- Senior IPS officer tells CBI court that BJP leaders including L.K. Advani made provocative speeches during demolition of disputed structure at Ayodhya.
succesfully test fires Prithvi-II and Dhanush missiles off the Orissa coast. India
- Bhartendu Harischandra Awards for the year 2007 and 2008 announced.
- Former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's alliance emerges as single largest block in Iraqi parliamentary elections.
- US and
reach landmark agreement to reduce considerably their atomic weapons. Russia
- Rajasthan Royals beat
DeccanChargers by eight wickets in the IPL Cricket.
In a setback to Mr L K Advani in the Babri Masjid demolition case, a senior IPS officer yesterday told a special CBI court at Rae Bareli that the BJP leader made a provocative speech at Ayodhya on the day the structure was brought down, 17 years ago. Deposing as a prosecution witness in the case, Ms. Anju Gupta said that Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi and Sangh activists like Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Rithambhara also made provocative speeches.
Ms Gupta was the personal security officer of Mr. Advani during that period.
The BJP has refused to comment on the deposition by senior IPS officer, Anju Gupta. Party spokesman, Ramnath Kovind said since the issue is sub-judice, the law will take its own course.
Congress spokeperson Abhishek Singhvi said that what was witnessed in December 1992 is now entering a phase of legal proof and legal finality.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is likely to appear today before the Special Investigation Team - SIT probing the 2002 riot cases in the state. However, there is no confirmation from either Mr Modi or the SIT in this regard. The Special Investigation Team- headed by RK Raghavan had issued summons to Mr Modi to appear before it during the week beginning the 21st of this month.
The defence sources said that the test firing of the short-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, was a user trial by the Indian army.
According to agency reports, the other missile 'Dhanush' was also successfully test fired from same test range.
In Rajasthan, the next round of talkes between Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti and the state government will start today. Our correspondent reports that the President of Sangharsh Samiti Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla may meet Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in this round of talks in Jaipur.
Direction of talks of first round was positive and today in the next round Col. Kirodi Singh Baisla may join the talks with the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. It is asumed that in this high level talk leaders of both the sides would reach on a logical solution of reservation issue. Gehlot said that Government's approach is positive and he is in favour to resolve this issue peacefully. In the first round matter of jobs to family members to persons who were killed in previous agitation was discussed but in the final round focus may be on Col. Baisla's demand of five per cent reservation to Gurjar and three other communities. This matter is subjudice. Anurag Vajpayee, AIR News, Jaipur.
Meanwhile, a mass dharna continues at Gajipur in Dausa district to press for five percent reservation to Gurjar and three other communities.
The annual Bhartendu Harishchandra awards for the year 2007 and 2008 have been announced.
Well-known broadcaster Navneet Mishra has been nominated for the Bhartendu Harishchandra award for the year 2007 under the journalism and mass communication category. Mr Mishra has been selected for the first prize under the category for his manu titled "Vani Akashvani".
In the same category, senior Hindi journalist Devendra Upadhyay has been selected for the first prize for the year 2008 for his work titled "Bhartiya Sansad aur Media".
The other winners for 2007 include Sandhya Gupta, who has been given the first prize under the national integration category for her work "Rashtriya Ekta mein Kaviyon ka Yogdaan".
Under the Women's Issues category, Chhavi Srivastava has been nominated for the first prize for her work titled "Soochna Ka Adhikar aur Mahila Sashaktikaran".
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting S. Jagath Rakshakan has said that All India Radio has played a major role in promoting classical music, literature and various art forms. Presenting the Akashvani annual awards for 2008 at a glittering function in Chennai last evening, he said AIR is a vibrant organization reflecting the rich cultural heritage and tradition of the country.
Mr. Jagath Rakshakan presented 59 awards to employees who had excelled in News, Programmes and Engineering services.
The Best Correspondent Award was shared by V.K. Raina of News Services Division,
and Sunil Shukla, Correspondent, Delhi . The Best Editor Award was jointly given to N.Devan of News Services Division and G.C.Dash, News Editor, Lucknow . The Award in Bold and Courageous reporting category was given to Jammu Correspondent R.K.Raina. Mir Nazir, of Pulwama District in Raipur bagged the Best Part time Correspondent award which has been instituted for the first time. Jammu and Kashmir
, the al-Iraqiya alliance of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi won the Parliamentary elections with 91 seats followed by Nouri al-Maliki’s alliance winning 89 seats. The Iraqi National Alliance won 70 and the Kurdistan Alliance 42 seats. Our correspondent reports that Iraq ’s Independent High Electoral Commission - IHEC announced the result in a press conference in Iraq last night. Baghdad
Results signal that Allawi’s alliance will be given the first opportunity to form a government but they do not have required 163 seats needed to form a government in 325-member parliament. So, long negotiations are expected where Kurds and INA are likely to play key roles as kingmakers. Security officials have warned that a long period of coalition building could give insurgents a chance to further destabilize
. The role of new government in the country will be crucial as Iraq forces are scheduled to leave US by the end of 2011. Dhirendra Ojha, AIR News from Iraq . Dubai
The US and
have reached an agreement to considerably reduce their atomic weapons, in a landmark deal that could "reset" relations between the former Cold War rivals. US President Barak Obama said that the agreement envisages a 30 per cent reduction in the nuclear stockpile and will be signed by the two countries in Russia on 8th April. Prague
Lights are to go off for the Earth Hour today.
will join other world cities in observing the Earth Hour by turning off the lights for one hour from to . Our correspondent reports that with almost 50 million supporters across the globe and a network in over 100 countries, the annual 'Earth Hour' initiative, organised by World Wide Fund for Nature, has emerged as one of the largest global campaigns to combat climate change. Delhi
For the first time 2.2 million people and business homes switched off their lights in Sydney Australia for one hour to highlight their stand on climate change . The movement gathered momentum and last year hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour when in . Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support global movement on climate change initiative. In India Fifty six Indian cities participated in the campaign last year and 1000 MW of power was saved in that one hour with 600 MW of energy saving in
alone.In Delhi power sector alone contributes a 50 per cent carbon emission in the country. The Earth Hour not only creates awareness about the depleting climatic conditions on Earth but also helps in saving energy. India
In the Indian Premier League cricket, Rajasthan Royals beat Deccan Chargers by eight wickets in Ahmedabad. For Rajasthan Royals, Yusuf Pathan and Michael Lumb made light work of the opposition bowlers with their power hitting. Chasing a modest 149, Pathan smashed the Chargers' bowlers ball to all parts of the ground during his 34-ball 73-run unbeaten innings, while Lumb did the early damage with a brisk 45 off 32 balls to power Rajasthan to 151 in 15.overs. Earlier, Rohit Sharma top-scored with a 35-ball 49 while Herschelle Gibbs and Andrew Symonds gave him good company with the bat to guide the Chargers to a modest 148 for nine.
BCCI Selections Committee announced a15 member squad for Team
for Twenty20 world cup starting in India West Indies next month. Karnataka pacer R Vinay Kumar is the only new face in the squad to be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The BCCI senior selection panel under the chairmanship of Krishnamachari Srikkanth met in Mumbai to pick the squad. Talking to newspersons after the meeting Srikant said that Board announced the best possible team available.
The chief selector also said that the team has a strong batting department and hoped the Indian batsmen will not face much difficulties on the
Other players in this squad include - Virender Sehwag Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan,Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Dinesh Karthik.
The story of a senior IPS officer deposing before a special CBI court in the Babri Maasjid demolition case has been covered prominently in most newspapers today. "Babri ghost back, cop nails Advani role" reports Hindustan Times."The Times of
headlines "Advani gave fiery speech on Dec 6, says his then - PSO". The newspaper adds that a 1990 batch IPS officer, Anju Gupta told the special court that Advani delivered a provocative speech to the throng of kar sewaks who eventually tore down the mosque. India
Many newspapers have reported
's decision to send a magistrate to the India to record Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley's statement in the Mumbai terror attack case. The Tribune reports that the team will comprise officials of the Mumbai Police and the NIA. United States
"Maoist kingpin Kishenji has narrow escape; Injured in gunbattle with special anti-Maoist force, COBRA" reports the Pioneer. The paper says that the Maoist leader is lying injured along with some of his trusted lieutenants somewhere inside Lalgarh forests.
Under the headline, "Cash-for-judge probe should continue: Court", Hindustan Times reports that a special CBI court on Friday brushed aside the agency's closure report ordering further investigation.
The story of team selection for the T20 World Cup has been captioned as "Selectors play risky shots" by Hindustan Times, mentioning that some choices for the T20 world cup that begins on April 30 in the West Indies are odd. The paper adds that the selectors have picked up players who are carrying injuries.
And finally, The Asian Age under the headline, "Tiger numbers rising" reports that according to
West Bengal forests minister Ananta Roy, the number of Royal Bengal tigers in the Sunderbans has been increasing.