SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Ministers find PM a hard taskmaster
New Delhi, July 25
Before Commerce Minister Kamal Nath Left for the first round of talks on the WTO, he dropped in to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for what he thought would be a brief, customary discussion.

Indo-China talks today
New Delhi, July 25
The United Progressive Alliance government will carry forward yet another major foreign policy initiative when special representatives of India and China hold third round of talks on the boundary dispute here beginning tomorrow.

Kargil ‘pricked’ Pak army’s triumph bubble
New Delhi, July 25
Kargil war had its effect on the Pakistani military establishment as its propaganda and self-induced triumph bubble vis-a-vis the “cause of Kashmir” was pricked, reports Pakistani weekly “The Friday Times”.

An aerial view of submerged homes in Khagaria, nearly 250 km north-east of Patna, on Sunday.

An aerial view of submerged homes in Khagaria, nearly 250 km north-east of Patna, on Sunday. — Reuters
In video: Flood waters engulf Kaziranga National Park.
(28k, 56k)

Casteism ‘dogs’ this Tamil Nadu village
Chennai, July 25
Caste discrimination in Tamil Nadu has reached such a height that it is also being enforced when it comes to rearing dogs.

Warrant against minister pending, cop suspended
Bhubaneswar, July 25
In a situation reminiscent of the Shibu Soren affair, the opposition in Orissa has demanded the resignation of Ms Pramila Mallick, a minister in the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD-BJP government, against whom a non-bailable arrest warrant has been pending since 1999.





Bollywood actress Sridevi arrives with her husband Bonney Kapoor at the promotion of Kyun Ho Gaya Na
Bollywood actress Sridevi arrives with her husband Bonney Kapoor at the promotion of Kyun Ho Gaya Na, a film produced by Kapoor, in Mumbai on Saturday. 
— PTI


EARLIER STORIES

 

Geelani may form party today
New Delhi, July 25
Pro-Pakistan and radical Islamic leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is likely to announce formation of his party, the Tehrek-e-Hurriyat-Kashmir tomorrow, turning down all requests for unity.

D.P. Singh is Albanian consul in India
New Delhi, July 25
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has recognised the appointment of Mr Devinder Pal Singh as Honorary Consul of the Government of Albania here with immediate effect. An official letter to this effect has been sent to Mr Devinder Pal Singh, who hails from Chandigarh. It says that his consular jurisdiction comprises the entire territory of India.

Amisha Patel sues father
Mumbai, July 25
Bollywood actress Amisha Patel has sued after her father, Mr Amit Patel, to recover Rs 12 crore in cash and assets which, she says, were swindled by him. In a legal notice sent to her father, the actress accused him of mismanaging her accounts and squandering away money.

CBSE affiliation for Uttaranchal schools
Dehra Dun, July 25
The state government has decided to get all government schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education from the 2005-06 session. There are over 20,000 government schools in the hill state currently affiliated with the state board. State Education Minister Narendra Bhandari said the move would help bring about uniformity in education, apart from improving its quality.

Preeti not to withdraw complaint
Mumbai, July 25
Aspiring actress Preeti Jain, who created a flutter by accusing film director Madhur Bhandarkar of rape and criminal intimidation, today said she would not withdraw her police complaint against the director.

Indian nurses in demand in Singapore
New Delhi, July 25
Singapore, which is aggressively campaigning to become a leading medical tourism hub in the region, has placed a demand for Indian nurses and para-medical personnel.

Fake killings: lawyer for summoning Army chief
New Delhi, July 25
Counsel for Major Surinder Singh, allegedly involved in the Siachen fake killing case, today demanded the summoning of Army Chief Gen N.C. Vij and top officers of the Northern Command for questioning during the recording of evidence at a Jodhpur court of inquiry into the episodes. Asked why he wanted the Army Chief to be summoned, the lawyer said as the General had promised to take exemplary action against those found guilty in the case, “I will ask him what action he has taken.”
PTI

Shirpurkar is Uttaranchal CJ
Dehra Dun, July 25
Mr Justice Vikas Shridhar Shirpurkar of the Madras High Court 56 was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Uttaranchal High Court here today. The Governor of Uttaranchal, Mr Sudershan Agarwal, administered the oath of office to the new Chief Justice at the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan.

Film on Afghans wins top awards
New Delhi, July 25
The Afghanistan-France co-production ‘Earth and Ashes’ directed by Atiq Rahimi this evening was named the best film and received the best actor award for Abdul Ghani at the Sixth Osian’s Cinefan Festival, which is the largest festival of Asian Cinema and featured almost 90 films from about 30 countries over the last 10 days.

Videos
Advani says there is no politics without religion.
(28k, 56k)
Advani inaugurates Doll museum in Rajkot.
(28k, 56k)

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Ministers find PM a hard taskmaster
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Before Commerce Minister Kamal Nath Left for the first round of talks on the WTO, he dropped in to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for what he thought would be a brief, customary discussion.

As it happened, the meeting stretched over two hours. And for a change, it was not the minister who briefed the Prime Minister. Instead Dr Manmohan Singh ended up explaining the intricacies of the issues involved in the WTO negotiations to

Mr Kamal Nath. This was fairly understandable, given how Well conversant the Prime Minister is with these issues.

Prime Minister’s aides said such lengthy interactions between Dr Manmohan Singh and the ministers and officials were a routine affair.

When Dr Manmohan Singh took over as Prime Minister, his office was inundated with files from various ministries which required his signatures instantly. The officials soon found this a hard task to accomplish. Dr Manmohan Singh would invariably ask them to leave the files, peruse them at leisure and then seek innumerable clarifications, going into minute details.

It was stated the message had since gone home that a minister or bureaucrat who had to discuss any issue with Dr Manmohan Singh must be well prepared. Having been a bureaucrat himself and well-versed with officialdom, Dr Manmohan Singh was a hard man to push around, they said. He studied the files in detail and asked searching questions, not stopping to tick off an official in his own inimitable style when pushed to it.

PM’s aides recalled an instance when an official, in the course of a briefing session, told Dr Manmohan Singh what he should say on a particular subject. Dr Manmohan Singh turned around and told him, “Don’t tell me what I should say, tell me what I should know.”

Dr Manmohan Singh also got the Ministry of External affairs worried when he was initially disinclined to travel to New York for the UN General Assembly where important bilateral meetings were also held. Given the previous regime’s emphasis on foreign policy issues, the MEA thought it could well be relegated to the background. The ministry must have heaved a sigh of relief when Dr Manmohan Singh agreed to travel to the New York for the meeting.

PMO officials explained it was not that Dr Manmohan Singh disregarded foreign policy issues but he had been focusing more on national core issues like agriculture, rural development and drinking water. As was his style of functioning, he had held exhaustive meetings with officials from these ministries, leading some bureaucrats to remark that this was probably the first time a Secretary (Drinking Water), had had such a long interaction with the Prime Minister.

Dr Manmohan Singh, it was explained, genuinely believed that in order to be recognised as a world-class power, India had to strengthen itself economically, improve its infrastructure and make sure there were no social tensions. Once these issues were addressed; the world would automatically look up to India. However, Dr Manmohan Singh held an abiding interest in Indo-Pak ties which, he believed, must and should be improved as it was important to have stability in the region. 
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Indo-China talks today

New Delhi, July 25
The United Progressive Alliance government will carry forward yet another major foreign policy initiative when special representatives of India and China hold third round of talks on the boundary dispute here beginning tomorrow.

National Security Adviser J.N. Dixit and Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will lead their respective delegations at the two-day talks.

The third round was initially scheduled to be held in June. But the Manmohan Singh government sought its postponement as it had just assumed office.

At the first and second round of talks held in Delhi and Beijing the two sides made satisfactory progress.

During his stay in India, Mr Dai is expected to meet other officials also and discuss with them the Sino-Indian relations.

The boundary issue also figured at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday in view of the meeting tomorrow.

During the June 2003 visit of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to China, the two sides had decided to hold talks on the border dispute at the special representatives level to give a political direction to the negotiations.

Mr Dixit had been appointed India’s Special Representative for the talks in place of his predecessor, Mr Brajesh Mishra, after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance came to power at the Centre.

With more than 10 rounds of official-level talks having failed to make much headway in resolving the boundary question, the two governments designated Special Representatives to explore a framework solution.

Reports from Beijing quoted China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang as having said that his country attached great importance to the coming third round of border talks although settling the issue would not be smooth.

The atmosphere during the previous two rounds had been “very good,” the minister said and expressed the hope that during the third round of talks, the Special Representatives would have in-depth exchange of views. — UNI
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Kargil ‘pricked’ Pak army’s triumph bubble

New Delhi, July 25
Kargil war had its effect on the Pakistani military establishment as its propaganda and self-induced triumph bubble vis-a-vis the “cause of Kashmir” was pricked, reports Pakistani weekly “The Friday Times”.

“The world is in favour of status quo on the Line of Control and even China has abandoned Pakistan on this front,” it says in an editorial written by noted journalist Najam Sethi.

If Kashmir was an unalterable internal “solution” for the cause of military paramountcy in Pakistan until Kargil, it would henceforth have to be seen as an external “problem” to which a compromise resolution could be found, it adds.

Another lesson of Kargil was that the military establishment had come full circle by going back to the Simla Pact of 1972 in trying to resolve Kashmir by means of a bilateral dialogue with India rather than by means of militancy or multilateral diplomacy and third party mediation, the weekly says.

The major benefit of the 1999 Kargil “misadventure” was that India and the US came close to each other and helped in unprecedented strategic long-term bargain. — PTI
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Casteism ‘dogs’ this Tamil Nadu village
Arup Chanda

Chennai, July 25
Caste discrimination in Tamil Nadu has reached such a height that it is also being enforced when it comes to rearing dogs. Dalits living in a village in Thoothukudi district, one of the southern most districts in India, 500 km from here, cannot rear “male dogs” following a diktat by upper castes.  

The reason is to prevent dogs reared by Dalits, economically and socially backward classes, from mating with bitches roaming in the colonies of upper caste Hindus.

The discrimination was first exposed in a journal brought out by students of the communication department of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University.

The CPM, too, has taken up the issue of exploitation of Dalits and sent a team to Shanmugapuram village in Thoothukudi district. The team reportedly noticed many discriminatory practices against Dalits.

The Marxist cadres were surprised not to find any dog in Dalit colonies. The journal also stated that Dalits were forbidden to keep towels on their shoulders, whenever they entered upper caste streets.

In the local schools, too, Dalit children faced discrimination and were not allowed to sit with children belonging to upper castes. They were also not allowed to drink water from taps or earthen pots, used by upper caste children.

They were even forced to work as domestic help after school hours in the homes of some teachers.

When a human rights activist, Mr M. Bharatan, visited the village he came across a number of cases of “inhuman discrimination”. But the poor and illiterate Dalits were “too afraid to speak out against their masters. The situation will change only if they are imparted education and given opportunity to become economically independent,” he noted in a report.

Shanmugapuram village has about 50 Dalit (Arundhathiyars) and 150 Reddiyar families. Dalits work as coolies in Reddiyars’ fields and are dependent on the dominant castes for their livelihood.

The CPM has now decided to launch an agitation in protest against such caste discrimination.

The women belonging to the dominant community alone have the privilege of bathing in the sanitary complex constructed by the government. To cap it all, the local Village Administrative Officer and ‘thalayari’ got money from Dalits on the promise of providing them group houses, only to cheat them.

Unfortunately, the district administration and the police continued to deny the prevalence of any discriminatory practices at Shanmugapuram village, a CPM leader said.
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Warrant against minister pending, cop suspended

Bhubaneswar, July 25
In a situation reminiscent of the Shibu Soren affair, the opposition in Orissa has demanded the resignation of Ms Pramila Mallick, a minister in the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD-BJP government, against whom a non-bailable arrest warrant has been pending since 1999.

The court of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate here had issued the warrant against Ms Mallick, belonging to the BJD and presently Minister for Women and Child Development, which the police claimed it had not received.

The incident dates back to 1999 when Ms Mallick, a zila parishad member at that time, and her supporters gheraoed the office of the Block Development Officer at Binjharpur in Jajpur district following which a criminal case was registered against her for alleged misbehaviour and ransacking of the office.

The Jajpur SP, Mr Binoytosh Mishra, said though the court had issued the warrant, it had not been registered in the Binjharpur police station.

The court had issued another warrant in the same case in January 2003 which was also not executed.

Meanwhile, Mr B.K. Jena, the then officer-in-charge of the Binjharpur police station, was placed under suspension today as there was no reference to the warrant in the police station though it had been issued, the DIG (Central Range), Mr R.P. Sharma said.

As the warrant is not available, the police would be making a prayer before the court for issuing a fresh warrant, he said. — PTI
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Geelani may form party today

New Delhi, July 25
Pro-Pakistan and radical Islamic leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is likely to announce formation of his party, the Tehrek-e-Hurriyat-Kashmir tomorrow, turning down all requests for unity.

Geelani, who is expected to have the backing of Pakistan’s ISI, has turned down all requests of unity with moderate Hurriyat leaders Abdul Gani Bhat, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Maulana Abbas Ansari.

With the formation of Geelani’s group, radical militant groups like the Lashker-e-Toiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen were likely to rally behind him for his consistent approach vis-a-vis the annexation of Kashmir with Pakistan.

A two-time MLA in the state Assembly, Geelani took the separatist path in early 90’s when militancy raised its ugly head in the state.

Geelani failed to woo support from his parent group Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). The hardline leader had dashed a letter to Amir-e-Jamaat Nazir Ahmed Kashiani, saying that his outfit should be termed as a political wing of Jamaat, for which a committee had been formed. — PTI
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D.P. Singh is Albanian consul in India
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has recognised the appointment of Mr Devinder Pal Singh as Honorary Consul of the Government of Albania here with immediate effect. An official letter to this effect has been sent to Mr Devinder Pal Singh, who hails from Chandigarh. It says that his consular jurisdiction comprises the entire territory of India.

According to a press note issued by the office of Mr Devinder Pal Singh, his prime objective would be to strengthen the Indo-Arabian relations in economic and political terms. He intends to promote Indian investment in Albania in minerals, oils and textiles. 
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Amisha Patel sues father
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 25
Bollywood actress Amisha Patel has sued after her father, Mr Amit Patel, to recover Rs 12 crore in cash and assets which, she says, were swindled by him. In a legal notice sent to her father, the actress accused him of mismanaging her accounts and squandering away money.

Amisha moved out of her parent’s, home recently amidst financial wranglings, according to reports. In her notice Amisha warned that she would drag her father in court if her assets were not returned.

Amit Patel is said to be out of Mumbai as he has suffered losses in business and is unable to pay off creditors.
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CBSE affiliation for Uttaranchal schools
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, July 25
The state government has decided to get all government schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from the 2005-06 session. There are over 20,000 government schools in the hill state currently affiliated with the state board. State Education Minister Narendra Bhandari said the move would help bring about uniformity in education, apart from improving its quality.

The move is part of the government’s plans in the education sector, which include regulating the fee structure of English medium public schools. There are over 200 public schools of repute in the state, which would come under government scanner from the next session. It would be mandatory for these schools to have government representation in their managing committees, apart from reserving 10 per cent of the seats for the meritorious backward caste students.
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Preeti not to withdraw complaint

Mumbai, July 25
Aspiring actress Preeti Jain, who created a flutter by accusing film director Madhur Bhandarkar of rape and criminal intimidation, today said she would not withdraw her police complaint against the director.

“I have no intention to withdraw my police complaint and case against Madhur Bhandarkar”, Preeti said in a signed statement here.

Her statement came after reports in a section of media that Preeti had earlier slapped a legal notice on another Bollywood personality accusing him of having an illicit relationship with her. — PTI
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Indian nurses in demand in Singapore
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Singapore, which is aggressively campaigning to become a leading medical tourism hub in the region, has placed a demand for Indian nurses and para-medical personnel.

Singapore’s Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre has requested the Indian High Commission in Singapore to assist the hospital in sourcing qualified staff nurses from India.

In a press note issued here today, FIEO Director-General G. Balachandran said the request from Singapore-based hospital was the first response to the discussion a FIEO delegation had with the concerned persons during the last week of May.
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Shirpurkar is Uttaranchal CJ
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, July 25
Mr Justice Vikas Shridhar Shirpurkar of the Madras High Court 56 was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Uttaranchal High Court here today. The Governor of Uttaranchal, Mr Sudershan Agarwal, administered the oath of office to the new Chief Justice at the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan.

Chief Minister N.D. Tiwari, his ministerial colleagues and senior civil and police officials were present.
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Film on Afghans wins top awards

New Delhi, July 25
The Afghanistan-France co-production ‘Earth and Ashes’ directed by Atiq Rahimi this evening was named the best film and received the best actor award for Abdul Ghani at the Sixth Osian’s Cinefan Festival, which is the largest festival of Asian Cinema and featured almost 90 films from about 30 countries over the last 10 days.

‘Earth and Ashes’ shared the top film award with the emotional Taiwan presentation ‘The Missing’ by Lee Keng-Sheng, and the International Jury headed by actress Shabana Azmi gave the best actress award to Catherine Luna. Both Atiq and Catherine were present to receive the awards from Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy.

The separate jury of the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) headed by Singapore Film Festival Director Philip Cheah presented its award to the Syrian film ‘Listener’s Choice’ by Abdullatif Abdulhamid, which was part of the Arabesque focus on Arab cinema. — UNI Top

 
BRIEFLY

Urologist to get award
NEW DELHI:
Renowned urologist Ashok K. Hemal will be conferred the prestigious Dr B.C. Roy National Award by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam next week. Hemal, a Professor in the Department of Urology at AIIM, is currently working as a visiting faculty at the Vattikitu Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital in Detriot in the US. — PTI
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