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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

33 injured in three bomb blasts
Guwahati, August 5
At least 33 persons were injured, many of them seriously, in three incidents of bomb blasts triggered by ULFA in Assam today.

123 Agreement
India’s case compromised, says ex-BARC chief

Mumbai, August 5
The agreement to operationalise the Indo-US civil nuclear deal has "compromised India's case to a large extent and the United States could "remotely drive our atomic programmes in the long run", former Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Dr A.N. Prasad said here tonight.

Housing Schemes
MRTPC starts probe against HUDA
New Delhi, August 5
After cement firms and builders, the fair trade practices watchdog, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, has started a probe into the housing allotment schemes of Haryana Urban Development Authority after its investigative arm, DGIR, found the state agency was taking "undue advantage" of the common man's helplessness in the schemes.

Bird flu fear stalks Tripura
Import of chickens, eggs banned
Guwahati, August 5
The Tripura government has sounded an alert and banned the import of chickens, eggs and chicken feed, besides constituting 71 rapid response teams (RRTs) as precautionary measures against avian influenza.



EARLIER STORIES




Demand and supply principle applies to sex trade: Study
New Delhi, August 5
The basic economic principle of demand and supply applies to India's flourishing sex trade, says study. Sweden has adopted a law, which recognises that without male demand, there would be no supply of women.

CA exam cancelled after leak reports
New Delhi, August 5
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) tonight announced it had cancelled today's Common Proficiency Test for admission to the chartered accountant course due to the paper leak in the national capital.

Foreigners entitled to protection under Constitution: SC
New Delhi, August 5
Foreigners living in India are entitled to the protection of the right to life and liberty as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has said.

Youngsters hold a 1-km-long friendship band, claiming it to be the world’s longest, at Imax Theatre in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Youngsters hold a 1-km-long friendship band, claiming it to be the world’s longest, at Imax Theatre in Hyderabad on Sunday. — PTI photo

ISRO tests cryogenic engine
Bangalore, August 5
The indigenously developed cryogenic stage, which is to be used as the upper stage of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), was ground tested for a long duration of eight minutes yesterday at the Liquid Propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.

Laser bands to prevent infant abduction
Puducherry, August 5
For the first time in India, infants will be tagged with laser bands to avoid baby mismatch and prevent infant abduction.

Aroma bio-village project launched
Lucknow, August 5
The farmers of the VIP constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi have a reason to smile. Their salt affected degraded land may soon turn into a gold mine, thanks to a CSIR -supported pilot project for setting up aroma bio-villages in the area.

Think twice before granting bail: SC
New Delhi, August 5
The Supreme Court has directed that a court must give reasons while granting bail particularly where an accused is facing allegations of involvement in a serious offence.

Arms Licence Scam
Police remand for 4 builders
Sriganganagar, August 5
Four Jaipur-based builders, three of them having connections with Bollywood, have been remanded in police custody for four days.

Lata Award for Khayyam
Mumbai, August 5
Renowned music director Khayyam has been chosen for this year’s prestigious Lata Mangeshkar Award instituted by the Maharashtra Government for lifetime achievement in the field of film music.

Negi to take on Khanduri at Dharamkot
Dehra Dun, August 5
After weighing all options, the Congress has persuaded former minister and a Thakur from the Garhwal area Surinder Singh Negi, to contest byelection against Chief Minister BC Khanduri from the Dhumakot Assembly segment.

Bodies of 2 IIM students recovered
Indore, August 5
Two IIM-Indore students, including a girl, got drowned in the Choral river yesterday, the police said today.

Nikam opposes campaign in Munna’s support
Mumbai, August 5
Ujjwal Nikam, the prosecutor in the 1993 serial blasts case, today described an attempt by Bollywood to start a campaign in support of jailed actor Sanjay Dutt as "unfair" and said it would amount to contempt of court.

India has to do more to get UNSC seat: Nambiar
Mumbai, August 5  A permanent seat in the UN Security Council has eluded India despite its relentless efforts as it has not adopted a broader role in settling international issues, a senior official of the world body has said.

21 foetuses found dumped
Bangalore, August 5
Several foetuses, packed in gunny bags, were found dumped in a ground in the heart of the city today, the police said. Karnataka Women's Commission chairperson Pramila Nesargi, who visited the ground, said according to locals, about 21 foetuses were dumped. She said it was not known whether these were male or female foetuses or were brought from outside the city. Syringes, bottles and other medical wastes were also found, she added. An FIR was registered and the foetuses were sent for examination, the police said. — PTI



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33 injured in three bomb blasts

Guwahati, August 5
At least 33 persons were injured, many of them seriously, in three incidents of bomb blasts triggered by ULFA in Assam today.

Sixteen persons were seriously injured in a bomb blast in Agiapara evening market in Goalpara district.

The blast created panic in the market when people thronged the area in large numbers to buy essentials.

The first blast of the day took place in front of Sonari police station this morning in which ten people were injured, the police said.

The second blast came within ten minutes of the first one at Sibsagar bus stand in the heart of the city in which seven people were injured.

The improvised explosive device that triggered the second blast was hidden in a bicycle, the police said.

ULFA's strikeforce, 28th batallion, was behind the blasts in upper Assam, the police said.

Earlier, the police killed two Adivasi militants in Karbi Anglong hill district in the state following a fierce gun battle last night. The police said a few members of the All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) opened fire at a police search party at Kabir Dharmanagar village under Howraghat police station in the hill district. In the ensuing encounter two militants were killed. The police recovered two bullet-ridden bodies of militants and two guns from the encounter site later.

Meanwhile, the Assam police is yet to trace the abducted assistant manager of Hirajuli Tea Estate at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district of northern Assam. Suspected militants abducted the tea executive, Anniruddha Tanti, on the evening of July 31 last while he was returning to his official residence within the garden from the factory of the tea estate.

The police suspected hands of the AANLA outfit behind the abduction in lure of money. The abductors have demanded Rs 30 lakh as ransom from the family of the tea executive who is a son of senior Assam Congress leader and state legislator, Bhimananda Tanti. — TNS, PTI

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123 Agreement
India’s case compromised, says ex-BARC chief

Mumbai, August 5
The agreement to operationalise the Indo-US civil nuclear deal has "compromised India's case to a large extent and the United States could "remotely drive our atomic programmes in the long run", former Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Dr A.N. Prasad said here tonight.

He said the draft text of the 123 agreement, reached in Washington last month, clearly tried to accommodate diverging interests and constraints of both India and US by clever use of the language.

"We are now in effect reduced to a mere recipient state mandated by the Henry Hyde Act (passed by the US Congress) to carry out a set of do's and don'ts and strive to earn a good behavior report card to become eligible to continue receiving what they can offer", he said.

"In the process, slowly but surely, they (US) could gain control and remotely drive our nuclear programmes in the long run," Prasad told PTI.

Prasad, who was active in IAEA inspections in Iraq, said "this deal, through the Hyde Act, gives far too many opportunities to penetrate deep into and interfere even in our 3-stage programme to slow down realisation of our goal to harness our own vast resources of thorium for long-term energy security."

Prasad pointed to two points in support of his view: first revelation by Nicholas Burns, US Under Secretary of State, during his interview to the Council on Foreign Relations and secondly the duration of the 123 agreement coinciding with the time India intending to take thorium use to a commercial reality.

Secondly, Article 16.2 of the 123 text says the agreement shall remain in force for 40 years and at the end of this initial period each party may, terminate by giving 6 month's notice.

Talking about some of the contentious issues like reprocessing of spent fuel issue which has been stated to be the most hotly debated issues.

He said it was naive to judge the merits of the civil nuclear deal purely based on the language of the draft of the text of the 123 agreement.

He said there has been a careful balancing of US commercial interests with the goal of bringing India into the non-proliferation hold, an obsession they are pursuing for a long time ever since NPT came into existence in 1970.

Prasad said even though there is what is called a fast reactor nuclear fuel cycle, not a word is mentioned in the agreement on fast reactor cooperation while the text calls for all future fast breeder reactors to be put under civil list for applying safeguards in perpetuity just because plutonium extracted from imported uranium spent fuel is fed into these reactors. — PTI

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Housing Schemes
MRTPC starts probe against HUDA

New Delhi, August 5
After cement firms and builders, the fair trade practices watchdog,the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), has started a probe into the housing allotment schemes of Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) after its investigative arm, DGIR, found the state agency was taking "undue advantage" of the common man's helplessness in the schemes.

The commission has started a judicial enquiry on the basis of a report by the Director- General of Investigation and Registration, which said housing schemes were heavily tilted in favour of the agency and it was indulging in unfair trade practices.

"The respondent (HUDA) has taken undue advantage of the scarcity of housing plots in the urban areas and the helplessness of the common man to his detriment, totally ignoring its social responsibility," the DGIR said in its report.

Admitting the report,the MRTPC issued a notice of enquiry against HUDA and directed it to reply within four weeks.

The DGIR found that in its two housing schemes in Faridabad and other towns such as Bhiwani, HUDA had retained the amount deposited by applicants for at least six months.

Moreover, it did not pay interest while refunding the amount to those who were not allotted the plots, the DGIR said in its report that was prompted by separate complaints by two Delhi residents, Aditya Kishwar and Bimla Gupta.

In the Faridabad scheme, which was open during July-September, 2006, HUDA offered 3,610 residential plots.It collected Rs 2,915 crore by selling 4.34 lakh application forms to the plot seekers. The agency earned Rs 86.37 crore (after TDS) as interest for six months. — PTI

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Bird flu fear stalks Tripura
Import of chickens, eggs banned
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 5
The Tripura government has sounded an alert and banned the import of chickens, eggs and chicken feed, besides constituting 71 rapid response teams (RRTs) as precautionary measures against avian influenza.

According to a source in Agartala, the measures are being taken in the wake of deaths of about 400 chicken in the government poultry farm at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra near Agartala during the past one week. An emergent meeting chaired by Tripura chief secretary had a detailed discussion before arriving at a decision to take certain preventive measures against bird flu that had already stalked neighbouring Manipur.

The slew of measures included the creation of 71 well-equipped rapid response teams (RRTs), the procurement of 1,550 personal protection equipment and disinfectants.

The Border Security Force (BSF) and the police have been asked to prevent the import of any sort of poultry birds, eggs and bird feed from the neighbouring Bangladesh through the border points. The forces have been asked to carry out regular checking on Agartala-Dhaka bus service at the Akhaura border point near Agartala.

The Tripura Animal Resources Department has been asked to make arrangements for spraying disinfectants on trucks and buses carrying goods and passengers into and from Tripura.

The staff of the Tripura Forest Department have been asked to report immediately about any unnatural death of local and migratory bird species. A state-level emergency committee on avian influenza has been formed with the chief secretary as the chairman.

Meanwhile, preliminary laboratory tests confirmed that the deaths of 400 odd chicken in the government poultry unit near Agartala were not due to any bird flu virus but because of infectious bursal disease (IBD). Still blood samples will be sent to the central laboratory in Bhopal as per the advice of the union agriculture ministry.

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Demand and supply principle applies to sex trade: Study
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
The basic economic principle of demand and supply applies to India's flourishing sex trade, says study. Sweden has adopted a law, which recognises that without male demand, there would be no supply of women.

Republic of Korea and Philippines have also succeeded in addressing demand in sex trafficking.

A recently released handbook titled `Confronting the demand for Sex-trafficking' says that purchasing or attempting to purchase ‘sexual services' is a criminal offence in Sweden since January 1,1999.

The punishment is a fine or upto six months imprisonment. On April 1, 2005, the legislation prohibiting the purchase of a sexual service was extended to include cases where the payment was promised or made by somebody else. The offence comprises all forms of sexual services, whether they are purchased on the street, in brothels, massage parlours or hotels. The buyer is criminalised, the victim is not. The primary aim of the law is to prevent the purchase of sexual services.

The Swedish government has found that there are clear indications that the law has had a positive effect in limiting the trafficking of women for prostitution in Sweden. Since the law came into force, more than a thousand male buyers have been punished with fines. The government claims that there has been a decrease in the number of men buying sexual services. There has been a simultaneous decrease in the number of women entering prostitution.

In Philippines, the `Anti Trafficking in Persons' Act of 2003 criminalises the act of maintaining or hiring a person to engage in prostitution or pornography.

Republic of Korea is also following good practice targeting the demand for prostitution and trafficking. By imposing tougher penalties on brothel owners and buyers and protecting prostituted victim, it has succeeded in ensuring more arrest of traffickers.

France has a national legislation against male buyers of prostituted sex. Since 2002, it has a national legislation criminalising buyers of minors, less than 18 years of age.

Described as good practices targeting demand for sex trafficking, these legislations find a mention in the handbook. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women has sourced them.

Activists seeking amendments to the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act are convinced that criminalising demand would reduce sexual exploitation.

Between 100,000 to 200,000 women and children are trafficked in India every year for sexual exploitation, says Ruchira Gupta, Executive Director, Apne Aap worldwide that has been reaching out to children and women in prostitution. Gupta says, “We want Section 5 to be strengthened to criminalise demand, in that, the buyer of the prostituted sex and the trafficker should be clearly defined and given stringent punishment. We also want deletion of Section 8 which says that soliciting in public place is a crime.''

Dr P.M. Nair, Project Coordinator, Anti Human Trafficking unit at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said that although customers of prostituted sex are liable under Sections 5 of the ITPA, the proposed amendment is trying to bring grave punishment, including confiscation of assets of the accused. “This would certainly serve as a deterrent.''

Of approximately 13,000 people arrested under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act every year, 90 per cent are women, mostly victims, according to National Human Rights Commission research findings quoted by the UNODC South Asia regional office. Half way through a two year anti human trafficking project (2006-'08), the UNODC has inferred that 90 per cent of the women arrested under the ITPA Act are convicted.

The UN anti trafficking protocol to which India is a party calls upon all State parties to specifically address the demand for trafficking.

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CA exam cancelled after leak reports

New Delhi, August 5
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) tonight announced it had cancelled today's Common Proficiency Test for admission to the chartered accountant course due to the paper leak in the national capital.

A retest will be held on August 26.

Talking to reporters after a two-hour-long executive and exam committee meeting, ICAI president Sunil Talati said all institutes had filed an FIR and investigations were in progress to nab the guilty people.

As many as 82,000 students wrote two papers across 209 centres in the country.

A news channel in a sting allegedly showed two teachers - Satish and Sudesh - selling the question paper for Rs 60,000.

The ICAI said the sting is being ''looked into for a necessary investigation and further action''.

Announcing the formation of high-power committee to take remedial measures and plug the gaps, Talati said action would be taken against the people involved in the incident.

''We are worried...We have a perfect examination system under which 110 examinations have been conducted in the past 57 years. Never has such a situation occurred. A greedy person, who wanted to make easy money, has leaked the paper,'' he said.

''The institute will ensure that whoever is involved in the crime will be brought to book. The police or the CBI will look into the matter... This in an unfortunate incident in the 57-year history of the ICAI,'' he added. — UNI

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Foreigners entitled to protection under Constitution: SC

New Delhi, August 5
Foreigners living in India are entitled to the protection of the right to life and liberty as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has said.

“No person, including a foreigner can be deprived of his life and liberty, except according to procedure prescribed by law,” a Bench of Justices C. K Thakker and Markandeya Katju observed while dealing with an appeal filed by Iranian national Fred Babakhanian to challenge his deportation.

A foreigner cannot claim the enforcement of his fundamental rights in the country but he is entitled to protection guaranteed under Article 21, the Bench said.

The apex court also said though India did not have any international or bilateral treaty for according refugee status to foreigners seeking asylum in the country, the judiciary did recognise the same.

“There is some dichotomy in this regard. The executive does not recognise the refugee status, but the Indian judiciary recognises the same as we did in the case of Chakma refugees from Bangladesh,” the Bench observed. — PTI

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ISRO tests cryogenic engine
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, August 5
The indigenously developed cryogenic stage, which is to be used as the upper stage of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), was ground tested for a long duration of eight minutes yesterday at the Liquid Propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.

ISRO said here today that all parameters of the stage and the engine were normal. The organisation had conducted a short duration test of 50 seconds earlier. Today’s successful test constitutes a major milestone towards the qualification of the stage.

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) is the lead centre for the development of cryogenic upper stage with the involvement of other ISRO centres including Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, and Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, that have developed various components and systems of the stage. Several industries, both in public and private sector, are also involved in its development.

An ISRO spokesman here said that the indigenous cryogenic engine had successfully logged cumulative tests duration of 6,000 seconds as part of its qualification programme. “Today’s long duration test has validated the design, robustness and performance adequacy of the engine and the stage for its use in the GSLV”.

He said the country had saved $ 700 million in the cryogenic engine programme as the country was able to produce a rocket indigenously. Cryogenic engine uses liquid hydrogen at minus 260°C and liquid oxygen at minus 183°C. While liquid hydrogen is the fuel, liquid oxygen is the oxidiser. ISRO has gone in for new welding techniques, new alloys and new types of lubricants for the programme.

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Laser bands to prevent infant abduction
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Puducherry, August 5
For the first time in India, infants will be tagged with laser bands to avoid baby mismatch and prevent infant abduction.

The Puducherry Health Department proposes to introduce an infant protection system in the government maternity hospital to prevent abduction and mother-baby mismatching.

The department has decided to introduce laser wrist bands to match mothers with their new-born babies to completely wipe out rumours of accidental mismatch and prevent infant abduction from the hospital. This will mark the end of conventional handwritten paper tags.

The department has sought the technical expertise of a leading software giant in developing the required equipment and software. The software is similar to those used extensively in departmental stores to identify various products using bar codes.

Puducherry director of medical services Dilip Kumar Baliga said: “A security band will be stuck to the wrist of pregnant women admitted to the hospital. The bands will have bar codes referring secret numbers. Once the pregnant woman delivers, another band matching its mother’s code will be struck to the baby’s wrist. These strips cannot be removed and if removed cannot be struck again and there will be no chance for mismatch or abduction.”

Baliga further said,“thefts of babies are highly impossible as the equipment’s siren fitted in prominent locations of the hospital will raise the alarm if babies are taken out without proper laser screening and recording.” The band would cost between Rs 5 and Rs 7 per patient.

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Aroma bio-village project launched
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, August 5
The farmers of the VIP constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi have a reason to smile. Their salt affected degraded land may soon turn into a gold mine, thanks to a CSIR -supported pilot project for setting up aroma bio-villages in the area.

Union minister for science and technology Kapil Sibal launched the project by handing over starters kits to a dozen-odd farmers from the districts of Rae Bareli and Sultanpur at the CSIR’s Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) here yesterday.

Under the pilot project, around 60 farmers would cultivate 20 hectares of land with aromatic plants like khus, lemon grass, mentha and tulsi. Adopting CIMAP technologies that would be demonstrated through training on the farms itself the farmer would be able to produce oils and other products much in demand in the cosmetic and medicinal industries.

Speaking on the occasion, Sibal pointed out that many investors have come forward to buy off the produce from the farmers. “We are establishing a unique partnership between the farmer and the industry, who will finally market the product”.

Describing the project as an example of how science can be applied to improve the quality of life for the farmers, Sibal underlined that through the help of appropriate technologies degraded land would not only be put to productive use bringing in money and employment for the farmers but would also improve their land in the process.

CIMAP director, Dr S.P.S. Khanuja, said as one third of the land in these two districts happens to be degraded these aromatic crops have a great potential, as they do not require intensive agri-inputs. They can be planted in large chunks of land otherwise considered wasteland where food crops and vegetables do not thrive.

Sibal said that these bio-villages could serve as replicable models with multiplier to grow into more bio-villages in other districts of the state.

The minister was in the state capital participating in programmes of the various CSIR laboratories including the National Botanical Research Institute and the Central Drug Research Institute.

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Think twice before granting bail: SC

New Delhi, August 5
The Supreme Court has directed that a court must give reasons while granting bail particularly where an accused is facing allegations of involvement in a serious offence.

A Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and D K Jain while setting aside the judgement of the Rajasthan High Court in granting bail to an accused in a murder case observed that “even on a cursory perusal, the High Court's order shows complete non-application of mind.”

“Though detailed examination of the evidence and elaborate documentaion of merit of the case is to be avoided by the court while passing the orders on bail applications, yet its dealing with the bail application should be satisfied as to whether there is prima facie case, but exhaustive exploration of the merit of the case is not necessary,” the apex court said.

The Supreme Court further stated the court dealing with the bail application is required to exercise its discretion in a judicious manner.

“There is a need to indicate in the order reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where an accused was charged of having committed a serious offence,'' the apex court added.

The apex court directed accused Nasib Singh to surrender immediately and directed the High Court not to consider the bail application till he surrenders.

The accused hired two contract killers for killing the brother of the appellant Deepak Singhchi who had challenged the High Court's order granting bail to the accused whose bail application was rejected by the sessions court.

The Supreme Court in its judgement dated August 3 also noted while granting bail the court must consider first the nature of accusation and severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence. Then it must keep in mind reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant. — UNI

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Arms Licence Scam
Police remand for 4 builders
Raj Sadosh

Sriganganagar, August 5
Four Jaipur-based builders, three of them having connections with Bollywood, have been remanded in police custody for four days.

They were interrogated by a team headed by DIG A. Paunnuchami of the CID special operations group for their involvement in a fake arms licence scam, sources said yesterday.

Three builders - Amit Srivastava, Vinod Sharma and Ashok Khandelwal - had reportedly invested Rs 1.5 crore in a recently released movie “Aur Pappu Pass Ho Gaya” with Kashmira Shah in the lead role. Sandeep Garg is the fourth builder in police custody. They were among 284 persons who had got licences for arms from Sriganganagar giving fake addresses.

The CID found that some criminals, facing cases relating to murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping in different areas, had been issued licences for arms in Sriganganagar.

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Lata Award for Khayyam

Mumbai, August 5
Renowned music director Khayyam has been chosen for this year’s prestigious Lata Mangeshkar Award instituted by the Maharashtra Government for lifetime achievement in the field of film music.

The announcement was made by cultural affairs minster Ashok Chavan yesterday. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, citation and a memento.

Khayyam’s name was unanimously recommended by the select committee comprising minister of state for cultural affairs Rana Jagjeetsinh Patil, cultural affairs secretary Bhushan Gagrani, santoor maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, filmmaker N. Chandra, singer Suresh Wadekar, Pt Satish Vyas, Pt Ajay Pohankar and Datta Mahulkar.

Mohammed Zaheer Khayyam Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, became a household name with his songs in” Footpath”, “Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain”,” Lala Rukh”, “Shagun”, “Shola Aur Shabnam” and “Aakhri Khat”.His all-time musical hit is “Umrao Jaan”. — UNI

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Negi to take on Khanduri at Dharamkot
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, August 5
After weighing all options, the Congress has persuaded former minister and a Thakur from the Garhwal area Surinder Singh Negi, to contest byelection against Chief Minister BC Khanduri from the Dhumakot Assembly segment.

Announcing this today, state Congress unit chief Harish Rawat said his party high command had decided to field Negi to give a tough fight to Khanduri representing the Pauri Garhwal Lok Sabha constituency to enter the state Assembly.

Interestingly, sensing defeat none of its senior leaders, including union minister Stapal Maharaj, was willing to take on Khanduri who enjoyed a clear edge over political opponents as his victory being CM was a foregone conclusion.

Political observers are of the view that by fielding Negi, the Congress is trying to cash on the caste equations in this Thakur-dominated segment.

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Bodies of 2 IIM students recovered

Indore, August 5
Two IIM-Indore students, including a girl, got drowned in the Choral river yesterday, the police said today.

It said a group of IIM students came here for a picnic and the two were sitting on a rock between the river. As the water in the river swelled all of a sudden, they tried to come out but were swept away in the turbulent flow.

The bodies of Delhi-based Nitesh Agrawal and Hyderabad-based Neha Singh were recovered today.

The relatives of Nitesh Agrawal, who reached from Delhi today, alleged IIM management was responsible for the accident.

The police has registered a case in this regard. Two students of a private dental college were also drowned in the river on August 2, the police added. — UNI

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Nikam opposes campaign in Munna’s support

Mumbai, August 5
Ujjwal Nikam, the prosecutor in the 1993 serial blasts case, today described an attempt by Bollywood to start a campaign in support of jailed actor Sanjay Dutt as "unfair" and said it would amount to contempt of court.

"This type of campaign is unfair. This shakes the confidence of the common man in the judiciary and is an indirect attempt at influencing the court of law," special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

"If someone starts such a campaign criticising the order of the court (before the prisoner seeks relief), it certainly amounts to contempt of court. I am watching the events carefully and if this continues, I will be forced to take legal action," Nikam said. — PTI

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India has to do more to get UNSC seat: Nambiar

Mumbai, August 5 
A permanent seat in the UN Security Council has eluded India despite its relentless efforts as it has not adopted a broader role in settling international issues, a senior official of the world body has said.

“India is not doing enough to become a permanent member of the Security Council. Instead of demanding for it, India should play a more participatory role in world affairs,” Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff to the UN secretary-general said. — PTI

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