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N A T I O N

Nandigram Violence
Directives issued to Bengal govt: Patil

New Delhi, November 21
The Left Front government in West Bengal which came under attack in the Lok Sabha from leader of the opposition L K Advani, has been issued directives on the lines of Article 355, home minister Shivraj Patil said here today.

RS adjourned after uproar over Nandigram
New Delhi, November 21
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day today as opposition members disrupted the proceedings demanding a statement from the home minister Shivraj Patil on the police action on a procession in Kolkata. As the House met after lunch, Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) and S.S Ahluwalia (BJP) raised the issue of alleged police firing in Kolkata on a procession.

Media misquoted me: NHRC chief
New Delhi, November 21
National Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice S. Rajendra Babu today clarified media misquoted himon the Nandigram issue.

Uproar in House over caste certificate issue
Dehra Dun, November 21
Members of opposition parties stalled the proceedings of the state assembly on the opening day of the winter session today on the issue of difficulties being faced by people in getting domicile certificates.






EARLIER STORIES




Winner of the turban-tying competition Steeve Meceji of New Zealand with his partner Kesilari of the USA at the Pushkar Fair, near Ajmer, on Wednesday.
Winner of the turban-tying competition Steeve Meceji of New Zealand with his partner Kesilari of the USA at the Pushkar Fair, near Ajmer, on Wednesday. — PTI photo

Karnatka Crisis
Prakash ready to join hands with Cong
Bangalore, November 21
In a day of hectic political developments senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader M.P Prakash today announced his resolve to form a government in league with the Congress even as the JD (S) legislature party is in complete disarray with a majority section openly revolting against the Gowda family and deciding to go its own way in case the Karnataka assembly is dissolved.

After jawans, UN wants Indian camels for peacekeeping mission
New Delhi, November 21
If you thought only Indian jawans are in great demand for the United Nations peacekeeping duties, then you are grossly mistaken.

1/4 Gorkha Rifles turns 150
Chandigarh, November 21
The First Battalion of the Fourth Gorkha Rifles (1/4GR) is commemorating its 150th Raising Day at Chandimandir this month. Being the oldest battalion of 4 GR, this also marks 150 years of existence of the Regiment.

Father-daughter marriage ‘null and void’
Muzaffarnagar, November 21
Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has declared the marriage of a 37-year-old man with his teenage daughter in West Bengal as null and void and ruled that the girl’s impregnation by her father will be treated as rape and the culprits will be punishable under the Shariat laws.

Learn to speak extempore, BJP to Sonia, Rahul
New Delhi, November 21
Objecting to the Congress’ attempt to link the scion of Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi, to the country’s future, the main Opposition BJP today advised the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son to learn first to speak extempore.

BJP leader flays PM for his absence in LS
New Delhi, November 21
The BJP today took objection to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's absence from Parliament. The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra during question hour when questions pertaining to ministries under the charge of the Prime Minister were being discussed.

Kidnapped youth rescued, two held
Lucknow, November 21
In a swift operation by the state’s Special Task Force (STF) early this morning the 24-year-old Sanjay, alias Rinku of Mathura was rescued from his kidnappers after more than two months. This information was given by Special Secretary, Home, R.K Ojha here today.

No extradition treaty with B’desh yet: Patil
New Delhi, November 21
Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said Bangladesh had so far not agreed to sign an extradition treaty with India. Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha on twin blasts in Hyderabad, the minister said India was not getting desired cooperation from Bangladesh in fighting terrorism. 

Pramod Navalkar cremated
Mumbai, November 21
Senior Shiv Sena leader and former minister Pramod Navalkar was today cremated at the Chandanwadi crematorium here.

‘Energy security does not come from N-reactors’
Hyderabad, November 21
Factors like energy security and development, highlighted in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal are misleading, a top nuclear scientist claimed today.

Honour first defence minister: Tarlochan
New Delhi, November 21
Rajya Sabha member Tarlochan Singh today urged the government to honour the first defence minister of India, Baldev Singh. Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha today through a special mention, Tarlochan Singh said the government should at least release a commemorative postal stamp and install a life size statue in the defence ministry campus.

Security Checks
No exemption to armed forces chiefs
New Delhi, November 21
Exempting three armed forces chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major and Admiral Suresh Mehta from security procedures at civil airports has been turned down by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

 



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Nandigram Violence
Directives issued to Bengal govt: Patil
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
The Left Front government in West Bengal which came under attack in the Lok Sabha from leader of the opposition L K Advani, has been issued directives on the lines of Article 355, home minister Shivraj Patil said here today.

Winding up the day-long debate on the Nandigram issue, the home minister in his reply said written directives had been issued to the CPM-led state government on the lines of Article 355 with added directions that no one should be forced to leave their home. Besides the state government had also been told to bring back people and provide them with full protection.

Advani, who had initiated the discussion also sought the invoking of Article 356 for dismissing the government in Kolkata if it failed to follow the Centre’s directives. Patil also informed the House that the union government had information that some outsiders had instigated people to take to violence and had also brought sophisticated weapons into the area for this purpose.

Condemning the fear psychosis created among the people in Nandigarm, Patil urged the West Bengal government to bring the situation back to normal. He added that instead of using harsh words the Centre wanted to convey things gently.

He, however, refrained from bringing the state Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi into the matter saying that it was not proper to raise issues concerning the Governor on the floor of the House.

He also dismissed charges that the Centre had delayed sending the CRPF to troubled areas. On a specific query whether the Maoists had infiltrated into the area, Patil said the Centre had a lot of information but was divulging them in order to avoid more trouble.

Earlier, initiating the discussion on the “proposal to set up a Special Economic Zone in Nandigram, West Bengal and consequent large scale violence” under rule 193 which does not entail voting, Advani insisted that if the Centre’s directions under Article 355 were not followed then the UPA government was fully justified in dismissing the WB government.

He said the West Bengal Governor, the Calcutta High Court and senior CRPF officials had painted a grim picture of the happenings in Nandigram. He urged the Centre to call the Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and get a detailed report of the incidents.

Advani also demanded that an all party delegation be sent to Nandigram for a first hand assessment of the situation.

Recalling that the Calcutta High Court had categorised the police firing in March in Nandigram as wholly unjustified, he drew pointed attention to the Governor expressing a “feeling of cold horror”.

Recalling the events leading to the decline of Communism in the world, Advani said he had no doubt that Nandigram would be the turning point for Communists in India.

In his intervention, union parliamentary and information and broadcasting minister P R Dasmunsi gave a genesis of the problem in Nandigram and said if the people responsible for the January incident had been booked and action taken against them, things would not have come to this.

Dasmunsi said the tension was primarily connected with NDA government’s policy of starting Special Economic Zones all over the country which did not take into account compensation, the problems of sharecroppers, weaker sections and those below the poverty line. Therefore, the Congress-led UPA had now decided to frame a law which would be introduced in the current winter session of the Parliament.

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RS adjourned after uproar over Nandigram
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day today as opposition members disrupted the proceedings demanding a statement from the home minister Shivraj Patil on the police action on a procession in Kolkata. As the House met after lunch, Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) and S.S Ahluwalia (BJP) raised the issue of alleged police firing in Kolkata on a procession.

They demanded that the home minister should come to the House and make a statement. This led to wordy duel between Opposition and treasury benches, prompting deputy chairman K.Rahman Khan to adjourn the House.

Khan’s observations that the House would take up the Nandigram issue tomorrow failed to pacify the members who said situation in the state was grim.

BJP and Trinamool members said the Buddhadeb government in West Bengal should resign for “failing” to protect innocent people in Nandigram.

They said the state government had called in the army to control the situation and the home minister should make a statement in the House on the issue.

As the ruckus continued and BJP members, led by senior member S.S Ahluwalia, trooped into the well of the House, the deputy chairman first adjourned the House for half-an-hour and then for the day. 

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Media misquoted me: NHRC chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
National Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice S. Rajendra Babu today clarified media misquoted himon the Nandigram issue.

Responding to a memorandum signed by MPs belonging to the CPI and the CPM asking him to reconsider his statement, the NHRC chairperson said that he was only replying to questions raised by mediapersons and the statements attributed to him were made only with regard to his anguish for victims of human rights violations.

In a statement issued here today, he said, “It is incontrovertible that there have been violations of human rights on a mass scale in Nandigram. Any violation of human rights and that too on such a scale is a scar on the nation. The comparison between post Godhra and Nandigram was only to that extent.”

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Uproar in House over caste certificate issue
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, November 21
Members of opposition parties stalled the proceedings of the state assembly on the opening day of the winter session today on the issue of difficulties being faced by people in getting domicile certificates.

Members of the Congress and BSP were on their feet as soon as the proceedings got underway with the leader of the Opposition Harak Singh Rawat moving a resolution signed by the legislators of both parties. Demanding immediate discussion on the issue, they alleged denial of domicile certificates to members of the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes by the administration at the behest of the BJP-led government.

Former Speaker and state Congress chief Yashpal Arya charged that

Khanduri government had circulated minutes of a meeting of bureaucrats held on the issue and officials in different districts were interpreting these differently.

BSP legislator Qazi Nizamuddin, alleged that hundreds of students belonging to backward classes in Hardwar district could not get admissions in medical and engineering colleges for the want of caste certificates.

Though the Speaker Harbans Kapoor offered to constitute an all-party house committee to look into the issue, the Opposition members insisted on discussion and entered the well of the House while raising slogans against the government when the Speaker refused to allow the discussion.

The Speaker adjourned the House till 1 pm due to the uproar. But the opposition members staged a dharna in the well of the House and refuse to budge. Parliamentary affairs minister Parkash Pant tried in vain to pacify the opposition members.

Before the adjournment of the House till tomorrow, the ruling BJP legislators tabled an ordinance seeking to curtail the tenure of cooperative societies from the current five years to two years.

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Karnatka Crisis
Prakash ready to join hands with Cong
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 21
In a day of hectic political developments senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader M.P Prakash today announced his resolve to form a government in league with the Congress even as the JD (S) legislature party is in complete disarray with a majority section openly revolting against the Gowda family and deciding to go its own way in case the Karnataka assembly is dissolved.

In a simultaneous development JD (S) spokesman and Gowda pointman Y.S.V Datta announced that party supremo H.D Deve Gowda would henceforth play an advisory role in the party and would hand over the leadership to his son and former Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy in one week’s time. He also claimed that Kumaraswamy would not form a new regional party and that the statement made by the latter yesterday had come about “in the heat of the moment”.

Meanwhile, disgruntled legislators today collected at the residence of Prakash, who had earlier also tried to form a government with the Congress before former Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy trumped him by announcing a re- tie up with the BJP. Prakash said JD (S) legislators were open to supporting the Congress if the party decided to form a government.

According to sources now as many as 35 of the 58 MLAs in the JD legislature party are pinning their hopes on a reconciliation with the Congress under the leadership of Prakash. Prakash said there was a possibility of a Congress-JD (S) alliance in case Governor Rameshwar Thakur called upon the Congress to form a government.

In case this move does not fructify the JD (S) could disintegrate with as many as 25 legislators ready to quit the party and face the electorate by joining hands with either the Congress or the BJP or to contest the next elections as independents. There is talk that as many as eight legislators belonging to the Lingayat community may join the BJP under the leadership of B.S Yeddyurappa, who is also a Lingayat. BJP president D.V Sadanandagowda told mediapersons today that he was expecting at least 20 MLAs to leave the JD (S).

Presidential proclamation tabled

New Delhi, November 21
The Presidential proclamation imposing Central rule in Karnataka was tabled in Parliament today.

The proclamation was tabled along with a copy of the order by the President and a copy of the report of the Karnataka Governor to the Centre. It was tabled in the Lok Sabha by minister of state for home V. Radhika Selvi, and in the Rajya Sabha by her colleague Sriprakash Jaiswal. — TNS

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After jawans, UN wants Indian camels for peacekeeping mission
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
If you thought only Indian jawans are in great demand for the United Nations peacekeeping duties, then you are grossly mistaken.

The United Nations has placed an interesting request with the Border Security Force (BSF) for sparing 100-odd camels from its camel contingent for peacekeeping missions in some African countries, especially in Sudan.

Besides, deployment on peacekeeping mission, the UN has sought the help of the BSF in training camels and jawans in Sudan, which has a large stretch of desert land.

“Recently we have received request from the United Nations to spare, to be precise 125 camels, from our camel contingent for UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan,” BSF director general A.K. Mitra said.

“Since Sudan has considerable stretch of desert land, probably they are keen on seeking the BSF help,” Mitra said adding no decision has been taken as yet on the issue.

Significantly, the request to the BSF from the UN comes in the wake of it being the only para-military force in the world to have a well-trained camel contingent.

Meanwhile, sources in the BSF said any decision on the issue would depend on whether the Force was in a position to spare the camels. Once an internal decision is taken by the BSF, it will have to be then cleared by the ministry of home affairs, they said.

Headquartered at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, the camel contingent of the BSF has about 800 well-trained camels, which are used extensively for patrolling, border guarding and transportation duties in the desert areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The caparisoned camels from the BSF also participate in the Republic Day celebrations and the ‘Beating the Retreat’ event.

BSF, the second largest Central Para-military Force in the country, has been committing its jawans at regular interval for various UN peacekeeping missions across the globe.

In the past, BSF had sent its jawans and officers on Lubumbashi mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa, for restoration of law and order and to create a conducive atmosphere for holding elections in a land riddled with multi-faceted internal contradictions and conflicts.

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1/4 Gorkha Rifles turns 150
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Lt D. Macintyre, the first Commanding Officer of 1/4 GR, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1872
Lt D. Macintyre, the first Commanding Officer of 1/4 GR, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1872

Chandigarh, November 21
The First Battalion of the Fourth Gorkha Rifles (1/4GR) is commemorating its 150th Raising Day at Chandimandir this month. Being the oldest battalion of 4 GR, this also marks 150 years of existence of the Regiment.

A host of events have been planned to commemorate the historic occasion. These include a guard of honour to the Colonel of the Regiment and a special sainik sammelan to be addressed by him, ceremonial parade, band display, variety entertainment, golf tournament, barakhana and a pagal gymkhana. A reunion of 4 GR, held once in five years, is also scheduled at the 14 Gorkha Training Centre at Sabathu from November 28.

The battalion was raised as the Extra Gorkha Regiment by Lt D. Macintyre in August 1857 at Pithoragarh and received its official designation as the Fourth Gorkha Regiment in 1861. After the Coronation Durbar at Delhi it became the Prince of Wales’ own 4th Gorkhas.

Having participated in the 1857 conflagration, the battalion distinguished itself in the Ambeyla Campaign on the north-west frontier in 1863-64. It operated in the Lushai Hills in 1871, took part in the Second Afghan War and the Waziristan Campaign during 18-94-95 and formed part of the British Expeditionary Force instrumental in quelling the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900-01.

1/4 GR has the distinction of being the first British Indian Army unit to embark for overseas service in the First World War, where it fought at Givenchy, Neuve Chapelle, Ypres, St Julien Festubert and Gallipolli. The Second World War saw the battalion in active service in Burma.

In 1947-48, the Battalion spearheaded the Poonch link-up operations. The 1971 Indo-Pak war saw the battalion again in the area during the defence of Poonch battle, where it repulsed three attacks and captured area across the Cease-Fire Line and created a new post, Mumtaz.

The battalion has also served in several counter insurgency and internal security operations like in Jammu and Kashmir and the north-east over the past three decades.

Presently commanded by Col S.K. Sharam, the battalion has recently completed tenure in high altitude area in a counter-insurgency environment. The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Lt Gen T.K. Sapru, who had commanded the battalion from June 1989 to June 1992, is the Colonel of 4 GR.

The battalion has to its credit, 18 Battle Honours, three Victoria Cross, one Cross of British Empire, one French Legion of Honour, 15 Indian Order of Merit, 24 Military Cross, one Maha Vir Chakra, one Kirti Chakra, five Vir Chakra and two Shaurya Chakra.

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Father-daughter marriage ‘null and void’

Muzaffarnagar, November 21
Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has declared the marriage of a 37-year-old man with his teenage daughter in West Bengal as null and void and ruled that the girl’s impregnation by her father will be treated as rape and the culprits will be punishable under the Shariat laws.

In a shocking incident, a daily wage labourer named Afizuddin Ali married his teenage daughter and made her pregnant, citing “divine sanction” at Kashiajhora village in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

Stating that Islam prohibits such marriages, Darul Uloom Deoband in its ruling described the marriage as shameful and illegal according to the Shariat law. The ruling issued by the in charge of the Fatwa Department of the Islamic seminary Mufti Habibur Rehman asked the couple to break the relationship immediately to avoid harsh punishment. — PTI 

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Learn to speak extempore, BJP to Sonia, Rahul
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Objecting to the Congress’ attempt to link the scion of Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi, to the country’s future, the main Opposition BJP today advised the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son to learn first to speak extempore.

“The Congress had once raised the slogan ‘India is Indira and Indira is India’. They are now taking the country back to the same period, which is undemocratic and dictatorial,” senior BJP leader and deputy leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha V.K. Malhotra said.

Taking a dig at the two Congress leaders, he said the BJP was waiting to see Sonia and Rahul make an extempore speech rather than read out from a prepared text.

“Speaking extempore is one of the essential qualities of a good leader,” he said

Pointing that Rahul, who was being projected as the future of India, had merely spoken for 3.45 minutes in Lok Sabha after he became an MP more than three-and-a-half years ago.

The BJP leader also charged the Congress with monopolising public broadcaster Doordarshan and asked it to ensure that the channel equally covered the Opposition. The Saffron Party had earlier objected to Doordarshan showing live speeches of Sonia and Rahul at the recent AICC session.

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BJP leader flays PM for his absence in LS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
The BJP today took objection to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's absence from Parliament.

The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra during question hour when questions pertaining to ministries under the charge of the Prime Minister were being discussed.

Malhotra regretted that Parliament had been in session for hardly a fortnight and the Prime Minister was away for half of the time span.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee sought to put the record straight and informed the House that the Prime MInister had informed him about the visit to Singapore and he had granted him permission to stay away from the proceedings.

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Kidnapped youth rescued, two held
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 21
In a swift operation by the state’s Special Task Force (STF) early this morning the 24-year-old Sanjay, alias Rinku of Mathura was rescued from his kidnappers after more than two months. This information was given by Special Secretary, Home, R.K Ojha here today.

The two kidnappers, Kundan, son of Shiv Lal of Agra and Shyamvir, son of Faurun Singh of Mathura, both members of the Naresha gang of Agra, were arrested after a chase by the STF at highway police station near Parsi Pulia on Bharatpur road. One gun and one country-made gun was recovered from their possession.

Sanjay, a resident of Chandanpur in Mathura, is the only son of Rampal Singh, who serves in the Merchant Navy in a foreign country. He was kidnapped on September 18, 2007. The accused had reportedly hired Sanjay’s Qualis. Sanjay was kidnapped by their accomplices while he was following his vehicle on a motorcycle.

While a “missing report” was filed at the highway police station in Mathura on the same day, a formal FIR was registered only a month later on October 18, 2007 after the family ran from pillar to post.

The case was later handed over to the STF.

Sources were tracking the negotiations between the kidnappers and the family over the ransom amount. From an initial demand of Rs 1 crore the amount finally came down to Rs 25 lakh.

Today when the abductors came to collect the ransom in exchange of the kidnapped youth, the STF nabbed them.

During interrogation the kidnappers confessed that they were members of Naresha gang that is active in area under Ela police station in Agra. They also revealed that during the past two months they had first kept Sanjay in the ravines of Fatehabad in Agra and later moved him to Chambal.

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No extradition treaty with B’desh yet: Patil
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said Bangladesh had so far not agreed to sign an extradition treaty with India.

Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha on twin blasts in Hyderabad, the minister said India was not getting desired cooperation from Bangladesh in fighting terrorism. He said the government had shared information with Bangladesh and hoped to get assistance.

Asked about measures taken by the Centre to curb infiltration from Bangladesh, the Home Minister said besides fencing the border, patrolling had been intensified and electronic gadgets installed. He said it would be incorrect to say that none of the illegal Bangladesh migrants indulged in anti-India terrorist activities and it would also be incorrect to say that all of them were terrorists.

On blasts, he said the government had some clues and information had been given to the neighbouring country. Patil said investigation in such matters was done by the state police and the Centre provided assistance wherever needed.

He said issues of terrorism and infiltration had been discussed with Bangladesh at various levels.

The House was adjourned briefly following disruption of proceedings by the Opposition over reply by Patil.

After the minister had replied to a few supplementaries on investigations into the Hyderabad twin blasts, members from the BJP and SP continued to raise questions about Centre's role in dealing with the terrorism from across the border.

Chairman M H Ansari repeatedly asked members to take their seats and allow the next listed question be taken up.

As the members did not relent, he adjourned the House for five minutes.

Later answering another query, Patil said Naxal activities in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand had risen. However, he said there was a 60 per cent decline in such activities in Andhra Pradesh. He said state governments were yet to fill more than 10,000 vacancies in the police. 

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Pramod Navalkar cremated

Mumbai, November 21
Senior Shiv Sena leader and former minister Pramod Navalkar was today cremated at the Chandanwadi crematorium here.

A large number of people, including political leaders, were present at the funeral. Prominent among those present included executive president of Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray, leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Ramdas Kadam, senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi and others. — PTI

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‘Energy security does not come from N-reactors’

Hyderabad, November 21
Factors like energy security and development, highlighted in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal are misleading, a top nuclear scientist claimed today.

“Reasons like development and energy security are misleading. In my opinion, development can be through imports or indigenous programmes. Energy security does not come from nuclear or few reactors imported unless we ultimately reach the thorium technology,” Placid Rodriguez, president of Indian Nuclear Society and former director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam told reporters here. However, the deal has some advantages to India, he said.

“There is a shortage of uranium fuel required for our existing reactors. So they are all running at low capacity. Secondly, even if we get over this temporary situation in another three years, the opening of new mines near Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh and in Meghalaya, our PHWR capacity can only go up to 10,000 MW with the 60,000 tonnes of uranium we have,” he added.

“If we are able to import uranium from outside, this base level can be increased and it gives more opportunity for our fast breeder programme to double,” he said.

The third benefit, Rodriguez said, “The light water reactors will be additional to the country’s indigenous programme. This way we will have more installed capacity. You can have an addition to imported reactors and that imported reactors will give us plutonium as well as uranium.”

Another advantage is that the country can become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and eventually become a seller, he added.

Rodriguez was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 18th annual conference of the Indian Nuclear Society. — PTI

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Honour first defence minister: Tarlochan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21
Rajya Sabha member Tarlochan Singh today urged the government to honour the first defence minister of India, Baldev Singh. Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha today through a special mention, Tarlochan Singh said the government should at least release a commemorative postal stamp and install a life size statue in the defence ministry campus.

He said Baldev Singh was in the team of Jawahar Lal Nehru when the first interim government was formed in 1946 as representative of the Sikhs. As India’s first defence minister in 1947, Baldev Singh was also responsible for modernising the Indian Army.

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Security Checks
No exemption to armed forces chiefs

New Delhi, November 21
Exempting three armed forces chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major and Admiral Suresh Mehta from security procedures at civil airports has been turned down by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security have stated that according exemption to three service chiefs will lead to similar demands from other authorities,” defence minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha today.

Recently, the government in a written reply in Parliament had disclosed the full list of VVIPs, including the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, governors and chiefs minister who are exempt from such security checks. — PTI 

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