|Monday, January 31, 2000,
Nation remembers Mahatma
SC: kids of second wife have share
Film shooting stopped
BSP to field Dumpy from Kannauj
Move to change statute: Basu calls
Sorabjee flays media on
Pak 'plans' Kargil-type
Man strangled, suicide by woman
Tarlochan Singh honoured
7 killed in road accident
Nation remembers Mahatma
NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (PTI) The nation today paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the 52nd anniversary of his martyrdom with leaders recalling his contribution during the freedom struggle and efforts to uplift the downtrodden.
Holding of all-religious prayer meetings, singing of Gandhijis favourite devotional songs "Vaishnava janato" and "Ram dhun" and spinning of charkhas marked the day which was also observed as Anti-Leprosy Day.
President K.R. Narayanan, Vice-President Krishan Kant, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Union Home Minister L.K. Advani paid floral tributes at the samadhi of the Father of the Nation at Rajghat here.
An inter-religious prayer meeting was organised in which Gandhijis writings on religious, pluralism and "shlokas" from the Bhagwadgita were read out.
An all-religious prayer meeting was organised at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to pay homage to the Mahatma.
The President unveiled the plaque of the International Centre for Gandhian Studies and Research being developed at Gandhi Darshan at Rajghat.
Mr Narayanan also inaugurated an exhibition "25 years of Gandhi Smriti" which depicts the various activities carried out by the Gandhi Smriti and the Darshan Samiti. Students of Sanskrit Mahavidyala presented a programme of Veda mantras on the occasion.
Mr Vajpayee, Chairman of the Gandhi Smriti, opened a block dedicated to late Gandhian B.N. Pande. The block consists of an auditorium with a seating capacity of 150 and an exhibition of murals on the freedom struggle.
The valedictory function of a three-day international conference "A millennium without violence role of youth" being attended by 100 persons from 14 countries was also held at Gandhi Darshan. Former President R. Venkataraman in his valedictory address exhorted the youth to imbibe Gandhian values to fight the growing menace of violence.
Over 200 social leaders, NGOs and professionals organised a good governance march.
Several political leaders and freedom fighters were among those who garlanded the larger-than-life size statue of the Mahatma at M.G. Road in Secunderabad.
In a message on the occasion, Andra Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said ethical, moral and social values preached by the Father of the Nation were as relevant today as at any time during the pre-independence era.
Pondicherry Lt-Governor Rajani Rai, Chief Minister R.V. Janakiraman, his Cabinet colleagues and legislators were among those who paid floral tributes at the pedestal of the Gandhi statue at Goubert Avenue in Pondicherry.
From Tribune Reporters:
Ludhiana: A function was organised at mini secretariat here today to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 52nd martyrdom day. A two minute silence was observed at 11 am in the memory of the Father of the Nation. A police contingent presented a salute by reversing arms. Mr O.P. Verma, Assistant Commissioner (General), presided over the function.
Amritsar: Martyrs Day was observed in the city on Sunday and homage was paid to martyrs, including those killed in Jallianwala Bagh massacre, on the 52nd martyrdom day of the Father of the Nation.
People observed two-minute silence at 11 a.m. Wreaths and flowers were placed at "Flame of Liberty" at Jallianwala Bagh.
A special all-party meeting was also organised at the Jallianwala Bagh.
Gurdaspur: On the occasion of the 52nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi tributes were paid to and other martyrs who sacrifice their lives during the Independence struggle. A function was organised at Government College here on Sunday. Mr Husan Lal, ADC (General), presided. Two-minute silence was also observed to pay homage to the martyrs.
Faridkot: The District Congress Committee will spend a sum of Rs 2 lakh to renovate the local Baba Farid Kushat Ashram. The work will start within the next four months, Mr S.K. Gupta, DCC, President, said. While speaking at a function held here on Sunday on the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi. Earlier, a two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.
Nawanshahr: A district-level anti-leprosy day function was organised here on Sunday at Doaba Kushat Ashram to mark the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Health and Family Welfare Minister, while presiding over the function stressed the need to launch a broad-based campaign to eliminate leprosy.
Shimla: Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, Governor, paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi by laying a wreath at the statue of the Father of the Nation on the Ridge here on Sunday.
Mr R.D. Kashyap, Urban
Development Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, leader of the
Congress Legislative Party, Mr Sat Mahajan, PCC
president, Mrs Jaini Prem, Mayor of Shimla. Mr Kaul
Singh, a former Speaker and Mr Ganesh Dutt, vice-chairman
of the state housing board, were among those who paid
floral tributes to Gandhiji.
SC: kids of second wife have share in pension
NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court has ruled that children from a second marriage are entitled to a share in the family pension and gratuity due after the death of their father even if his first wife is alive.
A bench comprising Justice D P Wadhwa and Justice S N Phukan said in their recent judgement on Thursday that a second marriage during the lifetime of the first wife was void, but children from such a marriage being legitimate were entitled to share the pension and gratuity along with the first wife and children from the first marriage.
Narain Lal died in 1987 while being posted as Managing Director of Bihar Rural Development Authority. He had married one Yogmaya Devi while his first wife Rameshwari Devi was alive. Lal had one son from the first wife and four from the second marriage.
The Patna High Court had ruled that though Yogmaya would not be entitled to share the family pension and death-cum-retirement gratuity, her four sons were entitled to the same. Rameshwari Devi had challenged the High Court order in a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court.
Justice Wadhwa, writing the judgement for the Bench, said "it cannot be disputed that the marriage between Narain Lal and Yogmaya Devi was in contravention of clause(i) of Section 5 of the Hindu marriage act and was a void marriage" but added that "Under section 16 of this act, children of void marriage are legitimate."
Justice Wadhwa said in case of a Hindu male dying without a will, his property was distributed among his heirs including his widow and children.
"Yogmaya Devi cannot be described a widow of Narain Lal, her marriage with him being void. Sons of the marriage being the legitimate sons of Narain Lal would be entitled to the property of Narain Lal in equal shares along with that of Rameshwari Devi and the son born from her marriage to Narain Lal," he said.
The court, referring to objections raised by Rameshwari Devi, said it was correct that no civil court had pronounced if there was a marriage between Yogmaya Devi and Narain Lal.
However, it said this
would not debar the state government from making an
inquiry into the existence of such a marriage and act on
that in order to grant pensionary and other benefits to
the children of Yogmaya Devi.
Film shooting stopped
LUCKNOW, Jan 30 (UNI) Following violent demonstrations on the sets of Deepa Mehtas film "Water" in Varanasi this morning, the Uttar Pradesh Government today ordered the shooting to be stopped.
The Principal Secretary, Home, Mr V.K. Mittal, said here this evening that the case had been referred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in view of the disturbed law and order situation after the incidents in the morning.
VARANASI: Earlier, a protest against Deepa Mehtas film "Water" turned ugly today with a mob ransacking the film set at Tulsi Ghat on the banks of the Ganga and setting on fire the makeshift wooden structures in the Assi area.
Nearly 500 persons led by leaders of the BJP and some outfits owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar took out a procession this morning in the Assi area where the shooting of the film had to take place. Raising slogans against Deepa Mehta and her film "Water", crowd ransacked the set arranged and threw the set material in the Ganga.
Later, the crowd tried to enter a building, where the main set for indoor shooting was built, the film unit staff locked the gates from inside and prevented them from entering the building. The protesters took away whatever material they found lying outside and set them afire.
The protesters were led by Mrs Jyotsana Srivastava, All-India secretary of the BJP womans wing, Mr Ashok Dhavan, state treasurer of the BJP, Shyamdeorai Chowdhari, MLA, and Dr K.K. Misra, a former president of the Banaras Hindu University Teachers Association among others.
Meanwhile, jawans of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) had been deployed at the building acquired by Deepa Mehta for indoor shooting. The district administration said that adequate security had been provided to the film unit and the police had been deployed at the proposed shooting sites.
The Administration, however, made it clear that "the shooting can only start when Deepa Mehta gets a green signal from the state government.
Meanwhile, the senior
leaders of the state BJP told UNI here that the state
government had disallowed the shooting of the film on the
apprehension of breach of peace. They said the government
was well within its right to disallow the shooting.
BSP to field Dumpy from Kannauj
LUCKNOW, Jan 30 (UNI) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today announced its decision to field Mr Akbar Ahmed Dumpy from the Kannauj Lok Sabha constituency.
Party leader and former Chief Minister Mayawati said the BSP would go it alone not only in the byelectiions in UP but also in the assembly elections in Bihar, Haryana and Orissa.
Addressing a press conference here, she said, "the BSP will not only contest from Kannauj with all seriousness but will make winning the seat a prestige issue.
IN Wokha town of Nagaland, the state under turmoil for the past five decades, two activists of the NSCN (IM), the main armed group fighting for sovereignty for Nagas were lynched to death. Their crime was that they had misbehaved and tried to harm some youth of the Lodha tribe who were playing a football match. Later, the NSCN (IM) cadres had to run for shelter. Till now many had fled the area. Many Lodhas, had, by and large, been supporting the struggle of the NSCN(IM).
But such incidents in Nagaland are not uncommon. Only a few weeks ago, the convoy of the Chief Minister, Mr S.C. Jamir was ambushed, killing some guards. The Chief Minister escaped death. Top leader of the NSCN(IM) S.Muvia who is opposed to Khaplang, Naga Hoho and other smaller insurgent groups was recently arrested in Bangkok. The Government of India has been negotiating for peace with this major group for some years now. Currently, some kind of ceasefire is being respected by both sides. But this incident could be a watershed or else it would not have become such an emotive issue not only with the Lodhas but with the hapless people all over Nagaland. Nagaland Post called it a tragic trait. It said: "The pent up feeling the people of Wokha felt on that day probably had its genesis to various other factors and people in other parts of the state also feel the same against violence, injustice, suppression and corruption. These are potent evils that afflict anyone irrespective of tribe or creed. It is, therefore, the same people under different political affiliations who carry the characteristics and to apportion the blame to this or that faction alone would be an injustice in itself. It is significant, though that the people of Wokha mustered courage to stand up. There appears to be more weight in the argument that the general behaviour of many of the armed cadres of various factions whether in extorting, threatening, abducting or riding roughshod over peoples sentiments are factors that have accrued over the years and which have not only alienated people but made their lives miserable."
Lodha Youth Forum (LYF), a recently formed association had also issued a five-point charter to protect and safeguard the rights of the peace loving Wokhas. A look at this charter that threatens harsh action against non Wokhas again hints at violence to sort out social and political issues. The charter said: "Action would be initiated against any person found aiding, abetting or giving patronage to anti-social elements." Any Lotha girl found indulging in immoral activities with any anti-social element or non-locals would be severely castigated, it said.
All non-local businessmen found aiding, abetting, sheltering or seeking patronage of anti-social elements would be evicted from Wokha and their properties would be seized, it decided.
At another level, the Nagas this year celebrated Republic Day in a grand manner all over the state. The Governor, Mr O.P. Sharma, with his experience in dealing with militants sent a straight message. He dubbed all those taking to gun to achieve their political goals as terrorists. He said: "We face the twin problem of peace and progress, both vital to the well being of the society. Creeping lumpenisation in the society is a negation of the Naga culture and the Naga way of life. Some youth take to deviant behaviour and choose crime as career for want of opportunities and erosion in the value system. Some are pushed into the terrorist fold, not by choice but by compulsion. Many are enticed by the mafia into the world of crime. There is a need to take a reformist and sympathetic view towards them. We have to differentiate between the mafia lords and the innocent youth who have been lured into the world of crime. It is the duty of the state and society to rescue the youth from bondage in perpetuity and bring them back to normal life."
Taking all this into
account, it is clear the people are sick of violence,
from both sides and will go a whole hog for any serious
peace initiative. What they are yearning for is peace and
development. But emotive issue like sovereignty which is
increasingly taking a backseat could come alive if
straight measures to check rampant corruption, nepotism
and to speed up development are not taken. Nagaland once
again offers a chance and if it is wasted, it will prove
Move to change statute: Basu
calls for stir
CALCUTTA, Jan 30 Mr Jyoti Basu has invited all political parties and other secular forces to launch a countrywide agitation against the BJPs move to change the Constitution.
The Marxist leader talking to The Tribune today said: "The BJPs gameplan has now been exposed and it is clear that they want dictatorship and that is why they are trying to amend the Constitution which even the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, has vehemently opposed".
"It has now become clear that the BJP wants fascism by destroying democracy. And the attempt to change the Constitution is a step towards the goal", Mr Basu remarked.
The veteran Marxist leader said: "Some time I wonder what is going to happen to the country in their (BJPs) hands? They are destroying all democratic norms and secular values to serve their vested interests. They do not want elections to be held. Then why this democracy?"
"Its better then to have presidential form of government or a military administration," Mr Basu observed.
"But in a country like us, that is not needed and there is nothing wrong in the present parliamentary system of government, which, it appears, has not been serving the communal interests of the BJP, the Marxist leader commented.
Mr Basu warned people against the BJPs present gameplan, which he feared would divide the country.
Mr Basu said Partition of the country was due to communalism and BJP was trying to divide the country again on the communal card.
"Ours is a secular country and the Constitution has been framed accordingly, which the BJP wants to destroy," he said.
Sorabjee flays media on Presidents remark
NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (PTI) Attorney-General Soli J. Sorabjee today deplored the way the media had raked up a controversy by reading "unintended meanings and sinister allusions" into President K.R. Narayanans remarks on judiciary.
"The needless controversies raised about the President in media are deplorable," Mr Sorabjee said, adding that the President in his address on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the Supreme Court was merely repeating the saying that "litigation is a lottery".
Mr Narayanan had paid a handsome tribute to the Supreme Court and in the course of the lecture mentioned a couple of incidents to indicate the deficiencies in the system which permit a guilty person to go scotfree on account of lack of evidence, he told PTI.
"Unintended meanings and sinister allusions have been read into this remark," Mr Sorabjee said reacting to a section of the media reports which said the President had criticised the judiciary for not providing speedy justice to people.
Mr Sorabjee said a few days ago the Presidents name was dragged unnecessarily into the delay in appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts.
He denied that Mr Narayanan had delayed the appointment of Judges and said it was incorrect to say that delays in the appointments could be attributable to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Mr Sorabjee said: "In cases of appointment of Judges to High Courts and the Supreme Court, the President sometime requests for information on certain aspects and in particular to satisfy himself whether the norms and procedures laid down by the Supreme Court in this regard have been followed."
"Not at all" was the retort of the Attorney-General when asked whether the judiciary was unhappy with the delay in the appointment of Judges.
He said: "The President as a conscientious Head of State is entitled to request for information and to raise relevant queries" and added appointments were made only after the queries were answered and additional information given.
Pak 'plans' Kargil-type offensive
NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (PTI) The Pakistan army has reportedly planned a major Kargil-type offensive in the coming months aimed at cutting off large formations of the Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, according to a former aide to a top Taliban commander.
The Pakistani military planners have directed big mercenary groups to attempt to cut off the Jammu-Srinagar and Jammu-Poonch highways in a bid to isolate troops stationed on the Line of Control (LoC).
They have asked large groups of mercenaries to concentrate on lightly held heights of the Pir Panjal range straddling the two highways.
A former close aide to a top Taliban commander, Mauluvi Abdul Rasul Rab Sayyaf, who recently left Afghanistan for sanctuary in the West, said preparations and plotting of the proposed offensive were undertaken by ISI commanders at the Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin-run Khawar Zilli camps in Khost province of Afghanistan recently.
"The ISI has or may be in the process of infiltrating regular Pakistani soldiers in mufti to lead and direct these operations and Pakistani military planners might raise the stake by arming mercenaries with light artillery guns and 84 and 120 mm mortars for the offensive", the Taliban aide said on condition of anonymity.
The self-styled commander-in-chief of major Kashmiri militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salhuddin, alias Mohd Yusuf, who now is housed in the PoK capital of Muzzaffarbad by the ISI, was recently quoted by Pakistani papers as threatening that mercenary groups were ready to launch major attacks to cut off Indian border troops from their rear bases on the Kargil pattern.
According to military strategists here, Pakistans aim could be to attempt to bring the two national highways under an artillery threat, making the movement of vehicles difficult, if not impossible.
While the big mercenary groups have been told to occupy vital heights straddling the two highways, Pakistani military planners are plotting to pin down border troops on the LoC by heavy engagement from across the Line of Control.
The Afghan aide said a large number of Harkat and Lashkar mercenaries, who infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir during the Kargil conflict, had been directed to build huge mountain cave defences on mountain heights overlooking the two highways to locate heavy mortars and light artillery guns.
Sources in the Home Ministry said the Farooq Abdullah administration had been asked to deal with militants with an "iron hand", besides effecting coordination among various security agencies operating in the state.
Man strangled, suicide by
NOIDA, Jan 30 A man was strangled for having illicit relations. The police has arrested three persons in this connection so far and is hunting for another. According to the police, a resident of Sector 39, Subash Chandra, complained to the police that his uncle had been missing for the past three days. The police started action and it came to light that his uncle Lalit, was last seen with landlord Mukesh. The police took into custody landlords brother Mahesh for interrogation. The police came to the conclusion that Lalit had illicit relations with Kaloo who resided opposite his house.
According to information, Lalit was taken to Sector 44 and after consuming alcohol, Kaloo strangled him using a belt, and the body was thrown into a gutter. The police has recovered the body while Kaloo is absconding. The Police has arrested three persons who assisted Kaloo in killing.
In another incident a
woman committed suicide by hanging herself with her
dupatta. According to information the deceased
Chandravati (40) tied one end of dupatta to the window
and other to herself. She is survived by husband and
Tarlochan Singh honoured
NEW DELHI, Jan 30 The World Punjab Organisation today held a function in honour of Mr Tarlochan Singh on his nomination as Vice-Chairman of the National Minorities Commission.
The function was attended by prominent Punjabis of Delhi and graced by former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kuldip Singh.
7 killed in road accident
HYDERABAD, Jan 30 (PTI) Seven persons were killed and three injured when two trucks collided in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh this morning, police said.
Seven killed in
award for Trupti
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