SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI




THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Lt Col sacked over loss of ID cards
Chandigarh, June 23
While a General Court Martial (GCM) has dismissed a Lieutenant Colonel for the alleged lapses that led to the loss of a large number of identity cards from an armoured unit during field exercises, another GCM has summoned two Generals as witnesses in the related trial of the unit’s commanding officer (CO).

Power Generation
Punjab, Haryana seek greater gas share
New Delhi, June 23
Since the rainfall is delayed by 10 days and is likely to be scanty, there is a threat to the ongoing paddy sowing taking place in the country’s granaries- Punjab and Haryana.

Hate Attack
Hyderabad boy latest victim
New Delhi, June 23
Even as another Indian student was reportedly attacked in Melbourne, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the situation of Indian students in Australia was improving.

Oz Attacks
Situation improving: Minister
New Delhi, June 23
Even as another Indian student was reportedly attacked in Melbourne, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the situation of Indian students in Australia was improving.

Will Krishna meet his Pak counterpart at Trieste?
New Delhi, June 23
Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik today called on Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon at the Foreign Office here amid speculation that the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan could meet on the sidelines of the a G-8 meeting at Trieste in Italy later this week.

ULFA calls for bandh tomorrow
Guwahati, June 23
Outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has called for a 12-hour Assam bandh from 5 am on June 25 in protest against ‘killing of cadres of the banned ULFA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and Black Widow outfit in custody’ by the security forces.





BJP leader Varun Gandhi, along with his mother Maneka Gandhi, pays tributes to his father Sanjay Gandhi on the latter’s death anniversary in New Delhi on Tuesday.
BJP leader Varun Gandhi, along with his mother Maneka Gandhi, pays tributes to his father Sanjay Gandhi on the latter’s death anniversary in New Delhi on Tuesday. — PTI


EARLIER STORIES

Gutsy girl’s tale to be part of textbooks
Hyderabad, June 23
The valiant saga of Pranitha, a 21-year-old victim of acid attack who fought back with grit and determination, will be part of school curriculum in Andhra Pradesh.

Violent protest after woman alleges gang rape by cops
New Delhi, June 23
An angry mob pelted stones at the Inderpuri police station here today after a 35-year-old woman alleged gang rape by five policemen, including a Station House Officer (SHO), inside the police station premises yesterday.

SHO, four other cops booked


Security has been beefed up in the Inderpuri area of New Delhi after the incident. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal
Security has been beefed up in the Inderpuri area of New Delhi after the incident.

26/11
Warrants against 22 Pakistanis

Mumbai, June 23
A special court here today issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against 22 absconding Pakistanis wanted in connection with the 26/11 terrorist attacks.

Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer on Tuesday.
Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer on Tuesday. — PTI

Swine Flu
Demand to get quarantined at home swells
Mumbai, June 23
There is an increasing demand from medical circles for suspected victims of the H1N1 or swine flu virus to be quarantined at home or in clinics and private hospitals.

Six IEDs recovered from bus
Guwahati, June 23
About six powerful Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), suspected to be carried by National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants, were on Tuesday recovered from a bus in Assam’s Sonitpur district.

Corruption Cases
Details to go online in AP
Hyderabad, June 23
In a first such experiment in the country, Andhra Pradesh government is planning to post the details of all corruption cases on its official website and make them accessible to public.

No dress code for girls: UP
Lucknow, June 23
Following a hue and cry by social organisations and parents, the Uttar Pradesh government today said it had not imposed any ban on wearing of jeans by girls in colleges and those who have issued such orders would be dealt with strictly.

New train timetable to be out in Oct
New Delhi, June 23
The Railways’ new timetable for 2009-10 containing revised timings of passenger trains will be released in October instead of July as scheduled.





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Lt Col sacked over loss of ID cards
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
While a General Court Martial (GCM) has dismissed a Lieutenant Colonel for the alleged lapses that led to the loss of a large number of identity cards from an armoured unit during field exercises, another GCM has summoned two Generals as witnesses in the related trial of the unit’s commanding officer (CO).

Sources said the GCM held Lt Col A. Yadav guilty of the three charges faced by him. The defence had pleaded not guilty of the charges and contended that the court lacked jurisdiction on account of some procedural lacuna.

The GCM, presided over by Brig KS Virk, concluded in the Central Command this month. The GCM, trying the commanding officer at Bathinda military station, has summoned two generals to depose before the court as prosecution witnesses. It is extremely rare for officers of the rank of Lieutenant General to depose before military courts.

Lt Gen PC Katoch, now posted at the Army Headquarters, was the Corps Commander, while Lt Gen SR Gosh, now a Corps Commander, was the GOC of the Division under which the armoured unit was listed at the time of the incident.

The identity cards were reported to have gone missing when the unit was on exercises in Punjab in 2007. The loss had created a security alert as they could have been used to gain access to high-security zones or military installations in case they fell into wrong hands. The loss of personal ID cards is a serious offence in the armed forces.

A court of inquiry (COI) ordered by Headquarters 23 Infantry Division had held the officers along with some jawans blameworthy for the loss of identity cards. They were charged under Section 63 of the Army Act for the alleged lack of supervision and violation of security instructions.

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Power Generation
Punjab, Haryana seek greater gas share
Bhagyashree Pande
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
Since the rainfall is delayed by 10 days and is likely to be scanty, there is a threat to the ongoing paddy sowing taking place in the country’s granaries- Punjab and Haryana.

Less rains means that the paddy field will be affected due to shortage of water and also, there will be poor electricity supply to pump water in the paddy farms. The two states depend on Himachal Pradesh to source their electricity supplies, which is also going to bear the consequences of the poor rainfall translating in shortfall of power production.

Trying to be less depended on buying gas from other states, Punjab and Haryana have asked for a greater share in the allocation of gas from the centre for the upcoming gas-based plants in the state.

Adesh Pratap Singh, while representing Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, who is also the Power Minister of the state, said at a conference of Power Ministers that the government should allocate 4.5 mmscmd for its 1,000 MW proposed project from the National Gas Grid via Dadri-Nangal pipeline.

Power Minister of Haryana Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded allocation of 7.5 mmscmd of natural gas for setting up a 1,500 MW gas-based generation plant in Faridabad. The minister said government needs to amend its gas-allocation policy so that greenfield gas-based generation projects, like the one at Faridabad, could come up in the country.

Punjab had applied for coal linkages for 2,640 MW Gidderbaha Thermal Project in April 2008, but the issue remains unsettled. Adesh said the bidding for Giderbaha project has been deferred thrice for want of coal linkages by the coal ministry.

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Hate Attack
Hyderabad boy latest victim
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
Even as another Indian student was reportedly attacked in Melbourne, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the situation of Indian students in Australia was improving.

“The police is taking action and things are under control; may be there are stray incidents here and there,” Ravi told the media after a meeting with Lisa Paul, Secretary in Australia’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The Australian High Commission in New Delhi was in constant touch with its government to monitor the steps being taken to ensure the safety of India students.

His comments came in the midst of reports that an Indian student from Hyderabad, Mir Raza Ali Khan, was attacked by some people while coming out of a hair salon in Melbourne yesterday, becoming the 16th victim of hate crimes Down Under.

The Australian official told reporters that Australia condemned the attacks that had taken place on some Indian students. She said she had explained to the Indian minister some of the concrete, positive and urgent steps that Australia had been taking so that all these attacks ceased forthwith.

Asked whether these attacks were racially motivated, Lisa Paul said Australia had a “zero-tolerance policy on racism” adding that “criminal elements” were behind these incidents.

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Oz Attacks
Situation improving: Minister
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
Even as another Indian student was reportedly attacked in Melbourne, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the situation of Indian students in Australia was improving.

“The police is taking action and things are under control; may be there are stray incidents here and there,” Ravi told the media after a meeting with Lisa Paul, Secretary in Australia’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The Australian High Commission in New Delhi was in constant touch with its government to monitor the steps being taken to ensure the safety of India students.

His comments came in the midst of reports that an Indian student from Hyderabad, Mir Raza Ali Khan, was attacked by some people while coming out of a hair salon in Melbourne yesterday, becoming the 16th victim of hate crimes Down Under.

The Australian official told reporters that Australia condemned the attacks that had taken place on some Indian students. She said she had explained to the Indian minister some of the concrete, positive and urgent steps that Australia had been taking so that all these attacks ceased forthwith.

Asked whether these attacks were racially motivated, Lisa Paul said Australia had a “zero-tolerance policy on racism” adding that “criminal elements” were behind these incidents.

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Will Krishna meet his Pak counterpart at Trieste?
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik today called on Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon at the Foreign Office here amid speculation that the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan could meet on the sidelines of the a G-8 meeting at Trieste in Italy later this week.

Officials confirmed the meeting between Menon and Malik but declined to disclose its details. The meeting was a follow up to the talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at Yekaterinburg in Russia last week. The two leaders had decided that their foreign secretaries would meet before the NAM Summit in mid-July and review the action taken by Pakistan to deal with terrorism against India emanating from its soil. Menon is learnt to have discussed the possible date and venue of his meeting with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.

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ULFA calls for bandh tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 23
Outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has called for a 12-hour Assam bandh from 5 am on June 25 in protest against ‘killing of cadres of the banned ULFA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and Black Widow outfit in custody’ by the security forces.

Fugitive self-styled chairman of the banned ULFA Arabinda Rajkhowa, in a statement released to the media, alleged that security forces operating in Assam against insurgents had so far killed at least 20 militants, including two from the ULFA, 17 from the NDFB and one from Black Widow in ‘fake encounters’, while the ultras were actually in custody.

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Gutsy girl’s tale to be part of textbooks
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 23
The valiant saga of Pranitha, a 21-year-old victim of acid attack who fought back with grit and determination, will be part of school curriculum in Andhra Pradesh.

Displaying extraordinary will power, Pranitha, a young engineering student, wrote her B.Tech final year examination earlier this month, with bandage wrapped around her body, and scored a distinction.

Surviving a deadly acid attack by a jilted lover in December last year, she showed exemplary perseverance and now her story has pricked the public conscience, so much so that the authorities have decided to include it in the school curriculum to serve as an inspiration for the students.

Her saga is set to become part of the curriculum for class VI students in the state. The lesson, titled “Atma Sthairyam” (self-confidence), will be included under the moral values education. The State Council for Educational Research and Training, headed by Prof Jayadheer Reddy, had taken the decision to include Pranita’s story.

Pranitha has a job offer from an IT major, which she will join soon.

The attack had taken place in Warangal, around 140 kms from the state capital, on December 10. Pranitha and her friend Swapnika were on a scooter when an attacker threw acid on them. While Swapnika succumbed to the burns, Pranitha, who was riding pillion, survived. However, she underwent trauma with frequent bouts of hospitalisation and numerous surgeries.

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Violent protest after woman alleges gang rape by cops
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
An angry mob pelted stones at the Inderpuri police station here today after a 35-year-old woman alleged gang rape by five policemen, including a Station House Officer (SHO), inside the police station premises yesterday.

The woman, a resident of a slum cluster in the A Block of Inderpuri, was reportedly called for questioning in the police station last evening regarding a pending case against her husband. However, when she reached there, the accused took her to the second floor and allegedly raped her.

Irked over the incident, around 300 persons threw stones at the police station demanding that the complaint be registered against the policemen involved.

Senior district police officers, including the area DCP (Southwest), reached the spot to pacify the protesters.

Later, the case was handed over to the Delhi Police Crime Branch for impartial investigation while the SHO, Pradeep Kumar, who took over the charge a month ago, has been transferred to the Police Lines.

Talking to the media, the husband of the victim, Dheeraj, alleged that the police had come to his house looking for him but took his wife to the police station in his absence. “She was raped by turns and later the policemen threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed the incident to anyone,” he alleged.

He said his wife informed him of the incident after which he took her to RML Hospital for medical examination.

Dheeraj reportedly has about three cases of bootlegging registered against him.

SHO, four other cops booked

NEW DELHI: A case of gang rape was filed against an SHO and four policemen in the capital after a woman claimed that she was sexually assaulted inside a police station in Delhi.

The police said it had registered a case of gang rape against the five policemen after recording her statement late tonight. “We have registered a case against the accused after recording the statement of the victim,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said. — PTI

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26/11
Warrants against 22 Pakistanis

Mumbai, June 23
A special court here today issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against 22 absconding Pakistanis wanted in connection with the 26/11 terrorist attacks.

Accepting a plea by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, Special Judge ML Tahilyani passed the order this afternoon. Only one Pakistani citizen, Mohammed Ajmal Amir, alias Kasab, is currently in custody and undergoing trial for his role in the 26/11 attacks.

His nine accomplices were gunned down during the 60-hour operations by the combined security forces during November 26-28 last year.

However, investigations by various Indian agencies, Kasab’s confession and intelligence inputs have pointed to the involvement of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the mayhem that claimed more than 170 lives.

The 11,500-plus-page charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police in the 26/11 case also named 35 wanted accused, including LeT commanders Zarar Shah, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi among others. Nikam had on Monday urged that the court should issue NBWs since the addresses of 27 of the 35 wanted accused were available with the Indian government. — IANS

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Swine Flu
Demand to get quarantined at home swells
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 23
There is an increasing demand from medical circles for suspected victims of the H1N1 or swine flu virus to be quarantined at home or in clinics and private hospitals.

According to senior health department officials here, eminent doctors have told government representatives that patients afflicted by the H1N1 virus were unwilling to be quarantined in government hospitals, which had very basic in-stay facilities.

So far, the Maharashtra government is going by the Union Ministry of Health's guidelines on combating the virus.

Isolation wards have been set up at 33 hospitals across Maharashtra as a precautionary measure.

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Six IEDs recovered from bus

Guwahati, June 23
About six powerful Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), suspected to be carried by National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants, were on Tuesday recovered from a bus in Assam’s Sonitpur district. Acting on a tip-off, troops of 44 Assam Rifles recovered the IEDs near Dopota bridge in Tezpur from a vegetable bag kept in the bus that was on its way to Tezpur from Kharupetia in Darrang district. The security forces have launched a combing operation in the area to nab the NDFB militants suspected to be carrying the explosives. — PTI

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Corruption Cases
Details to go online in AP
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 23
In a first such experiment in the country, Andhra Pradesh government is planning to post the details of all corruption cases on its official website and make them accessible to public.

The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) would put details of corruption cases on its website and a foolproof monitoring system was being developed to keep track of the cases, officials said.

Plans were on to introduce a cash-reward scheme for those who pass on information about corrupt officials.

Chief Minister Y Rajasekhara Reddy has assured that there would be no political interference of any kind and the ACB would be given full autonomy and independence in its efforts to curb corruption.

“I am giving you a free hand to deal firmly with corrupt officials. Don’t spare anyone, however influential and mighty they might be. You continue with your good work of conducting raids and trappings on corrupt officials,” Reddy told ACB officials during an interactive meeting.

Pointing out that corruption by a few individuals has been tarnishing the image of the state government, he said he had commissioned a survey by an independent agency on corruption in some key sectors. He had ordered for a further inquiry into the report submitted by the agency. Once confirmed, the report would be handed over to the ACB for further action.

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No dress code for girls: UP

Lucknow, June 23
Following a hue and cry by social organisations and parents, the Uttar Pradesh government today said it had not imposed any ban on wearing of jeans by girls in colleges and those who have issued such orders would be dealt with strictly.

“The state government has not imposed any ban on wearing of jeans by girls. No dress code has been issued by the government in this regard,” Secretary Higher Education Kamran Rizvi told reporters here.

He said it had come to the notice of the government that office-bearers of some non-government-aided colleges had held a meeting and issued orders banning wearing of jeans by girls.

“We have issued orders to all the district magistrates and colleges to ensure strict action against those trying to impose a dress code,” Rizvi said, adding that strict legal action would be taken against those issuing such orders.

A detailed guideline has been issued in this regard by the government.

Meanwhile, taking up cudgels on behalf of students, women legislators in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district have opposed a proposal drafted by several college principals, banning students from wearing jeans on campus.

“We will not allow UPPA to function in a dictatorial manner. The proposal formulated by UPPA that prohibits college students from wearing jeans is irrational,” Kalyanpur legislator Premlata Katiyar, of the Bharatiya Janata Party, told here over the telephone.

A few days ago, four colleges in Kanpur -Dayanand Degree College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Sen Balika College and Johari Degree College- issued an order prohibiting girl students from wearing jeans on campus, claiming the move will check incidents of harassment. — PTI

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New train timetable to be out in Oct

New Delhi, June 23
The Railways’ new timetable for 2009-10 containing revised timings of passenger trains will be released in October instead of July as scheduled.

“The new timetable will come into effect from October 1,” a source in the Railway Ministry said.

“This decision was taken to include trains which are expected to be announced in the upcoming Railway Budget on July 3 in the timetable, apart from those announced in the interim Rail Budget,” the source said.

As per convention, the Railways releases the new timetable - Trains at a glance - every year on July 1 across the country.

Sources said this year the Railway Timetable committee, comprising senior officials from various zones, will sit after the Railway Budget is tabled in Parliament.

The committee would prepare the timings of the new trains announced and carries out revision in the timings of the existing trains.

According to Railway officials, several trains are likely to be speeded up after the new timings comes into effect.

Revised passenger reservation schemes, fare rate slab and new premium services announced by the Railways during the course of the year would also find a place in the timetable, the sources said.

The zonal timetables would also be released simultaneously.

Recently, the Central Railways came out with a summer special timetable. This followed after the Railways announced to run over 4,500 special services across the country till July to meet the summer rush. Taking a cue, the Northern Railways also published its own summer special timetable. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Preneet to attend UN conference
NEW DELHI:
Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur will lead the delegation to the forthcoming three-day United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development to be held in New York, starting from Wednesday. Her participation is to be seen in the context with India’s proactive and constructive engagement with the global community in order to address and meet the challenges posed by the global financial and economic crisis. — TNS

Riot victims get relief
ROURKELA:
About 12 Sikh victims of the 1984 riots have received a compensation of Rs 7,90,900 altogether from the district administration here in a function held Monday night. The administration has so far distributed a total compensation of Rs 30,81,900 in phases among the affected Sikhs in and around the city, official sources said. — PTI

Officer run over by train
BADAUN (UP):
A railway officer was on Tuesday run over by a passenger train, the police said here. The 39-year-old PC Joshi, a section officer with the railways, was knocked down by Kasganj-Lalkuan train at the Dataganj railway crossing and died on the spot, Circle Officer (City) Budaun Vinod Kumar Sharma said. — PTI

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