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Friday, February 02, 2001

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"The Hindu Relief Fund" for quake victims
The suffering and devastation of an unprecedented magnitude wrought by the Gujarat earthquake call for relief and rehabilitation on a massive scale. The Hindu Group of Publications invites its readers to join hands in the humanitarian task of raising funds in aid of the victims of this national calamity.

Govt. slaps quake tax
In an effort to mop up funds for quake-hit Gujarat, the Union Cabinet today decided to levy a two per cent additional surcharge on income tax and corporate tax for the current financial year. The `quake tax', which had been under consideration for some days, is expected to generate an additional Rs. 1,300 crores to be entirely dedicated for relief and rehabilitation in the State.

 Fear of epidemic increases
Fears of epidemic grew today amidst bodies decomposing for the seventh day under the rubble of buildings devastated by the killer quake as complaints about relief measures were voiced in the worst-affected Bhuj, Anjar and some other areas of Kutch region in Gujarat.

 Rehabilitation, main concern: PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, today said the Centre's Government's primary concern now was to undertake rehabilitation work on a war-footing in Gujarat.

 Hindujas' plea to leave rejected
Accepting the CBI's objections that they might not return to India to face trial, the special court for CBI cases today rejected the plea of the three Hinduja brothers accused in the `Rs. 64 crore Bofors payoffs case', to leave the country.

Rumours of tremors
Rumours of a mild quake in Sri Lanka gained strength after the State-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) announced today that a government scientist had felt a series of tremors in an upmarket neighbourhood of the capital on Wednesday evening.

Bookies held
Chandigarh police today claimed to have busted a gang of bookies allegedly involved in betting on yesterday's one-day international cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka with the arrest of six persons.

 Quake bridges communal divide
Overwhelmed by the Muslims' gesture in providing succour to the quake victims in Gujarat, Hindus swept and scoured a Shahi Masjid and invited their brethren to offer `namaaz' at the place of worship situated in the communally- sensitive Khadia area of the city.

Govt. to reduce share in VSNL, CMC
The Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment today decided to reduce the Government's share in Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) to 26 per cent from the present 52.97 per cent.

Fresh tremors in Bhuj
As many as seven tremors measuring between 3.0 and 4.8 on the Richter scale today rattled the worst-affected Bhuj district in Gujarat causing panic among the people, met officials said here.

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