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30 March, 2010-news

The Headlines:

  • World leaders condemn terror attack on Moscow Metro that killed 38 people and injured 63; Russia calls for stronger international cooperation against terrorism.

  • India and US finalise negotiations on arrangements and procedure for re-processing of Spent Nuclear Fuel originating from America.

  • Curfew imposed in Old city of Hyderabad following incidents of violence in the Andhra Pradesh capital.

  • Gurjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti decides to continue its agitation following failure of talks with Rajasthan government.

  • Delhi Daredevils beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 40 runs in IPL Cricket; and,

  • Air India thrash Bharat Petroleum 5-nil in the All India Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup Hockey.


Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh joined world leaders to strongly condemn the terror attacks on two Metro stations in Moscow, Russia. At least 38 people were killed and 63 injured in the two suicide attacks yesterday.

In his message to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Dr. Manmohan Singh described the twin blasts as a most horrific act of violence and expressed India's solidarity with Russia. External Affairs Minister SM Krishna termed the attack as senseless.

India condemns this horrendous attack and my sympathies go out to those who have been killed and who have suffered in this attack.

Condemning the attack, US President Barack Obama called them heinous and expressed his condolences to the Russian people.

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the suicide bomb attacks and said the Russian authorities will bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous terrorist attack.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Moscow metro bombs are not different from the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and that Russia deserves the support of all democracies.

Meanwhile, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime minister Vladimir Putin vowed to eliminate the perpetrators of the twin blasts.

The twin blasts occurred yesterday morning when two suspected Chechen female suicide bombers blew themselves up on packed metro trains. Though no organisation claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, the Chief of the Federal Security Service blamed militant groups active in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region-Chechnya for the strikes.

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov has said that yesterday's suicide bombings show the need for an even stronger international cooperation to prevent future attacks. Speaking at the G-8 meeting in Canada, Mr. Lavrov urged world leaders to fight what he called the global terrorist network.


Taking a step closer to implementation of their historic civil nuclear deal, India and the US have finalised negotiations on arrangements and procedures for reprocessing of American-origin spent fuel. This is a key step for implementation of the historic civil nuclear deal signed in October 2008. The negotiations were held as per a clause in the 123 Agreement that mandated India to set up a dedicated reprocessing facility under IAEA safeguards where spent nuclear fuel from the US could be reprocessed.

The negotiations were concluded just ahead of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit on the sidelines of which the pact is expected to be signed. We spoke to Commodore Uday Bhaskar of the Indian Maritime Foundation about the agreement.


In Andhra Pradesh, an indefinite curfew was clamped in almost all areas of the Old City of Hyderabad since last evening. The decision came after one person was stabbed to death and 17 others injured in violence that broke out again yesterday. Our correspondent reports that clashes between two groups last Saturday led to the outbreak of violence in several areas of the old city.

Tension gripped the Old City of Hyderabad as the clashes continued between the two groups yesterday despite heavy deployment of security forces, mainly Para-military forces. Incidents of group clashes, pelting stones, destroying property and attacks on houses by miscreants continued for the third consecutive day. Notwithstanding the presence of huge contingents of armed policemen, the mobs went out of control. Groups of people carrying sticks and stones moved around the lanes and by-lanes of the old city beating up the innocent passers by.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has been reviewing the situation with senior police officers from time to time. Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy who toured in the troubled areas, assured the residents that all efforts are being made to restore normalcy. Meanwhile, the 10th class Board examination scheduled today in the curfew-bound areas of the old city has been postponed.


In Rajasthan, one more round of talks between the leader of the Gurjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti Col. Kirodi Singh Baisla and representatives of the state government has failed. Our correspondent reports that Col. Baisla has announced the continuation of the agitation.

Maha Padao is still continuing in Gajipur of Dausa and Ladpura of Ajmer District. Yesterday in Ladpura, Col. Baisla publically talked with the Chief Secretary on phone and gave an ultimatum of only one hour to resolve the issue. Representatives of the State Government talked with him but Col. Baisla was adamant. He is demanding for a letter from the government about assurance of five per cent reservation to Gurjar and three other communities.

Earlier, he decided to wait for five days. Continuous change in standing of Gurjar leader has created a typical situation before the government and other Gurjar leader. Col. Baisla is in Ajmer and it is assumed that one more phase of negotiation may start.

UPA Chairperson, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has been appointed as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC). An official release said, she will hold the rank and status of a Union Cabinet Minister with immediate effect. Mrs Gandhi's appointment comes four years after she quit the post in the wake of the office of profit controversy.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, becoming a part of the UPA Government, Mrs. Gandhi will be directly responsible for all acts of omission and commission of the government, including its failure to check rising prices.


A two-day workshop on "Government Performance Management for Senior Policy Makers from SAARC countries begins in New Delhi this morning. Our correspondent reports the brain storming session is to focus on building mechanisms towards an effective, efficient and transparent governance.

The deliberations over the next two days would help in capacity building of senior Government representatives for setting up a Government Performance Management system in the SAARC countries. Besides, the workshop is also expected to explore institutional arrangements for sharing the best practices in Government Performance Management across SAARC countries on an on-going basis.

The workshop which is to be inaugurated by the Cabinet Secretary, K.M. Chandrasekhar, will be attended by the Secretary General of SAARC, Sheel Kant Sharma alongwith the senior officials from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

National Agriculltural Marketing Federation of India, NAFED has forged a partnership with the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, BARC to distribute high yielding variety of seeds to farmers. The NAFED Managing Director, Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose told AIR that an MoU to this effect will be signed in this regard. Our correspondent has more details.

The prices of oil seeds and pulses have been sky rocketing for the last 2-3 years. This is mainly due to the huge gap between demand and supply of these commodities According to Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose, Under the tie-up with BARC variety of high yielding breeder seeds will be made available to the farmers through the vast network of delivery system of NAFED.

The initiative by the NAFED which has been providing essential commodities at lower prices through its network will now will go a long way in increasing agricultural production by forging an alliance with BARC. Hopefully, this will result in reducing the gap between demand and supply of food items which will ultimately help in bringing down their prices. and providing much needed relief to the common man.

In Hardwar, a large number of devotees are taking a holy dip in the river Ganga on the auspicious occasion of Chaitra Purnima. Our correspondent reports that this is the third Shahi Snaan of the ongoing Maha Kumbh Mela.

Shahi Snan of Chaitra Purnima started after midnight. A large number of pilgrims stayed at Harki Pauri area and waiting for Subh Muhurt of Purnima from late last night. In the morning, thousands and thousands of devotees are taking holy dip in Ganga at various ghats including Harki Pauri. Shahi Snaan of Akhada will start from forenoon. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in view of heavy rush of pilgrims. Movement of vehicles including two wheelers have been banned today in the holy city.


In IPL cricket tournament, Delhi Daredevils beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 40 runs at Firoz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi last night. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, the host scored 177 for four. David Warner struck 107 runs and remained not out, while Paul Collingwood contributed 53 runs.

Chasing 178 to win, Kolkata managed to score only 137 for the loss of 9 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Cricket lovers are expected to witness a breath taking encounter today at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai where mighty Mumbai Indians take on Kings-XI Punjab.

And in hockey, star studded Air India has defeated Bharat Petroleum by 5-0 in the final of the 64th All India Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup Tournament. Indian Oil got the third place in the tournament. It defeated Punjab and Sindh Bank by 2-0 in a match played to decide the third position.

Pakistan's former Cricket Captain Mohammad Yousuf has announced his retirement from international cricket. He blamed his country's cricket establishment for forcing him to take the decision.

In another development which hogged the attention of sports lovers Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is all set to marry Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in April, two months after she broke her engagement with childhood friend Sohrab Mirza. Sania's father Imran Mirza said this is a unique case where the husband and wife will represent their respective countries in sport.



Terror on Moscow trains as two female suicide bombers, blow themselves up during rush hour, killing 38, is the top story this morning, with pictures of victims and mangled coaches, bringing home the horror that struck one of the world's busiest train lines.

The Tamil Nadu government rejecting the premature release of Nalini, convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, curfew in Hyderabad as violence rocked the city, and India and the US concluding the nuclear fuel reprocessing agreement -- a key step in the civil nuclear deal, are other headline stories.

Sonia Gandhi back as National Advisory Council chief, 17 Indians on death row in the UAE for murdering a Pakistani, and UN Climate Panel chief -- R. K. Pachauri cleared of any money taint by an independent review, are other major stories in the papers today.

Amitabh Bachchan, brand ambassador of Gujarat caught in a Congress--Narendra Modi war of words, is also reported in many papers.

Dubbed 'the Indo-Pak match', news of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza to wed high profile Pakistani cricketer--Shoaib Malik next month, is splashed on the front pages with their photographs.


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