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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

India to raise non-trading barrier issue with EU
New Delhi, October 7
During the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Helsinki to participate in the India-EU Summit on October 11-12, India is likely to raise the issue of non-trade barriers with the 25-nation European Union.

Terror, trade high on Manmohan’s agenda
New Delhi, October 7
India is likely to share with the United Kingdom and the European Union the evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in July 11 Mumbai blasts when the Prime Minister visits London and Helsinki next week.

Mayawati gets even with ‘disloyal’ MLA
Lucknow, October 7
Unnao MLA Kuldip Sengar was expelled today for considering to switch over to the Samajwadi Party three years ago when Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav was putting together a coalition government.

BJP stance on Dattatreya shrine makes situation tense
Bangalore, October 7
South India’s ‘mini-Ayodhya’ is set to be on the boil again with the Bharatiya Janata Party putting pressure on its alliance partner — the Janata Dal (Secular) — to allow it to hold a ‘shobha yatra’ at the shrine of Lord Dattatreya at Datta Peeta in Chikmaglur district on December 3.






EARLIER STORIES


Congress President Sonia Gandhi prays in front of a portrait of Maharishi Balmiki before flagging off a shobha yatra from her residence in New Delhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi prays in front of a portrait of Maharishi Balmiki before flagging off a shobha yatra from her residence in New Delhi on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Afzal’s family returns home
New Delhi, October 7
Mohammad Afzal Guru’s wife Tabassum and son Ghalib today returned to Srinagar after approaching President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for commutation of his death sentence in the Parliament attack case.

Patil to visit J&K today
New Delhi, October 7
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow on the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 1,500 persons.

Menon discusses foreign policy with Yechury
New Delhi, October 7
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon today went to the CPM headquarters here and held discussions with senior party leader Sitaram Yechury on India’s foreign policy.

12 killed as jeep, tanker collide
Lucknow, October 7
Twelve persons were killed and nine seriously injured when an overloaded jeep in which they were travelling collided with a stationary tanker near Faizabad early today.

One dead, 70 hurt in Mangalore violence
Mangalore, October 7
One person was butchered to death at Bejai in the city late last night and curfew along with shoot-at-sight orders, imposed for 48 hours since last evening in Ullal, Konaje and Mangalore Rural police station limits, was today extended to the city and Mangalore subdivision following fresh incidents of group clashes, taking the total number of injured to 70.

9 get life term for killing cops
Muzaffarnagar, October 7
Nine persons, including a former army jawan, were sentenced to life imprisonment for beating to death two police constables in Paldi village in the district. The court also directed them to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 each by a court today. 

DD to air film on riots today
Mumbai, October 7
''Father, Son and Holy War", the controversial documentary by filmmaker Anand Patwardhan will air on Doordarshan on Sunday as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

Videos
Movies running across theaters.
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International exhibition on Indian Railways.
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Bollywood joins anti-child labour campaign.
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India to raise non-trading barrier issue with EU
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
During the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Helsinki to participate in the India-EU Summit on October 11-12, India is likely to raise the issue of non-trade barriers with the 25-nation European Union.

“India and the EU need to tackle non-trading barriers that exist in each other’s markets to fully benefit from a bilateral trade and investment agreement, which is to be finalised at the summit, according to the CII, which will represent the Indian industry along with the FICCI.

Nearly 23.38 per cent of total exports of India to the EU are covered by non-trading barriers (NTBs) — especially in the area of carpets (86.2 per cent), textiles and clothing (65.85 per cent) and leather (31.35 per cent), points out a CII study.

In fact, India is one of the EU’s most targeted countries affecting 3.5 per cent of Indian exports as against the global average of 1.5 per cent, said Dr Jayanta Roy, Principal Adviser, CII, who conducted the study on India-EU trade.

He pointed out that out of 84 antidumping cases initiated against exports from India, the highest amount i.e. 33 per cent were filed by the EU. This trading block also accounts for 44 per cent of anti-subsidy cases.

Standards are another area of concern and sometimes differing standards between EU countries can be a cause for concern for exporters from India.

The CII is of the view that there is a need for the two to discuss ways and means of overcoming this serious hindrance to bilateral trade flows.

During the summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath are likely to take these issues.

In the area of services, India has claimed that the biggest hindrance to greater engagement would be mutual recognition agreements.

The CII pointed out that the negotiations for mutual recognition agreements in areas of interest to both sides should be negotiated alongside the trade and investment agreement.

India may also raise the issue of implementation of electronic data interchange seeking that it should be extended beyond customs to all other agencies involved to achieve a fully automated and paperless system.

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Terror, trade high on Manmohan’s agenda
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
India is likely to share with the United Kingdom and the European Union the evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in July 11 Mumbai blasts when the Prime Minister visits London and Helsinki next week.

Foreign Secretary gave enough indications to this effect today though he did not issue any categoric statement.

The Prime Minister is leaving on October 9 for a six-day visit to the UK (October 9-11) and Finland (October 11-13) to attend India-UK annual summit in London and the seventh India-EU summit in Helsinki.

In response to a specific question by The Tribune as to whether the Prime Minister would be sharing evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in Mumbai train blasts with the leaders of the UK, Finland and the EU, the Foreign Secretary said the issue would “certainly” be discussed but he did not want to prejudge these discussions.

“Counter-terrorism is an issue that we have been discussing with the EU, Finland and the UK in the past. It is a big part of our strategic cooperative relationship with the UK.

“We will certainly be discussing all these issues which include our recent experiences as a victim of terrorism. We will certainly raise this. We will also see what can be done actually to improve the situation and to improve our common efforts against terrorism.

“The UK too has suffered from terrorism of the worst kind. We will naturally try and see what we can do together. But I do not want to prejudge these discussions. This is an ongoing dialogue,” Mr Menon said.

In the UK, Dr Manmohan Singh would hold the summit meeting with the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, Mr Menon said while briefing reporters on the Prime Minister’s upcoming two-nation visit.

Incidentally, this is the third India-UK summit meeting since the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and the UK was launched in September 2004.

Dr Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the UK Foreign Secretary, Ms Margaret Becket, will be among those calling on the Prime Minister in London.

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Mayawati gets even with ‘disloyal’ MLA
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 7
Unnao MLA Kuldip Sengar was expelled today for considering to switch over to the Samajwadi Party three years ago when Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav was putting together a coalition government. Many more may be shown the door in the days to come.

Announcing this at a press conference, BSP President Mayawati said at least three more legislators were on her “hitlist.” All of them had been negotiating with the SP but decided to stay on after she lured them away.

“Such persons can never be trusted. They are on sale and can be bought. There is simply no question of giving them ticket. This is the time to teach them a lesson,” she asserted.

She said she had come to know that Mr Sengar was thinking of switching sides after being persuaded by his cousin and Samajwadi Party minister Arvind Singh Gope. “I was able to convince Sengar against switching over by luring him with a Lok Sabha seat in the future and a Vidhan Sabha seat for his wife. But I know such persons are greedy and should not be trusted. That is why I am expelling him,” she said.

Soon after she resigned as Chief Minister in 2003, 40 of her MLAs had formed the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal which merged with the SP when Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav formed an alternative government.

Explaining her party’s decision not to contest the local body poll later this month, she said learning her lesson from the local body elections of 2000, the party took the decision to avoid dissidence on the eve of the Vidhan Sabha elections.

She said efforts were on to finalise ticket for the coming Assembly elections. “I am finalising seats where we had lost in the last elections...some of the candidates have been finalised,” she said.

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BJP stance on Dattatreya shrine makes situation tense
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, October 7
South India’s ‘mini-Ayodhya’ is set to be on the boil again with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) putting pressure on its alliance partner — the Janata Dal (Secular) — to allow it to hold a ‘shobha yatra’ at the shrine of Lord Dattatreya at Datta Peeta in Chikmaglur district on December 3.

The BJP has been trying since 1975 to ensure that the yearly ‘puja’ of Lord Dattatreya starts from the temple premises.

This has not been allowed for fear of a communal flare-up as the cave shrine also houses the ‘dargah’ of sufi saint Bababudan Saheb.

Despite the fact that that the Chikmaglur district administration issued prohibitory orders in the shrine area, the BJP is confident that its associated bodies, including the Bajrang Dal, would be able to hold ‘shobha yatra’ in the area.

Deputy Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa yesterday said the state government was likely to allow the ‘yatra’ in Chikmaglur on December 3.

He claimed that there was no order banning the ‘yatra’ and that the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court had only directed that rituals performed before 1975 should be permitted.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had earlier announced that the ‘shobha yatra’ would not be allowed at the shrine and the district administration had issued prohibitory orders to prevent any such activity.

Mr Kumaraswamy has failed to clarify his party’s stand on the issue even after a meeting of the coordination committee of the alliance held yesterday.

BJP Higher Education Minister D. H.Shankaramurthy, who had earlier demanded that the Tipu Sultan saga should not be included in NCERT books, today claimed that the committee had decided to celebrate the ‘Dattamala Abhiyan’ without hurting the sentiments of any community.

He said based on this decision, the BJP was confident that it would be allowed to go ahead with the celebrations planned by it at the shrine. He said prohibitory orders in Chikmaglur district would also be revoked.

When asked about JD(S) chief H.D. Deve Gowda’s comment on the issue, he said Mr Gowda had aired his personal sentiments on the issue and that the government would take its own decision.

Sources said the JD(S) and the Chief Minister were being pressurised by the BJP whose legislators had even threatened to resign their seats in case permission was not granted to them to hold ‘shobha yatras’ at the shrine.

Under criticism, the JD(S) is searching for a via media to resolve the crisis and seems to be buying time to take a final decision on the issue.

He said it was strange that Mr Gowda was now allowing his own son to buckle under pressure from the BJP to save his chair.

Meanwhile, activists of various political parties and organisations, including the Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike, stopped Home Minister M.P. Prakash’s car near Gandhi Bhavan yesterday and submitted a memorandum urging him not to allow ‘yatra’ ceremonies at the shrine in Chilkmaglur.

The memorandum said holding ceremonies by one party was against the inclusive sufi spirit of place and an effort to brahmanise the non-Vedic Datta tradition.

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Afzal’s family returns home
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Mohammad Afzal Guru’s wife Tabassum and son Ghalib today returned to Srinagar after approaching President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for commutation of his death sentence in the Parliament attack case.

Tabassum, before leaving for Srinagar this morning along with her seven-year-old son Ghalib, said though she was anxious but also hopeful that the President would consider her mercy plea in a positive way

Tabassum has been camping in New Delhi for five days to garner support for her husband. Afzal’s mother Ayesha Begum, brother Hilal Mohammad and father-in-law Ghulam Mohammad also returned home, two days after they met the President and made an appeal for Afzal’s clemency.

The President is still in the process of seeking legal opinion on their petition. However, the family got a glimmer of hope when the scheduled execution of Afzal on October 20 was put on hold after Tabassum filed the mercy petition for her husband.

During their stay here, the family went to meet Afzal at the high-security Tihar jail and persuaded him to file a mercy plea. Afzal, however, reportedly rejected the suggestion, claiming that he had lost all hope of getting justice from anywhere.

A dharna was also organised by noted writers, human rights and peace activists and academicians against the death sentence given to him for the attack on Parliament that left 14 persons dead, including five armed assailants. Afzal’s family also participated in the dharna.

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Patil to visit J&K today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow on the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 1,500 persons.

Mr Patil, accompanied by top officials of the Home Ministry, will visit Teetwal and Tangdhar districts of the state.

In Teetwal, he would inspect the infrastructural projects set up by the security forces after the quake and assess the relief and rehabilitation work.

In the evening, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad would be hosting a dinner for Mr Patil, during which the latter is expected to have an informal discussion on the security situation in the valley and the situation arising out of the clemency plea for Mohammad Afzal.

A spokesperson said the Centre was considering a long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for the state.

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Menon discusses foreign policy with Yechury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon today went to the CPM headquarters here and held discussions with senior party leader Sitaram Yechury on India’s foreign policy.

The CPM leader made it clear that Left parties were against any deviation from the country’s independent foreign policy as assured in the UPA’s common minimum programme.

Several vital issues, including the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, India’s relations with its neighbours and New Delhi’s role in NAM came up for discussion.

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12 killed as jeep, tanker collide
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 7
Twelve persons were killed and nine seriously injured when an overloaded jeep in which they were travelling collided with a stationary tanker near Faizabad early today.

The accident occurred at around 3.30 am on the Faizabad-Sultanpur road when a jeep filled beyond capacity collided with a tanker. Eleven persons died on the spot and 10 were rushed to a Faizabad hospital where another woman succumbed to her injuries.

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One dead, 70 hurt in Mangalore violence

Mangalore, October 7
One person was butchered to death at Bejai in the city late last night and curfew along with shoot-at-sight orders, imposed for 48 hours since last evening in Ullal, Konaje and Mangalore Rural police station limits, was today extended to the city and Mangalore subdivision following fresh incidents of group clashes, taking the total number of injured to 70.

Police sources said the deceased was identified as Abdul Gafoor (26) from Sullya, serving as an Imam in a Masjid in Bejai. A group of persons who followed Gafoor to the Masjid assaulted him with lethal weapons. Gafoor was immediately rushed to a private hospital, where he was declared dead today.

Violence spread to Belthangady taluk in the trouble-torn Dakshina Kannada district, where miscreants burnt three shops in Ujire. — UNI

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9 get life term for killing cops

Muzaffarnagar, October 7
Nine persons, including a former army jawan, were sentenced to life imprisonment for beating to death two police constables in Paldi village in the district.

The court also directed them to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 each by a court today. Two constables were beaten to death at Paldi village in 1998 for trying to rescue a man whom they had allegedly kidnapped.

23 persons had been charged with attacking the police party, of which 12 persons were acquitted due to lack of evidence and two passed away before the trial. — PTI

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DD to air film on riots today
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 7
''Father, Son and Holy War", the controversial documentary by filmmaker Anand Patwardhan will air on Doordarshan on Sunday as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

The court ordered the national broadcaster to air the film after Patwardhan filed appeals after Doordarshan delayed telecast for 11 years.

 

 

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