VOL: 03 I ISSUE NO: 23 I REG NO:ANDENG/2011/38184 I 29 JANUARY 2014 I WEDNESDAY I Rs. 2.00 I DAILY I PORT BLAIR I www.andamansheekha.com
ANDAMAN SHEEKHA EXCLUSIVE
Aftermath of Boat Tragedy
The Real Story of Tourist Boat Capsize accident
Technical Team begins safety audit of Private Tourist Boats
Thamba Master and four Crew of MV Jaikar emerge as real heroes Sanjib Kumar Roy & Mohammed Sajid Sheekha News Service
Port Blair, Jan 28: Three photographs which surfaced yesterday in social media pointed out that there was a second boat close to MV Auqa Marine, when the boat was sinking, triggering speculations that the boat was left passengers dying. After covering the initial story on 28 January 2014, Andaman Sheekha team investigated further deep and found that the second boat from which the photographs were taken was MV Jaikar. Andaman Sheekha also traced out the owner and the Master of MV Jaikar. Well experienced and highly knowledgeable Master of MV
Port Blair, Jan 28: In the aftermath of the boat tragedy in Port Blair the Administration has geared up to ensure total safety of passengers in private and government vessels. A technical team headed by the Chief Port Administrator has already started inspecting each and every private tourist boat to verify their registration and safety compliances. “Inspection of 26 boats at Junglighat Jetty has already been completed. It may be recalled that the Lt. Governor has ordered a detailed safety audit of all boats plying in and around the islands, including those Jaikar Mr. Thamba Kumar, observed that the tourist boat of the inter island and popularly known as MV Aqua Marine, which was mainland sectors,” said Mr. Thamba Master today going towards Chatham Jetty Rakesh Bali in a Press narrated the inside story of from Ross Island, infront of his the tragedy. Talking to boat, is tilting from rear side. Andaman Sheekha, Thamba Getting worried Master told that it was Thamba Master took his boat, (See page 7) nearly 3.30 pm when he
Tourist Boat Tragedy:
Feasibility of usage of LNG into the Islands being explored Port Blair, January 28: In our quest for affordable alternative energy sources for replacing fuels like diesel, the A & N Administration had asked Petronet LNG Ltd. to study the feasibility of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the Islands. The A&N Administration has entered into an agreement with Petronet LNG Ltd to
Release today. He added that detailed safety standard operating procedures are to be formulated and updated and their compliance ensured. The aspect of rescue and emergency response in such situations will also be highlighted and SOPs revised. Insurance of passengers also has to be looked into. “The Additional District Magistrate, South Andaman has already started the enquiry into the incident. The Magisterial enquiry will bring out the sequence of events, pinpoint the violations, if any with regard to the safety aspects and operational issues. It will also look into ways for strengthening the response mechanisms,” he said.
undertake a feasibility study at their cost. Petronet is a joint venture comprising of public sector undertakings of the Govt. of India such as ONGC, IOC, Bharat Petroleum and Gas Authority of India as well as GDF SUEZ and the Asian Development Bank, with the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Govt of India,
Shri Vivek Rae as Chairman. An initial presentation was made to the Lt Governor today by the Managing Director, Dr. A K Balyan and his team at Raj Niwas where Chief Secretary and other senior officers were present. Prior to this, the Petronet team had discussed with the Chief Secretary and (See page 8)
Andaman Administration refutes reports of delay and blast
Port Blair, Jan 28: The Administration today (See page 7) Andaman & Nicobar
16 navies to participate in the Milan exercise at A&N Islands next month NEW DELHI: The Navy is all set to launch another edition of its ‘Milan’ multi-nation exercise and conclave at the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with warships and delegations from 16 countries of the Indian Ocean Region and beyond taking part in it. The focus during the Milan exercise, being held from February 4 to 9, will be on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) but issues like maritime terrorism, piracy and poaching will also be discussed during the professional interactions. The participants are Australia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Cambodia, New Zealand, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania. “Milan basically is a biennial congregation of littoral navies, hosted by the Indian Navy in the A&N Is-
lands, to foster bonds of ‘friendship across the seas’, boost interoperability and share views on common maritime issues,’’ said an officer. “Milan began in 1995 to catalyze cooperation in the maritime domain. From four navies then, it has grown to include 16 navies now,’’ he added. Four other countries — South Africa, Vietnam, Brunei and Mozambique— were also invited for the event but could not make it due to different reasons. The Navy says an important priority in the Asia-
Pacific region is the protection of sea lanes around Malacca Strait since around 60,000 ships sail through it every year, transporting around 30% of the world trade in goods. For India, the stakes are clearly high, with the strategic A&N islands dominating the approaches to Malacca Strait. India’s central location in Indian Ocean, astride these major commercial routes and energy lifelines, makes it a major stakeholder in the region’s security and stability.
Azam Khan asks Muslims to unite to prevent Modi from becoming PM LUCKNOW: Asking the Muslim community to remain united to prevent Narendra Modi from becoming Prime Minister, Uttar Pradesh minister Mohd Azam Khan on Tuesday said a big conspiracy was going on to divide Muslims. “There is a big conspiracy going on to divide Muslims ... If you are divided, Narendra Modi will form the next government (at the Centre). We all have to remain united,” Khan said while addressing a conference of madrassa managers and principals here. He alleged
that whenever SP formed government in the state, some “strong forces” hatched conspiracy to create disturbance with an aim to defame Samajwadi Party. Attacking the media, Khan alleged that it always wants to keep the wounds of Muzaffarnagar riot fresh without allowing them to heal. Calling Modi a “murderer”, he said such a person could never become Prime Minister. Citing Rajinder Sachar Committee recommendations, Khan said it had advocated reservation for Muslims stating that they need
it more than Dalits. “The Centre should bring a Bill in this regard (Muslim reservation) and intentions of everyone will be cleared ... We will see who protests against it. There is still time left and Congress should bring the Bill,” he said. On the SP government’s attempt to withdraw terror cases against some Muslims, he said, “We wanted to withdraw cases against innocent Muslims lodged in jails ... But media made such an atmosphere that government had to backtrack.”
Letters to the Editor This is a wake up call for the administration. I am from Delhi and recently came from Andamans after spending a long 13 days vacations there. If you ask from the tourist then I would like to say that the above tragedy was not unexpected. It could happen at Baratang also at any time and to some extent even at Jolly Buoy as well. Being tourist I observed the following: 1. Overcrowding of boats. 2. Non availability of life jackets in boats (poor quality, torn, non-wearable, obsolete). 3. Non enforcement by boat officials for wearing life jackets. Even if you simply wear the safety jackets without locking it they don’t bothered. It is useless to wear life jackets if it is not properly secured/locked. Boat operators are only interested in making money. They may be seen trying to convince tourist to take extra snorkelling offer or extra glass bottom offer. 4. No control over price of boat tickets. For e.g. a trip to Jolly Buoy from Port Blair will cost Rs.750 + Rs.50 (permit cost)whereas a trip to Havelock from Port Blair in govt ferry will cost Rs.350/- & in Makruzz it cost Rs.815/-. So in other words at the cost of boat tickets to Jolly Buoy you can get the to and fro tickets from Port Blair to Havelock in govt ferry. I don’t think that locals in Andamans can afford to take a trip to Jolly Buoy. 5. No control over water sports tickets, Snorkelling, Sea Walk and Scuba Diving prices. There are different rates for these activities at different places. With these different rates tourist felt cheated. 6. It is difficult to get govt ferry/boat tickets from the STARS ticket counter by the tourist. In other words without tout/agent you can’t get the said ticket. The network of touts/agent is so strong that you won’t escape from it. The administration should have reserved the seats for locals and tourist. Further, there should also be the system of online booking. 7. There is large false impression created in the mindset of tourist that they will have to take a package while visiting Andamans otherwise they won’t be able to travel in Andamans. Every operator talks in terms of package. Take it from me since I visited Andamans two times that you can very easily manage your trip to Andamans alone. However, due to lack of information and publicity created by the IP&T, tourist are falling in the network of touts and operators. 8. The spots are not developed from the tourist point of view. There is still lot to do in this regard. However, I request the concerned authorities to wake up and look for the security and safety of the tourist otherwise this type of incident may happen again and again. Most of people especially boat operators, taxi operators and hotels/restaurant are totally dependent on tourist & such type of incident will definitely going to decrease the tourist inflow to Andamans. They should now change their mind set and if they want to survive then they must think about the tourist as well. I hope the administration, business operators and other concerned will take a call on this and act accordingly. Regards, Pankaj Kochhar Delhi. E-mail : email@example.com
ACCI lauds PBMC Chairperson and workers’ efforts Port Blair, Jan 28: The ACCI today conveyed gratitude to the Chairperson of PBMC, Mr. K Ganeshan and PBMC team of sanitary staffs for cleaning and packing of the
dead bodies in the mortuary in a record time which enabled the Administration and ACCI to send the remains of the dead to their relatives on (See page 7)
New works under MPLAD fund taken up by MP Port Blair, Jan 28: On the demand of the General Public of various areas, Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray, Member of Parliament has decided to undertake the following works under the MPLAD scheme for the development of the area and laid the foundation stone in a simple function organized by the general public of the area on 25/01/2014. The works are construction of 03 Nos. Class room at RGT Public School, Port Blair; Construction of Community
Hall at Attam Pahar, Garacharma Gram Panchayat, Construction of Community Hall at Manglutan, Guptapara Gram Panchayat and Construction of Rural Road at Bathu Basti, Namunaghar, Gram Panchayat. The Member of Parliamentary in a simple function has also inaugurated the boundary wall and footpath constructed in the Muslim Graveyard under the MPLAD scheme on25th
sonnel, Directorate of shipping services, president and members of Chamber of Commerce and the general public. “I, appreciate and express my heartfelt thanks to all the departments/organizations and general public who participated actively in the rescue operations. I also express my heartfelt thanks
has been making controversial remarks in the past as well but this retweet by Kejriwal, which is seen as an endorsement, has not been received too well. The BJP criticized the Delhi chief minister for the action, saying that as a chief minister he should be "doubly conscious" of what he endorses. "It doesn't auger well at all. A chief minister even if he endorses or does n' t endor s e t he retweet itself, he has allowed a certain language which is not deserving of either a chief minister or even a Member of Parliament. It is not doing the p u b lic discou r s e a ny favour."Being a chief min-
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday sanctioned an ex-gratia of two lakh rupees to the families of those killed in a boat tragedy at Andaman and Nicobar Islands .Manmohan Singh condoled the loss of lives in the boat tragedy and announced the relief from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi also expressed their condolences over the tragedy.(PTI)
Condolence Meeting Today edy. The Hon’ble Lt Governor, A&N Islands, Political leaders, elected representatives and officials of the A&N Administration will pay homage to the departed souls. All are requested to attend.
Life Jackets mandatory on boats inside Gandhi Park: PBMC
Port Blair, Jan 28: The PBMC today urged all the tourists visiting Gandhi Park to wear life jackets (to be provided by PBMC) which are mandatory to the Lt. Governor, A & N for one and all, while on riding Islands for his timely action paddle boats. “This request for the airlifting of all the dead bodies with in a period of five hours to mainland and releasing compensation to the r elatives of deceased,” Mr. G Bhasker, the Pr esident of Andaman Chamber of Commerce and BHOPAL: The CBI team of Industry said in a press re- anti-corruption branch lease today. (ACB), Dhanbad raided the residence of former Union minister and senior BJP leader Satyanarayan Jatiya in Bhopal on Tuesday in connection with an alleged scam ister he should now be doubly conscious of what he endorses, if he doesn't, he does not any business to retweet it and star t this kind of language in the socia l media, " s a id BJ P s p okes p er son N ir ma la Sitharamam. She also advised K ejr iewa l tha t b eing a chief minister, he should be conscious of what he is doing."If comments are on public personalities, one occupying the position of chief minister of Gujarat and the other Member of Parliament. It may be the independent view of a music director, but the chief minister (Kejriwal) should have been conscious," she said.
Arvind Kejriwal retweets controversial comment on Modi, Rahul NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday courted cont r over s y a f t er he r etweet ed a mus ic dir ect or ' s cont entiou s tweet apparently aimed at Congr ess vice-pr esident Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat chief minister Nar endr a Modi. Kejriwal retweeted mu s ic dir ect or Vis ha l Dadlani's tweet last night which r ead, "S tuck b et ween a mor on and a murderer....what now, India!?" Dadlani had made the comment after an interview of Rahul Gandhi was a ir ed b y a p r ivat e news channel. The music director
PM announces ex-gratia for boat tragedy victims
Port Blair, Jan 28: A condolence meeting is being organized at the Dr BR Ambedkar Auditorium of the PBMC at January, 2014. An amount of 12.30 PM of 29-1-2014 to Rs. 33,52,900/- has been pay homage to the departed spent out of the MPLAD souls who lost their lives on scheme fund. 26-1-2014 in the boat trag-
ACCI President expresses gratitude Port Blair, Jan 28: A Private tourist boat namely “Aqua Marine” capsized in the sea off Port Blair on Sunday evening and 21 tourists lost their life. Few lives could be saved due to appropriate timely rescue operations by the DHS, Doctors, nurses, paramedical staff of G.B. Pant Hospital, Police Department, Coast Guard per-
is for the safety of the General Public/Tourists and to avoid any untoward incidents,” a press release issued by Mr. K Ganeshan, the Chairperson of PBMC said here today.
CBI raid at former Union labour minister's house in Madhya Pradesh in recruitment at Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) on Tuesday. One of his son was recruited by BSL in 2008, said sources. Satyanarayan Jatiya, who had filed his nomination (See page 7)
EDITORIAL..... Closure of Kashmir extrajudicial killings case signals impunity shall prevail Army’s decision to ‘close’ the infamous Pathribal case involving alleged extrajudicial killing of five innocent Kashmiri civilians in 2000 is yet another confirmation of how blatantly impunity thrives in Jammu& Kashmir (J&K). It comes despite compelling evidence of the brutality involved. Justice S R Pandian, who inquired into killings of seven people demanding a probe into the case, noted this when he concluded the ‘security forces had deliberately obliterated’ evidence of the Pathirabal operation by completely charring three of the five bodies. The head of one of the bodies was missing along with the entire upper portion above the chest. This, he said, was done with a malafide ‘intention of getting rid of even the last traces of physical identity’ before the disfigured bodies were eventually buried at various places within a radius of over twokm from the encounter scene.The mutilation worked initially. The killings were declared a ‘major breakthrough’ and the five dubbed as foreign terrorists, who had 'killed' 35 Sikhs on the eve of US president Bill Clinton’s visit to India in March 2000. As usual, the story was reproduced verbatim in the media and the ‘encounter’ was sought to be painted an end to the story. But it was only the beginning. The story turned on its head within days. The complacency with five accused Rashtriya Rifles soldiers allegedly went about the ‘encounter’ underlined the sense of invincibility sweeping powers gave them. They had not even bothered to cover their tracks properly. The Army unit allegedly coerced villages into burying the five before leaving the scene without ensuring their belongings set alight were fully burnt. The belongings proved to be the first major breakthrough in unravelling the plot. More lives had to be sacrificed before the government agreed to exhume the bodies of the five civilians. The paramilitary CRPF fired and killed seven people demanding a probe into the ‘encounter’.The slain included the one, who had identified his father’s belonging among those of the five killed and exposed the encounter drama. This mounted pressure on the government, forcing it to order a probe into it. Initial DNA testing to establish the identities of the five was sabotaged before it was established the five they were indeed innocent civilians -- Zahoor Ahmad Dalal (22), Bashir Ahmad Bhat (26), Mohammad Yousuf Malik (38) Juma Khan (50) and Juma Khan (38). Their corpses were found dressed up in Army fatigues. The nose and the chin of one of them were found in separate graves. Another was initially identified by his
trouser as his head was missing. Zahoor’s body was completely charred without any bullet injuries. A portion of his charred sweater was all that was left of a handsome youth.The CBI, which later probed the case, eventually indicted Brig Ajay Saxena, Lt Col Brijinder Pratap Singh, Maj Saurabh Sharma, Maj Amit Sharma and Subedar Idrees Khan for killing the five in 2007. It described the killings as ‘cold blooded murder’ and presented a chargesheet against the five soldiers before a Srinagar’s court. The Army unsuccessfully challenged the move before the J&K high court before moving the Supreme Court (SC). It challenged the CBI’s jurisdiction to file the charges. The Army argued its men cannot be charged without the Centre’s permission under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). It cited the draconian law’s immunity clause knowingly as the Centre has never granted permission for trying armed forces in J&K including in rape and murder cases in the last two decades despite all its protestations about ‘zero tolerance to rights abuses. The SC presented the last hope at least in the Pathribal case. But that too was dashed when it upheld the Army’s contention and allowed it to decide whether to try the five in a civil court or have them courtmartialled in April 2012. It came surprisingly two months after the apex court questioned the extent to which the Army can claim immunity under the AFSPA. It had noted that rape and murder should not be considered as ‘normal crime’ and ‘there should be no question of sanction’ from the government to prosecute soldiers in such cases. The Court noted AFSPA gave ‘very limited protection’ in the ‘discharge of duty’ while hearing a CBI petition challenging the Army’s invocation of the draconian law to ‘bury the case’.The five were not killed in the line of duty, but were abducted and murdered in cold blood as the CBI established. The option given to the Army to subject the Patribal accused to inhouse proceedings reversed the unprecedented gains that had been made in the case. It reinforced the cynicism in the average Kashmiri Muslim that no arm of the Indian state could be trusted to be just to his/her community.The Army predictably chose the easier path. As it is clear now, the brutal killings and mutilation of the bodies was too serious an offence to be left for the opaque military tribunal to adjudicate. It would have been a potential game changer had the justice been allowed to prevail in the Pathribal case for it was perhaps the first time that a case, the one among thousands, was allowed to be investigated freely. But the way even institutions, otherwise the last hope for helpless masses, have acted in this case would make Kashmiris more real about their actual place in the world’s largest democracy.
Rajan defends rate hike, says cut wouldn't have helped banks MUMBAI: RBI Gover nor Raghuram Rajan, who on Tuesday surprised markets with a rate hike, defended the move saying a rate cut would not have impacted either banks or borrowers and that bringing down retail prices is the key to sustainable growth. "If we cut policy rates, it won't have any impact on banks'
cost of funds or lending rates for borrowers," Rajan told reporters in the customary post-policy press conference. "Consumer price inflation is too high, we need to br ing it down...and we should be able to reach the 8% objective by end of the year with this rate hike," he added.
Rahul Gandhi has walked the talk, Congress says NEW DELHI: Defending Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, par t y spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the Gandhi scion has "walked the talk". "Rahul Gandhi has walked the talk ... in Youth Congr ess, in NS UI (party's student wing), he had brought nothing short of a revolution," Singhvi said, countering the BJP's attacks on Rahul Gandhi following his TV interview. "It has not been done in any political party since Independence. He has brought democracy at the grassroots level in the party. There is transparency, openness, and empowerment," he said. On the 1984 anti-
Sikh riots, Singhvi said reconciliation with Sikhs has happened over the years. "Congress has held 1984 was a terrible thing ... Apart from apology, reconciliation has happened over the years with the Sikh community," he said. He also said that the 1984 riots were "spontaneous" while 2002 postGodhara riots were provoked. On Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi getting a clean chit from the Supreme Court-appointed S pecial I nvest igat io n Team, he said: "We are not saying Modi is criminally convicted, but what did Vajpayee mean when he said he did not follow 'Rajdharma'?"
Tourist Boat Tragedy... refuted reports in some print and electronic media units which say two hour delay in the response and a blast at 2:45 PM. “The preliminary enquiry indicates that the boat left Ross Island around 3:30 PM and the incident
occurred 15 minutes or so after that. As soon as the Police Control Room and Port Control Tower received information about the boat in danger, rescue vessels were mobilized immediately by the police and DSS, and reached the site within 20 minutes,”
Andaman Sheekha (From page 1)
7 (From page 2)
the mainland along with the Council for extending whole survivors yesterday itself. hearted support and coop“Chamber eulogies you and eration for undertaking the all your employees who have rescue and relief operation been associated in this gi- under PBMC Chairperson’s gantic tasks,” Mr. G. personal supervision, which Bhasker, President of ACCI enabled the Administration said in a press release today. to save the lives of 29 ACCI also appreci- drowned persons by evacuated the sincere and timely ating them to the GB Pant speak with a forked tongue, efforts made by Mr. K Hospital for immediate are self centred and have il- Ganeshan and the Municipal medical aid. lusions of infallibility.” Kargil records season coldest Party general secrenight at minus 20 degrees C tary Digvijaya Singh stressed that while Mr. Gandhi had SRINAGAR: Kargil town in “stood his ground and put his Jammu and Kashmir repoint across”, Mr. Modi had corded season's coldest night walked out of a television in- with the mercury settling at a terview when difficult ques- low of minus 20 degrees Celtions were put to him.With sius even as most parts of the Mr. Gandhi’s remarks on the Valley witnessed a dip in night 1984 riots inviting criticism, temperature. Mr. Singhvi pointed out that "Kargil recorded the Congress (both Prime minimum temperature of mi- mercury in the tourist resort Mr. Rakesh Bali, the Secretary of Andaman’s Information Publicity & Tourism (IP&T) in a press release today. He said that the Port Control Tower also directed neighboring vessels to rush for rescue. “While there (See page 8)
Congress comes out in defence of Rahul Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s first major interview to a TV channel on Monday night received adverse notice from opposition parties and a section of the social media but, a day later, his own party came out to defend him vigorously, giving a positive spin to his controversial remarks on the antiSikh riots in 1984 and nonanswers on corruption. Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, who returned to his job after a long
gap, said that Mr. Gandhi had displayed in the 80 minute long no holds barred interview both “humility and engagement”, as well as “honesty of purpose, sincerity, passion, commitment to changing the system”. Mr. Gandhi, he said, came through as a man steadfast in his “ideas, ideals and principles”. “He is quite unlike some persons in politics,” Mr. Singhvi said in a veiled reference to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, “who
Thamba Master and... with nearly 30 tourists, close to MV Aqua Marina. “I maintained a distance of 5 mtr because in such conditions the sinking boat could also hit my boat killing passengers in my boat,” Thamba Master added. He said by the time he reached close to the boat passengers of the boat started crying for help and to save them. Meanwhile, the amateur master of MV Aqua Marine A Prabhu, who was given the charge in absence of a full-time boat master, moved his boat toward MV Jaikar, in a dangerous way. “By that time, at nearly 3.50 pm the boat started sinking and people were on the sea. We were facing North East winds, so I took my boat on the East side and asked all boys in my boat to jump and save people as many as possible,” Thamba Master added. The four crew members of the boat Gautam, Raju, Netai and Rajesh first threw all the life jackets present in their own boat and then jumped into the water to bring people. They saved as many as 10 people. By the time Thamba Master intimated the Port Control Tower about it. But sadly it was the tourists present in MV Jaikar who played negative role. The tourists started shouting on crew members and asked to take them to safety first. “They slapped one crew member and manhandled me. My shirt buttons were torn off. By that time, within 20 minutes of my message, I saw four private boats Soniya, Dolphin, Meenakshi and Seven Star
(See page 8)
(From page 1)
nus 20 degrees Celsius which is lowest for this winter," an official of the MeT department said. The town in Ladakh region had yesterday recorded a low of minus 18.6 degrees Celsius. Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, down by more than half a degree from Monday's 0.9 degrees Celsius. Mercury in Qazigund - the gateway town to Kashmir valley settled at minus 1.6 degree Celsius, slightly down from minus 1.2 degree Celsius the previous night. Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius as compared to the previous night?s minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the official said. The
of Pahalgam plunged to minus 10.4 degrees Celsius as compared to minus 4.6 degrees Celsius the previous night. The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius, an decrease of of more than two degrees from minus 8.8 degrees Celsius the previous night. Kupwara, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.1 degree Celsius, as against the previous night's 0.6 degrees Celsius. The official said the mercury in Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, dipped by more than four degrees to settle at a low of minus 13.0 degrees Celsius as against minus 8.6 degrees the previous night.
CBI raid at former...
coming for rescue so I took my boat toward jetty with 10 rescued people. By the time we reached near Chatham we saw Police Boat coming for rescue,” he said. According to Thamba Master the accident occurred due to total negligence of the crew of MV Aqua Marine. There was leakage inside engine room as two amateur people were handling the boat and third crew was missing, they could not bail out water, which resulted in the accident. “Moreover, tourists were not knowing how to wear life
jacket. Some were putting it around head and drowned. A mother gave her baby to my boys and said to save her first but before we could save the mother too, the mother left the life jacket and died. It is impossible to hold a life jacket wearing a saree in heavy water current,” he said. Thamba Master and his team were real heroes, contrary to the earlier belief that they ran away, they had actually saved 10 passengers and their own 30 passengers. Andaman Sheekha team Salutes Thamba Master and his brave team.
papers for the Rajya Sabha elections in Bhopal on Monday, said no fraud was committed in the appointment of his son. Jatiya represents the Ujjain constituency of Madhya Pradesh and was a Cabinet minister from 1999 to 2004 and held portfolios of labour and social justice and empowerment. "My son was selected on the basis of his merits and by completing all necessary formalities. No norms were violated," Jatiya told reporters when questioned about the raids. BJP said that a raid on Jatiya's house was part of Centre's conspiracy to defame the political leader in fray for Rajya Sabha election. Party's state president Narendra Singh Tomar said, "It's nothing more than
(From page 3)
an old strategy of using CBI, many candidates were selected in stark defiance of set norms." This raid was followed by search operations at nine cities across the country in connection with a major scam pertaining to recruitments at BSL, a unit of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), in 2008, said sources. CBI has registered a case against 20 people allegedly involved in the fraud. Raids are being carried out at Ranchi, Patna, Bokaro, Bhubneswar, Bhopal, Mumbai and NCR. Jatiya's residential premise was searched for around two hours. CBI officials refused to share further details.
Congress names Selja, Sanjay Singh for Rajya Sabha Congress general secretaries Digvijaya Singh and Madhusudan Mistry are among the party nominees for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections, a clear indication that they will not contest from their Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. They will continue to focus on organisational work ahead of the general election. From Andhra Pradesh, the party has renominated K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, M.A. Khan and T.Subbarami Reddy, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, releasing the second list on Monday. The surprise name that gained currency is that of Lok Sabha MP from Sultanpur Sanjay Singh for one of the two Assam Rajya Sabha seats, so that, party sources said, he can be free to campaign in Amethi. This comes amidst speculation that the Raja of Amethi was being wooed by the BJP to cross over. Mr. Singh, who met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday, is already in Guwahati. Mr. Digvijaya Singh, who took a vow in 2003 not to take up any official position after he lost Madhya Pradesh after a decade as Chief Minister, it was expected, would be contesting
Tourist Boat Tragedy... m ay b e l a g o f a f e w minutes in this recorded sequence of event s, t he delay of two hours being cited by some sources is preposterous. The report of blast at 2:45 PM is be erroneous and is an attempt to sensationalize, create mischief and is contr ar y t o preliminary reports. Ho wever, the magisterial enquiry has to
(From page 7)
also report on the sequence of events and will shed light on this aspect,” Mr. Bali added. H e said that an FIR has been registered under section 304/34 of the Indian Penal a n d i n v es t i g a t i o n s a r e being conducted by t he Andaman & Nicobar Police and three persons have already been arrested.
MOVING EYES..... the Lok Sabha elections this time. Similarly, Mr. Mistry, who has been nominated from Gujarat, said just last week that he was looking forward to enter the fray in the general election. Meanwhile, hours before the last day for nominations, January 28, suspense on the names of four candidates continued — two from Assam, one from Jharkhand and one from Haryana. The second name for Assam will, in all likelihood, party sources said, be Bhubaneshwar Kalita, a sitting RS MP who is also the PCC chief. There is, however, another contender — Kirip Chaliha. Union Minister Kumari Selja was on Tuesday named Congress nominee for Rajya Sabha elections, putting an end to speculation that former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit could be brought to the Up-
Congress comes... Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi) had apologised for the anti-Sikh riots, no one in the BJP had, to date, expressed any regret for the 2002 riots in Gujarat. There had been 482 convictions after the 1984 riots, and the political careers of those senior Congressmen named in the cases had been adversely affected: currently, there were a few cases of reinvestigation. As far as the Gujarat riots are concerned, Mr. Singhvi pointed out that the en masse transfer of trials from the state to Maharashtra was a vote of no-confidence, he said, in the Modi government, a member of which is now behind bars for her role — Maya
Kodnani. “This was done to ensure an impartial, objective, fair, dependable” outcome which, it was felt, could not be had in the Modi-led Gujarat,” he added. In the interview, Mr. Gandhi had said that while the Gujarat government was “involved” in the 2002 riots, the Congress government had tried to stop the anti-Sikh riots. To repeated questions about some Congress MPs who were named in the 1984 cases, Mr. Singhvi said, “Political action has also taken place,” although he did not name anybody. The Congress had refused Lok Sabha tickets to Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar in the 2009 general elections following allegations of their having
per House from Haryana. Congress also nominated Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh from Assam besides re-nominating Assam PCC chief Bhubaneswar Kalita from the state. Ms. Dikshit was being talked about as a probable candidate from Haryana where several local leaders were also aspirants. The former Delhi Chief Minister was also being talked about as the probable nominee from Himachal Pradesh but there, too the high command brought Viplove Thakur as a candidate. Sanjay Singh hails from Amethi and holds considerable influence there. Amethi is the constituency of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi while Sonia Gandhi contests from neighbouring Rae Bareli. There was earlier speculation that Mr. Singh could join the BJP.
School Sports at Diglipur: Guess who is going to get a hit..
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officials of the Power Department. This presentation brought out the advantages of usage of Liquefied Natural Gas over other liquid fuels such as low costs as well as no environmental pollution. The presentation also highlighted the importance of this source of energy as an alternative for the power requirements of
these Islands, suggesting phased replacement of the obsolete diesel generating sets used by the Electricity Department. Simultaneously, the A&N Administration has also asked The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) to conduct a feasibility study on alternative, renewable sources of energy.
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played a role in the 1984 riots.Noting that that Mr. Gandhi had “walked the talk” on opening up the system by holding elections in Youth Congress and NSUI, Mr. Singhvi said the BJP does not have a comparable process. The Congress’s two youth organisations have 80 lakh members of whom five lakh are “elected officebearers”, he said, adding 25 per cent of the members are now women. Union MoS Milind Deora also praised Mr. Gandhi for the interview: “Refusing to get into personality slugfests, taking on core issues and focusing on solutions earnestly, Rahul’s interview was very refreshing,” Mr. Deora tweeted.
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