Muslims in Lucknow protest against mass religious conversion

Lucknow/New Delhi, Dec 13 (ANI): Muslims in Uttar Pradesh staged a protest against alleged forced religious conversion of minority community by hardline Hindu groups. Protesters shouted slogans, held placards and appealed the government to form a committee to probe the matter. Police have announced a cash reward for the arrest of Kishori Lal Balmiki, main accused in the forced conversion. India's 1.2 billion people are predominantly Hindus. But the country also has some 160 million Muslims and a small proportion of Christians. Dec 13, 2014

Maoists torch vehicles at mining belt in Jharkhand

Lohardaga, Dec 13 (ANI): The red rebels burnt trucks and heavy vehicles used for mining in Jharkhand, hindering the mining work in the area. The mining, dispatch and transportation of bauxite from the mines in the Maoist hit Kisko police station area of Lohardaga district came to a grinding halt after a group of rebels torched more than 20 vehicles. A truck owner, Pradip Sahu said there are around 300 labourers employed and their livelihood has been affected by the incident. He said Maoists have torched bauxite laded trucks before also. The Maoists from Bharatiya Communist Party (BCP) came late at night, attacked the labour working and torched the vehicles, obstructing the excavation work of bauxite. They burnt at least 20 trucks, two earth movers, a compressor machine and a tractor employed for the mining work. The rebels also left pamphlets behind in which they owned up for the incident. Dec 13, 2014

First naval establishment in Visakhapatnam 'INS Circars' celebrates platinum jubilee

Visakhapatnam, Dec 13 (ANI): The first naval establishment in Visakhapatnam, INS Circars, marked its platinum jubilee. Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh was identified by the British as an important convoy assembly point for military operation in 1923. Commanding Officer, INS Circars, Saleem Anwer said a small naval base commissioned in 1939 by the British is celebrating its 75th year of establishment. The establishment became HMIS Circars on April 12, 1942 and post independence the establishment was renamed to INS Circars. Anwer added that the base also extended support in terms of relief and rehabilitation when Visakhapatnam was hit by cyclone Hudhud in October. The postal department also released a postal cover and a photo session for the naval officials also took place. Dec 13, 2014

PM Modi attends inauguration of ceremonial hall at President Estate

New Delhi, Dec 13 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the inauguration of ceremonial hall at President Estate in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said President Estate (Rashtrapati Bhavan) has become a symbol of India's pride across the world. He added that President Pranab Mukherjee has made a unique contribution in re-energising the Rashtrapati Bhavan complex. Modi also mentioned that the existing institutions have to be revitalised from time to time, and President's contribution in this regard is an inspiration for all countrymen, in the quest for building a modern India. The Prime Minister also expressed happiness that on December 11, which happens to be President's birthday, the United Nations accepted India's proposal on International Yoga Day. Dec 13, 2014

Rejuvenation camp pampers 45 temple elephants in Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore, Dec 13 (ANI): Away from the maddening crowd and back in their natural habitat, a total of 45 temple elephants are being pampered at the 48-day annual rejuvenation camp in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The elephants will enjoy steady supply of delicious food and mirthful games at the camp organised by the Tamil Nadu government. Around nine million rupees are being spent to pamper the elephants. The camp concludes on January 25. The state government has also earmarked about six-acre lush area along the banks of the river Bhavani in Coimbatore district to be the jumbo spa. Minister of Hindu religious and charitable endowments, Chendur Pandian, said the camp contributes significantly for the rejuvenation of the elephants belonging to temples and mutts. Every year, the forest department of the Tamil Nadu government organises this camp for elephants belonging to temples and mutts. Elephants from neighbouring Puducherry are also attending the camp. Dec 13, 2014

Seven dead as two suicide attacks rock Kabul

Two suicide attacks in Kabul, one targeting a play at a French-financed school, killed at least seven people on Thursday, the latest in a wave of violence assaulting the city as NATO forces pull out. Duration: 00:32 Dec 13, 2014

Strongest storm in years batters California

About 150,000 people are left struggling for power as the strongest storm to lash the US West Coast in several years blows in snow, heavy rain and ferocious winds. Duration: 00:39 Dec 13, 2014