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'Ship of Theseus' named best film at National film awards 

NEW DELHI: Anand Gandhi's debut film 'Ship of Theseus' was today named the best feature film while Milkha Singh's biopic 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' was declared the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment at the 61st National Film Awards.

The best actor award was shared by 'Shahid' actor Rajkumar Rao and Suraj Venjaramoodu for Malayalam film 'Perariyathavar' while Hansal Mehta was named the best director for 'Shahid', again a biopic on slain lawyer-activist Shahid Azmi.

Geetanjali Thapa was named the best actress for Hindi film 'Liar's Dice'. Saurabh Shukla was declared the best supporting actor for court-room drama 'Jolly LLB' which was also named the best Hindi film.

The best supporting actress award is shared by Amruta Subhas and Aida El-Kashef for Astu (Marathi) and 'Ship of Theseus' (English-Hindi).

Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film will go to Marathi director Nagraj Manjule for his critically acclaimed 'Fandry'.

Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on National Integration will be given to Balu Mahendra, director of Tamil film 'Thalaimuraigal'.

An 11-member jury, headed by noted directed Saeed Akhtar Mirza announced the awards today.

The National Film Awards along with Dada Saheb Phalke honour, which will go to lyricist-director Gulzar this year, are likely to be given by President Pranab Mukherjee on May 3.


SC asks BCCI to probe IPL spot-fixing

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Sundar Raman to continue as Chief Operating Officer of IPL 7.

The apex court added that “any probe into allegations made by the Mudgal committee against 13 people, including N. Srinivasan, should be done by BCCI itself to maintain its institutional autonomy.”

It further stated: “We cannot close our eyes after having come to know about the allegations.”

The Supreme Court asked the BCCI and Srinivasan to respond on how the probe be conducted into the allegations.

The apex court also agreed to hear BCCI’s plea seeking tapes of audio recording of interactions of Mudgal committee with M.S. Dhoni and Srinivasan. — PTIBack



I was not silent on Gujarat riots: Modi 

GANDHINAGAR: The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 General Election, Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, rejected the view that he had remained silent on the February 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, which according to official figures, claimed the lives of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus; caused injuries to about 2,500 people and reported 223 as missing.

"I was not silent... I answered every top journalist in the country from 2002-2007, but noticed there was no exercise to understand truth," Modi told Smita Prakash, Editor (News) Asian News International, in an exclusive interview.

He further said he believed that unknown entities gave rise to a number of conspiracies that allegedly linked him to the tragedy.

"I have said what I had to say. Now, I am in the people's court, and I am waiting to hear from them, and their verdict," Modi said when prodded further on his role in the 2002 riots.

He maintained that he was committed to democracy, and added that "if the media had not worked to malign Modi, then who would have known about Modi today?"

Responding to a question on AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal's comment that editors of newspapers would flee if he became the next Prime Minister, Modi replied: "For 14 years, we (the BJP) have run the government in Gujarat. I ask you, has any editor left or, has any reporter left?"

It maybe recalled that in 2012, Modi was cleared of complicity in the 2002 violence by a Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court, and in April this year, the Supreme Court expressed satisfaction over the SIT's investigations in nine cases related to the violence and rejected as "baseless" a plea contesting the SIT report. — PTIBack



Rahul tears into Modi's 'toffee model' development in Gujarat

Kisanganj (Bihar): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday tore into Narendra Modi’s ‘toffee model’ development of Gujarat, saying it was nothing but loot of public money.

“Gujarat model of development can be called toffee model or ‘gubbara’ (ballon) model, which is nothing but loot of public money to benefit big people like Tata and Adani,” Gandhi told an election rally in minority-dominated Kisanganj.

In his 20-minute-long speech, Gandhi cited many instances to "reveal the truth" of the Gujarat model of development and blamed BJP for selling the idea across the country with the aim to make Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

Elaborating his charge of ‘toffee model’ development by Modi, the Congress vice-president said he had given away 45,000 acres belonging to poor farmers and the size of Bihar’s Purnea district to a single person (Adani) at a rate of Re 1 per sq metre ‘which is equivalent to the price of a toffee’.

He gave away the entire stretch of land at a paltry sum of Rs 300 crore, Gandhi claimed adding prized land equivalent to the size of Mumbai and near the coast was given away to the same person for only Rs 30 crore.

Modi had also provided Rs 10,000 crore loan to Tata Motors for its Nano car project at 0.1 per cent interest, while the common man get loan from banks at 12 per cent interest.

“For every Nano car, the Gujarat government is providing Rs 40,000 assistance,” Gandhi said.

“The total budget of the Gujarat government on education, health and other welfare is less than Rs 10,000 crore,” he asserted. — PTIBack



2 die, 295 people missing as South Korea ferry sinks

SEOUL: The South Korean government on Wednesday said 295 people are still missing several hours after a ferry carrying 477, most of them high school students, sank in cold waters off the country’s southern coast. Officials said at least two died and seven were injured.

A government official earlier said that more than 100 people were still unaccounted for Wednesday, but officials later changed the number to 295.

There were fears of a big jump in the number of deaths, as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers scrambled to rescue passengers, who had been on the ferry travelling to the southern island of Jeju. One rescued passenger said he believed that many people had been trapped inside the ferry when it sank.

The ferry sent a distress call at about 9 am (local time) on Wednesday after it began leaning to one side, according to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. The government said about 95 per cent of the ferry, whose passengers included 325 high school students on a school trip to the popular tourist island, was submerged.

Two Coastguard officers said that a 27-year-old woman named Park Ji-yeong and another unidentified person had died.

Photos showed wet students wrapped in blankets as emergency workers tended to them.

A student, Lim Hyung-min, told broadcaster YTN from a gym on a nearby island that he jumped into the ocean wearing a life jacket with other students and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.

“As the ship was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another,” Mr. Lim said, adding that some people were bleeding. Once he jumped, the ocean “was so cold. ... I was hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live.”

Local media ran photos showing the partially submerged ship tilting dramatically as helicopters flew overhead and rescue vessels and a small boat covered with an orange tarp over it floated nearby.

Passenger Kim Seong-mok, speaking from a nearby island after his rescue, told YTN that he was “certain” that many people were trapped inside the ship as water quickly filled up inside and the severe tilt of the ferry kept them from reaching the exits. Some people yelled at those who couldn’t get out, urging them to break windows.

The students are from a high school in Ansan city near Seoul and were on their way to Jeju island for a four-day trip, according to a relief team set up by Gyeonggi Province, which governs the city. The ferry left Incheon port, just west of Seoul, on Tuesday evening, according to Busan Regional Maritime Affairs & Port Administration.

At the high school, students were sent home and parents gathered for news about the ferry.

A total of 16 helicopters, 34 rescue vessels and Navy divers were sent to the area, Lee Gyeong-Og, a Vice Minister for South Korea’s Public Administration and Security Ministry, told a televised news conference. He said 14 had been injured so far, including one described as serious, and taken to hospitals.

Later on Wednesday, 21 Navy and 11 Coastguard divers began searching the near-sunken ship for survivors, according to emergency officials. — AgenciesBack



Robotic mini-sub’s plane search mission aborted again

PERTH: In another setback to the search for the crashed Malaysian jet, the second mission of the underwater drone being used to locate the plane’s wreckage was aborted on Wednesday due to a “technical” trouble as it resurfaced without making any “significant detections”.

“The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was forced to resurface this morning to rectify a technical issue.

While on deck, its data was downloaded,” Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said on the 40th day of the search for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The Bluefin-21, a US Navy probe equipped with side-scan sonar, was then redeployed and it is currently continuing its underwater search, the JACC said.

“Initial analysis of the data downloaded this morning indicates no significant detections,” it said.

This was the second time the search by the underwater vehicle suffered a setback.

The mini-submarine had been deployed on Tuesday night from Australian Navy ship Ocean Shield after its first mission was aborted prematurely due to challenging depths of the Indian Ocean.

“After completing around six hours of its mission, Bluefin-21 exceeded its operating depth limit of 4,500 metres and it’s built in safety feature returned it to the surface,” the JACC had said on Tuesday.

US Navy Captain Mark Mathews of the Bluefin search team said the initial launch on Monday night took place “in the very far corner of the area it is searching, so they are just shifting the search box a little bit away from that deep water and proceeding with the search.”

The search for the missing plane could take up to two months as the underwater vehicle takes six times longer to cover the same area as the towed pinger locater, officials said.

“It is estimated that it will take the AUV anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire search area,” Lt J G Daniel S Marciniak, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the aerial and sea search for the plane continued with up to 11 military aircraft, three civil aircraft and 11 ships taking part in Wednesday’s operations.

Finding the black box and the wreckage are crucial to know what happened on March 8 before the Beijing-bound plane with 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals, mysteriously vanished on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. — PTI





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