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29 March, 2010-news

The Headlines:

  • Special Investigation Team Chief R K Raghavan says questioning of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is a big step forward in unravelling the mystery behind the Gulberg Society case; Modi describes his marathon grilling by the SIT as a difficult moment of his life.

  • CPI-Maoist admits that its top leader Kishenji is injured;

  • Security tightened in the high seas following intelligence reports that Pakistan-based terror groups may target some Indian offshore targets.

  • US President Barack Obama pays a surprise visit to Afghanistan; Says difficult days lie ahead in the eight-year-old war.

  • Mumbai Indians beat Deccan Chargers by 41 runs; Rajasthan Royals defeat Chennai Super Kings by 17 runs.


Special Investigation Team - SIT Chief R K Raghavan has said that the questioning of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is a big step forward in unravelling the mystery behind the Gulberg Society case. Talking to a TV Channel, Mr Raghvan expressed confidence that the SIT will submit its report to the Supreme Court by the 30th of April in the case.

It is and inquiry it's an important step without which we could not have gone forward That is why it was significant. I think everything went off, well, incident-free. He came, spent lot of time. I am sure he has answered all the questions which were posed to him, and that way it is satisfactory.

Asked whether the SIT will call Modi again for questioning if needed, Mr. Raghavan said, he has to look at the evidence that has been collected and what Mr. Modi has said while questioned by Mr. A.K. Malhotra of the SIT. Mr. Raghavan said, SIT has the right to recall if there were "gaps" and that applied to any witness.

Meanwhile, Mr Narendra Modi has described his marathon grilling by the SIT as a difficult moment of his life and thanked the people of the state for standing by him. Mr Modi wrote on his blog that he has cooperated with the process of law and accepted its supremacy.


The CPI-Maoist has admitted that its top leader Kishenji sustained bullet injuries in a recent encounter with security forces in West Bengal. In an e-mail to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the naxalites threatened to blow up the residence of Mr Patnaik and other important establishments in retaliation to each bullet that hit Kishenji. According to reports, 55-year-old Kishenji was seriously injured along with another leader during a seven-hour-long gun battle between security forces and the rebels in West Midnapore district and was undergoing treatment by local quacks at a rebel hideout. The West Bengal police, however, has said it has no information and suspects that it may be a ploy of the naxalites to divert attention.


Security has been tightened in the Indian high seas following intelligence reports that Pakistan-based terror groups may target some oil wells and the facilities where ships offload crude oil for transportation to the mainland through pipes.

The Navy and Coast Guard have been asked to increase patrolling in the seas and pursue any suspicious or unidentified ship or vessel moving in Indian waters. Official sources said, the moves come in the wake of reports of central security agencies as well as Western intelligence that Pakistan-based terror outfits especially Lashker-e-Taiba may try and target oil wells located in the high seas and may also try and hit the facilities located 130 to 150 kilometers in deep seas. The Navy and Coast Guards have intensified patrolling around the oil wells located in the high seas and asked oil companies to keep a tight vigil.


Two persons have been apprehended at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport for breaching security on Saturday. Authorities have ordered a probe into the incident. Both detained persons told the police that they wanted to fly to Gulf countries to earn a livelihood. According to police, one of them is 65-year-old Fazr Mohammed who climbed the wall from the side of emergency Gate No. 5 to enter the airport.

28-year-old Uday Raj Chauhan was arrested after he illegally entered the domestic terminal of the IGI and reached the apron area to board an Air India aircraft.


Kerala police have arrested one person for placing a bomb in the Kingfisher Airlines' Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram flight on the 21st of this month. The arrested person was working as cleaning supervisor with the Kingfisher airlines. The crude bomb was detected when the kingfisher flight from Bangalore landed at Thiruvanathapuram airport.


US President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to Kabul yesterday where he met Afghan President Hamid Karzai and spoke to American troops, saying difficult days lie ahead in the eight-year-old war. The visit, which came three months after he ordered a surge of 30,000 troops, was shrouded in secrecy for security reasons.

During his meeting with Mr Karzai, Mr Obama put across the urgency to crack down on corruption, and make a concerted effort in improving the judicial system and governance. Later addressing about 2500 US forces stationed in Afghanistan, Mr Obama said that there will be "setbacks" but claimed that the US will not quit and will prevail.

Our broad mission is clear, we are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy Al- Queda and its extremist allies. That is our mission. To accomplish that goal our objectives hear in Afghanistan are also clear. We are going to deny Al- Queda safe haven.


India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed, nuclear-capable, short range ballistic missile Agni-1 from the Integrated Test Range, ITR at Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast. ITR Director, S P Dash said it met all parameters. Our correspondent reports that the surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, roared into the sky yesterday.

In the third consecutive success in two days, nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-I ballistic missile with a range of 700 km was successfully flight-tested from the Wheeler’s Island off the Orissa coast covering a distance of 633 kms. Agni-I is designed to bridge the gap between indigenously built Prithvi with a short-range of 150 kms and medium range Agni-II, that has a range of more than 2,000 kms. Only few hours back,the Strategic Forces Command had successfully tested nuclear-capable, ship-based Dhanush and surface-to-surface Prithvi-II in quick succession from INS Subhadra and ITR, Chandipur. Each missile achieved its full range with Dhanush travelling 350 kms and Prithvi-II 290 kms. The back-to-back tests are being done by the three forces to test the synergy between them in using these missiles.


In Andhra Pradesh, 36 persons were injured and vehicles damaged yesterday when violence broke out in the old city of Hyderabad following clashes between two groups for putting up flags. Our correspondent reports section 144 has been clamped in the southern zone.

The trouble started in the areas of old city of Hyderabad when the clashes between two groups on setting up flags near a religious place spread to other areas. As tension escalated last evening, shopkeepers in commercial areas rolled down the shutters. Small gangs armed with sticks moved around threateningly in some lanes beating up whoever they came across. They did not leave even media persons who were covering the incidents. Shops and some vehicles were targeted and burnt by mobs at some areas. The situation turned tense at few more places when miscreants hurled stones at a religious structure. The situation has been brought under control after police fired tear gas shells and resorted to mild lathicharge at some areas.


The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry into a clash that broke out between two groups of prisoners at the Jalaun district jail in which two inmates were killed and 16 others injured yesterday. Additional Director General Jails Yogesh Shukla will conduct the inquiry. An FIR has been lodged in this connection. Deputy jailor Sunil Dutt Mishra, who sustained serious injuries in the clash, has been rushed to Kanpur for treatment.


In the Indian Premier League IPL, Mumbai Indians beat Deccan Chargers by 41 runs in a match in Mumbai last evening, while at Ahmedabad, Rajasthan Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings by 17 runs. Chasing a victory target of 173 runs, Deccan Chargers were all out for 131 runs in 17.4 overs. Sachin Tendulkar - 55 and Harbhajan Singh - 49 were top scorers for Mumbai, while Rohit Sharma made 45 runs for the Chargers. In the other match, after scoring 177 for 8 in the stipulated 20 overs, Rajasthan Royals restricted Chennai Super Kings to 160 for 6. In today's encounter, Delhi Daredevils will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi.

In Hockey, Air India will clash with Bharat Petroleum in the final of the All India Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup Hockey Tournament today. In a one sided semi final played at Aishbagh stadium in Bhopal last evening, Air India beat Punjab and Sindh Bank 8-1. In another semi final, Bharat Petroleum defeated Oil India 4-1.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its phone-in programme "Public Speak" will bring you a discussion tonight on "Role of foreign universities in promoting higher education." It can be heard on FM Gold Channel from 9.30 p.m. Listeners can ask questions to the experts sitting in our studios on telephone number: 2331-4444. Listeners from outside Delhi can listen to this programme on DTH.


In West Bengal the Congress has decided to have a seat adjustment with the Trinamool Congress in the ensuing elections in 82 Municipalities. The Pradesh Congress President and Union Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee said this after meeting with the District Congress President in Kolkata yesterday.

Meanwhile, The two days state committee meeting of the ruling CPIM ended in Kolkata yesterday. The meeting finalised strategies for the ensuing polls and other organisational programmes.



US President Obama's Surprise visit to Afghanistan and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's questioning by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team are two stories reported by almost all dailies today.

The Tribune writes that the Central vigilance Commission has been given back the power to look into complaints against secretary level officers of the government.

"Doctors push pricey vaccines, make healthy profit" The Times of India, on its' front page, carries this story, saying that vaccines that are meant to help prevent diseases are also a significant source of income for Doctors. Manufactures offer these at hugely reduced prices to doctors, many of whom charge the full price from patients, pocketing the difference.

Even as the row over Amitabh Bachchan's presence at a Mumbai function refuses to die down, the megastar has claimed that his son Abhishek's posters were ' apparently ' removed from the venue of WWF's earth hour event in Delhi. "Now Abhishek 'sidelined' ", writes the Statesman . "Junior caught in Pa's battle, blanked out at Earth Hour", says the Times of India while the Hindu calls it "A new twist to Bachchan row".

"Safety nets collapse in Balangir (Orissa) - no famine, but death rate of children is missing; people' are living with - and dying of - chronic hunger" - writes the Hindustan Times. The paper adds that this is an indication of the Challenges to a new Food Security Act, being readied for Parliament.

And finally good news in the fight against Cancer - Scientists have developed a new genetic test for cancer, which may allow doctors to identify hidden tumors. This revolutionary DNA test will not only help patients avoid unnecessary treatment and invasive tests, but also ensure they get the right drug treatment earlier.


Arab leaders have ruled out renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks unless Israel halts construction of new settlements and urged US President to keep up his opposition. At the end of a two-day summit in Libya, Arab League Chief Amr Mussa said the summit was dominated by Israel's announcement earlier this month to build 1,600 settler homes.



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