Tuesday, November 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

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N A T I O N

Houses adjourned as mark of respect to Scindia
New Delhi, November 19
The winter session of Parliament today started on a sombre note with both Houses being adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to senior Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia, who was killed in a plane crash in Uttar Pradesh on September 30, and other members who died during the inter-session period.
In video (28k, 56k)

MP, too, has its own POTO
Bhopal, November 19
Addressing the Chief Ministers’ conference in New Delhi on November 17, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh called the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) as “undemocratic”, “suffering from serious legal infirmities” and “liable to misuse.”

POTO DEBATE
Oppn to counter with Ayodhya card
New Delhi, November 19
Opposition parties today sought to counter the Government’s move on POTO (Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance) with the Ayodhya card and decided to move an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha to highlight the breach of security at the shrine by members of the Sangh Parivar.


Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee being presented a bouquet
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee being presented a bouquet by Union Communications Minister Pramod Mahajan, on his arrival for the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi on Monday. 
— PTI

Authorities in Uttaranchal seize rare otter skins and arrest three poachers suspected to be from neighbouring Nepal.
(28k)

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Congress President Sonia Gandhi paying floral tributes at  Shakti Sthal  in New Delhi on Monday
Congress President Sonia Gandhi paying floral tributes at  Shakti Sthal  in New Delhi on Monday, on the occasion of the 84th  birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. — PTI photo
In video (28k, 56k)

Allies support govt
New Delhi, November 19
Asking the government to remove apprehensions on the misuse of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO), the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners today unanimously supported the ordinance with the argument that such a law was “very necessary in the prevailing extraordinary circumstances”.

Oppn heckles Fernandes
New Delhi, November 19
The Opposition in the Lok Sabha today heckled Defence Minister George Fernandes when he was introduced to the House by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Exchange of fire on B’desh border
Shillong, November 19
The BSF and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) exchanged fire after Indian cultivators were driven back by Bangladeshis and their border guards at Ronkung village in Jaintia hills of Meghalaya, a senior BSF official said today.

EARLIER STORIES

 

Indira Gandhi award for Mary Robinson

New Delhi, November 19
President K.R. Narayanan today conferred the prestigious Indira Gandhi Award for Peace, Disarmament and Development on Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), in recognition of her tireless campaign in espousing the cause of the poor, the weak and women and children.

President K. R. Narayanan with Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in New Delhi, on Monday after presenting her the Indira Gandhi award for her work with the UN and the contribution she has made in trying to improve human rights for all. — Reuters photo

Durban agenda underlined
New Delhi, November 19
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson today said anti-terrorism measures of India and all other countries should fulfil the anti-discrimination agenda of Durban which protects minorities, asylum seekers and migrants.

Shabana, Javed get awards
New Delhi, November 19
Noted actress and Member of Parliament Shabana Azmi today challenged the Imam of Jama Masjid to contest her views rather than make remarks against her personal life. “Imam Bukhari can challenge my ideology rather than indulge in making personal remarks about me,” Shabana Azmi, who received this year’s National Integration Award said in her address.
Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar

Famine may hit region
Hanumangarh, November 19
With bollworm attack and irregular supply of water from canals already troubling cultivators of the area, the region is heading for a famine for the fourth consecutive year. The condition of the cultivators of the area is so bad that they do not have money to purchase seeds for rabi crop.

Indian satellites safe
Bangalore, November 19
All 10 Indian satellites are safe and unaffected after two bursts of Leonid meteoroid showers, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials have said.

Discrepancies in voters’ list: Mulayam
New Delhi, November 19
With Uttar Pradesh assembly poll just a few months away, Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav today alleged large-scale discrepancies in the electoral rolls in the state and sought stringent action against those officials who are fiddling with the voter list “at the behest” of the BJP-led government.

Mamata’s tirade against CPM
Kolkata, November 19
Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee has launched a renewed anti-CPM movement in Bengal to strengthen her political base, which had been eroded in the past one year due to her double-standard policies.

No tie-up with BSP: Rajnath
New Delhi, November 19
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh today ruled out the possibility of the BJP having any kind of tie-up with the BSP in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

EU summit on November 23
New Delhi, November 19
The second European Union (EU)-India summit will be held here on November 23 following the successful first-ever summit that was held in Lisbon on June 28, last year.

US grant for Indian Railways
New Delhi, November 19
The USA will provide a grant of $ 400,000 to the Indian Railways to be utilised for further development of the geographic information system-based strategic investment planning techniques. An agreement to this effect was signed here today.

Three held for rioting
Kanpur, November 19
Three persons were arrested in connection with a clash between two groups of people of the minority community in the sensitive Gwaltoli area that resulted in minor injuries to about six yesterday.

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Houses adjourned as mark of respect to Scindia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The winter session of Parliament today started on a sombre note with both Houses being adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to senior Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia, who was killed in a plane crash in Uttar Pradesh on September 30, and other members who died during the inter-session period.

While in the Lok Sabha, Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi described Scindia, a sitting member of the House from the Guna constituency of Madhya Pradesh, as an active parliamentarian, able administrator and a dynamic and foresighted leader, in the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Krishan Kant said in the passing away of Scindia, the country has lost a young, dynamic mass leader and an eminent parliamentarian.

Earlier in the morning, Mr Balayogi convened a meeting of Leaders of Parliamentary Parties where a concensus was reached that the two Houses would be adjourned for the day today after obituary references by the presiding officers.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Deputy Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Shivraj Patil, who replaced Scindia.

Mr Balayogi said that Scindia served as a member of the fifth to 12th Lok Sabha from 1971 to 1999 representing Guna. He served in various capacities, including Cabinet minister holding important portfolios such as Railways, Civil Aviation, Tourism and Human Resource Development.

The Lok Sabha also condoled the demise of senior CPM leader Samar Choudhury, a sitting member from Tripura West constituency and 10 other former members.

Paying rich tributes to Mr Choudhury, the Speaker said he was a veteran freedom fighter, an active parliamentarian and a well-known social and political worker.

The House also mourned the passing away of Y.S. Mahajan, who was a five-time member of the House. The Speaker described him as an educationist, able parliamentarian and active social worker who strived hard to improve the lot of slum dwellers.

Obituary references were made for veteran Congress leader and former union minister K. Vajayabhaskara Reddy, who has served six terms in the Lok Sabha and Maragatham Chandrasekhar, a member of the first Lok Sabha from Tamil Nadu who was also a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1970 to 1984.

The death earlier this month in Delhi of 77-year old Kamala Bahuguna, a member of the sixth Lok Sabha and who took an active part in the Quit India Movement of 1942, was mourned by the House.

The House also condoled the passing away of P.K. Gawali, Surendranath Dwivedy, P.K. Deo, B. Devarajan, P.K. Kodiyan and Shyam Dhar Misra.

The Rajya Sabha mourned the death of its former members K.P. Mallikarajunudu, Shiv Pratap Mishra, Surendranath Dwivedy, Maragatham Chandrasekhar and Shyam Dhar Misra who died during inter-session period.

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MP, too, has its own POTO
N.D. Sharma

Bhopal, November 19
Addressing the Chief Ministers’ conference in New Delhi on November 17, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh called the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) as “undemocratic”, “suffering from serious legal infirmities” and “liable to misuse.” It had probably slipped out of his mind that his own government has armed itself with the “Special Areas Bill” which is as draconian as POTO, if not more, and gives absolutely arbitrary powers to the bureaucracy.

Passed by the Assembly on December 27, the “Special Areas Bill” has the avowed objective of curbing Naxalite activities. Some of its more drastic provisions are: it empowers the state government to declare, through a notification published in the gazette, any organisation as “unlawful” even without assigning any reason (emphasis added). The notification will remain in force for one year and may be extended after a review (Section 3).

Section 8 provides for imprisonment up to three years and fine for any one who is directly or indirectly associated with an organisation declared unlawful. The district Magistrate can “notify” a place being used by an “unlawful” organisation and can take possession of the place along with the movable properties, including securities and assets (Section 9).

The move is seen as aimed at checking the non-government organisations which, even though carrying on perfectly legitimate activities, are causing a lot of headache to corrupt and inefficient civil and police officers. They are invariably branded “Naxalites” by the administration. The Mehndikheda (Dewas district) police firing in April this year, in which four tribals were killed, is the latest example.

The district administration had justified its action in the name of checking the menace of the Naxalites and had spread the most fantastic lies that the police had recovered 200 landmines, 150 guns and timber worth Rs 50 lakh in Mehndikheda, a small village. These recoveries were not shown to the Chief Minister when he visited the village a few days later nor to any to the large number of eminent public men who had gone there to see the things for themselves.

During the BJP regime of Mr Sunderlal Patwa, then Bastar Superintendent of Police Sudarshan Kumar had booked a mufassil journalist under TADA for “aiding and abetting” the Naxalites. After the dismissal of the Patwa government, the state made a written submission before the special TADA court that the journalist had been falsely booked as his reports exposing corruption in the police force were not liked by the Chief Minister.

Mr Digvijay Singh’s “Special Areas Bill” will, it is feared, place unlimited powers in the hands of the inefficient and corrupt elements in his administration.

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POTO DEBATE
Oppn
to counter with Ayodhya card
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Opposition parties today sought to counter the Government’s move on POTO (Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance) with the Ayodhya card and decided to move an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha to highlight the breach of security at the shrine by members of the Sangh Parivar.

At a meeting of non-Congress parties on the first day of the winter session of Parliament, leaders while charging the BJP and the Sangh Parivar leaders with “deliberately fomenting communal passions” just before the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, decided to jointly oppose POTO or any other similar legislation.

The parties would also move an adjournment motion on the mismanagement of food stocks, the total collapse of foodgrain prices and the government move to change the procurement system.

Mr Somnath Chatterjee, CPM leader, reacting to the huge financial package for Punjab announced by the Prime Minister, said this was done “specifically for electoral purposes”. A state like Bihar which suffered large-scale devastation due to floods was “not given a single pie,” he added.

Mr Chatterjee, who met Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday, said they had agreed on floor coordination in Parliament on “concerns of commonality”.

The parties also decided to oppose the reinduction of Mr George Fernandes as Defence Minister even before the inquiry commission on the Tehelka issue had given its report.

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Allies support govt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Asking the government to remove apprehensions on the misuse of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO), the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners today unanimously supported the ordinance with the argument that such a law was “very necessary in the prevailing extraordinary circumstances”.

Briefing newspersons about the two hour long NDA meeting which was presided by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee and attended by all partners, barring the Trinamool Congress and SAD, NDA convener and Defence Minister George Fernandes said the members while expressing support to POTO requested that the government should remove apprehensions regarding POTO.

The meeting began with a briefing on the current situation in Afghanistan by External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and later, Law Minister Arun Jaitley briefed those present abut the POTO and answered questions of the members.

Mr Fernandes, who briefed the media along with BJP spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said SAD had expressed its inability to attend the meeting as Mr Prakash Singh Badal was in hospital and Chemical and Fertiliser Minister S.S. Dhindsa, who usually attends the NDA meetings, was away to Punjab in connection with the National Games at Ludhiana.

The Trinamool Congress had conveyed its inability to attend the meeting as its leaders were busy in local elections, Mr Fernandes said, adding that Minister for Animal Care Maneka Gandhi also did not attend the meeting though she informed her participation.

An all-party meeting to discuss the controversial POTO would be held after the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Home Ministry chaired by Home Minister L.K. Advani, who did not attend today’s meeting, as he was away to Ludhiana to inaugurate the National Games.

Sources said the government was prepared to consider some amendments to POTO.

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Oppn heckles Fernandes

New Delhi, November 19
The Opposition in the Lok Sabha today heckled Defence Minister George Fernandes when he was introduced to the House by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Mr Fernandes, who had quit the Cabinet following the Tehelka expose on defence deals, was reinducted into the Cabinet last month.

Opposition members shouted “Shame, shame” as the Prime Minister stood up to make the customary introduction of two of his new ministers, the other being Minister of State for Defence Harin Pathak.

The members were seen making various objections, but Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi ruled that nothing would go on record.

Earlier, two new members, Mr Madhusudan Mistri and Mr Kailash Meghwal, who were elected to the House in the recent byelections, took oath of affirmation. UNI

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Exchange of fire on B’desh border

Shillong, November 19
The BSF and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) exchanged fire after Indian cultivators were driven back by Bangladeshis and their border guards at Ronkung village in Jaintia hills of Meghalaya, a senior BSF official said today.

The BDR and Bangladeshis obstructed the Indian cultivators when they went to harvest paddy in the land yesterday, BSF Deputy Commandant Devender Brar said.

The BDR subsequently opened fire on the Indian cultivators and about 100 Bangladeshis also entered Indian territory, Mr Brar said.

The BSF then retaliated and there was a 15-minute exchange of fire, he said.

There was no casualty on the Indian side in the firing. The Bangladeshis fled, he said.

A flag meeting would be held to defuse the situation, he added. PTI

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Indira Gandhi award for Mary Robinson

New Delhi, November 19
President K.R. Narayanan today conferred the prestigious Indira Gandhi Award for Peace, Disarmament and Development on Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), in recognition of her tireless campaign in espousing the cause of the poor, the weak and women and children.

The award, which includes a cheque, plaque and a certificate, was given away in Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Vice-President Krishan Kant, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

In his speech, the President said Ms Robinson had done much for the cause of peace and development in the distracted world.

Accepting the award, Ms Robinson said India and Pakistan must continue to seek the path of dialogue over their difficult problems on the Kashmir issue. PTI 

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Durban agenda underlined
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson today said anti-terrorism measures of India and all other countries should fulfil the anti-discrimination agenda of Durban which protects minorities, asylum seekers and migrants.

Ms Robinson said “We must combat terrorism with our heritage, rule of law and human rights standards,” she said.

Talking to mediapersons here on Tuesday evening, Ms Robinson said she did not have a formal meeting with the Prime Minister. Replying to a question she said she did not speak in specific terms with the External Affairs Minister about relations between India and Pakistan.

Ms Robinson expressed concern over the status of the girl child in India and the difference in reception to the arrival of a girl child/male child.

She said her interaction with Dalit women here has helped her understand discrimination at various levels.

Dwelling upon the situation in Afghanistan, Ms Robinson favoured participation of women and said it was necessary for sustainable, balanced governance in Afghanistan.

Top

 

Shabana, Javed get awards

New Delhi, November 19
Noted actress and Member of Parliament Shabana Azmi today challenged the Imam of Jama Masjid to contest her views rather than make remarks against her personal life.

“Imam Bukhari can challenge my ideology rather than indulge in making personal remarks about me,” Shabana Azmi, who received this year’s National Integration Award said in her address.

“My identity is that I am a woman first followed by an actress and Parliament Member. For me religion is a part of my life and not vice-versa,” Shabana said.

The Bollywood actress has been in the thick of a controversy over her remarks that Imam Bukhari, who was critical of the US airstrikes on Taliban, should be “airdropped” in Kabul.

The Imam had responded by terming her as a “nachne gaane wali and tawaif” (prostitute).

Making a veiled attack on the fundamentalist elements, she said “India is a country whose secular ethos has had historical roots and any attempts to hurt the secular fabric would not be tolerated.”

Earlier, she was presented with the award by noted jurist L.M. Singhvi and Chairman of the All India Anti-terrorist Front M.S. Bitta for her contribution in communicating to the public in a delicate situation and help save the country from a communal backlash provoked by the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid.

Her husband and noted poet Javed Akhtar also received this year’s “Maulana Azad Award” for his contribution in maintaining communal harmony. PTI

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Indian satellites safe

Bangalore, November 19
All 10 Indian satellites are safe and unaffected after two bursts of Leonid meteoroid showers, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials have said.

They said that ISRO had taken various precautionary measures to ensure that the satellites were not affected by the meteoroid showers, which reached its peak between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm and again between 10.30 pm and 11.30 pm yesterday.

Designers of various satellite subsystems were kept on an alert to help take contingency measures in case a meteoroid impacted any of the satellites, and separate precautionary measures were being taken for both the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites as well as the Insat satellites.

India has IRS-IC, IRS-ID, IRS-P3, IRS-P4 and the TES in the polar sun-synchronous orbits and Insat-2C, Insat-2DT, Insat-2E, Insat-3B and GSAT-I are in the geo-stationary orbit.

The ISRO officials said in case of the IRS satellites, camera operations and camera steering mechanisms had been suspended and the solid state recorders switched off for about 10 hours covering the two bursts of meteoroid showers.

All these systems have since been switched on again and are reported to be functioning well. PTI

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Discrepancies in voters’ list: Mulayam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
With Uttar Pradesh assembly poll just a few months away, Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav today alleged large-scale discrepancies in the electoral rolls in the state and sought stringent action against those officials who are fiddling with the voter list “at the behest” of the BJP-led government.

In a detailed five-page memorandum handed over to Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh, the Samajwadi Party supremo alleged that a large number of eligible voters belonging to the minority community in assembly constituencies like Ayodhya, Bikapur, Shawal, Faizabad, Milkipur and Sultanpur had not been enlisted as voters at the instance of the BJP-led state government.

He accused the Rajnath Singh government of de-enfranchising Muslim voters in a pre-planned way in the constituencies which were strongholds of the Samajwadi Party.

Mr Yadav also drew the attention of the Election Commission to the “tardy” pace in issuing voter identity cards and demanded that the commission should do away with the compulsory identification of voters in the coming assembly poll.

To buttress his viewpoint, Mr Yadav said 70 per cent of the state’s population were yet to get the right to vote, and only 20 per cent of listed voters had been given photo identity cards.

There were irregularities even in the preparation and distribution of identity cards, he said.

Later, talking to newspersons, Mr Yadav said the Chief Election Commissioner gave him a patient hearing and assured to take appropriate action.

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Famine may hit region
Our Correspondent

Hanumangarh, November 19
With bollworm attack and irregular supply of water from canals already troubling cultivators of the area, the region is heading for a famine for the fourth consecutive year. The condition of the cultivators of the area is so bad that they do not have money to purchase seeds for rabi crop.

In many parts of the region, the supply of canal water is irregular, which may affect the sowing of the next crop. The water level has gone down and water has turned saline. The fertility of the land in many areas has decreased because of irrigation with saline water. In some areas, the land has turned barren.

The cotton produce was very good this year and the cultivators were expecting large returns. However, their dreams were shattered with the attack of American bollworm. Crop on acres was completely destroyed. Insecticides available in the market to kill the bollworm proved ineffective reportedly because of being sub-standard.

For the third consecutive year, the yield of pulses and beans from the barani land of the area has been poor. The cultivators had sown pulses, but in the areas that depend on rains for irrigation, the crop was destroyed because of poor monsoon. In the areas where irrigation of millets is done from canals, the crop has been destroyed by ‘chepa’.

The cultivators had sowed chickpea and mustard, but the dust storms that hit the region in the past few days destroyed the seeds.

The cultivators are depressed as they are feeling let down by both nature and the government. Even the festival season has failed to infuse enthusiasm in farmers and villages in the region and wearing a deserted look.

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Mamata’s tirade against CPM
Our Correspondent

Kolkata, November 19
Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee has launched a renewed anti-CPM movement in Bengal to strengthen her political base, which had been eroded in the past one year due to her double-standard policies.

Announcing TMC’s new phase of movement at a public rally yesterday, Ms Banerjee, accompanied by other party MPs, left for New Delhi to attend the winter session of Parliament beginning from today.

She had left the Vajpayee ministry as well as the NDA on the Tehelka issue to join hands with her old-adversaries in the Congress to fight the CPM as well as the BJP in the March state Assembly poll but the result was a disaster. But she again returned to the NDA, pleading for Mr George Fernandes’ return to the Cabinet as Defence Minister much before the Tehelka inquiry is over. She would be now happy to rejoin the Cabinet honourably with her railway portfolio of which she had been assured of by Mr Fernandes.

Ms Banerjee’s “double-standard” had affected her political honesty which had been a rare quality for her. She had also lost much of her public support, particularly, in the urban areas and Kolkata. But Ms Banerjee is back in the streets to give a call to all her workers and supporters for launching massive agitation against the ruling CPM.

On Sunday, she had organised a rally at Chowringhee to announce her new programme of agitation in the city and districts in protest against the Left Front government’s failure to handle law and order problems of unemployment and various other issues. She declared they would support the central ordinance against terrorism and oppose the state’s proposed bill to combat organised crimes and accordingly, TMC workers and supporters would mobilise public opinion by organising meetings and demonstrations.

At the rally, she asked workers and supporters to begin prolonged agitation at the block and district levels, highlighting the CPM government’s failures in various fields and Marxists’ “hobnobbing with corrupt businessmen and other vested interests”.

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No tie-up with BSP: Rajnath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh today ruled out the possibility of the BJP having any kind of tie-up with the BSP in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The Chief Minister said the elections could take place either in February or March next year. He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the Uttar Pradesh pavilion at the ongoing India International Trade Fair here on the occasion of “UP Divas”.

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EU summit on November 23
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The second European Union (EU)-India summit will be held here on November 23 following the successful first-ever summit that was held in Lisbon on June 28, last year.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt representing the presidency of the EU and the President of the European Commission, Mr Romano Prodi, will visit India along with a high-powered delegation of ministers, commissioners and officials to attend the New Delhi summit.

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US grant for Indian Railways
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The USA will provide a grant of $ 400,000 to the Indian Railways to be utilised for further development of the geographic information system-based strategic investment planning techniques. An agreement to this effect was signed here today.

The Indian Railways has been using scientific techniques of project evaluation as a part of its long-range decision support system project. The first phase of the project has been completed with World Bank assistance.

The US grant will be used for analysis of a transport corridor with a view to increasing rail competitiveness. The study will involve estimation of critical efficiency parameters and setting of operational standards for improved asset utilisation.

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Three held for rioting

Kanpur, November 19
Three persons were arrested in connection with a clash between two groups of people of the minority community in the sensitive Gwaltoli area that resulted in minor injuries to about six yesterday. Mr B.K. Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, said the situation now was absolutely peaceful and normal.

Two groups clashed over a property-related dispute and people unaware of the cause of the clash started indulging in brick-batting presuming it to be “communal,” he said. PTI

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NATIONAL BRIEFS

MINISTER’S HOUSE RANSACKED
RANCHI: The ancestral house of Jharkhand Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Kesri and Paraspani village was ransacked by suspected PWG ultras, a senior police official said. Garwah district SP M.S. Bhatia said none of the occupants of the house were present during the time of attack on Saturday. He said the ultras took away from Kesri’s house 30 bags of rice, a television set and two solar lamps. PTI

MISCREANTS KILL 2 BROTHERS
SASARAM: Three persons, including two brothers, were shot dead and as many wounded by miscreants near Belwain village in Rohtas district of Bihar on Sunday night, the police said. The miscreants attacked the victims when they were returning home after attending a “kshatriya mela” ceremony at Sasaram. The police suspect old enmity to be the reason behind the killing. PTI

INSAT-3C TO BE LAUNCHED ON JAN
MUMBAI:
The INSAT-3C satellite of the ISRO will be launched on January 16 next year, Arianespace announced here on Monday. “Keeping in mind one of our long-standing and most dynamic customers, we have put into service the Ariane 4 to launch ISRO’s INSAT-3C,” Arianespace, the European satellite launch agency said in a press note issued here. UNI

CONG CALLS FOR 24-HOUR TRIPURA BANDH
AGARTALA: The Congress on Monday called a 24-hour Tripura bandh on December 3 as part of its statewide movement in support of 11-point list of demands. Tripura Pradesh Congress President Birjit Sinha said a civil disobedience programme would also be organised in all district, sub-divisions and block headquarters on December 17 to 19 as part of the movement. UNI

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