|Monday, July 10, 2000,
families reconvert to Hinduism
White tigers rejected by
W. Bengal sets record in poverty
Mobile phone no health hazard
Church blast to be probed
Bickerings in Hurriyat
PUNE, July 9 Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Konkan and Goa and coastal Karnataka, at many places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, east Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra and Kutch, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Telangana, interior Karnataka and Kerala and at a few places over the rest of the country outside Bihar and west Rajasthan where it will be at isolated places, according to forecast issued by Central Observatory here today.
7 families reconvert to Hinduism
JORHAT (Assam), July 9 (PTI) Seven families, which had earlier converted to Christianity, were reconverted to Hinduism in Majuli, the Satradhikar (head) of the powerful Auniati Satra Monastery, Pitambar Dev Goswami said here today.
The seven families which reconverted yesterday hail from Borpomua village under Jengrai police station and belong to the Mising community, the Satradhikar said.
The head of the world famous Vaishnav seat of learning, which is a veritable treasure trove of art and literature, said they had started a mission since last month and some of the families were willing to return to their original fold.
The Satradhikar also said that 300 families had converted to Christianity and it was likely that many of them would reconvert to their original religion.
He said, however, no pressure was applied on the families and they agreed to return to Hinduism only because they could "identify with it and felt more comfortable with it."
White tigers rejected by nature
BARIPADA (Orissa), July 9 (UNI) The excessive inbreeding of white tigers inside the Nandankanan zoo over the years has come under sharp criticism from various quarters, including the tiger experts, in the wake of the recent death of eight such big cats of trypanosomysis.
Noted wildlife scientist and Simlipal Tiger Reserve (STR) Research Officer Dr Lala Aswani Kumar Singh cautioned that one should learn an important lesson from the Nandankanan tragedy and stop unnecessary breeding of the aberrant tigers in captivity.
He said with the death of white tiger "Abinash", the number of deaths in the zoo at Bhubaneswar had gone up to 12 with 75 per cent of them being white tigers.
This established the fact that casualty rate was higher among the aberrant (white) tigers than the normal tawny coloured tigers.
The tiger expert said the tragic incident had once again reflected that all other aberrant species of panthers and tigers except the black panthers, had been discarded by natural selection.
Dr Ashwani Kumar said the white tigers had already vanished from the wild at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh and also in the forests of Bihar and Orissa. Only the Nandankanan authorities had promoted the growth of the white tigers in captivity.
But the tiger expert observed that the Nandankanan tragedy should be taken in the same spirit of elimination or rejection of the aberrant (white, black or melanistic royal Bengal tiger) in the natural process in their forest habitats.
He said the Nandankanan tragedy also proved that survival efficiency was higher among the normal coloured tigers.
The STR Research Officer recently made an investigative study supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) under a programme called special investigation. He said the simple cause of the early elimination of the aberrant from a population was that the individuals of the species were not meant to be like that and they were against the natural order for the species.
According to him, from the evolution point of view, the yellow colour with block stripes of the tiger must have evolved in concurrence with tigers behavioural need and habitat features.
The wildlife scientist said the elimination of unwanted characters from the population wherever these appeared should be viewed as the natural order for the organisation of favourable genetic variability with adaptive values to the population.
GUWAHATI (PTI): Several precautionary measures have been initiated at the Assam state zoo here to prevent fatal diseases like trypanosoniasis in the wake of the infection claiming the lives of 12 tigers in Orissas Nandankanan zoo, Divisional Forest Officer R. Bhattacharjee said here on Sunday.
"As a first step, a special fly repellent oil is being sprayed all over the zoo since July 6, the cages are being cleaned and bleaching powder sprayed in the premises", Mr Bhattacharjee said.
He said though there had been no instances or documents to show the occurrence of the disease in animals of the state for the last 100 years, it was better to be on the safer side and take precautions.
W. Bengal sets record in
NEW DELHI: Belying criticism of the CPMs priorities, the West Bengal Government has earned the distinction of setting a record in poverty reduction, from the high level of 73.16 per cent in 1973-74 the worst in the country to 35.88 per cent, as against the present national average of 35.97 per cent.
The West Bengal Government has also extended its governance priority to illiteracy eradication. It has achieved a 72 per cent literacy rate as per the 53rd round of the NSSO. But the state has been sharply criticised by the Centre for its failure to comply with the Centres guidelines on improving the economy of the state in general and the ongoing reforms programme in particular.
As for the plan performance of the state, the Planning Commission said, agreed outlays had been at the desired level but the utilisation of the agreed outlay in terms of actual expenditure in 1999-2000 left a big shortfall.
The commission calculated that the percentage utilisation of the agreed outlay was only 80.33 per cent. However, according to the state government, the agreed outlay of Rs 5,787 crore was subsequently revised to Rs 3,674.73 crore, while the anticipated expenditure was estimated at Rs 4,648.55 crore, which was certainly above the revised outlay. "The Centre is dissatisfied at the level of the mobilisation of the states own resource, which was only Rs 1,120.46 crore as per the latest estimate, as against the planned Rs 2,471.42 crore."
As per the states budgeted estimate, West Bengals own resource should stand at Rs 3,630.77 crore in 2000-01. But the revised official level estimate of the Centre shows it at Rs 1,217.43 crore. The proposed outlay for the annual plan of the current year was Rs 6,343.58 crore.
The fact that the state
could not mobilise the agreed resources, had attracted
the Centres criticism. The Centre had also made
five important suggestions for the better mobilisation of
resources. These were to improve the balance from current
revenues to reform the public sector undertakings to
discourage borrowings from small savings, PF and SLR
market, and to increase in absorption of externally-aided
projects, which would increase the resources available to
What ails zoo vet system?
NEW DELHI, July 9 (PTI) As the hue and cry raised over the death of 12 tigers in one of the countrys prestigious zoos rages, one question that haunts is what ails the veterinary system in our zoos?
Overworked veterinarians, most of them not wildlife specialists, untrained keepers and uncaring authorities are some of the woes that meet the eye at almost all zoos across the country.
"Zoos are important institutions but very little attention is paid to them," laments an official in the Union Environment and Forests Ministry, adding that rules were flouted by a number of them by not even setting up a hospital.
Add to that disgruntled veterinarians, who had no career prospects and were treated lower than the lowest scientific cadre and the picture was complete, he said.
"Wildlife trained veterinarians are different from the other veterinarians," Mr Ashok Kumar from the Wildlife Protection Society of India said, describing the situation in most zoos as "disastrous".
There were very few wildlife veterinarians in the country, he noted, saying that this was a very specialised field and should be animal specific too.
An official in the Delhi Zoological Park spoke of the immense responsibility a slogging veterinarian was faced with as he was single-handedly responsible for all animals, right from birds to snakes, tigers, elephants and exotic species.
Moreover, the zoo veterinarian had to depend on keepers to inform him of an animals well-being and if a particular keeper was not trained or not vigilant enough, it could end up with another life lost.
Apart from this, what existed in the name of hospitals were hardly equipped to meet modern standards.
Delhi Zoo, for instance, boasted of some modern equipment and an operation theatre but left much to be desired, certainly not in keeping with the number of animals it houses.
Major zoos like Chandigarh and Hisar did not even have a hospital and only a visiting veterinarian, the ministry official said.
"Conversely, if there are hospitals, there are no doctors," he quipped.
It had also been a long-standing demand that the animal keepers be trained to take care of specific animals, even recruiting people from the area the animal was found.
One recommendation had also been to employ animal trappers and potential poachers, whose livelihood was affected by the ban on hunting and trapping of wild species.
Mobile phone no health hazard
NEW DELHI, July 9 (UNI) Do mobile phones cause cancer and other health risks? No. Feel free to use your handset. But dont use it while driving, either handled or with a "hands-free" kit.
Contrary to the popular
belief that the use of mobile phones may cause cancer and
other health risks, the World Health Organisation (who)
has said none of the recent reviews have concluded that
exposure to radiation from cellular phones or their base
stations cause any health problems.
Church blast to be probed
HUBLI, July 9 (PTI, UNI) A Corps of Detectives (COD) probe was announced today into the blast at a church here.
Karnataka Home Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who rushed here for an on-the-spot study, told reporters that the COD inquiry has been ordered into yesterdays blast at St. Lutheran Church at the citys suburb, as also the twin explosions at Wadi in Gulbarga district in June.
Meanwhile, the situation here remained peaceful today, a day after angry protestors stoned several Karnataka State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses and set ablaze a bus soon after the blast.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Home Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said on Sunday the state government was ready to cooperate if the Centre ordered a CBI probe into the attacks on Christians in various parts of the country.
Talking to newsmen at the church, the site of a mob explosion here yesterday, he said such incidents were not limited to one state.
BANGALORE: Karnataka Chief Minister S.M.Krishna today alleged that there was a conspiracy behind yesterdays attack on a church at Hubli to defame his government.
Addressing a congregation of Christians at St. Mary Basilica here, he said many were not happy over the good governance provided by his government and they were attempting to bring a bad name to it by such attacks. He, however, did not name any individual or organisation. He would also not hold the sangh parivar responsible for the attack without any evidence.
He said the government would book the culprits behind the attack at the earliest. "I see a design, I see a pattern," he said, referring to the recent blasts in churches.
Asked whether he suspected the hand of Pakistans ISI, he said it was for the investigating agencies to pinpoint those responsible for the incidents.
Mr Krishna said he did not think that a judicial probe into the Hubli incident would serve any purpose. The police should be allowed to investigate and find out the motive behind such attacks, he added.
"Christians might forgive them (the culprits). But the government shall not forgive them. We are going to go after them relentlessly and ruthlessly", he said.
To a question, he said he did not think there was need for a dialogue among the communities and noted that Karnataka was known for amity among people of different denominations.
Mr Krishna said "these (attacks) are hit and run cases" and the government would await the police investigation and then would take subsequent action.
HYDERABAD: Thousands of Christians from all over Andhra Pradesh on Sunday participated in a national prayer solidarity day rally here with the clergy and church leaders expressing anguish over the growing attacks on churches and minorities.
Addressing the massive rally at the sprawling Nizam College grounds organised by the Inter-Church Committee, church leaders termed the attacks as violations of human rights.
They said the attacks were a cause of concern not only to minorities but also for all sections of society.
They said they were prepared for any sacrifice to ensure law, justice, peace and equality.
KOCHI: The recent spurt in attacks against Christian institutions in the country is part of a move by certain international forces, some parties and institutions to destabilise the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, BJP President Kushabhau Thakre said on Sunday.
National General Secretary K.N. Govindacharya on Sunday
alleged that the terrorist links of some Christians in
north-eastern parts of the country, specially in Tripura,
should be looked into thoroughly.
Bickerings in Hurriyat
NEW DELHI, July 9 (PTI) Bickerings in the Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of religious and militant groups in Kashmir, have come to the fore again with its executive members lobbying for the post of chairmanship of the amalgam.
Sources in the Hurriyat say there is a vertical split in the organisation over the issue of next chairman of the Hurriyat after the term of the present incumbent, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, ended in April this year.
Firebrand leader and Chairman of the Jammu and Lashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mr Yaseen Malik, in association with the president of Peoples Conference, Mr Abdul Gani Lone, wants a change of leadership with Mr Malik as the new head, the sources said.
Mr Malik taking over as the Chairman of the organisation would give a new colour to the organisational structure which is being seen by Pakistan as an amalgam which would work for Kashmirs merger with it, the sources said.
The present incumbent had been delaying the elections in order to prevent Mr Malik from taking over, the sources said.
Three weeks back at a Hurriyat executive meeting there was also a clash between the supporters of the two sides where the Hurriyats chief spokesman, Mr Abdul Gani Bhat, was assaulted, the sources said.
Mr Bhat, who heads the Muslim League, wants Mr Geelani to continue as the Chairman of the organisation as some new developments like proposal to hold talks with the Centre were on the anvil, the sources added.
When contacted for his comments over the issue, former chairman of the Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, said, "The issue will be sorted out within a week."
He, however, declined to comment whether any differences existed within the amalgam over the issue.
Besides this, other issues like the recent 36-hour-long hunger strike by Mr Malik, which started under the aegis of the Hurriyat Conference but ended as a JKLF programme, was objected to by the Jamaat-e-Islamia leaders, the sources said.
Of late, Mr Lone and Mr Malik have been organising separate rallies to gather more support among the public which has again irked the other executive members, the sources said.
The National Conference meanwhile has said it will not take any step in haste over the rejection of greater autonomy resolution for Jammu and Kashmir by the Union Cabinet and avoid all confrontation with the Centre on the issue though the manner of rejection was "discourteous" and at the behest of the Sangh Parivar.
Terming the rejection of the resolution as a "politically immature" step, senior party leader and state Works Minister Ali Mohammed Sagar said here today, "The party unlike the Centre would carry out deliberations within the party cadre and chalk out the future course of action."
He, however, made it clear that the state government was not choosing any path of confrontation with the Centre. "The issue has itself generated enough debate and several people in the media and political analysts have favoured the position taken by the state government," he said.
regretted the way that the rejection was made by the
Centre... they did not find it even worth reading,"
he said, adding "We had asked for a debate on the
issue which was not even given a thought."
PUNE, July 9 (PTI) Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Konkan and Goa and coastal Karnataka, at many places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, east Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra and Kutch, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Telangana, interior Karnataka and Kerala and at a few places over the rest of the country outside Bihar and west Rajasthan where it will be at isolated places, according to forecast issued by Central Observatory here today.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, east Madhya Pradesh, Konkan and Goa, Vidarbha, Telangana, coastal Karnataka and Kerala during next 48 hours.
The cyclonic circulation over south Orissa and adjoining east Madhya Pradesh now lies over east Vidarbha and neighbourhood between 3.1 and 5.8 kms a. s.l. The axis of monsoon through on sea-level chart passes through Ganganagar, Agra, Ambikapur and Puri. The other cyclonic circulation over Gujarat region and neighbourhood persists between 3.1 and 5.8 km a.s.l. The through on sea-level chart from south Maharashtra coast to Kerala costal persists. A cyclonic circulation extending up to 0.9 km a.s.l. l is over central parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Southwest monsoon has
been vigorous in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and
Konkan and Goa. Rain or thundershowers have occurred at
most places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Vidarbha and
coastal Karnataka, at many places in Nagaland, Manipur,
Mizoram and Tripura, east Uttar Pradesh, Madhya
Maharashtra, Telangana, south interior Karnataka and
Kerala, at a few places in Assam and Meghalaya, Haryana,
Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, east
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada and north interior
Karnataka. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the rest of
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