|N A T I O N|
against magic remedies underway
sector to take over toy train?
end to gas victims woes
redraft CPM constitution
Vice-President coming on December 5
seeks arrest of Prabhakaran
delegation for Cape Town
closed following murder
lauds selection of Mahatma, Indira
notices to EC, Delhi govt on poll rolls
Police torture case
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (UNI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Punjab Government to pay interim compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh to a person who was falsely implicated in a theft case, illegally detained and tortured by the Ropar police causing grave physical injuries to him.
"Deeply distressed at the lawless behaviour of those who were duty bound to maintain law and order and uphold rule of law, the NHRC directed the state government to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the incident and initiate criminal proceedings against the police officials responsible for violating the fundamental right of life of the victim, Mr Rajiv Rattan, and making him permanently disabled, NHRC sources said. The state government had been asked to file a compliance report by December 10, 1999, they said.
Mr Rattan, a clerk-cum-cashier at the Sahauran branch of Shivalik Kshetriya Gramin Bank, had complained to the NHRC that though he had been on leave from February 21, 1995 after handing over proper charge to his bank manager, the police had wrongly made him a suspect in the theft of Rs 3.95 lakh which went missing from the banks locker in March 1995. The complainant alleged that the bank manager had embezzled the amount and tried to pass it off as a case of theft when it was detected on March 6, 1995.
The police illegally confined Mr Rattan from March 6, 1995 to March 19, 1995 at the Kharar police station where he was tortured and sustained grave injuries that culminated in the fracture of the neck of the femur bone, the complaint stated. Mr Rattan became disabled due to the injury and had to undergo a major surgery.
Taking cognisance of the complaint, the NHRC issued a notice to the state government which sent an interim report of its Department of Home Affairs and Justice (human rights cell) in August 1996. Denying the complainants allegations against the police officials, the report suggested that the fracture sustained by Mr Rattan could have been caused by "an accidental fall in the bathroom.
According to the report, Mr Rattan was produced before the SHO of the Kharar police station by some persons on March 9, 1995 and the police let him off the same day after questioning. The report denied that the police had illegally detained him for 13 days and tortured him.
However, on July 6, 1999 the NHRC directed its Director-General (investigation) to take up a field investigation in the case and submit its report. The NHRC team carried out on-the-spot inquiries in Ropar district and submitted a detailed report.
Since the case was four and a half years old, the NHRC team had no direct evidence in form of requisite police records since they could have been destroyed and the Ropar police had not made them available to the team. However, the NHRC investigation team, after considering statements of independent witnesses, bank correspondence, medical reports and opinion given by the doctor who treated Mr Rattan came to the conclusion that the complainant was illegally detained and tortured due to which he sustained the fracture.
The report said the Punjab Governments report was untenable if the victim was already suffering from the fracture when the police interrogated him, then he would have been virtually unfit to go to the police station for questioning as stated by the police, the NHRC sources said. Besides Dr O.N. Nagi, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, PGI, who had examined Mr Rattan said the type of injury sustained by him was possible only under the circumstances that he described he had been subjected to.
The NHRC took a serious
view of the attempts by the state police to cover its
wrongful actions and deplored the callousness displayed
by it which was evident from the considerable time it
took to submit its interim report.Considering the pain
both physical and mental suffered by the
victim due to torture and the high cost of surgery which
he would have to undergo every eight to 10 years. The
NHRC directed that the Punjab government should pay him
the interim compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh within four
Drive against magic remedies
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare plans to launch prosecution drives in various States under the provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
Secretary, Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy, Mrs Shailaja Chandra told reporters here on Friday that the two-day meet of Secretaries and directors of ISM&H has recommended that exaggerated claims of curing baldness, improving memory, reducing obesity and curing impotence be checked under the provisions of the aforesaid Act.
She said that Gujarat and Tamil Nadu had already launched prosecution against such persons.
The ISM&H was set up in 1995 and now 18 States had ISM&H directorates.
Mrs Chandra said that action would be taken against such advertisers as well as publications which sell space for insertion of such advertisements. She said that the State Licensing Authority would bring the provisions of the Act to the notice of publishers of newspapers and journals in their jurisdiction. The Authority would also check the advertisements from time to time and send details of ISM manufacturers in their jurisdiction to the Central government.
Mrs Chandra said that another noteworthy recommendation related to upgradation of ISM pharmacies in various States.
Stressing the need for conservation, cultivation and propagation of medicinal plants, the Secretary said that according to projections made by the World Health Organisation, the demand for medicinal plants would be worth $ five trillion by 2050.
She said that although most manufacturers have direct links with traders and local tribal people for procuring herbs, the market of medicinal plants was unorganised and faced acute fluctuating rates. "There is no demand and supply analysis and rates vary from market to market."
Options on N-submarine open:
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 The Indian Navy is to shortly equip the "Kilo" class submarines with cruise missiles and also explore the possibility of inducting nuclear-powered submarines.
Unveiling the broad outlines of the Navy for the new millennium, the Chief of Naval Staff, Adm Sushil Kumar, said there were plans to explore the possibilities of inducting nuclear-powered submarines. But this would depend on the political will of the government, he remarked.
He, however, said by 2010, the Navy planned to induct at least two aircraft carries and equip the "Kilo" class warships with cruise missiles. He said the Russian aircraft carrier "Admiral Gorshkov" on sale to India after refits would become an important and good asset for the Navy.
Admiral Sushil Kumar said that the naval doctrine would be based on the concept of "preventive deterrence" and a combination of "maritime diplomacy, robust forward presence and dominant manoeuvre".
He said the countrys vital maritime interests were largely threatened from the sea as its geographical position placed it on the "most vital waterways" of the world. He pointed that 97 per cent of countrys trade and 70 per cent of its oil came through the sea route.
This, he said, put the Navy on the job of policing from the Persian Gulf to the Malaccan Straits.
"The new Silk Route of the next millennium runs from the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean and through the Malacca Straits," he said and added that it was time India looked south and "remind ourselves of our maritime destiny."
The Naval chief said the
"Kilo" class ships like the "INS
Talwar" would be fitted with Russian Klub cruise
missiles having a range of about 300 km. He said this
would give India the advantage of firing these missiles
inside the enemy territory from the deep sea.
By that time, we will have indigenously-built aircraft carrier and "Admiral Gorshkov". We will start construction of the third aircraft carrier immediately after the first one was ready. He said the acquisition of the Amur class submarines would be decided at the political level.
Refusing to reply to questions on nuclear-powered submarines, the Navy chief said: "We will keep our aspirations alive. It is a strategic decision and the Indian Navy can only give professional advice to the government."
He, however, said the Navy "can be a blue water Navy without nuclear submarines".
On whether Pakistans acquisition of the Agosta class submarines posed enchanced threat to India, he said: "It is an important asset for them. The Indian Navy has taken it into consideration."
An international naval event, the International Fleet Review, would be organised by India in February 2001 in which 70 ships from navies of 20 countries would participate.
Elaborating the role of the Navy during the Kargil conflict, he said 70 naval experts had helped the Army in various activities, including tracking of enemy gun positions from Kutchh to Siachen.
electronic intelligence aircraft supported the army
during these operations, along the western border, while
shifting eastern fleet to the western seaboard in the
Arabian Sea to prevent a repeat of Dwarka in 1965.
No end to gas victims woes
BHOPAL, Dec 3 (UNI) Several respiratory and neurological disorders continue to plague survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy, mainly due to lack of medical facilities and inadequate attention.
Almost 15 years after the tragedy, survivors of the worst industrial disaster of the millennium still suffer from ailments like breathlessness, persistent cough, blurred vision, early age cataract, menstrual irregularities, neurological disorders, fatigue, weakness, anxiety and depression.
According to a study conducted by the Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre in 1998, those exposed to the gas, particularly in the severely-affected areas, showed a high mortality rate. While most of the deaths were due to respiratory disorders, the mortality was found to be higher for males and those over 44 years of age.
Respiratory and ophthalmic morbidities were observed to be continuously higher in the affected areas as compared to the control area, the report said. According to the report, the morbidity rate for the lungs and eyes, which was about 95-97 per cent when the tragedy occurred in 1984, dropped within a period of 2-3 months but subsequently showed an increasing trend.
A report of the Sambhavna Trust, involved in addressing health-related issues of Bhopal gas tragedy, says there has hardly been any systematic effort to document the social and economic impacts of the disaster.
Government programmes for economic rehabilitation have been badly designed, the report says adding that only a few had been implemented.
Communities living in the vicinity of the carbide factory continue to be exposed to toxic chemicals such as dichlorobenzenes, polynuclear hydrocarbons and phthalates that are injurious to the lungs, liver and kidneys and can also cause cancer. Water in over 200 wells around the carbide factory was declared unfit for human consumption by the municipal authorities, the report adds. This is a result of routine dumping of hazardous chemicals during the operation of the factory, contaminating soil and ground water in and around the factory premises.
The epidemiological data and the results of the ongoing clinical studies indicate that many of the patients will require specialised medicare for many years and some for even their entire lifetime, an ICMR study titled, The Health Problems of Bhopal Gas Victims, said in 1989.
The possibility that the exposed population at a later date may develop some hitherto unsuspected complications cannot be ruled out, the study has said, adding that there is an urgent need for keeping the exposed population under constant medical surveillance.
Underlining the pathological considerations of the toxic gas disease, the ICMR study notes that the NCO group of the methyl isocyanide (MIC) interacts with biological substances in the human body and groups such as end-terminal amino groups, sulphydryl groups and hydroxyly groups, adversely affecting several enzyme systems in the body.
Experimental data shows that in rabbits, guniea pigs, rats and mice exposure to 13-20 parts per million (PPM) of MIC invariably produced fatal pulmonary oedema.
According to official sources 36 of the total 56 wards of Bhopal city have been termed as affected. A total of 10.29 lakh persons had been registered till 1999, sources say, adding that of these 4.88 lakh persons have been given compensation. A whooping amount of Rs 1239.37 crore has been distributed among the gas victims, the sources say.
MYSORE NARASIMHACHAR SRINIVASs passing away on November 30, 1999 at the age of 83 is a profound loss to the social sciences. He guided the destiny of sociology and social anthropology in India for the past over 40 years and emerged as the most acclaimed sociologist both in India and abroad.
Trained at Oxford under the blessings of Radcliffe-Brown, M.N. Srinivas changed the course of Indian Sociology from Indological to empirical. The study of Indian society was dominated by an Indological perspective until Srinivas published his first substantive book Religion and Society among the Coorgs of South India (1952) which was based on intensive fieldwork. Making a seminal distinction between the book-view and the field-view of Indian society through his writings, he privileged and patronised the latter, with stress on participant observation as the main method of sociological inquiry.
Among the 15 books authored by him, the notable ones are: Caste in Modern India and Other Essays (1962), Social Change in Modern India (1966), The Remembered Village (1967), The Changing Position of Indian Women (1978), India: Social Structure (1980) and On Living in a Revolution and Other Essays (1992), besides of course his book on the Coorgs. He also edited about half a dozen books, the better known among them being Indias Villages (1955) and Caste: Its new Avataar (1998).
Though his writings covered many aspects of Indian society and culture, he is best known for his contribution to the study of village community, caste system and social change in India. Though his village study, he interrogated the then prevailing view of the village as a harmonious and integrated unit and brought to light the role of divisions and conflicts of interests in village community. He also debunked the myth of village as a self-sufficient unit and unravelled the many links of the village with the world surrounding it. As for his contribution to the study of caste system, he called into question the book-view of castes as Varnas and emphasised on the field-view of castes as jatis. He also advanced the concept of dominant caste and distinguished it from that of the high caste. It is not necessary for a dominant caste to be a high caste; even an intermediary or a low caste could emerge as dominant caste depending on the strength of its numbers and its control over land (economy) and power structure. In the study of social change, he made a significant contribution by conceptualising the processes of social change in terms of Sanskritization Westernisation, Secularisation and Modernisation. Through the concept of Sanskritisation, he challenged the prevailing belief that the caste system does not permit mobility. Highlighting the dynamics of caste, he maintained that the individual castes have changed their social rank through the process of Sanskritisation on attaining economic prosperity or political power. His concepts of Sanskritisation and Dominant Caste have become part of the public discourse in India.
A scholar par excellence he was also a concerned public writer about the emerging social issues of his times such as caste in Mandal Report, reservation debate, secularism and conversion, among others.
Apart from being a star intellectual, he was also a fine person and a superb human being. I have had several occasions to experience his congenial manners.
I recall the day when both of us happened to meet at Delhi airport. Before that we had had only formal contact, as he belonged to the older generation of sociologists. On seeing me at the airport, he asked me about my seat number and to my pleasant surprise went to the counter and got his seat number changed next to mine.
That was the measure of
his unassuming professionalism and humanism. In our
flight he shared his anguish with me about the decline in
the tradition of fieldwork in recent times. Younger
generation of sociologists can pay a fitting tribute to
him by reviving his tradition of fieldwork.
Basu: redraft CPM
CALCUTTA, Dec 3 Mr Jyoti Basu is in favour of redrafting of the CPMs constitution and make it more rational and realistic in the changing political situation and the Communist movement in the country and abroad.
Mr Basu has been in the Communist movement for the past 50 years and the Chief Minister of West Bengal for record five terms at a stretch as CPM leader. He said: Time has now come to change the constitution of the party and make it practical, realistic and rational.
The Marxist leader said he himself suggested the dropping of rule 112 of the constitution which had debarred him from becoming the Prime Minister of a coalition government in Delhi in 1996. Rule 112 says: No Marxist leader is eligible for either joining or heading any government with coalition partners, who differ politically as well as ideologically with the Communists.
Mr Basu said when the constitution was drafted a provision like this was necessary but now it was absolutely redundant. The Communist movement in the country had been changing rapidly with the changing political situation and the partys constitution should be redrafted accordingly. When the constitution was drafted, the Soviet Union and other east European countries were not divided.
A committee which
includes leaders like Mr Harkrishen Singh Surjeet, Mr
Sitaram Yechuri, Mr P. Balachrandran, Mr Anil Biswas and
Mr Basu himself has already been set up to look into
various suggestions for the redrafting of the
constitution. The first meeting of the committee would be
held on December 8 in New Delhi.
Uruguay Vice-President coming on
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 Uruguay Vice-President Licenciado Hugo Feranndez Faingold is arriving here on December 5 on a five-day official visit for strengthening bilateral ties.
Two agreements on regular foreign office consultation and cooperation between the Foreign Service Institutes of the two countries would be signed during Mr Faingolds stay in the capital. Draft agreements on culture, trade, science and technology and investment protection are also under consideration by the two sides.
Mr Faingold, who is taking a keen personal interest in promoting political and economic ties with India, would hold discussions with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. Mr Faingold was a visiting Professor at the Madras University in 1978-79.
Bilateral issues including identifying new areas of promoting economic and commercial ties, developments in the region of each other and international issues like restructuring of the United Nations Security Council would figure prominently during the talks between Mr Faingold and the Indian political and economic leadership.
Indian exports to Uruguay have been rapidly increasing with the exports touching a figure of $ 37 million. In 1995, Indian exports stood at $ 16.4 million US. Imports from Uruguay stood at $ 1.9 million US.
Pvt sector to take over toy
CALCUTTA, Dec 3 Is the century-old toy train in the hills of Darjeeling being sold out to private sector?
A recent visit of a technical team of Britain to make an on-the-spot study of the Himalayan railway (running from Siliguri to Darjeeling) led to the suspicion of the selling out of the toy train which has been running in heavy losses.
Moreover, this suspicion has gathered momentum since the new Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, has often been talking about privatisation of the railways. All railway lines running in losses need to be privatised, she had said.
Neither the district administration nor the local railway authorities had any prior knowledge of the visit of the team.
The team members came on their own, accompanied by a senior official of the Indian High Commissioner in London and a railway board officer, who despite queries by the local administration did not spell out anything.
However, inquiry by this
correspondent from the team revealed that the company
wanted to hire the steam engine of the toy train on a
lease term to run similar toy trains in UK and that is
why they came to Darjeeling to make a spot study.
Bitta seeks arrest of
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 The Chairman of the All-India Anti- Terrorist Front, Mr M.S. Bitta, today met the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, Mr Mangla Moone Singhe, here and demanded immediate arrest of LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran.
Mr Bitta, in a memorandum submitted to the High Commissioner, urged the Sri Lankan government to Hand over Prabhakaran to the Indian Government so that he could be tried in accordance with the law of the land.
Sikh delegation for Cape Town
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 A group of Sikh religious leaders led by the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Bibi Jagir Kaur, today left for Cape Town, South Africa, to attend the Parliament of World Religion.
Among those attending the week long meet include Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar Takht Shri Kesgarh Sahib, Baba Jaggit Singh, Chief of Namdhari Darbar, Mr Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh of the USA, Mr Tarlochan Singh, former press secretary to the President.
Irfans bag recovered
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 The Delhi Police claimed to have recovered a bag of Outlook Cartoonist Irfan Hussain from Sonepat.
The bag was recovered on December 1 and it was identified by Ms Munira Hussain, wife of Irfan Hussain, who came from Nagpur to the Capital today, the police said.
Institutions closed following murder
SRIGANGANAGAR, Dec 3 In protest against the murder of a student all educational institutions remained closed today. Earlier, students have given a bandh call for today. A student of the local S.D. College was stabbed to death by another fellow student here last evening.
Following the murder, the police resorted to lathicharge when some students tried to ransack a few shops at Ravinder Path. Infuriated over the murder of student and inaction by the police, the students of the college were forcing shopkeepers to keep their shutters down.
The deceased Ravi Kant
Sharma, a student of LLB (IInd year) was allegedly
stabbed to death on the college campus by Sunil Sharma, a
student of B.Com (Ist year) when the former was coming
from the college library. A case has been registered
against the accused.
LS lauds selection of Mahatma, Indira
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (PTI) The Lok Sabha today hailed the selection of Mahatma Gandhi as Asian of the century by the Asiaweek magazine and Indira Gandhi being voted the greatest woman of the millennium in BBC News Online world poll.
Amidst thumping of desks, Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi paid tribute to their memory saying the feat was a matter of great pride and a rare achievement and a honour for the country as both these world figures are Indian.
He said as the world was
contemplating who the great figures of the millennium
were, who are passing into history, these two
Outstanding personalities have been universally
acknowledged as the giants of this millennium.
HC notices to EC, Delhi govt on poll rolls
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today sought replies from the Election Commission (EC) and Delhi government on a petition challenging the deletion of names of about 12,000 voters from the electoral rolls in the capital on the ground that the area they were living in was dominated by Bangladeshis.
While issuing notices to the EC, the state government and its Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) asking them to file replies, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Arun Kumar and Mr Justice D.K. Jain referred the petition to a bench headed by the High Court Chief Justice to hear it with another plea on "illegal" Bangladeshi immigrants.
The petition filed by the Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) alleged that names of these voters falling within the Matiamahal Assembly constituency in old Delhi were deleted by the states ERO in 1994 without verifying their identity.
PUCL counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that the Supreme Court had laid down certain guidelines on entering and deletion of the names when the matter was brought before it sometime back, but the ERO and the state government were not following the apex court guidelines.
EC counsel R.N. Chopra,
however, said that the EC and the ERO were looking into
the matter and also submitted that a petition by the Shiv
Sena seeking repatriation of Bangladeshi nationals living
illegally in Delhi was pending before the court.
|President transfers 6 HC
NEW DELHI: The President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, has transferred six Judges of various High Courts. Mr Justice A.N. Trivedi of the Patna High Court has been posted to Allahabad while Mr Justice P.K. Sarkar has been transferred to Gujarat from Guwahati. Other transfers are Mr Justice Rajsh Balia of the Gujarat High Court to the Rajasthan High Court, Mr Justice Ratnakar Dash of the Orissa High Court to Allahabad, Mr Justice A.S. Venkatachala Moorthy of the Kerala High Court to Madras and Mr Justice B.N. Singh Neelam from the Guwahati to Patna High Court, an official statement said here on Friday. UNI
Five pilgrims killed in
10 injured in
EC files case
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