|Wednesday, May 3, 2000,
pact on terrorism
W. Tripura violence: Army deployed
Cong for time-bound probe
Basu may hold probe
US report confirms Indias
Raise issues in party fora: PM
Governors order on pardon
Cheating case: court to record
Bid to saffronise
Chetan Anands sons denied
SC frowns upon
Regional channels rule the roost
ISI trying to forge
links between ultras
Reduction in funds for education
Beggars up in arms
MPs concerned over SC taking up
Kargil airport to be ready by Oct
Indo-Uzbek pact on terrorism
NEW DELHI, May 2 Uzbekistan President Islam Abduganievich Karimov today came out sharply against support to terrorists by Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Talking to reporters after a ceremonial reception given to him at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mr Karimov said India was a "natural ally" of Uzbekistan".
New Delhi had been opposing terrorism and extremism at all international forums, he said adding that international terrorism had emerged as one of the most dangerous and explosive threats.
In an indirect reference to Pakistan, the Uzbek President lashed out at the policy of the Taliban and their supporters elsewhere in providing training to terrorists.
"Afghanistan has become a hot bed and training ground of international terrorism. Such activities are absolutely unacceptable to us. We cannot accept the policies of certain countries supporting the Taliban", Mr Karimov stressed.
Besides President K.R. Narayanan, those present at the forecourt included Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh.
India and Uzbekistan will discuss ways to jointly combat terrorism during the two-day visit of Mr Karimov, who also visited India in 1991 and 1994.
Meanwhile, India and Uzbekistan today signed far-reaching agreements, including those on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and an extradition treaty, to launch a joint battle against the menace of international terrorism.
W. Tripura violence: Army deployed
AGARTALA, May 2 (UNI) The Army has been deployed in violence-hit West Tripuras Jirania areas, where four persons had been killed in ethnic clashes yesterday.
West Tripura District Magistrate Manoj Kumar said here this morning that the curfew which had been promulgated since yesterday has been extended till 5 a.m. tomorrow. He said there was no report of any fresh violence in the troubled Jirania areas since last evening and the situation was now under control.
An official spokesman said the Army and Assam Rifles were patrolling the area and raids were being carried out to nab the culprits responsible for the violence. The District Magistrate, DIG (Range), Superintendent of Police of West Tripura district besides other senior CRPF officials were camping in the trouble-torn areas and supervising security and other related matters, He added.
Yesterday, The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) guerrillas shot dead two non-tribals at Radhannagar in West Tripura when they were working in the fields,
In retaliation, a violent mob severely beat up seven tribals at Mohanpur and seriously injured them. The injured were shifted to the GB hospital here, where two of them succumbed to injuries.
Tension ran high in the entire Jirania police station areas.
Chief Minister Manik
Sarkar, who held a high-level meeting here last night and
this morning to review the situation, strongly condemned
the incidents and stated that the evil tactics to disturb
the ethnic harmony would not be allowed. He appealed to
the people to maintain peace and communal harmony at all
Cong for time-bound probe
NEW DELHI, May 2 The Congress today expressed concern over the fire incident at the Bharatpur Ordnance Depot recently, its ramifications on national security and demanded a "deep and time-bound inquiry into it.
Senior Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia said the government should come only with some immediate short-term measures so that countrys defence requirements were met.
"It is a question of defence preparedness. We are saying adequate measures must be taken Mr Scindia said at the briefing here today.
He said as per information available with the party, the fire had wiped out nearly one-third of requirement of Southern Command which would take at least three to five years to replenish or build.
The government, he said, must take steps to locate and recover and defuse unexploded shells which would otherwise be dangerous for the civilians.
He said there were reports that the fire was fanned by elephant grass that remained uncut and wondered as to why was the grass not removed during March as was the practice.
According to reports, he said, there was movement of labour inside the depot a few days before the fire and wondered whether there was any link between the arrest of some ISI agents at Alwar and the fire.
Mr Scindia said the National Security Adviser, Mr Brajesh Mishra, had said at Patiala recently that there was no evidence to suggest sabotage. "There should be an in-depth probe Mr Scindia said.
He said the
parliamentary panel in its report had suggested that all
ordnance depots in the country should be modernised and
also demanded that compensation should be paid speedily
and adequately to those who had suffered on account of
US report confirms
Indias stand: govt
NEW DELHI, May 2 India today asserted that the US State Department report referring to Pakistan and Afghanistan as safe havens for terrorists only "confirmed what we have been saying for many years".
"The report confirms to a large measure what we have been saying that Pakistan and Afghanistan have emerged as focal points of international terrorism," a Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said in response to a question on the the report on the Patterns of Global Terrorism in 1999.
Describing the report as "self-evident", the spokesman said, "The State Department report also recognises that the Government of India had taken a number of steps against terrorism at home and abroad".
Raise issues in party fora: PM
NEW DELHI, May 2 (PTI) Apparently embarrassed over the Madan Lal Khurana episode, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today told BJP MPs to raise issues in the party fora rather than going public.
Chairing the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting here, Mr Vajpayee said his government believed in transparency and was willing to discuss issues in the party fora.
He said members belonging to the BJP and the NDA allies should raise issues at the proper forum, party spokesman Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.
Mr Khurana, who had been sacked from the post of BJP Vice President by party president Kushabhau Thakre, did not attend the meeting though he had said he would do so.
The government had been
put in an embarrassing situation when Mr Khurana wrote a
letter to Mr Vajpayee raising in it issues like the
controversial Sankhya Vahini, price rise and removal of
import restrictions from the USA on the basis of a letter
written by an official of the US Commerce Department.
Governors order on pardon quashed
NEW DELHI, May 2 The Supreme Court has quashed the order of the Governor of Haryana granting pardon remitting the unexpired period of sentence passed on prisoner Siriyans Kumar Jain for the murder of Krishan Kumar during the elections of the president of the Municipal Committee, Hansi, in 1987.
Mr Justice G.B. Pattanaik while delivering the judgement of the Bench, which included Mr Justice U.C. Banerjee, allowed the writ petition of Satpal, brother of the deceased, and his widow observing that the judgement and order passed did not debar the Governor from reconsidering the matter in the light of relevant materials and not in accordance with the constitutional provision and discretion. The court in its judgement observed that the order of the Governor had been vitiated and he was not advised properly with all relevant materials, thus it had no other option but to quash the same.
Perusing the order the Supreme Court noted that it said, "The Governor was pleased to grant pardon remitting the unexpired portion of the sentence passed on prisoner Siriyans Kumar Jain confined in the Central Jail, Hisar". But in fact he was not confined to jail and appearance of compliance with the Supreme Court order he surrendered before the Sessions Court, Hisar on February 2, 1999, got released the same day on the basis of the Governors order passed on January 1, 1999. Going through the entire file of the case, the court noticed the haste with which the file had been processed and the unusual interest and zeal shown by the authorities concerned in the matter of exercise of power to grant pardon.
"We also fail to understand how the order in question could show that the prisoner is in jail while in fact he was free and had not surrendered to serve the sentence notwithstanding the positive direction of the court dated December 10, 1998, disposing of the appeal by the state of Haryana".
Jain along with four other BJP men, who were also tried for the offence along with him, executed the murder of Krishan Kumar in 1987. The sessions court had tried and convicted all five of murder. On an appeal the Punjab and Haryana High Court maintained the conviction of accused Krishan Kumar Jakhar and Gurvinder Singh, but acquitted P.K. Chaudhary, Siriyans Jain and Ram Nath Bhumla.
The State of Haryana preferred an appeal against the order of acquittal. The Supreme Court by its order dated December 10, 1998, set aside the acquittal of Siriyans Kumar Jain and Ram Nath Bhumla but upheld the acquittal of P.K. Chaudhary. They were directed to surrender to serve out the remaining part of their sentence.
Jain instead of
surrendering to jail custody, involved the
Governors jurisdiction under Article 161 of the
Constitution by filing an application on January 15,
1999. The Secretary of Governor wrote a letter to the
Secretary to Government of Haryana, Department of Jail,
for a report to be placed before the Governor.
Will Air India fly out of
NEW DELHI, May 2 The Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Sharad Yadav today informed Parliament that the recommendations of the Disinvestment Commission on restructuring of Indias international carrier, Air India were under active consideration of the government.
While replying to a calling attention motion on the poor performance and mismanagement of Air India in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said the losses of the National Flag carrier had been brought down to Rs 89.75 crore in 1999-2000 from Rs 296.94 crore in 1996-97. The issue had been raised by Mr Sanjay Nirupam of the Shiv Sena and number of other members associated themselves with it.
The minister attributed the losses to the increase in expenditure on account of interest and depreciation on new aircraft and cost of operations, besides increase in the wage bill. He assured the members that the government would spare no effort to improve the functioning of Air India.
Steps like rationalisation of air routes, introduction of voluntary schemes and abolition of posts abroad would be taken to improve its financial performance.
Earlier, raising the issue he said privatisation was no solution to the ills afflicting Air India. What was needed was professional management and complete overhaul of the management and complete overhaul of the Air India board.
Moving the motion, Mr Nirupam said the market share of Air India was negligible and wanted to know why Air India, which was once making profits had started incurring losses in the recent years.
Associating himself with the issue, Mr Prem Chand Gupta (RJD) said Air India had failed to perform its duty to create national wealth and build aviation infrastructure in the country.
Mr Praful Patel (NCP) said Air India needed "a radical surgery" to make it a world class airliner which it was at one time. Stating that there was no need for privatisation of Air India, as was being advocated to improve its financial health, he stressed that the need of the hour was professionalism and complete overhauling of the Air India board.
Instead of taking help of foreign airlines, Air India should take aircraft on dry lease and replace its old aircrafts to modernise its fleet and increase its seating capacity, he added.
Replying to supplementaries on the related issue, the minister also informed the House that the government was considering to dispose off obsolete aircraft and bring down the employee-aircraft ratio of Air India to make the National Flag carrier financially viable.
" We have decided to sell off the obsolete aircraft and acquire some new aircraft. It is under process currently". Air India would have showed a Rs 40-crore profit this year, but for the increase in air turbine fuel price, he said.
The minister added that
the Finance Ministry did not give any grant to Air India
and a support of Rs 153 crore from the exchequer was
received long back. The company was trying to make itself
profitable on its own, he said.
Cheating case: court to record Raos statement
NEW DELHI, May 2 (PTI) After the closure of prosecution evidence in the $ 1 lakh Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case, a special court will record statements of former premier Narasimha Rao, "godman" Chandraswami and his aide K.N. Aggarwal, alias Mamaji, who are accused in the case.
Special Judge Ajit Bharihoke, who had on April 24 turned down the CBI plea for examining three foreign witnesses and closed prosecution evidence, today fixed May 22 for the commencement of recording of the statements of the accused.
Mr Rao, Chandraswami and Mamaji are facing trial in the case for allegedly cheating London-based pickle tycoon Pathak in the name of getting him a paper pulp supply contract in India in 1986.
Chandraswami and Mamaji today admitted the entries made in their respective passports by various immigration authorities. Now these entries will be taken on record.
The CBI wanted to prove through the entries made in two passports each of the accused that they had visited New York and certain other places at the relevant point of time.
On April 17, the CBI had filed an application before the court seeking more time to examine three foreign witnesses a commission to Canada for examining witness W.E. Miller.
The court had ordered sending a commission to Canada in September 1997 to examine Miller, in whose Canada Empirical Bank Trust account the money was allegedly deposited.
In February last year,
CBI DSP and Investigating Officer K.N. Singh was examined
by the court. The last foreign witness to depose in the
matter was Pathaks son who was examined on January
31, 1997. Mr Pathak, who died in May 1997, had named Rao
as an accused during recording of his testimony by the
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate here in July 1996.
Attempt on Uma Bharatis
BHOPAL, May 2 Was there an attempt on the life of Ms Uma Bharati early this morning? BJP leader say there was. Ms Bharati herself is not very sure. The whole incident is so bizarre that it makes little sense.
Anyway, here are the facts as gathered from various people concerned, including Ms Bharati and the policemen on duty:
The BJP leader started an indefinite fast yesterday near Vallabh Bhavan (State Secretariat) in protest against the Madhya Pradesh Governments decision to sack 30,000-odd daily-wage employees. In the night she was sleeping on her cot in the middle of the road while the police had put up barriers on both sides of the road. About two dozen women were asleep around her. Men were sleeping under a shamiana pitched on the pavement.
Ms Bharati is covered by Z class security but there were only three policemen on duty. Two had dandas and the third had nothing. Ms Bharatis personal security guards were also keeping vigil.
At around 2 this morning a motorcycle carrying three persons zigzagged through the barriers and crossed the dharna site. Her security guard on duty did not pay much attention. However, a little later the same motorcycle was once again seen rushing towards where Ms Bharati was sleeping.
This time her security guard raised his revolver at the intruders and asked them to stop. They tried to turn back. In the process the motorcycle slipped. One of the intruders was able to escape while two were captured by the security guard and some people who had woken up following the noise.
One of the intruders had a sword and the other a sharp-edged dagger. They identified themselves their names as Iqbal and Shoaib. When Ms Bharatis supporters thrashed them, they fell at the feet and claimed they had not come to kill her but were going to kill one Saleem. When Ms Bharati asked them where Saleem lived as the area has only government offices, they had no reply.
The policemen on duty
informed the police control room and a police party,
headed by Additional Superintendent of Police Manohar
Sai, reached the spot some half an hour later and took
charge of the intruders.
Bid to saffronise education
NEW DELHI, May 2 (PTI) Congress members in the Lok Sabha today charged Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi with trying to saffronise education and demanded the formation of a committee to look into the new curriculum proposed to be introduced in the country.
Participating in a discussion on demands for grants under the HRD ministry, they alleged that Mr Joshi was vigorously implementing the "Hindutva" agenda of the RSS through undue interference in the functioning of autonomous institutions and universities.
Initiating the discussion, Mr Ramesh Chennithala (Cong) claimed that in his bid to propagate the ideology of the BJP, Mr Joshi was bent upon destabilising the Nehru-Gandhi legacy and ruining the educational character in the country.
He alleged that institutions like the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) were degenerating due to constant political interference, while political activists were being appointed to key positions in other bodies.
Mr Chennithala said there should be a national debate on the new curriculum sought to be introduced through the National Council of Educational, Research and Training (NCERT).
The House should constitute a committee to examine the new curriculum which should also be studied by the states before introduction, he said.
He justified ICHRs decision to withdraw from printing press some volumes of history relating to freedom movement on the plea that facts had not been put in proper perspective.
Mr Samik Lahiri (CPM) described education budget as farce and accused the government of trying to commercialise and communalise education.
Mr Ramji Lal Suman (Samajwadi Party) said many schools did not even have teachers or the basic minimum facilities. He alleged that "mafia" was in operation to gain control over managements of educational institutions, or to help get government grants or even to facilitate cheating.
Supporting the demand for grants, Mr Maheswar Singh (BJP) complimented the government for announcing the education guarantee scheme to provide education to all youngsters between six and 14 years of age by 2003.
Congress member P.K. Bansal, Rashid Alvi (BSP) and Raghuvansh Prasad (RJD) lashed out at the government for "implementing the RSS-BJP agenda" and "subverting" education and history.
Alleging that only those having "saffron ideology" were being appointed to top posts in educational institutions, Mr Bansal said "attempts to brainwash young minds through the new changes in the education system by the government does not augur well for the country."
UNI Adds: Mr Murli Manohar Joshi on Tuesday proposed the imposition of an educational surcharge to raise adequate resources for making India 100 per cent literate by 2007.
Replying to the Lok
Sabha debate on the demands for grants relating to his
ministry, Dr Joshi said resource constraint was holding
up the progress of literacy (which at present is only 64
per cent on the national scale) and other educational
Chetan Anands sons denied bail
MUMBAI, May 2 (UNI) A local court today rejected the bail plea of late Chetan Anands sons, Ketan and Vivek, and two others, who were arrested in connection with the sensational Priya Rajvansh murder case.
Additional Sessions Judge Hemant Deshpande of the city, civil and sessions court, who had on April 28 reserved his order for today, rejected the bail application. The Anand brothers, Priyas maid Maya Chaudhury and her cousin Ashok Chinappa Swamy will now remain in judicial custody till May 9.
SC frowns upon criminal justice
NEW DELHI, May 2 (UNI, PTI) Holding that the criminal justice system in the country is in the doldrums, the Supreme Court has called for honest investigation, uninfluenced by any political or other pressure in such cases.
"If the criminal justice system is to be put on a proper pedestal, the system cannot be left in the hands of unscrupulous lawyers and the sluggish state machinery", the court observed.
The observation was made by a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice D.P. Wadhwa and Mrs Justice Ruma Pal in two separate and concurring judgements, upholding a judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
By the impugned judgement dated September 18, 1992, the High Court had upheld the conviction and sentence awarded to Swarap Singh and Jagjit Singh for the murder of Shamsher Singh and Amar Singh on April 24, 1986, which was prompted by business rivalry. Two other accused in the case had to be acquitted because of lack of evidence against them.
The Supreme Court has taken a serious view of frequent adjournments of cases by trial courts without any valid reason and harassment of witnesses on this account and others, especially in criminal cases.
"In adjourning the matter without any valid cause, a court unwittingly becomes party to miscarriage of justice. A witness is then not treated with respect in the court," the Bench said.
Dwelling at length on the plight of witnesses, the apex court said "He is pushed out from the crowded courtroom by the peon. He waits for the whole day and at the end of it finds that the matter is adjourned, and he does not even get a glass of water and proper place to sit."
Expressing serious concern over such treatment, the court said it was one of the reasons why a person "abhors" becoming a witness.
The Bench said that a criminal case was built entirely on "edifs comes from a far off place. He has to come to the court many times and at what cost to his own self and his family is not difficult to fathom," it observed.
The court said in the instant case, the prosecution had to leave aside more than 50 witnesses, the Act provided for three years RI and fine up to Rs 10,000 to illicit distillers and lesser punishment to sellers.
Dealing separately with the three-year delay in the trial of the accused in the cases, Mr Justice Wadhwa, in his judgement noted, that it had become more or less a fashion to leave a criminal case adjourned again and again till the witnesses got tired and gave up.
It is the gain of unscrupulous lawyers to get cases adjourned on one excuse or the other till witnesses are won over or are tired of coming to the court, Mr Justice Wadhwa said.
The high courts, therefore have to be vigilant in these matters. "Each trial should be properly monitored. The time has come that all courts district courts and subordinate courts are linked to their respective high courts with a computer and a proper check is made on the adjournments and recording of evidence", he added.
Mr Justice Wadhwa said
that in order to curb the evil of perjury which had also
become a way of life in the courts. "Perhaps the law
needs amendment to clause (B) of Section 340(3) of the
Code of Criminal Procedure in this respect as the high
court concerned can then direct any officer to file a
complaint in this regard instead of the trial judge
Regional channels rule the roost
NEW DELHI, May 2 (UNI) Do you wish to see a music number of your choice on television ? Just phone in and specify your choice, and look and behold, the video will come on even before you have had time to put down the phone.
In a unique venture, In Cablenet has launched an interactive music channel to give the viewers music of their choice. Named Oxygen, the new channel displays a list of songs from Bollywood and non-film albums in Hindi and English available with it.
A viewer can dial a round-the-clock service on 6175589 and on getting the line, simply press on the telephone instrument the number of the song in the list displayed on the screen. Immediately, the video of the song will be played on the screen. Any other person calling with a different request will have to await his turn.
Along with finding new ways to keep the viewer glued to their channels on the small screen, telecasters are also becoming conscious that the only way to woo the Indian viewers is to create programming in his language. Zee TV, which has a controlling stake in Asianet TV is launching a Kannada channel next month even as a new Bengali channel, TARA, begun telecast last week.
The new Bengali language TARA (television aimed at regional audiences), being beamed via Thaicom satellite, is the first to be launched by Broadcast Worldwide which also plans to launch Gujarati, Marathi and Punjabi channels shortly.
The proposed Kannada channel like the existing Malayalam channel as also other channels in southern India will be launched by Zee TV under the Asianet banner, just as the regional language channels in North India are under the Alpha chain. (Zee TV had acquired a stake of 61 per cent in the seven-year old Asianet TV involving payment of over Rs 250 crore including the amount paid as share swap.)
Zee TV Chief Executive Officer R.K. Singh told UNI in an interview that at present there was no plan to expand the Alpha chain in North India and the aim was to consolidate the programming in the Marathi, Punjabi, Bangla and Gujarati channels launched so far. Referring to the growing competition in regional language channels, Mr R.K. Singh said the "whole ball game lies in giving the viewer what he wants, and in proper packaging and presentation". The growth is generally slow in regional language channels, but takes off after a certain stage.
Meanwhile, according to Broadcast Worldwide Chairman and CEO Rathikant Basu, well-known awardwinning filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh is the creative director of TARA. Mr Basu said in a press release that the aim was to bring international quality regional programming to the viewers both in India and abroad. While some of the programming will be through external producers, most of it will be produced in-house at the state-of-the-art studios being set up by Broadcast Worldwide. Located in Calcutta, the channel will be aimed at Bengalis living in Bengal, Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world.
George Cukors films including Bhowani
Junction and Little Women are to be
screened during May on the TCM (Turner Classic Movies)
channel. Cukor, who made 50 films between 1931 and 1981,
had the flair for bringing out spectacular performances
from all his performers, particularly women. His other
films being screened include The Prisoner of
Zenda, The Philadelphia Story,
David Copperfield, Camille,
Romeo and Juliet, The Women and
Edward, My Son. the cartoon network is to
telecast a new series on the popular Little
Lulu, the quick-witted girl with a humorous knock
for outsmarting boys, bullies and even grown-ups.
CVC names 20 corrupt IPS men
NEW DELHI, May 2 (UNI) The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has identified 20 "corrupt" IPS officials for amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income and recommended major penalty and prosecution against them, Minister of State for Home Vidyasagar Rao said in the Lok Sabha today.
Six cases against seven IPS officers are being investigated by the CBI, the minister said in a written reply.
The six officers against
whom investigations are being conducted by the CBI,
include S.A. Khan, DIG (Haryana cadre), S.L. Jogeshwar
Singh, DGP, Manipur, Prakash Singh, former DIG, Brijender
Rai (CVO DDA), P.R. Mohanty, former IGP, Orissa, and J.K.
Sharma, Additional Commissioner Delhi Police.
ISI trying to forge links between ultras
NEW DELHI, May 2 (UNI) The ISI is making fresh efforts to forge links between Sikh and Kashmiri militants and induct mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir from across the border, Minister of State for Home Vidyasagar Rao said in the Lok Sabha today.
This had come to the governments notice during interrogation of some terrorists arrested recently.
The minister said in reply to a question that the information available with the government, however, did not indicate any significant spurt in terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir except in September-October 1999.
He said there were reports of ISI indulging in anti-India activities, including cultivation of vulnerable youth in areas around Indo-Nepal border.
The government had adopted a well-coordinated and multi-pronged approach for tackling the ISI activities, including strengthening border management, neutralising plans of militants by coordinated intelligence, setting up outposts of security forces and modernising and upgrading police and security forces.
Measures had also been
taken to enhance cooperation with Nepal particularly with
regard to implementing effective border management while
agencies concerned of the two countries remain in regular
Reduction in funds for education
NEW DELHI, May 2 Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP from Chandigarh, today criticised the reduction in the allocation of funds for education and lamented the fall in its quality.
Participating in the discussion on "Demands for Grants for Human Resource Development", the Congress member said the present system was heavily biased against the poor, who were not even able to get admission to ordinary schools.
Referring to the presence of a large number of illiterates among the poor, he said, thoughtless syllabus had resulted in heavy drop-out rates and the poor quality of education showed that money was not being used judiciously.
Mr Bansal said the education system instead of promoting sports and extra-curricular activities the students were being pushed to take extra tuitions. He also wanted to know from the minister whether the government proposed to take action against schools which forced children to take extra tuitions.
On the proposal by the
minister that efforts were on to get foreign investment
in education, Mr Bansal said he wondered whether Dr Murli
Manohar Joshi had got the permission of the RSS for
introducing Indian culture to the USA.
Nepalese minister to visit Delhi
NEW DELHI, May 2 Nepalese Foreign Minister Chakra Prasad Bastola is arriving here on May 7 for a three-day official visit.
Announcing the visit, a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said that Dr Bastolas visit was part of the process of the ministerial-level contacts. The Nepalese Foreign Minister is coming here at the invitation of the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh.
When asked if the
resumption of Indian Airlines flights to Kathmandu, which
were suspended after IC 804 flight was hijacked to
Kandhar in December last year, will figure in the
discussions, the spokesman said:"We are engaged with
the Government of Nepal to resolve the issue."
Basu may hold probe
CALCUTTA, May 2 (UNI) The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Jyoti Basu, will hold the additional portfolio of Commerce and Industry following the death of Bidyut Ganguly.
Ganguly, who used to hold the portfolio, died yesterday after sustaining serious burns at his Bhatpara residence the night before.
Mr Basu said he would consider in inquiry into the death of the minister after getting the post-mortem report.
NEW DELHI (PTI):
Infuriated CPM, members on Tuesday clashed with members
of the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha when Mr Sudip
Bandhopadhyay sought a CBI probe into the death of
Cabinet Minister of Left Front Government Bidyut Ganguly
due to burn injuries.
Beggars up in arms
GIRIDH (West Bengal), May 2 (UNI) The towns beggars are up in arms against its shopkeepers who are refusing to accept coins from them.
They staged a demonstration today in front of the residence of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, in protest against the refusal to accept 10 and 20 paise coins. The beggars told the commissioner that they were starving because they were not able to buy essential items.
Mr Aggarwal said the
shopkeepers would be penalised if they refused to accept
coins of low denominations. The local branch of the State
Bank of India has informed the administration that it had
not stopped accepting 10 and 20 paise coins.
MPs concerned over SC taking up immunity issue
NEW DELHI, May 2 (PTI) Members in the Lok Sabha today expressed concern over the Supreme Court taking up the issue whether MPs enjoy immunity under the Constitution in case they take bribe to vote in a particular way in Parliament.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Prabhu Nath Singh (Samata) said the public interest litigation which has been referred to a Constitution Bench of the apex court was a grave matter and said privilege should be brought against the court.
Mr Madhavrao Scindia (Cong) underlined the need to maintain a balance between Executive, Judiciary and Legislature saying that if this was not done it would affect the foundation of democracy.
He said the Lok Sabha should have an Ethics Committee like the one in Rajya Sabha to address such issues.
Kargil airport to be ready by Oct
NEW DELHI, May 2 (UNI) Kargil, which caught world attention last summer after Pakistani intruders crossed the LoC, will get a new airport for operation of Dornier 328 type of aircraft by October.
Construction work on the project, which had been stopped due to heavy shelling from across the border, has recommenced, Civil Aviation Minister Sharad Yadav told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The operation of flights to Kargil will be subject to availability of aircraft and commercial viability, the minister added.
"Considerable progress has been made but some procedures need to be refined and finalised before resumption of Indian Airlines flights to Kathmandu," Mr Yadav said in another reply.
threat in Assam
4 of family
killed in Bihar village
Anupam Kher is
UP theatre academy chief
schools Principal held
mistress to death
W. Bengal may be
Govt asked to
take up fishermens killing
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