Friday, December 31, 2010

RBI initiates probe in Citibank fraud

Chandigarh: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said it has initiated a probe into the Rs 300 crore fraud at Citibank's Gurgaon branch and would soon issue a statement in this regard. "Any bank where fraud (has taken place), we cannot (ignore)...and from banking side we have to do our own job…how it (Citibank fraud) has happened and what are the implications," RBI, Executive Director, G Gopalakrishna told reporters. He was replying to a query on whether the RBI has undertaken any probe in multi-crore Citibank scam.


Acknowledging that RBI has stepped in with regard to Citibank fraud, he said that either RBI Governor or Deputy Governor would make a statement shortly pertaining to the bank scam.
"Any transaction related to bank certainly we are concerned…most probably RBI Governor or Deputy Governor will issue statement today or tomorrow in this regard," Gopalakrishna who was here to attend a financial inclusion programme said.
The Rs 300 crore fraud had been detected in Citibank s branch in Gurgaon
The accused, Shivraj Puri, who is the bank s relationship manager had been arrested in this connection.
He allegedly sold investment products to High Networth Individuals claiming they would generate very high returns.
According to Police, Rs 200 crore belonged to corporates including Hero Group and Rs 100 crore to individuals.
"Some of the Hero Group entities, along with some others, are victims of the fraud conducted through one of the Citi branches in Gurgaon," the Group said in a statement earlier in the day.
An enquiry is in progress and the next steps will be decided post enquiry, it said.
It is also alleged that Puri showed a forged notification of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India for obtaining funds from customers.
He also allegedly routed the fund garnered from the HNI customers to stock market through brokerage firms like Religare Securities. He also claimed that these products were authorised by the bank's investment product committee.
"We reported the matter to all the relevant regulatory and law enforcement authorities.
Identified suspicious transactions have been isolated and we are providing full assistance to the authorities in their investigations", the Citibank India spokesperson said.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Customs duty on onion imports reduced to zero


New Delhi: With onion prices skyrocketing to as much as Rs 85 per kg in some retail markets, the Indian government on Wednesday said it has brought down customs duty on imports of the commodity to zero from 5 per cent.
"The customs duty on onions has been brought down to zero," Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The step comes amid a sharp rise in the price of onions up to Rs 70-85 per kg in retail markets across the country from just Rs 35-40 a few days ago on account of damage suffered by crops in the key-producing states of Maharashtra,
Gujarat and a few Southern states due to excessive rains, which has led to large-scale hoarding by some traders.
onion trouble
The steep hike in onion prices set alarm bells ringing in the government, which has imposed a ban on onion exports till January 15, 2011, with a view to increase availability in the domestic market. However, it is likely to take at least three weeks before the common man gets any relief from the measure.
"Onion prices will remain high for the next 2-3 weeks and the situation is likely to improve only after that," Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday.
While Pawar had indicated the government did not have any plans to import onions to bring down prices at home, small 450-tonne consignments of the commodity from neighbouring Pakistan have been making their way into the country across the Punjab border since Tuesday.
Compared to the exorbitant domestic prices, the price of the onions imported from Pakistan is just Rs 18-20 per kg.
A worried Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose government has been grappling with high inflation for much of the past year, has also stepped into the picture and asked the agriculture and consumer affairs ministries to take effective steps to rein in onion prices.
"The Prime Minister desires all necessary steps to effectively deal with the extraordinary price rise of onions and bring the prices down to an affordable level," an official source said, quoting letters written by Singh to the ministries concerned.

Gujjar protest intensifies, affects road traffic


Jaipur: The Gujjar protest in Rajasthan intensified on Wednesday after the Rajasthan High Court turned down the state government's petition for five per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. Gujjars have blocked traffic on the Jaipur-Agra and Jaipur-Ajmer highway.
They also pelted stones at the state roadways buses. Bus services on these roads were suspended. Earlier the protestors had also blocked rail routes to Rajasthan.
The Centre rushed 15 paramilitary companies to Rajasthan to control the agitation.

While turning down the government's petition the court directed the it to provide data on Gujjars in a year's time. 

J&K govt lifts ban on post-paid mobile SMS


Jammu: In a New Year gift to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the state government on Wednesday withdrew the ban on Short Messaging Services (SMS) using post-paid mobile phone but the ban on sending of bulk messages remained in force.
omar abdullah
The decision was taken at the directive of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who reviewed the overall situation in the state with senior officials as well as intelligence agency sleuths, official sources said.
The ban was imposed in June this year following widespread unrest in the Valley, which was further fuelled by bulk messages sent in by anti-national forces.

According to the order, which comes nine days ahead of the New Year, the state government asked mobile service operators to allow SMS services from all post-paid phones.


However, the ban on bulk messages sent usually from computers remained banned, the notification said. 

mahindra thar

mahindra thar

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mahindra thar

mahindra thar

mahindra thar

mahindra thar

mahindra thar

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mahindra Thar Launched


NEW DELHI, INDIA - The much awaited utility car of the year has been launched today by Mahindra & Mahindra. This sports utility vehicle, named as Mahindra Thar 4X4, will first hit the market in Rajasthan and Kerala and later, it would be introduced in the rest of the nation.
mahindra thar
Mahindra Thar 4X4, is expected to offer a huge competition to the dominance of Jeep Wrangler, as it would offer similar features like that of Wrangler at a much lower prize. This car is already creating a rave in the market all over Europe and South Africa, due the smooth ride it offers during the off-road journeys. Mahindra Thar would be the first non-commercial car to be launched by the company with a 2.5-liter along with a 78 kilo Watt and 2500CC turbo-diesel engine. It operates on the basis of Euro 4 emissions standards. The peak torque of the car would offer an impressive 247 Nm at 1800 rpm at its peak. The other important features that accounts for its looks are open style motoring and a removable hardtop roof. The double-action shock absorbers would facilitate a leaf-spring suspension. It also offers a 2-speed gear-reduction, along with an approach angle of 46 degrees and departure angle of 30 degrees to make the car all more tempting and hardy.
The automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has earned a different position in the Indian market, as the only car manufacturer, that deals with mainly off-road hardy cars. Where most of its sedans could not create a popularity in the market, Mahindra Thar 4X4 is expected to be as good as its other multi-utility vehicles like Scorpio and Bolero. This car would cost something around Rs 6 to Rs 8 lakh depending on the other intricate features of its models.

Indian forces can enter Myanmar chasing terrorists


Indian security forces can enter Myanmar to hunt for terrorists after taking due permission from Myanmarese authorities, it was decided in Aizawl on Monday. And to boost their crackdown on Indian separatists hiding in Myanmar, it was also decided that Myanmarese security officials have promised to learn English or Hindi to overcome communication problems.
The decisions to curb trans-border movement of terrorists, arms smuggling and prevent drug trafficking came at a meeting of officers from the Indian home ministry and Myanmar's Chin state.
Both sides agreed to improve border security and share information on cross-border terrorism, a Mizoram home department official said.
The meeting took place in eastern Mizoram's Champhai town on Friday.
The official said: "Myanmar authorities have agreed to allow Indian security forces to enter Myanmar territory along the border after getting permission from the (local) army post commander."
The Indian delegation was led by home ministry's joint secretary S. Singh and the Myanmar officials headed by U. Nay Wing, the army commander of Chin state.
According to Indian officials, several militants from the northeast have taken shelter in Myanmar and Bangladesh and have set up bases and training camps.
"After the Bangladesh crackdown against northeast militants, many Indian guerrillas took shelter in the jungles and hills of Myanmar," a Border Security Force (BSF) official said.
The official said that though Mizoram was the only state in the region free of separatist activities, militants from other states occasionally used its borders for safe passage.
The next meeting of the border liaison officers will be held in Myanmar in April 2011 to review the progress of the joint action.
Mizoram has a 404-km border with Myanmar and a 318-km border with Bangladesh.
Four Indian states - Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram - share the 1,640-km border with Myanmar manned by Assam Rifles. The dense forests in most parts make the border porous and highly vulnerable.

World Bank's Rs 1,072 crore for Meghalaya roads


The World Bank will pump in Rs 1,072 crore for road connectivity in rural areas of Meghalaya, Union Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma said on Monday. The implementation of the projects in the state is proposed to start from 2011. Altogether 567 habitations of the total 756 habitations eligible for road connectivity will be covered under the project which is expected to be completed within five years, Sangma said.
She, however, lamented that the state needs to gear up to implement the project.
"The institutional arrangement of the state need be made efficient to handle the funds. While the state has no separate department to implement the PMGSY schemes, the PWD department has a cell that look after it. But that cell is not functional," she said after reviewing the implementation of the PMGSY schemes in the state.
She expressed the need for more engineers and skilled workforce.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bomb blast rocks Varanasi

varanasi blast

varanasi blast

varanasi blast

varanasi blast

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varanasi blast

Delhi Police nabbed two KCP outfit


New Delhi, Dec 7, 2010: The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Monday arrested two members of Manipur-based banned outfit Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) here in the capital. The arrest members of KCP outfit were Huidrom Nanao Singh alias Dinesh Singh and Mayengbam Santon Luwang.  Seven mobile phones, one ATM card, 2 PAN cards, Identity Card and one Driving License has been recovered from them.  


Arun Kampani, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Delhi said:  “On apprehension Manipur Police was contacted and they confirmed that Huidrom Nanao Singh alias Dinesh Singh was involved in abduction of five officials of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) in Manipur”.


“The accused belonging to Kangleipak Communist Party Military Council [KCP(MC)] along with a senior cadre of KCP and a senior cadre of Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) hatched a plan to kidnap five officials from Senapati District in Manipur and after abduction, demanded a ransom of Rs. Two crore for their release,” added Kampani.


The police officials said this abduction was executed by these militants on November 27, 2010 and after negotiation, the ransom money of Rs.70 lakh was paid to them and the abducted officials were released on the night of 4/5 December”.


These cadres had come to Delhi on November 30 for hiding and were apprehended by the officers of Special Cell on December 6 under section 41(1)(A) Cr.P.C.


Manipur Police has confirmed their involvement in case FIR No. 41(11)2010 KPI PS u/s 400/364(A)/34 IPC, Sec.20 UA(P) Amdt. Act & 25 (I-C) Arms Act and they are reaching Delhi for their further interrogation, said police officials. 

Varanasi blast: Maya calls emergency meet


Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati held an emergency meeting of senior government officials in Lucknow on Tuesday after a blast shook the temple town of Varanasi killing a child and injuring 20 people.
She rushed a team of officials, besides BSP state unit president Swami Prasad Maurya to Varanasi directing them to monitor the relief measures and treatment of the injured persons at government expenditure, an official statement said.
Besides directing the officials to investigate the matter thoroughly, she asked them to take stern action against those found guilty, the statement said.
varanasi blast
Condemning the blast and expressing grief over the death of a two-year-old child in the incident, she appealed the people to maintain peace and brotherhood and repulse the designs of anti-national elements.
The Chief Minister also directed the officials to make an assessment of the losses for extending proper financial help to the victims.
Opposition Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav meanwhile said the incident was a result of the government's "inefficiency".
"The prime duty of the state government is to ensure the security of life and property of its people but due to the inefficiency of the government, it has been jeopardised," Yadav said in a statement.
"The Ganga ghat in Varanasi is most sensitive but the state government has been found wanting in ensuring security there," he said describing the government as "insensitive".
State unit president of the BJP, Surya Pratap Shahi, who went to the spot, said the terror attack was the result of the "appeasement" policy being pursued by the state government.
"Both the Congress and BSP in power at the Centre and the state have failed to give a firm message to terrorists and disruptive elements," Shahi said.
In a statement, UPCC spokesman Subodh Srivasatava asked the government to take stern action against those who failed to ensure security in Varanasi leading to Tuesday's incident.
"Despite tall claims, the state government has failed to foil the designs of the terrorists on the anniversary of Babri mosque demolition," Srivasatava added.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BPO rape case: Police arrests fifth accused


New Delhi: In another breakthrough in the Dhaula Kuan gang rape, the Delhi Police arrested the fifth accused late on Monday evening. The accused named Kamru alias Mobile was nabbed in Gurgaon.

Earlier on Monday, a Delhi court, sent two of the Dhaula Kuan gangrape accused to Tihar Jail for their identification by the victim, while remanding two others in five days of police custody for interrogation.

Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Singh Rajawat sent Shahid alias 'Chhota Billi' and Usman to Tihar jail under judicial custody for two days after police produced them before the court following their arrest on Sunday.

The two were remanded in judicial custody as police told the court that they have to be put to Test Identification Parade (TIP) by the victim. To rule out the chances of any allegation that they were shown to the victim by the police prior to their identification by the victim, they need to be kept in judicial custody, police said. The duo are to be produced before the magistrate again on December 8 after their TIP on Tuesday. The two others, Shamshad and Usman who were produced before the court after their identification by the victim on Saturday, were remanded in police custody to enable sleuths interrogate them and gather various evidence of their involvement in the crime. The two had been first produced before the court on December 3, when they were sent to Tihar for their TIP.

The rape took place on November 24 when a Mizo woman working in a BPO was abducted from her way back home and gangraped by five miscreants in a moving vehicle. She was walking towards her residence in Moti village near Dhaula Kuan in South Delhi along with one of her colleagues when the accused pounced upon her, put her in their vehicle and sped it off with her. They allegedly took turns to rape her in the moving vehicle and later dumped her near Mongolpuri in West Delhi. During the arguments, Delhi Police, seeking seven days custodial interrogation of the two accused - Shamshad and Usman - submitted that they need to arrest the fifth accused Kangru.

The police also submitted that they need to recover the country made pistol, allegedly used by the accused to threaten the girl and the clothes worn by all the accused during the commission of the offence. Defence counsel, however, opposed the prosecution's plea saying that the police does not have to recover anything now and they are simply taking custody of his clients for harassing them. The defence counsel also alleged that police had resorted to unfair ways for getting his client identified by the victim during TIP. Acceding to the arguments of the prosecution, the court, however, remanded Shamshad and Usman in five days police custody till December 11.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Is the LTTE re-grouping in Kerala?


Tiruvananthapuram: A documentary screened a few days back at a hall in the heart of Trivandrum city has sparked suspicion that the LTTE might be regrouping in parts of Kerala.
The film exhibitors were questioned by the Kerala Police who fear that it could be a garb for the outfit to regroup.
Mullaiteevu Saga, a film about Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka towards the end of the civil war has been dragged into an unwarranted controversy.
A popular Malayalm daily quoting IB sources reported that the screening of the movie which the organizers say was well advertised was actually a secret meeting for regrouping of the LTTE. The state police immediately launced an investigation.
"It is very strange. We do not know how it happened. The newspaper tells us that the IB asked them whether they knew about such a program and thats how they reported it. But how come the IB did not ask us about the program and asked the media? And how did the paper give such distorted information to the public?" said Elizabeth Philip, Organizer, Pedestrian Pictures.
At a press conference attended by social activists and senior journalists in the city the organizers raised many such questions.
"I don't know why this screening has shocked the establishment here. It is extremely unfortunate. Sections of the press and the police owe an explanation to the filmmaker," M G Radhakrishnan, senior journalist.
The police said they are only trying to find out whether the report was true.
"There was a discussion after the movie screening. We are finding out who all were present. Whether there was anybody from outside the state or country. There is nothing wrong in screening a documentary as long as it doesn't affect the country's integrity," said Ajith Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Trivandrum.

Archie and GI Joe artist John D'Agostino dies


Philadelphia: John D'Agostino Sr., whose work in comic books ranged from Archie and Jughead to the Incredible Hulk and G.I. Joe, has died. He was 81.

D'Agostino died on 28th November of bone cancer in Ansonia, Conn., publisher Archie Comics said in a statement.

Born in Italy in 1929, D'Agostino emigrated to the United States and got his first job as head colorist at New York City's Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel. He worked with Stan Lee, who went on to co-create numerous memorable super-heroes, including Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.

While working at Timely, D'Agostino — his nickname was "Jon" — helped supervise another artist, Stan Goldberg, who later became synonymous with the high school adventures of Archie, Reggie, Veronica and Betty at Riverdale High School.


D'Agostino later joined Goldberg, hired in 1965 by Archie Comics managing editor Richard Goldwater, and began a long and enduring career drawing numerous characters until his death, becoming one of the company's most prominent artists.

Besides Jughead, D'Agostino also drew for titles like "My Little Margie," ''G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero," ''Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Sonic the Hedgehog," among others. D'Agostino also did the letters for the first three issues of Marvel's "The Amazing Spider-Man."

"Jon was concerned about doing the best job possible. He would always be available to help young artists improve their artwork and draw the Archie cast of characters," Archie co-president and Editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick said. "He was very dedicated to his work and Archie Comics. I had the privilege of working with Jon for over 40 years and considered him a good friend. I will truly miss him."

D'Agostino's latest work in comics is scheduled to be published in the December issue of "Jughead Double Digest (number) 166" and several of his covers will be seen through 2011.

"He came into the offices every week to work with other artists and continued to visit the offices even in the recent weeks before his passing," Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater said.

D'Agostino is survived by his second wife, Vivi Test D'Agostino; three sons; two sisters; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

Opened 13 days ago, Rs 650 cr bridge falls in UP


650 cr bridge falls in a15 daysBanda (UP): A Rs 650 crore bridge over river Yamuna in Banda district, inaugurated only 13 days ago by the Public Works Minister of UP, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, fell on Wednesday.

Sources told IBN7 that a major chunk of concrete fell from the middle of the bridge, raising serious questions on the quality of the work. The minister, in his inaugural address, had proudly claimed that the bridge was constructed in a record time of two years.

The accident again brings into focus the nexus between PWD and UP Bridge Corporation officials and the contractors hired for executing such projects.


The District Magistrate of Banda has ordered an enquiry into the incident.

It should be noted that there are four ministers in UP cabinet from the Banda region of Bundelkhand. Yet, the process of development has been neglected in the region.

Earlier, a pontoon bridge was used to connect Banda with Kanpur and Fatehpur.

This is, however, not the first instance of the corrupt contractor-government nexus threatening the lives of people in UP.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

In pics: Toyota Etios - made for India

Toyota's entry-level sedan

Toyota's entry-level sedan Toyota Kirloskar Motor launched the Etios Sedan marking the company's entry into the highly competitive B Segment in India.

According to Toyota Kirloskar, the Etios has been developed specifically for Indian customers with more than 2000 engineers from Japan and India have working in close collaboration over the last four years.

The Etios sedan will be available in four variants, J, G, V and VX, priced between Rs 4.96 lakh and 6.86 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The Etios has a 1.5L, 16V DOHC engine coupled with a 5-Speed manual transmission


The sedan boasts of a mileage of 17.6 kmpl.

Vodafone might take till 2020 to make Indian business turnaround


New York/New Delhi, Dec.1 (ANI): British mobile operator Vodafone''s foray into India has been a disaster, so much so that insiders and experts have gone on record to say that it could take the firm until 2020 to make an economic profit.
According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, in 2007, Vodafone paid 5.5 billion pounds to acquire 67 percent of Hutchison Essar. In 2010, it was forced into a 2.3 billion pound write-down after regulatory changes flooded the market with an unprecedented level of competition and sparked a price war. Now, it faces a disputed tax bill and possible retrospective charges on licenses, which could amount to a monumental 500 million pounds.
Vodafone entered India with high expectations, paying 16 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for its majority stake. Including the cost of 3G licences, it has invested 7.2 billion pounds in the country to date.
It is committed itself to a further 3.1 billion pounds for the final 33 percent of the Indian business if Essar Group decides to sell its stake before May.
With the bill rising. India is chasing Vodafone for 1.6 billion pounds in tax charges which the mobile operator is contesting.
If it decides to impose additional charges for 2008 licenses, the market puts Vodafone''s likely bill at 500 million pounds.
Vodafone insists it is committed to India, but the best it can promise now is that it will cover its cost of capital sometime before 2020—and that distant target assumes double-digit revenue growth as mobile penetration and data use rises, market consolidation, and capital expenditure falling to midteens as a percentage of sales.
The Indian unit delivered 48 percent revenue growth in 2009 and still booked an operating loss.
Capital expenditure is currently almost 30 percent of sales, with a scheduled 3G rollout next year maintaining pressure on investment. Regulation remains highly uncertain and market consolidation some way off.  (ANI)

Two arrested in BPO staff rape case in Delhi

New Delhi: Delhi Police have arrested two people for allegedly raping a 30-year-old call centre employee from Mizoram in a moving vehicle on November 24.

BPO rape case

Sources say a third suspect has surrendered in Ballabgarh court in Haryana. Police say the duo, identified as Shamshad and Usman, has a criminal background and was involved in other similar cases. The truck in which the rape allegedly took place has also been recovered. "Two accused have been arrested in rape case.

Both have been involved in similar case earlier also. A vehicle also has been seized," said Delhi's Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), HGS Dhaliwal. Sources say the two men were earlier arrested in at least three more rape cases. The hunt is still on for the remaining accused. 

The two arrested men were detained for questioning by the Haryana police in connection with the abduction and rape of the girl late Wednesday night from Haryana's Mewat district. 

Police said they resembled the sketches of the three suspects released by them. The incident took place on November 24 when the Mizo woman was walking towards her home in Moti village near Dhaula Kuan in south Delhi along with one of her colleagues at 1:15 AM when the men in a vehicle abducted her and took turns to rape her. She was held captive for about 40 minutes and later dumped in Mongolpuri at around 1:55 AM after which she approached police. She filed an FIR on November 25 and her friend helped police prepare sketch of one of the accused.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Four persons were today detained in connection with the rape and abduction of a Mizo woman in south Delhi with the investigators saying these people were very relevant to the case.

15 teams of Delhi Police were working on the case and they were looking into all possibilities. On November 24, the victim was walking towards her home in Moti Village near Dhaula Kuan in the morning along with one of her colleagues when some men in a vehicle abducted her and took turns to rape her.

She was later dumped in Mongolpuri after which she approached police. Police said they have released two sketches of suspected culprits, besides questioning several suspects, surfing through CCTV footage and recording statements of three witnesses. Investigators had also rummaged through mobile phone records of a number of "possible" suspects residing in Mongolpuri area as they believe that the culprits were "very familiar" with the locality and they could be staying there.

Rs 1.5 crore recovered from rapist Tantrik's home


Mumbai: Police has recovered Rs 1.5 crore in cash and jewellery worth more than Rs 50 lakh from the house of the tantrik who raped six girls and the maid of an affluent Mumbai family. The tantrik, identified as Javed Nadeem Khalid alias Mehdi Hassan, lived in a rented house. The cache of money and jewellery has left the cops stunned.  sources revealed that the tantrik used to be a teacher. He gained access to the family by offering to teach Urdu. He was soon able to gain the confidence of the mistress of the house by claiming to know magic. raped


That woman took the tantrik to her sisters who had physically-challenged sons. The women thought the sons were cursed and asked the tantrik for help. He said he could prevent the birth of deformed children in their families if he had sex with their daughters.

The women reportedly agreed, and even rented a flat to send their daughters to meet the tantrik there. It was at this flat that the girls, all related, and their maid were repeatedly raped by the tantrik for four years. Sources said two of the girls had to undergo abortion.

Police is looking for the woman who first introduced the tantrik to the two women.

Going by the cache of money and jewellery recovered, cops feel that there may be more families which might have been duped by the tantrik. 

DDA to give 90 pc of CWG flats to bureaucrats


New Delhi: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) caught up in controversy again. Sources say the agency is planning to give away 90 per cent of the CWG flats to the same bureaucrats who could have been involved in corruption. If the Delhi Development Authority has its way, then the babus of Delhi will be getting a lion's share of the luxury apartments in the Games Village, with only 10 per cent of the total flats in DDA's possession left for the public. At present, the DDA owns over 700 flats out of the total of 1,168 flats built to house Commonwealth Games delegates at the Village. According to officials, the DDA in a revised proposal is planning to auction 100 flats in the Games Village to the public. This will be done to determine the market price of the apartments.

commonwealt games villageOnce a price is fixed, the remaining flats would then be sold to the Delhi government at the same price. This will then be distributed to the MPs and bureaucrats as government accommodation- a direct contrast to the original plan of auctioning all the Games Village flats to the public. But Delhi's Urban Development Minister said the babus in the city need these apartments more than the aam aadmi.

"There is a shortage of accommodation for the ministers and the senior officers. We require more houses," said Urban Development Minister of Delhi AK Walia.

Earlier this month, the DDA had clarified that it will not allot the Games flats to bureaucrats or ministers. The statement came following news reports that the DDA had sent a proposal to the Ministry of Urban Development to allow these flats to be allotted to government agencies like the Delhi Police, Public Sector Units, MPs, CVC and CAG's office. But it looks like the DDA has changed its mind.

"I have to check with the DDA which is the concerned agency," said Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy.

The DDA's share in the Village had originally been one-third of the total flats, around 390. But after the financial bailout to Emaar-MGF, the number of flats in the land agency's kitty increased considerably.

With most of the apartments owned by Emaar MGF already sold out, the public now has little choice but to battle it out for a hundred odd flats in auction.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AP Singh appointed new CBI director


New Delhi, Nov 30 (ANI): Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer A.P Singh was on Tuesday appointed the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a period of two years.
Singh takes over from Ashwini Kumar.
The Appointments'' Committee of the Union Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, cleared the name of Singh, a 1974 batch IPS officer from Jharkhand cadre.
Prior to his appointment, Singh, 58, was serving as Special Director in the agency.
He has also held the post of Additional Director General in the Border Security Force (BSF) and is a recipient of the Indian Police Medal and the President''s Police Medal.
Ashwani Kumar was the CBI Director from August 2, 2008 to November 30, 2010. 

In pics: Live life small size - America's tiny houses

americas tiny houses

Tiny houses a rage in US
Stephen Marshall, owner of Little House on the Trailer, is seen in front of one of the homes he built in Petaluma, California.

a tiny loft

A tiny loft
Stephen Marshall, owner of Little House on the Trailer, is seen in the loft of one of his small houses in Petaluma, California.

tiny bedroom

A tiny bedroom
Stephen Marshall, owner of Little House on the Trailer, relaxes in one of his one room houses in Petaluma, California.

upstairs to nowhere

Upstairs to nowhere
Stephen Marshall, owner of Little House on the Trailer, climbs down from the loft of one of his small houses in Petaluma.

live life small size

Live life small size!
Jay Shafer, owner of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses is seen inside one of the homes he built for himself in Graton, California. The California homebuilder has become a leader in a small but growing corner of the American housing market: the tiny house.

pint sized home

Pint-sized homes
Jay Shafer, owner of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses is seen in front of the tiny house he built for himself in Graton. In a country where most people want to live large, Shafer helps people live small. Shafer, who lived in a 89-square foot house with his wife before his son was born last year, builds houses that are smaller than most people's living rooms.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Delhi rape victim to fight on, refuses to leave


Despite her nightmarish experience, the 30-year-old BPO employee, who was  abducted and raped by five men in south Delhi, has decided to stay back and pursue her case so that no one else from her community has to suffer the same fate. The woman, who hails from Mizoram, is presently undergoing treatment at a south Delhi hospital. She has refused to go back to her native place till the accused are brought to book. The victim is extremely brave and is coping with the situation quite well. When we asked her if she wants to go back to her native place, she said no. She added that she was here to fight the case and see that it reaches its logical conclusion. She said if she will not do so, other women from her community will continue to be victimised,” said Takam Sanjoy, MP from Arunachal Pradesh. Takam is actively pursuing the Dhaula Kuan rape victim’s case.
This year, at least 17 cases of heinous crimes like rape and molestation, involving women from the north-eastern states, have been reported.
Meanwhile, the victim’s parents arrived in the Capital on Saturday.
Takam added that they would meet the Union home minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday to discuss strategies to help protect women from the north-east.
“A team of psychologists is taking care of her. We are worried about how the police are going to handle this case as we did not have very good experience in the past,” said Madhu Chandra, spokesperson, Northeast Support Centre and Helpline.
The victim is being taken care of by the Mizoram government.
“The government authorities are taking adequate care of her and she has been provided accommodation as well. Her colleague, who escaped the tragedy, is also extending full support,” said Takam.
On Saturday, the victim helped the police prepare the second sketch of one of the five accused.

US security checks invade the body

transportation security administration

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener scans a passenger at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

radiation blocker

Johnston, a representative of Rocky Flats Gear, shows a pair of men's briefs sold by his company with a radiation-blocking fig leaf applique in Littleton.

close scrutiny

A Transportation Security Administration worker rubs her hands across a female traveler's chest during a patdown search at Denver International Airport.

safer tools

Lawrence Johnston, a representative of Rocky Flats Gear, shows off bra inserts sold by his company that are claimed to block the radiation from the backscatter scanners in use at airports in Littleton, Colorado.

no shoes please

A girl puts her shoes back on after taking them off to go through security at Denver International Airport in Denver.

too much

Half of Americans say the enhanced passenger security patdowns at US airports go too far, according to a poll published just before the busy holiday travel season.

who's next

A TSA agent dons rubber gloves at Washington Reagan National Airport.

sorry for the inconvenience

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker (R) rubs her hands across a elderly female traveler's chest during a patdown search at Denver International Airport in Denver.

backscatter x-ray scan

A sign explains the use of "backscatter x-ray technology" at a security check-point at Logan Airport in Boston.

full scan

A Transportation Security Administration worker rubs her hands across a female traveler's leg during a patdown search at Denver International Airport.

security zone

Passengers line up at a security checkpoint operated by the TSA at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale.

Delhi rape case: 2 sketches out, no arrest still


New Delhi: More than four days after the rape of a BPO employee, Delhi Police is still collecting clues and evidence to try and nail the assailants. They have released two sketches now but no arrests have been made so far.

The sketches showed two men accused of raping a 30-year-old BPO employee after they dragged her into a moving pick up van at Dhaula kuan early on Wednesday morning. But all that the police have salvaged so far are some clues which may or may not be useful.

delhi mizo rape case

"Some of the details we can't share with you at this point but it have helped us in narrowing down on areas we are looking at," said South Distruct DCP H G S Dhaliwal.


According to the police, the victim's friend who was with her when she was dragged into the van is helping them identify the assailants. The sketches that have been released so far were made based on what the victim and her friend told the police. Unfortunately even though there were cameras placed at various points between Dhaula Kuan and Mongolpuri where she was dumped, the blurred images that were recorded were of no help.

The Delhi Police has released two such sketches and is processing a third one and is also deciding on announcing a cash reward for any info on the culprits. But more than four days into the incident the question everyone is asking is how long it will take the police for nabbing the culprit and putting them behind bars.

16th Asiad Games closing ceremony