SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Indigenous N-sub ready for trial
It took the country 25 years to build the advanced technology vehicle
New Delhi, June 3
Over 25 years after India started building an indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, subtly named ‘advanced technology vehicle’, the warship is now ready and could be finally “tested” at sea anytime in the coming few weeks. Testing of such projects, as per sources, is not done on dates fixed in advance but the results, if successful, would be announced formally by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Meira Kumar will be impartial, assures Cong
New Delhi, June 3
With Meira Kumar being elected as the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Congress party’s “first routine briefing” after the new government’s formation proved to be quite women-centric. The party today made it clear it intended to take up the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill with “diligence”.

Lok Sabha Speaker non-committal on quitting Cong
New Delhi, June 3
It didn’t come as a surprise when newly elected speaker was noncommittal on whether she would resign from primary membership of the Congress, on whose ticket she had contested and won the elections. “I’ll be a neutral speaker, impartial and unbiased,” she said today when asked if she intended to tender her resignation in line with the high traditions of her office.





EARLIER STORIES



Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar serves food to underprivileged children to raise awareness for the upcoming ‘Joy of Giving Week’ charity in Mumbai
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar serves food to underprivileged children to raise awareness for the upcoming ‘Joy of Giving Week’ charity in Mumbai on Wednesday. — AFP

PM to stick to the beaten track
Narayanan, TKA Nair, Montek set to continue
New Delhi, June 3
It is clear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intends to maintain continuity at the helm during his second term to complete both pending and unfinished tasks. First he retained key ministers in their existing portfolios; now he has set about to do the same in the bureaucracy.

Five killed, 54 houses burnt in Assam hills
Guwahati, June 3

Fifty-four houses were burnt to ashes and five persons were killed and a child seriously injured when suspected Dimasa tribe militant attacked a Naga tribe village in the violence ravaged North Cachar Hill district today belying the tall claim of the government to have geared up vigil in the troubled area.





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Indigenous N-sub ready for trial
It took the country 25 years to build the advanced technology vehicle

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
Over 25 years after India started building an indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, subtly named ‘advanced technology vehicle’, the warship is now ready and could be finally “tested” at sea anytime in the coming few weeks.

Testing of such projects, as per sources, is not done on dates fixed in advance but the results, if successful, would be announced formally by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In his last term as Prime Minister, Singh had laid the foundation of the prototype of the fast breeder reactor for the ATV.

Notably, the project is running at least a decade behind schedule. Having a fleet of nuclear subs is a critical aspect of controlling the Indian Ocean region where China is also flexing its muscles. A nuclear submarine can remain submerged for up to two weeks and is noiseless. On the other hand, diesel powered submarines — that India already has in its fleet — have to re-surface every 48 hours.

Sources said final stages of the dry checks on the nuclear sub are on at a secret location. If the sea trials are successful, its commissioning still would take another year or so. The ATV project was re-activated some eight-nine years ago when the construction of the hull (the outer body) was started with the help of a leading private company.

If India is successful, it would join a league of select nations like the US, UK, France, Russia and China that have their own nuclear-powered submarine. Many components of the reactor like the steam generator and the control rod mechanism have been fabricated in the country even though some Russian help had been taken, say sources.

The biggest challenge, as per sources, was miniaturising a nuclear reactor to fit it into the submarine, which is said to be of 5,000 tonne displacement. The submarine is also to have a ballistic missile firing capability. Tests of having such a missile have already been successfully carried using a submerged canister to mimic an undersea environment. The eventual aim is to create a deterrent based on nuclear-tipped missiles that can be delivered by aircraft, mobile land-based platforms, sea-based platforms and under sea.

The department of atomic energy and the Defence Research and Development Organisation have been jointly working on the project. The reactor for the ATV was developed indigenously by Indian scientists. The other challenge was procuring highly enriched uranium, the fuel for operating the reactor.

The only nuclear submarine India ever operated was the former Soviet Union’s Charlie-I class sub that the Indian navy leased to gain operational experience with nuclear powered submarines. Separately, the Indian Navy is hopeful that Russia's Akula class nuclear-powered submarine “Nerpa” will be handed over to India before the end of this year. The Russian Navy is said to be completing pre-delivery trials this summer before leasing it out to India.

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Meira Kumar will be impartial, assures Cong
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
With Meira Kumar being elected as the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Congress party’s “first routine briefing” after the new government’s formation proved to be quite women-centric. The party today made it clear it intended to take up the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill with “diligence”.

Describing Kumar’s election as a “momentous and important occasion”, the party termed it “indicative of the strides taken by women in the UPA government’s five-year tenure and the importance given to the fairer sex by the coalition, especially the Congress”.

The party is also confident despite being a Congress member Kumar would be completely nonpartisan. “She (Kumar) has risen above all party considerations,” said Jayanthi Natrajan. “There is no constitutional precedent where the Lok Sabha speaker has to resign from his or her party membership to remain nonpartisan”, she remarked in response to whether the new speaker should quit her party to maintain impartiality and avoid controversies, as suggested by former speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

"There is no such constitutional precedent or convention that the speaker should resign. By the act of election, she (Kumar) has risen above all party considerations and will be the speaker of the Lok Sabha and not of the Congress…We’re confident t her tenure will be totally nonpartisan”, said Natarjan. She asserted the matter of resigning from the party was something that the speaker had to decide herself.

As far as the Women’s Reservation Bill was concerned, she affirmed the Congress would follow the case with “diligence.”

“We remain committed to the Women’s Reservation Bill in its original form We have said in our manifesto that the bill’s passage remained a steadfast commitment by the Congress, and we’ll pursue it with all diligence,” she said.

While the party stands for 33 per cent reservation for women, some of the UPA allies had a few reservations about the bill last time following which it was referred to a parliamentary committee. The latter now has to be reconstituted with new members of the Lok Sabha. The UPA had introduced the long pending and controversial bill in the Rajya Sabha to ensure it did not lapse.

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Lok Sabha Speaker non-committal on quitting Cong
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
It didn’t come as a surprise when newly elected speaker was noncommittal on whether she would resign from primary membership of the Congress, on whose ticket she had contested and won the elections. “I’ll be a neutral speaker, impartial and unbiased,” she said today when asked if she intended to tender her resignation in line with the high traditions of her office.

So far, in fact, the only speaker to have resigned from his party — the Congress — was N Sanjeeva Reddy in the fourth Lok Sabha. His successor, GS Dhillon, resigned from Congress membership in Parliament but not from the party itself.

Legislative research shows it is not necessary for a speaker to altogether sever ties with the party, although it is traditionally required of him/her to dissociate from active politics and day-to-day proceedings of the party in question. All the other Lok Sabha speakers - expect Reddy and Dhillon - chose not to formally quit their parties. They include the last speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, who was expelled by the CPM towards the fag end of his tenure as presiding officer of the Lok Sabha.

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PM to stick to the beaten track
Narayanan, TKA Nair, Montek set to continue

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 3
It is clear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intends to maintain continuity at the helm during his second term to complete both pending and unfinished tasks. First he retained key ministers in their existing portfolios; now he has set about to do the same in the bureaucracy.

Going by this scheme of things, an extension in the term of PM’s principal secretary, TKA Nair, is due to be announced shortly. A former Punjab chief secretary, Nair is a 1963 batch Punjab cadre IAS officer who retired from service over a decade ago and is one of Singh’s most trusted confidantes.

National Security Adviser MK Narayanan will reportedly also be asked to continue in office. He is a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau and was appointed to his current post in 2005.

Deputy Planning Commission chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia is likely to retain his place in the soon-to-be-constituted commission.

Ahluwalia was also in reckoning for the finance minister's position in the new government, but the UPA wanted a ‘political face’.

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Five killed, 54 houses burnt in Assam hills
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 3
Fifty-four houses were burnt to ashes and five persons were killed and a child seriously injured when suspected Dimasa tribe militant attacked a Naga tribe village in the violence ravaged North Cachar Hill district today belying the tall claim of the government to have geared up vigil in the troubled area.

An official source in the hill district said suspected militants from Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel Garlosa) faction or the Black Widow outfit swooped down on Borchenam basti inhabited by Zeme Naga tribe in the early morning today and opened indiscriminate and besides setting fire to houses.

Five persons including two girls, two women and a teenaged boy were killed in the dastardly attack that left another child seriously injured. Fifty-four houses out of the total 56 houses in the village were razed to ground.

The village located on a remote hill-top about 28 km away from Haflong town. It took hours for security forces to reach the spot at there is no motorable road to the village.

Meanwhile, the situation remained tense in the violence affected district where Naga and Dimasa tribe militants have been attacking villages of Dimasa and Zeme Naga tribes since March this year rendering over 1700 people homeless so far.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi claimed that the state government had instructed the police and the Army to coordinate their operation against marauding militants.

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BRIEFLY

TMC MP suffers haemorrhage
NEW DELHI:
Noted Bengali film actor Tapas Pal, a first-time MP elected on a Trinamool Congress ticket from West Bengal, suffered a cerebral haemorrhage on Wednesday morning and was rushed to Apollo Hospital. Pal, 49, is stated to be in a serious condition. The hospital authorities said “he was brought in an unconscious state and was being monitored and investigated by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists”. The hospital disclosed that neurologist Dr Vineet Suri was personally taking care of the Trinamool MP, who has twice been a MLA. — TNS

Jaitley to be Leader of Oppn in RS
NEW DELHI:
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley will now be the new Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. BJP parliamentary party leader LK Advani authorised by the party earlier to decide on parliamentary party office-bearers nominated Jaitley as the leader of the party in the Upper House. Jaitley will also be the Leader of Opposition in the Council of States. Simultaneously, Advani appointed Sushma Swaraj as his deputy leader in the Lok Sabha. — TNS

Akhilesh is UP SP chief
LUCKNOW:
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday appointed his son Akhilesh as the UP party chief in an effort to revamp the state unit. 36-year-old Akhilesh replaced Yadav’s brother Shivpal, SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said. Akhilesh had contested the Lok Sabha elections from Kanauj and Ferozabad and won both the seats. — TNS

Swine flu cases
COIMBATORE:
Four more persons, including a lady doctor, suspected to be infected with swine flu, have been admitted to a government hospital here. The doctor, who was treating the two confirmed flu patients, developed the symptoms Tuesday evening. Her blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi, Dr Kumaran, Dean (incharge) of hospital, said. Meanwhile, three members of a family — husband, wife and daughter — who returned from Atlanta to Coimbatore Wednesday morning, had been admitted for suspected flu symptoms, Kumaran said. — PTI

Ex-CM gets death threat
LUCKNOW:
Security at the residence of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ram Naresh Yadav has been tightened, following a threat from the Indian Mujahideen terrorist group to assassinate him, the police said on Wednesday. A letter from the militant group’s area commander Sarfaraz Khan was received at the Congress leader’s residence here on Tuesday. “We have informed the ATS (anti terrorist squad) and intelligence officials. We are making every effort to trace the origin of the letter and nab its sender,” Deputy Inspector General of Police NK Srivastava said. — IANS

5 students booked under NSA
Imphal:
As many as five students, held in connection with the recent killing of Manipur University Professor Md Islamudin by unidentified gunmen, have been booked under the National Security Act (NSA) after being produced before a local court, official sources said. Thoudam Shyam, Th Lankishore, Ksh Kiran and A Thoithoi, of Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), and Fijam Dinesh of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), were booked under the NSA after they were produced before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (Imphal) yesterday. — PTI

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