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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Human trafficking
4 MPs fail to appear before police

New Delhi, April 24
Four MPs, whose names were mentioned by a suspect in the human trafficking case, today failed to appear before the police for questioning.

BJP may find itself in a spot
New Delhi, April 24
The BJP is going to have a tough time in Parliament, when it resumes its sitting on Thursday after a gap of about five weeks, over its MP Babubhai Katara's role in human trafficking and the inflammatory CDs which were to be circulated in UP during the ongoing Assembly elections.

Nithari 
CBI files third chargesheet

Ghaziabad, April 24
The CBI today filed the third chargesheet in a special court in connection with the Nithari serial killings against Surinder Koli for abduction, rape and murder of a minor girl. The chargesheet has no mention of Moninder Singh Pandher,who had employed both Koli and the victim Nanda as domestic servants.


EARLIER STORIES

SC order angers Karunanidhi
Chennai, April 24
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today virtually challenged the powers of the Supreme Court over the OBC reservation issue and warned the judiciary that the oppressed classes would erupt like a volcano due to denial of rights in educational institutions.

UP for grabs 2007
115 with criminal record in 5th phase
Lucknow, April 24
During the fifth phase of polling scheduled for 28 April, 115 candidates having criminal cases pending against them are seeking the mandate. Of these 58 candidates are either graduates, postgraduates or hold professional degrees.

Bihar shining under Nitish
Patna, April 24
Bihar finally shines under Nitish as a radical change is taking place on ground conducive to economic development. This sums up the consensus mood of who’s who of Indian Inc who assembled here yesterday to take part in the first ever meeting of Bihar Development and Investment Promotion Council (BDIC).

Patna, April 24
More than business the captains of industry, who assembled here yesterday to take part at the first ever meeting of Bihar Development and Investment Promotion Council (BDIC), were engrossed in discussing the path-breaking step by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the field of woman empowerment.

No move to clip IIMs’ wings
New Delhi, April 24
Rattled by the setback in the Supreme Court yesterday on the controversial quota issue, union human resource development minister Arjun Singh said today that if the government had decided on some matter, the IIMs had to follow it.

2 Cong men die
Guntur (AP), April 24
Two Congress activists were killed in grenade attack allegedly carried out by the TDP activists in Mittagudipadu village here today morning, the police said. B. Koti Reddy (42) and K. Butchi Reddy (35), who died in the attack, were accused of murdering the TDP sarpanch, Ramakoti Reddy. — PTI

3 abductors of FCI official shot dead
Guwahati, April 24
The Assam police today gunned down three ULFA militants suspected to be involved in abduction of the FCI executive director, Dr P C Ram, in a pre-dawn operation at Goshala hillock under Jalukbari police station.

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Human trafficking
4 MPs fail to appear before police

New Delhi, April 24
Four MPs, whose names were mentioned by a suspect in the human trafficking case, today failed to appear before the police for questioning.

A BJP MP and two BSP MPs communicated to the police about their inability to come over to Delhi today for questioning but the fourth one, also belonging to the BSP, has not replied to the notice so far.

The police had issued notices to the MPs - Ramswarup Koli (BJP), Mohammad Tahir Khan, Ashok Kumar Rawat and Mitrasen Yadav (all BSP) - yesterday after their names came up during the interrogation of Sunder Lal Yadav, an alleged conduit in the high-profile case.

While Koli said he was in his hometown Bayana in Rajasthan, Rawat and Khan told the police that they were busy with the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

“It seems the responses are reasonable. We accede to that,” deputy commissioner of police (crime branch) Neeraj Thakur told reporters here.

Asked whether the investigators have set any deadline for the MPs to present themselves before the police, Thakur said, “In our investigation, there is no deadline. Our case is not dependent on the interrogation of a particular person.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi police has sought details from their Punjab counterparts about the arrest of a travel agent with 34 fake passports and fake US visas in Jalandhar. — PTI

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BJP may find itself in a spot
Satish Sharma
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, April 24
The BJP is going to have a tough time in Parliament, when it resumes its sitting on Thursday after a gap of about five weeks, over its MP Babubhai Katara's role in human trafficking and the inflammatory CDs which were to be circulated in UP during the ongoing Assembly elections.

While the non-BJP parties will try to corner the main opposition party over the communal CD and Katara's role in human trafficking, the BJP will spearhead the attack on the Congress for its economic policies particularly on the price rise issue.

While the Congress is getting ready for the criticism that it will have to face from its allies, including the Left for its "neo-liberal" economic policies, the BJP, which had paralysed Parliament over the Bofors scam before the recess, is going to face the music on the issue of arrest of one of its MP Babubhai Katara for trying to smuggle a woman on his wife's passport.

The session, which will go on till May 22, may witness changes in political equations if elections in UP throws up a hung Assembly and the Congress remains in fourth position. The last three phases of the seven-phased Assembly election will be held while Parliament is in session and results coming on May 11.The BJP met a serious setback when Katara issue came into open.

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Nithari 
CBI files third chargesheet

Ghaziabad, April 24
The CBI today filed the third chargesheet in a special court in connection with the Nithari serial killings against Surinder Koli for abduction, rape and murder of a minor girl.

The chargesheet has no mention of Moninder Singh Pandher,who had employed both Koli and the victim Nanda as domestic servants.

Koli, in his confessional statement earlier, had admitted to several killings, that came to light in January with recovery of skeletal remains and bones from a sewer behind Pandher's D5 flat. He has been named for offences of criminal conspiracy to kidnap, rape and murder in total of 19 cases.

This is the third chargesheet filed by the CBI after it took over investigation of the case on January 10.

Earlier, the CBI had filed two chargesheets against Koli for murder of two women--Pinki Sarkar (20) and Payal (26). — UNI

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SC order angers Karunanidhi
Arup Chanda/Tribune News Service

Chennai, April 24
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today virtually challenged the powers of the Supreme Court over the OBC reservation issue and warned the judiciary that the oppressed classes would erupt like a volcano due to denial of rights in educational institutions.

Responding to a call attention motion in the state Assembly here today on the 27 per cent OBC reservation issue stayed by the Supreme Court, Karunanidhi said,“If this denial has got the stamp of approval from the Supreme Court, it means there is a situation in which two or three persons can determine the destiny of a hundred crore people.”

He said he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to convene a joint session of Parliament to discuss the apex court’s stay.

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UP for grabs 2007
115 with criminal record in 5th phase
Shahira Naim

Lucknow, April 24
During the fifth phase of polling scheduled for 28 April, 115 candidates having criminal cases pending against them are seeking the mandate. Of these 58 candidates are either graduates, postgraduates or hold professional degrees.

With this the total number of candidates is all five phases having criminal cases has reached 582. This is the finding of the latest report of UP Election Watch released today covering the 58 constituencies falling under nine districts that have a total of 863 candidates in the fray.

For the fifth phase BSP leads the list with 44.82 percent criminal candidates (26 of 58 candidates) closely followed by SP at 37.50 percent (21 of 56 candidates). The BJP and Congress lag behind with 25 per cent and 12 per cent candidates having criminals cases against them .

But the SP still leads the combined figure for all the five phases with 34. 62 per cent of its candidates having criminal records. The BSP is second 32.53 per cent. The BJP (27 per cent) and Congress (20 per cent) are still behind the two main parties.

During the fifth phase Kunda in Pratapgarh is the constituency having three candidates with criminal records. Thakur Prakash Singh, the candidate who takes the lead in this phase by having 45 criminal cases pending against him is also contesting from here and belongs to the BJP alliance partner the Apna Dal.

Similarly, the BSP candidate from Kunda Shiv Prakash Mishra Senani has five and independent candidates and minister in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cabinet Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya has four criminal cases against him.

There are 61 candidates having assets of more than Rs 1 crore. Interestingly, the richest candidate in the fifth phase is Lucknow East Congress candidate Sudhir Halwasiya who has declared his total assets at Rs 42.51 crore. Still he does not possess a PAN card!

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Bihar shining under Nitish
Tribune News Service

Patna, April 24
Bihar finally shines under Nitish as a radical change is taking place on ground conducive to economic development. This sums up the consensus mood of who’s who of Indian Inc who assembled here yesterday to take part in the first ever meeting of Bihar Development and Investment Promotion Council (BDIC).

A smiling Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also earned kudos from the nation’s over 12 top industrialists for considerable improvement in law and order situation which was crucial to attract investments. Besides, the state leadereship’s focus on social empowerment and stability was also acknowledged by them.

The Indian Inc opined that agriculture, food-processing units and tourism would be the three important areas of focus for the turnaround of the state.

The immediate gain for the Nitish government from the conclave was the commitment made by chief mentor of the CII Tarun Das to set up a centre of entrepreneurial excellence in Patna to help aspiring businessmen hone their skills. This was followed by the assurance by FICCI secretary-general Amit Mitra to adopt and set up institutes for vocational training and agro-processing.

Coming out of the meeting, Nitish disclosed that 12 sectoral groups, christended as Abiding Initiatives, have been constituted covering different sectors which would meet regularly and give suggestions. The sectors are agriculture, urban designing, public-private partnership, IT, energy, health, poverty alleviation, rural economy and tourism.

The captains of Indian industries, who as members of BDIC took part in the meeting, represented Mahindra and Mahindra, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Apeeejay Surendra Group, Gujrat Ambuja Cements Ltd, ICICI, Max India Ltd, Tata Consultancy Service among others.

Patna, April 24
More than business the captains of industry, who assembled here yesterday to take part at the first ever meeting of Bihar Development and Investment Promotion Council (BDIC), were engrossed in discussing the path-breaking step by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the field of woman empowerment.

From Anand Mahindra of Mahindra and Mahindra to K.V. Kamath of ICICI, all of them endorsed the move by Nitish encouraging social empowerment of woman as a tool for economic growth in the backward state.

The appreciation was related to Nitish government’s decision to reserve 50 per cent seats for women at the statewide panchayat poll held last year.

Nitish has planned to extend the same model in the coming urban bodies poll across the state too.

Besides, the Indian Inc strongly urged the need to focus on the education of girls to transform Bihar into a real developed state.

Female literacy rate in the state stands at 33.57 per cent against 60.31 per cent of male. The average literacy rate in Bihar is 47.53 per cent.

What makes the condition of girls more vulnerable in terms of gender equality is that the present boy-girl ratio in the middle schools stands at 63:37.

In the backdrop of these findings, Nitish explained two recent schemes launched by his government to encourage the education of girls. The schemes are ‘Mukhyamantri Balika Poshak Yojana’ and ‘Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojana’.

Girl students from Class VI to VIII in the middle schools would get Rs 700 every year for purchasing two pairs of uniforms under the ‘Balika Poshak Yojana’.

Under the ‘Cycle Yojana’, after getting admission to Class IX, all girls would be given cycles free of cost by his government.

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No move to clip IIMs’ wings
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 24
Rattled by the setback in the Supreme Court yesterday on the controversial quota issue, union human resource development minister Arjun Singh said today that if the government had decided on some matter, the IIMs had to follow it.

Asked if his ministry would give fresh directions to the IIMs, the minister did not think a fresh directive was necessary.

He disclosed that all IIMs were cooperating as these were basically government institutions and not private ones.

He rejected suggestions that the government proposed to come forward with a bill to clip the wings of the IIMs.

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2 Cong men die

Guntur (AP), April 24
Two Congress activists were killed in grenade attack allegedly carried out by the TDP activists in Mittagudipadu village here today morning, the police said. B. Koti Reddy (42) and K. Butchi Reddy (35), who died in the attack, were accused of murdering the TDP sarpanch, Ramakoti Reddy. — PTI

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3 abductors of FCI official shot dead
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, April 24
The Assam police today gunned down three ULFA militants suspected to be involved in abduction of the FCI executive director, Dr P C Ram, in a pre-dawn operation at Goshala hillock under Jalukbari police station.

Incidentally, the suspects were killed hours before arrival of the FCI chairman and managing director (CMD) Alok Sinha in the city to gather latest information about the operation to trace the abducted official.

Acting on a tip-off that a group of ULFA ultras were hiding in a makeshift camp on the hillock at the outskirt of the city, a police team set out to raid the hideout. The ULFA militants opened fire at the approaching police team and in the ensuing brief encounter three militants were killed.The police recovered one M 20 pistol, a few grenades and incriminating documents from the slain militants.

A police source informed that the slain ultras were suspected to be members of the ULFA gang involved in abduction of executive director of the FCI from the heart of the city on April. Two of the killed militants were identified as Uddhab Barman, alias, Bhaiti and Mrigen.

However, IGP(Law and Order) Deepak Pathak declined to divulge details about the involvement of the killed militants in the abduction incident in the interest of investigation.

Meanwhile, the CMD of the FCI, Alok Sinha who arrived in the city from New Delhi today, met senior Assam police officials to gather information about operation to rescue Dr Ram. He also met the state chief secretary P C Sharma, home commissioner. He is scheduled to meet the chief minister Tarun Gogoi late in the evening.

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