Friday, November 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Oppn refuses to put questions to George
New Delhi, November 22
The Congress today said it had moved a censure motion in the Lok Sabha against the reinduction of Mr George Fernandes into the Union Cabinet.

Govt warns Pakistan again
New Delhi, November 22
The government today again warned Pakistan to stop its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in India which could eventually threaten its own internal stability.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh greeting his arch political rival and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh greeting his arch political rival and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on his 63rd birthday at his official residence in Lucknow on Thursday.
— PTI

PM explains Afghan concern
New Delhi, November 22
The Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has written to 13 Heads of State explaining India’s stand and concerns over the future “Government structure in Afghanistan and the need for an appropriate framework for international consultation to promote this process.”



 

EARLIER STORIES

 

VIDEOS

A profile of Milan Singh, a singer with a difference who released her new album Dil Luteya recently.
(28k, 56k)

Kerala University holds an exhibition of centuries-old scriptures on leaves or "Talapatra".
(28k, 56k)

NORTH INDIA IN PARLIAMENT
India, USA target of terrorism
New Delhi, November 22
The Minister of External Affairs, Mr Jaswant Singh, told the Lok Sabha that during their recent meeting in Washington DC, the US President, Mr George W. Bush, and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, noted that both countries are target of terrorism.

Ayodhya: V.P. Singh blames BJP, VHP
New Delhi, November 22
Former Prime Minister V.P. Singh said on Tuesday that VHP and BJP leaders’ “refusal to abide by the Constitution and law and making promises with a design to break these later” was the root cause which complicated the Ayodhya dispute.

Govt trying consensus on Women’s Bill
New Delhi, November 22
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the government was trying evolve a consensus with Opposition parties on the Women’s Reservation Bill before introducing it in the Rajya Sabha.

Trinamool to move no-trust motion
Kolkata, November 22
The Trinamool Congress is bringing a no-confidence motion against the CPM-led government in the winter session of the state Assembly, beginning from December 8. It wants the support of the Congress and the BJP in moving the motion.

Forest guards to get automatic weapons
Dehra Dun, November 22
The Uttaranchal Government has decided to equip its forest guards with modern automatic firearms to check the increasing incidents of poaching, and killings of forest officials, in the reserved forest lands.

Joshi inaugurates Abilympics
New Delhi, November 22
The Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, has said the government is committed to encouraging and bringing the disabled into the mainstream.

RSS outfit drags Sonia to court
New Delhi, November 22
A Delhi court has issued notices to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and 20 other AICC members for allegedly defaming RSS outfit, the Vidya Bharti, through a resolution adopted at the Bangalore Plenary Session in March last.

RJD leader seeks special facilities for Laloo in jail
Ranchi, November 22
The RJD today said in case party leader Laloo Prasad Yadav’s bail plea was rejected he must be kept in a guest house with special facilities instead of being sent to Birsa central jail.

Calcutta Book Fair on January 30
Kolkata, November 22
The 12-day Calcutta Book Fair, one of the city’s annual literary events, will begin here on January 30 with The Netherlands being the “focal theme’’ this time.
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Oppn refuses to put questions to George
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
The Congress today said it had moved a censure motion in the Lok Sabha against the reinduction of Mr George Fernandes into the Union Cabinet.

Terming the reinduction “as a scandal in itself,” party chief spokesman Jaipal Reddy claimed that Mr Fernandes had promised not to come back to the Cabinet till his name was cleared by the Venkatswami Commission.

Asking how Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had reinducted Mr Fernandes, Mr Reddy said that it was an assault on the high traditions of Indian democracy and had no precedent. “It was also an affront to the Venkatswami Commission which the government had appointed unilaterally when the Opposition was asking for a JPC probe,” Mr Reddy said.

The Congress has given notice for discussion under Rule 184 which entails voting. “We are determined to pursue the matter,” Mr Reddy said.

Maintaining that the Tehelka expose was unprecedented in many ways, he said that while Army officers had been punished, bureaucrats and politicians had gone scot-free.

A united Opposition in the Lok Sabha today caused acute embarrassment to Defence Minister George Fernandes and the government by refusing to put questions to Mr Fernandes on the charge that he was occupying the chair of the minister “illegally”.

Agitated remarks on the issue from members of the Congress, Left parties and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) forced Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi to adjourn the House till 2 p.m.

It started when the Speaker called Mr Prabodh Pant (CPM) to put his question but he declined to do so saying, “I don’t like to put a question as (Mr Fernandes) is illegally occupying the chair.”

This provoked the Speaker to observe that by doing so Mr Pant was setting a new precedent but the member stuck to his stand.

A similar scenario was enacted when the Speaker called upon Mr G Putta Swamy Gowda (Congress) to put a supplementary to Mr Fernandes. Mr Gowda said, “Even though it is my right to put a question, I don’t want to put my question because he (the Defence Minister) is illegally occupying the chair.”

In the midst of this chaos, Mr Prahlad Patel (BJP) said he wanted to ask a supplementary from Mr Fernandes but the minister told the Speaker that he could not reply as he was unable to hear anything.Top

 

Govt warns Pakistan again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
The government today again warned Pakistan to stop its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in India which could eventually threaten its own internal stability. It asked Islamabad to stop abetting terrorism to create a conducive atmosphere for resumption of bilateral dialogue.

Replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha, the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh said, Pakistan must realise that its continued sponsorship of the cross-border terrorism and of groups that practise violent and obscurantist ideologies would eventually threaten its own internal stability. “Pakistan must end its sponsorship of the cross-border terrorism in India,” he said.

The government would also continue to effectively and appropriately bring to the attention of the international community facts pertaining to Pakistan’s continued sponsorship of the cross-border terrorism, he added.

He said the government had on several occasions reiterated India’s commitment to establishing good-neighbourly relations with Pakistan and resuming the composite dialogue that sought to build trust and confidence, establish a stable structure of cooperation and address outstanding issues.

The External Affairs Minister, however, asserted that India would continue to play a leading role in developing widespread international consensus against terrorism.

He observed that narrow, segmented or unifocal approaches to India-Pakistan relations would not contribute to good-neighbourly relations with Pakistan.

Meanwhile India has conveyed to Bangladesh its serious concern over the reports of violence, particularly against minorities, in that country after the October 1 elections.

In reply to another question the minister said a number of incidents of attacks on the life and property of minorities, molestation of women and damage and destruction of ‘puja pandals’ and temples had been reported and according to the Bangladesh media, the scale and intensity of violence were “unprecedented.”

The incidents had created an atmosphere of insecurity and many Bangladeshis were reported to have crossed over to India.

He said India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh had raised the issue with Bangladesh Minister of State for Religious Affairs. Mr Brajesh Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, had also visited Dhaka on October 26-27 and discussed the matter with the Bangladesh authorities.Top

 

PM explains Afghan concern
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
The Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has written to 13 Heads of State explaining India’s stand and concerns over the future “Government structure in Afghanistan and the need for an appropriate framework for international consultation to promote this process.”

The External affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, today told the Rajya Sabha that the letters were addressed to the leaders of Canada, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom, the USA and Uzbekistan.

In the letter, Mr Vajpayee said future political dispensation in Afghanistan should not be allowed to export terrorism.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the urgency of tackling these issues in an international framework including countries that have legitimate interests and influence over those matters and the importance of reconstruction and rehabilitation in post-conflict Afghanistan.

The government had also announced $ 100 million worth of assistance for Afghan reconstruction.Top

 

NORTH INDIA IN PARLIAMENT
India, USA target of terrorism
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
The Minister of External Affairs, Mr Jaswant Singh, told the Lok Sabha that during their recent meeting in Washington DC, the US President, Mr George W. Bush, and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, noted that both countries are target of terrorism. He said the two leaders affirmed the need for a global war against terrorism and its sponsor everywhere in the world. The External Affairs Minister drew attention to a White House Spokesman’s statement that Mr Bush had condemned the terrorist attack in Srinagar on October 1 and said “terrorism must end everywhere, and that includes in Kashmir.”

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Widening of National Highway

The Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways (independent charge), Mr B.C. Khanduri, told the Lok Sabha today that the government was aware of the increasing traffic congestion in Delhi-Faridabad section of the National Highway Number 2. He said as a remedial measure for decongestion of Delhi-Faridabad 4 lane section of the National Highway-2, steps taken include widening of congested 12 to 16.5 km to six lane, construction of six-lane ROB (Road-over-Bridge) near Apollo Hospital and widening of bridge at Jaitpur near Badarpur from six lanes to 8 lanes.

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Suffering of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus

The Minister of External Affairs told the Lok Sabha that a large number of Afghan nationals are living in India due to prolonged civil conflict in Afghanistan. He said all Afghan nationals, including those of Indian origin, who came to India with valid travel documents/passports are being allowed to stay unhindered. He said they are being granted annual visa extensions. The minister said 275 Afghan Sikh/Hindu families from Afghanistan presently in Pakistan intend travelling to India. Their requests to travel to India are being considered sympathetically. A large number of applications had already been cleared for grant of visa. The government had also waived visa fee for these applicants. He added that the government was working actively along with other countries, for restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan to facilitate creation of conducive conditions for their early return.

****

Training of J & K terrorists in Pakistan

Replying to another question in the Lok Sabha, the External Affairs Minister said the government had apprised the international community of facts pertaining to Pakistan’s sponsorship of cross border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of the country. He said the issue had been raised during meetings with foreign leaders.Top

 

Ayodhya: V.P. Singh blames BJP, VHP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
Former Prime Minister V.P. Singh said on Tuesday that VHP and BJP leaders’ “refusal to abide by the Constitution and law and making promises with a design to break these later” was the root cause which complicated the Ayodhya dispute.

Deposing before the Liberhan commission of inquiry into the December 6, 1992 demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya, Mr V.P. Singh blamed the VHP for going back on its written commitment and the BJP for its efforts to get political mileage from the Ayodhya dispute.

He also charged the Congress with committing the biggest mistake of allowing the “shilanyas” at the disputed area and thereby giving “a root and place to the dispute which was in the air only.”

He said at the time of “shilanyas,” the VHP leaders had made a written commitment to then Union Home Minister Buta Singh that they would abide by the court order on the issue, but “their backing out from this commitment was the basic cause of all problems that we are facing.”

He also accused the BJP of using falsehood in their work for Lord Ram. They had categorically assured the Janata Dal before elections in 1989 that Ayodhya was neither on their political agenda nor in their main manifesto to get political mileage of an alliance with the JD, but suddenly, when it suited them, they not only brought it on their agenda but also became its leader with the “rath yatra”, he said.

“Similarly, the BJP government led by Mr Kalyan Singh in Uttar Pradesh gave affidavits that all measures would be taken to secure the disputed structure. In spite of all these assurances, none of these was implemented, rather they were deliberately violated,” he said.

The former Prime Minister brushed aside the version of BJP and VHP leaders that they were unable to control the psyche of the kar sevaks which ultimately led to the demolition of disputed structure.

“They first build the psyche of people and when something happens they don’t take the responsibility,” he said.Top

 

Govt trying consensus on Women’s Bill
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the government was trying evolve a consensus with Opposition parties on the Women’s Reservation Bill before introducing it in the Rajya Sabha.

Responding to queries from women members on when the Bill would be introduced in the Upper House, the Prime Minister said his government was committed to the legislation’s passage in Parliament.

The Prime Minister said the Bill had already been introduced in the Lok Sabha and if the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Rajya Sabha so desired, it could introduce it in the Rajya Sabha too. “But the government would like to reach a consensus before moving in this direction,” he said.

Earlier, women members from various political parties led by Ms Jayapradha Nahata (TDP) demanded that the Bill be introduced as early as possible. They said the introduction of the legislation was being delayed unnecessarily.
Top

 

Trinamool to move no-trust motion
Subhranshu Gupta

Kolkata, November 22
The Trinamool Congress is bringing a no-confidence motion against the CPM-led government in the winter session of the state Assembly, beginning from December 8. It wants the support of the Congress and the BJP in moving the motion.

The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Pankaj Banerjee (TMC), said the motion was aimed at the massive failure of the government on all fronts during its one year tenure with Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharyya as Chief Minister.

Mr Banerjee hoped that they would get legal as well as moral support of the Congress, the BJP and other parties in the Assembly.

Congress leader, Atish Sinha, however, said so far there was no decision of supporting the TMC in moving the no-confidence motion against the state government.Top

 

Forest guards to get automatic weapons
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, November 22
The Uttaranchal Government has decided to equip its forest guards with modern automatic firearms to check the increasing incidents of poaching, and killings of forest officials, in the reserved forest lands.

Stating this here today, Dr R.S. Tolia, Principal Secretary, Forests and Wildlife, said organised gangs of poachers and smugglers with international links, were operating in the state. In order to face this threat the state government was likely to bring about an amendment in the forest manual, enabling the state government to provide automatic firearms and more powers to the forest officials. The proposed amendment would enable the forest guards to use firearms in case of an emergency after taking the higher officials, of not less than the rank of a Forest Ranger, into confidence.

The Forest Ranger will give the information to the SDM and the local police to lodge an FIR and begin magisterial inquiry. The present forest manual does not allow the forest officials to open fire at the criminals.Top

 

Joshi inaugurates Abilympics
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
The Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, has said the government is committed to encouraging and bringing the disabled into the mainstream.

Inaugurating the regional Abilympics for the north and central regions at Talkatora Indoor Stadium here today Dr Joshi said his ministry would extend maximum support possible to the cause of the disabled who constitute about 10 per cent of the population.

He cited the example of Stephan Hawking who was one of the most eminent scientists in the world despite multiple disabilities. Dr Joshi expressed the hope that the Indian contingent would give an impressive performance in the 2003 Abilympics.

Abilympics, the Olympics of abilities of persons with disability, is an international event and was first held in Japan in 1981. It is held every fourth year to discover the talent of disabled persons with disabilities and to encourage them to participate in the economic activities of the society.Top

 

RSS outfit drags Sonia to court

New Delhi, November 22
A Delhi court has issued notices to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and 20 other AICC members for allegedly defaming RSS outfit, the Vidya Bharti, through a resolution adopted at the Bangalore Plenary Session in March last.

Issuing notices to all AICC members, including Ms Sonia Gandhi, Additional Sessions Judge P. S. Teji fixed December 24 for further proceedings in the case. PTI
Top

 

RJD leader seeks special facilities for Laloo in jail

Ranchi, November 22
The RJD today said in case party leader Laloo Prasad Yadav’s bail plea was rejected he must be kept in a guest house with special facilities instead of being sent to Birsa central jail.

“We perceive a serious threat to his life in jail as many hardcore undertrial prisoners who were arrested during Mr Yadav’s tenure in Bihar are lodged there,” RJD Legislature Party leader in Jharkhand Assembly Girinath Singh said. PTITop

 

Calcutta Book Fair on January 30

Kolkata, November 22
The 12-day Calcutta Book Fair, one of the city’s annual literary events, will begin here on January 30 with The Netherlands being the “focal theme’’ this time.

Touted as the second largest book fair in the world after Frankfurt, the Calcutta Book Fair, which will step into its 27th year, would be participated by a record number of over 500 publishers and book sellers from across the country and abroad.

Apart from The Netherlands, a number of European Union nations, including France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Italy and Sweden, have already confirmed their entry into the mega event, which was visited by a record number of over 2.5 million people last year. UNITop

 
NATIONAL BRIEFS

ORDERS RESERVED ON JAYA’S APPEAL
CHENNAI:
The Madras High Court on Thursday reserved its orders on the appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and three others, challenging their February, 2000, conviction by a special court in the Pleasant Stay hotel case. Justice N. Dinakar reserved his orders after hearing extensive arguments on the appeals by the counsel for the appellants and the special public prosecutor K.V. Venktakapathy for nine days. PTI

TWO HELD WITH ARMY DOCUMENTS
JAISALMER:
Two persons, allegedly trying to smuggle defence documents to Pakistan, have been arrested under the Official Secrets Act, a senior police official said here on Thursday. The police on Wednesday raided the house of Noor Mohammad in Kishengarh on the Indo-Pak border and recovered some Defence documents related to India. His interrogation led to the arrest of the brother Ramzan from a nearby hamlet. PTI

‘40 PC SUFFER FROM ALCOHOL DISEASES’
JAIPUR:
An estimated 40 per cent of the people admitted to hospital wards in the country suffer from diseases linked to alcohol abuse, an eminent gastroenterologist and former AIIMS Dean has said. “Alcohol is a multi-organ disease. It leaves its damaging impact on all important organs of the body,” Padma Vibhushan Dr B.N. Tandon said at a function held here on Wednesday. UNI

BUS LOOTED NEAR MEERUT
MEERUT:
Four persons were injured when armed robbers looted an Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus heading for Lucknow, near here, on Wednesday. More than Rs 1 lakh had been looted, besides jewellery and wrist watches. The cash bag of the bus conductor was also taken away. The criminals later absconded near a police check post. UNI

PATNA-HOWRAH RAIL TRAFFIC RESTORED
PATNA:
Rail traffic was restored on Wednesday on the Patna-Jhajha-Howrah section of Eastern Railway after the removal of the two wrecked bogies of the Mokama-Howrah passenger train at Dumri Halt in Lakhisarai district of Bihar. “Traffic is absolutely normal from this morning and trains are running as per schedule”, Railway sources said. PTI

TIGRESS ELECTROCUTED
MUMBAI:
A tigress has died in Maharashtra’s Pench Tiger Reserve after being electrocuted by poachers. According to a press note issued here on Wednesday, the incident came to light when villagers saw the dead tigress on the Sillari-Khapa road, half a kilometre from Sillari village, in the Pench Tiger Reserve. Though the incident took place on November 18, no guard or ranger from the Nagpur circle had registered the case till November 20. UNI

SEVEN OF FAMILY HACKED TO DEATH
GORAKHPUR:
Seven members of a family, including three children, were hacked to death on Wednesday at their residence in city’s the Rustampur area, the police said here on Thursday. A lone member of the family, who survived the attack, had been hospitalised. The police suspected the killings to be the handiwork of the ‘kachha baniyan gang’. PTI
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