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Tag: mumbai

Maharashtra govt gives Rs 258 crore to tribal panchayats, fails to train them on spending

Of the 35 districts in the state, the TSP areas fall in 15 districts —Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Pune, Amravati, Yavatmal, Nagpur, Gondia, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Nanded. There are 47 tribes or tribal groups in Maharashtra, including Bhils, Gonds, Mahadeo Kolis, Pawras, Thakurs and Warlis.

Kanchan SrivastavaInfoPrincipal Correspondent at dna Mumbai, have interests in politics, education and energy sectors. A postgraduate in Biochemistry and Lucknow University alumnus. I had worked at Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow for two and half years as Junior Reseach Fellow. Also holds a PG diploma in international studies from Mumbai University. Have won UNFPA-Laadli Media National Award in 2011 for best writing (Hindi) on gender issues. Besides, NBC Newsmakers Achievers Award 2015 for best journalist (English, print)

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Nawaz Sharif thanks PM Modi for Lahore visit; says high time India, Pakistan set aside hostilities <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaAmritsar: Nine killed, 15 injured in accident as bus hits motorised cartIndiaNarrow escape for 171 passengers of AI flight as dog strays on runwayIndiaNoida jinx will keep Akhilesh Yadav away from meeting PMIndiaMaharashtra: Sales tax on kidney-related medicines waived offIndiaDelhi govt suspends two officers; 200 colleagues threaten to go on mass leaveIndiaUP girl students barred from hockey, cricket, football <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Excise department seizes duty-evaded, duplicate liquor worth Rs57 lakh<!– /.block –>Nawaz Sharif thanks PM Modi for Lahore visit; says high time India, Pakistan set aside hostilities<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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AI plane hit by catering van at Newark airport in US

An Air India plane was hit by a catering van today at the Newark international airport in the US after it landed from Mumbai.The incident happened when the catering van was being aligned with the plane, a Boeing 777, operating on Mumbai-Newark route with flight number AI-191. Local engineers are assessing the damaged caused to the aircraft, Air India sources.The passengers, whose number was not immediately available, of the flight were being accommodated on Air India’s New York flight as it would be ‘night-time curfew’ at the airport by the time engineers give their report, they said. Further details are awaited.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Congress wins 3, Sena 2, others bag 1 seat each: Council polls

Major political parties retained their respective strength in Maharashtra Legislative Council after the recent round of elections to seven local authorities constituencies the results of which were declared on Wednesday. The Congress won three seats, Shiv Sena won two, while the NCP, BJP and an Independent bagged one seat each. The elections to the seven local authorities constituencies of the state Legislative Council were held on Sunday in which 15 candidates were in the fray.Congress registered victory in one of the three seats (for which elections were held) in Mumbai and in Dhule- Nandurbar and Kolhapur. The Shiv Sena won a seat each in Mumbai and Akola-Washim- Buldhana, while the BJP bagged Nagpur MLC seat.Sena’s Ramdas Kadam (securing 8,600) and Congress’ Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap (bagging 6,400 votes) emerged victorious on one MLC seat each in Mumbai. Jagtap was facing a stiff challenge from former NCP leader and Independent candidate Prasad Lad, amid reports that a faction of about 20 Congress corporators cross-voted.The Sena and BJP together have 119 corporators in the house of 230 members in the Mumbai civic body, of which 201 actually cast their vote during the elections held on December 27, while the others abstained.In Nagpur, BJP’s Girish Vyas was declared elected unopposed as there was no rival in the fray. In Dhule-Nandurbar, sitting Congress MLC Amrishbhai Patel retained his seat by securing 352 votes. He was facing challenge from BJP’s Dr Shashikant Wani.In Kolhapur, former minister and Congress’ official candidate Satej Patil won the seat, defeating sitting MLC and party rebel Mahadevrao Mahadik. Patil bagged 220 votes. In Ahmednagar, sitting NCP MLC Arun Jagtap won by securing 243 votes. He was locked in a four-cornered contest with Congress’s Jayant Sasane, who filed the nomination as a rebel candidate, and Shiv Sena’s Shashikant Gade and the independent candidate Machindra Supekar.In Akola-Washim-Buldhana, there was a straight contest between sitting Sena MLC Gopikisan Bajoriya and NCP’s Ravindra Sapkal. Bajoriya, who polled 513 votes, defeated Sapkal at the seat.
Independent candidate Prashant Paricharak, who was supported by the BJP, won in Solapur by securing 261 votes. Out of the total 2,622 corporators, 2,585 cast their ballot, with the overall 98.59 per cent voting being recorded.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Odd-even rule: CM Arvind Kejriwal warns volunteers against ‘misbehaving’

Replying to another question, Kejriwal referred to some people having converted their petrol cars to CNG in view of the exemption for the latter provided in the scheme, but said that no such rule for compulsory conversion of vehicles can be enforced.

PTI
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Rat on the plane? London bound Air India flight comes back to Mumbai because of suspected rodent on board! <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaDear news channel, how does a rape victim’s ‘Facebook lover’ matter?IndiaOdd-even move only to avoid media glare on MLAs’ salary hike, asks CongressIndiaTelangana DGP denies Hyderabad more prone to ISIS radicalisationIndiaGovernment decides to relax adoption conditions in certain casesIndiaIntolerance Debate 2015: Who is under the radar?IndiaModi govt a failure on all fronts, pursuing vendetta politics: Congress <!– /.block –>

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NCR developers default on Rs 10,000 crore land payments

New Launches dropped in 2015
Period NCR Mumbai Pune
Jan-March 2012 24 41 22
Jan-March 2013 27 31 16
Jan-March 2014 20 22 13
Jan-March 2015 4 9 2
Source-Ambit capital, prop equity

Dipu Rai

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2,000 water samples test positive for pollutants in Thane <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaNCR developers default on Rs 10,000 crore land paymentsIndiaCPCB, a look at the science behind the air quality indexIndiaGovernment to revamp Censor Board on global linesIndiaMaharashtra: Government launches artificial coral reef project in MalvanIndiaNarendra Modi asks ministers to connect with people in two LS constituencies a monthIndiaDoes separatist Syedah Asiya Andrabi have Islamic State links? <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired rockets near US warships in Gulf: US<!– /.block –>2,000 water samples test positive for pollutants in Thane<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Fire breaks out in Mumbai’s Parel area, no casualties reported

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Mumbai cops invoke stringent MCOCA charge against gangster Ashwin Naik

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Woman allegedly raped at Infosys campus in Pune, police arrests two persons

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Delhi: December 30 dry run for odd even rule

However, transport minister from Maharashtra Diwakar Raote told dna, that Mumbai has an excellent rail connectivity and most public vehicles on the city’s roads run on CNG. “Everything is running well here. We will never need to do a Delhi-like experiment here,” Raote said.

dna Correspondent

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US fraudster held at international airport <!– /.block –>
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Grimmer details of Dadri lynching emerge, meat found from Mohamad Akhlaq’s home was goat’s

However police refused to comment whether or not Shivam had actually retrieved any mutton from the drain. While filing a charge sheet in Dadri lynching case, police had ruled out conspiracy angle into the murder. The move can prove it difficult for the victim’s counsel or prosecution to establish murder charges (302) against any specific person or persons as the chargesheet has not invoked conspiracy charges. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not any meat was recovered by the accused at all as it could put light on whether the entire incident was a pre-planned conspiracy.

Azaan Javaid

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No LPG subsidy for tax payers earning over Rs 10 lakh <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Is India’s GDP really growing at 7.5%?<!– /.block –>No LPG subsidy for tax payers earning over Rs 10 lakh<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Forest panel stalls clearance for three coal mines owned by PSUs

The ministry’s expert panel said that even this project involves chopping down a sizeable; 14,698 trees that will show significant impact on flora and fauna of the area. The panel has thus asked for re submission of the proposal with additional details such density of forest and details of compensatory afforestation.

dna Correspondent

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Maneka Gandhi reveals plan to modernise anganwadis

Gandhi also said that she has written to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to include more than one bogey for women in metro trains. “The trains are very crowded, and with the women’s bogey being the first in a train, it is a bit difficult for them,” she said. She said that she has written to ask for three bogies in longer trains and two in smaller ones. “Another scheme I really want to see take off is free bus passes for women over 60,” she said.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndiaBJP has a ball over Congress blooperIndiaGurgaon girl kidnapped outside her college, freed after 7 hoursIndiaBMC cracks whip on officials who failed it in Bombay High CourtIndiaTwo South Mumbai women seek medical help for excessive shoppingIndiaCentre contradicting own stand on DDCA probe: AAPIndiaTamil Nadu elections: DMK chief Karunanidhi extends hand of friendship to Congress for alliance <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Old barracks, police library and vehicle dump yard gave way for new building<!– /.block –>AAP leader’s badly mutilated body found in Delhi<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Eurasian Thicknee comes calling for third time in 50 years

Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) at Dharavi is attracting a lot of birdwatchers these days, thanks to the sighting of Eurasian Thicknee. It’s for the first time that this mid-sized bird has been sighted in the park. Experts say the bird is uncommon to Mumbai and has been sighted in the city only twice before in the last 50 years.It was a nature photographer, who while taking pictures inside MNP on December 26, first clicked the bird and showed the images to deputy director of the Park, Avinash Kubal, who identified it. “Though I knew that it had never been sighted at the Park, we still checked all the records – documented by several birders – and confirmed it,” said Kubal adding the news soon spread and he has been getting a lot of calls from bird-lovers who wanted to confirm it.Kubal found four individual Eurasian Thicknee – two of which seem to be chicks – at MNP. Visitors or nature photographers are being escorted by the MNP nature guides to see the bird to ensure that their habitat or surrounding is not disturbed. “We will keep our vigil,” said Kubal.Avid birdwatcher Adesh Shivkar, who has even prepared a guide, listing the birds sighted at MNP in 2014, sharing his delight said as per records this bird was sighted in 2000 at Dahisar, Gorai belt and in 1940 by Humayun Abdulali and Salim Ali at Andheri and never recorded at MNP.”This scrubland bird, which stays close to the forested patches and waterbody is common in many parts of India but uncommon to Mumbai. Its sighting at MNP should be cheered as it can be said that city has not lost all its biodiversity hotspots. In fact, we can see many birds at MNP, which are not found in city (excluding Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey forest),” said Shivkar adding the bird has been spotted outskirts of Mumbai in places like Dombivli, Karjat and Uran.Shivkar said the sighting highlights the need and importance of green islands like MNP. “We have been hearing proposals to redevelop MNP with bridges and promenade, keeping it lit up till night. All these would only hurt the existing rich biodiversity of this place and time has come where we plan things keeping the biodiversity in mind and not human needs,” said Shivkar.Meanwhile, there have been reports of this bird being sighted in the Sewri mudflats too on Sunday.Eurasian Thicknee, with a length of 38-46 cm and wingspan of 76 to 88 cm, sports a strong yellow and black beak with large yellow eyes. The wings of this bird bears black and white markings.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

BJP has a ball over Congress blooper

He wondered if Nirupam had done a copy-and-paste work by lifting some articles he might have written for Saamna earlier.

dna Correspondent

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‘Why should police station be the only place we meet?’: Mumbai cops launch Twitter handle

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HPV vaccine in universal immunisation could bring up old fears

In December itself, an article in the science journal Nature, upheld the need for an HPV vaccine, and for dispelling this mistrust surrounding it. It also said that the European Medical Agency had confirmed the vaccine’s safety, thus weakening the case of those opposing the vaccine.

dna Correspondent

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Hyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups

“The trio wanted to reach Srinagar from where they wanted to explore joining some terror organisation. They did not have any well-prepared plan,” the police had said.

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Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif bonhomie takes dialogue process to higher levels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday diplomacy in Lahore on Friday, that took even the well-glued senior government mandarins by surprise and provoked the opposition to slam it as “adventurism”, seems to be auguring well for the country in deriving some tangible results in the key problem area of cross-border terrorism.The quickened pace of developments that started with Modi-Sharif meeting on the sidelines of Paris climate summit on November 30, leading to secretive talks between national security advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nasir Khan Janjua in Bangkok on December 6, followed by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s Pakistan visit and a tete-a-tete with Sartaj Aziz, is now leading to foreign secretary-level talks on January 15 under the new nomenclature of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.The foreign secretary-level talks, for which S Jaishankar is expected to head to Islamabad, will work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings under the dialogue including peace and security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people-to-people exchanges and religious tourism.The firming up of modalities are expected to lead to structured NSA-level talks later next year.While union home ministry remains clueless about the status of its role in the talks, the comprehensive bilateral dialogue seems to have taken the scope of cross-border terrorism out of its purview as it will now be discussed at the level of NSAs, instead of home secretary-level talks that existed well within its domain during composite dialogue.While, some see it as diminishing role of the union home ministry in issues related to Pakistan that directly impact country’s internal security situation for which it is solely accountable. It seems that the ministry’s role now would be limited to hold talks on narcotics smuggling and ceasefire violations at the borders, said sources.However, according to sources in the intelligence agencies, stepping up the level of cross-border terrorism to NSA is expected to put more pressure on Pakistan to speed up the trial of perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, dismantling of terror camps in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and reining in banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.”The government has done well by letting NSA Ajit Doval handle the cross-border terrorism in its entirety. Doval is an old and expert hand and knows Pakistan too well. Given the international pressure, he is capable of extracting more from Pakistan than any other person in the government. We now expect to see gradual building up of pressure on Pakistan to deliver in matters related to Mumbai trial, Dawood’s deportation and squeezing terror groups by acting on their finances and training camps,” said sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Will Modi’s Pak visit lead to action against terror, Dawood, Saeed: Sena, VHP

He said “we also sincerely hope that Modiji will compel Pakistan to take effective action against Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi both of whom have been roaming scot-free in the neighboring country despite their involvement in the dastardly terrorist attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Congress remarks on PM Modi’s Lahore visit unfortunate, BJP hits back<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Be wary of that imported scotch being offered for cheap! It may be fake

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Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai.

Tempted by that offer of a bottle of premium scotch claimed to be sourced from a “duty-free” shop and being offered at a hefty discount for your New Year bash? Do not fall prey to the lure as there are chances that this bottle may be a cheap brand of liquor being passed off as the original.”With December 31 round the corner, bootleggers and counterfeiters are cashing in on the increased demand for liquor by trying to pass off duplicate liquor as the original brew for cheaper by claiming that it has been sourced from duty-free shops. For instance, a bottle of high-end whiskey which costs Rs 5,000 in a wine shop may be sold for around Rs 2,500 by these people with the bottle containing mid-range liquor,” said a senior state excise department official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this month, the state excise flying squad raided a building in Andheri (West) and arrested six people involved in manufacturing and sale of duplicate Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They also seized bottles of premium whiskey brands and raw material.The prime target of these rackets, which make a killing due to the margins involved, is the neo-rich class which seeks to shift from low quality liquor to premium brands but is unable to distinguish between original and duplicate versions.Liquor smugglers also try to cash in on the higher demand for liquor by bringing in duty-evaded alcohol from neighbouring states Goa and Daman, which have liberal excise duty regimes than Maharashtra, leading to cheaper goods.The flying squad also intercepted 500 boxes of duty-evaded IMFL and beer, which were brought into Maharashtra from Goa and Madhya Pradesh, and arrested two people. The stash, which is worth Rs18 lakh, includes 350 boxes of whiskey and 150 boxes of a popular brand of strong beer.Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai. The kingpins and foot soldiers of this illegal business rent premises on a temporary basis in Bandra, Santa Cruz, Khar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Goregaon and prepare duplicate liquor.These counterfeiters purchase empty bottles from bhangar (scrap) shops or order original-looking replicas of bottles and caps from other countries which are then brought to Maharashtra via neighbouring states.Though it is mandatory for all retail outlets to smash bottles of premium imported brands, like scotch and single malts, and deface or remove labels from empty IMFL bottles to prevent their misuse, it is difficult to ensure that individual consumers followed suit.”It is necessary for people to purchase liquor from authorised wine shops because there are chances that bootleggers may be bottling cheap quality alcohol in bottles of premium brands and passing them off as originals. Such liquor may also be harmful for health,” said a senior state excise official.

How will he get the care he needs if he’s sent back to jail: GN Saibaba’s wife

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The 90% disabled, wheelchair-bound professor’s wife said that before his arrest Saibaba’s both hands were working properly.

Dr GN Saibaba
File Photo

A day after the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court cancelled the temporary bail of Delhi University professor Dr GN Saibaba, his wife on Thursday expressed her apprehension about the further deterioration of her husband’s health. The visibly bold-looking Vasantha could not control her emotions at a press conference in Delhi. She said her husband is in a better position today because of her sincere effort to provide him adequate treatment. The 90% disabled, wheelchair-bound professor’s wife said that before his arrest Saibaba’s both hands were working properly, but due to his over-14-month incarceration in the high security anda cell in Nagpur Central jail, his left hand is now barely functioning.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “I would like to sue the people responsible for his worsening health… He needs absolute care and attention. How will that be possible if he goes back to jail?” she asked. She expressed her anguish over the high court order which ignored the English professor’s health and said that besides physiotherapy for his physical disability, Saibaba has been getting treatment for high blood pressure, heart ailment and also for the stones in both of his kidneys and the gall bladder. The family had to shift to Vasant Kunj near the Spinal Injury Centre for Saibaba’s frequent treatment for his spinal problem. Recounting the Maharashtra police raid at their house earlier, Vasantha said, “Raids were conducted at our house without any search warrant. My husband was fighting for the rights of poor tribals in Chhattisgarh, which has resulted him to be linked with Maoists.” On Wednesday, the high court rejected Saibaba’s plea for regular bail and directed him to surrender within 48 hours before the court concerned. Meanwhile, civil rights activists and eminent academicians from the Delhi University have criticised the court order terming it as “prejudice” and saying “the judiciary needs accountability for such type of orders”. Regarding the court’s notice to writer Arundhati Roy’s article over Saibaba’s arrest, they said, “It is an attack on the civil liberties.” Last June, the Mumbai police had arrested him for his alleged links with Maoists after questioning him more than four times at his residence. A division bench headed by Bombay High Court chief justice had granted him interim bail which was again extended in September till December.

Cylinder blast kills 1, injures 13 persons at school near Mumbai

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Winter has come: Mumbaikars shocked with 11.4 degree Celsius

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Today, Mumbai recorded minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celsius, which was six degrees below the normal for the month of December.

Representational Image

The country’s financial capital has been witnessing lower than normal average temperatures for the last three days, an unusual phenomenon since a decade, a Regional Meteorology Centre official said on Thursday. Today, Mumbai recorded minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celsius, which was six degrees below the normal for the month of December. The minimum usually is 17 degrees Celsius at this time of the year. “This was the second lowest minimum temperature recorded during the last ten years,” the official said, adding that the lowest temperature in the month of December in Mumbai was recorded in 1949 when it touched 10.6 degrees Celsius. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Attributing the present chill to the cold northerly winds, the official said, these winds are reaching upto the north coastal Maharashtra from across Rajasthan and Gujarat and thus leading to drop in the minimum temperatures in all these areas. The maximum temperatures too have witnessed a slight dip in the city, the official said, adding that this cold spell would continue till the wind patterns do not change.

Another ‘missing’ Malwani youth suspected to have join ISIS returns home

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While Noor is back home, Wajid was tracked down by ATS sleuths near Pune and was brought to Mumbai on Wednesday and let off after interrogation

Wajid Shaikh

A day after Wajid Shaikh, one of the ‘missing’ youths suspected to have joined the Islamic State (IS), returned to Mumbai, another untraceable youth, Noor Mohammed, also from suburban Malwani, came back home on Thursday, police said.”Noor returned home himself this morning,” DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said. Now the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is probing reports that he, along with three others – Wajid Shaikh, Mohsin Sayyed and Ayaz Sultan – had left home to join the terror outfit. Noor was the fourth youth who disappeared from Malwani area, a western suburb of Mumbai, in mid-December to reportedly to join the IS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Noor is back home, Wajid was tracked down by ATS sleuths near Pune and was brought to Mumbai on Wednesday and let off after interrogation. The whereabouts of two other youths (Sultan and Mohsin) are still not known, police said.Sultan went missing on October 30 and Wajid and Mohsin since December 16, a police official had said. According to police, Sultan left home on October 30 after telling his parents that he had to go to Pune in connection with a job offer he got from a Kuwait-based firm. Mohsin left home on December 16, saying he was going to attend a friend’s wedding. Wajid also left home the same day saying he had to get the name on his Aadhar card corrected, police had said.

Now, even Mumbai can say, ‘Winter is coming’: City was colder than Mahabaleshwar on Wednesday

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Christmas 2015: Shopping destinations to look out for

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Listing out the best Christmas markets, this article will take you around a merry trip across India.

Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, the various shoppers’ stops are decked with Christmas decoratives. Below is the list of some famous destinations in India, for Christmas shopping:1. Shops and Carnivals in Delhi :The various embassies in India like German, Australian etc. host Christmas markets in the capital of nation on Christmas. While old Delhi is filled with markets selling various Christmas decorations, others like Dilli Haat and malls in Saket and Connaught Place are no behind. You can also checkout carnivals in Rajouri Garden.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Who can forget Goa:It’s Christmas and what better place to shop, than Goa! From Anjuna Flea Market to Arpora & Margao, Tibetan and Calangute markets, there is a plethora of shops selling Christmas decorations and goodies. You just need to be a wise shopper.
3. Bangaluru is no way behind:The IT city is another shopping destination with so many markets flooded with Christmas trees and beautiful decorations. While you get the best Christmas trees at Chikpet and Vellara junction, others like Thippasandra, Commercial Street and Russell Market in Shivaji nagar also offer various Christmas decorative’s.
4. From hill road to Crawford, Mumbai has much more:Mumbai, amidst the noise, hosts an ocean of markets that offer the best of Christmas varieties. The famous suburb, Bandra, is decorated beautifully for Christmas. You can find Christmas trees, bells, decoratives, Santa hats, goodies, etc. on Hill road and Linking road. While the Abdul Rehman Street on Crawford market offers the best Christmas trees, others like IC Colony Borivali, Elphinstone College and Cuffe Parade etc. also offer the various Christmas treats. All these Christmas markets, organised by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, offer an awesome street shopping experience wherein you can bargain and grab a decent deal.
5. Kolkata’s magnificent markets:The City of Joy also offers variety of shopping on Christmas. The famous markets in Kolkata are at the Mirza Ghalib Street, Park Street and New Market. You can surf in through these markets that are beautifully decorated and host some Christmas carols, carnivals etc. You can enjoy the mesmerising music with some good food post-shopping.
6. Kerala – A Shopper’s Paradise on Christmas:Christmas is in the air throughout God’s Own Country and shops are no less than paradise for the shopaholics. While the Broadway Market in Kerala, is one of the favourite destinations, you can find a range of shops on Bazaar Road, Jew Street around Fort Kochi and the ones that spread from Marine drive to Menaka.
7. European Style Markets in Pondicherry:If you want to check out some European flavoured markets on Christmas, then the Lycée français de Pondichéry​, is the place. You can also try out the Christmas markets on MG Road and Mission Street and feel a little European, while you do it.
8. The various bazaars of Shillong:The North-East part of Indian is not far behind when it comes to shopping destinations on Christmas. You can see the various famous streets of Shillong are buzzing on Christmas. You can find the various Christmas decorations at Barra Bazaar, Kyndailas, Police Bazaar and GSS Road. From markets stocked with Christmas decoratives to the Shillong Christmas Festival, Christmas in Shillong is indeed a grand affair.
So you can check out some of these awesome markets and make your Christmas merrier.

Cheering them up! Nita Ambani celebrates Christmas with underprivileged children in Mumbai

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Uddhav Thackeray should visit Pakistan, says Sudheendra Kulkarni

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On October 12, Sena activists had blackened the face of Kulkarni for organising Kasuri’s book launch and termed him as a “Pakistani agent”.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, head of Observer Research Foundation and Hameed Haroon CEO Dawn Media Group during a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday.

PTI
ORF chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni on Wednesday said Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party had opposed former Pakistan minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s visit to Mumbai, should visit the neighbouring country.”If Madhur Bhandarkar (filmmaker) can go to Pakistan then why should there be a ban on Pakistani artists here. I appeal to Uddhav Thackeray to visit Pakistan. Your understanding of Pakistan will change,” Kulkarni said while addressing an event here to launch ‘Karachi Mumbai Friendship Forum’ organised by his Observer Research Foundation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CEO of Dawn media group of Pakistan, Hameed Haroon was present on the occasion.”It is heartening that our two governments have decided to move ahead with a comprehensive bilateral dialogue,” Kulkarni said. He said the 26/11 terror attack mercenaries who came to Mumbai did not represent Pakistan.”In October we organised Kasuri’s book launch despite threats of Shiv Sena. Today’s event is yet another demonstration that Mumbai wants to separate from such ideologies,” he said.On October 12, Sena activists had blackened the face of Kulkarni for organising Kasuri’s book launch and termed him as a “Pakistani agent”. Kulkarni said that a demand should be made to allow Pakistan to reopen its consulate and that India should also reopen its consulate in Karachi.”Next year, we would like to have a Marathi Utsav in Karachi and also a Gujarati Utsav there,” he said.Kulkarni also spoke of a “crowd-sourcing initiative” for people to share experiences of partition.”We want to have a peace boat to Karachi,” the ORF chairman said.Noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt spoke of security threats to Pakistani artists in India.

‘Tis the season! A Mumbaikar’s guide to food and wine this Christmas 2015

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If you are short of ideas for what to do this Christmas, here’s your complete guide to food, drinks, recipes and more to cheer up your festive season.

Christmas

If you are short of ideas for what to do this Christmas, here’s your complete guide to food, drinks, recipes and more to cheer up your festive season in Mumbai. Savour authentic festive goodies in Dadar With Christmas around the corner, how can the delicious cookies and baked goodies be far behind? Iamin caught up with Ann Dias, a Dadar resident who is famous for the Christmas treats she churns out in her kitchen. The 63-year-old has been making traditional Christmas delights since 1982. What started off as a passion, soon took an entrepreneurial turn, as Dias began selling her home-made sweets during the festive season. A big hit among residents, the word of her undertaking spread far and wide, making her a known name in the local circuit. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Read more… Head to Bandra’s Hearsch bakeryPeople with sweet-tooths in Mumbai can head to a famous bakery in Bandra’s Hill Road area.J. Hearsch Bakery has been one of the favourites among other sweer shops, during festive season, especially around Christmas.This year, the bakery is serving special items like Marzipan, milk cream, pink ice, walnut fudge, Christmas cupcakes, Christmas fruit and nut chocolate cake, and Snowman Lollipop. The range starts from Rs 130, which will hardly burn any hole in your pockets. Melvin D’sa who runs the bakery, said, “Like every year this time too we have started selling Christmas items from this week. I hope the sales increase this year.” Read more… American Express Bakery in Bandra’s Hill Road American Express Bakery in Bandra’s Hill Road, a favourite among pastry lovers was started a hundred years ago by a goan in Byculla. The bakery has entered the Christmas mode and has chalked out a schedule of special breads and items to be sold on particular days till December 25. These items include steak and kidney pie start, bread basket, Portuguese bread, Dundee Start and the most popular one – Stollen. Read more… Christmas Recipe: Snack on Vettu Cake, an easy South-Indian delicacyWith Christmas around the corner, Christian households are buzzing with activity. While most of the rooms are decked up with baubles, lights and red stocking for Santa, the kitchen becomes the hub of festive preparations as well. One such snack that is often dished out by Kerala Christians is Vettu Cake. Quite a misnomer, Vettu Cake recipe is not at all tedious and involves no baking it all. Quick, easy to make and long lasting, the fried snack is usually stored in air-tight containers, to serve guests who drop by home to offer Christmas wishes and to satiate the mid-afternoon hunger pangs of little kids swarming around the house. Read more… Try your hand making sweet diamond cuts Among the several traditional dishes laid out on the tray of goodies during Christmas, it is hard to miss the sweet and crispy diamond cut or Vettipori. For those accustomed to these delightful fried snacks during the festive season, the one memory that will flash through your mind will be of the ladies in Malayali households, getting together on a cold afternoon, kneading and rolling dough to cut them out into diamond shapes. Coated with sugary syrup, these sweet golden treats are stored in air-tight containers and can last up to a month.Read more… Savour popular Goan Baath Cake this festive seasonThe Baath Cake is typically a Goan dessert speciality that is made during Christmas and Easter. It is usually prepared as a part of the ‘Kuswar’ or set of goodies prepared specifically for the festive season by the Goan Catholic community. Its primary ingredients are semolina and coconut— both desiccated and fresh coconut can be used, but the dish must be consumed within three days if the latter is used. Since it is generally a soft, crumbly and moist cake, one needs to be careful about not over-baking it as it then, tends to become too dry. Read more… Try out Rose Cookies or Achappam One of Kerala’s authentic Christmas snacks is the Rose Cookies or Achappam, which are mildly sweet and extremely crunchy. Also hailed as the Indian version of the famous Scandinavian Rosette Cookies, this made using an Achu or iron-mould from which it derives its name. This is usually tricky for first-timers and getting perfectly-shaped cookies turns out to be quite a task, until you learn the knack of using the mould. However, preparing the batter is far from laborious and is a crunchy delight once off the stove and ready to be devoured. Read more… Try out Bohri-style lunch in MumbaiFood and festivities have always gone together so why should this Christmas be any different? If you are in Mumbai, then how about a Bohri home cooked meal to ring in the celebrations? The Bohri Kitchen, an experimental lunch concept has something special for their guests for this Saturday’s event – Bohri food with a twist. Read more… ​And here’s some help with winesWine is the flavour of this festive season. It is the safest bet, whether it is a party or a cozy couple dinner. For some, choosing wines that go hand-in-hand with relaxation and celebration can sometimes become intimidating, especially when hosting a group. Ajay Shetty, MD, Myra Vineyards lists three kinds of wines you should go for this season, and their right pairings. So go ahead and get the party started!Read more… For more such stories, visit Iamin.com

Dawood’s offer to return to India and surrender wasn’t genuine: Former top cop

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“If any person wants to surrender, he wouldn’t put the conditions which he had put,” said Singh

Former Mumbai police commissioner MN Singh today rubbished the reported claim by the fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, one of the prime accused in 1993 Mumbai blasts case, that Indian authorities spurned his offer to return to India and surrender.Singh was speaking at a function here to launch a novel written by the veteran journalist Sheela Raval.”Dawood never seriously wanted to surrender when he offered his conditions for surrendering by speaking with the veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani,” Singh said.”If any person wants to surrender, he wouldn’t put the conditions which he had put,” said Singh, adding that the gangster only wanted to create a misleading picture that he wanted to return to India but the concerned authorities stopped him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Dawood is a gangster, but by definition he became a terrorist. He is a genius, who, despite being born in a dingy area of Dongri (in Mumbai), being uneducated and a son of a city police constable, is tagged as the 57th most powerful man on the earth who has accumulated around USD 6.7 billion by his illegitimate activities,” the former IPS officer said.Considering this, “Dawood could have returned back to the city, faced trial and led the life of a respected and rich businessman by converting all his illegitimate money into legitimate businesses here. Such things happen in other foreign countries,” said Singh, speaking with the media after the book launch.

Missing Mumbai youth suspected to have joined Islamic State detained in Pune

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CBI registers case against IRS officer

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The official, named Sanjay Kumar, a IRS-1991 Batch is the Financial Advisor as well as the Chief Accounts Officer posted at Employees Provident Fund Organization.

The Central Bureau of Investigation today registered a disproportionate assets case against as IRS officer posted at Employees Provident Fund Organization in New Delhi. According to the CBI, the amount being contested as disproportionate to the official’s income is more than six crore rupees.The official, named Sanjay Kumar, a IRS-1991 Batch is the Financial Advisor as well as the Chief Accounts Officer posted at Employees Provident Fund Organization. According to the probe agency, his wife as well as two firms based at Mumbai and New Delhi are also named as accused in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It was alleged that the said officer of EPFO had accumulated assets in his name and in the name of his family members which are disproportionate to his known sources of income. It was further alleged that his wife abetted him in the offence by investing the money through the said firms,” said CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh.According to CBI, searches were conducted at seven locations in New Delhi, Mumbai and Patna.”Searches were conducted at the official and residential premises of accused and others which led to recovery of incriminating documents relating to investments, properties, FDRs and others,” the official added

Dawood’s offer to return wasn’t genuine: Former Mumbai Police Commissioner MN Singh

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Singh was speaking at a function here to launch a novel written by the veteran journalist Sheela Raval

Former Mumbai police commissioner MN Singh on Tuesday rubbished the reported claim by the fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, one of the prime accused in 1993Mumbai blasts case, that Indian authorities spurned his offer to return to India and surrender.Singh was speaking at a function here to launch a novel written by the veteran journalist Sheela Raval. “Dawood never seriously wanted to surrender when he offered his conditions for surrendering by speaking with the veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani,” Singh said. “If any person wants to surrender, he wouldn’t put the conditions which he had put,” said Singh, adding that the gangster only wanted to create a misleading picture that hewanted to return to India but the concerned authorities stopped him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Dawood is a gangster, but by definition he became a terrorist. He is a genius, who, despite being born in a dingy area of Dongri (in Mumbai), being uneducated and a son of a city police constable, is tagged as the 57th most powerful man on the earth who has accumulated around US$ 6.7 billion by his illegitimate activities,” the former IPS officer said.Considering this, “Dawood could have returned back to the city, faced trial and led the life of a respected and rich businessman by converting all his illegitimate money into legitimate businesses here. Such things happen in other foreign countries,” said Singh, speaking with the media afterthe book launch.

Lalu Prasad Yadav slams bullet train project; asks PM Modi to explain rationale

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Strongly disapproving of the project, former rail minister Prasad charged that farmers and the poor were being ignored at the cost of the bullet train project as the Centre had reduced budgetary allocations for major sectors like agriculture, health and education.

Lalu Yadav

Amidst the Centre’s thrust on the ambitious bullet train project, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain the rationale behind pursuing an initiative that would cost close to Rs 1 lakh crore in a poor country like India.”The PM should explain the rationale behind investing approximately Rs 1 lakh crore in a single project like bullet train in a nation where millions of people die due to poverty, illness and malnutrition and defecate in open,” he asked in a two-page open letter. Strongly disapproving of the project, former rail minister Prasad charged that farmers and the poor were being ignored at the cost of the bullet train project as the Centre had reduced budgetary allocations for major sectors like agriculture, health and education.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What percentage of India’s population will benefit from this costly project running for such a small distance?” the RJD supremo asked, adding that the Centre’s priorities appeared to be misdirected and amounted to an advocacy of lopsided development. Pointing to the US, Prasad said that “the richest country in the world doesn’t have a bullet train as, in the fiercely competitive market, they get beaten down by low cost airlines”.He also spoke of the non-viability of the bullet train project on the grounds that the railways is facing a grim battle for survival due to ever-increasing operating ratio and decline in income from freight and passenger segments.The RJD leader suggested that the budget for the bullet train project could be invested for developing railway infrastructure so as to benefit millions of commuters.The Rs 98,000-crore project to lay India’s first bullet train network between the commercial nerve centre of Mumbai and Ahmedabad was finalised earlier this month at annual summit talks between Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.The bullet train between the two cities will cut travel time on the 505-kilometre route from eight hours to around three. Hailing the agreement for the project, Modi had said, “No less historic is our decision to introduce High Speed Rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through Japan’s Shinkansen, known for its speed, reliability and safety.”

Three missing youths from Mumbai suspected to have joined Islamic State, say police

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Mumbai double murder: Hema Upadhyay’s estranged husband Chintan arrested

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A three-hour drive away from ‘Smart city’, village in Maha gets electricity for first time

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Watch: Mumbai businessman takes on BMC in a bid to save dying trees

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The Silenced Sirens: The tale of mills, malls, a taxi driver and a 16-year-old school student

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Temperature drops to season’s lowest in Mumbai

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“Mumbai is seeing clear skies, even as the night temperature is dipping further as the winds are turning from north easterly to northerly,” said VK Rajeev, forecasting director, IMD Mumbai.

Mumbai is finally shivering in chill. Friday was the coldest day this December, with minimum temperatures – from Santacruz – recording 14.1 degree Celcius. While weathermen claim that clear skies and northerly winds are responsible for the chill, the denizens are finding comfort in sweaters, shawls and windcheaters. On Friday, Colaba the maximum temperature of 31.2 degree Celcius while the minimum recorded was 19.3 degree Celcius, which was lower than that recorded on Thursday which was 20.5 degree. Meanwhile, the maximum temperatures recorded at Santacruz was 33.3 degree Celcius while the minimum recorded was 14.1 degree celcius lower than 15.6 degree celcius minimum recorded on Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Mumbai is seeing clear skies, even as the night temperature is dipping further as the winds are turning from north easterly to northerly,” said VK Rajeev, forecasting director, IMD Mumbai. Weather officials had forecast that the temperatures were likely to dip this week, On Monday, Colaba recorded minimum of 23.0 degree Celsius while Santacruz saw the minimum temperature as 18.4 degree Celsius. Officials informed that in December 1949, temperatures had hit an all-time low of 10.6 degrees Celsius. Last December, the lowest recorded was 12 degrees Celsius.

BMC delay gets you free parking in South Mumbai

The civic body’s failure to renew contracts of operators in time has come as a boon to the motorists

For once, delay by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials has benefited citizens. You can now enjoy free parking at some of South Mumbai’s busiest pay-and-park sites, courtesy the BMC. With the BMC failing to renew contracts of pay-and-park operators, contracts of over half-a-dozen such prime parking lots have expired. The BMC has decided that till the contracts are renewed, motorists won’t be charged any money at these parking lots. This means that contractors can’t charge motorists for parking their vehicles in those parking lots till the BMC allots new contracts. According to civic officials, the BMC’s A ward comprises of busy commercial areas like Colaba, Crawford Market, Fort, CST and Cuffe Parade, where several parking lot contracts have expired.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> There are 47 pay-and-park sites in South Mumbai. “Of these, contracts of seven have expired already. 11 others will expire by the end of the year or early next year. There was a delay since we were trying to re-calibrate the contract terms. We wanted to see how many vehicles are parked since the number has increased from the time of the last contract,” said a senior civic official. The BMC, which has 92 parking lots in the city, had planned to start a web-based parking system that will offer pay-and-park facility with computerised receipts. However, the plan failed to take off. These 92 parking lots are spread across 1.18-lakh sq.mtrs. “It is true that the contracts have expired at some locations. We are inviting tenders soon. Fresh contracts will be allotted in the next fortnight. At locations where no agency has been appointed, contractors can’t charge any money,” said Chandrashekar Chore, assistant municipal commissioner, A Ward. The police too have asked residents to not pay any parking charges till new contracts are allotted. According to BMC officials, contract for the busiest pay-and-park sites like ones near Crawford Market, Colaba, outside the JJ School of Art, Eros cinema, LIC building in Churchgate, Flora Fountain and Horniman Circle have expired. “The BMC must install boards outside parking lots where contracts have expired. Contractors are still charging money and they should be booked. The BMC’s plan to have web-based parking has failed and they are letting contractors dupe citizens by over-charging them and giving hand-written receipts,” said Makrand Narwekar, citizen corporator from Colaba. “Till the time new contractors are appointed, no parking charges can be levied,” SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner told dna. Enjoy free parking at Crawford Market, Colaba, JJ School of Art, Eros Cinema, outside LIC building in Churchgate, Flora Fountain and Horniman Circle.

Air India pilot, co-pilot grounded after its staffer died by getting sucked into aircraft’s engine

The rare mishap had occurred during push back for departure when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight 619 allegedly mistook a signal for starting the engine and Subramanian, who was standing close, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport around 8.40 pm.

In a freak accident, an Air India technician (inset) Ravi Subramanian died after he got sucked into the live engine of an A-319 aircraft at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Wednesday evening.

The pilot and co-pilot of an Air India plane involved in Wednesday night’s freak accident at the Mumbai airport where a technician died after getting sucked into the engine have been grounded even as the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau launched a probe.Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, who rushed to Mumbai on Thursday morning for an on-the-spot inquiry, said, “initially it seems that there was some communication gap.” He, however, refused to go into the details of what could have possibly caused the mishap described as a “serious accident.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rare mishap had occurred during push back for departure when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight 619 allegedly mistook a signal for starting the engine and Subramanian, who was standing close, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport around 8.40 pm. The pilot and the co-pilot of the Airbus A320 plane have been derostered after the mishap, a senior Air India official said.Lohani announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh and a job in the airline to a family member of service engineer Ravi Subramanian.”This is a serious accident and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has taken up the probe,” a senior civil aviation ministry official said.AAIB, a dedicated entity to investigate accidents, functions under the Civil Aviation Ministry. Manned by employees from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the bureau was carved out of DGCA in 2012.An aircraft parked in a bay cannot reverse on its own and has to be pulled by a tow vehicle. It was during the push back that the engine of the plane got started, violently pulling into its innards Subramanian, who was standing dangerously close. His body was so badly mutiliated it could not be sent for post mortem examination.”We have lost a family member. An ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh has been given to the family. We have also offered a job to the family of the victim,” Lohani told reporters in Mumbai.Earlier in the day, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said a three-member committee led by Lohani and top officials of DGCA had rushed to Mumbai.”It is very sad. We have lost a young engineer. A committee has been set up to investigate the incident and it has already started the probe,” Sharma said in Delhi.He, however, refused to elaborate further, saying that “it will be too premature to comment until the findings of the probe are out”.

India pilots grounded over engine death

Air India suspends a pilot and co-pilot after a technician dies after being sucked into an aircraft engine in Mumbai.

After Salman hit-and-run case, Jahnvi Gadkar gets her license back

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AAIB launches probe into Air India techie’s death in Mumbai

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Bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad: India should be courageous and take the leap

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Air India technician dies after getting sucked into plane engine

Confirming the incident, Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani said the incident is being investigated.

In a freak accident, an aircraft technician died after being sucked into the engine of an Air India aircraft during push back at the Mumbai airport this evening.The mishap occurred when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight 619 mistook a signal for starting the engine and the victim, Ravi Subramanian, who was standing close, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji domestic airport around 8:40 pm.Confirming the incident, Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani said the incident is being investigated.”During the pushback, the co-pilot mistook a signal for engine start. As he switched on the engine, it sucked in the technician standing nearby,” Air India sources said.Lohani said he was deeply saddened by the tragic incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are deeply saddened and regret the tragic incident at Mumbai airport this evening when an Air India technician died in a mishap during pushback of flight AI 619. The incident is being investigated. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,” Lohani said.

Belgaum hopes for speedy justice from Supreme Court

Many youngsters of these Marathi-speaking parts of Karnataka struggle to get legal docus for jobs in Maharashtra

It was an early New Year celebration for Belgaum resident Piyush Nandkumar Hawal (25) on Wednesday when he received news about the formation of a separate nodal ministry for the Belgaum dispute, as reported by dna on Tuesday. The ministry was formed under the leadership of public works department (PWD) minister Chandrakant Patil.Hawal wasn’t alone. The Marathi-speaking people of Belgaum, Bidar, Karwar and Gulberga districts of Karnataka were in a jovial mood and could be seen congratulating each other as the news gradually spread through social media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The news came as a pleasant surprise to us. This has been our demand for years and we had intensified our efforts three months ago,” said Hawal, who has been meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sena MLAs and MPs in Maharashtra and Delhi to consolidate their support for the Belgaum movement.Speaking to dna over the phone, president of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES), Vasantrao Patil, said, “This is the first positive step by the Maharashtra government in the last 60 years. We are hopeful. We look forward to speedy justice by the Supreme Court.” MES has been fighting for a merger of 865 villages of Karnataka with Maharashtra on linguistic grounds since 1956.The prime reason for celebrations is that the Marathi-speaking people of this disputed area need not make rounds of the chief minister’s office and general administration department (GAD) for small works. All works, related to border disputes, come under the purview of GAD, a portfolio that CM Devendra Fadnavis has kept with himself.Many youngsters and students of these Marathi-speaking parts of Karnataka often struggle to get caste verification and other citizenship documents, required for admission and jobs in Maharashtra, where quota is offered to Belgaum students.Former Belgaum mayor Maloji Ashtekar said, “The aspirants have to rush to Mumbai, 500km away, to meet the CM. And since the CM is the busiest person in the government, people have to make several rounds. With Chandrakant Patil as nodal minister, we can now expect much respite. Besides, going to Kolhapur (Patil’s hometown, nearly 100-120km from the disputed area) would be a lot easier and cheaper than going to Mumbai.”With Patil as the nodal minister, Belgaum also hopes for speedy justice. “In the last one year, Fadnavis didn’t meet lawyers fighting the state’s case in the Supreme Court even once. On the other hand, Karnakata CM Siddarmaiah held two meetings with his legal team. We hope that Patil spends some time on the case,” said Hawal. Fadnavis could not be reached for comments due to the ongoing session in Nagpur. ‘BJP-Sena stopped grants for Belgaum institutes’People complained that the BJP-Sena government stopped a grant of Rs5 crore for Belgaum, which was approved by the previous Congress-NCP government two years ago. “The fund allocated by Ajit Pawar, the then finance minister, was for institutions working for the Marathi language and Marathi-medium schools in this area. The Fadnavis government must restore the same,” said Vasantrao Patil.

Air India worker ‘sucked into engine’

An Air India ground staff member dies after being sucked into an aircraft engine at Mumbai airport, the airline says.

Air India staffer is sucked into aircraft engine and killed at Mumbai airport

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Reining carnality! Sanitising Mumbai dance bars is a jolly good idea

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Army commemorates Vijay Diwas, martyrs remembered for victory in 1971 Indo-Pak War

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Want to buy iPhone 6? Delhiites need to work for 360 hours, Mumbaikars 350 hours

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Maharashtra government appoints Chandrakant Patil for border dispute with Karnataka

A notification in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which comes under the chief minister. First time a nodal minister has been appointed for the border dispute with the neighbouring state which is pending since six decades.

Chandrakant Patil is said to be well-informed about the issue

Giving a big boost to the “Belgaum movement” and its supporters, the Bharitya Janta Party (BJP) led government on Tuesday appointed Chandrakant Patil as the “nodal minister” for the border dispute with Karnataka. A notification in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which comes under the chief minister. First time a nodal minister has been appointed for the border dispute with the neighbouring state which is pending since six decades. PWD and Textiles minister and BJP stalwart Chandrakant Patil hails from Kolhapur which is close to Belgaum. He has also taken part in the Belgaum movement earlier and said to be well-versed with the issue. His appointment is seen as government’s renewed assertion on the disputed area and a big support to the people associated with the movement for years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Patil couldn’t be reached for comments, PS Meena, additional chief secretary of the GAD confirmed the development. “Mr Patil will coordinate with the people of Belgaum. The nodal ministry under his guidance will try to help people of Belgaum who often approach Maharashtra government with complaints of harassment. Until now, all these people used to do approach the chief minister and GAD.” Situated near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range, a mineral rich Belgaum has been a bone of contention between two states. There are 865 villages spread in Belgaum, Karwar, Bidar and Gulberga districts for which Maharashtra has been staking its claim for past 60 years on linguistic grounds. In 2004, state approached the supreme court challenging the government of India’s decision of inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka. The case is still on. People from these Marathi-speaking areas of Karnataka often complain about discrimination and harassment by the Kannada speaking civic authorities. They led several agitations in the past with some of them turning violent. Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) and some other groups are still fighting for the cause. Soon after BJP government came into power, the organisations fighting for the merger of disputed district of Belgaum with Maharashtra had intensified their stir with re-branding their movement as “Second Samyukta Maharashtra Andolan”. On the other hand, Karnataka recently erected Assembly building in Belgaum. Devendra Fadnavis had also maintained that the people of the state have deep emotional connect with residents of Marathi-speaking areas in adjoining Karnataka and their fight for a merger will continue till the goal is achieved. “The emotional strength of 12 crore Maharashtrians is with their brethren on the Karnataka border fighting to be part of this state. We will get justice,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying in an event at Mumbai in August this year. Welcoming the institution of nodal ministry, Deepak Pawar, professor of Mumbai University who is associated with the movement, said, “A politician of Patil’s stature can really do justice to the Marathi-speaking Belgaum people who often face apathy of bureaucrats.” Pawar who had dug out all legal documents in this case to understand the complexity says, “Geographical contiguity, wish of the people and linguistic majority since 1951 census, all prove that Maharashtra’s stand is right.” Box: Hearing in the case this monthThe matter in the Supreme Court is expected to come for hearing later this month, said PS Meena adding that at present, the court commissioner is recording the statements of the witnesses. “We are hopeful about the verdict soon,” said Meena insisting that the state has hired a battery of best lawyers, including Harish Salve, in the case. What is the issue The Belgaum district was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency. After India became independent in 1947, it became a part of the Bombay State. In 1948, the Belgaum Municipality requested the Indian Constituent Assembly and the Boundary Commission to include the Belgaum Municipal District in the proposed Samyukta Maharashtra state due to large Marathi-speaking population. But, in 1956, the Belgaum district was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore state (now Karnataka) in accordance with the States Reorganisation Act of 1956. Following protests from Maharashtra, the Centre constituted a Commission headed by justice MC Mahajan in 1966 which recommended that Belgaum should be part of Karnataka. While Centre and Karnataka accepted Mahajan Commission’s recommendation, Maharashtra approached the court.

Three more arrested in double murder case

According to the Kandivli police, the three arrested on Tuesday are Vijay Rajbhar, Azaad Rajbhar and Pradeep Rajbhar. Police sources said all three accused were allegedly present at the workshop along with Shivkumar and wanted accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar when the murder took place.

The Kandivli police on Tuesday arrested three more persons in connection with the murder of renowned artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani. The trio was arrested hours after one of the main suspect, Shivkumar Rajbhar, was arrested by Mumbai police in a joint operation with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF), in Varanasi on Monday. According to the Kandivli police, the three arrested on Tuesday are Vijay Rajbhar, Azaad Rajbhar and Pradeep Rajbhar. Police sources said all three accused were allegedly present at the workshop along with Shivkumar and wanted accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar when the murder took place. “The trio was placed under arrest for their involvement in the murder of Hema and Bhambhani. The trio knew the arrested accused Shivkumar and all of them trace their roots to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh,” said an officer privy to the investigation on condition of anonymity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The investigations have revealed that Hema and Bhambhani were allegedly smothered to death in the metal fabrication workshop in Charkop area of Kandivali. “We have got four accused in our custody and Shivkumar have already confessed to his role in crime,” said a police officer. He added, “We have also recovered ATM cards, library cards, etc belonging to Hema and Bhambhani, from Shivkumar, proving his involvement in the crime. We are yet to ascertain the exact motive behind the murder and that would be clear once we have Vidhyadhar in our custody. A massive manhunt has been launched to arrest him.” The Kandivli police booked the trio for murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy and produced them before the local magistrate court which remanded them in police custody till December 19. Bodies of Upadhyay (43) and her counsel Bhambani (65) were found in Kandivli nullah on Saturday evening. Upadhyay and Bhambhani were reportedly missing since Friday evening and man missing complaints were registered at Santacruz and Matunga police stations respectively by their relatives. During the course of the investigation, the Mumbai police ascertained that Upadhyay and Bhambhani were last seen together leaving Upadhyay’s studio on Veer Desai road in Andheri (W). Upadhyay had in 2010 filed for divorce from an estranged Chintan, accusing him of domestic violence. The family court had passed a decree in favour of Chintan, which Upadhyay had challenged in the Bombay High Court. Bhambhani was representing her in the case. The celebrated artist couple was in news when Upadhyay filed a criminal case against Chintan in 2013 for sketching obscene paintings on the walls of their bedroom.

Hema Upadhyaya murder case: Police arrest three persons who were detained earlier

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Mumbai Double Murders: Police arrest three suspected of killing Hema Upadhyay

Bodies of Hema Upadhyaya (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani (65) packed in cardboard boxes were found in a drain in Kandivali on Saturday last. Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu, who was picked up from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh yesterday and currently under transit remand, will be brought to Mumbai at the earliest, Deshmane said.

File Photo

Even as hunt is on for a key suspect in the double murder case of artist Hema Upadhyaya and her lawyer, the Mumbai police today arrested the three persons detained earlier and booked them for murder. The fourth suspect, arrested in Varanasi yesterday, will be brought to the city soon and produced before the court and police will seek his remand. The three suspects – Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar and Vijay Rajbhar – arrested by Mumbai police were booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikram Deshmane told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass used by Hema and her estranged husband and artist Chintan Upadhyaya for their installations. They were produced in a local court which remanded them in police custody till December 19, Deshmane said. Bodies of Hema Upadhyaya (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani (65) packed in cardboard boxes were found in a drain in Kandivali on Saturday last. Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu, who was picked up from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh yesterday and currently under transit remand, will be brought to Mumbai at the earliest, Deshmane said.Refusing to divulge further details, he said investigations were on into the case. Based on the leads provided by the three during their sustained questioning, teams of Mumbai Police have been dispatched to various locations outside Maharashtra to track down and nab the key accused, Vidyadhar Rajbhar, who used to make the material required by Hema for her work.Meanwhile, Vijay Rajbhar’s wife Saroj Rajbhar, who came to Kandivali police station along with her children, claimed before mediapersons that her husband was innocent.”My husband is innocent. He is being falsely implicated. He was just ferrying the transport vehicle (in which the cardboard boxes stuffed with the bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were kept) and was unaware of the content in the boxes.” (Read: All you need to know about artist Hema Upadhyay)According to police, Vidyadhar, Sadhu and the three arrested persons allegedly killed Hema and Bhambhani on Saturday last. Police had earlier said the arrest of Vidyadhar, a resident of Shamsi Housing Society in suburban Kandivali, would shed light on whether the murder was a fallout of a financial dispute between him and Hema, or whether it was a contract killing with some other motive. The police have sealed Vidyadhar’s warehouse in Kandivali. According to police, on Saturday night, the day they were believed to have been killed, Vidyadhar had called Hema on her mobile at around 7.30 PM. A hunt was launched for Vidyadhar soon after detention of Sadhu by the UP Special Task Force in Varanasi yesterday following a request by Mumbai police. Sadhu had gone public with the claim that the two were killed under instructions from Vidyadhar.Hema, a Baroda-born painter and installation artist, was locked in bitter divorce proceedings with her husband, Chintan. She had in 2013 filed a case against him alleging that he painted obscene pictures of women on the walls of their matrimonial home in Mumbai to harass her. Bhambhani had represented Hema in this case.

Talks with Pakistan on the basis of trust: Sushma Swaraj

The minister also assured the Lok Sabha that dialogue will continue uninterruptedly. “There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attacks trial. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion,” she said.

Underlining the importance of talks with Pakistan, India on Monday admitted that the deadlock had adversely affected the progress of SAARC and peace in the region. Rejecting the impression that there have been several flip flops in talks with the neighbouring country in the last few months, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told both Houses of Parliament that talks have been re-started on the basis of trust and there is a need to bridge the gulf in relations with Pakistan.The minister also assured the Lok Sabha that dialogue will continue uninterruptedly. “There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attacks trial. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During half-an-hour discussion on her statement on her recent visit to Islamabad to attend Heart of Asia conference, Swaraj said dialogue is the only way forward hoping that anti-dialogue elements will not be able to provoke and effect the dialogue process. She also categorically stated that there is no involvement of any third party in talks held at Bangkok, Ufa in Russia and Paris. She also told Parliament that expansion of list of trade items through Wagah and Muzaffarabad routes is on the agenda of the talks between New Delhi and Islamabad. The minister said that religious tourism, which was not part of previous composite dialogue process, has now been included in the new comprehensive bilateral dialogue process.She further said the new dialogue mechanism has twin aims of removing hurdles in the path of a constructive engagement by addressing issues of concern, and exploring and establishing cooperative ties. She said that initiatives on trade and connectivity, people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian issues will contribute to welfare of the entire region, and promote better understanding and mutual trust.In the morning, in a similar statement in the Rajya Sabha, amidst ruckus created by Opposition benches on the issue of a killing in Punjab, Swaraj hoped that re-engaging with Pakistan will mark beginning of peace and development as continued estrangement was a hurdle to peace and prosperity in the region. She said the foreign secretaries of both the countries have been tasked to work out modalities and prepare schedules of the meetings under the new dialogue. She said, the government will take all steps, including through diplomatic channels to meet any security threat. Swaraj also noted that there was a sharp awareness that principal obstacles to the growth of ties, especially terrorism, would have to be clearly and directly addressed.Following Modi-Sharif meeting on November 30, it was decided that the two sides should hold the NSA-level meeting. “The national security advisors of the two countries accordingly met on December 6” in Bangkok, Swaraj said.The two NSAs focussed on “peace and security, terrorism, tranquility along the Line of Control and Jammu and Kashmir — the state which has been most directly impacted by terrorism and violation of LOC,” she said, adding her visit to Islamabad came on the back of these “constructive talks”. Swaraj said in her talks with Sharif and Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad, which where held in the backdrop of this “positive development”, the “two sides condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate this menace.”Swaraj said the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia conference on December 8-9 in Islamabad was devoted to the themes of security and connectivity.”The conference provided to us an important opportunity on a vital regional platform for political consultations and regional cooperation to reiterate India’s commitment to Afghanistan’s stability and development and our faith in its future,” she said. Swaraj said the expected meetings of NSA and directors general of military operations, as envisaged at Ufa, did not materialise “for the reaons that we all know.” Against this backdrop, when Modi and Sharif met during the COP-21 Summit in Paris on November 30, “there was a discussion on how the two countries could build an atmosphere conducive for again re-engaging with each other,” she said.

Floods over, time to listen to currency smugglers’ tales in Chennai

Last week, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign currency worth Rs 4.5 crore, mostly US dollars, from three airports in India, originating from Chennai.

The deluge in Chennai had an unexpected victim — hawala racketeers and foreign currency smugglers. With flood waters receding and life limping back to normalcy, they are back again.Last week, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign currency worth Rs 4.5 crore, mostly US dollars, from three airports in India, originating from Chennai.Sources said that the seizure is just the tip of the iceberg, and the actual amount could well be over Rs 100 crore from South alone. This is based on an over-the-envelope calculation that only a minuscule of the smuggled item/commodities are normally caught by the agency.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior DRI officials told dna that these bundles of greenbacks were stranded for a couple of weeks as the city went under water.DRI sleuths say that these money bags travelled all the way from Chennai by road. These consignments were on the way to Singapore and Dubai, but were seized at the Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru airports.”The smugglers apparently took a forced sabbatical owing to the floods. They became active again, though the consignments seized were small in value terms,” said a DRI official.”We believe organised gangs in southern states are behind this and are using various airports to deliver the consignments to Dubai and Singapore,” he adds.Chennai ranks on top in terms of seizure of gold. As per data available with DRI, 4,400 cases of gold smuggling were registered in the country during 2014-15. About 4,480 kg of the precious metal, worth about Rs 1,120 crore, were seized, of which over 25% were from Chennai alone.”Intelligence inputs suggest an increase in smuggling of foreign currency appears to be intrinsically linked with the funding of smuggling of gold in the country,” sources told dna.In 2014-15, foreign currency worth Rs 25.09 crore was seized in the country against Rs 14.49 crore in 2013-14.So far, DRI has booked four carriers. Two individuals travelling to Singapore, in Jet Airways and Singapore Airlines, were detained in Mumbai for carrying currencies worth over Rs 2 crore in cartons of rice.While one of them was detained in Delhi for carrying Rs 1 crore in US dollar, the other was caught in Bengaluru for carrying undeclared foreign currency worth Rs 1.5 crore.As per norms, a person coming to India from abroad can bring with him/her foreign exchange without any limit. However, if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange, either in currency or bank note, is in excess of $10,000 (or its equivalent) or the value of currency alone exceeds $5,000, it should be declared to customs authorities.Data suggests that the US dollar accounted for 25% of the total currency-wise seizure in 2014-15. Interestingly, Saudi Riyal topped the list with 47% of the foreign currency seizure.

Modi govt bereft of roadmap and strategy on how to deal with Pakistan: Congress

Anand Sharma

Congress on Monday sought to pick holes in the government’s Pakistan policy, wondering why the Narendra Modi dispensation was accommodating Islamabad so much and agreeing to move at a pace convenient to it.Reacting to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement in Parliament on her recent visit to Pakistan, senior party spokesperson Anand Sharma said it indicated that the Modi dispensation was “bereft of a roadmap and a strategy on how to deal with Pakistan”. “Why is India accommodating Pakistan so much? Why are we agreeing to move at a pace comfortable to them?” he asked while speaking to reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that it was a matter of concern that the government was dealing with Islamabad in “fits and starts”. Claiming that India seems to have accepted a position that it opposed in August, Sharma said there is a need to get some assurances from Islamabad. He faulted that there was no mention of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and the expeditious trial of the Mumbai terror attacks accused, and also took exception to the statement making no reference about either cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan or the three attacks on the Indian Mission there.While dealing with Pakistan, he said, India should also move at a pace comfortable to Afghanistan. “At the same time, Congress has always said that India and Pakistan must engage with each other. Dialogue is the only way forward,” he said. Rejecting any “flip flop”, Swaraj on Monday asserted that the decision to re-start talks with Pakistan was based on “trust” and said the intent would be to have an “uninterrupted” dialogue process despite provocations by the “saboteurs”, an apparent reference to terror groups.

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