|N A T I O N|
Country facing serious
threat, says Advani
|AP parties woo film stars
HYDERABAD, June 27 As poll fever steadily grips Andhra Pradesh, the main contenders for power are vying with one another to add a touch of glamour to their campaign by roping in film stars and embarking on production of films with strong political message.
Pak can be hauled up for war
EC thinking of deploying NCC
Seminar on torture, human rights
2 die in building collapse
Country facing serious threat, says Advani
AHMEDABAD, June 27 (PTI, UNI) Union Home Minister L.K. Advani today said though grave external threat being faced by India which was sufficient ground for clamping Emergency in the country, the Centre had desisted from doing so unlike the Congress which had declared Emergency in 1975 to "serve its vested interests."
Addressing a convention organised by the doctors cell of the BJP here, Mr Advani said: "The threat being faced by the country is very serious and there is a need for us to visualise and analyse the kind of security problems Pakistan can create for us. The prevailing situation qualifies imposition of Emergency and there is no need to even bring in any fresh Act for this."
The Home Minister said the Kargil conflict had generated an unprecedented wave of patriotism in the country and the people were angry at Pakistan's "treachery" after India's sincere efforts for peace and friendship.
He said the first
historic blunder in independent India was to stop our
Army's action in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 and accept
ceasefire at the instance of Lord Mountbatten under the
aegis of the United Nations. "It was our misfortune
that Lord Mountbatten persuaded Pandit Nehru to take the
case to the United Nations", he added.
Lt Colonel Vijayaraghavan cremated
CHENNAI, June 27 (UNI) The mortal remains of Lt Colonel Nataraj Vijayaraghavan, who was killed in the recent battle against Pak infiltrators at the Kupwara sector in Kashmir, was cremated with full military honours at the Madambakkam cremation ground in Suburban Tambaram this afternoon.
Top officials from the Army, Air Force and Navy, and hundreds of people were present at the funeral.
Nine year-old son Avinash assisted by relatives of Lt Col Vijayaraghavan lit the funeral pyre. Vijayaraghavan father Brigadier N. Vijayaraghavan, who himself had served at Kargil from 1976 to 1978, his mother and wife Subhadra, were also present.
Earlier , the military gun carriage carrying the mortal remains of the martyr were brought to the crematorium from Brig Vijayaraghavans house.
Chennai Mayor M.K.Stalin was among those who placed wreaths on the body of Lt Col Vijayaraghavan.
Should the poll be put off?
NEW DELHI, June 27 (PTI) With the battle of bullets in Kargil showing few signs of receding, questions have been raised about whether it would be possible to hold the Lok Sabha poll on schedule and if its advisable to do so.
Opinion is sharply divided over whether the poll can be deferred by imposing internal Emergency and whether the situation merits postponement at all.
While Mr Ved Marwah, former adviser to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, says elections should be put on hold till the Army clears the Kargil heights of Pakistani intruders, Prof C.P. Bhambri of Jawaharlal Nehru University says postponing elections will be construed as a sign of Indias weakness in the international community.
By doing so, Pakistani designs of showing that the Indian democracy is fragile and that the country has been shaken by it will be achieved, says Prof Bhambri, noting that it would also have an adverse multiplier impact within the country.
Evicting aggression should be the top priority for the country, says Dr S.C. Kashyap, former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha, taking strong exception to the debate over the poll.
According to Mr Kashyap, the new government must be in place by October 21 and the Constitution is categorical about it. He suggests changing the rules to reduce the campaigning period or staggering the elections to see that the country does not face another constitutional crisis.
The war in Kargil, notes Dr Ajay Mehra of the Centre for Policy Research, has serious repercussions on the deployment of security forces, as paramilitary forces, which are deployed for smooth conduct of the elections, form the second line of defence.
This is a practical military problem that the nation could face unless tranquillity is there on that front... Apart from that I dont think there should be any constraint in changing the poll schedule, says Dr Mehra, noting that in times of international conflict, the poll become a question mark.
Although Prof Bhambri notes that under Article 352 a state of internal Emergency could help defer the poll by another six months, he cautions that such an action would imply already accepting defeat.
While the Chief Election Commissioner has himself said that Indian democracy is far too strong to be shaken off balance by the developments in Kargil, the Home Secretary has admitted to inadequate force availability given the trouble in other parts of the country.
However, he too has said that the difficulties would be overcome.
Mr Marwah, who is also among the advisers to the National Security Council, says Pakistani designs are much beyond the intrusion in Kargil.
Citing instances of subversive activities ascribed to Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), he says the need of the hour is to ensure that every cop in the country is alert towards internal security.
In view of this, there are already suggestions for staggering the poll, both Prof Bhambri and Kashyap point out that even in the past, Lok Sabhas have been constituted without holding of the Elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and even Assam.
Both are of the view that the commission is empowered to reduce the campaign period. Going a step further, Mr Bhambri suggests making the rules of the game strict so that the elections are countermanded in constituencies witnessing poll violence.
Many army officials are also of the view that if the situation does not improve by August end, by when the notification should be issued, the poll should be deferred.
What are the constitutional provisions in this regard? Experts again seem to be divided in their interpretation of the rule book.
Poll battle on celluloid
HYDERABAD, June 27 (PTI) As poll fever steadily grips Andhra Pradesh, the main contenders for power are vying with one another to add a touch of glamour to their campaign by roping in film stars and embarking on production of films with strong political message.
Popular actor Suman and star of yesteryears Jayasudha had joined the ruling Telugu Desam recently while veteran actress S.Janaki and actor-director Bhanuchander were roped in by the BJP.
A star-studded campaign appears to be on cards in view of high political stakes with the possibility of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly.
The TDP was banking on a plethora of short films and documentaries, produced under the series Swarna Andhra Pradesh, highlighting developmental programmes like Janmabhoomi, self-help groups and welfare schemes for the weaker sections. An autonomous electronics media division, headed by renowned film director K.Raghavendra Rao, has been created for the purpose.
We pioneered the use of electronic media to reach out to masses as far back as 1982. We will use audio and video cassettes besides short films to enhance our image in the coming polls, TDP sources said.
Meanwhile, Anna TDP, launched by NTRs son N.Harikrishna, is planning to make a full length feature film with Harikrishna, himself an actor, in the lead role to resurrect NTRs image.
Film star and expelled TDP MP Mohanbabu, who recently met the state Congress chief and pledged his support to the party, had also indicated that he would make a film to expose the hi-tech corruption and misdeeds of the Chandrababu Naidu government.
Main opposition party, the Congress, stirred a controversy recently when it engaged a team to videograph the properties owned by the Chief Minister and his family members. While the ruling party dubbed the move as an invasion of privacy, the Congress vowed to go ahead with its plans to document the ill-gotten wealth.
The Congress is also reportedly making efforts to produce a satirical film to expose what it called the omissions and commissions of the TDP government.
The Socialist Mahajan Front, floated recently by Dalit groups and some social organisations, has also unveiled plans to make a full length feature film depicting the oppression of Dalit movements.
The TDP, Anna TDP and NTR TDP (headed by NTRs widow Lakshmi Parvathi) are likely to be engaged in a celluloid battle in their efforts to claim exclusive inheritance of NTRs political legacy.
The advent of Telugu Desam Party on the states political firmament has heralded a fusion between celluloid glamour and politics, so much so that all the parties now have a fair sprinkling of film stars.
The TDPs women wing is headed by Jayaprada who is also a member of the Rajya Sabha while popular comedian Babu Mohan is representing the party in the Assembly from Andol constituency.
The BJP has, in its
kitty, rebel star Krishnamraju, who was
elected to the Lok Sabha from Kakinada constituency in
the last elections. The TDPs nominees from the
tinsel world T.Sarada and Satyanarayana
were, however, defeated.
Prophets birthday celebrated
NEW DELHI, June 27 (UNI, PTI) Special prayers and religious discourses marked Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Mohammad, celebrated all over the country today.
Religious and social organisations offered food for the poor at various places. Masjids across the country were tastefully illuminated last night.
About three lakh people from different parts of the Kashmir valley visited the holy Hazratbal shrine on the bank of the famed Dal Lake. Since last evening devotees thronged the mosque to get a glimpse of the holy relic of Prophet Mohammad after each session of prayers.
Reports of celebration were received from other parts of the valley as well.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor GC Saxena and Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah greeted people on the occasion.
In Hyderabad, at the historic Mecca Masjid near Charminar, the relics of the Prophet were exhibited for the benefit of devotees. Governor C. Rangarajan and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu greeted the people on the occasion.
Maharashtra Governor PC Alexander, while conveying greetings, called upon people of the state to rededicate the values of love righteousness and justice as preached by the prophet.
Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Hazrat Mohammad was celebrated in Gujarat today with religious fervour. A huge procession was taken out by Muslims from the Jamamlpur area to the Mirzapur area in the heart of Ahmedabad.
Milad-un-Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad, was celebrated by the Muslim community all over West Bengal amid prayers, seminars and discourses. Extending his greetings on the occasion State Governor Shyamal Kumar Sen in Calcutta reminded the people of the preachings of Prophet Mohammad.
Muslims all over Tamil
Nadu today celebrated Milad-un-Nabi, birthday of Prophet
Mohammad with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, in Chennai, the Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammad
Abdul Ali, celebrated the Prophets birthday in
keeping with the centuries-old tradition at his official
residence, Amir Mahal.
Pak can be hauled up for war crimes
NEW DELHI, June 27 (PTI) Experts on international law suggest that, Pakistan could be hauled up before a war crimes tribunal for violating "the Geneva convention" and other global laws by torturing and killing Indian soldiers in captivity.
"It is a clear and blatant violation of the international law and Geneva convention", says Dr Rahmatullah Khan, Professor of international law, at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here. He condemned the killing of Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja, Lt Sourav Kalia and five other army personnel in Pakistan army's captivity.
Calling for a proactive approach rather than merely being reactive to Pakistani aggression, Dr Rahmatullah Khan says India should go to the United Nations Security Council and have it referred for a full scale investigation.
Agreeing with him, Dr Rajiv Nayan of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), says India should take up the issue with the world bodies concerned so that the world knows of the "true picture" of the Pakistani ruling elite and the ideology it is pursuing to guide its domestic as well as foreign policy.
Accusing Pakistan of involvement in war crimes, a senior army official says, in the past three wars Islamabad has established that they never respect the Geneva convention.
Calling for proper documentation of the latest cases of torture and mutilation to present them at the international fora, he says, Pakistan should be convicted for its involvement in war crimes.
"It can be safely ascertained that Pakistan is not a country which the comity of nations can trust," says Dr Rajiv Nayan.
The mutilated bodies of Lt Kalia and five other soldiers 4 Jat Regiment were handed over on June 9 by the Pakistani army in the Kargil sector.
"This is an outrageous act and a violation of the international conventions," an Army spokesman had said immediately after the bodies were received by India.
"This is a clear violation of the Geneva convention, relating to the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs)", says Prof B.S. Chimni of the School of International Studies at the JNU.
Article One of the convention says: "The high contracting parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present convention in all circumstances".
While strictly debarring the countries from torturing or mutilating any PoW, Article 3 says "In the case of armed conflict... each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply as a minimum the following provisions."
"... members of armed forces... shall in all circumstances be treated humanly without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion, faith, sex, birth or wealth or any other similar criteria."
It also prohibits "Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture."
"Even in the 1971 war there were a large number of cases where the mutilated bodies of Indian soldiers were thrown into the Indian side," says a war veteran.
He cites cases where the Pakistani army had not spared even the civilians. They had brutally tortured and killed them during the freedom struggle of Bangladesh.
The Pakistan Government has the legal obligation to punish those involved in the cases of mutilation and killing, says Prof Chimni.
Article 121 of the General Protection of PoWs says, "every death or serious injury of a PoW... shall be immediately followed by an official inquiry by the detaining power.
"A communication on this subject shall be sent immediately to the protecting power.
"If the inquiry indicates the guilt of one or more persons, the detaining power shall take all measures for prosecution of the person or persons responsible."
EC thinking of deploying NCC
NEW DELHI, June 27 (PTI) The Election Commission is considering deploying National Cadets Corps (NCC) and retired police and army personnel to manage law and order during the coming Lok Sabha polls in view of the strain on paramilitary forces on account of the Kargil conflict.
Large chunks of paramilitary forces have been deployed along the borders.
The idea for the new experiment, which will be in addition to paramilitary forces and existing law and order machinery in the states, has been mooted by Election Commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy and is likely to be considered by the commission soon.
Deployment of NCC cadets, who constitute a very large number in college and university students, for the smooth conduct of polls would supplement the efforts of paramilitary forces in states having international borders, he told PTI.
He said the young and energetic NCC cadets would be more willing and enthusiastic in participating in the democratic exercise.
Mr Krishnamurthy also suggested deployment of retired police and army personnel in the poll exercise in view of a large number of paramilitary forces engaged in guarding international borders.
As part of the poll
exercise, he said the commission in the previous
elections had always ordered sealing of borders to thwart
the designs of criminal elements from across neighbouring
countries from sabotaging the poll process directly or
Seminar on torture, human rights
NEW DELHI, June 27 "It is better for a wounded soldier to die a martyr in the battlefield than to die due to medical negligence," said senior counsel Meera Bhatia while speaking at a seminar on "Torture and Human Rights" here yesterday.
The seminar was organised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on the occasion of the United Nations International Day in support of the victims of torture.
The counsel said the doctors duty begins when torture ends. She said soldiers who returned wounded and burnt from the battlefield did not get the best treatment in hospitals due to lack of facilities. "This is also torture in his own country," she said.
Dwelling upon various forms of torture, Ms Bhatia said the IMA could do a lot by issuing a circular on maintaining certain standards in treatment. Hospitals should be asked to maintain a minimum standard in hygiene. They should not be allowed to play with human lives.
The seminar is also meant to be a re-orientation course for 40 doctors who have received special counselling on torture, according to the IMA General Secretary, Dr Prem Aggarwal.
Dr Sudarshan Vaid, convenor of the seminar, said sensitisation of the medical community was an indispensable part of the human rights campaign.
Apart from suggesting
amendments to the protection of Human Rights Act, 1993,
Dr Vaid proposed other measures for protecting human
rights. He appealed to doctors to send complaints of
human rights violations by public servants and security
forces to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and
the Human Rights Cell at the IMA Headquarters.
2 die in building collapse
NEW DELHI, June 27 Two persons were killed in building collapse in two different incidents in the Capital today.
In the first incident, one person was killed and several others sustained injuries when a lintel being constructed at a temple complex in Outram Line in North-West Delhi collapsed.
At the time of the incident, labourers were setting up the lintel at Hari Mandir. While Delhi Fire Service personnel managed to rescue the victims, one labourer succumbed to his injuries. The injured labourers have been admitted at Hindu Rao hospital.
In the second incident,
a 45-year-old man was killed and his two children
injured, one of them seriously, when the roof of their
rented house collapsed in the Krishna Nagar area of East
Delhi this afternoon, the police said.
|2 killed, 5 hurt as bomb
DHAR: Two persons were killed and five injured in an explosion at Parwatpura village, about 35 km from here, when they were trying to extract iron and brass from an unexploded bomb on Saturday. The district Superintendent of Police said on Sunday that the victims, belonging to a family, had found the bomb at proof range at the army cantonment at Mhow. The bomb exploded following repeated hammering, he added. PTI
2 kids burnt alive
award for 4
Taj entry fee
for foreigners hiked
Ban on Pak TV
3 killed in wall
NHRC notice on
habits of CPM cadre
panchayats financial need
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