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THE TRIBUNE
Thursday, May 13, 1999

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KPS launches ‘Faultlines’
NEW DELHI, May 11 — The former Director General of Police, Punjab, Mr K P S Gill, has launched a journal which will focus on various sources and aspects of existing and emerging conflicts in the Indian subcontinent.

Hurriyat divided on poll
NEW DELHI, May 12 — The announcement of the mid-term poll has divided the All Party Hurriyat Conference with a former chairman Umar Farooq supporting the poll and chairman S.A.S.Gillani giving a call for boycotting it.
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Petrol price hike ruled out
NEW DELHI, May 12 — The government today ruled out any hike in the prices of petrol and other petroleum products despite a hike in international prices, saying that it would bear extra costs of imports.


Cong should field new faces: Cheema
NEW DELHI, May 12 — Mr M. M. Singh Cheema, former Chairman of the Punjab Congress labour cell, today suggested the party should field new faces in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

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Squall lashes Capital
NEW DELHI, May 12 —The temperature over North India plunged sharply following a thunder squall with wind speed of 57 km per hour sweeping across the region today.
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KPS launches ‘Faultlines’
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 11 — The former Director General of Police, Punjab, Mr K P S Gill, has launched a journal which will focus on various sources and aspects of existing and emerging conflicts in the Indian subcontinent.

The quarterly journal, Faultlines, has been launched under the aegis of Institute for Conflict Management.

The publisher and editor of the journal, Mr K P S Gill speaking to the Tribune said that the absence of a coherent institutional response to the cumulative crises of conflict in India is one of the most dangerous intellectual failures - no doubt among many others - of our constitutional democracy.

“Terrorist movements and collective civil strife in the West, in terms of loss of life and property, and of their geographical scope, have been relatively minor when compared to the violence that has afflicted the Indian sub-continent,” he said.

Faultlines will serve as a source, both of primary data as well as of research papers on issues of civil strife and internal security in South Asia, he stated.

The inaugural issue of Faultlines contains “Endgame in Punjab 1988-93” by Mr K P S Gill, “Terrorists, Human rights and the United Nations” by Arundhati Ghose, “Pro-active after Pokhran: A perspective on terrorism in J&K” by Praveen Swami, “Militancy in Rajouri and Poonch” by Mr Sudhir S Bloeria and “Justice and Fairness in terror:Some observations on TADA” by K T S Tulsi.
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Hurriyat divided on poll
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 12 — The announcement of the mid-term poll has divided the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) with a former chairman Umar Farooq supporting the poll and chairman S.A.S.Gillani giving a call for boycotting it.

Mr Gillani, whose chairmanship was under serious threat and was given an extension of one year last month, was taken to task by his colleagues for making his views on the issue of elections public at the APHC executive meeting in Srinagar on May 30.

Mr Gillani had given the boycott call at Anantnag recently during a Friday congregation. Prominent Hurriyat members like Mr Yasin Malik and Mr A.G. Lone had accused the chairman of not using the issue to the advantage of the organisation by reacting on the issue “prematurely”

While Mr Gillani’s colleagues attacked him at the executive meeting, Mr Umar Farooq has been consistently telling his followers and supporters that it is wrong to oppose the elections as it is an anti-people step.

Mr Gillani said he had merely stated the Hurriyat’s old stand on the issue of elections.

During his recent visit to Saudi Arabia where he met Hizb- ul-Mujhadeen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin among others leaders, Mr Farooq stressed that the days of gun were over and the interests of people of the State would suffer, if the organisation did not follow a democratic path.

Mr Farooq, who has been practically functioning as the Hurriyat’s face outside the country, has been told by the friends of Kashmir in western capitals that unless the Hurriyat establishes its democratic and representative credentials it has no future.

Sometime ago, a London-based organisation — the World Kashmiri Freedom Movement — had written a letter to Mr Gillani to rename the APHC as a “freedom conference”with a view to making its more acceptable to the western world.

The movement had asked Mr Gillani to hold internal elections to be more representative and have more acceptability.

With Mr Gillani and others supporting him in the organisation refusing to move in the direction of democratising the APHC, leaders like Mr Farooq have little option but to extend their personal and individual support to an electoral exercise, sources point out.

Not only Mr Farooq but the Muslim Conference leader, Prof A.G. Bhat, has been making noises over the issue saying that the Hurriyat should share a political platform with other parties of the state.

Prof Bhat was asked by the Hurriyat leadership to maintain silence over the issue during the executive meeting.
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Petrol price hike ruled out

NEW DELHI, May 12 (PTI) — The government today ruled out any hike in the prices of petrol and other petroleum products despite a hike in international prices, saying that it would bear extra costs of imports. “I am ruling out any price hike in the petroleum products that affects the consumers even though the international prices of crude have started rising this year,” Petroleum Minister V.K. Ramamurthy told PTI.

The international crude oil prices which had touched the lowest ever price of $ 9 per barrel till December last year have started rising, crossing the $ 16 per barrel mark recently.

India is heavily import dependent to the extent of over 60 per cent for its petroleum requirement and spent about 8 billion on this count during the last financial year.

Asked whether the deficit arising due to the rise in international prices would be absorbed by the oil pool account, Mr Ramamurthy said the oil pool account was maintained well and it would be used to meet this eventuality.

Petroleum Ministry sources indicated that it had already anticipated the hike in prices of crude during the current financial year in its oil economy budget (OEB).

Against an average import price of about $ 12 a barrel in OEB last year, this year the ministry formulated the annual document with an anticipated import price of around $ 16 million.

Not only India was benefited by lower than anticipated average international crude prices, its import bill also came down to about $ 7.8 billion as against an earmarking of $ 8.4 billion due to substantially lower consumption growth than the targeted 10 per cent.

With increasing refining capacity, 1999-2000 OEB has put more emphasis on import of crude rather than value-added petroleum products.

Sources said that India might not have to import diesel during the second half of the fiscal while imports of liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) would also come down substantially.

On the whole India’s crude imports could be up to 80 million tonnes as against 29.5 million tonnes during the first three quarters of 1998-99, sources said.

Currently, only five petroleum products — petrol, diesel, LPG, kerosene and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) — are under the administrative price control, even though the government decided last year to give import parity price for diesel.

Petrol and ATF on the other hand cross-subsidise LPG and kerosene.

Following the presentation of the Union Budget for 1999-2000, wherein the government had restructured import duties as part of measures to liberalise the petroleum sector by the year 2002, the prices of petrol, LPG and kerosene came down marginally.

However, diesel prices were increased due to a cess of Re 1 per litre for road development.

The government also increased diesel prices last month between 32 paise and 34 paise a litre in tune with an uptrend in the international market prices. Accordingly, its price moved up from Rs 9.94 to 10.28 in the Capital, from Rs 10.18 to Rs 10.52 in Calcutta, Rs 11.21 to Rs 11.60 in Mumbai and Rs 10.91 to Rs 11.27 in Chennai.
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Cong should field new faces: Cheema
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 12 — Mr M. M. Singh Cheema, former Chairman of the Punjab Congress labour cell, today suggested the party should field new faces in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Cheema who met the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, today said he suggested that apart from fielding new faces in Punjab, the candidates should be cleared at the earliest so that they could start preparations right away.

He said the Congress could derive advantage of the political situation in Punjab where the ruling party was a divided house.

Apprising the Congress President of the situation, Mr Cheema said he told her the state was facing severe financial crisis on account of mismanagement.

He said the SAD-BJP government was fast losing ground and even their traditional supporters were feeling unhappy.

He also suggested that the tempo which had started since the announcement of internal organisation and enrolment process should be allowed to continue so that the party agenda could be carried to the people.

Mr Cheema said he also suggested that the Congress revive the labour cell in the AICC and was asked by the Congress President to submit a detailed note on the subject.

Meanwhile, Mr Cheema has been appointed the Chairman of the PPCC intellectuals cell.
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Squall lashes Capital
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 12 —The temperature over North India plunged sharply following a thunder squall with wind speed of 57 km per hour sweeping across the region today.

The thunder squall originated in Patiala and moved towards Karnal before it entered Delhi and moved further down towards Agra, Safdarjung Meteorological Director, S C Gupta told the TNS.

He attributed the thunder squall to the “interaction of south-easterly winds coming from Uttar Pradesh with the western system which is active over Jammu and Kashmir.”

“The impact was experienced all along the belt stretching from Srinagar to Bareilly,” Mr Gupta said.

Rain and thunder showers were experienced in Ambala, Chandigarh, Shimla and other parts of North India, he said, adding that it could experience more such squall and rain in the next 48 hours and the temperature would hover around the 40C mark.
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Woman sets self,son afire
From Our Correspondent

NEW DELHI, May 12 — A 28-year-old woman, Meena, set herself and her family members, including her six-month-old son, afire in her Khajuri Khas residence in North-East Delhi yesterday.Meena and her six-month-old son, Parvesh, died on the spot while her husband Preetam and their five-year-old son Manish were admitted to hospital. Doctors said they were in a serious condition.In another incident, a 30-year-old woman, Shanti, was stabbed by unidentified persons in Sultanpuri in North-West Delhi. The incident occurred when she along with her three children were sleeping outside their house.
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in brief
  9 die in accident
NAWADA (BIHAR): At least nine persons were killed and 50 injured, 12 of them seriously, when a bus carrying a marriage party collided head-on with a truck near Phulma village in Nawada district on Wednesday, the police said. While seven members of the marriage party died on the spot, two succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital. The injured were admitted to hospitals and private nursing homes here where the condition of 12 was stated to be critical, sources said. The bus was on its way to Bokaro from Kao village in Patna. — PTI

Old woman murdered
NEW DELHI: An 82-year-old woman strangled at her house in Kalindi Colony (South Delhi) on Tuesday. Kamla was found murdered on the bed by her son, Anil, at 5.30 a.m. The deceased slept on the ground floor while her son was on the first floor. The daughter of the deceased was also on the ground floor but she did not hear any commotion. The police suspected the hand of R.K. Jain, a tenant in the house of the deceased. Mr Jain has reportedly been interrogated by the police. — FOC

4 of wedding party electrocuted
JAIPUR: Four persons of a wedding party were electrocuted and eight others got burns when a truck in which they were travelling came in contact with a live high-tension wire at Rajmahal village in Tonk district on Tuesday, according to the police. The marriage party was on their way to Setiawas village when some of those sitting on top of the drivers’ seat touched the overhead 11 KV power cable. — PTI

Shillong rocked
SHILLONG: An earthquake of low intensity rocked Shillong and the surrounding areas on Tuesday night, the Central Seismological Centre here said on Wednesday. However, there was no loss of life or damage to property. The quake measured 3.9 on the Richter scale and the epicentre was located at latitude 26.4 degree north and longitude 92.7 degree east in Nagaon district of Assam, sources said. — PTI

Seven PWG men surrender
HYDERABAD:
Seven Naxalites of the outlawed Peoples’ War Group (PWG) surrendered before the police here on Wednesday. The extremists belonged to adjoining Medak district. The surrenders indicated growing success of a special strategy launched by the police which involved counselling the parents and relatives of underground PWG cadre as part of efforts to bring them back to social mainstream. — PTI

6 injured in house collapse
NEW DELHI: Six children were injured when their house collapsed following a heavy rain and squall in Nand Nagari in North-East Delhi. The injured were admitted to GTB Hospital where there condition is stated to be stable. They have been identified as Chandni (2), Azad (10), Rubi (8), Tarique (6), Soni (4) and Arif (3), a spokesman for the Delhi Fire Service said. — FOC

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