Yearender: Looking back at India in year 2012

2012 was a rough ride year for the country, which had to negotiate the choppy waters of domestic politics, face a situation of mass exodus from North East and face one of the worst power cut situations in its history.

New Delhi: 2012 was a rough ride year for the country, which had to negotiate the choppy waters of domestic politics, face a situation of mass exodus from North East and face one of the worst power cut situations in its history.

Leading on from the year 2011, corruption continued to be a focus issue this year too. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India sparked off a major row by questioning manner of government`s allocation of coal blocks to private parties that resulted in a loss of revenue.

Parliament witnessed disruptions with Opposition attacking the Government on key policy issues like FDI in retail. The Trinamool Congress withdrew Support to the UPA over the reforms in the FDI.

The Cabinet itself faced a reshuffle twice this year, the first when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee became the President of the country in July with the then Home Minister P Chidambaram being given the finance portfolio.

Samajwadi Party retained power in Uttar Pradesh so also Narendra Modi was elected to power for the third consecutive term in Gujarat while the Congress Party won in Manipur and Uttrakhand and retained power in Himachal Pradesh.

Riots sparked off in Assam between ethnic Bodos and migrant minorities leading to a backlash in other states of the country. Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie was forced to withdraw from the Jaipur Literature Festival. Nearly four years after the Mumbai terror attack. Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani gunman of the 26/11 attacks was hanged to death.

Two Italian marines allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off Kerala`s coast in February. The arrest of two girls over their Facebook post triggered an outrage in the country. The northern electricity grid fails leading to one of the worst blackouts faced by the country. The fag end of the year was dominated by outrage over the gangrape and death of a 23-year-old student in Delhi. Following is the diary of events during 2012:

Jan 1: Kolkata: Hardening its stand on the Lokpal Bill,
UPA ally Trinamool Congress rules out any compromise on the Lokayukta provision and said the government should have faced voting in the Rajya Sabha.

Jan 2: New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja alleges in a court here that CBI has put pressure on his former aide Aseervatham Achary, a key 2G spectrum case witness, to depose falsely against him as the agency failed to find anything to "link" him with other accused in the case

Jan 2: Beijing/New Delhi: An Indian diplomat based in Shanghai was ill-treated and had to be hospitalised, prompting India to lodge a protest with the Chinese authorities.

Jan 2: Srinagar: A young man is killed on the spot and two others were injured when CISF personnel opened fire to disperse protesters agitated over power shortage in Boniyar area of Baramulla district in the Kashmir Valley.

Jan 4: Jodhpur: Bishna Ram Bishnoi, an accused in Bhanwari Devi murder case, is arrested by police in Maharashtra and handed over to CBI which will produce him before a special court here in the next two days.

Jan 4: New Delhi/Lucknow: Sacked UP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha comes under the lens of CBI which searched over 60 locations including his posh Lucknow residence to probe alleged bungling in utilising Rs 10,000 crore central funds allocated to the state under the National Rural Health Mission, a day after he joined BJP.

Jan 6: New Delhi: In an unpleasant development, China has denied visa to a senior IAF officer hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, who was to be part of the team scheduled to travel to Beijing from January 10.

Jan 6: New Delhi: In the biggest ever disclosure of black money stashed abroad, a Delhi-based businessman has admitted undisclosed income of Rs 73 crore to the Income Tax department and also gave details of secret lockers held in banks in Switzerland, Singapore and the US.

Jan 8: Jaipur: Fulfilling a long-standing demand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announces a novel pension and life insurance scheme for overseas Indian workers that is expected to benefit over 5 million workers, especially those in the Gulf.

Jan 8: New Delhi: Political parties take exception to Election Commission`s order to cover statues of Chief Minister Mayawati and elephants - BSP`s poll symbol - in poll-bound UP, saying it will give rise to several complications.

Jan 9: New Delhi: The Supreme Court grants interim bail to former Union Minister Sukh Ram, who surrendered before a trial court on Saturday to serve his three year sentence in the 1993 telecom scam case.

Jan 9: New Delhi/Lucknow: Holding prima facie his promise of nine per cent sub quota for backward Muslims as a "serious violation" of Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission slaps show-cause notice on Law Minister Salman Khurshid.

Jan 11: Port Blair/New Delhi: A controversy erupts over a
video footage showing semi-naked Jarawa tribal women in Andaman and Nicobar Islands allegedly being ordered to dance before tourists prompting the Centre to seek a report from the Union Territory administration.

Jan 11: Sahibganj/Guwahati: Five persons killed and nine others injured in a collision between the Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail and a stationary goods train, about 25 km from Sahibganj in Jharkhand.

Jan 13: New Delhi: In a surprise move, the Congress disowns controversial statements of Union Minister Salman Khurshid and party General Secretary Digvijay Singh on minority reservation and Batla House encounter.

Jan 13: New Delhi: Google, Facebook and 19 other social networking sites faces legal action for offences of promoting enmity between classes after the government granted sanction to prosecute them.

Jan 14: New Delhi: The stir by a section of Air India pilots which led to cancellation of 52 flights is called off after the state-owned airline assures them that their pending salary and allowances will be cleared in phases before March.

Jan 14: New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev becomes the target of an attack by a man who threw black ink on his face at a press conference he was addressing on his plans to campaign against black money in the coming assembly elections.

Jan 16: New Delhi: Army Chief Gen VK Singh takes unprecedented step of dragging the government to the Supreme Court before which he challenges its decision over his date of birth that will mean that he retires in May next.

Jan 17: New Delhi: In a major confidence building measure, India and China sign an agreement for setting up a mechanism to avert any untoward incident on border with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying good cooperation between the two countries will bring "great changes" in the world.

Jan 17: New Delhi/Mumbai: In a setback to India, Portugal`s Supreme Court upholds an order which cancels extradition of underworld don Abu Salem for violation of deportation rules by slapping new charges which attracts death penalty.

Jan 19: New Delhi: Suresh Kalmadi walks out of Tihar Jail after being lodged there for nearly nine months with the Delhi High Court granting bail to him in a 2010 Games-related graft case.

Jan 20: Jaipur: The banned Satanic Verses cast its shadow at the Jaipur Literature Festival with its controversial author Salman Rushdie citing death threats pulling out of the event where some outraged authors read out portions of the book.

Jan 23: Jaipur: The row over Salman Rushdie deepens with five complaints being filed against the four authors who read out passages from his banned "Satanic Verses" at the Literature Festival and its organisers.

Jan 24: Jaipur: The much-anticipated video address by
controversial writer Salman Rushdie is cancelled at the last moment because of fears of violence as Muslim organisations stage protests.

Jan 25: New Delhi/Bangalore: Government has barred former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair and three eminent space scientists from any re-employment for their alleged role in the controversial allocation of scarce S-band space segment to private firm Devas.

Jan 26: Angul (Odisha): Violence erupts at Jindal Steel and Power Limited`s (JSPL) proposed steel plant site at Nisa, about 15 km from here, as land oustees clashed with the company`s security guards which left 164 people injured, 14 of them seriously.

Jan 28: Imphal/New Delhi: An estimated 82 per cent of electorate exercised their franchise in Manipur assembly elections which was marred by militant violence that claimed seven lives, including that of an ultra.

New Delhi: French company Dassault Rafale today bags India`s biggest-ever contract for supplying 126 combat aircraft for the air force, edging out European competitor EADS in the multi-billion dollar deal.

February 1: New Delhi: The father of a teenaged girl, who got a battered two-year-old admitted in AIIMS, and two others were arrested here on charges of abandoning her and forcing her into prostitution even as police stepped up efforts to trace a youth with whom the girl was staying.

Feb 7: Bangalore: In a huge embarrassment to BJP government in Karnataka, two ministers were allegedly caught on TV camera watching porn on mobile phone during assembly proceedings in the first such ugly incident in the state`s legislative history.

Feb 10: New Delhi: Army Chief Gen VK Singh loses his legal battle on the age row in the Supreme Court which says the government decision on his date of birth will apply for his service matters, forcing him to withdraw his petition.

Feb 12: New Delhi: In an unprecedented action, the Election Commission seeks the "immediate and decisive" intervention of President Pratibha Patil after it charged Law Minister Salman Khurshid with "improper and unlawful" defiance of its orders under which he was censured for promising sub- quota for minorities.

Feb 12: Lucknow: Nearly 59 per cent of 1.92 crore voters exercise their franchise for 59 seats spread over nine districts in the by-and-large peaceful second phase of the fiercely-fought Uttar Pradesh assembly election.

Feb 14: New Delhi: In a coordinated terror attack, an Israeli embassy car explodes when a magnetic bomb stuck to it went off in a high security area here critically injuring a woman diplomat hours after a car bomb was defused near its mission in Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Feb 14: Bhubaneshwar: At least five passengers are
injured when 10 bogies of an express train travelling from Durg in Chhattisgarh to Puri in Orissa derails at Lakhna, 200km from here according to railway officials.

Feb 16: Lucknow: A turnout of around 57 per cent is recorded for 56 seats in an incident-free third phase of UP Assembly election which saw polling in Amethi and Rae Bareli areas, the pocket boroughs of Nehru-Gandhi family.

Hamirpur (UP)/New Delhi: In a U-turn, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav rules out giving support to Congress in government formation in Uttar Pradesh, hours after he spoke about this possibility if there are signs of BJP coming to power.

Feb 17: New Delhi/Kochi: A diplomatic row between India and Italy flares up with the Italian Ambassador being summoned and a strong protest lodged over the killing of two fishermen by security guards of an Italian merchant ship off the Kerala coast.

Feb 18: Kochi/New Delhi: The authorities of the Italian oiltanker agree to hand over two of the marines onboard the vessel who allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen on February 15 off Kollam coast.

Feb 18: Rajkot: Six people are killed and 12 others injured in a stampede that broke out at Bhavnath temple`s annual Mahashivratri fair in the foothills of Mount Girnar in Gujarat`s Junagadh district.

Feb 20: Kollam (Ker): Two Italian naval guards charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast are remanded in three-day police custody by a Magistrate who rejected their Contention that they cannot be prosecuted under Indian law.

Feb 23: New Delhi: In a huge embarrassment to the Government, the Supreme Court comes down heavily on the State and the Delhi police for the midnight crackdown on Ramdev and his followers here last year and seeks criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary action against erring police personnel.

Feb 23: Lucknow: Over 59 per cent turnout is recorded in the fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for 49 seats spread over 13 districts, including strongholds of Mulayam Singh Yadav family and former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.

Feb 25: Jaipur: NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma sparks a controversy by saying the word "sexy" should not be taken in a negative connotation, drawing criticism from BJP and women`s organisations which termed her remark as "shocking" and "demoralising" for women.

Feb 28: New Delhi: A nationwide 24-hour strike called by 11 major trade unions evokes a mixed response disrupting public sector banking operations and transport services in some states but normal life remained largely unaffected.

Feb 29: New Delhi: Vehemently opposing decriminalisation
of gay sex, various social and religious organisation contends before the Supreme Court that allowing such acts would lead to "horrendous" situation.

Mar 3: Lucknow/Panaji: A highest ever voter turnout marks the staggered Assembly elections in five states with Uttar Pradesh and Goa joining Punjab and Uttarakhand in breaking all previous records.

Mar 5: New Delhi: Eleven years after a sting operation was done to expose alleged corruption in a defence deal, a special CBI court orders trial of former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitly and two others charged with taking bribe and criminal conspiracy to influence a fictitious deal.

Mar 5: New Delhi: Mulayam Singh Yadav`s Samajwadi Party
sweeps to power jolting Congress party and the BJP in UP Assembly polls. The Akali-BJP combine retained power in Punjab, Congress lost Goa to BJP but retained Manipur while it was a close call in Uttarakhand where Congress emerged as the single largest party with 32 seats, one seat ahead of ruling BJP`s 31 in the 70-member House.

Mar 8: Hisar (Haryana): The agitating Jats, demanding job quota for them, serves an ultimatum asking Haryana government to unconditionally release all those who had been taken into custody during the movement and threatened to intensify their stir if the demand was not met.

Mar 9: Dehradun: Decks cleared for the formation of a Cong-led government in Uttarakhand with the Governor saying that the party has the numbers after it parades three independent MLAs and the lone UKD legislator in its support before her.

Mar 10: Lucknow: Akhilesh Yadav, who scripted spectacular success in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections with an image makeover for Samajwadi Party, will be the new and youngest Chief Minister of the state, representing a generational shift in its politics.

Mar 10: New Delhi: Magsaysay award-winner `Waterman` Rajendra Singh and two others quit the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-chaired National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), protesting the government`s "negligence" of the river.

Mar 12: New Delhi: Congress MP Vijay Bahuguna, son of late leader Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, will be the next Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, the AICC announced ending days of suspense over the claimant to the top job in the hill state.

Mar 12: New Delhi: The Centre tells the Supreme Court that it is probing into the allegations that former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan and his relatives had amassed disproportionate assets during his tenure as judge and submitted a probe status report to it in a sealed envelope.

Mar 13: Dehradun/New Delhi: Congress MP Vijay Bahuguna is sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand although the Congress faced a revolt by another MP Harish Rawat, who is said to have offered to resign from the Union government.


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