|Friday, March 24, 2000,
panels scope identified
Govt denies intelligence failure
UP Governors Address
Taj a magnificent
Hooch claims 4 lives in Bihar
Resignation of Joshi, Advani
Statute panels scope identified
NEW DELHI, March 23 (PTI) The Constitution Review Commission at its first meeting today identified eight core areas for scrutiny, including the enlargement of fundamental rights and working of Article 356, but did not touch the controversial issue of barring persons of foreign origin from holding high public offices.
The 11-member commission chaired by Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah sought to set the controversy over the nature and scope of the commission by clarifying that "its function is to review the working of the Constitution and not to re-write the Constitution."
The eight core areas identified by the commission for examination are: the menace of defections, the constitutional provisions on removal of poverty, the working of Article 356 and appointment and removal of Governors, the decentralisation of powers and strengthening of the Panchayat Raj, the enlargement of fundamental rights, the effective enforcement of Directive Principles, fundamental duties and provisions relating to fiscal and monetary policies.
Asked about the
controversy over the remarks of former Lok Sabha Speaker
P.A.Sangma, who attended the meeting, on barring persons
of foreign origin occupying high public offices, the
commission spokesman Justice B.P.Jeevan Reddy said:
"That question did not come up during the
deliberations of the commission today."
Govt denies intelligence
NEW DELHI, March 23 The Union Home Ministry yesterday ruled out that the failure of intelligence had resulted in the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chatisinghpura village in Anantnag district stating that steps were on to beef up security in villages inhabited by the Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Special Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, Mr Tilak Raj Kakkar, who is in charge of J and K affairs, told correspondents here that the attack was a combined effort of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Hizbul-Mujahideen and that the terrorists frequented the area.
Mr Kakkar, who returned from Chatsinghpura after a visit there, said in his opinion the Sikhs of the village "were cheated who till now believed that they were safe from terrorist attacks.
He said villagers were familiar with the terrorists and some of the residents who fled from the scene had even identified the attackers.
Ruling out any serious failure of intelligence or complacency on the part of the security forces, Mr Kakkar justified it by stating that since the community had never been attacked, the forces had been utilising the manpower elsewhere.
However, after the attack the unified headquarters held a meeting on Tuesday and it was decided to beef up security in villages especially those inhabited by the Sikhs and set up police pickets.
He said efforts were also on to persuade the community to take on the job of village defence committees set up elsewhere in the state.
As per the estimate there were some 95,000-odd Sikhs spread across 135 villages in north and south Kashmir, he said, adding that security concerns would be addressed to in the wake of the latest incident.
Asked if there was a possibility of such an attack being carried out again, Mr Kakkar said while it would be premature to comment whether it would be an isolated incident or an emerging trend.
While he refrained from commenting on what could have prompted the attack on a community that was not touched during the past 12 years in the trouble-torn state, Mr Kakkar said perhaps the group that attacked wanted to hit at a soft target or could have done it to show that they were independent of the command and control.
Tarlochan asks Sikhs to remain
NEW DELHI, March 23 The Vice-Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, today appealed to the Sikh community not to get "carried away by attempts of some people to take political advantage of the recent carnage" in Chattisinghpora village in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Mr Tarlochan Singh condemned the massacre and added that after the incident some people started creating suspicion in the minds of members of the Sikh community that some agencies could be behind the attack.
"The community has after a long struggle come out of isolation and attempts are on once again to push it back. It is time for all to stay together," he said.
UP Governors Address disrupted
LUCKNOW, March 23 (UNI) The Budget session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly today began on an unpleasant note and had to be adjourned for over an hour following noisy scenes by Opposition members.
The members of both the Houses assembled for Governor Suraj Bhans address to the joint session of the Houses but the address could not take place due to protests from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress members against the Religious Places Bill passed by the legislature during the last session.
As soon as the Governor rose to deliver his address, BSP member Murad Lari jumped over the table and reached near the Chair raising anti-government slogans. He fell on the ground when the guards tried to stop him.
Soon after, another BSP member Hira Thakur took off his "kurta" (shirt) and threw it towards the Chair while other Opposition members continued with slogan shouting.
The members refused to maintain calm despite requests from Speaker Kesrinath Tripathi, who subsequently adjourned the house for about 70 minutes.
Mr Suraj Bhan, in his address said the agencies dealing with the prevention of corruption such as the vigilance estabilshment, the anti-corruption organisation and the economic offence wing had been directed to complete inquiries in a time-bound manner.
"If any public servant is found in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, action will be taken to attach such property," the Governor asserted. "The delay in the administrative departments in the process of giving sanction for prosecution in corruption cases will be removed," he added.
The Governor said in order to provide a clean governance, the government was taking steps to fix accountability at every level, bring about transparency and eradicate corruption. A citizens charter has been prepared and implemented in 15 departments," he added.
Mr Suraj Bhan, while admitting that the state was faced with a difficult financial situation, said the government had implemented wideranging financial reforms, with the sole objective of reducing the expenditure on non-productive heads.
In order to maintain law
and order, Mr Suraj Bhan said, the state government had
taken an important decision to separate law and order and
the investigation policing from each other in the urban
Taj a magnificent treasure: Clinton
AGRA, March 23 (PTI) "A magnificent treasure", is how US President Bill Clinton described the Taj Mahal, while daughter Chelsea said the 17th century monument of love was "a testament to mans work and Gods inspiration."
"Thank you for the wonderful tour of this magnificent treasure," Mr Clinton wrote in the visitors book after touring the marble mausoleum for over 90 minutes last evening.
Mr Clinton, who along with Chelsea were escorted around one of the seven wonders of the world by a senior official of the Archaelogical Survey of India, evinced keen interest in the architecture and dent expressed a desire to visit Emperor Shahjahans tribute to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal once again.
Chelsea was instrumental to a great extent in bringing her father to Agra, particularly Taj, which she visited with her mother Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1995.
"I have always wanted to come here all my life and I am very happy," an overwhelmed Mr Clinton said as he beheld the Taj Mahal.
Later, addressing a
conference on US-India Environment and Clean
Energy" at the Taj Khema hotel overlooking the Taj,
Mr Clinton said, "Standing in the shadow of the Taj
Mahal, we can say it is a monument built in love. All
important monuments are built for love. What we can give
our children is such a monument.... That is, preservation
of the earth. We should give them that monument in the
spirit of love."
Hooch claims 4 lives in Bihar
PATNA, March 23 (PTI) Four persons died and as many were taken ill after consuming illicit liquor here last night, the police said today.
Inspector-General (Patna zone) Neelmani told PTI that the seriously ill had been admitted to Patna Medical College Hospital after they showed symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
He said efforts were on to trace others who might had been taken ill after consuming the same brew at Hanuman Nagar and Jagipur localities in the state capital.
Resignation of Joshi, Advani sought
ALLAHABAD, March 23 (UNI) Senior Lok Dal leader and former union minister Satya Prakash Malviya today demanded the resignation of Home Minister L.K. Advani and Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi from the Union Cabinet.
Mr Malviya said in a statement that if the ministers failed to do so, the President should dismiss them.
He said there could not be two yardsticks one for members of the Union Cabinet and the other for members of the state cabinet.
Govt fails to meet striking lawyers
NEW DELHI, March 23 (PTI) The month-long deadlock between the Centre and striking lawyers on their demand for suspension of the police officers responsible for the lathicharge on them continued as both sides failed to hold a meeting to hammer out a solution as suggested by the Delhi High Court yesterday.
Solicitor General Harish
Salve informed a Division Bench comprising Acting Chief
Justice Devinder Gupta and Justice Cyriac Joseph that the
meeting could not take place as Home Minister L.K. Advani
was not available.
Book gets award
NEW DELHI, March 23
(PTI) "Sangeet Evam Chintan" a
book on music by Mukund Lath - has been selected for the
K.K. Birla Foundations Shankar
Puraskar-1999 award. The award, given to honour an
outstanding work published in Hindi during the past 10
years on Indian philosophy, culture and art, carries a
cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh, a foundation note said on
presented in AP
stayed against Gadkari
notice to NGO ex-chief
Five charred to
death in Bihar
Jain sadhvi dead
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