SPECIAL COVERAGE
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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Kumaraswamy’s meeting with Sonia
Third Front will remain united: Deve Gowda
Bangalore, May 13
Doubts rising over the future of the Third Front in the wake of H D Kumaraswamy’s visit to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence last evening were sought to be put at rest today by his father HD Deve Gowda, Janata Dal (Secular) national president and former Prime Minister, who claimed the “Third Front would remain united”.

Lok Sabha Polls’ Outcome
Speculation rife as US envoy meets Advani

New Delhi, May 13
US Charge d’ Affairs Peter Burleigh today met BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani here amid intense speculation over the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections.

Left will play a key role, says Somnath
Kolkata, May 13
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who was expelled from CPM in the wake of Left withdrawal of support to the UPA Government, today said the party will get "reduced number" of seats this time but will play an "important role" after the polls. However he parried questions on whether he will rejoin the CPM.

LJP may support alternative secular front
New Delhi, May 13
With the final phase of polling coming to an end, the key UPA ally-Lok Janshakti Party(LJP)-today indicated that it was not averse to supporting any alternative secular government if the UPA failed to get the numbers, but said any decision would be taken jointly by “Fourth Front”.





EARLIER STORIES

A physically challenged voter enters a polling booth to cast his vote during the last phase of the general election in Kolkata on Wednesday.
POLL SPIRIT: A physically challenged voter enters a polling booth to cast his vote during the last phase of the general election in Kolkata on Wednesday. — PTI

Tackling Swine Flu
All airlines told to screen international passengers
New Delhi, May 13
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed all airlines operating international air services to and from India to make available to international passengers copies of a proforma, designed for the purpose of declaration to the Airport Health Organisation at the time of embarkation, to ensure that passengers are informed about steps being taken by India for screening of those travelling to India from countries which have reported human cases of swine flu.

Varun wants SC to quash NSA order
New Delhi, May 13
BJP leader Varun Gandhi today pleaded with the Supreme Court (SC) to direct the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh to revoke his detention order under the National Security Act (NSA) accepting the report of the state Advisory Board.

Poll officials biased: Varun
Lucknow, May 13 
Varun Gandhi, the controversial BJP candidate from the Pilibhit constituency in Uttar Pradesh, had heated arguments with some poll officials on Wednesday, accusing them of being biased in favour of the BSP candidate. As Pilibhit went to the polls, Varun alleged that some election officials at the Khananka polling booth in Bisalpur subdistrict were asking people to vote in favour of BSP candidate Ganga Charan Rajput. He also accused the poll officials of not allowing his supporters to exercise their franchise on false grounds. — IANS
Voters line up outside a polling station in Chushot, 25 km east of Leh, on Wednesday.
Voters line up outside a polling station in Chushot, 25 km east of Leh, on Wednesday. — Reuters

Two killed in Digboi refinery fire
Guwahati, May 13
Two persons were killed and 31 houses reduced to ashes, displacing over 150 people in two separate incidents of fire at Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) refinery town at Digboi, including one inside the refinery, today.

Nitish’s book seeks special status for Bihar
Patna, May 13
Apparently annoyed with the Centre for “ignoring” the interests of Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has written a book, explaining as to why the state should be granted special status. Kumar started penning the book called “Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar” about a year ago after his relentless efforts to get the special category status to Bihar failed.

Battle Against Maoists
Chhattisgarh losing the plot?
Raipur, May 13
This month Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh have killed over 30 people, most of them security personnel. Security experts are saying the police are not following "basic points" of insurgency warfare and were thus often reduced to "sitting ducks".

Use of ‘Jai Ho’ in poll campaign miffs Rahman
Chennai, May 13
Music maestro AR Rahman, whose compositions in “Slumdog Millionaire” made him the first Indian to win twin Oscars, is critical of political parties using for a poll campaign the song “Jai Ho”.

100 people use option 49(0), don't vote
Chennai, May 13
Nearly 100 people "affected" by the land acquisition made for expansion of the Chennai airport today recorded their protest by making use of a relevant section in the election procedure 49(0) - not casting vote for any particular candidate - during the LS elections held here today.

Bail granted to Saravana Bhavan founder
New Delhi, May 13
The Supreme Court today granted bail to P. Rajagopal, founder of Saravana Bhavan chain of restaurants in India and abroad, on health ground.





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Kumaraswamy’s meeting with Sonia
Third Front will remain united: Deve Gowda
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, May 13
Doubts rising over the future of the Third Front in the wake of H D Kumaraswamy’s visit to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence last evening were sought to be put at rest today by his father HD Deve Gowda, Janata Dal (Secular) national president and former Prime Minister, who claimed the “Third Front would remain united”.

The Telengana Rashtra Samiti was the first to break away from the Third Front when its leader K Chandrashekhar Rao turned up at the recent NDA rally at Ludhiana.

Visit paid by Kumaraswamy, president of the Karnataka unit of JD(S), to Sonia Gandhi yesterday sparked off speculations about JD(S), a key constituent of Third Front, also joining the Congress-led UPA.

Kumaraswamy, a former Karnataka Chief Minister, who tried to hide his face from TV cameras yesterday when he was filmed entering Sonia Gandhi’s house in his limousine, later told the media that he had met the Congress president to discuss various issues related to Karnataka.

The same excuse was repeated by his father Deve Gowda today as he tried to defend his son’s visit with Sonia Gandhi one day before the last phase of the polls in which the fates of the Left parties’, an important constituent of the “non-Congress, non-BJP alliance”, were at stake.

Addressing a press conference at his residence here, Gowda said Kumaraswamy had talked to Sonia Gandhi exclusively about the Karnataka situation. He said the BJP government in Karnataka was having a terrible track record and Kumaraswamy wanted to apprise Sonia Gandhi about the debilitating affects of the BJP rule in the state.

Gowda evaded giving any direct reply when asked as to why Kumaraswamy decided to discuss Karnataka issues with the Congress president yesterday and not before.

He said as he was not keeping well, Kumaraswamy could not inform him beforehand about his meeting with Sonia Gandhi. A statement by Kumaraswamy circulated in the press conference said after the meeting, Kumaraswamy “briefed” Deve Gowda as well as the leaders of the Left parties about it.

In the past, when Kumaraswamy had joined hands with the BJP to form the government in Karnataka, Gowda had publicly distanced himself from his son. However, in less than three months time the father-son duo were together again giving rise to speculation that Gowda’s berating of his son for embracing the BJP was a stage-managed affair.

Some journalists attending today’s press conference were expecting that Gowda would once again play angry with his son for meeting the Congress party chief. This, however, did not happen.

It is widely believed that JD(S) and the Congress were already having a tacit understanding in Karnataka for the Lok Sabha polls. Out of 28 seats in the state, the JD(S) has put up candidates in 21 seats, while it is supporting candidates of the Left parties in two other seats.

In the five remaining seats, including Shimoga and Ballery, the JD(S) is said to be backing Congress aspirants.

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Lok Sabha Polls’ Outcome
Speculation rife as US envoy meets Advani
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13
US Charge d’ Affairs Peter Burleigh today met BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani here amid intense speculation over the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections.

US embassy sources confirmed the meeting but sought to play it down, saying it was a routine courtesy call.

The sources confirmed that Burleigh had met Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N. Chandrababu Naidu and Praja Rajyam Party chief and actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi in Hyderabad yesterday during his two-day visit to Andhra Pradesh.

The importance of these meetings could be drawn from the fact that they came just before the counting of votes in the general election, which in all likelihood will throw up a hung Lok Sabha.

More than any other foreign mission in New Delhi, it is the US embassy that has been closely monitoring the elections in India since much is at stake in Indo-US ties, particularly the bilateral civilian nuclear deal as well as the implementation of the Obama administration’s Af-Pak strategy.

The meetings, particularly the one with Advani, triggered speculation that the US might be interfering with the political processes in India.

Former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh said he was surprised that the US envoy should be meeting Indian leaders at a time when the outcome of the elections was being anxiously awaited.

Some analysts on television channels went to the extent of suggesting that the US might be trying to persuade the TDP and other such regional parties not to back a Third Front government, seen to be vehemently opposed to India’s growing ties with Washington in diverse fields.

The Left parties had withdrawn support to the UPA government when it refused to back out of the nuke pact with Washington. However, Advani had, in a recent interview, stated that it was not possible to scarp an international agreement like the nuke deal.

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Left will play a key role, says Somnath

Kolkata, May 13
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who was expelled from CPM in the wake of Left withdrawal of support to the UPA Government, today said the party will get "reduced number" of seats this time but will play an "important role" after the polls. However he parried questions on whether he will rejoin the CPM. "The important thing is that nobody is ignoring the Left. It will play an important role in Indian politics. Left has to be at the forefront and I hope it plays a proper role," Chatterjee told reporters after casting his vote here.

"It will be a reduced number unfortunately but it will no doubt play an important role in Indian politics. Their importance is that no body is ignoring the Left. Please consider this," he said.

Asked whether he would rejoin CPM and that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was in touch with him in this regard, Chatterjee said," I do not know. I have not had any talk (with Bhattacharjee) about going back or coming."

The veteran communist leader, however, maintained: "I did not leave the party on my own. The party felt in its wisdom that I am not fit to be in the party and I have accepted their verdict. I never challenged it. I said I have my own conscience." To a query whether he is willing to join his former party, Chatterjee quipped "my willingness does not matter."

To a question on the possible Congess-Left alliance, he said, "I have no forum to express that as I am not in the party now. I have to speak outside and why should I do that. I am an outsider now." However, Chatterjee said his views are known generally. — PTI

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LJP may support alternative secular front

New Delhi, May 13
With the final phase of polling coming to an end, the key UPA ally-Lok Janshakti Party(LJP)-today indicated that it was not averse to supporting any alternative secular government if the UPA failed to get the numbers, but said any decision would be taken jointly by “Fourth Front”.

“We will work out a joint strategy after May 14. We will sit together and discuss the possibilities,” LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters here when asked whether the “Fourth Front”, comprising his party, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), could support a Third Front government.

Seeking to make a distinction between the present and future politics, Paswan said, “In politics there is a present and a future. Presently me and Lalu Prasad are with the UPA, the SP is not in the UPA but supporting it from outside. What will happen in future can only be known later on.”

The Union Minister, however, categorically denied any possibility of supporting an NDA-led government saying, “the Fourth Front will not allow any NDA-BJP government to come to power”.

On being asked that he himself was a minister in the NDA government, Paswan said “in 1998 the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee fell by one vote, but I did not join them”.

Asked whether he and Lalu Prasad will prefer formation of a UPA government or a Third Front government, Paswan said, “We are already in the UPA, what will happen after elections, we will decide” and added that “if the UPA gets the numbers no problem. If it does not then the SP, LJP and RJD will see what options emerge”. — PTI

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Tackling Swine Flu
All airlines told to screen international passengers
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed all airlines operating international air services to and from India to make available to international passengers copies of a proforma, designed for the purpose of declaration to the Airport Health Organisation at the time of embarkation, to ensure that passengers are informed about steps being taken by India for screening of those travelling to India from countries which have reported human cases of swine flu.

The proforma is to be distributed to all passengers and crew members of airlines before they disembark. All persons coming to India from countries which have reported human cases of swine flu like the US, Mexico, Canada, Austria, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Spain and UK will have to fill up this proforma.

Passengers will have to give information whether they have visited or transited these countries in the past 10 days and if they have, whether they have experienced any symptoms related to the flu. Information regarding seat, flight and passport number, contact address, ports of embarkation and disembarkation will also be collected through the document.

The proforma also informs passengers regarding the steps to be taken in case they develop any flu like symptoms during the flight or within seven days of their arrival in India and will be retained by the immigration officer.

As of now, no case has been reported in India. So far samples of 46 persons have been tested and found negative for Influenza H1N1. Samples of three persons are under testing.

The World Health Organisation has reported 5,728 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1 infection from 33 countries (as on May 13 ). There have been 61 deaths. USA has reported 3,009 laboratory confirmed human cases including three deaths; Mexico 2059 cases with 56 deaths; Canada 358 cases, with one death; and Costa Rica eight cases with one death.

The other countries which have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths are: Argentina (1), Australia (1), Austria (1), Brazil (8), China (3, comprising 1 in China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and 2 in mainland China), Colombia (6), Cuba (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (4), Finland (2), France (13), Germany (12), Guatemala (3), Ireland (1), Israel (7), Italy (9), Japan (4), Netherlands (3), New Zealand (7), Norway (2), Panama (29), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (3), Spain (98), Sweden (2), Switzerland (1), Thailand (2), and the United Kingdom (68).

In India, health screening of passengers coming from affected countries is continuing at 21 international airports. As many as 33,867 passengers were screened on May 12. Around 7,867 passengers were from affected countries. One passenger who disembarked at Hyderabad Airport has been referred to the identified health facility. 185 doctors and 102 paramedics have been deployed to man 73 counters at the above airports. Till date about 4.55 lakh passengers have been screened.

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Varun wants SC to quash NSA order
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 13
BJP leader Varun Gandhi today pleaded with the Supreme Court (SC) to direct the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh to revoke his detention order under the National Security Act (NSA) accepting the report of the state Advisory Board.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Varun before a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, also sought imposition of “exemplary damages” to the tune of Rs 10 lakh on the state government that could go to the Supreme Court Legal Aid Service, aimed at helping poor litigants.

The court should also consider quashing the detention order under NSA as the state government, instead of implementing the advice of the Board, headed by a sitting Judge of the Allahabad HC and two retired judges, had chosen to challenge it before the SC, Varun said in the petition.

“…the mandate of Article 22 (of the Constitution) requires that the continued detention of detenu be subject to the advice of the Advisory Board failing which the detention becomes illegal. The constitutional scheme does not envisage any challenge to the order of the Advisory Board,” Varun said.

The UP police had taken Varun into custody on March 29 upon his surrender and the Pilibhit District Magistrate subsequently slapped charges under the NSA against him for making hate speeches during his campaigning in the constituency. The SC, however, ordered his release on April 16 on parole which expires tomorrow, when the matter is listed before the Bench.

Meanwhile, the state Advisory Board had, on May 8, set aside the detention order under NSA. The state government filed a petition with the SC yesterday, challenging the Board’s view. The government’s move “stinks of malafide and indicates the political ill-will and vindictiveness” of the state, Varun maintained in the petition.

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Two killed in Digboi refinery fire
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, May 13
Two persons were killed and 31 houses reduced to ashes, displacing over 150 people in two separate incidents of fire at Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) refinery town at Digboi, including one inside the refinery, today.

Fire broke out at the Delayed Coking Unit of the country’s oldest oil refinery at Digboi owned by Assam Oil Division (AOD) of IOCL at around 6.30 am today and flared up in no time.

According to the Corporate Communications Manager, IOCL, two persons identified as a refinery employee Basab Bhattacharjee and Kamal Saikia, a contractor’s employee, were killed in the fire.

The blaze was put out after an hour a large team of fire fighters pooled from the neighbouring industrial units. The fire was contained before it spread to other plants. “No processing loss has taken place at the refinery due to the fire and the other units are running normally. No security lapse has taken place. A high-level committed has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the fire,” the manager stated. Meanwhile, 31 houses at Maliabari area in Digboi were reduced to ashes by another devastating fire that was stoked at around 10.30 am today due to crude oil spill from an Oil India Limited (OIL) pipeline.

According to an OIL spokesman, preliminary investigation indicated that a portion of the crude oil pipeline at Digboi had been damaged inside a forest area last night due to reasons yet to be ascertained.

The huge volume of crude oil spilled out of the damaged portion of the pipeline as soon as pumping of crude oil was started at around 10.30 am. The spilt crude oil caught fire in no time and the blaze wreaked havoc at Maliabari area near Digboi town, reducing 31 houses to ashes and rendering over 150 people homeless.

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Nitish’s book seeks special status for Bihar

Patna, May 13
Apparently annoyed with the Centre for “ignoring” the interests of Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has written a book, explaining as to why the state should be granted special status. Kumar started penning the book called “Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar” about a year ago after his relentless efforts to get the special category status to Bihar failed.

“I have written a book on the conditions prevailing in the state and to convince the nation about the need for granting special status to Bihar...you will come to know about the details once it is published,” Kumar said.

The 80-page book is to be published by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), an NGO. It is expected to be released by famous economist and writer Lord Meghnad Desai on May 15.

A senior official attached with the chief minister secretariat said Kumar decided to write the book when the Centre ignored his repeated demands for granting special status to Bihar. — PTI

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Battle Against Maoists
Chhattisgarh losing the plot?

Raipur, May 13
This month Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh have killed over 30 people, most of them security personnel. Security experts are saying the police are not following "basic points" of insurgency warfare and were thus often reduced to "sitting ducks".

The latest bout of criticism has come after 12 policemen and the driver of one of their buses were killed Sunday in the state's Dhamtari district, a new area of operation for the rebels, who had earlier been concentrated further south in the state's Bastar region.

In Dhamtari, about 150 armed rebels ambushed a 41-strong police team travelling in three vehicles. As the rebels' landmine blast tossed the vehicles up in the air, the Maoists started spraying bullets at the hapless policemen.

For about 16 hours, the police headquarters here did not have a clear idea of what had happened. Only around noon Monday did the officials say 12 men of their district force and a driver had been killed. Several of the bodies were found disfigured and charred and police are still to match each name to each mutilated body.

"The tenets of jungle warfare must be followed. I keep advising trainees they must follow 48 points and on top of the list is never use vehicles in jungle roads for operation purposes," Brigadier (retd.) B.K. Ponwar, director of the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC), told IANS on phone.

"Vehicles should be used only for carriage of ration, stores and ammunition. But the forces are not following the basic points."

The CTJWC was set up by the Chhattisgarh government in 2005 in Kanker town of Bastar region, hardly 50 km from the site where guerrillas attacked the police convoy in Dhamtari. The college is meant to train policemen to "take on guerrillas like a guerrilla".

"As long as warfare points are not followed the policemen will continue to get killed as happened in Dhamtari. I don't know who ordered forces to go inside a hilly area riding vehicles without the road being cleared of landmines," Ponwar said.

"I keep insisting in warfare training for the policemen to go into the jungles with multi-directional assault plan but no one is ready to follow these basic things despite knowing 95 per cent casualties in Chhattisgarh are linked to landmine blasts."

Before Sunday's killings, on May 5, a senior leader of state's ruling BJP was shot dead in Rajnandgaon district and a day after rebels ambushed 11 persons, included seven policemen, in Dantewada district.

On May 7, the insurgents brutally killed Pharasgaon police station in-charge Abdul Wahid Khan in full public view in Narayanpur district. The killing took place within 150 metres of Pharasgaon police station and a camp of the Central Reserve Police Force's 39th battalion but no one intervened.

The string of attacks forced Chief Minister Raman Singh to chair an emergency meet with top police officers here May 8. After the meeting, Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar announced: "Police will answer bullets with bullets and there will be no peace talk with rebels by the state government". The rebels responded within two days with the ambush at Dhamtari, which was carefully planned, with the policemen led into a trap by a tipoff which proved to be fake. — IANS

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Use of ‘Jai Ho’ in poll campaign miffs Rahman

Chennai, May 13
Music maestro AR Rahman, whose compositions in “Slumdog Millionaire” made him the first Indian to win twin Oscars, is critical of political parties using for a poll campaign the song “Jai Ho”.

“I was like in the bed, I was dehydrated, exhausted, and then all these things happened, somebody told me these people are using it. I hate politics. I just want people to serve the people. I want governments, whichever government comes in, to be unbiased and say there should be justice in the country and that’s my purpose in life,” Rahman said in an interview on CNN’s Talk Asia. The interview will be aired on CNN on May 20 and there will repeat telecasts on May 21 and May 23. The Congress had bought exclusive rights to the song for its poll campaign but the jingle was later dropped as the party's theme song.

When asked about his next project post-Oscars, he said: “I have a couple of offers from Hollywood. — IANS

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100 people use option 49(0), don't vote

Chennai, May 13
Nearly 100 people "affected" by the land acquisition made for expansion of the Chennai airport today recorded their protest by making use of a relevant section in the election procedure 49(0) - not casting vote for any particular candidate - during the LS elections held here today.

S Karthikeyan, a resident of Tharapakkam area which has been earmarked for land acquisition for the project, said he and the other protesters preferred not to vote "to express anger against the government." — PTI

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Bail granted to Saravana Bhavan founder
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 13
The Supreme Court today granted bail to P. Rajagopal, founder of Saravana Bhavan chain of restaurants in India and abroad, on health ground.

A Bench headed by Justice BN Agarwal passed the order after senior counsel Altaf Ahmed pleaded that his client, convicted for life in a 2001 murder case, was in poor health and had to be subjected to intensive treatment.

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BRIEFLY

Shakeel aide likely to be extradited
Mumbai:
A close associate of gangster Chhota Shakeel, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, is likely to be extradited to Mumbai from Bangkok on Thursday, a crime branch official said. “Three police officers who have flown to the Thailand capital last week will be back to Mumbai with Bhullar, against whom Red Corner Notice had been issued in December 2006, on Thursday,” the officer said. Bhullar, a sharpshooter of Shakeel gang, is wanted in several cases in the city, including those related to murder and attempt to murder. — PTI

‘AK-47s’ create scare
Mumbai:
Police intercepted a taxi here and recovered six rifles which looked like deadly AK-47s. To their relief and amusement, the AK-47s were found to be dummy ones, needed for a film shoot. According to police, the main control room got a call yesterday afternoon. The caller said he had seen three men carrying AK-47 rifles and getting into a taxi near Dadar, central Mumbai. The police mobile vans in the area were immediately alerted, and the taxi was intercepted in Matunga-Kings Circle. One Ramesh Shripati Shinde, who was riding in the taxi alongwith two others, was found to be carrying six rifles. They were brought to the police station. However, at the station, police realised rifles were in fact dummies. — PTI

Assault victim dies; 2 booked
Mumbai:
Police have registered a case of murder against two persons after the man they allegedly assaulted died in a hospital six days after the incident. Vishnu Prabhakar Netke (27), resident of Mankhurd in north-east Mumbai, died at Sion Hospital on Tuesday. Netke was assaulted with unidentified weapon on the night of May 6, after which he was taken to the hospital and released after initial check-up. But he had to be hospitalised soon thereafter. According to his brother's complaint, one Babu, who sells vada-pav, and Rocky were the assailants. Both are absconding, police said. — PTI

3 Rly officials kidnapped
Dhanbad (Jharkhand):
Suspected Maoists have abducted three railway officials, including the station master, of Hendegiri station in Jharkhand's Latehar district, a senior official said here on Wednesday. "A group of armed Maoists raided the station last night and abducted station master Lalit Prasad, Deputy station master Anil Kumar and Assistant station master S K Tete," Divisional Railway Manager (Dhanbad division), A K Gupta, told newsmen. Three other employess of the railway station, located about 140 km from Ranchi and falling in Central Industrial Chord (CIC) section of Dhanbad railway division, were also taken away along with the officials but were let off after covering some distance, Gupta added. Stating that the authorities have not received any ransom call since their kidnap, Gupta said efforts were on to trace them. — PTI

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