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Cong seeks recall, BJP
defends Goa Governor
The Dornier aircraft that crashed while taking off from Kochi on Thursday, killing eight. PTI
8 killed in plane crash
KOCHI, July 30 Eight persons, including all six occupants of an Alliance Air Dornier aircraft, were charred to death, when the plane caught fire and crashed onto an aircraft components repair shed at the naval airport here today, the police said.
Cong seeks recall, BJP defends
NEW DELHI, July 30 The Congress today demanded immediate recall of Goa Governor J.F.R. Jacob and described developments, in the state as a "tragic occurence in the recent democratic history of India."
The Congress also charged that the initiative for a change in the leadership in Goa was taken by the Centre and the Governor could not have acted on his own, a charge refuted by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Lal Khurana.
The AICC general secretary Madhavrao Scindia, who is in-charge of party affairs in the state, said the installation of the Wilfred DSouza Government after the dismissal of the Congress government of Mr Pratap Sinh Rane was a "misuse of the constitutional authority and the rape of democracy."
Mr Scindia said the Congress was exploring all possibilities, including moving the court, against the action of the Governor.
He said while Mr Rane was given 90 minutes to seek a vote of confidence, Mr DSouza had been given 21 days.
Mr Scindia said Mr Rane had secured the confidence of the House through voice vote and intimated the same to the Governor.
The Speaker, too, gave a similar report, but said Mr Rane won through a majority vote with 17 in favour and 13 against in the 40-member House. Ten MLAs had been suspended by the Speaker before the vote of confidence.
He said there was irrationality in the conduct of the Governor which also reflected in his letter to the Speaker of the Goa Assembly, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo.
Releasing copies of the letter to the media, Mr Scindia said the Governor gave notice to Mr Rane on July 28 to prove his majority within 90 minutes and communicated the same to the Speaker.
In addition the letter also asked that the budgetary demands, the annual Appropriation Bill and the Supplementary Appropriation Bill would be passed after the vote of confidence.
"Why did the Governor direct the Speaker to do so. Is it because he had a pre-meditated plan so that enough time could be given to his favoured (DSouza) person," Mr Scindia said.
He also charged that Mr DSouza along with lawyers was in Raj Bhavan when the move was on.
Reacting to Mr Khuranas statement that the Governor had acted on his own and that the Centre had no role in it, Mr Scindia refused to take it at face value.
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs had all inputs and assuming that the Centre did not know, then it was even more dangerous that a Governor could act freely.
On the other hand, Mr Khurana said the decision of the Governor was based on the contradictory reports of the Chief Minister and the Speaker with the former claiming to have won the vote of confidence through voice vote and later providing the breakup of the result through a division.
Mr Khurana also said the report of the Governor was with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the government was willing to table it in the House.
On the Congress demand for the recall of the Governor and a motion under Rule 184, Mr Khurana said: "The government was prepared for a special discussion under Rule 193 which does not provide for voting as under Rule 184."
"Why should the government accept a discussion under Rule 184, for it means virtually accepting we are prepared to recall the Governor," a senior BJP leader said.
Meanwhile, accusing the Congress and the Left of running away from a debate in Parliament on the Goa issue, the BJP stressed that the Governor had acted according to the provisions of the Constitution and the Centre had not played any role there.
Briefing newspersons, BJP general secretary M. Venkaiah Naidu said the Governor had dismissed the Pratap Sinh Rane Government after 10 MLAs of the Congress had decided to leave the party and had formed the Goa Rajiv Congress.
The Governor had received contradictory messages from the Chief Minister,the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker on the confidence vote, Mr Naidu said.
The Congress had dismissed 81 popularly elected governments during its rule, the BJP leader said.
11 join DSouza ministry
PANAJI, July 30 (PTI) Mr Wilfred DSouza, who was sworn in as Goas Chief Minister last night after the controversial dismissal of the Congress ministry headed by Mr Pratapsinh Rane, today inducted 11 Cabinet ministers into his ministry.
The 71-year-old DSouza, leader of a 10-member Congress breakaway group, was sworn in as Chief Minister at a hurriedly-arranged function last night after Governor J.F.R Jacob dismissed the 43-month-old Pratapsinh Rane government. He was the only one to have taken the oath.
Mr DSouza has been given 21 days time by the Governor to prove his majority in the assembly which was prorogued. All those sworn in today were of cabinet rank, including five new faces.
The 12-member D Souza ministry would enjoy the support of the four-member BJP Legislature Party from outside. After the swearing-in ceremony, D Souza told mediapersons that he planned to further expand his coalition ministry soon.
The new ministers in the council are Mr Dayanand Narvekar, Mr Kashinath Jhalmi, Mr Subhash Shirodkar, Dr Carmo Pegado, Mr Chandrakant Chodankar, Mr Surendra Sirsat, Mr Pandu Vasu Naik, Mr Jagdish Acharya, Mr Prakash Velip, Mr Pandurang Batale and Ms Fatima Desa.
All the four ministers Mr Narvekar, Mr Shirodkar, Mr Chodankar and Mr Pegado who had joined Mr D Souza in his rebellion against Mr Rane, find ministerial berths in the new ministry.
Meanwhile, the new Chief Minister along with his four Cabinet colleagues have been restrained from participating in the proceedings of the state legislative assembly by Speaker Tomazinho Cardozo, who is hearing a petition filed by the outgoing government seeking their disqualification and five other MLAs under the anti-defection Act.
Mr DSouza claimed that he enjoyed the support of 23 MLAs in the 40-member House which included 10 of the GRCP, eight of the MGP, four of the BJP and an Independent, Mr John Manuel Vaz. He said; In the last few days there had been crisis in Goa as a result of which 23 MLAs decided to form a new group.
24 killed in ethnic violence in Assam
GUWAHATI, July 30 (PTI) In one of the worst incidents of ethnic violence in Assam, at least 24 persons, including several women and children, were killed and 43 others injured in two separate incidents in Kokrajhar and Nalbari districts since yesterday.
Official sources said a group of Santhals, armed with traditional weapons, attacked Bodos in Mainaopuri and Dimaguri villages in Kokrajhar district and hacked to death 11 persons, including a one-and-half year-old child, and several women last night.
While a pregnant woman died of shock, eight seriously injured Bodos were shifted to a hospital.
The attack was seen as a retaliation to the July 24 massacre of seven Santhals by Bodos at Saraipala village.
In another incident in adjacent Nalbari district, 12 persons were killed and 35 others injured, all non-Bodos, by Bodo militants at the Dhomdhoma Bazaar, yesterday.
8 killed in plane crash
KOCHI, July 30 (PTI) Eight persons, including all six occupants of an Alliance Air Dornier aircraft, were charred to death, when the plane caught fire and crashed onto an aircraft components repair shed at the naval airport here today, the police said.
Besides the three crew members and three passengers, including a pregnant woman, two workers in the shed were killed in the crash while five others were injured, the police said.
The aircraft on the Agathy-Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram sector caught fire within seconds after taking off from Kochi airport. All victims died on the spot and their bodies were charred beyond recognition, the police said.
NEW DELHI: The government has ordered an inquiry into the crash Civil Aviation Minister Ananth Kumar told the Lok Sabha.
Making a statement in the House, Mr Kumar said the Director-General Civil Aviation (DGCA) had also appointed Director (Air Safety), Mumbai, to probe the accident.
Giving details, he said while all six persons on board were killed, while the others were killed on the ground.
The aircraft was commanded by Capt Shiv Raj Singh and had Capt Manish Sharma as co-pilot, Mr Kumar said, adding the three dead passengers were identified as Vijay Kalyani Kanaujia, Samala Raju and Sasikanth Ramani.
Murder of Rajiv: no proof of DMK link
NEW DELHI, July 30 (PTI) The special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI did not come across any evidence linking the DMK or Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
This has been stated by Mr Raja Vijay Karan, who was the Director of the CBI when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, in the foreward of a forthcoming book on the issue entitled "Beyond the Tigers".
He said he and SIT chief D.R. Karthikeyan had called on AIADMK leader J. Jayalalitha after she became the Chief Minister at her Poes Garden residence.
"After I had given her a brief account of our investigation, her first question was "When are you going to arrest Karunanidhi?"
"I told her that if any evidence came our way that showed the Karunanidhis involvement, we would not hesitate to arrest him.
"I told her categorically that we were investigating the case with an entirely open mind and that if she or anybody else had any leads and clues pointing to the involvement of Karunanidhi or the DMK or anybody else in the assassination, they should be shared with us so that we could look into them thoroughly," Mr Karan said.
"Jayalalitha said nothing, nor did we come across any evidence linking Karunanidhi or the DMK with the case," the former CBI chief said in his foreward to the book authored by journalist Rajeev Sharma.
The 300-page book, with an introduction by political editor of Newstime T.R. Ramachandran throws up several angles to the conspiracy aspect of Rajiv Gandhis murder, which may or may not have been covered by the SIT or the Verma Commission and the Jain Commission, says the author.
Delhi law and order situation reviewed
NEW DELHI, July 30 (UNI) Union Home Secretary B.P. Singh and Delhi Police Commissioner V.N. Singh today reviewed the law and order situation in the Capital which has deteriorated with a spate of robberies and dacoities in recent days.
Talking to reporters after a two-hour meeting, Home Secretary B.P. Singh said Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) would now be held personally responsible for any crime in their areas just as District Magistrates were held responsible.
Crime is under control and I am confident that there will be further improvement, he added.
Mr B.P. Singh said out of 40 bomb blasts in Delhi since last year, 36 had been solved.
The Home Secretary said Delhi police staff strength was adequate. In fact, the Delhi police constable is the highest paid constable in the country, he added.
As for housing, the Ministry of Home Affairs was in touch with Delhi Development Authority and the Ghaziabad Development Authority to augment the housing facilities for police personnel. Police Commissioner V.N. Singh also said that the law and order situation will become better. The 17 new police stations sanctioned recently would come up within a year, he added.
Meanwhile, the government plans to arm the village defence (VDCs) and to recruit special police officers among civilians in Doda district in the Jammu region in the wake of gunning down of 16 Hindus by militants on July 28.
Mr B.P. Singh, who visited Doda district yesterday, told reporters here today that there are plans to arm VDCs and recruit special police officers from among the civilians.
In Kishtwar both Hindus and Muslims want to come forward and fight militants with the Army, he said.
As an immediate step, Mr B.P. Singh said military presence had been increased in Doda district. Everyone knows that militancy in Jammu and Kashmir was being sponsored by our neighbour and it must be condemned, he said.
Fernandes assures Coast Guard on
NEW DELHI, July 30 The rumblings within the Coast Guard over the anomalies in the pay scales recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission may soon die down with the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes giving an assurance in this regard to the vigil keepers of the countrys coastal line.
According to sources, the Defence Minister during his recent visit to Chennai had given an assurance to Coast Guard personnel that he would personally look into the matter and find a solution. The minister had gone to southern state on July 17 to attend a Coast Guard function.
The discontentment within the Coast Guard had been brewing due to the major anomalies in the pay scales recommended for them. At one time the personnel had also been in a mood to go on strike as had been done by the technical staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Coast Guard personnel had been feeling all the more let down by the recommendations as they had been bracketed neither with the defence personnel nor with the personnel of the Central Police Organisations (CPO).
The minister was apparently surprised to know that the Coast Guard personnel had not been sanctioned Technical allowance as was allowed to the Indian Navy personnel.
The Coast Guard, despite being the most active peace-time force with highly qualified personnel, patrolling the vast coastline and checking poaching, contraband smuggling, gun running, pollution, oil spills and even illegal fishing, has been ignored in regard to various recommendations which have, however, been made for the Navy personnel.
The Coast Guards lowest ranked personnel was placed even lower than the constable of the Delhi police. The navik was placed far below the constables in the CPOs and the jawans in the armed forces. Besides this the ration for the sailors was not a surety like that for the personnel of the Navy.
The sources said that the sailors in the Coast Guard get free ration only when they sail for more than 12 hours in a day. However it was a permanent feature for the Navy personnel, whether they sail or not. Another interesting aspect was that the ration that was sanctioned for the Coast Guard personnel was also not on par with that of the Navy personnel. They get about 95 per cent of what ration the Navy personnel get.
Similarly, the uniform allowance which the Coast Guard personnel get was 20 per cent less than that of the naval officers. There was also a major shortage of technical personnel in the Coast Guard. Of the total of about 190 posts of technical officers, just about 120 were filled. The other posts had been lying vacant for quite sometime.
The Coast Guard had been set up in 1978 as a separate force for the vigil of the countrys coastline. It had initially been set up by allowing naval officers to go on deputation to the force. However, later Coast Guards own cadre was also set up. Although it was under the Defence Ministry, but its structure of promotions and ranks were on the lines of a para-military force.
Plan to construct aqua-duct
over Yamuna canal
NEW DELHI, July 30 The Delhi Government is planning to construct aqua-duct over the Western Yamuna Canal as the Haryana Government has failed to complete the project seven years after its initiation, a senior official in the Delhi government said.
Talks between the Delhi and the Haryana government are on, the official said, adding that Delhi is pressing to secure the rights to construct the aqua-duct (placing of the pipes carrying raw water) over the canal.
Construction of the Aqua-duct, the officials said will provide a permanent solution to the breaching of the Western Yamuna Canal. A breach in the canal had occured Friday last and the help of the army was sought to repair it.
The repairs were carried out in record time to restore water supply to the residents of Delhi.
In 1991, Haryana agreed to construct the duct as the canal lies under their jurisdiction. However, they have not been able to complete the construction seven years after the payment of Rs 1.63 crore, estimated cost of the project, had been made to the Irrigation Department of Haryana, the official added.
The Haryana Government has raised a fresh demand of Rs 96 lakhs to meet the esclated cost of the construction of the duct. Officials in the Flood and Irrigation Department of the Delhi Government claimed that the 75-metre long aqua-duct project with six spans of 12.5 mt could be completed within 100 days on a war footing.
Cong stand on womens quota Bill
on Aug 3
NEW DELHI, July 30 Congress President, Sonia Gandhi is expected to spell out the stand of the party on the womens reservation Bill on August 3, NSUI President Alka Kapoor, said here today.
Addressing a press conference, the NSUI president said Ms Sonia Gandhi would deliver the keynote address to the 2nd all-India girls delegates convention in the Capital on August 3, where she was expected to state the stand of the party on the womens reservation Bill.
In the convention, womens issues like law for atrocities against women, girl education and women participation in political system would be discussed.
Samata Party MPs to back Rita
NEW DELHI, July 30 (PTI) The Samata Party MPs today unanimously decided to vote for Rita Verma, BJPs candidate for the post of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, ending the speculation that the ruling coalition ally was divided over the issue.
At a meeting chaired by party President George Fernandes, the MPs decided to toe the party line and maintained that there was no difference among them on the issue of Deputy Speakers election.
Pandits' plea to NHRC on Doda
NEW DELHI, July 30 (PTI) Displaced Kashmiri Pandits have urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to send a fact-finding team to the disturbed Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir and direct the central and state governments to place the action taken reports on the continued killings of Pandits in the state.
In a complaint before the NHRC, the Kashmiri Samiti, Delhi and the Doda Vichar Manch have requested the commission to take cognisance of the brutal killings and gross violation of the human rights of the Kashmiri Pandits and take appropriate action against the culprits.
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