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Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 4 No. 51 CITY EDITION 24 Pages Rs. 8.00
NEW DELHI: For Ram Karan
Singh, an Arjuna Award win-
ner in athletics, going for the
Asian Games trial in April now
looks like a far-fetched dream.
The 23-year-old, who was par-
tially visually challenged, lost
his eyesight completely after
he was injured in the police
actiononThursday. The police
highhandedness took place
during a protest against is-
suance of an ordinance on the
Rights of Persons withDisabil-
ities Bill.
The activists of Persons
with Disabilities, who were a
part of All India Disabilities
Alliance, were protesting out-
side Congress vice-president
Rahul Gandhi's residence
when the police used force to
evict them. They wanted to
meet Mr. Gandhi and convey
their message to the President
requesting himnot to sign the
ordinance on Rights of Per-
sons with Disabilities Bill as is
being planned by the UPA
Earlier in the day, my
friends were protesting
against the Bill at the All India
Congress Committee office. In
the evening, I got to know they
were lathi-charged; some of
my visually challenged friends
and I went to support them.
We were protesting in front of
Mr. Gandhis residence where
the police had erected barri-
cades. When we tried to cross
them, the policemen hit us
with lathis, said Mr. Singh,
talking to The Hindu.
I was hit on my left eye and
several of my friends too were
injured. We were takento Ram
Manohar Lohia Hospital,
where the doctors told me that
the lens of my eye had been
dislocated. I cannot see any-
thing after that incident, he
Mr. Singh had lost his eye-
sight in an accident when he
was 14 but was able to see with
his right eye after he was oper-
ated upon in 2006. That is
when he applied for the Cel-
lOne Marathon in Delhi in the
disabled category and won the
gold medal in athletics. This
was the rst step towards a
sporting career and he never
looked back.
In 2010, he received a silver
medal in the Asian Games; in
2011, he won a bronze in the
World Championship in Tur-
key; and in 2012, the presti-
gious Arjuna Award was
conferred on him.
Arjuna awardee loses
sight in police action
Kritika Sharma
Ram Karan Singh
ter, Mr. Paswantold Mr. Modi.
Mr Paswan wanted to meet Mr.
Modi, but the latter was busy.
Mr. Paswans somersault
from being a staunch critic of
Mr. Modi to a follower was
not sudden; it happened over
the past few months, sources
said. His disagreement withthe
Congress and the Rashtriya Ja-
nata Dal over sharing of seats
was insignicant.
He was clear where he
wanted to be, a BJP source
In December, Mr. Paswans
brother Pashupati Nath Paras
approached leaders of the BJP
Bihar unit for an alliance.
The BJP leaders were wary
in the beginning, as they feared
that Mr. Paswan was trying to
use the party as a bargaining
chip with the Congress.
But Mr. Modi let the party
president keep the conversa-
tion going, aided by Bihar lead-
ers Sushil Modi, Ravishankar
Prasad and Shahnawaz
To test Mr. Paswans seri-
ousness, the BJP asked him to
state publicly his revised posi-
tion on Mr. Modi.
Early this week, the LJP
chiefs son Chirag Paswan said,
The courts had given a clean
chit to Mr. Modi, and the Guj-
arat riots were no longer
While the Congress offered
the LJP three of Bihars six re-
served constituencies, where
Mr Paswan, his sonand brother
would have contested, the BJP
gave him seven. The seventh,
Nalanda, is not a stronghold of
either party.
NEW DELHI: As he nalised an
alliance with BJP president
Rajnath Singh on Thursday
night, Lok Jan Shakti Party
chief Ram Vilas Paswan
phoned Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi at Gujarat Bha-
wan in the national capital.
I amwith you and will work
to make you the Prime Minis-
Paswan vows to make Modi Prime Minister
Varghese K. George
Sahara chief in custody
LAW AT WORK: Subrata Roy, head of the Sahara group, being taken
away in a police vehicle from the Chief Judicial Magistrates court in
Lucknow on Friday, after his arrest. The Supreme Court refused to
hear his application for recall of the non-bailable warrant issued on
Woman set on re
NEW DELHI: Burnt and
dragged down fromthe
second oor by her
husband on Thursday
evening, a 24-year-old
woman fromGhaziabad is
battling for life at the
Capital's Guru Teg Bahadur
Hospital. With an oxygen
mask being the only
distinguishable thing on a
face burnt beyond
recognition and a body with
several broken bones,
doctors have said her
chances of survival are
Page 5
NEW DELHI: Ending days of sus-
pense, the Union Cabinet on
Friday recommended imposi-
tion of Presidents Rule in
Andhra Pradesh while keep-
ing the Assembly in suspend-
ed animation.
There was political uncer-
tainty after Chief Minister N.
Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned
and quit the Congress in pro-
test against the decision to bi-
furcate the State. Placing the
Assembly under suspended
animation is a mere technical-
ity as its termends on June 1.
Andhra Pradesh will have si-
multaneous Assembly and
Lok Sabha elections.
While the Congress, the
TRS and the YSR Congress
justied the decision, TDP
chief N. Chandrababu Naidu
called it a blot on democracy.
Former Finance Minister
Anam Ramanarayana Reddy
said installation of a new gov-
ernment ahead of the election
would have been irrational.
Another former Minister, J.
Geetha Reddy, said the Con-
gress high command had opt-
ed for Presidents Rule taking
into account all aspects.
Seemandhra Congress lead-
ers had lobbied for postpone-
ment of the Assembly
elections, saying it would help
cool tempers over the creation
of Telangana. But the proposal
was not legally tenable.
(With additional reporting
by Ravi Reddy in Hyderabad)
Andhra Pradesh to be
under Presidents Rule
Assembly will be kept in suspended animation
B. Muralidhar Reddy &
Anita Joshua
Chandrababu Naidu
calls it a blot on
Editorial: Waiting for
bifurcation; more reports
on Page 12
NEW DELHI: Indias Gross Do-
mestic Product (GDP) grew at
4.7 per cent during October-
December 2013, the seventh
successive quarter when the
rate was below 5 per cent.
The official data released
on Friday dashed expecta-
tions that the economy had
bottomed out. Finance
Minister P Chidambaram,
presenting the interim bud-
get, had said growth in the
third and fourth quarters
would be at least 5.2 per cent.
With no more data releases
scheduled, the UPA will have
to go to the polls with a sub-5
per cent growth rate.
The government was
over-optimistic, but there's a
doubt on that upturn now,
the former Chief Economic
Advisor Arvind Virmani told
The Hindu.
Shrinking output in key
sectors such as mining and
quarrying, and manufactur-
ing dragged down overall
hopes on
growth dashed
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: Just days ahead of
the announcement of the Lok
Sabha elections, the Union
Cabinet on Friday increased
the dearness allowance (DA)
of Union government em-
ployees and dearness relief
(DR) of pensioners by 10 per
cent of the basic pay, taking
the rate to 100 per cent.
It xed the minimum
monthly pension paid by the
Employees Provident Fund
Organisation at Rs. 1,000.
The new rate, effective from
April 1, is expected to benet
28 lakh pensioners.
Further beneting govern-
ment employees, the Cabinet
approved the terms of refer-
ence for the Seventh Pay
Commissionset uptosuggest
wage and allowance revision.
The increased DA and DR,
which will benet 50 lakh
employees and 30 lakh pen-
sioners and family pension-
ers, will be given with
retrospective effect from Ja-
nuary 1 in cash, but not be-
fore the disbursement of
March salary.
The decision to increase
the amount will cost the ex-
chequer Rs. 11,074.8 crore a
year and Rs. 12,920.6 crore
for 14 months from January
2014 to February 2015).
Union Cabinet rolls out
benets package, hikes DA
J. Balaji
More reports on Page 12
Petrol, diesel
prices increased
NEW DELHI: Oil companies
raised the price of petrol
by 60 paise a litre and of
diesel by 50 paise with
effect fromFriday
midnight. Announcing the
decision, Indian Oil said
international oil rates had
risen and the rupee
depreciated against the
dollar. PTI
Five policemen killed
in Naxal ambush
RAIPUR: Five policemen
were killed and two
injured in an ambush by
Maoists in Chhattisgarhs
Dantewada district on
Friday. The rebels opened
re froma distance, as the
police teamreached a hilly
tract at Shyamagiri.
Page 12
Better benets
for the disabled
NEW DELHI: The Cabinet
Committee on Economic
Affairs on Friday approved
revised benets under the
Scheme of Assistance to
Disabled Persons for
Purchase/Fitting of Aids/
Page 12
4 Pages