Asaduddin Owaisi says all born Muslims and should embrace the religion, Politicos condemn

New Delhi, Jan 05 (ANI): Political leaders on Monday condemned Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi after he said that Islam is the 'real home' of all religions in the world and hence the real 'home coming' will be when people of other religions embrace it. Owaisi had said that all are born as Muslim and are later converted to other religions. NCP leader Majid Memon said that Owaisi is making such statements for vote bank and should refrain from the same. JD (U) leader Ali Anwar said that such statements by 'communal forces' harm the nation as a whole. CPI leader Atul Anjan said that people who believe in democracy and such ideologies should not pay heed to communal remarks by Owaisi and others. Jan 5, 2015

Mangroves: Karachi's natural defence under threat

Thick mangroves have long protected Karachi from battering by the Arabian Sea, but pollution, badly managed irrigation and years of illegal logging have left this natural barrier in a parlous state. Duration: 02:36 Jan 5, 2015

Cold wave sweeps northern India, dense fog delays trains

New Delhi/Kanpur, Jan 5 (ANI): As cold wave continues to lash northern India, train traffic remained disrupted in the region on Monday due to thick blanket of fog. As night temperature plunged further at several places in the region, people who work outdoors were seen seeking warmth from bonfires and hot tea from roadside stalls. In the national capital, New Delhi, passengers at the railway stations complained of long delays in the scheduled timings of trains. Dense fog affected the train traffic in northern Kanpur city as well, where light rains added to the woes of the passengers. The sudden dip in temperatures is said to have been caused by snowfall in upper regions of Himalayas and has adversely impacted the upper half of the country. Jan 5, 2015

Madhu Kinnar becomes first eunuch to win mayor poll

Chhattisgarh, Jan 5 (ANI): A eunuch, who earned a living by singing in Howrah-Mumbai trains scripted history by winning civic polls in Chhattisgarh, defeating nearest rival from ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Independent candidate Madhu won the mayor election of the Raigarh Municipal Corporation by 4,537 votes against BJP's Mahaveer Guruji. Madhu, 35, belonging to Dalit community, is the first transgender person to get elected as mayor in the state. After winning, Madhu said people had shown faith in her and she will put best efforts to accomplish their dreams. Hundreds of thousands of transgenders in India face discrimination, abuse and often forced into prostitution. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh wished the winning candidates. Jan 5, 2015

Bangladesh police besiege Khaleda Zia ahead of first anniversary of elections

Dhaka, Jan 5 (ANI): Bangladesh is today marking the first anniversary of the controversial 2014 prime ministerial elections that was boycotted by the BNP-led coalition. Earlier on Sunday, police besieged former Bangladesh Prime Minister and chief of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, at her office, amid fears of violence as the opposition party planned rallies across the country. The BNP and its allies had boycotted the election that was held in January 05, 2014 which was marred by deadly unrest. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held to her stance that a fresh poll can be called only if her rivals halt violence. The BNP denounced Hasina's scrapping of the practice of having a caretaker government oversee elections. On Sunday, the BNP party workers held a protest in front of the party office to know the reason as to why the police besieged the party chief. Jan 5, 2015

Amit Shah to meet party leaders in J-K over govt. formation

New Delhi, Jan 5 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah will be meeting Jammu and Kashmir party leaders on Monday to discuss government formation in the state. According to reports, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav will meet the members one on one and take their feedback. Earlier, the BJP had stated that any attempt to form a government in the Jammu and Kashmir without its inclusion would be a travesty of the mandate given by the people of the state. The J-K elections threw up a hung verdict, with the PDP emerging as the single-largest party in with 28 seats. The BJP won 25 seats, with the National Conference and Congress winning 15 and 12 seats respectively. Jan 5, 2015

Will explore possibility of recommending Saina Nehwal's name for Padma Bhushan: Sarbananda Sonowal

New Delhi, Jan 05 (ANI): Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that he would examine possibility of recommending ace shuttler Saina Nehwal's name for third highest civilian award after the snub. The Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended Nehwal's name in August last year to the sports ministry for conferring her with Padma Bhushan. But, the ministry instead sent two-time Olympic medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar's name to the panel. Nehwal on Saturday said she was hurt as her name was not further recommended to a panel for the award. He also praised Nehwal as one of the great players of the country. Jan 5, 2015

Evidence suggests 'Pak boat' was not smuggler's vessel but had suspected terrorist link: Manohar Par

New Delhi, Jan 05 (ANI): Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that the men on board the Pakistani boat which blew itself up off Gujarat coast on New Year's eve were suspected to be terrorists. Parrikar said that the evidence till now suggest that the boat was not smuggler's vessel but had suspected terror link. Rejecting the smuggling angle to the incident, he said that the route taken by the boat was not the route taken by smugglers. The defence minister said that the boat was under surveillance for 12 hours and the act that it was stationed at one position does not indicate smuggling. Secondly, he also stated that smugglers won't stay in touch with Pakistani maritime authorities and would not commit suicide. He also commended the Coast Guard, saying they could not have done any better. Jan 5, 2015