SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI




THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

City Centre Scam
Bail to Amarinder
Punjab all set to move SC

New Delhi, September 11
In a no-holds-barred legal battle in the Ludhiana City Centre scam case, the Punjab government has made every preparation to move the Supreme Court for cancelling the bail of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh even as his son and a close relative in their affidavits blamed the Badal government of “political vendetta” in naming them as accused.

Make bungalow-squatting non-bailable, SC to Centre
New Delhi, September 11
The Supreme Court today suggested to the centre to make amendment in Section 441 of the IPC to make it more stringent to deal with the problem of powerful politicians and bureaucrats squatting on government houses even after they become disentitled to occupy those under rules.

SC urged to lay guidelines to end quota conflict
New Delhi, September 11
In a passionate appeal by top lawyers of the country, a constitution Bench of the Supreme Court hearing arguments on the OBC quota was today urged to settle the reservation controversy once and for all by laying down guidelines for the legislative and executive going by the spirit of Preamble of the Constitution and not allow it to turn into a class conflict.





EARLIER STORIES


Priyanka approaches SC on row with ex-secretary
New Delhi, September 11
Apprehending that her former private secretary P. Jaju might appeal against her acquittal in the criminal intimidation case, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has urged the Supreme Court not to pass any orders without hearing her.

Genesis of Act providing 27 pc quota questioned in SC
New Delhi, September 11
The anti-quota petitioners today questioned the validity of a provision in the Constitution which formed the genesis for enacting the law providing 27 per cent quota for OBCs in central educational institutions.

SC permits breaking of ‘Blue Lady’
New Delhi, September 11
The Supreme Court today permitted the ship-breaking yard at Alang off the Gujarat coast to dismantle controversial Norwegian ship, ‘Blue Lady’, after accepting the report of a high-powered committee set up to oversee the breaking of foreign vessels there on meeting the required 18-point guidelines laid by a high- powered panel.

Panel seeks more courts for kids
New Delhi, September 11
In order to seek speedy justice in cases related to the Children in Conflict with Law, a member of the newly-constituted National Commission for Protection of Child Rights will meet the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and urge for setting up of more courts for children in the two states.

Flood-hit Assam reels under spiralling prices
Guwahati, September 11
Steep rise in prices of essential items and vegetables has crippled the life in the flood-ravaged Assam where traders are trying to make hay citing flood-time shortage of commodities.

Nitish looks east to revive Bihar
Patna, September 11
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar now seems to be in the mood to emulate the “look east” policy of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for the much desired economic revival of backward Bihar.

N-deal: Bengal CPM against support withdrawal
Kolkata, September 11
When a section in the politburo and some other Left leaders were firm on the withdrawal of support from the UPA on the nuclear deal issue, the CPI (M) in West Bengal kept opposing their stand.

Strong govt reaction to observation on Gita
New Delhi, September 11
The Allahabad High Court's observation that Bhagvad Gita should be made the national 'dharma shastra' of the country evoked strong reaction from the government which said scriptures of all religions should be respected by all. In video (56k)

Govt finalises contract for Indian workers abroad
New Delhi, September 11
The government has finalised a model work contract that will safeguard the interests of overseas Indian workers and, more importantly, be binding on the Indian workers and their employers.

Maoists own up bid on Reddy’s life
Hyderabad, September 11
Four days after the assassination bid on former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Janardhan Reddy, the Maoists today owned up responsibility for the attack and vowed to target him again in future.

TN, Kerala row over rly division settled
New Delhi, September 11
The dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the creation of a Salem division was settled in an amicable manner today after railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav announced strengthening of the Palakkad division by adding 79 km of stretch to it from the Madurai division.

Bofors re-enters Indian market
New Delhi, September 11
After almost two decades, Swedish armaments major Bofors has re-entered the Indian market in its new avatar, BAe Systems SWS Defence, by signing an agreement with the Ordnance Factories Board to upgrade air defence guns.

India denies SLBM test
New Delhi, September 11
India today denied that it had test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile and that it was carrying out technological development tests to validate potential underwater launch capabilities.

Mass stripping to find rapist killer
Jaipur, September 11
Devising its own investigation into the rape and murder of a village woman, a Rajasthan panchayat asked over 1,500 men to strip and examined their bodies for injuries - a task that began early in the morning and ended late evening.

Men stand in a queue for being stripped by the local panchayat as a part of an effort to identify those who allegedly raped and murdered a woman in Boraj, near Ajmer, on Monday. — PTI
Men stand in a queue for being stripped by the local panchayat as a part of an effort to identify those who allegedly raped and murdered a woman in Boraj, near Ajmer

Fake encounter: 16 jailed after 15 years
Etawah, September 11
A local court today convicted 16 policemen in a 15-year-old fake encounter case and awarded life terms. According to prosecution, on January 28, 1992, a physically challenged Rajnarayan Pandit was gunned down in a fake encounter near river Chambal in Chakar Nagar area.

Eyes not gouged out: Police
Patna, September 11
Nawada district superintendent of police Vinod Kumar today denied the report filed by an agency yesterday regarding the mob fury against three motorcycle-snatchers in which the snatchers’ eyes were reportedly gouged out.

X-ray shows no knife in abdomen of Ghosh
Kolkata, September 11
An x-ray conducted on Amarendra Nath Ghosh, who is accused of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 27 crore, did not find the eight-centimetre knife he claimed to have swallowed in Germany and due to which he could not be extradited from that country for over four years.

Punjab farmers neck-deep in debt: Study
New Delhi, September 11
Farmers in Punjab, the most agriculturally advanced state in the country, are neck-deep in debt to the tune of around Rs 24,000 crore, a report prepared by the state government has said.

BJP flays Vaghela for comments on farmers
New Delhi, September 11
The BJP today condemned the “inhuman attitude” of union textile minister Shankarsinh Vaghela and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh for attributing “laziness” as the reason for farmers’ suicides.

Sena, BJP say row over
New Delhi, September 11
Amid the talk of mid-term elections, estranged partners BJP and Shiv Sena today smoked the peace pipe, singing the tune of unity over Hindutva, but remained tight-lipped about any new formula for sharing seats.

Deshmukh must apologise to farmers: BJP
Mumbai, September 11
The Congress in Maharashtra draw more flak from the BJP and the Shiv Sena over the remarks made by union textiles minister Shankersinh Vaghela and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh at a farmers’ rally last weekend.

Midday editor, publisher guilty of contempt: HC
New Delhi, September 11
The Delhi High court today held the editor, publisher, resident editor and cartoonist of a daily tabloid, The Midday, guilty of contempt of court, for writing and publishing articles against the former Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal.

SP to field ex-PM’s son from Ballia
New Delhi, September 11
The Samajwadi Party (SP) has decided to field late former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar’s younger son Neeraj from the Ballia constituency. The constituency had fallen vacant following the death of Chandra Shekhar in the first half of July after prolonged illness.

Students choose graveyard for studies
Patna, September 11
Students at Sherghati in Gaya have evolved a unique method to score high marks in examinations. This was beyond the established mode of taking private tuitions from good teachers.

Gujjar mahapanchayat tomorrow
Jaipur, September 11
Nearly five lakh Gujjars from across the country will participate in a mass congregation in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district on September 13 to press for their demand for ST status and also decide on the extension to the Justice Chopra Committee, a top leader of the community said today.

2 new trains linking Delhi to Rewari, Rohtak
New Delhi, September 11
The railway ministry has sanctioned two trains linking Rewari and Rohtak with the national capital. The trains, expected to be introduced soon, would benefit a large number of passengers.

Videos
Mumbai tightens security ahead of Hindu festival.
(56k)
Hindus take dip in holy river during solar eclipse.
(56k)
Yoga for your face to tighten and tone sagging skin.
(56k)
Bikaneri bhujia woos consumers globally.
(56k)
Culinary begum of Bhopal.
(56k)
Bobby plays himself in Nanhe Jaisalmer.
(56k)





Top








 

City Centre Scam
Bail to Amarinder
Punjab all set to move SC
S. S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 11
In a no-holds-barred legal battle in the Ludhiana City Centre scam case, the Punjab government has made every preparation to move the Supreme Court for cancelling the bail of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh even as his son and a close relative in their affidavits blamed the Badal government of “political vendetta” in naming them as accused.

To seek custodial interrogation of Capt Amarinder Singh, sources in the legal department of the Punjab government told The Tribune that a special leave petition (SLP) against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order granting bail to him was ready awaiting clearance for filing from the top.

They indicated that the clearance was expected in a day or two and the SLP would be filed accordingly to ensure its early hearing.

The High Court on July 30 had confirmed the interim bail to Capt Amarinder Singh, granted in April after the bureau had registered a case against him, his wife Preneet Kaur, son Ranider Singh his brother’s son-in-law Raminder Singh and several other persons.

The bureau, which has already challenged the bail to Raninder and Raminder, in its counter affidavit to their replies, pleaded the apex court to cancel their bail and give it an opportunity to have their “custodial interrogation” to get into the bottom of the entire controversy. The SLP is expected to be listed for hearing soon.

While Raninder and Raminder in their replies directly accused Chief Minister Parkash Sing Badal of “framing them up” in the case due to “political vendetta”, the bureau said “the FIR is based on an inquiry and is not an outcome of any political malice.”

The bureau described the allegation of “political vendetta” as “fashionable and attractive” for the accused in their attempt to make the case look like a result of “political rivalry”, which the bureau’s SP S. S. Grewal, in an affidavit, strongly refuted.

Top

 

Make bungalow-squatting non-bailable, SC to Centre
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 11
The Supreme Court today suggested to the centre to make amendment in Section 441 of the IPC to make it more stringent to deal with the problem of powerful politicians and bureaucrats squatting on government houses even after they become disentitled to occupy those under rules.

A Bench of Justices B.N. Agrawal and P.P. Naolakar, dealing with eviction of hundreds of government houses in the national capital and state capitals from illegal possession of politicians, political parties and government officials, made the suggestion when it found the existing law lacking teeth.

Section 441 deals with criminal trespass and illegal possession of properties of others, including the government, but makes it only a bailable offence, while the court was of the view that it should be made non-bailable offence to have a deterrent effect on the offenders.

So far only Uttar Pradesh and Orissa had made amendments in the trespass law to make it a non-bailable offence, the court was informed.

The Bench, whose order resulted in the eviction of hundreds of government properties across the country asked the centre to respond to its suggestion by next date of hearing, fixed for October 18.

Under the prevalent laws, the authorities were required to issue notice to the offender, who normally takes long time to submit his reply and the next course available is initiation of civil proceedings for eviction which takes abnormally long time to settle and till then the illegal occupant of the property continues to enjoy it.

Top

 

SC urged to lay guidelines to end quota conflict
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 11
In a passionate appeal by top lawyers of the country, a constitution Bench of the Supreme Court hearing arguments on the OBC quota was today urged to settle the reservation controversy once and for all by laying down guidelines for the legislative and executive going by the spirit of Preamble of the Constitution and not allow it to turn into a class conflict.

“The case is momentous for the future of the country. The legislative and the executive need guidelines from this court in the face of thousands of years of casteism to bring social integration of the country… we invite this Bench to promote the spirit of common brotherhood as enshrined in the Preamble,” senior advocate P P Rao, who led the top jurists to make a passionate appeal to the apex court, said.

He said casteism on the issue of reservation was now turning into a “class conflict” which did not augur well for democracy and was fraught with the danger of national disintegration.

Though arguing on behalf of anti-reservation organisations like Youth for Equality and Citizens for Equality, which have challenged the provision of 27 per cent OBC reservation in institutions of higher learning, Rao said the people oppressed for centuries on the basis of caste certainly needed affirmative action to bring them on par with forward sections, but in doing so the issue of national integration has to be kept in mind.

“The route to be followed for affirmative action should be without disturbing national and social unity and rather steps be taken to strengthen it,” Rao said, pointing out that the Indira Sawhany (Mandal Commission) case had not fully addressed all aspects relating to the reservation policy and left many gaps.

Stating that the Mandal judgement was not the last judicial word of the apex court on the reservation issue, he said “the gaps left by the verdict need to be filled by the present constitution Bench.”

The gaps he referred to included whether the caste should be the last determining factor for implementing the reservation or it should be based on economic criteria and what was the level of affirmative action as laid down in clauses (4), (5) of Article 15 of the Constitution and (2) of Article 16 and how it should meet the requirement of Artilce 29 (2), which prohibits discrimination of citizens, inter alia on the ground of religion, race and caste.

Top

 

Priyanka approaches SC on row with ex-secretary

New Delhi, September 11
Apprehending that her former private secretary P. Jaju might appeal against her acquittal in the criminal intimidation case, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has urged the Supreme Court not to pass any orders without hearing her.

The actress made the plea in a caveat application filed through counsel P Narasimhan, but kept it under wraps for inexplicable reasons.

Though no official information was coming forth from the actress’ side, it was stated that the actress had filed the caveat against the special leave petition (SLP) sought to be filed by Jaju against her acquittal by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

An Indore Bench of the High Court had recently acquitted the actress of the criminal intimidation charges levelled against her by Jaju, who alleged that Priyanka and her father Ashok Chopra, got him threatened with dire consequences through underworld don Chhota Shakeel over a financial dispute.

The dispute related to a payment of Rs 1.37 crore which Jaju claimed the actress owed to him; a figure disputed by Priyanka.

Following her acquittal by the high court, Jaju decided to file an SLP in the apex court, prompting the actress to file a caveat.

Speaking to PTI, Narasimhan admitted that the caveat has been filed but expressed inability to give any details on the matter. — PTI

Top

 

Genesis of Act providing 27 pc quota questioned in SC

New Delhi, September 11
The anti-quota petitioners today questioned the validity of a provision in the Constitution which formed the genesis for enacting the law providing 27 per cent quota for OBCs in central educational institutions.

Advancing the arguments for the Resident Doctors Association, senior advocate K.K. Venugopal said Article 15 (5) which constituted the basis for the controversial law was violative of the “basic structure” of the Constitution.

“The Act which is made pursuant to Article 15(5) and if it is declared unconstitutional or void the Act will also fall and will have no relevance,” he said before a five-Judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

The Bench, also comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, C.K. Thakker, R.V. Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari is examining the Constitutional validity of the Central Educational Institution (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, providing 27 per cent quota to OBCs in central educational institutions.

Venugopal said the law on quota excluding the minority established educational institution passed as a result of Constitution’s 93rd Amendment through introduction of clause 5 of Article 15 which destroys the secular fabric.

“The Constitution (93rd Amendment) Act, 2005 is violative of the basic structure as it breaches the secular character of the Constitution by placing a minority based on religion which has established aided educational institutions on a special footing, by exempting it from bearing the common burden,” the senior advocate said. — PTI

Top

 

SC permits breaking of ‘Blue Lady’
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 11
The Supreme Court today permitted the ship-breaking yard at Alang off the Gujarat coast to dismantle controversial Norwegian ship, ‘Blue Lady’, after accepting the report of a high-powered committee (HPC) set up to oversee the breaking of foreign vessels there on meeting the required 18-point guidelines laid by a high- powered panel.

A Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and S.H. Kapadia, which had been hearing a PIL against dismantling of the Blue Lady at Alang, granted the permission after accepting the guidelines of the committee set up by the Centre.

Top

 

Panel seeks more courts for kids
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
In order to seek speedy justice in cases related to the Children in Conflict with Law (CCL), a member of the newly-constituted National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will meet the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and urge for setting up of more courts for children in the two states.

NCPCR member Sandhya Bajaj, who will be meeting Chief Justice Vijender Jain tomorrow, told The Tribune that the main points of discussion include the pendency of cases before different Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) in the states and strategy, if any, for early disposal of such cases.

“What the NCPCR wants to discuss is whether the high court has any monitoring mechanism regarding the CCL such as periodic reporting systems from the JJBs, specific judge or committee or judges to look into matters relating to juvenile justice. Another important point of discussion will be whether the court receives returns from district and family courts in states regarding the guardianship and cases pending for more than two months,” Bajaj said.

The NCPCR’s prime objective is to discuss the possibility of early setting up of children’s courts as envisaged under the NCPCR Act as Bajaj says that the number of children’s courts is far from adequate in most states of the country.

“Ideally there should be at least one court per three to four districts. But take the case of Haryana, there is one court at Sonepat... there is another one at Chandigarh. Ideally there should be more courts to ensure speedy trial and that children do not go through lengthy procedures,” Bajaj said.

Quoting the case of a children’s camp in Delhi she said a child could get maximum punishment for a period of three years. “ When I visited the camp I was pained to learn that out of 187 children, several had already spend more than three years there,” she added.

Another issue that the NCPCR will pursue is sensitisation the judiciary about child rights jurisprudence by incorporating appropriate modules in the training programme curriculum for judicial officers.

Top

 

Flood-hit Assam reels under spiralling prices
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, September 11
Steep rise in prices of essential items and vegetables has crippled the life in the flood-ravaged Assam where traders are trying to make hay citing flood-time shortage of commodities.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi admitted that there was a rising trend of prices in the state in the recent past. However, he tried to blame it on an all-India trend.

Gogoi said all district administrations and concerned departments had been instructed to keep a tab on the price line and prevent unscrupulous traders from creating artificial crisis of commodities.

He admitted that in certain districts even the administration had failed to procure flood-relief materials at government approved rates from the open market as traders demanded higher prices citing flood-time crisis.

Three waves of floods have so par devastated the state since April this year taking a heavy toll on state’s own production of rice, pulses and vegetables. It has triggered steep rise in prices of almost all commodities in the state.

According to data collected from market sources during April and September this year, price of ordinary variety of rice increased from Rs 13 to Rs 15 per kg while in case of the fine variety it increased from Rs 17 to Rs 20.

In the same period prices of pulses registered over 40 per cent hike in retail market. A kg of onion now costs Rs 28 in retail market compared to April rate of Rs 10 per kg. Price of potato has touched Rs 14 per kg from Rs 7 per kg in April. There has been average Rs 9 per litre hike in prices of mustard oil.

The vegetable market is on the fire with traders asking for Rs 35 for a kg of eggplant, Rs 25 for a kg of cabbage, Rs 60 for a kg of French beans, Rs 40 for a kg of tomato. There has been over 50 per cent increase in prices of almost all varieties of vegetables in the retail market making the life of common man extremely difficult in the state.

Top

 

Nitish looks east to revive Bihar
Tribune News Service

Patna, September 11
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar now seems to be in the mood to emulate the “look east” policy of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for the much desired economic revival of backward Bihar.

While Japan tops the look east policy of the Nitish government, the possibilities of cooperation with China, Indonesia and Thailand are equally explored.

This was evident from the decision taken by Nitish to send state tourism minister Nand Kishore Yadav and secretary, tourism department, Anjani Kumar Singh to take part in a three-day conference in Tokyo on Indian tourism beginning tomorrow.

And much to the surprise of those who otherwise despised Bihar for its alleged unprofessional approach, both Yadav and Anjani Singh were carrying with them 100 copies of a book on Buddhist circuit in Japanese with photographs of Lord Buddha, Vaishali and Vishwa Santi stupa.

A 15-minute documentary on Buddha Mahotsav in Japanese language depicting the annual Buddhist festivals at Bodh Gaya would also be shown at the conference.

Sources in the tourism department disclosed that the promotion of the international-repute Buddhist circuit of Bihar would be the prime focus of the Bihar government at the conference organised by the ministry of tourism, FICCI and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and tour.

It was learnt that as advised by none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the union tourism minister Ambika Soni had alerady shown personal interest to promote the Buddhist circuit of Bihar in the world tourist map.

It may be noted that in the recent past the Prime Minister had invited Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the only Chief Minister of the country to take part at the dinner hosted in Delhi in honour of the visiting Japanese Prime Minister. At the meeting, Nitish discussed the possible cooperation from Japan in setting-up the proposed IIT in Bihar, besides Japan’s involvement in the proposed Nalanda International university.

Top

 

N-deal: Bengal CPM against support withdrawal
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, September 11
When a section in the politburo and some other Left leaders were firm on the withdrawal of support from the UPA on the nuclear deal issue, the CPI (M) in West Bengal kept opposing their stand.

The veteran leader Jyoti Basu, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Biman Bose, expressed this opinion time and again.

A senior party leader, Subhas Chakraborty, who is closed to Jyoti Basu, said, “It will be a foolish step to withdraw the support at this stage,” adding that, “those leaders who do not face election and do not have any accountability to the people are capable of talking of the withdrawal of support.” Obviously, he was hinting at Prakash Karat and others.

However, Basu was still hopeful that the UPA government would survive the full five-year term and the Lok Sabha poll would be held as scheduled after the end of the term of Manmohan Singh government.

He hoped that the question of the withdrawal support would be finally decided after the forthcoming three-day politburo and the central committee meeting.

It is learnt that the forthcoming politburo meeting will be held in the city to facilitate the elderly and ailing Basu to take part in the deliberation on the crucial decision of the withdrawal of support from the UPA.

During their recent visit to Kolkata, both Karat and another politburo member Sitaram Yechuri met Basu at his Salt Lake residence and sought his advice in resolving the present crisis over the nuclear deal and the question of their withdrawal of support from the government.

At that time Basu had advised both the leaders to keep a continuous pressure on the government against the nuclear deal both in the Parliament and outside but not to withdraw the support immediately. And the party had been moving in that direction. But in the past few days, the politburo and other left parties had suddenly changed their line of action which was worrying Basu.

Top

 

Strong govt reaction to observation on Gita

New Delhi, September 11
The Allahabad High Court's observation that Bhagvad Gita should be made the national 'dharma shastra' of the country evoked strong reaction from the government which said scriptures of all religions should be respected by all.

Legal experts and philanthropists also came out against the observation of Justice S.N Srivastava in an August 30 judgement that Gita should be made the national 'dharma shastra'. Law Minister H.R Bhardwaj said, “For Muslims, it is the Quran and the Christians have the Bible. Every religion has its own dharma shastra, so how can we say it (Gita) is for the entire nation.”

“We have to respect the scriptures of other religions. Therefore, the observation needs to be ignored. It does not apply to everybody,” he added.

“No judge can think like this, there should be no freedom of religion or conscience,” Bhardwaj said.

In Lucknow, member of Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Khalid Rashid said, “We and our religious leaders are also shocked at this judgment.”

Noted media personality Sayeed Naqvi said, “Bhagvad Gita is a part of our culture and they are trying to make it a religious text.” Former Chief Justice of India V.N Khare said, “It is a personal view which you (the judge) cannot impose in a judgement and what he says is not constitutional.” — PTI

Top

 

Govt finalises contract for Indian workers abroad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The government has finalised a model work contract that will safeguard the interests of overseas Indian workers and, more importantly, be binding on the Indian workers and their employers.

This model work contract will have to be signed by every Indian overseas worker and his foreign employer. The model contract will specify the basic monthly salary, hours of work, overtime pay, salary payment by cheque, termination of contract including clause on termination by employee and employer respectively, and free transportation and medical check-up for the worker.

Besides, from now on, any woman going to the Gulf countries to work will need to produce a job contract and an assurance from the employer of payment of minimum wages. A 24-hour telephone helpline will also be established in the Indian missions in Gulf countries.

The model contract will have to be attested by the Indian missions in the respective countries, overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi today said. The contract will be applied with necessary country-specific modifications.

More inputs came for improving the lot of overseas Indian workers at the second annual Conference of Heads of Indian Missions of six Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Malaysia, Jordan, Libya and Yemen that concluded here today and where important issues related to the welfare and protection of overseas Indian workers and housemaids were discussed.

The minister said the heads of the mission were told to evolve a method so that the overseas Indian workers and household service workers could easily access the Indian embassies for help.

Top

 

Maoists own up bid on Reddy’s life
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, September 11
Four days after the assassination bid on former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Janardhan Reddy, the Maoists today owned up responsibility for the attack and vowed to target him again in future.

“Our special action team had carried out the landmine blast. Unfortunately, the target has escaped and the occupants of another car were killed,” a spokesman for the CPI (Maoist) Janardhan said in a statement here.

Accusing Reddy of “unleashing repression and ordering the killing of over 400 revolutionaries” when he was the Chief Minister in the early 1990s, the Maoist outfit said “During his fascist regime, the people were denied of their basic rights and a reign of terror prevailed.”

It, however, expressed regret for the death of three persons in the September 7 attack when their vehicle, which was part of the convoy, took the brunt of the blast and conveyed condolences to their families. The Maoists held Reddy responsible for imposing a ban on the revolutionary organisation and the elimination of key Naxalite leaders, including former state committee secretary Puli Anjanna.

Reddy, now an MP representing Visakhapatnam constituency, and his wife N. Rajyalakshmi, a state minister, had escaped unhurt when Naxalites triggered a powerful landmine at a culvert near Chitvedu village in Nellore district.

The extremists, who used a remote device, missed the target by a few seconds as Mercedes Benz, in which the Reddys were travelling, had just crossed the culvert when the explosion took place.

A vehicle carrying Congress activists took the full impact of the blast and was blown to smithereens. Two Congress workers and the driver of the vehicle died on the spot.

The attack took place when Reddy was proceeding to the temple town of

Tirupati to receive an honorary degree from Sri Venkateswara University.

He has been on the Maoist hit list ever since his government had imposed a ban on the Naxalite outfit for the first time in May 1992. Reddy, who had served as Chief Minister during 1990-92, is known for taking a tough stand on extremists.

“He could escape because he changed the vehicle in the last minute. Our action team targeted the car as per the original plan. We assure people that we will punish him at any cost,” the statement said.

It also held out a warning to the government that the Chief Minister and the ruling Congress leaders would also be targeted if they went ahead with the suppression of the revolutionary movement.

Top

 

TN, Kerala row over rly division settled
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the creation of a Salem division was settled in an amicable manner today after railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav announced strengthening of the Palakkad division by adding 79 km of stretch to it from the Madurai division. Yadav, who presided over a meeting of MPs from Tamil Nadu and Kerala at the Rail Bhavan here today, announced that the section between Palghat to Polachi (58 route km ) from the Madurai division will be given to the Palghat division. He said the section between Polachi to Kinattuttukkadavu (21 route km ) from the Madurai division will also be given to the Palghat division.

The minister told mediapersons that the size of both the Salem division and Palakkad division would be more or less the same. He said the inauguration of the Salem division would be done following a gazette notification and completion of other formalities. Its creation would not cause any officer from the Palakkad division a transfer right away.

He said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi would inaugurate the Salem division at a suitable date after September 14. A resolution ending the impasse was signed by the MPs.

Top

 

Bofors re-enters Indian market

New Delhi, September 11
After almost two decades, Swedish armaments major Bofors has re-entered the Indian market in its new avatar, BAe Systems SWS Defence, by signing an agreement with the Ordnance Factories Board to upgrade air defence guns.

This will be the second upgrade of the 40mm L-70 guns inducted by the Army in the early 1960s. The guns are currently produced by ordnance factories under licence from the Swedish company.

Over 600 such guns are currently in the Army’s inventory. Though India’s armed forces are increasingly opting for missile-based air defence systems, the Army wants to retain gun-based systems too.

Besides upgrading the air defence guns, BAe Systems, the world’s third largest defence company, is aggressively looking for manufacturing partners in India to make light, medium and heavy-calibre howitzers, naval guns, armoured combat vehicles and missile launchers.

According to a senior BAe executive, the company is in talks with major private Indian players in the defence sector, like Larsen and Toubro, Tata Power and others, as it scouts for technology transfer partners. — PTI

Top

 

India denies SLBM test
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
India today denied that it had test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and that it was carrying out technological development tests to validate potential underwater launch capabilities.

Technology elements for potential underwater launch capabilities were in progress, a defence ministry spokesman said here today clarifying that no test firing had been undertaken. The trials were being undertaken in the Bay of Bengal, a brief statement from the ministry said.

Earlier reports had said that India had carried out a test firing of a SLBM with a range of 1,500 km. No SLBM of the stated range had been launched, the spokesman said.

The trials being undertaken by the DRDO assume significance in the wake of a recent statement by defence minister A.K. Antony that India has produced a submarine-launched version of the Brahmos cruise missile.

The submarine-launched missile was ready and awaiting a necessary platform for trial, Antony had told Parliament. If and when the DRDO does carry out the successful launch of such a missile, India will join a select band of countries having such a capability that is a key element in nuclear deterrence.

Top

 

Mass stripping to find rapist killer

Jaipur, September 11
Devising its own investigation into the rape and murder of a village woman, a Rajasthan panchayat asked over 1,500 men to strip and examined their bodies for injuries - a task that began early in the morning and ended late evening.

Life in Boraj village, 140 km from here in Ajmer district, came to a virtual standstill on Monday as the panchayat took up its own probe into the murder of 35-year-old Geeta Rawat.

Her disfigured body was found in a nearby hill area on Saturday evening and the police suspect she was raped before being killed.

An examination of the crime scene revealed a struggle before the crime took place, and officials say that the killer may have been known to the victim.

Village elders then took the matter in their own hands and asked all the men to strip one by one, scrutinising each person for any extenuating marks. Panchayat members were also subjected to the same treatment.

“All the men between 10 and 60 years have been examined. We have not yet been able to locate the culprit, but if we find anything we will not allow him to eat or drink anything according to our tradition,” village headman Tara Rawat told IANS.

The police was happy too.

“The local panchayat was only trying to help the police in the probe,” a police official said. — IANS

Top

 

Fake encounter: 16 jailed after 15 years

Etawah, September 11
A local court today convicted 16 policemen in a 15-year-old fake encounter case and awarded life terms.

According to prosecution, on January 28, 1992, a physically challenged Rajnarayan Pandit was gunned down in a fake encounter near river Chambal in Chakar Nagar area.

The police had claimed that Pandit was a criminal and he had jumped to his death in the river, rather than being gunned down.

Later, a CB-CID probe was ordered into the case.

On September 10, 1993, the CB-CID filed chargesheets against 16 policemen, including the then Chakar Nagar station-in-charge Girivir Giri.

On the basis of substantial evidence and testimony, Special Sessions Judge R.P Sharma pronounced life terms to Girivar Giri, the then sub-inspectors J.N Singh, Shaligram Yadav, constables Santosh, Ram Prakash, Brajpal Singh, Surya Dev, Jitendra Prasad Yadav, Ram Khilari, Brijesh Kumar, Brajmohan, Yatendra Bihari Lal, Jai Prakash, Deewan Singh, Ashok Kumar and Balveer Singh.

Besides, the accused were slapped with Rs 5,000 penalty each. — UNI

Top

 

Eyes not gouged out: Police
Tribune News Service

Patna, September 11
Nawada district superintendent of police Vinod Kumar today denied the report filed by an agency yesterday regarding the mob fury against three motorcycle-snatchers in which the snatchers’ eyes were reportedly gouged out.

Talking to reporters, Kumar said it was wrongly reported that the eyes of the three motorcycle-snatchers were pierced with a pointed iron tool. The SP said following the incident of motorcycle snatching, three youths were brutally beaten up by villagers. "The youths were severely beaten up by people after they were caught and the eye of one of them got damaged",Kumar said.

The three criminals were admitted to a government-run hospital in Nawada. A case has already been registered against villagers for taking the law into their own hands.

Kumar said three youths in the age group of 18-20 tried to snatch a motorcycle from a man at gun-point. An angry mob subsequently caught up with the culprits and after punching and kicking the youths on their faces, handed them to a police team that reached the village later. Kumar said he had already ordered a probe into the incident.

Top

 

X-ray shows no knife in abdomen of Ghosh

Kolkata, September 11
An x-ray conducted on Amarendra Nath Ghosh, who is accused of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 27 crore, did not find the eight-centimetre knife he claimed to have swallowed in Germany and due to which he could not be extradited from that country for over four years.

Ghosh, who had claimed that he swallowed the knife on July 31, 2003, to avoid being extradited to India to face the charges, underwent an x-ray test at the M.R. Bangur Hospital here and the jail doctor has reported that there was no foreign object in the abdomen of the accused.

The court, however, today ordered another x-ray on Ghosh at a reputed radiological institute after he pleaded for it.

Alipore Special Court Judge Indrajit Chatterjee directed the CBI to get Ghosh x-rayed from a reputed radiological centre and asked it to submit the x-ray plate and report on September 13 when the accused would be produced again.

Chatterjee refused to entertain today the bail plea of Ghosh and sent him to CBI custody till September 13.

The judge said the bail plea of Ghosh would be considered on that date. — PTI

Top

 

Punjab farmers neck-deep in debt: Study

New Delhi, September 11
Farmers in Punjab, the most agriculturally advanced state in the country, are neck-deep in debt to the tune of around Rs 24,000 crore, a report prepared by the state government has said.

“The total indebtedness is around Rs 24,000 crore, which is more than 50 per cent of the net state domestic product (NSDP) from agriculture and livestock,” said the State of Environment Report 2007 submitted to the Union Environment Ministry.

The debt is shared equally by institutional and non-institutional credit.

The report said farmers were increasingly becoming dependent on commission agents.

“As proved by results of various studies and surveys, besides institutional sources of credit, non-institutional sources, mainly commission agents also meet around 50 per cent credit needs of the farmers in the state,” the report said.

The success of Green Revolution and consequent rise of per capita income of farmers has affected the socio-economic fabric of the state, it said giving vivid picture of the agricultural economy of the state.

“It has led to high expenditure lifestyles, dependence on external farm labour and little esteem for farming as a profession, especially among the young,” the report said while attempting to explore the reasons for the financial downfall of the majority of Punjab farmers. — PTI

Top

 

BJP flays Vaghela for comments on farmers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The BJP today condemned the “inhuman attitude” of union textile minister Shankarsinh Vaghela and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh for attributing “laziness” as the reason for farmers’ suicides.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said it was ironic that the ministers were blind to the laziness of the official system, which failed to ensure fair and remunerative returns for the agricultural produce.

Thousand of farmers had taken killed themselves in the Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and the two leaders should make an introspection of the laziness of the two governments, Javadekar said. The farmers today are getting lower returns then what they got in 1997, the spokesman alleged.

In reply to a question on Ram Sethu, Javadekar said the opposition to breaching of the bridge for the Sethu Samudram project was not because of religious beliefs but it veered around saving of a heritage site revered by not just the Hindus but also Christians and Muslims.

Breaking the bridge would have several adverse implications, including damage to Thorium reserves under the sea, which are capable of being used for power generation and also protection of the eastern and western coasts from Tsunami.

Top

 

Sena, BJP say row over

New Delhi, September 11
Amid the talk of mid-term elections, estranged partners BJP and Shiv Sena today smoked the peace pipe, singing the tune of unity over Hindutva, but remained tight-lipped about any new formula for sharing seats.

“Are you a reporter or a BJP leader?” Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray asked a journalist who made a searching query about any new arrangement for seat-sharing in the light of the ally’s claims that it deserved a better deal in Maharashtra. Seat-sharing has been a bone of contention between the two parties. — PTI

Top

 

Deshmukh must apologise to farmers: BJP
Shiv Kumar
TNS

Mumbai, September 11
The Congress in Maharashtra draw more flak from the BJP and the Shiv Sena over the remarks made by union textiles minister Shankersinh Vaghela and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh at a farmers’ rally last weekend.

While Vaghela mocked cotton farmers in the suicide belt of Vidarbha for being lazy, Deshmukh ridiculed them for trying to cheat buyers by adding stones and water to the harvested crop in order to increase its weight.

Top

 

Midday editor, publisher guilty of contempt: HC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The Delhi High court today held the editor, publisher, resident editor and cartoonist of a daily tabloid, The Midday, guilty of contempt of court, for writing and publishing articles against the former Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal.

The Supreme Court judgements have laid down a ‘lakshman rekha’, which the publication has crossed, a division bench comprising Justice R.S. Sodhi and Justice B.N. Chatruvedi said.

The bench directed M.K. Tayal (editor), S.K. Akhtar (publisher), Vitusha Oberoi (resident editor) and Irfan (cartoonist) of The Midday to be present before it on September 21.

Top

 

SP to field ex-PM’s son from Ballia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The Samajwadi Party (SP) has decided to field late former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar’s younger son Neeraj from the Ballia constituency.

The constituency had fallen vacant following the death of Chandra Shekhar in the first half of July after prolonged illness. It appears that the elder brother of Neeraj, Pankaj was also keen to inherit their father’s political legacy.

SP leaders, including party general secretary Amar Singh, made the announcement here today that Neeraj Shekhar would contest the election from Ballia.

Top

 

Students choose graveyard for studies
Tribune News Service

Patna, September 11
Students at Sherghati in Gaya have evolved a unique method to score high marks in examinations.

This was beyond the established mode of taking private tuitions from good teachers. They have reportedly chosen a graveyard to study, believing that the spirits there will help them score good marks in the examinations.

According to sources,students argue that the peaceful environment of the graveyard motivates them to visit often besides improving their concentration levels. For instance,students feel that studying near the graveyard of Saint Kamar Ali Sultan has helped improve their memory and retention power.

It is learnt that when there are holidays in school and college,students come and study in the graveyard. They feel there is a divine spirit in the graveyard that helps them study and score marks in the examinations.

Top

 

Gujjar mahapanchayat tomorrow

Jaipur, September 11
Nearly five lakh Gujjars from across the country will participate in a mass congregation in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district on September 13 to press for their demand for ST status and also decide on the extension to the Justice Chopra Committee, a top leader of the community said today.

“The Gujjars will reply to the state government’s request for extension of the Chopra Committee by three months at the mahapanchayat,” main signatory to the June 4 accord with the state government Kirori Singh Bhainsala said.

“I alone cannot decide on it. People at the mahasabha would have to be taken into confidence before making any suggestions to the government," he said.

However, co-convener of the National Gujjar Mahasabha Atar Singh Bhadana said the meeting would not allow any extension to the committee.

The mahasabha has decided to get tough on the Vasundhara Raje government’s failure to solve the Gujjar matter even after three months of the agitation and its dilly-dallying tactics in bringing out the recommendations of the Chopra panel, he said. — PTI

Top

 

2 new trains linking Delhi to Rewari, Rohtak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The railway ministry has sanctioned two trains linking Rewari and Rohtak with the national capital. The trains, expected to be introduced soon, would benefit a large number of passengers.

Sources in the northern railway (NR) confirmed here today that the decision was taken during a meeting on Monday between the NR general manager Sriprakash and member of parliament from Rohtak Deepender Singh Hooda.

While Rohtak will be linked with New Delhi by an express train, Rewari will be linked with the Delhi junction by another train.

The foundation work of electrification of Rohtak-Delhi railway line and setting up of Rohtak-Jhajjar-Rewari railway line would also be laid by mid October.

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 |