|Saturday, January 8, 2000,
Keep SC, ST quota out of
Heady event for serious viewers
Hearing on PILs on Sri
Krishna report adjourned
Many ultras freed to save hostages
Gujarat Govt move on
More rail facilities mooted for HP
Delhi police sans anti-terrorist
Sarna flays Hit
Aviation force by year-end
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 In the aftermath of the Kathmandu-Kandahar hijacking imbroglio, the government is toying with the idea of setting up a specialised "aviation security force" which would be an umbrella organisation for all security agencies involved in the exercise at the airports around the country.
Senior Home Ministry officials have already held a series of meetings with officials of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCS) on the issue and a tentative report on the setting up such a force was likely to be presented to the government in the next 90 days. A special task force has been set up for this purpose, which would present its report after going through the civil aviation security structures in various countries.
As per reports, the task force has been set up under the Commissioner BCS, Mr V. Aivalli.
Although the government has taken the initial step of deploying National Security Guards (NSG) commandos on the domestic airliner, but as per the proposal the job of maintaining security at the airports and in the airlines would eventually be that of this specialised "aviation security force".
Sources in the Civil Aviation Ministry said that the aviation security force was likely to be in its place by the year-end.
Reports said that although the proposal for the setting up of a specialised force only for civil aviation had been in the pipeline for long, but there had been a lack of political will on this front. However, in the aftermath of the IC 814 hijacking and the media attention the incident attracted, the government has apparently decided to act on the proposal.
At present there are 66 operational airports around the country of which 13 have been identified as hyper-sensitive by the agencies involved in the security at the airports. However, the BCS has pointed out in its proposal that there was a total lack of coordination in the various agencies posted at the airports and that there was no accountability of any sort.
The agencies at work on the airports include the local police, Customs, Airport Authority of India, DGCA, Intelligence Bureau and also the BCS. However, the officials of each of these agencies were only accountable to their seniors from the force and there was not a coordinated effort on the security front.
It is expected that all agencies would be merged into the aviation security force with the purpose of a coordinated effort and fixing responsibility and accountability. Possibly, the commandos or the sky marshals as they were being called, picked up specially to be deployed on the flights, would also come under this force.
Keep SC, ST quota out of
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 A delegation of legislators and parliamentarians from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir today urged the Prime Minister to keep the SC and ST reservation policy out of purview of courts and include it in the 9th Schedule of Indian Constitution.
The delegation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Ministers and MPs led by the Punjab Assembly Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, met the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, in connection with the judgement of Janjua case on reservation issue here today.
They also urged since the Centre had started the trend to convert public sector enterprises into private sector, the units which are receiving financial assistance from respective state governments may be directed to enforce reservation policy as adopted by the government.
The delegation suggested that the Centre should also enforce the reservation policy in higher judiciary so that members of these communities could be selected for such services through competition.
It also thanked the Prime Minister for the efforts in extending the reservation period of SC and ST in Parliament and state legislatures which was passed by Parliament recently.
In order to ensure enforcement of complete reservation in central and state government services, they suggested enactment of a law, providing therein specific penal clause as a deterrent for those who do not implement reservation policy.
The delegation consisted of the Punjab Ministers, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Mr Sawran Singh Phillaur, Mr Swarna Ram and Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla.
Mr Ishwar Dass Dhiman,
Mr Roop Dass Kashyap, Mr Chet Ram Negi from Himachal
Pradesh, Mr Ram Pal and Mr Sushil Kumar from Jammu and
Kashmir and MPs Dr Sushil Kumar Indora and a former Union
Minister, Mr Chand Ram, were also accompanied in the
Hearing on PILs on Sri Krishna
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 The Supreme Court today adjourned the hearing for six weeks on a batch of petitions filed in public interest seeking implementation of recommendations of Sri Krishna Commission in the report on Bombay riots which followed serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.
The Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Dr A.S. Anand, Mr Justice R.C. Lahoti and Mr Justice N Santosh Hegde adjourned the matter when one of the petitioners insisted that the action taken report tabled in the state Assembly and its decision rejecting the recommendations should first be quashed.
The report was submitted by the commission on February 16, 1998, when Mr Manohar Joshi was Chief Minister of the state.
Counsel for the State of
Maharashtra conveyed to the court that the government was
willing to refer the report for further investigation by
agencies and initiate prosecution as per the law against
the persons named.
Heady event for serious
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 The 31st International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2000), due to open on January 10, the first cine bonanza of the millennium anywhere, promises to be a heady event for serious viewers. Several entries in the Cinema of the World, the Indian Panorama and the retrospective of Roberto Rossellini will not let the festival slip into tameness.
The competition section, as before, will be confined to the films from Asia with 15 films competing for Golden Peacock and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh rupees. There will be two more awards in the form of Silver Peacocks for the most promising Asian director and for the most promising individual contribution. Both carry a cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh each. Indias maestro Mrinal Sen will head the jury.
Besides Rossellinis 12-film retrospective that includes "India", made by the Italian master on Pt Jawaharlal Nehrus bidding, there will be a six-film retrospective of the Russian film maker Karen Shakhnazarov, including his latest "The Day of Full Moon". With five films of different directors in the perspective on China, in addition to Chen Kaiges three, and the Life Time Achievement Award to Lester James Peries from Sri Lanka, it is now clear that the accent is more on areas where good cinema is being made.
The 10-day ceaseless unspooling of the celluloid magic will begin with the Cuban director Fernando Perezs "Life is to Whistle" and close with Argentinas Fernando Solanas (renowned for his films of political/radical content) latest offering The Cloud. The films likely to attract serious cinema buffs will be "The Emperor and the Assassin" (Chen Kaige), "Juha" (Aki Kaurismaki), "Joan of Arc" (Luc Besson), "Sunshine" (Istvan Szabo), "The Lords Lantern in Budapest" (Miklos Jancso). Besides, Spanish ace film maker Carlos Sauras latest film "Tango" and Irans Abbas Kiarostamis "The Wind Will Carry Us" will make the world cinema section bit more rewarding experience. Interestingly, this section has been purged of the usual Hollywood stuff packed so far to increase the number of entries in this section.
The Indian Panorama has films by such celebrities as Shyam Benegal ("Samar"), Girish Karnad ("Kapooru Heggadithi"), Amol Palekar ("Kairee"), Jahnu Barua ("Pokhi") and Saji N. Karun ("Vaanaprastham"). This section also has "Shaheed Udham Singh", the Punjabi film and the popular Hindi hit "Hum Dil De Chukhe Sanam". There is a separate section of the mainstream Hindi cinema.
To add glitz and
glamour, atleast at the time of inauguration, the
organisers have roped in Karisma Kapoor to assist the
well-known Bengali actor of yesteryears Soumitra
Chatterjee in lighting the lamp as the chief guest.
Many ultras freed to save hostages in past
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 (PTI) The recent swapping of three militants for 155 hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane was not the first incident of its kind after Ms Rubaiya Sayeeds kidnapping in 1989 but one of the many such cases which seem to have gone unnoticed.
Scores of abductions took place after five hardcore militants were released in exchange for Ms Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, in December 1989. In several of these cases, many militants were set free to seek release of the hostages.
Prominent among them was the abduction of Mr Tassaduq Dev, brother-in-law of then Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad by the Al Umar Mujahideen in January 1992. Three jailed activists of the Al Umar were set free in exchange of Mr Devs release on January 17.
Another prominent case was abduction of Mr Nahida Soz, daughter of then National Conference MP Saifuddin Soz, by Jammu and Kashmir Students Liberation Front (JKSLF) in August 1991. She was released when the government set free Pakistan-trained hardcore militant, Mushtaq Ahmed.
Indian Oil Corporation Executive Director K Dorraiswamy was abducted by activists of the Ikhwan-ul Muslimeen in Srinagar on July 29, 1991. His release on August 21 was possible when the government set free six militants.
The released militants, included Javed Shalla, main accused in the kidnap and murder cases of Kashmir University Vice-Chancellor Mushir-ul Haq and HMT General Manager H L Khera in 1990.
Seven more militants were set free to seek the release of Mir Nassar Ullah, son of former J and K minister G.M. Mir Lasjan, Mr A.K. Dhar, scientist and Mr T.K. Raina, retired Deputy Commissioner, abducted in March 1992.
Besides these cases there have been many kidnappings of other prominent persons. The "price" paid by the government for their release have not been made known.
Outstanding among them were kidnappings of Dr Mustafa Aslam, son-in-law of then PCC President Ghulam Rasool Kar (Feb 24, 1992), Mr Fayaz Ahmed Sheikh, son of then Additional Chief Secretary Sheikh Ghulam Rasool (March 21, 1992) and Mr Hassan Zia, Assistant Station Director of AIR (April 1992). It is not known how the government made their release possible.
Similarly, the Allah Tigers abducted former (MLC) Habib-ullah Bhat on March 2, 1992 and released him a month later on April 3. The number of militants, if any, set free in exchange for his release is not known.
Likewise, J and K Bank Chairman M.S. Qureshi was abducted on June 28, 1992 and later released "unconditionally".
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) kidnapped Allahabad Bank Manager Hans Raj Singh on August 3, 1992 and released him after 24 days of captivity. The price paid for his release have also not been made known.
The Rubaiya Sayeed case
had set a precedent for kidnappings for seeking release
of jailed militants. According to the government
statistics, the state witnessed an upsurge in abductions
after Ms Rubaiya Seyeeds kidnapping.
Gujarat Govt move on
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 The Congress today criticised the BJP for enacting a law in Uttar Pradesh making it mandatory for builders of places of worship to take prior permission from district authorities and also the Gujarat Government for permitting its employees to attend RSS "shakas" (camps).
The Congress, which opposed the passage of the Bill in UP, said the law was "ultra vires to the Constitution" and that it violates the inalienable rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The party also criticised the move by the Gujarat Government which allowed its employees to take part in the RSS "shakhas".
"The BJP is behind it all. Wherever the BJP has a government it is doing acts to polarise communally", the Congress spokesman, Mr Ajit Jogi said.
He said the U P
Government had said such a law was required to check the
activities of the ISI in the state, especially on the
border with Nepal, a view the Congress did not agree with
stating that present laws were enough to deal with the
More rail facilities mooted
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar, has mooted expansion of the railway services in Himachal Pradesh.
According to a press note issued by the railways here discussion with the Northern Railway General Manager, Mr S.P. Mehta.
The minister reportedly
suggested provision of an extra coach in Swaraj Express,
reduction of the fare in Kangra Queen and doubling of
Jalandhar-Pathankot railway line. Mr Shanta Kumar also
said completion of three railway projects namely,
Nangal-Talwara, Bhanupally-Bilaspur and Kalka-Parwanoo
should get top attention.
Delhi police sans
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 The Delhi Police does not have trained personnel to deal with the terrorist problem in the Capital, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ajai Raj Sharma, said here today.
Trains should be thoroughly checked before arrival at platforms from the railway yard. Sniffer dogs should also be brought to railway coaches to check for explosives, Mr Sharma said while talking of some of the measures to prevent such incidents.
He said similar preventive measures needed to be taken at the Inter-State Bus Terminus and other public places.
Addressing the annual press conference, the Commissioner of Police, said the special steps taken to tackle the law and order problems in the Capital had yielded results. The police had been able to reduce the rate of crime by up to 9.42 per cent.
Mr Sharma said a total
of 57934 cases were registered in 1999 as against 63959
cases in the corresponding year. Of all registered cases
the police had been able to work out 53.41 per cent,
which was an outstanding achievement.
Sarna flays Hit
NEW DELHI, Jan 7 The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management (DSGMC) president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said today that he would welcome any inquiry ordered by the Centre to look into the functioning of the committee.
goes rolling for piece
for Magh Mela
Fair from Jan 26
son, tries to kill herself
5 of family die
in road mishap
anti-tobacco drive begins
responsibility for ambush
returning to Chikmagalur
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