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Legendary Singer Manna Dey No More

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Legendary Singer Manna Dey No More

Legendary Singer Manna Dey No More

Bangalore: India’s legendary playback singer Manna Dey passed away early Thursday after prolonged illness at a private hospital here. He was given a tearful adieu by his fans, family and friends.

The legend died around 4am in Narayana Hospital, K.S. Vasuki, the hospital’s spokesperson, said. He was 94.

Braving a downpour, hundreds of people, including youths thronged Ravindra Kalakshetra (theatre) in the city centre to pay tributes to Mannada after his frail body was brought from the hospital in the southern outer suburb.

Later, Dey was given a tearful farewell as his mortal remains were consigned to the flames by his younger son-in-law Gyanranjan Dev as per Hindu rites at a crematorium in the northwest suburb of the city.

About 500 people, including relatives, friends and fans were present at the cremation.

“A few members of the Bangalore Bengali Association sang a song penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at the funeral,” Dey’s friend Runa Roy said.

Karnataka governor H.R. Bhardwaj and chief minister Siddaramaiah conveyed their condolences to his bereaved family.

The nonagenarian multi-lingual singer is survived by two daughters – Rama and Shumita, sons in-laws and grandchildren.

His wife Sulochana Kumaran passed away here in January 2012 due to cancer.

“Dey’s daughter (Shumita) rushed to the hospital and was at his bedside when the end came after we alerted her about father’s deteriorating condition,” hospital spokesperson Vasuki said.

Dey’s other daughter (Rama), who lives in the US, has also been informed about his death.

The Bengali community joined the family and relatives to mourn the death of the melodious singer who belonged to the golden era of Bollywood music with Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh as part of the quartet.

Kannada films leading producer-director Rajendra Babu praised Dey and said that “Mannada was one of the greatest singers in the Indian sub-continent in the 20th century with a unique and original voice”.

“Though he is known more for his hits in Hindi movies, he showed his versatility by rendering songs in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Marathi,” Rajendra Babu told IANS.

Dey was in the same hospital for about 20 days in May, a week after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hononured him May 1 with Bengal’s Vishesh Maha Sangeet Samman award in recognition of his service to the world of music and the film industry for over seven decades.

In a career spanning seven decades since 1943, Mannada, whose original name was Prabodh Chandra Dey, sang over 3,500 songs. His oeuvre boasts of a range of songs – from romantic numbers to classical to fun songs.

He proved his versatility through songs like “Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum”, “Chunari sambhal gori udi chali jaye re”, “Zindagi kaisi hai paheli”, “Chalat musafir moh liyo re”, “Tere bina aag yeh chandni”, “Mudh mudh ke na dekh”, “Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo” and “Yashomati maiya se bole Nandlala”.

Dey was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the country’s highest award for the film world, in 2007.

He was also a recipient of several other awards, including Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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