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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Sonia visits Nithari, slams Mulayam govt
Noida, January 6
On a visit to Nithari village to commiserate with the families of victims of serial killings, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today attacked the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh saying there was no law and order in the state.

Noida serial killers subjected to brain mapping
Gandhinagar, January 6
The two accused in serial killings of children in Noida's Nitahari village underwent brain mapping and polygraph tests at the Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) here today.
In video: Noida killings get grislier. (56k)

Forensic experts scan Pandher’s house
Noida, January 6
A team of forensic experts today scanned the bungalow of Moninder Singh Pandher, main accused in the Nithari serial killings case, and adjoining buildings here looking for vital clues in the sexual abuse and murder of several children.

No law and order in UP: Vajpayee



EARLIER STORIES




Lengthy CBI Probes CJI-designate sceptical
New Delhi, January 6
Though Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has been forced to order CBI probe in the Noida killings case, Chief Justice of India designate K.G Balakrishnan’s views on “very slow” probe procedure of the federal agency do not leave scope for much hope.

Infosys, Wipro were on hit list
Bangalore, January 6
The Bangalore police today disclosed that software major Infosys was on the hit list of terror groups, along with Wipro, with interrogation of arrested ultra Imran Jalal, alias Bilal Ahmed, revealing he had visited Infosys to ascertain ways and means of striking at the company.

More arms seized from Lashkar man
Bangalore, January 6
A team of City Crime Bureau officials today seized arms and ammunition, including an AK 56 rifle, from the house of Bilal Ahmed Kota, a suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist arrested here yesterday, at Ranipet in Hospet.

PM to open diaspora conclave today
New Delhi, January 6
When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurates the fifth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference at Vigyan Bhavan here tomorrow, he will focus on opportunities and challenges for the rapidly influential Indian diaspora worldwide and discuss new paradigms of development and concerns of overseas Indians in the global context.

10,529 villages drought-hit in Rajasthan
Jaipur, January 6
The Rajasthan Government has declared 10,529 villages spread over 22 districts in the state as drought-affected and announced relief work from January 22.

Kalam for creation of human resource cadre
Madurai, January 6
President A P J Abdul Kalam has called for creation of global human resource cadre (GHRC) to contribute for national development and also meet the global requirement for skilled personnel.

Man declares reward to trace son’s killers
Patna, January 6
A 70-year-old man in Patna has announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to find his son’s killers.

Cow slaughter: MP towns observe bandh
Bhopal, January 6
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in Mandsaur town, while at least six towns in western Madhya Pradesh were observing 'bandh' today to protest slaughter of about 100 cows, whose carcasses were found in abandoned slate pencil mines at Pithyakhedi village near here on Thursday.

‘Too early to predict El Nino effect on monsoon’
New Delhi, January 6
The UK Met office has predicted 2007 to be the hottest year ever that is expected to top the previous hottest year in the history -1998. The prediction has been based on the ongoing increasing trend in global temperatures and the presence of El Nino conditions, an event that also affects the Indian monsoon.

Gowda ready for issue-based tie-up with NDA
New Delhi, January 6
Former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda, who faced revolt from within the JD (S) for his party's ties with the BJP in Karnataka, is ready for issue-based coordination with the NDA at the central level.

Videos

Indian expatriates' meet to begin on Jan 7.
(56k)
Students remove encroachment on their school premises.
(56k)
Manisha Koirala to produce films in 2007.
(56k)
Dhanu Yatra.
(56k)


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Sonia visits Nithari, slams Mulayam govt

Noida, January 6
On a visit to Nithari village to commiserate with the families of victims of serial killings, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today attacked the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh saying there was no law and order in the state.

The most high-profile personality to visit the village in this industrial town where a businessman and his domestic servant allegedly killed children and women, Sonia asserted that a reluctant Chief Minister had to order a CBI probe into the ghastly killings only after pressure mounted on him, especially from the Congress.

"Law and order ka naam hi nahin hai. Yahan par aap zara aakar dekhiye kya haalat hai. Roz kuch na kuch ho raha hai," she said.

"We had demanded for a CBI probe right in the beginning.

But the Chief Minister refused to do that...Now it has been done under pressure from the Congress," she told reporters here.

The UPA Chairperson said the state government had initially refused to order a CBI investigation into the"cruel" and "heinous" killings of at least 17 children and women in Nithari in this industrial township allegedly by businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surender Koli.

Significantly, the Congress chief, however, did not reply to questions on imposing President's rule in the state. — PTI

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Noida serial killers subjected to brain mapping

Gandhinagar, January 6
The two accused in serial killings of children in Noida's Nitahari village underwent brain mapping and polygraph tests at the Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) here today.

The tests were conducted on businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surendra and the process was expected to go on till late in the night, DFS Assistant Director S.L Vaya told reporters.

She declined to divulge any details regarding the findings of the tests conducted so far on the accused.

The duo, brought here for forensic tests yesterday, have been accused of killing several children and dumping their bodies near behind Pandher's house in Noida, a township near New Delhi.

The two were earlier taken to Gandhinagar Civil Hospital for medical examination in which it was found that Surendra has diabetes, he said.

About yesterday's test Vaya said detailed psychological profiling of the accused was carried out.

Forensic tests are aimed at digging out vital information and leads from suspects using scientific equipment.

When the accused were quizzed outside the hospital by mediapersons on the allegations of cannabalism and murder, they chose to maintain silence and quietly walked away. — PTI

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Forensic experts scan Pandher’s house

Noida, January 6
A team of forensic experts today scanned the bungalow of Moninder Singh Pandher, main accused in the Nithari serial killings case, and adjoining buildings here looking for vital clues in the sexual abuse and murder of several children.

The police also took the blood samples of parents of children who have gone missing for matching the DNA with that of the skeletons recovered from a drain behind the residence of Moninder.

A day after the Uttar Pradesh Government recommended a CBI probe into the incident, the district administration claimed it had enough evidence to "correlate the incidents" in the macabre killings that have triggered nationwide outrage.

Forensic experts from Agra searched the D-5, Sector 31, residence of Pandher for the third consecutive day and widened their net by inspecting neighbouring houses, including that of doctor Naveen Chaudhary, whose name had figured in connection with an organ trade racket in a local hospital.

"After the initial forensic test, it has been found that there is enough evidence to correlate the series of incidents. Today, searches were conducted in and out of Pandher's residence and neighbouring houses," Meerut Divisional Commissioner Devdutt Sharma said.

He said the evidence collected so far by the local police would be handed over to the CBI on demand.

The forensic team was accompanied by Mr Sharma and local police officials, including SSP (Noida) R.K.S. Rathore. — PTI

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No law and order in UP: Vajpayee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said there was no law and order in UP and demanded central intervention in the state in the wake of the shocking discovery of skeletons from Nithari village.

"There is nothing like law and order in the state and the Centre should intervene,” he said here.

The BJP has already been demanding imposition of the President's rule in the state ahead of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The former Prime Minister, however, parried questions as to why no senior BJP leader has so far visited Nithari where Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi paid a visit today, saying the party was not competing with her.

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Lengthy CBI Probes CJI-designate sceptical
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 6
Though Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has been forced to order CBI probe in the Noida killings case, Chief Justice of India designate K.G Balakrishnan’s views on “very slow” probe procedure of the federal agency do not leave scope for much hope.

Mr Justice Balakrishnan, who has vast experience of dealing with the criminal cases as a Sessions Judge in early days of his career and later as a High Court and Supreme Court judge, was not satisfied with the “lengthy” investigating procedure adopted by the CBI, which, in his opinion, takes a lot of time in getting the cases finalised and filing of the chargesheet.

“CBI cases take a long time. They examine so many people and prepare volumes of documents… lengthy procedure of investigation by the CBI always delays the cases,” Mr Justice Balakrishnan said in an interaction with The Tribune.

According to him the fall out of preparing a long list of witnesses, which many a times included so many unwarranted ones, was that a lot of precious time of courts was wasted in their examination. The CJI designate pointed out that a tendency had developed off late that when a case got a political overtone it was found convenient to hand it over to the CBI.

But the final outcome of these cases was not encouraging, specially in those against the politicians and highly sensitive ones as most of them ultimately had failed in the courts, he said.

CBI’s lengthy probe procedure was cited by him as one of the major reasons for the failure of a large number of sensitive cases investigated by it as the trial courts got bogged down in sifting the voluminous documents collected as evidence.

He felt an urgent need for the CBI to modernise its investigation and prosecution procedure to make it more effective when a lot of hope was pinned on its credibility. He also felt that the number of Special CBI courts in states was far less than the volumes of cases handled by the premier federal agency and said there was an urgent need to increase their number to ensure fast disposal.

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Infosys, Wipro were on hit list
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 6
The Bangalore police today disclosed that software major Infosys was on the hit list of terror groups, along with Wipro, with interrogation of arrested ultra Imran Jalal, alias Bilal Ahmed, revealing he had visited Infosys to ascertain ways and means of striking at the company.

Police sources said Infosys and Wipro were top on the hit list of the terrorist, who had been given a detailed map in which likely targets had been pin pointed. He had also been directed to reconnoitre both the organisation and make a plan to strike out against them. The police said Imran was working for a Pak-based organisation which could be the LeT.

The Bangalore police took Imran to Ranipet which is close to Hospet in Bellary district where he was running a shop selling Kashmiri handicrafts since the last five years. Another cache of arms and ammunition, including five hand grenades, two magazines of AK 56 and a charger for satellite phone besides some rounds of ammunition were recovered at his instance from a rented house. A charger of the satellite phone, recovered from his possession, earlier was also unearthed from Ranipet today.

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More arms seized from Lashkar man

Bangalore, January 6
A team of City Crime Bureau officials today seized arms and ammunition, including an AK 56 rifle, from the house of Bilal Ahmed Kota, a suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist arrested here yesterday, at Ranipet in Hospet.

Briefing newspersons here, City Police Commissioner N. Achyuta Rao said Bilal was produced before a court and remanded in police custody for 14 days.

Later, he was taken to Hospet, where upon his voluntary disclosure, the police seized 200 rounds of ammunition, five hand grenades, two magazines of AK 56 and a charger for satellite phone.

He said the interrogation of the suspected terrorist and interaction with the Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir Police revealed that his name was Bilal Ahmed Kota, alias Imran Jalal, alias Salim (34). He was a resident of Sadarbal in Hazratbal, Srinagar.

Bilal was arrested yesterday while in transit to Bangalore and a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from him. — UNI

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PM to open diaspora conclave today
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6
When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurates the fifth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference at Vigyan Bhavan here tomorrow, he will focus on opportunities and challenges for the rapidly influential Indian diaspora worldwide and discuss new paradigms of development and concerns of overseas Indians in the global context.

In his inaugural address, the Prime Minister is also likely to stress the need for bringing a strategic dimension to the process of India’s engagement with its 25-million diaspora, which is increasingly setting the agenda in the domestic politics of many countries.

A case in point is that of the US where the people of Indian origin have emerged as a strong lobby, second only to the American Jewish lobby. Indians today constitute the single largest expatriate community in many countries and their presence in large numbers comes in handy for the Indian foreign policy makers in pursuing their achievable goal of making India a major power in the world in years in near future.

The Prime Minister is also likely to focus on the state and sectorwise initiatives taken by the Government of India to attract investment and for greater and speedier integration of the overseas Indian community with brand India.

The Fifth in its series, PBD-2007 will connect more than 25 million overseas Indians and provide a platform to share their experiences and role in the development of India directly or indirectly. Around 2000 delegates are expected to participate in the event.

The key objective of the three-day meet is to nurture and sustain a symbiotic relationship between India and its diaspora to address the development challenges that India faces while giving the overseas Indians the opportunity to become partners in India’s progress.

There will be 30 sessions on a vast range of topics where a large number of speakers from India as well as diaspora countries are going to participate. The topics include “Challenges of development in the global contextâ” to be chaired by Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath.

There will also be working session on media, which will focus on the importance of electronic media and the new information and communication technology for regular reporting. The potential for partnership between the Indian media and the Diaspora will be examined in the context of the advancement in the field of science and technology and the Internet revolution, which has altered the concepts of time and space.

Besides, there will be regional sessions on the Gulf, the USA, Canada, South, South East and East Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Pacific and Caribbean. Apart from this about 14 states of India will be participating in the exhibitions.

The focus is on establishing an institutional framework for sustainable engagement with overseas Indians to lead the knowledge, expertise and skills of the vast and diverse overseas Indian community into India’s development efforts. 

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10,529 villages drought-hit in Rajasthan

Jaipur, January 6
The Rajasthan Government has declared 10,529 villages spread over 22 districts in the state as drought-affected and announced relief work from January 22.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Disaster Management Authority held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje yesterday.

The government has decided to declare those villages which incurred a loss of more than 50 per cent of kharif crop as drought- hit and asked the respective district collectors to send their requisition for launching relief work.

According to Relief Minister Kirorilal Meena, out of 10,529 villages, 4707 villages have recored 50 to 74 per cent loss in crops. — UNI

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Kalam for creation of human resource cadre

Madurai, January 6
President A P J Abdul Kalam has called for creation of global human resource cadre (GHRC) to contribute for national development and also meet the global requirement for skilled personnel.

The President was speaking after inaugurating the Centre for Advanced Research in Discrete Mathematics(n-CARDMATH) and launching the nation’s first-ever integrated B.Tech course for hearing-impaired students at the Kalasingam Univerity at Krishnan Kol, 70 km from here yesterday. The GHRC should help the agricultural, industrial and service sector growth in the country, he said.

There was immense potential in IT, Bio and Nano-Technology fields around the world, he said, quoting NASSCOM-Mckensy report.

According to the report, there will be 90 lakh job openings in IT, ITES and BPO sectors by 2010.Another 60 lakh jobs would be created in infrastructure, transportation and retail sectors.

He stressed the need for producing quality students who could meet global standards. “Now 30 lakh graduates and postgraduates are churned out by the universities. The output from the institutions of higher learning would rise from 11 to 30 per cent (2007-15).It should again rise from 30 to 40 per cent in 2020 and 60 per cent in 2050." He also stressed the need for entrepreneurship courses to motivate students to take up self-employment programmes. “The banks also should give loan to those coming up with innovative schemes.” — PTI

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Man declares reward to trace son’s killers
Tribune News Service

Patna, January 6
A 70-year-old man in Patna has announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to find his son’s killers.

Mr Bishram Tiwary, a retired Professor, did so as he felt let down by the police. He had lost his 37-year-old-son Arun Tiwary, an engineer with BSNL, two months ago. He was shot dead on his way home.

Mr Tiwary had approached the police several times in the past. However, his efforts to trace his son’s killers did not yield any result. Mr Tiwary also personally informed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar about it.

A frustrated Mr Tiwary alleged that since his son’s case was not a high profile one, the police was taking it casually.

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Cow slaughter: MP towns observe bandh

Bhopal, January 6
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in Mandsaur town, while at least six towns in western Madhya Pradesh were observing 'bandh' today to protest slaughter of about 100 cows, whose carcasses were found in abandoned slate pencil mines at Pithyakhedi village near here on Thursday.

Tension prevailed in Mandsaur town as few miscreants resorted to stoning vehicles damaging glasspanes in the Purani Mandi area this morning. In the wake of stone-pelting, prohibitory orders were clamped, Mandsaur Collector Nitesh Vyas said.

Besides Jaora town in Ratlam district, Sitamau, Suvasara, Nahargarh, Narayangarh and Malhargarh towns are observing a general strike today.

Meanwhile, five persons were detained under the National Security Act and lodged in Mandsaur jail after the carcasses of cows were recovered. They were identified as Abdul Rehman Makdi, Rafiq, Farooq, Abid and Dilawar.

SI Chandrasekhar Upadhyaya and Havildar S.B. Singh of Yashodharman police station were suspended while a departmental inquiry was initiated against City Superintendent of Police Amar Singh Baskel and Police Station In charge Abhinav Shukla for laxity, Indore Range IG Varun Kapoor said. — UNI

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‘Too early to predict El Nino effect on monsoon’
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6
The UK Met office has predicted 2007 to be the hottest year ever that is expected to top the previous hottest year in the history -1998. The prediction has been based on the ongoing increasing trend in global temperatures and the presence of El Nino conditions, an event that also affects the Indian monsoon.

The Tribune talked to the Director of the Pune-based National Climate Centre (NCC), Dr M.Rajeevan, for his views on this prediction on Indian climate and more importantly on monsoon, crucial for the country’s farm-dependent economy.

According to Dr Rajeevan, NCC was closely watching and monitoring the trends in El Nino warming. The NCC is the main centre of the India Meteorological Department for long-range weather forecasting in the country.

El Nino weather pattern is caused by warming of Pacific waters off South America. If a year is an El Nino year, some weather experts say that there are 50 per cent chances of it adversely affecting the monsoon. But all years are not El Nino as some years may be normal and others La Nina.

According to Dr Rajeevan, the UK Met office prediction that 2007 would be the warmest year, using a prediction tool developed to predict the global temperature trends, is based on the increasing global temperatures and the presence of El Nino conditions.

“By September 2006, moderate El Nino conditions developed over the equatorial Pacific, which may continue to persist during the next three to four months. The intense heating due to El Nino conditions can warm the global atmosphere, especially in the Tropics. In the past, El Nino caused significant warming of the global temperatures. For example, the most severe El Nino event of 1997 was partly responsible for making 1998 the warmest year in records,” he says.

He, however, adds that the effect of warming on Indian monsoon cannot be assessed easily. “For example, in 1998 we had a good monsoon. However, the presence and evolution of the present El Nino conditions will have to be monitored closely. As of now it is early to guess the effect of El Nino conditions on Indian monsoon,” Dr Rajeevan said.

He said the relationship between El Nino and Indian monsoon was not simple, but non-linear and very complex, adding that “we will be closely watching and monitoring the trends in El Nino warming”.

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Gowda ready for issue-based tie-up with NDA
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6
Former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda, who faced revolt from within the JD (S) for his party's ties with the BJP in Karnataka, is ready for issue-based coordination with the NDA at the central level.

In an interview Gowda said he was prepared to extend cooperation to anypolitical party for future Assembly or Lok Sabha elections if it acknowledged the JD (S)' programmes aimed at protecting farmers, minorities and the rural sector.

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BRIEFLY

AIDS-hit couple kills themselves
KURNOOL (AP): A 45-year-old man and his 25-year-old wife committed suicide here on Saturday, apparently under financial despair after they spent all their money on treatment as both of them were suffering from AIDS. They killed themselves by consuming pesticide, the police said adding the couple had lost all their property to meet the expenses of treatment. — PTI

‘Golgappas’ claim 3 lives
AGRA:
Three persons were killed after consuming ‘golgappas’ in this district of Uttar Pradesh. The police said on Saturday, three members of a family, identified as Jagdish, his wife Devi and son Deepak had fallen ill soon after consuming the food last night. The members were rushed to the hospital, where they were declared brought dead. — UNI

16 Maoists surrender
BHADRACHALAM (AP):
Sixteen Maoists, including Prathighatana Deputy Dalam Commander Salapa Venkanna, alias Kranthi, have surrendered before the police, Khamman district SP, R.K. Meena said here on Saturday. — PTI

Maharaja dead
Dehra Dun:
Maharaja Manvendra Shah, the last scion of the Tehri dynasty and the first among the Indian rulers to sign the instrument of merger in 1949, died this evening in New Delhi. Shah, who was bed ridden due to prolonged illness, is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters. — PTI

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