Cold wave persists in northern states of India

New Delhi/Kanpur, Dec 31 (ANI): North India continued to reel under cold wave on Wednesday (December 31) with dense fog throwing normal life out of gear. Night temperatures went up marginally in several places and people sat around bonfire to stay warm in the inclement weather conditions. The poor visibility also disrupted road, rail and air traffic. As trains ran behind scheduled time due to fog, passengers slept at railway stations in New Delhi. Passengers have also been complaining on trains running late. The cold wave has added to the troubles of daily wage labourers like autorickshaw drivers, rickshaw pullers and homeless people as they have no alternative but to bear the chill to earn their living. Mercury dipped further because of snowfall in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Dec 31, 2014

Beach bike racing draws crowd in Kochi

Kochi, Dec 31 (ANI): Huge crowd gathered at Fort Kochi Beach in Kerala to watch bikers race on sand. Bikers from Kerala and neighbouring states participated in the race which was part of the ongoing Cochin Carnival 2014. Professional and amateur bikers chased down each other to win the 30th edition of the race. The crowd enjoyed the race and cheered whenever a biker passed by. Each participant is required to have a valid license to take part. Special tyres with huge blocks of rubber are installed in a bike for better grip and to avoid skidding during the race. The bikers practice for months on the beach to participate in this event. Trainers are also available but in less numbers. Dec 31, 2014

Kejriwal likens his 49-day govt to Ram Rajya, Congress condemns

New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal has likened his 49 days of government to ‘Ram Rajya’, opening doors for condemnation from the Congress party. Congress leaders Shiela Dikshit, PC Chacko, JP Aggarwal and Barkha Shukla Singh condemned Kejriwal’s statement saying that he ran away from his responsibilities leaving the capital in a poor condition. Dec 31, 2014

Security forces destroy illegal marijuana cultivation in Tripura

Tripura, Dec 31 (ANI): In a joint operation carried out by security forces and the administration, thousands of marijuana plants grown illegally in hundreds of acres in remote areas of Tripura were destroyed. Acting on a tip-off, paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF), state police, excise department and state administration found illegal marijuana cultivation across the hillocks in Jarulbachi village. The total amount of Bangladesh bound destroyed marijuana is worth more than rupees 10 million and the operation is still continuing. According to officials, there are rackets involved in illegal cultivation of cannabis particularly in the bordering area where habitation is less and presence of administration very scanty. Usually the poor border population is involved in the illegal cultivation and the final harvest is smuggled to neighbouring Bangladesh from where it goes to Middle East market as it provides hefty returns. Dec 31, 2014

Politicos react on Mamata's remarks over opposing land ordinance

New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that she won't allow the implementation of the land ordinance that the union cabinet has approved on Monday. Politicos reacted on her remarks on the recently passed land ordinance act. The BJP termed the TMC chief's stand as 'against the interest' of her state. Dec 31, 2014

JandK's mandate decisive and divisive, no hurry in forming govt: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu, Dec 31 (ANI): PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday met the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, NN Vohra to discuss government formation in the state. Mufti said that the mandate given by the people of JandK was both decisive and divisive and it could be a great opportunity for both Congress and NDA. She added that there was no hurry in forming government in JandK. Dec 31, 2014

Now, Sikh 'ghar wapsi' reports from Punjab raises eyebrows

New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): Reactions poured in as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate, Dharma Jagran Manch (DJM), on Tuesday reconverted 40 people, including woman and children, from Christianity to Sikhism. Politicos demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter. Dec 31, 2014