PM Modi applauds Singer Kailash Kher for participating in 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' in Varanasi

Varanasi, Dec 23 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded Singer Kailash Kher as he wielded broom in Varanasi as part of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. Modi tweeted saying,"Bravo @kailashkher!I congratulate you for joining Swachh Bharat Mission in Varanasi. Admirable effort." Kher swept banks of River Ganges in Varanasi. Modi represents the 3,000-year-old riverside city of Varanasi and has taken personal responsibility for restoring Maa Ganga, or "Mother Ganges". Kher, best known for his soulful melodies and songs that have graced many a Bollywood chartbuster in the recent years, wielded a broom as part of cleanliness drive and urged others to join the mission. Kher also sang a song composed especially for keeping the river clean. Dec 23, 2014

Police arrest two persons with heroin worth billions of rupees in J and K

Poonch, Dec 23 (ANI): Police arrested two persons with contraband substance heroin worth billion of rupees in Jammu and Kashmir. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) JS Johar said the drugs were recovered from a vehicle in Poonch district of the state. The police said further investigation is in progress to trace others involved in the smuggling. India-Pakistan porous border makes it easy for smugglers to carry out lucrative trade. Dec 23, 2014

Shiv Sena seek ban on Aamir Khan's 'PK', says it hurts Hindu sentiments

Lucknow/ Ludhiana, Dec 23 (ANI): Shiv Sena held a protest to demand ban for Bollywood actor Aamir Khan's newly released film 'PK', saying it hurts the sentiments of Hindu community by mocking gods. A member of Shiv Sena, Rajeev Tandon while protesting in Ludhiana city of Punjab, said Hindu organisations want the movie to be banned from playing in theatres. Bollywood filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani's 'PK', the most anticipated Bollywood film of the year, presents latest social cause - religion and the commercialisation of it. The movie also references the Hindu-Muslim divide, conversions, and rich godmen. Meanwhile, lawyer Ranjana Agnihotri who also filed public interest litigation (PIL) against the film, said the filmmakers have hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community. Dec 23, 2014

Counting of votes for J and K and Jharkhand assembly elections begins

Jharkhand/ Jammu and Kashmir, Dec 23 (ANI): Counting of votes for the five-phased assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand began on Tuesday amidst high security. In Jammu and Kashmir, a total of 821 candidates, including 276 independents, contested the elections to the 87-member House. While in Jharkhand, the fate of a total of 1,136 candidates, including 111 women, will be decided in the counting for the 81-member assembly. Elaborate security arrangements are in place so as to ensure smooth counting of the votes and later, the declaration of results. Dec 23, 2014

Kashmir shivers as cold wave shows no signs of abating

Srinagar, Dec 23 (ANI): People of Jammu and Kashmir continue to shiver and daily life is paralyzed as the cold wave in the state shows no signs of weakening anytime soon.Minimum temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir have dropped to sub-zero level forcing people to stay indoors. The sudden dip in temperatures is said to have been caused by snowfall in the Himalayas and has adversely impacted the upper half of the country. The cold wave has compounded the troubles of homeless people and those going out to work and earn their living. A resident, Mashrum Ali, said on Monday that it was quite difficult to step out of homes early in the mornings. To make things worse for the people of Kashmir, Chilai Kalan- the harshest forty day period of winter- arrived in Kashmir with upper reaches of the valley receiving fresh snowfall on Saturday. People are busy preparing and stocking up for Chilai Kalan. Reportedly, this year Chilai Kalan has arrived earlier than expected sparking fears that temperatures may dip lower than the average. Dec 23, 2014

Sports events help hone the skills of budding players in Manipur

Manipur, Dec 23 (ANI): Archers from Manipur have always made India proud in the international arena. And, to hone to skills of budding players in the state, the Assam Rifles took a step forward to organize an archery competition. Seventy two archers from 16 teams participated in the individual and team events at Assam Rifles Archery Range in Imphal. The Assam Rifles Archery team won the title. Similarly, efforts are high on to improve the standard of football in schools. Recently, a 5-day long event was held in Imphal to sharpen the skills of under-17 girls as they participated in the 60th National School Games. Held under the aegis of Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Manipur, 20 teams from various states participated in the championship at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium. Events like these help the sports authorities to identify the young talents who can later be trained for international events. Dec 23, 2014

New York mayor calls for end of protests after policemen murders

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on people to "put aside protests" to mourn the deaths of two policemen who were shot in Brooklyn by a man who claimed he wanted to avenge the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Duration: 00:48 Dec 23, 2014