PM Modi holds joint PC with President Putin, says Russia India's foremost defence partner through de

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): While addressing a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Russia will remain India's most important defence partner. Modi said that it was a great pleasure for him to host President Putin in New Delhi. Modi was speaking after talks with President Vladimir Putin aimed at revitalising ties that have focused on the import of defence equipment. It was the first annual summit meeting between Putin and Modi. The two leaders had met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil in July and during the G-20 summit in Australia last month. PM Modi also said that the bond between the people of Russia and India is very strong and that the two nations have stood by each other through thick and thin. Dec 11, 2014

India and Russia sign 16 MoUs to bolster ties

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two nations signed a total of 16 agreements. The Memorandum of Understanding were signed in varied fields like Petrol and Gas, Military training exchange, Nuclear energy, health research and others. The two leaders signed the pact to further bolster ties between two nations at Hyderabad House in the national capital and they spelt out their vision for cooperation in key areas including defence and nuclear. Earlier, Putin held detailed talks with Modi both in restricted and delegation level formats. He is also scheduled to call on President Pranab Mukherjee who will hold a banquet for him. Dec 11, 2014

Protest in Srinagar over acid attack on student

Srinagar, Dec 11 (ANI): Students of the Law College staged a protest on Thursday after two unidentified assailants attacked their peer with acid. According to reports, the victim has been admitted to the hospital with burn injuries. The attackers were reportedly travelling in a car and fled the scene after throwing acid on the girl. Further details are awaited. Dec 11, 2014

Ravi Shankar Prasad pitches for open data

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Communications and Information Technology Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Thursday, advocated the need for open data terming it as the most crucial tool to realise the power of information. Prasad was speaking at the National Conference on Open Data and Open API (Application Programming Interfaces) in New Delhi. Open data is the idea that advocates free availability of certain kinds of data which can be easily accessed by all irrespective of any copyright or patent restrictions. Prasad also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of digital India will also empower the rural India. Prasad further said that if Census data could also be made public, it could unleash better business prospects for the manufacturers. Dec 11, 2014

Bailiffs clear Hong Kong protest site

Bailiffs dismantle barricades at Hong Kong's main protest site after more than two months of pro-democracy rallies that demonstrators say have redefined the city's vexed relationship with Beijing. Duration: 00:52 Dec 11, 2014

Adityanath says nothing wrong in calling Taj Mahal a part of ancient temple

Gorakhpur, Dec 11 (ANI): BJP leader Yogi Adityanath on Thursday refused to budge from his statement on Taj Mahal and said that there is nothing wrong in claiming that Taj Mahal was earlier a part of the ancient Tejo Mahalaya temple. He added that if Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan can claim that Taj Mahal belongs to Waqf Board property, then it can be claimed that Taj Mahal was a part of a Shiv Temple. Dec 11, 2014

Punjab and Haryana HC defers hearing on Ashutosh Maharaj funeral case to Monday

Chandigarh, Dec 11 (ANI): Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday deferred the case of funeral of Ashutosh Maharaj to Monday and said that further hearing in the case will take place then only. The Punjab government had moved the High Court against the order to cremate Ashutosh Maharaj, who has been in a freezer since January. The state has pleaded that the issue of cremation of Ashutosh Maharaj is "an emotional and contentious issue" that can lead to law and order problem in the region. There are three appeals in the case and the court decided to hear all on first priority on Monday. Dec 11, 2014

Conversion row: Adityanath says will go to Aligarh on Christmas

Gorakhpur, Dec 11 (ANI): Despite a massive outrage over the alleged conversion of nearly 200 Muslims into Hinduism in Uttar Pradesh's Agra district earlier this week, reportedly Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have planned a "shuddhi" (re-conversion) ceremony in Aligarh on December 25. While the BJP has denied its role in the Agra conversions, the party's leader Yogi Adityanath has said that he will go to Aligarh on December 25 for what the right-wing groups call a 'Purkhon ki ghar vapsi' (Coming home of the ancestors) ceremony. Dec 11, 2014

Badaun case: CBI files closure report

Badaun, Dec 11 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday submitted the closure report in the death case of two teenaged girls who were found hanging from a mango tree in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh. According the reports, CBI in its report has concluded that they had committed suicide after the elder one's affair with local boy got busted. Meanwhile, the court gave the victims' family time till January 6 to register their objection over the closure report. Dec 11, 2014

Subramaniam Swamy expresses confidence in bringing settlement on Babri Masjid issue, Politicos react

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Politicos reacted on Thursday after BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy expressed confidence that a negotiated settlement would come through on the long drawn issue of Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue. NCP leader Majid Memon said that Subramanian Swamy is not the spokesperson of Muslim and hence his statement has no meaning. JD (U) leader Ali Anwar said that the issue is the court and hence no one should make such statements on this issue. JD (U) leader KC Tyagi expressed similar sentiments. Dec 11, 2014

War of words continue over Agra mass religious conversions

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Alleging that the BJP and the RSS are conspiring against the country on the basis of religion, leaders of rival political parties on Thursday said that they will continue to oppose the issue of 'forced' conversion inside and outside parliament. While the BJP defended itself, the opposition leaders said that the BJP should stop pursuing politics on the basis of religion. Dec 11, 2014

Opposition slams BJP after Yogi Adityanath claims Taj Mahal was built on Shiv temple

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Opposition leaders slammed BJP on Thursday after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Yogi Adityanath claimed that Taj Mahal was built on a Shiv temple. Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that one who has no knowledge about history should not give such a statement. NCP leader Majid Memon said that such issues should not be given importance. NCP leader Tariq Anwar said that BJP leaders always make statements to spread communalism in the country. JD (U) leader KC Tyagi expressed similar sentiments. Dec 11, 2014

Vladimir Putin meets Modi at Hyderabad House

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, with an aim to take the bilateral relations between both countries to 'newer heights'. Modi and Putin posed for the customary photograph before beginning talks on the various deals that are set to be signed between the two countries. In his talks with PM Modi, both in restricted and delegation level formats, Putin is likely to seek deeper economic engagement with "time-tested" ally India to try to minimize impact of sanctions against Russia by the US and its Western allies over the Ukraine issue. It will be the first annual summit meeting between Putin and PM Modi. Dec 11, 2014

Defence Minister pays homage to martyrs in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 11 (ANI): Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday paid tributes to soldiers who were killed in a militant attack in Srinagar. Parrikar, accompanied by Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, visited Badami Bagh cantonment in the city. This was his first visit to the state after taking charge of the defence ministry. Militants had sneaked into an Indian military camp in Kashmir on December 05, killing 11 soldiers and police, the worst losses for security forces in six years in the Himalayan territory claimed by Pakistan. The attack was followed by a gun battle in the state capital, Srinagar, and a grenade blast in south Kashmir. Dec 11, 2014

Govt approves Rs 5 lakh compensation for 1984 riot victims' kin

New Delhi, Dec 11 (ANI): The Government has approved a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each to the kin of victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet at a meeting led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to reports, the amount is an additional compensation which will be given to the families of the riot victims apart from what they have so far received from the government and other agencies. Over 3,000 victims of the 1984 violence, triggered by the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, are likely to benefit from the government's announcement. Politicos gave their reactions on the matter. Dec 11, 2014