L A T E S T      N E W S

Jayalalithaa to remain in jail, bail hearing deferred to October 7

BANGALORE: Jailed AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa will have to stay in prison for at least six more days as the Vacation Bench of the Karnataka High Court today posted for October 7 hearing on her pleas for suspension of the sentence and immediate bail in the disproportionate assets case.

As Jayalalithaa sought immediate relief, the court yesterday first posted the hearing for October 6 but hours later listed the matter for today after her counsels pleaded for urgent hearing.

When the matter came up before the Vacation Bench judge Justice Rathnakala, Jayalalithaa's counsel Ram Jethmalani pleaded for suspending the sentence pending appeal under Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code and for her release on bail.

Section 389 states that pending any appeal by a convicted person, the Appellate Court may order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended. Also, if the person is in confinement, that he or she be released on bail, or on own bond.

During the brief hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh filed the objections to Jayalalithaa's pleas and also a memo about his appointment as the SPP in the case.

Singh, who was SPP in the Special Court in the disproportionate assets case, had told the court yesterday that he had not yet received any official notification appointing him as the SPP for the criminal appeal filed in the High Court.

As Singh sought more time, the judge had first posted the matter for hearing on October 6, which was later rescheduled for today following pleas by Jayalalithaa's counsels.

Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala, her relatives V.N. Sudhakaran, disowned son of the former Chief Minister and Ilavarasi will also have to spend at least six more days in jail as their petitions for bail and suspension of the sentence were also adjourned for October 7.

The High Court is on Dasehra holidays from September 29 to October 6. October 7 is also a government holiday on account of Bakrid.

In her petitions seeking immediate bail and challenging her sentence, Jayalalithaa has maintained that the charges of amassing wealth against her were false and that she had acquired property through legal means.

Jayalalitha has also contended that the trial court has overlooked several judgements and has not considered the binding nature of various income tax orders and decisions of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which had accepted the income and the level of expenditure pleaded by her. — PTIBack





















'Thank you, America', says Modi as he leaves for India

WASHINGTON: Winding up his whirlwind five-day US visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi "thanked" America for what he said was a highly "successful and satisfactory trip" to the country.

"Thank you America," Modi said as he concluded his last official engagement at an event organized by the US Indian Business Council (USIBC) on Tuesday.

After that he directly left for the Andrews Air Force Base, from where his Air India One took off for New Delhi.

"My visit has been very successful. From here I am going to airport directly," Modi said.

On Tuesday Modi met President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House, at the end of which the two leaders issued a joint statement that promised to take the India-US relationship to a new height.

Modi was seen off at the Andrews Air Force Base by the Indian Ambassador to the US S. Jaishankar and the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal.

When he arrived at the Air Force Base a day earlier, he was received by the Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns — both being unusual for a working visit like this.

On Monday evening, Obama hosted Modi for a official private working dinner and on Tuesday the two met for nearly two hours at the Oval Office, following which the US President and the Prime Minister together went to the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial.

Obama, it is understood, decided to join Modi on this visit which many analyst said reflected the close bonding the two leaders have established among themselves in such a close time.

Later in the day, Modi was hosted for lunch by Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, following which he drove down to the Capitol Hill for a tea hosted in his honour by Joe Boehner, speaker of the US House of Representatives.

In the first leg of his five-day US trip, Modi spent four days in New York, where he addressed the Annual Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, and stormed the Indian American community by addressing the diaspora with a packed Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple on September 28.

In New York, Modi held meetings with a host of top American businessmen, including breakfast with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, while top American leaders like Bill and Hillary Clinton, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In all he met more than 50 top US lawmakers and three Governors, including South Carolina's Nikki Haley.

During his trip, Modi visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York and the Gandhi Statue in Washington DC.

He held a series of meetings with the Indian diaspora, including the dinner that was hosted in his honour wherein he stood for nearly two hours to get photographed with more than 700 Indian-Americans. — PTIBack







India not to join war on ISIS: Official

Washington: India is not going to join "any coalition" in the ongoing fight against the dreaded ISIS group in West Asia but agreed to work with the US to deal with the "major issue" of flight of radicalised people to that region for terror strikes.

The Indian stand over any participation in the US-led coalition air strikes in the war on terrorism against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was outlined by an official of Ministry of External Affairs even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his concerns during summit talks with President Barack Obama over emerging challenges in West Asia.

Vikram Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the MEA, during a media briefing on yesterday's summit talks said India was not going to join "any coalition" against terrorism but the two sides had agreed on the need to deal with "travellers of terrorism" - radicalised people who travel for participating in terror activities in West Asia.

"This is a very major issue for us," he said while referring to reports of movement of radicalised youth from India to that region.

Likewise, it was clarified that a trilateral partnership agreed on Afghanistan, would be developmental in nature and not military cooperation.









Modi's 'Clean India' campaign kicks off tomorrow

NEW DELHI: About 31 lakh Central government employees working across the country will take a pledge of cleanliness in various public functions to be organised on Thursday as part of the Narendra Modi administration’s ‘Clean India’ campaign.

In addition, lakhs of state government employees have been asked to be part of this massive drive which will be launched by the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Thursday.

“It has been decided that on October 2, ‘Swachhta Shapath’ (cleanliness pledge) will be administered to all in government offices and public functions or events and cleanliness drive led by senior officers will be undertaken in all government and public offices,” Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth said in a communiqué to Secretaries of all departments.

There are about 30.98 lakh Central government employees in the country. Each Central government department has made plans to administer the oath to its employees.

Home Secretary Anil Goswami will administer the cleanliness pledge to employees of Home Ministry and Personnel Ministry on Thursday in North Block premises.

The Prime Minister has given a call for ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) as a mass movement to realise Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean India by 2019, when the country will celebrate 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

“For a campaign of this nature to be successful, there is a need to create massive public awareness and to ensure participation and action for cleaning homes, government offices, schools, hospitals, work places, streets, roads and markets, railway stations and bus terminals, statues, monuments, rivers, lakes,ponds, parks and other public places.

“It is important to involve government and public sector officials at every level, non-government organisations, education and health institutions, rural and urban local bodies, self-help groups, youth organisations, resident and market associations as well as business and industrial chambers and associations in the cleanliness and awareness drives,” Seth said in his letter.

A variety of activities such as pledge-taking marches, marathons, debates, street plays, music and essay competitions, cleaning drives and other community activities may be used to focus public attention on this campaign and on the need for cleanliness, Seth said.

Meanwhile, the departments heads have swung into action and directed concerned officials to clear office premises of clutter, garbage, building materials, unused vehicles and others. — PTIBack











12 killed, 45 injured in train collision near Gorakhpur

GORAKHPUR (UP): At least 12 persons were killed and 45 injured when a speeding passenger train allegedly jumped signal and collided with another train which was taking a turn on a loop line near here last night.

The Maduadeeh-Lucknow Krishak Express hit the Barauni- bound express train from Lucknow from the side while it was on the loop line at Nandanagar railway crossing, about 7 km from here, at around 11 pm, Chief Public Relation Officer of North- Eastern Railway Alok Kumar Singh told PTI today.

Three coaches of the Barauni Express were badly damaged in the collision.

At least 12 passengers have died in the accident, Singh said, adding that the loco pilot of the Krishak Express, Ram Bahadur, and assistant Loco pilot, Satyajeet, have been suspended for allegedly overshooting the signal.

"Prima facie it appears the Krishak Express was supposed to stop, but it overshot the signal," he said. The train was going towards Lucknow, while the Barauni Express was coming from the state Capital.

Forty-five passengers were injured in the accident and condition of 12 was stated to be serious, the official said.

"An inquiry has been ordered by the railway under Commissioner Rail Safety P K Bajpai to ascertain the cause of the incident," another spokesman Anil Saxena said.

The CPRO said the Rapid Action Force, Gorkha Regiment and Railway Police have reached the spot and started the rescue work.

The injured have been admitted at different hospitals in Gorakhpur.

The railway has also set up helpline for inquiries for various cities — Gorakhpur (05513303365, 09794846980), Lucknow (05222233042), Chhapra (09006693233) and Benares (09919041978), the spokesperson said.

Movement of trains on the Gorakhpur-Varanasi track was disrupted following the incident and few trains have been diverted.

Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda has expressed "profound grief" over the loss of lives and announced compensation for the victims.

An enhanced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh will be given to the families of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for grievously injured and Rs 20,000 for those sustaining simple injuries, a railway official said. 

The Minister said strict action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence.

He also directed that best available treatment be provided to the injured.

Gorakhpur is nearly 340 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.

Eyewitnesses said several people were trapped in the mangled coaches after the collision.

"There was a big jolt. Then we saw a coach of the train upside down. My uncle came under the train. Many lost their limbs in front of my eyes," said one of them.

Officials said Gowda was heading to the accident site along with Chairman of the Railway Board Arunendra Kumar.

Tracks were cleared by Tuesday afternoon and efforts were on to resume train movement on the line, they said. — PTIBack



















Anant Geete rules out resignation, says Sena still part of NDA

NEW DELHI: Anant Geete, Shiv Sena's lone member in the Union Cabinet, on Wednesday said he will not resign as Heavy Industries Minister after his party decided to continue in NDA despite parting ways with BJP for the Maharashtra polls.

Asked whether he will resign, Geete said, "Certainly not".

"It (the alliance) will remain intact at the Centre," he added.

BJP earlier snapped ties with its oldest partner Shiv Sena after failure of talks on seat-sharing in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, ending a 25-year-old ideological alliance that had survived various vicissitudes.

Geete said he had spoken to party chief Uddhav Thackeray on the issue.

"I have spoken to Uddhav Thackeray. There is no question of resigning. We are part of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance).

"The government is of NDA and the Shiv Sena has a significant contribution in the (formation of) NDA government. Forty-two MPs have been elected from Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena has a contribution in that. This is why the question of resigning does not arise," Geete, who is the Union heavy industries & public enterprises minister, told reporters here at the launch of the cleanliness drive for the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Buoyed by the Lok Sabha results in which the BJP-Sena alliance won 42 of the 48 seats, BJP upped the ante and demanded 135 Assembly seats which the Sena was not willing to give. Sena responded saying it would leave only 119 seats but later agreed to concede a few more seats.

On the possibility of a post-poll alliance between Sena and BJP in Maharashtra, Geete said: "It will not be appropriate to talk about the future. But everything is possible in politics".

On whether Udhhav will meet Modi tomorrow, Geete said: "I have no information on that".

The Maharashtra elections will be held on October 15. — PTIBack









Cong releases manifesto in Haryana; woos farmers, promises growth

Chandigarh: Congress, seeking a third term in a row in Haryana, today released its election manifesto for the October 15 polls, attempting to woo farmers and other sections, even as Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda promised to put the state on higher growth trajectory.

Seeking mandate in the name of development while promising to carry out welfare projects in various fields, the 23-page manifesto lays thrust on agriculture and horticulture, irrigation, energy, industry, trade, commerce, FDI, health, besides employment, women empowerment, Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes, urban and rural development and education, with a promise to set up a university in every district.

The document says efforts for a separate high court for Haryana in Chandigarh will continue, mining will be resumed after getting approval from the Environment Department, students union elections will be permitted in universities and colleges while a roadmap will be prepared for each of the 90 Assembly segments so that their needs are fully met.

The manifesto was released at Panchkula jointly by Hooda, Congress General Secretary and party state in-charge Shakeel Ahmed, party Secretary Asha Kumari, chairman of the Manifesto Committee Ram Prakash, state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and former MP Naveen Jindal. It was read out by Prakash.

Haryana being a leading agrarian state, the manifesto says the government will pay 100 per cent interest of the farmer who return the short-term loan regularly and 50 per cent interest of the farmer who return the long-term loan regularly. Land acquisition policy will be further rationalised.

Efforts will continue to secure Centre's approval to lower the interest rate on long-term loans of farmers to 4 per cent. Credit limit to farmers will be provided on the similar pattern as industrialists. Organic farming will be promoted.

Minimum Support Prices of potatoes, onions and tomatoes, like other crops, should be fixed to safeguard the producers from being exploited and attempt will be made to persuade the Centre for this, the manifesto says.

With Traori in Karnal region famous for production of Basmati rice, a modern 'Rice Improvement Centre' will be set up there while Basmati festival will also be held each year, it said. A national-level vegetable and fruit market will be built in every district. -PTI 












Asian Games
Inconsolable Sarita refuses to accept bronze medal

INCHEON: Distraught after losing her controversial semifinal bout, Indian boxer L. Sarita Devi stunned officials and spectators by refusing to accept the bronze medal, which is now in the custody of organisers.

The lightweight (60kg) boxer was in disbelief on Tuesday when she lost against home favourite Jina Park, who ended up as the silver medallist. Sarita was clearly the better of the two pugilists but the judges thought otherwise.

The Indian subsequently also lost an appeal against the judges’ decision and today tearfully made her way to the medal ceremony.

Crying bitterly on the podium, Sarita first refused to wear the medal before handing it over to Park after sharing an emotional hug with the home boxer.

The former Asian and world champion then left the ceremony. Jina Park, visibly rattled by the turn of events, left the medal on the podium and made her exit.

Sarita appeared to be a clear winner in the bout on Tuesday, dominating the proceedings with such ferocity that Park barely managed to stand the assault. But much to the shock of the Indian contingent and the spectators, the judges awarded the bout to Park.

A sobbing Sarita later told reporters that she had to do what she did at the medal ceremony to continue with her boxing career or else it would have stayed in her mind.

“It’s not that I did not want to accept the medal. I accepted it and then gave it back to the Koreans. I had to do this to continue with my boxing career or the memory of this incident would have stayed on in my mind. I would now go back and hug my infant child,” she said.

She was ready to accept the consequences of her actions but also accused the Indian officialdom of being uncaring in the whole episode.

“I am prepared for any consequences. Not one Indian official came to us and consoled or even spoke to us,” she said. — PTIBack





Sarita faces AIBA probe for returning medal

Incheon: India's woman Boxer Sarita Devi is facing an AIBA probe for returning her bronze medal during the podium ceremony with the world governing body's supervisor describing her act as "regretful".

"AIBA has already proceeded its Disciplinary Action Process to review this case, and the decision will be made immediately after the Asian Games," AIBA said in a statement.

AIBA in its statement said that its supervisor and Technical Delegate David B Francis has submitted a report to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) concerning the case.

"The whole incident looked like a well planned scenario by her and her team, and it is regretful to watch a boxer refuse the medal regardless of what happened in the competition," Francis wrote.

"In this regard, as the Technical Delegate, I had to request OCA to review this incident, so any boxer or athlete in other sports will not follow in her footsteps by respecting the spirit of fair-play and sportsmanship of the Olympic Movement," added Francis.

The AIBA Supervisor argued that the whole Indian Boxing Team was protesting the AIBA Referees and Judges’ system and management, which was "obviously caused by a lack of understanding of the AIBA Technical and AOB Competition Rules." The report further added that while protesting, the Indian did not follow the AIBA Technical Rules and protested against the judges’ decisions, though the Rules only allow a protest against the Referee’s Decision. -PTI









'Magnificent Mary' wins historic gold at Asian Games

INCHEON: M. C. Mary Kom today became the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Games after she came from behind to beat Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova in the flyweight (51KG) summit clash here today.

The lone Indian boxer in action today, Mary Kom defeated Shekerbekova 2-0 in a evenly-contested battle in which the Kazakh had the initial advantage.

The five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist, who had won a bronze when women boxers made their debut at the 2010 Asiad, shifted gears with ease to come out triumphant in the final analysis.

Seemingly vary of her rival in the opening round, Mary Kom preferred to keep a distance and invited Shekerbekova to launch the first attack. The Kazakh, however, did not fall for the bait and back-peddled smoothly to outwit the Indian in the opening two minutes.

However, never the one to give up easily, Mary Kom reworked strategy and stunned Shekerbekova with her aggression in the second round. Combining her hooks with uppercuts to Shekerbekova's torso, Mary Kom drew level albeit on a split decision.

The Manipuri mother-of-three, who has been christened 'Magnificent Mary' by the International Boxing Association for her unprecedented feats, began to dominate in the third round and dictated the pace of the proceedings.

Shekerbekova could not come to grips with the tactical shift in Mary Kom's game and could only respond by holding her opponent frequently, for which the referee cautioned her. — PTIBack





















Priyanka Chopra congratulates Mary Kom

MUMBAI: Calling her "a true champ", actress Priyanka Chopra today congratulated boxer Mary Kom for winning the gold medal at the ongoing Asian Games.

"I am more proud than I have been for a very, very long time. I am proud to be in the country where Mary Kom belongs," Priyanka, who starred in a biopic on Kom, said.

Kom, 31, defeated Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova in the flyweight (51kg) summit clash in Incheon, Korea to become the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Games.

Priyanka, 32, took to Twitter to express her happiness.

"Yaaaaaay!!! Now that's called Woman Power! Mary Kom gets gold ... makes India Proud & shows us that we can achieve anything! (sic)".

The 'Fashion' star, who became friends with Kom while working on the biopic, said the boxer was her hero.

"So proud of u @mangtec you r a true champ!! My Shero! Be Unbeatable Be Unbreakable Be MaryKom (sic)," she wrote.

Film's director Omung Kumar also congratulated Kom. — PTI Back



















Army helicopter crashes in Bareilly, three officers killed

Bareilly: An Army helicopter crashed moments after taking off from an airbase here on Wednesday, killing the two pilots and an engineer.

“The incident occurred this morning. Three officers were killed,” an Army official said.

According to sources, the helicopter was on a routine flight. Eyewitnesses claimed that the chopper appeared to be in trouble moments after taking off. It soon caught fire and crashed at the airbase.

Two pilots and an engineer on board the chopper were killed in the crash. Senior administration and police official have reached the spot. — PTIBack












Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to visit India later this month

NEW DELHI: After Sheryl Sandberg, it’s now the turn of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to visit India, the second biggest market for the social networking giant, later this month.

Zuckerberg, who will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be in India to address the first Internet.org summit taking place on October 9-10 in New Delhi.

The young billionaire is expected to meet members of other key ministries as well.

Zuckerberg is the third high- profile CEO of a US-based corporation, after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Micrsoft’s Satya Nadella, to visit India in last few days.

Internet.org aims to make Internet access affordable for people across the globe.

Focused on enabling the next five billion people without Internet access to come online, the founding members of the project include Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung.

The partners are collaborating on developing lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and deploying Internet access in under-served communities.

The Internet.org summit will bring together experts, officials and industry leaders to focus on ways to deliver more Internet services for people in languages other than English.

Zuckerberg will also meet Modi to talk about how Facebook and the Indian government can collaborate on Internet.org.

In July, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sandberg visited India. She had met  Modi, who has effectively used social networking during his election campaign and later even in governance.

When Modi met Sandberg, he had suggested the use of Facebook for improving governance, better interaction between people and the government, and to attract more tourists to India.

India is an important market for the social networking company. With over one billion users globally, the company gets over 100 million users from India. Many of these users log onto the website from their mobile devices.

According to research firm eMarketer, the number of users in India will touch 108.9 million by the end of the year as compared to 77.8 million in 2013. — PTIBack




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