Nation & States
Government offers to talk
to Manipur insurgents

What is India News Service, August 17, 2004, 2100 hrs IST

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Tuesday said the Government was willing to hold unconditional talks with "anybody ... willing to talk to us" to bring back normalcy to the sensitive border state of Manipur.

"Our policy is very clear. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day address has said the government is willing to talk to anybody willing to talk to us," Patil said in Rajya Sabha while replying to clarifications sought by members.

"If the government is talking to militants in Jammu and Kashmir, insurgents in Nagaland, and Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh, it finds no problem in talking to insurgents in Manipur," he said. Meanwhile, Manipur plunged into fresh turmoil Monday as a student leader, who had set himself on fire Sunday, died of burns. 

Tainted ministers\92 issue rocks Parliament: The tainted ministers\92 issue resurfaced in Parliament today as both Houses met for the first time after a three-week recess, with Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha creating a pandemonium and later walking out as the Chairman refused to allow discussion on the issue. The hearing on the Bihar Government's plea to withdraw the criminal case against Taslimuddin was deferred as the Judicial Magistrate took ill and went on leave.

KGL opens new channel with captors: The fate of Antaryami, Tilak Raj and Sukhdev, the three Indian truck drivers abducted in Iraq on July 21, remains unclear even as well-placed South Block sources said that their Kuwaiti employers, Kuwait Gulf Link, had opened a new channel for negotiation.
Don't dumb down India, Shourie tells journalists: The pioneer of investigative journalism was in his elements at the Pioneer Media School's first convocation. Arun Shourie, Rajya Sabha MP, outlined a series of dos and don'ts that would stand not only fresh graduates but also experienced hacks in good stead.


Delhi cops shoot militant dead: A Pakistani national and a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiyba (LeT) was killed in an encounter with Delhi Police in Dwarka on Monday. DCP, Special Cell, Ashok Chand said the militant has been identified as Abid alias Vicky, a Pakistani national who was hiding in the Capital in order to disrupt Independence Day celebrations.

Kerala cabinet reshuffle back in focus: The issue of Kerala Cabinet reshuffle is once again in the limelight after umpteen slips between the cup and the lip. The last time the issue hotted up early this month when Chief Minister A.K. Antony was called to New Delhi by the Congress high command but it suddenly faded away when he was asked to put off the visit because the high command had not completed its home work.

New prosecutor for Best Bakery case: The contentious issue of appointing a Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) to conduct the trial in the Best Bakery case before the Mumbai designated court was finally put to rest today.

Singer Jikki is dead: Well-known singer P.G. Krishnaveni (70) in Chennai on Monday following an ailment caused by cancer. She had sung about 10,000 songs in south Indian films.


Terrorists relocating to cities, says Musharraf: The Pakistani president said military operations had pushed foreign terror masterminds on the defensive.

5 Pakistani soldiers killed: Five paramilitary troops were killed and 12 others were wounded on Monday in two attacks.

Troops launch search operation in Raghzai: Hundreds of troops started a search operation in South Waziristan on Monday to track down militants, officials and
eyewitnesses said.

Qaeda may have plotted new attack at Wana: US and Pakistani authorities fear Al Qaeda is plotting a new major attack after a March \93terrorist summit\94 in Pakistan, Time magazine reported. At the same time, a spokesman for Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations played down the report. 

Strike paralyses Bangladesh: The Awami League, Bangladesh's main opposition party, enforced a half-day countrywide general strike on Sunday, demanding 'immediate execution of a lower court verdict against the killers of former president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman'.

Journalist murder condemned:
The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) and a group of human rights organisations have condemned the reported killing of journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa by Maoist rebels in west Nepal last week.

Pakistani banks may open in India: Pakistan is likely to allow national commercial banks to open branches in India. Sources told Daily Times that the matter came up in last week\92s trade talks, which were part of the ongoing composite dialogue between Pakistan and India .

Bombs explode near hotel: Four bombs exploded in the backyard of the five-star Soaltee Hotelin in Kathmandu Monday evening.

Tamil party official killed: Unidentified gunmen, allegedly members of the LTTE, shot dead yet another anti-LTTE Tamil on Monday in the heart of Colombo. 

View from abroad 

Congressional candidate calls Akhtar a terrorist in ad: A Pakistani man charged with immigration violations after filming skyscrapers is described as a \93terrorist\94 who came to the United States \93to kill you\94 in a new television ad from a North Carolina congressional candidate.

Bush woos Indian Americans: The Bush-Cheney team has sent e-mail to the Indian community explaining why Republicans are their best bet.

Indian restaurateur charged with fraud: Charles Patel, the former owner of the recently shut Newbury Street restaurant, Milano\92s Italian Kitchen in Boston, has been charged with a $171,000 bank fraud. He appeared in federal court for the first time on August 11 following his indictment on charges of bank fraud.

FBI accused of cover-up:
An alleged American bounty hunter on trial for running a private jail, kidnapping and torturing prisoners in Afghanistan on Monday accused FBI agents of seizing evidence proving his links to US authorities.

Over 150 Nepalese workers send SOS from Dubai: Recruited by a Kathmandu-based agency, workers say that they were duped and kept without food and water in a labour camp.


Home minister offered unconditional talks:
Shivraj Patil said the government was willing to talk to agitators and insurgents in Manipur.

Musharraf said terrorists were moving to the cities: He said they were on the run, but warned that they were relocating.

Bush began wooing Indian Americans:
The Bush-Cheney team has sent e-mail to the Indian community explaining why Republicans are their best bet.