SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Nafisa to replace Dutt in Lucknow
Lucknow, April 5
Former Miss India, actor-social activist Nafisa Ali, was today announced as the Samajwadi party candidate from Lucknow. She has replaced Sanjay Dutt, who was disallowed by the Supreme Court from contesting.
Bollywood actor, social worker and Samajwadi Party candidate for the forthcoming general election Nafisa Ali speaks to the media in Lucknow Bollywood actor, social worker and Samajwadi Party candidate for the forthcoming general election Nafisa Ali speaks to the media in Lucknow on Sunday. — Reuters

Rabri booked for remarks against Nitish
Patna, April 5
A case has been lodged against former Chief Minister Rabri Devi on the charge of making abusive personal remarks against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the state chief of his JD(U) at an election meeting under the Saran (Chhapra) Lok Sabha constituency.





EARLIER STORIES



Pantaloons Femina Miss India-World Pooja Chopra (centre) alongwith Miss India-Universe Ekta Chaudhary (left) and Miss India-Earth Shreya Kishore in Mumbai
Pantaloons Femina Miss India-World Pooja Chopra (centre) alongwith Miss India-Universe Ekta Chaudhary (left) and Miss India-Earth Shreya Kishore in Mumbai on Sunday. — PTI

Cong flays Left for poor governance in WB
New Delhi, April 5
Even as the Congress continued to maintain that in the realm of politics everything was possible, including seeking support from the Left parties in the post-poll scenario if the need be, the party on Sunday took on its former allies head-on by bringing out a “development report card” on the “30 years of Left Front rule in West Bengal”.

Fernandes no more part of JD-U: Nitish
Patna, April 5
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar on Friday announced that veteran socialist leader George Fernandes, who filed his nomination papers from Muzaffarpur constituency in Bihar as an Independent candidate, was no more in the party.

Denial of ticket to kin
Pranab slams Arjun over outburst
New Delhi, April 5
Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee today disapproved of public expression of unhappiness by party leaders Arjun Singh and Margaret Alva over the denial of ticket to their children.

Pappu Yadav’s wife joins Congress
Patna, April 5
Already bruised by Sadhu Yadav’s rebellion, the alliance of the RJD-LJP (Lalu and Paswan) has now got a “bleeding jolt” with Supaul’s sitting MP Ranjita Ranjan ---wife of Pappu Yadav--- joining the Congress party today.

UPA family-centric, says Modi
Nuapada (Orissa), April 5
Terming the Congress-led UPA as ‘family-centric’ and Third Front as ‘opportunist’, BJP leader Narendra Modi said today that the BJP was the lone party capable of providing “foolproof security and rapid development”.

Danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, who is pitted against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani, at a road show in Gandhinagar
Danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, who is pitted against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani, at a road show in Gandhinagar on Sunday. — PTI

Security, development priority: Advani
Nanded, April 5
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani said today that development, security and good governance would be three major issues that the saffron party would rake up during the elections.

Digvijay resigns from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi, April 5
Rebel JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh today resigned as Rajya Sabha member to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Banka seat in Bihar as an Independent, days after he was denied ticket by the party.

Prez for alternatives to reduce burden on judiciary
Guwahati, April 5
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil yesterday highlighted the need for banking on suitable alternative dispute settlement mechanisms whenever feasible to reduce the pressure on the overburdened judiciary in the country.

‘Indian Highway’ moves to Norway museum
New Delhi, April 5
After London, an exhibition of works by contemporary Indian artists has begun its further journey with first stop at Norway. In collaboration with London’s Serpentine Gallery, where it was first hosted, the exhibition “Indian Highway” which began on April 2 at Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, will continue there till August, before travelling for four years, and culminate in New Delhi in 2012.

Jailed don throws lavish party for fellow inmates
Patna, April 5
Criminal-turned-politician Viveka Pahalwan, who is lodged in Beur jail here, threw a big party inside the prison to celebrate a “personal victory”, police sources said today. Pahalwan, a fierce rival of controversial Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator Anant Singh, hosted a party for more than 3,000 inmates of the jail Saturday night.

Scavengers look for coins and other valuable items from among the offerings of devotees in the Ganga at Varanasi
Scavengers look for coins and other valuable items from among the offerings of devotees in the Ganga at Varanasi on Sunday. — AFP

Hooch claims 13 lives
Guwahati, April 5
At least 13 persons, including four women, lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor in Lakhimpur district of Assam yesterday. The toll may go up as 10 other victims were still battling for life in a hospital.

Kasab’s trial put off by a week
Mumbai, April 5
The trial of lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammed Amir Ajmal Kasab, scheduled to begin in the premises of Arthur Road central jail tomorrow, has been put off by a week as the construction of the special court is not yet over.

Chiru’s party gets major jolt
Hyderabad, April 5
Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s fledgling Praja Rajyam Party received a major jolt with its vice-president and former IPS officer C Anjaneya Reddy quitting the party, raising questions over the selection of candidates for the coming elections.

Religious procession leads to riot, 2 killed
Mumbai, April 5
Two persons were killed and several others injured in the town of Pusad in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district when participants in a Ram Navami procession and some local residents got into an altercation following a traffic jam late on Friday night, police said.

Unnikrishnan’s father to seek postmortem report
New Delhi, April 5
A fortnight after the family of NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, remembered him on his 32nd birthday, his father said today that he would ask for the final postmortem report of his son from the elite force chief.

IAEA must decide if NPT violated by N Korea: India
New Delhi, April 5
India today said all Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories must fulfil their obligations, while adding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was the appropriate body to ensure whether or not a country was adhering to the NPT.

Phones sans IMEI to be denied connectivity
New Delhi, April 5
About 250 lakh handsets are expected to be out of service from April 15, as GSM service providers, including Airtel and Vodafone, gear up to deny connectivity to cell phones without International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.





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Nafisa to replace Dutt in Lucknow
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, April 5
Former Miss India, actor-social activist Nafisa Ali, was today announced as the Samajwadi party candidate from Lucknow. She has replaced Sanjay Dutt, who was disallowed by the Supreme Court from contesting.

Her name was doing the rounds of being a likely Congress candidate from Lucknow. However, Amar Singh in his distinctive style did a one upmanship by managing to get her as the Samajwadi candidate.

This was announced at a press conference at the Samajwadi party office, where 52-year-old Nafisa, Sanjay Dutt and Amar Singh were present.

Speaking to the media Nafisa Ali appeared hopeful that the Congress would not field a candidate against her as in any case it had no chance to win. Describing her relations with the Congress as “history” she expressed her reservation with the party for giving ticket to Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who were reportedly involved in the 1984 riots.

According to her, fighting the communal forces was her main agenda. Answering a question Nafisa Ali clearly said she would not like SP’s newfound friend Kalyan Singh to campaign for her in Lucknow.

However, she said she was ready to give Kalyan Singh another chance as he had apologised for his role in the Babri masjid demolition and was determined to decimate the BJP.

Officially, the decision to make her the Lucknow candidate was said to be that of Manyata’s - Sanjay Dutt’s wife- who was herself a strong contender for the seat.

The newly appointed national general secretary of the party Sanjay Dutt revealed that it was his wife Manyata who suggested Nafisa's name for Lucknow. General Secretary Amar Singh described Nafisa Ali as a personal friend. He said, “When I asked her whether she would agree to come to Lucknow as SP's candidate or represent the Congress, which had no political base in UP, she expressed full faith in SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's secular ideologies and agreed to contest from Lucknow”.

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Rabri booked for remarks against Nitish
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, April 5
A case has been lodged against former Chief Minister Rabri Devi on the charge of making abusive personal remarks against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the state chief of his JD(U) at an election meeting under the Saran (Chhapra) Lok Sabha constituency.

The District Magistrate-cum-District Election Officer of Saran, B Rajendra confirmed getting the case registered against Rabri today under Section 171(G) of the IPC and Section 125 of the Representation of Peoples Act on the charge of promoting enmity on the basis of caste, colour or utterances and making statements that may affect the result of elections. The Act has provisions for punishment up to three years of imprisonment besides fine.

Taking a serious exception to the invectives hurled by RJD chief’s better half against the Chief Minister, which was telecast by a news channel today, the JD (U) had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking punitive action against her.

JD(U) spokesman and Rajya Sabha member Shivanand Tiwary had met the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here and lodged a formal complaint against her, who also happens to be the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha. The CEO has asked Rajendra to send CDs of her speech recorded by the district authorities.

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Cong flays Left for poor governance in WB
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, April 5
Even as the Congress continued to maintain that in the realm of politics everything was possible, including seeking support from the Left parties in the post-poll scenario if the need be, the party on Sunday took on its former allies head-on by bringing out a “development report card” on the “30 years of Left Front rule in West Bengal”. With the help of the detailed document, the party attacked the West Bengal government to underline the point, that the Left could not bring up a state in 30 years, and also utilised it to campaign against the Third Front’s attempts to gain power at the Centre.

“Despite having uninterrupted power for three decades, if you could not deliver goods in one state, can the people of India trust the Third Front under your leadership to handover the country to you?” senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee said at the AICC headquarters here.

In the 12-page detailed document, the Congress has sought to project how West Bengal was down in the dumps with regard to several development indices in the 30 years of the Left rule.

Under separate heads, health and nutrition, education, employment generation, poverty, income growth, law and order, basic service and infrastructure welfare of the backward classes, comparisons have been drawn with other states in the country to arrive at deduction on how even after three decades of massive support from the people, the Left-ruled West Bengal was lagging behind most states in all fields.

Mukherjee, who is also the West Bengal PCC chief, said the state was unique in the sense that there was no other state where any political party was in power for 30 long years and still the development was so poor. As per the report card, West Bengal has very high levels of hunger and malnutrition when compared to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the occasion also saw Mukherjee rejecting the demand for carving out a separate Gorkhaland out of West Bengal, saying that the state was against yet another division.

The Finance Minister also questioned how the BJP was planning to implement its Rs 2 kg paddy/wheat proposal to BPL families as promised in its manifesto.

Meanwhile, he also asserted that there was no question of the UPA disintegrating, saying that the UPA is not a political party, but the name of the “coordination government” at the Centre. The Congress’ troubleshooter rejected the claims that the UPA is disintegrating and termed such claims the part of an “unnecessary debate”.

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Fernandes no more part of JD-U: Nitish

Patna, April 5
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar on Friday announced that veteran socialist leader George Fernandes, who filed his nomination papers from Muzaffarpur constituency in Bihar as an Independent candidate, was no more in the party. "The JD-U has no relation with Fernandes or any one who is contesting elections against the party's decision," Nitish Kumar said at a press meet called to announce the entry of two sitting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MPs into the JD-U.Meanwhile, the official JD-U candidate from Muzaffarpur, Jai Prakash Nishad, is facing revolt from within the party while workers of the JD-U's alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, have announced they would not support him.Fernandes' statements and his activities should not be linked with the JD-U because the party has no connection or relation with him, the chief minister reiterated.

Sources in the party office said that Fernandes' photographs in the JD-U office had also been removed after Nitish Kumar's outburst.

Fernandes, who had been denied a party ticket for the 2009 poll on grounds of his "advancing years and failing health", had Wednesday filed his nomination papers from Muzaffarpur as an Independent.

Without naming anybody in the JD-U, he said some people were spreading rumours that he was not well and cannot contest elections. "It is a big lie, I am healthy," he said. — IANS

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Denial of ticket to kin
Pranab slams Arjun over outburst

New Delhi, April 5
Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee today disapproved of public expression of unhappiness by party leaders Arjun Singh and Margaret Alva over the denial of ticket to their children.

“I think party issues should be sorted out in the party fora,” Mukherjee told mediapersons at the AICC headquarters here when asked about what his advise will be to Arjun who had yesterday expressed disappointment over the denial of party ticket to his children.

Arjun Singh had said yesterday that he could say he was not unhappy over the denial of ticket to his daughter Beena Singh from Sidhi and son Ajeya Singh from Satna, both in Madhya Pradesh. Mukherjee said this was also his advice to Alva whose raising the issue of denial of ticket to her son in the Karnataka assembly polls had triggered a controversy recently.

Mukherjee was also critical of BJP leader Varun Gandhi for his provocative comments.

“No political activist should say anything or do anything which has potential of dividing the country,” the Congress leader said. — PTI

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Pappu Yadav’s wife joins Congress
Sanjay Singh

Patna, April 5
Already bruised by Sadhu Yadav’s rebellion, the alliance of the RJD-LJP (Lalu and Paswan) has now got a “bleeding jolt” with Supaul’s sitting MP Ranjita Ranjan ---wife of Pappu Yadav--- joining the Congress party today.

Ranjita, already declared as LJP candidate from Supaul in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, is now the Congress nominee for that seat.

While being introduced as the Congress candidate by Bihar Congress chief Anil Sharma and the Congress general secretary in charge of Bihar affairs, Sardar Iqbal Singh, Ranjita said her husband and the sitting MP of the RJD from the adjoining Madhepura constituency would now campaign for her as well as other Congress candidates in the Kosi belt.

Ranjita’s decision to join the Congress should actually be viewed as Pappu Yadav deserting the RJD-LJP-SP alliance. Even though he remained behind the bars for almost eight years on the charge of conspiring the murder of CPM Legislator Ajit Sarkar, Pappu still has a lot of clout in the Kosi belt.

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UPA family-centric, says Modi

Narendra Modi Nuapada (Orissa), April 5
Terming the Congress-led UPA as ‘family-centric’ and Third Front as ‘opportunist’, BJP leader Narendra Modi said today that the BJP was the lone party capable of providing “foolproof security and rapid development”.

“The electoral performance of the UPA and the Third Front will be dismal as the NDA is gaining strength across the country,” Modi claimed at an election meeting here.

He said the UPA was losing its allies everywhere and its partners were fighting among themselves in some states. Moreover, the people were disillusioned with the Congress because of the UPA government’s failure on all fronts, he said, adding that it could not manage the economy properly. — PTI

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Security, development priority: Advani

Nanded, April 5
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani said today that development, security and good governance would be three major issues that the saffron party would rake up during the elections.

Addressing a public meeting at the Deglur tehsil of this district, Advani said:

“Development, security and good governance are the three major issues which would be taken on priority if the NDA voted to power.”

He said all assistance would be given to security personnel. The salary of armed forces would also be raised.

Announcing sops to farmers, the BJP leader said farmers would be given pensions on the lines of government employees. — PTI

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Digvijay resigns from Rajya Sabha

New Delhi, April 5
Rebel JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh today resigned as Rajya Sabha member to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Banka seat in Bihar as an Independent, days after he was denied ticket by the party.

“I have handed over my resignation to the Vice-President (also chairman of the Rajya Sabha) as I cannot contest as an Independent being an MP of a party,” Digvijay Singh said, adding that he would file his nomination paper from Banka on April 9 as an Independent candidate.

Addressing mediapersons outside the Vice-President’s house this evening, Singh said the “autocratic attitude” of a leader “forced” him to leave the party.

In an apparent attack on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he said party president Sharad Yadav had a little control over the party affairs. — PTI

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Prez for alternatives to reduce burden on judiciary
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, April 5
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil yesterday highlighted the need for banking on suitable alternative dispute settlement mechanisms whenever feasible to reduce the pressure on the overburdened judiciary in the country.

Referring to the rich tradition of customary law and practice prevalent especially in the hill regions of Northeast, the President said: “In the hill regions here, a conciliatory rather than an adversarial approach is adopted in the settlement of disputes. Such successful models and experiences hold an example for the country.”

“They should inspire confidence in the alternate dispute mechanisms in the country, whether it is mediation or conciliation or arbitration. These options can be swift and cost-effective which, at the same time, reduce pressure on the already overburdened normal judiciary structure,” she said, addressing the celebratory function of the closing ceremony of the golden jubilee celebration of the Gauhati High Court here.

Addressing the concluding function of Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Gauhati High Court, which was attended by a host of dignitaries, Patil advocated for innovations for clearing backlog of cases and cooperative efforts at all levels of the judiciary.

The President stated that there was need for making justice more assessable for the weaker sections of society and urged lawyers to come forward to help the National Legal Services Authority, which along with civil society groups, has undertaken efforts to establish a national network of legal aid centers. She lauded the glorious contributions of the Gauhati High Court which faces an onerous task of addressing seven Northeastern states that are characterized by varied geography, culture, tradition and social practices besides diversity in population pattern.

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‘Indian Highway’ moves to Norway museum

New Delhi, April 5
After London, an exhibition of works by contemporary Indian artists has begun its further journey with first stop at Norway.

In collaboration with London’s Serpentine Gallery, where it was first hosted, the exhibition “Indian Highway” which began on April 2 at Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, will continue there till August, before travelling for four years, and culminate in New Delhi in 2012.

“The idea is to look at new themes and new art markets like India. About 40 artists from India are included in Oslo,” Hanne Beate Ueland of the Astrup Fearnley Musueum told over the phone.

What began as a core of 18 artists, including leading names like MF Hussain, Jitish Kallat, Subodh Gupta, Riyas Komu, Bharti Kher and others, the “Indian Highway” would keep accumulating more artists as it travels through Europe.

Jitish Kallat whose 2007 work, a 20-part work called Cenotaph (A deed of transfer) that comprises 3D photographs of Mumbai slums, is part of the exhibition says that Indian art is finally picking up museum interest abroad.

“Indian art that has been growing in a rather dramatic fashion over the past four to five years and now steadied. Almost every major museum across the world is planning to showcase works from the country,” says Kallat.

The Oslo museum says the collaborative project is part of its focus on the arts of three major cultural regions, China, India and the Middle East, reflecting a shift from Western to emerging global economies.

Artist Bose Krishnamachari says, “I think this is the first time that our artists are showcasing at such a grand scale. The reception of the ‘Indian Highway’ at London was a success. More than 75,000 people were estimated to have visited the exhibition showing that there is very good demand for contemporary Indian art abroad,” he says.

‘Indian Highway’ also pioneers a radical model of curating, in which curators would develop a ‘show within a show’ inside the exhibition.

While at the Serpentine, Delhi-based multi-media artists Raqs Media Collective invited documentary film-makers to participate at Oslo, the practice is developed with a section curated by the Bose Krishnamachari.

At each subsequent international venue, a different Indian artist or group will invite their contemporaries to exhibit, bringing views of Indian art from the inside and allowing the exhibition to grow and develop in new ways. — PTI

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Jailed don throws lavish party for fellow inmates

Patna, April 5
Criminal-turned-politician Viveka Pahalwan, who is lodged in Beur jail here, threw a big party inside the prison to celebrate a “personal victory”, police sources said today. Pahalwan, a fierce rival of controversial Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator Anant Singh, hosted a party for more than 3,000 inmates of the jail Saturday night. “It was a huge party, never seen before inside the jail,” a police official said.

Special vegetarian dishes and sweets were served to all inmates and reportedly to the jail officials also. “Special dishes were cooked at a kitchen inside the jail for the party,” jail sources said.

However, about 200 to 250 inmates, considered loyalists of Anant Singh, refused to join the party - reportedly organised by Pahalwan to “celebrate a setback” to Anant Singh. “Those who refused to eat were Singh’s men in jail,” an official said.

Despite several attempts by IANS to contact jail officials, they remained unavailable to comment on the issue on record.

According to police records, Pahalwan, who is also related to Anant Singh, is a notorious criminal, who is accused in the killing of the legislator’s elder brother Fazo Singh and several other cases including murder, kidnapping, extortion and loot.

A senior police official had on Tuesday termed Anant Singh a “threat” to the peaceful conduct of the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.

In a letter to the state’s chief electoral officer, Amitabh Kumar Das, commandant of the Bihar Military Police-11 at Jamui, said ensuring a free and fair election would be difficult as Anant Singh could attempt to intimidate voters or capture polling booths.

Das alleged Anant Singh has several sophisticated weapons at his home in his ancestral village of Nadma in Barh sub division of rural Patna district. The weapons, including AK-47 rifles and light machine guns, might be used to threaten voters. — IANS

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Hooch claims 13 lives
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, April 5
At least 13 persons, including four women, lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor in Lakhimpur district of Assam yesterday. The toll may go up as 10 other victims were still battling for life in a hospital.

Lakhimpur Superintendent of Police Syed Atawul Karim informed that the tragedy struck at Saboti, Sukulibhoriya, Nakari and Choukham Mazgaon areas on the outskirt of Lakhimpur town.

He said 23 persons had taken ill after consuming the illicit liquor and were rushed to the Lakhimpur Civil Hospital. Five of them died last night, while eight more died today. Six victims in a serious condition were shifted to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital today.

The deceased have been identified as Manju Umesh, Rita Mushahary, Abanti Bhumij, Manomati Gor, Motilal Basfor, Adam Chayengia, Suresh Mali, Thomas Kashua, Maju Bhumij, Ram Adhar Sahni, Dhani Das, Chinmoy Gogoi and Atul Chandra Das. Meanwhile, the police and personnel from the Assam Excise Department today conducted raids at Saboti and adjoining areas and destroyed about 6,000 litres of illicit liquor. Two persons involved in its manufacturing were also arrested during the raid.

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Kasab’s trial put off by a week

Mumbai, April 5
The trial of lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammed Amir Ajmal Kasab, scheduled to begin in the premises of Arthur Road central jail tomorrow, has been put off by a week as the construction of the special court is not yet over. “The construction of court’s slab is still on and the work is expected to be completed in six to seven days,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told. The Public Works Department has informed the jail authorities that the work is going in full swing since last month and the construction would be completed soon. Only then will they be able to hand over the court premises to the jail authorities. According to prosecutor Nikam, Kasab and two others would be produced before the sessions court tomorrow through video conference facility.

This court is now in South Mumbai and would shift to Arthur Road jail after the construction of the new court is over. — PTI

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Chiru’s party gets major jolt
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, April 5
Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s fledgling Praja Rajyam Party received a major jolt with its vice-president and former IPS officer C Anjaneya Reddy quitting the party, raising questions over the selection of candidates for the coming elections.

Reddy, a DGP-rank official, has been closely associated with the party since its inception six months ago and was a member of its core committee.

He was also the security adviser to Chiranjeevi. “I have realised that there is no difference between the PRP and the other parties.

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Religious procession leads to riot, 2 killed
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, April 5
Two persons were killed and several others injured in the town of Pusad in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district when participants in a Ram Navami procession and some local residents got into an altercation following a traffic jam late on Friday night, police said.

The arguments soon resulted in a communal clash that claimed the lives of Syed Ghani (50) and Raju Hagane (45), police said. The police had to fire several rounds in the air to disperse the rioters. Complaints of stone-throwing and looting of property have been registered. The authorities immediately clamped curfew after several shops were set on fire in the violence, police said. In all some 70 shops were destroyed.

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Unnikrishnan’s father to seek postmortem report

New Delhi, April 5
A fortnight after the family of NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, remembered him on his 32nd birthday, his father said today that he would ask for the final postmortem report of his son from the elite force chief.

Sandeep’s father K. Unnikrishnan said as a father, he “just wanted to know how his child died.” “I would request in writing to the NSG Director-General to give me the final postmortem report of my son. However, while signing his papers when he joined the Army, I had taken an undertaking to abide by the established rules and regulations of the forces,” Unnikrishnan said.

“I am totally satisfied with the cooperation from the National Security Guard (NSG) and the Army but as a father I am just curious to know the make of the weapon, the bullets and the medical observation of his death,” he said. — PTI

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IAEA must decide if NPT violated by N Korea: India
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 5
India today said all Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories must fulfil their obligations, while adding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was the appropriate body to ensure whether or not a country was adhering to the NPT.

When asked to comment on North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket this morning, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said so far as India was concerned, it was “totally in agreement that those who were signatories to the NPT, must fulfil their obligations.”

But he stressed that the IAEA was the appropriate body to ensure that commitment to the NPT was “total” and so far as India’s stand on the issue was concerned, it was well known.

India has not signed the treaty as it is of the view that it is discriminatory in nature. Broadly, this is one of the reasons that India decided to sidestep the issue rather than take a categoric stand on it.

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Phones sans IMEI to be denied connectivity

New Delhi, April 5
About 250 lakh handsets are expected to be out of service from April 15, as GSM service providers, including Airtel and Vodafone, gear up to deny connectivity to cell phones without International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.

Concerned over the national security, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked operators to disconnect services to handset that does not have an IMEI number. IMEI is a 15-digit code which appears on the operator's network whenever a call is made.

If all service providers adhere to the deadline given by the DoT, nearly 250 lakh handsets, which are almost 10 per cent of the total GSM mobile phones in use in the country and mostly China-made, are likely to go out of service, industry sources said.

Analysts feel that the move is also likely to hit the revenue of telecom firms as phones which have no IMEI numbers are usually low-cost and unbranded and used by low-end subscribers. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Details on Prez, PM's health denied under RTI
NEW DELHI:
The government has refused to disclose information on Prime Minister and President's health status, including details of medical expenses borne for the same, under the RTI Act, terming them as classified documents. An applicant had asked the Prime Minister's Office to give details regarding the health of all the Prime Ministers and expenditure incurred by the government for their treatment. The reply from the Director, Emergency and Medical Relief under Directorate General of Health Services said, "As the medical care scheme for Prime Minister is a classified document, it is regretted that the information related to medical care sought cannot be provided as per exemption clause provided in the RTI Act".

French firm to redesign CST
NEW DELHI:
Indian Railways has chosen a French firm to redesign the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of the targets of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, as a world class station. AREP, a subsidiary of the French Railway (SNCF), will conduct the architectural and feasibility study for redesign and redevelopment of the terminus as a world-class station on Public-Private-Partnership mode. The French engineering and architectural agency will be paid about Rs 10 crore by the Railways for carrying out the study and to suggest a new design for the station, which is a World Heritage Site, by the end of 2009.

Killer tusker behind death of jumbos
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
A killer tusker is suspected to be behind the death of five female elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the last three months. This was the disclosed by a 15-member experts' committee that probed the death of seven elephants, including five females. The jumbos were found dead with festering wounds on their bodies. The panel arrived at this conclusion on the basis of post-mortem of the carcasses and chemical analysis of samples from the dead jumbos Circumstantial evidence gathered from the area also suggested that the killer tusker, a loner in all possibility, could have attacked and critically wounded its victims, eventually leading to their deaths.

Sanjay not to campaign for Priya
Lucknow:
Bollywood star and Samajwadi Party general secretary Sanjay Dutt today said he would not campaign for sister Priya Dutt, who was contesting the coming Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket from Mumbai. When asked whether he would campaign for his sister the actor said, “No...I will be in Lucknow and campaigning for Nafisaji”. Earlier, Dutt told reporters that the name of Nafisa Ali was suggested to him by wife Manyata and said he would work wholeheartedly to ensure her victory. This seat will be ours..”, he said.

Sources: Agencies

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