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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Letter Patent Appeals
SC rejects Himachal High Court’s view

New Delhi, July 28
Deciding an important question of judicial hierarchy, the Supreme Court has rejected the findings of the Himachal Pradesh High Court that the rules laid down by the Lahore High Court way back in 1919 regarding filing of the Letter Patent Appeals (LPAs) against the single judge’s verdicts in civil cases will not apply to it.

New Mining Act to cut red tape: Reddy
New Delhi, July 28
The government plans to bring in a new Mining Act in the next three months with a view to attracting investment in the country's mining sector, particularly for precious minerals, minister of state for mines Y. Subbarami Reddy said here today.

N-deal: India, US strategic ties at a new level
New Delhi, July 28

The Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation deal, announced by the two governments yesterday, has taken the strategic partnership between New Delhi and Washington to a new level by completing the negotiations on the bilateral agreement, a development that is bound to make China wary.




EARLIER STORIES




CWC hails N-deal
New Delhi, July 28
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) today congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the government for successfully steering negotiations with the USA on civil nuclear cooperation agreement to "a satisfactory conclusion", which was consistent with the letter and spirit of the commitments made to Parliament and the nation.

Karnataka plans to hand over project to US consortium
New Delhi, July 28
The Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka has placed before the Supreme Court a proposal for handing over the Bangalore-Mysore express highway project to a US consortium. The government is locked in a bitter legal battle with Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises on the multi-crore project, which includes development of peripheral townships.

Ram Setu not man-made structure: NASA
Chennai, July 28
The NASA has stated in an e-mail that the series sand bars known as Adams Bridge is nothing but natural rock-like formations. This has put the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in a tight spot as it had objected to demolition of Ramar Bridge, which they believe was constructed by Lord Hanuman and his Monkey’s Army to help Lord Ram and others to cross over to Sri Lanka to retrieve Sita, held captive by Ravana.

Sindhis in Gujarat urge Pak to issue new ID-cards
Ahmedabad, July 28
Concerned over the non-issuance of shanakti (Identification) cards to Sindhi migrants from Pakistan, the all India sindhi welfare association has requested the Pakistan government to issue new cards and “B” forms for renunciation certificates and waive off the Islamabad visit stipulation.

‘Rao ignored warnings not to trust Advani on Babri’
New Delhi, July 28
Former Prime Minister P.V.Narasimha Rao ignored warnings by a Hindu religious leader not to trust BJP leader L.K.Advani's assurances that no harm would be caused to Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, a top former intelligence officer has claimed.

Maninder Kohli handed over to British police
New Delhi, July 28
Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, accused in the Hannah Foster murder in the UK, was today handed over to British police after the Delhi High Court allowed his extradition to stand trial in the case.

15 die in Northeast floods
Guwahati, July 28
At least 15 people were killed and over 8 lakhs people rendered homeless due to floods and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

The historic accord that few remember today
New Delhi, July 28
It was hailed as India’s biggest diplomatic coup when it was signed amid violent street protests.

Culling of chickens continues
Guwahati, July 28
Even as the culling of chickens continued within five km radius of avian influenza affected site at Chingmeirong in east Imphal district of Manipur, NGOs have launched mass awareness campaign against the diseases and the dreaded H5N1 strain of virus in the state.

Jupiter to be spotted in evening
Hyderabad, July 28
The sky-gazers have an opportunity to spot Jupiter with a naked eye in the evening up to the third week of December from tomorrow.

CBI files report on efforts to extradite ‘Q’
New Delhi, July 28
The CBI on Saturday informed a court here that it had filed an appeal in Argentina’s Supreme Court against the rejection of India’s plea to extradite Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi to stand trial in the Bofors kickbacks scam.

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Letter Patent Appeals
SC rejects Himachal High Court’s view
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 28
Deciding an important question of judicial hierarchy, the Supreme Court has rejected the findings of the Himachal Pradesh High Court that the rules laid down by the Lahore High Court way back in 1919 regarding filing of the Letter Patent Appeals (LPAs) against the single judge’s verdicts in civil cases will not apply to it.

Setting aside the HP High Court’s finding on the issue in a state electricity board case, which has the potential of creating a judicial crisis of a sort on adjudicating the civil cases before it, a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and S.H. Kapadia said the rulings laid down by the apex court on this vital question had been oversighted.

The Supreme Court said the HP High Court had wrongly applied the verdict of the Delhi High Court Full Bench to come to the conclusion that no appeal either under Clause 9 or Clause 10 of the Letters Patent of the Lahore High Court would lie before its division bench against the verdict of a single judge.

The apex court traced the history of the functioning of the Lahore High Court, extension of its rules to the high court of east Punjab after partition, which also extended to the Delhi High Court till a separate Act governing it was passed in 1966. The HP High Court was also governed by the Delhi High Court Act till a separate legislation for it was enacted in May 1957.

Under Section 5 of the High Court (Punjab Order), 1947, promulgated under the Independent of India Act, the “powers exercised by the Punjab High Court came to be exercised by the Delhi High Court in its territories including Himachal Pradesh,” the apex court said.

It cited verdicts in three important cases - Asha Kochar, HP state vs Ajit Kumar (both of 1976) and Jugal Kishore (1984) - in which the jurisdictional issue has been dealt with in details.

In view of the rulings laid down in these cases, the Supreme Court remitted the HPSEB case in which this important issue arose, back to the the HP High Court for fresh adjudication.

“The high court has not noticed the view expressed in the Jugal Kishore case… we therefore, set aside its order, remand the matter to it to decide the controversy afresh in the light of the Jugal Kishore case,” Justice Pasayat writing the judgement for the Bench said.

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New Mining Act to cut red tape: Reddy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The government plans to bring in a new Mining Act in the next three months with a view to attracting investment in the country's mining sector, particularly for precious minerals, minister of state for mines Y. Subbarami Reddy said here today.

Inaugurating the Third International Gold Summit here,he said under the proposed act, much of the administrative hassles would be removed so that any prospective licensee could automatically transfer his prospective mineral licensing to mining licence and vice versa.

This is being proposed to remove the fear of uncertainty from the minds of prospective investors who wanted to enter this sector, Reddy added.

He said it was strange that in a country where "we have an abundant reserve of gold, estimated at 14,000 tonnes, we are still importing around 800 tonnes of gold annually, at an estimated cost of Rs 65,000 crore".

“Similarly, we also import nearly 4.5 million karats of rough diamond per year, spending around Rs 75,000 crore. India is producing hardly 0.4 per cent of its gold consumption despite having nine per cent of global gold reserves under Indian landmass,” Reddy said.

He said the demand for gold was likely to go up further.

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N-deal: India, US strategic ties at a new level
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation deal, announced by the two governments yesterday, has taken the strategic partnership between New Delhi and Washington to a new level by completing the negotiations on the bilateral agreement, a development that is bound to make China wary.

Washington has given huge concessions to India on the nuclear deal, which it normally reserves, for its close allies like Japan and the European Union.

The deal would allow New Delhi to reprocess U.S.-origin fuel and may ensure continued fuel supplies even if India conducts fresh nuclear tests. The text of the 123 Agreement, now frozen, has no reference to future nuclear weapon tests by India.

Another important feature of the deal, from the Indian perspective, is a U.S. commitment to ensure an uninterrupted flow of nuclear fuel to India, including by supporting creation of an Indian strategic fuel reserve.

The deal bestows upon India right to enrichment and reprocessing. Significantly, this U.S. concession goes contrary to President George W Bush’s categorical assertion in 2004 that "enrichment and reprocessing are not necessary for nations seeking to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." Previously, the US has only granted reprocessing rights to key allies like Japan and the EU.

However, the Americans have been careful to attach a rider in this regard by making it clear that the sale of U.S. reprocessing and enrichment equipment to India would require additional approvals.

India’s National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan had yesterday allayed apprehensions that India might divert the reprocessed fuel to its strategic programme. He said the Indian strategic programme as independent of the civilian nuclear energy programme and the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Narayanan categorically stated that India did not require taking the nuclear deal route to run its strategic programme. He also stoutly denied that India had mortgaged any of its rights for clinching the nuclear deal with the US. "We have not mortgaged any right, if anything we have enhanced our rights," he said.

Other salient features of the Indo-US nuclear deal are:

n The Agreement is “between two States possessing advanced nuclear technology, both parties having the same benefits and advantages”.

n The Agreement contains a full reflection of the March 2, 2006, supply assurances, and the provision for corrective measures. The Agreement provides for the development of a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of India’s reactors.

n The Agreement provides for nuclear trade, transfer of nuclear material, equipment, components, and related technologies and for cooperation in nuclear fuel cycle activities.

n The Agreement provides for the application of IAEA safeguards to transferred material and equipment.

n It grants prior consent to reprocess nuclear material, transfer nuclear material and its products. To bring this into effect, India will establish a national reprocessing facility to reprocess IAEA safeguarded nuclear material and the parties will agree on arrangements and procedures within one year.

New Delhi’s contention is that the Agreement meets the concerns of both sides and fulfils all the assurances made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Parliament on August 17, 2006 including three basic principles - that the Agreement will specifically provide that India’s strategic nuclear programme, three-stage

Nuclear Programme and R&D activities will remain unhindered and unaffected. This will be the centrepiece of the government’s arguments in defence of the nuclear deal when it explains the Agreement to Parliament next month.

India will now negotiate an India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA. The US will also work with friends and allies in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) for an adjustment of their guidelines to enable the NSG to enter into nuclear co-operation and trade with India as an equal partner.

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CWC hails N-deal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) today congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the government for successfully steering negotiations with the USA on civil nuclear cooperation agreement to "a satisfactory conclusion", which was consistent with the letter and spirit of the commitments made to Parliament and the nation.

The CWC, which met here to discuss the deal, also congratulated Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her "leadership and untiring efforts, which led to the impressive victory of the first woman President of India".

The Prime Minister briefed the CWC on various aspects of the nuclear deal. Though national security adviser M.K.Narayanan also came towards the end of the meeting, it was the Prime Minister who answered most of the queries from members.

Senior party leader M.L.Fotedar's query related to separation of civilian programme from the defence needs and Devendra Dwivedi posed a question about recycling. The Prime Minister said that India succeeded in convincing the US about its right to recycle according to international norms and IAEA safegaurds.

The CWC meeting, which was convened hurriedly, followed Prime Minister's meetings with the leaders from the Left and BJP on the civilian nuclear deal. The CWC meeting, lasting nearly two hours, was attended by nearly 15 members and nine permanent invitees.

External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee was not present, as he is on a visit abroad.

Though problems for the party in Goa and violence in Andhra Pradesh did not come up for discussion in the meeting, Congress spokesman Absishek Singhvi later fielded queries of mediapersons.

On Goa, he said that established constitutional process will take place on the floor of the House. He said the BJP had been losing elections in Goa and trying to make its entry "through the backdoor". Sighvi said the situation in Goa had much more to do with economics and commerce than ideology.

On the firing in Andhra Pradesh, Singhvi said Congress president had expressed her concern and asked for a detailed report from the Chief Minister. 

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Karnataka plans to hand over project to US consortium
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 28
The Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka has placed before the Supreme Court a proposal for handing over the Bangalore-Mysore express highway project to a US consortium. The government is locked in a bitter legal battle with Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises on the multi-crore project, which includes development of peripheral townships.

The project, awarded to Nandi by the previous Dharam Singh Government, had led to a bitter controversy with Kumaraswamy’s father and former PM H D Deve Gowda using it to pull down the Dharam Singh Ministry by withdrawing the JD (S) support.

Gowda had termed the project as a major land scam, alleging that land worth Rs 30,000 crore was given to Nandi on throwaway prices.

A fresh affidavit moved in the SC yesterday by Karnataka’s counsel Sanjay Hegde stated that Global Infrastructure Consortium (GIC) of US, worth $ 250 billion, has in a “suo motu” proposal shown a keen interest in executing the project.

The affidavit stated that the proposal was received on July 6 from the GIC, which has a vast experience in executing projects globally in “key strategic areas like mono rail, ports, shipyards, railways, roads, water, special economic zones, real estate development and urban infrastructure.”

It said the proposal submitted by the GIC not only enhanced the value of the Bangalore-Mysore corridor project, but it proposed to add a mono rail project in it at the cost of Rs 1,700 crore without incurring any additional financial burden.

Besides, the Consortium also proposed to return at the time of taking over, the extra land provided to Nandi, which was the root cause of the entire controversy, to the government, which was expected to Rs 30,000 crore to the state.

It also said unlike the existing contract with Nandi, which did not have any clause for penalising it for any delay, GIC has proposed “self-imposing penalties” by undertaking to achieve financial closure within 18 months of signing of the agreement.

The Karnataka government has cited the delay of 12 years in executing the project and urged the apex court to allow it to cancel the deal with Nandi and let the new player to enter the filed in the larger interest public interest. The case is likely to come up for hearing soon.

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Ram Setu not man-made structure: NASA
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 28
The NASA has stated in an e-mail that the series sand bars known as Adams Bridge is nothing but natural rock-like formations. This has put the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in a tight spot as it had objected to demolition of Ramar Bridge, which they believe was constructed by Lord Hanuman and his Monkey’s Army to help Lord Ram and others to cross over to Sri Lanka to retrieve Sita, held captive by Ravana.

The fact that the series of sand bars beneath the sea between India and Sri Lanka that form a rock-like formation - known as Adams Bridge - is a natural phenomenon negates it being man made. This was stated by CEO and managing director of Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd (SCL) N. K. Raghupathy today.

The VHP, which is opposed to the Sethusamudram project, had been using NASA’s satellite pictures to prove that it was indeed the ‘Ram Setu’ or the bridge that Lord Rama built.

An official of the SCL, which is dredging Adams Bridge as part of the Sethusamudram ship canal project off the Tamil Nadu coast, had written to NASA, seeking clarifications in this regard.

In a reply through e-mail, NASA’s Johnson Space Centre stated: “The chain of small islets connecting India and Sri Lanka are real geographical features that have been mapped for centuries. Chains of islands form from a variety of natural geological processes, and their occurrence is not evidence of any human activity.”

Some Hindu outfits have been objecting to the dredging of Palk Bay.

Raghupathy said the aeronautical agency’s information confirmed the argument that Adams Bridge was a natural formation.

He said he was just informing the media about NASA’s e-mail and would prefer not to comment on the Ram Setu campaign as the matter was pending before the Supreme Court.

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Sindhis in Gujarat urge Pak to issue new ID-cards

Ahmedabad, July 28
Concerned over the non-issuance of shanakti (Identification) cards to Sindhi migrants from Pakistan, the all India sindhi welfare association has requested the Pakistan government to issue new cards and “B” forms for renunciation certificates and waive off the Islamabad visit stipulation.

“We have requested Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri to issue new shanakti Cards against old ones to the sindhi migrants as their passports are renewed,” Raju Rupela, president of the association said.

Rupela said migrants were required to obtain Indian nationality after settlement of five years for which a renunciation certificate, issued by the Pakistan embassy in India, should be submitted. Nearly 50,000 members of the sindhi community have migrated from Pakistan to India in the last ten years.

However, the Pakistan embassy in India now insists on getting fresh cards from Pakistan, for which every individual has to visit Islamabad for getting the new computerised cards for adults, while a B-form for children.

Talking about the harassment suffered by the sindhi community, Rupela gave an instance of one Gurmukhdas Rajani who went to Pakistan in 1998 to attend a marriage and could not make it back.

“The Indian Government had banned his entry without citing any reason,” he said. “Rajani had to spend ten years in Pakistan alone, while his family had got Indian nationality here. Our association took up the issue with the Indian government. And as a result, the government has lifted the ban on Rajani’s entry and we are getting him back on August 7 this year,” he said. — UNI

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‘Rao ignored warnings not to trust Advani on Babri’

New Delhi, July 28
Former Prime Minister P.V.Narasimha Rao ignored warnings by a Hindu religious leader not to trust BJP leader L.K.Advani's assurances that no harm would be caused to Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, a top former intelligence officer has claimed.

Advani met Rao on a number of occasions during the Ayodhya controversy "at the latter's request" and assured him that "there would be no damage to the masjid".

"A Hindu religious leader, who had some friends at the senior levels of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), repeatedly cautioned that Rao should not trust any assurances given by Advani. He expressed his fear that the ‘Hindutva’ volunteers might demolish the Masjid," B.Raman, former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, says in his book - “The Kaoboys of RAW - Down the Memory Lane”.

These warnings were conveyed to the then Prime Minister orally, he said.

He said all intelligence agencies had also recommended the imposition of President's Rule in Uttar Pradesh, banning of the gathering of “Hindutva” workers in Ayodhya and sending of central forces to the state.

On Rao's meetings with Advani, he said the then premier had first requested for a RAW guest house where he could meet Advani instead of his official residence. But later, he asked the RAW to "give him a secret recording device and explain to him how to use it. He wanted to use it for recording his discussions with Advani in his house”.

"After the demolition of the masjid (on December 6, 1992), he returned the device to the RAW. He did not say whether he had used it and, if so, what happened to the recording. Nor did the RAW ask him," the former intelligence official said. — PTI

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Maninder Kohli handed over to British police

New Delhi, July 28
Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, accused in the Hannah Foster murder in the UK, was today handed over to British police after the Delhi High Court allowed his extradition to stand trial in the case.

Kohli, who was lodged in the Tihar Jail, was handed over to a police team from the UK, a senior jail official told PTI.

"Officers of the jail and the Delhi police handed over Kohli's custody to a three-member team of police personnel from the UK who had come here to take him," the official said.

The court yesterday allowed the extradition of Kohli by rejecting his apprehension that he would not get a fair trial in Britain.

The Supreme Court had on July 20 declined to entertain Kohli's petition challenging his extradition and directed him to approach the High Court for a review of the lower court order.

Kohli is charged for raping and murdering a 17-year-old British girl Hannah Claire Foster on March 13-14, 2003, and fleeing to India from Britain two days after the victim's body was found. — PTI

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15 die in Northeast floods
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 28
At least 15 people were killed and over 8 lakhs people rendered homeless due to floods and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Nine people were killed when a mudslide had pushed three dwelling houses into a swirling river at Rishipara near Nakham Bazaar in Tura. One more person was swept away by strong current of Bugai River at Dalu in the same district today.

West Garo Hills district Deputy Commissioner P Sampath Kumar informed The Tribune over phone that nine persons belonging to three families were swept away to death after a heavy mudslide had pushed their houses to the swelling Rongkhon River. He confirmed that one more person died due to flash flood at Dalu in the district.

“We have recovered five bodies while the search for bodies of other four landslide victims was still on by the rescue team comprising personnel from the CRPF and civil defence wing. Two of the bodies were of a 10-month-old male baby and a 2-year-old boy,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

The flash floods triggered by incessant rains have so far affected 91 villages in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.

Floods have so far claimed five people in Assam besides rendering over 7.5 lakh people homeless. The situation continued to remain grim throughout the state as the water levels in all major rivers including the Brahmaputra and its tributaries continue to rise.

Four persons were drowned overnight in separate incidents in Dhubri and Sonitpur districts on Friday. Three people were drowned while trying to escape the fury of floods at Manchachar in Dhubri while and another man was swept away by floodwaters of Gabharu river at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district. All the four bodies were recovered.

An official source informed that one more person was swept away by floodwaters at Disangpani in Sivasagar district today. The body was yet to be recovered.

Flood situation has turned grim in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh where the administration engaged Pawan Hans choppers to evacuate over hundred flood-hit so far. Thousands others were stranded in the district that was cut off after flood waters washed away bridges and breached dykes in rivers.

"The situation is grim as flood waters continuing to inundate new areas. Alert has been sounded all over the state. So far total 12 district have been affected by the floods and the situation is very critical in the worst-hit Dhemaji district where largest number of people are suffering ,” Assam revenue, relief and rehabilitation minister. Dr Bhumidhar Barman said.

According to a Central Water Commission bulletin, the main Brahmaputra River was flowing above the danger level in at least 15 places in Assam. The river is still maintaining a rising trend. 

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The historic accord that few remember today

New Delhi, July 28
It was hailed as India’s biggest diplomatic coup when it was signed amid violent street protests.

Twenty years and thousands of deaths later, the India-Sri Lanka accord of 1987, which sought to restore peace to the island, has become history - well almost.

It was on July 29, 1987, that then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi flew to Colombo to sign the agreement with President J.R. Jayewardene in a bid to end a raging Tamil separatist drive.

That was not the only thing the accord sought to achieve.

For the first time in Sri Lanka’s troubled history, the country was formally recognised as a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society. It also brought about the only major act of constitutional reforms, devolving powers to minorities in the form of provincial councils with judicial, civil and police services.

It made Tamil an official language of the country, declared the island’s northeast “areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people” and had provisions to end state-sponsored colonisation of Tamil areas.

Starting from the evening of July 29, thousands of Indian troops began to be deployed in the war-torn northeast, heralding a sudden peace the country had not known for years.

But after putting down a small part of its weaponry, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) refused to disarm itself, citing security reasons, and went on a killing spree of its rivals and others.

Sections of the Jayewardene government, unhappy with the pact, and also India’s role were intent on tripping the Tigers.

In the complex tragedy that followed, the Indian troops took on the LTTE in Jaffna from Oct 10, 1987.

The fighting dragged on for well over two years. By the time the soldiers returned home, both Gandhi and Jayewardene were out of office. An India-backed provincial government in the northeast had collapsed. And the Tigers ended up controlling Jaffna and large parts of the northeast.

But many blood-soaked years later, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government are still fighting, India remains an interested but distant party to the goings on, and there is no light at the end of what looks a dark and unending tunnel. — IANS

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Culling of chickens continues
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 28
Even as the culling of chickens continued within five km radius of avian influenza affected site at Chingmeirong in east Imphal district of Manipur, NGOs have launched mass awareness campaign against the diseases and the dreaded H5N1 strain of virus in the state.

Manipur health department has also focused on examining human population in the vicinity of the bird flu incidence site. So far, no infection in human body was found, according to Dr P. Rajendra Singh in Imphal.

The administration has engaged 40 rapid response teams (RRTs) for culling of chickens. About 30,000 chicken in the state have been culled since the process began on Thursday.

The state health directorate has engaged over 40 medical teams to examine three lakh people living in over 60,000 households in and around Chingmeirong area where the avian flu virus has struck. The screening is intended to be completed within ten days.

The National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD), New Delhi, has sent two respiratory ventilators to add teeth to the 10-bed isolation ward in Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Imphal.

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Jupiter to be spotted in evening

Hyderabad, July 28
The sky-gazers have an opportunity to spot Jupiter with a naked eye in the evening up to the third week of December from tomorrow.

It will be the second bright object after the moon, according to Raghunandan Kumar, founder secretary Planetary Society India. After the third week of December, Jupiter can be spotted only in the morning skies. — PTI

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CBI files report on efforts to extradite ‘Q’

New Delhi, July 28
The CBI on Saturday informed a court here that it had filed an appeal in Argentina’s Supreme Court against the rejection of India’s plea to extradite Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi to stand trial in the Bofors kickbacks scam.

In a status report on its efforts to extradite Quattrocchi that was submitted in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Jain, the agency said an appeal had been filed against an Argentinian lower court’s order not to allow the businessman’s extradition.

The court in El Dorado had on June 9 turned down India’s plea to extradite Quattrocchi, accused of receiving kickbacks in the Bofors gun deal in the 1980s, for want of evidence.

Adding to CBI’s embarrassment, the court also directed the agency to pay Quattrocchi’s legal fees in connection with the hearing on his extradition.

The 69-year-old Italian was detained at Argentina’s Iguazu airport on February six on the basis of a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol at the behest of the CBI.

The detention was announced by the CBI on February 23, prompting severe criticism for the delay by the apex court. On December 13, 2002, a Malaysian court too had dismissed India’s plea for the extradition of Quattrocchi. — PTI

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