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Legendary Bollywood actor Dev Anand dies

LONDON: Bollywood's evergreen star Dev Anand, whose flamboyant image and innate romantic spirit swayed millions of fans, died here last night following cardiac arrest.

88-year-old Dev Anand, who had come here for medical check up, was not keeping well for the last few days, family sources told PTI.

The legendary actor's son Sunil was with him when he breathed his last.

Known for his trademark puff of hair, his sloping walk and smile, Dev Anand starred in countless hits like "Guide", "Paying Guest", "Baazi", "Jewel Thief ", "CID", "Johny Mera Naam", "Amir Garib", "Warrant", "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" and "Des Pardes".

When his contemporaries like Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar stopped playing the leading men in movies, the versatile actor did not lose his innate romantic spirit and continued to woo his young heroines in movies like "Johnny Mera Naam", "Des Pardes", "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" among others.

Dev Anand made his debut as an actor in 1946 in "Hum Ek Hain". By the time his "Ziddi" was released in 1947, he was a superstar and had never looked back since then.

For his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, Dev Anand was honoured with the prestigious the 'Padma Bhushan' in 2001 and 'Dada Saheb Phalke Award' in 2002.

He established his film production company 'Navketan International Films' in 1949 and produced more than 35 movies.

Dev Anand had won two Filmfare Awards in 1958 for his performance in the film "Kala Paani" (Black Water) and in 1966 for his performance in "Guide".

"Guide" went on to win Filmfare Awards in five other categories, including "Best Film" and "Best Director", and was sent as India's entry for the Oscars in the foreign film category that year. — PTIBack



PM condoles Dev Anand's death

NEW DELHI: Describing Dev Anand as a great artiste, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was an embodiment of life long passion for acting and film-making.

Joining millions of his fans in condoling his death, he said, "Dev Anand was a great artiste who entertained generations of cinema lovers over five decades.

"He was an embodiment of long passion for acting and film-making. I join millions of his fans in mourning his death," the Prime Minister said in a statement.

Political leaders in Maharashtra paid glowing tributes to Indian cinema's legend with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan saying the country had lost an iconic film personality who gave joy to countless movie buffs.

"He will forever be remembered as Hindi cinema's evergreen hero," Chavan said in Mumbai.

"When I saw the news on TV (about his death), I was shocked. Devsaab was an idol for us in college days. He was evergreen. We all waited for his films to release. The youth had an attraction for his action and style," Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said.

"I got to know him later. True to his name, he always gave ‘anand” (happiness) to millions. There won't be any other Dev Anand," Deshmukh said.

“Be it “Guide”, “CID”, “Hum Dono” or “Johnny Mera Naam”, we loved all his films,” the senior Congress leader said.

Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Dev Anand's love for life and cinema would live on through his films.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the 88-year-old screen legend was a gift of God to the film industry and the country. He was active till the end and never stopped making films, Pawar said.

Public Works Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the demise of Devsaab had created a void in Indian cinema. "This is an irreparable loss," he said. — PTIBack



Cong wins Ratia, HJC retains Adampur seat

CHANDIGARH: In a boost to the ruling Congress after drubbing in the Hisar Lok Sabha bypoll, the party today broke a three-decade-old jinx winning the Ratia (SC) Assembly bypoll in Fatehabad district and managed to get a razor-thin majority on its own in the Haryana Assembly.

In the other by-election, Haryana Janhit Congress led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, who last month won the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, retained Adampur seat in the bypoll.

With today's win in Ratia, the Congress, led by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has got a simple majority taking its tally to 46 members in the 90-member House.

The Congress had won 40 seats on its own after the October 2009 Assembly polls and later on five MLAs of the HJC had joined the party taking its tally to 45 then. The party also enjoys support of Independents besides lone BSP member in the House.

The break-up of the party position now is Congress (46), INLD (30), BJP (4), HJC (1), BSP (1), Shiromani Akali Dal (1) and Independents (7).

Meanwhile, Jarnail Singh of the Congress defeated Sarfi Devi of the main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, which lost its traditional stronghold Ratia which had fallen vacant due to death of Devi's husband and INLD MLA, Gian Chand.

Singh, who was an INLD MLA in 2000 before switching over to the Congress, polled 65,071 votes as against 52,368 polled by Sarfi Devi of INLD. Singh won the seat, which has sizeable presence of the Punjabi community, by a margin of 12,703 votes. Mahavir Prashad of the BJP ended at third position getting 18,142 votes.

BJP and HJC had recently weaved an alliance, but for the saffron party the bypolls did not bring much cheer.

From Adampur too, INLD finished a poor third and Congress, which had been pushed to number three position in Hisar poll, made significant gains despite finishing at number two position in the assembly bypolls.

Renuka Bishnoi, wife of HJC President and Hisar MP, Kuldeep Bishnoi, won Adampur seat with a margin of 22,669 votes defeating her nearest rival and former MLA Kulbir Singh Beniwal of Congress. — PTI




BJP suffers jolt as Sreeramulu wins Bellary bypoll

BELLARY: Giving a jolt to ruling BJP in Karnataka, former Minister B. Sreeramulu today won the Bellary (Rural) Assembly constituency by-election, which he contested as an Independent after quitting the party, by a huge margin of over 46,000 votes.

Sreeramulu, a close associate of jailed mining baron and former minister G. Janardhana Reddy, secured 74,527 votes and retained the seat which he had vacated protesting denial of a ministerial berth in the D. V. Sadananda Gowda Ministry.

BJP finished a poor third with its candidate P. Gadilingappa losing the deposit managing only 17,366 votes behind Congress' B Ramprasad who garnered 27,737 votes in the triangular fight, seen as litmus test for the Reddy brothers, facing the CBI heat in illegal mining cases.

40-year-old Sreeramulu had resigned his Assembly seat in August in the wake of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining that indicting him, saying his pride has been hurt. He quit the BJP days before the November 30 by-election, result of which was announced today.

Sreeramulu was also angry the BJP has not sought clarifications from him the mining report. In later days, he bitterly criticised the BJP, vowing to decimate it in Bellary district. — PTIBack



US starts vacating Pak airbase

ISLAMABAD: The US on Sunday began to pull out of Shamsi airbase in Pakistan that had been used to launch drone attacks, a move that came after Pakistan told America to leave over a NATO airstrike that left 24 soldiers dead.

A US aircraft landed at the Shamsi airbase to bring back American officials deployed there, Geo News reported.

There was tight security in the area and locals were told not to leave their homes. The road leading towards the airport had been sealed.

The Dawn quoted sources as saying the process of shifting US nationals into the aircraft had begun.

Pakistan had set a December 11 deadline for the US to vacate the airbase.

NATO helicopter gunships had targeted two border posts in Mohmand Agency November 26, killing two dozen soldiers and sparking outrage in the country.

Islamabad has stopped the passage of NATO supplies through the country to protest the NATO attack.

It has also decided against attending the December 5 Bonn Conference on the future of Afghanistan.

The US has been using the airbase for nearly a decade for military operations in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions. — IANSBack



Top ULFA leader, Indian journalist detained in Myanmar

NEW DELHI: A top ULFA leader and an Indian journalist have been detained by authorities in Myanmar, Union Home Secretary R. K. Singh said today.

However, there was no information about the detention of ULFA's self-styled commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah as reported in some sections of the media, Singh said.

"We have information that Jivan Moran and an Indian journalist were detained in Myanmar. But we have no information about the detention of Paresh Baruah," he said.

Moran is the second-in-command of the hardline faction of the ULFA led by Baruah. The detained journalist works for a Guwahati-based daily newspaper and had travelled to Myanmar apparently to interview Baruah.

After their detention, the Myanmarese authorities gave the information to the Indian government, sources said.

The duo were reportedly detained in the eastern part of Myanmar bordering China. It is immediately not known under what circumstances they were detained.

Baruah reportedly has bases in Myanmar and visits China frequently. — PTI





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