SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Maninder attempts suicide
New Delhi, June 9
Former test cricketer Maninder Singh, recently arrested in a narcotics case, was admitted to a private hospital early today after he slashed his wrists in an alleged suicide attempt.


Accident, says wife

A Delhi police personnel examines blood stains at the balcony of former cricketer Maninder Singh’s house in New Delhi on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

A Delhi police personnel examines blood stains at the balcony of former cricketer Maninder Singh’s house in New Delhi on Saturday.

Bumper cane crop rots in rains
Mumbai, June 9
With monsoons setting in earlier than usual, sugarcane farmers in Maharashtra face the prospects of their bumper crop rotting in the open while they await their turn at the sugar factories where cane is crushed.


Monsoon hits Northeast






EARLIER STORIES




UPA-Left Presidential Nominee
Too premature to comment: PM
New Delhi, June 9
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it would be premature for him to say who would be the UPA-Left nominee for the Presidential post.

Pak turmoil makes PM apprehensive of visit
New Delhi, June 9
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that the would like to visit Pakistan but he did not want to complicate the problems for President Pervez Musharraf. He said, “India does not interfere in the internal affairs of another country, yet I will like to visit the neighbouring country especially as I have accepted General Musharraf's invitation in this regard”.

Viral Outbreak
Kerala seeks Army help
Thiruvananthapuram, June 9
Kerala government has sought the army medical teams' assistance to cope with the spread of a viral fever to many parts of the state that has claimed at least 36 lives.

Job Lure
300 labourers held hostage
Patna, June 9
As many as 300 labourers are allegedly being held hostage in Andaman after being lured for jobs by a contractor and transported to the islands.

Returning land to unwilling farmers
Left Front endorses Basu’s formula
Kolkata, June 9
The Left Front committee today directed Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to return lands acquired at Singur for Tata Motors to unwilling farmers or arrange alternative lands for them as a step for resolving the ongoing dispute.

‘Gorshkov to be part of Navy by 2008 end’
Dehra Dun, June 9
Much talked about Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will be inducted into the Navy by the end of 2008. Besides, more than 100 warships will also be included in the Indian naval fleet. In an informal chat with mediapersons after the passing out ceremony at the IMA here today, Admiral Sureesh Mehta informed that the induction of the 45,000 tonne Russian aircraft carrier was part of the Navy’s ongoing efforts to increase its war efficiency.




A file photo of Admiral Gorshkov
A file photo of Admiral Gorshkov

Accept hi-tech war challenges, IMA passouts told
Dehra Dun, June 9
For 625 gentleman cadets passing out today from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) here, it was a historic occasion as they made it to the Indian Army in the platinum jubilee year of the premier Army training institution of the country. Besides them, 24 foreign cadets also passed out.





Grandmothers of a gentlemen cadet from Rajasthan kiss him after the passing-out parade of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) held at Dehra Dun on Saturday. — PTI

Grandmas’ Boy GC
Grandmothers of a gentlemen cadet from Rajasthan kiss him after the passing-out parade of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) held at Dehra Dun on Saturday.

India developing e-bomb
New Delhi, June 9
India is working on an electro-magnetic bomb, or e-bomb as the lethal weapon of the future is called.

Law student shot at by classmate
Lucknow, June 9
A law student of Allahabad University was shot at by his classmate following a minor scuffle over returning the borrowed money.

Governor for fiscal powers to EC
Dehra Dun, June 9
Expressing concern over difficulty and delay in release of funds to the state Election Commission, Uttarakhand Governor Sudarshan Agarwal today advocated delegation of complete financial powers to them.



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Maninder attempts suicide
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 9
Former test cricketer Maninder Singh, recently arrested in a narcotics case, was admitted to a private hospital early today after he slashed his wrists in an alleged suicide attempt.

The former left-arm spinner underwent surgery immediately after being admitted to Shanti Mukund Hospital, Karkardooma in East Delhi, and his condition is out of danger now, doctors said.

Maninder has so far not given his statement to the police.

Doctor G S Mathur told reporters that the former cricketer was brought to the hospital with deep wounds on both his wrists which were bleeding profusely.

“On examinations, we found that his wounds were very deep, particularly on his right wrist. Almost all his veins and arteries of his right wrist were ruptured,” he added.

Maninder has regained consciousness but will be kept under observation for the next 48 hours in ICU of the hospital, he said. The police, however, is yet to talk to him.

DCP (East) Ajay Chaudhary said as Maninder was unconscious, his statement could not be obtained.

“We have not spoken to the doctor yet but we'll be able to reach a conclusion only after knowing the nature of the injury,” the DCP added.

The police received a call at about 1.00 am after the former test spinner was brought to the hospital in a critical condition from his Gagan Apartments flat in the Preet Vihar area. His blood samples have also been taken to check whether he was under the influence of alcohol or some other drugs at the time of the incident.

The former cricketer is said to be in depression after his arrest.

Accident, says wife

However, his wife, Milly Singh, denied the allegations and said it was an accident.

“We were sleeping when he was knocking at the door last night. We didn't hear it, so he came to the balcony which has glass, bay windows. And without realising in trying to wake us up, he banged hard at the widows, losing his footing and falling down. That's how he cut both his hands,'' she told reporters here.

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Bumper cane crop rots in rains
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 9
With monsoons setting in earlier than usual, sugarcane farmers in Maharashtra face the prospects of their bumper crop rotting in the open while they await their turn at the sugar factories where cane is crushed.

Maharashtra's Co-operation Minister Patangrao Kadam told reporters in Sangli today that all sugarcane crop in Maharashtra might not be crushed in time.

Officials in the state co-operative department, who controls the sugar co-operatives, say 3 million tonnes of cane will rot in the open.

Kadam has mooted the idea of the police verifying the amount of crop rotting in the open and a pachnama being filed on crop losses. The Maharashtra government is mulling provision of compensation to farmers who lose their crop to rain.

So far sugar factories across Maharashtra have crushed nearly 79 million tonnes of cane. Farmers usually harvest the crop when their turn is called at the sugar factory. Cut cane dehydrates faster and the juice content is lost if not crushed immediately. But unfortunately for the farmers, rain makes the soil squishy and it becomes difficult to cut and transport the cane to factories quickly.

Though the cane-crushing season usually runs mid-October to mid-April every year, it was extended by another six weeks following a bumper crop.

According to analysts, Maharashtra's sugar production is expected to touch more than 9 million tonnes, nearly double of last year's output.

According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, production in the country is expected to cross a record 27.5 million tonnes this year.

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Monsoon hits Northeast
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 9
The monsoon has arrived in valleys and hills of the northeast India, much to the relief of the populace reeling under rising mercury besides rejuvenating the paddy fields.

The regional meteorology centre here declared the arrival of the monsoon in the region. Within a couple of days the monsoonal showers are expected to wash the entire region though rain will confine to parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

The mercury has come down to average 25 degree Celsius in the region during the past couple of days.

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UPA-Left Presidential Nominee
Too premature to comment: PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it would be premature for him to say who would be the UPA-Left nominee for the Presidential post.

The discussions in this regard are continuing, he told mediapersons aboard Air India One on his return flight from Berlin.

At the same time, he said he had no doubt that the next President of the country would be a nominee of the UPA-Left combine. At the same time, he said he believed that the NDA should support the UPA-Left combine's nominee for the post.

The last time when the NDA had approached them to back the candidature of A P J Abdul Kalam for the office of President, the Congress and others had extended their support, the PM said.

He said mediapersons would know who the UPA-Left nominee for president is when the decision is taken in the regard.

To another question, Dr Singh said there should be a reshuffle of his cabinet but that would happen only after the Presidential election.

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Pak turmoil makes PM apprehensive of visit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that the would like to visit Pakistan but he did not want to complicate the problems for President Pervez Musharraf. He said, “India does not interfere in the internal affairs of another country, yet I will like to visit the neighbouring country especially as I have accepted General Musharraf's invitation in this regard”.

Asked to comment about former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea to India to not have dealings with the Pervez Musharraf government as it was not a duly elected government, the Prime Minister said, "we will deal with whosoever is in power in Pakistan. We are obliged to do business with him."

“Therefore, India is willing to do business with the leadership of Pakistan in pursuit of peace and ensuring stability of the region. It is only in such an environment that there can be development aimed at bettering the lot of the poor”.

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Viral Outbreak
Kerala seeks Army help

Thiruvananthapuram, June 9
Kerala government has sought the army medical teams' assistance to cope with the spread of a viral fever to many parts of the state that has claimed at least 36 lives.

Defence medical teams from Secunderabad and Chennai are expected to arrive in the state on Sunday on a request by the state government as fever-affected patients continued to pour into hospitals, especially in Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts.

After an all-party meet convened to discuss the situation, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan said information from the two worst-hit districts, including media reports, put the casualty at 36.

According to official sources, Defence Minister AK Antony has offered to make available the Army's help to tackle the situation based on a request from state Health Minister PK Sreemathi.

A state-wide cleanliness campaign with the co-operation of political parties, medical fraternity NGOs and defence personnel would be launched from June 12. The government offered to release more funds for hospitals to purchase medicines and step up facilities to deal with the fever. One month's free ration would be provided to people in affected areas. — PTI

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Job Lure
300 labourers held hostage

Patna, June 9
As many as 300 labourers are allegedly being held hostage in Andaman after being lured for jobs by a contractor and transported to the islands.

This information had been received by the Bihar government, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said today. “We have taken up the matter very seriously,” Kumar said, adding that the government was already in touch with the Andaman and Nicobar Island authorities.

According to reports, around 300 labourers were recently lured from different parts of the state, including Begusarai, for employment in Goa, but were clandestinely shipped to the Andaman, where they were allegedly being harassed and assaulted.

“I also spoke to Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands past night and requested him to make arrangements for the security and safety of the labourers”, Kumar said, adding Lt Governor had assured him of taking proper and effective action.

A team of state officials was being sent from here to the Andaman.

Stating that he had also requested the Island authorities to take legal action against those responsible for the plight of the labourers, the Chief Minister said the state officials would also be taking an appropriate legal action after holding an inquiry. — PTI

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Returning land to unwilling farmers
Left Front endorses Basu’s formula
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, June 9
The Left Front committee today directed Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to return lands acquired at Singur for Tata Motors to unwilling farmers or arrange alternative lands for them as a step for resolving the ongoing dispute.

The directives followed Jyoti Basu’s compromise formula prepared by him after his meetings separately with Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee and the Chief Minister. At the Chief Minister’s meeting, industries minister Nirupam Sen and CPM party secretary Biman Bose were also present.

After today’s meeting, the front chairman told mediapersons that they welcomed and endorsed Basu’s formula for Singur, which the government should implement and the Chief Minister had been told to act accordingly. He said the Left Front as such could do nothing regarding the execution of the decisions adopted by Basu after his talks with Mamata and the Chief Minister.

Bose said the meeting today also decided that the 30th anniversary of the Left Front government would be celebrated at the Netaji indoor stadium on June 21. Similarly, the celebration functions would also be organised elsewhere in the state and in New Delhi.

The chairman, however, reiterated that all party meetings at block and district levels were necessary for normalising the situation at Nandigram. He said the CPM and other front partners were directed to organise peace meetings and processions at Nandigram,

Khejuri and other adjoining areas. Arrangements had already started for the safe return of the evicted people of Nandigram and Khejuri to their respective homes, which was a welcome step. He hoped before the onslaught of the monsoon, the evicted people would return to their respective homes.

Mamata Banerjee welcomed the Left Front’s decision but still the Trinamool Congress as per its previous decisions, today resorted to chaka jam agitation in the city and other places as a mark of protest against the forcible acquisition of farmlands for industries. The Trinamool Congress had announced it would organise demonstrations at all major cities in the country, including New Delhi, for highlighting the misrule and misdeeds of the CPM in Bengal.

The Trinamool Congress leader alleged that even when the Singur and Nandigram problems remained unresolved, the Chief Minister continued with the acquisition of 62,000 acres at Haldia for the chemical hubs to be set up by the Indonesiai’s Salim group of industries.

She wondered why the Chief Minister was so much interested and committed to pleasing the Salims at the cost of the livelihood of thousands of poor farmers and the working class people. She warned him again that they would oppose the implementation of the SEZ programme in the state.

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‘Gorshkov to be part of Navy by 2008 end’
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, June 9
Much talked about Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will be inducted into the Navy by the end of 2008. Besides, more than 100 warships will also be included in the Indian naval fleet.

In an informal chat with mediapersons after the passing out ceremony at the IMA here today, Admiral Sureesh Mehta informed that the induction of the 45,000 tonne Russian aircraft carrier was part of the Navy’s ongoing efforts to increase its war efficiency. These efforts for modernisation and efficiency upgrading of the Navy were in accordance with the fast changing global situation.

As part of the indigenous upgrading efforts, 33 warships were being manufactured at different dockyards in the country. In addition, funds had also been released for the purchase of 40 ships. The purchase of six submarines was also in the process.

Moreover, the process of getting a purchase order for acquiring sophisticated surveillance systems to effectively monitor security in the coastal areas had also been completed, he said, while emphasising that every single rupee of the allocated budget would be spent with utmost care for the purpose.

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Accept hi-tech war challenges, IMA passouts told
Raju William/Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, June 9
For 625 gentleman cadets passing out today from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) here, it was a historic occasion as they made it to the Indian Army in the platinum jubilee year of the premier Army training institution of the country. Besides them, 24 foreign cadets also passed out.

Addressing the newly commissioned officers after the passing out parade in front of Chetwode Hall on the IMA premises, the chief guest, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, apprised them of the electronic warfare of the future. He advised them to accept the sophisticated and modern warfare challenge and prepare themselves accordingly.

He said in the changing global conditions, the new warfare demanded greater preparedness and the new officers should imbibe qualities required to providing exemplary leadership.

Besides 24 cadets from Bhutan, Mauritius and Tajikistan, the passouts included 210 cadets of the IMA, 226 of the NDA, 33 of Army Cadet College, 31 of technical graduate course, 64 of university entrance scheme, 12 of SCO course and 73 of TES course. Of all new officers, 186 got commission in Infantry while 32 in the Armoured Corps, 21 in Mechanised Infantry, 112 in Artillery, 27 in Air Defence, 77 in Engineers Corps, 47 in Signals Corps, 58 in Education Corps, 20 in ASC and five in Intelligence Corps respectively.

During the investiture ceremony, the Navy Chief and Military Attache of Tajikistan did the piping honours in case of the new officers from abroad while the honour in the case of the Indian officers went to their respective parents coming from different parts of the country. After being declared as commissioned officers, the young officers expressed their happiness by customarily tossing their caps in the air.

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India developing e-bomb
Rajeev Sharma/Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
India is working on an electro-magnetic bomb, or e-bomb as the lethal weapon of the future is called.

An e-bomb effectively knocks out power supplies, telecommunication networks and computers. Such a weapon is safe for humans and does not affect even the skin or the hair of humans. Its use can push the targeted area back by 200 years -- to such times when there was no electricity. E-bombs can unleash in a flash two billion watts of electrical power.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, is working on the e-bomb project, a weapon of electrical mass destruction. It is not uncommon in India that the Indian armed forces or the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) outsource work on national importance projects to IITs or other such premier national institutions.

India’s e-bomb project is believed to have made a lot of progress. It is understood that considerable R&D work is going on in further areas of e-bomb such as (i) antenna, (ii) simulators of electro-magnetic fields coupling to a system, and (iii) electro-magnetic impulse. The objective is to make this system compact and light weight so that it can be used as a deliverable bomb.

The existence of a deliverable e-bomb is not known anywhere in the world, though countries like the US and Russia have been working on such weapons for three or four decades and even China has embarked on its own e-bomb project.

E-bombs can have application across broad spectrum of strategic and tactical spheres and can be used in attacking fundamental information programmes and communication facilities of a target system. The weapon will produce paralysis in any target system, thus providing a decisive advantage in conduct of electronic combat and offensive counter and strategic air attacks.

E-bomb is an affordable force-multiplier for the armies of the world. E-bombs can be delivered through Cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or as an aerial bomb.

There is an important area of concern for the Indian security and strategic forces in the context of e-bombs -- flux compression generator (FCG) devices. The Indian strategic establishment is studying this aspect in detail because it fears that Pakistan could in future use e-bombs against Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. The "late-time EMP effect" is the most worrisome aspect of FCG devices. It occurs in 15 minutes after detonation.

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Law student shot at by classmate
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, June 9
A law student of Allahabad University was shot at by his classmate following a minor scuffle over returning the borrowed money.

According to police sources, Ashish Kumar Singh, an inmate of P C Banerjee hostel, visited his classmate Santosh Yadav in the university’s Ganga Nath Jha hostel this morning asking him to return the money that Yadav had borrowed.

Yadav' expressed his inability to return the money leading to a verbal duel which quickly got out of hand. Soon, Yadav pulled out a gun and shot at Ashish. Before others could react, Yadav had disappeared.

A large number of students ran to help Ashish, who was immediately rushed to the city’s Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital where he was being treated. His condition was described as critical.

Angry students set afire Yadav’s motorcycle parked on the hostel campus. A case has been registered against him.

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Governor for fiscal powers to EC
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, June 9
Expressing concern over difficulty and delay in release of funds to the state Election Commission, Uttarakhand Governor Sudarshan Agarwal today advocated delegation of complete financial powers to them.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 7th All-India State Election Commissioners' Conference at Nainital, the Governor urged the election commissioners to emulate the example set by the Election Commission of India. He observed that since the electoral process is not free and fair, it should be transparent.

Chief Election Commissioner of India N. Gopalaswami asked them to become pro-active as there were enough provisions in the Panchayati Raj Act. He revealed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) were of the opinion that power of delimitation should be given to the state EC.

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