President Mukherjee extends good wishes to Myanmar on 67th Independence Day.

New Delhi, Jan 04 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday extended his good wishes to Myanmar on the country's 67th Independence Day. In his message to the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U. Thein Sein, the President said, "On behalf of the Government and the people of India and on my own behalf, I extend to you warm greetings and felicitations on the occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. India and Myanmar share enduring ties of culture, religion, language and ethnicity that have served as bedrock of our close and friendly relations. Our joint efforts, in the last few years, have led to substantial broadening and deepening of our bilateral relations. We look forward to continue working with you and your government to further strengthen our multifaceted cooperation. Please accept, Excellency, my best wishes for your personal well-being as well as for the happiness and continued prosperity of the friendly people of Myanmar," he added. Jan 4, 2015

Traditional martial arts competition in Thiruvananthapuram sees more female participation

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 04 (ANI): More than 350 students, mostly girls, participated in the ongoing National Championship of ‘Kalaripayattu’ (traditional Indian form of martial arts) in Thiruvananthapuram. This is the 56th edition of the championship which will culminate on Sunday. Kalaripayattu is the oldest form of fighting which originated in Kerala. It is the oldest fighting system in existence which includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods. Secretary General of Indian Kalaripayattu Federation, Poonthura Soman, appreciated the increased female participation. In ancient days, both men and women practiced this form of art to stay fit and healthy. It also helps one to increase their concentration level. Many traditional dance schools incorporate Kalaripayattu as part of their exercise regimen as it makes person’s body very flexible. Jan 4, 2015

A decade of aid cash brings little cheer for Afghan orphans

International aid was meant to transform Afghanistan's welfare standards, but orphanages in Kabul reveal that the most vulnerable children, many left parentless by war, have seen little benefit from the billions of dollars spent. Duration: 02:44 Jan 4, 2015

BJP and SP call for action against Mayawati after allegations of selling party tickets surface

New Delhi/ Lucknow, Jan 04 (ANI): BJP and SP on Sunday called for action against BSP Chief Mayawati after expelled leader Jugal Kishore alleged that party is selling tickets to candidates. BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that this is not the first time that such allegations have surfaced against Mayawati. Pathak said that there is no reason not to believe Jugal Kishore's allegations. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Gaurav Bhatia said that such 'serious charges' against BSP and Mayawati have not come up for the first time and that this makes it more credible. Bhatia also said that the Election Commission must hear all leaders who've made such charges and take action against the BSP. Jan 4, 2015

Jugal Kishore alleges that BSP sells MP ticket for crores

Lakhimpur Kheri, Jan 04 (ANI): Former BSP leader Jugal Kishore on Sunday alleged that the party is selling MP tickets for crores. Kishore said that he joined BSP for its struggle and ideology and that he wanted to be a part of the party till the end. He further added that the BSP changed its pattern and started taking money for party seats. He alleged that the BSP takes 50 thousand rupees for good seat and one to two crores for general candidates. Kishore further said that he had warned Mayawati against such activities which was hampering the party but instead the party chief expelled him. Jan 4, 2015

Residents along Indo-Pak Border seek permanent solution to recurrent ceasefire violations

Samba, Jan 04 (ANI): Villagers in Samba district along the defacto Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir seek a permanent solution to the recurrent ceasefire violations. It is a day of calm on Sunday after repeated violations in the last few days which forced the villagers to migrate to safer shelter. Villagers living along the international border are agitated with Pakistan for violating the ceasefire truce time and again. In a fresh assault, Pakistani Rangers targeted several Indian paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) posts in Ramgarh town of Jammu district early on Saturday. Barota camp in Ramgarh sector also came under heavy mortar firing. The villages bear a deserted look with only a few people gathering in groups to take a stock of the situation. They seek an end to the repeated ceasefire violations. Jan 4, 2015

Tamil group stage protest against Salman Khan for supporting Sri Lankan President

Mumbai, Jan 04 (ANI): A Tamil group on Sunday protested against Bollywood Actor Salman Khan outside his residence in Mumbai after the actor agreed to campaign for Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for presidential polls in the country. The protesters of regional Naam Tamilar Katchi party shouted slogans against Khan and Rajapaksa. Khan, along with Sri Lankan-born Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, recently visited Sri Lanka to campaign for Rajapaksa on the invitation by latter's son Namal Rajapaksa. A protester, Mani Gandam, accused Rajapaksa for killing over thousands of Tamilians in the Sri Lanka war and demanded Khan's apology to the public. Some of the protesters were detained and taken to the police station. Jan 4, 2015

Army intensifies operation to hunt down tribal guerillas in Assam

Kokrajhar, Jan 04 (ANI): Combing operations against the tribal militant group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) are going on in full swing along India-Bhutan border in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of Assam. Army, police and paramilitary forces under the unified command structure are carrying out joint operations in the strong hold areas of tribal guerillas in the forest terrain. The massive patrolling along the India-Bhutan border areas has been intensified while the army is searching out militants hidden deep inside the Ripu and Chirang reserve forests in Kokrajhar and Aie-Valley division in Chirang district. The border in the two districts has also been sealed by the security forces as NDFB militants could sneak through border areas. India has sought help from Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh in an offensive against the militant group in Assam. Jan 4, 2015

AAP blames BJP for aggressive politics after clash between workers

New Delhi, Jan 04 (ANI): AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday blamed the ruling BJP government for resorting to aggressive politics after clash between workers of AAP and BJP. Kejriwal said that his party is a peaceful party and BJP always attacks AAP workers in the wake of fear of failure. AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said that BJP had previously also resorted to violence prior to Lok Sabha polls as it was afraid of failure. He further requested the Central government to carry out investigation considering the video footage of the clash. Jan 4, 2015

Muslims across India celebrate Prophet Muhammad's birthday with fervour

Kolkata/ Lucknow/ Aurangabad, Jan 04 (ANI): Muslim community across India celebrated Mawlid or Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, with great fervour on Sunday. Muslims took out processions to mark the occasion, celebrated as the day of the birth of Muhammad, Islam's Prophet. Homes, mosques, shrines and seminaries are decked with flags, buntings and banners to welcome the day, considered to be among the most blessed in the Islamic calendar. In Lucknow city, residents thronged the streets to celebrate the festival. Tableaux and processions were the highlights of the occasion. Religious songs played on loudspeakers as the city's Muslims paid obeisance to their Prophet. Jan 4, 2015

Cold wave, fog lead to poor visibility across northern India

Shimla/ Srinagar/ Ludhiana/ Varanasi, Jan 04 (ANI): Northern states of India continued to reel under extreme cold weather conditions on Sunday, leading to fog and poor visibility. People who work outdoors were seen taking warmth from road side bonfire and drinking tea from tea vendor stalls to stay warm. The poor visibility has also disrupted road, rail and air traffic across India. As trains ran behind scheduled time due to fog, passengers in Varanasi complained of no information on trains schedules. The cold wave has added to the troubles of daily wage labourers like auto-rickshaw drivers, rickshaw pullers and homeless people as they have no alternative but to bear the chill to earn their living. Meanwhile, in Srinagar tourists were seen enjoying heavy snowfall. Jan 4, 2015