SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Emulate Hong Kong, says Kalam
Moots commission against corruption
New Delhi, November 16
Terming corruption as a dreadful malady afflicting the society, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today favoured the setting up of an independent commission comprising officials from various government agencies for the strict enforcement of stringent laws to counter the menace.


Mr Vijay Shanker, CBI Director, with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a conference of the CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux in New Delhi In video (56k)

Mr Vijay Shanker, CBI Director, with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a conference of the CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux in New Delhi on Thursday.
— A Tribune photograph

Shed urban bias, Kalam to media
New Delhi, November 16
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has asked the media to shed its urban bias and excess political reportage and instead become a development partner in the nation's economic development.

Nalanda project to boost Sino-India ties
Patna, November 16
The Buddhist heritage in Nalanda is playing a silent yet assertive role in bringing India and China closer. The involvement of China in restoring the glory of Nalanda is expected to receive further boost following the four-day visit of its President Hu Jiantao to India beginning on November 20.









EARLIER STORIES


Tenth Plan power target can’t be met
New Delhi, November 16
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today acknowledged that the country would be far short of achieving the Tenth Plan (2002-07) target of an additional 41000 MW and emphasised that at least 70,000 MW of additional power had to be generated in the next Plan to raise the GDP growth to 9 per cent from the average 8 per cent in the last three years.

Kumaraswamy gets back at Cong
Bangalore, November 16
The Karnataka Congress has been stumped by the Forest Department which has registered a case against kin of its senior leader D.K. Shiva Kumar, who has been charged with stocking iron ore worth Rs 30 crore illegally.

Cong will have to stick with RJD
Patna, November 16
Against the wishes of grassroot workers, the Congress high command has decided not to dump the RJD as an ally in Bihar. Congress President Sonia Gandhi was reportedly in favour to attach more importance to the RJD in seat sharing than the LJP in the backdrop of the outcome of the recent byelections in Bhagalpur and Nalanda.

BJP misusing RSS name, says Uma
New Delhi, November 16
Training guns on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bhartiya Janshakti Party chief Uma Bharti today charged the ruling BJP with misusing the RSS's name in the state.

BJP doubts Pak commitment
New Delhi, November 16
The BJP today expressed doubts over Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism. “The two-day talks have not resulted in anything. The Pakistani commitment to end terrorism is still doubtful”, party spokesperson Ravi Shanker Prasad said here.

2 Memon men found guilty
Mumbai, November 16
The designated TADA court here today found absconding accused Tiger Memon’s hawala operator Mulchand Shah, who had mobilised funds used in the blasts, and one of his associates guilty for their involvement in the serial blasts in the metropolis on March 12, 1993.

Saddam sentence: protest hits Kolkata
Kolkata, November 16
Ignoring the High Court’s restriction, the CPM and other Left parties today took out a “mahamichil” (large procession) in protest against the death sentence to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Normal life in the city was paralaysed.

Iran may offer lower LNG price
New Delhi, November 16
The contentious issue of pricing of the LNG gas to be supplied by Tehran in the proposed $7.4 billion pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan will be the main focus of the talks between the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora tomorrow.
In video (56k)

Tempers flare up at Jolie’s shoot site
Mumbai, November 16
Tempers flared up at a Mumbai school during the shooting of a film by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie this morning. Jolie, who is shooting for the movie 'A Mighty Heart' based on the life of journalist Daniel Pearl who was beheaded by jehadis in Pakistan, was heckled by parents after members of the crew caused disruption in the school's schedule.

MEA planning branches in NE
New Delhi, November 16
To give further push to the “look-East policy” the Ministry of External Affairs is contemplating setting up its branch office in the North-East. This was stated by the Minister for Development of North-East Region Mani Shankar Aiyar while briefing mediapersons about the two-day North-Eastern Council meeting that concluded here today.

Jessica Lall
Jessica Lall

Jethmalani open to retrial                    
New Delhi, November 16
Raising doubts over the honesty of probe into the Jessica Lall murder case, Mr Ram Jethmalani, the lawyer of Manu Sharma who is the prime accused, today said the Delhi High Court might order a retrial of the case if it found that the investigation was “corrupted”.

Govt ready for no-trust motion
New Delhi, November 16
The government is prepared to face the no-confidence or adjournment motions in the winter session beginning November 22 as it has sufficient strength in both Houses, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said today.

SC rejects bail plea of Pappu Yadav
New Delhi, November 16
Another attempt of Rashtriya Janata Dal Lok Sabha MP Rajesh Ranjan, alias Pappu Yadav, to get released from the Tihar Jail failed today as the Supreme Court dismissed his bail petition in a triple-murder, including that of CMP MLA Ajit Sarkar eight years ago in the Madhepur area of Bihar.

Sachar report today
New Delhi, November 16
The Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee, set up to study social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community, will submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

Katrina Kaif faces ire of shrine board
Ajmer, November 16
The management of the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinudeen Chisti here has served show-cause notices to Bollywood star Katrina Kaif and others for filming a scene for a movie there without its permission.

Hajis quota raised by 10,000
New Delhi, November 16
Nearly 1,10,000 devout Muslims will be able to undertake Haj pilgrimage this year with the Centre today deciding to enhance the quota under its subsidy scheme by 10,000.

National award for Kulu institute
New Delhi, November 16
The Himachal Pradesh-based Chader Abha Mahila Kalyan Mandal, Kulu, has won the National Award for Child Welfare for 2005 in recognition of its services for welfare of visually impaired and mentally challenged children.

Kidnap case
Morena (MP):
The police has launched a search in the Chambal belt of MP for the gang of dacoit Jagjeevan Parihar as they suspect it is holding the three-year-old son of a software company official kidnapped from Noida. — PTI





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Emulate Hong Kong, says Kalam
Moots commission against corruption
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
Terming corruption as a dreadful malady afflicting the society, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today favoured the setting up of an independent commission comprising officials from various government agencies for the strict enforcement of stringent laws to counter the menace.

"Corruption is the concern of our society, our youth, and, of course, the government. I believe a mission mode approach in elimination of corruption is essential. I am going to advocate (this) to my government," Dr Kalam said during his speech and a question-answer session at the CBI's 16th biennial conference of Anti-Corruption and Vigilance Bureaus of the country.

Dr Kalam said the idea came to him when he was surfing the Internet to find a corrution-free country. "I got the information through the Internet about Hong Kong's experience.

“Hong Kong, 40 years back, has been described as if it was what we witnessed in many areas in the Indian scene. But today, Hong Kong is free from corruption.” I was told that this has (happened) through their one action of establishing a powerful independent commission against corruption.

"The independent commission worked on a three-pronged approach by strict enforcement of stringent laws, prevention of corruption and community participation against corruption through continuous education. This has resulted in virtual elimination of corruption in less than 10 years," he said.

Dr Kalam said he was studying this example and its suitability for application in the Indian environment.

He emphasised the need for a sound e-governance system to ensure transparent administration and a corruption-free society.

“All government programmes must consider citizens as privileged customers and become accountable for providing all services without interruption and hassles. One of the means to ensure this is by incorporation of a sound e-governance system,” Dr Kalam said.

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Shed urban bias, Kalam to media
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has asked the media to shed its urban bias and excess political reportage and instead become a development partner in the nation's economic development.

Delivering the inaugural address at an international seminar on “Journalism Ethics and Society in the Age of Globalisation” as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Press Council of India, Dr Kalam called upon the Press to transform itself into the media of a billion people. “You cannot be a media of 300 million urban people. You have to be a media of 6,00,000 villages and 2,00,000 panchayats,'' he said.

The President observed that the media, both print and electronic, tended to give more importance to politics in their reportage and said importance should be given to developmental politics and not political politics.

The President said media organisations should encourage research carried out by “our correspondents and journalists within India in academic research institutions.”

Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said the print media had played a great role in strengthening democracy in the country. He said the impact of the print media was more lasting than that of the electronic media.

Chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice G.N. Ray, said principles of good journalism needed to be directed towards the highest quality of news reporting and fulfilling the mission of timely distribution of information in public interest.

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Nalanda project to boost Sino-India ties
Tribune News Service

Patna, November 16
The Buddhist heritage in Nalanda is playing a silent yet assertive role in bringing India and China closer.

The involvement of China in restoring the glory of Nalanda is expected to receive further boost following the four-day visit of its President Hu Jiantao to India beginning on November 20.

The development on Nalanda follows the recent reopening of the Nathula (pass) near Arunachal in the North-East to restore the bilateral trade between the two Asian countries.

History is set to repeat itself, as two Chinese monks are visiting Nalanda again on foot following the same route through which Chinese traveller Huien Tsang had visited Nalanda in the seventh Century AD.

The travellers from Beijing are following the silk route and are expected to reach Nalanda by November 20.They had started their journey three months back.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to inaugurate it sometime in December.The story of Xuan Zang (Huien Tsang) Memorial Hall in a way narrates the story of Indo-China ties since 1960.

The construction of memorial hall was started in the year 1960-61 under the stewardship of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Chinese Government had handed over a cheque of Rs 5.7 lakh as its contribution for the project. In January 1957 Nehru had personally received the relics of Xuan Zang from the Dalai Lama, which was to be housed in the memorial hall.

However, the project came to a standstill after the relationship between the two countries soured after the Chinese aggression in 1962.

Finally, the project was completed by the CPWD in 1984 and in 2001 it was handed over to the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara- an institute dedicated to Buddhist studies under the Government of India`s, Department of Culture.

But even after its completion the memorial hall remained abandoned till China once again developed interest in it.

The Chinese Government is again investing around Rs 4 crore to decorate the memorial hall.

Dr S.P.Sinha, Registrar, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, informed that in the recent past China`s Religious Minister accompanied by a technical team had come to inspect the progress of the memorial work.

Besides the two Chinese monks, a team of 30-40 members from the Chinese Central Television have taken the ancient Silk route and are scheduled to reach Nalanda on November 18 to produce an 8-hour long documentary on Xuan Zang.

As Nalanda opens up a new phase of diplomacy between India and its Asian neighbour,the Nitish government is presently working on an ambitious project- Vision Nalanda- to develop the Rajgir-Nalanda-Bodhgaya circuit as world class cities.

The vice-chairman of the state Planning Board, Mr N.K. Singh, is currently coordinating the Nalanda project in Bihar.

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Tenth Plan power target can’t be met
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today acknowledged that the country would be far short of achieving the Tenth Plan (2002-07) target of an additional 41000 MW and emphasised that at least 70,000 MW of additional power had to be generated in the next Plan to raise the GDP growth to 9 per cent from the average 8 per cent in the last three years.

Addressing a conference of state Power Ministers here, Mr Ahluwalia stressed that the country's generation capacity had to be doubled in the Eleventh Plan. "It is time we ran our electricity system with some spare capacity so that power cuts become a rare occurrence," he observed.

He said continuing power cuts coupled with the high cost of electricity were taxing the industry, particularly labour intensive units and adversely impacting the generation of employment.

Mr Shinde underlined the need for equal investments in generation as well as transmission and distribution to attract more investors.

He said as against 54 per cent of the target achieved in the Eighth Plan period and 47 per cent in the Ninth Plan, India would be able to meet 75 per cent of the target in the Tenth Plan.

Power Secretary R.V. Shahi said in the Eleventh Plan the country hoped to achieve the objective of electrification of all villages and households through the addition of at least 60,000 MW generation capacity and improved efficiency of existing power plants.

The largest constraint to India's capacity addition programme was the inability of state-owned engineering major BHEL to meet the orders for the supply of machinery, erection and commissioning of plants.

To meet the shortfall, the ministry was considering to get other industries, including NTPC, to set up a unit for the manufacture of generation machinery, Mr Shahi added.

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Kumaraswamy gets back at Cong
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 16
The Karnataka Congress has been stumped by the Forest Department which has registered a case against kin of its senior leader D.K. Shiva Kumar, who has been charged with stocking iron ore worth Rs 30 crore illegally.

Mr Kumar had been in the forefront among Congress leaders who had been demanding a check on illegal mining in Bellary. He had also embarrassed the Chief Minister by releasing documents showing that the latter had purchased a software park by undervaluing it, shortly after taking over the reins of the state.

The Congress, however, presented a show of solidarity with Mr Kumar and indicated that it would take the issue to the people with hundreds of party workers collecting at the residence of the leader in Bangalore today. They also held protests in various parts of the city and Kanakapura constituency, which he represents in the state Assembly.

Mr Kumar while talking to TNS at his residence said the fact was that his company had failed to get iron ore from the state-run Mysore Minerals Limited despite court orders and was in the process of moving contempt proceedings against the Kumaraswamy government. “They have pre-empted our move and slapped false cases against us,” he added.

The Forest Department has charged his company PKP Group with having stocked iron ore worth Rs 30 crore at its yard at Nandihalli in Bellary district. It has seized 2.75 lakh tonnes of iron ore from the yard during a raid yesterday and registered a case against Mr Kumar’s wife Usha, brother Suresh, sister Majula Sharatchandra and seven others associates of the company. Mr Kumar has not been made an accused in the case.

Earlier, associates of Mr Shiva Kumar who had been running quarrying activities in Kanakapura had faced closure of their units. A few days back commercial tax officials had raided the offices of four trading companies owned by the family of the Congress leader.

Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Dharam Singh and pradesh Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge while flaying the non-bailable warrants issued against relatives of Mr Shiva Kumar today said the Chief Minister was resorting to blackmail tactics to ensure Mr Shiva Kumar did not participate in the campaign for the Chamundeswari byelection in which former JD (Secular) leader Siddaramaiah was fighting on Congress ticket.

Meanwhile, Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy while addressing a press conference said he did not have any role in the action initiated against the family of Mr Shiva Kumar. He said the Congress leaders who were protesting against the raid had been themselves demanding a check on illegal mining in Bellary. He said following the complaint he had directed government officials to crack down on those who were looting forest wealth.

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Cong will have to stick with RJD
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, November 16
Against the wishes of grassroot workers, the Congress high command has decided not to dump the RJD as an ally in Bihar.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was reportedly in favour to attach more importance to the RJD in seat sharing than the LJP in the backdrop of the outcome of the recent byelections in Bhagalpur and Nalanda.

The Congress decision to jettison the experiment for a third alternative in Bihar, without the RJD, was closely followed by overtures by LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan promising support to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the development of Bihar.

While Mr Paswan accompanied Mr Nitish Kumar to lay the foundation stone of the Alauli-Saharbanni bridge yesterday, the LJP supremo was all praise for Mr Kumar for his development initiative in the state.

Talking to the media here, Congress observer for Bihar Digvijay Singh cleared the high command’s stand towards the RJD, asserting that the alliance with Mr Lalu Prasad would at least continue till the 2009 Lok Sabha poll.

The decision was taken at the state Congress executive committee meeting held at Saharsa yesterday, which came as a blow to district Congress leaders and workers of Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul who recently adopted a resolution, urging the high command to part ways with Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav.

More than a fortnight ago, state Congress president Sadanand Singh, too, wrote a letter, urging the high command to distance itself from the RJD and subsequently opt for a third alternative in Bihar involving the Left, NCP and LJP.

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BJP misusing RSS name, says Uma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
Training guns on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bhartiya Janshakti Party chief Uma Bharti today charged the ruling BJP with misusing the RSS's name in the state.

Bharti, who sees Mr Chouhan as her main rival in the state, said "Madhya Pradesh main RSS ka sarkarikaran kar rahe hain (The RSS is being made part of the government in Madhya Pradesh)," apparently referring to the Chouhan government allowing government servants to attend RSS shakhas.

All this has been happening at the behest of the BJP government there, which is totally wrong," she claimed.

However, she hastened to state that the tendency was also witnessed in two other party-ruled states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Bharti alleged that some people, who were in no way connected with the Sangh, were enjoying the benefits of power by uttering the name of the RSS. Claiming that her party was the "true inheritor" of Hindutva, she alleged that the BJP has become a party of "power brokers and traders of Hindutva".

"The BJP's Hindutva is pseudo Hindutva," she claimed.

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BJP doubts Pak commitment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
The BJP today expressed doubts over Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism.

“The two-day talks have not resulted in anything. The Pakistani commitment to end terrorism is still doubtful”, party spokesperson Ravi Shanker Prasad said here.

“The greatest CBM could have been the commitment by Pakistan for not allowing its land for terrorist activities. All other CBMs could follow”, Mr Prasad said.

The party also questioned the relevance of a joint terror mechanism without “Pakistan even not giving a vague commitment to stop terrorism”.

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2 Memon men found guilty

Mumbai, November 16
The designated TADA court here today found absconding accused Tiger Memon’s hawala operator Mulchand Shah, who had mobilised funds used in the blasts, and one of his associates guilty for their involvement in the serial blasts in the metropolis on March 12, 1993.

The court, however, did not find another accused, who had allegedly a meeting at Dubai where the conspiracy was hatched.

TADA judge P.D. Kode convicted Shah only under Section 3 (3) of the TADA Act but did not find him guilty under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for participating in the conspiracy of the blast.

According to the prosecution case, Shah had facilitated and mobilised funds for Tiger Memon allowing him to operate his hawala account in the code name of ‘Hati.’

He had also harboured the blast accused and helped them to flee the country.

The court had convicted him while relying upon his and other co-accused’s confessional statements.

Shah was on bail and taken in custody after he was found guilty. The court also convicted Imtiyaz Ghawte, an associate of Memon and one of the key conspirators who had actively participated in the landing of the arms and ammunition at Shekhadi in Raigarh district.

He had also actively participated in the filling of RDX in a motor vehicle at the residence of Tiger Memon.

Ghawte was also accused of parking one RDX-laden scooter fitted with time-device detonator at Dhanji street in south Mumbai.

Ghawte, who was on bail, was granted time to surrender before the court till December 19, after he made an application stating that he was suffering from various ailments and required specialised treatment, which was not available in the jail. — UNI, PTI

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Saddam sentence: protest hits Kolkata
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 16
Ignoring the High Court’s restriction, the CPM and other Left parties today took out a “mahamichil” (large procession) in protest against the death sentence to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Normal life in the city was paralaysed.

According to official sources, over 200, 000 people, including schoolchildren took part in the procession, which started around 1 pm from Park Circus Maidan in the south and culminated at Deshbandhu Park in the north at 4 pm. The vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt during the procession. Hospital and other emergency services were also affected.

Incidentally, Ms Mamata Banerjee also gave a call for a mass demonstration in the city tomorrow against the transfer of agricultural lands at Singha, Hooghly to Tata Motors. The Trinamool Congress have decided to lead a protest march to Singhur where the Congress and other parties will join in.

Meanwhile, most of the schools in the city declared half-day leave. The employees and workers in government offices and private establishments also halted work after 12 noon for taking part in the protest march. Almost all Front leaders, state ministers, MPs and MLAs took part.

The agitators were raising slogans demanding immediate withdrawal of the death sentence to Saddam.

At Deshbandhu Park, the CPM and other party leaders addressed the gathering. They criticised US President George W. Bush and the Indo-US treaties, saying those were against the interest of the country's sovereignty.

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Iran may offer lower LNG price
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
The contentious issue of pricing of the LNG gas to be supplied by Tehran in the proposed $7.4 billion pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan will be the main focus of the talks between the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora tomorrow.

Iran, which has the world's second-largest reserves of gas, had said India and Pakistan were offering only half the price what Tehran was seeking. International consultancy Gaffney, Cline & Associates had been appointed to come up with a fair price.

Tehran is seeking a price of $7.2 per million British thermal units, with a 3 per cent annual increase while India is not prepared to pay more than $4.25 per million British thermal units at its border.

In May, talks between the three nations failed due to disagreement on the price of the gas.

If the pricing issue can be resolved, work could begin by the end of the next year and the pipeline could be running by 2011.

The project will carry natural gas more than 2,500 km from Iran to India.

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Tempers flare up at Jolie’s shoot site
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, November 16
Tempers flared up at a Mumbai school during the shooting of a film by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie this morning.

Jolie, who is shooting for the movie 'A Mighty Heart' based on the life of journalist Daniel Pearl who was beheaded by jehadis in Pakistan, was heckled by parents after members of the crew caused disruption in the school's schedule.

Parents of students at the Anjuman-e-Islam school said crew members and the actress' bodyguards pushed them around as they arrived to collect their wards after classes. "Parents who came to collect the children were obstructed and some of the crew made racist remarks at us," Shehnaz Khan, a parent said.

Several parents alleged that the school authorities had not informed parents in advance about the shooting schedule.

A part of the school had been converted to look like a police station in Pakistan. Several members of the crew were togged in Pathan suits and strutted around with mock weapons as part of their role in the film.

With Pakistan disallowing the shooting of the film on its soil, the relevant parts are being shot in India.

Jolie, who plays the role of Marianne - widow of Daniel Pearl- has completed shooting several scenes on Mumbai's streets. Pearl, a Wall Street Journal correspondent, was based in Mumbai at the time of kidnapping and murder in Pakistan.

School authorities sought to downplay the matter and tried to pacify angry parents even as the shooting continued within the school premises.

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MEA planning branches in NE
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
To give further push to the “look-East policy” the Ministry of External Affairs is contemplating setting up its branch office in the North-East. This was stated by the Minister for Development of North-East Region (DoNER) Mani Shankar Aiyar while briefing mediapersons about the two-day North-Eastern Council (NEC) meeting that concluded here today.

“When I, as the minister of DoNER suggested posting of officers from each of the principal Union Ministries involved with DoNER, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, who was present at the meeting, said the MEA has a proposal to set up a branch office in the North-East,” Mr Aiyar said.

The Minister said during the meeting there was general consensus on the revival of historical trade linkages of the region with the neighbouring countries and South-East Asia. Mr Aiyar said in view of the intrinsic linkage between development and security in the region, a special session of the NEC on security-related issues would be convened soon.

Recognising that restrictions under Protected Area and Restricted Area Permit regimes are an impediment to the promotion and development of tourism in the region, the NEC decided to request the Ministry of Home Affairs to review these regimes.

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Jethmalani open to retrial

New Delhi, November 16
Raising doubts over the honesty of probe into the Jessica Lall murder case, Mr Ram Jethmalani, the lawyer of Manu Sharma who is the prime accused, today said the Delhi High Court might order a retrial of the case if it found that the investigation was “corrupted”.

He told the Bench of Mr Justice R.S. Sodhi and Mr Justice P.K. Bhasin that the prosecution had “invented” the circumstances to falsely implicate his client and “if the court finds that the investigation is corrupt, it can direct for retrial of the case”.

“There is doubt over the honesty of the investigation in this very case. When investigation is doubtful, the whole case goes,” he argued.

To this, Mr Justice Sodhi asked why Manu was targeted out of 100 persons who were there in the party on the fateful night. “Why they chased you only and framed? How important are you for them or what enmity police has with you?” he asked.

Mr Jethmalani said the police had deliberately allowed the culprit to flee soon after the incident and the guilty might be Manu’s enemy who gave his name to the police. — PTI

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Govt ready for no-trust motion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
The government is prepared to face the no-confidence or adjournment motions in the winter session beginning November 22 as it has sufficient strength in both Houses, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said today.

"The Opposition has every right to bring adjournment or any other motion and the government has every capacity to counter it," he told reporters when asked about the Opposition plans to bring a no-trust motion.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee would begin his customary pre-session meetings with parties from Saturday to ensure the smooth conduct of the House.

The Rajya Sabha may be adjourned without transacting any business on November 22, while the Lok Sabha would have a normal sitting on the first day, the minister said.

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SC rejects bail plea of Pappu Yadav
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 16
Another attempt of Rashtriya Janata Dal Lok Sabha MP Rajesh Ranjan, alias Pappu Yadav, to get released from the Tihar Jail failed today as the Supreme Court dismissed his bail petition in a triple-murder, including that of CMP MLA Ajit Sarkar eight years ago in the Madhepur area of Bihar.

Apart from rejecting his bail plea, the Supreme Court also restrained any other court from considering his bail applications till the trial in the case was over by a special judge at Madhepur.

The restraint order was passed in view of his obtaining bail from the Patna High Court on April 27 in spite of his petitions being rejected by the Supreme Court in 2004 and 2005.

A Bench of Mr Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr Justice Markandey Katju disagreed with Yadav’s counsel R.K. Jain that under Article 21 of the Constitution an accused has a right to seek bail, holding that “a balance has to be struck between the right to individual liberty and the interest of society”.

Taking into account various antics of Pappu Yadav in the Patna Jail such as intimidating its staff, holding “darbar” of his supporters, using mobile phone, getting special facilities for himself, which warranted his transfer to the Tihar Jail in Delhi, the court said, “No right can be absolute, and reasonable restrictions can be placed on them.”

The court said the case against Yadav, a fourth-term MP, was of a serious nature as the FIR showed that it was a triple-murder committed in broad daylight in 1998.

It also took into account CBI apprehension that Yadav could influence witnesses as recording of evidence in the case was not yet over.

“We are of the opinion that this is certainly not a case for grant of bail to him,” the court ruled.

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Sachar report today

New Delhi, November 16
The Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee, set up to study social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community, will submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

The Committee, earlier scheduled to give its report by October 31, was given time till November 30 to submit its findings.

There has been a lot of debate on the issue of reservation for Muslims after reports that the Committee has found that representation of the community in various government jobs is dismal, and that it is way behind even Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in social, education and health indices.

The Committee, set up by the Prime Minister, is reported to have recommended caste-based and not religion-based reservation for the community. However, the Committee has been non-committal on media reports. — PTI

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Katrina Kaif faces ire of shrine board

Ajmer, November 16
The management of the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinudeen Chisti here has served show-cause notices to Bollywood star Katrina Kaif and others for filming a scene for a movie there without its permission.

Najim Abdul Aleem of the Dargah Committee today said the notices were served to Katrina, Rishi Kapoor, director Vipul Shah and agent Babubhai Ghosi for shooting a scene of the movie “Namaste London” at the shrine without persmission last month.

Katrina had worn a short dress during the filming of the movie, which drew the ire of a section of the servers and management at the shrine. — PTI

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Hajis quota raised by 10,000
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
Nearly 1,10,000 devout Muslims will be able to undertake Haj pilgrimage this year with the Centre today deciding to enhance the quota under its subsidy scheme by 10,000.

"Approximately 1.1 lakh pilgrims will be benefited during Haj 2006-II," Information and Broadcasting Minister P. R. Dasmunsi said.

Haj pilgrims will start leaving for Saudi Arabia later this month.

He said more flights would be added from India to Saudi Arabia this year. The Cabinet also approved a proposal for transportation of other Haj pilgrims by Air-India or Indian Airlines from Kolkata, Calicut, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Patna, Guwahati, Jaipur and Srinagar.

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National award for Kulu institute
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
The Himachal Pradesh-based Chader Abha Mahila Kalyan Mandal, Kulu, has won the National Award for Child Welfare for 2005 in recognition of its services for welfare of visually impaired and mentally challenged children.

Union Women Welfare and Child Development Minister Renuka Chaudhary and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development Janardhan Dwedi presented the citation and Rs 3-lakh cash prize to Dharamveer Dhami, president of the mandal, at a function in Tal Katora Garden here today.

Dharamveer said the institution had opened a special school for the blind.

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BRIEFLY

Conversion sparks violence
KOKRAJHAR (ASSAM):
A mob destroyed at least five houses after the conversion to Christianity of some families at Haldibari village in Assam's Kokrajhar district sparked tensions in the area. A 200-strong mob on Tuesday attacked members of nine families, who had converted to Christianity three weeks ago and attempted to build a church at Haldibari, the police said. PTI

Maharashtra may arm Dalits
NAGPUR:
The Maharasthra Government, under severe attack over the killings of Dalits in Bhandara, may provide arms to Dalits in villages where they are in minority, Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil has said. PTI

Excise Secy charged
AIZAWL:
The IT Department has charged Mizoram Excise Secretary K. Narasimha under the Wildlife Act after a large amount of skin and parts of bodies of endangered animals were seized from his residence at Hyderabad on Wednesday. UNI

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