J and K govt formation: Mehbooba Mufti to meet Governor, NPP calls for fresh polls

New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir's National Panthers Party Chief Bhim Singh said on Wednesday that various political parties are meeting the Governor over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir but as no single party has got majority so a proper alliance needs to be decided upon. He also called for fresh polls by dismissing the recent ones in order to receive clear majority to a single party. PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti is scheduled to meet the Governor over government formation today. Dec 31, 2014

Bangladesh Islamist politician ATM Azharul Islam sentenced to death for war crimes

Dhaka, Dec 31 (ANI): A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced an Islamist party leader A.T.M. Azharul Islam to death after convicting him of atrocities committed during a 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Azharul Islam, 62, assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was found guilty of five out of six charges including the murder of hundreds of minority Hindus, rape, abduction and torture, prosecutors said. Prosecutor, International Crime Tribunal, Zead-al-Malim, said that of the six charges, the convict has been awarded death sentence based on three charges. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 opened an inquiry into war crimes committed during the nine-month war. The tribunals have angered Islamists who call them a politically motivated attempt by Hasina to persecute the leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami, a key part of the opposition coalition. Meanwhile, the court also observed that the war heroines should be respected and their feat should be covered in educational curriculum of the nation. Dec 31, 2014

PM Modi condoles families of AirAsia Flight QZ8501

New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condoled the families of those who lost their lives in AirAsia Flight QZ8501 after it presumably crashed of the Indonesian coast. The Prime Minister took to twitter to express his grief over the tragedy. "Our thoughts are with the families of those on Flight QZ8501 . We offer our condolences and stand firmly with them in this hour of grief," he posted. The Indonesia AirAsia plane, with 162 people on board, disappeared after its pilot failed to get permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday. According to reports, Indonesian officials have confirmed that they have found debris from the plane in Java Sea. Recovery teams are launching a massive search for victims of the crash and the plane's crucial data recorders. The reason for the crash still remains unclear. Dec 31, 2014

J&K Govt Formation: Mehbooba Mufti to Meet Governor Vohra

Srinagar, Dec 31 (ANI): Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti is likely to meet Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra today to discuss government-formation in the state following a hung verdict in the recently concluded assembly polls. Vohra had on Friday invited Mehbooba and BJP state unit president Jugal Kishore Sharma for separate meetings to hold discussion on formation of government in the state. Meanwhile, protest erupted in Srinagar on Tuesday against the PDP over its prospect of forming a coalition government with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A civil society group, Kashmir Citizen Forum, demonstrated in Srinagar saying BJP’s policies we.re pro RSS and anti-Kashmir. Dec 31, 2014

National Investigation Agency to assist Bangalore police in bomb blast case

Bengaluru, Dec 31 (ANI): National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Security Guard (NSG) visited the blast site in India’s IT hub of Bengaluru and said every sort of assistance would be provided in probing the bomb blast, which killed one woman and wounded three others. The crude bomb exploded outside a busy restaurant on Sunday in the centre of Bengaluru packed with evening crowds, prompting a security alert in other cities. The improvised explosive device had been placed between two flower-pots near the Coconut Grove restaurant. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the blast. Meanwhile, Bengaluru Police Commissioner M. N. Reddi asked people not to worry as security was tightened. According to reports, the City police will use, drone aerial cameras, for the first time, to monitor New Year celebrations on MG Road and Brigade Road in the city. Dec 31, 2014

Dhoni's retirement from test cricket garners mixed response

Pune/ Ranchi/ New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): The third test between Australia and India in Melbourne failed to deliver a nail-biting finish on Tuesday but ended with a draw tinged with controversy and the shock retirement of long-serving India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni from test cricket. The result secured Australia a 2-0 series victory with a match in reserve, but their triumph was quickly overtaken by the bombshell that Dhoni had pulled the pin on his 90-test career to concentrate on the shorter formats of the game. The statement issued by BCCI said, 'One of India's greatest Test Captains under whose leadership India became the Number 1 team in the Test Rankings MS Dhoni, has decided to retire from Test Cricket citing the strain of playing all formats of Cricket. Dhoni's first coach, Chanchal Bhattacharyya, said that it was the right decision taken at the right time. Former Indian cricketer Chandu Borde also backed Dhoni's decision. However, another former cricketer Anshuman Gaekwad said Dhoni could have left his captaincy and played. Another former cricketer Kirti Azad said the team would have gained from Dhoni's experience. Dec 31, 2014

Poor infrastructure cripples life in PoK

Muzaffarabad, PoK, December 30, 2014:- Roads in PoK in a bad shape, Pakistan directly responsible for the poor infrastructure, people of Trarkhal waiting for concrete road for last 20 years. This road in Trarkhal is full of potholes, and unfit for travel and transportation. Its dilapidated condition speaks volume about the pathetic state of affairs here. While on papers this road is under construction for the past 20 years, and under constant repair and maintenance, drawing public funds for its annual upkeep without serving its true purpose as a highway. Traveling here continues to remain a bumpy ride. It is a result of ignorance and apathy of officials that infrastructure is so poor. Traditionally this was a trade route and earlier historically as well. Now it's like a 'C' grade city with poor infrastructure, kids here have never seen a concrete road, and during rains this place turn into a dirty well, whereas in winters its snow everywhere. Ultimately, living in this sham of democracy, the common people bear the brunt of this apathy. Dec 31, 2014

Northeast region attracts investment in hospitality sector

Guwahati, Dec 31 (ANI): Guwahati, known as the gateway to Northeast, has become a growing hub for trade and commerce activity. In the last few years, the city has witnessed a mushrooming of shopping malls, showrooms, apartment complexes and hotels. The changing face of the city coupled with an expanding tourism sector is attracting many investors. Recently, the first 5-star hotel in the region, Radisson Blu, was officially inaugurated. The hotel group is prospecting to open hotels in the state capitals of Northeastern states. With a booming economy and a steadily growing tourism sector, the hotel industry will only expand further. Three more 5-star category hotels are coming up in Guwahati city. The growth of hospitality sector has also opened new job avenues for the youth in the region. Dec 31, 2014

Hill resort of Shimla gears up for tourist rush

Shimla/Manali, Dec 31 (ANI): Authorities in Shimla have stepped up security arrangements in view of an unprecedented rush of revellers for the New Year celebrations. People have been thronging several tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, but capital Shimla has recorded the maximum footfall. Deputy Commissioner of Shimla district administration, Dinesh Malhotra, said additional 200 police and home guards have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident. The snow-bound region is the favourite destination of the tourists from the plains of northern India. Hoteliers are expecting a good business this season after authorities lifted travel advisories following improvement in weather. The state tourism department is organizing an annual winter carnival in the first week of next year in a bid to attract tourists. Every year, the state witnesses a huge rush of tourists during the year-end as people from across India visit the hill resort in anticipation of snowfall. Dec 31, 2014