December 3, 2019

Youth consumes poison at police station

first_imgA youth accused of theft allegedly consumed poison under mysterious circumstance at a police station in Agartala.He was earlier picked up in connection with the theft of a motorcycle from the house of gymnastic icon Dipa Karmakar.Sources in the police said Khitish Sarkar, 22, was brought to the West Agartala Police Station from jail for the second time following a court order.Critical conditionOn Sunday, a police team took Mr Sarkar in a semi-conscious condition to the IGM Hospital from where he was shifted to G.B. Hospital. His condition remains critical, a doctor who attended him said.The police station in charge, Narayan Saha, denied that the accused consumed poison or he was subject to any form of torture.“We took him to hospital after he started complaining of severe headache. Doctors later told us he was frothing from the mouth,” Mr Saha said on Monday.Probe soughtA senior activist of the Tripura Human Rights Organisation (THRO) demanded investigation probe to uncover the truth in the incident at the West Agartala Police Station.The group had earlier raised strong protests over custodial deaths at Bishalgarh and Kamalpur police stations in the State.last_img read more

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December 3, 2019

Anthem row in Goa ends with reprint

first_imgAcknowledging that an incomplete version of the national anthem got printed in a school textbook, the education authorities in Goa said it would be rectified. Close to 13,000 pages would be reprinted with a corrigendum and sent to schools. The cost would be borne by the publisher, they said.The incomplete version of the anthem appeared in the Class II Marathi textbook, triggering a row.State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) chief Nagaraj Honnekeri blamed it on a “software problem”.last_img

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December 3, 2019

Police raids Dera’s Delhi properties to trace Honeypreet

first_imgHaryana Police on Tuesday conducted searches in Delhi to trace jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in connection with incidents of violence following Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction. The police here said that searches were being conducted at various locations to trace Ms. Honeypreet and two other key Dera functionaries, though they did not specify the places where they were carrying out the search.The Delhi Police said a team of Panchkula Police had come with an arrest warrant for Ms. Honeypreet on a tip off that she was present in a house in A Block in Greater Kailash in New Delhi. However, the raid did not yield anything, DCP Southeast Romil Baaniya said.The raid was conducted at 7:30 am and only the caretaker was found. The house was registered in the name of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Mr. Baaniya said.Police also said that any person giving any information leading to the arrest of the three and other ‘wanted’ accused in connection with the incidents of violence in Panchkula on August 25 will be suitably rewarded and his/her identity kept secret.The Haryana Police said that a court in Panchkula had on Monday issued arrest warrant against Ms. Honeypreet, Dera spokesperson Aditya Insan, and Dera’s top functionary Pawan Insan in connection with incidents of violence in Panchkula. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Haryana Police had moved an application before the court seeking arrest warrants of the three accused. Accepting the SIT’s application, the court has issued arrest warrants against them, DGP B.S. Sandhu said.“If these three continue to evade arrest, then police will again move court with a plea to declare them as proclaimed offenders,” Mr. Sandhu said.Ms. Honeypreet, who has been on the run following the conviction of Dera chief by a special CBI court in Panchkula on August 25 in two rape cases, has moved the Delhi High Court today seeking anticipatory bail. Priyanka Taneja alias Honeypreet, the adopted daughter of the jailed Dera chief, tops the list of 43 persons ‘wanted’ by the Haryana Police in connection with incidents of violence that had followed Ram Rahim’s conviction in the rape cases.Haryana Police has also been questioning arrested Dera functionaries including Dilawar Insan and Pradeep Goyal to get concrete information about her place of hiding. Dilawar, a key member of the Dera was arrested from Sonipat while Pradeep, another Dera functionary was nabbed from Udaipur in Rajasthan by Haryana Police.last_img read more

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December 3, 2019

Molested woman forced to file plaint on robbery

first_imgA woman has alleged that she was molested and thrown out of a moving cab by three men on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway here, but the police “forced” her to file a case of robbery.Reacting to the allegation, Gurugram police chief PRO Manish Sehgal said the woman had filed only a complaint related to robbery. There was no mention of rape attempt and molestation. An SHO and a woman counsellor had approached the complainant again to find out the details of the incident, the PRO said.The woman, 30, a native of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, said the incident took place on Thursday around 8 p.m. after she left her office and took a private cab from the busy Shankar Chowk to Hero Honda Chowk. “While I was waiting for a cab, a taxi stopped near me. I asked the cab driver to drop me at Hero Honda Chowk.I didn’t suspect the intention of two persons already sitting in it as they looked like passengers,” she said.“Near Jharsa Chowk, the three men, including the driver, started molesting me. When I resisted their attempts and tried to raise an alarm, they tied my hands and legs and choked me,” the woman said, adding that who works as an executive said. they had also attempted to rape her, she said.“In the meantime, two bike-borne police personnel appeared near the spot. The trio panicked and sped towards Rajiv Chowk. They then snatched my phone and wallet and threw me out of the moving cab near Rajiv Chowk. They escaped from the spot,” the victim said. With the help of a passer-by, she informed her husband and the couple later approached the Sector-40 police station. “Initially, the police officers did not file an FIR of molestation and tried to hush up the matter saying they would visit the spot,” the victim said.“They made us wait for nearly two hours at the police station and asked for evidence of molestation. They then forced us to give a complaint of robbery and registered an FIR,” she added. Mr. Sehgal said: “The couple gave a complaint of mobile and cash theft and we have registered the FIR accordingly. They are satisfied with the police probe.”He claimed that the couple did not mention any use of force, molestation or rape attempt by the accused. “We have no knowledge of use of any force or molestation.” “We are investigating all the angles of the case,” he said.last_img read more

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December 3, 2019

Amreli SP arrested in bitcoin extortion case

first_imgThe Gujarat CID (crime) team probing the bitcoin extortion case has arrested Amreli Superintendent of Police Jagdish Patel, whose role in the alleged kidnapping of Surat-based builder Shailesh Bhat and extorting of 200 bitcoins worth ₹12 crore from him was under the agency’s scanner. Mr. Patel was taken into custody from his official residence in Amreli district on Sunday and was brought to Gandhinagar, where top officials interrogated him. He was placed under arrest on Monday after a medical check-up at Civil Hospital. A senior official told The Hindu that the agency was set to expand the scope of probe in the high-profile case. Top officials said a former legislator of the Gujarat Parivartan Party was also on the radar and was likely to be summoned for interrogation in the next few days. “The then MLA played a role of a fixer in the entire episode and we will soon call him after custodial interrogation of the Amreli SP,” a senior official in the agency said.Key accusedThe detention of Mr. Jagdish Patel came after the arrest of police inspector Anant Patel, who was the key accused in the case.Mr. Anant Patel was the Inspector in local Crime Branch in Amreli under Mr. Jagdish Patel, who is the SP there. He is accused of extorting bitcoins worth crores of rupees and cash from Mr. Bhatt.Besides Mr. Anant Patel, nine other policemen and a middleman from Amreli had been made accused in the case. Earlier, two constables and the middleman were arrested by the probe agency.On April 8, the CID-Crime registered a case against Mr. Anant Patel and others for allegedly kidnapping Mr. Bhatt and extorting bitcoins, a popular crypto-currency, and some cash from him.Abducted near hotelMr. Bhatt, in his complaint, had alleged he was kidnapped from near a hotel in Gandhinagar by the accused policemen on February 9.The realtor had claimed he was taken to a farmhouse near the State capital where Mr. Anant Patel beat him and forced him to digitally transfer 200 bitcoins worth ₹ 12 crore. Police had earlier said they were verifying Mr. Bhatt’s claim of digitally transferring 200 bitcoins to Mr. Anant Patel from his virtual wallet on mobile. The agency has also seized around a dozen mobile phones and other digital assets.last_img read more

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December 3, 2019

From Assam to China, a ‘phantom’ rules the rhino horn trade

first_imgTerrestrial links between Assam and China through Myanmar and the Eastern Himalayas have come at a high price. More than 1,100 Americans died carving the 1,726 km Stilwell Road through treacherous hills from eastern Assam’s Ledo to Kunming in China’s Yunnan province during the Second World War, after Yangon (then Rangoon) fell to the Japanese.The road that took two years and $150 million for U.S. Army General Joseph Stilwell to build, however, barely served its purpose of sending supplies to China, and fell into disuse soon after the end of the war.Stilwell Road fell into disuse after 39,000 tonnes of supplies were moved in November 1944. But more than 500 one-horned rhinos of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) have died in the last 70 years to maintain the terrestrial link between Assam and China, albeit via a different route.Complex trailMandalay, a book in Assamese, produced by the Guwahati-based Nanda Talukdar Foundation and supported by Gauhati University’s Centre for South East Asian Studies, has traced rhino horn trade from Nagaland and Manipur in India to China via the Stilwell Road.The book draws on years of investigations by two officers on the frontline of rhino conservation — Deben Bora, officer-in-charge of the Jakhalabandha police station near KNP’s Burapahar Range, and Pranjal Baruah, range officer of the park’s Northern Range (now upgraded to a division) across the Brahmaputra river — and reflects their passion for protecting the endangered animals “at any cost”.  Interrogations of dozens of poachers over the past decade have led the police and forest officers to a mysterious person, called Lampu. “We are not sure if he exists, or is an alias of someone who heads an international crime syndicate. But we know he operates from Myanmar,” Mr. Bora told The Hindu.Lampu’s real name, photo and location are not available with any investigating agency. “He is a shadowy figure, a phantom who controls the rhino horn trade somewhere between Kalay and Mandalay in Myanmar,” said Mrinal Talukdar, the author.Mr. Talukdar travelled through Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for close to three years for his extensive research into the dangerous trade.Extremists involvedHis study and investigations by anti-poaching units revealed that the complex Myanmar cartel operates through two networks — one in Nagaland and the other in Manipur — with members of extremist groups calling the shots.“The Manipur network operates through terrorists, who use assault rifles such as AK-47 and M4. Members camp on the Anjukmani Hills in (Assam’s) Karbi Anglong district south of Kaziranga, come down to the jungle for a kill, return to the camp with one or more horns, lie low for weeks or months before slipping out of Assam,” Mr. Talukdar said, describing the modus operandi.The Nagaland network, on the other hand, relies on .303 rifles. Almost all Naga poachers belong to the Sema or Sumi tribe, recruit Assam’s Karbi tribal people to supply arms while local Muslims near the KNP are hired as scouts to locate rhinos. The Naga shooters do not camp but come, kill and move out, the book reveals.last_img read more

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December 3, 2019

Rijiju rules out President’s rule in Arunachal, says State govt. couldn’t convince people on PRC issue

first_imgUnion minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday ruled out the imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh, which witnessed widespread violence in the past four days, and said the State government could not communicate properly to the people on the contentious PRC issue, leading to the unrest.Mr. Rijiju also said the Pema Khandu-led BJP government in the state should take all possible steps, including initiating dialogue with the civil society, to bring normalcy as early as possible, as there was confusion on the issue of granting Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) to six communities.“There is no question of imposition of President’s rule. The state government should immediately work for restoring peace and bringing back normalcy. The protests took place as the state government could not communicate properly to the people on the issue of PRC,” he told reporters here.Mr. Rijiju also denied that there was any move to replace Chief Minister Pema Khandu by the ruling BJP. The Congress has demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation and the imposition of President’s rule in the state.At least three people lost their lives during violent protests over granting the PRC to six non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APSTs) communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts — Deoris, Sonowal-Kacharis, Morans, Adivasis and Mishings — and to the Gorkhas living in Vijaynagar. Most of these communities are recognised as Scheduled Tribes in neighbouring Assam. Mr. Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said the State government should give compensation to those who were killed and those who received injuries.“The Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) and I have spoken to the Governor and the Chief Minister and told them that peace must be prevailed and adequate compensation should be given to the victims of police firing,” he said.The Union Minister of State for home also blamed the Congress for “politicising” the PRC issue and said the Narendra Modi-led central government has done tremendous work for the development of Arunachal Pradesh as well for the entire Northeastern region and all such initiatives should not go in vain due to protests and violence.“Arunachal Pradesh is a peaceful state and the people are peace loving. The State government should talk to all concerned people and organisations so that peace and harmony come back. I am told the situation is now under fully control,” he said. Army patrolled the streets of Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on Monday as people gathered on streets defying curfew despite the Chief Minister’s assurance that grant of PRC to six non-native communities in the state was a “closed issue”.Curfew that was clamped in Itanagar and adjoining Naharlagun town on Saturday, but it did not deter protesters from venturing into the troubled streets that were scene of pitched battles with security forces over the last three days that left three people dead, including two in police firing on Sunday. No major incident of violence has been reported from anywhere since Monday morning as Arunachal Scouts, an infantry regiment of the Army trained in mountain warfare, marched through the streets of the two towns to ensure confidence among people and ward off possible violence, officials said.last_img read more

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December 3, 2019

Gray seals may be becoming the great white sharks of Dutch beaches

first_imgThe bodies kept washing ashore—dozens of mutilated harbor porpoises stranded on the Dutch beaches every year, their bloody remains discovered by screaming vacationers. Now, after 10 years of crime scene investigation–style work—complete with autopsies and DNA testing—biologists and veterinary pathologists have finally cracked the identity of the murderers: big-eyed, chubby-faced gray seals. The finding could lead conservationists to rethink gray seal rehabilitation, and it even raises the specter of a new “great white” in the North Sea.When harbor porpoises with missing bellies first appeared on Dutch coastlines in 2006, local biologists thought someone was deliberately hurting the animals. But the numbers soon rose to dozens a year—impossible to attribute to a single person. So the scientists looked elsewhere: Perhaps it was ducted propellers that sucked the porpoises in? Or fishermen cutting up unintentionally trapped porpoises?Then in 2012, a group of Belgian researchers noticed that some of the wounds on dead porpoises found on Belgium beaches bore the canine teeth marks of gray seals. “We thought, ‘Of course, how silly,’ ” says biologist Mardik Leopold of the Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands. “You think seals are nice, cuddly animals—they are not. They are predators.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)With a towering height of 2.5 meters and the weight of two linebackers, gray seals are the largest predators in the southern North Sea. Though they are known as fish hunters, an adult male seal could easily overpower a 30-kilogram juvenile harbor porpoise.So the researchers examined photographs and autopsy results of more than 1000 stranded harbor porpoises collected from 2003 to 2013. The wounds further implicated gray seals. There was the torn blubber, the fatty nourishment that seals seek; the rows of canine teeth imprints on the tailstock, the thin part connecting the body and the tail; and the telltale scratch marks—four parallel lines left by seal claws grabbing onto the porpoises. Analysis indicates that close to a fifth of the stranded porpoises had a lethal encounter with gray seals—mostly naive juveniles who probably saw seals for the first time in their lives as they migrated north in the spring, Leopold says.But finding the smoking gun proved to be a challenge. Short of analyzing the stomach contents of living seals, the only way to ascertain the identity of the predator was to find saliva DNA in the inflicted wounds: a seemingly impossible task, as seawater should quickly wash away any traces of DNA. Even human forensics rarely employs such analysis on drowned corpses, Leopold says. “Everyone thought we were crazy in even trying.”Indeed, nothing turned up from the obvious tear wounds. But at the bottom of deep, narrow bite marks on three porpoise bodies—where the flesh veered back after the seals pulled out their teeth and formed sealed pockets—the biologists found the iron-clad DNA evidence, they report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.That solves the “who” question, but it still doesn’t answer the “why”: What caused the gray seals to suddenly eye harbor porpoises for dinner in 2006? Humans may be to blame, the researchers suggest. As gas prices went up in recent years, Dutch fishermen switched from trolling to using cheaper set nets anchored to the seabed, which trapped harbor porpoises as by-catch. The team speculates that the gray seal, known to steal fish from the set nets, may have stumbled on a much larger, fattier “fish” and went on to actively hunt porpoises.The situation poses a dilemma for conservationists, as both the gray seals and the harbor porpoises are protected species. The Netherlands currently operates three rehabilitation centers for seals: The marine mammals disappeared from the region in the Middle Ages due to excessive hunting and only reemerged in the 1980s. But conservationists may need to reconsider the strategy, says biologist Jan Haelters of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Ostend, who was not involved with the study. “In Africa, if you take care of all the lions and release them to the wild, it would affect the natural balance.” Still, he says, the study “gives us a very good framework for coordinated, coherent monitoring of harbor porpoises.”The seal predation could have long-term impacts on the local porpoise population, Leopold says. Researchers studying bottlenose dolphin attacks on porpoises in Scotland have found that the porpoises adapt by becoming leaner, faster swimmers. But speed comes at a cost. Compared with larger marine mammals such as whales, porpoises have more surface area relative to their body volume, which means they need to feed every hour to compensate for heat loss through the skin. Without food, a porpoise would die of starvation after 3 days, whereas a whale can fast for a month. “They are between a rock and a hard place really,” Leopold says.That seals would hunt down such large prey hints at a bigger problem, Leopold and Haelters warn. The Dutch shores are frequented by human bathers and surfers, raising the specter of a new “great white” terrorizing the North Sea beaches. “Statistically,” Haelters says, “an accident will happen.”last_img read more

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December 2, 2019

Low-value Bitcoin Gift Vouchers Bring More Indians into Crypto

first_imgAt times when the Indian crypto community is dealing with increasingly hostile environment, an initiative is bringing new investors on board. Bitcoin gift vouchers are gaining popularity in India’s IT hub – Hyderabad. A growing number of Indians like the idea of a cheap and low-risk entry into cryptocurrencies.Read it at Bitcoin Related Itemslast_img

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December 2, 2019

India Accused of Violating International Treaties in Sending Back Runaway Dubai Princess

first_imgIndia has been accused of playing a role in a high-seas drama that resulted in the forced capture of a runaway Dubai princess in international waters.Detained in Dubai, a non-governmental organisation that says it “assist[s] people who have become victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates”, claims that India helped the UAE to ‘illegally’ and ‘violently’ intercept a ship that was carrying Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum.Read it at India Today Related Itemslast_img

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December 2, 2019

What a Free Trade Pact With The US Means For India

first_imgWhen nations, except Israel, remain ill at ease with his trade and other wars, India seems eager to welcome him with folded hands on a red carpet. If anything, the Narendra Modi government reckons it is a national honour to make him the chief guest for the 70th Republic Day celebrations. It is, however, moot whether New Delhi can afford to pay the price for the Atithi Devo Bhava, à la Donald Trump.Read it at live Mint Related Itemslast_img

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December 2, 2019

Shree Saini From USA Crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018

first_imgIndian-American Shree Saini has been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey.Sakshi Sinha from Australia and Anusha Sareen from United Kingdom were respectively declared first and second runner ups in the 27th annual global pageant for people of Indian origin.Read it at Daily Excelsior Related Itemslast_img

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December 2, 2019

Yeh Hai Asha!

first_imgThe lights dimmed and the voice, that has for over six decades, enthralled, mesmerized and enchanted generations of music lovers and still retains its sultry sensuality, it freshness, its melodious perfection and pitch, soared from the interiors of the back stage, and strains of the sizzling number “Kambaqht Ishq” from the film Pyar Tune Kya Kiya were welcomed by a roar from the audience. Resplendent in a gorgeous white ensemble, slim and sexy, oozing a sweetness and sensuality that makes her appear far younger than her soon to be 70 years, Asha Bhosle strode on stage at a sold out concert in Atlanta. Asha has said that she has worked for years to create a voice and a style that was different from her legendary sister Lata Mangeshkar, so that she could carve her own niche and not be banished to live her shadow and went on to show just how well she has succeeded in her efforts, as she enthralled the audience with numbers that showed the ageless quality of her voice.Even those who love the Mangeshkar sisters, don’t know the long and arduous road they walked to reach the heights that they have, but had life not thrown so many curveballs their way, perhaps they would be content middle class grandmothers in a suburb of Mumbai, humming melodies for a lark to their grandchildren, instead of wowing their fans worldwide.Anand Bhosle is the youngest of Asha’s three children, and while older sister Varsha is a hard hitting political columnist for The Times of India and older brother Hemant dabbled in music direction and then quit to fulfill his dream of being a pilot, Anand studied business in college and film direction, before mom decided he was to help her manage her career. His creativity came in handy as he directed her in the super successful television show Yeh Hai Asha. In an exclusive interview with Little India, both mother and son shared memories and special moments of the musical and personal journey, the grit and the grind that has made Asha the legend and the woman that she is today.You came from a musical family but the goal was not to become a singing star.Asha: My father was a very gifted man and he left home at a very tender age to learn singing. He formed his own drama company and had almost 200 people working for him before he forayed into films. Music was an intrinsic part of our life, and we all learnt music but the goal was the usual – to marry and have a home and family. It was the death of my father at a very early age that pushed Lata didi who was not yet 14 to go out and sing to make ends meet and I sang my first song at the age of 10. I did get married at a very young age to a man who was 20 years older than I was. It was a love marriage and Lata didi did not speak to me for a long time. She disapproved of the alliance. The family was very conservative and they could not handle a singing star for a daughter in law. There was abuse and ill treatment and I finally was asked to leave when I was expecting my youngest son Anand, and I did go back to my mother, sisters, and brother. I do not blame anyone and have no ill will. I feel if I had not met Mr. Bhosle, I would not have had these three amazing children and life turned out okay.Anand: My memories of growing up were happy memories. We lived in a joint family with my grandmother, aunts and my uncle and cousins, and I was the baby of the family and my grandmother’s favorite child. As kids, we had no clue that my aunt and mom were these famous singers. It was only when I went to school that people around me told me about it. Even then, I did not believe them. I had never seen them sing at home, only my uncle, and said to them, oh, no you are mistaken, it is my uncle who is a singer. We have this small room, which substitutes for a music room, and uncle would practice there. I think the hours mom and aunt put in at the recording studios, singing so many songs and rehearsing for them, gave them their practice. In fact, to this day we stay away from the glitz. Most celebrities have not been to our house and occasionally when one of them does show up, it is like a pilgrimage!While it is expected that the children of celebrities will follow the same path, you kept the children deliberately away from the industry.Asha: It is a very tough line. My daughter Varsha is a very talented singer, but realized very early on that she would have to live her life being constantly compared to her aunt and her mother and she was not willing to put up with that kind of nonsense. She was always politically conscious and wanted to study law, but eventually ended up being a journalist. Hemant is very musical, and gave music in films, but saw how frustrating and tough things were and finally decided to become a pilot. In fact, there was a time when R.D. Burman would play a wonderful tune and the producers would yawn, and then he would play another tune and pretend it was by his father and people would say “wah wah” and he would just look at me in disgust. That is how ignorant and fickle the industry is, and I steered Anand towards business and am very happy with that decision as well.Anand: I think because the singing career was thrust upon them, and not something they really strived for, there was no focus on their kids carrying on the family name. Hemant who did venture into giving music in films and did some quality work discovered the fact that a lot of producers and directors are tone deaf and would disregard a lot of the wonderful tunes he came up with, sometimes settling on mediocre stuff because they did not understand music and rather than compromise on his creativity and what he had to offer he quit the scene, and went on to become a pilot. His older son Chaitanya is part of a very successful boy band, his daughter who is a teenager, has no clue about Hindi music. My uncle’s daughter is in her early 20s and was very good, but she too has no intentions of pursuing this as a career. I had to come into this business in the early 1980s when concert tours were beginning to gain popularity and mom needed someone to handle the business and management end of things for her, otherwise I too would not be around.How hard was it to carve a niche for yourself and not languish in the shadows of your famous older sister?Asha: Very hard and not just her, there were already some very established stars like Noorjehan, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt and others who were leading the way. Therefore, in the beginning, didi and they would get the cream of the songs and I would get the songs filmed for B and C grade films. I studied many different styles so that I could create a style that was different from didi’s. You can see that if you clone yourself on a star that is alive, you will get nowhere. As long as Kishore Kumar was alive, no one who even remotely sounded like him was anywhere in the running. It was only after he died the clones thrived. I don’t give up easily though. The one gift that my mother gave me was the gift of self-confidence. She always told us we to forget about household chores and just focus on music. She also told me that there was no one more beautiful, or more talented and that we should be so proud of who we were. That self-confidence and a very strong will power have stood me in good stead.Anand: That is true. Mom has an amazing will power. The more you tell her it cannot be done, the more she will go out and prove that it can. Some time back, she was on this tour, sick, her voice in a mess, she could barely croak and we were in two minds whether to cancel the show or just let Varsha go and fill in for her and let the other singers also sing. When mom was told, she would not hear of such a thing. She went and started singing and unlike other singers, her voice keeps on getting better as time passes. Suddenly in the middle of the show, her voice that had been tired and weak, suddenly soared and then there was no looking back. She brought the house down. At another time, she broke a finger in her foot and went about business. By the time, she saw the physician the fractured had healed by itself, and the physician was shaking his head wondering how she had managed to even walk, in that kind of excruciating pain for so long. The stories about the rivalry between Lataji and you, and how she tried to be one up on you have done the rounds of gossip mills. The movie “Saaz”, was supposedly based on your life story. How true is the gossip?Asha: Its not true at all. To have two women in long plaits, take a couple of incidents and exaggerate them into a 3-hour film is such a waste of time. We are indeed different people. She thinks with her head and is very image conscious, and even when hurt feels she needs to uphold that image of being reserved and gracious, while I think with my heart, am blunt and say it like it is. In fact, once we were having dinner and someone said something that I could not take, but because Lata didi was on the table, I was biting my tongue. Finally she said, “Asha go ahead, blurt it out, otherwise you won’t be able to digest your food!” Well I did and what a relief it was. I think the reason why I live my life honestly is because truth has a way of coming out and in the end the only person you are trying to fool is yourself. Lata didi is a different person at home. Many people do not know this, but she can be fun and she is a very good dancer, but you will never catch her dancing on stage. While I just go out and have fun, because I think it is necessary to change with the times, to go with the flow and not take life your yourself too seriously.Anand: Mom and aunt are really like North Pole and South Pole and if you see them on stage together, you will know what I mean. Even as singers, their styles are so different. Mom has to be very careful with her throat, while Lataji can eat anything. Lataji has been quite frail from the time she was a child and is always falling sick. She has had stomach problems, but as a child, she took some homeopathic medicine for diphtheria and for some reason it cured her of any throat problems for life. Mom on the other hand will deprive herself of ice cream that she loves and will have one cone of softie after a tour ends, but she is so strong willed that even if she is sick she won’t bother and it will be business as usual. As sisters, they were the closest. Mom is four years younger than Lataji and was this cute chubby child and Lata ji used to treat her like a doll and carry her all the time, in fact one time she fell down the stairs carrying mom and there is a scar on her forehead that is very visible in pictures. Also they were so inseparable that when Lataji went to school she would take mom with her, but one day the teacher protested and said we can’t have two students on one fee, and Lataji hrefused to return to school without her and quit her studies. To this day, she teases mom that she is uneducated because of her. Mom is very protective about Lataji. Once a music director was talking about a singer, who had a bachelor’s degree, a real big deal in those days and made a snide comment about how well educated the singer was. Mom just bluntly told him, he may be educated, but he still cannot be Lata Mangeshkar.So how true are the stories that the Mangeshkar sisters monopolized the music industry and would not let anyone else in?Asha: It’s like the saying “Nach na Jane angan teda” (the dance floor is warped, so I can’t dance well). Okay so we monopolized the industry, but tell me has there been anyone who is as good as the Mangeshkars? The fact is we had no godfather to display our talents and we worked long and hard to be where we are today. There were other singers who were established before us and still we managed to carve a niche for ourselves. In fact, once, for a movie, all the songs had been sung by Sudha Malhotra, but the producer on hearing them had them scrapped and got them re-recorded in Lata didi’s voice. He said only she could do justice to those songs. In the industry, no one will give you a plug even if you are related to them if you don’t have what it takes and people who talk about politics are the ones who either don’t have the talent or are not willing to work hard. The fact is if you have the talent no one can keep you down, but today most people think they can become famous and great artists just by cutting an album. Let me also tell you that there are some wonderful albums that I have sung on, but they have not seen the light of day because of rivalries between the music houses and some other petty politics. Therefore, the Mangeshkar sisters are not that influential.Anand: It is an unfortunate part of showbiz, and it is true that some wonderful albums that mom has done, one with Hariharan for example, and many others were not even marketed well. I agree with mom that today most people who have never seen wealth or fame can get dizzy, when it is showered on them. Fortunately, it is a temporary phase, because these types usually lose the fame pretty soon and get back to square one. As my Mom very well puts it, “Every artist, when he walks out on stage, must be prepared right in the beginning that the curtain has to come down at the end of the show” I guess the sisters think like this because their father was a huge celebrity in his time and they have seen the difficulties of life. They try to preach their philosophy to new entrants in the music world, but I guess one does not hear much through the din of the audiences’ applause. My mom and aunt had sung for over three decades in films before they ventured out for a concert tour. That is why wherever they perform the show is sold out. Mom tells a lot of these newcomers to slow down and work hard and go on tours after a few years, but today the newcomers have a CD in one hand an a plane ticket in the other. In addition, most people do not realize that mom and aunt stayed at the top because of their dedication and discipline. Look at their career span. There is no substitute for hard work.Your career has been divided into two main halves: the O.P. Nayyar days, when you came into your own, and the R.D. Burman days when you reached dizzying heights of success.. What has been the contribution of each music director?Asha: O.P. Nayyar felt that my voice sounded better when I sang at a lower pitch and created songs accordingly, but there was no challenge for me, those songs were easy to sing. However, the person who I credit with really having the courage to give me my first big break was B.R.Chopra. He by passed all established singers and gave me, a newcomer who till then had been relegated to B movies the opportunity to sing all the songs in the Dilip Kumar-Vyjanthi Mala starrer Naya Daur, and later songs for Dhool Ka Phool and Waqt. Of course, I did sing for other music directors and they all had their good points. Madan Mohan was a wonderful singer too, but did not like it if you sang the song differently from the way he sang it, but my personal favorite was Salil Chaudhry. His music had the complexities and challenges that makes it exciting for a singer to sing, and I found very few people who could do that for me. My regret is that I did not get to sing that many songs for him, but my all-time favorite of course is S.D. Burman, and of course, it was Pancham (R.D.Burman) who really exploited the full potential of my voice and challenged me to greater heights. I first met him when I was a mother of two and he was in 10th grade having dropped out to pursue music and I scolded him and asked him to not give up on studies. He told me later he was a bit irritated with me because he felt he would be wasting his time in school when music was his passion. When he offered me Aaja Aaja from Teesri Manzil, I was petrified. I had never sung a song with such heavy western influence, but didi said you are a Mangeshkar you can do it. Shammi Kapoor thought I would do an excellent job and kept teasing me do not sing it better than Rafi, I don’t want Asha Parekh to sound better than me! After rehearsing and quaking at the knees for 10 days when I finally sang the song, R.D. was so impressed he handed me a 100-rupee note! Between Lata didi, Kishore Kumar and I, we sang all of Pancham’s songs and Kishore always improvised on the spot, and I think he knew that I was the only one who could keep up with him. A lot of time, we would finalize things and then when we went in front of the mike he would sing something very different, and I would match him with improvisation of my own! Pancham was a genius, and the first musician to blend east and west so beautifully. Today all the musicians do is plagiarize from others and pass it as their own.Anand: I think the reason why the Burman-Mangeshkar-Kishore partnership worked was because Pancham gave them a free hand to improvise. Often the tune would start as an ordinary one and then these people would start experimenting and improvising and before you knew it, the song would turn into a b blockbuster. There were times that Pancham felt that his talent as a music director and arranger did not get the recognition it deserved and that the singers were the ones who hogged the limelight. Mom said to him that may be true, but try and get someone else to sing your tunes and then see the difference and he agreed that the magic was created because of what these three contributed to his tunes. In fact, mom has made every song come alive. She gave an example in a show recently, when she took the song “Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko” and showed the audience how she sang it in that very sultry way to make match Zeenat Aman’s personality and make her look like an excellent actress. Had she sung it in a flat voice, all of Zeenat’s oomph could not have redeemed the song. Perhaps it is this allure and ability to incorporate so many different nuances and emotions that has made her cross all barriers of time and language and age.You must enjoy singing with A.R. Rahman. He is the closest anyone has come to R.D.Burman’s talent and style of mixing east and west?Asha: Yes and he is very talented, but I think Pancham was still in a different league. I think Rahman, is very open-minded and lets me improvise.Anand: If you check out Rahman’s top 10 hits you will notice that 7 out of 10 songs are sung by mom, and the reason that is so is because he lets her sing and improvise. Mom can sing the same line in 20 different ways. His genius lies in the fact that he can pick the best of each line and put it together. There are several other music directors who will not budge and ask mom to sing a song as they want without her own contribution and both my aunt and mom in spite of being a treasure houses of musical knowledge will graciously do as they are told. Pancham was indeed leagues ahead of anyone. While Rahman is an excellent music arranger, Pancham was both an amazing musician and an arranger, and Rahman has told mom that there is nothing left for him to innovate because Pancham had pretty much done it all in spite of the limited technology at his disposal in those days.You have experimented with remixes, sung with Boy George, and many other boy bands, and also in English, Russian and Malaysian. I heard you just picked up some English cassettes went for a walk and returned to give a flawless rendition of your hit Ave Maria. How has the entire experience been?Asha: Well after you have sung in Tamil, English, Russian and Malaysian are a cakewalk! When I met some of these very successful artists wearing rags, I thought they were very poor and needed financial help! It was when Anand told me they are rich as anything and this is just the way they dress that enlightenment dawned! It was fun and very easy. I believe in moving with the times and enjoying myself. I think I decided to get into the remix scene because as Lata did said every body is botching things up, at least you will make less of a mess of it. Luckily, Rahul and I was greatly appreciated.Anand: Mom has a very finely tuned ear for music and languages. She has such a wide range that once when she was being nominated for the Grammies someone asked which category does she qualify for and I said she can sing anything from Pavarotti, all that is in between, to Michael Jackson. She has covered every aspect of music so it is not possible to slot her. In fact, in the song “O meri Jaan maine kaha” she has hit a note that is out side the keyboard!What do you think of today’s music and singers?Asha: Not much really. In those days apart from having great musicians we had amazing songwriters, that is why those melodies are evergreen. Today for how long are you going to listen to songs like “Kambaqht Ishq” and “Ishq Kamina.” In addition, television has given mediocre music an extended lease on life. A song is aired. you can see it is average, but when it is aired repeatedly, you start accepting it, but it never ceases to amaze me how people with such limited knowledge of music or little talent can go and release albums at the drop of the hat!What are the things that make Asha Bhosle the person and the singer that she is?Anand: As a singer, I guess no one can touch her in terms of talent and versatility. However, as a person she is a wonderful mother, grandmother and mother-in-law, and very popular with her grandkids, kids and daughters and son-in-law. She has a child-like curiosity about everything and a great ability to pick on things. The other day I was discussing NRI investment and she immediately picked up on the fact that NRIs have contributed very significantly to India’s economy and wanted to incorporate that observation in her show. Then of course, she has had to make a lot of sacrifices and her determination is amazingÖ. In addition, she is such a little girl at heart. We were on tour and reached Los Angeles and she wanted to stay one more day, why, because she wanted to go to Disneyland! In addition, I still remember this incident where we were taking a tour of Versailles and there was this very impressive and tour and a tourist guide waxing eloquent about the palace, the history and what was mom doing? She was totally oblivious to everything but the softie she had finally earned, after the concert tour and was licking it from top to bottom, not letting even a drop fall. My sister and I thought it was really funny and started giggling. Then an American man looked at her and he started chuckling. She looked up when she heard the laughter and asked, “What’s so funny?” She is very honest and thinks with her heart and maybe that is why she has not received her due from so many people.Asha: I do believe in living life with honesty, and I have taught my children the same thing. The difference is they are more diplomatic, but I just take the liberty to say it as it is. Well it has been a great journey and yes, I think with my heart and won’t change that. I am glad I have the ability to never give up, and to change with the times, to see the positive in the negative. I am looking for new challenges, to build a legacy. I really enjoyed doing the Legacy album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and I am planning a couple of exciting new albums, and working on my autobiography.   Related Itemslast_img read more

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December 2, 2019

Kurti And The Pretty Floral Bag

first_imgGrowing up as an Indian American in Queens, New York, with my conservative, Bengali father, slightly liberal, Punjabi mother, and younger brother in a nice three-bedroom apartment in Richmond Hill was never difficult. Richmond Hill was developing into a small Indian hub, providing opportunities for families who recently arrived from India. We had white neighbors, Spanish neighbors, and neighbors from Guyana, but for the most part our neighbors were Indian.It wasn’t uncommon to see a group of nanijis walking down the street in their white salwar kameezes. Our local library had a large stock of Bollywood movies. Looking back at old school photographs, most of my classmates were all brown. We were all children of immigrant parents. There was no such thing as trying to fit in or becoming too modernized. We listened to what our parents told us, believed that our own cultural values were superior to “western” ones, and stayed with our “Indian” kind. White American people just lived in a place where houses were separated by vast forests and spent their weekends at elementary school soccer games. We never thought we were different from anyone else, simply because we were all the same.At age 7, when my brother was born, my parents began giving a lot of thought to moving to Long Island. It was not the first time they thought about moving. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of getting into the family’s old car with my parents and driving out to Montauk on the Long Island Expressway for hours. We’d stop, every now and then, to attend an open house my parents saw advertised in Newsday or the New York Times. I remember these trips because they were the first time I would see life outside of Queens.As a child, it never occurred to me that people who lived on Long Island were wealthier, or better educated than those who lived in Queens. All I remember thinking was how odd it was that nobody walked along the streets or played in front of their homes. We would visit house after house after house. Most of them were huge with great backyards and pools, but had been outgrown by families after their kids went off to college and moved on.On those Long Island visits, I never thought that I was different from anyone else. After all, I was born in America, spoke English (I had only a faltering understanding of Hindi), watched American shows and movies, and listened to American music. So, at the age of 11, when my parents made the decision to finally move I was not nervous. There was a small part of me, however, that knew that I would be different from everyone else. We were, after all, moving to a predominately white neighborhood. I had a darker skin and a different religion. In short, I would be Indian.For the most part, this small unease remained silent, but popped out whenever I heard of hate crimes on the news. By 11, I knew what racism was and was terrified that I would have to experience it. I remember spending afternoons after school in my neighbor’s backyard, shooting foul shots into basketball hoops. I would set stupid little goals for myself. If I shot three baskets in a row I would not be made fun of at my new school. If I shot five baskets in a row I would make friends easily. Ten baskets meant that I would be popular.I remember my first day at my new school. I was placed in a fifth grade class where the only other non white kid was another Indian boy. The kids were nice, like kids at my old school. One girl, in particular, stood out. She, like most other girls, had curly blond hair, wore Soffe cheerleader shorts and a summer camp tank top. I remember she had a very pretty, floral print bag.“Thanks,” she said when I complimented it. “It is a Hervé Chapelier.”It would not be until my seventh grade French class (I sat next to the same girl) that I learned that Hervé Chapelier was a French accessory designer. So just what exactly was a fifth grader doing with a backpack that today costs as much as a tank of gas? It was, I discovered, the subtle difference between Queens and Long Island.In Queens, you had your clothes, your backpack, your shoes; all from nameless companies and bought after several markdowns. What you wore and bought mattered to nobody, because everyone was in the same boat. On Long Island, you are never on the same boat as your neighbor. Instead, you make sure that you are on a bigger, better, more expensive boat.It was pretty obvious to me that one difference, between my classmates and me, was they would have better clothes than me. In hindsight, this observation seems shameful and embarrassing. Nevertheless, I knew I could not ask my parents to buy me clothes like the ones that girls in my school wore. I would be admonished for wearing shorts that were too short, or shirts with barely-there sleeves. I asked only once, the night before my fifth grade graduation dance. My request to wear short shorts was met with a resounding “no.” I’ll admit that I was upset, but not the least bit surprised. Subconsciously I was relieved. I was afraid that if I began to dress like the girls in my school I would no longer be like my parents, or belong to my family. My years in middle school were uneventful. I befriended a group of kids who, like me, did not really fit in with the “popular” kids, but we were not exactly at the bottom of the totem pole either. We were smart, we joked, and hung out on weekends. Our parents bought our clothes for us and it never occurred to us to read the latest fashion magazines. During my freshman year in high school, I befriended a girl who, like me, was Indian. She went clothes shopping with an older sister who at the time was in college. After reminding them of my A+ average, I convinced my parents to let me go shopping with them. They went to the trendiest stores buying blouses, skirts, and dresses that I couldn’t imagine Indian girls wearing.For an Indian girl trying to uphold her parents’ Indian values, shopping in American stores can be difficult. Clothes that everyone else wears become too tight, too revealing, too low-cut, too small, or too short. My two prerequisites for buying clothes were that they a) had to have sleeves and b) had to be reasonably priced.I once complained to my dad about the problem. He offered me two solutions. The first was study (his solution to everything). The second was to wear a kurti to school. Kurtis were the last thing I would wear anywhere outside a puja or my masi’s home.Naturally, I was surprised therefore the next time I went to the mall to see kurtis, churiyan, ghaghraas, behind almost every store window.  I never noticed the growing influence Indian styles were having on American and international fashion. Bangles I had worn to the annual Saraswati Puja adorned the hands of models on Parisian runways. The blouse an editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine wore during New York’s fashion week looked exactly like the top of a lehnga I owned. All of a sudden, I could wear a kurti to school and people would think I got it at Bloomingdales!The realization that I could finally wear my own kind of clothes to school did not make me as happy as I thought. It made me wonder if I placed greater value on the opinion of my peers than of my family. All along my father had prodded me to wear a kurti to school, which I never did until it became the latest fashion trend. Was I okay with wearing Indian-style clothes to school only because American culture had finally accepted it?My mom once told me, “No matter what you do or what you become people will always see you as an Indian. So be proud of being Indian.”First generation Indians have to be proud of our Indian heritage. We need to be able to bring India to mainstream culture, and not wait for someone else to do it. We have the privilege of being Indian American. We should sift through both ideologies and create a lifestyle that adapts the best of both worlds. Only then will we have the satisfaction of knowing that we managed to live in a modern world without sacrificing our rich heritage. After all, a black Hervé Chapelier tote bag complements any salwar kameez wonderfully.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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December 2, 2019

Chandigarh Named in NYT List of Places to Go in 2018

first_imgChandigarh, the capital of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, has been featured in the New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2018” list, alongside tourist destinations like Prague, Denver, and Colorado. It is the only Indian city to be included in the selection.Chandigarh, called “green city and mecca for architecture lovers” in the publication, ranks at No. 43 on the list. The city, the planning of which was commissioned by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was designed by Swiss-French architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier, more than 60 years ago.The NYT article notes that while Chandigarh is not usually on the radar for most tourists, “the metropolis of wide boulevards, plentiful green spaces and noteworthy architecture is finally getting its due.” According to data from India’s Ministry of Tourism, the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh attracted the most number of foreign tourists in 2016. Punjab did not make it to the top 10 in the list.The article recommends the city for housing structures like the Capitol Complex, a government compound that was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016; architect Pierre Jeanneret’s home that was turned into a museum dedicated to his contributions to the city in 2017; and the Oberoi Sukhvilas, a luxury resort in the heart of a forest spread over 8,000 acres. The feature also notes that with its large spa, which offers an extensive range of wellness programs, the resort “promises to be a destination in and of itself.”Chandigarh is one of north India’s cleanest cities, a survey done by the Union government called Swachh Sarvekshan-2017 showed. The city also has other tourist attractions such as the Sukhna Lake, a spot for birding enthusiasts; and the Rock Garden that was designed by government official Nek Chand who made 2,000 sculptures made from stone, debris, glass scrap and other waste materials.The top spot in the NYT article has been claimed by New Orleans. Other destinations on the list include Top End in Australia, Colombia, Estonia, Basilicata in Italy, Gansu in China, the Caribbean, Vierwaldstättersee in Switzerland; Kuelap in Peru; Cincinnati in Ohio, Bhutan, and Glasgow in Scotland.The choice of destinations in the list, which is in its 13th edition, was justified by the publication by saying: “We also aim for a geographic and thematic diversity. And we look for a mix of destinations both well-known and off the beaten path. That means we often exclude the very obvious spots; even though cities like London, Paris and Tokyo are always exciting, they didn’t make this year’s list.” Related ItemsChandigarhPunjabTourismlast_img read more

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December 2, 2019

Indian-Origin Man Pleads Guilty to £227,000 Bank Fraud in UK

first_imgA man of Indian origin, arrested by the Scotland Yard as part of an anti-fraud operation, has admitted to his role in stealing numerous credit and sim cards and making fraudulent transactions to cheat his victims of £227,000.  Police arrested Ashley Dominic Singh at an address in Stratford on Sept. 12 and charged him after an appeal by officers from Operation Falcon, part of Metropolitan Police’s fraud and cybercrime team.  “He appeared at Inner London Crown Court the same day (Sept. 12) and pleaded guilty to all the charges against him, namely: conspiracy to commit fraud, transferring criminal property and possessing articles for use in fraud,” the police said in a statement.  Singh has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the Inner London Crown Court on Monday, Oct.8. Police said Singh, of Widmore Road, Bromley, a borough in London, had stolen numerous credit cards and mobile phone sim cards between March and October 2016, with which he took control of his victims’ bank accounts.  After accessing their accounts, Singh, who is 34 years old, made fraudulent transactions to buy high-value goods like jewelry, designer clothes, and electronics. Detectives identified Singh and his accomplice, Tony Clarke, 30, of Main Road, Biggin Hill, as suspects in the case, according to previous report by Newsshopper.co.uk. Singh was arrested on Nov. 1, 2016 and charged after seven months, on June 7, 2017, with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, possession of an article for use in fraud and transferring criminal property, the report said. He then failed to appear at a hearing at Inner London Crown Court on Feb. 1 this year, following which a warrant was issued for his arrest, it added.The police had released an image of Singh in June saying that he was wanted in connection with a series of fraud offences across London and South east of England. In May this year, an arrest warrant was issued against him in connection with an assault on police in Sevenoaks.  Clarke pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to six years in  prison on March 22 this year, according to a  previous report by Bromley Times. Related ItemsLondonUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

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December 1, 2019

Khaira withdraws resignation as MLA

first_imgPunjabi Ekta Party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday withdrew his resignation as MLA.In a statement, Mr. Khaira said he took the decision, keeping in mind the sentiments of the people of Bholath, his constituency. Mr. Khaira, who was elected to the Assembly in 2017 as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate, was expelled from the party later. He contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha election as Punjabi Ekta Party candidate from Bathinda after resigning from the Assembly in April. The Shiromani Akali Dal demanded the immediate disqualification of Mr. Khaira for leaving the parent party and forming a new outfit. Its senior leader Daljit Singh Cheema said Mr. Khaira’s attempt to withdraw his resignation by approaching the Speaker amounted to perpetuating a fraud on the Constitution.last_img

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December 1, 2019

Shiv Sena can form government without BJP, says Sanjay Raut

first_imgDeadlock continues on Maharashtra formation  On Friday, the Sena sharpened its attack on the BJP. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Raut said, “Shiv Sena can prove a majority of 145 MLAs in the Assembly,” without naming the support of Congress-NCP MLAs. “The people want to see a Shiv Sena CM and we will ensure that happens. The BJP should do what was agreed upon, which is equal sharing of CM post. Now that they are saying there was no formula, then there can be no discussion. The BJP should give us CM post for 2.5 years and that too, in writing. Without the BJP, we can have CM post for five years,” Mr. Raut said. Asked if Sena will settle for plum Cabinet berths and deputy CM post, he said this is not trade. To a question if 145 MLAs implied Congress-NCP support, Mr. Raut said nobody is untouchable in politics. Sources in the Sena said that they still want Aaditya Thackeray to become CM, even if it meant bypassing several senior leaders. Meanwhile, in the backdrop of heavy farm losses in the State due to excessive rains, Mr. Uddhav will visit parts of Aurangabad district. Mr. Aaditya had initially announced a tour of the affected Konkan region but it has been postponed for now. Newly elected Shiv Sena legislature party leader Eknath Shinde on Friday, which was Karnataka Day, demanded that Belgaum, Karwar, Nipani (in Karnataka) should become part of a unified Maharashtra. Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said the party could form the government in Maharashtra and that all options were open to have a Sena CM in the State if the BJP did not honour its promise. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be touring Aurangabad on November 3 where farmers have suffered heavy crop losses due to excessive rain.After Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray expressed his discontent over Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ statement denying the Chief Minister post to the Sena, and said the Congress, NCP are in touch with the Sena, all Sena MLAs met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, which was perceived as a show of strength. Later in the day, Mr. Raut met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, leading to intense speculation over government formation. With no headway in the talks between the saffron allies, the Raut-Pawar meeting led to speculation of a possible Congress-NCP-Sena alliance to form the government. However, Mr. Raut termed it a mere courtesy call.Also Readlast_img read more

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November 30, 2019

Galanza proud to hard work finally paying off for Lady Falcons

first_imgE.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View comments Papi Sarr’s absence hampers Falcons The Lady Falcons recorded their first winning streak under Padda in any tournament and Galanza was proud that they were finally able to repay their head coach.“We’re proud that we are finally able to show what we’ve been doing in training to the games we’re playing in,” said Galanza in Filipono Saturday after leading Adamson over Arellano 25-20, 25-22, 25-18, in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We were so happy that we were all shouting because before we were the ones who were getting swept now we’re the ones doing the sweeping.”And Adamson’s triumph didn’t come from any run of the mill team; it was against the defending NCAA champions. Jema Galanza, Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson skipper Jema Galanza has went through it all for the Lady Falcons, from contending in the Final Four back in Season 76 to just trying to compete as they languished in the bottom four the following years.Galanza has had to carry the pressure head coach Air Padda put on her as the captain of the team, but it seems the skipper has finally managed to lighten that burden down.ADVERTISEMENT And Galanza, who had 18 points in the match, is aware of the magnitude the Lady Chiefs have.“It’s just uplifting that the team we beat for our second straight win was Arellano and we all know how good that team plays,” said Galanza as the Lady Falcons improved to 2-0 to lead Group B.“We didn’t relax one bit because once we do that or we start to underestimate them they can come back.”ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img LATEST STORIES Read Next MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarylast_img read more

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November 30, 2019

MVP favorite Fajardo, Beermen likely to banner Mythical Team

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight San Sebastian stays in Final Four race with humbling of Mapua Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC June Mar Fajardo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Miguel may have failed on its Grand Slam bid, but June Mar Fajardo and company can still make history in the 2017 Leo Awards.The Cebuano giant is poised to take home his fourth Most Valuable Player award, tying legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio for the record of most MVP plums, but will be the first to achieve the feat in consecutive seasons.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fajardo amassed 38.58 SPs to unsurprisingly top the overall statistical points race released at the end of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals. His continued dominance helped the Beermen achieve championships in this season’s Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup.Fajardo has already earned his part in history, tying his mentor Danny Ildefonso for most Best Player of the Conference plums at five after bagging the highest individual honor in the last 2017 Philippine Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut it’s not all Fajardo, as his fellow San Miguel players are also poised to nab spots in the Mythical Teams.Alex Cabagnot is running second in the MVP race with his 32.96 SPs, Arwind Santos is the top forward in the chase as he sits at fifth with his 30.97 SPs, and Marcio Lassiter sits ath 10th with his 29.55 SPs. Chris Ross is also likely to land a spot in the Mythical Teams after winning the BPC award in the Commissioner’s Cup as he is at eighth with his 30.40 SPs. Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president As much as three of San Miguel’s players could make it to the Mythical First Team, a feat that hasn’t been done since Purefoods’ James Yap, Kerby Raymundo, and Roger Yap made it in the 2005-06 season.Other players have also made a case in the Mythical Team selection, with GlobalPort scorer Terrence Romeo at third with 32.01 SPs, TNT slasher Jayson Castro at fourth with 31.52 SPs, Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra at six (30.85 SPs), Stanley Pringle of GlobalPort at seven (30.63 SPs), and Calvin Abueva of Alaska at nine (30.11 SPs).Meanwhile, the Rookie of the Year award race remains as a three-man chase.Phoenix shooter Matthew Wright is still the top rookie with 26.07 SPs, but failing to help his team advance to the semifinals may hurt his candidacy.Closely pursuing him are TNT swingman Roger Pogoy, who amassed 22.29 SPs, and Star playmaker Jio Jalalon, who had 21.50 SPs.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Landing at number four is Ginebra defender Kevin Ferrer, who has 15.64 SPs, and Kia guard Reden Celda, who netted 13.99 SPs.The 2017 Leo Awards is set before Game 4 of the Ginebra-Meralco Finals series next Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:42Despite decorated career, June Mar Fajardo is not yet done: ‘I don’t want to be stagnant’00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

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