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8 Pages Rs: 1.00 Jammu Edition

STUdenT aGe

JKENG/2012/41612 Vol. 2 No: 52

Justice shall be guiding principle of country: Sibal


There are many stake holders for effective traffic management: Saleem Beigh

Pope Benedict delivers Final blessing at Vatican

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One killed in avalanche in J&K
JAMMU: One person was killed and another injured in an avalanche in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district on Saturday, police said. Two persons was on way to Hardal from Chilli in Gandoh tehsil when they came under a avalanche, they said. The deceased have been identified as 35-year-old Mohammad Amin and the injured 26-year-old Talib Hussain.

Hyderabad blasts: 'LeT claims responsibility'

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh BJP chief G Kishan Reddy on Sunday said he has received a threat letter purportedly written by Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) in which it claimed responsibility for the Dilsukhnagar bomb blast. He received the letter by post yesterday written in Urdu and English, he claimed at a press conference here. He, however, refused to give a copy of the letter saying he has handed it over to Abids police station. In the letter, the LeT stated that its next target is Begam Bazar, Reddy

NC and PDP must join hands to keep Congress at bay:Ratanpuri

SRINAGAR, FEB 24: Terming all the mainstream parties of Kashmir as beggars, Member Parliament and National Conference leader Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri Sunday appealed both PDP and NC to join hands in the interest of people. He termed the detention of Syed Ali Shah Geelani as totally illegal and slammed Government of India for violating the rights of Kashmiri people. "Why we beg before Congress party which secures not more than 5 seats in Jammu and Kashmir and why National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party can't join hands and raise voice against the illdoings of Central Government,"Ratanpuri told CNS soon after meeting Geelani in New Delhi and added that it was heartning that a Member Parliament was directed not to shake hands with Geelani Sahab and we were kept 5 steps apart by police. He said that Kashmiri's have lost self respect. "When Arvind Kejriwal is detained, Court issues directions to release him and warns Government of India not to violate his fundamental right to protest peacefully, but alas for a Kashmiri such rights don't exist in India. Geelani has been detained without any reason and without any formal order. We Kashmiri's have suffered a lot and we must unite," Ratanpuri said and added that most of the people on social networking site appeals him to resign but he wants to tell them that resignation will not solve the problem. "There must be some people who could raise and highlight the people of Kashmir in Indian Parliament. If inexperienced politicians like me raise the voice why others are not following the suit," he said. "New Delhi is treating Kashmiri's as animals and it is our responsibility to take the people out of hell. When both the parties (NC and PDP) contd on page 2

LeT sends 'letter' to BJP leader

post yesterday written in Urdu and English, he claimed at a press conference here. He, however, refused to give a copy of the letter saying he has handed it over to Abids police station. In the letter, the LeT stated that its next target is Begam Bazar, Reddy claimed. Begum Bazar is another crowded wholesale market in the city. When contacted, Abids police said, "We have received a letter from Kishan Reddy today and it is being verified."

President greets on Guru Ravidas Jayanti

NEW DELHI, FEB 24: President Pranab Mukherjee Sunday greeted the nation on the occasion of Guru Ravidas Jayanti and said his teachings will inspire everyone to lead a life of service to humanity. "On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dasji, a great saint and religious reformer, the nation recalls with pride his ceaseless struggle to eradicate the evils of casteism and establish a contd on page 2

claimed. Begum Bazar is another crowded wholesale market in the city. When contacted, Abids police said, "We have received a letter from Kishan Reddy today and it is being verified." Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh BJP chief G Kishan Reddy today said he has received a threat letter purportedly written by Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) in which it claimed responsibility for the Dilsukhnagar bomb blast. He received the letter by

Delhi on alert: Security stepped up at India Gate, entry to lawns closed

NEW DELHI: Delhi Police have stepped up security around the India Gate area and entry to the lawns has been closed. Sources say that this is a precautionary measure in the wake of Thursday's twin blasts in Hyderabad. Traffic in the area is however unaffected. The lawns and walkways around India Gate have been barricaded contd on page 2

Omar visits Hazratbal Shrine, reviews expansion plan on spot

SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 24- Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Sunday visited Hazratbal Shrine and reviewed the expansion and beautification plan of Hazratbal shrine on the spot. The Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Vice Chairman Waqaf Board, Prof. M. Y. Qadri and various members of Waqaf Board were accompanying the Chief Minister. Omar Abdullah who is also Chairman of Waqaf Board directed early formulation of the expansion plan so that it could be discussed in the next Waqaf Board meeting. He said in order to facilitate devotees and make the surroundings of Hazratbal shrine more beautiful a well planned expansion programme is the need of the hour. He asked Waqaf Board to take early action in this regard. Omar Abdullah also paid obeisance at the shrine and prayed for peace and development of Jammu and Kashmir.

ISRO chief seeks divine blessings ahead of satellite launch

TIRUPATI, FEB 24 : Ahead of the launch of the Indo- French satellite 'SARAL' onboard ISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV from Sriharikota, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan today offered worship at the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara near here. Radhakrishnan offered prayers this morning for the successful launch of PSLV-C20 tomorrow, temple sources said. An ardent devotee, Radhakrishnan visits the shrine to seek divine blessings ahead of every satellite launch and makes another trip after its success, the sources said. Radhakrishnan was accompanied by his wife Padmini.Since the last two decades, heads of the space agency have made it a practice to visit the the over 2000 year-old Tirumala hill temple to seek divine blessings before every satellite launch, the sources said. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLVC20 is scheduled for blast-off at 5.56 PM from the spaceport contd on page 2

Jammu-Srinagar highway partially restored

JAMMU: The 300-km Jammu-Srinagar highway, which connects the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India, was partially opened on Sunday for one-way traffic after remaining shut for three days. Deputy Inspector General of Police Shakeel Ahmad Beigh said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) had cleared landslides on a 100km stretch between Batote and Banihal. He said stranded trucks carrying essential supplies were first allowed to proceed to Srinagar followed by about 50 vehicles with passengers. "No traffic was allowed

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RBI releases final guidelines for issue of licences to new private banks
MUMBAI,FEB 22: The Reserve Bank has released final guidelines for issue of licences to new banks in private sector. RBI says, entities or groups in private sector, public sector and Non-bank financial companies - NBFCs are eligible for seeking bank licence. RBI has set 49 per cent cap on foreign holding in new banks and minimum paid-up equity capital at 500 crore rupees.These banks should open at least 25 per cent branches in unbanked rural areas. Corporates, PSUs and NBFCs can set up a bank. The Apex bank says,licence seeker should have contd on page 2

We try to keep security as tight as possible: Jammu IGP

JAMMU: In the backdrop of the twin blasts in Hyderabad, the police in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday said they were ready for any eventuality and have kept the security as tight as possible. "On our level we try to keep the security as tight as possible," IGP, Jammu Zone, Dilbag Singh said contd on page 2

Sarpanch shot dead by suspected militants

SRINAGAR: Suspected militants gunned down a sarpanch affiliated to ruling National Conference in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir tonight, officials said.Javed Ahmed Wani was shot at and critically injured by contd on page 2

from Srinagar to Jammu today," he said. A BRO official said if the

sunny weather persists, "then we will restore two-way traffic". contd on page 2

Shabir launches second round of Pulse Polio Campaign, 11000 booths set up, 45000 workers deployed
UDHAMPUR, FEBRUARY 24:Minister of State for Health, Mr. Shabir Ahmed Khan launched the second round of Pulse Polio Campaign-2013 in Jammu and Kashmir by administering polio drops to the children in the premises of District Hospital Udhampur, today. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that with the constant and sincere efforts of the functionaries of health department and massive support of the society, no fresh polio case has been reported from any part of the State during the past couple of years and recently India was declared as polio free country. However, the Minister stressed the need for maintaining constant vigil on the situation and covering cent per cent children by administering pulse polio drops in every round of campaign. He cautioned against any let up in the campaign to deal with this dreaded disease. Mr. Khan reiterated commitment of the Collation Government for providing better health care services throughout the state by upgrading infrastructure in the health institutions. He thanked the Union Health Ministry under the leadership of Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad for sanctioning Rs 14 crores for procurement of 200 new ambulances for the State and Rs. 11.70 crores for purchase of latest equipment for District Hospital Doda and Sub-District Hospital Bhaderwah under NRHM. The services of the new ambulances put in place at different health institutions would facilitate smooth transfer of patients, particularly pregnant women and trauma cases, to the nearest health facility without any delay, the Minister added. Mr. Khan called upon the medical fraternity to justify their noble profession by providing the best health care services to the suffering patients in their respective institutions. He said government contd on page 2

For Autonomy NC will have to walk on our dead bodies: BJP

JAMMU,FEB 24: claiming that autonomy document of National Conference (NC) could only be implemented on their dead bodies; Bharti Janta Party (BJP) today demanded repeal of Article 370. The party and reiterated its intention to furl tricolor on civil secretariat replacing the state and NC flag. While warning of bloodshed in the State and asking the NC to 'shut its mouth' on autonomy demand, senior BJP leader Ashok Khajuria said, "It (NC) has to walk over dead bodies of BJP MLA's for the restoration of autonomy". Reiterating the commitment to furl the tricolor in civil secretariat replacing State and NC flag, he said, "We demand the repeal of Article 370 and it'll be contd on page 2

Indian rocket to carry 7 satellites in Feb 25 launch

CHENNAI: Indian space agency officials are gearing up to make the rocket that would carry seven satellites launch-ready for Feb 25 with a full system check, an official said. "After mating the satellites with the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle -PSLV-C20- a full test of contd on page 2

Cong prez or VP to be natural choice for PM's post: Tharoor

BHOPAL: Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday suggested if the party is voted to power, its president or the vice-president will be the natural choice for the post. "Everybody knows who is the president and vice president of our party and if people vote for our party, then naturally one among them would become Prime Minister of the country," he said without specifying any name. He was suggesting that that Congress does not need to name its Prime Ministerial candidate before the elections. When asked whether the was a direct contest between President Barack Obama and Republican Party leader Mitt Romney. Here people vote for the party and the elected members then elect their leader," Tharoor told reporters here without taking names of Rahul Gandhi and Modi. He was here to address a seminar on Women Empowerment, organised by a private educational institution. When asked whether Modi has prime ministerial qualities, Tharoor did not to comment. The Centre is providing lot of funds to the states for the implementation of Right to Education, Sarva Shiksha Ahbiyan and other programmes and it is the duty of the governments under federal system to utilise the money properly, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development said. Without naming any state, Tharoor said he was aware that in some states money was not being utilised properly. The government should also provide the facility of toilets to girls, which is a major problem, and also ramps in the schools, he said. When asked about cases of rapes in Madhya Pradesh, he said he was not aware of the exact contd on page 2

Don't hang Rajiv Gandhi Police Bill could lead to killers, says judge an Ikhwani state: PDP
KOTTAYAM: A former judge who headed a bench that awarded death sentence to four for the killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi said on Sunday that the convicts should not be hanged. KT Thomas said that since Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan had spent 22 years in prison, hanging them now would amount to punishing them twice for the same crime. The three men are lodged at the Vellore jail in Tamil Nadu. Thomas told reporters here: "If they are going to be awarded (death sentence) after spending 22 years in jail, it would be like giving them two punishment for the same crime, which is against the constitution." He urged President Pranab Mukherjee to review his decision to reject their mercy petition. "The president should reconsider this because as of now the three have undergone a punishment more than the term of life imprisonment," he said. In 1999, a three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Thomas, Justice DP Wadwah contd on page 2 SRINAGAR, FEB 24: Describing the proposed Police Bill as an attempt to institutionalise the dreaded Ikhwan culture in the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said it would strongly oppose its passage in the present form. In a statement issued here today the party president Mehbooba Mufti said police in the state definitely is in need of drastic reforms but many provisions in this bill are undemocratic and anti people and will take the state back to medieval times when khaki uniform struck terror in the hearts of people. Mehbooba said J&K has the dubious distinction of having been reduced to a police state outside the democratic system of the country but the proposed bill would actually covert it to a lawless state. If this Bill is allowed to pass in its present form we will have an Ikhwani state in which the thanedar and not the democratic institutions or the elected representatives will set the rules of the society, she said. "On the one hand the government is making noises on scrapping the AFSPA and on the contd on page 2

Karuna slams BJP, AIADMK over stand on Sethu project

CHENNAI: Flaying BJP and AIADMK for their stand on Sethusamudram project, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today said the national party while in power had proposed the alignment for the project which involves dredging of 'Ram Setu' or Adam's Bridge, which it is firmly opposed to now. Asking Centre to expedite steps to ensure a favourable verdict on the matter in the Supreme Court, the key UPA ally also said "some communal forces" had moved contd on page 2

Lok Sabha polls will be a contest between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister's post, he dismissed the query. "In India, we don't have a system like the US where it

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Farooq Abdullah) and son (Omar Abdullah) are speaking different languages. It doesn't have any particular vision. All of them should sit in a family room to decide what they actually want", said senior leader BJP Ashok Khojuria. Meanwhile, leader of rebel MLA's of BJP Chaman Lal Gupta said that NC is living in fool's paradise. "It might have got autonomy had it been serious about it. NC is creating the drama for its vote bank", said Gupta. "NC has closed the chapter of autonomy much earlier and accepted that it (Autonomy) will never happen", he added. state which doesn't have a single public urinal anywhere and very few parking places these provisions only point to government's insulting and feudal attitude towards its people. Pointing out that the Bill provided for arrest of a person in case of non-rendering of assistance to a Police Officer, Mehbooba said this government is unable to look beyond repressive measures to run the state and treats everybody as a criminal. She said we are living in an era of democracy and the laws have to conform to the basic principle of respecting every individual's rights. She said the PDP would not allow any further erosion of people's rights and would strive harder for their empowerment. Mehbooba said the government had deliberately chosen this time for inviting suggestions on the bill when means of communication have been severely restricted. She said the backdrop of Afzal Guru's hanging should have led the government to introspect on the effects of having an unjust system which alienated a generation of youth and forced them to take to arms. "It is this system that ultimately pushed Guru to gallows that prevailed in the state before 2002 and which the present government is trying to revive and institutionalize though the Police Bill just to remain in power. It is time for the entire society to rise against such perverse application of the concept of police reform" she stressed. Mehbooba said the state police is part of the larger society and share with rest of population a value system that is special to the state. She said it was the same police that helped the healing touch policy of the PDP led coalition but the way the present government has misused this institution it looks in conflict with the society. "That is a dangerous situation which could be worsened by measures proposed to be introduced through the Police Bill," she added. both the countries. The other six satellites that PSLV-C20 would sling into orbit are two Canadian satellite NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Space Surveillance Satellite), the world's first space telescope designed by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Sapphire satellite built by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), BRITE and UniBRITE (both Austria), STRaND-1 (Britain) and AAUSAT (Denmark). Curiously the STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research, and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) is the world's first 'smart phone satellite' carrying Google Nexus One phone running on Android operating system. The four-kg satellite is a Britain mission, jointly developed by the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), The phone will run several applications including collection of data; take pictures of the earth with its camera. Once all the satellite's own operating systems have been checked out, key system functions will be transferred to the phone's components to take control and operate the satellite, said SSTL in its website. According to CSA, the satellite NEOSSat will detect and track asteroids and satellites circling the globe every 100 minutes and scanning space near the Sun to pin point otherwise almost invisible asteroids. The satellite will also be useful in tracking resident space objects including space debris. On the other hand Sapphire will look for resident space objects that include functioning satellites and space debris circling between 6,000 km and 40,000 km above the earth. The Feb 25 launch is the first of the 10 space missions that ISRO has planned for 2013. The government told the Parliament last year that ISRO is planning to accomplish 10 space missions in the next one year with eight of them planned by September 2013 and the remaining two by 2013-end. The missions are three polar satellite launch vehicles, one geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle, two communication satellites, one earth observation (ocean) satellite, one meteorological satellite, one navigation satellite and Mars orbiter. ou are here: Home " National " Karuna slams BJP, AIADMK over stand on Sethu project was initiated in 1998 and that she had been a reason for its taking shape. The party had in its 2001 poll manifesto also spoke in favour of the Sethusamudram project, he said and added she had turned against it since she didn't want DMK to take credit. Recalling that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi besides himself, then Chief Minister, had attended the inauguration of the project at Madurai, Karunanidhi said even then some had unsuccessfully approached the Supreme Court for a stay against the function. "With the project going at good pace under then Shipping Minister T R Baalu, some communal forces had taken the issue to the Supreme Court with a view to creating roadblocks." Centre should take steps to get a favourable verdict from the court and ensure a better livelihood for people of southern Tamil Nadu, he said. Ram Setu is the mythical bridge on which Lord Ram and his army crossed the sea to invade Ravan's kingdom. The project envisages dredging of a shipping channel across the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka.

Contd. from page 1...

Delhi on alert: Security...
and hawkers and visitors have been prohibited from 'loitering'. Yesterday, the Centre issued an alert to all states in the wake of the Hyderabad blasts. It warned the states to be vigilant about possible terror activity. The alert was sent after intelligence agencies went through the statements made by various suspects who are now being re-examined in the light of the Hyderabad blasts.

President greets....

classless society," said Mukherjee. "Guru Ravi Dasji led a life of faith and devotion and considered service to man as service to god. He espoused the cause of the downtrodden and worked untiringly to establish peace, harmony and brotherhood in society," the president added.

ly. He told police,"hamare MP Hain, Milne do," (He is our MP, allow him to meet me) police was firm but polite to us. They spoke to seniors, meeting wasn't allowed. I spoke to concerned Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), he told me seniors denied permission. Delhi Police Commissionerr didn't respond to my repeated calls and SMSs. Before leaving I went again to the entrance of Geelani Sahab's flat. He with his Begum Sahiba and daughter saw me off with a smile," Ratanpuri told CNS and added that this differential treatment and discrimination has contributed immensely to complexity of Kashmir problem and the wedge between Kashmir and Delhi. But we have to continue peaceful fight for our rights.

Centre's Lokpal Bill not acceptable in present form: AAP

AHMEDABAD: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today said that the Lokpal Bill to be introduced by the Centre in the ongoing Budget session would not be acceptable to them in the present form. "The Jan Lokpal Bill, which will be introduced by the Central government in the Parliament during the budget session, will not be accepted by the party", AAP national executive member Manish Sisodia said. He was talking to reporters after holding AAP's first conclave for Gujarat and announcing formation of theState Executive Committee. "Jan Lokpal is one of the solutions to the problems of the country but not the ultimate solution", he said. AAP today appointed Sukhdev Patel as convener of state AAP committee which will have twelve members. Seeking to draw a parallel between Congress government in Delhi and Modi government in Gujarat, Sisodia alleged that both of them are being run in a manner to cater to the interests of some influential industrialists. He said AAP will provide political alternative in Gujarat to ruling BJP and opposition Congress. Criticising Modi's development claims through state Budget 201314 tabled recently, Patel alleged, "there is no provision for funds in the budget as announced earlier by Modi". Sisodia said AAP had appointed chief justice (retd) of Himachal Pradesh high court T U Mehta as its internal Lokayukta to ensure transparency. AAP also appointed Sanjeev Srivastava as its Gujarat secretary, Naman Doshi as treasurer and Aniruddh Jadeja the organisational convener.

Cong prez or VP....

situation and added that it was a nationwide problem. There is a need to change the mindset towards women to address the issue in a proper manner, he said.

RBI releases final....

10 years of successful financial track record. Last date for applying for the licence is July 1.

We try to keep ....

when asked about the security being beefed following Hyderabad blasts that left 16 dead and 117 injured. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony of creative office of Hari Om Kailash Entertainment (Mumbai) and Ram Imagine Art (Jammu) here. Pointing out that such incidents were not new to the state, Singh said they have to maintain the watch and ward system besides keeping a check on the infiltration. "Right from Lakhanpur to Poonch border regular attempts of infiltration are made and those who succeed try to put in action their plans. This has happened earlier also but we keep a check on all those attempts," Singh insisted. "Apart from this we have two concerns, external concern -- to keep our borders tight and the internal concern -- watch and ward system should be made good, regular check should be kept on any suspicious person and people should also remain alert," he said.

Shabir launches second ...

is also contemplating to encourage regular doctors who are serving in tuff areas with special incentives. He also called upon the different executing agencies to complete their respective ongoing projects under health sector in a time bound manner. Legislators, Mr. Balwant Singh Mankotia and Mr. Krishan Chander Bhagat also appreciated the move of the government in making country polio free. They put forth various demands pertaining to health department which mainly include creation of additional post of doctors and paramedics in district hospital Udhampur, purchase of Critical Care Ambulances and their placement at accident prone areas, provision of additional ambulance at Sub District Hospital Chenani etc. Giving details about the arrangements for the 2nd round of the campaign, Director Family Welfare, J&K, Dr. Kuldeep Kesar informed that during the three days campaign, over 19 lakh children will be administered the polio drops in the State. For this over 11000 booths have been set up with 45000 booth workers. To make the campaign a success and for hundred percent coverage, the department has pressed into service over 276 transit team workers, 274 mobile team workers and 2400 Supervisors. For the purpose the Government has made available over 25 lakh vaccines. Later, the Minister accompanied by the senior officers had a round of different wards of district Hospital Udhampur and Sub District Hospital Chenani and interacted with the patients. He also administered polio drops to the children of 0 to 5 years in the premises of Sub District Hospital Chenani.

Don't hang Rajiv....

and Justice SSM Quadri awarded death punishment to Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan's wife Nalini. Thomas dissented on death punishment to Nalini, whose sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after then president Pratibha Patil accepted her mercy petition. While Perarivalan and Murugan are Indian citizens, Santhan and Murugan are from Sri Lanka. A Tamil Tiger woman suicide bomber assassinated Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai May 21, 1991. All four listed in the case were charged with contributing to the killing. Among those wanted for the assassination were the Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was killed in Sri Lanka in 2009.

2G case: DMK to back A Raja's request to appear before JPC

NEW DELHI: DMK will back former Telecom Minister A Raja if the issue of his request to appear before theJoint Parliamentary Committee as a witness on the 2G case is raised at the UPA Coordination Committeemeeting here on Tuesday. "If the Congress raises the issue..., asks us, we have to stand by Raja," party spokesman T K S Elangovan, MP, told PTI when asked whether the issue could be raised by the DMK, a key constituent of the UPA, at the Coordination Committee meeting convened byPrime Minister Manmohan Singh. Besides, Elangovan said Raja's request to appear before the JPC was a "new development" and "our leader may advise us" about future course of action. The DMK spokesman said his party would raise the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils and farmers suicides in Tamil Nadu at the UPA Coordination Committee meeting. A DMK member of Lok Sabha, Raja is a prime accused in the 2G spectrum case who had been in Tihar jail for several months before being granted bail. He had met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar some days back and handed her a letter expressing his willingness to appear as a witness before the JPC. Raja has contended that while he has the "fullest respect" for the court, "the fact remains that I have been condemned unheard." He has sent a copy of the letter to Congress leader P C Chacko, who heads the JPC. Raja's request to Kumar comes days after Attorney General G E Vahanvati blamed him for various issues before the JPC. "The truth of the matter is being suppressed on the basis of preconceived notions, deliberate bias, faulty investigation and erroneous conclusions. "...perhaps the most telling example of this situation is the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 02.02.2012, where specific and prejudicial observations were made against me without giving me a hearing," Raja wrote in the letter.

Police Bill could ....

other it is proposing to provide similar immunity and unbridled powers to its own police and taking them out of all civilian control and guidance"she said. Mehbooba said the proposal to create special security zones (SSZs) and legalisation of Village Defence Committees which could be administered according to the discretion of the police through SPOs is dangerous for any society but for a conflict ridden area it could be a sure prescription for continuing the disturbed conditions and denial of basic rights. She said police in fact needs to be brought out of the colonial mindset and practices that were followed by feudal forces to stay in power and the objective of any new law should be to make it more accountable to democratic institutions, people friendly and socially oriented. The proposed law unfortunately negates any such purpose, she said. Mehbooba said this draft legislation has all the criteria of a systematic undermining of democracy: namely, the abdication of authority to security forces by an elected government, military-style 'civilizing' of civilian society by insultingly presuming to teach them how to stand in line, urinate and defecate. It also has ring of an effort to appease the muscular nationalists in Delhi with an argument against AFSPA by morphing it into a "non-military" AFSPA that is supposedly willed by "the peoples" of our state. Mehbooba said many backdoor offences have been included to increase the criminal liability of the Public. "It not just means taking people to jail for petty offences but is also a negation of social policing and larger public morality. If this Bill passed then a person can be jailed for wrong parking, cleaning furniture in a public place, urinating on the road side, not caring for pets, overtaking and breaking a queue for essential supplies"she cautioned. She said for a

Sarpanch shot dead....

the suspected militants inside his house in Kreeri area of Baramulla at around 7:40 PM, they said. Wani was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to injuries. No militant outfit immediately claimed responsibility for the killing. This is the fifth instance in the last six months in which a sarpanch has been killed in the state. While three sarpanches were killed in September last year, another was shot dead in January.

ISRO chief seeks....

at Sriharikota, 110 km from Chennai, carrying 'SARAL', aimed at oceanographic studies,and six foreign mini and micro satellites.

NC and PDP must...

are pro-Kashmiri and both wish to redress the grievances of people then why don't these parties join hands? Why we beg before such a party (Congress) which is strengthening the agenda of New Delhi in Kashmir," he said and added that it is unfortunate that all the mainstream parties of Kashmir have become beggars busy in seeking alms from New Delhi without caring for selfrespect. Comparing the present illegal detention of Syed Ali Shah Geelani with Late Shiekh Mohmmad Abdullah, Ratanpuri said that he feels sorry for the duplicity of world's largest democracy. "many years ago our tallest leader Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was detained at Kotla Lane for the same reasons and we may go through the related pages of Aatish-e-Chinar to revisit that time, that place, that man and those issues, for which he spent almost two decades in captivity and which are remain unresolved and burning even today," he said and added that time has come that Omar and Mehbooba should not fight for the post of Chief Ministership but should join hands to help Kashmiri people to regain their self-respect which they have lost. Ratanpuri lamented that he was not allowed to meet Syed Ali Shah Geelani. " I entered his flat at 10:50 hours, he with his Begum Sahiba came out to receive me, but we were kept 5 steps apart by police. Geelani Sahab reciprocated Salam with a smile, told me his health is ok, but has been detained without any formal orders, illegal-

Indian rocket to ....

the rocket and the satellites was done. The rocket at this stage is considered as test condition," an official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS. According to officials, the rocket will progress from testable to launch condition in two days time after necessary connectors are plugged in. Officials said the full vehicle test revealed no deviations and everything is progressing normally for the Feb 25 evening flight. The launch window will be open Feb 22-25. During the 59hour countdown, the systems will be checked and the rocket will be fuelled. The Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) is expected to meet soon - two days before the scheduled launch date - to review the situation and give its final nod for the rocket's flight. The rocket will blast off from the Sriharikota rocket launch centre, around 80 km from here, carrying seven satellites including an Indo-French collaborative satellite SARAL. The total weight of all the seven satellites will be around 700 kg. The Indo-French initiative satellite SARAL (Satellite for ARGOS and ALTIKA), will study the sea surface heights and the data generated will be shared by

Karuna slams BJP ....

the apex court with a view to creating roadblocks. "After considering various proposals over the route, then NDA government under A B Vajpayee had decided to implement the project on Alignment No.6 which involves the Adam's Bridge. "Having forgotten that and now opposing dredging of Ram setu... the conflict (in BJP's stand) should be thought about," he said in a statement here. The Pachauri Committee, which submitted its report to the Supreme Court, has said the Sethusamudram shipping channel project is not viable on economic and ecological grounds. Government has rejected the report and maintained that it intends to pursue the project which will cut through the Adam's Bridge, popularly known as Ram Setu. BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad had said his party and the nation "will not tolerate" any tampering with the Ram setu, asking why cutting through it was the only solution. On AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa's demand to the Prime Minister that Rama setu be declared a national monument, Karunanidhi said the Tamil Nadu chief minister had claimed in 2005 that it was due to her efforts that preliminary work on the project


12th Pass or 12th Class studying students who are interested in Engg. / Medical fields are informed to get their seats booked in reputed colleges of Northern India under Management seats without any donation securing 50% marks in Phy, Chem, Maths/Bio for the following courses, M.D.S, B.D.S, M. Tech, B. Tech, B. Sc Nursing, B. Pharmacy, Diploma in all streams G.N.M, M.Ed, B.Ed, MBA, LLB, Hotel Management, MCA, BBA etc.

For Autonomy NC...

done in near future". Criticizing the state Government for deporting VHP leader Praveen Togadia from Jammu airport, he said, "We're in democracy and everyone has a right to express his views and to move freely anywhere in the Country. It is a blunder on part of the state government". When told that a case also stands registered against Togadia for creating communal disharmony through hate speeches, "Law is there to take action and to book the accused", he said. When asked whether Syed Ali Shah Geelani also had the right to express his views and move freely in a democracy, he said "Geelani is speaking about Jihad and division of country". BJP said Abdullah family should sit in a room to decide as to what they actually want. He said 'Uncle, father and son were making conflicting statements within the family and acting as astray children'. "NC is a party of divided family (members) where uncle (Dr. Mustafa Kamaal), father (Dr.


(Opposite Sub Treasury Tirth Nagar Talab Tillo Jammu) Mob: 94191-37183

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Omar felicitates people on Guru Ravi Das Jayanti

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23 - Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has felicitated people on the birthday of Guru Ravi Das Ji wishing them happiness and well being. In his greetings message the Chief Minister highlighted the State's rich tradition of celebrating holy occasions and festivals in an atmosphere of togetherness and brotherhood. He expressed the hope that the people of the State would continue to nurture this trait. The Chief Minister prayed for peace, prosperity and welfare of the State and the Country.

Sham lays foundation of vented causeway, school building at Akhnoor village

AKHNOOR, FEBRUARY 24: Carrying forward the process of development and upgradation of educational infrastructure in the rural areas, Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Mr. Sham Lal Sharma today laid foundation stone of one 17 meter span vented causeway and accommodation for newly upgraded high school at village Barui, near here. The causeway would be constructed over a main nullah at village Barui to cost Rs. 57 lakh and will benefit a number of villages. Similarly, the school accommodation which comprises 8 rooms, one toilet block will cost Rs. 39.91 lakh. The project has been taken under RMSA. On the occasion, the J&K Grameen Bank also organized a mega awareness camp to highlight the bank schemes and benefits of Kissan Credit Cards (KCC). The Minister distributed 777 KCCs amongst the farmers of Barui

Also distributes 777 KCCs among farmers

Governor greets people on Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 24: Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor, has felicitated the people on the auspicious occasion of Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti.In his message of greetings, the Governor described Guru Ravi Dass Ji as a great social reformer who tirelessly endeavoured to ameliorate the lot of the people, especially the downtrodden and under-privileged sections of the society. He said that Guru Ji's teachings of peace, harmony, love and compassion have influenced millions of people and continue to inspire coming generations to work for a harmonious society based on equality and social justice.The Governor prayed for peace, progress and prosperity in the State.

Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Mr. Sham Lal Sharma laying foundation of vented causeway, school building at Akhnoor village. and Kandi panchayats. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that Government was committed to provide better services to the people of rural areas with special thrust to improve the road connectivity, education, health and PHE sectors. He said education is the key to development of society and nation. He said a strong network of educational institutions has been created in Akhnoor to provide this important facility to the students of rural areas at their doorsteps. He asked the people to make best use of the facility and provide adequate opportunities of education to their wards so that they stand on their own feet and contribute for the socio-economic development of the nation. The Minister said that Government has launched several schemes for the farmers to boost agriculture production. Kissan Credit Card is the best tool to upgrade the activities and farmers must take full advantage of this

Dy CM greets people on Guru Ravidass Jayanti

JAMMU, FEB 24 - Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand greeted people of the state on the auspicious occasion of the birthday of Guru Ravi Dass ji Maharaj. In a message, the Deputy Chief Minister said that Guru ji through his teachings spread the message of equality, compassion and spirituality. He prayed for peace, progress and welfare of the state on the occasion and hoped that the occasion would further strengthen bonds of amity and brotherhood.

facility. He said Central Government has issued special instructions to the Public Sector banks to advance maximum finance for the agricultural activities with nominal interest rate; therefore, the farmers should come forward in a big way to avail the benefits of these Central sponsored schemes. The Minister appreciated the gesture of Grameen Bank for organizing such a useful awareness programme for the farmers in this kandi village. He hoped that the effort will go a long way in generating awareness about agriculture schemes and farmers will avail benefits in a big way. Taking advantage of the occasion, the Minister urged the management of the Grameen Bank to open its branch at Barui village, which is solely dependent on the agricultural activities. He also urged them to adopt the village for extending special financial assistance under the

goodwill gesture to transform the socio-economic conditions of the people. The management agreed both these requests of the Minister in principle and assured that the authorities will take appropriate action in near future. The Chairman Grameen Bank, Raja Abdul Lateef highlighted the farmer friendly schemes and asked the intending beneficiaries to avail the benefits. He said presently the bank charges 7 per cent interest on various lending schemes and the beneficiaries who are efficient in repayment will be eligible for 3 per cent concession in the interest rate. General Manager, S. S. Bloeria, Superintending Engineer, PHE (Hydraulic), Sushil Aima, SDM, Akhnoor N. S. Jamwal, Sarpanchs/Panchs, sectoral officers of various department and large number of farmers and locals were present on the occasion.

Youth Cong allege bungling in PWD works in Ramnagar

RAMNAGAR FEB 24 : Youth Congress unit of Ramnagar has reiterated its demand for institution of a Commission of Inquiry for Ramnagar regarding swindling of public money in Ramnagar in an emergency meeting under the chairmanship of Ved Sharma, President, Assembly Youth Congress Committee Ramnagar. Speakers were critical of the working of PWD in Ramnagar Assembly segment. They alleged that Constituency Development Fund is being utilized in Ramnagar in violation of set norms and set codal formalities. Whereas funds under the head, 'non-plan' and 'additionalities' are being gobbled up by blue-eyed favourites of a local MLA. Youth Congress has accused crores have been pumped in Ramnagar but true benefit of these schemes have not percolated up to the grassroots level. Worse-more, beneficiaries of these schemes are being selected on political considerations thereby debarring the actually-deserving people of their true benefits. The speakers sought a detailed inquiry into multi-lac scandals in Manwal-Pinger road, Dhanu to Baryalta road, Tajoor-Peuni road, Sundla-Babay road, Bharnara-Jansal road, Ramnagar-Satyein road, Dalsar-Barota road and many other such road projects. The youth Congress leaders further alleged thatInformation sought through a score of RTI queries has come to reveal that R & B Deptt. has executed NABARD funded and state sector projects without calling of tenders and allotting works on departmental basis, in utter violation of Financial Code, in order to please some blue-eyed favourites. Prominent among others who participated in the protest demonstration include Balram Singh, Vice-President, AYC Ramnagar, Mohan Lal Sharma, Kuldip Singh, Mohd. Azeem, (sarpanches), Vinod Jamwal, Ramnagar Block President, Behari Lal, Basantgarh Block President, Makhan Lal, R K Verma, Dr. Bishan Singh, Dr. Bikram Singh, Purshotam Singh, Shankar Lal, Shamsher Singh, Pardip Sharma and others.

Sadhotra pitches for enhanced fund flow to J&K; urges tied SPA to be replaced with untied SCA
NEW DELHI FEBRUARY 24: Expressing gratitude to Centre for enhanced plan outlay to the State, Minister for Planning, Labor & Employment, Mr. Ajay Kumar Sadhotra said this will ensure increased development and growth, all the more needed given the difficult situation J&K has passed through during the past over two decades. During a meeting with Member of Planning Commission Mr. B K Chaturvedi, the Minister discussed the overall developmental profile and status of various centrally sponsored projects in the State. He also deliberated upon issues pertaining to the resource position against the approved outlay and receipts from the Centre under various components as also under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan (PMRP). In view of cost escalation, he pleaded enhancement in the allocations particularly for giving fillip to T&D network project and completion of historic Mughal Road project. Mr Sadhotra referred to the report submitted to Prime Minister during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir in 2009 and said this requires special consideration for achieving the agenda of overall development of the state. "Development holds key to heralding peace in the sensitive state", the Minister said and hoped the Centre will continue to extend support for meeting the development requirements. The Minister prioritized the city mobility plan in which the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar have become congested as far as transport facilities are concerned. For this purpose, he said the state government has prepared a blue print which is estimated to involve Rs 30, 000 crore. He said RITES has prepared a comprehensive plan, which included Rapid and Mass Transport (Metro/Mono Rail) services in the State. Since such a whopping funding is beyond the resources of the state, the support of Centre has become imperative, he said and requested for giving this a top priority. Mr. Sadhotra sought timely release of Central funds for various schemes so that these are utilized within the stipulated time frame as the working season in the state was very brief. He advocated removal of various conditions being imposed on lifting of the allocations as these will create more constraints than solving the problems. He said that since Jammu and Kashmir was a special category state and its financial condition were very weak; the pattern of all centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) should conform to the 90-10 pattern as it is being done in the North East States. Mr. Sadhotra strongly urged that our state being a special category state, tied Special Plan Assistance (SPA), be replaced with untied Special Central Assistance (SCA). He also referred to the requirement of Rs 800 Crore for acquisition of land for implementing 1160 schemes under PMGSY. This will have to be looked earnestly so that the State pushes forward the programme in a big way for overall development and benefit of the targeted segments of the population. Mr Sadhotra also emphasized the need for sanctioning special assistance of Rs 1000 crores for financial closure of Baghliar Phase -II to facilitate reducing the tariff from Rs 4.48 per KWhr to Rs 2.83 KWphr over and above the normal plan.

Sagar held extensive tour of Srinagar city

SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 24: Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Mr. Ali Mohammad Sagar Sunday conducted extensive tour of Srinagar city to take stock of sewerage system in city areas besides availability of essential commodities. Mr. Sagar accompanied by Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Dr. G.N. Qasba and other concerned officers today inspected various ongoing sewerage works including Sewage Pump House, Brari Nambal. He went around the whole project area and took stock of the sewerage management. He inspected 16.8 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) at Brari Nambal coming up at a cost of Rs. 23 crore, benefitting various areas of Srinagar city including Saida Kadal, Naidyar, Jogi Lanker, Miskeen Bagh etc. Mr. Sagar also inspected rectification project of STP Brari Nambal costing Rs. 4 crore. He was informed that Khanyar, Nowhatta, Habba Kadal and Bhori Kadal areas are being benefited by the plant. He also inspected Cable Trench work at the site. The Minister also inspected work on sewerage line from Baba Dawood-iKhakhi to STP Brari Nambal, costing Rs. 80 lakhs.Mr. Sagar also visited Fateh Kadal Sewerage Pump Station and directed the concerned Engineers to ensure proper treatment of the sewerage to eliminate bad smell from it. On the occasion, the Minister was informed that 28 moving dewatering pumps have been put into service in various areas of Srinagar city including Bemina area. While visiting Khanyar Constituency, the Minister inspected ongoing work of drain, costing Rs. 9.85 lakh under Constituency Development Fund. He directed the concerned Engineers to ensure proper coverage of the drain at Gousia Hospital. Mr. Sagar also inspected various food stores of CA&PD which include food store at Khanyar and Miskeen Bagh and took stock of availability of essential commodities. He also inspected under construction CA&PD store at Mughal Mohalla Rainawari and directed the concerned Engineers to make space for Reading Room on the second storey of the Food Store. Earlier, Mr. Sagar took stock of the revision of proposed draft of Master Plan of Srinagar city. The Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority, Mr. Farooq Ahmad Renzu briefed the Minister about various dimensions of the Master Plan. The Minister stressed upon the concerned authorities to make Srinagar Master Plan whole good for next 50 years.

Govt. committed to connect every area of State: Bhalla

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 24: Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture Mr. Raman Bhalla has said that Government is committed to connect every nook and corner of the State by providing all weather road connectivity. This was stated by the Minister while interacting with the villagers after laying foundation stone of main road to Shamshan Ghat link road at Dharap village, here today. Mr. Bhalla asked the Rural Development Department engineers to complete this road within stipulated time by using quality material. For improving the drinking water scenario in Dharap and Joogian Mohalla, the Minister said the Government has released Rs. 4 crore under Dharap Kothey Water Supply Scheme for digging of deep drill tube well and laying of water supply pipes in uncovered areas of the villages, adding that the projects are under progress and would be dedicated to the people by May this year. He said the deep drill tube well would provide 50000 gallon discharge of drinking water supply. Mr. Bhalla said after commissioning of tube wells, the drinking water scarcity in Dharap, Dharap Kothey, Jogian Mohalla and Gujjar basti localities would be solved to a large extent. He asked the PHE authorities to complete the ongoing works in left out areas of the villages at the earliest so that the inhabitants do not face drinking water scarcity during summer season.

Gurezi visits VAS Centre Lankhanpur, reviews PHE schemes at Samba

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 24: Minister of State for Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Mr. Nazir Ahmad Gurezi today visited the Veterinary Assistant Surgeon (VAS) Centre, Lankhanpur and took stock of the facilities available there besides the mechanism adopted by the Animal Husbandry department for checking of poultry, sheep and cattle live stock coming into the State. The Minister was told that the physical examination of livestock as well as sheep and poultry is done on daily basis at the Centre. He took serious note of non sampling of the incoming animals especially sheep, goat and poultry and directed the concerned for establishment of Laboratory at Lankhanpur so that proper clinical examination of poultry and other livestock is done properly. During the visit, a delegation of Cross Breed Live Stock Traders met the Minister and projected their difficulties before him. Mr. Gurezi directed the VAS, Lakhanpur to submit a detailed requisition for further increasing the activities of the Centre. He asked the Executive Engineer PDD to ensure un-interrupted power supply to animal Husbandry Block at Lankhanpur. During the visit, the Minister also visited Mansar and Binduda Para villages of district Samba and took stock of people's problems. While taking appraisal of projects under execution in these areas, the Minister was informed that under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in Ramnagar, construction on 27 water supply schemes costing Rs.51.02 crore is in full swing, out of which 5 schemes will be completed during this fiscal.

Taj visits Chopra Nursing Home, GMC; directs banning cigarettes, gutka inside hospital
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 24: Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Mr. Taj Mohi ud Din today visited the Chopra Nursing Home and took stock of the renovations and face-lifting being carried out for its re opening. The Nursing Home is closed at present. The Minister directed the engineering wing of the Hospital for face lifting, landscaping and internal renovations of the Nursing Home on war footing basis. During the visit, Mr. Taj also visited the emergency block, OPD and Orthopedic units of the GMC and took an on the spot note of the cleanliness, patient management and treatment regime. At the emergency block, the Minister asked for strict implementation of triage regime, a sorting process used for determining treatment schedule on the basis of sickness of a patient. He also passed strict instructions for not allowing cigarettes and gutkas inside hospital wards and rooms. He also directed the Hospital administration to regulate the number of visitors to the hospital and not allow more than one attendant with a patient and that too with a valid attendant pass only. Today being the Pulse Polio day, the Minister kicked off the campaign by administering polio drops to few kids at the Pediatric block of the SMGS Hospital, Shalamar Road. Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu, Dr. Aniece Choudhary, medical superintendents and other officers accompanied the Minister during the visit.

Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Mr. Taj Mohi ud Din interacting with officers during visit at Chopra Nursing home at Jammu.

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A new leaf turns for fighting corruption

Victimisation bogey eroding India's peace

he taking up of the oath of Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) by kuldeep khoda and of R K Jerath as vigilance Commissioner (VC) of the State has turned a new leaf in the annals of the State. Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most corrupt States in the country. This dubious distinction does not in any way help the image of the region. Being a sensitive State where there are myriad problems it becomes the onerous responsibility of the government to ensure that good governance is given to the people. The central point of good governance is a corruption free system where the common man who has voted the politicians to power with the sole aim that his problems get solved without greasing the palms of the various functionaries of the government becomes a reality. Sadly during the last sixty years this sacred dream of the people has not materialized. Think of any work you need to get done in any government office the first thing that comes to the mind is whether he has enough money in his pocket to get his work done. As soon as he enters any department he is made to pay a hefty amount for the file to move from one table to another. There are countless instances where petty officials like Patwaris, Clerks, police officials etc have amassed wealth that is way beyond their known sources of income. Our ministers and many politicians or law makers soon after assuming the reins of power attain wealth which is manifolds than their known salaries and perks. There are countless cases in which many politicians and bureaucrats are involved in corrupt practices ranging from embezzlement of funds to grabbing of government lands. Such unscrupulous elements have by far largely escaped the net of law and are enjoying the power and perks at the cost of poor tax payer's money. Whenever new government takes over it as a customary way for public consumption promises to fight corruption but all these promises by and large fizzle out due the lack of political will or due to the other causes which are not so difficult to judge. With such a system it is very difficult for the government to raise the level of hope in the minds of people when it comes to fighting corruption. Today we the hapless people of the State are wary of any attempt on the part of government to fight the menace of corruption. It is very important that the confidence of people is to be restored when it comes to fighting corruption and nepotism. The appointment of CVC and VC is a step in right direction. The office of State Vigilance Commission is now a constitutional body as the Act to the effect was passed in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly with powers to galvanize the war against corruption in the State. It is some time away when the State Vigilance Commission starts working smoothly because some important appointments have to be made in the Commission especially the director of the State Vigilance Organization. Kuldeep Khoda and R K Jerath are men of vast experience. As DGP Kuldep khoda knows the working of the investigative process when it comes to unraveling corruption cases. In the same way R K Jerath as exFinancial commissioner of the State is fully in know of all kinds of bureaucratic hassles that stops midway the process of exposing corruption cases especially when it comes to the involvement of big fish. These two experienced hands can turn together a new leaf to fight the menace of corruption which has become now well entrenched in the form of commissions and gratifications. The people of this State who are fighting the stigma of being one of the most corrupt states in the country are now brimming with optimism that with the appointment of CVC and VC their day to day work will proceed smoothly without the payment of bribes. It will be a great message if the list of corrupt officials, law makers and politicians is put at public places so that a message goes to the public that the CVC and his experienced team means business and will tolerate no interference with its functioning. A moment comes in the lives of men when they leave the old order and take a leap forward in order to create history so that their name endures for a long time to come. That time of reckoning for the State Vigilance Organization has come and we the people of this State are watching with our fingers crossed.

BY SWAPAN DASGUPTA t is probably absolutely grotesque to even suggest that any Indian, apart from a handful of the totally demented, would derive satisfaction over the blasts in Hyderabad that killed 16 people on Thursday evening. Yet, at the risk of sounding willfully outrageous, I would venture the suggestion that there exists a band of people who will argue that "the country had it coming". Such a perverse response had, in fact, been articulated by some ultraradical and ultra-liberal European and West-Asian intellectuals after the 9/11 attacks. To them, the world was shaped by a clash between a series of Muslim grievances (that, apart from Palestine and Bosnia, also included Kashmir) and the smugness of the West-Zionist alliance. India, predictably, was lumped with the latter. We are yet unclear as to whether the terrorist module that carried out the bombings was driven by the determination to extract revenge for the execution of convicted terrorist conspirator Afzal Guru. If the eversmiling Home Minister's suggestion that certain cities had been alerted to the possibility of a terrorist attack

after Afzal's hanging is true, it would seem that the likelihood of the Hyderabad attack being a tit-fortat incident should not be entirely discounted - at least at this stage of the inquiry. Whenever an incident like the Hyderabad bombings takes place, the political class and the voluble media rush to point an accusing finger at flat-footed policemen and an over-politicized Intelligence apparatus. The exasperation with the State apparatus is perfectly understandable. There is enough evidence to indicate that India's policing priorities are horribly skewed. There is an over-emphasis, for example, on VIP security which leads to police deployment in all the wrong places. There is also a needless preoccupation with political Intelligence, including election management. And finally, there is the preoccupation with using the police and Intelligence agencies to settle political scores-the latest being attempts to 'fix' Gujarat politician Amit Shah and the bid to manufacture an imaginary phenomenon called "Hindu terror" that can be used as a stick to beat the BJP with. That these distortions need

urgent correction is by now well acknowledged and even appreciated by police officers, including those who grudgingly dance to the tunes of the ruling dispensation for the sake of career advancement. Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha) Arun Jaitley made a passionate plea in Parliament last Friday of the importance that must be attached to the de-politicization of the police, particularly the wings that are involved in counter-terrorism. It is hoped that he plays a role in incorporating the promise to professionalise the law and order machinery in the manifesto of the NDA for 2014. A series of incidents, including terrorism, the safety of women and investigations of financial crimes, have served to place police reforms on the political agenda. However, the battle against terrorism isn't merely about having alert beat constables, tech-savvy officers and a single-minded determination to get to the bottom of each and every terrorist crime. The term 'roots of terrorism' has been discredited by the inclination of do-gooders and human rights entrepreneurs to locate terrorist motivation in the imagined sense of hurt of the perpe-

trators. Yet, if the baggage of indignation is removed from the need to also explore the larger environment, there is a case for understanding why a city such as Hyderabad has become a breeding ground for every conceivable act of treachery. Assume, as is being hinted, that the initial finger of suspicion points to the Indian Mujahideen, (IM), it is important to understand that the rebellion of a small section of Muslim youth has its origins in the political mindset of separatism that is so widespread in the ghettos. The political ideology of IM that prompts it to take recourse to exploding lethal bombs to cause maximum hurt to the 'other' didn't emerge in a vacuum. It was an inevitable consequence of a rhetoric (and we have seen enough evidence of that in recent months) that seeks to distinguish Muslims from 'Hindustan'. Some of it is born of plain nostalgia for a time when Moghuls and their successors ruled the State. But the poisonous element is injected by the invocation of victimhood - the preposterous claim that the Indian State is driven by a single-minded desire to beat the Muslim communi-

ty into submission. The political use that has been made of the Batla House encounter in various Muslim-dominated localities around the country is an example. Egged on by radical human rights activists and even ViceChancellors who have donned a political mantle, this incident has been used to fuel the impression of institutionalised targeting of Muslim youth. Read with the unexpected mob fury that was witnessed in Mumbai as a reaction to the clashes in Assam, the victimhood syndrome is contributing to a steady deterioration of inter-communal harmony all over the country. Even West Bengal, which has been relatively spared of the sectarian virus for decades, witnessed belligerent attacks on Hindus in South 24 Parganas. In the case of West Bengal, the media was forced to take note of the destruction of nearly 200 homes by a mob after the social media took up the cause relentlessly. But this ostrich-like behaviour isn't going to make the problem go away. There is a need to first sensitise Indians of a disturbing phenomenon. The ways to cope with it emerge in due course. Denial is exacerbating the problem.

Iran and Nuclear Weapons: New Negotiations, Old Issues?

SHUBHRA CHATURVEDI he announcement about the talks (at Kazakhstan in February 2013) between Iran and the six powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China and Russia), after an eight months break, is being seen as an optimistic breakthrough. What has changed since the last talks in Moscow? Has the Iranian leadership become softer on this issue? Or has the international community become more accommodating? The dialogue held in Moscow in June 2012 displayed differences in the basic perspectives of the negotiating parties. According to Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top foreign policy representative and the lead negotiator in this case, there were, "Significant gaps between the substance of the two positions" (The Washington Post, 20 June 2012). While the US and its allies wanted to limit the conversation to nuclear issues, Iran wanted to address a wider range of security concerns. There were attempts from P5+1 to also urge Iran to admit to the existence of nuclear weapons in the past in the country. The policy followed by the West towards the alleged Iranian nuclear programme was to 'stop, shut and ship.' There is a certain "optimism"

The pessimism visible within the Iranian state nullifies the claim towards the softening of the Iranian approach towards the West. Salehi might be optimistic about the talks but Haj-Sadeghi, the representative of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had a different opinion. Sadeghi claimed, "They will never want real dialogue and negotiations" referring to the United States. If the majority views the West with suspicion and the Supreme Leader still views the US as an "aggressive and interventionist arrogant power" then the fate of the negotiations does not look bright. It is believed that the issue within Iran is not the negotiations but the method of pressurising Iran into it over the years. If that is the case, there seems to be no substantial change in the scenario even now.
that is being linked to the Kazakhstan talks visible in the various positive public statements being made. The optimism could very well be the result of the softening of the Iranian approach towards the US, a consequence of the strict sanctions, or just an extension of the "new policy" that the United States seems to be following towards Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Berlin on Monday that he was "optimistic" regarding what he saw as a new approach from the United States regarding Iran. The new approach is aimed at the resolution of the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme by bilateral talks between Iran and the US. US Vice President, Joe Biden's claim about the presence of necessary seriousness as a pre-requisite for negotiations to take place, portrays the uncertainty that exists between the negotiating parties. Iran still claims that its nuclear programme has no intentions of devel-

oping weapons whereas it still enriches uranium in violation of the UNSC resolutions. The pessimism visible within the Iranian state nullifies the claim towards the softening of the Iranian approach towards the West. Salehi might be optimistic about the talks but Haj-Sadeghi, the representative of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had a different opinion. Sadeghi claimed, "They will never want real dialogue and negotiations" referring to the United States. If the majority views the West with suspicion and the Supreme Leader still views the US as an "aggressive and interventionist arrogant power" then the fate of the negotiations does not look bright. It is believed that the issue within Iran is not the negotiations but the method of pressurising Iran into it over the years. If that is the case, there seems to be no substantial change in the scenario even now. The image of Iran as a pariah state given its nuclear ambitions has not changed since the last round of talks at Moscow. The hype about the optimism contradicts the uncertainty that exists about the intentions of Iran with regard to the talks. Biden claimed that he was ready to engage in bilateral talks with Iran if there was some serious-

ness and not merely "for the exercise." British Foreign Secretary William Hague also stressed on the need for Iranian seriousness in the process of engagement byclaiming that, "the onus is on Iran to respond seriously and turn its declared willingness to negotiate into concrete action." These statements show that Iran still needs to work on its image and the much hyped optimism about the next round of talks may simply be just rhetoric. Joseph Nye in "New approaches to nuclear proliferation policy" claimed that it is difficult to evolve a policy that would slow down the spread of nuclear weapons since that would result in causing friction between countries. The friction is evident in this scenario too. Nuclear weapons (the currency of power) if attained by Iran, will restructure the strategic environment. Why then will Iran let go of such an opportunity? There is definitely a sense of optimism being portrayed by the media but it is unlikely that the negotiations will be affected by it. Obama and the western powers too seem to see the "optimism" in the future of the talks. The only choice left is to wait for this round of talks and see if the decade long tiff gets resolved in any way or ends up being the usual "mere engagement."

The Ultimate Sutra Of Security

BY MADHUR GUPTA here are three policemen for every VIP and just one cop for every 800 people in this country! So what? Doesn't a Kashmiri apple need better modes of preservation than the 'langda aam', in this case VIP's being the elite apple and the 'aam janta' being the literal and figurative lame,blind and mute mango people? Going by mathematical calculations which I am no good at, the life

of a single VIP is supposed to be more than 2400 of the ordinary mass (1cop/800men and 3cop/1VIP). And why shouldn't it be? Aren't these super important people supposed to be the indispensable and selfless servants of our society? Wouldn't the apocalypse dawn upon our land if some fanatic decides to slap our V.I.P for hurting his otherwise senseless religious feelings? No, neither will that VIP die nor will the apocalypse destroy our earth. What will die is the bloated

ego of that senseless person who now thinks that he has every right to be rash and disgusting and yet be protected if somebody tries to correct him. Don't consider me to be biased towards VIP's but do tell me one thing- did Mahatma Gandhi or Rabindranath Tagore need even an ounce of security throughout their lives? No, they did not because they were the real selfless and devoted servants of the Indian society, unlike the paan chewing, porn watching, babus who have all the power these

days. It is true, that to follow a code of conduct and protocol we need to have a resplendent showcase of our Indian police force and we therefore must allow such steps. But then again, is it right that in order to portray a powerful image globally we must sanction such things? Also weren't simplicity and somberness what our nation happens to be known for worldwide? A massive amount of security is needed only by thugs who have a

fetish for power and often indulge themselves in gang wars with a direct implication that their own personal and precious lives are in danger and therefore their castles must be secured by umpteen cops. Three is far too less a number so let them have at least twenty guards. And unless a bill is passed for such a motion, we the 'aam aadmi' must strive to protect our beloved leaders by offering ourselves in a platter of literal and figurative lameness, blindness and dumbness. Rani Sharma Kishtwar

LPV Vaccines a step in right direction
Dear Sir, The decision of the government to introduce pentavalent vaccines in the state is a step in right direction.Childhood is the most fragile state of a person's life and if it is secured then the life of the person is secured. Immunization is one of the most essential parts in the health care of a child and in the past an infant had to go for many vaccinations. This proved time consuming and costly also. But with the introduction of Pentavalent Vaccines five life- threatening diseases like Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, HepatitisB and Haemophillia influenza. As the mortality rate of infants is on the increase the new Pentavalent Vaccine will surely prove a boon for raising the health graph of the infants and small children in the State.

Rajinder Singh Rehari, Jammu

Employment Fair
Dear Sir, The news of employment fair held in Padder published in your esteemed daily (Feb 230 is a step that will prove a boon to the unemployed youth of the State. Being first of its kind in the area it was a remarkable to see that at last government is looking towards the issues of the people of the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It is important that the youth of the area who are educated need knowledge about the employment schemes so that they earn a decent living for themselves .Being the residents of the remote area of the State it is highly essential that they are able to reach the benefits of the various schemes that will prove beneficial to them to earn an honorable livelihood.

Terror strikes
Dear Sir, The Hyderabad bomb blasts are grim reminder that the security situation in the country is going from bad to worse. We have not been able to curb the menace of terror and it is sad to see that despite repeated assurances by our rulers the truth is that the people of this country are bleeding. The failure of this squarely rests with the people who are at the helm of affairs. Will they act and deal with the terror machine strongly. We have now no time to make political mileage out of the bomb strikes the national leadership has to act and make the people of this country safe. Din Mohammad Channi Himmat

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PM visits Hyderabad blast sites, urges people to maintain peace

HYDERABAD: Three days after two powerful bombs rocked Hyderabad' Dilsukhnagar area, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday visited the blasts sites here and called on the injured. Accompanied by Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the PM first stopped at the Anand Tiffin Centre in front of Konark Theatre in Dilsukhnagar. The PM further appealed to people to remain calm. "I am here to stand in solidarity with the people of the city. We should maintain peace and calm," the Prime Minister said. "I am happy that the people of Hyderabad have refused to be provoked by this nefarious incident," Dr Singh added. The Chief Minister briefed him about the terror attack. He walked up to the scene of the second blast, a few meters away. Manmohan Singh, who the doctors about their condition. The Prime Minister spent about 15 ble help from the government. "God bless you," he told one of them. He saw the x-ray of an injured person and spoke to doctors about the nature of his injuries. One of the victims told the Prime Minister that he was having snacks at a roadside eatery when the first bomb exploded. The Prime Minister avoided road travel apparently due to security reasons. After landing at the Begumpet airport at 11 am, he flew in a helicopter to Victoria Memorial School near Dilsukhnagar. He then drove about 2.5 km to reach the first blast site. After spending an hour visiting the two sites and the hospitals, Manmohan Singh flew back to the Begumpet airport. Two bombs exploded within a span of minutes in Hyderabad on Thursday evening, killing 16 people and injuring 117.

BJP working on improving strength in South, NE: Rajnath Singh

from BJP to form a new party may affect his party's performance. "We cannot determine the quantum of loss, but even if some loss has taken place we would try to regain it," he said. The BJP leader maintained that in the 2014 general elections his party would not just highlight the failures of the Congress- led UPA government but also emphasise on programmes that it will implement if voted to power. "We will tell the people what all we will do if we form government at the Centre," he said. Rajnath said the Congress-led government has failed on every front. "They have failed on the economic, security and diplomatic front. But we won't contest elections on the basis of this government's failure, not just negatives but we will fight the elections on political issues also," he said. He maintained that there is a need for BJP to make its organisational network "more active and effective". The BJP President said the biggest drawback of the Congress government is that it has no single power centre. "It has two power centers which cause all the trouble. But other political parties don't have such a mechanism, whoever is the Prime Minister, he has fullfledged authority," he said. He insisted that BJP has emerged stronger in the last two decades. "If you talk of BJP, it has become stronger than what it was two decades back but Congress has become weaker in this period," he claimed. The senior BJP leader maintained that in any coalition government regional parties have an important role and the 2014 results may throw up a similar situation.

flew into Hyderabad in an Indian Air Force aircraft, later met the injured at two hospitals - Yashoda and Omni. He spoke to them and enquired from

minutes at Yashoda hospital and about 10 minutes in Omni hospital. At the Yashoda Hospital, the Prime Minister assured the victims all possi-

Justice shall be guiding India's northeast alerted after blasts principle of country: Sibal AGARTALA: Hyderabadwith Bangladesh. A high alert border
PATNA: Any country or rule which does not have justice as the guiding principle cannot prosper, Union Minister Kapil Sibal said. Addressing a convention, the minister recollected that the day he entered politics he had made up his mind that his decisions would be guided by humanity. While addressing the convention on Maulana Azad's vision for minorities, Sibal stressed on education for minorities so that they could avail employment opportunities. He said that drawing inspiration from Maulana Azad he implemented the vocational course as Union Human Resources Development minister in the concern for their welfare. "15 per cent of resources in the government's 15-point programme are reserved for minority Muslims," Khan said. As part of multisectoral development programme for minorities, seven districts of Bihar have been selected and Rs 560 crore fund alloted, he said. On the opening of a branch of Aligarh Muslim University in Kisanganj, he said the Centre has approved it and it would come up there soon. JD(U) MP Shivanand Tiwari, RJD MLC Tanvir Hassan and Maulana Wali Rahmani also addressed the conference. has been sounded in India's northeast following the Hyderabad terror attack that killed 16 people, an official said Sunday. "The union home ministry has asked all northeastern states to intensify their vigil," a paramilitary official said. He said bomb experts and dog squads had been told to scan crowded places. Four northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam - share a 1,880-km Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,640-km border with Myanmar. Most of the international border is unfenced and runs through dense forests and mountainous, making it porous, vulnerable and advantageous for terrorists and others. On Feb 21, two powerful bombs, suspected to be planted by terror groups, killed 16 people and injured 117 in Hyderabad.

NEW DELHI: BJP President Rajnath Singh has said his party will focus on improving its electoral prospects in the southern states and the North-East in the next general elections as part of the NDA's efforts to win more seats and wrest power from the Congress-led UPA coalition. "We have had our government in Karnataka and we will try to retain the number of seats we had won last time. Our performance in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu can improve from what it was last time and efforts are on for that. As for the North-East, four MPs won from there last time and I hope that the number will not decrease," Rajnath said. He was replying to a question on the NDA's prospects in the South and the NorthEast in the next general elections. Many feel the party's performance in Karnataka may go down in the Lok Sabha polls due to the constant infighting in the BJP-led government in the state. This has dented the image of the party. Rajnath accepted that the exit of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa

UPA I government and also linked Urdu language with employment. Participating in the conference, Union minister for Minorities Affair Rahman Khan said that the UPA government has great

Sethusamudram: 'Govt waging indirect war against Indian civilisation'

NEW DELHI: Taking on the UPA Government over its stand to go ahead with the Sethusamudram project despite the RK Pachauri Committee report suggesting it unviable, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said that the Centre has declared an indirect war against Indian civilisation. Accusing the government of polarising the nation on communal line by taking such steps, senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Punj said his party will fight against the decision in and outside Parliament. "The government stand on the issue is very unfortunate. They have declared an indirect war against Indian civilisation, because the Ramayana and God Ram are the integral part of our civilisation. The government is not giving any rational logic behind dismissing the Pachauri Committee recommendations," said Punj. "The project will be a disaster for environmental and sentimental points of view and it will not going to benefit economically also. The government has decided to go ahead with the project by ignoring the sentiments of the majority only to polarise the nation on communal lines. It needs to be condemned by all right thinking people and the BJP will fight against it in and outside Parliament," he added. RK Pachauri Committee, which was constituted on the Supreme Court direction, submitted its report on Friday, suggesting the entire Sethusamudram project unviable on two fronts economically as ecologically. However, the government has rejected the Pachauri Committee report and submitted an affidavit in the Supreme with and intention to pursue the project cutting through the Adam's Bridge, popularly known as Ram Setu.

'Shinde expressed regret, not apology for saffron terror': Kamal Nath
NEW DELHI: As dust settles on the 'Hindu terror' issue, government has said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had not apologised for his controversial remarks but only expressed regret, which was accepted by BJP. "Well, it is regret. That is the word that has been used. I cannot change the language once it is used," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said. He was responding to questions on whether Shinde had expressed regret or tendered an apology for his remark made at a Congress meet in Jaipur that BJP was running camps for training Hindu terrorists. Nath said while Shinde had used the word BJP, he has clarified that he did not mean any political organisation. "If it has inadvertently or advertently been construed to mean that, he said I express regret," Nath said. He also sought to make a distinction between Shinde's remarks and similar comments made by P Chidambaram during his tenure as Home Minister. "The difference was Shinde used the word BJP and Chidambaram had not used the word BJP," he said. The minister admitted

Sri Lanka plans to grant working visa to Indians

COLOMBO: Facing a shortage of labourers, Sri Lanka plans to grant work visas to Indians to harvest paddy in the country's north and east, a media report said on Sunday. "The government is helpless as our people are leaving the country to work as labourers in West Asia, Singapore, South Korea and Italy," Lankan Agricultural Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. He said the Indians were working in the paddy fields in the country's north and east having arrived on tourist visas. "It (the labour shortage) is now spreading to the North-Central and Southern provinces too," he added. Abeywardena said when the proposal to give work visas to Indians came into force, a request to the Immigration Department should come from the Agriculture or the Labour Ministry. This would also be discussed with the Defence Ministry. He said the farmer labourers from India, China, the Maldives and other countries." Agriculture Ministry Secretary W Sakalasooriya said, "The farmers say that the Indians can be employed on a low wage. They can do more work and these labourers know how to operate the harvesting machines efficiently." Immigration officials said a number of Indian labourers had been arrested for over staying the one month visit visa. "These Indians are not deported but are sent back to India on humanitarian grounds. They can come back and work in paddy fields," the paper quoted Immigration officer as saying. Sri Lanka last year stopped it's on arrival visa policy for citizens other than Singaporeans and Maldivians. Travellers are now required to apply at Lankan missions overseas for on line visit visas for all travel to the island.

community in the Ampara, Batticaloa, Kilinochchi, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts had requested District Secretaries to allow South Indians to work in the fields as there was a shortage of labours. The paper quoted Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena as saying "We have to bring down labourers on six month visas. Similarly there are many sectors and companies that bring down

Govt unlikely to discuss Telangana during Budget session

NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding pressure from pro-Telangana groups, the Centre may not take any decision on the demand for the separate state during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, which will continue till May 10. A government functionary said internal consultations within the government and the Congress party have been going on and so a decision during the Budget Session is not likely. As the government would try to push through crucial financial business during the current session of the House, it does not want any disruption, he said. "We have to take a decision either way before the 2014 General Elections. But we do not want to take any decision on such a sensitive issue when the session is on as it may lead to disruption of Parliament," the government functionary said. The government is also wary that any hasty decision on Telangana could fuel the separate statehood demands in other parts of the country. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has recently asked the government to consider its demand for a Gorkhaland state if it takes into consideration creation of a separate Telangana. However, making a strong pitch for separate Telangana, NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that a delay in the matter would not be helpful. Pawar said he raised this issue with the Prime Minister, becoming the first UPA-constituent to openly come out in support of an early decision on Telangana. A decision on the Telangana statehood demand was deferred on January 27 with the Centre and Congress saying there was need for "further consultations" which will take a "little more time" even as pro-Telangana activists intensified their agitation. On the eve of the one-month deadline set by him to arrive at a decision on the contentious issue, Shinde and Congress spoke on similar lines seeking more time to resolve the matter. While Shinde said it may take some more time to reach a final decision, Congress general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, made it clear that "further consultations" with leaders from Andhra Pradesh were required. Shinde had on December 28 last year said the Centre would announce a decision on the contentious issue in a month.

that Shinde's statement of regret was discussed at meetings he and Shinde had with the BJP leadership. "There was a discussion and some text was worked out. Some text was discussed with BJP. They said this was enough... they said he should say this. This was not a test like putting a comma and a fullstop," Nath said, describing the meetings with the BJP leaders. He said the matter was discussed with the BJP leaders to avoid complications later. "We did not want a statement where they said this is not that. They want something and the only way to cut it short was to discuss it and sort it out," Nath said. Nath said Shinde did not deny the remarks he had

made at the Jaipur meeting and had only clarified that he did not mean it. The Home Minister always had the intention to clarify his remarks and a time was chosen to issue a statement, he said. "So what it took 30 days. It happened. What heavens have fallen if it has taken 30 days? It has to be BJP's point not your point ... The question is the matter is over on this subject and Parliament is functioning without this being an issue," Nath said. On Congress spokesman P C Chacko's remark that Shinde was not factually incorrect, he said it was his colleague's "own opinion". Nath maintained that the entire episode had not diminished Shinde's standing in the Union Cabinet.

GJM to send delegation to New Delhi to meet MPs

DARJEELING: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will send a five-member delegation to New Delhi to meet MPs of various national parties in an effort to assess the current political mood in the capital on creation of Telangana. "A five-member delegation will leave for Delhi on January 24 and meet MPs of various political parties," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said on Saturday. "The Morcha wants to assess the current mood in Delhi regarding the formation of Telangana. The party's future agitation depends on the Centre's decision on Telangana," said a source in the GJM. GJM sources hinted that Morcha would revive the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland if the Centre announces creation of Telangana. Party sources said the Morcha had also formed various other teams, which would tour other states to meet political leaders. These teams have been instructed to mobilise support in favour of Gorkhaland. The decision to send a Morcha delegation ahead of GJM chief Bimal Gurung's visit to Delhi, which has been scheduled for the first week of March, was taken at a central committee meeting of the party held at the Singamari office here today, the sources said.

'CVC monitoring system of tainted govt employees inadequate'

NEW DELHI: The Central Vigilance Commission lacks an efficient system to monitor action taken by government departments on its recommendations against employees allegedly involved in graft, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra has held. Expressing displeasure, Mishra, in his order, recommended the CVC to review its current monitoring system and upgrade it to make it more "meaningful and technology based". The case relates to RTI applicant Ajay Choudhury who sought to know first and second stage advice given by the CVC against civilian employees of the Defence Ministry. Detailed information on the status of cases could not be furnished to applicant as the CVC claimed that it does not maintain record on the progress made on its recommendations against government employees who are suspected to have been involved in corruption. During the hearing at the Central Information Commission, Choudhury alleged that Defence Ministry was adopting an arbitrary process in agreeing and disagreeing with the advices tendered by the CVC and the watchdog should "scrupulously" monitor progress made on its recommendations. Mishra noted in his order that the CVC maintains a "simple statement" containing the case number, the name of the officer concerned and the date of the advice. "It is obvious that the information being maintained by the CVC is too inadequate for any meaningful monitoring of the cases. It should be possible these days to develop an appropriate management information system by which all such cases can be monitored closely and capture more data about pending cases," he said. He said, "We hope CVC would review its current arrangements and bring about necessary modifications to make the monitoring more meaningful and technology based."

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and will provide resupply or medical evacuation if lic to avoid the floodwaters if possible. "Water is a dangerous thing. Deceptively dangerous. Even very low levels of water, if it's fast moving, can sweep people away," she said. Intense storms bringing high winds and heavy rain also tore through eastern Sydney and other areas overnight, ripping off roofs and bringing down trees. "Local intense storms with reported 'mini-tornados' in some locations caused... significant damage," the SES said, adding the worst-hit areas were Sydney's east, the southern fringe suburb of Narellan and Kiama further south.

Thousands cut off by floods in Australia

SYDNEY: Thousands of people on Australia's east coast were cut off by floodwaters on Sunday, with the heavy rain claiming two lives as extreme thunderstorms damaged homes and brought down trees in Sydney. State Emergency Services said the Macleay River peaked lower than had been forecast in the northern New South Wales town of Kempsey, 350 kilometres (215 miles) north of Sydney, and the town appeared to have escaped major flooding. But the north coast region, including the towns of Port Macquarie and Taree, remained under close watch along with the HawkesburyNepean area west of Sydney.

Three separate suicide bombings, shoot out in Afghanistan

KABUL: A series of early morning attacks hit eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, with three separate suicide bombings in outlying provinces and a shootout between security forces and attacker in the capital city of Kabul. The deadliest attack was a suicide car bombing just after sunrise in the eastern city of Jalalabad that killed two guards at an intelligence agency office. In that attack, a car approached the gate of the compound used by the National Directorate of Security and exploded, killing two guards and wounding three others, said regional responsibility for the bombexplosion wounded three police officers but no one was killed, said Deputy Police Chief Rais Khan Abdul Rahimzai. Later in the morning, a man wearing a suicide vest blew himself up outside the police headquarters for Baraki Barak district in Logar province. The man was stopped by police as he tried to force his way into the building, but still managed to detonate his vest, said Din Mohammad Darwesh, the provincial government spokesman. One policeman was wounded in the Baraki Barak attack, Darwest said.

Isolation remains a concern with around 20,000 (people) cut off across the north and mid-north coasts. The New South Wales SES is monitoring isolated areas

required." The SES said it had undertaken 66 flood rescues, including from stranded cars, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard urged the pub-

government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai. The building was damaged in the attack, he added. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed

ing. Shortly before the Jalalabad attack, an assailant detonated a van packed with explosives at a highway police checkpoint in Logar province, also in the east. That

Pope Benedict delivers Deal sign to end eastern Congo conflict: African leaders Final blessing at Vatican ADDIS ABABA: A U.N would command a new displaced an estimated half a Congo and the Great Lakes. amnesty for "war and insurVATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-yearold Benedict is stepping down on T h u r s d a y evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. But while he has lately looked tired and frail, the crowd filling the cobblestone square seemed to energize him, and he spoke in a clear, strong voice, repeatedly thanking the faithful for their closeness and affection as they interrupted him, again and again, with applause and cheers. Police estimated some 100,000 people turned out. Benedict told the crowd that God is calling him to dedicate himself "even more to prayer and meditation," which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City's ancient walls. "But this doesn't mean abandoning the church," he said, as many in the crowd looked sad at his departure from regular view. "On the contrary, if God asks me, this is because I can continue to serve it (the church) with the same dedication and the same love which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suitable to my age and to my strength." No date has yet been set for the start of the conclave of cardinals, who will vote in secret to elect Benedict's successor. Flags in the crowd represented many nations, with a large number from Brazil. The cardinals in the conclave will have to decide whether it's time to look outside of Europe for a pope. mediated peace deal aimed at ending two decades of conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo was signed on Sunday by leaders of Africa's Great Lakes region in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. African leaders failed to sign the deal last month after a disagreement over who regional force that will be deployed in eastern Congo and take on armed groups operating in the region. The Democratic Republic of Congo's army is fighting the M23 rebels, who have hived off a fiefdom in eastern Congo's North Kivu province in a conflict has dragged Congo's eastern region back into war and million people. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and leaders from Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Republic and South Sudan were present at the signing of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Rwanda and Uganda had been accused by U.N. experts of supporting the rebels, an accusation they denied. Congo's government and the rebels are holding talks in Uganda aimed reaching an agreement on a range of economic, political and security issues dividing the two sides, including gency acts", the release of political prisoners and reparation of damages due to the war. The rebels, who launched their offensive after accusing Kabila of reneging on the terms of a March 2009 peace agreement, have broadened their goals to include the removal of Kabila and "liberation" of the entire Congo.

Palestinians call for international probe of Israeli prisons

KARIN LAUB: Palestinians on Sunday called for an international investigation of Israel's treatment of detained Palestinians, after a 30-yearold Palestinian died in custody and a hunger strike by four other inmates sparked a week of West Bank protests. The death of Arafat Jaradat on Saturday raised new questions about Israel's Shin Bet security service, which has been accused by rights groups of mistreating Palestinians during interrogation. Palestinian officials and the detainee's family alleged Jaradat was mistreated by the Shin Bet, saying he was healthy at the time of his arrest last week. Israeli officials said Jaradat died of an apparent heart attack and denied he was beaten or subjected to any treatment that could have led to his death. Several thousand Palestinian prisoners held by Israel observed a oneday fast Sunday to protest Jaradat's death, which was bound to spur more Palestinian demonstrations in support of prisoners. The Shin Bet said Jaradat was arrested last Monday, after residents in his West Bank village of Saeer said he was involved in a rock-throwing attack that injured an Israeli. Jaradat admitted to the charge, as well to another West Bank rockthrowing incident last year, the Shin Bet said. A Shin Bet spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with protocol, said Jaradat was not beaten during his interrogation, nor was he subjected to any treatment that could have affected his health. Jaradat was not on a hunger strike and died of an apparent heart attack, said Sivan Weizman of the Israel Prisons Service. Jaradat's family and Palestinian officials alleged that he was mistreated during interrogation. Jaradat, a father of a 4-year-old daughter and 2year-old son, worked as a gas station attendant and his wife, Dalal, is pregnant, relatives said. Jaradat's death comes at a time of daily Palestinian demonstrations in support of prisoners, especially four hunger strikers. The health of one of the hunger strikers has deteriorated. In recent days, protests often turned into violent clashes with soldiers.


RBS starts shutting down Higher taxes on super rich will India urged to turn its branches, to retrench staf affect biz sentiment: Assocham gaze on the Maghreb
MUMBAI: British banking major RBS will be layingoff some of its 1,000 employees as it winds down retail and commercial business in the country. "As part of its winding down plans for the R&C (retail & commercial) business here, RBS India has reviewed its operating model and this will unfortunately lead to a number of job losses," it said in a statement. It, however, did not specify the number of people who will be laid off. The bank has nearly 1,000 employees in India. RBS India had a deposit base of Rs. 13,039 crore and an asset book of Rs. 12,534 crore as of March 2012, while its NPAs stood at 0.74 per cent.The India operations account for a meagre 0.02 per cent of the RBS Groups assets and around 0.5 per cent of its non-core business. RBS had sold its Asian assets to Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp to comply with the bailout norms recently. Its troubles started after being bailed by the British government in 2008 due to the global credit crisis. moved ahead since then. The Hindujas-promoted IndusInd Bank was also reportedly keen to buy out RBS branches her. Interestingly, one of the driving factors mentioned by YES Bank for the deal was the strength it gets through the trained employees. "The affected employees are being informed over the coming days and will be treated fairly and in line with RBS policies," the statement said, adding the preferred banking division, frontline sales and some from Van Gogh Preferred Banking will be impacted following this. The bank's customers will continue to be served, it said, adding that they will be "notified of any changes impacting them in time to minimize disruption." RBS' other businesses in the country, including markets, international banking and private banking, will continue to operate, it added. NEW DELHI: Industry chamber Assocham on Sunday said any move to impose higher taxes on super rich will hit business sentiment amidst economic slowdown. The government should focus more on high growth as the higher levy on super rich could affect the investors' sentiment, a survey has said. "The focus and public debate should shift from 'more tax on super rich' to 'super growth'," Assocham said in a survey. To reduce fiscal deficit and economic inequalities, majority of the companies surveyed by the chamber said the government's emphasis should be on better tax administration, reduction in non-plan public expenditure and improvement in quality of governance. "The industry expects Finance Minister P Chidambaram to give a growth-oriented Budget which would promote investment and revival of the economic sentiment," Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot said. The chamber claimed it has surveyed about 85 CEOs and senior executives across different sectors including finance, manufacturing, IT and ITeS in various cities. The survey stated that as many as 61 per cent of the respondents said that, if in case, the higher taxes on super rich are levied, it will affect the business sentiment of companies since it would act as a disincentive on wealth and value creation. However, remaining companies felt that they can live with the tax on rich as long as it is a short-term levy in the form of a surcharge for one or two years at the most, it said. The chamber said profitmaking and wealth creation are essential attributes of a business enterprise. "We need not stifle these attributes just because the economy is facing bad times. There are several other ways to return to the fiscal prudence such as cutting the wasteful expenditure and leakages in targeted subsidies," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. NEW DELHI: It's time India turned its attention to the countries of Northwest Africa and Indian companies explored and expanded their operations to the Maghreb region, its envoys based said. The Maghreb should be the "new target" of Indian diplomacy and it should be the "logical location for Indian companies to diversify and expand," said Mohammed Hacene Echarif, Algeria's ambassador to India, voicing the unhappiness of the region at not being allowed to play a more prominent role in ties with India. The Maghreb region comprises Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia and contributes 20 percent of the African continent's gross domestic product (GDP) though it has only nine percent of the population - around 85 million. Strategically located along the Mediterranean Sea, the region has old civilizational links with India. It is also a rich area with huge reserves of oil and gas, phosphates and iron ore and could be a valuable transit point to southern Europe and the EU market. And yet, it has not received the kind of attention it so richly deserves. The countries are also keen to boost two-way trade and investment with India. While India's trade with Africa is soaring, having touched $60 billion in 2011 and touted to reach $90 billion by 2015, it is paltry with the Maghreb region. In 2011-12, India's exports to the five Maghreb countries stood at 0.52 percent of its total exports, while imports from the region constituted 0.82 percent of its total imports. The region, despite the recent political turbulence, better known as the 'Arab Spring', has garnered more than $35 million in FDI in the past seven years in the fields of automotives, aerospace, iron and steel, among others. It has seen a yearly growth 5.5 percent compared to 3.5 percent growth in the rest of Africa and 1.8 percent growth in the Mediterranean region. The countries are also negotiating on a free trade agreement that would boost connectivity and commerce and make the bloc more attractive to outside trade. Trade among the Maghreb countries stands at around three percent, compared to 65 percent between the countries and the European Union. While India's exports to Algeria grew over six percent from 2011 to 2012, from $782 million to $835 million, in Libya it went down 54 percent in the same period, from $132 million to $61 million. Explaining the low volume of trade, the official said:, "The Maghreb countries offer a small market for Indian goods.

RBS has 36 branches here after it got the Indian assets of ABN as part of a three-way split of the Dutch bank, after it was acquired along with Banco Santander of Spain and Fortis of Belgium. RBS had announced sale of these businesses with 36 branches to HSBC over two years back, but the deal did not fructify owing to regulatory uneasiness. Around one month back, private sector lender YES Bank evinced interest in picking up the business. But nothing has

Indorama to set up $1.2 bn fertilizer plant in Nigeria

CHANDIGARH: A subsidiary of Indian-owned Indorama Corporation, the world's largest producer of polyester and PET resin, will set up a $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in Nigeria which will also be the single largest urea manufacturing complex in the world. Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited, Nigeria (IEFCL), has signed long-term financing agreements of $800 million with 16 global developmental financial institutions and commercial banks to construct the greenfield plant in Port Harcourt company officials said. This project envisages setting up the single largest urea manufacturing train in the world, making this one of the lowest cost producers in the world, which will also enable it to export urea to North American and Latin American markets," Indorama group managing director Amit Lohia said. Singapore-headquartered Indorama Corporation, the holding company of the Indorama group, has 45 manufacturing sites across 20 countries around the world. It is also the second largest producer of nitrile rubber gloves. The $10 billion Indorama Corporation is owned by an Indian family, with industrialist S.P. Lohia as its chairman. Indorama Corporation, which has over 20,000 employees, started with the establishment of a spun yarn manufacturing plant in Indonesia by S.P. Lohia in 1976. The group is a global manufacturer of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester fibre, filament and spun yarns, fabrics, and medical gloves. Its products are shipped to over 90 countries across four continents.

CAIT asks govt to set up panel for new banks

NEW DELHI: Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded constitution of a panel, including trade representatives, to draw out modalities for opening new banks on Sunday. " its pre-Budget memorandum to Finance Minister P Chidambaram has demanded the government to set up a panel of officials and trade representatives to draw out modalities of opening new banks and making them efficient to render best possible services," the apex body of the trading community said. It also said that better banking facilities to traders should be ensured and easy loan facility from banks at primary lending rate may be allowed for traders. Besides, it has also advocated a blanket ban on entry of big corporate houses and MNCs in retail trade. CAIT has called for an early roadmap on Goods and Services Tax and also demanded the phasing out of Central Sales Tax from April, 2013, CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.

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Dhoni's double ton puts India in command on day 3

CHENNAI: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck his maiden double century to lift India to a mammoth 515/8 in their first innings at the end of the third day's play in the first cricket Test against Australia at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 206 and had Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 not out) as India ended the day with an impressive lead of 135 runs. Australia scored 380 runs in their first innings. Dhoni and Kumar added 109 runs for the unfinished ninth-wicket stand that took India to a dominating position after they were reduced to 406/8. It was a quick 243-ball knock by Dhoni and was studded with 22 fours and massive five sixes. Though batting Sachin Tendulkar failed to break his two-year wait for a Test century, falling for 81 in the morning, what followed next was pure carnage by Dhoni and heir to his captaincy Virat Kohli, who made a valuable 107. But it was Dhoni's knock that scoring slowed down after Kohli was stood out as he almost single-handed- dismissed by Lyon. Kohli in his attempt to get ly blunted aggressive t h e was caught by Australian Mitchell Starc bowling off the bowlattack. ing of Lyon. Dhoni Ravindra walked in Jadeja (16), after India Ravichandran had scored Ashwin (3) just 14 a n d runs after Harbhajan an hour's Singh (11) all play and departed had lost quickly. Tendulkar, Kumar, who was however, bowled by proved an off-spinner able ally for Nathan L y o n Indian Skipper M.S. Dhoni waving after scoring Dhoni. The ( 3 / 1 8 2 ) . double century against Australia in Test Match at d e b u t a n t managed just Dhoni and MAC Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. 16 runs but Kohli then launched a counter-attack for their made sure that his captain got the 128-run fifth-wicket stand but the maximum amount of strike. Dhoni was in complete control of his brilliant innings and simply toyed with the Australian bowlers. En route to his 206, Dhoni also crossed a few milestones, crossing the 4000-run mark in Tests. It was also the second highest individual score as an Indian captain and also the highest Test score by an Indian wicketkeeper. Dhoni is now just 28 runs short of the highest score by a wicketkeeper in the history of cricket, 232 by Zimbabwean Andy Flower. Earlier, after losing Tendulkar, Kohli took the attack to the Australian bowling as he completed his fourth century -- a knock which included 15 boundaries and one six. The first session was an evenly fought contest with Australian pacers bowling tightly. Tendulkar was well set to get his 52nd Test hundred until Lyon bowled him off a flighted ball that turned sharply. The 39-year-old last scored a Test hundred two years ago in January 2011.

Oldest marathon runner finishes last race at 101

HONG KONG: The world's oldest marathon runner ran his last race on Sunday at the age of 101. Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong marathon's 10kilometer (6.25-mile) race in a time of 1 hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. Singh, a Sikh, wore a saffron turban and sported a flowing white beard. As he followed the route along the northern lip of Hong Kong island, he was accompanied by a group from the city's local Sikh community, joining about 72,000 other runners taking part in the marathon. The Indian-born runner, nicknamed the Turbaned Torpedo, had said that he would hang up his sneakers after the race in the southern Chinese city, just before his 102nd birthday. 'I will remember this day. I will miss it,' Singh said minutes after crossing the finish line. Singh, a great-grandfather, became the oldest man to run a full marathon at Toronto in 2011, at the age of 100. But his record was not recognized by Guinness World Records because he doesn't have a birth certificate to sad that the time has come for me to not be part of it,' Singh said. Singh took up running as a way to get over depression after his wife

Indian girls' team win gold; boys settle for silver

SEOUL: The Indian squash team won gold and a silver medal at the 16th Asian Junior Team Championships which concluded on Sunday. The Indian girls beat Hong Kong China 2-1 in a close tie. Lakshya Ragavendran, the hero of Indian team in the semifinal, where she won the decider against Malaysia, played the first match. She was out of sorts and failed to match the pace of a relentless attacking player in Ho Tze Lok. Her team trailing, the most consistent Indian player, Anaka Alankamony stamped her authority over Hong Kong number one player Ho Ka Po 3-0 in quick time. The stage was then set for an exciting thriller. the decider 3-0 and got India their second win at the Asian Junior Women's Team Championship after a 10-year wait. The Indian boys faced their Pakistani counterparts immediately after the girls' final match and lost 0-2. Deepak Mishra played the first match and never really got going as he lost in straight games. Mahesh Mangaonkar was then up against Ali Bokhari. It was an extremely physical match with both players testing each other's resolve. It was touch and go with both players sharing the first four games. In the fifth, it was neck and neck up to the halfway point before Ali reeled off winners to take the match and title.

Oman thrash Fiji 7-3 in hockey

NEW DELHI: Thirtysixth-ranked Oman men's team beat 70th-ranked Fiji 7-3 in a hard fought match on the seventh and last day of the Hockey World League Round 2 on Sunday. Fiji played an attacking game from the start and kept the Omani defenders busy in the first half. Fiji opened the account with captain Hector Smith's goal in the second minute. Within seconds, Oman captain Samir Haliyas Al Shibli equalized the score at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Fijians fought back as James Saqacala (4th min) and Leevan Dutta (14th min) scored two backto-back goals to take the lead. Before half time, Oman's Ahmed Sabeel Al Balushi scored the second goal for his team in the 22nd minute. Oman came back in the second half strongly and scored thrice through Mahmood Salim Al Hasani (40th), Ahmed Sabeel Al Balushi (42nd) and Mohamed Hubais Al Shar (48th min) to dominate the match. Fiji could not come back in the match and lost their last league match. Al Shibli was adjudged player of the match for his two goals and leading the team to victory. In the first women's match of the day, 33rdranked Kazakhstan thrashed 59th-ranked Fiji 4-0 in Round 2. Domashneva was adjudged player of the match for her two goals.

prove his age. Singh has a British passport that shows his date of birth as April 1, 1911, while a letter from Indian government officials states that birth records were not kept in 1911. 'I am feeling a bit of happiness and a bit of sadness mixed together. I am happy that I am retiring at the top of the game but I am

and son died in quick succession in India. The death in 1994 of his son took a particularly hard toll on Singh because of its grisly nature. In 2000, at the age of 89, he ran the London marathon, his first, and went on to do eight more. His best time was 5 hours and 40 minutes at the 2003 Toronto marathon.

JU one win away from title trophy

Aparajitha Balamurukan, who did not have a good match in the semifinals, was thoroughly charged up for the final. From the word go, Aparajitha played a high-paced attacking game laced with some delicate drops every now and then. Aparajitha never relented as she won

University of Jammu (Red jersey) defends against P U Chandigarh in a league match at Jammu on Sunday. JAMMU: Comfortably placed last year's third position holders and hosts, University of Jammu (JU) needs a win against Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar in the last league tie tomorrow to clinch the champion's trophy in the ongoing All India InterUniversity Korfball Tournament, on Sunday. The JU has won two of the three matches in the league round while defending champion, Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU) Rohtak completed their league engagements with two wins and one loss. The third side in the race for title, GNDU Amritsar has one win and one loss out of two matches played today. And, to remain in the race for title trophy, GNDU needs a win against JU that too with higher goal margin tomorrow. "In case JU lose in the hands of GNDU tomorrow, the winner will be decided on the basis of goal average. However, in any case, hosts JU will be getting the second position if not the first, the reason being they have defeated MDU Rohtak in the league round," an official said. Earlier, JU won both their league ties played today. In the first match they trounced the formidable side of MDU Rohtak 10-03 and then registered a 16-05 win against Punjab University Chandigarh. The title holders, MDU Rohtak beat GNDU Amritsar 11-08, followed by a high scoring (15-11) win over Punjab University Chandigarh. Punjab University has lost all their league engagements. Meanwhile, according to the organizers, the last league tie shall take place at 2 pm at the same venue on Monday, followed by the valedictory function. Today matches were officiated by the technical penal including Tarandeep Singh, Deepak Dutta, Amit, Ashok, Gagandeep Singh, Ashwani Sharma, Amandeep Singh, VP Sharma and Irfan Chowdhary. Earlier, in today's matches, Director Sports, GNDU Amritsar, Dr HS Randawa was special guest. Among others present were Director Sports and Physical Education, JU, Prof. Dhian Singh Bhau, Dr. Priyanka Katoch, Manjeet Singh, Ram Kumar, Dr. Brij Baloria, Romesh Sharma, Romesh Magotra, Jai Bharat, Sanjeev Jamwal, Nisha Kumari, and Raj Kumar Bakshi.

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