SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

25 washed away in Rajasthan
Dam develops cracks; Flood situation worsens in Bengal

Jaipur/Kolkata, July 7
A man sits on top of a cycle rickshaw at a flooded street in Mathura on Saturday.At least 25 people went missing today when their vehicle fell into a rain-swollen river in Rajasthan even as the flood situation in West Bengal worsened claiming 27 lives.
A man sits on top of a cycle rickshaw at a flooded street in Mathura on Saturday. — PTI photo

Enhance defence capabilities: PM
New Delhi, July 7
The Defence Research Development Organisation today sought to project itself as a competitor to the foreign suppliers of arms and ammunition to the Indian armed forces as it said part of acquisitions should be made from domestic sources. Nation Security Adviser of PM M.K. Naryanan, Air Chief F.H. Major and Army Chief J.J. Singh at the DRDO awards ceremony in New Delhi on Saturday.
(L to R) Nation Security Adviser of PM M.K. Naryanan, Air Chief F.H. Major and Army Chief J.J. Singh at the DRDO awards ceremony in New Delhi on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal





EARLIER STORIES


Taj on new 7 wonders list
New Delhi, July 7
The Taj Mahal, regarded as one of the most beautiful monuments, was tonight voted in a global poll as one of the new seven wonders of the world. Officials of the I Media Corp, the Indian representative of “New7wonders of the World”, claimed that they got the information about the Mughal marvel getting into the list from the Swiss organisation which organised the worldwide campaign.
A girl holds the Taj Mahal in her palm.
A girl holds the Taj Mahal in her palm. — Photo Vinay Malik

Muslims use Orkut to decry Ahmed brothers
Bangalore, July 7
Muslims here and elsewhere are using the same instrument that was used by Sabeel Ahmed, who is under detention for his alleged role in the United Kingdom terror attacks, to hit back at the philosophy of hatred espoused by him. The Orkut account used by Sabeel to drum up support for the hard-line view on the West has been flooded by messages by a community, which feels let down by him.

Bhagalpur Riots
14 more get life term
Bhagalpur, July 7
A trial court today sentenced 14 convicts, including one in absentia, to life imprisonment in the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots’ case for the massacre of 116 Muslims at Logain village.

Thalassaemics and haemophiliacs
Govt plans plasma fraccionation centre
New Delhi, July 7
The government plans to set up a Plasma Fraccionation Centre and upgrade the existing fraccionation centre in Mumbai’s KEM hospital. The centre would take care of the blood product requirements of thalassaemics and haemophiliacs, health minister Ambumani Ramadoss said yesterday.

‘India not keen to join arms race’
New Delhi, July 7 Days ahead of the crucial India-US talks on the civil nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said “India does not wish to engage in an arms race with anyone” and would continue to maintain the highest standards of non-proliferation controls.

Misuse of MPLAD fund
Refer issue to parliamentary panel: BJP
New Delhi, July 7
The BJP today appealed to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to refer the alleged misuse of MP Local Area Development Scheme funds by UPA-Left presidential candidate Pratibha Patil to the Ethics Committee or Privileges Committee of Parliament.

PMO clarifies cheque bounce
New Delhi, July 7
The Prime Minister’s Office today issued a clarification about reports appearing in a section of the press that a cheque of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for relief to farmers in Vidarbha, had bounced due to delay in releasing funds.

Cherrapunjee is Sohra now
Guwahati, July 7
Cherrapunjee, the wettest place in the world, has been rechristened as ‘Sohra’, a name given to it by the locals.

Passports on your doorstep in just 3 days
New Delhi, July 7
The Ministry of External Affairs is all set to go to people’s doorsteps to deliver passports anywhere in the country within three working days of application.

Mega Food Park
Centre to look into Punjab’s demand
New Delhi, July 7
The Centre has assured Punjab that it will look into its demand for a mega food park to help boost exports.

I am mentally fit: Pooja
Rajkot, July 7
Stating that she was prepared for a long battle to get justice, Pooja Chauhan, who created a flutter by walking semi-nude on the streets, today said she was fully fit mentally and it was the harassment and apathy that drove her to resort to such a protest.

BJP targets Sonia’s foreign origin
New Delhi, July 7
Enraged over the Congress' questioning of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's role in the freedom movement, the NDA today said the Congress had lost the moral right to claim the legacy of the freedom movement after it accepted a foreigner Sonia Gandhi as its president.

IAS officers protest humiliation
Ranchi, July 7
The IAS officers' association has decided to petition the highest constitutional offices against "increasing humiliation" of the government officials allegedly by some legislators in Jharkhand.

Former PM Chandrashekhar critical
New Delhi, July 7
Former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, who is suffering from cancer, is in a critical state.


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25 washed away in Rajasthan
Dam develops cracks; Flood situation worsens in Bengal

Jaipur/Kolkata, July 7
At least 25 people went missing today when their vehicle fell into a rain-swollen river in Rajasthan even as the flood situation in West Bengal worsened claiming 27 lives.

The incident occurred when the vehicle, a make-shift one for country work, fell into rain-swollen Thapi river in Jhalawar district, about 325 km from Jaipur, officials said.

While 10 passengers have been rescued, the fate of 25 others is not known.

In Jodhpur district, the Army was alerted and IAF helicopters were kept on standby as cracks developed in the main wall of 118-year-old Jaswant Sagar Dam following heavy rains in its catchment areas, threatening lakhs of people in 39 villages. Authorities asked people in the danger zone to shift to safer areas.

Chief Minister Vasudhara Raje visited the dam area for an on-the-spot assessment. Army personnel and engineers of the irrigation department were also at the site for repair works.

The flood situation in rain-battered West Midnapore and East Midnapore districts in West Bengal worsened due to rise in the levels of major rivers and discharge from overflowing reservoirs. The death toll in these areas has been put at 27.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who toured the arrected areas, said Army units and Air Force helicopters were carrying out rescue and relief operations in Ghatal, Sabong, Sankrail and Keshiary. An estimated 43 lakh people in eight districts of the state have been hit by the floods.

Torrential downpour submerged vast regions in Orissa’s Balasore and Bhadrak districts affecting around five lakh people following heavy floods in Subarnarekha and Baitarani rivers.

Meanwhile, heavy downpour battered several areas in Madhya Pradesh today paralysing normal life as swollen rivers and rain water inundated parts of Rajgarh and Khandwa districts, official sources said.

Incessant rains, triggered by low pressure over Jharkhand, submerged about six colonies in Biaora area of Rajgarh district where gushing water from the swollen Ajnar river threw normal life out of gear, officials in the flood-control cell said.

Though no casualty was reported, around 300 families were trapped in Biaora due to floods and arrangements were made to shift them to safe places and to start relief work, they said. — PTI

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Enhance defence capabilities: PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
The Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) today sought to project itself as a competitor to the foreign suppliers of arms and ammunition to the Indian armed forces as it said part of acquisitions should be made from domestic sources.

The DRDO, which in the past has faced criticism from all quarters for cost overruns and long time delays on most of the projects it has undertaken, said it was a global practice that part of the acquisitions for the armed forces be done domestically.

The suggestion came from DRDO chief and scientific adviser to the defence minister M. Natarajan as he welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the DRDO award function.

The Prime Minister again sought to stress on the delays and costs overruns saying that the rapidly changing international defence and security environment did not always provide us the luxury of developing weapons systems with long gestation periods and risk of obsolescence. The DRDO chief said, “We feel the government has a clear responsibility to ensure that certain percentage of acquisitions, particularly of products developed indigenously with enormous efforts, are compulsorily sourced by the services from within the country”.

He asserted that this practice was being followed in the most advanced countries. In the midst of a changing global scenario and shrinking defence markets worldwide, it was important that while the services were granted the freedom to choose equipment they required to meet their perceived needs, it was equally important that indigenously developed equipment were given a fair share of acceptance by the services, Dr Natarajan said.

In his speech, the Prime Minister said causing delays at the stage of production meant that our armed forces were deprived of timely deliveries, which often compelled the government to look for external procurement to fill emerging gaps in our inventories.

He asked the DRDO, the Indian industry and the armed forces to work jointly to enhance and modernise the country’s defence capabilities.

Dr Natarajan in his speech also suggested that the DRDO would like to undertake all futuristic development in respect of tactical systems by deliberately providing the stake holding to the armed forces and industries by reducing its own stakes from 100 per cent to 70 per cent.

The DRDO chief also chose the occasion to highlight the problems which the country’s premier defence research organisation was facing at the hands of the multinational companies. In an apparent reference to the exodus that the DRDO was facing, he pointed out that his scientists were receiving hefty pay packages from multinational companies.

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Taj on new 7 wonders list

New Delhi, July 7
The Taj Mahal, regarded as one of the most beautiful monuments, was tonight voted in a global poll as one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Officials of the I Media Corp, the Indian representative of “New7wonders of the World”, claimed that they got the information about the Mughal marvel getting into the list from the Swiss organisation which organised the worldwide campaign.

Asked about the number of votes cast in favour of Taj, “the monument of love”, the I Media Corp officials told PTI that they had no information regarding this.

“Information like the number of votes polled in favour of the Taj and the other selected monuments will be available only after the official declaration,” they told PTI.

The worldwide poll, in which people could vote for their favourite monument either online or through SMS, was conducted by the New 7 Wonders Foundation, a Swiss non-profit group. — PTI

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Muslims use Orkut to decry Ahmed brothers
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, July 7
Muslims here and elsewhere are using the same instrument that was used by Sabeel Ahmed, who is under detention for his alleged role in the United Kingdom terror attacks, to hit back at the philosophy of hatred espoused by him. The Orkut account used by Sabeel to drum up support for the hard-line view on the West has been flooded by messages by a community, which feels let down by him.

Members of the community in Bangalore and abroad, who had projected themselves as being different from their religious cohorts in Pakistan and other hard-line countries, now feel Sabeel and his brother Kafeel have blurred the line differentiating them from fundamentalists abroad.

The Orkut account, which earlier confined itself to anti-American propaganda and was also used to send coded messages to hardliners accessing it, according to police sources, is now attracting mail that is aimed at setting the record right regarding the Muslim community in Bangalore as well as in the country. Typical mails say the Ahmed brothers have spoilt the global image of Bangalore, which is known as the IT capital of India and famous for its cosmopolitan image.

It is not only netizens, who are reacting to the Ahmed brothers for lending notoriety to the Muslim community of the city, the mosque opposite their house in Banashankari has taken the lead in condemning their actions and has given a clear direction to youngsters not to ‘die the death of a coward’ by indulging in nefarious activities. The mosque’s secretary Mohammed said the Ahmed brothers had not only shamed India and the city, which had given them so much, but had also shamed the local Muslim community. “This is not what we teach our young ones”, he added.

Educated members of the Muslim community in the city have also come out to condemn the Ahmed brothers and their actions even as they feel it will have a negative impact on their children. Imtiaz Ahmed, a social worker, said parents were worried about the future of their children as they felt such incidents would make it very difficult for young professionals to go abroad for higher studies. Many, however, feel the conduct of the Ahmed brothers is an aberration and should be treated as such.

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Bhagalpur Riots
14 more get life term

Bhagalpur, July 7
A trial court today sentenced 14 convicts, including one in absentia, to life imprisonment in the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots’ case for the massacre of 116 Muslims at Logain village.

Additional district and sessions judge Shambhunath Mishra, who had on June 27 deferred the sentencing as one of the convicts Jaiprakash Mandal continued to abscond, today ordered the 13 convicts, including a former police officer, to undergo rigorous life imprisonment.

"Since the crime, though serious, does not not fall in the rarest of rare category, the convicts are sentenced to life imprisonment," the judge said much to the relief of the convicts and hundreds of their family members, who had thronged the court since morning to know their fate.

The judge had on June 18 convicted the 14 accused under Sections 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen the offender) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with the intent to destroy house etc.) of the IPC.

Those convicted were the then officer in charge of Jagdishpur police station Ramchandra Singh, chowkidar Thakur Paswan, Kuldip Mandal, Arjun Mandal, Prabhas Mandal, Sukhdev Mandal, Subhash Mandal, Ajablal Mandal, Shivlal Mandal, Naresh Mandal, Jattu Mandal, Ramdev Mandal, Saryu Prasad Singh and Jaiprakash Mandal.

Though there were 24 named accused in the case, six died during the pendency of the trial, while four never turned up before the court.

With today's verdict, altogether 322 persons were convicted of involvement in various cases of the Bhagalpur communal riots, with 104 among them sentenced to life imprisonment.

Of the 886 cases registered in connection with the conflagration which claimed 1,981 human lives and left hundreds of others disabled and without jobs or shelter, the carnage in Logain was one of the most shocking.

Altogether 116 Muslims, including women and children, were butchered, burned and shot in cold blood by frenzied attackers on October 27, 1989, and dumped into a mass grave on which cauliflowers were planted to avoid detection.

The enormity of the crime became known to the outside world when vultures hovering above the Logain landscape gave away to the most closely guarded secret of the village - the mass grave - 44 days after the slaughter.

The vegetable field was dug up and, one after another, 11 bodies were exhumed for doctors to perform autopsy and then re-interred.

Touching scenes were witnessed on the court premises today when the handcuffed convicts were brought from jail.

Their family members, including women and children, sobbed uncontrollably at seeing their dear ones being taken from the lock-up to the courtroom to hear the judgement.

They stopped for a brief while and exchanged a few words before being nudged by the policemen to keep on moving. — PTI

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Thalassaemics and haemophiliacs
Govt plans plasma fraccionation centre
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
The government plans to set up a Plasma Fraccionation Centre and upgrade the existing fraccionation centre in Mumbai’s KEM hospital. The centre would take care of the blood product requirements of thalassaemics and haemophiliacs, health minister Ambumani Ramadoss said yesterday.

Director of the National Blood Transfusion Council at the National AIDS Control Organisation Dr Mohd Shaukat confirmed that the centre has been accorded priority in Phase Three (2007-‘12) of the National AIDS Control Policy, unveiled yesterday.

Dr Shaukat said the one-time cost of setting up the fraccionation unit is Rs 35 crore. Apart from this, the unit would require an estimated annual grant of Rs 20 crore. The NACP would also help revive the fraccionation plant in KEM Hospital.

He said the government intends to set up 22 model blood banks by the end of 2012 on the lines of the existing 10 model blood banks. “The individual capacity of these blood banks is to process 25,000 units of blood annually. Now, in NACP III, we want to set up centres of excellence in transfusion medicine where the capacity can be increased to 1 lakh units.”

Dr Shaukat said the objective behind setting up a National Blood Transfusion Authority as an autonomous body under the Health Ministry is to oversee blood transfusion service in the country. The authority will need a legislation.

In his address at the launch of NACP III, Ramadoss said the government is working on a regulatory framework to address various issues related to blood collection, storage, distribution and supply. He said this could be achieved through creation of a blood transfusion authority on the lines of the US FDA.

“I’m confident that in the next couple of years, we will have a world class system of blood collection and distribution. This will help bring down blood transmissible diseases as HIV and Hepatitis B.”

NACP III aims to: “Reduce HIV transmission through blood and blood products to 0.5 per cent from the existing 1.92 per cent.”

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‘India not keen to join arms race’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
Days ahead of the crucial India-US talks on the civil nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said “India does not wish to engage in an arms race with anyone” and would continue to maintain the highest standards of non-proliferation controls.

However, he also sounded a note of warning on the prevailing uncertain international security environment and said as a result we were therefore obliged to create adequate defence preparedness to manage any potential challenge to our security and vital interests.

After giving away the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) awards to defence scientists and institutions here, the Prime Minister said, “India is a responsible member of the international community and we have a stake in the evolution of a stable and rule-based international system.

As a possessor of advanced technologies, we will continue to maintain the highest standards of non-proliferation controls.

Asserting that India stood for peace and for peaceful resolution of all problems between nations, the Prime Minister, however, said the reality is that “we live in a world of unequal power relations. We live in an uncertain international security environment.

Dr Singh's remarks came a day after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee voiced apprehensions over government constituting a task force to review the policy on disarmament and non-proliferation.

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Misuse of MPLAD fund
Refer issue to parliamentary panel: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
The BJP today appealed to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to refer the alleged misuse of MP Local Area Development Scheme funds by UPA-Left presidential candidate Pratibha Patil to the Ethics Committee or Privileges Committee of Parliament.

Briefing mediapersons here, BJP Parliamentary party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said a five-member NDA delegation submitted a three page memorandum to Chatterjee asking him to refer the alleged misuse of the MPLAD funds by an educational trust run by the family members of Patil to Ethics Committee or Privileges Committee of Parliament.

''The Speaker has assured us to take a considered view on the contents of our memorandum,'' he said.

''The MPLAD rule is very clear that no money can be released to a trust where an MP or his family members are running the show,'' he said.

In this case, money for a sports complex was released by Patil, when she was an MP, in 1995 but the money could not be sanctioned as the land was not owned by the trust. The Rs 36 lakh fund, as reported by the media, was kept in a bank account and it could only have been released by an incumbent MP and not Patil or the District Magistrate, Malhotra maintained.

Asked if the BJP was convinced about the authenticity of the allegation, he said there was no contradiction or denial from anybody on the issue so far and the party believed that the media reports ''had some basis''.

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PMO clarifies cheque bounce

New Delhi, July 7
The Prime Minister’s Office today issued a clarification about reports appearing in a section of the press that a cheque of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for relief to farmers in Vidarbha, had bounced due to delay in releasing funds.

A statement issued by the media adviser to the Prime Minister clarified that instead of issuing a cheque from CM’s Relief Fund, under which funds were available with the district authorities, a cheque was issued under PMNRF by mistake, by the district officials, even after the Rs 50 lakh provided by PMO, under PMNRF, had been fully disbursed.

The Prime Minister, during his visit to Vidarbha in July 2006, had, in addition to other initiatives, announced financial assistance from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, to alleviate the suffering of debt-stressed farmers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, by placing an amount of Rs 50 lakh at the disposal of 31 districts, 6 of them in Vidarbha.

State government was to utilise the fund for giving assistance to needy debt-stressed farmers and their families, for expenditure in connection with health and education, especially for children. An amount of Rs 3 crore was dispersed to 6 districts of Vidarbha in July 2006 itself, and there was no delay in releasing the funds. It was a one time grant of funds of Rs 50 lakh at the disposal of the concerned district collector.

As far as the filing of an affidavit by the state government before the Supreme Court is concerned, it was acknowledged by the state government in March 2007, that there was no delay on the part of the PMO to release funds, and an additional affidavit was filed to clarify the position. The cheque, under reference, was issued by the local district authorities in Maharashtra and not honoured because of local issues, and not on account of any delay in release of funds from PMNRF. — TNS

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Cherrapunjee is Sohra now
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 7
Cherrapunjee, the wettest place in the world, has been rechristened as ‘Sohra’, a name given to it by the locals.

The naming committee of Meghalaya government’s General Administration Department (GAD) has put its seal on the renaming. To complete the formality, an official notification in this regard would be released in a few days, said GAD minister P Tynsong.

The adoption of the new name to the traditional Sohra has been welcomed by all and sundry in Meghalaya. The GAD department took the decision in response to representations given by the ‘syiem’ (king) of Sohra, local headman and the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU).

How Sohra actually became Cherrapunjee dates back to early 19th century. After the Khasi Liberation War, the British entered northeast from Sylhet in the then East Bengal (now Bangladesh) and set up their regional headquarters initially at Sohra at it was well connected to Sylhet plains. Sohra became Cherra, thanks to the stiff British upper lip.

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Passports on your doorstep in just 3 days

New Delhi, July 7
The Ministry of External Affairs is all set to go to people’s doorsteps to deliver passports anywhere in the country within three working days of application.

The MEA hopes to achieve this gargantuan task by December 2008, foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon said today.

A senior MEA official told The Tribune that online registration for passports would become mandatory when the new scheme is implemented. Also, biometrics of an applicant, like spot photograph and fingerprinting, would also become mandatory for issuance of passports.

The foreign secretary, while speaking to this correspondent on the margins of a book release function, said the MEA was trying to set up some 120 Passport Sewa Kendra across the country where the passport applications would be received. He said the MEA was outsourcing the passport issuing process in a big way, keeping in mind that the communication delays or red tape are cut down, and the security aspects are not compromised upon.

Menon made it clear that the MEA was not getting out of the scene in the passport issuing process but only trying to use the private players as force multipliers. He asserted that the MEA will remain the sole passport issuing authority. — TNS

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Mega Food Park
Centre to look into Punjab’s demand
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
The Centre has assured Punjab that it will look into its demand for a mega food park to help boost exports.

Punjab cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh today met minister of state (independent charge) for food processing Subodh Kant Sahai to apprise him of the state government’s efforts for crop diversification and to boost productivity. He said wheat-paddy cycle had led to ground water depletion, soil degradation and stagnation of agricultural production.

According to an official spokesman, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the state government was keen to set up a mega food park, as envisaged by ministry, in the 11th Five Year Plan.

He said Punjab was the grain bowl of the nation as it was contributing nearly 50 per cent of wheat and rice to the Central pool. He said investment in the state in the food processing sector would yield rich dividends. The minister said crop diversification would be successful if it is supported by processing and marketing.

Assuring all cooperation from the Centre, Sahai invited a team of officers from the state to discuss the proposal for a mega food park.

Earlier, Capt Kanwaljit Singh held a meeting with Dr M.L. Khurana, MD, National Cooperative Housing Federation and sought a rise in interest subsidy for the homeless in the state.

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I am mentally fit: Pooja

Rajkot, July 7
Stating that she was prepared for a long battle to get justice, Pooja Chauhan, who created a flutter by walking semi-nude on the streets, today said she was fully fit mentally and it was the harassment and apathy that drove her to resort to such a protest.

"I am not mad. I knew what I was doing. I am mentally fit and had to resort to such a protest only because I was being harassed by my husband and mother-in-law for dowry and the police failed to help me. My husband and mother-in-law went to the extent of trying to push me into flesh trade," she said while talking to PTI.

She said she walked to the police commissioner's office in her undergarments because she wanted her pleas to be taken note of.

However, her problems seem to have only increased with the owner of the house asking her to vacate the house after the unsavory publicity of the whole issue. PTI

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BJP targets Sonia’s foreign origin
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
Enraged over the Congress' questioning of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's role in the freedom movement, the NDA today said the Congress had lost the moral right to claim the legacy of the freedom movement after it accepted a foreigner Sonia Gandhi as its president.

Taking umbrage at Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi's charge that Shekhawat had worked in the police during the British rule in India before the independence, NDA spokesperson Sushma Swaraj said the Congress had no right to question Shekhawat's credibility as Congressmen had lost every moral right to talk of freedom movement after they accepted a foreigner Sonia Gandhi as their president.

When reminded of the NDA promise that it would not launch personal attacks, Swaraj said the "foreigner issue was "political" and "it is valid for me and I am speaking as the spokesperson of the NDA".

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IAS officers protest humiliation

Ranchi, July 7
The IAS officers' association has decided to petition the highest constitutional offices against "increasing humiliation" of the government officials allegedly by some legislators in Jharkhand.

"We are pained and distressed by the unfortunate incident which occurred at Bokaro on July 4 wherein some members of parliament and state legislature publicly insulted, humiliated and made unsubstantiated allegations against Bokaro deputy commissioner."

"This is not an isolated incident but is the latest in the series of such events against government servants in general and IAS officers in particular," said a resolution of the association. The meeting resolved to send a memorandum to Rajya Sabha chairman, Speakers of Lok Sabha and Jharkhand Assembly, Chief Minister and the All India IAS Association, an association release said here. — PTI

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Former PM Chandrashekhar critical

New Delhi, July 7
Former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, who is suffering from cancer, is in a critical state.

The Samajwadi Janata Party leader has been undergoing treatment in the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for the past three months, hospital sources said.

“He is in a critical state,” they said.

The hospital sources disclosed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called upon him in the afternoon.

The 80-year-old Lok Sabha MP has been under intensive care for the past one week.

He held the office of Prime Minister for only seven months. He resigned on March 6, 1991. — PTI

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