EC to visit flood-hit JandK to take final call on assembly poll, Politicos react

New Delhi, Oct 18 (ANI): Political leaders react as Election Commission is to make a visit to the flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The visit is aimed at reviewing the situation in the state and taking a final call on holding the assembly elections. BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said that EC will decide on the assembly polls and BJP will abide by the EC's decision. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and PC Chacko said that elections shouldn't be held until normalcy is brought back in the valley. Oct 18, 2014

51 countries participate in World Junior Chess Championship in Pune

Pune, Oct 18 (ANI): Over 200 players from 51 countries converged in Pune city of Maharashtra to take part in World Junior Chess Championship. Winners of the championship, which will conclude on October 20, will be honoured with grandmaster titles and grandmaster norms. Participants from various countries including China and Russia are in the competition. Chairman of Maharashtra Chess Association Ravindra Dongre said that the junior championship is one of the most important chess events of the World Chess Federation. He further said that it will generate greater interest in chess among the budding players. The World Junior Chess Championship is the first step for a young player towards other major chess tournaments and championships. Oct 18, 2014

LS Secretariat says no minimum percentage of seats required for LoP, politicos react

New Delhi, Oct 18 (ANI): Political leaders on Saturday reacted over the Lok Sabha Secretariat's reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query that there is no minimum percentage of seats required for appointment of LoP in Lok Sabha. Few months back Congress' demand for Leader of Opposition's post was rejected by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali, had filed an application, seeking information on the compulsory minimum strength required for appointment of LoP. Oct 18, 2014

Indian Army continues cleanliness drive in flood hit J and K

Srinagar, Oct 18 (ANI): Indian army officials along with local residents continued with their cleanliness drive in Jammu and Kashmir after the region was hit by worst flood in over a century. Army personnel swept streets to clear debris and garbage strewn on streets of Kashmir's main city, Srinagar and also disinfected local areas. Srinagar has been witnessing frequent cleanliness and sanitation drives ever since the flood waters receded in the city. Emergency workers have been battling to prevent waterborne diseases like cholera from spreading. Civic authorities have already deployed tippers, robotic arms and excavators, among other machinery alongside hundreds of staff members who have been cleaning roads and garbage. Oct 18, 2014

N Chandrababu Naidu assures to bring back normalcy in cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh

Visakhapatnam, Oct 18 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu visited key port city of Visakhapatnam and asked people to keep patience as restoration work began after cyclone Hudhud left a trail of destruction in the region. Naidu walked on streets in Visakhapatnam and heard grievances of people. He said the state administration was doing everything possible to bring normalcy in the city. The city airport, which resumed services on Friday, had remained closed to commercial flights, after the roof of its main building was blown off by gusts of up to 195 kph. The full scale of the damage caused by cyclone is still not known. Oct 18, 2014

Security tightened outside jail ahead of Jayalalitha's release

Bangalore, Oct 18 (ANI): AIADMK Chief and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalaithaa will be released from the Bangalore central jail this afternoon, after the Supreme Court granted her interim bail on medical grounds on Friday. Security has been tightened outside the Parappana Agrahara jail ahead of Jayalalithaa's release who was languishing in jail for the past 20 days after being held guilty in a disproportionate assets case. The police have also imposed restriction on the movement of people under section 144 in one kilometer radius around the Central Jail. A petition has also been moved in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to shift Jayalalithaa from Bangalore to the Chennai Central Prison. Oct 18, 2014

India launches Air Quality Index to monitor air quality

New Delhi, Oct 18 (ANI): India has launched a new air quality index to help citizens understand complex pollution data and its implications for their health, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said. A World Health Organization (WHO) study of 1,600 cities released in May found New Delhi had the world's dirtiest air with an annual average of 153 micrograms of small particulates, known as PM2.5, per cubic metre. The new index, launched as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Clean India Mission', will provide one consolidated number after tracking eight pollutants and will use colour coding to describe associated health impacts. Currently, India's air quality status is reported through "voluminous data", the government said. This makes it difficult for people to understand particle names such as PM2.5 or PM10. Oct 18, 2014

Pakistan occupied Kashmir refugees in India welcome financial help

Poonch, Oct 18 (ANI): Refugees from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) lauded state government of Jammu and Kashmir for providing them with financial help of Rupees 9,096 crore with Rupees 25 lakh being distributed to each family. Nearly 36,000 families are presently registered as PoK refugees. A refugee from PoK, Gurmeet Singh, hailed the decision and said that financial aid will work as oxygen for downtrodden. Meanwhile, chairman of SOS International PoK Refugee Organisation, Rajeev Chunni, declined to accept the financial aid as one time settlement plan and questioned the government's intention in calling it as a final settlement. Oct 18, 2014

3D firecrackers dot markets in Chennai ahead of Diwali

Chennai , Oct 18 (ANI): People thronged markets in Chennai city of Tamil Nadu to buy 3D firecrackers ahead of Hindu festival of lights, Diwali.Diwali is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety all over India as it marks the return of Hindu Lord Rama to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana, the powerful king of Lanka.Devotees decorate their homes with oil and electric lamps welcoming Lord Rama. They also celebrate by bursting firecrackers at homes with family and friends.A mass firecrackers sale has been organised in Chennai by Tamil Nadu Traders Association. There are about 120 shops selling variety of firecrackers. Joint secretary of Tamil Nadu Traders Association, Abdul Rehman said for children, 3D firecrackers were new in the market. Oct 18, 2014

Will chop off hands of lax doctors found playing with lives of poor: Jitan Ram Manjhi

Motihari, Oct 18 (ANI): Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi against caught himself in a controversy after he warned lax doctors that he would chop off their hands if they found neglecting poor patients. He said that he is ready to face any consequences but will always stand for their rights. Manjhi asked the people to avoid going to fake doctors and approach the nearest government hospital. He said this while addressing a public meeting after inaugurating a 70-bed sub-divisional hospital at Pakri Dayal in Bihar's East Champaran district. Oct 18, 2014

Russian envoy to India says no double standards in dealing with Islamic State

New Delhi, Oct 18 (ANI): Russian envoy to India, Alexander Kadakin said that there should not be any double standard in dealing with militants of Islamic State. Kadakin indirectly slammed United States and blamed it of hypocrisy. While addressing mediapersons, Kadakin said Russia and India should work together to bring stability in Afghanistan. Oct 18, 2014

More than 70 crude bombs found in West Bengal

Malda, Oct 18 (ANI): The Crime Investigation Department (CID) recovered more than 70 crude bombs from a field in Malda district of West Bengal. This recovery comes after two suspected militants were killed and another was injured in the explosion which occurred on October 02 at a house in Khagragarh area of Burdwan district in the state. Two women were arrested in connection with the blast on October 05. The involvement of militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami are being suspected in the blast. Also, a joint team of the National Security Guard (NSG) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday recovered ammunition in large quantities from a house in the state. Superintendent of Police (SP) from Malda District, Prasun Banerjee, said that during a raid by the Kaliachok police, they had found material which resembled bombs. He added after the bombs were found, CID bomb disposal wing was informed, which finally recovered them. Oct 18, 2014