India, in real time: 14th June, 2011

India is a country on the go; at any given moment in time, there is much happening in the fields of politics and governance, of finance, of development; there is constant churning in society, considerable activity in sports and in the arts... It's almost too much to keep track of. And hence, this effort: a real-time, constantly updated look at the events that matter.

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CALLING READERS: On this live blog, we curate in real time the goings on in the world around us. Come be a part of the project: If you see an interesting story, send us the link to indiaeditors@yahoo.in and we'll publish it in this space. Got an interesting photo to share? Same email link applies. Got suggestions on how we can improve this further? Ditto.
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9: 45 pm: Mumbai police chief denies his officer, Dey killing linked

The Mumbai police chief denied any links between the transfer of a senior officer and the cold-blooded killing of a senior journalist who specialized on the underworld.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Anil Mahabole 'is not at all involved in this attack', Mumbai Police Commissioner Aroop Patnaik said as journalists angry over the Saturday murder stepped up pressure to net the killers.

Mahabole also told Times Now that he had no idea why he has been transferred out of the Azad Maidan division of south Mumbai while police sources tried to establish a link of Mahabole's transfer with Dey's murder. More

9: 30 pm: Cong suffering from Emergency mindset: BJP

BJP accused Congress of suffering from a "Emergency mindset" and alleged its "unwillingness" to fight corruption was visible in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "silence and inaction" against union minister Dayanidhi Maran in row over 2G scam. Full story

9: 00 pm: I believe in peaceful industrialisation of Orissa: Naveen

In the wake of stiff opposition from locals against acquisition of land for Posco's steel plant, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said he believed in peaceful industrialisation of the state and would take an "appropriate and humane" decision on it.

"Let me clarify that I personally believe, I always believed in peaceful industrialisation in Orissa," he said. More

8: 30 pm: Cong MP demands empowerment of panchayati raj institution

Senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament Madan Lal Sharma demanded the empowerment of panchayati raj institutions to make them vibrant units of democracy.

"The empowerment of panchayats and local bodies has to be ensured so that the benefit of democracy percolates down to the grass-root level," Sharma said while addressing the newly elected panchayat members at Sunderbani in Rajouri district. More

8: 00 pm: Come 2050, you can play golf in fully transparent plane in open skies!

Airbus has unveiled a futuristic concept for a transparent plane that may be everyday air transport in 2050.

With its see-through aircraft cabin, passengers of the future will get a window on the world as they fly through the sky. They will be able to see everything to the sides and in front of them.

The concept cabin unveiled at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, would be a bionic structure that 'mimics' the efficiency of the bird bone, claimed the company. Read more

7: 30 pm: Govt mulls special flights to bring in Indians from Yemen

The government is considering whether to operate special flights to bring in Indians from Yemen where violent clashes have left over 200 people dead in months of unrest.

"There are thousands of people (Indians) in Yemen who want to come back. Many of them have no money...Discussions are going on with External Affairs and Defence Ministries whether they can come back to India without paying anything," Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said. More

7: 15 pm: CBI to seize DB Realty's properties or equity worth Rs.200 crore

The process to seize the Rs.200 crore bribe allegedly routed from DB Realty through Kusegaon Realty and Cineyug to Kalaignar TV in the 2G spectrum allocation kickback case has been initiated, the Central Bureau of Investigation said.

'The CBI has so far not seized the alleged bribe money but now has started the process and will write to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) soon to attach the property or equity worth around Rs.200 crore,' said a CBI official. Read more

7: 00 pm: Differences can be resolved through dialogue: Anna to Govt

Amid a war of words, government and civil society members will meet tomorrow on drafting the Lokpal bill as anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare today said differences could be resolved through dialogue and not through confrontation.

As the government and Congress continued its attack on the civil society members, he said he cannot stop anyone from levelling allegations that he was a mask of RSS or BJP but said the civil society has every right to raise issues at tomorrow's meeting. Full story

6: 30 pm: Uniformity in aviation security laws crucial to combat terror

Uniformity in aviation security laws, technology and systems is a crucial requirement to effectively combat terror threats, especially in the most-affected Asia-Pacific region, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said today.

"I think there is an element of indivisibility in security. The entire system has to be integrated in a manner that no weak link is left anywhere for a criminal or a terrorist to attack", he said while inauguaring a conference on cooperative aviation security programme. More

6: 00 pm: Mukherjee for close watch on inflation, higher then expected at 8.71 percent

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee called for close watch on developments, both domestic as well as international, in the coming months to check inflation. "We would keep a close watch on developments, both domestic as well as international, in the coming months and make appropriate adjustments as we go along," he said.

He said that core inflation in May is higher at 8.71 per cent in comparison to 7.93 per cent in April and 10.34 per cent in March. More

5: 45 pm: Singur Bill passed in West Bengal Assembly; Opposite walks out

A bill seeking to empower the West Bengal government to return land in Singur to farmers was today passed by the Assembly amidst a walkout by members of the Opposition Left parties.

The Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011, was passed by voice vote along with some amendments brought by the government. When the Bill was put to vote by Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay, the Left MLAs, who cited legal loopholes in the legislation, walked out of the House. Read more

5: 30 pm: China warns outside nations to stay out of sea dispute

China opposes external powers weighing in on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, it said after Vietnam said other countries, including the United States, could help defuse tensions over the potentially resource-rich region

Vietnam outlined the terms of a possible military draft, a move that experts called a signal meant to show the country was prepared to defend its interests, but Beijing's warning appeared aimed at Washington, which urged a collective solution to the sea tensions last year. More

5: 00 pm: Congress slams BJP for not backing fasting ascetic who died

The death of a 34-year-old ascetic, Swami Nigamananda, after fasting for over two and a half months to save the Ganga from pollution became fodder for the Congress to hit out at the BJP, saying the opposition party should have supported his cause instead of the 'high flying' Baba Ramdev. Full story

4: 45 pm: No disinvestment of PSUs in Kerala: Minister

Ruling out privatisation of state public sector units, Kerala Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty said the Congress-led UDF Government would carry out a review of their functioning to strengthen them.

The UDF Government would not privatise any of the state public sector units and disinvestment was not in its policy agenda, he told a meet-the-press organised by Press Club. On the other-hand, as part of the government move to strengthen the PSUs, a review of their functioning, including that of their chief executives, would be carried out, he said. Read more

4: 30 pm: LS Speaker returns PAC draft report on 2G spectrum to Joshi

In a snub to PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has returned the controversial draft report filed by him on the 2G spectrum allocation.

"The draft report on the 2G issue has been returned to the PAC Chairman", sources in Parliament''s Public Accounts Committee(PAC) said. More

4: 10 pm: Australian prime minister snubs Dalai Lama

Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to meet the Dalai Lama during his visit to Parliament House on Tuesday but insisted that the snub had nothing to do with Chinese pressure on world leaders to shun the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

"I make my own decisions and the government makes its own decisions about meetings that we hold," Gillard told reporters. The Dalai Lama said he wasn't disappointed. He seemed to know little about Gillard — including her gender. Full story

3: 45 pm: Jaya's comment is contempt of court: Chidambaram

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram reacts to Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's allegations of him having won his Lok Sabha seat in a fraudulent manner.

He issued a statement which says, "Miss Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has the habit of starting on the wrong foot. I have learnt that she has made a statement questioning my election to the Lok Sabha in 2009. She knows that her candidate Sri Raja Kannappan has filed an election petition in Madras High Court which is pending since September 2009. Her statement is therefore gross contempt of court. She has always had utter contempt of court proceedings and hence a statement today is not at all surprising,". More

3: 30 pm: All allegations are false: ACP Mahabole

ACP Mahabole says he has nothing to do with journalist J Dey's murder. Talking to NDTV, he said he had cordial relations with the deceased and that the last time he had met Dey was around three years back. Speaking on his transfer, he said he would resume office where ever he is sent but will reach out to his seniors if he feels any injustice is done to him.

3: 15 pm: Nepal Maoists renew attack on GMR

Emboldened by government inaction three weeks after they burnt down Indian infrastructure and power major GMR Group's office and site camp in western Nepal, the Maoists, the largest party in the ruling alliance, have renewed their strident propaganda against the Indian company.

The former guerrillas, who have formed a local committee in remote Dailekh district to oppose the 900 MW Upper Karnali hydropower project being developed by GMR, called a mass meeting in the district Monday to announce their continued opposition to it. Details here

3: 00 pm: 'India to buy more than 16 C-17 airlifters'

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will acquire more than 16 Boeing C-17 heavy airlifters to add to its strategic capabilities, a top military commander has said.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik told India Strategic defence magazine in an interview that while the government had accorded approval earlier this month to buy 10 aircraft, the air force was now processing a case for six more of these airlifters. At a later date, 'we will add some more,' he disclosed but did not specify the number. More

2: 45 pm: Teachers detained during protest march

More than 30 teachers were detained when they staged a protest march to demand release of sixth pay commission arrears and regularisation of Rehbar-e-Taleem (education volunteers) teachers.

Among those detained included the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Teachers'' Forum Abdul Qayoom Wani and Forum''s District President for Budgam Mohammad Akbar Khan. "We have arrested some of those leading the protests," Senior Superintendent of Police for Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari said. More

2: 30 pm: India welcomes release of sailors by Somali pirates

India today welcomed the release of six of its sailors held captive by Somali pirates on board a hijacked merchant vessel.

"We are happy they have been released and the ship is now moving out," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters here.

He, however, parried a question about the role of Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney in securing the release of the 22 crew members, saying, "Let us not get into a speculative analysis on who is behind it and who is provoking it".

2: 15 pm: Chidambaram never won election, must quit: Jayalalithaa

Accusing Home Minister P. Chidambaram of fraudulently getting elected to the Lok Sabha, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Tuesday demanded his resignation.

'He has not won the parliamentary election. In fact he lost the election,' the AIADMK leader told a news conference here. 'He has played a fraud on the nation.'

Jayalalithaa said the data entry operator in the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu transferred votes secured by AIADMK candidate Raja Kannappan to Chidambaram's credit in the 2009 general elections. Read more

2: 00 pm: Longest and darkest total lunar eclipse of century tomorrow

The longest and darkest total lunar eclipse of the century will occur tomorrow, giving sky enthusiasts all over the country an opportunity to witness the event.

An unusually long lunar eclipse with the Moon immersed deeply inside the umbral (darker) shadow of the Earth will occur tomorrow, Nehru Planetarium Director N Rathnasree said.

"The total phase of this lunar eclipse will last 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000," she said. Read more

1: 45 pm: Ramdev pays tribute to Nigmanand

Yoga guru Ramdev today paid tributes to the seer of Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Nigamanand, who died after a record 114-day long hunger strike demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in Ganga.

Nigamanand (36) died yesterday at the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences at Jolly Grant here where the yoga guru was recovering. More

1: 30 pm: No immediate alarm on China dam on Brahmaputra: India

India today downplayed apprehensions that a dam being constructed by China on river Brahmaputra will affect the country, saying the project is not a cause for "immediate alarm".

"It is a fact that China is constructing a dam at Zangmu in middle reaches of Yarlung Tsango (as Brahmaputra is called in Tibet). We have ascertained from our own sources that this a run of the river hydro-electric project which does not store water and will not adversely impact downstream areas in India," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said. Read the full copy here

1: 15 pm: Journalist murder: Let''s not write off Mumbai police, says CM

A day after mediapersons demanded a CBI probe into the killing of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey here, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said the Mumbai police should not be "undermined" and given a fair chance to investigate the brutal murder.

"I am confident Mumbai police will get to the bottom (of the case). Give them time... There is no pointing in jumping the gun...and blaming someone or the other...Just give some time to Mumbai police to investigate," Chavan told reporters at a CII function. More here

12: 55 pm:  Jayalalithaa addresses media

Talking to the media after her meeting with the PM, Jayalalithaa said it was "pleasant" meeting him and wanted friendly relations with the central government. Asked to comment on the the 2G controversy, she said she has full faith in the judicial system of the country.

12: 50 pm: Top cop suspect in J Dey murder case

A senior policeman has been transferred on suspicion that he could have a hand in the murder of journalist J Dey. Times of India reports: "Police are questioning assistant commissioner of police Anil Mahabole because Dey had spoken to his friends about threats from the officer. On Monday evening, the government transferred Mahabole from Azad Maidan to Local Arms (control room), considered an insignificant posting. Dey's colleague in Mid Day, T K Dwivedi alias Akela, said they were threatened by Mahabole."  Dey and Akela had reportedly been working to expose Mahabole's links with gangster Dawood Ibrahim. More

12: 40 pm: Inflation up to 9.06% in May, pressure from manufactured items

Headline inflation in the country went up to 9.06 per cent in May on the back of rising manufactured products and petrol prices, which is expected to prompt the Reserve Bank to go for another rate hike at its mid-quarterly policy review meeting later this week.

Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 8.66 per cent in April. It had stood at 10.48 per cent in May, 2010. More here

12: 22 pm: CBI looking into inflated oilfields costs: Report

The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into the role of the oil ministry after it was criticised by the CAG for allowing some exploring companies to overstate costs of field developments and explore beyond their contracted areas, a newspaper report said.

The Economic Times said the CBI was also investigating the upstream regulator for approving escalated costs for Reliance Industries' D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari basin from $2.4 billion in 2004 to $8.5 billion in 2006. More details

12: 05 pm: Jayalalithaa meets the PM

Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa reaches 7 RCR to meet with the Prime Minister for the first time since she assumed office. Sources say she is likely to raise the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils and power crisis with in the state. 

11: 55 am: Netaji subject of political appropriation: New biography

Subhas Chandra Bose has always been regarded as a great popular hero, but official recognition of his stature as an iconic freedom fighter was somewhat muted during the prime-ministership of his rival, Jawaharlal Nehru, until 1964, says Netaji's grand-nephew Sugata Bose, a professor of history at Harvard University.

'Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi admired Netaji (as Subhas Chandra Bose is known popularly in India) for his courage and vision. Yet the Indian National Congress to which he had twice been elected as president, truly acknowledged him as one of his own in the 1990s when under Narasimha Rao, it ceased to be under dynastic control,' Bose says in 'His Majesty's Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle Against the Empire', a new biography of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Details here

11: 45 am: CBI to add disclaimer to ‘most wanted’ list

After goofing up in the ‘most wanted list’, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will come up with a disclaimer in the updated list on their website, saying that the agency is not responsible for the information provided by the states.

The CBI had taken off the list from their website after two of the fugitives mentioned therein turned out to be in India. The two also found a mention in the dossier supplied to Pakistan, demanding their arrest and extradition. More on Indian Express

11: 20 am: Singur Land Bill to be table in W. Bengal Assembly

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is all set to table the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011 in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The state Cabinet on Monday approved the draft Singur Bill and copies of the draft Bill have been circulated among legislators.

The 280-page Bill, appending a list of owners who didn't take compensation cheques, doesn't make a mention of the amount of land to be returned. More

11: 10 am: India, SL usher in ODI tri-series Down Under after 4 yrs

India, along with Sri Lanka, are set to bring back one-day tri-series in Australia after a gap of four years besides playing four Tests against Michael Clarke''s men, starting December 26.

Cricket Australia announced its home international schedule in which India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka will head Down Under for up to 47 days for a combined six Tests, two Twenty20 internationals and the ODI tri-series with at least 14 encounters. More

11: 00 am: Somali pirates release 22 hostages including six Indians

Somali pirates today released 22 crew members, including six Indians and four Pakistanis, of a hijacked merchant vessel after ransom was paid to them, leading rights activist Ansar Burney said.

The pirates had taken the crew members, including Egyptians and a Sri Lankan, hostage after capturing the vessel MV Suez last year and demanded USD 2.1 million for their release. The ship belongs to an Egyptian company. More here

10: 43 am: Study science, maths to keep 'hungry' Indian, Chinese at bay: Obama

Citing a growing challenge from job-hungry students in India and China, US President Obama wants more Americans to study science, maths and engineering to keep 'jobs of tomorrow' in America.

'Today only 14 percent of all undergraduate students enrol in what we call the STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering, and math,' Obama said Monday at a Durham, North Carolina-based company that uses LED technology to produce fuel-efficient lighting.

'So these are the jobs of the future. These are the jobs that China and India are cranking out,' he said continuing a year-long push to present his vision for the economy as US unemployment remains above nine percent. Read more here

10: 30 am: Congress eyes chief minister's post in Jammu and Kashmir

Omar Abdullah's recent statement that there will be no mid-term change of guard in the state and he would remain in the saddle till 2014 has unnerved the Congress in the state.

In what is being seen as a clear sign of the Congress feeling jittery rather than reassured, senior party leaders have passed the ball on to the high command instead of seconding Abdullah's statement.

They have also signalled to the party unit's second-rung leadership to raise the issue. Read the full story on India Today

10: 15 am: Fight against corruption will continue:  Ramdev

After being discharged from the hospital, Baba Ramdev holds a press conference. He thanks his supporters who've stood by him, especially those who were in Delhi on June 4. He adds that the fight against corruption will continue.

9: 45 am: 'UP teen murdered, not raped'

14-year-old girl from UP, who was allegedly raped and murdered within the police station premises on June 10, was exhumed on Monday for second post mortem in Nighasan in district Lakhimpur Khiri, nearly 200 km north east of Lucknow. The second autopsy report has confirmed that it was a case of murder and not suicide. More here

9: 30 am: Baba Ramdev discharged from hospital

Doctors tending to Baba Ramdev have said he can be discharged from the hospital. All his medical reports appear normal.

The yoga teacher ended his hunger-strike against black money and corruption on Sunday after a galaxy of religious and political leaders met him at the Himalayan Hospital in Dehradun and convinced him to drink a glass of juice. More here

9: 15 am: Sadhu dies after a 73-day fast to save Ganga

It's the season of hunger strikes and fasts unto death. Far from the spotlight though in the same hospital ICU as the much better known Baba Ramdev, Swami Nigamanand, who had been fasting for two and a half months over illegal mining - looking to save the Ganga - has passed away.

Sadhus cajoled him, politicians pleaded with him, ministers briefed him and finally on the ninth day of his fast unto death, Baba Ramdev relented with a sip of fruit juice.

In the same hospital, in the same ICU where Ramdev was admitted, another swami died an unsung death on Tuesday morning. More here

9:00 am: J Dey killed by fourth bullet: Doctors

Call it the fatal fourth. The forensic doctors who conducted the autopsy on Jyotirmoy Dey, editor of investigations, MiD DAY, said that it was the fourth bullet out of a total of five that took the top crime reporter's life. It caused internal bleeding and hemorrhagic shock.

A panel of three forensic surgeons, attached to the Department of Forensic Medicine, Grant Medical College, JJ Group of Hospitals, conducted the autopsy, which lasted for three hours. Their findings revealed that while the first three bullets entered and exited Dey's left arm, the fourth was "lethal". Details here

8: 45 am: Continue stir, BJP tells Anna and Baba

Meanwhile Opposition BJP on Monday asked Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev to ignore charges levelled against them by Congress saying it was a "trap" even as it asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to clarify whether he wanted the top post to be included under the ambit of Lokpal.

"We would advise the civil society activists not give clarifications to all charges made against them by the Congress. This is a trap. People have faith in you. Go ahead with your work," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. He added that Congress leaders, "who were neck-deep in corruption, had no moral right to pose these questions to the civil society activists". Full story on The Times of India

8: 30 am: Setback for Joshi, speaker sends back PAC draft report

In a jolt to the public accounts committee chairman and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has returned his controversial draft report on the 2G spectrum scam that had put the UPA government in the dock. “The draft report has been sent back to the PAC chairman since it was not adopted by the committee. It is up to the chairman and the committee now to take a decision on it,” said a source.

The 270-page draft report slammed the prime minister's office and the cabinet secretariat for their failure to control former telecom minister A Raja. More on Hindustan Times

8: 15 am: Jaya to meet PM today; UPA to align to AIADMK?


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is scheduled to Prime Minister Manomhan Singh on Tuesday as worried UPA ally DMK watches from the sidelines. Is a political realignment on the cards?

Jayalalithaa is expected to discuss her state's power crisis and the problems faced by Indian fishermen. This is the AIADMK leader's maiden trip to the capital since she assumed office as Chief Minister. More on CNN IBN