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Memories of Another day

Memories of Another day
While my Parents Pulin babu and Basanti devi were living

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bengal Represented by the Brahaminical Goddess Reincarnated and her Culture Brigade have to say NOTHING on this. It is quite against the History of Bengal. The Bengali leaders were Never been so engaged in Power Politics to keep QUITE Mum on National

Bengal Represented by the Brahaminical Goddess Reincarnated and her Culture Brigade have to say NOTHING on this. It is quite against the History of Bengal. The Bengali leaders were Never been so engaged in Power Politics to keep QUITE Mum on National Issues! But it is happening.

Indefinite curfew imposed in major towns of Kashmir Valley!

Coal India IPO likely between Oct 18-21


The other day, our friend and former PDS leader who also may be seen on Bamcef Dias, EX Aidee of Sidicullah Chowdhari, Quazi Saifuddin, a High Court Pleader called me to inform that he and his Friends would join Trinamul Congree as only DIDI may save the Muslims, SC and ST communities.A Jharkhandi Activist and Anthropologist Pashupati Mahato also thinks the same way. I am neither shocked or Surprised to see friends crossing fences after the Bengali Intelligentsia led by Our dearest lady Mahashweta Devi joined her train to detach with the Rest of the nation to the Point of UNCONDITIONAL support to Dr Manmohan Singh and his troupe of Killers!


Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - Four Hundred Forty Two

Palash Biswas

http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/

Indefinite curfew imposed in major towns of Kashmir Valley!

Coal India IPO likely between Oct 18-21


Mamata Banerjee is the railway Minister of India but the Kolkata Kali has Nothing to do with the rest of India even as the Rly Minster. Mumbai strike and Delhi accident did not worry her as she is engaged to ensure her Win in the Next Assembly Elections in Bengal.She rose from the insurrections of Nandigram, Singur and Lalgarh  voicing People`s resistance against the capitalist Marxists ways of Ruling CPIM regimented gestapo. So what? She opposes Operation Green Hunt in Lalgarh but is quite Silent about the Aboriginal Landscape in central India under Chidambaram`s corporate war. She opposed the SEZ Drive in Bengal but would support Economic ethnic Cleansing elsewhere and would NOT speak anything against the Anti People India Incs Government and in fact, would love to project herself as the Human Face of the Ruling Hindu Zionist Hegemony. We may not expect any stance from her on any Burning issue the nation faces today. The situation is quite GRIM in Kashmir but the Bengal Represented by the Brahaminical Goddess Reincarnated and her Culture Brigade have to say NOTHING on this. It is quite against the History of Bengal. The Bengali leaders were Never been so engaged in Power Politics to keep QUITE Mum on National Issues! But it is happening.

The other day, our friend and former PDS leader who also may be seen on Bamcef Dias, EX Aidee of Sidicullah Chowdhari, Quazi Saifuddin, a High Court Pleader called me to inform that he and his Friends would join Trinamul Congree as only DIDI may save the Muslims, SC and ST communities.A Jharkhandi Activist and Anthropologist Pashupati Mahato also thinks the same way. I am neither shocked or Surprised to see friends crossing fences after the Bengali Intelligentsia led by Our dearest lady Mahashweta Devi joined her train to detach with the Rest of the nation to the Point of UNCONDITIONAL support to Dr Manmohan Singh and his troupe of Killers!

Meanwhile, indefinite curfew was clamped in all major towns of the Kashmir Valley today in the wake of protests, even as the death toll in the violent clashes between locals and security forces rose to four. There were also reports of sporadic protests in some parts of the Valley.Two of the 70 people injured during protests yesterday succumbed to injuries at a hospital this morning, a police spokesman said. The deceased have been identified as Mohammed Rafiq and 30-year-old Mohammed Siddiqui of Baramulla district.


Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said though her party was against price rise, it would do nothing to pull down the UPA government at the Centre.

"We would like the government to consider reducing the prices to some extent. Like them (CPI-M) we will not pull down the government.We are one hundred per cent with the government till we are there," Banerjee, whose party has 19 MPs in the Lok Sabha, told reporters in Kolkata.

Asked to comment on CPI(M)'s charge that her party was not vocal on the issue, she said since Trinamool Congress was a part of the coalition, it had sought a discussion in Parliament on the rise in prices of petroleum products under a rule which does not entail voting.

Accusing CPI(M) of adopting "double-standards", she said the party was stalling Parliament with other opposition parties on the issue of price rise and at the same time raising power tariff in West Bengal.

Demanding immediate reversal of the hike in power tariff, Banerjee said her party would demonstrate before all police stations in the state on that issue and also on price rise from tomorrow.

The Trinamool chief said she could not understand why the state government did not lift the cess on petroleum products like some other states.

"When petrol prices are hiked to Rs 4 a litre, the state government realises cess of Rs 8 which is a burden on the common people," she said.

"The state government is realising revenue of thousands of rupees in the name of cess," she added.

CPM has formed suicide squad to eliminate me: Mamata

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that unable to fight her politically, CPM has hatched a conspiracy to eliminate her and discussed forming a suicide squad for that.

"CPM and some other political parties which have vested interests -- I am not speaking about all parties -- have held a meeting and hatched a conspiracy to eliminate me. Such a meeting was held, you can inquire," Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata.

She charged that at the meeting CPM discussed forming a suicide squad to eliminiate her and that whatever money was required would be paid.

Banerjee claimed she had information of this and thought that West Bengal government had it too.

"CPM ministers and leaders are keeping a watch on my movements. They are inquiring about my movements. A conspiracy is afoot to kill me," she alleged.

"Is it fair politics? They cannot fight us politically. They are cowards," she said.

She also alleged a suicide squad was formed by CPM to eliminate Trinamool youth Congress president and MP Shubhendu Adhikari.

Asked how she knew about the suicide squads, Banerjee said "why is CPM setting up so many camps of armed cadre in West Midnapore? Because they want to kill me."

Coal India IPO likely between Oct 18-21

KOLKATA: The country's largest coal producer, Coal India Limited (CIL), expects to make its maiden public offering of shares between Oct 18-21, a top official said here Saturday.

"Our IPO (Initial Public Offering) is on track, and is not being delayed further as reported in a section of the press," CIL Chairman Partha S. Bhattacharyya told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Conference on Leadership and Organisational Change.

The draft red herring prospectus for the IPO would be approved by the CIL board Aug 5, he said.

The government is divesting 10 percent stake in the CIL consisting of 630 million shares.

The CIL had earlier scheduled its IPO in August but later postponed it till September fearing poor valuation. Another reason for the delay was lack of policy clarity among various ministries over right to mine in forest areas.

The difference between the coal ministry and the environment and forests ministry over "go" and "no-go" areas for the CIL, could be resolved in August.

According to sources, a meeting between the two ministries would take place Aug 20.

Bhattacharyya said: "You can expect a positive statement in a month or two."

He said the CIL has been trying to make the environment and forests ministry understand that the government should fast-track clearances within 300 days against the normal 5-6 years in areas that are covered with only shrubs and not by dense forests.

This would free close to 50 percent of the coal bearing forest areas where the CIL can start mining within a year.

Mamata proposes meeting in Lalgarh

Category »  Nation Posted On Friday, July 30, 2010
United News of India
Lalgarh, July 30:
Intelligence network in the Maoist-dominated Lalgarh has been intensified following Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's proposed meeting in the area on August 9.
Both the district magistrate of West Midnapore NS Nigam and Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Verma are monitoring the Lalgarh situation everyday in view of her announcement to hold a gathering at the Maoist heartland on August 9.
On Friday, Trinamool Congress MP Subendu Adhikary visited the area to supervise the preparations being carried out by the party activists for the gathering.
''The CPI(M) cadres and the police have joined hands to frustrate our meeting in Lalgarh. They dug roads near the Jhitka forest to thwart our move to hold meeting in the so-called Maoist area,'' Mr Adhikary was quoted as saying on Friday.
The Trinamool Congress MP also said they have sought the district administration's permission to hold the meeting.
''Since Lalgarh is a sensitive zone, we have also informed the BDO of Binpur Block I, under which the area falls, about our intention to hold the meeting,'' he informed.
Nigam had met the local Trinamool Congress members a few days back to request them not to hold the meeting citing security concerns.
His move to request the Trinamool Congress leaders for not holding the rally was also prompted by a recent statement made by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the state Assembly.
Bhattacharjee had told the state legislature last week that no political party was being allowed to hold a meeting in Lalgarh and Jangalmahal areas.
He also told the state legislature that the political parties were free to hold rallies in the Maoist-affected areas, but they had been barred from organising meetings.
''We have not yet got the necessary permission. But in any case, we will hold the meeting. No one would be able to prevent us from organising the meeting in Lalgarh to be addressed by Mamata Banerjee,'' Mr Adhikary said.
On April 4, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had visited Lalgarh and met the local villagers, apart from holding talks with senior district and police officials.
Both the Jhargram and Midnapore Lok Sabha seats were won by the Left parties---CPI(M) and CPI--during the 2009 Parliamentary elections.
Trinamool Congress activists also said that Ms Bannerjee wanted to win several Assembly seats from West Midnapore district during the 2011 Assembly elections for which she is trying hard to establish control of her party in the district which is still under the Left Front's control.


EDITORIAL - Dalit Voice - The Voice of the Persecuted ...

5 Jun 2010 ... Blood-thirsty "Calcutta Kali" gets ready to take over Bengal : Big ... Please don't forget that the "Calcutta Kali" is also a Brahmin plus ...
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Reports - Dalit Voice - The Voice of the Persecuted Nationalities ...

3 Nov 2009 ... On a visit to Calcutta, the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, ... (SC/ST/BCs and Muslims), are today being used by Calcutta Kali, Mamata, ...

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Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time: Blood-thirsty ...

9 Jul 2010 ... Blood-thirsty "Calcutta Kali" gets ready to take over Bengal : Big victory for Bhadralok ... Copies availble with Dalit Voice. Rs.300). ...

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Dalit voice

Dalit Voice - The Voice of the Persecuted Nationalities Denied Human . ... A FEMALE MONSTER - Blood-thirsty "Calcutta Kali" gets ready to take over Bengal . ...

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palashbiswaslive: Blood-thirsty "Calcutta Kali" gets ready to take ...

9 Jul 2010 ... Please don't forget that the "Calcutta Kali" is also a Brahmin plus a Kali who loves to drink ... Copies availble with Dalit Voice. Rs.300). ...

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Forthcoming Books

Dalits form about one-sixth of the population of India and still face severe ... She gives voice to her outrage, shared by a growing number of uneasy citizens, ... the whole of Hootum Pyanchar Noksha by Kali Prasanna Sinha with a foreword ... The city of Calcutta receives Sinha's full attention: his portrait of ...

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Ilovekolkata, the ultimate Calcutta portal : Videos

Opening ceremony of VOI2• Voice of India, the music reality show that took the nation by storm. ...... Kali Puja in KolkataKali puja and Diwali coincided this year, ... first rural community radio launched by a group of 'Dalit' wom. ...

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palashscape: Let the BRAHMIN KANYA Matua Mamata Banerjee RESIGN ...

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Another Major Train derailment In West Bengal, Raising Suspicion ...

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Modi thunders again: Won't bow to lies

Chief Minister Narendra Modi once again lashed out at the Centre on Friday even as the CBI submitted its status report in the Supreme Court in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which his close aide and former minister Amit Shah has been arrested.
"Gujarat will rest only after it has defeated anti-national forces. The state has become the battleground of nationalist versus anti-nationalist forces," Modi said while addressing the Van Mahotsav programme in Palitana on Friday.
"I am making it clear to Delhi Sultanate that Gujarat will win this fight against lies. This country has never supported the mavali(criminal) elements who stand by terrorists and fight for rights of the demons," he said.
"If you think you can frighten me, you should open your ears and listen, Modi will bow down to truth and will fight 100 times against falsehood," the CM said, adding there were many who are jealous of the state's achievements.
Cong likens Shah to Ravana
The state Congress on Friday reacted sharply to Chief Minister Narendra Modi's remarks a day earlier when he said the party should field CBI officials as its candidates. "Will Modi put up extortionists as candidates in the local self-government elections," said Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Shaktisinh Gohil, adding the former minister accused of killing Kausar Bi could be compared with Ravana and Kaurava. Whenever an innocent woman was victimised, the tormentor had lost power, Gohil said.
He also accused Amit Shah of taking bribe from and helping Ketan Parekh in Rs 1600-crore scam in the Madhavpura Cooperative Bank Limited. "This has been revealed by his own police officer and not the CBI. Why is CM silent on this issue?"Gohil asked.
ENS


Kashmir situation grim, death toll in forces' firing reaches six
Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Srinagar, July 31, 2010
First Published: 21:12 IST(31/7/2010)
Last Updated: 21:42 IST(31/7/2010)
Two protesters were killed and scores received bullet injuries when security forces resorted to firing and shelling tear gas at eight places in north and south Kashmir on Saturday to disperse protesters raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. With the death of two youth, the toll has risen to

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six since Friday and to 23 since June 11, when the killing of a boy sparked off a string of protests across Kashmir.
After Friday's killings, even a curfew and the security restrictions imposed across Kashmir by the authorities failed to keep angry protesters inside.
Anti-India and pro-freedom demonstrations were held in newer areas on Saturday with police sources admitting to Hindustan Times "that the situation was grim and out of control at many places".
A youth, Mudassir Ahmad, received a bullet in the chest when security forces retaliated to a mob attacking a forces' camp at Naidkhah in Bandipora district, 17 km north-east of Srinagar. Eight protesters were injured in the firing. One critically injured was shifted to a Srinagar hospital.
"Ahmad was brought dead to the hospital and received a bullet in his chest," said a medical official at the Sumbal hospital.
"An unruly mob attacked a police camp causing injuries to a number of policemen including SP Bandipora, who suffered head injury," said a policespokesman.
Another boy, identified as Javeed Ahmad Teli, was killed in Baramulla district, 65 km north of Srinagar, when a firearm hit him in the head during protesters-security forces' clashes.
Tension gripped north Kashmir's Kreeri area again on Saturday after two youth died on Friday.
Security forces fired at protesters who took to the streets and marched towards the national highway to protest the killings, defying curfew in the area.
Thirteen protesters, including two women were injured. Two critically injured, Gulshana Jan and Hanifa Jan, were admitted to a Srinagar hospital.
"We received 20 injured persons mostly with bullet wounds," said Kreeri block medical officer Dr Khursheed Ahmad.
The police spokesman said "violent mobs attacked old Police Station and Horticulture buildings, setting them on fire at Kreeri.
"The mob also assaulted a security force Jawan and attempted to snatch his weapon," he added.
Another youth, Tariq Ahmad (17), was critically injured in south Kashmir's Bijbehara area, 65 south of Srinagar. Ahmad was hit by a tear-gas shell aimed to quell a massive protest in the area. One youth in Baramulla, 65 km north of Srinagar, too was brought to Srinagar hospital after a bullet hit him in the head during clashes.
Protesters on Saturday attacked many symbols of state authorities.
A railway station was damaged in north Kashmir's Sopore; two Indian Air Force vehicles in south Kashmir's Pampore area; national highway was blocked with logs near Sangam and felling of trees, police stations attacked at Pampore and Baramulla and a power transmission house was attacked at Wathoora in central Kashmir.
Security forces fired at Pampore, Awantipora, Bijbehara and Tral in south Kashmir and at Sopore, Pattan and Baramulla in north Kashmir to bring spiraling situation under control.
Dozens received bullet injuries in the firing and many critical have been shifted to Srinagar hospitals. In Tral, one boy, Irfan Ahmad Wani, went missing on during Friday protests fuelling more demonstrations today.
"In order to restrain these unruly crowds from causing further damage to the life and property, the police had to fire at different places. Two people were killed in the firing," said the police spokesman in a statement.
The police claimed "a lawless crowd attacked a posse of policemen injuring several other policemen at south Kashmir's Kakpora-Samboora area.
"A petrol bomb was also thrown at a police vehicle at Samboora, which was gutted completely," said the spokesman.
The police claimed more than half a dozen police officer and several dozen personnel were injured in protests across the valley.
At the time of filing this report, protests were on at several places. The government has declared indefinite curfew in Kashmir in wake of worsening situation.
"The general public and law abiding citizens are advised to respect curfew restrictions and prevent small minorities in breaking the law," said the official statement.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Kashmir-situation-grim-death-toll-in-forces-firing-reaches-six/Article1-580510.aspx

Pro-Maoist group to observe 'martyr's week' for slain rebel
Vowing to avenge the death of Maoist Sidhu Soren, the pro-Maoist Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) and its militant wing has called a two-day shutdown across West Bengal starting Aug 3 and a week-long agitation programme to mourn the killing of their supreme
commander.
Soren was among six Maoist guerrillas gunned down by security forces during a fierce clash at the Metla forest under Goaltore police station on Monday.
PCAPA spokesperson Manoj Mahato said a martyr's week will be observed in West Midnapore's Lalgarh and its adjacent areas between July 29 and Aug 4 in memory of Soren, the founder-member of PCAPA and its armed wing Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia.
"We will observe a martyr's week in memory of Sidhu Soren and five others, including his close aide Mita, who were treacherously killed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the police," said Mahato, the second in command of the Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia.
Accusing CPI-M leaders like Sushanta Ghosh, West Midnapore party district secretary Dipak Sarkar, Krishnapada Dule, Sukur Ali and Tapan as the main perpetrators behind the crime, Mahato said: "Sidhu Soren's sacrifice will not go in vain. We vow to take revenge and that will be lethal and dangerous."
"During the martyr's week starting July 29, the tribal people of Junglemahal (forested areas covering parts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura) will observe non-cooking day July 29, hold meetings and rallies July 30 and 31, mourning day August 1 and will erect the Sidhu Soren column August 2 apart from observing a 48-hour long statewide shutdown from August 3," said Mahato.
"Health service will be exempted from the purview of the shutdown call and the tribal people... have been requested to lend support to make the martyr's week a grand success," Mahato said.

Mamata slams MLA for transport strike call

TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 03.00am IST
KOLKATA: The past is past. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee does not want her party to get involved in the politics of bandhs any more. And the men who couldn't realize the change have started learning it the hard way.

The first to get the flak was Trinamool MLA from Bowbazar Swarnakamal Saha, who is also the president of the Bengal Bus Syndicate. Saha, the architect of the three-day transport strike for fare revision, was left mumbling excuses on Friday after he got a taste of Didi's ire.

On Friday morning, when Saha was making preparations for the August 10-12 strike, he got a call from Mamata's office in Parliament. Sources say Mamata had asked minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy to dial Saha's number. As Ray punched in the keys, Mamata waited, her eyebrows arched and a look of disgust on her face. She almost snatched the phone from Ray as Saha came on the line. What followed was a three-minute lashing that left Saha tongue-tied.

"I hear that your union is joining the strike for a fare hike. You have to decide which hat you want to wear. You can either be a Trinamool MLA and stick to our party's policies or just be a union president, which you always have been.

Don't you realize that this goes against our policies," screamed Mamata from the other end. A flustered Saha immediately called a press conference to distance himself from the strike.

Trinamool MLA Swarnakamal Saha called a press conference on Friday to distance himself from the three-day transport strike called from August 10 after being rebuked by party chief Mamata Banerjee.

"I am told that my party does not endorse the demand for fare hike and the strike call. I am thus dissociating myself from the strike and will explain my stand in the meeting of the office bearers of the Bengal Bus Syndicate on Saturday," Saha said, looking visibly uncomfortable.

Sensing the mood among transport owners, transport minister Ranjit Kundu was quick to take up the challenge to keep the city normal on the three days. "The entire state bus fleet will be on the roads. However, we once again appeal to private bus and taxi owners to call off the strike."

Citu leader and joint secretary of the State Transport Federation Subhas Mukherjee called on Kundu on Friday to assure him that Citu-affiliated bus workers will operate, but that the state must take the responsibility of providing them security.

When asked whether the state government will run buses on September 7 during the industrial strike call by central trade unions, Kundu told TOI that he was "not aware" of the call.

The minister, a veteran trade unionist, perhaps did not want to embarrass himself with a question that Left ministers red-faced whenever Left parties or trade unions call a strike. State Citu president Shyamal Chakraborty, however, clarified on Friday that "the transport sector like elsewhere in the country will come under the purview of the industrial strike."

And the transport minister can't ensure even a minimum transport facility on that day though he will take all possible steps to thwart the three-day transport strike.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Mamata-slams-MLA-for-transport-strike-call/articleshow/6239084.cms

U.S., India formally sign nuclear reprocessing pact

The United States and India on Friday formally signed an agreement on reprocessing spent nuclear fuel that U.S. officials hope will allow American firms a share of India's $150 billion nuclear energy market.
The agreement, signed by U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns and Indian Ambassador to the United States H.E. Meera Shankar, will enable Indian reprocessing of U.S.-originated nuclear material under the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
It is part of the countries' 2008 bilateral civilian atomic pact that ended India's nuclear isolation after its 1974 atomic test. The pact gave India access to U.S. technology and fuel, while also opening up the global nuclear market to India.
"Increased civil nuclear trade with India will create thousands of new jobs for the U.S. economy while helping India to meet its rising energy needs in an environmentally responsible way by reducing the growth of carbon emissions," the U.S. State Department said in a press release.
The pact is expected to enter into force in early August. But a hurdle remains before U.S. firms are expected to begin participating in the Indian nuclear market.
U.S. firms are reluctant to do business in India without legislation that underwrites their compensation liability in the case of industrial accidents.
Legislation to limit nuclear firms' liability in the case of industrial accidents has stalled in the Indian parliament, though it has been cleared by the cabinet.
Opposition parties seek to put a maximum liability of about $450 million on the state-run reactor operator without placing any compensation burden on private suppliers and contractors.
India has offered to tender construction of two nuclear power plants, a business opportunity worth $10 billion, to U.S.-based firms such as General Electric Co and Westinghouse Electric Co, a subsidiary of Japan's Toshiba Corp.
But the liability issue has put U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage over Russian and French firms whose accident liability is underwritten by their governments. The Russian and French have already been awarded contracts.
(Reporting by Corbett B. Daly; Editing by Jackie Frank)
(For more news on Reuters India, click http://in.reuters.com)

Open the doors to organised retail

30 Jul 2010, 0646 hrs IST,Sumant Sinha,

The story of Indian retail is a complicated one. To put things in perspective, about 40% of the country's total GDP of $1 trillion comes from retail sales to Indian consumers. The local, one-off corner stores account for more than 94% of this total retail sales of around $400 billion.

So-called organised retail that can be defined as a chain of anything more than 3-4 stores backed by an Indian entrepreneur or promoter, accounts for only 6% of total retail sales. This category includes names such as Reliance Retail, Spencer's, Pantaloon, Aditya Birla Retail, Bharti, etc.

It would help to put some facts in perspective. Store sales and store profitability are an outcome of a number of factors. First, how the supply chain is configured, how efficient it is, how does the fruit-and-vegetable (F&V ) supply-chain work, what is the dump, what is the negotiating power of the store, etc. Second, how well the store understands consumer preferences and needs, how good its merchandising skills are, how well its people are trained, and the ability to provide credit and convenience. And third, what is the store's location, the cost of its real estate and its overall positioning.

An interesting fact about retail globally is that it is not a business that travels well. There are very few truly global retail chains. Wal-Mart has been successful in several countries, but equally it has done poorly in others. Carrefour and Tesco are the only other companies that have a strong market share in more than one country. In addition, the small-format store, or the convenience store, is almost always local in nature. So, even for Tesco, Wal-Mart and Carrefour, the format that they have used across borders has been the large-format, or hypermarket, store.

As regards the F&V supply chain, much is made of how organised retail can contribute. However, this part of the business is hardest to manage and run profitably, and no Indian retailer has been successful so far. Most chains keep F&V to generate footfalls, but it's mostly a loss leader. The supply chain for the rest of the merchandise is easier to manage and is already reasonably efficient in the Indian context courtesy the distribution prowess of the large FMCG companies.

With this perspective, let's examine the government's intention and analyse what makes sense and what does not. Are the fears of the small retailers justified and what is the likely evolution of Indian organised retailing with Indian groups as well as foreign participants? The Dipp draft report states that FDI could be helpful in improving the backend, generate efficiencies in the supply chain that could help reduce inflation, provide employment and generally help reduce costs that will ultimately benefit the Indian consumer. These are all noble objectives and one can't really object to any of them. But let's take them one by one.

Will the backend improve?

My view is that the normal supply chain will definitely improve as the large retailers will be able to bring their advanced expertise to bear. More importantly, the likes of Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour will be able to bring a global scale in their negotiations with the MNCs such as Unilever, Nestlé, Reckitt, P&G , Pepsi, Coke, etc.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/comments--analysis/Open-the-doors-to-organised-retail/articleshow/6235217.cms

Obama's India visit to take ties to new level: Shankar

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama's visit to India in early November would take the bilateral relationship to a new level and demonstrate how the two countries are working together to find solutions to the pressing global challenges, India's envoy here has said.

India is looking forward to the visit of Obama to India in November this year, Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar said in her remarks after signing the agreement on reprocessing of US spent nuclear fuel by India.

"We are confident that the visit would take our relationship to the next level and demonstrate how the two countries are working together to find solutions to the pressing global challenges of the day and for promotion of peace and stability in Asia and beyond", Shankar said.

Bill Burns, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs signed the agreement on behalf of the US, which marks the final steps in terms of implementation of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

"The signing of this Agreement today, and a few days back, of the Counter-terrorism Cooperation initiative in New Delhi, is also a reflection of our deepening ties," Shankar said.

"We have had in the last month our first Strategic Dialogue, the meeting of the CEO's Forum, as well as several other high level visits," she said in her remarks.

Mamata Banerjee

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CPI-M setting up suicide squad to eliminate me: Mamata

Sify - ‎1 hour ago‎
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Saturday alleged that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is conspiring to set up a 'suicide squad' tasked ...
CPM has formed suicide squad to eliminate me: Mamata Times of India
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Something fishy

Business Standard - ‎3 hours ago‎
After becoming the railway minister in 2009, Mamata Banerjee had reintroduced fish curry in the Parliament canteen which is run by Northern Railway.
Request station Business Standard
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Crime on trains goes up, arrests go down

Hindustan Times - ‎7 hours ago‎
Interestingly, the increase corresponds with the time from which Mamata Banerjee took over from Lalu Yadav as Minister for Railways.

Subhendu runs into dug-up road

Times of India - ‎20 hours ago‎
LALGARH/KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee's much-awaited rally in West Midnapore's Lalgarh on August 9 will be held at Ramkrishna Vidyalaya.
Mamata proposes meeting in Lalgarh Central Chronicle
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Mamata Banerjee accuses Left Front of spreading misinformation

Oneindia - ‎Jul 22, 2010‎
Kolkata, July 22 (ANI): Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the ruling Left Front Government in West Bengal is ...
Video: Mamta: My identity is not only as Railway Minister
CM's post dearer to me than railway ministry: Mamata Banerjee Daily News & Analysis
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The Hindu

New CEC rules out early elections in Bengal

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee called on Quraishi on Friday seeking advance polling because of "breakdown of the law and order" situation in ...
Quraishi not in favour of advancing Bengal polls Times of India
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Calcutta Telegraph

Poor crowd response to Commonwealth Express

Times of India - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
KOLKATA: The Commonwealth Express may have chugged into the city of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday, but the crowd response to witness the ...
Commonwealth Express arrives in Kolkata indiablooms
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Zee News

Mamata Banerjee: The wail mantri

Times of India - Arati R Jerath - ‎Jul 23, 2010‎
How do you solve a problem like Mamata Banerjee? As her star rises in West Bengal, the enfant terrible of UPA II couldn't care less about Delhi and its ...
Never on track Sify
Train tragedies: Mamata on the backfoot Zee News
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Rediff

Rly to give market price, job for land acquired

Indian Express - ‎Jul 28, 2010‎
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to introduce a job-for-land policy to ensure that displaced families not only get market price for their land ...
Mamata meets PM Calcutta Telegraph
Railways seek CBI probe into Sainthia train mishap Expressindia.com
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Mamata has "certain doubts"

The Hindu - ‎Jul 19, 2010‎
SAINTHIA (WEST BENGAL): Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the spot where the Uttarbanga Express and the Vananchal Express were involved in an ...
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Some doubt over West Bengal train accident: Mamata Times of India
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Lalgarh meet on schedule: Mamata

Indian Express - ‎Jul 25, 2010‎
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has made it clear that she will hold a meeting in Lalgarh next month despite Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee ...
PCPA will protest against Mamata's rally at Jhargram Times of India
West Bengal has Rs 192000 crore loan liability: Mamata Sify
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Rediff

Railways net gimmick or another ticket portal

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
The IRCTC was created around 10 years ago during Mamata Banerjee's first stint as railway minister. It will now focus on tourism business.
IRCTC set to lose another revenue chunk Business Standard
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'Responsible' Mamata gets strike cancelled

Times of India - ‎Jul 28, 2010‎
KOLKATA: In her effort to showcase the responsible face of the Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly asked partymen not to announce bandhs and ...

P Chidambaram moves to heal rift with SM Krishna, Mamata Banerjee

Daily News & Analysis - Harish Gupta - ‎Jul 22, 2010‎
Chidambaram moved to placate external affairs minister SM Krishna and railway minister Mamata Banerjee, both of whom are upset by the recent comments of ...
India Today

Kishenji vows to support Didi as cops corner Maoists in WB

India Today - ‎12 hours ago‎
He has taken the opportunity to extend his support to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee. In an open letter to Mamata, Kishenji pledged his support ...
Indian Express

Mamata bent on visiting Lalgarh

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 23, 2010‎
PTI Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday said she would hold her scheduled public meeting at Lalgarh on August 9 despite West Bengal Chief ...
Mamata firm on Lalgarh rally, Buddha not sure Times of India
Mamata firm on going to 'Jungle Mahal' Hindustan Times
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Calcutta Telegraph

Twin rule riders for clean walls

Calcutta Telegraph - Tapas Ghosh, Meghdeep Bhattacharyya - ‎21 hours ago‎
The only two laws that could have helped Mamata Banerjee translate her theme for a clean-Calcutta dream into reality no longer exist.
Rediff

What is Mamata Banerjee's thinking on economic matters?

Rediff - Sunanda K Datta-Ray - ‎Jul 20, 2010‎
No one knows Mamata Banerjee's thinking on economic matters. Or, indeed, if she devotes any thought to policy between pouncing on car bonnets, dragging MPs ...
'Absentee' railway minister adds to Cong's ally trouble Times of India
Mamata dares CPM, to tour Maoist areas from Sep 1 Financial Express
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Deccan Herald

Indian Railways unveils new Railway Catering Policy-2010

HospitalityBizIndia - ‎Jul 26, 2010‎
By HBI Staff | Mumbai According to a PIB release, Mamata Banerjee, Union Minister of Railways, has unveiled the new Railway Catering Policy-2010 in New ...
IRCTC's wings clipped, railway board to take over catering Times of India
IRCTC cut to size, Railway Board to manage catering services Economic Times
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Mamata declares war on hoardings

Times of India - ‎Jul 26, 2010‎
KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is already working towards his vision of Kolkata. She has asked mayor Sovan Chatterjee to clear the city ...
Bengal Cong shows door to most Mamata baiters Economic Times
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"why is CPM setting up so many camps of armed cadre in West Midnapore? Because they want to kill me"
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CPI(M), BJP seek inquiry

The Hindu - ‎11 minutes ago‎
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded an inquiry into allegations that the Commonwealth Games ...
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CPI-M setting up suicide squad to eliminate me: Mamata

Sify - ‎1 hour ago‎
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Saturday alleged that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is conspiring to set up a 'suicide squad' tasked ...
CPI (M) planning to kill me: Mamata samaylive
'Trinamool not to pull down UPA govt' Hindustan Times
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CPI(M) likely to retain Public Works

The Hindu - ‎21 hours ago‎
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is likely to retain the Public Works portfolio and give one of the minor portfolios to the PC ...

Suspected Maoists kill CPI-M supporter in Bengal

Sify - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
Suspected Maoists shot dead a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporter in West Bengal's West Midnapore district Friday, police said.
The Hindu

Government should agree to adjournment motion if confident of majority: CPI-M

Sify - ‎Jul 27, 2010‎
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Tuesday that the government should agree to adjourment motion on price rise in the Lok Sabha if it was ...
Video: Left for new UPA resolution
Parliament deadlocked again as price rise protests continue Hindustan Times
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Suspected Maoists kill CPI(M) leader

The Hindu - Raktima Bose - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
Suspected Maoists shot dead a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader at Balarampur in West Bengal's Purulia district late on Wednesday.

CPI(M) demands action against docs involved in drug trials on public

Central Chronicle - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
By Our Staff Reporter, State Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) Badal Saroj has demanded that degrees of those doctors who are using public as ...
Indian Express

West Bengal CPI-M unit lashes out against Somnath over autobiography

Sify - ‎Jul 26, 2010‎
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)'s West Bengal unit, so far considered soft on expelled party leader Somnath Chatterjee, Monday lashed out ...
It's in bad taste: Bose The Hindu
CPI-M likes to live in mind control world: Congress Thaindian.com
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MY PARTY AND I

Calcutta Telegraph - ‎Jul 28, 2010‎
Who would have expected that of all persons the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Mr Prakash Karat, trained as he is in the ...
CPI-M 'rattled, can't think soberly': Somnath IBNLive.com
Subhas loyalists invite Somnath for film Asian Age
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The Hindu

We don't want nuclear liability Bill in present form: CPI(M)

The Hindu - Kv Prasad - ‎Jul 23, 2010‎
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday said the government, instead of proceeding with the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, should bring in the ...
Video: Gadkari-Karat's top secret mission
Drop nuclear liability bill, CPI-M tells government Sify
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CPI(M) for parliamentary panel on Kashmir

The Hindu - Shujaat Bukhari - ‎Jul 25, 2010‎
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a parliamentary committee for initiating a sustained dialogue with ...
Set up parliamentary panel for dialogue on Kashmir issue: CPI(M) Daily News & Analysis
Address Kashmir problem with humane approach: Tarigami Hindustan Times
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CPI-M banks on mass contact to check downslide

Sify - ‎Jul 25, 2010‎
Having suffered a series of electoral reverses, West Bengal's ruling Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Sunday said it would lay ...
CPI(M) asks WB govt to be more firm in approach New Delhi Chronicle.com (blog)
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Slogans, songs in Bihar jails to remember Charu Mazumdar

Sify - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
Hundreds of jailed Maoists and activists of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) Friday remembered their icon and Communist revolutionary ...
Oneindia

CPI-M demands Amit Shah's resignation

Sify - ‎Jul 23, 2010‎
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday said Gujarat minister Amit Shah should quit in view of a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of ...
Video: 'CBI can interrogate Shah only after charge sheet is filed'
CBI hunts for Gujarat BJP minister over 2005 killing Mangalorean.com
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CPI-M wants Womens's Bill tabled in Lok Sabha

Sify - ‎Jul 23, 2010‎
The Communist Party of India-Marxist Friday demanded the tabling of the Women's Reservation Bill in the monsoon session of the Lok Sabha beginning Monday.
Women's quota, nuclear liability - two hot potato bills in monsoon session Economic Times
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Nationalise illegal mines: CPI-M

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 19, 2010‎
The Communist party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Monday said mines where illegal mining activities have been established should be nationalised.
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CPM flays Karnataka CM for defending Reddy brothers New Delhi Chronicle.com (blog)
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CPI(M) to seek discussion on Hindutva terror

The Hindu - ‎Jul 26, 2010‎
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said on Monday it was one of the issues his party had prioritised along with the spate of railway accidents in which hundreds ...

Mamata ridicules CPI-M for demanding her resignation

Sify - ‎Jul 21, 2010‎
Ridiculing West Bengal's ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front for demanding her resignation in the wake of the Sainthia train ...
Video: Mamta: My identity is not only as Railway Minister
Mamata accuses CPM of 'scientific rail sabotage' IBNLive.com
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CPI (M) pointing out Trinamool-Naxal relations based on Maoists' statements ...

Sify - ‎Jul 22, 2010‎
CPI (M) on Thursday said that the party's contention that the Trinamool congress has links with Maoists is based on the statements made by Maoist leaders.
Mamata wants Centre to stop anti-Maoist ops in WB Indian Express
Mamata firm on going to 'Jungle Mahal' Hindustan Times
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Q&A: DP Tripathi, chief spokesman of NCP

Business Standard - ‎30 minutes ago‎
But eight months before the elections, NCP decides to jump ship to the Left Democratic Front (LDF), led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, ...

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Trinamool should weed out unscrupulous elements: Congress

Sify - ‎Jul 25, 2010‎
Kolkata: West Bengal Congress president Manas Bhuniya on Sunday asked alliance partner All India Trinamool Congress to weed out unscrupulous elements from ...
Congress leaders attacked by Trinamool activists TopNews
Khejuri flash point between Cong, Trinamool Expressindia.com
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MSN India

CPI-M setting up suicide squad to eliminate me: Mamata

Sify - ‎1 hour ago‎
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Saturday alleged that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is conspiring to set up a 'suicide squad' tasked ...
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee alleges CPI-M plot to kill her Asian Tribune
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GJM alone can't speak for hills: Gorkha League

Indian Express - ‎20 hours ago‎
Khati, who met Darjeeling district president of Trinamool Congress, said: "It is horrible that the Centre and state government were holding talks with those ...
The Hindu

RJD loses national party status

The Hindu - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
Trinamool Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which were also served notices earlier, sought more time to present their case, EC sources said.
RJD, JD-U and Samajwadi party lose national party status Oneindia
RJD, 4 others derecognised by EC Asian Age
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Congress criticises Left for 'aligning' with BJP

Times of India - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
After it humbled the Left in its stronghold of Bengal in collaboration with Trinamool Congress in 2009, the bitterness between the two only sharpened.

Q&A: DP Tripathi, chief spokesman of NCP

Business Standard - ‎31 minutes ago‎
There are problems but none that cannot be resolved, for instance, with the Trinamool Congress. There are different parties in diferent parts of India and a ...
The Hindu

New CEC rules out early elections in Bengal

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee called on Quraishi on Friday seeking advance polling because of "breakdown of the law and order" situation in ...
Quraishi not in favour of advancing Bengal polls Times of India
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Cong rallies behind Didi

Times of India - ‎Jul 21, 2010‎
... the Congress on Wednesday wholeheartedly participated in Trinamool Congress' martyrs' day' rally.
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Congress, Trinamool supporters killed in Bengal

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
When he was returning home he was shot dead by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists at Kerua More," Purulia Trinamool Congress president ...

RJD derecognised as national party

The Hindu - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
The EC also withdrew recognition to the Janata Dal (United), the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Marumalarchi ...

West Bengal speaker falls ill after house row

Sify - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
West Bengal Assembly Speaker HA Halim suffered from breathlessness and had to be administered oxygen in the house Thursday after agitated Trinamool Congress ...
Indian Express

Congress, Trinamool cross swords

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 13, 2010‎
Among the leaders heckled was All India Youth Congress General Secretary Usha Naidu. On Monday, some armed people, allegedly shouting Trinamool slogans, ...
Congress team members manhandled by Trinamool workers Sify
Indian Youth Congress Indian Express
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Calcutta Telegraph

Upcoming tripartite meeting heats up hill politics in Darjeeling

Sify - ‎Jul 22, 2010‎
... All India Gorhka league, Socialist Unity Centre Of India (SUCI), Communist party of Revolutionary Marxist, Trinamool Congress (TMC,Hill), ...
Hill parties demand scrapping of July 24 tripartite talks VoiceofSikkim
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The Hindu

Pranab opposes adjournment motion

The Hindu - ‎Jul 28, 2010‎
Sudip Bandyopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress, which is part of the UPA government, favoured a discussion on the issue but only under Rule 193 (debate ...
Calcutta Telegraph

Decoded: dais of disruption

Calcutta Telegraph - Barun Ghosh - ‎Jul 19, 2010‎
... the president of the all-India Trinamul Youth Congress. In private, many Trinamul Congress leaders said they would have liked the rally to be postponed, ...

Annual Martyrs' Day

GroundReport - ‎Jul 20, 2010‎
Due to major differences with senior leaders like SoumenMitra,she founded All India Trinamool Congress after breaking away from the Congress in 1997 and ...

The City Diary

Calcutta Telegraph - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
Shyamali Bhadra, 45, a former Trinamul Congress councillor of ward 95 in Jadavpur, was found hanging in her bedroom on Thursday.

Bengal BJP told to focus on local issues

Indian Express - ‎Jul 18, 2010‎
"While people are keen to see the Left Front's defeat, they are also disillusioned by the politics of Trinamool Congress. In this circumstance, the BJP is ...

Somnath book heaps praise on Sonia, PM

Times of India - Mohua Chatterjee - ‎Jul 27, 2010‎
Interestingly, he deals little with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who first came to the limelight by defeating Chatterjee in the 1984 Lok Sabha ...

Mamata wants Centre to stop anti-Maoist ops in WB

Indian Express - ‎Jul 21, 2010‎
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday appealed to the Centre to halt anti-Maoist operations in the state alleging that the ruling ...

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Rebel sympathisers to protest Azad killing in capital

Soumittra S Bose, Jul 31, 2010, 06.14am IST
NAGPUR: On August 3, the Forum Against War On People (FAWOP), an organisation sympathetic to Naxal cause, and a few other outfits, will be meeting in New Delhi to protest the `killing' of Azad and Hem Chandra Pandey.

Communist Party of India (Maoist) spokesperson Azad and journalist Pandey were shot in an encounter by Andhra Pradesh police on July 2.

On the agenda of the meet is the centre's conflicting role in the peace process vis-a-vis Naxalism. The human rights bodies claim that on one hand Union home minister P Chidambaram is constantly talking about brokering peace. And, on the other, the government is also staging fake encounters to eliminate the Naxal top brass.

The Naxal sympathisers say that Azad and Pandey were picked up from Nagpur and killed in a staged encounter, and are demanding a judicial enquiry into it.

According to information available, Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy, known for her pro-Naxal stand, is expected to be one of the prominent speakers at the meeting. Roy had recently kicked up a storm by comparing the rebels with Mahatma Gandhi. She later clarified that she did not call the Maoists as `Gandhians with guns'.

Swami Agnivesh, who offered to mediate between Maoists and Centre, is likely to present his views at the meeting. Agnivesh, who was apparently seeking ceasefire, had met Chidambaram and demanded a judicial probe into Azad's death.

Another expected speaker is revolutionary poet Varavara Rao. On hearing the killing of the duo, Rao had filed a petition before the high court in Hyderabad challenging the veracity of the encounter near Adilabad.

Apart from discussing Azad and Pandey's killings, the speakers are expected to demand the immediate stoppage of operation green hunt.

A demand to withdraw paramilitary forces from tribal and other regions would also be made.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Rebel-sympathisers-to-protest-Azad-killing-in-capital/articleshow/6239730.cms

Naxals have good base in JNU & DU

Soumittra S Bose, Jul 31, 2010, 06.16am IST
NAGPUR: With the special forces raising the heat in the Naxal-affected areas, the rebels are now eyeing to spread their bases in cities.

Sources claimed that the activities of Naxals' northern regional bureau were now resuming in Delhi and neighbouring states. The rebels were on the backfoot following the arrest of Balraj with Chintanda, alias Babshidhar, who was at the helm of 3Us or Uttar Bihar, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh regions. Rebels now want to spread their network across north India with Delhi as a crucial base. With them having sympathisers among students, academicians, trade unionists and social workers in capital, the security agencies are anxious especially with Commonwealth Games looming ahead.

The arrest of West Bengal native Gopal Mishra from east Delhi recently indicates how rebels are trying to hijack movement of the working class too. An assistant lecturer too was picked up for his alleged links with the Naxals in the recent past.

The revival process in the capital is being helped by active front organizations and sympathisers. They are constantly engaged in anti-government propaganda and spreading the sentiment. "Naxals have made substantial base among students in reputed institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University (DU). They are using these bases to build opinion of masses towards their cause," said a source.

"Various meetings, processions and symposia are being held. Front organisations in Delhi had in the past demanded treating arrested Naxalites as political prisoners. Now they are trying to corner the government over Azad's killing," the source added.

Scribe Pandey was Naxal sympathiser

TNN, Jul 6, 2010, 02.07am IST
HYDERABAD: Hem Chandra Pandey alias Hemant Pandey, who was killed in an alleged police encounter in Adilabad, was a small-time journalist and a Maoist sympathiser.

According to documents available with TOI, Pandey, a native of Dewaltal town in Pithorgarh district of Uttarakhand, completed MA in Economics from Kumaon University, Nainital, and later did diplomas in journalism, and translation studies. He also registered for Ph D at Almora campus of Kumaon University. According to newspaper clippings provided by his family, Pandey contributed several articles to 'Nai Duniya', 'Rashtriya Sahara' and 'Dainik Jagaran' as a freelancer. He had been working with 'Chetana', a magazine run by DARCL Logistics Limited of Delhi as an officer with a gross salary of Rs 15,865.

According to a complaint lodged at Haldhani police station in Nainital by Pandey's mother Rameshwari Pandey on July 2, he left their house at Indra Nagar Phase II, Kusum Kheda, Uttarakhand on June 30 to go to Nagpur via Delhi. He was to return to his in-laws house in Delhi on July 2, but they lost cell phone contact with him.

Pandey's widow Babita, who met state home minister Sabita Indra Reddy on Monday, said her husband had boarded a train to Nagpur at Nizamuddin railway station on June 30 and from then onwards there was no contact with him.

Babita along with Hem Chandra Pandey's brother Rajiv Pandey, a journalist with 'Amar Ujala', called on the home minister at her Sri Nagar Colony residence on Monday morning with a petition demanding that the state government conduct a probe into the alleged encounter killing of her husband, a freelance journalist.

Andhra Pradesh encounter: Govt orders probe into 'scribe's' death

NDTV.com - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
Hyderabad: Was Hem Chandra Pandey a journalist or a Maoist? The body of the 30-year-old was found along with that of Maoist leader C Rajakumar alias Azad ...

Scribe Pandey was Naxal sympathiser

Times of India - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
HYDERABAD: Hem Chandra Pandey alias Hemant Pandey, who was killed in an alleged police encounter in Adilabad, was a small-time journalist and a Maoist ...

Slain scribe's wife demands probe by HC judge

Times of India - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
HYDERABAD: Slain Maoist sympathiser Hemchandra Pandey alias Hemant Pandey, who was killed in an alleged police encounter in Adilabad along with top Maoist ...

AP orders probe into 'Com. Pandey' death

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
Under pressure from the media and civil rights groups, the Andhra Pradesh government has agreed to probe the death of Hemchandra Pandey, the freelance ...

Azad's killing will hit peace talks chances: Kishenji

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
Union Home Secretary GK Pillai today said there was no immediate need to deploy army in Maoist-hit regions and it could take nearly seven years to get rid ...

AP minister promises probe into slain man's identity

Sify - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy on Monday said a probe would be ordered to find out if Hemchandra Pandey, killed along with ...

Azad killing: Maoists vow revenge

Indian Express - ‎Jul 4, 2010‎
The CPI (Maoist) on Sunday vowed to avenge the killing of its spokesperson and central committee member 'Azad' Cherukuri Rajkumar and zonal committee member ...

Maoists allege Azad was killed in cold blood, call 2-day bandh

Economic Times - ‎Jul 4, 2010‎
NEW DELHI: Smarting from the big blow dealt by counter-Naxal forces with the killing of top CPI(Maoist) leader Cherukuri Rajkumar, alias, Azad on Friday, ...

Was Azad planning to discuss truce dates?

Times of India - Mohua Chatterjee - ‎Jul 4, 2010‎
NEW DELHI: The Maoists bristled on Saturday against what they alleged was a staged encounter killing of their spokesman Azad on June 1. ...

Naxals threaten to avenge Azad killing

Times of India - ‎Jul 4, 2010‎
NAGPUR: The Communist Party of India (Maoists) has officially acknowledged the death of their spokesperson Cherkuri Rajkumar, alias Azad, at the hands of AP ...
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Rebel sympathisers to protest Azad killing in capital

Times of India - ‎18 hours ago‎
... organisation sympathetic to Naxal cause, and a few other outfits, will be meeting in New Delhi to protest the `killing' of Azad and Hem Chandra Pandey. ...

Cong MP for probe into Azad killing

Indian Express - ‎19 hours ago‎
Azad, a senior member of CPI(Maoist) Central Committee, had been gunned down by Andhra Pradesh police along with another associate, Hem Chandra Pandey, ...

AP orders probe into 'Com. Pandey' death

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 5, 2010‎
Under pressure from the media and civil rights groups, the Andhra Pradesh government has agreed to probe the death of Hemchandra Pandey, the freelance ...
Scribe Pandey was Naxal sympathiser Times of India
Azad killing: Maoists vow revenge Indian Express
Pandey was scribe, not Maoist: Wife Express Buzz
NDTV.com - Sify
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Mid-Day

'Comrade Hem' was just a scribe, say friends

Indian Express - ‎Jul 7, 2010‎
Hemchandra Pandey, who was killed in Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad district along with CPI (Maoist) spokesperson 'Azad' Cherukuri Rajkumar on July 2, ...
'Hem, wife were Maoist party workers' Times of India
Journalist's body reaches Delhi Sify
Journalists protest against comrade's killing Express Buzz
Scoop.co.nz (press release) - Indian Express
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Maoists to observe 'Shahid Saptah' from July 28

Times of India - Mohua Chatterjee - ‎Jul 22, 2010‎
Though Hemchandra Pandey, who was killed along with Azad, has been mentioned twice in the statement, he has not been referred to as a "comrade". ...

Swami Agnivesh meets PM, demands judicial probe into Azad's death

Times of India - Rakhi Chakrabarty - ‎Jul 21, 2010‎
... enquiry into the death of CPI-Maoist spokesperson Azad and journalist Hem Chandra Pandey in an encounter at Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh on July 2. ...

Killing Azad: Silencing the Voice of Revolution

Monthly Review - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎
Then, Usendi came on air again and told that Sahadev returned safely after not finding Azad at the rendezvous. Meanwhile, friends of Hemchandra Pandey ...

Azad was 'murdered in cold blood by police', say city intellectuals

Indian Express - ‎Jul 16, 2010‎
... Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey at Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh, "cold blooded murder by the police". ...

Human Rights Forum demands independent probe into Azad encounter

Times of India - ‎Jul 7, 2010‎
Azad along with suspected Maoist Hemchandra Pandey were killed in cold blood," state HRF general secretary VS Krishna said. A five-member fact-finding team ...
Oneindia

UN urges probe into death of Indian journalist

Oneindia - ‎Jul 16, 2010‎
Washington, Jul 16: A top UN official urged Indian authorities to investigate into the death of Hem Chandra Pandey, the journalist who was killed early in ...

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Pakistan uses Kashmir peace conference for anti-India tirade

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In the same vein, other Pakistani speakers too made allegations of serious violations of human rights by India in Kashmir and asked US President Barack ...
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India: Press Burmese Leader on Human Rights

Webnewswire.com (press release) - ‎10 hours ago‎
(New York) India should emphasize respect for human rights during the state visit by Burmas Senior General Than Shwe, Human Rights Watch said today. ...
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India, US sign final nuclear pact, prepare for Obama visit

Business Standard - Jyoti Malhotra - ‎37 minutes ago‎
... is only interested in lecturing India about "human rights violations in Kashmir or reinventing the India-Pakistan hyphen," the officials said. ...
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Gilani considering options about UK trip

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The Hindu

For CBI, slander is evidence!

Daily Pioneer - Kanchan Gupta - ‎26 minutes ago‎
Over 1700 'encounter death'-related complaints are pending in various courts and before the Human Rights Commission. More than 800 'encounter deaths' took ...
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The Hindu

"Pay attention to human rights"

The Hindu - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
The Hindu National Human Rights Commission Chairman KG Balakrishnan (right) being greeted at a seminar on 'Panchayats and human rights' in Kochi on Friday. ...
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Aamir had to play lead in a film based on my life: Sobhraj

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My partners in Europe have negotiated deals for interviews and films in Europe and the US and parties in India and Bollywood are also interested for rights ...
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The Guardian

Vedanta May Mine Bauxite at India's Orissa by Year-End, Defying Protestors

Bloomberg - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎
The mine, key to Vedanta's plans to meet its targets to expand refining, has been delayed for more than four years as human rights and environmental groups ...
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Aviva Investors demand ethics audit

Telegraph.co.uk - Garry White - ‎33 minutes ago‎
New rules should be introduced that would increase the cost of capital for companies with controversial environmental and human rights records, according to ...
Art and politics need not mix
                                                                                                                                                    
OUR BUREAU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Calcutta, July 21: A motley group's absence from Trinamul's biggest rally in Calcutta has sent out the message that Mamata Banerjee's honeymoon with her culture clan is over.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Some of the most vociferous supporters of change in Bengal — painters Suvaprasanna, Jogen Chowdhury and Samir Aich, theatre personalities Bibhash Chakraborty and Saonli Mitra, poet Joy Goswami and writer Mahasweta Devi — were missing on a day Mamata launched the final leg of her journey towards Writers' Buildings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Instead of keeping under wraps the list of those who were not there at the programme, Mamata offered an explanation for their absence. "We could not inform all the distinguished representatives from the world of art and culture about today's rally because of paucity of time," Mamata said in an unapologetic tone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
But Trinamul sources said the "paucity of time" argument had a larger message, given that the martyrs' day programme is always planned in advance and held on July 21 every year. "She (Mamata) doesn't want to involve most of her cultural brigade in any of her political activities," said a Trinamul insider.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
The message assumes importance as Mamata has been embarrassed several times by some of her hand-picked members of the culture brigade.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
First, Trinamul MP Kabir Suman openly criticised the party and then another close aide fell out of favour for apparently collecting money using her name.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
According to Trinamul insiders, today's list of invitees revealed her preference. The fortunate few included singer Nachiketa, former bureaucrat Debabrata Bandyopadhyay, academic Sunanda Sanyal, writer Mahasweta and theatre personality Bratya Basu.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Bratya, however, could not attend the rally because he was out of Calcutta on a professional engagement. The reason behind Mahasweta Devi's no-show could not be independently confirmed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Mamata's rise in Bengal politics after Singur and Nandigram coincided with her increasing popularity among the representatives from the world of art and culture. Many of them became regulars at her programmes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
She had personally invited Suvaprasanna, his wife Shipra, Mahasweta and Bratya to last year's martyrs' day programme.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
"This time we weren't invited. We had been told that the meeting today was going to be purely political. Also, it's not necessary for us to make an appearance every time there's a meeting and expect to be felicitated with bouquets," said Suvaprasanna.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Theatre personalities Chakraborty and Mitra said they were in favour of change but as they did not belong to any political party, they did not expect any invitation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
But Mamata's culture team saw two new faces — singer Santanu Roychowdhury and folk artiste Parikshit Bala — both of whom also performed at today's programme. Actor Biswajit was there on the dais, too, and was seen chatting with Mamata.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
"My father was here for some work and he must have stayed back for today's programme," said Biswajit's actress-daughter Pallavi Chatterjee.
                                                                                                                                                         
*

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100722/jsp/nation/story_12712524.jsp
Police intensifies crackdown on protesters

Over 1000 Arrested Across Valley In 3 Weeks

ARIF SHAFI WANI

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Srinagar, July 20: In a major operation to quell the ongoing protests over the civilian killings, police have arrested more than 1000 persons including teenagers in the Valley during past three weeks and booked at least 15 of them under the stringent Public Safety Act.

Though the police remained tight-lipped over the issue, sources said on Government directions, it has started the process to book majority of the arrested youth and teenagers under the PSA which is primarily meant to deal with 'waging war against State.'

Pertinently, the arrest spree started since the Sopur Chalo on June 27 with police detaining hundreds of people while marching towards the Apple Town at Parimpora. Incidentally among other sections, they have been booked under various sections including attempt to murder and rioting. Reports said 500 youth and teenagers have been arrested from Srinagar city alone.

"In past three weeks, police have made random arrests across the city just to frighten the people. Some youth have been released on bail but most of them are still under arrest," the inhabitants of Nowhatta said.

They said in most of the cases, the police have been asking the parents to produce their children in the respective Police Stations. "In this way scores of youth have been arrested. They are innocent and have never indulged in stone pelting," argued the parents of some arrested youth.

"We have learnt that two youth who were arrested from Gojwara in Old City here have been booked under PSA and shifted to Hira Nagar and Udhampur. We don't know their identity and are worried about our wards," they added.

SSP Srinagar, Aashiq Bukhari refused to comment over the issue.

Similarly, in south Kashmir's Islamabad district, over 40 youth including minors have been arrested on charges of indulging in stone pelting over the killings of three persons- Shujat-ul-Islam, Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday and Imtiyaz Ahmad- in cold-blood allegedly by police.

Reports said out of these 40, five youth have been booked for attempt to murder while two are facing detention under PSA. The locals said Atif Hassan son of Ghulam Hassan of Islamabad booked under PSA on charges of "stone pelting" has been shifted to Kot Balwal jail.

"Police is arresting the youth in Islamabad on frivolous charges. Many youth have been arrested on charges of inciting violence by making anti-police and anti-govt comments. This is just to harass the youth and break the peaceful protests against the killings," said a youth of Islamabad town wishing anonymity.

Advocate Mir Shafaqat Hussain accused the Government of misusing the PSA. "About 500-600 persons including minors have been arrested during past over three weeks in the Valley. At least 15 persons have been booked under PSA. Ironically, they have been booked under serious offences including attempt to murder. The members of High Court Bar Association have helped 100 youth to get bail. We will be providing free legal aid to youth and challenge their detention," he said.

A senior police officer wishing anonymity said police was preparing the grounds of detention of the arrested youth and teenagers under various acts including the PSA. "We have been given stringent directions to book the stone pelters. We have gathered evidences including photographs and video clips against them. The allegations of framing them is baseless," he said.

Pertinently, 32 and 15 youth have been booked under various offences ranging from stone pelting to damaging public property in north Kashmir Varmul and Sopur towns respectively. Similarly, at least 10 persons have been arrested in Pulwama and Kulgam districts.

Prominent human rights activist, Gautam Navlakha, said the Government of India had no option but to adopt realistic approach over the situation in Kashmir in its historical perspective.

"Last year, the GOC northern command had termed the protests in Kashmir as agitational terrorism. The troopers operating in the Valley having taken cue from it and are dealing with unarmed protesters as terrorists by slapping PSA on them. New Delhi needs to see the deal with the situation in Kashmir by punishing the troopers involved in killings rather than booking those who protest against it," Navlakha said.


PRO-FREEDOM CAMP UNDER SIEGE:

Authorities have booked many pro-freedom leaders including chairman of Syed Ali Shah Geelani under the PSA to thwart the ongoing protests over the killings.

Others booked under PSA include Hurriyat (M) leader Zafar Akbar Bhat, Mirwaiz south Kashmir, Qazi Yasir, Tehreek Hurriyat general secretary, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, senior Hurriyat (G) leaders, Gen Moosa, Aiyaz Akbar, Bilal Siddiqui, president of High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Bar general secretary, GN Shaheen. They have been shifted to various jails in Jammu.

Senior Hurriyat leader, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, has been lodged in sub-jail Varmul.

Moreover half a dozen senior activists of Hurriyat (M) including Muzaffar Ahmad Yatoo have been booked under PSA and shifted to various jails in Jammu.

Senior leader of Peoples League, Muhammad Maqbool Sofi, who was arrested during the Sopur Chalo on June 27, is lodged in Parimpora Police Station.

Besides the authorities have been frequently putting the chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other leaders including Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam and Agha Syed Al Mousvi Al Safvi under house arrest.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Mecca time

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT

Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST

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Maoist rebels 'killed' in India

BBC News - ‎Jul 25, 2010‎

Police in India's eastern state of West Bengal say they have killed at least six Maoist rebels during a gun battle. They say fighting began late on Sunday ...

Video: Top Naxal leader among 6 killed in encounter in WB

6 Maoists Killed In Clash With Indian Security Forces RTT News

Rebel commander, trooper among 7 killed in India clash Earthtimes

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Two migrant workers shot dead

The Hindu - ‎1 hour ago‎

A report was circulated in Manipur saying that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) had announced that if the non-Manipuris were driven out, students and ...

Slogans, songs in Bihar jails to remember Charu Mazumdar

Sify - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎

Hundreds of jailed Maoists and activists of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) Friday remembered their icon and Communist revolutionary ...

Three Maoists arrested in Orissa

Sify - ‎Jul 29, 2010‎

The rebels were members of the local committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India- Maoist. They were involved in at least six crimes that occurred ...

Airport in Maoist hotbed handed over to army

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 30, 2010‎

First reported in Hindustan Times on July 2, (Army wants Bilaspur airport) the AAI (Airports Authority of India) board cleared the Ministry of Defence (MoD) ...


http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2010/Jul/21/police-intensifies-crackdown-on-protesters-58.asp

Mamata dares Left on rail accidents
                                                                                                                                                    
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
New Delhi, July 30: Mamata Banerjee today dared the CPM to corner her over rail accidents by asking for a House debate of the kind the UPA government is reluctant to allow on price rise as it entails voting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
The railway minister has thrown the gauntlet at a time the Congress-led Centre that she is part of continues to reject the BJP's demand for a discussion on inflation under rule 184 of the Lok Sabha. The deadlock has crippled the House since the monsoon session began on Monday.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
In the presence of reporters, Mamata directed Sudip Bandopadhyay, her Trinamul colleague and the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, not to oppose the rule 184 debate if the Left asked for it. Bandopadhyay is also a member of the Lok Sabha's business advisory committee, which decides the agenda.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
But Mamata was silent on why the Congress was not showing similar courage and accepting the BJP's demand for a discussion on price rise under the same rule she was using to dare the Left.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
On price rise, Trinamul has given a notice for discussion under rule 193, which does not require voting, and Mamata has said it is the best she can do while being part of the government.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Basudeb Acharya, the CPM's leader in the Lok Sabha, said: "If Mamata wants it (the discussion) under a rule that entails voting, why should we shy away? But for 184, the government has to agree. It is not entirely the Speaker's decision," Acharya said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
The Left, particularly the CPM, plans to put Mamata on the mat by stressing that she has failed in her job. Mamata has hit back by alleging a "CPM conspiracy" behind the rail accidents in Bengal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Later in the day, Mamata met new chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi. The Trinamul chief has been demanding early Bengal elections but Quraishi ruled out such a possibility at a news conference after the meeting.

Rebel units not keen on talks: PC
                                                                                                                                                    
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
New Delhi, July 30: A faction of Ulfa and another of the NDFB were not ready for talks with the Centre, home minister P. Chidambaram said here in the wake of the blast in Assam's Goalpara district that killed five CRPF jawans this morning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Chidambaram was speaking at the monthly presentation of his ministry's report card today.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
The ministry of home affairs has appointed former Intelligence Bureau chief P.C. Haldar as interlocutor for the proposed talks with Ulfa. Haldar is conducting negotiations with the pro-talks factions of the DHD, United Peoples' Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and the NDFB, besides the Meghalaya-based Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
"Not all rebel groups have come to the table. One faction of the NDFB and another of Ulfa are against talks," Chidambaram told reporters. Terming today's incident as"very sad", Chidambaram said it was still unclear who perpetrated the attack on the CRPF convoy.
                                                                                                                                                         
*


http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100731/jsp/nation/story_12753388.jsp

Crime on trains goes up, arrests go down
Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 31, 2010
First Published: 17:21 IST(31/7/2010)
Last Updated: 17:22 IST(31/7/2010)
It is not just accidents and sabotages that disrupted the railways; passengers of the Indian railways witnessed more crimes against them on trains in last one and half year. Compared to 148 cases of loot - dacoity and robbery in trains - in 2007, 2009 had 183 cases and in six months of 2010 it is
102. While number of drugging cases was 573 and 467 in 2001 and 2008 respectively, in 2009 it is 619 and 247 already till this June.
Other crimes like chain snatching also shot up from 4379 in 2007 to 5156 in 2009. Till June  – 3032 cases reported, Ministry of Railways said.
The spurt in loot has been particularly sharp in Central, East Central and North East Frontier railways.
While the crime figures are going up, the action against the criminals is on the decline. Number of arrests for offence on trains in 2007 is 2487 but in 2009, which saw a spurt of crime, it is only 2200.
Interestingly, the increase corresponds with the time from which Mamata Banerjee took over from Lalu Yadav as Minister for Railways.
The Railways has a special force called Railway Protection Force (RPF) and in addition are the State Police personnel (Railways pays half their salary cost) deployed for law and order maintenance in the stations and trains.
But the reply from the Minister was the one familiar. "Prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the State police, discharged through Government Railway Police (GRP) of state concerned. As such the cases are reported to, registered and investigated by the GRP," Mamata Banerjee said in reply of a question in Lok Sabha.
Daily on an average, 2200 trains are escorted by GRP of different states, in addition to 1275 trains escorted by RPF.
The Ministry is considering an amendment to Railway Protection Force Act to enable RPF deal with passenger related offences effectively.
An integrated security system with electronic surveillance of vulnerable stations through CCTV, access control, anti sabotage checks has been approved in 202 vulnerable stations, Railways said.
Sabotage -
The sabotage by Maoists and others has also disrupted the Indian Railways profit path. The largest transport network made a loss of Rs 24.74 crore because of damage to property in first six months of this year. The loss due to sabotage, calculated till June, is biggest ever even on annual scale of preceding years
The eight trains crashing to plans of terror outfits killed 150 people and injured 165 – the human loss also biggest ever in the category. The Rail Ministry claimed to have paid Rs 3.2 crore as ex-gratia to the victims.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Crime-on-trains-goes-up-arrests-go-down/Article1-580412.aspx

Subhendu runs into dug-up road

TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 03.04am IST
LALGARH/KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee's much-awaited rally in West Midnapore's Lalgarh on August 9 will be held at Ramkrishna Vidyalaya. This is the same venue where the state police recently organized a football match with youths from Lalgarh, some of whom will go for training to Bayern Munich.

Trinamool MP Subhendu Adhikary visited Lalgarh on Friday to finalise the site for the rally. On the way to Lalgarh, the MP's convoy was blocked by a dug-up road near Jhitka forest. The road was filled up and the convoy proceeded to Lalgarh after a brief stopover. Adhikary also held a meeting with Trinamool workers in Lalgarh.

The Trinamool chief had declared during the July 21 meet in Kolkata that she would hold a rally in Lalgarh. The announcement prompted chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to state that the situation in Lalgarh was not conducive to holding political meetings or rallies. The Trinamool chief, though, made it clear that nothing could stop her from going to Lalgarh.

Adhikary blamed CPM and the joint security forces for the dug-up road.

At a closed-door meeting with party workers, Adhikary made it clear that the presence of locals and tribals from the villages had to be ensured. The workers were asked to start campaigning for the rally.

The district Trinamool Congress had written to the Lalgarh I-C, Ashok Basu, to grant them permission for the rally. "A letter seeking permission has reached my office and I have forwarded it to the state home department," said N S Nigam, district magistrate, West Midnapore.

Meanwhile, a group of intellectuals and human rights activists, who had been demanding withdrawal of Operation Green Hunt and talks with Maoists, have supported Mamata's decision to hold a rally in Lalgarh. It would help bring peace to the area, they argued. Theatre personality Bibhas Chakraborty and others have also decided to participate in the march to Lalgarh, called by Swami Agnivesh.

The Forum for Peace, Justice and Democracy will hold public meetings in Kolkata and districts in support of Swami Agnivesh's call. Rights activist Medha Patkar is likely to attend the march, which will culminate at Lalgarh on August 15.

The forum members said they will assemble in Midnapore on August 14. On the morning of August 15, they will head towards Lalgarh.

Pradesh Congress president Manas Bhunia, too, wants to hold rallies in Lalgarh and Tamluk (East Midnapore).

Shocked Kolkata feels Dimpy's pain

RUMAN GANGULY, TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 03.56am IST
KOLKATA: A 'swayamvar' in front of millions, a public break-up and then a press-conference for a hasty patch-up. Rahul Mahajan and Dimpy Ganguly's married life is getting rather too public for comfort.

The couple may have called a truce, but the images of Dimpy walking out of the Mahajan home, claiming physical and emotional abuse by Rahul and showing her bruises on her hands and right thigh, have shocked many.

Her father, I-T advocate Saibal Ganguly, caught first available plane out to be at her side. Though he tried to play it down, calling it "a regular couple fight," her mother, Sushmita Ganguly is said to be suffering from low blood pressure and has not had food since the news travelled to her home at Kalindi, Lake Town.

Said Dimpy's uncle, Tapan Ganguly: "Sushmita is extremely upset and so is Dimpy's sister, Koel. She couldn't go to college on Thursday. The phone hasn't stopped ringing. I've been in touch with Saibal all day. However, it's good news that the problems have been resolved through a press conference."

Power bills to soar after tariff hike

TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 02.53am IST
KOLKATA: After food and fuel prices, it's the turn of electricity bills to pinch your pocket.

The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) announced a hike in power tariff on Friday. An average urban household consuming 200 to 300 units in the CESC area will have to shell out between Rs 30 and Rs 61.50 more. The hike in state electricity board areas is higher, with the extra charges varying between Rs 162 and Rs 267. This includes arrears WBERC allows the utilities to realise from consumers within eight months. The hike is effective from April 2010.

In the process, the CESC will mop up Rs 150 crore and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd a whopping Rs 600 crore in the 2011-12 financial year. The hike in the state electricity board area comes to an average of 44 paise per unit. The 25 lakh-odd CESC consumers in Kolkata and parts of Howrah and Hooghly will have to bear an average tariff hike of 17 paise per unit.

The next eight months will be the toughest for power consumers as the bill will see a sharp jump in arrears since the hike is effective from last April.

With households already reeling under the impact of inflation, the power tariff hike has come as a shock, particularly after an ad-hoc tariff increase last November following rise in coal prices.

The latest hike will pinch everyone except those who consume 25 units or less a month. Average urban consumers, who burn 100 units or more, will feel the heat.

In Kolkata and other areas serviced by CESC, those consuming 100 units a month will see their bill rise by Rs 19.50 from Rs 346 to Rs 365.50. Consumers who burn 200 units a month will see the bill inflate by Rs 61.5 per month from Rs 840 to Rs 901.50. The bill payout will increase by Rs 30 (Rs 1,392 to Rs 1,422) for those consuming 300 units minus the arrears.

Households that have ACs and geysers and burn up 500 units in CESC area will have to shell out an extra Rs 100.50.

Lifeline consumers in CESC area who use less than 25 units will see the bill decline by Rs 6 from Rs 73 to Rs 69 as tariff has been reduced from Rs 2.53 per unit to Rs 2.41 per unit.

Their counterparts in urban areas serviced by WBSEDCL will see the monthly bill cut by Rs 1.50 (Rs 67 to Rs 65.50). Those who use 100 units a month will have to pay Rs 397.50 against Rs 342, a Rs 55.50 hike. For consumers of 200 units, the additional payout will be Rs 162 (Rs 768 to Rs 930). Those consuming 300 units will see the bill increase by Rs 267 (Rs 1,246 to Rs 1,513).

Clashes shut down college

TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 02.55am IST
KOLAGHAT: Campus violence has forced the authorities of Kolaghat Engineering Institute to indefinitely shut the institution. Police have been deployed in the college after repeated clashes between students on Thursday and Friday.

Third-year students barged into the hostel rooms of second-year students who were studying well past midnight on Thursday, asking why the lights were on. It triggered a clash in which five juniors were injured.

Second-year students staged a demonstration in front of the director's office on Friday morning. Around noon, third-year students again attacked second-year students in the corridors of the college building itself. Around 10 of the juniors were injured, prompting the authorities to suspend classes and shut the college.

Rlys hunts for excuses

Debajyoti Chakraborty, TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 02.57am IST
ADRA/KOLKATA: A day after the daring dacoity on the Tata-Chhapra Express in Purulia, the railways was on a desperate damage control mission. Among the claims made by the railways on Friday was that no one had pulled the emergency chain, the train guard was not drunk and that the drivers were not held at gunpoint.

A gang of 40-50 had swarmed the train between Muradih and Madhukunda stations around 2.07am on Thursday. According to some victims, dacoits posing as passengers had pulled the chain at a predetermined location, as the rest of the gang sped up in jeeps and bikes to launch a coordinated assault. Even women, the elderly and children were beaten and stabbed without reason.

Instead of explaining why there was no security on night trains, South Eastern Railway (SER) officials on Friday challenged the passengers' version and refuted all the allegations. "After a thorough check, it was found that the alarm chain was not pulled." The train stopped due to a "drop in pressure", railway claimed. Even the drivers were not threatened, SER chief PRO S Majumdar said. "No gunman entered the cabin' of the driver or held him at gunpoint'," Majumdar said.

Why, then, did the train stop at the precise area where robbers had gathered? If the railway staff were alert, as officials say, how could they miss the dacoity going on in eight coaches? Woman and children were screaming as they were thrashed by the gang.

Majumdar, in the release circulated on Thursday or the clarification issued on Friday, gives absolutely no indication that the drivers or guard came to know of the dacoity on the spot or took any steps to help the victims. Majumdar denied the guard was drunk. "A breath analyzer test was done at Burnpur station in the presence of a railway doctor and no trace of alcohol was found," he said.

Seven trains pass through the Adra-Burnpur section every night. None has an armed escort. SER officials claimed that GRP is not keen to provide escorts and that the RPF does not have the manpower to take on the responsibility.

There has not been much headway in the investigation, apart from GRP officials claiming to have zeroed in on three villages in the vicinity. Police conducted raids in Murulia, Dharampur and Rahamatnagar but could not find any suspect. All that they found were seven empty bags that had been dumped by the gang.

"This was the handiwork of a new gang consisting. Apart from a few local contacts, most of the robbers are from Hirapur. They have switched off their cellphones otherwise we could have located them easily. It does not seem likely that the gang crossed over into Jharkhand. They are hiding nearby," said Kharagpur SRP Shankar Lal Chakraborty.

Sources revealed that the suspects include four youths from Murulia village who have a history of snatching belongings from train passengers.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Rlys-hunts-for-excuses/articleshow/6239092.cms
CPI(M) Using Joint Forces for Own Benefit: Congress
Echoing ally Trinamool Congress, Congress today accused the Left Front government in West Bengal of using anti-Maoist operations in West Midnapore to serve interests of CPI(M) and defended TC chief Mamata Banerjee's proposed visit to Lalgarh on August 9.

West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee President Manas Bhunia, though not in favour of withdrawal of joint forces from the troubled district, said 53 companies of CRPF sent by the Centre at the request of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee were being "misutilised".

"The central forces are not being used properly by the state government. In the name of flushing out Maoists, it is CPI(M) which is being helped by the state government to commit atrocities on the people and spread its area of influence in 73 blocks before next year's assembly election," Bhunia alleged at a press conference.

Demanding that the CRPF be allowed to work independently, he said that Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram and state Governor M K Narayanan should intervene and ask for a combing operation for seizure of arms stockpiled by Marxist cadre in the district.

Bhunia also alleged that CPI(M) was running 200 arms training camps. "The situation is volcanic. Marxist cadre are causing havoc across the state with illegal arms," he said.

Alleging that funds meant for development had been cornered by local CPI(M) leaders, he said the Centre had allocated Rs 48.5 crore for development of Paschimanchal comprising the Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia in 2009-10, but the state government had utilised only Rs 1.97 crore so far.

Defending Banerjee's proposed rally at Lalgarh on August 9, he said state government should not obstruct it.

"Lalgarh is within a free country. It is not in Chile or in China. Should I have to take the permission of the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police to visit it?" he said.

Stating that prohibitory orders had been clamped for a year now in the district, he said that political programmes were being disallowed except for those of the CPI(M).

Commonwealth Games: Bids rigged, costs hiked and quality sacrificed

Pradeep Thakur, TNN, Jul 30, 2010, 01.04am IST
NEW DELHI: The Commonwealth Games edifice is crumbling under thickening suspicions of corruption and inefficiency, with the CVC referring one of the several cases of corruption bedeviling the event to the CBI.

The case handed over to the CBI is breathtaking in terms of brazenness: the the successful bidder who got the contract after quoting the lowest amount was allegedly allowed to tamper with figures post-auction so that he could rake in more money than he had initially hoped for. But this is not the only one that may be headed the CBI's way.

As more evidence surfaces of use of sub-standard material, rigging of bids, goldplating and sanctioning of projects which were not needed at all and favouritism in selection of successful contractors, the investigating agencies are going to have their hands full.

The number of works under the CVC scanner has now risen to 16 with revenue implication of more than Rs 2,500 crore. Chances of fresh additions to the "work load" are rated high.

The vigilance body has already confirmed the widely held suspicion: that of an officer-engineer-contractor nexus which has minted money by delaying the award of contracts till the last minute so that an alibi could be found to jack up cost and assign the work to "favourites".

Almost half of the 16 projects probed by the CVC relate to stadium upgradation and other sports infrastructure, the rest being construction of flyovers, road widening and beautification works.

The apex anti-corruption institution has sought criminal prosecution against MCD officials allegedly involved in tampering with a bid document relating to the upgradation of street lighting on roads in Delhi. According to the CVC probe, the bid papers were tampered with and changes were made in the bidding amount taking it closer to the nearest rival so that profit margins could be jacked up.

The probe revealed the private bidder, allegedly in collusion with MCD officials, tampered "either by cutting or overwriting" in the price quoted in the bid with the new amount. The total contract awarded to this bidder was to the tune of Rs 35 crore and the changes made by him accrued him a benefit of over Rs 3.6 crore. The CVC probe has found that almost all the organisations executing works for the Commonwealth Games — PWD, MCD, NDMC, CPWD and DDA — have "considered inadmissible factors to jack up costs". Higher costs have been justified by citing "urgent and emergent circumstances".

The CVC report says that despite the higher rates, poor site management, delays and quality compromises have been observed in all the projects for which technical examination has been carried out. Items not on the bid papers were incorporated and accounted for at a higher price in many of the projects. The report says contractors failed to give any "logical reasoning for the exorbitant prices" they incorporated in their project costs.

You may be considering why all street corners and footpaths have been dug up. Here is a CVC take on that: "Almost all the agencies have taken up the work of streetscaping, especially kerb stone and footpath tiles, without ascertaining the need for such upgradation."

"The main purpose of aesthetics could not be achieved due to poor quality control, lack of supervision and coordination in executing these works," the anti-corruption watchdog has said in its findings.

In some of the concrete samples tested for their strength, the CVC technical team observed that 12 samples failed to meet 28 days' strength test. "Concrete core samples taken from the already laid slabs failed to meet the requirement of strength during testing at an independent outside laboratory," the CVC observed, adding that the cement content in the test checks were found much less than prescribed and claimed to have been used.

The report blames the supervising civic agency concerned for alleged collusion in forging of testing records. The quality of anti-corrosive treatment on reinforcement steel was also found poor during the technical examination.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Commonwealth-Games-Bids-rigged-costs-hiked-and-quality-sacrificed/articleshow/6234730.cms

Anti-National Forces Disturbing Peace in Punjab: CM
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said some anti-national forces are bent upon disturbing hard-earned peace and tranquillity in the state.

He asked the people not to allow anti-national forces to raise their ugly head once again in Punjab which had gone through its worst period during the militancy days.

"Some anti-national forces are bent upon disturbing hard-earned peace and tranquillity when the state is back on rails and has made development," Badal said addressing a gathering on eve of 71st martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh during a state-level function organized in this district.

Badal asked Congress "not to interfere in the religious matters of SGPC through their stooges keeping an eye on forthcoming SGPC elections".

He alleged Congress is bent upon capturing control of SGPC but they will not succeed in their designs.

The Chief Minister urged the Centre to immediately revise norms under calamity relief fund to compensate the farmers adequately as they had been badly hit by recent floods in some parts of the state.

Badal said he had already taken up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the issue of declaring channelization of river Ghaggar as a national project in the Punjab region at a cost of Rs 1175 crore to save the people of Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa districts from flood fury which results in extensive damage to life, property and crops by this seasonal rivulet.
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Opinions and Editorials

       

   

The power of one

IE - Sat, Jul 31
Last Saturday, I found myself at an unusual sort of book release. This was the launch, at India Habitat Centre, of The Cobra Dancer, written by veteran Andhra journalist Devipriya. It is the somewhat curiously titled biography of former and legendary Central Election Commission observer K.J. Rao, who will always be remembered for giving us the cleanest elections in Lalu's Bihar.
       
        View:         Headlines Only |         Include Summaries |         Include Photos        
            
       
  •             Lemonade in Single Malt IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • Something must be wrong, the NDTV anchor said, I have never seen the two of you (Mani Shankar Aiyar and, as NDTV described him, a senior journalist sympathetic to the BJP) agree so much.
  •        
  •             Pakistan-Obfuscated Kashmir IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • This week saw Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan take over as "PM" of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The area, which Palistan calls Azad Jammu and Kashmir or AJK, has since its 2006 elections been in a state of political crisis.
  •        
  •             Caste is not invisible IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • An unnecessary debate is going on over a possible caste census in India. Those opposing it claim that it will promote casteism, and that is why it is not desirable. One very interesting fact about this opposition, though, is that almost all of those who do oppose it belong to some dominant class of society that has been a beneficiary of the caste system.
  •        
  •             Problem sets IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • The Congress sealed its own fate, perhaps, when it decided to ride the choppy Telangana wave last year.
  •        
  •             Enhanced, enduring IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • British prime ministers possess a flair for naming their governments' bilateral ties and David Cameron has chosen to speak of an "enhanced and enduring" relationship with India.
  •        
  •             Town and gown IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • Our higher education institutions are in trouble. A few thousand of them churn out half a million graduates every year, operating on a larger scale than in most other places. But many of these graduates are rated as unemployable without further training, the blame for which is squarely set on the shoulders of the universities.
  •        
  •             Mizoram's surprise IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • Mizoram's upset win over Kerala in the pre-quarter final stage of the 64th Santosh Trophy is a tale of hope within the larger tale of wishful longing and disappointment that's been the trajectory of Indian football.
  •        
  •             The dreamlife of cities IE - Sat, Jul 31
  • Great poets make your imagination fly. Cities of bricks and concrete develop a soul from them. Umashankar Joshi, whose birth centenary is being celebrated now, was an institution in Ahmedabad — when you were with him, he created a world of imagination and harmony. Ordinary events found a dream-like beauty and significance.
  •        
  •             Column : Investment continues to boom FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • The latest data from CMIE's CapEx database indicates that investments into fresh capacities continue to boom.
  •        
  •             Column : The Singhs get it right again FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • When brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, promoters of Fortis Healthcare, exited the race for Singapore healthcare chain Parkway Holdings, they pocketed a cool Rs 399 crore.
  •        
  •             FE Editorial : On price rise FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • Food inflation has finally come down to single digits, recording 9.67% for the week ended July 17, down from 12.47% a week earlier.
  •        
  •             Report card FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • This paper* analyses the nature of the recent boom in commodities and places the boom into perspective by examining long-term trends of commodity prices.
  •        
  •             Letters to the editor FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • The economy is now on a quick-growth mode. Inflation rates are more than twice the comfort zone and there are expected to be higher capital inflows. So, the obvious thing is to tighten money supply. RBI had indicated earlier of its intention to exit from the accommodative monetary stance.
  •        
  •             Column : Indian students prefer the UK FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • The UK has, after years, upstaged the US as a preferred destination for Indian students. The data on visas issued for the academic year starting the fall of 2010 shows that the US issued 32,000 student visas, a figure almost doubled by the UK consulate that issued 57,500 visas for new student entrants.
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  •             Hauled to liquidity FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • The finance ministry is pushing all the listed companies to have a significant amount of outside shareholding.
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  •             FE Editorial : Building cities FE - Sat, Jul 31
  • Everyone recognises that India's economic growth will be accompanied by further, more intense urbanisation.
  •        
  •             Here we go again IE - Fri, Jul 30
  • Opposition parties continued to force adjournments in Parliament on Thursday over demands for a discussion on price rise that concludes in a vote.
  •        
  •             No ambiguity IE - Fri, Jul 30
  • A recent piece of video art, 'Me' by the Iranian artist Ghazel, showed a burqa-clad figure sunbathing, swimming, riding a bike, ice-skating, even moonwalking — it was funny, poignant, and defied easy readings.
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  •             Get your game phase on IE - Fri, Jul 30
  • A wise person once said that self-pity and self-destructive ego are a sure-shot recipe for disaster.
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CWG deals should be made public: Gill

Sports Minister M S Gill today promised to take "prompt and appropriate" against corruption cases in the Commonwealth Games and said all deals related to the sporting extravangza should be be tabled in Parliament. Gill said that if any irregularities related to October 3-14 mega event were brought to his Ministry''s notice, it would deal with it seriously and swiftly.
"Anything that needs to be looked at must be looked at and it will continue even after the Games. I believe that we must put forward everything before the Parliament and the people," he told reporters here.
"I am closely following whatever has been reported in the media related to various issues of the Games, preparations as well as other issues. Whatever they be, the clear policy and duty of the Ministry is that if anything comes to our notice which needed to be dealt with, then the officers must make sure that they deal with it promptly and appropriately.
"I believe that in our country which is a very powerful and vibrant democracy with a very strong press, we need to support the democracy and the people''s right to know," the Minister said. The Delhi Games were hit by a major scam after the British Government raised questions about a substantial sum of money which was transferred to A M Films, a little known UK company from the Games Organising Committee (OC).
Reports claimed that over 4.50 lakh pounds were transferred through a British bank to the company, which was also said to be receiving 25,000 pounds a month for costume designing. Gill said financial bungling may be making headlines, but at this crucial juncture hosting a successful Games should be the priority of all the parties concerned.
"I think for all of us the prime focus has to be that in a little over 2 months we will be hosting the Commonwealth Games, which were taken in 2003 by the contry''s government and continued by the successor governments. "The major parties support the necessity to conclude the Games in a successful manner for the honour and the good of the country and now it should be the prime duty for all of us," he said.
"We (ministry) have to make sure that we complete all the stadiums on time and keep on supporting the athletes. We should not lose focus of the necessity of delivering a good Games for the honour of the country," the Minister reiterated.

No compromise on Pak's nuclear program: Gilani

Islamabad, July 31(ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that his country will never compromise on its nuclear program.
Gilani said that Pakistan is a conscious and modest state, and that the United States should respect the institutions of Pakistan, The Dawn reports.is comments come after the US said that it would vote against China's sale of nuclear reactors to Pakistan at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting.
US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non Proliferation, Vann Van Diepen, had said this in response to a question during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
When asked by Congressman Ed Royce whether the US would vote against the exemption for China, Van Diepen said: "Yes sir, by definition, we do not support any activity that goes against the guidelines".
The 46-nation NSG is an international forum designed to limit sales of nuclear technology.
Earlier, Van Diepen had said that based on the facts available to the US, the "sale would not be allowed to occur without an exemption of the NSG".
He, however, added that while the US can vote against an exemption, it cannot stop China if it decides to sell the reactors to Pakistan without special permission from the NSG.
China has signed a 2.4 billion dollar agreement with Pakistan to supply two 340-megawatt reactors.
Pakistan and China have repeatedly said that the nuclear cooperation is for peaceful purposes and in line with international obligations of both the countries. (ANI)

US urges WikiLeaks to not publish more secrets

Washington, July 31(ANI): The U.S. has urged whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, and its founder, Julian Assange, not to release any more secret classified documents.
"We can do nothing but implore the person who has those classified top secret documents not to post anymore," The News quoted Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman, as saying.
"I think it's important that no more damage be done to our national security," he added.
Earlier, on Monday, Assange had said that his company had held back some 15,000 files from the documents it received in the leak.
He said that those documents were being reviewed, and will be released soon.
WikiLeaks has released over 90,000 secret US documents, which includes details of Afghan civilian deaths, covert operations against the Taliban and proof that Pakistan is aiding the Taliban to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan.
The documents called the 'Afghan War Diaries, 2004-2010', represents one of the biggest leaks in U.S. military history. (ANI)

Pakistan thinks India bigger threat than Taliban or Al Qaeda

New York, July 31 -- Torn apart by terror attacks within its borders, three in four Pakistanis still think India is their biggest threat, not the Taliban or Al Qaeda. One in four sees the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), the group behind 26/11, favourably.
Terror itself appears to worry Pakistanis less than before. They are more positively inclined towards terror outfits than a year ago.
These are some of the findings of a survey by Washington-based Pew Research Centre. Over half, 53 per cent, consider India a "very serious threat" and another 21 per cent consider it a "somewhat serious threat".
The numbers for Al Qaeda and Taliban are far lower: 21 and 38 per cent and 34 and 54 per cent, respectively. The survey also demonstrates a hardening of attitudes, as it points out that "the percentage of Pakistanis naming India rather than the Taliban or Al Qaeda as the biggest threat facing their country has increased somewhat since last year.
Fewer than half (48 per cent) thought India was the biggest threat in 2009." On the other hand, Pakistanis think they face less of a threat from either the Al Qaeda or Taliban as against last year.
The highest numbers in this context come from Punjab province, the base of the LeT, where 84 per cent consider India a serious threat. A greater percentage of Pakistanis hold a favourable view of the LeT than of Al Qaeda or Taliban, though more Pakistanis now view these two terror outfits favourably than they did last year.
The report shows that despite the US pouring money into Pakistan, Pakistanis consider the US the enemy. Just eight per cent are confident that US President Barack Obama will do the right thing with regard to world affairs; 18 per cent believe Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden will.
Last year, confidence in the US President was five per cent higher.

Obama asks Abbas to enter direct talks

Jerusalem/London, July 31 (DPA) US President Barack Obama has warned the Palestinian government of Mahmoud Abbas that 'there will be consequences' if he declines to open direct talks with Israel, Arab media reported Saturday.
'It is time to go to direct negotiations,' Obama said in a letter sent to Abbas and published Saturday by the London-based newspaper al-Hayat.
The US 'will not accept a rejection of (Obama's) proposal to go to direct negotiations' and 'there will be consequences to this rejection in the form of lack of confidence in Abbas and the Palestinians, which can have further impact on US-Palestinian relations,' the letter continued.
Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian member of the Revolutionary Council, had claimed in an interview with the London-published Arab newspaper al-Quds al Arabi Saturday that there had been 'threats to isolate the Palestinians and cut off relations' made by the US as part of the 'huge pressure on the Palestinian Authority to move to direct talks.'
But a White House source rejected that claim as 'not true' Saturday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
The US expressed its hope in the letter published by al-Hayat that direct negotiations would start at 'the beginning of next month.'
Obama would help the Palestinians get their own state if they enter direct negotiations, but will not offer any assistance if they refuse, the letter said.
The US administration also rejected the option of going to the United Nations as an alternative to direct negotiations.
The four months allocated to the US-mediated indirect 'proximity' talks will end in September, as will a partial 10-month moratorium on Israeli construction in the West Bank.
The Israeli government, the US and the European Union have all expressed their desire that direct talks get under way 'immediately'.
The Arab League Thursday also gave its green light, but called on the US administration to accept negotiations defined by a clear timeframe, specific reference terms and a monitoring mechanism.
The Palestinian government has so far insisted on seeing some 'progress' from the Israeli side before moving to direct talks.

Business News

                                                             
   

U.S. SEC charges Wyly brothers with $550 mln fraud

    Reuters - Sat, Jul 31
NEW YORK(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged billionaire Samuel Wyly and his brother Charles with fraud for reaping more than $550 million of illicit gains by trading stock in four companies while they were serving as directors.
   
       
   

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General

  • ICICI Bank Q1 net up 17 pc; sees strong credit growthPTI - Sat, Jul 31
  • Mumbai, Jul 31 (PTI) Helped by lower provisions and strong growth in housing loans, ICICI Bank today posted 17 per cent jump in June quarter profit at Rs 1,026 crore and projected 15 per cent credit growth in the current fiscal.
  • BP may sell German gas stations for $2.6 bln - reportReuters - Sat, Jul 31
  • BP Plc is seeking to sell its German petrol station chain Aral for around 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported on Saturday, citing investment bankers familiar with BP's plans.
  • Indiabulls bags prime NTC land in Mumbai for Rs 474 crPTI - Sat, Jul 31
  • New Delhi, July 31 (PTI) Financial and realty major Indiabulls Infratech today emerged as the auction winner of 2.39 acres of prime land belonging to NTC at Worli in Mumbai for Rs 474 crore, against the reserve price of Rs 250 crore.
  • Bhushan Steel''s Q1 profit up 20 per cent at Rs 205 crPTI - Sat, Jul 31
  • Mumbai, July 31 (PTI) Domestic steel producer Bhushan Steel today reported a jump of about 20 per cent in its net profit at Rs 205.7 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, over the same period last year.
  • CIL IPO on track, says company chairmanPTI - Sat, Jul 31
  • Kolkata, July 31 (PTI) Coal India Ltd today said that the proposed IPO of the company is well on track, and it was likely to reach an agreement with the environment ministry on the issue of mining in certain areas by August-end.

India

  • Northeast states need uniform power policy: NEEPCO chiefIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Shillong, July 31 (IANS) State-owned North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) chief and managing director I.P. Barooah Saturday advocated a uniform power policy for the eight northeastern states.
  • National Textiles Corp sells Worli mill land for Rs.474 croreIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) The first ever e-auction conducted by Indian public sector undertakings (PSUs) ended Saturday with the National Textiles Corporation (NTC) selling a closed mill at Worli in Mumbai for Rs.474 crore. The winning bidder was Indiabulls Infratech Limited.
  • Central government in favour of banning iron ore exportsIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Bangalore, July 31 (IANS) The central government is planning to ban iron ore exports or restrict the quantum of export to protect the rich mineral wealth of the country, Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh said Saturday.
  • Games to boost sales in Delhi: DikshitIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Saturday asked local shop owners and market associations to gear up for a major trading opportunity during the Commonwealth Games.
  • Coal India IPO likely between Oct 18-21IANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Kolkata, July 31 (IANS) The country's largest coal producer, Coal India Limited (CIL), expects to make its maiden public offering of shares between Oct 18-21, a top official said here Saturday.

International

  • Google on hiring spree in ChinaIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Beijing, July 31 (IANS) Search giant Google Inc, that saw many top engineers and executives leaving the company after its recent standoff with the Chinese government, has gone on a hiring spree in China.
  • US eco growth 'welcome sign': ObamaIE - Sat, Jul 31
  • President Barack Obama said that four consecutive quarters of US economic growth is a "welcome sign" of recovery but more was needed to put unemployed Americans back to work.
  • Pilots quit Philippine Airlines for higher-paying jobsIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Manila, July 31 (DPA) The Philippines' flag carrier Saturday cancelled about a dozen domestic and international flights after several pilots resigned for higher-paying jobs with foreign airlines.
  • Fears of second recession in US loomIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Washington, July 31 (IANS) Fears of another recession in the United States loomed as the government reported slower growth in the second quarter and the International Monetary Fund said the country's financial system remains fragile.
  • Toxic cancer-causing dyes found in China garmentsIANS - Sat, Jul 31
  • Beijing, July 31 (IANS) Toxic dyes that can cause cancer have been detected in some garments in China, creating concern that buyers may also be exposed to health hazards.

Personal-Finance

  • SKS Micro, EIL issues get good responseHT - Sat, Jul 31
  • Mumbai, July 30 -- The initial public offering (IPO) of SKS Microfinance witnessed a subscription of 10.51 times on Friday.
  • Toyota recalls 400,000 cars in USIANS - Thu, Jul 29
  • New York, July 29 (DPA) Japanese carmaker Toyota is recalling more than 400,000 cars in the US over fears of defects in the steering system, the company said Thursday.
  • Air India, Jet lost Rs.127 crore due to strikes: PatelIANS - Thu, Jul 29
  • New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Air India and Jet Airways have lost Rs.127 crore due to strikes by their employees since last year, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said in the Lok Sabha Thursday.
  • Graphite India Q1 net profit at Rs.34 croreIANS - Thu, Jul 29
  • Kolkata, July 29 (IANS) Graphite electrodes manufacturer Graphite India Ltd (GIL), posted a standalone net profit of Rs.34 crore in the first quarter (April-June) of the current fiscal (2010-11), the company said here Thursday.
  • Sensex closes flat, global cues mixedIANS - Thu, Jul 29
  • Mumbai, July 29 (IANS) Indian equities markets closed the July future series on a dull note Thursday with a benchmark index ending a meagre 39 points up from its previous close.

Markets

  • RBI chief briefs fin min on inflationReuters - Sat, Jul 31
  • The Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao on Saturday briefed the country's finance minister (FM) on the current inflationary situation but gave no details of the meeting.
  • UAE's ADCB posts Q2 loss, Dubai World exposure weighsReuters - Sat, Jul 31
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank said on Saturday it had 6.6 billion dirhams ($1.8 billion) worth of exposure to indebted state conglomerate Dubai World and posted a second-quarter loss.
  • U.S., India formally sign nuclear reprocessing pactReuters - Sat, Jul 31
  • The United States and India on Friday formally signed an agreement on reprocessing spent nuclear fuel that U.S. officials hope will allow American firms a share of India's $150 billion nuclear energy market.
  • U.S. bank failures total 108 after 5 shut on FridayReuters - Sat, Jul 31
  • U.S. bank failures reached 108 so far in 2010 on Friday as regulators seized five small banks in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast, none publicly traded.
  • Jubilant Foodworks net up 346%HT - Sat, Jul 31
  • New Delhi, July 30 -- The country's largest multinational food service brand Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd on Friday reported a 346 per cent jump in net profit for the April-June quarter at Rs 15 crore.

India to set up $10 billion infrastructure debt fund

BANGALORE: India plans to set up a $10-billion infrastructure debt fund for long-term financing infrastructure projects across the country, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said late Friday.

"The proposal is to initially have a $10 billion infrastructure debt fund. Though it may not solve the financing problem, it is going to demonstrate that such funds can work in India so that many more such funds can be set up for many infrastructure projects," Ahluwalia told IANS on the margins of an interactive session here.

The UPA government had recently set up a 15-member committee under the chairmanship of former HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh to work out the modalities of the proposed India Infrastructure Debt Fund (IIDF).

The committee has come out June 1 with a report on creation of a debt fund through low-cost long-term resources for re-financing infrastructure projects under the public-private partnership (PPP).

"The finance minister has asked me to talk to different stakeholders and make specific recommendations on whether the Parekh committee report is practical and what modifications in the regulatory system will be necessary, as such a fund does require some relaxations by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI)," Ahluwallia said.

Noting that scaling the infrastructure was a major challenge facing the country, the deputy chairman said the plan panel had recently made sweeping recommendations after a mid-term assessment of the various infrastructure projects, their funding and regulatory issues governing their execution.

"For instance, if you are going to raise funds abroad, it may be used to refinance short-term loans. Until recently, you could not borrow abroad to refinance. You could borrow for original investment. For funding infrastructure projects, the norms have to be relaxed to raise debt funds," Ahluwallia pointed out.

Earlier, addressing members of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce (BCIC), Ahluwallia said the private sector would have to scale its contribution to $500 billion during the 12th plan (2012-2017) for funding infrastructure projects under PPP from $175 billion in the 11th plan (2007-12).

Admitting that infrastructure deficit was a major constraint in achieving over nine per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate annually, Ahluwallia said the government and the private sector had to do much more in the next five years than they have done in the last five years in terms of scale.

Govt in talks with UK companies for infra projects: Kamal Nath

The government is talking with UK-based construction as well as consulting companies to invest in the country's infrastructure projects, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath said today.

"We are looking at construction companies in Britain and also consultants for investments in India," he said.

The minister, however, refused to divulge the names of the companies saying that there were many of them and he could not name them just then.

Kamal Nath, who was present at the unveiling of the 100,000th machine manufactured by construction equipment maker JCB India Ltd, did not specify the kind of projects these (British) companies would be investing in, as to if they would be road projects or the highway projects etc.

He also met UK Business Secretary Vince Cable who also welcomed a series of multi-million pound deals between British and Indian firms.

"We have UK companies operating here in partnership with Indian firms and I would encourage more UK firms to explore the opportunities here," Cable said.

Meanwhile, a London-based architecture firm Benoy has won three major projects in Bangalore and Mumbai worth over 1.6 million pounds in fees.

Steady market helps IPOs sail safely

30 Jul 2010, 1022 hrs IST,Vijay Gurav,ET Bureau

Topics:

*


MUMBAI: In what could be early signs of a revival of interest in initial public offerings (IPOs), most of the recent issues have yielded handsome returns to investors after their listing on the bourses. The trend has been evident particularly in small and medium-sized issues which attracted huge subscription from retail investors.


The stock market has been quite steady this month which also had its positive impact on the sentiment towards new listings, according to merchant bankers. They also attribute good participation of retail investors in the IPOs to their huge post-listing gains.


The trend is unlike some months ago when many new issues, including a few major follow-on offers from public sector companies, performed poorly after listing. Most of them had attracted huge subscription from qualified institutional buyers but retail participation was quite low.


"A few of the recent IPOs were of good quality, and so found takers even through the market has a whole did not rise in a big way," said Almondz Global Securities head of investment banking Sharad Rathi. He, however, does not rule out speculative interest behind the initial euphoria, particularly in case of those companies where fundamentals are suspect.


Leading the pack of top gainers, Aster Silicates has more than doubled in just two days of its listing. On Thursday, the stock jumped 19.4% to a new high of `237.8 while a total of 1.6 crore shares changed hands on the day.


However, only 3.4% of the traded quantity was actually delivered in the market. Merchant banking sources feel that while the company is fundamentally sound, the two-day upswing in the share price cannot be justified in the absence of any significant development in the company after listing.


The company manufactures food grade sodium silicate which is used in production of food products for formation of gel. The Rs 56-crore offer was subscribed seven times in the retail category while it attracted more than 13 times subscription from high net worth investors.


Unlike in the past, retail investors have begun to participate in new issues as reflected in high levels of retail subscription in the recent ones, said Jinesh Mehta, executive director, Saffron Capital Advisors, a Mumbai-based merchant banker. "Good retail response and attractive listing gains would augur well for the prospective offers, provided the secondary market conditions remain positive" he added.


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Technofab Engineering and Hindustan Media Ventures are the two other IPOs, which gained significantly after their debut. They are currently quoting at a premium of 18% and 10%, respectively, to their offer prices. But a sharp decline in traded volumes subsequent to listing indicate easing of euphoria in the counters.


Some bankers feel the initial movement could be misleading if it is not supported by genuine buying interest. Investors should wait for the share price to stabilise or correct and take call subsequently depending on the prospects of the company.



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