3 killed as truck hits motorcycle in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh

Three people, including a father and son, were killed on the spot when their motorcycle was crushed by a truck during thick fog on the Veer Abdul Hamid bridge on river Ganga here today.

Police said Manveer Singh (45), his son Sushil Singh (25) and another person, Umesh Sharma (30), were crushed to death by the truck.

The accident occurred when Manveer, who was a cashier in the District Cooperative Bank, was going to his office along with the two others on his bike.

The truck driver has been arrested, police added.


Temple guard killed during break-in attempt in Vadodara

A temple guard was allegedly killed by three assailants who made a vain bid to loot a Jain temple here in the wee hours today, police said.

Temple guard Mukesh Parmar (25) was strangulated to death with a plastic cord when he tried to raise an alarm as the three thieves attempted to break the lock of the Adinath temple near Abhilasha junction.

After killing the guard, the thieves made another attempt to break the lock when the alarm rang and neighbours got alerted following which the thieves escaped, police added.


Prisoners escape from Amreli sub-jail by drilling hole in toilet

Six detainees lodged in Amreli sub-jail in Gujarat escaped last night after making a hole out of the toilet, police said today.

According to Amreli Police control room, the detainees, identified as Chhagan Harji, Magan Harji, Jagan Mohan, Virar Velji, Sagar Hussain and Kalio Magan, ran away late last night.

They were in the jail for various crimes such as robbery, rape and theft, the police said.

A high alert has been sounded in the Amreli district and a search has been launched to nab them, they added.


6 workers injured in factory blast in Vapi, Gujarat

At least six workers were injured in an explosion at a chemical factory at a Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) industrial estate at Vapi in Valsad district of Gujarat early today, police said.

Valsad Superintendent of Police D B Vaghela told UNI that the factory officials saidthat the explosion occurred due to the rupturing of a safety valve. About six workers were present when the blast occurred.

Chemical experts entered the premises of Arti chemical factory to assess the situation. One more worker was suspected to be trapped, but it could be ascertained only after clearing the debris, he said.

The factory roof was blown off in the explosion, which occurred around 0515 hrs, Mr Vaghela added.


Robbers loot jewellery worth Rs 1 crore from Tanishq store in Chandigarh

Armed robbers struck at a Tanishq jewellery store in the Manimajra area here today and looted jewellery worth Rs 1 crore, police said.

Initial reports said 10 to 15 armed robbers in police uniform entered the showroom early this morning and overpowered three security guards present there. They looted jewellery worth about Rs one crore and decamped with the booty.

Before leaving they tied the three security guards and dropped them near the local cremation ground.

Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naunihal Singh said the police had cordoned off the area and launched a massive manhunt to nab the robbers.


6 members of family killed in road mishap in Karnataka

Six members of a family were killed and 20 others injured when the van in which they were travelling dashed against a tanker on the Belgaum-Bagalkot road near here early today.

Police said the passengers were returning to Hubli after attending a family function at Jamakhandi in Bijapur district when the accident occurred.

While four people were killed on the spot, the other two succumbed to injuries on way to hospital. The injured were shifted to the government hospital here, police added.


Delhi wakes up to cold morning, min. temp. in past 24 hours at 3.9 degrees

It was another cold morning in Delhi as the minimum temperature in the past 24 hours dropped to 3.9 degrees Celsius, the second lowest this winter, down from 4.6 degrees yesterday and three degrees below normal for this time of the year.

But there was some respite from the severe cold conditions of the past many days, with the sun shining through the clear skies by mid-morning.

The maximum temperature in the past 24 hours was 19.2 degrees Celsius, up from yesterday's level of 15.6 degrees, but two degrees below normal.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the capital would have a mainly clear sky for the rest of the day, with the maximum temperature at around 20 degrees Celsius.

It said the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 20 and 7 degrees Celsius tomorrow and 19 and 8 degrees on Friday.


Sibal lays stone for "Bharati", India's third research base in Antarctica

Union Minister for Science & Technology laid the foundation stone for India's third research base in Antarctica, "Bharati", at a function here yesterday.

The first Indian station in Antarctica, Dakshin Gangotri, was established in 1983-84, followed by Maitri on the mountainous "Schirmacher Oasis" in 1988 and the research station Himadri at Svalboard of the Arctic

The new station will be completed by 2012, Mr Sibal said. "Bharati will be a unique station with advanced facilities. It will accommodate around 70 people. 35 scientists and 10 logistic people will remain throughout the year. They will experiment on movement of platonic plates, microbes surviving in this atmosphere, magnetic properties, aerosol etc. The station will incur the cost of Rs. 200 crore. The Maitri station will be restructured to present standard and ultra modern facilities," he said.

The Polar Research Programme of India includes Polar Regions, Arctic and Antarctica.

India made its Antarctica foray in 1981 with the launch of its first scientific expedition to the icy continent. In all, thirty expeditions to Antarctica have been launched till date with one special expedition to Weddle Sea, one for exploration for krill resources, four to Southern Ocean ad another four to Arctic.

According to an official press release, Bharati will undertake multi-disciplinary research and observation studies, including biological, geological, physical, chemical, suspended particulates in oceans, aerosols, and meteorological sciences.

The proposal to establish the third Indian station at Antarctica was mooted at the 30th Antarctica Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in May 2007. India hosted this meeting of ATCM for the first time since it joined the Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and was granted the consultative status. One of the significant outcomes of 30th ATCM meeting was its acceptance of the Indian proposal for a new Indian Research Base at the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica.

The site survey and shifting of the construction machinery was completed in 2009-10.The first phase of the construction activity is progressing as per schedule.

The release said 65% of the task has been completed till date and rest will be completed by the end of the current season.


Memorial plaque in honour of Indian indentured labourers unveiled at Kolkata Port

A memorial plaque in honour of Indian indentured labourers was unveiled yesterday at Kidderpore Dock, Kolkata Port by Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.

Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee was amongst those present on the occasio. The plaque has been put up with the support of the Union Ministry of Shipping, the West Bengal Government and the Kolkata Port Trust.

Mr Ravi said descendants of the Indian indentured labourers were scattered across continents and many of them had done extremely well for themselves and their adopted countries.

"In fact, some have reached the highest political positions in their countries and are now shaping the destinies of their adopted countries," he said.

Mr Ravi said the memorial symbolized the deep emotional connect the descendants of those Indians, who are now living in different countries of the world, had with India.

"All of them nurture within their hearts, a strong bond with the land of their ancestors, India. It is the innate Indianness that each of them still carries, that ensures that India’s footprint is felt all over the world," he said.

During the indenture system, which lasted from 1833 to 1920, more than 1,190,000 Indians were sent to work to different parts of the world. About 453,000 went to Mauritius, 239,000 to British Guiana, 144,000 to Trinidad and 152,000 to Natal, South Africa.

This is the first ever memorial established in India in honour of Indian indentured labourers who travelled from India in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Kolkata Memorial recognizes and honours the indomitable spirit and heroism of all Indians who left the shores of their motherland from 1833 to 1920 to embark on long and hazardous journeys to far away lands and begin a new life there.

The text of the Memorial Plaque reads as follows:

"From Here They Set Forth……

This memorial commemorates the thousands of indentured Indian workers who sailed from Kolkata Port between 1834 and 1920, to lands far away, seeking better livelihoods for themselves and their families.

This is a celebration of their pioneering spirit, endurance, determination and resilience.

They made significant contributions to their adopted countries, yet cherished and passed on the spirit of Indianness – culture, values, traditions – to their descendants.

We salute them!

Jai Hind

January 11, 2011



IIMs declare results of Common Admission Test (CAT) 2010

A pergola at IIM Bangalore.
A pergola at IIM Bangalore.

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) today declared the results of their Common Admission Test (CAT) 2010 that is used for admission of students to their flagship two-year post-graduate programmes (PGP) in management as well as other courses.

The results are available on the CAT website. Candidates can retrieve their CAT 2010 scorecard using their CAT registration number and their e-mail address, exactly as supplied during the registration for the examination and as it appears on their admit card.

Those who are unable to locate their details may contact Candidate Care or call the Toll Free Number 1 800 103 9293. Further details may be asked for to verify the candidate's identity, a brief announcement on the CAT website said.

CAT 2010 was the second succesive year that the examination was conducted as a computer-based online test. It was conducted in the pencil-and-paper format for 33 years before that.

More than 1.86 lakh candidates appeared for CAT 2010, which was conducted during a 20-day testing window between October 27 and November 24, 2010.

The nine IIMs are located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, Shillong, Ranchi and Rohtak.

Many other institutions also use the CAT scores to finalise admissions to their management programmes.

The IIMs also use the CAT scores to finalise admissions to their Fellow Programes in Management (FPM), equivalent to Ph.D.

Two more IIMs at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu and Raipur in Chhattisgarh are due to start functioning soon and two more, in Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, are due to be set up.


Mumbai blasts case: SC adjourns hearing till March 29

The Supreme Court today started hearing the appeal filed by more than 40 convicts in 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt.

The counsel for the appellants demanded the copies of the confessional statements from the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI).

The CBI sought six weeks to prepare and supply the copies of the statements.

A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam granted six weeks to the CBI for providing copies of the confessional statements and adjourned the hearing till March 29.

On March 12, 1993, Mumbai was rocked by serial bomb blasts in which around 200 lives were lost. The trial took over 13 years to conclude.

Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim has been declared an absconder in the case along with the Memon brothers.


10 fishermen killed in road accident near Visakhapatnam

Ten fishermen were killed and as many injured, two of them seriously, after a van in which they were travelling rammed into a stationary lorry near Payakaraopeta here, early today.

Senior police officials visited the spot and shifted the injured to Tuni Government Hospital.

Police said the incident occurred when the driver of the over-speeding van lost control over the vehicle and dashed into the stationary lorry from the rear on National Highway 5 at around 0430 hrs.

All the deceased fishermen belonged to Alumuru Village in East Godavari District.

While eight people were killed on the spot, two others died while undergoing treatment in hospital. The condition of two of those injured was critical, police said.

The van loaded with fish was carrying 20 fishermen, who after purchasing the stock were on their way to Mandapeta Mandalam in East Godavari district to sell it, police added.


Maharashtra govt. urges Governor to recommend action against Tiwari

The Maharashtra government today urged State Governor K Sankaranarayanan to recommend to the Supreme Court to initiate an inquiry against State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari for his alleged role in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Speaking to mediapersons after a meeting of his Cabinet, the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the Cabinet had decided to urge the Governor to recommend to the apex court to initiate inquiry against Tiwari.

Mr Chavan further said Mr Tiwari should not attend office till the inquiry into the scam concludes.

The Government has submitted substantial grounds to take action against Tiwari, he said and pointed that the Governor will send the recommendation to the Supreme Court which will hold an inquiry and decide whether to suspend him or terminate his services.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)officers are protected by law, but Mr Tiwari and Mr Subhash Lalla, a member of the State Human Rights Commission, were appointed for political reasons. So, there is a specific procedure to take action against them, Mr Chavan said.

Earlier, the Governor had rejected Mr Tiwari's leave application.

Mr Lalla, another IAS officer, retired as member of the State Human Rights Commission on January 3 this year, after names of his kin figured as beneficiaries in the Adarsh Society meant for war heroes and defence personnel. Mr Lalla was posted in the Chief Minister’s office, when the scam-hit Society’s files were being processed.

Mr Tiwari's son owns a flat in the 31-storey building in upmarket Colaba.

The government has initiated action under Section 17 of the RTI Act, which states that the Governor may by order remove from office the State Information Commissioner, if s/he has acquired such financial or other interests that are likely to affect prejudicially his/her function as the State Information Commissioner.


ACB conducts raid at premises of 14 public servants in Mumbai

Officials of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB-CBI) conducted raids at the residences and office premises of 14 public servants and also the residence and office premises of a Customs House Agent (CHA) for their alleged involvement in graft.

According to an official press release here today, CBI officials had received information that Customs officials of different ranks from Additional Commissioner to Preventive Officer were collecting illegal graft from a particular CHA.

The graft was in the form of cash, electronic gadgets like laptops, mobile phones, air-conditioners, air tickets of domestic and international travel as well as travel expenses and other things.

This indicated a conspiracy on the part of the said public servants and the CHA, who was a habitual bribe giver, the release said.

As a part of this conspiracy, the public servants had extended pecuniary advantage to the said CHA in various matters after receiving bribe and other considerations.

Many of these officers have more than one residence. A total of 32 teams were pressed for these searches. Many incriminating documents

and other tangible evidence had been seized during searches, which were still going on. Scrutiny of the seized documents was being done, the release said.

A case had been registerd against the officers and the CHA under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 11, 12, 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) and Section 14 of PC Act, 1988 on the basis of source information, it added.


ACB seizes disproportonate assests of Rs 1.7 crore from official in Andhra Pradesh

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) today said it had seized disproportonate assests worth over Rs 1.7 crore from Mr Venna Nageswara Rao(54), a Motor Vehicle Inspector, Wyra, Khammam district.

Officials of the ACB conducted searches in his residence and those of his relatives and unearthed assets included 10 apartments -- 9 at Vijayawada and 1 at Hyderabad, 6 plots -- 5 at Palavancha, Khammam district and 1 at Ramachandrapuram, East Godavari district. insurance policies worth Rs.23,63,379, 340 gms of gold worth Rs. 7,45,500, 870 gms of silver worth Rs. 20,000, a Ford Fiesta car, a Honda Unicorn motorcycle, bank balances of Rs. 20 Lakhs and household articles worth Rs. 3 lakhs were seized.

Mr Nageswara Rao would be arrested and produced before the Principal Special Judge for SPE and ACB Cases at Vijayawada, a press release from ACB said here today.


Osmania Univ campus remain tense on Telangana issue

Tension prevailed on thee Osmania University campus here this morning with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members taking out rallies and organising protest programmes and pelting stones at the police.

The student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gave a call to lay siege to Osmania University demanding the withdrawal of paramilitary forces from their campus and introduction of the Telangana Bill in Parliament.

Police arrested about 500 students at different places in and around the campus and foiled their attempts.

To divert the attention of police, the ABVP students adopted a different strategy and conducted protests simultaneously at all the entrace gates. It became quite tough for the police to prevent the mob from entering into the premises of the Osmania University campus.

Police took nearly 500 students, including ABVP state unit President Kadium Raju into custody at different places in Hyderabad. Meanwhile, security was beefed up at the prime centres in the city.


Taj Heritage Corridor scam case to be heard on Jan 18

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court today fixed January 18 as the next hearing date into the multi-crore Taj Heritage Corridor (THC) scam of Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioners have demanded that the case against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Cabinet Minister Nassimuddin Siddiqui should be re-started in the issue.

The bench comprising Justices Abdul Matin and Y K Sanghal has fixed January 18 as the next date of hearing into the multi-crore scam.

The petitions filed by Anupama Singh, Kamlesh Verma and Katil Ahmad sought the rejection of the special CBI Judge order, which absolved Ms Mayawati and Mr Siddiqui for lack of evidence.

On the other side, the counsel of the Chief Minister demanded that the petitions should be rejected as they were not mantainable.

Ms Mayawati and state PWD Minister Nassimuddin Siddiqui were accused in the scam, but CBI did not go for their prosecution after the state Governor refused to give permission.

The CBI had filed charge sheet against Ms Mayawati and others in a local court in the same case.


NIA announces cash rewards for info on Samjhauta Blast accused

Sandeep Dange
Ramachandra Kalsangra

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today announced cash rewards for anyone providing information that would lead to the arrest of three accused persons in the case related to the blast on the Samjhauta Express in February 2007, in which 68 people, mainly Pakistanis were killed.

A press release from the NIA said a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh each for any person providing information leading to the arrest of Sandeep Dange @ Parmanand and Ramchandra Kalsangra @ Ramji @ Vishnu Patel.

The NIA has announced a cash reward for any person providing information leading ot the arrest of the third accused, Ashok @ Amit @ Prince @ Sunny @ Ashwini @ Ashwini Chauhan.

The three had been named as conspirators in the case by Swami Aseemanand, who is currently in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the case. He is said to have confessed to his role in the crime before a magistrate but his lawyer has said that the statement was extracted under duress.


Centre says no to sharing info on Samjhauta blast probe with Pakistan

The Union Home Ministry today told the Ministry of External Affairs that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was yet to complete its investigation into the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case and it would, therefore, be premature to share details probe with Pakistan.

The Home Ministry's refusal to share information comes a day after Pakistan summoned India's acting deputy high commissioner G V Srinivas in Islamabad and requested information on the investigation following Swami Aseemanand's confession to his and his associates' role in the blast.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had yesterday confirmed that Mr Srinivas was summoned by Pakistan Foreign Office.

She said, "Acting Deputy High Commissioner G V Srinivas was summoned by Pakistan Foreign Office and they referred to media reports that have been surfacing about investigations in the Samjhauta Express train blast case. That was basically what the meeting was about, they have requested for any information that India would have to share with them in this regard. That has been conveyed to us by our High Commission in Islamabad and that is where the matter rests at the moment."

The issue may come up for discussion by the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries on the sidelines of a SAARC meeting in Bhutan during February 6-7.

Importantly, the NIA today announced cash rewards of Rs 22 lakh for anyone providing any information leading to the arrest of three accused in the Samjhauta blast case.


ECI examining law to deal with "paid news": Quraishi

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi today indicated that the Election Commission of India (ECI) was examining whether any law could be applied or not to check the phenomenon of "paid news" during the elections.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Quraishi said the Election Commission had come across as many as 86 instances of paid news during the last Lok Sabha elections and many people confessed that money had been paid for news.

The CEC said the Commission was examining the legality of the expenditure of these paid news.

He said nobody would take the paid news appeared in the form of advertisement seriously but when it was published in the news form it had to be taken into account as to whether this had been done for consideration either in cash or kind.

On the role of black money being circulated during elections, Mr Quraishi said a pilot mechanism was evolved by the Commission during the last Bihar Assembly election and it proved to be very successful.

He said the Election Commission had evolved an election expenditure and monitoring mechanism headed by a senior IT official and assisted by the intelligence wing to monitor the use of black money in the election.

The CEC said the outcome of this monitoring was very encouraging and the elections were conducted in a fair manner.

To a question on the possible manipulation of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the election as alleged by some political parties, Mr Quraishi said the Commission had constituted an expert committee which had already held consultations with the major political parties and was examining the proposal of having printouts of the votes cast in the EVMs.


ULFA "foreign secretary" released on bail in Assam

United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) "foreign secretary" Sashadhar Choudhury was released on bail from the central jail here in keeping with the government’s side of the deal to initiate formal peace parleys with the banned outfit.

Walking out to freedom, Choudhury thanked the government, his lawyers and the judicial system for helping him procure his bail.

Expressing his support to talks, he said, "We are ready for political resolution of the conflict."

"The global scene also demands talks. Our arrest in Bangladesh also points towards it," he said.

Choudhury will be driven in a convoy to his ancestral home at Nalbari district, where felicitations and meetings have been lined up.

Choudhury and ULFA’s "finance secretary" Chitrabon Hazarika were apprehended in Bangladesh and handed over to Indian authorities.

Hazarika has also procured bail in all TADA cases along with Choudhury yesterday and is expected to get bail in another criminal case today. Hazarika is the only top ULFA leader yet to be set free.

Meanwhile, ULFA "chairman" Arabinda Rajkhowa, who was released on bail from the central jail here on January 11, today visited the outfit’s elusive "commander-in-chief" Paresh Barua’s residence at Jeraigaon in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district.

Reaching Barua’s house this morning accompanied by his wife Kaberi Kachari and ULFA ideologue Bhimkanata Buragohain, Rajkhowa urged Barua's mother Miliki Barua to give her blessings and good wishes to the peace process.

Kaberi, Buragohain and other family members of ULFA leadership also knelt before Miliki Barua and offered her "gamocha" and "sarai" as a token of respect.

The octogenarian mother of Barua, giving her blessing to the peace process, said, "My good wishes are with you all in this new endeavour. May you succeed in your venture."

"May all issues be resolved at the earliest," she said, tears welling up in her eyes as she also talked about her son.

Rajkhowa is leading the outfit’s peace initiative and preparing the ground for a formal resolution by the ULFA to start parleys with the government.

However, Barua and a few other leaders and cadres under him have been opposing the talks move and have remained evasive of the authorities.


Engineering student commits suicide in Chennai

A second-year engineering student allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself to death after failing to clear the third semester examination, results of which were cleared last evening, police said.

Upset that he failed in all the five subjects, the 18-year-old student, V Ramachandran, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself to death on a ceiling fan at his house in the suburban area of Old Tambaram.

His parents, who run a tea shop, were away when the boy ended his life, the police said.

According to them, the boy returned early from college last evening and found the house locked. He visited his father at the tea shop to get the house key. When his father asked why he had come home early, he said he was suffering from headache and wanted to rest.

When the parents went home last night they found the house locked. They broke open the door and found the boy dead, the police added.


SC clears way for trial of CVC in palmolein oil case in Kerala

File photo of P J Thomas.
File photo of P J Thomas.

The Supreme Court today cleared the decks for the trial of Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) P J Thomas in the Rs 2.8 crore palmolein oil case.

A bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha ruled that the appeal filed by former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran stands abated with his death.

Mr Thomas and five other accused in the case will now have to face the trial. The interim stay granted by the Supreme Court against the trial court proceedings in Kerala also stands vacated.

Mr Thomas, the Kerala Food Secretary when the alleged scam took place, is facing allegations of criminal conspiracy in causing a loss of Rs 2.8 crore to the state exchequer.

Petitions challenging the appointment of Mr Thomas as CVC are already pending in the Supreme Court. The apex court has already raised questions about his appointment.

The chargesheet in the corruption case was filed in 1999 and the stay was granted by the Supreme Court in 2007.

Mr Karunakaran had challenged his prosecution in the case on the grounds that there was no sanction obtained for his prosecution but with his death the trial has automatically come to an end.

The alleged scam came to light in 1993 and the Left Front government in Kerala ordered the registration of the case in 1996 and the Supreme Court had refused to quash the FIR in 2003.


4 killed, 11 injured as trucks collide near Aligarh

At least four people were killed and 11 others injured when two trucks collided head-on during fog on the national highway near here laste last night.

Police sources said here that the accident occurred near Gawhara when one truck loaded with animals collided with another carrying iron rods.

The four victims, including drivers of both trucks, died on the spot. The injured have been admitted to the district hospital here where the condition of two is stated to be critical.

Meanwhile, due to the accident, traffic on the higway was blocked for more than four hours, the sources added.


No respite from fog, chill in Jammu

There was no respite from cold in this winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir as dense fog continued here today.

Dense fog gripped the entire Jammu city and its outskirts, bringing life to a halt on roads as vehicles moved at snail’s pace. Schools remained closed on the occasion of Gurupurab.

Trains and flights are running 4-5 hours late from their scheduled time due to the foggy conditions.


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