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N A T I O N

VHP lodges protest with Malaysian govt
Burial of Hindu army officer’s body
New Delhi, January 10
President of the International branch of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Ashok Singhal has lodged a protest with the Malaysian Government over the body of a disabled Hindu Malaysian army officer being buried against the wishes of his widow.

SC gives two weeks to Bihar to clarify stand
Case against Taslimmuddin
New Delhi, January 10
The Supreme Court today gave two weeks’ time to the Bihar Government to make its stand clear on an application for the restoration of Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) of arrest issued against Union Minister Mohd Taslimmuddin in an attempt to murder and Arms Act case, which was withdrawn by the previous Rabri Devi regime “illegally” after his induction in the Manmohan Singh ministry.

Burmese students under the banner of the All-Kachin Students and Youth Union shout slogans during an anti-Burmese military government demonstration to condemn the killing of five Kachin Independence Organisation's member at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi Burmese students under the banner of the All-Kachin Students and Youth Union shout slogans during an anti-Burmese military government demonstration to condemn the killing of five Kachin Independence Organisation's member at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

 


EARLIER STORIES
 

Political resolution to reflect Cong’s dilemma
New Delhi, January 10
When Congress leaders met for a brainstorming session in Pachmarhi over eight years ago, the party said a resounding “no” to coalitions, the catchline being “ekla chalo”.

Rajiv assassins’ daughter meets parents
Chennai, January 10
Arithra, the 14-year-old daughter of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, today met her parents, Nailini and Murugan, at the Vellore Central Prison, 150 km from here.

15 NRIs get Pravasi Samman
Hyderabad, January 10
Fifteen prominent non-resident Indians (NRIs), including Indian-origin agriculturalist Eliyahu Bezalel from Israel, Mauritius Vice-President Raouf Bundhun and Thailand-based businessman Shivnath R Bajaj, have been conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards at the fourth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here yesterday.

Amitabh apologises to anti-tobacco group
Panaji, January 10
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan has apologised to an anti-tobacco group, which has slapped a legal notice on him for appearing in an advertisement showing him smoking a cigar. “

IAF clears ‘Rang De Basanti’
New Delhi, January 10
The Indian Air Force (IAF) today said it did not have any objections to the screening of Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan's latest movie "Rang De Basanti". Air Marshal Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia said after viewing the film, the IAF had withdrawn its grouse.

Saif appears before Customs Department
Mumbai, January 10
Actor Saif Ali Khan today appeared before the Customs Department here to answer the charges of duty evasion on imported car, Toyota Lexus.

Honour for Milkfed
New Delhi, January 10
The Milkfed sperm station today received appreciation certificate from Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar here today.

Book on Shivaji banned
Mumbai, January 10
The Maharashtra Government has banned a book on Shivaji by author James W Laine published in 2001.

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VHP lodges protest with Malaysian govt
Burial of Hindu army officer’s body
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
President of the International branch of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Ashok Singhal has lodged a protest with the Malaysian Government over the body of a disabled Hindu Malaysian army officer being buried against the wishes of his widow.

Expressing anguish and outrage over the incident, Mr Singhal, in a letter to the Malaysian High Commissioner here, claimed that the body of Moorthy, a Malalysian hero of Everest expedition fame, was stolen and forcibly buried.

The state-sponsored theft and desecration of the mortal remains of Moorthy was a gross violation of human rights of the member of a religious minority in the state of Malaysia, said the letter.

The body, buried according to Muslim practices, under police protection, and against the wishes of his widow Kaliammal Sinnasamy, violated her personal human rights, the letter added.

It also demanded that the Malaysian Government should ensure speedy justice and resolution of the issue to the satisfaction of the Malaysian Hindus.

For this, it added, the body should be permitted to be exhumed and cremated according to Hindu practices and ashes given to the widow of the deceased for further rites by the family.

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SC gives two weeks to Bihar to clarify stand
Case against Taslimmuddin
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 10
The Supreme Court today gave two weeks’ time to the Bihar Government to make its stand clear on an application for the restoration of Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) of arrest issued against Union Minister Mohd Taslimmuddin in an attempt to murder and Arms Act case, which was withdrawn by the previous Rabri Devi regime “illegally” after his induction in the Manmohan Singh ministry.

Directing the Bihar Government counsel to file an affidavit making its stand clear, a Bench of Chief Justice Y.K Sabharwal and Mr Justice C.K Thakker said it was also the last chance for the accused persons to submit their replies. The Bench fixed further hearing of the matter after four weeks.

Withdrawal of the case against Taslimmuddin, who allegedly faced over two dozen criminal cases, was challenged by an NGO, Delhi Study Group (DSG), which said the step had been taken by the previous Rabri Devi government after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had dropped Shibu Soren of JMM from the Union Cabinet and had made a public statement that any minister with arrest warrants issued against him would be removed from the ministry.

Questioning the procedure followed by the Rabri government to withdraw the case by the prosecutor himself, DSG’s counsel asked “why should the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) allowing withdrawal of the case not be stayed.”

Any stay on the CJM’s order would automatically restore the NBW against Taslimmuddin, an important member of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party RJD.

To a pointed query by the court as to what steps the new Nitish Kumar government had taken in the matter, Bihar’s standing counsel said due to the stay granted by the apex court on the proceedings, the prosecution was not able to take any further action in the case after the change of government. 

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Political resolution to reflect Cong’s dilemma
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
When Congress leaders met for a brainstorming session in Pachmarhi over eight years ago, the party said a resounding “no” to coalitions, the catchline being “ekla chalo”.

Five years later, there was a total shift in the party’s stand when its leaders gathered in Shimla for the next “chintan shivir.” Realising that the Congress support base had shrunk in key states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, it came out openly in favour of building alliances with secular forces.

Now that the Congress has been heading a coalition government for nearly two years after successfully forging alliances with regional outfits, the party is faced with the classic dilemma. It has to keep the ruling combine intact but, at the same time, it has to ensure that a coalition does not stunt the party’s growth.

The party’s dilemma is likely to be reflected in its political resolution which is to be adopted at the AICC plenary session to be held in Hyderabad from January 21 to 23.

It is learnt that the Congress will be doing a balancing act as it charts out a “middle path” between Pachmarhi and Shimla. It will endorse coalitions but without losing sight of its larger goal of coming to power on its own.

The Congress will take note of the fact that coalitions are a political reality and that these cannot be ignored. At the same time, the Congress strategists will also emphasise the need for rebuilding and strengthening the party in states where it has lost out to regional parties like in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and where it has been forced to go into a coalition as in the case of Maharashtra and Karnataka. In addition, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu remain a cause of concern to the Congress since it has been reduced to a marginal player in these states.

Congress insiders maintained that this cautious approach will be also be reflected in the resolutions on economic and foreign affairs which will also be adopted at the forthcoming plenary. Endorsing the UPA government’s Common Minimum Programme (CMP) on disinvestment and FDI, the economic draft, it was stated, is likely to place greater emphasis on investments in social sectors while playing down the issue of reforms.

The resolution on foreign affairs will express satisfaction over the improved relations between the USA and India following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s successful trip to the USA. Besides devoting a para to this development, the resolution will take care to emphasise the need for having equally good relations with other countries like China and Russia in order the counter the criticism that it has a pro-US tilt. 

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Rajiv assassins’ daughter meets parents
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, January 10
Arithra, the 14-year-old daughter of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, today met her parents, Nailini and Murugan, at the Vellore Central Prison, 150 km from here.

Arithra was accompanied by her grandmother. She met Murugan for 45 minutes and later went to the special women’s prison and spent 30 minutes with Nalini.

While Nalini’s death sentence has been commuted to life sentence, Murugan’s mercy petition is pending with the President. Nalini, now aged 40, has completed the MCA course while in prison, while Murugan, now 32, has also done a computer software course.

Arithra was born soon after Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a human bomb in Dhanu, a Sri Lankan Tamil and a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) suicide squad at Sriperumbudur, 70 km from here, while on election campaign in Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991.

Both parents were then in police custody and Nalini, then 26, delivered her at Egmore Maternity Hospital in the state capital of Tamil Nadu. Murugan, a Sri Lankan Tamil, was then 18.

The two had fallen in love while the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi was hatched by the LTTE, and it was because of their affair that the police could bust the case and arrest the culprits.

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15 NRIs get Pravasi Samman
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, January 10
Fifteen prominent non-resident Indians (NRIs), including Indian-origin agriculturalist Eliyahu Bezalel from Israel, Mauritius Vice-President Raouf Bundhun and Thailand-based businessman Shivnath R Bajaj, have been conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards at the fourth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here yesterday.

Other awardees include, Mr Jean-Paul Virapoule, Newsweek International’s editor Fareed Zakaria, Mr Sisupal Rambharos, Mr Yesu Persaud, Mr C.K. Menon, Mr Niranjan S Shah, Dr Majiduddin Kazi, Sir Gulam Kaderbhai Noon, Dr Sudhir Parikh, Ms Pratima Kale, Mr Rusy M Shroff and Dr V Ramadoss.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam gave away the awards at the valedictory function of the PBD at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Five of the awardees, including Dr Zakaria, were not present at the function.

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Amitabh apologises to anti-tobacco group

Panaji, January 10
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan has apologised to an anti-tobacco group, which has slapped a legal notice on him for appearing in an advertisement showing him smoking a cigar. “I am deeply apologetic of the advertisement that has hurt the sentiments of the people at large and organisations such as yours,” Bachchan said in a letter to the general secretary of the National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication, India, Shekhar Salkar.

“The publicity banner carrying my photograph was a still from my film ‘Family’ in which I am portraying an underworld don,” he said in the letter. — PTI

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IAF clears ‘Rang De Basanti’

New Delhi, January 10
The Indian Air Force (IAF) today said it did not have any objections to the screening of Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan's latest movie "Rang De Basanti". Air Marshal Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia said after viewing the film, the IAF had withdrawn its grouse.

The film directed by Rakesh Mehra was witnessed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the armed forces top brass at a special screening of the film this evening at the VVIP auditorium in the Films Division complex here. — UNI

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Saif appears before Customs Department

Mumbai, January 10
Actor Saif Ali Khan today appeared before the Customs Department here to answer the charges of duty evasion on imported car, Toyota Lexus.

Additional Customs Commissioner G.S. Narang had summoned him to appear in person to answer the charges. Saif gave his statement to the special investigation and Intelligence wing of the customs, officials said. — PTI

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Honour for Milkfed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
The Milkfed sperm station today received appreciation certificate from Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar here today.

The firm has been appreciated for ensuring good quality of frozen semen at the Milkfed frozen semen station, Khanna, which has been graded as category “A” by the Central Evaluation Committee, a note said.

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Book on Shivaji banned

Mumbai, January 10
The Maharashtra Government has banned a book on Shivaji by author James W Laine published in 2001. The decision to ban the book was taken following complaints about derogatory references to the Maratha King, according to Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil. Speaking to the reporters here today, Mr Patil said the book could have stirred up trouble. — TNS

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