SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

BPO staffer’s rape, murder: Trial begins
Bangalore, January 2
In-camera trial proceedings into the rape and murder of BPO employee Pratibha Srikant Murthy began in a fast-track court, which is part of the Sessions Court, here today.

NBA activists stage dharna
New Delhi, January 2
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, along with affected people of Sardar Sarovar Dam, lights a torch during a protest outside Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. Narmada Bachao Andolan activists, led by their leader Medha Patkar, today started a dharna outside the Shastri Bhawan in protest against “the Gujarat Government’s move to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to 138 m and lack of proper rehabilitation of affected families in the Narmada valley”.

Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, along with affected people of Sardar Sarovar Dam, lights a torch during a protest outside Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi



EARLIER STORIES


63 Cavalry Golden Jubilee
Past inspires the present
The Commandant of 63 Cavalry, Col A.R.S. Kahlon, with serving and retired officers of the regiment after a sainik sammelan organised to mark the regiment’s golden jubilee in Roorkee on Tuesday.Roorkee, January 2
As veterans of 63 Cavalry walked down the memory lane and recalled their experiences of nurturing the regiment from infancy to its baptism by fire, it was a moment of inspiration for officers and men on whose shoulders now rests the responsibility of upholding the regiment’s traditions and ethos.

The Commandant of 63 Cavalry, Col A.R.S. Kahlon, with serving and retired officers of the regiment after a sainik sammelan organised to mark the regiment’s golden jubilee in Roorkee on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Fog continues to affect rail traffic
New Delhi, January 2
Nearly three dozen Delhi-bound trains are reported to be running behind time by two to 11 hours due to fog. Low visibility and unfavourable weather have compelled the Indian Railways to partially cancel eight trains and cancel other two trains, the Kalindi Express and Unchahar Express, till the end of this month.

CPM to join hands with like-minded parties
Kolkata, January 2
Accepting the realities of their poor political strength in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Manipur, the CPM Politburo and the Central Committee today decided to forge an electoral alliance with the like-minded parties and other secular forces in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the states against the BJP and the Congress(l).

Bihar adopts 5-day week
Patna, January 2
The beginning of 2007 in Bihar has witnessed a new work schedule at the state secretariat and government offices that presupposed an improved work culture on the lines of the promised good governance by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

80 lakh devotees to take dip
Ardh Kumbh mela begins today
Allahabad, January 2
About 80 lakh devotees are expected to take dip at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati here tomorrow on the first day of Ardh Kumbh mela, considered as the largest religious congregation in the world after Kumbh, amid tight security.

Kerala CM writes to Kalam on ‘ignoring’ Justice Bali’s name
New Delhi, January 2
The elevation of Bombay High Court Chief Justice H S Bedi to the Supreme Court seems to have run into rough weather with Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan writing to President A P J Abdul Kalam about “ignoring” the seniority of state High Court Chief Justice V K Bali in processing the appointment of the apex court judges.

More area under wheat respite for policymakers
New Delhi, January 2
There has been a considerable increase in the area under wheat and maize cultivation. This has given some respite to policymakers at the Centre. However, the area of concern is the lower oil seed coverage, as farmers in some states have mustard and Bengal gram.

Kala azar biggest challenge for Nitish govt
Patna, January 2
The ruling NDA government in Bihar has the biggest challenge to face on the health front -kala azar -a deadly parasitic disease transmitted by the tiny sand fly.

Liberhan Commission gets extension
New Delhi, January 2
The term of Liberhan Commission, probing into the circumstances leading to the demolition of the disputed structure of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, has been extended by three months with effect from January 1, 2007.
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Govt extends Press Note 5 conditions till April 2
New Delhi, January 2
The government today allowed further time-period to the telecom firms to meet the enhancement of FDI ceiling from 49 per cent to 74 per cent by extending the Press Note 5 time-period till April 2.

Duggal to visit Manipur today
New Delhi, January 2
Union Home Secretary V.K Duggal will visit Imphal tomorrow to review the internal security situation ahead of Assembly elections to be held in Manipur next month.

Musharraf greets Kalam, PM
New Delhi, January 2
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has greeted his Indian counterpart A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the occasion of New Year.

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BPO staffer’s rape, murder: Trial begins
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 2
In-camera trial proceedings into the rape and murder of BPO employee Pratibha Srikant Murthy began in a fast-track court, which is part of the Sessions Court, here today.

Pratibha was allegedly raped and murdered by the cab driver, who was taking her to attend a night shift in a call centre in the city on December 13, 2005. The cab driver Shiv Kumar had replaced here regular driver and had taken Pratibha to an isolated area on the outskirts of the city where he is said to have committed the dastardly act.

According to sources, cab driver Shiv Kumar, who has been in police custody for nearly a year, claimed in the court that he was innocent and had been framed in the case. He is said to have claimed that a supervisor of the travel agency, which owned the vehicle he was driving, was responsible for the crime. He has named the supervisor as Girish Babu.

However, the prosecution claimed that the allegation leveled by Shiv Kumar had been probed into earlier by the police and that he had been nailed on the basis of forensic and other evidence. The prosecution has also submitted that DNA samples taken from Pratibha’s clothing matched that of the accused. The prosecution has also put on record the cell phone records of both the accused and Pratibha to prove how Shiv Kumar manipulated the deceased into believing he was a replacement for her regular pick-up. The prosecution has also lined up 87 witnesses while preparing its case.

According to sources the trail got delayed partly because the accused refused to hire a lawyer and also because a public prosecutor could not be appointed for nearly six months.

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NBA activists stage dharna
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists, led by their leader Medha Patkar, today started a dharna outside the Shastri Bhawan in protest against “the Gujarat Government’s move to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to 138 m and lack of proper rehabilitation of affected families in the Narmada valley”.

Activists were stopped by the police at the gates of Shastri Bhawan, which houses the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as they tried to barge in to meet the minister, Ms Meira Kumar. Later, a delegation led by Ms Patkar, comprising social activists Praful Bidwai and Swami Agnivesh met Ms Kumar.

Ms Patkar said the Supreme Court had directed that the height of the dam could be raised to 122 metres provided proper rehabilitation of affected people was carried out, which failed to happen. She alleged the Gujarat Government was now in the process of raising the height of the dam to 138 metres by installing gates that were 16 metre high on the constructed dam.

“Chief Minister Narendra Modi plans to now further raise the dam height to 138 metres and the state government is also inviting hotel and water park industries to set up infrastructure on the banks of the river,” she said.

NBA activist Clifton told The Tribune that the minister gave the delegation a patient hearing and assured to look into the matter. However, demonstrators are planning to continue their dharna till they get a final answer. Ms Patkar is demanding a vigilance inquiry into the manner in which the land has been distributed. “The land mafia gained, while the real sufferers failed to benefit,” she added.

In the evening she also met the ministry Secretary Veena Choutray who heads the working group on relief and rehabilitation.

Addressing the gathering, Swami Agnivesh called on the UPA Government to ensure justice to the affected people. "It was the Prime Minister who assured that the rehabilitation would be done in a proper way. Now the height of the dam has reached 122 metres, but rehabilitation still remains a distant dream," he said.

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63 Cavalry Golden Jubilee
Past inspires the present
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Roorkee, January 2
As veterans of 63 Cavalry walked down the memory lane and recalled their experiences of nurturing the regiment from infancy to its baptism by fire, it was a moment of inspiration for officers and men on whose shoulders now rests the responsibility of upholding the regiment’s traditions and ethos.

Addressing a special sainik sammelan organised to mark the regiment’s golden jubilee here today, the regiment’s first Commandant, Brig Harmandar Singh, delved upon the birth of the regiment. He recalled that when he arrived at Alwar, a remote place in Rajasthan, to raise the regiment in 1957, there was not a single soul to meet him.

It was only later that officers and men began to arrive and initially the regiment only had a few vehicles to call its own. Things gathered momentum and just within a year an inspection team from Delhi declared he regiment to be fit to go into battle. He had to travel constantly to Delhi to get things done and some help was also rendered by the Maharaja of Alwar.

The present Commandant, Col A.R.S. Kahlon, spoke about the great traditions of the regiment and the challenges it was likely to face in the years to come. He said the welfare of ex-servicemen from the regiment came on top of the agenda. He added that extensive focus was being laid on professional and technical development of all ranks to ensure peak readiness at all times.

A former GOC-in-C, Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta (retd), who was a junior officer commanding a squadron from the regiment which entered Dacca during the 1971 Indo-Pak War, and Lt-Gen S.P.M. Tripathi (retd), who was the first Second Lieutenant to be posted to the regiment, also shared their experiences with the men. They exhorted them to uphold regimental traditions and to strive for professional excellence.

Two of the youngest second generation troopers in the regiment, Prem Vir Singh and Pradeep, also addressed the gathering. They said stories they had heard about the regiment had inspired them to follow in the footsteps of their elders. The Colonel of the regiment, Brig N. Sodhi, and regiment’s Risaldar Major Gurcharan Singh also spoke on the occasion.

Stating that the regiment had played a key role in the campaign for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, Col Partap Inder Singh Phulka (red) said the regiment had several achievements to its credit that were unparalleled in armoured operations.

An impressive sound and light show, highlighting the regiment’s march through the past 50 years and showcasing its achievements, was also organised. Later, a golden jubilee ball was held, which was attended by serving as well as retired officers and invited guests.

A large number of serving as well as retired regimental officers, along with their families, from all over the country are attending the event.

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Fog continues to affect rail traffic
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
Nearly three dozen Delhi-bound trains are reported to be running behind time by two to 11 hours due to fog. Low visibility and unfavourable weather have compelled the Indian Railways to partially cancel eight trains and cancel other two trains, the Kalindi Express and Unchahar Express, till the end of this month.

According to sources in Northern Railway, another five trains have been rescheduled.

The restoration of normalcy in movement of trains is at the mercy of the weather, says the Chairman, Railway Board, Mr J.P. Batra.

Asked how long the rail traffic would continue to be disrupted due to fog, the Railway Board Chairman said, “Ask the Gods”.

He said that the 40,000 drivers running the trains are under instructions to run the train at a speed they consider safe to control.

He said that all employees in the safety category of Indian Railways as station masters, drivers and guards undergo medical check-up. While those above the age of 45 undergo medical check-up once a year, the younger employees undergo medical check-up once every three years. He said that drivers, who wear spectacles are required to carry a spare pair in case the one in use breaks.

Sources said that the trains that have been partially cancelled are the Udhan-Abha Toofan Express from Howrah to Sriganganagar, the Udhan Abha Toofan Express from Srigangangar-New Delhi to Howrah, the Lal Quila Express from Kolkata to Delhi junction, the Lal Quila Express from Delhi Junction to Kolkata, the Janata Express from Howrah to Delhi Junction, the Janata Express from Delhi Junction to Howrah, the Bareilly-Mughalsarai Express from Bareilly to Mughalsarai and the Bareilly-Mughalsarai Express from Mughalsarai to Bareilly.

Sources said that the Amrapali Express was running late today by 11 hours, the Kashi Vishwanath Express from Varanasi to Delhi and the Shaheed Express from Darbhanga to Delhi Junction were late by 10 hours and nine hours, respectively. The Farakka Express from Malda Town to Delhi junction was late by eight hours. The Amritsar Express from Amritsar to New Delhi and the Mahananda Express from Alipurdwar to Delhi junction were running late by seven hours 15 minutes.

On the other hand, trains that reported somewhat bearable delays of two hours were the Sachkhand Express from Nanded to New Delhi and the Bareilly Intercity Express from Bareilly to New Delhi.

Trains that were rescheduled today were the Mahananda Express from Delhi junction to Alipurdwar, the Shramjivi Express from New Delhi to Patna, the Kashi Vishwanath Express from New Delhi to Varanasi, the Sadbhawna Express from Delhi junction to Muzaffarpur and the August Kranti Rajdhani from Hazrat Nizamuddin to Mumbai Central.

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CPM to join hands with like-minded parties
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, January 2
Accepting the realities of their poor political strength in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Manipur, the CPM Politburo and the Central Committee today decided to forge an electoral alliance with the like-minded parties and other secular forces in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the states against the BJP and the Congress(l).

The party, however, would continue to support the Congress(l)-led UPA Government at the Centre till the Manmohan Singh government was running under the common minimum programme, which the CPM and other left parties had endorsed.

Most of the leaders, including the veteran Mr Jyoti Basu, Mr Prakash Karat, Mr R.Umanath stressed upon the need to expand their party activities in other states, where they were still in a weaker position.

Accordingly, the leaderships of those respective states were asked to gear up their party strength at the grassroots.

After the end of the Politburo meeting, the Central Committee began its two-day session at the Alimuddin Street party office from today where the country's economic and political situation vis-à-vis the performance of the UPA Government, would be reviewed.

The Politburo already expressed resentment on the Indo-US nuclear policies and the country's defence treaties with the USA. The leadership also opposed the UPA's policy on disinvestment and the decision of lowering the interest rate of provident fund and all nationalised banks.

At today's Central Committee meeting, which Mr Umanath presided, several leaders suggested that the party should contest the coming Assembly elections in four states independently to adjudge their political strength instead of making any electoral alliance or understanding with other secular parties.

But after reviewing the party's political strength and the performance in past elections in the Lok Sabha, the Assembly and even the municipalities and panchayats in these states, the leadership felt that it would be an unwise decision to fight alone in these elections.

Accordingly, the state committees in these states had been allowed to initiate talks with like-minded parties for making an electoral understanding or seat adjustments for contesting the elections against the BJP as well as Congress(l).

The meeting also discussed the party's stand on the use of land for industries vis-à-vis the Singur issue, which a section in the party, felt the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, had mishandled.

The Central Committee stressed that in future while allowing the new industries to be set up on farm lands, the respective state governments should get a consensus of all political parties before taking a final decision. Mr Jyoti Basu and Mr Bhattacharjee were at the meeting only for about one hour in the morning.

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Bihar adopts 5-day week
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, January 2
The beginning of 2007 in Bihar has witnessed a new work schedule at the state secretariat and government offices that presupposed an improved work culture on the lines of the promised good governance by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

With Mr Kumar taking a great interest in adopting the smaller work week, the state entered a new era of work mode today with a five-day work schedule from Monday to Friday. The government offices would now open at 9.30 am and close down at 6 pm.

The state secretariat and other government offices would remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

What was more encouraging was that Mr Kumar’s rival in state politics, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, also extended his support to this endeavour by rescheduling the timings of all local trains to help government employees, who commute by trains, to reach office sharp by 9.30 am.

Following a circular issued by the East Central Railway, all local trains in the morning carrying office passengers from adjoining districts would now reach Patna between 8.30 am and 9 am. Mr Kumar himself today reached the state secretariat sharp at 9.20 am to attend a special meeting convened by him at 9.30 am.

Later, Mr Kumar clarified that in the new work schedule between 9.30 am and 6 pm, there would be no place for late arrivals, extended lunch sessions and early departures.

Talking to The Tribune, Personnel Secretary Amir Shubhani said that the respective department officers would henceforth be responsible for getting their offices running at full throttle.

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80 lakh devotees to take dip
Ardh Kumbh mela begins today

Allahabad, January 2
About 80 lakh devotees are expected to take dip at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati here tomorrow on the first day of Ardh Kumbh mela, considered as the largest religious congregation in the world after Kumbh, amid tight security.

A sprawling township of tents, marquees and well-decorated pandals have sprung up in an area of over 4,000 acres in this holy city.

Divided into 11 sectors, each under a separate magistrate, the township is connected by a make-shift network of roads with a total length of about 75 km. Thousands of security personnel have been deployed at the venue to prevent any untoward incident.

'Mehanivanis Akhara' will lead the bathing procession followed by 'Niranjanis' and then other 'Akharas'.

About 80 lakh people are expected to assemble for tomorrow's bathing considered less important compared to the 'Shahi Snan' (royal bathing days) of 'Makar Sankanti' (January 14/15), 'Mauni Amavasya' (January 19) and 'Vasant Panchami' (January 23), which are together expected to attract a crowd of seven crores. There are two other auspicious days of bathing on 'Maghi Poornima' (February 2) and 'Mahashivaratri (February 16). — PTI

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Kerala CM writes to Kalam on ‘ignoring’ Justice Bali’s name
S S Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 2
The elevation of Bombay High Court Chief Justice H S Bedi to the Supreme Court seems to have run into rough weather with Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan writing to President A P J Abdul Kalam about “ignoring” the seniority of state High Court Chief Justice V K Bali in processing the appointment of the apex court judges.

Mr Achuthanandan in his letter to Dr Kalam is understood to have pointed out that Mr Justice Bali was senior to Mr Justice Bedi when both were Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court prior to their appointment as Chief Justice last year.

Since Mr Justice Bali was senior to Mr Justice Bedi, whose name has been recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium to the government for elevation to the apex court, the Chief Minister has taken it as discrimination against mr Justice Bali, sources said.

Incidentally, Mr Justice Bali would be retiring on January 23. But if he would have been elevated to the Supreme Court, he would have continued to serve the judiciary for another three years as the age of retirement for apex court judges is 65 years while it is 62 years for the High Court judges.

Mr Justice Bali is also understood to have written to the President but the sources were not ready to say anything on this.

The Kerala Chief Minister has pleaded the case of Mr Justice Bali by terming him a “honest” and “upright” judge, which makes his case stronger for elevation to the Supreme Court.

The Collegium, headed by outgoing CJI Y K Sabharwal, had a few months back recommended to the government the names of Mr Justice Bedi, Calcutta High Court Chief Justice V S Sirpurkar and Guwahati High Court Chief Justice B Sudershan Reddy for appointment as Supreme Court judges. Their appointments are yet to be cleared by the President and Law Minister H R Bhardwaj had recently said that the notifications about it was expected to be issued soon.

The Supreme Court at present has four vacancies and with the retirement of Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal on January 14, one more vacancies will be created. The sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court is 26.

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More area under wheat respite for policymakers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
There has been a considerable increase in the area under wheat and maize cultivation. This has given some respite to policymakers at the Centre. However, the area of concern is the lower oil seed coverage, as farmers in some states have mustard and Bengal gram.

As per the latest figures available with the Agriculture Ministry, wheat and maize have been sown in significantly more area this season as compared to 2005-06. Wheat has covered 263.91 lakh hectares so far as compared to 247.25 lakh hectares during the corresponding period last year, while maize has been sown in 9.86 lakh hectares as against 6.79 lakh hectares last year.

Rabi rice has been sown in 8.81 lakh ha so far as against 7.79 lakh ha during the corresponding period of 2005-06.

Higher coverage of wheat has been reported in Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Coarse cereals have also been sown in more area this year as compared to that last year.

All coarse cereals this year cover 66.36 lakh ha area against 62.42 lakh ha at this time last year. However, coverage under jowar has been slightly less (47.298 lakh ha against 47.69 lakh ha last year).

As on December 28, 2006, the area coverage under pulses has exceeded that of the last year. So far, rabi pulses have been sown in 124.32 lakh ha as compared to 123.6 lakh ha at this time last year.

Area under rabi oilseeds (90.73 lakh ha), however, is less so far, as compared to last year (98.89 lakh ha) but it is higher than the five year average of area under rabi oilseeds (83.71 lakh ha). The less coverage this season is attributed to diversion of area of rapeseed and mustard to Bengal gram in Madhya Pradesh and to wheat in Rajasthan and Haryana.

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Kala azar biggest challenge for Nitish govt
Tribune News Service

Patna, January 2
The ruling NDA government in Bihar has the biggest challenge to face on the health front -kala azar -a deadly parasitic disease transmitted by the tiny sand fly.

Going by the official estimate, kala azar has already claimed about 98 lives in 2006 and affected another 25,000 persons, mostly poor. As many as 31 out of 38 districts was already in the grip of the deadly disease.

A recent study by the Union Health Ministry has also revealed that Bihar tops the list among the states, including West Bengal, Jharkhand and UP, which are yet to overcome kala azar.

Altogther 157 persons had reportedly died across the country of this disease in 2006.

A new ray of hope to check the spread of kala azar, however,has come out with the Institute for One World Health, a non-profit pharmaceutical company, announcing an affordable treatment for the disease.

Kala azar, medically known as visceral leishmaniasis, is the second-largest parasitic killer in the world after malaria. The parasite attacks the bone marrow and weakens the immune system leading to increased vulnerability to infections and diseases.

The little sand fly that transmits the disease multiplies in the cow dung that villagers use liberally to plaster their shanties or as cow-dung cakes for fuel.The flies survive on the sap in banana and bamboo groves and the decomposed cow dung heaps and make their home in the straw thatches of houses.

Despite the state government's claims of providing treatment for kala azar, it still remains a dream for the poor. The disease has affected mostly the ‘Musahars’, a Dalit community, who fall easy prey to the disease as they are forced by socio-economic compulsions to live in unhygienic conditions.

Many of those suffering with kala azar are in Tirhut division, which comprises Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Sheohar and East and West Champaran districts.

According to former Central Health Minister C.P. Thakur, an expert on the disease, more than 50,000 persons are suffering from the disease.

Bihar last faced a kala azar epidemic in 1991 when 2,50,000 cases were reported. In 2000, the numbers were low but it has been on the rise since 2003.

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Liberhan Commission gets extension
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
The term of Liberhan Commission, probing into the circumstances leading to the demolition of the disputed structure of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, has been extended by three months with effect from January 1, 2007.

The panel, headed by Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, was set up within a fortnight of the demolition of the structure at the disputed site on December 6, 1992 to inquire into the circumstances that led to the incident.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil had said during the winter session of the Lok Sabha that the commission would submit its report soon and the role of all leaders involved would be out in the open.

Mr Patil’s statement was interpreted in the political circle that the government may not extend the tenure of the commission beyond December 31, 2006.

While crucial Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are due later this year, some political parties are keen that the commission submits the report sooner than later.

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Govt extends Press Note 5 conditions till April 2
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
The government today allowed further time-period to the telecom firms to meet the enhancement of FDI ceiling from 49 per cent to 74 per cent by extending the Press Note 5 time-period till April 2.

“It is notified for the benefit of investors that the government has decided to further extend the time-period for the telecom service provider companies to comply with the conditions set out in Press Note 5 (2005 Series) by three months up to 2nd April 2007,” said a Union Commerce Ministry note.

The DoT had sought three months’ extension in October to revise the norms for 74 per cent FDI and resolve differences with other ministries. The new norms would replace Press Note 5 and give comprehensive guidelines for implementing the enhanced limit of FDI.

This is the third extension granted to telecom operators that have foreign direct investment to comply with security restrictions.

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Duggal to visit Manipur today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
Union Home Secretary V.K Duggal will visit Imphal tomorrow to review the internal security situation ahead of Assembly elections to be held in Manipur next month.

Mr Duggal will hold discussions with the Chief Minister and senior civil and police officials during his visit, official sources said here today.

Mr Duggal will also proceed to Guwahati the next day where he will review the internal security situation, especially in view of National Games to be held there next month.

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Musharraf greets Kalam, PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has greeted his Indian counterpart A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the occasion of New Year.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Hab also sent his greetings to Dr Kalam and Dr Singh.

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Dara joins Cong

New Delhi, January 2
Cine actor and former Rajya Sabha member Dara Singh has quit the Samajwadi Party and joined the Congress, according to an AICC press note. — TNS

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BRIEFLY

Port Blair faces water shortage
PORT BLAIR:
The Port Blair Municipal Council on Tuesday announced curtailment in water supply following the fast dropping water level in the Dhanikhari Dam, the lone water reservoir in South Andaman. Inadequate rainfall during November-December had led to the drastic fall in the water level at the dam. — UNI

Two ULFA cadres killed
GUWAHATI: Two ULFA cadres were killed in an encounter with the Army in Assam's Tinsukia district. Official sources said here on Tuesday that militants were engaged in a shootout with troops of 19 Kumaon Regiment in the remote Lakhipathar forest under Bordubi police station of the district. — PTI

Body of woman fished out
PANAJI:
The body of a woman was on Tuesday fished out of the sea at the Colva beach in south Goa. The woman, identified as Ajungla (23), was among the three people who drowned here on Monday. The coast guard is still searching for the remaining two boys, Zajamo (22) and Vilasieto (21). — PTI

Train hits cart, 1 killed
BETTIAH:
A man was killed on Tuesday after a train hit a bullock-cart at a level crossing near Sathi railway station of Muzaffarpur-Narkatiyaganj section under East Central Railway. The train hit the bullock-cart as the gate man failed to close the gate in time. — UNI

 

 

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