THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Governor seeks facts on appointments under Cong rule
Shimla, December 5
While the campus is anxiously awaiting action on the two inquiry reports which indicted the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, the Governor, Mr V.S. Kokje, has opened another front by asking the university authorities to inform him about the factual position in respect of the alleged irregularities in appointments during Congress rule from 1994-98.

Marksheets tampered with, shows probe
Shimla, December 5
The enforcement department has finalised the inquiry in first of the three cases registered against Mr S.M. Kawal, former Chairperson of the State Subordinate Services Selection Board, in  connection with a recruitment scam and sent its report to the government, seeking prosecution sanction.

36 down with mysterious fever
Mandi, December 5
More than 36 persons at Jhamajh village of Khalwan panchayat of the remote Chachiot valley in this district are down with mysterious fever.

Tributes paid to Captain Salaria
Kumarhatti, December 5
Param Vir Chakra Day was observed at 14 Gorkha Training Centre Subathu, 19 km from here today. On this day in 1961 Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria of 3/1 Gorkha Rifles made the supreme sacrifice during UN operations in Congo. Capt Salaria with only 18 Gorkhas gave valiant fight to enemy’s 90 men, killing 39 enemy soldiers and injuring others.

Anganbari centres reject food mixture
Mandi, December 5
As many as 100 anganbari centres in the district are reported to have refused to accept a food mixture meant for children in the age group of 0-6 months and pregnant and lactating mothers issued under the centrally sponsored Integrated Child Development Scheme.



YOUR TOWN
Mandi
Shimla
Una



Porn film racket busted in Kullu.
(28k, 56k)


EARLIER STORIES
 

Katwal should make tape public, says Chief Secy
Una, December 5
Mr Arvind Kaul, Chief Secretary, said here today that he had not received any audio tape from Mr Surinder Mohan Katwal, a former Chairman of the Himachal Pradesh State Services Selection Board. He said if Mr Katwal had got any tape, he should make it public.

Draft electoral rolls ready
Shimla, December 5
The draft electoral rolls have been published and made available for inspection and lodging claims and objections at all the polling stations and offices of the subdivisional magistrates, Tehsildars and Naib tehsildars, according to Mrs Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer of Himachal Pradesh.

Barog bypass opens today
Shimla, December 5
The opening of the 13.25-km-long Barog bypass will smooth traffic on the Shimla-Kalka national highway. Constructed at a cost of Rs 19 crore, the bypass will be inaugurated by Major-Gen B.C. Khanduri (retd), Union Minister of Surface Transport, tomorrow. 

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Governor seeks facts on appointments under
Cong rule
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 5
While the campus is anxiously awaiting action on the two inquiry reports which indicted the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, the Governor, Mr V.S. Kokje, has opened another front by asking the university authorities to inform him about the factual position in respect of the alleged irregularities in appointments during Congress rule from 1994-98.

A demand for an inquiry into these appointments was made by the BJP teachers’ cell, which submitted a memorandum to Mr Kokje after the Arvind Kaul Committee revealed large-scale irregularities in appointments during the BJP regime and recommended the annulment of all such appointments last month. The cell had mentioned about 70 such appointments, including 12 of teachers, in the memorandum.

If the Governor decided to order a regular inquiry into the points raised by the BJP teachers’ cell it could open a Pandora’s box bringing all previous appointments made in the university under the scanner.

It all started with the demand for the removal of Dr Sharma by various students’ organisations, which held him responsible for the question paper scam.

While Dr Sharma continues as Vice-Chancellor, the university has virtually become a battlefield for the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP for settling political scores.

Mr Kokje had instituted two separate inquiries into administrative and financial irregularities, one of which was entrusted to Mr Kaul and the other to the Comptroller and Auditor-General. The inquiry reports were considered and accepted by the Executive Council at its meeting held on November 24, and on the basis of the findings it had recommended the removal of Dr Sharma with immediate effect.

The Executive Council is again meeting on December 6 to consider the report of the subcommittee set up by it to verify the records concerning certain appointments which were termed irregular by the Kaul committee.

The clouds of uncertainty hanging over the campus for more than six months will be blown away only after the Governor decides the fate of Dr Sharma. He has given him time up to December 8 to explain his position in the light of the findings of the two inquiry reports. He will take a decision only after considering Dr Sharma’s version.
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Marksheets tampered with, shows probe
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 5
The enforcement department has finalised the inquiry in first of the three cases registered against Mr S.M. Kawal, former Chairperson of the State Subordinate Services Selection Board, in connection with a recruitment scam and sent its report to the government, seeking prosecution sanction.

According to sources in the department, investigations revealed gross irregularities like tempering with interview marksheet in the selection of “vidya upasaks” for the Karsog subdivision in Mandi district.

While the record pertaining to the selection of the 6,660 candidates recruited by the board during the BJP regime was destroyed, one pertaining to the Karsog subdivision escaped destruction as elections were announced before the process could be completed.

In the record available overwriting and tempering with the interview marks was detected in respect of as many as 16 candidates whose marks were increased to ensure selection. The marks were first increased in the interview sheets and later in the final marksheet. Over-writing has been done using both 
pen and pencil.

The department has on the basis of the investigation report sought permission to prosecute Mr Kawal for cheating and forgery under sections 468 and 420 and 471 of the IPC and corruption under the Section 13 (2) of the prevention of Corruption Act.

Sources in the government said the sanction was likely to be granted before the start of the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha scheduled to commence from December 15. The opposition BJP has been terming the cases registered by the Enforcement Department as a “ploy to defame and harm it politically”, asserting that nothing incriminating had come out even after 
six months of intensive 
investigation.

In all, five cases have been registered in connection with the scam out which three are against Mr Kawal and pertain to recruitment of various categories of staff.
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36 down with mysterious fever
Our Correspondent

Mandi, December 5
More than 36 persons at Jhamajh village of Khalwan panchayat of the remote Chachiot valley in this district are down with mysterious fever.

Former panchayat Pradhan Sant Ram said today that patients, including children had hardships due to the shortage of medicines, doctors and staff in the health sub-Centres in the valley. He told that Didder health sub-Centre in Khalwan panchayat had been locked for the past two years for want of staff while in the adjoining Khuhan health sub-Centre there was no doctor.

He said in many families three four persons were confined to bed. In this area the schools are closing for winter and many children have not been able to appear in examinations due to the fever. A spokesman of the Health Department here said doctors were being sent to the affected village with medicines.
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Tributes paid to Captain Salaria
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, December 5
Param Vir Chakra Day was observed at 14 Gorkha Training Centre (GTC) Subathu, 19 km from here today. On this day in 1961 Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria of 3/1 Gorkha Rifles made the supreme sacrifice during UN operations in Congo. Capt Salaria with only 18 Gorkhas gave valiant fight to enemy’s 90 men, killing 39 enemy soldiers and injuring others.

In the true traditions of the Army, Capt Salaria made the supreme sacrifice in the process. For the bravery displayed by Capt Salaria, was awarded PVC posthumously.

A special wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Salaria Park, established in the memory of gallant officer. It was attended by Brig R. Kapoor, Centre Commandant, all officers, JCOs and NCOs of 14 Gorkha Training Centre. Retired officers and JCOs of the Regiment settled in and around Subathu and prominent citizens of Subathu also attended the ceremony. Wreaths were laid on behalf of Maj Gen Basant Singh, YSM, Colonel 1 GR, Lt Gen Ashok Chaki, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, Colonel 4 GR and Commanding Officer of 3/1 Gorkha Rifles. The sounding of the ‘Rouse’ followed by ‘The Last Post’ and paying homage to the great martyr lent an ambience of solemnity to the occasion.
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Anganbari centres reject food mixture
Our Correspondent

Mandi, December 5
As many as 100 anganbari centres in the district are reported to have refused to accept a food mixture meant for children in the age group of 0-6 months and pregnant and lactating mothers issued under the centrally sponsored Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

Of the 72 blocks selected under the scheme in the state, it was served only in the Sadar block through 213 anganbari centres. Many centres reportedly refused to accept the supply, despite “pressure” from the officials concerned.

Women and children had complained of nausea after consuming it and switched over to porridge.

The mixture was purchased at a rate of Rs 29 per kg. Later, a committee approved an enhanced rate of Rs 34 per kg. It is alleged that the mixture was prepared in the house of an anganbari worker.

Notwithstanding the claim of the officials that proper training had been imparted to persons preparing the mixture, those consuming it have rejected it.

Mr R.K. Sharma, Programme Officer, when contacted, said one of the ingredients had been replaced and there was no complaint thereafter.
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Katwal should make tape public, says Chief Secy
Our Correspondent

Una, December 5
Mr Arvind Kaul, Chief Secretary, said here today that he had not received any audio tape from Mr Surinder Mohan Katwal, a former Chairman of the Himachal Pradesh State Services Selection Board. He said if Mr Katwal had got any tape, he should make it public.

Mr Katwal had recently said that he had recorded his telephone conversations with BJP and Congress MLAs in which they had asked for a favour from him regarding getting their candidates selected. He said some of the Congress MLAs were now ministers in the present government.
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Draft electoral rolls ready
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 5
The draft electoral rolls have been published and made available for inspection and lodging claims and objections at all the polling stations and offices of the subdivisional magistrates, Tehsildars and Naib tehsildars, according to Mrs Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer of Himachal Pradesh.

The names of those qualifying for enrolment as voter as on January 1, 2004, have been included in the voters list. After corrections the final electoral rolls will be published on January 20,2004. 
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Barog bypass opens today
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 5
The opening of the 13.25-km-long Barog bypass will smooth traffic on the Shimla-Kalka national highway. Constructed at a cost of Rs 19 crore, the bypass will be inaugurated by Major-Gen B.C. Khanduri (retd), Union Minister of Surface Transport, tomorrow. The need to change the alignment to circumvent the Barog heights was being felt ever since the road was upgraded to a national highway more than three decades ago. After a number of surveys, the final alignment was approved in 1976 but work actually got under way almost a decade later.

The double-lane Solan-Kumarhatti bypass would make the driving on the national highway less tedious and provide much relief to the tourists visiting the state.

Though the distance between Solan and Kumarhatti will be increased by about 2.5 km, but the tourist resort of Barog would be spared the din of heavy vehicles.
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