- Delhi Police files FIR against unknown persons in connection with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's dharna in New Delhi.
- Demand for the resignation of Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti grows.
- Legendary Telugu film actor Nageswar Rao is dead.
- International Peace Conference on Syria gets underway in Switzerland.
- India face uphill task in the second one day Cricket match against New Zealand.
- World Number Two Victoria Azarenka crashes out of the Australian Open Tennis tournament; Leander Paes loses in Doubles quarterfinals.
Delhi Police has filed an FIR against unknown persons in connection with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's dharna at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi. The dharna witnessed violent scuffles between Aam Aadmi party supporters and police personnel in the high-security area where prohibitory orders were in place.Police sources said, the case was registered at Parliament Street Police station last night for obstructing public servants in discharge of duty and voluntarily causing grievous hurt to prevent them from performing duty.
Our correspondent reports, the registration of FIR comes after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues called off their two-day dharna held to seek action against certain Delhi Police officials. The stalemate finally ended after the Lt. Govenor intervened in the matter and Malviya Nagar SHO and PCR van in charge of Paharganj have been sent on leave till the completion of inquiry. Mr Kejriwal had demanded suspension of five officials for alleged dereliction of duty.
Women's organisations have demanded resignation of Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti for his alleged racist remarks and harassment meted out to African nationals. They have written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, seeking action against Bharti for his alleged role in an incident in a south Delhi locality, last week. Chairperson of National Commission for Women, Mamta Sharma told media in New Delhi that Somnath Bharti should have resigned on moral grounds, for taking law into his hands. She said, the Chief Minister should also have taken note of the case and asked Bharti to resign from his post.
"The High Court had ordered that FIR should be lodged against an unknown person, and that it will review the CD and the girls themselves will confirm who all were there. It has been confirmed that Somnath Bharti was present. The State Commission has taken up this case."
In another development, Delhi Women Commission has issued summons to Bharti for his role in the alleged harassment of Ugandan women. Congress Women's wing head Shobha Oza described Somnath Bharti's act as irresponsible and sought action against him.
"FIR has to be registered against the Law Minister. Proper, thorough investigation has to be done and he should be punished. Police, the cops who tried to protect these girls have be penalised, they have been sent on leave. This will definetely demoralise the police."
Defending his Cabinet colleague, Delhi Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj said, there is no reason that Bharti can influence the probe. He claimed that illegal activities were taking place in the locality which can be testified from the local residents. Meanwhile, one of the Ugandan women allegedly assaulted in the incident, has accused Somnath Bharti of having led the group that barged into her house and attacked them. She recorded her statement before a Magistrate yesterday.
Our correspondent reports, the controversy surrounding Somanth Bharti was triggered after a raid was allegedly led by him in Khirki Extension locality in a house occupied by African nationals. They were accused of running a drug and prostitution racket in the area. Meanwhile, the Delhi police has shifted the case registered against unknown persons in connection with alleged harassment of African nationals in a South Delhi locality, to Mehrauli police station. The incident site falls under the jurisdiction of Mehrauli police station. Initially, the case was registered at Malviya Nagar police station.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal underwent tests at a hospital in Ghaziabad after suffering severe bouts of cough. After being examined by the doctors, Mr Kejriwal told reporters that he came to the hospital to get treatment for continuous cough.
Legendary Telugu film actor and Producer Akkineni Nageswar Rao died in Hyderabad during early hours today. He was 90. Dadasaheb Phalke Award recipient Nageswar Rao was battling cancer and under treatment for the past few months. His son Nagarjuna who is a leading actor, told reporters this morning that his father had spoken to family members last night and died in sleep. Recently Nageswar Rao underwent a surgery for intestinal cancer. He is survived by three daughters and two sons. More from our correspondent:
"Popularly called as ANR, Nageswar Rao, who enjoyed stardom on par with NT Ramarao, was one of the stars of the black and white era of films in the country. He soon shot to fame as all time hits like Batasari, Devadas, Premnagar, Tenali Ramakrishnudu and Mayabazar earned him millions of fans across the state and outside too. He acted in nearly 300 films including folk, mythological and social subjects. His body is kept at his Annapurna studios for people to pay their last respects. Several personalities from both film and political fields have condoled his death. The last rites will be performed tomorrow. LAKSHMI, AIR NEWS, HYDERABAD."
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has condoled the passing away of Nageswar Rao. In a tweet, Mr Tewari said, Rao's demise is a great loss to the creative arts. BJP President Rajnath Singh also condoled Rao's death. Mr Singh wrote on Twitter that Nageshwar's contribution to Indian cinema will always be cherished.
In Kerala, the special additional sessions court in Kozhikode today found guilty 12 persons in TP Chandrashekharan murder case. 24 other accused were acquitted by the court. Those convicted include the seven-member gang which hacked to death the Revolutionary Marxist Party leader Chandrashekaran at Vallikad in Kozhikode district on May 4th 2012. Others found guilty include local leaders of the CPIM, K C Ramachandran and P K Kunjanandan. Three other local CPIM leaders were acquitted in the case. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced tomorrow.
In Assam, one top ULFA cadre was killed in an encounter with security forces in Goalpara district yesterday. Police said that the encounter occurred at Pandoba under Lakhipur police station and an area commander of the anti-talk militant outfit was gunned down. More from our correspondent:
"Security forces have beefed up security measures in the state in the wake of the Republic day. As a result, three leaders of Karbi militant groups were arrested in Karbi Anglong district. Karbi Anglong SP, Mugdhya Jyoti Mahanta said, Commander -in- Chief of the Karbi National Liberation Army Martin Bey along with two cadres was apprehended by security forces at Diphu town. Police also recovered arms and ammuniations from them. In another development, the abducted manager of Pabhoi tea estate in Sonitpur district was rescued last night safely. Unidentified miscreants abducted the manager on 16th of this month. MANAS PRATIM SARMA, AIR NEWS, GUWAHATI."
The international conference on Syria has begun in the Swiss city of Montreaux, a shortwhile ago. More than 40 countries and international organisations are attending the conference organised by United Nations. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is chairing the conference aimed at finding a political solution to the crises in Syria. For the first time since the conflict began, the Syrian regime and the rebel opposition will be seen face to face at the conference. The Syrian Opposition coalition is attending the conference but the Jehadist groups and Syrian Nation Council are boycotting the conference. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is representing India at the Conference. India has long maintained that a Syrian led inclusive dialogue process keeping in mind the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people will help resolve the crisis. Nearly three year long conflict in Syria has claimed more than one lakh 30 thousand lives so far and displaced over nine million Syrians. More from our correspondent:
"Geneva peace conference is being held in the backdrop of fresh election of war crime against Syrian regime, row over participation of Iran and conflicting views on the agenda by the Syrian regime and opposition. Conference is aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria. The rebel opposition says, a political transition should be outcome and President Assad won't be a part of it. The Syrian regime says, focus should be on fighting terrorism and departure of President Assad is non negotiable. Atul Tiwary, AIR News, Montreux, Switzerland."
India summoned the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in connection with suspension of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and the Rawalakot-Poonch bus services by Pakistani authorities and delivered a strong diplomatic message. Acting High Commissioner Mansoor Ahmed Khan was summoned by Rudrendra Tandon, Joint Secretary, in-charge of the Pakistan division, Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi yesterday. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that it was surprising that Pakistan chose to hold hostage trans-border trade and bus services which bring immense humanitarian benefits across the border for the sake of saving those who indulge in the drug trade.
"We find it surprising that for the sake of persons indulging in drug trafficking, Pakistan had chosen to hold hostage trans LoC trade and travel which brings immense humanitarian benefits to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs are working to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels."
The suspension of cross LoC trade and bus services was caused due to a stand off over the arrest of a Pakistani driver allegedly involved in smuggling narcotics to the Kashmir valley. Pakistan suspended trade and bus services and detained 28 truck drivers from Kashmir who had crossed over to POK with their vehicles on the 16th of this month. The Pak authorities have also not opened the gate for their own truckers who had crossed to this side on the same day, insisting that the arrested driver should be released first.Meanwhile, in Jammu and Kashmir, major political parties have expressed concern over suspension of cross LoC trade and bus services.
<><><>Chasing 297 for victory, India were 200 for 4 in 33 overs against New Zealand in the rain-marred 42-over a side, second cricket one dayer at the Seddon Park in Hamilton, when reports last came in. Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and put the Kiwis in to bat. Rain played spoilsport twice and the match was reduced to 42-overs a side. The hosts then made 271 for 7 in the stipulated overs, and because of the Duckworth-Lewis method, the visitors were given an upscale target of 297. Kane Williamson top scored for the Kiwis with 77, while Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson and Martin Guptill also made valuable contributions. Mohammed Shami bagged the maximum of 3 wickets for Team India. New Zealand are currently leading the 5-match series, 1-0.
In yet another shocker at the Australian Open Tennis tournament, World Number Two Victoria Azarenka of Belarus today crashed out of the first Grand Slam of the season at Melbourne. In the Women's Singles quarterfinals, Azarenka lost to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, 1-6, 7-5, 0-6. Slovakia's Dominica Cibukova today made it to semifinal, beating Simona Halep, 6-3, 6-0 in the other quarterfinal. For a place in the final, Radwanska will take on Cibulkova, while China's Li Na will meet Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.Top players like World Number One Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer have already bowed out of the tournament.
In the Men's Singles, World Number One Rafael Nadal today stormed into the semi-finals beating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2. Meanwhile, Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek today lost in the quarterfinals, ending India's campaign in the Men's Doubles. The lower ranked French pair of Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut defeated the sixth seeded Indo-Czech duo, 6-2, 7-6. The Indian challenge is now left in the Mixed Doubles category only. Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza, with their team-mates, have already made it to the quarterfinals.