|N A T I O N|
|"Third alternative" need
of hour: CPM
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 The CPM said today that the BJP-led governments days were numbered and the formation of a "third alternative" had become imperative because even the Congress did not have the mandate to rule the country.
Vajpayee to meet Sharif
on Sept 23
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 Modalities for the resumption of stalled Indo-Pakistan bilateral dialogue will be discussed when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee meets his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York on September 23 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
|Two witnesses turn hostile in Jakhar
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 Two prosecution witnesses in the Jain-hawala case against former union minister Balram Jakhar today turned hostile and retracted their statements made before the CBI during investigation.
facing a crisis: Malik
detention challenged in HC
jackets seized from robbers
now culinary diplomacy
"Third alternative" need of hour: CPM
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) The CPM said today that the BJP-led governments days were numbered and the formation of a "third alternative" had become imperative because even the Congress did not have the mandate to rule the country.
Making a forceful plea for the formation of a "third alternative" against the ruling BJP-led coalition and the Congress, party general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet said "we should not worry about what will happen to the (Vajpayee) government. We should strive to tilt the political balance in our favour."
"The BJP governments legs have broken... they are continuing by compromising, folding hands and bowing to their allies to cling to power. The government cannot run like this," Mr Surjeet told a rally organised by the party at the Ramlila Grounds here to protest against the governments "anti-people" policies.
"The government will fall on its own and after that some way will be found", he said and exhorted the people to continue struggle against the BJPs "divisive and communal" politics and its policies.
Politburo member Sitaram
Yechury said Left and democratic parties would soon
launch a "political attack" on the government
if it did not end its "pro-rich" economic
policies and open-door approach towards multinationals.
The BJP was toeing the same line as the Congress did during emergency, he said, adding it should not forget what happened to the Congress soon after the emergency in 1977.
The RSS was "actually pulling the strings" and setting the governments agenda through remote control, he said.
"Even (Prime Minister) Mr Vajpayee was in their stranglehold so that he doesnt go awry. They used his image to win the elections (unhone Vajpayee ko bhi qaid kar ke rakha hai ki woh unke raste pe chale. Chunav jeetne ke liye unka chehra istemal kiya)", Mr Surjeet said.
"What have they (BJP-RSS) done for the country? can any of their leaders claims to have spent even a day in British jails in the freedom movement", Mr Surjeet asked.
The BJP has only targeted the minorities and backward classes whether in the name of temple or Bangladeshi migrants or the Srikrishna Commission, Mr Surjeet charged.
Other CPM leaders lashed out at governments economic policies which had "stupendously overburdened" the people and foreign policy which had "created tension with our neighbours and heightened the feeling of insecurity among people."
West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had left for Calcutta yesterday and could not address the rally due to health reasons.
Charging the government with "sell out" to foreign capital on the Maruti issue, Mr Yechury said it was "supporting the corrupt traders and businessmen" who were indulging in hoarding, blackmarketeering and even adulteration.
He said the rally was marked to warn the government to desist from taking "anti-people" steps and exhorted the people to fight the BJP to strengthen the secular fabric and integrity of the country.
Mr Sarkar said the BJP government had failed to check insurgency in the Northeast, especially in Tripura, and added CPM workers had made sacrifices fighting insurgency and separatism in Northeast and other parts of the country.
He said governments policies had enabled "imperialist powers" to interfere in internal affairs of the country.
Two witnesses turn hostile in Jakhar case
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) Two prosecution witnesses in the Jain-hawala case against former union minister Balram Jakhar today turned hostile and retracted their statements made before the CBI during investigation.
The CBI counsel declared the two prosecution witnesses, Indica Travel and Tour Pvt Ltd employee A.K. Saha and Jakhars former personal security officer Sispal Singh, hostile after they refused to stand by their statements while deposing before Special Judge V.B. Gupta.
Saha had said Bhillai Engineering Corporation (BEC) had paid money for the tickets purchased for Mr Jakhars wife and her friend for a foreign trip in September 1989 but today he said the money was actually paid by a woman.
The other witness Sispal Singh refused to recognise S.K. Jain, an accused in the case, though he had stated before the CBI that he knew of S.K. Jain, who often used to visit Mr Jakhars residence.
Prosecution counsel Baljit Singh declared them hostile when the two witnesses told the court that they were making such statements "not under any pressure".
The CBI had alleged that
Mr Jakhar had received Rs 58 lakh from the Jains as per
the entries made in the Jain diaries, which were declared
"inadmissible" as evidence in the law by the
apex court in March this year.
Vajpayee to meet Sharif on Sept 23
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) Modalities for the resumption of stalled Indo-Pakistan bilateral dialogue will be discussed when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee meets his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York on September 23 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
Mr Vajpayee, who leaves for New York on September 22 at the head of a high-level delegation, will have a luncheon meeting with Sharif where the leaders are expected to finalise dates for re-starting the official-level parleys on outstanding issues, including Kashmir, peace and security.
Groundwork for the meeting was done by Foreign Secretaries K. Raghunath and Shamshad Ahmad when they met on the fringes of the NAM summit in Durban earlier this month.
It was decided after a meeting between Mr Vajpayee and Pakistan Finance Minister Sartaz Aziz, deputising for Sharif, that the two sides should resume talks, which had broken down following Islamabads insistence on first discussing the "core issue of Kashmir.
With both sides agreeing
that any future dialogue between the two countries should
cover entire gamut of bilateral issues it has been left
to Mr Vajpayee and Sharif to firm up dates for resumption
of parleys, officials said.
New Delhi has maintained that it was unfortunate that on the one hand traditional nuclear states want to keep nuclear technology to themselves and resist nuclear disarmament and on the other hand, they restricted the enormous benefits of peaceful nuclear energy from reaching humanity at large.
The Prime Minister, who will spend six days in New York, is scheduled to have wide-ranging discussions with the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on issues relating to regional and international concerns.
His engagements include a reception by India Heritage Research Foundation, breakfast meeting with Dr Henry Kissinger and meetings with the Asia Society and Indian American community.
Mr Vajpayee will leave for
Paris on September 28 where he will hold discussions with
French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel
Jospin on issues including disarmament and steps to boost
bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Haven for drug-traffickers
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (UNI) In the absence of foolproof chemical control legislation, the South and South-West Asian region has become a haven for drug traffickers who divert chemicals from legitimate channels to illicit uses, says a new U.N. report released here today.
The region has all ingredients necessary for the illegal manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, namely raw materials, chemicals produced locally as well as imported, and clandestine laboratories, says the report prepared by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP).
The report, which is the first in a series of three prepared by the UNDCPs regional office here and deals with the regulation of chemicals frequently used in the illicit manufacture of drugs, was released by Mr H.P. Kumar, Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
According to the report, the drug industry today is a multi-billion dollar business, estimated to have an annual turnover of $ 400 billion. Most of the drug trafficking is carried out in secrecy and outside the boundaries of legitimate commerce. The opium poppy and the coca bush are grown in secret locations except in rare cases like in India where the poppy is grown for legitimate use under strict government controls.
In this context, the report pointed out the difficulties in controlling the illicit use of chemicals as they had various legitimate uses in the chemical, pharmaceutical and textiles industries.
India came in for praise for taking several concrete steps to check the illicit manufacture and diversion of these drugs. The country was one of the earliest to ratify the 1988 convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and even before that enforced legislative and administrative measures to control acetic anhydride. It was declared a controlled substance in 1993 requiring detailed records of its production, receipt, sale, consumption, import and export to be maintained and submitted to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
India was capable of manufacturing 95,000 metric tonnes of acetic anhydride annually but the actual production was about 45,000 metric tonnes. Since it was widely used for industrial purposes, its production and trade could not be totally prohibited and the governments aim was to curb its diversion for illicit purposes, the report said.
Strict monitoring by the Indian Government, especially along the countrys borders with Myanmar had led to a decrease in the seizures of acetic anhydride from 11,530 litres in 1992 to 8,311 litres in 1997. However, diversions of the precursor to Pakistan were continuing and seizures made in that country had steadily increased from three tonnes in 1992 to five tonnes in 1995, the report noted.
But by and large, countries in the region had not established legislation to regulate precursors and traffickers had devised newer and more innovative methods to divert chemicals at points of manufacture, distribution, transportation, end use, recycling and disposal, it added.
A disquieting feature
revealed in the report was the recent trend to establish
clandestine laboratories for the manufacture of heroin
and cocaine near the areas of cultivation. Earlier, these
laboratories were located in technologically advanced
Mazhar Khan is dead
MUMBAI, Sept 16 (PTI) Bollywood character actor Mazhar Khan, who was recently accused of instigating a physical assault on his estranged wife and actress Zeenat Aman, died at a city hospital here today. He was 45.
The actor, suffering from a kidney ailment for the past two years, was rushed to Leelavati Hospital here after his condition worsened yesterday, family sources said.
Khan shot to fame with his remarkable performance in G.P. Sippy's blockbuster "Shan" and starred in over 20 films enacting roles of villain with perfection. In "Aangar", he played the role of a "spoilt" son of Kader Khan, which got him accolades from cinegoers.
He portrayed a typical post-Partition generation youth in Ramesh Sippy's mega-serial "Buniyad".
Mazhar was producer-director of the underproduction movie "Gang".
Jagannath Mishra against division
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 The fate of the Rabri Devi Government continues to hang in balance with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, hinting at a proper action when the time comes even as the former Bihar Chief Minister, Dr Jagannath Mishra, joined the chorus demanding imposition of Presidents rule there.
Mr Vajpayee, addressing the media in Chennai, said while the government has not ruled out the use of Article 356 it will not be misused.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, Dr Mishra today said the State was a fit case for imposition of Presidents rule.
He charged that the law and order machinery in Bihar had completely broken down and financial administration was in a mess as revealed in the audit reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
While on the one hand, Dr Mishra was opposed to the continuation of the Rashtriya Janata Dal Government in Bihar, he seemed to be in one with the RJD Chief, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, against the bifurcation of the state.
Dr Mishra said he saw no justification in bifurcating the State and criticised the Congress for supporting the Jharkhand cause.
Bill on land Act to be tabled
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 A Bill proposing to amend the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954, will be introduced in the forthcoming session of the Delhi Assembly.
The housing sector in the Capital is likely to experience a boost if the amendments proposed are incorporated, the chairman of the Delhi Land Reforms (Amendment) committee, Mr Devender Singh, said here today.
The Bill to amend the existing Act would be introduced in the forthcoming Assembly session, the Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, said.
The amendment to the Act has been suggested by a six-member committee headed by Mr Devender Singh, MLA. The report of the committee was submitted to the Chief Minister today.
The committee has redefined the concept of economic holding from the present figure of eight acre to one acre. As per the existing Act, the land less than eight standard acres of the total land was not permitted for sale. The amendment has proposed that land less than one acre will not be permitted to be sold.
The Union Urban
Development Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, had earlier
stated that the private sector would be allowed to enter
the housing sector in the Capital, thus ending the
monopoly of the Delhi Development Authority.
Molestation case takes new turn
CUTTACK, Sept 16 (UNI) The Anjana Mishra molestation case against former Orissa Advocate-General Indrajit Ray has taken a new turn with the then state Director-General of Police (DGP) Amiya Bhusan Tripathy alleging that Chief Minister J.B. Patnaik, Forest Minister Kishore Patel and Indrajit Ray had formed a nexus and entered into a criminal conspiracy to scuttle the probe by the CBI.
In an 18-page affidavit filed before the Orissa High Court yesterday, the former DGP contended that there was evidence of a criminal conspiracy right from the day Anjana filed an FIR against her IFS husband and sister-in-law in May last year at a Cuttack police station charging torture for dowry and intimidation.
The conspiracy continued when the efforts misfired and the lady came out with a written complaint against the then Advocate-General, charging him with attempted rape on July 11,1997 at his official residence here, Mr Tripathy stated.
Country facing a crisis: Malik
ROORKEE, Sept 16 The country is passing through a "critical phase" and the troops must be ever vigilant, Chief of the Army Staff, General V.P. Malik said while addressing the officers and men of 'Broon Ki Paltan'.
The fourth battalion Brigade of the Guards (1 Rajput) was raised as part of the Bengal Army on September 15, 1798 at Sasseram (Bihar) by Major George Sackville Brown. The battalion is better known as 'Broon Ki Paltan'.
Speaking on the occasion of the bi-centenary celebrations of 'Broon ki Paltan', General Malik said that regular training of the personnel is constantly required to maintain full preparedness.
"The bi-centenary celebrations is an appropriate time to remember the rich history of Broon ki paltan, pay tributes to the fallen heroes and get inspired by the past," Gen Malik said.
Madonna heeds advice of Pandits
VARANASI, Sept 16 (UNI) Madonna has finally found the right mantra. The Pandits of this holy city are happy that the pop icon has heeded their advice and brushed up on her Sanskrit pronunciation.
The scholars had been critical of the singers mispronunciation of the Sanskrit mantras used in her album Ray of Light a few months ago.
But as they watched a live telecast of her rendering the Shanti Ashtangi at Los Angeles on Friday, they could hardly detect any flaws, Doing well said one, Fast learner chimed in another, Genuine seeker said a third scholar.
However, it did not take long for the critical temperament and pet prejudices for which they are known all over the country to take over. Why did she apply a Vaishnav tilak on her forehead while reciting a prayer to Shiva?, they asked.
The perfectionist wisdom of Benaras Pandits demands that prayers of specific sects, Vaishnava and Shaiva should be conducted according to the rituals of that very sect.
Hazares detention challenged in HC
MUMBAI, Sept 16 (UNI) A petition challenging the detention of social activist Anna Hazare has been filed in the Bombay High Court raising some important points on whether a citizen of India has the right to criticise a public servant or not.
The Magsaysay Award winner was sentenced last Wednesday to three months simple imprisonment in connection with a defamation suit filed by state Social Welfare Minister Babanrao Gholap.
Petitioner Ramakant M.
Tipnis, an octogenarian freedom fighter and advocate,
contended that although Anna Hazare has been convicted
under Section 500 of IPC by the Additional Chief
Metropolitan Magistrate, why hasnt the magistrate
referred the matter to the police or the CBI.
Bullet-proof jackets seized from
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 The Delhi police today claimed to have seized two bullet-proof jackets from five alleged Gurgaon-based gangsters here. The suspects Shamsher, Rakesh, Ajit, Dharambir, Satpal and Bhoop Singh, alias Mante operated in South Delhi and Gurgaon.
A team of the South-West district police was deployed at the Kapashera border to check the movement of the suspects following a tip-off that the gang members would enter the Capital today. On spotting a Maruti car, the police team ordered them to stop but the occupants of the car opened fire.
The suspects were, however, cornered after a brief encounter. On search of the car, the police recovered one .455-bore revolver, three 'kattas' and two bullet-proof jackets.
... now culinary diplomacy
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) Kashmiri pulao and not Kashmir is the dish of discussion in the Turkish city of Izmir these days thanks to the culinary diplomacy launched by the Indian mission in Ankara.
Hundreds of Turks men, women and children thronged the Izmir Hiltons Colonnade Restaurant recently to taste the mouth-watering, lip-smacking shammi kabab, mutton roganjosh, Kashmiri pulao, kachumber salad, shahi halwa and other dream dishes prepared by chefs flown in specially by the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
The hotel had hosted the week-long Hindustani (Indian) Food Festival in association with the Indian Embassy as part of the Izmir International Fair where India was accorded the guest country status in celebration of 50 years of its freedom.
The food festival was a runaway success. Not only was it well received by the local population but also by a large number of foreigners including Britons and Americans, said Nisar Ahmed, chef with the ITDC-run Hotel Kanishka in Delhi and leader of the Indian team of chefs.
Torans, kalakari lamp shades and posters of popular Indian tourist resorts decked the venue accompanied by bhangra dance.
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 The Haryana Government has agreed to supply more raw water to Delhi. Haryana will supply 70 cusecs of raw water for the Nangloi water treatment plant, Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma said here today.
Marrow transplant centre for Chandigarh
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has proposed to step up its programme for control and prevention of thalassemia by helping to establish four more bone marrow transplantation centres in the country.
The new centres to come up in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and another location in the East will augment the services currently provided by the only ICMR-funded facility at the Christian Medical Hospital at Vellore in Tamil Nadu.
Radiology congress from Saturday
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 For the first time, India is hosting an international congress on radiology. The five-day meet scheduled to start on Saturday will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee on Friday.
The 20th congress is aimed at creating awareness of radiology and imaging modalities.
The Chairman of the congress, Dr Samir Banerjee said today that nearly 6000 radiologists from all over the world are expected to participate in the conference being held at Pragati Maidan.
He said that expenditure on the congress is estimated to be over Rs four crore. Radiologists expressed serious concern over the use of X-ray machines by untrained personnel.
Against the World Health
Organisations recommended number of one radiologist
for every 250 patients, India had one radiologist for
every 10,000 patients. Dr Banerjee said that apart from
faulty diagnosis and wrong treatment, an untrained
technician repeats X-ray exposing patients to avoidable
Property worth 10 crore seized in IT raids
PATNA, Sept 16 (PTI) In a major haul, Income Tax Department sleuths recovered and seized property worth Rs 10 crore in countrywide raids on the business and residential premises of a fodder scam accused and his relatives.
The department conducted raids on about 24 business and residential premises of the accused, Sudarshan Bansal, at Patna, Delhi, Ghaziabad and Indore and surveyed his property at Calcutta and Mumbai yesterday, an income tax spokesman said.
He said the raids led to the seizure of Rs 22 lakh in cash, gold jewellery worth Rs 18 lakh, 125 kg of silver, and other immovable property worth Rs 7 crore.The raids were also conducted at the business and residential premises of a few relatives of Bansal, the spokesman said.
He claimed Bansal had
worked as a conduit in laundering black money of
several scam accused into white money and said that
income tax sleuths had also stumbled upon several vital
documents relating to huge investments by Bansal and his
|Fire on board IA Airbus
NAGPUR: Passengers and crew aboard a Hyderabad-bound Indian Airlines flight had a miraculous escape on Tuesday night when a fire broke out in the cargo bay of the Airbus, soon after takeoff. The crew of the plane, with 76 passengers on board, noticed smoke emanating from the cargo bay within ten minutes after the Calcutta-Hyderabad flight IC 769 took off from the Sonegaon airport here. Acting promptly, Commander Jesudasan of the flight alerted the control tower and an emergency landing was arranged. PTI
SC staff pay scales
CBI raids on
3 students killed
Famine relief from
Ad hoc services to
6 killed in road
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