Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand on Sai Baba's devotees

Haridwar, June 24 (ANI): Dwarakapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand, who was booked on Tuesday for "hurting religious sentiments" has refused to budge from his stand. He had said on Monday that Sai Baba of Shirdi is not a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity and should not be worshipped because he was a human being, and not a God. However, the complaint has not stopped him from making another controversial statement. He has now said that the followers of Sai Baba should stop worshipping Lord Rama, taking holy bath in river Ganga, and chanting Har Har Mahadev. Jun 24, 2014

Devotees in Varanasi protest against Swami Swaroopanand for his anti- Sai Baba remark

Varanasi, June 24 (ANI): Devotees of Sai Baba in Varanasi staged protest against Dwarakapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand, who sparked controversy when he said that Sai Baba should not be worshipped as he was a human being and not a God. Swaroopanand said that worshipping Sai Baba was a conspiracy to divide the Hindus and that people are making money in his name. The angry crowd also burnt effigy of Swaroopanand and shouted slogans against him. Protesters said that the statements are objectionable and they will continue to protest till Swaroopanand takes his words back. Meanwhile, Swaroopanand refused to budge on his statement and said that his followers will teach lesson to those protesting against him. Jun 24, 2014

Authorities fret on students' future as confusion over DU undergraduate programme grows

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): Authorities and politicians on Tuesday urged University Grants Commission (UGC) to take a concrete step immediately to revoke the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) of Delhi University and start operating soon for the benefit of students. The UGC on June 22 issued notices to the University and the affiliated colleges to scrap the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme and instead implement the three-year course. The Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) and most students welcomed the government's decision to rescind the programme. Protests broke out across the city when members of different students' organisation took to streets to press for Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh's resignation for retaining the FYUP even after UGC's notice for revocation. Jun 24, 2014

Don't have the liberty to speak on FYUP tussle: Smriti Irani

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday refused to comment on the ongoing Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) tussle between Delhi University (DU) and University Grants Commission (UGC). The statement came amid criticism from the DU executive council, who are on a hunger strike against the UGC directive. Jun 24, 2014

Congress continues stir against rail fare hike

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): The Congress on Tuesday staged a protest against the steep rail fare hike by the BJP government. The party said that it will continue their protest until the BJP government agrees for a roll back of prices. The government has increased rail passenger fares by 14.2 percent and freight rates by 6.5 percent, which has led to an outcry by the opposition parties. The decision resulted in various protests across the country demanding the government to take back their decision. Jun 24, 2014

Group of 15 Indians return from strife-torn Iraq

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): A group of 15 Indian workers returned from strife-torn Iraq at New Delhi airport on Tuesday as fighters from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) advanced to capital Baghdad. About 10,000 Indian nationals work in Iraq, mostly in areas unaffected by the fighting between the ISIL and the national army. About 100 Indian workers are trapped in areas overrun by ISIL. Indian worker, Mohammad Isbal Ansari, said he did not receive any help either from Indian government nor the company he was working for. Forty Indian construction workers have been kidnapped in Iraq's second largest city of Mosul, which fell to Sunni insurgents last week. No ransom demand has been received. Another Indian, Lal Dhar, said problems were confined to only conflict zone and he would return back to Iraq after the crisis is resolved. Jun 24, 2014

Shutdown in Kashmir to protest youth killing in police firing

Srinagar, June 24 (ANI): A complete shutdown is being observed across the valley after the killing of a youth yesterday in Sopore during police firing on protesters. Arshad Ahmad Shah of Seer Jagir in Sopore succumbed to his injuries when security forces fired some shots at protesters. A shutdown call has been given by Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani which is being supported by all other separatists groups. All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices have been closed and public transport is off the roads. A youth was killed and four others injured when police opened fire on a group of demonstrators to disperse them in town Sopore on Monday evening. Jun 24, 2014

Reactions flow in as Congress plans to bring in Muslim quota in Maharashtra before polls

Bhopal/ New Delhi/ Lucknow, June 24 (ANI): Reactions flow in as Congress plans to bring in 4.5 per cent quota for Muslims in Prithviraj Chavan governed Maharashtra state. Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that the party had this agenda from the very beginning and the task was stalled because of some disruptions. CPI leader Atul Anjan Congress is offering lollypop just before the elections. BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also attacked Congress for fooling a community. Meanwhile, Muslim Cleric Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said that this is a welcome step and that this will help Muslim community develop. Jun 24, 2014

Politicos react over apparent hike in gas prices soon

Bhopal/ New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): Political reactions come in as NDA government is all set to raise the gas price following rail fare hike. BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that all these are necessary steps because Congress left the situation in such state, that only measures like these can bring India back on track. Meanwhile, Congress leader Rashid Alvi and CPI leader Atul Anjan condemned the decision. Jun 24, 2014

Politicos on reports of MHA rejecting visa relaxation norms for Bangladeshis

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): Political leaders on Tuesday reacted over the report that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rejected the Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) proposals regarding granting visas-on-arrival to Bangladeshi nationals and a visa-free entry to citizens of that country under the age of 18 and over the age of 65. Jun 24, 2014

Death for main accused, life term for 7 cops in fake encounter case in Bihar

Patna, June 24 (ANI): A CBI special court in Patna on Tuesday sentenced a Bihar Police Inspector Shamse Alam to death in connection with the fake encounter of three students in the Ashiyana Nagar locality on December 28, 2002. The court has awarded life term to seven other policemen in the case. Jun 24, 2014

Vyapam Scam: Shivraj Singh Chouhan files defamation against KK Mishra

New Delhi/ Bhopal, June 24 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday filed a defamation case against Congress leader KK Mishra, who has levelled charges against the Madhya Pradesh CM in the multi-crore Vyapam Scam. The recruitment scam had reportedly involved manipulation in the selection process for government jobs conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB). A Special Task Force has been constituted for an investigation into the Vyapam scam which had detained Laxmikant Sharma, a former state technical education minister, for interrogation. The high profile teacher's recruitment scam in Madhya Pradesh is being linked to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's wife, Sadhna Singh. Jun 24, 2014

Ranbir wants to sit behind Katrina on a bike!

Mumbai, June 24 (ANI): Looks like B-Town heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is slowly opening up about his relationship with the very gorgeous Katrina Kaif. As the actor took very confidently took all the media questions thrown on him about his relationship with Katrina Kaif. Ranbir who was recently spotted at Hero Moto Corp's event even said that who would not love to sit behind Katrina on a bike! On the occasion Ranbir even condemned all the rumors going around on him moving out of his house and said... But that's not it, as the Kapoor lad didn't even shy on taking the question regarding his recent Cape Town pictures with Katrina and said he has always been open about his pictures...Well after all this...all we can say is that we just can't wait for the day when you will finally open up about your love! Jun 24, 2014