SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

1 killed, 40 hurt in food-supply agitations
Mamata calls for statewide stir
Kolkata, October 3
In five incidents at least of people-police clashes today over the food-supply agitations in several districts, the police resorted to firing, killing one person on the spot and injuring over 40 others.

CPM not to harp on withdrawal of support threat
Kolkata, October 3
The Left parties will be meeting the UPA leadership in New Delhi on October 5 to hear from it about its stand on the nuclear deal. But after the CPM's three-day central committee meeting, which ended in Kolkata on Monday, it was made clear that the party would no more harp on the withdrawal of support threat.

DMK’s ally wants SC judge off Ram Sethu cases
Chennai, October 3
A close ally of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today trained its guns on a Supreme Court judge and appealed to the Chief Justice of India not to allow him to hear cases related to the Sethusamudram project or the recently held bandh in the state.
Video: Ram Setu becomes a tourist attraction. (56k)



EARLIER STORIES


The police arrests supporters of Chatra Parishad who were demanding a probe into the Rezwanur Rehman murder case before Writers Buildings in Kolkata
The police arrests supporters of Chatra Parishad who were demanding a probe into the Rezwanur Rehman murder case before Writers Buildings in Kolkata on Wednesday.  — PTI

People try to extinguish the fire in Tulsi Express near Allahabad junction
People try to extinguish the fire in Tulsi Express near Allahabad junction on Wednesday. — PTI

SC asks HP for complete data on B.Ed admissions
New Delhi, October 3
To ensure early settlement of a dispute relating to B.Ed admissions in Himachal Pradesh, which has not made any provision for 15 per cent central quota for students from outside the state in the unaided private colleges, the Supreme Court today sought the complete data from the state government on the ongoing admission process by Thursday to decide the issue.

SC’s fiat to Centre on foreigners
New Delhi, October 3
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to explain under what statute certain Pakistanis, whose deportation has been recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir government, continue to languish in prisons.

Help bring a positive change, PM urges media
New Delhi, October 3
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today exhorted the media and civil society agents to highlight leakages and administrative inadequacy in implementing programmes like the ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, which has now been extended to all rural districts of the country.
In video (56k)

BJP chief to meet Deve Gowda
New Delhi, October 3
Determined to maintain cool, in the face of the JD (S)’s aggressive posture, the BJP today expressed hope of a smooth power transfer in Karnataka and looked forward to a meeting between its chief, Rajnath Singh, and H D Deve Gowda in New Delhi on Friday.

BJP ministers boycott offices
Constitutional crisis: Cong
Bangalore, October 3
The Twenty20 coalition saga in Karnataka today saw BJP ministers refusing to play ball by boycotting their offices, even as state Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy continued to bat gamely by fulfilling his public responsibilities in the face of a Congress move to petition the Governor to intervene in the wake of a constitutional crisis.

There will be conditions for power transfer: Gowda
Bangalore, October 3
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D.Deve Gowda today indicated that his party might transfer power to the BJP, but it would come with strings attached. “There are conditions for power transfer,” he said here on the eve of going to Delhi to negotiate on power transfer with the BJP as well as preside over a meeting of the JD(S) national executive, which will meet in the Capital on Oct 5.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani offers juice to farmers of Andhra Pradesh during their hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi
Senior BJP leader L K Advani offers juice to farmers of Andhra Pradesh during their hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. The farmers were on hunger strike to highlight the issue of farmers' suicide in Andhra Pradesh. — Tribune photo by Manas Ranjan Bhui

Speculation over Cong pact with JD (S)
New Delhi, October 3
While the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP alliance in Karnataka appears to be on the verge of collapse, the Congress has decided to adopt a “wait and watch” policy although there is speculation that it could have a fresh alliance with the JD (S) to ward off an early poll.

JD(U) rebel joins hands with NCP
Patna, October 3
In a new political twist a month before the ruling NDA under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar completes its two-year term in office on November 24, the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) joined hands with the JD(U) rebel- leader Upendra Kushwaha.

Mulayam threatens team probing police recruitment
Lucknow, October 3
SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav today threatened to send members of the team investigating the police recruitment to jail if his party returned to power. Addressing a public meeting at Vavrala in the Gunnaur Vidhan Sabha area, Yadav said the Bahujan Samaj Party was merely busy settling political scores by terminating the services of so many men and women from ordinary backgrounds.

Narco-analysis of officers, politicians recommended
Sexual exploitation of women candidates
Lucknow, October 3
SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav today threatened to send members of the team investigating the police recruitment to jail if his party returned to power. Addressing a public meeting at Vavrala, Yadav said the Bahujan Samaj Party was merely busy settling political scores by terminating the services of so many men and women from ordinary backgrounds.

Rajnath asks Sonia to drop Gandhi surname
New Delhi, October 3
In a vehement attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the BJP today asked her to drop her surname if she did not believe in the existence of Lord Ram as Mahatma Gandhi did.

Sonia has said nothing wrong: Karat
Bhopal, October 3
The CPM on Wednesday said efforts were on to reach a consensus with the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal in the next two rounds of talks and there was nothing wrong in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's reference to Left concerns over the deal in her speech in New York.

Centre defends constitutional provision
27 pc quota for OBCs in Central institutions
New Delhi, October 3
The Centre today defended before the Supreme Court the validity of the provision in the Constitution enabling it to make a law providing 27 per cent quota for OBCs in the Central educational institutions.

Intelligence vital tool in fighting terror: Shivraj Patil
New Delhi, October 3
Laying stress on development and strengthening of intelligence agencies, home minister Shivraj Patil today said that intelligence can be the most useful instrument in containing crime, violence and terrorism.

Memorial to Arundhati proposed
Dehra Dun, October 3
The Uttarakhand forest department proposes to raise a memorial to Arundhati, the 80-year-old female elephant of Rajaji National Park who breathed her last last evening. Her body was buried this evening after postmortem by a panel of veterinarians.

Nuclear energy cooperation with Russia on cards
New Delhi, October 3
India has a busy diplomatic calendar for the rest of the year, which will see a sharp focus on Russia - a country with which civilian nuclear energy cooperation, on the lines of the Indo-US nuke deal, is on the anvil.

Stir for ST Status
Over 25,000 Gujjars jailed in Rajasthan
Jaipur, October 3
Over 25,000 Gujjars, who were among the nearly 65,000 members of the community who courted arrest over their demand of Scheduled Tribe quota status yesterday, are lodged in different jails of Rajasthan.

ENT hospital terms claim as hoax
New Delhi, October 3
A south Delhi-based ENT hospital today termed the claim of a Faridabad teenaged boy about leaves dropping from his ears as ‘hoax’.

ENT consultant Dr Arvind Kacker examines Mandeep Singhears at his hospital in Jasoola, in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

ENT consultant Dr Arvind Kacker examines Mandeep Singhears at his hospital in Jasoola, in New Delhi

‘Change norms on blending ethanol
New Delhi, October 3
Punjab has urged the Centre to change the norms concerning blending of ethanol with petrol to boost production of sugarcane and encourage crop diversification in the state.

Goa film fest to focus on serious aspects of cinema
Mumbai, October 3
After years of flirting with Bollywood and C-grade stars from the West, the Goa film festival is all set to become business-like. The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), which has been tasked with organising the film festival, has decided to hold workshops and business meets apart from networking opportunities for film-makers.

Sign up to see your name on moon
Hyderabad, October 3
You can now promise yourself the moon! You only have to sign up for a unique international space initiative to display your name on the moon. The International Lunar Observatory Mission (ILOM), an independent project to send an observatory to moon, has invited endorsements from across the globe.

Bus driver hits woman with iron rod in Delhi
New Delhi, October 3
In yet another case of road rage in the capital, a mini-bus driver allegedly hit a woman with an iron rod in full public view following an altercation over rash driving in the capital.

Philippines President arrives today
New Delhi, October 3
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal arrives here tomorrow on a three-day state Visit. She will be accompanied by seven Cabinet ministers including the ministers of health, agriculture, trade and industry, tourism and energy.

Lt-Gen Naidu is Army Vice-Chief
New Delhi, October 3
Lieut-Gen Milan Lalitkumar Naidu, till recently Army commander of the Army's Shimla-based Training Command, has taken over as the next Vice-Chief of the Army. He replaces Gen Deepak Kapoor, who has taken over as the new Chief of Army Staff.

Plane’s tyres burst at Mumbai airport
Mumbai, October 3
The tyres of an Air India aircraft, flying between Kozhikode and Mumbai, burst as the flight was landing at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport this morning. The mishap occurred while the aircraft touched down on the runway while landing.

Videos
No onion exports for next 15 days.
(56k)
Designer pearls.
(56k)
Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiya is in legal trouble.
(56k)
Youth take over Bollywood.
(56k)





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1 killed, 40 hurt in food-supply agitations
Mamata calls for statewide stir
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, October 3
In five incidents at least of people-police clashes today over the food-supply agitations in several districts, the police resorted to firing, killing one person on the spot and injuring over 40 others.

The person killed was Ranjit Mondol, a Trinamool Congress supporter reportedly. He was killed while demonstrating in front of a ration shop near Bankura town, about 60 km from here, along with others, demanding proper distribution of foodstuff through the ration shops.

At the same time, the police fired several rounds for dispersing two groups of people, stated to be the supporters of the CPM and the Trinamool Congress, at the nearby Burdwan town as they were involved in fighting. In the clashes, bombs, brickbats and firearms were freely used by both groups.

Reports of violence were also reaching the state government from several other districts, including Birbhum, Midnapore, Hooghly, Howrah and North 24-parganas, where a large number of ration dealers had already returned their licences to the food department in the wake of attacks on them, allegedly by the Congress and Trinamool Congress supporters.

In these districts also, the police fired in two cases to disperse the mobs involved in the looting of rice and other items from the ration shops.

On receiving the reports of several violent incidents, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee left for Bankura in the evening to organise an agitation against the police firing and killing of Ranjit Mondol.

She demanded a CBI inquiry into the smuggling of foodgrains from the ration shops, allegedly under the patronage of the CPM and the local panchayats, controlled by the Left parties. Yesterday she went to Midnapore after receiving the report of death of one of their supporters, killed in the police firing.

She declared a prolonged state-wide agitation, demanding rigorous punishment to the corrupt ration dealers and the CPM leaders involved in the smuggling of the ration goods from the government godowns and selling them at higher prices in the black markets.

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CPM not to harp on withdrawal of support threat
Shubhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News service

Kolkata, October 3
The Left parties will be meeting the UPA leadership in New Delhi on October 5 to hear from it about its stand on the nuclear deal. But after the CPM's three-day central committee meeting, which ended in Kolkata on Monday, it was made clear that the party would no more harp on the withdrawal of support threat.

Instead, the CPM would want an honourable solution which will be a face-saver for both the Left parties and the UPA. It should also protect national interests.

The CPM leadership hopes such a solution could evolve at the next meeting on October 14.

Party sources said the CPM had adopted the new stand following the advice of the patriarch, Jyoti Basu, who, despite his old age and ill health, attended the party's politburo and the central committee meetings on all four days.

The party general secretary, Prakash Karat, and other hardliners, however, even on the eve of the politburo and the central committee meetings, stuck to the decision of withdrawing support from the UPA, irrespective of the consequences.

Accordingly, several leaders, including M.K.Pande, P.Umanath and Karat himself, were opposed to the country's "yielding to the Bush administration and sacrificing India's sovereignty".

But Basu, state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Biman Basu and Tripura Chief minister Manik Sarker, all politburo members, strongly opposed the decision to withdraw support, which would mean the fall of the Manmohan Singh government and snap polls.

Party sources said the veteran leader pleaded that it would be a disastrous step. Basu advised the present leadership not to indulge in adventurism but be realistic.

He warned the leaders that withdrawal of support step would throw the party in a crisis, even leading to division, which would help the BJP as well as Congress to further their political interests. It would be a historic blunder if they withdrew support from a secular government and allowed the BJP and other communal forces to come to power.

Yielding to the pressure from a majority of the central committee members, Karat and other hardliners backtracked and agreed to wait for an honourable solution.

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DMK’s ally wants SC judge off Ram Sethu cases
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, October 3
A close ally of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today trained its guns on a Supreme Court judge and appealed to the Chief Justice of India not to allow him to hear cases related to the Sethusamudram project or the recently held bandh in the state.

Peeved at observations made by Justice B.N. Agarwal, one of the judges who heard the AIADMK petition on the day of Tamil Nadu bandh called by the DMK on Monday, that why President’s rule should not be imposed on Tamil Nadu as there was a total break down of constitutional machinery, Dravida Kazhagam (DK) one of the ruling DMK ally, appealed to Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan not to allow Justice Agarwal to hear such cases.

The DK is the organisation from which the ruling DMK was born and it does not participate in electoral politics, but it spearheads the Dravidian movement. It is a permanent invitee to the ruling DMK-led alliance.

In a letter to Justice Balakrishnan, which was released to the media today, DK president K. Veeramani wrote: “The observations made by the learned judge amounts to an attempt to interfere in the powers and functioning of the Central government and the President.”

He also appealed to Parliament to initiate impeachment proceedings against Justice Agarwal. He said he would mobilise people for such a move.

He pointed out that Justice Agarwal had said he would recommend the dismissal of the Tamil Nadu government and his observations were opposed to the verdict of the Supreme Court in the S.R. Bommai case and against the Constitution.

Quoting from the Constitution, Veeramani said under Article 356 only the President and Parliament was empowered and the Supreme Court could not compel, recommend or suggest to the President that action should be taken under the Article.

He wrote, “It appears that the learned judge, by his conduct, has exhibited his anxiety and over enthusiasm and thereby made himself vulnerable. In the interest of justice, it would be appropriate that the learned judge does not hear the cases relating to Ram Sethu and the bandh.”

Veeramani along with union shipping minister T.R. Baalu during the fast on Monday had severely criticised the Supreme Court judges.

He had questioned “the enthusiasm of the apex body to hear a case even on a Sunday, whereas lakhs of cases are pending in many courts across India”.

Baalu had thundered, “Why would there be appeals or higher benches if every judge was right? What was the special necessity to hear the case on a Sunday. There is corruption within the judiciary too.

“There is an impeachment procedure even for judges in this regard,” he said.

Veeramani said today Parliament should introduce an amendment to remove contempt of court proceedings as such provisions were not required in a democracy.

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SC asks HP for complete data on B.Ed admissions
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

15 pc all India quota

Judges want to know

How many admissions have been made after the high court’s judgement; how many B.Ed colleges are functioning in the state; how many seats are vacant and what was the last date for admission last year

New Delhi, October 3
To ensure early settlement of a dispute relating to B.Ed admissions in Himachal Pradesh, which has not made any provision for 15 per cent central quota for students from outside the state in the unaided private colleges, the Supreme Court today sought the complete data from the state government on the ongoing admission process by Thursday to decide the issue.

The apex court on August 10 had restrained the Himachal Pradesh government from filling the 15 per cent seats in all private B.Ed colleges till further order.

The matter came in the Supreme Court after the Himachal Pradesh High Court had set aside the states admission policy and directed it to leave 15 per cent seats for all India quota. But the High Court had deferred the implementation of its order till the 2008-9 session.

A Bench of justices P.P. Naolekar and D.K. Jain today directed HP’s additional advocate general J.S. Attri to furnish details on four counts: How many admissions have been made after the high court’s judgement; how many B.Ed colleges are functioning in the state; how many seats are vacant and what was the last date for admission last year.

Attri told The Tribune that since the Himachal government had not challenged the high court order, it virtually meant that in principle the state had accepted the verdict. The only issue that remained to be decided was whether the 15 per cent all India quota could be permitted from this year or would be implemented from next year.

A petition was moved in the apex court by the HP Promotion Society (HPPS) and a student seeking implementation of the high court verdict from this year itself.

The high court had deferred the implementation of its verdict till the next session mainly because the admission process for every academic session was set in motion in November to get the formalities completed by June next year.

But the HPPS had sought admission to outside students against the all India quota from this session on the ground that the counselling for the current academic session had not yet been completed and they could still avail the opportunity and save the loss of a year.

The other issues raised by the petitioners included the non-fixation of fee for private colleges as per the apex court ruling in the Islamic Academy and Inamdar case verdict on admissions to professional colleges all over the country.

They also sought to raise the upper age limit to 26 years and 28 years for male and female students, respectively.

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SC’s fiat to Centre on foreigners

New Delhi, October 3
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to explain under what statute certain Pakistanis, whose deportation has been recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir government, continue to languish in prisons.

A bench of Justices A K Mathur and Markandeya Katju, asked the additional solicitor-general Amarender Saran to explain the government’s position on the issue within four weeks.

Quoting Article 21 of the Constitution, the apex court said the provision not only guarantees life and liberty to a citizen but also foreign nationals. The bench passed the direction while ordering the deportation of three foreign nationals -Mohd Umar (Kotli, PoK), Zamir Ahmed Khan (Gujaranwala, Pakistan) and Abdul Qadeer (Tajikstan), who were allegedly languishing in various jails for the past several years after being detained under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA).

On September 28, the apex court had ordered deportation of four Pakistani nationals, who are languishing in the jails of J&K and Punjab for over a decade without being produced before any court.

A bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and P P Naolekar, while quashing the proceedings against them, directed the Centre to deport them by November 31 and file a compliance affidavit before it.

It asked the J&K government to recommend the deportation of the prisoners by October 31, so as to facilitate the Centre carry out the necessary formalities for deporting them by the fixed deadline. — PTI

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Help bring a positive change, PM urges media
Tribune News Service

Manmohan SinghThe vast majority of people see the world “through your eyes. Their thinking is shaped by the opinions you express through your newspapers. The challenge before you is, therefore, to help take India forward by changing the mindset of our population.

New Delhi, October 3
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today exhorted the media and civil society agents to highlight leakages and administrative inadequacy in implementing programmes like the ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, which has now been extended to all rural districts of the country.

“However, criticism should not promote cynicism or negativism. It should encourage a positive change and give hope to our people. I welcome such criticism and hope our media will continue to play a positive developmental role and strengthen our country and empower the people,” Dr Manmohan Singh observed this here while giving away awards to regional language publications for their outstanding contributions in the field of language journalism.

Acknowledging that in a democracy the media has to play a watchdog role, the Prime Minister stressed, “If these programmes are implemented honestly and effectively, they can certainly change the face of rural India in the next four to five years and thereby empowering the people to become active partners in the processes of development.”

Affirming that in an ancient land like India successful modernisation must be rooted in enduring traditions and socio cultural values, he maintained that “modernisation is not westernisation. It is not a rejection of all the values that define our ancient culture and civilisation. Modernisation should be viewed as a means of dealing with the world as it is changing. It should be a process by which we embrace all that is good and creative in the new ideas.”

Underlining the need to adapt to some of these values and norms to suit the needs of changing time, he said the attitude towards caste, women and manual work must change. “These must change so that our people, particularly our women and the downtrodden sections of society, do feel that they are part of the processes of social change and effective partners in social and economic development.”

In this contest, Dr Manmohan Singh spoke of the onerous responsibility placed on the shoulders of the Indian language media. The vast majority of people see the world “through your eyes. Their thinking is shaped by the opinions you express through your newspapers. The challenge before you is, therefore, to help take India forward by changing the mindset of our population. Modernisation is not just about better infrastructure, not about mere more creative comforts or the way we dress and live. Modernisation in the final analysis is an attitude of the state of the mind of our people.”

He assured the celebrated group of journalists from Indian language publications that the government would be happy to sit together with the editors and journalists from the Indian Language Newspapers Association to redress their genuine difficulties.

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BJP chief to meet Deve Gowda
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Determined to maintain cool, in the face of the JD (S)’s aggressive posture, the BJP today expressed hope of a smooth power transfer in Karnataka and looked forward to a meeting between its chief, Rajnath Singh, and H D Deve Gowda in New Delhi on Friday.

Putting up a brave front a day after the JD(S) bluntly refused to transfer power, the BJP president insisted that the developments in the state could not be styled as a political crisis and asserted that his party still supported the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition.

The BJP had earlier asked Kumaraswamy to step down by yesterday but the Chief Minister refused to heed to the deadline and made it clear that his party was ready for any eventuality.

The BJP chief also rubbished suggestions that the en masse resignation of party ministers was a pressure tactic, arguing that it was just part of the power-sharing pact, arrived at earlier, by the two parties.

The pact was that JD(S) would have chief ministership till October 3 and then the CM would be from the BJP. The resignations were submitted in accordance with that agreement but the support to the government had not been withdrawn, he told newspersons here.

The BJP's Parliamentary Board is scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss the political situation in Karnataka.

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BJP ministers boycott offices
Constitutional crisis: Cong
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, October 3
The Twenty20 coalition saga in Karnataka today saw BJP ministers refusing to play ball by boycotting their offices, even as state Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy continued to bat gamely by fulfilling his public responsibilities in the face of a Congress move to petition the Governor to intervene in the wake of a constitutional crisis.

The BJP ministers today kept on the pressure on the JD (S) despite an appeal by Kumaraswamy that they should wait till October 5 when they submitted their resignations to him last night. Despite the fact that Kumaraswamy has not taken any action on the issue, the BJP ministers boycotted their offices.

Senior central BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Venkaiah Naidu also left for Delhi today even as BJP chief ministerial aspirant B.S. Yediyurappa was scheduled to leave for the Capital tonight.

Yediyurappa made it clear that the BJP would wait for another few days before “taking the next step”. He said he would take all steps to ensure the situation did not lead to a mid-term election in the state. He added he still had faith that Kumaraswamy would hand over the Chief Minister’s post to him.

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda is scheduled to leave for Delhi tomorrow afternoon after a party workers’ meeting. The meeting will take the form of a rally with the JD (S) aiming to put up a show of strength before starting negotiations on power transfer with the BJP in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Congress is considering petitioning Governor Rameshwar Thakur to intervene in the face of the “constitutional crisis” in the state following the en mass resignation by BJP ministers. Congress sources said the petition was expected to be submitted to the Governor in another two days’ time.

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There will be conditions for power transfer: Gowda
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, October 3
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D.Deve Gowda today indicated that his party might transfer power to the BJP, but it would come with strings attached. “There are conditions for power transfer,” he said here on the eve of going to Delhi to negotiate on power transfer with the BJP as well as preside over a meeting of the JD(S) national executive, which will meet in the Capital on October 5.

Gowda, who talked to BJP president Rajnath Singh on the phone in the morning, told newsmen at his residence here that the BJP president had assured him that the party would wait till October 6 before taking any step to precipitate the ongoing coalition crisis in the state.

The former Prime Minister said he would meet the BJP president in the capital tomorrow, adding that it was up to the BJP to come up with a solution. He called his son and Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy to his residence to take stock of the latest political solution. Kumaraswamy also reiterated the stand taken by Gowda, saying he had always maintained that the BJP leaders should hold detailed talks on power transfer and that his party would put forward some conditions for power transfer to the BJP.

According to JD(S) sources, these conditions could include taking action against the Bellary trio of former tourism minister B.Sriramulu, Bellary MP Karunaka Reddy and MLC Janaradhan Reddy. Besides taking revenge against Sirramulu who had made a murder allegation against the Chief Minister and Reddy who had accused the Chief Minister of collecting a bribe of Rs 150 crore from the district, the marginalisation of the Bellary leaders is aimed at cutting off the purse strings of the BJP. The leaders are ardent financiers of the saffron party. Other conditions, the sources said, included retaining the Home and PWD ministeries, which are slated to be transferred to the BJP under the power-sharing agreement between the two parties. The party may also demand a more pliable leader other than BJP chief ministerial aspirant B.S.Yediyurappa.

Gowda also made it clear today that the power sharing agreement between the two parties was not acceptable to the JD(S) in its present form. He also made it clear that the transfer of power was not in the hands of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, who are slated to change positions, but rather between the two parties who need to debate all contentious issues.

The former Prime Minister is also reported to have consulted some constitutional experts following the resignation of all BJP ministers from the state cabinet. He expects the party’s national executive meeting scheduled for October 5 to clear the air.

He also indicated that the JD(S) had not completely closed its doors to an alliance with the Congress by saying that there was no such proposal under consideration presently. Sources said negotiations with the Congress would only be initiated in case talks with the BJP fail.

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Speculation over Cong pact with JD (S)
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
While the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP alliance in Karnataka appears to be on the verge of collapse, the Congress has decided to adopt a “wait and watch” policy although there is speculation that it could have a fresh alliance with the JD (S) to ward off an early poll.

The bickering between the BJP and the JD (S) has intensified over the past few days, as the latter is refusing to transfer power to its coalition partner although the two sides had agreed that the baton would pass to the saffron party after 20 months.Angry with the JD (S), 17 BJP ministers sent in their resignations to Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy yesterday.

Although the Congress has so far kept aloof from this ongoing drama in Karnataka, a section in the state unit is keen that the party should offer outside support to the JD (S) government once its severs its ties with the BJP. The Congress and the JD(S) had formed a coalition government, but the latter had pulled out in a surprise move and joined hands with the BJP.

While AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka Prithviraj Chavan maintained, "We are watching the situation closely,", party spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan kept up the guessing game, stating that “politics is a constantly changing and evolving dynamic”. At the same time, she added that the “at the moment, the Congress does not have a role in Karnataka”.

Congress leaders from Karnataka, however, are of the view that any move for a fresh alliance with the JD (S) would be suicidal as they will end up paying a heavy price for the Kumarswamy government’s anti-incumbency. “We cannot afford to have any truck with the JD (S),” said a senior AICC office-bearer, adding that the best case scenario for the Congress is to go for a fresh election.

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JD(U) rebel joins hands with NCP
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 3
In a new political twist a month before the ruling NDA under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar completes its two-year term in office on November 24, the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) joined hands with the JD(U) rebel- leader Upendra Kushwaha.

Talking to the media here today Khuswaha said the prime goal of the new combination was to expose the ruling NDA before the people. While Khuswaha shook hands with the NCP in presence of the former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, the new experiment by them in Bihar aiming to woo dalit and backward votes was christened as Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad.

Khuswaha said presently he was not averse to joining hands either with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad or Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) led by Ramvilas Paswan with the agenda to keep both the BJP and JD(U) at bay.

Incidentally,the development was close to the proposed “chhetwani”(warning) rally by RJD against the alleged misdeeds of Nitish government to be held in Gandhi Maidan on October 28.

Khuswaha was recently expelled from the JD(U) for his alleged anti-party activities after he charged Nitish Kumar with playing into the hands of upper castes at the cost of dalit and other backward classes.

Khuswaha represents the powerful Kurmi-Kairi OBC vote bank in Bihar,populalry referred to as “Lav-Kush”, that was believed to have played an important role in supporting Nitish Kumar to ground Lalu Prasad in 2005 assembly polls.

Khuswaha was the leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly during the last leg of the RJD rule between 2004-05 after Sushil Modi was elected on a BJP ticket from Bhagalpur Lok Sabha seat in 2004.

Khuswaha was reportedly angry with Nitish after the latter allegedly gave more prominence to leaders like Shivanand Tiwari, who was made national spokesman of the JD(U) after he deserted the RJD. Khuswaha, however,could not win on the JD(U) ticket in 2005 Assembly polls.

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Mulayam threatens team probing police recruitment
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 3
SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav today threatened to send members of the team investigating the police recruitment to jail if his party returned to power.

Addressing a public meeting at Vavrala in the Gunnaur Vidhan Sabha area, Yadav said the Bahujan Samaj Party was merely busy settling political scores by terminating the services of so many men and women from ordinary backgrounds.

“They are not children of capitalist or senior bureaucrats. They are all sons and daughters of farmers living in small towns. The BSP government has deprived them of their livelihood and will have to pay for it”, declared Yadav.

The sharpest criticism was, however, reserved for the probe panel’s chairperson ADG STF Shailajakant Mishra, whom Yadav ridiculed for hinting sexual exploitation of some women candidates.

“Did he not for a second wonder what would be repercussions of his charges,” questioned Yadav.

Meanwhile, the alleged sexual exploitation of some women candidates during recruitment for police services in Uttar Pradesh has reportedly led the official probe to recommend narco-analysis tests of some police officers and politicians.

Speaking unofficially, a senior police officer said the committee has got enough proof of "sexual exploitation" of some of the women aspirants and if the matter is probed thoroughly and narco-tests conducted, it may unearth a massive scandal. A report of the committee claimed that a number of girls below the required height were recruited in Radio headquarters.

It may be recalled that the Mayawati government last month has sacked approximately 18,000 police personnel, suspended 25 senior IPS officers and over 150 PPS officers for their alleged involvement in the recruitment scam during the Samajwadi Party regime.

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Narco-analysis of officers, politicians recommended
Sexual exploitation of women candidates
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 3
SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav today threatened to send members of the team investigating the police recruitment to jail if his party returned to power.

Addressing a public meeting at Vavrala, Yadav said the Bahujan Samaj Party was merely busy settling political scores by terminating the services of so many men and women from ordinary backgrounds.

“They are not children of capitalist or senior bureaucrats. The BSP government has deprived them of their livelihood and will have to pay for it”, declared Yadav. The sharpest criticism was, however, reserved for the probe panel’s chairperson ADG STF Shailajakant Mishra, whom Yadav ridiculed for hinting sexual exploitation of some women candidates.

Meanwhile, the alleged sexual exploitation of some women candidates during recruitment for police services in Uttar Pradesh has reportedly led the official probe to recommend narco-analysis tests of some police officers and politicians.

Speaking unofficially, a senior police officer said the committee has got enough proof of "sexual exploitation" of some of the women aspirants and if the matter is probed thoroughly and narco-tests conducted, it may unearth a massive scandal.

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Rajnath asks Sonia to drop Gandhi surname
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
In a vehement attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the BJP today asked her to drop her surname if she did not believe in the existence of Lord Ram as Mahatma Gandhi did.

In an effort to re-inject the spirit of Ram Janmabhoomi temple issue into the the saffron party through the Ram affidavit issue, BJP president Rajnath Singh said if Sonia Gandhi and her children did not have faith in Mahatma Gandhi, his beliefs and in Lord Ram then they should not use the surname.

Mahatma Gandhi’s political vision was ‘Ram Rajya’ while his spiritual vision was ‘Raghupati Raghav Rajaram’ and his ultimate belief and the last words were ‘Hey Ram’, Rajnath Singh observed.

“The Congress president has Gandhi as her surname. Her children also carry Gandhi surnames. Then I think they should reconsider,” he said. Rajnath Singh’s comments at a meeting of BJP’s peasants wing Kisan Morcha came a day after the Congress chief spoke passionately about the relevance of Gandhi in her address to the UN General Assembly on the occasion of his 138th birth anniversary.

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Sonia has said nothing wrong: Karat

Bhopal, October 3
The CPM on Wednesday said efforts were on to reach a consensus with the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal in the next two rounds of talks and there was nothing wrong in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's reference to Left concerns over the deal in her speech in New York.

``She (Gandhi) has said nothing wrong. She said there are issues (relating to the deal) on which discussions are going on. We have to respect different views..," party general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters.

Speaking at a gathering of Indian-Americans in New York on Monday, Gandhi had sought to play down Left's concerns on the deal, saying they were not a cause for "alarm".

Karat admitted that differences existed between the UPA Government and the Left parties, providing crucial outside support to the ruling coalition, over the deal, and said "we are trying to reach a consensus."

Asked when is the UPA-Left combine expected to reach a consensus on the deal, Karat said "the (UPA-Left) committee would be meeting on October 5...when the date for next meeting will also be decided. We are trying to arrive at a consensus (on the deal) in the next two meetings."

He was here to attend a condolence meet organised in the memory of Madhya Pradesh CPM secretary B S Dhakad here. — PTI

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Centre defends constitutional provision
27 pc quota for OBCs in Central institutions

New Delhi, October 3
The Centre today defended before the Supreme Court the validity of the provision in the Constitution enabling it to make a law providing 27 per cent quota for OBCs in the Central educational institutions.

It contended that the 93rd Constitutional Amendment by which Article 15(5) was included to enable reservation for socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs) was not unconstitutional and violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.

"Article 15 (5) is not only an enabling provision but also confers legislative competence for making such law," senior advocate K.Parasaran said before a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan which is examining the validity of the controversial legislation providing 27 per cent quota.

"The amendment does not confer unbridled power.Parliament and legislatures are alone the arms of the state to make laws. An amendment of the Constitution can empower them to make particular laws by adding to the empowerment," he said.

Supporting the argument of Solicitor-General G.E.Vahanvati that caste alone could be the starting point of identifying the backwared classes, he said "this country is caste ridden and victims of caste system have to be identfied for remedial action".

The senior advocate said political justice has been done to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by reserving seats in Parliament and social justice could reach to the backward classes by providing them education at all levels.

"Knowledge is respected everywhere," Parasaran said emphasising that "education gives status and if both of them are there opportunity comes automatically". — PTI

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Intelligence vital tool in fighting terror: Shivraj Patil
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Laying stress on development and strengthening of intelligence agencies, home minister Shivraj Patil today said that intelligence can be the most useful instrument in containing crime, violence and terrorism.

Inaugurating a three-day conference of directors-general and inspectors-general of police here, he said terrorists can use modern technologies and sophisticated weapons to carry out their designs. "They are likely to use modern technologies in carrying out terrorist activities and use publicity apparatus to mislead the masses. They are likely to create mischief and violence at places where innocent people congregate in large numbers," he said.

The home minister said that religious places can be attacked and the police may become their targets. "Politicians and other important persons may also be targeted. Sleeper cells may be found in mega cities which can become active," he said.

The minister said that reliable and actionable intelligence was needed to perform policing in a proper manner. "No weapon or device is going to be as useful as intelligence can be to control and contain crimes, violence and terrorism. That is why the development and strengthening of intelligence agencies should receive first priority in plans for combating crime and terrorism," he said.

The minister said that union government's agencies were doing their duties and state governments have to contribute in a better manner in acquiring, analysing and using the intelligence.

He said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had shown definite improvement and lauded the initiatives taken by the government. However, he said there was no scope for complacency when infiltration from across the border continues and terrorist incidents were still taking place.

Expressing concern over continued violence in Assam and Manipur and persistent factional clashes in Nagaland, he called for greater coordination among the states in the region and among various security forces. A proactive strategy and concerted action are also necessary to stop extortions in the region, he said.

On Naxal violence, Patil admitted that the problem had become more difficult in some states and a coordinated approach was needed to meet the challenge.

He said success in anti-Naxalite operations depended on smooth coordination not only between the states and the Centre but also among states. "Timely information and intelligence on Naxal-related activities was very important," he said.

On police reforms, Patil said there is an urgent need to replace the Police Act of 1861 with a new police Act which could measure up to the growing challenges to policing and fulfil the democratic aspirations of the people. Pointing out that some states had passed new Police Acts, while others were in the process of doing so, he said main provisions of the new legislation should be in line with the model Act.

He said criminals were using new technologies to commit crimes. "Newer crimes are coming to notice in some parts of the country. Dealing with them requires newer methods and better training methods.

The police cannot afford to lag behind criminals in making use of new ideas, equipment, technologies and training," he said.

He called for making police more effective, stronger and better trained. Referring to "very low" police-to-population ratio in the country, he said it was insufficient to meet the growing requirements of policing. The home minister asked states to augment the police by filling vacancies at different levels without delay.

The minister expressed dismay over some state governments not utilising funds to strengthen police in agreed time frames.

He said that if police volunteers, members of civil defence units and those of village security committees were to be used for policing purpose, they should be trained. "Private persons and agencies may be encouraged to discharge the duties to provide protection to themselves. Plans for these purposes can be made and used," he said.

Emphasising that the number of women police personnel needs to be increased, he said it was quality of mainstream policing at the police station level that determines whether common man felt safe in his surroundings. The minister said a strong a strong criminal justice system was fundamental requirement of the rule of law.

Referring to demands that weaker sections of society should have just share in police, he said provisions of the Constitution, laws and pronounced policies of the government should never be lost sight of while recruiting the candidates in police forces.He said those who need the help most are the least vocal, weak and meek members of society. "They should be helped by the governments and police in their times of difficulty rather than expecting them to approach the authorities. If this happens, it would be recognised as proactive rather than reactive policing," he said.

The minister emphasised the need for adequate training of police personnel by adopting new methods and using electronic devices.

Patil called for increasing the number of police training centres and primary and refresher training facilities and modernisation of police force to meet the demands of the present and future.

The home minister gave away the Indian Police Medals for meritorious service to 42 officers of the Intelligence Bureau.

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Memorial to Arundhati proposed
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, October 3
The Uttarakhand forest department proposes to raise a memorial to Arundhati, the 80-year-old female elephant of Rajaji National Park who breathed her last last evening. Her body was buried this evening after postmortem by a panel of veterinarians.

Director, Rajaji National Park, GS Pandey told The Tribune that they proposed to raise a platform in her memory at the site of her burial. Arundhati had suffered multiple fractures in the right leg while being retrieved from a swamp in which she had got stuck on September 5. After that, her condition deteriorated and forest officials on the advice of veterinarians recommended mercy killing of the animal. But the decision evoked strong protests from animal lovers.

A large number of onlookers including animal lovers indulged in sloganeering to protest against the alleged callousness of the forest officials and demanded action against them. Tempers ran so high that the agitated animal lovers even reportedly beat up a veterinary doctor present on the spot. Animal lovers, led by People for Animals (PFA), had been objecting to the mercy killing of the jumbo ordered by Chief Wildlife Warden, Uttarakhand, after her condition deteriorated last week. She had refused to eat anything for the last two days.

Controversy marked the issue of mercy killing. She died a natural death following the hue and cry raised by animal lovers. The Uttarkhand Legal Services Authority as well as chief judicial magistrate, Hardwar, had issued notices to the forest officials on the issue.

A local lawyer demanding lodging of murder cases against the state forest minister and officials for ordering mercy killing, filed a petition in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Hardwar. The court has directed the police to report on October 3.

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Nuclear energy cooperation with Russia on cards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
India has a busy diplomatic calendar for the rest of the year, which will see a sharp focus on Russia - a country with which civilian nuclear energy cooperation, on the lines of the Indo-US nuke deal, is on the anvil.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to undertake a series of visits abroad and will visit five countries in the remaining year. Russia seems to be the flavour of the Indian diplomacy with the Prime Minister, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and defence minister A.K.Antony paying three separate visits to Moscow later this year.

Mukherjee goes to Moscow for Indo-Russian Joint Commission Meeting (October 11-13). Hardly 10 days later, Antony is scheduled to visit Russia for a meeting aimed at boosting defence, scientific and technical cooperation between New Delhi and Moscow. During Antony’s Moscow visit (October 22-23), India and Russia are going to sign a pact for co-production of fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Sometime in December, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to visit Russia for the annual summit meeting, though the dates of his Moscow visit are yet to be decided. A key area to come up for discussion would be civilian nuclear energy cooperation. Moscow has conveyed its keenness to enter into a civilian nuclear energy cooperation with India on the lines of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Russia is understood to have asked India to work on a rough draft on a nuclear deal. Moscow wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to have Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar in his official entourage during the Russia trip so that a meaningful discussion on civilian nuclear energy cooperation can be held.

From the indications available, Manmohan Singh’s Russia visit is likely to be historic - and politically correct too. The Left parties, which are bitterly opposed to Indo-US nuclear deal, will obviously have no objection to a similar deal between India and Russia.

A few hours after Mukherjee returns from Moscow, the Prime Minister will go to Nigeria and South Africa (October 14-18). His Nigeria visit will be a bilateral one, while South Africa is a trilateral affairs with Brazil and South Africa.

Manmohan Singh’s primary purpose for visiting South Africa will be the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) Summit. However, he will use this opportunity to discuss the Indo-US nuclear deal with Brazil and South Africa, as both are members of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

The Prime Minister’s next foreign visit would take him to Singapore and Uganda (November 20-25), both of which are multilateral in nature. Singapore is hosting this year’s ASEAN Summit, while Uganda is hosting CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet).

The Prime Minister is also going to visit China soon, though it is not certain whether this visit would take place this year itself or early next year.

Incidentally, of the six countries, the Prime Minister is going to interact with later this year, half of them are NSG members - Brazil, South Africa and Russia.

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Stir for ST Status
Over 25,000 Gujjars jailed in Rajasthan

Jaipur, October 3
Over 25,000 Gujjars, who were among the nearly 65,000 members of the community who courted arrest over their demand of Scheduled Tribe quota status yesterday, are lodged in different jails of Rajasthan.

The process of registering their whereabouts and putting them inside permanent or temporarily created jails in school and college premises was still underway, IGP (Prison) J.K Sharma told PTI.

The exact number of Gujjars inside prisons would be known by tomorrow morning, he said.

However, no one has been granted bail so far as all the protestors are awaiting clearance from the Gujjar Mahasabha whether to stay inside or seek bail, a spokesman of the Mahasabha said.

Congress MP Sachin Pilot was lodged in the Jaipur Central Jail, while Gujjar patron Colonel (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsala, Mahasabha co-convenor Roop Singh and Atar Singh Bhadana are in Bharatpur and expelled BJP leader Prahalad Gunjal is in Kota jail, he said. — PTI

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ENT hospital terms claim as hoax
Leaves dropping from ear
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
A south Delhi-based ENT hospital today termed the claim of a Faridabad teenaged boy about leaves dropping from his ears as ‘hoax’.

The hospital has decided to put the boy under scrutiny of close circuit television camera (CCTV) tomorrow after removing the patka (headgear).

ENT consultant Dr Arvind Kacker, who examined 13-year-old Amandeep Singh’s right ear under the microscope and otovideo endoscope, today concluded that the child was only trying to attract parental attention. “This is not possible. It is a hoax. It is a classical case of a child seeking attention. Such cases are well documented clinical entities.”

Kacker said no leaves were coming out from Amandeep’s ears when he was present in the clinic between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and that he had used all conceivable instruments, including the microscope and otovideo endoscope to examine the boy’s ears. “I only found some two or three tiny pieces of leaves lying at his external ear. We tested his middle ear and found nothing wrong. His hearing was also perfect.”

The consultant told TNS that neither he nor his father, Professor S.K. Kacker, member secretary of the hospital and former director of AIIMS found anything wrong in the boy’s

ears. “We made the boy wear a half-sleeve shirt today to prevent him from putting anything in his ears. Tomorrow, we will place him under the scrutiny of a CCTC.”

Amandeep’s father, a ragi in the Sant Bhagat Singh Gurudwara in Faridabad told TNS that the problem began on Ganesh Chaturthi, when the boy returned from school with complaint of pain in the ear.

“I gave him a pain-killer and he went off to sleep. When he woke up, his grand-mother put mustard oil in his ears but he complained that leaves were coming out of his ears. Next day we took him to Dr Praveen Chawla, an ENT consultant, who reported a normal X-ray and CT scan report. Despite this, the leaves are still falling from his ears.”

Chawla, on the other hand, insists that he conducted several ENT diagnostic tests on the boy’s ears. “Clinically, this is an exceptional case. I don’t think the boy is fabricating a story. I have myself removed about 250-500 leaves everyday and even sent some sample of 30-40 leaves to the Department of Horticulture in the Central government. The

sample analysis report is expected tomorrow. This case calls for research. What really surprised me was when I put the ear drops in his ears, the frequency of leave fall increased three-fold.”

Pawan Pilania, assistant director, Department of Horticulture, National Institute of Financial Management, who lifted a sample from the boy’s ears two days back from his house, said they are true leaves having veins and tendrils, chlorophyl, pore spaces. “I don't know where they have come from but they are plant leaves.”

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‘Change norms on blending ethanol
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Punjab has urged the Centre to change the norms concerning blending of ethanol with petrol to boost production of sugarcane and encourage crop diversification in the state.

Punjab cooperation minister Kanwaljit Singh, who today took part in a meeting convened by the agriculture minister to consider measures for strengthening sugar industry, said more demand should be created for ethanol by increasing mandatory limit for its blending with petro-fuel to 22 per cent instead of the present five per cent. Ethanol is produced from sugarcane but no distillery in Punjab was producing it as its marketing was not assured, he said.

He said increasing the mandatory blending limit, as had been done in Brazil, would substantially cut the country’s oil import bill and help save Rs 46,000 crore per annum in foreign exchange.

Kanwaljeet Singh said oil companies and the automobile industry has not responded effectively to the norms regarding blending due to which production of ethanol had not picked up. “Mandatory use of ethanol on the pattern of Brazil, which is blending it 23 per cent with petrol and diesel, will not only help in stabilising the future of the sugar industry in the country but save foreign exchange to the extent of 10 per cent of the country’s GDP,” he said.

The minister said instead of a uniform statutory minimum price (SMP) of sugarcane, the Centre should announce the price according to regions. He said climate conditions and production levels vary in regions and there was little justification in a uniform SMP.

He has also sought change in the policy regarding control on release of sugar from the mills.

The minister said price of sugarcane fluctuates leading to variation in its production. He complained of absence of long-term strategy concerning sugarcane, saying that farmers suffered from instability.

He said the state government wanted to boost diversification as foodgrain production had become unremunerative and it was putting pressure on the land and water resources of the state. Sugarcane, he said, needs 30 per cent of the water required for paddy.

The minister said previous government’s attempts at crop diversification had not been successful as there was no pricing structure for the diversified crop or marketing management.

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Goa film fest to focus on serious aspects of cinema
Shiv Kumar/TNS

Mumbai, October 3
After years of flirting with Bollywood and C-grade stars from the West, the Goa film festival is all set to become business-like.

The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), which has been tasked with organising the film festival, has decided to hold workshops and business meets apart from networking opportunities for film-makers.

One of the main events of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2007 will be a four-day workshop on digital technology for films. According to Nandini Paliwal, CEO, ESG, the workshop will see the involvement of artistes and technicians from Hollywood. The workshop will be organised in arrangement with the THX Company of the US which is a major provider of digital effects for Hollywood.

"Hollywood stars and at least one film director involved with a film in the THX company's library will be present at the film festival," says Paliwal. The ESG hopes to bring in around 30 or so technicians from the company who can interact with Indian film-makers.

The THX company has offered one film from a bouquet of 11 movies. It is also in talks with some prominent Hollywood personalities like Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie. Thanks to the ESG's association with THX, the organisers of IFFI are now hoping to bag a prominent Hollywood personality like Steven Speilberg, George Lucas or James Cameroon.

A budget of Rs 2.3 crore has been earmarked for this workshop.

In a bid to keep the film festival serious, the Goa government has decided not to screen films at beaches as was done in the past.

Instead, the festival would have a number of seminars and workshops pertaining to the more serious aspects of cinema.

The Film Bazaar, the main marketing event at film festivals anywhere in the world, is scheduled to get a major fillip in Goa.

The ESG has already purchased software from the organisers of Cannes film festival which is used at some 21 film festivals around the world. This software takes care of the registration process, ticketing, booking of seats, hospitality, travel, application for film participation, tracking of film movement etc.

However, the use of the software has resulted in a turf war between the ESG and the Delhi-based Directorate of Film Festivals. Last month, both the ESG and the DFF were locked in a war of words over issuing invitations to delegates. Sources now say the matter has been resolved after negotiations.

The Goa government is also said to be keen on having more say in the organisation of the festival on the grounds that more than 90 per cent of the expenses for the festival have been incurred by the state.

A section of the governing council of the ESG drawn from prominent personalities of Goa have expressed the opinion that the state should organise its own film festival to prevent interference from Delhi-based bureaucrats.

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Sign up to see your name on moon
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, October 3
You can now promise yourself the moon! You only have to sign up for a unique international space initiative to display your name on
the moon.

The International Lunar Observatory Mission (ILOM), an independent project to send an observatory to moon, has invited endorsements from across the globe.

The names of those who sign up for the mission will be etched on a plaque, which will be placed near the south pole of the moon.

The nameplate service is free. “We are looking for endorsements as a sign of support for the mission. The plaque bearing the names of endorsers will be set up near the observatory site on the moon’s polar region,” a spokesman for the ILOM said.

To register, one has to visit their site www.iloa.org, click on the endorsement link, fill up the details and send it to the association.

The ILOA, formed last year, held its preliminary session in Hyderabad during the recently concluded 58th International Astronautical Congress. Several space-faring nations like the USA, China, India, Italy, Canada, Italy and Japan are participating in the mission.

The goal of ILOA mission is to expand human understanding of the cosmos through observation from the moon.

It has plans to send a multi-function astrophysical observatory to the moon in 2009 and operate a communication centre near the south pole of the lunar surface.

When the observatory is launched, the list of endorsers will be sent along with it.

The upcoming lunar orbiter missions of Japan, China, India and the USA will renew the focus of international space community on the moon and are expected to catalyse a new wave of expeditions to the lunar surface.

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Bus driver hits woman with iron rod in Delhi

New Delhi, October 3
In yet another case of road rage in the capital, a mini-bus driver allegedly hit a woman with an iron rod in full public view following an altercation over rash driving in the capital.

The incident took place in Mayur Vihar area of east Delhi at around 8 a.m when Abid, a doctor, and his wife Roshan Jaha were on their way to drop their daughter to her school, a senior police official said.

The mini-bus was coming from the wrong side and was dangerously moving towards the car, the official said adding the woman then asked the driver to drive carefully.

An enraged driver, Vicky, then took out an iron rod from the mini-bus and allegedly hit Raha on her head, he said.

“The bus was coming from the wrong side and we would have been driven over by him. But we managed to dodge. When my wife asked him to drive carefully he came out and hit her with a rod. She had a cut above her eye,” Raha’s husband Abid said.

Abid also suffered minor injuries when he tried to save the woman.

Raha was rushed to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital from where she was shifted to Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital. Doctors said she was out of danger.

The police had impounded the mini-bus and the driver, Vicky, was arrested.

Last month, a Chandigarh-based lawyer was beaten up by unidentified bikers after the former’s car hit one of them in south Delhi.

In another case, a biker had allegedly bludgeoned a pedestrian in Tahirpur area of north-east Delhi. — PTI

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Philippines President arrives today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal arrives here tomorrow on a three-day state Visit. She will be accompanied by seven Cabinet ministers including the ministers of health, agriculture, trade and industry, tourism and energy.

Her bilateral talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are scheduled for October 5. She will also meet President Pratibha Patil, vicep-president Hamid Ansari and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee. The Foreign Office today said after the conclusion of the bilateral talks, eight declarations/agreement/MoUs will be signed. These include:

* Declaration on a framework of bilateral cooperation.

* Agreement on the establishment of a joint commission on bilateral cooperation.

* Joint declaration for cooperation to combat international terrorism.

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Lt-Gen Naidu is Army Vice-Chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Lieut-Gen Milan Lalitkumar Naidu, till recently Army commander of the Army's Shimla-based Training Command, has taken over as the next Vice-Chief of the Army.

He replaces Gen Deepak Kapoor, who has taken over as the new Chief of Army Staff.

Lieut-Gen Naidu had his early education at St Joseph's Convent, Bhopal, and joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, where he excelled in marksmanship (shooting).

Commissioned in the Rajput Regiment in December 1967, he has had a long and chequered career having served in various sectors and terrains in India and abroad. As Commanding Officer of 5 Rajput, he participated in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, where he was also awarded the Yudh Seva Medal.

Selected to attend the Defence Services Staff College Course in Canada, he has also attended the Higher Command Course at the Army War College.

Lieut-Gen Naidu has had varied operational staff experience at all levels, including a stint at the Military Operations Directorate at Army Headquarters.

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Plane’s tyres burst at Mumbai airport
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 3
The tyres of an Air India aircraft, flying between Kozhikode and Mumbai, burst as the flight was landing at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport this morning.

The mishap occurred while the aircraft touched down on the runway while landing. According to the airline officials none of the passengers on board the IC-596 were injured. All passengers were safely evacuated later in the day.

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