SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Home Ministry against clemency
to Dhananjay

New Delhi, July 2
The Union Home Ministry is understood to have opined against granting clemency to condemned prisoner Dhananjay Chatterjee of Kolkata, who has been sentenced to death for rape and murder of a teenaged school girl 14 years ago.

Mufti govt’s decision on yatra challenged in HC
New Delhi, July 2
The Jammu and Kashmir Government’s decision not to advance the official date for the commencement of the Amarnath yatra was today challenged in the Delhi High Court by the Delhi-based Amarnath Yatra Welfare Organisation today even as some overenthusiastic pilgrims and Sadhus started their symbolic march this morning from Srinagar.

Clash after accident; 10 hurt
Kolkata, July 2
Violence erupted in the Park Street-EM bypass area following killing of a couple in a road accident this morning. The couple were crushed to death between the two speeding private buses which were at a race for overtaking each other.


The charred remains of one of the three buses which were set on fire by an angry mob in the Park Circus area of East Kolkata on Friday. The charred remains of one of the three buses which were set on fire by an angry mob in the Park Circus area of East Kolkata on Friday. 
— PTI photo

National Advisory Council undermines Constitution: George
Bangalore, July 2 
Attacking the UPA government’s decision to constitute a National Advisory Council headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi as one that “undermines” the Constitution, NDA convener George Fernandes today said the issue would be raised in the Budget session beginning on July 5.



An eunuch holds a placard during an anti-police protest in Bangalore
An eunuch holds a placard during an anti-police protest in Bangalore on Friday. Hundreds of members of sexual minorities and social organisation groups took out a protest rally against what they said brutal torture and sexual abuse by the policemen in Bangalore. 
— Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

 
A group of Pakistani students, who are in India to attend a peace conference, in a playful mood during their visit to the Gateway of India
A group of Pakistani students, who are in India to attend a peace conference, in a playful mood during their visit to the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Friday.

Actor-director Nagesh Kukunoor with his co-stars Jyoti Dogra and Tisca Chopra at the screening of his latest film Hyderabad Blues-2
Actor-director Nagesh Kukunoor with his co-stars Jyoti Dogra (left) and Tisca Chopra at the screening of his latest film Hyderabad Blues-2 in Mumbai on Thursday. 

Devotees take a holly dip in Mansi Ganga near Dhanghati in Govardhan
Devotees take a holly dip in Mansi Ganga near Dhanghati in Govardhan, Mathura, on the occasion of Guru Purnima on Friday. — PTI photos

Sonia to meet Cong CMs today
New Delhi, July 2
Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to meet the Chief Ministers of states ruled by the party tomorrow in connection with the tricky issue of cutting flab in the ministries.

Lobbying for berths in downsized Cabinet
Dehra Dun, July 2
Amidst rising speculations on the names of ministers to be dropped in the new Cabinet, the actual countdown has begun for Cabinet downsizing in Uttaranchal. With Congress President Sonia Gandhi returning to Delhi from a personal holiday in Kausani, near Nainital, yesterday, the names of the four ministers to be dropped are expected to be released any moment.

6 weeks of UPA govt spent on patronage: BJP
New Delhi, July 2
The BJP today ridiculed the six-week tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government saying that the time had been “spent on patronage rather than on matters of policy concern”.

Rail Budget boycott: NDA to decide on Monday
New Delhi, July 2
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's attempts to break the impasse in Parliament over the "tainted" ministers issue appears to have met with cold response from the BJP-led Opposition which has decided to continue with its agitation during the coming Budget session but decide on Monday about the boycott of Railway Budget presentation.

Law on Indian editions of foreign newspapers on cards: Reddy
New Delhi, July 2
The government is poised to prepare a comprehensive legislation Bill in the next few weeks to prevent publication of an Indian edition of any foreign newspaper or magazine in the country from backdoors, Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy said today.

Security advisory board reconstituted
New Delhi, July 2
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reconstituted the National Security Advisory Board which advises the National Security Council on security and defence matters, an official announcement said today.

Bhownani to head Strategic Forces Command
New Delhi, July 2

The government today appointed Air Marshal Ajit Bhownani as the Commander-in-Chief of the newly raised Strategic Forces Command, reversing a decision of the previous NDA regime.

Slum dweller clears PMT
Nagpur, July 2
Living in a slum in abject poverty as the daughter of an out-of-work rickshaw-puller, the odds were stacked against Vaishali Ramdas Wankhede. But she managed to beat them all to clear the Pre-Medical Entrance Test scoring 86 per cent marks.

Telgi case: CBI remand for DIG, ACP
Chennai, July 2
The Tamil Nadu Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr A.P. Mohammed Ali, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chennai, Mr Shankar, and an LIC officer, Mr Sadhu Ramaswamy, were today sent to the CBI custody for four days for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore Telgi scam.

A correction
New Delhi, July 2
It was erroneously reported in The Tribune yesterday that the UN Charter had a provision for “self-determination for the Kashmiris”. The correct position is that the UN Charter talks of “self-determination of peoples”. There is nothing Kashmir-specific in the charter.

Lakhera new Lt-Governor of Pondicherry
New Delhi, July 2
Lt-Gen M.M. Lakhera (retd) will be the new Lt-Governor of Pondicherry. The appointment will take effect from the date he assumes charge of his office. A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said here today that President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had accepted the resignation of Mr N.N. Jha from the office of the Lt-Governor of Pondicherry. — TNS


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Home Ministry against clemency to Dhananjay
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
The Union Home Ministry is understood to have opined against granting clemency to condemned prisoner Dhananjay Chatterjee of Kolkata, who has been sentenced to death for rape and murder of a teenaged school girl 14 years ago.

A report, prepared by a Joint Secretary (Legal) in the Home Ministry to be forwarded to President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, described the mercy plea moved by Dhananjay as “untenable” in the wake of the “gruesome crime” committed by him, Home Ministry sources said here today.

The report is expected to be sent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan by today evening, the sources said. However, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said they have “not yet received the report regarding Dhananjay issue so far.”

The President is expected to take a final decision on whether to reject or favour the clemency petition moved by Dhananjay based on the Home Ministry’s report and subsequent independent consultation with legal experts.

Before preparing a “water tight” report, the Home Ministry is understood to have examined the entire facts of the case, from the award of death sentence by the sessions court in August, 1991, confirmation of the capital punishment by Calcutta High Court in August, 1992, Supreme Court rejecting his appeal in January, 1992 and also dismissing his review petition subsequently after 10 days.

The Home Ministry had also examined the February 16, 1996 and June 2, 2004 orders of the West Bengal Governor, rejecting Dhananjay’s mercy petitions.

About 10 days back, Dr Kalam had sought complete details from the Union Home Ministry about the rape and murder convict Dhananjay, after he received a petition from the latter against the death sentence.

He had also sought details from the Home Ministry about instances when mercy petitions have been dealt with by the President.

The execution of Dhananjay had been caught in legal wrangle since rejection of his review petition by the Supreme Court. He had twice moved the Supreme Court with a plea that whether the West Bengal Governor had used his clemency power properly or not in his case since it was first rejected in 1996.
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WB Govt yet to hear from Kalam
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, July 2
The West Bengal government is yet to receive any communication from Rashtrapati Bhavan regarding the fate of the convicted rapist and killer, Dhananjay Chatterjee, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told newsmen at Writers Building today.

Mr Bhattacharjee said the state had earlier sent its view to the Home Ministry sticking to the Supreme Court's verdict on hanging of Dhananjay who had killed a 16-year-old schoolgirl, Hetal Pareksh, after raping her at her Bhowanipore apartment 10 years back.

On June 24, a mercy petition filed by Dhananjay's wife, parents and other relatives was reffered by Mr A.P.J. Kalam, President, to the Home Ministry for its opinion and the Home Department again sought the state government's views in the matter.

The Chief Minister reiterated that there should not be any rethinking on the decision of hanging and death was the right punishment for the heinous crime he had committed. The Centre was also told accordingly, Mr Bhattacharjee added.

But some European Union members and several voluntary organisations, including the APDR and intellectuals in the country made an appeal to the President to grant clemency to Dhananjay as they felt that one death could never be justified by another death. The APDR and several social welfare organisations demanded that the system of death punishment be abandoned in the country as done in most of the European countries and elsewhere.

However, the old friends and colleagues of Hetal and the students and teachers and other people from different walks of life demanded Dhananjay be hanged to death which would be the lesson to other criminals in the future.

The Chief Minister is in favour of hanging Dhananjay but the CPM party wants Dhananjay be given more rigorous punishment.
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Mufti govt’s decision on yatra challenged in HC
Our Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 2
The Jammu and Kashmir Government’s decision not to advance the official date for the commencement of the Amarnath yatra was today challenged in the Delhi High Court by the Delhi-based Amarnath Yatra Welfare Organisation (AYWO) today even as some overenthusiastic pilgrims and Sadhus started their symbolic march this morning from Srinagar.

The AYWO’s counsel mentioned the petition before the vacation Bench of Mr Justice R.C. Chopra and Mr Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, seeking an interim direction to the Jammu and Kashmir Government for advancing the yatra date from July 15 and pleading for an urgent hearing of the matter.

The Bench, however, declined to pass any interim order today and fixed the hearing for Monday when the court will reopen after the summer vacation.

AYWO president Anant Kumar Gupta in the petition accused the Mufti Sayeed government of “unnecessarily” interfering in the Amarnath yatra and sought the court’s immediate intervention in the matter.

Though the high court two years ago had laid down certain guidelines for the smooth conduct of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage and had asked the state government to open the other route through Baltal from Srinagar to Leh to enable more pilgrims to go to the cave shrine, yet the authorities had failed to implement the order, it said.

Since the passing of the Jammu & Kashmir Shri Amarnathji Yatra Shrine Act, 2000, the entire authority to conduct the pilgrimage had been given to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and the role of the government had been reduced to the minimum in the affairs of the annual pilgrimage, it said.

The organisation also alleged that the main purpose behind confining the yatra period to a specific timeframe was aimed at permitting a “limited” number of pilgrims to go to the shrine.

It was not for the state government to decide when the yatra should start as it was the “religious right of Hindus” and according to their religious calander, it should start on “Aashadh Purnima”, which falls today, the petitioner organisation said.

The AYWO has also taken objection to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minsiter’s alleged statement that the yatris create pollution en route and affect tourism in the state, contending that such utterances by politicians “hurt the religious sentiments” of the Hindus.

Instead of blaming the yatris, the Mufti government should concentrate more on providing adequate security and electricity, water, lodging and sanitation facilities to the pilgrims on the way, the petitioner said.

The organisation also sought a direction to the state government to permit voluntary organisations to set up “langars and bhandaras (free kitchen)” on the way for the benefit of pilgrims as it would only supplement the efforts of the authorities.
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Clash after accident; 10 hurt
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, July 2
Violence erupted in the Park Street-EM bypass area following killing of a couple in a road accident this morning. The couple were crushed to death between the two speeding private buses which were at a race for overtaking each other.

Immediately after the incident, an irate mob burnt both the buses and soon there was a clash between the mob and the police which lasted half an hour. Stones and brickbats were thrown at the police party which in response resorted to a lathi charge and burst tear gas shells to control the situation.

The drivers and conductors of both the buses fled. Seven persons were arrested from the spot. About 10 persons, including three police constables, were injured in the clash. Traffic on the road to airport was suspended for over two hours following the incident.
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National Advisory Council undermines Constitution: George

Bangalore, July 2
Attacking the UPA government’s decision to constitute a National Advisory Council headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi as one that “undermines” the Constitution, NDA convener George Fernandes today said the issue would be raised in the Budget session beginning on July 5.

Mr Fernandes told reporters here after an executive committee meeting of the JD-U’s Karnataka unit that the government’s move amounted to “undermining” the Constitution and “overriding” the Department of Policy and Programme Implementation.

“The government is undermining the Constitution. It has created an authority and provided it state funds and government staff. The authority is supposed to be an advisory body which reports to the Prime Minister. It’s overriding the Department of Policy and Programme Implementation,” he said.

Asked if this issue would be raised in the Budget session, the former Defence Minister replied: “Naturally”.

On the performance and longevity of the UPA government, Mr Fernandes said “indications are not good.”

He said there was information that External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh was not briefing and interacting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “If it is so, it’s dangerous,” he said, adding that once he returned to Delhi tomorrow, he would check the veracity of the information.

On “attempts to sideline Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the BJP,” Mr Fernandes said he did not think the former Prime Minister had been sidelined. He also said that he did not think that the former Prime Minister could be sidelined.

On the NDA’s view on “the BJP trying to raise the Hindutva” agenda, he said if one went though the resolutions of the BJP at the recent national executive meeting in Mumbai, it did not suggest anything of that sort.

Asked if the NDA will boycott the Union Budget, Mr Fernandes said the decision to boycott was taken in regard to the Railway budget. “A final decision will be taken at the NDA Parliamentary Party meeting on the morning of July 5.”

Earlier, addressing the JD-U meeting, Mr Fernandes said going in for early elections to the Lok Sabha was a mistake but added that it was the majority view of the NDA then.

He said in the present circumstances, one had to accept the fact that small parties should join forces either with the Congress or the BJP.

The party meeting decided to go it alone in the coming local bodies elections in Karnataka, state unit president B. Somashekar said. In the recent Assembly elections, the JD-U had aligned with the BJP while continuing to be in the NDA at the national level.

He said (because of the alliance), the JD-U’s base had shifted to “other parties”, adding that the focus was now on strengthening the party base.

Supporting the state unit’s view on the matter, Mr Fernandes said there was nothing in the NDA policy to suggest that all partners would face all elections together. — PTI
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Sonia to meet Cong CMs today
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to meet the Chief Ministers of states ruled by the party tomorrow in connection with the tricky issue of cutting flab in the ministries.

As per the provisions of the amended anti-defection law, the size of a Ministry is to be limited to 15 per cent of the total strength of the Assembly. Smaller states, however, are permitted to have 12 ministers. This exercise is to be completed by July 7.

With the exception of states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh Delhi and Kerala, none of the other Congress-ruled states meet this requirement. The Congress leadership and its Chief Ministers find themselves in the unhappy position of having to axe as many 100 ministers in seven states.

This matter has acquired urgency since the Constitutional deadline of July 7 for axing the extra ministers is less than a week away. Before leaving for her vacation to Uttaranchal last week, the Congress president had asked her senior colleagues, Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora, as well as the AICC general secretaries concerned to do all the preliminary work while emphasising that the exercise be as transparent as possible.

Soon after her return from her holiday this morning, Mrs. Gandhi got down to the task of consulting the AICC leaders concerned, who have given their respective inputs to her. This will be followed by detailed discussions with the Chief Ministers tomorrow. Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh Chief Ministers N.D. Tiwari and Virbhadra Singh, who were in Delhi today, held last-minute consultations with Mrs. Soni and Mr.Vora.

The AICC leaders have held extended deliberations with the Chief Ministers concerned over the past week as they sought to evolve some parameters for pruning the ministries. Realising that this exercsie will fuel dissidence and rebellion in the state party units, the CMs want the Central leadership to give them dirctions on the recast of their ministries. This would enable them to escape the wrath of the disgruntled elements in their respective states.

Party leaders said it might not be possible to apply the same criteria given the differing situations in the various states. Nevertheless, factors like performance in the Assembly and constituency, a legislator’s personal record and caste and regional considerations will come into play while drawing up the final lists. Admitting that the CMs had an unpleasant task on hand, Mr Virbhadra Singh said care would be taken to give adequate representation to all the regions.

Party insiders said the Chief Ministers had suggested different criteria for this exercise. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, for instance, has suggested that the performance of the legislators be made the criteria and that those who helped the party win in the Assembly segments in the recent Lok Sabha elections. He has to axe eight out of 25 members from his Council.Top

 

Lobbying for berths in downsized Cabinet
Swati Vashishta
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, July 2
Amidst rising speculations on the names of ministers to be dropped in the new Cabinet, the actual countdown has begun for Cabinet downsizing in Uttaranchal. With Congress President Sonia Gandhi returning to Delhi from a personal holiday in Kausani, near Nainital, yesterday, the names of the four ministers to be dropped are expected to be released any moment.

Even as a number of ministers of the ND Tiwari regime have been camping in New Delhi, lobbying with the high command to save their berths, the Chief Minister is learnt to be facing one of the toughest challenges of his tenure.

In order to downsize the Cabinet from 17 to 12 ministers, the Chief Minister will have to drop four of his ministerial colleagues. After the resignation of Revenue Minister Harak Singh Rawat following the unwed mother sex scandal last year, the Cabinet size was that of 16 ministers. Fifteen of the ministers resigned on June 28, while Minister of State Kishore Upadhyaya put in his papers on the following day.

While the high command has left a final decision on trimming the Cabinet to Mr Tiwari, the Chief Minister has maintained that the final decision would depend on the three-member committee constituted for this purpose. The committee includes Congress general secretary Ambika Soni and two secretaries, apart from Mr Tiwari and Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Though Mr Tiwari has discussed the list of ministers to be dropped with the Congress President during his earlier meetings with her, the Chief Minister has systematically avoided laying claims to his role in the process. The Congress old hand wants to steer clear of the resentment that would follow.

Speaking to newspersons here, Mr Tiwari said it was for the central leadership to finalise the names which would be intimated to the Governor of Uttaranchal, Mr Sudershan Agarwal, by Ms Gandhi.

Brushing aside any speculations on the new faces to be inducted into the Cabinet, Mr Tiwari denied any such possibility. 
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6 weeks of UPA govt spent on patronage: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
The BJP today ridiculed the six-week tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government saying that the time had been “spent on patronage rather than on matters of policy concern”.

Talking to newspersons at the BJP headquarters, former Law Minister Arun Jaitley said the six weeks had witnessed the appointment of “tainted ministers”, sacking of Governors and dilution of the authority of the Prime Minister and the PMO by creating a “parallel power centre”.

Mr Jaitley, who is also a BJP spokesman, said since the latest figures indicated that the last year of the NDA government had witnessed an economic growth of over 8.0 per cent, now is the time for the UPA government to concentrate on policy rather than mere distribution of largesse on the basis of patronage.

The BJP expects the government to announce policy which would lead to further creation of capacity for the manufacturing sector and develop infrastructure, particularly the rural infrastructure, Mr Jaitley said.

He said the government should also spend a large amount of national resources on agriculture.
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Rail Budget boycott: NDA to decide on Monday

New Delhi, July 2
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's attempts to break the impasse in Parliament over the "tainted" ministers issue appears to have met with cold response from the BJP-led Opposition which has decided to continue with its agitation during the coming Budget session but decide on Monday about the boycott of Railway Budget presentation.

However, indications available from the BJP leaders after a meeting with Mr Chatterjee over high tea at his residence were that the Opposition would boycott Railway Minister Laloo Prasad's presentation of Railway Budget on July 6.

Chatterjee, who took the initiative to call the Opposition leaders in a bid to break the stalemate after the washout in the opening session, is slated to meet ruling UPA leaders over dinner tomorrow.

"We will continue our agitation for removal of the tainted ministers. It is a shame that even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given them a clean chit," BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman V.K. Malhotra told reporters here after the meeting.

Besides Malhotra, those who attended the meeting included Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, B.C. Khanduri and Santosh Gangwar and TDP leader K. Yerrannaidu. — PTITop

 

Law on Indian editions of foreign newspapers on cards: Reddy

New Delhi, July 2
The government is poised to prepare a comprehensive legislation Bill in the next few weeks to prevent publication of an Indian edition of any foreign newspaper or magazine in the country from backdoors, Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy said today.

Taking a leaf out of its experience with Indian Herald Tribune, a part of New York Times, being published from Hyderabad, the government was now looking for plugging the holes in the existing system and come out with the enactment of a law to preempt such incidents in future, he told mediapersons during an informal talk.

''The government's position regarding publication of the IHT is quite strong. We are looking for a piece of a comprehensive law to strengthen our position so that we can take the right steps next time. The Bill is expected to be prepared within the next few weeks,'' he said.

Last month, the government was caught off guard when it tumbled on the fact that the IHT was being published from India by Midram Publications Private Limited in ''complete violation'' of existing guidelines and 'not in conformity' with the country's policies. — UNITop

 

Security advisory board reconstituted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reconstituted the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) which advises the National Security Council on security and defence matters, an official announcement said today.

There will be 15 members in the NSAB. The tenure of the NSAB members has been extended to two years instead of one year in the past. DRDO scientist Amitabh Malik has been retained from the previous NSAB.

Mr S.K. Lambah, India's former High Commissioner to Pakistan, has been named the NSAB's Convenor.Top

 

Bhownani to head Strategic Forces Command

New Delhi, July 2
The government today appointed Air Marshal Ajit Bhownani as the Commander-in-Chief of the newly raised Strategic Forces Command, reversing a decision of the previous NDA regime.

Though the NDA government had cleared the name of Air Marshal S.K. Jain to head the Command, the new government has picked up the highly-decorated Bhownani for the job.

The Command, which operates the country’s nuclear and missile arsenal, was headed by Air Marshal T.M. Asthana who retired on June 29.

Though the NDA government had also cleared the promotion of S. Bhojwani and S.K. Jain to the rank of Air Marshal, the new government is yet to take a decision on this.

An IAF spokesman, Squadron Leader Mahesh Upasani, said these two new appointments would be cleared in the next few days. The two Air Marshals will fill the vacancies of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Gandhinagar-based South Western Command. — PTI

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Slum dweller clears PMT

Nagpur, July 2
Living in a slum in abject poverty as the daughter of an out-of-work rickshaw-puller, the odds were stacked against Vaishali Ramdas Wankhede.
But she managed to beat them all to clear the Pre-Medical Entrance Test (PMT) scoring 86 per cent marks.

Vaishali, a resident of Kanchipur slums in Ramdaspeth here, got the 46th rank in the list of successful candidates of the PMT.

She had scored 73 per cent and 81 per cent marks in Classes X and XII respectively without any tuition.

She lives with her mother, who works as a domestic help and two brothers who dropped out of the school to take up small-time jobs after her father left his work due to health problems. She says though the family was poor, she was always encouraged in her studies by her parents and brothers. Her mother says she did not want her daughter to end up living like her.

Meanwhile, financial assistance has been offered by several people, including the BJP MLA from West Nagpur and a local businessman. — UNI
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Telgi case: CBI remand for DIG, ACP
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 2
The Tamil Nadu Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr A.P. Mohammed Ali, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chennai, Mr Shankar, and an LIC officer, Mr Sadhu Ramaswamy, were today sent to the CBI custody for four days for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore Telgi scam.

The three men were produced before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Ms Alamelu Natarajan, amidst tight security. The alleged involvement of the LIC officer in procuring fake insurance stamps from the same racketeers who had printed and distributed counterfeit stamp papers revealed some new leads for the CBI.
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A correction
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
It was erroneously reported in The Tribune yesterday that the UN Charter had a provision for “self-determination for the Kashmiris”. The correct position is that the UN Charter talks of “self-determination of peoples”. There is nothing Kashmir-specific in the charter.

The relevant quote of the UN Charter’s Chapter One (“Purposes and Principles”), Article 1, says that the purposes of the UN are “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”

This reference to the UN Charter, which was adopted in 1945, was in the context of the anti-colonial struggle.

In the next Article, the charter makes it very clear that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The joint statement issued by the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan earlier this week says: “They reiterated their commitment to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and their determination to implement the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit”.
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BRIEFLY

Noted writer dead
KOTTAYAM: Noted story writer Ponkunnam Varkey passed away here on Friday, a day after his 94th birthday. He is survived by three sons and three daughters. Varkey was the recipient of various awards, including Kerala State Film Critic Award and Kerala Sahitya Academy Fellowship. He had written over 100 short stories and plays and published more than 40 books. — UNI

Kerala to get TN water
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Tamil Nadu has agreed to release 7.5 TMC of water for two crops from the Aliyar river under the Parambikulam Aliyar agreement for the current season, Kerala Irrigation and Water Resources Minister T M Jacob said on Friday. Mr Jacob said Tamil Nadu Irrigation Minister Paneerselvam had given an assurance in this regard. Necessary arrangements had been made for this and there would not be any problem during the crop season, he said. — PTI
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