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8 Pages Rs: 1.00 Jammu Edition www.thestudentage.com

STUdenT aGe

JKENG/2012/41612 Vol. 2 No: 50

'Measures taken to tackle rising cases of diabetes in country': Azad

Terror menace needs strong response

Obama to meet Japan PM to talk economy, security issue


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Left demands sacking of West Bengal minister


KOLKATA: The Left Front Friday demanded the sacking of a West Bengal minister, accusing him of being involved in the Garden Reach incident in which a policeman was shot dead during a clash between student groups. "There is enough evidence, including video footage, to suggest that the minister was involved. His involvement must be probed and he must be immediately sacked," Left Front contd on page 2

Governor administers Oath to Khoda and Jerath as Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner
SRINAGAR, FEB 22: N. N. Vohra, Governor Jammu and Kashmir, administered the oath of office to Mr. Kuldeep Khoda as Chief Vigilance Commissioner and R. K. Jerath as Vigilance Commissioner in the State Vigilance Commission at a function held at Raj Bhavan, here this evening. The Governor congratulated Mr. Khoda and Mr. Jerath and wished them successful tenures ahead. Mrs. Usha Vohra, First

Don't mix cricket and politics in Kashmir, says Omar

SRINAGAR, FEB 22: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today sharply criticised reports that promising allrounder Parveez Rasool should be fast-tracked into the national cricket team with an eye on defusing the tense political situation in the state following the execution of Afzal Guru. Abdullah said that Rasool, the 24-year-old Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder who has performed consistently this season, should play for India when he merits a place. "Parvez Rasool should play for Team India when the

CM meets Home Minister

NEW DELHI, FEB 22: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday had a meeting with Union Minister for Home Affairs, Sushil kumar Shinde here and discussed matters relating to the recent developments in the State. selectors think he deserves to be there. Don't destroy everything he's worked this way," Abdullah wrote on microblogging contd on page 2

N. N. Vohra, Governor administering the oath of office to Mr. Kuldeep Khoda as Chief Vigilance Commissioner and R. K. Jerath as Vigilance Commissioner in the State Vigilance Commission at Raj Bhavan. Lady; Mr. Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister; Mr. Tara Chand, Deputy Chief Minister; Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Chief Secretary; Mr. Ashok Prasad, Director General of Police; Mr. G. R. Sufi, State Chief Information Commissioner; Mr. B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development; Mr. K. B. Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Higher Education; Mr. B. B. Vyas, Principal contd on page 2

National Cyber Security policy draft prepared: Milind Deora

NEW DELHI: The government has prepared a draft National Cyber Security Policy. It will help in creating Eco System to comprehensively address issues related to the cyber security in the country. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Friday, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Milind Deora said that the govt contd on page 2

Vacation of POK from Pakistani control central Discusses plight of displaced people to India's strategic interests: Prof Warikoo of Bhilaspur power project
JKCSS organises one day seminar on the strategic importance of Pak occupied J&K
JAMMU: A one day seminar was organized in Jammu on Friday on the strategic importance of Pak occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The seminar was organized by Jammu and Kashmir Centre for Security and Studies (JKCSS).Noted diplomat and former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parsasarthy and former DGP of Punjab were the guests of honour in the seminar. Speaking on the occasion Prof. Warikoo of Jawahar Lal Nehru University elaborated on the importance of POK and said if the area is allowed to remain under the

Anurag meets Scindia

If the area is allowed to remain under the illegal occupation of Pakistan it will have a highly adverse effect on the geo-political interests of the country.
illegal occupation of Pakistan it will have a highly adverse effect on the geo-political interests of the country. He further said that POK is the natural frontier of the country and if it is allowed to slip from the influence of India it will have grave risks for the country. While mentioning the imminent withdrawal of American forces from Afganistan Prof. Warikoo warned the security experts of the country that the American withdrawal will bring the huge terror machine of Pakistani- Taliban combine on the borders of India which will have unforeseen results for the country. Further mentioning the desperation of the people of POK and especially Northern Areas he added that it is high time for the country to take up the plight of the people of these areas and expose Pakistan for its excesses heaped on these people by the security establishment of Pakistan. Alok Bansal, a noted security expert while speaking in the seminar said that the Northern Areas under the Pakistani occupation have never been the part of Pakistan and historically was the part of Jammu and Kashmir. He traced the long and glorious cultural links of these areas with Jammu and Kashmir and rest of Indian. The president of JKCSS Jawahar kaul highlighted the grave abuse of human rights by contd on page 2

8th class examinations postponed

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22: According to the Director School Education, Jammu, all the remaining papers of 8th Class external examinations scheduled to be held from February 23 to March 3, 2013 in summer and winter zones of Jammu division have been postponed. The next dates (revised date sheet) shall be notified separately.

BILASPUR,FEB 22: In order to represent the plight of the people affected by the construction of 800 MW Kol dam in Himachal Pradesh, Anurag Singh Thakur, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) met Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Power in New Delhi being executed by the National Thermal Power Corporation in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. Anurag Thakur,he young face of the BJP is well known for the enthusiasm and his commitment to address the grievances of people suffering from wrong policies. He strongly the urged the Minister to consider the demands of the people displaced on account of dam construction and take necessary action to provide immediate relief. He also stressed on the need for establishing a Hydro Engineering College in Bilaspur, which had been consented to by the previous Power

Minister and was to be funded by the NTPC & NHPC. This delay has deprived bright young Himachalis of educational opportunities and forced them to look elsewhere to meet their career aspirations. contd on page 2

Traffic to move from Jammu to Kashmir on Feb 23

SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 22: According to Superintendent of Police, Traffic Rural, Kashmir, one way traffic on National Highway-IA shall ply from Jammu to Kashmir on February 23, 2013.

RBI releases norms for No increase in HIV/AIDS new banks, NBFCs allowed cases in India: Azad
MUMBAI, 22 FEB: The Reserve Bank today released the final guidelines for issuing of new banking licences, allowing entities in the private and the public sector as well as nonbanking financial companies to enter the fray. "Entities/groups in the private sector, entities in the public sector and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) shall be eligible to set up a bank through a wholly-owned non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC)," RBI said in a notification. The document, however, does not mention how many licences will be issued. 1 July is the last date for making the applications. New banks will have to set up 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural areas. The final guidelines sets 49 per cent cap on foreign holding in new banks and minimum paid-up equity capital is Rs 500 crore. Existing NBFCs, contd on page 2 NEW DELHI: There has been no increase in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in India, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Friday. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Azad said under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres have been established in medical colleges, district hospitals and other local hospitals in the government sector to provide treatment to people with HIV/AIDS. The minister said there are 380 ART centres functional in the country and 604,987 patients were obtaining free drugs from these centres. The minister said the government proposed to make 600 ART centres functional in the country by the end of 2016-17 to treat to an estimated 850,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. Azad said the performance of NACP contd on page 2

Deputy CM orders probe into paper leakage incident, Two placed under suspension
JAMMU, FEB 22: Responding to a specific complaint of paper leakage in Poonch, the Deputy Chief Minister Mr Tara Chand has ordered a probe into the incident. On his directions two persons found involved in the leakage of question paper of 8th Standard have been immediately placed under suspension. Mr Tara Chand has directed Deputy Commissioner Poonch to hold a probe into the leakage of question paper. An FIR has already been lodged in the case. The examination, meanwhile has been postponed.

Delhi gang-rape BJP for raising Article-370 & J&K panel submits report Govts' failure to conduct 3 tier 22: The elections in Parliament : Kirti Azad NEW DELHI, FEBcommisJustice Usha Mehra
JAMMU,FEB 22: BJP plans to take up the issue of Article-370 and failure of the J&K government to conduct three tire elections to local civic bodies as well as the issue of implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendments of Indian Constitution in the current session of Parliament, which began yesterday. This was disclosed by BJP MP Lok Sabha & former Cricketer Kirti Azad, who is also MP Prabhari (Incharge) J&K for issues to be raised in the Lok Sabha relating to Jammu & Kashmir. While addressing a press conference at party hqrs. today flanked by State Chief Spokesperson & National Executive Member Dr. Jitendra Singh and State General Secretaries Kavinder Gupta and Bali Bhagat. Kirti Azad said that he will take up the issue of the Article-370 under Rule 193 of Parliament Business Rules to enable a wider discussion on the subject. He said that Article-370 which was meant to be temporary has done more harm than good to the state. Referring contd on page 2 sion set up to enquire into the various aspects of the Dec 16 gang-rape here submitted its report to Law Minister Ashwini Kumar Friday. "Government will give serious consideration to the report," Ashwini Kumar said, while accepting the report. The commission, headed by the former Delhi High Court judge, was set up Dec 26 to enquire into various aspects of the shocking incident of the rape, identify the lapses, if any, on the part of the police or any other authority. It was contd on page 2

Winter vacation extended up to 3rd March

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22: As per Order issued by the Government all Government/ Private recognized Institutions of Kashmir Division including Winter Zones of Jammu Division scheduled to be re-open on 1st March, 2013 shall now remain closed up to 3rd March, 2013.

Health Department launches Pentavalent Vaccine (LPV)

SRINAGAR, FEB 22: In the interest of patient care at large and infants in particular to prevent childhood diseases, immunization has its own role that has lead the healthy life style from time to time and created healthy societies in order to sustain overall system. As a part of immunization for age group of 0-5, Department of Health Services Kashmir launched Pentavalent Vaccine (LPV) at Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital Srinagar on Thursday contd on page 2

UN chief Ban KiUS condemns moon condemns blasts, offers Hyderabad blasts assistance in probe
WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday strongly condemned the terrorist bombings in Hyderabad that killed a dozen people and offered assistance in investigation if requested by the Indian government. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is scheduled to meet visiting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, in a few hours would also personally convey his condolences on the terrorist attacks in Hyderabad, his spokesperson told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters contd on page 2

Indian Mujahideen appearing main masterminds

Hyderabad blasts toll climbs to sixteen

the Delhi Police from a place in Hyderabad last October. Maqbool, who is currently in Tihar jail, had said the outfit was planning terror strikes in some places in Hyderabad for which recce had been carried out. The death toll in the twin blasts, meanwhile, mounted to 16 with two more persons succumbing to injuries. "Till now, out of 14 bodies, 12 have been handed over to their kin. Two more bodies are in the mortuary. One has to be identified. 14 bodies have directly been sent to Osmania Hospital. Two more are awaited from private contd on page 2

PDP condemns Hyderabad blasts

SRINAGAR, FEB 22: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has strongly condemned the twin blasts in Hyderabad that claimed many lives and caused destruction on Thursday. In a statement the party president Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock at the bomb attacks and loss of life and property caused by them. She conveyed her condolences to the families of the dead and prayed for speedy recovery of the large number of injured. Mehbooba said while everybody look forward to the results of the investigation and severe punishment

WASHINGTON: UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon has joined the international community in condemning the terrorist attack in Hyderabad that killed more than a dozen people and injuring scores of others. "The Secretary-General strongly condemns the indiscriminate attacks against civilians contd on page 2

HYDERABAD, FEB 22 : Banned militant outfit Indian Mujahideen's name has cropped up in the preliminary investigation into the twin blasts here in which the toll climbed to 16 today. The probe suggested that Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was used to carry out the explosions and the modus operandi was similar to blasts triggered by Indian Mujahideen in the past. Delhi Police, along with Hyderabad Police, is expected to interrogate an alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorist, arrested by Special Cell of

Salman Khurshid seeks support for NCTC

NEW DELHI, FEB 22: Seeking support for the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said all political parties and state governments should come together for a collective response to fight against the challenge of terrorism. "It is not a matter of pushing. It is a matter of concern for all of us including all political parties, state contd on page 2

Hyderabad blasts rock Parliament

NEW DELHI: The twin blasts in Hyderabad rocked both Houses of Parliament Friday with opposition members attacking the government for alleged lapses in matters of internal security. As soon as the Lok Sabha met, Speaker Meira Kumar made an obituary reference to the victims of the blasts in which several persons were killed and a large number injured. "The House unequivocally condemns contd on page 2

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the people of Kashmir who don't need artificially created icons," the chief minister said. "Of all the hair brained stupid ideas to now suggest that Parvez Rasool had to be foisted on the Indian Cricket Team is deeply insulting," he added. and Yes Bank.

Contd. from page 1...

Governor administers Oath....
Secretary to the Chief Minister; Mr. Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad, Secretary, General Administration, and family members of Mr. Khoda and Mr. Jerath were among those present at the Oath Ceremony.

Left demands sacking...

chairman Biman Bose told media here. Though Bose did not name the minister, he referred to state urban development minister Firhad Hakim, who has been widely criticised for his bid to shield a councillor from his Trinamool Congress party. The councillor was earlier also accused of involvement in the Feb 12 incident which left one policeman dead. The councillor, Mohammad Iqbal, was charged with rioting, attempt to murder and certain sections of the Arms Act. He was seen at the site of the incident, threatening a policeman and mobilising his supporters. Leader of opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra had also accused Hakim of being involved in the incident.

the first time to the immunization schedule of Directorate of Health Services in Jammu and Kashmir," he said. Deliberating on the importance of vaccine it was admired that the launching of the vaccine is an achievement that shall prevent and control vaccine preventable diseases. Dr.Saleem-ur-Rehman said that J&K is the third state to launch the said vaccine after Kerala & Tamil Nadu in our country. Expressing heights of pleasure in the interest of immunization programme, DHSK said that the vaccine shall prove beneficial in order to prevent five of the diseases in one prick which shall prove cost effective as well.Dy.Director Health Services (Schemes), Assistant Directors, ,Dr.Saleem Khan, Dy.Medical Superintendent GB Pant Hospital ,Dr.Dolma Assistant Director FW, Specialists ,Medical Officers, Paramedics & other supportive staff were present on the inaugural ceremony of launching the vaccine in the valley for the first time. (CNS)

No increase in ....
has been assessed through periodic joint implementation reviews and mid-term review involving development partners. "All the review missions reported that most of the targets under NACP have been achieved and even surpassed," he said. Azad quoted an independent impact assessment study, funded by the World Bank, to say that the HIV epidemic in India has remained contained and has been declining in the country. Increase in condom use in sex work as a result of targeted interventions accounted for the decline, he said quoting from the study.

Discusses plight ....

The demands of the people affected by the Kol Dam project include a permanent job for a member of each family or a compensation of Rs. 25 lacs, free supply of electricity from the power project, 30 per cent jobs in upcoming hydro-engineering colleges and free treatment at the NTPC dispensary on all working days. The affected residents of Bilaspur have been agitating for the above mentioned demands for over ten days and this has paralysed the project work and is neither in the interest of the agitators, the Government or the nation. Anurag Thakur emphasized upon the necessity and urgency of these demands being met to avoid further inconvenience to the people of his constituency. Similar has been the state of people ousted by the construction of the Bhakra dam on river Satluj and the Pong dam on river Beas. The Bhakra dam was established in the early 1970's and lead to the displacement of thousands of people at the time. Ironically, even after 49 years people who gave their lands for the construction of dam are still running from pillar to post as they have yet to get their dues. The treatment given to over 30,000 families who were displaced due to the construction of Pong Dam on river Beas and continued delays in resettlement is a matter of national shame. "Himachal Pradesh and its people have always put the nation first yet these instances indicate how their sacrifices have repeatedly been ignored by the Congress lead UPA. While dams are of great importance to the agricultural energy and economic wellbeing of this country they cannot be built on the misery of those who have been ousted from their homes and lands in the dubious pretext of 'national interest,' lamented Thakur and rued that while we are discussing land displacement, rehabilitation and resettlement, one also has to take a retrospective look at those cases that have deprived people of their livelihood and fair compensation in the past.

BJP for raising....

to the Parliament's Unanimous Resolution of 1994, which resolved to get back the part of Jammu and Kashmir which was under illegal occupation of Pakistan, Kirti Azad said that today is the historic day because it was on this day i.e. February 22 that this resolution was passed. Unfortunately, the Congress led governments which have been in power for most of the time since then have not taken any concrete steps to ensure implementation of this resolution. Kirti Azad said that inspite of Congress led government at the Centre and the Congress coalition in the state, the Central government and the state governments have failed to extend as many as 133 provisions of Indian Constitution to J&K, thus depriving the people of this state from the benefits available to people in other states. These include reservations for SCs, ST and women, he added. In response to a question, Kirti Azad condemned the serial blasts of Hyderabad and said that the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde should resign owning intelligence and security failure. He asked why POTA which was brought in by the BJP-led NDA government had not been implemented effectively by the UPA-1 and UPA-2. In response to question regarding to state government refusing to allow Praveen Bhai Togadia to come out of Airport on his arrival at Jammu on Thursday, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the BJP believes that the democratic rights of every Indian citizen should be given due respect irrespective of whoever is the person.

UN chief Ban...
which occurred in the Indian city of Hyderabad," said a statement issued by the office of the UN Secretary General on Thursday. "He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of India," the statement said.

National Cyber Security....

has also prepared a framework and roadmap for Public Private Partnership (PPP) on cyber security after consultation with various stakeholders. He informed that there is an Information Technology Act 2000 already in place, which provides adequate legal and regulatory framework to address the issue of cyber security in the country. Mr Deora said that all central and state governments' ministries and departments have been advised to conduct security auditing of their entire information Technology infrastructure including websites.

US condemns....
of the State Department. "We condemn the cowardly attack in Hyderabad, India, in the strongest possible terms, and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected and to the people of India," State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference. "As you know, Secretary Kerry will have a chance to see Indian Foreign Secretary Mathai later this afternoon, and he will convey our sympathies in person and affirm our support for India during this difficult time," she said. "The United States stands with India in combating the scourge of terrorism, and we are also prepared to offer any and all assistance that Indian authorities may need," Nuland said.

Health Department .....

and simultaneously at far flung area of frontier district Kupwara's Kalaroos being an effort to systemize the better infant patient care. The main ceremony was held at JLNM Hospital Srinagar where Director Health Services Kashmir, D r. S a l e e m - u r - R e h m a n , while launching the vaccine told CNS that five vaccines in one dose of immunization shall prove beneficial and easy way of vaccination which of course is step of enhancement of better patient care services. Highlighting the importance of the vaccine he said that the vaccine includes Pertusis, Tetanus, Diptheria, Hepatitis B & Haemophilius Influenza which provides protection to a child from 5 life threatening diseases like Diphtheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Hib. "Hib vaccine can prevent serious diseases caused by Haemophilius Influenzae type b like pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia, epiglottitis, septic arthritis etc. One dose to the infants in shall there by create an opportunity for the infants of 0-5 age group to go long way with one prick. Haemophilius Influenza vaccination was added for

Don't mix cricket...

site Twitter. Rasool, who has been the highest run-getter as well as wicket-taker for his home side in the recently concluded Ranji season, dished out an impressive performance by bagging seven wickets for Board President's XI in a warm-up game against Australia. After his performance against Australia, a newspaper report published on Thursday said that the Indian government is understood to be pushing for Rasool's inclusion in the national side. Such a move, the report claimed, would be exceedingly popular in the Kashmir Valley where cricket has a huge resonance. The report said that the Central government's stock is very low in the state following the execution of Afzal Guru earlier this month for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament. "It's insulting to Parvez and his entire life-long effort and it's insulting to

RBI releases norms...

if considered eligible, may be permitted to promote new banks or convert themselves into banks. Unlike the draft guidelines wherein the RBI had expressed reservations about allowing realty players, brokerages and staterun enterprises into the fray, there is no such explicit mention in the final guidelines. "Entities/groups should have a past record of sound credentials and integrity, be financially sound with a successful track record of 10 years," the final guidelines said. The paid-up equity capital should be Rs 500 crore and they will have to get listed within three years of operations, the guidelines added. The RBI, which allowed private banks in 1993, had issued the last set of licences in 2001 to two entities ~ Kotak Mahindra Bank

Delhi gang-rape...
given three months for submitting its report. It also had a mandate of fixing responsibility for the lapses or negligence on the part of the police or any other authority or person.

Hyderabad blasts....
hospitals," a senior doctor at the state-run Osmania General Hospital said. As many as 119 people sustained injuries in the twin blasts last evening, police said. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who visited the site of the blast and also the injured in hospital, said there was no specific alert about the blasts and only a general alert was issued to the states. Asked about reports that suggested the involvement of terror group Indian

Mujahideen, he said nothing can be said about it at the moment. Terror struck Hyderabad yesterday when two powerful near simultaneous blasts ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area. The blasts triggered by IEDs tied to two bicycles took place at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area located on the H y d e r a b a d - Vi j a y w a d a National Highway. The Saroor Nagar police has registered a case, based on a complaint by an eyewitness Gadagolla Anand, under different sections of IPC and Sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act as well as Sections 16, 17 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. A senior police official said two CCTV cameras were installed on traffic posts at Dilsukhnagar bus stand.However, it was found that one was not functioning. When asked about the possibility of capturing blast images by the camera, he said it may not be possible as they were focused towards the traffic. He, however, said they are in the process of going through the footage. An Inspector General of Police, who was at the scene last night, told PTI, "The crime scene was largely disturbed as large number of people moved freely even before we could totally sanitise the two spots.A lot of evidence virtually got trampled due to movement of VIPs, including the Chief Minister, large number of media personnel and curious onlookers. "But still we could gather some material that could help us in the probe," he said. "It was a high-grade explosion but the quantity of explosive used was low as it was an IED. There was no conclusion yet about the type of explosive used in the blasts. There are still many loose ends in the case which we are trying to tie up.We are examining video footage recorded on closed-circuit cameras, installed at the Dilsukhnagar bus stand junction (Rajiv Chowk) and also at one of the bus shelters in the vicinity," he said. According to forensic experts, there is a resemblance in the nature of injuries sustained by the victims in the twin blasts that rattled Hyderabad now and the 2007 terror blasts. The autopsy showed that the impact of the explosion was felt more in 2007 than it is now though the victims had similar injuries, the experts, involved in both the investigations, said. "There are iron particles found inside the bodies of the victims. We found nuts, bolts, nails, pieces of glass then and also now," the expert told PTI. A senior doctor at the state-run Osmania General Hospital said that the toll has gone upto 16 and the number of injured to about 120. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the Hospital, where the bodies have been kept, with wailing relatives collecting the bodies of their family members. Meanwhile, it has come to light now that Hyderabad city Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma has offered prayers at the Saibaba tem-

ple in Dilshuknagar area minutes before the blast took place.

Salman Khurshid....
governments and all the people involved with governance at the central government level to come together to find collective response to the challenge (of terrorism) that continues to haunt us," he told reporters outside Parliament. The Minister was asked if the government would try to push the case for the proposed apex counter-terror organisation (NCTC) in wake of the blasts in Hyderabad in which 16 people died and 120 have been injured. Opposition-ruled states are opposing the creation of the NCTC saying the proposed body would encroach into their rights. "We should stop scoring points at each other, we should stop looking at narrow political gains. We should look at a larger picture in the national interest," Khurshid said. Asked if the blasts are linked to terror groups in Pakistan, the Minister said, "The probe will bring out the truth. Such things have been seen earlier also and we have taken up the pain and resolve not only with our neighbours but internationally also. "Whatever comes out in the probe, the government will take steps in national interest," he said. Asked whether the blasts were result of 'shrill political discourse' in the country, Khurshid said, "The question is about our whole society and not just political discourse... Look at the tone media is using and political language we have been using". "It is important that all of us calm down. It is important that temperatures are brought down and we have greater objectivity in our political discourse," he said. "I think the real enemy is scoring points again and again. We would not be able to do by criticising each other or fighting against each other," Khurshid said. Congress MP Renuka Chaudhary said, "National safety is not responsibility of one person or one organisation and we need to get our act together, and if it needs NCTC, then so be it." Meanwhile, Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi came to the defence of beleaguered Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, saying there was no specific information on impending terror attacks. "Home Minister has already clarified that ministry does not have specific information on terror attack. But they have given general alert to various states saying there are chances of terror attacks," Chaturvedi told reporters outside Parliament. "There was no information on exact targeted place such as Dilsukhnagar. It is not possible to predict the incident in such a huge country...it is not possible. But taking precaution is necessary," he said. "The political class of the country should not speak in different language on the terror issue. In a democratic society we do have difference of opinions. But on the issue of terrorism, the entire political class of the country must stand together to protect the nation," he said.

act of terrorism," Kumar said. Members stood in silence for a while as a mark of respect to the departed. Moments later the House plunged into chaos as BJP members raised slogans, attacking the government for alleged lapses on matters of internal security. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who rushed to Hyderabad this morning, is expected to make a statement in the Lok Sabha at 2:00 pm. TDP members were seen waving copies of Telugu newspapers carrying reports of the Hyderabad blasts. CPI(M) members were protesting alleged atrocities on its activists during the two-day strike against the government's "anti-labour" policies. DMK members were in the Well waving photographs of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son, who was allegedly shot dead by Sri Lankan forces. As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon. Rajya Sabha too witnessed uproar over the blasts with Opposition members on their feet. As soon as the House met for the day, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned the twin blasts and condemned the dastardly attack in the strongest possible terms. The House then observed silence as a mark of respect to the departed. Ansari said he has received notices from members wanting a discussion on the issue and a time would be fixed for a proper debate. But M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) wanted a discussion on the issue immediately, a demand supported by Opposition benches. SP, BSP, TDP and JU(U) members too demanded an immediate discussion and a statement by the government on the issue. AIADMK members tried to raise the issue of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh said Shinde was in Hyderabad and would make a statement in the House at 1430 hours. This did not pacify the members who continued to persist with their demand. With members unrelenting, Ansari adjourned the House till noon. Similar scenes were witnessed when the Upper House reassembled at noon with BJP members waving newspaper clippings of the blast and members from Tamil Nadu seeking to raise the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. Members from Tamil Nadu also waved photographs of Prabhakaran's son. Asking members not to display photographs and newspaper clippings in the House, the Chairman adjourned the House till 2.30 pm. It was further adjourned till 3.00 pm. Lok Sabha, meanwhile, was adjourned till 3.30 pm.

Mehbooba cautioned. Mehbooba said unfortunately on such tragic occasions Kashmiri youth in different parts of the country also became 'natural suspects'. Those arrested in the Lajpat Nagar blast took more than seventeen years to establish their innocence and in the process a few families were devastated and the implicated young men lost the very meaning of their promising lives. She said even now scores of youth from Kashmir are imprisoned in jails across the country, many of them reportedly in Delhi's Tihar jail alone on charges that remain to be proved. Referring to news reports that many students studying in Uttrakhand had to return home to escape the harassment by extremist elements following Afzal Guru's hanging Mehbooba said some students had even been arrested there earlier. She said such preconceived approach to crimes like the Hyderabad blasts create reasons for alienation among Muslims and reinforce their sense of victimhood apart from the police being unable to nab the real culprits, the government of India and national leadership across parties, Mehbooba said should address this serious issue of biased investigation and ensure a professional probe in all terrorist activities rather than following stereotypes in looking for scapegoats through biased mindsets.

Vacation of POK....
Pakistani authorities in the whole of Pak occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He called upon all the right minded people of the country and the Government to take up these human rights abuses in international platforms including the United Nations so that the real and sinister face of Pakistan is exposed. It is worthwhile to mention that on Feb. 22 the Indian Parliament had unanimously adopted a resolution to free the areas illegally occupied by Pakistan and China. The seminar was attended by eminent intellectuals, security experts and media personalities of the State.


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to the perpetrators of crime it was important not to go witch hunting as had been the case on many such occasions previously. She said the victimization of the members of a community in Makkah Masjid, Ajmir Sharief, Maleygaon and Samjhota Express blasts had resulted in a large number of muslim youth beingframed on charges that proved completely fabricated and false, But only after they had spent years in custody. "Nobody must be harassed for his religious affiliation",

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Div Com Kashmir issues fresh weather advisory

SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 22: According to Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Kashmir Valley is likely to get affected by a fresh western disturbance which is approaching the State upto February 23, 2013, followed by another western disturbance likely to affect the State on February 27 and 28, 2013. In view of this weather is likely to deteriorate, moderate rain and snowfall will occur at wide spread places of Kashmir division especially areas of district Anantnag, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara and Drass Sector and at few places of Ladakh region. People in these areas are advised to avoid movement during snowfall and not to venture into steep avalanche-prone slopes during the said period and frequently remove snow from their roof tops of their houses to avoid any causality due to house collapse and in case of any eventuality shall contact concerned Deputy Commissioners on their Contact Numbers already published.

Parents, civil society to play role in ensuring 100% enrollment in schools: Dy CM

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22 : Stressing on improving enrollment in government schools, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand today said that focused approach has to be followed for ensuring 100 percent enrollment of children in respective institutions. Education department is working on the roadmap to achieve the target of cent percent registration in schools but this ambitious target needs help from all quarters of the society, he added. He appealed to parents and members of civil society to be partners with the department in achieving the objective of spreading education to every nook and corner of the state. "No child should be left behind in the revolution to spread education in the state and teachers have to sensitize parents and involve local panchayat representatives in rural areas for ensuring enrolment of every single child," he added. Tara Chand was addressgirl child belonging to weaker sections of society, quality improvement through training in in-service teachers, resource persons and exposure visits. He directed for designating model schools with all required facilities in each block so that other schools of the area can have role models to follow. "We have to encourage students and parents to get enrolled in the government schools, as our schools have better qualified teachers and required infrastructure vis-vis private academies," he enjoined. Mr. Factoo gave a resume of activities taken up for improving quality standards of education and detail of various projects undertaken in the department to upgrade school infrastructure at all levels. He said special care is being taken to address education needs of all children and due care is being taken to address the requirements of differently abled children in the society.

Deputy Chief Minister Tara addressing a high level meeting to review the progress of education department at Jammu. ing a high level meeting to review the progress of education department. The Deputy Chief Minister said project Talash has already been launched in the state with the aim to bring back to school all those children who had dropped out. He said tehsil and block level database would be compiled to formulate a comprehensive strategy to contain the school drop out rate. Commissioner-Secretary, School Education Mr. F.A. Factoo, State Project Director, RMSA Mr. Hilal A. Parrey, State Project Director SSA Yasha Mudgal, Joint Director, Planning, CEO, Jammu, Executive Engineer, PWD besides zonal level officers and principals attended the meeting. Taking review of financial and physical achievements in the department, Tara Chandcalled upon the concerned authorities to keep their activities at maximum so that the performance of the department could be improved to a larger extent. He stressed on following work calendar for undertaken civil works and meeting highest quality standards. He directed the zonal officers to conduct detailed inspection of schools and report on requirements with respect to Boundary wall, repairs, additional rooms, drinking water facilities and wash rooms for students. "Ambitious projects have been under taken in the education sector to improve infrastructure in schools at all levels through SSA and RMSA and real aim can only be met if required data is made available to ensure proper funding from central government," he added Detailing various steps taken to strengthen the department at all levels, the Deputy Chief Minister said over 4700 posts of teachers under all categories in 526 schools of the state have been created and honorarium of RETs have been enhanced from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000. He said prestigious RMSA project is working with the aim to upgrade schools to the next levels, improve existing infrastructure, special incentives for

Shri Mahavir Vatsalaya Edu-Medical Society organizes free medical camp

JAMMU, FEB 22: A free Medical camp was organized by Shri Mahavir Vatsalaya, Edu-Medical Society Jammu at Shri Mahavir Jain Higher Secondary School. Senior Eye Specialist, Dr. Kunal Jain, Dental Surgeon, Dr. Anju Jain and Lab Technician, Mr. Surinder Verma provided medical advice and conducted tests. About 150 students were examined by the doctors during the camp. The programme was organized under the able guidance of President, Mrs. Sneh Jain, Vice President, Sikandra Jain, general Secretary, Mrs. Usha Jain and Cashier, Swarn Jain.

2-days Orientation Course on Health Education and Nutrition organized

JAMMU, FEB 22: Community Food Nutrition Extension unit Jammu organized two days Orientation course for Anganwari workers of ICDS Jammu in Collaboration with Social Welfare Department and Health Education Bureau Directorate of Health Services Jammu. Programme was inaugurated by Dr. Sham Gopal Gupta DNO. Dr Gupta spoke in length on malnutrition. Others who spoke on the occasion were Narinder Kour CDPO ICDS Jammu and Jagdish Parshad Demonstration Officer, CFNEU, Jammu. Guest lecture were also delivered during the course by Dr. Sham Gopal Gupta DNO, Dr. R. P. Gupta and Dr Ujala Gupta I/C IDD cell and Pankaj Gupta Calligrapher Health Education Bureau Directorate of Health Services spoke on the Dental care and personal Hygiene. Low cost nutritious recipes were demonstrated during the period. Group discussion and evaluation was carried. Vote of thanks was presented by Zohra Supervisor ICDS Jammu.

Employment fair concludes at Gulabgarh Padder

PADDAR, FEB 22:The three days Employment Fair organized by District Employment and Counselling Centre Kishtwar at Gulabgarh Padder Kishtwar concluded today. The fair was first of its kind in the area and a large number of educated unemployed youth participated inspite of the inclement weather. Various departments installed their stalls and made the general public aware about the selfemployment schemes. On spot registrations were done by the District Employment and Counselling Centre Kishtwar and the educated unemployed youth were apprised about JKSES and SKEWPY. Stall set up by the Department of Animal Husbandry was selected as the best stall of the fair, it displayed the first calf born by the Artificial

Horti deptt conducts trg prog under ATMA

SAMBA, FEB 22: One day Training Programme was organized by department of Horticulture under the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in the office complex of Horticulture Development Officer Purmandal at Kartholi on 20th of February. More than 30 orchardists including Sarpanches / panches of the block participated in the Training Programme. Horticulture Development Officer Sandeep Sharma briefed the participants about various schemes of the Department. Speaking at the occasion D.P. Abrol District Level Subject Matter Specialist highlighted the importance of the Training Programme and also educated the orchardists regarding the common pests/diseases which damage the fruit crops and their control measures were also discussed in detail during the Training Programme. Chief Horticulture Officer Samba K.R. Sharma also interacted with the participants and stressed upon them to avail maximum benefits from the schemes for upliftment of their socio economic status. He also requested the panchayat members to motivate the farmers to adopt Horticulture as means of subsistence in view of the changing agro climatic scenario. The Panchayat member assured their cooperation to the department with full zeal and dedication for improving the economic conditions of farming community. Fruit plants were also distributed among the farmers who participated in the Training Programme by the Chief Horticulture Officer Samba.

Lok Adalat cum awareness camp held

UDHAMPUR, FEB 22:A Lok Adalat cum awareness camp was held today at Court Complex under the chairmanship of Sub Judge, Ramnagar, Ms. Sandeep Kour who is also the chairman of Tehsil Legal Services Committee Ramnagar. In the Lok Adalat six cases of civil and criminal nature were settled on spot. Speaking on the occasion Sub Judge called for mediation and conciliation for settling the disputes and also called upon the people to take recourse to Lok Adalats. Ms Kour made the participants aware about the various Acts and schemes launched by the government for the welfare of public and urged the people to avail benefits of these scheme. Lok Adalat witnessed a good response from litigants, who came forward to settle their long-pending disputes, escaping the cumbersome cost of litigation and technical procedures. Bar President, Advocate Mohan Lal Gupta, Secy. Sudesh Gupta & Bar members, local Panches and Sarpanchs attended the camp.

three days Employment Fair organized by District Employment and Counselling Centre Kishtwar at Padder. Insemination technique in the Padder area. The department also distributed feed to the dairy farmers. Stall of Department of Agriculture & DIC, Kishtwar shared 2nd position whereas stall of the Sericulture development department and Department of Social Welfare shared 3rd position in the fair. District Employment and Counselling Centre Kishtwar is soon going to organize another Employment Fair at Chhatroo Kishtwar.

World Sisterhood Day Paddar Panchayat represencelebrated, Taj highlights tatives allege Irregularity in role of Scouts movement revenue department
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22: Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Mr. Taj Mohi ud Din has highlighted the role of scouts movement in shaping the younger generation to face challenges of life. Addressing a function to mark the World Sisterhood Day, also celebrated as thinkers' day, the Minister said the movement has played pioneering role in inculcating values of discipline, patriotism and nationalism among students in general and scouts and girl guides in particular. Reminding students of his school day association with the scout movement, Mr. Taj asked them to join the scouts movement and be a part of it to shine the innate capabilities of a person. He said the strict regime of the movement breeds in self confidence and discipline among students from a young age. Earlier, in his address, President, J&K Chapter of Bharat Scouts & Guides and former Minister, Mr. R. S. Chib, gave an overview of the activities of the organization. PADDAR, FEB 22: The Panchayat representatives of Paddar led by Amar Singh, Sarpanch Panchayat Halqa Gulabgarh today held a press conference at Jammu in connection with the unbridled irregularity in revenue department. Addressing the media persons, Amar Singh said that revenue department is not discharging its responsibilities honestly as a result of which the farmers are worse affected. He alleged that the girdwari supposed to be held twice a year is being carried out callously, at times after 3-4 years. With patwaris charging unabatedly people for naqals issued by them, the locals suffer a lot due to this nuisance, he said adding that an appropriate action need to be taken against them. Rattan Lal,a panchayat representative urged the government to engage panchayatwise patwaris so that the irregularity in the department may be bridled. Among others who were present include Amar Singh,Rattan Lal,Rakesh Kumar,Ranvir Singh and others.

Awareness camps organized under ICDS

BILLAWAR, FEB 22: To generate awareness about the Integrated Child Development Scheme, camps were organized at Dharamkote, Gurah and Tilla (Dewal) areas of Billawar by the office of CDPO. SDM Billawar, Dr Vikas Gupta, CDPO Sudhir Bali, BDO Billawar, besides Sarpanch/Panch were special guests and resource persons. Speakers generated awareness among the women folk and children of the specified area and stressed on the importance of nutrition and health care. A skit on saving the girl child was presented by Anganwadi workers which received great applause from the audience. Stress was also laid upon creating a congenial atmosphere for upbringing of children and creating social awareness to do away with discrimination against girl child . CDPO Sudhir Bali informred the participants regarding various schemes implemented by the department for the welfare of women and children. ACDPO, Billawar Ms Neelam Bala all the supervisors, Anganwadi Workers and helper actitively participated in the programme.

Meet set targets in full: Gurezi to officers

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22: Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Mr. Nazir Ahmad Gurezi today called for launching awareness programmes in rural and hilly areas to educate farmers about the latest techniques in sheep and cattle rearing to make it a profitable activity. The Minister was chairing a meeting convened to review the overall functioning of the District Sheep Husbandry Offices of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi districts, besides the physical and financial achievements registered under State and District plans, Centrally Sponsored Schemes and other activities of the department. The Minister emphasized upon the officers to work with utmost zeal and dedication for development of sheep husbandry sector to uplift the socio-economic condition of the communities associated with the profession of livestock rearing. He asked the Director Sheep Husbandry Jammu to gear up their field functionaries and achieve set targets under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY), Assistance to States for Control of Animal Diseases (ASCAD), Establishment and Strengthening of Veterinary Hospitals and Dispensaries (ESVHD), Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) and various State Sector and District Sector Schemes in full in a time bound manner. Earlier, activities and achievements of the department were highlighted through power point presentation. It was apprised that five District Sheep Husbandry Offices of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi recorded a production of 71.39 lakh kgs of mutton and 11.44 lakh kgs of wool production by the end of January 2013. It was also informed that 24.72 lakh Doses were administered to sheep and goats against worms and 14.13 lakh against skin infestation. It was also made out that 3.14 lakh sheep were treated for different ailments and 69100 Castrations were done.

Hajj House office shall be open on Sunday Feb 24

SRINAGAR, FEB 22: According to Executive Officer, J&K State Hajj Committee, Srinagar, the office of the State Hajj Committee shall remain open on Sunday, February 24, 2013 for the convenience of intending Hajj pilgrims desirous to deposit their Hajj applications. The office shall be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mir for improving working of KVKs to achieve desired results

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22: Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir today said that there was dire need to improve the working of Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the State as they have a pivotal role in promoting latest Agri techniques in farming sector. The Minister said this at a high level meeting, convened to review the progress of land acquisition for KVK Samba and Ramban. Minister of State for Revenue and Rehabilitation, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Khan was also present in the meeting. The Ministers stressed for better coordinated between farmers and scientists so that

Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir along with Minister of State for Revenue and Rehabilitation, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Khan objective of setting up of KVKs at district levels across the State bear the fruits on the ground. They said called for dividing agriculture areas into zones to help the scientists to conduct area specific research- a step imperative for promoting profitable agriculture activities in particular areas. Regarding land acquisition for Samba KVK, the Minister was assured by Revenue Minister that the bottlenecks in the land acquisition would be sorted out in a shortest possible time. With regard to KVK Ramban, the Ministers asked Director Research SKUST-J to identify a centrally located site accessible to all areas of the district. Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production Mr. Shaleen Kabra, Director Research SKUST-J, Dr. Rasimi, Director Agriculture Jammu, Mr. Ajay Khajuria and other senior officers of agriculture and revenue department were present in the meeting.

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Be bridge between people, govt: Kitchloo tells workers

JAMMU FEBRUARY 22Minister of State for Home Mr Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo on Thursday said National Conference will intensify its outreach to far off areas to mitigate problems of people at their doorsteps. Addressing party workers at Sher-i-Kashmir Bhawan here this afternoon, the Minister said the people are yearning for peace and development and it is therefore incumbent upon the party to take all possible measures to satiate these in a time bound manner. The interaction was part of series initiated by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, making it mandatory for National Conference Ministers to remain available at the party headquarters on rotational basis for addressing to the problems of workers and the people. The Minister appreciated the initiative and said this will bring the workers closer to the party leadership and eventual-

NC set to make it big in 2014: Rana

Provincial President, Mr Devender Singh Rana said that National Conference will emerge much stronger than ever before in 2014 elections given its track record of public service and commitment to Jammu and Kashmir's pluralistic ethos. "It is the only party which has weathered most turbulent tides and maintained unity between the three regions and people belonging to various faiths", he said while recalling the cherished mission of Sheri-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah making the state a bastion of amity and brotherhood. He said Hindu, Muslim, Sikh unity has been the corner stone of the party's agenda, adding this spirit is deeply rooted among the people which will continue to remain source of inspiration for generations. Mr Rana referred to the emergence of various parties

Minister of State for Home Mr Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo addressing party workers at Sher-i-Kashmir Bhawan, Jammu. ly help in framing responses to various hard pressed issues on the basis of feedback from the grassroots. He urged the workers to play their useful role as a bridge between people and the government. Mr Kitchloo said National Conference has stood like a rock for safeguarding the interests of people, adding that history stands testimony to the sacrifices offered by its towering leaders to uphold the dignity and honour of the people. The Minister referred to holding of Panchayat elections notwithstanding hostile atmosphere and said this reflected the deep longing of the party to empower people at grassroots level. He castigating those igniting passions over political empowerment of people, saying they abdicated their responsibilities by delaying Panchayat elections when in power. National Conference made it a point to hold elections to democratic institutions at grassroots level soon after taking the reins of government despite hostile political atmosphere. "Massive participation by voters vindicated the bold stand of NC and exposed those playing politics over this issue", he said adding that empowerment of Panchayats will go a long way in solving peoples' problems. He dwelt on various schemes tailored for the rural poor, particularly in handloom and cottage industries sector and said a massive awareness was needed to motivate people benefit from these schemes. Speaking on the occasion,

on the political horizon of the state and said these almost vanished from the scene as their foundations lay on deceit, insincerity and vested interest. Without naming any party, he said their leaders lack consistency and speak what suits them to grab the power. "Lust for power has rendered them as chameleons, who keep changing colours as per situations", Mr Rana said. "What makes National Conference a party with difference is its committed cadre and inherent spirit of selfless service to the people', he maintained. He said this spirit has got further impetus under the leadership of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who have never compromised on principles. He reiterated that their vision of peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir will be achieved by making the party strong and empowering its workers. Later deputations from Gool-Arnas, Ramban,

Banihal, Billawar, Kathua, Basholi, Udhampur, Samba, Akhnoor, Padar, Kishtwar met the Minister and apprised him about their problems. Among others who were present on the occasion were State Vice Presidents Peer Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, Rattan Lal Gupta, Central Secretary Kr. Rachpal Singh, ex-legislators, Thakur Kashmira Singh, Rampal, Dr. Chaman Lal besides Provincial President Women Wing Vijay Lakshmi Dutta, Sajjad Shaheen, Satpal Lakhotra, Dhian Chand, Satwant Kour, Romy Khajuria, G.Q. Mughal, Devender Singh Bindu, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Sunil Verma, Ch. Haroon, Nar Singh, Rakesh Chib and others. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Animal & Sheep Husbandry Mr Nazir Ahmad Gurezi will meet the people at Sher-i-Kashmir Bhavan tomorrow, the 23rd February 2013 from 1 Pm to 3 PM.

Div Com takes stock of essentials, reviews situation

SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 22: Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon today reviewed overall situation and availability of essential commodities in Kashmir division. It was informed that all essential services were functional including hospitals, power, water supply and ration sale outlets in the Valley. Adequate stocks of essentials are available including 21962 metric tons of rice, 10060 metric tons of wheat, 1774 metric tons of sugar, 2990 kilolitres of petrol, 12331 kilolitres of diesel, 4609 kilolitres of kerosene oil and 292400 LPG cylinders are also available in the Valley. Entire ration for the month of February has been lifted and made available to consumers across the division. Besides adequate ration and fuel stocks are also available in all border areas for a period of 3 to 6 months, the meeting was informed. As many as 445 trucks, of which carrying rice 223 trucks, wheat 10 trucks, sugar 85 trucks, LPG 50 trucks, poultry 13 trucks, sheep 14 trucks, diesel 30 tankers, petrol 05 tankers, kerosene 22 tankers, aviation fuel 2 tankers were received from Jammu since yesterday. National Highway is being operationalized despite snowfall and 219 vehicles stranded at Ramban moved to Srinagar today, the Divisional Commissioner informed.

Intensify forest vigilance: Mian Altaf to officers

JAMMU FEB 22: Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmad has urged upon the officers of Forest Protection Force (FPF) to intensify round the clock vigilance of forests and ensure safety of green gold besides checking any move of forest land encroachment. "Though timber smuggling activities have considerably been checked yet need is to remain more vigilant" said the minister, adding no let up should be given in protecting the forests. The Minister was reviewing the measures taken by the department for protection of forests at an officers meeting here today. Commissioner Secretary Forests, Sheikh Aijaz Iqbal, Director Forest Protection Force, Mohammad Shafiq Khan, Joint Director, FPF, Kashmir Mian Javed Ahmad and Joint Director, FPF, Jammu Mr. B. M. Sharma were present on the occasion.

32500 sft, 48 vehicles seized, cases against 574 offenders

on five units. In Jammu division, 8 such units have been completed and work on 2 units is in progress while Rs. 20 lakh are being spent on construction of GAMA unit at Reasi during current fiscal. He Minister directed officers to transfer the land identified for setting up of gamma unit at Kishtwar so that work on the project is started early. Rs. 2 crore are being spent on construction of FPF headquarter at Srinagar for which 4 kanal land stands already acquired from SDA It was given out that during last year, the department seized 32500 sft timber along with 48 vehicles and 45 horses from smugglers and registered cases against 574 offenders. During this year, the department seized 4 vehicles with 2500 sft timber and has registered cases against offenders in this regard, it was revealed.

Afzal was sacrificed for the political interests of ruling coalition

SRINAGAR, FEB 22: Accusing National Conference for violating the fundament human rights of Kashmiri people by imposing curfew and restrictions day in and day out, Deputy Speaker and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader, Sartaj Madni Friday said that it is better to give a free hand to separatist leaders rather than curbing their movement and muzzling their voice. "People are hurt over the secret execution of Afzal Guroo and instead of healing their wounds government is using brute force and is detaining youth at random," Madni told Srinagar based news agency CNS and added that Supreme Court' intervention in the case of Veerapan's associates and staying of their execution even after the rejection of mercy petition by the President of India has established beyond doubt that Afzal was denied a legal option because of Central Governments political temptations or a deliberate disregard for the rights of a citizen of Kashmir and sentiments of its people. Sartaj Madni said that how long government will curtail the right to freedom of expression of people and how long it will put separatist leaders under house arrest. "Whole world know that government is suppressing the feelings and sentiments of people by applying force. Hundreds of youth are being detained and Hurriyat leaders are not being allowed even to address media. Omar Abdullah can go to any extent to stay in power. People are being caged and day in and day out curfew and restrictions are being imposed," he said and added if Government of India is really sincere in winning the hearts of people then it should return the body of Afzal Guroo without any delay to his family. He said the people of Kashmir are being harassed and suppressed by the State Government and they are even being allowed to express their views freely. "Recent band on internet, frequent restrictions and curfew and detention of youth makes it amply clear the government is functioning in an autocratic manner.

Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmad reviewing the measures taken by the department for protection of forests at an officers meeting at Jammu. Mian Altaf asked officers to make accountability more effective at all levels of the organization so that the purpose for which the department was created could be accrued in the best interest of the Government as well as the people. The Minister said that efforts are on to modernize the forest protection force to make them more strong and effective while performing their professional assignment on ground level. He asked officers to come up with certain recommendations which on applying will improve the work environment in the department. "Men and machinery are two important constituents of the activities of FPF" said the minister and instructed officers to speed up the filling process of vacant posts in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply. Emphasizing on proper inter departmental coordinated, the minister asked officers to fight jointly against those who are indulging illegal practices of timber smuggling and forest land encroachment. Giving details, the Director FPF said that 13 Gamma units are being set up in Kashmir division at a cost of Rs.2.70 crore out of which seven units have been completed while work is apace

Amid protests, life paralyzed in Valley

SRINAGAR, FEB 22: Life was affected for the third consecutive all across Kashmir Valley in response to the call given by Hurriyat Conference (G) to support the demand for handing over the body of Muhammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged in Tihar Jail. Authorities implemented strict restrictions to curb the movement and at various sensitive places undeclared curfew was imposed to stop protests. Hurriat (G) had called for shut down after Friday prayers, but due to rain and restrictions, people preferred to remain indoors. A police official said that situation remained under control however there were stray incidents of stone pelting in frontier district Kupwara. Meanwhile, Hurriyat (G) has asked people to resume their work from Satruday and announced that there will be no strike from Saturday to Monday. In City Centre Lal Chowk, shops, business establishments, fuel stations and offices remained closed while skeletal public transport was plying on the roads. In downtown city, the security personnel took extra measures by putting more men on the job of law and order while in uptown city of Srinagar, security personnel and bunker vehicles were deployed in volatile areas. Strict restrictions were put in place in down town areas of Srinagar. There was curfew like situation in Nowhatta, Kawdara, Gojwara, Bohri Kadal, Safakadal and other areas of old city. Authorities had imposed restrictions in Srinagar and some other major towns of the Kashmir Valley to maintain law and order during separatist-sponsored protests on Friday. Almost all the separatist leaders were either put under house arrest or were detained in police stations. A police official told CNS that the day passed off peacefully in Srinagar and other major towns of Kashmir; however the authorities had deployed contingents of police and CRPF to prevent any demonstration. Hundreds of policemen donning riot gear were deployed in the sensitive areas in both civil lines and downtown to thwart any possible protest. According to reports life remained completely crippled in South Kashmir's Islamabad town. The town wore a deserted look. Shops, schools and business institutions remained closed. Thin traffic was witnessed on roads. Apart from Tral, Pampore, Kakapora, Bijbehara, Khanabal, Awantipora, strike was also observed in Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts of South Kashmir. In North Kashmir, life was paralyzed due to the strike. Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora areas remained shut. But thin private traffic plied on the roads. Situation remained calm in volatile area of Sopore where police and Para-military troopers were deployed in strength. Sources said that in Trehgam area of Kupwara district, people resorted to stone pelting when they were allegedly not allowed to offer Friday prayers in Markazi Jamia Masjid. Large number of people came on roads and raised anti-India slogans. In North Kashmir's Qaimou area, people in large number took to streets and demanded the return of the body of Afzal Guroo. Eyewitnesses told that Police and SOG personnel resorted to aerial firing and heavy tear gas shelling which left dozens of people including three women injured.

Bhalla inaugurates new block at GMS Gorkha Nagar

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture Mr. Raman Bhalla today inaugurated additional block of Government Middle School at Gorkha Nagar, completed at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funding. Chief Education Officer Mr. Natha Ram Dingra besides other senior officers of school education were present on the occasion. Addressing a large gathering of students, teaching and non-teaching staff members, Mr. Bhalla said Government was making all out efforts to create all infrastructural facilities in the schools to create congenial atmosphere for qual-

Launches Rs. 26 lakh development works at Greater Jammu

ity education. He said Government has framed a comprehensive plan for opening of new schools with adequate qualified staff within a distance of one-kilometer in every nook and corner of the State as a step towards universalization of education. The Minister called upon the parents to send their wards to the schools to get education and become enlightened citizens. He said the Government was also free books, scholarship, mid-day meal and uniform up to eighth class to meet this end. Responding to the demand of locals, Mr. Bhalla asked the school education department to prepare estimates under SSA for re-construction of unsafe rooms in the school premises. He said Government was planning to upgrade the School to High school level. Regarding construction of left out lanes and drains in Gorkha Nagar, the Minister announced Rs. 7 lakh to start the work. He asked the executing agency to complete the project within stipulated time frame by fixing the paver tiles and grating facilities over surface drains. He also inspected the ongoing construction work of multipurpose community hall in the locality, coming up at a cost of Rs. 30 lakh. He asked the executing agency to complete the work within prescribed time frame so that the locals could use the facilities by arranging social as well as religious functions there on nominal charges. Earlier, Mr. Bhalla also visited Greater Jammu and kick started upgradation work of lanes, drains and local nallah including crossing culvert in the locality, for which Government has earmarked Rs. 26 lakh. On the demand of locals, the Minister asked the R&B department to prepare estimates for construction of deep drain and road widening from Trikuta Nagar Sector-9 to Carmel Convent School in Greater Jammu and submit the same for early start of work.

Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture Mr. Raman Bhalla inaugurating additional block of Government Middle School at Gorkha Nagar, Jammu.

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By Anuradha Duttt

he serial bomb blasts in Hyderabad have once again rattled the trust of the nation in its resolve to fight. Terror in the country. It is irony that too a tragic one is that whenever there are bomb blasts the national leadership especially those at the helm of affairs issue statements condemning the bomb blasts. Some leaders call the act dastardly and some call it a breach of security. We Indians helplessly watch these developments with mouth wide open in disbelief cursing our fate or the leadership of the country for its failure to control terror strikes. The moot question that is disturbing the minds of all the people is that perhaps the leadership of the country thinks that we Indians are either cannon fodder for the terrorists or we are so week kneed that we have lost all guts to control terror and punish the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. One of the most disturbing trends that emerge out after these acts of terror is the dubious and diabolical statements of the human rights groups who raise a noisy chorus in order to defend the perpetrators of the terror acts. Apart from their usual chorus the more alarming response to these acts of terror is the way our leadership reacts to them. Soon after the Hyderabad bomb blasts the Home Minister in a casual way referred to the number of threat mails that are received daily. In a way he has betrayed his inability to counter terror as a priority. The customary show of sympathy notwithstanding and the ready made statements already written for these tragic are circulated promptly. Beyond these nothing tangible happens. This is the height of irresponsibility on that apart of government. The time has come that either the government deal with the terrorists with a heavy hand or abdicate our right to rule the country. After all how long will the innocent, law abiding citizens of this country bleed. There is a limit to patience and tolerance and any responsible government has to gauge the mood of the nation. How long will the country tolerate the lackadaisical attitude of those who are responsible to make the lives if the people safe? It is true that terror has no colour and no religion too but this is also pertinent to know that why the government is soft on terror . The loss of twelve innocent lives in Hyderabad is a grim pointer to the fact that we are a nation where intelligence failure is routine. The other disturbing fact is that with many investigative and intelligence agencies working in the country seems to have no coordination between them. The central government has always not taken to the activities of known terror people seriously. The rise of Indian Mujhahideen suspected to be behind the Hyderabad blasts should be crushed. But the government for its own sinister political interests gives an impression that it may compromise with their poll prospects. The creation of artificial and unfounded alibi for not acting against terror is costing the nation much. Remember that Hyderabad is the cyber city of India and if it is bombed the way it was on Thursday last then it will tell upon the whole IT industry of the country. The will to fight terror is all that is needed now. We Indians are now losing patience and the impression that India is the soft state when it comes to confront with terror will cost us dearly. One hand we aspire to be a global power but on the other we have become hostage to terror. Can we ignore the hate speeches of Akbar-u din Owasi and the day after he was released Hyderabad is ripped apart with bomb blasts. The recent meeting of Yasin Malik and his sharing of dais with the known anti India terrorist Hafiz Sayeed cannot be wished away. All jig saw puzzles are there and it is only the government that has to act strongly and deal with terrorists with an iron hand. It took the country years to hang the mastermind of the attack on Parliament. With such a mindset lurking in the minds of our leaders is it possible that the government will act in no non-sense matter? The time has come when the government has no choice but to act and act hard.

Terror menace needs Dream big but be democratic strong response G

overnment must take the people into confidence while sanctioning mega development projects. Civil rights and green activists, under the banner of National Alliance of People's Movements, plan to undertake a protest march along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor from March 8 to 19. Their ire is directed mainly against the fact that development, integral to the nation's growth and betterment of people's lives, is geared towards benefiting mammoth companies and the people who control them. They are also opposed to the secrecy that shrouds decision-making for such projects, and the omission of affected people as stakeholders. That, clearly, is undemocratic, since elected Governments justify mega schemes, entailing displacement of large numbers of people and acquisition of privately-owned land; environmental devastation; and destruction of heritage on grounds of public good. Yet, people, in general, are never consulted while formulating policies, which in the post-reforms period have been driven by market forces. Influx of huge amounts of foreign funds means that such projects have magnified potential to displace people and impact environment. Critics are not crying halt to development but its ruinous trajectory. The more cynical among them view grandiose plans such as the DMIC as convenient money-laundering ploys, and pretext for a cabal of corporate, politicos, global financiers, bureaucrats, technocrats and a long chain of beneficiaries to appropriate vast swathes of land for perpetuity. They see promoters and policy-makers alike as being in league, to the detriment of the ignorant and voiceless multitude. Even the literate and informed usually remain in the dark about the true purport of closet planning. To consider DMIC, the 1,483 km-long industrial corridor is slated to extend through Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, the National Capital Region, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Dadri in NCR and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai are meant to be the end terminals. The joint venture between Japan and India has an initial shared investment of Rs1, 000 crore, which is slated to grow to $100 billion. Opponents' worries relate to the following issues. One, the mega project will impact 150-200 km areas on both sides of the dedicated freight corridor. Two, nine mammoth industrial zones are to be developed. Three, an estimated 180 million of the people will be affected, with resultant misery. Four, problems of severely inadequate water and power supply will be further compounded. And five, ecology will be put out of joint. Dreaming big is a commendable exercise, and development does generate jobs for vast numbers of people. However, the fact that those who will be affected by loss of their land/homes and traditional work are not involved in the policy-making process, or even allowed to express their views and objections in a credible way, is unacceptable. Skeptics scoff at the projected objectives of the project for a five-year period: Double employment potential; triple industrial output; quadruple exports. One must weigh this optimistic scenario against the harsh reality of unfulfilled promises, mass displacement, mushrooming of urban ghettos, and growing monopoly over public resources by a clutch of powerful tycoons and their hanger-on. Precluding the electorate from decision-making, which occurs behind closed doors, and seems geared to benefit market forces alone, erodes the democratic ideal. As activists gear up to launch their campaign, it would be edifying to recall the scrapping of another mega urban and industrial corridor. Last January, Jaypee Infratech Ltd, erstwhile promoter of the 1,047 kmlong Ganga Expressway, slated to connect Greater Noida with Ballia in eastern Uttar Pradesh, withdrew its Rs1,000 crore bank guarantee. The Rs40, 000 crore mega project, proposed an eight lane expressway with toll booths, passing through Varanasi, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Rae Bareli, Unnao, Kanpur, Kannauj Hardoi, Farrukhabad, Shahjahanpur, Badaun and Bulandshahr. The rationale given on paper by policy-makers was that constructing an embankment on the Ganga's left bank, from Narora to the Bihar border, would serve to counter the annual flooding of the river on that side. The expressway was proposed upon the bund. Urban development, industries,

medical centres and shopping complexes were planned along the super fast route. The proposal came a cropper after Allahabad High Court, hearing pleas by environmentalists and human rights campaigners, ordered the State Government to get Central clearance. Farmers' protests against inadequate compensation for acquisition of their land aggravated the situation. Opponents' principal grouse was against the lack of transparency in the planning process, and the fact that one company was given the green signal to embark on a landappropriation spree. They believed that the public-private partnership module was reduced to blatant demonstration of crony capitalism. And at stake was the very civilisational ethos of the Gangetic plain. Though its plan in eastern Uttar Pradesh was stalled, the company went ahead with building the 165 km- long Yamuna Expressway, linking Noida with Agra, in western Uttar Pradesh. Reports indicate that it will undertake urban and industrial projects along the route. Critics see this as a glaring example of corporate monopoly over mega development work. Hence, transparency in policy-making is urgently needed.

India's forgotten tool of development

By Vinayshil Gautam espite its many advantages over thermal power, hydropower has been ignored in this country. This is almost entirely because the issue of dams and displacement has become so emotionally charged, that there is no longer any space for a democratic dialogue. Today, developing countries have more than double the hydropower potential than developed countries. However, in developed countries 70 per cent of this potential has been put to productive use, whereas in the developing countries less than 20 per cent has been utilized. When this statistic is combined with the fact that India is the world's sixth biggest energy consuming nation, accounting for 3.4 per cent of global consumption, one wonders why the growth of hydropower in this country has been so indifferent.

Hydro-power technology came to India fairly early. The hydropower plant set up in Darjeeling in 1898 was in fact one of the earliest anywhere. However, the trend did not catch on, and today in India it is thermal power that accounts for 76 per cent of the energy available to the country while hydro power accounts for only 21 per cent. Clearly, the use of hydro power could be an indicator of developmental processes. Technologically speaking, this would reflect much in the same way as the use of telecom technology for instance, would do. Most developed countries have a higher penetration of internet usage as compared to mobile phone usage. In developing countries, however, mobile phone penetration is deeper than internet penetration. The obvious question here is: Why is the growth of hydro-power so slow? The question becomes even more perplexing given that

that investment in hydro-power mostly in the form of dams - is a one-time expense. These dams can then be used for a long time without any recurring expense of the kind that is needed in thermal power. Also, the cognate benefits of hydropower are huge - in the form of irrigation, flood control and drinking water. But there are few takers because in India, economic development is often the surrogate of democratic dialogue. The atmosphere here is so charged that even a passing reference to dams can become an emotive issue. Talk of one and there is a collateral crescendo on behalf of the people who could possibly be displaced by the dam. Yet, nobody in their right minds would argue that people should be mindlessly displaced. However, it would be common sense to argue that if the displacement is accompanied by adequate care, caution and compensa-

tion, then the price of dislocation will be off-set many times by the benefits of such developmental processes. But the danger of democratic dialogue converting itself into demagoguery and rabble rousing is an inherent one. Yet these are the times we live in. There are other parallels too such as the concept of 'reservations'. Impact of all interventions must be assessed at some point but not when it comes to the tool of reservation. Perhaps these times too will pass and a different dawn will one day break. Meanwhile, high prices are being paid by the country: Hydropower is a case in point. In a country where 40 per cent of the population has no access to electricity, the case of hydro-power is obvious. Perhaps a breakthrough could be marked by dispensing some of the boundaries. Is it possible to think of hydro-power being used by clusters

by creating developmental zones? In this situation, hydro-power would be one component of the wider developmental intervention. This will give an integrated view of how to handle all concerns and thereby, there would be greater persuasion to switch over to hydropower. Today when setting up a plant, one almost never thinks of hydropower but only thermal power. But the scene could change if industry could turn to hydro-power. It is also possible to plan for hydro-power by rethinking the issue of supply chain management. The domestic and industrial use of hydro-power needs to be viewed in an integrated manner. If that happens, hydro-power would be a true indicator of development and the nation will derive strategic advantages in widening its energy supply chain management catchment.


By Malvika Singh n unending string of bandhs, boycotts and fasts, disruption of Parliament proceedings, protests on the streets, violence in the public domain and more - with prominent leaders guiding them - cannot be the socio-political tools that will help to solve the crises that have crippled the energy and enterprise of India. Those leading the disruptions have begun to symbolize an inadequate leadership, failure of purpose and stagnation of thinking. If the men and women at the forefront were truly committed to forcing correctives, they would have never descended to such base levels. They would have worked to ensure a civilized dialogue, leading to an acceptable consensus, in the national interest. Even if the

Bharatiya Janata Party was appalled by the comment the home minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, made about "saffron terror", Rajnath Singh should have stopped at demanding a public apology instead of indulging in such high-pitched rhetoric at Jantar Mantar. Who is going to change the narrative of everyday politics in this benighted nation? Who is going to bring a sense of dignity into political protest and opposition to failures of the government in power? When will Indian parliamentarians raise the bar of the tenor and content of their dissent, as well as of the processes they use to counter the establishment's alleged misdeeds? When will our elected representatives feel the need to set new standards to meet the aspirations of a

new India? This political natakthat is enacted day after day is the easy option for the 'actors'. Their rabblerousing and seeming anger are in fact a superficial veneer. The protests are not serious, and dissipate very quickly into silly, abusive barbs, because the politicians of all parties and dispensations know full well that they have to stay together in the final act and secure the system of quid pro quo. Scary truth: This grand drama with its many supporting scenes that merge into one another seamlessly is fast becoming a predictable and boring charade. The political 'tribe' is losing its aura, and the people of this country are losing respect for their leaders. India has had enough. We no longer need to turn on the television to know whether Parliament

has been adjourned on the first day because it is bound to be. This truth is humiliating and debilitating, since it defines India in 2013 as a fast-disintegrating democracy. In this budget session, the food security bill and other legislations need to be passed along with the budget. Will the Opposition allow them to be debated and then passed? Is the BJP encouraging its partners in the National Democratic Alliance to push for early elections? More important, will the Congress use the issue of disruptions in Parliament which have stalled the passing of important bills that might have become game-changers for India to lead the millions of stakeholders and constituents into a larger and substantive political engagement on all national concerns?

Once again, there is a great opportunity for the political class, cutting across party lines, to reorder and reconstruct their narrative and action. We need our leaders to perform in Parliament and not on the small screen. The frequent stalling of the political 'discourse and debate' in Parliament - if what we witness each day can be called that and the incessant abuses that political opponents hurl at each other, are now shown on television. The sense that is conveyed from this is that the politician expects to get greater mileage from being on television than from debating a serious national issue in Parliament. This is frightening for democracy, for personal freedoms, for plurality and diversity, and for the Constitution of a democratic India.

Strike serves no purpose
Dear Sir, The strike called by trade unions on Wednesday and Thursday affected economy of the country to a large extent and served no purpose for workers. I feel workers in India could be better off without the trade unions. The two-day general strike across the country once again showed what was wrong with these unions. They called the strike on issues that had little to do with the workers' rights and demands. In western countries the best way to exhibit resentment is to wear black badges but work as normally as possible. Strikes affect people greatly and are no way in a modern system to press for demands. It makes the nation economically weal and poor people suffer hardships. It is high time that we ban or desist from indulging in Bandhs or strikes It would make some sense if Trade unions agitated or even struck work in their respective units, demanding a wage increase or better working conditions. But it is difficult to see what gains the workers in a particular industry or segment would make by going on a general strike on

issues such as price rise, economic liberalization or the reform of labour laws. The centre and the states have failed in their duty to make essential commodities available at affordable prices. Even water has to be purchased! Good education is hardly accessible to the poor and the middle class are stretched to educate their children. But our politicians are living a comfortable life. It's unlikely that this situation is going to change very much through a two-day agitation. But if this trend continues we could be heading for anarchy. Yours etc. Shweta Bhat Talab Tillo, Jammu

The Two day National Bandh

Dear Sir, The sponsors of the two-day strike imposed upon the public at large have demanded (1) concrete measures to contain price rise; (2) ensuring employment generation; (3) strict enforcement of labour laws; (4) universal social security for unorganised and organised workers and (5) stoppage of disinvestment in Central and State public sector undertakings. There is nothing new in these demands. What the venerable gentlemen who lead

the unions never say is anything about growth of the country's economy and how it can be achieved, a sine qua non for meeting them. Will they please explain to us how other countries have prospered after throwing off a foreign yoke? Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Vietnam come to mind. At the extreme end of the political spectrum are the Maoists, whose avowed aim is the destruction of the Indian State as it exists and its replacement by their version of an Utopia that has long evaporated into thin air. In an earlier era, young Naxalites would chant "China's Chairman Is Our Chairman" Had this come about, would Mao and his successors have put up with the sloth that seems inherent in many of our people? The Danda would have been used. Of all our pre-Independence leaders, Netaji recognized this need for hard work and discipline. It used to be said in Writers' Buildings that salary was for attendance, work required overtime. Free lunches? Only for those who attend political party rallies on the Maidan! Yours etc. Suresh Kumar Rana Research Scholar University of Jammu

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tice to the Tamils of Sri Lanka, in addition to delegation of power in Government, conduct of free and fair elections in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, and rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons," the MPs said in a memorandum. The MPs, who met Singh are N S V Chitthan, M Krishnaswamy, K S Alagiri, J M Haroon, S S Ramasubbu, P Viswanathan and Manickam Tagore. They also said India should continuously support and work towards the welfare of the Tamils of Sri Lanka, so that they get equal opportunities and a safe and sound environment for a peaceful living. They also thanked the Centre for notifying the Cauvery Waters Dispute Tribunal's final Award in the official Gazette of India. "We are quite sure, the publication of this notification in the Gazette would indeed bring in some respite to the people of the southern states of Kerala, Puducherry in general and Tamil Nadu in particular," they said.

Congress MPs want resolution against Sri Lanka

NEW DELHI: Seeking to exert pressure on the Centre, Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu on Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that India join western countries like the US in bringing a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC over the alleged human rights violations during the war. The MPs said India should join hands with the United States in bringing out a Resolution against Sri Lanka asking it to categorically implement the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC). Sri Lanka has not implemented the recommendations of the LLRC despite India and other countries voting in favour of a resolution censuring the island's government last year at the UNHRC. "We feel that India should join hands with the United States in bringing out a Resolution against Sri Lanka to categorically implement the Recommendations of its own LLRC. "This will certainly help in rendering jus-

Owaisi condemns blasts; BJP calls for shutdown

HYDERABAD: MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi condemned the twin bomb blasts in the city and appealed to people to maintain peace. The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president said it was a testing time for people and called for unity to defeat the designs of terrorists. "I strongly condemn this is inhuman and barbaric act. Many innocents have lost their lives," he told reporters in New Delhi. Owaisi appealed to people to maintain peace and communal harmony, saying only unity among people could give a befitting reply to the terrorists. The Hyderabad MP demanded that the police and other investigating agencies take immediate steps to bring

Received threats after SC allows Italian marines to go home for polls Afzal Guru hanging: Naqvi
NEW DELHI: BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday demanded security from the Centre claiming threat to his life. Naqvi said he had received threat calls following the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The BJP had been gunning for the execution of Afzal Guru, who was sentenced to death in the December 13, NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday granted permission to two Italian marines seeking the court's nod to travel back to their country to exercise their franchise in the ongoing elections in Italy. Italian marines Chief Master Sergeant Massimilano Latorre and Sergeant Salvatore Girone are in custody in India for the last one year. The marines on board the Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie had shot dead two Indian fishermen Feb 15 last year, suspecting them to be pirates. They have been charged with shooting dead two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Gelastine. The marines are out on bail, staying in a Kochi hotel. Earlier, the Kerala High Court had granted permission to the marines to return home for Christmas. They had flown out on December 22 and returned on January 4.

the culprits to book. He assured the government of all the help from his party in maintaining peace. BJP calls for shutdown in Andhra Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for a shutdown in Andhra Pradesh Friday to condemn the twin bomb

blasts here, which killed 14 people and injured over 100. BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy appealed to all people to voluntarily observe the shutdown to protest the blasts and show their sympathies with the victims' families. Talking to reporters, he said the state government

failed to take steps to prevent the blasts despite warnings from the central intelligence agencies. He demanded the government to act firmly against terrorists. Police have stepped up security in the city and other major towns in view of the shutdown call and Friday prayers.

Hamid Ansari asks govt to probe assault of CPI-M MP

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Friday directed the government to probe the alleged "manhandling" of CPIM member T N Seema by Delhi Police during a protest demanding removal of Deputy Chairman P J Kurien who is facing charges in the Suryanelli rape case. Taking a serious note of the matter, members met Ansari in his chamber before the House met for the day seeking his intervention saying Seema is a member of the Rajya Sabha. Ansari asked the government to submit a report before the next sitting of the House. "Some members met me this morning and informed that T N Seema, MP, was

Railways to import high speed accident relief trains

NEW DELHI: Aiming to put rescue and restoration work during accidents on fast track, Railways is procuring high-speed self-propelled accident relief trains (SPART) and hydraulic cranes with telescopic boom from Europe. Currently, Railways have 27 self-propelled accident relief trains that run at a speed of 110-km per hour. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will announce the procurement proposal of 160 km per hour high-speed relief train in his maiden Rail Budget 2013-14 on February 26. "We are planning to buy two high-speed SPART which can run at 160 km per hour speed in the first phase," said a senior Railway Ministry official. The diesel driven SPART consisting of three coaches is estimated to cost about Rs 40 crores. Railways will procure the state-of-the-art SPART through global tendering process. As per the plan, the technology of the first two SPART will be imported from Europe. Beside, Railways have also decided to import eight hydraulic cranes with telescopic boom from Europe to strengthen its disaster management. "We will go for global tenders to buy the new 175-ton hydraulic cranes with telescopic boom shortly," said the official. The 175ton hydraulic crane is likely to cost about Rs 25 crore. Railways have 69 hydraulic cranes and the existing crane has the capacity to lift 140 tons only. Since, the axle load of coach and wagon has increased, railways need the 175-ton cranes. "The telescopic boom cranes are required to undertake rescue work inside the tunnel or bridge," he said. The hydraulic cranes are equipped with cutters, spreaders and hand operated tools for cutting of coaches for rescue of passengers trapped inside the coaches in case of an accident. Telescopic boom cranes are equipped with hydraulic cutters to cut LHB coaches and wagons made of stainless steel.

2001 Parliament terror attack case. Guru was executed after his mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.

'Measures taken to tackle rising cases of diabetes in country': Azad

NEW DELHI: Government has taken several steps to deal with rising cases of diabetes in the country. Giving this information in Lok Sabha Friday, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, the Centre has launched National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke during the 11th Plan in 100 Districts covering 21 states. He informed that the aim of the programme is to prevent and control the NonCommunicable Diseases including Diabetes through awareness generation, behaviour and life-style changes and early diagnosis of persons with high levels of risk factors. Mr Azad said that the programme also provides screening of persons above the age of 30 years for diabetes and hypertension in various health care facilities. As per the International Diabetes

SC seeks Centre's response on PJ Thomas' plea

Federation, in India 61 million persons had diabetes in 2011. World Health Organisation said that the factors responsible for increase in Non-communicable Diseases including diabetes are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, overweight, obesity and tobacco use.

SC reserves order on plea over legislators with criminal charges

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has reserved its order on two separate pleas questioning the law which allows MPs and MLAs to continue in office despite being sentenced to over two years' jail term in a criminal case. A bench of justices A K Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhaya was hearing two PILs alleging that Representation of the People Act (RPA) is discriminatory and encouraged criminalization of politics and seeking striking down of its several sections. The petitions have sought striking down sections 8, 9 and 11-A of the RPA on the ground they violate certain Constitutional provisions which, among other things, expressly put a bar on criminals getting registered as voters or becoming MPs or MLAs. The PILs said that certain provisions of the RPA allow convicted lawmakers to continue in office while their appeals are pending and they also permit such persons to be registered as voters and be candidates for elections after six years of conviction/release from jail. Earlier, senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Thomas, had submitted that 274 MPs are facing various criminal charges and the government has not done anything to check criminalisation of politics. Seeking dismissal of the PILs, the Centre had said that the petitioner does not talk about number of alleged convicts in the House or about the number of sitting members who have availed the benefit of section 8(4) of RPA and as to what was the eventual fate of the appeals that were filed by them.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday sought response from the Centre and CBI on a plea by retired IAS officer P J Thomas seeking quashing of the case against him in the over two decade-old palmolein oil import scam. A bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and justices A R Dave and Vikramajit Sen also issued notice to Kerala government on the petition filed by Thomas. The apex court in March 2011 had quashed the appointment of Thomas as Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) because of the pending corruption case against him in a designated CBI court in Kerala. The scam in which Thomas was listed as the eighth accused related to palmolein imports in 1991. A case was filed in connection with the imports in 1992 and Thomas figured in the charge sheet filed in 1998. Thomas was the Union Telecom secretary before he was made the 14th CVC in September 2010. He was the Food Secretary in the Kerala government at the time of import and then chief minister K Karunakaran was another accused in the case. Karunakaran died in December 2010. The case against Thomas pertains to the import of palm oil from a Singapore firm, which was allegedly done at prices higher than the international rate.

manhandled yesterday by the Delhi police personnel in a police van. It is a serious matter which relates to the dignity of the member and the prestige of the House. "I direct the government to inquire into the matter and submit a report before the next sitting of the House," Ansari said. CPI MP D Raja told reporters that the issue was taken up seriously by members of all parties during their meeting with Ansari and even Union Minister Rajiv Shukla described it as a serious matter.

Chopper deal: Finmeccanica delays results, CBI team likely to return from Italy
WASHINGTON: The CBI team is likely to return from Italy on Friday with not much success as the Italian officials refused to share their probe report in the tainted AgustaWestland deal. The CBI team met the top management of Finmeccanica who have assured cooperation in the investigation. Italian defence group Finmeccanica has delayed publication of its 2012 results following a bribery investigation connected with the sale of 12 helicopters to Indian authorities. After a board meeting, Finmeccanica said it had postponed the approval of its fullyear accounts from March 12 to a new meeting to be held no later than April 30, to 'evaluate the impact of recent economic events on its balance sheet'. The team had gone to Italy a week ago to request for assistance in probing the alleged role of Indians in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal. The Italian court of Busto Arsizio is hearing the case in which Italian investigators have arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini for allegedly paying kickbacks to secure the Rs 3,600 crore deal for supplying 12 AW-101 choppers to India. Finmeccanica is at the centre of an Italian probe alleging that it paid bribes to win the EUR 560 million contract awarded in 2010 to its AngloItalian helicopter unit AgustaWestland, reports said. The Italian investigation is putting pressure on the Indian government, already buffeted by a string of corruption cases.

Sarabjit Singh signs fresh appeal seeking clemency

LAHORE: Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh has signed a fresh appeal seeking clemency that is addressed to the people of Pakistan and President Asif Ali Zardari, his lawyer said on Friday. "Sarabjit has signed an appeal addressed jointly to the people of Pakistan and President Zardari and it will be sent to him (Zardari) for consideration," Awais Sheikh, the counsel for the Indian national, said. Sheikh said he met Sarabjit in Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday and presented the prisoner his book titled "Sarabjit Singh - A case of mistaken identity". Sarabjit was convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province that killed 14 people in 1990. His mercy petitions have been rejected by the courts and former President Pervez Musharraf. The Pakistan People's Party-led government put off Sarabjit's execution for an indefinite period in 2008. Sarabjit's family says he is the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.

Rain lashes Punjab, Haryana

of 5.7 mm. Hisar's minimum settled at 13.5 deg C, up three notches, while the town got a rainfall of 5.8 mm. Karnal, which was sslashed by 9.4 mm of rains, recorded a low of 12.8 deg C, up three degrees. Bhiwani was slashed by 9 mm of rain and the low there settled at 13 deg C, up four degrees, while Narnaul's low settled at 11 deg C, up by two notches. Among other places in Haryana to be slashed by rains included Panchkula, Kalka, Yamunanagar, Sonepat and Kurukshetra. The MeT attributed present change in weather to a Western Disturbance over North Pakistan and neighbourhood and to an Upper Air Cyclonic Circulation which was active at Central Pakistan adjoining Rajasthan.

Nagaland, Meghayala to vote Saturday

KOHIMA/SHILLONG: Election officials and security forces were in place Friday to oversee assembly elections in Nagaland and Meghalaya Saturday. The unresolved Naga issue and economic progress are some of the major issues dominating Nagaland, where the Naga People's Front (NPF) headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has been in power for a decade. Political stability is the slogan of all parties in the hill state of Meghalaya, where the Congress is making another bid for power that has had 23 chief ministers since it was carved out of Assam in 1972. A total of 188 candidates, including only two women, are in the fray to get elected to the 60member Nagaland assembly. Forty-nine of the 60 outgoing legislators are seeking re-election. The ruling NPF has fielded candidates in all 60 seats while the main opposition Congress has put up 57. One third of the 60 constituencies will witness straight fights between the NPF and Congress. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won two seats in 2008, has 11 candidates. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which has two members in the outgoing assembly, has 15 contenders. According to Chief Electoral Officer J. Alam, 1.1 million people, including 589,505 women, are eligible to vote in 2,023 polling stations. The NPF has promised to find a durable and honourable settlement to the Naga issue. The Congress too wants a lasting solution to the country's oldest insurgency. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland entered into a ceasefire with New Delhi in 1997. Meghalaya has repeatedly seen fractured mandates, leading to volatile coalition governments. A total of 345 candidates, including 122 independents, are in the fray now. For its 60 seats, the ruling Congress has fielded candidates in all constituencies followed by the United Democratic Party (UDP) 50 seats. The Purno Sangma-led Nationalist People's Party (NPP) has 32 candidates while the NCP will contest in 21 seats. "I am confident the people will give a clear mandate to the Congress," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said. Not just the Congress, major regional groupings are also harping on the need for political stability to ensure economic development. The UDP, a key ally in the outgoing Congress-led coalition government, is confident of ousting the Congress. Authorities are not taking any chances following the 36-hour shutdown called by the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council protesting against the elections. Counting of votes will take place Feb 28 along with that of Tripura, which saw elections earlier this month.

CHANDIGARH: Rains slashed many places in Punjab and Haryana on Friday with minimum temperature witnessing a slight increase. Chandigarh was slashed by 7.3 mm of rain and the low here settled at 12.4 deg C, four notches above normal, the MeT said. Amritsar registered a low of 11.4 deg C, up four degrees and received a rainfall of 6.6 mm. Ludhiana, too,

recorded four degrees above normal low at 12.6 deg C and a rainfall of 7.2 mm. Patiala's minimum settled at 12.1 deg C, up three notches while the town was slashed by 6.2 mm of rain. Among other places in Punjab to be slashed by rains included Mohali, Phagwara, Madhopur and Hoshiarpur. In Haryana, Ambala recorded a low of 11.8 deg C, up three notches and received a rainfall

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DAMASCUS: A huge car bomb near the headquarters of Syria's ruling party killed nearly 60 people and caused widespread destruction in the deadliest attack to hit Damascus since the civil war erupted. The attack was "carried out by armed terrorist groups linked to AlQaeda that receives financial and logistic help from abroad", the foreign ministry said, and using government terminology for rebels. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast killed at least 59 people, including 15 soldiers, and wounded more than 200. That would make it the deadliest such attack in Damascus since bombers first targeted the city about

Car Bomb in Damascus Kills Dozens Obama to meet Japan PM to talk economy, security issue
a year ago. tary general renews his call on all The attacks came two days after two mortar rounds exploded near Tishreen presidential palace in Damascus, increasingly targeted in the past year by suicide bombings, some claimed by the jihadist AlNusra Front. They added urgency to the National Coalition meeting in Cairo, where discussions focused on an offer by the opposition group's chief to talk directly with the regime. Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz alKhatib has offered to talk to regime officials without "blood on their hands" -- an initiative welcomed by the Arab League and the United States as well as Assad allies Iran and Russia. WASHINGTON: President Obama sits down on Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the conversation will focus primarily on trade and economic issues. But the two leaders will also dedicate plenty of time to two hot-button security issues. Abe's visit to the White House comes as his country is gripped in a territorial dispute with China and days after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test despite stiff opposition from the USA and other allies. On North Korea, Obama and Abe are more or less on the same page. Both quickly expressed supports of new measures against Pyongyang by the U.N. Security Council after North Korea conducted its latest nuclear test on Feb. 12. But on Tokyo and Beijing's ongoing dispute over disputed islands in the East China Sea the Obama administration has cautioned both sides to show restraint. The islands, which are under administrative control of Japan, are also claimed by Taiwan. Over the years, there countries into sexual servitude during World War II. The victims of the practice were known as "comfort women." Soon after Abe's victory in December, one of his top deputies suggested that Abe would review the 1993 apology, but Abe subsequently said he would refrain from making further remarks on the matter. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Mike Honda, DCalif., wrote to Japan's envoy to Washington earlier this week expressing their concerns. "Japan's government must fully acknowledge, apologize and increase awareness of its history of comfort women," Israel said in a statement. Russel added that "Obama knows full well that there are very sensitive legacy issues from the last century and believes that it's important to take steps to promote healing.

The office of UN Secretary General Bank Ki-Moon said he condemned the bombings. "The secre-

parties to end the violence and respect international humanitarian law," said a spokesman.

Four killed as Bangladesh police, protesters clash

Indonesian cardinal to miss papal election

VATICAN CITY: The head of Indonesia's Catholic church has announced that he will not participate in the election of the next pope, citing his ailing health. Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, 78, told Hidup Katolik, an Indonesian Catholic magazine, that his eyesight was failing and that he would not be able to handle reading the "texts, materials, rules, and so on" necessary for the event. "My strength had deteriorated my ability to read weakened. Those tasks require strength, speed and agility," he said. Darmaatmadja's decision brings down to 116 the number of cardinals below the age of 80, who are qualified to vote for the successor of Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict is scheduled to officially resign on February 28 at 19:00 GMT. Earlier in the week, the Vatican said the pope may change rules governing the conclave that will secretly elect his successor, a decision that could fast track the meeting of cardinals in Rome. Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said on Wednesday that Benedict was considering issuing a "Motu Proprio," a personal document, which has the force of church law, in regards to the changes. The rule changes could mean that the conclave could start before March 15, which is currently the earliest it can begin. The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope installed before Palm Sunday on March 24, so he can preside at Holy Week services leading to Easter on March 31. Some in the church believe that an early conclave would give an unfair advantage to cardinals already in Rome and working in the Curia, the Vatican's central administration. A short period before a conclave helps the curial cardinals in Rome operating on their home turf," said Father Tom Reese, an expert at Georgetown University. The longer the pre-conclave period, the more time non-curial cardinals have to talk to each other and to get to know each other. Benedict has handpicked more than half the men who will elect his successor. The rest were chosen by the late Pope John Paul II.

has been intermittent spats and heated rhetoric between the two countries over the islands. Both China and Japan have ships in waters around the eight uninhabited islands, which are rich fishing grounds and thought to contain oil deposits, leading to fears of a clash. Another issue that could come up in Friday's meetings is Abe's stance on a 1993 statement from the Japanese government apologizing for forcing about 200,000 women from neighboring

Gen. Philip Breedlove likely to lead NATO

BRUSSELS: Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, the top U.S. Air Force commander in Europe, is likely to become commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, a senior NATO official said. The job opened up when President Barack Obama's first choice, Marine Gen. John Allen, announced this week he would retire after 19 months commanding allied forces in Afghanistan in order to attend to his wife's health issues. The NATO official was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity. If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Breedlove would be the first Air Force general to hold the top NATO job since Joseph Ralston in 2000-2003. Breedlove would succeed Navy Adm. James Stavridis, who has held the post since 2009. A native of Forest Park, Ga., Breedlove earned his Air Force officer commission in 1977 in the Reserve Officers Training Corps program at George Tech and has extensive overseas experience, including numerous tours of duty in Europe. A fighter pilot by training, Breedlove served in Spain and Germany in the mid- and late 1990s; in Italy in 2004-05, and in Germany in 2005-2006 and 2008-2009. He has been commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe, since last July. Breedlove also served tours in South Korea in 1991-1994 and 2000-2001. The job of commanding NATO forces in Europe is considered one of the more prestigious command positions for U.S. generals. The U.S. has about 80,000 troops based in Europe.

DHAKA: Police across Bangladesh clashed on Friday with protesters from Islamic political parties denouncing war crimes trials, killing four demonstrators and injuring dozens of people, police and witnesses said. The nationwide protests were held separately by Jamaat-eIslami, the country's largest Islamic party, and an alliance of 12 other smaller Islamic parties. Jamaat called the demonstrations to denounce the war crimes trials

of its top leaders. Earlier this month, a special tribunal convicted Jamaat's assistant secretary, Abdul Quader Mollah, of mass killings during the independence war against Pakistan and sentenced him to life in prison. Another eight leaders of the party are on trial on charges of atrocities during the ninemonth war. The alliance of 12 parties accuses the government of plotting to ban Islamic parties, an allegation denied by the government.


India's GDP estimated at 5% in FY'13, lowest since FY'04: Govt.

NEW DELHI: India's GDP is estimated to grow at 5 percent in 2012-13, lowest during since 2003-04, on account of slower growth in industry, agriculture and services sector, Parliament was informed Friday. "As per the Advance Estimates released by the Central Statistics Office, the growth rate of GDP (at factor cost at constant 2004-05) is estimated to be 5 percent in 2012-13. This growth rate is the lowest during the period 2003-04 to 2012-13," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. "The slowdown in growth in 2012-13 is on account of lower growth in agriculture, industry and the services sector," he added. Meena said the slowdown is attributed to both domestic factors as well as the uncertain global economic environment. Among domestic factors, the tightening of monetary policy during most of 2011-12 in order to control inflation resulted in the slowing down of investment and growth, particularly in the industrial sector. Global factors include crisis in euro-zone and sluggish growth in several industrialized economies in 2012. "The steps being undertaken by the government to revive the economy include better access to finance for manufacturing sector, fast tracking of large investment projects in infrastructure, use of buffer stocks to moderate food inflation, strengthening of financial and banking sector, reducing the volatility of exchange rate," Meena said. Also, government has announced disinvestment in certain public sector undertakings, liberalization of FDI in multi- brand retail, aviation, broadcasting, reduction in subsidy in diesel, the road map for fiscal consolidation. "These measures are expected to revive market confidence, and restore growth momentum over the medium term." He also said the government has set up the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) chaired by the Prime Minister to expedite decisions on approvals and clearances for implementation of projects. "The CCI will monitor and review the implementation of major projects to ensure accelerated and time-bound grant of various licenses, permissions and approvals. This is likely to improve the investment environment by bringing transparency, efficiency and accountability in accordance of various approvals," the minister said. In a separate reply, Meena said the performance of the industrial sector has been affected both due to hardening of interest rates as well as moderation in external demand owing to uncertainty arising from global economic crisis. "Deceleration in rate of credit flows, infrastructure bottlenecks, high input costs, slowdown in consumer expenditure, subdued business confidence have also contributed to the slowdown in industrial performance," he added.

Sebi cautions investors, public against dealings with Sahara

MUMBAI: Market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India on Friday cautioned investors and the general public against dealing with two Sahara group companies Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Investment Corp -- and their promoters. "Anyone transacting with them (Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd, Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd and their three promoters and directors) would be doing so at their own peril," SEBI said. SEBI said that following the Supreme Court order directing refund of investors' money collected by these Sahara firms, it had ordered "attachment of all moveable and immoveable properties, bank accounts and demat accounts of these two companies and that of its promoters and directors namely Subrata Roy Sahara, Vandana Bhargava, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey". SEBI had passed two separate orders Feb 13 directing attachment of properties and freezing of accounts. It was after the Supreme Court ruled that the regulator was free to freeze the accounts and attach properties if Sahara firms were not complying with the apex court's earlier orders of August 2012 towards refund of investors' money totaling over Rs.24,000 crore. The Aug 31 order had asked Sahara group firms to refund the money with 15 percent interest and SEBI to facilitate the refund. The Sahara Group in response first said the actions taken by SEBI were based on "old facts" and the orders for attaching assets of individuals was not correct. It also said Rs.5,120 crore had already been deposited with the regulator that was in excess of its total liability towards refund to investors.

BSNL considering a subsidiary for tower infrastructure

NEW DELHI: The government on Friday said state-owned BSNL is considering a separate subsidiary for its tower- related infrastructure and has floated an expression of interest for appointing a consultant on the matter. "BSNL has floated an expression of interest (EOI) for appointment of consultant to advise and assist it in setting up a separate subsidiary company for tower related infrastructure," Minister of State for Communications and IT Killi Kruparani said. The government had set up a committee in January 2012 under Sam Pitroda to review the functioning of BSNL. "The committee recommended to create a separate subsidiary company for tower related infrastructure to aggressively market to other public and private sector customers and unlock the whole potential value through strategic stake sale, M&A or separate IPO," Kruparani said. The committee also recommended exploring possibilities of monetizing other such subsystems. In a separate reply, she said BSNL has been witnessing a decline in its revenue for the last three years. "BSNL's revenue declined to Rs 27,934 crore in 2011-12 from Rs 29,688 crore in 201011 and Rs 32,045 crore in 2009-10," she added. In order to augment its revenue, BSNL has decided to rent out its telecom towers to other service providers and has also signed agreements in this regard with private operators for which revenue of Rs 132.87 crore has been realized since 2009-10. "To monetize its land assets, BSNL has taken up a pilot project for the commercial exploitation of 10 parcels of land. For this purpose, a project development consultant has been appointed," she said.

Godrej calls for improving road link to Bangladesh, Myanmar, China

KOLKATA: Adi Godrej, Godrej Group Chairman and CII President, on Friday called for better infrastructure along the 3,000-km road link between India and the three South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Myanmar and China. Speaking to the media after flagging off the 12-day Bangladesh-China-IndiaMyanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM) Car Rally , Godrej said road infrastructure should be improved since the link connecting these four countries was largely "difficult terrain". "There are tremendous opportunities in the region (the area connecting India's North-Eastern States with Bangladesh, Myanmar and South-West China). It has a population of about 3 billion," he said. According to him, the car rally would "rejuvenate India's close relationship with Bangladesh, Myanmar and China" after almost six decades since trade through the Southern Silk Route was closed following World War II.

India Post to enter banking space

NEW DELHI: The Indian postal department plans to enter the banking business with RBI deciding to grant new bank licenses to entities with credible track-record. Sources said the Department of Posts, which a strong foot print in rural areas, has appointed Ernst and Young as consultant for proposed 'Post Bank'. "Ernst and Young is expected to submit detailed project report by April 2013, after which all necessary measures will taken up to apply for banking licence,"a source at Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said. The Reserve Bank of India on Friday issued the much-awaited guidelines for new banking licenses. Among other terms, new banks should open at least 25 percent of branches in unbanked rural centers. Of the 1.55 lakh post offices, around 24,000 district offices may be ready to offer banking services in next two years. Post offices are being enabled by core banking solution's connecting nationwide branches as part of a transformative IT project. The country has around 90,000 bank branches at present. "Post Bank shall not only take care of the banking needs of the rural poor but shall also converge with micro-insurance and microremittance services of the Department of Posts," the source said. The head offices chosen for setting up ATMs covers all the states, with Andhra Pradesh leading the tally at 100 ATMs, followed by Tamil Nadu (92) and Uttar Pradesh (73). As many as 61 ATMs would be set up in Maharashtra, 60 ATMs in Karnataka, 51 ATMs each in Kerala and Rajasthan. As per data shared with Parliament, there were over 26 crore operational small savings accounts in the post offices as on March 31, 2012 having deposits worth Rs 1.9 lakh crore.

Sensex ends marginally down

MUMBAI: After a near two per cent fall on Thursday, stock markets ended the flat on Friday. The S&P BSE Sensex closed the day at 19,317, down 0.04 per cent from its previous close. The NSE Nifty ended the day at 5,850, down 0.03 per cent from its previous close. "For today, the global cues were negative as the US markets sold off on the back of disappointing economic reports and amid worries that the Federal Reserve might scale back its bond-buying program," said Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities. On the BSE, stocks of the realty and technology indices were up about 1.3 per cent each. The FMCG index fell the most by 1.4 per cent. Among the Sensex stocks, the top five gainers were Bharti Airtel, Wipro, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank and Infosys. The top five laggards were HUL, Coal India, Maruti, HDFC and Tata Motors.

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Omar Abdullah flat no to pension for Council

JAMMU: The Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who happens to ex-officio President of the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council, has straightway said no to the Proposed pension for the staff of the autonomous sports body. It has been reliably learnt that the Chief Minister while chairing the general body meet of the Council, took place on February 19, turned down the proposal that came up for discussion. Chief Minister resented the ongoing practice of assigning the coaches managerial positions. On being briefed that the Sports Council was in dire need of Coaches whose number is on decreasing order in various should be made managers at different stadiums and not the coaches, who, otherwise, were the real guiding force at the grass root level. If the sources are to be believed, the Chief Minister told the Minister for Sports, Taj Mohi-ud-Din and the Secretary, State Sports Council to shun the practice of promoting coaches as managers and went to the extent saying, "Revert them back to their coaching assignments to fulfill the short fall of the coaches in the state".

JU enters semis, PU Chandigarh upsets DU

JAMMU: Punjab University (PU) Chandigarh upset last year's silver medalist, University of Jammu (DU) as semifinals position has been cleared in the ongoing All India Inter-University Korfball Championship being hosted by University of Jammu. However, hosts JU had an easy sailing over SG Baba Amravati University beating latter 10-03 in the quarterfinals played today. Deepanti Sharma played superb game for JU contributing three baskets (goals) while Mohit Singh Bhau, Aditya Gandotra and Manpreet Kour added two each. From Amaravati, B Dhoke scored two baskets. Other two teams making it to the semifinals stages are defending champions, Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU) Rohtak and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar. In the quarterfinals,, MDU Rohtak outplayed Punjabi University Patiala 04-02 in a low scoring game while GNDU trounced last year's fourth posiwitnessed by Special Secretary to

Hyderabad Test will not be shifted to another venue: BCCI

NEW DELHI: The BCCI on Friday made it clear that the second cricket Test between India and Australia will go ahead as per schedule in Hyderabad since the state government has assured of safety and security of the players. The city of Hyderabad was rocked by two terror blasts on Thursday, killing 14 people and injuring many. The visiting Australian players and officials had expressed concerns but BCCI on Friday assured them all safety measures would be in place. Senior BCCI official Rajeev Shukla said they saw no reason to shift the Hyderabad Test, scheduled to begin from March 2, from the city. "After BCCI President spoke to me, I spoke to Union Home Secretary, who was in Hyderabad and had discussion with the Chief Minister and officials of state government. After that he apprised me that adequate security will be provided to the players as well as the spectators. So Test match should not be shifted out of Hyderabad," Shukla said. Shukla, who is also IPL Chairman, said BCCI President N Srinivasan will speak to Cricket Australia Chairman to assure him of the security of the players. "I have conveyed to BCCI President, who in turn is going to speak to Chairman of Cricket Australia to convey that when government is giving guarantee of safety and security of the players and the spectators, I think we should not change the venue," Shukla said. The first Test match has started in Chennai.

disciplines, quick was the reply from the Chief Minister. sources said that the Chief Minister was of the opinion that the coaches should not be assigned the managerial posts, rather they be elevated to their actual positions at different levels as per the practice in Sports Authority of India (SAI). He said that supervisors

The GNDU Amritsar plays against Osmania University in the quarterfinals at JU grounds, Jammu on Friday. tion holders, Osmania University 11-02 in a one-sided contest. Now, in the semifinals round, the last four teams shall play against each other on league basis to decide the champion. The league round shall start tomorrow. Today's quarterfinals were Vice Chancellor, JU, Jai Kumar Sharma, who was special guest. The technical penal, who officiated today's matches included Tarandeep Singh, Deepak Dutta, Amit, Ashok, Gagandeep Singh, Ashwani Sharma, Amandeep Singh, VP Sharma and Irfan Chowdhary.

Bopanna- Fleming in semis of ATP Open 13

MARSEILLE: Rohan Bopanna and his British partner Colin Fleming fought their way to the semifinals of the ATP Open 13, edging past James Cerretani and Adil Shamasdin. The second seeded Indo-British pair overcame a stiff resistance from the AmericanCanadian pair for 6-3 6-7(2) 10-7 win in the quarterfinals of the euro 528,135 hard court event. Bopanna and Fleming next face third seeded pair of Austria's Julian Knowle and Slovakia's Filip Polasek, who had an easy 6-4 6-2 win

Sania-Bethanie make semis of Dubai Duty Free C'ships

DUBAI: Sania Mirza and doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands have made the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships. The unseeded Indo-American duo beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 in the quarters to make the last four of the USD 2,000,000 event. Sania and Bethanie won the crucial contests in what was a closely fought affair. Throughout the match, Sania and Bethanie were exceedingly sucpared to the 58 per cent first serve success by their opponents. The match went on for 1 hour and 15 minutes. SaniaBethanie will now take on Cara Black of Zimbabwe and A n a s t a s i a Rodionova of Australia in the final4 encounter.

over Jerzy Janowicz and Frederik Nielsen. India's singles challenge had ended with the defeat of

Somdev Devvarman, who went down fighting against Australia's Bernard Tomic in the second round.

JU plans interdepartment sports meet

JAMMU: To spot the talent and also to develop sports culture on the campus, University of Jammu has planned the inter-department sports meet in different disciplines for men and women in mid of next month. To mobilize the target participants, the Campus Sports Committee has issued circulars to Various departments for sending the entries for various events. The entries should reach the office of the PTI Campus on or before March six. Likewise last year, the competition shall be held in the disciplines of badminton, table tennis, carrom, chess, volleyball and cricket (men) on the campus.

cessful in points won on first serve with 70 per cent success as com-

1st Test: Clarke's unbeaten ton takes Australia to 316/7 at stumps on Day 1
NEW DELHI: Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja struck in successive overs to give India massive breakthroughs as they removed Moises Henriques and Mitchell Starc respectively on the first day of the first Test at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Henriques shone with the bat on his Test debut as he scored half-century to frustrate India after Clarke led from the front as he scored much-needed half-century to help Australia resurrect. Clarke and Henriques stitched 151-run stand for the sixth wicket to turn the momentum in Australia's way after the visitors were stuttering at 153/5 at one stage. Earlier, off-spinner R Ashwin ran through the Australian middle-order for a five-wicket haul before Clarke and Moises Henriques batted patiently to take the visitors to 215 for five at tea. Ashwin added three quick wickets in the post-lunch session to reduce Australia to 153 for five but Clarke and debutant Henriques denied India any further leverage, handling the spin attack quite confidently. Clarke was bating on 45 and Henriques was giving him company on 29 when the players took break. Clarke brought in all his experience of playing in the sub-continent as his footwork was splendid while negotiating the turning balls. He got good support from Henriques, who did not fear to play chip shots by stepping out to spinners, never allowing Indians to dominate or take advantage of a fast wearing track. Australia added 89 runs in the session while India took three wickets, all claimed by Ashwin. Ashwin yet again was the most impressive of the Indian spinners as his bowling had all the ingredients -- turn, bounce and zip -- to trouble the batsmen. Clarke was lucky to stay at the wicket as umpire Kumar Dharamsena turned down a close-catch appeal off Ashwin, 10 minutes into the tea break. TV replays suggested that the batsman had indeed edged the ball before it flew into the hands of forward short-leg fielder. He was on 39 at that time. Ashwin had claimed his sixth five-wicket haul (5/51). Harbhajan Singh, playing his 100th Test, bowled nine overs in the second session but went wicket-less. Ravindra Jadeja also bowled nine overs but he hardly troubled either Clarke or Henriques. The pacers -- Ishant Sharma and debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar -have shared just 11 overs between them so far. Of the two, Bhuvneshwar seemed more impressive, managing a maiden and conceding 22 runs in his five overs even though he could not get a wicket.


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SEOUL: Indian boys overwhelmed Iran 3-0 while the girls outclassed Japan by an identical margin to storm into the semifinals of the 16th Asian Junior Squash Championship on Friday. The boys team, who had topped the Pool, won their quarterfinal tie against Iran with relative ease. Mahesh Mangoankar defeated Farzad Shokouhi 11-8 11-6 11-2 in the opening tie while Kush Kumar ended the challenge of Soheil Shameli 11-2 11-2 15-13 and Deepak Mishra put paid to the hopes of Alireza Shameli 11-6 11-2. India will face Hong Kong in the semifinal. The girls team, led by Anaka Alankamony, beat Japan 3-0 in their final group fixture to top the Pool. Anaka won a hard-fought contest against Risa Sugimoto 11-3 11-6 11-8 while Aparajitha Balamurukan was stretched to the limit by Satomi Watanabe before winning 11-5 11-4 6-11 11-4. Lakshya Ragavendran completed the whitewash with an 11-4 11-2 11-4 victory against Hinako Sakai.

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CHIEF-EDITOR, PUBLISHER, OWNER: Rohit Singh Rana, C.E.O.:Pawan Rathore, DY. CHIEF EDITOR : Vikram Singh Shan, Administrative Head Jammu: Vikram Singh Bhandari, Bureau Chief Kashmir: Allayee Faizan, LEGAL ADVISOR: Advocate Ashok Parihar PRINTED AT JK PRINTING & PUBLICATIONS, SUJWAN, JAMMU TAWI. For Contributing articles mail us at callme.ranasahib@gmail.com, editor.studentage@gmail.com. For Complaints, Querries or Advertisement Contact us: 0191-2580342.. Address: Sector-12, H.No-12 Nanak Nagar, Jammu (All disputes are subjected to the exclusive jursisdiction of Jammu District courts only.)