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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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N A T I O N

OBC Reservation Act’s validity
SC to start hearing from August 7
New Delhi, July 26
The Supreme Court today decided that the vexed OBC reservation case will be heard by a five-judge Bench to test the validity of the new legislation and the 93rd constitutional amendment enabling the Centre and states to pass laws on reservation for Other Backward Classes in educational institutions.

People’s President
I want to see one billion Indians smile: Kalam
Chennai, July 26
Former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam's desire is to see one billion Indians smile for which he will interact with the people more and help India become an economically developed nation.

Goa Crisis
Cong blames land developers’ lobby
New Delhi, July 26
Caught completely unawares by the developments in Goa, the Congress is making frantic efforts to save its 49-day-old state government which was reduced to a minority following desertions from its camp.


EARLIER STORIES


Kanimozhi, Raja take oath as RS members
New Delhi, July 26
Kanimozhi, daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha today, denied speculation that she would join the union cabinet soon.

SC warns against maligning judiciary
New Delhi, July 26
The Supreme Court today warned against maligning the judiciary in unsubstantiated ‘sting operations’, saying it was fraught with a great danger of discrediting it as an institution and erode people’s faith in the entire justice delivery system.

Sherin, widow of Major Peter Alexander who was killed by a jawan in Jammu and Kashmir, bursts into tears as she receives the tricolour in which the body of the Major was wrapped, during a funeral service at Prithviraj Road cemetery in New Delhi on Thursday.
Sherin, widow of Major Peter Alexander who was killed by a jawan in Jammu and Kashmir, bursts into tears as she receives the tricolour in which the body of the Major was wrapped, during a funeral service at Prithviraj Road cemetery in New Delhi on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

Hansi-Butana link canal dispute
SC puts off hearing till Aug 14

New Delhi, July 26
After a protracted legal battle over the SYL canal, Punjab and Haryana today locked horns in another water dispute-not for sharing of it but diversion during the rainy season with Punjab seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention to stop construction of the Hansi-Butana link channel for carrying Bhakra main line (BML) water to Kaithal for irrigation.

Indo-US N-Deal
‘BJP’s apprehensions not allayed fully’
New Delhi, July 26
Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance to his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the proposed Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement would have no impact on the country's strategic programmes, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha today said that the BJP's apprehensions had not been allayed completely.

US, ISI had interest in Punjab militancy: Book
New Delhi, July 26
The US had an “interest” in Punjab militancy and hatched a “covert action plan” in collusion with Pakistan’s ISI in 1971 to encourage a separatist movement in the border state, says a new book by a former top Indian Intelligence officer.

SC relaxes experience restriction
Carrying of male sterilisation by docs
New Delhi, July 26
Considering the request of the Centre that the condition of compulsory five years experience for the MBBS doctors to carry male sterilisation operations imposed by the Supreme Court was hampering the family planning programme, the apex court today made some relaxation in it.

Assembly poll
Virbhadra meets Sonia
New Delhi, July 26
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to apprise her of the political situation in the state and preparations of the party for the Assembly elections due early next year.

Buddhadeb admits graft in Left Front govt
Kolkata, July 26
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee today admitted that his Left Front government was not free from corruption and his “do-it-now” slogan given a year ago could not overnight bring transparency in the administration.

Women bodies support Kiran Bedi
New Delhi, July 26
Women activists and organisations today joined India's first woman IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi in her protest over her non-appointment as Delhi's police commissioner.

Kerala temple allows entry of women wearing ‘churidars’
Guruvayur (Kerala), July 26
In a radical break from the centuries-old dress code of the Sree Krishna temple here, the shrine's management today decided to allow women wearing ‘churidars’ to enter it.

Vijay Singh is new defence secy
New Delhi, July 26
Senior bureaucrat Vijay Singh was today appointed as the new defence secretary while Pradeep Kumar will take charge as the secretary in the Department of Disinvestment in several high-level changes announced today.

HC tells CBI to prove identification of Jha’s exhumed body
New Delhi, July 26
The Delhi High Court today said that the CBI will have to prove that the body exhumed from a village near Ranchi in 1998 was that of Shashi Nath Jha to uphold the conviction of former union minister Shibu Soren in his murder case.

Sholay: Part of academics now
Bhopal, July 26
Just flash back to your schooldays and imagine hearing the bloodcurdling line “Yeh haath mujhe de de Thakur” in the class!

 

Videos
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OBC Reservation Act’s validity
SC to start hearing from August 7
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 26
The Supreme Court today decided that the vexed OBC reservation case will be heard by a five-judge Bench to test the validity of the new legislation and the 93rd constitutional amendment enabling the Centre and states to pass laws on reservation for Other Backward Classes in educational institutions.

A three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, said the five-judge constitution Bench would take up the hearing on a bunch of petitions on the OBC quota issue from August 7.

However, the three-judge Bench, having Justices R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari, besides the CJI, said the interim application filed by the Centre for vacating the stay on the new OBC Reservation Act would only be heard by it on July 31.

The CJI said even when the main matter for testing the validity of a law was being referred to a constitution Bench, the normal Bench could hear the interim application.

This gave some hope to the Centre to try to convince the court to get the stay vacated and allow it to admit OBC students who had already cleared the entrance tests for IITs, IIMs, NITs and other central institutions for the current academic session.

A two-judge Bench earlier had stayed the implementation of the OBC reservation this year and even rejected a review petition of the Centre.

Lawyers appearing for anti-reservation petitioners, led by K K Venugopal and Rajiv Dhawan, apart from seeking to place the government’s interim application also before the constitution Bench, opposed the Centre’s plea.

They said once a review petition was rejected by the apex court’s division Bench, a three-judge Bench could not be asked to review it. “Review of a review petition is not permitted in the Supreme Court,” they said.

The government has sought to vacate the stay by citing apex court’s own order of 1994 in the Tamil Nadu reservation case by directing the state to create more seats for the general category students when it had raised the reservation limit to 69 per cent, which was 19 per cent more than the permitted limit of 50 per cent.

To ensure that the hearing from August 7 by the constitution Bench starts smoothly, the court today directed all parties to complete their pleadings by August 4.

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People’s President
I want to see one billion Indians smile: Kalam
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 26
Former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam's desire is to see one billion Indians smile for which he will interact with the people more and help India become an economically developed nation.

While interacting with media after addressing the faculty of Anna University here, he said, "My aim is to see one billion people in our country smile. I will be very happy if I can help achieve that. "I am going to be with the people to push India to become an economically developed nation. For this every person below 25 years should develop self-confidence and this would lead the nation's progress," he said and added that though he has demitted the office of President his interaction with the people of the country would continue.

Kalam felt that a democratic nation of one billion people from different cultures and religions "needs core competence to give leadership to them, which is a unique thing".

On the proposed legislation for reservation for women which did not see the light of day during his tenure as President, Kalam commented, "We live in the world dominated by men, there should be reservation for women to take forward their rights."

Kalam said one of the main problems the country faced was scarcity of water and that could be solved by first linking rivers within each of the states and then all rivers in the country.

Replying to a question whether he could achieve all he desired as President of India, Kalam said, "No man can achieve one hundred per cent. But I had a plan and I went through that. One part of it was that I visited all states and Union Territories, met the people and saw tears - both of happiness and sadness."

Asked about his permanent residence after leaving Rashtrapati Bhavan, he informed that he had now taken up five assignments - at Nalanda University in Bihar, Space Research University in Thiruvananthapuram, Anna University in Chennai, Gandhigram University in Dindugal in Tamil Nadu and IIT Andhra Pradesh. "Hence, I will do a lot of travelling around and there will be no permanent place as residence."

Kalam hails from Rameswaram town in Ramanathapruam district in southern Tamil Nadu where his "extended family" lives since he is a bachelor.

In his address to the Anna University teachers, Kalam said he was happy to be one among the professors and felt like homecoming after five years.

Though people in New Delhi are used to power cuts, Kalam had never experienced one during the last five while residing at the Raisina Hill.

However, on his first day at the Anna University, there was no power due to a cable fault and he had to be shifted to the Raj Bhavan nearby.

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Goa Crisis
Cong blames land developers’ lobby
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Caught completely unawares by the developments in Goa, the Congress is making frantic efforts to save its 49-day-old state government which was reduced to a minority following desertions from its camp.

While a euphoric BJP has successfully weaned away legislators from the ruling alliance and formed an alternative coalition, a shell-shocked Congress was fighting hard to retrieve the situation.

“The situation will stabilise by Monday,” remarked Margaret Alva, AICC general secretary in charge of Goa.

Admitting that these developments were a bolt from the blue, Alva put up a brave face, saying they will be able to save the government, adding that Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat is already in touch with everybody.

The Opposition, on the other hand, is all set to prove its majority in the Assembly, which is currently in session. The Congress has been able to buy time because the state Governor S.C. Jamir is in Delhi while the weekend break is coming up.

While Alva herself is keeping close tabs on the unfolding drama, AICC secretary Siddharth Patel has been rushed to Goa to assist in backroom parleys, currently being conducted to ensure the government’s survival.

Having failed to keep its flock together, the Congress blamed the all-powerful lobby of land developers for attempting to destabilise its government. “The reasons for these attempts are more economic than political,” Alva said, stating land lobby’s interests had been adversely affected when the Congress scrapped the controversial Goa regional development plan, stating that all those who wanted this plan to be revived were working overtime to pull down the Congress-led coalition.

Alva said there was no other explanation for the desertions from its government which was tottering on the brink of collapse after two-member MGP and an Independent MLA withdrew support. “I wonder what happened in the last three days,” said a perplexed Alva, who said these MLAs had only recently voted for the UPA Presidential nominee and also helped pass the budget.

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Kanimozhi, Raja take oath as RS members
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Kanimozhi, daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha today, denied speculation that she would join the union cabinet soon.

Besides Kanimozhi, Tiruchi N. Siva, another DMK member, and CPI national secretary D. Raja took oath in the chamber of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K. Rahman Khan.

Besides Karunanidhi, union ministers belonging to the DMK at the Centre were present to greet the 38-year-old poetess-turned-politician on her becoming a member of the Upper House.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, finance minister P. Chidambaram, parliamentary affairs minister P.R. Dasmunsi and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president, were present on the occasion.

Replying to queries, Kanimozhi said she did not have to become the voice of the party at the Centre as there were a lot of senior leaders of the DMK to shoulder the responsibility.

Asked if she would become a minister at the Centre, Kanimozhi indicated that she was in no hurry to join the government. "Let me go my own way," she said.

Reports had said earlier that Kanimozhi could be made a minister at the Centre in the wake of the exit of Dayanidhi Maran from the union council of ministers.

To a question on women's reservation, she said her views were no different from that of her party.

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SC warns against maligning judiciary
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 26
The Supreme Court today warned against maligning the judiciary in unsubstantiated ‘sting operations’, saying it was fraught with a great danger of discrediting it as an institution and erode people’s faith in the entire justice delivery system.

This was stated by a Bench of Chief Justice K.G Balakrishnan and Justices R.V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari, while hearing a case pertaining to “sting operation” carried out by a Zee TV Ahmedabad correspondent three years ago.

In the so called sting operation against three lawyers by the Zee reporters, he had obtained warrants against former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the then CJI V.N Khare, a former apex court judge B.P Singh and late senior advocate R.K Jain.

Though the names of these personalities were presented in a bit of confusing manner before Meghaninagar magistrate Braham Bhatt, who signed the warrant, a CBI inquiry ordered by the apex court had given a clean chit to the judicial officer. The agency said he had signed the documents in good faith as presented by his staff in a routine manner while hearing over a 100 cases listed before him.

The CBI had said no such racket had come across during the investigation. The state High Court had also exonerated the magistrate, who initially was placed under suspension after the apex court had ordered a CBI probe. However, the three lawyers had been chargesheeted in the case.

The court said though media has an important role to play, but it should be more careful as maligning the judiciary in this manner could have serious consequences.

Senior advocate Arun Jaitley, appearing for Zee TV, said the intention of the reporter was not to defame the judiciary but he had carried the sting operation in the larger public interest to expose corruption.

The court was not much satisfied with the affidavit by Zee reporter and said the it could consider pardoning him if he tendered unconditional apology in a better affidavit showing prima facie reason that his intention was not to malign and defame the judiciary and gave him opportunity to file another affidavit.

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Hansi-Butana link canal dispute
SC puts off hearing till Aug 14

S S NEGI
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 26
After a protracted legal battle over the SYL canal, Punjab and Haryana today locked horns in another water dispute-not for sharing of it but diversion during the rainy season with Punjab seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention to stop construction of the Hansi-Butana link channel for carrying Bhakra main line (BML) water to Kaithal for irrigation.

An original suit filed by Punjab for a decree against Haryana to stop the canal project permanently, was mentioned before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan by senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan and Rupinder Singh Suri, Punjab’s special counsel dealing with its all water disputes cases.

Punjab’s lawyers, who also moved an interim application for stay on the ongoing work on the project by Haryana, wanted an early hearing, claiming that the issue was of great public interest and would cause irreparable damage to the state. However, the court listed the matter for hearing on August 14.

Punjab accused Haryana of acting “unilaterally” in taking up the construction of the 20-km embankment from west to east abutting the territory of Punjab with a height of 10.2 feet in the first 11 km and seven feet in the remaining 9-km portion, aimed at carrying BML water by puncturing it near Ajimagarh village to carry it to the Kaithal areas.

It was alleged that Haryana had violated the 1959 Bhakra-Nangal Agreement in the process, which did not provide for extending the BML water to Yamuna basin.

“This embankment will result in floods and consequential damage and ingress into Punjab… and would obstruct the free flow of surface water in the direction of north-south resulting in backwater formation and causing massive floods in the entire region,” the Punjab Government claimed.

It said if Haryana was allowed to construct the channel, it would result in displacement of one lakh people from 70 villages in former’s territory in the border area, submergence of 20,756 acres of land in 32 villages, disruption of the existing irrigation system in these villages and affect the communication network there.

“In a federal system, it is necessarily implied that no state can undertake any project that would impinge on the rights of neighbouring state,” the suit said.

Such action would amount to “creating of extra-territorial nuisance and trespass”, the Punjab Government said while seeking a further direction to Haryana to dismantle the already constructed embankment.

Haryana had not even got prior clearance for the project from the Union Government, which, according to the suit, was mandatory. Neither had it taken concurrence of interested states of Punjab and Rajasthan, it alleged.

Besides Haryana, the Punjab Government has named the Centre and Rajasthan as respondents in the suit, filed under Article 131, which empowers the Supreme Court to adjudicate upon any inter-state dispute.

Punjab also referred to the minuets recorded by the Central Water Commission in its March 17, 2006, meeting called on the issue, according to which it was put on record that the proposed link canal had inter-state implications. CWC had asked Haryana to seek the permission of Bhakra Beas Management Board for puncturing BML at Ajimgarh and the concurrence of the other two states and reserving the right of the appraisal of the project report.

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Indo-US N-Deal
‘BJP’s apprehensions not allayed fully’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance to his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the proposed Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement would have no impact on the country's strategic programmes, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha today said that the BJP's apprehensions had not been allayed completely.

The assurance was given to a delegation of top BJP leaders, led by Vajpayee during a two-hour meeting.

Our apprehensions have not been allayed completely, Sinha told newspersons after the meeting at the Prime Minister's residence here, but did not elaborate.

We have no reason to distrust him, but we would like to first go through the text of the draft agreement, he said.

The text of the agreement is clearly frozen.

Neither India nor the US can now make any changes in it. But it (government) has not shared with us the text of the agreement. It tried to share only the main elements of the agreement, he said.

Sinha said the BJP delegation told the Prime Minister that in the absence of the text to which we are not privy at this stage, it will be difficult for us to to respond in detail to the provisions of the bilateral agreement.

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US, ISI had interest in Punjab militancy: Book

New Delhi, July 26
The US had an “interest” in Punjab militancy and hatched a “covert action plan” in collusion with Pakistan’s ISI in 1971 to encourage a separatist movement in the border state, says a new book by a former top Indian Intelligence officer.

The American “interest” in Punjab militancy lasted for a little more than a decade through the seventies and eighties after the covert plan was initiated by the Richard Nixon administration, says the book by B Raman, who had worked for the Research and Analysis (RAW) wing. The interest waned after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, according to the book.

The book titled “The Kaoboys of R&AW - Down the Memory Lane” said “one saw the beginning of a joint covert operation by the US intelligence community and Pakistan’s ISI in 1971 to create difficulties for India in Punjab.” “The (covert) plan envisaged the encouragement of a separatist movement among the Sikhs for an independent state to be called Khalistan,” says Raman, who had retired as Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat.

Elaborating, Raman said Jagjit Singh Chauhan, a Sikh leader from Punjab, went to the UK and took over the leadership of the defunct Sikh Home Rule Movement and renamed it after Khalistan.

The then Pakistani military ruler Yahya Khan invited Chauhan to Pakistan, “lionised” him as a leader of Sikhs and handed over some Sikh holy relics kept in Pakistan, which he took to the UK to win a following in the Sikh diaspora.

Chauhan also went to New York, met officials of the United Nations and some American journalists and alleged human rights violations of Sikhs in India. — PTI

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SC relaxes experience restriction
Carrying of male sterilisation by docs
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 26
Considering the request of the Centre that the condition of compulsory five years experience for the MBBS doctors to carry male sterilisation operations imposed by the Supreme Court was hampering the family planning programme, the apex court today made some relaxation in it.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, said that instead of the five years compulsory experience, an MBBS doctor imparted a special training in carrying such operations could be permitted to perform them.

The Supreme Court, had in 2003, imposed the five-year experience restriction on the grounds that several cases of failed operations were flooding the courts across the country, with the affected persons demanding heavy compensation from the government.

The government, in its affidavit, said that it had laid down guidelines for special training to carry male sterilisation operations by doctors after they had passed their MBBS course. The guidelines were virtually accepted by the court.

According to the guidelines, the laparoscopic sterilisation, a much-complicated operation on women, would be carried only by a doctor with MS degree and the male sterilisation, a much-simpler operation, could be done by an MBBS doctor with a special training imparted to him or her under the guidance of qualified surgeons.

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Assembly poll
Virbhadra meets Sonia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to apprise her of the political situation in the state and preparations of the party for the Assembly elections due early next year.

Sources said the Chief Minister, who congratulated Sonia on Pratibha Patil becoming the first woman President of the country, also discussed plans for expansion of the Cabinet to give greater representation to the Kangra region.

The meeting, lasting nearly an hour, followed his discussions with senior party leader R K Dhawan, who is in charge of the state.

The sources said greater representation to the lower regions of the state was seen by the state leadership as a way to counter allegations of regional bias levelled against the party by the Opposition. They said the party’s central leadership was willing to go along with suggestions of the state unit for strengthening the party ahead of the Assembly polls.

The state leaders have been discussing the possibility of inducting an MLA from Kangra in the existing vacancy in the Cabinet and giving representation to Hamirpur by dropping a minister from Shimla district.

The sources said Dhawan had apprised Sonia of his assessment of the reasons of the party’s defeat in the by-election to the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat which had boosted the morale of the BJP.

With Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati having begun addressing election rallies in the state, the Congress leaders have told the central leadership that efforts by the BSP to make its presence felt were unlikely to fructify.

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Buddhadeb admits graft in Left Front govt

Kolkata, July 26
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee today admitted that his Left Front government was not free from corruption and his “do-it-now” slogan given a year ago could not overnight bring transparency in the administration.

Bhattacharjee said in the assembly that his government was not free from corruption and the Centre was aware of it. But some degree of improvement had been achieved in the administration, he added.

Bhattacharjee said the Administrative Reforms Committee, comprising experts from the IIM, the IIT and the ISI, set up to bring about transparency in the administration, was expected to submit its report soon.

He denied opposition allegations that the state government did not accept the Vigilance Commission’s recommendations and said most of them were implemented. — PTI

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Women bodies support Kiran Bedi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Women activists and organisations today joined India's first woman IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi in her protest over her non-appointment as Delhi's police commissioner.

A day after the home ministry announced its decision to appoint Bedi's two-year junior and special commissioner of police (administration), Yudhbir Singh Dadwal, as Delhi police commissioner, women organisations said the decision was steeped in a deep-rooted gender bias.

One of the front-runners for the top post at the Delhi police headquarters, Kiran Bedi, presently posted as director-general of the bureau for police research and development, described the government's decision as “regretful”.

Former NCW chairperson Mohini Giri was one of the first to express solidarity with the tough woman cop of the 1972 cadre.

In a statement issued here today, Giri said that the emphasis on women empowerment is rendered meaningless when senior women achievers with proven ability are denied rightful elevation to the highest posts. “A few months ago, Veena Sikri, a foreign service officer, was denied the post of foreign secretary despite her seniority and competence. Earlier, Reva Nayyar, secretary, women and child development, was also edged out of the post of cabinet secretary. Now Kiran Bedi, Magsaysay award winner and seniormost police officer from Delhi, has been denied the post of police commissioner.”

Rajya Sabha MP (CPM) Brinda Karat was sensitive to Bedi's disillusionment. “I think she has right to be upset because her seniority has been ignored. I don't know the reasons why she has not been selected but this can be very demoralising for any officer.''

National Commission for Women chairperson Girija Vyas chose a politically correct line to comment on Kiran Bedi's non-selection to the post. In a toned down response, Vyas said, “Nobody can deny her boldness. She has left a mark wherever she has worked but these are administrative decisions. It would be natural for us to feel happy over the appointment of a woman IPS officer as commissioner of the Delhi police. There are DGPs in various states.”

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Kerala temple allows entry of women wearing ‘churidars’

Guruvayur (Kerala), July 26
In a radical break from the centuries-old dress code of the Sree Krishna temple here, the shrine's management today decided to allow women wearing ‘churidars’ to enter it.

Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee chairman Thottathil Raveendran told mediapersons that the change was made as part of the ongoing process of reforming the temple rules in the wake of the recent controversy sparked by the "purification ceremony" performed in the shrine after a visit by Union Minister Vayalar Ravi's son.

The decision marks a major change in the custom which insisted that only women clad in saris or Kerala's traditional 'mundu' and 'veshti' could enter the shrine.

Men are also not allowed to enter the temple, known for its rigid customs and practices, wearing pants and shirts.

Some women's groups have demanded changes in the outdated dress code followed by the temple, which is visited by thousands from across the country everyday. — PTI

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Vijay Singh is new defence secy

New Delhi, July 26
Senior bureaucrat Vijay Singh was today appointed as the new defence secretary while Pradeep Kumar will take charge as the secretary in the Department of Disinvestment in several high-level changes announced today.

A 1970 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, Vijay Singh will succeed Shekhar Dutt, who will retire on July 31.

Vijay Singh is secretary in the Department of Road Transport and Highways and his place will be taken by Brahm Dutt, presently chairperson of National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention.

Pradeep Kumar, a 1972-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, is at present chairperson of National Highways Authority of India in the Department of Road Transport and Highways.

The names were cleared by the Appointments' Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. — PTI

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HC tells CBI to prove identification of Jha’s exhumed body

New Delhi, July 26
The Delhi High Court today said that the CBI will have to prove that the body exhumed from a village near Ranchi in 1998 was that of Shashi Nath Jha to uphold the conviction of former union minister Shibu Soren in his murder case.

“The CBI will have to prove that the body exhumed is that of Shashi Nath Jha, only then the man can be convicted for the murder,” a Bench comprising Justice R.S. Sodi and Justice H.R. Malhotra said while hearing the cross-appeal filed by the former union minister and the CBI challenging the trial court’s order.

Shibu Soren is undergoing life imprisonment for kidnapping and killing his private secretary Shashi Nath Jha. A Delhi court had on December 26, 2006, convicted Soren and four others for abduction and murder of Jha. — PTI

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Sholay: Part of academics now

Bhopal, July 26
Just flash back to your schooldays and imagine hearing the bloodcurdling line “Yeh haath mujhe de de Thakur” in the class!

St Xavier School’s fifth-standard students ara having a whale of a time as a chapter in their English workbook has details of the Ramesh Sippy blockbuster ‘Sholay’ under ‘Magic of Cinema’.The film’s characters Jai, Veeru, Gabbar Singh, Basanti, Samba and Kalia are discussed in class.

‘’In the chapter, students are taught various aspects of film-making. An interesting detail provided is that ‘Sholay’ was screened for five consecutive years at a Mumbai cinema hall,’’ Principal George Jacob said here yesterday. — UNI

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13 hurt in firing

Guwahati, July 26
Thirteen persons, including two Assam police personnel and three personnel from Assam forest department, were injured when armed miscreants from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh opened fire at Dulumukh near Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary in North Lakhimpur district of Assam today. — TNS

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