SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI
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N A T I O N

Five cops get life term for killing Sergeant
Kolkata, July 1
Five police constables of Kolkata Reserved Force, today, were given life imprisonment for murdering Kolkata Police Sergeant, Bapi Sen. They were also found guilty of outraging modesty of a woman. 

Who will be the next RS deputy chief?
SP, BSP hold the key
New Delhi, July 1
When the Budget session of Parliament commences next Monday, a major item on the Rajya Sabha agenda will the election of a new Deputy Chairperson.

Speaker to evolve consensus on ‘tainted’ ministers
New Delhi, July 1
In an effort to restore sanctity in the House of People, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has convened meetings of senior leaders of the NDA and the ruling UPA for evolving a consensus to sort out the "tainted" ministers issue.



Graphic:
Progress of Monsoon stalled

Newly appointed Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh arrives at North Block in New Delhi
Newly appointed Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh arrives at North Block in New Delhi on Thursday. — PTI
In video (28k, 56k)

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

NDA to plan strategies on July 5
New Delhi, July 1
It seems certain that the NDA will boycott the Railway Budget to be presented by Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav on July 6. The combine leaders will meet here on July 5 to draw strategies for the Budget session.
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Uma Bharati’s confession on Govindacharya
Uma Bharati
Bhopal, July 1
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati has said that the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch leader, Mr K.N. Govindacharya, is staying at her residence and guiding her in the running of the government.


Railway Protection Force has started providing escorts to late night train passengers. This picture was taken at Mathura Cantonment station on Wednesday.
— PTI

EARLIER STORIES

 

Tamil Nadu DIG held in Telgi case
Chennai, July 1
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Mr A. P. Mohamed Ali, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Crime Branch, CID, Tamil Nadu, in connection with the multi-crore Telgi stamp paper scam.

Children from Dobra Jageer cross Ajnal river on a single-rope bridge for going to school in Adampur Chawni
Children from Dobra Jageer cross Ajnal river on a single-rope bridge for going to school in Adampur Chawni, near Bhopal on Thursday. — PTI

Charges framed against Dara
Baripada, July 1
Dara Singh, alias Ravindra Pal Singh, and his accomplices were produced today in the court of District and Sessions Judge Meenaketan Mohanty for framing of charges for their alleged involvement in three sensational murder cases.

Lokpal Bill coming up in Budget session
New Delhi, July 1
The first Budget session after the constitution of the 14th Lok Sabha, beginning from Monday, is going to be eventful as a Bill to set up the Lokpal to probe allegations of corruption against those holding high offices, including that of the Prime Minister, is likely to be taken up.

DGP acquitted in assault case
Patna, July 1
The Patna High Court on Thursday let off Bihar Director-General of Police Narayan Mishra after he informed the court that all four policemen absconding in a case relating to an assault on the then Additional District Judge of Bhagalpur D.N. Barai had been arrested. A Division Bench had on Wednesday threatened to send the DGP behind bars if the absconding policemen were not arrested within 24 hours. — PTI

Indian detainees tortured in Iraq
Chennai, July 1
Eighteen Indians were being mentally tortured and illegally detained in a camp in Fallujah in Iraq, even though they had quit their jobs, family members of two of the detainees complained here today.

Sons let dead mother rot
Howrah, July 1
Poverty-stricken sons stuffed their dead mother into a trunk and rushed to eke out a living that the death in the family could have deprived them of work for days together had they disclosed it instantly.

New Defence, Home Secretaries take charge
New Delhi, July 1
Defence Secretary Ajay Vikram Singh and Union Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh assumed their respective offices here today.

Centre for delegating powers at village level
New Delhi, July 1
The Central Government will prepare a final draft "through consensus among states" by year-end to delegate powers to village panchayats besides increasing budgetary allocation for poverty alleviation and rural development programmes.

Siropa to Tytler: Bhogal takes to streets
New Delhi, July 1
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Prehlad Singh Chandok, under fire for his Siropa to Union Minister Jagdish Tytler, today hit back at a protest leader, questioning his religious integrity.

Kalam talks nano to defence scientists
New Delhi, July 1
President A P J Abdul Kalam today urged the Indian scientists to work for the development of nano-technology, involving microscopic robotic machines, to revolutionise total concepts of future warfare.

NCW seeks transfer of rape case to Delhi
New Delhi, July 1
The National Commission for Women (NCW) plans to approach the Supreme Court to transfer to Delhi the trial of the case of a rape victim who has alleged that she was wronged by Uttaranchal Revenue Minister Harak Singh Rawat.

Videos
Tattooed Thorny Ray fish found in Indian waters.
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Five cops get life term for killing Sergeant
Subharangshu Gupta

Kolkata, July 1
Five police constables of Kolkata Reserved Force, today, were given life imprisonment for murdering Kolkata Police Sergeant, Bapi Sen. They were also found guilty of outraging modesty of a woman.

Mr Justice Basudev Majumdar, who pronounced the judgment also declared a fine of Rs 10,000 each, failing which, they would have to suffer another six months of rigorous imprisonment.

Bapi Sen was beaten to death on the street on Jan 1, 2003, while obstructing the five drunken constables from outraging modesty of a woman.

The woman was returning back from her relative’s place with her husband when the constables travelling in a Maruti van chased them from a distance and ultimately caught them near Hind Cinema Hall in central Kolkata.

The Sergeant who was returning to his quarter in south Kolkata from his traffic duty when he found the accused - Sridam Bauri, Maddusan Chakraborty, Pijush Goswami, Mujibur Rahman and Shekhar Mitra -dragging the woman.

When intercepted, the accused attacked Bapi with iron rods and other weapons they were carrying in their van. Bapi tried to disclose his identity but the police hoodlums did not believe him and instead dragged him down the street and continued to beat him mercilessly.

Bapi, later, was admitted to the hospital where after battling for his life for five days succumbed to his injuries. He left behind his wife, two minor sons and an elderly mother. The incident caused shock and uproar in the city and elsewhere.

The five police constables were later arrested and today’s pronouncement came after long eight months of trial.

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Who will be the next RS deputy chief?
SP, BSP hold the key
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
When the Budget session of Parliament commences next Monday, a major item on the Rajya Sabha agenda will the election of a new Deputy Chairperson.

And going by the present line-up in the Upper House, the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the 10 Independent members could well hold the key to this election. The Congress can avoid a contest if it is able to evolve a consensus on this matter.

Mrs Najma Heptulla, present Deputy Chairperson, finishes her term on July 7. Last elected to the Upper House by the Congress, she subsequently switched sides and will begin her next term as a BJP member. Given her bitter parting with the Congress, it is highly unlikely that it will support her candidature for this post.

Congress insiders said the party will address this issue within the next few days. Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, it is learnt, is also planning to talk to all the party leaders to evolve a consensus on the candidature of the next Deputy Chairperson. If the BJP insists on fielding Mrs Heptulla, an election might become inevitable.

The Congress would like the post to go to a party member. Several names are being tossed around but a final view is yet to emerge. Party leaders who are in contention include Congress Treasurer Motilal Vora, Mohsina Kidwai, Saifuddin Soz and R.P. Gavai.

The Congress is hoping to counter Mrs Heptulla’s candidature by suggesting equally weighty Muslim names like Mrs Kidwai and Mr Soz. Alternatively, the choice could fall on Mr Gavai since he is a Dalit and from Maharashtra, which is headed for Assembly polls. It is being hoped that the Opposition may find it difficult to oppose his candidature. Mr Vora, on the other hand, is a senior leader, who has served as Chief Minister and Governor and who has friends across the political spectrum.

The party line-up in the Rajya Sabha shows that the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) enjoys an edge over the NDA. The UPA and its supporting parties, which include the Left parties, the BSP and a host of smaller parties, total 120, close to the halfway mark. The strength of the NDA, its supporting parties along with the 11 members it nominated is 98. The present strength of the Rajya Sabha is 244 as there is one vacancy.

Given this situation, the 13 members of the Samajwadi Party and the 10 independent members will play a crucial role in deciding the next chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. Their vote could swing the contest either way. Given the deteriorting relations between the Congress and the SP, the latter will not lend their support to the UPA candidate very easily. The SP could even use this opportunity to have its own candidate elected to this post.Before the Congress evolves a consensus with the Opposition, it will first have to arrive at an agreement within the UPA. Since the Left parties, especially the CPM, has a soft corner for the Samajwadi Party, it might insist that the Congress get the SP on board on this issue.

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Speaker to evolve consensus on ‘tainted’ ministers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
In an effort to restore sanctity in the House of People, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has convened meetings of senior leaders of the NDA and the ruling UPA for evolving a consensus to sort out the "tainted" ministers issue.

This would pave the way for the live telecast of the "zero hour" proceedings, which often end in noisy and stormy scenes.

Mr Chatterjee is said to be disturbed over the stalling of the House proceedings and is making an effort to end the stalemate over the Opposition's (NDA) plan to keep alive the "tainted" ministers issue during the Budget session.

The Speaker would be meeting the Opposition leaders tomorrow and those from the UPA government on Saturday, sources close to Mr Chatterjee said.

The meetings with both the major alliances come in the wake of the BJP-led NDA's decision to keep the pressure on the UPA government to demand removal of "tainted"ministers.

The NDA was also likely to raise the issue of the reported moves of the government to remove Governors with BJP affiliation. In the last session, the proceedings in Parliament were disrupted by the Opposition on the "tainted" ministers' issue.

The NDA leaders met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to put forth their demands. Mr Chatterjee is keen to restore the sanctity of the 'zero hour' for which he would try to evolve consensus among political parties for its live telecast. Mr Chatterjee, a veteran parliamentarian, is said to be of the view that the people should be allowed to

judge the performance of their elected representatives by watching them on television.

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NDA to plan strategies on July 5
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
It seems certain that the NDA will boycott the Railway Budget to be presented by Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav on July 6. The combine leaders will meet here on July 5 to draw strategies for the Budget session.

The NDA meeting will be followed by NDA Parliamentary Party meeting. Both the meetings are being convened to ensure that there is perfect coordination among the NDA constituents and a unified stand and approach is adopted on the “tainted ministers” and Governors’ issue.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held at BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu’s residence and attended by Leaders of the Opposition L K Advani, NDA convenor George Fernandes and BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley.

Emerging out of the meeting, Mr Naidu described as unfortunate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision declining to sack the tainted ministers.

He should differentiate between cases of murder, dacoity, corruption and rapes from that of political cases,” Mr Naidu said.

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Uma Bharati’s confession on Govindacharya
N.D. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bhopal, July 1
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati has said that the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch leader, Mr K.N. Govindacharya, is staying at her residence and guiding her in the running of the government.

She made this confession at a function held at Ravindra Bhavan here last evening to release a book titled “Sanatan Bharat: Jagrit Bharat” jointly authored by Mr Jitendra Bajaj and Mr M.D. Srinivas. Those present on the dais included former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, Mr Govindacharya himself and Uma’s elder brother, Mr Swami Prasad Lodhi.

She said she did not have to go to Kedarnath to meet Mr Govindacharya as she could meet him in Delhi and at present he was staying at her residence. The obvious reference was to the big media event that her journey to Kedarnath last year had made. Mr Govindacharya was also there at the time.

She said Mr Lal Krishna Advani had brought to her in 1991 Mr Govindacharya’s proposal for marriage. She referred the matter to her elder brother who, after looking at Mr Govindacharya, firmly refused to consent because of the latter’s black complexion.

On November 17, 1992, she said, she took to sannyas at Amarkantak. When she went to Delhi with chimta and kamandal, Mr Govindacharya touched her feet and with that ended the past for her, she said.

Later on, when she found that a man of extraordinary intelligence like Mr Govindacharya did not have even a room to live in, she asked him to stay with her, Ms Bharati added.

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BJP will stick to Hindutva: RSS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
In a virtual dig at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which had called for forming a Hindu political platform, the RSS yesterday said there was no need to doubt the BJP on Hindutva issues. “The BJP leadership has given assurance (in the just-concluded BJP conclave in Mumbai) to tread the path of Hindutva. 

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Tamil Nadu DIG held in Telgi case
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 1
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Mr A. P. Mohamed Ali, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Crime Branch, CID, Tamil Nadu, in connection with the multi-crore Telgi stamp paper scam.

The CBI continued its raids on his residence throughout the day. The raiding party comprised of DIG and SP-level officers from the agency’s Telgi special cell who later put him under arrest.

Once they were inside Mr Ali’s house no one was either allowed to enter or leave.

Apart from his residence, the CBI also raided the house of an Assistant Commissioner of Chennai city police, Mr Shankar, and arrested him.

Mr Ali’s alleged involvement in the multi-crore stamp paper scam came to light after Nijamuddin, an associate of Telgi, spilled the beans before the CBI.

Nijamuddin is said to be the mastermind behind printing and distribution of fake stamp papers in various states.

After his arrest he reportedly told CBI officers that he was arrested in 2002 but was let off after his family paid a huge amount as “ransom”.

During his interrogation he named many senior officers of the Tamil Nadu police including Mr Ali.

Mr Shankar was an Inspector in CB-CID two years ago, when Nizamuddin was nabbed by the wing.

Nijamuddin’s disclosures and a specific complaint by a senior police officer against his superiors’ for their biased handling of the Telgi case created shock waves in the Tamil Nadu police.

The Tamil Nadu government then decided to handover the stamp paper case to the CBI, which was then being investigated by the state CB-CID.

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Charges framed against Dara

Baripada, July 1
Dara Singh, alias Ravindra Pal Singh, and his accomplices were produced today in the court of District and Sessions Judge Meenaketan Mohanty for framing of charges for their alleged involvement in three sensational murder cases.

Dara, sentenced to capital punishment in the triple murder of Australian Missionary Graham Stewart Staines and his two sons, was produced along with his accomplices amid tight security.

Hundreds of people thronged the court and waited eagerly for long hours outside the barricade to have a glimpse of Dara Singh and his associates. He was brought from Chowdwar Jail where he had been lodged after being awarded death sentence in the Graham Staines murder case.

The court today framed charges in two out of three cases, which came up before the District and Sessions Judge. The framing of charges in two criminal cases were made in the jam-packed court room.

One of the cases relate to murder of Sheikh Rahaman, a readymade garment dealer on August 26,1999. Rahaman was burnt alive when he was flung into a fire after some shops were set ablaze in the Padiabeda weekly haat (market).

The District Judge framed charges under Section 302, IPC, against Dara and 38 other accused in this case and fixed July 28, 29 and 30 as the dates for hearing the case.

In the sensational murder case of Father Arul Doss, charges were framed under Section 302, IPC, against Dara Singh and 22 others. Mr Doss, a priest in the Jamubnani Church was killed on September 2, 1999. — UNI

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Lokpal Bill coming up in Budget session
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
The first Budget session after the constitution of the 14th Lok Sabha, beginning from Monday, is going to be eventful as a Bill to set up the Lokpal to probe allegations of corruption against those holding high offices, including that of the Prime Minister, is likely to be taken up.

The new UPA Government will present its first General Budget on July 8 and the Railway Budget on July 6 besides unveiling the Economic Survey, a broad indicator of the country’s economic health and areas where special focus is required, on July 7.

The Lokpal Bill, which has been under consideration of successive governments for nearly a decade, provides for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries and for matters connected therewith.

Over two dozen legislations are expected to be introduced in the Budget session.

Besides the General Budget and Railway Budget, in the sphere of legislative business, Parliament is expected to take up for consideration and passing a Bill for setting up of a National Tax Tribunal and the Securities Laws for protecting investors’ interests.

The two-month-long session is going to be stormy as the BJP-led Opposition has already announced that it would not not give up the issue of “tainted” ministers in the Manmohan Singh government and stall presentation of the Railway Budget by Laloo Prasad Yadav.

This issue had rocked the new Lok Sabha in its first session when the BJP disrupted proceedings demanding removal of the tainted ministers.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is making efforts to find a solution to the stalemate to the “tainted ministers” issue.

The government is also thinking of moving a Bill to establish a statutory Institute of Actuaries of India to regulate and develop the profession of actuaries and introduce another legislation to facilitate setting up of credit information companies for collecting, sharing and dissemination of credit information to help in improving credit appraisal and subsequently, reducing non-performance loans.

A legislation to enable flexibility in the matter of employment of women during night shift in a factory has also been listed in the schedule of business of the coming session.

Another legislation to step up the rate of cess of sugar from Rs 14 to Rs 20 per quintal is also likely to be brought before Parliament.

Besides discussions on the demand for grants under the General and Railway Budgets, the two Houses would also discuss the 10th Five Year Plan and the National Plan of Action for Children, 2003.

Parliament would go into recess from July 24 to August 15 to allow Standing Committees to give final shape to the demands for grants of various ministries and departments.

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Indian detainees tortured in Iraq
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 1
Eighteen Indians were being mentally tortured and illegally detained in a camp in Fallujah in Iraq, even though they had quit their jobs, family members of two of the detainees complained here today.

Ms. Princy Fernando, sister of a victim, Mr Antonio Maximillan, said all the 18 detainees had been recruited by a Mumbai-based company for a Jordan-based defence catering company, Daoud and Partners.

She alleged though they had quit their jobs a few months ago, they had been forcefully kept in the camp, and were not allowed to leave for India.

Ms Fernando and Mr Mohammad Thambi, brother of another victim, Mr A.R. Sultan said the victims were initially recruited to work in Jordan but found themselves taken to Iraq and their efforts to contact the agents proved futile.

"However one victim had managed to send e-mails to various embassies seeking help. But nobody had come forward for the past two months,"' she lamented.

Ms. Fernando said they had submitted a petition to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and also a fax message to President A P J Abdul Kalam, to get them repatriated to India.

She said the Indian Embassy was of no help and only the new interim government in Iraq would decide their fate.

The Daoud & Partners, which now holds the documents of the Indian workers, is a company in the Gulf and has strong links with the American defence system, particularly with the American Corp of Engineers involved in road construction in the US army bases in the Gulf.

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Sons let dead mother rot

Howrah, July 1
Poverty-stricken sons stuffed their dead mother into a trunk and rushed to eke out a living that the death in the family could have deprived them of work for days together had they disclosed it instantly.

Sheer destitution prevented priests Dhiraj Banerjee and his brother Prithviraj, hailing from Domjur in West Bengal, from cremating their mother Leela Banerjee, who died
yesterday.

A priest is generally not supposed to perform rituals for 10 to 15 days after a death in the family.

The brothers are so poor that they could not afford to forgo the other assignments that their mother’s death would have forced them to. So they stuffed the body into a trunk and left, intending to later make public their mother’s death.

Dhiraj had to perform a house-warming ritual yesterday where he would have received a remuneration of Rs 501 and 21 sarees.

However, neighbours complained of a stench emanating from the shack and barged into his home only to recover the decomposed body of the old woman. The brothers were arrested by the police. During interrogation Dhiraj said: “I intended to break the news of my mother’s death after performing the religious ceremony.’’ — UNI

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New Defence, Home Secretaries take charge
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
Defence Secretary Ajay Vikram Singh and Union Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh assumed their respective offices here today.

Mr Ajay Vikram Singh assumed office in the South Block replacing Mr Ajay Prasad who shifted to the Civil Aviation Ministry. Mr Ajay Vikram Singh, an IAS officer of the 1967 batch from Uttaranchal cadre, was earlier Secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and National Highways. Mr Dhirendra Singh succeeded Mr Anil Baijal, who was shift to the Urban Development Ministry. A 1968 batch IAS Officer of the Karnataka Cadre, Mr Dhirendra Singh was the Secretary in the Department of Disinvestment. He also served as a Special Secretary in the Department of Defence Production and Supplies.

Mr A K Rastogi, a 1968 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, took over as the Secretary (Border Management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Earlier, he held the post of Secretary, Inter-State Council in the Ministry.

Mr A N Tiwari, a 1969 batch IAS Officer of the Andhra Pradesh Cadre also took over as the Secretary, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension. He was Secretary, Department of Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation before his new assignment.

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Centre for delegating powers at village level
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
The Central Government will prepare a final draft "through consensus among states" by year-end to delegate powers to village panchayats besides increasing budgetary allocation for poverty alleviation and rural development programmes.

The two-day conference of Chief Ministers and Ministers on Panchyati Raj concluded here yesterday with a consensus that the Centre and states will work in coordination to "ensure effective implementation of the existing Constitutional provisions pertaining to the Panchayati Raj in the country" following the principle of "fiscal federalism."

Union Minister of Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Union Minister of Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar agreed with the state minister that there was a need to increase budgetary allocation 'manifold' for implementing rural development and poverty alleviation programmes through panchayats.

The conference also agreed with the suggestion of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to build 'rural hubs' to boost economic growth in rural areas by promoting food processing and other industries that would utilise local "resources and manpower."

At the end of the conference, Mr Aiyar said," We will consult states whether Central funds should be directly allocated to village panchayats at the district level. Otherwise, the Centre will insist on strict monitoring of allocation and utilisation of funds in time."

Referring to required funds for the implementation of rural development programmes, Mr Prasad said, " Even for Prime Minister's Grameen Sadak Rozgar Yojana, we require Rs 1,32,000 crore, earlier estimated at Rs 60,000 crore. The countrymen will have to be prepared to earmark adequate funds to address the rural issues of poverty, sanitation, drinking water and housing."

However, he declined to make any comment, when asked, whether states or village panchayats would be asked to increase their contribution by raising more taxes to address these issues.

He announced that the ministry would hold seven roundtable consultations with states in the next six months in different states to prepare a blue print on issues like " devolution of funds, reservation in local bodies, capacity building, panchayat elections and audit and training of functionaries.

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Siropa to Tytler: Bhogal takes to streets

New Delhi, July 1
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Prehlad Singh Chandok, under fire for his Siropa to Union Minister Jagdish Tytler, today hit back at a protest leader, questioning his religious integrity.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Kuldip Singh Bhogal, who held a demonstration at the DSGMC office today, has been demanding Mr Chandok quit his office and appear before Akal Takht that has summoned him for his “club Siropa” to Mr Tytler, who faces allegations of involvement in the 1984 riots.

However, the DSGMC chief instead questioned the religious integrity of Mr Bhogal, accusing him of serious religious violations.

“He himself takes liquor and dyes his beard. Also, there is a case of corruption pending against him relating to his position as DSGMC member,” said Mr Chandok.

He expressed surprise at non-stop protests against him even when Akal Takht, the highest seat of Sikh temporal authority, was seized of the matter.

“I don’t understand the real motive behind these protests when I’ve issued a public apology already over the Siropa episode and said in my statements that I would appear before Akal Takht.”

But Mr Bhogal, who denied Mr Chandok’s charges against him, said the DSGMC chief should immediately resign his post.

“All his claims are rubbish. I commit no act that is forbidden in the Sikh faith,” Mr Bhogal, who lost the 2002 general elections to the DSGMC, said.

He also denied graft charges against him.

In yet another awkward blow to Mr Bhogal’s protest, his own party chief Avtar Singh Hit called for a stop on anti-Chandok demonstrations, citing Akal Takht’s involvement into the matter.

“No protests against Mr Chandok should be held over the Siropa episode as the matter is already pending with the supreme Sikh authority,” Mr Hit, SAD Delhi chief and a former DSGMC chief, said. — UNI
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Kalam talks nano to defence scientists
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
President A P J Abdul Kalam today urged the Indian scientists to work for the development of nano-technology, involving microscopic robotic machines, to revolutionise total concepts of future warfare.

“We are today at the convergence of nano, bio and information technologies, with 2004 seeing the world market in nano-technologies to be over $ 100 billion,” he said adding that India should work to exploit this growing market.

Observing that nano-technology would lead to faster and ultra-miniaturised computers and influence the strategic sectors with creation of nano-satellites, stealth structures and nano-vehicles — and even smart clothes and shoes, Dr Kalam said.

The President said carbon nano-tubes and composites could give rise to super strong, smart and intelligent structures in the field of material science and, in turn, lead to new production of nano-robots with new types of explosives and sensors for air, land and space systems.

This would revolutionise the total concepts of future warfare, the President said while inaugurating the three-day silver jubilee celebrations of the Indian Navy’s Wesee Organisation here.

Stressing that it was prudent to develop military applications around commercial technologies, Dr Kalam said it was earlier the other way round with defence research leading to breakthroughs for commercial industries.

“But nano-technology may see a total reversal of this trend,” the President told the gathering of the country’s top defence scientists adding, time has now come for total amalgamation of civil and defence technologies.

Touching up recent success in flight trials of Brahmos supersonic missile and the integrated testing of naval electronic warfare system Sanraha, the President said that Navy was about to induct these systems which would become important force multipliers for naval ships and naval aircrafts and submarines.

He called upon the Weapons and Electronic Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE) to visualise the system integration of the future naval warships keeping the characteristics of these new weapon systems.

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NCW seeks transfer of rape case to Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
The National Commission for Women (NCW) plans to approach the Supreme Court to transfer to Delhi the trial of the case of a rape victim who has alleged that she was wronged by Uttaranchal Revenue Minister Harak Singh Rawat.

NCW Chairperson Poornima Advani and member Anusuiya Uike, who met the 23-year-old rape victim Jenny in a government shelter home in Kedarouram, Dehra Dun told mediapersons here yesterday that Jenny wished to go back to her home in Assam.

Jenny has alleged that the minister raped her knowing that she was pregnant. She told the commission that she wished to seek employment to bring up her one-year-old child. Releasing a report on the wrongful confinement of Jenny, the commission said the court should examine the offence of wrongful confinement and fix the accountability of the officer concerned under Section 340 of the Indian Penal Code.

The commission has asked the state government to make arrangements to safely escort her back to her hometown in Assam. It has recommended that adequate relief commensurate with mental harassment be paid to Jenny. The NCW is of the view that the ends of justice would be better served if the hearing of the case is held outside Uttaranchal. The victim has made a written appeal to the commission to transfer the case out of Uttaranchal as the accused has a lot of influence in the state.

The NCW Chairperson said the Chief Secretary of Uttaranchal had assured her that Jenny would be sent to her native place in Assam as soon as the commission sent them a report.

Dr Advani said the victim had been wrongfully confined to a room alongwith 11 mentally deranged women. The NCW Chairperson said the commission was extremely upset that the rape victim was not allowed to interact with any normal human being for a year and a half. "This is against the principles of victimology,” Dr Advani observed.

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Fake stamp papers sold in Bihar

Nawada (Bihar), July 1
Fake judicial stamp papers worth thousands of rupees were seized from the premises of civil court here today and two persons arrested in this connection. On a tip-off, the district administration conducted raids and arrested two stamp vendors selling fake judicial stamp papers in the civil court premises. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Firing on Assam-Nagaland border
DIPHU: The Assam Police and NSCN (IM) militants today exchanged fire inside the Dhansikri reserve forest on the Assam-Nagaland border during an eviction operation launched against encroachers. The NSCN(IM) sought to set up a Naga village inside the Assam territory which the state government objected. As the operation began, firing started from the NSCN(IM) side but was retaliated by the Assam Police. — UNI

Nuke spying case
MUMBAI: Akhtar Hussain, arrested by the Mumbai Police last month on charges of selling India’s nuclear secrets, cheating, impersonation and forgery, was today remanded in judicial custody till July 15 by a local court here. On June 18, Hussain was remanded in police custody till today after being arrested by the Mumbai Police from the airport here. Hussain, a UAE-based businessman was ‘’deported’’ from Dubai on June 12 and interrogated by the central intelligence agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau. — UNI

Raghavan is Czech envoy
NEW DELHI: Mr P.S. Raghavan was today named India’s next Ambassador to Czech Republic. Mr Raghavan, an IFS officer of the 1979 batch, is presently Joint Secretary on deputation to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). — TNS

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