SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Rain claims 23 lives in Gujarat, 16 in Kerala
Ahmedabad, August 4
Monsoon fury in Gujarat has claimed 23 lives in the past 24 hours, even as most parts of the state today got some respite with the weather relenting. However, the Western Railways have cancelled most trains plying between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as the tracks on the route are submerged, Western Railway spokesperson K.K. Dubey said. More than 42,000 persons have been evacuated to safer places in Surat district.
In video (28k, 56k)

Trucks enroute to Nashik are seen stranded after a landslide due to heavy rain at Kasara Ghat, 110 km from Mumbai, on Wednesday.

Trucks enroute to Nashik are seen stranded after a landslide due to heavy rain at Kasara Ghat, 110 km from Mumbai, on Wednesday.
— PTI photo



EARLIER STORIES

 

Rainfall adequate for sowing crops, says ICAR
New Delhi, August 4
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) today said that the monsoon has now covered the left-out north western part of the country and the rainfall was adequate for sowing suitable crops.

Pakistan Defence Secretary Lieut-Gen Hamid Nawaz along with Pakistan High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed Khan at the Indira Gandhi International airport after the former’s arrival on Wednesday.India, Pak to swap prisoners
New Delhi, August 4
India and Pakistan today agreed to address the humanitarian issues concerning civilian prisoners and fishermen in each other’s custody as the two-day talks on “Promotion of friendly exchanges in various fields” concluded here this evening. 



Pakistan Defence Secretary Lieut-Gen Hamid Nawaz along with Pakistan High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed Khan (right) at the Indira Gandhi International airport after the former’s arrival on Wednesday. — PTI
photo

Non-bailable warrant issued against Union Minister
Hyderabad, August 4
A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Union Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao by the fifth Metropolitan Magistrate in a case of cheating. The warrant was issued today following Mr Rao’s failure to respond to the summons sent by the court twice on May 16 and subsequently on the request of the respondent on August 4 in connection with a cheating case.

Shekhar Dutt is Secy Defence Production
New Delhi, August 4
Mr Shekhar Dutt has assumed charge as Secretary Defence Production and Supplies in the Ministry of Defence (MoD). An IAS officer of the 1969 batch of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Mr Dutt is a recipient of Sena Medal for gallantry.

BJP mulls expelling dissidents in UP
New Delhi, August 4
In a move which would indirectly help Mulayam government to further consolidate its position in the state Assembly, the BJP central leadership has almost made up its mind to expel rebel MLAs in the state from the party.
In video:
BJP to continue its campaign against tainted ministers. (28k, 56k)

BJP demands rollback of fuel prices
BJP rebels’ manch meeting today
Editorials:
End of the deadlock
Choice before BJP

UPA-Left panel skirt contentious issues
New Delhi, August 4
The first meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee today skirted the contentious economic issues like increase in FDI cap, oil price hike and decided to meet atleast once month and more frequently depending on the issues that would arise from time to time to resolve them.

A man walks with his camels at dawn in Bikaner on Wednesday A man walks with his camels at dawn in Bikaner on Wednesday — PTI

Soren to appear in court on Aug 9
Giridih (Jharkhand), August 4
The Additional Sessions Judge of Giridih today asked former Union Minister Sibu Soren to appear before his court on August 9, in connection with a 1974 murder case.

Laloo’s bail extended
Patna, August 4
The Patna High Court today extended by three months the provisional bail of RJD President and Railway Minister Laloo Prasad in a disproportionate assets case, an offshoot of the multi-crore fodder scam.

Dhananjay’s family dumb-founded
Kolkata, August 4
As the President’s decision rejecting Dhananjay Chatterjee’s mercy petition reached Writers Buildings this morning, the Chief Minister expressed great relief and directed the Home Department to implement the order.

President APJ Abdul Kalam presents the '2nd Computer Literacy Excellence Award for Schools' to Vineeta Kamran
President APJ Abdul Kalam presents the '2nd Computer Literacy Excellence Award for Schools' to Vineeta  Kamran, principal, City Montessori School, Lucknow, in  New Delhi, on Wednesday. — PTI

Govt to bring 300 drugs under price control
New Delhi, August 4
The government has decided to bring around 300 life-saving drugs under price control to check the manufacturers and marketers from charging usurious price from customers, said Union Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Ram Vilas Paswan here today. Addressing a press conference, Mr Paswan said as many as 300 drugs categorised as essential by the Health Ministry will be included in the list of life-saving drugs under the control of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which falls under the Chemicals Ministry

PMK workers attack Tamil daily office
Chennai, August 4
Workers of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a constituent of the UPA Government at the Centre, attacked the office of a Tamil newspaper last night for the daily’s criticism of the PMK leadership and its policies.

19 hurt in Manipur police firing
Imphal, August 4
More than 18 persons, including students, were injured in police firing as thousands of protestors took to the streets in Manipur today in protest against the “custodial’’ death of Manorama Devi and repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958.

Nutan’s husband dies in fire
Mumbai, August 4
Rajneesh Behl, husband of late actress Nutan, died in a fire at his penthouse flat in downtown Mumbai, the police said.

Videos
Twenty-six tribal militants surrender in Meghalaya.
(28k, 56k)
Ancient Indian city being restored to its former grandeur.
(28k, 56k)
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is back with his much talked about film Black.
(28k, 56k)

Top









 

Rain claims 23 lives in Gujarat, 16 in Kerala
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Ahmedabad, August 4
Monsoon fury in Gujarat has claimed 23 lives in the past 24 hours, even as most parts of the state today got some respite with the weather relenting.

However, the Western Railways have cancelled most trains plying between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as the tracks on the route are submerged, Western Railway spokesperson K.K. Dubey said.

More than 42,000 persons have been evacuated to safer places in Surat district.

At least 22 persons were killed in Bharuch overnight and 2,500 have been shifted from the water-logged areas, district Collector R.B. Barot said.

In Surat, one more body was recovered in the Songarh area and with this, the toll in rain-related incidents has reached 128 this season.

Three state ministers — Mr Ashok Bhatt, Mr Amit Shah and Mr Kaushik Patel — are visiting Bharuch district for a first-hand account of the havoc caused by the floods. Mr Patel said Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia will be given to the next of kin of those killed in the district. ‘’The compensation amount will be equally borne by the Centre and the state government,’’ he said.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who toured the flood-affected areas of South Gujarat districts of Surat, Navsari and Valsad, has announced an aid of Rs 30,000 each for next of kin in case of death of a minor and Rs 50,000 each in case of an adult. Chief Secretary P.K. Lahiri is camping in the region to oversee the relief operations.

Flood waters in Daman have been receding and the situation is under control, according to Collector M Modassir.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (KERALA): At least 16 persons, including nine children and four women, were killed and several were injured as torrential rain battered Kerala triggering landslips and flash floods leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.

Ten persons belonging to two families were killed when their houses were razed by a landslip at Nellikunnu on the Kuttiyadi-Thottilapalam route in Kozhikode district. The victims included three women and five children.

A couple and their three children were killed when gushing waters from a collapsed private checkdam submerged their home at Kulamavu in the high range Idukki district.

A 14-year-old schoolboy died when a concrete slab fell on him while he was waiting in a bus shelter at Neamom near here.

Reports from across the state said 315 houses were damaged fully and 2,059 houses were destroyed partly, while large stretches of farm land were ravaged by heavy rain and landslips. At least 1,000 persons were shifted to relief camps opened at Idukki, Kasargode and Waynad districts.

State Revenue Minister K.M. Mani said Rs 80 crore had been sanctioned for district collectors to take up urgent relief and rescue measures.

MUMBAI: Three persons died in house collapses in different parts of Mumbai on Wednesday as the monsoon fury continued for the fourth day.

According to the police, slums in many low-lying areas of the city were flooded and caved in. The number of injured is estimated to be 14.

Road and rail transport and flights were disrupted. Most airlines rescheduled their flights today as rain reduced visibility. All major airlines, including Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Sahara and Deccan Air, reported delayed schedules, according to airport sources.

Train services connecting Mumbai with other parts of the country have been cancelled. Among the trains cancelled today included Ferozepore-Janata Express, Saurashtra Express, Paschim Express and Vidyanagari Express, according to the Railways.

The western Railway cancelled 9011 Gujarat Express, 2009 Shatabdi Express, 9215 Saurashtra Express, 9023 Ferozepore Express, 2925 Sayajinagar Express, 4708 Bikaner Express, 9017 Saurashtra Janata Express, 2951 Rajdhani, 9037 Kutch Express, 9143 Lokshakti Express, 2961 Awantika Express, 9005 Saurashtra Mail, 2901 Gujarat Mail, 5064 Awadh Express, 9019 Dehradun Express, chief public relations officer Shailendra Kumar said.

The Manmad-Kalyan and Bhusaval-Itarsi section were closed due to a landslide and derailment respectively. Thirteen coaches of the Patna-Kurla train derailed last night in which six passengers were injured. The Mumbai-bound Manmad-Panchavati Express and Godavari Express on the section were cancelled while some trains were diverted via the Pune-Daund-Manmad section.

In different parts of Maharashtra, the authorities pressed in emergency teams to evacuate people living near rivers. In Thane district, 5,000 persons in 37 villages were shifted to safer places as the Tansa river was overflowing.

Meanwhile, the Godavari, Darna, Waghadi rivers were in spate after water was released from Gangapur and Darna dams. More than 500 families living at Devle in Igatpuri taluka and Saykheda were shifted to safer places.

Mumbai’s local trains continued to be affected for the second day with rail tracks being inundated with water. The Colaba Weather Bureau recorded 51.3 mm of rainfall while the Santa Cruz Weather Bureau recorded 120.3 mm.

Three of the six lakes supplying water to Mumbai are now overflowing. Modak Sagar, Tansa and Bhatsa began overflowing a little after midnight today. The other three lakes may also begin overflowing if rain continues for the next two days, officials say. The residents of about 70 villages situated around the lakes have been issued warnings.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai-Pune expressway was shut down today after a landslide.
Top

 

Rainfall adequate for sowing crops, says ICAR
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) today said that the monsoon has now covered the left-out north western part of the country and the rainfall was adequate for sowing suitable crops.

It said the recent rainfall will benefit paddy and other crops already planted or sown and will also facilitate sowing in unsown areas.

In Rajasthan, major emphasis should be on the cultivation of short duration Bajra (HHS-67), fodder and forages, mothbean and, clusterbean. Cotton, sugarcane and other row crops should be irrigated with ridge and furrow system, the ICAR said in a press note issued.

Making ridge and furrow system in the row crops will also facilitate better conservation of the subsequent rains and promote better growth of the crops. If mulching material is available, it can be applied preferably to fruits and other high value cash crops. There should be greater use of sprinkler and drip irrigation to cover more area with limited water.

The ICAR said in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the groundwater is of poor quality and can be used in conjunction with good quality canal or groundwater resources. The quality of sodic water can be improved by passing it through gypsum beds or gypsum could be applied to the irrigated fields to counteract negative effects, it said.

In the area of some rainfed fruits and timber trees especially in shallow soils, half moon shaped rings or ditches can be made around the tree trunk to conserve maximum amount of rainfall.

Weeding and hoeing of the germinated and growing crops is essential to conserve the limited soil moisture and also to prevent evaporation of moisture from the soil surface, the press note said.
Top

 

India, Pak to swap prisoners
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
India and Pakistan today agreed to address the humanitarian issues concerning civilian prisoners and fishermen in each other’s custody as the two-day talks on “Promotion of friendly exchanges in various fields” concluded here this evening.

The two sides also exchanged views on liberalising the visa regime and expanding the scope of the 1974 bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines by increasing the number of pilgrims and shrines on both sides, according to a joint press statement read out here by Foreign Office spokesman Navtej Sarna, Mr Sarna said the discussions, held within the framework of the composite dialogue, were conducted in a very cordial and constructive atmosphere. Both sides made wide-ranging proposals for promoting friendly exchanges and cooperation in the fields of art, culture, archaeology, education, science and technology, youth affairs and sports, media and tourism.

The implementation of the programmes would be undertaken through mutual coordination.

Following are some of the Indian proposals to Pakistan:

  • Exchange of artists, painters, poets, musicians and sculptors.
  • Holding art and culture exhibitions in each other’s country and exchange of publications and theatre groups. India is to invite Pakistani painters for an exhibition to be organised by the Lalit Kala Akademy here early next year.
  • Cooperation between libraries.
  • Organising book fairs in each other’s country and holding joint seminars.
  • Closer interaction among each other’s educational institutes.
  • Exchanges and cooperation between institutes of excellence in the field of science and technology.
  • Exchange of youth delegations and coaches in the field of youth affairs and sports.
  • Organising each other’s film festivals.
  • Remove ban on Indian films and television channels in Pakistan.
  • Set up a joint working group to tackle piracy of Indian films and music in Pakistan.
  • Delhi Transport Corporation and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation to start group tours to places of tourist interest.
  • Greater cooperation between the two countries’ Associations of travel agents.
  • Special 14-day visa for tourists.
  • Regular exchanges between the two countries’ Election Commissions. Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner could visit India at the invitation of Indian CEC and exchange experiences.
  • Exchange civil prisoners and amend the 1982 Consular Access Agreement to increase the number of jails in each other’s country for consular access. India requested Pakistan once again to make an attempt to locate the 54 Indian Prisoners of War (POWs) of the 1971 war and gave the list of the POWs.
  • Liberalisation of visa regimes on reciprocal basis for such diverse categories as students, businessmen, journalists, senior citizens, children and reputed artists and allowing multi-entry visas for them.

The Indian delegation was led by Ms Neena Ranjan, Secretary (Culture) while Mr Jalil Abbas, Secretary (Minorities, Tourism, Culture and Youth Affairs) led the Pakistani delegation.
Top

 

Non-bailable warrant issued against Union Minister
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, August 4
A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Union Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao by the fifth Metropolitan Magistrate in a case of cheating.

The warrant was issued today following Mr Rao’s failure to respond to the summons sent by the court twice on May 16 and subsequently on the request of the respondent on August 4 in connection with a cheating case. Mr Rao made an effort to secure a stay on July 27 from the High Court. As Mr Rao, who is currently in Delhi, failed to make it to the court, the Metropolitan Magistrate issued the warrant.

Mr Rao’s advocates, who told the court that the minister could not attend as he was busy with the ongoing Parliament session, later filed a recall petition, which would be heard tomorrow by the Magistrate.

The case was filed during the recent Assembly elections by TRS dissidents led by Mr Prahlad Rao, an aspirant for the Mahabubabad seat and himself an advocate, alleging that they were cheated by Mr Chandrasekhar Rao, who collected money from aspiring candidates, promising them the party ticket.

The TRS had collected Rs 10,000 from each aspirant for the Assembly ticket for all 107 constituencies in the Telangana region. The party was said to have earned Rs 70 lakh through such receipts.

The party, however, fielded candidates for only 42 seats, following the seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress. The TRS chief had said at that time that those who failed to secure the ticket would be refunded their money, which had not happened till date.

The dissidents allege that Mr Rao accepted the money from more than 1,000 candidates, knowing full well that the party would not be able to field candidates from all seats. Mr Prahlad Rao said that the money went into Mr Chandrasekhar Rao’s personal account, and not that of the TRS, showing that the Union Minister had misappropriated the deposits. A case under Section 420, IPC, was filed against Mr Rao based on the complaint of Mr Prahlad Rao and others.

Even as the opposition Telugu Desam Party demanded the TRS leader’s resignation, Mr Rao said from Delhi that the forces who were opposed to Telangana were behind the incident. He said he would brief Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the circumstances leading to the development.
Top

 

Shekhar Dutt is Secy Defence Production
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Mr Shekhar Dutt has assumed charge as Secretary Defence Production and Supplies in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

An IAS officer of the 1969 batch of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Mr Dutt is a recipient of Sena Medal for gallantry.

He has returned to the MoD where he once served as Joint Secretary in the same department that he heads now. During this period he was Director in the Board of Defence Public Sector Undertakings such as Bharat Electronics, Bharat Dynamics, Bharat Earth Movers, Mazagaon Docks, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers and Goa Shipyard.

Mr Dutt’s previous appointment was Secretary, Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 
Top

 

BJP mulls expelling dissidents in UP
S. Satyanarayan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
In a move which would indirectly help Mulayam government to further consolidate its position in the state Assembly, the BJP central leadership has almost made up its mind to expel rebel MLAs in the state from the party.

According to party sources, a formal decision is likely to be made on or before August 7, when top leaders from Uttar Pradesh unit of the party hold a meeting here with central leadership to discuss the political situation in the state.

Seven BJP MLAs — Narendra Verma, Mayankeshwar Singh, Anil Paswan, Kovid Kumar Singh, Sarvesh Kumar Singh, Chandramanikant Singh and Badshah Singh — have been raising banners against top state and central leaders of the party and taking sides with the Samajwadi Party (SP).

However, it was not clear whether all rebel MLAs would go or the axe would fall on only a few.

The central leadership, which had been going soft on the rebel MLAs and had just kept some of them under suspension for quite some time, is now forced to take the step of expelling them from the party as they have not even spared former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, sources said.

The rebel MLAs had reportedly held Vajpayee responsible for the debacle of the party in the state in the recent Lok Sabha poll.

“With byelections to 12 Assembly seats due anytime, the party leadership can’t take gross indiscipline in the party lightly and has to send a strong message within the party,” a top BJP leader told on the condition of anonymity.

The August 7 meeting on Uttar Pradesh, to be chaired by BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu and attended among others by newly elected state unit president Kesari Nath Tripati, Kalraj Misra, Union Minister M.M. Joshi and party General Secretary M.A. Naqvi, would take stock of the political situation in the state and try to devise means to take on the SP and the Congress in the state.

Although BJP leaders are claiming that the move to expel rebel MLAs is aimed at sending a strong message within the party, it is apparent that the move would indirectly help Mulayam government to consolidate its position in the 403-member Assembly.

As per the anti-defection law, the expulsion of MLAs would mean that though they would lose the membership of the BJP, they would continue to be MLAs in the House and would be recognised as an independent group. A party MLA loses the membership of the House only when he or she is expelled for not respecting his or her the party Whip.

Therefore, once the rebel MLAs attain the status of a separate group it would be even more easier for them to align with the SP by extending issue-based support, sources said.

In the present Assembly, the SP has a strength of 187 and is being supported by 16 Independents, 13 belonging to Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, besides outside support of 15 Congress MLAs. In the event of the Congress and the RLD deciding to withdraw support to the SP, it would still enjoy the simple majority and the expelled BJP MLAs would make it comfortable for the Mulayam government in the Assembly.
Top

 

BJP demands rollback of fuel prices
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
The BJP today demanded that the UPA government should immediately roll back the price hike in petrol and diesel effected in the last couple of months to save farmers and the common man from the “severe impact” of inflation.

“In the last one month the way petrol and diesel prices have been increased and through a well planned way new LPG connections have been stopped, goes to prove that the Congress led UPA government is planning to bring common man daily needs into a quota permit and therefore benefit certain people,” BJP spokesperson M.A. Naqvi told mediapersons here.

“At a time when farmers are severely affected by either floods or drought across the country, the UPA government remaining mute spectator to the steep rise in diesel and petrol prices is unpardonable,” Mr Naqvi said.

Giving a comparative chart of the prices of some of the essential commodities during the NDA regime and in the present UPA regime, Mr Naqvi also attacked the Left Front by saying that on the one hand the UPA government was running on their support and on the other they were shedding “crocodile tears” on the price rise, which was enough to give proof of their “dual and confused character”. 
Top

 

BJP rebels’ manch meeting today
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, August 4
BJP dissidents have floated a new organisation under the leadership of Mr Sunil Shastri, one of the General Secretaries, which will have its first meeting in New Delhi tomorrow. The organisation — “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan Manch” — which will be a parallel unit of the BJP, aims at saving the party from coterie rule, communalism and the sectarian outlook.

The organisation will specially emphasise that jawans and kisans, who form the country’s main backbone, get special attention and treatment for strengthening themselves.
Top

 

UPA-Left panel skirt contentious issues
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
The first meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee today skirted the contentious economic issues like increase in FDI cap, oil price hike and decided to meet atleast once month and more frequently depending on the issues that would arise from time to time to resolve them.

The contentious economic issues, which have agitated the Left parties and had virtually placed them on a collision course with the UPA, would come up for discussion in the last week of this month, when the Committee meets again.

The two-and-a-half hour meeting, attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Left party leaders agreed that matters taken up by the committee would be identified and concerned ministers invited to the meetings to enable fruitful discussions.

Talking to reporters Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the meeting broadly discussed UPA’s common minimum programme (CMP) and its implementation. 
Top

 

UPA, NDA lock horns over House panel

New Delhi, August 4
A day after the Opposition ended its boycott of parliamentary committees, the NDA and the UPA locked horns over the spoils with the two trying to corner chairmanship of committee in Rajya Sabha attached to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, delaying the process of finalising the names for various committees.

The bone of contention between the ruling and opposition side is the headship of the standing committee attached to the HRD Ministry, sources said. — TNS
Top

 

Soren to appear in court on Aug 9

Giridih (Jharkhand), August 4
The Additional Sessions Judge of Giridih today asked former Union Minister Sibu Soren to appear before his court on August 9, in connection with a 1974 murder case.

Judge Manoranjan Kavi also committed the case from CJM to the sessions court.

On August 2, Soren’s prayer for recalling an arrest warrant served in 1981 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate had been rejected by the sessions court. — PTI 
Top

 

Laloo’s bail extended

Patna, August 4
The Patna High Court today extended by three months the provisional bail of RJD President and Railway Minister Laloo Prasad in a disproportionate assets case, an offshoot of the multi-crore fodder scam.

Mr Justice Shashank Kumar Singh accepted the prayer of Mr Prasad’s counsel P.N. Pandey and extended the RJD supremo’s provisional bail in the DA case by another three months.

Mr Prasad’s bail in the instant case was last extended by three months in May this year. — PTI 
Top

 

Dhananjay’s family dumb-founded
Our Correspondent and PTI

Kolkata, August 4
As the President’s decision rejecting Dhananjay Chatterjee’s mercy petition reached Writers Buildings this morning, the Chief Minister expressed great relief and directed the Home Department to implement the order. The Principal, teachers and students of Well Wind & Goldsmith School also expressed satisfaction that the President had upheld the court’s order and ordered Dhananjay’s execution.

But a remote Kuldihi village in Bankura district, about 200 km from here, a pall of gloom and sadness descended on the Chatterjee family, where the old parents and Purnima, the hapless wife of Dhananjay, remained dumb-founded.

While Dhananjay Chatterjee’s 70-year-old mother is speechless with grief, wife Purnima mourns in silence. Father Bangshidar (74) describes the family as the “living dead” after hearing the President’s verdict.

Mr Bangshidhar Chatterjee said he had pinned his hopes on the President, who “being a good man could have granted clemency to Dhananjay”.

“We are now waiting for August 24 (21 days are required to prepare for an execution). Something may happen even at the last minute,” he said.

The entire family has decided to commit suicide on the day Dhananjay would be hanged to death.

Bangshidar, Bela Rani and Purnima had sat in dharna on July 21 in front of the Press Club, stating that they would end their lives if Dhananjay mounted the gallows for raping and killing schoolgirl Hetal Parekh.

Dhananjay’s father is a priest and his brother, an educated unemployed, offers tuitions to make both ends meet for the family.

Bankura Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar told PTI that a police picket had been deployed to keep watch on Dhananjay’s family at the village home.
Top

 

Govt to bring 300 drugs under price control
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
The government has decided to bring around 300 life-saving drugs under price control to check the manufacturers and marketers from charging usurious price from customers, said Union Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Ram Vilas Paswan here today.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Paswan said as many as 300 drugs categorised as essential by the Health Ministry will be included in the list of life-saving drugs under the control of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which falls under the Chemicals Ministry.

He said the a committee constituted by the ministry had found that pharmaceutical companies and marketers were earning astronomical profits to the tune of 2,500 per cent on the commonly used drugs in the country. “This is nothing but sheer loot of poor patients,” he said.

A market survey of the trade margins of selected medicines has disclosed that generic sales of Centrizine formulations by 13 companies under different brand names has a margin ranging from 2,000 to 2,840 per cent.

The study papers circulated to the Press by the minister showed that Ranbaxy’s Stannist carried a printed price tag of Rs 26 for a 10-tablet strip, which was sold to a retailer at Rs 1.80, leaving a margin of Rs 24.20 per strip.

Similarly, Nensonil has a printed price of Rs 26 while it was being sold to retailer at Rs 1.50 per strip. In the same manner Pyrestat-100, Merisulide and NICIP of nimesulide formulations carried a price tag of Rs 25 each while they were sold to the retailer at Rs 1.50, Rs 1.96 and Rs 2 per 10-tablet strip, respectively.

Omeprazole formulations tell the same story but with even higher margin of Rs 30.50 to Rs 43.20 per 10-cap strip while the retailers’ price is Rs 8 and Rs 4.80, respectively.

Mr Paswan said the committee headed by a joint secretary of the Ministry of Chemicals with members from the Directorate of Health, Drug Controller-General of India and Law Ministry would submit its report by October 21, suggesting measures to regulate availability of the drugs and to check the abnormal profiteering.

Other measures contemplated by the ministry for reducing the “unethical” margins of the pharmaceutical manufacturers, he said, included making the declaration of the drug formulation mandatory, reducing the NPPA monitoring exemption limit from Rs 4 crore to Rs 1 crore.

Besides this, Mr Paswan said he had convened a meeting of all state Finance and Health Ministers in Delhi on August 18 to bring about a uniformity in the prices of drugs across the country. 
Top

 

PMK workers attack Tamil daily office

Chennai, August 4
Workers of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a constituent of the UPA Government at the Centre, attacked the office of a Tamil newspaper last night for the daily’s criticism of the PMK leadership and its policies.

According to a police complaint filed by “Dinamalar,” some PMK workers allegedly entered its offices at Cuddalore in northern Tamil Nadu last night and smashed computers and furniture before leaving with a warning to journalists and staff present there that they would not tolerate any criticism against their leader, Dr S. Ramadoss, the party’s founder.

The incident provoked journalist organisations in Chennai to hold a meeting today to condemn the attack. They demanded a Crime Branch probe into the attack, booking of culprits and their instigators.

The incident raises questions about the PMK’s attitude towards the media.

Dr Ramadoss is known for his outbursts against the Press.
Top

 

19 hurt in Manipur police firing

Imphal, August 4
More than 18 persons, including students, were injured in police firing as thousands of protestors took to the streets in Manipur today in protest against the “custodial’’ death of Manorama Devi and repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958.

Around 2000 school and college students attempted to take out a rally in the Kakwa area of Imphal East district forcing the police to fire teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse them. The curfew was reimposed in the state from 1.30 pm. — UNI
Top

 

Nutan’s husband dies in fire

Mumbai, August 4
Rajneesh Behl, husband of late actress Nutan, died in a fire at his penthouse flat in downtown Mumbai, the police said.

The fire broke out at the Sagar-Sangeet building late last night, the police said here. Fire Brigade personnel, who quickly rescued Behl’s relatives who were in the flat, could not save the 77-year-old former naval commander. — TNS
Top

 
BRIEFLY

Minor raped in port town
MACHILIPATNAM, ANDHRA PRADESH:
A 13-year-old girl has been allegedly raped by two persons at Kandripadu village in Krishna district recently, the police said on Wednesday. Though the incident is reported to have taken place on the night of July 30, the victim belonging to a Scheduled Tribe, the police informed. The accused M. Veera Reedy (60) and P. Shankar Reddy (35), waylaid and sexually assaulted the girl. The victim was sent to the Government General Hospital at Vijayawada for medical examination. — UNI

Karunakaran hospitalised
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Senior Congress leader K. Karunakaran was hospitalised this morning after he complained of uneasiness and exhaustion. The former Chief Minister was taken to the medical college hospital here on advise from his personal doctor, family sources said. — PTI

5 kidnapped in Tripura
AGARTALA:
At least five persons, including the son of a CPM leader, were kidnapped by the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants from two different places of Dhalai District on Tuesday the police said on Wednesday. The NLFT rebels abducted four tube-well technicians from Gandacherra when they were working there and raided the house of local CPM leader Tarani Roaja at Raishyabri and took away his son at gun point. The police, CRPF and Tripura State Rifles have launched a joint combing operation in the district to rescue them and to nab the militants. — UNI

Diarrhoea death toll 10
SHAHJAHANPUR:
With reports of more deaths of children due to diarrhoea in the districts, the toll has increased to 10. While six persons including four children have died and 30 were taken ill in the district during the last one week, four more children died in the Salempur village in the last 24 hours. The Chief Medical Officer also suspended two health officials for failing to check the spread of diseases in the Kakraua village from where six deaths were reported earlier. — UNI
Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |