SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

ISRO tests indigenous cryogenic stage for GSLV
Bangalore, November 16
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted a test of the indigenously developed cryogenic stage to be employed as the upper stage of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Oath by MLAs in Allah’s name legal, says SC
New Delhi, November 16
The Supreme Court today found nothing illegal in a Muslim legislator taking oath in the name of “Allah” instead of “God” as has been prescribed in the Third Schedule of the Constitution., saying the meaning of the two words is the same.

Media must desist from irresponsible reporting: Speaker
New Delhi, November 16
Justice G.N. Ray, chairman, Press Council of India, today reminded the media to discharge its “major responsibility of functioning as the conscience of the nation”.

Ex-MLA Pundir commits suicide
Lucknow, November 16
Former Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA, Ravindra Singh Pundir, died at a private hospital in Noida today. Pundir, 50, had allegedly tried to commit suicide by setting himself ablaze at his Meerut residence last night. He was rushed to a hospital in Noida with 90 per cent burns, where he succumbed to his injuries, this morning.






EARLIER STORIES




Feel good sentiment rules Cong camp
AICC session from today
New Delhi, November 16
The UPA-Left compromise over the nuclear agreement today has generated a feel good sentiment in the Congress. This will be reflected in the proceedings of the AICC session tomorrow.

Assam Secret Killings
Govt plans legal recourse
Guwahati, November 16
The Congress-led government in Assam has decided to form a committee of legal experts to advise the government on taking action on the findings of the Justice K.N. Saikia Commission into 34 cases of ‘secret killings’ of close relatives of ULFA members in the state during the period 1998-2001.

Land deals in Shirdi under scanner
Mumbai, November 16
The local administration in Shirdi, Maharashtra, has ordered a probe into land deals after it transpired that actress Rani Mukerji had purchased property suspected to be agricultural land in violation of norms.

‘Headless chickens’ remark
Panel goes soft on Ronen
New Delhi, November 16
Indian Ambassador to US Ronen Sen appears to be off the hook over his controversial "headless chickens" remark that had landed him in a soup as a key Parliamentary panel today took a lenient view of the issue and reportedly closed the case.

Mishra to head UP advisory panel
Lucknow, November 16
Chief Minister Mayawati has rehabilitated close aide Satish Mishra by creating an Uttar Pradesh State Advisory Council (UPSAC) and making him the chairman. He had relinquished the office as a cabinet minister on November 12.

Manoj Kumar upset with OSO, SRK says sorry
Mumbai, November 16
Offended by a sequence in recently-released film “Om Shanti Om”, yesteryear actor Manoj Kumar is contemplating a legal action against the makers of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer movie, his lawyer said today.

Bid to install Godse’s statue foiled
Hyderabad, November 16
A Sangh Parivar activist in a coastal Andhra town created a flutter when he tried to unveil a statue of Nathuram Godse, killer of Mahatma Gandhi.

Videos
Chhat goes commercial.
(56k)
Lalu goes to Canada.
(56k)
A casting coup.
(56k)
Bad man turns joker.
(56k)

 

Top









 

ISRO tests indigenous cryogenic stage for GSLV
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 16
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted a test of the indigenously developed cryogenic stage to be employed as the upper stage of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

The test was conducted for its full flight duration of 720 seconds yesterday at the liquid propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. With this test, the indigenous cryogenic upper stage has been fully qualified on the ground. The flight stage is getting ready for use in the next mission of GSLV (GSLV-D3) in 2008.

It may be recalled that a ground test for 480 seconds of the complete stage was conducted on August 4, 2007.

The indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS) is powered by a regeneratively cooled cryogenic engine, which works on staged combustion cycle developing a thrust of 69.5 KN in vacuum, according to an ISRO spokesman here today. The other stage systems include insulated propellant tanks, booster pumps, inter-stage structures, fill and drain systems, pressurisation systems, gas bottles, command block, igniters, pyro valves and cold gas orientation and stabilisation system.

Explaining the working of the cryogenic state, the spokesman said, “Liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2) from the respective tanks are fed by individual booster pumps to the main turbo-pump, which rotates at 39,000 rpm to ensure a high flow rate of 16.5 kg/sec of propellants into the combustion chamber. The main turbine is driven by the hot gas produced in a pre-burner. Thrust control and mixture ratio control are achieved by two independent regulators. LOX and gaseous hydrogen (GH2) are ignited by pyrogen type igniters in the pre-burner as well as in the main and steering engines.

Apart from the complexities in the fabrication of stage tanks, structures, engine and its sub-systems and control components, CUS employs special materials like almunium, titanium, nickel and their alloys, bi-metallic materials and polyimides. ISRO claimed stringent quality control and elaborate safety measures have to be ensured during assembly and integration. 

Top

 

Oath by MLAs in Allah’s name legal, says SC
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 16
The Supreme Court today found nothing illegal in a Muslim legislator taking oath in the name of “Allah” instead of “God” as has been prescribed in the Third Schedule of the Constitution., saying the meaning of the two words is the same.

A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran said the main thing was the spirit behind taking the oath while dismissing a petition challenging 11 Muslim MLAs in the Kerala Assembly taking it in the name of Allah after getting elected in 2006.

Their taking oath in the name of Allah was challenged by BJP’s youth wing Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) vice-president Madhu Parumala initially in the Kerala High Court, which had rejected his petition and he consequently had moved an appeal in the apex court.

“If some body is not able to read English and oath is translated into a language he understands, will it be a violation of the Constitution,” the CJI, heading the Bench, asked Parumala’s counsel.

The Supreme Court explained that Allah is a word of Arabic language meant to address God, so there should be no problem in taking the oath in the name of Allah by a legislator.

The High Court in its order of July 21, 2006, had also upheld their taking oath in the name of Allah, holding that the Arabic word was synonymous of English word God, having the same meaning. Taking oath in the name of Allah was the same as taking oath in the name of God, the High Court had ruled.

Top

 

Media must desist from irresponsible 
reporting: Speaker
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
Justice G.N. Ray, chairman, Press Council of India, today reminded the media to discharge its “major responsibility of functioning as the conscience of the nation”.

Presiding over the inaugural session of the National Press Day at the Vigyan Bhawan here on Friday evening, Justice Ray said the right to be informed could not be compromised but due care should be taken to present information or news in such a way that it helps in nation building and not keeping market interests in the forefront.

Speaking on the theme ‘Media as People’s Voice - Pre and Post Independence’, the PCI chairman said, “The greatest threat that the Indian Press faces at present as a result of the globalisation, is market driven economy. Serious decline in news values, lack of interest in real issues, sensationalism, trivialisation, profit motive, consumerism are some of the unfortunate characteristics of the Press today. The Press has become the other face of entertainment.”'

Justice Ray observed that modern day journalists were more loyal to the market, owners, advertisers rather than to the journalistic ethics. “Concerns for the marginalised, less powerful and underprivileged have taken the back seat. The focus today is more on celebrities, sensationlism rather than on issues.”

He said the regional media, especially the Hindi Press was going strong but needed to come out of its local confines and enter the national arena.

In his address, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, said, “The media hardly gives adequate coverage to Parliament and has failed to project the institution with the respect and seriousness it deserves.”

Chatterjee said Press freedom was not without responsibility. He said the media must desist from distorted or concocted reporting. “While profit is indeed a motive in the media world, that in itself should not be the sole criterion when it comes to news and views on the issues before the nation.”

Information and broadcasting minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi bemoaned the thin attendance of mediapersons in the Press Gallery of Parliament after Question Hour.

Top

 

Ex-MLA Pundir commits suicide
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Lucknow, November 16
Former Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA, Ravindra Singh Pundir, died at a private hospital in Noida today. Pundir, 50, had allegedly tried to commit suicide by setting himself ablaze at his Meerut residence last night. He was rushed to a hospital in Noida with 90 per cent burns, where he succumbed to his injuries, this morning.

Sources said he had been suffering from depression after his defeat in the Vidhan Sabha elections this year after losing on a SP ticket. Pundir took the extreme step after he returned from a city hospital where he had gone to meet his would-be-son-in-law, who had met with an accident.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said Pundir was a great leader.

Winning a seat in the Vidhan Sabha on a BJP ticket in 2002, Pundhir had deserted the SP.

Top

 

Feel good sentiment rules Cong camp
AICC session from today
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16
The UPA-Left compromise over the nuclear agreement today has generated a feel good sentiment in the Congress. This will be reflected in the proceedings of the AICC session tomorrow.

The unending rift between the Congress and the Communists had raised serious doubts about the longevity of the UPA government and tomorrow’s AICC session was billed as an exercise in preparing its workers for an early Lok Sabha election.

But that threat appears to have receded for the moment, giving a major relief both to the Congress leadership and party cadres, who were clearly nervous about the possibility of a snap poll. This feel good sentiment will be all-pervasive at the day-long AICC session as the party will once again recognise that coalitions are the order of the day. At the same time, allies will be reminded that all partners need to abide by the coalition dharma.

"Every political party wants a single-party rule and even aspires for it...but you cannot ignore the ground realities either," remarked a senior AICC office-bearer. There is a growing sentiment in the Congress that the grand old party should chart an independent course as coalition have impeded the party’s growth.

However, the omnibus resolution on political, economic and international affairs, which is to be adopted at tomorrow’s meeting, is not expected to strike a discordant note. While keeping its faith in coalition politics, it may, at best, contain an oblique reference to the Nandigram violence. The West Bengal and Kerala delegates, who are fighting the Communists in their home states and pressing the party leadership to take a firm stand on Nandigram, will be restrained from launching a frontal attack against the Left parties.

Since Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the party’s working committee have already come out in open support of the Indo-US nuclear agreement, the AICC resolution will reiterate the same and congratulate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for having negotiated such a path-breaking deal. In fact, the resolution is likely to explain how the country will benefit from this agreement and also hold out an assurance to the minorities, whose antipathy towards US president George Bush are well known, that the Congress has not sold out to America.

The Congress party’s scion Rahul Gandhi will be cynosure of all eyes as the first AICC meeting he will be attending after his appointment as AICC general secretary. Gandhi junior will be projected as the party’s future leader and the country’s youth icon while the meeting will seek to define his role in rejuvenating the party organisation.

The resolution will highlight the UPA government’s achievements, particularly its flagship programmes for the aam admi, and come out with a stinging attack against the BJP and its communal agenda while reiterating the Congress party’s secular credentials.

Top

 

Assam Secret Killings
Govt plans legal recourse
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, November 16
The Congress-led government in Assam has decided to form a committee of legal experts to advise the government on taking action on the findings of the Justice K.N. Saikia Commission into 34 cases of ‘secret killings’ of close relatives of ULFA members in the state during the period 1998-2001.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said his government would act according to the advice of the proposed committee of legal experts while taking action against persons indicted in the inquiry commission report that was tables in the Assembly yesterday.

The judicial commission report has primarily indicted then Assam chief minister and home minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and the armed forces for the systematic elimination or revenge killings of kin of members of the banned ULFA during that period in the state.

“We shall take action against those indicted in the report that is very clear about connivance of the then state government, police and some surrendered ULFA cadres in the secret killings. It was the darkest chapter in the state’s history when the morale of the police forces nosedived.”

The Chief Minister said: “Even the ministers during the then AGP government headed by Mahanta should be collectively held responsible for the heinous crime.”

About the recommendation of the commission to dismantle the counter-insurgency unified command of the security forces, he clarified: “We want the unified command structure to be dismantled once there is peace and normalcy in the state. But at the moment, the situation is not conducive to withdraw the unified command.”

He said there was provision for the government to extend the term of the unified command after every three months and the next review meeting would duly discuss the recommendations of the commission about gradual dismantling of the command.

In reaction to Mahanta’s allegation that the Saikia Commission report was politically motivated to finish him up politically and aimed at appeasing the ULFA, Gogoi said: “Mahanta is free to challenge it in the court of law. The report is not politically motivated. Mahanta is already half-dead politically as he is the only MLA of his party Asom Gana Parishad (Progressive).” 

Top

 

Land deals in Shirdi under scanner
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, November 16
The local administration in Shirdi, Maharashtra, has ordered a probe into land deals after it transpired that actress Rani Mukerji had purchased property suspected to be agricultural land in violation of norms.

According to officials, developers are flocking to Shirdi in a big way to cater to the demand of the rich devotees of Sai Baba who are keen on purchasing land to construct bungalows and houses here. “Developers are keen on acquiring land from farmers as there is a big demand for bungalows and guest houses here,” says N. Suryavanshi, deputy collector of Ahmednagar district where Shirdi falls.

However, Maharashtra’s strict laws which forbid sale of agriculture to non-farmers is proving to be difficult for developers. According to sources, developers are looking at a number of loopholes, including propping up some farmers as front-men to buy agricultural land.

Alternatively, rich buyers are shown as farmers after they obtain certificates from other states where it is easier for non-farmers to buy agricultural land.

According to officials, Rani Mukerji had purchased 11 gunthas (one-fourth of an acre) of the land in 2005 from a local farmer who had parcelled his plot and sold it to 18 people for constructing bungalows. The local authorities are now investigating if Rani had purchased actual farm land or homestead land in a village.

In case of the former, she would have to surrender her property apart from paying a fine. In case of the latter, Rani would have to pay the difference between then market rates and present rates to the government since the land was originally leased to the farmer. Scores of hotels, guest houses and bungalows dot the outskirts of Shirdi town which is clearly farmland indicating that developers have managed their way with the local authorities.

The Shirdi Sansthan trust which manages the shrine itself has acquired huge tracts of land in the town’s outskirts where a major tourism cum pilgrimage centre project has been planned. 

Top

 

‘Headless chickens’ remark
Panel goes soft on Ronen

New Delhi, November 16
Indian Ambassador to US Ronen Sen appears to be off the hook over his controversial "headless chickens" remark that had landed him in a soup as a key Parliamentary panel today took a lenient view of the issue and reportedly closed the case.

The Lok Sabha Privileges Committee, which met here, recommended that Sen be let off with a word of caution for his 'act of indiscretion' in making the controversial remark that he made against the critics of the Indo-US nuclear deal, sources said.

Taking note of his unqualified apology, the committee headed by senior Congress MP V. Kishorechandra Deo has decided to treat the matter as closed, committee sources said, adding, that the report will be placed before the House next week.

Privileges Committee of the Rajya Sabha is meeting on November 20 but that committee too had not been harsh on Sen when it had summoned him sometime back.

A draft of the report on Sen was considered and approved by the LS committee which held that there was no breach of privilege or contempt of the House by the Indian envoy.

Maintaining that the remark was not against MPs but targeted at the media, it felt that it was "lamentably naive" for the senior diplomat to make such comment even in an informal chat. — PTI

Top

 

Mishra to head UP advisory panel
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 16
Chief Minister Mayawati has rehabilitated close aide Satish Mishra by creating an Uttar Pradesh State Advisory Council (UPSAC) and making him the chairman. He had relinquished the office as a cabinet minister on November 12.

After the expiry of the six-month period during which Mishra did not gain entry into either house of the state Assembly, he resigned on Monday amidst speculations that he would now take charge of the party’s ambitious target of capturing New Delhi.

However, it is now clear that the CM wants Mishra to remain a part of her team to carry forward the sarvjan samaj agenda in the state. So now instead of the cabinet minister attached to the CM he has become the chairperson of the newly set up UPSAC.

The UPSAC has been formed with the intent of advising the government on how best to monitor the execution of various newly launched development works and also scrutinise the law and order situation.

The other ex officio members of the council would be the chief secretary and principal secretaries finance, home, planning and law. However, the official press release stated that the chairman as well as none of the members would be eligible to claim any remuneration or any other perk of office setting to rest speculations that the UPSACs was to provide Mishra the trappings of a minister.

Top

 

Manoj Kumar upset with OSO, SRK says sorry

Mumbai, November 16
Offended by a sequence in recently-released film “Om Shanti Om”, yesteryear actor Manoj Kumar is contemplating a legal action against the makers of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer movie, his lawyer said today.

However, Shah Rukh tendered an unqualified apology to Manoj Kumar for the sequence in the film.

“Manoj Kumar has been offended by a certain sequence in the film, and he asked me whether any legal action was possible,” Manoj Kumar’s lawyer Mukesh Vashi said. “However, I myself haven’t seen the film. So, I would be able to advise him only after seeing it,” Vashi added.

Manoj Kumar told a TV channel that “Indian audiences had made Manoj Kumar into an icon ... that icon has been wounded, made fun of..... a moral action is more important than a legal action.” “Om Shanti Om”, released last week, is a spoof on Bollywood films of 70s, and shows a few real life film characters from the Mumbai film world. Manoj Kumar is reportedly angry about a sequence in which he has been shown being thrashed by policemen outside a theatre.

In the movie, Shah Rukh’s character steals Manoj Kumar’s pass to enter a movie premiere, and the police, not recognising Manoj Kumar, beat him.

Shah Rukh is also a co-producer of the movie, directed by Farah Khan.

Shah Rukh said, “I was completely wrong...If he is hurt, I apologise.” “I called him in the afternoon, and the first thing he said to me was “it is no big deal, son,” Shah Rukh told reporters here. — PTI

Top

 

Bid to install Godse’s statue foiled
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, November 16
A Sangh Parivar activist in a coastal Andhra town created a flutter when he tried to unveil a statue of Nathuram Godse, killer of Mahatma Gandhi.

The statue was set up by Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader and advocate G Shyamprasad Mukherjee on his plot at Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district. He was all geared up to unveil the bronze statue on Wednesday, coinciding with the death anniversary of Godse.

But, activists of Gandhi Mandali Abhivrudhi committee spoiled his plans. Enraged over the installation of the statue of Mahatma's killer, they damaged the statue with axes and shovels and brought it down.

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 |