Monday, May 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N
Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee sharing a lighter moments with Union Home Minister L. K. Advani and Union Defence Minister George Fernandes at IGI Airport in New Delhi on Sunday before President's departure for China.
Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee sharing lighter moments with Union Home Minister L. K. Advani and Union Defence Minister George Fernandes at IGI Airport in New Delhi on Sunday before President's departure for China. — PTI photo

‘Hum Dil ....’ steals NRIs’ hearts, bags 4 awards
NEW DELHI, May 28 — Indian film director Subhash Ghai’s "Taal", which was the most highly rated movie by the non-resident Indian community here, bagged the Zee Gold Bollywood Award for the Best Film at a star-studded ceremony here.

Vulgarity on TV to be curbed: Jaitley
GWALIOR, May 28 — The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, said today that a new Act would be formulated soon to stop the telecast of vulgar programmes by foreign channels.

Sec 144 imposed in Tripura
AGARTALA, May 28 — Tribal guerrillas shot dead two persons and kidnapped as many fishermen in South Tripura last night even as curfew continued for the ninth day today in the violence-marred Khowai sub division of West Tripura district.

Notices served on Jagmohan, others
NEW DELHI, May 28 — The Delhi High Court has issued notices to Minister for Urban Development Jagmohan and four others in a contempt of court case filed by the Indian Council of World Affairs.



EARLIER STORIES
 

Hijacking case: CBI seeks Interpol’s help
NEW DELHI, May 28 — The CBI has sent a request to the Interpol to issue a red corner notice in several countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Britain, for nabbing and extraditing the hijackers of the Indian Airlines flight IC-814, coming from Kathmandu to New Delhi on December 24.

927 graft cases pending: CVC
NEW DELHI, May 28 — As many as 927 corruption cases against officials of various government departments, including 277 from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi referred by Central Vigilance Commission are still pending with the administrative authorities for imposition of major penalties.

NHRC asks Punjab Govt to pay 1 lakh
NEW DELHI, May 28 — The National Human Rights Commission has directed the Punjab Government to pay an interim relief of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of an undertrial who died in police custody in Ferozepore district and initiated departmental action against the errant police officials whose negligence caused the unfortunate incident.

‘Crisis of character’ biggest challenge
NEW DELHI, May 28 — The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, yesterday gave tacit support to the demolition drive being carried out against unauthorised constructions in the Capital, which have been built due to a builder-administrator nexus.

75 pc polling in W. Bengal
CALCUTTA, May 28 — Barring some sporadic incidents, election to 79 municipal corporations in West Bengal passed off peacefully today recording an estimated 75 per cent polling.

Mercury soars in Rajasthan
PUNE, May 28 — Forecast valid until the morning of May 30: Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep, at many places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim; at a few places in Gangetic West Bengal, Madhya Maharashtra, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and interior Karnataka and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Vidarbha and coastal Andhra Pradesh where weather will be mainly dry.

Naga ceasefire group to meet next month
NEW DELHI, May 28 — A meeting of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group for Nagaland would be held next month as the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-Isak-Muivah) have agreed to re-activate it.

Paswan defends ‘Sankhya Vahini’
HYDERABAD, may 28 — Union Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today defended the controversial "Sankhya Vahini" project saying that political parties were "needlessly getting suspicious about the new venture".
Top




 

‘Hum Dil ....’ steals NRIs’ hearts, bags 4 awards

NEW DELHI, May 28 (PTI) — Indian film director Subhash Ghai’s "Taal", which was the most highly rated movie by the non-resident Indian community here, bagged the Zee Gold Bollywood Award for the Best Film at a star-studded ceremony here.

The awards, which were based on a poll conducted among NRIs here, also chose Aishwarya Rai for the Best Actress category for her role in "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and Sanjay Dutt for Best Actor for his role in "Vaastav" in yesterday evening’s glittering function.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali got the award for Best Director for "Hum Dil ....".

The event was a special moment for Miss Universe Lara Dutta who appeared for the first time on stage after being crowned. "I am very happy to appear for the first time and that too before my own people", she said.

Ismail Merchant, whose movies include "Howards End", "Room With a View", "Remains of the Day" and "Shakespeare Wallah," was given the special ‘Pride of India’ Award. The award was presented by Senator Daniel Moynihan.

The organisers said they had invited singers and performers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to show that the sub-continent had the same culture and also to stress the need for peace and harmony there.

Anupam Kher was selected the Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Hum Aap Ke Dil Mein Rehte Hein". The Best Supporting Actress was Tabu in "Biwi No. 1’.

For the Best Comic Role, Satish Kaushik got the award for his performance in "Haseena Maan Jayegi" and Sayaji Shinde was voted the Best Villain in "Shool".

Kumar Sanu was judged the Best Male Singer for "Ankhon ki gustakkiyan" in "Hum Dil ..." and Asha Bhosle Best Female Singer for "Rang de" in "Thakshak".

"Taal se taal mila.." from movie "Taal" was adjugded the best song. A. R. Rahman got the top honours for Best Music for "Taal’ and Pratap Karwat and Sanjay Leela Bhansali were adjuged Best Story Writers for "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam".Top

 

Vulgarity on TV to be curbed: Jaitley

GWALIOR, May 28 (UNI) — The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, said today that a new Act would be formulated soon to stop the telecast of vulgar programmes by foreign channels.

Talking to reporters here, he said the Internet, telecommunications and satellite TV would be brought within the ambit of a single Act. A committee, headed by the Finance Minister, had already been constituted in this regard, he added.

Replying to a question about the popularity of Doordarshan, he said its viewership had increased by 26 per cent in the past year. As compared to private channels, DD’s access had multiplied, particularly in the South, due to its regional telecast.

In Kashmir, programmes were now being telecast for 15 hours, from the earlier two hours, he said, adding that the duration was likely to be extended from June 9.

Answering a query he said if DD started telecasting programmes similar to private channels, information-based programmes would fade away.Top

 

Sec 144 imposed in Tripura

AGARTALA, May 28 (UNI) — Tribal guerrillas shot dead two persons and kidnapped as many fishermen in South Tripura last night even as curfew continued for the ninth day today in the violence-marred Khowai sub division of West Tripura district.

Police sources said here today that militants shot dead two persons, including a woman, at Raiabari in South Tripura last night. The victims had returned there to look after their properties. The police today recovered the bodies.

The situation in South Tripura district headquarters remained peaceful. The district authorities yesterday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144, Cr PC, at Gakulpur, Purba Gakulpur, Raj Nagar and Dhaja Nagar areas.Top

 

Notices served on Jagmohan, others

NEW DELHI, May 28 (UNI) — The Delhi High Court has issued notices to Minister for Urban Development Jagmohan and four others in a contempt of court case filed by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

Mr Jagmohan allegedly went to the ICWA office at Sapru House on April 4 last and threatened to forcibly take physical possession of the building despite a court stay order. "He said Indian courts have no scruples and go on granting stay to every tom, dick and harry without any reason or basis," said ICWA counsel Bhim Singh.

Other respondents in the case are Land Development Officer Rajesh Kumar, his deputy S. Ashraf, Estate Officer K.S. Janagal — all from the Ministry of Urban Development — and Editor of The Pioneer newspaper Chandan Mitra. The notices are returnable on November 6.

ICWA Secretary-General S.C. Parasher said the high court had stayed proceedings of eviction for unauthorised occupants of Sapru House which is located on the Barakhamba Road. The stay order continued till April 25 when the court granted liberty to the estate officer for continuing with the proceedings.

But on the morning of April 4, Mr Parasher said Mr Jagmohan and some activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) caused disruption in day-to-day functioning of the ICWA, manhandled, abused and nearly assaulted employees and took photographs from the library forcibly where the entry is restricted and photography is prohibited.

Mr Parasher said in his petition that Mr Jagmohan shouted at ICWA officials and threatened to throw out the current duly-elected management of the Sapru House building. "Mr Jagmohan is habitual of misusing his power and authority. He has no respect for the rule of law and has been condemned by the courts for his imbalance and malevolent attitude," he claimed.

The ICWA official further said Mr Jagmohan "allured the management of the Pioneer with a plot of land and got various news items published against the council."

Recent reports in the paper said the ICWA, founded by first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and freedom fighter Tej Bahadur Sapru to be a centre of intellectual creativity, has completely degenerated in the past two decades due to its president Harcharan Singh Josh, a former municipal councillors and Congress leader who was a close associate of Sanjay Gandhi.Top

 

Hijacking case: CBI seeks Interpol’s help

NEW DELHI, May 28 (UNI) — The CBI has sent a request to the Interpol to issue a red corner notice in several countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Britain, for nabbing and extraditing the hijackers of the Indian Airlines flight IC-814, coming from Kathmandu to New Delhi on December 24.

The CBI formally sent the request to the Interpol on Friday asking them to contact the authorities of various countries to find out the whereabouts of the hijackers, bureau sources said here.

Though the five hijackers of the IC-814 flight are suspected to be hiding in Pakistan, requests were made to the countries where they could be possibly present.

The decision to approach the Interpol was taken about two weeks ago after a special CBI court in Patiala issued warrants against the hijackers — Ibrahim Athar, Sunny Ahmed Qazi, Zahoor Ibrahim, Shahid Akhter Sayed and Shakir — and their accomplices Yusuf Azar and Abdul Rauf, who are believed to be key conspirators in the hijacking drama.

The formal request was made only after completing all formalities and procedure required in such cases, the sources said.

The Indian Airlines flight was hijacked soon after it took off from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on December 24 and finally taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan after attempting refuelling at Amritsar. It was, however, refuelled in Lahore.

The week-long hijacking drama ended on December 31 after the Indian Government agreed to release three hardcore Pakistani terrorists in exchange for the lives of more than 150 passengers.

Rauf and Azhar are believed to be the brother and brother-in-law, respectively, of Maulana Masood Azhar, one of the three militants released by the Indian Government. Azhar is said to be a resident of Bhawalpur (Pakistan). The other hijackers belong to the port city of Karachi, information available with the CBI indicates.

The Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the CBI, headed by CBI Joint Director (Special Crime) M. L. Sharma, was slated to visit Kathmandu and Dubai in an effort to establish Pakistan’s suspected involvement in the hijacking episode. The bureau has informed the Nepalese Government that it would like to carry out the probe in the country itself and would not like any other agency to be associated with it.

The attempt of the agency was to acquire "clinching evidence" against Pakistan for proving its role in the hijacking.

All investigating agencies — the CBI, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — are involved in the probe of the case. Besides, the help of the National Security Guard (NSG) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation is also being taken.

So far four persons — Abdul Latif alias Patel, Bhupalmar Damai alias Nepali, Dalip Kumar and Balal, a suspected Bangladeshi — have been arrested in connection with the case and have been remanded to judicial custody.

Latif and Nepali are alleged to have provided logistical support to the hijackers and helped them in procuring Indian passports. Bhujel had helped the hijackers in procuring arms used for hijacking. The role of Balal was being ascertained.Top

 

927 graft cases pending: CVC

NEW DELHI, May 28 (PTI) — As many as 927 corruption cases against officials of various government departments, including 277 from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), referred by Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), are still pending with the administrative authorities for imposition of major penalties.

The Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) and the Ministry of Railways followed closely with 144 and 141 cases, respectively, awaiting action by the administrative authorities on the commission’s advice, the CVC website says.

These cases had been pending for less than one to five years with the administrative authorities for imposition of major penalties.

A total of 927 corruption cases against officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were still pending for action during the period, it says.

Among the public sector banks, the State Bank of India came first with 25 cases followed by Syndicate Bank with 19 cases and the Bank of India with 14 cases.

The commission has also advised imposition of minor penalties against 141 officers in various government organisations and banking sector which were still pending with the authorities for action, the website says.

The CVC has also advised major penalty proceedings against 868 officials in government departments and banks including 230 cases against personnel from the State Bank of India. All these cases were also still pending for periods ranging from less than one year to more than five years, the CVC website says.

Departmental proceedings were also advised against 116 officials in the Ministry of Railways followed by the Delhi Vidyut Board (108 cases) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (104 cases).Top

 

Custodial death
NHRC asks Punjab Govt to pay 1 lakh

NEW DELHI, May 28 (UNI) — The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Punjab Government to pay an interim relief of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of an undertrial who died in police custody in Ferozepore district and initiated departmental action against the errant police officials whose negligence caused the unfortunate incident.

Taking cognizance of a report sent by the senior superintendent of police, Ferozepure on the death of Kartar Singh of Warpoh Windian village in Zira police station on September 30, 1995, NHRC Chairperson Justice J.S. Verma, in a recent verdict, directed the state government to pay the compensation amount to the victim’s family within one month and send a compliance report to the NHRC.

The NHRC sources said the SSP had indicated in his report that Kartar Singh, who was arrested on September 29, had died a ‘natural death’ in the police lock up the following day. The SSP had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the circumstances leading to the death.

The magisterial inquiry conducted by the subdivisional magistrate of Ferozepore also ruled out the possibility of any involvement of the police and found that "the death was probably due to the intake of narcotics drugs or relapse of the same." Though during inquiry no allegations of ill-treatment were received, the post-mortem report revealed that the deceased had sustained bodily injuries, the sources said.

Therefore, the NHRC directed its Director General (Investigation) to ascertain the cause of death as well as the circumstances under which the death occurred.

The NHRC investigation division team found that Kartar Singh, who was a tempo driver at Zira, has quit his job and returned to his village. He had become a drug addict and to meet the expenses for drugs he started committing petty thefts. On one such occasion, he was reprimanded by the village sarpanch. However, he did not mend his ways and on the night of September 28 he was caught red-handed while committing theft in a shop.

On the complaint of the shop owner, he was arrested by a police party the following day and was brought to the police station. He was put in the lock-up and was found dead on the morning of September 30. According to the investigation team, Kartar Singh was neither beaten nor tortured by the police and the injuries found on his body in the post-mortem report were mostly abrasions of four to seven days old.

However, the doctor on the basis of the chemical examination of the viscera and the histopathological report gave the cause of death as poisoning by zinc phosphide, a pesticide which is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. He had opined that the probable time between the consumption of poison and death was less then 24 hours, the sources said.

As these findings and cause of death given by medical expert wholly belied the earlier version of the state authorities, particularly of the SDM who gave the cause of death to be excessive intake of narcotics drugs, the NHRC went into the question of when and in what circumstances Kartar Singh consumed the poison.

Since the nature of poison zinc phosphide, ordinarily used as a rodent pesticide, was such that Kartar Singh must had developed symptoms of poisoning sufficient to attract the attention of the police officials who arrested him and escorted him to the police station or the guard keeping vigil at the lock-up at the police station, the NHRC said.

He said the circumstances brought on record were indicative of negligence on part of the police officials concerned to arrange the timely medical aid to the deceased.

Therefore, the NHRC said the state should compensate the next of kin of the deceased and initiate departmental action against the erring police officials who were entrusted with the responsibility of guarding him in police custody, the sources added.Top

 

‘Crisis of character’ biggest challenge
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 28 — The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, yesterday gave tacit support to the demolition drive being carried out against unauthorised constructions in the Capital, which have been built due to a builder-administrator nexus.

"The administration should be compassionate and must uphold the rule of the law. Any complacence by the administrator would have a deep impact," Mr Advani said while presiding over the 13th L K Jha Memorial Lecture here.

He said unplanned growth of urban centres posed a grave threat to the security of the nation which resulted in corruption and criminalisation.

"The biggest challenge we face is the crisis of character and not the institutional crisis," Mr Advani said.

He said all grand urban plans would be meaningless if they did not control population and illiteracy.

Earlier delivering the memorial lecture on "Urban Governance and New Realities," the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr Jagmohan, highlighted the need for the demolition drive that he had undertaken in the Capital.

The builder-administrator nexus has forced a common man to assume "might is right," he said, adding that would lead to a dangerous scenario.

To highlight his point the Union Minister presented a slide show which depicted gross violation of the master plans, notified green areas and destruction of historic and protected monuments.

Mr Jagmohan said cities and towns in the country should be planned by taking inspiration from their historic and cultural heritage.

Development of cities of special significance like Varanasi, Hardwar and Kanyakumari would not only infuse fresh life in them but also attract a large number of pilgrims and tourists, which would in turn generate employment and wealth in those cities.

Critical of the unmindful liberalisation, Mr Jagmohan said "if globalisation continues without corresponding reforms in other arenas of international order, cities like those in India could be overwhelmed by forces unleashed by poverty an over-urbanisation."

He said we could convert this challenge into an opportunity and by "recapturing the power of the Indian mind and regeneration of its civilisational value, we could develop a new design for life, which could act as a pace-setter for the evolution of new global civilization."

Mr Jagmohan said "neither India nor any other developing country nor even the developed world can really solve the basic problems of a happy and harmonious living. Both the parts of the new urban world would continue to be bedeviled by their own kind of problems.

"The fate and future of our cities would depend upon what creativity and ingenuity and what vision and will we would bring to the task and what civilizational and cultural underpinning we would provide to it," he said.

During the past 50 years the country has on an average added five to six million people to its towns and cities. There are already four mega-cities, 19 metro-cities and 300 large towns besides about 3,800 small and medium size urban settlements.

By 2001, four of our metro cities would be among the 30 largest cities in the world. The ESCAP estimates that between 1990 and 2020 India will add 418 million people to its urban population. If present densities were maintained, urban areas would be two-and-a-half times more extensive than they were now, the minister said.Top

 

75 pc polling in W. Bengal

CALCUTTA, May 28 (UNI) — Barring some sporadic incidents, election to 79 municipal corporations in West Bengal passed off peacefully today recording an estimated 75 per cent polling.

State Election Department sources quoting Chief Election Officer Anish Majumdar said of the 15 districts, where the municipal elections were held, Murshidabad registered the highest 78.5 per cent polling and Purulia the lowest of about 65 per cent, while most of the other districts reported about 70 per cent polling.

About 4.5 million electorate would decide the fate of 5007 candidates, including 1457 from the CPM led Left Front, 1200 of the Congress, 1150 of the Trinamool Congress and nearly 500 of the BJP, in 1575 municipal wards of 79 municipalities.

Long queues of voters were seen in front of most of the polling booths in all 15 districts much before the polling began at 7 a.m. Even after 3 pm, several people were seen standing in some of the booths.

Counting would be taken up for 28 municipalities tomorrow, while those for the rest would begin on Tuesday, the Election Department sources said adding results were expected to be announced by the respective evening.Top

 

Mercury soars in Rajasthan

PUNE, May 28 (PTI) — Forecast valid until the morning of May 30: Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep, at many places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim; at a few places in Gangetic West Bengal, Madhya Maharashtra, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and interior Karnataka and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Vidarbha and coastal Andhra Pradesh where weather will be mainly dry.

Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep during next 48 hours.

Temperatures recorded in four metropolitan cities were: Mumbai: max 34 C and min 25C, New Delhi: max 42C and min 34C, Calcutta: max 34C and min 28C, Chennai: max 38C and min 28C.

JAIPUR (UNI): Mercury touched 43C at Churu, Tonk Kota and Sriganganagar in Rajasthan during past 24 hours, weathermen said here on Sunday.

The only hill station of the desert state, Mount Abu, remained coolest at 30C.

Bikaner recorded 42C whereas state Capital Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jhalawad witnessed 41C.

Mercury touched 40C at Barmer while Ajmer, Banswada, Jaisalmer and Udaipur experienced 39C.

Met office forcast mainly dry weather for the state and the state Capital will have clear sky during next 24 hours.Top

 

Naga ceasefire group to meet next month
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 28 — A meeting of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) for Nagaland would be held next month as the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-Isak-Muivah) have agreed to re-activate it.

The decision was arrived at the end of a two-day meeting between representatives of the Union Home Ministry led by the Additional Secretary, Mr R.D. Kapoor, and senior leaders of the NSCN-IM led by Mr V S Atem which concluded here yesterday.

The last meeting of the CFMG was held in November and during the two-day talks the Centre conveyed "deep concern" at the continuing violation of the ceasefire declared in August, 1997.

Mr Kapoor heads the committee for framing of groundrules for ceasefire while the other Additional Secretary (Home) Dr P.D. Shenoy, is the Chairman of the CFMG.

After yesterday’s meeting both sides are understood to have agreed to exercise utmost restraint while making public statements about the peace process.

It was mentioned that 536 persons were killed after both sides agreed to hold fire and of these 165 were killed in inter-factional fights.

The Centre also urged the NSCN-IM to put an end to all killings and create a congenial atmosphere for the peace process. It may be recalled that the ongoing peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN-IM have been stalled since the arrest of the NSCN-IM general secretary Mr Muivah, who is currently in a Bangkok jail. He was arrested for allegedly travelling on fake documents.Top

 

Paswan defends ‘Sankhya Vahini’

HYDERABAD, may 28 (PTI) — Union Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today defended the controversial "Sankhya Vahini" project saying that political parties were "needlessly getting suspicious about the new venture".

"I have gone through all the details and found nothing wrong in the process. People are only trying to be suspicious without any due reason," he told reporters here.Top

 
NATIONAL BRIEFS

ULFA publicity secretary surrenders
TEJPUR (Assam): Kabita Rajbangshi, publicity secretary of the Ulfa Lakhimpur unit, formally surrendered before the Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur, on Saturday. Rajbangshi, who hails from Itakhola of Sonitpur district, was detained by the Army and later agreed to surrender before the district administration, official sources said. — UNI

SC ruling on society membership
NEW DELHI: In a ruling applicable to thousands of cooperative societies, the Supreme Court has held that administrator of such societies have no power to enrol new members, which is the sole prerogative of the elected committee of management. While dealing with a case under Kerala Cooperative Societies Act, the court said "the administrator or committee, appointed while the management of the society is under suspension, cannot have the power to enrol new members..." — PTI

Lok Adalat’s role applauded
GHAZIABAD: The Administration Judge of Allahabad High Court has applauded the functioning of the Lok Adalat and called for enhancing legal awareness in society for the benefit of the weakest amongst the weak in the country. Mr Justice B.K. Roy said this while inaugurating the first Lok Adalat of the year organised by the Legal Service Authority, Ghaziabad, on Saturday. — PTI

Nayar for media commission
VISAKHAPATNAM: Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, MP, has demanded that the Centre constitute a comprehensive "media commission" to study the emerging media trends in the country and redefine the role of the journalists and management. Addressing a meet-the-press programme of the Press Club here on Saturday, he said such a commission had become necessary with 99 per cent of the media units being managed by a few family concerns. — UNI

3 killed, 16 hurt in godown fire
PARADIP: Three persons were killed and 16 injured on Saturday in a fire at a sulphur godown of the private sector Oswal Fertilisers and Chemicals leading to clashes between the company’s workers and security guards, the police said. The clashes left 31 others, including a guard, injured as tension gripped the plant area, the police said adding a truck belonging to the plant was set on fire and a dozen other vehicles damaged. — PTI

AIDS society’s action plan
GUWAHATI: The Assam State AIDS Control Society has drawn up an action plan to involve grassroots level workers and sensitise the target population regarding HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted disease (STD) and reproductive tract infections (RTI). This was stated here on Sunday by the Assistant Director of the society, Dr H. Das. — PTI

Centre’s plan on N-E militancy
AGARTALA: The Centre has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to curb militancy in the north-eastern states considering the complexity of the situation, a Union Home Ministry document said. The document said militancy in the north-east and acquired an ominous from as a result of networking amongst the various militant groups and availability of trans-border "sanctuaries", coupled with the feelings of alienation and exploitation. — UNI

2 lakh devotees visit Badrinath
RISHIKESH: About two lakh devotees have visited the holy shrines of Badrinath-Kedarnath so far after it reopened recently. A record number of devotees are likely to visit the two shrines this year, Bardinath-Kedarnath committee president Vinod Nantiyal said here on Sunday. — PTI

Probe dental colleges’ conduct
JAIPUR: Former Rajasthan Minister Surendra Vyas on Sunday demanded a CBI inquiry into the conduct of the dental colleges. He told reporters here that the government has issued orders attaching government hospitals with private dental colleges "to benefit their promoters who would be minting money at the cost of government infrastructure." — PTITop

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