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[India], Jan 18 (ANI): A Muslim woman's house was allegedly set on fire by unidentified miscreants for supporting the construction of Ram Temple.

The victim, Ikra Chaudhary, who is the district head of the Muslim Women's Harassment Cell, claimed she is being threatened by multiple people to avoid indulging in the matter of Ram Temple.

"On December 6, I submitted a memorandum to the District Magistrate regarding the Ram Temple issue. Since then, I have been threatened repeatedly to avoid indulging in the matter, to the extent that I have been asked to leave Hapur. I fear that I may be killed by those threatening me," she said.

Ikra's house was set on fire by miscreants on Monday, following which she registered a complaint with the police. Amid the fire rubble, Ikra also found a note that read "Now call your Ram" written in Hindi, which she then submitted to the police.

"The police have said they are investigating the matter. However, it has been four days, and no arrests have been made. Looks like the police are looking to suppress the matter," she claimed.

However, Hapur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rajesh Kumar assured that investigation is being carried out. However, he refuted Ikra's claims of having submitted the threatening note to the police. (ANI)

Posted: January 18, 2018, 2:33 am

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): As many as 39 trains were delayed, 15 cancelled and 11 rescheduled due to low visibility caused by the persisting cold wave here.

As per the Meteorological Department, the maximum temperature will be 25 degree Celsius, with lows of five degrees.

Furthermore, a dense layer of fog is expected to be seen during the day. (ANI)

Posted: January 18, 2018, 2:30 am

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): The Supreme Court's five-judge Constitution bench on Thursday will continue hearing pleas filed with regards to the Aadhaar matter.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra will begin hearing a number of petitions filed challenging the constitutional validity of the identification number.

Earlier on Wednesday, senior lawyer Shyam Divan argued that the Aadhaar Card may cause the death of citizens' civil rights.

Divan, who is appearing for the petitioners, told the bench that a people's constitution was being converted into a state's Constitution, adding that it was incorrect to take people's biometric data for Aadhaar Card.

Since the inception of the Aadhaar card, its validity and possible leakages of data have surfaced time and again. The apex court has also received petitions regarding the linkage of this 12-digit number with mobile phones, bank accounts and so on, the last date for which was extended to March 31 this year.

Recently, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) decided to enable 'Face Authentication' infusion mode on registered devices by July 1, so that people facing difficulty in other existing modes of verification such as fingerprints, iris, and one-time-password (OTP) could easily authenticate. (ANI)

Posted: January 18, 2018, 1:16 am

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be engaging with Indian CEOs at a power breakfast session on Thursday, following which he will attend a business seminar.

Netanyahu, who is on a six-day official visit to India, is slated to lay a wreath at Taj Hotel and pay a visit to Nariman House - Chabad Centre.

He will also reach out to Bollywood personalities through an exclusive 'Shalom Bollywood' event that aims at exploring business opportunities for Indian filmmakers in Israel.

Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, who arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday evening, were given a grand welcome to the city by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and are being stationed at the Taj Hotel here.

In lieu of this, security has been beefed up in and around the hotel, with additional deployment of security personnel in the vicinity.

Many diversions are being created in the area, and all vehicles passing by are being thoroughly checked by security personnel to ensure the safety of the couple. (ANI)

Posted: January 18, 2018, 1:16 am

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): In an unfortunate turn of events, an eight-year-old boy was killed in an encounter between the police and a robbery accused here in Mohanpura.

The victim, identified as Madhav, a nursery student.

The police came to know of whereabouts of a robbery accused, who was hiding in a field in Mohanpura, following which they proceeded to nab them. However, they were unable to do so, since the criminal began to flee from the place.

Thereafter, a round of firing began, which, by mistake, hit Madhav, who was playing in the vicinity. Unable to cope with this, both the police and the criminal fled the spot immediately.

As soon as the news of Madhav being shot at reached his family, he was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where he ultimately succumbed to his wound.

While Madhav's kin alleged irresponsibility on behalf of the police, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Swapnil Mamgai said the investigation is being carried out in the matter, adding that full support will be extended to the family at this hour of grief.

"It is a very unfortunate incident, and I extend complete support to the family. The matter will be looked into by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who will examine the case from all angles and reveal if there was any negligence on behalf of the police. The body of the child has been sent for postmortem, to identify who initiated the firing," Swapnil told reporters here.

He further stated that compensation is being offered to the family in the event of the mishap.

Investigation in this matter is underway.(ANI)

Posted: January 18, 2018, 1:16 am

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear a plea filed by the producers of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat' to withdraw the ban imposed on the film's release in Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

Producers of 'Padmaavat' on Wednesday moved the top court to convince the aforementioned states to withdraw the ban on the release of the film.

In their plea, the producers questioned the right of these four state governments to ban the film when the apex court has already clarified that the film's screening can only be suspended in a particular area if there is a law and order situation developing.

The release of Bhansali's magnum opus was banned in the said four states to wing a potential law and order problem.

The flick has run into trouble time and again, as members of several Rajput factions have accused Bhansali of distorting history.

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles, the film is based on the 16th century Sufi poet Mohammad Jayasi's poem Padmavat.

The film is all set for a worldwide January 25 release in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil, and will be the first Indian film to get a global IMAX 3D release. (ANI)

Posted: January 18, 2018, 12:17 am

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): Ahead of the Budget session on January 29, hardware dealers here are hopeful of a reduction in Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates, as well as a more streamlined process of filing tax returns.

"The introduction of a unified tax system is undoubtedly beneficial to the common man. However, there is a lot of paperwork involved in filing returns. I believe this process should be made simplified for easy filing of returns," Ibrahim, a hardware dealer, told ANI.

While the GST has adversely impacted sales in the short run, vendors believe the hardship will fade out in the coming months.

"Businesses have dipped in the past few months because of the GST. Many shops have closed down as well in these months. However, in the long run, we expect sales to pick up," said Raghu, a hardware shop owner.

Dealers have also proposed a significant reduction in the GST levied on hardware products, in order to comfortably break even.

On a related note, the Budget will be presented on February 1.

The first Budget Session of Parliament will be held from January 29 to February 9, while the second session will be held from March 5 to April 6.

This will be the last full-fledged budget that will be presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Government. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 11:17 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): The Patiala House Court will continue hearing the disproportionate assets case involving former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday.

In the previous hearing, the Delhi Court on January 2 granted bail to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan, who was involved in the same case. The court also directed Chauhan to furnish a bail bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the same amount.

Chauhan was arrested in July last year in Chandigarh by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for not cooperating with the agency.

The ED in September, last year, had filed a chargesheet against Chauhan in the money laundering case, also involving Virbhadra Singh and others. He was instrumental in investing Rs 5 crore in LIC policies in the name of the Singh, including his wife and children.(ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 11:15 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): Heavy firing is underway here in RS Pura sector since 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of the sector said on Thursday.

"The firing was initiated by Pakistan since 11 p.m. on Wednesday, in which one Border Security Force (BSF) personnel was killed and another one injured. The firing is still underway," RS Pura sector SDM Naresh Kumar told ANI.

Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) here on Wednesday night.

This comes less than two days after four Pakistani soldiers were killed by the Indian Army in the cross-border firing initiated by the former in Poonch sector.

On a related note, three civilians have been reportedly been injured in the fresh round of firing. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 10:16 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): A fire broke out in a scrap factory near Chandra Maurya Lok here on Wednesday evening.

After reports of the fire surfaced, two fire tenders and police rushed to the spot to douse the flame.

This comes a day after 27 fire tenders were rushed to Delhi's Udyog Nagar area where a fire broke out a plastic commodity-making factory. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 10:16 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): The team owners of the Mumbai Maharathi announced that they have decided to pull out of the third edition of the Pro Wrestling League with immediate effect.

While the team management has taken in its stride several instances of mismanagement and operational glitches by the league organisers, they reacted strongly to the incident that occurred at the toss between Mumbai Maharathi and their opponents.

After Sakshi Malik won the toss, she opted to block the wrestler in the 74 kg category but was prevented to do so by the organisers in a clear violation of the rules. Sakshi then had no option but to block a wrestler in another weight category, which subsequently proved vital in the final outcome of the match, as Mumbai Maharathi lost the tie 3-4 to Veer Maratha.

According to the rules, one weight category cannot be blocked for consecutive matches and for a total of two out of the five league matches. Mumbai Maharathi had blocked the 74 kg category in their first encounter and now sought to do so in their third encounter, adhering to the rules, but the league organisers stepped in to twist the rules and thwart Mumbai Maharathi.

Due to this, the team in an official release announced that they would withdraw their participation.

On a related note, Mumbai Maharathi is the sixth team to have walked out of the league in three years. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 10:15 pm

[Andhra Pradesh], Jan 18 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh IT minister Nara Lokesh has launched a platform for entrepreneurs in the state named 'The Indus Entrepreneurs' (TiE) Amaravati chapter and Angels Network on Wednesday.

The launch of TiE will be complementary to recent initiatives, set up by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to establish several incubators and accelerators and the setting up of a start-up fund. It will also help accelerate the growth of start-up ecosystem in the state.

The TiE, along with its Angels Network, has pledged commitment to lend its support to the Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society (ACIS) to accelerate its vision.

The TiE is a non-profit organisation founded in 1992 in the Silicon Valley, California. It currently boasts of over 13,000 members in 61 chapters across 18 countries.

Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, education, incubating and funding.

Since its birth, TiE's economic wealth creation is estimated at 200 US billion dollars. It has influenced liberalisation of key economic sectors across the globe. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 9:32 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): Kin of the alleged abductor in the savage rape and murder case of a 15-year-old Dalit girl in Haryana's Jind claimed they were tortured by the police officials.

Two brothers of the suspected accused, aged 15 and 16, who were nabbed by the police, alleged that they were beaten up brutally by them on grounds of interrogation.

The body of the 19-year old youth, who was named in the FIR as the alleged abductor in the savage rape and murder case of the 15-year-old Dalit girl from a village in Kurukshetra district, was found on Wednesday.

The suspected accused was reportedly missing since January 9.

Police claimed no injury marks were found on the body, adding that postmortem was underway.

"It is too early to determine the cause of death. We have 12 teams who are looking into the matter of the girl and the boy. Postmortem is underway," said Dalip Singh, Station House Office, Jhansa.

On a related note, the 15-year-old girl was brutally assaulted, her private parts mutilated and some of the vital organs ruptured.

The half-naked body of the minor, who was missing since last Tuesday after she left home for tuition classes, was found with injury marks near a canal in Budhakhera village of Jind district. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 9:31 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Awards for 2016 to an eminent group of musicians, dancers, and theatre artists.

In a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, four eminent artists and scholars in performing arts were conferred fellowships of the Akademi, namely Arvind Parikh, R Vedavalli, Ram Gopal Bajaj and Sunil Kothari. Furthermore, 43 artists received the Akademi Awards.

President Kovind while speaking at the event opined that art has the power to connects people with culture.

"While singing or listening to the national anthem, every citizen rises above his/her personal aspirations. Artists should use this power of art in the interest of our society and country," he said.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) are national honours bestowed by the government on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 9:31 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): The family of the deceased accused in the rape and murder case of a minor girl in Jind demanded compensation and a government job for one of the members of the family.

Speaking to ANI, Jhansa village head Puneet Mal said the family also demanded CBI inquiry into the death of the 19-year old youth.

"The family has demanded a medical exam to be conducted of the children rounded up by the police on suspicion, as they allege that they were tortured by the police. The family has also demanded compensation as well as a job for them or their families," he said.

The body of the 19-year-old youth who was named in the FIR as the alleged abductor in the savage rape and murder case of a 15-year-old Dalit girl from a village in Kurukshetra district was found on Wednesday, following which postmortem was conducted.

On a related note, the 15-year-old girl was brutally assaulted, her private parts mutilated and some of the vital organs ruptured.

The half-naked body of the minor, who was missing since last Tuesday after she left home for tuition classes, was found with injury marks near a canal in Budhakhera village of Jind district. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 9:30 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): Women from the Jauhar Kshatriya Manch here have threatened to perform "jauhar" or mass self-immolation on January 24 upon the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial film 'Padmaavat'.

Equating Bhansali to Sultan Alauddin Khilji, a member of this committee said this was their "last resort" to protect their heritage and dignity of Rani Padmini.

"We have been protesting against the release of this film ever since we came to know of it. However, the government did not pay heed to our demands and decided to favour Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Hence, we have decided that some women will perform Jauhar on January 24. We are not afraid of death," the head of the committee told ANI.

Meanwhile, another member of the committee argued that banning the film was not an unreasonable demand, and cited the example of Kamal Haasan's flick Vishwaroopam.

"If Kamal Haasan's film can be banned, why not Padmaavat? It is not just about changing the name; the facts have been tampered with. We have very high regard for our Rani Padmini, and we will immolate ourselves to keep her dignity intact," she said.

Bhansali's magnum opus has encountered a number of obstacles on its journey so far.

The film has, time and again, run into trouble with members of the Rajput Karni Sena, who allege that the movie shows Rajput legacy in a bad light and that historical facts have been tampered with.

Despite the clearance from Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), 'Padmaavat' won't be released in Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

In this regard, Producers of 'Padmaavat' on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court to convince the four states to withdraw the ban on the film.

In their plea, the producers questioned the right of these four state governments to ban the film when the apex court has already clarified that the film's screening can only be suspended in a particular area if there is law and order situation developing.

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles, the film is based on the 16th century Sufi poet Mohammad Jayasi's poem Padmaavat.

The period drama is all set for a worldwide January 25 release in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil, and will be the first Indian film to get a global IMAX 3D release. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 8:32 pm

[India], Jan 18 (ANI): A Border Security Force (BSF) Jawan was killed as Pakistani resorted to ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in R S Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.

As the exchange of fire is underway, BSF personnel are retaliating.

This comes less than two days after four Pakistani soldiers were killed by the Indian Army in the cross-border firing initiated by the former in Poonch sector.

Further details are awaited. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

[India], Jan 17 (ANI): Prisoners of Kolkata's Presidency correctional home on Wednesday attacked the officials and tried to torch a portion of the jail when they were being shifted to Hooghly correctional home.

About 11 under trial prisoners were being shifted from Presidency correctional home to Hooghly correctional home and when prisoners attacked police personnel, who were on duty.

As per reports, few personnel were injured in the attack. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 7:16 pm

[India], Jan 17 (ANI): Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Vikas Singh on Wednesday wrote a letter to Justice J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Bhimrao Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Arjan Kr Sikri pointing that no impropriety was done by Supreme Court bench in dealing with medical college scam case.

In the letter, SCBA President wrote that the conversation between middlemen cannot in any manner attribute any wrong doing on the part of the Judges hearing the matter.

Meanwhile, a Delhi Court issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking its reply till January 22 in matter of leaking transcripts of phone conversations involving three accused- retd Odisha HC Judge IM Qudussi, middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and BP Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust.

Earlier, the court granted bail to Quddusi after the latter deposited personal security of Rs. 1 lakh.

A court had earlier sent Quddusi and five other people to the CBI custody over allegations of bribery to settle the case in the Supreme Court.

The arrests were made in September last year after a search operation was carried out at various locations, including the residence of Quddusi in Delhi. Searches were also conducted in Bhubaneswar and Lucknow. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 7:15 pm

[India], Jan. 17 (ANI): Two absconding accused were reportedly arrested by the police from Bharatpur's Jurehra village for raping a girl in Haryana's Faridabad.

On January 13, three men in Faridabad abducted a 22-year-old woman when she was returning home after work and gangraped here in a moving car for two hours.

The accused later dropped her near a petrol pump at Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh.

Following the incident, an FIR was registered and a special investigation team (SIT) was formed to nab the culprits. (ANI)

Posted: January 17, 2018, 6:33 pm