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NEWSMAKERS: 1-15 June 2002

Okhla councilor in New Delhi Asif Mohammed Khan has been granted bail by Delhi High Court. Khan spent nearly seven months in Tihar Jail for allegedly disrupting communal harmony in the wake of 11 September attack on USA. Khan was let off on bail on 20 May. A conditional bail was granted to Mr Khan on the furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and two sureties each of the same amount. Earlier, he was granted10-day interim bail to complete procedural requirements after he was elected councilor. Khan was arrested on 27 September last year and booked under section 153-A of the IPC and section 5 of the West Bengal Defacement of (Government) Property Act, which pertains to creating communal disharmony and hatred. 

A notification issued by the Delhi government Monday 21 May said that Hasan Ahmed, senior Congress leader, has been appointed as chairman of Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation. Ahmed took charge of his new assignment in the presence of chief minister Sheila Dikshit Thursday afternoon. 

Delhi resident Mohammed Yasir Abbasi Amrohwi has been declared successful in the competitive examination for Central Police Organization. He successfully competed for the post of APC (Assistant Commandant) and is on the 29th rank on the merit list. Amongst the 140 candidates he is the only Muslim to have achieved success. Earlier, he was bestowed with a Gold medal when he attained First class First in MA (Human Rights) from Aligarh Muslim University. 

Actress, social activist, Rajya Sabha member and UN goodwill ambassador Shabana Azmi is in the news these days for different reason altogether. She is being targeted by Narain Kataria, a long-time member of the Overseas Friends of the BJP, an America-based group of BJP sympathisers. Kataria, who is also the New York-based secretary of the Indian American Intellectuals’ Forum, in his characterisation of Azmi described her as "a strange blend of a fundamentalist woman and a diehard communist, out to defame Hindus and tarnish the image of India?" Kataria has circulated a vilifying note via email which says, "it is crystal clear that Shabana is a very dangerous woman and has the potential to create trouble in the society." Azmi was in New York city where she participated in a reading of Shashi Tharoor’s latest novel Riot Tuesday 21 May. 

Shadab Khan, son of famous Bollywood villain late Amjad Khan, has given up his plan for being an actor. Now he has taken to script-writing as his new passion. Earlier, family friend Salim Akhtar offered him a role co-starring Rani Mukherjee in Raja ki Ayegi Barat. Later, he was deluged with "negative roles" which were not to his liking. Moreover, many people would not have taken a 21-year-old becoming a director seriously, says Shadab. 25-year-old Shadab has scripted a dark thriller, Sandhya, directed by Sangeeth Sivan and starring Jackie Shroff and Raveena Tandon. 

Former Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, as per reports, is passing extremely difficult times these days. Azharuddin is reportedly facing a hard financial future and has sold off his house, expensive cars and moved into rented premises to raise funds for himself. At present, he is fighting a legal battle over a life ban imposed on him by Indian cricket authorities for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Lucky Ali, upcoming Bollywood singer and actor, has finally admitted that he is not cut out for typical Hindi films. He says, "I’m going through an introspective phase right now. I have come to an understanding about my achievements and failures. It’s an inward journey for me". Ali revealed that for some time he won’t be singing or acting. He is giving a thought to devote himself to farming or might even go back to the old profession of horse-breeding. Earlier, Ali had worked in Trikaal, Choota Nawab, Kaante, Sur and other films.
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