Thursday, December 18, 2008

Parliament go-ahead to anti-terror law, NIA

New Delhi:Within three weeks of terrorist attacks in Mumbai that shook the nation, Parliament on Thursday night gave a go-ahead to the setting up of a National Investigation Agency (NIA) and providing more teeth to the law for combating terrorism that claimed hundreds of lives in India this year.The Rajya Sabha passed the NIA Bill and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, which were approved by Lok Sabha on Wednesday, after a lengthy debate during which most parties expressed their support for such measures, while some members voiced reservations over certain clauses.Winding up a six-hour debate on the two bills, Home Minister P Chidambaram said adequate care had been taken while drafting these bills to ensure that law enforcement agencies were empowered to effectively deal with the problem of terrorism, but at the same time respecting the rights of individuals and states.The Home Minister said a strong message should go to the people that \"we are united and we have a unity of purpose and are determined to bring to book perpetrators of crime,\" adding \"Parliament is the sentinel to guard liberty\".Terrorist attacks on luxury hotels and other places in the financial capital claimed about 180 lives, leading to outrage in the country.Sensing the mood of the people, the UPA moved swiftly to bring tougher terror laws along with a NIA with power to take up terror cases anywhere in the country suo motu.The main objectives of bringing the two new bills are to ensure speedy and efficient investigation, fair and speedy trial and deterrent punishment, Chidambaram said adding these laws will apply only to eight acts and not to all crimes as the NIA is not like CBI or FBI.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Injuries in lungs and chest caused Bhargavi\'s death

Hyderabad: Investigations into the murder of upcoming Telugu actress Bhargavi have revealed that the deep stab injuries in lungs and chest caused her death. A day after the budding actress was found dead at her house in Banjara Hills in Hyderabad, police on Wednesday said the cause of her death was due to stab injuries in lungs and chest, though there were at least five other similar wounds on her body. However, police were awaiting the final report of the post-mortem, an investigating officer said. Her alleged killer Praveen Kumar, an orchestra troupe operator, who was also found dead in the house, stabbed Bhargavi with a dagger, that was brought from his native Nellore, West Zone DCP Ravi Varma told PTI in Hyderabad. \"We have got evidence that Praveen came to city from Nellore only day before yesterday and reached Bhargavi\'s house. He brought the dagger from Nellore,\" he said. Police said they have also found a CD and a photo album in the house, which indicated that Bhargavi was married to Praveen. Both Bhargavi and Praveen had made their last phone calls to her assistant Venkat who was absconding since the incident came to light, police said. Bhargavi called up Venkat as she was supposed to attend a film shooting on Tuesday morning while Praveen might have called him up to check her whereabouts, police said. They were also analysing the mobile phone calls of Bhargavi and Praveen, police said. \"Venkat may be aware of Praveen\'s presence at the house. He might have got scared after the incident and is at large,\" police said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Arabs find a hero in \'shoe attacker\'

Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi (29), who \"shoed\" US president George Bush, faces up to seven years in jail for \"aggression\" but one thing is certain: he won\'t slip into oblivion in a hurry. Zaidi\'s soaring popularity across the Arab world would more than make up for the prison term he faces. Zaidi\'s brother Dargham told BBC that he deliberately bought dark brown Iraq-made shoes for the purpose from a shop in Baghdad\'s Al-Khyam Street. A colleague described Zaidi as a \"proud Arab and an open-minded man\", adding that Zaidi had no ties to the former government and that his family was arrested under Saddam\'s regime. A communications\' graduate from Baghdad University, Zaidi was abducted by insurgents in 2007, beaten up and released without any demand for ransom. He was also twice held for questioning by US forces. Another colleague said Zaidi had planned some sort of protest against Bush for nearly a year. \"In 2007, he told me \'you\'ll see how I\'ll take revenge on Bush for his crimes against Iraqis\',\" he said. The symbolism attached to the \"shoeing\" has made Zaidi the face of rage against America. From Cairo to Riyadh, his act has united the normally divided Arabs. Moments after Zaidi was pinned down, handcuffed, beaten up and whisked away by security men, his employer, Al-Baghdadiya TV, suspended normal programming to play messages of support. Zaidi has worked for Al-Baghdadia for three years. In Syria, the state TV repeatedly played the \"shoeing\" footage and asked Syrians to share their admiration for his \"bravery\". A banner in downtown Damascus read: \"Oh, heroic journalist, thank you so much!\" Reports from Saudi Arabia said a man offered to buy one of what has now certainly become the world\'s most famous pair of shoes for $10 million. In Libya, Muammar el-Gaddafi\'s daughter bestowed \"a medal of courage\" on Zaidi. \"Throwing shoes at Bush was the best goodbye kiss ever and expresses how Iraqis and Arabs hate Bush,\" wrote Musa Barhoumeh, editor of Jordan\'s Al-Gahd newspaper. Egyptian daily Al-Badeel carried the US flag\'s caricature with the shoe sole replacing the stars. Across Iraq, thousands of people rallied round the journalist by removing their shoes and placing them at the ends of long poles. People hurled shoes at an American convoy at Najaf. Apart from street-corner conversations, the \"daredevilry\" spilled over to cyberspace with many using the internet to hail the \"hero\".

Monday, December 15, 2008

250,000 birds culled after bird flu outbreak in Assam

Bangalore: India has culled at least 250,000 birds in Assam to contain an outbreak of bird flu among poultry, a government official said.At least 950 health officials are monitoring the situation in eight of the state's 23 districts where bird flu has been reported, D. Hojai, director of health services in the Assam government, said on Sunday over the telephone from the state capital, Guwahati.Samples from two more districts where poultry died have been sent to a laboratory to confirm if the deaths are due to bird flu, Hojai said.Culling is being expanded to include two villages in neighbouring Meghalaya. The virus was detected in poultry in a village near Guwahati last month."Though no cases of bird flu have been reported in Meghalaya, we are going ahead with culling as a preventative measure," S.F. Khongwir, a senior official in Meghalaya, said.Millions of fowls have been killed in the country in the past three years following outbreaks of bird flu. The virus has spread from birds to humans in 15 countries, mostly in Asia, and is not expected to diminish significantly in the short term, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.Governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) are piling up medicines in case of an bird flu pandemic in humans. A flu pandemic could kill 71 million people worldwide and lead to a major global recession costing more than $3 trillion (Rs146.1 trillion), according to a worst-case scenario outlined by the World Bank last month.While no human cases have been reported in India, experts fear the H5N1 virus might mutate or combine with the highly contagious seasonal influenza virus and spark a pandemic that could kill millions of people.Since the virus resurfaced in Asia in 2003, it has killed more than 200 people in a dozen countries, WHO says.India, on 24 September, banned imports of some livestock and their products from nations affected by bird flu to prevent a fresh outbreak of the deadly virus.(

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mumbai lawyer drops plans to defend nabbed terrorist

Mumbai: Noted criminal lawyer Ashok Saraogi on Monday said he had dropped plans to represent and defend nabbed Mumbai attack terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab. Grappling with an outburst against his reported plans, Saraogi said that he would not represent or fight Amir\'s case \"in view of the strong public sentiments\". \"There was some initial discussion in this matter, but now I am bowing before public sentiments and I shall not take up this particular case,\" Saraogi told IANS on Monday. Amir was the only terrorist nabbed alive early Nov 27 morning, while nine gunmen were killed in the security operation, after they struck Mumbai on the night of Nov 26. Mumbai lawyers have unanimously decided against taking up Amir\'s case. Last week, a magistrate remanded Amir to police custody till Dec 24. Dinesh Mota, a city lawyer appointed by the Maharashtra Legal Aid Cell to represent Amir in the court, had also declined to fight the case. After this, Kasab on Saturday wrote to Pakistani authorities seeking their intervention in the matter and to provide him legal assistance to fight the case, according to Mumbai Police, which forwarded his letter to the central government for appropriate action.

eXTReMe Tracker