SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

No troops for Iraq, says Natwar
New Delhi, July 6
The question of sending troops to Iraq does not arise, External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh categorically told the Lok Sabha today. Emphasising that the new Government in Baghdad has not approached the Congress-led UPA government for sending troops to that country, Mr Singh observed “even if asked, India will not send its troops. I am saying it in black and white,” he said winding up the discussion on the situation in Iraq.

Railway Minister keeps LS in good humour
New Delhi, July 6
Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav today kept the Lok Sabha in good humour during the Railway Budget presentation as he not only pulled punches at the absentee NDA Opposition but also regaled the House with his “Lalooism”.

Members of Utsav, an organisation for hearing impaired persons, stage a silent protest demanding death penalty for Dhananjoy Chatterjee

Members of Utsav, an organisation for hearing impaired persons, stage a silent protest demanding death penalty for Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Hetal Parekh, in Kolkata on Tuesday. — PTI

Dhananjoy’s plea: Kalam consults
Attorney-General
New Delhi, July 6
After receiving the report of the Union Home Ministry on the clemency petition by Kolkata’s condemned prisoner Dhananjoy Chatterjee, sentenced to death for rape and murder of a schoolgirl 14 years ago, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today discussed the matter with the Attorney-General.



Hollywood actor and social activist Richard Gere speaks at an interactive forum
Hollywood actor and social activist Richard Gere speaks at an interactive forum on 'Make Art - Stop AIDS', in New Delhi on Tuesday. — PTI

EARLIER STORIES

 

Advisory board of education reconstituted
New Delhi, July 6
The Centre today reconstituted the Central Advisory Board of Education with Azim Premji of Wipro, J.J. Irani of Tata Trust, Kiran Karnik of NASSCOM and Economist Jean Dreze as nominated members.

SC to examine sacking of Governors
New Delhi, July 6
The Supreme Court today said it would examine the issue of sacking of Governors of four states by the Congress-led UPA government but turned down a plea for urgent hearing of BJP leader, Mr B.P. Singhal’s petition, challenging the Presidential notification of July 2 for their removal.

Bollywood actor and Rajasthan MP Dharmendra shares a joke with former cricketer and Punjab MP Navjot Singh Sidhu
Bollywood actor and Rajasthan MP Dharmendra shares a joke with former cricketer and Punjab MP Navjot Singh Sidhu during a function to mark Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee's 103rd birth anniversary in New Delhi on Tuesday. — PTI

Mukherjee was killed: Vajpayee
New Delhi, July 6
Senior BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today alleged that Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was killed in 1952 as part of a “conspiracy” between the then Jawaharlal Nehru-led Central Government and the Jammu and Kashmir Government.

17 killed in cloudburst near Badrinath
Dehra Dun, July 6

At least 17 persons were killed and 28 injured today when three vehicles were swamped into Alaknanda river by heavy landslides set off by a cloudburst that left nearly 5,000 pilgrims stranded near the Badrinath shrine area in Uttaranchal’s Chamoli district, Chief Secretary R.S. Tolia said.

India, Norway to set up joint commission
New Delhi, July 6
India and Norway today signed an agreement for setting up of a joint commission at the Foreign Ministers’ level to bolster economic and commercial ties between the two countries.

Srinagar-Baramula project to be resumed in a week
New Delhi, July 6

Work on the stalled Srinagar-Baramula railway project will be resumed within a week’s time after intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office, Railway Board Chairman R.K. Singh announced here today.

IIMs waive tuition fees of poor students
New Delhi, July 6
The Indian Institutes of Management will provide full tuition fee waiver to all students whose gross family income was less than Rs 2 lakh, the Lok Sabha was informed today.


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No troops for Iraq, says Natwar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
The question of sending troops to Iraq does not arise, External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh categorically told the Lok Sabha today. Emphasising that the new Government in Baghdad has not approached the Congress-led UPA government for sending troops to that country, Mr Singh observed “even if asked, India will not send its troops. I am saying it in black and white,” he said winding up the discussion on the situation in Iraq.

He said the U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq has ensured that the world body plays a central role in the war-ravaged country, a demand made consistently by India.

“To assume that I will compromise on this issue is inconceivable,” he observed in an emotional vein.

Upset about the misinterpretation of his remarks in Washington last month, Mr Singh insisted that he had specially called up CPM leader Harkishen Singh Surjeet to clarify the situation. He maintained “there is no question of my taking a decision on sending troops to Iraq.”

Noting that the international agenda had changed from the fight against colonialism and apartheid to tackling terrorism, poverty, health and population control, the External Affairs Minister explained “we do not run a static and sterile foreign policy in the changing world ...we are being realistic.”

Listing the sequence of events resulting in Parliament adopting a unanimous resolution on July 14 last year, he said that on June 3, 2003, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had written a letter to then Defence Minister George Fernandes asking for a division of troops for deployment in Iraq.
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Railway Minister keeps LS in good humour
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav today kept the Lok Sabha in good humour during the Railway Budget presentation as he not only pulled punches at the absentee NDA Opposition but also regaled the House with his “Lalooism”.

Throughout the one hour and 50 minute-long presentation in Hindi, which was boycotted by the NDA, Mr Yadav repeatedly drew applause and cheers from an indulgent House as he added his trademark punchlines while announcing several welfare measures and passenger facilities.

He took the House by surprise when he asked Lok Janshakti Party Chief and Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, a former Railway Minister himself, to help open the box in which he had kept his spectacles before reading out the Budget.

“Sattu abhi naheen (gram dust - a popular food in Bihar, will not be made available now),” he declared responding to the suggestions from members as he announced plans to serve ‘Mattha’ and ‘Lassi’ (Butter milk) at catering outlets.

In his true elements, he advised NDA to “bow before Sonia Gandhi” instead of boycotting and hit out at BJP leader Maneka Gandhi for her criticism that the ‘Kulhars’ (earthern cups) introduced by him would lead to soil erosion.

“Why don’t they talk about the pollution caused by chimneys...my best wishes to her,” he said evoking laughter from the treasury benches.

Taking the opposition boycott in his stride, Mr Yadav took a dig at them saying “they should not draw salary for boycotting the House. They have been sent to the roads (in the polls). They should go there so that we can rule.”

Referring to the presence of bookseller chain A H Wheeler and Co at railway stations across the country, he asked, “why Wheeler bookstall everywhere. The English have left this country long back.”

The Railway Minister evoked laughter from the House when he referred in English to the Jamalpur Workshop of the Railways as the “grandfather of all factories”.

Announcing 75 per cent concession in the second and sleeper class to widows of the Defence personnel killed in action against the terrorists, he charged the previous government with not paying attention to them.

As Members pointed out that many of Mr Yadav’s proposals for the survey of new lines have already been carried out, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee interrupted saying, “this is for updating the surveys. Don’t derail the Minister.”

The House also witnessed some hilarious moments when Mr Yadav faced problems in not being able to properly pronounce the names of places, particularly of South India and when Power Minister PM Sayeed tried to correct him, He said, “it is written in English, you may read it.”

On seeing that the Members were getting uneasy over his tedious address, Mr Yadav said, “we are working so much and you say, I only work for Bihar.”

Continuing with his typical wit even outside the House, Mr Yadav described his Budget exercise as pro-people saying “The Railway budget is pro-poor, pro-middle class, pro-rich and pro-business class without imposing any tax”.

He said his maiden budget was aimed at making the Railways self-sufficient without imposing any additional burden on the common man.
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Dhananjoy’s plea: Kalam consults Attorney-General
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 6
After receiving the report of the Union Home Ministry on the clemency petition by Kolkata’s condemned prisoner Dhananjoy Chatterjee, sentenced to death for rape and murder of a schoolgirl 14 years ago, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today discussed the matter with the Attorney-General.

The President has started consulting legal experts on the issue and in this connection, he met Attorney-General Milon Banerji today, sources said.Top

 

Advisory board of education reconstituted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
The Centre today reconstituted the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) with Azim Premji of Wipro, J.J. Irani of Tata Trust, Kiran Karnik of NASSCOM and Economist Jean Dreze as nominated members.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar, Biocon chairman Kiran Shaw Mazumdar, columnist Praful Bidwai, historian J.S. Grewal, classical singer Shubha Mudgal and theatre activist Habib Tanvir are among 32 appointed to the CABE, the highest advisory body that advises the Government on education.

Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh informed the Parliament about the reconstitution of the CABE and tabled the list of new members of the Board.

The HRD Minister will be Chairman of the CABE whose other nominated members include writer U.R. Ananthamurthi, Sociologist Andre Beteille, Ela Bhatt of the SEWA, architect Charles Correa, social activist G. Nirmala Deshpande, writer G.P. Deshpande and Magsaysay awardee Mahashweta Devi.Top

 

SC to examine sacking of Governors
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 6
The Supreme Court today said it would examine the issue of sacking of Governors of four states by the Congress-led UPA government but turned down a plea for urgent hearing of BJP leader, Mr B.P. Singhal’s petition, challenging the Presidential notification of July 2 for their removal.

“We will examine the matter when it will come up for hearing,” a Bench of Chief Justice, Mr R.C. Lahoti, Mr Justice G.P. Mathur and Mr Justice A.K. Mathur told Mr Singhal’s counsel, Mr Harshvardhan Pratap Singh, when he made a special mention of filing the petition and sought urgent hearing of the matter.
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Mukherjee was killed: Vajpayee

New Delhi, July 6
Senior BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today alleged that Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was killed in 1952 as part of a “conspiracy” between the then Jawaharlal Nehru-led Central Government and the Jammu and Kashmir Government.

“When Mukherjee decided to violate the permit rule by entering Jammu and Kashmir without a permit, we thought that the Punjab Government would arrest him and prevent him from proceeding further. However, that did not happen,” recalled the then journalist accompanying the Jan Sangh leader on his mission.

“The Jammu and Kashmir Government was told that he should not be allowed to come back,” the former Prime Minister alleged, adding Mukherjee was “deliberately arrested” when he entered the state.

Mukherjee was imprisoned in Srinagar where he died, he added. — PTI Top

 

17 killed in cloudburst near Badrinath

Dehra Dun, July 6
At least 17 persons were killed and 28 injured today when three vehicles were swamped into Alaknanda river by heavy landslides set off by a cloudburst that left nearly 5,000 pilgrims stranded near the Badrinath shrine area in Uttaranchal’s Chamoli district, Chief Secretary R.S. Tolia said.

However, unconfirmed reports put the death toll at more than 31.

The victims were occupants of a bus, truck and a Qualis which fell into the Alaknanda at the Vishnuprayag area following a sudden gush of heavy landslides close to the Badrinath shrine, Mr Tolia said.

While 12 persons were killed when the bus fell into the river another four persons perished when the truck fell. An occupant of the Qualis also died, he said adding that rescue workers have not yet succeeded in locating the bus, he said. — PTITop

 

India, Norway to set up joint commission
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
India and Norway today signed an agreement for setting up of a joint commission at the Foreign Ministers’ level to bolster economic and commercial ties between the two countries.

The agreement was signed after hour-long delegation-level talks between External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh and his Norwegian counterpart Jan Petersen, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Navtej Sarna said. The joint commission is to be headed by the two Foreign Ministers and would meet once a year.
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Srinagar-Baramula project to be resumed in a week

New Delhi, July 6
Work on the stalled Srinagar-Baramula railway project will be resumed within a week’s time after intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Railway Board Chairman R.K. Singh announced here today.

The work being implemented by Indian Railways Construction Company (IRCON) was stalled due to security reasons in the wake of terrorist killings of its engineer and his brother last month.

The Railway Ministry had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in this regard requesting him to provide additional security following safety concern of the railway officials working there, Mr Singh told the customory post-Budget Press conference.

The PM has convened another high level-meeting of the Railway Ministry tomorrow to further deliberate on the issue and provide adequate security to restart the work. “In all possibility, work would be resumed in a week,” he said.

The Railway Board Chairman said the long-pending project of Jammu-Udhampur had been completed while the progress of the new line project from Srinagar to Baramula, on which the incident had taken place, was satisfactory so far. “The stretches bewteen Udhampur-Katra and Qazigund-Baramula are likley to be completed on schedule during 2005-06,” he said. — UNI
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IIMs waive tuition fees of poor students
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will provide full tuition fee waiver to all students whose gross family income was less than Rs 2 lakh, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

"The poor students have been given a total fee waiver and those who can afford to pay will pay normal fees", HRD Minister Arjun Singh informed the Lok Sabha during the Question Hour.

The IIMs have taken a "more compassionate view" taking into consideration the needs of the financially-disadvantaged students.

The government has accepted the new fee structure and has withdrawn the order of February 5, 2004, which was issued by the NDA government.Top

 
BRIEFLY

Promising girl felicitated
Nagpur:
The city police on Tuesday felicitated the meritorious daughter of a city rickshaw puller, Vaishali Ramesh Wankhede, who cleared the pre-medical test. Additional Director-General of police and Commissioner of Police, city, D. Shivanandan while felicitating Vaishali presented her a purse of Rs 10,000 to persue her further education. — PTI

Kid kicks bomb at home, dies
Berhampore (West Bengal):
A five-year-old boy died in a bomb explosion when he kicked one of the crude bombs stored in his house at Bhagavangola in Murshidabad district. The police said Shamshuddin Sheikh was killed in the explosion when he had kicked the bomb mistaking it as a ball. His father Najimuddin went missing since the incident. — UNI
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