Thursday, December 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

No extension to Mann, says Centre
By A.S. Prashar
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, Dec 27 — The Union Government is understood to have turned down a proposal by the Punjab Government to grant extension to Mr R.S. Mann as Chief Secretary to the state government beyond January 31, 2001 when he is due to retire after attaining the age of superannuation.

Informed sources said today that the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who is keen on retaining the services of Mr Mann even after January 31, personally took up the matter with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during one of his recent visits to Delhi. The Prime Minister rang up the Cabinet Secretary to seek his opinion. But the latter made it clear that after amendments of the relevant services rules raising the retirement age of IAS officers from 58 to 60 years, there was no scope for an extension in service.

Earlier, the rules provided that the Central and state governments could give extension for up to six months at a time to a retiring officer. Now that enabling clause has been removed from the rules with the result that neither the state nor the Centre had any power to give extensions. However, one view in the state government was that although the enabling clause had been removed, nowhere had had the government been specifically debarred from giving an extension to an officer.

This view has obviously not been accepted by the Central Government of India.

In neighbouring Haryana too, a similar situation prevails where the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is keen on retaining the services of Mr Vishnu Bhagwan as Chief Secretary even after he retires on attaining the age of superannuation on December 31. It remains to be seen what criterion the Central Government will adopt in the Haryana Chief Secretary’s case. 


Students hurt in fresh protests in Nepal

kathmandu Dec 27 (DPA) — Several students received bullet wounds today as violent student protests resumed here over anti-Nepal remarks allegedly made by Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan.

The actor, however, denied ever making the remarks and expressed astonishment at the controversy.

The protests against the Indian actor’s alleged remarks began on Sunday and yesterday four persons were confirmed killed in the capital in police firing on the protesting students.

The students today pelted stones on shops owned by Indians in New Road here and the police had to resort to a baton charge to disperse the youths.

Official figures were not available for today’s casualties but two hospitals in Kathmandu said at least seven students had been treated for bullet wounds.

Student leaders said at least a hundred person were injured in clashes with the police in various parts of Kathmandu today. The protesters have called for a general strike tomorrow.

UNI adds: In an attempt to prevent the issue from developing into a diplomatic row, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has denied any television interview by film star Hrithik Roshan making any remarks against Nepal.

In a press note issued today expressing distress over the violence and loss of lives, the Embassy said it was concerned at the ‘baseless rumours’ being spread by elements ‘inimical to the warm and cordial India-Nepal relations and the age-old ties between the peoples of the two countries. 

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