• Katju: Make Shazia CM candidate, she's more beautiful than Kiran Bedi

    New Delhi: In probably the most bizarre statement made about the Delhi Assembly Election 2015, former chairman of the Press Council of India justice Markandey Katju has said that BJP should have made Shazia Ilmi their CM candidate because she is more beautiful than Kiran Bedi.

    Yes, you heard that right. In a Facebook post, Katju made this statement, offending women, Croatians and politicians all at the same time.

    Probably realising a bit later that the post was not a good idea and sensing the kind of criticism he would get, Katju posted yet another Facebook post, asking them to "develop a sense of humour".

    This, however, is not the first time justice Katju made an absurd statement. From calling a majority of his countrymen idiots to declarations on various other subjects, justice Katju has shown himself to have firm and controversial opinions on virtually any matter.

    On 26 December 2014, Katju put up a long post on Facebook, saying that "a woman has to get hold of a man, not merely to make her pregnant, but also to look after her and provide for her financially while she is performing this role".

    "Women who remain single are prone to have psychological problems," said Katju in that post. He had also said that gay relationships and gay marriages were "all humbug and nonsense".


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  • 64-year-old held for molesting minor girl in Bengaluru

    Bengaluru: The Bengaluru police has arrested a 64-year-old man for allegedly molesting a minor girl at a furniture store at HSR Layout in south Bengaluru.

    On January 27, the girl, a first standard student in a private school, was accompanying her civil engineer father and his cousin to a furniture shop on Tuesday night. The girl’s relative wanted to buy some furniture for the house. Upon reaching the shop, the father made the girl comfortable in one of the beanbags so he could go help his cousin choose furniture. Later, a 64-year-old employee, named Basha, took the girl aside and is alleged to have sexually abused her, police said.

    The girl told her parents that the "uncle" had taken her into a different room and touched her private parts.

    A case has been registered un -der the POCSO Act against the accused.

    Courtesy: Indiatoday


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  • 20 killed in Shia mosque blast in Pakistan

    Islamabad (IANS) At least 20 people were reportedly killed and 55 injured in an explosion inside a central imambargah -- mosque affiliated with Shia Muslims -- in Pakistan's Sindh province Friday.

    Over 55 people were injured in the blast that was heard several kilometres away. Children are also reportedly among the dead and injured, The News International reported citing Shaukat Memon, medical superintendent of Civil Hospital in Shikarpur.

    The imambargah is located in Lakhi Dar area of Shikarpur district and the explosion occurred just after Friday prayers.

    A number of victims were trapped under the debris after the roof of the imambargah collapsed due to the force of the blast.

    The condition of the wounded is said to be critical.

    While describing the incident a failure of the government, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) announced a three-day mourning.

    Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that emergency has been imposed at all hospitals in Shikarpur and surrounding talukas and cities.

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain issued messages condemning the incident.

    A bomb disposal squad has been dispatched to the area from Sukkur and rescue teams have reached the imambargah where the explosion took place.

    Speculation prevails that a suicide bomber may have carried out the explosion.

    It is the second major attack on an imambargah in the country since the beginning of 2015, the first being an attack on Rawalpindi's imambargah Aun Mohammad Rizvi in the garrison city's Chatian Hatian area.


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  • Agni-5 successfully test-fired

    Odisha (PTI): India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed, intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile ‘Agni-5’, which has a strike range of over 5000 kms and can carry a nuclear warhead of over one tonne, from Wheeler’s Island off Odisha coast.

    The three stage, solid propellant "missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8.06 hours," ITR Director M V K V Prasad said.

    Prasad told PTI that the canister version of Agni-5 missile was successfully test launched today.

    "The missile, witnessed a flawless ’auto launch’ and detailed results will be known after all data retrieved from different radars and network systems."

    An eye-witness said, "The sleek missile, just within a few seconds of its blast-off from the Island launchpad roared majestically into a clear sunny sky leaving behind in its trajectory a trail of thin orange and white column of smoke and within seconds it pierced the sky".

    Today’s launch was the third developmental trial of the long range missile. The first test was conducted on 19 April, 2012 and the second test on 15 September, 2013 from the same base.

    The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile Agni-5 is capable of striking a range more than 5000 km. It is about 17 meters long, 2 metres wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tonnes. The missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.

    Unlike other missiles of Agni series, the latest one ‘AGNI-5’, is most advanced having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, Prasad said.

    "Lot of new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the first Agni-5 trial. The very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the Missile reach the target point within few meters of accuracy.

    "The high speed onboard computer and fault tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly," said an official.

    India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range. After a few more trials, Agni-5 will be inducted into the services.


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  • BJP's controversial ad campaign shows Anna Hazare dead

    New Delhi: AAP leaders on Friday slammed BJP over the latter's controversial ad campaign attacking AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and showing Anna Hazare dead.

    BJP had unveiled its new advertisement campaign that targetted Kejriwal and shockingly showed Hazare with a garland on his photo.

    Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party, tweeted on Friday that the BJP should apologise for "killing Anna" in a campaign ad.

    "Nathuram Godse killed Gandhiji on this day in 1948. BJP has killed Anna in its ad today. Shudn't BJP apologise?" Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet.

    AAP leaders questioned the ruling party on its acts and said that they should apologize in public for showing a living man dead in the ad.

    Delhi will go to vote for a new government on February 7. The results will be declared on February 10.

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  • Kiran Bedi Seen Gifting Necklaces, AAP Alleges She Bribed Voters

    New Delhi: Kiran Bedi, the BJP's presumptive chief minister, has been accused of poll violation by the Aam Aadmi Party, after she was seen giving necklaces to women while campaigning on Wednesday.

    Ms Bedi was seen handing out pearl necklaces during a roadshow at Patparganj in east Delhi. AAP has alleged that this amounts to bribing voters ahead of the Delhi election eight days away.

    "They are directly luring voters by giving necklaces. This is very dangerous. It is clearly a violation of the model code of conduct," said senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia.

    AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has been facing allegations that he has repeatedly urged voters to accept bribes.

    He has been warned by the Election Commission after he said in more than one public meeting that people can "take bribe from any party but vote only for AAP."

    Mr Kejriwal has said he wants to take the Election Commission to court.

    "I didn't tell the voters to take the bribe and vote for those parties. It's a very serious issue, money for votes and my telling people had reduced the problem to some extent in the last elections," Mr Kejriwal told sources.

    Delhi votes on February 7 for a new assembly. The results will be declared on February 10.

    courtesy: NDTV


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  • ISIS threatens to behead Barack Obama in White House

    Islamic State militants have threatened to behead Barack Obama and turn the U.S. into a Muslim province in the latest gruesome video to emerge from their self-styled caliphate.

    The footage shows a black-clad jihadist standing over a Kurdish soldier who, in a sickening climax to the video, has his head cut off.

    Before the hostage is executed, the ISIS fighter warns the U.S. president: 'Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America.

    'Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province.'

    The militant's threats do not stop at America, but also include a message for France and 'sister' Belgium.

    He says: 'We advise you that we will come to you with car bombs and explosive charges and will cut off your heads'.

    Earlier this month, jihadist gunmen killed 17 people in a terror attack in Paris. Days later Belgium intelligence services smashed a suspect Islamist plot to kill a police officer or judge.

    The militant then saves his most personal attack for the Kurdish leader Masoud Barazani, who is currently leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

    'As for you, oh Masoud (Barazani), you dog, we are going to behead you and throw you into the trash bin of history.

    'Know that we are men who fear no-one. We will institute the laws of Allah, may he be exalted and praised.'

    Referring to the Kurdish hostage, he continues: 'This is the fate of one of your soldiers, and every time you launch a missile, we will send you back the head of one of your soldiers.

    'You are killing children and bombarding civilians while claiming that this is forbidden in your constitution.'

    The video, which ends with the hostage being beheaded, was discovered by Memri TV which translated it from Arabic.

    It emerged two days after Kurdish fighters expelled ISIS from the strategic Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish border after months of fierce fighting.

    The news prompted celebrations among residents who fled across the frontier into Turkey, with thousands gathering at the border in the hope they will be able to return home more than four months after the fighting first started.

    The town's recapture marked a key symbolic and strategic blow against ISIS, but officials warned massive reconstruction was needed and the fight would continue for the surrounding villages.

    Courtesy: Daily Mail

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  • Obama shouldn't lecture India on religious tolerance: Swamy

    New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP ) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday criticised US President Barack Obama for his Town Hall speech, stating that Washington should not lecture India on religious tolerance, and accused Muslims and Christians of brutalising Hindus.

    "He (President Obama) should mind his own business. Two million Hindus who are working there (in the US) are not allowed to build their temples; they are not allowed to celebrate Diwali. He only gives lectures here. He says in America they have worked out a harmony. In America, the majority was brutalising the minority. In India, for 800 years, the Islamic minority was brutalising the majority Hindus," said Swamy.

    "Even today, minorities are giving us difficulties in Kashmir, in Malapurram in Kerala, in small town panchayats in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, this advice from Obama was totally uncalled for. He should first understand the Indian problem before giving us advice," he added.

    Swamy was reacting to President Obama's speech on Tuesday, where he had cautioned India against efforts to divide society on sectarian lines.

    "Every person has the right to practice his faith without any persecution, fear or discrimination. India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on religious lines," the US President had said while addressing a gathering at the Siri Fort auditorium in the capital.


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  • Al-Qaeda threateans Tamil Nadu newspaper - Dinamalar

    Chennai: A threat letter, stating ‘Yesterday Paris — Charlie Hebdo, tomorrow Dinamalar’, was received at the office of the Tamil daily in Royapettah on Monday. The Chennai police are probing the threat claimed to have been sent by The Base Moment of the Al-Qaeda.

    According to police sources, the letter was addressed to the Editor of the newspaper and was received at its office on Whites Road.

    The Investigating officer said, "The letter had a map of India with the threat message typed across, it read - ‘Yesterday Paris — Charlie Hebdo, tomorrow Dinamalar’. There was a photograph of Osama bin Laden on the right hand side with ‘by al-Qaeda’ message typed in English and Arabic", he added.

    The letter seems to have been posted from Coimbatore with the sender’s address reading The Base Moment, 3/10 Ukkadam, Kovai, Tamil Nadu. An investigation is under way on the origin of the letter and whether the sender’s address is authentic.

    The newspaper authorities approached the office of the Director General of Police with the threat letter and lodged a formal complaint, which was forwarded to the Chennai City Police for investigation.

    Meanwhile, police security has been provided for the newspaper’s office.


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National / State

  • Chaos at Taluk Panchayat meeting over absence of officials

    Mysuru: The blame game indulged in by elected representatives over the absence of Taluk Panchayat officials created chaos here in Taluk Panchayat meeting held at Mini Vidhana Soudha on Friday.

    Taluk Panchayat member Raghu said, “The government funds which have been released to the Taluk Panchayat was not properly utilised and out of 72 development works only 12 works have been completed. Only Rs 50 lakhs have been used out of the Rs 3 crore fund. The funds which are not utilised will be taken back by the government and executive engineer Raghu is responsible for the negligence.”

    But Raghu was not present during the meeting which enraged the elected representatives and Mahendra also alleged that Raghu had claimed that he doesn’t have to show interest in attending Taluk Panchayat meeting. He said that he has audio proof for it.

    Later at 1.30 Raghu came to the meeting and said he had a meeting and when the elected members blamed Raghu, he said that the other development works will be initiated in a week.

    More than meeting, the verbal war of elected representatives overshadowed the discussion in the meeting.

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  • Malayalam actor Shine Tom Chacko arrested on drug charge

    New Delhi: Malayalam actor Shine Tom Chacko and four women were arrested in Kochi for allegedly possessing narcotics, police said today.

    On a tip off, the police raided the flat in Kadavanthara last night and recovered 10 grams of cocaine valued Rs.1 million in the international market, police here said Saturday.

    Police took into custody five persons-- actor Shine Tom Chacko, assistant director Blessy and three young models when the party was on at the flat.

    They were taken into custody on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday from a flat of controversial businessman Muhammed Nisham. Of the four women, one works in Dubai, police said.

    Chacko began his film career as an assistant director besides playing small roles. In his last release "Ithihasa", Chacko plays the central role.

    The cocaine, said to have been brought from Goa, was seized, they added. Police are questioning them and will produce them before a magistrate later in the day.

    Courtesy: Indiatoday


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  • Sacked foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh blasts Modi Govt, Says her reputation maligned

    New Delhi: Axed from the post of foreign secretary two days ago, a "deeply pained" Sujatha Singh hit back on Friday saying that stories were being "planted" in the media to tarnish her reputation after having served for 39 years.

    "The commentary that I have seen over the past two days has pained me deeply. I believe it was not necessary to get low and dirty," she said.

    Affirming that she wanted give her papers and "leave without any ceremony and without any fuss", Singh said, "but unfortunately that has not been the case and I believe that my reputation has been tarnished".

    Giving details of the abrupt "curtailment" of her two-year tenure seven months before it was to end in August, Singh said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had telephoned her around 2 pm on Wednesday, telling her she was calling to give "not so good news" and that the Prime Minister wanted to appoint S Jaishankar as the Foreign Secretary.

    Singh said that she had kept her resignation letter ready but she was told that she would lose her retirement benefits in that case. Therefore, she sent a letter around 7 pm seeking early retirement "as instructed by the Prime Minister".

    Couple of hours later, an official announcement was put on a government website stating that her tenure has been "curtailed" with immediate effect, she told a news channel.

    She disclosed that three weeks earlier she had been sounded whether she would consider moving out to a tenure post, which was not spelt out. In any case, she was never interested

    in any government assignment including ambassadorship or UPSC membership.

    Sacked just after a "successful visit" by President Barack Obama here, Singh said, "It was a decision that had already been taken and nothing I could have done would have made a difference."

    Noting that there were "negative comments more frequently than I would care to count" from the Prime Minister's Office on the performance of the External Affairs Ministry, she said she was told not to take it "personally" and that it "happens with other ministries" as well.

    She also said it was important to be "intellectually honest" and "to have intellectual integrity to say as it is and make it all about me, I myself."

    "Shall I start by claiming credit for working on the nitty gritty of the recent understandings we arrived at on the civil nuclear deal with the US- The liability and the administrative issues - Believe me, I was fully involved in guiding the discussions, taking decisions on the line to take, on what to do and what not to do. I coordinated very closely with the Prime Minister's Office," she said.

    Observing that last eight months of Modi-government have been full of high-voltage successful diplomatic engagements, she said, "None of this would have happened with the PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) or the EAM (External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj) operating on their own, in a vacuum."

    Asked if her successor has promoted himself, she did not give a direct answer and just said she believed that one has to think about the institution and the ministry.


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  • State excise minister withdraws resignation

    Bengaluru: Excise Minister Satish Jarkiholi, who had created ripples in the Congress by putting in his papers, finally relented and decided to withdraw his resignation on Friday night after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured him of a new portfolio.

    Jarkiholi took the decision after meeting Siddaramaiah at Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa’s residence in Bengaluru. Jarkiholi will continue with Excise for now, and a new portfolio would be given to him after the legislature session scheduled to commence on February 2, party sources said.

    “Siddaramaiah is our leader, he has convinced me to withdraw my resignation. I will work in the government and also work towards strengthening the party,” Jarkiholi told reporters after the meeting.

    Jarkiholi had faxed his resignation letter to the chief minister on Tuesday requesting him to relieve him from ministerial responsibilities so that he could devote time to social service and party work. However, the real reason is Siddaramaiah’s son Rakesh’s interference in the Excise department, sources said.

    Jarkiholi, a one-time close associate of Siddaramaiah, was also unhappy that the chief minister had been sidelining him.

    A Congress delegation led by Belagavi Congress district president Lakshmi Hebbalkar, MLA Feroz Sait and others had held meetings with Siddaramaiah on Thursday and set the stage for Friday’s meeting.

    Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters in Koppal, Siddaramaiah said Jarkiholi’s demand for a change of portfolio would be considered at the time of Cabinet reshuffle. The chief minister said Jarkiholi had not made any demand except the change of portfolio.

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  • 230 'crorepatis' in Delhi election fray, Congress fields maximum

    New Delhi: As many as 230 out of 673 candidates in fray for February 7 Delhi polls are crorepatis, the election watchdog ADR said on Friday, noting that Congress has fielded maximum such candidates.

    "230 candidates in the poll fray are crorepatis. During the 2013 and 2008 Assembly polls, the number of crorepatis in fray were 265 and 180 respectively," Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member ADR, said at a press conference here.

    The Association of Democratic reforms, on basis of an analysis of the affidavits of the poll nominees, pointed out that 62 candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 10 crore.

    "Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who is contesting on a Shiromani Akali Dal ticket from Rajouri Garden constituency, is the richest candidate in fray with assets worth over Rs 239 crore. He is followed by AAP's Parmila Tokas contesting from RK Purama and BJP's Sat Prakash Rana contesting from Bijwasan constituency. They have assets worth Rs 87 crore and 78 crore respectively," he said.

    Sirsa also featured on top of the list of candidates with high liabilities and high income declared in Income Tax Returns (ITR).

    The organisation observed that Congress has fielded maximum of 59 crorepatis while BJP and AAP have fielded 44 and 28 crorepatis each.

    Sushil Kumar Mishra of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha who is contesting from Burari has declared zero assets.

    A total of 80 candidates have declared assets less than Rs 1 lakh while three candidates have declared assets as low as Rs 100, Rs 1300 and Rs 1500 respectively.


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  • KL Rahul becomes first Karnataka batsman to score 300 in Ranji Trophy

    Bengaluru: Mangalorean lad KL Rahul today scored a triple century for Karnataka against Uttar Pradesh on the second day of their Ranji Trophy match in Bengaluru. It was a new record from Rahul as he became the first Karnataka batsman to hit a triple hundred in first-class cricket. Rahul’s outstanding innings of 336 (448 balls, 47x4, 4x4) is also the 8th highest individual score by an Indian in Ranji Trophy and overall in first-class cricket.

    Team India’s talented Test opener resuming at his overnight score of 150, the right-handed batsman reached 300 in the second session of play at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday. Rahul’s marathon innings finally ended in the 165th over when he was caught by Mukul Dagar off Ali Murtaza.

    The previous best by a Karnataka batsman was 283 (Barrington Rowland, against Madhya Pradesh at the same venue in 2004/05 season).

    The 22-year-old Rahul made his Test debut last month in Australia and scored his maiden Test ton in Sydney earlier this month. Overall, this was Rahul’s 8th first-class century in 31st match.

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  • Karnataka govt to make Kannada Compulsory up to Standard 5

    Bengaluru: Just after the Supreme Court ruled that the medium of instruction in schools has to be as per the wishes of the parents and the child, the Karnataka Cabinet on Thursday decided to make Kannada compulsory in all schools up to Standard 5.

    The Karnataka government is seeking to amend the Right to Education Act, passed by Parliament in 2009. It wants to replace a clause in the Act which states that the medium of instruction "as far as possible, shall be in the mother tongue", with "shall be in Kannada".

    "Such a replacement has already been done in Tamil Nadu," state Law Minister TB Jayachandra said. Jayachandra told sources that the government was aware that this amendment would be contrary to the Supreme Court ruling on the matter. "We are doing it because we want to make our stand on the primacy of Kannada clear, even to the Supreme Court," the minister said.

    "I don't think they can amend the RTE Act," former advocate-general Ashok Har nahalli told sources."They will have to bring a separate legislation on it."

    Karnataka has long been a forerunner on the medium of instruction issue. The state saw a people's movement in the 1980s, called the Gokak agitation, which fought for Kannada as the first language in schools.

    The Gokak report, submitted to the then government headed by R Gundu Rao, recommended that Kannada be made the medium of instruction in all government, aided, unaided and private schools up to Standard 4 in the state.

    No action was taken on this till April 29, 1994, when the state government headed by M Veerappa Moily issued a notification implementing this recommendation, giving just two options: the medium of instruction would either be the mother tongue of the child, which covered eight languages, or Kannada. Since then, permission to start schools was given only to those which have Kannada or one of the other eight languages - such as Tamil, Urdu and Telugu - as the medium of instruction.

    Contesting this, an umbrella organisation called the Karnataka Unaided Schools Managements Association (KUSMA), along with several others, filed writ petitions in the Karnataka High Court, stating that this notification was illegal as per the Constitution of India. The argument was that a language cannot be compulsorily imposed on a child and the parents had a right to decide what language he or she should study.

    On July 2, 2008, a three-judge bench of the high court struck down the notification. This was challenged by the state in the Supreme Court. A five-judge bench of the apex court unanimously upheld KUSMA's petition on May 6, 2014. A review petition by the state was dismissed on September 9, 2014. Now the state has filed a curative petition, which is likely to be heard in about 10 days.


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  • Jayanthi Natarajan bombs Congress; slams Rahul Gandhi, quits party

    Former Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan quit the Congress on Friday after spending almost four decades in the party alleging she was humiliated and dumped unceremoniously from the environment ministry for no fault of hers.

    Ahead of a press conference in Chennai where she is expected to resign from the party formally, Natarajan in an explosive letter to the AICC president Sonia Gandhi has accused vice-president Rahul Gandhi of meddling in the environment ministry's affairs.News channels reported she has already put in her papers.

    This is by far the most damning accusation by a former UPA minister, who was criticised by the opposition and the then BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of charging a 'Natarajan tax' for environmental clearances during the campaign for the 2014 general elections.

    "My entire career is ruined, and above all, the sacred and venerable legacy of my family, which served our nation and party with immense distinction, and patriotism stands in danger of being tarnished," Natarajan said in her letter to Sonia Gandhi, written on November 5, 2014.

    "I am still unable to understand what I have done wrong, or what crime I have committed to have been treated like this in the party I have faithfully served so long. I want to categorically state that I have always been a loyal, sincere dedicated party worker, implicitly obeying the orders of my leaders. I have always carried out any task assigned to me with sincerity and dedication, and have never been guilty of any wrongdoing of any kind, in my public and personal life," she wrote in her letter.

    Smarting under her unceremonious sacking from the environment ministry, Natarajan said she has not been till date given the reason as to why she was dropped from the ministry.

    "I want to place on record, that from December 20, 2013, until now, I have still not been told by you, why I was asked to resign from the Council of Ministers, nor have I ever been asked or given an opportunity to explain, if indeed I had committed any wrongdoing. On the other hand, the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to me, accepting my resignation, in which he praised the excellent work I had done as minister, and what he termed my valuable contribution as minister. In these circumstances, it was clearly not the Prime Minister nor my work in Government, which led to my ouster as minister. Thus it still baffles me, why I was humiliated so brutally," said Natarajan.

    She has written that she received "specific requests" from Rahul Gandhi on environmental clearances and made sure she followed them. She repeatedly says that she took decisions in line with party diktat adding that these were guided by the Prime Minister's Office.

    "I received specific requests [which used to be directives for us] from Shri Rahul Gandhi and his office forwarding environmental concerns in some important areas and I took care to honour those requests," Natarajan said in her letter, which is being construed as a farewell letter by political analysts.

    She alleged she had become a victim of a "vicious, false and motivated" media campaign by particular, chosen individuals in the party after Rahul Gandhi shifted from his pro-environmental position to a corporate-friendly one during the campaign for Lok Sabha elections.

    "I received information that persons from the office of Shri Rahul Gandhi were calling the media and planting stories that my resignation was NOT for party work."

    "What followed was a hysterical vicious false and motivated campaign against me, in the media, orchestrated entirely by particular chosen individuals in the party. There was not a single word of truth in what was said, nor was there a single concrete fact."

    Natarajan had resigned in December 2013, months before the 2014 general elections and the Congress had then claimed that she would instead focus on party work. ...

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  • Hyderabad: Neha Shetty First Runner-up in Miss South India Contest

    Hyderabad: Neha Shetty (18), II PU student at Deeksha College in Yelahanka in Bengaluru was chosen the second runner-up in the 12th edition of Manappuram Miss South India 2015 grand finale held in Hotel Marriott Convention Centre on Jan 27.


    Alieena Catherin Amon from Kerala won the Miss South India 2015 crown. The first runner-up belongs to Karnataka and the second runner-up Gayatri Suresh hails from Kerala.

    Finalist Alieena Catherin Amon Miss South India 2015 won Rs 1 lakh as prize money and a work contract worth Rs 20,000 from Pegasus.

    Neha Shetty won prize money of Rs 50,000 and a work contract worth Rs 20,000 from Pegasus.

    Gayatri Suresh won Rs 30,000 as prize money and also work contract worth Rs 20,000 from Pegasus.

    Neha is the daughter of B Hariraj Shetty and Dr Nimmi Shetty couple from Bengaluru. ...

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  • Swami Pranavananda, Rajesh Poojary of Hindu Mahasabha get life threat

    Mangaluru: Rajesh Poojary, a member of the Hindu Mahasabha filed a complaint of threat calls in the office of the Police Commissioner here on January 31.

    A member of the Hindu Mahasabha, Rajesh Poojary has been receiving threat calls from a person through the internet for the past four days. In this regard, he filed a complaint in the Commissioner’s Office. On January 30, President of Hindu Mahasabha Swami Pranavananda also received three threat calls.

    In this regard, Swami Prananvanda along with the members of the Hindu Mahasabha met the DCP of Law & Order Santhosh Babu IPS and submitted a memorandum seeking action against the callers.

    Speaking to mangalorean.com, Prananvanda Swamiji said that the caller had called him thrice and said, "Before March 21, we will finish 6 of Hindu Mahasabha members. We will not allow you to make India a Hindu Nation." Rajesh Poojary, State Organizing Secretary of Hindu Mahasabha Dharmendra, and others were also present.


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  • Mangaluru: Advocate Fazal Rahim Takes Charge as President of Puttur Block Congress

    Mangaluru: The state President of thr Congress party Dr G Parameshwar appointed Advocate Fazal Rahim as the President of Puttur Block Congress. 

    The present block Congress president Kavu Hemanath Shetty who had recently formed a non-political outfit called Bharatiya Hindu Parishat was removed from his post as President of Puttur Block Congress. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister B Janardhana Poojary was against the forming of BHP and advised the party to take strict action against the person who had founded it in Puttur. He also said that forming Bhartiya Hindu Parishat is against the principles of the Congress party. 

    On January 31, the president of KPCC Dr G Parameshwar taking action sent an appointment letter to the district congress office appointing Advocate Fazal Rahim as the President of Puttur Block Congress removing K Hemanath Shetty the founder of BHP from the post. Kavu Hemanath Shetty was holding interim charge of the Puttur Block congress.

    The letter, sent to Fazal Rahim, stated that, he should work under the guidance of the Congress committee and with the support of the congress leaders should work for the welfare of the party. 

    Dr G Parameshwar also wished him success in his political career.


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  • Congress shows doors to BHP Founder,Puttur Block Chief Kavu Hemanath Shetty

    Puttur: In a significant development, the State Congress leadership has on January 31, Saturday sacked Puttur Block Congress President Kavu Hemanath Shetty who was in the centre stage of a controversy ever since he launched a Hindu outfit named Bharatiya Hindu Parishad.

    A letter by KPCC President Dr G Parameshwar states that Fazal Raheem would be immediately taking over as the Puttur Block Congress President.

    It may be mentioned here that ever since Hemanath Shetty floated his Hindu outfit, reportedly to counter the VHP, he had faced sharp criticisms from senior party leader B Janardhana Poojary and many other Congress leaders.

    Poojary had even demanded disciplinary action against Shetty for anti-party activities.


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  • Mangaluru: SP Sharanappa Distributes Prizes to Winners of Essay'students role in preventing crime'

    Mangaluru: The district police department held a price distribution ceremony for the Essay competition winners, at the SP office here on January 31. An Essay writing competition was held in Kannada and English for college students about their role in preventing crime. 10 students from two categories won the prizes. In the Kannada section, Taksha Jain from Mahaveera College Moodbidri won the first place, Shruti from Government First Grade College Sullia won the second place, Ranjan from Kadaba, Chethana S from Mahaveera College Moodbidri and Nirmala K from Haleangandi won the third place respectively.

    In the English section, Chirtalekha M from Government First Grade College Sullia won the first place, Vidhyashree Patel from St Joseph P U College Bajpe and Geethnjali from Kavoor won the second place, Apsara from Narayana Guru College Mulki and Hameed M K from Government First Grade College Sullia won the third place respectively.

    On behalf of the winners, Vidhyashree expressed her thoughts and said that the essay competition has helped her to know more about the police department. She also said that if we are leading a peaceful life, we need to give all the credit to the police because they are the ones who work hard to provide protection to the citizens to lead a safe and peaceful life.

    Taksha expressing her thoughts said, "I was afraid of the police, because I was not aware of the police department. Through the essay writing competition, I received an opportunity to interact with the police and to know more about their operations. We need to conduct such programmes often so that students can understand the police and their work. Police are the ones who safe guard the society by maintaining law and order, and helping the citizens in many other ways, yet we are ignorant about their service. When we are in trouble, we realise the importance of the police department." She also thanked the police department for organizing the Essay competition for the students and urged the department to hold such programmes regularly and in a bigger way so that the youth can understand their duties and help the police in building a safe and secure society.

    Apsara expressed her thoughts and said, "I was scared of the police but after participating in the Essay competition, I have realized that the police are working round the clock to maintain law and order to provide a safe and secure environment for the citizens."

    SP Dr Sharanappa speaking on the occasion said that the police department is striving hard to provide protection to the public. "To bring awareness among the students, we had organized the essay writing competition because we observe the month of December as a Crime prevention month. We have received a very good response from the students and 60 students have sent their essays regarding crime prevention on various topics. We have selected the best essays and awarded prizes to the winners."

    He further said that some people are now misusing technology and victimizing women, children and youth. Atrocities on women, sexual abuse and other crimes have also increased. "Our prime responsibility is to protect the citizens from various crimes. In Dakshina Kannada district, we have good infrastructure, educational institutions, medical facilities, etc., and at the same time, there are communal disturbances. The police department is short in manpower. We are inviting the citizens to join hands with the police department. the Police are for the public and public is for the police. Public should join hands with the police to ensure peace and harmony in the society."

    On February 7, an inter-collegiate skit competition will be held in Vivekananda College Puttur. The best skit will be recorded and presented in every programme. Station superintendent Ravichandra compered the programme. Sanjiva Gowda delivered the vote of thanks. Additional SP Shekabba was also present.


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  • Science behind ‘Maha Masthakabhisheka’

    Entire Karkala wakes up from hibernation once in 12 years when the Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony of Lord Bahubali is around the corner. It is during this period that I make one extra visit to Karkala and as I stroll down the narrow lanes here, my memory runs back to 1970.

    Higher Primary School at Govindar, located about 15 kms from Karkala was bustling with joy as the news of a trip for the students of class V, VI and VII to view the statue of Lord Bahubali broke. I was a student of class VII then and like my counterparts, I too found myself day dreaming of my visit to Karkala to witness the statue of Lord Bahubali. Today a coin of Rs 5 would probably buy us a chocolate, but back in 1970, hefty sum of Rs 5 collected for the trip brought us whole lot of joy for a day and everlasting memories.

    The night before the trip seemed to be the longest as I waited for the dawn to break.

    ‘Who is Gomateshwara,’ I asked my Amma that night.

    Sitting next to me, Amma narrated the story of two brothers-Bharatha and Bahubali, the sons of first Theertankara of Jainism-Vrishabhadeva.

    Amma narrated to me how older brother Bharatha gets the Chakrarathna and thus sets out to wage war and bring the world under his command and how he wins all kingdoms but fails to defeat his younger brother in the ensuing ‘Dharmayudha’.

    “Bahubali wins the battle of ‘Dharma’ but refuses accept the victory as a voice within beckons him to tread the path of renunciation of worldly pleasures,” Amma told to an attentively listening me.

    Bahubali returns the fortune that he had won back to his older brother and even discarding his clothes he ventures into the woods to begin his pursuit for enlightenment.

    As Amma painted a never fading picture of Lord Bahubali, who epitomized non-violence, peace, sacrifice and several other true virtues, I was all set for the big day.

    At 8 am, all the students of the said three classes assembled at the school ground and we were systematically made to board the bus from Bailur. In Karkala, before heading to see Lord Bahubali, we were taken to local temples and mesmerizing Rama Samudra lake.

    A cherry on the cake was a visit to the spot where the statue of Lord Bahubali was being sculpted, which was soon to be taken to Dharmasthala. While all of us remained gazing at the skies hoping to see the silhouette of Lord Bahubali with the red hot sun on the background, it took some efforts for the teachers to tell us that the statue was reclining on the ground as the expert sculptors were still giving final chisels before transporting it to Dharmasthala!

    Time flew and Gomatabetta and statue of Gomateshwara of Karkala became an inseparable part of my life. Passing from any locale in Karkala, the face of Lord Bahubali overlooking the town was a daily lavish spectacle.

    The ‘Mahamasthakabhisheka’ or anointment of Lord Bahubali is going on and after having been emotionally attached to this place, I feel a pinch at heart when people question the need for this ritual calling it a ‘colossal waste’. What many fail to understand is the science of that runs into the entire ritual.

    Mahamasthakabhisheka etymologically means pouring of auspicious substances or the ‘Mangaladravya’ on the torso. The ritual may include pouring of over 250 tender coconuts, 200 litres of sugar cane juice, 500 litres of milk, 80 kg rice flour, 100 kg turmeric, 100 kg decoction of various herbs called ‘Kashaya’, 70 kg sandalwood paste,  50 kg of red sandalwood paste among others.

    Karkala Bahubali is 42 ft monolithic statue which was installed in 1432. The statue of Lord Bahubali at Shravanbelagola is about 1000-years-old.  How have these statues withstood the onslaught of unfavourable weather conditions over so many centuries? The answer to this intriguing question is the ‘Mahamasthakabhisheka’.

    Water cleans the statue, milk adds sheen to it, sugarcane juice is believed to beautify the statue (as the story of Lord Bahubali refers to him as the most handsome of all. Word Gomata too refers to someone with extraordinary beauty), turmeric removes insects and parasites housed on the statue, sandalwood cools down the statue and Kashaya cleanses the surface,  in that order. With the periodic anointment, the statue is made ready to stand strong.

    Amidst the argument of need for this elaborate ritual, what remains as strong as the statue itself is the immense faith of people who throng in large numbers even across the boundaries of the country to take part in it. For some it is means to come to terms with their pain and unchanging reality and for some it is a simple thanksgiving for Lord’s benevolence.  For some it is sheer fun to be a part of the event and for some it is a tradition to be passed down generations in its pristine form. Whatever may the reason be, these are the flavours of our rich land, which should be preserved for eternity.

    Manohar Prasad
    Masthakabhisheka Pics : Astro Mohan


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  • Father of 23 children accused of sexual assault

    Bantwal: A 53-year old man, who is a husband of four wives and father of 23 children, has been accused of sexually assaulting one of his daughters friend in his residence on Thursday.

    As per the complaint, the accused is Rajab, a resident of Karaje, Salethur in Vittal. A case under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act has been registered in Vittal police station.

    It’s learnt that one of the daughters of Rajab had accompanied her ten-year-old friend to the house. The aggrieved girl then told to her mother, who then filed a complaint with the police.

    Police have arrested the accused, who has been sent to judicial custody. ...

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  • Mangaluru: 22-year-old Engineer, Sole Male Issue of Parents, Dies in Road Collision at Chelairu

    Mangaluru: Deepak (22), a resident of Chelairu and a Civil engineer by profession, died on the spot when a bike he was riding was knocked down by an oil tanker at Chelairu cross on Thursday night.

    Son of Gopal and Kamalakshi couple living in Chelairu colony, he worked with a private firm in Bijai. He was the only son of his parents and is survived by parents and two sisters.

    The Suratkal-Kundapur highway upgradation is in progress. The traffic on the western side of the dual carriage had been blocked. As he stopped his vehicle and was waiting to cross to the other side, the fuel tanker is said to have rammed into his bike. While the bike was not damaged much, the tanker is said to have passed over his body.

    Deepak was an active member of the well-known 'Kalakumbha' cultural organization in Kulai. He was returning home after taking part in the rehearsal for a cultural programme to veheld on Saturday, January 31. He was also the head of the student wing of Kulal Sangha.

    His final rites were held in the crematorium in Suratkal. A case of negligent driving has been registered against the tanker driver in the north police station.


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  • Mangaluru: KCCI Holds workshop on 'Next Generation Waste Solutions'

    Mangaluru: The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) organised a workshop on "Next Generation Waste Solutions", at the KCCI Meeting Hall Bunder, here on January 30.

    The dignitaries inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp. The Secretary of KCCI Jeevan Saldanha introduced the speakers to the gathering.

    Mayor Mahabala Marla addressing the gathering said that any work should be done with foresight. "Many countries like Australia and Israel have undertaken projects efficiently and ecologically manage waste, harvest rainwater, etc. Such projects are not possible without public cooperation."

    Eli Cohen, Israeli Environment expert, gave a presentation on Sustainable Systems. He has founded and manages Ayala Water and Ecology, a company based in Moshav Tsipori that uses aquatic plants to clean polluted water, air and soil, in a natural way. During his presentation, he said that rapid development along with the continuous introduction of numerous manmade contaminants have caused continuous destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems, leading to unstable localized environments that cannot recover on their own, eventually adding up to have a global effect. Around the world, governments are raising the standards for discharging and allowing re-use of treated wastewater for new as well as existing facilities. Conventional wastewater treatment technologies, like activated sludge and desalination, offer partial solutions for both water shortage and pollution. However, in the short run as well as the long run, these methods damage the environment: the end products either still contain various levels of hazardous pollutants such as hormones and pharmaceuticals (activated sludge systems) or lack essential macro and micro elements (desalination). In both cases the damage to the soil and living organisms is not yet fully predicted or understood. In addition, these energy consuming technologies also contribute to global warming and create by-products such as used membranes and sludge. These require expensive manpower for maintenance, are hazardous, and lower the value of local real estate due to the poor esthetics and odor from the facilities.

    He further said that in nature, biological systems exist and evolve as needed in order to maintain the balance between neighboring ecological systems. A sustainable system is a powerful living organism that can withstand extreme fluctuation and last for many years. Natural Biological Systems (NBS) are a practical, on-site method to implement this concept for simultaneous purification of soil, water and air.

    Images and results of many such projects undertaken by AYALA around the world were shown during the presentation which included the Neot Smadar lake rehabilitation, on site sustainable solutions to the sewage treatment of Hyderabad and Bangaluru.

    Mark Garrett presented the concept of Permaculture. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature. Garrett explained the principles involved behind Permaculture and how everyday waste, ranging from metals and plastics to cardboard, glass and wood, can be put to good use. Permaculture can be used to develop a sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. It works on three core tenets, namely, care for the earth, care for the people and return the surplus. He also briefed on the restoration project on the Kagal Beach undertaken by the Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation.

    Mayor Mahabala Marla, Rammohan Pai Maroor (Vice President, KCCI), Jeevan Saldanha (Secretary, KCCI) and M Ganesh Bhat (Treasurer, KCCI) were present on the dais.


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Mumbai Rounds
  • Mumbai: Cricketer K L Rahul visits Payyade Sports Club

    Mumbai: Indian Cricketer K L Rahul who was here to inaugurate the Bunts Annual Sports Meet 2015 on 25th January visited Payyade Sports Club, Kandivali here.
    The Tulu speaking cricketer who scored a century recently in the International test series was felicitated by Dr P V Shetty, Chairman of Payyade Sports Club. The players of the club congratulated him for his achievements.

    The tall, elegant right-hand batsman who can keep wicket in a crisis, K L Rahul is among the most highly rated opening batsmen in India's next generation. Rahul was a part of India's squad in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup and made his first-class debut later that year. Having taken a while to establish himself as a first-class cricketer, he enjoyed a breakthrough 2013-14 season, laying the foundation for Karnataka's Ranji Trophy victory with 1033 runs, which included three centuries, three nineties, and a Man-of-the-Match performance in the final. Rahul attracted plenty of attention at the subsequent IPL auction, and finally went to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs. 1 crore (US$ 166,000 approx.).

    He was a regular member of their side in the 2014 season, mostly as wicketkeeper-batsman, but his contributions with the bat were steady rather than spectacular. In the long format, however, his technique and application have impressed some of Indian cricket's most respected names. These include Rahul Dravid, with whom Rahul shares not just a name but also a strong rapport, regularly seeking him out for technical and mental advice.

    Rahul had a middling tour of Australia with the India A team in July-August 2014, getting starts each time he batted in the unofficial Tests but only managing a top score of 52. But his appetite for runs was back to normal by the time the 2014-15 domestic season began, and twin centuries in the Duleep Trophy final earned him a place in India's Test squad on their tour of Australia.


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  • Mumbai Crime: Caught Drink Driving, MBA Student Bites Off Cop's Finger

    Mumbai (mid-day): In a show of brazenness that has shaken up the police department, one of two MBA students caught for drink driving slapped a policeman while the other bit off a part of the little finger of a constable who came to his colleague's rescue.

    Since the cops couldn't find the bitten-off portion of the little finger for nearly three hours, it could not be reattached and the constable will have to live without one-third of his finger for life.

    Around 1 am on Sunday, a team of five constables from the Borivli police had set up a roadblock (nakabandi) on the Rajendra Nagar Bridge (rail over bridge) in Sumer Nagar. "At 2.50 am, we spotted two men on an Activa, which was being ridden in a rash and negligent manner. The men were also making a lot of noise. When we stopped them at the nakabandi, we noticed that both of them were reeking of alcohol," said Suresh Chaugule, one of the constables present for the nakabandi.

    Violations galore

    The men identified themselves as Ashvinkumar Ramnath Singh (29) and Abhishekh Jitendra Pandey (27). They had come to Mumbai from Delhi for their MBA and were staying in Charkop.

    The policemen asked Pandey, who was riding the scooter, for a driving licence and papers, but they did not have anything. Pandey was not even wearing a helmet. The cops then decided to take the students to the police station, charge them for drink driving, and let them go in the morning. "When we escorted them to the police van, where they were supposed to wait, they were not even able to stand properly. I asked them why they were riding the scooter when they were drunk and one of them said, 'Daru piya to tu kar kya lega' (Yes, we have consumed alcohol. What can you do about it)," said Chaugule.

    Singh than slapped Chaugule hard, prompting the other four constables to rush to the van to save him. Constable Deepak Gite was standing closest to Pandey and the latter immediately caught hold of Gite's left hand and bit his little finger. No one could understand what was happening and a huge amount of blood began flowing from Gite's hand.

    Finger hunt

    Gite was rushed to Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli, while Singh and Pandey were taken to the Borivli police station. Doctors at the hospital asked the cops to take Gite to another hospital since one-third of his finger was missing. When the constable was taken to the Lifeline Hospital in Malad, the doctors asked the cops for the portion that had been bitten off.

    "We searched the whole area where he had been bitten and even looked inside the police van. We finally found the missing portion of the finger in a corner of the van, under the seat, around 6 am," said a policeman from the team. The doctors, however, said that it was too late to attach the missing portion, and Gite was discharged from the hospital last evening.


    Police said that Pandey and Singh had been drinking heavily. They had run out of alcohol and were going to Borivli (East) to buy some more.

    Senior Police Inspector Narayan Khaire, from Borivli police station, said, "We have arrested Singh and Pandey, who are from Delhi and came to Mumbai to pursue their MBA degrees. They reside in Charkop. They were produced in the holiday court and remanded in police custody."

    The duo was charged under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC, and relevant sections of the Bombay Police Act. ...

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  • Mumbai: Tulu–Kannadiga Festival Organised by Vasai Taluk Mogaveera Sangha

    Mumbai: Vasai Taluk Mogaveera Sangha (VTMS) celebrated two-day Tulu–Kannadiga Festival on 17 and 18 January 2015 at Vasai–Virar Mahanagar Palika Ground, Vasai West.
    Karnoor Shankar Alva, President of Vasai Manikanta Seva Samiti inaugurated the two-day festival on January 17 and extended his best wishes for the special celebrations.

    Ln. Shankar K T who was present as the guest requested the Tulu–Kannadigas to support such festivals. Inspite of having large organisations in the locality VTMS is celebrating its 5th year in a very special way which no one has done before. After the stage function various entertainment and cultural events were held.
    The concluding ceremony was held on 18th January evening under the presidentship of S Y Suvarna, Vice President of Mogaveera Bank. In his presidential address he said that the organisation which is just 5 years old has achieved a lot. For the growth of the Mogaveera Bank VTMS has contributed immensely.
    Mayor of Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation Narayan Waikar was the chief guest. Addressing the gathering Mayor Narayan assured to support the Sangha to build educational institution and provide all the facilities for the same.
    Devadas Karkera who was also the Chief Guest said that in the next five years let this Sangha have its own Mogaveera Colony, School, Hospital and also a hall.
    Industrialist Goverdhan Suvarna, K B Poojary also spoke on the occasion. Virar Shankar Shetty, Uma Patil of Vasai Virar Nagara Parishat, Police Chief K S Higaje, Hotiler Ashok Shetty, Devendra Bannan of Rajaka Sangha. A K Tingalaya, President Yashodara Kotian, Hon President Raghu Suvarna, Chairperson of Ladies Wing Mohine Malpe, Secretary Pradeep Putran, Treasurer Tilak Kotian were present.
    The ‘Vidhya Nidhi’ and ‘Aarogya Nidhi’ of the Sangha were also launched on the occasion. Arpita Shetty and Chadrashekar Putran Compered the programme. Dayananda Kunder delivered the vote of thanks.
    Hemchandra Yermal and Team presented the Nada Lahari and members of the ladies wing presented a Tulu stage play on the occasion.
    The two day festival with more than 30 stalls, a food festival and Mogaveera cultural festival attracted a large number of people.


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Gulf Rounds
  • UAE: Dubai International Kite Fest takes off to a spectacular start

    UAE: As the milestone 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival approaches the end of yet another successful journey, it continues to offer families residing in Dubai and those visiting the emirate the opportunity to enjoy the array of attractions and experiences offered by the festival even during its final stages.

    On 29 January, Dubai’s skies opened up to embrace a wonderful selection of colourful kites of all shapes and sizes from around the world following the inauguration of the Dubai International Kite Fest, the main attraction of the 20th edition of DSF.

    The Dubai International Kite Fest is drawing huge crowds of children and elders to Jumeirah Beach 3 (behind Sunset Mall), ensuring that DSF visitors get to participate in an exciting and action-packed agenda of activities until the conclusion of the festival this year. 

    The event has drawn participants from various countries including the UAE, the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Kuwait, Japan, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, amongst others, and on the opening day, they welcomed guests as they paraded the venue, carrying flags of their respective countries.

    The first large-scale event of its kind, Dubai International Kite Fest is bringing out the outdoor spirit of Dubai in full swing. Kites, both big and small and of various colours, designs and patterns, were seen transforming the view of Dubai’s clear evening sky into a kaleidoscope of magnificence – offering families a visual treat like no other on the first day of the event. At night, international companies and kite experts were seen flying illuminated kites and even remote-controlled models, much to the delight of families gathered on the beach to watch the spectacle.

    A variety of food stalls, stage activities and other kite flying acts including kite surfing,  kite boarding and more are driving the excitement at the event, which will officially conclude on Sunday, 1 February.


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  • UAE: U T Khader Minister for Health and Family Welfare Karnataka visits GMU Ajman

    UAE: U T Khader Honorable Minister for Health and Family Welfare Karnataka visited Gulf Medical University at the personal invitation of Thumbay Moideen, Founder President of Thumbay Group, UAE. The visiting dignitary was accorded a warm welcome by the Founder President, and the academic team of GMU. The minister was accompanied by Congress MLA from Mangaluru (North) B A Mohiuddin Bava.

    The visiting dignitaries had an audience with Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Crown Prince of Ajman at the palace. The minister conveyed best wishes on behalf of the state of Karnataka India and thanked His Highness for the meeting. The minister extended an invitation to His Highness to visit Karnataka.

    The minister was taken on a tour of various medical facilities, departments and advanced laboratories the university uses to impart quality medical education to the students. They were highly impressed that the Gulf Medical University has international faculty, modern and advanced facilities and the exceptional teaching arrangements to offer to all its students and felt extremely satisfied with the professional educational structure.

    The Health minister praised Thumbay Moideen for his dedication and the exemplary services he has been doing in the field of Medical Education, Healthcare and Research. He also praised the president for the far sighted vision and the commitment to develop and portray Thumbay Group as a global leader. This commitment and vision matches with the aspirations of the people of Karnataka. Thumbay Moideen’s achievements are the biggest gift to the state of Karnataka and especially to the minorities of the coastal Karnataka region. We are looking forward to utilize his expertise for the benefit of our state by inviting him to come back and invest in Karnataka, the minister said.

    The minister and his team interacted with the facilitators and faculty in the Center for Advanced Simulation in Healthcare and Center for Advanced Biomedical Research & Innovation which are established at the university.

    Thumbay Moideen thanked the minister and the dignitaries for their encouragement and the support that they have extended. He also assured them of his commitment to benefit people of Karnataka in medical education and healthcare.


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  • UAE Exchange honoured with Dubai CSR Label for the third time

    UAE: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry honoured UAE Exchange with Dubai Chamber CSR Label for their corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts. This is the third time that the leading global money transfer, foreign exchange and payments brand is being awarded with the Label. H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber gave away the CSR Label to Varghese Mathew, Country Head, UAE Exchange, UAE, at a ceremony held in the premises of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Speaking on the occasion, Varghese Mathew said, "We are extremely delighted at the honour. UAE Exchange has always strived to achieve excellence in every aspect be it offering services, promotions or aspects beyond business. Our third Dubai CSR Label from the prestigious Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is definitely a humbling experience. This recognition further inspires us to push our limits.”

    UAE Exchange has never missed an opportunity to make a positive difference to the society. The remittance brand has always been a socially responsible organisation. Even its business processes were aligned to its CSR vision, which was inculcated as a culture of sorts, across the organisation. The award for the third time is the result of these disciplined efforts. Earlier the ISO-certified brand has been awarded with Dubai Quality Award, DSES Award, Banker Middle East Product Award, Asia’s Most Promising Brand Award, Superbrand status for six times in a row etc.

    About UAE Exchange

    UAE Exchange is a leading global money transfer, foreign exchange and payments solutions brand. It has over 135 branches across the UAE with 16 in the Dubai Metro network. Globally, it has over 750 branches in 32 countries, which is the largest network among remittance brands. It strong correspondent relationship with close to 150 global banks further adds to the might. UAE Exchange offers a wide range of services at its counters including FLASHremit, the real time account credit facility; Smart Pay, the leading WPS-compliant payroll solution; gocash, the first six-currency prepaid travel card in the Middle East; foreign currency exchange; bill payments and more.


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