SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Tight security for Assembly session
Srinagar, August 22
Tight security arrangements are in place for summer session of the Legislature, which began after a month-long recess here on Monday.

Minister-MLA spat leads to tension in Udhampur, Reasi
Udhampur, August 22
Spat between rural development minister Jugal Kishore Sharma and Panthers Party MLA Harsh Dev Singh in the Assembly has been snowballing into a controversy in Udhampur and Reasi districts. Following apprehension of clashes between Congress and Panthers workers, security in some areas has been strengthened.

Water woes: Azadís credibility suffers
Jammu, August 22
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has not only stirred the hornetís nest, but also exposed the insensitivity of his government towards the problems of people by saying that he was not aware of the drinking water scarcity in Jammu.

Cop, 3 LeT activists held
Rajouri, August 22
A policeman and three over- ground workers (OGWs) reportedly of the Lashkar-e-Toiba were arrested for allegedly providing logistic support to militants, from Thannamandi here last night.


YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES



Apollo, Fortis get nod to open hospitals
Jammu, August 22
The offer of the Apollo and Fortis groups for opening multi-specialty hospitals has been approved by the state government. Sources said Apollo had offered to set up hospitals in Jammu and Srinagar while Fortis had opted for Srinagar and Baramulla.

Does Omar need grooming for CMís post?
Jammu, August 22
Does president of the National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah need more grooming ? His father says yes, when comes the question of the state's next Chief Minister.

Sri Lankan artistes enthral
Udhampur, August 22
The performance by young artistes from Sri Lanka enthralled the audience here. The function was organised by the Udhampur unit of the J & K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages as part of cultural exchange programme between SAARC countries.


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Water sports revive in Kashmir.
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Tight security for Assembly session
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 22
Tight security arrangements are in place for summer session of the Legislature, which began after a month-long recess here on Monday.

Movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic remains suspended between Central Budshah Chowk and Jehangir Chowk for VIP vehicles at the Rajgarh lawns of the Assembly. Curfew-like situation prevails on the road between the two chowks as civilians are not allowed to move in the area, inconveniencing commuters and students in particular.

Shopkeepers in the Central Budshah Chowk area have been decrying restrictions in the area as police officials on Monday had a tough time to calm down agitating shopkeepers and businessmen in the area, who alleged that the restrictions led to heavy losses.

These restrictions have also led to traffic jams in the nearby Batamaloo, Exhibition Crossing, Hari Singh High Street, Residency Road and Dalgate areas.

The police and other officials claim that the restrictions in the area are necessary for foolproof security to the legislators. These arrangements around the Assembly building had become necessary since the eruption of militancy and began with the first session after a gap of seven years in 1996. Militants made a suicide attack outside the complex killing more than 30 persons, including four securitymen, on October 1, 2001, when the Assembly was in session.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, accompanied by speaker Tara Chand, deputy speaker, and senior ministerial colleagues on Tuesday visited the complex being constructed at a cost of Rs 32.5 crore.

Following a fire in the Legislature Complex sitting on the Jhelum in 1980, the state government had started construction of a new complex in 1982.

On his last visit, the Chief Minister had asked the project executing agency to complete the project by May, 2008.

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Minister-MLA spat leads to tension in Udhampur, Reasi
Tribune News Service

Udhampur, August 22
Spat between rural development minister Jugal Kishore Sharma and Panthers Party MLA Harsh Dev Singh in the Assembly has been snowballing into a controversy in Udhampur and Reasi districts. Following apprehension of clashes between Congress and Panthers workers, security in some areas has been strengthened.

Youth Congress (YC) activists marched in a procession here this morning demanding the registration of a case against Harsh Dev Singh for allegedly threatening to murder rural development minister and Congress MLA from Reasi Jugal Kishore Sharma. The activists burnt an effigy of the Panthers MLA which led to tension in the town. While YC workers were shouting slogans, Harsh Dev and young Panthers also gathered in their office.

As tension mounted in the town, additional police force was deployed in the town to avoid any untoward incident.

The activists of the YC also held processions in Reasi, Pouni, Parakh, Panthal, Agghar Jitto and Katra.

Meanwhile, activists of the Panthers Party also took out processions at some places in support of Harsh Dev Singh. They opposed the suspension of Harsh Dev Singh and asserted they would launch an agitation against the Congress in their respective areas.

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Water woes: Azadís credibility suffers
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 22
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has not only stirred the hornetís nest, but also exposed the insensitivity of his government towards the problems of people by saying that he was not aware of the drinking water scarcity in Jammu.

His statement here on Sunday indicates that neither the political set-up nor officials in Jammu and Kashmir are responsive to the problems of erratic drinking water and electric supply that the common man is facing.

The CM came to know of the acute shortage in drinking water supply here only after a youth made a suicide attempt while protesting in this regard.

In a bid to hide his ignorance, Azad put the blame on the previous governments in the state that had failed to provide drinking water during the past 27 years.

The BJP and other Opposition parties have announced that they will launch an agitation against the callous attitude of the Congress-PDP coalition government towards the Jammu region.

The drinking water supply had been hit more than a year ago when the pumping station near Nagrota was damaged due to a flashflood in the Tawi.

Many localities within the old city and across the national highway bypass are getting water twice a week and that too only for an hour each.

As a short-term measure, he has directed that 50 water tankers be pressed into service.

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Cop, 3 LeT activists held
Tribune News Service

Rajouri, August 22
A policeman and three over- ground workers (OGWs) reportedly of the Lashkar-e-Toiba were arrested for allegedly providing logistic support to militants, from Thannamandi here last night.

Sources revealed police constable Mehmood Khan and his accomplice Pervez Ahmed of Fazalabad in Surnakote were apprehended by Thannamandi police while they were on the way from Surnakote in Poonch to Rajouri on a motor cycle. Both the LeT OGWs were arrested following a telephonic conversation confirming their involvement in the supply of mobile SIM cards and other logistic support to the militants in border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, sources added.

Sources added Nazir Hussain of Ghambir Mughlan, the third OGW was arrested after the two were questioned. The police is also ascertaining the mobile sim contacts of the arrested OGWs, sources said.

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Apollo, Fortis get nod to open hospitals
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 22
The offer of the Apollo and Fortis groups for opening multi-specialty hospitals has been approved by the state government.

Sources said Apollo had offered to set up hospitals in Jammu and Srinagar while Fortis had opted for Srinagar and Baramulla.

The health department had identified five places in Jammu, three in Pulwama and two in Budgam for such hospitals. The hospitals would have to provide free treatment to accident cases and victims of natural calamities. The government would also fix the percentage of poor patients that would be provided free treatment.

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Does Omar need grooming for CMís post?

Jammu, August 22
Does president of the National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah need more grooming ?

His father says yes, when comes the question of the state's next Chief Minister.

"I will be the partyís candidate for the post of Chief Minister in the next elections," said Dr Abdullah, the twice Chief Minister of J&K.

On what role his son would play in the backdrop of speculations that Omar might be the next Chief Minister, Dr Abdullah quipped, "I will groom Omar in the political arena and he will work with me shoulder to shoulder."

Matching his son's political legacy with that of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's son Sukhbir Singh Badal, Dr Abdullah added, "If Badal can groom his son why can't I"? ó TNS

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Sri Lankan artistes enthral
Tribune News Service

Udhampur, August 22
The performance by young artistes from Sri Lanka enthralled the audience here.

The function was organised by the Udhampur unit of the J & K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages as part of cultural exchange programme between SAARC countries.

The cultural troupe of Sri Lanka, comprising 30 dancers in the age group of 15 to 17, presented a dance to Dogri folk song by singer Sham Sajan. The Sri Lankan troupe is on a visit of the Jammu region to perform at different places as part of the cultural exchange programme.

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