CAS ‘honeymoon’ period scrapped
Mumbai (PTI): The pre-CAS “honeymoon” period offer of all television channels for Rs 72 plus taxes in the four metros is off.
The proposal was scrapped at the first meeting of the implementation committee on CAS held here on Tuesday with the broadcasters not agreeing to it, sources said.
The meeting convened by additional secretary in the I&B ministry Vijay Singh was attended by broadcasters, multi-system operators and cable operators to discuss CAS, which is to roll out zone-wise from September 1 in the four metros.
Though the government was hoping that the broadcasters would come out with new rates for pay channels, they have stuck to the prices declared by them at the last meeting with the ministry officials in June.
The proposal of Rs 72 for all channels was to be effective from August 1 according to an agreement among stake- holders.
While the government said it was to be for all cable viewers till they went into the CAS regime, the broadcasters said it was meant to be a month’s “honeymoon” period for each zone before they moved on to CAS.
However, the stakeholders were bound only by a ”gentleman’s agreement” and there was no legal binding on them to follow it.
Raje suspends quota spearhead
Jaipur: Rajasthan BJP president Vasundhara Raje has suspended the spearhead of the movement for economic reservation, Devi Singh Bhati, from the party, reports our correspondent.
Bhati had recently threatened to heckle Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at a public rally in Jaipur on August 10, “if he failed to announce quota for the upper caste poor”.
State BJP vice-president Onkar Singh Lakhawat said Bhati had been criticising the party’s programmes in league with the Congress.
Bhati had also been critical of Raje ever since she constituted the new state executive in which he was ignored.
The suspension of Bhati, a Rajput, could cost dear for the BJP since his campaign for quotas had struck a chord among the community.
Hate attack on Sikhs in US
New York (PTI): A Sikh family was roughed up by three drunken white youths, who mistook them for Arabs in Queens, a New York suburb. No one was seriously hurt in the Sunday attack as, police said, they had declined medical care. The police said Surinder Singh was walking home with his family and a cousin when three men approached him. They mistook Surinder for an Arab for his beard and turban. They taunted the family whose efforts to explain that they are Sikhs proved futile. While they were returning after picking up dinner from a restaurant they were attacked.
Varanasi (PTI): An American businessman was found dead in his friend’s house in Maqbool Ala Road, police said. Smith Jaccy Kepan, 39, who arrived in India three weeks ago, was found dead on Monday, SSP, Varanasi, K.S. Pratap said. A preliminary report suggests he may have died of heart failure.
HDFC bank looted
Pune (PTI): Two robbers stormed into the HDFC bank in Nigdi and looted over Rs 18 lakh at gunpoint. The duo arrived on a motorcycle. Flashing their guns at the cashier, they took away the cash from the strong room, police said. The bike was later found abandoned in Nigdi.
Cop dies of stress
Mumbai (PTI): A police constable who worked 48 hours at a stretch died due to stress-related problems in a hospital on Sunday, police said. Vishwas Chogule was admitted to a hospital on July 31 after he complained of uneasiness. He had worked two days at a stretch following the blast in Jogeshwari and the bandh called by the Shiv Sena.
Boulogne-Sur-mer (France) (AFP): A criminal court in northern France has sentenced two Britons to nine months in prison for attempting to smuggle illegal Indian immigrants from France into Britain. Tammy Stickells, 24, and Terry Stephens, 23 — both from Kent — tried to board a Britain-bound ferry in the french port of Calais in their Rover, which was towing a trailer. French agents inspecting vehicles before boarding discovered 12 Indian immigrants, including a minor, hidden in the trailer.
Shrinking grazing resources and increase in diseases has resulted in a decline in camel population. The species would soon become endangered in India. The population of camels under four years, has seen a 50 per cent decrease in the last five years.