SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


ADVERTISEMENT


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

India, Nepal sort out defence issues
New Delhi, June 9
In a positive development, India and Nepal today “sorted out” all defence cooperation issues during talks between visiting Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee as the two leaders agreed that resumption of military supplies would be taken up in greater details at a joint committee meeting later this year.

First advanced light gunship soon: HAL
New Delhi, June 9
Country’s indigenously produced advanced light helicopter, Dhruv, is back in the skies sporting new tail rotors, Hindustan Aeronautics Chairman A.K. Baweja said here today. He said the company was poised to roll out country’s first advanced light gunship.

Pranab sees greater role for pvt sector in defence
New Delhi, June 9
The government has mooted granting special status to some premier private companies which will help them to directly import defence technology from abroad and also encourage them to play a greater role in producing military equipment.

Hearing on Rahul’s bail plea adjourned
New Delhi, June 9
A city court today adjourned till June 13 hearing on a bail application of the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s son Rahul in connection with a drug abuse case.








EARLIER STORIES




Activists of the Communist Party of India demonstrate against the hike in petrol and diesel prices at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday
Activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) demonstrate against the hike in petrol and diesel prices at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Moily calls on Manmohan
New Delhi, June 9
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily, heading the Oversight Committee set up to prepare a roadmap to implement 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions, today briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the work of the panel.

No respite for Thackeray in defamation case
New Delhi, June 9
The Supreme Court today permitted legal heirs of a Mumbai social worker to move an application for pursuing a criminal defamation case against Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

BJP needs to introspect: Atal
Gwalior, June 9
Amidst controversy triggered by his reported statement on Rahul Mahajan, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has said there is a need for the BJP to introspect in the light of the alleged drug abuse by the son of slain party leader Pramod Mahajan.

Cong targeting Mulayam, says Amar Singh
New Delhi, June 9
Accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi of targeting UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party said today that a Congress activist had moved a public interest litigation against the SP leader in the apex court.

1 cr textile jobs in TN soon
Chennai, June 9
For those in north India looking for a career in the textile industry, Tamil Nadu is their green pasture because within the next decade 1 crore (10 million) new jobs will be available and the industry will be worth US $ 40 billion to 50 billion.

IT dept attaches assets of Zaheera
Mumbai, June 9
A total of eight assets, including bank accounts of Zahira Sheikh, the eyewitness turned accused in the infamous Best Bakery case, have been attached by the Income Tax (IT) Department, Vadodara, her counsel Umesh Deshpande said here today.

Speculation about IT notice to Amitabh 
Mumbai, June 9
Reports of an Income Tax notice to Amitabh Bachchan asking him to explain the sources of funds for a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses worth Rs 2.7 lakh sent the Bollywood fraternity into a tizzy today. Even as the Bachchans kept a studied silence, the grapevine had it that the UPA government was preparing to turn the screws yet again on the veteran actor whose souring of relations with the Sonia Gandhi family is no longer a secret.

Company decries cap on Bt cotton price
Bangalore, June 9
Monsanto today decried fixing of prices for sale of its genetically modified BT cotton seed, “Bollguard”, by the Andhra Pradesh Government and said state governments should not interfere on the issue of prices.

Woman gives birth to identical quadruplets
Chennai, June 9
A 26-year-old woman here has delivered identical quadruplets, a rarity that occurs once in 11 million births. Shruthi Vivekanandan, a software professional, gave birth to four girls — Aditi, Aakriti, Akshathi and Aapthi— at the Apollo Hospital on April 25.

CITU opposes modernisation of airports
New Delhi, June 9
CITU today opposed the government’s decision to modernise 35 non-metro airports through private participation, describing it as a “clear case of deceit and deception” and warned of a “major land scam” if such a move was pursued.

LeT module cracked; two held
Ahmedabad, June 9
The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat Police today arrested two militants who had planned to target key religious and economic installations in the state, including Somnath Temple, an oil pipeline and the RSS and the VHP headquarters in the city.

Fuel prices may come down in Maharashtra
Mumbai, June 9
Petrol and diesel prices in Maharashtra may come down by up to Re 1 a litre, with the state responding positively to Petroleum Minister's call not to levy sales tax on the incremental component.

Minorities panel team to visit MP
New Delhi, June 9
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is sending a team to Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh on June 13 to inquire into reports of atrocities against Christians in the two states.

Four killed in Guwahati blast

Video

South Indian films in IIFA Film Festival.
(28k, 56k)

 

 

Top








 

India, Nepal sort out defence issues
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
In a positive development, India and Nepal today “sorted out” all defence cooperation issues during talks between visiting Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee as the two leaders agreed that resumption of military supplies would be taken up in greater details at a joint committee meeting later this year.

Talking to newspersons after the meeting with the Nepalese leader, the Defence Minister said a defence cooperation group would meet soon for further discussions. One of Nepal’s key donors of defence and security-related supplies, India had suspended its military assistance to the neighbouring country when King Gyanendra assumed direct control last year.

“All issues relating to defence cooperation have been sorted out. Soon, our defence cooperation group, the Joint Consultative Committee, which is an institutional arrangement, will meet and will discuss the expanding areas of cooperation,” Mr Mukherjee said.

The Defence Minister, who hailed Mr Koirala’s first visit abroad to India since taking power in April as an excellent trip, welcomed reinstatement of the Nepalese Parliament after 15 months of royalist rule in the Himalayan Kingdom. “We welcome the process of consolidation of democratic forces in Nepal,” Mr Mukherjee said, expressing the hope that talks between the Nepalese Government and Maoist rebels would be successful. “They (the Nepalese Government) are engaged in talks (with Maoists) and we hope they would find an amicable solution,” he said. Earlier, Leader of the Opposition and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani called on Mr Koirala and discussed issues of common concern for over 40 minutes.

Ignoring his party’s concerns over Nepal ending its unique status as the world’s last Hindu kingdom, Mr Advani maintained that the neighbouring country had been a secular state all along. “Nepal has always been a secular country. It is secular today, it was secular when it was (formally) called a Hindu kingdom,” he told reporters after a meeting with the visiting Prime Minister.

His comments came barely a day after BJP president Rajnath Singh expressed concern over Nepal’s Parliament declaring the country a secular state.

“It’s just like India... a Hindu-majority but a secular country,” Mr Advani said when asked about his reaction to the Himalayan Kingdom stipulating that it would no longer be formally known as a Hindu country. Hindu groups have held protests in Nepal against moves to turn the country into a secular state About 80 per cent of Nepal’s 26 million people are Hindus and 11 per cent Buddhists. The senior BJP leader, however, welcomed the end of 15 months of absolute rule in Nepal with King Gyanendra handing power to a multi-party government.

“We believe that Nepal’s welfare lies in being a constitutional or ceremonial monarchy,” Mr Advani, who hailed Mr Koirala’s first trip abroad to India after assuming office in April as a welcome move, said.

During his meeting with the Nepalese leader, the former Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about Naxal activities in India. “I told him (Mr Koirala) that we have no objection to his government holding talks with the Maoists, but his government must ensure that the outcome of the dialogue has no adverse impact on India’s internal security,” Mr Advani said.

Nepal’s Maoists have demanded that Mr Koirala should seek the release of about 150 insurgents jailed in India during his visit here. 

Top

 

First advanced light gunship soon: HAL
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
Country’s indigenously produced advanced light helicopter, Dhruv, is back in the skies sporting new tail rotors, Hindustan Aeronautics Chairman A.K. Baweja said here today. He said the company was poised to roll out country’s first advanced light gunship.

Dhruv, which had been grounded for more than six months following the crash of a new helicopter bought by the Jharkhand Government, would be taking to skies at a rate of 12 per month, Mr Baweja said.

The helicopter was on way to Jharkhand from Bangalore when it crashed at Hyderabad. Later, defects were found in its tail rotor which had led to the crash. Further investigations had also brought out defects in the rotor gear box. Mr Baweja said all choppers being declared fit for flying were now sporting “new tail rotors”.

Earlier in the week, the IAF had received its first three of the grounded choppers.

Firmly rejecting reports that HAL had received any cancellation of orders for the choppers, Mr Baweja said his company was pressing ahead with full speed for meeting firm orders for 72 advanced light helicopters from the three services, the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

He also said HAL was also pressing ahead for bidding for Chilean Armed forces order for light helicopters as also interest shown by Turkish armed forces in Dhruv.

On the efforts to develop an indigenous advanced light attack helicopter, the HAL Chairman said work on the project had been started and he expected the first prototype to roll out within the next two years. He said the gunships would be of six tonne class.

Mr Baweja, who was speaking after receiving for his company the Defence Minister’s award for excellence in performance for 2005-06, sounded optimistic on achieving the breakthrough in producing a light gunship and said it would enhance India’s defence capabilities.

“We have achieved so many breakthroughs in chopper technology that we are now confident of producing a world-class light helicopter gunship”, he said.

Top

 

Pranab sees greater role for pvt sector in defence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
The government has mooted granting special status to some premier private companies which will help them to directly import defence technology from abroad and also encourage them to play a greater role in producing military equipment.

This was stated by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee here today on the sidelines of an awards function. “The whole idea is to provide incentives,” he said, adding that though the defence industry had been opened to the private sector in 2001 and 28 licences and letters of intent had been issued, “it has not been very effective”.

Earlier, addressing the function at which defence public sector undertakings received awards for exceptional performance in 2003-04, Mr Mukherjee said select private companies would be designated “Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RURs)” .

“The idea is to encourage such industries to contribute to defence production and enable them to assume the role of systems integrators of large weapon systems and producers of platforms required by the armed forces,” the minister added.

Once accredited as RURs, these industries would be treated on a par with defence public sector undertakings and would be “selected for receiving technology and undertaking licence production with transfer of technology from overseas sources,” he said.

Greater participation by the private sector “will also lead to the expansion of our defence industrial base, enhance indigenous defence capability and ultimately contribute to the combat potential of our defence forces”, Mr Mukherjee maintained.

Referring to the just-introduced offsets policy under which foreign companies entering into defence deals worth more than Rs 3 billion have to invest 30 per cent of this within the country, the minister urged the Indian defence industry to “capitalise” on it.

“The attempt should be to bring in investments in terms of new technologies rather than cater to the market forces. This policy will open up new avenues for growth within the country in terms of industry participation, technology upgradation and employment and throw open many more business opportunities," he said, adding that “this will also boost our defence exports to a considerable extent”. 

Top

 

Hearing on Rahul’s bail plea adjourned
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
A city court today adjourned till June 13 hearing on a bail application of the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s son Rahul in connection with a drug abuse case.
The prosecution opposed the bail application on the grounds that the court could not hear it because it was a case that had to be tried in a sessions court.

Metropolitan Magistrate A.K. Chaturvedi adjourned the hearing until after the expiry of co-accused Sahil Zaroo’s police custody.

The prosecution submitted that the accused was also covered by Section 27 (a) of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that relates to providing finances for drug trafficking and was not bailable.

Yesterday, the court had sent Rahul to judicial custody till June 22.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police today denied allegations of illegal detention and torture of nine persons in connection with the Rahul Mahajan case. It said some persons present at the time of commission of offence were called for interrogation under due process of law.

In its reply to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), after it sought a report from the police in the matter, the latter said no person was detained illegally or tortured, said an NHRC spokesman.

However, the report said nine persons, out of which one was arrested and later let off on bail, were “called to the police station on various occasions as it was vital to question them since they were present at the 7, Safdarjung Road, the site of the incident, at the time of commission of offence.”

Top

 

Moily calls on Manmohan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily, heading the Oversight Committee set up to prepare a roadmap to implement 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions, today briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the work of the panel.

“I briefed the Prime Minister about my idea to call for a national colloquium on July 3,” Mr Moily said after the meeting.

Mr Moily had said earlier that the committee planned to bring out an interim report before the final report in August so that the government could take advance action to put infrastructure in place to accommodate the increase in student intake.

Top

 

No respite for Thackeray in defamation case
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 9
The Supreme Court today permitted legal heirs of a Mumbai social worker to move an application for pursuing a criminal defamation case against Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

Vankatesh Sharthankar, alias Babru, who claimed to be a social worker, filed a criminal defamation case against the Shiv Sena supremo for writing some articles in the party mouthpiece, Samana, in August 1994, levelling charges of his complicity with arms smugglers. Samana’s publisher Subhash Desai was also made an accused by him.

Since Babru had died last year pending trial in the case before a Mumbai court, his legal heirs have sought permission to continue with the prosecution of Mr Thackeray and Desai.

In his criminal defamation case registered in September 1994, Babru had alleged that the articles had caused immense damage to his reputation as a social worker due to the levelling of such charges by Mr Thackeray who wrote these and got these published in the Shiv Sena organ in August the same year.

While the detailed order in the case was reserved by a Bench of Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice C. K.Thakker, it clarified that it would allow the legal heirs of Babru to move an application seeking to continue with the prosecution in the case. 

Top

 

BJP needs to introspect: Atal

Gwalior, June 9
Amidst controversy triggered by his reported statement on Rahul Mahajan, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has said there is a need for the BJP to introspect in the light of the alleged drug abuse by the son of slain party leader Pramod Mahajan.

“Mistakes can be made by people and by the party. It will take time to rectify them. After this (Mahajan) episode, there is a need for introspection by the BJP,” Mr Vajpayee, who was here to attend a marriage, told reporters at the airport last night.

Claiming that his previous statement about Rahul was interpreted out of context, the senior BJP leader said he was speaking about him making a “mistake” from a human perspective.

“Law will take its own course. Those who have made mistakes will have to pay for it,” he said in reply to a query.

Taking a strong stand for discipline within the party, Mr Vajpayee said: “Indiscipline will not be tolerated in the BJP. People have been removed from the party for it and this practice will be followed.” Without naming former party leader Uma Bharti, he ruled out chances of return by those asked to leave the party due to indiscipline. — PTI 

Top

 

Cong targeting Mulayam, says Amar Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
Accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi of targeting UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party said today that a Congress activist had moved a public interest litigation against the SP leader in the apex court.

General secretary of the SP Amar Singh said here that the Congress should give details of assets of Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.

Mr Amar Singh’s remarks came a day after the Supreme Court directed the UP Chief Minister and his family to submit details of their tax returns of the past six years while hearing a PIL by Congressman Vishwanath Chaturvedi.

Charging Mrs Gandhi with indulging in “politics of vendetta” against the SP and its supporters, he claimed party sympathisers like Amitabh Bachchan had also been targeted as part of this campaign.

Mr Chaturvedi, he said, had stayed in a state government bhavan and had been getting legal advice from a Union Minister.

Mr Singh said UP Chief Minister had been regularly filing his income tax returns and would furnish all income tax statements made to the Election Commission.

The Congress sought to make light of Amar Singh’s accusations against its president Sonia Gandhi terming it as his “nervousness”. 

Top

 

1 cr textile jobs in TN soon
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, June 9
For those in north India looking for a career in the textile industry, Tamil Nadu is their green pasture because within the next decade 1 crore (10 million) new jobs will be available and the industry will be worth US $ 40 billion to 50 billion.

Though people have an avenue in the wool garment sector in Punjab, which is saturated, the cost of living in Tamil Nadu is far cheaper and the salaries are better.

In fact, students who could not gain admission to mainstream engineering colleges in north India might be happy to know that by the next decade there will be a demand for 100 lakh jobs in the textile industry in Tamil Nadu alone and they have the option for textile engineering for a bright future.

"Projected to grow at the rate of 12 to 13 per cent the Tamil Nadu textile industry is all set to become a US$ 40-50 billion industry by 2015 with the potential of creating as many as 100 lakh new jobs," says a recent Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) study on 'Mapping of Human Resource Skills in Tamil Nadu 2015'.

Identifying the textile industry as one of Tamil Nadu's high growth sectors, the study estimates that the current sectoral man power requirement, which is about 45-50 lakh people, is likely to touch 95 lakh to 100 lakh jobs by 2015.

The industrial lobby states the textile industry is highly influenced by government policy support, globalization and the impact of World Trade Organisation (WTO) development in retailing and technology and supply chain integration.

Tamil Nadu is well positioned to capitalise on the post WTO scenario, since the state has an established textile industry base. Home to more than 40 per cent of the large and medium sized spinning mills in India, the state produces a third of the Indian spun yarn. It also enjoys a leadership position in spinning, weaving, knitted fabric and apparel segments.

The spinning, weaving and processing have matured as high capital intensive and low labour intensive segments of the textile industry while knitting and garmenting have evolved to be low capital and high labour intensive.

The CII study reveals that at present the spinning sector focuses on cotton procurement, adoption of modern manufacturing practices, eliminating wastage at all levels. This segment increasingly needs multi-tasking and multi skills at the operator's level and automation.

However, it lacks personnel with commercial orientation in wastage reduction and good inter-personal skills at the junior level. It also lacks people with persuasive skills, team building, problem solving, knowledge on latest technological advances and commercial orientation at the supervisory level.

In weaving and knitting the skill gaps exist with non-availability of workers with interpersonal skills and quality orientation. Also, the industry finds it difficult to recruit supervisory staff with team building and problem solving ability, and knowledge on latest technologies.

In processing, the industry needs workers with strong operational knowledge, quality orientation, ability to operate computer-aided colour matching skills and maintenance skills. At supervisory level, the skill gaps identified are: managing attrition, expertise in sourcing needs to improve team building, resolving problems and technical knowledge.

In garments, the industry needs workers with good communication skills, active supervision, training skills and aptitude for repetitive jobs. At the supervisory level, the garment industry does not have enough people with communication skills, knowledge of fabrics and aptitude for active supervision.

Top

 

IT dept attaches assets of Zaheera

Mumbai, June 9
A total of eight assets, including bank accounts of Zahira Sheikh, the eyewitness turned accused in the infamous Best Bakery case, have been attached by the Income Tax (IT) Department, Vadodara, her counsel Umesh Deshpande said here today.

The attached assets include three accounts in Syndicate bank, Bhayandar, two unknown bank accounts, a house in Ekta Nagar, another flat in Mumbai and two small plots measuring of 15 x 30 ft, each in the name of her brother Nasibullah.

According to Mr Deshpande, the IT Department had sent notices to Zahira and her family under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, two months back seeking returns for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Ironically, the IT notices received by Zaheera on April 12 this year had to be submitted by April 15, which gave no time to Zaheera.

Mr Deshpande said upon receiving the notices, he had sent letters to the IT Department requesting more time to collect relevant details, as Zaheera and several other members in her family were serving their prison sentences.

On the contrary, the IT Department sent an attachment notice under Section 281 B of the Income Tax Act, 1961, last week, putting her properties under provisional attachment.

Mr Deshpande pointed out that the list of properties under provisional attachment were incorrect, as there was no proper verification conducted by IT authorities to ascertain her known returns.

He said their opinion was being sought from a Chartered Accountant (CA) in Vadodara on Zaheera's property and a genuine assessment and returns document would be filed shortly, requesting the provisional attachment order to be quashed.

He said, “We are not worried about the attachment, as her (Zaheera) assets were not mismatching the earnings of the Sheikh family. This is an attempt to break our spirits and push us into the black books of the society.”

Earlier, the Supreme Court, taking a serious note of a false affidavit filed for the second time, sentenced Zaheera to one-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on her for changing her statements on several occasions during the retrial of the case.

Zaheera, has, however, completed three months of the one-year imprisonment. —UNI 

Top

 

Speculation about IT notice to Amitabh 
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 9
Reports of an Income Tax notice to Amitabh Bachchan asking him to explain the sources of funds for a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses worth Rs 2.7 lakh sent the Bollywood fraternity into a tizzy today. Even as the Bachchans kept a studied silence, the grapevine had it that the UPA government was preparing to turn the screws yet again on the veteran actor whose souring of relations with the Sonia Gandhi family is no longer a secret.

Though the Income Tax Department denied sending Bachchan a notice, the grapevine had it that Bachchan’s other acquisitions, including a Longines watch costing more than Rs 2 lakh, his collection of Mont Blanc pens and 11 cars (Lexus, BMWs and Mercs), were being probed.

According to sources Bachchan had selected the Ray Ban sunglasses himself for his role in the coming “Zamanat” directed by veteran director S. Ramanathan. The actor essayed the role of a blind lawyer in the movie. After the shooting, Bachchan gifted the pair of sunglasses to the director who gave him his first break in the musical “Bombay to Goa” in the seventies.

The expensive sunglasses come equipped with a bifocal lens and also serve as regular spectacles. Their designer frames alone are reported to cost more than Rs 40,000.

Later this afternoon, the office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax denied issuing a notice to Bachchan. “The department has not issued any such notice to Amitabh Bachchan on this issue”, the statement said. 

Top

 

Company decries cap on Bt cotton price
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, June 9
Monsanto today decried fixing of prices for sale of its genetically modified BT cotton seed, “Bollguard”, by the Andhra Pradesh Government and said state governments should not interfere on the issue of prices.

The Andhra Pradesh Government had recently fixed a cap of Rs 750 for each 440 grams of the seed, which is sufficient for sowing on an acre. The seed is being sold upwards of Rs 900 per 440 grams in India.

Talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the Bangalore-Bio, where Monsanto is a participant, its India Managing Director Felipe Osario said he had also learnt that agricultural ministers of South Indian states were meeting in Hyderabad today to discuss the issue of fixing prices for BT cotton seeds in their respective states. Mr Osario said confusing signals had been sent out by Andhra Pradesh by its “unprecedented announcement” as the issue was already in the Supreme Court.

“On the contrary to what it being said by our critics, we are selling the seed at a lower price in India than in China”, Mr Osario said, adding that 440 grams of seed for one acre of land was available for Rs 900 in India wheras the same quantity was sold for Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200 in China.

Top

 

Woman gives birth to identical quadruplets

Chennai, June 9
A 26-year-old woman here has delivered identical quadruplets, a rarity that occurs once in 11 million births.
Shruthi Vivekanandan, a software professional, gave birth to four girls — Aditi, Aakriti, Akshathi and Aapthi— at the Apollo Hospital on April 25.

The babies were born 10 weeks prior to her full term and without any medical complications, doctors said. They weighed 825 to 980 gm at birth.

Cases like this, which are called “naturally conceived monochrorionic quadriamniotic quadruplets”, occur once in 11 million births, said experts.

However, Meena Thiagarajan, an expert in neo-natal care, told reporters that Shruthi's case was more exceptional as she had identical or monozygous quadruplets, wherein the four umbilical chords shared the same placental vessels and the babies were of the same sex and had the same blood group.

“In this medical condition, the mother carries the risk of the loss of all four babies at the same time, due to various factors, including chord complications and pre-term labour," said Siyamala, the hospital's director of medical services.

The babies themselves ran the risk of being affected by diabetes, anaemia, blood pressure, respiratory distress syndrome, infection and jaundice.

Despite being born in 29 weeks and three days, however, the babies are healthy and gaining weight rapidly, Siyamala said. —PTI

Top

 

CITU opposes modernisation of airports
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
CITU today opposed the government’s decision to modernise 35 non-metro airports through private participation, describing it as a “clear case of deceit and deception” and warned of a “major land scam” if such a move was pursued.

Condemning the decision to “transfer 35 non-metro airports into private hands,’ CITU in a strongly-worded statement said this was being done despite the Airports Authority of India’s repeated assertions that it could modernise them on its own.

“In a clear case of deceit and deception, the government has shifted from its earlier position that privatisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports for modernisation was necessary so that AAI could pool its resources to develop/modernise the 35 non-metro airports,” CITU said.

“CITU has no illusions that this was a pretext to privatise all the major revenue earning airports of AAI,” it said.

Top

 

LeT module cracked; two held

Ahmedabad, June 9
The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat Police today arrested two militants who had planned to target key religious and economic installations in the state, including Somnath Temple, an oil pipeline and the RSS and the VHP headquarters in the city.

“The two militants, who were arrested today are Vakil Ahmed Saiyed, alias Taffo, and Umar Farooq Sheikh,” Deputy Inspector-General D.G. Vanzara told reporters here.

“By these arrests, we have cracked an LeT module in the state which had planned to target the historic Somnath Temple, the Kandla-Bathinda (Punjab) oil pipeline, the Sabarmati railway bridge of Ahmedabad and the RSS and the VHP headquarters in the city,” Mr Vanzara said. —PTI 

Top

 

Fuel prices may come down in Maharashtra

Mumbai, June 9
Petrol and diesel prices in Maharashtra may come down by up to Re 1 a litre, with the state responding positively to Petroleum Minister's call not to levy sales tax on the incremental component.

“I have spoken to the Chief Minister of Maharahstra. He has in principle shown positive response to this proposal. But, before this price cut materialises the proposal has to be passed by the state Cabinet," Petroleum Minister Murali Deora told mediapersons here.

If the proposal gets clearance from the state Cabinet, the price of petrol will be reduced by Rs 1-1.25 a litre and that of diesel by paise 60, Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan said.

The proposal is not to levy any tax on the Rs 4 a litre hike in petrol and Rs 2 a litre in diesel prices that was announced on June 5. —PTI 

Top

 

Minorities panel team to visit MP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is sending a team to Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh on June 13 to inquire into reports of atrocities against Christians in the two states.

According to sources in the NCM, the team led by NCM member Harcharan Josh will first visit Bhopal followed by Jabalpur and Raipur.

In Bhopal, the NCM will visit the victims in the presence of District Magistrates and Senior Superintendents of Police of Betul, Itarsi, Seoni, Shar, Jhabua and Hoshangabad. 

Top

 

Four killed in Guwahati blast

Guwahati, June 9
Four persons were killed and 16 seriously injured when a bomb planted by ULFA exploded in the main vegetable market here this evening, a senior police officer said.
The bomb went off at 4.20 p.m. when the market at Machkowa was crowded, killing four vegetable vendors instantly and wounding others, Senior Superintendent of Police Nitul Gogoi said. —PTI

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 |