|Wednesday, January 12, 2000,
Hijack drama gets murkier
Badal seeks central aid for
Karmapas sect apolitical
Shoaib Ilyasis wife commits
case hearing after 18 years
Commercial films dominate
Scribes reject proposals
BJP has natural claim
on CMs post
National party status for NCP
SC directive to Haryana Govt
Hijack drama gets murkier
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 With new facts coming to light in recent days, the hijack imbroglio has become murkier.
It is now becoming increasingly clear that certain officials had withheld information from the Prime Minister during the crisis. It is also being suspected that these senior officials, whose kin, a Kathmandu-based operative of Indias security agencies, was among the hostages, may have played a role in preventing possible action at the Rajasansi airport in Amritsar.
The trickle of information from Kandahar itself has now become a deluge. The External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singhs disclosure that the hijackers wanted to retrieve a piece of luggage from the baggage hold of the hijacked Airbus A-300 has now been confirmed. What is worse, it has come to light that the five hijackers had driven back to the hijacked Airbus A-300 on the tarmac of Kandahar moments after the Indian minister had left by another Airbus A-320 flight, accompanying the released hostages amidst understandable fanfare.
The pilot of the hijacked aircraft, Capt D. Sharan, who is now working on a book on the eight-day ordeal, has told a journalist in Calcutta that after the relief plane took off with the passengers to India, the hijackers had returned to pick up their baggage from the hold. "They knew exactly which container had their baggage. They had been fully informed by their accomplices in Kathmandu", Captain Sharan has been quoted as saying.
According to eyewitness account of Indian officials who had stayed back at Kandahar to repair the hijacked aircraft and bring it back to India the next day, soon after Mr Jaswant Singhs aircraft took off, the hijackers drove back in the same blue Land Rover on which they had driven off to their freedom carrying a Taliban "hostage". The hijackers wanted to open the luggage hold.
Two hijackers went into the cargo hold and with quiet precision, without wasting much time, identified the exact baggage container in which their checked-in baggage was kept. They retrieved the suitcase and again drove back into darkness leaving behind the "Taliban hostage".
According to sources, from then on, the Indian staff, which had been left behind in Kandahar, knew that they were on hostile soil at the mercy of none else but God. The next day, the A-300 aircraft was flown back to India.
This is not the only murky detail of the hijack imbroglio which has emerged with the passage of time. A day after The Tribune published a story on its front page, on January 5, pointing towards the lapses at the Rajasansi airport due to the presence of a VIP kin, information was leaked to a section of the media that Mr Shashi Bhushan Singh, a "DIG rank" official, was among the hostages and that he "also happens to be brother-in-law of Mr N.K. Singh, Secretary, Prime Ministers Office".
What was withheld even at this stage was that Mr Shashi Bhushan Singh was also the brother-in-law of Mr Nikhil Kumar, Director of the National Security Guards (NSG).
While writing the January 5 report, in national interest, The Tribune had withheld the identity of the official who was a hostage as well as the identity of his VIP relatives. However, as the identity of the official has been blown, thanks to the indiscretion of the well-wishers of the VIP family, it can be said for the record that Mr Shashi Bhushan Singh is posted as the Deputy Station Chief of Indias external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) at Kathmandu, and is known there by the name of "S. Tomar" the name under which he was travelling.
It is understood that an inquiry is now in process to ascertain why the Prime Minister, who was flying from Patna to Delhi at the time when the Kathmandu-Delhi IC-814, flying almost behind the VVIP aircraft in the Indian airspace, on the last Christmas eve of the previous millennium, was not informed about the hijack immediately. Afterall, the distress message from Captain Sharan was first picked up by the Prime Ministers aircraft. It is also being inquired why the Prime Minister was also kept in the dark about the presence among the hostages of a kin of two important officials, one working in his secretariat and the other in a key security position.
Another related detail
which has come out now is that during the beginning of
the hijack imbroglio, the Indian Airlines received a
number of calls from the Crisis Management Group (CMG)
and the National Security Guard Headquarters asking for
the seating plan of IC-814 on December 24. The question
that is being asked now is: Was this detail needed to
protect certain passengers in case a commando action was
planned? The delay in sending the NSG team to the
Rajasansi airport is also being viewed and reviewed in
Hijack deal damaged BJPs image: Advani
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 (PTI) Home Minister L.K. Advani today said the governments deal with the hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane had done "minimal damage" to the country and more to the image of BJP.
Delivering the valedictory address of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) National Executive which concluded its two-day session here, he said release of militants in exchange for hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane had damaged more the image of the BJP as it was perceived to be a nationalist party and people found it difficult to digest it.
He said after weighing the pros and cons of the release of the militants, the government took the decision to ensure that there was "minimal damage" to the country "keeping national interests and what they (people) can digest".
Mr Advani said people viewed the BJP as an idealist party and it was because of this that the party had been able to bring larger number of people into its fold.
He said except the BJP and the Congress, all other parties had become pressure groups.
Talking about the recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane, Mr Advani said, "the damage was to the image of BJP because it was perceived to be different from other parties and people found it difficult to digest the decision taken by its government," he said.
"The alternative possibilities were kept in mind by the government which, after weighing the pros and cons, decided to take this step as in the prevailing circumstances, it wanted to ensure minimal damage," he said.
He further said all opposition parties have become pressure groups with the exception of the Congress which could lay claim to be a party of governance.
Mr Advani said the BJP, which would complete 20 years in coming April, had pursued a strategy which has now made it the principle pole of Indian politics "while the Congress, which has degenerated due to corruption and infighting, has become a subsidiary pole".
The Home Minister said
it was because of this idealism that the party was able
to join the movement of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan by
merging the then Bharatiya Jana Sangh into the Janata
Party though it was a difficult decision taken after
Karmapas sect apolitical
THE flight of Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, the 17th Karmapa from his Monastery at Tsurphu, outside Lhasa, to India has generated a media storm, not helped by disavowals of his claim by the Regent of Rumtek Monastery, the seat in exile of his Karma Kargyud lineage.
The hype around the Karmapa being the third most important lama after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama is true only in a religious sense. For, unlike the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas Gelug sect, which was the ruling theocracy of Tibet until it was overthrown by the Chinese in 1959, the Karma Kargyud sect has never been a political player in Tibet.
Based on the teachings of an Indian Buddhist teacher Tilopa, the Kagyu doctrine is an interpretation of Gampopa, a scholar and disciple of Jetsun Milarepa (1052-1135 AD), one of the most revered figures of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Karma Kargyud school, a sub-sect of the Kagyu, owes its origins to Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa, (1110-1193 AD) a disciple of Gampopa, who also established its principal monastery at Tsurphu, outside Lhasa, besides a monastery in Kham. The sect was also the first to begin the tradition of reincarnation, with Karamapakshi being recognised as Khyenpas Tulku, or reincarnation.
Popularly known as the Black Hat sect, because of the colour of the hats senior monks wear during ceremonies, the Karma Kargyud soon spread through Tibet, and its neighbourhood. Though the Kagyu, with its strong tantric influences, was soon eclipsed by the Sakya and later the more puritan Gelug sect of Tsongkhpa in Tibet, it continued to retain its influence in neighbouring Sikkim, Bhutan, and Ladakh, where it is still the predominant Buddhist sect.
Inronically, its lack of political clout stood it in good stead in 1959, when China took formal control of Tibet. Its monks suffered less persecution and when its leader, Rangjun Rigpe Dorji, the 16th Karmapa, fled to India in 1959, he had both followers across the border and a monastery to take refuge in. In 1962, at the invitation of Sikkims royal family, he was installed at Rumtek Monastery, constructed by the ninth Karmapa in 1730.
A strong local
following, the financial clout of Rumtek and absence of
political baggage allowed the Karma Kargyud Lamas to
devote all their energies to the spread of their
doctrine. Not surprisingly then, the Karma Kargyud is one
of the most influential and fastest growing sects of
Tibetan Buddhism in the West.
Badal seeks central aid for
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, held a series of high-level meetings in the Capital today, and sought central assistance to expedite the completion of several projects in the state.
Apart from the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Chief Minister called on the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr K.C.Pant, the Minister for Rural Development, Mr Sunderlal Patwa and the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar.
In his meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Badal raised the issue of pending work on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link. He pointed out that the foundation of the project was laid on January 27 and preliminary formalities had already been completed.
According to a state government statement the Prime Minister had ordered the release of Rs 10 crore immediately and assured sufficient provision in the next budget.
On the issue of the
international airport project at Amritsar, he said
terminal and runway tenders had been invited already and
approved by the Airport Authority of India but
construction work on it had not started so far. Mr Badal
urged the Prime Minister to expedite the execution of the
airport project. Mr Vajpayee said the project would be
taken up in a phased manner with immediate effect.
Shoaib Ilyasis wife commits suicide
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 (UNI) Anju, wife of "Indias Most Wanted" teleserial producer Shoaib Ilyasi, allegedly committed suicide here last night following a quarrel between the couple, the police said today.
During preliminary questioning, Ilyasi told the police that he had an argument with his wife late in the evening after which Anju (30) stabbed herself at their residence in Mayur Vihar, East Delhi.
Ilyasi told the police that he took her to a nearby nursing home which advised him to have her admitted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Doctors at AIIMS declared her brought dead shortly after midnight, according to the Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr S.M. Bhaskar, who was at the couples residence this morning as part of the investigation team.
Anju, who has a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, was married to Ilyasi in November, 1993. Since she had an unnatural death within seven years of marriage, under the statutory requirements, the inquest was being conducted by the Preet Vihar Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), Mr Ravi Dadhich, under the anti-dowry laws, Mr Bhaskar said.
Tulasa case hearing after 18 years
MUMBAI, Jan 11 (UNI) After a gap of over 18 years, the Sessions Court in Mumbai yesterday heard the sensational Tulasa flesh-trade case the tragic and shocking tale of a 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped from Nepal and sold in brothels here several times.
The case in the early 80s put in the spotlight the plight of commercial sex-workers in the city and elsewhere.
Additional Sessions Judge K U Chandiwal adjourned the hearing after hearing Dr I. S. Gilada, the Secretary General of Peoples Health Organisation (India), formerly known as Indian Health Organisation (IHO).
Dr Gilada, a witness in
the case, assured the court that he was ready to provide
it with the details of the address of Tulasa Bir Dhoj
Thapa, who was kidnapped from Nepal and sold in Mumbai.
Tulasa, now aged 31, is now strapped to a wheel-chair.
Two of the alleged accused among the seven charge-sheeted
in the case were produced before the judge.
Commercial films dominate
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 How to tied over the psychic trauma in ones life? If this is the theme that an intellectual film maker like Fernando Perez takes up for an offbeat offering like Life is to Whistle the answer is: Whistling your way through life is easier said than done, but still it is possible.
The above film opened the first film festival of the millennium, IFFI 2000, to the packed Siri Fort Auditorium. A Cuban entry, financed by the Sundance Film Institute, Life is to Whistle is an impressive fusion of discussive intent with visual exuberance. Not for nothing the film comes to the Indian festival after having made waves at the international festival circuit and winning several awards. The pace of the narrative, intertwined with three sub-narratives woven round three psychically distraught characters, has an aesthetic rhythmic and visual virtuosity that carries the viewers along.
UNI: The mainstream section of the ongoing 31st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) got off to a rhythmic start here on Tuesday afternoon with Subhash Ghais blockbuster Taal.
The mainstream section featuring 12 Indian movies made during the past two years and selected by the Film Federation of India was inaugurated by noted film star and Rajya Sabha member Shabana Azmi.
Giving the inaugural address, Ms Azmi recalled a time when film festivals were considered arty affairs and commercial films were excluded from them.
In his presidential address, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley congratulated the film industry for successfully shaking off the threat posed by video and cable a few years ago.
Stating that the film industry employed more than 50 lakh people, Mr Jaitley assured all help to strengthen it, specially in the area of fighting off video piracy.
The 12 films being shown in this section combine commercial success with aesthetic value. The films being screened are Taal, Sarfarosh and Biwi No 1 in Hindi, Pathram in Malayalam, Dai Daitya, Swapna Niye and Khela Ghar in Bengali, Bindhast in Marathi, Renta Koothrune Kanu and Samara Sinha Reddy in Telugu, AK 47 in Kannada and Padayappa in Tamil.
Meanwhile, at an open
forum at the IFFI, cine buffs film experts argued that
the quality of the films showing them may be good, bad or
indifferent. There may organisational lapses, but they
all agreed on one thing: International film festivals
were very necessary for the growth of good cinema in the
BJP has natural claim on CMs post
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 (PTI) The BJP today asserted that it has the "natural claim" to the chief ministership of Bihar in the coming Assembly elections, further accentuating the tussle among the alliance partners in the state over the top post.
BJP General Secretary K.N. Govindacharya said his partys "natural claim" to chief ministership rested on the fact that it had emerged as the main opposition party in the 1995 Assembly elections by winning 42 seats.
"BJP is the main opposition party in the assembly and, therefore, the natural claim comes to it," Mr Govindacharya told reporters here in the backdrop of the ongoing tussle between JD (U) and Samata Party over chief ministership.
This apart, Mr Govindacharya touched on another potential source of friction among the allies sharing of seats for the coming poll when he said the BJP had identified more than 200 seats where it could defeat ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)."
The Samata Party and the JD(U) are understood to be pressing for a number of seats which might set the stage for tough bargains with the BJP.
The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the BJP will meet on January 18 to discuss the selection of candidates for the Assembly elections in Bihar, Orissa, Haryana and Manipur, and Lok Sabha by-elections, he said.
However, the final list of candidates for these elections would be decided only in the second meeting of the CEC for which the date has not yet been fixed, he said.
The minorities in north Bihar had appreciated the Centres stand in dealing with Indian Airlines plane hijacking issue. This indicated that the minorities vote would swing in favour of the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections, he claimed.
The party, in view of this sudden development, was considering to field a greater number of Muslims. In the existing Assembly, there are two MLAs from Muslim community, he added.
Talking about Orissa, Mr Govindacharya said talks were on here with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leadership about seat sharing in the state. Both the partners should share the 147 seats, he opined.
National party status for NCP
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got a major boost today with the Election Commission recognising it as a national party.
On the basis of performance of parties in the last general elections, the Commission also recognised the Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) as a state party in Punjab, the Trinamool Congress in Tripura and West Bengal and the CPI-(ML) in Assam.
The NCP, which was formed barely six months back had contested the general elections as a recognised state party in the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands and had qualified for recognition in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Maharashtra. "Recognition in four states makes the party eligible for recognition as a national party in terms of para seven of the Symbols Order," the Commission said in a press note.
The NCP General-Secretary, Mr P.A. Sangma, addressing a press conference today said: "No other political party in my mind got the distinction in such a short time".
Mr Sangma said the EC had also decided to allot its election symbol Clock as its reserved symbol as requested by the NCP.
While the party has announced its will have no tie-up with either the BJP or the Congress, Mr Sangma said in Bihar the NCP was having talks with the CPI, the JMM and the Samajwadi Party.
Mr Tariq Anwar, another General-Secretary, ruled out any tie-up with the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Mayawati warns Centre
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati today warned the Vajpayee government against withdrawal of her NSG cover, saying any move to do so would result in her assassination and the Centre would be fully responsible for it.
Referring to newspaper reports that the government was considering withdrawing the National Security Guard cover given to her, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, in a letter to Home Minister L.K. Advani, sought further tightening her security cover.
"I want to make it clear that if the NSG cover is withdrawn, I will definitely be murdered and for this the Central Government will be fully responsible," the letter said.
The Uttar Pradesh Government would not be able to protect her, Ms Mayawati said, adding in fact this government might be a party to a conspiracy to eliminate her.
Mentioning that most parts of UP had common borders with Nepal, Ms Mayawati said she prominently figured in the hit list of Indian leaders prepared by the ISI of Pakistan.
Recalling how an attempt was made to eliminate her in Lucknow in June, 1995, during the tenure of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Chief Minister, she said she was given "Z plus" security after she took over as UP Chief Minister in view of threat to her life.
She claimed that an attempt was also made on her life inside the state Assembly in October, 1997, and she was saved by NSG commandos.
Scribes reject proposals
BANGALORE, Jan 11 (UNI) The UNI Southern Employees Federation (UNISEF) today rejected outright the tentative proposals of the Manisana Singh Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non-Journalists.
In a press note here today the federation said the tentative proposals were not even 25 per cent of the expectations of the news agency employees. The federation claimed that the wage boards had not applied their mind in fixing the basic pay scales and the increments for the journalists. The recommendations of the regional index for calculation of dearness allowance and LTA for every two years had been made without any rationale.
rectification of the anomalies the federation sought a 25
per cent increase in the basic wages to do justification
of the time loss and the possible delay in the
constitution of the future wage boards.
SC directive to Haryana
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 The Supreme Court today asked the Haryana Government to build one room tenement set on the land acquired at Khawaza Sarai in Faridabad for mine workers and recover the price of land and construction from the employers of these workmen.
The bench comprising Mr Justice S. Saghir Ahmad and Mr Justice D.P. Wadhwa, heard contempt petition filed by the Bandhua Mukti Morcha complaining that despite the courts order on November 16, 1999, by which the employers of mine owners and crusher owners in the area had been directed to pay the minimum wages to workers, the arrears of Rs 69 lakh had not been paid.
The court observed that
proceedings for recovery of arrears of minimum wages of
mine and crusher workers would be carried out by the
appropriate court.The court has fixed February 22 as the
next date of hearing.
PUNE, Jan 11 (PTI) Detection of cosmic gravitational wave which has been elusive since it was predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916, has now been made easier, thanks to an Indian scientist. "Detection of gravitational waves will open a new window to see the universe with all its mysteries and charm which is not possible with other astronomical means including telescope," developer of the technique Sanjeev Dhurandhar of Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) here told PTI.
In a pioneering work,
Dhurandhar and his colleagues have developed methods to
extract these very weak signals from background noise. In
several multi-million dollar projects, six unusual
observatories five on terra firma and the sixth
one in space are being built across the globe
where methods developed by Dhurandhar will be exploited
to trace these very feeble waves coming from deep space.
Pilot dies as MiG crashes
JAISALMER, Jan 11 (UNI) An IAF fighter plane, MiG-27, crashed last night, killing its pilot F/Lt V. Singh during a regular sortie between Chaghan and Bhojka villages in Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan last night.The MiG-27 took off on its regular flight from Jodhpur Air Force station at 7 p.m. and lost contact with the control tower around 7.30 p.m.
NEW DELHI, Jan 11 (PTI)
The government today ruled out any amnesty scheme
to tap black money in the Budget and warned that it would
come down heavily on tax evaders by strengthening
administration. "I see no reason why honest
taxpayers be penalised by providing amnesty to tax
evaders," Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said,
adding "We will come down heavily on tax evaders
without trying to bring bad name to tax
cops killed in blast
Pigs eat infant
UP Govt told to
inaugurates R-Day camp
Tributes paid to
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