SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Sanjay Dutt free, for now
Mumbai, August 23
Actor Sanjay Dutt, who was given an interim bail by the Supreme Court on Monday, finally walked out of Yerwada jail in Pune this morning.

US Marines to train with Indian troops
Guwahati, August 23
As part of Indo-US defence cooperation, a batch of 60 US Marines will take part in a joint exercise with Indian Army’s counter-insurgency commandos at the Army’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW) School at Vairengte in Mizoram.

Abe renews emotional ties with WW-II judge, Netaji
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (r) is gifted a photograph of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose by Krishna Bose, chairperson, Netaji Research Bureau, during his visit to the residence of Chandra Bose in Kolkata on Thursday. Kolkata, August 23
A red-carpet welcome was accorded to the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe as he, accompanied by his wife Akle Abe and a 180-member trade delegation, arrived in the city today.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (r) is gifted a photograph of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose by Krishna Bose, chairperson, Netaji Research Bureau, during his visit to the residence of Chandra Bose in Kolkata on Thursday. — Reuters photo


EARLIER STORIES


N-standoff
Sonia will have to step in
New Delhi, August 23
All eyes are now on Congress president Sonia Gandhi who will have to step in personally to end the stand-off between the UPA government and the Left over the nuclear deal.

Emigration check of workers may go
New Delhi, August 23
The government is planning to do away with emigration clearance to spare workers going overseas to earn a livelihood from harassment at the hand of emigration authorities.

24x7 helpline for workers
New Delhi, August 23
The Government has started a 24x7 helpline in foreign countries for Indian emigrant workers, especially women.

US Marines to train with Indian troops
Guwahati, August 23
As part of Indo-US defence cooperation, a batch of 60 US Marines will take part in a joint exercise with Indian Army’s counter-insurgency commandos at the Army’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW) School at Vairengte in Mizoram.

Mayawati withdraws farm policy
Lucknow, August 23
Citing adverse intelligence reports from the districts Chief Minister Mayawati today took steps backward by announcing the withdrawal of the agriculture policy which was to introduce contract farming in the state and was passed amidst much fanfare earlier this month.

Kalam is artist for a cause
Kovalam (TN), August 23
Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today donned the role of an artist by brushing a few strokes on a canvas which will be painted by M.F. Hussain and auctioned for Rs 2 crore to raise funds for Banyan, an NGO working for the rehabilitation of mentally challenged women.

You won’t get marketing calls after Sept 5
New Delhi, August 23
A National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry, registration to which will eliminate unsolicited telmarketing phone calls, is likely to be set up by September 5, Minister of State for Communications and IT, Shakeel Ahmad, said today.

Teacher, militant shot in Assam
Guwahati, August 23
Two persons including a high school headmaster and a militant whose organisation had entered a ceasefire agreement with the government were shot dead allegedly by Black Widow ultras in separate incidents in North Cachar Hill district of Assam today.

45,000 passes for Indians to get home from UAE
New Delhi, August 23
Around 45,000 passes have been issued to Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are trying to take advantage of an amnesty scheme launched by the UAE government for illegal foreign workers.

BJP warns govt on Sethusamudram project
New Delhi, August 23
The BJP once again warned the government against going ahead with the Sethusamudram project off the country’s southern tip, alleging it will damage a Hindu mythological bridge.

TOI, Mumbai Mirror editors summoned
Mumbai, August 23
The editors of two English dailies, The Times of India and the Mumbai Mirror have beeen issued summons by the Judicial Magistrate at Vashi, for publishing derogatory photographs of Rajkot based Puja Chauhan.

Ex-rebels’ tirade against bandh culture
Guwahati, August 23
Former militants ruling a tribal autonomous council in Assam have taken the initiative to put an end to the culture of calling ‘bandh’ by various protesting organisations in the Northeast.

Assam killings echo in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi, August 23
Rajya Sabha members today expressed concern over the recent killings of Bihari migrants in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Bihar Cong seeks Dy CM resignation
Patna, August 23
The Bihar Congress today demanded the resignation of deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Modi in the wake of a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by a court of Jharkhand on Wednesday.

Illegal Immigrants
AP seeks Centre’s help
Hyderabad, August 23
The state government has pressed the panic button and sought Centre’s help to ensure smooth return of a large number of illegal immigrants from the state stranded in United Arab Emirates (UAE) even as the September 2 deadline for their deportation draws closer. The union civil aviation ministry has been requested to operate special flights to ferry nearly 40,000 workers from the Gulf country.

Atal Bihari VajpayeeVajpayee’s condition stable
New Delhi, August 23
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condition, who was admitted to AIIMS on Tuesday after he complained of giddiness and drowsiness, is stable and is likely to be discharged tomorrow.

Elephants trample three to death
Hyderabad, August 23
Three persons were trampled to death by wild elephants in a remote village in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.



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Sanjay Dutt free, for now
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, August 23
Actor Sanjay Dutt, who was given an interim bail by the Supreme Court on Monday, finally walked out of Yerwada jail in Pune this morning.

Jail officials later told reporters from Pune that the three-day delay in the actor’s release was because the Supreme Court’s order had not reached the jail till last night.

A haggard looking Dutt, who sported a beard, came out of the jail clad in a white shirt and blue jeans. His release came at 5.30 am.

The actor carried a cloth bag given to inmates to put their personal belongings in while leaving the jail.

Dutt was accompanied by friend Yusuf Nalwalla. Others released along with the actor were Sameer Hingora, Aziz Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Sheikh, Ibrahim Musa Chauhan and Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi.

Sanjay Dutt shook hands with the policemen present outside the jail from where he was driven off to the Pune airport.

He later came to Mumbai on board a chartered flight. He reached his home in suburban Mumbai around 8.30 am.

Dutt was accompanied home by brother-in-law Kumar Gaurav and lawyer Satish Maneshinde.

At home, sisters Priya and Namrata waited at the gates where they performed the “aarti” when he drove up. He greeted his nephew and hugged his sisters before entering the house.

Dutt’s release came as a surprise to his fans. As a result, very few of them were present at the gates of his house. Only television channels maintaining a vigil outside the gates were present.

Under the conditions on which the bail has been granted to the six convicted by the TADA court, they will have to report to the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here every week.

They are expected to surrender after August 27 when they are likely to be given a copy of the TADA court judgement sentencing them.

The judgement runs into over 5,000 pages and is still in the process of being typed and readied for distribution to all those convicted in the case.

The actor had challenged his conviction by the TADA court on the grounds that it was based on his confession that was later retracted.

In the afternoon, Dutt came out to the gates of the house to talk to waiting mediapersons.

“I will abide by the law and whatever decision the court takes. I want to thank all my fans and the press who have supported me. I love you. Please pray for me,” Dutt said.

Dutt’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde said the actor was yet to decide on completing his unfinished film projects.

Meanwhile, the actor will have to present himself at the CBI office in Mumbai tomorrow, as directed by the Supreme Court.

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US Marines to train with Indian troops
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 23
As part of Indo-US defence cooperation, a batch of 60 US Marines will take part in a joint exercise with Indian Army’s counter-insurgency commandos at the Army’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW) School at Vairengte in Mizoram.

According to defence sources, the joint exercise, which is scheduled to begin soon and continue for 10 days, will facilitate joint sessions of Indian troops and US Marines on simulated anti-insurgency operations.

This will be fourth such exercise on counter-insurgency between the two countries. The earlier exercises were held in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

The exercise at the school will focus on guerrilla warfare in rugged terrain.

The defence cooperation and joint exercise is aimed at increasing inter-operability between forces of both countries.

Around 300 US troops have undergone training at the counter-insurgency schools since the fight against Taliban began in Afghanistan.

The school at Vairengte was set up in 1970 amid the sprawling and thickly forested hills in North Mizoram and is one of the largest of its kind in the continent.

Besides US troops, soldiers from 20 other countries have so far undergone training at the school to learn to fight guerrillas.

Besides training in jungle warfare, the school has facilities to expose trainees to different kinds of adversities that one may encounter in jungles.

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Abe renews emotional ties with WW-II judge, Netaji
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, August 23
A red-carpet welcome was accorded to the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe as he, accompanied by his wife Akle Abe and a 180-member trade delegation, arrived in the city today.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee received him at the airport. It was Abe’s first visit to Kolkata with which he has an emotional attachment because of the ancestors’ relations with Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the lone Indian judge, Radhabinod Pal at the Tokyo trials of the Japanese war criminals of World War II.

The Japanese Prime Minister had a busy day in the city today in attending various meetings and functions and talking to a cross-section of the people.

Abe’s visit had an added attraction since Japan would be bringing in over Rs 90,000 crore new investment proposals in the country, of which Bengal would claim a lion's share.

He spent the day mostly in attending various cultural and literary functions on Indo-Japanese relations, particularly involving Nobel laureate Rabinanath Tagore and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Abe opened the Rabindra-Okakora Cultutal Centre at Salt Lake where the ailing 90-year Tagore scholar and the Japanese poet Kazu Azuma was awarded the Rabindra Puruskar by the state government.

He also released a book containing scripts of lectures delivered by Tagore during his stay in Japan. The book, titled ‘Talks In Japan’ is published by the Bengali Academy.

Later, he visited Tagore’s museum at Jorasanko and Netaji Study Centre on Elgin Road, Bhowanipore. He also visited the Netaji’s ancestral house and paid tributes to Netaji.

He met Prasanta Pal, son of the late Radhabinod to whom Abe said, all the Japanese were deeply indebted because of his bold stand in defending the Japanese war criminals at the Tokya trials. Abe’s grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was one of those accused by the allied power of being a war criminal who had personal friendship with the late Pal. He conveyed his gratitude to the Pal family.

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N-standoff
Sonia will have to step in
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 23
All eyes are now on Congress president Sonia Gandhi who will have to step in personally to end the stand-off between the UPA government and the Left over the nuclear deal.

Gandhi, who returns from her four-day visit to South Africa tomorrow, will have to take a call on this matter as CPM general secretary Prakash Karat today made it clear that it was now for the Congress leadership to respond to their demand that the Centre should not proceed with the next step to be taken to operationalise the deal. Karat’s deliberate reference to the “Congress leadership” is being seen as an effort to isolate the PM who is learnt to be firm that there is no going back.

UPA sources said Gandhi would consult senior party leaders on their next move before plunging into discussions with the Left leaders.

Parliament is slated to discuss the deal on August 29 and 30 and the government would be expected to respond to the Left’s concerns in its reply to the debate.

While the UPA government is still struggling to find a compromise formula, the Congress appeared optimistic about resolving the crisis. “We hope that some understanding will be reached in view of national interest,” said Janardan Dwivedi, chairman of the Congress media department, who described the CPM’s decision not to destabilse the government as a positive step.

With the Left standing firm, the government realises that it will have to face the consequences if it does go ahead with the talks. It is, therefore, mulling the possibility of an informal go-slow on these negotiations but without killing the deal.

UPA sources clarified that the negotiations at the IAEA were expected to be taken up only early next year and not at next month’s Vienna meeting. This gives the Congress and the CPM the respite as neither side is ready to face an election at this juncture and both would like to avert a crisis till the year-end Gujarat poll.

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Emigration check of workers may go

New Delhi, August 23
The government is planning to do away with emigration clearance to spare workers going overseas to earn a livelihood from harassment at the hand of emigration authorities.

This was stated by the minister of overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi at the launch of www.pioTV.com, a digital integrated media platform aimed at connecting people of Indian origin living across the world.

“We are planning to do away with Emigration Check Required (ECR) system because lakhs of poor workers were facing harassment at the hands of authorities,” Ravi said.

“Of course the worker reaching the airport should have all proper work documents in order,” the minister said.

The ECR is required for workers travelling to United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Brunei, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, and Thailand.

The ministry already had liberalised the emigration system by extending the ‘Emigration Check not Required’ status to 173 countries in December last year.

Under the Emigration Act, 1983, anybody whose passport is endorsed as ‘Emigration Check Required’ has to obtain emigration clearance (in case of employment visa) or suspension of emigration check requirement (in case of visit visa) from the office of protector of emigrants. — PTI

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24x7 helpline for workers

New Delhi, August 23
The Government has started a 24x7 helpline in foreign countries for Indian emigrant workers, especially women.

Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi gave this information in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

He said the initiatives taken by the Government for better protection and welfare of Indian workers, especially women emigrants, include installation of a 24x7 helpline in the host countries, application of the age restriction of 30 years to all women workers and defining a minimum wage.

The measures also include attestation of employment documents for all women emigrants with ECR passports, operation of shelters for distressed emigrants, putting diplomatic pressure on persuading host countries to extend the protection of labour laws to the workers in the informal sector and signing formal MoUs for bilateral labour cooperation. In response to another query, he said there were an estimated 1.5 lakh women household workers in the Gulf region alone. — PTI

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US Marines to train with Indian troops
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 23
As part of Indo-US defence cooperation, a batch of 60 US Marines will take part in a joint exercise with Indian Army’s counter-insurgency commandos at the Army’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW) School at Vairengte in Mizoram.

According to defence sources, the joint exercise, which is scheduled to begin soon and continue for 10 days, will facilitate joint sessions of Indian troops and US Marines on simulated anti-insurgency operations.

This will be fourth such exercise on counter-insurgency between the two countries. The earlier exercises were held in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

The exercise at the school will focus on guerrilla warfare in rugged terrain.

The defence cooperation and joint exercise is aimed at increasing inter-operability between forces of both countries.

Around 300 US troops have undergone training at the counter-insurgency schools since the fight against Taliban began in Afghanistan.

The school at Vairengte was set up in 1970 amid the sprawling and thickly forested hills in North Mizoram and is one of the largest of its kind in the continent.

Besides US troops, soldiers from 20 other countries have so far undergone training at the school to learn to fight guerrillas.

Besides training in jungle warfare, the school has facilities to expose trainees to different kinds of adversities that one may encounter in jungles.

Top

 

Mayawati withdraws farm policy
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, August 23
Citing adverse intelligence reports from the districts Chief Minister Mayawati today took steps backward by announcing the withdrawal of the agriculture policy which was to introduce contract farming in the state and was passed amidst much fanfare earlier this month.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference after the cabinet meeting the Chief Minister revealed that the intelligence department had been asked to gather reports regarding the response of the farmers to the policy from all the 70 districts which confirmed that about 60 per cent of farmers were against the policy.

Blaming the opposition parties for creating confusion in the minds of the farmers the CM charged them of spreading rumours that the maximum land limit was going to be decreased by amendment of the Land Ceiling Act.

Terming these rumors as “totally false and baseless” she revealed that several of her cabinet colleagues had also alerted her regarding the opposition parties strategy to mobilize the farmers on this account.

The withdrawal of the agricultural reforms is being seen as a major victory for the opposition parties mainly the Samajwadi Party that had been opposing the concept since the very beginning.

Former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav broke his silence to speak up on behalf of the farmers by bitterly criticizing the BSP government for leaving the state’s farmers at the mercy of big corporate players by introducing the policy.

Leader of the BJP in the Vidhan Sabha, Om Prakash Singh and the state udyog vyapaar pratinidhi mandal, led by former BJP MP Shayam Bihari Mishra had also protested by taking out a rally, protesting the new policy of the government.

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Kalam is artist for a cause
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Kovalam (TN), August 23
Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today donned the role of an artist by brushing a few strokes on a canvas which will be painted by M.F. Hussain and auctioned for Rs 2 crore to raise funds for Banyan, an NGO working for the rehabilitation of mentally challenged women.

Kalam was today present at a function here, 60 km from the state capital of Tamil Nadu, to inaugurate a community mental health centre set up by Banyan.

He used the brush and painted liberally to write in blue, green, red and yellow --- “Dream transforms into thought, thought results into action, that is Banyan” and signed on the canvas.

Mustafa Hussain, son of the famous painter, will take the canvas to his father who will turn it into a painting and then put it up for auction. The minimum price fixed for the painting is Rs 2 crore. The home will house 60 mentally challenged women who have no families.

Actor Vivek Oberoi, who has been associated with Banyan for several years, said, “A majority of the women who had come to Banyan had been provided medication and we have managed to rehabilitate 90 per cent of them with their families all over the country.” A number of film personalities like Mani Ratnam, Sushmita Sen, Revathy and Sarika are associated with Banyan. It was Mani Ratnam who approached Hussain.

Banyan, which was started 14 years ago by Vandana Gopikumar and Vaishnavi Jayakumar, has so far rehabilitated more than 1,800 mentally challenged women.

Said Vandana Gopikumar, “We want to extend help to all women and provide general medicare. We plan to raise a fund of Rs 5 crore and wish every district in the country has a home for mentally challenged and destitute women.”

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You won’t get marketing calls after Sept 5

New Delhi, August 23
A National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry, registration to which will eliminate unsolicited telmarketing phone calls, is likely to be set up by September 5, Minister of State for Communications and IT, Shakeel Ahmad, said today.

“The NDNC is likely to be put in place by September 5,” he said replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

Cellphone users can register their numbers with the NDNC Registry if they do not want to receive telemarketing calls and SMS.

“Once registered with NDNC, the registration will be valid for 10 years,” the Minister said.

He said telecom regulator TRAI has issued regulation on unsolicited commercial communications on June 5, 2007.

NDNC Registry is being put in place to register requests of mobile subscribers who do not want to be disturbed by telemarketing calls.

“This registry does not discriminate between the poor and the rich. Any mobile subscriber can request his/her own service provider to get his number included in NDNC Registry. This facility is free of cost for subscribers,” he said.

The minister said there is no proposal to evolve a Registry with a positive list of subscribers who welcome telemarketing calls.

“The scheme of NDNC Registry is applicable to unwanted telemarketing SMS messages also,” he said. — PTI

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Teacher, militant shot in Assam
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 23
Two persons including a high school headmaster and a militant whose organisation had entered a ceasefire agreement with the government were shot dead allegedly by Black Widow ultras in separate incidents in North Cachar Hill district of Assam today.

The officer incharge of Haflong police station at the headquarters of the hill district informed that the headmaster of Dibarai High School in Haflong, Mannan Hussain, was shot dead near the school by suspected militants belonging to the Black Widow group at around 11.30 am today.

He was shot 250 metres from the school. Police suspect that the assailants had called him out over phone.

In another incident Laleh Khelma, a member of the militant group Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), which has entered a ceasefire agreement with the government, was shot dead inside his house by militants from the rival Black Widow group while he was having lunch at around 12.30 pm today.

The incident occurred at a village called Chouddha Kilo under Umragshu police station in the hill district. The slain man was a close associate of DHD chairman Dilip Nunisa, police informed.

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45,000 passes for Indians to get home from UAE

New Delhi, August 23
Around 45,000 passes have been issued to Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are trying to take advantage of an amnesty scheme launched by the UAE government for illegal foreign workers.

“Our missions in UAE have issued around 45,000 out-passes to Indian workers applying for emergency certificates under the UAE amnesty scheme,” Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said, speaking at a function to launch a website for overseas Indians.

The passes will facilitate the return of the illegal Indian workers to India. “We are making arrangements with Air-India and Indian for bringing back all those workers who have been issued out-passes,” the minister added.

In June, the UAE cabinet had announced a three-month grace period for foreigners present illegally in the country to regularise their status according to the law or leave the country without penalty. The grace period is likely to be extended by one week to one month by the UAE government.

“Indian firms in UAE have set up drop boxes to receive applications from Indian workers who think that they can attain legal status and continue work there,” he said.

There are around 1.4 million expatriate Indians in the UAE, many of them contract workers. In Dubai alone, Indians comprise over 60 percent of the city’s population of over 1.4 million. — IANS

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BJP warns govt on Sethusamudram project
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 23
The BJP once again warned the government against going ahead with the Sethusamudram project off the country’s southern tip, alleging it will damage a Hindu mythological bridge.

Raising the issue during zero hour, BJP’s Yogi Adityanath charged the UPA government with plotting to blow up the bridge that Lord Rama had created near Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu.

BJP’s deputy leader V.K. Malhotra said Navy divers had been called to the site. Ram Sethu (Adam’s bridge) would be blown up in the next two days. He warned of serious consequences if they went ahead with the project.

The BJP’s warning led to protests from ruling party MPs. The BJP claimed that the US space agency NASA had said the bridge was 1.7 million years old, which was disputed by union surface transport minister T.R. Baalu, who pointed out that NASA website had mentioned about “partially submerged giant tombolos forming Adam’s bridge connecting Sri Lanka to India”.

Such tombolos, he said, usually indicated a constant sediment source and a strong unidirectional or bidirectional long-shore current.

Baalu stressed that none of the studies and investigations conducted so far had produced any tangible scientific evidence of any man-made structure in the area.

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TOI, Mumbai Mirror editors summoned

Mumbai, August 23
The editors of two English dailies, The Times of India and the Mumbai Mirror have beeen issued summons by the Judicial Magistrate at Vashi, for publishing derogatory photographs of Rajkot based Puja Chauhan.

According to a release issued here, the summons have been issued in response to a petition filed by citizen’s activist Rajendra Diwate under Section 292 and 293 of the Indecent Representation of Women Act 1986.

Advocate Prashant Maggu representing the case for Rajendra Diwate in the court said that the photographs were published in the July 5 and 13 issues of the dailies, with the intention of increasing their circulation.

“The publishing of such photographs is derogatory to Indian women and the responsibility to check this lies with the editors of the respective newspapers,” Maggu said. — UNI

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Ex-rebels’ tirade against bandh culture
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 23
Former militants ruling a tribal autonomous council in Assam have taken the initiative to put an end to the culture of calling ‘bandh’ by various protesting organisations in the Northeast.

The bandh calls given by various agitating organisations have become a bane for the economy of the Northeast where problems are galore. The bandh culture has been very conspicuous, especially in the states of Assam and Manipur.

As the state’s economy is suffering because of bandhs that hit the life of the common man very hard, the Manipur government last week issued an order stating that legal action will be taken against those calling for and supporting bandhs in the state.

A similar situation is prevailing in Assam where students and youth organisations and ethnic communities have shown the tendency to give calls for bandh at the drop of a hat disrupting life. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi stated that the bandh culture had a serious affect on the economy of the state.

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Assam killings echo in Rajya Sabha
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 23
Rajya Sabha members today expressed concern over the recent killings of Bihari migrants in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Congress member Santosh Bagrodia said: “Economic development is necessary to combat terrorism.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal member Ramdeo Bhandari stressed upon the need for providing protection to the Bihari migrants and Hindi-speaking people.

“This is a massacre and it is the responsibility of the state government to protect their lives and property.

They should be given adequate compensation,” he said.

BJP member Kalraj Mishra said: “ULFA rebels are operating from Bangladesh and getting support from the ISI. They want to isolate the Hindi-speaking people.”

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Bihar Cong seeks Dy CM resignation
Tribune News Service

Patna, August 23
The Bihar Congress today demanded the resignation of deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Modi in the wake of a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by a court of Jharkhand on Wednesday.

The court of judicial magistrate issued the warrant against Modi for failing to present himself in the court on earlier dates in connection with a case related to violation of model code of conduct during the 1998 general election.

State party spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra told The Tribune that if Modi did not resign, the party would call on Governor R.S. Gavai demanding his removal.

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Illegal Immigrants
AP seeks Centre’s help
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, August 23
The state government has pressed the panic button and sought Centre’s help to ensure smooth return of a large number of illegal immigrants from the state stranded in United Arab Emirates (UAE) even as the September 2 deadline for their deportation draws closer. The union civil aviation ministry has been requested to operate special flights to ferry nearly 40,000 workers from the Gulf country.

The state government has constituted a high-level committee, headed by minorities welfare minister

Mohammad Ali Shabbir, to coordinate with the external affairs and other central ministries in this regard. A massive evacuation of the immigrants, most of them semi-skilled labour, is being planned, reminiscent of the efforts made in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf war to bring back workers from Kuwait.

The UAE government had recently announced general amnesty for those staying in the country illegally but set September 2 as the deadline for their deportation.

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Vajpayee’s condition stable
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 23
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condition, who was admitted to AIIMS on Tuesday after he complained of giddiness and drowsiness, is stable and is likely to be discharged tomorrow.

“His health is stable and we are satisfied. We will decide whether to discharge him tomorrow or keep him for one more day,” AIIMS spokesperson Shakti Gupta said.

“He is still under observation, but is much better. All his vital signs are normal,” Gupta said, adding that “reports of all tests, including MRI, are ok”.

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Elephants trample three to death

Hyderabad, August 23
Three persons were trampled to death by wild elephants in a remote village in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.

A horde of elephants strayed into Vadabai village, bordering Orissa, yesterday and went berserk, killing a middle-aged tribal couple and their grandson.

The huts in which the victims were sleeping was pulled down by the elephants. It took forest officials more than four hours to reach the village and push the elephants back into the forest.

This is the second such attack in the area. Last week, wild elephants killed an old woman in nearby Gummalakshmipuram village. According to officials, a total of 180 acres of farmland has been destroyed by the rampaging animals.

“As many as 22 elephants from Orissa have taken shelter in Andhra forests and their number is increasing,” a divisional forest officer said. — TNS

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Jawan throws girls into river
Tribune News Service

Patna, August 23
A drunk, upper-caste Bihar military police jawan allegedly killed two low-caste girls by throwing them into a river for stealing firewood from his orchard at Mannipur village of Samastipur district. The police said both girls drowned as they did not know how to swim.

Kamli (10) and Chandni (8), along with a few other girls, had gone to the orchard of Lalan Singh for collecting firewood on Wednesday. Lalan Singh chased them and caught hold of Kamli and Chandni and pushed them into the flooded river.

The police had recorded the statement of an eyewitness, Dhaneshwar Paswan, on the basis of which an FIR was lodged at the Mathurapur police station against Lalan Singh who is absconding.

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Racial Attack
Lodge protest with German envoy: Sushma

New Delhi, August 23
BJP MP Sushma Swaraj today said that the government should have called the the German Ambassador and lodged India’s protest over the recent attack on Indians in Germany.

She was referring to the alleged racist attack on eight Indian nationals in the village of Muegeln in the German state of Saxony.

Raising the issue during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha, she said that the government’s reaction to the incident was ‘routine’, and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should call the German Chancellor and lodge his protest. She added that the two countries had very strong economic ties. — TNS

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India to give Rs 2 crore to quake-hit Peru

New Delhi, August 23
The Government of India has decided to give a cash donation of Rs 2 crore to Peru as disaster relief after the recent tragic earthquake in that country, the Foreign Office said today. Earlier, President of India sent a condolence message to the Peruvian President. — TNS

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