|Saturday, January 15, 2000,
IB team interrogates Maulvi
Engg college 'flouting' fee norms
Guidelines to MLAs on spending
Grant asylum to Karmapa: Mankotia
Grant ST status to Gaddis: CM
HP officers warned against laxity
Chamera oustees strike put
Solan poll schedule
threaten exam boycott
DHARAMSALA, Jan 14 A high-level team from the intelligence Bureau (IB) today interrogated Maulvi Muhammad Oesh Ahmed, who has been arrested on the charge of sedation.
The police had recovered audio cassettes having recorded speeches of the militant, Maulana Masood Azhar, from the Maulvi, hailing from Bihar. The cassettes "Jehad" and "Babri Masjid Ki Pukar", were being distributed by the Maulvi to others in the area. A case of sedition has been registered against the Maulvi and another labourer from Bihar.
The IB team from Delhi,
which arrived here yesterday, interrogated the Maulvi.
The Maulvi is learnt to have disclosed that he got the
cassettes from Sharanpur.
Ravinder Sood adds from PALAMPUR: Meanwhile, the sudden spurt in the activities of Kashmiri militants in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh has caused concern here.
The recent arrest of 35-year-old Maulvi Ahmed from Yol Camp has proved that militants consider Kangra valley a safe hideout for their activities. In past one year, there has been manifold increase in the population of Muslims in the district. A number of young Muslim boys from Kashmir valley and other parts of the country have started working here as daily wage workers, selling shawls, dry fruits and blankets. A majority of them have been residing in rural areas of the district. However, the police and intelligence agencies here have remained silent spectators to this development.
Only last week, a Hindi daily had published a news item regarding the increase in number of Muslims in Yol. The daily had quoted many facts highlighting the presence of militants. Despite this, the Kangra police did not even bother to visit the Yol cantonment to ascertain the facts.
Sources say that the Maulvi was active in the cantonment for the past six months and had been persuading the Muslim community of the area to launch a "Jehad" in Kashmir. What is ironical is that the Maulvi was functioning from the Army mosque. This has made the issue more sensitive.
In 1998, 40 labourers were shot dead by militants in adjoining Chamba district. In another incident, a bomb exploded in a HP bus near Nurpur last year. The Punjab and Jammu police had established the involvement of Kashmiri militants in all such activities. Intelligence agencies had cautioned the Kangra police a year ago that militants were finding Kangra valley a safe place for them.
A senior police officer of the district, however, could not tell exact number of Muslims in the district. He said the police had no such record. The police does not know how many Kashmiri labourers have come to the district in search of employment.
Intelligence agencies have, however, expressed concern over the increasing number of madrasas and their anti-national activities in Kangra, Chamba and Una district of the state. The police had closed a number of madrasas because of frequent checking.
On the other hand, police officers say that the police in the district is ill-equipped. They say there is an acute shortage of police personnel in the district. Though there has been a manifold increase in the population and crime graph has also gone up, the number of police personnel is the same as in 1985. Most of the vehicles provided to the police are 10 to 15 years old. The police also lacks modern communication system.
college 'flouting' fee norms
SHIMLA, Jan 14 The IITT College of Engineering of Kala Amb has been charging a sum of Rs 90,000 as refundable security from students in contravention of the norms set by the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).
The council has written to the university that its regulation number GSR-476 (E) (6) lays down that no private institution is entitled to receive from the students any other payment, under whatever name, in addition to the fee fixed by the competent authorities for free and paid seats. Any institution, the letter says, which contravenes the provisions of the regulation, even after the directions of the university or the state government concerned can be disaffiliated.
The university had sought a clarification from the council on the matter after it received numerous complaints from parents of the students that the college was fleecing them. Some of the students were not paid back the security amount even after leaving the college. They are demanding an interest at the rate of 12 per cent on the sum. The management, the parents alleged, was charging exorbitant hostel fee and fleecing the students in the name of heating and medical charges.
They also complained of lack of requisite staff and infrastructural facilities at the college. An inspection committee of the university had found that the institution did not have proper laboratories and hostels and there was not even enough space on the premises for classrooms.
The university would not do much in the matter as the management moved court with the plea that the power to constitute inspection committee was not vested with the university or the government but the AICTE.
The university had shown undue haste in granting permission for opening the college and the extraordinary interest taken by the previous Vice-Chancellor, Dr C.L. Kundu, was evident from the fact that he headed the first inspection committee. This was surprising as the report of the committee is put up before the executive council of the university of which the Vice-Chancellor is the Chairman. It is alleged that the fee approved by the Fee Structure Committee was quite high. The committee fixed a fee of Rs 65,000 per annum on the pattern of a dental college, which was wrong as the fee in an engineering college is much lower. In some southern states the fee was as low as Rs 32,000.
Dr S.K. Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, said the university would take appropriate action on the basis of the letter of the council after studying the fee structure which was approved three years ago. He said the university had already taken several steps to safeguard the interest of the students. It had not allowed the management to charge building fund from the students and also turned down its proposal to start a bachelor of engineering course in information technology. As the college had issued advertisement for admission in the proposed course without any approval, the university had to insert a counter advertisement to inform people that B.Tech course being started by the college was not recognised by it.
to MLAs on spending funds
SHIMLA, Jan 14 The Himachal Pradesh government today issued guidelines for spending funds out of Rs 15 lakh allocated to the legislators for the development of their respective areas.
A spokesman of the government said all MLAs and Deputy Commissioners had been given specific guidelines so that the scheme could be implemented in a smooth manner.
The spokesman said Rs 15 lakh had been earmarked for each Assembly constituency which would be increased to Rs 20 lakh next year.
He said works which would be undertaken under this scheme had been detailed in the guidelines. MLAs had been asked to send their proposals at the earliest keeping in view the limited period of the current financial year so that the scheme could be implemented effectively he added.
Giving details of the amount to be spent under this scheme for each district, the spokesman said Rs 60 lakh had been allocated for Bilaspur, Rs 75 lakh for Chamba, Rs 75 lakh for Hamirpur, Rs 240 lakh for Kangra, Rs 15 lakh for Lahaul-Spiti, Rs 150 lakh for Mandi, Rs 120 lakh for Shimla, Rs 75 lakh each for Sirmaur, Solan and Una districts,
He said the scheme aimed at equal distribution of funds to all MLAs for the local development. They would be able to ascertain development plans for ensuring equal development of their areas. As the priority for schemes would be fixed by the MLAs, they would take interest in its implementation and the limited financial resources would then be effectively utilised he added.
He said the aim of this scheme was to decentralise the development works. He further stated that no such scheme would be sanctioned which would benefit private institution or was linked with its maintenance.
asylum to Karmapa: Mankotia
DHARAMSALA, Jan 14
A former minister and Vice-President of the HPCC,
Mr Vijay Singh Mankotia, today said India should
immediately grant political asylum to the Karmapa and
raise the issue of Tibet in the United Nations for its
Addressing a press conference here today, he said it was time to make up for the blunder made by India in 1954 when it did not lend support to Tibet in the UN.
"Further delay in the grant of political asylum to the Karmapa will be viewed as an act of cowardice by the biggest sovereign democratic republic," he opined.
Mr Mankotia said it was strange that China which had conveniently forgotten the Panchsheel principles in 1962 should make it an issue now. He felt India should support Tibet as the latter had never been a military state and its sole interest had been the pursuit of religion.
Mr Mankotia said India had become a soft target as successive governments had failed to maintain proper intelligence and surveillance on its borders.
He expressed concern at the arrest of a maulvi from the mosque in Yol cantonment. He said Mcleodganj and Dharamsala were becoming centres for illegal activity.
Mr Mankotia demanded that summary trials be held in special courts for militants. He said Kangra had become a centre for nefarious activities of Kashmiri militants.
status to Gaddis: CM
SHIMLA, Jan 14 Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, has urged the Centre to expedite the matter of granting scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Gaddis and Gujjars living in areas which were separated from Punjab and given to Himachal Pradesh in 1966.
In a letter to Mrs Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Welfare, Mr Dhumal said Gaddis and Gujjars living in old areas had already been declared scheduled Tribes whereas Gujjars and Gaddis with the same social and economic background were deprived of this status in the new areas.
The Chief Minister said that as a result of this discrepancy, Gaddis and Gujjars in old and new areas faced discrimination in the matter of getting benefits under various programmes of the government.
He also drew attention of the Union Minister towards a unanimous resolution adopted by the Himachal Vidhan Sabha on July 29, 1998. authorising him to take up the matter of declaring Gujjars and Gaddis in the new areas as Scheduled Tribes under Article 342 (1) (2) of the Constitution.
The Chief Minister hoped that keeping in view the commitment of the coalition government, the centre would expedite the grant of Scheduled Tribes status to Gaddis and Gujjars in the new areas of Himachal Pradesh.
charge false: minister
SHIMLA, Jan 14 Mr Ishwar Dass Dhiman, Education Minister, has ridiculed the statement of Mr Virbhadra Singh, former Chief Minister, that the present government was transferring 1.25 lakh employees and victimising Congress supporters.
In a statement here yesterday, Mr Dhiman described the charge as false, baseless and contrary to facts.
He said during Mr Virbhadra Singhs tenure, only those believing in the Congress ideology were recruited to government jobs and merit was totally ignored. This was evident from the Shukla Committee report. He said Congress leaders even objected to the setting up of the Subordinate Services Selection Board although it was in the interest of the unemployed youth.
The Education Minister said the charge of Congress leaders that the selection of IRDP families was being made on political consideration was also baseless.
officers warned against laxity
HAMIRPUR, Jan 14 HP Parliamentary Secretary, Urmila Thakur has said the government will not tolerate any laxity in carrying out development activities in the state. She stated this at a meeting of officers dealing with various development works in the district here today.
She said funds had been provided to the Public Works Department and now it was the responsibility of the department to complete the projects on time.
She said more than Rs 30 crore was being spent in this district on the construction of roads, buildings and bridges during the current fiscal year. She said the old material of Swaran Jyanti Senior Secondary School would be spent on the construction of school buildings at Ree, Tihra, Kasiri and Patlander.
Earlier, she laid the foundation stone of the building of a Government high school at Nareli village.
oustees strike put off
CHAMBA, Jan 14 The Chamera Oustees Welfare Association today suspended their 18-day long chain hunger strike on the assurance given to them by the Himachal Industries Minister, Mr Kishori Lal, and the Ayurveda Minister, Mr Mohal Lal, that they would take up their demands with the Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, at a state-level meeting before February 22.
The demands of the oustees include employment to one member each of 192 ousted families, land to the homeless and five bighas of land to the landless families, besides timber distribution rights to them.
Mr Madan Rawat, Chairman of the Action Committee of Chamera Oustees Welfare Association, informed that their strike which commenced on December 28 had been postponed and they would again resort to agitation if their demands were not accepted by February 22.
Solan poll schedule
SHIMLA, Jan 14 The Election Commission has announced the programme for the Solan Assembly byelection.
According to a
communication by the Chief Electoral Officer, the
notification for the election will be issued on January
24. The last date for filing nomination papers will be
January 31, the scrutiny of papers will be on February 1,
the last date for withdrawal of candidature February 3
and the election will be held on February 17 between 8.00
a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The counting of votes will be done on
DHARAMSALA, Jan 14 (ANI) The Himachal Pradesh School Lecturers Association has decided to boycott the board examinations beginning March 2. Over six lakh students will be affected.
In a press statement, the General Secretary of the association, Ghanshyam Kapoor, said the lecturers would boycott not only the examinations but also the evaluation work. The association would observe a "protest week" from January 24 to 29 by putting on black badges, he added.
Mr Kapoor said if their demands were not met by March 2, the lecturers of over 300 senior secondary schools would hold a massive rally at Shimla. Later, they may go on an indefinite strike, he said.
The lecturers demand immediate restoration of class II gazetted status, amendment of the 1992 recruitment and promotion rules, removal of the rider system for promotions, scrapping of undue seniority benefits to ex- servicemen and financial benefits in tenure service.
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