AP to release Rs 1,000 crore dues of BC students

Hyderabad, June 30: Andhra Pradesh Government would immediately release dues amounting to Rs 1,000 crore towards reimbursement of fee for students belonging to backward classes pursuing professional courses in the state.

This was announced by Chief Minister K Rosaiah today after an all-party meeting here.

The fee reimbursement scheme would also cover students belonging to economically backward classes. The total dues under the scheme amount to Rs 2,083 crore, including Rs 600 crore this financial year with the number of beneficiaries touching 25.44 lakh this year, he said.

‘Piped gas to all houses in state in 5 years’

Rajhmundary, June 30: Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNG R B ) c h a i r m a n M Mansingh said that piped gas would be supplied to all houses in the state in three to five years.

Participating as chief guest in the round table session on access code issues organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today, he said a meeting would be held with chief minister K Rosaiah in Hyderabad tomorrow in this connection.

Rosaiah uses media to wrongfoot Opposition

Hyderabad, June 30: Chief Minister K Rosaiah today thwarted attempts by Opposition leaders to corner him on the fee reimbursement issue by holding discussions with them in the presence of the media.

Clearly dismayed by the turn of events, the Opposition saw it as a strategy to wriggle out of the mess by using the media as a cover.

From the Government’s point of view, the idea behind live coverage was to check the Opposition from indulging in double talk.

CBI custody for Mecca Masjid blast accused

Hyderabad, June 30: A local court Tuesday sent Lokesh Sharma, the second accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, to 10 days Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody.

The 14th additional chief metropolitan magistrate passed the orders on a petition by CBI, which is probing the 2007 blast.

Sharma will be in CBI’s custody from June 30 till July 9. Though CBI had sought his custody for 15 days, the court only agreed to 10 days.

Devender Gupta, the other accused in the case, is already in CBI custody till June 30.

26 CRPF men slain in Naxal ambush

Hyderabad, June 30: In the third major attack since April 6 Dantewada massacre, the Maoists on Tuesday killed at least 26 CRPF jawans near Jharaghati under Dhaudei police station limits in Narayanpur district, Chhattisgarh.

Confirming the toll in the Maoist attack that began at 3 p.m., Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said reinforcements, including doctors from neighbouring CRPF camps, had been rushed to treat the injured.

BJP to intensify stir on fee reimbursement

Hyderabad, June 30: The State unit of the BJP has decided to intensify the ongoing agitation on fee reimbursement and continuance of welfare schemes. Party leaders at a meeting held here today discussed the indefinite fast being observed by BJP state president G Kishan Reddy at Gandhi Hospital. They felt it was the right time to corner the Congress and the state government on public issues.

The meeting also felt the need to enlist support of other political parties and BC organisations in the agitation.

Survey for six new rail lines

Chittor, June 30: Union Minister of State for Railways KH Muniyappa, who inaugurated the newly-converted Pakala-Dharmavaram broad gauge section on Tuesday, said six new cost sharing projects having a length of 766 km at a cost of Rs 3,466 crore (state’s contribution to be Rs 1,839 crore) would be taken up in the state.

The railway ministry has approved construction of 12 railway underbridges/overbridges (ROBs/RUBs) with the state government’s contribution. Seven stations will be developed as model station and nine identified for development of multifunctional complexes.

No change in Polavaram design: Minister

New Delhi, June 30: Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today said that as of now there was no proposal before the Centre for any change in the design of the Polavaram project.

Speaking to newsmen after meeting a delegation of Telugu Desam leaders, he said the ministry was processing the file and the delay in according final clearances was on account of escalation in cost visa- vis the original estimates.

As for the contentious Babli project taken up by Maharashtra, Bansal said he would convene a meeting of chief ministers to sort out the issue.

HC relief for traditional Kakinada port

Hyderabad, June 30: Justice NV Ramana of the AP High Court quashed a State Government decision permitting the handling of fertilizer cargo at the Deep Water Port instead of the Anchorage Port.

The judge allowed writ petitions filed by the Kakinada Port Steel Barges and Deep Water Port Workers’ Union and held that while framing policies it “must balance its economic interests vis-a-vis the interest of its citizens, and in the guise of policy decisions they cannot confer more benefits on the private parties than what the original agreement/ contract conferred”.

Bypolls don’t impact Telangana row: JAC

Hyderabad, June 30: The steering panel of the Telangana Joint Action Committee has warned the people of the region not to expect too much from the coming elections and reminded them it would not be the deciding factor for a separate State.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Akula Bhoomaiah, a member of the committee, said: “There is a conspiracy on the part of the State and Central governments and other inimical forces to finish off the Telangana movement.

Sonia gives a patient hearing to Jagan

New Delhi, June 30: Kapada MP and late YSR’s heir-apparent YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met Congress president Sonia Gandhi along with his mother and sister here on Monday evening.

The meeting that took place at Sonia’s residence, 10 Janpath, lasted for nearly 40 minutes.

Though a subdued Jagan and family refused to talk to the media after the meeting, it was understood that he came to request the Congress president to allow him to resume his Odarpu Yatra and also discuss “some political issues of the state’’.

Coronation fest on grand scale

Hyderabad, June 30: Ministers J Geeta Reddy and N Raghuveera Reddy wanted the the 500th coronation ceremony of Sri Krishnadevaraya to be celebrated on a grand scale.

They addressed the district collectors through video conference here today.

The celebrations would be held in 10 districts including Hyderabad.

The month-long festivities would begin on July 5 and end on August 8.

APNGO groups clash over allotment of house sites

Hyderabad, June 30: An internal feud between two groups of Andhra Pradesh Non- Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association over house sites allotment marred the day-long dharna of Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Employees, Teachers and Workers organised across the state on Tuesday.

The JAC took up a day-long dharna at all District Collectorates to pressurise the state government to solve their pending demands for hike in house rent allowance and filling up vacant posts in the state government.

‘Scheming leaders behind fee scheme stir’

Hyderabad, June 30: Chief Minister K Rosaiah has no doubt that a conspiracy was behind the agitation launched by BC leader R Krishnaiah and State BJP chief Kishan Reddy on the fee reimbursement issue.

“Yes. Cent per cent. I have enough information to justify what I have said,” Rosaiah thundered at a meeting with leaders of opposition parties when the latter sought to know on what basis the chief minister saw the role of “some people somewhere” backing the stir.

Move to affiliate Medak colleges with TU stalled

Hyderabad, June 30: The state government’s move to affiliate all professional colleges in Medak district to Telangana University (TU) in Nizamabad district was strongly opposed by Cabinet ministers – Geeta Reddy and Sunitha Lakshma Reddy – besides TRS senior leader T Harish Rao who hails from the district.

The result: Decision withdrawn! In March, the department of Higher Education has decided to affiliate all the private, aided, unaided and government colleges in Adilabad, Medak and Nizamabad districts to TU.

Village Revenue Officer in ACB net

Hyderabad, June 30: A village revenue officer in Karimnagar district was caught today by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) while accepting a bribe.

The VRO of Peddarathupalli in Kalvasrirampur mandal, YV Phaninder Rao, was caught red-handed by the ACB sleuths today morning near the Zilla Parishad High School in Kalvasrirampur when he took Rs 2,200 from a person to deliver a title deed. Phaninder Rao would be produced before a special court for ACB cases in Hyderabad, an official release said.

CBI gets 10-day custody of Lokesh Sharma

Hyderabad, June 30: A city court granted 10-day custody of Lokesh Sharma, one of the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today.

Lokesh Sharma will be in the custody of the CBI from tomorrow till July 9. The court gave the orders after the investigating agency filed a petition yesterday seeking custody of Sharma in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast case.

File report by July 1: Court tells NIMS

Hyderabad, June 30: CBI today directed the NIMS hospital to file a fresh report regarding the health condition of former Satyam chairman B Ramalinga Raju before July 1, even as CBI filed a memo seeking a second opinion report through an independent committee of doctors.

The XXI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court sought a fresh report from NIMS director, seeking to clarify whether Raju is fit to be produced before the court under medical care while undergoing treatment as an in-patient.

No information on India-Pakistan cricket ties: Chidambaram

New Delhi, June 30: Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday said he had no information about the possible resumption of India-Pakistan cricketing ties.

“I have no information on this,” he replied when asked if the two countries had agreed to resume their cricketing ties stalled in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

According to media reports in Pakistan, the revival of the Test series was very much on the cards as the matter was discussed on the sidelines of the foreign secretaries’ meeting in Islamabad last week.

Militants kill 11 Algerian border guards

Algier, June 30: Suspected Islamist militants have killed 11 Algerian border guards in an apparent revenge attack near the country’s border with Mali, news reports said Wednesday.

The Algerian internet news site Tout Sur Algerie reported that the border guards were ambushed in the province of Tamanrasset.

A day earlier security forces had reportedly killed a high ranking member of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb organisation near the border with Mauritania.

–Agencies

Banks fix base rate between 7 and 8.5 per cent

Mumbai, June 30: Several banks today fixed their minimum lending or base rate at as high as 8.5 per cent, even as major players, including HDFC Bank and Citi Bank, pegged their rates below 7.5 per cent announced by SBI and ICICI, leading public and private sector banks.

“ICICI Bank base rate (I-Base) is fixed at 7.5 per cent, effective July 1,” the lender said in a late night statement.

The lowest rate of 7 per cent came from some small private banks– Dhanalakshmi Bank and DBS Bank– followed by HDCF Bank and leading foreign lender Citi Bank at 7.25 per cent each.

RBI cautions people against fraudulent e-mails

Chandigarh, June 30: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Wednesday cautioned the public against fraudulent e-mails on winning millions of rupees in lotteries.

“Recently, we have come to know that residents of this part of the country are getting mails through Internet about the winning lotteries worth millions of rupees. We appeal to the people to remain very cautious and ignore such mails,” said Jasbir Singh, the RBI’s regional director.

BJP claims Kandhamal riot convict MLA ‘innocent’

Bhubaneswar, Jun 30 (PTI) The Orissa BJP today claimed that Kandhamal riots convict BJP MLA Manoj Kumar Pradhan was innocent and demanded arrest of those behind the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.

Alleging that hundreds of innocent people, including Pradhan, were harassed by police, BJP state president Jual Oram said “what happened in Kandhamal was the reaction over the merciless killing of Saraswati.”

He said police should nab those involved in the killing of Saraswati instead of harassing “innocent people”.

CID looking for woman Maoist leader

Kolkata, June 30: After the arrest of five Maoists, including a top aide of senior leaders Kishenji and Telgu Dipak, who led the 2007 Nandigram movement, the CID was today looking for a woman leader.

The CID, which arrested the five from South 24 Parganas district adjoining the metropolis yesterday, became aware of the woman leader after seizing a letter which was to be delivered to her by one of the arrested Maoists.