It happens: Spring Festival

Bhubaneswar, March 14 (ANI): The Santhal community in Bhubaneswar city of India's eastern Odisha province celebrated the onset of spring season by performing traditional rituals and colorful dances at the ongoing 'Baha Bonga' festival. The festivities are hosted at Jaher (shrine), at the foot of a Sal tree and go on for three to four days. Jaher is the centre of performing rituals and socio-cultural activities for the Santhal tribe. On the occasion, the tribal god, Maarang Buru, and goddess, Jaher Ayo, are worshipped with other deities at the Jaher. As a part of rituals, the deities are offered newly blossomed flowers and fruits of Sal and Mahua trees. The tribal community believes that the spirits of the god and goddess take away diseases, evils and sufferings of humans from the Earth. The spirits of the gods descend into the body of a tribesperson, who then grants their wishes. The festival starts with the local priest distributing Sal and Mahua flowers to both men and women, symbolizing that from that day onwards they are permitted to use forest products. Men tuck them behind their ears while women embellish their hair with them. Mar 15, 2014

Akhilesh Yadav completes two years in office

Lucknow, Mar 15 (ANI): UP Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party's President Akhilesh Yadav's government has completed two years in office on Saturday. Akhilesh on the occasion addressed a press conference in which he stated the developments in the state. Mar 15, 2014

Indian widows 'break chains of social norms' revel in colours of Holi

Vrindavan, Mar 15 (ANI): Shunned by their families and abhorred by society, thousands of India's widows devoting their lives to the worship of God Krishna broke the taboo on Friday (March 14) and participated in Holi celebrations at an ashram in Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. In a jovial mood, they sprinkled flower petals and powdered colours on each other dancing to religious hymns during the celebrations. The organizers ensured that all the widows enjoyed the festivities. Holi, the festival of colours, will be celebrated in India on March 17. Mar 15, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal holds road show in Bangalore

Bangalore, Mar 15 (ANI): Aam Aadmi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal held a road show in India’s IT hub Bangalore on Saturday to woo voters ahead of the upcoming general elections. Addressing the residents of Bangalore, Kejriwal said AAP was confident of getting maximum number of votes and make a mark in the parliamentary elections 2014. Kejriwal also accused media on being paid heavily to promote Narendra Modi and demanded probe and severe punishment for those involved in 'yellow journalism'. He also questioned the credibility of the media in reporting the truth behind Modi. Mar 15, 2014

A Raja slams Jayalalithaa, says she herself is tainted

Coimbatore, Mar 15 (ANI): Taking a dig at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, former Telecom Minister A Raja on Saturday said that she herself has been tainted for 18 years and she is accusing him. Jayalalithaa had earlier lambasted DMK for fielding A Raja accused in 2G case. Mar 15, 2014

Will contest only from Amritsar and nowhere else: Navjot Singh Sidhu

New Delhi, March 15 (ANI): BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday rejected the options to contest from West Delhi, Kurukshetra or Chandigarh, as offered by the BJP and said that he would contest from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency and nowhere else. The BJP top leadership has decided to field senior party leader Arun Jaitley from Amritsar. Mar 15, 2014

French court sentences Rwandan over genocide

A French court sentences a former Rwandan army captain to 25 years in prison over the 1994 genocide, in a landmark ruling just weeks ahead of the massacre's 20th anniversary. Duration: 00:53 Mar 15, 2014

Japanese rally against nuclear power

Thousands of campaigners rally against nuclear power in Tokyo, as the government and utilities move toward resumption of reactors in southern Japan. Duration: 00:50 Mar 15, 2014

Experts fear disaster in drought-hit Pakistan

As the death toll from the latest outbreak of poverty-driven diseases in Pakistan's Thar desert nears 100 children, experts warn that corruption and a dysfunctional political system make a repeat of the disaster almost inevitable. Duration: 01:26 Mar 15, 2014

Malaysian PM confirms missing plane 'deliberately' led off course

Kuala Lumpur, Mar 15 (ANI): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that no conclusive evidence shows missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is hijacked. He added there is a high degree of certainty that the communication device aboard the plane was disabled and its movement showed deliberate action. But the Boeing 777-200 aircraft did turn back from its last known location on civilian radar, and the signal the Malaysian military radar picked up at the north of the Strait of Malacca was from the missing plane, he added. Mar 15, 2014

Modi to attend fund-raising dinner in Delhi, Congress slams

New Delhi, March 15 (ANI): BJP'S Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be attending a fund raiser dinner in the Asoka Hotel of Delhi. The money collected from the fund raiser will be deposited to Modi for PM fund which was launched by Bharatiya Janta Party in January this year. Everyone who will participate in the dinner will get a chance to be the part of a lucky draw. Also, the winners of the lucky draw will get a chance to have dinner with the man who can be the next Prime Minister of the country. The event which is likely to happen on March 26 has invited criticism from the Congress. The Congress on Saturday targeted the BJP and Modi saying that the people of the country understand the drama. Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that it is unfortunate that Indian politics has to witness such a day, and Election Commission must take note of it. Mar 15, 2014

Uttam Khobragade calls US action unacceptable

Mumbai, March 15 (ANI): Devyani Khobragade's father, Uttam Khobragade on Saturday lashed out at United States of America for what he called an act of sheer aggression against India for re-indicting his daughter with false charges filed by New York based US Attorney Preet Bharara. He also said that India had been slow to react against Devyani's re-indictment by the US. An arrest warrant was on Saturday issued against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud charges after her fresh indictment by US prosecutors who accused her of "illegally" underpaying and "exploiting" her domestic maid. Mar 15, 2014

People in Rajkot switch to herbal colours to play Holi

Rajkot, March 15 (ANI): Shops in Rajkot are selling powered herbal colours ahead of festival of colours, Holi. In a bid to ensure safe and eco-friendly Holi, shopkeepers are selling herbal colours made of starch, which do not irritate the skin, have no chemicals and are not harmful. Most of the colours sold in markets are oxidised metals or industrial dyes and are harmful to skin. Slowly people are realising the side effects of these colours like skin allergies to cancer and eye irritation. The shopkeepers in the state are already receiving huge orders from neighbouring areas and this time they have made 18 colours using starch. Mar 15, 2014