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Vajpayee, Sharief sign Lahore Declaration, promise to push for peace and security
Both India and Pakistan agreed to intensify efforts to resolve all pending disputes, including Kashmir, and take steps to reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons. They also signed an MoU identifying all the complex issues to be resolved.

PMs skirt Kashmir, focus on security
Both countries have decided to give each other advance notification of ballistic missile flight tests. They have also pledged to undertake measures to reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of the nuclear weapons under their command.

Vajpayee promises to ease visa restrictions
Earlier in the day, he insisted on visiting the Minar-e-Pakistan despite being dissuaded by some of his advisers, saying, "Pakistan does not require my stamp for its entity."



Vajpayee drives across the border into history
As he and Sharief shook hands and embraced, hundreds of people lined up on both sides of the border to celebrate. "This is a defining moment in South Asian history," the Indian prime minister said.

Pak military chiefs boycott welcome
Many believe the chiefs did not want to salute "the head of government of an enemy country" and one belonging to the Hindu fundamentalist BJP at that.

20 Hindus gunned down in Kashmir
Hours before Vajpayee's bus ride, 20 Hindus were massacred in three separate incidents in Rajouri and Udhampur districts. Meanwhile, the strike called by the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference was complete.

All for the good, say Indians
"They (the Pakistanis) are so much like us. We always believe there is light at the end of the tunnel," director Mahesh Bhatt said. But former foreign secretary J N Dixit warned, "The tunnel is a bit too long. We should not have very high expectations."

Urdu press spews venom on summit
Jung, a leading daily, said sarcastically, "Having failed to resolve the deep-rooted hatred and hostility through exchange of travel by air, the two prime ministers have now chosen to use the bus to sort out what could not be done in five decades."

Chinese defence minister hails meeting
Gen Chi, leader of a delegation to Pakistan to strengthen co-operation and sign an agreement for the sale of F-7 aircraft, said this was an augury of peace for the region.

Vajpayee has national support, says Thakre
But the BJP president warned that knotty problems with neighbours could not be solved overnight.

Two injured in Lahore protests
The activists of the Islami Jamiat Talaba, student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, were hurt in police firing while trying to force the closure of shops.

Panun Kashmir protests against visit
Panun Kashmir, an organisation of 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus, held demonstrations in Bombay.

Jethmalani doubts success of bus diplomacy
The minister said making the LOC the international border could help reduce tension and hinted that there could have been a secret pact in this regard between Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

'Something' delays PM's flight to historic meet
While Nawaz Sharief twiddled his thumbs across the border, Vajpayee had a parcel he'd forgotten brought to the airport.

UN chief welcomes PM's bus ride
'The secretary-general hopes Vajpayee's visit to Pakistan will contribute to the improvement of bilateral relations,' Annan's spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement.


A break with the past
It would, however, be self-defeating to overlook realities, especially on the Pakistani side. While Vajpayee is backed by a national consensus for better relations, Sharief cannot claim even a semblance of such consensus.

Convert the Line of Control into a border
'India has every right to fear that if ever Kashmir should become part of Pakistan, rather than satiate the latter might only whet its appetite for more territory,' says Amberish K Diwanji.

'There can be no greater legacy that we can leave behind than to do away with mistrust'
The text of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's speech at the banquet organised in his honour.


AIADMK backing Vajpayee, not BJP -- Jaya
She said her party would oppose any change in the leadership of the Union government.

Infighting in Karnataka JD gets worse
Nineteen ministers have demanded the removal of former PM Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy from the party.

Deve Gowda eyes Vajpayee's chair again
The former PM's old friend Ibrahim says his mentor will be the ideal choice to lead a combination of 'secular parties'.

Kannada-Tamil row may rattle Vajpayee
The 'appointments controversy' has revived memories of anti-Tamil violence in the Eighties in Karnataka. The Centre may find it difficult to justify its stand of cancelling the appointment of 19 Tamils if the case is taken to the courts.

Congress asks Centre to review Rushdie's visa
Minority cell leader Arjun Singh said the government should have consulted all sections of the people before deciding to allow the controversial author in.

ATCs get back to work
Flights were normal at the Bombay airport today following an assurance air traffic controllers gave the Delhi high court.

Two Pakistani soldiers killed in Siachen
The Pakistanis allegedly used the cover of fire to enter Indian territory. One Indian soldier was injured in the incident.

Barnala caught in Akali crossfire
Though former Punjab police chief K P S Gill feels the showdown will not lead to the revival of militancy in the state, the Union minister has his apprehensions.

India sets up nuclear safety research body
India becomes the only country, after France, to set up such an institute.

Army athletes assaulted following allegation of molestation
The situation, a result of a misunderstanding, was brought under control later.

1996 inquiry report had wanted Eden's capacity reduced
Then sports secretary Sumantra Chowdhury had suggested that the stadium's capacity be reduced by at least 30 per cent so that security personnel could get into the galleries.

Lok Dal formalises withdrawal of support
Chautala communicated to President Narayanan his party's decision to withdraw support to the 11-month-old Vajpayee government in protest against its move to raise prices.


Having fun in Liberalisation Raj
The vice-chancellor of the Sri Sankaracharya University, Dr N P Unni, has said 'the nature of coins in circulation denoted the prosperity of a particular era'. At the moment, in our country, there are no coins in circulation. I wonder what future historians will make of this?

Andhra Pradesh: Freedom fighter demands South Bastar district for state
Andhra Pradesh: TDP may finalise strategy against Vajpayee government
Karnataka: New KPCC chief appointed
Orissa: Gomango discusses ministry with Sonia
Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi rules out total prohibition
Uttar Pradesh: Further hearing in Ayodhya case on March 12



Lahore gets ready for Vajpayee's peace offensive
Even as the hyped-up summit is set to begin, the Pakistani government has two worries. One is the simultaneous visit by Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian. The other is the threats by various Muslim militants to disrupt the bus ride.

Behind the smiles, Pakistan launches its Kashmir offensive
An Indian external affairs ministry official told Rediff On The NeT that Pakistan's "hate campaign on the Kashmir issue seems to have escalated on the eve of the summit".

Protests in Lahore gather momentum
Such is the opposition to Vajpayee's visit that the Pakistani government has been compelled to cancel his sightseeing programme. The venue for his civic reception has also been changed from a local hotel to the Governor's House.

Indian groups object to Jamaat-e-Islami's attitude
According to them, the Jamaat's protest militates against Islamic laws that state that even a visiting enemy ought to be treated with respect.


Bhandari agrees to stay as governor
The issue was sorted out after Advani spoke to Bhandari. The home minister said it is the Centre's wish that he continue in office.

Samata silent
The party was keen to see Bhandari go. Railway Minister Nitish Kumar and others had vociferously protested that he was selectively putting officials belonging to the upper castes in crucial posts.


Violence against Christians came in handy for Sonia to dump Patnaik
A Patnaik loyalist told Rediff On The NeT: "He was made a scapegoat because our party wanted to project that it is pro-minority. And that we can sacrifice our chief minister to guard minority interests whereas the BJP would not take any action against its CM in Gujarat." Archana Masih and Syed Firdaus Ashraf continue their journey through Orissa's land of strife.


NC threatens to withdraw support to Vajpayee
Omar Abdullah, MP and son of the J&K chief minister, said the constituents of the coalition and parties supporting it from outside had been able to secure benefits for their states, but not the National Conference.

PM hints at cut in subsidies
Vajpayee said there is a need to address the problem of implicit subsidies. For instance, those on higher education. "Is it not paradoxical that even rich students pay college fees that, in some states, are less than what they spend on cold drinks?" he said.

Dalit ordained as priest in Kerala
T K Subramanian is the first member of the Pulaya community, and the first from any scheduled caste or tribe since Sree Narayana Guru's day, to be accepted into the priestly class.

No alternative to Vajpayee, says Mamata
After an hour-long meeting with Jayalalitha at her Madras residence, Banerjee said the AIADMK leader also believes the coalition partners should strengthen the government.

Deve Gowda ridicules Hegde's plan to return to Karnataka
About an hour before the Janata Dal rally began in Bangalore, Transport Minister P G R Sindhia, who has reportedly incurred the former PM's wrath, was hit by slippers and a stone.

Gujarat resumes work on Sardar Sarovar dam
Work on increasing the dam's height from 80.3 metres to 85m began within 24 hours of the Supreme Court vacating its May 5, 1995, stay order. But CM Keshubhai Patel promised all guidelines for resettlement of the displaced persons would be adhered to.

SC pulls up Kerala HC for uncharitable remarks against rape victim
'The high court exceeded its jurisdiction to record a finding that the lady exercised her discretion to have sex with those whom she liked or from whom she got money and willingly submitted to most of them,' said Justices G B Pattnaik and M B Shah.

Veerappan aides nabbed
The Tamil Nadu police claimed they are close to nabbing the forest brigand too.

Rs27 billion for upgrading defence units
Defence Secretary T R Prasad said Rs12.5 billion would be invested in the current Ninth Plan itself to revamp the virtually obsolete machinery in 39 factories.

Opposition walks out of AP assembly
The Congress, CPI, CPI-M and MBT were protesting against the government's refusal to table the report of a World Bank study on economic reforms in the state.

Make India a partner in US's goals, says Pallone
The Democratic Congressman asked the Clinton administration to recognise India's status as a nuclear power before evolving its policy of non-proliferation and peace for the region.


Sonia stands to lose quite a bit
'If she backs Laloo Yadav she stands to lose the votes of the rest of Bihar. If she doesn't, she ends up on the same side of the fence as the BJP. Which way will she jump?' asks T V R Shenoy.

Generation Next
'The government will not build the societies we seek; indeed, it is plain that the government is among the worst obstacles to the long-delayed changes... Clearly, the energy to reshape India is in us,' says Ashwin Mahesh.

Maharashtra: RSS chief injured in accident
Tamil Nadu: Jaya zeroes in on Sun TV
Uttar Pradesh: Charges may be framed against Advani, Joshi in Ayodhya case


Night markedly warmer in north and east India
Temperatures were appreciably above normal in north Rajasthan, south Gujarat, Konkan and Maharashtra and in some parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, the plains of west Uttar Pradesh and south interior Karnataka.



Advani-Bhandari quarrel goes back a long way
BJP sources say things were never the same after Advani ensured that M M Joshi, and not Bhandari, succeeded him as party president. Bhandari retaliated by demanding Advani's resignation during the havala scandal and the battle-lines were drawn.

Bhandari wants Advani to apologise
In Delhi, the Bihar governor made no secret of the "hurt and humiliation" caused by Advani's announcement that he would be shifted from Patna.

Congress to decide stand on Monday
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sharad Pawar said the party would keep its interests in mind while deciding whether to support the presidential proclamation dismissing Rabri Devi's government.


Journey into Orissa's land of strife
Chief Feature Writer Archana Masih, Special Correspondent Syed Firdaus Ashraf and photographer Jewella C Miranda journeyed through Baripada and Mayurbhanj districts to verify claims of large-scale conversions to Christianity. This is the first part of their report.


Badal, Dev Anand will accompany PM
Senior officials of the two countries are giving final touches to security and other arrangements for the historic journey.

Vajpayee to discuss CTBT, Kashmir
But India has rejected any plan to convert the Line of Control into an international border.

Sikh leaders welcome Sharief's gesture
The Sikhs have responded positively to the announcement that Indians will be allowed to renovate and reconstruct Sikh and Hindu shrines in Pakistan.


'Lahore ka safar mubarak ho'
Celebrated poet Ali Sardar Jaffri on the PM's famous bus ride.


'Sonia has no time for the Akalis'
The Congress is keeping them at arm's length because they had encouraged anti-national elements and been votaries of separatism, party general secretary Ambika Soni said.


Create chief of defence staff post, says Kaul
With the creation of the National Security Council and the Admiral Bhagwat episode accelerating the integration of the defence ministry and the service headquarters, the armed forces see the creation of a chief of defence staff as a natural corollary.

Delhi HC reserves order in Bhagwat case
The court deferred a decision on the maintainability of a public-interest petition challenging the dismissal. But the Bombay high court dismissed a similar PIL, saying the petitioner had no locus standi in the matter.


US softens sanctions against India
Citing a more flexible Indian policy on nuclear non-proliferation, the US is dropping its objections to a $150 million World Bank loan request by India for a power project.

Government gets tough, sacks 6 ATCs
The ATCs are now preparing for a full strike, while the civil aviation ministry is readying its contingency plan. "Indian Air Force and navy personnel have been put on alert," Minister Ananth Kumar said.

BSF arrests 28 Bangladeshis in Jammu
The Bangladeshis, including four women and three children, were arrested last night when they were trying to cross over into Pakistan. No objectionable material was recovered from their possession.

Opposition challenges TDP to resign
The Congress has alleged that the law-and-order situation in Andhra Pradesh has deteriorated and corruption is rampant.

Kannada-Tamil row shocks TN house
Chief Minister Karunanidhi said Staff Selection Commission regional director Subatra Narayanan, a Tamil based in Madras, had received a death threat for selecting 19 Tamils for appointment in the accountant general's office in Karnataka.

Jaya rips TN governor's address
"It will be no doubt pleasing to the eye to read about the determined and sustained efforts made by the government to maintain law and order, but the fact remains that there is absolute breakdown of law and order," the AIADMK leader said.

People shifting to healthier food, says scientist
Former Indian Agriculture Research Council director S K Sinha said the per capita food grain consumption has come down, reflecting a positive shift to healthier food habits.

Nanny on 60 Minutes
Louise Woodward, the most-discussed nanny in the world, will soon be seen and heard as 60 Minutes, the CBS programme watched by more than 50 million people world-wide, will broadcast her interview in a few weeks.


'The RJD and BJP have been indulging in the politics of dalit corpses'
"The poor dalits must be given arms and the unlicensed weapons of the wealthy farmers must be seized," says Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary of the CPI-ML, about the carnage by the Ranvir Sena in Bihar.


God is in the details...
'The ghastly murder of Staines kills four birds: It sets back competing proselytisation; it gains sympathy for Christianity; it damages the present government; and it discredits the Hindutva movement...' says Varsha Bhosle.

Sonia apes Advani's Hindutva
'There was something sinister about the timing of the Congress attempt to present itself in soft saffron hues... Sonia's quiet public identification with the Hindutva credo was an exercise in cynical capitulation to the forces of religious fundamentalism,' says Virendra Kapoor.

Orissa: Panel seeks CBI help in Anjana case


Divide in the BJP growing
Bihar Governor S S Bhandari has decided to resign and at least two MPs from the state are threatening to follow suit. Meanwhile, 4 MPs have expressed support for former minister M L Khurana.

Party didn't trust my ability to dissuade Chautala, says Khurana
He described the withdrawal of support to the government by the Indian National Lok Dal as "very unfortunate and painful".


Vajpayee's trip promises a breakthrough
Amidst the bonhomie and pomp accompanying the historic bus trip to Lahore will be a series of "diplomatic initiatives of substance" which external affairs ministry officials say will be "unprecedented in Indo-Pak history".

Vajpayee's desire to discuss Kashmir may result in some progress: Sharief
The Pakistani PM's remarks came at a special Cabinet meeting, which discussed the Indian prime minister's planned bus journey to Lahore.

Thackeray changes stand on Pakistan, backs Vajpayee's trip
The Shiv Sena leader argued, "Opposing cricket to be played by them is different from trying to maintain good relations with the country."

US hopes PMs will defuse bomb on the bus
Four visiting congressmen of the 'India caucus' said they were optimistic about the Jaswant-Talbott talks and hoped President Clinton would be able to visit New Delhi this year.

Vajpayee, Sharief to hold talks for two days
An official spokesman said the two leaders would address a joint media conference after the talks.

India, Pakistan sign formal agreement on bus service
Both sides will operate two buses. The buses, with a capacity of 40 passengers each, will operate from Lahore on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from New Delhi every alternate day.


Shiromani Akali Dal may split
Badal's decision to remove Tohra as SGPC chief may cost the Akalis dear. But the party's coalition government in Punjab with the BJP seems safe.

Money may have caused the discord
With a budget of nearly Rs8.5 billion, the tercentenary celebrations of the formal establishment of Sikhism could well be the biggest religious event ever in the world.


Gomango's 'hidden talent' will be on test
The one-time English teacher is the only tribal politician from Orissa to have served as a minister under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao.

Gomango sworn in
The CM will begin forming his government only after returning from Delhi where he is scheduled to attend the February 19 meeting of the National Development Council.


No plan to extend Disturbed Areas Act in J&K
The state government has allowed the act to lapse and has no intention of extending it, Deputy Home Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Lone said.

Indian missiles free from Y2K bug, says MoD
The defence ministry's statement is significant as there have been reports that the missiles could go haywire because of the Y2K problem and even hit targets within the country.

Surjeet rules out ties with TDP till Naidu atones for tie-up with BJP
The veteran Marxist politician said Naidu has "gone far from his commitment -- on secularism and federalism".

Bhutto warns of Pak disintegration if economy slides further
Citing the example of the former Soviet Union, ex-PM Benazir Bhutto said, "We cannot advance with nuclear weapons."


'Their agenda is to convert poor people to Christianity'
"When the missionaries say they are working for the downtrodden, it is all a myth. In fact, their agenda is to convert poor people to Christianity," says Pratapchand Sarangi, Orissa Bajrang Dal chief.

Archana Masih, Syed Firdaus Ashraf and photographer Jewella C Miranda toured the tribal belt of Orissa for a week to check out the Bajrang Dal's claims on Christian proselytisation. Check out their reportage starting tomorrow.


In memoriam
A tribute to Indira Rehman, who did her bit to promote Bharat Natyam overseas.


Missionaries of Hope
'For all those who say Mumbai is wicked, mean, violent, I say: Watch these NGOs, see their growing numbers, see the millions of lives that are touched by their efforts. Where divine intervention fails, human effort takes over. They are slowly, imperceptibly, transforming our lives,' says Pritish Nandy.

Why I Am Not A Member
'Religion's greatest contribution to mankind is the way it has made us hate and distrust each other. They preach brotherhood and love and all things nice, but drive us into burning and killing,' says Dilip D'Souza.

Maharashtra: Rane wins assembly's trust
Punjab: Sarabjit Singh is new DGP
Rajashtan: Sardarpura bye-poll will be cakewalk for Gehlot
Tamil Nadu: Bail plea of BJP leader's alleged killers dismissed


Nights are warm across north, central India
Night temperatures were appreciably to markedly above normal in sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, east Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Kashmir, west Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra, Gujarat, the Konkan, Goa, and north-central Maharashtra and in some parts of Assam, Meghalaya, the hills of west Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Vidarbha.


RSS ideologue blasts Vajpayee
In an extraordinary attack, Dattopant Thengdi has described the prime minister as a petty politician playing into the hands of policy advisers with doubtful credentials.

Chautala withdraws support to government
The coalition's strength in the 545-member Lok Sabha has been reduced to 273, a majority of just one. But the Indian National Lok Dal chief left room for manoeuvre -- he will formally inform the President of his decision only after three days.


Badal's men move to oust Tohra from SGPC
Expressing lack of confidence in Tohra, members owing allegiance to the Punjab chief minister have requisitioned a meeting of the SGPC general house within 15 days.


Governor will be replaced: Advani
Sunder Singh Bhandari will be replaced by an apolitical person so as to give the state an administration that will ensure law and order and help develop social harmony.

Laloo Yadav demands fresh elections
To a query about the reported move to appoint retired police officer Julio F Ribeiro as governor, Yadav cautioned the Centre not to treat Bihar like Punjab or Jammu & Kashmir.

Congressmen want Sonia to back central rule
"If our party votes in favour of President's rule in Bihar, we will be the biggest gainers. If it does not, we will be the biggest losers," a state Congress politician pointed out.

Mulayam seeks Vajpayee government's dismissal
He also accused the Congress of adopting double standards. "What do you say about a party whose president fails to make a statement on the dismissal of the Rabri government even after 72 hours?" he remarked.

Fifth time President's rule has been imposed in two or more states in a month
February 1980 was the record. As many as six states -- Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu -- were simultaneously brought under central rule.


I was elected because the Congress is with me, not because I am Gomango'
"All the attack cases against the Christian community are under investigation and review. These are not small cases, but serious ones. And I have to solve these cases. There are problems and we will surely solve the problems." Orissa's Chief Minister-designate Giridhar Gomango, in his first media interview.

'The Orissa Congress and assembly members are not treated as human beings'
"I am surprised on what moral ground Patnaik has resigned. There are so many cases of rape all over the state. Where was his morality then? Why suddenly for these two, three incidents concerning Christians did his consciousness arise?" asks Nandini Satpathy.

Gomango's election was unanimous, say observers
Madhavrao Scindia and Pranab Mukherjee defended the Congress Legislature Party leader's election, saying it was unanimous and based on their assessment of the situation.


All clear for bus service to begin
It will be a symbolic ride for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee aboard the inaugural Delhi-Lahore bus on Saturday.

Wagah, Wagah
Fifty-one years on, despite three wars, the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers at Wagah have not forgotten the purpose for which the border check post was established.


A journey too far
For the Maldhari tribesmen of Kutch, visiting relatives just across the border in Sind involves a tortuous 3,000km detour. Though they can see the villages on the other side, joining their kin for a family ceremony is next to impossible.


Special judge rejects Jaya's memo
Judge Radhakrishnan held that he is entitled to proceed with the Pleasant Stay case as no higher court has ordered a stay.


Suspected Pakistani spy escapes
Zafariya escaped while he was being escorted back to jail after a court hearing in the Jaisalmer spying scandal.

Hegde to resign and return to Karnataka
The Union commerce minister's reluctance to make a categorical statement about returning to Karnataka politics was largely because of concern for his friend, Prime Minister Vajpayee. "I have to think of the national implications. I don't want to cause any problems for the coalition," he said.

Madras HC rejects plea in RSS blast case
The high court dismissed a petition filed by an accused in the case challenging the Tamil Nadu government notification transferring and posting Tamilvanan as judge of the designated TADA court-II, which is trying the case.

Sen, Ravi Shankar receive Bharat Ratna
The President also presented the country's highest civilian award posthumously to Jayaprakash Narayan and Gopinath Bordoloi.

Congress walks out on AP governor's address
The party called the address praising the advances made by the state a "bundle of lies" and said there was no mention of welfare schemes for the poor, only of those that helped industrialists.

Work on India's first 2000 MW atomic plant to start in 2002
The finance ministries of India and Russia are completing the necessary formalities to help implement the project.

One killed as bulls run amok at Trichy festival
Three persons watching the festival from atop a building also sustained serious injuries when the roof collapsed.


'Being aggressive in politics is not the same as being a criminal'
"The murder charge was filed only to embarrass me. I was in Bombay when this man was killed 500km away, in Sindhudurg. The Congress was in dire straits out there and so they planned to finish off my political career." Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane defends himself on the eve of the trust vote in the state assembly.


The year of living dangerously
'The state of the economy is as crucial to the BJP's future as it is to the nation's, and the seriousness which it accords its own political future will be gauged from how much import it attaches to the nation's on February 27,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Loss of image, what?
'It is time to remind hypersensitive English-literate Indians that the world beyond India is not all that pure and upright and clean and cultured as they would want us ordinary citizens to believe and hang our heads by comparison,' says Arvind Lavakare.

Goa: State BJP vice-president quits party
Maharashtra: Boy sets himself ablaze hoping superhero will save him
Maharashtra: Rane's test on Wednesday
Punjab: HC rejects police chief Dogra's extension
Uttar Pradesh: 52 Samajwadi Party legislators suspended


Unseasonal rain in Maharashtra, Gujarat
Some parts of the two western India states had rain last night owing to a cyclonic circulation in the upper layer of the atmosphere over north Maharashtra and Saurashtra. But the skies were mostly clear and night temperatures in the region remained unchanged.



Laloo Yadav threatens violence
The RJD chief, who was arrested during the bandh, claimed the police were beating up his party workers without provocation and creating tension.

RJD demands Bhandari, Advani's ouster
Party spokesman Fatmi said the best course for the Centre would be to let the RJD prove its majority in the assembly and call for fresh elections.

Congress, Mulayam attack President's rule
But the Congress still refused to clarify whether it would vote against the motion in Parliament to ratify Rabri Devi's dismissal in Bihar.

Tohra opposes Rabri Devi's dismissal
Using a few incidents of violence to effect a political change was not desirable, he said. "How come even after the so-called toning up of the state administration, seven people were again gunned down yesterday?"

Sonia's visit fails to impress Narayanpur's men
"Leaders come and go, but our plight remains the same," was one reaction.

11 killed as bandh begins
The state police chief claimed the killings were not related to the caste clashes that have claimed 37 lives this past month, but were the result of rivalry between two Naxalite groups.


Giani Puran Singh suffers heart attack after being installed as Akal Takht jathedar
Doctors said fatigue and excitement were the main causes of the ailment. Meanwhile, the ousted jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, said he would convene a 'Sarbat Khalsa' after April 15.

Canadian moderates hail Ranjit Singh's fall
"This guy split the Sikh community here and back home," said one of the British Columbia moderates who were excommunicated last summer for refusing to remove tables and chairs from langar halls.


'There is no question of revival of terrorism'
'The political leadership in the state has been creating a spectre of the revival of militancy in an attempt to oust me from the Akal Takht. It is not appropriate for Sikhs now to raise slogans for a separatist state.' Bhai Ranjit Singh, on the crisis in Punjab.


Giridhar Gomango takes over from Patnaik
In the time-tested Congress tradition, the legislature party left the choice of successor to Sonia Gandhi. Later, the outgoing CM proposed Gomango's name while Hemananda Biswal, a leading aspirant for the chair, seconded it. Former CM Nandini Satpathy, however, walked out.


RSS programme to reconvert Christians flops
Just 75 persons 'reconverted' to Hinduism. But BJP parliamentarian Dilip Singh Judeo has set a target of bringing 100,000 Christians back to the fold.

Kerala Christian conference begins peacefully
The church leaders kept both the Left and the Right at bay with a diplomatic approach. They rejected the DYFI's 'protection', saying they had full faith that the VHP would not disrupt the convention.


TN will challenge transfer of Jaya's cases
The clarification followed a query by the court whether the Centre's notification is being challenged by anyone. Otherwise all pending matters might become infructuous, it said.


Militants attack cable operators in valley
Four persons -- three cable TV operators and a video library owner -- were seriously injured when militants fired on them in downtown Srinagar.

5 militants among 8 killed in Kashmir
Home Minister L K Advani has convened a high-level meeting on Tuesday to take stock of the situation and discuss the problems of refugees from the state. Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah will attend the meeting.

Aviation ministry will take action against ATCs
The warning followed complaints by airlines that the 'go-slow' by the traffic controllers since February 1 had caused huge financial losses to them, besides inconveniencing passengers.

Corps of Signals gears up for nuclear threat
The corps, which facilitates the army's communications, is creating "firewalls" to deal with electromagnetic pulses generated by nuclear explosions, says Asia Defence News International.

TN heaves sigh of relief as Coimbatore blasts anniversary passes off peacefully
"The previous year was a year of shame for us, this one was a year of pride," said a top cop. "Brickbats were thrown at us when we failed, but no one, politician or other, has offered a bouquet this time."

Now Buddhists claim Ayodhya as their own
Demanding that Ayodhya be renamed Saket, the World Buddhist Council has demanded large-scale excavations in the town to prove its contention that it was a Buddhist city.

Kesri cleared of bribery, corruption
The Delhi high court took cognisance of a CBI affidavit giving a clean chit to the former Congress president, but refused to comment on it.

Bonhomie marks Sino-Indian border at Sikkim
There is so much bonhomie between the two sides that army chief General V P Malik could walk right up to the barbed border, shake hands with Chinese soldiers, and give them gifts.

Security for Fire is states' lookout: Mahajan
Though the controversial feature film has been cleared again for exhibition, the Centre says it cannot ensure its exhibition in theatres all over the country.

Retired Pak army officers rue nuclear test
A report by Pakistani security analyst Nazir Kamal, sponsored by the United States' Co-operative Monitoring Centre, suggests there were more civilian hawks than military hawks pushing for the response to Pokhran II.


Blessed are those who wait
'Though both sides were nervous about the fall of the government, the Congress had the most to lose. It saw the clear mandate it expects in 2000 vanishing. Ironically, at the moment, all that Sonia wants is that Vajpayee should stay in office,' says Vir Sanghvi.

Cricket considered harmful
'India's cricket team is lousy. India's cricketers simply cannot beat anybody, even a joke of a team like New Zealand, unless it is on specially doctored local surfaces,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.

In the end Bhagwat may become a legend for the wrong reason
'If the Delhi high court reviews Bhagwat's records and dismisses the case, the naval battle will formally have ended. But the PR battle, to separate the issue of the dismissal from the morass of emotion, has already been lost by the government,' feels Major General (retd) Ashok K Mehta.

Andhra Pradesh: Naxals burn sarpanch's house in Warangal


It may snow in Nainital
Rain or snow is likely to occur at a few places in the hills of west Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.