SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Israeli tourists leave Goa after terror threat
Panaji, December 30
Tourists from Israel have moved out of Goa in large numbers following warnings by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office that the Al-Qaida could be targeting them in Bali-style bombing attacks.

Tamil Nadu Flashback 2006
DMK rode to power on rice wagon

This was the most significant development in Tamil Nadu in 2006.The strong undercurrent against the ruling All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) among the electorate was not visible during the poll campaign.

63 Cav to mark golden jubilee at Roorkee
Chandigarh, December 30
The Army’s 63 Cavalry Regiment, popularly known as the Tresath Risala, is celebrating its golden jubilee at Roorkee in the coming year. A host of events would be organised to commemorate the event.

Navy to commission INS Shardul on Jan 4
Mumbai, December 30
The Navy will commission its third tank landing ship, INS Shardul, at the Karwar naval base on January 4. The ship built by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers has cost the Navy more than Rs 400 crore and was launched in 2001.





 

EARLIER STORIES




Kashmiri Pandits seek protection of properties
New Delhi, December 30
A petition has been moved in the Supreme Court on behalf of Kashmiri Pandits, forced to leave the valley under threat by terrorists, raising the issue of the non-implementation of a law enacted by the state government to protect their properties from being encroached upon or being grabbed under duress.

BJP leader Munde hurt in road mishap
Beed (Maharashtra), December 30
Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde fractured his left hand in a road accident at Parali, about 42 km from here, today.

CBSE announces exam dates
New Delhi, December 30
The CBSE yesterday announced its schedule for the 2007 Class X and Class XII examinations. The Class X exam will start on March 2 and begin with the social science paper.

 



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Israeli tourists leave Goa after terror threat
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Panaji, December 30
Tourists from Israel have moved out of Goa in large numbers following warnings by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office that the Al-Qaida could be targeting them in Bali-style bombing attacks.

Inquiries with hotel and restaurant owners in the beach belt of Calangute-Baga-Candolim have revealed that the number of Israeli tourists during New Year has fallen sharply. As against a few thousand Israeli tourists in Goa during this time every year, the number has fallen to just about a thousand.

“While the younger Israelis have left, the older ones on repeat visits are staying on,” a hotel owner from Calangute told this reporter.

The terror threats have also forced the Goa police to crack down on rave parties patronised by the Israelis. Held in isolated beaches, these parties have several hundred Israeli and Western youth high on drugs dancing non-stop to trance music.

With the Al-Qaida threatening to stage coordinated attacks at these rave parties, the local police is taking no chances.

“We have cracked down at every place where a suspected rave party has been held,” DIG Ujwal Mishra said.

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Tamil Nadu Flashback 2006
DMK rode to power on rice wagon

This was the most significant development in Tamil Nadu in 2006.The strong undercurrent against the ruling All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) among the electorate was not visible during the poll campaign.

Political pundits and astrologers predicted a victory for Ms Jayalalithaa particularly after she distributed relief not only in kind but also cash to tsunami and flood victims only a few months before the Assembly elections.

She even succeeded in splitting the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA).

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko switched sides and in March, just a few months before the Assembly poll, joined the Jayalalithaa bandwagon.

Mr Vaiko had been a crowd puller for the DPA and because of his pro-LTTE stand, many thought he would take away a big chunk of the DPA vote bank in favour of AIADMK-MDMK alliance.

Ms Jayalalithaa thought her roll back measures in the form of reinstating government employees whom she had sacked after they struck work and other largesse in many forms including free bicycles for students studying in Class plus two would yield results.

Ms Jayalalithaa started her poll campaign much before Mr Karunanidhi. However, the AIADMK manifesto did not mention many of the poll pledges which she announced later.

In a state where rice forms the staple diet of the people Mr Karunanidhi pledged to offer rice at Rs 2 per kg instead of Rs 3.50 which was the price at which it was sold through ration shops. Also on offer were free colour television sets to the poor and one acre of land to the landless. All these caught the imagination of the electorate.

Refuting his detractors, he explained that it was possible to provide rice at the rate of Rs 2 per kg which many did not believe. He said that the reduction meant the state government would have to bear an additional burden of Rs 540 crore per year.

Similarly, he argued that there was a way to distribute colour television sets to the 53 lakh families who were classified to be “below poverty line.” This would cost the state Rs 1060 crore, and said that television was an important medium to educate the poor.

All these were mentioned in the DMK’s poll manifesto. Making rice into an issue, the astute politician in Mr Karunanidhi cashed in on that.

Mr Karunanidhi kept quiet on Mr Vaiko leaving the DPA and had the last laugh. The MDMK’s share in the vote bank in Tamil Nadu is only three per cent.

Mr Vaiko's defection failed to cause any damage to the DPA as its victory was a foregone conclusion.

Instead, it was Mr Vaiko who lost his credibility among the electorate and failed to eat the fruits of power by aligning himself with Ms Jayalalithaa.

This also led to a split in the MDMK during the year-end and Mr Vaiko had to rush to 10 Janpath to ensure that his rival faction might not be accommodated in the United People's Alliance (UPA) in which he continued to remain.

But that is very much likely going by his association with Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Sonia Gandhi’s "penchant" for the AIADMK supremo.

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63 Cav to mark golden jubilee at Roorkee
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Army’s 63 Cavalry Regiment, popularly known as the Tresath Risala, is celebrating its golden jubilee at Roorkee in the coming year. A host of events would be organised to commemorate the event.

The highlight of the event would be the “heritage review”, where the present generation of cavaliers would pay tributes to the veterans and their equipment of yore. A special parade would be held where the regiment’s Commandant, Brig Harmandar Singh (retd), would take the salute from a contingent led by the present Commandant, Col A.R.S. Kahlon.

A special sainik sammelan, vetran officers’ conference, barakhana, audio-visual show and the Tresath golden jubilee ball are other events on the agenda. Over a 100 retired regimental officers, besides senior serving officers and select civil dignitaries are expected to join in the celebrations.

Among them are Lieut-Gen S.S Mehta and Lieut-Gen J.S. Verma, both former Army Commanders, Lieut-Gen Kapil Vij and MP Lieut-Gen S.P.M. Tripathi (retd).

The regiment was raised on January 2, 1957 in the princely state of Alwar in Rajasthan. It was the third cavalry regiment to be raised after Independence. The rank and file of the regiment initially comprised Rajputs, Dogras, Jats and Sikhs. This was subsequently changed to Rajputs, Jats and Sikhs.

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Navy to commission INS Shardul on Jan 4
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, December 30
The Navy will commission its third tank landing ship, INS Shardul, at the Karwar naval base on January 4. The ship built by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers has cost the Navy more than Rs 400 crore and was launched in 2001.

INS Shardul is of the Magar-class of vessels can carry 11 main battle tanks, 10 Army vehicles and up to 500 troops for amphibious operations.

The ships own crew consists of 11 officers and 145 sailors.

The ship's flight deck can accommodate a Seaking or Dhruv helicopter.

At the Karwar base, INS Shardul will share berths with aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, the Scorpene submarines and India's nuclear submarines.

Known in official parlance as the Landing Ship Tank (LTS) of the Navy, INS Shardul is third in line after INS Magar and INS Gharial. It will be equipped with two WM 18 Rocket Launcher Mountings manufactured by Larsen and Toubro.

Naval officials say the Magar class ships will be used to transport men and material for amphibious operations.

These ships may also be used to carry out commando operations on hostile territory and evacuation of casualties.

The Magar class series of ships will be completed following the commissioning of Kesari and Airavat which are in the process of being fitted out.

INS Shardul is 124.8 metres in length and has a displacement of 5600 tons.

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Kashmiri Pandits seek protection of properties
S S Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 30
A petition has been moved in the Supreme Court on behalf of Kashmiri Pandits, forced to leave the valley under threat by terrorists, raising the issue of the non-implementation of a law enacted by the state government to protect their properties from being encroached upon or being grabbed under duress.

The PIL alleged that the Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Reservation, Protection and Restraint on Distress Sales) Act, 1997, enacted solely with the aim of protecting the properties of Kashmiri Pandits, has virtually been kept in limbo.

Advocate B.L. Wali, himself a victim of the acts of terrorist violence as his house was burnt in the valley, brought to the notice of the court 22 cases of encroachment of immovable properties of Pandits as a few of hundreds of such instance to strengthen the claim in the PIL.

While seeking implementation of the Act in letter and spirit, the PIL has pleaded the apex court to issue a direction to the Union Government to declare Kashmiri Pandits as internally displaced persons as per the guidelines laid down by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which also applied to persons displaced even within a country.

The court had taken on board the PIL just prior to the ongoing winter vacation and it is likely to be taken up for further hearing soon after reopening.

The petition also sought a direction to both Central and state governments to get the encroached properties vacated within three months.

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BJP leader Munde hurt in road mishap

Beed (Maharashtra), December 30
Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde fractured his left hand in a road accident at Parali, about 42 km from here, today.

The accident occurred at around 4.30 pm when the car in which he was travelling collided with a roadside tree. He was on his way to his residence in Parali, police sources said. He was accompanied by four persons. They were returning after attending a meeting at the engineering college, Mr Munde's personal assistant Pradip Kulkarni said. — UNI

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CBSE announces exam dates

New Delhi, December 30
The CBSE yesterday announced its schedule for the 2007 Class X and Class XII examinations.
The Class X exam will start on March 2 and begin with the social science paper.

Mathematics is slated for March 8, while the date for the English paper is March 16. The exams will be over on March 28. The Class XII exam will start with the physics paper on March 1 and will be over on April 10. The accountancy paper is slated for March 15 and economics on March 26.

The preparation of admit card will start soon and it will be despatched by the end of January. — PTI 

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