Live: Anuj Bidve killer's appeal against life sentence dismissed in UK

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 14:53 hrs

8. 30 pm

Irish President intervenes in row over Savita death inquiry

Irish President Michael D Higgins has intervened in the row over the inquiry into the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion, saying the probe must meet the needs of her family as also the State.

Higgins' unprecedented move will increase the pressure on the government to recast the investigation in response to Savita's husband Praveen's demand for a full public probe.

The President said the investigation into Savita's death must ensure "above all else" that women will be safer and get the medical services during pregnancy to which they are entitled.

8. 15 pm

Anuj Bidve killer's appeal against life sentence dismissed in UK

An attempt by a Briton who killed Indian student Anuj Bidve in an unprovoked attack in Greater Manchester on Boxing Day last year to have his life sentence reduced has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Kiaran Stapleton, 21, who shot dead Bidve from point blank range in Salford was sentenced to a life in prison after a trial in the Manchester Crown Court in July. He was ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years in jail before being considered for parole.

Stapleton filed an appeal to have the sentence reduced, but the Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed it and upheld the original sentence. Bidve was a postgraduate student of Microelctronics at Lancaster University.

Bidve's sensational killing hit the headlines in the UK and India and led to concerns about the safety of Indian students coming to study here. Bidve's parents had travelled from Pune to attended the trial in Manchester.

7. 50 pm

Lajpat Nagar blast case: HC slams cops, acquits two death row convicts

Sixteen years after a powerful bomb blast killed 13 people in the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Thursday let off two convicts sentenced to death and reduced the death penalty of the third to life imprisonment. The court said its verdict was forced by the Delhi Police's shoddy investigation in the case.

The high intensity blast at Delhi's popular and perennially overcrowded Lajpat Nagar market on May 21, 1996 was triggered by explosives packed in a stolen Maruti car. Thirty eight people were injured in the terror attack.

A city court had in April 2010 convicted six alleged militants of the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF). Three of them - Mohd Naushad, Mohd Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain - got death sentences while the fourth, Javed Ahmed Khan, was punished with life imprisonment. On Thursday, the court converted Naushad's death penalty to life term, acquitted Hussain and Bhat, and upheld the life sentence given to Khan. But not before giving the Delhi Police some tongue-lashing.

7. 10 pm

Army reacts to charges made by former NSG commando and Kejriwal

The Army on Thursday rejected claims made by a former NSG commando, who had fought terrorists in the 26/11 attack and was invalidated from service after he became medically unfit, about due financial incentives and pension to him not being paid.

Flanked by activist-politician Arvind Kejriwal and his associates, 34-year-old former NSG commando Nk Surender Singh told a press conference that he has so far received just Rs 4 lakh, including Rs 2.5 lakh from the Government of India, as financial benefits.

The Army reacting to Surender's claims said that the NSG commando was given his due pensionary and terminal benefits.

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6. 10 pm

SC issues notice to 2 firms on Subramanian Swamy's plea

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to Chennai-based Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Ltd and its offshore sister concern on a plea of Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against them for filing a defamation suit in Singapore against him.

"We will issue notices to two companies to seek their responses... returnable within 12 weeks," a bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said, moments after Swamy rose to advance his arguments on his contempt petition.

The bench, however, refused to issue notice to Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram who allegedly has majority stake in the companies.

5. 40 pm

Pakistani Taliban vow to attack Indian targets over Kasab's execution

The Pakistani Taliban on Thursday threatened to target Indians "anywhere" in retaliation for the execution of Ajmal Kasab and demanded that India should return the body of the LeT militant involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks to his family.

In calls made to journalists in northwest Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said his group would target Indians and Indian interests "anywhere" to avenge the hanging of Kasab.

Ihsan further said Indian authorities should hand over Kasab's body to his family or to the Taliban.

5. 10 pm

Rather see Sehwag bat than bowl to him: Warne

Australian spin legend Shane Warne congratulated India's explosive batsman Virender Sehwag who is to play his 100th Test match against England Friday in Mumbai.

Warne, Test cricket's second highest wicket-taker, also said he'd rather see Sehwag bat than bowl to him.

"Also congrats to Sehwag on his 100th test tomorrow! What a player, love watching him bat, but not when bowling to him... Hahahaha," tweeted Warne.

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4.41 pm:

Kasab's hanging is relief for attack victims, says Amitabh

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan feels the execution of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab has brought relief to those who suffered in the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

"This (decision) proves that law of the land is still there. The sad thing is that so many people lost their lives and somewhere it is a relief for them, especially the police officers," the 70−year−old said here Wednesday.

"They made a big sacrifice for the country and I believe that it is a big relief for all of us," added the veteran on the sidelines of the Australia Oz Fest here.

Kasab was hanged in a Pune jail Wednesday, five days before the fourth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack that claimed 166 lives. Nine of his associates, who were killed, had been secretly buried in the city in January 2010.

4.00 pm:

The autopsy conducted on the Chadha brothers has revealed that Ponty Chadha had been shot at seven times and his brother Hardeep twice. One more person has been arrested in connection with the case reveal the Delhi police.

3.53 pm:

Mamata Banerjee has blamed the opposition for the failure of the no confidence motion against the UPA government in the Lok Sabha today. She has accused the opposition of becoming the government's 'saviour.'

According to Mamata  the opposition did not come together to fight the cause of the people.

3. 35 pm:

The Delhi High Court has commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of a militant in the 1996 Lajpat Nagar blast case.

The men killed 13 shoppers in a bomb blast at the Lajpat Nagar market, New Delhi. The three J&K-based terrorists had been handed the death penalty, but the Court has now commuted the sentence of one to life and acquited two others. 

3.02 pm:

Pakistan Taliban threatens revenge unless Kasab's body is returned

The Pakistan Taliban are threatening revenge unless India returns the body of a Pakistani man executed for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

The Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, told Associated Press on Thursday that the body of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab must be given back to his family or handed over to the Taliban.

India secretly executed Kasab on Wednesday and buried his body at the jail where he was killed.

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2.50 pm:

Both houses of parliament have been adjourned till tomorrow. An all party meeting on FDI in retail will be held on Monday, November 26th.

1.25 pm:

Meanwhile Arvind Kejriwal has come out in support of the NSG commandos who were involved in the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. He said that two commandos had become disabled during the attacks and hence were kicked out.  They were not provided with pension he alleges.

A former NSG commando, Surender Singh, who was declared unfit for duty has said that he had tried to seek more information through the RTI. He was told that the NSG did not fall under the purview of the act.

Addressing a press conference Singh accused the government of not doing its duty towards the injured commandos.

1.05 pm:

Chetan Bhagat takes a poke at the parliamentary adjournments on Twitter. This is what the novelist had to say:

Chetan Bhagat ‏@chetan_bhagat
Parliament adjourned. Again. Our MPs put the most seasoned college bunkers to shame.

12. 47 pm:

The lower house of the parliament has been adjourned for the third time today.

12.44 pm:

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm as MPs shout down Sushma Swaraj. Swaraj was seeking a debate on FDI in retail when she was drowned out by MPs from the BJD and the TMC.

12.39 pm:

The Speaker of the house has rejected the motion as the TMC lacked numbers to move it. The TMC needed the support of 50 MPs to move the no confidence motion.

12.36 pm:

The Lok Sabha  has been reconvened. The TMC has moved the no confidence motion against the UPA government.

12.23 pm:

The BJP has said that the SP and the BSP should have supported the discussion on FDI in retail. The party has also said that it wants the parliament to function.

Meanwhile the SP has said that is ready for a discussion on FDI under any rule.

12.12 pm:

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 12.30 pm as the opposition MPs refuse to cooperate and did not allow the house to function.

12.07 pm:

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till tomorrow over the SC/ST quota bill.

12.05 pm:

The LS has been reconvened. But chaos continues as MPs start raising slogans again.

11.44 am:

On a day when the parliament has been stalled by the furore over the government's decision to allow FDI in retail, we present world-renowned economist and Sify columnist's Dr Jayati Ghosh's views on why the government's FDI argument is ridiculous.

Read the column here.

11.30 am:

The Rajya Sabha as also been adjourned till 12 pm.

11.28 am:

LS has been adjourned till 12 pm as MPs stall proceedings.

11.25 am:

Opposition MPs have started raising slogans against FDI in the Lok Sabha.

11.21 am:

Both houses of the parliament are paying tribute to the late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray. The BJP has asked for the adjournment of parliament in his memory. Thackeray is the only non sitting MP in the obituary references.

11.15 am:

This is the Parliament schedule today.

1. Oath
2. Obituary References
3. Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Amendment Bill, 2012
4. Prevention of Money-Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011
5. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2011

1. Obituary References
2. The North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2012

11.12 am:

President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijeet Mukherjee has taken oath as an MP in the Lok Sabha.

11.11 am:

Obituary references are being read at both the houses of the Parliament.

11.09 am:

Reports indicate that BSP supremo Mayawati has asked her MPs to not support the opposition on FDI in retail. The priority for the BSP will be the Quota Bill during the winter session.

11.07 am:

The winter session of the parliament has kicked off.

11.05 am:

MPs from Telangana have also started protesting outside the parliament. They are demanding the government abide by its promise for a separate state of Telangana.

10.51 am:

TMC MPs have begun protesting outside the parliament.

10.42 am:

The TMC has handed over the notice for the no confidence motion to the Speaker.

10.35 am:

The Left has submitted a notice of suspension for the question hour scheduled to take place in the Lok Sabha today.

10.32 am:

The CPI (M) has said that it will not support Trinamool Congress'  no confidence motion against the UPA government.

10.10 am:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed to the opposition to allow the parliament to function. ' We are ready to discuss all issues with the opposition,' said the PM.

He said that the opposition and the government need to work together. This statement comes ahead of the beginning of the winter session of the parliament.

10.06 am:

Abolish death penalty, UN chief asks nations

As India executed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, United Nations Secretary−General Ban Ki−moon called upon nations to abolish the death penalty.

Ban welcomes a record vote by a General Assembly committee in favour of the call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, his spokesperson said Wednesday.

India, US and China were among 39 nations voting against the resolution in the Assembly's Third Committee, which deals with social and humanitarian issues, as well as human rights, Monday. The non binding draft resolution got110 votes in favour, with 36 abstentions.

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9.00 am:

UN chief, EU hail Israel Gaza ceasefire deal

UN Secretary−General Ban Ki−moon and top leaders of the European Union (EU) hailed the ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and the Hamas, and commended Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for his efforts.

Briefing the UN Security Council via video link from the Tel Aviv airport, Ban said: "I warmly welcome today's ceasefire announcement. I commend the parties for stepping back from the brink and I commend President Morsi of Egypt for his exceptional leadership."

The secretary−general was visiting the Middle East region to push for an early end to the week−long hostilities, Xinhua reported.

Read more

8.30 am:

Explosives laden truck seized in Pakistan

A major terrorist incident was averted in Pakistan when a truck loaded with around 600 kg of explosives was seized in Peshawar city, Geo News reported.

Police seized the explosives Wednesday in Hazar Khuwani Chowk, and arrested the driver.

The seized material includes dynamite and detonators.

8.00 am:

​Mars rover team may reveal major discovery soon

The Curiosity Mars rover has made a potentially explosive discovery, but NASA scientists are keeping it under wraps to double−check the spacecraft's calculations, RIA Novosti reported.

Chief mission scientist John Grotzinger told National Public Radio that the possible discovery, gleaned from a sample of Martian soil collected by the six−wheeled vehicle, will "be one for the history books". "It's looking really good," he said.

But Grotzinger, a geologist at the prestigious California Institute of Technology, added that NASA scientists are taking every precaution to verify the data collected by Curiosity, which was launched late last year and landed on Mars in August.

The news follows on the heels of what scientists earlier thought was the discovery of methane − typically a sign of living organisms − on Mars, Grotzinger said, only to determine later that the air likely accompanied the spacecraft from its Florida Launchpad.

He added that NASA would convene a press conference in early December to reveal the results of Curiosity's research.

Scientists, meanwhile, have let their imaginations run wild as to what Curiosity might beam back to earth.

"If it's going in the history books, organic material is what I expect," Peter Smith, a University of Arizona researcher who served on a 2008 Mars mission for the Phoenix Lander, told online tech website Wired.

"It may be just a hint, but even a hint would be exciting," he added.

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