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May 17, 2014

BJP\’s Narendra Modi elected new prime minister of India

BJP’s Narendra Modi elected new prime minister of India

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

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Official image of Narendra Modi in 2013.
Image: Narendra Modi.

Power in India is set to transfer to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the leader Narendra Modi following an election in the world’s largest democracy. The ruling Congress Party conceded defeat yesterday and BJP are set to win a healthy majority of seats. The success for the Hindu nationalist party in the election tracks predicted results from exit polls.

Following the victory, Modi posted on social networking site Twitter “India has won. Good days are about to come”. He then visited his mother to seek her blessing: he touched her feet, she put a vermillion mark on his head and gave him sweets. Thereafter, Modi travelled from his home in the Indian state of Gujarat to Delhi. In Delhi, a victory parade was held for Modi.

Conceding defeat, Sonia Gandhi from the Congress Party said: “We humbly respect the verdict of the people.”

US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron have both congratulated Modi and invited him to visit Washington and London respectively. Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, said BJP had won an “impressive victory”.

Modi has been Gujarat chief minister since 2001. Modi has been controversial since a violent riot erupted in Gujarat in 2002 which led to the death of about a thousand people, primarily Muslims. Modi’s critics allege he let the inter-religious violence happen without much effort to stop it. He was subsequently denied visas to travel to the United States, and the United Kingdom cut ties with him.

In 2012, a Special Investigations Team appointed by the Indian Supreme Court found no evidence for Modi’s role in the violence. Following this, the British high commissioner in India decided to reconnect with Modi and invite him to visit London to address the House of Commons. The United States has warmed up to Modi again and in February he met with Nancy Powell, the US ambassador to India. During the elections, Modi attempted to reassure Muslims that he would protect all religious groups in India, telling The Times of India: “I’ve to run the government. Governments run on the basis of Constitution. I believe a government has one religion and that’s India First”.

The outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released a statement: “As I have said on many occasions, my life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours. In the last ten years, we as a country have seen many successes and achievements that we should be proud of. Today, India is a far stronger country in every respect than it was a decade ago.”



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July 8, 2013

Buddhist UNESCO World Heritage site in India suffers terrorist attack

Buddhist UNESCO World Heritage site in India suffers terrorist attack

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Monday, July 8, 2013

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Mahabodhi Temple in December, 2006.
Image: Cacahuate.

A ‘terrorist attack’ took place yesterday in the form of reportedly at least four explosions at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India. Four other explosions took place in the vicinity, including one near an eighty-foot tall statue of Buddha and three at Tergar Monastery. Three other bombs were discovered and all were diffused. Early reports claim little damage was done to the temple. Two Buddhist monks were injured. Police commented that Sundays are quiet days at the temple, or more could have been injured. One suspect has been arrested based on closed circuit television that recorded two men placing bombs at the temple.

Mahabodhi Temple is considered one of the holiest sites in Buddhism and in India. Totaling twelve acres, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is located next to the Bodhi tree, where Buddhists believe that Buddha achieved enlightenment. The bombs were described as “low-intensity but not crude,” according to police. The bombs used comprised of a small container with gas, a detonator, and an analog clock. The bombs were timed to explode at 5:45 AM local time, when Buddhists start praying in the morning. The bombs actually went off starting at 5:25 AM and ending at 5:58 AM local time. Early reports state that while the temple suffered little damage, the staircase near the Bodhi tree suffered damage and windows were broken. The Bodhi tree suffered no damage. 200 monks live at the monastery, where daily classes take place during the times when the explosions happened. However, no classes were being held the morning of the attack.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has declared the explosions an act of terrorism. In October members of the Indian Mujahideen claimed to have visited Mahabodhi Temple to plan a terrorist attack. That led to the arrests of four suspects involved in the Indian Mujahideen, who were believed to have been involved in the 2012 Pune bombings. The four suspects named other members of the terrorist group and claimed that they planned to attack Mahabodhi Temple. The police in Delhi claim to have told the police in Bihar about the potential of a terrorist attack. Political conflict has risen in the wake of the attacks between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress. BJP is accusing the United Progressive Alliance, which is under the umbrella of the Indian National Congress, of ignoring the Indian Mujahideen’s threats about attacking the temple.

The Ministry also believes that it could be tied to conflicts in Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims, despite the rarity of violence against Buddhists in India. Additional security has been placed at Buddhist temples and Tibetan communities in India after the explosions. One suspect, Vinod Mistri, was arrested on Monday morning in Patna.



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September 7, 2011

Bomb blast in Delhi kills 12, injures 62

Bomb blast in Delhi kills 12, injures 62

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A scene from the blast site after this incident
It is in the second time in four months that a blast occurred outside the Delhi High Court complex. An explosion on May 25 triggered panic prompting the authorities to sound a high alert in the capital and tighten security at public places, however no one was injured in that blast.

India
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Twelve people were reported killed and 62 people injured in a terrorist attack outside gate number 5 of Delhi High Court, in India’s capital New Delhi at around 10:15am (4:45 am GMT) on Wednesday.

According to home secretary RK Singh, the explosives were hidden in a briefcase placed in the reception of the high court. At that moment hundreds of people were present on the site to get passes to attend court cases. Islamic fundamentalist organization Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami claimed the responsibility for these blasts. In an email sent to the media, the group demanded immediate repeal of the the death penalty given to Mohammed Afzal Guru, a terrorist involved in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. They also warned that they could target other high courts and the Supreme Court of India.

Victims injured in the attack have been taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, and Safdarjang Hospital. As the accident site is not far from the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s Office, the Delhi Police have cordoned off the area.

Politicians including the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L. K. Advani, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi, Indian National Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, and BJP president Nitin Gadkari have condemned the attacks, as have numerous celebrities on Twitter.

“My heart goes out to the bereaved families and to those who are injured I convey my best wishes,” Manmohan Singh said in a statement to the Indian journalists accompanying him on his two-day Bangladesh visit.

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October 22, 2009

India\’s ruling Congress party leads in three key state polls

India’s ruling Congress party leads in three key state polls

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

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India’s ruling Congress Party-led alliance scored victories in elections held in three states to choose local governments. The results will boost the Congress Party, as it re-emerges as the country’s major political force. The results from the elections, which were held last week, began to come in on Thursday.

The party and its allies scored clear wins in two states: the western state of Maharashtra and the northeastern Arunachal Pradesh state. In the northern Haryana state, it emerged as the largest party, but failed to secure a majority. The largest and most influential of these states is Maharashtra state, an industrialized region which is home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai.

“The government has worked in the last five years, and I feel that is the reason why we have been able to achieve this success,” said Ashok Chavan, the state’s Chief Minister. “People have shown confidence, placing us in a position to form a government.”

The Congress and its ally are currently ahead in 145 out of 288 seats in the Maharashtra state. If they manage to obtain those seats, it would enable them create a government without the help of other parties.

According to election commission figures, the main opposition alliance, consisting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, were leading in around ninety seats in the Maharashtra state.

This is the second time this year that the Congress Party has emerged victorious in key polls. Five months ago, the party scored a victory in national elections over the BJP.

Thursday’s results have widely been seen as another major vote of confidence for the party, and its national leadership. Political analysts have suggested that this will help the national government, as it presses ahead with its policies, which include economic reforms.

Professor of History at Delhi University and political analyst Mahesh Rangarajan said that the Congress Party’s winning streak showed its reemergence as a major political force. “It is continuing to retain its hold on large and very popular states, so it is in the process of re-emerging as the pivot of the Indian political system,” he said.

“Overall, this does indicate the secular shift of the voters towards the Congress as a party that can combine stability with inclusive growth. That trend which was clear in the recent general elections continues in the winter of 2009.”

After dominating Indian politics for decades, the Congress Party began to decline in the mid-1990’s as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power. However, the BJP’s series of losses in recent elections have considerably weakened it.



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May 17, 2009

India\’s Congress party wins elections

India’s Congress party wins elections – Wikinews, the free news source

India’s Congress party wins elections

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

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Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India

India’s Congress Party won a large victory in Saturday’s general elections. According to state television, the alliance of Congress is ahead or has already won in 263 seats.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party came in a distant second, with 154 seats, and the Third Front won sixty seats. Other parties took the remaining seats.

“I express my deep sense of gratitude to the people for giving us this massive mandate, for having reposed their faith in the party,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The results of the elections come as somewhat of a surprise, as exit polling had suggested that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) would win at best 216 parliamentary seats, and the Congress Party 160. A party or coalition has to obtain 272 out of 543 constituencies in order to select the prime minister and make a majority government.

“Overall, it is a resounding vote for development and good governance,” said Prithviraj Chavan, the Congress Party General Secretary. 714 million people were eligible to vote in the elections; turnout has been estimated at 60%, an increase of two percent over the 58% turnout reported in 2004. The parliament is to be seated by June 2.



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January 3, 2008

Indian NE state of Nagaland now under President\’s rule

Filed under: Archived,Asia,Bharatiya Janata Party,India — admin @ 5:00 am

Indian NE state of Nagaland now under President’s rule

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Nagaland.

The BJP backed democratic alliance in Nagaland was removed from state government and president’s rule imposed in India’s north-eastern state. The sacking of the state government was recommended by the central government to President of India Pratibha Patil. The state is now getting ready for elections in February 2008.

On December 13, 2007 Chief Minister of Nagaland Rio had survived a no-confidence motion in state assembly with count 23-19 in the 60-member House. The speaker of the house had barred 3 independents from taking part in voting and had declared that the votes of 9 dissident of ruling NPF were invalid. This controversial voting had sparked debate and prompted the center to recommend for president’s rule in state.


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November 29, 2006

Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan – fears of further demolition

Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan – fears of further demolition

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A number of properties in a Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan were demolished on November 21, by the local authorities, causing international outrage by religious freedom groups and Hindu associations alike. Since the attack fears are now rising within the community of further demolition to the remaining properties, including the main temple structure.

“The community is in shock, but they are determined to defend their homes and place of worship,” community member Govinda Swami told Forum 18 News Service. He says destruction of the temple would be “devastating”.

The authorities in Kazaksthan claim that the Hare Krishna devotees had no official right to their homes. However human rights activists Ninel Fokina and Andrei Grishin, state in reply that while 13 out of the 66 Hare Krishna homes were destroyed on court orders, “the adjacent houses of other people who do not belong to the Society for Krishna Consciousness were left untouched even though their title deeds have the same status”.

The Hare village itself, known as ‘Sri Vrindavan Dham commune’ (named after Vrindavan forest in India is based in the Keskelen district, in the town of Seleksia, close to Almaty. It was the only village of it’s type run by Hare Krishna devotees in the country.

According to human rights activist Yevgeni Zhovtis: “Unfortunately Kazakh law does not prohibit evictions during the winter period and also does not oblige the court bailiffs to give those being evicted a few days notice,” “All the same, there were crude violations of the law. The court bailiffs had the right to evict the residents of the houses but not to demolish the buildings themselves. It was also a very crude violation to throw the belongings of the Krishna devotees into the mud. The court bailiffs were obliged to put the devotees’ belongings into store.”

Local journalist Grishin claims to have had his camera confiscated by the Police and to have been threatened “If I see you here again, I will personally smash your eyes, even though I am the hakim.”

Protests are being made by Hindu groups and members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness around the world in an attempt to halt any further demolition or other forms of alleged religious persecution. Groups within the UK have brought the issue to the attention of both Tony Blair, and the House of Commons.

One of the Indian political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the central government for keeping silence over the issue. The party is expected to follow the saffron brotherhood agenda in the second term of Rajnath Singh.

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July 11, 2006

Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains

Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Map showing the ‘Western line’ and blast locations.

Seven bombs exploded Tuesday at various local railway stations in the city of Mumbai, India between 6:24 pm and 6:35 pm IST (GMT+5:30).

The first blast ripped through the first-class compartment of a local train from Churchgate to Borivali, near the Khar station. Subsequent blasts occurred at Bhayandar station near Mira Road, Mahim station, Matunga, Jogeshwari and Borivali. A seventh blast has occurred in the Khar-Santacruz subway. Local phone lines in Mumbai have been jammed. The Press Trust of India, quoting railway officials, said all seven explosions had targeted first-class cars. An eighth bomb was later defused at the Borivali station.

According to official report at least 183 people have died and over 714 were injured in the blasts, although the figures could rise given the fact that Western Railway trains are very crowded during the evening rush hour. Police are reportedly conducting raids throughout India in response to the bombings. Officials in Mumbai claim the explosions were a deliberate attack. India’s Home Minister Shivraj Patil said authorities had “some” information that an attack was coming “but place and time was not known”. Heavy monsoon downpours have hampered the rescue efforts of the emergency services.

The Indian capital New Delhi has reportedly been put on high alert after the blasts. Airports across the country are also on high alert as are sensitive installations in Mumbai. Mumbai’s train system has been suspended and calls are made to keep the public away from the city’s train stations.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a emergency cabinet meeting and then released a statement saying that the bombings which have hit India lately are “shocking and cowardly attempts to spread a feeling of fear and terror among our citizens”. The country’s leading opposition party, BJP, claimed that the current policies of the government put the country in danger for terrorism.

There has been no claim of responsibility, but the attack has the trademarks of Kashmiri Islamic terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The group is known to have has set off bombs in quick succession in Indian cities before. India’s domestic intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau, claims that this attack, as also the grenade attacks in Jammu and Kashmir earlier today were aimed at diverting attention from the elections being held in Pakistani Kashmir.

A terrorist and key supplier of explosives were arrested in Jangpura area of Central Delhi on Monday after a tip-off. The police recovered 2 kg of RDX, an explosive widely used by the military, in his possession. The police are interrogating him to find out if he had anything to do with the recent bombings.

Local helpline numbers

Hospitals [to which injured have been taken]
Cooper Hospital  : 26207254, 26207256
Hinduja Hospital : 24451515, 24452222
Lilavati Hospital: 26438281, 26438282
Western Railway

  • 022-22005388
  • 022-23094064
  • 022-23004000
  • 131

Emergency Services

  • 100
  • 101

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11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings
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June 2, 2006

Late Indian politician\’s son in critical condition after suspected drug overdose

Late Indian politician’s son in critical condition after suspected drug overdose

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

Rahul Mahajan’s condition has improved and has been taken off ventilator support. Rahul’s CT scan report is normal and his vital parameters have shown an improvement. He will however, be kept under observation for another 3 days. “The condition of Rahul Mahajan has gradually improved over the last 12 hours. After due assessment of clinical status and investigation, our team of doctors found his vital parameters improving,” a medical bulletin released by the Apollo Hospital said.


Friday, June 2, 2006

Rahul Mahajan, the son of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan has been admitted to the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi in a critical state, apparently after a drug overdose. Rahul was found in an unconscious state in his father’s residence in New Delhi early today morning. Vivek Moitra, Pramod Mahajan’s secretary who was with Rahul at the party has been declared dead presumably as a result of the same drug. Police say the Rahul, Vivek and three other men were drinking champagne together and were also apparently consuming cocaine. This assumption is based of the fact that opiate traces were found in the deceased Mr. Moitra’s pocket.

Doctors described Rahul’s condition as “critical but stable”. They said that details regarding what led to his present condition would be revealed after the conduction of a toxicology test. Two domestic helps rushed the men to hospital in the early hours of today morning. The helps disturbed the scene by clearing up the glasses and the bottles. Traces of what seems to be cocaine were however found in one the glasses.

Rahul is currently on a ventilator and his condition will have to be closely monitored for the next couple of days. He was supposed to visit Assam tomorrow to immerse his father’s ashes in the Brahmaputra. Mr. Pramod Mahjan died about a month ago after being shot by his brother. Rahul was on anti-depressants as a result of this.

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May 29, 2006

Indian Supreme Court issues notice to government over quota issue

Indian Supreme Court issues notice to government over quota issue

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Monday, May 29, 2006 A vacation bench of the Indian Supreme Court comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and L.S Panta issued a notice to the Central Government questioning the basis for the government’s decision to reserve 27% of the seats in universities for members of the Other Backward Class group of castes. The notice also asked the government to explain how this move would be implemented without depriving meritorious students from the “forward” castes their fair chance at securing seats. The court also wanted the Centre to explain the basis on which castes would be classified as “backward” or “forward”.

The government has been granted eight weeks time by the Bench to file an affidavit in regard to this notice. The apex court also said that it would examine the effects of this policy, which, the petitioner said, would divide the country on the basis of caste thereby threatening India’s integrity. The Bench said that the questions posed to it had serious social and political significance and would hence be dealt with appropriately. The two petitions were filed by Shiv Khera and advocate Ashok Kumar Thakur. Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramianam, who was representing the respondents, accepted the notice and appreciated the Court’s view that striking medical students should return to work in the interest of the patients.

The medical students welcomed this move and have decided to start running parallel outpatient clinics from tomorrow onwards. They have however clarified that their movement will continue despite the government’s assurances that the number of seats in institutes will be increased. The main opposition party, the BJP has said that it supports the reservation policy, but that financially disadvantaged students from the “forward” castes should also be given consideration.

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  • “Professionals and students continue strike in New Delhi” — Wikinews, 22 May 2006

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