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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Inter-bank ATM use may become free

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested that customers of one bank be allowed free use of ATMs of other banks, including for cash withdrawal, from April 1, 2009. The RBI move has made banks with large ATM networks cry foul.
In a draft approach paper on 'ATMs of Banks: Fair Pricing and Enhanced Access', RBI said the use of ATMs of own banks for any purpose and of other bank ATMs for balance enquiries should be free of cost, with immediate effect.
For withdrawal of cash from ATMs of other banks, RBI wants banks to cap charges at the rates prevailing as on December 23, 2007, to reduce all charges to a maximum of Rs 20 per transaction from up to Rs 55 charged now from March 31, 2008. It has further suggested that cash withdrawals from any bank ATMs should be free from April 2009.
This circular has sent shock waves among banks that have built a strong ATM network such as State Bank of India [Get Quote], ICICI Bank [Get Quote], HDFC Bank [Get Quote] and Axis Bank.
"Now there will be no incentive for bank to invest in building an ATM network. We are not here to do social service. There is no point of setting up ATMs and then permitting other banks with a weak network, particularly foreign banks, to use these without any fee,'' said a senior official from a private sector bank. Currently, customers of one bank using ATMs of other banks for cash withdrawals pay a charge of up to Rs 57 and for balance enquiry up to Rs 20. At the end of October 2007, the number of ATMs deployed in India stood at 31,078. The cost of setting up ATMs ranges from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
RBI, in its circular, has stated, "It is evident that the charges levied on the customers vary from bank to bank and also vary according to the ATM network that is used for the transaction. Consequently, a customer is not aware, before hand, of the charges that will be levied for a particular ATM transaction, while using an ATM of another bank. This generally discourages the customer from using the ATMs of other banks.'' A senior State Bank of India official said, "The bank has made huge investment to establish a large ATM network (over 8,000 ATMs in group). RBI has been trying to bring all banks, including SBI on the National Financial Switch (NFS) platform. From the commercial point, the bank will like to recoup the investment made in establishing network. If it (cash withdrawals) is made free, other banks will use our network without having to spend money on setting up network, especially in the remote areas, which SBI has done," he added. The SBI group has planned to establish 25,000 more ATMs in the next two-three years.
"Such a directive is good for developed markets, where the penetration levels are high. In India, where we are investing in building a network, this directive comes as a dampener,'' said a banker. RBI said data collected from various banks indicate that generally the aggregate inter-change fee and ATM switching charges per transaction range from Rs 10 to Rs 20 for cash withdrawal and Rs 5 to Rs 8 for balance enquiry. The switching fee being levied by switch providers such as National Financial Switch, global payment systems Visa and Mastercard and networks of groups of banks such as Mitr and Cashnet vary from 0 to Rs 3 per transaction. RBI said the use of technology should, among others, lead to reduction in transaction costs to banks. Over a period, with the increasing adaptation of the people to the use of technology in their daily transactions, it is expected that there will be a further reduction in the transaction costs. In these circumstances, the regulator, by authorising the establishment of an ATM, has a responsibility to ensure transparency and fair charges for the use of ATMs.

8 reasons why stock market traders lose money

Many people think trading is the simplest way of making money in the stock market. Far from it; I believe it is the easiest way of losing money. There is an old Wall Street adage, that "the easiest way of making a small fortune in the markets is having a large fortune."
I discuss below eight ways of undisciplined trading which lead to losses. Guard against them, or the market will wipe you out. I am qualified to speak on this subject because I was myself an undisciplined trader for a long time and the market hammered me into line and forced me to change my approach.
1. Trading during the first half-hour of the session
The first half-hour of the trading day is driven by emotion, affected by overnight movements in the global markets, and hangover of the previous day's trading. Also, this is the period used by the market to entice novice traders into taking a position which might be contrary to the real trend which emerges only later in the day.
Most experienced traders simply watch the markets for the first half of the day for intraday patterns and any subsequent trading breakouts.
2. Failing to hear the market's message
Personally, I try to hear the message of the markets and then try to confirm it with the charts. During the trading day, I like to watch if the market is able to hold certain levels or not.
I like to go long around the end of the day if supported by patterns, and if the prices are consistently holding on to higher levels. I like to go short if the market is giving up higher levels, unable to sustain them and the patterns support a down move of the market.
This technique is called tape watching and all full-time traders practice it in some shape or form. If the markets are choppy and oscillate within a small range, then the market's message is to keep out.
Hearing the message of the market can be particularly important in times of significant news. The market generally reacts in a fashion contrary to most peoples' expectation. Let us consider two recent Indian events of significance.
One was the Gujarat earthquake that took place on 26 January 2001 and the other the 13 December 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian parliament. Both these events appeared catastrophic at first glance. TV channels suggested that the earthquake would devastate the country's economy because Gujarat has the largest number of investors and their confidence would be shattered, making the stock market plunge.
Tragic as both the events were, the market reacted in a different way to each by the end of the day. In both cases the markets plunged around 170 points when it opened, in both cases it tried to recover and while it managed a full recovery in the case of the Gujarat earthquake, it could not do so in the Parliament attack case.
The market was proven correct on both counts. The Gujarat earthquake actually held the possibility of boosting the economy as reconstruction had to be taken up, and also because most of the big installations, including the Jamnagar Refinery, escaped damage. In the case of the attack on parliament, although traders assessed that terrorist attacks were nothing new in the country but the market did not recover because it could see some kind of military build-up ahead from both India and Pakistan. And markets hate war and uncertainty.
In both these cases what helped the cause of the traders were the charts. If the charts say that the market is acting in a certain way, go ahead and accept it. The market is right all the time. This is probably even truer than the more common wisdom about the customer being the king. If you can accept the market as king, you will end up as a very rich trader, indeed.
Herein lies one reason why people who think they are very educated and smart often get trashed by the market because this market doesn't care who you are and it's certainly not there to help you. So expect no mercy from it; in fact, think of it as something that is there to take away your money, unless you take steps to protect yourself.
3. Ignoring which phase the market is in
It is important to know what phase the market is in -- whether it's in a trending or a trading phase. In a trending phase, you go and buy/sell breakouts, but in a trading phase you buy weakness and sell strength.
Traders who do not understand the mood of the market often end up using the wrong indicators in the wrong market conditions. This is an area where humility comes in. Trading in the market is like blind man walking with the help of a stick.
You need to be extremely flexible in changing positions and in trying to develop a feel for the market. This feel is then backed by the various technical indicators in confirming the phase of the market. Undisciplined traders, driven by their ego, often ignore the phase the market is in.
4. Failing to reduce position size when warranted
Traders should be flexible in reducing their position size whenever the market is not giving clear signals. For example, if you take an average position of 3,000 shares in Nifty futures, you should be ready to reduce it to 1,000 shares.
This can happen either when trading counter trend or when the market is not displaying a strong trend. Your exposure to the market should depend on the market's mood at any given point in the market. You should book partial profits as soon as the trade starts earning two to three times the average risk taken.
5. Failing to treat every trade as just another trade
Undisciplined traders often think that a particular situation is sure to give profits and sometimes take risk several times their normal level. This can lead to a heavy drawdown as such situations often do not work out.
Every trade is just another trade and only normal profits should be expected every time. Supernormal profits are a bonus when they -- rarely! -- occur but should not be expected. The risk should not be increased unless your account equity grows enough to service that risk.
6. Over-eagerness in booking profits
Profits in any trading account are often skewed to only a few trades. Traders should not be over-eager to book profits so long the market is acting right. Most traders tend to book profits too early in order to enjoy the winning feeling, thereby letting go substantial trends even when they have got a good entry into the market.
If at all, profit booking should be done in stages, always keeping some position open to take advantage of the rest of the move. Remember trading should consist of small profits, small losses, and big profits. Big losses are what must be avoided. The purpose of trading should be to get a position substantially into money, and then maintain trailing stop losses to protect profits.
Most trading is breakeven trading. Accounts sizes and income from trading are enhanced only when you make eight to ten times your risk. If you can make this happens once a month or even once in two months, you would be fine. The important point here is to not get shaken by the daily noise of the market and to see the market through to its logical target.
Remember, most money is made not by brilliant entries but by sitting on profitable positions long enough. It's boring to do nothing once a position is taken but the maturity of a trader is known not by the number of trades he makes but the amount of time he sits on profitable trades and hence the quantum of profits that he generates.
7. Trading for emotional highs
Trading is an expensive place to get emotional excitement or to be treated as an adventure sport. Traders need to keep a high degree of emotional balance to trade successfully. If you are stressed because of some unrelated events, there is no need to add trading stress to it. Trading should be avoided in periods of high emotional stress.
8. Failing to realise that trading decisions are not about consensus building
Our training since childhood often hampers the behaviour necessary for successful trading. We are always taught that whenever we take a decision, we should consult a number of people, and then do what the majority thinks is right. The truth of this market is that it never does what the majority thinks it will do.
Trading is a loner's job. Traders should not talk to a lot of people during trading hours. They can talk to experienced traders after market hours but more on methodology than on what the other trader thinks about the market.
If a trader has to ask someone else about his trade then he should not be in it. Traders should constantly try to improve their trading skills and by trading skills I mean not only charting skills but also position sizing and money management skills. Successful traders recognise that money cannot be made equally easily all the time in the market. They back off for a while if the market is too volatile or choppy.

'Dawood funded Hyderabad blasts'

The investigation into the three bomb blasts at Hyderabad has taken a new turn with the narco analysis test of an accused revealing that fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim [Images] funded both the Mecca Masjid and twin blasts in Hyderabad earlier this year. The revelation that Dawood spent crores of rupees on the blasts was made by Majid, the youngest brother of Shahid Bilal, the HuJI operative, who is a prime suspect in the blasts.
Majid was brought to Bangalore by the Special Investigating Team and subject to a narco analysis test a couple of weeks back. Majid was picked up from a mobile store in Hyderabad where he was working as a sales representative. The Hyderabad police claimed that Majid was aware of the blasts.
Majid explained during the test how the money was pumped in by Dawood to fund the blasts. Fake currency worth crores of rupees was first sent across to Shahid Bilal who in turn exchanged for genuine notes at a 2:1 ratio. The deal was struck with various agents across the country by Bilal. The money which originated from Dawood in Pakistan was routed into India through Dubai, Bangladesh and Nepal.
A week before the twin blasts in Hyderabad, the police had seized a huge consignment of the notes. After the blasts the Hyderabad police had said that they did not rule out this money having links with the blasts. A probe to this effect was also initiated.
Majid said during the test that even prior to the Mecca Masjid blasts; they had used the same money to make bombs. He also spoke about several other consignments being sent out to carry out more attacks in different other parts of the country in future.
Majid said during the test that his brother Shahid was in direct contact with Dawood who had promised to fund all his operations. He also revealed that Shahid himself had sent down the consignment to carry out the blasts in Hyderabad. Apart from this he also confessed that Shahid had a role to play in both the IISC attack in Bangalore and the recent blasts at the Ajmer Dargah.
While the IISC attack case is still under investigation by the Bangalore police, the Ajmer blasts are jointly being probed by the Hyderabad and Rajasthan police. Majid's revelations have given the police of all three states -- Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka -- an entirely new angle to investigate into.
The police say that they will have to study the report in details. A narco analysis test report cannot be used as evidence in the court of law and the police can only use it to get leads into the investigation.
During the test, Majid was also questioned about the authenticity of news surrounding Shahid Bilal's death. Both the Pakistan and Indian intelligence agencies have been having a war of words over the reports. While Pakistan claims that he is dead, India believes that he is very much alive.
Majid said during the test that his brother was alive and is in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh at the moment. He said news of his death was spread by Shahid himself on the internet as he thought that there was too much heat building on him. Shahid's father too had said recently that his son was dead and the investigating agencies were just fooling the people into making him believe that he was alive.

Bollywood producer G P Sippy dies

Veteran Bollywood producer-director G P Sippy, who had become a household name with his 1975 blockbuster Sholay [Images], died in Mumbai on Tuesday night after prolonged illness, family sources said.
Sippy, 93, who has been suffering from age-related ailments for the past few months, breathed his last at around 10 pm. He was cremated at 11.45 am today at the electric crematorium in Chandanwadi, Marine Lines, in South Mumbai. His family and relatives were present at the funeral.
A scion of a rich Sindhi family, Sippy's career got a flying start with the film Marine Drive (1955). The same year he produced Adl-e-e-Jahangir with the star-cast of Pradeep Kumar, Meena Kumari and Durga Khote.
The fifties and sixties was a time of hectic filmmaking for Sippy, when his banner produced memorable flicks like Shrimati 420, Chandrakant, Light House, Bhai Behan and Andaaz. It stands to his credit that G P Sippy, besides producing, also directed all of these films.
In 1972, Sippy, along with son Ramesh made Seeta aur Gita with Hema Malini [Images] in a double role. The star cast included big names like Dharmendera and Sanjeev Kumar.
The magnum opus of the Sippys, however, was to be Sholay (1975), with a star cast of Dharmendera, Amitabh Bachchan [Images], Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan.
Sippy also produced films like Saagar (1985), Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992), Aatish (1992), Zamaana Deewana (1995).
Sippy was the chairman of the Film and TV Producers Guild of India on four occasions in the seventies, eighties and nineties. He also bagged the Filmfare awards in 1968 and 1982.

Buddhadeb lands in Nandigram

NEW DELHI: For the first time since the turmoil began, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee addressed a public meeting in Nandigram on Wednesday. The West Bengal chief minister said that the Left Front government will not forcibly acquire land in Nandigram for chemical hub. Bhattacharjee appealed to the opposition to form peace committee in Nandigram. He said that a special committee has been formed to prepare a comprehensive package for Nandigram's development.
He also urged CPM leaders not to "misbehave" with opposition activists but to be polite with them. Bhattacharjee said that he regrets March 14 police firing in Nandigram and said no government in a civilised country can send police to kill people. The visit is being viewed as a politically significant event with Bhattacharjee being at the centre of a controversy over the bloody recapture of Nandigram early last month by his party cadres and the turmoil in the area since January last over the state government's move to acquire land for a mega chemical hub project.
Bhattcharjee, who began his address by saying "I have come here to express my condolences for all those who have died irrespective of their party affiliations," maintained his government had wanted to develop Nandigram as a big industrial town like adjoining Haldia. Observing that peace has returned to Nandigram, he said it was the responsibility of all to maintain calm. "Peace cannot be maintained only by deploying the police and CRPF.
Those who support us and those who belonged to the opposition should not create any further trouble. The people here do not want disturbances," he said. As part of the package, he said that better health and education facilities would be provided for the people here by the government.

Melbourne Test: Australia 337/9 at close on Day 1

MELBOURNE, December 26: Electing to bat, Australia were 337 for nine at stumps on the first day of the opening Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. Anil Kumble took five wickets as Australia collapsed after a good start on the first day.
Stuart Clark (21) and Mitchell Johnson (10) were the unbeaten batsmen when stumps were drawn for the day. Scorecard Earlier, India produced a flutter in the Australian batting line-up but Matthew Hayden rode over the little turbulence to take his team to 213 for three at tea on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test. The burly left-hander smashed the 28th century of his Test career after Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan brought India back into the game with three wickets in the first hour after lunch.
Hayden was batting on 121 at the break, having been out there for 236 minutes facing 168 balls, cracking nine fours along the way. Michael Clarke (14) was his partner at the other end as the two tried to lift the hosts out of a tricky situation with Phil Jacques (66), captain Ricky Ponting (4) and Michael Hussey (2) were snapped inside six overs. There was no hint of any upheaval as Hayden and Jacques took their opening stand to 135 when Kumble struck in his fourth over, the 34th of the innings.
Jacques was beaten by a well-concealed googly which drew him forward and then spun across the face of his bat for keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to complete the stumping. Jacques made his runs in 142 minutes during which he faced 108 balls and hit eight fours. Zaheer drew the loudest cheer from his mates at the other end when he bowled a perfect length at an angle to fool Ricky Ponting to play the wrong line.
Kumble built on his success with another wicket in the next over when Mike Hussey (2) was beaten by another googly and hit on his backpad. Umpire Mark Benson had no hesitation in ruling him out. Hayden, meanwhile, kept getting his runs at a fair clip and completed his century with an off-drive off RP Singh which beat Harbhajan Singh at mid-off. The burly left-hander took only 126 balls to reach his century which is his first in the present calendar year.
One of the two, either Jacques or Hayden, have scored a century in the three Tests they have batted so far in the Australian summer this year. Jacques scored hundreds in both the Tests against Sri Lanka earlier this year and now it is Hayden's turn.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

BJP loses ground but will retain power: Exit poll

The Bharatiya Janata Party is poised to return to power in Gujarat, though with a reduced majority, according to an exit poll conducted by television channel Star News after the first phase of voting in the state on Tuesday.
The saffron party is expected to get 115 seats in the 182-member assembly, losing 12 seats. The Congress is likely to get 64 seats, gaining 13 seats, while Independents and others will get 3 seats, exit poll projections said.
Of the 87 seats which went to the polls on Tuesday, the BJP is expected to get 48, Congress 37 and Independents and others 2. The BJP had polled 43 per cent of the votes and the Congress 42 per cent, the projections said.
Polling for the second phase in the state will take place on December 16. Counting of votes will be held on December 23. The BJP and the Congress are the main parties in the fray.

Ethnic Indian leader arrested in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: In a major crackdown, Malaysian authorities on Tuesday detained at least 20 opposition activists when they tried to stage a protest in front of Parliament here against the extension of the tenure of the Election Commission chief, hours after a prominent ethnic Indian leader was re-arrested on sedition charges.
Opposition protesters wanted to demonstrate against the amendment to a law extending the tenure of, what they claimed, a "biased" Election Commission chief. Notwithstanding the protest, Parliament approved the amendment.
Police blocked all roads to Parliament as activists headed to assemble there, resulting in traffic disruption across Kuala Lumpur.
Backed by trucks mounted with water cannons, police detained 12 activists heading towards Parliament, said police officer Ahmad Sofian Yassin. At least eight other opposition workers were detained later in the area, activists said.
Sixteen opposition legislators staged a walkout in Parliament to protest the arrests.
Meanwhile, police re-arrested non-governmental Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uttayakumar after he posted bail on a sedition charge today.
Uttayakumar, legal adviser of Hindraf, was first charged in the Sessions Court with posting a seditious letter on the group's website.
The lawyer pleaded not guilty before Judge Sabariah Othman, who fixed trial for next month. The lawyer posted a bail of 50,000 ringgit (Rs 5.9 lakh) with one surety. The judge also ordered Uttayakumar's passport be impounded.

Gujarat polls: 60% turnout in first phase

AHMEDABAD: An estimated 60 per cent of nearly 1.78 crore voters on Tuesday exercised their franchise in the crucial first phase of Gujarat assembly elections covering 87 constituencies in South Gujarat, Kutch and Saurashtra where rebellion in the state's ruling BJP against Chief Minister Narendra Modi was the strongest.
"The polling was peaceful and orderly and no major incident was reported," Deputy Election Commissioner Jaiprakash told reporters in Delhi.
Voting picked up gradually after a slow start in the morning.
The first phase, being considered a decisive factor for BJP seeking to retain power, will decide the fate of 669 candidates including Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, Urban Development Minister I K Jadeja and leader of the Opposition, Arjun Modhvadiya and an array of BJP rebels who are up in arms against Modi.
Prominent among BJP rebels who are testing their electoral fortunes are Dhirubhai Gajera, Balubhai Tanti, Bechar Bhadani and Bavku Undhad. Some of them are contesting on Congress tickets.
As many as 3,700 poll observers were posted inside polling stations in key areas and the polling process was recorded by 5,400 digital and video cameras, he said.
While cases have been registered against ten candidates for canvassing within 200 metres of polling stations, one person was arrested for carrying the EPIC cards of 16 voters who were being interrogated, the EC official said.
Two presiding officers have been replaced for not adhering to instructions of the Commission, he said.

BJP allies hail Advani's anointment

NEW DELHI: The anointment of L K Advani as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate on Tuesday sparked an ugly spat between the saffron party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while the decision was welcomed by the party's allies which said the veteran leader was a "natural choice".

The first shot was fired by Singh when he said the main Opposition party "crowned Advani" because the party was "nervous" and feared "threat" from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's leadership. He was addressing a campaign rally in Vadodara and talking to newsmen.
The BJP immediately hit back saying the comments by Singh only reflected his "frustration" and "disappointment" as he was not in a position to either "command or give direction" to his government. The party's opponents were also rattled, former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu said.
Amid the spat, BJP's allies JD(U) and Biju Janata Dal extended their support to Monday's decision despite his image of a hardline Hindutva leader.
"We have no objection. It is not a problem for us," JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said, adding "BJP is the largest ally of NDA and it is for that party to take a decision. So, his (Advani's) choice is but natural".
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) leader hailed the decision saying Advani was a "natural choice" after Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In a bitter personal attack, Naidu alleged that the Prime Minister was "disturbed" and "helpless" as the situation is that "he presides and Madam decides" while the Left parties are threatening to pull the rug beneath his government every other day.
"It was a panic reaction as the Congress does not have a leader to equal Advani in stature," he added.

Unitech's Chandra pips Mittal as richest self-made billionaire

NEW DELHI: Real estate giant Unitech's Ramesh Chandra on Tuesday elbowed out Bharti Group's chief Sunil Mittal as India's richest self-made billionaire, although by a small margin. According to a Forbes magazine list published last month, Mittal was named as India's richest self-made billionaire, followed by Chandra.
The net worth of the two - 12.5 billion dollars for Mittal and 11.6 billion dollars for Chandra - was calculated by Forbes on the basis of the share prices of their group companies Bharti Airtel and Unitech as of November 2.
Unitech's shares today rose 8.5 per cent to close at 479.80 at the BSE, while those of Bharti surged 6.2 per cent to Rs 1,030.70. Bharti shares scaled a life-time high of Rs 1,149 earlier in the day.
Unitech's share price had risen 27.3 per cent from Rs 479.80 on November 2, while that of Bharti Airtel gained 15.2 per cent from Rs 894.85 on the same day.
Considering a similar change in their net worth, Chandra's net worth would currently stand at 14.76 billion dollars, as against Mittal's 14.39 billion dollar.
According to information available with stock exchanges, Unitech has a total promoter holding of 74.56 per cent, while the same in Bharti Airtel is 65.89 per cent, which includes 45.32 per cent with Bharti Telecom Ltd.
However, it could not be independently ascertained as to control of how much holding exactly lies with Chandra and Mittal in their respective groups.
Based on today's share price, Bharti has a market cap of Rs 1,95,610.02 crore (about 50 billion dollars), while that of Unitech is Rs 77,741.58 crore (about 19.8 billion dollars).

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ex-Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta quits BJP, slams Modi

Crying foul that the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party had 'surrendered' before the whims and fancies of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], veteran leader Suresh Mehta on Saturday quit from the party.
Mehta, who formally resigned from the primary membership of the party on Saturday, sent his resignation to Gujarat BJP president Purshottam Rupala.
While announcing his resignation, Mehta said he had dedicated 50 years of his life to help build the party. "I am quitting the house (BJP) that I help build into a palace, because it is no more suited for my stay. When I saw that the entire party was surrendering before one person (Narendra Modi) then I thought it was best to quit," the former Gujarat chief minister remarked.

Malaysian PM issues fresh warning to Indians

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has warned the ethnic Indians that they could be held under the Internal Security Act if their actions threatened national interest and asked the police to monitor their movements.
Abdullah's warning came following allegations by authorities that the members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which is spearheading the anti-government agitation against the alleged marginalisation of ethnic Indians, are linked with "terrorists" groups including LTTE.

"My instructions to the police is that the group should be monitored. Internal Security Act is an option. I will decide when the time is right. If they are deemed (as a threat to national security) we will know what to do," the New Straits Times quoted Abdullah as saying.
ISA allows for years of detention without trial. Abdullah, who is also the internal security minister, said he was aware of Hindraf canvassing for support and help from terrorist groups and local gangsters.
Meanwhile, a senior leader in the prime minister's department has said the Malaysian government had Sri Lanka's LTTE and India's RSS as the overseas groups linked to Hindraf. Mohamed Nazri Aziz was quoted by another newspaper as saying that this was deduced from statements of Hindraf leaders, who went abroad to garner support, that they would meet LTTE leaders. "As we know, the LTTE has been declared a terrorist group by the United Nations and the United States. If it is true that Hindraf leaders have links with them, Hindraf is also a terrorist group," he said.
The paper did not make any further reference to Nazri's comments on RSS.

Tata small car to make way into smaller towns

KOLKATA: The small car from Tata Motor's stable will make its way into smaller towns where the company does not have a marketing network.
"We are upgrading our offices in smaller towns in districts where we currently sell only commercial vehicles to accommodate the Tata small car," Tata Motors dealer, Lexus Motors Ltd director Binod Agarwal said here today.
"We will upgrade or open our dealership in Diamond Harbour, Baruipur, Uulberia, Krishnagar, Habra, Chinsura and Barasat," he said.
In West Bengal, Tata Motors dealerships of cars were restricted to metros and big towns. "Upgrading of our districts officess is been done as the small car will rollout in 2008," Agarwal said.
Agarwal said as the small car would be more affordable, the company was expecting demand from the smaller towns. The construction of the small car plant at Singur and that of vendors was on in full swing. Sources said Tata Motors had lined up four to five models from Tata and the Fiat stable for unveiling.

Tata small car to make way into smaller towns

KOLKATA: The small car from Tata Motor's stable will make its way into smaller towns where the company does not have a marketing network.
"We are upgrading our offices in smaller towns in districts where we currently sell only commercial vehicles to accommodate the Tata small car," Tata Motors dealer, Lexus Motors Ltd director Binod Agarwal said here today.
"We will upgrade or open our dealership in Diamond Harbour, Baruipur, Uulberia, Krishnagar, Habra, Chinsura and Barasat," he said.
In West Bengal, Tata Motors dealerships of cars were restricted to metros and big towns. "Upgrading of our districts officess is been done as the small car will rollout in 2008," Agarwal said.
Agarwal said as the small car would be more affordable, the company was expecting demand from the smaller towns. The construction of the small car plant at Singur and that of vendors was on in full swing. Sources said Tata Motors had lined up four to five models from Tata and the Fiat stable for unveiling.

Hindraf files complaint against Malaysian PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Accusing Malaysian authorities of making "false and racially inciting statements", an ethnic Indian lawyer on Saturday filed a police complaint against the country's premier and other senior officials for claiming that his group had links with the LTTE and other terrorist outfits.
"I have never met anyone from LTTE in my life," P Uttayakumar, the founder member of Hindu Rights Action Front which spearheaded anti-government protests that alleged discrimination against ethnic-Indians, told reporters here after filing the report against premier Abdullah Badawi.
Asserting that the group had "zero links " with LTTE or any other terror group, the lawyer, who also named Attorney General Gani Patail, Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan as also local newspapers and TV and Law Minister Nazri in the complaint, alleged that the authorities were trying to put Hindraf leaders behind bars on "trumped up charges".
"We have got zero links with terrorism. We have got zero links with LTTE. We do not support violence. We are a non violent group," said Uthayakumar outside the police station as a few supporters gathered around him holding portraits of Mahatma Gandhi.
"They have accused us so that they can lay the foundation to arrest us under the Internal Security Act," he added. ISA allows detention without trial.
Abdullah has asked the police to closely monitor Hindraf leaders and followers who may have links with terrorist groups. "ISA will be an option which I will decide upon when the time is right," the premier was quoted by local media as saying.

Yuvraj, Ganguly put India on track

BANGALORE/PTI: Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly slammed centuries as India staged a remarkable recovery to put themselves in the driver's seat in the third and final Test against archrivals Pakistan on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Yuvraj (169) unleashed an array of breathtaking shots to notch up his third Test century and performed the salvage job with Ganguly (125 not out) to steer India to a comfortable 365 for five at close on the opening day.
Dinesh Karthik (3) was giving Ganguly company at stumps on an eventful day which saw the highest ever opening day total recorded in India. (AFP Photo)
Scorecard Match in pics Special: Pakistan in India

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Malaysian court denies bail to 31 Indians

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court on Thursday refused to grant bail to 31 ethnic Indians charged with attempted murder of a policeman during a massive protest against alleged marginalisation here last month, saying the case involved "national security" and not "racial and religious issues".
Sessions Court Judge Azimah Omar said the court had taken into account the fact that public interest precedes the interests of all the accused.
"This case is not an ordinary case but involves the accused who are alleged to have participated in an illegal gathering and a gathering does not involve only the accused but also the general public."
"The gathering also involves national security and does not involve racial and religious issues and on these grounds, the court is not allowing bail for all the accused," the judge declared.
She also noted that bail could not be given as all of them were facing a charge under Section 307 of the Malaysian Penal Code, namely attempted murder, which is non-bailable except at the court's discretion.
Also refusing to entertain the bail application of three accused ethnic Indians on grounds of bad health, the judge said the defence had failed to furnish clear evidence.
One of the accused was said to have a kidney problem and required haemodialysis but the dialysis card submitted was not clear, while no medical records had been given to the court in respect of another accused who was said to be suffering from heart disease, national news agency Bernama quoted the judge as saying.
The judge said 18 pictures in the form of computer images that were submitted to the court on Wednesday as a ground for bail were not authenticated.
If convicted, the men face 20 years behind bars. All 31 have pleaded not guilty. Seventeen lawyers are representing the accused. However, three lawyers withdrew from the case without stating any reason.
At least 10,000 ethnic Indians took part in an "illegal" demonstration organised by NGO Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) on November 25 to protest against alleged marginalisation of Indians in Malaysia.

Modi's remarks came close on the heels of Gujarat government's special counsel in Supreme Court K T S Tulsi threatening to resign if the Chief Ministe

NEW DELHI: In the first high-level bilateral contact since the political turmoil began in Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet Pakistan's Foreign Adviser Inamul Haq here on Friday and review status of ties.
The two sides will discuss ways to push forward the bilateral relations, particularly the peace process which has witnessed a slowdown over the last several months due to internal developments in Pakistan.
Mukherjee and Haq will meet on the sidelines of the SAARC Foreign Ministers' meeting here on Friday, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said.
After his arrival here, Haq told reporters that he would discuss with Mukherjee the status of composite dialogue covering issues like Jammu and Kashmir and Siachen.
The two sides will also discuss the SAARC process, with particular focus on giving a push to it. Mukherjee met Bangladesh's Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Chowdhury on Thursday and discussed bilateral relations.
The discussions covered the devastation caused by cyclone recently in Bangladesh after which India decided to adopt 10 worst-affected villages for rehabilitation.
Mukherjee was in Dhaka last week-end during which he announced lifting of ban on export of upto 5.5 million tonne of rice to cyclone-hit Bangladesh.
The External Affairs Minister also met his Maldivian counterpart and discussed issues concerning security of the island nation which was rocked by bomb blasts recently.
A hospital after the name of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is being constructed in Maldives with Indian help. Health Minister A Ramadoss will be travelling to Male soon in this regard, Menon said.

After EC notice, Modi denounces fake encounters

KAPALVAD: Under attack for his controversial remarks on Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appeared to have back-tracked saying fake police encounters "cannot be accepted" and he has never justified it.
However, he accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of "provoking" him to play the Hindutva card during the campaign to next week's Assembly elections. Modi, who on Tuesday justified the Sohrabuddin fake encounter killing saying he "deserved it", said " I do not justify fake police encounters." Modi said he and his government are against fake encounters and have taken a stand against it in the Supreme Court.
"Fake encounters cannot be accepted. I have never justified it and I have always condemned it," he told Times Now channel onboard his specially customised van in the midst of his poll campaign.
Modi was pilloried by Congress and the Left parties and social activists for his utterances on Sohrabuddin killing amid strident demands that he be booked.
The Chief Minister said his poll agenda was only to raise developmental issues but was compelled to play the Hindutva card when Sonia called him "merchant of death". "I had kept quiet but Sonia provoked me. I felt the need to tell Sonia the truth," he said.
"I will reply to whatever issues the Congress raises and will speak in the same language they use and I have a right to defend himself," he added.
Modi's remarks came close on the heels of Gujarat government's special counsel in Supreme Court K T S Tulsi threatening to resign if the Chief Minister does not apologise for his remarks on Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

Govt allows RCom to start GSM services in 14 circles

NEW DELHI: Amid the battle between telecom operators over spectrum allocation norms, the government today allowed Anil Ambani-led CDMA mobile player Reliance Communications to start GSM-based services in 14 circles. The government made necessary changes in the Unified Access Services Licence (UASL) and gave a go-ahead to RCom for starting services under the GSM technology platform in 14 telecom circles. Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Telecom already provides GSM services in eight circles. Official sources said the changes in licencing norms to allow RCom to start GSM services is subject to availability of spectrum. RCom officials were not immediately available for comments. On October 19, the company had paid Rs 1,651 crore to the Department of Telecom for a pan-India licence to start GSM services. However, since the group already has presence in eight circles, it has been now given permission to start GSM operations in the remaining 14 circles.

News Headlines

Left joins Oppn in RS walkout
CRPF discovers graves in Nandigram
VHP relents, backs Modi in Dangs
ULCRA repeal: Boon or delusion?
Witness surfaces in Babri Masjid case
AP: Medicos' strike enters Day 4

Lanka win Kandy Test by 88 runs
Jaffer, Sachin rise in ICC rankings
Delhi Police issue notice to Boje
Kirsten to interact with Team India
Woods still not keen to pack irons
Aus Open has strongest field in history

OPEC to maintain current output
Rupee weakens against dollar
Markets close firm
Balco resorting to contract labour
Jindal Power may get listed
Business confidence down on Re rise

Bush plans Mideast visit for talks
US nuclear report a victory: Iran
UK fast-tracks HSMP system
Iftikhar Chowdhury officially ousted
Gates on surprise visit to Iraq
Pak media restrains to remain

5 half-burned bodies found at Nandigram

NANDIGRAM/KOLKATA: With the discovery of five graves at a ground in Khejuri's Bamanchak village on Wednesday and the police saying that they contained half-charred bodies, suspicions have been raised of attempted disposal of victims killed during the violence triggered by CPM cadres.
The graves were found in an area which has been in the news throughout the "occupation" of some Nandigram areas and the subsequent moves by armed CPM men to "recapture" the villages controlled by the anti-land acquisition group, Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee.

The local people and police claim there are bodies buried in the ground. The ground has been cordoned off by CRPF personnel, who waited the entire day either for a judicial magistrate to arrive on the spot or for orders to dig the graves. CRPF officials have made up their mind that the ground won't be dug up unless a judicial magistrate is available on the spot.
SP of East Midnapore, S S Ponda, said five half-charred bodies were in the graves. "There was a tipoff that some bodies were hidden in a field in the area. With the CRPF team, we went to the village and came upon this field where there were signs of dug-up graves," Ponda said.
The issue reverberated in the Lok Sabha when Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee appeared and demanded the House pay attention to the new development. Aware that she was not going to relent, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the House.
Soon after entering the House, Banerjee tried to raise the matter calling for the attention of the Speaker, who asked her to give prior notice. Some CPM members contested her remarks. The Trinamul chief had come to Parliament for the first time this session. She said the bodies were found lying in a trench in a field covered with bushes in a village in Khejuri, which is considered to be a CPM stronghold.
The graves are sure to increase the pressure on CPM, particularly if the attempt to dispose bodies by burning is confirmed. As some women turned up the spot claiming the bodies were those of their husbands, there is a possibility of identification.
Reports from Kolkata and Nandigram said that for the last few days, CRPF have been working on the basis of information that grave-like structures had been seen in Khejuri. On Wednesday morning, the CRPF team stationed there got news that a large cache of arms had been kept at a house of Bamanchak, close to Khejuri's Tentultala

Biometric data to be made must to fly to UK

HYDERABAD: Biometric data collection will be introduced as part of the United Kingdom (UK) visa application process in India from December 12.
"This is part of the UK government's policy to introduce biometric data collection world-wide by early 2008. India is one of the last countries to be brought under this programme that has already been introduced in around 130 countries," said Dan Chugg, director, press and communications of the British High Commission on Wednesday.
Once the policy is implemented, all visa applicants in India have to visit a designated collection point in person to provide ten-finger scans and a digital photograph. According to the British High Commission, the process is entirely electronic and will not take more than five minutes. There will be no additional cost for this registration.
According to Chugg, the biometric data will make it easy for the UK government to identify customers and protect them from identity fraud. "It will be necessary to provide biometric data each time an application is made. We therefore encourage frequent travellers to apply for a longer term and for multiple-entry visas. Unfortunately, from Dec. 12, applications will take longer than usual to be processed and applicants should take this into account when planning their journey," Chugg said.

Gujarat counsel in Sohrab case quits

NEW DELHI: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's controversial remarks over the death of Sohrabuddin have pushed senior advocate K T S Tulsi, who defended the state government in the Supreme Court in the fake encounter case, into declaring that he would opt out and return the brief.
Speaking to TOI on Wednesday, Tulsi accused Modi of playing "ducks and drakes" with the rule of law and the apex court by making remarks justifying the extralegal killing.
In what could be more worrisome for Modi, chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami said: "If EC receives any complaint, the matter will be investigated by the district election officer. He has to submit a report to EC for appropriate action.
" In fact, Gujarat Congress filed a complaint on Wednesday with the district election officer calling for action against Modi for his Mangrol speech. "The case is in the Supreme Court and one should not attempt to take political advantage of a matter that is sub judice," said Sunil Bhukanwala, Surat Congress president.
Social activist Teesta Setalvad, too, jumped into the ring shooting off a letter to EC complaining that the Gujarat CM was "inciting communal passions before the elections". "His speech was an open exhortation to violence and an illegal act by a person seeking re-election. Does it [his speech] not violate the rule of law and the election code of conduct?" Setalvad asked.

Compounding the problems for Modi, Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin, who had forced the state to take action against top police officers including D G Vanzara by filing a petition before the apex court, is in the process of moving the SC to seek Modi's prosecution for being part of the conspiracy to kill his brother and his sister-in-law, Kauserbi.
Tulsi had emphatically told the Supreme Court that the state would spare no one involved in Sohrabuddin's extralegal killing, and had persuaded the court not to order a CBI probe. Tulsi told TOI that he was "immensely" pained by Modi's remarks during an election rally justifying the killing.

Frustrating day for Force India

Giancarlo Fisichella and Franck Montagny kicked off Vijay Mallya-owned Force India Formula One Team's testing at the Circuit de Jerez in Spain on Wednesday.
The duo made their debut runs in the team's burgundy and white challengers working through a schedule of chassis development.
- 'F1 can be alternative to cricket in India'
The day was marred by several red flags and spins from both the drivers raising questions about the stability of the car and the work needed to start the season with a stable machine.
"Today was a slightly frustrating day of testing, with many red flags and a couple of minor mechanical issues on the cars, which meant we did not get through our whole programme," said Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer, in a press release.
Fisichella and Montagny covered more than 500 km on the circuit with Renault driver finishing a shade quicker than his counterpart with a lap of 1:21.424.
On his first day in an F1 car after the last race in Brazil [Images], Fisichella said he had a problem with the hydraulic pressure and when he tried out the 'slick' tyres there was another problem so the team did not get a proper idea of how the tyres will work.
"It's my first day back in the car, nearly two months after the last race in Brazil, plus my first with another car and new engine - and, of course, without the electronics," Fisichella noted after posting a best of 1 min 21.424secs in the course of 53 laps, "Considering this, I am quite happy about how the day went.
"We did have a couple of issues, so I didn't run as much as I would have liked. With new tyres, I had a problem with the hydraulic pressure and, when I tried out the slick tyres, there was a problem on the diff, so we didn't get a proper idea of how the tyres will work. All the same, I do think it's been a positive day and a good basis for tomorrow."
Force India seems to be keen on backing Fisichella as their lead driver as he will drive for a second day of testing which will continue on Thursday and will be joined by Christian Klien.

IAEA proper forum to resolve Iran's N-issue: Pranab

Contending that India had voted against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency to prevent its nuclear issue from going to the United Nations Security Council, the government on Wednesday said that the stand-off would not be resolved through threats and hurting Tehran's national pride.
Replying to a debate on the India-United States nuclear agreement in Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee maintained that the IAEA is the proper forum to resolve the vexed issue concerning Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
"There is no denying the fact that we voted against Iran at IAEA. The intention was to ensure that its nuclear issue does not go to the Security Council as it would entail sanctions and more problems," he said while rejecting allegations that India's foreign policy was being affected by the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Noting that India had civilisational links with Iran, Mukherjee said New Delhi wanted to avoid Tehran's nuclear issue from going to the Security Council and see if there could be a compromise.
"Iran is an old civilisation. It is a proud nation...It is not that these issues will be resolved by threatening them and hurting their national pride," he said.
There has been some progress on negotiations between Iran and the IAEA and India has to collaborate with other countries to help defuse the stand-off between Iran and the west, the minister said adding that efforts in this direction are underway.
The US and other western countries have been pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran to force it to abandon its nuclear programme, which the West suspects is for assembling atomic weapons.

India can send spacecraft to Mars, says minister

India has the capability to send a spacecraft to Mars [Images] at an approximate cost of Rs 500 crore, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan said sending a spacecraft to Mars would help in understanding the evolution of the planet by studying the Martian atmosphere and ionosphere.
It would also help in studying dust-storms, interaction of solar radiation and particles with Mars, magnetic field and plasma environment around Mars, surface topography, composition and distribution of water-ice, he said.

Terror stalks Delhi. Anyone watching UP?

Delhi is back on the terror radar with central Intelligence Bureau claiming that the national capital will face attacks if precautionary measures are not taken soon. Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in tactics of terror operatives in India, as off late they were restricted to targeting smaller Indian cities such as Faizabad, Lucknow and Ajmer. When terrorists struck smaller towns, the IB had pointed out that the intention was to create terror irrespective of the city. Smaller cities were being targeted thanks to the fact that security is usually lax in these areas. Terror operatives have now realised that striking smaller cities create limited havoc and do not convey their message. Striking an important city like Delhi -- the political hub of the country -- could wreck havoc across the country.

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VRV Singh, Irfan in team for third Test

Pacers VRV Singh and Irfan Pathan [Images] were named in the Indian team for the third and final Test against Pakistan, starting in Bangalore on Saturday.
They replace the fast bowling duo of Zaheer Khan [Images], who is nursing a heel injury, and Munaf Patel [Images], who is struggling with a back strain that restricts his movement.
Ishant Sharma, who was drafted in the squad for the first Test but later released to play Ranji Trophy matches, was also included in the 14-member squad.

R P Singh and S Sreesanth [Images], who were originally in the Test squad but ruled out later due to injuries, were not considered, a statement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India said.
Sreesanth is nursing a shoulder injury and was not among the probables for the Test series against Australia.
Anil Kumble [Images] was retained Test captain for the tour of Australia.
Former Test batsman Chetan Chauhan has been appointed Administrative Manager for the Test series in Australia.
"Because of injuries to the pacers we have announced a list of 24 probables. However, the final 16-member squad for the Australia tour will be announced on December 12 after getting a final report on the players' fitness," BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said, refusing to entertain any other questions.

M V Sridhar, vice-president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, was appointed as Assistant Manager and will also look after media relations for the Test series.
India lead the Pakistan series 1-0 after winning the first Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi. The second Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata ended in a draw.
The team: Anil Kumble (captain), Wasim Jaffer [Images], Dinesh Karthik [Images], Rahul Dravid [Images], Sachin Tendulkar [Images], Sourav Ganguly [Images], Vangipurappu Laxman, Yuvraj Singh [Images], Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] (wicketkeeper), Harbhajan Singh [Images], Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Vikram Singh, Murali Kartik [Images].
The selection committee, which met in Bangalore on Wednesday, also named 24 probables for the Australia Tests.
Probables: Anil Kumble (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Gautam Gambhir [Images], Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Vangipurappu Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Vikram Singh, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel, Ranadeb Bose, Pankaj Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ajit Agarkar [Images], Parthiv Patel, Akash Chopra.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

N-deal not to be renegotiated: US

WASHINGTON: The United States has said it does not foresee the negotiations on the civil nuclear accord being re-opened either by it or India, as the 123 Agreement is "done" and "completed" and hoped that the deal would come up for a final voting in the US Congress early next year. "On the 123 Agreement, we finished those negotiations on July 22 this year in Washington. That Agreement is finished, it's done, it's completed, it just stands to be approved finally by both governments. I think with goodwill and hard work, it will be," Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said at a media roundtable in Singapore on Monday. "But I do not foresee it being re-opened, by either side. Not by the United States, and I don't think by India either," the official said. Reaffirming that the deal is in the "best interests" of both the countries, Burns said. "it is part and parcel of a new effort to try to elevate the US-India relationship into a strategic partnership." "We are confident that this deal should go forward; of course, we now need to wait for the Indian government to make a final decision on putting the safeguards agreement forward, but we believe it's in the best interest of both of us that it do so," Burns said. The step which will follow is to convince the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to act by consensus to support international change, to treat India in a "more fair and effective manner", he said and hoped that the final vote on the deal in the US Congress would come up early next year.

FIR against Anil Ambani over Sikh jokes

A First Information Report has been lodged against Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group chairman Anil Ambani and senior officials of Reliance [Get Quote] Communication for allegedly circulating derogatory jokes against the Sikh community through its mobile Internet services.
The FIR was lodged by the Lucknow Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee after an emergent meeting held in Lucknow on Monday, official sources said on Tuesday.
"These jokes are insulting as some Sikhs have been abused. They offend the feelings of the entire Sikh community. We cannot tolerate this insult being heaped on us," LGPC president Rajendra Singh Bagga said.
He said the LGPC wanted a written apology from the Reliance Group chairman, failing which they would stage a nation-wide protest against the group all over the country.
Bagga warned that they would not hesitate to boycott all products of the company if it did not tender an apology. When contacted, vice president, corporate communication (north) Reliance Infocomm, Avinash Jain, told PTI that an FIR has been registered.
He, however, said the company had served a legal notice to the Internet service provider, who is responsible for circulating jokes.

Buddhadeb clarifies stand on Nandigram, Taslima

NEW DELHI: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday said that he regretted his statement where he mentioned that the opposition had been paid back in the same coin in Nandigram. Bhattacharjee, who is in Delhi to attend the two-day CPM Politburo meeting, also clarified his stand on Taslima Nasreen issue saying that it is the MEA's prerogative to decide where the controversial writes needs to be kept. The West Bengal CM also glossed upon the fact that there was no communal polarization in the state. Bhattacharjee had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday and briefed him about the situation in Nandigram and other developments in the state in the past few months. The Nandigram issue also figured during the 30-minute meeting between the two leaders.

Kanpur-bound aircraft returns to Delhi after hijack scare

A Kanpur-bound Indian aircraft with 42 passengers on board on Tuesday returned to New Delhi after police in the Uttar Pradesh city received a phone call threatening that it would be hijacked.
All passengers were safe and searches on the plane were on, sources said.
The plane landed at the Delhi airport soon after take-off as Kanpur police informed authorities about the phone call threatening that it would be hijacked, the sources said.
The unidentified caller also claimed that bombs had been placed in the plane, they said.
Soon after the information was passed over to Delhi airport, anti-hijack and anti-sabotage measures were initiated, a senior airport official said.
The plane landed under full emergency conditions, they said adding passengers were thoroughly checked.

Terror links to markets under scanner: Govt

NEW DELHI: The Government informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that it is keeping a watch on a person who is suspected to have used the booming Indian share market for terror funding. "Recently one case has come to our notice. It is suspected that it may be linked to a person under watch. I cannot divulge further details," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
He was answering a pointed question by BJP member Ravi Shankar Prasad who asked whether the government is aware of money being poured into the stock market by terrorist outfits.

Prasad said National Security Advisor MK Narayanan had also raised concern over possibility of markets being used by terrorists.
The share market has witnessed a sharp rise over the last few months with the Sensex touching the 20,000 mark.
The rally has been mainly led by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) who have brought in nearly 68 billion dollars (65.18 billion dollars through equity and 2.7 billion dollars through debt) till November 29, 2007.
Commenting on the issue of ban on Participatory Notes, the Finance Minister said the decision in this regard by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was taken on October 25, 2007 in consultation with the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
He said Participatory Notes have been in vogue for many years. The FII is one of the ways of inflow of funds and there are many other instruments. In October, SEBI had placed restriction on derivatives. There is no absolute ban on PNs, the Minister said.

The BJP in Gujarat: For Modi, by Modi, of Modi

In Gujarat, which will see two-phased assembly elections on December 11 and 16, the Bharatiya Janata Party under the leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] seems to have an edge over its main rival, the Congress party, but the Congress is putting up a brave fight in Saurashtra, South Gujarat, and is improving its position in Central Gujarat.
The dull and colourless elections are getting exciting with the confusion created by the Congress's smart move to play the caste card against the Modi card. The Congress has done some unannounced compromises and adjustments in minimising damage by rivals by buying them out. The Gujarat elections can be called the most unconventional election of modern Gujarat, where a state politician is seeking re-election banking on his personality and leadership qualities, and not on any political, social, economical issues or on the basis of caste or communal stand, as Modi did in 2002.
Modi secretly idolises Indira Gandhi [Images]. He is trying to foster former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran-like idol worship in Gujarat politics. So convinced are his party men of his tactics to promote himself that they are not ruling out a Gujarat Desham if the BJP's Delhi leadership sabotages his mega dreams in the future.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunil Mittal is Asia's 3rd richest self-made billionaire: Forbes

NEW YORK: Bharti Airtel's Sunil Mittal has been ranked third in Forbes magazine's 20 self-made Asian billionaires list, which has five other Indians - Unitech's Ramesh Chandra, Suzlon's Tulsi Tanti, Gautam Adani, G M Rao and Uday Kotak.
In the latest list of 20, Sunil Mittal has grabbed the third place with a net worth of 12.5 billion dollars while Ramesh Chandra is at the fourth (rpt) fourth place with an estimated worth of 11.6 billion dollars. Tulsi Tanti of Suzlon Energy holds the fifth position, while Adani Group's Guatam Adani is ranked 10th, G M Rao of GMR Infrastructure 13th and Uday Kotak of Kotak Group 20th.
The top two positions have been cornered by two billionaires from Hong Kong -- Li Ka-shing (23 billion dollars) and Lee Shau Kee (17 billion dollars). Hong Kong is represented by five people, while China and Malaysia have two each. According to the US business magazine, Sunil Mittal began his first business in 1976 with "1,500 dollars borrowed from his father. Later, co-founded Bharti Group with two brothers.
Now, their Bharti Airtel is nation's largest mobile phone operator, with more than 50 million customers." Sixty-eight-year-old Ramesh Chandra studied structural engineering in the UK before moving into real estate business. The publicly-listed Unitech, run by his two sons, is currently expanding into developing theme parks and shopping malls. Tulsi Tanti and family estimated to be worth 10 billion dollars is described as a former textile trader who turned to alternative energy when rising power costs threatened to put him out of business.

Sunil Mittal is Asia's 3rd richest self-made billionaire: Forbes

NEW YORK: Bharti Airtel's Sunil Mittal has been ranked third in Forbes magazine's 20 self-made Asian billionaires list, which has five other Indians - Unitech's Ramesh Chandra, Suzlon's Tulsi Tanti, Gautam Adani, G M Rao and Uday Kotak.
In the latest list of 20, Sunil Mittal has grabbed the third place with a net worth of 12.5 billion dollars while Ramesh Chandra is at the fourth (rpt) fourth place with an estimated worth of 11.6 billion dollars. Tulsi Tanti of Suzlon Energy holds the fifth position, while Adani Group's Guatam Adani is ranked 10th, G M Rao of GMR Infrastructure 13th and Uday Kotak of Kotak Group 20th.
The top two positions have been cornered by two billionaires from Hong Kong -- Li Ka-shing (23 billion dollars) and Lee Shau Kee (17 billion dollars). Hong Kong is represented by five people, while China and Malaysia have two each. According to the US business magazine, Sunil Mittal began his first business in 1976 with "1,500 dollars borrowed from his father. Later, co-founded Bharti Group with two brothers.
Now, their Bharti Airtel is nation's largest mobile phone operator, with more than 50 million customers." Sixty-eight-year-old Ramesh Chandra studied structural engineering in the UK before moving into real estate business. The publicly-listed Unitech, run by his two sons, is currently expanding into developing theme parks and shopping malls. Tulsi Tanti and family estimated to be worth 10 billion dollars is described as a former textile trader who turned to alternative energy when rising power costs threatened to put him out of business.

Jet vs Kingfisher: The battle for No.1 slot

On October 28, at a ceremony to unveil Air Deccan's new-look aircraft in Mumbai, chairman of United Breweries [Get Quote] group and Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, said with characteristic flourish: "We have given the full service carriers a run for their money. Now, we will give the low cost carriers a run for theirs."
Though he did not refer to any one airline, it was clear his statement was directed at Jet Airways [Get Quote] and Jetlite (formerly Air Sahara). Ever since Mallya launched Kingfisher in May 2005, making it number one in India has been a foregone conclusion; it's the world's biggest carriers he wants to take on.
Kingfisher's meteoric rise has taken rival and unquestioned number one domestic carrier in the country, Jet Airways, quite by surprise. Used to competing with only Sahara (never a worthy opponent anyway), Jet enjoyed several years of unfettered success after it had trounced Indian Airlines's monopoly and market, becoming India's premier airline since 1993.

Maoists call for spreading people's war across the country

RAIPUR: The banned CPI (Maoists) on Sunday called for spreading the people's war to every nook and corner of the country while celebrating the People's Guerrilla Army (PLA) week from Sunday. The Maoists have pasted posters in the Bastar region, urging activists to take their war to all the corners of the country, a top police officer said here. On December 2, 2000, the Naxalites formed the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in the memory of three of their Central Committee Members - Shyam, Mahesh and Murali, who they claimed were killed by Andhra Pradesh Police in fake encounters. After the Maoists Communist Centre of India (MCCI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) merged to form CPI (Maoists) on September 21, 2004, they converted the PLGA into PLA and vowed to step up their armed struggle, police said. During the PLA week, the Maoists had been specifically targeting security forces, but of late they have started attacking strategic installations like telephone exchanges, railway stations and tracks and electricity towers, they said.

Cong hand in glove with merchants of death: Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], reacting to the charges of Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images], on Sunday said it is the grand old party which is "hand in glove" with "maut ke saudagar" (merchants of death).
"The main conspirator of the Parliament attack case Afzal Guru has been awarded death sentence by the Supreme Court, but the ruling Congress government has not hanged him for the last one-and-half years," he said addressing an election rally in Surat.
Earlier Sonia Gandhi, at a public meeting in Navsari district, had described the Modi government as "dishonest and merchants of death".
"Why is the government of Sonia Gandhi trying to save a terrorist like Afzal Guru? This shows who is with the merchants of deaths. I have been fighting these merchants of deaths while the Congress is with them," the BJP leader remarked.
The chief minister said Sonia called Gujarat the land of Godse. "This is the land of Mahatma Gandhi [Images] and Sardar Vallabhai Patel. To call it a land of Godse is an insult to the great tradition of the state. People of Gujarat will teachthe Congress a lesson in the coming elections," Modi said.
"My government has not allowed mafias and terrorists to make foothold in Gujarat, when 30 per cent of the total districts in the country are infected either by terrorism or Naxalism," he said.

Modi said, "Sonia had searched for the choicest of the abuses from the dictionary and hurled at me. I have maintained a clean image in public life and nobody -- not even the media-- has pointed a finger at me on the issue of corruption.""By defaming Gujarat, the Congress will not be able to come to power in the state," the BJP leader added.

Mistreatment claims of Indians a lie: Malaysia

Outraged over a local Hindu group's allegations of mistreatment of ethnic Indians by authorities, Malaysian Premier Abdullah Badawi has described the claims as lies intended to divide the races in this country and offered to step down if proved wrong.
"I rarely get angry, but this time I am very angry and this is something I cannot accept," Abdullah was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
The premier was reacting to allegations
The premier was reacting to allegations made by the Hindu Indian Rights Front (Hindraf), which had called for a rally declared illegal by the government last Sunday to protest against the alleged marginalisation of Indians.
He said Hindraf was making "baseless allegations and wants the UK to move an emergency UN resolution condemning ethnic cleansing in Malaysia".

Our nuke assets are safe, says Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday reacted angrily to a suggestion that the US should send its troops to secure Islamabad's nuclear arsenal, asserting that it had "adequate retaliatory capacity to defend its strategic assets and sovereignty".
Reacting to reports in a British newspaper that a top US security expert had suggested that the White House should send troops to secure the nuclear assets in the event of chaos in Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said the contents of the news reports were "outlandish musings by an academic".
Referring to the comment as "irresponsible conjectures about external contingency plans", Sadiq said "these are very dangerous ideas and people espousing them should be aware that Pakistan possesses adequate retaliatory capacity to defend its strategic assets and sovereignty".
The spokesman rejected the suggestion that there is "any danger of Pakistan's strategic assets falling in the wrong hands".
"Pakistan's strategic assets are as safe as that of any other nuclear weapon state. These assets are fully safeguarded and secure under the protection of a well established command and control system," Sadiq said in a statement.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Venugopal out, Dr TD Dogra to take over

Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr P Venugopal has been removed from the post hours after President Pratibha Patil signed the controversial AIIMS amendment bill. Dr Tirath Das Dogra has been appointed acting Director of the premier institute.

DLF, Reliance Energy power Sensex up 350 pts

MUMBAI: A mix of infrastructure, IT companies and the HDFC twins led the market higher mid-way through the session. Among sectors, metals steeled a march over others with the BSE Metal Index crossing the 17k mark at 17,655.62, up 783.30 points or 4.64 per cent. Realty and oil & gas indices followed with gains of 2.85 per cent and 2.77 per cent, respectively.

At 1:22 pm, the Sensex was at 19,353.62, higher by 350.36 points or 1.84 per cent from Thursday’s close. The 30-share index touched a high of 19,378.23.

Fresh RBI norms to rein in recovery agents

MUMBAI: Taking cognizance of a surge in complaints against agents employed by banks to recover outstanding loans, RBI on Friday issued a set of draft guidelines that articulate how such agents ought to be governed. To start with, RBI has advised banks to go easy on recovery targets assigned to their agents. It also wants banks to desist from offering high incentives for meeting targets. Both of these practices, RBI reckons, are incentives for agents to employ intimidatory tactics to recover dues.

Uttar Pradesh bans Aaja Nachle over casteist remarks

LUCKNOW: UP Chief Minister Mayawati late on Friday evening banned Madhuri Dixit's comeback film Aaja Nachle in Uttar Pradesh, leaving countless fans of the Bollywood actress in the state disappointed. The ban has been issued following complaints that the title song of the film contains certain casteist remarks. The CM has also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a countrywide ban on the film saying it hurts the sentiments of Dalits. Principal secretary of the CM Shailesh Krishna told TOI , "Certain words in the title song are derogatory to a particular Scheduled Caste community." However, he added that the producers could run the film if they remove the "objectionable" song.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Indices open higher on SBI

MUMBAI: Equities opened on a positive note on Friday in line with its Asian peers. At 10:05 am, the Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex was up 128 points or 0.68 per cent at 19,131.64.

M F Hussain

Controversial artist M F Husain has several criminal complaints pending against him in various courts because of his paintings.

India and the US

WASHINGTON: India and the US asked the international community to come together to combat terrorism in a "long-term" and "comprehensive" manner as they discussed bilateral cooperation in fighting the menace in a meeting of their joint working group on counter-terrorism.

Thursday, November 29, 2007



Monday, October 29, 2007


Indian Ambassador to the US , Ronen Sen apologiseed to the Lok Sabha panel for his 'headless chicken' remark...

heavy rains in tamilnadu and coastal andhra....


Friday, October 26, 2007

Latest in India now is THEHLKA sting operation, they think that this is right time to disclose MODI to people.. and help The GREAT CONGRESS to win polls in Gujarat.. what will happen we have to wait for poll results( nearly 2 months )

and from cricket,Tomorrow is INDIAN team selection for PAK series

thats all


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