Friday, December 7, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

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N A T I O N

No going back on POTO: Jaitley
New Delhi, December 6
The Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley, today said the government would not retract even if a political consensus eluded on the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance.

Houses adjourned over Babri demolition
New Delhi, December 6
The ninth anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition forced the adjournment of both Houses of Parliament, as Opposition and ruling NDA members clashed today.

Dharnas, rallies mark demolition anniversary
New Delhi, December 6
Muslim organisations and several political parties here today observed a “National Shame Day” and staged dharnas to mark the ninth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Unruly MPs face suspension
New Delhi, December 6
Usual unruly scenes of MPs disrupting the business of the Lok Sabha will soon become a rarity as a Lok Sabha MP, coming in the Well of the House or “wilfully obstructing” proceedings by raising slogans or otherwise, will face “automatic suspension”, as per the amended rules of procedure and conduct of business.


EARLIER STORIES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Bihu dance
Assamese women perform their traditional Bihu dance in a rally taken out in Guwahati on Wednesday during the 47th National Conference of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad. 
— PTI


Supermodel
Supermodel India 2001: (L-R) Sandia Shetty, 1st runner up, Naseem Sheikh, winner, and Tanaya Sharma, 2nd runner up, after they were crowned in Mumbai on Wednesday. 
— PTI

Odissi dancers
A group of Odissi dancers perform on a beach during the Konark Dance Festival, 70 km from Bhuvaneshwar, Orissa, on Thursday.
— Reuters

Voters’ identification must in UP: EC
New Delhi, December 6
Asserting that it would not hesitate in taking “most severe action” in case of any irregularity in the preparation of electoral rolls in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission today reiterated that the commission would insist on compulsory identification of voters and conduct poll on electronic voting machines in the state, due in early next year.

Poll in Manipur with Punjab, UP
New Delhi, December 6
The Assembly poll in Manipur will be held along with the elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal early next year, according to highly placed Election Commission sources.

No interference in CBI working, says P.C. Sharma
New Delhi, December 6
The newly-appointed CBI Director, Mr P.C. Sharma, said today that lack of quick sanction of approval from the government and departments concerned had resulted in delay in launching prosecution in most of the cases involving government servants which were pending before the premier investigating agency.

Tenacious Tenth’s Akhaura Day
Somewhere in the Northern Sector
A unit of the Bihar Regiment once again re-lived the “victory bugle call”, after a span of 30 years, two days ago with the war veterans who were amidst us to commemorate “Akhaura Day”. The victory that was snatched from the Pakistani Army was not without the sacrifice of valiant soldiers of the Tenacious Tenth.

Naval Dept gets marine award
New Delhi, December 6
The Naval Hydrographic Department has been awarded the first Laureate Prize for Protection of Marine Environment for this year. Rear Adm K.R. Srinivasan, AVSM, Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India received the award, at a function in Monaco, from the President, World Underwater Federation, recently. The award carried a cash prize of Euro 7000 and a crystal plaque.

Principal Bahadur Singh dead
Sriganganagar, December 6
Eminent botanist and the Principal of the local Sri Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Prof Bahadur Pal Singh, died in the USA after a brief illness.
A resident of Chak 16 BB, near here, the amiable 53-year-old took over as the Principal of one of the biggest educational institutions of Rajasthan run by the minorities and was a prominent social figure in the region.

VIDEOS
Mediapersons from all around the world have gathered in Varanasi where the ashes of former Beatles member George Harrison are expected to be immersed in the Ganges.
(28k, 56k)
World's largest cattle fair at Pushkar came to a colourful end last week.
(28k)


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No going back on POTO: Jaitley
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
The Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley, today said the government would not retract even if a political consensus eluded on the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO).

“We cannot become helpless for want of consensus. It is imperative to give a chilling message to all that terrorism will not be tolerated any more”, Mr Jaitley said while speaking at the 74th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

Regretting that a political consensus eluded the issue, Mr Jaitley said “political consensus was a wonderful phrase but consensus gets sacrificed when politics overtakes it”.

Underscoring that there was a direct co-relation between security and unstinted economic activity, the minister said that already Rs 45,000 crore had been spent on anti-insurgency operations excluding that of the Army and rehabilitation of affected victims.

“It is shocking to note that 48,000 kg of RDX had already been seized, enough to probably blast each inch of Indian soil. This magnitude of terrorism cannot be tackled by velvet gloves but by iron hands”, the minister said.

On the issue of granting bail, he said there would be an alarming situation if suicide gangs and militants were let out on bail.

“It is important to understand that terrorism creates political instability where developmental process takes a back seat. Nobody benefits in the process and the nation suffers”, Mr Jaitley said.

Taking a dig at human rights organisations, the minister said it never condemned insurgents and had a tendency to pass them off as a misdirected lot but at the same time do not fail to blame the police and law enforcement agencies for gross misappropriation.

“Around five lakh people in India have become homeless because of terrorist activities. But nobody talks about them. These are all hard measures which is not a happy situation for a society to develop”, he pointed out.

Underlining the need for a provision with regard to interception of terrorist communications, he cited the case of Maharashtra, which had used interceptions by intelligence agencies as legal evidence against terrorists resulting in a surge in conviction rate from 6.5 per cent to 77 per cent.

The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Farooq Abdullah, speaking at the session categorically stated that there were some vested interest groups which were resisting the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) under the garb of protecting minorities and added that he was going to use POTO to contain terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

He pointed out that there were many villages in Jammu and Kashmir that were without electricity, potable water, good schools, good hospitals even after more than 50 years of Independence.

“If after more than 50 years of Independence, this is the situation that exists in the state, why will Pakistan not play its card”, he asked.Top

 

Houses adjourned over Babri demolition
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
The ninth anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition forced the adjournment of both Houses of Parliament, as Opposition and ruling NDA members clashed today.

As soon as the two Houses of Parliament assembled to conduct the business of the day, agitated Opposition MPs demanded the admission of their adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha and asked Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to make a statement on the issue.

In the Lok Sabha, the Opposition members, who had tabled as many as 28 adjournment notices on the Ayodhya issue, demanded the suspension of the question hour.

Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi’s pleas to permit the question hour so that the issue in demand could be taken up during the zero hour did not make any impact on the Opposition members who insisted that their adjournment motions be admitted forthwith.

As the Speaker gave no indication that he would respond to the Opposition demand, protests continued amid noise and turmoil for a few minutes before Mr Balayogi announced the adjournment of the House for the day.

In the upper House, Congress MP Suresh Pachouri, immediately after the Rajya Sabha assembled, sprang on his feet saying that no action had been taken as yet even nine years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Mr Pachouri said since the Prime Minister was in the House, he should make a statement on the issue. Five persons responsible for the demolition were presently ministers in the government, he pointed out.

His remarks resulted in a furore in the House, with the opposition benches demanding action against the culprits of the demolition and ruling NDA MPs particularly from the BJP and the Shiv Sena, trying to shout them down with “Jai Shri Ram” slogans.

Samajwadi Party MP Mohammad Azam Khan carried a placard with “sharm divas” (day of shame) written on it. His party demanded a discussion under Rule 267 on the issue.

Amid pandemonium, Chairman Krishan Kant adjourned the House for the day.Top

 

Dharnas, rallies mark demolition anniversary

New Delhi, December 6
Muslim organisations and several political parties here today observed a “National Shame Day” and staged dharnas to mark the ninth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

They also demanded the reconstruction of the 16th century mosque at the original site and punishment for those found guilty of its demolition on December 6, 1992.

The Babri Masjid Reconstruction Front submitted a memorandum to President K.R. Narayanan in this regard.

A delegation of the front led by its president Shakil Ahmed Sherri and general secretary Hameed Sagar met Mr Narayanan and urged him to direct the government to strictly implement the orders of the Supreme Court on the disputed land.

Ayodhya: Amid tight security, the ninth anniversary of the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya passed off peacefully, with no untoward incident reported from anywhere in the district, official sources said.

While the VHP and the Bajrang Dal observed the day as “shaurya” and “sankalp divas” at Karsewak Puram here, the Samajwadi Party and the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) observed it as a “black day”, organising sit-in at different places.

Tight security arrangements were made in the twin townships of Faizabad and Ayodhya with Central forces, the police and PAC jawans posted at strategic locations to keep a watch on anti-social elements, the sources said, adding that senior civil and police officials were camping in the city.

LUCKNOW: Protest marches, demonstrations and rallies amid tight security marked the observance of the ninth anniversary of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

According to state police headquarters here, no reports of any untoward incidents had been received so far. Different political and social organisations organised protest marches and demonstrations across the capital to mark the day.

BANGALORE: Silent processions at a few places and a victory meeting in a town in Karnataka marked the ninth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

A silent procession was taken out in the city demanding the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid and the removal of the make-shift temple that had come up at the disputed place.

Hyderabad: Protest rallies and a statewide bandh were held to observe the ninth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

The police said except in the old city of the capital, the bandh called by the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) evoked little response. Shops and other business establishments in the old city remained closed and black flags were hoisted atop many shops and houses.

Several organisations, including the MBT, took out protest rallies demanding the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid at the same site at Ayodhya.

PATNA: Left parties on Thursday observed a “black day” on the ninth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya.

They also took out a procession in protest against POTO, terrorism, communalism and imperialism. UNI, PTITop

 

Unruly MPs face suspension
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
Usual unruly scenes of MPs disrupting the business of the Lok Sabha will soon become a rarity as a Lok Sabha MP, coming in the Well of the House or “wilfully obstructing” proceedings by raising slogans or otherwise, will face “automatic suspension”, as per the amended rules of procedure and conduct of business.

The suspension may be terminated earlier if the House at any time resolves so through a motion. The amendment, which became effective from today, ensures that a member of the Lok Sabha coming into the well of the House and on being named by the Speaker would be automatically suspended from the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session whichever is less.

Members abusing the rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise will also meet with similar punishment under this new rule, a press note from the Speaker Office said.

The new rule will also have implications on the TA/DA of members for the period of suspension. Suspended members cannot attend the meetings of parliamentary committees also during the period of suspension.
Top

 

Voters’ identification must in UP: EC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
Asserting that it would not hesitate in taking “most severe action” in case of any irregularity in the preparation of electoral rolls in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission today reiterated that the commission would insist on compulsory identification of voters and conduct poll on electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the state, due in early next year.

The Election Commission’s announcement came barely few hours after the Lok Morcha leaders, including two former Prime Ministers V P Singh and H D Deve Gowda, urged the commission not to make voter identity cards mandatory during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll saying that the mafias and miscreants would use money and muscle power to deprive the poor of their ID cards and votes.

“The Election Commission is constantly monitoring the electoral roll revision process and we will not hesitate in taking most severe action in case of any irregularities,” Deputy Election Commissioner Subhas Pani told newspersons here.

Earlier in the day, a Lok Morcha delegation, including former Prime Ministers H D Deve Gowda and V P Singh, Left leaders H S Surjeet and A B Bardhan and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is also convener of the Front, in a letter to the Election Commission urged it to allow all those on the voters’ list to cast their ballot.

“A majority of voters have not been issued photo ID cards in the state as very few voters have been photographed,” Mr Yadav told reporters later.
Top

 

Poll in Manipur with Punjab, UP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
The Assembly poll in Manipur will be held along with the elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal early next year, according to highly placed Election Commission sources.

A decision to this effect was taken at a full-Bench meeting of the commission chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr J.M. Lyngdoh, here today.

However, no specific dates for the poll were decided upon during the meeting.

The Centre had extended the President’s Rule in Manipur for six more months with effect from December 2, and had expressed its desire to hold Assembly poll in the state along with the Assembly poll in the other three states.

The central rule was promulgated in Manipur on June 2 this year due to political instability.

According to the sources, electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be used throughout Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Punjab while these will be used selectively in and around Manipur’s capital Imphal.
Top

 

No interference in CBI working, says P.C. Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
The newly-appointed CBI Director, Mr P.C. Sharma, said today that lack of quick sanction of approval from the government and departments concerned had resulted in delay in launching prosecution in most of the cases involving government servants which were pending before the premier investigating agency.

“Most of the pendency is due to the absence of sanction for prosecution from the competent authority,” Mr Sharma told newspersons after being confirmed in the post.

“I have taken it up with the authorities concerned, including the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Things have improved considerably and in some cases we have got the approval within three months,” he said.

Mr Sharma denied political interference in the functioning of the agency. “I have not experienced any political interference during my 20-year service in the CBI,” said Mr Sharma, a 1966 batch IPS officer.
Top

 

Tenacious Tenth’s Akhaura Day
Tribune News Service

Somewhere in the Northern Sector
A unit of the Bihar Regiment once again re-lived the “victory bugle call”, after a span of 30 years, two days ago with the war veterans who were amidst us to commemorate “Akhaura Day”. The victory that was snatched from the Pakistani Army was not without the sacrifice of valiant soldiers of the Tenacious Tenth.

The Devils of this battalion once again had proved their mettle in Manasbal, where a brave son and a dynamic officer of the battalion, Lt Col HUS Gaur, AC (posthumous), the Tenth Commanding Officer, keeping the tradition of the unit, made the supreme sacrifice for the nation.

Lt Col PC Sawhney, VrC, the Commanding Officer in the 1971 operations, while addressing the Special Sainik Sammelan, was nostalgic with reminiscences of the fateful night of December 4 when the heroes of the Tenth Battalion of the Bihar Regiment swooped on the township of Akhaura.

The paltan had the rare privilege of honouring 12 war widows, both of 71 Operations and of Manasbal, who were present for the occasion.

The unit has the distinction of being awarded the Unit Citation by the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen S. Roy Choudhary, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, and a silver salver of commendation by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir for effectively combating insurgency in the valley.

The song and dance troupe of the Cultural Division of Chandigarh enthralled the audience during Barakhana and the vigour exhibited by the veterans and the serving soldiers was evident during the tribal Cho dance of the Bihar Regiment.

The victory celebrations came to an end after full two days but not before all ranks of the Battalion under the command of Lt Col KPR Hari, Vr C, took a vow to uphold the highest traditions of the Regiment and keep the Flag flying always. The regimental song, “Bhada Bihari jhanda lekar sher-e-Hindustan ka....”, reminds the Veer Bihar of the pledge to the nation.Top

 

Naval Dept gets marine award
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
The Naval Hydrographic Department has been awarded the first Laureate Prize for Protection of Marine Environment for this year. Rear Adm K.R. Srinivasan, AVSM, Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India received the award, at a function in Monaco, from the President, World Underwater Federation, recently. The award carried a cash prize of Euro 7000 and a crystal plaque.

The World Underwater Federation was formed in Monaco in 1959 and represents all organisations active in underwater activities and diving related sports. It has 162 members and is recognised by UNESCO, the Union Internationale pour La Conservation de La Nature) and the World Wildlife Fund.

The award has been presented to the department for project undertaken in marine surveys, safety, environment management and underwater investigations.

The projects included updating programme of the databases by fresh hydrographic surveys for marine navigation, coastal management and marine environment preservation.Top

 

Principal Bahadur Singh dead
Tribune News Service

Sriganganagar, December 6
Eminent botanist and the Principal of the local Sri Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Prof Bahadur Pal Singh, died in the USA after a brief illness.

A resident of Chak 16 BB, near here, the amiable 53-year-old took over as the Principal of one of the biggest educational institutions of Rajasthan run by the minorities and was a prominent social figure in the region.

He did his B. Sc from this college and got his Ph.D from Jiyaji University, Gwalior, and started his teaching career as a Lecturer at the Government College, Dholpur, in 1972, but joined the Botany department here in the same capacity a year later. He had to his credit more than 60 research papers which were published in prestigious journals in India and abroad.

A pall of gloom descended on the college where the inter-college athletics championships are being held. A two-minute silence was observed by the competitors and the day’s events were rescheduled for tomorrow. The prize distribution function has been cancelled as a mark of respect to the departed soul.
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