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Misc News Folder
Veerappan Encounter: Centre rejects special promotion, awards for STF officers
k.ram: The link's not working. Alternative link here: Centre of not recognising the efforts of the Special Task Force (STF) that ended forest brigand Veerappan's reign of terror

If I'm not mistaken Special Task Force chief Vijayakumar had shaven his head after taking down Veerappan in accordance with a oath he had taken. Also he had walked bare foot from one temple to another (forget the exact temples).
Something that might not sit well with pesudo-secularvadis in Center.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>We have N-bomb: N Korea </b>
Reuters/ Seoul
North Korea declared on Thursday for the first time that it possessed nuclear weapons and said it was suspending participation in six-way talks on dismantling its nuclear programs for an indefinite period

The announcement sent out shockwaves among neighbouring capitals, coming when some of the world's largest military powers have been trying to coax the reclusive communist North to return to talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.

"We had already taken the resolute action of pulling out of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and have manufactured nukes to cope with the Bush administration's evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK," the North's Korean Central News Agency quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying.
DPRK is short for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The statement is the North's first official response since President Bush said in his inauguration speech on January 20 that he was committed to ending tyranny.

While Bush did not specify countries, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has singled out North Korea as one of six she said practiced tyranny.

The tirade from the Foreign Ministry referred directly to US statements as Pyongyang's reason for boosting its defenses.

"The true intention of the second-term Bush administration is not only to further its policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK pursued by the first-term office but to escalate it," the Foreign Ministry said.
"The Bush administration termed the DPRK, its dialogue partner, an outpost of tyranny, putting into the shade its hostile policy, and totally rejected it," the ministry said.

"This deprived the DPRK of any justification to participate in the six-party talks," it said.

North Korea had sought a conciliatory gesture from the United States with the inauguration of Bush for his second term and the appointment of Rice as new secretary of state, analysts said.

However, the Foreign Ministry stressed the nuclear arsenal was purely defensive and Pyongyang still wanted to use dialogue to rid the Korean peninsula of atomic weapons, KCNA said.

But it said it saw no compelling reason to return to the six-way talks amid bellicose signs from the second Bush administration.

"We have wanted the six-party talks but we are compelled to suspend our participation in the talks for an indefinite period till we have recognised that there is justification for us to attend the talks," the Foreign Ministry said, adding it would wait for conditions conducive to positive results.

Washington has recently stepped up efforts to revive the six-party talks, sending an envoy to the region last week with letters for Chinese President Hu Jintao, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia have held three rounds of talks with North Korea since August 2003 and have been trying to coax Pyongyang back to the negotiations.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Militants kill 5 armymen in Manipur </b>
Agencies/ Imphal
At least five paramilitary troopers, <b>including a captain</b>, were killed and another seriously injured in an ambush by separatist guerrillas in Manipur.

A defence spokesman said armed militants of the outlawed <b>Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)</b> late Wednesday attacked a convoy of the Assam Rifles near village Kumbi, 45 km south of Imphal.

"The militants opened random fire on the security convoy killing five Assam Rifles personnel and critically injuring another," defence spokesman Major Santanu Dev Goswami said on Thursday.

The soldiers, engaged in counter-insurgency operations, were on a routine patrol when the rebels ambushed them from a hillock.

The KYKL is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the predominantly Hindu Meitei community in Manipur.

"This is one of the major attacks on security forces by militants in the region in recent months," Goswami said.

There are more than 19 militant groups active in Manipur with demands ranging from independence to autonomy and the right to self-determination <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Powering India
<b>Riots in Afghanistan over 'Koran desecration'</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Jalalabad, Afghanistan, May 11: Afghan police opened fire on protesters on Wednesday in violent demonstrations which left four dead and dozens wounded after a report that US interrogators had desecrated the Koran, a health official said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Newsweek magazine said in a recent edition that investigators probing abuses at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay had discovered that interrogators "had placed Korans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet". <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Maoist threat will be tackled: Jana
`There is no threat to police from use of rocket launchers as they
are in primitive stage'
[From: The Hindu (Chennai) 13 May 2005]

HYDERABAD: The Home Minister, K. Jana Reddy, has said that there is
no immediate threat to the police from the use of rocket launchers by
Maoists as they have not gained accuracy in its flight.

In an interview to The Hindu here on Thursday, the Minister said the
rocket launcher attack on Durgi police station two days ago had shown
that the missile was in a `primitive stage' of development. The
Government would take steps to counter the Maoist threat.

The police possessed more advanced weapons like the two-inch mortars
with a range of over 300 yards to attack naxalite camps. They were
using grenade firing rifles in special operations.

Hopeful on talks

Mr. Reddy was optimistic that negotiations with the Maoists would
resume as he firmly believed that the problem would have to be solved
only through a dialogue. The Government was in touch with
intellectuals, and conveying readiness to reopen the dialogue
provided extremists abjured violence. Their representatives, if any,
were welcome to talk to the Government. He said morale of the police
was high in spite of reverses suffered by them after the breakdown of

Asked whether the Government had imposed an undeclared ban on Maoists
going by the combing operations, Mr. Reddy said it was taking steps
within the legal framework to contain violence.

There was no repression or harassment by the police and their
operations were not aimed at weakening the movement but to carry out
normal policing to check disturbances.

The Minister dismissed as false allegations that the police were
resorting to fake encounters. The Government would achieve nothing by
resorting to repression or encounters.

It believed in upholding the rule of law, weeding out the youth from
naxalism and creating an awareness among the public against violence.

Mr. Reddy denied that the police had leaked out the letters written
by the former Maoist emissaries which resulted in the recent
controversy. It was media which investigated into the letters
recovered from a party courier.

Warrant against Varavara

He added that the Government was under no pressure to get the search
warrant against the former emissary, Varavara Rao, withdrawn nor had
it done so far. He did not, however, explain reasons for delay in
executing the warrant.



Maoist `couriers' in judicial custody
Staff Reporter

GUNTUR: The Gurazala Second Additional Munsif Magistrate, K. Subba
Rao, on Thursday remanded Vineel Reddy and Krishna, alleged Maoist
couriers, to judicial custody till Wednesday and both of them were
sent to the Rajahmundry Central Jail. the Magistrate on May 2 came to
an end.

"My son does not have any contact with the Maoists, he is doing his
regular job. He has been implicated in the case," said Vineel Reddy's
mother, Lalithamma.

<b>Afghan players arrested for waving Indian flags</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Five Afghan football players have been arrested on charges of displaying Indian national flags during a football tournament in North Waziristan, Online news agency reports.

According to the Voice of America, the organisers of the football tournament said the Indian flag was displayed along with flags of other countries for beautification purpose only and there was no political motives behind the move
<b>Battle lines drawn as EU summit breaks down</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Open warfare broke out about the future of the European Union after EU leaders drew battle lines over its budget, heaping new shame on the bloc after their failure to revive its constitution.

<b>The dispute saw Britain arrayed against virtually all of its 24 fellow members in defence of its widely-resented budget rebate, and descend into a particularly ugly cross-channel verbal skirmish with France.</b>

"We were very close to an agreement, but certain delegations simply did not have the political will to succeed," lamented EU president and Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker overnight after the summit in Brussels broke up.

<b>"People will tell you next that Europe is not in a crisis. It is in a deep crisis," </b>a visibly shaken Juncker told reporters.
Britain and US game plan to break EU.
<b>Review the Indus Waters Treaty </b>

MS Menon

The internationally lauded, much hyped agreement on the Indus waters, the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan is back in the news, but for the wrong reasons. Since then, Pakistan has been raising the bogey of violation of the treaty to stall or delay any such projects in J&K.

Construction of the Wular Project (J&K) had to be stopped by India just to accommodate the tantrums of Pakistan. More recently, the Baglihar Project (J&K) was in the news with Pakistan getting a World Bank nominate, a "Neutral Expert", to go into the features of the project, thus delaying its construction. It is now targeting the Kishan Ganga Project (J&K) raising similar objections to stall it.

Background of the dispute: Partition resulted in the division of the Indus basin between the two countries triggering dispute on the sharing and utilisation of the Indus waters. Continued negotiations between India and Pakistan held under the auspices of the World Bank culminated in the signing of the Indus Waters Treaty. While the World Bank brokered the treaty, it is not a guarantor, but has certain responsibilities to ensure its smooth functioning.

The treaty allocated, with some restrictions, the waters of the three western rivers - Indus, Jhelum and Chenab - to Pakistan and the waters of the three eastern rivers - Sutlej, Beas and Ravi - to India. Signed as a gesture of international cooperation and good will, it envisages the most complete and satisfactory utilisation of the waters of the Indus system. But even after five decades, due to Pakistan's interference India has been able to develop only 1500 mw of hydro power out of a potential of 8769 mw from its share in the western rivers.

Biased provisions of the treaty: An impression has been created internationally that the Indus Waters Treaty is a model for international river water agreements since it has inbuilt resilience and has survived two wars between the countries. To claim that the treaty has outlived the tempests of history is a blasphemy; and to extol it as a model for principles of water sharing and utilisation is a sacrilege. Subsequent events have proved that equitable sharing was not the concern and complete utilisation was never the intention of the vested interests who strived for the treaty; the underlying objective seems to be only to perpetuate the dispute.

They made a mockery of equity in the distribution of the Indus waters by allocating three rivers each to the disputants to give an impression that they have equally divided the Indus system. India got only 20 to 25 per cent of the total flows. Further, they faulted by ignoring the seventh prominent river, the Kabul river, in the Indus system thereby permitting Pakistan the unbridled use of its waters in addition to the three western rivers.

If we delve deep into the principles of water allocation and other provisions in the treaty, it would be clear that the real facts on the much-hyped treaty are concealed and buried under a mountain of rhetoric. Working of the treaty has revealed that India has accommodated more than what is expected of her even though the proposals in the treaty were biased in favour of Pakistan.

The treaty is being used as a handle by Pakistan to scuttle India's storage projects in J&K. Its objections to Indian projects have always been couched in a language of non-constructive application of the treaty provisions. The costly alternatives suggested by Pakistan ignored sound engineering economics and practices, and India had been pointing out all such anomalies.

On its part, India has been always willing to accommodate Pakistan in the interest of peaceful relations. But this spirit of accommodation is being considered as a weakness by Pakistan, which is becoming more aggressive to make the Indian projects a subject of endless debate thereby impeding their implementation. The delay tactics have affected developmental efforts in J&K.

Disenchantment with the treaty is growing in India <b>as Pakistan has succeeded in stalling the Indian projects, 27 in all, by objecting or adversely commenting on them in spite of India supplying the requisite data</b>. It is time India remodelled its strategy in dealing with Pakistan in this regard. India should go ahead with the construction of all planned projects as these are well within the treaty provisions. There is no provision in the treaty necessitating India taking formal clearances from Pakistan for these projects. Nor is there any provision to stop the construction of a project pending resolution of Pakistan's objections. What is needed is a strong will to implement the projects.

A review of the treaty is required considering the inequity in water allocation, design and construction technologies then suggested - which have now become outdated - and inherent ambiguity in treaty clauses giving undue benefit to Pakistan. Though there is no exit option in the treaty, there is an option for review. India should ask the World Bank to review the treaty clauses including the water sharing formula in the light of the Helsinki Rules (1967) and other international guidelines so that injustice done to it in the treaty is rectified.

With the demand for water increasing and scarcity looming large, we have to get our rightful share of the Indus waters. It is time to strike at the root of the problem. A review of the treaty is what the Government of India should bid for.

<b>Shame on India's pussillanimous act.</b>
Those 27 projects translate into thousands of crores of rupees of taxpayers money. If these baskars have no will to implement mamoth projects like these, why start them at first place?
When Narendra Modi stole the show at the NDC meet

Keshto, your link's broken.
Related story on Rediff

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The one who stole the show was Narendra Modi. He made a power-point presentation without for a moment looking at the prepared text.

The Gujarat chief minister pointedly told the prime minister that though the Planning Commission was scaling down the growth target from over 8 per cent to a little over 7 per cent, Gujarat had registered a growth rate of over 15 per cent last year and was on course to repeat the feat this year too.

It wasn't just Modi's figures and statistics that impressed the chief ministers and senior babus at the NDC meet. Modi packaged his contents in a well-reasoned speech interspersed with pointed references to rising social and economic indicators made possible by policy measures undertaken by his government.

And because he had mastered his case well, there was not a soul in the main hall in Vigyan Bhawan who did not sit up and listen attentively to what he had to say.

At the end of his contribution, most chief ministers, including those belonging to the Congress, made it a point to congratulate Modi.

At the end of the first day, there was consensus among the participants that Modi's was by far the best.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->28 suspected Taliban killed

Monday, August 15, 2005; Posted: 8:05 a.m. EDT (12:05 GMT)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Fighting across southern Afghanistan has left at least 28 suspected Taliban rebels dead as violence rages on in the countdown to crucial legislative elections next month, officials said Monday.

The bloodiest battle occurred in Zabul province Sunday when Afghan forces attacked a group of suspected militants, killing 16 and arresting one, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Among the dead was a local Taliban commander, Mullah Nasir, it said.

Separately in Zabul, alleged insurgents mistakenly detonated a mine that was intended to hit a convoy of U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces Sunday, killing one militant and wounding another, Sori district chief Rovi Khan said.

On the same day in neighboring Uruzgan province's Dehrawud district, a gunbattle between Afghan soldiers and insurgents left five militants dead, the ministry statement said.

Then in an adjacent district, Tirin Kot, police hunted down and killed six suspected guerrillas who attacked a highway checkpoint, provincial Gov. Jan Mohammed Khan said. Nine alleged militants also were arrested in a sweep of the area.

No security forces were hurt in any of the clashes, according to the statement and governor.

Khan said the police and Afghan army were on the offensive across his province to prevent the Taliban and other militants from disrupting legislative elections on September 18.

Nearly 1,000 people have died in violence since March. Officials have warned of further unrest leading up to the polls, which are seen as a major step toward democracy in Afghanistan after more than two decades of war and civil strife.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->IAF to place order for 20 LCAs soon: Mukherjee

August 18, 2005 16:48 IST

The Indian Air Force will soon place orders for the first batch of 20 Light Combat Aircraft with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday.

"Orders for 20 aircraft will be placed.... and then at a later stage, orders for an additional 20 will also be placed. A decision will be taken shortly," Mukherjee said during Question Hour.

Denying reports about 'problems' between the Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL over the LCA, he said 'the government will ensure that there is no difference in approach between the HAL and ADA.'

However, he said transfer of technology to the HAL for production of the LCA was 'progressing in coordination with the ADA and there are no problems in this regard.'

The ADA was authorised to design and develop the LCA since the beginning and the HAL's role in producing these warplanes came later.

Seven LCA prototypes were to be developed and 3,000 hours of testing were required, Mukherjee said, adding that 2 techno-demonstrations had been held.

<b>France to deport foreign rioters </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Task Force bomb case: Five militants held
Monday December 19 2005 00:00 IST

HYDERABAD: The city police, on Sunday, <b>arrested five persons, including two Bangladeshis</b> and seized a lethal weapon in the sensational Task Force police office blast, which took <b>place a furlong away from Andhra Pradesh Chief Ministers camp office in Begumpet on October 12.</b>

The blast, which had taken the police force by surprise, became a concern, as they were hardly any clues except the suspected human bomb. In the blast, one home guard was also killed.

<b>Police suspected the human bomb to be a Bangladeshi based on the make of the shoes and clothes. Later, they also suspected ISI to be behind the entire operation.</b>

The Hyderabad police, who took the case as a challenge since it happened in the VIP zone, consulted counter-intelligence and other senior officers and started investigating. They published the photographs of the suspected human bomb, who was killed and also anticipated caricature was made of the human bomb based on some eyewitnesses accounts.

This was also published in Bangladesh. The police also showed the anticipated caricature of the human bomb to the ISI activists, who were lodged in Cherlapally Jail, according to police sources.

The Bangladeshi police identified the human bomb and informed the city police. The city police then started working out the case from Bangladesh angle and tracked down those people who gave shelter to the human bomb in the city. The police arrested the accused on Sunday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Taj exit for 'great grandson' of Shahjahan

Press Trust of India

New Delhi, December 17: The Supreme today dismissed a petition by a person claiming his lineage to Mughal dynasty to appoint him as 'Mutawalli' (Manager/Care taker) of Taj Mahal.

The Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice A R Lakshmanan gave Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy the liberty to approach the appropriate forum including Allahabad High Court and Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board with his claim.

Tucy, claiming himself to be the descendent of Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar and Great grandson of Emperor Shahjahan, had said since the Wakf Board had declared Taj Mahal as its property, he should be appoited as Mutawalli.

He submitted that after the Board had declared the monument as a Wakf property he had approached it with his claim.

He said presently a person named Mohd Irfan Bedar has been appointed as a Mutawalli.

The apex court has stayed the order declaring Taj Mahal as Wakf property.

URL: http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=60081
Even as I write this - Shoot out in IISc in bangalore... One professor dead... Any more on this?
<b>The Pokhran brotherhood and 1,000 moons</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam still has fond memories of the Pokhran II days and of the project’s fellow architect, A.B. Vajpayee.

On January 14, Kalam had attended a function to mark Vajpayee's witnessing 1,000 full moons in his life. Two days later, Kalam wrote to Vajpayee, conveying some of his “ideas that came to mind during the function”.

Referring to his days as the scientific adviser to the defence minister and as the principal scientific adviser to the government, Kalam wrote: “Whenever I came to you, you used to ask me aapka Pokhran kaisa hai. (And) I used to say Pokhran bahut khoobsurat hai.”
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kalam wrote that on watching Vajpayee celebrate his 1,000th full moon, he was reminded of Lord Krishna’s Vishwaroopa Darshan, witnessing which, Arjuna had exclaimed: “Oh! Kesava, I see in you light of a thousand suns.”<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
26 Jan - 2006 <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>India's military might unfolds amid terror alert</b>

<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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