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Govt to axe ordinance, bill
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu as noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani looks on, at the Culmination Convention of Manthan, a youth movement to help set the agenda for 2014 General Elections, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
In Modi company, Naidu calls Manmohan a Sonia Gandhi tool New Delhi, Oct 2 : TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday dubbed Prime Minister Mamohan Singh as a "tool" of Congress president Sonia Gandhi while praising BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Speaking at an event here, Naidu shared the stage with Modi as he denounced what he said was a "drama" by the Congress on the ordinance on convicted parliamentarians. "We saw the drama around the ordinance on convicted lawmakers. They brought the ordinance, then Rahul Gandhi spoke against it," Naidu said. "Even the prime minister is just a tool in the hands of Sonia Gandhi," he added. Naidu lauded Modi and the BJP-led
NDA government, which the now ailing Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed, for pursuing development work."Earlier they used to talk only about Hyderabad. Now everyone talks only about (economic) development in Gujarat."He praised the NDA government, which his Telugu Desam Party had propped up, for starting the Golden Quadrilateral road project and for creating over six million jobs. He slammed the Congress for India's economic troubles. "In its over five decade rule since independence, Congress-led governments failed terribly to improve country's growth, which was reeling at a mere 3-4 percent till 1990. "It was only during P.V. Narsimha Rao's term when the country's growth improved after he introduced economic reforms."
Seemandhra employees refuse to call off strike Hyderabad, Oct 2 (IPT) : Government employees of Seemandhra Tuesday decided to continue their indefinite strike till the central government takes back the decision to divide the state. The talks between the state government and leaders of Andhra Pradesh NonGazetted Officers' (APNGOs) Association Tuesday evening failed to find a solution.APNGOs Association president P. Ashok Babu told reporters after the meeting with Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty that the strike would continue till they get an assurance that the decision to carve out separate Telangana state would be withdrawn.Babu said since it was a political issue, it was
for the government to respond to their demand. He said they only conveyed to the chief minister the problems the employees of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) would face in the event of bifurcation.He also made it clear that the employees were not afraid of government using Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).About seven lakh government employees, teachers and transport workers were on strike since Aug 13 to protest the Congress' decision to carve out Telangana state. The strike has paralysed administration while buses of stateowned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained off the
roads and schools are shut in 13 districts of Seemandhra.Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy Tuesday appealed to APNGOs to call off the strike in view of the hardships it was causing to people. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had last week made a similar appeal.The government has not paid salaries to the striking employees. Out of Rs.1,300 crore paid every month to the employees in the state, only Rs.300 crore were paid. Meanwhile, protests against Congress decision continued for the 63rd day in Seemandhra. Employees, workers, students, teachers and other sections of people took out rallies, stage sit-ins and form human chains to oppose bifurcation.
Leaders pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Shastri New Delhi, Oct 2 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congresspresident Sonia Gandhi and senior opposition leaders paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary here Wednesday, and also remembered late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 109th birth anniversary.The leaders paid floral tributes at Rajghat -- the Mahatma Gandhi memorial of on the bank of the Yamuna river. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath also joined in.A minute's silence was observed by all leaders present at the black granite memorial. The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti across the country. It is also marked as the International Day of NonViolence.Gandhi, born this day in 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat, played a key role in India's Independence struggle. He was as-
sassinated Jan 30, 1948.BJP leader L.K. Advani and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda led the parliamentarians in paying floral tributes at the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri in the Central Hall of Parliament House.Shastri was born this day 1904 at Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh. He was the country's second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru died May 27, 1964. Shastri served the nation for 19 months and two days from June 9, 1964 to January 11, 1966, at a very crucial period of Independent India. The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in the Central Hall Aug 28, 1947, by the president of the Constituent Assembly of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, while the portrait of Lal Bahadur Shastri was unveiled Oct 2, 1993, by the then President of India, Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma.
New Delhi, Oct 2 : orced into a corner after the public censure by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday withdrew the controversial ordinance and the bill that sought to save convicted lawmakers from disqualification. A day after the prime minister indicated that the ordinance could be taken back, the cabinet met for just 20 minutes in the evening at Manmohan Singh's official residence to take the decision, brushing aside the disapproval of some Congress allies. A hassled looking Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told the media: "The decision of the cabinet to withdraw the ordinance and the bill was unanimous." He insisted that the cabinet U-turn did not mean that the authority of the prime
Initiatives on Kashmir should be taken forward: Chidambaram Srinagar, Oct 2 : Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that initiatives taken by him on Kashmir when he was the home minister should be "carried forward". "I wish the interlocutors' report and the initiative taken by the all-parties delegation should have been taken forward. I still hope these initiatives can be carried forward," Chidambaram said at the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Srinagar Tuesday evening. Three interlocutors were appointed by the central government in 2010 to find a way forward in Kashmir, an initiative largely believed to owe itself to Chidambaram. Dilip Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari were appointed as three interlocutors during the 2010 summer unrest in the Kashmir Valley in which 110 people were killed in bloody clashes between mobs and the security forces. An all-parties delegation of parliament members also visited during 2010 to defuse the growing tensions. Chidambaram said there is still scope for reducing the footprints of the security forces in Kashmir and the process of amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was still on. "We don't claim that we resolved all issues. The work (about amending the AFSPA) is still in progress and I still believe that it can be done," he said. Admitting that there are forces at work in Kashmir beyond the control and reach of the state, Chidambaram expressed optimism that the youth in Kashmir have realised the futility of following the path of violence.
minister, who had earlier backed the ordinance, had been undermined by Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice president. The writing on the wall was clear since Gan New Delhi, Oct 2 : orced into a corner after the public censure by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday withdrew the controversial ordinance and the bill that sought to save convicted lawmakers from disqualification. A day after the prime minister indicated that the ordinance could be taken back, the cabinet met for just 20 minutes in the evening at Manmohan Singh's official residence to take the decision, brushing aside the disapproval of some Congress allies. A hassled looking Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told
the media: "The decision of the cabinet to withdraw the ordinance and the bill was unanimous." He insisted that the cabinet U-turn did not mean that the authority of the prime minister, who had earlier backed the ordinance, had been undermined by Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice president. The writing on the wall was clear since Gandhi's Sep 27 dramatic outburst that the ordinance was "complete nonsense" and should be "torn up and thrown away". The ordinance, now with President Pranab Mukherjee, sought to overrule a Supreme Court ruling that favoured the disqualification of convicted MPs and state legislators from their legislatures. Tewari sought to give Congress-led UPA credit for going back on its own decision. "Democracy is not a monolithic authoritarian sys-
tem of government," he said. "We respect the diversity of views, and there was a view which was articulated by Rahul Gandhi."He said Gandhi's criticism of the ordinance was possibly based on a "wider feedback". "Under those circumstances, the (earlier) cabinet decision was reconsidered and it was decided that we would withdraw both the bill and the ordinance. "It demonstrates that you have a government which is not authoritarian in nature." Tewari said the bill would be taken back by parliament at an appropriate time. But Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who was not in agreement with Wednesday's move, did not look too happy as he came out of the cabinet meeting."We (NCP) have communicated our views. What I said was said in complete secrecy. I made my views clear," the agriculture
minister told reporters.National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who too was not at home with the U-turn, was blunt: "It was a cabinet decision then, it is a cabinet decision now... I am not upset, but I am not happy." The road to the ordinance's burial began early in the morning when Rahul Gandhi called on the prime minister to explain his public criticism of the ordinance when Manmohan Singh was in the US.No details of the Manmohan-Rahul meeting were available. Hours later, the Congress core group, including party president Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders, who had last week cleared the ordinance, discussed its likely withdrawal.Shortly thereafter, the prime minister met President Mukherjee, before the latter began a week-long trip to Turkey and Belgium.
L&T Hyderabad Metro unveils train car Hyderabad, Oct 2 (IPT) : Though the first phase of Hyderabad Metro Rail is expected to become operational in March 2015, people now have a chance to feel and experience the coach they will be travelling in. A model coach, which is half the size of the actual coach, is on public display at Necklace Road on the banks of Hussain Sagar in the heart of Hyderabad. It will be kept for a month. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Wednesday unveiled the coach built by Hyundai-Rotem consortium in South Korea for the 72-kmlong elevated rail project. He said Rs.14,132 crore project was one of the biggest projects in the world in
Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. "Metro Rail will be become one the jewels of Hyderabad and will add value to the city," the chief minister said. The fully air-conditioned coach has been designed with the advanced Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system, which will be used for the first time by any metro in the country. V. B. Gadgil, Chief Executive and Managing Director, L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (LTMRHL), told reporters that "the latest, safe and reliable technology" would enable trains to "talk to each other" by indicating their position. Though the system is de-
signed to run the trains at 80 km per hour, the actual speed will be 38-40 kmph due to stoppages at stations and curves. LTMRHL has ordered 171 coaches for the project, which comprises three corridors. "To start with we will run three-car trains. As the ridership improves, we will run six-car trains," said Gadgil. Using the advanced radio based technology, two trains can be run with a difference of one-and-half minute. "Initially we will run with the frequency of three to five minutes. Later we will reduce it to two minutes and if required we can reduce it to one-and-half minute," said N.V.S. Reddy, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metro Rail
Ltd (HMRL).Reddy said each six-car train will ferry more than 2,000 people. "It means 60,000 passengers can travel per direction per hour and 120,000 people on both directions. It is a huge mass rapid transit system," he added. Gadgil was confident of running the trains on the first stage of the project from March 2015.Reddy said by launching services on the eight kilometer stretch from Nagole to Mettuguda, they want to give it as a 'Ugadi' gift to people of Hyderabad. The delivery of the coaches will start in May next year. All 21 coaches required for running seven trains on the eight km stretch will be available before the end of next year.
Children dressed like Mahatma Gandhi assemble at an event during Gandhi Jayanti in Ajmer on Wednesday.
Rahul meets PM over controversial ordinance New Delh, Oct 2 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday met President Pranab Mukherjee after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi discussed with him the ordinance that proposes not to disqualify convicted lawmakers.Manmohan Singh went to Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet the president following the Congress Core Committee meeting attended by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders. Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi met Manmohan Singh to discuss the ordinance, which he had called a "complete nonsense" which should be "torn up and thrown away"."He
(Rahul Gandhi) arrived at the PM residence around 9:45 a.m... they discussed the ordinance," a party official said.The prime minister also called a cabinet meeting Wednesday evening to review the controversial ordinance publicly trashed by the Gandhi scion. The remark created a political storm, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying that the prime minister should step down. Manmohan Singh Tuesday said he would not quit over the perceived undermining of his authority and that of his cabinet by Rahul Gandhi, who spoke up against the ordinance when the prime minister was visiting the US.
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Rahul to hold two rallies in UP, BJP uncertain While confusion prevails on the fate of rallies of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Congress has gone ahead and decided to hold two rallies for Rahul Gandhi in the state. The Gandhi scion and Congress vice-president would be addressing the two rallies at Aligarh and Rampur on Oct 9, largely with an eye to the minority vote bank in these two places, an office bearer of the state Congress said. The two back-to-back public rallies are also being seen as the Congress answer to the BJP's plan to "carpet bomb" the state with nine Modi rallies in the state, the first to be held in Kanpur, a seat held by the Congress for the last three terms. The Congress rallies have been christened 'Dhanyavaad Rallies' and are aimed at thanks-giving by the "party and the people for Rahul Gandhi's proactive role in getting landmark legislations like Land Acquisition Bill and Food Security Bill passed in parliament", a Congress leader told. The Congress, besides trying to woo back the Muslim vote bank that slid into the baskets of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the last decade, will also try to snatch the Dalit and Other Backward Classes votes of the two regional parties, the source said. By deciding to hold the rallies in Aligarh and Rampur - a seat held by the BSP and the pocket borough of SP leader Azam Khan - party insiders say, Gandhi was trying to hint at the party's readiness to go against both the BSP and the SP in the next Lok Sabha polls. Both parties have been supporting the UPA II government from outside. The BJP, meanwhile, continues to be mired in the confusion over the permission for and venues of the nine Modi rallies planned by the state unit over October, November and December. The first rally was to be held in Kanpur, but since its dates clashed with religious festivals it was put off. At many places, the BJP is faced with venue problems as the grounds they zeroed in on are either unavailable, or district administrations have denied the party permission for their use.
Army payoff: UPA government has abandoned statecraft India has a vulnerable security scenario. In the last two decades we have been victim of cross border terrorism. We have lost more innocent citizens to insurgency than through conventional wars. Initially terrorism was cross border. Today, many local modules are operating within the country. A large part of central India is in the grip of Maoist violence. On June 4, I had written an article on whether a discredited Central Bureau of Investigation should uncover the Intelligence Bureau. A lot more has happened since then. Disclosures in relation to certain activities of the Indian Army now raise a larger question -- ‘Should covert operations be leaked out by the government and made a subject matter of public debate’. India has a vulnerable security scenario. In the last two decades we have been victim of cross border terrorism. We have lost more innocent citizens to insurgency than through conventional wars. Initially terrorism was cross border. Today, many local modules are operating within the country. A large
part of central India is in the grip of Maoist violence. The Prime Minister once described it as the most serious challenge the country is facing. There is insurgency in several states of the NorthEast. Successive governments have either tried to negotiate settlements or strengthened the security set up to counter this insurgency in the North East. The military police approach to counter these antinational activities is partly successful. The need is to strengthen our intelligence agencies so that they are able to uncover the activities of groups which spread terror and insurgency. Needless to say that in fighting terrorism our intelligence agencies have met with reasonable success and busted many
modules both domestic and cross border. While the role of the intelligence agencies is to develop their own capabilities they need to create strategic assets. They have to infiltrate into these modules. They need to befriend the communities where such modules are active. They use technology in order to intercept their communications. They need to infiltrate into their activities internationally and develop contacts within the governments abroad or with groups, which operate parallel to the targets of our investigation. The hard fact is that in a country with serious security threats, the existence of these activities of intelligence agencies has to be strengthened. Intelligence agencies have to conduct various covert operations. And yet there has to be an element of deniability in the covert operations. They must be happening, but we do not admit them or talk about them. Larger public interest demands this. My charge against the UPA government is that for narrow political interest it has deliberately leaked out the covert operations in two cases thereby creating a serious set back to our counter-insurgency operations. The government leak published in a newspaper indicated that a certain politician of Jammu & Kashmir had received funds for allegedly toppling the state government. The former army chief has stated that the army does make payments to stabilize
the system in states affected by insurgency. It stabilizes them by either helping the community through community-friendly activities or otherwise. None of us knows or is entitled to know the details of these activities. The Right to Information cannot apply to these activities. The CBI cannot invoke its investigative jurisdiction to start investigating whether secret funds have been properly spent by the Intelligence Bureau, the R&AW or the Military Intelligence or by any other agency. All these activities are neither accountable to Parliament nor judicially justiceable. These are a part of the covert operations. The desirability and the appropriateness of these activities is a subject matter for the government of the day to decide. Prime Ministers, Home Ministers, Defence Ministers, Chief of the Army staff, heads of IB and R&AW and several others in the government are privy to information which must necessarily die with them. It cannot become a part of their memoirs. Should such an information been leaked out by the political establishment which had a problem with the former Army Chief? Pushed to a corner should the Army Chief at all have admitted that such payments were indeed undertaken? The United Progressive Alliance government has abandoned its statecraft. It does not mind if the country is hurt as long as the UPA can score points when faced with a certain electoral defeat.
As Ukraine looks west to Europe, Russia’s shadow looms Put out by Europe’s efforts to build closer relations with six countries in east Europe and the Caucasus former Soviet republics that Russia regards as in its sphere of influence - Moscow has been steadily turning up the heat. Armenia was the first to cave, turning its back on an “association agreement” with the European Union and agreeing instead to join Russia’s customs union - a trade zone with Belarus and Kazakhstan launched in 2010. Moscow has also homed in on defense or trade vulnerabilities in Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan, although the first two remain likely to move ahead with closer EU ties at a special summit in Vilnius in late November. Belarus, despite friction with Moscow, remains firmly in Russia’s camp for now. The big question is Ukraine, economically and politically the most important of the partnership countries. Despite pressure on trade, including key gas supplies from Russia, which sees Ukraine as culturally its own, Kiev is determined to look West and seal closer links to Europe next month. That’s not what Moscow wants to hear, or will accept. “What we have seen during the past few weeks is brutal Russian pressure against the partnership countries of a sort that we haven’t seen in Europe for a very long time,” said Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt last month, describing Moscow’s actions as “economic warfare”. Russia has said it is
merely protecting its interests. “Russia is in no way trying to infringe on anyone’s sovereign right to make decisions about their international activity,” President Vladimir Putin said in September. Nearly all the partnership countries do the vast majority of their trade with Russia and rely on it for gas. Moscow is concerned about a flood of European goods entering the country if Kiev signs a free trade agreement with the EU. Trade is particularly sensitive: Russia was Ukraine’s biggest trading partner but not any longer. Now it is the EU, with 27 percent of Ukraine’s exports and 34 percent of its imports, and the volume growing by double digits annually. Russia is also wary of the EU’s broader agenda. Drawing in countries in the region could over time help Europe secure a degree of influence over vital gas and oil supply routes towards the West at the expense of Russia’s dominance. As a result, Putin has threatened to impose punitive tariffs and other restrictions on imports via Ukraine if it goes ahead with the EU agreement. “We would somehow have to stand by our market, introduce protectionist measures,” Putin said last month. “We are saying this openly in advance. As if to underline the message, Russia has taken steps against Lithuania, an EU member state that currently holds the union’s presidency, imposing extra
customs checks on Lithuanian trucks and heavy losses for Lithuania’s large trucking industry. And in the back of the minds of all the partnership countries is the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, when Moscow made very clear its power over a former republic. While Ukraine has not bowed to the threats and uses every opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the European bloc that four of its seven neighbours have already joined, it is not as if closer EU ties are an openand-shut case. With nearly 46 million people and a $330 billion economy, Ukraine is easily the biggest prize among the eastern partnership states. But Europe cannot afford to compromise on justice and human rights solely to pull one country closer into its orbit, no matter how strategically important it may be. Ukraine has to carry out a range of judicial, electoral and business reforms to secure the association agreement, as well as finding a solution to the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister now imprisoned for abuse of power following a 2011 trial the EU said was based on selective justice. EU officials are satisfied with the progress made on reforms, and expect all of the ‘benchmarks’ to have been met by the Vilnius summit on November 28-29. But Tymoshenko is a much more intractable problem with no clear solution. Germany has said it
wants the former prime minister, who is receiving treatment for back problems while under guard in hospital, released or at least allowed to travel abroad for treatment before it can back the association agreement. That position is broadly supported by Britain, France, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, while several east European member states are more flexible on what the terms of any deal on Tymoshenko should be. For Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich it is a deeply emotive issue. There is an ingrained animosity between him and his former political rival and a fear, analysts say, of retaliation by her against him if she is set free. What’s more, Ukraine says it is not possible to release Tymoshenko unconditionally as it would violate the law, an argument officials in Brussels acknowledge has some truth. The hope was an agreement could be reached by October 21, when EU foreign ministers hold a regular monthly meeting. But EU officials are not convinced the date will hold. They are also not sure a deal can be clinched by the meeting after that on November 18 - just 10 days before the eastern partnership summit. “If you ask me, I think this will go right down to the wire, or at least very close to it,” said a senior EU official directly involved in the negotiations.Asked if Tymoshenko might still be in custody in Ukraine on November 29, when Kiev should be signing the association
agreement, two EU officials involved in trying to resolve the dispute acknowledged that might be the case. “But she may not still be there in early December,” one of them said, hinting at the possibility of a compromise that involves her leaving the country soon after the summit.Both Ukraine and the EU appear determined to seize the moment and sign the agreement, no matter what the reservations. The message that would send to the wider region, including the resource-rich Caucasus, would be a powerful one. From the EU’s point of view, Ukraine is an opportunity that cannot be missed: Kiev wants closer association and if Europe does not act now, it may well lose it to Russia and the customs union forever, the tide of history ebbing away. The failure to draw in Ukraine would likely diminish the EU’s sway over other countries covered by the eastern partnership policy, undermining its goals of spurring democratic reforms in the region and safeguarding political stability. “We cannot accept any attempt to limit these countries’ own sovereign choices,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the European Parliament in his annual address last month. “We cannot turn our back on them.” The hope in Europe is that opening trade routes will improve cooperation on other issues such as security and, over time, demonstrate the benefits of democratic governance.In the near-term,
Europe needs help in addressing crime - countries such as Moldova lie on important trafficking routes towards the EU. In the Caucasus, territorial disputes such as that between Armenia and Azerbaijan could hurt Europe’s energy aims and pull it into conflict with Russia. “The fundamental interest in the eastern partnership is to have a zone of stability to the east of the European Union and not be faced with state failure ... in which case there could be spillover into the EU,’ said Michael Leigh, a senior adviser with the General Marshall Fund in Brussels. But for all its planning, Europe also knows retribution, in the shape of an energy squeeze, is likely from Russia. Moscow, which has a long-standing disagreement with Ukraine over gas, has said it will raise Ukraine’s gas prices and officials do not rule out it doing the same for the EU, which gets nearly 40 percent of its gas from Russia.Moscow has in the past, during disputes with Ukraine, cut off the flow to EU member states, several of which are entirely dependent on Russia’s supplies, and could do so again. “We would not be surprised if they play the gas card, it’s among the factors we are taking into account,” said the EU official involved in the Ukraine negotiations. But the EU’s calculation also is that Russia, which relies on Europe for revenue from its gas, will not impose restrictive measures for very long.
Medicines don't cure male 'hot flashes' as they do in women The symptoms experienced by women, who are going through menopause, and men, who are receiving hormone therapy for prostate cancer, are the same- flushed face, a sudden rush of heat, sweating, etc.But unlike in women, neither soy protein nor a common antidepressant provides relief for men, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Hot flashes occur in approximately 80 percent of men who are undergoing hormone manipulation as treatment for prostate cancer.Hormone therapy reduces the levels of male hormones, called androgens, to prevent them from reaching prostate cancer cells and stimulating their growth.Dr. Mara Vitolins, lead author of the study and professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist, said that changing hormone levels cause hot flashes in both women and men, so the team hoped that using soy supplements and/or an antidepressant would help reduce them in men as it does in many women. Participants in the study completed a seven day prescreening phase and 12 weeks of intervention.One hundred and twenty men, ages 46 to 91, who were androgen-deprived were randomly assigned to one of four daily regimens: placebo pill and milk powder; venlafaxine, an antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat hot flashes in women, and milk powder protein; soy protein powder and placebo pill; or venlafaxine and milk powder. Hot flash symptom severity and frequency and quality of life were assessed by the researchers.The researchers found that neither venlafaxine nor soy protein alone or in combination reduced hot flashes in men."Utilizing interventions that appear effective in decreasing hot flashes in women to treat men who have hot flashes has proven to be relatively ineffective," Vitolins added. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Long monsoon spreading dengue
Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday attributed the rise in the number of dengue cases, which have already crossed 2,000, to the long monsoon in the capital."This year the monsoon has been going on since June, and we have had rainfall even in September. This has lead to the accumulation of fresh water, which are prone to mosquito breeding grounds," he said.Addressing the media on World Blood Donation day, the minister said: "Community participation is most important to prevent the spread of dengue. People have to take a step forward and not allow water to accumulate in and around their area." There have been three deaths in the capital due to the vector-borne disease. A total of 2,124 cases were reported from Delhi and adjoining areas, according to officials.After a gap of two years, the city is witnessing a rise in the dengue case, with 1,962 cases reported in September alone.
Indians walk less than 30 minutes a day: Survey
A regular walk helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle but a survey indicates that a lot of people in India don't even walk for a minimum of 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace.The online survey was conducted by international internet-based market research firm YouGov on behalf of the World Heart Federation.As many as 1,021 adults (above 18 years of age) in India were surveyed. The study shows that 46 percent of the respondents walked less than half an hour at a brisk pace on a given day. Earlier studies have shown that walking is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk in the Indian population. Everyone should walk at least a total of 30 minutes at a brisk pace to lead a healthy and stress free life, Monika Arora, director, Health Promotion, Public Health Foundation of India, said in a statement. It was also found that adults aged between 18 and 24 do more brisk walking on a typical day than those in any other age group.Public Health Foundation of India had recently partnered the World Heart Federation to promote walking among Indians by announcing the launch of a free smartphone application Ground Miles to help people track their walking habits.
AIDS initiative may have prevented 600,000 HIV infections in India
Around 600,000 people in India may have been saved from becoming infected with HIV over ten years with the help of a programme funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to a study. In an evaluation of the 2003-launched AIDS project Avahan, researchers from the School of Public Health at Imperial College, London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated that Avahan prevented more than half of the infections that would have occurred without its intervention. An investment of over 250 million dollars for the Foundation, Avahan involves outreach and risk reduction education programmes, condom distribution and social marketing to build community resilience and reduce the stigma attached to HIV. The main part of the evaluation was based on data from 24 districts in south India where Avahan operated, covering the period from 2004 to 2008, and it found that in these districts, 62,800 infections were prevented in the first four years of the programme, which increased to 606,000 over a decade. According to researchers, Avahan can be effective at controlling HIV in the population at large, adding that if the programme is replicated, it is possible that the large scale expansion of this intervention to other settings in Asia and Africa could have a demonstrable impact on the worldwide HIV epidemic over the next decade.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
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No real progress in 'constructive' Iran-IAEA talks: Diplomats
A Palestinian worker smokes a cigarette inside a smuggling tunnel along the border with Egypt in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Gaza’s tunnel smugglers along the border with Egypt are mostly idle these days. Some rest on cots in the dank underground pathways, stretching out for a smoke. Others pass the time cleaning the small carts on wheels that are normally pulled through the tunnels carrying cement or consumer goods from Egypt. Since the summer, Egypt’s military has tried to destroy or seal off most of the smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, a consequence of the heightened tensions between Cairo and the Hamas government in Gaza.
Russia charges Greenpeace activists with piracy Moscow, Oct 2 : Russian authorities charged Greenpeace activists from several nations with piracy on Wednesday over a protest against Arctic oil drilling at a platform owned by the state-controlled energy company Gazprom, the environmental group said. The piracy charges, which Greenpeace said were absurd, are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The federal Investigative Committee said authorities had begun charging 30 people arrested after the protest last month, in which a Greenpeace icebreaker approached the Prirazlomnaya platform and two activists tried to scale the rig - a crucial part of Russia's effort to mine Arctic resources. By midday, five people had been charged, Greenpeace said Brazilian crew member Ana
New breakthrough in photonics to usher era of 'faster' electronics Washington, Oct 2 : Researchers have made a breakthrough in the field of silicon photonics which could help in the development of faster electronics. The research team, led by University of Colorado Boulder researcher Milos Popovic, an assistant professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, developed a new technique that allows microprocessors to use light, instead of electrical wires, to communicate with transistors on a single chip, a system that could lead to extremely energy-efficient computing and a continued skyrocketing of computing speed into the future. Popovic and his colleagues created two different optical modulators -structures that detect electrical signals and translate them into optical waves - that can be fabricated within the same processes already used in industry to create today's state-of-the-art electronic microprocessors. The modulators are described in a recent issue of the journal Optics Letters. First laid out in 1965, Moore's Law predicted that the size of the transistors used in microprocessors could be shrunk by half about every two years for the same production cost, allowing twice as many transistors to be placed on the same-sized silicon chip. The net effect would be a doubling of computing speed every couple of years.
Paula Alminhana, Russian activist Roman Dolgov, Finnish activist Sini Saarela, British freelance videographer Kieron Bryan, and Dima Litvinov, an activist with Swedish and U.S. citizenship."It is an extreme and disproportionate charge," Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said. "A charge of piracy is being laid against men and women whose only crime is to be possessed of a conscience. This is an outrage and represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest." A court in the northern city of Murmansk last week ordered all 30 people from 18 countries who had been aboard the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise to be held in custody for two months pending further investigation. The Investigative
Committee said authorities had begun to charge the activists on Wednesday but gave no details. The environmental group says the protest was peaceful and posed no threat, and that piracy charges have no merit in international or Russian law. President Vladimir Putin said last week the protesters were clearly not pirates but they had violated international law. The Investigative Committee said on Monday peaceful aims would not justify what it has called an "attack" that posed a threat to the platform and its personnel. Prirazlomnaya, Russia's first offshore oil rig in the Arctic, is slated to start operating by the end of the year and is expected to reach peak production of 6 million metric tons per year (120,000 barrels per day) in 2019. Russia, whose slowing economy
is heavily reliant on income from energy exports, hopes Arctic oil and gas will help fuel future growth. Putin, whose current term ends in 2018, has described Arctic shipping and development and last month announced plans to reopen a Soviet-era military base in the region. Greenpeace says scientific evidence shows any oil spill from Prirazlomnaya, in the Pechora Sea, would affect more than 3,000 miles of Russia's northern coastline. Naidoo called Russia's treatment of the protesters "the most serious threat to Greenpeace's peaceful environmental activism" since its ship Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk while in port in New Zealand in 1985, when the group was protesting French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
US shutdown enters 2nd day; Obama slams Republicans Washington, Oct 2 : With both Democrats and Republicans sticking to their stands on a new budget pushing the shutdown into the second day on Wednesday, President Barack Obama has blamed a “reckless” opposition for the latest financial crisis that has forced up to one million workers off the job. The two parties failed to strike a deal before the October 1 deadline on spending and budget due to differences over ‘Obamacare’, the signature healthcare programme of President Obama. Mr. Obama lambasted the Republicans for being “reckless” in their apparent willingness to take down the government in order to take down the law overhauling major aspects of health care coverage. He championed the law, signed it in 2010, and then saw it upheld by the Supreme Court
last year.“We know that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be. More families will be hurt. More businesses will be harmed. So once again,” he said on Tuesday on the first day of the shutdown, the first time in nearly 18 years. Mr. Obama urged the Congress to pass the budget and end the shutdown. “Pay your bills, prevent an economic shutdown. Don’t wait, don’t delay, don’t put our economy or our people through this any longer,” he said. “I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay bills it’s already racked up. I’m not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to refight a settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hardworking families over a
law you don’t like.” About 800,000 federal workers in the US were told to stay at home while national parks, museums, government buildings and services shutdown as a result of the deadlock. Meanwhile, the White House said the Congress ought to open the government, return people to work, and “without drama and delay fulfill its responsibility” to make sure the United States pays its bills. But the Republican Party leaders, were not willing to make any changes in their approach, as a result of which the Congress has not been able to pass the budget. Accusing the Republicans of indulging in blackmailing tactics on the affordable healthcare laws, which came into effect on Tuesday, the White House threatened to veto any piecemeal bill funding only parts of the federal government.
Iraq death toll for September nears 1000: UN Baghdad, Oct 2 : The death toll for Iraq in the month of Septembet hit the whopping figure of 797, said the UN mission in Iraq on Wednesday. Adding to the fears of Iraq declining back to the civil war situation of 2006-07, the country has, in past few months, seen increasing incidents of sectarian attacks. UNAMI said on Tuesday that it recorded 979 Iraqis killed in September. The fatalities include those among security forces and troops killed in insurgent
attacks nationwide. The surge in violence was seen after a Shiite-led government of Iraq launched an offensive on a Sunni protest camp in April this year. More than 5,000 have been killed since then. After that, bloodshed and violence have become a routine affair for Iraq, with attacks being witnesses almost every day. Most of the attacks are targeted at Shiites and carried out by al Qaeda's branch in Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Militants are keeping up a high pace of attacks in an effort to capitalize on tensions between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite Muslims, which are being inflamed in part by the sectarian divisions reflected in the civil war in neighboring Syria. More than 3,000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months, raising fears the country could see an even deadlier, sectarian round of bloodshed similar to what brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.
Vienna, Oct 2 : The U.N. atomic watchdog and Iran appeared to make little real headway in talks last week and it is uncertain whether Tehran's more positive attitude will help yield a longsought breakthrough, diplomats said on Wednesday. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency in Friday's meeting it wanted to achieve substantive results within months in the talks on a stalled IAEA inquiry into suspected atomic bomb research by the Islamic state, one envoy said. But he and others briefed on the closeddoor discussions stressed that hopes had been raised before in Iran-IAEA meetings since early 2012, only to be dashed by what Western states saw as Iranian stonewalling. Iran denies any nuclear weapon aims. The first talks between Iran and the IAEA since Hassan Rouhani took office as Iranian president were watched in the West for any sign of a shift by Tehran from
Be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi: Ban Ki-moon United Nations, Oct 2 : UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday urged the world to be inspired by the courage shown by Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence who was born on this day in 1869. "Today we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and his resonant legacy of non-violence," Ban said in a statement. "Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression, injustice and hatred. His example has inspired many other historymakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Václav Havel, Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Nelson Mandela," he said. Calling on people across the world to be inspired by people like Mahatma Gandhi, Ban said: "Turn your back to division and hatred; stand up for what is right and just. Work with your fellow women and men for a world of lasting justice, peace and prosperity for all." He said the UN stood for peaceful resolution of disputes and an end to all forms of violence. "Ending such violence can start with each of us - in homes, schools and workplaces. Violence can be contagious, but so can peaceful dialogue," he said.
the defiance of his hardline predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The election in June of Rouhani, a relative moderate who has pledged to try to end the decade-old nuclear dispute with the West, has fuelled hopes of a peaceful resolution to a protracted row that could otherwise flare into a new Middle East war. One Western diplomat said he had the impression that Iran and the IAEA were relatively "optimistic" after the meeting in Vienna, where the U.N. agency is based. Another envoy said the discussions had been focused and the atmosphere positive. Both sides, including the new head of Iran's delegation, described their discussions as "constructive" and said the next meeting would be held on October 28 but gave no detail. The IAEA talks are distinct from Iran's meetings with world powers, but both diplomatic tracks center on suspicions that Iran may be seeking the capability to as-
semble nuclear bombs behind the facade of a civilian atomic energy programme. Iran says its nuclear programme is a peaceful bid to generate electricity, and not aimed at building weapons. But its refusal to curb sensitive nuclear work and lack of full openness with the IAEA has drawn increasingly harsh Western sanctions. The Iran-IAEA meeting was a "good harbinger of better relations", said Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank. "There is a new mood of optimism in Vienna that finally there is a way forward," Fitzpatrick said. The IAEA wants access to sites and officials for its probe into what it calls the possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme. Iran has dismissed allegations that it may have worked on designing a nuclear bomb as forged or baseless. Eleven meetings since January last year have failed to end the deadlock over how the IAEA
Bangladesh breaks ground for maiden nuclear plant Dhaka, Oct 2 : Energy-starved Bangladesh today laid the foundation stone for its first 2,000-MW nuclear power plant complex to be built with Russian assistance. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated work on the Rooppur nuclear power plant at Pabna district the country's northwest, which will have two 1,000-MW reactors that are expected to cost about USD 4 billion. "It is a milestone in the use of technology (in Bangladesh)...I believe it fulfils the nation's dream," Hasina told the groundbreaking ceremony. The nuclear plant is expected to be completed in the next five years and will provide 10 per cent of the country's total power under an energy roadmap, she said. Bangladesh aims to increase power production to 20,000 MW by 2021. The ceremony came two years after Bangladesh and Russia signed a crucial agreement on cooperation for the nuclear plant, which is expected to be completed by 2017-18. Bangladesh signed an initial deal with Russia's state-run nuclear agency Rosatom in November 2011 to build the plant to meet its growing energy needs. During Hasina's visit to Moscow in January, the two sides signed an agreement whereby Russia will provide a USD 500 million loan to Bangladesh for the plant. Officials said the Rooppur plant will be built with "third generation technology" and protected by five layers of security in line with directives of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), which gave its green signal for the project in 2007. A total of 162 acres was acquired for the plant in 1963, when Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan but the project was shelved for decades awaiting IAEA approval.
More bodies to be retrieved from Nairobi mall
Nairobi, Oct 2 : Investigators in Kenya said they were expecting to retrieve more bodies from the Westgate shopping mall which was stormed by terrorists Sep 21 leaving over 60 people dead and dozens injured. Security officials on Wednesday said there were still more bodies trapped in the rubble, Xinhua reported. "We retrieved a gun and two bodies of the Kenya Defence Forces soldiers Tuesday who were killed during the four-day siege. Search is still under way and some bodies are still in the site," an official told Xinhua requesting anonymity. "The retrieval of more bodies still trapped in the site have been hampered by the amount of debris. This task will take us longer," he added. "One of the bodies was severely burnt but the boots and lower part of the body were found intact," the official said.
People of Freedom party leader SIlvio Berlusconi listens as Italian Premier Enrico Letta delivers his speech at the Senate, in Rome.
should conduct the investigation. But Iran has pledged, since Rouhani took office in August, to increase its cooperation with the IAEA and it appointed a new envoy to the U.N. agency in August. The next IAEA talks will take place about two weeks after Iran meets six world powers in Geneva in mid-October. Western diplomats have long suspected that Iran might only agree to provide the IAEA with the access it wants as part of a broader settlement that wins it significant sanctions easing in return for scaling back its nuclear programme. The six powers - the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia - "have to make sure that their desire to solve this crisis once and for all doesn't sacrifice" the IAEA's investigation, nuclear expert Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment think tank said. "The IAEA can't simply ignore what Iran has done in the past because it is politically expedient," Hibbs said.
India to be world's most populous nation by 2050 Paris, Oct 2 : India will overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2050, according to a new French study which predicts the global population to surge to 9.7 billion people by the middle of the century. The report by the French Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), predicts India will take the top spot with a staggering population of 1.6 billion to leave behind current world leader in population, China, at the second place with 1.3 billion people. The overall world population is projected to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 from the current level of 7.1 billion, the report said. Currently, the world's most populous countries are China with 1.3 billion people; followed by India (1.2 billion); the US (316.2 million); Indonesia (248.5 million) and Brazil (195.5 million). The study backs the population predictions by the UN and the World Bank. In June, a UN study predicted the global population to swell to 9.6 billion in 2050. "The world population has risen seven-fold over the last two hundred years and is expected to reach 10 or 11 billion by the end of the twenty-first century," according to the report by Gilles Pison, senior researcher at the French institute. According to the report, the projected population of other countries in the world by 2050 (in millions) will be: Nigeria (444), US (400), Indonesia (366), Pakistan (363), Brazil (227), Bangladesh (202), Congo (182), Ethiopia (178), Philippines (152), Mexico (150), Russia (132), Tanzania (129), Egypt (126), Uganda (114), Vietnam (109), Iran (99), Japan (97), Kenya (97), Turkey (93), Iraq (83), UK (79), Germany (76), France (72), Sudan(69), Niger(66), South Africa (64), Mozambique (63) and Colombia (63).
Thursday, October 3, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
Myanmar Muslim families hide in forests after deadly clashes Tjamdwe, Myanmar, Oct 2 : Terrified Muslim families hid in forests in western Myanmar on Wednesday, one day after fleeing a new round of deadly sectarian violence that erupted even as the president toured the divided region. The discovery of four bodies brought the death toll from the latest clashes up to at least five. Tuesday’s unrest near the coastal town of Thandwe, which saw Buddhist mobs kill a 94-year-old woman and four other Muslims and burn dozens of homes, underscored the government’s persistent failure to stop the sectarian violence from spreading. Rights groups say President Thein Sein, visiting the region for the first time since clashes flared there last year, has done little to crack down on religious intolerance and failed to bridge a divide that has left hundreds of thou-
SP opposes withdrawal of controversial ordinance Lucknow/New Delhi, Oct 2 : The Samajwadi Party (SP) said Wednesday that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should not withdraw the ordinance approved by the union cabinet to protect convicted lawmakers from immediate disqualification. Rajya Sabha member and senior party leader Naresh Agarwal said if the union cabinet reverses its earlier decision to pass the ordinance, it would mean "one man's whims are bigger than democratic norms and propriety". He pointed out the SP was all through against the Supreme Court ruling and added that it was a "conspiracy to topple the democratic order in the country". Targeting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, the SP leader said if the ordinance is withdrawn, it will prove that the Gandhi scion is bigger than the government of India. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav refused to answer questions on the controversy surrounding the ordinance, and told reporters that graft was a big problem in the country and people across party lines should get together to ensure clean politics. "It is not good to point fingers at each other.
sands of Muslims marginalised and segregated, many of them confined by security forces in inadequately equipped camps for those who fled their homes. Mr. Sein arrived in Thandwe on Wednesday, the second day of his visit to Rakhine State, and was to meet religious leaders from both communities. While Mr. Sein has condemned the violence in Rakhine State before, critics say his security forces have not done enough to contain it. They also say his government has failed to crack down on radical monks who have instilled hatred and fear of the nation’s Muslim minority, arguing they pose a threat to Buddhist culture and traditions. In a message to religious leaders that ran in Myanmar’s state-run news-
papers on Wednesday, Mr. Sein said the sectarian unrest threatens the government’s reform process “and tarnishes the national image internationally.” “The constitution of Myanmar fully guarantees freedom of religion as the fundamental right of citizens,” Mr. Sein said. “We all should never misuse this noble idea of freedom of religion, or use it as a springboard for any kind of extremism or for fuelling hatred.” Mr. Sein has been widely praised for overseeing an unprecedented political opening in the Southeast Asian nation since the army ceded power two years ago to a nominally civilian government led by retired military officers. Even with a boosted security presence, unrest engulfed several villages in the Thandwe area a day before the President’s arrival. Wit-
nesses said soldiers and police made no efforts to step in to try to stop Tuesday’s violence. In Thabyuchaing, about 20 km north of Thandwe, more than 700 rioters, some swinging swords, took to the streets, police officer Kyaw Naing said. A 94-year-old Muslim woman died from stab wounds in the clashes that followed, the officer said, adding that between 70 and 80 houses were set on fire. Another officer, however, said only 19 homes were burned. Thandwe township police confirmed on Wednesday that the bodies of four Muslim men were in the village. A Muslim resident of Thandwe, Myo Min, said a small mosque in Kyikanyet, about 40 km from Thandwe, was burned by attackers on Tuesday night. Police said they were trying to confirm that report.
PM briefs Mukherjee on Cong Core Group's stand New Delhi, Oct 2 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan here for almost an hour on Wednesday, and reportedly briefed him about the Congress Core Group's latest decision on the controversial ordinance on convicted parliamentarians. According to sources, the Congress Core Group has decided to withdraw the ordinance. The meeting of the Congress Core Group was attended by the Prime Minister, party chief Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and others. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony were not present at the meeting. The meeting of the Congress Core Group was significant in wake of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's public outburst against the Cabinet ordinance. Rahul Gandhi met the Prime Minister for about 25 minutes earlier in the day. This was the Prime Minister's first interaction with Gandhi after his return from U.S. The Prime Minister will meet President Pranab Mukherjee this afternoon be-
fore the latter leaves on a state visit to Greece. A special Cabinet meeting has been called at 6 p.m. today. Dr. Singh, who returned home yesterday after his fiveday visit to the United States, said there is no question of him resigning from office. "I have seen Rahul Gandhi's statement. He has written to me on this subject also, and, let me say, that when issues are raised in a democracy, in a democratic polity, the right course is to start with trying to understand what is agitating the minds of the concerned people. When I go back, I will discuss these matters with Mr. Rahul Gandhi. He has asked for a meeting with me, and, I will also take my Cabinet colleagues into confidence. We will see which way the wind blows," Dr. Singh said onboard Air India One. When specifically asked to respond to the opposition's demand that he should have resigned from office immediately after Gandhi's criticism of the ordinance while he was abroad, Dr. Singh said: "Well, there is no question
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy unveiling the Hyderabad Metro Rail Model Coach at Necklace Road, Hyderabad on Wednesday.
of resigning. I said I will put all these issues before my Cabinet colleagues. These are all matters which are discussed before the highest body, the core group of the Congress Party. The Cabinet discussed this matter twice, not once. But, it is always possible to change one's mind, and, I will consult my colleagues on all these issues," he added. In a major embarrassment to the ruling UPA, Rahul Gandhi had earlier on September 27 dubbed the ordinance to negate the Supreme Court verdict on convicted lawmakers as 'complete nonsense', and said it should be torn up and thrown away.
Girl alleges Bihar cop of rape in police station Khagaria, Oct 2 : A probe has been ordered against a sub-inspector (SI) of police after a girl alleged that he raped her at a police station in Bihar's Khagaria district recently, police sources said on Wednesday. Superintendent of Police (SP) Deepak Barnwal transferred the accused SI Satyendra Singh, to police lines and asked the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Rajiv Ranjan to probe the rape charge against Singh, the sources said. The girl, a native of Marr village, had alleged in a complaint that she was raped by the Singh at Morkahi police station last week, where she had gone to record her statement under section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate, in connection with her escapade with her boyfriend about which her family had lodged a case, they said. Meanwhile, the Bihar State Women Commission Member Chandramukhi Devi said that she will go to Khagaria to probe the rape charge against the SI, the sources added.
President Pranab Mukherjee paying homage at Rajghat on the occasion of 144th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
No village, army post occupied by guerrillas: Army Srinagar, Oct 2 : The army Wednesday denied reports that guerrillas had taken over some unoccupied army posts or a village on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Keran sector. "I have to tell you that our operation against a group of infiltrating terrorists in Keran sector is still on. The operations have entered the eighth day today (Wednesday) and the group of terrorists have been effectively cordoned off," Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, told reporters.He said a
group of 30-35 guerrillas had crossed into the Indian side of the LOC eight days back and was surrounded by the alert army troops, engaging them in a gunfight in which 15 guerrillas have been killed while five soldiers sustained injuries. "There is no village involved. Yesterday (Tuesday) also, there was some infiltration in the area probably to help the militants in the cordoned area. "The cordon is effective and I am proud of our soldiers who are committed. "The cordoned area is 9,000 to 10,000 ft above sea level and in dense forests.
There is undergrowth and also some rocky area which could have some caves. It is possible they (militants) have made a small hideout there. "I request you to wait. I cannot give you any details. Those would affect the operation," he said. Replying to a question about some media channels reporting that some unoccupied, empty posts of the army had been taken over by the guerrillas, he said, "I have visited the area yesterday (Tuesday). We will never allow anybody to even raise eyes at our posts. All posts are intact. The cordon is in our control and the operation
is in progress."We have seen that this infiltration was by a large number of militants. Be patient and have faith in your soldiers."The corps commander added that no posts on the LOC in the sector were left unoccupied or vacated by the army. "No post has been left unoccupied by us when the operation started. We will not let them escape," he said. It must be mentioned that some news reports had said a village on the LOC was taken over by a group of guerrillas on the Indian side and they also occupied some army posts left vacant by the soldiers in the sector.
5 soldiers injured in Army’s anti-infiltration bid along LoC Srinagar, Oct 2 : The Army has launched a major anti-infiltration operation against militants and suspected Pakistan special troops holed up in an area in Keran sector along the Line of Control in which five Indian soldiers have been injured. “We are in total control of the operation which was launched on September 24, 2013. The reports of our posts being captured by the infiltrators are absurd,” General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps Lt. General Gurmit Singh told reporters in Srinagar on Wednesday.“From the operation that is going on till now and the strength (of infiltrators) and the multiple points they attempted (to infiltrate), give the indication that definitely there were some special troops. This is quite different from the trend we have seen in the earlier infiltration attempts,” he said. Five soldiers have been injured in the operation that entered the 9 day on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Singh said.“All the injured soldiers have been hospitalised and are stable,” he said. Lt. Gen. Singh refused give details of the operation, saying it could compromise the effectiveness and strategy used by the Army against the infiltrators holed up in the area.He said the operation was started on the basis of
specific intelligence inputs about possible infiltration in Keran sector by militants from across the LoC. Although the Army commander maintained it will be premature to say whether the Pakistan Army was involved in the infiltration of militants, he said there were definite indications that some special troops were part of it. The Army, he said, was prepared to take on this challenge. “This is our role and this is what we are meant for,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Singh said the militants have been cordoned off by the soldiers but the operation was being carried out in a calibrated manner to avoid Indian casualties. “The operations are deliberate. We are not rushing through as rushing through will mean (the risk of) own casualties,” he said. “I have also observed some of the reports... It seems to me that some inimical elements, subversive elements have been giving the inputs of this black propa-
ganda,” he said, referring to some reports which claimed that Pakistani troops had captured some Indian posts. Lt. Gen. Singh said the analysis of this infiltration bid indicated the involvement of Border Action Team (BAT), a mixture of Pakistani regulars and militants, in it. “I can only say, analysing the methodology of this infiltration, it was not a pure infiltration (attempt). It was a BAT-cum-infiltration (bid). The number of militants who attempted this infiltration
was rather large. In fact, yesterday night 10 to 12 militants tried to sneak into the cordoned off area from across,” he said.He also rubbished media reports that a 70-year-old man was killed in Tangdhar sector.“The militant was aged between 40 and 45 years. An AK-47 rifle was recovered from him. A detailed search of the area led to the recovery of more arms and ammunition including 12 AK rifles which were made in Pakistan,” the Army commander said.
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