SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Government Formation
Prez to go by past practices

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, May 15
With election results likely to throw up a sharply divided Lok Sabha, all eyes will be on President Pratibha Patil. Whom should she invite to form the new government? The subject is being debated hotly in legal, political and journalistic circles.

Left in lurch as Third Front drifts apart
New Delhi, May 15
In the midst of surging political temperatures, the Left
was today seen hankering after some warmth, with
one Third Front partner after the other appearing to be
drifting apart.

NCP mellows down stand on PM
New Delhi, May 15
Wild speculations and wacky permutations on the eve of counting of votes, the Capital on Friday was witness to all this besides some frantic real time politicking in the endgame to the largest political activity in the country.

Sangma asks Pawar not to support Cong
Guwahati, May 15
Even as the country is waiting eagerly for election results to be declared tomorrow, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) units in the North-East, led by PA Sangma, have called upon all like-minded political parties to back party president Sharad Pawar as the next prime minister. Sangma has urged upon the party president, Sharad Pawar, to stay away from “untrustworthy” Congress in the formation of next government at the Centre and resolved to root for him as the next PM. — TNS

Hit with duster, girl student dies
Burdwan (West Bengal), May 15
An 11-year-old girl died here after her class teacher allegedly hit her on the head with a duster when she failed to write the national anthem, the police said today.


BJP leader Rajnath Singh during an interaction with media in Ghaziabad on Friday.
POLL HEADACHE: BJP
leader Rajnath Singh
during an interaction
with media in Ghaziabad
on Friday. — PTI photo

EARLIER STORIES

Jaya demands air dropping of food for Lankan Tamils
Chennai, May 15
Indicating that Sri Lankan Tamils issue remains the key issue for AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa even after the elections, she expressed fears that more number Tamil people would be killed by starvation than due to military attacks, and demanded air dropping of food packets by the Indian Air Force for the suffering people.

Plagiarisation of Book
I did not author, only endorsed it: Nitish
Patna, May 15
The unseemly controversy over the alleged plagiarisation of a book titled “Special
Category Status: A case for Bihar” published by a local NGO, the Asian Development
Renowned economist Lord Meghnad Desai releases the book “Special Category Status: A case for Bihar” by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on Friday.Research Institute (ADRI) and purported to
have been authoured by Bihar Chief Minister
Nitish Kumar was set to rest on Friday with
the Chief Minister’s denial that he had not
authored any book with this title.

Renowned economist Lord Meghnad Desai releases the book “Special Category Status: A case for Bihar” by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on Friday. — PTI photo

Poonam Sinha, wife of BJP candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency Shatrughan Sinha, worships at a temple in Patna on Friday.
Poonam Sinha, wife of BJP candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency Shatrughan Sinha, worships at a temple in Patna on Friday. — PTI photo

Bollywood deadlock continues
Mumbai, May 15
Movie goers will have to make do without their
fix for yet another weekend as talks between
multiplex owners and film makers over revenue
sharing broke down on Thursday night,
according to sources.

Hyderabad Blasts’ Case
Charge sheet filed against
seven accused

Hyderabad, May 15
Nearly 21 months after the twin blasts rocked the city, Andhra Pradesh police today filed a charge sheet in a local court here naming seven Indian Mujahideen operatives as the accused behind the explosions that killed 42 people.

HC stays Mulayam’s arrest order
Allahabad, May 15
The Allahabad High Court today stayed the arrest of Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in connection with an FIR lodged against his supporters for their alleged misbehaviour with election officials in Etawah district.

Udaipur Rape Case
Declare convict proclaimed offender: SC to Rajasthan
New Delhi, May 15
The Supreme Court today ordered the immediate arrest of Parbat Singh Rana, sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a British tourist at his guesthouse in Udaipur on the eve of Christmas in 2007.

SC beefs up SIT probing Gujarat riots
New Delhi, May 15
The Supreme Court today strengthened the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 2002 Gujarat riots by appointing two more members-Paramvir Singh and AK Malhotra, former Additional Director and former DIG of CBI respectively.

Bad heart deadlier than breast cancer for women
New Delhi, May 15
Women commonly abide by this belief that they need to be more cautious towards breast cancer than heart problems, and over 60 per cent of them turn pale with fear when a doctor tells them that they have lumps in their breasts.

Budget session from mid-June
New Delhi, May 15
The budget session of the newly elected Lok Sabha will be held in the middle of June, it was announced today.

 





Top








 

Government Formation
Prez to go by past practices
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
With election results likely to throw up a sharply divided Lok Sabha, all eyes will be on President Pratibha Patil. Whom should she invite to form the new government? The subject is being debated hotly in legal, political and journalistic circles.

The President is understood to have already undertaken the process of consulting constitutional experts on the options available to her for the formation of the new government in the event of fractured mandate in the elections.

Among those involved in consultation process are believed to be the Law Ministry, Attorney General Milon K Banerjee and several leading constitutional experts.

Archana Dutta, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the President, told The Tribune: “The President is studying previous practices and precedents. As the situation unfolds, she would consult legal experts.”

Dutta added, “The President will be guided by accepted conventions and constitutional provisions.” The spotlight has already shifted on the President since no party is expected to come anywhere near the majority mark in the new House.

The Constitution makes it mandatory for the President to appoint a Prime Minister. On the advice of the President, a Council of Ministers is made responsible to Parliament. This, in effect, means that the President is will call the single largest party to form the government even if it is in a minority.

But a stable government may be provided by a coalition of parties. In fact, a minority government of the single largest party might not last.

The Constitutional experts say the degree of fragmentation in Indian polity has increased in this era of coalition politics.

The President would have to tread cautiously since all her actions would be under close scrutiny. She faces a real dilemma.

The experts said she would also have to take into account similar situations that had arisen in the past in the wake of the electorate giving a fractured mandate.

According to noted constitutional expert PP Rao, the effort of the President should be to identify the leader, who could command the majority in the House.

For this purpose, the President could invite the single largest party. If the leader of the party says ‘yes’ to the invite, the President could personally consult the groups willing to support the leader of the single largest party.

If there are rival claims, the President would have to ascertain, which party or alliance commands the majority support in the Lok Sabha.

If the picture is still not clear, the President can convene a session of the Lok
Sabha and send a message to it, asking it to elect anyone among the members
as the Prime Minister.

Top

 

Left in lurch as Third Front drifts apart
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
In the midst of surging political temperatures, the Left was today seen hankering after some warmth, with one Third Front partner after the other appearing to be drifting apart.

Desperate to keep their flock together few hours before counting for the 15th Lok Sabha began, top communist leaders like Prakash Karat and AB Bardhan spent their day communicating with allies and convincing them of the possibility of a “non-Congress, non-BJP government” at the Centre.

But the remoteness of this possibility became evident with the passage of the day, as most of the Third Front partners, including the AIADMK, BJD, TDP and the BSP, refused to make their options public lest they have to withdraw sheepishly following tomorrow’s results.

The Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS), first to abandon the Third Front, today further firmed up its alliance with the BJP with party chief K Chandrashekhar Rao exuding confidence in the NDA’s ability to form the government, brazenly ending his deal with the grand alliance in Andhra Pradesh of which the TRS, TDP and the Left parties are members.

The TDP too, for its part, seemingly enjoyed being solicited all day by former
partner, the BJP.

Sources within the party said the TDP was keeping its options open in the wake of the realisation that a Third Front government was unlikely.

It was only at the fag end of the day that the party parroted its old stand of being one with the Third Front.

There was also news that TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu, along with CPM and CPI general secretaries Prakash Karat and AB Bardhan was in touch on the phone with AIADMK chief Jayalalitha.

The latter, of course, didn’t seem to oblige amidst reports of BJP leader Narendra Modi making attempts to woo her.

By the admission of CPM Politburo member MK Pandhe, Jayalalitha is not expected to attend the May 18 meeting of the Third Front in the capital.

There is, in fact, a possibility of the meet being rescheduled, with CPM sources confirming the possible absence of many key partners. May 18 being JDS chief Deve Gowda’s birthday, he has to visit Tirupati.

The presence of BJD president Naveen Patnaik is also doubtful as he would be busy with government formation in Orissa - for which he has reportedly reached a secret understanding with the Congress.

It is learnt that Congress has agreed to bail out Patnaik in case of a hung Assembly - a favour which Patnaik has agreed to return by abstaining from the confidence vote in Parliament. The deal means the BJD is potentially out of the Third Front.

Even the JD(S) seems like an unreliable partner, irrespective of what it says. After
the recent meeting between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and HD Deve Gowda’s
son HD Kumaraswamy, nothing can be said with certainty about JD(S)’s love for
the Third Front.

That leaves the Left with barely any pre-poll partners with whom to imagine the formation of a non-Congress secular government.

There were in fact reports today of the Left contemplating to abstain from the trust vote in Parliament in case the Congress won over 200 seats.

With nothing quite going the Left way, there are slim chances of that the Central objective being met - a reason why political analysts feel the Left might again stand behind the Congress, tacitly or otherwise, to keep the BJP out of power.

Top

 

NCP mellows down stand on PM
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
Wild speculations and wacky permutations on the eve of counting of votes, the Capital on Friday was witness to all this besides some frantic real time politicking in the endgame to the largest political activity in the country.

The two major groupings - the UPA and the NDA - held strategy sessions and explored possibilities of roping in as many parties into their fold to scramble the magical 273 figure.

As the last ditch effort, both Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA tried to open all backroom channels to get the backing of as many parties as possible.

Today, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Racecourse residence were the centres of political activity.

At a top-level meeting late evening at the Prime Minister’s residence, senior party leaders discussed formulations for the D-day on Saturday. Gandhi also exchanged notes with senior leaders to discuss possible post-poll situations.

Amid all this was some good news for the Congress with the NCP mellowing down its stand on the issue of prime ministership and the LJP saying it would not let the BJP form the government at any cost.

In middle of reports of the NDA trying to reach out to the LJP, party chief Ram Vilas Paswan said he would not allow the BJP to come to power at the Centre at any cost while NCP leader Praful Patel said the top post would go to the Congress since it was the biggest party in the UPA.

So far the NCP had been projecting its chief Sharad Pawar as the prime ministerial candidate, saying Manmohan Singh was the prime ministerial candidate of only the Congress and not the UPA. Yesterday Patel said in the era of coalition politics, the main effort would be to see that a secular UPA government was formed where Pawar could play an important role.

Reportedly, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and RLD president Ajit Singh also called up Paswan on Friday. As far as the Congress is concerned, the party is adopting man-to-man marking strategy.

Congress’ strategy has been to reach out to estranged allies, like members of the so-called Fourth Front - RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav - and win over new ones.

Officially the party is neither confirming nor denying it “All contacts will be established after May 16 when exact positions become clear,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said.

Top

 

Hit with duster, girl student dies

Burdwan (West Bengal), May 15
An 11-year-old girl died here after her class teacher allegedly hit her on the head with a duster when she failed to write the national anthem, the police said today.

Babli Ghosh, a class V student of Andal Girls High School, fell unconscious after the teacher, Rekha Bhagat, allegedly hit her with a duster in class yesterday, the sources said. She died on the way to hospital, they said.

“Following demand by guardians of the students that the class teacher be arrested, the managing committee has decided to keep the school closed till the teacher is arrested,” head mistress Tapati Bhattacharya said. The victim's family has lodged a complaint with the police. — PTI

Top

 

Jaya demands air dropping of food for Lankan Tamils
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, May 15
Indicating that Sri Lankan Tamils issue remains the key issue for AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa even after the elections, she expressed fears that more number Tamil people would be killed by starvation than due to military attacks, and demanded air dropping of food packets by the Indian Air Force for the suffering people.

“Indian Army should drop packets containing cooked food, vegetables, fruits and water in Sri Lankan army's detention centres where Tamils were being kept without water and food. Thousand of "our relatives' would die, if this action was not taken immediately. The Centre should not ignore the demand and take action without delay. By this act, the Indian army will compensate for the historic blunders, they have done in the past”, the AIADMK leader said, apparently referring to the alleged co-operation between Indian and Sri Lankan governments in the military offensive.

“As the Sri Lankan government is intensifying attacks on Tamil people, people are suffering without water and medicine. Since the military is attacking hospitals, injured people are suffering without medical treatment”, she said, in a statement here, just a day before counting of votes.

She also said while the United Nations and International Red Cross Society and US president were insisting on immediate ceasefire, the Centre and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi were enacting a drama by their claims that the island government had stopped the attacks, betraying that they had no concern for Tamils, the AIADMK leader said.

Karunanidhi did not care about finding a permanent solution to the Sri Lankan Tamils, who had been suffering for several generations.

AIADMK's allies the PMK and MDMK too had alleged that the island military was massacring Tamils and urged the intervention of the US to save the island Tamils.

While PMK founder S Ramadoss asserted that a government which had true concern for Sri Lankan Tamils would be formed at the Centre, MDMK leader Vaiko, urged the direct intervention of the US into the conflict to save the people.

Top

 

Plagiarisation of Book
I did not author, only endorsed it: Nitish
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, May 15
The unseemly controversy over the alleged plagiarisation of a book titled “Special Category Status: A case for Bihar” published by a local NGO, the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) and purported to have been authoured by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was set to rest on Friday with the Chief Minister’s denial that he had not authored any book with this title.

“I had only endorsed the monograph with this title brought out by ADRI.” The monograph was released by Lord Meghnad Desai , an economist of world repute, at a function here today.

Just a day before the ‘book’ was to be released, a research scholar of JNU, Atul Lumar Singh raked up a serious controversy by claiming that his research paper had been plagiarised by ADRI to whom he had submitted his papers.

Singh, a native of Bihar also threatened to sue the Bihar Chief Minister, the purported author of the book, if the latter went ahead with its release.

Singh’s claims were reportedly based on media reports saying that Nitish had authored an 80 pages book with the said title, which was scheduled to be released by Lord Desai in Patna on May 15.

The printed invitation cards sent by the publishers to all mediapersons and the intelligentsia of Bihar also said the book authoured by Nitish Kumar was to be released by Lord Desai.

Following the controversy, the ADRI director Shaibal Gupta admitted that it was a ‘faux pas’ made by his people while clearing the proof of the invitation card.

While regretting the error, Gupta also charged Atul with playing fraud on this issue with a political motive.

If Gupta is to be believed, Atul was working for ADRI and being paid a monthly salary of Rs 20,000. “Now he is claiming our work to be his”, Gupta said.

According to him Atul had political ambitions and he had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly elections from Amnaur (Saran) in Bihar.

Top

 

Bollywood deadlock continues
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, May 15
Movie goers will have to make do without their fix for yet another weekend as talks between multiplex owners and film makers over revenue sharing broke down on Thursday night, according to sources.

Veterans in the film industry drawn from the distributor and film-making fraternity had brought together representatives of producers and multiplex chains in a last-ditch effort to break the deadlock, sources said.

However, the talks that went on late into the night broke down as various revenue- sharing formulae thrown about were rejected by one or both parties, sources said.

While the multiplexes are demanding higher share of their revenues citing higher costs, they are refusing on the grounds that their fixed costs are higher.

Earlier, multiplexes had offered 50 per cent of revenues in the first week followed by 40 per cent and 30 per cent in second and third week, respectively, to producers.

This was later changed 50 per cent, 42.5 per cent and 32.5 per cent, respectively. However this was rejected by film makers as well, sources said.

Film producers have been demanding sharing revenues on a 50:50 basis on all weeks. They, however, relented and were willing to settle for 50 per cent, 45 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively. This was rejected by the multiplexes.

Top

 

Hyderabad Blasts’ Case
Charge sheet filed against seven accused
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 15
Nearly 21 months after the twin blasts rocked the city, Andhra Pradesh police today filed a charge sheet in a local court here naming seven Indian Mujahideen operatives as the accused behind the explosions that killed 42 people.

The 1,207-page charge sheet was filed in the Nampally criminal court by OCTOPUS (Organisation to Counter Terrorist Operations), a special department created by the state government to curb terrorist activities. While four of the accused are in jail, three are still at large.

The accused have been charged with murder, waging war against the nation and criminal conspiracy in connection with the blasts set off at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat Bhandar and also the unexploded bomb found under a foot-overbridge at Dilsukhnagar area on August 25, 2007.

The blast at the popular eatery Gokul Chat killed 32 people while 10 people died at the open air theatre at Lumbini Park, a few metres away from the state secretariat.

Top

 

HC stays Mulayam’s arrest order

Allahabad, May 15
The Allahabad High Court today stayed the arrest of Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in connection with an FIR lodged against his supporters for their alleged misbehaviour with election officials in Etawah district.

The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising Justice Ravindra Singh and Justice NA Moonis on a writ petition filed by Yadav.

The SP chief had submitted that though he had not been named in the FIR dated May 11 lodged in the Chaubai police station, he feared that out of “political rivalry”, the Mayawati government might arrest him for being present at the spot at the time of the incident.

In the FIR, the SP supremo’s supporters have been accused of having stormed into a polling booth under Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency, where re-polling was being held, and misbehaved with election officials.

The SP supporters have been booked under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 332 (voluntary causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 131 of Representation of People Act (penalty for disorderly conduct in or near polling stations).

The court, while staying Yadav’s arrest, directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file counter-affidavit within 10 days on allegations made by the petitioner. — PTI

Top

 

Udaipur Rape Case
Declare convict proclaimed offender: SC to Rajasthan
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 15
The Supreme Court today ordered the immediate arrest of Parbat Singh Rana, sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a British tourist at his guesthouse in Udaipur on the eve of Christmas in 2007.

Rana, reportedly absconding ever since getting bail from the Rajasthan High Court, should be declared as a proclaimed offender and his properties attached, a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and VS Sirpurkar ruled.

During the arguments, the Bench grilled the Rajasthan counsel, charging the state government with “backtracking” in the case.

“Have you taken action under Sections 83 and 84 of the CrPC (for attachment of property)? Why haven’t you confiscated his assets? You are backtracking. Very serious consequences will follow,” the Judges warned.

The Bench also said the investigating officer (IO) in the case should appear in the court at the time of next hearing in the second week of July.

Appearing for the victim (whose identity is not normally identified in rape cases), counsel Vikram Chaudhri said the accused was “roaming about freely” in Udaipur and there should not be any problem in nabbing him without any further delay.

A fast-track court had tried Rana and awarded him the maximum punishment possible for such crimes under law. Subsequently, Rana approached the HC and obtained bail and stay on conviction.

On January 16 this year, the same apex court Bench had cancelled his bail, following which the Rajasthan police was supposed to have arrested Rana.

Top

 

SC beefs up SIT probing Gujarat riots
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 15
The Supreme Court today strengthened the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 2002 Gujarat riots by appointing two more members-Paramvir Singh and AK Malhotra, former Additional Director and former DIG of CBI respectively.

A three-Judge Bench, headed by Justice DK Jain, inducted the two at the instance of SIT Chairman and former CBI Director RK Raghavan, who wanted additional manpower in view of the higher workload.

The Bench, which included Justices P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam, also relieved CP Sathpathi as a member of the SIT as he was abroad and “reluctant” to continue in the team. With this, the strength of the SIT has gone up from five to six.

While ordering the setting up six fast-track courts recently for conducting the trial in the riots cases on a day-to-day basis, the apex court had given a number of additional responsibilities to the SIT, such as monitoring the proceedings, arranging protection for the witnesses and coordination with various departments.

Top

 

Bad heart deadlier than breast cancer for women
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
Women commonly abide by this belief that they need to be more cautious towards breast cancer than heart problems, and over 60 per cent of them turn pale with fear when a doctor tells them that they have lumps in their breasts.

However, heart ailments pose a greater health threat than breast cancer as they kill six times as many women as breast cancer does, caution most Indian doctors.

The president of Heart Care Foundation of India, Dr KK Aggarwal, feels that in women symptoms of heart disease are milder than men, and hence a greater threat and it happens that heart arrests often strike females without a single warning.

“It’s important that women should make heart-healthy changes or respond to symptoms once they occur,” said Dr Aggarwal.

Cardiologists recommend special care for all women over 55 years as medical research suggests that after 65 years the death rate increases sharply for women.

Any woman with family history of heart problems — her father or brother under the age of 55 or her mother or sister under the age of 65 has had a heart attack, stroke, angioplasty or bypass surgery — addicted to smoking or exposed to passive smoking everyday, needs to go for a periodic heart check up.

Doctors say women with early menopause before the age of 40 and those having a blood pressure over 120/80 mm Hg are prone to vascular ailment.

Further women, who are above 35 and take birth control pills, and those who are diabetics are also susceptible to developing cardio-vascular ailments.

According to Padma Shri awardee professor SC Manchanda, who was formerly heading the department of cardiology at AIIMS, the Indian social fabric still suffers from a stereotypical syndrome, which declares the women folk as second-class citizens and consequently, their health is sidelined.

According to health experts, due to family compulsions and modern lifestyle 80 per cent of women don’t exercise regularly. The fast-paced life is taking its toll on women who don’t get enough time to spare for themselves.

As a result, this keeps them under a sustained level of stress, which is another cause for heart disease. Dr Manchanda suggests Yoga and meditation to be a sure medication for stress.

To keep heart risks at bay, doctors suggest regular exercising or moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily that can help women to maintain a healthy weight and a waist 80 cms.

Besides, following a healthy dietary plan, comprising fruits, fibres and vegetables would keep them healthy.

“All women should limit sodium intake to approximately one tablespoon and fish eaters should have only two servings a week. But, pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating fish as it is high in methyl mercury, and if at all then in moderation,” warned Dr Aggarwal.

Top

 

Budget session from mid-June
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
The budget session of the newly elected Lok Sabha will be held in the middle of June, it was announced today.

Before this, there will be a brief session, on the first two days of which the members elected to the House will be sworn in, while the speaker will be elected on the third day, Lok Sabha Secretary-General PDT Achary told reporters here.

President Pratibha Patil will address a joint sitting of Parliament on the fourth day. “If necessary, there will be a vote of confidence and thereafter the House will debate the President’s address and pass the motion of thanks,” he added.

Achary said there would be a gap of 15-20 days before a full-fledged budget session is called. This should happen around mid-June.

According to him, the new Lok Sabha will be constituted within 14-15 days of the publication of the election results in the Gazette of India. “The publication of the results will signify the constitution of the new House,” he added.

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Air Force personnel inspect the part of the MIG-27 plane that crashed at a village in Jodhpur on Friday.MIG-27 crashes; 7 hurt
JODHPUR:
A MIG-27 fighter aircraft crashed
in a village in this district on Friday, injuring six
labourers and a child on the ground. The
MIG-27 pilot, a squadron leader, ejected out
of the cockpit safely just before the aircraft
crashed between 8.10 am and 8.20 am in
Konkani village in Luni, Defence PRO Lt Col
NN Joshi said. The IAF has ordered a probe
into the crash, Joshi said. — PTI


Air Force personnel inspect the part of the
MIG-27 plane that crashed at a village in
Jodhpur on Friday. — PTI photo

‘Mangalam’ office attacked
Kannur:
The office of Malayalam daily ‘Mangalam’ was attacked and its bureau chief and photographer beaten up allegedly by some CPM activists here on Friday. TK Joshi, bureau chief of the daily who was assaulted along with the photographer Krishnan Kanhirangad, said a group of about 15 CPM workers barged into the office and asked them to close it down in response to a day-long hartal called by their party to protest the murder of a co-worker. — PTI

8 hurt in Orissa bomb blast
BHUBANESWAR:
At least eight people were injured in Orissa’s Malkangiri district when a bomb planted by Maoists in a field went off on Friday, the police said. The incident took place near MPV 26 village, some 660 km from here. The police suspect that the bomb was planted by the rebels after the first phase of the general elections April 16 to target security personnel who they believed would pass through the area. — IANS

Ethnic violence
IMPHAL:
A non-Manipuri barber was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Imphal West district of Manipur, police sources said on Friday. The gunmen barged into the rented house of Manton Thakur (25) at Sagolband Khamnam Bazar Thursday night and shot him, the sources said. He died on the spot and the body has been taken to Regional Institute of Medical Science and Hospital here for post-mortem, the police said. — PTI

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |