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 Strike a balance between freedom, justice: Narayanan
The President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan, said today that there was no need for the people of the country to be disheartened ``by our many faults and failures'' and instead reminded that the Independence Day was an occasion to celebrate our ``achievement of unity and democracy''.

 Resolving Kashmir issue key to peace: Musharraf
The Pakistan President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, today declared that there could be no peace and prosperity in the region without resolution of the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

PM ready for talks
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today reiterated India's readiness to continue direct talks with Pakistan.

Kashmiri leader held
The Pakistani national flag was hoisted at several places in the Kashmir Valley today even as the Kashmir Mass Movement (KMM) leader, Ms. Fareeda Jan, who had given a call for celebrating Pakistan's Independence Day, was arrested around midnight yesterday.

Centre sends another letter to TN
Contrary to the expectations of a harsh demarche to the Tamil Nadu Government to make available immediately the services of three ``controversial'' IPS officers, the Centre this evening sent a rather mild communication to the Jayalalithaa regime, seeking its ``concurrence'' to the proposed transfer ``forthwith'' of the officers ``in the public interest'' on Central deputation.

3 killed in U.P. train blast
At least three persons were killed and 16 injured -- seven of them critically -- when a powerful bomb ripped apart a compartment of a passenger train at the Murad Nagar railway station near Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh this afternoon.

Third judge to hear plea
A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court today ordered that a writ petition filed by the Union Government challenging the orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Bangalore, on the appointment of CBI Director, be placed before a third judge, after the two judges on the Bench passed separate orders.

Kirti Chakra for two
A young Dogra Regiment Captain, Pankaj Dhyani, and a Corporal, Akhilesh Mishra, have been awarded Kirti Chakra, the nation's second highest peace time award, for exceptional bravery during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

2 new judges
The Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Mr. Ponaka Venkatarama Reddi, and Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, another senior Judge of the same court, have been appointed Judges of the Supreme Court in the same order of seniority, with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective office. With their appointment, the apex court will have a full strength of 26 judges.

Gallantry awards for 165
A total of 165 armed forces personnel have been named for Gallantry Awards, including Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra on the occasion of Independence Day.

Ratan Tata offers to quit
The Tata Group Chairman, Mr. Ratan Tata, today offered ``to step down'' as chairman of Tata Engineering (Telco) owing responsibility for the Rs. 500-crore loss incurred for the first time in the company's history.


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