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28 March, 2010-news

The Headlines:

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi appears before Special Investigation Team; Questioned for nine hours in two sittings.

  • Three convicts in Satyendra Dubey murder case sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • Third round of talks between Rajasthan Government and Gujjar leaders over reservation issue fails.

  • Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings-XI Punjab by 39 runs in the IPL Cricket at Mohali.


For the first time since the riots in Gujarat eight years ago, state Chief Minister Narendra Modi appeared before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team SIT in two sessions lasting for more than nine hours in Gandhinagar yesterday. The  BJP leader, faces allegations of omission and commission with regard to the mob attack on a housing society in which a former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and 68 others were killed. The first session lasted over five hours from 12 noon to 5 PM and the second session  for four hours from 9 PM till 1 AM as Mr.Modi was keen that the entire exercise be completed yesterday  itself.

Talking to reporters after the second round of quizzing at the SIT office at the old secretariat building, the Chief Minister said, the investigators told him that his work was over.Though there was no official word on the questioning, Mr. Modi is said to have replied to 62 questions put to him in the first session. Talking to media persons after the first round,  Mr. Modi said that his appearance before the SIT is a fitting reply to his detractors.

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has called upon the States to initiate immediate action to operationalise the Act to set up Gram Nayalays.  Speaking at the National convention on Law Justice and common man in New Delhi organised by the Congress, he reaffirmed the government's commitment to judicial reforms and continued efforts for easy, affordable, speedy  justice for the common man.

Dr. Manmohan Singh said, the strength of the legal system in the country is diminished by the huge number of pending cases at every level. He also pointed to the need for sensitivity and care in dealing with the vulnerable and marginalised sections of society.

In her address the Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi called on the legal fraternity to educate the people about their rights and help in empowering them.

The Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee  in his valedictory address lamented that the delivery system in the country is poor and said that it needs to be improved. In an apparent reference to the incidents in Parliament, he said that  resorting to obstructionism as a way of protest is a violation of the fundamental right.

All the three convicted in the whistle blower Satyendra Dubey murder case, have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a special  CBI court in Patna. Our correspondent reports that Mantu Kumar, Udai Kumar and Pinku Ravi Das were convicted by special CBI court on Monday.

CBI spokesman Harsh Bhal said that the investigation agency did not find evidence of possible conspiracy by contractors or mafia to kill Satyendra Dubey as alleged by his brother.

The CBI has dismissed the theory of involvement of contractors or mafias in the murder of Satyendra dubey. After an inquiry no evidence came on record showing that deceased Satyendra Dubey was eliminated under any conspiracy by the contractors and mafias as alleged in the complaint by his brother Dhananjay. CBI further stated that a number of officials, contractors and engineers connected with national highway authority of india projects were examined with reference to the issued raised by the diseased in his letter addressed to the then prime minister.


In Jammu and Kashmir, eight terrorists have been killed so far in the ongoing operation in Keran sector of Kupwara district. Our correspondent reports that the operation started on Wednesday.

Gunbattle erupted when a group of heavily armed militants from Pakistan occupied Kashmir tried to sneak into Keran sector along the Line of control on Wednesday. Three militants were killed on the same day while five more were killed yesterday taking the toll to eight. Defense spokesman Lt. Col J.S. Brar told A.I.R that operation is still in progress and Army has cordoned-off, the high altitude area with dense vegetation and dense 10 to 12 feet of snow  Rafiq Ahmad air news Kupwara.


The third round of talks between Gujjars and the Rajasthan government over the issue of reservation in government jobs has failed. Our correspondent reports that the one-to-one meeting between Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Jaipur lasted for over one and a half hours.

One to one meeting between Chief Minister Mr. Ashok Gehlot and Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla ended without any conclusion but still there is a hope that interaction between both sides will be continued. Mr. Gehlot said that it is not possible to take any decision on reservation issue as the matter is subjudice. He stressed that on this matter if necessary, Government will go to the supreme court he said that Gurjar community should take advantage of special package announced for them. After meeting with the Chief Minister Col. Bainsla said that will be continued. In demand of five percent reservation. Mahapadao is still continuing in Dausa , Ajmer, Tonk dipsticks by Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti.


Mahavir Jayanti is being celebrated today. Jain Temples are tastefully decorated where special prayers are being held.

The President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister have greeted the people on the occasion.


Rashtrapati Bhavan fell into virtual darkness last evening as it switched off all its non essential lights joining lakhs of people in turning off bulbs across the country as part of a campaign to save the planet. A Rashtrapati Bhavan official said,  the non-essential lights were switched off between 8.30 PM to 9.30 PM not only in the Rashtrapati Bhavan but also in the residential quarters. However, some of the lights were kept on keeping the security considerations in view. City's famous heritage structures -- Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb and other buildings of importance -- also fell into darkness.

Started in Sydney in Australia in 2007, the 'Earth Hour' became a global event in 2008 with participation of 35 countries. India joined the Earth Hour campaign last year. Delhi alone had saved 700 MW of power by supporting the campaign.


The leader of Al Iraqiya alliance Iyad Allawi has said that he is willing to work with all sides to form a new government in Iraq.  The secular al-Iraqiya alliance won Iraq’s parliamentary elections with 91 seats followed by incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition with 89 seats. Our correspondent reports that the Iraqi National Alliance won 70, while Kurdistan Alliance 42 seats.

The Iraqia has started the consultation process to form the new government in Iraq after emerging as single largest coalition in the elections. According to the Iraqi constitution Alawis secular alliance will be given the first opportunity to form a government but they do not have required 163 seats needed to form a government in 325-member parliament. If Allawi fails to form a government within 30 days, the Iraqi president will designate another leader for this. So, long negotiations are expected where Kurds and INA are likely to play key roles as kingmakers. Security officials have warned that a long period of coalition building could give insurgents a chance to further destabilize Iraq.


NATO Secretary General has urged the military alliance to push ahead with construction of a missile defence system and extend it to cover Russia as well.  Speaking at a security conference in Brussels, he said building a defence system together will signal that Russia is fully part of the European Atlantic family.


An unbeaten 75 by Manoj Tiwary and his 79-run third wicket partnership with opener Sourav Ganguly helped Kolkata Knight Riders defeat hosts Kings XI Punjab by 39 runs in the IPL at Mohali last night. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, the Knight Riders posted a competitive 183 for five,  and then restricted Kings XI Punjab at 144 for six. Tiwary blasted a 47-ball 75 be jewelled with eight fours and two sixes, while Ganguly's 50 runs included six fours and one six.

Chasing 184 to win, Kings XI Punjab batsmen got starts but couldn't materialise them into big score as they lost half of their side within 100 runs inside 15 overs. Manoj Tiwary was declared the Man-of-the-match. 

In today's encounters, Rajasthan Royals meet Chennai Super Kings at Ahmedabad, while Mumbai Indians clash with Deccan Chargers at Mumbai.


Punjab and Sindh Bank and Air India teams have entered into the semifinals of the 64th All India Obaidullah Khan Hockey Gold Cup being played in Bhopal. Punjab and Sindh Bank defeated ONGC by 3-2 in the first quarter final played this evening. Punjab and Sindh Bank's Gurvinder SIngh was declared man of the match. In another quarter final Air India defeated SAIL Rourkela by 7-1. Air India's Vikram Pillai, who scored two goals was declared man of the match.Indian Oil and BPCL have already qualified for semi finals. Semi final matches will be played today.



The top story in most of the sunday papers is Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's appearance before the supreme court appointed Special Investigation Team. The headline in The Hindu says 'Modi appears before SIT, says it is a fitting reply to critics'.
The Prime minister's address at a national convention in New Delhi, where he urges states to implement the Gram Nyayalaya Act speedily finds front page coverage in the Hindustan Times.

'Whistleblower's killers get life term', says the Asian Age, writing about the sentencing of 3 men being convicted by a fast track court in Patna for killing NHAI engineer Satyendra Dubey in 2003.

A report in The Indian Express says that the decks have been cleared for low-cost carriers Indigo and Spicejet to fly abroad. The paper writes that the Civil aviation ministry has given its go-ahead to complete the formalities.

Photographs of lights out in various cities in India as Earth Hour was observed, has been featured in many papers. Switching of the illumination of India Gate features in the Hindu and the Hindustan Times.

A front page report in The Pioneer says that the Indian Space Research Organisation has confirmed that since 1962, the Himalayan glaciers have decreased by 16%.

In some economic news, the Asian Age writes that according to the World Trade Organisation, world trade is all set to expand by 9.5% this year, led by economic growth in India and China.

The Times of India highlights the ill mannered lot that Delhiites are while using the world class metro service. The story is headlined 'Delhi's weekend crowd tramples on Metro manners', with a photo of surging crowds captioned 'an uncivil society'.


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