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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
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N A T I O N

Tytler Case
CBI probe to end in month’s time 

New Delhi, January 22
Investigations into a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case allegedly involving former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler will be completed within a month, the CBI today told a Delhi court.
“We have already examined seven witnesses, including US-based Jasbir Singh. 

Batla House Encounter
Terrorist bullets killed Sharma, says CFSL report

New Delhi, January 22
Delhi police today placed before the High Court a report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) which states that police officer MC Sharma, who was there during the Batla House encounter, was killed by the terrorist bullets and from a distance of 20 feet.

SC relief for Badal
New Delhi, January 22
The Supreme Court today dismissed a contempt petition against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal relating to the transfer of an IAS officer, Karl Reddy, in May 1999 from the post of Financial Commissioner to that of Principal Secretary, Department of Programme Implementation.

SC takes up ‘Deshdrohi’ issue today
New Delhi, January 22
Accepting Maharashtra government’s plea for an urgent hearing of its plea for a stay against the release of the hindi film “Deshdrohi”, the Supreme Court today said the matter would be taken up tomorrow.

OBC leaders feel ‘left out’ in BJP
New Delhi, January 22
The BJP considers OBC leaders, who have deserted the party, as having lost their conscience. The latest being its vice-president Kalyan Singh. The Dalits or tribals who have retraced their steps halfway like its general secretary Gopinath Munde have had their “conscience awakening,” says party spokesperson Prakash Jawadekar.


Diamond trader and film financier Bharat Shah was today arrested by the Malabar police in connection with a cheating case.
Diamond trader and film financier Bharat Shah was today arrested by the Malabar police in connection with a cheating case. The Judicial Magistrate, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Silvassa, had issued a non-bailable warrant in a fraud case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC. — PTI

EARLIER STORIES

PM, Prez greet Obama
New Delhi, January 22
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight congratulated Barack H Obama on his assumption of the office of the US President. Manmohan Singh said he was looking forward to work with the American leader to further strengthen bilateral relations and address regional and global issues of common concern.

Army has close ties with LeT: Pak delegation
New Delhi, January 22
A peace delegation from Pakistan today suggested the military in that country is still calling the shots and singled it out for maintaining close ties with terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Warning on tobacco packs may be diluted
New Delhi, January 22
The group of ministers (GoM) on pictorial health warnings on tobacco products, meeting here tomorrow, is likely to grant further exemption to the tobacco lobby that has already succeeded in diluting the pack warnings to a large extent.

Rane ‘supporters’ attack newspaper office
Mumbai, January 22
Around 10 to 15 spersons, allegedly supporters of Maharashtra politician Narayan Rane, attacked the offices of Marathi newspaper ‘Navakal’ after it published an editorial in today’s issue against him.

Jawan at large after killing six colleagues 
Guwahati, January 22
About 24 hours after an Assam Rifles jawan went berserk and gunned down six of his colleagues, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), in a remote location in Ukhrul district of Manipur, the hunt is still on to apprehend the absconding culprit who had also taken away his service weapon, an AK-47 rifle, with him.

4 missing in AP bridge collapse
Bangalore, January 22
Four labourers are believed to have drowned after a bridge in Anegudi area of Koppal district in Karnataka collapsed today.






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Tytler Case
CBI probe to end in month’s time 

New Delhi, January 22
Investigations into a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case allegedly involving former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler will be completed within a month, the CBI today told a Delhi court.

“We have already examined seven witnesses, including US-based Jasbir Singh. We will complete our investigation within 30 days,” the CBI counsel submitted before additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit.

The CBI also filed the status report on its investigation in a sealed cover before the court. Senior counsel for Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee HS Phoolka submitted that the CBI was directed to further investigate the riots case against Tytler on December 18, 2007 by the court which had rejected its closure report. The court fixed the matter for further hearing on February 28. The CBI earlier told the court that it had examined California-based witness Jasbir Singh in the case. Initially, it had expressed reservations over going to the US to record his statement and had issued notice to Jasbir to come to India.

After the CBI notice, Jasbir, through his son, had then approached the Delhi High Court seeking direction to CBI that his statement be recorded in America as he feared for his life in India. The HC had on January 14 disposed off Singh’s application as CBI had already recorded his version in the US by that time. Singh, who was earlier declared non-traceable by the CBI, had in an affidavit before Nanavati Commission which inquired into the anti-Sikh riots, stated that on November 3, 1984 he had overheard Tytler rebuking his men for nominal killing of Sikhs in his constituency.

The CBI had on September 29, 2007 sought to close the case against Tytler, declaring Jasbir Singh as untraced.

It CBI was on December 19, 2007 directed to file its report under section 173 CrPC (investigation report), after Singh surfaced expressing his willingness to depose against Tytler. Singh had, however, expressed his inability to come to the country citing threat to his life.

The case relates to an incident on November 1, 1984 when a mob had set afire Gurdwara Pulbangash killing three persons. — PTI

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Batla House Encounter
Terrorist bullets killed Sharma, says CFSL report

New Delhi, January 22
Delhi police today placed before the High Court a report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) which states that police officer MC Sharma, who was there during the Batla House encounter, was killed by the terrorist bullets and from a distance of 20 feet.

Delhi police said the encounter was between the terrorists who fired from inside the Batla house at the police officer who had gone there to nab them. The court has directed the Delhi police to submit the report of the entire Batla House encounter by February 11.

The police had also filed a report to the NHRC which has sought a magisterial inquiry in the matter.

The court asked Delhi police to explain why the magisterial probe was not conducted so far and made NHRC also a party in the case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice Sanjive Khanna issued notice to NHRC to explain their stand in the matter.

A petition was filed in the HC earlier that the accused in the Batla house encounter have been framed by the police. The court had directed that the inquiry of the shootout and killing of Sharma should be done according to the NHRC’s guidelines. —UNI

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SC relief for Badal
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 22
The Supreme Court today dismissed a contempt petition against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal relating to the transfer of an IAS officer, Karl Reddy, in May 1999 from the post of Financial Commissioner to that of Principal Secretary, Department of Programme Implementation.

Reddy had alleged that Badal was biased against him and as a result he was frequently transferred, kept on compulsory waiting or appointed to insignificant posts. He had come to the apex court after losing his case with the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench, in February 2000.

A Bench comprising Justices BN Agarwal and GS Singhvi dismissed the petition after Badal’s counsel Mahabir Singh and Ajay Pal contended that there was no substance in the petitioner’s allegation.

CAT had ruled that the transfer was violative of 1955 Regulations and Rule 8(2) of the Cadre Rules, but refused to set it aside. It had asked the Punjab government to take corrective action in consultation with the Centre and directed full pay and allowances to Reddy during the period he remained without a posting.

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SC takes up ‘Deshdrohi’ issue today
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 22
Accepting Maharashtra government’s plea for an urgent hearing of its plea for a stay against the release of the hindi film “Deshdrohi”, the Supreme Court today said the matter would be taken up tomorrow.

Mentioning the appeal before a Bench, comprising Justices BN Agrawal and GS Singhvi, Solicitor General (SG) GE Vahanvati said the release of the film, based on recent violence against north Indians in Mumbai and other parts of the state, may lead to law and order problem.

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OBC leaders feel ‘left out’ in BJP
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 22
The BJP considers OBC leaders, who have deserted the party, as having lost their conscience. The latest being its vice-president Kalyan Singh. The Dalits or tribals who have retraced their steps halfway like its general secretary Gopinath Munde have had their “conscience awakening,” says party spokesperson Prakash Jawadekar.

A political analyst pointed out that the BJP rose to its zenith in the 1991 elections when it won 125 Lok Sabha seats contesting independent of any alliance and creating a record by forming a government on its own in Uttar Pradesh. That’s when Kalyan Singh emerged as the BJP’s OBC icon.

The period had also witnessed simultaneous assertion of the Mandal issue. A JD(U) leader recalls how the then party ideologue KN Govindacharya had countered Mandal through his “social engineering”. As for the upwardly mobile urban upper caste, they drifted to the BJP simply to protect themselves against the rise of the Mandal storm.

Advani had fully backed social engineering. But by the time the NDA government came to power, the OBC leaders saw the actual shifting of power from the hands of the upper caste to the backward leaders in almost all non-Congress, non-BJP parties.

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PM, Prez greet Obama
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 22
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight congratulated Barack H Obama on his assumption of the office of the US President. Manmohan Singh said he was looking forward to work with the American leader to further strengthen bilateral relations and address regional and global issues of common concern.

In a message to Obama, the Prime Minister also extended him an invitation to visit India.

Officials said Manmohan Singh personally drafted the letter soon after he returned home from the All Institute of Medical Sciences after under going medical treatment.

Describing Obama's assumption of the most powerful job in the world as an historic occasion for the people of America and for all freedom loving people across the world, the Prime Minister conveyed his best wishes to the first African American President in achieving the goals that he has set for his people and for the role of the US in the comity of nations.

Manmohan Singh also referred to the multi-faceted relationship between India and the US anchored in common  values of democracy,  pluralism and respect for diversity.

India is looking at the Obama administration's decision, putting Pakistan on notice by linking non-military aid to the country with its satisfactory performance in the war on terror. ‘’It is a matter of relief for us…the new administration in the US seems to be taking a realistic view of the situation in the sub-continent,’’ the officials said.

Earlier in the day, President Pratibha Patil also congratulated Obama on his inauguration.

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Army has close ties with LeT: Pak delegation

New Delhi, January 22
A peace delegation from Pakistan today suggested the military in that country is still calling the shots and singled it out for maintaining close ties with terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The delegation also said the Obama administration in the US would need the Pakistan military’s help to restore stability in Afghanistan. The 23-member delegation comprising journalists, peace and human rights activists, legislators and scholars arrived here after crossing over the Indo-Pak border from Wagah yesterday. Attending a round table conference here, the delegates referring to terrorism pointed out that the “monster that was created has outgrown its inventors.”

“We are living in a jail. Our bureaus in the northern frontier regions are being shut down as they are constantly under physical vigil by the Pakistan troops,” said editor of Friday Times and Daily Times Jugnu Mohsin. Citing that a number of politicians and human rights activists have been killed or threatened for their stance against the Pakistan military, delegates sought India's help in co-opting the military to the political will of Pakistan.

“The relation between the US and Pakistan should also be in a political to political level, rather than on a political to military level,” said executive director of South Asia Free Media Association Imtiaz Alam. The civilian government is not in loop of many happenings, said chairperson of the independent human rights commission of Pakistan Asma Jahangir. — PTI

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Warning on tobacco packs may be diluted
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 22
The group of ministers (GoM) on pictorial health warnings on tobacco products, meeting here tomorrow, is likely to grant further exemption to the tobacco lobby that has already succeeded in diluting the pack warnings to a large extent.

Anti-tobacco campaigners fear the GoM may exempt the ‘bidi’ industry from the law that India had to ratify within three years of signing the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC). The deadline expired in February last and the law is still not in sight, thanks to repeated deferments by the GoM.

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Rane ‘supporters’ attack newspaper office

Mumbai, January 22
Around 10 to 15 spersons, allegedly supporters of Maharashtra politician Narayan Rane, attacked the offices of Marathi newspaper ‘Navakal’ after it published an editorial in today’s issue against him.

In a complaint filed with the local police station, the newspaper staff alleged that 10 persons barged into the office and trashed the place all the while shouting insults at editor Nilkanth Khadilkar for writing against Rane. The hard-hitting editorial in today’s issue criticised Rane for repeatedly changing his stand towards the Congress leadership and poked fun at him. Police personnel have now been posted outside the office.

Veteran editor Khadilkar later told reporters that Rane had sent goondas to smash the office to protest the editorial. — TNS

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Jawan at large after killing six colleagues 
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, January 22
About 24 hours after an Assam Rifles jawan went berserk and gunned down six of his colleagues, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), in a remote location in Ukhrul district of Manipur, the hunt is still on to apprehend the absconding culprit who had also taken away his service weapon, an AK-47 rifle, with him.

Assam Rifles spokesman in Imphal, Major Samsher Jung said: “According to findings of the preliminary investigation, rifleman Sheneyi Medio who hails from Nagaland, shot dead JCO Baldev Singh with his service weapon in a fit of rage following an altercation on Wednesday evening. On seeing that other personnel in the post zeroing on him, the assailant jawan panicked and opened indiscriminate firing killing five other colleagues on the spot.” Five others killed in the incident were identified as havilder Samsu Jama, riflemen W Islam, Dewan Singh, Vikash Kumar, Nitish Kumar.

The accused jawan fled the scene with his service weapon. Security forces have launched a manhunt to apprehend him even as Assam Rifles authority has instituted a court of inquiry to probe the shocking incident.

Assam Rifles is the oldest counter-insurgency force in the country. The force is entrusted with the responsibility to fight insurgents operations in Manipur and neighbouring Nagaland. The force is also responsible for guarding the Indo-Myanmar border.

In an unrelated development, the Assam Rifles has been engaged in a stand-off with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) over the latter setting up a camp at Siroy in Ukhrul district, not far away from the place where six of its men were gunned down by a rifleman.

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4 missing in AP bridge collapse
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 22
Four labourers are believed to have drowned after a bridge in Anegudi area of Koppal district in Karnataka collapsed today.

According to Deputy Commissioner Mohan Chakravarty, 30-40 labourers, mostly belonging to Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, were having their meals under the suspension bridge over the Tungabhadra river when it collapsed.

Chakravarty said the labourers started running for safety and in the process some of them fell into the river. About 25 people got hurt, he said. Condition of two injured is stated to be serious. One of them has been shifted to Bellary while the other has been sent to Hampi, he stated.

The DC said four labourers had been missing since the accident. “The water at that point is about 80 feet deep,” he said, adding that there was also the possibility of the labourers going elsewhere after the accident. “Had they been drowned, their bodies would have come up by now,” he said, adding that a search with expert divers would be conducted tomorrow.

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