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Even after the 48-hour deadline set by the Maoists ended on 18th February 2011 evening, the Orissa government was not able to establish contact with District Collector R. Vineel Krishna, who was kidnapped by the extremists, along with a junior engineer on Wednesday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed to the abductors to extend the deadline and urged the Maoists not to cause any physical harm to Mr. Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi. Following a court order, 136 Indian fishermen were sent back to India from Jaffna. After their arrest on the charge of fishing in Sri Lankan waters, two local courts in Jaffna remanded the fishermen in 14 days judicial custody and sent them to jail. With the government agreeing to the Opposition demand for setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the 2G spectrum scam, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal insisted that if and when the panel was constituted its jurisdiction would be confined to ,,one definite subject.'The government is expected to move a motion in the Lok Sabha, proposing the constitution of the JPC, under rule 193 (which does not warrant voting) and once approved, it would be referred to the Rajya Sabha. Indications are there would be 20 members from the Lower House and 10 from the Upper House on the JPC. Bird flu has struck the country again. This time in the State Duck Breeding Farm in Agartala that has been ordered to cull all poultry within a radius of 3 km of the farm. The State will also impose a ban on movement of poultry

and its products and order closure of all poultry egg market and outlets within a radius of 10 km. The Supreme Court asked Attorney-General (A-G) G.E. Vahanvati to give the status of a complaint sent to Vice President Hamid Ansari, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe, against Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), K.G. Balakrishnan. A three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.H. Kapadia, was hearing a writ petition filed by an advocate that sought removal of Mr. Justice Balakrishnan from his office and a probe against him and his family members. The Central Bureau of Investigation has moved the Supreme Court against a judgment of the Allahabad High Court upholding the dropping of conspiracy charge by a special court against BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and 18 others in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Brief history - Mr. Advani and 20 others faced charges in two cases arising out of two separate first information reports. In the first FIR, conspiracy alleged against "lakhs of unknown kar sevaks" was for the offence of demolition (case 197). The second FIR, which specifically charged Mr. Advani and other leaders with making inflammatory speeches leading to the demolition (case 198), was tried in a special court in Rae Bareli. The two cases were later merged and handed over to the CBI, which filed a composite charge sheet on October 5, 1993. In a move that could spell the end of Reliance Group's Mumbai Special Economic Zone (MSEZ), the Maharashtra government issued a notification to denotify the land acquisition process for the project that saw stiff opposition from villagers. State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Bhausaheb Thorat told The Hindu that the remark "land earmarked for acquisition"

would be removed from all the land titles for the total SEZ area of 16,900 acres. Anti-regime protesters in the volatile Yemen city of Taez were blasted with a hand grenade leaving two dead and dozens hurt, while violent clashes also erupted in Sana'a, said witnesses. The grenade attack came as hundreds of protesters took to the centre of Taez after the Friday Muslim prayers to demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in protests that have been raging in the city for the past week. Clashes broke out in Jordan's capital between government supporters and opponents at a protest calling for more freedom and lower food prices, injuring eight. The Amman protest drew about 2,000 people, including hardline leftists, Muslim conservatives and students calling for reduced power for the King and the chance to elect the Cabinet. India adopted the new Consumer Price Index (CPI) that will reflect the actual movement of prices at the micro-level. As per the new series, the CPI has increased to 106 in January from a base of 100 in 2010 (inflation of 6 per cent), but the government has chosen not to mention the inflation figure, pointing out that the exact level could be arrived only next year. Upendra Kumar Sinha on Friday took charge as the Securities and Exchange Board of India's Chairman from the outgoing chief, C. B. Bhave, who is said to have considerably raised the bar of the institution during his three-year tenure


Sriramulu Srinivasulu, member of the Andhra Orissa Special Zonal Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and inmate of the Malkangiri jail, applied for bail in the Additional District and Sessions Court

at Malkangiri. Twenty-four hours prior to his application, the Maoists demanded his freedom as a precondition for the release of Malkangiri Collector R.V. Krishna. The Union Home Ministry is pushing the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2005 for consideration and passing in the budget session of Parliament, even though it was summarily rejected by the National Advisory Council, which is currently drafting an entirely new law. Expressing surprise, NAC sources said that Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had communicated to the government that the Council was drafting a new Bill, and they had assumed that until it was ready, the government would not move ahead. There was a certain amount of anxiety Gokak taluk with Maharashtra's AntiTerrorism Squad (ATS) issuing notice to seven more youths to appear before the police in connection with the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case. Sources in district police in Belgaum said that the ATS issued notice under Section 160 of the Cr.PC, which empowers the police to require the attendance of witnesses during investigation. The United States found itself isolated among the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council when it was the sole nation to veto a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The 14 UNSC members other than the U.S., including Britain and France, supported the resolution, which follows Israel's consistent defiance of international pressures to halt settlement activity in the disputed territories. Palestinian authorities have refused to return to the negotiating table unless settlement activity is halted. Pro-democracy activists in Libya, inspired by democratic transitions in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, are facing a harsh crackdown. With brute force and a blinding media blackout, the regime is trying to put down the revolt, which has already left scores of people dead. Thirty-five protesters

were gunned down in Benghazi alone, making Friday the bloodiest day since pro-democracy demonstrations began on February 14. Human Rights Watch said the build-up to Friday's bloodbath began the day before when 20 protesters died in police firings. For the second time in a week, an anti-terrorism court issued an arrest warrant for the former President, Pervez Musharraf, in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. G20 Finance Ministers in Paris reached a compromise deal to correct global economic India's Narain Karthikeyan finished ninth for Hispania Racing Team, clocking a best of one minute and 28.393 seconds during his 116 laps on the first day of the Formula One pre-season testing session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.


Pakistani Qawwali (Sufi devotional music) singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and his manager have been slapped a penalty of Rs.15 lakh each and the foreign currency found in their possession by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Delhi airport a week ago has been confiscated. The Navy is shoring up its hydrographical facilities by acquiring six new survey ships, even as the force continues to provide its services to neighbours in the Indian Ocean region. Ahead of an international seminar on hydrography starting in New Delhi on March 1, the country's Chief Hydrographer Vice Admiral B.R. Rao said these ships being built at Indian yards would be equipped with the latest maps and advanced equipment.

Uganda's long-time president has won another term, the country's election commission said, but the top opposition leader alleged the election was fraudulent and vowed to reject the results. President Yoweri Museveni won 68 per cent of votes in Friday's poll, allowing him to extend his 25-year hold on power. The Indian consumer's insatiable appetite for gold continued unabated in 2010 when it remained the strongest growth market for it and total annual consumer demand for gold grew 66 per cent at 963.1 tonnes over 578.5 tonnes in the previous year.


Describing the 26/11 terror attack here as "indeed the rarest of rare cases involving uncommon and unprecedented crime," the Bombay High Court upheld the death sentence awarded by the trial court to the lone surviving gunman, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab. It also upheld the acquittal of coaccused Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed for want of corroborative evidence. The first reactor at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, the RAPS-1 at Rawatbhatta, near Kota, has been shut down permanently since October 2004. The natural uranium fuel has been taken out of the reactor, and the heavy water, which acted as both coolant and moderator, drained from it. The 100 MWe reactor has not been decommissioned though. As Libya hurtled into further violence, India has worked out contingency plans to ensure the safety of its nationals especially in Benghazi. With no consular presence outside Tripoli, India is contacting other countries, especially from the European Union, whose citizens are trapped in cities where fighting is rampant. Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati on Monday briefed the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on the long-standing demand by Dalit Christians and

Dalit Muslims that they be given reservation, the way Dalit Buddhists are, as per the 1950 Presidential Order. Violent protests rocked the Andhra Pradesh capital throughout the day, as pro-Telangana students repeatedly clashed at different places with security forces who foiled their ,,Chalo Assembly' plan. The jailed chairman of the outlawed United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Rajkumar Meghen alias Sanayaima, renewed the offer made to the Centre that the outfit would lay down arms before United Nations authorities if the Centre allowed a plebiscite in Manipur in the presence of UN representatives and arrange for the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in the troubled State. Egypt's top prosecutor requested the freezing of the foreign assets of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his family, announced state TV. The President's domestic assets were frozen soon after he stepped down, they added. The freeze applies to Mr. Mubarak, his wife, his two sons and two daughters-in-law, said the officials. The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday questioned Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot and his brother and Rajya Sabha member Rajkumar Dhoot in connection with the allocation of 2G spectrum in 200708. They were called to the CBI headquarters here and questioned for over seven hours and confronted with documents of their changing share capital from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 150 crore


The Delhi High Court has declared illegal strikes resorted to by a section of the doctors at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here on three occasions in 2007. They had gone on strike even after the Supreme Court in 2006 had asked the AIIMS authorities to withdraw the punitive orders

passed against those who had gone on strike in May 2006 upon their joining duty. As a part of the second phase of ongoing vulture conservation efforts in the country, a new For the first time in the country's minting history, the Union Government will issue coins of Rs. 150 denomination, marking the number of years of taxation in India. Reports have revealed that Raymond Davis, the United States embassy employee who has been jailed for killing two Pakistani citizens, worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. The just concluded Reliance Industries' $7.2-billion mega oil and gas deal with BP has come as a ,,breath of fresh air' for RIL, which has been struggling to maintain a stable output from its KG basin D6 field in the last few months, raising concerns over the real estimates from the find. The Union Sports Ministry has initiated a debate in its bid to introduce a set of stringent laws to regulate National sports bodies in order to bring in more accountability and transparency in their functioning. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the government's decision to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the 2G spectrum allocation scam. The winter session was washed out with the Opposition demanding the setting up of a JPC to probe the spectrum allocation which, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), had caused a "presumptive" loss of Rs.1.76-lakh crore to the exchequer. Abducted Malkangiri Collector R. Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi were released in the Chitrakonda area of the district on 22nd February 2011 as soon as the Orissa government agreed to Maoists' demands. In a historic order, the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) granted minority institution status to the Jamia Millia

Islamia University. This will allow the Jamia Millia -- started in 1920 and declared a Central university by an Act of Parliament in 1988 -- to reserve up to 50 per cent seats for Muslims. Accepting the "pre-planned conspiracy" theory of the prosecution, a special fast track court -- appointed by the Gujarat High Court on the orders of the Supreme Court --convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others in the Godhra train burning case. Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express, in which 59 people, mostly ,,kar sevaks' returning from Ayodhya were travelling, was burnt on February 27, 2002 at the Godhra station. All the 31 accused were held guilty on two major counts -- Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.


In a bid to accommodate the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and smaller parties, the United Progressive Alliance government agreed to expand the Joint Parliamentary Committee, being set up to examine the 2G spectrum scam, to accommodate 30 members. "We've decided to have a 30member panel to accommodate smaller parties," government sources said. With representation of parties depending on their strength in Parliament, the AIADMK would have been excluded had the government stuck to its original plan of having a 21-member JPC. The government's concession was prompted by its concern that parties not represented in the JPC should not further embarrass it in Parliament. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the Indian Ambassador in Libya was seeking permission for planes and ships to evacuate the 18,000 Indians, 13,000 around Tripoli and the remaining scattered in the east of the country. Defying escalating rumours of his imminent exit, the embattled ViceChancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, managed to stay on in his post. However, Mr. Vastanvi's long-term

future continues to be in suspense, with the Majlis-e-Shura (governing council of the Islamic seminary) directing a three-member committee to look into the disturbances following his appointment -- on the campus as well as outside it. The Shura also nominated Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani (Banarasi) to the vacant post of karguzar mohtamim (working Vice-Chancellor), with the caveat that Mr. Nomani will take over from Mr. Vastanvi in the event the committee ruled against the latter. A "Workers' March to Parliament" in New Delhi saw a heavy turnout of workers of various central trade unions protesting against price rise, unemployment, labour law violations and disinvestment. The participating organisations included the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the All-India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), the Trade Union Coordination Centre, the All-India Central Council of Trade Unions and the United Trade Union Congress. A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra passed this order, disposing of an appeal filed by Baldev Singh and two others against a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment upholding the trial court's order of 10-year Rigorous Imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1,000 each. Chinese officials have ruled out the likelihood of unrest after calls for a "Jasmine Revolution" circulated on the Internet, saying Chinese people had "a common aspiration" for stability and development. The call for protests in 13 Chinese cities, which originated from a United States-based website, received little response. Nevertheless, the government appeared to take the threat seriously. Over the weekend, deployment of police forces was increased in some cities, restrictions placed on the Internet and dozens of lawyers and activists detained. Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi appeared to have tightened his grip on capital Tripoli, but the opposition continued to expand its influence in the

eastern parts, edging ever closer to the strategic oil bearing area of the country. After his furious address on state television, where he threatened retribution against Libyans involved in the revolt, Mr. Qadhafi's supporters, who had been called out by their leader to rout the protesters, poured into Tripoli's Green Square. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has clarified that a National Olympic Committee (NOC) was within its rights to take decisions specific to a country while meeting the mandatory requirements imposed by it regarding constitutional provisions. The question related to the recent IOC approval of the redrafted IOA constitution that was adopted by its General Assembly at Ranchi, continuing to give voting rights to State Olympic associations, as against the wishes of the IOC, as made known last July.


Continuing its grilling of corporate honchos, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday questioned at least seven of them in connection with its ongoing probe into the 2G spectrum scam. Mr. Qaddafi's loyalists in Libya have launched a counterattack, deploying heavy weapons, to dislodge the opposition at Zawiya, around 48 km west of the capital. An eyewitness told Al Jazeera television that around 30 cars full of soldiers surrounded the city's "martyrs square" where around a thousand protesters had assembled. According to this account, which could not be corroborated independently because of the media blackout imposed by the regime, the firing continued for around five hours, leading to heavy casualties. Pakistan on Thursday cited the United States Senate report ,,Avoiding Water Wars in South and Central Asia' as a vindication of its stance that construction of dams by India on the western rivers in ,,Occupied Kashmir' was in violation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in a sex crimes inquiry, a British judge ruled, rejecting claims by the WikiLeaks founder that he would not face a fair trial there. Mr. Assange's lawyer said he would appeal. Judge Howard Riddle said the allegations of rape and sexual molestation by two women against Mr. Assange meet the definition of extraditable offences and said the Swedish warrant had been properly issued and was valid. Israel warned militants in the Gaza Strip not to "test" the Jewish state, as fighter jets pounded targets across the coastal enclave after a Palestinian rocket attack. Slamming into a house, it was the first rocket to strike Israel's city of Beersheva since the devastating 2008-2009 Gaza war. "I don't suggest anyone test the determination of the state of Israel," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The warning came after 24 hours of tit-for-tat violence along Israel-Gaza border. Early on Thursday, Israeli jets raided sites across the coastal strip. Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) has announced the launch of trading in Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) on its platform. A total buy bid of 125 non-solar REC and 11 solar REC was received in the first trading session, the country's leading electricity exchange said here in a statement. "This is a great milestone in the history of renewable energy in India. It will create new opportunities for renewable and co-generation power plants," the statement added.



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