Live: 60,000 Indians register at Indian missions in Saudi Arabia

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 14:32 hrs

8. 00 pm

TMC MP Kunal Ghosh summoned for interrogation

 Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, against whom Saradha Group CMD Sudipta Sen has levelled allegations in a letter to CBI, was today summoned by the police for questioning.

Ghosh, who was summoned by the Bidhannagar city police investigating the case, told reporters that Deputy Commissioner (Detective Department) Arnab Ghosh rang him up and wanted to talk to him.

"He wanted to talk to me and I have come," the TMC MP said.

6.17 pm:

60,000 Indians register at Indian missions in Saudi Arabia

Around 60,000 Indian workers have registered in the Indian embassy in Riyadh and the consulate general in Jeddah in the wake of the new Saudi labour policy, according to India's Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.

These people have been rushing to take advantage of an amnesty scheme being offered by the country's ruler King Abdullah, the Saudi Gazette reported Monday.

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5.40 pm:

CBI team to visit Assam to investigate chit fund scam

A CBI team will visit Assam tomorrow to assess the extent of the chit fund scam in the state.

The visit came in the wake of the state government's decision last week to hand over some cases against chit fund companies, including the Saradha Group, to the probe agency.

"I welcome CBI's decision to send a team here. The response from CBI to our request was very prompt," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here today.

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5.05 pm:

600 Chinese apply to live on Mars

Over 600 Chinese have applied to join an ambitious Dutch aerospace project that plans to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars for permanent settlement.

The Dutch project, while triggering enthusiasm to explore outer space, is also under fire with the trip being viewed by some as a suicide mission, with applicants being shipped to a planet that is uninhabitable by humans.

The project, Mars One, is being launched by a Dutch non-profit organisation, and is scheduled to take four humans to the Red Planet in 2023.

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4.35 pm:

The Indian government has once again appealed to Pakistan to release Sarabjit Singh for medical treatment on humanitarian grounds. India has asked that Sarabjit be moved to India for treatment and reiterated its appeal for a probe into the attack on the prisoner.

"We once again appeal to Pakistan to take a sympathetic, humanitarian view. Transfer Sarabjit to India for best medical treatment," said the Indian government.

4.30 pm:

Three Navy officers being terminated for divulging secrets on social networking sites

Three Navy officers are being terminated from service for divulging secret information on social networking websites such as Facebook and the primary reason for these cases of indiscipline was "moral turpitude", the Defence Ministry has informed a Parliamentary panel.

It also told the Standing Committee on Defence that in three cases of face-offs between troops and officers in the Army, the forces have taken action against 219 officers, JCOs and jawans.

The case had come to light in September, 2011 and was examined by a Board of Inquiry after which four officers were tried.

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4.12 pm:

Kate Middleton to give birth at hospital near parental home: report

In a break from royal tradition, Kate Middleton plans to give birth to the future monarch of Britain near her family home, at a hospital where she and her sister Pippa were born.

Kate, now known as Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, is seriously considering giving birth to the future monarch at a hospital near parents Michael and Carole Middleton's house in the home counties, The Telegraph reported.

4.08 pm:

1000 Sri Lankan Tamils repatriated by Australia

The Australian government repatriated 25 more Sri Lankans who tried to illegally migrate, bringing the total number of boat people returned to over 1,000, the Australian embassy said Monday.

The group was advised of its status and that all its 25 members were subject to removal from Australia as none raised issues that engaged Australia's international obligations, Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.

Without valid visa, the 25 had no legal right to remain in Australia, the statement said, adding that all were recent arrivals.

Since Aug 13 last year, 1,029 Sri Lankans have returned home -- 819 of them involuntarily.

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3.36 pm

TN govt to invoke Goondas Act

Asserting that her government will not tolerate violence in the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Monday warned of invoking the stringent Goondas Act against those who incite trouble.

Replying to a special call attention motion in the Assembly regarding last week's violence at Marakkanam in Villupuram district, seen as targeted against Dalits, she said 10 cases had been filed in Kancheepuram and Villupuram districts in connection with the violence.

PMK's parent organisation, Vanniyar Sangam, had organised a function on April 25 at Mamallapuram and a section of those proceeding there from Puducherry were involved in violence, torching huts and government buses, besides damaging private property, Jayalalithaa said replying to a special call attention moved by the opposition parties.

3.00 pm

BSP supremo Mayawati today said the logjam in Parliament is likely to continue further and she does not see any early solution to the crisis.

"What I could see, I do not think this logjam will resolve soon," she said outside Parliament. Parliament was adjourned for the day after witnessing repeated disruptions in both Houses over the demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation by BJP on the coal allocation issue.

2.30 pm:

CBI asked to explain why Jagan Mohan Reddy should not get bail

NDTV: The Supreme Court has asked the CBI to explain why politician Jagan Mohan Reddy, in jail for nearly a year, should not be granted bail.

The CBI has been asked to file its response by May 6 in court.

In the Supreme Court today, Mr Reddy's lawyer quoted a recent newspaper report that said a union minister had suggested in Hyderabad that if Jagan Mohan agrees to join the Congress, the party his father belonged to, he may be able to leave jail

2.01 pm:

Two people have allegedly been killed due to police firing during ethnic clashes in Assam.

1.56 pm:

Gujarat police recover human skeletons from river

Police in Gujarat have recovered 15 human skulls and bones from the Vidyamitri River.

Police inspector M M Pramar said, " When the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) officials investigated the matter, they found 15 human skulls and 17 bones. The skulls are approximately 15 to 20 years old. The bones seem to be of people who were 70 to 80 years of age. We have collected them and submitted them for further investigation."

"Since the bones were so old, there is a possibility they were used for voodoo rituals and disposed after that," he added.

" They are so old, so, we are assuming someone collected them for a voodoo ritual," said Pramar.

Residents of Gujarat's Sama area have reacted with shock to the mindset.

Arvind, a resident, said told that he had seen the bones while passing but was unsure if they were human bones.

1.27 pm:

Security of Pakistani inmates in UP beefed up

In the wake of brutal attack on Indian national Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani prison, Uttar Pradesh authorities have alerted the Jail Superintendents to make adequate security arrangements for neighbouring country prisoners.

"The direction to all Jail Superintendents to take extra security of Pakistani prisoners have been given specially in Agra, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Aligarh," DIG (Jail) A K Pandey told reporters here today.

Three Pakistani prisoners are lodged in Meerut while one each in Muzaffarnagar and Ghaziabad.

Kasim, a Pakistani prisoner here has been in prison since 2011. He was arrested for staying in the country without visa and passport.

12.51 pm:

Meanwhile in Pakistan, a panel comprising of 4 doctors has decided that Sarabjit will not be sent abroad for treatment. 

The Indian government has asked that Pakistan shift Sarabjit Singh to India, reports NDTV. According to the government Sarabjit's health most be the focus at this point.

12.45 pm:

Mulayam Singh Yadav has attacked the government over its recent handling of the Chinese incursion into India territory.

" I have been raising this issue over the last eight years. Why is Salman Khurshid going to China? To beg before them?", asked Yadav.

12.07 pm:

Financial legislation will be taken up and passed on Tuesday in the parliament, reports NDTV. According to the channel's sources the breakthrough came about in the all-party meeting called by the speaker after the proceedings at the parliament were continuously being stalled by the opposition parties.

12.05 pm:

Pak panel to decide on sending Sarabjit abroad for treatment

A four-member panel of Pakistani medical experts supervising the treatment of Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh, comatose in a Lahore hospital after a brutal assault, has been asked to decide whether he should be sent abroad for treatment.

The panel headed by Mehmood Shaukat was directed by the government to decide whether Sarabjit, 49, should be sent abroad or foreign neurosurgeons should be called to Pakistan to treat him, Geo News channel reported.

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11.26 am

Court fixes additional 2G spectrum allocation case for July 8

A Delhi court today fixed July 8 for further proceedings in the additional 2G spectrum allocation case in which Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and others have been summoned as accused.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini deferred the matter as the Supreme Court on April 26 had issued notice to CBI on Mittal's plea challenging the summons issued against him and had said that the proceedings in the trial court will remain "postponed" until further orders.

11.00 am

Three killed in Pakistan blast

Three people were killed and 15 injured Monday in a huge explosion in Pakistan's Peshawar city, a media report said.

The deafening blast occurred near a bus stop at University Road in Peshawar Monday, Geo News reported.

Witnesses said a police van was the target of the blast.

10.35 am

Postpone 4-year undergraduate programme to 2014, demand DU teachers

CNN-IBN: The Delhi University Teachers' Association is demanding that the 4-year bachelors programme be postponed to next year. But the university seems adamant to stick to the July 2013 deadline. It affects half a million students from across the country.

Nearly half a million students and 9,000 teachers of DU stand to be affected by the decision to make all bachelor programmes a 4-year affair starting July 2013. But the decision was far from unanimous. The university stands divided. "One is with the idea of the 4-year course, which needs to be debated and second is the manner of implementation and included in that is the speed of implementation, which is unreasonable," Professor Satish Deshpande.

10.15 am

Ram Vilas Paswan in hospital after heart attack 

Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan is in the Intensive Care Unit of a private hospital in Delhi after suffering a heart attack on Sunday night.

Doctors attending to Paswan say that the Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar is stable.

10.00 am

Samajwadi Party minister Azam Khan returns to India after his controversial US visit

CNN-IBN: Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, who was briefly detained on Wednesday at a US airport, returned to India on Monday morning. Khan has accused External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid of hatching a "conspiracy" to defame him outside India. Miffed with Khan's detention at the airport, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was scheduled to give a lecture in the Harvard University on April 27, boycotted it. Yadav also cancelled a reception that was to be hosted in his honour by New York Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay on Saturday.

9.45 am

Special session of WB Assembly begins today for Chit fund scam

Zeenews: With the Saradha Group chit fund scam snowballing into a major political controversy, a special two-day session of the West Bengal Assembly has been convened on Monday with an aim to introduce a bill to safeguard the interest of investors.

The two special session of the West Bengal Assembly comes in the wake of arrest of the Saradha Group’s chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen and two other top officials in Jammu & Kashmir last week.

Several Trinamool Congress ministers’ names have also figured in the chit fund scam, in which lakhs of investors have been duped of their savings.

9.21 am

1984 anti-Sikh riots case: court verdict on Sajjan Kumar today

Hindustan Times: The Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce on Monday its verdict on a plea by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar against a trial court order framing charges against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The case relates to Kumar being implicated in the killings of six persons in Sultanpuri area.

And on Tuesday, a sessions court at Karkardooma is likely to pronounce its verdict in which six accused, including Kumar, are facing trial for the killing of five people in the Delhi Cantonment area during the riots.

9.00 am

Iraq suspends Al-Jazeera and 9 Iraqi TV channels

Iraqi authorities suspended the operating licenses of pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera and nine Iraqi TV channels on Sunday after accusing them of escalating sectarian tension. The move signaled the Shiite-led government's mounting worries over deteriorating security amid Sunni unrest and clashes that have left more than 180 people dead in less than a week.

The suspensions, which took effect immediately, appeared to target mainly Sunni channels known for criticizing Prime Minister Nouri al-Malik's government. Apart from Al-Jazeera, the decision affected eight Sunni and one Shiite channels.

8.20 am

Narendra Modi links Sonia Gandhi to 2G scam

TOI: "If you start writing the 2G scam amount, the amount of 1 lakh 76 thousand crores, is as big as the distance between 7 Race Course Road (Prime minister's residence) and 10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi's residence). The last zero will end at 10 Janpath." 

That's how Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi chose to size up the performance of the Congress-led UPA government at an election rally in Bangalore on Sunday. 

In his only and much-awaited election campaign in the state, Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress and took the battle to the rival camp. He refrained from naming Rahul Gandhi but at least eight times referred to him as "the boy born with the golden spoon". 

8.03 am

Fire at defence research facility in Chandipur, no reports of injury

NDTV: A fire broke out early this morning at India's defence research facility in Chandipur, Odisha. According to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the fire started at Proof and Experimental Establishment at around 4 am.

Panic stricken staff ran out to the beach but no one was injured. Explosions were heard from a distance and all roads to the facility have been closed.

DRDO spokesperson Dr Ravi Gupta said that the fire is fully contained. An inquiry has been ordered, he said.

7.45 am

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has summoned officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) over the issue of helping Sarabjit Singh, Indian death row prisoner in Pakistan.

The Commission has also directed the central government to send a team of specialist Indian doctors to Pakistan for Sarabjit's treatment, a senior commission functionary said.

Sarabjit is in coma after a murderous attack on him by fellow prisoners in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail Friday.

Doctors in Lahore's Jinnah Hospital have described his condition as "critical". He is reportedly "in deep coma".

"We (commission) have issued a notice to the government of India to send a team of specialist doctors to Pakistan for his treatment," Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman of the commission, said here.

"We have summoned senior officers of the MEA and MHA for a meeting with the Commission on Monday (in New Delhi) to try to see if he can be brought back to India for treatment. We have sought an action taken report from them," Verka said.

"At this time, he should not be treated as a prisoner but as a patient. His life should be saved on humanitarian grounds. So many Pakistani patients come to India for medical treatment," Verka said.

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