SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Left’s concerns to be borne in mind: Sibal
Kolkata, September 8
The UPA government today said it will take into account the concerns of the Left parties before ‘operationalising’ the Indo-US civil nuclear deal but there was no possibility of renegotiation.

Sonia is lying: Amar Singh
New Delhi, September 8
Rajya Sabha MP and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh yeaterday alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi's claim that the party had kept all parties informed of negotiations with the US on the nuclear deal “was a bunch of lies.”

Choose between US or CMP: Karat to govt
Visakhapatnam, September 8
Delivering a stern message on the Indo-US nuclear deal, the CPM today said the time has come for the UPA leadership to “decide and tell people” whether it would abide by the commitment to the United States or to the Common Minimum Programme.

Race on for PPCC chief’s post
New Delhi, September 8
With the current monsoon session of Parliament nearing its conclusion and a thaw in the stand-off with the Left parties on the deal, the Congress has started the process of making appointments of PCC chiefs in state units.



EARLIER STORIES


A man on a raft made out of banana tree at Khetrigao in Imphal on Saturday as the flood situation worsened in the North-East
A man on a raft made out of banana tree at Khetrigao in Imphal on Saturday as the flood situation worsened in the North-East. — PTI

Prez for focus on women literacy
New Delhi, September 8
Underlining the need for according priority to women literacy and education, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today stressed that if women were made literate they would be self-reliant and the beneficial impact on society would be manifold.

No threats in Osama’s new video
New Delhi, September 8
There are a few important operational details in Osama bin Laden’s new video. The first and foremost is that the Al-Qaida chief is alive and well. Second, the video, bin Laden’s first in 34 months, was in all probability recorded in mid-August.

No curbs on N-sovereignty acceptable: BJP
New Delhi, September 8
BJP president Rajnath Singh today made clear that India could not accept a situation where the country’s nuclear sovereignty and weaponisation programme was restrained by any international agreement.

RSS men to remain with BJP
New Delhi, September 8
Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh today asserted that there was no question of sending back RSS whole timers and dismissed rumours of differences between the Sangh and the party.

India doesn’t need US light water reactors: Scientist
Mumbai, September 8
India need not depend on US for Light water nuclear reactor (LWR) technology, as Indian scientists are capable of making it, said a top nuclear scientist.

INSAT 4CR in orbit
Bangalore, September 8
India’s latest communication satellite - INSAT 4CR has been successfully placed in near-geosynchronous orbit with the fifth and final orbit-raising operation being conducted from the Master Control Facility at Hassan today.

Sting operation: TV channel CEO questioned
New Delhi, September 8
The police today questioned the head of TV channel Live India in connection with the sting operation on a schoolteacher, which the investigators claimed was “stage-managed”.

Rajsamand mishap toll 86
Jaipur, September 8
The death toll in Rajasthan’s worst ever road accident in Rajsamand district has gone up to 86 with the death of a woman in an Udaipur hospital. Superintendent of Maharana Bhupal Rajkiya hospital S.K. Kaushik said 10 of the injured were admitted to the hospital.

Murder Case
MP in judicial custody
Kolkata, September 8
The Congress MP from Behrampore, Adhir Chowdhury, was sent to 14 days in jail today by the additional SDJM, Katwa, for his alleged involvement in the killing of a CPI (M) member Anchal Pradhan at Ketugram in September 2003.

8 ultras give up arms
Guwahati, September 8
Eight hardcore terrorists including six from the banned ULFA and two from Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) surrendered before the Army at two simple ceremonies organised at Army camps at Tamulpur in Baksa district and Lengri, West Karbi Anglong respectively today, the Army informed.

Ban on student body poll
Stray violence across UP
Lucknow, September 8
Sporadic violence was witnessed in various cities and anti-Mayawati slogans reverberated across the university campuses of the state as students poured out on roads protesting against the government’s order banning student union elections in the state.

Boy brutally tortured at school
Ahmedabad, September 8
An eight-year-old student of a private school in Gujarat’s Bharuch district was physically tortured by school authorities for a minor fault, his parents alleged today. “We have filed a complaint yesterday against the director of Manav School located at Rampura after our child, studying in class II of the residential school, was tortured,” said Dipak Patel, the victim’s father.

Major: Hawk induction next month
Bangalore, September 8
Indian Air Force chief F.H. Major yesterday said British Hawk would be inducted into the IAF in October even as he said the country’s choice for the proposed multi-role jet fighter would depend on the operational cost of the planes in race for the order.

Navy swears by wargames
New Delhi, September 8
As the biggest-ever congregation of naval warships from five nations began their climax battle manoeuvres after undertaking four days of intense action in the Bay of Bengal, a top Naval Commander today said these had afforded India a “professional interaction”.

‘Puja’ to prevent mishaps
Agra, September 8
Seeking divine intervention to ward off road accidents, scores of women here have taken to sadak puja (road worship) every Tuesday, as they believe offering prayers and performing rituals will prevent their loved ones from falling prey to mishaps on roads.

Tabling of broadcast Bill delayed
New Delhi, September 8
The government today indicated that it was unlikely to table the broadcast services regulation Bill in Parliament next week due to a stand-off with broadcasters on the content code.

Videos
Breeding of endangered tigers.
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Woes of Kannauj perfume industry.
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Aamir to add more abs.
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King Khan turns on the heat.
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Left’s concerns to be borne in mind: Sibal

Kolkata, September 8
The UPA government today said it will take into account the concerns of the Left parties before ‘operationalising’ the Indo-US civil nuclear deal but there was no possibility of renegotiation.

Asked whether the Centre was going ahead with the deal, Sibal, union science and technology minister said here, “Nobody said we are stopping the deal. We will take into account the concerns of the Left parties before operationalising it but there is no area to renegotiate it,” he said.

“The Left should not stop us. They should sit across the table and understand that we don't want the Left to be left out. They should be right in,” Sibal, who is a member of the key committee on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, said.

“When the whole world is moving forward, why is the Left pulling India back?” he said. — PTI

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Sonia is lying: Amar Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
Rajya Sabha MP and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh yeaterday alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi's claim that the party had kept all parties informed of negotiations with the US on the nuclear deal “was a bunch of lies.”

Singh was referring to her letter to party workers in last month's issue of the party mouthpiece “Congress Sandesh” where she stated, “Throughout the negotiations with the US, Parliament, our UPA allies, the Left parties and the Opposition parties have been kept informed.”

The Samajwadi Party general secretary told mediapersons here today that contrary to her claim, the UNPA was never consulted on any vital issue. “We have been declared political untoucables. Nobody wants to speak to us. For the first time, the PM spoke to me on the nuclear deal yesterday when I met him. He sought our cooperation on the deal saying that it is in national interest. But there is no question of our supporting it when the country is opposed to it.”

He said India's nuclear deal was not a private affair of the ruling party alone. “My humble submission is that if the PM wants smooth functioning of the House, he should find an amicable solution. You (the ruling party) cannot ignore a large chunk of the Opposition simply because they are politically opposed to you,” he said.

“There should be an all-party mechanism. May be a JPC to examine the nuclear deal. If JPC is not possible, some other mechanism should be evolved to break the deadlock,” he added.

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Choose between US or CMP: Karat to govt

Visakhapatnam, September 8
Delivering a stern message on the Indo-US nuclear deal, the CPM today said the time has come for the UPA leadership to “decide and tell people” whether it would abide by the commitment to the United States or to the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

“In the CMP adopted by the UPA, there was not a word about strategic alliance with America. If that was put in the CMP, the Left parties would not have supported the government,” party general secretary Prakash Karat said while addressing a public meeting here. Alleging that the government was deviating from the CMP and taking “step after step to get into strategic alliance with USA”, he said “this is not acceptable to Left parties.”

“Whatever takes place in future, we will not compromise on the independent foreign policy and national interests.” — PTI

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Race on for PPCC chief’s post
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
With the current monsoon session of Parliament nearing its conclusion and a thaw in the stand-off with the Left parties on the deal, the Congress has started the process of making appointments of PCC chiefs in state units.

The party yesterday appointed Jai Prakash Agarwal, MP, as president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, replacing Ram Babu Sharma.

The Congress has also started consultations for top-level organisational changes in some other states, including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The process of appointments has gained some urgency due to the possibility of an early Lok Sabha poll.

Aspirants for the post of PCC chief in Punjab have been meeting senior party leaders in the Capital for the past few days to build support for their candidature.

Sources said the party had been weighing various factors and had begun the final round of consultations on the appointment of the PCC chief in Punjab.

A section of the party in the state had been pushing for the appointment of a candidate belonging to the agrarian community.

They say that the PCC chief should be a leader who can effectively take on Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Another view in the party is of giving the post to a candidate from the state's minority community to bring it back to the party's fold following the drubbing in the urban areas in the assembly poll.

Those pleading this line of thought say that the Akali Dal continues to have a upper hand in the rural areas despite persistent efforts by the Amarinder Singh regime to make a dent in the rival's stronghold and the Congress should concentrate more on consolidating its core support base.

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Prez for focus on women literacy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
Underlining the need for according priority to women literacy and education, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today stressed that if women were made literate they would be self-reliant and the beneficial impact on society would be manifold.

Expressing concern that India was home to world’s largest number of illiterates, the country’s first woman head of state regretted that India accounted for 20 per cent of children being out of school and 35 per cent adult illiterates.

“When such a large number of population remains outside the pale of literacy and education, it makes the task of development more complex and daunting,” Patil observed at the International Literacy Day celebrations here in the forenoon.

At the same time, she noted that the country had made tremendous progress in literacy in the past century. Reeling out statistics, she said in 1901 India had an abysmally low literacy rate of 5.35 per cent and at the time of Independence, literacy had risen risen to only 18.33 per cent. However, in 2001 the literacy rate had risen substantially to 64.84 per cent.

“This is considerable progress but there are still millions in our country without basic literary skills,” Patil regretted.

Acknowledging that India has one of the largest bodies of English-speaking IT professionals in the world, the President pointed attention to the Millennium Development Summit held at New York in 2000 when world leaders agreed on a global partnership to work collectively for eradicating poverty, hunger, disease, ignorance and improving the lives of people.

“One of the millennium development goals is the achievement of universal primary education by 2015 and within the context of achieving gender equality, the target is to eliminate gender disparity in education,” she said and added that “2015 is only eight years away”.

Patil was confident that with the combined efforts of the sarva shiksha abhiyaan for children and a revamped national literacy mission for adults, Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of eradicating the scourge of illiteracy and creating a knowledge society would be very much within the country’s reach.

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No threats in Osama’s new video
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
There are a few important operational details in Osama bin Laden’s new video. The first and foremost is that the Al-Qaida chief is alive and well.

Second, the video, bin Laden’s first in 34 months, was in all probability recorded in mid-August. This is borne out by his reference to the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki falling on August 6 and August 9, respectively.

This, in turn, leads to another operational information about the most wanted man on earth who carries a reward of $50 million on his head, “dead or alive”. It has taken Al-Qaida three weeks to release the video after it was recorded.

The three-week time frame is perfectly in line with the pattern of bin Laden’s statements taking at least three weeks to be released after being recorded. This may be a circumstantial evidence of the video’s veracity.

Though the 25-minute video is addressed to the United States, the message is clearly meant for Al-Qaida’s constituency as the jihadist leader provides justification for young mujahideen to continue their war against the West.

For the first time, bin Laden has made a conscious attempt to reach out to Christians by noting how the Koran mentions Jesus and Mary dozens of times and even affirms the concept of the virgin birth. It is quite possible that the speech was written or influenced by Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, who is also referred to in the video.

Another first is bin Laden’s America-specific discourse where he has not issued any threats. Laden has not exhibited detailed knowledge of American political discourse in any of his previous communiqués.

Laden’s last video was released in November, 2004, at what was perceived as a major turning point for the United States ahead of the congressional elections. He likely chose to risk making his reappearance at this time to take advantage of a critical juncture in US politics over how to proceed in Iraq.

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No curbs on N-sovereignty acceptable: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
BJP president Rajnath Singh today made clear that India could not accept a situation where the country’s nuclear sovereignty and weaponisation programme was restrained by any international agreement.

Rajnath’s assertion comes at a time when the Indo-US nuclear deal issue is witnessing the Congress, Left and the NDA pursuing different lines which led to disruptions of the proceedings of Parliament for the entire week.

The agreement was seeking to suppress indigenous nuclear programme and treat India as a ‘client state’ of the US, and the BJP, as a national party, was opposed to the accord, Rajnath said in an interview to the RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’.

Asked if the deal in its present form would make India an energy dependent country with the US holding nuclear keys, the BJP president said, “No wise country will give this energy supply keys to somebody else and Indian scientists, researchers and industries will be left in the cold.”

Dwelling on the provisions of the Hyde Act, a bone of contention between the Congress and the Left parties, he said no US President would be able to bypass it and even if the incumbent President were to push through the deal, there was a certainty about what the moves of the future President could be. Under section 103 (7) of the Act, the US can withhold and restrict transfer of equipment related to uranium enrichment supply in the event of India conducting a nuclear test.

“I am of the personal view that no US executive can overrule this Act,” he said. He said the BJP was not opposed to India having strategic relationship with the US, but the country should not be barred from reprocessing spent fuel.

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RSS men to remain with BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh today asserted that there was no question of sending back RSS whole timers and dismissed rumours of differences between the Sangh and the party.

Singh’s statement assumes significance in the backdrop of a Sangh meeting in Mumbai where an attempt is being made to redefine the relationship between the RSS and the BJP.

Singh said the BJP and the RSS enjoyed complete “harmonious relationship” and the reports of organisational discord were completely “unfounded”.

“RSS workers were working in the BJP on our request and there is no question of sending them back,” he said.

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India doesn’t need US light water reactors: Scientist

Mumbai, September 8
India need not depend on US for Light water nuclear reactor (LWR) technology, as Indian scientists are capable of making it, said a top nuclear scientist.

"Indian scientists and technologists are capable of making Light water reactor and we are already constructing a LWR at Kalpakkam for submarine," said P.K. Iyengar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission at a public debate on Indo-US deal organised by Swadeshi Jagran Manch and other NGOs here yesterday.

It is expected that the LWRs will be imported in large numbers once the Indo-US deal is signed.

Expressing his anxiety on the terms and conditions of the 123 agreement, Iyengar said if the clause on licensing (2.1) could be dropped from the agreement then at least “we do not have to say that Hyde Act will apply.” Defence analyst Bharat Karnad said India should have the right to conduct nuclear tests. — PTI

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INSAT 4CR in orbit
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, September 8
India’s latest communication satellite - INSAT 4CR has been successfully placed in near-geosynchronous orbit with the fifth and final orbit-raising operation being conducted from the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan today.

The two antennas of the satellite, which are used to transmit and receive functions, have been successfully deployed and the satellite has been put in its final three-axis stabilised mode, an official spokesman disclosed here.

INSAT-4CR was successfully launched through the GSLV-F04 on September 2, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. In a manoeuvre the liquid apogee motor (LAM) on board the satellite was fired for 196 seconds and the satellite has achieved an orbital period of 23 hours and 42 minutes.

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Sting operation: TV channel CEO questioned

New Delhi, September 8
The police today questioned the head of TV channel Live India in connection with the sting operation on a schoolteacher, which the investigators claimed was “stage-managed”.

Sudhir Choudhury, CEO of Live India, was summoned by crime branch officials, who are investigating the case, for interrogation, a senior police official said.

He told the interrogators that the channel management was not aware of the alleged “manipulations” in the operation, the official said.

“He told us that the reporter had not revealed to the channel that the girl who was shown in the expose was his friend,” the official said.

The official said they were also examining whether the channel had committed any “negligence” in airing the operation, which purportedly showed the teacher coercing girls into prostitution.

Prakash Singh, a reporter of the channel, was arrested yesterday after it reportedly turned out that the girl who appeared in it making allegations against Uma Khurana, the teacher, was not a student but an aspiring journalist. Reshmi Singh, who was arrested on Thursday, has approached the court seeking permission to turn as an approver. — PTI

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Rajsamand mishap toll 86

Jaipur, September 8
The death toll in Rajasthan’s worst ever road accident in Rajsamand district has gone up to 86 with the death of a woman in an Udaipur hospital.

Superintendent of Maharana Bhupal Rajkiya hospital S.K. Kaushik said 10 of the injured were admitted to the hospital.

A 40-year-old woman died this morning while two other pilgrims were in critical condition. According to Rajsamand collector Anand Kumar and SP Rupinder Singh out of the 86 dead, 39 were men and 47 women.

Meanwhile, the bodies of 86 pilgrims, who were killed when an overcrowded truck plunged into a gorge in Rajsamand district yesterday, have been handed over to their relatives.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje reached Rajsamand today by a helicopter and inspected the accident site at Desurighata and also visited the Rajsamand hospital where 61 injured pilgrims were admitted. She announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 as compensation to the kin of those killed.

The CM also visited the villages of Simal and Madri and met the relatives of those injured promising compensation and relief. Twenty-nine residents of these two villages were killed in the accident.

Most of the pilgrims, who were heading for the annual Ram Devra fair, belonged to Bhava, Madri, Sindhuskarla and Simal. The injured were admitted to hospitals in Udaipur, Pali and Desuri. — UNI

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Murder Case
MP in judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, September 8
The Congress MP from Behrampore, Adhir Chowdhury, was sent to 14 days in jail today by the additional SDJM, Katwa, for his alleged involvement in the killing of a CPI (M) member Anchal Pradhan at Ketugram in September 2003.

Chowdhury had been granted bail yesterday by the Behrampore SDJM in the twin murder case of July 2004. But soon afterwards, he was arrested again from the court premises in connection with Anchal Pradhan's murder case.

This happened after his bail plea was rejected. The MP reiterated he was innocent and was being politically victimised. He said he had full faith and confidence in the judiciary and he hoped the truth would come out soon.

When the court decided to send the MP to jail, a number of his supporters started shouting slogans in the court complex while demanding his release.

They alleged their leader was a victim of a conspiracy of the CPI (M). They demanded that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya should be arrested in Tapashi Mallick's gruesome murder case at Singur and the mass killings at Nandigram. As the demonstrations became violent, the police stationed on the court premises soon intervened and tried to disperse the mob leading to clashes between the police and the demonstrators.

Police lathicharged the violent mob and chased them out of the court premises. The MP was taken to the Behrampore jail. There were also demonstrations against the MP’s arrest in Kolkata city and other districts of the state.

The West Bengal Congress leaders said they would take necessary legal steps against their MP's arrest but Youth Congress workers and supporters threatened to launch statewide agitations.

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8 ultras give up arms
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, September 8
Eight hardcore terrorists including six from the banned ULFA and two from Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) surrendered before the Army at two simple ceremonies organised at Army camps at Tamulpur in Baksa district and Lengri, West Karbi Anglong respectively today, the Army informed.

The Army termed the surrender as a ‘success’ of the sustained anti-terrorist drive of the security forces. The surrendered terrorists included a woman cadre of ULFA, named Jonali Das, who was trained in Bhutan in 1999 and had since been operating closely with the outfit’s 709 battalion commander Hira Sarania in Barpeta, Nalbari, Golpara and Guwahati areas of lower Assam. All the terrorists who surrendered today had undergone training in weapons and tactics and were involved in large number of kidnapping and extortion incidents.

Large quantity of arms, ammunition, Chinese grenades, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), hand-made bombs and extortion notes were handed over by them to the Army in the presence of the SP, Baksa district.

The Army stated that intensive operations by the troops of Red Horns Division in lower Assam areas so far resulted in elimination of 27 and apprehension of over 200 hardcore terrorists this year.

Malaria hits ULFA camps

Seasonal malaria disease is stalking UKFA camps inside the forests in different foothill areas of the state. The Army today informed that two top ULFA cadres Bhawani Hazarika and Ghanakanta Gogoi, from the 28th battalion of the ULFA died because of malaria in a camp in Manabhum Reserve Forest.

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Ban on student body poll
Stray violence across UP
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, September 8
Sporadic violence was witnessed in various cities and anti-Mayawati slogans reverberated across the university campuses of the state as students poured out on roads protesting against the government’s order banning student union elections in the state.

Additional police force was requisitioned to beef up security arrangements on various university campuses, as students gathered in large numbers demonstrating peacefully, but going berserk at a few places.

In Varanasi, students of Sampoornanand Sanskirt Mahavidhyalaya who were on a dharna damaged university property, breaking windowpanes and classrooms and forcing the police to resort to lathi-charge. Twelve students were arrested.

In Meerut, a large number of students assembled at the gates of Chaudhury Charan Singh University where they burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Mayawati.

Addressing the gathering, former student union leader Kuldeep Ujjwal charged the present government with throttling democratic processes.

A mixed response was witnessed in Gorakhpur, where students had declared a “bandh”. Heavy police presence was visible on the campus that remained open and classes were also held.

However, anticipating trouble, traders in busy marketplaces like Golghar, Hindi Bazaar, Reti Chowk, Sahabganj and Gita Press kept their shutters down.

In Allahabad, students set ablaze a city bus near the Hanuman Mandir in Civil Lines. Reports of demonstrations were also received from Ballia and Bareilly.

In Lucknow, students held a demonstration at the Shaheed Chowk. Colleges remained largely deserted, as students chose to stay away.

Meanwhile, the Congress today threatened to launch “peaceful protests” across the state if the state government failed to revoke its decision banning student union elections in the state.

Terming the decision “undemocratic”, state party vice-president Satyadev Tripathi said if the state government was worried about growing criminalisation in students politics it should have implemented the Lyngdoh committee recommendations.

“The committee has the backing of the Supreme Court... if implemented, it would have checked the use of money and muscle power in the elections,” he added.

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Boy brutally tortured at school

Ahmedabad, September 8
An eight-year-old student of a private school in Gujarat’s Bharuch district was physically tortured by school authorities for a minor fault, his parents alleged today.

“We have filed a complaint yesterday against the director of Manav School located at Rampura after our child, studying in class II of the residential school, was tortured,” said Dipak Patel, the victim’s father.

“When one of the teachers of the school took our child to the chairman Anil Sharma (Jangid) over an issue concerning a water bottle, Sharma tied him with a rope and hung him upside down from the fan in his office,” Patel told PTI over phone from their residence in Bharuch. — PTI

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Major: Hawk induction next month
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, September 8
Indian Air Force chief F.H. Major yesterday said British Hawk would be inducted into the IAF in October even as he said the country’s choice for the proposed multi-role jet fighter would depend on the operational cost of the planes in race for the order.

Delivering a lecture at the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) on its foundation day here, the Air chief said the country needed to choose a fighter aircraft depending on how much it would cost to operate as well as on the ruggedness of the product.

“We will be looking for tropicalised and well weathered systems,” he said, adding that the plane should also require less servicing.

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Navy swears by wargames

New Delhi, September 8
As the biggest-ever congregation of naval warships from five nations began their climax battle manoeuvres after undertaking four days of intense action in the Bay of Bengal, a top Naval Commander today said these had afforded India a “professional interaction”.

“It gave our Navy an opportunity to exercise with multi-carrier operations,” Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral V.P. Suthan told the media onboard the US Kittyhawk. — PTI

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‘Puja’ to prevent mishaps

Agra, September 8
Seeking divine intervention to ward off road accidents, scores of women here have taken to sadak puja (road worship) every Tuesday, as they believe offering prayers and performing rituals will prevent their loved ones from falling prey to mishaps on roads.

Some recent road accidents have made road worshipping a regular feature on city’s roads.

Pujas are being held in Nahraich, Ratan Pura and even in posh colonies like Kamlangar. Villages along the national highway have also reported such pujas.

Believes Hindu priest Mahesh Shukla: “If the police cannot ensure our safety what is the harm in trying the divine?” The police says on an average one road accident a day is reported in the city with half of them proving to be fatal. — IANS

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Tabling of broadcast Bill delayed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
The government today indicated that it was unlikely to table the broadcast services regulation Bill in Parliament next week due to a stand-off with broadcasters on the content code.

The current monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to end on September 14.

Information and broadcasting minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said here today that the Bill was not ready and he would discuss it further with political parties.

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