|N A T I O N|
Advocate held on extortion
Hurriyat heading for split
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 The All- Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) appears to be on the verge of a split with pro-Azadi and secessionist groups pitched against each other on Hurriyat Chairman S.A.S. Gillanis recent pronouncements supporting the two-nation theory.
At an executive committee meeting of the APHC held on October 26 in Srinagar, the JKLF leader, Mr Yasin Malik expressed deep resentment over Mr Gillanis call to New Delhi to accept the reality of two- nation theory. Mr Malik raised this issue and criticised Mr Gillani for referring to it. He further accused Mr Gillani of being a hypocrite and adopting double standards.
Describing the ongoing movement as the freedom struggle of Muslims which has its roots in Islam, Mr Gillani said, We should not ignore realities. Dogras, Buddhists and Pandits have accepted the sovereignty of India and they are satisfied with it. It is only the Muslims of the state who are being killed and whose sisters are raped. You will not find any non-Muslim in jails. Why are we ignoring these realities?
Mr Gillanis pronouncement at a seminar on Freedom struggle and our responsibilities, widely reported in the valley press and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddins comments at a Jammat-e-Islami rally in Islamabad on October 25 that he considered Pakistan to be his country and Kashmir to be a part of Pakistan has angered the pro-Azadi groups in the APHC.
Prominent among the pro-Azadi groups are not only Mr Malik but also the Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K) chief, Mr G.M. Butt.
While Mr Maliks resentment is understandable as he has been taking pro-Azadi line since the very beginning, even the Peoples Conference of Mr A.G. Lone has not appreciated the recent line taken by Mr Gillani and the Hizbul Mujahideen chief in Islamabad. Mr Lone said he had read Mr Gillanis speech in Kashmir Times which is at complete variance with the Hurriyat agreed line, sources said
When some Jamaat cadres expressed anger, Mr Butt told them it was precisely for this reason that he had issued a statement disassociating Jamaat-e-Islami from militancy so that our organisation did not lose further public support as it was being bracketed with terrorist outfits.
One of the secrets of the APHCs wide public support in yesteryears was the Hurriyats plank of Azadi. With the return of normalcy and growing public tiredness with militancy, various pro-Pakistani groups within the Hurriyat started getting exposed for their pro-Pakistani secessionist line.
The pro-Azadi factions have also pointed out the APHC is losing support in the traditional quarters both within India as well as in international quarters.
One of staunch supporters of the Kashmiri cause, a Labour MP and Chairman of the British All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group, Mr Roger Godsiff, said on October 28 London flayed Pakistan for its recent claim to speak on behalf of Kashmiris on the eve of the resumed Indo-Pak dialogue. He said neither Britain nor Pakistan had any locus standi to speak on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Godsiff described the present leadership including that of the APHC, as one of profound weakness and said increasing fissures had developed among pro-Pakistan and pro-independence groups. He said they are spending too much time jockeying for positions and indulging in mutual distrust.
How can you justify Kashmiris presence on the Indo-Pak dialogue table when your leadership cannot agree on a common agenda?, Mr Godsiff asked a gathering of people from PoK.
In an obvious reference to the APHC, the Labour MP said, The present status of the Kashmiri leadership is one of profound weakness and has been for a long time now, You cannot negotiate from a position of weakness.
This statement and others
emanating from other staunch pro-Pakistan supporters
abroad have equally baffled the pro-Azadi and
pro-Pakistan groups in the valley. With public support
waning and increasing presence of Pakistan sponsored
mercenaries, the APHC is slowly but surely moving towards
a split, sources within the movement said.
BJP unanimous on 295 seats
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 The Bharatiya Janata Party is confident of winning the November 25 Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh as the state election committee has unanimously recommended candidates for 295 Assembly seats out of total 320 seats in the state.
The BJP General Secretary, Mr Narendra Modi, who is the party in-charge of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, today said that the state election committee had recommended single names for 295 seats and more than one candidates in the rest of 25 seats for strategic and tactical reasons. The entire process of finalisation of candidates in Bhopal took barely 32 hours in four days. The state election committee met from October 25 to 28, he said citing as an evidence of smoothness of the entire operation and absence of faction fighting in the state unit of the BJP. There were about 3500 aspirants for the BJP ticket and about 100 kg of biodatas of the aspirants with us, Mr Modi said.
The criteria for deciding the candidates had been loyalty and integrity, Mr Modi said. There are bikau and khau (purchasable and corrupt) and there are jitau and tikau (winning and stable) candidates he said pointing out to two types of aspirant. We have obviously chosen the candidates of the second type, he said.
A beaming Mr Modi said that the BJP would sweep the Madhya Pradesh election as the Congress was a house divided and various factions were determined to outsmart each other. Even the issue of an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party was being used as an instrument to settle internal scores within the Congress, he said.
Not many sitting MLAs would be dropped, another BJP leader said adding that the BJP was going to almost double the number of women candidates.
The BJP would win handsomely in the Chhattisgarh region where 90 Assembly seats were at stake, Mr Modi further pointed out. Chhattisgarh, which used to be a stronghold of the Congress, would ensure BJP victory as we have raised the slogan of Jai Chhattisgarh. Now the Congress would not have the courage of raising the same slogan, he said.
The BJP would go to the people in the elections with another slogan of Pachas saal me pehli bar, ek vote se do sarkar (For the first time in 50 years, people can form two governments with one vote), Mr Modi said adding that the BJP was being credited with realising the dream of Chhattisgarh.
Another factor which would ensure our victory in the region is that the Vajpayee government had made Bilaspur a Railway division.
The party has not
projected anyone as its Chief Ministerial candidate as
the BJP had never done in the past. Moreover, the BJP
already had chance to make two leaders as the Chief
Minister, Mr Modi said adding that one for Chhattisgarh
and the other for the rest of Madhya Pradesh.
Shortlisting of nominees begins
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 The two main political parties in the Capital have started shortlisting the names of party candidates for the forthcoming November 25 Assembly polls.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party has shortlisted 150 names after consulting district and mandal heads of the party, the Congress has identified about two to three candidates each in the 70 Assembly segments from the applications received.
After four days of interviews with the District and Mandal heads, the election committee of the BJP has drawn a list of 150 ticket seekers from the 1500 aspirants.
Another meeting of the election committee is scheduled for November 2. The agenda of the meeting is to reach a consensus on a tentative list to be forwarded to the Central leadership.
Though all seven ministers in the Delhi government are likely to get the ticket, sources said there was some resentment against Labour Minister, Mr S P Ratawal. Of the 46 BJP MLAs, the party may drop six as senior leaders of the Delhi unit felt their chances of winning were bleak.
Meanwhile, the process of shortlisting Congress candidates for the Assembly polls continued throughout the day today.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee members said that the selection committee had been able to shortlist names of at least two or three prospective party candidates each in 50 of the 70 Assembly segments.
DPCC sources said that in the remaining segments, the party was facing stiff opposition and lobbying from different factions in enlisting names of candidates to be sent to the party president, Ms Sonia Gandhi for final decision.
The party had received application from over 1600 ticket seekers including some 150 from women. The committee comprising former Union Minister, Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, partys in charge of Delhi affairs, Mr Oscar Fernandes, party treasurer, Ahmad Patel, DPCC president, Ms Sheila Dikshit and veteran politician and leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Mr Jag Pravesh Chandra, have in their meetings for the past two days shortlisted 150 to 200 names to be recommended to the party high command.
Meanwhile, the president of the Delhi Pradesh Janata Dal, Mr Satish Yadav, said the party plans to field candidates in all constituencies of Delhi.
The President of the Delhi
State Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Jasvinder Singh
Virk said that the party had appointed circle Presidents
in over 20 segments of the Delhi Gurdwara Committee.
We have entrusted them with screening the
applications according to certain parameters. So far,
they have recommended 22 names of candidates wishing to
contest the polls from the six Assembly constituencies of
Vishnu Garden, Hari Nagar, Moti Nagar, Tilak Nagar,
Kalkaji and Gandhi Nagar.
Advocate held on extortion charge
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 An advocate, Rajiv Choudhary, was arrested today from the lobby of Hotel Kanishka when he was allegedly extorting an amount of Rs 2.5 lakh from a businessman of South Delhi. The suspect, a practising advocate at the Tis Hazari Court in North Delhi, was reportedly introduced to criminal activities by his friend, a property dealer, the police said.He allegedly made several calls to the victim, RK Nanda and demanded Rs 15 lakh. He also reportedly threatened him that if he did not pay up he would be killed. However Mr Anand agreed to pay Rs 6 lakh in instalments. The instalments were given in the lobby of Hotel Kanishka.
When the agreed sum were paid the suspect demanded more which Mr Anand again agreed to pay in instalments. He called him for the first instalment to the hotel and also reported the matter to the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police. The suspect was arrested while accepting the instalment.
During interrogation the suspect said he along with his colleague made threatening calls to Mr Nanda. He said one of Nandas men used to give information to him about his future action plan, the police said.
George mourns Armymans
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 The Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, today met the aggrieved parents of late Capt Shashikant Sharma, who died on October 5, after getting injured by a Pakistan artillery shell at Bana post of Siachen glacier.
On October 5, around 3 pm, Captain Sharma was hit by a Pakistani artillery shell at Bana post. He sustained injuries in an eye, abdomen and thigh due to splinters. However, true to the spirit of the Indian Army, he continued to perform his duties till he succumbed to injuries at 5 p.m. the same day.
The parents of the
deceased Honorary Flt Lt (retd) Joginder Pal
Sharma and Mrs Sudesh Sharma belong to Batala in
Punjab and have settled in Sector 37 of Noida. Capt
Sharma joined the NDS in 1991. On June 10, 1995, he was
commissioned in the Armoured Corps 15 Armoured
CVC for confiscating ill-gotten wealth
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (UNI) The Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr, Mr N. Vittal, says he is in favour of enacting a law to confiscate wealth amassed through corrupt means. Today corruption is a low-risk, high-profit business. We must have a law in this country where ill-gotten wealth can be confiscated, he said in an interview to a private TV channel.Stressing that speedy investigation was if utmost importance in tackling corruption cases, Mr Vittal said to cut short the delay in departmental inquiries, a systematic campaign was to be started next month to ensure these inquiries were completed within six months. Retired officials could be used extensively to clear the backlog of pending cases, he added.
Stating that he saw his job as superintendence rather than supervision over the working of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the CVC said he would like to go into bottlenecks holding up investigations and also monitor the progress of inquiries to see the level of conviction went up.
Referring to a large number of vacancies in the CBI, Mr Vittal said he was to meet with the Secretary, Home, and Secretary, Personnel, today to select the panel for the appointment of the Director of the CBI and also initiate action to fill up the remaining posts.
Mr Vittal said among his
priorities would be to introduce systemic changes to
ensure the scope for reduction came down. For instance,
banks, where lack of computerisation had helped frauds,
he said he would like to insist banks to exchange
information about defrauding industrialists or borrowers.
Bill on Vananchal in winter session
HAZARIBAGH, Oct 31 (PTI) Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has said a Bill for creation of separate Vananchal state comprising 18 districts of south Bihar will be introduced during the ensuing winter session of Parliament.
Though the government lacked majority in the Upper House, it would seek the cooperation of the Opposition for the smooth passage of the Bill, Mr Sinha told newspersons here on Thursday.
Replying to another question, the Finance Minister said the Centre was keeping a close watch on the prevailing law and order situation in Bihar and it might reconsider invoking Article 356 in the state.
Bihar is a fit case
for the imposition of Presidents rule. The
situation has reached such a pass that none is feeling
secure, Mr Sinha said, alleging, Kidnappings
are taking place in the heart of the city every
Champa rape case: RJD leader held
PATNA, Oct 31 (PTI) Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Chairman of Bihar Social Welfare Board, the Ms Hemlata Yadav, has been arrested and remanded in judicial custody till November 6 in connection with alleged rape of Champa Biswas, wife of Mr B B Biswas, an IAS officer. Mr Yadav, along with her son Mritunjay Yadav alias Babloo and three others were evading arrest since the filing of an FIR on August 21 surrendered before the court of First Class Judicial Magistrate Vimal Kumar Sinha yesterday and sought regular bail.
The Magistrate, however, rejected her bail application and remanded her in judicial custody.
Earlier, her anticipatory bail application had been rejected by the District and Sessions Judge and thereafter by the Patna High Court.
Her son Babloo has been languishing in Beur Central Jail ever since the was arrested and produced before the Magistrate on September 1.
The other three accused, Awadh Kishore Sinha, Rita Gupta and Sheffali, are still absconding.
Champa Biswas had alleged in her FIR that Ms Yadavs son had raped her during the past two years in connivance with other accused persons.
The case had come to light on August 8 when the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Sushil Kumar Modi had narrated the woes of the Biswas family to newspersons.
Experts confirm chinkaras' killing
JODHPUR, Oct 31 (PTI) The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has confirmed the killing of black bucks and chinkaras by blood spots and hair found on a gypsy allegedly used by cine stars charged with poaching of endangered animals here recently.
The interim report of the FSL submitted to the investigating agencies here said the experts detected blood spots and hair of black bucks and chinkaras on a gypsy, allegedly used by the accused for hunting between September 26 and October 1 near Gudha Vishnoia, Mathania and Bhadava villages.
The interim report also matched the wheel prints of the gypsy in the forest with that of the seized vehicle.
The expert team could also pick up blood stains from the places where the protected wild animals were shot dead, the report said.
Actor Salman Khan is the main accused while other actors, Saif Ali Khan, Satish Shah and actresses Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam are the co-accused in the poaching cases registered by the Forest Department and the police.
While other actors have been granted bails by different lower courts, Satish Shah has been refused anticipatory bail.
Nation pays homage to Indira Gandhi
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (PTI) The nation today paid homage to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 14th death anniversary, recalling measures taken by her for ameliorating the lot of the poor, the downtrodden and farmers.
President K R Narayanan, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi paid floral tributes at Shakti Sthal, Indira Gandhis samadhi, where prayers were recited to mark the occasion, observed as Rashtriya Sankalp Divas.
Among others who paid their respects were former President Shankar Dayal Sharma, Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha Sharad Pawar and former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil.
At Allahabad, people from all walks of life paid rich tributes to Indira Gandhi at Anand Bhavan.
In Haryana, the day was observed as National Integration Day (Ekta Divas).
Panic buying of salt
JAUNPUR (UP), Oct 31 (UNI) Common salt became somewhat uncommon in Jaunpur and other towns of the district today with prices ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 25 a kg after people began panic buying.
They had read newspaper reports that salt was selling at Rs 50 a kg at Varanasi yesterday and might go the onion way.
District Magistrate K.K. Upadhyaya has given directions to the District Supply Officer, the city Magistrate and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate to inform the people that there was no shortage of the commodity.
Court rejects Kesri's plea
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (PTI) A Delhi court today rejected former Congress President Sitaram Kesris plea seeking transfer of a defamation case against him from the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM).
District Judge MA Khan, who had issued notices to the complainant Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in the case, rejected Kesris plea due to a technical error in the petition as it was not supported with an affidavit and that a copy of the petition was not supplied to the public prosecutor.
The court also rejected Kesris plea seeking a stay of the proceedings in the CMMs court till the transfer petition was disposed of.
The RSS had alleged that Kesri tarnished the image of the organisation by blaming it for the serial blasts at Coimbatore in February by saying "RSS hands could not be ruled out behind the blasts" at a press conference in Delhi few days before the Lok Sabha elections.
Producer of "Hum Log" dead
PUNE, Oct 31 (UNI) P Kumar Vasudev, who holds the Guinness Book of record for producing the longest teleserial "Hum Log" died here today at a private nursing home following a brief illness.
He was 60 and is survived by his wife and three daughters.
According to family sources, Vasudev was an asthma and diabetic patient. He was hospitalised a week ago and again this morning. He died this afternoon.
Vasudev had shifted to Pune about two years ago.
Vasudev was the recipient of many national and international awards, including the International Gandhi Award for his English feature film "At Five Past Five".
|Tributes paid to Sardar
NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee on Saturday paid floral tributes at the statue of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel here on his 123rd birth anniversary. The Prime Minister garlanded the statue of the statesman at the Patel Chowk roundabout in the heart of the Capital. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, paid floral tributes at the portrait of Sardar Patel, in the Central Hall of Parliament. Among the dignitaries who joined Mr Khurana were Union Ministers Mr Ram Jethmalani and Mr Ram Naik, Members of Parliament Mr P. Shiv Shankar, Mr Virendra Verma and Ms Nirmala Deshpande. Several former MPs also attended. PTI
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