Saturday, November 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

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N A T I O N

Priyanka refuses to head Youth Congress
New Delhi, November 2
Efforts by some Congress leaders to get Ms Priyanka Vadera to join active politics ahead of the forthcoming Assembly election in four states have failed with her rejecting the offer to take over as the Youth Congress chief. AICC sources said such a proposal was made to Ms Priyanka by senior leaders recently but she declined the offer.

Shatrughan may be inducted into Cabinet
Patna, November 2
He is media’s favourite idol as he is liked for his no nonsense approach in Bollywood as well as in his political life. The media seems to have finally come to the aid of Mr Shatrughan Sinha this time round as his outburst against the BJP Central leadership for his non-inclusion in the Union Cabinet has finally paved his way to power.

EC warning on voter I-cards
New Delhi, November 2
With just a few months left for the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission has warned the state officials concerned of “disciplinary action” for slow progress in the issuance of photo identity cards to the electorate.



Indian film director Mira Nair smiles during an interview in New Delhi on Friday.
Indian film director Mira Nair smiles during an interview in New Delhi on Friday. Nair, the only woman to win the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, was in the Indian capital to promote her latest film "Monsoon Wedding," a film about an extended Punjabi family reuniting from around the globe for an arranged marriage. —  Reuters

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Examine laws to check terrorism: NHRC chief
New Delhi, November 2
The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Justice J.S. Verma, has said that any law enacted to tackle terrorism ought to muster the strict approval of Constitutional validity. Addressing the issue of terrorism at the All-India Criminology Conference at the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science here, Justice Verma said, “laws alone will not help.

With the onset of winter, Man Sagar lake in Jaipur becomes a favourite haunt of migratory birds.
(28k, 56k)

Minor reshuffle
New Delhi, November 2
The Prime Minister today effected a minor reshuffle of ministerial portfolios under which the Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Vijay Goel has been divested of the charge of Planning.

CM, Mahajan enter wordy duel
Kolkata, November 2
Union Information and Technology Minister Promod Mahajan and Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharyya had an exchange of words when both met at the Writers Building yesterday. Mr Mahajan was in the city on an official function.

EARLIER STORIES

 

2 Naval HQ employees held for spying
New Delhi, November 2
Two employees of the Naval Headquarters have been arrested by Special Cell of the Delhi police on charges of spying and handing over secret Navy information to an official of the Pakistan High Commission.

Union Home Minister L. K. Advani with Nightangle of India Lata Mangeshkar at Dina Nath Mangeshkar hospital and research centre in Pune on Thursday.
Union Home Minister L. K. Advani with playback singer Lata Mangeshkar at Dina Nath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre in Pune on Thursday.
— PTI photo

Sarpanch bears 3rd child, to lose post
Bhopal, November 2
A woman is about to lose her position as Sarpanch in her village panchayat because she has become the mother of the third child.
The amended Madhya Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1993, stipulates that if a person has a third child on or after January 26, 2001, he/she will become ineligible for being an office-bearer of any panchayat.

UK to hike Indian students’ quota
Bangalore, November 2
The United Kingdom will increase the student permits to India from the current 7,000 to 12,000 by 2005, British Minister for E-Commerce Doughlas Alexander said today.
Talking to newspersons at the conclusion of his five-day visit to India, Mr Alexander said efforts would also be made to provide them employment opportunities on completion of their education.

PM misusing Somnath Temple premises: Cong
New Delhi, November 2
The Congress today accused Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of misusing the precincts of Somnath Temple for propagating BJP’s views on “sectarian ideology.”
Congress chief spokesperson Jaipal Reddy said the Congress had taken exception to the “misuse” of the holy shrine by the Prime Minister.

Reprieve for Jaya
Chennai, November 2
The Madras High Court today stayed all further proceedings pending before the Principal Sessions Court in the London Hotel case, in which former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and AIADMK MP T.T.V. Dinakaran were cited as accused.

Centre to amend Cine Workers Welfare Fund
New Delhi, November 2
The Centre would try to get the proposed amendment to the Cine Workers Welfare Fund, 1981, to raise the income eligibility ceiling of cine workers from the existing Rs 1,600 per month in the coming winter session, Union Labour Minister Sharad Yadav said here today.

Hospital gets nod for abortions
Hanumangarh, November 2
Where private hospitals are flouting law on abortion with impunity, a private nursing home has reportedly got the permission from the Chief Medical and Health Office for conducting abortions.

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Priyanka refuses to head Youth Congress
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Efforts by some Congress leaders to get Ms Priyanka Vadera to join active politics ahead of the forthcoming Assembly election in four states have failed with her rejecting the offer to take over as the Youth Congress chief.

AICC sources said such a proposal was made to Ms Priyanka by senior leaders recently but she declined the offer. Her presence, they felt, would rejuvenate the party while enhancing its appeal among the youth, women and other traditional supporters of the Congress.

Efforts are now being made by some senior leaders to get Madhavrao Scindia’s son, Jyotiraditya, appointed as the Youth Congress chief to electorally encash on the late leader’s appeal. The sources said Jyotiraditya recently met the Congress President and the party had almost decided to field him from the Guna constituency in place of his father.

Meanwhile, the Congress is making an assessment of the likely impact of the emerging situation in Afghanistan on the mood of the electorate. Senior leaders had a brain-storming session today where they discussed the party’s response to the emerging situation and the hardline remarks made by BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister L.K. Advani, at a function held to commemorate the reconstruction of Somnath Temple.

The Congress leaders are yet to decide on an appropriate response in the situation where the BJP leaders are making statements to consolidate their traditional support base. Congress senior leaders are to meet again over the next two days to finalise the strategy. At today’s meeting attended by most of the CWC members, the leaders also noted the build-up along the Indo-Pak border.

With reports of communal clashes over the situation in Afghanistan having first come from the Congress-ruled state of Maharashtra, the Congress leaders are worried over the political mileage that its political adversaries could derive from the incidents
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Shatrughan may be inducted into Cabinet
Santosh Jha

Patna, November 2
He is media’s favourite idol as he is liked for his no nonsense approach in Bollywood as well as in his political life. The media seems to have finally come to the aid of Mr Shatrughan Sinha this time round as his outburst against the BJP Central leadership for his non-inclusion in the Union Cabinet has finally paved his way to power. The BJP leadership here hinted that he might well be accommodated in the Atal’s cabinet in the pre-winter session reshuffle scheduled after the return of the Prime Minister from his foreign trips.

The BJP leader and the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Mr. Shushil Modi said he had received clear indications from the central BJP leadership that would be included in the ministry. He said Mr Sinha was likely to participate in the two-day meeting of the BJP National Executives in Amritsar starting today. Mr Modi maintained that the decision of his inclusion should positively be made in the meeting. The BJP had been in the mood to woo him back after his outburst saying that if Mr Fernandes could be taken back in the ministry Laloo Yadav may well be back as the CM of Bihar. That had sparked off media speculation of his shifting to other party, namely the RJD and falling in the Congress lap. The media had highlighted his anger against his non-inclusion in the ministry and inclusion of the likes of Shanawaz, Rudi and Ravi Shanker from Bihar.

The BJP sources maintained that even the BJPs central leadership was aware of his crowds pulling capacity as a star and his utility in Uttar Pradesh elections was not being discounted by the leadership. After Mr Mulayam Singh roped in the megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the Uttar Pradesh poll fray for his support, the BJP cannot afford to lose the services of Mr Sinha who had been famous for his leg pulling speeches.

Sources close to Mr Sinha maintained that ministry does not hold importance to him as he was earlier offered a nondescript portfolio by Mr Vajpayee which he declined to accept.
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EC warning on voter I-cards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
With just a few months left for the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission (EC) has warned the state officials concerned of “disciplinary action” for slow progress in the issuance of photo identity cards to the electorate.

According to the EC sources, the commission has warned that it would suggest disciplinary action against the District Magistrates in case they continued with “slackness” in the issuance of voter cards.

The commission’s warning comes in the wake of reports that almost 50 per cent of the electorate in many of the districts in Uttar Pradesh, including Farrukabad, Kannauj, Agra, Ballia and Varanasi, had not been issued the photo identity cards.

It may be recalled that the EC had, a fortnight back, written a letter to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh asking him to speed up the process.

The EC has already announced that compulsory identification of voters would be mandatory in the coming Assembly polls and wanted the state government to issue voter cards to at least 75 to 80 per cent of the voters.

The EC is understood to be annoyed with the state government as the former had, apart from asking the Chief Secretary to speed up the process, also asked the District Magistrates to take special care in ensuring that the target was achieved, but some of them had not taken “personal” interest in the matter.

The last date for the completion of the identity card exercise has been extended till November 20 and the commission would keep a close watch on the performance of the District Magistrates, the sources said.

The EC was, however, appreciative of the progress in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur and Badaun districts.
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Examine laws to check terrorism: NHRC chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Justice J.S. Verma, has said that any law enacted to tackle terrorism ought to muster the strict approval of Constitutional validity.

Addressing the issue of terrorism at the All-India Criminology Conference at the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science here, Justice Verma said, “laws alone will not help. New laws will be effective only if supplementing the existing laws are not enough.

The government has to see whether the deficiency is in the law or in the manner of implementation because if the situation continues, it cannot be assumed that it is only the text of the law which is inadequate.”

The NHRC Chairperson said the government should adopt strategies which balance the dignity of individuals with national security. He said human dignity must be placed at par with the unity and integrity of the nation. He said legislature must see whether there was any need for a law to tackle terrorism and whether it infringes upon civil liberties.

“Care must be taken to respect the human rights of the citizens and avoid harassment of the innocent, lest the entire action becomes counter productive.”

He said the main problem the country was facing today relates to proper investigation of crime and efficient prosecution or criminal trials.

“Adjudication and punishment of crimes also take a long time before the courts.

The problem, however, cannot be solved by enacting laws that do away with the legal safegurads that are designed to prevent innocent persons from being prosecuted and punished,” Justice Verma observed.

Elaborating on the different facets of modern day crime, Justice Verma said terrorism, narco-terrorism, drug trafficking, hijacking, cyber crimes leading to child pornography, trafficking in women and children and economic offences are all patterns of modern symptomatic crime. “It is not the deficiency in law and competence of the people that is a hurdle in tackling these problems, it is more a lack of will on the part of the government and a lack of awareness among civil society,” he said.

While stressing the need to enhance forensic diagnostic facilities in the country, the Chairperson said every item that delays the process of investigation hampers the administration of criminal justice.
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Minor reshuffle
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Prime Minister today effected a minor reshuffle of ministerial portfolios under which the Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Vijay Goel has been divested of the charge of Planning.

Planning has been given as additional charge to Ms Vasundhara Raje, Minister for Small-Scale Industries, Agro and Rural Industries. Mr Goel will look after the portfolio of the Minister of State in the PMO only, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.

Mr Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, has been allocated the portfolio of MoS in the Ministry of Shipping and the present incumbent, Mr Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav has been shifted to Agriculture.

The reshuffle comes less than a month after the last cabinet expansion in which Mr George Fernandes and Mr Harin Pathak were re-inducted in the Council of Ministers.
Top

 

CM, Mahajan enter wordy duel
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, November 2
Union Information and Technology Minister Promod Mahajan (BJP) and Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharyya had an exchange of words when both met at the Writers Building yesterday.

Mr Mahajan was in the city on an official function. At Writers Building, he held discussions with the Chief Minister on the state’s proposal for upgrading information technology in Bengal.

Instead, a wordy duel ensued officials present at the meeting said, over the differences on the implementation of the Centre’s recent ordinance (POTO) to combat terrorism.

Mr Mahajan advised the Chief Minister to implement the Act in Bengal, to which Mr Bhattacharya replied that the state was competent enough to handle law and order and he needed no advice in this regard.

The Union Minister, however, later told mediapersons he had only wanted to know from Mr Bhattacharyya if the state was implementing the central ordinance.

It was not mandatory for any state to implement the Act but an unwise decision not to implement it at this juncture, Mr Mahajan remarked.

The Chief Minister said the state was preparing a Bill in this regard which would be placed in the winter session of the Assembly for approval.

“Initially, we had decided to pass an ordinance, namely, the Prevention of Organised Crimes, 2001, but in the wake of differences of opinion in the Left Front as well as our party’s Central Committee meeting, we have now decided to place it in the Assembly in the form of a Bill,” he said.
Top

 

2 Naval HQ employees held for spying
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Two employees of the Naval Headquarters have been arrested by Special Cell of the Delhi police on charges of spying and handing over secret Navy information to an official of the Pakistan High Commission. The official of the Pakistan High Commission has been handed over to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The suspects, Mohammad Samad, Assistant in the Directorate of Marine Engineering, Naval Headquarters here, and Francis Prakash, a daftari, were arrested from Shakarpur in East district, while they were handing over the defence papers to the Pakistan High Commission official, Gulam Shabir Khan. A Junior Design Officer in the Naval Headquarters, Babul Nath Maurya, who is also involved in the racket, is absconding.

When Samad and Prakash were arrested, Maurya was waiting for them at the ITO. He was also in possession of defence papers. A case under the Official Secrets Act has been registered.

According to the police, a tip-off was received from one of the sources.
Top

 

Sarpanch bears 3rd child, to lose post
N.D. Sharma

Bhopal, November 2
A woman is about to lose her position as Sarpanch in her village panchayat because she has become the mother of the third child.

The amended Madhya Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1993, stipulates that if a person has a third child on or after January 26, 2001, he/she will become ineligible for being an office-bearer of any panchayat.

Mrs Shashi Yadav had two children when she became Sarpanch of Kanavati village panchayat in Neemuch district. She gave birth to a son, her third offspring, on September 25, and thus attracted the provisions of the Act.

Neemuch Collector Anupam Rajan has issued her a show-cause notice, returnable by November 5, as to why she should not be removed from the office of Sarpanch.

The Madhya Pradesh law giving right to the people to recall the elected representatives to the local bodies has been invoked thrice so far and in all three cases the targets were women. One lost her post, the second survived and the third was “man handled” when the motion against her was defeated.

In early June, the motion expressing lack of confidence in Jhopali village panchayat Sarpanch (in Badwani district) Mamtabai was put to vote and was defeated as only seven voters supported it and 11 cast their votes against the motion.

The movers of the motion then indulged in vandalism. They destroyed the poll stationery, upturned tables and chairs, beat up Mamtabai and even tried to set fire to her sari.

The right to recall law was first invoked against Anuppur Nagar Panchayat President Pallavika Patel in April. She was unseated. Sanchi Nagar Panchayat President Shyamabai Mehra survived the motion to unseat her in May, after making a procrastinated fight on legal grounds.
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UK to hike Indian students’ quota

Bangalore, November 2
The United Kingdom will increase the student permits to India from the current 7,000 to 12,000 by 2005, British Minister for E-Commerce Doughlas Alexander said today.

Talking to newspersons at the conclusion of his five-day visit to India, Mr Alexander said efforts would also be made to provide them employment opportunities on completion of their education.

Stating that the British economy had not slowed down after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA, he said the growth was as per the target and there was no cause for concern for investors.

The British minister, who was greatly impressed by the strides India had made in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, said there was considerable scope for both the countries to significantly increase their cooperation in the area.

He said he would also discuss with his ministerial colleagues back home about a green-card scheme for the ICT engineers on the lines of the one introduced by Germany.

The UK Ambassador in India, Sir Robert Young, said the work permits for the ICT engineers had been made flexible from November 1. UNI
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PM misusing Somnath Temple premises: Cong
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Congress today accused Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of misusing the precincts of Somnath Temple for propagating BJP’s views on “sectarian ideology.”

Congress chief spokesperson Jaipal Reddy said the Congress had taken exception to the “misuse” of the holy shrine by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has once again proved that he was ideologically not different from Home Minister L.K. Advani, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders owing allegiance to the RSS, Mr Reddy said.

He also charged the BJP leaders with trying to plagiarise the legacy of Sardar Patel. Every student of history knows that Sardar Patel was responsible for imposing ban on the RSS, Mr Reddy added.

Meanwhile, senior leaders of the Congress met today to review the party’s opposition to POTO. The meeting decided to get copies of the relevant anti-terrorism acts from Maharashtra and Karnataka.
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Reprieve for Jaya

Chennai, November 2
The Madras High Court today stayed all further proceedings pending before the Principal Sessions Court in the London Hotel case, in which former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and AIADMK MP T.T.V. Dinakaran were cited as accused.

Mr Justice P.D. Dinakaran, who granted interim stay, also dispensed with the appearance of Ms Jayalalitha before the Principal Sessions Judge (PSJ) S. Ashok Kumar on November 5 in the case. A petition to this effect filed by Ms Jayalalithaa sought to quash the summons issued by the PSJ, requiring her appearance before the court and also to stay all further proceedings.

Admitting the petition, the judge said considering the complexity of the issues raised in the petition and the obligations imposed by law, the petition was admitted. UNI

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Centre to amend Cine Workers Welfare Fund
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Centre would try to get the proposed amendment to the Cine Workers Welfare Fund, 1981, to raise the income eligibility ceiling of cine workers from the existing Rs 1,600 per month in the coming winter session, Union Labour Minister Sharad Yadav said here today.

The amendment Bill, which was introduced in Parliament in December, last year, was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The committee has now approved the amendment, he said.

The amendment would empower the Ministry of Labour to notify the income eligibility ceiling through executive decision from time to time so that maximum number of cine workers can get the benefit from the fund. At present the income eligibility ceiling is Rs 1,600 per month which enables only half of the 63 thousand cine workers to avail benefits under the fund, the minister said.
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Hospital gets nod for abortions
Our Correspondent

Hanumangarh, November 2
Where private hospitals are flouting law on abortion with impunity, a private nursing home has reportedly got the permission from the Chief Medical and Health Office for conducting abortions.

Following the passage of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, it is mandatory for every hospital, where abortions are done, to get these registered in the health office, but a number of hospitals in the city and the subdivisions are not following the rule.

The doctor concerned has to submit an application for registration in the Medical and Health Office and show the availability of operation theatre, equipments and experts. Health Department officials may recommend or reject the application on the basis of facilities available. Many hospitals have never applied for the registration as these do not fulfil the conditions. It is also learnt that no records of abortions are kept in the hospitals. Sources said only one doctor had got registration done for doing an abortion. The CMHO was not available for comments.
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Bofors case

New Delhi, November 2 
Transfer of the judges holding trial of the 11-year politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case continues with Additional Sessions Judge R.K. Gauba taking over today as the new Special Judge. He comes in place of Special Judge S.L. Khanna, who had taken over as trial judge from Additional Sessions Judge Ajit Bharihoke early this year. PTI
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Communal clashes

Farrukhabad (UP), November 2 
At least 18 persons, including three policemen, were injured in clashes involving people belonging to two communities during a religious procession here, the police said today. The trouble began when a certain group, taking out a yatra raised objectionable slogans, provoking some others. Mild force was used to disperse the crowd which indulged in heavy stone-pelting, the police said. PTI
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Maran gets ‘anthrax’ powder

New Delhi, November 2
After Rashtrapati Bhawan and Home Minister L.K. Advani, it was turn of the Commerce and Industry Minister Murasoli Maran and Commerce Secretary Prabir Sengupta to receive envelopes containing suspected anthrax powder today.

The envelopes originating from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh have since been handed over to the police, Commerce Ministry officials said. UNI
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Letter to Bhujbal tests positive

Mumbai, November 2
Suspicious powder in an envelope received at the office of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal last week has been tested positive for anthrax spores, it was officially stated here today. It was the first positive anthrax by mail result since the scare broke in India. PTI

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BSF-Rangers meeting off

Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), November 2
The biannual meeting between Indian and Pakistani border guards scheduled next for November 6 at Lahore has been deferred indefinitely because Pakistan did “not show interest”, defence sources said today. UNI
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

S.D. SHARMA’S STATUE INSTALLED
BHOPAL:
Former President the late Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma’s statue has been installed in his hometown here on the occasion of the foundation day of Madhya Pradesh. Unveiling the statue installed by the Capital Project Administration at Retghat square on the banks of Upper Lake on Thursday, Tribal Welfare Minister Urmila Singh announced to name Gandhinagar Engineering College after Dr Sharma. UNI

GAS LEAKAGE LEAVES 46 ILL
ALIBAUG (MAHARASHTRA):
At least 46 persons on Saturday fell ill, four of them seriously, after inhaling olieum gas leaking from a plant at Alibaug in Raigad district. According to sources, the gas started leaking from a cracked joint of a storage tank of Dharamsi Morarji Company (DMC) on Wednesday. Villagers complained of eye irritation, vomiting and asphyxiation. UNI

RAJNATH SINGH DONATES ‘CROWN’
ALLAHABAD:
The burden of a “crown” is becoming too much for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh. Mr Rajnath Singh donated a golden crown, which he received as a gift, to a poor girl on Thursday saying “I would not dare to bear the burden of gold and silver as long as I am in public life.” “I am already burdened by the problems of the state,” he said. UNI

MEENA SWORN IN RAJASTHAN HC JUDGE
JODHPUR:
Mr Justice Y.R. Meena was sworn in as a Judge of the Rajasthan High Court here. Chief Justice of the high court A.R. Laxmanan administered the oath of office to Mr Justice Meena at a simple function here on Thursday. PTI

22 KILLED AS TRUCKS COLLIDE
BANGALORE:
Twentytwo persons, mostly migrant labour, going to Maharashtra in search of jobs, were killed and 37 others injured when a truck in which they were travelling collided with another truck on the national highway near Bijapur city in northern Karnataka early Friday, the police said. UNI

WOMAN, INFANT BEATEN TO DEATH
SASARAM:
A woman and her two-year-old daughter were beaten to death by villagers after they suspected her of committing a theft at Pipra village under Kargahar police station in Rohtas district of Bihar on Friday, the police said here. The villagers had suspected that the woman, Phulmati Devi, had a hand in stealing the battery of a tractor. PTI

COAL MINERS GO ON STRIKE FROM TODAY
NAGPUR:
Coal miners in the country will go on a three-day strike from Saturday to highlight a 16-point charter of demands and to protest against the “anti-labour” policies of the Centre. The demands include withdrawal of the proposed Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill. PTI
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