SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Tight security on 7/11 anniversary
Mumbai, July 11
Security has been tightened at major railway stations and public places as Mumbaiites observed the first anniversary of a series train bombings on this day in 2006. In all, 187 persons died when improvised explosive devices went off in the first class compartments of seven trains on the Western Railway section during the rush hour on the evening of July 11, 2006.
Vishakha Seksaria mourns the death of her brother, Vrindesh Seksaria, who was killed in last year's train blasts at a meeting for relatives of the blast victims in Mumbai In video (56k)

Vishakha Seksaria mourns the death of her brother, Vrindesh Seksaria, who was killed in last year's train blasts at a meeting for relatives of the blast victims in Mumbai on Wednesday. Seven bombs went off in the commuter rail network on July 11 last year, killing at least 183 persons. — Reuters photo


EARLIER STORIES


Death of Pak national in custody
NHRC seeks action against cops
New Delhi, July 11
The National Human Rights Commission has called for disciplinary and criminal action against three Gujarat policemen and one BSF official and issued notices to them asking them why criminal and disciplinary action not be recommended against them regarding the “custodial killing” of a Pakistani national in 2003.

Ordinance on quota for BC Muslims issued
Hyderabad, July 11
After a series of legal setbacks, the Andhra Pradesh government has issued a fresh ordinance to provide 4 per cent reservation for socially and educationally backward Muslims in jobs and educational institutions, excluding the “creamy layer”.

Gomati Nagar land scam
UP govt asks SC for time to finish probe
New Delhi, July 11
The Mayawati Government in UP has sought more time from the Supreme Court to complete the investigations into Lucknow’s Gomati Nagar land allotment scam. It was alleged that the majority of the beneficiaries in the scam were close relatives of former CM Mulayam Singh Yadav and SP leader Amar Singh.

Army bid to smoke out ultras
Guwahati, July 11
The Army has launched an intensified operation along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas in eastern Assam and the India-Bhutan boundary area in north Assam to smoke out militants of the ULFA taking shelter there.

Adoption to be streamlined
New Delhi, July 11
Adopting a child in India would soon become less cumbersome and more transparent with a new set of guidelines that will reduce the waiting time to a maximum of three months.

Bid on modesty
Arrest of DIG ordered
Patna, July 11
A court here today issued an arrest warrant against DIG of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) P.J. Rawal following registration of an FIR charging him with trying to molest the wife of an IPS officer in a train on July 8.

Maninder Kohli moves SC
New Delhi, July 11
British NRI Maninder Pal Singh Kohli ordered to be extradited to UK to face trial in the alleged rape and murder of London school student Hannah Foster four years ago, today moved the Supreme Court, in a last ditch effort to get the order stalled.

BMW case: Kulkarni changes testimony
New Delhi, July 11
Sanjeev Kulkarni, the key-witness in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case, changed his testimony again today by indicting Sanjeev Nanda in a local court here. Kulkarni, who was allegedly offered Rs 20 million by defence counsel to turn hostile two months back, stated in court that he clearly heard the car’s occupants screaming “Sanjeev let us rush”.

Poachers on prowl for rhinos
Guwahati, July 11
Assam Wildlife and Forest Department is seeking deployment of two companies of combat personnel to protect the endangered rhino against increasing threat from poachers in the Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site.

Call to merge Karwar with Goa
Mumbai, July 11
Sections of Konkani-speaking people in Karnataka's Karwar town are gearing up to fight for the merger of the town and neighboring areas with Goa.

Holy touch for a cleaner Yamuna
New Delhi, July 11
After pioneering the drive to clean the historic Kali Bein in Punjab, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal is now keen on sharing his experience in the task of cleaning the Yamuna.

Uttarakhand passes Bill to protect cow
Dehra Dun, July 11
The Uttarakhand assembly passed the Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progeny Bill, 2007, yesterday by a voice vote.

Videos
'Naqaab' will shock everyone: Bobby Deol.
(56k)
Revival of traditional Kani Shawls in J&K.
(56k)
Foreign volunteers clean up hospital in Orissa.
(56k)
Say cheers!!!
(56k)
Dark chocolate keeps  high Blood Pressure at bay.
(56k)





Top








 

Tight security on 7/11 anniversary
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 11
Security has been tightened at major railway stations and public places as Mumbaiites observed the first anniversary of a series train bombings on this day in 2006.

In all, 187 persons died when improvised explosive devices went off in the first class compartments of seven trains on the Western Railway section during the rush hour on the evening of July 11, 2006. More than 800 others received serious injuries or were crippled for life.

Maharashtra's Director-General of Police P.S. Pasricha said security has been tightened across the city on the occasion of the first anniversary as a precautionary measure.

Though the police arrested 13 persons after rigorous combing operations in the Muslim-dominated areas of Maharashtra, senior officials admit that the trail has run cold and the main conspirators continue to remain at large.

All 13 persons arrested so far have been charged under the tough Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). They will go on trial later this month with the special court set up under the Act likely to frame charges on July 30.

Meanwhile, the authorities are tightening security with Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister R. R. Patil insisting that Mumbai due to its importance as India's financial capital will always face a terror threat.

To begin with, Mumbai's bomb detection squad has been beefed up with six sniffer dogs trained and deployed. In all, the six bomb detection squads have 30 members. The Maharashtra Government has also sanctioned Rs 60 lakh to buy a robot that can defuse an explosive device.

The machine will be controlled remotely in order to minimise risks to the officials of the bomb squad.

Top

 

Death of Pak national in custody
NHRC seeks action against cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for disciplinary and criminal action against three Gujarat policemen and one BSF official and issued notices to them asking them why criminal and disciplinary action not be recommended against them regarding the “custodial killing” of a Pakistani national in 2003.

“In keeping with its tradition of safeguarding everyone's right, the NHRC is as much alive to the human rights of foreigners as it is for Indian citizens. The commission expresses the view for disciplinary as well as criminal action against delinquent officers, in the case,” a NHRC statement said.

The commission has given the officials four weeks’ time to respond to the notices.

The NHRC said as per the post-mortem report, it appeared that the deceased was subjected to torture during interrogation resulting his death. “It is felt disciplinary as well as a criminal action must be taken against the delinquent officers in the case,” the statement added.

Pakistani national Raziabibi Sheikh Jamir Luhar was intercepted on March 25, 2003, at the India-Pakistan border and produced at police station, Mavsari. As per the NHRC, Banaskantha SP provided the information about the case to the commission on May 12, 2003, saying that Jamir was not produced in the court.

"During interrogation on May 12, 2003, Jamir complained of headache and asked for water. A doctor from primary health centre, Suigam, was immediately called. However, Jamir collapsed and was declared dead by the time the doctor reached.

The commission's investigation division obtained post-mortem report and magisterial report from the state government. The post-mortem showed 'ante-mortem' injuries with most of the injuries on the back and there was only one head injury.

According to the doctors, the cause of death was shock and haemorrhage. The Tharad SDM who conducted an inquiry said the Pakistani national was interrogated on the day he died by a joint team. The team comprised special bureau sub-inspector Makwana, Radhanpur officer in charge of special bureau devender sathwara, cib officer kumar anand and bsf officer p n singh.

The police officials posted at the police station told the magistrate that the deceased was interrogated in a closed room while the members of the interrogating team said they had not closed the room. The doctor from the PHC who came to the police station found that the deceased had no clothes on his body.

After going though all the reports, the commission said rule of the law must prevail in all cases. Jamir was not produced in the court as required by law and was illegally detained," the statement said.

Top

 

Ordinance on quota for BC Muslims issued
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 11
After a series of legal setbacks, the Andhra Pradesh government has issued a fresh ordinance to provide 4 per cent reservation for socially and educationally backward Muslims in jobs and educational institutions, excluding the “creamy layer”.

The AP Reservation (in favour of socially and educationally backward classes of Muslims) Ordinance 2007 was promulgated by Governor Rameshwar Thakur, following which a gazette notification has been issued.

According to the notification, dated July 7, a new group under the head “E” will be created in the Backward Classes list for the purpose of providing reservation to the Muslims with the application of “creamy layer” norms of the central government except in the case of annual income limit which has been fixed at Rs 4 lakh.

The quota is applicable to 15 social groups among Muslims who have been identified as socially and educationally backward by the state Commission for Backward Classes. The BC Commission’s report was approved by the cabinet at its meeting here on July 4, paving the way for issuing the modified ordinance to scale down the quota to 4 per cent, as against 5 per cent planned earlier, to overcome the legal hurdles.

While reduction in quota will ensure that total reservations in the state will not exceed 50 per cent, a ceiling prescribed by the Supreme Court, the categorisation of the community on the basis of socio-economic status will help stave off criticism over religion-based reservations.

The high court had, in November 2005, quashed an earlier ordinance, terming it as “unconstitutional and arbitrary.” The Supreme Court had refused to grant stay on high court order in January last year.

It is estimated that the 15 groups, identified as backward, account for nearly 80 to 85 per cent of Muslim population. According to the 2001 census, Muslims constitute 9.2 per cent of the state’s total population of over 7 crore.

At present, the BCs, who are categorised into A, B, C and D groups, are being provided 25 per cent reservation while Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have 14 and 7 per cent quota respectively.

In tune with its election promise, the Rajasekhar Reddy government had first issued a GO in July 2004 providing for reservations to Muslims. It was struck down by the high court in September 2004.

Later, the government constituted a four-member Backward Classes Commission and based on its report issued the quota ordinance in June 2005, categorising the entire Muslim community as Backward Class.

While quashing the ordinance, the court pulled up the commission for not following proper methodology while recommending inclusion of Muslims in the BC list.

The new ordinance is also likely to face rough weather as several Muslim organisations have already opposed the “caste-based” reservation system on the ground that Islam does not permit division of people on the basis of caste.

Top

 

Gomati Nagar land scam
UP govt asks SC for time to finish probe
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 11
The Mayawati Government in UP has sought more time from the Supreme Court to complete the investigations into Lucknow’s Gomati Nagar land allotment scam. It was alleged that the majority of the beneficiaries in the scam were close relatives of former CM Mulayam Singh Yadav and SP leader Amar Singh.

Uttar Pradesh’s counsel told a Bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, that the government needed more time to complete the inquiry into the alleged scandal. He also indicated that the government might cancel the allotments if the inquiry established any malpractice.

At least 30 plots were allegedly allotted at a throwaway price of Rs 1,500 per sq metre at Gomati Nagar to some influential and politically-connected persons in 2004 by the previous Mulayam Singh government. Vishwanath Chatturvedi claimed in his petition that the market price of the same was estimated to be Rs 30,000 per sq metre.

The apex court has allowed six-weeks’ time to the UP Government to complete the inquiry. Chaturvedi sought a CBI inquiry into the land allotments, claiming that under Yadav’s political influence, the officers of the Lucknow Development Authority had made the allotment in violation of the rules and procedures. 

Top

 

Army bid to smoke out ultras
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 11
The Army has launched an intensified operation along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas in eastern Assam and the India-Bhutan boundary area in north Assam to smoke out militants of the ULFA taking shelter there.

The Army is targeting cadres of the ULFA’s 28th and 27th battalion active in eastern parts of Assam and members of 709 battalion of the outfit active in Guwahati, north and western parts of the state.

The intensified Army operation has resulted in the killing of three ULFA militants.

According to a security source, the troops of 19 Kumaon moved deep inside the sprawling Manabhum reserve forest in Arunachal Pradesh a couple of days ago.

The troops had stumbled upon a camp of militants inside Manabhum Forest on July 9 and in the ensuing encounter they gunned down one hardcore militant while rest of the ultras fled.

The Army recovered one self-loading rifle with one magazine and 20 rounds of live ammunition, one magazine of AK-47 assault rifle and 30 rounds of ammunition, 20 electronic detonators, a solar charger, clothing, dry rations and medicines from the demolished .

The Army has focused its operation in Manabhum forest on the basis of the information that the 28th battalion of the ULFA had shifted its base there from Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Tinsukia district to dodge the intensified operations by the Army in Tinsukia district.

The troops are out to kill most wanted leaders of ULFA’s 28th battalion which has been a headache for security forces of late. The Army is desperately after specific four leaders of the ULFA battalion - Prabal Neog, Ujjal Gohain, Jiten Dutta and Pranjal Saikia.

Meanwhile, in a joint operation the Army killed two ULFA militants killed following a gun battle at Singimari under Ghograpar police station of Nalbari district in the wee hours yesterday.

The security forces recovered one AK-56 rifle, one 9 mm pistol, assorted ammunition, cash and a Nokia mobile handset from the slain militants.

Top

 

Adoption to be streamlined
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Adopting a child in India would soon become less cumbersome and more transparent with a new set of guidelines that will reduce the waiting time to a maximum of three months.

The new guidelines, submitted to the Minister of state for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury today, would also make HIV test mandatory.

The draft “Guidelines on adoption of Indian children without parental care - 2007”, prepared by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), envisage that state governments will register all childcare institutions, of which some will be recognised as special adoption agencies.

To keep a check on a nexus between Indian agencies and foreign NGOs in case of inter-country adoption, applications for all such adoptions will have to be forwarded to CARA for approval. While the waiting time would be reduced to a maximum of three months, in case of inter-country adoption, the children would get automatic citizenship of the country of the parents and enjoy other safeguards.

Top

 

Bid on modesty
Arrest of DIG ordered

Patna, July 11
A court here today issued an arrest warrant against DIG of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) P.J. Rawal following registration of an FIR charging him with trying to molest the wife of an IPS officer in a train on July 8.

“We have secured an arrest warrant against the DIG from the railway magistrate’s court and intensified raids to apprehend him,” superintendent of the RPF, Patna, Ajitabh Kumar said.

Asked whether he suspected that the DIG might have already left for New Delhi where he was posted, he said: “We are in the process of sending the investigating officer with the warrant also to New Delhi for its execution.”

He refused to name the places where raids were being conducted.

The director-general of the RPF has already constituted a two-member committee, headed by IG, RPF, Gopal Gupta and also comprising chief security commissioner, North-Eastern Railway, Jaya Chouhan, to look into the charges.

The committee would submit its report within a week.

“Though Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC is bailable, we are trying to arrest the offender,” Kumar said.

The constitution of the committee comes close on the heel of railway minister Lalu Prasad’s assertion that the RPF director-general had informed him that “nothing of the sort that is being reported in the media happened”.

An FIR was registered yesterday against Rawal by Sujata Preyasi, wife of IPS officer Gautam Cheema, accusing him of having tried to outrage her modesty in an inebriated condition in an AC coach of the Sampoorna Kranti Express.

Sujata was travelling with her sister Vandana Preyasi, an IAS officer posted as joint secretary in the home department in Bihar, at the time of the incident. — PTI

Top

 

Maninder Kohli moves SC
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 11
British NRI Maninder Pal Singh Kohli ordered to be extradited to UK to face trial in the alleged rape and murder of London school student Hannah Foster four years ago, today moved the Supreme Court, in a last ditch effort to get the order stalled.

The extradition magistrate here had earlier ordered deportation of Kohli to UK allowing the plea of British Police and the Delhi High Court had upheld the decision in an order passed on July 6, rejecting his appeal. Challenging the High Court order, Kohli moved the second appeal in the highest court of the country today.

His counsel Charanjit Singh indicated that he might make a special mention of the appeal before the Chief Justice’s Bench tomorrow for an urgent hearing. His fate entirely depends on the decision of the SC. If the apex court allowed the British Government request, the government would be required to take steps to complete the extradition proceedings within a stipulated time under the law.

Top

 

BMW case: Kulkarni changes testimony

New Delhi, July 11
Sanjeev Kulkarni, the key-witness in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case, changed his testimony again today by indicting Sanjeev Nanda in a local court here.

Kulkarni, who was allegedly offered Rs 20 million by defence counsel to turn hostile two months back, stated in court that he clearly heard the car’s occupants screaming “Sanjeev let us rush”.

Nanda reportedly ran over six persons in 1999 while driving his BMW in the wee hours of the morning.

Nanda and his friends, who were travelling in the car, reportedly fled the scene of the accident though the police later found bloodstains on the car.

Nanda spent nine months in jail before getting bail. At that time, Kulkarni told a court hearing the case that it was a truck and not a BMW that had caused the accident. Last month, the Supreme Court Bar Association restored the membership of public prosecutor I.U. Khan and defence counsel R.K. Anand, who were suspended after a sting operation by news channel NDTV.

The television footage purportedly showed them colluding to bribe Kulkarni to change his testimony.

According to NDTV, Khan and Anand had joined hands to shield Sanjeev, who is the grandson of former Naval chief Admiral S.M. Nanda, from the clutches of the law. — IANS

Top

 

Poachers on prowl for rhinos
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 11
Assam Wildlife and Forest Department is seeking deployment of two companies of combat personnel to protect the endangered rhino against increasing threat from poachers in the Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site.

Poachers armed with sophisticated weapons killed eight precious one-horned rhinos so far this year in the bio-diversity hotspot located on the south bank of Brahmaputra in upper Assam sending the alarm bell ringing in the wildlife department.

A highly-placed source in the wildlife department informed that in latest cases rhinos were killed by poachers who were better-equipped and trained. In some cases poaching took place in the wildlife sanctuary on moonless nights unlike in the past.

In a high level meeting, chief wildlife warden M.C. Malakar, the director Kaziranga Park, including other senior forest and police officials, took serious note of the threat posed by well-equipped and well-armed poachers to the rhino population in Kaziranga Park.

The wildlife and forest officials attending the meeting mooted that a proposal seeking deployment of at least two battalions of combat personnel in Kaziranga Park be submitted to the state government.

It was figured out that as per the latest official figure there were 2006 rhinos in the national park, that is home to the largest number of Indian one-horned rhinos, til last year.

The World Heritage Site has been facing a serious problem of sufficient trained manpower to take care of about 500 sq km area in the national park that is home to many other animals, birds and reptile species beside one-horned rhino. Poachers kill the rhino for its horn that is highly-priced in the global market of wildlife parts.

Top

 

Call to merge Karwar with Goa
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 11
Sections of Konkani-speaking people in Karnataka's Karwar town are gearing up to fight for the merger of the town and neighboring areas with Goa.

Supporters of Konkani who formed the Goa State Konkani Ekikaran Manch in Karwar to press for merger were attacked by those wanting to keep the area within Karnataka. With tempers running high, Konkani activists in Goa have also come out in support and are demanding the merger.

Goan writers and activists under the banner of the All India Konkani Parishad said the body would take a public stand in support of Karwar's merger with Goa.

Karwar is also the site of the Indian Navy's biggest defence establishment in western India. Its merger with Goa would also enable Karwar and surrounding areas to benefit substantially from the tourism boom, it is felt.

Top

 

Holy touch for a cleaner Yamuna
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
After pioneering the drive to clean the historic Kali Bein in Punjab, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal is now keen on sharing his experience in the task of cleaning the Yamuna.

Sant Balbir Singh, who is in the Capital, is scheduled to visit the banks of Yamuna tomorrow. Representatives of some NGOs would accompany him. The Sant would also meet the President.

His efforts in reviving Kali Bein, associated with Guru Nanak, earned nationwide acclaim after President APJ Abdul Kalam visited the place last year. Like several other small rivers in India, weeds and refuse was choking Kali Bein.

Sant Balbir Singh initiated the efforts to clean the 160-km-long rivulet after which thousands of volunteers joined him in the task over the next five years. Talking to mediapersons here, the Sant said he was deeply pained to see how a place of great historical importance had been destroyed due to the people’s callous attitude.

Top

 

Uttarakhand passes Bill to protect cow

Dehra Dun, July 11
The Uttarakhand assembly passed the Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progeny Bill, 2007, yesterday by a voice vote.

The BJP had promised to bring in legislation on the issue in its poll manifesto. Under the new law, a ban has been imposed on the slaughter of cow and its progeny except diseased or injured animals. Anyone violating the provision would be liable for a minimum three years to a maximum of 10 years’ rigourous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000 which may be extended up to Rs 10,000. The law prohibits owners leaving their animals free to wander in the urban areas. — TNS

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |