Sunday, May 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi paying homage at the smadhi of Jawaharlal Nehru on his 35th death anniversary at Shanti Van in New Delhi
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi paying homage at smadhi of Jawaharlal Nehru on his 35th death anniversary at Shanti Van in New Delhi. — PTI photo

Nation pays homage to Jawaharlal Nehru
NEW DELHI, May 27 — The nation today paid homage to its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 35th death anniversary recalling his immense contributions in the making of a strong, secular and modern India.

President leaves for China today
NEW DELHI, May 27 — The President Mr K.R. Narayanan, will leave for China tomorrow on a week-long state visit which aims at further strengthening the "strong, stable and friendly" bilateral ties between the two countries.

Rabri aided Laloo in amassing wealth: CBI
PATNA, May 27 — The CBI today charged former Bihar Chief Minister and ruling RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav with amassing property of over Rs 46 lakh disproportionate to the known source of his income during his tenure as the Chief Minister.



EARLIER STORIES
 

TDP not to join ministry: Naidu
VIJAYAWADA, May 27 — The Telugu Desam Party today said it would continue to play a vital role in ensuring the stability of the NDA government at the Centre but also made it clear that it would not join the ministry.

Farooq pessimistic on talks offer
NEW DELHI, May 27 — Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah said today that talks with the Hurriyat and others may not yield results unless Pakistan stopped aiding terrorists.

Bravery awards for real-life heroes
NEW DELHI, May 27 — In a world where the instinct for self preservation dominates the psyche of a majority of humans, persons like Vibhuti Khansali, Raju Nagar and Vijay Pal Bobal are exceptions.

Children join their mothers as the Burma Democracy activists march in New Delhi on Saturday to present an open letter to the Indian Prime Minister to mark the 10th anniversary of the Noble Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi led National Leagues victory in the Burmese Parliamentary elections. Photograph
Children join their mothers as Burma Democracy activists march in New Delhi on Saturday to present an open letter to the Prime Minister to mark the 10th anniversary of the Noble Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi-led National Leagues victory in the Burmese Parliamentary elections. — Photo by Sondeep Shankar
Onset of monsoon over S. Kerala
PUNE, may 27 — Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep, at many places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, South Konkan and Goa and South interior Karnataka, at few places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, gangetic West Bengal, North Konkan, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside Bihar plateau, plains of west Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra and Kutch and north Madhya Maharsahtra where weather will be mainly dry, according to forecast issued by central observatory here today.

Govt’s policy on Lanka ambiguous: Dixit
NEW DELHI, May 27 — Former Army Chief Gen Shankar Roychoudhury has said the situation in Jaffna did have a long-term "indirect threat" to India and that any military intervention by New Delhi should have the backing of Tamil parties and groups back home.

India signs MoU with MIT
NEW DELHI, May 27 — In a major initiative, India today signed a memorandum of understanding with the world’s premier research body — Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to jointly set up centres of excellence.

Top ULFA leader shot dead
GUWAHATI, May 27 — ULFA’s key publicity campaigner Swadhinata Phukan was shot dead by police at Pulibar near Jorhat in upper Assam early today, according to Inspector General (Operation) G.M. Srivastava.

Selling war spots to tourists
NEW DELHI, May 27 — The Jammu and Kashmir government will hold a Kargil festival from June 19 to 25 and take tourists to spots like the Tiger Hill and Tololing where Indian defence forces fought infiltrators last year during the Kargil war.

HP BJP chief will be elected ‘unanimously’
NEW DELHI, May 27 — The Union Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, today said the election of the BJP Chief for Himachal Pradesh will be a "unanimous affair".Top




 

Nation pays homage to Jawaharlal Nehru

NEW DELHI, May 27 (PTI) — The nation today paid homage to its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 35th death anniversary recalling his immense contributions in the making of a strong, secular and modern India.

Leaders at various functions across the country hailed Nehru as a towering figure who initiated the concept of Panchsheel for world peace.

President K.R. Narayanan, Vice-President Krishan Kant, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others offered floral tributes at the samadhi of Jawaharlal Nehru here. An all-religion prayer meeting was also held on the occasion.

In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Congress Chief Tindivanam K. Ramamurthee led the party workers in paying floral tributes to the architect of modern India.

At the TMC headquarters, party President G.K. Moopanar and other TMC leaders garlanded the statue of Nehru.

In Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee led by its President M. Satyanarayana Rao paid tributes to Nehru.

At Gandhi Bhavan, the party headquarters, the portrait of the late Prime Minister was garlanded by the scores of Congress leaders and workers. Top

 

President leaves for China today

NEW DELHI, May 27 (PTI) — The President Mr K.R. Narayanan, will leave for China tomorrow on a week-long state visit which aims at further strengthening the "strong, stable and friendly" bilateral ties between the two countries.

Mr Narayanan, who had been India’s Ambassador to Beijing, will have wide-ranging discussions with top Chinese leadership on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern.

India attaches great importance to its relations with China, an important global player and influential member of the UN Security Council, Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh, who is a member of the presidential delegation, said.

The President will be accompanied by the First Lady Usha Narayanan, the Minister for Heavy Industries, Mr Manohar Joshi and MPs, Ms Sushma Swaraj, Mr S. Ramchandra Pillai, Mr Somnath Chatterjee’s Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde and senior officials.

Mr Narayanan’s visit, the first presidential one in the last eight years, will be utilised for giving fresh impetus for enhancing economic cooperation, he said.

Well-versed in Chinese affairs, Mr Narayanan will hold intensive parleys with the Chinese President Jiang Zemin, signalling a new dimension to friendly relations between the two neighbours.

Relations between China and India were strained in the wake of the nuclear tests in May 1998 with Beijing taking a tough stand in condemning New Delhi.

The President’s visit will be the highlight of the on-going celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China, which was jointly commemorated on April 1.

The President, who will reach Beijing on Sunday evening, will hold talks with his counterpart Mr Jiang Zemin the following day.

It is expected that China and India, the two largest developing countries in the world, will, further advance their bilateral relations based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence.

Mr Mansingh told reporters that there had been "ups and downs" in the bilateral ties, but this visit would further strengthen them.

On May 30, the President is scheduled to address students and invited guests at the elite Beijing University. He will present a bust of Rabindranath Tagore to the university.

This will be Mr Narayanan’s first state visit to China since he became President in 1997. He had earlier visited China as the Vice-President in October 1994 and in 1990 as a member of a Parliamentary delegation.Top

 

Rabri aided Laloo in amassing wealth: CBI

PATNA, May 27 (UNI) — The CBI today charged former Bihar Chief Minister and ruling RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav with amassing property of over Rs 46 lakh disproportionate to the known source of his income during his tenure as the Chief Minister.

CBI pleader L.R. Ansari while arguing in the disproportionate assets case referred to the evidences and informed the designated court that Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, wife of Mr Yadav, had abetted and aided her husband in amassing the property. The counsel said Rabri Devi misled the court and the CBI to shield her husband in the case.

Concluding his argument Mr Ansari alleged that Mr Yadav had legally earned Rs 16.55 lakh during his regime while he spent Rs 20.17 lakh under different heads. Besides his legal earning, Mr Yadav acquired movable and immovable property worth Rs 42.64 lakh raising his assets to Rs 46.26 lakh disproportionate to the known sources of his income.

According to him the CBI had assessed the price of Mr Yadav’s immovable property on the basis of the evaluation done by the Central Vigilance Commission, an independent unit.

Earlier, he and Rabri Devi appeared before the court in the case during the day. The court fixed May 29 as the next date of hearing when Mr Yadav’s pleader is expected to initiate his argument for framing charges.

As soon as the hearing began Mr Pandey suggested that the matter should be taken up for hearing after joining of a new Judge as the present special Judge S.K. Lal had been transferred.Top

 

TDP not to join ministry: Naidu

VIJAYAWADA, May 27 (PTI) — The Telugu Desam Party today said it would continue to play a vital role in ensuring the stability of the NDA government at the Centre but also made it clear that it would not join the ministry.

"Unlike previous coalitions, the NDA government is totally stable now. The era of one-party rule is over and coalitions have become a political reality in the country", TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu told his party’s "Mini Mahanadu" (delegates’ convention) here.

Justifying his party’s decision not to join Vajpayee ministry, Mr Naidu said, "We are not interested in power but are only keen to see that our state’s interests are protected".

Mr Naidu, whose party is an important constituent of the Union Government, said only coalition governments could ensure effective implementation of reforms and all-round development of the country.

Recalling how his party had played a key role in formation of the United Front government earlier, he admitted that the previous coalitions had suffered from instability.

"The NDA government has now gained stability and future belongs to stable coalition governments where regional parties will have a vital role to play," Mr Naidu said.

Over 6,000 delegates are participating in the mahanadu which is scheduled to pass 34 resolutions covering a plethora of subjects including constitutional review, Centre-state relations, information technology, political developments, law and order, drought, education, poverty alleviation and health.

Mr Naidu predicted a grim future for the Congress and said the party’s support base was fast eroding across the country and there were signs of desperation among its leaders.

"There is an open criticism within the party against the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi following the realisation that she cannot get votes for the party. The people who had earlier projected her as the saviour of the party are now repenting their decision," the Chief Minister remarked.

Pointing out that the era of dynasty politics was over and that people were now favouring governments that work, Mr Naidu said his party had set a role model in the country by coming back to power in the last Assembly elections on the development plank.Top

 

Farooq pessimistic on talks offer
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 27 — Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah said today that talks with the Hurriyat and others may not yield results unless Pakistan stopped aiding terrorists.

"I say the guns are in the hands of Pakistan and the ISI and unless they stop sending them, peace cannot return only through dialogue’’, Dr Abdullah told correspondents here.

Dr Abdullah said the Hurriyat and other groups did not have control over gun-wielding militants and wondered how they could help stop the violence.

The J and K Chief Minister said he was not against holding talks with any one but added that the people should not expect much from such dialogue.

He said violence in the state could end only if international pressure was brought upon Pakistan to stop aiding and abetting cross-border terrorism.

"The United States of America should use its offices and pressurise Islamabad against training and sending these militants into the valley’’ he said.

Asked to react to a suggestion from a section of the RSS for trifurcation of J and K, Dr Abdullah emphasised that there was no question of dividing the state. "J and K is one state and it has three regions’’.

To a question as to why the Shankaracharya of Puri was prevented from entering the valley, the Chief Minister said a time when the Centre had initiated a move to start negotiations the visit of a religious leader would not have helped.Top

 

Bravery awards for real-life heroes

NEW DELHI, May 27 (UNI) — In a world where the instinct for self preservation dominates the psyche of a majority of humans, persons like Vibhuti Khansali, Raju Nagar and Vijay Pal Bobal are exceptions.

After all who would when caught in a blazing fire think of bailing his fellows out of danger as the late Khansali did? Nor would anybody even dream of taking upon himself the task of bringing to book armed robbers to cleanse his area of crime as was done by Raju Nagar of Dakshin Puri in New Delhi. Also, hardly anyone would go out of his way to save his owner from an assailants’ bullets, in the process losing his own life like Vijay Pal Bobal, who was employed in a jewellers’ shop.

But then, Vibhuti Khansali, Vijay Pal Bobal and Raju Nagar were no ordinary mortals but among the few bravehearts who never thought twice before rushing to the aid of people in distress.

Khansali and Nagar were among the selected few who received the Ninth Red and White Bravery Awards from Delhi Chief Minister at a function held at the FICCI Golden Jubilee Auditorium here last evening. While Khansali was posthumously awarded a gold for his extraordinary efforts, Raju and Bobal (also posthumously) were given silver and bronze, respectively in the "Physical Bravery" category.

Other proud recipients of this year’s awards were Mr Jitendra Kumar Shanti, the Angaja Foundation and Mr Surindra Singh Gonsai, who were awarded in the "Social Acts of Courage’ category.

Mr Jitendra Singh Shanti was honoured with a gold medal for his selfless service in providing free-of-cost help to the poor, either by cremating the bodies of their near and dear ones or organising blood donation camps for the needy.

The Delhi-based Angaja Foundation was awarded a silver medal for its efforts in setting up non-formal education centres in four slums in Delhi to provide the poor an avenue to seek education.

Mr Surendra Singh Gosai was awarded bronze for his role in initiating a movement to prevent pollution through crackers.

Social Worker Jagan Nath Kaul was awarded this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted in 1997 to recognise those who selflessly spent their lives working for the betterment of society.

Mr Kaul was presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh along with a trophy by Chief Minister Sheila Dixit.

While the gold medal recipients in each category received Rs 15,000 and a merit certificate, the silver medal winners were given Rs 10,000 and a merit certificate and the bronze medal winners Rs 5,000 and a merit certificate.

On the occasion, a fusion ballet, based on the theme of bravery, was presented by danseuses Shovana Narayan (Kathak), Kiran Sehgal (Odissi) and Bharati Shivaji (Mohiniyatam).Top

 

Govt’s policy on Lanka ambiguous: Dixit

NEW DELHI, May 27 (UNI) — Former Army Chief Gen Shankar Roychoudhury has said the situation in Jaffna did have a long-term "indirect threat" to India and that any military intervention by New Delhi should have the backing of Tamil parties and groups back home.

"We have to act in our national interest and Jaffna does figure as a long-term indirect threat in the form of transplantation of Eelam ideology," General Roychoudhury said while participating in a discussion on the current situation in Sri Lanka, organised by Security and Political Risk Analysis, a private think-tank on security-related issues.

General Roychoudhury, who is now a member of the Rajya Sabha, said the national interest should subsume the sub-national feelings. In the context of the situation in Sri Lanka, political climate in Tamil Nadu "will have a large bearing on the government’s decision."

The former Army Chief said he was not against military intervention by India in the island country to neutralise the LTTE provided it had the backing of the parties concerned. "Otherwise it does not merit the life of a single Indian soldier.’’ He agreed with former Foreign Secretary J.N. Dixit’s assertion that "Sri Lanka (IPKF operation) was not India’s Vietnam’’. "IPKF could not finish the task as parties in Tamil Nadu were not taken into confidence,’’ General Roychoudhury said.

Mr Dixit described as ambiguous New Delhi’s policy on the present situation in Jaffna peninsula.

Mr Dixit said, "As a civilised society we do not have the character to project ourselves as a power.’’ He suggested a general package for the ethnic Tamils from the Sri Lankan Government including a financial one, besides political devolution of power as one of the measures to resolve the issue. He also painted a scenario with a UN-sponsored peacekeeping force to support the Sri Lankan Army in its battle against the LTTE. "India should definitely participate in such a force.’’

Maj Gen (retd) Ashok Mehta, who had participated in the IPKF operations, said, "IPKF experience was being used as a disincentive for India’s participation in the current crisis.’’

He said India should have constantly monitored the situation in Sri Lanka in the past decade or so while Mr Dixit said New Delhi should have provided incremental military assistance. Both also lamented the "lack of warmth’’ between the leadership of the two countries. "The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, could have talked to the President, Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga on phone ...It was a policy failure,’’ Mr Dixit said.

General Mehta said with its five ‘nos’ to intervention, military assistance, eelam, evacuation and mediation (the last two with certain preconditions), India had "foreclosed’’ its options. "India cannot abdicate its responsibility as a regional power. It will send wrong signals about our stand on terrorism with the LTTE as the foremost terrorist organisation in the region,’’ he said.Top

 

India signs MoU with MIT

NEW DELHI, May 27 (PTI) — In a major initiative, India today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the world’s premier research body — Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — to jointly set up centres of excellence.

Included in the purview of this MoU are media labs (MIT is renowned for these) and advanced research in other areas of information technology, an official statement said here today.

"India today signed an MoU with MIT for setting up centres of excellence which will give state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facilities", the statement said.

The MoU was signed by the Minister for Information Technology, Mr Pramod Mahajan and Chancellor of MIT Professor Lawrence Backow at Massachusetts, USA.

"MIT and the Government of India have agreed to work on advanced research in education, human resources development (HRD) and applications in critical areas of information technology", it said.

As per the MoU, two centres of excellence — one at the MIT in the USA and the other in India — would be established soon, they said adding the modalities were yet to be worked out.Top

 

Onset of monsoon over S. Kerala

PUNE, may 27 (PTI) — Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep, at many places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, South Konkan and Goa and South interior Karnataka, at few places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, gangetic West Bengal, North Konkan, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside Bihar plateau, plains of west Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra and Kutch and north Madhya Maharsahtra where weather will be mainly dry, according to forecast issued by central observatory here today.

Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep during next 48 hours.

The temperatures recorded in four metropolitan centres were: Mumbai: max 34c and Min 28C, Chennai: Max 39C and Min 27 C, Calcutta: Max 35C and Min 28C, New Delhi: Max 43C and Min 34C.

The South West monsoon has further advanced into rest of Commorin-Maldives areas and into some more parts of the Bay of Bengal. The northern limit of monsoon passes through lat. 5 degree north . 73 degree East Lat. 10 degree North long. 81 degree East lat. 15 degree North long. 85 degree East and lat. 23 degree North long. 93 degree East. Conditions are favourable for onset of monsoon over South Kerala, some more parts of the Bay of Bengal and into Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura during next two to three days. The trough on sea-level chart from the North Pakistan and neighbourhood is likely move east-north-east wards.

Rain or thundershowers have occurred at many places in Assam and Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, at a few places in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura and Lakshdweep and at isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Gangetic West Bengal, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalasema, Tamil Nadu and south interior Karnataka. Very light rain has also occurred at isolated places in Marathwada and north interior Karnataka. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the rest of the country.

The day temperatures were appreciably above normal in north coastal Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and were above normal in Saurashtra, north coastal Andhra Pradesh, north coastal Tamil Nadu and in some parts of Haryana, north Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rayalaseema and in some parts of Assam and Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Bihar plains and off south Madhya Maharashtra and were below normal in southwest Rajasthan, north Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada.Top

 

Top ULFA leader shot dead

GUWAHATI, May 27 (UNI) — ULFA’s key publicity campaigner Swadhinata Phukan was shot dead by police at Pulibar near Jorhat in upper Assam early today, according to Inspector General (Operation) G.M. Srivastava.

Mr Srivastava said a .32 revolver and some incriminating documents were recovered from the slain ULFA activist.

According to the police Swadhinata was coming to meet ULFA’s publicity secretary Mithinga Daimari.

The encounter took place at around 0230 hrs near Gendheli in Jorhat district.

Official sources said the body of the militant had been taken to the Jorhat Civil Hospital.Top

 

Selling war spots to tourists
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 27 — The Jammu and Kashmir government will hold a Kargil festival from June 19 to 25 and take tourists to spots like the Tiger Hill and Tololing where Indian defence forces fought infiltrators last year during the Kargil war.

The state Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, who addressed a press conference here in connection with the upcoming "Sindhu Darshan Festival", said the state tourism wanted to showcase the spots for tourists.

He said tourists who were coming to the state were keen to see these spots which became well known because of the heroic battle fought by the Indian forces during the Kargil war

The state Tourism Department, he said, would take tourists to places like Dras and the Mushkoh valley by re-organising routes.

Dr Abdullah said the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, would inaugurate the festival at Leh on June 7 and that there were plans to market this annual festival to attract domestic tourists.

This year, Mr Vajpayee will lay a foundation stone of the Sindhu Cultural Centre and also inaugurate the new office complex of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC).

The festival will be inaugurated on the banks of the Indus (Sindhu) at Shey and cultural programmes will be organised on the occasion.

The LAHDC chairman, Mr Thupstan Chhewang, who was also present on the occasion, said the festival was aimed to attract and cater to the domestic tourist and from next year the festival would be held for one week during June.

Dr Abdullah also said efforts were on to open a new route through Ladakh for the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra which at present goes through Uttar Pradesh and Nepal.

He said the Government of India had taken up the matter with Beijing to allow the yatra to pass through Tibet and hoped that the issue would come up for discussion during the visit of the President Mr K.R. Narayanan, to China next week.Top

 

HP BJP chief will be elected ‘unanimously’
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 27 — The Union Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, today said the election of the BJP Chief for Himachal Pradesh will be a "unanimous affair".

In a statement issued here, Mr Kumar said the poll on June 30 would be held with the consent of all in the overall interest of the party.

"All reports of differences in the matter are just kite flying" he said.Top

 
NATIONAL BRIEFS

"Monk" who struck false note
GANGTOK: Devotees of many a famous Rimpoche (Buddhist monk) were quick to untie their purse strings whenever the monk himself phoned them for a donation little suspecting that the person at the other end was a gifted mimic. The dapper Tenzing Jigme then used to present himself as a messenger from the Rimpoche and collect the money. At present cooling his heels in the Sikkim State Jail, the Tibetan lad from Nepal in his 20s, had been operating in this Himalayan state and neighbouring Darjeeling and Kalimpong areas of West Bengal. — UNI

Case against former RS member
CHITTOOR: The police has registered a case against former Rajya Sabha member and film actor M. Mohanbabu for allegedly assaulting villagers at Bandarlapally in Andhra Pradesh on Friday. Trouble broke out when the management of an educational institution, of which Mohanbabu is a member, engaged some labourers to erect a fencing on the government wasteland adjacent to the institution, the police said here on Saturday. — PTI

Fake currency racket: held
BANGALORE: The city police has arrested four members of a five-member gang and seized Rs 2.08 lakh fake currency notes in the denomination of Rs 100. Joint Police Commissioner B.N. Nagaraj told newsmen here on Friday that the gang members had confessed that they had purchased the counterfeit notes from Kasargod in Kerala. Search was on for one more member of the gang, who was in possession of fake notes worth Rs 42,000. — UNI

Ranchi airport rechristened
RANCHI: Ranchi airport was on Saturday renamed after tribal demigod martyr Birsa Munda, as a token of respect to the towering Jharkhandi who in 1855 led a movement against exploitation, oppression and religious conversion in the area. The rechristening of the Ranchi airport as Birsa Munda Airport was performed on Saturday by Union Civil Aviation Minister and JDO President Sharad Yadav at a function which was attended among others by Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Babu Lal Marandi, and BJP MP Ramtahal Choudhary. — UNI

AAPSU seeks refugees’ ouster
ITANAGAR: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has reiterated its stand for total removal of refugees and foreigners from the state. In a memorandum to state Chief Minister Mukut Mithi here on Friday, AAPSU leaders have expressed concern over the move of Chakma and Hajong refugees for acquiring citizenship under the direct supervision of the Central Government. — UNI

5 killed in landslide
AIZAWL: Five persons were killed and one was injured as Lawngtlai town remained cut off following landslide triggered by heavy and incessant monsoon rains in Mizoram since Thursday, officials said on Saturday. Three villagers of Mizoram’s northeastern village of Zote working as casual labourers with the Border Road Task Force were crushed to death on Friday. Two children were killed and their father injured when their house was swept away in another landslide on Friday in the southern village of Hrangchalkawn, near Lunglei town officials said. — PTI

Three undertrial prisoners escape
JAMSHEDPUR: Three undertrial prisoners escaped from the premises of the District and Sessions court in Chaibasa in West Singhbhum district on Friday. The police said the undertrials were brought for being produced before the court. One of them asked a constable for water. As soon as the latter moved to give water he was pushed aside by the prisoner soon after three of them fled, the police said. — UNITop

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