First phase of 'Bishwa Ijtema' begins in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Jan 10 (ANI): Thousands of Muslim devotees gathered on the bank of River Turag near Dhaka city for the first phase of this year's world congregation, or Bishwa Ijtema. Despite Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led 20-party alliance's countrywide blockade, devout Muslims across the globe assembled in Tongi, 20 kilometres off the capital city of Dhaka, to participate in the congregation, known as the second largest annual gathering of Muslims after the Hajj. The first phase of Ijtema will conclude on Sunday amid the final prayers 'Akheri Munajat' while the second phase will be held from January 16 to 18. Eight floating bridges have been placed by the army engineers so that devotees can cross the River Turag with ease. The Bishwa Ijtema is being held at same site since 1966 and is organised by World Tablig Council, which preaches teachings of Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Jan 10, 2015

Villagers in Kashmir seek permanent solution to end ceasefire violations

Samba, Jan 10 (ANI): Villagers living along the de'facto border dividing India'Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir appealed the central government to find a permanent solution amid continuous cross'border firing between the two nuclear armed neighbours. People are agitated with Pakistan for violating ceasefire truce time and again. While hundreds of them have left their homes with their belongings towards safer places, many others walked to the relief camps. Meanwhile, alert was sounded in Hiranagar border area after a woman sighted movement of six suspected persons at border village Spral Pian on Friday morning. Army was deployed in suspected areas and National Highway. The army was also deployed in populated areas adjoining the Ujh River connecting to International border of Pakistan. Jan 10, 2015

Indians set benchmark in every field across world: Sushma Swaraj

Gandhinagar, Jan 10 (ANI): Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said Indians have set a benchmark in every field across the world and made the country proud with their achievements. Gujarat was host to three-day annual gathering for people of Indian origin. The diaspora event was timed immediately prior to a large investment meeting that will be addressed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Addressing the Indian diaspora in Gandhinagar, Swaraj lauded Indians who have made their presence felt worldwide. Swaraj also added Indians have contributed to the economy of wherever they have settled through their culture and traditions. Meanwhile, prominent industrialist, philanthropist and parliamentarian in Uganda, Mahendra Nanji Mehta, was honoured with 'Pravasi Bhartiya Samman' award for his contribution in public services and fostering ties between India and Uganda. Jan 10, 2015

Passengers miffed as Pakistan restricts run of bus service at Wagah border

Wagah, Jan 10 (ANI): The decision of Pakistan to restrict the run of a bus service at Wagah border following an intelligence alert that militants may target the bus has angered passengers. Passengers travelling from Pakistan said they were severely inconvenienced as it involves more time. Early this week, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation decided to restrict the entry of buses running under the Pakistan-India friendship service from Lahore to Delhi till Wagah border due to militant threats. Earlier, the bus used to travel from New Delhi to Pakistan's Lahore city. A passenger from Pakistan's Faislabad, Rashid Hanif was visibly upset. Jan 10, 2015

Seven militants arrested in connection with attacks in Assam

Kokrajhar, Jan 10 (ANI): In a joint operation, police and army arrested seven militants and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunitions in connection with attacks in Assam , which killed at least 80 people. Police believe that a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), fighting for a separate state for ethnic Bodos, was behind coordinated attacks on tea plantation workers and their families in Assam. Sub-divisional police officer, Kokrajhar district, Ankur Jain said that seven militants were arrested of (NDFB). He added that arms and ammunitions, including four AK-47, M-16 rifles and others, were also recovered. Jan 10, 2015

Court sends six accused of gang raping Japanese student to jail

Kolkata, Jan 10 (ANI): An Indian court sent six accused for gang raping a 23-year-old Japanese student to jail till January 16 for further interrogation, said defence counsel in Kolkata. Kolkata police busted a racket of tour guides, who duped Japanese students and tourists. Three tour guides lured a Japanese student and took her to Gaya city of Bihar, where they were joined by three more people, and then gang-raped her and looted her of rupees 25,000 (USD 395.44). The Japanese tourist alleged that she was raped on November 23, 2014 and a complaint was filed on November 26 in Kolkata city. The accused were produced before the court on January 03 and were sent to judicial custody. Jan 10, 2015

BJP aims to recruit 4.5 million members to party from Andhra Pradesh: Amit Shah

Vijayawada, Jan 10 (ANI): President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah said his party plans to recruit 4.5 million members from Andhra Pradesh in a bid to strengthen the organisation. Shah is in south India to build force for BJP's membership which has recently gone online. The party aims at reaching a target of 100 million members. Shah, who was speaking at a news conference in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada city, said recruiting a large number of members from the state would strengthen the party. Shah also boasted of BJP's achievement in contributing to the rise in India's economic growth. Jan 10, 2015