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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Kabul Attack
Prez receives victims’ bodies 
New Delhi, February 27
President Pratibha Patil pays last respects to those killed in the Kabul suicide attack, at the Palam airport in New Delhi on Saturday President Pratibha Patil received the bodies of Indians, who were killed in a terror attack in Kabul, here today.
President Pratibha Patil pays last respects to those killed in the Kabul suicide attack, at the Palam airport in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal 

Death scuttled Major’s marriage plan
Guwahati, February 27
His plan to tie the nuptial knot “after coming back from a foreign assignment” remained unfulfilled as yesterday’s strike by Talibans killed Major Dr Laishram Jotin Singh of the Indian Army’s Medical Corps along with five other compatriots in a Kabul locality.

Fuel price hike may trigger anti-Cong wave 
New Delhi, February 27
The Leftists might hate to admit this but their resentment with the government over fuel price hike announced in yesterday’s union Budget has placed them well within the working distance of the BJP.

MHA to focus on paramilitary infrastructure
New Delhi, February 27
The Home Ministry will focus sharply on building infrastructure for central paramilitary forces and the prestigious Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS). 



EARLIER STORIES

Captured HP man hours before he boarded flight
New Delhi, February 27
The six Indians killed in the attack in Kabul yesterday were carrying out diverse duties in providing medical aid and helping in reconstruction of Afghanistan. India has pledged some $1.2 billion (roughly Rs 5,800 crore) for Afghanistan.

After Advani, BJP has new ‘friends’ 
New Delhi, February 27
The moving out of L.K. Advani from the epicentre of the BJP and his replacement by Sushma Swaraj as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha appears to be making significant difference to the untouchability stigma associated with the BJP since Advani rode out on the Somnath-to-Ayodhya Rath Yatra in 1990 to demolish Babri Masjid.

Perfect health in 20 weeks
Kiran Bedi releases Tribune staffer’s book
New Delhi, February 27
HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, former IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi and Dr KK Aggarwal at the release of The Tribune Associate Editor Amar Chandel’s book “Perfect Health in 20 Weeks” in New Delhi on Saturday If it was one advice from the expert in naturopathy and holistic healing Amar Chandel, it is to “eat like a bird and work like an animal”. Magasaysay Awardee Dr Kiran Bedi released “Perfect Health in 20 Weeks”, a book authored by Associate Editor of the The Tribune Chandel at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan here today.
HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, former IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi and Dr KK Aggarwal at the release of The Tribune Associate Editor Amar Chandel’s book “Perfect Health in 20 Weeks” in New Delhi on Saturday. A Tribune photograph 

ISO certificate for IGRUA
New Delhi, February 27
The ground training department of the Indira Gandhi Rastriya Uran Academy (IGRUA) in Rae Bareli has become India’s first ground handling school to get an International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification. The autonomous body, established under the Ministry of Civil Aviation by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has received the ISO 9001:2008 certification.

Sena calls for truce with Sachin
Uddhav demands Bharat Ratna for maestro after his ODI knock
Mumbai, February 27
The Shiv Sena is back to singing cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's praises just months after supremo Bal Thackeray hit out at him for his remarks on the party's hate campaign against migrants in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena's executive president Uddhav Thackeray said Tendulkar should be awarded the Bharat Ratna following his landmark double century in the Gwalior one-dayer against South Africa.

Mysore lab gives PAU 201 paddy thumbs down
Chandigarh, February 27
Punjab is in the midst of a major crisis on the paddy front with the Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore, declaring that as much as 50 per cent of the PAU 201 samples submitted to it are unfit for supply under the public distribution system (PDS).

Ambala girl is 17th victim of Pune blast
Mumbai/ Ambala, February 27
The death toll in the February 13 bomb blast at Pune has risen to 17 with one more victim succumbing to injuries on Friday night, the police said here today. Aditi Jindal, 21, from Ambala died at the Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, the police said. The parents of the deceased have rushed to Pune to bring the body to Ambala. Her father is a senior chartered accountant in Ambala City.

 





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Kabul Attack
Prez receives victims’ bodies 
Karzai calls up PM, assures thorough probe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
President Pratibha Patil received the bodies of Indians, who were killed in a terror attack in Kabul, here today. She also paid tributes to the victims and spoke to their relatives.

The President, who had arrived from Pune in the afternoon, just stayed on at the Palam airport’s technical area and waited for an hour for the IAF Boeing that was carrying the bodies to arrive from Kabul.

Originally, the plane, which was sent to Kabul this morning, was scheduled to return at around 3.30 pm. But it got delayed due to bad weather there and reached at around 6:30 pm. This was an hour after the President, who took an impromptu decision to stay on, landed.

Normally, the President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, does not receive bodies of terror attack victims. Patil paid homages to the victims, including two Army officers, an ITBP jawan, an MEA staffer, an engineer and a cultural artiste, at the technical area of the airport.

Separately, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai today called Prime MInister Manmohan Singh promised a full investigation into the attack. The PM asked Karzai to ensure security of Indian nationals in Afghanistan. The two leaders agreed to stay in touch with each other, a statement of the government said.

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Death scuttled Major’s marriage plan
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, February 27
His plan to tie the nuptial knot “after coming back from a foreign assignment” remained unfulfilled as yesterday’s strike by Talibans killed Major Dr Laishram Jotin Singh of the Indian Army’s Medical Corps along with five other compatriots in a Kabul locality.

Friends and relatives back in his home state Manipur were shocked at hearing the news of untimely death of Major Dr Jotin’s Singh, who hailed from Nambol in Bishnupur district of Manipur. Born to a middle-class family of L Markando Singh, an employee of the Agriculture Department in Manipur, the Jotin Singh was very popular among his classmates at Manipur Public School as well as the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal.

“We were classmates at Manipur Public School (MPS) as well as the RIMS. We passed out of MPS in 1990 and MBBS from the RIMS in 1996. Jotin then went to do a diploma course in sports medicine at Patiala. He was a soft-spoken person and used to crack jokes to keep everybody in good humour. Everybody used to like him. He was a good football player and a very sincere student throughout his career. It is a great personal loss for me,” said Dr Nelson, a batch mate of the slain Major.

Dr Nelson, who now serves as a doctor in the RIMS, said he met Major Jotin while he was posted with 57 Mountain Division of the Army at Agartala in Tripura. “During our last meeting at Agartala two years ago, Major Jotin told me that he would get married once he comes back from a foreign assignment,” Dr Nelson said.

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Fuel price hike may trigger anti-Cong wave 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Leftists might hate to admit this but their resentment with the government over fuel price hike announced in yesterday’s union Budget has placed them well within the working distance of the BJP.

The last time Left and Right came together in 1989, the Congress was voted out of power, paving the way for the V.P. Singh-headed Janata Dal government which had the outside support of both right-wing BJP and the Communist Left.

The two ideologically opposed blocks are again thinking alike on ways to censure the government for hitting the aam aadmi with petrol, diesel price hikes. Both will bring cut motions in the Lok Sabha once the debate on the Budget is over and the Speaker puts the demands for grants to vote.

Bringing cut motions against specific budgetary demands would naturally entail voting together, with CPI leader in LS Gurudas Dasgupta saying, “If we (Left and the BJP) can sit together in the parliament, why can’t we work together for the common man?”

Though privately the communists say they will make “every possible attempt” to force a rollback of excise duty hike on petrol and diesel, publicly they limit their scope of cooperation to the non-Congress secular parties, including the BSP, the SP, the RJD, the TDP, the BJD and the AIADMK.

“Don’t see yesterday’s walkout from the Budget as the Left-BJP unity. It was a spontaneous reaction of the Opposition which was shocked by fuel price rise a day after discussions were held on the subject. It’s an issue on which no party, not even UPA allies, can sit silent,” said D. Raja, national secretary, CPI.

CPM’s leader in Rajya Sabha Sitaram Yechury also denied political proximity to BJP, saying the opposition reaction (walkout) was not premeditated. “We will talk to all secular parties on forcing the government to roll back fuel price rise,” he insisted.

But given the fact that some of the favoured Left partners, including the TDP and the BJD, have traded with the BJP in the past, some meeting ground in the future can’t be ruled out. It’s after all a question of political survival for all at a time when the Congress is gaining power even in states like Uttar Pradesh, where it was nowhere until recently. In 1989, too, the Left and Right had come together to tame a growing Congress, which had become extremely powerful.

Price rise, with its appeal across masses, can well be the cement between an opposition in disarray, bringing it together against the Congress one more time.

Some Left leaders still don’t rule out the possibility of working with BJP, as they say, “We are talking to all non-Left opposition parties to launch campaigns against price rise. Even on voting on cut motions, how can we prevent the BJP from voting with us or vice versa if a situation so demands?”

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat made a straight comment, “First, we will organise protests and strikes. Later, we shall move cut motions in the Parliament.” 

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MHA to focus on paramilitary infrastructure
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Home Ministry will focus sharply on building infrastructure for central paramilitary forces and the prestigious Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS). The government allocated a sum of Rs 37,136.07 crore for the Home Ministry as against Rs 33,809.86 crore in 2009-10, showing a hike of 10 per cent or Rs 3327 crore hike. A major chunk - Rs 29,940 crore - will go to central forces that are involved in internal security duties as well as policing the senstive borders with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

A provision of Rs 444 crore has been made for a housing project for Central paramilitary forces. Another 875 crore have been set aside for creating buildings for the central paramilitray forces. This takes away a major portion of the Rs 3327 crore hike. Notably the proposals for Intelligence Bureau include Rs 15 crore under the plan outlay, while another Rs 764.37 under the non-plan outlay. The budgetary provisions come up to Rs 779.37 crore which is 15.14 per cent less compared to Rs 918.03 crore in the last fiscal.

A special proposal of recruiting 2,000 youth belonging to Jammu and Kashmir to the five central para military forces-CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB and CISF-has been cleared. The Special protection Group which is responsible for security of VVIPS has been given Rs 252 crore up from Rs 211 crore last year. An amount of Rs 1,975.82 crore has been set aside for providing assistance to the states for security-related expenditures.

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Captured HP man hours before he boarded flight
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The six Indians killed in the attack in Kabul yesterday were carrying out diverse duties in providing medical aid and helping in reconstruction of Afghanistan. India has pledged some $1.2 billion (roughly Rs 5,800 crore) for Afghanistan.

One of the most unlucky to have been killed in the attack may have been ITBP constable Roshan Lal, 35, a resident of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. He was killed just hours before he was to fly back to India.

He was deployed as security man at the Indian Consulate. He and another ITBP jawan were in their rooms. While the other jawan escaped, Roshan Lal died.

Major (Dr) Laishram Jyotin Singh of the Army Medical Corps was a resident of Manipur. The other Army officer who died in the attack, Major Deepak Yadav of the Army Education Corps, belonged to Agra. He was working to train and educate Afghans. His father and family have been informed.

Ironically, Bhola Ram, another Indian killed, was instrumental in “lighting up” the lives of Kabul residents. He was the project director at Afghan Power Grid Corporation and was instrumental in bringing electricity to Kabul from Uzbekistan.

Tabla player Nawab Khan, who was killed in the attack on the guest house, was part of the three-member cultural troupe which was sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to Afghanistan. The sixth victim Nitin Chibber was a secretary at the Indian Consulate in Kandahar. 

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After Advani, BJP has new ‘friends’ 
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The moving out of L.K. Advani from the epicentre of the BJP and his replacement by Sushma Swaraj as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha appears to be making significant difference to the untouchability stigma associated with the BJP since Advani rode out on the Somnath-to-Ayodhya Rath Yatra in 1990 to demolish Babri Masjid.

The first week of the Budget session of Parliament saw Advani receded to the sidelines and Sushma Swaraj in the Lok Sabha and Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha take over from him in the two Houses of Parliament. It witnessed a noticeable change in the secular parties’ stance vis-ŕ-vis both the Congress and BJP.

It ended with leaders like Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Lalu Prasad (RJD) and Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) going out and facing the media together with Sushma Swaraj, conveying the impression of a joint opposition against the Congress. Formally, both BJP and secular leaders tried downplaying the whole episode.

During the debate on price rise, both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad spoke a different language. Mulayam said, “But for the demolition of Babri Masjid, we may have not parted company with them (pointing at the BJP) and would have never supported you.”

Lalu said, “We supported you to prevent them (the BJP) from coming to power. But you have become arrogant and complacent.”

Privately an RJD leader said, “I do not rule out the emergence yet again of the anti-Congressism because the Congress has become arrogant and it is under the impression that it can finish off regional forces like Lalu, Mulyam and Mayawati and then occupy their political space.”

Even the Left, he felt, suffered extensively in the last general elections because it supported its traditional rival, the Congress, after the 2004 general elections. If it has to survive and retain its political relevance, it has to think of alternatives.

He dismissed the BJP’s communalism, reminding that the Congress proved no less communal — be it Malegaon, Batla House and several other instances of atrocities against Muslims in Maharashtra.

RJD MP Jabir Husain said, “We have been forced into this situation. They (Congress) do not realise they are running a coalition government and they came to power with our support. This demonstrates Congress arrogance and complacence. If I had to decide, I would have done this much earlier. Better late. I told my leader before they dump us, let us break away from them.”

The BJP too appeared pleased with the development. Party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Surely it is a big development reminding us of 1975 when the entire Opposition united against the Congress party. Of course it is too early to make any wild speculations at this stage but there are straws in the air which indicate a change of wind direction.”

Privately, BJP leaders conceded that internal changes in the BJP had helped secular parties see the BJP differently. They recalled that Advani was an anathema to these forces for any number of reasons, including the demolition of Babri Masjid and the unqualified support for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

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Perfect health in 20 weeks
Kiran Bedi releases Tribune staffer’s book
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
If it was one advice from the expert in naturopathy and holistic healing Amar Chandel, it is to “eat like a bird and work like an animal”. Magasaysay Awardee Dr Kiran Bedi released “Perfect Health in 20 Weeks”, a book authored by Associate Editor of the The Tribune Chandel at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan here today.

The book is a step-by-step guide to 100 per cent natural healing aimed at addressing lifestyle problems that have become a part of modern life.

Bedi said she found each page of the 158-page book enlightening as the author rationalised his arguments by explaining the biology of the body with it in simple language. She recommended that a thinner version of the book be specially published for school children. “It will be especially useful in schools,” she said.

The book that also promises to cure one of the most common repercussions of the modern lifestyle of obesity, suggests ways of effortlessly and scientifically losing weight by losing 2 kg every month.

Summerising the idea of a perfect health in four points, Chandel said it was a state of total absence of disease, the right amount of energy, flexibility and finally a long life.

President of the Health Care Foundation of India Dr KK Aggarwal highlighted that hospitals should suggest practising prevention and not only cures. Ultimate purpose of life was to live for 100 years, he said.

The director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan J Veeraraghavan said the book should be recommended to all Indians for a country full of people with perfect health.

Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune and Member of Parliament HK Dua, who has worked closely with the author for seven years, said Chandel practised everything that he had suggested in the book. “In years of working with him, I have never seen him take even a sip of coffee,” said Dua.

The book that has initially been released in English by Konark Publishers would be released in several other Indian and foreign languages, including Swedish.

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ISO certificate for IGRUA
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The ground training department of the Indira Gandhi Rastriya Uran Academy (IGRUA) in Rae Bareli has become India’s first ground handling school to get an International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification. The autonomous body, established under the Ministry of Civil Aviation by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has received the ISO 9001:2008 certification.

The IGRUA commenced operations in 1986 with the primary objective to train pilots for entry into the airlines. The institute carries out the Line Oriented Flying Training (LOFT) to the contemporary international standards, mainly conducting courses for ab-initio undergraduate candidates to the Commercial Pilot License (CPL) standards with the Instrument Rating (IR) and the multi-engine endorsement.

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Sena calls for truce with Sachin
Uddhav demands Bharat Ratna for maestro after his ODI knock
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, February 27
The Shiv Sena is back to singing cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's praises just months after supremo Bal Thackeray hit out at him for his remarks on the party's hate campaign against migrants in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena's executive president Uddhav Thackeray said Tendulkar should be awarded the Bharat Ratna following his landmark double century in the Gwalior one-dayer against South Africa.

"Sachin Tendulkar should be awarded Bharat Ratna. He continues to break record after record and his performance is improving," Thackeray told reporters here today. The remarks by Thackeray come a day after Chief Minister Ashok Chavan of the Congress Party and Deputy Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal of the Nationalist Congress Party demanded that the highest honour be conferred on Tendulkar. Bhujbal went on to say that the Maharashtra government proposed to set up a museum to honour the cricketer.The Shiv Sena which has suffered a number of reverses in recent times had received severe criticism from Marathi writers and thinkers in Maharashtra after Bal Thackeray's remarks against Tendulkar in November last. Reacting to the Shiv Sena's campaign against North Indian migrants Tendulkar had remarked that he was an Indian first and

was proud of the fact that his success in the cricket field came while wearing Indian colours. "I am a Maharashtrian but am proud to be an Indian first," Tendulkar had told reporters.

A stung Bal Thackeray hit out at Tendulkar and asked him to concentrate on the sport while leaving politics to the Shiv Sena.

However, Thackeray's snub to Tendulkar drew public protests and the Shiv Sena had to quietly shelve plans to force out an apology from the cricketer.

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Mysore lab gives PAU 201 paddy thumbs down
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Punjab is in the midst of a major crisis on the paddy front with the Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore, declaring that as much as 50 per cent of the PAU 201 samples submitted to it are unfit for supply under the public distribution system (PDS).

The finding of the Central lab has put the further plantation of PAU 201 in Punjab in doubt with the state government considering issuing an advisory to farmers not to go in for this variety in the next season.

At present, the variety forms around 30 per cent of the stock produced in Punjab. The Food and Supplies department has purchased stock worth Rs 4,300 crore.

The findings of the Mysore laboratory have further confused the entire issue revolving around the quality of the rice produced by milling this variety. This is because two other central laboratories - one in Pune and another in Ghaziabad had earlier cleared 85 per cent of the stocks even as they maintained that 15 per cent of the stocks did not subscribe to the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) specifications. The FCI had submitted 25 samples each to the three laboratories.

Though the Centre had asked Punjab to get the 140 lakh tonnes of PAU 201 milled, the appeal failed to find any takers as the rice millers have decided not to mill this variety till the present breakage allowed (4 per cent) is increased further.

State Food and Supplies minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon said the situation had turned grim due to confusion over the findings of the Central laboratories. He said the government would approach the Ministry of Food to find a resolution to the crisis.

Punjab rice millers association president Tarsem Saini says the Mysore report was kept out during the meeting with the PMO’s office on February 18 so as to deny millers any further relaxation in breakage norms. He said millers would not mill PAU 201 and that the Centre alone would be responsible for any further damage to this variety

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Ambala girl is 17th victim of Pune blast
Tribune News Service

Mumbai/ Ambala, February 27
The death toll in the February 13 bomb blast at Pune has risen to 17 with one more victim succumbing to injuries on Friday night, the police said here today. Aditi Jindal, 21, from Ambala died at the Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, the police said. The parents of the deceased have rushed to Pune to bring the body to Ambala. Her father is a senior chartered accountant in Ambala City.

Aditi, who had gone with her friend Aditya Mehta to the German Bakery, suffered severe burns and had to have one of her legs amputated. Mehta died of his injuries some days ago.Aditi's condition had improved and she was removed from the ventilator some days ago. However her condition worsened two days ago and doctors had to perform a tracheotomy to help her breathe.

Aditi’s brother Akhilesh Jindal said his sister had sustained around 40 per cent burn injuries and since February 13 she had been in the ICU. A resident of Sector 9 in Ambala, Aditi had done Senior Secondary from DAV Public School, Ambala City, and later did a course from the National Institute of Fashion Designing, Chandigarh. 

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BRIEFLY

RSS veteran Nanaji Deshmukh dead
CHITRAKOOT:
Sangh Parivar veteran and former Rajya Sabha member Nanaji Deshmukh passed away here on Saturday at the age of 94. He breathed his last at the premises of the country’s first rural university he had established in this temple town bordering Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, his close associate Sharda Prasad Dwivedi said. Deshmukh was unwell for some time due to age-related ailments and had refused to be taken to Delhi for treatment. A Padma Vibhushan awardee, he had pledged his body for medical research. — PTI

Seven injured in Barawafat clash
Jaipur:
Seven persons were injured, two of them critically, as members of two Muslim groups clashed during a Barawafat procession in Bhilwara on Saturday. Bhilwara SP P Ramjee said the clash between the groups took place while they were taking out two separate processions of Barawafat in Pur town. They pelted stones at each other in which seven persons were hurt, he said. — TNS

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