Assam gears up to welcome harvest festival of Bihu

Guwahati, Jan 12 (ANI): North-eastern state of Assam gears up to celebrate harvest festival, traditionally known in the local language as Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu, falling on January 15. In the run-up to the festival, which is celebrated with great fervour in the state, a non-profit organisation held an exhibition to welcome the festival. Mouthwatering delicacies like ‘pitha’ or pancakes and many other traditional food items, prepared by local women, were up for sale in various stalls at the exhibition. The festival of Bihu marks three distinct phases of the farming calendar for the native crop of the state-paddy. The northeastern state celebrates the festival with great zeal by singing traditional ‘Bihu geets’ or Bihu songs and performing group folk dances. Jan 12, 2015

Centre approves pay scale revision of DASS employees, BJP welcomes while AAP- Congress alleges BJPs

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): Political leaders on Monday react as the central government approved a proposal of Delhi Government to revise the pay scale of Delhi Administration Subordinate Service (DASS) employees. BJP said that the proposal was accepted in order to fulfill the promises BJP did before coming to power. Satish Upadhyay also said that this has nothing to do with the Delhi assembly polls and that opposition is free to draw speculations. Congress leader JP Agarwal alleged that the passing of the proposal comes at the time when Election Commission is to announce the dates for the Delhi polls. AAP also criticized the BJP for the same and said that this won’t affect the votes. Jan 12, 2015

EAM Sushma Swaraj meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday met United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in capital New Delhi. Both the leaders will hold discussions on various issues. Ban Ki-Moon is on a three day visit to India which will conclude tomorrow. He was also the keynote speaker at Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2015 which began on Sunday. Jan 12, 2015

India's maiden laughter festival enthralls audience in Jaipur

Jaipur, Jan 12 (ANI): In a first-of-its-kind, Jaipur played host to Laughter Festival, where members of comedy fraternity came together to enthrall audience with their performances. A two-day event, the festival recorded a huge crowd turnout in its very first edition itself. Thousands of people laughed their hearts out with the performances of standup comedy artistes like Raju Shrivastava and others. More than 80 artistes performed in the festival. Jaipur organizes an array of festivals every year including Jaipur Literature festival, International Camel Festival, Jaipur Kite Festival among many others. Jan 12, 2015

Sunanda Murder Case: BS Bassi says relevant investigation will be done by SIT

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said on Monday that investigation in Sunanda Pushkar murder case will be done by SIT on all relevant points. On being asked about SIT questioning Shashi Tharoor, Bassi said that if SIT finds it relevant he too will be questioned. Further Bassi assured that the case will soon reach a logical conclusion. Jan 12, 2015

Opposition snubs Vibrant Gujarat Summit, says PM should focus on entire country

New Delhi/ Gandhinagar, Jan 12 (ANI): The opposition leaders on Monday (January 11) dismissed the on-going Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2015 as a gimmick and alleged that the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was only concentrating on his native state instead of the entire country. Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the track record of Modi’s government showed that this government believed in creating hype and not doing actual work. NCP leader Tariq Anwar said that this effort on part of the prime minister would have been commendable had he been working to secure investment for the undeveloped parts of the country. Meanwhile JD (U) leader KC Tyagi, said that the prime minister needed to think about the country as a whole. Jan 12, 2015

Witness in Asaram Rape Case shot dead in Muzaffarnagar

Muzaffarnagar, Jan 12 (ANI): Former aide of Asaram Bapu was shot dead by unidentified assailants on Jansath Road under New Mandi police station area in Muzaffarnagar when he was returning home. Akhil Gupta was also a witness in the Asaram's Surat rape case. Police said Gupta was shot at when he was on his way home and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Gupta was a cook and personal aide of Asaram, who is in jail in connection with another case of sexual assault on a minor girl. Two sisters in Surat have accused Asaram and his son Narayan Sai of raping them. Jan 12, 2015

Police arrest 12 militants with arms and ammunition in Assam

Chirang, Jan 12 (ANI): Police arrested 12 militants and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from them on the third-day of operation in Assam. Superintendent of Police, Ranjan Kumar Bhuyan, said a joint operation with paramilitary forces was launched in the Manas reserve forest on the intelligence input. The militants belonged to banned outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which is fighting for a separate homeland for indigenous Bodo tribesmen, saying that the tea-growing state has been flooded with outsiders. Jan 12, 2015

Casino busted by police in Gurgaon, 43 arrested

Gurgaon, Jan 12 (ANI): The Gurgaon Police in a raid busted an illegal casino running in the DLF Phase II area of the city, and has seized large quantities of cash and liquor from the site. According to media reports, the police have arrested 43 people, including five Nepalese women, and seized rupees 20.4 lakh from the gambling den. The arrested will be booked under the IPC Public Gambling Act and Excise Act. The police team had raided the premises and unearthed a full-fledged dice joint being run on the ground floor of the house. Police is carrying out further investigations into the matter. Jan 12, 2015

Indonesian divers retrieve AirAsia flight data recorder from sea

Indonesia, Jan 12 (ANI): Indonesian divers have on Monday retrieved the flight data recorder of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that crashed two weeks ago, a government official said. The head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, Bambang Soelistyo said teams were still looking for the second device, its cockpit voice recorder. Search teams are still scouring the sea to find the cockpit voice recorder. Flight QZ8501 vanished from radar screens over the northern Java Sea two weeks ago, less than half-way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 people on board. However, the search team said later said that they have not yet found the flight data recorders from crashed AirAsia Flight, as the hunt for debris and bodies of those on board continued in to its third week. Jan 12, 2015

Need for Hindu woman to produce 4 kids and laws in favour of 'ghar wapsi' for Hindu nation: Sadhvi P

Bhilwara, Jan 12 (ANI): BJP leader Sadhvi Prachi created controversy after she said that Hindu women should have at least four children to protect their religion. She said that there is a need for Hindu women to give birth to at least 4 kids and enforce laws in favour of 'ghar wapsi' to safeguard a Hindu nation. Prachi said that Hindus should give one of their children to the Army, one to the religious saints, one to the VHP and keep one child to themselves. She also said that the VHP group is doing a great work by performing 'ghar wapsi' programmes. Jan 12, 2015

Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai offloaded from Delhi-London flight, says it's a 'bullying tactic' b

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): Greenpeace India Senior Campaigner Priya Pillai was allegedly stopped at IGI Airport from boarding a flight to London. Pillai while speaking on the issue said that she was stopped at the immigration counter despite having a valid visa and her passport was stamped with "offloaded." She added that she was on her way to meet a group on tribal affairs and another on Indo-British relations and wasn supposed to talk on the Mahan coal block issue and its impact on tribals. She further stated that the whole process is a 'bullying tactic' by the government. Greenpeace India has written to MEA and Airport Authority of India about barring Pillai and has asked the government to explain the legal basis for the ban on her leaving the country. Jan 12, 2015

Over million join Unity March against 'Paris Attack'

England/ Belgium, Jan 12 (ANI): The covers of British newspapers on Monday were dominated by the unprecedented march that took place in Paris. On Sunday, world leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen linked arms to lead more than a million French citizens through the French capital to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks. President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Britain and the Palestinian territories among others, moved off from the central Place de la Republique ahead of a sea of French and other flags. At least 3.7 million people took part in silent marches throughout France, the biggest public demonstration ever registered in the country. A total of 1.2 million to 1.6 million marched in Paris and a further 2.5 million in other cities, the Interior Ministry said. Meanwhile, some 20 thousand Belgians also took part in march "against hatred" in central Brussels on Sunday in solidarity with victims of Paris attacks. Jan 12, 2015

AAP candidate wins a seat in Delhi cantonment polls, supporters throw money in air

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): AAP candidate Nand Kishor Beniwal won a seat in the Delhi Cantonment elections as counting of votes in underway. Supporters were seen throwing currency notes in the air as celebrations for the candidate’s victory were going on. Meanwhile, Beniwal said that he was happy at his victory and the party is expecting more seats for itself. On being asked about supporters throwing money, Beniwal said that he is unaware about who threw money and he has not supported any such celebration. Jan 12, 2015