Saturday, March 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India
 Updated at 3:00 am (IST)

Shila daan at akhara
Singhal faces wrath of Ram sevaks for change in venue
Ayodhya, March 15
The much-touted “shila daan” ceremony, which kept the entire country on tenterhooks for the past fortnight, turned out to be a damp squib with the sponsors of the programme — Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad — donating two shilas (carved stones) at Digambar Akhara more than a kilometre away from the acquired land without much fanfare.
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Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Ramchandra Das Paramhans at the shila daan ceremony DM, Commissioner may go

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Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Ramchandra Das Paramhans at the shila daan ceremony in Ayodhya on Friday. 
— Reuters photo


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National Capital Region--Delhi

Ayodhya remains a tinderbox
New Delhi, March 15
Though there was a major sense of relief in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government this evening that the “shila daan” had been performed peacefully in Ayodhya amid relative calm all over Uttar Pradesh, there was still an element of unease among certain NDA allies pertaining to the mandir issue.

Prophets of doom proved wrong: BJP
New Delhi, March 15
The BJP today claimed that the peaceful ‘shila daan’ (handing over of pillar) for the Ram temple at Ayodhya was an evidence of government’s promise of maintaining peace and law and order in Ayodhya and said the “prophets of doom” had once again been proved wrong.

Sonia flays govt on Ayodhya
New Delhi, March 15
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Congress President, Sonia Gandhi today launched a scathing attack on the government for caving in to pressure from communal forces in Ayodhya and criticised Union Home Minister L.K. Advani for giving a clean chit to the Gujarat Government.


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Indefinite curfew in Ahmedabad areas

Ahmedabad, March 15
An indefinite curfew was re-imposed today in parts of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch and three other cities in the state as violence erupted following the religious programmes of the two communities, leaving at least one person dead and nine injured.
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by Sandeep Joshi

Rao, Buta acquitted in JMM case
New Delhi, March 15
In a significant development, former Prime Minister, Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao and former Union Minister, Buta Singh were today acquitted by the Delhi High Court in the JMM MPs bribery case as it found no evidence to show that they had discussed paying money to the MPs in a closed-door meeting in 1993.

Arrest warrant against Pbi varsity VC
Patiala, March 15
A Patiala court today issued arrest warrants against the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, in a case involving the complaint filed by a girl student, Saru Rana, nearly a fortnight back.

SGPC Budget likely on March 30
Amritsar, March 15
Many an eyebrow is likely to be raised in the Panthic circles over the SGPC Budget, likely to be presented in the general House here on March 30. The income from offerings of some of the historical gurdwaras has been shown as decreased.

Pathak sought as arbitrator
Wildflower Hall dispute takes new turn
Shimla, March 15
The dispute over the Rs 100-crore Wildflower Hall here today took another turn with East India Hotels Ltd. of the Oberois invoking arbitration in accordance with Clause 17 of the joint venture agreement with the Himachal Pradesh Government and returning the cheque for Rs 9 crore which was paid to them at the time of termination of the agreement last week.


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