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Boston killing: Odisha CM to take up matter with Centre

BHUBANESWAR: Strongly condemning the killing of an Odia student in the US, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said he would take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs.

"I strongly condemn killing of the Odia student in the US. I will take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs today," Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar.

Asking the officials to arrange the smooth arrival of the slain student's body at his native place in Koraput district, the Chief Minister said K. Seshadri Rao (24) was pursuing an MBA degree in mathematical finance (treasury management) at Boston University School of Management.

Seshadri was shot by an unidentified assailant at Aliston Street on Thursday night.

Family sources said he was scheduled to complete the 18-month-long course next month and was offered a three-month paid internship in a Bhubaneswar company.

His father K. Sudhakar Rao, an employee of a bank at Jeypore in Koraput district, was informed by officials of the External Affairs Ministry about the tragic incident.

"I got verification call from the External Affairs Ministry about the body around 2 am (IST) on Thursday night", Sudhakar Rao said.

Seshadri, survived by his parents and a brother, had done his schooling at Jeypore and Cuttack and B.Tech from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Karnataka. PTIBack



Mamata gives Centre 15-day ultimatum on tax moratorium

KOLKATA: Reiterating her demand for an interest moratorium for the cash-strapped West Bengal government, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday gave the central government a 15-day ultimatum and warned that its "indifferent attitude" could become a "big issue".

"We have not enough income to pay the interest for the debt burden bequeathed by the erstwhile (Left Front) government. We are repeatedly urging (the central government) that we do not need its mercy, but that it should provide us at least a three-year interest moratorium. They should give us the moratorium as we are unable to pay it," Banejee said during a programme here.

She also took a dig at the Centre for deducting Rs 15 billion from the state's share of central sales tax (CST) compensation.

"We have been waiting for one year. But enough is enough. The Centre has also deducted Rs 1,500 crore from our share of CST compensation. On the one hand, it is cutting Rs 22,000 crore as interest, and on the other it is deducting Rs 1,500 crore from CST compensation. It means the Centre is making the state government debt-ridden to ensure that it cannot function," she stated.

"I will certainly not tolerate it," the chief minister warned and gave the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government 15 days to decide on the interest freeze for three years.

"I am still appealing to the Centre, but if it continues to remain indifferent, then it will be a big issue. I will still wait for 15 days. I have earlier called on the Prime Minister and met with the finance minister several times, but till now we have not received any funds," Banerjee stated.

She recently said the debt burden bequeathed by the erstwhile Left Front government in the state could be more than the estimated Rs 2.3 lakh crore. The state government's current annual outgo on interest payments is around Rs 2,200 crore.

Banerjee has also been insisting that since the new government has inherited this huge quantum of debt burden, the central government should find a way to waive these loans or settle the debt.

The Trinamool Congress with 19 members in the Lok Sabha and 6 members in the Rajya Sabha is the second largest constituent of the ruling UPA II.

Currently, the relationship between the Congress and the Trinamool is going through a rough patch after the Trinamool openly opposed various policies of the central government. IANS





Baba Ramdev kept us in dark about fast: Team Anna

NEW DELHI: Within a month of stitching an alliance to fight corruption, Team Anna is now fuming at yoga guru Ramdev for his "one-upmanship" and "not taking into confidence" Anna Hazare while announcing the future course of action.

Hazare had a meeting with Ramdev yesterday at Gurgaon following which a press meet was arranged, which Team Anna claims they were unaware of.

At the press conference, Hazare and Ramdev announced a series of agitations starting from May one followed by a joint fast at Jantar Mantar on June three. On May one, Hazare will start his agitation from Shirdi while Ramdev will embark on an yatra from Durg in Chhattisgarh.

Team Anna, sources said, have expressed their unhappiness at the press meet organised by Ramdev without taking Hazare into confidence to announce the agitation plans.

Also, a section in the Hazare camp has apprehensions about involving Ramdev in the anti-corruption movement as he has a "credibility crisis" due to allegations against the yoga guru's Patanjali Yogpeeth and his close aide.

After an on-and-off relationship for about a year, Hazare had announced last month that both Team Anna and Ramdev will support each other and will participate in each other's agitations against corruption.

According to Team Anna sources, they do not have any problems with the announcement of agitations. "If Anna decides on agitation, nobody will have objections. But the issue here is that Ramdev played one-up manship and he did not take Anna into confidence.

"He had sought a meeting to discuss issues. But after the meeting he was forced to attend the media briefing. We have serious objections to this," a Team Anna member said.

Ramdev's spokesperson S. K. Tijariwala could not be reached for comments.

Meanwhile, Team Anna's Core Committee will be meeting in Noida tomorrow to decide on the future course of action.

The issue involving Ramdev is likely to be discussed in the meeting which will be attended by Hazare and other prominent members.





Pak air crash: black box recovered

Islamabad: A total of 127 people were killed when a Boeing 737-200 of Bhoja Air crashed a short distance from the international airport in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi, the second such accident in less than two years. Bhoja Air's flight B4-213 from Karachi to Islamabad lost contact with air traffic control shortly after 6.30 pm on Friday as it was coming in to land at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, which serves both Islamabad and Rawalpindi, amidst bad weather. The plane slammed into the ground at Hussainabad village, located less than 10 km from the airport.

Debris was scattered over an area of over one kilometre and parts of the aircraft fell on some houses in the village though there were no reports of casualties on the ground.

All 121 passengers, including 11 children and infants, and six crew members were killed instantly, officials said.





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