Punjab CM defends state Revenue Minister after ED summons him in drug racket case

Amritsar/ New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): In a major jolt to Shiromani Akali Dal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia in a drug racket case. Majithia's name first surfaced in the Rs 6,000 crore international synthetic drug case when Jagdish Singh Bhola, who is a dismissed Deputy Superintendent of Police, claimed that the youth Akali leader had assisted him in procuring synthetic chemicals and precursors from owners of pharmaceutical units in Punjab. While politicos from rival parties slammed the minister, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal defended him saying summon does not mean he is a culprit in the case. Dec 21, 2014

Marathon runners defy gravity in nation's tallest run 'Skyscraper Dash' in Mumbai

Mumbai, Dec 21 (ANI): Enthusiasts of tower climbing raced up 52 storeys as they participated in a marathon to conquer skyscraper in Mumbai on Sunday. Several participants, irrespective of their age, took part in the vertical marathon called 'Skyscraper Dash'. The marathon took place at India's tallest commercial tower Kohinoor Square. The building has 1250 stairs. The Kohinoor Square building is 203 metres high, and 43 ascents and 42 descents to the top is equivalent in height to climbing up Mount Everest and coming back down. Children were also seen taking part in the event enthusiastically. A child participant, Saimansa enjoyed the run. Cash prizes were arranged for the top three participants of each of the challenge of the race. Food and beverages, music and festivities were also part of the event. Dec 21, 2014

Village council in Bihar bans jeans, mobile phones for school girls

Gopalganj, Dec 21 (ANI): A village council in Bihar came up with a diktat banning girls from wearing jeans and using mobile phones in schools. In a meeting, a number of guardians proposed the girls should not sport anything 'indecent' like jeans, which seems to be 'exposing and inviting', in order to protect the social atmosphere. The council, taking notice of the plea, has unanimously decided to verbally request villagers to direct their ward not to wear jeans in schools. The council issued its diktat in various government schools asking the heads to declare the same. Dec 21, 2014

Condemning reactions flow after Hafiz Saeed referred as 'Saheb' in a UN letter

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): India went fuming on Sunday after United Nations referred to 26/11 Mumbai attack master-mind Hafiz Saeed as 'Saheb' in a letter by UN Security Council. Congress leaders Manish Tewari and Rashid Alvi condemned this saying that UN should recognize terrorists who attack one country can be international terrorists. CPI leader D Raja said that UN Security Council will have to explain their act. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that Indian representatives in the UN should have raised objection to it. Security Expert Praful Bakshi said that it may be a typing error, but if it is not then such an act is against humanitarian laws. Dec 21, 2014

Politicos slam Ashok Singhal over his 'Islamic terrorism' remark

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): Political leaders on Sunday slammed VHP Leader Ashok Singhal over his 'Islamic terrorism' remark. Singhal had said that the danger of 'Islamic terrorism' can be seen in Europe and can wage a war in other parts of the world too. Referring to the BJP government, he said Hindus have come back to power in Delhi after Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan lost it in the 12th century. Congress as well as CPI (M) slammed the VHP and the BJP government at the centre for communalizing the nation. Dec 21, 2014

Northern India continues to shiver as cold wave intensifies

New Delhi/ Srinagar, Dec 21 (ANI): Northern India grappled with extreme cold as the mercury dipped further on Sunday. People in New Delhi sat around bonfire to keep them warm and sipped cups of tea. On the other hand, Chilai Kalan - the harshest 40-day period of winter - arrived in Jammu and Kashmir with upper reaches of the valley receiving fresh snowfall. The cold wave has added to the troubles of daily wage labourers like auto drivers and rickshaw pullers and homeless people as they have no alternative but to bear the chill and earn their living. 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. Meanwhile, minimum temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir have dropped to sub-zero level. 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 21, 2014

Biting cold adds to woes of people of J and K rendered homeless during floods

Poonch, Dec 21 (ANI): Harsh winters in Jammu and Kashmir have added to the troubles of those who were rendered homeless by the deluge almost four months back and now continue to put up in makeshift tents. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands of villages were devastated by the worst flooding in decades in the Kashmir valley in September. Roads in state capital of Srinagar were transformed into stagnant canals strewn with wreckage, trash and dead animals. A flood victim, Imran Khan said around 82 families are still suffering and continue to live in tents while some are staying with their relatives. The victims also said the government had promised them to provide free food and water for six months but they have not received anything yet. The flood-hit victims are battling to survive despite going hungry, homeless and freezing in the cold weather. Dec 21, 2014

PM Modi congratulates J-K, Jharkhand for high voter turnout in assembly polls

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand for recording a high voter turnout and said that this reflected the victory of a democracy. Prime Minister tweeted "Record overall turnout in J-K and Jharkhand Assembly polls is a victory of democracy. I congratulate the people of these states." Earlier on Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir registered its highest voter turn-out in assembly elections in the last 25 years. The Election Commission had announced that while the turnout was average 76 percent, the overall polling percentage in the state in all phases was 65.5 percent. Jharkhand also broke all previous polling records to witness over 66 per cent of turn-out in the five phases. Dec 21, 2014

Anant Vikram Singh joins BJP

Lucknow, Dec 21 (ANI): Congress leader Sanjay Singh's son Anant Vikram Singh on Sunday joined BJP. Singh along with his supporters reached Lucknow and joined the party. He has been in news since past two to three months over the controversy about the ownership of the Amethi Palace. Uttar Pradesh BJP President Laxmikant Bajpai welcomed Singh with garlands and welcomed more to join BJP through its mobile messaging service. Dec 21, 2014

Senior DMK leader D Napoleon joins BJP

Chennai, Dec 21 (ANI): Former Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Senior DMK leader D Napoleon on Sunday joined BJP in the presence of party President Amit Shah. Napoleon's induction into the BJP is seen as a major gain for the BJP in the run-up to the assembly election scheduled in 2016. Shah said that BJP will announce its NDA candidate before going to polls in 2016. The BJP will lead the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu to face the 2016 Assembly polls in the State. Dec 21, 2014