India greets 2015 with special prayers

Varanasi /Amritsar / Visakhapatnam / Ujjain, Jan 01 (ANI): People on Thursday kick started the New Year celebrations by visiting shrines to offer prayers. Long queues of faithful could be seen outside major Hindu and Sikh shrines across India. The faithful believe visits to temples on the New Year day bring prosperity, good health and peace in the family. The northern temple town of Varanasi, nestled on the banks of the holy river Ganga, woke up to holy chants by priests. Foreign tourists, who regularly visit this temple town for solace, were spellbound by the elaborate rituals. In Amritsar, devotees were seen thronging the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, since early morning. Many took a holy dip before taking part in the prayers. Jan 1, 2015

Dalai Lama greets people on New Year

Surat, Jan 01 (ANI): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday (January 01) called upon people to utilise their day for something new as he extended New Year greetings. The Dalai Lama fled to India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. He has lived in India since then. A government of exiled Tibetans and tens of thousands of refugees are also based in Dharamsala. Jan 1, 2015

Rajnath Singh launches women safety mobile app in New Delhi

New Delhi, Jan 01 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched a mobile-phone based application for safety of women in New Delhi on Thursday (January 01), and also distributed pepper sprays to group of women. The app 'Himmat' was launched in collaboration with the Delhi police. Singh congratulated the Delhi police for running several self-defence classes for women and motivated them to become a role model for the police forces across the country. He also highlighted the fact that there is a need to make the force technologically empowered. Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi and Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung were also present at the event. Jan 1, 2015

Kashmir's famed Dal lake freezes as temperature dips

Srinagar, Jan 01 (ANI): Kashmir continues to reel under extreme weather conditions leading to freezing of several water bodies, including the famed Dal Lake. The dip in temperatures is due to snowfall in the Himalayas and has adversely impacted the upper half of the country. The cold wave has also forced people to stay indoors. People in Srinagar city, who work outdoors, were seen sitting around bonfire to fight the chill on Thursday (January 01). Local boatmen also found it difficult to row their boats through the frozen Dal Lake. The Valley is witnessing the 40-day harshest winter period, known as Chillai-Kalan, which began on December 21. But the state has not received much snowfall as compared to last year even though temperatures continue to remain below freezing point in the valley. Locals say the delay in snowfall has led to spread of diseases.Located in the tropics, most of India witnesses a very hot summer and a largely temperate winter. Jan 1, 2015

N. Korea's Kim says open to 'highest-level' talks with South

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un proposes the "highest-level" talks with South Korea, opening the way to a historic summit as his communist country battles to fend off international prosecution over its dismal human rights record. Duration: 00:33 Jan 1, 2015

BSF pays homage to martyr Constable Shri Ram Gawaria

Jammu, Jan 1 (ANI): The BSF on Thursday paid homage to martyr constable Shri Ram Gawaria who died after Pakistan violated ceasefire on Wednesday. Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire again by resorting to overnight firing on 15 border outposts in the Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving one civilian injured on Thursday. Inspector General (IG) BSF, Jammu Frontier Rakesh Sharma said that India would launch a strong protest against Pakistan for breaking the rules of International Border. Jan 1, 2015

PM Modi meets family of Delhi gang rape victim

New Delhi, Jan 01 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi met family of Delhi gang rape victim, who urged him to take stringent steps for women safety in the country. On December 29, India observed second death anniversary of a 23-year-old girl who was gang raped in New Delhi. The case had triggered nationwide protest. The brutality of crime triggered days of nationwide protests and raised questions about the place of women in the world's largest democracy. Jan 1, 2015

Pakistan targets 15 Indian outposts in Samba sector, one civilian injured

Samba, Jan 1 (ANI): Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire again by resorting to overnight firing on 15 border outposts in the Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving one civilian injured on Thursday. The firing is believed to have started around midnight. The latest ceasefire violation comes after Islamabad reportedly summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner to that country last evening to register its protest over the alleged killing of four Pakistani Rangers by the Border Security Force (BSF) in the border areas of the Samba Sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier on Wednesday there were reports of fresh ceasefire violations from Pakistani troops in the same area which killed one BSF jawan- Constable Sri Ram and another jawan suffered minor injury, besides killing the four Pakistani Rangers in the exchange of firing. Jan 1, 2015

Drones monitor revellers in Bengaluru after Sunday's blast

Bengaluru, Jan 1 (ANI): In an unprecedented security measure, cameras mounted on drones kept an eye on revellers in Bengaluru on the New Year's Eve.Police said extra security measures were necessitated in the wake of Sunday's low-intensity blast in the city which left one woman dead. The remote controlled drones could capture visuals from a height of 50 to 60 metres which were monitored live by the police. These drones were seen on M G Road, Brigade Road, Lavelle Road and Church Street areas, frequented by revellers. Two policemen were deployed on each of the ten watch towers in these areas. The policemen were equipped with night vision binoculars and the bomb disposal squad were also on guard. Local police was out in full force to patrol streets. Police also carried out anti-sabotage checks at important busy installations. Jan 1, 2015

Awami League urges Bangladeshis to defy strike by Jamaat-e-Islami over death to war criminal

Dhaka, Jan 01 (ANI): Hundreds of supporters of Bangladesh's ruling Awami League poured into streets in Dhaka to defy two-day strike called by Islamist party to protest death sentence to its leader by war crimes tribunal. A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced ATM. Azharul Islam, assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party to death on December 30 after convicting him of atrocities committed during a 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. The strike will continue till Thursday. Jan 1, 2015

Pak will come to right path one day: Rajnath

New Delhi, Jan 01 (ANI): Reacting to reports of fresh ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that diplomats of both the nations are holding regular talks over the issue and added that he was sure that the country would come to the right path one day. Earlier in the day, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire again by resorting to overnight firing on 15 border outposts in the Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving one civilian injured on Thursday. The firing is believed to have started around midnight. Jan 1, 2015

PM Modi wishes citizens on New Year

New Delhi, Jan 01 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished citizens of the country on New Year and expressed the hope that the year 2015 brings immense happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone's lives. "Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2015! May this year bring immense happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone's lives," he tweeted. The New Year was ushered across the world over with much gusto, with people in India too joining the bandwagon celebrating with fireworks and rejoicing with other fun filled activities. Jan 1, 2015