An emotional Sania Mirza on Friday broke down during a television interview following the controversial remark by Telangana BJP leader K Laxman branding her 'Pakistan's daughter-in-law'. Sania said it was unfair that she has to assert her Indianess all the time despite achieving so many laurels for the country.

"I was really sad on Thursday. It is really upsetting for me. I don't know if it happens in any other country. I don't know how many times I will have to justify my Indianess, prove my patriotism," Sania told NDTV during an interview while holding back tears.

"This is such a horrible thing. Is it happening because I am a woman or I am married to a man from another country, why am I picked on?

"I got medals for India after I got married. If someone questions my roots, my family even after all that I won't let that happen. I am representing Talengana and India when I am playing and I will continue to do that. I will remain an Indian until the end of my life," she said.

The TRS government had appointed Sania as brand ambassador of the newly carved-out state.However, the decision didn't go down well with Telangana BJP leader K Laxman, who questioned the tennis star's credentials for the honour and termed her as "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan.

Condemning the remark, Sania issued a strong statement, saying: "I strongly condemn any attempts by any person to brand me an outsider. Hurts me that so much time is being wasted on a petty issue of my being appointed as brand ambassador of Telangana."

Hindustan Times


Seven IAF personnel including two officers were killed on Friday when an ALH Dhruv helicopter in which they were flying from Bareilly to Allahabad crashed in Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh.

The pilot of the chopper had given a 'May Day call' (emergency call) before the crash and lost radio and radar contact after that, IAF spokesperson said in Delhi .

The IAF aircraft had on board two pilots and five air warriors. There are no survivors, he said.

The chopper had taken off from Bareilly at 1553 hours and crashed approximately around 1657 hours, the spokesman said.

The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry and teams have been rushed to the crash site in Sitapur.A Wing Commander, Squadron Leader, Junior Warrant Officer, Sergeant and an LAC along with two Corporals were killed in the crash.

Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sidhauli, A K Srivastava said that the chopper was engulfed in fire as it crashed in Manipurwa in Ataria area.

District Magistrate, Sitapur, JP Singh said that the helicopter was heading towards Allahabad when it crashed. Sitapur is nearly 160 km from Bareilly and over 90 km from Lucknow.

Hindustan Times


A senior IPS officer in Mumbai has been booked for rape on the complaint of a model. The officer, Sunil Paraskar, has been accused of assaulting the woman when he was Additional Commissioner of Police last year. He is currently Deputy Inspector General, Protection of Civil Rights Unit at the police headquarters.

In a complaint filed last night at the Malvani Police station in the northern part of the city, the model has alleged that Mr Paraskar raped her several times, including once at a hotel. Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has reportedly ordered an inquiry.

The police have filed an FIR or First Information Report but sources say they are treading cautiously as a senior officer has been named.  What's also embarrassing for the police is that the accused officer was in charge of the area where the complaint has been filed against him.

The case will be investigated by the women's wing of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. NDTV tried contacting Mr. Paraskar but he was not available for comment.



At least 17 children were killed after a train crashed into their school bus at an unmanned railway crossing in Telangana on Thursday morning. The bus driver, who was allegedly on the phone and did not stop to check if the way was clear, was also killed.

Nearly 40 children of a private school, mostly below 11, were in the bus when the accident took place in the Medak district, 70 kms from the state capital of Hyderabad. After the bus was hit by the train, witnesses say it was dragged about a kilometre down the tracks.

The police say 21 children have been injured and hospitalized in Secunderabad 60 km away. The bus cleaner and the father of one of the children, who collapsed on reaching the site, also died.

As rescue workers tried to pull out the children, parents sat with bodies in their laps, many mothers holding the children they had prepared for school just an hour before. One mother was seen kissing her child repeatedly.

Schoolbags and water-bottles lay scattered under the mangled remains of the bus as hundreds of people sat and mourned, not all related to the children.

The driver, a temporary, had allegedly taken the shorter route instead of one that had two proper, manned railway crossings. The train was traveling from Nanded in Maharashtra to Hyderabad in Telangana, which was carved out of Andhra Pradesh last month.

The accident sparked anger among local people, who say they have been asking for gates to secure the railway crossing in the district. In Parliament, Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda faced loud protests as members demanded to know why safety was neglected.

About 15,000 people are killed each year while crossing the tracks on India's vast but decrepit railway network, according to a government safety panel. Two years ago, the panel recommended that more bridges and overpasses be built on priority.



Tata Indicom has launched 1 paisa per second charge for all STD and mobile calls for its Delhi subscribers, and also offered extra talk time and SMS.

Tata Indicom, the CDMA brand of Tata Teleservices in Delhi circle, on Sunday announced the prepaid voucher for the subscribers.

"The Plan Voucher (PV) 91 allows subscribers to make all local and STD mobile calls at one paisa per second and also offers them extra benefits on data, talk time and messaging for as long as six months," the company said in statement.

"PV 91 combines everything that a consumer needs into one complete mobility solution," Ajit Chaturvedi, MBU head-Delhi at Tata Indicom.

The PV 91 offer is available to new subscribers on Tata Indicom network.

Tata Teleservices Ltd has a pan-India presence across India's 15 telecom circles. It offers integrated telecom solutions to its customers under the unified brand name Tata DoCoMo and operates its wireless networks on GSM, CDMA and 3G technology platforms.

CDMA (code division multiple access) technology allows several users to share a band of frequencies and GSM, or global system for mobile communication, is a digital mobile telephony system.



Cyberabad Police today busted a rave party and arrested 26 persons, including 12 women, after raiding a poultry farm premises at Shamirpet area.

Acting on a tip-off that a rave party was being organised, a police team raided the farm in Turkapalli area of Shamirpet on the city outskirts in the early hours and found the participants allegedly indulging in obscene dance acts, Shamirpet Police Station Inspector T N Babji said.

As many as 26 persons, including 12 women - three from Mumbai and one belonging to Kolkata, were arrested in connection with the rave party, the inspector said.

Police was in the process of producing them before a local court, the official said, adding that the 14 men arrested are businessmen from different parts of Hyderabad. One of the organisers, identified as Ranjan, is absconding while his female accomplice, who was part of organising the rave party, is among the 12 arrested women, he said.

Police also seized over Rs. two lakh cash, several cellphones and four 4-wheelers from the party site, Babji said.

Another senior police official said some liquor bottles were seized from the premises, but no narcotic drugs were found there. Further investigations were on.

The UK Court of Appeal has cleared the way for a minimum income threshold of 18,600 pounds for British citizens bringing foreign spouses to live with them in the country, a move likely to affect thousands of visa applicants, including Indian-origin people.

The appeal court ruling followed a legal challenge by UK home secretary Theresa May to a high court judgement last July, which said the 18,600 pounds was "onerous" and "unjustified".

A minimum annual income requirement of 18,600 pounds is expected to hit thousands of visa applicants, including Indian-origin British citizens, who tend to get married in India and bring their spouse into the UK as their dependents, a media report said today.

Justice Blake in July last had ruled that the financial requirements amounted to "a disproportionate interference with a genuine spousal relationship" and suggested that a threshold of 13,400 pounds, which was more in line with the national minimum wage, would be more appropriate.

But, according to a 'Guardian' newspaper report, three appeal court judges said that his analysis and conclusion that the income rules breached the human rights of the British husbands, wives or partners was not correct, so the rules were lawful.

The case was brought on behalf of two British citizens, Abdul Majid and Shabana Javed, who both live in Birmingham and a refugee, MM, who has the right to remain in Britain, who are married to spouses who live outside Europe.

Lord Justice Aikens, one of the three appeal court judges, said he was very conscious of the evidence submitted that only 301 of the 422 occupations listed in the 2011 UK earnings data had annual average earnings over 18,600 pounds.

"But, given the work that was done on behalf of the secretary of state to analyse the effect of the immigration of non-European Economic Area partners and dependent children on the benefits system, the level of income needed to minimise dependence on the state for families where non-EEA partners enter the UK," he said.

"....what I regard as a rational conclusion on the link between better income and greater chances of integration, my conclusion is that the secretary of state's judgement cannot be impugned," he said.

"She has discharged the burden of demonstrating that the interference was both the minimum necessary and strikes a fair balance between the interests of the groups concerned and the community in general."

The judge said it was not up to the court to impose its own view on what the minimum income threshold should be, unless it was irrational, unjust or unfair.

Campaigners say that many thousands more families who were put off from applying by the 18,600 pounds income threshold since it was introduced in 2012 will also be affected.

They say that the families who remain separated include British citizens in full-time employment on the minimum wage who are too poor to enjoy the right to a family life.

A Home Office spokesperson said the judgement will mean that, from the July 28, the 4,000 individuals whose applications are currently on hold, pending this judgement, will receive a decision.

"These are cases (that) met all the requirements apart from the minimum income threshold and now stand to be refused," he said.

Source : NDTV


Amit Shah, who delivered crucial Uttar Pradesh to BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, was on Wednesday appointed party president, marking Gujarat's firm grip over the ruling dispensation after Narendra Modi's elevation as Prime Minister.

Shah, a close and controversial aide of Modi, was appointed to the top post in BJP at a meeting of Parliamentary Board where incumbent Rajnath Singh resigned after a tenure of one-and-a-half years.

The former Minister of State for Home in Gujarat and who faces charges in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case is largely credited for BJP's stunning performance in UP where it got 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats.

The meeting was attended among others by Modi, senior leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, M Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and Sushma Swaraj.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had to table the pre-Budget Economic Survey in Lok Sabha, joined the press conference where the announcement was made by Singh before all these leaders.

"From now and now on, Amit Shah will be the president of the BJP and lead the party. His appointment was asp proved unanimously," he said flanked by Modi and other leaders.

Shortly after the announcement, Modi and Singh offered sweets to Shah while other leaders including Advani, Joshi, Swaraj and Jaitley gave him bouquets.

As reporters started plying him questions, Shah replied "I will speak later" bringing the brief ceremony to a close.

He (Amit shah) has all the capabilities and management skills required for the strengthening of organisation- HM Rajnath Singh

Deccan Chronicle


A house committee of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly has recommended that the state government ban mobile phones in schools and colleges, blaming the device for the rise in rapes and other crimes against women.

The State Women and Child Welfare Committee has also expressed its support for such a move.

The crime rate against women may come down if school and college students are prevented from excessively using smart phones which give them unbridled access to social media, the Committee seems to believe.

"Many students, especially minors, make friends with new people who may not be genuine; this could lead to a case of molestation," stated a report tabled by the house committee in the Assembly yesterday.

This is not the first time the Karnataka government has proposed a ban on mobile phones in schools and colleges. The erstwhile BJP government had made a similar proposal, though it had cited health hazards from using mobile phones for long hours as the reason behind seeking such a ban.

But not everyone agrees with the Committee's recommendation.

"I think a mobile phone with safety apps in it would be useful and the user can stay connected. But students should be taught how to responsibly use mobile phones. Perhaps the government can use its resources and our MLAs can think of better ways to control crimes against women, like increasing police patrolling and making it more secure and safer on the ground," said Rina Pareira, a parent.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too seemed to differ with the conclusions drawn by the panel."We use advanced technology but I don't think it affects the behaviour of children," he said.

Source : NDTV


Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is expected to open its first outlet in India at Hyderabad, and Telangana government has promised to fast-track all necessary clearances as the new state seeks to attract investments. After a meeting with top IKEA executives, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was quoted as saying all necessary clearances will be given through a single window to expedite the process of opening the store in the city.

A high-level team from the company represented by Juvenico Maeztu, Ikea Indian arm Chief Executive Officer, and Preet Dhupar, Chief Financial Officer, met Rao at Secretariat on July 9, a state government press release said. "He (Maeztu) explained in detail the genesis and growth of the company. The CEO suggested entering into an MoU with Telangana Government to serve as an umbrella for broad understanding," it said. The Sweden-headquartered company, founded in 1943, is one of the world's largest retailers in furniture, household goods and textiles. It was one of the first companies in India to be allowed 100 per cent FDI in retail.

In May last year, the government allowed the Swedish furniture major to invest Rs 10,500 crore for setting up single brand retail stores. "The decision by IKEA to set up its first store in Hyderabad will place the city on the international map of IKEA stores. "IKEA retail outlets have a standard design and each location entails an investment of USD 100 million (Rs 550-600 crore). In addition, the backward integration of supplier linkages will have tremendous economic impact to the State," the release said. During the meeting, women entrepreneur groups, bamboo and wood artisans, carpet makers were identified as potential suppliers to IKEA's store, it added.

Deccan Chronicle