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Basu meets Sonia on coordination panel
The Chairperson of the UPA, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, with veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu  at her residence  in New Delhi after their meeting on Saturday. New Delhi, July 31
Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu today discussed with United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi the modalities for the constitution of a coordination committee for the smooth functioning of the Congress-led government.

In video: Left gives six names for the coordination committee.
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The Chairperson of the UPA, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, with veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu at her residence in New Delhi after their meeting on Saturday. 
—PTI photo

Left to urge PM for better coordination
New Delhi, July 31
Leaders of Left parties will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shortly after his return from Thailand to work out a mechanism for better coordination and resolving differences, the CPM said yesterday.

Police records statement of Nafisa’s fiance
Mumbai, July 31
The police on Saturday questioned Gautam Khanduja a Mumbai-based businessman who was to marry former Miss India Nafisa Joseph, who committed suicide on Thursday night at her Versova residence in Mumbai.



EARLIER STORIES

 
A Naval officer looks at INS Tabar
A Naval officer looks at 'INS Tabar', a new multipurpose frontline warship, in Mumbai on Saturday when it joins the Indian Navy. The ship's formidable weapon suite includes vertical launch long-range surface to surface missile, advanced torpedoes, anti-submarine rocket launchers and anti-missile defence systems. — Reuters

IIAS under HRD Ministry’s scanner
New Delhi, July 31
Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh’s relentless “detoxification” drive has zeroed in on a fresh target: the Shimla-based Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.

PWG not to give up armed struggle
Hyderabad, July 31
The Peopel’s War Group, the most prominent among the ultra Maoist groups, which is engaged in peace talks initiated by the new Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh, has ruled out giving up its armed struggle to achieve new, democratic Socialist revolution.

CPI: lift armed forces Act from Manipur
New Delhi, July 31
The Communist Party of India has asked the Centre to lift the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Manipur. The party has deplored that the Union Government is allowing the situation in Manipur to fast deteriorate into one of “insurgency” and “chaos.”

JD (U) threatens to snap ties with BJP
New Delhi, July 31
Janata Dal (United) today threatened to snap ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if the latter returned to its Hindutva ideology. Briefing mediapersons on the opening day of the two-day meeting of the JD(U) National Executive here on Saturday, senior JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh said, “If they return to the old agenda (Hindutva), then we will not be with them (in the NDA). There cannot be any two opinions on this.’’

No hospital for jailed cop, rules court
Mumbai, July 31
A court in Pune today ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to shift an Indian Police Service officer linked to forger Abdul Karim Telgi to jail from hospital. The special court constituted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act on Saturday ruled that suspended Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Shridhar Wagal be shifted to jail after his lawyer could not provide adequate details about the officer’s ill health.

Himanshu is DG, Seema Bal
New Delhi, July 31
Mr Himanshu Kumar, a 1969-batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh Cadre today took over as the new Director-General of the Sashastra Seema Bal. He replaced Mr Divakar Prasad, who had been holding the charge of the SSB since September 22, 2003.

RSS top brass to meet next week
New Delhi, July 31
To enhance coordination and remove any difference between the BJP and Sangh Parivar, a meeting of the top RSS brass with full timers deputed to saffron organisations has been convened at its headquarters in Nagpur in the first week of August, RSS sources said here today.

17 die as bus falls into river
Dehra Dun, July 31
Seventeen persons were drowned and three injured when a UP Roadways bus fell into Alaknanda river in Pauri district, today. The accident took place at Uphalda near Srinagar, sources said. The bus (UP06 3973) was travelling from Karanprayag to Rishikesh, they added.

Minister lauds IA’s caring attitude
New Delhi, July 31
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has commended Indian Airlines for proving itself once again in showing empathy and care towards its passengers. The minister’s praise came as a result of the steps taken by the airlines to save the life of 10-day-old Pakistani baby who had developed complications on board the Indian Airlines flight while being taken Bangalore for treatment.

Saran to take charge tomorrow
New Delhi, July 31
Career diplomat Shyam Saran today informally took reins of the Ministry of External Affairs though he will assume charge formally on Monday. Mr Saran comes to the helm of the foreign affairs at a time when India is confronted with the hostage crisis in Iraq.

Videos
Snake man incubates king cobras.
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Tumsa Nahin Dekha explores love between rich brat and bar dancer.
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Basu meets Sonia on coordination panel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu today discussed with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi the modalities for the constitution of a coordination committee for the smooth functioning of the Congress-led government.

A CPI(M) politburo member, Mr Sitaram Yechury, accompanied Mr Basu to the 10, Janpath Road residence of the Congress President. Ms Sonia Gandhi told mediapersons that the meeting was a courtesy call. “We also discussed the formation of the coordination committee.”

Mr Yechury said the views exchanged between Mr Basu and Ms Gandhi during the 45-minute meeting would be placed before the members of the CPI(M) Central Committee.

A member of the CPI(M) Central Committee told TNS here this evening that the 77-member Central Committee discussed the need for setting up the coordination committee. Sources said a decision on the formation of the Committee would be taken only on Sunday.

Mr Yechury said the Left parties have proposed six names for the committee and the UPA Chairperson would decide on the names from the ruling side. Explaining the rationale for the setting up of the committee, Mr Yechury said, “We want this government to run smoothly and that too for five years. That is why we need a coordination committee between the Left, which is supporting the government from outside and the ruling alliance.”

Replying to a question, Mr Yechury clarified that there were never any differences with the government on the formation of a coordination committee. He said the Left parties have no objection with regard to members proposed by the Congress-led alliance. “We have no objection if the UPA decides to have a broad spectrum coordination panel comprising the allies,” Mr Yechury said.

On the Iraq crisis, Mr Yechury said, “We have already passed a resolution on Iraq that the government should respond to the demands of the abductors and announce that its citizens would not be allowed to engage in any activities to help the American forces.”
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Left to urge PM for better coordination
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Leaders of Left parties will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shortly after his return from Thailand to work out a mechanism for better coordination and resolving differences, the CPM said yesterday.

“May be on Monday we will meet Prime Minister when he comes back (from Thailand) and this is the suggestion (by the party’s Politbureau),” the veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu told reporters after a two-day meeting of the Politbureau.

Though the party had differences with the UPA government on many issues, the Left would want to see the government last for five years, Mr Basu stressed.

“We have some differences (especially on FDI in three sectors) with the government. The relation with the Centre is good till now. But we have not come to an understanding on how to function together,” he said.

“The mechanism (for coordination between the UPA and Left parties) has not been worked out. We will place the issue before the Central Committee, which will start its meeting in the evening,” Basu said.

India had not sent troops to Iraq and the UPA government must make it clear that as per the Parliamentary resolution, it did not approve of a continued military occupation of Iraq by the US and British forces, the resolution said.

“These steps are necessary if the safety of the Indian hostages is to be ensured,” the CPM statement added. 
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Police records statement of Nafisa’s fiance
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 31
The police on Saturday questioned Gautam Khanduja a Mumbai-based businessman who was to marry former Miss India Nafisa Joseph, who committed suicide on Thursday night at her Versova residence in Mumbai.

Khanduja appeared at the Versova police station accompanied by his lawyer Dipesh Mehta. His statement was still being recorded, the police said.

Earlier Deputy Commissioner of Police Amitabh Gupta, who is investigating the case, told reporters that the police hasn’t been able to locate Khanduja at his residence or his factory in Panvel on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Joseph’s mother, Usha, told police that the model was depressed after Khanduja could not give her adequate proof about his divorce status. Investigators were also told that Khanduja continued to hold a joint bank account with his former wife causing a lot of torment to Joseph.

There have been several showdowns between Joseph, Khanduja and Usha and the latest quarrel between them was on Wednesday, a day before the suicide. Joseph had even slashed her wrists after one such episode, the police was told.

Khanduja lives alone at his residence in Pali Hill in suburban Bandra and was to marry Joseph, 26, in August.
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IIAS under HRD Ministry’s scanner
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh’s relentless “detoxification” drive has zeroed in on a fresh target: the Shimla-based Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS).

Steeped in controversy during former HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi’s regime, the institute has now come under the HRD Ministry’s scanner. A thorough probe has been ordered into the institute’s functioning following a letter of complaint from Dr Prem Singh, a former IIAS Fellow.

The letter maintains that the IIAS Chairman, Prof G.C. Pandey, has converted the institute into a place where “obscurants and trivial interests prosper.” It also points to the violation of institute’s laws, both in the award of fellowships and in administrative appointments. The ministry, it is said, has taken note of these complaints, hence the inquiry. This could eventually result in a change at the top, add ministry sources.

Professor Pandey, according to the letter, is known for his revivalistic scholarship and has been ethusiastically propagating Dr Joshi’s agenda. The letter goes on to list the titles of the seminar to indicate the nature of research being done at the institute.

These include: Philosophy of Indian art and value-oriented education, Philosophy of Indian music and value-oriented education, Yoga and consciousness, Vedas as knowledge and Akhil Bharatiya Vedic sammelan. “There is a long list of other projects, which only serve obscurants and divisive forces,” the letter adds.

Professor Pandey’s tenure has been marked by controversy ever since he took charge as IIAS Chairman in 1998. Academic circles were up in arms when the then IIAS Director, Prof Mrinal Miri, was pressurised into stepping down. The Chairman has also become controversial for the manner in which he has been awarding fellowships, with most of them going to retired persons.

The letter maintains that Fellows have been given extension by neglecting or bypassing the evaluation reports of experts, adding that as many as 32 fellowships were awarded in May, leaving no room for fresh fellowships for the next three years

Refuting the allegations, Professor Pandey described these as “baseless and absurd,” adding that anybody could level such charges. According to him, there are so many people outside the institute who can make such false charges as “they would like to be inside the institute.”Top

 

PWG not to give up armed struggle
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 31
The Peopel’s War Group (PWG), the most prominent among the ultra Maoist groups, which is engaged in peace talks initiated by the new Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh, has ruled out giving up its armed struggle to achieve new, democratic Socialist revolution.

This was the clear message conveyed by the open public meeting, held on Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade, at Mogilicharla in Warangal district, some 150 km from here. The PWG had been a proscribed outfit since 1992, when the then Janardhan Reddy Government imposed a ban on it. The meeting was intended to serve as a show of strength by the PWG, the most dreaded among Naxalite organisations having a significant presence in neighbouring Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

The Congress government’s decision to allow the ban on the PWG to expire last week has made it possible for the armed outfit to come out openly and organise the show, which was estimated to have been attended by around 2 lakh persons mostly from north Telangana districts.

Contrary to earlier reports, top-rung underground leaders such as PWG state committee secretary A Harigopal, alias R.K. failed to make an appearance on the dias.

Though the gathering was essentially to pay homage to the martyrs, including top leaders such as P. Sudarshan Reddy and Nalla Adireddy, the three emissaries named by the PWG to represent them in the talks with the government, poets Varavara Rao and Kalyana Rao and Balladeer Gaddar, used the occasion to attack the police and policies of the earlier Chandrababu Naidu-led government, which took a tough stance against Naxalites and allowed state repression against them.

Mogilicherla is the village which sent many cadres to the organisation, including top leader P. Sudershan Reddy, who were killed in an alleged police encounter two years ago. RK, a teacher in the village, joined the guerrilla movement a decade ago and went on to become one of its top leaders.

Stating that 2000 Naxalites were killed during the “oppressive regime” of Mr Chandrababu Naidu, speakers at the meeting, which was keenly followed by the authorities, warned the Congress Government of meeting the same fate as the TDP if it failed to check fake encounters.

Reiterating that the PWG was sincere about the ongoing efforts at dialogue with the government, Mr Varavara Rao, however, said that they had an inalienable right to carry on the armed struggle in the interest of the downtrodden. “We will not accept any condition that stipulates the PWG to lay down arms, which is against our core beliefs,” he asserted. 
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CPI: lift armed forces Act from Manipur
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has asked the Centre to lift the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Manipur. The party has deplored that the Union Government is allowing the situation in Manipur to fast deteriorate into one of “insurgency” and “chaos.”

It has expressed disapproval over the government’s “refusal” to intervene in the “chaotic” situation in Manipur following the alleged killing of a woman by Assam Rifles personnel. The CPI has said the government refused to budge an inch despite several pleas by delegations which have met the Home Minister.

The party has said the government should immediately lift the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act unless it wishes to create another Kashmir in the sensitive North-East region.

The party has urged the authorities to take action against the “guilty” jawans allegedly responsible for the custodial killing of Manorama Devi on July 11. 
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JD (U) threatens to snap ties with BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Janata Dal (United) today threatened to snap ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if the latter returned to its Hindutva ideology. Briefing mediapersons on the opening day of the two-day meeting of the JD(U) National Executive here on Saturday, senior JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh said, “If they (BJP) return to the old agenda (Hindutva), then we will not be with them (in the NDA). There cannot be any two opinions on this.’’

Sources in JD(U) told TNS here that a section of opinion in the party is opposed to continuing alliance with the BJP and believe that the party suffered at the hustings because of its alliance with the “communal” BJP. 
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No hospital for jailed cop, rules court
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 31
A court in Pune today ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to shift an Indian Police Service officer linked to forger Abdul Karim Telgi to jail from hospital. The special court constituted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on Saturday ruled that suspended Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Shridhar Wagal be shifted to jail after his lawyer could not provide adequate details about the officer’s ill health.

Wagal is now admitted to the Nanavati Hospital here after allegedly developing heart ailment.
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Himanshu is DG, Seema Bal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Mr Himanshu Kumar, a 1969-batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh Cadre today took over as the new Director-General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). He replaced Mr Divakar Prasad, who had been holding the charge of the SSB since September 22, 2003.

Mr Himanshu Kumar had been working as the Additional Director-General, SSB, since February 5, 2004. Prior to this he had held several important positions, including ADG, CRPF, ADG (Internal Security), Uttar Pradesh Police, and Joint Director, IB, (Patna and Delhi).
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RSS top brass to meet next week
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
To enhance coordination and remove any difference between the BJP and Sangh Parivar, a meeting of the top RSS brass with full timers deputed to saffron organisations has been convened at its headquarters in Nagpur in the first week of August, RSS sources said here today.

The meeting will be held soon after the three-day brainstorming session of the top BJP leadership in Goa to take stock of the party’s recent defeat in the Lok Sabha poll and chalking out of a strategy for the coming Assembly elections.

With the BJP seriously considering reverting back to Hindutva in the wake of the electoral defeat, the RSS leadership is likely to discuss this with those who have been deputed to the party, the sources said.
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17 die as bus falls into river
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, July 31
Seventeen persons were drowned and three injured when a UP Roadways bus fell into Alaknanda river in Pauri district, today. The accident took place at Uphalda near Srinagar, sources said. The bus (UP06 3973) was travelling from Karanprayag to Rishikesh, they added.

The three injured were shifted to the Base Hospital at Srinagar. District Magistrate, Pauri-Garhwal, Mr Harish Chand Joshi, visited the spot. The bodies and the bus could not be retrieved, officials said.
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Minister lauds IA’s caring attitude
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has commended Indian Airlines for proving itself once again in showing empathy and care towards its passengers. The minister’s praise came as a result of the steps taken by the airlines to save the life of 10-day-old Pakistani baby who had developed complications on board the Indian Airlines flight while being taken Bangalore for treatment.

As the baby, Muhammed, who was born with a heart ailment, developed complications on board, the pilot, instead of carrying on with the flight to Bangalore, sought an emergency landing at Hyderabad, in the process saving the child’s life.
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Saran to take charge tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Career diplomat Shyam Saran today informally took reins of the Ministry of External Affairs though he will assume charge formally on Monday. Mr Saran comes to the helm of the foreign affairs at a time when India is confronted with the hostage crisis in Iraq .

A 1970-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, 57-year old Saran, succeeds Mr Shashank. Mr Saran’s tenure will be for a little over two years till September, 2006.

Mr Shashank, who accompanied Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Thailand, retired today.

Mr Saran, till recently India’s Ambassador to Nepal, will formally take charge of his new assignment on Monday.

After his name was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on June 10, Mr Saran was involved in the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks held later that month. 
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BRIEFLY

TN to have sports varsity
CHENNAI:
The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday gave the nod for establishing “Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University,’’ a new university dedicated to fostering physical education and sports in the state. The university, which would have its headquarters here, was being set up to promote excellence in physical education and sport, according to a Bill passed by the House for the seting up of the university. — UNI

Pak new-born operated upon
BANGALORE:
A new-born from Pakistan, who was brought here for treatment of heart ailment, underwent arterial switch operation (ASO) at the super speciality Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital on Saturday. The operation which lasted for five-and-a-half hours, went on well and the baby, Mohammed Ahmed, was later shifted to the intensive therapy unit. On July 28, in a rare gesture, the captain of the flight which had on board the baby from Pakistan diverted the aircraft to Hyderabad where the child was admitted to the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences. — UNI

Sunil Dutt to the aid of flood-hit
NEW DELHI:
Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Sunil Dutt has donated Rs 10 lakh from his MP fund for flood-relief operations in Bihar. Mr Dutt said he was pained to see the people of flood-affected areas in Bihar
suffer. — UNI
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