1,455 death penalties in 10 years
A total of 1,455 convicts were handed out death sentence in the past 10 years which amounts to one such penalty awarded every three days by the country's courts, a rights panel said Thursday, quoting official documents.
"As per the records of the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 1,455 convicts or an average of 132.27 convicts per year were given death penalty during 2001 to 2011," said Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights.
The NGO (non-government organisation) compiled its report "The State of Death Penalty in India" 2013 referring to the NCRB data. It stated that Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states, where 370 convicts were given capital punishment.
While Uttar Pradesh was followed by Bihar with 132 death penalties, in Maharashtra the number was 125 from 2001 to 2011. The national capital had 71 convicts who were awarded capital punishment, said the report.
In the northeastern states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim and union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep, no death penalty was imposed.
However, according to the report, death sentences of 4,321 people were commuted to life imprisonment with the highest number of commutation in Delhi, 2,462 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 458.
It was Jammu and Kashmir, where only 18 people were spared a walk to the gallows.
Mayawati's party creates ruckus in UP Assembly over Allahabad stampede
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly witnessed chaos on Thursday as former Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members created ruckus over the recent stampede incident in Allahabad railway station and protested against the lawlessness in the state.
BSP members created ruckus when Governor BL Joshi was addressing the joint session of the House on the first day of the Budget Session.
The protesting members reportedly stood on desks and threw paper balls at the Governor.Read more
Pistorius charged with murder of girlfriend
Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend after model Reeva Steenkamp was shot inside the Olympic athlete's home in South Africa.
Police said a 26-year-old male would appear in court later on Thursday. Police in South Africa do not name suspects in crimes until they have appeared in court but police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes said that Pistorius was at his home after the death of Steenkamp and "there is no other suspect involved."
Beukes said the suspect was undergoing blood alcohol and forensic tests and had made a request to be brought to court immediately. Beukes said he would apply for bail, but the South African Police Service would oppose the application.
Beukes said there had been "previous incidents" at Pistorius' home.
Protest against celebration of Valentine's Day in Jammu
A local political group today held a protest against Valentine's Day celebrations in Jammu and burnt scores of cards meant for the occasion. The Hindustan Shiv Sena (HSS) said the celebrations were against the "culture and ethos of the country" and alleged that it promoted vulgarity.
"We are bitterly opposed to the vulgarity involved in (celebrating) Valentine's Day and all this is against the culture of Sanatan Dharma," HSS president Dimpy Kohli said. He questioned why the "youth were running after western culture where the meaning of love is not known to people in the real sense."
Kohli also said it was the duty of parents to advise their children against indulging in such activities.
Vayalar Ravi apologises for sexist remark
Union Cabinet Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi on Thursday apologized for his purported indecent and sexist remarks against a woman journalist in Kerala who had asked questions to him on the Suryanelli rape case and Congress leader P J Kurien whose name has been dragged in the incident.
The remarks of Ravi caught in video against the questioner, whom he asked if she has something personal against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien who has been accused as one of those who raped her by the victim but has been cleared by all courts, triggered outrage and prompted the women journalists' group to take up the matter.
"Do you have any personal problem or grudge against Kurien? " asked Ravi in Malayalam to the journalist who asked him a question on Kurien.
Hyderabad parks closed on V-Day
All major parks in Hyderabad were shut Thursday to prevent any untoward incident on Valentine's Day in view of threats by some rightwing Hindu groups.
Police directed municipal authorities to lock all big parks following threats by groups such as the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to 'counsel' and even forcibly marry couples seen in parks and other public places. They argue that the celebrating the day is against Indian culture.
Indira Park, Sundarayya Park, Lumbini Park, KBR National Park and other major parks in the city were locked.
Officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said the parks would remain closed till 4 p.m.
Left flayed for opposing airport near Sabarimala
The Kerala government Thursday blasted the Left for seeking to build an airport near the Sabarimala temple while in power and opposing it while out of power.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Aranmula airport would aid pilgrims and bring in revenue to the state.
Chandy pointed out that opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan, while he was chief minister, cleared the airport project in 2011.
PJ Kurien has met Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the Suryanelli case. The meeting was requested by Kurien. Kurien wrote separate letters to Sonia and Hamid Ansari, Chairman of the Upper House, explaining his position on the Suryanelli rape case
Pakistan to continue ban on YouTube
Five months after YouTube was banned in Pakistan for hosting clips from a controversial anti-Islam film, authorities have said there are no plans to remove restrictions on the popular video-sharing website in the immediate future.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority informed a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology on Wednesday that the government has no intention of unblocking YouTube.
Twitter reacts to VVIP chopper scam:
Naman Kapoor @naman_kapoor02
Why is Sonia Govt unwilling to send letter rogatory to Italy which will force them to share their investigation details #VVIPBofors2
We all know that in the #VVIPBofors2
the buck stops with Defense Minister Mr. Anthony. If he is Mr.Clean or not so Clean is a non issue.
Tinu Cherian Abraham @tinucherian
S P Tyagi and Suresh Raina can now vouch on why cousins and nephews should not be allowed to "get involved"
hemant behera @hemantrulz
When you sell India's security for money, You are no less than a terrorist and you deserve the ultimate punishment...#vvipbofors2
Malayalam actor-director J Sasikumar has been selected for Kerala's highest film honour J C Daniel award, the state's version of nation's topmost film honour, Phalke award. Sasikumar, who holds a record for directing as many as 141 films, is known for his box-office hits of the 1960s and 70s, most of them featuring Kerala's "ever green" hero Premnazir in the lead role.
After chicken curry success, Kerala prisoners to make cakes
After netting a handsome revenue of Rs 6.75 crore in nine months through food-making venture, prisons in Kerala are planning to diversify into more products like cakes, 'pappad' and footwear with an aim of fruitfully engaging prisoners and selling these items to the common man at affordable prices.
Starting with a modest investment for buying kitchen tools and harnessing the labour of prisoners, it was initially chapati-chicken curry that clicked in the Kerala market.
According to a top Prison Department official, the prison food business posted an impressive turnover of Rs 6.75 crore in the first nine months of this year and is expected to touch about Rs 10 crore by the end of March.Read more
Big B to star in daily soap!
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is all set to star as the main lead in a daily soap. He's no newcomer to the world of TV having successfully hosted 5 seasons of Kaun Banega Crorepati
While the likes of Rajeev Khandelwal
and Prachi Desai
are reluctant to return to their roots on the small screen, Big B has taken the bold decision to not only star in one but also produce it under his production banner, AB Corp.
Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius kills girlfriend
BBC reports state that South African Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius has reportedly shot and killed his girlfriend, after mistaking her for a burglar.
South African media are reporting the incident happened at his Silver Lakes home at around 4am on Thursday morning.
Captain Sarah Mcira confirmed to a South African website that Pistorius's girlfriend was shot in the head and arm and died at the scene.
Pistorius, 26, dubbed Blade Runner for the blade-like prosthetics he wears for his double under-knee amputation, is reportedly in police custody.
Online matchmaking a hit with Saudi couples
In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks. More than 200 Twitter sites and dozens of other forums on the Internet offer services for Saudi men and women seeking spouses, angering matchmakers like Um Sami who sees it as "organised prostitution."
Curfew relaxed in Kashmir
Curfew was today relaxed in many areas of Kashmir, including the home town of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, whose hanging on Saturday led to the imposition of restrictions.
Curfew was relaxed for two hours from 4 pm in Sopore town, the native area of Guru, but was not reimposed till reports last came in as the relaxation period passed off peacefully, a police spokesman said.
After Gulzar, Shobhaa De cancels visit to Karachi Literature Festival
Mumbai-born writer Shobhaa De has also canceled her visit to the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF).
The move comes a day after Indian poet Gulzar and film director Vishal Bhardwaj returned to India from Pakistan apparently over security fears.
According to the Express Tribune, the KLF organisers tweeted from their account that Shobhaa De cancelled because she said her visa was issued too late.
Morphed picture of Andhra CM uploaded on social networking website, complaint filed
Congress leaders on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the police that a morphed photograph of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has been uploaded on a social networking website.
The complaint has been lodged at Central Crime Station.
"We have already sent a mail to the authorities of the website to remove it and it is under process. A case will also be registered very soon," a police officer in the Cyber Crime Cell said.
Delhi rape: Juvenile Board to hear case against minor
The Juvenile Justice Board is expected to hear on Thursday arguments for framing charges against the sixth accused, who has been declared a minor, in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case.
According to reports, the Delhi Police, which is investigating the case, had filed a supplementary chargesheet against the minor during the last hearing in the case.
The sixth accused, who was declared a minor by the Juvenile Justice Board after verifying his age, can be given a maximum punishment of three years in a reformatory for his role in the case.
The trial of the other five main accused in the case began last week when the Delhi Police filed a supplementary chargesheet which included the post-mortem and forensic reports.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta today said that the combination of a recent missile test combined with nuclear explosions by North Korea represents a real threat to America. "There is no question that North Korea constitutes a threat to the United States, to regional stability and to global security.
The combination of a recent missile test combined with what apparently was this nuclear test, we believe, represents a real threat to the United States of America," Panetta told reporters at his last press conference.
Voting for the Tripura assembly elections began Thursday amidst tight security.
Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of polling stations well before voting opened at 7 am in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 pm, said chief electoral officer Ashutosh Jindal.
In all, 23,55,446 people, about half of them women, are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 249 candidates, including 15 women and many independents.
The judicial remand of YSR Congress Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy in connection with alleged disproportionate assets case will end on Thursday. He will be produced before a special Central Bureau of Investigation court through a video link.
Teacher shoots at principal over transfer dispute
A teacher shot at his own principal on Wednesday after a dispute in the government school at Rampur, about 12 km away from Anuppur in the neighbouring Shahdol district, the police said.
Arvind Singh Chouhan, who is posted as a teacher in a government school had a dispute with principal RN Singh over the former's transfer to some other place.
Dance, marches, poetry to combat violence against women this Valentine's Day
People from all walks of life will come together in the capital on Thursday to participate in cultural events as part of the 'One Billion Rising' global campaign, making the demand to end violence against women and children.
Women organisations, elected representatives, legal luminaries, actors, artists, NGOs and academic institutions apart from individuals are expected to participate in the day-long programme, its organisers said. The campaign will simultaneously be held in 200 other countries.
French President Francois Hollande is on a two-day visit to India and is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday. This is Hollande's first visit to an Asian country. Defence deals, including the sale of Rafale fighter jets and controversy over the ban on turbans in French schools are a part of the discussion agenda
8.00 amA slowing down economy affecting job-creation, high food prices and agrarian crisis are among concerns likely to be shared with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram when Congress leaders meet him Thursday to present their wish-list related to budget 2013-14.According to party sources, Chidambaram will hear out Congress MPs and All India Congress Committee office bearers Feb 14 as part of his pre-budget consultations.The party sources said the leaders are also expected to ask the finance minister to enhance funding for various social welfare schemes.The leaders may also discuss passage of the proposed food security bill in the coming parliament session.The finance minister will present the budget for 2013-14 on Feb 28.