|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Thursday, October 29, 1998
in Chinese prisons appalling
flayed for holding
Fair from Oct 30
Canada's envoy praises India's
aid sought for
Politics impedes academic work
DHARAMSALA, Oct 28 The tussle among various student organisations at the local Government College is vitiating the academic atmosphere.
The college is the oldest in Himachal. It was set up in 1926. The college with over 4000 students has become a hotbed of politics.
The students who are not affiliated with any student organisation are the sufferers, as they are compelled to boycott classes.
During the past four days, classes have been disrupted by one organisation or the other. A student belonging to the Jai Hind Chatra Sangathan (JCS) was allegedly slapped by the Principal recently. The JCS, which is affiliated to the Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC), immediately called for a strike and indulged in hooliganism by breaking some fans and window-panes in the college. The police was summoned to the college but no case was registered.
In protest against this act, students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) sat on chain fast. The National Students Union of India (NSUI) activists, too boycotted classes, protesting against the "dictatorial" attitude of the Principal. They alleged that since the ABVP was the student wing of the ruling BJP party, the authorities were partial towards them.
Mr Vinod Mankotia, senior vice-president of the NSUI wing of the college, alleged that some students were expelled from the college hostel for the reason that they belonged to the NSUI. "Though the authorities may give other excuses for their expulsion, but as the hostel is dominated by NSUI students, they do not want the strength of the hostel to increase, he alleged.
He added that what is interesting was the fact that college teachers, themselves tell parents of the students not to admit their sons in the hostel, on the pretext that the atmosphere is bad. "If the atmosphere is bad, why have the authorities not taken steps to improve it," said Pushpinder Chauhan.
Students alleged that the authorities had remained mute spectators a few days ago when some boys dragged a student out of the Principals office and thrashed him.
NSUI students said they were in favour of expulsion of those creating violence in the college and were against disruption of classes.
The Principal, Prof Anand, refuted charges that he was partial towards the ABVP. "These kinds of allegations are always levelled whenever there is a change of government, as the college had always been a battlefield for various political parties," he said.
Regarding the expulsion of 12 students from the college hostel, he said they had been staying illegally.
What is worrying teachers
and the students is that if stern steps are not taken to
check the growing politicisation and increase in violence
on the college campus, things might go out of control for
which the college authorities will be blamed.
Conditions in Chinese prisons
DHARAMSALA, Oct 28 Political prisoners in Tibet are being made to live in appalling and inhuman conditions, contrary to the claims of the Chinese authorities.
According to a report entitled "Behind bars: prison conditions in Tibet", prepared by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, the physical and mental abuse of the Tibetan political prisoners has been deteriorating. The report is based on interview of 22 political prisoners, who have suffered in jails.
The executive director of the centre, Mr Lobsang Nyandak, said the prisoners had to live in cold, empty cells, surviving on dirty decaying food. "One can imagine the agony of the prisoners as they have to use a small container for toilet purpose in the room, in front of others", he said. He said this was contrary to the Chinese laws and regulations, as also violation of the international covenants, which the Chinese republic had ratified.
"We were hanged from a ceiling, with hands tied behind our backs and then struck with electric prods, which were inserted into the mouth, ears and private parts of the body," lamented a monk, who had suffered for 14 years in the jail.
The report also says that due to severe torture, many prisoners were facing medical problems, but were not given any treatment. The food given to them was often strewn with insects, and at times faeces floating in it, which they were forced to have, with no water to drink. Prisoners were not provided blankets or mattresses and were forced to perform manual work, and severely beaten if they did not complete it.
According to the report, there were about 1,216 political prisoners in Tibetan jails till the end of 1997, including 295 women and 39 prisoners below the age of 18. Letters from prisoners in the Drapchi jail, confirm the atrocities being inflicted upon inmates, and the disregard of the authorities for their welfare.
The report says that there have been 11 deaths following the shooting incident in the Drapchi prison. Maximum atrocities are being inflicted upon inmates of the Drapchi and Gutsa detention centres as maximum political prisoners are lodged here.
Canada's envoy praises India's
SHIMLA, Oct 28 India has made some achievements in the field of federalism and even the West can learn from its experiences, said Dr Don Waterfall, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada, who was speaking yesterday at a national seminar on "federalism and multi-culturalism: India and Canada". The seminar was organised at the Himachal Pradesh University by the Canadian Studies Development Programme.
He said that there were more cultural diversities in India than in Canada but still this country had developed a lot in its federal form of governance. There should be greater interaction among all federal countries of the world, Mr Waterfall felt.
"We prefer smaller and peripheral universities as they have sufficient funds of their own", he said.
Dr Usha Pathania, Director of Canadian studies at the university said the financial help by the Canadian Government was beneficial to the future growth of teachers and academicians. About 20 countries were expected to participate in an international conference on Canadian studies in March next year, she added.
A number of scholars from the university and outside presented their papers at the seminar.
Their was a right to
secede or separate from the country in Canada but there
was a very high level of tolerance, some scholars said
during an interview. They quoted the example of Quebec
where the right to secede was demanded and later during a
referendum the majority voted against secession.
Govt flayed for holding RSS camps
DHARAMSALA, Oct 28 A sitting legislator and joint secretary of the Himachal Congress Committee, Mr G.S. Bali, has criticised the BJP for holding RSS training camps in educational institutions and public places.
Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Bali said a number of parents had complained that during an examination at a technical school, students were disturbed due to a loudspeaker, which was used during a "havan" that was performed in the presence of the Agriculture Minister, Mr Vidyasagar.
"Educational institutions and other public places should not be used for propaganda of the RSS ideology", he remarked.
Mr Bali said the Tanda Medical College opened by the previous Congress government had become a victim of internal politics of the BJP.
Mr Bali demanded that the
results of interviews held in the HRTC during the
Congress regime should be declared. He also accused the
government of indulging in wasteful expenditure by
cancelling the interviews of veterinary doctors held
during the Congress regime.
More aid sought for victims of
SHIMLA, Oct 28 Mrs Asha Kumari, a Congress MLA from Chamba district, has urged the state-government to grant liberal financial aid to the victims of the fire incident in the Chamba town.
Mrs Asha Kumari demanded that interest-free loans should be provided to "fire sufferers" to enable their rehabilitation.
Renuka Fair from October 30
NAHAN, Oct 28 (UNI) The legendary Renuka Fair will begin in Sirmaur district from October 30. The six-day mela would conclude on November 4.
Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kaushal, who is also Renuka Fair Committee Chairman, said that boating had been banned in the holy lake during the fair to enable pilgrims to offer their obeisance to mother Renuka.
He said a special cleanliness drive had been launched in the entire fair area under which all temples, buildings, resthouses, and idols would be cleansed and beautified. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation would run 35 special buses for passengers.
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