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8 Pages Rs: 1.00 Jammu Edition

STUdenT aGe

JKENG/2012/41612 Vol. 1 No: 179


8 Indians among world's best performing CEOs




IN BRIEF Modi sworn in as Gujarat CM; 16 ministers take oath along with Modi
WASHINGTON: Eight Indian CEOs have made it to Harvard Business Review's (HBR) list of 100 best performing global chief executives headed for the last 17 years by the late Steve Jobs of Apple. ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar, ranked seventh overall (Rank 7), was first among the Indian CEOs. Under his leadership, ITC saw its value increase by $45 billion. He was followed by former ONGC's late chairman and contd on page 2 AHMEDABAD: Narendra Modi has taken oath as Gujarat Chief Minister at a grand ceremony attended by many A-listers, including J Jayalalithaa, the Thackeray cousins, Raj and Udhav, Bollywood actors and the BJP's chief ministers and top leaders. But Bihar, which Mr Modi's party rules along with ally Janata Dal(United), is markedly under-represented. 16 ministers take oath along with Modi. The cabinet ministers are Nitin Patel, Anandiben Patel, Ramanlal Vora, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Saurabh Patel, Ganpat Vasava and Babubhai Bokhiria. The ministers of state are Purushottam Solanki, Parbatbhai Patel, Vasuben Trivedi, Pradipsinh Jadeja, Liladhar Vaghela, Rajnikant Patel, Govindbhai Patel, Nanubhai Vanani and Jayantibhai Kavadia. Not only has Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) skipped Mr Modi's coronation - expected, given the open animosity between the two leaders but so has Sushil Modi, Mr Kumar's number 2 in government and a BJP man. Mr Modi has pleaded that prior engagements have kept him in Patna Wednesday. Mr Modi's big victory last week is seen by his many supporters as a stepping stone towards a bigger political role at the national level, even perhaps as the BJP's candidate for Prime Minister in 2014. But the JD(U) has made clear that it does not share that enthusiasm or vision; Mr Kumar has repeatedly said that any move by the BJP to foist Mr Modi as a candidate for PM of the National Democratic Alliance that it leads, will result in a divorce between the two partners of many years. But the win that he delivered last week in the Gujarat Assembly elections has only reinforced Mr Modi's star status within his party and indeed in the NDA, and the Gujarat Chief Minister drew attention to the many leaders now crowding a massive stage at the Sardar Patel stadium in Ahmedabad, which has been readied to accommodate about 100,000 people today. As he left home to be sworn in, he invited an even bigger audience, posting on Twitter, "Glad to see love of so many people & the presence of distinguished leaders. Watch LIVE," with a link added to a live webcast of the event. contd on page 2

Eighth anniversary of tsunami tragedy observed

CHENNAI: Eight years ago this day a tragedy of a magnitude Tamil Nadu had seldom encountered struck its coast, when killer waves gobbled up human lives at will while leaving a trail of destruction whose scars remain even today. A relatively lesserknown Japanese word, Tsunami, had left a permanent scar when tidal waves sparked off by an undersea quake in contd on page 2

Five NCC cadets drown in Kerala River

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Five National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets drowned in the Periyar River in Kerala on Wednesday morning. The cadets had gone to participate in the Malayattoor trekking camp. The cadets are reportedly from Delhi. The incident occurred when one of the cadets fell into the river while washing hands and his other friends jumped into the river to save him. Thettayil said the five cadets had told officers of the National Cadet Corps that they were going to the Periyar River to take photographs. While three of the cadets were reportedly brought dead, the other two died in the hospital. He said the names of the five were not yet known but they were said to be attached to the NCC Delhi unit. The victims were part of the over 1000 NCC cadets from across the country who have congregated at Malayattoor, a hilly area, for the 8-day camp which began on December 23. Students from 16 states are taking part in the national trekking camp that began Dec 23 at Malayatoor, a place known for hilly terrain. The camp was being organised by the Ernakulam NCC Group of Kerala NCC Directorate. Witnesses said the bodies were taken out of the river by contd on page 2

Trains arrive late as fog hit Jammu experiences coldest day

JAMMU, DEC 26: Trains in the winter capital arrived few hours late from their scheduled time as dense fog gripped the winter capital, which experienced the coldest day today. "The winter capital of the state today witnessed coldest day of the season with minimum temperature dipping upto 7.9 degree Celsius and the maximum was recorded as 13.9 degree Celsius," official sources here said. reached 2 to 10 has late from their scheduled time due to dense fog gripping the region. "Train number 12413, All Jat Express (Pooja Express), which was scheduled to arrive at Jammu Tawi at 0810 hrs was late by more than ten hours and reached 1830 hrs," an official said. Jammu Tawi Railway Station has daily traffic of 25-30 trains to and fro and the contd on page 2

No breakthrough likely at all-party meet on Telangana

HYDERABAD: Notwithstanding the high expectations that a section of Congress leaders have, the all-party meeting convened by the central government over the Telangana issue Dec 28 is not likely to achieve any breakthrough in finding a solution to the contentious issue. With just two days to go for the muchawaited meet, three major parties in Andhra Pradesh are yet to name their representatives, indicating their dilemma in taking a clear stand on the issue. The ruling Congress, the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress, which is emerging as a key force, remain divided along regional lines. With Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde inviting two representatives from each party, all the three are under pressure to send delegates from both Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions). While their leaders from Telangana want statehood, their counterparts from Seemandhra are opposed to Andhra Pradesh's division. Five other parties invited to the meet which have taken a clear stand on the issue have announced contd on page 2

They said that the weather in the mountainous districts was mainly dry and in the next 24 hours, rain and snow

would occur at isolated places across the state. Meanwhile trains at Jammu Tawi Railway Station

Jammu and Kashmir gets its first five-star hotel

GULMARG: As Jammu and Kashmir hopes for a revival in the tourism industry, Gulmarg has got the state's first five-star hotel. With magnificent views, the fivestar hotel The Khyber Himalayan resort was opened for tourists on Thursday and is already drawing comparison with the world's top properties. At a height of 9000 feet, contd on page 2

SAC dismisses complaint against CM, SC Judge, Dir Estates

JAMMU, DEC 26: State Accountability Commission Comprising Justice YP Nargotra (Rtd) Chairperson and Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain (Rtd) Member, today dismissed a complaint filed by one S. Gajan Singh against the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, then Director Estates Department Khurshid Ahmed Shah and Justice T.S. Thakur, a sitting judge of Supreme Court of India, levelling allegations that the Estates Department of the Government took on lease house No.3, Manda Hills Jammu belonging to Justice Thakur on 1st of October, 2006 without prior fixation of rent and it was then fixed on 25th of July, 2007 at R 70000/- (Seventy Thousand) per month, however the rent so fixed was later enhanced to R 1.40 lakh per month by the order dated November 24, 2010 passed by the Director. According to the complaint undue favour has been shown and conferred upon the house owner by the Government by according 100% increase in the rent on the report of Darbar Move Rent Assessment Committee instead of the State level Rent Assessment Committee competent to fix the rent. It had further been alleged that though the rent was reassessed contd on page 2

Punjab Congress legislator joins Akali Dal

CHANDIGARH: The opposition Congress in Punjab Wednesday suffered a setback with its legislator from the Moga assembly seat, Joginder Pal Jain, joining the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal. Jain quit his assembly seat before making the announcement. Jain, who was elected on a Congress ticket in the January assembly elections, joined the Akali Dal in the presence of party president and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. contd on page 2

Over 100 STRs from foreign agencies AAP activists disabling mailing list: Team Anna under probe for black money NEW DELHI: Anna Hazare's India Against
NEW DELHI: Indian financial intelligence sleuths are looking into over 100 suspicious transactions following requests from their foreign counterparts in the last fiscal for alleged black money and tax evasion. A total of 113 requests of Suspicious Transactions Reports (STRs), highest in the last five fiscals, were received by Financial Intelligence Unit-India during 2011-12 and shared with intelligence, law enforcement agencies and regulators, officials said. These STRs were sent from foreign financial intelligence units and were mainly related to alleged money laundering, they said. "The STRs were shared with agencies including Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Directorate General of Central Excise and Intelligence and Securities and Exchange Board of India among others," a source said. Besides, banks and insurance regulators have also been asked to share details in respect to these STRs, the source said. A total of 93 requests were received by FIU-India during 2010-11, 84 in 200910, 69 in 2008-09 and 39 in 2007-08. contd on page 2 Corruption (IAC) accused Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party (AAP) on Wednesday of disabling its mailing list for which they earlier blamed "hackers affiliated to the government". "It is orchestrated by Team Arvind because we recently circulated some messages about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers beating a cop to death. We also circulated another message about Kiran Bedi and us terminating her from IAC primary membership at her request," IAC national cyber media coordinator Ajay Dixit said. A statement from IAC blamed "Team Arvind" for disabling and shutting their "primary mailing list with over 27,000 registered subscribers and members". Earlier, IAC had alleged that their mailing list was disabled by "hackers affiliated to the government of India". "IAC regrets to announce that hackers affiliated to contd on page 2

PDP calls for protest on Jan 5

SRINAGAR DEC 26: Peoples Democratic Party today said that after shrinking elsewhere in the state the ruling National Conference is trying to hold on to Srinagar by adopting a strategy of political isolation and official repression. Addressing a meeting of the party office bearers here the party president Mehbooba Mufti said while the party has landed the state in serious crisis of governance it is engaged in dirty tricks to keep Srinagar as a political hostage to stay in contention for power. Party leaders Naeem Akhtar, Syed Altaf Bukhari and district president Mohammad Ashraf Mir, MLC also participated in the interaction that discussed the protest programme of the party slated for January 5. The party is holding demonstrations at all district headquarters of Kashmir to protest the crisis created by shortage of electricity, gas and rations apart from price rise and victimisation of youth contd on page 2

Govt approves 12 FDI proposals worth over Rs 802 crore

N E W DELHI: The Government on Wednesday said it has approved 12 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including that of Ratnakar B a n k , Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram. Israel's Rafael totalling over Rs 802 crore. with The Foreign Investment Advanced Defence System. "Based on the recommenPromotion Board (FIPB) headed by Economic Affairs dations of FIPB in its meetSecretary Arvind Mayaram, ing held on November 20, however, rejected Mahindra Government has approved 12 and Mahindra's proposal to proposals of foreign direct contd on page 2 form a defence joint venture

'Kerala leads in biodiversity thanks to local bodies'

THIRUVANANTHAPURA M: M.K Muneer, Kerala's minister for panchayat and social welfare, said Wednesday the state leads in biodiversity thanks to the active participation of local bodies. Kerala is the only state in the country to be maintaining the People's Biodiversity Register (PBR) in over 450 panchayats, the minister said. PBR comprises a document that lists the flora and fauna and the traditional knowledge in every village. Muneer was speaking contd on page 2

2012: Cases involving politicians reached final stages in court

NEW DELHI: Several old and new cases involving politicians reached final stages in Delhi trial courts in 2012 with Union Minister P Chidambaram emerging unscathed in 2G scam, but former BJP Chief Bangaru Laxman landed in jail in an 11-year-old graft case. As trial courts remained busy dealing with cases of high and mighty, the long arm of law caught up with 72-year-old Laxman who was awarded four years' jail term for taking Rs one lakh as bribe in a fictitious defence deal case 11 years ago. The year provided a relief to Finance Minister Chidambaram with a special CBI court dismissing Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy's plea to rope in the powerful minister as an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case. On February 4, Special CBI Judge O P Saini gave clean chit to Chidambaram holding that he did not indulge in any criminal conspiracy to derive any pecuniary advantage in decisions taken along with former Telecom Minister A Raja, who is a key accused facing trial in the case. The court held that there was no evidence to suggest that there was an agreement between Raja and contd on page 2

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Mylan Laboratories to acquire an existing pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and of OCS Group Singapore Pte Ltd for acquisition of equity shares of an India company engaged in business of detective and protective services. Mahindra and Mahindra Limited had sought FIPB's nod to set up a new joint venture with Rafael Advanced Defence System for production and development of naval defence system and other Products. The ministry said along with M&M, FDI proposals of Coimbatore based Ampo Valves India and Mumbai based Berggruen Real Estates too have been rejected. Meanwhile, MCX's application for post facto approval for FDI received before issuance of DIPP's Press Note 2 of 2008 on guidelines for foreign investment in commodity exchanges was withdrawn from the FIPB's agenda, the ministry added. Also, decision on nine FDI proposals was deferred in the November 20 meeting of the FIPB. October, 2006. According to the Estates Department- "Payment upto November, 2010 for house No. 3, Manda Hills Jammu was released @ Rs 70,000/- per month, another payment amounting to Rs. 4,20000/-(less by 10% Income Tax and draft charges) Rs. 3,77,164/- vide draft No. 745730 dated 17-03-2012 for the months of December 2010 to February,2011 @ Rs. 140,000/per month was released in favour of house owner by the Deputy Director Estates, Jammu, which he refused to accept vide his counsel letter dated 12-04-2012." give an impetus to high-end tourism which is seeing a revival this year.

Contd. from page 1...

Modi sworn in...

The JD(U) apart, other NDA allies were there; Parkash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal is attended and so did Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray. Maharashtra Narvnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, who is seen as close to Mr Modi, flew in yesterday with his wife and son. In a purple sari, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, seated next to the BJP's Sushma Swaraj, gets star billing. Ms Jayalalithaa's party the AIADMK is not a member of the NDA, but the BJP has assiduously wooed her for many months now. The top leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP and the organisation in which Mr Modi cut his political teeth, have skipped the ceremony, but they were not there in 2007 either. The Sangh is represented by some leaders of the Gujarat RSS. Mr Modi has reportedly earned the displeasure of the RSS in recent days, though he did make attempts to reach out when he met senior RSS leaders after his victory in the Gujarat elections last week. There was no lack of saffron though at today's ceremony. Senior leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, like Ashok Singhal, attended, as did several religious leaders.

Punjab Congress...
"I am joining the Akali Dal unconditionally. I was feeling disappointed with the style of functioning of the Congress leadership and the infighting in the party. Dissidents were being encouraged to work against me," Jain told the media after joining the Akali Dal. To avoid action under the anti-defection law, Jain quit his assembly seat before joining the Akali Dal. He gave his resignation to assembly speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal. Badal immediately announced that Jain would be the Akali Dal candidate from the Moga assembly seat when the by-election is held there next year. Former Punjab director general of police (DGP) P.S. Gill, who contested and lost against Jain as the Akali Dal candidate from the Moga seat in January, was present when Jain joined the party. "This is an unprecedented move that an MLA, that too at the beginning of his tenure, has resigned from a party to join another party. It reflects the rising frustration of Congress MLAs with the dictatorial and insensitive leadership of the Congress," an Akali Dal leader said. In the January assembly polls, the results of which were announced in March this year, the Akali Dal won 56 seats while its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged 12 seats (a total of 68) in the 117-member assembly. The Congress won 46 seats. With Jain leaving the party, the Congress strength in the house has been reduced to 45 seats.

AAP activists..
the government of India were able to disable and shut down the IAC's primary mailing list," it said. The IAC said the list was disabled at about 9 p.m. Tuesday and that it was trying to restore the mailing list.

PDP calls...
on false charges. Mehbooba said Srinagar was the worst sufferer of NC misrule and emotional exploitation in the past but it continued to play games with the people of the city and was using all unfair means to prevent a political contest to retain its false monopoly. "Thousands of youth had been framed in false cases and in spite of Chief Minister 's repeated announcements the cases had not been withdrawn," she said adding, "some of these youth are being forced to carry out the dirty tricks of NC to ensure that the youth in general continue to feel alienated and a viable opposition does not emerge and the party continues to pose as the only representative even as it survives primarily on the election boycott." Mehbooba said the decades old rule of NC had rendered Srinagar without a democratic voice and whereas rest of the state had achieved the democratic option of choosing their representatives, the boycott politics was promoted by the ruling party to benefit from. She said development process in the city too was guided either by narrow political considerations or the objective of providing contracts to favourite contractors and suppliers with major chunk of funds going into the pockets of politicians. Mehbooba said power crisis in the state had again reached the level where from the previous coalition had lifted it as a result of reform following years of deterioration under various NC regimes. The inability of the government to streamline gas supply had thrown people back into dark ages and in subzero temperatures people had to remain in queue for days to gather to get a cylinder of LPG, she said. " Such a state of affairs is not witnessed even in places like Somalia and Afghanistan " she said. The gas crisis, she said is another anticlimax of Omar Abdullah's election promise to provide additional subsidy on cooking gas. Contrary to that, not even unsubsidised gas was available in Kashmir, she added. Referring to the huge unemployment problem Mehbooba said the jobs in government had once again been put on sale. She said in the name of fast tracking of recruitment to nearly 1 lac government jobs a favourite person of rulers had been appointed as a consultant even as he has retired many years back and served for years after retirement under this government. Mehbooba said the PDP in its capacity as the main voice of people would continue to focus on problems of the citizens who had become victims of worst governance under the present regime. She said much as NC would like the PDP would never compromise on issues concerning the welfare of people and "NC can remain assured that its dirty tricks would not work in future in the face of greater awareness among people".

Over 100 STRs...

India has also sent 46 such requests seeking details of such suspicious transactions in the last fiscal. The FIU-India had sent 67 such requests to foreign counterparts in 2010-11, 46 in 200910, 17 in 2008-09 and 13 during 2007-08. An STR is a transaction which gives rise to a reasonable ground of suspicion that it may involve the proceeds of a crime, appears to be made in circumstances of unusual or unjustified complexity or have no economic rationale or bona fide purpose.

Trains arrive late...

visitors arriving Jammu are mostly the Vaishno Devi pilgrims or the Army personnel. "There is a possibility of widespread snowfall in the Valley from December 29," a spokesman of the MET office said on Wednesday. The news is sure to bring smiles on the faces of holiday-makers who are camping in the Valley especially the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in North Kashmir. Light rains and snowfall are expected at isolated places in the Valley during the next 24 hours, which will end the ongoing dry spell since the onset of the 'Chillai Kalan', a 40-day harsh period of winter which began on December 21. Kashmir Valley is witnessing unusual sunny weather since the beginning of Chillai Kalan which has made days warmer than normal for this time of the year but the night temperature continues to hover several degrees below freezing point. The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar was minus 2.9 degrees Celsius compared to yesterday's minus 1.8 degrees Celsius. The summer capital recorded the season's low of minus 4 on Sunday. The MET spokesman said Kargil in frontier region of Ladakh was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 15.4 degrees Celsius. The nearby town of Leh, also in the cold desert of Ladakh, was freezing at a low of minus 13.8 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said. He said Gulmarg recorded a minimum of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius followed by Pahalgam (minus 6.8), Kupwara (minus 3.7), Qazigund (minus 3.2) and Kokernag (minus 2.1).

Five NCC...
forest and fire service officials with the help of locals. "We are given to understand that they did not venture for a swim but fell from the river bank into the river. The place is treacherous and only experts can manage to swim," Thettayil said. Defence Minister AK Antony expressed his anguish at the tragedy.

'Kerala leads in...

at the inauguration of the National Biodiversity Expo hosted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB). "We will accommodate the proposals of the KSBB in the next panchayat level project proposal of the department. We can all be proud of the fact that the Human Development Index of Kerala is next to that of Norway and the role of conservation is imperative in maintaining this," said the minister. K.P. Laladhas, member secretary, KSBB Kerala, said that Kerala is the first state in the country to set up close to 1,000 biodiversity management committees (BMC) in the local bodies in the state.

8 Indians ...
managing director Subir Raha (Rank 13). During Raha's May 2001-2006 tenure, ONGC's market capitalisation increased more than 10 times. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (Rank 28), was ranked third among Indians. Under his leadership, Reliance Industries has grown to become India's second-largest Indian company by turnover. Larsen & Toubro chairman and managing Director A M Naik (Rank 32) came next. Under Naik's leadership, the company has expanded its horizons beyond domestic frontiers, positioning itself to become a true international player. Former Bharat Heavy Electricals CMD A K Puri (Rank 38) is ranked fifth among the Indians. He is followed by Bharti Airtel chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal (Rank 65). Jindal Steel & Power CEO Naveen Jindal (Rank 87) is ranked seventh among Indians. He is followed by Former SAIL chairman, V S Jain (Rank 89). On an average, these CEOs have delivered a total shareholder return of 1,385 per cent during their tenures and increased their firms' market value by $40.2 billion (adjusted for inflation, dividends, share repurchases, and share issues). Jobs of Apple, who has been the best-performing CEO over the past 17 years was number 1 on HBR 2010 list as well. From 1997 to 2011, Apple's market value increased by $359 billion, and its shareholder return experienced average compound annual growth of 35 percent. Jeff Bezos of has now climbed to the number 2 spot, up from number 7 in HBR 2010 list. Under his leadership, the company delivered industry-adjusted shareholder returns of 12,266 percent and saw its value increase by $111 billion. The highest-ranked woman on the list is Meg Whitman, currently the CEO of beleaguered HP, whose performance as the CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008 earned her the number 9 spot.

2012: Cases ...

Chidambaram, who was the Finance Minister during the controversial allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008, to subvert the telecom policy and obtain pecuniary advantage for himself or for any other person. Raja, too, got some relief this year with the court granting him bail after over 15 months of his incarceration in the 2G case. At the fag end of the year, a court here ordered framing of charges against Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi for allegedly abusing his office and causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer in a Commonwealth Games-related graft case. The court ordered framing of charges against Kalmadi, the sacked CWG Organising Committee chief, for allegedly committing various offences including those of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and many others under the Prevention of Corruption Act. During the year, while a former BJP president was caught on the wrong side of the law, the present BJP chief dragged a Congress leader in the court in a criminal defamation case. The court summoned senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh as an accused to face trial in a criminal defamation case filed against him by BJP President Nitin Gadkari. Singh was also granted bail by the court after he appeared before it. Gadkari had filed the defamation case against the Congress general secretary, who had allegedly accused him of having business links with his party MP Ajay Sancheti and pocketing around Rs 500 crore in the coal block allocation to Sancheti. The year's high-profile cases involving politicians included that of former air hostess Geetika Sharma suicide, in which ex Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda and one of his female aides have been charge-sheeted by the Delhi Police. 23-year-old Geetika was found dead on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi. In her August 4 suicide note, Geetika had said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and his aide Aruna Chaddah, a charge denied by them. Kanda, who had surrendered before the police in connection with the case after he failed to get anticipatory bail from the trial court and the Delhi High Court, was charge-sheeted along with Aruna for allegedly unleashing "a series of wilful and malicious acts of mental torture, threat and blackmail" against Geetika leading to her suicide. The year saw Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit too appearing before a court in a defamation case filed by her against Delhi BJP Chief Vijender Gupta to have her statements recorded. The court had warned Dikshit's counsel that she should appear before it or else the case, in which the Chief Minister had accused Gupta of using "uncivilised" language against her before the April 15 MCD polls, will be dismissed. During the year, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray too faced the ire of the court which ordered the Delhi Police to register a case against him for allegedly branding Bihar natives as infiltrators in Mumbai and threatening to throw them out of the state. The order had come on a complaint by a advocate who said Thackeray's August 31 remarks, terming Bihar natives as infiltrators and threatening to throw them out of the state, were provocative and anti-national. Former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, too, was caught on wrong side of the law with the CBI filing a charge sheet against him for allegedly abusing his official position and allowing an Indore-based medical college to admit students even without having sufficient academic infrastructure. The CBI named the PMK leader and nine others as accused in a charge sheet filed against them, alleging that they committed the penal offence of criminal conspiracy and other offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Towards the end of the year, a 27-year-old, 1984 anti-Sikh riot case against senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and five others too inched towards its final stage. The final arguments are about to conclude in the case in which six Sikhs were allegedly killed in Delhi Cantonment area during the riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

No breakthrough...
their representatives. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) want a Telangana state. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) are opposed to the state's bifurcation. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, in-charge of party affairs in the state, has dampened the spirits of Telangana leaders by stating that since Shinde recently took over as the home minister, he convened the meeting to know the views of the parties afresh. Political observers said that if eliciting the opinion of the parties is the purpose of the meeting, it will not achieve any breakthrough. Since the divergent views in the major parties are known and with no hopes of unanimity, the meeting may end in a failure like the two previous ones held in 2010 and 2011. Congress leaders from Telangana, including some MPs, had asked Shinde to invite only one representative from each party. The Congress is finding itself in a tight spot over the issue as there is pressure both from within and outside to take a clear stand. The TDP and the YSR Congress are in fact waiting for the ruling party to declare its stand. The Congress is reluctant. "We will take a stand after hearing other parties," said state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana. A section of Congress leaders are pessimistic about the outcome of the all-party meeting. They believe the central government is not inclined to carve out Telangana state as this could trigger demands for smaller states in other parts of the country. The Congress leadership is keen to drag the issue till the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Some of its leaders from Telangana, however, have warned that the party may have to pay a heavy price in the region. With the TRS and pro-Telangana groups threatening to crush parties which don't support the Telangana demand, both the Congress and TDP face desertions in the region, made up of 10 districts including Hyderabad. The upcoming meeting appears to be aimed at pacifying a section of its MPs from Telangana who set Dec 9 as the deadline for an announcement on taking forward the Telangana movement. The Srikrishna committee report, submitted in December 2010, is also gathering dust. The panel had mooted six possible solutions to the issue.

SAC dismisses...
on 24-11-2010 but instead of making it payable w.e.f. that date it has been given retrospective effect by making it payable from the date of actual occupation of the house i.e. October, 2006. SAC in order to verify the genuineness of the allegations in terms of Section-12 of J&K Accountability Commission Act, 2002, called for the comments of the Director Estates on various queries and summoned copies of his relevant office record and perused the comments of the Director Estates and official record submitted by him thoroughly. The Commission observed that it is an admitted fact that the Government/Estates Department has hired House No. 3, Manda Hills Jammu w.e.f. 1st of October, 2006 in which the offices of State Consumer Forum Jammu, One Man Inquiry Commission and Deputy Director Estates have been housed. In terms of Rule 5.9 Serial No. 1 of Book of Financial Powers, Power to sanction payment of rent for accommodation of office and other public institutions in private buildings required for non-residential purpose, stands delegated in favour of (i) Head of Department, in the present case the Director Estates subject to the condition that for accommodation required to be hired in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar the departmental officers shall refer their cases to the State Rent Assessment Committee comprising Director Estates Convener, Head of the Department of the concerned Department Member, Deputy Commissioner Member, District Superintending Engineer Member and Executive Engineer to be nominated by District Superintending Engineer Member. SAC in the approved for reporting judgment observed that from the record it is apparent that initially observing the stipulated norms the competent State Level Rent Committee recommended the rent at the rate of Rs. 70,000/- per month in July 2007 and the same was accordingly sanctioned. It appears that the owner of the house was not satisfied with the rate of the rent so his authorized signatory D.S. Thakur made a representation for re-assessment of the rent claiming that the value of the land was more than Rs. 50 lakh i.e. more than that taken for assessment of the rent by the Committee. From the record it appears that the case of re-assessment of the rent was submitted by the Estates Department to the State Level Rent Committee which accepting the value of the land at Rs. 30 lakh per Kanal as determined by the office of Deputy Commissioner, Jammu recommended the fixation of rent at the rate of Rs 1, 40,000/- per month on the basis of which the Director Estates by his order dated 24-11-2010 fixed the rent as recommended by the Committee. SAC finds no violation of any of the norms in making the reassessment of the rent. We have also not found correctness in the assertion of the complainant that rent has been made payable retrospectively from the initial date of occupation i.e.

Eighth anniversary...
Indonesia rose to previously unfathomed heights, causing wide-spread devastation in the state boasting of 1076 km long coast-line. Many who had lost their loved ones remembered their kin on the eighth anniversary today of the killer Tsunami which caused widespread loss to life and property, especially in Cuddalore and Nagapattiam. Prayers were offered by relatives of the deceased in these districts. In Chennai, candles were lit at the famous Marina in respect to the victims of the tsunami. Tamil Nadu accounted for nearly 7000 deaths in the 2004 tragedy. Relatives of those who perished in Puducherry and Karaikal also paid homage at various coastal villages here today. Welfare Minister P Rajavelu paid floral tributes at a Remembrance Day programme held in Pannithittu a coastal village that was among the fishing hamlets that bore the brunt of the tsunami. Representatives of various fishermen associations held condolence meetings near the specially erected banners near the sea shore and paid homage to those who were killed in the tragedy. A number of voluntary organisations based in various states and also the Government of Maharashtra had come forward to provide houses under the rehabilitation programmes in Veerampattinam and a few other coastal hamlets here and in Karaikal. Puducherry government acquired vast stretch of sites in Kalapet and constructed houses for the rehabilitation of the fishermen families who were rendered homeless in the wake of the tragedy.

Govt approves...
investment amounting to Rs 802.07 crore approximately," the Finance Ministry said in a statement. In addition, the proposal of Swedish furniture major IKEA has been recommended for consideration of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, it said. Even after FIPB clearance, FDI proposals of over Rs 1,200 crore have to be approved by the CCEA. Ingka Holding Overseas has been given permission to set up a wholly owned subsidiary to undertake single brand retailing of IKEA products. As per the statement, Ratnakar Bank's proposal to increase foreign equity in the bank from 43 per cent to 55 per cent has been approved. The move is likely to bring in Rs 300 crore worth of FDI. Taqa Jyoti Energy Ventures has also got the government's approval to bring in foreign investment of Rs 252 crore. Other major approved proposals include that of Hyderabad based

Jammu and ..
it is a blend of local and modern architecture and is the new attraction for tourists. Thirty-five-year-old Kashmiri businessman Omar Tramboo is the man whose idea and money is behind this project. It took him nearly five years to bring up Jammu and Kashmir's first five-star hotel with world-class facilities in Gulmarg. "Kashmir has been historically known as a tourism destination because of its pristine beauty and hospitality. But unfortunately not a single top brand has emerged till date. It was my dream that a luxurious five-star brand comes up here," he said. The Khyber Himalayan resort is run by American group JHM. We are very happy to say that from tomorrow (Thursday) to January 5 we are fully booked," says JHM General Manager Alex Kochi. The resort is an easy walk to the Gondola - the world's highest sky-lift and a dozen odd ski runs. In summers, the golf course won't be far either. The new hotel is likely to

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said that the same would be strengthened in every nook and corner of the state in order to facilitate the working of PRS in the state. Rana said that the government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that democratic decentralization of powers takes place in the state at every level. He said that the holding of panchayati elections and putting in place a vibrant PRS was a watershed in the political history of the state maintaining the party which had initially opposed it has now in a state of frustration resorted to lies and false hood. Sagar also announced the construction of BumiyalMathwar link road to be constructed with an estimated cost of R 15 lakh, besides a Community Hall. He also distributed R 50,000 under 13th Finance Commission to the Panchayats of Balwal block.

Govt committed to strengthen democratic institutions: Sagar

JAMMU, DEC 26: Maintaining that the government is committed to strengthen democratic institutions in the state, Minister for Rural Development, Law, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Panchayati Raj, Ali Mohammad Sagar today said that a vibrant and empowered Panchayati Raj system has been established for ensuring effective democratic decentralization of powers at the grass root level. The Minister was speaking after inaugurating Panchayat Ghar constructed with an estimated cost of R 20 lakh at Mathwar in Bhalwal block here today. Sagar said that the government has ensured adequate empowerment of the Panchayti Raj Institutions (PRIs) by empowering them with powers of 14 vital departments and this has created flutters in a particular

Jora inspects renovation work of Abhinav Theatre

JAMMU, DEC 26: The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora on Wednesday inspected pace of renovation work of the prestigious Abhinav Theatre Jammu, taken up at an estimated cost of R 5.27 crore. Abhinav Theatre Jammu is a seat for promotion of cultural activities. The renovation included repair of the main building, existing auditorium, entrance, of central office building, sub-office building besides installation of air conditioning system and electrification works. Started in March last with the release of R 2.40 crore, the renovation work on the Theatre is in full swing and is expected to be completed by the end of February next. During his visit, the Minister inspected the pace and quality of work under

Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar alongwith Devender Singh Rana and other ministerial colleagues inaugurating Panchayat Ghar at Mathwar in Jammu on Wednesday.

political party, which in a state of frustration has now resorted to spreading lies and false rumours. He said that the said party had initially opposed the holding of Panchayati Elections and the subsequent empowerment of the PRIs but the people by participating in large numbers in the elections have given them a befitting reply. While responding to the demands of Panchs and Sarpanchs, the Minister said that the government would very shortly provide insur-

ance cover to them, besides providing adequate remuneration. He said that the government led by Omar Abdullah believes in sustained action rather than rhetoric and false promises. Minister of State for Rural Development, Ajaz Khan while speaking on the occasion said that the government has ensured the empowerment of people at grass root level but putting in place a vibrant Panchayati Raj System (PRS) and care would be taken to ensure that

the same is strengthened in every aspect. He said that the government believes in fulfilling all the commitments made by it so that the democratic set up is further strengthened and the benefit of various welfare programs percolates to the targeted and genuine beneficiaries. Advisor to Chief Minister, Davinder Rana while highlighting the importance of proper infrastructure for carrying out the day-to-day activities of PRIs

Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora inspecting the renovation work of Abhinav Theater in Jammu on Wednesday.

progress at various sections, while seeking information about the status and schedule of the work. The Chief Engineer R&B, Jammu, Taseen Mustafa, Additional Secretary, J&K Art, Culture and Languages, besides other senior officers and engineers accompanied the Minister. The Minister directed the

executing agency to expedite the pace of work and ensure use of quality material, besides installation of state of art equipments at one of the best theatres of the state. He directed to take up the mechanical and electric works simultaneously to ensure completion of the work by the end of February next.

PK set to give socio-political, cultural direction to KPs

JAMMU, DEC 26: Panun Kashmir is all set to give the comprehensive socio-political and cultural direction to the religiously cleansed Kashmiri Pandit community at the National Convention to be held on December 28 at Jammu. Addressing the community members, Kuldeep Raina, General Secretary, Panun Kashmir said that keeping in view the emerging situation and the sense of desperation in the KP community, Panun Kashmir is all set to take the community out from the sense of dejection and intimidation being inflicted upon the community by the forces who want to annihilate the cultural moorings of the KPs." Explaining the programme schedule of the National Convention to celebrate the Homeland Day, Raina said, "The programme will be divided into two sessions. The inaugural session will set the discourse in motion regarding the challenges being faced by the KP community at all levels, ranging from social to political and economic to religious. The post lunch session will be devoted to pass the resolutions that cover all the spheres and all the resolutions will be drafted into a comprehensive document to uphold the 'Margdarshan Resolution' for the creation of the Homeland with the Union Territory status in Kashmir with the free flow of the Indian constitution." He further said, "The KP community has given tremendous response to the regurgitation process for the National Convention and more than 1000 delegates from all over the country have been registered for the event. The youth and the women folk are looking keenly towards the Convention for the comprehensive direction as the overall identity and human rights of the community are at stake. Panun Kashmir appeals to the entire KP community and all the nationalist forces to join the National Convention which is being observed as the Homeland Day to carve out the union territory for the religiously cleansed community in Kashmir on December 28 at the Green Land Palace, Muthi, here at 10 am."

MLA, DDC convene public meeting at Sartingal

BHADERWAH, DEC 26: To redress the grievances of people at their doorsteps in Bhaderwah and its adjoining areas, MLA Bhaderwah, Mohd. Sharief Niaz and District Development Commissioner (DDC) Doda, Farooq Ahmed Khan today convened a public meeting at Sartingal Bhaderwah. While speaking on the occasion, MLA Bhaderwah, Niaz said that Government is committed to provide all basic amenities like Drinking water, Medicare, Electricity, Roads and Education for the development and upliftment of rural masses. He said various schemes have been initiated by the government for the benefit and welfare of people in the District and asked the concerned implementing agencies to create awareness among the people about these schemes. He enjoined upon the Sarpanchs and Panchs to keep close vigil on the developmental activities going on their respective areas and provide feedback to the government to ensure better planning and concrete implementation of schemes. He asked the farming community of the area to adopt scientific approach and cultivate high yielding varieties of crops and fruit plants for socio-economic development of the District and directed officers of Horticulture and Agriculture department to make public aware regarding techniques for improvement of quality of fruits and other agricultural produces. Niaz also said that for up-gradation of Electricity network in the District a plan has been submitted to the Government of India for approval. Various demands were put forth by the people on the occasion which included improvement of Sartingal - Sharekhi road which is in miserable condition, upgradation of Sub- Centre at Sharekhi, opening of Sheep and Animal Husbandry centres in the area, approval of pending old age pension cases, timely payment of MGNREGA wages, issuance of ration cards as per 2011 census, repair of foot bridge at Butla, implementation of Haryali project in the area, engagement of local labourers in various government infrastructure development works in the region, availability of timber at reasonable rates, proper distribution of K-Oil, speedy execution of PMGSY roads besides various other burning demands were also raised in the public meeting. After giving patient hearing to their demands, MLA Bhaderwah and DDC Doda gave on the spot directions to the concerned officers to mitigate their genuine demands on priority basis. DDC Doda, while speaking on the occasion said that coordinated efforts are needed for effective and sustainable development of the District. He said various benefit and welfare schemes have been initiated in the district to boost the socio-economic status of the poor people. He asked unemployed educated youth of the area to come forward and avail maximum benefits of various states and centrally sponsored self employment schemes and create their own income generating units.

BJP Mahila Morcha protests against Delhi rape incident

JAMMU, DEC 26: To register protest against Delhi rape case, over 100 activists of BJP Mahila Morcha under the leadership of State President, Sakina Bano held a massive protest dharna at Canal Road area here today. The activists raised slogans against the Congress-led UPA government at the centre for its total failure to ensure safety of women. Speaking on the occasion, Sakina said that the recent gang rape incident of a girl in Delhi followed by brutal torture is a blot on the Indian society. This incident has shaken the whole nation and the people are on roads. She said that the females in our state too have been subjected to rape and the outdated laws are not adequate to deal with such crimes effectively. The frequent cases of rape can be checked only by bringing in strong laws with the provision of capital punishment and speedy trial of those involved in such cases. Sakina said that the BJP and its Mahila Morcha have always stood up for the rights of women, their dignified social life and security. She said that the party has granted 33 percent reservation to women in its organizational setup which itself is a proof that the party do not discriminate on the basis of gender.

Allocate funds to executing units on schedule: CS

JAMMU, DEC 26: Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal on Wednesday asked administrative secretaries to ensure that requisite funds are allocated to the executing units in time so that development programmes are completed as per schedule. "While framing DPRs, each and every aspect including its engineering and capacity building should be taken into consideration so that projects get executed smoothly" he added. Chairing the peri-

Sakina reviews implementation of CCES

JAMMU, DEC 26: In order to review the implementation of the centrally sponsored Condensed Course of Education Scheme (CCES), Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo convened a meeting of the officials of the concerned authorities, here today. The scheme helps female dropouts between 15 to 35 years of age to continue their education. It was informed in the meeting by Secretary of Social Welfare Board that presently 25 informal courses are running under Condensed Course of Education Scheme. Under this programme, the Board provides financial assistance to Non-Governmental Organizations for conducting two year Middle, Matric level condensed courses for female school dropouts and a one year course is also sanctioned for Matric fail candidates. The Board has received the allocations of some new vocational courses, but the sanctions are yet to be received from Central Social Welfare Board due non-availability of the details about number of dropout girls. The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has put a condition that the Base line Survey about the details should be provided by Education department based on latest census figures. In view of the importance of the project for providing of alternate source of education to the girls, Itoo stressed upon a close coordination between the officers of Education and Social Welfare Departments so that the required results can be achieved.

Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal addressing a meeting in Jammu on Wednesday.

odic Committee of Secretaries (COS) meeting here, Chief Secretary called on administrative secretaries to mobilize field functionaries to improve service deliv-

ery. He also stressed upon education, health and engineering departments to expedite the process of referring vacancies to the recruitment board.

The committee also discussed matters pertaining to extension of national optical fiber network to block level and various other administrative matters.

JK GGF felicitates national awardee Nighat Pandit

JAMMU, DEC 26: Jammu and Kashmir State Branch of Gandhian Global Family (GGF) today organized a felicitation function at Gandhi Nagar to honour reputed social worker, Nighat Shafi Pandit, who was recently conferred National Jamna Lal Bajaj Award-2012. Pandita has been awarded for her outstanding work for development and welfare of women and children in the state. The Minister of State for Power, Tourism and CA&PD, Shabir Ahmed Khan, was the chief guest on the occasion, while president GGF Padam Shree, S. P. Verma was also present on the occasion. The function among others was attended by a large number of GGF members, including General, J. S. Jamwal (Retd), former has been working predominantly and extensively in rural communities of Kashmir and Jammu region. He said in the politically charged environment of Kashmir in those days, she has carved out a space for humanitarian work that is not aligned to the government or separatist groups. President Gandhian Global Family, S P Verma said that she has responded to natural disasters and conflict related issues outside the preview of HELP's traditional areas of work. He said that she has worked for minority communities like Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and other vulnerable sections of the society. He said that the life of Shafi has impacted the lives of hundreds of women and children. He said she has become a mother figure and an ideal for many.

Rates of pony, pithoos, palkiwalas revised

JAMMU, DEC 26: In order to check overcharging by pony/pithoo wallas/palhiwals on the track from Katra to Bhawan District Development Commissioner, Reasi, Nirmal Sharma has imposed ban on such illegal practices within the territorial jurisdiction of district Reasi under section 144 Cr PC. The rates of ponies-walas, pithoos and palkieswalas have been revised vide order No.DDCR/2012-13/14/53965406 today and have been enhanced almost double of the existing rates. It is also informed that rates of tax/commission charged from yatries by the Municipal Committee will be 8 percent as against 12 percent charged earlier and police department shall ensure that sufficient numbers of CCTVs are installed on track from Katra to Bhawan to check any malpractice at prominent places en route.

Choudhary inspects Gurgani-Doon road project

The locals of Purmandal Block protesting in Samba on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Power, Shabir Ahmed Khan presenting a memento to national awardee, Nighat Shafi Pandit in Jammu on Wednesday.

Chairman, PSC, Mohammad Shafi Pandit, Shakuntala Joshi, Jaman Lal, Prabha Jain, Prof. Indira Rathore, Abida, Haji Ghulam Nabi Ganai, Zahoor Ahmed and Layzing Tsring, besides representatives of NGOs. The Minister, while congratulating the awardee,

appreciated her outstanding social work which she rendered for empowerment of women and welfare of children in the state, especially during turmoil period. He said that Nighat did commendable job during turmoil in Kashmir, the time when hardly anyone, espe-

cially a woman, would have dared to step out of the home to balm the wounds of the people. He said that Nighat Pandit was visiting alone to affected inmates at Srinagar's sole mental institution and tried to improve conditions there. The Minister said that she

SAMBA, DEC 26: In order to inspect the Gurgani-Doon road project under PMGSY Scheme, NCP leader and State General Secretary Sudarshan Choudhary today visited Purmandal Block of Samba Constituency. This project was started about seven years ago and was meant to be completed within five years according to PMGSY norms but unfortunately the project is still lying midway of its completion.

Meanwhile, the common masses of the area strongly condemned the negligent attitude adopted by the concerned authorities towards the development of the area and requested for early solution of the problems being faced by them. They threatened to come on the roads and protest against the authorities if their problems are not solved in a stipulated time frame.

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New World Order to Arab Spring; US stands exposed T

BY: PROF. BHIM SINGH he worsening situation in Arab Republic of Syria deserves urgent attention of the NAM countries as well the Arab League states who are likely to be effected if the Franco-US designs succeed in the region. France instigated the fire work in Libya with her recognition of the armed Libyan opposition backed by the NATO forces to implement AngloAmerican agenda. Leader of the country was gunned down like a rabbit. Now the same combination intends to repeat the same drama in Syria. The people in the world, particularly those who have been fighting against colonialism and imperialist domination had high expectation in Obama's presidency which, perhaps, could not be thought of in the past 50 years. The people of the USA gave high hopes to the world that they were against all racial tendencies and tactics being citizens of the United States of America which in fact is mixed emergence of several nationalities and sub-nationalities. The draconian policies pursued by President Bush and Bush were rejected by the people of the USA and that was reason Kenanyan-descent Barack Hussein Obama was chosen with powerful and unambiguous mandate in 2008 as President of the biggest military might. He was elected again but with different back-up. People in South-East Asia had pinned high hopes in his leadership that he would not allow the Bush blunders to be repeated. His message of the Arab Spring has cast dangerous clouds of 'death and destruction' in the Arab World. It was during his presidency that Sudan suffered a division between the Christians and Islamists; Egypt entered a dark age from secularism, openness, composite culture to communal divide. Libya was destroyed by illegal invasion of NATO bombers under the Obama's leadership. It appeared that the online agenda of the USA in the Middle-East is to liquidate the remaining Arab leadership. Anglo-American Bloc has so far succeeded in demolishing strong Arabian secular leadership in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Sudan whereas the Saudia, Kuwait & Gulf countries have been made 'vassals' (colonies) under the US dictates. The only country which 'US' has failed to dictate is Syria at present under the leadership of Dr. Bashar-alAssad whose father President Hafiz-alAssad had offered a visionary, daring and workable formula to Israel, 'Land for Peace'. In other words asking 'Israel' to vacate all Arab lands as per dictates of UN resolutions including Gholan Heights of Syria, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Israel backed by the Anglo-American Bloc rejected this peace offer and refused to implement UN Resolutions; 242, 338 and others where the UN had directed Israel to vacate all Arab lands and stop Jewish settlements in Palestine. President Bush was determined to establish US control over the oils of Kuwait, Iraq & Saudia. The junior Bush accomplished US agenda in the Middle-East under his father's doctrine of 'New World Order'. Obama carried it to other Arab countries in African continent too in the name of Arab Spring. Obama did not care to study the indepth of the peace offer by Late President Hafiz-al-Assad. Instead of promoting peace, the USA leadership is keen to promote Zionist interests in the Middle-East. Naturally so, because Zionist State of Israel was planted to demolish Arab unity, integrity and one of the oldest civilizations of the world. Stalin's Russia had also underestimated the Zionist agenda supported and backed by the Anglo-American Bloc. Stalin's support to UN Resolution 181 to divide Palestine and create 'Israel' proved fatal for 'peace' in the MiddleEast. Syria is one of the oldest civilizations of the world which has adhered to the composite culture and has survived in spite of the attacks and invasions from the North and the West. What kind of democracy the USA has been advocating in Iraq, Libya and now in Syria? A global debate on the issue shall expose the hidden designs of the Anglo-American Bloc on the colonial interest in the region. There are 13 countries of the Arab World out of 22 which have not even felt the smell of democracy or parliamentary systems till date. What about Kingdoms, Sultanates, Sheikhdoms in several Arab States in the Middle-East where word 'democracy' or 'human rights' or 'equity' what to speak of rule of law do not exist in their dictionary even? They are close allies of Obama's White House? Trusted friends of the 'US' regime. Iraq had Parliament, its elected Chairman, President and a government having representation of all sections of the society; Muslims, Shias, Christians, Kurds and all. Iraq was invaded in utter violation of the 'Charter' of the UN under false pretext that Iraq was having weapons of mass destruction, even though the UN inspectors had rejected that claim of the US. Now Syria is being blamed of having 'chemical weapons' by the US under Obama's Presidency. 'Wolf & Lamb' story has convinced none. But, the AngloAmerican Bloc is determined to grab all earth-wealth of the Arabs; oils, waters, strategic lands. Barack Hussein Obama's name is being exploited to demolish the Arab Muslim leadership. Shall 'Obama' recognize Chechnya opposition in Russia and Mongol leadership or 'Naxalites' in India as the representatives of the respective countries? 'Syria' is obstacle on way to reach Iran. 'Israel' expansionist agenda is threat to peace in South-East Asia being supported by Anglo-American Bloc to avenge Nasir, Yasir, Saddam and the rest. Syrian President is elected, Syria has a Parliament, judiciary and rule of law, much more effective and democratic than several of its neighbourers are practicing in the Middle-East who are being protected, promoted and nourished under the guns and missiles of the USA. The United Nations Charter of which India, USA as well as Syria are the legitimate Members is applicable to us all. If Russia recognized the Republican Party as 'US' real representative, how, Mr. Obama shall react. Recognition of the so-called opposition group, which is in fact a terrorist outfit, by the USA, is a direct interference with the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, Syria. Is it not mutilation of Article 2(7) of the UN Charter? Obama condemned terrorists' attack on World Trade Center and at the same time he supports the terrorist attacks against the people of Syria? Today he is at the top of the world because he is Chief Executive of sole surviving super power. He should have realized that Russian has no less effective role in the region. The latest visits of Russian President Putin to Turkey & Delhi should be understood in right perspective as Russia is no more a sleeping partner on the affairs in the Middle-East. China's role cannot be undermined. As a peace monger and friend of the Arab World I would like to remind the US that the heat and the flames of the so-called cold war have not extinguished. As a shrewd politician and visionary, Mr. Obama, might have understood what message Mr. Vladmir Putin has conveyed from the Kremlin to Istanbul and New Delhi. Obama might not able to use Turkey as his threshold for attacking Syria. The Middle-East can survive thousands of 'nuclear bombs' but Israel may not. There could be no better peace formula than 'Land for Peace'. That can be implemented only by a popular leadership of Dr. Bashar-al-Assad and his government. I had experienced great innings during my friendship with Yasir Arafat and Saddam Hussein in the process of initiating reconciliation between Israel and Palestine. Israel should have been satisfied after Yasir Arafat signed Oslo Agreement. Egypt and Jordan recognized Israel. Syrian's offer 'Land for Peace' should have been respectfully

agreed to by the USA and her baby, Israel, in the interest of peace in the region. Violence cannot be fought by violence and guns cannot be silenced by guns alone. If humanism could grow at the power of the gun or authoritarianism, then Buddha would not have renounced power and gone to the people to deliver them justice. A gunman without reason, just for adventure could kill scores of innocent kids, what for? There is a need of moral education which flows from religious teachings and practice of noblemen on earth. You can't sell guns like potatoes and hope for peace. Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King need to be practiced not preached alone. 'Humanism' not 'Zionism' should be agenda of AngloAmerican Bloc. Let USA and Israel consider this cardinal principle from an Indian citizen. Iran is heading NAM countries and India has highly cordial relationship with NAM countries. India should take initiative to convene NAM countries conclave in Delhi or elsewhere to ensure that world is not caught in the 'nuclear' disaster. US should stop its adventure in Syria for its own security. The Arab leadership should better think about their people and prosperity that they must stand united. The western lobby has been cheating them from Balfour Declaration in 1917 to UN Resolutions in 1947. Israel should be asked to implement UN resolutions; vacate all Arab land, stop Jewish settlements in Palestine and recognize Palestine State. That is the solution.

BY: SHIV VISVANATHAN olitics has a way of stereotyping responses. The older generation expected politics to be collectively organised and articulated through trade unions and political parties. Or as social movements. All these responses look outdated as we watch the recent protests against gangrape in Delhi. Such a response was not new. A year ago the movement led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal almost destabilised the regime. The elite treated corruption cynically, convinced that it was a way of life. The Kejriwal protest showed that the new generation and even the old is tired of cynicism in daily life. It was looking for passion, freedom, autonomy and idealism. It was ready to honour anyone who exemplified these words. The protests that followed the gang-rape of the intern of St Stephen's Hospital went even beyond the Kejriwal drama. This was one campaign that was not going to be confined to two columns of a newspaper and then sealed with silence. What triggered it was also the earlier responses to rape. When a woman is gangraped, police and politicians treat her as dirt. The victim was seen as someone out of place and virtually made responsible for the violence. Khap panchayats, politicians and bureaucrats criticised her for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or even in the wrong clothes. There was a sense that woman should be domestic creatures and not be seen after 5 pm. Evening in Delhi became a "Cinderella time" where a woman was vulnerable to masculine repression and violence.

Delhi is sad, angry, Tilting at windmills won't work and rightfully so! W
BY : K. G SURESH hen the Congress chief in Gujarat, Arjun Modhwadia, indirectly referred to Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a monkey at an election rally in Junagadh recently, he only reflected one of the basic shortcomings the party's state unit is facing bankruptcy of ideas. The State party president does not seem to have learned any lesson from national president Sonia Gandhi's "maut ke saudagar" (merchants of death) remark, which immensely contributed to Modi's kitty last time. The living in denial continues. Instead of picking holes in the Gujarat Model of Development and focussing on the chinks in the administration, the Congress has made the Gujarat election an exclusive Modi versus Others affair, in the process lending a larger than life profile to the Gujarat strongman. On Ms Gandhi's remarks, the Congress should know the party itself benefited in the 2004 general election to a great extent due to the personalised attack mounted on her by the then ruling combine. If not stupid, it is certainly not wise to be an iconoclast in a nation of hero worshippers. Save for some token rallies by its central leaders, the Congress campaign in Gujarat is a muted affair compared to the brouhaha witnessed during the Assembly elections in Bihar and later in Uttar Pradesh. Unlike the two crucial northern states, where the Congress has virtually been reduced to a single digit or a little more, and despite the Modi magic, the party still has a respectable 54 seats in the State Assembly and 11 MPs in the Lok Sabha. In the 2007 election, it lost about 35 seats by margins ranging from 17 to 5000. Yet, the party apparently seems to view Gujarat as a lost case. Apart from bankruptcy of ideas and the absence of a clear-cut strategy to counter the Modi phenomenon, the party also suffers from a leadership crisis. The joke in the State unit is that even a taluka panchayat-level office-bearer cannot be appointed without the consent of the Congress high command. There is increasing resentment over the fact that Mr Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress president, is remote-controlling the affairs of the party from New Delhi. While Mr Patel himself is considered as a committed Congressman, party workers feel the coterie surrounding him is giving all the wrong advice regarding affairs of the State. The fact also remains that the party needs an equally charismatic face to counter Modi. Neither Modhwadia nor State legislature party leader Shaktisinh Gohil fits the bill. The only face that has both credibility and competence to take the incumbent Government head on is Shankersinh Vaghela, who is an old BJP hand. But then the problem is the lack of trust the party has in this former saffronite. There is a sizeable section within the party which feels Vaghela should have been given a free hand and projected as the chief ministerial candidate. Otherwise, an encore of the Uttar Pradesh blitzkrieg without projecting an alternative leader is a definite possibility. It is also important that the Congress strategists understand the history of the State, the psyche of the Gujarati people and the concerns and aspirations of the different section of the State's populace. It was the Congress under the leadership of Madhav Sinh Solanki, which ushered in the KHAAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi, Ahir and Muslim) strategy decades back. While this factor did help the party initially, its consequences have led to the present sorry state of affairs for the party. The alleged exploitation with even the police often refusing to lodge FIRs against culprits in criminal cases led to the consolidation of the influential Patel community, constituting almost 27 per cent of the population, against the Congress. The Patels not only found themselves neglected but also discriminated against. As in the case of the Lingayats in Karnataka, the BJP under Mr Keshubhai Patel got a readymade constituency without making much of an effort. Notwithstanding the Congress's efforts to woo them in the recent past, there is a strong view that the revival of the Congress would also herald the return of lawlessness against the Patel community. While playing to the galleries at the Centre, the Congress may have found it convenient to repeatedly attack the BJP on the communal issue. But the fact also remains that Gujarat has a history of polarisation since time immemorial. Right from the days of the invasion of

There was another response that fuelled the protest. If politicians were reactionary, police officers were blas to the point of indifference. They either treated rape as normal or congratulated themselves about police alertness. In fact, police sensitivity to rape victims is one of the oxymorons of city life. This thickening of indifference set the stage for protests that surprised the capital. It began with the standard cameo bits, with Jaya Bachchan breaking down in Parliament, with MPs being photographed with predictable placards. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit gave her standard interview to Barkha Dutt. It all seemed inadequate. What began as a rivulet of protest on the first day burst conventional banks. The capital was seeing a different kind of march. Not just the candlelight demonstrations but a collective scream of pain uttered by young women against society which refuses to understand them. As one young girl retorted, "If a ninemonth child can be raped, or a three-year-old molested, what kind of clothes would save me from being raped?"

Sensitive journalists warned that something was different here. They claimed that the news of the rape gave them an uneasy feeling, as if the whole cosmos had been violated. They also predicted that the news of the rape would remove the news of the Modi election from page one. By the second day, one could sense a tom-tom of whispers calling the young to battle. For once the language was not measured or scripted. One heard cries of rage, screams of solidarity, a sense of deep communion with the girl who had not just been raped but whose intestines had been disembowelled with a broken beer bottle. One senses a history of accumulated rage of men and women living out the pain of the victim realising that she would continue to suffer for months after. Some of the demands of the young women were stark. One wanted justice instantly; another wanted death penalty for rape. In fact, the cry of death penalty for rape seems the only form of retribution that would balance the sordidness of the crime. The demand for death penalty was not just a scream of outrage. It was a

message that rule of law does not work, that the administration has no sense of the crisis of the city. One could see it in the body language of senior police officers. The slightly superior smile on the face of the police commissioner almost tempted one to lathicharge him. Yet, as tempers mellow, one has to ask more serious questions. What will the administration do? What steps will it take to guarantee security and justice? The question that concerned parents and worried families are asking is when returning home in Delhi will stop being an adventure. These groups are not asking for sentimentality. They are tired of seeing protests as photo opportunities. They feel that if the rape was a scandal, a bigger scandal lay in the nature of response. Will the administration stop being proud of Delhi as the "rape capital" of India? If it understands politics, it should see these protests as warning signs and respond to them. Unfortunately, the administration is indifferent to rape and the citizen keeps protesting futilely, waiting for a miracle. The sadness of Delhi is obvious.

Somnath, the Gujarati Hindu has always been aggressive about his identity. In fact, there is no other Sate which can boast of either so much vegetarianism or spiritual gurus, thanks to the deep influences of Vaishnavism and Jainism. The State has had a dubious history of communal clashes much before the 2002 violence. Thus, the 'minority appeasement' strategies that have been successfully applied in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have backfired in Gujarat. Though Modi has been targeted for looking the other way during the post-Godhra violence, the fact also remains that a large section of Gujaratis, who are pre-dominantly into business, credit him for establishing and sustaining an atmosphere of peace conducive for business in the State, post-2002. This is not to condone any acts of omission or commission, but it is a reality that since 2002, the State has not witnessed a single communal incident, unlike many other States where such violence has been on the rise. In fact, local and byelections indicate that a sizeable 10 per cent of the Muslim population have shifted their loyalties to the BJP. They include the peace-loving business communities such as the Bohras, the Khojas and even the Shias. While the Congress continues to raise the issue of 2002 violence, of late it seems to have realised that, while this may be appreciated by the 'secular' audience outside the State, in Gujarat it will do well to focus on developmental issues.

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is sister's angel lingered near the entrance of the star, and said to the leader among those who had brought the people thither: "Is my brother come?" And he said "No." She was turning hopefully away, when the child stretched out his arms, and cried, "O, sister, I am here! Take me!" and then she turned her beaming eyes upon him, and it was night; and the star was shining into the room, making long rays down towards him as he saw it through his tears. From that hour forth, the child looked out upon the star as on the home he was to go to, when his time should come; and he thought that he did not belong to the earth alone, but to the star too, because of his sister's angel gone before. There was a baby born to be a brother to the child; and while he was so little that he never yet had spoken word he stretched his tiny form out on his bed, and died. Again the child dreamed of the open star, and of the company of angels, and the train of

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people, and the rows of angels with their beaming eyes all turned upon those people's faces. Said his sister's angel to the leader: "Is my brother come?" And he said "Not that one, but another." As the child beheld his brother's angel in her arms, he cried, "O, sister, I am here! Take me!" And she turned and smiled upon him, and the star was shining. He grew to be a young man, and was busy at his books when an old servant came to him and said: "Thy mother is no more. I bring her blessing on her darling son!" Again at night he saw the star, and all that former company. Said his sister's angel to the leader: "Is my brother come?" And he said, "Thy mother!" A mighty cry of joy went forth through all the star, because the mother was reunited to her two children. And he stretched out his arms and cried, "O, mother, sister, and brother, I am here! Take me!" And they answered him, "Not yet," and the star was

shining. He grew to be a man, whose hair was turning gray, and he was sitting in his chair by the fireside, heavy with grief, and with his face bedewed with tears, when the star opened once again. Said his sister's angel to the leader: "Is my brother come?" And he said, "Nay, but his maiden daughter." And the man who had been the child saw his daughter, newly lost to him, a celestial creature among those three, and he said, "My daughter's head is on my sister's bosom, and her arm is around my mother's neck, and at her feet

there is the baby of old time, and I can bear the parting from her, God be praised!" And the star was shining. Thus the child came to be an old man, and his once smooth face was wrinkled, and his steps were slow and feeble, and his back was bent. And one night as he lay upon his bed, his children standing round, he cried, as he had cried so long ago: "I see the star!" They whispered one to another, "He is dying." And he said, "I am. My age is falling from me like a garment, and I move towards the star as a child. And O, my Father, now I thank Thee that it has so often opened, to receive those dear ones who await me!" And the star was shining, and it shines upon his grave.


inspired by his readings of the Bhagavad Gita, which helped him embrace revolutionary activities aimed at ending the British Raj. He was especially disillusioned with the British following the partition of Bengal conflagration in 1909. He joined Jugantar - the party of revolutionary activists. At the nascent age of sixteen, Bose was defying police after planting bombs near police stations and targeting government officials. He was arrested three years later on charges of conducting a series of bomb attacks. The specific bombing for which he was sentenced to death resulted in the deaths of 3 unrelated innocents: Mrs Kennedy, her daughter and a servant. Khudiram and Prafulla Chaki were sent to Muzaffarpur, Bihar to assasinate Kingsford, the Calcutta Presidency Magistrate, and later, magistrate of Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Khudiram and Prafulla watched the usual movements of Kingsford and prepared a plan to kill him. In the evening of 30 April 1908, the duo waited in front of the gate of European Club fot the carriage of Kingsford to come. When a vehicle came out of the gate, they threw bombs and blew up the carriage. Unfortunately, the vehicle was not carrying Kingsford, rather two innocent British ladies - Mrs and Miss Kenedy (the wife and daughter of barrister Pringle Kennedy ) were killed. The terrorist duo fled. Prafulla committed suicide when cornered by police at the Samastipur Railway station. Khudiram was later arrested. On this Muzaffarpur bombing and other charges of bombings carried out by him, a pretence of trial was carried out for two months. In the end, he was sentenced to death at a tender age of 19.He was hanged on 11 August 1908.


ue enshrined in the temple was smuggled away to Puri by priests, but the Sun Temple was badly damaged in the attack. Nature took over the destruction from there. Over the centuries, the sea receded, sand engulfed the building and salty breezes eroded the stone. It remained buried under a huge mound of sand until the early 20th century, when restoration began under the British. British archaeologists uncovered the lower parts of the temple that had remained well preserved beneath the sand and restored what they could of the rest of the ruins. Trees were planted to shelter the temple from the damaging winds and a museum was opened to display whatever sculpture wasn't left in situ or sent to Delhi, Calcutta and London. In 1924, the Earl of Ronaldshay proclaimed the newly-revealed temple to be "one of the most stupendous buildings in India which rears itself aloft, a pile of overwhelming grandeur even in its decay." What to See The Konark Sun Temple takes the form of a huge chariot for the sun god Surya, with 12 pairs of stone-carved wheels and a team of seven galloping horses (only one of which survives intact). The temple also symbolizes the passage of time,

Date of Birth : Dec 3, 1889 Date of Death : Aug 11, 1908 Place of Birth : Bengal Khudiram Bose was an Indian freedom fighter, one of the youngest revolutionaries early in the Indian independence movement. Bose was born on 3rd December 1889 in the village Bahuvaini in Medinipur district of Bengal. His father Trailokyanath Basu was the Tahsildar of the town of the Nadazol prince. His mother Lakshmipriya Devi was a pious lady, who was well known for her virtuous life and generosity. Bose was

FATHER: Why did you get such a low score in that exam? FATHER: You were absent on the day of the exam? SON: Absence! SON: No but the boy who sits next to me was!

he Konark Sun Temple (also spelled Konarak) is a 13th-century Hindu temple dedicated to the sun god. Shaped like a giant chariot, the temple is known for the exquisite stone carvings that cover the entire structure. The Konark Sun Temple is the most popular tourist destination in Orissa and has been a World Heritage Site since 1984. It is located in the village of Konark, which is 35km north of Puri on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. History The Sun Temple at Konarak was built in about 1250 AD by the East Ganga king Narasimhadeva. It is thought he built the temple to commemorate military successes against Muslim invaders. According to local legend, the temple has a great aura of power that comes from two very powerful magnets said to have been built into the tower - magnets that allowed the king's throne to hover in midair. European mariners sailing off the coast used the temple's tower for navigation, but dubbed it the Black Pagoda for the frequent shipwrecks that occurred along the coast. They attributed the disasters to the legendary magnets' effect on the tidal pattern. Konarak was sacked by the Muslim Yavana army in the 15th century. The central stat-

Statue of the sun god Surya which is under the sun god's control. The seven horses, which pull the sun temple eastwards towards the dawn, represent the days of the week. The 12 pairs of wheels represent the 12 months of the year and the eight spokes in each wheel symbolize the eight ideal stages of a woman's day. The main entrance to the complex is on the eastern (seafacing) side, in front of the Hall of Offerings (bhogamandapa). This was a later addition to the complex and was likely used for ritual dance performances, as its walls are carved with sculptures of musicians and dancers as well as erotic scenes. The sanctuary tower was once the centerpiece of the Konark Sun Temple, but today it is no more than a jumble of sandstone slabs off the western wing. The imposing structure with the pyramidal roof that now takes center stage is actually the porch (jagamohana). The roof of the porch has three tiers covered in statues, mostly musicians and dancers sereneding the sun god during his daily passage through the heavens. Sculptures on the bottom platform include a Shiva Nataraja, performing the cosmic dance. The interior is now blocked up. Just beyond the porch is a double staircase that leads to a shrine containing a statue of Surya, the sun god. The beautiful image is carved of highquality green chlorite stone and is one of the masterpieces

of Konarak. Surya wears tall riding boots and is accompanied by a small figure of Aruna, the charioteer, at his feet. From here you can climb down into the remains of the inner sanctum, where the deity was originally enshrined. The surfaces of the temple are carved with exquisite stone sculptures with a wide variety of subjects, including many erotic scenes based on the Kama Sutra. Erotic sculptures are found especially in niches halfway up the porch, along the sides of the platform and around the doorways of the main building. Similar sculptures can be found on the temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. The erotic art most likely symbolizes the ecstatic bliss enjoyed by the soul when it unites with the divine, but there are a number of theories on the matter. Other sculptures decorating the temple's exterior include deities, animals, floral patterns, voluptuous women, mythical beasts and aquatic monsters. The 24 giant wheels are beautifully carved and each of the eight spokes bears a medallion containing figurative carvings. Friezes above and below the wheels depict military processions and hunting scenes, with thousands of rampaging elephants. Look for the giraffe in the top frieze along the south side of the platform - this proves that Konarak traded with Africa in the 13th century.


Now the Day is Over

Now the day is over, Night is drawing nigh, Shadows of the evening Steal across the sky. Now the darkness gathers, Stars began to peep, Birds and beasts and flowers Soon will be asleep. Jesus, give the weary Calm and sweet repose; With thy tenderest blessing May our eyelids close. Grant to little children Visions bright of thee; Guard the sailors tossing On the deep blue sea. Comfort every sufferer Watching late in pain; Those who plan some evil From their sin restrain. Through the long nightwatches May thine angels spread

Their white wings above me, Watching round my bed. When the morning wakens, Then may I arise Pure and fresh and sinless In thy holy eyes. Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son, And to thee, blest Spirit, Whilst all ages run.

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'India will continue to do its best to assist Nepal': President

NEW DELHI:Citing India's deep rooted ties with Nepal, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said New Delhi will continue to do its best to assist the neighbouring nation in its socio-economic development. It is in India's interest that Nepal progresses as a stable, secular, democratic republic, the President said welcoming his Nepalese counterpart Ram Baran Yadav at Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Mukherjee said that people of India consider him a great friend and value his long-standing support for Indo-Nepal relations. "India attaches the highest priority to further strengthening its bilateral relations with Nepal in every sphere," Mukherjee was quoted as saying by a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson in a press release. The President said India's relations with Nepal are deep rooted and unique with no parallel. "As a close friend and neighbour, India will continue to do its best to assist Nepal in its socio-economic development," he said. "It has always been India's endeavour to support peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal, in accordance with their wishes," he said. The Nepalese President's visit provides an important opportunity to further strengthen the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, the spokesperson said. The President of Nepal thanked the Indian President for the welcome and hospitality extended by the Government and people of India. He said Nepal and India are closely connected with each other. He also thanked the President for the development assistance extended by India in virtually every sector.

Cabinet approves panel to probe Delhi gang-rape incident:Chidambaram

NEW DELHI:Moving forward to provide speedy justice to the victim of the Delhi gang-rape case and ensure safety and security of women, the Centre on ting up of a commission of inquiry, which will be headed by retired Justice Usha Mehra. Chidambaram said the commission will fix responsibility in the case and look into any negligence on part of the Delhi Police. The commission has been tasked to also suggest measures on security and safety of women in the country, especially the Delhi-NCR region, the minister, adding the report will be submitted within three months. "Whatever we are doing now is only intended to demonstrate the government's serious intent on the matter that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators. We will try and find out what went wrong and fix responsibility. We will also amend the laws as deemed necessary. There are three parts to what we are doing," Chidambaram told reporters. He added that the government is open to suggestions on what more needs to be done, especially from women. Expressing hope that the girl will recover, the minister said "our prayers are with the family of the victim". He also appealed to everyone to stay calm and added that "we are trying to find a lasting solution to the problem". He noted that the incident was a matter of shame for the government of India.

Cold wave sweeps North India, 7 deaths in UP

NEW DELHI: Dense fog and cold weather conditions continue to affect normal life in major parts of northern India, with seven more deaths reported in the past 24 hours from Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. Cold wave along with a blanket of fog persisted in Punjab and Haryana, which saw a dip in temperature.In the NCR, the minimum temperature was 7 degrees Celsius though there was no fog in Delhi. Cold weather conditions affected the movement of trains and at least 150 trains across north India were reported to be running late. Besides, 22 trains have also been cancelled. Cold wave continued to sweep across Jharkhand with minimum temperature in Kanke and Ranchi dipping to 2.2 degree Celsius, a degree above that the season's lowest temperature recorded on Tuesday. A thick blanket of fog enveloped most parts of Punjab, Haryana and the Union territory of Chandigarh on Tuesday disrupting normal life and hitting air, rail and road traffic. MeT department officials said that the fog was responsible for reduced visibility in the region and resultantly, several trains and flights were either cancelled or delayed by hours.

Anna demands tough law against rapists

New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare led a candle light march in support of the Delhi gang-rape victim. The march was held at his native village, Ralegan Siddhi, where Hazare demanded a tough law against rapes. The participants in the march demanded death penalty for those involved in the incident. Hazare blamed the government for rising cases of rape, as there was no tough law to deal with rapists. "Those who committed such a crime, they should be hanged. The government is as responsible for the crime as the rapists. People elected the government to make laws. Why has no tough law been made after 65 years of independence? If there was a tough law in place, these people wouldn't have dared to commit such a crime," Anna said.

Wednesday announced the setting up of a commission of inquiry to probe the matter and look into the lapses by police, if any. Addressing the press here, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Cabinet has approved the set-

Dikshit seeks probe against Delhi Police officers

NEW DELHI: Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit has sought a "high-level independent enquiry" against senior Delhi Police officials for allegedly interfering when the gang-rape victim's statement was recorded. The chief minister made the appeal to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. Delhi Police reports to the home ministry. In her letter, Dikshit cited a complaint from Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Usha Chaturvedi, who had recorded the young woman's statement at the Safdarjung Hospital where she is warded. Chaturvedi's complaint was forwarded to Dikshit by Deputy Commissioner (East) BM Mishra. Without taking names, Mishra said Chaturvedi faced "interference" from assistant commissioners of police and deputy commissioners of police while recording the statement. According to informed

India-Pak finalized agreement on judicial panel visit

ISLAMABAD: India and Pakistan finalised the terms of reference for a judicial commission expected to visit India to gather evidence on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks after talks held over the past five days. An agreement on the visit of the second Pakistani judicial commission to Mumbai was finalised following several rounds of discussions on complex technical and legal issues, official sources said. The talks began on Thursday after a four-member Indian team, including legal experts from the Home and External Affairs Ministries, arrived in Islamabad. The two sides reached an agreement following protracted discussions on the terms of reference. However, the Indian side continued to have some concerns that were formally conveyed to Pakistani officials, the sources said without giving details. The Indian side formally conveyed to the Pakistani officials that in the case of countries like India and Pakistan, which do not have a mutual legal assistance treaty, an executive agreement between the two governments would take precedence over local laws, the sources said. The sources further said it would take some more time to finalise the visit of the Pakistani commission. First, permission for the visit would have to be sought from the Bombay High Court. Subsequently, permission would have to be sought from the Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The Indian team was earlier scheduled to return on Saturday at the conclusion of two-day talks with a Pakistani team that included prosecutors from the Federal Investigation Agency and officials of the Interior Ministry and National Crisis Management Cell. Three members of the delegation returned on Monday and a Joint Secretary from the Home Ministry stayed behind for further discussions. The sources said the two sides discussed a number of complex issues. The Pakistani commission will crossexamine four Indian witnesses in Mumbai, including the police officer who led the probe into the Mumbai attacks, the magistrate who recorded lone surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab's confession and two doctors who conducted autopsies of terrorists killed in the attacks. The two sides also looked at the possibility that the commission might have to interview other witnesses to corroborate information given by the four witnesses, the sources said. Besides, once New Delhi grants permission to crossexamine the four witnesses, Islamabad will be expected to reciprocate by granting access to Pakistani suspects for an Indian judicial commission that is expected to visit the country at a later stage. The Indian side also wanted some sort of assurance from Pakistani authorities that the findings of the second judicial commission would not be summarily rejected by the anti-terrorism court that is conducting the trial of seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks. Lashkar-e-Toiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is among those charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people in November 2008. The findings of the first Pakistani judicial commission that visited India in March were rejected by the anti-terrorism court as the panel's members were not allowed to cross-examine the Indian witnesses. The trial of the Pakistani suspects has made little or no headway for months due to various technical and legal issues. The Lahore High Court has barred the anti-terrorism court from using Kasab's confession while defence lawyers have contended that existing Pakistani laws do not allow witnesses in another country to depose via video conferencing.

Granite mining scam: Madurai police summon Alagiri's son Durai

MADURAI: Madurai police on Wednesday issued summons to Union Steel Minister MK Alagiri's son Durai Dayanidhi once again in connection with the multi-crore granite mining scam. Durai Dayanidhi had on Dec 14 surrendered at a Madurai court four days after being granted anticipatory bail in the granite scam case by the Madras High Court. Accompanied by a battery of advocates and DMK workers, he paid a personal security of Rs 10,000, while two persons stood as personal surety, at the court of Judicial Magistrate Jaykumar. The court directed him to appear daily from Dec 15 until further orders before Keezhavalavur Police station near Melur, which had registered cases against him under

sources, Chaturvedi alleged that the senior officers at the hospital "tried to pressurise her to record the victim's statement as per their wish". The sources said the magistrate accused police of putting pressure on her not to video record the statement of the 23-year-old woman, who December 16 gang-rape in a moving bus has triggered widespread criticism of the Delhi Police. Dikshit, who forwarded the letter to the home minister, said: "I would suggest a high-level independent enquiry considering the officers involved."The contents of the letter are alarming and serious. Therefore I thought it will only be proper to bring the same to your notice for appropriate action," Dikshit said in JAIPUR: Union Rural her letter to the minister written Development minister on Monday. Jairam Ramesh Wednesday said that the government would want to hold talks with Naxals, if they drop various IPC sections, including 120(b) (crimi- arms and adopt a democratic nal conspiracy), 447 (criminal trespass) and ideology. 420 (cheating), for allegedly quarrying illegalSpeaking at a function in ly on government land. Durai has been on the Bassi town in Jaipur, run since August 2012 after his involvement in Ramesh said that the governthe multi-crore illegalgranite quarrying scam ments' doors for talks with came to light. Tamil Nadu Police had issues a Naxals were open, provided lookout notice against Dayanidhi on Aug 31, they have faith in the coun2012. Police had also asked the immigration try's constitution and demodepartment to stop Dayanidhi, who was a cratic system. director in Olympus Granite till 2010, from He said that 82 districts leaving the country. A total of 17 FIRs have across nine states of the been filed against eight companies, including country were affected by Olympus, in connection with the scam. As Naxalism. many as 60 people have been named in the The minister was speakFIRs. ing after unveiling statues of

Drop arms and hold talks with govt: JairamRamesh Dhumal regime decisions to
state government for the welfare of the families of martyrs and exservicemen. Gehlot said that the Kargil package for martyrs was unparallelled and has benefited their families immensely. Ramesh praised chief minister's rural BPL housing scheme as 'ideal model' and said that the scheme has considerably benefited people. Tribal leader and MP Kirori Meena said that he would welcome government's "pro-farmer" land acquisition policy in the Parliament.

be reviewed: Himachal govt

paramilitary forces Jawans Ashok Verma and Kailash Meena in Banskho and Dheengad Ka Baas areas, in the Bassi town, respectively. He said that the government would bring new land acquisition law soon to benefit the country's farmers. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot also highlighted initiatives of the

SHIMLA: The newlyconstituted Congress government in Himachal Pradesh said all the decisions taken by the previous Bhartiya Janta Party government in the past six months would be reviewed. The 10-member cabinet headed by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, at its first meeting soon after their swearing-in, also decided that all the criminal cases registered on political grounds would be withdrawn, a government spokesperson said. It was decided to convene the first assembly

session of the state assembly in Dharamsala from January 8 to 11 in which oath will be administered to newly-elected legislators. The session would begin with the address of Governor Urmila Singh. The spokesperson said the cabinet also decided that steps be taken for framing policy for regularisation of teachers appointed by parent teachers associations in the state. "All notified schools which were closed during the last five years would be reviewed," he added.

Row over constable's death as witness contradicts police

'Constable had no major external injury, says doctor'
NEW DELHI: A day after Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar died following Sunday's clashes at anti-rape protests at India Gate, there is controversy over his death. An eyewitness account and pictures from the scene reportedly contradict the Delhi Police version that he was assaulted by protesters. A journalism student, who reached the spot after the incident, claims the 46 year-old constable collapsed while walking. Delhi Police constable Subhash Chand Tomar, who was cremated with full state honours here on Tuesday, was not beaten up by protesters, but collapsed while walking, an eyewitness has claimed. Meanwhile, Dr PS Sidhu at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has told a news agency that the constable had no major external injury marks when he was brought to the hospital. The constable is reported to have no fracture either. According to Yogendra, the eyewitness, he and one of his female friends, who was injured, took the constable to hospital. He had noticed Tomar collapsing while walking towards protesters. "He wasn't trampled by the protestors, he wasn't assaulted. He just collapsed while walking. There was a girl with me at that time. We both saw him lying on the ground, and then I picked him up and took him to the hospital in a police van," said Yogendra. "I was surprised to hear that 8 were arrested over Subhash Tomar's death. I saw him in hospital and and his body didn't have any injuries. He wasn't trampled by a mob, he wasn't assaulted. He just collapsed while walking. I don't think people should be arrested over this," Yogendra said. Reacting to Yogendra's claims, Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Yogendra, a journo student, eyewitness to Tomar's death. His account opp of police account. Is police lying?" AAP member Yogendra Yadav also added that the TV footage shows opposite of what the police are saying. The police said the rioters had hit him, he was trampled upon by protestors and this is why he has collapsed. The footage says he collapsed on his own. Who can deny footage on camera? Police is informally feeding stories to media about him being trampled. The evidence that's enough is in the public domain, it suggests the contrary," he said. AAP member Manish Sisodia said the police were politicising Tomar's death to cover their mistakes. "The Delhi Police should have dealt the matter with sensitivity and honoured the constable's death. But, the police have politicised the death to cover their own mistakes. We feel that the Delhi Police are involved in a conspiracy. The police commissioner should be sacked." Meanwhile, police say there were injuries on Tomar's stomach, chest and neck. The postmortem report is awaited. The Delhi Police have also booked eight people in constable Tomar's case, which includes a member of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party. Meanwhile, his family blamed the protesters for his death. "It is the mob which is responsible for my brother's death," said Tomar's brother Yudhveer Singh. "My brother passed away this morning. He had been critical since Sunday. He was on life support. What was his fault?," Tomar's second brother Devinder Singh asked. "He was only doing his job and now he is no more. His family has no other source of income. He was very committed to his duty," Singh added. Subhash Tomar's son accused the public of brutally beating up his father. "No leader has come to there (hospital) to see him. Public is responsible for this because they beat him so badly. Can they return my father back?" asked Tomar's son, Deepak.

Delhi CM calls Cabinet meet; SDM to attend

NEW DELHI: Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday called a Cabinet meeting to be attended by SubDivisional Magistrate (SDM) of Vivek Vihar, Usha Chaturvedi, who had recorded the gang-rape victim's first statement on Dec 21. Notably, Dikshit called the meeting despite reports earlier in the day that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had ordered a "high-level independent inquiry" against senior police officials for allegedly interfering when the rape victim's statement was recorded by SDM Usha Chaturvedi. Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar has denied the allegation. Chaturvedi had accused three senior police officers of putting pressure on her to record the statement the way it suited police. Neeraj Kumar refuted the charge and accused the Magistrate of not speaking the truth. The Delhi police report to the Home Ministry, not to the Delhi CM

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India votes for resolution on resumption of arms treaty talks
UNITED NATIONS, DEC 26: India is among 133 nations that voted in favour of a draft UN General Assembly resolution which seeks resumption of failed negotiations on an international arms treaty aimed at regulating the USD 70 billion global trade in conventional weapons. The passing of the resolution for resumption of the talks, which in the past had seen stiff opposition from the powerful US gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA), has paved the way for a final round of negotiations to be held here from March 18 to 28 next year. The Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty would aim to finalise the "elaboration of the Arms Trade Treaty, in an open and transparent manner, utilising the modalities. Under which the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty operated," the resolution said. The US was among the 133 nations that voted in favour of the resolution, which was opposed by none. Seventeen countries, including Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen abstained from voting. The arms trade talks had collapsed in July this year after the US said it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty. The new round of talks seeks to give impetus to global efforts to come up with a "legally binding instrument" on the highest possible common international standards to regulate the USD 70 billion global trade in conventional arms. The call for regulating the arms trade assumes significance against the backdrop of a surge in mass shooting incidents across the US, where private citizens used their assault weapons to kill others. Earlier this month, a 20-year old man used an assault rifle to kill 27 people, including his mother and 20 elementary school students, in Newtown in Connecticut.

27 killed in Kazakh military plane crash: Official

ALMATY, DEC 26: All 27 people on board a Kazakh military jet that crashed while carrying the Central Asian state's top border guard officials have died, the state security service said Wednesday. "All 27 occupants of the aircraft, including seven crew members, have perished," the National Security Service (KNB) said in a statement. The victims included the acting head of the Kazakh federal border service Turganbek Stambekov and his wife, the statement said. The 22-year-old plane crashed late Tuesday about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Shymkent airport Kazakh state television on Wednesday showed only fragments of the An-72 military transport plane remaining on the ground. But the KNB security service stressed that the plane had recently undergone all the necessary checks and repairs. "In 2012, it underwent restoration work at the Antonov repair plant in Ukraine," its statement said. Khabar state television also cited local residents as saying that a heavy winter storm had descended on the region at the time of the accident. It said the plane caught fire after the crash. Kazakh official sealed off the site of the disaster on Wednesday as they launched an investigation into one of the most serious air accidents in the country's post-Soviet history. The KNB statement said the senior security team, which also included the heads of the regional border guard services, had been flying to an end-of-year security meeting in Shymkent. Aviation disasters remain a scourge across the former Soviet Union due to ageing hardware that often has not been replaced since the fall of the Soviet regime, as well as human error. In November, eight people were killed in Kazakhstan when a Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter crashed while on a pipeline surveillance mission.

where it had been due to land after a flight from the capital Astana. Kazakhstan's KTK television said the jet fell from a height of 800

metres (2,600 feet). Witnesses also reported hearing a loud explosion at the time of the crash. Footage of the crash site aired on

Too much Internet use may leave kids 'brain-dead': Expert

LONDON, DEC 26: A 'Google generation' which relies on the Internet for everything is in danger of becoming 'brain-dead', a leading UK inventor has warned. Trevor Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio, said children are losing creativity and practical skills because they spend too much time in front of screens. The 75-year-old from Twickenham, south-west London, said he fears that the next generation of inventors is being lost, with young people often unable to make anything with their hands, the 'Daily Mail' reported. He said children could rediscover vital skills if schools used practical toys like Meccano, a model construction system. "Children have got to be taught hands-on, and not to become mobile phone or computer dependent," Baylis said.

CAIRO, DEC 26: Egyptian voters have overwhelmingly approved a new Constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi and his Islamist allies, triggering fresh protests from the mostly secular opposition which claims the charter ignores the rights of minorities. Announcing the final results of the referendum on the new Constitution live on state-run Nile News TV last night, the High Judicial Elections Commission said nearly two-thirds of voters have supported the proposed charter. Sixty-three per cent of voters cast "Yes" ballots in two stages, giving Islamists their third straight victory at the polls since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution. Samir Abul Maati, head of the commission, said that out of 51,919,067 eligible voters, 17,058,317 cast their ballots, equalling a turnout of 32.9

Egypt Voters approve Iran rejects interference Lankan police Islamist Constitution accusation by Gulf Arabs arrest former LTTE members
per cent. A total of 10,693,911 voted in favour of the Constitution, while 661,101 or 36.2 per cent said "no." Invalid ballots totalled 303,395, the Egypt Independent newspaper reported. The draft Constitution was put to a referendum over two stages, with 10 governorates voting on December 15 and the remaining 17 voting a week later. The Commission said it has thoroughly reviewed all the complaints it received on violations, adding the referendum was held under full judicial supervision at all polling stations since the electoral system prohibits non-judicial officials from overseeing the process, the paper said. Soon after the results were declared, protests broke out in several parts of the Egyptian capital, with protesters halting traffic and setting tires ablaze. DUBAI, DEC 26: Iran rejected accusations from Gulf Arab states that it was meddling in their affairs, saying those countries were "running away from reality", an Iranian news agency reported on Wednesday. Six U.S.-allied states demanded Iran end what they called interference in the region, in a statement on Tuesday at the end of a twoday summit of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), reiterating a longheld mistrust of their main rival. The communique did not elaborate, but the most common Gulf Arab complaint relates to Bahrain, which has repeatedly accused Tehran of interference in its internal politics by provoking protests. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast dismissed the statement. "Shifting the responsibility for the domestic problems of the regional countries is a way of running away from reality, and blaming others or using oppressive methods are not the right ways to answer civil demands," he said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA). Iran sees the Gulf as its own backyard and believes it has a legitimate interest in expanding its influence there. In Manama, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa told reporters on Tuesday that Iran posed a "very serious threat". When asked about the Bahraini remarks, Mehmanparast said they were not worth responding to, ISNA said. Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, has accused Shi'ite power Iran of being behind the unrest. Tehran denies this. COLOMBO, DEC 26: Some 45 ex-members of the LTTE have been arrested during search operations in Jaffna in Sri Lanka's north, police said here on Wednesday. "They were arrested as a result of operations carried out over the last month," police spokesman and superintendent Prishantha Jayakodi said. There were several search operations in Jaffna leading to the arrests, Jayakodi said. The 45 ex-members of the LTTE were arrested by the police's Terrorist Investigation Division (TID). Sri Lankan defence establishment maintains that despite the military defeat of the LTTE in 2009, the group's remnants and sympathisers are making attempts for revival.

China starts world's longest bullet train route

BEIJING: China on Wednesday inaugurated world's longest high-speed rail route linking its capital Beijing with the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, covering a distance of 2,298 kms. Running at an average speed of 300 km per hour, the bullet train will save nearly 12 hours by bringing down the travel time between Beijing and Guangzhou from more than 20 hours to around eight. This is the longest high speed network China launched after the Beijing-Shanghai Bullet train last year, which brought down travel time to around five hours, covering over 1300 km distance between two of China's largest cities. The new train covers Beijing with China's most industrialised province Guangdong which houses top developed cities like Guangzhou close to Hong Kong and Maccau.

Ireland's top Catholic Cardinal opposes legalising abortion

LONDON, DEC 26: Ireland's top Catholic Cardinal has asked followers to oppose the government's plans to legalise abortion in the wake of the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar who died after being refused the procedure. The Irish government plans to introduce a legislation that would allow limited access to abortion after a huge public outcry over the death of 31-year-old Savita, who died at Galway University Hospital. Savita's husband said she had been 17-week pregnant and she asked repeatedly for a termination of the pregnancy but was refused and told the foetal heartbeat was still present and "this is a Catholic country". She contracted septicaemia and died on October 28.

NRI Hedge Fund manager charged with insider trading

NEW YORK DEC 26: Indian-origin hedge fund portfolio manager Mathew Martoma has been indicted in one of the "most lucrative" insider trading schemes ever involving USD 276 million and will be arraigned in a court here next month. Martoma, 38, was arrested last month at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, on charges of using material, non-public information he received from a doctor on the clinical trial of an Alzheimer's disease drug to make profits and avoid losses for his hedge fund in an amount totaling USD 276 million. He was released on a USD five million bail after he appeared in Manhattan federal court for an initial hearing last month. A federal grand jury indicted Martoma on securities fraud and conspiracy charges last week. He faces a maximum penalty of 45 years in prison and a USD five million fine.

Bahrain to host GCC united military command

MANAMA: Bahrain will host the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) United Military Command to deter threats against the region and further strengthen military ties between the six oilrich states, Bahraini foreign minister said. Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa announced Tuesday that the GCC United Military Command will work as an umbrella that brings together the Gulf nations' joint military force in terms of coordination, planning and command, reported a news agency. The remarks were made during a joint press conference with GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al Zayani after the 33rd GCC Summit held in Bahrain. The GCC United Military Command "is an entity that will bring all efforts together under one umbrella", the foreign minister added.

Israel to build 942 more homes in east Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, DEC 26: Israel has advanced the process of building 942 more settler homes in east Jerusalem under a new fasttrack plan to tighten its grip on the territory, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state. A government planning committee on Monday moved the project to the advanced stage of asking contractors to submit bids to build them, the Interior Ministry said yesterday. Once a bid is awarded, construction can begin on the project in the Gilo area, though it can take months, if not longer, to reach that point. "With God's help, we will continue to live and build in Jerusalem, which will remain united under Israeli sovereignty," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamain Netanyahu said at the campaign launch event of his Likud Party. "We will continue to strengthen the settlements." Israeli elections are set for Jan. 22.

Deadly attack at US base in Khost, eastern Afghanistan

KABUL: A suicide car bomber has killed at least three Afghan civilians near a US military base in the south-eastern Afghan city of Khost, police say. They say the attacker drove a minibus packed with explosives towards Camp Chapman, but the vehicle exploded near the entrance as guards opened fire. There were no coalition casualties, but six Afghans including three guards and three passers-by were injured. In a statement, the Taliban said they carried out the attack. Khost, which borders the volatile Pakistani region of Waziristan, has recently seen a dramatic rise in violence. The Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network regularly mounts largescale attacks and suicide bombings in the area.

Thousands flee as Malaysia faces flood situation

KUALA LUMPUR: Almost 14,000 people were forced to flee their homes and seek shelter at relief centres due to floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains in Malaysia. Rain showers which coincided with high tide, flooded hundreds of homes in three northeastern states - Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan - with some 13,746 people being housed at evacuation centres, the official Bernama news agency said. It said the flood situation was deteriorating as the number of evacuees continued to rise and some major roads in Pahang were closed as rivers burst their banks.

A Stanford University graduate, Martoma is the son of Indian immigrants and was born Ajai Mathew Mariamdani Thomas. He later changed his name in 2003. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed a civil insider trading case against him on similar charges. Martoma's lawyer Charles Stillman said in a statement that the indictment is "disappointing" but was expected. "The simple fact is that

Mathew Martoma did not trade on inside information, is innocent of all these charges, and we look forward to his ultimate vindication." He had worked with CR Intrinsic Investors, an affiliate of SAC Capital Advisors. SAC is owned by hedge fund titan Steven Cohen, who is among one of the world's richest men. Martoma is the fifth person associated with SAC, which is considered one of the most influential hedge funds, to be charged with insider trading.

Nigeria church attacked on Christmas eve, 6 dead

ABUJA: In the latest militant attack in Nigeria, gunmen targeted a church in a village in Yobe state, killing at least six on Christmas morning, officials said Wednesday. The attack took place in a village named Peri in Potiskum, Yobe's capital. Though, no group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack, Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the killing, given the history of church attacks in Nigeria. More than 770 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks so far this year, according to an Associated Press count, making 2012 the worst year of violence attributed to the group. Boko Haram is a radical Islamic sect in Nigeria which is said to have links with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Somalia's al-Shabab.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to make formal entry into Pakistan politics

ISLAMABAD, DEC 26: Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will make his formal entry into the hurly burly of Pakistani politics at an event to be held tomorrow to mark the fifth death anniversary of his mother Benazir Bhutto. "Bilawal will make his entry into active politics during the meeting to be held at Garhi Khuda Bux (in Sindh) and take over the PPP's campaign for next year's general election," said a confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari. Both 24-year-old Bilawal and his father will make who did not want to be named. There has been speculation that Zardari might also announce the date for the next general election at tomorrow's event but the confidant said no final decision had been made in this regard. "The President is keeping things close to his chest and he is the person who will make the decision about announcing the date for the polls," the confidant told. The current National Assembly or lower house of parliament will complete its five-year term in March and PPP leaders have indicated that the next general election is likely to be held in April or May. Polls will simultaneously be held to the four provincial assemblies. During his speech at the event in Garhi Khuda Bux tomorrow, Bilawal is expected to make public a report on the investigation into Benazir Bhutto's assassination by a suicide bomber after an election rally in Rawalpindi in 2007. Bilawal himself cannot contest polls till he turns 25 in September next year.

Taliban suicide car bomb kills three Afghan security guards

AFGHANISTAN: A Taliban suicide car bomb killed three Afghan security guards and wounded seven more people when it detonated at the gate of an American base in eastern Afghanistan. The car exploded as the driver was being questioned at the eastern entrance to Forward Operating Base Chapman, an American military base in Khost province. The blast failed to breach the perimeter wall and there were no Nato casualties, a spokesman for the coalition said. An email from a Taliban spokesman said the movement had carried out the attack and claimed heavy casualties had been inflicted. Khost, which borders Pakistan, has been a stronghold of the Haqqani faction of the Taliban and American bases in the province have come under repeated suicide car bomb attacks. Forward Operating Base Salerno was hit by a huge lorry bomb in June, causing significant damage, before fighters on foot tried to storm the base.

Even Osama had to pay R 50,000 bribe in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, DEC 26: Even the world's most wanted terrorist could not escape the bribery dragnet. Osama bin Laden's safe-house in Pakistan's garrison city Abbottabad was built after paying a bribe of R 50,000 to a revenue official, a media report said on Wednesday. The bribe was paid to the 'patwari' so that bin Laden could construct the compound with a three-storey building, a 14foot boundary wall and an iron fence, the Urdu daily Jang said in a report. Details of the bribe emerged after Pakistani officials translated a diary that was purportedly kept by bin Laden.

speeches at the event to be held outside the Bhutto family's mausoleum near the PPP's stronghold of Naudero, said the confidant

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Prasanna Jayawardene (24) edged a short ball to third slip off Johnson and Dhammika Prasad was beaten for pace next ball and caught behind for a duck as Johnson found himself on a hattrick. Johnson's 200th wicket came when wicketkeeper Matthew Wade ran towards fine leg and held a superb diving catch after Sangakkara top-edged a pull shot 13 runs later with the total on 8-147. The paceman became the 14th Australian bowler to reach the 200 mark. Spinner Nathan Lyon (2-23) removed tailenders Rangana Herath (14) and Chanaka Welegedara (0) cheaply. Australia named skipper Michael Clarke to play despite suffering a hamstring injury in last week's first Test in Hobart.

Australia dismiss Sri Lanka for 156 in 2nd Test

MELBOURNE: Mitchell Johnson has capped his recall to the Test side with a four-wicket haul including his 200th victim as Australia skittled Sri Lanka for 156 before tea on day one of the second Test. Left-armer Johnson, who claimed six wickets in his comeback Test against South Africa in Perth last month then was overlooked for last week's first Test in Hobart, claimed 463 from 14 overs and bowled with tremendous pace up around the 145km/h mark on Wednesday. Kumar Sangakkara top-scored with 58 and, in doing so, became the 11th player in Test history to reach the milestone of 10,000 runs. Sri Lanka won the toss and Aussie debutant Jackson Bird (2-32) struck in his second over when Dimuth Karunaratne was caught behind for five. Johnson removed the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan for 11 after pushing an inswinger through bat and pad as the Sri Lankan aimed an ambitious slog over mid-on. Peter Siddle (2-30) achieved a massive breakthrough as skipper Mahela Jayawardene was caught behind for three at 3-37. Bird's alarming bounce caught Thilan Samaraweera (10) by surprise in the first over after lunch as the righthander top-edged a pullshot to mid-wicket at 4-79. The loose strokeplay of Jackson Bird picked up two wickets on his first day Dilshan and Samaraweera of Test cricket was repeated by vice-captain Angelo in the hands of Mike Hussey at second Mathews (15) whose off-drive landed slip off the bowling of Siddle at 5-99.

Rathore clinches gold in National Shooting Championship

NEW DELHI: Athens Olympics silvermedallistRajyavardhan Singh Rathore clinched the double trap gold medal ahead of former world number one RonjanSodhi and Mohammad Asab at the 56th Shooting National Championship. In the men's double trap event, Army's Rathore shot 0144+46 to bag the yellow metal. The silver was won by Mohammad Asab from UP after he totalled 141+46 while Sodhi won the bronze with a score of 138 + 48. In the double trap junior men's event, ShayanMasood of Delhi, who finished fourth in the senior section, won the gold with the score of 136. The silver medal was won by Ankur Mittal of Haryana for scoring 134 while Asher Noria of Andhra won the bronze with a score of 131. In the centre fire pistol men's event, Omkar Singh of Army was leading on the first day of this event along with Amit Kumar Pilaniya of BSF who scored 289 followed by Samaresh Jung (288). In the junior category, Akshay Jain of Punjab was leading with a score of 287 followed by AjiteshKaushal (283) of ONGC and Samarjit Singh (281) of Uttrakhand. In the rifle prone women's event, DeepaliDeshpande of Maharashtra was leading with a score of 590 followed by RajkumariRathore of MP who shot 589 and LajjaGauswami (588)of Gujarat. In the junior category, KarunaSagar of UP along with Jayashree Das of West Bengal were leading with score of 582 and TejaswiniMuley (589) of Maharashtra followed them.

AI beat IOC to claim Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup

BHOPAL: Last year`s runners-up Air India (AI) lifted the International Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup hockey tournament title by defeating holders Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) 4-3 in the final. For Air India, Shivendra Singh and captain ArjunHalappa scored two goals each last night. AI played an attacking game from the start, and led 2-1 at the half time. Olympian Shivendra scored his first goal in the seventh minute before Halappa doubled the lead for AI in the 24th minute. Four minutes later, Gurjinder Singh reduced the margiun for IOC, scoring from a penalty corner. But after the breather Shivendra scored from a penalty corner before Gurjinder converted another set piece for IOC to make the scoreline 2-3. In the 59th minute, Halappa scored his second to make the scoreline 4-2 in favour of AI. Even though Gurjinder completed his hat-trick in the 64th minute, it was not enough for IOC to defend the title. In the third-fourth place play-off match, Punjab and Sindh Bank beat ONGC 3-2. Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram NareshYadav and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan gave away the awards. Winner AI returned home with a cash prize of Rs 21 lakh and a trophy while runners-up IOC received a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. AI`s Shivendra was adjudged man-of-the-match, while Gurjinder was declared man-of-the-tournament. Abdul Samad of Bhopal Red was adjudged best goalkeeper, his teammate AffanYuosuf as best forward, Diwakar Ram of ONGC as best defender and VikramPillai of AI as best mid-fielder.

Pakistan begin their India tour with a win

NEW DELHI: Skipper Mohammad Hafeez (61) and Shoaib Malik (57 not out) put on a brilliant 106-run stand to help Pakistan beat India by 5 wickets in the first T20 International at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday. Malik hit a six off the fourth ball of the final over to win the low-scoring thriller for the visitors with two balls to spare. Malik played a mature innings off 50 balls which included three maximums and three boundaries. Chasing a modest 134-run target, Pakistan started their innings on the wrong foot as they lost three top-order batsmen inside three overs for just 12 runs. After losing three wickets early in their chase, Hafeez and Malik rescued Pakistan with an impressive century partnership for the fourth wicket before pacer Ishant Sharma got better of Pakistan skipper in the eighteenth over. Debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar ripped apart Pakistan's top order with his triple strike to give India a perfect start. Kumar bowled out Nasir Jamshed, got Ahmed Shehzad caught behind and then sent back Umar Akmal to reduce Pakistan to 12/3 in three overs in their chase of 134. Earlier, Indian batting suffered a sensational collapse as they were restricted for a paltry total of 133/9 despite a terrific start. Put into bat, Indian openers Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir made a solid start putting on 77 for the first wicket but everything went haywire from then on as they lost nine wickets for an addition of 47 runs. Such was the plight of Indian batting that save Gambhir who scored 43 and Rahane who smashed 42 off 31 balls, all the other frontline batsmen failed miserably. Only Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina managed double-figure scores with contributions of 10 runs each. While Pakistan bowlers led by off-spinner Saeed then failed to make it for a second run after he had run the first one slowly. Yuvraj Singh started with a big heave over deep midwicket that went for a six while Kohli also helped himself to a boundary off Hafeez's bowling. Irfan came back for his final over and Kohli found the awkward bounce generated by Irfan difficult to handle and was caught behind to a rising delivery. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was fooled an Ajmal delivery that turned a shade to kiss the side of the off-stump. From 77/0, India were 108 for four and soon it became 115 for five with Yuvraj being caught in the deep. Raina became Ajmal's second victim as his leg-stump was uprooted. Rohit Sharma was out by a brilliant direct throw from Shoaib Malik while Ravindra Jadeja was beaten for pace and bounce by Umar Gul as he was caught behind. Ishant Sharma was yorked and suddenly India were 124 for nine.

Pakistan's captain Mohd Hafeez takes the stump as Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi celebrates the win against India in the first T20 match in Bengaluru Ajmal did a splendid job in the back 10, the Indian batsmen showed lack of application and their running between the wickets was also pretty poor. Umar Gul was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers grabbing three for 21 after conceding 13 in his first over while Ajmal chipped in with two for 25 keeping things under check during middle overs. However, India had started on a positive note with Rahane taking on tallest international cricketer Mohammed Irfan (7 feet 1 inch) and Sohail Tanveer with consumate ease. Gambhir was a bit scratchy at the other end as he found it difficult to get going. The shot of the Indian innings was Rahane's six over extra cover off Ajmal's delivery. After settling down, Gambhir also hit Gul for a six over mid-wicket. It was Shahid Afridi who gave Pakistan the first breakthrough when Rahane tried to repeat the lofted shot over extra cover only to be holed out by Umar Akmal at longon. India's slide started after this first wicket. Gambhir who was just looking good for a big score

Pakistan, India set to IPL auction in 2014 likely Thirty-three new spider species discovered resume bilateral hockey ties to be held in rupees
ISLAMABAD: After cricket, India and Pakistan are now all set to resume bilateral hockey ties as well. A Hockey India (HI) delegation will visit Pakistan next month to start negotiations for resuming the hockey ties that were snapped following the 2008 Mumbai attack by Pakistani terrorists. But things have started to improve with the Hockey India League (HIL), where nine Pakistani players were bought by the five franchises in the players' auction. A top source in Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said that negotiations are on for a series on home and away basis every year. "Both sides (Pakistan and India) are on board and having negotiations to restart bilateral hockey series on home and away basis once a year. Now, we have reached a point where everything is looking positive," a Pakistan Hockey Federation official was quoted as saying. The last hockey series was held in 2006 when both teams played three matches each in both India and Pakistan. Pakistan won four and India one match while one was draw. Since 2006, no bilateral hockey tour was arranged due to the tense political relations between the two arch-rivals. Hockey India secretary general NarinderBatra said is everything goes well Pakistan will tour India in March for a five-match Test series. "If everything goes as per plan Pakistan will tour India at the end of March next year for five Test matches. Then India will visit Pakistan in May for another five Tests," Batra said. NEW DELHI: Come 2014, the IPL auction could be conducted in Indian rupees due to fluctuating exchange rates. According to sources in the Indian cricket board (BCCI), the IPL governing council is mulling the move to help the franchises get a clear idea of what a player's actual salary will be. "The auction is likely to be held in rupees rather than dollars. The IPL think tank wants to bring in this change," a top BCCI official said. In its inaugural auction in 2008, IPL had a standard rate of Rs 40 per dollar irrespective of the market value of the currencies. To this day, Indian cricketers are paid at the same rate. But as the rupee's value fell drastically, team owners had to shell out more for foreign cricketers. Sources said some team owners had discussed this issue with the IPL bosses back then but nothing happened. Sources said next year's auction would be held in dollars. From the following year, when the contracts of all cricketers come to an end, players will be paid in Indian rupees. It is also learned that most IPL teams want all the players in the auction pool at the 2014 auction and the BCCI is mulling over this issue. Another demand from the teams is that the Indian domestic cricketers should be put in the auction like foreign domestic players who land up making more money. "This is an Indian league and our domestic cricketers should be treated at par with the domestic cricketers from foreign countries," said an official. It was learnt that one team wants the IPL's governing council to consider minimum sponsorship rates for every team. The reason given is that some of the weaker teams at times struggle to get the right price and if there is a minimum rate, it will help those teams maintain sound financial health.

New social network seeks to reduce pollution in Beijing

BEIJING: Three young Americans have launched in China's capital a "green" initiative to combat pollution and excessive traffic with an online and iPhone service whereby people can share their vehicles at no cost with others. The service, called " wodache" ("I take a car" in Mandarin), offers a technological platform connecting drivers with potential passengers, with the former posting the route they intend to follow and the latter indicating whether or not they want to ride along, thus reducing traffic in the capital, South China. The service only provides the information, and it's up to users to select which vehicle they want to ride in or whether they are willing to transport more passengers, and the driver retains the right to choose whether to accept a certain passenger or not. The platform also offers the possibility to rate the "quality" of drivers and passengers and to downgrade those who are late. The trio behind the initiative consists of three young Americans of Chinese ancestry - Eric Wang, James Hu and Jeff Hsu - and they said that their main aim is to help reduce traffic problems and pollution, although they hope that over time, as the service gains users, they will be able to glean a profit from it. "Wodache" will also offer long-distance services, for instance around the Chinese New Year when many people return to their homes in other provinces.

WASHINGTON: Scientists have discovered 33 new trapdoor spider species in Southwest America belonging to the genus that includes a notable species named after US President Barack Obama. These newly described species belong to the genus Aptostichus that now contains 40 famous species including Aptostichusbarackobamai, named after Obama. Jason Bond, who is a trapdoor spider expert and director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History was excited at the prospect of such a remarkable and large find of new species in the US. "California is known as what is characterised as a biodiversity hotspot. Although this designation is primarily based on plant diversity, the region is clearly very rich in its animal diversity as well. "While it is absolutely

remarkable that a large number of species from such a heavily populated area have gone unnoticed, it clearly speaks volumes to how little we know of the biodiversity around us and that many more species on the planet await discovery " Bond said in a statement. Like other trapdoor spider species, individuals are rarely seen because they live their lives in below-ground bur-

rows that are covered by trapdoors, made by the spider using mixtures of soil, sand, or plant material, and silk. The trapdoor serves to hide the spider when it forages for meals at the burrow entrance, usually at night. Aptostichus species are found in an amazing number of Californian habitats to include coastal sand dunes, chaparral, desert, oak woodland forests, and at high altitudes in the alpine habitats of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Bond said, "this particular group of trapdoor spiders are among some of the most beautiful with which I have worked, species often have gorgeous tiger-striping on their abdomens". He noted that while a number of the species have rather fanciful names, his favourite is the one named for his daughter Elisabeth.

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