SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

SC grants bail to Sanjay Dutt
New Delhi, November 27
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, undergoing six-year jail term for possessing illegal arms during 1993 Mumbai blasts, was today granted bail by the Supreme Court along with 16 other convicts in the case.
In video (56k)

UN Report on Human Development
It’s about fair emissions: Montek
New Delhi, November 27
Deputy chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia today shot down the very basis of suggested formula to fight climate change and ensure sustainable development for developing countries in the latest UNDP Human Development Report

HC slaps contempt notices on CPM leaders
Kolkata, November 27
The Calcutta High Court today held three CPM leaders - party secretary Biman Bose, CITU general secretary Shyamal Chakraborty and central committee member Benoy Konar - “guilty of dishonoring and denigrating” the court on it’s judgment on the police firing at Nandigram on March 14 which killed 14 persons.

Furore in LS over Patil’s remarks on Assam
New Delhi, November 27
The demand of BJP members for an immediate discussion on Assam following a suo motu statement by union home minister Shivraj Patil created a furore in the Lok Sabha today, forcing Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to adjourn the House for an hour in the afternoon.







EARLIER STORIES




Concern in RS over eviction of tribals from forests
New Delhi, November 27
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat today expressed concern over delay in the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, saying it was leading to eviction of tribals from their homes and forests.

Assam Violence 

2 news channels blacked out
Guwahati, November 27
Cable TV operators here have blacked out two private news channels for beaming “one-sided” stories about Saturday’s street violence. Himanta Bishwa Sharma, government spokesman and state health minister today said.

Group clashes most unfortunate: Cong
New Delhi, November 27
The Congress today termed the group clashes as “most unfortunate” in Assam that resulted in death of a person and grievous injuries to several others during an agitation by a tribal students organisation demanding ST status.

BJP to raise Taslima issue in Parliament
New Delhi, November 27
In an effort to further embarrass and expose the Left government’s double standards in West Bengal, the BJP has decided to raise the Taslima Nasreen issue in Parliament tomorrow.

Plea to protect migrant workers in Gulf
Chennai, November 27
The Indian ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmed has been urged to protect migrant workers in the Gulf, a large number of who are from Tamil Nadu, and ensure their employers did not exploit them. During a meeting with Ahmed at the state secretariat here yesterday, NGOs submitted a memorandum stating that many employers were violating labour laws in the UAE and Indian workers were being exploited.

SC refuses interim bail to Manu
New Delhi, November 27
The Supreme Court today declined to grant interim bail to Jassica Lal case convict Manu Sharma till his appeal against the conviction order is heard on January 22.

PETA promotes a vegan work culture
New Delhi, November 27
Animal products, including dairy milk, leather shoes and leather bags are forbidden in the Mumbai office of the People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit organisation crusading for the rights of animals.

Rs 40-lakh saree seeks entry into Guinness
Chennai, November 27
A Rs 40-lakh silk saree, intricately woven with 12 precious stones and metals and replicating 11 famous paintings of Raja Ravi Verma, will seek an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most expensive saree.

AIDS Control Plan
SC gives Centre two months
New Delhi, November 27
Warning that it would not allow stifling of any AIDS related programme, the Supreme Court today gave two months’ time to the Centre to place before it the complete action plan to address the issue, which in government’s own admission had attained a serious dimension with 2.5 million HIV infected people.

Farmers’ issues on UNPA poll plank
Hyderabad, November 27
The UNPA will take up a national movement on farmers’ issues, which will be made the main poll plank of the next general elections, its convener N. Chandrababu Naidu said here.

Debate on N-deal in LS today
New Delhi, November 27
The much-awaited debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal will take place in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. The debate will take place under Rule 193, which does not entail voting. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani is expected to kick off the debate. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to give reply to the debate.

Indian-Americans lobby MPs on N-deal
New Delhi, November 27
An Indian American think tank has circulated a research paper to all members of Indian Parliament to explain how India will have to bear a loss of half a trillion US dollars in the next 20 years ( Rs 20 lakh crore) if the 123 Agreement is not operationalised.

Bachchan family offers prayers at Dwarkadheesh
Dwarka, November 27
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan along with his family members today offered prayers at the Dwarkadheesh temple here. Amitabh, his wife Jaya, son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya, also performed puja at the temple.

Old classics set to acquire colourful hues
Hyderabad, November 27
A string of old, black and white movies are set to acquire colourful hues, thanks to a new colourisation technology developed by Hyderabad-based company Goldstone Technologies Limited (GTL).


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SC grants bail to Sanjay Dutt
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 27
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, undergoing six-year jail term for possessing illegal arms during 1993 Mumbai blasts, was today granted bail by the Supreme Court along with 16 other convicts in the case.

Lodged in Pune’s Yerawada jail since October 22, when he surrendered to special court in Mumbai after being released on interim bail on August 20 due to legal infirmity of not supplied the copy of conviction judgement, Dutt hopes to gain his freedom soon as the apex court said its order would be sent to the trial court and jail authorities by e-mail.

He was sentenced on July 31 under the Arms Act for possessing illegal weapons at his residence, including an AK-56 rifle, which he had denied in the court though having admitted in his confession. The bail was granted pending their appeals against conviction order of TADA judge.

Prosecuting agency, the CBI, which did not opposed Sanjay’s bail petition, in fact came up with a list putting 100 convicts in different categories to take a specific stand in each case whether to oppose the bail or not to enable a three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan to take a decision.

The main condition for considering the bail laid down by the CBI was that the convict should have at least undergone half of the awarded sentence in judicial custody during the trial, should have been on bail prior to the conviction, the sentence awarded was not life imprisonment and death penalty and had no direct role in perpetuating the crime of serial blasts to cause mass murders.

CBI counsel Gopal Subramaniam said the criteria was laid after analysing the complete list of 123 accused, of whom 23 were acquitted, 100 convicted, four including Dutt cleared of TADA charges, 12 awarded death sentence and 20 life imprisonment.

Taking into consideration CBI’s stand, the Bench, having Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal, dealing with 25 bail petitions today said since the case of Sanjay and 16 others fell in the category where the agency has no objection to their release, they were ordered to be released on bail.

The court directed them to be produced before the trial judge to execute the bail and surety bond to his satisfaction as per the conditions laid down.

Among the main condition was to surrender the passport, not to leave the country without express permission of the trial court and report to the CBI’s special task force (STF), which dealt with the case, periodically.

The court, however, made an exception of granting interim bail of one year to life convict former customs officer Somnath Thapa on humanitarian ground for his suffering from lung cancer.

Of the 25 convicts, the court refused to consider bail application of six life convicts, including three members of key accused Tiger Memon’s family - Rubina Suleman Memon, Anjum Abul Razak Memon, Yusuf Abdul Razak Memon - and three others, Sardar Shahwali Khan, Z.A. Ismail Kadri, and Muzamil Umar Qadri. Bail was refused to one accused as he had not surrendered and another for his lawyer’s absence.

Besides, Thapa, another former custom official and a police officer was also granted bail. 

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UN Report on Human Development
It’s about fair emissions: Montek
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
Deputy chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia today shot down the very basis of suggested formula to fight climate change and ensure sustainable development for developing countries in the latest UNDP Human Development Report

At the Indian launch of the HDR 2007/2008, Ahluwalia reiterated India’s stand on cutting down the greenhouse gas emissions and said it should not be about reducing emissions but fair emissions. “It is an excellent report. But the formula should be on basis of per capita emissions. Before we enter into any negotiations, one has to ask what is fair. Developing countries should be willing undertake that they will never exceed the per capita emissions of developed countries,” he added.

This year’s UNDP report is on the theme ‘Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in divided world”. What is basically calls for is greater efforts in developing countries to ‘climate proof’ infrastructure, deepening social protection for those most vulnerable, building community resilience and strengthening disaster response. To fund these critical adaptation measures the report recommends $86 billion be transferred from developed countries, who bear the historical responsibility for climate change, to developing countries between now and 2016.

To get on the sustainable pathway the report proposes deep emissions cuts by developed countries, starting now. It recommends that developed countries make deep and early cuts to their emissions so that by 2050 they are emitting 80 per cent less carbon than in 1990.

For developing countries, the report recognises the importance of increasing energy supply for both economic and human development. Which is why for countries like India and China the report proposes that energy supplies and subsequent carbon emissions continue to increase till 2020 followed by cuts of 20 per cent by 2050.

It is this point that has found disfavour with Ahluwalia who said that the logical right to emit should be equal. “ The report calls for 80 per cent reduction by developed countries and 20 per cent by developing countries by 2050 . Now take the example of the US and Europe. If together their emission is 15 tonnes per capita then by 2050 it would be obligatory for them to reduce it up to 3 tonnes. Now take India. At present it is emitting just one tonne per capita. If it reduces 20 per cent by 2050, the figure would come down to 0.8 per cent which would still be far lesser than developed countries. Now is that fair? he questioned.

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HC slaps contempt notices on CPM leaders
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 27
The Calcutta High Court today held three CPM leaders - party secretary Biman Bose, CITU general secretary Shyamal Chakraborty and central committee member Benoy Konar - “guilty of dishonoring and denigrating” the court on it’s judgment on the police firing at Nandigram on March 14 which killed 14 persons.

The court issued contempt notices to these leaders to justify to the court that why criminal proceedings should not be initiated against them. These orders were given today by Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Ranjan Ghose following the contempt petitions filed separately by the Calcutta Bar Association, Bar Library and the Corporate Lawyers Association against these leaders.

The same Bench, on it’s judgment delivered on November 16, had stated that the police firing at Nandigram on March 14 was “unjustified and unconstitutional” and this did not please the CPM. The court had also directed the CBI to make a fresh probe into the March 14 incident which further annoyed these leaders, who had publicly criticised the Chief Justice and questioned the court’s “authority” to make such judgments on the government’s administrative action. Both Bose and Konar also advised the Chief Justice to join the Trinamool Congress instead of misusing his chair in acting as a TMC man.

Two CBI teams today visited Nandigram for making further probe into the March14 incident. The CBI was now looking into three separate cases - firing at Bhangebera and Adhukekari and the recovering of huge cache of arms at the Janani Itbhata and the subsequent arrest of 10 persons stated to be CPM supporters. The CBI officials said they would submit their report to the high court within the stipulated time.

Meanwhile, the Congress in Kolkata today brought out a “Mahamichil” in the city in support of the Nandigram residents against the CPM. All prominent leaders of the WBPCC, including Somen Mitra, Pradip Bhattacharyya, Manash Bhuiya, joined the protest march but none of the Priya Ranjan Dasmunhsi’s followers were visible.

Mitra said they would visit Nandigram soon and help the newly evicted people in returning back to their homes safely.

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Furore in LS over Patil’s remarks on Assam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
The demand of BJP members for an immediate discussion on Assam following a suo motu statement by union home minister Shivraj Patil created a furore in the Lok Sabha today, forcing Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to adjourn the House for an hour in the afternoon.

The House found BJP’s Kiren Rijiju and minister of state for parliamentary affairs B.K. Handique caught in heated exchanges. Rijiju was agitated allegedly due to certain aspects in the home minsiter’s statement, which hurt the tribesmen. On his part, Handique sought to counter this criticism.

BJP deputy leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra also expressed his unhappiness over the statement contending that the details of several tribesmen missing and the reported stripping of a tribal women were not mentioned.

As heated exchanges continued, Rijiju came to the well of the House compelling the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings.

Earlier when several members, who had given notices, wanted to speak on the subject, Chatterjee said he would allow a discussion depending on the availability of the home minister. Patil quickly responded that he was engaged in the Rajya Sabha, but would be ready to take questions after his engagement in the Upper House.

Concern in RS over eviction of tribals from forests
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat today expressed concern over delay in the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, saying it was leading to eviction of tribals from their homes and forests.

Raising the matter during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha, she said though the legislation had been passed a year ago, rules have not been notified resulting in a lot of problems for tribals.

She also referred to the recent attack on tribals in Assam and expressed concern over the stripping of a tribal woman during an agitation in Guwahati. Terming the incident as barbaric, she said several protesters were in hospital and many had been seriously injured. Brinda Karat, who was supported by several other members, said the Assam government should take immediate action .

In another zero hour mention, Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) referred to some reports of corruption in the judiciary, saying that if the credibility of courts was eroded it would deal a serious blow to democracy.

He demanded a short-duration discussion on the matter. Yadav sought to cite an example to substantiate his point but Deputy Chairman K.Rahman Khan said a court ruling should not be debated in the House.

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Assam Violence 
2 news channels blacked out
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, November 27
Cable TV operators here have blacked out two private news channels for beaming “one-sided” stories about Saturday’s street violence. Himanta Bishwa Sharma, government spokesman and state health minister today said stripping of an Adivasi woman on road by miscreants during the violence was an isolated incident and shouldn’t be projected as a common phenomenon in the state.

He pointed out that the stripping incident had been condemned by all sections of people and the intelligentsia in the state. The administration had already nabbed the three culprits involved in the act.

Meanwhile, bowing to complaints lodged by local viewers here, the Greater Guwahati Cable Operations Association has decided to black out NDTV and CNN-IBN news channels for telecasting “distorted” story about the mob violence and the isolated stripping incident.

The government has announced Rs 3 lakh compensation to the kin of the person who was killed in the violence and Rs 1 lakh for the Adivasi woman who had to suffer the ignominy of stripping.

DC, SSP transferred

Heads have started rolling in Assam administration in the wake of Saturday’s bloodbath that took place on the streets of Guwahati under the nose of the police and paramilitary personnel.

Assam government today decided to transfer Kamrup district deputy commissioner (DC) Avinash Joshi and senior superintendent of police (SSP), Guwahati, Surendra Kumar. They would be replaced by Prateek Hazela and V.K. Ramisetti, according to Debojit Das, special officer to the CM.

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Group clashes most unfortunate: Cong
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
The Congress today termed the group clashes as “most unfortunate” in Assam that resulted in death of a person and grievous injuries to several others during an agitation by a tribal students organisation demanding ST status.

Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi termed the stripping of a woman by miscreants during the agitation as ‘shameful and barbaric’. “This approach to rights of an individual and a woman is very reprehensible,” he said.

He said that miscreants had been arrested and the Chief Minister had issued categorical directions that no laxity will be tolerated. However, he refused to spell out the party’s stand on the demand of agitating tribals for ST status. He said the experts were looking into the issue and the party would not like to articulate its position publicly at this stage.

Launching counter-attack at the BJP on the Taslima Nasreen issue, he said the BJP “had proved its hypocrisy and doublespeak” by not keeping her in Rajasthan. Asked if Taslima had hurt sentiments of people through her remarks, he said he would not make a value judgement.

He rejected the BJP charge that she had been moved out of the Rajasthan house without intimation, saying that her location could be kept a secret due to reasons of her security.

Asked about the reported offer of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to Taslima to live and stay in the state, he said the BJP leader had a lot to answer on the protection of women.

He said statements by the BJP leaders were an attempt to fish in the troubled waters and create an internal discord in the minority community.

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BJP to raise Taslima issue in Parliament
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
In an effort to further embarrass and expose the Left government’s double standards in West Bengal, the BJP has decided to raise the Taslima Nasreen issue in Parliament tomorrow.

The decision was taken at a Parliamentary party meeting of the BJP which met here.

It has been decided that the party will demand the extension of visa and security to Bangladeshi writer.

“This is not for the first time that the country has been doing so. We have the precedence of doing so for Tibetans as well,” deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha V.K. Malhotra said. Last week, the saffron party had forced a debate in the House on the Nandigram issue.

Malhotra said the party would also take up the issue of recent violence in Assam and the police action on the people of Indian origin in Malaysia.

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Plea to protect migrant workers in Gulf
Tribune News Service

Chennai, November 27
The Indian ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmed has been urged to protect migrant workers in the Gulf, a large number of who are from Tamil Nadu, and ensure their employers did not exploit them. During a meeting with Ahmed at the state secretariat here yesterday, NGOs submitted a memorandum stating that many employers were violating labour laws in the UAE and Indian workers were being exploited.

Recently, six Indian workers, out of whom four were from Tamil Nadu, died at a construction site in the UAE when a bridge collapsed. The NGOs want immediate and full disclosure of causes of death when Indian citizens suffer fatal injuries, and regular reports of injuries suffered by Indians at their workplaces.

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SC refuses interim bail to Manu
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 27
The Supreme Court today declined to grant interim bail to Jassica Lal case convict Manu Sharma till his appeal against the conviction order is heard on January 22.

A Bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, fixed January 22 to hear the appeal after Manu’s counsel Ram Jethmalani complained that despite his mentioning it several times after admission in May, no specific date was being fixed.

Jethmalani urged the court to grant interim bail to Manu till the appeal is heard, claiming that the judgement of conviction by the Delhi High Court, which had reversed the trial court order acquitting him, had many legal flaws.

But the Bench said the interim bail could not be granted in cases where the acquittal order had been reversed, without going into the merits of the case.

At this Jethmalani said he would then prefer to argue on the main appeal instead of the bail application as he was sure that the high court order would be set aside by the apex court. “It is no judgement”, Jethmalani said, assailing the high court order.

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PETA promotes a vegan work culture
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
Animal products, including dairy milk, leather shoes and leather bags are forbidden in the Mumbai office of the People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit organisation crusading for the rights of animals.

The organisation founded in India almost eight years back wants its staffers to practice what they preach. Although staffers are not required to give any formal undertaking promising adherence to a vegan lifestyle, they are not allowed to bring leather bags to office or walk into the office wearing leather shoes. Use of milk in tea or coffee is not allowed.

Staffers can use either soya milk or non-dairy creamer (Coffeemate) from Nestle. Or else, they can settle for black coffee or tea. The same rules apply to visitors.

Visitors to the PETA office carrying a leather briefcase or a bag are persuaded to spare three minutes to watch an audio visual on how leather is made in India.

Such a work culture may sound rather difficult but in doing so, PETA may in the long run contribute to reducing India’s disease burden. PETA points out that the consumption of dairy and dairy products can cause cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardio vascular diseases and lactose intolerance.

While arguing against the intake of dairy milk, PETA sources drew attention to the opinion of none other than Dr John McDougall, World renowned health adviser to former US President Bill Clinton. Dr McDougall calls animal milk “liquid meat” because it as bad for human-beings as meat.

Anuradha Sawhney, chief functionary, PETA India, confirmed that no
animal products are allowed in their office. Asked if vegetarianism and a vegan lifestyle are pre conditions for people wishing to apply for a job in PETA, she said, “Almost everyone who applies for a job with us is a
vegetarian. It is a question of personal ethics. If I’m a meat eater and I am campaigninig for vegetarianism, how can I speak from my heart?

The simple reason we want our staffers to lead a vegan lifestyle is because veganism is our largest campaign. A vegan is someone who is a vegetarian and does not even take dairy products.”

The PETA chief functionary said, “When people appear for an interview, we tell them frankly that if they are representing PETA, they cannot sit at a table and eat meat. They cannot be abusing animals and asking people to give up a non-vegetarian diet and discontinue wearing leather.”

PETA persuades job seekers to its office to adopt a vegan lifestyle by
showing them three audio-visual films. The first audio-visual film of four minutes is about PETA investigation into slaughter houses.

The second titled ‘Meet your meat’ documents how animals, including chicken, goat and turkey are killed for meat. The third audio-visual is on the condition of zoos in India and the fourth about use of animals in laboratories.

Asked how drinking milk amounts to cruelty to animals, the PETA country head explained, “PETA investigations have shown that cows and buffaloes are administered painful injections of the banned drug Oxytocin twice a day to increase the milk yield. In some villages, farmers poke sharp sticks into the cow’s uterus in the belief that such cruelty would increase milk. Cows are impregnated and milked over and over until they are too worn out to produce any more milk.”

As if this was not enough, headless male calves killed mercilessly are taken before a lactating cow or buffalo to extract optimum milk. Cows and buffaloes are transported in a very inhuman manner.

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Rs 40-lakh saree seeks entry into Guinness

Chennai, November 27
A Rs 40-lakh silk saree, intricately woven with 12 precious stones and metals and replicating 11 famous paintings of Raja Ravi Verma, will seek an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most expensive saree.

The Rs 40-lakh saree, manufactured by handloom weavers of the city-based textile house -- The Chennai Silks -- replicates Ravi Verma’s much-acclaimed painting ‘Lady Musicians’ that features women from various cultural backgrounds.

Chennai Silks’ director Chandran said it took 4,680 man-hours for a team of highly skilled weavers to complete the work using a double warp. He claimed it was the first silk saree manufactured using 7,440 jacquard hooks. — PTI

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AIDS Control Plan
SC gives Centre two months
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 27
Warning that it would not allow stifling of any AIDS related programme, the Supreme Court today gave two months’ time to the Centre to place before it the complete action plan to address the issue, which in government’s own admission had attained a serious dimension with 2.5 million HIV infected people.

While hearing a bunch of petitions by several NGOs in response to which the government today came up with a three-point action proposal, a Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said the government should have taken action on its own without judicial intervention in a matter of such a vital importance that threatened the health of country’s citizens.

The court pointed out that apart from requiring a full fledged awareness campaign to educate people about the dangers of the dreaded virus, even doctors and para-medical staff was needed to be made aware as even they had reservation about touching AIDS patients.

The three-point integrated action plan proposed by the government and read out to the court by additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, included of providing anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to all HIV/AIDS patients, make provision for ART centres and long term strategy to monitor treatment and rehabilitation of affected people.

A battery of lawyers for petitioners said there were 25 lakh HIV/AIDS patients in the country and 2.5 lakh of them required regular ART treatment, but the facility was available to only for 1.5 lakh people. If the facility was not made available to them, they were bound to die within six months, they said.

The government counsel admitted that the situation was “alarming and serious”, particularly in rural areas of several states, where there were no facility to treat the affected people.

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Farmers’ issues on UNPA poll plank
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, November 27
The UNPA will take up a national movement on farmers’ issues, which will be made the main poll plank of the next general elections, its convener N. Chandrababu Naidu said here.

A one-time waiver of all crop loans across the country, interest-free loans for small and marginal farmers, increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for all major crops and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s report on agriculture will be made the election issues, the TDP president told reporters.

Emboldened by the success of farmers’ rally, organised by his party in Vijayawada on Sunday, Naidu said similar rallies would be organised in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in due course.

“The UNPA will mount pressure on the Centre till the demands of the farmers are met,” said Naidu, who hosted a conclave of the UNPA yesterday.

Asked about the financial burden as a result of the loan waiver, Naidu, who is on an image make-over drive, said, “Everything is possible. The industrialists enjoy such benefit. Why not farmers?”

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Debate on N-deal in LS today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
The much-awaited debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal will take place in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. The debate will take place under Rule 193, which does not entail voting. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani is expected to kick off the debate. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to give reply to the debate.

With the government preparing to answer criticism from the NDA, UNPA and Left during the discussion on the nuclear deal, parliamentary affairs minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi today said a short duration discussion cannot be interpreted as sentiment of the House.

Answering queries about the opposition to the deal from all major groups outside the government being seen as sentiment of the House, Dasmunsi said sentiment of the House for all practical purposes means voting. He said debate on the nuclear deal would be taken up in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. The debate would be on the basis of PM’s statement made during the monsoon session.

The minister said the government was trying to schedule for tomorrow a discussion on the atrocities during the recent agitation by the tribals in Assam. Dasmunsi said he would request the home minister to reply to the debate. Referring to the BJP efforts to raise the issue concerning controversial Bangladesh writer Taslima Nasreen, he said the government had no objection in making a statement if the Speaker allows the matter to be taken up.

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Indian-Americans lobby MPs on N-deal
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
An Indian American think tank has circulated a research paper to all members of Indian Parliament to explain how India will have to bear a loss of half a trillion US dollars in the next 20 years ( Rs 20 lakh crore) if the 123 Agreement is not operationalised.

The research study, “India 2050 Matrix: A Case Study in Economic Futurology”, by Imagindia, made available to The Tribune, attempts to quantify gains that will accrue to the Indian economy from the successful consummation of the nuclear deal. It estimates not only the economic loss if the deal falls through, but also, for the first time, attempts to quantify the economic loss due to loss of image; loss of high technology transfers and loss due to reduced clout in global trade negotiations. The total loss is estimated at over $500 billion over the next 20 years.

The Indian Americans’ research paper argues that apart from the direct economic impact due to energy gains, it is equally important to gauge the intangible benefits of this agreement.

Indian Americans, who have the past few years emerged as a powerful political force within the USA, have of late started making their presence felt in the political corridors here, in order to lobby for the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The Washington-based US India Political Action Committee and the New Delhi-based think tank Imagindia Institute have been engaged in public diplomacy for the past couple of weeks and held a series of meetings here across the political spectrum to garner support for the deal.

The importance of these two bodies was amply reflected when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met them in his office on October 23. Apart from the Prime Minister, the Indian Americans held meetings with minister of state in PMO Prithviraj Chauhan (October 22), Prime Minister’s principal secretary T.K. Nair and Rajya Sabha member Rajiv Shukla (October 23), BJP president Rajnath Singh, union minister Kapil Sibal, Left leader D. Raja , BJP leader and former union minister Arun Shourie (October 24). The Prime Minister felt that the concerns of the Left and the BJP have been reconciled in the 123 agreement.

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Bachchan family offers prayers at Dwarkadheesh

Dwarka, November 27
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan along with his family members today offered prayers at the Dwarkadheesh temple here.

Amitabh, his wife Jaya, son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya, also performed puja at the temple.

They were accompanied by family friend and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, the temple authorities said.

The Bachchan family came to Mithapur in a chartered plane and then proceeded to Dwarka by road.

They were welcomed by the temple’s vice-president Parimal Nathwani, who accompanied them throughout their two-hour stay there. — UNI

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Old classics set to acquire colourful hues
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, November 27
A string of old, black and white movies are set to acquire colourful hues, thanks to a new colourisation technology developed by Hyderabad-based company Goldstone Technologies Limited (GTL).

After taking up colourisation and digital printing of Hindi classics “Hum Dono” and “The Guide” starring Bollywood’s evergreen hero Dev Anand, the GTL has acquired the world negative rights of 14 classic Telugu movies produced by Vijaya Vahini pictures of Chennai.

The legendary movie company has produced some of the all-time great hits like “Maya Bazaar”, “Missamma”, “Pathala Bhairavi”, “Gundamma Katha” and “Jagadeka Veeruni Katha.”

“Using the unique digital colour technology, we will give a fresh colour treatment to these classics to enhance the screen experience,” C Jagan Mohan, Business Head (Digital Cinema), GTL, said.

In the case of “Hum Dono”, which is set to be released next month, the company has acquired the rights from Dev Anand to colourise, release and exploit it for commercial purposes.

The firm has acquired a sophisticated software technology from Legend Films of the US. The artificial intelligence-based software has been used in Hollywood films and DVD formats to give the most appropriate colours and life to ageing movies.

The company is in the advanced stages of negotiation with other south Indian film production houses for colourisation of old classics.

It is working on colourisation of the Raj Kumar-starrer Raja Harishchandra in Kannada and Sri Krishnaarjuna Yuddham (starring N.T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao), in Telugu.

“Our patented technology restores and colours old classics giving them a new charm. It also reduces the time taken for colourisation to just four months,” Jagan Mohan said.

The unique software would revolutionise the restoration and colourisation business in India, he said. The company is also planning to enter the multi-million dollar restoration market in Europe and China.

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