Live: Oscar Pistorius gets bail in girlfriend's shooting case

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 14:39 hrs

8. 10 pm

Oscar Pistorius has been told he will be freed on bail as he awaits trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

7. 30 pm

Passengers panic as chopper neared landing plane in Chandigarh

180 passengers on board an Indigo plane had a major scare when its pilots aborted landing at the last minute after detecting a helicopter in close proximity despite clearance from air traffic control (ATC) at the airport in Chandigarh.

The incident occurred earlier this week when the no-frill airline's Airbus A-320, coming in from Mumbai, had started descent for landing and its cockpit crew received a warning from an onboard system about the presence of another aircraft, sources said on Friday.

The pilots aborted landing and had to 'go around' on the advise of the ATC, which caused panic among passengers, before safely touching down at the airport in Chandigarh.

6.15 pm: 

No furor over Adolf Hitler's name on Indian ballot

Adolf Hitler is running for election in India. So is Frankenstein.

The state of Meghalaya has a special fascination for interesting and sometimes controversial names, and the ballot for state elections Saturday is proof.

Among the 345 contestants running for the state assembly are Frankenstein Momin, Billykid Sangma, Field Marshal Mawphniang and Romeo Rani. Some, like Kenedy Marak, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem and Jhim Carter Sangma, are clearly hoping for the electoral success of their namesake American presidents.

Then there is Hitler.

This 54-year-old father of three has won three elections to the state assembly with little controversy over being named after the Nazi dictator.

5.30 pm: 

Live: Eight killed in Maoist landmine blast in Gaya

Eight persons, including six policemen, lost their lives in a landmine blast triggered by the Maoists near a culvert at Majhaulia village in Bihar's Gaya District today.

The incident took place at Roshanganj in Sherghati sub-division, on the Bihar-Jharkhand border.

"One ASI (Assistant Sub Inspector), five constables, a village sarpanch and one Special Police Officer (SPO) were killed in the blast. Maoists used Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to bomb a jeep at Koili culvert around 12.40 p.m. The vehicle was ripped apart in the explosion," said Gaya Superintendent of Police (SP) Akhtar Hussain.

Meanwhile, Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Abhyanand told media in Patna that senior police officials have been asked to visit the spot where the blast took place. 

4.30 pm:

Investigators probing 3 suspects from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand

Initial forensic samples from blast sites indicate use of ammonium nitrate, urea and petrol. The investigators are probing three specific names as suspected by Hyderabad police, CNN-IBN reports.

One suspect belongs to Uttar Pradesh, second from Bihar and third from Jharkhand. The police are helping NIA on suspected link to a January 18 raid on a Hyderabad lodge from where a guest staying under a false name escaped hours before the raid. The Hyderabad police are treating this as one of the key leads.

The investigators are also looking at similarities with the August 2012 blasts in Pune.

4.00 pm: 

Hyderabad terror attack toll rises to 16

The death toll in the twin bomb blasts that rocked Hyderabad rose to 16 with two more of the injured succumbing to their injuries Friday while the Crime Investigation Department (CID) began the probe.

The deaths took place in two private hospitals, officials said. The toll could mount further as the condition of some of the injured is critical.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had earlier told reporters after a visit to the site of the terror attack that 14 people were killed and 119 injured in the Thursday evening explosions that took place at Dilsukhanagar, a crowded commercial hub.

3.00 pm: 

India committed to combat terror: Shinde

The Indian government is committed to fight terrorism, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Friday, adding that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would probe the Hyderabad bombings.

Shinde told the Lok Sabha after returning from Hyderabad that the NIA would conduct the investigation along with the Andhra Pradesh Police.

"The government is committed to combat such cowardly terrorist attacks," the minister said, and vowed to ensure that the terrorists were punished.

He put the number of people killed in the twin bombings Thursday evening at 16 and said 117 others were injured.

In Hyderabad, he reviewed the situation with the Andhra Pradesh governor and chief minister as well as police officials.

He also visited the injured in hospitals.

Shinde said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh to families of the deceased.

The Andhra Pradesh government had announced Rs.6 lakh to families of the dead and Rs.50,000-Rs.1 lakh to the injured.

"The situation is (now) under control," he added.

2.20 pm:

Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh has signed a fresh appeal seeking clemency that is addressed to the people of Pakistan and President Asif Ali Zardari, his lawyer said on Friday.

"Sarabjit has signed an appeal addressed jointly to the people of Pakistan and President Zardari and it will be sent to him (Zardari) for consideration," Awais Sheikh, the counsel for the Indian national, said.

1.53 pm:

The middle-aged parents of a Pratibha Cauvery sailor who drowned after the ship ran aground off the Chennai coast on October 31 committed suicide by hanging at their residence in Arakkonam on Friday. They left behind a suicide note which blamed the government and the shipping agency for negligence and inaction, TOI reports

1.30 pm:

A local court has granted permission to start trial against alleged LeT operative and Mumbai terror attack accused Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal in a special district and sessions court in the case of conspiracy to attack Maharashtra Police Academy (MPA).

The order was passed by district and sessions judge KK Tantrapale yesterday after hearing the arguments, Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar told reporters.

1.06 pm:

The main opposition party today questioned the government over why intelligence alerts of a security threat this week did not prevent last evening's twin blasts in Hyderabad in which 16 people were killed and nearly 120 injured.

12.57 pm:

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in the two bomb blasts last night in Hyderabad and were aimed at causing maximum damage, Andhra Pradesh DGP V Dinesh Reddy said yesterday night.

12.30 pm: 

Pak urges Afghanistan to hand over Taliban chief Maulvi Faqir

Pakistan has asked the Afghanistan government to hand over senior Taliban 'commander' Maulvi Faqir Mohammad.

Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said that they 'hope Faqir would be handed over to Pakistan as soon as possible because he has the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands.'

The capture of Maulvi Faqir, former deputy 'commander' of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan from Bajaur, by Afghan security forces was announced a couple of days ago, the Dawn reports.

Maulvi Faqir led the Taliban in Bajaur for a long time and reportedly has links with Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.

According to the paper, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul officially conveyed the information about Maulvi Faqir's arrest to Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in a telephonic conversation.

Pakistan hailed the arrest, describing it as an indication of the improved trust and increased counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries, the paper added.

11.37 am:

Appointed a team to investigate blasts: Shinde

"We have appointed a team to investigate the incident. Since the Parliament is in session, this is the only information I can give you," says Shinde after visiting blast site.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde will give a statement on the blasts at 2 pm in the Lok Sabha and at 2:30 pm in Rajya Sabha.

11.31 am:

BJP President Rajnath Singh said that there was a clear Pakistan link to the Hyderabad blasts, and added that the leadership of the party would leave to Hyderabad this afternoon.

11.28 am:

Five students among 16 dead

A trip to purchase books for the exam of sub-inspector in Excise department proved to be the last outing of Vijay Kumar, who was among the five students killed in the twin blasts in the city.

Among the other students killed was Rajasekhar, who was pursuing MBA, Harish, an engineering student from Kottapet locality in the city, and Swapna, another MBA student.

Read more

11.27 am:

BJP president Rajnath Singh has said that this is no time to start a blame game on who is responsible for not preventing the blasts and "the whole country is together".

Unfortunately Mayawati seems to have ignored that and said the Andhra Pradesh state government is to blame for not being able to prevent the blast in Hyderabad. If they had prior information they should have prevented it, she said.

11.22 am:

Blasts issue resound in Parliament. Houses adjourned till noon.

11.13 am:

The death toll in the twin bomb blasts that rocked Hyderabad rose to 16 with two more of the injured succumbing to their injuries Friday.

The deaths took place in two private hospitals, officials said.

10.53 am:

Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal, who is reportedly holed up in Pakistan, masterminded the Hyderabad twin blasts and carried it out with the help of IM operative Yasin Bhatkal.

Sai Baba temple in Hyderabad was the original target of bombers, say reports.

10.38 am:

The probe into the twin explosions has been taken over by the National Investigation Agency. NIA and the National Security Guards (NSG) teams are in Hyderabad to probe the explosions.

10.37 am:

BJP gives notice in Rajya Sabha, wants suspension of question hour to discuss Hyderabad blasts.

10.23 am:

Hyderabad Test will go ahead: Cricket Australia

They are "concerned" after bomb blasts rocked Hyderabad, which is scheduled to host the second India-Australia Test, but Cricket Australia today said there is "no reason to doubt" that the match would go ahead as planned.

"We will make assessments in time but at this stage there is no reason to doubt that what we have planned in Hyderabad will go ahead," CA CEO James Sutherland, who is here for the opening Test which got underway today, said.

Hyderabad, which is scheduled to host the match from March 2, was yesterday rocked by two bomb blasts which have so far claimed 14 lives.

Read more

10.19 am:

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will make a statement on the Hyderabad blasts in Parliament at 11 am on Friday.

10.00 am:

BJP calls for shutdown in Andhra Pradesh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for a shutdown in Andhra Pradesh Friday to condemn the twin bomb blasts here, which killed 14 people and injured over 100.

BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy appealed to all people to voluntarily observe the shutdown to protest the blasts and show their sympathies with the victims' families.

Talking to reporters, he said the state government failed to take steps to prevent the blasts despite warnings from the central intelligence agencies. He demanded the government to act firmly against terrorists.

Police have stepped up security in the city and other major towns in view of the shutdown call and Friday prayers.

9.33 am:

The death toll has risen to 15 in the Hyderabad blasts.

NDTV reports that the CCTV in the blast area had not been functioning for the last four days. The wires of the CCTV had been cut off claims the report. The absence of CCTV footage is hampering the investigation.

9.20 am:

During the media briefing, Shinde also said that he did not think the police had failed. "A general alert was given to whole of the country, not a specific area. I don't think the police has failed, at this moment," Shinde said.

He added that all the medical expenses will be borne by the Andhra Pradesh government.

He said six of the 119 injured were critical.

8.55 am:

No specific intelligence on blasts: Shinde

During a press conference, just after visiting the blast site in Hyderabad, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said there was no specific intelligence on where the attack would happen. He went on to say that the government had just issued a general alert to all the cities.

Meanwhile, the death toll had climbed to 14, while the number of injured as shot to 119.

8.25 am:

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has left for Hyderabad and will visit the blast sites in Dilsukhnagar. He is then expected to brief the media.

8.00 am:

Death toll in Hyderabad blasts rises to 14

The death toll in Hyderabad blasts has reached 14 and authorities further it may rise further. 57 others have been injured in the blasts. Of the 14 dead, 12 bodies have been identified and handed over after post-mortem.

7.30 am:

Shinde is likely to visit Hyderabad

Shinde is likely to visit Hyderabad today to review the scene of the blasts.

On Friday, the government will also address the controversy surrounding PJ Kurien, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who has been accused of rape.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath will make a statement in the Rajya Sabha today, outlining the basic facts that Mr Kurien has been repeating in his defence over the last few weeks. He has stressed that the Supreme Court exonerated him in 2007 of any links to the Suryanelli rape case.

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