|N A T I O N|
|Sonia writes to Vajpayee on
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 The Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, today expressed strong reservations about the proposal to amend the educational policy.
RJD Chief Laloo Prasad going to the nearby CBI office in Patna on a rickshaw. PTI
CBI grills Laloo for six hours
PATNA, Oct 21 Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav was today interrogated for six hours by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case.
Party threatens agitation
open for Cong: RLM
lashes out at Patel
call off proposed stir
paid to CRPF martyrs
CBI grills Laloo for six hours
PATNA, Oct 21 (PTI) The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, was today subjected to a marathon six-hour interrogation by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case.
A high-level team of the CBI, comprising the agencys Patna and Dhanbad SPs V.S.K. Kaumudi and R.K. Asthana, respectively, grilled Mr Yadav in connection with a case filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The case number 5 (a) 98 charges Mr Yadav with having accumulated wealth totalling Rs 42.52 lakh in excess of his known sources of income during 1990-96 through "corrupt and illegal means."
The FIR filed by the investigating agency states that the former Chief Minister had amassed wealth of Rs 50.56 lakh, including Rs 8.04 lakh, shown in income tax returns.
The income shown by Mr Yadav under the salary head stood at Rs 5.04 lakh, while the money earned by his wife Rabri Devi from dairy farming was Rs 3 lakh.
The agency has so far instituted four regular cases against Mr Yadav, besides the disproportionate assets case.
Of the regular cases the CBI has charge-sheeted him in two, while investigation is on in connection with the remaining two.
The Supreme Court while rejecting Mr Yadavs prayer had asked him to surrender before the CBI court on October 28 in case No RC 64 (A) 96 pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 97 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury on "fake and forged" allotment bills.
The RJD chief was being interrogated by the CBI for the second time in the fodder scam cases.
The CBI had earlier grilled him for six hours on January 6, 1997, in case No RC 20 (A) 96 when he was the Chief Minister. The case involved the illegal withdrawal of Rs 37 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury in South Bihar.
According to CBI sources, the agency questioned the former Chief Minister on investments in real estate, purchase of vehicles, running of a dairy farm in the Chief Ministers official residence and his other sources of income.
Earlier, the CBI had turned down the request of the RJD chief seeking a questionnaire before examination so that he could come fully prepared.
The CBI had instituted a fresh disproportionate assets case against Mr Yadav on August 18 and had raided the official residence of the Chief Minister Rabri Devi and Mr Yadavs two brothers-in-law and members of the Legislative Council, Sadhu Yadav and Subhash Yadav, on August 21.
The investigating agency had on October 9 summoned the former Chief Minister for interrogation under Section 160 of the CrPC asking him to be present at the CBI office to reply to the queries.
Earlier dressed in a spotless kurta and pyjama, Mr Yadav, escorted by security men, went in a rickshaw to the agencys headquarters at 10.40 a.m. hardly 100 yards away from Chief Minister Rabri Devis official residence at 1 Anne Marg, where he stays.
The CBI Joint Director (East), U.N. Biswas, who is in charge of the investigation into the scam, left the agency premises after 10 minutes of Laloo Yadavs arrival.
Meanwhile, Mr Yadav has charged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Union Home Minister L.K. Advani and Railway Minister Nitish Kumar with having influenced the CBI "to falsely implicate him" in the fodder scam.
"It is part of a sinister design to insult me and Chief Minister Rabri Devi and demoralise the people of Bihar," he told reporters after the interrogation.
Yamuna still above danger mark
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 As many as 25,000 persons have been shifted to safer areas as the Yamuna continued to rise last night. The river has today begun to recede but it is still flowing a metre above the danger mark.
The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, said here today that the river reached 206.18 metres at 3 am. "This was the peak level and now the river has begun to recede," she said.
The Yamuna was flowing at 206.07 metres at 2 a.m., which is more than a metre above the danger mark set at 204.83 metre.
Ms Swaraj said 2,281 tents had been pitched to accommodate those who had been shifted from the low-lying areas. Water tankers, mobile toilets and other such facilities were being provided to the people, she said.
"In Ghari Mandoo village and the Pushta area behind Shanti Van, there was resistance from the people but we managed to convince them to move out. At Pushta we sought the Armys help in shifting the people out," Ms Swaraj said.
Meanwhile, Ms Sushma Swaraj said there had been confusion in the Delhi Jal Board regarding the issuance of bills on the basis of the slab system. "Various representations were received in the Delhi Jal Board complaining against the steep hike in the bills which was not in accordance with the resolution adopted by the board," she said.
Realising the mistake on
the part of the zonal revenue officers, the position was
clarified at a meeting today. "The Delhi Jal Board
has revised the tariff only at various slabs and bills
shall be issued accordingly," she said.
amend education policy
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 The Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, today expressed strong reservations about the proposal to amend the educational policy and asked the Prime Minister "not to tamper with the secular and democratic structure of" the countrys polity.
In a three-page letter to Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, which was released to the Press here, the Congress President objected to the agenda for the conference of state education ministers starting here tomorrow on the ground that it sought to recast the educational curricula to make them "Indianised, nationalised and spiritualised".
"What does this mean ? Is it implied that the curricula hitherto have not been Indian or anti-Indian? That the curricula have been colonial or foreign and not related to the past and present realities of India? That the curricula have been soulless and devoid of ethical values?, the letter said.
She said the Congress apprehended that under the guise of these phrases, the BJP-led government was attempting to impose upon the vulnerable young Indians a concept of nationhood that was "biased and untrue".
Another objection was to the structure of the proposed national mission which, she said, was in violation of the spirit and perhaps even the letter of the Constitution.
Citing part IX of the Constitution, she said it protected and assured the rights of panchayats and municipalities which included the responsibilities entrusted to these bodies by the 11th and 12th schedules which specified that primary and secondary education would be devolved to elected local bodies.
The proposals before the conference, she charged, appeared to be identical to those of Vidya Bharati, which sought to take away from the panchayats and municipalities the functions in the sphere of education that should have been devolved to them.
The Congress President also objected to the proposal which sought to amend the right to education of the minorities.
She said eminent educationists like Maulana Azad, Humayan Kabir, Dr S Radhakrishnan and Dr Kothari among others had laid the foundations of Indias educational system and made valuable suggestions to improve and streamline it. The education policy enunciated by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986 drew upon past achievements and present imperatives to meet the challenges of the future. The final policy document was formulated after a national debate, she said.
The current agenda, she said, had brought into sharp focus sensitive and controversial issues which would do nothing to promote the cause of education but would only widen the rifts that divided the nation.
"I have not been able to understand the rationale behind the effort to bring up these issues at a time when the country is already faced with a host of other problems clamouring for solutions," she said
Mrs Sonia Gandhi said she apprehended that the issues sought to be raised could adversely affect the Centre-state relations and undermine the Panchayati Raj system and lead to misunderstandings and controversy.
reservations about the proposal to amend Articles 29 and
30 of the Constitution, she requested the government not
to tamper with the "secular and democratic structure
of the polity and not to rush to conclusions but allow an
informed debate to take place in the country," the
Samajwadi Party threatens agitation
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 The Samajwadi Party today threatened to launch a country-wide agitation against the BJP-led coalition government in UP if the killings of its workers in fake encounters were not stopped in the state.
Addressing newsmen here, Samajwadi Party general secretaries Amar Singh and Ram Gopal Yadav said till now over 250 SP workers had been killed by the police on the instructions of the Kalyan Singh government in UP. They said the latest incident, which took place on October 17 had sent shock waves through the party ranks.
Mr Amar Singh disclosed that the president of the Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade, which was part of the Samajwadi Party, Om Prakash Yadav had been gunned down, along with three other youth, by the police in a fake encounter in Bhadoi near Varanasi. Suspecting him to be Dhananjay Singh, who was a member of the Sriprakash Shukla gang of UP, the police gunned down Om Prakash Yadav.
Mr Amar Singh said among the other three was an 18-year-old Ajay Singh, who was the only son of his parents.
Pointing out that the patience of the party workers had now reached the last stage, Mr Amar Singh said after the fake encounter, the police even refused to hand over the body of Om Prakash Yadav to his family members. He said instead of freeing UP from fear, the Kalyan Singh government was only spreading anarchy in the state.
He accused several state leaders of the BJP including a minister of the Kalyan Singh government to be behind the incident and who were protecting the police personnel involved in the killings. He also demanded that all those involved in the killings be charged with murder under Section 302 of the IPC and those protecting them under Section 120 of the IPC.
The Samajwadi Party has
already sent a team of party MPs and MLAs to Bhadoi and
would be staging protest rallies in and around Bhadoi. He
said that if UP government did not take any action
against the guilty in the next few days, both he and the
party president, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav would camp at
Bhadoi till justice was given to the family members of
Door open for Cong: RLM
NEW DELHI, Oct 2I The Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha (RLM) will tomorrow discuss the sharing of seats among its constituents for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi but has not closed its doors to the Congress for a possible tie-up.
RLM spokesman Amar Singh told reporters today that the morcha was open to "any talks with anybody" to defeat the BJP.
He was replying to a question whether the morcha was still thinking of forging any alliance with the Congress after declaring that it would go it alone in the elections.
The seat sharing committee of the RLM, which will meet tomorrow, comprises Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Bipul Chaudhary (Rashtriya Janata Party) and Ranjan Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal).
Mr Amar Singh rejected the CPM demand for snapping ties with former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, before it could be accommodated in the third front.
He said the Rashtriya Janata Dal president, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, was one of the founder members of the morcha and, "there was no question of launching any political movement without him".
The statement of Mr Amar Singh with regard to the formation of the third front assumes importance especially since the CPM general secretary, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, had made a statement that the third front would be formed at the cost of the RLM and that Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav would not be part of it.
Mr Amar Singh categorically stated that there would be no compromise on Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav. When asked about Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav meeting Mr Surjeet regarding the formation of the third front, Mr Singh said there was nothing new in the two leaders meeting and holding discussions.
However, the Janata Dal Parliamentary Board Chairman, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, today hailed Mr Surjeet's move to form a third front and also supported the move for excluding Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav from it. He stated that the secular parties while waging a war against communalism should not compromise with corrupt elements.
Gowda lashes out at Patel
BANGALORE, Oct 21 (PTI) The turmoil in Karnatakas ruling Janata Dal over the change in the leadership deepened today with former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda openly attacking Chief Minister J.H. Patels style of functioning and his reported move to seek outside support to survive a trial of strength in the state assembly.
Mr Gowda, who is the rallying point for dissidents favouring Mr Patels ouster, told reporters here that the Chief Minister should seek a vote of confidence in the legislature Janata Dal Party which was the only forum for its elected leader to prove his majority and not on the floor of the assembly.
Mr Gowdas remarks, which constituted his first public outburst against Mr Patel in the current bout of dissidence in the state Janata Dal, came a day after the Chief Minister rejected the demand for seeking a confidence vote of the JDP and expressed readiness to face a trust vote in the assembly.
Mr Gowda termed as "unwarranted and unfortunate" Mr Patels statement that he was ready to accept support from any quarter for survival and said such a step was not warranted as the Janata Dal enjoyed a majority in the assembly and none of its members had raised the issue of leadership change.
As a senior politician and leader of a party, Mr Patel should not have made such statements, he said.
Asked whether the leadership change issue was not on the agenda of tomorrows meeting of the dissidents, he said "so far no", but added that he could not say about the issues that would come up for discussion.
Mr Patel, who had plans to convene the LJDP meeting in the midst of the assembly session scheduled for November 9, has advanced the session to October 29 and convened the LJDP on October 28.
Now doubts have been raised over the convening of the LJDP meeting on October 28 in view of Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee convening the meeting of the Cauvery River Authority on the same day in Delhi.
Mr Gowda accused him of arming the bureaucracy with powers to protect some opposition parties, including the BJP and an independent member and ignoring the ruling party members.
In an apparent reference to the Chief Ministers secretariat, Mr Gowda said officials had entertained opposition parties, but not the ruling party members. "The opposition has special reasons to save the Patel Government", he added.
The former Prime Minister criticised the BJP and Mr Vatal Nagaraj for their "relentless efforts to save the Patel government" which, he alleged, had been protecting them.
Referring to the repeated assertions by Mr Patel that he would prove his majority only in the assembly, Mr Gowda retorted that under the party constitution the legislators right to raise issues regarding the leadership could not be curbed. "Nobody can curtail the LJDPs powers and the privilege of legislators", he said.
Dawood's accomplice arrested
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 An alleged accomplice of Dawood Ibrahim and self-styled president of the All-India Bharatiya Congress Romesh Sharma was arrested yesterday from his residence in Mayfair Colony in South Delhi on charges of cheating and other offences.
Cases under the Arms Act, the Wildlife Act and the Excise Act have been registered against him.
Romesh contested the Lok Sabha elections in 1996 from Phulpur in Allahabad as an independent candidate. He had reportedly hired a helicopter from an aviation company in Bombay run by Suresh Rao, for campaigning, the Joint Commissioner of the Delhi Police, Mr Amod Kanth, said.
When aviation company personnel went to Allahabad to take back the helicopter, they were allegedly beaten up at the behest of Romesh.
Instead of returning the helicopter, the suspect, who works as a property dealer in South Delhi, reportedly got the helicopter transferred in his name.
Suresh Rao met Sharma in Delhi several times to take back the helicopter, but was threatened and forced to sign the relevant papers for the transfer of the helicopter from his name to Romesh Sharma's name.
Suresh told the police that he was also threatened by a Dubai-based mafia don, Irfan Goga, the Joint Commissioner said.
Suresh met Romesh again yesterday, but was allegedly beaten up. After escaping from the clutches of Romesh, he rushed to Hauz Khas police station. However, he was again caught by Romesh who took him to his office in Connaught Place for getting some documents signed, Mr Kanth said.
Suresh later went to the police station and lodged an FIR against Romesh.
The police searched the residence of Romesh, and seized property and business documents. Income Tax, Cental Bureau of Investigation, Excise and Wildlife experts were also summoned to conduct a joint operation in view of the ramifications of the case, the Joint Commissioner of Police said.
During the search of the residence documents and keys pertaining to property in Delhi and Bombay were recovered. Fourteen keys of imported and Indian cars were also found.
The Income Tax authorities seized papers concerning property, jewellery, crockery and other ornaments worth about Rs 50 lakh and currency notes worth Rs 11 lakh. Shares worth Rs 1 crore and FDRs for Rs 23.5 lakh were also recovered.
The excise officials seized a large number of liquor bottles worth over Rs 1 lakh.
Besides the skin of a tiger, a leopard and a deer were also seized.
Wildlife experts certified that these animals fell in schedule-1 of the Wildlife Act and the illegal possession of their skin was punishable for a period up to six years. Fourteen rounds of .32 bore revolvers were also recovered from the possession of Romesh.
Romesh also owned a farm house at Chhatarpur in South-West Delhi, a 200 acre farm in Faridabad and a 1.5 acre plot at Juhu in Mumbai. The volume of the property was estimated at around Rs 500 crore, the Joint Commissioner of Police said.
Educated more prone to infidelity
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (UNI) An in-depth study has indicated that while problems of dowry, alcoholism, third party interference as causes of marital disharmony were more prevalent among persons with lower level of education, infidelity was more common among persons with higher level of education.
Incompatibility as a cause of marital discord was prevalent among all income groups, the study on causes of marital discord and modes of settlement, with special reference to family courts in India, by Ms Namita Singh, research fellow, Jamia Millia Islamia said.
It concluded that family court, created as a unique institution, suffered from the usual hang-ups and trappings of the traditional civil courts and had failed to achieve its objectives.
The study which was financially assisted by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), Ministry of Home Affairs, was based on in-depth interviews with 243 individuals directly involved in marital disputes, from various walks of life in the cities of Delhi and Jaipur.
Personality related factors, dowry, and incompatibility emerged as the main causes of marital discord (with incidence of 24 per cent , 23 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively). Personality-related factors included infidelity, bigamy, addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling and physiology based disorders and deficiencies were impotence, barrenness, persistent miscarriages, chronic sickness, mental disorders and suspicious nature.
The other main causes of marital discord (with lower incidence) found were external interference 10 per cent), cruelty (7 per cent, resource stringency 6 per cent, desertion 6 per cent.
Compared to a fewer female respondents (11 per cent), a large number of male respondents (46 per cent) reported incompatibility as the main cause of their marital disputes. Nearly one-third of female respondents attributed their marital problem mainly to dowry demands, and another 20 per cent reported this as one of the other contributory causes.
While more female respondents reported personality related factors (mainly about their spouses), cruelty and inadequate income levels as causing marital ruptures, more male respondents reported external interference, desertion and unfulfilled expectations causing marital disharmony.
Regarding the modes of
settlement, family court had only partially achieved its
objectives (promotion of conciliation and preservation of
marriage, speedy settlement of disputes, and
individualised treatment and had still to go a long way
in fulfilling them, the study said. Though legal costs in
a family court were less than the civil court, time taken
in deciding cases was almost the same, and number of
visits the litigants had to make was only marginally
lesser than the civil court, it said. Nonetheless, a
large number of respondents approached the family court
for reconciliation. Though created as a
unique institution, the family court suffers from the
usual hang-ups and trappings of the traditional civil
court, the study said.
Rajasthan awaits Vajpayee, Sonia
JAIPUR, Oct 21 (UNI) With Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and AICC President Sonia Gandhi due to kick-start the campaign for their respective parties early next week, the stage is set for a high-pitched campaigning for the poll to the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly slated for November 25.
The two major political parties in the state the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Opposition Congress are greasing their machineries for the electoral battle for the one-day assembly poll.
While Mr Vajpayee is scheduled to launch the BJPs campaign from the states beautiful lake town, Udaipur, on Sunday, Ms Gandhi will go to Bikaner on Tuesday to launch the electoral campaign for the main Opposition party in the state.
The leaders of the two main parties, however, maintain that their campaigning for the next months assembly poll started much earlier. Both Mr Vajpayee and Ms Gandhi had visited the state in the past few months and addressed public meetings and set the tone for organisational preparedness.
While the ruling party has
decided to announce its list of candidates for the
assembly poll within this month, the Opposition Congress
is busy in giving final touches to its prospective list
of aspirants for the poll at the state-level today before
sending the pradesh committees recommendations to
the AICC, which will finalise the names for the party
DANICS call off proposed stir
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (PTI) Officers belonging to the Delhi and Andaman Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) cadre today decided to call off their proposed strike at the time of next months elections over the revision of pay-scales, official sources said.
The DANICS decision was communicated to the Election Commission by Chief Secretary to Delhi Government Omesh Saigal in a letter addressed to Deputy Election Commissioner Sayan Chatterjee.
Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill in a letter to Home Minister L.K. Advani had yesterday indicated that the commission would be duty-bound to make alternative arrangements for the conduct of next months elections in the event of the agitation.
Tributes paid to CRPF martyrs
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (PTI) When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today this is the inscription on the memorial to the 10 CRPF personnel, who laid down their lives defending their motherland 36 years ago this day at hot springs in Ladakh.
The day of their sacrifice was today observed by the police forces everywhere in the country as Martyrs Day in memory of all policemen who died while performing duty.
CRPF Director-General M.N. Sabharwal recently visited the memorial to the jawans on whom the Chinese rained bullets from the 16,000 foot hot spring mountain on October 21, 1959, while they were on patrol duty.
The bodies of the CRPF men, taken away by the Chinese troops, were handed over to the Indian authorities after three weeks of diplomatic negotiations and cremated at the memorial site on November 13, 1959.
|Award for animal care
NEW DELHI: The Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation has announced an annual award of Rs 25,000 and a medal for outstanding contribution to animal welfare. The award has been instituted in memory of Venu Menon, an animal lover. According to a press note here, nominations for the award can be made in four categories namely, respect for animal life, animal care in zoos, animal care in schools and animal care in industry. Entries should be sent by October 31 to Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation, PO Box No. 3557, New Delhi-110024. TNS
Noted writer dead
DA for freedom
2 Tripura jawans
Drugs worth 5 lakh
Malaria claims 6
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