SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Padma honours for Amrita, Gulzar
New Delhi, June 30
President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam today honoured former Chief Justice of India M. N. R. Venkatachaliah, noted filmmaker Gulzar, and renowned Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam with Padma awards for their contribution in their respective fields.

Gulzar receives the Padma Bhushan award from President Abdul Kalam in New Delhi In video
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Gulzar receives the Padma Bhushan award from President Abdul Kalam in New Delhi on Wednesday.
— A Tribune photograph

Revision of poll rolls next month
New Delhi, June 30
The Election Commission has ordered intensive revision of the electoral rolls with January 1, 2005, as qualifying date in the seven North Eastern states and special summary revision in other states and union territories, except Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra where Assembly polls are due later this year.

Maharashtra ministers quit
Mumbai, June 30
Ministers of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra begun quitting today to enable Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to reduce the size of his Cabinet. The ministers from the Congress submitted their resignation letters to Mr Shinde Wednesday at his official residence.

Jharkhand minister sacked for bribe
Ranchi, June 30
Jharkhand Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Madhu Singh was today sacked from the government and suspended from the JD(U) after a disclosure that he allegedly took Rs 50 lakh to support a candidate during the recent Rajya Sabha elections.
In video (28k, 56k)


An activist of the Communist Party of India holds a poster during a protest against US forces in Iraq
An activist of the Communist Party of India holds a poster during a protest against US forces in Iraq, in Mumbai on Wednesday. — Reuters

Graphic: Monsoon forecast


EARLIER STORIES

 

Punjab CM seeks nod for airport near Phillaur
New Delhi, June 30
In an effort to bring Punjab on the forefront of development, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today met Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel and sought approval for the construction of a greenfield international airport at Ladowal village near Phillaur in Ludhiana district.

Minister denies pressure on Governors
New Delhi, June 30
Asserting that no pressure has been exerted by the UPA government on Governors appointed during the NDA regime to resign even as BJP and RSS leaders were chosen for the gubernatorial posts flouting the spirit of the Constitution, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said here yesterday.

Jakhar's faux pas
Bhopal, June 30
A faux pas had crept into the Sanskrit rendering of the format of the oath of affirmation subscribed to by Dr Bal Ram Jakhar while he was sworn in as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh today.

Left Front wins civic body poll
Kolkata, June 30
The CPM-led Left Front retained its hold in rural Bengal by recapturing the control in most of the municipalities and the panchayat boards where the elections were held on last Sunday. The counting was to be held on Monday but delayed for one day for re-polling in some areas.

Decentralise water management: Patkar
New Delhi, June 30
Ahead of the annual budget, noted social activist Medha Patkar today asked the Congress-led government to discard the “bad economics” of the NDA government by focussing on labour intensive land and water management projects.

Assam Rifles admits to rights violations
Shillong, June 30
Under regular attack for alleged rights violations during counter-insurgency operations, the Assam Rifles today admitted some “aberrations,” but assured the National Human Rights Commission of its endeavour to reduce such incidents.

Contradictions on Godhra train fire emerge
Ahmedabad, June 30
Contradictions pertaining to the burning pattern of those charred and the survivors of the Godhra train carnage today emerged during the cross-examination of retired Gujarat railway police official K. C. Bawa who initially investigated the incident in which 59 kar sevaks were torched alive.

Liberhan panel concludes hearing in Babri case
New Delhi, June 30
The Liberhan Commission, inquiring into the demolition of the Babri Masjid, today concluded hearing of arguments on evidence collected by it during the 11-year-long proceedings and indicated that its report would be submitted to the government soon.

Youth surrenders in love-murder case
Chennai, June 30
Like a scene of a Bollywood movie, a youth, whose love was spurned by his classmate in a college in Andhra Pradesh leading him to stab her to death a week ago, surrendered at the City Police Commissionerate here yesterday.

Kaizad Gustad gets bail
Mumbai, June 30
The Bombay High Court today granted bail to film director Kaizad Gustad and his two associates who were arrested following the death of their colleague, Nadia Khan, while shooting at Mumbai’s railway tracks last month.

Women’s panel takes up prostitutes’ cause
New Delhi, June 30
A team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) is visiting the Baina beach in Goa to fight for the housing rights of over 400 prostitutes and brothel owners.

Woman sells newborn for Rs 4,000: NGO
Coimbatore, June 30
In a shocking incident, a newborn girl was allegedly sold by her mother through auction for Rs 4,000 recently in a village of Tamil Nadu’s Erode District, an NGO claimed here.

Cops look to gods for SP’s transfer
Morena (MP), June 30
Pot-bellied policemen, who had been asked to cut down on flab by their senior, are now reportedly seeking divine help to get him transferred from the district.

Kanwaljit is ITBP chief
NEW DELHI:
Mr Kanwaljit Singh took over as the new Director-General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Wednesday.

Videos
Spurious soft drinks doing rounds in Gorakhpur.
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Lord Jagannath Yatra concludes.
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Jharkhand government to ban cow slaughter in the state.
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Music of Rakht released.
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Padma honours for Amrita, Gulzar
Tribune News Service





(Top to bottom) Punjabi novelist Dalip Tiwana, vocalist Suriendra Singh, agricultural scientist S.S. Johal and actor Anupam Kher receive Padma honours from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday. — Tribune photographs

New Delhi, June 30
President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam today honoured former Chief Justice of India M. N. R. Venkatachaliah, noted filmmaker Gulzar, and renowned Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam with Padma awards for their contribution in their respective fields.

A distinguished jurist and former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, 75-year-old Venkatachaliah, was presented the prestigious Padma Vibhushan by the President.

Renowned poet, novelist and short-story writer Amrita Pritam and eminent astronomer and astrophysicist Prof Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, two other Padma Vibhushan awardees, were not present.

Agricultural scientist S.S. Johl, Gulzar, Bharatnatyam dancer Alarmel Valli, noted economist and policy maker C. Hanumantha Rao, scientist G. Padmanaban, journalist M. V. Kamath, veena exponent Madurai T. N. Seshagopalan and social worker Poornima Arvind Pakvasa were among 19 Padma Bhushan winners.

The nation's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, was not announced this year.

The President honoured cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid with Padma awards. Yoshiro Mori, former Japanese Prime Minister who has been instrumental in the normalisation of relations with India and improving economic relations after the ban imposed in the wake of the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests, was not present to receive the Padma Bhushan award.

In his characteristic style, Dr Kalam stepped down from the podium on 15 occasions to pin the medals on those who were old and found it difficult to walk.



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Revision of poll rolls next month
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
The Election Commission has ordered intensive revision of the electoral rolls with January 1, 2005, as qualifying date in the seven North Eastern states and special summary revision in other states and union territories, except Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra where Assembly polls are due later this year.

The electoral rolls revision process will begin from July 1, Deputy Election Commission A.N. Jha told newspersons here yesterday.

In Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra, where Assembly polls are due in October, the exercise will be undertaken after the elections, Mr Jha said.

For the intensive revision, the preparatory work will be completed by August 1, while house-to-house enumeration will be done from August 2 to September 3.

The draft rolls will be published on October 29, while claims and objections can be filed till November 20. The final rolls will be published on January 3, 2005.

For special summary revision, the draft rolls will be published on September 15, while claims and objections can be filed till October 15. The final rolls will be published on January 3, 2005.

On an experimental basis, the Election Commission has decided to utilise the services of the delivery post offices in Maharashtra, where draft rolls have been published, will receive claims and objections from voters.

Services of postmen were being utilised for verification of such applications received in the post offices of the state only, he said adding that the Commission intended to extend it to all other states after the experiment succeeded.

The Commission has decided to provide the facilities to file claims and objections online through the Internet, Mr Jha said adding this facility was being tried on an experimental basis in Maharashtra.

Mr Jha said the Commission had decided to prepare electoral rolls with the elector’s photograph printed on it. To begin with, Kerala and some selected Assembly constituencies in other states would be covered under this programme.

The Commission was also considering using the Geographic Information System (GIS) in the electoral management, he said.
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Maharashtra ministers quit
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 30
Ministers of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra begun quitting today to enable Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to reduce the size of his Cabinet.

The ministers from the Congress submitted their resignation letters to Mr Shinde Wednesday at his official residence. Ministers from the NCP have begun submitting their resignations to party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil. Most of the NCP ministers have already quit ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting, sources say.

Mr Shinde later told reporters that he was in consultations with party leaders in New Delhi about those who would be allowed to continue in the Cabinet.

The fate of the NCP ministers would be decided by Mr Sharad Pawar and state-level leaders.

Till Tuesday, several ministers were hesitating to put in their papers. However, the Chief Minister kept the pressure and even threatened to sack ministers, sources said.
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Jharkhand minister sacked for bribe

Ranchi, June 30
Jharkhand Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Madhu Singh was today sacked from the government and suspended from the JD(U) after a disclosure that he allegedly took Rs 50 lakh to support a candidate during the recent Rajya Sabha elections.

Chief Minister Arjun Munda announced that Singh had been dropped from his Council of Ministers shortly after the JD(U) leader was suspended from the party by its President George Fernandes.

In view of the suspension of Singh from the party, the Chief Minister said he was dropping the minister.

Singh vehemently denied the charge and said, “A section of the BJP is after me and wants to spoil my political career.”

Shortly after a newspaper published a report alleging that Singh had accepted Rs 50 lakh in lieu of supporting someone in the Rajya Sabha poll, Mr Fernandes, here along with other senior leaders, suspended him from the party.

“We have only one way before us after we got the unexpected news that one of our ministers, Madhu Singh, has taken Rs 50 lakh to support somebody during the Rajya Sabha elections. He has been suspended,” Mr Fernandes said at a press conference. — PTI
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Punjab CM seeks nod for airport near Phillaur
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
In an effort to bring Punjab on the forefront of development, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today met Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel and sought approval for the construction of a greenfield international airport at Ladowal village near Phillaur in Ludhiana district.

The Punjab Chief Minister also sought the upgradation of the Amritsar international airport to bring it at a par with the international parameters, as approved by the International Airport Authority.

“The government has agreed to construct a greenfield airport near Phillaur, between Jalandhar and Ludhiana, on the lines of the Bangalore international airport,” the Punjab Chief Minister said after his 40-minute meeting with Mr Patel.

“The ministry is working fast on this project and if everything goes working, we will have the first landing at the new airport by 2006,” he said, adding, “Global tenders will be shortly invited for the project.”

Capt Amarinder Singh impressed upon Mr Patel to commence a direct international flight of Air-India from Amritsar to the UK with a view to improving air connectivity between the East and the West. He also mentioned that after the success of this new flight, other international airlines could be persuaded to initiate more such flights to various destinations in Punjab.

The Punjab Chief Minister also urged upon the Civil Aviation Minister to release adequate funds to the Punjab Government for the upgradation of infrastructure at the civil aviation clubs at Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar and Ludhiana, which were in dilapidated condition and required proper maintenance on a priority basis.

Capt Amarinder Singh was accompanied by Mr Lal Singh, Finance Minister, Mr Avtar Henry, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, and Mr Malkit Singh Birmi, Jails, Housing and Urban Development Minister.
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Minister denies pressure on Governors
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Asserting that no pressure has been exerted by the UPA government on Governors appointed during the NDA regime to resign even as BJP and RSS leaders were chosen for the gubernatorial posts flouting the spirit of the Constitution, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said here yesterday.

“No pressure is being exerted on the NDA-appointed Governors to step down,” Mr Jaiswal said here in response to the charge made by former Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani that Governors appointed during the Vajpayee regime were being asked to resign.

“What Mr Advani stated has been denied by Rajasthan Governor Madan Lal Khurana who has contended that no one had asked him to step down,” the minister told newspersons here.

Mr Jaiswal, who returned from a visit to Surankote in Jammu region where 12 persons were killed by militants recently, said the Centre was contemplating on providing modern weapons to Village Defence Committee (VDC) members in Jammu and Kashmir to counter militant attacks in higher reaches.
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Jakhar's faux pas
N.D. Sharma

Bhopal, June 30
A faux pas had crept into the Sanskrit rendering of the format of the oath of affirmation subscribed to by Dr Bal Ram Jakhar while he was sworn in as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh today. The oath as read out by him described him as the Governor of “many Madhya Pradeshes”. The Sanskrit word “Madhya Pradeshanam” (which formed part of the text) is plural, the singular being “Madhya Pradeshah”.

The oath of affirmation was administered by Acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Rajiv Gupta.

Apparently finding the recitation of the Sanskrit text cumbersome, Mr Justice Gupta pronounced only the first word “aham” and Dr Jakhar then completed the oath.

Those present at the function, held on the lawns of Raj Bhavan, included former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, Chief Minister Uma Bharati, her Cabinet colleagues, state BJP president Kailash Joshi and state Congress president Subhash Yadav.

Ms Uma Bharati and 30-odd others had also taken their oath as members of the assembly in Sanskrit in December last year.
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Left Front wins civic body poll
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, June 30
The CPM-led Left Front retained its hold in rural Bengal by recapturing the control in most of the municipalities and the panchayat boards where the elections were held on last Sunday. The counting was to be held on Monday but delayed for one day for re-polling in some areas.

The counting of votes began today morning and continued till late hours in the evening. The results announced so far, indicated a sweeping victory for the CPM and its partners.

But Mr Subhas Ghising's GNLF re-established its control in the hills in capturing Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong municipal boards. In the plains, however, the CPM won larger number of seats.

Of the 18 municipalities, including the Siliguri Mahakuma Parisad where the elections were held, the Left Front kept its control in 11 municipal boards. Unlike in the past, the Congress, however, fared better than the Trinamool Congress in winning in Malda, Islampur, Raiganj, Kaliaganj in north Bengal and Saithia municipalities in Burbhum district.

The Trinamool Congress won in the Egra municipality, east Midnapore, Rajpur and Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas and a seat in the byelection in Kolkata. But the CPM recaptured its full control in winning the maximum number of seats in the Dum Dum and South Dum Dum municipalities which fall under the Assembly constituency of Mr Arunava Ghosh, TMC MLA.

The CPM secretary, Mr Anil Biswas, congratulated the people for voting them to power in most of the municipal boards. But the TMC leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee, said the results did not vindicate the people's real verdict. She alleged in most of the places, there were no elections at all. Both the TMC and the BJP had withdrawn their candidates from the fray there, she claimed.
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Decentralise water management: Patkar

New Delhi, June 30
Ahead of the annual budget, noted social activist Medha Patkar today asked the Congress-led government to discard the “bad economics” of the NDA government by focussing on labour intensive land and water management projects.

Stressing that the centralised water bodies created by the past wrong approach was a challenge to the Manmohan Singh government, Ms Patkar said “merely being secular won’t do. They have to clarify their development agenda.”

Calling for a “decentralised, sustainable and non-destructive” water and land management policies, she stressed upon the urgent need for national consultation on water projects and policies. Further, the National Policy for Resettlement and Rehabilitation-passed hurriedly and secretively by the NDA government-should also be reviewed, she added.

Welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to empower gram panchayats, she said this should be followed honestly in all sectors including water and power.

On the privatisation of water through foreign direct investment and diverting it for the urban elite, she said this was another kind of privatisation and control of resources. Stressing on the rights of the local people, she said there was a need to give due primacy to local harnessing.

Praising the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government, the Narmada Bachao Andolan activist said the upcoming budget should also set these dimensions and have those reflected into the allocations.

On the immediate actions required from the government, the Narmada Bachao Andolan pointed out that with the onset of the monsoon atleast 150 villages in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat would be flooded.

The NGO also said that Harsud township in the Narmada valley with a population of 22,000 was being forcibly evicted.

It also charged Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Uma Bharti of entering into an “inhuman conspiracy” for constitution of the Narmada Control Authority. — UNI
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Assam Rifles admits to rights violations

Shillong, June 30
Under regular attack for alleged rights violations during counter-insurgency operations, the Assam Rifles today admitted some “aberrations,” but assured the National Human Rights Commission of its endeavour to reduce such incidents.

In his concluding remarks after a two-day debate attended by Central paramilitary personnel of the north-eastern zone, the Assam Rifles Director-General, Lieut-Gen Bhopinder Singh said a jawan spent almost 42 continuous years of service combating insurgency, so “occasional violation” of human right was not ruled out.

The Assam Rifles, however, did support the NHRC and other rights organisations in their efforts to bring to light the “excesses” committed by some members of the force.

Thanking the NHRC for giving the Assam Rifles an opportunity to host the event, the General said the force was committed to counter-insurgency operations in the North East.

NHRC Member R. S. Kala, who along with his colleague, Mr M. S. Mallik, came here to judge the debate competition, said the government should provide more than an enabling environment for the vulnerable groups of society to protect human rights.

The two-day event, organised by the Assam Rifles on behalf of the NHRC on “How relevant are human rights for prisoners and prisoners of war,” was attended by paramilitary forces deployed in the North-East. In overall performance, the CRPF was adjudged the winner and BSF runners-up. — PTI
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Contradictions on Godhra train fire emerge

Ahmedabad, June 30
Contradictions pertaining to the burning pattern of those charred and the survivors of the Godhra train carnage today emerged during the cross-examination of retired Gujarat railway police official K. C. Bawa who initially investigated the incident in which 59 kar sevaks were torched alive.

Mr Bawa, whose cross-examination before the two-man inquiry commission of Justice (retd) G. T. Nanavati and Justice (retd) K. G. Shah continued today, was asked by advocate Mukul Sinha if investigation had revealed whether the fire in the S-6 coach was on the floor or the ceiling.

Mr Sinha sought to know as to how 59 passengers were completely charred while 70 others who survived in the S-6 coach only received minor injuries and that too in the portion of the body above the waist.

Mr Bawa said as per the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, the fire was on the floor of the coach even as he failed to explain how the survivors received injuries only above the waist.

The retired DSP said bodies of the victims had not been sent to the FSL while only 550 kg of items collected from inside the coach were sent.

He said there was no trace of petroleum hydrocarbon found from the 550 kg material that was taken as samples from the coach.

On being asked by Mr Sinha if his probe had revealed involvement of any foreign hand/organisation in the carnage as was speculated in the media, Mr Bawa replied in negative.

To another question, he said he had conducted the panchnama of the "inside portion" of the ill-fated coach and of the samples on May 1, 2002.

Later, Mr Sinha, who is appearing on the behalf of the Jan Sangharsh Manch, told reporters Mr Bawa had no clear answers to the cross-questioning.

Mr Sinha also demanded an "impartial" inquiry into how the coach caught fire and how the deaths occurred. — PTI
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Liberhan panel concludes hearing in Babri case
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 30
The Liberhan Commission, inquiring into the demolition of the Babri Masjid, today concluded hearing of arguments on evidence collected by it during the 11-year-long proceedings and indicated that its report would be submitted to the government soon.

The one-man inquiry commission, headed by Justice M.S. Liberhan, who was given the task to probe the 1992 demolition 10 days after the incident while he was the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, had been given extension till September 30 to complete the inquiry.

On conclusion of today’s proceedings, Justice Liberhan said “curtains are down now” and his report “can be expected very soon.”

The commission, while granting time to Union Government counsel P.P. Malhotra to submit additional written arguments on July 20, turned down the plea of Aslam Bhure for giving him further hearing. Bhure is one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court, challenging the trial proceedings in the Ayodhya demolition case against BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders.

After closing the arguments from all parties concerned who had deposed before it as witnesses, the commission said if any party felt that some matters had been left over to be brought to its notice, they could make submissions regarding those in writing by July 20.

The commission, which was constituted on December 16, 1992, had examined 99 witnesses, including former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao during whose tenure the mosque was demolished.
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Youth surrenders in love-murder case
Tribune News service

Chennai, June 30
Like a scene of a Bollywood movie, a youth, whose love was spurned by his classmate in a college in Andhra Pradesh leading him to stab her to death a week ago, surrendered at the City Police Commissionerate here yesterday.

The incident had sent shockwaves across South India as the girl had complained to the college principal and the police but they failed to protect her.

Manohara, an MCA student of Saradha College in Vijayawada, fell in love with his classmate Sri Lakshmi (24).

Sri Lakshmi, who hailed from Hyderabad, was staying with her uncle to attend the college. She turned him down when Manohara professed his love for her.

However, he did not give it up and kept on stalking her and even threatened her with dire consequences unless she accepted his proposal.

Following repeated threats from him, Sri Lakshmi lodged complaints with the college principal and the local police, which did not seem to have taken any action to apprehend the youth.

On June 21, the final day of the academic year, when Sri Lakshmi reached the college, an angry Manohara pounced upon her and repeatedly stabbed her with a knife.

Sri Lakshmi died on the spot but Manohara fled.

The incident triggered off fear and shock among girl students and their parents and people were surprised why the police had not taken any action against Manohara particularly when Sri Lakshmi had lodged a complaint against him.

The Vijayawada police launched a manhunt for Manohara but he had escaped from Andhra Pradesh.

After he surrendered to the Chennai police, a special police team from Vijayawada arrived and he was handed over to it.
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Kaizad Gustad gets bail
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 30
The Bombay High Court today granted bail to film director Kaizad Gustad and his two associates who were arrested following the death of their colleague, Nadia Khan, while shooting at Mumbai’s railway tracks last month.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Dilip Bhosale of the High Court set bail at Rs 35,000 with sureties of the like amount. The judge also ruled that none of them would be able to leave the country without the permission of the court. They were asked to deposit their passports with the police.

Gustad and his associates, Ashish Udeshi and Hadley D’Mello, approached the High Court after their bail plea was rejected twice by a railway magistrate and once by a sessions court.

Urging for bail, Gustad and his colleagues pleaded that they had been wrongly booked for the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the case of Nadia Khan. She was knocked down by a train at Mahalaxmi railway station during the shooting of film “Mumbai Central” on May 25.

Khan (27), a British national, was taken to hospital by Udeshi and D’mello where they told the police that she was hit by a truck while crossing the road nearby.

Nadia Khan’s relatives have now appointed a British coroner to monitor the case in India. They have filed a complaint against Ayesha Shroff, wife of Bollywood star Jackie Shroff and the film’s financier.
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Women’s panel takes up prostitutes’ cause
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
A team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) is visiting the Baina beach in Goa to fight for the housing rights of over 400 prostitutes and brothel owners.

The NCW Chairperson, Dr Poornima Advani, who will lead a three-member team to the beach in Vasco on Saturday, told TNS that prostitutes living there were on the road as their houses had been razed to the ground.

Other members of the team are Nafisa Husain and Praveen Patkar, who have been taking up issues related to trafficking.

The NCW, which has held public hearings with the prostitutes in various states, plans to take up the matter of providing decent shelter to these women with the Chief Secretary and the secretaries for Home and Tourism, besides the Chief Minister and the Governor.

Dr Advani said the red-light area on the Baina beach was very old and all governments had dealt with the request of residents of Goa to oust the prostitutes. She said the prostitutes were from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and were in the 16-30 age group. 
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Woman sells newborn for Rs 4,000: NGO

Coimbatore, June 30
In a shocking incident, a newborn girl was allegedly sold by her mother through auction for Rs 4,000 recently in a village of Tamil Nadu’s Erode District, an NGO claimed here.

The woman, a resident of Kunnathur village, had reportedly sold her second born just four hours after its birth as she could not take care of it, convener of the Campaign Against Child Trafficking (CACT) C Nambi told reporters here today.

The incident had been confirmed by a fact-finding team of the CACT, which recently visited the village following reports about the auction, he said demanding the government takeover the custody of the child.

The woman, who had also “sold” her first child, had offered new born for Rs 5,000 in the auction held at Shandy village a fortnight ago, he said, adding that a person purchased the infant for Rs 4,000, believing that “bringing home a girl child, born on a Friday, would be auspicious”.

The team also found that a local cobbler had “booked” the child and had even met all the expenses of the woman when she was pregnant, Mr V.P. Sarathi, Chairperson, Coimbatore Human Rights Forum, and another member of the CACT team, said.

Saying that the team had contacted 20 persons in the area, who had confirmed the sale, Mr Sarathi accused the police of failure to act promptly and properly, when the auction was taking place, within 200 metres of Kunnathur police station. — PTI 
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Cops look to gods for SP’s transfer

Morena (MP), June 30
Pot-bellied policemen, who had been asked to cut down on flab by their senior, are now reportedly seeking divine help to get him transferred from the district.

The target of the 'yagya' reportedly performed today was Superintendent of Police Rajesh Gupta, who after taking over charge a month ago, had suspended nearly a dozen policemen including three inspectors and two sub-inspectors for incompetence.

The overweight policemen were warned of suspension by Gupta in case they didn't shed weight within two months. — PTI
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Kanwaljit is ITBP chief

NEW DELHI: Mr Kanwaljit Singh took over as the new Director-General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Wednesday. A 1969 batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre. Mr Kanwal Jit took over from Mr R.K. Aggarwal, who retired on Wednesday.

He was earlier the Additional Director-General of the ITBP. — TNS

Kanwal Jit Singh, New Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), taking his charge from R. C. Aggarwal, outgoing DG ITBP, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
— Photo by Rajeev Tyagi

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BRIEFLY

Kalam’s assurance on Dhananjay
NEW DELHI:
President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday said that justice would be done in the case of condemned prisoner Dhananjay Chatterjee of Kolkata, sentenced to death for rape and murder of a teenaged school girl 14 years ago, when the Home Ministry placed a report in this regard before him. “Right justice will be done,” Dr Kalam told reporters after giving away the Padma awards. He, however, said that he had not yet received the report from the Union Home Ministry. — TNS

Ticketless rail travel penalty
NEW DELHI:
Railway passengers caught travelling without ticket will have to pay a penalty of Rs 250 from Wednesday midnight. The five-fold increase in the penalty for ticketless rail travel was earlier announced in a Gazette notification. The increase in penalty is aimed at plugging leakage of revenue. — TNS

UP ministers resign
LUCKNOW:
The process of downsizing the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has begun with all the ministers handing over their resignation letters to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mr Yadav had called a meeting of ministers on Wednesday to pave the way for pruning the ministry. — OC

Advani back to basics
NEW DELHI:
“Back to Basics” call given by BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu during the just concluded party conclave in Mumbai was literally followed on Wednesday by senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, who spent one and a half hour in the party headquarters here to interact with the cadre. — TNS

Naidu’s advice to Modi
NEW DELHI:
BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who had strongly favoured Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s continuation, on Wednesday asked the latter to carry along other party leaders and legislators in the state. Mr Naidu’s advice came when Mr Modi called on him on Wednesday morning at his residence here, sources said. — TNS

Pratibha lauds girl education
NEW DELHI:
A Congress MP from Himachal Pradesh, Mrs Pratibha Singh, in her representation before the Asian Women Parliament (AWP) at Canberra in Australia has lauded the achievements of the state in promoting education of girl child and the development of women. “In Himachal Pradesh 97 per cent of girls in the 6-14 age group are attending schools today, which is only 2 per cent less than the boys,” Mrs Pratibha Singh told the AWP, according to an official release issued by the Himachal Government here. — TNS

Hoax plane hijack call
NEW DELHI:
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which looks after the security arrangement at the IGI Airport, was in a tizzy on Wednesday after it received a hoax call that one of the flights for Hyderabad would be hijacked. However, the call was declared hoax after a thorough check up at the airport. A senior officer of the CISF said that the caller giving his name as Shamim called the airport authorities claming that either a Jet Airways flight or a plane of Indian Airlines bound for Hyderabad would be hijacked. — TNS
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