|Thursday, April 6, 2000,
still undecided on Karmapa
by private schools to be checked
on lease grounded
staff hold protest march
to honour Sanskrit scholars
commission for rapists arrest
India still undecided on
DHARAMSALA, April 5 With the Indian Government failing to take a decision on the status of the 17th Karmapa, even after three months of his arrival in the country, the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Karmapa himself seem to be getting restive.
In the absence of a political asylum of refugee status being granted to the Karmapa, who heads the Kagyu sect, there is restriction on his movements anywhere in the country. A number of requests made by the Karmapa for visiting monasteries and pilgrim centres within Himachal Pradesh have been turned down by the Indian government on one pretext or the other.
The three-day permission sought by the Karmapa to visit Rewalsar in Mandi district on March 26, was also turned down by the government. Rewalsar is considered to be a holy shrine by the Tibetans. Leave aside moving out of the state or even within Kangra district, the authorities are not willing to let him visit the Sherabling monastery at Bhattu, near Baijnath, which is barely 70 km from here, said one of the Tibetan gurus.
Ever since his arrival in McLeodganj here on January 5, the Karmapa has been housed at the Gyuto monastery in Sidhbari, along with his sister and five others, who formed a part of the escape party from Tibet. It was being hoped that the Karmapa would be shifted to the Sherabling monastery at Bhattu, which has been set up by Tai Situ Rinpoche, one of the four regents of the Kagyu sect. In fact, it was Tai Situ Rinpoche who was instrumental in the selecting of the Karmapa as the head of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and it was said he was the mastermind behind the escape of the Karmapa from Lhasa.
So far, the government has granted permission to the Karmapa to address public audience at the Gyuto monastery only. Though the studies of the Karmapa have begun. formal education can be started only when he has shifted to a proper place, which is the centre of the Kagyu sect.
Senior lamas have begun to say the situation of the Karmapa is no better than what it was in Tibet as his present state is just like being under house arrest.
Restrictions on whom he meets or the places he moves to will continue to remain till a formal decision on his status is taken by the Indian Government, said one of the Indian officials. Under the present circumstances, India would like to delay a decision on the matter as it would not like to annoy China, he added.
Though the Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, Dalai Lama, has publicly requested the Indian Government to allow the Karmapa to stay in India to continue his studies, yet the delay over the matter has kept the Karmapa on tenterhooks.
Fleecing by private schools to be
SHIMLA, April 5 The Himachal Pradesh Government is framing rules for regulating the fee structure of the private schools and adopting measures to check their functioning.
This was stated by the Education Minister while replying to the issue of fleecing by certain schools which was raised by Mr Dharam Pal (Cong) under Rule 324 in the Vidhan Sabha today.
The minister said the President had granted assent to the HP Private Educational Institutions (Regulation) Act under which action could be taken against the defaulting institutions. Once the rules are notified under the Act, the government would be in a position to exercise control on the overall activities of the private educational institutions. No penal action can be taken at present in absence of these statutes.
Mr Dharam Pal expressed concern over the exorbitant fee being charged illegally by some of the private schools and demanded an enquiry by the Vigilance Department into the matter.
Earlier during the question hours, the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, said the Union Government had amended the Marketing Regulation Act under which the commission on apple would be charged from the buyers and not from the growers.
He intervened to clarify the position when Mr Narendera Bragta, Minister of State for Horticulture, was replying to a question tabled by Mr Jai Ram Thakur (BJP).
Mr Bragta said a commission of 6 per cent was being charged by the middlemen from the growers for selling their produce in the Azadpur market in New Delhi.
Some incidents of the middlemen charging a commission of 8 per cent came to the notice of the government and 23 firms were penalised and a sum of Rs 40 lakh got reimbursed to the growers. The growers were paying a commission of about Rs 70 crore on their produce annually.
He said he had recently met the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, to persuade her to implement the amended Marketing Regulation Act.
Mr J.B.L. Khachi (Cong) urged the minister not to confuse the situation and put the growers into trouble.
Thakur Ram Lal (Cong) said the matter was sensitive and the government should keep in mind that the small growers might face problems in case the institution of middlemen was eliminated.
Ms Vidya Stokes (Cong) pointed out that certain middlemen were charging about 4 to 5 per cent extra over and above the fixed commission on various pretexts from the growers. The Horticulture Development Board should be revived, she demanded.
In a written reply to a question from Mr Raghu Raj (Cong), the minister informed him that 24.31 lakh boxes of apple were sent to various states during 1999-2000. The largest quantity of 19.16 lakh boxes was sent to Delhi followed by 2.79 lakh boxes to Chandigarh and 1.21 lakh boxes to Punjab.
He said apple was not sold outside the country during the period.
Many Congress members accused the government of having constituted a lopsided committee to look into the problems of oustees of the Baira-Sieul and Chamera hydel projects.
Mr Harsh Mahajan (Cong) said no representative of the displaced families had been nominated on the committee.
Ms Asha Kumari (Cong) pointed out that the recognised trade unions of INTUC and AITUC had been ignored in the committee whereas two representatives of the unrecognised Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh had been included in it.
In a written reply to Mr Harsh Mahajan (Cong), the Industries Minister informed that 29 slate mines were auctioned during 1999-2000. Of these 11 mines each were in Chamba and Mandi and seven in Shimla district. Besides, four mining leases were granted during the period.
In a written reply to Mr
Harshwardhan Chauhan (Cong), the Forest Minster informed
that 1625 applications for granting timber under the
timber distribution rights were sanctioned in the Poanta
Sahib and Renuka forest divisions during the past two
years and no complaint of misuse of timber had been
HP copter on lease grounded
SHIMLA, April 5 The helicopter taken on lease by the Himachal Government has been grounded due to failure of the Mesco Airlines to get the licence for the aircraft renewed.
Under the rules it is essential to obtain a flying permit for helicopters used for commercial flights renewed every year from the Union Civil Aviation Ministry. The permit of the only helicopter leased by the government expired on March 31, forcing the company to ground the aircraft at the Annandale helipad. The company is making all efforts to get the permit renewed.
The grounding of the helicopter has alarmed the government which has already announced the schedule for flights to snow-bound tribal areas.
The flights to Pangi and Lahaul-Spiti, which were to take place on April 6, 7 and 8, will in all probability have to be cancelled.
It is learnt that the renewal of permit has been delayed due to certain objections raised by the Home Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry Wing Commander A.K. Sharma, an officer of the company, said it was for the first time that the Home Ministry had come into the picture. Normally, the permit was renewed by the Civil Aviation Ministry without any problems.
HPSEB staff hold protest march
SHIMLA, April 5 Hundreds of employees of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) demonstrated outside the Vidhan Sabha here today against the move of the government to trifurcate the board and constitute the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The demonstration was organised by the HPSEB Employees Union. Employees from various parts of the state participated in the protest march.
They submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, in support of their demands.
The agitating employees were addressed by their leaders, including Mr Karam Singh Thakur and Mr Chander Singh Mandayal.
The memorandum opposed the move for constituting the regulatory authority as the functions were being performed by the commercial wing. The Chief Minister assured the union leaders that they would be taken into confidence before setting up the commission.
The memorandum pointed
out that the electricity tariff had increased
phenomenally in Orissa, Gujarat and Haryana where the
regulatory authority was constituted and suggested that
the power board should be strengthened and leakages
HP Govt to honour Sanskrit
SHIMLA, April 5 The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to honour five eminent Sanskrit scholars to mark Sanskrit year (2055-56 Vikrami Samvat) for their outstanding contribution to the language.
The scholars selected are Acharya Divakar Dutt (Shimla), Acharya Saligram (Una), Mr Durga Dutt Shastri (Kangra), Prof Keshav Sharma (Solan) and Dr Nardev Shastri (Himachal Pradesh University).
Womens commission for
SHIMLA, April 5 The State Commission for Women has directed the Shimla district police authorities to properly investigate the case of the gang rape of a Muslim girl near Gumma in Kotkhai and arrest the culprits immediately.
Taking suo motu notice
of the case, the commission also directed the Indira
Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) authorities to provide
required medical assistance to the victim. Ms Indu
Goswami, Chairperson of the commission, visited the
surgical ward of the IGMC hospital and enquired about the
welfare of the girl. She also asked the police to provide
security to the victim.
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