SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Kalyan, Azam & turncoats pose challenge to SP
Rampur/Moradabad, May 11
A bitterly divided Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party will be fighting crucial battle as the poll-bound 14 seats in western Uttar Pradesh are part of the ‘Muslim belt’. The party not only battles to retain its control over its vote-bank amidst predicament facing the Muslims, it also faces the maximum number of turncoats in this phase.

Jaya Prada to lodge complaint against Azam
Jaya Prada New Delhi: Accusing SP leader Azam Khan of circulating material to sully her image, party candidate from Rampur Jaya Prada today said she would complain to the Election Commission about it. “He (Azam Khan) is like my elder brother. But he is sullying my image by involving in cheap campaigning against me.

BJP willing to work with Cong in national interest
New Delhi, May 11
BJP’s think tank member Sudheendra Kulkarni, a close confidant of the party’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani has evinced interest in the Congress and BJP coming together to form a government at the Centre in larger national interest.





EARLIER STORIES



Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee shares a point with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee during their joint election campaign rally in Kolkata
Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee shares a point with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee during their joint election campaign rally in Kolkata. — PTI

Common interests may bind TDP, TRS
Hyderabad, May 11
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s surprise move to jettison the Third Front and migrate to NDA camp has further complicated an already fluid political situation in Andhra Pradesh. Amid speculation over split verdict both at the Centre and in the state, the Telangana party’s volte face can throw up a new set of possibilities in the post-poll scenario.

Cong withdraws JD(U) chief’s ‘secular’ tag
New Delhi, May 11
The Congress has withdrawn the “certificate of merit in secularism” that it presented to the Janata Dal (United) following scion Rahul Gandhi flattering remarks about party’s opponents - the JD(U), the TDP and the AIADMK - at a press conference last Tuesday.

Bihar CM hits back at PM
Patna, May 11
Nitish Kumar today hit back at the Prime Minister for casting "doubts" on his secular credentials saying he does not need a certificate from him.

NCP unsure of Pawar’s fate
Mumbai, May 11
Nearly a fortnight after polls closed in the Madha Lok Sabha constituency, where Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is contesting, the party is reeling under reports of the Maratha strongman facing heavy weather here.

Lankan war dominates TN poll campaign
Chennai, May 11
As the curtain comes down on the fierce campaign for the Parliament elections in 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today, the Sri Lankan Tamils issue has emerged as a major factor with all regional parties, including the DMK and AIADMK, seeking a mandate with the promise of a separate Tamil homeland in the island nation.

PWD engineer’s murder case transferred
Lucknow, May 11
The Allahabad High Court today decided to transfer the case of murder of a PWD engineer of Auraiya, Manoj Gupta, from the sessions court in Auraiya to Lucknow. A single bench of Justice Saroj Bala today not only ordered the trial to be shifted to Lucknow but also ordered it to be completed within six months.

Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major meets Principal Staff Officers at the Western Air Command in New Delhi
Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major meets Principal Staff Officers at the Western Air Command in New Delhi on Monday. — PTI

Chanting their way into Guinness Book
Hyderabad, May 11
In a unique musical tribute, a gathering of 1.60 lakh people chanted their way into the Guinness Book of World Records, beating a 72-year-old record held by a German choir of 60,000 people.

40 houses torched in Naga villages
Guwahati, May 11
In a fresh incident of arson and ethnic violence, tribal miscreants set afire at least 40 houses in three villages belonging to Zemi Naga tribe in the violence-affected North Cachar Hill district in Assam today.

9 bodies found in national park in Manipur
Guwahati, May 11
Nine bodies of non-Manipuri persons, suspected to be workers from outside, were found dead inside Keibul Lanjao National Park in Bishenpur district of Manipur this morning. They were suspected to be killed by unidentified militants.

Kasab’s AK-47 identified
Court angry as he laughs during proceedings
Mumbai, May 11
A key witness today in a special court identified two AK-47 rifles allegedly used by Pakistani gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and his accomplice Abu Ismael to kill people in Mumbai on November 26.

NSG Troika meets Indian officials
New Delhi, May 11
The Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) Troika today met Indian officials to exchange views on civil nuclear cooperation. This was the first meeting between the two sides since India secured a clean waiver from the 45-member cartel in September last year to undertake nuclear commerce.

Kandhamal Violence
SC seeks Orissa’s response to plea
New Delhi, May 11
The Supreme Court today sought the Orissa government's response to a petition that alleges that the anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal district last year was nothing but "sectarian clashes" between native Kandh tribals and subsequent settlers, Panas, 60 per cent of whom have converted to Christianity.

Stay lifted on Tarun Tejpal’s trial
New Delhi, May 11
The Supreme Court today ordered the resumption of trial in a defamation case filed by then Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly against Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal.





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Kalyan, Azam & turncoats pose challenge to SP
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Rampur/Moradabad, May 11
A bitterly divided Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party will be fighting crucial battle as the poll-bound 14 seats in western Uttar Pradesh are part of the ‘Muslim belt’. The party not only battles to retain its control over its vote-bank amidst predicament facing the Muslims, it also faces the maximum number of turncoats in this phase.

Two of the seats in this pocket, Kairana and Muzzarfarnagar, went to polls on May 7. Other seats to watch will be Saharanpur, Nagina, Bijnore, Rampur, Moradabad, Baduan and Sambhal. Among the remaining seats, Bareilly, Amroha, Pilihibit and Shahjhanpur also have sizebale Muslim population. Muslims here have largely opted for the SP since the Babri masjid was demolished in December 1992. However, in the past the BJP and the RLD have won some of these seats.

Using the Muslim-Yadav (MY) combination, the SP has maintained its relevance at the national level. Now, the Muslims are in a dilemma arising out of several factors. First is the ongoing spat between Rampur-based Azam Khan, the man who is credited with having brought Muslims to the SP fold, and party chief Mulayam Singh. Second is open friendship between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kalyan Singh. The third is the number of turncoats - the leaders who have left the SP for one reason or the other.

Readers of Urdu newspapers say the tilt this time is against the SP and hinting at the Congress. A split in votes is certain and the party that can beat the BJP is most likely to benefit.

The biggest factor is Kalyan Singh, who is seen as a “culprit” by the Muslims for allowing the demolition of the Babri masjid. The election will prove if Mulayam Singh’s choice is accepted by Muslims or not, says Azam Khan, convenor of the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee and founder member of the party. Azam Khan, a seven-term MP, has made his stand known on Kalyan Singh, and is now being wooed by the Congress.

Sonia Gandhi promised recognition for the Mohd Ali Jauhar University, Rampur, that is Azam Khan’s dream project. In Rampur, Azam Khan said: “I am not working for the Congress. It is just a matter of rights and feelings of Muslims”.

In an earlier talk with The Tribune a few days ago he had hinted that Muslims could opt for the “lesser evil” (Congress) while blaming Mulayam for betraying the community by making friends with Kalyan.

The other problem is that former friends of Mulayam Singh Yadav - Shahid Siddique, Saleem Sherwani, Shafiq-ur-rehma Barq, D P Yadav have left him.

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Jaya Prada to lodge complaint against Azam

New Delhi: Accusing SP leader Azam Khan of circulating material to sully her image, party candidate from Rampur Jaya Prada today said she would complain to the Election Commission about it.

“He (Azam Khan) is like my elder brother. But he is sullying my image by involving in cheap campaigning against me. His action is an insult to women,” the actress-turned politician told CNN-IBN channel.

Jaya Prada, who is seeking re-election from Rampur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, alleged, “they (Khan and supporters) have released my CDs and posters just to scandalise my image”.

“I am yet to see the content of the CDs but the posters released by them are very bad in taste, damaging my reputation. I am approaching the Election Commission to check this sort of campaigning,” she said.

“This is not good. They want to demoralise woman’s pride by engaging in cheap campaigning,” she said adding that she has already approached the police on the issue.

When asked if Khan was indirectly hitting at Kalyan Singh by doing so, she said, “If that was the case then why is he (Khan) supporting the Congress which was equally responsible for Babri Masjid demolition”. — PTI

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BJP willing to work with Cong in national interest
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
BJP’s think tank member Sudheendra Kulkarni, a close confidant of the party’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani has evinced interest in the Congress and BJP coming together to form a government at the Centre in larger national interest.

Kulkarni raised the controversy while appearing in a special programme of a news channel last week. Later, ostensibly refuting the claims of the TV channel, Kulkarni said in a signed statement, “Any future possibility of the BJP and Congress working together in the nation’s interests hinges on the Congress party eschewing its attitude of “political untouchability” towards the BJP.

Kulkarni, who currently heads the war room of the BJP which is working on the strategies and activities to secure victory for Advani, said, “The BJP does not believe in practicing political untouchability and quoted Advani’s oft-repeated affirmation - “If untouchability is wrong in the social sphere, it is equally wrong in the political sphere.”

Kulkarni, who was an important functionary of the Prime Minister’s office in the NDA regime, also admitted in his statement that he had said his party was willing to work with the Congress and recalled that he had said, “Yes, if the nation’s interests demand so at some time in the future.”

He resented the attitude of the Congress and the Left to render the BJP as a political untouchable and said, “The so-called secular unity mooted by the Congress and the Left parties is nothing but an opportunistic ploy to isolate the BJP. The Congress-communist combine has used this bogus concept as an ideological justification to preach and practice political untouchability towards the BJP.”

He of course has put a rider about the BJP coming together with the Congress immediately after the current election results saying, “Congress is the BJP’s principal adversary in the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha. Along with our allies in the NDA, we have campaigned vigorously for the defeat of the Congress. We are confident that the people will give a decisive mandate for change and in favour of a BJP-led NDA government. As such, the question of the BJP and the Congress working together in the post-May 16 scenario is simply unthinkable.”

Meanwhile, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad tried to play down the controversy here today saying, “We always belived that Congress is no enemy. It is just a political adversary.”

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Common interests may bind TDP, TRS
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 11
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s surprise move to jettison the Third Front and migrate to NDA camp has further complicated an already fluid political situation in Andhra Pradesh.

Amid speculation over split verdict both at the Centre and in the state, the Telangana party’s volte face can throw up a new set of possibilities in the post-poll scenario.

The immediate impact will be felt by the four-party Grand Alliance (GA) of opposition parties comprising the Telugu Desam Party, TRS, CPI and CPM in the event of it reaching within the sniffing distance of power in the state.

The alliance partners will find it impossible to form the government as Left parties will not have anything to do with the TRS if the latter sails with the BJP-led coalition at the Centre.

The TDP, which is making a desperate bid for power, will have to choose between the Left and TRS for support in government formation. Being one of the key players in the Third Front, the TDP cannot abandon the Left parties.

However, the regional party’s dilemma will be further compounded if the Third Front fails to muster enough numbers to give it a shot at the Centre. Since the Congress is its principal political adversary, it

might be forced to extend support to the NDA in order to prevent the UPA from returning to power.

In that eventuality, the TDP and TRS will be glued together by common interests.

The TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao attended the NDA rally at Ludhiana yesterday and declared support for BJP prime ministerial candidate LK Advani.

He even went a step further and assured that he would mobilise support of other like-minded parties for the NDA. This has come as a shock to the GA partners as it meant a big blow to the Third Front.

While the TDP and the CPM responded cautiously to Rao’s moves, the CPI hit out strongly at his “opportunistic politics.”

“I will respond in a proper way at an appropriate time,” was all TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had to say when his reaction was sought.

The CPM state secretary BV Raghavulu said the TRS’ decision to support the “communal BJP” was unfortunate while his CPI counterpart Narayana demanded that the Telangana party clarify whether it was still with the Grand Alliance or switched over to the NDA.

“By attending the NDA rally, the TRS chief has exposed his double standards. You cannot ride on two horses simultaneously,” Narayana said.

On its part, the TRS justified its decision to sail with the NDA. “We have already made it clear that we will join hands with any party or formation that supports formation of a separate Telangana state. We are sure that the NDA has bright chances of coming to power and the BJP has already promised to create Telangana state within 100 days of coming to power,” TRS leaders T Harish Rao and N Narasimha Reddy said.

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Cong withdraws JD(U) chief’s ‘secular’ tag
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
The Congress has withdrawn the “certificate of merit in secularism” that it presented to the Janata Dal (United) following scion Rahul Gandhi flattering remarks about party’s opponents - the JD(U), the TDP and the AIADMK - at a press conference last Tuesday.

Congress spokesman Ashwini Kumar on Monday stressed that any party or individual that supported “communal parties or their agenda” could not be considered secular. “Any party which is with the communal forces or is supporting the BJP-led communal forces directly or indirectly cannot be secular,” he said.

However, the Congress leader refused to comment whether the party’s opinion on Nitish Kumar and the JD(U) would change if the Bihar CM decided to go with the Congress-led UPA after May 16.

After the Rahul-speak last Tuesday, which not just created confusion within the party but also misunderstanding with current UPA allies, Congress spokespersons had come out with statements varying from one extreme to the another, describing political rivals like the AIADMK, the JD (U) and the TDP as secular on one day and heaping scorn on them the next day.

In his effort to be even-handed Ashwani Kumar had described the AIADMK, the JD(U) and the TDP as secular parties. Incidentally, Kumar today said he was “completely misinterpreted” on the issue. The party line, as defined by AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, is clear that the JD(U) will have to prove its secular credentials by severing its ties with the BJP and the NDA.

The stand adopted by the Congress assumes more significant in view of the NDA rally in Ludhiana on Sunday, where JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar shared the platform with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi despite him making an open declaration earlier that he would never share a political platform with Modi.

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Bihar CM hits back at PM

Patna, May 11
Nitish Kumar today hit back at the Prime Minister for casting "doubts" on his secular credentials saying he does not need a certificate from him.

"He(Singh) is a Prime Minister. He should not behave like a Vice-Chancellor of University of Secularism. He is distributing certificates of secularism. I don't need his certificate," the JD(U) leader said.

Nitish was reacting to the prime minister questioning his credentials earlier in the day, after he shared the dais with his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi at a NDA rally in Ludhiana yesterday. — PTI

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NCP unsure of Pawar’s fate
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, May 11
Nearly a fortnight after polls closed in the Madha Lok Sabha constituency, where Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is contesting, the party is reeling under reports of the Maratha strongman facing heavy weather here.

Pawar, who shifted from the neighboring Baramati constituency, is facing BJP’s Subash Deshmukh, who has a strong base in the area. The BJP candidate has a strong base in the area and heads the local milk and sugar co-operatives in addition to a co-operative bank in the area. Deshmukh also heads an organisation called Lokmangal, which is said to be providing micro-financing to the local people.

In addition, the presence of a strong network of the RSS seems to have put Deshmukh in a strong position. According to NCP sources internal assessment conducted by the party indicated that the BJP managed to bring out its voters in large numbers even though Pawar’s supporters pulled out all stops in the run-up to the polls.

Even Pawar, who has not lost an election since 1967, seems to be wary of proclaiming outright victory before the ballots are counted.

At a function last weekend, Pawar has been quoted as saying that no one’s victory should be taken for granted.

Interestingly, the BJP too is keeping its fingers crossed about the chances of its candidate emerging as a giant killer. Apart from Pawar’s awesome reputation, the party is suspicious about certain local leaders, who may have switched over to Pawar’s camp.

Meanwhile, Pawar’s supporters have embarked on a major damage control mission. A sitting Rajya Sabha MP, Pawar can still retain his seat in Parliament even if he doesn’t win from Madha. Hence his claim for the post of the Prime Minister still stands, say his followers.

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Lankan war dominates TN poll campaign
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, May 11
As the curtain comes down on the fierce campaign for the Parliament elections in 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today, the Sri Lankan Tamils issue has emerged as a major factor with all regional parties, including the DMK and AIADMK, seeking a mandate with the promise of a separate Tamil homeland in the island nation.

The issue dominated the campaign, pushing behind the DMK's welfare measures and populist schemes. AIADMK supremo, who started her campaign with allegations of providing weapons and training to the Sri Lankan army, raised the pitch, seeing the overwhelming response among the people.

The AIADMK leader's first declaration for a "separate homeland for Tamils" came at a meeting at Erode on 25 April, where she described the video clippings screened by spiritual leader Sri Ravishankar, after his visit to Sri Lanka.

Comparing the detention centres of the Sri Lankan army with Nazi concentration camps, she said Tamils were being treated as slaves, prisoners and beggars by the government.

"The Sri Lankan government has no intention of rehabilitating the displaced Tamils in their native places as it was converting them into Sinhalese colonies. Those Tamils, who survive the war, will live as slaves forever and the island government has no intention of giving equal rights to them. Under these circumstances, talking about a solution within united Sri Lanka is an eye wash and the only solution is the formation of a separate homeland for Tamils," she declared.

Gladdened by Jayalalithaa's announcement, the PMK led by Ramadoss and Vaiko's MDMK greeted her stand and vowed to support her efforts for "Tamil Eelam", while the DMK leader M Karunanidhi also said he would assume responsiblities for forming "Eelam".

However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi have steered clear of the demand, while the BJP, too, rejected it. But the Congress has refrained from harsh statements against the Tigers, sensing the ground realities in Tamil Nadu. Sonia Gandhi shared the dais with pro-LTTE leader Thol Thirumavalavan and Congress leaders did not object to Karunanidhi's poem on slain LTTE leader Thamilchelvan.

On the final day, the DMK has flashed advertisements on television and newspapers reminding the voters about the Rs 1 per kilo rice scheme and the free colour TV scheme. The Congress, for its part, is highlighting the Centre's achievements like declaration of Tamil as a classical language.

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PWD engineer’s murder case transferred
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 11
The Allahabad High Court today decided to transfer the case of murder of a PWD engineer of Auraiya, Manoj Gupta, from the sessions court in Auraiya to Lucknow.

A single bench of Justice Saroj Bala today not only ordered the trial to be shifted to Lucknow but also ordered it to be completed within six months.

The order came on the petition of a co-accused, Vibha Tiwari, who is the wife of the main accused, BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari.

In her petition Vibha had pleaded for a transfer, as she feared a fair trial would be denied to her in Auraiya. In the petition, she had asked for a transfer to the Kanpur sessions court. But the Allahabad High Court has decided to transfer the case to Lucknow.

On the intervening night of December 23-24, Manoj Gupta, an executive engineer in the PWD, was brutally murdered by the local BSP MLA and his henchmen for allegedly refusing to pay for the Chief Minister’s birthday celebrations. His post-mortem report spoke of his body having 32 marks of torture and electric shocks.

Besides the MLA, his wife, the district BSP president are also under arrest and facing criminal charges in the case.

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Chanting their way into Guinness Book
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 11
In a unique musical tribute, a gathering of 1.60 lakh people chanted their way into the Guinness Book of World Records, beating a 72-year-old record held by a German choir of 60,000 people.

The sprawling Parade Grounds here reverberated with the hymns in praise of Lord venkateswara last evening as thousands of devotees from all over Andhra Pradesh gathered for mass rendering of “Sankeertanas” of the 15th century Telugu saint-composer Annamacharya.

In all, seven “Sankeertanas” were sung by the enthusiastic gathering of young and old, professionals and amateurs.

The grand spiritual programme, christened as “Laksha Gala Sankirthanarchana”, was organized by the state department of culture, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), an autonomous body managing the affairs of Tirumala temple and SiliconAndhra, an NGO.

A representative of the Guinness Book of World Records Raymond Marshal, who was present on the occasion, announced that a new record was set by the gathering as it was the biggest congregation to sing in chorus.

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40 houses torched in Naga villages
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, May 11
In a fresh incident of arson and ethnic violence, tribal miscreants set afire at least 40 houses in three villages belonging to Zemi Naga tribe in the violence-affected North Cachar Hill district in Assam today.

According to an official source, suspected armed miscreants swooped down on Hindu Basti and Christain Basti at remote Guilung and Jaloa village, about 33 km away from Maibong, this noon and reduced 40 houses to ashes. The villages belonged to Zemi Naga tribe.

There was no report of any death as most of the villagers were away at the time of the incident. Senior police officials have rushed to the area from Haflong and details are being awaited.

President of Indigenous People’s Forum Josiaf Jemi said lack of security in the area was the cause behind the incident and stated that if such attacks continued, the tribal people would not be able to till their fields this season that would lead to starvation later in the year.

DL Bathari, president of Jadekhe Naiso Hosom (Dima tribe apex body), blamed the state government for failing to providing security to all tribes in the violence-affected hill district. He said not a single minister of the state had, so far, bothered to visit the hill district.

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9 bodies found in national park in Manipur
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, May 11
Nine bodies of non-Manipuri persons, suspected to be workers from outside, were found dead inside Keibul Lanjao National Park in Bishenpur district of Manipur this morning. They were suspected to be killed by unidentified militants.

A police source in Imphal informed that the bodies of ‘non-Manipuris’ were spotted this morning and a police team had rushed to the spot.

The identity of bodies as well as assailants was yet to be ascertained. The bodies were recovered close of the heels of killings of six militants from two different outfits by security forces in Manipur on Saturday last.

A security source informed that Assam Rifles killed three militants from the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) near the Indo-Myanmar border in Ukhrul district of Manipur on Saturday, while three other militants were killed by security forces in Imphal East district on the same day.

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Kasab’s AK-47 identified
Court angry as he laughs during proceedings

Mumbai, May 11
A key witness today in a special court identified two AK-47 rifles allegedly used by Pakistani gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and his accomplice Abu Ismael to kill people in Mumbai on November 26.

When the weapons were being identified, accused Kasab was laughing at the witness and shaking his head indicating that the weapons did not belong to him.

This invited the wrath of Judge M L Tahaliyani, who warned Kasab to behave properly in the court. The judge told him that all the time he was seen laughing. “Keep away this casual attitude and show some seriousness,” the judge said.

Witness police sub-inspector Bhaskar Kadam, who had participated in an encounter with the two suspected terrorists, said, “These two weapons were used by Kasab and Ismael (Kasab was held, while Ismael was killed).” He told the judge that one Ak-47 rifle was carried by Kasab, while the other one by Ismael. The rifle with Ismael belonged to Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamathe, who was killed by the duo in another gunfight on the same day near Cama hospital.

Kadam also informed that along with the AK-47 rifles, two pistols of 9mm were also seized from the accused. One of them was a Pakistani make and name of the company mentioned was “Diamond Nadi Frontier Arms Company, Peshawar”.

This indicated that weapons had been brought from Pakistan, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said. — PTI

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NSG Troika meets Indian officials
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
The Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) Troika today met Indian officials to exchange views on civil nuclear cooperation.

This was the first meeting between the two sides since India secured a clean waiver from the 45-member cartel in September last year to undertake nuclear commerce.

An official statement here said special secretary (political and international organisations) in the External Affairs Ministry led the Indian delegation while Ambassador Viktor Elbling of Germany, its current chair, headed the NSG Troika team.

The NSG delegation included representatives from South Africa (the previous chair of NSG) and Hungary (its next chair). India has had meetings with NSG Troika since 2004.

“The discussions were positive, forward looking and included an exchange of views on future cooperation in different areas,” the statement added.

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Kandhamal Violence
SC seeks Orissa’s response to plea
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
The Supreme Court today sought the Orissa government's response to a petition that alleges that the anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal district last year was nothing but "sectarian clashes" between native Kandh tribals and subsequent settlers, Panas, 60 per cent of whom have converted to Christianity.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan issued notice to Orissa on a plea by Kui Sanskrutik Parishad president Padmanav Pradhan, seeking compensation for the reconstruction of temples worshipped by Kandh tribals, which were damaged by Panas or Dalit Christians. According to the petition, Panas were better "connected and educated" and, therefore, they managed to manipulate the media and the government.

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Stay lifted on Tarun Tejpal’s trial
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 11
The Supreme Court today ordered the resumption of trial in a defamation case filed by then Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly against Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal.

The Delhi HC had stayed the trial on a plea by Tejpal seeking quashing of the charges against him on the ground that the trial court had summoned CBI records without having the powers to do so.

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BRIEFLY

Father stabs son to death over cricket
MUMBAI:
A youth was allegedly stabbed to death by his father after the teenage boy insisted to watch IPL cricket match Sunday night in suburban Andheri, the police said here on Monday. Meghnath Kamble allegedly stabbed his son Sandesh in a fit of rage with a knife at his residence following an argument between them over watching cricket match, officials said. Meghnath was arrested Sunday night after the incident. “We are awaiting medical reports to ascertain if he was drunk,” the police said adding that murder case was registered against the accused and further investigation is on. — PTI

Illegal arms factory unearthed
BIJNOR (UP):
An illegal arms factory has been unearthed and its owner arrested from Patpura village on the outskirts of Nagina town here, police sources said on Monday. On a tip-off, a police team headed by Senior Sub-Inspector, Yogesh Kumar Sharma, raided the factory on Saturday night and seized a number of unfinished arms and other equipment used for manufacturing weapons, the sources said. A man identified as Mehboob, who is believed to be the owner of the factory, was also arrested, they added. — PTI

UN award to website
GUNTUR (ANDHRA PRADESH):
The district-based Friends to Support (FTS) organisation has been chosen for the United Nations’ World Youth Summit’s Manthan Award for the year 2007 for maintaining online database of voluntary blood donors. The award is being given for using digital information for the development of society, sources said. The website ‘www.friends2support.org’ gives a mine of information about voluntary blood donors. The information is of immense value to accident victims and those who want to undergo major surgeries, they said. — PTI

New SC judges take oath
New Delhi:
Justice Deepak Verma and justice Balbir Singh Chauhan were today sworn-in as judges of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan administered the oath to them at a simple ceremony in his court. With this the number of judges in the apex court has gone up to 24, against the sanctioned strength of 31. — TNS

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