SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

MARAUDING MERIT
42 climb the IAS ladder through ‘right’ links

Lucknow, May 7
If you have the right connections you can even become an IAS officer in ‘Uttam Pradesh’. At least 42 such well-connected persons, including several relatives of the Chief Minister, the son-in-law of a Cabinet minister, had been recommended by the Mulayam Singh Yadav to be elevated to the prestigious All India Civil Services.

Left discovers ‘formula’ for resolving Nandigram
Kolkata, May 7
The left front parties reached a consensus on the “formula” for resolving Nandigram problems at a meeting held at the CPI(M) Alimuddin Street party office here today.
Left front Chairman and CPM State Secretary Biman Bose (left) and Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya at a Left Front Meeting on Nandigram and other political issues in Kolkata Left front Chairman and CPM State Secretary Biman Bose (left) and Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya at a Left Front Meeting on Nandigram and other political issues in Kolkata on Monday.
— PTI photo



EARLIER STORIES


Gujarat killing issue rocks Parliament again
New Delhi, May 7
Like last week, the issue of fake encounters in Gujarat stalled proceedings in both houses of Parliament today. While the Rajya Sabha witnessed furore over a string of issues - fake encounters being one of them - the trouble in the Lok Sabha remained focused on the fake encounters issue.

Modi plotting to kill Vanzara, says Congress
New Delhi, May 7
The Congress today made a charge that the Gujarat government was hatching a conspiracy to liquidate suspended Gujarat police DIG D.G. Vanzara, the main accused in the fake encounters case, to polarise the electorate before the year-end assembly election.

Trailers carry train diesel engines from Jhansi to Chattisgarh on the National Highway in Allahabad
Trailers carry train diesel engines from Jhansi to Chattisgarh on the National Highway in Allahabad on Monday. — PTI

UP result to affect Presidential election
New Delhi, May 7
With Uttar Pradesh election process nearing its end, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set the ball rolling on the next important item on the agenda, namely, the Presidential election in July.

SC notice to Badal on bigger size of ministry
New Delhi, May 7
The Supreme Court today admitted a petition against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal accusing him of violating the constitutional provision by not keeping the strength of his ministry at 15 per cent of the total strength of Vidhan Sabha and issued a notice to him.

Arunachal govt denies Chinese incursion in state
Itanagar, May 7
The Arunachal Pradesh government on Monday denied reports of any Chinese incursion into the frontier north-eastern state. “There is absolutely no truth in the reports of any Chinese intrusion. The allegations were unfounded,” Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu said.

Innocence Interrupted
86 pc girls in Delhi victims of emotional abuse
AP, Assam, Bihar and Delhi report highest incidence of sexual assault, says study
Hyderabad, May 7
A national study on child abuse has revealed that in terms of emotional abuse of the girl child, the national Capital presented the worst case with 86.67 per cent of female young adults facing the problem.

Sohrabuddin case gives hope to 3 Bihar widows
Patna, May 7
The outcry over the killing of innocent Sohrabuddin in a fake shootout in Gujarat has finally brought hope for justice to the widows of three brothers allegedly killed in a similar manner in a Bihar village eight months back.

FIR lodged against JD (U) MLA
Patna, May 7
The image of badland continued to haunt Bihar on Monday, as an FIR was lodged against JD(U) MLA from Harnaut, Sunil Kumar, at the secretariat police station in Patna, for muscle flexing in pursuance of his vanity as a ruling party legislator outside Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden and Zoo here.

SC okays Haj subsidy as interim measure
New Delhi, May 7
The Supreme Court today permitted the Centre to provide subsidy in the form of air travel ticket cost to a fixed number of Haj pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as an interim measure this year.

Ramdoss-Venugopal fight reaches SC
New Delhi, May 7
The protracted legal battle between Health Minister Ambumani Ramdoss and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Director and noted heart surgeon P Venugopal today reached the Supreme Court with the institute’s governing body challenging the Delhi High Court order restraining it from taking against the noted doctor.

SC refers Cauvery dispute to larger bench
New Delhi, May 7
While suggesting that the Centre evolve a scientific strategy to overcome the perennial water shortage problem in the country, the Supreme Court today referred to a larger bench, the dispute pertaining to sharing of the Cauvery water among the southern states.

IITs, IIMs launch leadership programme
New Delhi, May 7
Human capital is the most critical resource which needs to be tapped properly for India to achieve a sustained growth in the manufacturing sector, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council Chairperson V.Krishnamurthy said here today.

Students stand to save green cover
New Delhi, May 7
Irked by rampant felling of trees for construction purposes, students and teachers of two prestigious universities in Delhi have raised their voice to save the green cover of their campuses.

Malpractices by pvt institutions
SC dismisses Kerala govt’s appeal
New Delhi, May 7
The Supreme Court today declined the request of the Kerala government to stay the operation of the state High Court judgement striking down some of the provisions of the impugned act enacted by it to check malpractices being indulged in by private unaided educational institutions in the state, as ultra vires of the Constitution of India.

Menon appointment: CIC asks for file by May 17
New Delhi, May 7
Faced with a gender bias complaint, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Cabinet Secretariat to produce before it all documents pertaining to the appointment of Shiv Shankar Menon as Foreign Secretary in a sealed cover on May 17.

Amarnath Yatra
Panel seeks Kalam’s help for ‘free’ trek
New Delhi, May 7
Prior to the start of the Amarnath Yatra on June 30, the Shri Amarnath Yatra Welfare Organisation has decided to approach President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, urging him for “complete exemption of charges in any form from the yatris, better facilities for NGOs involved with the holy yatra and an assurance that last year’s episode of raising of artificial Shivalingam is not repeated”.

PM to file RS nomination today
New Delhi, May 7
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will file his nominations today for the biennial election to the Rajya Sabha seat from Assam. He is likely to undertake a two-day visit to the state from today, sources said. Election to the seat represented by Manmohan Singh would be held on May 24.

Prem Bhatia memorial lecture today
New Delhi, May 7
The 12th Prem Bhatia Memorial Lecture will be delivered this year by Prof Gowher Rizvi, director, Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation Harvard University, tomorrow. The theme of the lecture is “Government in the 21st century: Some challenges of governance and democracy in India”.

HAL delivers 2nd copter to ONGC
Bangalore, May 7
Public Sector Aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd today delivered the second ‘Dhruv’ helicopter to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited here. The civil variant of Dhruv was configured with one stretcher and five seats.

7 killed, 15 hurt in jeep-tempo collision
Surat, May 7
Seven persons were killed and 15 others injured in a jeep-tempo collision near Valsad today. The jeep was carrying a family from Dharampur, near here, when it hit the tempo at Kaparada village in Valsad district.

Amol’s death confirmed
Mumbai, May 7
Family members of Amol Chauhan, director of Parle Products, today confirmed his death in the crash of the Nairobi-bound Kenya Airways plane. Yesterday, Amol’s elder brother Arup left for Nairobi to get more information on his younger brother.

Notice to Digvijay for violating poll code
New Delhi, May 7
The Election Commission has issued a notice to senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for violation of EC instructions and violation of the model code of conduct during the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

‘93 blasts accused summoned
Mumbai, May 7
Amidst indications that the special TADA court hearing of the 1993 Mumbai blasts case may pronounce the sentences of those found guilty, all the convicted persons including actor Sanjay Dutt have been asked to be present on Wednesday.

Spiderman-3 in Bhojpuri
Mumbai, May 7
Hollywood movie Spiderman-3 released in theatres, earlier this week, in Bhojpuri dialect has received rave reviews. Interestingly, the movie has been transcribed in various other languages too.

Videos
Campaigning ends for Phase VII of UP polls.
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MARAUDING MERIT
42 climb the IAS ladder through ‘right’ links
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 7
If you have the right connections you can even become an IAS officer in ‘Uttam Pradesh’. At least 42 such well-connected persons, including several relatives of the Chief Minister, the son-in-law of a Cabinet minister, had been recommended by the Mulayam Singh Yadav to be elevated to the prestigious All India Civil Services.

Making this startling revelation at a press briefing union minister and in-charge of Congress media committee Kapil Sibal said under the rules there was a provision to fill two per cent of IAS vacancies through elevation of outstanding officers of non civil services.

According to guidelines the officer should be exceptional in his work, having a clean service record with no departmental or any other enquiry pending against him/her. At least four names are recommended to the UPSC from which one name is finally selected.

Sharing the list of recommended candidates with the media Sibal said virtually throwing the rulebook in the dustbin the Mulayam Singh Yadav government had not only recommended at least three of his close relatives to be promoted to the IAS cadre but seven persons against whom departmental inquiries were pending or warning had been issued.

One of them Rajeev Kumar Yadav is an Executive Engineer in the Irrigation department and also an allottee in the Noida land scam. Rajendra Yadav an Assistant Director in the Information Department and another close relative also almost made it to the IAS.

The third relative was Mohan Yadav, finance controller in the LDA. He was also the finance controller during the alleged draw of lots in the Noida land allotments.

The name of Dr Fazlul Haq, finance controller in the Rural Engineering Service also found his way in the list of recommended candidates by virtue of being the son-in-law of the minister for family welfare Ahmad Hasan. There is an enquiry pending against him for his alleged involvement in the stamp paper scam.

Similarly, the name of Dr Achal Singh Yadav, a close relative of panchayati raj minister Balram Yadav, had also been recommended.

Another interesting candidate in the list is Neeru Tiwari, a joint director in the Directorate of Fiscal Planning and Resources having barely 12 years of service. But then she happens to be the daughter of a former Chief Secretary and chairman of the police reform welfare Bhola Nath Tiwari

But what perhaps takes the cake is the case of Dr Kamal Kumar Singh who had joined the UP Agriculture Services in 1990 and is currently on leave without pay working for the private sector company Reliance. His name is also on the list of the most deserving candidates to join the IAS!

Sibal said now the UPSC has been informed about these irregularities and these “deserving persons” may not make it to the IAS after all.

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Left discovers ‘formula’ for resolving Nandigram
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, May 7
The left front parties reached a consensus on the “formula” for resolving Nandigram problems at a meeting held at the CPI(M) Alimuddin Street party office here today.

Accordingly, the three major partners, the CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc will now hold bi-lateral talks with Trinamool Congress, Congress(l) and other parties, fighting for poor farmers by-passing Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the CPI(M) leadership.

The meeting agreed that adequate administrative steps, including deployment of police force would be now taken for restoration of peace and normalcy at Nandigram.

The meeting also directed the Chief Minister to take appropriate steps as per Calcutta High Court orders for tackling Nandiram problems. The elderly FB leader, Ashok Ghose, who could not make it to the meeting due to sudden illness, suggested that if necessary, Chief Minister himself should make a request to Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi for holding an all-party meeting to end Nandigram crisis, which both Mamata Banerjee and former WBPCC(l) chief, Somen Mitra had proposed.

Earlier, both the parties and Krishi Bachaoo Committee had rejected the all-party meetings called by the Chief Minister. However, the decisions of the left front meeting were welcomed by them.

Jyoti Basu told mediapersons at Alimuddin Street that an agreement had been reached among themselves for ending Nandigram problems. He said necessary steps would be taken, both, at political and administrative levels, for restoring peace and normalcy at Nandigram.

He said at the age of 93, it was not possible for him to visit Nandigram and talk to the locals for solving their problems, which Banerjee and other leaders had suggested. But he hoped after today’s meeting, the front parties would move unitedly and soon the problems would be resolved.

The front chairman, Biman Bose said since the restoration of peace and normalcy at Nandigram is their main task, partners in the left front could now themselves negotiate and hold talks with the opposition for resolving the crisis. “We will have no objection if any individual leader now holds talks with Mamata Banerjee for resolving the problem,” he added.

After a high level official meeting held at Writers Buildings, Home Secretary, Prasad Ranjan Roy said the police would now take action, both, at Nandigram and Khejui for maintaining peace and normalcy at these places and accordingly four police camps would be set up.

He said they were also taking elaborate steps for supply of food grains and other essential commodities among the affected people at Nandigram and Khejuri. The food department officials would be reaching there tomorrow. He said the government was adopting all necessary measures as per the High Court order for restoring peace and normalcy at Nandigram.

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Gujarat killing issue rocks Parliament again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Like last week, the issue of fake encounters in Gujarat stalled proceedings in both houses of Parliament today.

While the Rajya Sabha witnessed furore over a string of issues - fake encounters being one of them - the trouble in the Lok Sabha remained focused on the fake encounters issue. As a result, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day, while the Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice and normal business could be restored only in the afternoon.

In the Upper House, both the ruling and Opposition members sought to raise various issues all at a time, defying the Chair. The Congress members demanded a debate on the Gujarat incidents. The BJP members insisted that Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh be first given a chance to take up the situation in Kashmir. Members of the Left parties wanted to raise the issue of American Senators’s “insulting” letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on nuclear deal. The Trinamool Congress wanted to raise the Nandigram killings.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were first adjourned till 12 noon shortly after the two Houses had assembled at 11 am. As soon as the Rajya Sabha reassembled after the second adjournment, deputy chairman K. Rehman Khan said first the notices or the Zero Hour would be taken up and asked Jaswant Singh to speak. A number of members from different political parties were immediately on their feet and sought to raise different issues. Eventually, the House was adjourned for the day.

In the Lok Sabha, members of the Congress, the Left parties and the Samajwadi Party (SP) raised an uproar over the fake police encounters in Gujarat and alleged active collusion of BJP government in the state.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled at 11 am to take up Question Hour, Congress members led by Madhusudan Mistry got up on their feet accusing the Gujarat government of shielding the politicians and police officers responsible for killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi.

Several CPM and Samajwadi Party (SP) members lent their support to the Congress members on the issue. Mohammed Saleem (CPM) and Ramji Lal Suman (SP) charged the state government with ‘communal bias’ and violation of human rights.

BJP deputy leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra and his other NDA colleagues joined the din and the BJP members charged the Left leaders with the Nandigram killings of innocent protesters. They said the Nandigram killings were more painful than the Gujarat incidents.

The Speaker’s repeated appeals for decorum and his warnings that nothing would go on the record, produced no favourable result and he adjourned the House till 12 noon. There was some semblance of order when the House reassembled at 12 noon, but this proved to be short lived. After the members laid papers listed against their names and two ministers made statements on labour and external affairs, Ramjilal Suman and Mistry were on their feet, seeking to raise the Gujarat issue.

Malhotra wanted to move a breach of privilege motion against shipping minister T.R. Baalu for “misleading” the House, stating that the Ram Sethu-Sethu Samudram project was sub judice. The Speaker subsequently ruled that the issue was not sub judice.

The BJP members trooped into the well shortly thereafter. Their slogan shouting did not stop despite the Speaker’s appeal for order and that he would allow Malhotra to raise the issue on Tuesday in the form of a call attention motion tomorrow. Tamil Nadu MPs and a few other ruling party members were also on the verge of the well countering the BJP. Against this backdrop, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.

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Modi plotting to kill Vanzara, says Congress
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
The Congress today made a charge that the Gujarat government was hatching a conspiracy to liquidate suspended Gujarat police DIG D.G. Vanzara, the main accused in the fake encounters case, to polarise the electorate before the year-end assembly election.

“I have learnt from reliable sources that a conspiracy is being hatched by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and company to get Vanzara killed. He will then implicate a Muslim in this case and organise Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat to polarise voters,” Congress spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi alleged at a press briefing here today.

Chaturvedi said he was making this charge with “full sense of responsibility”, adding that this would serve two purposes as far as Modi is concerned. It will remove a key accused from the scene and help Modi fan communal passions, Chaturvedi alleged.

While asking the state government to provide necessary protection to Vanzara, Chaturvedi said the Congress would also urge the Centre to take preventive measures to guard against the eruption of communal violence in Gujarat.

Stressing that Vanzara should be punished under the law, Chaturvedi said investigations into the fake encounters were on. The root of the conspiracy to kill Soharabuddin, his wife and eye witness Prajapati lies in Rajasthan, he added.

Launching an offensive against the Narendra Modi government, the Congress spokesperson said as many as 21 fake encounters had taken place in Gujarat, stating that this exposed the real “character” of the BJP.

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UP result to affect Presidential election
Anita Katyal/Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
With Uttar Pradesh election process nearing its end, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set the ball rolling on the next important item on the agenda, namely, the Presidential election in July.

In what could be the start of a series of discussions, the PM met CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI leader A.B. Bardhan separately over the weekend to consult them over possible names for the President’s candidature.

Surprisingly, neither Karat nor Bardhan mentioned Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s name as their choice. Sources in the Left parties maintained, they would wait to see if Congress suggested Chatterjee’s name unilaterally and then take a view subsequently.

In fact, the first exploratory meeting did not throw up any names though the two Left leaders made it abundantly clear that they did not favour a second term for President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. They also made it plain that they were equally opposed to the elevation of Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekawat to the top post.

On the other hand, the two Left leaders were learnt to have told the PM that the Congress should first propose a panel of names and they would respond accordingly to this list. The Prime Minister was learnt to have told them that Congress president Sonia Gandhi would take these discussions further with the other UPA allies and the Left parties after the UP election results.

Dr Singh and the Left leaders were of the view that a contest between the UPA and the NDA could not be ruled out and emphasisd the need for forging a united front for this election. This line-up did not include the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

As of now, the UPA and the Left parties had a slight edge over the UPA in the Electoral College but this could well change after the declaration of the UP election results on May 11. In case, the BSP and the Congress joined hands to form the next government in UP, it would add to the UPA numbers and could help the Congress push through its candidate. Alternatively, a tie-up between the BJP and BSP or the possibility of a post-poll understanding between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party would change the equations in favour of the NDA for the Presidential election.

None of the political parties have gone public with their choice but the demand for a second term for Abdul Kalam had been gathering momentum. At the same time, Shekhawat had also been drumming up support for his candidature while Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was also seen to be a strong contender.

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SC notice to Badal on bigger size of ministry
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 7
The Supreme Court today admitted a petition against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal accusing him of violating the constitutional provision by not keeping the strength of his ministry at 15 per cent of the total strength of Vidhan Sabha and issued a notice to him.

The notices were also issued by a Bench of Chief Justice K.G Balakrishnan and justices R.V Raveendran and H.S Bedi to the Centre and the Punjab government through the ministry of home affairs and Chief Secretary of the state, respectively.

All three respondents were directed to submit their replies to the constitutional question raised in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Virendera Kumar, a retired principal from Himachal Pradesh.

In the PIL it was alleged that while constituting his council of ministers after winning the election in Punjab in March, Badal had appointed 18 ministers which was higher than the 15 per cent of the total strength of 117-members in the Vidhan Sabha.

It was a clear violation of Article 355 of the Constitution as provided by the 91st constitutional amendment, putting a cap of 15 per cent on the strength of the ministry in bigger states and fixing it at 12-member ministry, including the chief minister in the smaller states.

According to the PIL the percentage of the total number of 18 ministers in the Badal ministry, including the Chief Minister, comes to 15.38 per cent, which manifestly violated the 15 per cent cap and amounted to violation of the constitutional mandate.

The petitioner has sought a direction to the Centre to act under Article 355 and issue an advisory to the Punjab government to reduce the ministry’s strength to the permitted level.

A further direction was sought to the Centre regarding issuing an advisory to the Governor of Punjab to act as per the Constitution and limit the number of ministers in Badal ministry in conformity with the laws enacted by Parliament.

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Arunachal govt denies Chinese incursion in state

Itanagar, May 7
The Arunachal Pradesh government on Monday denied reports of any Chinese incursion into the frontier north-eastern state.

“There is absolutely no truth in the reports of any Chinese intrusion. The allegations were unfounded,” Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Khiren Rijiju, had been quoted as saying that China had moved 20 km inside Arunachal Pradesh.

“There has been a Chinese incursion in our country particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. I have written to the government of India and raised the issue in parliament. The government of India is not accepting the incursion openly. But defence personnel do acknowledge that this is happening and the Chinese are occupying our land,” Rijiju was quoted as saying by the media on Monday.

The allegations of Chinese intrusion are being taken very seriously by locals, particularly after Chinese Ambassador Sun Yuxi in November told a private TV news channel that “the whole of what you call the state of Arunachal Pradesh is the Chinese territory. ... We are claiming the whole of that”.

India had then strongly protested, with the external affairs ministry saying, “Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India”.

Beijing had in 2003 given up its territorial claim over the Indian state of Sikkim but was still holding on to its stand that a vast stretch of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to it.

The mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,030 km unfenced border with China.

The India-China border along Arunachal Pradesh is separated by the McMohan Line, an imaginary border now known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India and China fought a bitter border war in 1962, with Chinese troops advancing deep into Arunachal Pradesh and inflicting heavy casualties on federal troops.

The border dispute with China was inherited by India from British colonial rulers, who hosted a 1914 conference with the Tibetan and Chinese governments that set the border in what is now Arunachal Pradesh.

China has never recognised the 1914 boundary, known as the McMahon Line, and claims 90,000 sq km - nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh. — IANS

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Innocence Interrupted
86 pc girls in Delhi victims of emotional abuse
AP, Assam, Bihar and Delhi report highest incidence of sexual assault, says study
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 7
A national study on child abuse has revealed that in terms of emotional abuse of the girl child, the national Capital presented the worst case with 86.67 per cent of female young adults facing the problem.

The study said over 53 per cent children faced one or more forms of sexual abuse with Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reporting highest incidence of sexual assault.

In more than half of the cases, persons known to the

child or those who are in position of trust and responsibility were responsible for the abuse, the study, conducted at the initiative of the union ministry of women and child development and supported by UNICEF, said.

The study was conducted in 13 states, covering two districts in each state, to assess the extent and magnitude of child abuse in the country.

"This is one of the largest empirical in-country studies of its kind in the world," the UNICEF representative for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Michel Saint- Lot said here.

It was found that the children on streets, workplaces and in institutional care reported highest incidence of sexual assault. More than 72 per cent of the victims did not report the matter to anyone for fear of punishment.

"Every second child reported facing the emotional abuse and unfortunately the parents were the abusers in 83 per cent of cases," the report stated.

Overall, every second girl child reported facing emotional abuse and in 83 per cent cases the parents were the abusers.

The study, based on the design and research by Delhi-based NGO "Prayas", found that the younger children of 5-12 years of age are more vulnerable for the higher levels of abuse than the other two age groups surveyed-- 12-18 years and young adults of 18-24 years.

Dealing with different forms of abuse like physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children, the survey revealed that boys are equally at risk of abuse as girls with persons close to them emerging as their tormentors.

Boys were said to be more vulnerable even to several forms of sexual abuse, including rape, sodomy and exhibitionism.

Various acts, including degradation of self-esteem of a child by parents, care-givers in presence of others, shouting, using abusive language and comparing one sibling with the other in terms of physical appearance and other characteristics, have increased across age groups, the study said.

The study recommended a comprehensive legislation on

child protection, outreach and support services to the needy children and child protection data management system as part of measures to curb the menace.

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Sohrabuddin case gives hope to 3 Bihar widows
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, May 7
The outcry over the killing of innocent Sohrabuddin in a fake shootout in Gujarat has finally brought hope for justice to the widows of three brothers allegedly killed in a similar manner in a Bihar village eight months back.

Police had gunned down the brothers - Ram, Lakshman and Bharat, hailing from Nawadaben village in Bhojpur district about 70 km away from Patna, on August 25, 2006, claiming they were criminals.

Their widows have been fighting for justice since then with the support of People’s Watch, a human rights’ group, which had first raised this issue.

The widespread protests against this incident ultimately prompted the Bihar government to recommend a CBI probe into the killings.

Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said a formal request would be made to CBI to conduct the probe. “The probe will come out with the real story”, he said.

Last year, the widows, along with other family members, had staged a protest in Delhi to sought intervention of the National Human Rights Commission for justice. They also demanded a CBI probe into the killings and the arrest of Deputy Police Superintendent S.S. Thakur, who had led the police team.

Subsequently, A.C. Verma, IG (Criminal Investigation Department), was asked by the Nitish government to probe the incident. In his report, Verma reportedly claimed that it was a genuine encounter.

This development, seemingly, put the Bihar government under fire as the opposition RJD, Congress and CPI (ML) charged it with suppressing facts in a police shootout case.

The problem has been compounded further, with the family members and villagers alleging the involvement of ruling JD(U) legislator Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha in the case.

The government, reportedly, has also not responded to an application filed under the Right to Information Act for information by People’s Watch on the case even after 35 days.

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FIR lodged against JD (U) MLA
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, May 7
The image of badland continued to haunt Bihar on Monday, as an FIR was lodged against JD(U) MLA from Harnaut, Sunil Kumar, at the secretariat police station in Patna, for muscle flexing in pursuance of his vanity as a ruling party legislator outside Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden and Zoo here.

The incident reportedly took place when Sunil Kumar, along with his bodyguards came to the zoo early this morning and parked his car in the car parking zone. The car did not have any sticker indicating that the MLA was travelling in it.

It is learnt, that going by the usual practice, two staff members of the car parking zone asked the driver of the car to pay Rs 5 as car parking fee. Soon all hell broke loose.

Failure of the parking staff to recognise him, angered Sunil Kumar, who wondered that they could not identify a ruling party MLA whose posters were visible all over Patna.

The staff pleaded their ignorance as the car did not have any sticker revealing the MLA’s identity and regretted their fault too.

But this did not deter the MLA from beating them up mercilessly with the help his bodyguards. The staff members were seriously injured.

Subsequently, contractor of the car parking zone lodged an FIR with the secretariat police station against the MLA.

Confirming this, the DSP secretariat thana, Sridhar Mondal said following the FIR, police would enquire into the matter to ascertain the facts.

This was not the first time any ruling JD(U) MLA made a mockery of the promised “Sushasan” of the Nitish Government.

Last month, an FIR was lodged against JD(U) MLA from Naugachaia, Bhola Singh, for allegedly beating up a pregnant woman on a property dispute case.

Suspended JD(U) MLA from Piro, Sunil Pandey is already languishing in jail for a series of unlawful acts by him in the past few months, including a drunken brawl at a city hotel when he had threatened the cameraman of a news channel with dire consequences for shooting his misconduct.

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SC okays Haj subsidy as interim measure
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 7
The Supreme Court today permitted the Centre to provide subsidy in the form of air travel ticket cost to a fixed number of Haj pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as an interim measure this year.

As per the policy laid down by the Centre, it provides travel subsidy to one lakh Muslims every year in the form of air ticket cost to Mecca in an arrangement with Indian Airlines and Saudi Arabia airlines.

Since the Allahabad High Court in an interim order last year, had stayed the grant of subsidy for Haj pilgrimage on a petition challenging it on the ground that such grant could not be granted for religious purposes to the people belonging to a particular faith as it amounted to discrimination against others.

The apex court had also allowed the Government to provide the Haj subsidy last year as an interim measure, it extended the same order for the 2007 pilgrimage to Mecca be undergone in December by Muslims. The one time interim relief was given in view of the High Court yet to give its final verdict on a PIL, which had challenged the grant of the Haj subsidy, describing it discriminatory to the people of other faiths.

As the Government had linked the subsidy with Mansarovar yatra, claiming that it was also spending over Rs 3,000 on each pilgrim going to Tibet every year on their travel arrangements, the Court said if they want to continue this expense, it was up to them but no direction in this regard was required to be issued.

The stoppage of the Haj subsidy by the High Court had put the UPA Government in tight position as its opponents like BSP and SP had made it an issue in the ongoing UP assembly elections.

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Ramdoss-Venugopal fight reaches SC
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 7
The protracted legal battle between Health Minister Ambumani Ramdoss and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director and noted heart surgeon P Venugopal today reached the Supreme Court with the institute’s governing body challenging the Delhi High Court order restraining it from taking against the noted doctor.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan issued notice to Venugopal on an appeal filed by AIIMS’ governing body of which Ramdos is the president against the Delhi High Court order.

The High Court in an interim order had said that AIIMS Director’s post was essentially is a tenure appointment for five years and he could not be removed unless there were charges of gross violation of rules against him.

The High Court had further said that if any action was taken by the AIIMS’ governing body against Dr Venugopal, it should be with the prior approval of the government but any such order would not be given effect to for two weeks as due advance notice has to be given to the Director.

The High Court had also directed that entire material regarding any decision on removal of Dr Venugopal be placed before it as his petition challenging the move for his removal was still pending.

The AIIMs body claimed that there was enough ground for removal of Venugopal as it accused him of discriminating against the students form backward classes who were allegedly forced to be segregated by upper caste students in hostel as he failed to take action against the erring students.

To strengthen its charges against him, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam appearing for AIIMS body, placed on record a fact finding report submitted by a committee headed by the Chairman of University Grants Commission, which was asked by the government to look into the allegations.

But Venugopal’s counsel Harish Salve said that the allegations were unfounded. Moreover, the High Court’s order was only an interim direction as its has yet to give a final verdict after hearing the case in detail.

Venugopal's council said under political compulsion, government was taking a contrary stand on the tenure posting of AIIMS Director while it had supported the five-year tenure posting of the Director of PGI, Chandigarh earlier.

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SC refers Cauvery dispute to larger bench

New Delhi, May 7
While suggesting that the Centre evolve a scientific strategy to overcome the perennial water shortage problem in the country, the Supreme Court today referred to a larger bench, the dispute pertaining to sharing of the Cauvery water among the southern states.

A Bench of Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice Markandey Katju also issued notices to the Centre and the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry to file their response on the various objections arising out of the February 5 "award" passed by Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.

The Bench passed the directions on a batch of petitions complaining that the tribunal's award was arbitrary and discriminatory.

Ironically, barring Puducherry, the rest of the three states — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala — have all filed separate petitions challenging the award.

While Karnataka and Kerala have alleged that the award was "arbitrary" and went against the interests of their respective states, Tamil Nadu in its application filed on Monday also sought to assail the award on the ground that it affected the state's long term interests. — PTI

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IITs, IIMs launch leadership programme
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Human capital is the most critical resource which needs to be tapped properly for India to achieve a sustained growth in the manufacturing sector, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) Chairperson V.Krishnamurthy said here today.

Launching the Post Graduate Programme for Executives for Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing (PGPEX-VLM), Dr Krishnamurthy said while India had done well by recording impressive growth in the manufacturing sector, the biggest concern today was that of having highly skilled manpower to run the sector.

He complimented the stakeholders of PGPEX-VLM and noted that this was the first occasion when the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) had joined hands to run a post graduate programme.

Dr Krishnamurthy also thanked Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Japanese International Cooperation Agency, ministry of human resources development and in particular, Prof. Shoji Shiba of Japan who along with IIT,Kanpur, IIT,Madras and IIM, Calcutta helped to develop the programme.

The Japanese Ambassador to India Yasukuni Enoki expressed happiness about Japanese involvement in the development of PGPEX-VLM and hoped that the programme would enable India to regain its dominant position in the world in manufacturing which, he pointed out, the country had enjoyed in the pre-colonial era - in the 16th and 17th centuries.

CII President R. Seshasayee expressed optimism regarding the association of industry and the academic world which has come together to develop the PGPEX-VLM.

He highlighted three key challenges facing the Indian industry viz., development of quality higher education; enabling the manufacturing industry to attract and retain best talent and to develop a critical mass of intellectual property through R&D initiatives. He hoped that these concerns would be ably met through PGPEX-VLM programme.

The programme is of one-year duration and the first session (2007-08) will commence in August 2007. The eligibility for admission is a first class degree in any branch of engineering along with minimum five years of experience in manufacturing and related sector. The tuition fee for the programme would be Rs 5 lakh.

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Students stand to save green cover

New Delhi, May 7
Irked by rampant felling of trees for construction purposes, students and teachers of two prestigious universities in Delhi have raised their voice to save the green cover of their campuses.

Teachers and the students of Delhi University (DU) have forwarded a petition to the vice chancellor Deepak Pental objecting to the plan to cut 1,000 trees in the north campus to construct a Rugby field for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Signed by 75 faculty members, the petition highlights the importance of green cover and pleads the vice chancellor to stop this move.

Asserting that nowhere else in north Delhi is such a diversity of species of trees, the petition says that they provide a respite from Delhi's gruelling heat and that the campus would not be the same without them.

Pointing out that for a sport such as rugby that is not so popular in India, let alone the students of DU, felling of so many trees is unjustified. As an alternative, they suggest that the sprawling university ground near Vijay Nagar in the north campus itself can be used for this purpose.

The petition reminds the mass felling of putranjiva (Putranjiva roxburghii) and saptaparni (Alstonia scholaris) species of trees for university sports complex before the 1982 Asian Games was a major loss. — IANS

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Malpractices by pvt institutions
SC dismisses Kerala govt’s appeal

New Delhi, May 7
The Supreme Court today declined the request of the Kerala government to stay the operation of the state High Court judgement striking down some of the provisions of the impugned act enacted by it to check malpractices being indulged in by private unaided educational institutions in the state, as ultra vires of the Constitution of India.

A Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and P P Naolekar, while declining the prayer of the state government, held that an interim stay will hamper the admission process for the academic session 2007-2008, which is already underway.

The high court had struck down some of the provisions of the impugned act as ultra vires of the constitution such as all private unaided educational institutions, including minority institutions, will have to admit students on merits from the Common Entrance Test conducted by the state government and the merit list released by the state government for admission to Engineering colleges in the state.

Private institutions, however, opposed the act and had challenged its validity in the high court on the grounds that the act was an attempt by the state government to take over the control of these institutions by monopolising admissions and taking away the discretionary quota of these institutions which is a must as they do not get any financial aid from the state government and have to depend on tuition fees and others for their survival and maintenance. — UNI

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Menon appointment: CIC asks for file by May 17
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Faced with a gender bias complaint, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Cabinet Secretariat to produce before it all documents pertaining to the appointment of Shiv Shankar Menon as Foreign Secretary in a sealed cover on May 17.

The CIC also directed the external affairs ministry to allow inspection within 15 days by senior IFS officer Veena Sikri of the file on annual confidential reports (ACRs) pertaining to the promotion of the Foreign Secretary. Sikri had filed the complaint of gender bias.

Sikri, a 1971 batch officer, had moved the CIC under the RTI Act, seeking information on the appointment of Menon as Foreign Secretary. Menon, a 1972 batch IFS officer, superseded 16 officers including Sikri. Menon's name was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet in September last year.

The Prime Minister's office observed that revelation of personal information regarding candidates considered for the post of Foreign Secretary did not have any relationship with public activity or interest and said disclosure of such information would amount to unwarranted invasion of the privacy of other individuals in the zone of consideration.

In their order, CIC Wajahat Habibullah and Information Commissioner D.P Kejariwal directed that the documents from the initiation to the culmination of the process of appointment of the Foreign Secretary should be submitted to it in a sealed cover on May 17.

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Amarnath Yatra
Panel seeks Kalam’s help for ‘free’ trek
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Prior to the start of the Amarnath Yatra on June 30, the Shri Amarnath Yatra Welfare Organisation has decided to approach President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, urging him for “complete exemption of charges in any form from the yatris, better facilities for NGOs involved with the holy yatra and an assurance that last year’s episode of raising of artificial Shivalingam is not repeated”.

Following the controversy over the raising of the artificial Shivalingam at the holy cave last year, the organisation had moved court, terming any efforts in future by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) to preserve the holy Lingam through artificial means a sacrilege.

This time, along with more facilities for NGOs involved with the yatra, the organisation was also demanded that the helipad built near the holy cave be shifted and that no one was allowed to use flash camera inside the holy cave.

Last month, the NGO associated with holy yatra since 1997, also wrote to SASB chief executive officer Arun Kumar, asking him to resolve “genuine problems of more than 100 organisations involved with the yatra every year”. As per president of the organisation Rajinder Sharma, members of the NGO met in Delhi yesterday and had now decided to approach the President with their wish list.

The holy yatra is slated to begin on June 30 and will end on August 28. During the period, lakhs of devotees will visit Shri Amarnathji, one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage centres located at an altitude of 3,900 metres in South Kashmir.

Sharma says more than 100 NGOs, working actively for the welfare of yatris, have also been contributing to the revenue of the state. “ Even the SASB endorsed the services of NGOs, saying that if NGOs were not there casualties of 1996 could have multiplied. But latest terms and conditions imposed by the SASB will discourage NGOs and need to be withdrawn immediately,” he said.

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PM to file RS nomination today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will file his nominations today for the biennial election to the Rajya Sabha seat from Assam.

He is likely to undertake a two-day visit to the state from today, sources said.

Election to the seat represented by Manmohan Singh would be held on May 24.

The present tenure of Singh, who has been representing the North Eastern state for the last three terms after entering politics in the middle of 1991, expires on June 14.

He became leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha when he was elected for a third term in 2001 and two years later he became Prime Minister after Congress President Sonia Gandhi declined to hold that post. He has been a member of the AICC from Assam as well as Punjab. Notification for the election for the seat was issued on May 7. The last date of filing of nominations is May 14 and the papers will be scrutinised the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is May 17. Counting of votes will take place on May 24.

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Prem Bhatia memorial lecture today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
The 12th Prem Bhatia Memorial Lecture will be delivered this year by Prof Gowher Rizvi, director, Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation Harvard University, tomorrow. The theme of the lecture is “Government in the 21st century: Some challenges of governance and democracy in India”.

The Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust Award for 2007 has been awarded to Ms Pallavi Aiyar, The Hindu correspondent in China. In her reports, she has covered fields ranging from political and strategic to Sino-Indian relations and a society in transition.

The award for the best reporting on the environment has gone to Max Martin, a freelance journalist, at present editing “indiadisaster.org”.

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HAL delivers 2nd copter to ONGC

Bangalore, May 7
Public Sector Aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) today delivered the second ‘Dhruv’ helicopter to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) here.

The civil variant of Dhruv was configured with one stretcher and five seats. The ONGC would soon be ferrying the helicopter to their facility in Nazira in Assam and would utilise it for casualty evacuation, passenger/commuter role and for undertaking underslung operations, a HAL release said here.

The first Dhruv helicopter, acquired by the ONGC in 2005, was currently being utilised for VIP commitments. HAL would be shortly delivering one more Dhruv helicopter to ONGC for operations ex-Mumbai. The helicopter would be configured for offshore operations and would be provided with rescue hoist for undertaking Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.

ONGC representative A K Bansal, Head Corporate Logistics, received the Dhruv on behalf of his company. — UNI

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7 killed, 15 hurt in jeep-tempo collision

Surat, May 7
Seven persons were killed and 15 others injured in a jeep-tempo collision near Valsad today.

The jeep was carrying a family from Dharampur, near here, when it hit the tempo at Kaparada village in Valsad district.

The mishap occurred at around 7.30 am when a jeep trying to overtake a tempo, collided with the vehicle, the police said, adding that among the dead included two brothers, who died on the spot.

The injured have been admitted to a nearby hospital, sources said.

The victims were identified as Navanit Patel, Nitesh Bhangi, Ganesh Bhangi, Shailesh Bhangi, Nikul Wadum and Ketan Khagal, among others, sources added. — UNI

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Amol’s death confirmed

Mumbai, May 7
Family members of Amol Chauhan, director of Parle Products, today confirmed his death in the crash of the Nairobi-bound Kenya Airways plane.

Yesterday, Amol’s elder brother Arup left for Nairobi to get more information on his younger brother.

Twenty-seven-year-old Amol, who was the managing director of Parle Products, was on his way back to Nairobi in the Kenya Airlines’ plane that crashed early Saturday morning with 114 on board, including 15 Indians. — UNI

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Notice to Digvijay for violating poll code

New Delhi, May 7
The Election Commission has issued a notice to senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for violation of EC instructions and violation of the model code of conduct during the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

The commission has directed Mr Singh to reply by tomorrow.

The notice asks as to why action should not be initiated against him for the lapse. — UNI

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‘93 blasts accused summoned
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, May 7
Amidst indications that the special TADA court hearing of the 1993 Mumbai blasts case may pronounce the sentences of those found guilty, all the convicted persons including actor Sanjay Dutt have been asked to be present on Wednesday.

So far the court has held 100 people guilty in the blasts case while 23 others have been acquitted. Actor Sanjay Dutt was not found guilty of conspiracy but found guilty under the Arms Act.

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Spiderman-3 in Bhojpuri

Mumbai, May 7
Hollywood movie Spiderman-3 released in theatres, earlier this week, in Bhojpuri dialect has received rave reviews. Interestingly, the movie has been transcribed in various other languages too.

Spiderman-3 has been dubbed in Bhojpuri at an estimated cost of 250,000 dollars. It is also the first Hollywood movie to be dubbed in Bhojpuri. — ANI

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