Tuesday, December 11, 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

George skips RS to avoid Opposition
New Delhi, December 10
Defence Minister George Fernandes, who has been facing the wrath of the Opposition for being reinducted by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee into the Cabinet, today preferred to skip the Rajya Sabha.

Laloo, Mishra’s remand extended
Ranchi, December 10
A designated CBI court today extended the judicial remand of two former Chief Ministers of Bihar Laloo Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra for another 14 days in a conspiracy angle case of the multi-crore fodder scam.

Dada Moni, a versatile actor
Ashok KumarMumbai, December 10
Described as an actor par excellence who sailed through diverse roles with equal elan, be it the suave upper class barrister, the cigar-smoking detective, the ugly deglamorised talented singer or the iconoclast-hero, for Ashok Kumar, acting came effortlessly.

Status quo at Ayodhya to be maintained: BJP
New Delhi, December 10
Criticising the Opposition for repeatedly disrupting proceedings in the House on the Ayodhya issue, the BJP said today that the Government was committed to the maintenance of status quo at the disputed site in Ayodhya and would honour the Supreme Court order.

LS adjourned over Ayodhya issue
New Delhi, December 10
The Ayodhya issue rocked the Lok Sabha again today with the Opposition seeking an explanation from the government on the reported secret meeting on Ram Temple attended by five Union Ministers last week. Amid the furore the House was adjourned for 75 minutes till lunch.

Khonglam wins trust vote
Shillong, December 10
The 42-member Peoples Forum of Meghalaya (PFM) government led by Dr Flinder Anderson Khonglam firmly entrenched itself in saddle today after winning a trust vote in the 60-member Assembly by voice vote.



Two parrots play at a zoo in Calcutta on Monday. Such parrots are often illegally caged and sold by bird-sellers in Calcutta for Rs100 a pair.
— Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

 

President K. R. Narayanan releasing a poster and quotation of Mahatma Gandhi on human rights on the occasion of Human Rights Day at a function in New Delhi on Monday. Also seen on the left is Justice J. S. Verma, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.
— PTI

NORTH INDIA IN PARLIAMENT
Steps to check begging in Delhi
New Delhi, December 10
The government today apprised the Rajya Sabha of the steps taken to check begging in the Capital. Replying to a question, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Satyanarayan Jatiya said rehabilitation of beggars, including child beggars, was undertaken by state governments under various programmes and legislations.

  • Plan to improve DD coverage in J&K

  • Concessional air tickets for senior citizens

Narayanan: give priority to women, deprived
New Delhi, December 10
President K.R. Narayanan today underlined the need for shifting the human rights perspective and giving priority to deprived sections of the society, especially women.

CBI seeks report on IC-814 hijacking
New Delhi, December 10
The CBI has sought a detailed report from the Indian mission in Washington about media news that some of documents pertaining to hijackers of IC-814 in 1999 had been recovered from a house in Kabul.

VIDEOS
Gayatri Mahesh's eight-song album "Thahar jao" released in the Indian market. The album is based on the theme "Cherish your love, life is short."
(28k, 56k)
Five days after the closure of Tunnel 3 and 4 of the Tehri dam, water level reaches a high of 636 metres, submerging the low-lying areas of the region.
(28k, 56k)
Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama presides over a meeting in New Delhi.
(28k, 56k)
President K. R. Narayanan inaugurates a function to observe Human Rights Day organised by the National Human Rights Commission.
(28k, 56k)
Despite the shoot-at-sight orders given by the state government to the forest officials, poachers have succeeded in killing two more elephants and extracting their tusks in the famous Rajaji National Park.
(28k, 56k)


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George skips RS to avoid Opposition
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 10
Defence Minister George Fernandes, who has been facing the wrath of the Opposition for being reinducted by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee into the Cabinet, today preferred to skip the Rajya Sabha.

Mr Fernandes, who was to move the Bill to amend the Coast Guard Act, 1978, in the post lunch session, did not turn up in the House, apparently to avoid embarrassment at the hands of the Opposition.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan, who is known for good floor management, without wasting any time got two other Bills passed and also managed to get a resolution moved by himself, pertaining to the government’s rejection of the award given by the Board of Arbitration in C.A., adopted by the House.

The Bills passed included amendment to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Act, 1956, moved by Health Minister C. P. Thakur and Bill to repeal the Essential Services (Maintenance) Ordinance, 1941, moved by Minister of State for Home Affairs in absentia of Home Minister L. K. Advani.

With just 15 minutes left for the House to adjourn for the day, in a bid to cover the time, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik preferred to read the two-page statement regarding the supply of gasohol in the country instead of just laying it in the table of the House as read despite the Chair making an offer in that regard.
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Laloo, Mishra’s remand extended

Ranchi, December 10
A designated CBI court today extended the judicial remand of two former Chief Ministers of Bihar Laloo Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra for another 14 days in a conspiracy angle case of the multi-crore fodder scam.

The duo had been under judicial custody since November 26 when their bail petitions were rejected by the court.

On completion of the judicial remand period, he President of the RJD, was produced before the court of designated CBI judge H.C. Mishra today who extended the period of his judicial remand for another 14 days fixing the next date of hearing in the case to December 24.

Mr Mishra, a co-accused in the case, who was also scheduled to be produced in the above court, however, did not appear.

Mr Mishra’s counsel, who appeared on his behalf, said he was sick and under medical examination at Rajendra Medical College and Hospital here where he was currently lodged under judicial custody. PTI
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Dada Moni, a versatile actor

Mumbai, December 10
Described as an actor par excellence who sailed through diverse roles with equal elan, be it the suave upper class barrister, the cigar-smoking detective, the ugly deglamorised talented singer or the iconoclast-hero, for Ashok Kumar, acting came effortlessly.

Respectfully addressed as “Dada Moni”, by both the young and old in Bollywood, the legendary artiste carved a niche for himself on the silver screen as a versatile actor, who could fit into the boots of any character with ease, doing equal justice to every role.

The eldest of three brothers, Ashok made a foray into the film industry in the black and white era with “Jeevan Naya” in 1936, produced by Bombay Talkies.

An actor by default, Ashok Kumar, a law graduate from Kolkata, went on to become a name to reckon with after he was forced to act by veteran director Himanshu Roy, when the original leading man of the film fell ill.

The shy and reserved hero, hailing from a zamindar family from Bengal made a faux pas when he was asked to jump on the back of the villain at a given cue, but inadvertently jumped on him before time, leaving the villain with a fractured leg.

The next film “Achhut Kanya”, which starred him in the role of a Brahmin boy in love with an untouchable girl, played by Devika Rani, went on to become an epoch-making movie, earning rave reviews from film critics.

Born at Bhagalpur in Bihar in 1911, Ashok Kumar with his strong screen presence, broke one of the strongest taboos of the Hindi film industry by opting to play an anti-hero in the highly successful “Kismet”.

He enacted the role of a dark complexioned but highly talented singer in “Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen”, his home production. The movie ran to packed houses and its songs, including “Naache man mora,” became a rage.

His versatility again came to the fore in the though-provoking film “Bandini” and “Samadhi”, where he enacted the role of a patriot. It was his highly subtle acting style, be it the role of a pained grandfather in “Ashirwad”, “wolf in sheep in clothing” villain in “Return of Jewel Thief” or the doting father in “Milli” that helped him not to be typecast.

The “grand old man” of the Indian celluloid screen in his heydays won female adulation as he played roles with the famous Hollywood touch. The cigar-smoking, suave hero, impeccably dressed in a western suit in “Howrah Bridge”, being seduced in the hit song, “Aayeeye meherban”, made him one of the most photogenic faces of the 1940s-50s.

Ashok also portrayed negative roles in “Kismat”, “Aarti”, “Ustadon Ke Ustad” and “Jewel Thief”.

The actor switched over to character roles with “Kanoon” and “Oonchey Log”.

He teamed up with his two brothers Kishore Kumar and Anoop Kumar in “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” which was a major hit.

Ashok went on to win the National Award for “Ashirwad” in 1969.

He was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 for his 62 years’ contribution to the film industry. PTI
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Status quo at Ayodhya to be maintained: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 10
Criticising the Opposition for repeatedly disrupting proceedings in the House on the Ayodhya issue, the BJP said today that the Government was committed to the maintenance of status quo at the disputed site in Ayodhya and would honour the Supreme Court order.

"The NDA government is committed to the maintenance of status quo as per the order of the Supreme Court. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister have reiterated the government stand in Parliament on Ayodhya," BJP Parliamentary Party Spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra told newspersons here.

Accusing the opposition parties, especially the Congress and Samajwadi Party of disrupting the proceedings of the House on the issue in the wake of the coming assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Malhotra said the Congress should not forget that it was the Rajiv Gandhi regime which allowed "shilanyas" of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Mr Malhotra said it was natural for the Prime Minister to allow delegations from all political parties to express their views before the government.

"This was a practice that has been followed by all Prime Ministers in the past including Rajiv Gandhi, Mr V.P. Singh and Mr Narasimha Rao," he said, adding that "now to find fault with Mr Vajpayee and the government for hearing the views from the Vishva Hindu Parishad was not fair."

Mr Malhotra further said the Bill replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) would be introduced in Parliament tomorrow and a two-day debate would be held on December 12 and 13.

He said the collective opinion of the party was to hold a joint session if there was any problem for the passage of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

However, he said the government had not taken a decision on holding a joint session.
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LS adjourned over Ayodhya issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 10
The Ayodhya issue rocked the Lok Sabha again today with the Opposition seeking an explanation from the government on the reported secret meeting on Ram Temple attended by five Union Ministers last week. Amid the furore the House was adjourned for 75 minutes till lunch.

Raising anti-government slogans and demanding sacking of the five ministers, the opposition members said the ministers had defied government’s assurance that status quo at the disputed site at Ayodhya would not be violated.

They sought a statement from the Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani and described his absence from the House as his “running away” from the House.

Congress chief whip P.R. Dasmunshi referred to media reports that the ministers — Mr Ved Prakash Goel, Mr Sripad Naik, Ms Jayawanti Mehta, Mr Annasaheb Patil and Mr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil — had attended a secret conclave along with some BJP MPs and VHP leader Ashok Singhal on the proposed temple in Ayodhya.

He wanted the ministers to be present in the House to explain whether they shared Mr Singhal’s views on the start of construction of the temple after March 12, next year.

The opposition members contended that the ministers had violated the oath of office by attending the meeting that threatened the secular fabric of the country.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, tried to explain matters but he was not heard. The members insisted that the Home Minister should explain the conduct of the Ministers. “Does the Home Minister need the permission of Mr Singhal to come to the House?” Mr Dasmunshi asked.

Some opposition members, including Mr Akhilesh Singh, Mr Rashid Alvi and Mr Ramdass Athawale, were almost in the well of the House raising slogans against the government.

Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed’s request to the members to restore order went unheeded and he was forced to adjourn the House till 2 p.m.
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Grants for Manipur passed

New Delhi, December 10
The Lok Sabha today passed by a voice vote the demands for grants in respect of Manipur Budget.

Earlier, Minister of State for Finance Balasaheb Vikhe Patil assured the house that November salaries of the state government employees would be paid soon.

Replying to the discussion, Mr Patil said the Centre was not keen on extending the President’s rule in the state any further.

Land reforms and introduction of a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for government employees which were demanded by some members should be taken up by an elected government, he said.

The funds allocations mentioned in the grants were tentative and the Governor would soon hold discussions with the Planning Commission for further allocations.

Members, who participated in the discussion, wanted the Centre to take up development programmes in the state, pending elections.

Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress suggested construction of a ring road to link all nine districts and rural roads to give a boost to the horticultural sector, which needed transport facilities for marketing. UNI
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Khonglam wins trust vote

Shillong, December 10
The 42-member Peoples Forum of Meghalaya (PFM) government led by Dr Flinder Anderson Khonglam firmly entrenched itself in saddle today after winning a trust vote in the 60-member Assembly by voice vote.

Dr Khonglam had been directed by acting Governor Arvind Dave on December 8 to seek the confidence of the House for his Congress-NCP coalition government, which was sworn in following the step-down by E.K. Mawlong.

Dr Khonglam sought the confidence of the House soon after the session began at 10:00 a.m. The motion of confidence was moved by Dr Mukul Sangma of the Congress.

A motion of no-confidence moved later by a decimated 17-member Opposition comprising the United Democratic Party (13), the BJP (three) and the Garo National Council (one) against Speaker E.D. Marak was also defeated by voice vote.

The no-confidence motion against the Speaker was moved by deputy leader of the UDP in the House Dr Donkuper Roy.

Mounting a scathing attack on the Khonglam ministry, T.H. Rangad, a former BJP minister in Mawlong government said, “How can we expect a clean government when the NCP national general secretary Purno A. Sangma has himself admitted that some party ministers were involved in the controversial deal for construction of a muliti-storey building at the site of the Meghalaya House in Kolkata.”

Mr Rangad charged that some of Khonglam’s ministers were facing CBI inquiries in scams such as the construction of the Crowborough Hotel and in the Irrigation and Forest Department scandals.

How could the new government root out corruption when its own ministers had corruption charges pending against them, Opposition members asked during the debate.

Dr Khonglam said since the PFM had ousted the Mawlong government on corruption charges, his government had a one-point agenda of fighting corruption. PTI
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NORTH INDIA IN PARLIAMENT
Steps to check begging in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 10
The government today apprised the Rajya Sabha of the steps taken to check begging in the Capital. Replying to a question, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Satyanarayan Jatiya said rehabilitation of beggars, including child beggars, was undertaken by state governments under various programmes and legislations. Some state governments and Union Territories had separate legislations to prevent begging. In Delhi, the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, is in force and empowers the anti-begging squad of the Delhi Government to arrest beggars with the help of the Delhi police.

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Plan to improve DD coverage in J&K

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that a special plan to improve Doordarshan and AIR coverage in Jammu and Kashmir at a total cost of Rs 430.07 crore, was under implementation and was scheduled to be completed during 2002. In addition, the empowered committee had approved two digital satellite news gathering units, recording and playback facilities for the Kashmir channel and renovation and reactivation of the information centre at Srinagar.

********

Concessional air tickets for senior citizens

Minister of Civil Aviation Syed Shahnawaz Hussain told the Lok Sabha that senior citizens and persons belonging to certain other categories are entitled to 50 per cent concession in the domestic flights of Indian Airlines. He said Indian Airlines operates flights to Shimla, Kulu and Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh with Dornier aircraft which has limited saleable capacity of 15 seats. 
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Narayanan: give priority to women, deprived
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 10
President K.R. Narayanan today underlined the need for shifting the human rights perspective and giving priority to deprived sections of the society, especially women.

Speaking at a function organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the UN Information Centre here to mark the International Human Rights Day, Mr Narayanan said, “The 20th century would be remembered as the century of war and violence interspersed by struggles of human rights.

Mr Narayanan also inaugurated the Complaint Management System (CMS) module of the NHRC for assistance to complainants. NHRC Chairperson Justice J.S. Verma stressed upon the need for human dignity and human rights as embodied in our Constitution.

Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Feodor Starcevic read out the message of UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan on the occasion. 
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CBI seeks report on IC-814 hijacking

New Delhi, December 10
The CBI has sought a detailed report from the Indian mission in Washington about media news that some of documents pertaining to hijackers of IC-814 in 1999 had been recovered from a house in Kabul.

CBI sources said it would be routing a formal request to this effect through the Ministry of External Affairs so that an official version of media reports could be had from the US authorities. PTI
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

2 UTTARANCHAL PARTIES MERGE
DEHRA DUN:
In the run-up to the Assembly elections in the hill state, the Uttaranchal Kalyan Morcha (UKM) has merged with the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD). The UKM’s President Bhagwan Singh Panwar joined the UKD along with 91 active members from all over the state on Sunday. UNI

WORLD’S HIGHEST SOLAR PLANT
KOLKATA:
The world’s highest solar energy plant has been set up in Sikkim’s Chaurikhang area which can light up an area of 2 sq km. The 2.2 kw plant, designed and conceived by the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA), has been set up at an altitude of 14,000 feet, WBREDA Director S.P. Gon Choudhury said here on Sunday. PTI

TRIBUTES PAID TO RAJAGOPALACHARI
NEW DELHI:
Floral tributes were paid to statesman and eminent freedom fighter C. Rajagopalachari on his 123rd birth anniversary here on Monday. Former President R. Venkataraman and a host of dignitaries offered flowers at the statue of Mr Rajagopalachari, near the Central Secretariat here. PTI

STRIKE HITS LIFE IN KERALA
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Stray incidents of violence, mostly directed against vehicles and shops, were reported from many parts of the state as the dawn-to dusk strike called by the BJP and the Hindu Aikya Vedi to protest against violent incidents in Pathanamthitta disrupted normal life in Kerala on Monday, the police said. The police sprayed rubber bullets at protesters. PTI
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