|N A T I O N|
Clashes mar immersion, 20
Mumbai: One of the largest Ganesh idols being taken in procession for immersion after a 12-day-long festival. A battle tank lookalike showered flowers on Lord Ganesh in South-Central Mumbai on Friday. PTI photo
Repolling in Nawada booths on Oct
UK reform priorities
relevant to India
Traffic cops to launch drive
Retrieve funds from IGNCAC, says
Vote for mazboot, not
majboor govt: PM
HC notices to BCCI, Prasar Bharati
Clashes mar immersion, 20 hurt
HYDERABAD, Sept 24 (UNI) The police fired 12 rounds in the air at different places in the city to disperse clashing groups during the Ganesh immersion procession to the historic Charminar.
Twenty persons, including Additional Commissioner of Police K. Aravinda Rao and four other police personnel, were injured in stone throwing by groups belonging to different communities.
Tension prevailed in the area for some time. The police said the situation was brought under control as the procession started after 90 minutes.
The police lobbed teargas shells around the Charminar area as the situation became tense.
The procession was stopped 1 km away from the Charminar to allow peaceful Friday prayers at the famous Macca Masjid, the police said.
Soon after the prayers, miscreants starting throwing stones on the processionists who retaliated. The clash lasted nearly 30 minutes, in which 20 persons, including the five police personnel, were injured.
The police opened fire in the air to disperse the mob.
Thousands of people
participated in the procession, which began amid tight
security this morning, carrying the idols of the
elephant-headed god in flower-bedecked lorries and other
vehicles to Hussain Sagar Lake.
PM lied about sugar import:
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 The Congress today pressed further charges regarding sugar import, alleging that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, had lied by denying imports from Pakistan after February and suggested he step down.
Quoting official statistics, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said the BJP-led government had imported 56,295 tonnes of sugar from Pakistan paying Rs 54.32 crore between April and June this year while in 1998-99 the import was to the tune of 1.18 lakh tonne worth Rs 160 crore.
The party said compared to this, not a grain of sugar was imported from Pakistan during April 1997, and January 1998, when the United Front government was in power.
Mr Vajpayee should tell the nation why he was buying sugar from Mr Nawaz Sharif with such a dedicated and single-minded frenzy, the Congress said.
Mr Sibal said his party had given incontrovertible evidence which not only proves the sugargate charges, but also makes a mockery of Mr Vajpayees pathetic attempt to lie to the Indian public.
The party also said Food Minister Mr Surjit Singh Barnalas suggestion for raising import duty on sugar to 40 per cent was ignored and a notification of the ministry to regulate the release of imported sugar in market was also not implemented.
Mr Sibal also challenged the claim of the BJP-led government that the foreign exchange reserves had grown during its regime.
He said the total forex
reserve in the treasury on June 30, 1998, was $ 23.98
billion which went up to $ 6.58 billion increase, he
said, $ 4.23 billion was from Resurgent India Bonds
borrowing that carries an annual liability of 8.5 per
It's 'bakwas', says Priyanka
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (PTI) Mrs Priyanka Gandhi has said it would have been "too hypocritical" for her mother Sonia Gandhi to have acquired Indian citizenship soon after her marriage.
"If she (Sonia) had acquired Indian citizenship the day she married, then it would have been too hypocritical. It takes time, say two to four years, to take things to your heart. Everything was new to her, new people, new traditions," she said in an interview to Aaj Ki Baat on Star TV.
"All this talk of she is a traitor. She is this and that, everything is bakwas. Of course, citizenship is a document, but what you have in your heart is entirely different. About her heart, I can say, she is Hindustani from all angles".
Asked whether she would prefer a desi or a videshi sister-in-law as her brother Rahuls wife, Ms Priyanka said: "She may be Indian or from outside we will love her. If Rahul loves her, we will too".
To a question on her husband Robert Vadras interest in politics, Mrs Priyanka said: "He is happy with his business .....".
She said her grandmother Indira Gandhi had influenced her the most in the post-Emergency days. Her assassination, she said, "was a shock to me. To Soniaji ..... since 1984, we knew something like this will happen to our father too. In a sense we were prepared for it".
Repolling in Nawada booths on Oct 3
PATNA, Sept 24 (UNI) Bihar is the only state in the country where the Election Commission has ordered a fresh repoll in two booths in the Nawada Lok Sabha constituency which had repolling on September 21 following complaints of malpractices in the first phase of elections on September 18.
The commission today ordered the repolling on October 3 following recommendations from its secretary Mr K.J. Rao, who personally probed the incident. He, however, ruled out the demand for similar repolling in three other booths.
DD exit poll today
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (UNI) Doordarshan (DD) will telecast an exit poll tomorrow at the end of the fourth phase of voting in the Lok Sabha elections.
The poll will be telecast from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. on the national network on DD-1 and the Doordarshan news channels simultaneously. This will be repeated from 11 p.m. on the same channels.
UK reform priorities
relevant to India
New Delhi, Sept 24 The modernisation and reform priorities in the UK have significant relevance to India, the British High Commissioner, Sir Rob Young, said here today.
Much of what I say may strike a chord or two in India as it grapples with some not dissimilar problems - though on a far larger scale, hevsaid while delivering a talk on: A Mandate to Modernise: Reforming the United Kingdom.
For democracy to mature, some power should devolve to different centres, giving people a more direct voice in the government, he said.
The British High Commissioner said devolution in practice would not mean independence nor would it mean federation but would be designed to meet legitimate aspirations for enhanced regional powers and accountability, reflecting traditional political relationships with the centre.
Sir Rob Young said the British governments white paper on modernisation, the civil service reform and a local Government Bill (being discussed in Parliament) was aimed at improving local democracy.
The civil service reform that began in 1988 and continued with Citizens Chapter in the early 90s focussed on the need to provide the best possible service to customers and the public.
Major programmes of contracting out, privatisation and market testing were launched. The latter produced the recommendation that savings of the order of the 20 per cent or more could be routinely achieved through market testing and greater efficiency, he said.
The challenge faced by the civil service at the moment was a renewed drive to look at some of the most difficult areas of social policy such as the worst housing estates, rough sleepers and teenage parenthood. Policies had to be devised which would be effective in bringing about improvements.
There is now a
clear and renewed focus on the importance of service
delivery. The government has set very clearly its
priorities, stressing on health and education. Every
department across government has entered a public service
agreement, specifying the targets and outputs which it is
committed to delivering and has to ensure that it has
policies in place which will actually deliver on the
ground the results which are wanted, he said.
Traffic cops to launch drive
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 Numberplates of motor vehicles written in Hindi is a violation of traffic rules, Commissioner of Delhi Police Ajai Raj Sharma said here today.
People would be asked to change the numberplates of their vehicles during a 10-day drive to be launched from tomorrow. They would also be educated about the traffic rules in the Capital.
While addressing a conference the Commissioner said the drive would start from selected areas that is called zero tolerance zone which include Outer Ring Road from Savitri to IIT Chowk, Lajwanti Chowk, Punjabi Bagh, Delhi Gate, Shanti Van, Madhuban, Sardar Patel Marg, NOIDA `T-Point, ISBT, Anand Vihar and Shyam Lal College.
The police has also selected 10 arterial roads for removal of encroachments which includes important roads as Aurobindo Marg and Vikas Marg, Pushta Road in East Delhi and PUSA road.
The main feature of the drive is to educate the vehicle drivers who come from outside. Over three million vehicles are there in the city. An additional five lakh vehicles come to the Capital everyday, the Commissioner said.
To make the drive a success, the Commissioner of Police said the traffic police which has a total of 3,000 personnel has been given an additional force of 1,500 personnel. Beside this, help will also be taken from various schoolchildren.
The police will distribute pamphlets and other educational material at the borders and people will also be educated on how to drive safely.
The traffic personnel
will be at the zero tolerance zone during
early morning and late night hours. During these times
people indulge in rash driving as there are no traffic
personnel on the roads, the Commissioner said.
Human clones now possible
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (UNI) Two years after scientists cloned an animal sheep Dolly a technique has been devised to develop human clones wherein donor eggs containing the nucleus from a prospective mother could, after fertilisation, be carried by surrogate mothers to create children.
The technique, developed by scientists in the USA, will give infertile women the chance to become mothers of children having their own genetic structure, something which is not possible in the case of egg donation.
The technology would also enable women over 50, who have attained the stage of menopause and are normally not likely to bear children, to become genetic mothers, says a report in The Times, London.
In course of the research, Dr Zev Rosenwaks, who has pioneered the method with a team from the Cornell Medical Centre, New York, removed the nucleus of an immature egg cell from the donor and replaced it by a cell nucleus from a prospective genetic mother.
Once the reconstituted egg reached a level of maturity, it was fertilised and then incubated in the womb of a surrogate mother.
In the first batch of reconstituted human eggs, six were capable of maturing. In previous experiments involving 35 mice eggs, almost half matured.
The researchers also found that they could reprogramme the DNA genetic blueprint from any living cell in a womans body to make it behave like an unfertilised egg.
Retrieve funds from IGNCAC, says
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 A day after the Delhi High Court gave permission to the government to take action against the conversion of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and Culture (IGNCAC) into a private trust, the BJP today demanded that the government take immediate action to retrieve public funds and land allotted to the trust.
Party spokesman M Venkaiah Naidu said here the government largesse, at the cost of tax payers, had been provided to a public trust and since it was no longer a public trust but a private enterorise run by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, there was no reason why it should be allowed to retain public funds and public land.
The trust was set up in 1987 with the government providing a grant of Rs 50 crore as seed capital and Rs 84 crore as building fund. The trust was allotted 23 acres of prime land. In 1995, when Mrs Gandhi was President of the trust, the original deed was amended as a result of which the public trust was converted into a private trust with control vested with Mrs Gandhi. Mrs Gandhi became life president and the other trustees became life trustees and the President of Indias power to appoint a committee to look after the activities of the trust was done away with, he said.
He said the BJP-led government after coming to power had written several letters to the trust seeking details, but none of the letters was answered.
He said the IGNCAC was one of te three institutions Mrs Gandhi had taken into control. The other two were Nehru Memorial Library and the Jawahar Bhavan, land for which had been allocated to house the AICC headquarters.
Mr Naidu demanded that a
full-fledged inquiry be instituted to fix responsibility
for the fraud by which public property of
such enormous value and a government trust had been
unsurped and placed in the private control of
Vote for mazboot, not majboor govt: PM
BAHRAICH, Sept 24 (UNI) The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today said the people should decide whether they wanted a mazboot (strong) government or a majboor (weak) government as desired by the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Addressing an election meeting in support of BJP candidate, Mr Padmsen Chaudhry at Government Inter College here, the Prime Minister said those who were claiming to form a third front had lost their base among the masses and were not united. Therefore, vote for such candidates would go waste, he said.
Lashing out at the Congress, Mr Vajpayee said the party had forced frequent elections on the nation while the alliance government led by the BJP wanted to save people from this unnecessary exercise and take the country on the path of development.
Mr Vajpayee said his party never considered Muslims just as a vote bank but as humans and equal citizens of this country and if voted to power, the BJP would take up concrete programmes for the welfare of the countrys minorities.
He said the Kargil
victory had enhanced Indias prestige in the
international arena. Pointing out that one-third of
Kashmir was still occupied by Pakistan, the Prime
Minister said the land won by the country in the previous
wars was lost through a pact, but such a thing did not
happen in case of the Kargil conflict this time.
HC notices to BCCI, Prasar Bharati
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (PTI) The High Court today issued notices to Prasar Bharati and the cricket board on a petition seeking the quashing of an agreement between them for telecast of all cricket matches during the next five years by Doordarshan (DD) on the ground that the board did not call any competitive bid.
A Division Bench comprising Mr Chief Justice S.N. Variava and Mr justice S.K. Mahajan directed Prasar Bharati and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to file their replies by October 26. The agreement was challenged by non-governmental organisation Grahak Panchayat (GP).
Meanwhile, a single
Bench of Mr Justice C.M. Nayar also issued notices to the
Centre, Prasar Bharati and DD on another petition by
Radiant Sports and Entertainment (RSE) challenging
DDs reported agreement with Worldtel for withdrawal
of a case from the court regarding the 1996 cricket world
cup telecast under which Worldtel had awarded the
contract to Star TV at the last moment.
|TV actor held for drug
NEW DELHI: An actor who played a role in the TV serial, Chandra Kanta was arrested by the policeon Friday on charges of drug peddling. The suspect, Mohammad Aslam, played the role of Kroor Singh in the serial, the police said. It said that Aslam was a member of the All-India Crime Reforms Organisation and allegedly had connections with drug mafias. He belonged to a village in district Badaun in Uttar Pradesh and he had come to the Capital allegedly to supply 500 gm heroin to drug peddlers. FOC
Jaya Jaitly, 2 others
10 cops get cash
Delhi Govt to
give millennium award
debate on Bill
Punjab set up board
Hooch claims two
lives, six held
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