SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Filing of false affidavits in poll
EC to act against Jaya on HC order

CEC N. Gopalaswami and election commissioners S.M. Qureshi and Navin Chawla during a press conference in New Delhi. New Delhi, June 13
The Election Commission (EC) said today it would act on the Madras High Court direction to it in the matter relating to AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa allegedly filing false affidavits in the 2001 Assembly elections.

CEC N. Gopalaswami and election commissioners S.M. Qureshi and Navin Chawla during a press conference in New Delhi. — PTI photo

Mahatma’s grandson found dead
The letter box at the house of Prof Ramchandra Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, at Bengali Market in New Delhi. New Delhi, June 13
Ramchandra Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was found dead in a room at the India International Centre, here, today.

The letter box at the house of Prof Ramchandra Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, at Bengali Market in New Delhi. — PTI photo






EARLIER STORIES


Sara Sahara case
Dawood’s brother Kaskar acquitted, three jailed
Mumbai, June 13
A special court here today acquitted fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim's brother Iqbal Kaskar along with a builder and four civic officials in the case related to the unauthorised construction of the Sara Sahara malls while convicting three other accused.

Two killed, 30 injured in Assam violence
Guwahati, June 13
Two persons, including an ULFA militant, were killed and 30 civilians were injured in two separate incidents of violence in the state today.

Karunanidhi meets PM, Sonia
New Delhi, June 13
M. KarunanidhiWith home minister Shivraj Patil as its front-runner presidential candidate, the Congress’ efforts to forge a consensus in the UPA went a step further today as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi drove straight to the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for talks after landing in the capital from Chennai.

Tough battle for July-19 poll
New Delhi, June 13
As consensus eludes, tough contest can be expected for the election of President of India for which polling would take place on July 19 on ballot paper, and the counting of votes, two days later.

NDA, CPI(M) undecided on president’s poll. In video: (56k)

Graphic: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: The Big Fights till now

SC dismisses PIL against Maya as CM
New Delhi, June 13
The Supreme Court today rejected a petition challenging the election of Mayawati as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and her close confidant S.C. Mishra as minister in her Cabinet without their quitting as MPs.

‘Need to preserve cantonments’
Pune, June 13
Encroachments in the 62 cantonments across the country will be strictly dealt with as there is a need to preserve the original character and sanctity of these areas, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said today.

Talks With ULFA
Assam CM not optimistic about Centre’s terms
Guwahati, June 13
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Opposition leader Brindabon Goswami do not sound optimistic as the Centre has set three fresh conditions for facilitating direct talks with the banned militant group.

Muslim sisters go to college with court support
Were prevented from attending college by conservative neighbours
Mumbai, June 13
Two Muslim sisters from downtown Mumbai who were prevented from going to college by conservative neighbours moved the Bombay High Court which ordered police protection for them.

Army-trained sniffer dogs for Northern Railway
New Delhi, June 13
Northern Railway (NR) has discovered a new track for sourcing sniffer dogs. For the first time, it has bought 12 full-grown army trained Labradors from Meerut. The dogs are trained in detecting explosives.

Custodial death
Haryana police’s version ‘implausible’
New Delhi, June 13
The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today said that the Haryana police’s explanation of the alleged custodial killing of a youth of Banchari village in Faridabad is “implausible”.

Yorkshire is new Bollywood hotspot
Mumbai, June 13
Yorkshire pudding and Geoffrey Boycott are its most famous exports. Sachin Tendulkar is its most famous import. But over the past weekend, the picturesque county of Yorkshire in northern Britain earned the label of a Bollywood hotspot after the IIFA awards ceremony.

After a hellish life, mother fights for 9 kids
Agra, June 13
For 17 years, Agra resident Afroz, who is blind, says she took it all from her husband: insults, physical and mental exploitation and deprivation, even as she bore him nine children and became pregnant with the tenth.

N-terrorism
Indian-US officials hold talks
New Delhi, June 13
India and the US began talks spread over two days to avert the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and strengthening global non-proliferation.

Talmiz Ahmed appointed ambassador to UAE
New Delhi, June 13
Senior career diplomat and Director General of the Indian Council for World Affairs Talmiz Ahmed has been appointed ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Bal Kumar arrested
Lucknow, June 13
With Bal Kumar “officially” being arrested today in Rae Bareli, law seems to be finally catching up. His brother Dadua, the dacoit, has been evading the police of both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for almost two decades and carrying an award of Rs 7 lakh on his head.

India to look into adoption issue
New Delhi, June 13
Reacting to reports about Denmark suspending all adoptions from India, India's Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) today said it would look into the matter.

UK announces Rs 2,000 crore aid for India
New Delhi, June 13
The UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) has announced an aid of Rs 2,000 crore to reduce poverty, improve healthcare and expand education in India. Giving details of the announcement made today in the UK, acting head of DFID (India) Fiona Louise Lappin said here that funds would help to improve healthcare. TNS

Case against Gujjar MLA
Jaipur, June 13
The police has registered a case against suspended BJP MLA Prahalad Gunjal and five others for violating prohibitory orders in Kota district, officials said today. — PTI

Videos
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ and ‘Sivaji’ releasing simultaneously.
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A boy devours glass and burning coal.
(56k)

 

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Filing of false affidavits in poll
EC to act against Jaya on HC order
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
The Election Commission (EC) said today it would act on the Madras High Court direction to it in the matter relating to AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa allegedly filing false affidavits in the 2001 Assembly elections.

If the High Court has said action should be taken within a specified period, we would do that, chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami told reporters when asked whether the EC would take action as directed by the High Court.

The High Court directed the EC to take action as per law on a complaint that Jayalalithaa filed false affidavits during the 2001 Assembly poll.

DMK MP C. Kuppusamy, in his petition, said Jayalalithaa during the 2001 Assembly polls had suppressed the fact that she had filed nominations from four seats.

Meanwhile, the commission today ordered the immediate transfer of Madurai district collector S.S. Jawahar and five other senior civil and police officials to ensure a free and fair by-election to the Madurai West Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu on June 26.

Besides the collector, the poll panel ordered the transfer of Madurai police commissioner A. Subramanian, revenue divisional officer and returning officer of the constituency A. Narayanamoorthy, deputy commissioner of police R. Ramarajan, assistant commissioner of police S.D. Rajendran and Tallakulam inspector M. Rajendran.

In a communication to the state chief secretary, the commission said it had received inputs on “blatant violation” of its instructions as a “large number of persons barged into the office of the returning officer during the filing of nominations by some candidates”.

The commission’s guidelines permitted only five persons, including the candidate to be present.

“The incident is a repeat of the incident that happened during the by-election to the Madurai central Assembly constituency held in 2006 in which case the DMK and the AIADMK were conveyed the displeasure of the Election Commission and warned to be careful in future also,” the panel said.

“It is clear the district administration has failed to enforce the lawful directions of the commission once again”.

The commission also sought a panel of three names by tomorrow to replace the transferred officials.

Earlier, the panel served notices on AIADMK candidate K. Raju and Congress nominee KSK Rajendran for allegedly violating the model code of conduct as a large number of their supporters accompanied them at the time of filing nominations.

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Mahatma’s grandson found dead

New Delhi, June 13
Ramchandra Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was found dead in a room at the India International Centre (ICC), here, today.

The body of Gandhi (70) was found in room number 15 of the elite club in South Delhi, where he had checked in on June 10, a senior police official said.

The housekeeping staff knocked at the door of the room in the morning today and after not getting any response, informed the manager about it.

The door was then broken and Gandhi’s body was found lying on the floor.

The police said the room was locked from inside so they did not suspect any foul play and prima facie. It appeared to be a natural death.

The family of the deceased, who was a resident of the Bengali Market in the capital, told the police that Gandhi, ex-member of the club, had checked into the IIC because of the heat.

The body was likely to be sent for post-mortem, the official said.

Gandhi was a former professor at Princeton University. — PTI

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Sara Sahara case
Dawood’s brother Kaskar acquitted, three jailed

Mumbai, June 13
A special court here today acquitted fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim's brother Iqbal Kaskar along with a builder and four civic officials in the case related to the unauthorised construction of the Sara Sahara malls while convicting three other accused.

Those convicted by the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court of Judge Mridula Bhatkar were Tariq Parveen, Abdul Rehman Abdul Gafoor Sheikh alias Rehman Boss and Abdul Sattar Haji Jinabhai Radhanpura alias Sattar Teli. Kaskar and Parveen were extradited to India from Dubai in 2003.

Builder Ghulam Nabi Ramzan Tanwar was acquitted along with four officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) - Narendra Ramlochan Rajbhar, Hasmukh Pravinchandra Shah, Kiran Vasant Achrekar and Shirish Madhukar Salvekar.

It was widely reported that a nexus between the underworld and civic officials had been busted after the case was filed.

The two unauthorised malls were built on land owned by the Central Public Works Department in the prime Crawford Market area of south Mumbai. The land was reserved for a municipal school and the malls were constructed allegedly in connivance with MCGM officials.

The matter came to light four years ago after police intercepted telephonic conversations purportedly between Kaskar and co-accused Shaikh and Radhapura. The accused were booked for criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation and extortion under the IPC and the stringent MCOCA. — PTI

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Two killed, 30 injured in Assam violence
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 13
Two persons, including an ULFA militant, were killed and 30 civilians were injured in two separate incidents of violence in the state today.

One person was killed and 30 others injured when militants triggered a bomb in a daily market near Hajo in Kamrup district of Assam at around today.

The police informed that the bomb was planted in the daily market at Golokchuk in Hajo in Kamrup district.

The area is a pocket of religious minority people and the banned ULFA which has its top leaders taking shelter in Bangladesh is not into the habit of targeting areas dominated by Muslims and immigrant Muslims.

Earlier, the police shot dead an ULFA militant in an encounter at Nabin Nagar locality here. The slain militant was identified as Deep Kalita, alias Paul, who was an expert in handling explosives.

Police chief public relations officer Bhaben Bez informed that acting on a tip off that three ULFA militants were taking shelter at a rented house at the Nabin Nagar area, a team of police and CRPF personnel cordoned off the house at around 2 am today.

One of the militants was killed in the ensuing gun battle while two others escaped. The owner of the house, Durgeswar Choudhury, a bank employee, was arrested by the police.

In another incident the police recovered a bomb, huge quantity of explosives and a Maruti car following a brief exchange of fire with a group of ULFA militants taking shelter at Dhirenpara area in the city in the wee hour today.

ULFA miltant Tapan Rai who was injured in the shoot-out fled, while police arrested his wife Priyanka Rai alias Saleha Khatun and one Abbas Ali. Tapan Rai was master minding ULFA’s extortion drive in the city. The owner of the rented house, one Akon Das was arrested by the police.

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Karunanidhi meets PM, Sonia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
With home minister Shivraj Patil as its front-runner presidential candidate, the Congress’ efforts to forge a consensus in the UPA went a step further today as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi drove straight to the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for talks after landing in the capital from Chennai. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was also present during the meeting.

As confabulations continued today among UPA allies and partners, the Congress seemed hopeful of bringing round the Left on its choice of candidate. The statement issued today by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, in which he again dubbed reports involving his name as speculative, is being seen as a signal to the Left to leave him out of the picture. The Left has so far been insisting that Mukherjee was the best choice despite signals from the Congress that it cannot relieve the senior minister for the top job because of his numerous responsibilities in running the government.

Sources said the Congress could rethink on Patil's candidature if the Left puts up stiff opposition. The Left is expected to firm up its stand in the next few days after talking to UPA partners. The Left parties had said yesterday that they will talk to Karunanidhi before finalising their stand.

Karunanidhi, who delayed his arrival in the capital for a day apparently due to health reasons, is expected to be in the capital for the next two days. Sources said that two-three names were discussed during Karunanidhi's meeting with the PM and the Congress president.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Karunanidhi said the names that were discussed were of Congress candidates. He reportedly insisted that the UPA should field a strong candidate.

Senior CPI leader A.B. Bardhan met NCP chief and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today during which they discussed developments concerning the presidential election.

Bardhan maintained that no particular name had been communicated to them by the Congress leadership.

The Congress, which has all along maintained that the name of candidate will be announced after completing the process of consultations, today faced a barrage of questions over Mayawati's remarks yesterday that she had reached an understanding with Sonia Gandhi on the presidential nominee.

The remarks of the BSP chief, made a day after Gandhi went to her residence to meet her, have apparently caused murmurs among some partners of the ruling coalition with some parties seeing it as preferential treatment to a party which was not in the UPA.

Answering queries, Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said it was not for her to agree or disagree with the views of Mayawati and there was no question of the Congress taking for granted any of the UPA partners or allies. "All views are taken on board," she said.

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister N.D. Tiwari, whose name has apparently slipped from among the top contenders for presidential nomination, met the Congress president today.

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Tough battle for July-19 poll
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
As consensus eludes, tough contest can be expected for the election of President of India for which polling would take place on July 19 on ballot paper, and the counting of votes, two days later.

Rolling out the election process for the election of 13th President, chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami said, “The nominations can be submitted from Saturday and the last date of nominations will be June 30 and (their) scrutiny will take place on July 3. The last date for withdrawal of nominations will be July 4. The election will take place on July 19.”

The counting of votes is scheduled for July 21, three days before Kalam demits office. While vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is expected to enter the fray as an NDA-backed independent candidate, differences continues amongst the UPA and supporting allies on their choice of the candidate.

Although home minister Shivraj Patil has emerged as the front-runner, the Left parties and the Nationalist Congress Party are not too enthusiastic about this. It is learnt that the DMK, which is keeping its cards close to its chest, could bargain on the vice-presidential post for its support to the Congress-led UPA nominee.

Sources indicated that Left parties could express their displeasure by not associating with the UPA candidature if Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s choice is Patil.

Gopalaswami said the election would be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote and the voting would be by secret ballot.

So far, all Presidential elections have witnessed a contest, except for the one in 1977 when Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was elected unopposed.

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SC dismisses PIL against Maya as CM
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 13
The Supreme Court today rejected a petition challenging the election of Mayawati as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and her close confidant S.C. Mishra as minister in her Cabinet without their quitting as MPs.

Both Mayawati and Mishra were Rajya Sabha members at the time of their appointment as Chief Minister and minister, respectively, after the BSP’s recent resounding victory in the state Assembly elections.

Mainly relying its judgement on earlier decided cases on the issue, recognising the proposition of the law giving six months’ time to a legislator to remain a member of both Parliament and state Assembly, a Bench of justices Arijit Pasayat and P.P. Naolekar said it was clearly laid down that after the expiry of six months, if a legislator failed to get elected to the state Assembly he or she would not remain a Chief Minsiter or a minister.

“The plain words cannot be cut down in any manner and confined to a case where a minister as a member of the legislature of the state loses for some reason his seat in the state legislature,” the court said.

“There is nothing in the Constitution that would make the appointment of the Chief Minister and the minister, none of whom are the members of the state legislature as illegal,” the apex court said.

Citing earlier rulings, it said the appointment of a Chief Minister could not be merely challenged on the ground that he or she was not a member of the legislature of the state at the time of his or her appointment.

Regarding an MP being appointed as Chief Minister or a minister of a state, the court quoted “Simultaneous Membership Rules, 1950” promulgated in exercise of powers by the Centre under Article 101, Clause 2 and Article 190, Clause 2 in this regard. It held that 14 days’ time from the date of publication of in the gazette of India or in the gazette of the state, whichever is later, had been fixed for choosing the membership of a house to a legislator.

“In view of what has been stated by this Court (in earlier decisions), the inevitable conclusion is that the petition (against Mayawati and S.C. Mishra) sans merit and deserves to be dismissed,” the Bench ruled.

A PIL by advocate Ashok Pandey had sought interpretation of the law relating to the appointment of a non-MLA as Chief Minister and minister and the position of MPs appointed to the post without their resigning from the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.

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‘Need to preserve cantonments’

Pune, June 13
Encroachments in the 62 cantonments across the country will be strictly dealt with as there is a need to preserve the original character and sanctity of these areas, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said today.

"Encroachments will not be tolerated. However, because of the fast growth being witnessed in different cities including Pune, which has many major defence establishments, there are issues about land that need to be resolved with local authorities," Raju told reporters here after meeting civic and defence officials.

"Many road widening and bridge projects that pass through defence lands are experiencing bottlenecks," he said, adding efforts will be made to improve conditions for citizens living in and around the cantonments.

"As the Department of Defence Estates is with me, we had discussions on the land issues with officials of the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation," he said.

The meeting was attended by Pune Mayor Rajshri Bhonsale, municipal commissioners, the local MLA, principal officer of of Defence Estate and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, Lt Gen Aditya Singh.

"We discussed the bottlenecks faced by many road and bridge projects that pass through defence areas in Pune, one of the fastest growing cities of India, and ways to facilitate the people living in and around the cantonment without compromising on security needs," the minister said.

Asked about progress in discussions with regard to Pune, he said the defence ministry is yet to receive any proposals. "Upon receiving them, we will examine and see that the objectives are achieved," he said.

However, as the issues concern proposals of compensation, lease and transfer and sale of land, they will go up to the highest level, the Cabinet from the defence ministry, Raju said. — PTI

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Talks With ULFA
Assam CM not optimistic about Centre’s terms
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 13
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Opposition leader Brindabon Goswami do not sound optimistic as the Centre has set three fresh conditions for facilitating direct talks with the banned militant group.

Gogoi said today talks would fructify only if the militant outfit’s top brass came forward to take part in the discussion. “There is no point discussing with ULFA’s representatives as was the case on the previous occasion,” he said while welcoming the latest efforts by the Nagarik Shanti Mancha Asom (NSMA) to revive the peace talks.

Opposition Asom Gana parishad (AGP) president Brindabon Goswami said the Centre’s bid to revive talks with the ULFA by setting pre-conditions was unlikely to deliver. He said both sides should come forward for talks sans any pre-condition

The Centre’s response came in the wake of initiative taken by the Nagarik Shanti Mancha Asom (Citizens’ Peace Forum, Assam,) led by litterateur Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami.

The forum members met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday with a request for his initiative to revive the peace process with the banned ULFA.

National security adviser M.K. Narayanan on Tuesday conveyed to Dr Goswami that the Centre would hold direct talks with the ULFA in case ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa or commander in chief Paresh Barua sent direct communication to the government expressing their willingness to hold dialogue without any condition.

The Centre had informed the Mancha that the dialogue would be held between mutually agreed upon emissaries of the ULFA and the Government of India. In case the ULFA needed to consult its leaders in jail, the Centre would provide safe passage to ULFA leaders for the purpose.

The previous peace initiative that started with the ULFA constituting a group of civil society negotiators called People’s Consultative Group (PCG), ran into deadlock after the ULFA top brass failed to comply with the Centre’s request for a written commitment to come forward for direct talks.

The Central government also didn’t agree to the ULFA’s demand for release of its five central executive committee leaders now lodged in jail in Guwahati.

However, Gogoi expressed doubt over the presence of anyone reliable having direct contact with the ULFA under present circumstances where the militant groups had been banking heavily on issuing statements to air its views.

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Muslim sisters go to college with court support
Were prevented from attending college by conservative neighbours

Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 13
Two Muslim sisters from downtown Mumbai who were prevented from going to college by conservative neighbours moved the Bombay High Court which ordered police protection for them.

The two sisters, Samina (19) and Zarina (18) Shaikh, who live in the Madanpura neighbourhood of South Mumbai in their petition sought protection from Mohammad Ali Nisar Ansari, a self-styled Maulana.

The girls stated that Ansari prevented them from going to college on the ground that Islam did not permit higher education for girls. They also complained of being assaulted by Ansari and some goons hired by him.

The two are the first girls to pursue higher education from the Jafferbari Chawl area where they live. The girls say they struggled hard from their early days to do well in studies. While Samina scored 83 per cent in her SSC exams her sister scored 75 per cent marks. However, they were both forced to sit at home for more than a year since pressure from their conservative neighbours prevented them from pursuing higher education.

"Actually we were educated in the Urdu medium, but we have learnt to speak English," says Samina who is a student at the St Xavier's College.

She managed to continue studying past her XII standard and is now in her Second Year Science. "I would like to work as a software engineer," says Samina.

Her sister Zarina too managed to overcome years of pressure to study for a B.Com degree. She aspires to be a chartered accountant.

Though the sisters suffered silently for years, the pressure got to them recently after Ansari beat them up and their father Mohammad Shaikh. The elder Shaikh, who does zari embroidery work for a living, was clubbed on the head with a cricket bat for not bowing to the demands of Ansari.

Though both girls move around in burqa, the conservative elements in the community are still unhappy with them going to the college.

Unfortunately for them, the local police too did not intervene thereby forcing them to approach the courts. According to the family Ansari was a police informer and enjoyed good relations with the local police.

However, Ansari was not at home and his family told this reporter that he was away at work.

After the girls moved the court, they received help from Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Dilip Bhosale who ordered the police to stop the harassment.

The two sisters have now received support from numerous Muslim organisations based in Mumbai. Awaz-e-Niswan, a support group for Muslim women, has come out in the open to back the education of the two sisters. Several Islamic scholars too have come out in support of higher education for girls.

"Muslims across India are pursuing higher education in a big way to improve their lives. The two sisters should receive all help they need from the police," educationist Maulana Zaheer Abbas said. Many of the intellectuals from the community are planning to meet with residents of the locality so that the two girls are not harassed in future.

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Army-trained sniffer dogs for Northern Railway
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
Northern Railway (NR) has discovered a new track for sourcing sniffer dogs. For the first time, it has bought 12 full-grown army trained Labradors from Meerut. The dogs are trained in detecting explosives.

The new army of canines at the disposal of the northern zone of Indian Railways earned a deserving mention by general manager of Northern Railway Shri Prakash at a press conference here today.

Replying to a question on measures being taken to beef up security, Prakash said patrolling had been intensified in New Delhi and Old Delhi railway stations.

Apart from this, NR has bought more handheld detectors and door frame detectors. Prakash has also called a meeting tomorrow evening to review the security scenario of the Northern Railway in Delhi.

Chief security commissioner of the Northern Railway, Pradeep Mehta said they decided to bring army trained Labradors to augment the number of sniffer dogs. “This is the first time that the northern zone has got fully trained dogs. It is also the first time that RPF handlers have been sent

to Meerut for 10 days to get accustomed to the dogs. We hope to use the

services of these dogs at the Old Delhi, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Sarai Rohilla stations, by rotation.”

As part of measures to gear up security, close circuit television cameras are being upgraded for the Old Delhi and New Delhi stations.

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Custodial death
Haryana police’s version ‘implausible’

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today said that the Haryana police’s explanation of the alleged custodial killing of a youth of Banchari village in Faridabad is “implausible”.

The ACHR has drawn this inference after meeting relatives of the deceased, eye-witnesses and police officers.

The case pertains to the alleged custodial death of Rohtas Singh, 21-year-old son of the former sarpanch of Banchari village of Hodal sub-division in Faridabad district.

ACHR director Suhas Chakma said that they decided to intervene after taking cognisance of a news report in The Tribune. He said that

Rohtas Singh was arrested on April 17 following a minor accident. He was detained under Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code. He was produced before the deputy superintendent of police, Hodal, who then sent him to the Hodal police station.

Rohtas Singh's father tried to seek bail for his son but was allegedly prevented from doing so. In its eight-page report based on the findings of its two-member team of lawyers, the ACHR has wondered how the police tried to pass off Rohtas Singh's death as a case of suicide when it was a clear case of torture.

“The police claimed that Rohtas Singh committed suicide with a quilt cover. The SHO could not explain as to why a quilt cover was provided to the deceased in summer. The height of the ceiling was about 12 feet and there was no stair or chair on which the victim could have climbed to reach the cross bar to hang himself.” Chakma said that the post-mortem report recorded ante-mortem injuries caused by blunt force. “Though the post-mortem reported death by hanging, it failed to indicate whether it was a case of suicide or homicide, thereby raising questions about the violation of medical ethics.” The ACHR has submitted a copy of its report to the NHRC.

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Yorkshire is new Bollywood hotspot

Mumbai, June 13
Yorkshire pudding and Geoffrey Boycott are its most famous exports. Sachin Tendulkar is its most famous import. But over the past weekend, the picturesque county of Yorkshire in northern Britain earned the label of a Bollywood hotspot after the IIFA awards ceremony.

“We were asked many a time, why we invested so much in getting the IIFA here, but for us the question is purely of getting in as many tourists as possible. Indians are the biggest spenders in the UK and we want to cash in on that,” Judith Donovan, chairperson of the Yorkshire Tourist Board, said during the weekend. “Rang De Basanti” was adjudged the best film while Raj Kumar Hirani was named the best director for “Lage Raho Munnabhai”.

But the IIFA weekend was not just about the awards. This year, the awards propagated the message of “Global Cool” by asking people to reduce carbon emissions.

“We are not asking much from the people. If they just make a small effort and change their lifestyle, it will make a huge difference,” IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan said. — PTI

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After a hellish life, mother fights for 9 kids

Agra, June 13
For 17 years, Agra resident Afroz, who is blind, says she took it all from her husband: insults, physical and mental exploitation and deprivation, even as she bore him nine children and became pregnant with the tenth.

But when her husband Hasan, a resident of Nai ki Mandi in old Agra, filed for divorce, she decided to finally fight it out.

On Tuesday, Afroz gave a written complaint to the women's cell at the Rakabganj police station after receiving the divorce notice. She is currently at her parent's home in Bodla in the Jagdhihspura area of the city, along with her nine children.

On May 29, she had gone to her parents' house for a regular visit. But soon, she got a one-line notice by post announcing Hasan's decision to divorce her. However, she refused to accept the same.

SHO Sarita Singh confirmed that Afroz had filed a complaint. The feisty mother says she does not care for her life anymore, but would do anything to get justice for her kids. — IANS

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N-terrorism
Indian-US officials hold talks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
India and the US began talks spread over two days to avert the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and strengthening global non-proliferation.

The Indian side led by Hamid Ali Rao, joint secretary (disarmament) and visiting U S Assistant Secretary of State John C Rood discussed issues, including multilateral initiatives and strategic trade controls and regional security.

India drew pointed attention to the dangers of clandestine proliferation and the underground nuclear market managed by Pakistan's top scientist A Q Khan which has reportedly sold nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran.

The dialogue on non-proliferation assumes importance in the wake of the proposed Indo-US civilian nuclear deal and the hard negotiations under way pertaining to the 123 Agreement.

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Talmiz Ahmed appointed ambassador to UAE
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
Senior career diplomat and Director General of the Indian Council for World Affairs Talmiz Ahmed has been appointed ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Ahmed succeeds C M Bhadari and is expecte to take up his assignemnt shortly, ministry of External Affairs announced here today.

A Gulf region expert, Ahmed had been deputed by the government to secure the release of three Indian truck drivers kidnapped in Iraq three years back. He had also done a deputation in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas and was involved in negotiations of several intrnational energy cooperation initiatives including the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

Ahmed had also served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Oman.

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Bal Kumar arrested

Lucknow, June 13
With Bal Kumar “officially” being arrested today in Rae Bareli, law seems to be finally catching up. His brother Dadua, the dacoit, has been evading the police of both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for almost two decades and carrying an award of Rs 7 lakh on his head.

According to the Home Department, four cases have been filed against Bal Kumar for illegal possession of arms, land encroachment and forgery. In Raipura police station at Chitrakoot, eight cases of heinous crimes, including murders, are still pending against him.

While he was officially arrested today, he had remained in detention by the Special Task Force since Sunday. — TNS

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India to look into adoption issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
Reacting to reports about Denmark suspending all adoptions from India, India's Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) today said it would look into the matter.

“We are investigating the matter. I have asked for all relevant papers pertaining to the issue,” CARA chairman J.K. Mittal said. He added he has written to the Danish authorities to share the facts on the basis of which Denmark has decided to suspend adoptions from India. Early this week, Denmark suspended all adoptions from India after a documentary claimed that children had been adopted in that country from a Pune-based orphanage without the approval of their birth parents.

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