Live: Fire in Delhi's Chandni Chowk

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 13:20 hrs

6.40 pm:

The fire has broken out in a godown storing electrical equipment. The blaze has not been bought under control so far. However, there are no reports of any injuries or loss of life.

6.30 pm:

Reports indicate a major fire has broken out in Delhi's Chandni Chowk, in the Bhagirath palace market. The fire appears to have broken out in a godown in the market. 22 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot.

Further updates are expected.

4. 40 pm

Beni Prasad Verma flip flops after saying Afzal Guru should not be hanged

Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma, who said Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru should not be hanged, on Thursday backtracked his comments and said he did not make such remarks.

"The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is in a hurry on the matter. I did not say that. Did you hear me say that?" Verma told reporters when he was asked on his remarks.

"We shall respect what the Supreme Court has said...Whatever the President will decide shall happen," he said.

"What is right should happen," Verma said.

Verma earlier in the day sparked a controversy and said Guru should not be hanged.

"Afzal Guru should not be hanged. His sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment," he told media.

4. 10 pm

Indian-origin nurse was 'found hanging in her room'

A coroner's officer says the nurse who took a hoax call about the Duchess of Cambridge was found hanging by the neck from a scarf on a wardrobe door in her room.

Lynda Martindill says Jacintha Saldanha was found by a colleague and a member of the security staff at London's King Edward VII hospital on Friday.

A police officer told a coroner's inquest Thursday that three notes were found in the room. There were no suspicious circumstances.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned the inquest until March 26.

3. 30 pm

Pranab condoles death of Ravi Shankar

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday condoled the passing away of Indian musician and sitar exponent Pandit Ravi Shankar.

In his condolence message, the President said, "Panditji was a genius who delighted India and the world with his ethereal music. He became a global icon of music, art and culture."

"His creative and versatile genius not only left an indelible mark on the world of Indian classical music but also popularised Indian classical music worldwide. Panditji's passing away has left a void in the field of music which will be difficult to fill."

2. 30 pm

Lok Sabha disrupted over Afzal Guru hanging, coal scam

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar forcefully said Thursday that she would not adjourn the house and recalled the sacrifice of the nine who died protecting parliament from a terror attack 11 years ago. But her pleas fell on deaf ears and the house was repeatedly adjourned over demands for the hanging of attack accused Afzal Guru and the coal allotment scandal.

There was ruckus in the Lok Sabha with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena demanding the hanging of Afzal Guru, sentenced to death for the terror attack on parliament, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members gathered near the speaker's podium over coal scam.

The house was first adjourned till 11.30 a.m., then till noon and the third time till 2 p.m.

1. 20 pm

Racked by protests, Kudankulam commissioning put-off to new year

Controversy-embroiled Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project will once again miss the target as the time frame of commissioning of the first unit has now been revised to the new year.

Commercial operation of the 1,000 MW first unit, where 99.65 per cent of the physical progress has been completed, is expected to take place in January next, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said.

Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy, who has been monitoring the progress of the Indo-Russian project, hit by protests over safety concerns,had informed Lok Sabha last week that Unit-I was likely to be commissioned by this month end.

Similarly, commercial operation of the second unit has also been fixed for August next year.

12. 50 pm

Autopsy results on Indian-origin nurse to be revealed today

The result of an autopsy on the nurse involved in a prank call for information about the former Kate Middleton's hospital stay will be revealed Thursday, London police said.

Scotland Yard said on Wednesday the cause of Jacintha Saldanha's death will not be released until a Westminster Coroner's Court hearing.

Saldanha answered the phone when two Australian disc jockeys rang up the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for severe morning sickness last week. The DJs, who were impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, later broadcast the call, which included confidential details about the duchess' condition.

12. 15 pm

Sharma dismisses Cook, Compton to give India upperhand

Pacer Ishant Sharma struck twice in the first hour of play to send back England captain Alastair Cook and Nick Compton cheaply as India took early control of the do-or-die fourth and final cricket Test here today.

Sharma sent back Compton for 3 to leave England 3 for one and then trapped the in-form Cook leg before for 1 to leave the visitors gasping at 16 for 2 in the 11th over.

Jonathan Trott and and Kevin Pietersen, both on 28 and with four fours each, played aggressively to steady the rocking boat and take the visitors to lunch at 61 on a pitch displaying some uneven bounce.

Sharma, who had picked up one wicket in the second Test at Kolkata lost by India to trail by 1-2, bowled with good rhythm to rattle the visiting team after Cook won the toss for the first time in the series and promptly opted to bat first on the dry VCA Stadium track sporting some cracks.

India, who chose to go in with only one fast bowler in Sharma to accommodate the third regular spinner leggie Piyush Chawla, made England struggle for runs with the gangling Delhi pacer, at last showing some aggression in the rubber.

11. 40 am

BJP gives notice for suspension of Question Hour in LS to discuss delay in Afzal Guru's hanging

BJP has given a notice for the suspension of Question Hour in the Lok Sabha on Thursday to raise the subject of discussion on Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru's execution delay.

Thursday marks the 11th anniversary of the parliament attack that left nine people dead and 16 injured.

Two days ago, BJP had demanded that convict Afzal Guru be hanged on December 13 itself to pay the best homage to martyrs of the 2001 strike.

"If the government hangs Afzal Guru on December 13 itself, there cannot be anything better to pay homage to the martyrs of the December 13 attack on Parliament... It should hang the attacker of Parliament during the session of the House," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters in New Delhi.

11. 00 am

Ravi Shankar to receive lifetime achievement Grammy award

Legendary sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar would receive the lifetime achievement Grammy award, organisers of the top music award announced today.

Shankar would receive the award posthumous on February 10 at the 55th Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, said the Recording Academy, which gives the prestigious Grammy Awards.

10. 20 am

Out of jail, Amit Shah lords over Naranpura

He may be one of Gujarat's most controversial figures, facing the charge of plotting the murder of alleged gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake police encounter, but Chief Minister Narendra Modi's man on Friday Amit Shah is more loved than feared in Naranpur.

The portly Shah, a key strategist in 'Team Modi', is locked with Congress' Jeetu Bhai Patel, who crossed over from BJP weeks ahead of the assembly elections, in an electoral battle he is expected to win hands down in this BJP bastion.

Though there are 23 candidates vying for the Naranpura assembly seat, it is a straight contest between Shah and Patel, belonging to the two dominant communities in the constituency with an electorate of little over 2.13 lakh.

Shah was allowed to enter Gujarat this September by the the Supreme Court, nearly two years after his arrest on July 25, 2010, when he was charged with the murder, extortion, kidnapping besides five other sections of IPC in connection with the killing of Sheikh in an allegedly fake encounter and subsequently eliminating his wife Kausar Bi and associate Tulsiram Prajapati.

Sheikh allegedly ran an extortion racket with the help of senior police officers and four IPS officers including D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Abhay Chudasama and Dinesh M N, apart from eight other officers of lesser rank are under arrest in the case.

The gory details of these extra-judicial killings may not give a good account of Shah as a politician, but for an overwhelming majority of voters in this urban, middle and high-middle class locality of Ahmedabad city, Shah is regarded as a "saviour".

9. 10 am

Supreme Court verdict on Mulayam Singh Yadav's plea against assets probe today

The Supreme Court will pronounce today its verdict on Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members' plea for review of its order for CBI probe against them for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets.

A bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice H L Dattu, which had reserved its order on February 17 last year, will pronounce the verdict on review petition filed by Yadav, his sons Akhilesh and Prateek and daughter-in-law Dimple.

The apex court had ordered a CBI inquiry on March 1, 2007 into the alleged accumulation of disproportionate assets by Yadav family, on a public interest litigation (PIL) by an advocate, Vishwanath Chaturvedi, reportedly a Congress leader.

Deviating from the precedent of hearing review petitions in the judges' chambers, the bench had heard the petition in open court at Yadavs' request.

8. 30 am

Gujarat polls: Voting in first phase begins, all eyes on crucial Saurashtra region

Voting for the first phase of the assembly elections in Gujarat began today at 8 a.m., officials said.

Polling will end at 5 p.m.

Voters in 87 of the 182 constituencies of the state assembly will exercise their franchise at 44,579 polling stations.

Saurashtra could be the main battleground for the race to Gandhinagar. The battle has become interesting after the entry of former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party. Patel has field candidates in 83 constituencies.

With over 20 per cent of the electorate in the state coming from the Patel community, analysts believe that the K factor could come into play.

7. 30 am

Down in the dumps after back-to-back defeats, India's under-fire cricketers will have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and compete on equal footing against a confident England in the perform-or-perish fourth and final Test in Nagpur today.

Trailing the visitors 1-2 after being outplayed in the second and third encounters at Mumbai and Kolkata, the home players need to sort themselves out on several fronts to level the series at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.

Under-performing senior players in the Indian line-up, including skipper Dhoni and Tendulkar, are under pressure not only to lift the side with supreme personal efforts but also save their careers after India's spineless display at the Wankhede Stadium and the Eden Gardens.

Can they perform? Well, time will tell.

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