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RECAP 2011: India in the year gone by

Last updated on: December 31, 2011 10:58 IST

Image: Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi
Photographs: Blas Martinez/Reuters

In 2011 protests seemed to be the buzzword. Led by Anna Hazare there were anti-corruption protests across the country. The Lokpall Bill was introduced in Parliament but protests on its scope continued as the year drew to a close.

Kudankulam nuclear power plant and Mullaperiyar dam were the other issues that prompted protests. Issues like the 2G telecom, corruption in Commonweatlh Games dominated headlines throughout the year.

A stampede killed 102 people in Sabrimala in the beginning of the year, a train mishap in Uttar Pradesh killed 38 passengers whereas towards the end tragedy struck a Kolkata hospital when a major fire killed over 90 people.

Mamata Banerjee stormed the Red bastion terminating the Left Front's 34-year stranglehold on West Bengal, while Jayalalithaa knocked Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam out of power in Tamil Nadu with a landslide victory in the assembly polls.

Also, the killing of Maoists' top leader Kishenji in a gunbattle with security forces were other events in the year.

Following is the diary of events during 2011:

Jan 1: New Delhi: India and Pakistan exchange lists of their nuke installations for 20th consecutive year under an agreement which prohibits any attack on such facilities.

Jan 1: Guwahati: ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa walks free from jail on bail and declares his readiness for an "unconditional" peace dialogue with Assam Government.

Jan 4: New Delhi: A petition is filed in Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against former Telecom Minister A Raja and advocate R K Chandramohan for allegedly trying to influence the then Madras HC judge Justice S Reghupathi in a criminal case.

Jan 6: New Delhi: Delhi Court questions CBI's decision to drop the case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the over two-decade old Bofors pay-off scam, saying there were "certain malafide intentions".

Jan 10: Bangalore: India joins a select group of nations manufacturing warplanes with home-grown Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' moving a step closer to its induction into the IAF after getting its Initial Operational Clearance.

Jan 12: Itanagar: China begun issuing visas to residents of Arunachal Pradesh, over which it lays claim, but they are stapled to passports as in case of people from Jammu-Kashmir.

Jan 13: Mumbai: A special court grants permission to CBI for reinvestigating the 2006 Malegaon blast probe case in wake of "confession" statements made by Swami Aseemanand linking Hindu groups to terror acts.

Jan 20, Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala high court asks whether or not 'Makara Jyoti' is man-made amid a renewed debate on authenticity of the celestial light visible from Sabarimala after the stampede that killed 102 pilgrims.

Jan 21: New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council unveils the first part of the draft food bill that seeks to provide legal food entitlements to 75 pc households.

Jan 22: Shillong: Lt Gen P K Rath, the senior-most serving officer to be convicted for corruption, has been given a sentence of severe reprimand and two-year loss of seniority by an Army Court Martial.

Jan 29: New Delhi: India reacts sharply to the action of the US authorities to tie a tracker on Indian students duped by a California-based "sham" university, terming it as "unwarranted" and demanded its removal.


RECAP 2011: India in the year gone by

Image: Aarushi Talwar

Feb 2: New Delhi: A Raja, who as telecom minister had allegedly manipulated procedures in allocation of 2G spectrum is arrested along with two officials by CBI, a week before it has to file its final investigation report in Supreme Court.

Feb 5: Kolkata: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee rules out disclosing names of those who have stashed away money in tax havens abroad but discloses that notices have been sent to 17 of 18 names of account holders in a bank in Liechtenstein.

Feb 9: Ghaziabad: Parents of slain teenager Aarushi Talwar--Rajesh and Nupur--have been ordered to face trial in the murder of their daughter and servant Hemraj more than two years ago after local court rejected agency's closure report.

Feb 14: New Delhi: CBI brings fresh charges of forgery and cheating against former Telecom Minister A Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa who have been arrested in connection with 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

Feb 15: New Delhi: Supreme Court upholds death sentence to Nithari serial killer Surinder Koli for murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, one of his first victims in the serial rape-cum-killing episode six years back.

Feb 18: New Delhi: CBI moves Supreme Court challenging an Allahabad High Court order that dropped charges of criminal conspiracy against top BJP leaders including L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Feb 20: New Delhi: The birdflu outbreak in Agartala in Tripura gets confirmed to be the highly virulent H5 strain which if transmitted to humans can be deadly.

Feb 21: Mumbai: Bombay HC upholds sentence of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for "brutal and diabolical" 26/11 Mumbai attacks aimed at "destabilising" the government.

Feb 22: New Delhi: Prime Minister announces government's decision to set up a JPC into the 2G spectrum scam.

Feb 22: Ahmedabad: 31 people are convicted and 63 others, including the main accused Maulvi Umarji, are acquitted by a special court here in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence in Gujarat that had claimed the lives of over 1200 people.

Feb 23: New Delhi: Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and OC Director General V K Verma arrested by the CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 107 crore deal inked with a Swiss timing firm.

Mar 1: Ahmedabad: Eleven convicts in Godhra train burning case get death sentence while 20 others get lifers by a special court in 2002 incident that left 59 'karsevaks' dead and triggered riots which claimed over 1200 lives in Gujarat.

Mar 12: New Delhi: Former CVC P J Thomas decides to move Supreme Court seeking review by a Constitution bench of its March 3 judgement quashing his appointment, claiming that judiciary has no right to decide his eligibility for the post without prior reference from the President.

Mar 15: New Delhi: Suspended Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi is questioned by the CBI for the second time in connection with alleged scams related to the conduct of the sporting extravaganza.

Mar 24: New Delhi: Shunglu committee finds procedural violations in construction of over 1,000 flats inside CWG village by real estate developer Emmar MGF, and indicts Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna for alleged inadequacies.

Mar 26: Ghaziabad: The wife of Hemraj, who was killed along with teenaged girl Aarushi in Noida, moves a local court, trying the double murder case, seeking recording of her statement about a purported conversation with her husband who had talked of "threat" to his life and said she suspected the hands of Talwars in the killings.

Mar 28: New Delhi: Parliament's Public Accounts Committee calls leading industrialists, including Ratan Tata and Anil Ambani, and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to appear before the panel in connection with 2G spectrum scam.

Apr 8: New Delhi: Government blinks in war of attrition with Anna Hazare by agreeing to issue a formal order to set up a 10-member joint committee for drafting a strong Lokpal Bill and the Gandhian will end his fast.

Apr 13: New Delhi: China drops broad hints at reversing its 2-year-old practice of issuing stapled visas to people from Jammu-Kashmir, saying it was willing to work with India resolve issues relating to people to people exchanges.

Apr 7: New Delhi: The war over an alleged CD involving eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan intensifies with his son Prashant claiming the disc was "doctored" using 2006 conversations of Mulayam Singh Yadav and says he will move Supreme Court on the ground it was intended to influence judgements in 2G and Amar Singh tape cases.

Apr 18: Raipur: Rights activist Binayak Sen, who was behind bars for nearly four months serving a life term for sedition and Maoists links, is released from Chattisgarh's central prison, 3 days after Supreme Court granted him bail.

Apr 24: Puttaparthi: Godman Sathya Sai Baba, a cult like figure who had a phenomenal following, including the high and mighty, across the globe dies battling illness caused by a multi-organ failure for nearly a month.

Apr 27: New Delhi: About 800 pilots from erstwhile Indian Airlines go on a strike demanding pay parity with Air India pilots and better working conditions, leading to cancellation of over 20 flights and disruption of many others.

Apr 27: Dharamsala: Harvard scholar Lobsang Sangay is elected Prime Minister of Tibetan Government-in-Exile and would take over the political duties relinquished by spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

May 4:Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorji Khandu, who went missing on a flight from Tawang, is dead along with four others after their helicopter crashed in bad weather in the mountains and their bodies and the wreckage are located.

May 6: New Delhi: Air India pilots call off their 10-day-old strike that resulted in an estimated loss of over Rs 150 crore as Government agrees to reinstate sacked and suspended pilots and look into their demands within a time-frame.


RECAP 2011: India in the year gone by

Image: Maria Susairaj walks out of Byculla jail
Photographs: Sahil Salvi/

May 8: New Delhi: Suspense continues over arrest of DMK MP Kanimozhi with a special court reserving for May 14 its orders on her bail application after CBI strongly objected to it saying her "complicity" in the alleged bribe given to Kalaignar TV in the 2G scam was clear.

May 11: Greater Noida: Rahul Gandhi is arrested and later released by UP police after he slips in unnoticed in pre-dawn hours to support farmers agitating against state's land acquisition process for a expressway project.

May 13: Kolkata/Chennai: Mamata Banerjee storms the Red bastion terminating the Left Front's 34-year stranglehold on West Bengal, while Jayalalithaa knocked DMK out of power in Tamil Nadu with a landslide victory in the assembly elections.

May 21: New Delhi: Kanimozhi, DMK MP and daughter of M Karunanidhi, arrested in connection with the 2G spectrum case, is set to move Delhi High Court for bail.

May 30: New Delhi: India and Pakistan discuss demilitarisation of Siachen, a mountainous region where borderline is not demarcated, in a "constructive framework", picking up the threads of the issue after gap of 3 years.

June 1: New Delhi: Government deputes its four senior Cabinet ministers to the Delhi airport in a bid to persuade Baba Ramdev to give up his indefinite fast on corruption but yoga guru insists that he would go ahead with it from June 4.

June 5: New Delhi/Haridwar: The dramatic eviction of Baba Ramdev in the middle of night in a swoop by Delhi police set off a slugfest between the UPA and the Sangh Parivar and the yoga guru who announced that he would continue his agitation against black money.

June10: Chennai: Ending days of uncertainty, the DMK decides not to pull out of the UPA Government over the 2G spectrum scam, but accused the CBI of adopting "double standards" by arresting party MP Kanimozhi in the case.

June 11: Mumbai: A senior journalist with an English tabloid 'Mid-Day', who extensively covered underworld and crime for over two decades, was shot dead in broad daylight by four unidentified bike-borne persons who pumped five bullets on him from behind in suburban Powai.

June 12: Dehradun: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev breaks his nine-day-old fast that sparked a political slugfest heeding appeals of spiritual and religious leaders but vows to continue his campaign against corruption.

June 20: Panchkula (Haryana): After a four-year-long probe, the National Investigation Agency charges suspected right-wing extremist Swami Aseemanand and four others with triggering explosions in the cross-border Samjhauta Express in 2007 that left 68 people dead.

July 1: Mumbai: Kannada actress Maria Susairaj gets a maximum three years' imprisonment while her boyfriend and former Navy officer Emile Jerome gets 10-year jail in brutal killing of Neeraj Grover.

July 8: New Delhi: The Supreme Court restrains the seven-member committee from opening vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which according to estimates contains wealth worth over Rs one lakh crore.

July 10: Fatehpur (UP): At least 38 passengers were killed and about 210 injured when 15 bogies of a speeding Delhi-bound Kalka Mail derailed here -- the second major train mishap in a week in Uttar Pradesh.

July 21: Bangalore: Lokayukta indicts Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and his ministers in a "huge racket" of illegal mining and finds that his sons got kickbacks of Rs 30 crores from a mining firm.

July 22: Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate issues a showcause notice to BCCI and suspends IPL commissioner  Lalit Modi for transfer of Rs 90 crore to UK, in connection with its probe in the alleged financial irregularities in the T20 cricket tournament.

July 31: Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, resigns ending three days of defiance and favours sitting Lok Sabha MP D V Sadananda Gowda as his successor.

Aug 4: Bangalore: Lok Sabha member D V Sadananda Gowda is sworn-in as chief minister of Karnataka, succeeding B S Yeddyurappa, who quit in the wake of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining that indicted him.

Aug 8: New Delhi: US hands over to India documents related to Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana,  accused of offering support to 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, and his confessional statements that will help NIA to file a charge sheet against him.

Aug 12: New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil rejects the clemency petitions of three killers of Rajiv Gandhi whose death sentences were confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2000.

Aug 17: New Delhi: Rajya Sabha takes up impeachment proceedings against Calcutta High Court judge Justice Soumitra Sen, who claimed he was being victimised and made "sacrificial lamb" to cleanse the judiciary.

Aug 28: New Delhi: Anna Hazare breaks 12-day-old fast declaring that poll reforms will be top of his agenda next so that corruption can come down.

Aug 30: Chennai: Ten days before their hanging, three Rajiv Gandhi killers get a reprieve from Madras HC which stayed their execution for eight weeks even as Tamil Nadu assembly in an unprecedented unanimous resolution appealed to the President to reconsider their mercy pleas.


RECAP 2011: India in the year gone by

Image: Amar Singh

Sept 5: New Delhi: The much-talked about Land Acquisition Bill, which provides for enhanced compensation to land owners and other benefits, approved by Union Cabinet notwithstanding reservations from some senior ministers on some aspects.

Sept 6: New Delhi: MP Amar Singh is arrested and lodged in Tihar Jail in sensational twist in cash-for-vote scam that rocked Parliament three years ago after he made a dramatic appearance in a local court within hours of claiming to be ill.

Sept 7: New Delhi: A high intensity briefcase bomb rocks the crowded reception area in the Delhi High Court killing 11 people and injuring 76 in a major terror attack that struck the Capital after a gap of three years.

Sept 12: Supreme Court declines to pass any order on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's alleged inaction to contain riots in 2002 and leaves it to the trial court to decide course of action against him on basis of SIT report.

Sept 18: Gangtok: A powerful earthquake with a 6.8 magnitude hit Sikkim and several areas in the eastern part of the country and neighbouring Nepal, leaving 18 dead and over 100 injured besides causing damage to buildings and roads.

Sept 22: The Supreme Court says the vault 'B' of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple will be opened only after substantial work regarding documentation and preservation of assets unearthed from other vaults of the shrine is completed.

Sept 27: Ahmedabad: Suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who had implicated Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002 post- Godhra riots, is arrested after a police constable filed an FIR against him.

Balasore (Orissa): After perfect trial of 'Shourya' and 'Prithvi-II', India successfully test fired nuclear capable 'Agni-II' ballistic missile with a strike range of 2,000 km as part of user trial by armed forces from Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.

Oct 1: Ahmedabad: A day after suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is arrested, his family says they fear for his life and have written to Gujarat Commissioner of Police demanding justice.

Oct 2: New Delhi/Hyderabad: Bringing his fight for a separate Telangana to the national capital, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao stages a sit-in at Rajghat, rejecting Centre's decision to hold "further consultations".

New Delhi: The world's cheapest tablet PC, priced at around Rs 1,200, will now be available to students in the country as part of the government's programme to expand education through information technology.

Oct 9: New Delhi: Supreme Court stays the death sentence of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attack, on his petition that he does not deserve to be hanged because of his young age but it wonders whether he deserved to be heard.

Sitabdiara/Chapra: BJP stalwart L K Advani sets off on his sixth yatra in 21 years to focus on rash of scams and black money issues, giving a clarion call for not just 'change' in leadership but also change in the system.

Oct 16: Jaipur: Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna, suspected to be involved in the case of disappearance of nurse Bhanwari Devi, is sacked by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

Oct 17: Hisar: Kuldeep Bishnoi, HJC-BJP combine nominee, wins the battle for the prestigious Hisar Lok Sabha by-election in Haryana in a tight race in which Team Anna vigorously campaigned against the Congress which lost deposit.

Oct 20: New Delhi: Team Anna plunges into yet another controversy with allegations against Kiran Bedi that she over charged companies and institutions by inflating her travel expenses, evoking a strong attack from Congress and former colleagues in the anti-corruption campaign.

Oct 28: New Delhi: In a u-turn, Anna Hazare declares that he will campaign against Congress in five states where Assembly elections are due next year if the UPA government fails to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed in Winter Session of Parliament.


RECAP 2011: India in the year gone by

Image: Anna Hazare on fast at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/

Nov 5: Mumbai: Legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika, who wove a magical tapestry out of traditional Assamese music and lyrics, dies following a prolonged illness.

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram, is sentenced to five years imprisonment by a Delhi court in a 1996 corruption case and arrested and sent to Tihar jail.

Nov 21: New Delhi: At least 14 eunuchs are killed and over 40 others injured when a major fire sweeps through an east Delhi community hall where a congregation was taking place.

Nov 22: Lucknow: Chief Minister Mayawati pushes through resolution to split Uttar Pradesh into four parts in the state Assembly in less than 10 minutes ignoring stiff opposition after which the House was adjourned sine die.

Ahmedabad: In a blow to the Narendra Modi government, the Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT concludes police encounter with college girl Ishrat Jehan and three others was fake as they were killed prior to the incident.

Nov 25: Kolkata: Maoists top leader Kishenji is killed in gunbattle with security forces in a forest in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, a day after he narrowly escaped jail.

Nov 26: New Delhi: Border talks between India and China scheduled to commence here have been indefinitely postponed.

Nov 28: Imphal: United Naga Council lifts its 100-day economic blockade on the Manipur side of two national highways without any condition but with a caveat that agitation would be re-launched if the government did not make an 'alternative arrangement' for Nagas in the state.

Dec 1: New Delhi: Union Cabinet finalises and approves India's stand at the ongoing UN Climate Conference in Durban.

Dec 19: New Delhi: RLD, with five members in Lok Sabha, formally joins the UPA amid speculation that its chief Ajit Singh would be included in Cabinet as Civil Aviation Minister.

Dec 19: New Delhi: Delhi, the political and cultural capital of several empires including the Mughals, adds yet another chapter to its glorious history as it marks 100 years of its re-emergence as modern India's capital.

New Delhi: US-born terrorist David Headley, founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror group Hafiz Saeed and two serving Pakistani Army officers were among the nine people chargesheeted by NIA for planning and execution of terror strikes in India.

Dec 27: New Delhi: Anna Hazare faces a low turnout as he launches his three-day fast against a "weak" Lokpal Bill asking people to be ready for fight to finish to stamp out corruption and ensure that "goondas" do not enter Parliament.

Dec 28: Mumbai: Anna Hazare makes a surprise announcement of calling off his campaign to fill jails ended his fast.

Dec 28: New Delhi: India termed as "sensible resolution" of a sensitive issue the rejection of a petition seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita by a Russian court and said it was glad to "put this episode behind us."

Tags: New Delhi , India , NIA , RLD , UPA
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