Indian challenge ended in the French Super Series badminton tournament after Saina Nehwal and the mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju crashed out with respective quarterfinal defeats in Paris.
Eighth seed Saina squandered a first-game lead to go down to top seed Chinese Wang Lin 21-15 11-21 15-21 in a 49-minute hard fought battle in women’s singles on Friday.
The sixth seeded Indian pair of Jwala and Diju also played their heart out before going down to the Indonesian combo of Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir 21-6 20-22 10-21 in 42 minutes.
Saina played better at the nets but she couldn’t negotiate the powerful smashes of her opponent, who scored 14 points compared to the Indian’s 9.
In the first game, Saina opened a 5-0 lead and pushed Lin to the back foot who was left to do the catch up act till the end.
However, the Chinese bounced back in the second game and first opened a 3-0 lead and then widened it from 3-2 to 10-2 before pocketing the game.
In the decider, the Hyderabadi failed to raise her game and after being tied 2-2, Lin moved ahead as Saina’s game crumbled.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi conferred the award on 81-year-old Puri for his contribution to peace, national unity, communal harmony and human rights, especially in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lauded the key role of Puri in reconciling many differences between Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah and later Indira Gandhi and Abdullah.
“Many of Balraj Puri’s efforts were low profile and have gone unsung,” Singh said speaking at the function to confer the award which comprises Rs five lakh and a citation.
The award was instituted by Congress party in 1985, its centenary year, to give recognition to outstanding contribution to national integration and understanding by individuals or institutions.
Born in 1928, Puri began his career in journalism in 1942 and since then has worked in or edited several publications.
As Director of the Institute of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs, he has focussed attention on social and economic issues facing the state through seminars and research.
He has authored or co-authored than 40 books.
Former recipients of the award include Aruna Asaf Ali, M S Subbulakshmi, Rajiv Gandhi, A P J Abdul Kalam, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Satish Dhawan, Shyam Benegal.
Skipper Dhoni (46) and Yuvraj Singh (71) were on the crease.
Earlier, Electing to bat after winning the toss, The Aussies found the runs difficult to come by on a slow Kotla track.
Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting (59) relied on their experience to score the bulk of the runs for the visitors, who have now left India to score at an asking rate of 4.40 runs per over to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
“If our conditions are not met today, Dr Abdullah will announce his decision in a conference tomorrow (Sunday),” a senior official in his campaign team told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“We will not participate in an election which is not transparent and fraud-free,” he added.
Another source in his campaign team said Abdullah would make his announcement at an address in Kabul at 0500 GMT on Sunday which the media have been invited to attend.
Following widespread fraud in the first round in August, Abdullah has demanded President Hamid Karzai sack the head of the Independent Electoral Commission and suspend four ministers who have campaigned for the incumbent.
Karzai, who fell fractionally short of an outright majority in the first round, has so far flatly rejected the demands.
Asked what the former foreign minister’s stance would be if his conditions are not met, a pro-Abdullah lawmaker who has been involved in his campaign said that the candidate would not participate in the 7th November run-off.
“Well, first of all, we have no evidence of that. I mean, we just have no evidence of that,” Clinton said in reply to a query that many Pakistanis believe that India is fomenting trouble in Balochistan.
“So from our perspective, we believe that anything like that, any charge that might be made like that — and Balochistan, as you know, is very — is a very volatile region,” she said during her interaction with Pakistani editors in Lahore on Friday’s night.
Clinton said she has not seen any evidence from Pakistan about India’s involvement in Balochistan.
“Not that I’ve seen. Others in my government may have. I have not seen it. I have not seen anything like that. So I can’t agree with you because I personally don’t have any information,” she said, according to the transcript made available on Saturday by the State Department in Washington.
Her comments assume significance in the wake of Pakistan alleging that India was fomenting trouble in Balochistan and that it had “evidence” to prove its claim.
A Delhi court on Saturday allowed a plea of the police to conduct a narco-analysis test on top Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy as the investigators alleged he did not cooperate with them despite having “thorough knowledge” about banned CPI-Maoist engaged in terror activities.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja ordered the narco-test on Ghandy, a Politbureau member of the outfit, after the Delhi Police contended that it had not been able to elicit all information from him even after the use of all scientific methods of interrogation.
The court allowed the contention of Public Prosecutor Naveen Kumar who relied upon a Delhi High Court judgement stating that use of narco-analysis test is of particular relevance in terror-related cases, conspiracy to commit murder and other serious offences where the investigating agency do not have vital leads.
“Admittedly, the judgement of the High Court (in Shailender Sharma’s case) still holds the ground and has neither been challenged nor stayed till date,” the court said.
It also relied on the opinion of a medical board of the AIIMS which said that there was no medical evidence to suggest that Ghandy cannot withstand the narco analysis test.
Ghandy’s counsel Rebecca M John, who argued that the plea of the police cannot be allowed since the Supreme Court had in November 2006 was referred the validity of narco test without consent of the accused to a larger bench and was yet to deliver the judgement did not impress the court.
Public Prosecutor had contended that Ghandy had not co-operated during questioning despite use of all scientific methods of interrogation.
Ghandy was arrested from the national capital in September.
“The redeployments are done keeping this in view and the army is prepared to tackle this,” Commander of Northern Command Lt General BS Jaswal told media persons at Udhampur, about 66 kms from Jammu.
On the issue of number of terrorists hiding in Jammu and Kashmir, General Jaswal said their number was 600-700 as per available statistics.
Jaswal also said that borders cannot be made impregnable anywhere in the world and added measures like fencing of borders and other surveillance gadgets have reduced the infiltration bids.
Regarding the ceasefire violations by Pakistan, he said they are being addressed through flag meetings between both the sides through DGMOs.
On reduction of troops in some areas of the state, he said their deployment would essentially be driven by the adjustments and after taking into account the threat and overall security situation.