SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Brothers, Katrina meet Salman
Jodhpur, August 26
Salman Khan’s brother Arbaaz Khan, sister Alvera and actress Katrina Kaif met him in the Jodhpur Central Jail here this afternoon. Katrina, Arbaaz, his wife and Actress Malaika Arora Khan and sisters Alvera and Aprita arrived here this afternoon from Mumbai to cheer up the jailed Actor.
Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif arrives in Jodhpur to meet Salman Khan Qaidi No. 343 has gur, chana for breakfast

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif arrives in Jodhpur to meet Salman Khan on Sunday.
— PTI photo

Fans sad, Bishnois happy
Does Salman deserve this penalty?
Jodhpur, August 26
With Bollywood star Salman Khan in the city jail, this historic Rajasthan city has suddenly come into the media spotlight as fans of the actor and others not so enamoured of him discuss passionately whether he deserved this punishment.



EARLIER STORIES


Hanging in There

A family takes shelter on the roof of their flooded house at Warish Nagar in Samastipur district
A family takes shelter on the roof of their flooded house at Warish Nagar in Samastipur district on Saturday. — PTI

ST status: Gujjars threaten stir
Jhalarapatan (Rajasthan), August 26
Gujjras today threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if their demand for according Scheduled Tribe status to them was not met by the Vasundhra Raje government by September 12.

CPI threat on IAEA meeting
Vadodara, August 26
CPI national general secretary Shameen Faizee today said all four Left parties were united on their stand against the “anti-national” Indo-US nuclear deal and asserted that they would withdraw support to the UPA government at the centre if it went ahead with the India-specific International Atomic Energy Agency negotiations at its Vienna Summit on September 19.

No trendy denims for Bihar babus
Patna, August 26
Senior ministers of the ruling NDA in Bihar, including Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, have often spoken in favour of a pro-active and sensitive bureaucracy to bridge the gap between the people and the administration to deliver the promised good governance by the Nitish regime.

Scientists find uranium in Ladakh
Bangalore, August 26
Scientists have for the first time found uranium in “exceptionally high concentration” in Ladakh. Samples of rocks analysed in a German laboratory have revealed uranium content to be as high as 5.36 per cent compared to around 0.1 per cent or less in ores present elsewhere in the country.

Women to combat insurgency for the first time
Chennai, August 26
For the first time in its history, the Indian Army is training its women officers to combat insurgency. Last week, not only gentleman cadets but also for the first time in the history of the Officers Training Academy here even lady cadets participated in training for counter-insurgency operations (CI OPs).

Mother Teresa remembered on birth anniversary
Kolkata, August 26
Celebrations and special prayers were held at the headquarters of Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, here today to commemorate her 97th birth anniversary.

Sister Nirmala, successor to Mother Teresa, lights a candle to celebrate the 97th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa at the Mother House at the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata on Sunday. — AFP photo

Sister Nirmala, successor to Mother Teresa, lights a candle to celebrate the 97th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa at the Mother House at the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata

Malaysia woos tourists from North-East
Guwahati, August 26
The Tourism Malaysia is eyeing the ever-growing number of globe trotters from the North-East as part of golden jubilee celebrations of Malaysia’s nationhood. A delegation of the Tourism Malaysia, nodal agency for promoting Malaysia as global tourist destination, was here to talk business.

States told to tighten security
New Delhi, August 26
The ministry of home affairs today sounded a general alert and asked all state governments to tighten security and intensify intelligence network in the wake of yesterday’s blasts in Hyderabad.

Explosives came from Nagpur firm
Nagpur, August 26
The police here today conducted searches on the premises of Amin Traders, the firm that reportedly sold the explosives used in the twin blasts in Hyderabad.

President condemns blasts
New Delhi, August 26
President Pratibha Patil has condemned the blasts in Hyderabad in which a number of people have died and many others have been injured.

Prez, PM greet nation on Onam
New Delhi, August 26
President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today greeted the nation on Onam and hoped the festival will herald happiness and prosperity for people.

Vajpayee discharged
New Delhi, August 26
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was today discharged from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he was admitted on Tuesday after he complained of giddiness.

Hema acquitted in decade-old case
Kota, August 26
A court here has acquitted actress Hema Malini in a decade-old case in which she was accused of not turning up for a show despite accepting performance money in advance.

2 hurt in Patna college blast
Patna, August 26
Two labourers were seriously injured after a blast in the godown of Patna Engineering College here today. The police said it was cane bomb. According to eyewitness, the police recovered another live cane bomb from the spot. 

Ayodhya complex: 4 held for trying to offer ‘namaz’
Ayodhya, August 26
Four youths were today arrested on their way to the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid complex to allegedly offer ‘namaz’, a senior police official said.

Tyre bursts during Boeing landing
Varanasi, August 26
A Patna-Delhi Jetlite’s Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 68 passengers had a close shave today when one of its front tyres burst while landing at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport near here.





Top








 

Brothers, Katrina meet Salman

Jodhpur, August 26
Salman Khan’s brother Arbaaz Khan, sister Alvera and actress Katrina Kaif met him in the Jodhpur Central Jail here this afternoon.

Katrina, Arbaaz, his wife and Actress Malaika Arora Khan and sisters Alvera and Aprita arrived here this afternoon from Mumbai to cheer up the jailed Actor.

However, the jail authorities allowed only three visitors to see him in the jail where he has been imprisioned since yesterday following dismissal of his appeal by the district and sessions judge Kamalraj Singhvi against a five year jail term slapped upon him by the trial court in a Chinkara hunting case.

Accordingly, Katrina, Arbaaz and Alvera went to see him while Aprita and Malaika stayed back at their hotel.

Salman’s kin reached here this afternoon from Mumbai to see him in the jail.

As per the Jail manual regulations, kin and friends of a prisoner can visit once in a fortnight. Katrina, Arbaaz, Alvira and Arpita met Salman in the jailer’s room for about 40 minutes and consoled him, sources said.

They had to wait for about two hours in the hotel till the jail superintendent granted them permission to meet the star. Escorted by policemen, they walked about 300 metres from the prison’s main gate to the room where they met Salman.

Sources said visitors are usually allowed to meet prisoners for only 15 minutes, but Salman’s siblings and Katrina were allowed to spend more time with him.

There was tight security at the prison’s gate as hundreds of Salman’s fans thronged the area. Police had to use force to disperse the crowd.

Katrina and Salman’s siblings appeared unhappy after the meeting and did not speak to the media. — Agencies

Top

 

Qaidi No. 343 has gur, chana for breakfast

Prisoner No.343 of Jodhpur jail, Bollywood star Salman Khan, used to all the comforts that money can buy, had a spartan breakfast of gur (jaggery), channa (roasted gram) and tea Sunday after his first night in prison.

The celebrity prisoner, who has been sentenced to five years in prison for hunting an endangered deer nine years ago in Rajasthan, spent the first night in jail reading newspapers and some of the books there.

Salman, who surrendered himself to Rajasthan Police Saturday following an arrest warrant, had a dinner of four rotis and a vegetable dish, prison sources, who are not allowed to speak to the media, told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The actor had wanted to take a bath at night but found the bathroom bulb fused. He requested that it be changed and it was done, the sources said.

He also wanted blankets to sleep in and was provided the same. He was asked to wake up at 5 a.m. as per jail regulations. “He looks fine, though a bit tense,” one source said. Lunch would be dal and rotis.

Salman has been sent to Barrack no. 1.5, where he had spent three nights in April last year before he got bail.

The actor is attired in the regulation white prison dress like everyone else and gets no special treatment.

“We will follow the jail manual strictly and no additional (facilities) will be provided to Salman,” senior jail official Ota Ram said. The actor would be allowed to meet three persons in 15 days.

Since the actor had been sentenced to undergo ‘simple imprisonment’, he would not have to do any hard labour, the official said. — IANS

Top

 

Fans sad, Bishnois happy
Does Salman deserve this penalty?

Jodhpur, August 26
With Bollywood star Salman Khan in the city jail, this historic Rajasthan city has suddenly come into the media spotlight as fans of the actor and others not so enamoured of him discuss passionately whether he deserved this punishment.

While his fans, who have been gathering around the prison here ever since Salman was arrested Saturday, feel he has been booked because of his celebrity status, many are of the opinion that the actor has been rightly punished for killing an endangered deer five years ago in the state.

A majority of his sympathisers are girls and the youth who consider him a style icon.

“I think he is suffering because of his celebrity status. The court has acquitted five others in the same case ... why has only he been pronounced guilty?” questioned Anupama Chaudhary, a Class 12 student.

And many Salman fans firmly believe he is innocent.

Said Bhanwar Singh, another college student: “A person like Salman can’t do something like this. I have read that he helps lots of people and engages in charity. He could not have done this. All charges against him are fake.”

At the same time, several people felt he had been rightly punished. “As an actor I love Salman but if you have committed a crime, no matter how big or small you are, you should be punished. Law is above all,” said Ashok Chaudhary.

Salman was arrested at Jodhpur airport on Saturday and taken to the central jail. He has been convicted of poaching a chinkara deer at the Ghoda farm near Jodhpur on the night of September 28, 1998 while filming Sooraj Barjatya’s blockbuster “Hum Saath Saath Hain”.

On Friday, the district and sessions court here had dismissed the actor’s plea against the five-year jail term handed down by a lower court.

Meanwhile, some ardent admirers of Salman have in fact been praying hard for his early release.

“I have been visiting temples and praying ever since he came to Jodhpur. I want him to be freed soon and I am confident that he is not guilty,” said Pinki, an executive in a private firm.

Added Vikram Singh, a Class 11 student: “I just love Salman. He is not guilty. I had brought rose petals to shower them on the Gypsy in which he was being taken to jail, but the police did not allow me to do so.” But several wildlife lovers felt the judgement was a landmark one, which was in favour of animal rights.

“I think this judgement will go a long way and help curb poaching activities,” said Ramkumar Purohit, a resident.

And the happiest are members of the Bishnoi community who are nature worshippers and staunch animal lovers. Deer and antelopes are seen grazing peacefully in Bishnoi dominated areas due to the care and protection offered by the community. They had launched strong protests against Salman for killing chinkaras and black bucks.

“We are very happy with the court’s decision. Though it has come after many years but he is finally behind bars and we hope that he is not released,” said R.K. Bishnoi, a college student. — IANS

Top

 

ST status: Gujjars threaten stir

Jhalarapatan (Rajasthan), August 26
Gujjras today threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if their demand for according Scheduled Tribe status to them was not met by the Vasundhra Raje government by September 12.

This was decided at a meeting of the National Gujjar Mahapanchayat here attended among others by Col Kirori Mal Singh Bhainsala (retd) who spearheaded the Gujjar stir a few months ago in Rajasthan.

The mahapanchayat warned the Raje government in Rajasthan to concede to its demand by September 12 or else the community would launch a countrywide stir.

It asked the Centre to order a high-level inquiry into the killing of 26 Gujjars during their agitation in the state in May-June this year.

Gujjar leaders from Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh attended the mahapanchayat held in Rajasthan's Jhalawar district.

The nature of the renewed agitation would be decided at the next mahapanchayat at Dholpur on September 13, Bhainsala told a mammoth rally.

Gujjar leaders at the mahapanchayat asked Raje to own moral responsibility for the killing of 26 members of their community and quit the post.

Bhainsala, who addressed the rally in Raje's Assembly constituency, assured Gujjars that they would get the ST tag soon.

"If the BJP government in Rajasthan does not send its recommendations to the Centre in this regard by September 12," Gujjars would revive their agitation, he said.

Expelled BJP leader Prahlad Gunjan, who organised the mahapanchayat, accused the Chief Minister of betraying the community by not recommending the ST status for them.

He asked the gathering to teach the BJP a lesson in the next Assembly election in the state.

Congress MP Sachin Pilot, who also addressed the mahapanchayat, demanded a high-level Central probe into the killing of 26 Gujjars and said the guilty should be brought to book.

Pilot, who represents Dausa constituency in the Lok Sabha, flayed the Raje government for its handling of the Gujjar stir. — PTI

Top

 

CPI threat on IAEA meeting

Vadodara, August 26
CPI national general secretary Shameen Faizee today said all four Left parties were united on their stand against the “anti-national” Indo-US nuclear deal and asserted that they would withdraw support to the UPA government at the centre if it went ahead with the India-specific International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) negotiations at its Vienna Summit on September 19.

Faizee told reporters here that there was no difference of opinion among the four Left parties on the nuclear deal, as it was undoubtedly not in the interest of the country.

“We have given an ultimatum to the UPA government not to proceed with the deal at the IAEA’s board of governors meeting on September 19. If it does so despite our warning, the Left parties will have no option but to withdraw their outside support to the Manmohan Singh government,” Faizee said.

Claiming that the UPA government had not been able to garner majority support on the Indo-US nuclear agreement, the CPI leader accused Manmohan Singh of having misled Parliament on the deal and warned that the nation would pay a heavy price if the deal was not scrapped.

Faizee, who is here to attend CPI’s Gujarat state council meeting, said the Left parties wanted a full-fledged parliamentary debate on the issue, as it would be in the interest of the nation.

The government had finally agreed to hold such a debate under pressure, he added.

As part of their nationwide campaign to mobilise public support against the deal, Faizee said his party would organise dharnas, demonstrations and rallies in all districts of Gujarat for three days from September 6. — UNI

Top

 

No trendy denims for Bihar babus
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, August 26
Senior ministers of the ruling NDA in Bihar, including Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, have often spoken in favour of a pro-active and sensitive bureaucracy to bridge the gap between the people and the administration to deliver the promised good governance by the Nitish regime.

They also refer to those golden days of 1960-70s when bureaucrats from Bihar were regarded as the best in the country. After a close monitoring of their performance on various counts under the new regime, bureaucrats in Bihar are faced with a unique problem.

There is a new circular on their dress code.

The directive followed a recent rebuke by the Patna High Court to two Bihar administrative service officers who were slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 each for wearing check shirt and bright T-shirt in violation of the dress code meant for them.

Justice S. K. Katariyar had imposed the penalty on additional collector of Munger R. N. Chaudhary and executive magistrate N. K. Singh, who had appeared before him in a contempt of court case. He had asked the chief secretary to ensure early realisation of the fine on August 7.

This apparently forced the chief secretary A. K.Chaudhury to issue a directive to all civil servants barring them from wearing trendy denims, T-shirts and other unusual dress in the office.

Instead, while the men bureaucrats have been asked to wear shirts, Bush-shirts and trousers in lighter shades, preferably grey or white, the women civil servants can wear conventional sari or salwar kameez with a dupatta thrown across, in plain and non-garish shades.

The Nitish government has no objection if some “babus” even opt for the traditional dhoti-kurta, the staple dress of the rural folk in the Hindi heartland.

Top

 

Scientists find uranium in Ladakh

Bangalore, August 26
Scientists have for the first time found uranium in “exceptionally high concentration” in Ladakh.

Samples of rocks analysed in a German laboratory have revealed uranium content to be as high as 5.36 per cent compared to around 0.1 per cent or less in ores present elsewhere in the country.

India badly needs uranium to fuel its nuclear power plants and the proposed India-US nuclear deal is all about importing it. The Ladakh find may cheer those opposed to the deal even though detailed exploration and mining may take years.

Ladakh lies between the Indian plate in the south and the Asian plate in the north and is bounded by the “Indus and the Shyok suture zones”.

Collision between the two plates 50-60 million years ago formed the Himalayas.

The earth’s crust that got crushed and melted during collision and pierced the surface, cooled and solidified becoming “magmatic” rocks dotting what geologists call the Ladakh “batholith”. It is in these rocks that uranium is found.

“The presently recorded uranium rich zircons from young magmatic intrusions of the Shyok suture zone and associated sequences is the first record from these remote regions,” Rajeev Upadhyay, a geologist at Kumaon University in Nainital, told IANS in an e-mail interview.

“In geological terms, these uranium-bearing magmatic rocks exposed in Ladakh are very young (between 100 million and 25 million years ago),” he said.

Other uranium rich rocks in India such as in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan are very old geological terrains known as the Precambrian (2,500-3,000 million years old), he said.

For his study, reported in the journal Current Science, Upadhyay took samples from thick exposed granite from a place north of Udmaru village in Leh district. The village in the Nubra-Shyok river valley is situated on a volcanic rock formation known as the Shyok Volcanics.

The samples of rock mineral (zircon) were analysed at the isotope laboratory of the University of Tuebingen in Germany where he had gone under the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship.

“Geochemical analysis of the separated zircon grains showed exceptionally high concentration of both uranium (0.31-5.36 per cent) and thorium (0.76-1.43 per cent),” Upadhyay said. He added that the study is preliminary and “detailed work is in progress”.

According to him, uranium-bearing magmatic rocks are located all along Kohistan, Ladakh and southern Tibet (from east to west). “However, contents of uranium may differ from place to place,” he said.

Officials of the atomic minerals division under the Department of Atomic Energy did not reply to questions about the significance of this new find or whether the Ladakh uranium could augment India’s reserves. — IANS

Top

 

Women to combat insurgency for the first time
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, August 26
For the first time in its history, the Indian Army is training its women officers to combat insurgency.

Last week, not only gentleman cadets but also for the first time in the history of the Officers Training Academy (OTA) here even lady cadets participated in training for counter-insurgency operations (CI OPs).Of the 250 cadets at the OTA, 75 are lady cadets.

The training capsule which lasted three days for the cadets who will pass out next month was especially designed to teach the cadets the practical aspects and techniques of counter- terrorism operations.

On commissioning from the OTA, a large number of young officers join units involved in the CI Ops in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast region.To train them, a jungle- lane shooting range and grenade- lobbing area have been made to give realistic CI Ops.

A mock-up village has been constructed for training of cadets in the CI Ops. Cadets are now being imparted practical training under realistic conditions to undertake clearing of a house or a hideout so that they are fully conversant with the drills involved when they join their units in the CI Ops Areas.

It included learning of the tactics, techniques, and strategies related to counter-terrorism. The cadets were especially trained in tactics and were well-equipped and trained for close quarter battle(CQB) with emphasis on stealth and performing the mission with minimal casualties.

The cadets were also made to practice cordon- and- search operations to root out terrorists by carrying out search operations, reconnaissance and detection operations, including patrol.

Though the Indian Army has two schools for training in counter- insurgency operations in Mhow in Madhya Pradesh and Vairangte in Mizoram, it is meant only for officers who are permanently commissioned into the army from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

However, this training was given to these cadets as most of them are usually posted either in the Kashmir valley or in the northeast to combat insurgency.

As such, during the training, these cadets at OTA who will be commissioned for short service, were familiarised with counter-insurgency operations and equipped to deal with the enemy within the country.

The Indian Army is also changing its policy regarding the recruitment of women officers. Women are allowed entry only through the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examinations for short service and trained at the OTA for non-combatant regiments.

The number of posts for lady cadets at the OTA is being doubled and instead of 26 weeks of training they will train for 49 weeks on a par with the men, from the next course.

Top

 

Mother Teresa remembered on birth anniversary

Kolkata, August 26
Celebrations and special prayers were held at the headquarters of Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, here today to commemorate her 97th birth anniversary.

Hundreds of people joined nuns for a special morning mass at the “Mother’s House” led by Sister Nirmala, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity.

“The message for people today on Mother’s birthday (is) let us praise and thank the God for the gift of our Mother’s life and let us also praise and thank the God for the gift of our own lives. We ask the Lord to bless us, and Mother to pray for us that we also may make our lives something beautiful for the God,” she said.

Albanian-born Mother Teresa made Kolkata her home and dedicated her life to the service of poor and destitute children. Mother Teresa was beatified by the Pope in October, 2003, paving the way for her canonisation, or being declared a saint.

She qualified for beatification after Vatican officials acknowledged that she was responsible for a miracle in which an Indian woman was cured of stomach cancer through her intervention.

Mother Teresa, who died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87, was known for her extraordinary love and dedication to poor, homeless and diseased people.

She came to India in 1929 at the age of 18 and took up teaching, and became an Indian citizen in 1948.

She started working in slums and later set up Missionaries of Charity, which was approved by the Vatican in 1950. The organisation now runs over 500 charity homes in over 100 countries.

She received several national and international awards for social service during her lifetime, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, the Magsaysay Award in 1962, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, and the John F. Kennedy International Award in 1971. — ANI

Top

 

Malaysia woos tourists from North-East
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 26
The Tourism Malaysia is eyeing the ever-growing number of globe trotters from the North-East as part of golden jubilee celebrations of Malaysia’s nationhood.

A delegation of the Tourism Malaysia, nodal agency for promoting Malaysia as global tourist destination, was here to talk business.

Director, Tourism Malaysia, North-East market, Roslan Abdullah, who was here to interact with travel agencies and tour operators from the region, said Guwahati with better air connectivity was being seen as gateway for tourists from the North-East to Malaysia.

It is expecting four lakh tourists from India to visit Malaysia under its promotion campaign “Visit Malaysia Year-2007”.

While global tourists are gradually shifting their attention from European countries to Asian destinations, Malaysia is also receiving increasing number of Indian tourists every year.

It recorded 2,79,046 tourist arrivals from India in 2006, as compared to 2,25,789 in 2005, registering a 23.6 per cent growth.

The Malaysian government aims at attracting 20.1 million tourists during the year.

“We have witnessed over 200 to 300 per cent growth in tourist footfall since our first office was established in India in 1989,” Abdullah said.

The most visited places are garden city Kuala Lumpur, city of entertainment Genting Highlands and Sabah, a state having cultural similarities with the NE India, like the bamboo dance.

Moreover, leisure travellers to Malaysia can make the most of the first-of-its-kind “Visit Malaysia Year” passport, which has been launched by the tourism ministry to commemorate the 50 years of its nationhood.

The country has also signed a commercial agreement with Kingfisher Airlines to promote its tourism sector.

“North-East is a potential emerging source market. We also plan to explore Ranchi,” an official said.

Top

 

States told to tighten security

New Delhi, August 26
The ministry of home affairs today sounded a general alert and asked all state governments to tighten security and intensify intelligence network in the wake of yesterday’s blasts in Hyderabad.

Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta today reviewed the security situation in the country with senior officials. Special secretary (internal security) N.L. Kumawat is in Hyderabad along with a high-level Central team for assessing the situation.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and the US today condemned the blasts. Pakistan’s acting high commissioner Afrasiab condemned the blasts in the strongest terms.

US embassy here described the blasts as “vicious acts of terrorism”. “Our thoughts are with the people of Hyderabad and all of India at this sad time. We have been in contact with the Government of India to share the condolences of the American people and to offer assistance in our shared fight against those who commit terror,” the US embassy said in a statement. — Agencies

Top

 

Explosives came from Nagpur firm

Nagpur, August 26
The police here today conducted searches on the premises of Amin Traders, the firm that reportedly sold the explosives used in the twin blasts in Hyderabad.

A police team went to the company in Gandhibagh area in the main business centre of the city and conducted searches after reports surfaced linking Nagpur to the blasts.

However, no arrests were made, joint commissioner of police Babasahib Kangale said. He did not give further details. — PTI

Top

 

President condemns blasts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 26
President Pratibha Patil has condemned the blasts in Hyderabad in which a number of people have died and many others have been injured.

A press note issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan here today said the President said such acts must be strongly condemned as they were aimed at disturbing peace and harmony. She said persons involved in such acts had no respect for innocent lives.

The President has also conveyed her condolences to the

next of kin of those who lost their lives and wished early recovery to the injured.

Top

 

Prez, PM greet nation on Onam

New Delhi, August 26
President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today greeted the nation on Onam and hoped the festival will herald happiness and prosperity for people.

“On the auspicious occasion of Onam, I greet all my people in India and abroad. The festival is a symbol of unity and oneness of people belonging to various religions,” she said in a message.

“May this harvest festival herald a new year of happiness and prosperity for people and promote harmony and brotherhood in the country,” Patil said.

Singh said: “Onam, which heralds the beginning of the harvest season, gives us an opportunity to salute our farmers for their contribution to our economy.” He wished the festival “brings peace, prosperity and happiness to all”.

Panaji: All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and MP Shantaram Naik has conveyed his greetings to the people of Kerala, Lakshadweep and Tamil Nadu staying in Goa on the occasion of Onam festival. Naik, in a statement has said that Onam is celebrated by people irrespective of caste and religion. — TNS, PTI

Top

 

Vajpayee discharged

New Delhi, August 26
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was today discharged from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he was admitted on Tuesday after he complained of giddiness.

He was discharged from AIIMS in the morning, a statement from the former PM’s office said. “He is in good health and has been advised rest for a couple of days,” it added.

The octogenarian BJP leader had been under observation at the hospital ever since he was admitted on August 21 when he complained of drowsiness and giddiness.

Though his condition remained “stable” all through his six-day stay, he was not released as he was “being kept under investigation”, according to the doctors.

Hospital sources said Vajpayee was released after his review reports came out “satisfactory”. — UNI

Top

 

Hema acquitted in decade-old case

Kota, August 26
A court here has acquitted actress Hema Malini in a decade-old case in which she was accused of not turning up for a show despite accepting performance money in advance.

District and Sessions Judge C.M. Totla on Thursday said Malini couldn’t be held responsible as the show was cancelled by the district officials due to the law and order situation. The judge directed the case to be closed.

Congress leader Suresh Gurjar had alleged that Malini after entering into a contract and taking Rs 50,000 in advance, neither performed at the Dussehra Mela here in 1997 nor returned the money.

The court has also asked the district collector and city mayor to take action against the officials concerned.

Malini's counsel Prem Singh told PTI today the court was informed that since the programme was cancelled twice by municipal and district authorities, the actress cannot be blamed. — PTI

Top

 

2 hurt in Patna college blast
Tribune News Service

Patna, August 26
Two labourers were seriously injured after a blast in the godown of Patna Engineering College here today. The police said it was cane bomb.

According to eyewitness, the police recovered another live cane bomb from the spot. Two injured were admitted to Patna Medical College and Hospital.

According to the police,the labourers were injured at the time of cleaning the godown when one of the two cane bombs exploded.

Meanwhile,a high alert was sounded today across the state in the wake of two powerful blasts in Hyderabad yesterday.All police stations have been put on a maximum alert and patrolling has been intensified in busy markets and near temples.

Top

 

Ayodhya complex: 4 held for trying to offer ‘namaz’

Ayodhya, August 26
Four youths were today arrested on their way to the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid complex to allegedly offer ‘namaz’, a senior police official said.

The youths from Varanasi reached the town on motorcycles and "wanted to offer 'namaz' in the complex with the intention of inciting communal passions", superintendent of police (city) Gopeshnath Khanna told reporters. He said they were being interrogated and information about them was being collected from the Varanasi police. — PTI

Top

 

Tyre bursts during Boeing landing

Varanasi, August 26
A Patna-Delhi Jetlite’s Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 68 passengers had a close shave today when one of its front tyres burst while landing at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport near here.

All passengers were evacuated safely, an airport official said.

He said a front wheel of flight No. 115 of Jet Airways subsidiary had a tyre burst while landing at 3.55 pm due to a “hydraulic system failure”.

A team of engineers were carrying out repair works and passengers were waiting for alternative arrangements to be made by the airline and airport authorities. — PTI

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |