- Delhi police suspends three cops on the charges of beating a person on the basis of video posted by Aam Aadmi Party.
- Delhi High Court refuses to stay CAG auditing of three power distribution companies.
- CBI raids hacking hubs in three cities ;One person arrested.
- Syrian government and opposition agree to hold their first ever direct talks.
- New Zealand 158 for 1 wicket in 28 overs in the 3rd ODI against India at Auckland .
- Li Na of China and Dominica Cibulkova of Slovakia to clash in women's singles of Australian Open today.
Delhi Police has suspended its three personnel on the charges of beating a person in the city. Police sources said that an inquiry was already pending against them. The police action followed a video posted by Aam Aadmi Party, AAP on its Facebook page, showing three constables beating a man with a stick and taking his wallet. The AAP said that the video was shot by a vigilante near Lal Quila.
The posting of the video came days after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a two-day dharna outside Rail Bhavan, seeking action against policemen in three different cases.
The Delhi High Court has refused to stay the city government's decision asking the Comptroller and Auditor General, CAG, to audit the accounts of three power distribution companies. The court also asked BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd to cooperate with the CAG in auditing and asked the top auditor not to submit its report till it hears the discoms' petitions on March 19. The Court observed that these matters require detailed hearing.
Delhi Government has constituted a high level committee to formulate policies and guidelines for contractual and temporary workers so that they can be regularised. Announcing this in New Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said, the 13 member committee will be headed by Chief Secretary S K Srivastava. He said, the committee has been given the responsibility to formulate the policy in this regard within one month. He said, the committee will take all the legal, technical and financial aspects into account in formalising the policy and finalising the recruitment process.
In Assam, four hardcore militants of banned outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Sangbijit group ) laid down arms in Chirang and Sonitpur district. Official sources said that while two cadres surrendered in front of army officials in Sonitpur district, two others laid down arms in front of administration at Chirang. More from our correspondent:
A strict vigil is being maintained across the state including Guwahati in the wake of the Republic day. Security personnel have been deployed at all entry and exit point. A strict vigil is being maintained at railway tracks and riverine areas. Senior police officials said that the bomb triggered off at Dima Hasao district had been planted for Guwahati city by ULFA .But it was exploded on its way and two bomb carriers were died on the spot. Police have gunned down one kidnapper in Goalpara district last night. The Assam police also announced cash reward on giving information of 18 National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Sangbijit ) and Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) militants. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR News, Guwahati.
Former Union Ministers C P Thakur, Satyanarayan Jatia and Vijay Goel are among seven BJP candidates announced by the party for the ensuing biennial Rajya Sabha elections. While BJP Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel has been nominated from Rajasthan, Party Vice President C P Thakur has been nominated from Bihar and Satyanarayan Jatiya from Madhya Pradesh.
Among others nominated include party Vice President Prabhat Jha from Madhya Pradesh and local state BJP leader R K Sinha from Bihar, besides local state leaders Ram Narain Dudi and Narayan Panchariya from Rajasthan.
Janata Dal-United has announced the nomination of three new faces. The party President Sharad Yadav said in Patna that JDU has decided to nominate Ramnath Thakur, Harivansh and Kahkashan Perween as its candidates.
Union Agriculture Minister and NCP President Sharad Pawar filed his nomination papers for the biennial Rajya Sabha polls. NCP's second candidate, advocate Majid Memon and Shiv Sena’s candidate Raj Kumar Dhoot also filed their nomination papers.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has asserted that it is vitally essential to empower the women and youth along with the local bodies’ representatives in order to transform our country into a superpower. He was interacting with the elected party representatives of local bodies ahead of poll preparations at the brain-storming session at Sewagram near Wardha yesterday. He said the party's manifesto will be prepared taking the inputs from the people.
We started talking about a new way of preparing manifesto. We asked all the stake holders, what they want in the manifesto, what ever you would want we will put in. When we will be in power we will implement that thus the government will take action on your voice.
CBI has cracked down on hacking hubs at multiple locations in Mumbai, Pune and Ghaziabad on inputs received from the US probe agency FBI. The agency also arrested one person under the violation of Information Technology Act.
Talking to AIR, spokesperson of CBI, Kanchan Prasad said, it is a major operation in which agencies of China, Romania and the US are jointly acting along with CBI against cyber criminals in these countries.
After registering the case, CBI carried out searches in Ghaziabad, Mumbai and Pune.
The Syrian government and opposition have reached an agreement to sit down for their first ever direct talks. An announcement to this effect was made by UN Special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi at a press conference in Geneva yesterday. More from our Correspondent in Geneva.
Geneva talks have got yet another lifeline and the stage is set for the first direct talks between the Syrian Government and the rebel opposition. After a series of meetings, Brahimi said that in a bid to save Syria, the two sides have agreed to start three party talks on Saturday. The talks were earlier scheduled to begin on Friday. He said that discussion with the two sides were encouraging and now they are looking forward to the meetings. The UN Special envoy said the negotiations were never expected to be easy and for sure it is not going to be the easy one . Yet, he was hopeful that the Syrian Government and the rebel opposition would understand what is at stake. Atul K Tiwary, AIR News,Geneva.
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe will arrive in New Delhi today on a three-day official visit. He will attend the Republic Day Parade as chief guest. During his stay in India, Mr Abe will hold talks with his Indian counterpart, Dr Manmohan Singh for the annual summit in a bid to add substance and content to the bilateral partnership.
President Pranab Mukherjee will address the nation today on the eve of the Republic Day. The address will be broadcast over all channels of All India Radio in English followed by Hindi translation from 7 PM onwards.
Due to President's address to the nation, the timings of national news bulletins in regional languages would be revised. Also, the Hindi News Bulletin at 1900 hours, Hindi Sports at 1905 hours, Samayaki at 1935 hours, English News at 2000 hours, English Sports at 2005 hours, Newsreel at 2020 hours and National Programme at 2130 hours stand cancelled.
Today is National Voters' Day. This day is being celebrated by the Election Commission of India every year .
Voters' Day' is celebrated as a measure to enhance participation of citizens, especially youth, in the democratic electoral process. The Election Commission identifies all eligible voters attaining the age of 18 years as on January one every year in each of the 8.5 lakh polling stations across the country. Such eligible voters are enrolled on time and handed over their Electoral Photo Identity Card this day every year. The initiative is expected to give the youth a sense of empowerment, involvement and inspire them to exercise their franchise. The new voters are also provided with a badge with its logo "Proud to be a voter - Ready to vote". 'Meeqat Hashmi, AIR News."
President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest in the National Voters' Day celebrations programme today in the national capital. Mr Mukherjee will also confer awards to personnel for best electoral practices.
Himachal Pradesh is celebrating its 44th statehood day today. Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh have felicitated the people of the state on this occasion. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the state had made rapid strides in various fields during last 43 years and had emerged as a pioneer in the country.
New Zealand were 184 for the loss of 1 wickets in 32 overs against India in the third ODI cricket match at Auckland. India won the toss and elected to field. India made one change from the playing eleven of the second ODI with Varun Aaron replacing out-of-form pacer Ishant Sharma.
Down by 0-2 in the five match series, it is a must win match for India to keep the series win alive.
In the Australia Open Tennis tournament today, fourth seeded Li Na of China will clash with Dominica Cibulkova of Slovakia in the women's singles finals in Melbourne. Li Na had defeated Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the semifinals and Dominica Cibulkova had stunned higher ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland to make it to the finals.
In men's doubles finals to be played today, Russian-American combine of Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen will take on Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden.
- The Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti continues to dominate headlines today in most news dailies. His refusal to appear personally before the Delhi Commission for Women leads the Mail Today to remark "Bharti tells DCW to go fly a Kite", while the Asian Age adds "Bharti lawyers in row at DCW, mantri flies kites".
- In a related story the Hindustan Times speculates, "Congress to pull an AAP on Kejri"? and adds that "after Lok Sabha election, Congress plans a referendum on continuing support to Delhi Govt".
- The Indian Express reports with the headline "SC pulls up both Delhi govt. and Delhi Police over dharna, reminds govt. Constitution is supreme, question cops for inaction".
- In a significant story the Indian Express reports " Rage in Valley: Army clearSIT it self in Pathribal killings", while the Asian Age adds "Anger in J&K as Pathribal probe closed".
- In its lead story the Pioneer reports, "Southern politics in ferment - Alagiri suspended from DMK for dig at Karuna", The Indian Express adds "Family feud spills over, Karunanidhi suspends Alagiri".
- In its front page story The Times of India reports that two opinion polls, conducted by India Today - C Voter poll and CNN - IBN - CSDS poll have predicted that BJP is poised for best ever tally, Modi set to be PM - for first time, Congress could fall below hundred seats".
- The paper also writes; "Pawar files nominations for Rajya Sabha polls, to quit active politics", while the Pioneer informs "BJP, JD(U) name Rajya Sabha nominees - Congress to field Sheila Dikshit from Himachal Pradesh".
- And finally, The Asian Age reports that inter personal violence, infectious diseases and climate change had played a major role in the demise of the Indus or Harrapan civilisation around 4000 years ago.