|Thursday, February 17, 2000,
No politics in
removal of NSG cover
Central team for fencing border
Shah confesses being CIA
Bar Council member held for car
Plan to promote computer education
Officer challenges bank notice in
Probe ordered in Nadar case
Obscenity case: 7
Centre gives in to southern allies
Voters disillusioned in Orissa
RBI ready to publish
list of defaulters
German education fair from Feb 20
Naxals blast TDP mans house
politics in removal of NSG cover
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, today said there was no politics behind the Centres decision to remove the National Security Guard (NSG) cover to some VVIPs.
He said it was the governments decision to remove the NSG cover and hand over the responsibility of security to the Delhi Police for several VVIPs in the Capital.
On the governments move to stop the Samjhauta Express, between India and Pakistan, as the train had become a safe smuggling route for counterfeit Indian currency, Mr Advani said the recommendations had been sent to the External Affairs Ministry.
However, the Home Minister did not outline the recommendations saying that it was up to the ministry concerned to take the decision.
Lamenting the politician-criminal nexus, Mr Advani said the police needed to have peoples confidence for maintaining law and order in the Capital, adding that on many occasions criminals used their political connections to get out of the police dragnet which diluted peoples faith in the system.
An important aspect of good policing is that people should not be discouraged to lodge complaints. The common man should be taken into confidence by the police, he said.
While addressing the Raising Day function of the Delhi Police at the Police Lines parade ground, Mr Advani assured the police that the recommendations of the National Police Commission set up a few years ago would to implemented. The ministry would also look into the issues of promotion of constables and Head Constables who had been serving for years on the same post.
Mr Advani said statistics could not be the yardstick for assessing the sense of security among the people in the Capital. The real success was how residents felt when they went to police stations to lodge complaints.
The Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr Ajai Raj Sharma, said the police would stress on the community policing during the current year with the cooperation of the people. This could be an effective way to control crime in Delhi, he said.
The crime rate has declined this year. But the task of the police it to ensure that people feel secure in the Capital, he said.
The Police Commissioner said a fully-equipped mobile unit would be placed in each of the nine police districts for better intervention of crime. The units would carry on board the latest scientific aids and technicians besides dog and bomb squads. The aim is to reach the place of crime as soon as possible so that crucial evidences like finger prints, smell etc. do not get vitiated, he explained.
Delhi Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor, Minister of State for Home C.V. Rao, Union Home Secretary Kamal Pandey, Chief Vigilance Commissioner N. Vittal, Special Secretary (Home) T.R. Kakkar and former CBI Director Joginder Singh besides senior Delhi Police officials were also present.
After a general salute, the Home Minister witnessed a marchpast by companies of the Delhi Police. The dog squad, traffic motorcycle squad, riot control vehicle vajra and mobile control room with hi-tech communication facilities also formed part of the marchpast.
PTI: Pointing out
peoples general tendency to approach the local
corporator, MLA, or MP in the event of the crime, he
said. They should be directly approaching the
police. There should be a spontaneous trust and
confidence in the police.
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 (PTI) A two-member Home Ministry team, which visited Jammu after two consecutive blasts last week, has suggested immediate fencing of the border in the Vijaypur-Sambha sector which is most vulnerable to infiltration, official sources said late tonight.
The team, comprising Special Secretary T.R. Kakkar and Director (Kashmir) Shishir Sinha, has recommended immediate fencing of all vulnerable stretches along the international border, the sources said. The team also said all railway stations in the Jammu region as well as vulnerable portions of the track between Jammu and Pathankot should be fenced.
The sources said the explosive material on the track on Thursday last was planted by militants who had infiltrated from Pakistan as the site of the blast is much nearer to the international border.
The team suggested to construct security huts along the vulnerable railway track besides providing latest communication equipment for track patrolling.
Increased vigil in Jammu city, setting up of check posts along infiltration routes and carrying out of special operations on intelligence inputs were other recommendations made by team, the sources said.
The police was asked to carry operations against terrorist modules on the basis of special information. Besides, small committees of shopkeepers were asked to be set up to ensure that no suspicious person or object in the area went unnoticed and the same was reported immediately to notified agencies.
The central team asked the BSF to set up additional nakas (check points) along the infiltration routes in the Jammu sector. It was also decided to provide special street-lights with separate uninterrupted power supply, especially during evening hours, in Jammu city. Cost of some of the new arrangements would be borne under the security related expenditure (SRE).
In addition, the Railway Board had been requested to fence the Jammu railway station and its yards and subsequently fence all railway stations in the Jammu region and to provide lighting at vulnerable portions of the railway line between Jammu and Kathua.
The sources said investigations into the bomb blasts on tracks, destroying bogies of Sealdah Express on February 10 near Jammu and another in Krishna Nagar in Jammu were moving in the right direction. The groups involved in the incidents had been identified and one person was arrested today, they added.
Five persons were killed
when suspected militants triggered an explosion on the
railway line near Sambha on Thursday night and another
four persons died when militants lobbed a grenade in a
busy-makeshift market in the Jammu city, a day later.
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 (PTI) Retired Wing Commander Satnam Shah, arrested here on drug trafficking charges, has allegedly confessed being an agent of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and having brokered key defence deals, Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said today.
Shah, who along with his daughter Priya, was arrested on February 4 following alleged seizure of 150 kg of hashish from their South-West Delhi residence, made the confession during sustained interrogations by sleuths of the CBI, Intelligence Bureau and other agencies, Sharma told PTI in the first official comment on the issue.
He (Shah) himself has confessed to having worked for the CIA. He did several projects for them and was getting money for each operation. He has also disclosed passing on sensitive defence documents to diplomats of some countries, he said, adding it would not be proper on his part to divulge the names of the countries as it may affect diplomatic ties.
However, Shahs links with Pakistans ISI were yet to be established, he said.
The 67-year old former fighter pilots major job was getting defence deals executed, the Police Commissioner said.
The case against Shah, presently in police custody, is likely to be handed over to the CBI in view of his confessions, Mr Sharma said, while not ruling out the possibility of Shah having made disclosures about his CIA links to mislead the police, which is probing the source of his drug supply.
Council member held for car thefts
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 A Bar Council member of Sonepat and Delhi, Dayanand, alias Anand, was arrested by the Delhi Police in a car theft case.
The suspect, Dayanand, (32), who was reportedly declared a proclaimed offender in 13 cases committed in Haryana and the Capital, was a graduate from Delhi University and LLB from Lucknow, the police said.
He belonged to Bichpadi Guhana in Sonepat district. His accomplices, who were active in Haryana and Delhi, were identified as Balwinder, alias Beeru, from Hoshiarpur and Jagat Singh, alias Kala, from Sonepat. They were also arrested.
The gang used to steal Maruti (800 and Zen) cars and Tata Sumo jeeps. The vehicles were sold in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The stolen Maruti 800 cars were sold at Rs 70,000 and Zens at Rs 1 lakh.
The gangs involvement in about 56 car theft cases had been ascertained. Most cars were stolen in North-West Delhi. The police said the gang would change the number plates of the vehicles before selling these.
papers, rubber stamps of various transport authorities of
Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, fake invoices, duplicate keys,
fake insurance forms, sale and pollution certificates,
and fake maintenance service records had also been
promote computer education
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 The Department of Education in the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development is in the process of formulating a scheme to promote computer education in classrooms.
Announcing this here at a national seminar on Information Technology and Schooling Process, the Union Education Secretary, Mr M.K. Kaw, said under the Class 2000 scheme, effort would be made to bring computer literacy to 10,000 schools in the initial stage spanning two years. This does not appear to be too ambitious a target because we are presuming that about 1,300 Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas will be made the focal points of this computer literacy programme.
The two-day seminar was organised by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
He enumerated three kinds of computer literacy, namely, general computer literacy, class to class project and Class 2000 project.
Mr Kaw said the NCERT was helping the government prepare a discussion document on the revision of national curriculum framework, a document on value education, besides other documents.
MUMBAI, Feb 16 (PTI) A top executive of the Bank of India (BoI) posted in Tokyo has moved the high court here challenging a notice issued to him by his employers to show cause why his services should not be dismissed on the ground of misconduct for allegedly molesting two female Japanese employees three years ago.
According to the findings of a Tokyo court, Dr N.K. Khare, posted in Japan as BoIs Chief Executive, had allegedly molested two Japanese women colleagues on separate occasions in 1996. He allegedly raped one of them at his residence where he had called her to learn the foreign language. The other one was allegedly molested in office.
Based on complaints filed by the aggrieved victims, a district court in Tokyo had last year found Khare guilty of the alleged offences and issued a decree awarding damages of Rs 18.6 lakh against BoI and its Chief Executive.
Khare had denied before the Japanese court having committed the alleged offences saying that the accusations against him were the outcome of a trade union rivalry.
The bank, in exercise of its powers under Regulation 11 of the service rules, had issued show-cause notice to Khare as to why the penalty of dismissal be not imposed on him.
Simultaneously, BoI had also frozen Khans account as well as the joint account with his wife to recover the amount paid by it to honour the decree of Tokyo court.
In his petition, Khare contended that the Tokyo court verdict did not amount to a judicial trial and therefore, the bank was not justified in issuing a show-cause notice to him.
The bank, in its reply, relied upon the verdict in the famous Visakha case wherein the Supreme Court laid down guidelines for undertaking preventive measures against the employees indulging in cases of sexual harassment of women at work place.
When the petition came up for hearing before Justice N.J. Pandya and Ranjana Desai on Monday, BoIs counsel and Additional Solicitor General, Dr Dhananjay Chandrachud, raised a preliminary objection contending that the petitioner had only challenged the show-cause notice issued to him and hence his plea should not be entertained.
The bank, he said, carried on business at international level and had taken the allegations of sexual harassment against its woman employees seriously.
Counsel for the petitioner, V.R. Manohar, argued that his client was questioning the issuance of the show-cause notice and that he was relying upon the preliminary investigation report of the bank which had exonerated the employee.
Dr Chandrachud, on the other hand, submitted that the BoI had in good faith defended itself and its Chief Executive before the Tokyo court. Once the court had found him guilty of serious misconduct, the bank was duty-bound to take action in view of the findings of the competent judicial forum.
Moreover, Chandrachud argued the BoI was now making efforts to recover from its Chief Executive the damages paid to the aggrieved victims in accordance with the decree of the Tokyo court.
However, the high court
suggested the BoI to consider whether it would be in a
position to hold a full-fledged departmental inquiry
against the officer.Accordingly, Justice N.J. Pandya and
Justice Ranjana Desai adjourned the hearing of the
petition for two weeks to enable the bank to ponder over
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Feb 16 (UNI) The Kerala Government today announced its decision to order a judicial inquiry into the allegation of sexual and official harassment levelled by former Transport Secretary and senior IAS officer Nalini Netto against former Transport Minister A. Neelalohithdasan Nadar.
The state Cabinet, which took the decision, entrusted Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar with the responsibility of taking further steps to constitute the judicial commission.
Dr Nadar had resigned on February 12 following the allegation.
The Janata Dal (Secular), to which Dr Nadar belongs, had demanded a judicial inquiry into Mrs Nalinis complaint. The JD (S) state leadership had said Dr Nadar had resigned from the Cabinet only to bring out the truth through a judicial inquiry.
Asked if the Chief Secretary , to whom Mr Nayanar yesterday forwarded the complaint of Mrs Nalini, would take actions as per law, Mr Nayanar told newspersons that the judicial inquiry and the actions as per law could proceed simultaneously.
In this context Finance Minister T. Sivadasa Menon, who was also present, pointed out that an inquiry by a judicial commission and a probe by the special investigation team had progressed simultaneously into the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Asked why Mr Nayanar did not disclose the receipt of the complaint from Mrs Nalini Netto at the post-Cabinet briefing on February 9, Mr Nayanar said he had actually received the complaint only after the Cabinet briefing.
Mrs Nalini Netto had submitted her complaint, dated February 1, to the Chief Minister on February 9.
In the five-page
complaint, she had described in detail, the alleged
misbehaviour of the minister with her in his chamber in
the legislature complex on December 21, 1999 where she
had been for a discussion on some official matter.
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 (PTI) The US President, Mr Bill Clinton, is likely to address members of both Houses of Parliament during his forthcoming five-day visit to India beginning March 20.
The External Affairs Ministry has proposed to Lok Sabha Speaker GMC Balayogi that Mr Clinton should address both Houses on March 21, Parliamentary sources said today.
The Speaker would place the proposal before leaders of political parties at a meeting on the opening day of the Budget session on February 23 when a final decision will be taken.
Meanwhile, US officials
have paid a visit to the Central Hall of Parliament where
US Presidents Dwight David Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter
addressed members of both Houses in 1959 and 1978,
MUMBAI, Feb 16 (PTI) Seven leading actresses of Bollywood, accused of indulging in obscenity through films and magazines, were today discharged by a local court which found no merits in a criminal complaint filed against them.
Karisma Kapoor, Pooja Bhatt, Juhi Chawla, Mamta Kulkarni, Madhuri Dixit, Raveena Tandon and Tabbu were discharged by Metropolitan Magistrate Mohan Puranik who observed that the allegations levelled against them in the complaint were vague and not specific.
Ms Archanaben Chauhan, president of the Women Narishakti Abhiyan, alleged that the actresses had committed offences under the IPC through obscene gestures and poses in films and magazines.
She alleged that the
actresses had posed in obscene manner in songs whose
lyrics were not in keeping with decent language. She
quoted songs from films such as Raja Babu,
Zid, Bedardi, Soghand
and Tilak to drive home her point that the
wordings were vulgar and allegedly amounted to obscenity.
gives in to southern allies
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 Acting under pressure from its southern allies, notably the Telugu Desam Party and the DMK, while announcing the population policy yesterday, the NDA government took the rare step of putting off the delimitation of constituencies till 2026, thus necessitating an amendment to the Constitution. Apparently the arithmetic on the floor of Parliament has been taken into account before initiating the move as it needs an amendment to Article 82.
While the southern states, which have efficiently implemented the family planning programme would have been at a position of disadvantage vis-a-vis the Bimaru states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh), which have lagged behind in implementing the population policy, had the delimitation been done as per the 2001 census,as stipulated in a provision under Article 82 inserted by the 42nd amendment, one cannot overlook the fact that states which have minuscule representation at present have been denied a fair share in the cake for another quarter of a century.
As per the provisions of the Constitution, the number of seats of a state in the Lok Sabha is proportionate to its population.
While setting up a committee under Mr Indrajit Gupta in 1998, BJP government had stated that the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies would be taken up after the 2001 census. The cap on the number of seats in the Lok Sabha up to 2000 was decided in the mid-1970s based on the 1971 census.
States like Himachal Pradesh (four seats), Haryana (10 seats), Punjab (13 seats), Delhi (seven seats) Jammu and Kashmir (six seats), and Nagaland, Mizoram, Chandigarh (one each), where the population growth has been declining, would however, feel betrayed by the Cabinets decision.
They had hoped for more representatives in the Lok Sabha. Had the government not placed such a freeze, the four Bimaru states Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh would have accrued more number of seats in the Lok Sabha while several states would have had less representation in Lok Sabha.
Even the proportion of electorate an MP represents differs from constituency to constituency. The glaring example is the Karol Bagh (reserved) constituency in Delhi where the MP represents a population of five lakh whereas in the Outer Delhi parliamentary constitutency, the MP represents an electorate of nearly 20 lakh.
The Cabinets decision of postponing the delimitation exercise by another quarter of a century comes even as the Election Commission had been urging the government to complete the delimitation exercise as imbalance and inequalities have crept into the structure of the Lok Sabha constituencies in various states and union territories.
Had delimitation taken place there would have been greater representation of Women in Parliament, provided the Bill seeking to give one-third representation in Parliament and state assemblies is passed.
The Cabinet has given its nod to the new population policy even as a Bill seeking to debar persons with more than two children from contesting in elections in local bodies to Parliament is pending.
Dr M S Swaminathan, who chaired the committee, on population policy had proposed multi-pronged promotional incentives to push through population control measures in 1994, to which the Cabinet gave a nod.
However, health professionals and non-government organisations had criticised the policy of promotional incentives as it tantamount to penalising women whose options regarding the number of children are socially limited.
Incentives include cash award, and provision for health insurance scheme for couples below poverty line.
however, violate the Cairo declaration on population
control which repudiated all incentives to population
control and urged nations to focus for education and
awareness campaigns regarding a better standard of
disillusioned in Orissa
JAGATSINGHPUR (ORISSA), Feb 16 For the people of coastal Orissa, who are still struggling to recover from the trauma of the super cyclone which hit the region three months ago, the Assembly elections has rubbed more salt on their wounds rather than bringing any healing touch from the politicians.
Locals in this worst cyclone-hit district maintain that rehabilitation and restoration of economy has been progressing at a snails pace. Ninety per cent of the houses damaged are yet to be reconstructed while the construction of temporary roofs has been stalled due to the non-availability of polythene sheets. A large part of the district is still in darkness as power supply has not been restored.
Yet, the politicians who are descending in hordes to woo voters seem to be oblivious to this fact. Leaders come and talk about how much they have done for the cyclone victims, what others have not done for them...they think we are fools, lamented Parmananda Mohapatra, one of the few educated youth who has left his job in adjoining Kendrapara to help his village with the reconstruction work.
Mohapatra is not off the mark when he says that the political parties, especially the Congress and the BJD-BJP combine, have been indifferent to their miseries.
The Congress has yet to acknowledge its failure in meeting the post-cyclone task. Instead, the party has been blaming the BJP-led government at the Centre for not realising the magnitude of the destruction and damage done to the state by the super cyclone. They have refused to acknowledge and declare it as a national calamity.
If a calamity of such unprecedented nature strikes a part of this country, should its repairs rehabilitation be left to that part only? says the Congress manifesto.
A local Congress leader endorses the partys stand saying that post-cyclone relief and rehabilitation should have been the responsibility of the Centre.
The Congress claim is that had the Centre declared the super cyclone as a national calamity then the full responsibility of the states reconstruction would have been that of the Centre. International aid could have come in profusion and for factories damaged or destroyed financial institutions abroad would have advanced interest free-loans to them.
The Congress leaders have been pointing out at the election meeting that there was an all-party resolution in the last session of the assembly requesting the Central Government to declare the super cyclone as a national calamity and an all-party delegation called on the Prime Minister to make a similar representation.
Another instance of the Centres neglect of the super cyclone, pointed out by the Congress, is that while the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, visited the cyclone affected areas repeatedly, while the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee only visited the state capital for a brief period of two hours.
The state Congress Government has also claimed that the relief work has been going on satisfactorily and there is not a single cyclone- affected family which has not received some amount of relief.
The BJD-BJP combine on its part has fielded its Central leaders to counter the Congress charges and they had none other than the Prime Minister himself speaking about the steps taken by the Centre to give relief to cyclone-hit Orissa.
Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee during his election speeches here last week said his government has been giving top priority to the rehabilitation work. He said Rs 500 crore were immediately sanctioned from the National Calamity Relief Fund and Rs 400 were to be released further as revival package. The wage and means limit had been increased. From the Prime Ministers Relief Fund, Rs 50,000 was paid to the relatives of each deceased totalling Rs 40 crore. Nearly 1.75 lakh houses were to be constructed under the Indira Awas Yojana. He added that Rs 550 crore had been separately allocated for house construction.
The claims and counter
claims by the two leading parties notwithstanding, it is
becoming clear that the voter is not buying it. A telling
comment on the voters attitude towards the
politicians came from 80-year-old Radhika Biswal of
Dhenkanal. She says she will never vote again because the
politicians have left her in the lurch after the cyclone.
MUMBAI, Feb 16 (UNI) Reserve Bank Governor Dr Bimal Jalan has said that the apex bank has no difference of opinion with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) regarding the publication of list of defaulters.
There is no objection to publication of names, Dr Jalan said after addressing a seminar on State of Indian Economy organised by the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) under the MA Master Memorial Endowment.
The RBI Governor made
this observation when the audience hurled a volley of
questions about the publication of names of defaulters to
the nationalised banks. Many a time the industry
faces some cyclical problems, he said.
education fair from Feb 20
NEW DELHI, Feb 16 Representatives of the German Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochshulen) and the German Academic Exchange Service have joined hands to hold presentations in various cities in India to apprise the public of the education opportunities in Germany. The fair is scheduled to start in Delhi on February 20.
A press note issued by the German embassy here on Wednesday said the particulars of new international courses would be highlighted during the fair.
As per the schedule announced by the embassy, the fair will be held at Max Mueller Bhawan on Sunday and Monday. The fair will be held in Ghaziabad and Roorkee February 22. It will be held in Bangalore (February 24 and 25), Chennai (February 27 and 28), Mumbai (March 1 and 2) and in Pune (March 2 and 3).
HYDERABAD, Feb 16 (UNI)
Naxalites of the banned Peoples War Group
(PWG) blasted the house of a ruling Telugu Desam (TDP)
mandal vice-president at Kushnapally village in Adilabad
district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday. The police here
said about 15 Naxalites of Boath Dalam went
to the house of the mandal vice-president Chetanna and
blasted it, after asking the inmates to come out.
lover stabs man
worth 7.83 lakh seized
Water not to be allowed anywhere
CDRI to launch
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