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Major News and Events of 02 May 2013

What Happened on 02 May 2013

270 Indians in Pakistani jails

The death of Sarabjit Singh has become the latest bone of contention between India and Pakistan. 

India's Ministry of External Affairs (MoEA) was direct in its comment and said Sarabjit's death was "put simply, the killing of our citizen while in the custody of Pakistan jail authorities."

This brings forward another aspect: there are 270 Indians in Pakistan jails. Out of this, there are 215 fishermen and 55 other Indian nationals as of January 1 this year.

This figure was provided by the MoEA on Thursday. The figures were based on the lists exchanged between India and Pakistan on January 1 each year. 

Rajya Sabha takes up Finance Bill, opposition walks out

When the Finance Bill 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and several other parties walked out of the Rajya Sabha criticizing the government for its inefficiency.

The government and the opposition had mutually agreed that the Finance Bill and demands for grants for various ministries, along with the railway bill and appropriation bill, will be taken up by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday afternoon.

The opposition had said they would maintain peace in the house, but they staged a walkout after the bills were introduced. 

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, in his statement after the introduction of the bills said that said the opposition had no intention to cooperate with the government. It added that it did not want to stall the passage of the Finance Bill and so decided to walk out. 

Apart from the BJP, the Left parties, the Janata Dal (United), the Biju Janata Dal, the DMK, the AIADMK and the Trinamool Congress also walked out of the house preferring not to vote on the important Finance Bill.

Jaitley stated that though there was a constitutional need to discuss the Finance Bill, they could not cooperate with the government due to the prevalent situation of the nation.

Overwhelming response from fans for Big B in New York

The Great Gatsby premiere in New York left the US media puzzled as there was a lot of cheer for Amitabh Bachchan.

The media first thought that Leonardo DiCaprio had arrived, but it was actually Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.  

The Big B was overwhelmed with this response and stated that it was because of his extended family (that is, his fans) that people noticed him. The red carpet welcome was an emotional moment for him, he added. 

The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, is Bachchan's Hollywood debut. He portrays the character of Meyer Wolfsheim in the $125-million 3D project, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name.

The movie, which also stars Tobey Maguire and Leonardo Di Caprio is supposed to open the 66th edition of Cannes International Film Festival, which begins on May 15. 

I was lucky to play for India: Rahul Dravid

Former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid stated that he considered himself lucky to have played for the country for 16 years.

He termed the Padma Bhushan award as "an honour and privilege". He further added that while playing a sportsperson does not think of awards, and plays rather for the love of the game. But when recognition and awards come from the government and from the people of the country, one feels honoured, he added. 

President Pranab Mukherjee awarded the country's third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan to Dravid on April 5. He also said cricket was the number one sport in India "and virtually a religion in this country and I feel privileged to have played for my country". He further stated that he couldn't have asked for anything more, receiving the award on top of it.

NASA invites haikus for Mars mission

NASA wants the public to send in their name and a poem to be put on a DVD that will be carried aboard a Mars-bound spacecraft - the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which will launch in November. All the names submitted will go on the disc but NASA also wants people to pen down a haiku - a poem of three lines and around 17 syllables. The three best poems, chosen by public vote, will head to the Red Planet.

Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator stated this is being done to infuse interest among the next generation of explorers and make them interested about science, technology, engineering and maths. 

The project, which is handled by the University of Colorado at Boulder, will look into exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The spacecraft will probe into how the loss of Mars' atmosphere defined the history of water on the surface and will also study the planet's interactions with the sun and solar wind.

Sarabjit Singh dies in Lahore hospital

Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, died on Thursday at 12.45 a.m. PKT or 1.15 a.m. IST.

The medical panel’s head stated he had succumbed to injuries.

Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Shiekh informed the media that hospital authorities have confirmed Sarabjit’s death. He also said that he tried to stop his family from going back to India but they did not listen to him. The postmortem will be conducted today morning.

Sarabjit's family learned about his death from a media report and they were not officially informed.

Sarabjit had suffered critical head injuries after a sudden attack by four to five prisoners on April 26 in the Kot Lakhpat jail.

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