|Tuesday, February 1, 2000,
on film sets: FIR lodged
Rs 10 lakh damages to gang rape
Rally against reservation
Fernandes rules out rift for Bihar
Maneka seeks Arjuns arrest
States told to check
PWG to counter killings
Actor K.N. Singh dead
Violence on film sets: FIR lodged
VARANASI, Jan 31 (UNI) The police has registered an FIR in connection with the rampage by miscreants on the sets of Deepa Mehtas controversial film "Water" here yesterday.
"However, no arrests have been made so far, the District Magistrate, Mr Alok Kumar said here today in a press note.
He said, "Nobody would be allowed to take the law in his hand" and warned that people creating trouble will be "strictly dealt with".
Director Deepa Mehta alleged yesterdays incident was the "handiwork of the cultural wing of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) as they were objecting to the film script. But I had not expected so much violence.
Mehta said if shooting for the film was not allowed, it would cause "major financial loss to us as our unit has been camping in Varanasi for the past month.
She said she had informed the District Magistrate about yesterdays incidents. The administration had told me that state Home Department officials would soon visit Varanasi and take a decision about the continuation of the shooting after taking stock of the situation.
NEW DELHI (PTI): In the wake of violent protests against her controversial venture Water leading to suspension of its shooting in Varanasi, Deepa Mehta on Monday returned to the Capital hoping to meet the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitely, regarding the matter.
Rs 10 lakh damages to gang rape victim
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (UNI) The Supreme Court has awarded Rs 10 lakh as damages to a Bangladesh national, who had been gang raped at Yatri Nivas of Howrah railway station on February 2, 1998.
The court directed the union government to hand over the amount within three months to the High Commissioner of Bangladesh for payment to the victim, an elected representative of the Union Board of her country.
The direction was issued by a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S. Saghir Ahmed and Mr Justice R.P. Sethi while dismissing an appeal by the Chairman, Railway Board, and others against a judgement of the Calcutta High Court.
The high court verdict came on a petition filed by Mrs Chandrima Das, a practising advocate of the high court. It was alleged in the petition that the victim had come to Howrah from Bangladesh to undertake a journey to Ajmer Sherif by the Jodhpur Express. While she was staying in Yatri Nivas to arrange for her reservation in the train, she was gang raped by many, including employees of the Indian Railways. A case was registered the next day with the General Railway Police station (GRPS) there.
While awarding the damages to the victim, the high court observed that the rape was committed at the Yatri Nivas, belonging to the Railways and was perpetrated by railway employees.
"In the instant case, it is not a mere matter of violation of an ordinary right of a person but the violation of the fundamental rights. This court has already held rape as an offence which is violative of the fundamental rights of a person guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution," observed Mr Justice Saghir Ahmad, who wrote the judgement for the Bench and thus turned down the contention of the appellants that the petition was not maintainable under the public law.
Mr Justice Ahmed also rejected the plea of the appellant that the petitioner had no locus standi to file the petition.
"Since life is also recognised as a basic human right in the universal declaration of human rights, 1948, it has to have the same meaning and interpretation as has been placed on that word by this court in its various decisions relating to Article 21 of the Constitution. The meaning of the word life cannot be narrowed down. According to the tenor of the language used in Article 21, it will be available not only to every citizen of this country, but also to a person who may not be a citizen of the country," the judge observed in his 26-page judgement.
Running of the Railways, the judge pointed out, was a commercial activity,...... The employees of the Union of India, who are deputed to run the Railways and to manage the establishments, including the railway stations and Yatri Nivas, are essential components of the government machinery which carries on the commercial activity.
"If any such
employee commits such an act, the Union Government, of
which they are the employees, can, subject to other legal
requirements being satisfied, be held vicariously liable
in damages to the person wronged by those
employees," Mr Justice Saghir Ahmad observed.
Rally against reservation
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 The Arakshan Samapti Abhiyan Sanyukta Sanstha Manch held a rally here yesterday to protest against the extension of the caste-based reservation policy for another 10-years. The rally was presided over by Justice Sobhagyamal Jain, a former Judge of the Rajasthan High Court.
Later the protesters marched under the leadership of Mr Mange Ram Sharma, Chairman of the action committee, up to Parliament Street where they were stopped by the police. However, a delegation comprising Mr Jain, Mr Sharma, Mr N.C. Sharma, Mr Jagdish Rai Aggarwal , Mrs Surekha Yadav, Mr Laxman Tiwari, Mr Anil Jain, Mr Vaibhav Vishal, Mr Pitambar Dutt Prabhakar, Acharya Hari Kishan Shastri and Mr Radhey Shyam went to Parliament House to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister.
According to Mr Sharma, the Prime Ministers office refused to accept the memorandum as well as a petition signed by 1,80,000 persons.
The memorandum said that the 79th Constitutional Amendment was a "60-year-old Gulami Dastavej" brought on the statute book of January 24, 2000, which would go down as the "blackest day" in the history of India after Independence.
Justice Jain said there should be an immediate end to the caste-based reservations and promotions and the Supreme Courts verdicts in favour of the general category employees should be implemented.
Earlier, Mr Sharma announced that district-level units comprising various community leaders would be formed by February 15 which would be controlled by the State-level coordination committees. He said fasts would be organised on February 26 and February 27 in Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal and Jaipur.
The manch comprises the Akhil Bharatiya Brahman Mahasabha, the Akhil Bharatiya Kashatriya Mahasabha, Shri Rajput Sabha, the Akhil Bharatiya Jain Parishad, the Delhi Pradesh Kayastha Sabha, the Akhil Bharatiya Samanta Manch, the Income Tax General Employees Welfare Association, the Sawaran Samaj Party, the Brij Desh Party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Party and the Sardar Patel Arakshan Virodhi Morcha.
The rally was addressed
among others by Mr Laxman Tiwari, Mr Jagdish Raj
Aggarwal, Mr Shyam Lal, Mr Vaibhav Vishal, Mr Radhey
Shyam Sharma, Mr Gynander Sharma, Archarya Hari Shankar
Shastri, Mrs Surekha Yadav, Mr Rakesh Kakra, Mr Jaipal
Singh Sisodia and Ms Meena Sharma.
Fernandes rules out rift for Bihar poll
PATNA, Jan 31 (UNI) Senior Samata Party leader and Defence Minister George Fernandes today ruled out any differences between the coalition partners of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on seat adjustment for the assembly poll in Bihar.
Mr Fernandes told newsmen here that differences over the share of seats had been sorted out after discussions between leaders of BJP-Samata Party-Janata Dal (United) and Bihar Peoples Party (BPP).
Reiterating that the four parties would go for a joint campaign and manifesto for the assembly polls, he said the confusion among the NDA constituents would have no negative impact on the poll prospect. However, he admitted that BPP leader Anand Mohan was set to sign the draft of the agreement reached in Delhi yesterday.
To a query on contest between NDA partners in several seats following the dispute, the Samata Party leader hoped the parties would ask their candidates to retire from the seats, which had gone to other parties as per the agreement.
Contradicting that the candidature of the next Chief Minister had led to the dispute, he said the Chief Minister would be chosen in a democratic manner by the elected members of the new House.
Meanwhile, Samata Partys spokesman P.K. Sinha said the list of all candidates of the party would be released by tomorrow.
Maneka seeks Arjuns
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mrs Maneka Gandhi has sought the arrest of Mr Arjun Singh and his son for violating the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. She has made this demand in a communication addressed to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Digvijay Singh and his officers.
Mrs Gandhi who is heading the Department of Animal Welfare is said to have taken cognisance of the death of a constable following an attack by a cheetal (spotted deer). The constable, Celiac Singh, posted at Mr Singhs bungalow in Bhopal, was gored to death by the cheetal said to be in captivity there.
In a statement issued here on Monday, Mrs Gandhi has described the act as "illegal and reprehensible."
Mrs Gandhi has pointed out that Mr Arjun Singh has claimed that he was given a licence under the Wildlife Protection Act to keep a deer in 1991. She said that the deer/black buck found at the residence of Mr Arjun Singh are certainly not nine years old and that the age could be verified by any veterinary doctor. "The deer that has been found is only two years old."
Mrs Gandhi told The Tribune that since the Wildlife Protection Act came into being in 1972, licences for keeping wild animals ceased to be issued barring those to rescue centres. "He is claiming something he has not got. If he has got a licence, it is not real. It is fake and Mr Arjun Singh and his son should be arrested for fraud," she said.
She pointed out that
this meant that the deer kept in captivity was not the
deer for which the licence had been issued. She added
that this meant that Mr Arjun Singh has been continuously
smuggling animals from the forest and an effort has been
made to use the same licence for a succession of animals.
States told to check
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 The Union Home Ministry has asked all States especially those going to assembly polls next month to step up vigil on manufacture, storage, movement and transaction in explosives in their areas.
The move is a part of the series of measures the Home Ministry has suggested to beef up security in the wake of an increase in a number of bomb blasts taking place in various parts of the country, a senior Ministry official said today.
Following a review meeting senior officials of the Ministry recently had with their counterparts in the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Industrial Development, the Department of Explosives and the Directors General of Police (DGPs) of worst-affected States, it was agreed that the plan should be put into operation straightaway in view of the assembly polls.
The Home Ministry had
asked the Home Secretaries/DGPs of Haryana, Bihar, Orissa
and Manipur, where polls were scheduled and direct the
District Magistrates/Superintendents to ensure that
premises of manufacturers, dealers, sub-dealers and stock
holders of explosives in their districts should be
PWG to counter killings
DANDAKARANYA (Andhra Pradesh), Jan 31 (UNI) Numbed by one of the gravest losses in its three-decade-old history with the killing of its three Central Committee members in Koyyur, the Peoples War Group (PWG) of Naxalites has decided to build a broad based mass movement over the next eight months to mobilise people in the country and abroad against fake encounters.
PWG general secretary Muppala Laxman Rao alias Ganapathy and Central Committee member M. Koteswara Rao alias Ramoji told visiting journalists that the secretariat of the Central Committee (Provisional) of the PWG had directed its party units to hold memorial meetings and rallies culminating with the martyrs week from July 28 to August 3 this year.
It is a bid to counter the killing of its three top leaders Nalla Adi Reddy alias Shyam, Yerramreddi Santosh Reddi alias Mahesh and Seelam Naresh alias Murali, all Central Secretariat members in an "encounter" on December 2 last year.
They, however, maintained that the killings were "cold-blooded murder" by the Andhra Pradesh police. "They were arrested from a shelter in Bangalore on December 1 afternoon, tortured severely till late night after being airlifted to Hyderabad and brutally murdered," they said.
"This is the first major loss at the central level after the formation of the present Central Committee. The entire party rank and file, well-wishers of the revolution and the revolutionary masses are still in a state of shock," they said.
The partys Central Committee Secretariat alleged that from the very day of the murder of the three leaders, the propaganda machinery of the state government "began churning out not only stories of an encounter between our armed guerrilla squads and the police that was supposed to have resulted in the martyrdom of these comrades but also of internal feuds and rifts within the committee of possible surrenders at the highest level."
The party units had been asked to bring out leaflets, posters and booklets in various languages, "popularise" the lives of the slain leaders among the masses through songs, dance, dramas and other cultural forms. Various state committees and lower-level committees had been directed to bring out booklets "in their own creative manner". Apart from the central booklet, narrating the reminiscences of their associations with the slain leaders, the party units had also been asked to take up a wide campaign starting with collecting signatures of democratic and revolutionary organisations and individuals throughout the country and abroad.
Rallies, dharnas, rail and rasta roko and other forms of protest had been suggested by the central party with a direction that meetings should be held in villages, bastis, factories, colleges and various towns and cities. "The movement against the cold-blooded murder of our comrades should be extended to cover all fake encounters and state violence," they said.
Along with building a
broad based mass movement against the police action, the
Central Committee secretariat of the party had directed
the units to take up "retaliatory armed action to
avenge the murder of our comrades." Masses should be
mobilised to the extent possible for such militant
actions. "At no cost, should ordinary people become
victims in our attacks against the enemy. Class line
should be in command in every retaliation that we take
up," the partys directive said.
Actor K.N. Singh dead
MUMBAI, Jan 31 (UNI) Legendary film actor K.N. Singh who dominated the Hindi silver screen for more than six decades, died here this morning following a prolonged illness..
He was 91. He is survived by his son Pushkar, a TV film director.
He breathed his last at his residence "Bhasin Nivas" in Matunga, family sources said.
Kirshan Niranjan Singh popularly known as K.N. Singh had carved a niche for himself by playing the role of villain in his inimitable manner. He acted in more than 250 films.
He came to Bombay in 1937 giving up profession of a lawyer at Dehra Dun. He was discovered by thespian Prithviraj Kapoor. A chance meeting with Kapoor during one of his visits to Calcutta paved his entry into the film industry.
He started his career by acting in "Bhagban". His other films were "Howrah Bridge" Raj Kapoors "Aawara", Kishore Kumars "Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi", and "Bees Saal Baad". He also acted in "Chhabili" which was made by Shobana Samarth to launch her daughter "Nutan".
His last films were
"Ajooba" and "Kaliya" in which
Amitabh Bachchan had played the lead role. Known for his
roaring voice and expressive eye, he has been
immortalised by acting in the roles of dons and villains.
SC pulls up MP Govt on
Bhopal gas victims
BHOPAL, Jan 31 The Supreme Court has taken the Madhya Pradesh Government to task for its failure to provide full medical facilities to the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy though the state government claims to have spent Rs 258 crore on them in the past 15 years. "It is not necessary to go into the question as to the manner in which such a large amount has been spent", observed Mr Justice B.N. Kirpal, Mr Justice K.T. Thomas and Mr Justice D.P. Mohapatra, in their January 27 order.
The three-Judge Division Bench was hearing public interest litigation (PIL) by the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan and others on the inadequate medical facilities for the MIC gas disaster victims. The court had before it the fourth status report regarding medical rehabilitation filed by Mr D.S. Mathur, Principal Secretary in the Department of Health and Family Welfare (of the MP Government) who was appointed as Commissioner by the Supreme Court.
Two hospitals, Kamla Nehru Hospital and Indira Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children, were required to be constructed for the gas victims. The judges said the civil work on both hospitals had been completed. But the two hospitals were still incomplete and non-functional to their optimum capacity.
The Division Bench stated, "as always happens, the excuse given is lack of funds. It is indeed unfortunate that where public health is concerned, the government thinks of economising. Fifteen years have elapsed since the gas tragedy took place and the victims do not have the full medical facilities which were required to be made available to them with the construction of these two hospitals".
The court was informed that in order to make Kamla Nehru Hospital fully operational a further sum of approximately Rs 6.25 crore was required while in respect of Indira Gandhi Hospital Rs 4 crore was required.
The Division Bench issued a direction to the Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh, to place at the disposal of Mr D.S. Mathur "within six weeks from today a sum of Rs 11 crore" for the completion of work and for making these two hospitals fully operational" certainly within a period of four months from today".
The court made it clear that the "amount so placed at the disposal of Mr Mathur shall be used only for the purchase of equipment and making the hospitals operational and functional and (that) no part of this money shall be used for incurring any expenses in the payment of salaries".
The Division Bench
further pointed out, "it is of no concern to this
court to decide as to wherefrom this money is to come
from, how much is to be shared by the state government or
by the Government of India. These are the niceties, which
are to be worked out by the state government and the
Union of India between themselves. As far as this court
is concerned, health is a state subject and it is the
primary duty of the State of Madhya Pradesh to provide
adequate medical facilities to the gas victims".
SP warns of do-or-die stir against review
LUCKNOW, Jan 31 (UNI) The Samajwadi Party today warned that it would launch a nationwide "do-or-die" agitation if "attempts were made to subvert the Constitution in the guise of reviewing it".
Opposing the proposed move of the Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government to form a commission to review the Constitution, the party chief, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, said leaders like Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam involved in framing the Constitution were persons of unparalleled depth, wisdom and vision.
It would be an act of "sheer foolishness" to show disrespect to them by handing over the task of review of their arduous work to persons with far less ability and vision, he added.
Maintaining that the proposed attempt to review the statute book would undermine the plurality of the country, the SP chief said the shift towards the presidential form of government would also be a dangerous step as it was "unsuitable for a country like ours".
"We have been opposed to the presidential form of government for long", Mr Yadav said, adding that the BJP was "raising contentious issues just to divert the attention of the people from its failures in all spheres of governance".
Speaking at a press conference here today, Mr Yadav held the ruling BJP responsible for the Azamgarh and Mubarakpur communal flare-ups, alleging that it was a BJP conspiracy to provoke the people over one issue or the other.
Whether it is the issue of vande mataram, saffronisation of education or cultural issues like the controversy over the shooting of Deepa Mehtas film "Water", the BJP was "busy provoking the people to divert their attention from its misgovernance", he added.
He said he would be visiting Azamgarh tomorrow to urge people to maintain peace.
The former Defence Minister blamed the BJP government for instilling a sense of fear in the minds of the people regarding a "misperceived threat to security on the Republic Day, which prevented them from enjoying the function".
Asked about former Chief Minister Kalyan Singhs allegation against him for promoting dynasty by fielding his son Akhilesh in the Lok Sabha byelection from Kannauj, Mr Yadav said he had no comments to offer except that his son had "chosen the path of struggle and of facing the electorate".
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister V.P. Singh said today the political instability in the country was due to weak socio-political and economic basis of the society and it could not be checked or altered by reviewing the Constitution.
Addressing a press conference here, he said the Constitution should not be merely treated as a "legal book, but rather a document of the "aspirations of the people.
Maintaining that the move by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to review the Constitution was "full of suspicions, he alleged that particularly the mode to be adopted for this purpose was "undemocratic.
"It would be a political dishonesty to ignore Parliament. The peoples representatives should be involved in the discussion of the proposed review of the Constitution. It should be a political obligation, he said.
Terming the proposed step as a "great danger to the country, he called upon the alliance partners to rise to the occasion in opposing the BJPs game plan.
Opposing the move for
the presidential form of government, he said the NDA
members should ponder over what would be their fate in
the case of shift to the presidential form in India from
the parliamentary system.
Congress discusses names for poll
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 The Congress Central Election Committee today discussed the candidates for the forthcoming assembly elections in Haryana and is understood to have cleared a majority of names from 90 constituencies.
However, the party spokesman, Mr Ajit Jogi, said that an official announcement would be made tomorrow.
According to party
sources, the committee has reportedly given a nod to
renominate all those who were members of the dissolved
assembly and also cleared the nomination of Mr Ranjit
Singh from Rori to take on his brother and Haryana Chief
Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.
Raising day today of Military
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 Coinciding with the 111th anniversary of the Corps of Military Farms, Military Farm (MF), Bangalore, is celebrating its 55th Raising Day tomorrow. The farm was established in March, 1945, to supply milk and milk products to troops located at Bangalore.
Presently under the command of Lt-Col (Dr) S.S. Randhawa, MF Bangalore is one of the biggest farms of the country, with a land holding of 6,380 acres and an animal population of 2000. It produced about 25 lakh litres of milk in 1999, an increase by 4 lakh litres over the previous year. The farm is also producing about 1,500 metric tonnes of dry fodder.
Milk production at the farm is further expected to increase with the introduction of a new project at Agram, where abundance of green fodder and water is available. As a gesture of goodwill towards local farmers, the farm is making highly pedigreed male calves to be used as bulls available free of cost for improving the progeny of local cows.
Director, Military Farms, Southern Command, Col M.L. Gupta, informed that military farms under the Southern Command increased milk production by 24 lakh litres in 1999 as compared to 1998.
On the occasion, the GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Lt Gen S. Padmanabhan, Colonel Commandant Military Farms, Lt Gen M.S. Bhuller, Deputy Director General Military Farms, Brig V.P. Singh and Commander, Karnataka and Goa Sub Area, Brig L.S. Reddy have extended their greetings to all MF personnel and their families.
The history of Military Farms is traceable as far back as 1889, when a military dairy was established at Allahabad to supply milk to troops and dry fodder to animals. This was followed by several more farms at Mhow, Panagarh, Kirkee, Belgaum, Bangalore, Jalandhar and Wellington.
Military Farms has the
history of being the oldest organised dairy farms in the
country and claims to be the pioneer in the field of
cattle breeding. Military farms are the only
organisations involved in multi dimensional functions in
the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and dairy
farming, both for production as well as processing of
Film fest advisory panel recast
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (UNI) The advisory panel to the Directorate of Film Festivals, which organises the annual national and international film festivals, has been reconstituted with six official and an equal number of non-official members.
The panel, headed by Information and Broadcasting Secretary Y. N. Chaturvedi, is aimed at establishing a regular forum for consultation with filmmakers, industry representatives and others connected with the film movement, on the policies and programmes of the directorate.
The other officials are the Information and Broadcasting Ministrys Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, the Joint Secretary (films), the Managing Directors of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and Indian Airlines, and the Joint Secretary (External Publicity Division) in the External Affairs Ministry.
The non-officials have
only one non-film member: Ms Rattnotama Sengupta who is
Art Editor with The Times of India. The other members are
filmmakers Bobby Bedi, Yash Chopra, Jahnu Barua, Mani
Rathnam, and Aparna Sen.
Plea on militants release dismissed
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (UNI) The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition challenging the release of three hardcore militants by the government in exchange of hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in December.
A three-judge Bench comprising Mr Justice S.P. Bharucha, Mr Justice S.S.M. Quadri and Mrs Justice Ruma Pal dismissed the petition saying the court was not the proper forum to raise such issues.
Gang of cheats busted; 6 held
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 The Delhi Police has busted a gang indulging in cheating companies in Gujarat by selling goods transported through trucks.
The suspects, Narender, Rambir, Mukesh, Raj Singh, Rajesh, alias Raju and Surender Singh, were arrested here yesterday, the police said. They reportedly indulged in falsifying documents of companies which supplied goods.
The suspects are truck operators and allegedly sold the goods in the Capital at cheap rates. The police said Narender, Rambir and Mukesh were arrested when they were carrying ICI paints in a truck, which bore a fake registration number, for sale in Mayapuri, whereas the consignment was to be delivered at an ICI godown in Shahadra.
JKNPP for talks with Hurriyat men
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) today favoured talks with the detained Hurriyat leaders at present lodged in a Jodhpur jail in Rajathan.
"Dialogue is the
key to success and the administration should hold talks
with them... After all they are part of the country and
some of them have held positions of ministers and
MLAs," JKNPP President Bhim Singh told reporters
here after completing his "rashtra chetna
yatra" from Kargil to Kanyakumari and back.
killed in road mishap
Islands to be
place of pilgrimage
to discuss CTBT with PM
1 dies, 4 hurt
against construction of dam
4 killed as jeep
rams into truck
Tusks seized, 5
of gang arrested
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