PM Modi addresses Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, call on Diaspora to participate in growth of India part-

Gandhinagar, Jan 08 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday formally inaugurated the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which is being held in Gujarat to mark the centenary of India's, 'Sarva Sreshtha Pravasi Bharatiya', Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa to India. Modi called on the Diaspora to participate in growth of India. He also invited the people to use several opportunities waiting for them in India. He said that all the countries of the world, whether developed or poor, are looking at India with immense hope and optimism. He further went on to add that Indian community is admired all around the world not due to the money they possess but the values they live with. Invoking Gandhi, Modi said his philosophies and teachings continue to inspire the world when it comes to humane development and resolving various problems facing the world. Modi also boosted the confidence of the Indian Diaspora and said that the nation has lot to offer to the world and the need is to raise the level of confidence in ourselves. Jan 8, 2015

Police say no prisoners languishing in jails of Punjab after Punjab CM's letter demanding release

Chandigarh/Poonch, Jan 08 (ANI): Deputy General of Police in Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini, denied claims that there are prisoners languishing in the state jails despite having completed their sentences. Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal caused a flutter by seeking early release of 13 militants, including the assassins of former Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh. Badal's request comes after a resident of Punjab, Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, went on a hunger strike in November 2014 demanding the release of six convicts, including the assassins of Beant Singh. Saini said not even a single person is languishing in Punjab prisons beyond their term. Khalsa claims that keeping prisoners in prison beyond their period of conviction is a violation of human rights. Meanwhile, various Sikh organisations held a march in Poonch district of northern state of Jammu and Kashmir in support of Khalsa's hunger strike. President of District Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee of Poonch, Narinder Singh, said they are hopeful the memorandum will be forwarded to Prime Minister's Office (PMO) at the earliest. Jan 8, 2015

Voting begins in Sri Lanka's presidential election

Colombo, Jan 08 (ANI): Voting began on Thursday throughout Sri Lanka in a presidential election where incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing an unexpected challenge to his rule from his former Health minister Maithripala Sirisena. Police said no incidents have been reported from any parts of the country so far.The army is on alert to provide support if needed. Election monitors have reported less violence than in earlier elections in the run up to the polling day. Voters were also keen to see the poll pass off peacefully. Rajapaksa won around 58 percent of the vote in the last election, surfing a wave of popularity that sprang from the 2009 defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists who had waged a crippling war against the government for 26 years. Although his popularity has waned, Rajapaksa called the election two years early, confident that the perennially fractured opposition would fail to find a credible challenger. Jan 8, 2015

Sakshi Maharaj faces flak over '4 kids' remark, BJP distances itself

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): Politicos on Thursday slammed BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj who stirred a row by saying that all Hindu women must produce at least four children to protect religion during a conclave of Hindu priests at Shanidham temple in Meerut. The BJP has, however, distanced his party from Maharaj's controversial statement. Jan 8, 2015

Opposition leaders slam govt for turning into 'ordinance raj'

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): Opposition parties on Thursday slammed the Modi government for turning into Ordinance Raj'. Narendra Modi-led NDA government has issued eight ordinances in 225 days since assuming office on May 26 - an average one every 28 days. Jan 8, 2015

Sanjay Dutt leaves for Yerwada jail as his 14 day furlough ends

Mumbai, Jan 08 (ANI): Bollywood Actor Sanjay Dutt on Thursday left for Yerwada jail after his 14 day furlough ended. Dutt had filed for an extension of the furlough the clearance of which is still awaited, said that actor. Dutt was released from the Yerwada jail on 24 December, 2014 as he wanted to bring in the New Year with his family. His initial leave of two weeks ends today. Dutt is serving 42 months of his sentence that started in May 2013, for illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle before the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai. But, he has repeatedly been released on furlough and parole. The actor was out once to treat his knee, on another occasion to take care of his hospitalised wife and look after his twin toddlers, and now to celebrate New Year. Jan 8, 2015

Sushma Swaraj says India's diaspora an 'asset'

Gandhinagar, Jan 08 (ANI): Terming India's diaspora as an asset to the nation, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said the government is determined to work closely with the overseas Indian community to leverage each other's strength to mutual benefit. Swaraj was speaking at the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held in Gandhinagar at Mahatma Mandir complex to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa to India. The External Affairs Minister called the event being held in Gujarat an apt one to mark the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India. Jan 8, 2015

Sunanda Murder Case: Police say investigation on, No notice issued to anyone

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): In the latest update in Sunanda Pushkar’s murder case, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said on Thursday that investigation in the case is underway and all perspectives are being taken care of. He further assured that no notice has been issued to anyone including Shashi Tharoor regarding inquiry or investigation, adding that all investigational updates will be shared in public. Jan 8, 2015

Sukhbir Badal meets Rajnath Singh over release of prisoners

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the plea of SAD government demanding release of the prisoners who have completed their given sentence of punishment. Badal said that the Akali Dal government is not demanding anything wrong because some of the prisoners who have completed their sentence are very old or even blind which is why they should be released on humanitarian grounds. He added that the demands are being wrongly portrayed as supporting terrorists which is wrong. Badal also said that the Home Minister has assured legal action in the case. Jan 8, 2015

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu calls for positive use of science & technology

Mumbai, Jan 08 (ANI): Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu called upon the scientist community to invest heavily in research and development for the betterment of society. Addressing the concluding session of the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, Prabhu underlined the need for developing new technologies but cautioned against their ill-effects also. Science needs to play a pivotal role in the national mainstream, he added. The theme of the Congress was Science and Technology for Human Development. Delivering the valedictory address, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Naik said the controversy over claims of scientific advances in ancient India was unnecessary. Naik said ancient Indians had made great advances in astrology, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, architecture, physics and chemistry. India must restore the pride and prestige of science and its scientists, he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the five-day long 102nd Indian Science Congress on Saturday. Jan 8, 2015

Hindu Mahasabha to install Godses statue on Gandhis death anniversary, demands Gandhis image from

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): Hindu Mahasabha will be installing statues of Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, in four districts of Karnataka on the death anniversary of Gandhi. President of Karnataka unit of Hindu Mahasabha Swami Pranavananda Giri said that the organisation demands from the Central government to replace Mahatma Gandhi’s image from currency notes by images of patriotic leaders like Maharana Pratap or Godse. He added that the Congress government has named roads and paths after names of Tipu Sultan and other leaders, so it should also be done after Godse’s name as a mark of respect. Jan 8, 2015

Hunt goes on for Charlie Hebdo killers

French security forces launch a massive manhunt for two brothers suspected of killing 12 people in an Islamist attack on a satirical weekly in Paris. Duration:01:57 Jan 8, 2015

Flights, trains delayed as thick fog envelops New Delhi

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): Extreme cold weather conditions continue in New Delhi. Dense fog enveloped the national capital New Delhi on Thursday delaying trains and flights. In New Delhi, passengers were seen waiting at the airport for long hours as their flights were rescheduled due to heavy fog. Dense fog affected the train traffic as well. Railway stations swarmed with passengers waiting to board their trains. Due to extreme cold weather conditions, trains are running late from eight to 10, or even 20 hours. Jan 8, 2015

VHP magazine highlights - Love Jihad - issue using Kareena's morphed image, Reactions flow

New Delhi, Jan 08 (ANI): Reactions flowed on Thursday after Vishwa Hindu Parishad used a morphed image of actress Kareena Kapoor to highlight the issue of Love Jihad in its magazine. NCP leader Majid Memon, JD (U) leader Ali Anwar and CPI leader Atul Anjan condemned the issue and said that a person's private life should not be highlighted on an issue like Love Jihad without her consent. Chief of All India Imam Organisation, Umer Ahmed Ilyasi said that if anyone marries willingly it should not be considered as an issue of Love Jihad. Senior Advocate KTS Tulsi said that Kareena should move Court in this regard. Jan 8, 2015