Friday, October 9, 2009

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  • In Pakistan, thirty people killed in a bomb blast in Peshawar.
  • Pakistan's ISI comes under the scanner for  yesterday’s attack outside the Indian embassy in Kabul ; Foriegn seceratary Nirupama Rao arrives in Kabul in wake of the bomb explosion.
  • Top  militant of the Hizbul mujahideen outfit killed in an encounter  in Pulwama District: 30 Kgs of RDX recovered.
  • Star campaigners hit the election trail in poll bound states; Congress expells a total of 16 rebels, NCP expulsions rise to 51.
  • Floods wreaks havoc in a large number of villages in Lakimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In the National Athletics Championship at Bhopal, Surinder Singh of services win's 10,000 mts men's gold while Kavita Rout of Maharashtra claim gold in the women category of the same event.
In Pakistan, at least 30 people have been killed in a bomb blast near a market in the north-western city of Peshawar today.  Nearly one hundred people have  been injured in the blast. Officials said that a vehicle laden with explosives was detonated and destroyed near Peshawar's Khyber Bazaar. Pak police official, Muhammad Khan told news agencies that one of the vehicles damaged in the explosion was a bus. TV footage showed a number of cars and motorbikes have also been destroyed.  Today's explosion is the latest in a series of recent bombings across north-western Pakistan.

Pakistan-based groups and its intelligence agency the ISI has come under scanner again for  yesterday’s suicide car bomb explosion outside the Indian embassy in Kabul. The blast killed 17 people and injured more than sixty others. An Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said in Kabul that the attack was definitely planned outside  Afghanistan, pointing to bordering areas of Pakistan which act as safe haven for the terrorists. Afghan ambassador to the US, Mr. Said Jawad told a TV programme that they are pointing the finger at the Pakistan intelligence agency, based on the evidence on the ground and similar attacks taking place in Afghanistan.

The ambassador said the target shows the international connections of the Taliban and al Qaeda and how closely they work with each other. Mr. Haroun Mir, the director of the Afghanistan Center for Research and Policy Studies said some rogue elements in the ISI are very upset about India's activities in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Secretary Mrs. Nirupama Roa has arrived in Kabul today in wake of yesterday's bomb explosion outside the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army and the police has averted a big tragedy by killing a top foreign militant of the Hizbul mujahideen outfit at Gusu village of South Kashmir's Pulwama District.  Air correspondent reports the slain militant has been identified as Abu Maya, a Pakistani national. 30 kg RDX was recovered from the militant.

In a major brake through, on specific information police and security forces have cordoned off one residential house at gusu village of Pulwama district during intervening night.  According to SP operation, Pulwama one militant hiding in the house opened fire on search party which was retaliated triggering a brief gun battle in which the foreign militant Umer mavia got killed.  SP told Akashwani that the killed militant was carrying the RDX to Srinagar for fidayeen attack.  One AK 47 rifle, two hand grinades one detonator and mobile phone was recovered from possession of the said militant.  SP said this militant was operating in valley from last five years. 

In Maharashtra, the last rights of the 17 slain policemen killed in yesterday's Naxal attack in Bamragad Tehsil will be performed today with full state honours. The bodies were brought to the District Headquarters late last night where the postmortom was conducted.  Intense combing operations by the BSF and the Special State Police force is continuing to nab the Naxals responsible for the killing.  Senior Police and District officials have rushed to the site to review the situation.

In Bihar, the Police have sounded an alert across the state in the wake of the proposed bandh call given by maoists. The Additional Director General of Police,  Neelmani said a massive manhunt has been launched in naxal infested districts of the state to monitor the movements of Maoists. The outlawed CPI Maoists have called for a two day Bihar and Jharkhand bandh from the 12th of this month in protest against the Centre's effort to browbeat and subdue its revolutionary movement through use of para-military forces and the India Air Force.  The announcement was made by the spokesman of Bihar- Jharkhand - Orissa- Chattisgarh Special Area Committee in a press release. Air correspondent reports the press release said that the banned outfits are already in the midst of observing a protest week which started on 7th of this month and will end on the 13th.

In Jharkhand, Naxals injured two policemen and fled with their pistols last night. The incident took place last night when acting on a tip-off that some members of People's Liberation Front have taken shelter at Laxminagar area, Latehar police station in-charge Ravikant Prasad and constable Sunil Kumar reached there to capture them. The DIG  Mr. Raj Kumar Mallick said that, in the grappling between the police and the Naxals, the pistols of the security personnel fell down and the rebels picked up the weapons and fled, firing in the air.      

In Assam, a high-level security review meeting by the Union Home Ministry began at Guwahati this morning. Presided over by the Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Mr. Navin Verma, the meeting is attended by the DGPs, IGPs and top administrative officials of the North Eastern states.

In keeping with the decision to set up a joint intelligence sharing mechanism, the Ministry of Home Affairs has convened the meeting to facilitate coordination between the North Eastern states in dealing with militants besides formulating an effective counter insurgency mechanism.

Campaigning has entered its last lap for the Assembly Elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh. The three states goes to poll on Tuesday.
In  Maharashtra  electioneering laden with all kinds of promises, is going on at every corner.  Star campaigners of various parties are  campaigning in different parts of the state today.Election Commissioner Navin Chawla has said that sufficient number of Electronic Voting Machines  are available in the state along with video cameras to ensure transparency during voting.
Meanwhile, the Congress in Maharashtra suspended 16 rebels. Minister of State for Finance, Sunil Deshmukh, contesting against Rajendra Shekhawat, from Amravati and sitting MLA Rajiv Rajale who is in the fray as rebel from Shegaon in Ahmednagart district, were among the 16 rebels suspended. NCP has expelled total of 51 rebels.

High decibel campaigning is being heard all over Maharashtra with top leaders of various political parties making promises to woo voters. The government is taking all possible measures to ensure a good voter turnout for the assembly elections .The state government has already declared a paid holiday for eligible voters employed in shops and establishments on polling day. After appeals to come out and vote by the election commission, the government and the political parties students have now voluntarily come forward to urge voters to exercise their vote .Residents associations across Mumbai have come up with plans to help voters and ensure a high voter turnout .NGOs like action for good governance and networking in India and the association for democratic reforms have already come up with a helpline which will provide criminal records and assets of candidates in fray. NGOs are also organizing street plays at a number of places to motivate voters to come out and vote .Meanwhile Maharashtra's Chief Minister has said that the government will not be cowed down by the Naxal attacks and all security measures are in place for the polls.

In Western Maharashtra, air Correspondent reports that voters are concerned more with local isses in the polls.

Where as political parties are involved in putting charges on each other, the voter is only concerned with his local issues. This can be asserted at least from western Maharashtra voters, who gives turn not only state politics but also national politics if need arises. In Pune out 21 assembly seats eight fall in circumference of city area, where the problem is of proper transport facility and blockade of roads. Who stands on the criteria of the public  will be disclosed on 22nd October .However campaigning is going on its pick. With Srikant Srivastava I am Mahesh Iyengar AIR News, Pune.
Campaign for the 46 Assembly segments in the eight districts of Marathwda region has intensified .

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today addressed an election rally in Kalamnoori town of Hingoli district. While addressing the gathering Mr.Gandhi said the UPA government has always strived for betterment of common man.  Meamwhile, many leaders including  Lal Krishna Advani, BJP President Rajnath Singh are scheduled to address election rallies in Nanded and Hingoli districts.  Leader of Republican Democratic Left Front, Ramdas Athawale will be campigning in Parbhani and nanded districts. Senior CPM leader Vrunda Karad will address public meetings in Parbhnai today.
Maharastra Home Minister Jayant Patil has said that the naxal attack in Gadchiroli district yesterday would have no effect on the assembly elections scheduled for Tuesday. Addressing a press conference in Gadchirli, a short while ago, he said that the moral of the police forces was high despite the set back and that there were adequate companies of security forces in the region to ensure peaceful polling.
In Haryana, leaders from various political parties are engaged in their last minute efforts to garner votes for the assembly elections.
 Air correspondent saysvoters are demanding development in lieu of their vote.

Meham is the same constituency which gave a bad name not only to INLD President Om Parkash Chautala in the early 90’s due to unprecedented poll violence which claimed one life also, even the constituency became popular as Mayhem means havoc.

From here the main contest is between Chautala’s betenoire and INC candidate Anand Singh Dangi and INLD candidate Balbir Singh. Although people seem to be not in the favour of Dangi this time but the Chief Minister Hooda can play a role here. Shamsher Singh Kharkare, an Independent candidate can play a spoil sport for both Cong. and INLD candidates. The only women candidate from here is BSP candidate Raj Rani Sharma. As always, overall development of the constituency is once again the main issue here. Uchana Kalan constituency in Jind will see a tough contest between Finance Minister Birender Singh and Om Prakash Chautala. Although Cong candidate Birender Singh is the choice of his ancestral place but Chautala’s presence now cannot be ignored. Besides some other developmental works, water and power shortage, three of the major issues here are roads, no factory and unemployment. A single women candidate Suman of Rashtriya Sahara Party is also in the fray from here. Ellanabad of Sirsa distt. is the second constituency from where Om Prakash Chautala is hopeful against the Bharat Singh Beniwal of Congress and Devi Lal Beniwal of Haryana Janhit Congress. It was a reserved constituency earlier.

The main long pending issue of this area is salty drinking water. Many residents are purchasing better drinking water from market. As most of the candidates of the main stream parties are old war horses, financially they are sound. Campaigning at these places is now mostly in the hands of younger generation. They themselves and also along with the candidate are going door-to-door asking for votes besides organising road shows. Technology is also playing a major role in campaigning through SMS, Voice SMS and Cable Networks.

In Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu faces allegations from political parties that he was sponsoring some candidates. However, Khandu has rubbished the allegations and said it was being used as a ploy to woo voters by the other parties. Meanwhile, campaigning has been badly hit in the state by incessant rain and dense fog.  A report from air correspondent on some of the  key constituencies:

Congress candidate and Speaker Setong Sena is having a straight fight against independent candidate Tosham Mossang in Nampong constituency under Changlang district. Moshang, a former businessman is a first timer.  Road connectivity and tourism are serious issues in the constituency which is just 23 kms from the Actual Line of Control with Myanmar . People are unhappy that the area has been taken off from the tourism circuit of the state.

Pakke-Kessang constituency in East Kameng district will also see a straight fight between Youth Affairs minister Atum Welly and sitting MLA Techi Hemu who is fighting on NCP ticket. A tough fight in on the cards between them. Electorates in the constituency want better border and flood management, road connectivity, education and health infrastructure.

Home Minister Jarbom Gamlin is up against Bai Gadi of the BJP in a one to one in Liromoba constituency under West Siang district. The constituency has the best record of coverage under the Prime Minister’s Gramin Sadak Yojna. BJP is making under development of the area the poll plank. But  local issues outweight the promises of the candidates.

In Uttar Pradesh several villages in Lukhimpur Kheri district were inundated as a breach has developed at the embankment of Sharad River at Phulbehat area. Air correspondent reports that at least four persons have lost their lives in the flash floods that also destroyed crops spread over thousand acres of land in the area.
In Uttar Pradesh death toll has reached to at least 45 as fresh casualties are reported from Lakhimpur Khiri and Gonda districts. Hundreds of villages are marooned in flash flood due to discharge of flood water in Sharada river by Nepal through Banbasa barrage In Faizabad,Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri districts. In Bahraich, as many as 150 villages of Mahesi, Nanpara and Kaiserganj tehsils were under the grip of floods. Railway traffic between Pallia and Gonda stations was suspended.In Faizabad district river Sarayu is flowing above danger mark at Ayodhya and its its water has inundated several villages. In Gonda River Ghagra was overflowing at Elgin bridge, while Saryu was above the mark in Tarabganj tehsil.

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will conduct an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh today. A report;  People call it a historic flood as there was no precedence of flood of this magnitude in the history of Andhra Pradesh during last 100 years. The Prime Minister is coming to the state in a short while. He will personally see the damage and take stock of the situation in the aftermath of floods. Dr Manmohan Singh will witness the trail of destruction left by floods in Krishna and Guntur districts through an aerial survey this afternoon and reach Hyderabad in the evening to hold a review meeting with the administration. He will leave for Karnataka tomorrow morning and enroute he is scheduled to witness the damage in Kurnool and Mehaboobnagar distrists. The state government expects that the Prime Minister’s visit would help to seek more central assistance to tide over the situation.
In Philippines, more than ninety people have been killed in floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain in the northern part of the country. Reports that some of the latest landslides were caused by water that was released from the dams in the wake of Typhoon Parma. Typhoon Ketsana left at least 300 people dead and hundreds of thousands stranded, while Typhoon Parma caused further damage just over a week later. The Benguet provincial governor Mr. Nestor Fongwan said 69 people across five districts in the province were killed.

A Delhi court today reserved for the 24th of this month its order on the plea of an advocate opposing CBI's move to withdraw the two-decade-old Bofors pay-off case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.  The decision was taken by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja after the CBI submitted that a private party has no locus standi in the case.  The CBI had submitted before the court that "Publicity and politics" have no role to play in such matters and the plea of a private party against the probe agency's move to close the case should be rejected.

President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil arrived in Jammu this morning on her day-long visit to the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. The President was received at the Airport by Governor, Sh. N.N.Vohra, Chief Minister, Sh. Omar Abdullah, Deputy Chief Minister, Sh.Tara Chand and other Cabinet Ministers besides senior civil, police and army officers.  Soon after her arrival, the President left for Rajouri where she visited some forward areas and took stock of the situation prevailing along the Line of Control following recent infiltration attempts made by militants from across the border.

The rupee came under pressure today after a five-day strong rally and fell marginally by five paisa to 46.39 against the greenback on dollar buying by importers.  The rupee had surged by 3.66 per cent to 46.34 in the last five days.  The local unit resumed steady at 46.35 a dollar against its previous close and later fell to a low of 46.50 before being quoted at 46.39 a dollar in late morning deals.    

The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange today added nearly 120 points in opening trade extending yesterday's gains. The 30-share BSE Sensex was up by 119.54 points to 16,963 points in opening trade The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty was also up by 30 points at 5,032 points. Firming trends on other Asian markets and overnight gains in US stocks also buoyed the trading sentiments.

Japanese share prices opened higher today.  The benchmark Nikkei-225 index have risen 0.6 percent to 9,893.63 in the first minutes of trading.

The  Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit today said the Commonwealth Games delegation that visited the sporting facilities in New Delhi to take stock of the work for the 2010 Games has gone back happy. Mrs Dikshit told reporters on the sidelines of a function in the national capital that     the delegation members had their doubts cleared with the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games and also the Delhi Government. Amid concerns over the pace of preparations, Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell and other members of the delegation yesterday inspected the venues and facilities for the Games, exactly a year away.

In the 49th Open National Athletics Championship being held in Bhopal, Surinder Singh of services bagged gold in the men’s ten thousand meters while Kavita Rout of Maharashtra finished first in women's category of the same event.
Surinder Singh covered distance in 29 minutes 19.40 seconds. Sandeep of railways bagged silver and B C Tilak of services bronze in men’s 10 thousand meter event. Kavita covered the distance in 33 minutes 57.49 seconds. Preeti L Rao of railways won silver and Latila Babar bronze in women’s 10 thousand meter. In men’s triple jump Renjith Maheshwary of railways set a new meet record of 16.68 meter.

Amarjeet Singh of railways bagged silver and Saurabh Singh of police bronze. Kiran Tiwari of railways won women’s 3000 meter steeplechase while Elam Singh of services won men’s event. In men’s hammer throw Madhu Kumar of railways bagged gold, Harvinder Singh of Uttar Pradesh silver and Nirbhay Singh of services bronze.

The Planning Commission today said it will soon set up a separate Independent Evaluation Office to assess the extent to which the government's flagship schemes are benefiting the poor.  Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters that the Plan panel is working towards the establishment of an  Independent Evaluation Office for strengthening our evaluation system.

India is all set to become first country in Asia to have a UNESCO category institute. It will be named Mahatma Gandhi Institue of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. Official sources said that executive board of the world body has approved India's proposal to set up a category one institute. It was also ratified by the UNESCO's general conference held in Paris.


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