From the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the lone 26/11 LeT terrorist caught alive, to India winning its highest medal tally at the London 2012 Olympics. Here are the top news moments of the year 2012.
26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab hanged
Four years after India's worst terror attack, LeT terrorist and lone survivor of the 26/11 attacks Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death on November 21. In a swift, secret operation, the Mumbai police transported Kasab from his bullet proof Arthur road jail, to Pune's Yerawada jail, where he was hanged by the neck to death at around 7am.
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray dead
The tiger roars no more. Arguably Mumbai's tallest leader and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray passed away at his residence 'Matoshree' on November 17 in Mumbai. Founder of the right-wing Marathi ethnocentric party, Thackeray's death resulted in Mumbai shutting down for a day. Thousands gathered to mourn the death of their leader while others gathered to witness Mumbai's largest funeral since independence.
Arvind Kejriwal take political plunge
After spliting with his leader - social activist Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal floated his own political party to 'change the current corrupt and self-serving system of politics forever.' From weekly exposes to dharnas outside ministers residences, Kejriwal basked in the lime light of media channels. His leader Hazare, however, has refused to support his political party, saying, "Kejriwal is dreaming if he thinks I will support him." Politics at its best.
Highest Olympic tally ever
In the field of sports, India's London 2012 Olympic contingent brought back the country's highest medal tally ever. With four bronze and two silver medals, Indian athletes performed at their best. But stealing the limelight, and rightly so, was Manipur's MC Mary Kom. 'Magnificent Mary' created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic boxing medal at the first ever women boxing Olympic event.
Leaving north India powerless
Over 600 million people were affected on July 30 and again on July 31, in what was the worlds largest power outage in history. The northern power grid collapsed leaving nearly half of the country's population, living in 22 states, powerless. Transport services including the country's busiest IGI airport in Delhi were affected, while the Delhi metro drew power from Bhutan. Interestingly, the then power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was 'promoted' to the home ministry, the very next day.
Dravid, Laxman retire
It was a year of disappointment for cricket fans as two of India's best players Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman hung their boots. Dravid aka The Wall who announced his retirement in his hometown Bangalore on March 9, said, "My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride."
"It's been 16 years since I have made my international debut for India and I think it is the right time to move on," said Laxman after announcing his retirement in Hyderabad on August 18.
Mamata walks out of UPA
Fiery West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee withdrew her party Trinamool Congress' support to Manmohan Singh's central government, leaving it in minority. While the relation between the Congress and its UPA ally was always volatile, the recent reform decisions by Singh's government, which included restricting subsidised LPG cylinders to households, forced Banerjee's party to vacate South Block.
In the world of business, it was bad times for the king of good times. Flamboyant Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya saw the near collapse of his aviation company, putting his employees through hardships, with many going months without pay cheques. Adding to his woes was an employees spouse commiting suicide and pinning the blame on Kingfisher. While it is almost certain that KFA will not take off this year, what remains to see is how Mallya, often compared to Richard Branson, revives his company.
Floods hit Assam
Misery hit the northeastern state of Assam with the mighty Brahmaputra river overflowing its banks. More than 120 people lost their lives, while over five million were displaced in floods that began in June. Flooding also struck the states of Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Also affected due to the floods was wildlife in the famed Kaziranga National Park. Officials said over 70% of the park was submerged, leaving more than 630 animals dead.
It was an exodus in Karnataka's capital Bangalore. More than 30,000 people from the northeastern fled the city after rumours were spread that they would be attacked in retaliation to the violence against Muslims in Kokrajhar, Assam. Presence of ministers at the railway station failed to deter thousands who gathered in fear, waiting to board special trains back to their hometown. The exodus also spread to Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, questioning the country's ability to protect its own people.
Electing India's president
The election to the country's top post, witnessed a big fight this year with NCP leader PA Sangma refusing to accept defeat, and see Pranab Mukherjee as the country's new president. While Sangma decided to go against his party's diktat and challenge its own nomination, that of Mukherjee, the NDA, led by the BJP saw a divide with Shiv Sena and the JD(U) voting for the UPA contestant.
The news events that appear above do not resemble any order of importance.