BJP MLA clarifies controversial statement on banning Muslims in garba

Indore, Sep 20 (ANI): BJP MLA Usha Thakur on Saturday clarified her controversial statement on banning Muslims from entering 'Garba' venues. Thakur said that her statements have been misinterpreted by media and clarified that she had respected the culture of Muslim minority community in terms of praying the Lord which they do not believe in. She added that our National Anthem was reduced to 2 stanzas from 5 showing respect to the Muslims community as they do not believe in Lord Durga so how can they be doing 'Garba' paying respect to the lord. She also said that the identities of those entering into Garba venues will be checked irrespective of the religion they belong to. Sep 20, 2014

Blast in fireworks factory kills 5 in Lucknow

Lucknow, Sept 20 (ANI): Five people have died and many others have been left injured after a blast occurred in a fireworks factory in Lucknow's Mohanlalganj area on Saturday. According to reports, the blast was so intense that the roof of the house in which this illegal cracker factory was being run, caved in. Sep 20, 2014

Politicos react as Chidambaram comes under CBI scanner over Aircel Maxis deal

New Delhi / Ludhiana / Lucknow, Sep 20 (ANI): Politicos reacted on Saturday after Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram came under CBI scanner over his alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal. Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the former finance minister has given a very accurate explanation and it doesn't require any add-ons. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy condemning Chidambaram's explanation that he signed the Aircel-Maxis deal after FIPB recommended it for approval said that it is not a minister's job to sign blindly what his officers put before him. CPI leader Atul Anjan said that Chidambram has been involved in the Aircel-Maxis deal and truth should be out in the public as soon as possible. Sep 20, 2014

Politicos remain critical of Kejriwal as he writes to PM Modi over corruption and communalism

New Delhi, Sep 20 (ANI): Political leaders on Saturday remained critical of AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal even as he writes letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over issues of corruption and communalism. The letter came a day after PM Modi had said that 'Indian Muslims will live and die for India' and that 'Al-Qaeda will fail in India'. While BJP said that Kejriwal is taking Modi's support to remain in news and to make himself audible, BJD leader Jay Panda welcomed PM's statement and said such statements should be welcomed. Meanwhile, CPI leader Atul Anjan said that Kejriwal should now write next to request Modi to resign from post like he himself. Sep 20, 2014

Engineers send 10 trucks of relief material for Kashmir flood victims

Rajouri, Sep 20 (ANI): A group of engineers from Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir sent 10 trucks of relief material for the flood-affected areas of the valley that have not received any help yet. The sacks and boxes of relief material consisted items of daily use, ration and grocery. Additional district collector of Rajouri, Salim Malik, said the welfare engineer's group itself volunteered to send the relief material for the flood victims. Meanwhile, an executive engineer, Muhstaq Rena, said currently they are trying to send relief material consisting of food items which would last for two to three days. Sep 20, 2014

Bangladesh foreign minister meets Sushma Swaraj to strengthen ties

New Delhi, Sep 20 (ANI): Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, on Saturday met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi to discuss bilateral and regional issues. Both the leaders held discussions with their officials. Ali, who is in New Delhi to attend the third meeting of India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission, also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh on behalf of his Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Ali recalled the historical, cultural and economic links between the two neighbouring nations and expressed hope to further strengthen and deepen relations with India. India's northeastern region shares a 1,880-km-long border with Bangladesh and has the potential for developing cross-border trade. Sep 20, 2014

Former SAD President Jagdev Singh Talwandi dies of prolonged illness

Ludhiana, Sep 20 (ANI): Former president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and veteran Akali leader Jagdev Singh Talwandi passed away at the Hero Dayanand Medical College (DMC) and Heart Hospital. The Akali Dal leader breathed his last at 11.10 AM on Friday. He was admitted to the DMC hospital because of a prolonged heart related illness. He was the former president of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) and was a Minister of State in the first non-Congress government in Punjab in 1967 and later in 1969 and 1972. The veteran leader will be cremated at his native village Talwandi, near Raikot, on Saturday. Sep 20, 2014

Family cremates Indian fisherman who died in Pakistani jail

Diu, Sept 20 (ANI): The last rites of an Indian fisherman, who died in Pakistani jail, were performed at his village in Diu. The family came to know about the tragedy after receiving a letter from Pakistani government that however, didn't mention the cause of death. Sister of deceased fisherman Balubhai, urged the government to provide financial help to their family. The family also urged the Pakistani government to release his two brothers, who were also arrested along with him. Nuclear-armed neighbours share a vast un-demarcated coastal border and officials say fishermen on both sides ignore rules in search of fish, frequently stray into other country and end up spending years in their jails. Sep 20, 2014