|N A T I O N|
Nuclear doctrine threat
to S. Asia
BJP candidate from the Bellary parliamentary constituency Sushma Swaraj campaigning in a village of her constituency on Wednesday. PTI
Govt asked to give
CPI firm on going it alone
Mamata releases manifesto
Shyama Sinha, others file papers
Malhotra to file libel suit
TNCC disowns Lalits remarks
Businessman beaten up by youths
Synthetic polymers as
Nuclear doctrine threat to S. Asia
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 (UNI) The controversial draft Indian nuclear doctrine threatens the survival of the South Asian population, according to noted nuclear scientist Dr M.V. Ramanna.
"The calls for punitive retaliation and the use of sufficient nuclear weapons (in the doctrine) would, if implemented, lead to large scale destruction and deaths to civilian populations, says Dr Ramanna.
Dr Ramanna has studied the effects of nuclear explosions, the history of the Indian nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, the environmental effects of nuclear weapons testing and global nuclear disarmament issues. He has also held research appointments in the USA and Canada after getting his Ph.D in Physics from Boston University.
Calling for the rejection of the doctrine, Dr Ramanna says the "early warning capability suggested by it "is impossible to achieve, given the short missile flight times in South Asia.
Also, no disaster control system is capable of handling the aftermath of a nuclear war, according to the expert who briefed reporters here yesterday before giving a lecture organised by the Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament (MIND).
A single nuclear bomb with the same destructive power as the one dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 exploded over Mumbai could kill between 160,000 and 866,000 people, depending on various parameters such as density of population, height of explosion and wind conditions.
There are a number of reasons why an explosion over a South Asian city would be much more disastrous than the weapons dropped by the USA over Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.
These include larger population densities and the presence of several petrol pumps and industries in the cities. While the petrol stations would explode, damage to industries dealing in chemicals would result in emission of toxic gases as in the case of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, Dr Ramanna explains.
Rejecting the theory of having nuclear weapons as a deterrent, he says the Kargil crisis has demonstrated that such steps do not prevent war. It is also not possible to assume that nuclear weapons will never be used in case of war.
The mere possession of these weapons leads to the possibility of either accidental or inadvertent use, which in turn could escalate into a full-fledged nuclear war, he argues.
"In light of this, the recently released draft nuclear doctrine as a statement of intent is deeply disturbing...the future path envisaged by this doctrine should be rejected. True security requires the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, both from the region and the world, and the means to manufacture them.
Meanwhile, the doctrine itself has become controversial after reports that the draft of Indias nuclear doctrine, formulated by the National Security Advisory Board was not the Boards consensus document, contrary to the claim made out at the time of its release on August 17 last.
The 27-member Board was sharply divided on certain issues in the draft. In fact, two members even walked out of one of the meetings after a heated discussion according to INFA.
According to authoritative sources, the final draft was made by a group of five or six members. It was reportedly never discussed by the full board.
Surprisingly, one of the most knowledgeable members of the Board, the Director of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, was not present when the draft was finalised.
Satish Sharma fielded from Rae
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 Traditional Congress families of Uttar Pradesh can draw solace from the second list of 17 names for Uttar Pradesh constituencies announced by the AICC today.
Apart from fielding Mr Narain Dutt Tiwari from his home constituency, Nainital, the list includes the progeny of late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, the grandson of Lal Bahadur Shastri and the wife of the incumbent PCC chief.
"It may be recalled that the pulling apart of late H.N. Bahuguna from the Congress on February 2, 1977, when he along with Babu Jagjivan Ram launched the Congress for Democracy (CFD) was the beginning of the partys downfall in the post-Emergency period. Mr Bahuguna returned to the Congress fold in 1980 and was made the partys secretary-general, a post created for him.
He, however, left the party soon thereafter. By nominating his son and daughter, perhaps Mrs Sonia Gandhi intends to send a message to the traditional Congress voters in Uttar Pradesh. Mr Bahuguna, a Brahmin, had a sizeable following among Muslims.
Though the name of Captain Satish Sharma, who represented Amethi for two terms in the past, has been listed for the contest against the BJPs Arun Nehru from Rae Bareli, sources say that as Capt Sharma himself is not too keen on this constituency, he may be ultimately shifted to neighbouring Sultanpur, the decision for which, like Amethi, Rae Bareli and Lucknow has been left by the central election committee of the AICC to the party chief, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.
Available indications earlier in the week suggested that Dr Karan Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, who recently returned to the party fold after 18 years, may be fielded from Rae Bareli to supplement the campaign effort in Amethi. However, in the CEC discussions last night, it was felt that while Mrs Ratna Kumari, a Rajput, contesting from Pratapgarh, could influence Rajput votes in Amethi as well (the local Rajput Prince, Mr Sanjay Singh, who won last time, is the BJP candidate). Thus, the presence of Capt Sharma, a Brahmin, in Rae Bareli was considered desirable to influence Brahmin votes in Amethi as well. Plus, it was felt that by fielding Capt Sharma, the chances of Mr Arun Nehru cornering the majority of Brahmin votes could be dented. Brahmins and Rajputs constitute around nine per cent of the electorate each in Rae Bareli.
Thus the choice for Rae Bareli may still be open. The party is trying to persuade yet another high-profile name, thespian Dilip Kumar, for contesting at Lucknow against Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. However, like Dr Karan Singh, Mr Dilip Kumar too has not given his consent so far.
Allahabad, the constituency from which late H.N. Bahuguna lost to filmstar Amitabh Bachchan in his lifes last electoral battle, will see his daughter, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, contesting on the "hand" symbol this time. Mrs Joshi, the incumbent Mayor of the city, recently rejoined the Congress from the Samajwadi Party.
Garhwal, the seat Mr Bahuguna won in 1980 (his last electoral victory) and lost in byelections thereafter, will be again contested by Mr Satpal Maharaj who had won the seat in 1996. Neighbouring Tehri Garhwal will see Mr H.N. Bahugunas son, Mr Vijay Bahuguna, who lost from Garhwal on the Congress ticket last time trying his luck on the "hand" symbol. The Bahuguna family hails from Garhwal but settled in Allahabad. The familys traditional village, Bughani, falls in Pauri Garhwal whereas Mr Vijay Bahuguna has been fielded from the Tehri region. This seat is currently held by Mr Manvendra Shah, scion of the former Tehri royal family, a Congressman who later defected to the BJP on whose ticket he is contesting again.
Mr Narain Dutt Tiwari will face filmdoms Mr Muzaffar Ali (of Umrao Jaan fame) contesting on the Samajwadi Party ticket and a former Miss India, Naina Balsavar, fielded by the Bahujan Samaj Party. Ms Balsavar is the wife of Sanjay Gandhis buddy, Mr Akbar Ahmed Dumpy, who is currently a BSP leader and is recontesting from Azamgarh in eastern UP, the seat held by him in 1998. Mr Ahmed had unsuccessfully contested from Nainital in 1984. The seat was won by Mr N.D. Tiwari in 1980 and in 1996. He lost elections from this seat twice, in 1991 and 1998.
Mr Harish Rawat, a traditional Congress strongman of the Kumaon region has been fielded from Almora again. He had won the seat in 1980, 1984 and 1989 and lost the last three elections.
Another high-profile candidate announced today is Ms Louise Khursheed, wife of the UPCC president, Mr Salman Khursheed, who will be contesting from Farrukhabad, the seat won by her husband in 1991 and by her father-in-law in 1984. She is a former journalist and the daughter of former Union Commerce Secretary and author of the book "Sword of Tipu Sultan", Mr Praxy Fernandes.
The other candidates announced today are Mr Vibhakar Shastri, grandson of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who will be contesting from Fatehpur, a seat won by his father, Mr Hari Krishan Shastri, in 1980; Mr Rajinder Singh Lodhi (Hamirpur); Mr Ram Prasad Ahirwar (Jaloun-Reserved); Mrs Sarita Bhaduria (Etawah); Raja Digvijay Narain Singh (Kannauj); Mr Munshi Lal Chamar (Mainpuri); Mr Javed Ali (Jalesar); Mr Rajinder Singh Chauhan (Etah); Mrs Usha Rani Tomar (Aligarh); and Mrs Satya Behn (Khurja-Reserved).
With this, the Congress
has declared its candidates for 48 of the 77 seats it is
contesting in Uttar Pradesh. Eight seats have been left
to Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Mr Ajit Singh. A formal
announcement of 29 more constituencies is awaited, which
includes Amethi, from where the partys decision to
field Mrs Sonia Gandhi has already been made public.
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 The CPM today accused the BJP of deliberately distorting the Election Commissions August 19 directive on Kargil.
In a statement here, the CPM Politburo said that the BJP and some interested quarters in the media were criticising the EC for allegedly barring the Kargil issue from being raised in the campaign.
The BJP was deliberately distorting the directive given by the EC on August 19, the statement said and added that the commission had, in fact, stated that Kargil would be a major issue during the campaign.
But what it has called for is not to use the defence forces in a partisan manner, the statement said. The BJP is guilty of dragging in the armed forces for their partisan electoral purposes, the party said and added it is this impropriety which the opposition parties have objected to as a violation of the commissions directive.
In fact, the directive had said the conclusion was inescapable that Kargil was perhaps the major issue in political debate at the moment.
After considering all these factors, the Election Commission of India is clear that now that the President of India and the Prime Minister have paid tributes to the jawans and given them recognition in the shape of gallantry awards, in our long established democracy, it is necessary that the defence forces step back out of the limelight and allow the political system of India to argue it out before their masters the people, the commission had said.
internationally acclaimed neutrality of the Indian armed
forces should not, in any direct or indirect manner, be
brought into comment and criticism. The Defence Ministry,
too, should keep this in mind since the minister is a
major political figure and a likely candidate in this
election, the directive had said, adding that
the screening of a Kargil documentary, at this
juncture, is not in consonance with the code of
VIPs treatment expenses
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to furnish complete details about the total money spent on the treatment of VIPs and bureaucrats abroad during the past three years.
Mr Justice C.M. Nayar issued the directive yesterday after perusing a statement submitted along with an affidavit by the Union Health Ministry giving details about the expenditure separately on some 110 politicians, bureaucrats and their kin abroad since 1991.
The statement said information about the expenditure on some of the beneficiaries during past three years was still being collected.
The court asked standing counsel Adish Aggarwal to specify the total amount of money spent on the treatment by September 29, the next date of hearing.
According to the statement submitted in the court, the government had spent several crores of rupees on the treatment of over 100 politicians and bureaucrats, including former Prime Ministers V.P. Singh and P.V. Narasimha Rao abroad during past nine years.
The affidavit filed in reply to a public interest writ has also listed the names of former ministers Arjun Singh, Capt Satish Sharma, B. Shankaranand, Sheila Kaul, P. Upendra, C.K. Jaffer Sherief, Sukh Ram, Ram Niwas Mirdha, Ajit Kumar Panja, Tarun Gogoi, former Congress president Sitaram Kesri and Congress leader Jaipal Reddy among the beneficiaries.
Quoting figures of the amount spent on each individual separately for medicines, treatment, hotel stay and air travel in foreign and Indian currency, the statement said nearly Rs 50 lakh were spent on Mr V.P. Singh on three occasions and over $ 65,000 on Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao on his first treatment abroad while figures for his second treatment were yet to be received.
The government spent over Rs 10 lakh on Mr Arjun Singh who underwent treatment twice, Rs 9.73 lakh and over $ 27,000 were spent on Mr Kesri, the affidavit said.
The PIL filed by Mr H.C. Gupta about two years ago sought an inquiry into the alleged misuse of public money by VIPs and bureaucrats for undergoing treatment abroad.
The affidavit said over Rs 11 lakh were spent on Union Minister K. Ramamurthy during 1991-92 when he was a Lok Sabha member while Congress leader Jaipal Reddy, the then Janata Dal MP, incurred an expense of about Rs 14 lakh.
It said BJP leader Sanjay Singh, Congress leader Sheila Kaul were given treatment worth Rs 4.03 lakh and over Rs 9 lakh, respectively, while an estimated over Rs 5 lakh was spent on Mr P. Upendera, the then TDP member.
The government spent Rs
56 lakh on the treatment of Mr Ajit Panja. It incurred an
expense of £ 1.07 lakh and Rs 4.74 lakh on Mr Jaffer
Sheriefs treatment and air travel abroad, inclusive
of the air fare of former G.B. Pant Hospital Director M.
Khalillulah who accompanied him to UK in 1995-96.
CPI firm on going it alone
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 (PTI) The CPI today stuck to its decision to go it alone in the nine Lok Sabha seats it was contesting in Bihar despite appeals from the RJD not to break the pact of "secular" parties.
"We are contesting on nine of the 54 seats in the state," CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan told reporters here, adding the policy of seeing that the BJP and the Samata Party were defeated would be pursued.
Although the RJD and the CPM were hopeful of arriving at an understanding with the CPI, which had decided to pull out of the seat-sharing arrangement, Mr Bardhan said he had not had any discussion on the matter with CPM leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet.
Asked if the CPI decision would affect the Left unity, he said "there is a whole country where there is Left unity and we are not opposing them."
Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has urged the CPI to keep the alliance of secular parties intact with the aim of defeating the BJP and its allies.
The CPI, which was offered three seats by RJD leader Laloo Prasad Yadav, has announced its candidates for nine seats in the state, including Ballia, a sitting seat of the RJD.
Mamata releases manifesto
CALCUTTA, Aug 26 (PTI) Taking a dig at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the Trinamool Congress today described Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as the "fittest" candidate for Prime Ministership and said only he could provide a stable government to the country.
In an obvious reference to Sonia Gandhi, the Trinamool Congress manifesto, released here by party chairperson Mamata Banerjee, said Mr Vajpayee did not read out prepared speeches. Apart from Mr Vajpayee there was no other leader who could lead the country, it said.
Unlike the NDA, the Trinamool Congress manifesto, however, did not have any reference to the foreigner issue and Ms Banerjee also declined to make any comment on it.
Asked if she considered Gandhi as a foreigner, Ms Banerjee said she did not have any comment on it. "I respect all", she told reporters.
Charging the Congress with creating political instability in the country by destabilising successive governments at the Centre, the party said despite many "conspiracies", Mr Vajpayee during his 13-month rule tried to provide stability.
The manifesto also dwelt
at length on the achievements of the Vajpayee Government
including the success of the Lahore bus journey, nuclear
test at Pokhran and tackling of the Kargil issue. Apart
from this, the implementation of the "Bengal
Package" also found a prominent place in the
Shyama Sinha, others file papers
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 (PTI) Shyama Sinha, daughter-in-law of former Bihar Chief Minister, S.N. Sinha, is among the candidates who filed their nominations today for the third phase of the Lok Sabha poll in 79 constituencies on September 18 spread over five states as a final picture for the second phase emerges tomorrow with the end of withdrawals.
Shyama Sinha, wife of former Delhi police Chief Nikhil Kumar, was among 18 candidates who filed their papers in Bihar for 19 parliamentary constituencies going to the polls in the first phase on September 18.
Other candidates who jumped into the fray include BJP member in the dissolved Lok Sabha from Godda, Jagadambi Prasad Yadav, Janata Dal (United) candidate, Arun Kumar Singh (Jehanabad) and Durga Soren, son of JMM (S) supremo Sibu Soren (Dumka).
Malhotra to file libel suit
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 The BJP candidate for the South Delhi parliamentary constituency, Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra, denied today that he had made any remarks about the religious identity of his Congress rival, Dr Manmohan Singh.
Prof Malhotra, said that he had never expressed doubts whether Dr Manmohan Singh was really a Sikh. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this fictitious allegation, he said.
Prof Malhotra said he would file a libel suit against the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr Subhash Chopra and South Delhi Congress candidate, Manmohan Singh for this unfounded and malicious charge against me.
The BJP candidate stated he had the highest respect for the Sikh Gurus.
Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP has demanded that officials on election duty should be given proper facilities to exercise their franchise.
The president of the
BJPs Delhi unit, Mr Mange Ram Garg, said there were
about one lakh officials on poll duty, including police
personnel, and they do not normally get adequate
opportunity to cast their vote due to one reason or the
CIA, Bin Laden factors in Kargil
NEW DELHI, Aug 25 (ADNI) The Kargil episode has highlighted Indias contention that the Kashmir insurgency is no longer being waged by indigenous Kashmiris but mercenaries of various Pakistan and Afghanistan-based terrorist organisations, instigated, trained and armed by the ISI.
Till then the international community only exhibited misgivings about the validity of this Indian contention writes a former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Mr B. Raman, in the latest issue of the quarterly journal of the United Service Institution of India (USI).
Western intelligence organisations, through their own independent inquiries, have identified the invading force in the Kargil sector as consisting of Pakistan-backed mercenaries of Afghan war vintage and with close links to Osama Bin Laden.
Also, most Western analysts have concluded that there has been a violation of the LoC by a Pakistani-backed invasion force and that the operation has all the hallmarks of an ISI operation and could not have been undertaken without the knowledge of the Pakistani Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif.
How did those intruders come to the Kargil-Drass-Batalik area? To answer this question, one has to go back to the first week of February when Mr Strobe Talbott, US Deputy Secretary of State, visited Islamabad for talks on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. He was accompanied by Mr Karl Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary of State, General Joseph Ralson, Vice-Chairman, the US Joint Chief of Staff, and a team of CIA and FBI officers handling the operation for the capture and extradition of Bin Laden.
On February 1, 1999, Maulvi Jalil Akhund, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Taliban Government was flown from Kandhar to Islamabad in a special ISI plane. Initially, he met Mr Sharif and his Foreign Minister, Mr Sartaj Aziz. Thereafter, Mr Inderfurth met Maulvi Akhund, at Mr Azizs house. Mr Inderfurth then went to Peshawar and met the moderate, anti-Taliban, Mujahideen leaders based there and sought their cooperation in tracing Bin Laden and his accomplices wanted by the FBI.
On March 2, Zafar Iqbal
of the Lashkar-e-Toiba told a press conference at
Muzzafarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir that his
organisation had invited Bin Laden to join the
freedom struggle in Kashmir. He added:
Osama is our erstwhile colleague. We have fought
jointly against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
TNCC disowns Lalits remarks
CHENNAI, Aug 26 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) today came down heavily on Mr Lalit Mohan Singh, a party functionary, for making a mischievous statement criticising AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha for her absence at the Villupuram rally addressed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on August 22.
In a statement here this evening, TNCC President Tindivanam K. Ramamurthee, said Mr Lalit Mohan Singh had made the statement yesterday on a subject on which he was not competent to speak. He had only tried to drive a wedge between the two parties.
He has no locus standi and does not represent the high command. He was only the former secretary of a forgotten wing of the party, Mr Ramamurthee said.
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 The Delhi Police has arrested scores of musclemen of Haryana who were allegedly brought by politicians to the Capital to campaign during the Lok Sabha election.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Udai Sahay said that all vehicles bearing registration numbers of Haryana are being thoroughly checked and suspected persons are being interrogated. This exercise has been going on for five days.
Businessman beaten up by youths
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 The Delhi Police is yet to arrest the persons who allegedly beat up a Karnal businessman, Mr Rajinder Singh and his nephew, Mr Jaspreet, yesterday at Pitampura in North-West Delhi while he was on his way to meet a business client.
Mr Rajinder Singh had come to the Capital two days ago to visit his sister.
Mr Singh was going to meet his business client in his white Maruti car with his nephew when four youths stopped his car at Ring Road near Pitampura in North-West Delhi and started beating him and his nephew with hockey sticks and demanding that he give them Rs 1 crore.
The youths abducted the businessman and his nephew in their car and took them to Azadpur Sabzi Mandi.
The businessman told the police the boys took us to Sabzi Mandi where they asked me for Rs 1 crore. I kept telling them that I was not from the town and I had no idea what they were talking about. But they kept beating me.
He was beaten up with the hockey sticks for two hours, the police said.
He said they picked me up at 12 noon and released me after 2 p.m. that too when their leader came and told them that I was not the man they were after.
The victims right eye is swollen shut. He has a broken arm and bruises all over his body.
Mr Singh has an agency in Karnal of Derby Beer of Rajasthan Breweries and had planned to meet the owners of a few liquor vends in Delhi.
He said that he had
given the names of four suspects and the number of one of
the cars which was used by the abductors to the police.
The youths are reported to be commission agents working
at Azadpur Sabzi Mandi
Synthetic polymers as
NEW DELHI, Aug 26 In a major breakthrough in pharmacology, the scientists at the Delhi University have developed the smallest synthetic polymer particle that can courier drugs to just the right sites of the body.
The polymer particles in the size of 10 to 100 nanometres developed by four scientists after three years of experiments, would carry the drugs to those parts which have so far been difficult for the conventional drugs to reach. Even the quantity of the drug would also be reduced if the animal and human experiments prove successful.
The polymer substance developed by Delhi University chemistry Professor Amarnath Maitra, research scholars Sanjeeb Sahoo and Tapas K De along with polymer chemist Prof P.K. Ghosh (Advisor, Department of Biotechnology) has been granted US patent for their work.
The US patent certificate 5874111 dated Feb 23, 1999 has been awarded for the process for the preparation of highly nano dispersed polymeric hydrophilic nano particles.
However, these research scholars have been waiting for the Indias process patent for the past two years.
The drug delivery system
has been licensed by the patent holders to the leading
Ayurvedic manufacturer, Dabur India Ltd. The researchers
published their breakthrough development in Journal of
|Over 100 fake advocates
CHENNAI: More than 100 of the 650 advocates practising at Nagercoil were doing so with fake certificates according to a survey done by the Nagercoil Advocates Association, Mr M. Subramaniam, General Secretary of the All-India Lawyers Union, Tamil Nadu unit, has said. In a statement here, he said the certificates of five advocates, who had claimed to have passed out from Bangalore University, were found to be fake. UNI
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