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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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N A T I O N

Mann’s plea for stay in TADA case rejected
Simranjit Singh MannNew Delhi, July 3
A special court here today rejected the plea of Shiromani Akali Dal (A) leader Simranjit Singh Mann for a stay on a trial against him in a TADA case more than decade old for allegedly making inflammatory speech and advocating the establishment of a separate state of “Khalistan.”

Governors removed because of ideology: Patil
Shivraj Patil New Delhi, July 3
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil categorically said today that the Governors of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Goa and Gujarat were removed because their ideology was different from that of the Congress-led UPA Government.
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Governors treated as mazdoors, says Vajpayee
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee waving to party workers along with senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon at the VVIP Guest House in Lucknow on Saturday. Lucknow, July 3
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee strongly criticised the central government for treating Governors like “Bihari mazdoors”.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee waves to party workers along with senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon in Lucknow on Saturday. — PTI photo

People may challenge Governors’ sacking, says Naidu
Chennai, July 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party President, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, said here today that some of the affected persons might move the court on the dismissal of four Governors, but clarified that his party would not do so.

Bardhan justifies Governors’ removal
Kolkata, July 3
The CPI general secretary, Mr A.B. Bardhan, today defended the removal of four Governors by stating that it had been a right decision. He alleged these Governors had been openly serving the interests of the BJP of which they were members.



Para jumpers of Indian Air Force demonstrate their skills during the adventure sports carnival in New Delhi
Para jumpers of Indian Air Force demonstrate their skills during the adventure sports carnival in New Delhi on Saturday. — PTI

EARLIER STORIES

 
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, singer Suresh Wadkar, industrialist Vijay Raheja and dancer Vani Ganpathi pose during the inauguration of Gurupoornima Utsav 2004 in Mumbai
(From left to right) Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, singer Suresh Wadkar, industrialist Vijay Raheja and dancer Vani Ganpathi pose during the inauguration of 'Gurupoornima Utsav 2004' in Mumbai on Saturday.
— PTI 

Andhra Cong wants Narendra sacked
Hyderabad, July 3
Union Minister of State for Rural Development A. Narendra’s presence at an RSS meeting here recently is snowballing into a major controversy with a section of the Congress leaders demanding his dismissal from the Union Cabinet.

Cong stakes claim to post of RS Deputy Chairperson
New Delhi, July 3
The Congress today claimed the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson’s post for itself saying that it should have at least one of the four posts of the presiding officers in Parliament.

AICC rules out uniform criteria for downsizing ministries
New Delhi, July 3
The Congress leadership is struggling to meet the July 7 deadline for axing ministers in states which have oversized ministries. Congress President Sonia Gandhi held lengthy discussions on this subject today with Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. 

VHP decides on temple construction
Kolkata, July 3
The governing body of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad at a meeting here today unanimously decided to immediately start construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya without waiting further for the Supreme Court’s judgment.

Cure for arthritis and cancer?
Bangalore, July 3
Ravi Kumar, a 43-year-old manager in a government insurance company, was dying from terminal lung cancer and was given up to three weeks to live. Today he is not only alive but well, thanks to treatment by electromagnetic resonating beams, invented by a Bangalore-based research organisation, and supported and treated by the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the Indian Air Force.

Rajasthan adopts resolution on river waters
Jaipur, July 3
The Rajasthan Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution moved by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to counteract the contents incorporated in the motion recently passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha stressing the riparian rights in respect of distribution of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej waters.

IA, AI to fly relief material free
New Delhi, July 3
Indian Airlines and Air-India have been instructed to provide free transport of relief material coming from abroad in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

10 killed in Bihar gang war
Nawada, July 3
In a gang war, 10 members of a backward caste were shot dead late last night by the Akhilesh Singh gang in a village in Nawada district of Bihar.

Students, teachers remember Hetal
Kolkata, July 3
Students and teachers of Well and and Goldsmith School in central Kolkata, of which Hetal Parekh was a student, at a prayer meeting today remembered her with grief and honour.

LeT squads to fight US forces in Iraq: report
New Delhi, July 3 
About 2000 young men aged between 18 and 25 years have been imparted arms training in Pakistan by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) for being sent to Iraq to carry out suicide operations against the US-led forces, a newspaper report said. The Pakistan-based LeT has set up a “full-blown unit for suicide squad operations against the western forces” in Iraq, the South Asia Tribune said, adding that most of the 2000 men have come from the ranks of seminary students at Muridke. — PTI

Phoolan murder case accused held
New Delhi, July 3
The Delhi Police today arrested a key accused in the murder of dacoit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi, ending his three-year evasion from the law. Shravan, who is a0ccused of having gone to jail in Dehra Dun impersonating the alleged killer Sher Singh Rana to prepare an alibi for him, was nabbed in Bihar’s Jehanabad district, police sources said here. — PTI


Videos
New Governors take charge.
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Kanpur's 62-year-old Anthony W. Mukherjee is an artist with a difference...he makes beautiful portraits not with brushes but ball pens.
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Mann’s plea for stay in TADA case rejected
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 3
A special court here today rejected the plea of Shiromani Akali Dal (A) leader Simranjit Singh Mann for a stay on a trial against him in a TADA case more than decade old for allegedly making inflammatory speech and advocating the establishment of a separate state of “Khalistan.”

Additional Sessions Judge J. M. Malik, however, accepted the plea of Mr Mann’s counsel that all police personnel who had to depose against him as prosecution witnesses would record their evidence together on August 7.

This would save Mr Mann from appearing for this purpose on several occasions.

Mr Mann had sought the stay in view of his filing an appeal in the Supreme Court against the special judge’s February 22, 2003, order framing charges against him.

The judge said since the apex court had not granted any stay, his plea could not be entertained at this stage. But the judgement in the case would not be pronounced till his petition is disposed of by the Supreme Court, he said.

Mr Mann has been charge-sheeted under TADA for allegedly making an inflammatory speech at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in April 1991 and openly advocating the cause of “Khalistan.”

Prosecution has sought the examination of certain police officials, including inspector Jagtar Singh and sub-inspector Malook Singh, as witness against him as they purportedly had heard the speech while posted on duty around the gurdwara.

Mr Mann’s counsel, however, objected to examination of the police officials, saying it was an after-thought plan on the part of the police to plug the “loopholes” in the case.
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Governors removed because of ideology: Patil
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil categorically said today that the Governors of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Goa and Gujarat were removed because their ideology was different from that of the Congress-led UPA Government.

“Those who don’t understand our ideology have no place,” Mr Patil observed at a press conference in the first official comment on the dismissal of the four Governors.

Obliquely alluding to their strong linkages with the Sangh Parivar or the RSS specifically, the Home Minister said the Governors had to go because they might not have been able to adjust to the changed circumstances.

This was particularly so as a new government had assumed office at the Centre and its ideology had been different from those who ceased to be Governors yesterday.

Mr Patil emphasised that there was no ill will against the ousted Governors. Efforts were made to convince them to resign in their own volition before the decision to send them packing was taken, he added.

Defending the UPA Government’s decision, the Home Minister gave the example of the dismissal of nine state governments in 1977 after a new government had come to power.

Meanwhile, Mr Patil said the “highest” in the government could meet representative of the Hurriyat Conference or other Kashmiri leaders if there was positive development in the talks with them to find a solution to Kashmir problem.

Mr Patil said that if some good development was seen taking place, there was no problem in the highest leadership in the government talking to them.

He said the ground has to be prepared first by officials.

Hurriyat Conference led by Molvi Abbas Ansari has held two rounds of talks with the previous NDA government. The UPA government has already conveyed its willingness to carry forward the dialogue process.
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Governors treated as mazdoors, says Vajpayee
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, July 3
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee strongly criticised the central government for treating Governors like “Bihari mazdoors”. He said that the sacking of the four Governors before the completion of their five-year term was humiliation of the chair and should be condemned by all those who value democracy.

Speaking to media persons at Amausi airport here shortly after arriving on his maiden visit to his constituency after his re-election, Mr Vajpayee questioned the rationale behind the decision. “Is having an RSS background crime? Is the RSS a banned party?” he questioned.

Giving outgoing Governor Vishnukant Shastri full marks, he said that the “acharya” was one of the finest Governors.

Earlier in the day, officiating UP Governor and Uttaranchal Governor Sudarshan Agarwal was sworn in by the seniormost High Court Judge, Mr Justice Markandey Katju, at a simple function at Raj Bhavan.
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People may challenge Governors’ sacking, says Naidu
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party President, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, said here today that some of the affected persons might move the court on the dismissal of four Governors, but clarified that his party would not do so.

Criticising the dismissal of the Governors appointed by the NDA government, Mr Naidu described it as “anti-democratic and diabolical” and said, “The party was not interested in any legal challenge, but affected parties or some public-spirited people may move the court.”

Addressing a press conference, he said the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-state relations and the inter-state council had in the past commented against the practice of sacking Governors whenever there was a change in the central government.

Mr Naidu said the issue would be raised both inside Parliament and outside, and would be highlighted in other ways too.

However, he declined to state whether the NDA parties were contemplating boycott of the Railway Budget of the Railway Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, one of the “tainted” ministers whom the BJP wants to be removed.

He said the BJP Parliamentary Party would formulate the strategy to be adopted in Parliament.

Mr Naidu said, “I am not saying the President has no power to withdraw his pleasure, but this does not mean that Governors can arbitrarily be removed. The Governors could be removed if they had abused their offices or made grave mistakes, but not in the manner in which the four Governors had been removed on Friday.

“The Congress-led government has set a bad and unhealthy precedent and shown its vindictive nature. The Congress does not believe in healthy democracy,” he said.

He felt there was no urgency to remove the Governors of Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat as their successors had not been named.
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Bardhan justifies Governors’ removal
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, July 3
The CPI general secretary, Mr A.B. Bardhan, today defended the removal of four Governors by stating that it had been a right decision. He alleged these Governors had been openly serving the interests of the BJP of which they were members.

Mr Bardhan, however, commended the activities of the West Bengal Governor, Mr Viren J. Shah, who, he said, kept himself above politics and functioned impartially. Hence, there should not be any reason that he be removed from his present post, he remarked.
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Andhra Cong wants Narendra sacked
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 3
Union Minister of State for Rural Development A. Narendra’s presence at an RSS meeting here recently is snowballing into a major controversy with a section of the Congress leaders demanding his dismissal from the Union Cabinet.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader, who was one of the important leaders of the BJP in the state before he joined the separatist party, participated in an RSS “siksha varga” meeting held at Swaminarayan Gurukul here last month.

The Congress leaders from Telangana, who are a recognised group within the APCC, have decided at a meeting here yesterday to appeal to Ms Sonia Gandhi to dismiss the TRS leader from the Cabinet in the light of his RSS links.

“If Mr Narendra is allowed to continue in the secular UPA government despite his nexus with the RSS, it will send wrong signals to the people of the state,” PCC general secretary P. Sudhakar Reddy said.

The Telangana Congress leaders have been cut up with the TRS for some time now for bypassing the state Congress and securing ministerial berths in the central and state governments with the party high command’s blessings. The latest development has come as a shot in the arm to these disgruntled leaders to attack the TRS which has two Cabinet ministers at the Centre and six in the state as a Congress ally.
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Cong stakes claim to post of RS Deputy Chairperson
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The Congress today claimed the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson’s post for itself saying that it should have at least one of the four posts of the presiding officers in Parliament.

Talking to reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabhi Azad ruled out renomination of incumbent Najma Heptulla who has joined the BJP and asserted that the post should go to the Congress.

“There is no question of Najma Heptulla continuing. The Congress must have one of the four presiding officers’ posts in Parliament,” Mr Azad said.

“We hope the Opposition agrees to this,” he said.

Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who was a BJP leader before his election as Vice-President, the occupies the Chairmanship of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Somnath Chatterjee of the CPM the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post and NDA partner Shiromani Akali Dal’s Charanjit Singh Athwal the Deputy Speaker’s post.

Replying to a question, Mr Azad said “so far there has been no discussion on this issue.”

He, however, said the matter had been taken up with the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Jaswant Singh, when elections for the posts of the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Deputy Speaker took place last month.

Recalling that the posts of presiding officers of the Lok Sabha were filled through consensus, he said the same approach should be applied to the election of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson.Top

 

AICC rules out uniform criteria for downsizing ministries
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The Congress leadership is struggling to meet the July 7 deadline for axing ministers in states which have oversized ministries.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi held lengthy discussions on this subject today with Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The talks were inconclusive and another round of discussions is slated for tomorrow.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who was to meet her today could not do so because of Mrs Gandhi’s prior commitments. He will now discuss this matter with her on Sunday. AICC general secretaries in charge of the states concerned were sitting late tonight with their respective chief ministers to find a solution to this vexed problem.

As per the amended anti-defection law, the size of ministeries should be limited to 15 per cent of the total strength of the state Assembly while smaller states are permitted to have 12 ministers.

Party insiders maintained that this task would have to be completed tomorrow as the July 7 deadline was only three days away and the CMs would have to go back to their respective capitals to implement the new order.

This is, however, proving to be a major exercise as the Congress has to drop as many as 100 ministers in seven states. AICC leaders Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora have held several rounds of discussions with the CMs to evolve a formula for downsizing the ministries. However, AICC leaders also admit that it is not possible to apply a uniform criteria given the different situation in various states.

The problem is more acute in states like Maharashtra, Mizoram and Meghalaya than Punjab where the chief ministers are heading coalition governments. Mr Shinde, who is to drop at least 22 ministers, has an added problem on hand — Maharashtra is headed for Assembly poll in the next two months. He has to be particularly careful as the exercise is bound to fuel dissension and infighting in the state party units which are, at the best of times, beset with factionalism and groupism.

This is precisely why the chief ministers would like the Congress Central leadership to lay down the criteria and take a final view on this issue since this will help them deflect all criticism and brickbats.Top

 

VHP decides on temple construction
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, July 3
The governing body of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) at a meeting here today unanimously decided to immediately start construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya without waiting further for the Supreme Court’s judgment.

The VHP’s working president, Mr Ashok Singhal, has already alleged that there had been a long delay in the construction of the temple and they would be no further delay.

Though the organisation did not finalise any deadline for the temple construction, it had been indicated that the construction would begin soon after the return of the pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra.
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Cure for arthritis and cancer?
Sridhar K. Chari
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, July 3
Ravi Kumar, a 43-year-old manager in a government insurance company, was dying from terminal lung cancer and was given up to three weeks to live. Today he is not only alive but well, thanks to treatment by electromagnetic resonating beams, invented by a Bangalore-based research organisation, and supported and treated by the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) of the Indian Air Force.

It may well be the cure for cancer that millions of patients around the world are waiting for, especially those with highly localised cancers and tumours that lend itself well to this kind of treatment. But such claims have been made before and the doctors involved are understandably cautious.

“We have only treated two cancer patients so far. But the results are so spectacular that it gives us hope and we wanted to go public with them. It is a quantum leap from the treatments that exist today. Ravi Kumar is the first cancer patient in the world to be ‘cured” Wg Cdr V.G. Vasishta, Professor and Head, Department of Radio Diagnosis, IAM, told reporters here today.

“While we have to wait for the final verdict of its efficacy in cancer treatment, the equipment has also been used to successfully treat osteoarthritis, with 36 patients, most of them reporting improvement in walking stability and considerable reduction in pain. This itself would be a big boon to many women suffering from this debilitating affliction.”

The equipment, a rotational field quantum magnetic resonance generator (RFQMR), produces high power multi-frequency rotating quantum electromagnetic resonating beams from 96 “guns” that are trained precisely on the area to be treated.

It has been developed by the Centre for Advanced Research and Development (CARD), the research wing of Scalene Cybernetics Limited, over a seven year period. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance (MR) scans showed dramatic improvement in Ravi Kumar’s case, and a post six week follow-up showed no new cancerous nodes, and tissue necrosis was occurring all over the tumour, Wg Cdr Vasista said.

The expectation is that the tumour would be completely destroyed. CARD Director and Chief Scientific Officer Rajah Vijay Kumar said, “We are not making any claims now. We are just saying, look at what we have done.” Once fully operational, treatment “should not be too expensive,” he added.

In another case, a patient who was in coma for over five weeks, received a few exposures from the RFQMR and is now awake, though very weak. His treatment is continuing. A two-year project to assess the efficacy of the treatment in cancer will begin with 40 patients in July-August and will be completed by 2006.

Wg Cdr S. Choudhari, chief cancer surgeon, at Command Hospital in Bangalore, said that they would be sending patients over for treatment. 
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Rajasthan adopts resolution on river waters
Manohar Prabhakar
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, July 3
The Rajasthan Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution moved by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to counteract the contents incorporated in the motion recently passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha stressing the riparian rights in respect of distribution of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej waters.

The resolution placed before the House by Ms Raje authorises the state government to take the necessary administrative and legal steps to protect the entire share of water of Rajasthan as per the agreement executed in 1981 by the then three Chief Ministers, Mr Darbara Singh of Punjab, Mr Shivcharan Mathur of Rajasthan and Mr Bhajan Lal of Haryana.

Senior leaders of all the parties participated in the debate on the resolution that lasted nearly nine hours.
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IA, AI to fly relief material free
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Indian Airlines and Air-India have been instructed to provide free transport of relief material coming from abroad in the event of natural or man-made disasters. 

A senior government official said today that instructions had been issued to the two public-sector airlines following a request by the Union Home Ministry that the Civil Aviation Ministry should provide free transport of relief materials coming from abroad during such disasters.

Air-India had also informed that it could provide aircraft for transporting men and material in the event of a disaster, Mr Gupta said.
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10 killed in Bihar gang war

Nawada, July 3
In a gang war, 10 members of a backward caste were shot dead late last night by the Akhilesh Singh gang in a village in Nawada district of Bihar.

In an apparent retaliation to the killing of two children allegedly by the Ashok Mahto gang earlier in the day, the Akhilesh group members raided Chakwai village and shot dead eight persons on the spot and injured three, the police said today.

While one of the injured succumbed to his injuries at Nawada Sadar Hospital early this morning, another died on the way to Patna Medical College Hospital, it said.
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Students, teachers remember Hetal
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, July 3
Students and teachers of Well and and Goldsmith School in central Kolkata, of which Hetal Parekh was a student, at a prayer meeting today remembered her with grief and honour.

They also resolved that the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, be requested to immediately recommend the hanging of Dhananjay, the rapist and killer of Hetal, which would be the lesson to other criminals in society.
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BRIEFLY

Insurance official held
HYDERABAD:
The CBI has arrested an administrative official of an insurance company here in connection with the multi-crore fake stamp paper scam. A Venkateshwar Rao was arrested on Friday. — PTI

Academician Jha dead
PATNA:
A former member of the Bihar Legislative Council and noted academician Chetkar Jha died in a private hospital here on Saturday due to heart failure. Jha (82) is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. He had served as Vice-Chancellor of L.N. Mithla University. — PTI
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