SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Clash in Nandigram leaves 2 dead
Kolkata, October 7
Nandigram flared up again today, following a series of clashes between the CPI(M) and the Krishi Raksha Committee, in which firearms, bombs, brickbats and other lethal weapons were freely used.Seventy-year-old widow Parbati Das and 6-year-old Renu Saha were killed, while they were working in the field.

PIL against N-deal in Bombay HC
Mumbai, October 7
A city-based lawyer has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court against the 123-agreement between India and the USA on civilian nuclear cooperation.

Sonia sets stage for elections
New Delhi, October 7
Perhaps inadvertently, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today set the proverbial cat among the pigeons.

BJP withdraws support to JD(S)
Bangalore, October 7
Ending nearly two years of uneasy ties, the BJP today formally withdrew support to the JD(S)-led coalition government in Karnataka, headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, after he refused to transfer power to the saffron party which also sought a floor test for him in three days.

 


EARLIER STORIES




India for better ties with Myanmar: Pranab
Guwahati, October 7
Notwithstanding the call of the pro-democracy group to take a tough posture against the Military Junta in Myanmar, India today reiterated its intention to have better regional cooperation with Myanmar now embroiled in internal conflicts.

India, FBI investigate Maldives bombing
New Delhi, October 7
The Indian government is understood to have quietly dispatched a team of investigators to the Maldives, to probe the archipelago’s maiden terrorist bombing of September 29, which injured 12 foreign tourists from three countries.

Rapid Action Force's women wings give the salute during its 15th anniversary celebrations at the 101 Battalion campus at Vastral in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Rapid Action Force's women wings give the salute during its 15th anniversary celebrations at the 101 Battalion campus at Vastral in Ahmedabad on Sunday. — PTI photo

Beneficiaries to assess
demand: SC

New Delhi, October 7
In a bid to stop illegal diversion of wheat from the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Supreme Court has directed that the intended beneficiaries themselves make the assessment of the actual requirements.

Security beefed up outside mosques
Mumbai, October 7
Maharashtra’s Home Department has warned of attacks on mosques similar to the one’s which took place in Malegaon town last year.

Fighting AIDS, the Gandhian way
New Delhi, October 7
Inspired by the Bollywood character Munnabhai, a group of Gandhians here launched a campaign against HIV/AIDS by urging people in a "Gandhian style" to keep themselves away from illicit relationship.

Uttar Pradesh to redraw BPL list
Lucknow, October 7
In response to a large number of complaints of irregularities in the vital below poverty line (BPL) list in Uttar Pradesh, the state government today decided to go for a fresh survey to prepare a new list weeding out the ineligible beneficiaries on the existing list.

Two ULFA ultras gunned down
Guwahati, October 7
The Army gunned down two ULFA militants, one of them suspected to be a senior leader of the outfit, following an encounter at Bhergaon under Tangla police station of Darrang district of north Assam in the wee hours today.

L M SinghviL.M. Singhvi: A multifaceted personality
New Delhi, October 7
L M Singhvi, an eminent jurist and former High Commissioner to the UK who died yesterday after ailing for a brief period was a multifaceted personality. He successfully played the roles of a diplomat, jurist, parliamentarian, litterateur and a champion of human rights. In the midst of a long list of accomplishments, his stint as the longest serving High Commissioner to the United Kingdom will always stand out.

2 tigers poisoned in Rajiv Gandhi Park
Guwahati, October 7
Miscreants poisoned two tigers in Rajiv Gandhi National Park at Orang under Mangaldoi forest division of northern Assam, about 200 kilometers away from here, much to the chagrin of wildlife brigades in Assam.

Nitish govt’s fall imminent: Fernandes
Patna, October 7
Former JD(U) chief and NDA convenor George Fernandes today said the downfall of the Nitish government was imminent.

Lalu betrayed minorities in Bihar: Taslimuddin
Patna, October 7
Even before Union railways minister Lalu Prasad could issue “Chetawani”(warning) to his bete-noire Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he was warned by senior party leader and union minister of state for consumer affairs Taslimuddin for allegedly betraying the cause of minorities in the state both during 15 years of the RJD rule and in the post-defeat period after 2005.

Dalit’s fight against social malice
Patna, October 7
She is illiterate, a woman and a Dalit. For Pramila Devi the odds were stacked heavily against her when it came to contesting the village panchayat elections last year.
But despite everything, she stood firm and became mukhiya of the Kako block in the Naxalite-infested Jehanabad district.

Gujarat Assembly Elections
Division of secular votes possible
Ahmedabad, October 7
The entry of new parties in Gujarat in the coming assembly elections could divide the secular votes in the state. Parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the left parties and the New Socialist Movement have declared that they will contest the assembly elections in the state, scheduled by the year-end, independently.

Kathak exponent for return of “Ghungroo ki Raat”
Lucknow, October 7
Seeking to revive “Ghungroo ki Raat”, a long-lost tradition of Lucknow gharana of Kathak, a special dance performance was staged in the backdrop of 300-year-old Bhairon Baba temple here recently.

TV serial on Veerappan
Chennai, October 7
A Tamil television serial on the life of forest bandit and sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who was gunned down three years ago by the police, will be telecast on Makkal TV, a channel owned by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) from next week.

Differences between Deshmukh, Rau widen
Mumbai, October 7
Differences between Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and MPCC president Prabha Rau have widened with the latter suspending MLA Pratap Patil Chikhlikar as associate member of Congress for alleged anti-party activities.

CBI for monitoring of Internet gateways
New Delhi, October 7
With terrorists’ growing use of the cyber network for communication, security agencies, including the CBI, have asked the government to amend the Information Technology Act to enable investigating and intelligence agencies to monitor the Internet network and gateways.

Yadav rules out action against convicted MLA
New delhi, October 7
In an overnight reversal of stand, the Janata Dal (United) today ruled out any disciplinary action against Munna Shukla, sitting MLA from Lalganj and party leader Harendra Kumar who have been awarded life imprisonment by a trial court in Patna. They along with five others have been found guilty in a 13-year-old case concerning the lynching of the then Gopalganj District Magistrate G. Krishnaiah.

2 more die in Lonavala 
Pune, October 7
With two more persons succumbing to injuries today, the number of labourers killed in Lonavala, after their heads were smashed, has gone up to seven even as the police arrested two persons in connection with the crime. Two critically wounded labourers, who had been admitted to a hospital passed away last night, hospital authorities said.



Videos
Vegetable prices up.
(56k)
Obesity a global problem.
(56k)
Music + coffee = bliss?
(56k)
Small cars = high pollution?
(56k)
Bollywood goes slim.
(56k)
Kailash’s Chinese connection.
(56k)

 

Top









 

Clash in Nandigram leaves 2 dead
Subhrangshu Gupta/TNS

Kolkata, October 7
Nandigram flared up again today, following a series of clashes between the CPI(M) and the Krishi Raksha Committee, in which firearms, bombs, brickbats and other lethal weapons were freely used.Seventy-year-old widow Parbati Das and 6-year-old Renu Saha were killed, while they were working in the field.

Over 50 others belonging to both the warring group were hurt, 18 of them seriously and were admitted to different hospitals at Tamlk and Haldia.

According to reports, trouble began at around 10 am, when a CPI(M) procession coming from the adjoining Khejuri village marched into Nandigram with a view to re-capture their lands for rehabilitating their people displaced from the area about six months back, following attacks from the Krishi Bachaoo Committee.

Shouting slogans, the displaced people, including several women and children, led by local CPI(M) leaders and workers tried to enter the village but they were forcibly resisted by the farmers. Soon the two groups entered into a clash.

Farmers attacked the “intruders” with bombs and brickbats but the CPI(M) responded with gun-shots. It was followed by exchange of fire in which several people were hurt.

Soon a large contingent of para-military forces and armed police rushed to the spot. The SP along with other senior police officials reached Nandigram and took control of the situation.

There were also reports that a clash had taken place between the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress workers. The police fired several tear gas shells to disperse the violent mob.

In a separate incident at Ausgram in Burdwan district, the CPI(M) party office was attacked and burnt down by an angry mob who protested against the non-supply of foodstuff from ration shops. The aggrieved people alleged that the local CPI(M) MLA and other leaders were protecting the corrupt dealers who stored the ration rice and other foodstuff to sell them at black-market rates.

Top

 

PIL against N-deal in Bombay HC

Mumbai, October 7
A city-based lawyer has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court against the 123-agreement between India and the USA on civilian nuclear cooperation.

Petitioner M V Holmaggi has sought “an interpretation of the bilateral agreement, and an assurance from the Central government that it would not harm the country’s interests.” Holmaggi is the former president of the city-civil court Bar Association here. He has also made the American consulate a party to the PIL.

His petition contended that his scepticism about the deal arises out of historical background: “We cannot forget that in 1971, when we fought Bangladesh war against Pakistan, the USA had supported Pakistan,” he argued before the High Court. “The USA had even sent its seventh fleet to the Bay of Bengal then,” he stated.

“Therefore, we must proceed cautiously on this deal. All I am seeking is an official interpretation of clauses in the 123-agreement,” he said. — PTI

Top

 

Sonia sets stage for elections
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Perhaps inadvertently, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today set the proverbial cat among the pigeons.

Having so far refrained from commenting publicly on the UPA’s ongoing differences with the Left parties over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Congress President’s remarks at a rally in Haryana in which she hit out at those opposing the country’s development programmes, created a flutter in the Capital’s hyperactive political circuit.

Coming down heavily against the Congress party’s opponents, Gandhi said those hindering the country’s development programmes are not only against the Congress but “they are enemies of peace and progress. We must give them a strong reply”. Earlier, she defended the deal, stating that it will help meet the country’s growing energy needs.

Gandhi’s speech was immediately interpreted as a direct attack against the Left and seen as an indicator of early poll. Just yesterday, when she was questioned about the possibility of mid-term elections at the Prime Minister’s Iftar party, Gandhi said the party was ready to face an election.

Predictably, the Congress President’s remarks elicited a quick and angry response from CPI leaders. But senior Congress leaders maintained Gandhi’s references to the party’s opponents were general in nature and were not aimed specifically against the Left.

But given the tenuous relations between the UPA and the Left parties, the Congress will have a tough time explaining Gandhi’s public attack against those opposing development as these comments have been juxtaposed with her defence of the nuclear deal.

Coming just two days ahead the fourth meeting of the UPA-Left joint committee, formed to resolve their differences over the nuke deal, Gandhi’s comments may add to the fissures between the two sides.

As it is, not been much not much progress has been made at these meetings with both the Left parties and the UPA sticking to their respective positions on the nuke deal. In fact, Congress leaders even told Left leaders at the last meeting that it will not be possible for the government to put off its negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency indefinitely and it would keep their allies abreast about the talks.

Top

 

BJP withdraws support to JD(S)

Bangalore, October 7
Ending nearly two years of uneasy ties, the BJP today formally withdrew support to the JD(S)-led coalition government in Karnataka, headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, after he refused to transfer power to the saffron party which also sought a floor test for him in three days.

BJP leaders, led by its former Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, met Governor Rameshwar Thakur and handed over to him the letter withdrawing support to Kumaraswamy.

It urged the Governor to direct Kumaraswamy to seek a floor test within three days.

“In these circumstances, we pray that the Governor dismiss Kumaraswamy from the Chief Ministership or in the alternative, if Kumaraswamy is desirous of seeking a vote of confidence in the legislature, he should be called to convene a session within three days”, the BJP said in its letter.

However, a beleaguered Kumaraswamy said he would meet Thakur to plead that he be given an opportunity to prove his majority on the floor of the house.

“I should be given a chance to prove majority”, he said, seeking to spike BJP allegations of ‘betrayal’. He charged some state and Central BJP leaders had conspired to stall power transfer to prevent Yediyurappa from becoming the Chief Minister.

Hours after the BJP withdrew support, a delegation of Congress leaders met the Governor and urged him to take the party into confidence in the formation of an alternative government. — PTI

Top

 

India for better ties with Myanmar: Pranab
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, October 7
Notwithstanding the call of the pro-democracy group to take a tough posture against the Military Junta in Myanmar, India today reiterated its intention to have better regional cooperation with Myanmar now embroiled in internal conflicts.

Addressing a three day seminar on the “India’s Look east Policy: Challenges for Sub Regional Cooperation”, organised by the public diplomacy wing of the MEA here this afternoon, the external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said better cooperation with Myanmar would bring north east India closer to the south east Asian economies and launch the eastern part of the country a fast track of economic development.

Making no mention in his speech about the on-going internal unrest in Myanmar, Mukherjee said, “India is involved in variety of bilateral projects with Myanmar including roads, railway, telecom, IT, science and technology, power etc. These are aimed at improving connectivity between the N-E Indian and western Myanmar to give impetus to local economy and bi-lateral trade.”

“Probably among the most important is the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit transport facility, which envisages connectivity between Indian ports on the eastern sea board and Sittwe Port in Myanmar and then through river transport and by road to Mizoram, thereby providing an alternative route for transport of goods to the north east India. In fact given the importance that Government of India attaches to this project, we have decided to fund it completely on our own” he said.

He further informed that up gradation of the Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo road in Myanmar across Manipur had been completed, even as confabulations were on to start work on the trilateral highway project, which proposed to connect Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Bagan in Myanmar.

The government of India has initiated the process to improve infrastructure at the second India-Myanmar border trade point at Rhi Zowkhathar in Mizoram sector through improvement of Rhi-Tidim and Rhi-Falam road segments in Myanmar.

He said the BSNL had already started its optical fibre project to enhance digital connectivity with south-east Asia adding that India was a part of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation Project, which included Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and was aimed at developing trade, tourism, communication and transport linkages. 

Top

 

India, FBI investigate Maldives bombing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
The Indian government is understood to have quietly dispatched a team of investigators to the Maldives, to probe the archipelago’s maiden terrorist bombing of September 29, which injured 12 foreign tourists from three countries.

The Male explosion has triggered fears that conditions in the strategically located Indian Ocean archipelago could make it a prime transit point for transnational jihadists. The blast is a wake up call for the international community in general and India in particular as Islamist terrorist are not known to have used this route earlier. Maldives’ 1,200 small islands offer many excellent hiding places and its security forces are ill prepared in dealing with a militant threat. The Indian action has come in response to a specific request from Male. New Delhi is taking the Male bomb blast incident very seriously in view of its possible ramifications.

Interestingly, the Maldivian government has also requested the US for the FBI’s help in cracking the case, though not a single American was injured in the incident. The Maldives government made this formal request to Washington on October 1. Two Britons sustained serious burn injuries in the Male blast, while two Japanese and eight Chinese got minor injuries.

The Maldivian authorities had initially picked up 11 suspects, including two Bangladeshis’ in connection with the blast at Sultan Park, one of the main tourist areas in Male. The predominantly Sunni Muslim country has a large population of Bangladeshi immigrants. The possibility that elements of this community could have staged the attack in response to discrimination or to the liberal brand of Islam practised in Maldives can not be ruled out.

According to information, the cell that carried out this attack, was not proficient at designing or constructing its improvised explosive device (IED). 

Top

 

Beneficiaries to assess demand: SC

New Delhi, October 7
In a bid to stop illegal diversion of wheat from the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Supreme Court has directed that the intended beneficiaries themselves make the assessment of the actual requirements.

The court passed a slew of guidelines to that effect while dealing with a petition filed by the UP Roller Flour Mills Association, which alleged that highly subsidised wheat stocks of the Centre worth Rs 31,000 crore were being illegally diverted into the open market.

The apex court said gram panchayats/local bodies and associations shall assess the need of wheat or atta (flour) as the case may be for supply to BPL (below poverty line) and APL (above poverty line) families and indicate the same to their respective state governments.

While wheat will be routed to the beneficiaries through the local fair price shops, the quantity indicated for conversion into flour shall be given to the local flour mills, the court said. — PTI 

Top

 

Security beefed up outside mosques
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 7
Maharashtra’s Home Department has warned of attacks on mosques similar to the one’s which took place in Malegaon town last year.

The warning comes days before the Ramzan Id. After the warning by the Maharashtra government, worshippers at mosques in Mumbai and other places have come together and formed volunteers to beef up security.

Police sources said security was tightened at places which attracted a large number of people during the month of Ramzan. Outside the brightly-lit Minara Masjid in South Mumbai where scores of people descend in droves for the famed ‘iftaar food’, the police was preventing tables from being set on roads.

“We are not allowing people to lay tables on the streets due to security measures though they can eat on the footpaths,” duty officer at the RAK Marg police station said.

Cooks from as far as Lucknow come to Mumbai and serve a variety of exotic dishes like pheasants, jungle fowl, etc. to Mumbaikars.

Police sources said security was tightened, following increased threats to Muslim places of worship. Among other things, intelligence agencies have also warned of human suicide bombers detonating explosives during the crowded Ramzan hours.

According to reports in the Urdu press, worshippers at over 200 mosques in the city have formed security squads with the help of volunteers to prevent any untoward incident. They are also liaising with the local police stations.

Police sources said they were looking for patterns similar to the blasts that took place at Delhi's Jama Masjid and at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. Security has also been beefed up at railway stations to intercept suspicious looking passengers arriving into Mumbai.

Top

 

Fighting AIDS, the Gandhian way

New Delhi, October 7
Inspired by the Bollywood character Munnabhai, a group of Gandhians here launched a campaign against HIV/AIDS by urging people in a "Gandhian style" to keep themselves away from illicit relationship.

Activists of the "Universal Peace Foundation" distributed "Gandhigiri" pamphlets, which contained the messages of Mahatma Gandhi on values like being trustworthy in relationships and on the institution of wedding. The pamphlet urged people to take a pledge that they would keep away from illicit relationships before or after marriage. It also contained passages from sacred texts of various religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Baahai.

"We are trying to reach out to the masses using Mahatma's teachings to fight against HIV/AIDS. Gandhiji also spoke on length about the need for adhering to family values," David McLackLand, a Britisher associated with the campaign, told PTI. He said that it was good to copy good things from abroad but copying bad ideas like the western family values could create problems here. The campaign was designed under the guidance of eminent jurist L M Singhvi, who died yesterday. — PTI

Top

 

Uttar Pradesh to redraw BPL list
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 7
In response to a large number of complaints of irregularities in the vital below poverty line (BPL) list in Uttar Pradesh, the state government today decided to go for a fresh survey to prepare a new list weeding out the ineligible beneficiaries on the existing list.

The state Cabinet today decided to get the new survey done within three months, announced Chief Minister Mayawati soon after chairing the Cabinet meeting.

The survey to be jointly conducted by the departments of rural department, food and civil supplies and revenue would “aim at transparency by carrying out the process in open public meetings at the village level so that ineligible beneficiaries are completely weeded out”, said Mayawati.

Until the new list is ready the BPL and ‘antyodya’ families would continue to enjoy the usual benefits as per the existing list.

Explaining the need for this long drawn out exercise the Chief Minister said since the rural development and the food and civil supplies department had identified BPL families separately, several discrepancies were found during the identification process. Many eligible families did not figure in the list and many not entitled for benefits were actually enjoying it,” she pointed out. Answering a question on the criteria to be used for the resurvey, Mayawati clarified that the survey would be conducted strictly on the basis of the guidelines issued by the union government.

The government has prepared an exhaustive 13-point assessment format for the identification of BPL families. On the basis of the resurvey, a list in the descending order would be prepared to identify the BPL families.

The list prepared as per the resurvey would be presented before an open meeting of gram sabha for greater transparency. Senior government officers would attend the public meetings. Responding to a question, the Chief Minister revealed that as of now there were approximately 1.06 crore families in the state living below the poverty line.

Top

 

Two ULFA ultras gunned down
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, October 7
The Army gunned down two ULFA militants, one of them suspected to be a senior leader of the outfit, following an encounter at Bhergaon under Tangla police station of Darrang district of north Assam in the wee hours today.

Mangaldaoi district additional superintendent of police (ASP) Sudhakar Singh informed that the militants were taking shelter in a house in the village. The Army team recovered one satellite phone, one 9 mm pistol, one .38 revolver and one mobile phone from the slain ultras.

The recovery of the satellite phone has raised the suspicion that one of the two slain militants, who is yet to be identified, was a very senior leader probably in the rank of a battalion commander in the ULFA.

The area where the encounter took place is within the operational area of the 709 battalion of the ULFA. The police and the Army have been hot on the trail of the ULFA’s 709 battalion commander Hira Sarania, the prime culprit in the abduction of slain FCI executive director Dr P.C. Ram and mastermind of series of explosions in lower Assam areas, including Guwahati city of late. 

Top

 

L.M. Singhvi: A multifaceted personality

New Delhi, October 7
L M Singhvi, an eminent jurist and former High Commissioner to the UK who died yesterday after ailing for a brief period was a multifaceted personality. He successfully played the roles of a diplomat, jurist, parliamentarian, litterateur and a champion of human rights. In the midst of a long list of accomplishments, his stint as the longest serving High Commissioner to the United Kingdom will always stand out.

In recognition of his contribution to law and public affairs, the President honoured him with the “Padma Bhushan” in 1998. From arbitration tribunals to diplomacy and international fora, he fitted into different roles with effortless ease.

Singhvi was elected as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association on several occasions. He held the post for the second-highest number of times with late M.C. Setalvad being the only one to have more stints than him. As a senior advocate of the SC, he was also the founder president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Trust.

Singhvi, a poet, essayist and an author, was president of the Authors’ Guild of India for nearly a decade. His book “Freedom on Trial” and “A Tale of Three Cities” were widely acclaimed and “Freedom on Trial” was reprinted many times over.

He was also elected as Mahatma Gandhi professor at Leicester University and delivered lectures on “Jurisprudence of Non-Violence.” He conceived and founded the Law Day, which is widely observed by the Bench and the Bar in India on November 26 every year. A constitutional expert, he worked on the constitutions of Bangladesh, Nepal and South Africa. He was elected honorary Tagore Law professor in 1973 at the Calcutta University, one of the oldest and most highly regarded chairs throughout the world in the field of law, and was the founder-president (later honorary patron) of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, London.

In 1956, Singhvi attended the international legal science conference under the auspices of the UNESCO in Barcelona, Spain, as one of the four Indian delegates.

He is also credited with the setting up of the Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies, Human Rights Rectangle, Centre for Human Rights Education and Training, Centre for the Study of Law and Society. Among his last few assignments was his stint as a commissioner of inquiry into the administration of justice in Trinidad and Tobago. — PTI 

PM, Advani pay tributes

Delhi, October 7
The mortal remains of late L M Singhvi were today consigned to the flames in the presence of family members and leaders from across the political spectrum.

Singhvi, an eminent jurist and former Indian diplomat died here yesterday. He was 76.

“Son Abhishek Manu Singhvi and daughter Abhilasha jointly lit the pyre,” family sources said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leader of Opposition L K Advani paid floral tributes to Singhvi, a former BJP Rajya Sabha MP .The Prime Minister also consoled family members of the jurist, including his son Abhishek Singhvi, who is a Rajya Sabha MP and a Congress spokesman.

Singh drove to the residence of Singhvi and placed a wreath on his body. — PTI

Top

 

2 tigers poisoned in Rajiv Gandhi Park
Bijay Sankar Bora/Tribune News Service

Guwahati, October 7
Miscreants poisoned two tigers in Rajiv Gandhi National Park at Orang under Mangaldoi forest division of northern Assam, about 200 kilometers away from here, much to the chagrin of wildlife brigades in Assam.

A senior official in Assam Forest and Wildlife Department informed that the two tigers were poisoned by some miscreants from a village located at the fringe of the National Park for killing a buffalo in the village for food.

The tigers had killed the buffalo and dragged it inside the national park. However, some of the villagers who were monitoring the movement of tigers, poured deadly pesticides on the carcass after the tigers left it unguarded for some time. The big cats died after consuming the poisoned meat. Both the tigers were aged around three years.

The forest department lodged an FIR with the local police station and sent the samples of the tigers’ organs to the state forensic laboratory here for ascertaining the actual cause of death. The Wildlife staff recovered the carcasses of tigers on Thursday.

“It is a pity that the authorities have failed to protect the precious tiger population in a national park named after a former Prime Minister of the country at a time when the central government is giving special emphasis for protection of the big cat species,” said Bibhab Talukdar, the secretary general of Aaranyak, the most prominent and reputed wildlife NGO in north-eastern India.

With the killing of these two tigers, the number of tigers poisoned to death in the same national park rose to five in just 18 months. As per the last tiger census figures, there were 19 tigers in the national park.

The tiger population in Assam was pegged at 364 in 2002, according to the last count. The state has three tiger reserves at Manas National Park, Nameri National Park and Kaziranga National Park.

While the rhino abode in Kaziranga National Park always remains a top priority for the authority, conservation efforts in other recognized wildlife habitats suffer because of staff shortage and want of basic infrastructure. 

Top

 

Nitish govt’s fall imminent: Fernandes
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 7
Former JD(U) chief and NDA convenor George Fernandes today said the downfall of the Nitish government was imminent.

Talking to the mediapersons Fernandes claimed that Nitish’s government should have collapsed by now. The immediate provocation of Fernandes`s outburst against Nitish was his meeting with former Lok Sabha MP Anand Mohan at Beur jail.

Fernandes was accompanied by six NDA MLAs who went to Beur jail to express solidarity with Anand Mohan, who was earlier associated with both the JD(U) and the RJD.

Even though what transpired between Fernandes and Anand Mohan was anybody`s guess, JD(U) MLA Neeraj Kumar, accompanying Fernandes, expressed unhappiness at the way Anand was treated in the jail and promised to take up the matter with Nitish.

A Patna Session court on Wednesday had pronounced death sentence for Anand for inciting a mob to lynch the then DM of Gopalganj, G.Krishnaiah, in 1994.

His ex-parliamentarian wife, Lovely Anand, and sitting JD(U) MLA Munna Shukla were awarded life imprisonment in the same case.

Fernandes was already unhappy with Nitish after he was unceremoniously ousted as the national president of the party last year. Nitish had backed Sharad Yadav in the organisational poll.

Besides, with the Nitish regime going all out against criminal-turned-politicians cutting across party lines, Fernandes`s sympathy for Anand is quite understandable as the latter had been an MP of the Samata Party, the outfit which George floated in 1994.

On his part, Fernandes did not attend the two-day national executive meeting of the JD(U), concluding in Delhi today.

JD(U) parliamentary party leader and MP Prabhunath Singh was also reportedly conspicuous by his absence at the meeting as he, too, was under the scanner of judiciary for his alleged involvement in a murder case.

Incidentally, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad at an earlier occasion had predicted the fall of the Nitish government by October 28.

Top

 

Lalu betrayed minorities in Bihar: Taslimuddin
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 7
Even before Union railways minister Lalu Prasad could issue “Chetawani”(warning) to his bete-noire Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he was warned by senior party leader and union minister of state for consumer affairs Taslimuddin for allegedly betraying the cause of minorities in the state both during 15 years of the RJD rule and in the post-defeat period after 2005.

An important minority leader of the party and the erstwhile protagonist of the Seemanchal, Taslimuddin accused Lalu of giving more importance to upper castes at the cost of Muslims in his bid to convert his mythical Yadav-Muslim(YM) equation to Yadav-upper castes one.

Incidentally, Lalu YM euqation was said to have played a crucial role to help RJD rule Bihar for 15 years before he was grounded by Nitish Kumar in November, 2005 Assembly polls.

Top

 

Dalit’s fight against social malice
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 7
She is illiterate, a woman and a Dalit.

For Pramila Devi the odds were stacked heavily against her when it came to contesting the village panchayat elections last year.

But despite everything, she stood firm and became mukhiya of the Kako block in the Naxalite-infested Jehanabad district.

After she became the village head, the first thing she decided to do was to close all illicit brewing units in the area. For this she worked relentlessly to mobilise people in her village against illicit liquor shops.

Pramila said, "I realised that if I do not stand up today and fight the odds, my children will also be the victim of the same social malice”.

Besides,Pramila Devi single handedly strated raising social awareness against caste discrimination in the society so that the children in her village one day could live in a discrimination-less society.

Pramila Devi(40) was part of a group of women panchayat leaders from across the country who were invited to Delhi last week to express their views on panchayati raj during the Sarojini Naidu Prize distribution ceremony festival for the best coverage of women in panchayati raj in the media.

As she graduated with experience, Pramila also wanted to focus on houses for the homeless and a proper drainage system.

"As time passed, I realised I was duped by people around me who took advantage of my being illiterate. That is when I decided to study and started learning from my children who go to schools", she shared her experience here with the media.

Having understood the importance of education, Pramila now wants to ensure that every child in her village goes to the school.

Pramila is among hundreds of Dalit women in the state who now actively take part in the grassroots democracy to build up a new Bihar devoid of caste and religious discrimination.

The credit for this social revolution obviously goes to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who reserved 50 per cent seats for women, cutting across caste, creed and religion, in the statewide panchayat elections held last year.

Top

 

Gujarat Assembly Elections
Division of secular votes possible

Ahmedabad, October 7
The entry of new parties in Gujarat in the coming assembly elections could divide the secular votes in the state.

Parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the left parties and the New Socialist Movement have declared that they will contest the assembly elections in the state, scheduled by the year-end, independently.

The elections are expected to be a tough fight between Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his main opponent the Congress aided by rebels within the BJP.

The BSP, which has a good hold over voters belonging to Dalit and minority communities in Uttar Pradesh, has planned to contest the 182 assembly seats in Gujarat. The BSP is also wooing upper caste voters in a big way.

The LJP, which is also targeting voters belonging to backward classes and minorities, plans to contest a large number of seats independently.

LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan has accepted that there will be division of secular votes. “But our party workers have done hard work for five years and they have the right to contest elections independently,” Paswan had said during his visit to Gujarat last month.

The decision of the New Socialist Movement, founded by human rights activists and advocate Mukul Sinha, to contest for some of the minority-dominated seats in the state, will also result in division of secular votes.

The Congress leader in the assembly, Arjun Modhvadia, said the division of secular votes meant that it was a loss to the Congress only as the votes to be polled by these parties are Congress votes. However, there was no real cause for worry because the Congress did not have a base in Gujarat in the first place, he added.

The BJP, on the other hand, opines that the decision of these parties to contest a large number of seats independently or jointly will not affect it at all. “Our vote base is very large and will remain unaffected,” party general secretary Vijay Rupani said. — PTI

Top

 

Kathak exponent for return of “Ghungroo ki Raat”

Lucknow, October 7
Seeking to revive “Ghungroo ki Raat”, a long-lost tradition of Lucknow gharana of Kathak, a special dance performance was staged in the backdrop of 300-year-old Bhairon Baba temple here recently.

Kumkum Adarsh, a noted Kathak exponent and a disciple of Lachcho Maharaj, organised the event in an effort to revive the tradition in which the artistes ready to take the stage were formally presented “ghungroos”.

The last time when this programme was organised was in 1974 Lachchoo Maharaj had himself presented the artistes with the ghungroos, Adarsh said, recalling that she 
herself was one of the recipients. — PTI

Top

 

TV serial on Veerappan
Arup Chanda

Chennai, October 7
A Tamil television serial on the life of forest bandit and sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who was gunned down three years ago by the police, will be telecast on Makkal TV, a channel owned by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) from next week.

Director of the serial V. Gowthaman said the Madras High Court had given the green signal to telecast and it would in no way affect the lives of Verrappan’s widow, Muthulakshmi, and her two daughters.

“On the other hand the serial which will run for 125 days will earn them sympathy,” he said.

The serial named “Santhanakadu” based on 600 real life incidents objectively portrayed all characters and the crew shot in the forests which was once the domain of the slain bandit for 120 days, Gowthaman said.

He said, “I am not an apologist for anyone. I see a character as a character. If I am forthright in depicting the excesses of the STF, I have not spared Veerappan and his associates either.”

Gowthaman recalled that it must not be forgotten that Veerappan protected the Tamils when communal riots broke in Karnataka over the Cauvery water dispute.

He said, “If the anti-social elements shied away from attacking Tamils in Bangalore, the credit goes to Veerappan. His image evoked fear in their minds. In Sri Lanka, Tamils are targeted by the Sinhala chauvinists. In case of Veerappan, a government machinery comprising Tamils targeted Tamils.”

Top

 

Differences between Deshmukh, Rau widen

Mumbai, October 7
Differences between Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and MPCC president Prabha Rau have widened with the latter suspending MLA Pratap Patil Chikhlikar as associate member of Congress for alleged anti-party activities.

Chikhlikar, a loyalist of Deshmukh, has fielded his supporters for today’s elections to Nanded-Waghala municipal corporation in Marathwada against nominees of Congress minister Ashok Chavan, causing Rau to suspend him as an associate MLA supporting the Congress-led government.

Chavan, who is industries minister in the Deshmukh-led government, is the son of late Chief Minister S.B. Chavan, Deshmukh’s political guru. He is otherwise known as a staunch supporter of Deshmukh, but the Nanded civic body election has pitted their supporters against each other.

In fact, MLC Kapil Patil, a known supporter of Deshmukh, has teamed up with Chikhlikar to defeat Chavan in his home turf Nanded.

“Deshmukh made a lot of efforts to ensure that Chikhlikar was not suspended as associate member of the Congress but Rau was determined to enforce discipline,” a close aide of the PCC chief told PTI.

Appointments of party workers to various state government corporations is another issue where Deshmukh and Rau do not agree with each other, resulting in delay of their announcement.

“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked Deshmukh to finalise names in consultation with AICC general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Margaret Alva and Rau, but this has not been done yet,” he said.

Although Deshmukh recently declared that the appointments would be announced soon, this is not possible without the meeting of the three leaders, Rau’s aide said. — PTI

Top

 

CBI for monitoring of Internet gateways

New Delhi, October 7
With terrorists’ growing use of the cyber network for communication, security agencies, including the CBI, have asked the government to amend the Information Technology Act to enable investigating and intelligence agencies to monitor the Internet network and gateways.

This was opined at the just-concluded Directors and Inspectors-General Conference being organised in the capital the by Intelligence Bureau.

According to sources, the monitoring of the network was essential as this would help the probe and intelligence agencies in gathering real-time information and take the necessary preventive measures.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), used to transmit voice signals as data packets through the Internet, was being misused by some people, posing a serious threat to national security, the CBI said in its presentation at the conference and the opinion was supported by representatives attending the conference.

“The calling person in a foreign country makes a call through calling cards. Once he or she calls any number to India using calling cards, the call is routed through VOIP gateway in the foreign country where the voice signals are converted into data packets.

“The same are transmitted over Internet and are converted into voice signals by VOIP gateway in India. The calls are further routed through a local telephone network to the destination numbers as local calls,” the CBI said in the presentation. — PTI

Top

 

Yadav rules out action against convicted MLA
Tribune News Service

New delhi, October 7
In an overnight reversal of stand, the Janata Dal (United) today ruled out any disciplinary action against Munna Shukla, sitting MLA from Lalganj and party leader Harendra Kumar who have been awarded life imprisonment by a trial court in Patna. They along with five others have been found guilty in a 13-year-old case concerning the lynching of the then Gopalganj District Magistrate G. Krishnaiah.

Although party General Secretary Shambhu Srivastava yesterday said that disciplinary action would be taken against the two partymen in accordance with the party constitution, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav today ruled out any such action. Replying to a question at a Press conference here after the two-day party National Executive, the party President said: “Please be

reasonable. What greater punishment can be given to them? We don't need to say anything on this.”

Former Party President George Fernandes' visit to Beur Central Jail in Patna today to meet Anand Mohan who has got a death sentence and other party associates found guilty in the case, seems to have compelled the JD (U) to tone down its response.

Anand Mohan has been MP from Sheohar in Bihar twice. He was elected in 1996 as Samata Party candidate and won in 1998 on the RJD ticket.

Yadav said that the party was unfazed by Fernandes' adverse remarks in Patna about the Nitish Kumar regime. “We would have preferred if Fernandes had made the same statement at the party National Executive. He has been making such statements. They don't annoy us.”

The NDA Convenor and JD(U) MP's conspicuous absence from the National Executive for the second consecutive year is surely a source of embarrassment for the party.

Asked why the party has not expelled Fernandes despite his indiscipline and constant provocation, Yadav said: “Everything does not merit a reaction.”

Meanwhile, the party has passed a resolution on the changing face of Bihar. The resolution credits senior party leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for bringing out a discernible improvement in the law and order situation. It says that efforts were on to ensure that victims of the Bhagalpur riots got justice as part of the measures to develop confidence of the minorities.

The Party National Executive has expressed satisfaction over the fact that the party has fulfilled its promises to the electorate. The National Executive passed political and organisational resolutions besides debating on foreign policy issues. 

Top

 

2 more die in Lonavala 

Pune, October 7
With two more persons succumbing to injuries today, the number of labourers killed in Lonavala, after their heads were smashed, has gone up to seven even as the police arrested two persons in connection with the crime. Two critically wounded labourers, who had been admitted to a hospital passed away last night, hospital authorities said.

The murders came to light on Saturday morning when some sweepers in the Lonavala vegetable market came to clean the premises and stumbled upon the bodies of nine labourers. — PTI

Top

 

 

 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |