire was now totally under control, the fire brigade said, adding the cause of fire was being probed.


CBI investigation in Adarsh is satisfactory; HC

The Bombay High Court today expressed satisfaction over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the Adarsh scam after perusing the progress report submitted by the agency.

A division bench consisting of Justices Ranjana Desai and Rajesh Ketkar after its perusal said that the court is positive that the CBI is investigating on the right track and sufficient time should be given to the agency to conduct further probe, including the missing files case, which is also a serious offence.

The bench was hearing petitions filed in connection with the scam, which included the society's petition seeking for CBI to de-freeze their bank accounts and social activist Simpreet Singh's plea wanting the High Court to supervise the investigation.

While hearing the society's petition, the court asked CBI to consider if some concession can be given regarding the Rs 32 lakh dues of the society in upmarket Colaba area.

The society has been directed to file an affidavit giving a list of their dues by March 25. According to the petition, the society has incurred several expenses up to Rs 32 lakh which has not been payable as the accounts have been seized.

"Investigations have revealed that prime accused K L Gidwani has three flats in the society under 'benami' names. All transactions made by the accused are from the society's accounts. More instances of 'benami' transactions are evident and needs to be proved further," Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambatta, appearing for CBI said.


Chavan to make statement on Thomas issue within two days

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, under fire for his role in the controversial appointment of former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) P J Thomas, will make a statement in both Houses of the State Legislature on the issue within two days.

An announcement to this effect was made by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshavardhan Patil in both the Houses.

Yesterday, on the second day of the session, the Opposition disrupted proceedings on the issue in both the Houses, demanding Mr Chavan's resignation. The same situation continued after Question Hour.

Speaker Dilip Valse Patil adjourned the House twice and finally he made the announcement, which satisfied the Opposition. Subsequently, the business of the Assembly started.


Central Railway suburban services in Mumbai hit by technical snag

Suburban train services on the main line of the Central Railway (CR) here were disrupted for few hours today following a technical snag developed between Kurla and Vidhyavihar stations.

The CR spokesperson said the train sevices on slow line were affected this afternoon from 1225 hrs to 1410 hrs.

During that time, 16 services were cancelled and six services were short terminated. The services were restored at 1500 hrs, he said, adding, the trains were, however, running 15 to 20 minutes behind schedule.


Additional judges appointed to Bombay High Court

The President has appointed Mr Tanaji Vishwas Nalawade, Mr Madatali Noormohammed Gilani, Mr Madan Trymbak Joshi, Mr Madanlal Laxmandas Tahaliyani, Mr Abhay Mahadeo Thipsay, and Mr Utkarsh Vishvanath Bakre as Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court.

An official press release said here today that the appointments, in that order of seniority, would be for a period of two years with effect from the dates they assume charge of their offices, except Mr Gilani, whose tenure shall be upto January 25,2013 the date of superannuation.


Bagai, Hansra fifties go in vain; NZ thrash Canada by 97 runs

A captain's innings of 84 by Ashish Bagai and another fighting half-century by Jimmy Hansra could not alter the fate of Canada as they went down chasing a huge 359-run target against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup Group A match at the Wankhede stadium here today.

Though the Canadians gave a good account of themselves, batting out the 50 overs scoring 261 for nine, they could not reach the target given to them and eventually lost the match by 97 runs.

Canada lost early wickets once again, but stubborn knocks from Hiral Patel, Bagai and Hansra at least gave them a good chance of batting out their full quota of overs and reaching a decent total.

Any chance of an assault on New Zealand's 358 quickly dissipated, however, as Canada trundled gently to 106 for 3 halfway through their innings.

Beginning their chase of 359 for victory, early signs were ominous for Canada when Ruvindu Gunasekara slashed at the first ball of Kyle Mills' second over and Ross Taylor timed his leap to perfection at first slip to pluck the ball out of the air one-handed.

Canada had still not reached the boundary when, two overs later, Zubin Surkari hung his bat out limply at another Mills outswinger to offer Taylor his second catch behind the wicket.

Canada were 4 for 2 and sinking fast, but Bagai and Patel wasted no time in launching a spirited fight-back. Their effort was no doubt helped by a premature end to Mills' spell when, one ball after he had dismissed Surkari, he suffered an injury to his left knee and left the field straight away.

Jesse Ryder completed the over and dished up two gifts, short and wide outside off and sliding down leg, that Bagai duly cracked to the boundary.

Patel had looked nervous and strokeless at the start of his innings, but in Bagai's company he was transformed and swiped his first boundary, over midwicket, off Tim Southee. He eased noticeably thereafter, and started playing a few of the shots that, at the age of just 19, he has already become known for at Associate level.

Patel reached the boundary three times in Southee's next over, looking increasingly confident and targeting the off side, and when James Franklin over-stepped, he hooked the resultant free hit over long leg for the first six of the innings.

He added one more imperious thump over the covers in Franklin's next over but was then undone by a well-directed bouncer from Jacob Oram that cramped him for room, a thin edge nestling safely in Brendon McCullum's gloves.

Hansra then joined his captain Bagai and the two continued the good work. Though the asking rate was climbing steadily, putting the match slowly but surely out of the reach of the Canadians, the two at least gave a good account of themselves fighting hard till the last.

Bagai, after adding 125 runs for the fourth wicket with Hansra, was caught behind by Brendon McCullum off Nathan McCullum for 84 in just 87 balls with 10 boundaries inclusive in the knock.

This proved to be the end of the resistance for the spirited Canadians as Oram with three wickets ran through the rest of the Canadian innings leaving Hansra stranded on 70 not out as the North American side ended up on 261 for nine to give the Kiwis a huge victory.

Earlier, having been put into bat by Canada, New Zealanders rode on a century by opener Brendon McCullum (101) and a whirlwind 74 by Ross Taylor as the Kiwis took full toll of a hapless Canadian attack.

Taking full advantage of the foundation laid by McCullum and Taylor, Kane Williamson and Scot Styris plundered 59 runs for the sixth wicket in just 5.5 overs to take New Zealand to a mammoth score of 358 for six in their fifty overs.

Put into bat by Canadian captain Ashish Bagai, it was New Zealand all the way as the batsmen made merry on a pitch that did have some movement early on.

McCullum put on 53 with Martin Guptill and a further 82 for the second wicket with Jesse Ryder, who reached a patient, unbeaten 33. Harvir Baidwan's dismissal of Guptill had given Canada a much-needed lift.

Canada won the toss and chose to bowl first, hoping to take advantage of any early-morning moisture in the pitch. The ball did indeed deviate significantly both through the air and off the grassy surface, and Khurram Chohan appeared slightly surprised by the hoping in-swing he found first up. His first over included three leg-side wides and a huge appeal for lbw that would have missed the leg stump.

Henry Osinde curved the ball in the opposite direction, away from the bat, at slightly increased pace but after a disciplined start he repeatedly offered too much width and McCullum, in particular took a heavy toll. He repeatedly aimed rifling cuts and drives through or over the off side, and had entered the 30s at better than a-run-a-ball when New Zealand's fifty came up in the ninth over.

Canada struck back through some dogged medium pace from Harvir Baidwan and a stellar piece of wicketkeeping from Ashish Bagai, who has greatly enhanced his reputation behind the stumps in the course of this tournament. Baidwan stuck to an off-stump line despite the punishment he received from McCullum, nibbling the ball both ways off the pitch, and had his reward when Guptill prodded forward to a legcutter and Bagai, standing up, whipped his hands across to hold onto a thin edge.

Jesse Ryder (38) gave good company to Brendon McCullum in a second-wicket partnership of 96 runs but was unlucky to hold out against the run of play to give Canada their second wicket.

But McCullum continued to press on and brought up his century to put his team on course for a 300-plus score.

However, the batting powerplay proved to be fatal for a set McCullum, who tried to be innovative in quest of quick runs, which led to his downfall and gave Canada hope of restricting the Kiwis.

In-form Ross Taylor did not let Brendon McCullum's wicket affect New Zealand's chances of a big score as the right-hander took the Canadians to the cleaners in the batting powerplay.

The dangerous Kiwi batsman announced his arrival by taking 28 runs off the 39th over, including four sixes and one four. His breezy knock ended at 74, which he got in just 44 balls, but not before giving momentum for the batsmen to come.

After that, it was the turn of the lower middle order to drive home the advantage which they did by piling on the runs and eventually ending up with 358 for the loss of six wickets.


New Zealand innings:

Marting Guptill c Bagai b Baidwan 17

Brendon McCullum c Gunasekera b Baidwan 101

Jesse Ryder c Osinde b Davison 38

Ross Taylor c Hansra b Rao 74

Nathan McCullum c&b Rao 10

Kane Williamson not out 34

Scott Styris c Davison b Baidwan 36

James Franklin not out 31

Extras: (b 2, lb 3, w 11, nb 2) 18

Total: (in 50 overs) 358 for six

Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-149, 3-185, 4-254, 5-259, 6-318

Bowling: Khurram Chohan 7-0-40-0, Henry Osinde 7-0-52-0, Harvir Baidwan 9.1-0-84-3, Rizwan Cheema 4.5-0-64-0, Balaji Rao 10-0-62-2, John Davison 10-1-30-1.


Ruvindu Gunasekera c Talor b Mills 2

Hiral Patel c McCullum b Oram 31

Zubin Surkari c Taylor b Mills 1

Ashish Bagai c McCullum b McCullum 84

Jimmy Hansra not out 70

Rizwan Cheema c McCullum b Oram 2

John Davison run out 15

Balaji Rao c McCullum b Oram 9

Harvir Baidwan c Franklin b Southee 8

Khurram Chohan c Talor b Ryder 22

Henry Osinde not out 0

Extras: (b 5, lb 2, w 9, nb 1) 17

Total: (in 50 overs) 261 for nine

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-4, 3-50 4-175, 5-179, 6-205, 7-213, 8-222, 9-261

Bowling: Kyle Mills 2.4-1-2-2, Tim Southee 10-1-36-1, Jesse Ryder 1.2-0-15-1, Jacob Oram 10-1-47-3, James Franklin 4-0-31-0, Nathan McCullum 8-0-56-1, Scott Styris 10-0-41-0, Kane Williamson 4-0-26-0


Rotary Club, IndusInd Bank donate solar heating arrangements to Nana Palkar Smruti Samiti

The Rotary Club of Bombay SeaCoast an the private sector IndusInd Bank have jointly donated solar heating arrangements to Rugna Seva Sadan of Nana Palkar Smruti Samiti, a trust located in Parel, Mumbai.

The inauguration of the solar panels was done by Dr. Jayant Kulkarni, Rotary District Governor, a press release issued by the two organisations said.

Nana Palkar Smruti Samiti has been providing support and relief to poor patients in the city for the last 40 years.

The Samithi’s Rugna Seva Sadan provides free residential accomodation for 76 patients, with up to two escorts for each patient, thus having a capacity to house more than 200 inmates.

Patients visting Mumbai for medical treatment are accomodated at the Rugna Seva Sadan for one month free of cost and are extended help to sort out their problems, thus creating a "home away from home" for these patients.

The heating arrangement will help the patient care facility to warm 2000 litres of water per day and save energy of 76000 kcal per day, the release added.


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