The Madras High Court has lifted the ban on Kamal Hassan's film Viswaroopam tonight. The Tamil Nadu government has said it will appeal against the lifting of the ban.
No more Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu: Karnataka
Karnataka told the Supreme Court Tuesday that it cannot spare any more water for Tamil Nadu as it would affect the water needs of its own people. "We don't say that their (Tamil Nadu) irrigation has not suffered. It is suffering. Ours is also suffering. But that is a different issue. Here we are talking of drinking water," senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, told judges.
Congress betraying people demanding separate Telangana state: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday lashed out at the UPA Government for deferring a decision on whether Andhra Pradesh should be split to create a separate state, saying the ruling Congress Party at the Centre has consistently betrayed the people demanding a separate state of Telangana.
Even at 75, I am ready to go to jail if I am convicted: Ashis Nandy
Asserting that he has worked for Dalits, OBCs and adivasis for 45 years of his life, sociologist Ashis Nandy, who stoked a controversy with his comments at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), on Tuesday said that he was ready to go to jail if tried under the Atrocities Act and convicted. "It is a non-bailable warrant I am told under this act"
Congress summons Telangana MPs to Delhi
The Congress party's central leadership has summoned seven MPs from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh a day after they announced their decision to resign from parliament and the party over delay in formation of a separate state.
The members of parliament (MPs), who held a meeting here Tuesday, will leave for Delhi Wednesday.
Central leader Vayalar Ravi spoke to the MPs over phone and told them to reach Delhi.
The party leadership is likely to persuade the MPs not to take any extreme step which may trouble the party-led United Progressive Alliance government.
However, the MPs told reporters after a meeting here that they stood by their decision to submit their resignations.
Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar said they would submit their resignations addressed to the Lok Sabha speaker along with a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The MPs said they would request Sonia Gandhi to take an early decision on carving out Telangana state.
"If no decision is taken, we will request her to forward our resignations to the Lok Sabha speaker," another MP K. Rajagopal Reddy said.
Madhu Yaskhi said they were ready for any sacrifice, including resignations, for the sake of Telangana.
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'Ashis Nandy's foundational assumptions on secularism are flawed'
Sanjay Subrahmanyam shows us how Ashis Nandy demonstrates once more that this celebrated Indian psychologist and maverick thinker is exactly as dazzlingly clever as he is tiresomely repetitive and profoundly ill-informed. And he is as innocent of the facts about India and her past as he is of Europe and hers.
'Bunty Chor' lands in Kerala jail
Delhi's notorious "Bunty Chor", involved in over 500 burglaries across the country and arrested in Pune for a burglary in the house of an NRI businessman from Kerala, will now cool his heels in a jail here for two weeks.
A Kerala court Tuesday sent Devinder Singh, who is better known as "Bunty Chor", to judicial custody till Feb 12.
"Bunty Chor" was arrested from a Pune hotel early Sunday after the receptionist, a Malayalee, alerted local police.
He was handed over to a Kerala Police team Sunday. He was first taken to Mumbai by road from where he was brought to Kerala on board a plane.
"Bunty Chor" reportedly broke into a high-security house of Gulf NRI businessman Venugopalan Nair here Jan 21.
He reportedly deactivated electronic surveillance devices at Nair's house and drove off with his sports utility vehicle (SUV) worth Rs.28 lakh, a laptop and two mobile phones.
He was spotted speeding on the SUV on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border Wednesday afternoon by three motorists from Kerala.
A Bollywood movie, "Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye" starring Abhay Deol, was made in 2008 on the life of "Bunty Chor".
After serving a three-year prison sentence, "Bunty Chor" was a contestant in "Bigg Boss Season 4" aired on TV channel Colors in 2010. He Sunday said his aim was to eliminate the director of the film made on him.
Vishwaroopam released in K'taka amid tight security
Kamal Haasan's controversial film "Vishwaroopam" was finally released today in Karnataka after the state police gave an assurance of providing adequate security for the multi-lingual film.
"Vishwaroopam has been released in 40 theatres across the state, including 17 in Bangalore from the matinee show today. All 17 theatres screening the film are already going housefull," sole distributor of the film in Karnataka, H D Gangaraju told PTI.Read more
All 20 on board likely dead in Kazakhstan crash
A passenger plane crashed on Tuesday near Kazakhstan's principal city, Almaty, likely killing all 20 on board, Kazakhstan airline SCAT said.
Almaty and surrounding areas have been shrouded in fog for the last two days and the accident appears to have been caused by limited visibility.
A SCAT statement said 15 passengers and five crew members were aboard the plane.Read more
Don't ban, just ignore Vishwaroopam, advises Shri Shri Ravi Shankar to Muslims
Shri Shri Ravi Shankar advised Muslims to simply ignore Kamal Haasan's controversial movie Vishwaroopam just as the Madras High Court continued to hear the case against the superstar's film.
He said a ban will only make the issue bigger and give it wide scale publicity.
"If someone has depicted Muslim religion or Muslim people in a bad light, we don't have to be concerned about it. Do not take these things too seriously. Entertainment is entertainment - people see it and then forget it. Anything which is banned attracts more publicity," he told his followers, whom he addressed as "Muslim brethren", in a video posted YouTube.
He went on to say, "Even when something is banned it will go on YouTube and hundreds and thousands of people will anyway watch it. In this age of communication and multimedia, nobody can stop anyone from airing their views and sometimes they are not right and still they have the right to air their views.
Man gets life for raping daughter, making her pregnant twice
A 50-year-old man was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment for sexually abusing his 17-year-old daughter and making her pregnant twice.
Delivering the judgement Mahila Court Judge MP Subramanian also awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment to Palanisamy, an autorickshaw driver, for threatening the girl of dire consequences if she leaked the matter. However, the sentences would go concurrently, the judge said.
Shiv Sena wants Sushma Swaraj as BJP's PM candidate
The Shiv Sena says its first choice for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate is Sushma Swaraj.
The Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said the party's founder, Bal Thackeray, who died late last year, "had given his consent to Sushma as he thought that she has the capability to lead the nation", reports NDTV.
Raut said, "Balasaheb's word is final for us" also adding that "Uddhav Thackeray will take the final call on the current situation."
13 BJP MLAs quit, K'taka govt in peril
Thirteen Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs have submitted their resignations to the Speaker, according to TV reports.
The MLAs are loyalists of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and are now expected to join his Karnataka Janata Party.
Trooper kills two colleagues in Tripura
A trooper of the elite Tripura State Rifles (TSR) gunned down two colleagues and shot at three others before fleeing away with his service rifle, police in Agartala said Tuesday.
"Following a quarrel, TSR rifleman Bijoy Debbarma, 28, suddenly opened fire killing two of his colleagues on the spot. Three other jawans were also critically injured in the abrupt firing at Chawmanu in northern Tripura Monday night," a police spokesperson told reporters here.
The TSR camp, where the incident occurred, was set up recently to deal with the militants. The spot, 180 km north of Agartala, is close to the India-Bangladesh border.
RBI cuts repo rate by 0.25%
RBI has cut the repo rate (the rate at which the RBI lends money to the commercial banks) and the CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) by 25 bps - 0.25%.
The RBI cut the policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent.
The central bank unexpectedly also reduced the cash reserve ratio (CRR), the share of deposits banks must keep with the central bank by 25 bps to 4.00 percent, which will infuse an additional 180 billion rupees into the banking system.
Since the last cut nine months ago, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had till today resisted pleas from businesses and politicians for further reductions, putting the onus back on the government to take action.
The rate cut, first in nine months, is likely to encourage banks to reduce their lending rates.
Two of India's biggest private banks, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, though, have already raised deposit rates by 25-30 basis points (0.25-0.3%) on longer tenure maturities just ahead of the RBI monetary policy review.
Hopes of a large rate cut had been quashed after RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said two weeks ago that inflation was still high.
Pollution in Beijing off the index again
Beijing's pollution has reached especially high levels again as smog blankets much of China's central and eastern areas.
After days of worsening visibility on the capital's streets, the U.S. Embassy reported early Tuesday morning that the level of pollution was "beyond index." Since Saturday, it has reported hourly pollution levels as hazardous to human health.
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center says pollution across Beijing is severe and expected to persist because there is little wind to disperse pollutants. It advises city residents to stay indoors as much as possible.
According to U.S. Embassy readings, PM2.5 particles — among the worst pollutants — reached levels more than 18 times what the World Health Organization considers safe.
Beijing experienced another especially bad round of air pollution two weeks ago.10.15 am:
Delhi rape: Cops may appeal in higher courts against juvenile's age
Sources in the Delhi Police have said that they will appeal in higher courts against the Juvenile Justice Board's decision that the sixth accused in the Delhi gangrape-murder case is a minor, a report in CNN IBN said.
Sources in the police say they are seeking legal opinion on the age issue and trial of the juvenile along with the five accused, the report said.
This even as reports claim the minor was the most brutal of the lot, but may get the least penalty based on laws for juveniles.
Man dies of swine flu in Punjab
Swine flu scare has gripped this Punjab town as a middle-aged man died of the disease late Monday at a private hospital here, officials said.
The deceased identified as Bharpur Singh, who originally hailed from Faridkot district, had come to Ludhiana to attend a family function and fell ill.
"Deceased had symptoms of like soar throat, running nose and high fever. We conducted tests and he was positive for H1N1 virus," said Ludhiana district's civil surgeon Ajay Sahni.
"These days we are getting more number of patients with these symptoms," Sahni added.
Two more swine flu cases have been reported in Ludhiana in the last 24 hours, while three cases have been confirmed in Bathinda district.
Even the state capital Chandigarh is facing the threat of swine flu.
This season, 40 patients have been tested positive in city hospitals, out of which, seven died.
"On Monday three samples were tested positive. These include one patient from Chandigarh whereas two from different parts of Haryana," said a government doctor in Chandigarh. 9.00 am:
Sheila Dikshit releases helpline numbers booklet for women
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday released a booklet featuring various helpline numbers and safety precautions needed to be taken by women in distress. The booklet has been brought out by National Commission for Women (NCW) to make the fairer sex aware of the various helplines as well as safety measures available to them.
Dikshit released the booklet in presence of NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma. "The booklet is being brought out as part of the efforts to help the women in distress," Dikshit said.
Several Australian towns flooded, 4 people killed
Thousands of Australians huddled in shelters Tuesday as torrential rains flooded cities and towns in the northeast, killing four people and prompting around 1,000 helicopter evacuations.
With floodwaters expected to peak in most of the worst-hit areas later Tuesday, officials were rushing to move those in the highest-risk areas to safety.
In the hard-hit city of Bundaberg, 385 kilometers (240 miles) north of Brisbane, rescue crews plucked 1,000 people to safety after the river that runs through town broke its banks, sending fast-moving, muddy water pouring into streets and homes. Around 1,500 residents fled to evacuation centers, while patients at the local hospital were being airlifted to Brisbane as a precaution.Read more
Madras HC likely to decide on ban on Kamal Haasan's 'Vishwaroopam' today
The Madras High Court will continue hearing the case against Kamal Haasan's movie 'Vishwaroopam' today.
On Monday, the court had asked Haasan to meet govt officials in Tamil Nadu and look for an amicable solution.
It also said that it had to consider law and order concerns and the actor's investment in the movie in order to take a final decision on lifting the ban.
Meanwhile, the release of the film scheduled for Sunday in Karnataka, has been put on hold pending clearance from police in the wake of protests against its screening in some places of the state.
A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was arrested Monday night for allegedly molesting a woman journalist near the busy Shyambazar crossing here, police said.
"We have received a complaint that a woman was molested near Shyambazar. One person has been arrested," Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Gaurav Sharma told IANS, adding the alleged culprit was BSF trooper Manish Rajinder.
The victim, attached to a news channel, said the incident happened when she was entering a restaurant with a companion.
"I saw some uniformed men leaving the restaurant. I later learnt they were BSF jawans. The first jawan made some obscene comments while passing me and also tried to grope me. Initially, I was shocked. But after he left, I chased her and caught hold of him close to a nearby police kiosk.
"Hearing the commotion, the public also came and caught him. The police personnel from the kiosk then took him in their custody," she said.
Later, the woman lodged a complaint at the Shyampukur police station.
Eyewitnesses said the trooper was drunk.