Live: 'Hold police accountable for rapes'

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 11:45 hrs

5. 15 pm

Hold police accountable for rapes: Activists

Women activists Saturday said the Justice Usha Mehra committee report on the Delhi gang-rape has proved that there was need to act against policemen accountable for such crimes.

"I think it (the report) only brings out what we have been saying that police should be held accountable," Sudha Sundararaman, general secretary of the All India Democratic Women's Association, said.

"Action should be taken against those who fail to act," she said.

4.30 pm: 

Bangladesh students rally over war crimes trials

Thousands of students have rallied in Bangladesh's capital demanding death to Islamic political party leaders who are on trial for alleged war crimes during the country's 1971 independence war.

Eight top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest Islamic party, are being tried on charges of mass killings, rapes and arson during Bangladesh's nine-month war of separation from Pakistan.

Earlier this month, a tribunal convicted party leader Abdul Quader Mollah of mass killings during the war and sentenced him to life in prison, a verdict considered lenient by many Bangladeshis.

On Saturday, about 5,000 students shouted "Death to the killers" as they rallied in Dhaka, the capital.

The government says it will appeal Mollah's sentence before the Supreme Court this coming week, asking for the death penalty for the 65-year-old.

4.00 pm: 

Pakistan behind Hyderabad blasts: Advani

BJP leader L K Advani today blamed Pakistan squarely for Thursday's blasts in Hyderabad, saying it is involved in a proxy war against India.

"The neighbouring country has not been successful in waging a war against India in the last few decades, so it has resorted to proxy war," Advani told reporters here.

"The neighbouring country has taken recourse to terrorism to trouble India," he said, adding, "there is no doubt that there is the hand of the neighbouring country in Hyderabad blasts."

Pakistan should abide by the commitment made during the meeting between Vajpayee and Musharraf, whereby Pakistan undertook not to allow its soil to be used for terror acts against India, Advani said.

The neighbouring country cannot wash its hands of the Hyderabad blasts, he said.

The death toll in the blasts in Hyderabad now stands at 16 with the number of injured being put at 117.

3.00 pm: 

CJI expresses concern over 'media trial'

Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir today expressed grave concern over growing practise of "media trial" and said it could prejudice against the accused.

"(Media trial) it is a matter of grave concern. This should not happen," Kabir told reporters on the sidelines of East Zone Regional Judicial Conference on 'Administration of Criminal Justice: Issues and Challenges' here.

"It (media trial) can prejudice against an accused in a case," he said.

"The issue should be left to the courts to decide," the CJI added.

In reply to a question on reducing the age of juvenile from exisiting 18 years to 16, the demand for which came from different corners in view of involvement of a juvenile in Delhi gangarape case, Kabir said, "It can be only done by Parliament and nobody else can do it."

On the issue of witness protection, the CJI said there should be proper protection for witnesses.

"Witness protection should be there," he said.

Asked if he was satisfied with the level of witness protection now, Kabir said it should be more developed.

Earlier, addressing the conference, Kabir said the concept of witness protection in the country was almost not available.

"There is not even proper sitting arrangement for witness in courts...we are not providing even minimum facilities to witnesses," he said.

The three-day conference organised by Patna High Court Bihar Judicial Acadey and National Judicial Academy was inaugurated here yesterday

2.00 pm: 

2013 Oscar's after-party menu revealed

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has offered a sneak peak of what the stars will be feasting on at the annual Governors Ball, following the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

He told CBS News that he is not sick of cooking for the Oscars as he thinks that the Oscars is the greatest party in the world, and is happy to do it every year.

He said that there are some new additions to this year's menu.

He asserted that he will be cooking chicken pot pie, as several Academy members have told him that they don't care what George Clooney or Steven Spielberg eat, they just want their chicken pot pie.

Apart from the pot pie staple, the menu also includes an array of sushi as well as chocolate treats molded in the likeness of the Oscar statues.

Other menu options include signature favourites such as smoked salmon Oscars, slow-braised lamb shank, mini Kobe burgers with aged cheddar and remoulade and sustainable seafood like Atlantic bigeye tuna and wild caught yellowtail snapper.

1.00 pm: 

Dilsukhnagar limping back to normalcy

The busy Dilsukhnagar area of the city, which witnessed twin bomb blasts on Thursday, is limping back to normalcy with shopkeepers and roadside vendors resuming their business.

Traffic returned to normal today and commercial establishments began to open on the stretch, two days after the deadly terror attack near the bus stand, claimed 16 lives.

Dilsukhnagar, which connects to Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway, is abuzz with activity on a usual day, as it houses a number of educational institutions, coaching centres for job aspirants, government offices, several malls and innumerable commercial establishments.

Now, a sense of fear has gripped the area since the simultaneous blasts.

"But, life has to go on. Such a thing should not happen again," Krishna Prasad, a private company employee, said.

Meanwhile, sources in the state-run Osmania General Hospital said that the condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical.

The Andhra Pradesh government has promised to bear their cost of treatment.

12.00 pm: 

Bravo, the dog who knows the Pentagon's secrets

 Bravo, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's faithful golden retriever, knows every nook and cranny of the Pentagon and has accompanied his master at countless high-level meetings.

Though not as well known as the first family's Portuguese water dog, Bo, Bravo has been privy to the country's most sensitive military secrets.

"Bravo sat in on almost all of the meetings involving the operations against bin Laden. And you know, to this day, he hasn't told a damn soul what happened," Panetta, who was CIA chief before becoming defense secretary, quipped last fall at an encounter with reporters.

Bravo, Panetta said two weeks ago at his retirement ceremony, "is definitely not a leaker. At least according to that definition of the word".

The dog's name evokes both the second letter of the phonetic alphabet used in international air and sea communications and an Italian exclamation meaning "well done", a nod to Panetta's heritage.

The canine confidant has been an almost permanent presence at Panetta's side throughout the California native's tenures at the CIA and the Pentagon.

At his retirement event, Panetta recalled the wry advice of President Harry Truman: "if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog".

11.00 am: 

Pistorius 'wept' after being granted bail

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius had broken down after he had been granted bail on Friday from the trial of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's murder, leading to cheers from his supporters.

The Blade Runner was released from custody after the magistrate Desmond Nair said that he was satisfied with the fact that Pistorius did not pose a flight risk, or was likely to interfere with witnesses, the Telegraph reports.

According to Nair, although the sprinter was charged with pre-mediated murder, the state did not have enough evidence to guarantee a case that is 'strong' or 'watertight' enough to force the athlete to flee South Africa.

However, the magistrate added that although he would not judge Pistorius at his eventual trial, he still was not entirely convinced over Pistorius' version of how Steenkamp was shot dead.

Under the bail conditions, Pistorius, who has been banned from visiting his home in Pretoria where Steenkamp died, will be confined to Pretoria - unless granted special permission - until his murder trial, and may face a possible life sentence if convicted, the report added.

Greeting the magistrate's decision, Pistorius' uncle said that their family is grateful to the magistrate and the legal team, which had delivered professional and legal statements that led to the decision of giving bail.

10.00 am: 

US governors value Indian firms' impact

Governors of nine American states, both Democratic and Republican, have acknowledged the value of investment by Indian companies and the impact it is having on economic growth of their states.

Foreign Direct Investment from India into the US as well as the scope for further expansion and strengthening of this critical engagement was highlighted at a corporate reception here Friday organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry- India Business Forum (CII-IBF).

9.00 am: 

Nagaland Assembly elections begin

Polling began amidst tight security today to elect 60 members to the 12th Nagaland Assembly from among 188 candidates with an electorate of 11.93 lakh eligible to vote.

Prominent candidates whose fates will be decided are Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio from Northern Angami II, Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie from Western Angami, Opposition Leader Tokheho Yepthomi from Dimapur III, Congress president SI Jamir from Dimapur II and former Home Minister Imkong L Imchen from Koridang.

There are 39 Independents and two women among the contestants.

The ruling Naga People's Front is the only party contesting all the 60 seats.

The opposition Congress is contesting 57 seats, followed by NCP in 15, BJP in 11, JD-U in three, RJD in two and the United Nagaland Democratic Party in one.

Of the 2,023 polling stations, 821 have been identified as sensitive and 662 as hyper-sensitive.

Altogether 255 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state for the elections.

NPF candidate and former Home Minister Imkong L Imchen was arrested on February 18 for allegedly carrying over Rs one crore in cash, arms and ammunition and liquor in his vehicle. He resigned subsequently.

Earlier on February 16, Rs one crore cash was seized from a helicopter allegedly being used by Nyemli Phom, another NPF candidate.

8.30 am: 

Polling begins in Meghalaya

Polling began to elect 60 members to the ninth Meghalaya Assembly from among 345 candidates today with an electorate of 15.3 lakh.

Banned Khasi organisation, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, has called a 36-hour bandh from 6 PM yesterday till today in the seven districts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills region.

Prominent candidates in the fray are Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh, Education Minister R C Laloo, Congress president D D Lapang, UDP president Don Kupar Roy, former Leader of Opposition and son of P A Sangma Conrad K Sangma and his brother James Sangma.

The Congress has put up candidates in all 60 seats, and ally United Democratic Party in 50.

Of the 15 parties in the fray, the P A Sangma-led National Peoples' Party is contesting at 32 seats, the NCP at 21 and the BJP in 13.

Among the candidates are 25 women.

Of the 2,845 polling stations, 900 have been declared 'hyper-sensitive'.

Booths along the international border and the inter-state border with Assam have also been categorised as 'hyper-sensitive'.

The BSF, which has been put on maximum alert along the 498-km border, has deployed 10,000 personnel.

Ninety-one companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state to maintain law and order and 44 companies in the militant-hit Garo Hills region.

7.30 am: 

Election officials and security forces were in place on Friday to oversee assembly elections in Nagaland and Meghalaya today.

The unresolved Naga issue and economic progress are some of the major issues dominating Nagaland, where the Naga People's Front (NPF) headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has been in power for a decade.

Political stability is the slogan of all parties in the hill state of Meghalaya, where the Congress is making another bid for power, that has had 23 chief ministers since it was carved out of Assam in 1972.

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