12 January 2014

1400 HRS.
11th January, 2014

  • Delhi Chief Minister suspends Janta Darbar following chaos outside Delhi Secretariat.
  • Washington regrets expulsion of an American diplomat by India; Says, it is a challenging time for bilateral relationship.
  • CBI names three serving Army officers for their involvement in a recruitment scam.
  • NABARD cuts refinance rate marginally for lending agencies to promote rural credit and infrastructure.
  • India take on New Zealand in their must win second Group-A match of Men's Hockey World League Final in New Delhi today.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today suspended the Janta Darbar, organised to hear people's grievances, following chaos outside the Delhi Secretariat. Talking to reporters after leaving the Secretariat this morning, Kejriwal said, there is a need to make better arrangements to manage the huge crowd.
"A large number of people wanted to meet me, and to avoid a stampede like situation, I had to leave the venue. There is a need to improve the arrangements. I appeal everyone to come in a proper queue."
The Chief Minister appealed to the people to maintain discipline in the next meeting which is likely to take place on Wednesday. Replying to a question, he said, complaints related to water and electricity were received from people. Our correspondent reports, due to unmanageable crowd, security personnel at the Secretariat were forced to take Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers away from the site.
The United States has regretted that India felt it necessary to expel an American diplomat after senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade was asked to leave the country following her indictment in a visa fraud case. The State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said in Washington yesterday that this has clearly been a challenging time in the US-India relationship and the US expected that this relationship will not come to a close and India will take significant steps to improve the ties and return to a more constructive place.
Earlier in the day yesterday, India expelled a senior American diplomat within hours of Devyani being asked to leave the US.
Meanwhile, Devyani has moved a federal court in New York to dismiss the visa fraud case against her. The Indian diplomat said, there is lack of personal jurisdiction since she had been accorded full diplomatic immunity by the US Department of State. Devyani's lawyer said in his motion that even as the US Department of State fully credentialed her as a diplomat assigned to the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, unexpectedly, they have required her immediate departure from the US. Devyani was indicted for visa fraud and making false statements. She flew back to India on Thursday night after she was accorded diplomatic immunity by the State Department and was asked to depart from the US.
Unearthing a major recruitment scam in the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, the Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, has booked three serving Lieutenant Colonels in connection with the case. CBI sources said in New Delhi, the Army officers have been accused of issuing fake experience certificates to candidates in recruitment to group C and D cadres of the prestigious institute in 2011-2012. The sources added that a regular case was filed by the investigating agency against the trio earlier this week.
The President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is reaching Port Blair this afternoon on a 3-day visit to the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
"A warm reception and ceremonial guard of honour will be given to the President on his arrival at INS Utkrosh air base at Port Blair. He will then proceed to the National Memorial Cellular Jail and lay wreath at the Martyrs’ column there. In the afternoon, a civic reception will be hosted by the Port Blair Municipal Council in honour of the President at the historic Nethaji Stadium. The Islands administration invited all to attend this grand function. On Sunday morning, the President will inaugurate the newly formed Andaman and Nicobar Tribal Research and Training Institute. A. DHANASEKARAN, AIR NEWS, PORT BLAIR"
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, NABARD has reduced refinance rate for banks and other lending agencies by 0.20 per cent to promote rural credit and rural infrastructure. The revised rate of interest on refinance for a period of five years for commercial, state co-operative, regional rural and primary urban co-operative banks will be 9.70 per cent, down from 9.90 per cent. NABARD said in a statement that the new rates will be effective from 7th of this month. It further said, banks drawing refinance of 500 crore rupees and more in a single drawal will be allowed further reduction of 0.10 per cent, making the effective rate 9.60 per cent. However, for state co-operative agriculture and rural development banks (SCRDBs), a 10 basis point reduction is allowed for a single drawal of 200 crore rupees and above.
NABARD said, these measures are expected to give a boost to banks for extending investment credit and creation of much-needed warehousing infrastructure for agricultural commodities in the country.
The Assam and Nagaland police have launched joint operations against the militants at bordering areas in Karbi Anglong district. Karbi Anglong SP, Mugdhya Jyoti Mahanta said that combing operations are on to wipe out militants after the recent violence in the district. He said that so far, security forces have arrested 27 miscreants in Assam in connection with the violence. Both states are also sharing vital information to deal firmly with militants. Meanwhile, night curfew has been lifted at Bokajan sub-division area but patrolling is on to avoid any untoward incident.
A top insurgent leader of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura, NLFT has surrendered before the police. The self styled army chief of NLFT, Parashuram Tripura, was carrying a cash award of one lakh rupees over his head and Centre had issued red corner notice through Interpol for his arrest. IG Police Nepal Das said, the insurgent leader surrendered last night along with his wife and three children before Director General of Police, C Balasubramanian. Tripura revealed during preliminary interrogation that the NLFT was faction ridden and suffering from acute fund crunch after shifting hideouts from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has asked the US Embassy to withdraw its controversial twitter post on Sri Lanka's conflict with LTTE in 2009. The post shows the US Ambassador Michele Sison and a visiting US official Stephen Rapp standing at the battle site, with a caption that suggested the killing of hundreds of families in army shelling. The US Embassy has, however, refused to back down. Sri Lankan Army has dismissed the allegations. Official sources said, Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris is now expected to personally take up the issue with the American Ambassador.
The interim President of the violence-hit Central African Republic, CAR, Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye have resigned. They resigned at a regional summit in Chad, aimed at ending violence that has engulfed the country. Thousands of people took to the streets in CAR's capital, Bangui, most of them celebrating the news. Djotodia, CAR's first Muslim leader, seized power last year. Since then 20 per cent of the population have fled due to fighting between Christian and Muslim militias. The UN has warned of an impending humanitarian disaster.
The UN Security Council has strongly backed the Iraq Government’s campaign to re-capture the provincial strongholds in Falluza and Ramadi from Al-Qaeda-linked militants. It has condemned the deadly violence in the Anbar province and urged the people of Iraq to stand together in this hour of crisis and continue the national dialogue. More from our West Asia Correspondent:
"In a strong statement, the UN Security Council condemned the attacks by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL and praised the courage of the Iraqi forces in Anbar. The 15 member council expressed its strong support to the efforts of the Iraqi government to ensure the security of its people. It urged the Iraqi tribes, local leaders, and Iraqi security forces in Anbar to continue, expand and strengthen their cooperation against violence and terror. The council also emphasized the importance of continued national dialogue and unity. The statement has come at a time when Iraqi forces are engaged in regaining the control of areas of Ramadi and Falluza which fell in the hands of Al Qaeda linked militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ,ISIL last week. Atul Tiwary, AIR News."
The Syrian umbrella opposition coalition is still undecided to participate in the upcoming Geneva-II peace conference. In order to bring the Syrian opposition to the negotiating table, the foreign ministers from the "Friends of Syria" core group have convened a meeting with the leaders of Syrian opposition coalition in Paris tomorrow. The meeting will be attended by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Qatar among others, as well as the head of the Syria's opposition National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba. The opposition leaders will take a final call on whether to attend the Geneva conference at another meeting in Istanbul on the 17th of this month.
The Geneva-II conference aimed at finding a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Syria has been scheduled on 22nd January in the Swiss city of Montreaux.
Several people have been injured in clashes between protesters and police in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Former interior minister and leading opposition figure Yuriy Lutsenko was among those wounded. The violence broke out after three activists were earlier jailed over an alleged terror plot. The unrest took place amid ongoing anti-government rallies against the government's decision to pull out of a landmark deal with the European Union.
Several people have been injured in clashes between protesters and police in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Former interior minister and leading opposition figure Yuriy Lutsenko was among those wounded. The unrest took place amid ongoing anti-government rallies against the government's decision to pull out of a landmark deal with the European Union.
Biting cold coupled with intermittent rain continue to make Uttar Pradesh shiver. The mercury dipped several notches below normal at several places. Twelve people have, so far, lost their lives in cold-related incidents across the state.
"Biting cold, coupled with a thick fog has disrupted normal life in the entire state. The rail and road transportation has severely been affected due to low visibility, whereas many flights got delayed or diverted for the same reason. All schools up to class 8 have now been closed till 15th January in Lucknow and many other districts. There seems to be no relief from the inclement weather as the MeT department has predicted that rain or thundershower may continue in several parts of the state for next two days. Merajuddin, AIR NEWS, Lucknow."
In Uttarakhand, higher reaches of Garhwal and Kumaon hills experienced fresh snowfall with moderate to heavy rain in lower hills and valleys last night. This has resulted in mercury plummeting sharply adding the cold wave conditions in the State.
The Vaikunta ekadasi festival was celebrated with religious fervour in Tamil Nadu today. At Srirangam temple, state Ministers Kamaraj, MSM Ananthan and Subramanian were amongst thousands of devotees who thronged early in the morning to witness the Paramapadavasal Thirappu or opening of gate to heaven.
"Thousands of devotees chanted Ranga Ranga as Lord Renganathar bedecked with jewels and diamonds entered the Paramapada vasal-gateway to Vaikundam at 4.30 am Srirangam Renganathar Swamy temple considered to be the premier temple amongst 108 Vaishnavite temples witnessed a sea of humanity today. The Vaikunta Ekadasi festival which began on 31st of last month with Tirunendunthandakam lasts for twenty one days. Today is considered to be very auspicious by Vaishnavites as the day of salvation and moksha." K.Devi Padmanabhan, AIR News, Tiruchirapalli.
Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal paid floral tributes to the second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 48th death anniversary at Vijay Ghat in New Delhi today. The former Prime Minister died at Tashkent in Russia in 1966.
India will take on New Zealand in their must win second Group-A match of the Men's Hockey World League Final at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi today. The match will be played at 8 in the evening.
Sardar Singh-led India lost to England, 0-2 its opener yesterday, while Germany defeated New Zealand 6-1, in the other Group-A match.
Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani team-mate Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi today ended as runners up in the Sydney International Tennis tournament. In the finals played a short while ago, the third seeded Indo-Pak pair lost to the Canadian-Serbian combination of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, 6-7, 6-7.
In the Singles, the top seeded Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro will battle it out against Aussie Bernard Tomic for the title today. In the semi-finals, while Del Potro defeated Russia's Dmitry Tursunov, Tomic beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.

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