|Sunday, April 2, 2000,
Unhappy Cong men may join
India, Turkey to work together
Sonia not to be blamed: Vora
Soz for NHRC probe into massacre
Police remand for Ilyasi
Pak Rangers keeps BSF on
Ecevit says he draws inspiration
BJP to stage rally on statute
Orissa delegation meets Sonia
Unhappy Cong men may join NCP
PUNE, April 1 (PTI) Many "disgruntled" Congressmen were likely to switch their allegiance to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the coming months, NCP leader P.A.Sangma today claimed.
The Congress was going to be weakened in the coming months with several "good and self-respecting people" deserting the party, Mr Sangma said here while briefing reporters after the NCP conclave held at the Baramati residence of the party president Sharad Pawar yesterday.
"We are getting feelers from very good people in the Congress to join us", Mr Sangma said adding soon the NCP would emerge as a strong alternative to the BJP-led NDA and Congress.
Asked if the NCP was anticipating any change in Congress leadership, Mr Sangma said: "Whom to have as leader is the internal problem of the Congress. But the manner in which Congress is being run gives enough indication of bad times for the party".
Mr Pawar, Mr Sangma and Mr Tariq Anwar, the founders of the NCP, held prolonged closed-door deliberations yesterday. Even party MPs, state ministers and MLAs were excluded from the conclave.
Mr Sangma said one of the main matters discussed at yesterdays conclave was programmes to mark NCPs first anniversary on June 10.
A national-level convention will be held in Nagpur on the occasion in which about 1000 delegates from various parts of the country are expected to participate, he said.
At the convention, the party would review the political situation in the country, including the working of the NDA government and the trend of cross-voting and use of money power in Rajya Sabha elections, the NCP leader said.
"It is unfortunate for democracy that when the electorate consists of leaders and peoples representatives, money can induce cross-voting", Mr Sangma said.
He said a draft resolution on the political situation in the country would be released at the convention.
The NCP had decided to focus now on the forthcoming elections to the Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Mr Sangma said.
Mr Sangma also indicated
the possibility of a new alliance of like-minded parties
to defeat the Left Front in West Bengal even as the
Congress rejected Trinamool Congress proposal to form a
"grand alliance" of non-Marxist parties in the
India, Turkey to work together
NEW DELHI, April 1 Turkey today fully supported Indias draft UN convention on international terrorism and agreed to work closely with New Delhi to fight the scourge resolutely within the framework of international agreements and conventions.
The two countries agreed that the adoption of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism, on which discussions would commence this September, would be an important step in strengthening international legislative framework for combating the menace of international terrorism.
This was the outcome of discussions between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit held here last night.
The nations also signed three agreements - foreign office consultation, cultural and scientific cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors - with the aim to give the required boost to economic and trade relations.
The two Premiers also held wide-ranging discussions on developments in their respective regions, particularly Afghanistan, and other important international issues.
Mr Vajpayee urged Turkish businessmen to invest in Indian infrastructure and offered expertise to Turkey in railways. The two leaders felt that there was much scope for cooperation in the Central Asian region.
The two countries called for a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict and reiterated their support for the efforts by the United Nations, which was trying to set up a broad-based government in Afghanistan.
Earlier, the Turkish Prime Minister said the Kashmir issue should be resolved through bilateral dialogue. He disclosed that Pakistans Ambassador to Turkey had met him before his departure for New Delhi to state that his country did not favour a military solution to the Kashmir issue. Pakistan was eager that the dispute was settled peacefully.
Mr Ecevit favoured restoration of democracy in Pakistan. He said that when Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf visited Turkey he clearly told him to restore democracy in his country.
Asked about his decision to pay an official visit to India and not including Pakistan in his itinerary", the Turkish Prime Minister emphasised that "he didnt want to confuse issues" as India and Turkey had much in common particularly in their shared values of "democracy and secularism".
Explaining the reasons for the rise of fundamentalist forces, the visiting Prime Minister said such forces, particularly "religious fundamentalist forces" tried to assert themselves in the face of rapid economic development and modernisation.
"It is not the case only with Islamic fundamentalist forces, but is also true of any society where rapid economic development is taking place", Mr Ecevit said, pointing out that "it is a transitory phase".
Asked about Pakistans role in Afghanistan, the usually candid and forthright Ecevit avoided a direct reply.
Without mentioning Pakistan, the visiting Prime Minister said: "We should refrain from giving encouragement to anyone" supporting forces of fundamentalism and obscurantism.
Mr Ecevit said Turkey was opposed to nuclear proliferation and "we are a party to the NPT and the CTBT", but we are of the view that "Indias nuclear stand should not affect our bilateral relations".
Sonia not to be blamed: Vora
NAGPUR, April 1 (UNI) The AICC General Secretary, Mr Motilal Vora, today criticised partys Rajya Sabha member and one-time party spokesman Kapil Sibal for blaming party President Sonia Gandhi for the partys recent electoral debacle.
Talking to mediapersons here, he said he disagreed with Mr Sibal. "Ms Gandhi has provided able leadership to the party and winning or losing elections cannot be the grounds for judging it", Mr Vora said.
Replying to a question, he said Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) General Secretary P.A. Sangma was unlikely to succeed in raising the issue of debarring persons of foreign origin from occupying high posts in the deliberations of the Constitution review committee. The issues finalised by the commission at its first sitting had left no scope for the same, he said.
Mr Vora claimed the BJP-led central governments move to review the Constitution was a well-planned conspiracy of the fascist forces to destroy it.
Addressing a meeting of party workers here, he said newly elected RSS chief K.S. Sudershan had already called for scrapping of the Constitution.
Police remand for Ilyasi
NEW DELHI, April 1 (PTI) Suhaib Ilyasi, producer of popular crime serial "Indias Most Wanted", was today remanded to three days police custody for interrogation in connection with the alleged suicide of his wife Anju Ilyasi.
Metropolitan Magistrate Bhupesh Kumar remanded Suhaib, arrested on March 28 after the police brought in the dowry angle to the death on January 10, into police custody till Monday as it sought to interrogate him in view of the "new facts" coming to light during investigation.
The police claimed that Suhaib, who today withdrew his bail application in view of the lawyers strike, used to "mentally torture" his wife as she knew about certain forgeries allegedly committed by him and had threatened to go public about the crime.
The police wanted five days remand for interrogation on the plea that it had to recover four passports in Suhaibs possession and several "fake documents", including his MA (Social Work) diploma from Jamia Millia University.
Suhaibs father-in-law K.P. Singh and brother-in-law Prashant, however, told the court that Suhaib had been "implicated" and there was no question of any harassment of Anju.
Prashant later told mediapersons that Suhaib and Anju had a love marriage and "my sister (Rashmi) has ganged up with the administration to nail Suhaib.
"Some people have hatched a conspiracy against Suhaib and played on the emotions of my sister and my mother", he said.
More than two months after Anjus alleged suicide in her East Delhi apartment, the police had on March 28 arrested Suhaib on charges of dowry death, mental harassment and destruction of evidence.
Suhaib was arrested on a report by area Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ravi Dadaich, who after recording statements of Anjus mother Rukma Singh and sister Rashmi Singh recommended registration of a case and further investigations.
The police registered a case against Suhaib under Sections 304B (dowry death), 498-A (torture for dowry) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC.
Ilyasi found to have 2
NEW DELHI, April 1 The allegation of possession of two passports by Suhaib Ilyasi, producer of popular crime serial "Indias Most Wanted", has reportedly been found true by the police during investigations, sources said.
According to the sources, he had made one passport in 1982 on the name of Mohammad Suhaib and the other in 1991 on the name Suhaib Ilyasi.
He went to England in 1993 on the first passport where he took a job on the basis of an alleged fake degree of masters in social work. He came back to India after a few months.
He went to England again in 1994 on the second passport and reportedly purchased several items worth lakhs of rupees on a credit card.
Sushma not keen on party chiefs post
NAGPUR, April 1 (UNI) Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, who has been newly elected as a BJP member of the Rajya Sabha, today dismissed the possibility of her taking over from Mr Kushabhau Thakre as party President.
Speaking at a meet-the-Press programme here, she said though Mr Thakre had expressed the desire to quit on expiry of his term, the party should persuade him to continue for a second term.
"It is under his (Mr Thakres) leadership that we (the BJP) won two Lok Sabha elections. Mr Thakres desire to relinquish the post has come out of his modesty," she noted.
Ms Swaraj claimed that she was neither keen about the party chiefs post nor was sounded about it.
About the recent Rajya
Sabha elections, she deplored the "blantant use of
money power." When pointed out about cross-voting by
her party MLAs in the Rajya Sabha poll in Uttar Pradesh
(from where she was elected), she said the followers of
former BJP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh could be behind
it. "You cant rule out the Kalyan
factor," she said.
Soz for NHRC probe into
NEW DELHI, April 1 Members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee today observed fast here to protest against the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Kashmir.
The protest fast was led by DSGMC member Manjit Singh. The South Delhi Singh Sabha Federation asked the government to provide security to Sikhs living in Jammu and Kashmir and protect their properties.
The DSGMC fact-finding team which went to Chatti Singhpora has in its report urged the state government to take immediate steps to upgrade security to restore confidence of the people living there.
UNI adds: Former union minister Saifuddin Soz has suggested that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) should probe the March 20 massacre.
Prof Soz said he had
submitted a memorandum to the NHRC requesting it to
investigate into the "wide-ranging allegations of
the people from South Kashmir, who dispute the security
forces claim that five persons killed by them were
responsible for the Sikh carnage."
Pak Rangers keeps BSF on
SRI GANGANAGAR, April 1 The anti-India activities of the Pakistan Rangers, including the construction of multi-storeyed observation posts and bunkers, mushooming of madarsas and roaming of "deranged" persons near the international border in the Bikaner sector of Rajasthan have been giving sleepless nights to Border Security Force (BSF) jawans.
The Pakistan Rangers had constructed multi-storeyed observation posts at every 2 km within 150 metres of the international border in front of the fencing gates against the rules. Despite a number of meetings of BSF officials with officials of the Pakistan Rangers in this regard, the construction of observation posts was still going on, official sources said.
The sources added that tension was always there on the border over the illegal activities of the Pakistan Rangers and sometimes firing between the two sides had also taken place.
They said the strength of BSF personnel guarding the Indo-Pakistan border in Rajasthan was inadequate and the matter had been taken up with the higher authorities but to no avail.
A senior BSF official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the BSF was facing a shortage of staff as some battalions meant for the border had been shifted to Jammu and Kashmir for anti-militancy operations.
He added that long duty hours of the jawans were affecting their performance.
He pointed out that another problem being faced by the jawans was the mushrooming of madarsas near the border coupled with the presence of deranged persons.
He said hundreds of such persons, who were nabbed by the BSF, had been handed over to the local police.
The BSF is facing another problem from the Muslim community living in Bangladesh, which has made the border in Rajasthan as a safe route for Pakistan. In the past two years, more than 600 Bangladeshis have been arrested by the BSF on the border.
Komal Anand is ASI DG
NEW DELHI, April 1 (UNI) Ms Komal Anand, an IAS officer from Haryana belonging to the 1968 batch, has been appointed Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary.
As part of a major exercise of reshuffles in the administrative cadres, announced this evening, Mr V.K. Duggal (IAS 1968, union territory cadre) has been appointed as Additional Secretary in the Department of Commerce by downgrading the post of Special Secretary.
Mr Virendra Singh (IC and CES) has been appointed Adviser in the Inter-State Council Secretariat in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary and Ms Aruna Makhan (Indian Civil Accounts Service) is the new Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Mr Lalit Mathur (IAS Andhra Pradesh 1968) is to be the new Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Rural Development Ministry, while Mr S.P. Arya (IAS Uttar Pradesh 1968) is the new Additional Secretary in the Urban Development Ministry.
Mr A.K. Rastogi, who
belongs to the Tamil Nadu cadre of IAS in the 1968 batch,
is to be the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Bharat
Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) on deputation for a
period of three years or until further orders, whichever
Ecevit says he draws
inspiration from Gita
NEW DELHI, April 1 "The Bhagwad Gita has always reminded me of my duties as a politician", the visiting Turkish Prime Minister said while talking to mediapersons here today.
Quoting Indias first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr Ecevit said: "Gita is a crisis document" and "I still keep it as Krishnas advice to politicians".
Mr Ecevit, the fifth time Prime Minister of Turkey, said Gita had helped him resolve several dilemmas.
BJP to stage rally on statute review
MUMBAI, April 1 (UNI) The BJP will stage a rally in New Delhi on April 17 where Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will clarify his government stand regarding appointment of a commission to review the Constitution.
This was announced to mediapersons here today by party General Secretary Sanghpriya Gautam.
NEW DELHI, April 1 (UNI) A school run by Christian Capuchin missionaries at Dasna-Masuri in Ghaziabad district was attacked and looted last night and the local police failed to take timely action, the All-India Catholic Union (AICU) said here today.
Skylark George was roughed up and held at knife point at
about 2.30 a.m. As about 10 men, aged between 20 and 25
years, armed with sticks, knives and iron rods, ransacked
his room, AICU national secretary John Dayal said in a
statement. The priest had received some injuries in the
Orissa delegation meets Sonia
NEW DELHI, April 1 (UNI) A delegation of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre Orissa, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi here and apprised her of the "bitterly developing" political situation in the state Congress and urged her to defer the party election and membership drive "due to the grave post-cyclone situation prevailing" in the state.
In a memorandum
submitted to here they said the cyclone which hit 14
coastal districts of Orissa had a long term effect on the
socio-economic condition of the people and the Congress
would be committing a grave mistake in engaging its
workers in the party election process by diverting them
from the task of "relief and rehabilitation" at
this crucial time.
rise in wild cat population
HC direction to
with fake degrees
Gawlis aide shot
earns 130.57 million
Boy traced after
Air Force cook
held for spying
Cop kills wife,
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