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Dhoni wins Asian award for sports in UK

LONDON: On a roll in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 where his team has entered the finals, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has another reason to smile as he has won the 2014 Asian award for outstanding achievement in sports here.

Dhoni, currently in Bangladesh leading India in the ICC World T20, was honoured last night. Former England cricketer Ramprakash, who was to present the award at the glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, read out a message from Dhoni "dedicating the award" to his fans in Asia and all over the world.

The citation said, "Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited overs cricket. Under his captaincy, India has won numerous awards including the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007-08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. 

"In 2013, Dhoni became the first captain to win all the three ICC trophies. Dhoni was ranked 16th on the Forbes list of highest paid athletes." Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman of Poonawalla Group which includes Serium Institute of India, won the Asian Business Leader of the Year award for his outstanding contribution to the field of medicine. G P Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group presented the award to Poonawalla and hailed his achievements.

Indian film and TV actor Irrfan Khan, the first Bollywood actor to star in two films that won the Academy Award for Best Director -- Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Life of Pi (2012) -- was chosen for the Asian outstanding achievement in Cinema award. 
Venkatraman "Venki" Ramakrishnan, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A Steitz and Ada E Yonath, received the Asian outstanding achievement award in Science and Technology.

Saying that he was touched by the award, Ramakrishnan said, "it is not often scientists are recognised by the society." He said the Asian diaspora generally prefer their children to go for studies which is "financially rewarding." Salil Shetty, Secretary General of the Amnesty International, received the Asian Public Servant of the Year award.

Norah Jones, daughter of sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, received the outstanding achievement in music award.

Ahmed Kathrada, who suffered imprisonment for 26 years along with Nelson Mandela in South Africa for his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement, received the Founders Award. Kathrada dedicated the award to "those comrades who did not live to see freedom in South Africa." Other recipients of the awards were Jackie Chan, MBE (The Fellowship Award), Sir David Tang (Outstanding achievement in the arts), Gok Wan (outstanding achievement in Television award), Lui Che Woo (Entrepreneur of the Year Award).

Paul Sagoo, Founder of the Asian Awards, said the awards have come a long way since their inception in 2009. "My vision for these awards was simple - to create an event which would recognise exceptional achievement from those within the global Asian community, on a scale which had never been seen or done before."- PTI












Murder accused shares dais with CM, arrested later

GAYA (Bihar): In an embarrassment for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a fugitive murder accused presided over his election rally here and was arrested later, the police said today.

Javed Khan, former councillor of Gaya Municipality, against whom an arrest warrant issued by a Gaya court was pending since December, presided over the election meeting of Kumar here yesterday.

The warrant was issued in connection with the murder of a property dealer Naushad Khan in April last year. After the rally, when a hue and cry was raised about a fugitive sharing dais with the CM, the police came into action and arrested him later in the evening.

Khan, whom the Chief Minister also addressed during his speech, was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate K K Singh who sent him to 14 days judicial custody.
The incident provided the opposition an opportunity to target the ruling party.

Senior BJP leader and party candidate from Nawada Giriraj Singh said it raises a question mark on the law and order situation in the state.

Senior minister Vijay Chaudhary, however, defended the government saying the moment the incident came to light he was arrested and sen to jail which shows the government's commitment to deal promptly with lawbreakers. - PTI















Sonia cautions against parties making tall promises

KHARIAR (Odisha): Congress President Sonia Gandhi today cautioned people against political parties making 'tall pre-election promises' and asked voters not to get misled and carried away.

"The country is passing through a very crucial period and a phase of trial. There are people who talk big and approach voters with tall promises," Gandhi told a party election meeting in this backward region of Odisha, often described as the country's hunger zone.

"You should never trust these people who show you dreams. You must realise that they are not with you at all as their only agenda is to grab the kursi (chair) and not to serve people," she said without naming any political party or leader.

The people must not get misled by taking these parties at their face value and seriously apply their mind before casting their votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections, the UPA chairperson said.

She claimed that Congress had always been with the poor, dalits, tribals and the downtrodden and had backed the people during crises.

Citing the instance of Niyamgiri Hills in the state, she said, Congress stood 'solidly' behind the tribals of the region when the BJD government was all out to hand over the hills to a company for mining.

"Rahulji immediately took up the matter and ensured that the rights of the tribals were fully protected and prevented proposed mining in the area despite state government's attempts." As far back in 1967 Indira Gandhi addressed problems faced by the people of drought-prone Kalahandi in Odisha and established Indravati multi-purpose project for irrigation of vast areas.

Despite many hurdles the UPA government had brought the Food Security Act which provides rights on ration for all to usher in a hunger-free India.

UPA also implemented the Forest Right Act to safeguard the interests of the tribals and forest dwellers. The measure, she said, would go a long way in ensuring welfare of the tribals by giving them rights over land.

The Congress president said the UPA had taken concrete steps for protecting the interest of people whose land are being acquired in the name of development.

The land acquisition law brought by the Centre would ensure payment of adequate compensation to the land losers and prevent harassment. Without the consent of the people and without guarantee of proper rehabilitation, no land can now be acquired, she said.

In order to provide employment in rural areas and improve the economic condition of villagers the MGNREGA programm was introduced by the UPA, she said.

Congress, she claimed, had always been working sincerely for the rural population and a host of programms including Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana have been launched by the UPA government to substantially improve the living conditions of villagers.

However, states like Odisha have not been sincerely implementing these programms, she alleged.

Claiming Congress as a pro-poor party, Gandhi said one of the major goals set in the party's election manifesto is to provide free medical treatment and medicines to the needy. Besides, pucca houses would be provided to all for which a law would be brought, she added. - PTI 












Modi by his side, Advani enters LS fray from Gandhinagar

GANDHINAGAR: Accompanied by Narendra Modi, veteran BJP leader L K Advani today filed his nomination from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, putting up a show of unity after months of apparent frost in ties between the two.

Modi himself handed over the papers to the Returning Officer of Gandhinagar, a seat Advani was virtually forced to accept over Bhopal which was said to be his first choice.

86-year-old Advani, seeking his seventh term in Lok Sabha, was accompanied by Modi, Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel and his aide Deepak Chopra who suggested that Modi hand over the papers. Modi first urged Advani to give the papers but later relented.

Before the filing of nomination, Modi addressed a public meeting where he exhorted party workers to ensure victory of Advani with a "huge" margin and recalled the "illustrious" political career of the party patriarch.

Advani too praised Modi, calling him an able administrator. "I will not call Narendra bhai my protege, but I have never seen a more brilliant and efficient events manager than him.

"And this event management capacity he had brought to governance also. That has made him more suitable for the assignment, the party has given to him." He said Modi has proved a remarkable leader, not just of the BJP but even when he was an RSS pracharak.

Advani, however, said Modi should not be compared with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "I would not compare, certainly not to Atal ji. Atal ji was a class by himself. The main ideologue of the party was Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and the person to implement it in governance was Atal ji," he said.

After Advani and BJP's prime ministerial Modi stepped out of the election authority's office, they were greeted by hundreds of BJP workers and state unit leaders. Advani had won with a margin of more than 1.20 lakh votes from here in 2009, when he was the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP. - PTI










Woman shows courage, thwarts robbery attempt

NEW DELHI: Displaying immense courage, a 29-year-old woman not just thwarted a robbery attempt by snatching pistol from one of the four armed robbers who had barged into her home but also managed to nab two of them with the help of her neighbours, police said today.

The accused, identified as Devender Sahu and Santosh were later handed over to the police. One country made pistol, one toy pistol, two live cartridges, one button actuated knife and a dagger have been recovered from their possession.

The incident took place at 8:15 PM when Ekta Batra, who lived in her house in Tilak Nagar area of West Delhi noticed that a man was trying to enter her house by opening the gate.

"When she questioned him, he pushed her inside and forcibly entered into her house. Three others followed him.

They immediately took out their weapons and threatened her to handover whatever was present in the house. She snatched the pistol from one of the accused and raised an alarm.

"She also pushed him behind as a result of which he fell on the stairs. The neighbours responded promptly and succeeded in apprehending Devender Sahu and Santosh while they were trying to flee. In the meantime, remaining two accused managed to escape," a senior police official said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Ranvir Singh said that in recognition of her bravery and presence of mind, he will strongly recommend for a suitable reward for her. The absconding accused have been identified as Mukesh and Shivam.

Teams have already been constituted for the arrest of remaining accused. Further investigation is on to ascertain the source of supply of weapon, he said. - PTI 












Arms seized in Bihar

MUNGER: Police today recovered arms and ammunition suspected to be used during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Bihar's Munger district.

"Three revolvers, two pistols, four magazines and Rs 10,000 in cash were seized from an arms supplier Pradeep Singh alias Guddu," SP Varun Kumar Sinha said.

Acting on a tip-off, Pradeep was arrested from a place under Saphiyabad police station and recovered locally procured arms meant to be delivered to one Rinku Singh in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, he said.

Moradabad police has been contacted in connection with the seizure, Sinha added.

Pradeep also informed the interrogators about his associates in Sealdah area of Kolkata, following which a police team has been sent there, he said.

Munger is notorious for illegal trade of arms and ammunition. Altogether 450 pistols were seized from Munger last month. - PTI




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