Sunday, June 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India







THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O T L I G H T

Heavy rain in UP, 46 killed
LUCKNOW, Jun 10 (PTI) At least 46 persons were killed in house collapses, landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rain in Uttar Pradesh as thousands of pilgrims remained stranded in Badrinath and Kedarnath, officials said here today. Garhwal, Chamoli and Uttarkashi were cut off from rest of the state following snapping of all communication links. Four pilgrims were swept away by strong currents of swollen Mandakini river yesterday, the officials said, adding that bodies of three of them had been recovered.

Change of guard?
LUCKNOW, June 10 (PTI) The BJP high command has summoned UP Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta and other senior leaders to New Delhi tomorrow, raising speculation about a possible change of guard in the state. State BJP sources said Mr Gupta and three of his ministerial colleagues Mr Om Prakash Singh, Mr Kalraj Mishra and Mr Lalji Tandon had been summoned by the party high command to discuss the political situation in UP in the wake of the BJP's defeat in the Saron assembly byelection and large-scale cross-voting by party MLAs in the Rajya Sabha in the state.

Vessel hijacked
BHUJ (Kutch), June 10 (UNI), Fourteen armed persons said to be Iranian stowaways captured an Italian vessel last night in the Arabian Sea while it was on its way from Bandar-Abbas to Kandla port and they were now reported to be forcing the crew members to take it to Australia. The 6,600-tonne merchant vessel, "Med-Star", owned by Al-Cov shipping company, was coming to Kandla port when ship crew members spotted the stowaways who, however, overpowered them and took control of the vessel.

Playwright shot dead
IMPHAL, June 10 (PTI) Eminent Manipuri playwright and social worker Arambam Somorendra was today shot dead by two suspected underground activists here, official sources said. The assailants shot at Somorendra from a point-blank range at a seminar, a few minutes after Manipur Arts and Culture Minister, W. Thoiba Singh left the venue after inaugurating it, the sources said.

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