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S.C. stays release of Veerappan aides
The Supreme Court today directed that pending further orders none of the 115 ``Veerappan aides'' shall be released on ``bail'' or otherwise.

Detenus' kin disappointed
The Supreme Court verdict today staying the bail order issued by the Principal and Sessions Court, Mysore, on Monday, for the release of 51 alleged associates of the forest brigand, Veerappan, has come as a shock for the detenus. The prisoners' kin, who arrived at the jail this morning expecting the release, returned dejected.

'Stay not related to Rajkumar release'
The Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna, today said that the State Advocate- General, Mr. A. N. Jayaram, would be asked to defend the Government's action in the Supreme Court with regard to the special leave petition (SLP) filed by Mr. Abdul Kareem seeking a stay on the bail of the 51 TADA detenus, whose release the brigand, Veerappan, had demanded.

 Violence mars A.P. bandh
Andhra Pradesh today observed a bandh, marred by stray incidents of violence, including stone-throwing, on a call given by the Congress (I) and nine Left parties in protest against police firing and lathicharge on demonstrators during the ``Chalo Assembly'' rally on Monday.

Foreign Secretary leaves for U.S.
On the eve of the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to the United States, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Lalit Mansingh, left tonight for two days of consultations with the Clinton administration.

Changes likely among BJP office-bearers
The new BJP president, Mr. Bangaru Laxman, has already begun consultations with senior party leaders as well as those in Government on the reconstitution of the list of office- bearers, appointment of presidents of front organisations, and reconstitution of the national executive committee.

I am firmly in saddle, says U.P. CM
On his return from Nagpur after attending the BJP's national council meeting, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Ram Prakash Gupta, today scotched all speculation about his imminent exit from office. ``I shall complete my tenure and the next assembly election in U.P. would be held in due time under my leadership,'' he asserted.

Help break U.S. tax barrier, PM urged
The information technology industry is hoping that the Indian delegation to the U.S. led by the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, will be able to broach the subject of ``double taxation'' on software companies doing business in the United States.

We won't go back on our word: Karunanidhi
Even as the emissary-journalist, Mr. R. R. Gopal's third forest mission seemed to have become ``complicated'', following the Supreme Court today staying the bail proceedings in the Mysore Sessions Court regarding the TADA detenus the brigand Veerappan wanted to be freed, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, was optimistic that Mr. Gopal's mission would not be affected.

Sonia is grandmother
Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of the Congress (I) president, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, gave birth to a baby boy at the Ganga Ram Hospital here today.


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