SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

48-hour economic blockade
Naxals lay siege to railway station
Ranchi, June 27
Defying tight security, the CPI (Maoist) ultras today laid siege to a railway station for hours and detonated powerful landmines, blowing up a busy bridge as the Naxal-sponsored 48-hour economic blockade entered the second day in Jharkhand.

Police on high alert after arrest of Maoists
Chennai, June 27
The Tamil Nadu police is on high alert after the arrest of armed Maoists from a jungle in Dindigul district while a Sri Lankan Minister is staying in a nearby guesthouse attending a seminar.

SC no to enhanced relief for police firing victim
New Delhi, June 27
A civilian from Punjab, badly wounded in indiscriminate firing by the police which mistook him as a terrorist during a combing operation at the peak of militancy 17 years ago in the state, lost the battle for enhanced compensation, as the Supreme Court rejected his plea due to the wrong procedure he had followed to approach the high court.





EARLIER STORIES




An aerial view of the USS Nimitz, one of world’s largest aircraft carriers. The ship is scheduled to dock at Chennai in the first week of July.
An aerial view of the USS Nimitz, one of world’s largest aircraft carriers. The ship is scheduled to dock at Chennai in the first week of July. This will be the first time that a US supercarrier will call at a port. — PTI

India, Pak begin talks on gas pipeline
New Delhi, June 27
Amidst strong opposition from Washington to the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, New Delhi and Islamabad began talks to sort out differences on transportation tariff, transit fee and safety of the project. “We are trying to come to an agreement on how much money we should pay Pakistan for the right of way and the security and safety for the pipeline,” a petroleum ministry official said.

BJP’s UP Debacle
‘Silent’ Atal endorses criticism of party chief
New Delhi, June 27
The efforts of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh to brush the real cause of the party’s defeat in the recent Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh under the carpet came under fire from not only senior leader L K Advani but even from former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the two-day meeting of the National Executive, which concluded, here yesterday.

Food Scam in UP
Cases handed over to SIT

Lucknow, June 27
The first set of cases to be handed over to the newly constituted special investigation team (SIT) concern massive irregularities in the public distribution system across 32 districts in the past three years.

Presidential Poll
Cong seeks AUDF support
Guwahati, June 27
The upcoming presidential election is likely to change the political equation in Assam with the Congress inching closer to the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) to seek support for the UPA nominee, Pratibha Patil.

PM defends Pratibha, three ministers
New Delhi, June 27
For the first time, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight came out in defence of the UPA's presidential candidate Pratibha Patil and said the campaign against her was "mud-slinging".

Remarks on Pratibha
Dasmunsi blasts Advani
New Delhi, June 27
Reacting to senior BJP leader L K Advani's reference to UPA's presidential nominee as "tainted," the Congress today termed him a leader who is "frustrated within and outside" and dismissed his remarks as "unsubstantiated," "undignified" and "deplorable."

Prez poll: Cong to counter NDA smear campaign shrilly
New Delhi, June 27
Realising that the NDA’s smear campaign against the UPA’s presidential nominee Pratibha Patil will become more shrill in the coming days, the Congress has decided to respond with an equally aggressive perosnalised attack against the opposition-backed candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

President’s salary may double
New Delhi, June 27
Ahead of the presidential poll next month, the union cabinet is tomorrow likely to consider a proposal to double the salary of the first citizen to Rs 1 lakh per month and enhance post-retirement benefits. The cabinet will also consider increasing emoluments of other constitutional functionaries like the Vice-President and the Governors, sources said. — PTI

Jackals attack villagers
Patna, June 27
At least 150 villagers in Gopalganj district, about 200 km from Patna, fled their homes after a pack of jackals attacked them on Tuesday.

Himesh in dargah row
Ajmer, June 27
Taking strong exception to singer-turned-actor Himesh Reshammiya's alleged entry to the world-famous Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti Dargah in 'burqa' (veil) last night, the Ajmer Dargah Committee is planning to take stern action against the singer for his act.

Loss of MC may hasten Sena-BJP split
Mumbai, June 27
The beleaguered Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance is facing an immediate threat in Maharashtra - the possible loss of the power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Cong, BSP force repeated adjournments
Dehra Dun, June 27
Repeated adjournments forced by the opposition Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today on the issue of law and order situation in the state marred the opening day of the budget session of the Uttarakhand Assembly.

Patient’s death causes doctor to surrender
Kolkata, June 27
Driven by remorse, a doctor in West Bengal, whose patient died of post-operative complications after an abortion, surrendered to police but he was not arrested as the matter was referred to the medical board.

Dodda Ganesh joins JD (S), Azhar also might
Bangalore, June 27
The Janata Dal (Secular) today acquired the services of a homegrown cricketer with retired Karnataka medium spinner Dodda Ganesh joining the party in the presence of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda here.

Jails put under principal secy (home)
Sultanpur Jail Incident Fallout
Lucknow, June 27
As a fallout of the Sultanpur jail incident, the Mayawati government today decided to place jails across the state directly under principal secretary home for better coordination between jail and police personnel in administering jails.

Prominent buildings expose energy wastage
New Delhi, June 27
A Greenpeace probe into the building sector has revealed some startling results. With the help of thermographic images captured by special infrared camera, the environmental NGO today exposed excessive energy wastage by some prominent and well-known buildings in the national as well as the commercial Capital of the country.

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48-hour economic blockade
Naxals lay siege to railway station

Ranchi, June 27
Defying tight security, the CPI (Maoist) ultras today laid siege to a railway station for hours and detonated powerful landmines, blowing up a busy bridge as the Naxal-sponsored 48-hour economic blockade entered the second day in Jharkhand.

Chief Minister Madhu Koda expressed concern over the spurt in the Naxalite movement, saying the whole state was under the grip of insurgents. Koda made this statement at an official function held here on the occasion of inauguration of Police Wireless Bhavan.

The Naxal's agitation has had a cascading impact on economy, leading to loss of property worth hundreds of crores of rupees so far.

South East Railway senior divisional commercial manager Vivek Srivastav told UNI over phone that armed Naxals laid siege to Hatiya-Rourkela Railway Zone and brought the movement of trains to a virtual halt.

The Hatiya-bound Tapaswini Express from Puri and another passenger train were stopped at separate places.

Though the ultras freed the station by noon, the trains were yet to ply awaiting security clearance from the police.

In Chatra, the CPI (Maoist) activists detonated a powerful landmine, blowing up a bridge under the Hantarganj police station.

The police said the CPI (Maoist) ultras, on the second day of their stir, exploded the landmine, blowing the bridge over the Ghari river on busy Hantarganj-Pratappur road near Kasikebal village.

Yesterday, the Maoists torched a vehicle of a marriage party in the district after dragging out all its occupants.

In Bokaro, the CPI (Maoist) ultras blew up railway tracks this morning between Dumri and Dania under the Gomiya police station.

The police said hundreds of armed Naxals had damaged about 2.5 km railway tracks in the area.

The Naxals had yesterday stopped a coal-laden goods train at a place between Daniya and Jagehar in Bihar and unloaded coal from about 59 bogies. — UNI

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Police on high alert after arrest of Maoists
Tribune News Service

Chennai, June 27
The Tamil Nadu police is on high alert after the arrest of armed Maoists from a jungle in Dindigul district while a Sri Lankan Minister is staying in a nearby guesthouse attending a seminar.

The police could arrest three Maoists with grenades, bomb making materials, arms and ammunitions after villagers armed with spears and sickles at Murugan Malali in Periyakulam in Dindigul district, 600 km from here, overpowered them. However, seven other Maoists, including two women escaped into the jungles.

The presence of the Maoists in the area is significant as the Sri Lankan Minister for Horticulture Mirnala Fernando has been staying in the Periyakulam Horticulture Research Institute attending a seminar.

The police said interrogation of the arrested men revealed they were connected to the CPI (Maoists) in Andhra Pradesh and had been training the hilly area for quite some time.

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SC no to enhanced relief for police firing victim
S.S.Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 27
A civilian from Punjab, badly wounded in indiscriminate firing by the police which mistook him as a terrorist during a combing operation at the peak of militancy 17 years ago in the state, lost the battle for enhanced compensation, as the Supreme Court rejected his plea due to the wrong procedure he had followed to approach the high court.

However, taking a compassionate view of the kind of injury suffered by Kuldip Singh in the assault on him on July 7, 1991, due to which one of his arms had to be amputated from the elbow, a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D.K.Jain awarded him Rs 20,000 as enhanced treatment cost, whereas the government had given him only Rs 3,378 for this.

Kuldip Singh, who though was given employment as watchman by the government for suffering permanent disability due to the police action, had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court under Section 482 of the Cr PC, claiming Rs 3 lakh as compensation.

The Section 482 procedure can be invoked only in cases where the existing rules are not properly applied by the authorities.

Under the Punjab Government rules, laid down in a notification of January 1991 for award of ex-gratia during terrorism, the maximum compensation was fixed at Rs 20,000 for 100 per cent disability. The high court had enhanced it to Rs 80,000.

But the Punjab Government challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court on the grounds that when clear rules had been laid down for the award of the ex-gratia, ordering of higher compensation by the high court by invoking the provisions of Section 482 of the Cr PC was not sustainable.

The apex court agreed with the Punjab Government’s plea and held that Kuldip Singh had not claimed the compensation in a writ petition, but approached the high court under Section 482 of Cr PC to invoke court’s inherent power to seek a direction to the state government for a relief under it.

Since the state government had laid down the rules for ex-gratia payment, “the question of the respondent making any claim in terms of the notification for a higher amount does not arise,” the apex court ruled.

Besides, he had approached the court 10 years after the government had already paid him Rs 20,000 as ex-gratia under the rule and Rs 3,378 as treatment cost.

As he had chosen to approached the high court under Section 482, “strictly speaking, in terms of the notification nothing further is to be paid to the respondent”, the apex court said.

But it found that the medical treatment cost paid to him was too small an amount compared to the expenses incurred in the kind of surgery he had undergone, hence it was fixed at Rs 20,000. The government was ordered to make the additional medical cost to him within two months.

Kuldip Singh was fired upon by the police on July 7, 1991, night when he came in the way of a team conducting a combing operation riding his vehicle near a village. When the police cautioned him instead of halting, he sped and came under a rain of bullets. As the police found that he was not the terrorist it was looking for, it rushed him to the PGI, Chandigarh.

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India, Pak begin talks on gas pipeline
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 27
Amidst strong opposition from Washington to the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, New Delhi and Islamabad began talks to sort out differences on transportation tariff, transit fee and safety of the project. “We are trying to come to an agreement on how much money we should pay Pakistan for the right of way and the security and safety for the pipeline,” a petroleum ministry official said.

Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan is heading the Indian side, while his Pakistan counterpart Ahmad Waqar is leading a six-member team from his country.

India and Pakistan will continue secretary-level discussions tomorrow morning and will be later joined by an Iranian delegation led by Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, Iranian oil minister’s special envoy for the tri-nation 1,035 km long pipeline in the afternoon for a trilateral joint working group meeting that end Friday.

The three sides will discuss all issues relating to the over $7 billion pipeline like the route of its proposed, the price of Iranian gas and transportation fee so that they can firm up a deal with Iran at a tripartite ministerial meeting that is likely to be held next month.

The project to supply natural gas from Iran to India through Pakistan is likely to become a reality by 2010.

Talks have been stalled on the issue because of two factors: the price of Iranian gas and transit fee that India must pay to Pakistan. Iran wants to sell natural gas to the two countries at $4.93 per mBtu, using the price of oil at $60 per barrel as a benchmark.

The US is opposed to the pipeline project, which aims to feed the growing needs of the energy-hungry subcontinent, because of Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

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BJP’s UP Debacle
‘Silent’ Atal endorses criticism of party chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 27
The efforts of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh to brush the real cause of the party’s defeat in the recent Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh under the carpet came under fire from not only senior leader L K Advani but even from former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the two-day meeting of the National Executive, which concluded, here yesterday.

While Advani asked the party to undertake an “honest introspection and self-critical analysis” on the causes of the BJP’s dismal performance, Vajpayee chose to remain silent over the issue in his address to the delegates, sources said. They added that the former PM’s “silence” was a reflection of the state of affairs in the party.

Rubbing salt on the wounds is the fact that despite Advani’s advice that the party’s poor performance in UP should not be compared to that of Goa, the party chief once again stressed that the party would review its showing in Assembly elections in UP and Goa, a senior leader pointed out.

Sources said Vajpayee, who has reportedly been very upset over BJP’s decline in UP, has conveyed his “unhappiness” over the party’s attempt to suppress an honest discussion on the causes of defeat.

Many delegates, a senior UP leader said, appreciated party MP Maneka Gandhi’s comment that if the drift in the party in the biggest state was not arrested immediately then the BJP would end up with just four Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 general elections. The leader added that both state unit party chief Kesrinath Tripathi and Legislature Party leader in state Assembly Om Prakash Singh had played to the tune of Rajnath Singh as they did not go deep into the causes of defeat. It had not gone well with the party when former state CM Kalyan Singh, whom the party had projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, refused to speak on the UP situation, he said.

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Food Scam in UP
Cases handed over to SIT
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, June 27
The first set of cases to be handed over to the newly constituted special investigation team (SIT) concern massive irregularities in the public distribution system across 32 districts in the past three years.

The first job that has gone to the SIT is a set of several inter-linked cases about misappropriation and diversion of foodgrains into the open market that were to be distributed to the poorest of the poor under various Central government schemes during the years 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Popularly known as the ‘food scam’, the SIT has been asked to submit its report in the matter within three months.

Announcing this at a press conference, Chief Minister Mayawati said that a decision had been taken to investigate the food scam in district Gonda and Ballia under the Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) during 2004-05.

The Chief Minister gave details of the first set of cases and said that the brief was to investigate the dubious modus operandi of the contractors, transporters who diverted the foodgrains into the open market and the money into the pockets of those who needed to be kept in their good books.

Preliminary investigations had unearthed irregularities worth Rs 28 crore in Gonda district alone. Handing over the matter to the Economic Offences Wing, the then state government had even ignored a high court’s directive to hand over the case to the CBI.

Even the EOW had found the connivance of chairperson of zila panchayat, CDO, Department of Rural Development, Department of Panchayati Raj, as well as ‘quotedars’ of the PDS. The SIT will now investigate the role of transporters as well.

The second case is about the PDS in Lakhimpur Khiri where complaints had been received about ration shop owners not depositing money for lifting stocks of sugar and kerosene. The ration shop owners in connivance with transporters were diverting this money into their accounts.

In place of officials of the supplies department, contractors were making arrangements for transporting the food items that were reaching the black market instead of warehouses.

Similarly, the regular complaints received against the Supplies Department of 28 districts regarding irregularities in the PDS is to be investigated by the SIT will special focus on the role of contractors and diversion of foodgrains meant for the PDS into the open market.

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Presidential Poll
Cong seeks AUDF support
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 27
The upcoming presidential election is likely to change the political equation in Assam with the Congress inching closer to the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) to seek support for the UPA nominee, Pratibha Patil.

The move has what it takes to change the political topography in the state given that the ruling Congress, under the leadership of CM Tarun Gogoi, refused to talk of any understanding with the AUDF, led by perfume mogul-turned-politician Badaruddin Ajmol.

However, it seems that the state Congress is now ready to forget the ‘enmity’ with the AUDF and has instead engaged two Assam cabinet ministers, Ripun Bora and Bharat Chandra Narah, to talk to AUDF leadership, seeking its support for Pratibha Patil.

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PM defends Pratibha, three ministers
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 27
For the first time, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight came out in defence of the UPA's presidential candidate Pratibha Patil and said the campaign against her was "mud-slinging".

Just after releasing former foreign secretary M.K. Rasgotra's book "The New Asian Power Dyanmic" at his official residence here, the Prime Minister mingled freely with journalists at an impromptu media interaction.

He also defended his three ministerial colleagues - Priyoranjan Dasmunsi, Sharad Pawar and Laloo Prasad Yadav - for making remarks against President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The Prime Minister said the ministers' remarks "should be seen in context" and added that they had no intentions to malign the office of the President.

Dasmunsi had taken exception to remarks attributed to President Kalam that he was willing to consider running for re-election if the Third Front conglomeration, known as the UNPA, could assure his victory. Dasmunsi had described these remarks as "unfortunate". Pawar, who is also the BCCI president, had used cricket analogy and bluntly said "the match is over" for Kalam. Lalu Prasad Yadav had said the President should bow out of the Rashtrapati Bhavan gracefully.

The ministers' remarks had caused a furore and NDA's topmost leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee demanded an unconditional apology from the three ministers to Kalam. There has been no apology from the ministers.

The Prime Minister's defence of his ministers make it clear that the UPA is clearly in an unrelenting and uncompromising mood.

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Remarks on Pratibha
Dasmunsi blasts Advani
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 27
Reacting to senior BJP leader L K Advani's reference to UPA's presidential nominee as "tainted," the Congress today termed him a leader who is "frustrated within and outside" and dismissed his remarks as "unsubstantiated," "undignified" and "deplorable."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, who singled out Advani for attack among top BJP leaders who addressed the party's national executive yesterday, termed as "dangerous" his remarks for launching a mass awareness campaign to mount public pressure on MPs and MLAs of UPA constituents to cast a conscience vote in favour of NDA-backed candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

"The electorate is never pressurised. These are fascist remarks from a desperate, frustrated leader," he said. Claiming that NDA's support was eroding fast, Dasmunsi challenged Advani to start a "pressure rath yatra" from any state he chooses.

He said the issue of safety and security of each member should be brought to the notice of Election Commission. "An appeal for conscience vote is understandable. But will it be a gherao of MPs and MLAs to mount pressure," he said.

He demanded that Advani should withdraw his remarks, while talking to media here.

Dasmunsi said he was pained to see how Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha was "denigrating" the presidential election process. "This is unprecedented in the history of presidential elections," he said, adding that Advani had addressed "a lady candidate from the other side in most undignified manner."

Adopting an aggressive stance in the wake of allegations against UPA nominee Pratibha Patil about a bank, of which she was a senior functionary, giving loans to her relatives against the norms and a cooperative mill of which she was founder chairperson defaulting in loans, Dasmunsi said she had never faced an inquiry commission nor had strictures been made against her by a court. He said she had not been named in the RBI report on the working of bank she was associated with. On Patil's criticism following her remarks about chatting with a holy spirit, Dasmunsi said a leader is expected to say words in praise of the hosts.

Dasmunsi also rubbed in the fact that Patil had resigned as Governor before filing nomination papers but Shekhawat had not quit as Vice-President.

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Prez poll: Cong to counter NDA smear campaign shrilly
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 27
Realising that the NDA’s smear campaign against the UPA’s presidential nominee Pratibha Patil will become more shrill in the coming days, the Congress has decided to respond with an equally aggressive perosnalised attack against the opposition-backed candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

The exact nature of this counter-attack will unravel in the coming days but the Congress party’s high-level core committee, which is overseeing the Presidential election, is learnt to be of the view that in case there is no let-up in the ongoing campaign against Patil, the Congress should not fight shy of hitting out at Shekhawat, party sources disclosed here today.

It was said though their spokespersons in the Capital could exercise some restraint, the attack in the states will be far sharper. In this connection, the first salvo will be fired by party spokespersons Mohan Prakash and Renuka Chaudhary who will be travelling to Jaipur and Hyderabad, respectively, in the coming days.

The core committee, which includes senior Congress leaders and ministers like Ahmed Patel, Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, Suresh Pachauri, Janardan Dwivedi and Prithviraj Chavan, meets daily to take stock of the opposition’s campaign and fine-tune its own strategy.

For instance, the decision to field Dasmunsi today for a counter-offensive against senior leader L.K.Advani was taken by this committee and cleared by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who are convinced that the opposition’s strategy is to discredit Pratibha Patil publicly so that the UPA is forced to drop her.

Nevertheless, the Congress is worried about the growing negative public perception about Patil and will now go all out to take corrective measures. The Congress think-tank has taken a conscious decision that Patil will not respond personally to all the charges against her and instead this task will be entrusted to the battery of spokespersons especially selected for the presidential election.

Patil will clear the air after the nomination process is over on June 30 in her interactions with MPs and MLAs. She is slated to begin her campaign from Chennai on July 1 where she will address legislators while the DMK has planned a massive women’s rally on the occasion to celebrate Patil’s candidature. “There is general consensus that since it is the NDA and not Shekhawat, which is making these charges, the response should come from the party and not Pratibha Patil herself,” explained a senior Congress leader.

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Jackals attack villagers
Tribune News Service

Patna, June 27
At least 150 villagers in Gopalganj district, about 200 km from Patna, fled their homes after a pack of jackals attacked them on Tuesday.

About a dozen jackals reportedly emerged from nearby forests in search of food and attacked six villages, biting at least 50 people.

Officials here blamed the villagers in Gopalganj district for the behaviour of the jackals, saying local people had depleted the natural habitat of the animals by cutting down forests.

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Himesh in dargah row

Ajmer, June 27
Taking strong exception to singer-turned-actor Himesh Reshammiya's alleged entry to the world-famous Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti Dargah in 'burqa' (veil) last night, the Ajmer Dargah Committee is planning to take stern action against the singer for his act.

The Dargah committee is soliciting the advice of Mulla Maulavis for initiating action against Reshammiya.

Sibli Quazim, a member of the Dargah committee, told UNI that the singer had made a joke of the Muslim traditions by entering the Dargah in burqa.

He said Islam did not allow men to wear burqa.

Calling the behaviour of the film actor ‘irresponsible and immature’, he said, “If Reshammiya was concerned about his privacy and security, he could have informed the Dargah committee.” Sibli Quazim said the Dargah committee had written to the film bodies to send prior information about their visits. — UNI

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Loss of MC may hasten Sena-BJP split
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 27
The beleaguered Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance is facing an immediate threat in Maharashtra - the possible loss of the power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The two parties fought together to retain the BMC earlier this year despite the alliance facing a tough battle following the defection of Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray from the Shiv Sena. Thanks to some help from the Nationalist Congress Party chief, Sharad Pawar, who decided not to ally with the Congress, the two saffron parties barely managed to hold onto power in the country’s richest civic body.

Both the Shiv Sena and the BJP are known to have made the most of their, nearly two-decade long, tenure in the BMC. Several corporators and even office-bearers of the two parties have begun fire-fighting operations so that the alliance stays intact at least till the 2009 assembly polls.

The Sena and the BJP bagged just 83 and 28 seats in the 227-member civic body, while the Congress, the NCP, independents and other parties hold the rest. However, six of the newly elected corporators of the alliance are facing the possibility of being disqualified for submitting fake caste certificates at the time of filing their nominations. Three corporators from other parties and an independent are also facing charges of submitting fake caste certificates.

All 10 corporators have obtained a stay on their disqualification from the Bombay High Court. Meanwhile, four more corporators from the Sena-BJP camp are in trouble for not submitting their caste certificates. Disqualification proceedings may be begun against them if the certificates are not provided before the end of this month, sources say.

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Cong, BSP force repeated adjournments

Dehra Dun, June 27
Repeated adjournments forced by the opposition Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today on the issue of law and order situation in the state marred the opening day of the budget session of the Uttarakhand Assembly.

Amid pandemonium, Speaker Harbans Kapoor allowed the tabling of comptroller and auditor general (CAG) reports for the year 2005-06 and then adjourned the House till July 2.

As the House assembled, the legislators demanded adjournment motion to discuss the issue of alleged failure of the government to check deteriorating law and order situation. — TNS

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Patient’s death causes doctor to surrender

Kolkata, June 27
Driven by remorse, a doctor in West Bengal, whose patient died of post-operative complications after an abortion, surrendered to police but he was not arrested as the matter was referred to the medical board.

"The doctor surrendered to police and sought punishment but we did not arrest him and referred the case to the district medical board for investigation. Action will be taken on the basis of the board's report," South 24 Parganas district Superintendent of Police S N Gupta told PTI here today. The doctor, P.K. Naskar, performed an abortion on a woman at his nursing home in Sonarpur on June 18 but she died three days later.

Though Naskar was not available, police said he had confessed that he had unwittingly perforated the woman's uterus with forceps during the surgery. This later led to complications.

The woman's family did not lodge any complaint with police against the doctor, who was quite close to them, they said.

Gupta said the case was unique. "We took no chance and decided to refer it to the medical board, which is the appropriate authority to inquire into the circumstances leading to the patient's death." — PTI

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Dodda Ganesh joins JD (S), Azhar also might
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, June 27
The Janata Dal (Secular) today acquired the services of a homegrown cricketer with retired Karnataka medium spinner Dodda Ganesh joining the party in the presence of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda here.

Former Indian skipper Azharuddin, who had earlier accompanied Dodda Ganesh to visit party supreme Deve Gowda two days back, was also present at a function held at the party office to induct Ganesh generating speculation that he too was being wooed by the JD (S).

Ganesh himself generated speculation on Azharuddin by saying the former skipper had encouraged him to the join the JD (S). He said some national parties had invited him to join their parties after he expressed interest in serving the people but it was “Ajju bhai” who had advised him to join the JD (S).

Ganesh said the JD (S), being a regional party, which stood for the aspirations of the State, was the best he could have chosen to do public service. As of now, Ganesh said he would immediately start visiting flood affected areas of the State so as to provide much need succour to the effected people.

Though Ganesh could not make a mark for himself in the 1996-97 tour of South Africa, but he has had a rich harvest in First Class cricket. He has taken 365 tickets and score over 2,000 runs. He announced his retirement from the game earlier this month.

Azharuddin, who had earlier also visited Gowda along with Ganesh. Referring to Azharuddin as ‘Comrade Azharuddin’, the Gowda said the party would always cherish the encouragement given to it by Azharuddin. 

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Jails put under principal secy (home)
Sultanpur Jail Incident Fallout
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, June 27
As a fallout of the Sultanpur jail incident, the Mayawati government today decided to place jails across the state directly under principal secretary home for better coordination between jail and police personnel in administering jails.

Announcing this on the floor of the House, Chief Minister Mayawati said that for the first time in the history of the state, the entire jail administration was being overhauled. IPS officers of the DIG rank, having clean image, would supervise selected jails. For this, three additional posts have been created. If need be an IG and ADG Jail would also be posted, said the CM.

The Chief Minister acknowledged that her government had taken a serious view of the Sultanpur jail mutiny, where the inmates had made a well-planned attempt to eliminate the jail superintendent.

The step to introduce changes of far-reaching consequences to instill fear of law and prisons among criminals was being taken on the recommendations of the report submitted by the DG on Tuesday, pointed out Mayawati.

She said she had given instructions to the district officials across the state to conduct surprise raids in district jails. 

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Prominent buildings expose energy wastage
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 27
A Greenpeace probe into the building sector has revealed some startling results. With the help of thermographic images captured by special infrared camera, the environmental NGO today exposed excessive energy wastage by some prominent and well-known buildings in the national as well as the commercial Capital of the country.

Meaning that if the buildings can be categorised into ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ on the lines of the epic Clint Eastwood-starrer Western, the survey indicates that majority of buildings in India, barring a very few, will fall into the category of either ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’.

The survey revealed that some very prominent buildings, like the Mumbai Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange, the Taj Mahal hotel at Mumbai, the New Delhi based American Center and Intercontinental Hotel were guilty of wasting tremendous amount of energy due to faulty design, the usage of inadequately insulating material, glass and in certain cases, non-maintenance of buildings.

"While the worst of the lot is the American Center, in the case of the ITC Green Building at Gurgaon, its thermographic images show more or less uniform colour indicating no or minimum loss of energy due to leakage and qualifying it in the good building category,” says Greenpeace energy expert K. Srinivas.

The cause for Greenpeace concern is that the building sector, both commercial as well as residential, is growing at a tremendous rate. “In fact, Merill Lynch has forecast that the Indian reality sector will grow from $20 billion in 2005 to $ 90 billion by 2015,” explains Srinivas.

Even the recent IPCC report says that the building sector has a high level of electricity use due to which the total emissions from this sector is very high. The report also states that energy efficiency in new and existing buildings in India can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 30 per cent by 2030.

Incidentally, for every Centigrade increase in cooling, there is a four per cent increase in electricity consumption and Srinivas says that energy efficiency is the first important step to address India’s energy crisis and fight climate change.

Interestingly, as is the popular belief, not all glass buildings need to be ‘bad’.

“It would be bad to say all glass buildings are bad. Instead what I would say is that a badly made glass building is bad. If a glass building is made properly to safeguard against electricity leakage, it can be a good building,” he explains. Meaning that even badly made concrete can lead to increase in energy consumption due to cracks in walls or faulty designs.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency came out with a Building Efficiency Code for new buildings in India in May 2007, but Srinivas says that the compliance with the code at present is voluntary.

Which is why the Greenpeace is now demanding compliance with the code to be made mandatory, all current building to be brought under its preview and the code to be made applicable to all residential and institutional buildings.

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