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 Bajrang Dal activists defy ban, hoist flag
Defying the ban imposed by the district administration on holding the Bajrang Dal convention, hundreds of activists of the organisation today made light of the presence of a large police force and entered the well-guarded Chola Maidan and managed to hoist a saffron flag. The police then resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the crowd.

'Permission denied to avoid disturbances'
The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Digvijay Singh, today said that permission was denied to the Bajrang Dal convention in Bhopal to avoid communal disturbances. The district administration, he said, decided not to allow the convention there as a large number of minorities were living in the area where the event was to be held.

France wants India, Pak. talks resumed
Urging that India follow pragmatic regional and nuclear policies, France today expressed its hopes for a resumption of the Indo- Pak. dialogue and an Indian decision to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Five CRPF jawans die in bus blast
At least ten people - five Central Reserve Police Force jawans, four Special Operations Group personnel and one civilian - were killed and eight others injured in a powerful IED blast near Tral in south Kashmir today.

'PM did not ask for venue shifting'
The Prime Minister's Office today deemed it necessary to deny a report in a section of the press that the Bajrang Dal had opted to shift the venue of its controversial convention from Bhopal to Mathura only after the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's intervention.

Left to strike against proposed petrol price hike
The Left parties have decided to intensify their anti-Centre campaign by organising a country-wide strike against the Vajpayee Government's decision to hike the price of petroleum in the coming Budget.

3 Pak. mission staff expelled
India today decided to expel three Pakistani High Commission staff members for ``indulging in activities incompatible with their official status''.

 Hun Sen visit aimed at ending Cambodia's isolation
After a gap of over two decades, India seeks to build bridges with South East Asia and Cambodia has begun a fresh round of political and economic engagement.

LTTE downs helicopter
Two airmen were killed and six were injured when a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the LTTE hit a Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter near Kodikamam on Thursday. The chopper was evacuating wounded soldiers from Muhamalai to Palaly.

Pak. lodges protest
Pakistan today lodged a ``strong protest'' against what it called ``uncivilised and inhuman treatment'' meted out to Pakistan High Commission officials in New Delhi by ``Indian intelligence operatives'' yesterday.

Clinton restated long-standing Kashmir policy: White House
One day after the President, Mr. Bill Clinton, stated at a press conference that the United States would be willing to play the role of a mediator between India and Pakistan over Kashmir if asked to by both the countries, the White House has made it known that the President was only restating the long- standing policy that Washington wants a peaceful resolution to the issue of Kashmir.

Tea estate manager shot
The manager of Ganganagar tea estate near Dharmanagar, about 180 km from Agartala in Tripura, was shot dead this morning by militants of the National Liberation Front of Tripura.


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