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Tuesday, February 20, 2001

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 Ready for talks with any group in J&K: President
The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, today reaffirmed the Vajpayee Government's commitment to start a dialogue with various dissatisfied groups in Jammu and Kashmir. ``I reiterate the Government's readiness to have talks with every group in the State that abjures violence,'' he said in his customary address to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, commencing the Budget session.

Army for extending ceasefire
In spite of recent setbacks and the expression of serious reservations by a section of the security establishment, the Army appears keen to prolong the ceasefire in Kashmir.

Pak. planes violate airspace
Two Pakistani military reconnaissance aircraft today crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in the Chhamb sector of Jammu and Kashmir and one of them was ``hit'' when Indian troops ``engaged'' them, defence sources here said.

Cong.-AIADMK talks deadlocked
After more than an hour of intense negotiations, the AIADMK general secretary, Ms. Jayalalitha, and the two Congress emissaries, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, could not make any tangible progress today in finalising an alliance.

CAT order on Raghavan's appointment stayed
A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court today stayed the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Bangalore, quashing the appointment of the CBI Director, Mr. R.K. Raghavan.

 Pitched police-people battles continue
Authorities had to re-impose curfew on certain localities of Kashmir after clashes between police and the people took a violent turn. At least 70 people were arrested in the strike-hit Valley on the fourth day of protests against the Haigam and Maisuma killings.

 Centre sent 20,000 troops to Ayodhya in 1992: Rao
The former Prime Minister, Mr. P. V. Narasimha Rao, today told the Liberhan's Commission that the Centre, in 1992, had sent over 20,000 paramilitary troops to Ayodhya, and persuaded Mr. Kalyan Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, to protect the disputed structure (Babri Masjid).

 Austria focusses on mutual awareness
For Indo-Austrian ties to achieve their potential, the immediate need is to enhance mutual awareness, the Austrian envoy to India, Dr. Herbert Traxl, said here today.

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