|Friday, April 21, 2000,
on specific complaint
No relaxation in Varanasi
Army to thwart arms
virtually takes off in WB
Rollback PDS price hike: panel
Rajasthan, Gujarat face drought
Dilip takes oath under real name
Kids of foreign fathers to get Pak
Ruckus in RS over remarks on
Journalists union flays INS
Panel to work out modalities
RJD stages walkout over PDS prices
Khairnar back in action
Panel on Haj arrangements
Action on specific
NEW DELHI, April 20 On expected lines the government today said that it had no specific complaint of match-fixing against any Indian cricketer or the office-bearer of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).
However, while tabling the report of the Chandrachud Committee, which had gone into the allegations of match-fixing against the Indian cricketers in Parliament, the Sports Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, gave indications that the government could take action if it received specific complaints.
He said, "The government in all seriousness will initiate necessary legal measures against practices of match-fixing on the basis of specific complaints that may be received, after appropriate investigation". He asserted that the government would not hesitate to order detailed investigation by any of its agencies in this regard.
The minister expressed the seriousness of the governments endeavour to end this malpractice and urged the public to come forward with specific information. "Persons having specific information regarding malpractices should come forward with such information and they shall be provided adequate protection as required," he said.
In the first detailed response in Parliament after the Delhi police levelled charges of match-fixing against Hansie Cronje, which also forced him to step down as the skipper of South Africa, the government said, "Other than the specific FIR filed by the Delhi police, the government does not at this stage have any specific complaint against particular Indian cricketers or office-bearers of the BCCI. Allegations of a general nature are, however, being reported in the media".
The minister said the government would take recourse to all legal measures to ensure that this menace was eliminated.
"The Government will not hesitate to order detailed investigation by any agency of the government depending upon the gravity of the charges and allegations, " the minister said.
The minister said he had convened a meeting with BCCI office-bearers on April 27 to discuss the current state of affairs in cricket and measures that need to be adopted to achieve higher standards in the game. " In this regard, the cricketing fraternity also has a critical role to play which it must discharge," he said.
Mr Dhindsa said the government was "seriously alarmed" by the recent revelation regarding match-fixing in cricket especially in the context of the recently concluded series between Indian and South Africa.
The minister informed the House that the Delhi police on the basis of the investigations it carried out had lodged FIR no. 111/2000 against Hansie Cronje and others on charges of betting and match-fixing.
"Keeping in view these developments, the Department of Sports summoned all agencies and officials concerned to get an insight into facts of this particular case. The case is under investigation and the full dimension of this problem will only be apparent once the detailed investigation gets completed," he said.
Mr Dhindsa said the BCCI had assured that it would extend its complete cooperation in this regard so that the culprits could be identified. The BCCI was also agreeable to making the Chandrachud Committee report public, he said.
BJP members, Vijay Goel and former test cricketer Kirti Azad, said match-fixing by any Indian player amounted to "sedition" and they should be arrested and prosecuted. They, however, cautioned that attempts to malign all players, most of whom are honest, would be damaging to cricket.
Mr Goel said a former cricketer had disclosed Rs 16 crore as his assets under the voluntary disclosure of income scheme (VDIS) and demanded a probe into it, claiming it could be tainted money.
The CBI on its own should come forward to probe the scandal which has rocked the game not only in India but worldwide, he demanded.
Describing the game as " a religion and a passion" in India, Mr Azad, a member of the victorious 1983 Indian World Cup team, sought protection for former cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, who, he said, was willing to disclose the names of Indian players allegedly involved in betting.
Congress Deputy leader Madhavrao Scindia said the credibility of the game had been "hit for a six" and this had to be restored.
Stating that the scandal had ramifications across the borders, Mr Scindia said the investigating agency must get to the bottom of it.
HC grants interim bail to
NEW DELHI, April 20 Bollywood actor Kishan Kumar, one of the accused in the match-fixing case has been given Interim Anticipatory Bail (IAB) by the Delhi High Court today.
Justice, M.S.A. Siddique directed the Delhi Police not to arrest Kishan Kumar till April 25 when his petition for quashing of an FIR against him came up for hearing.
Kishan Kumar filed the petition for quashing FIR registered against him yesterday. At present, he is lodged in Tihar Jail.
The high court granted the IAB to the actor after his counsel R.K. Anand and I.U. Khan moved an application challenging the move of the Delhi Police to seek his remand from the lower court.
Kishan Kumars counsel told the high court that the police yesterday moved an application before the lower court for his remand. The counsel pointed out that the police had sought the remand of Kishan Kumar, who is at present lodged in Tihar Jail, in connection with the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) case. The court took a strong exception to police counsel S.K. Saxenas contention that Kishan Kumar was required by the police for further interrogation and the application for his remand was moved in lower court considering this fact.
Mr Justice Siddique said the police had enough opportunity to arrest Kishan Kumar. "You had enough opportunity to arrest him. Why did not you arrest him?", the Judge asked?
The court also asked the police to produce the case diary on April 25, the next date of hearing.
While arguing the case, Kishan Kumars counsel, R.K. Anand claimed that the police had registered a "false case" against his client as no charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy could be made out against him. "Even if he is charged with the match-fixing, it will amount only to gambling which is a bailable offence," Mr Anand said.
Meanwhile, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sangita Dhingra Sehgal directed the police to hand over all documents relating to alleged hawala transactions made by Kishan Kumar and another accused in the match-fixing case Rajesh Kalra to Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The direction followed an application moved by the ED which sought possession of all relevant records of FERA seized by Crime Branch of the Delhi Police about the alleged money transactions by Kishan Kumar and Rajesh Kalra.
The court said that all papers seized by the police should be handed over to the EDs investigating officer by this evening. The court also granted permission to ED officials to interrogate the Bellwood actor in Tihar Jail on Friday and Saturday with the direction that only two of its investigating officials would question him.
Beside this an
application of the police for the production warrant
moved before the Metropolitan Magistrate (MM), Mr K.S.
Mohi has been adjourned till April 25 following the
interim bail order of the high court. The counsel of
Kishan Kumar in MMs court moved an application for
signing of the case diary in which all investigation
reports were available. In this case too, the court had
called them after April 25.
No relaxation in Varanasi curfew
VARANASI, April 20 (UNI, PTI) There was no relaxation in curfew in the trouble-torn localities in five police circles in the city which continued for the third day.
The district administration said the situation was under control and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the city today.
Some anti-social elements tried to attack a place of worship in the Bhojubeer area last evening, but the police foiled their attempt. They could only manage to damage railings of its compound.
Meanwhile, about 50 persons (60, according to PTI) have so far been arrested in different parts of the city.
The police claimed that 12 persons involved in the killing of Vinod Jain in Madanpur locality on April 18 had been arrested.
Member of Legislative Assembly Shyamdev Rai Chaowdhari presented a cheque for Rs 2 lakh to the family of Vinod Jain on behalf of the state government. District Magistrate Alok Kumar, along with senior officer, were also present there. Vinod Jain is survived by his wife and a child.
The District Magistrate admitted that there was a pattern in the recent events in the city though the administration was yet to gather any valid evidence regarding involvement of any outside forces in the disturbances.
All educational institutions had been closed in view of the situation. The examinations being conducted by the education board have been postponed.
Trouble had erupted in
the Adampur area on Sunday over a procession on Muharram.
Meanwhile, the District Magistrate asserted that there
would be no relaxation in curfew. Additional forces,
including 11 companies of PAC and three companies of
Rapid Action Force have been deployed in the sensitive
areas of the city to maintain law and order.
Army to thwart arms
NEW DELHI, April 20 The Army was prepared to deal with the situation if Pakistan attempted to airdrop arms for militants in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir as apprehended by the Chief Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah, the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, informed the Lok Sabha today.
Mr Fernandes said that the Chief Minister had only expressed his apprehensions about the possible Pakistani attempts to airdrop arms. He said the Army, however, was ready to deal with any situation.
Speaking during the question hour Mr Fernandes said that the Chief Minister had met him yesterday but had made no mention about his reported apprehensions.
Replying to a supplementary question raised by a Congress member, Mr Rajesh Pilot, he said attacks by militants on Army cantonments in Jammu and Kashmir were either "played up or distorted" in the media. Such incidents had no effect on the morale of the Army.
"The Army is maintaining the highest of morale and is dealing with the situation," he said, emphasising that these attacks by the suicide squads showed that Pakistan was using every weapon in its proxy-war with India.
Stating that six such incidents had taken place since August last year, he said it was wrong to suggest that the militants had reached the operations room where the security forces were taking decisions. At the same time, he said that he was not trying to minimise significance of such attacks.
"What can I say on this....," the Defence Minister said when asked by Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav about the claim of US President Bill Clinton that Washington forced Pakistan to withdraw its troops from Kargil during the conflict last year. He said the whole world knows it was the victory of the Indian army in Kargil.
He said following the Kargil conflict, the army has set up a new corps at Leh.
Stating that India was faced with cross-border firing from Pakistan on a daily basis for the last over 10 years, he said Islamabad was indulging in such actions to facilitate smuggling of mercenaries and terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the policy adopted by India in the case of such attacks was to hit back. "We are not taking any initiative to attack Pakistan.... Whatever challenge has been thrown has been met and will be set very effectively".
He said altogether 1,184 incidents of Pakistani cross-border firing were reported between January and March this year in which 22 Army personnel, including an officer, had died.
Mahajot virtually takes off in WB
CALCUTTA, April 20 (PTI) The proposed "mahajot" (grand alliance) in West Bengal virtually took off today with a delegation of Congress, Trinamool Congress and BJP MLAs jointly meeting Governor Viren J. Shah to complain against the prevailing law and order situation in the state, "violence" against Opposition party workers and "corruption" in the ruling party.
In a memorandum to the Governor, they were apprehensive that the CPM would intensify the "reign of terror" to win the forthcoming civic poll and urged him to take steps for holding free and fair elections.
Trinamool Congress policy-making body Chairman Pankaj Banerjee, after meeting Mr Shah, told mediapersons that he was happy over the participation of the Congress in the delegation. "Mahajot is the only alternative to oust the Marxists from power," he said.
The Congress did not take part in the law violation programme of the Trinamool Congress-BJP combine here yesterday on the same issue, saying the party would not participate in any programme with the BJP.
The CLP Chief Whip, Mr Abdul Mannan, said there was nothing wrong in the Congress MLAs joining the delegation which met the Governor on the issue of violence and atrocity "perpetrated by the ruling party".
Seeking to justify their
participation, he said some days ago an all-party
delegation had gone to Delhi on the issue of states
development. Legislators of the CPM and the BJP were part
of the delegation.
Rollback PDS price hike: panel
NEW DELHI, April 20 (PTI) The government came under increasing pressure on the issue of foodgrains price hike and cut in subsidy with a Parliamentary Standing Committee demanding that the government must rollback the increase in the prices of grains for those below poverty line.
"It is the first and foremost duty of the democratic welfare state to provide food security to all and specifically to the poorest of the poor.
"In such circumstances the government must rollback increase in prices of foodgrains made available to those below poverty line through PDS", the Committee on Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution said in its report tabled in the Parliament today.
Releasing the report, Committee Chairman Devendra Prasad Yadav said government should adhere to recommendations of the Committee to rollback hike in the prices of foodgrains.
The committee said PDS prices for below poverty line population by taking economic price as yardstick had increased almost more than 60 per cent.
"Calculations show that by hiking the PDS prices for those below poverty line the government has actually reduced subsidy for them from 65 per cent to 50 per cent, causing further hardships to the poor", the committee said.
It said the purpose of raising allocation to below poverty line families from 10 kg to 20 kg per month had been badly defeated due to the exorbitant hike in the prices of foodgrains meant for poor which is totally beyond their low purchasing power.
Rajasthan, Gujarat face drought threat
NEW DELHI, April 20 (PTI) The spectre of drought loomed large today over vast areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and people there struggled to cope with an acute shortage of food and drinking water.
More than 23,000 villages in 26 of the 32 districts of Rajasthan, seven districts of Saurashtra region of Gujarat and parts of Andhra are facing severe drought, famine and water scarcity following failure of monsoon.
With the advent of another summer, water supply has been seriously hit in almost all parts of Rajasthan and Saurashtra as the natural sources, including dams, lakes and reservoirs, have dried up.
Dilip takes oath under real name
NEW DELHI, April 20 (PTI) It had to be the real and not the reel name when the star of yesterday took oath as Rajya Sabha member today.
Dilip Kumar had to take the oath as Yusuf Sarawar Khan and not by the name he is popularly known.
Parliament sources said that though the thespian had requested to be allowed to take oath as Dilip Kumar it was turned down so also his plea to take it in the name of Yusuf Sarawar Khan, alias Dilip Kumar. Though the Law Ministry notification in his election mentioned him as Yusuf Sarawar Khan, in the list of Rajya Sabha members his name figured as Dilip Kumar.
Kids of foreign fathers to get Pak citizenship
NEW DELHI, April 20 (UNI) The military government of Gen Pervaiz Musharraf has removed a long-standing discrimination against Pakistani women, whose children are denied the countrys citizenship if they marry foreign men.
President Rafiq Tarar issued an ordinance yesterday amending the Pakistani Citizen Act to provide that children born of Pakistani mothers and foreign fathers will automatically be given Pakistani citizenship.
Until now this facility was available only to those children whose fathers were Pakistani nationals. Women organisations and human rights bodies had been demanding an end to this male chauvinistic discrimination against women.
Women have welcomed the new rule. Some of them interviewed by BBC (Urdu) said they had to spend a lot of money and time to get Pakistani visas for their children whenever they wanted to visit their parents and other relations back home.
An official of the Interior Ministry told the BBC that the decision to end the discrimination against women, who married non-Pakistani men, was taken a few days ago by Gen Musharrafs cabinet.
In another order
President Tarar stayed the execution of death sentence
against a woman who killed her lovers wife and
children in Punjab five years ago. The stay is given for
three weeks during which Fatima Bibi will try to buy
pardon from the victims relatives. If she fails,
she will be the first Pakistani woman to be hanged,
according to the BBC.
Ruckus in RS over remarks on Shourie
NEW DELHI, April 20 (UNI) A remark by a member that the writer of a particular book had been rewarded by the BJP by not only nominating him to the Rajya Sabha, but also making him a minister sparked off a pandemonium, forcing an abrupt adjournment of the House for the weekend.
Trouble began when Mr R.S. Gavai, participating in the discussion on a private members resolution on a review of the Constitution, said Mr Arun Shourie, author of the book "Worshipping the False God", had been rewarded by the BJP by being nominated to the Rajya Sabha and bringing him into the Cabinet, although the same party had categorically stated that it did not subscribe to the views of the write.
Mr Shourie, backed by several BJP members, demanded that he should immediately withdraw the remark.
Mr Gavai, who got support from a majority of Congress men, was however, unwilling despite a request from the Chair and went on to say that he would withdraw his remarks only after the book was withdrawn.
Mr S.S. Ahluwalia (BJP), Mr Sanjay Nirupam, Shiv Sena, Mr Narendra Mohan (BJP) and Mr Ramdas Agarwal, also from the BJP insisted that Mr Gavai withdraw the remarks of else these be expunged.
Mr Gavai showed reluctance to withdraw the remark despite repeated requests from Mr Mohammad Salim who was in the Chair.
The controversy kept the proceedings paralysed for almost 25 minutes before the House was adjourned at 5 p.m.
Earlier, Mr Alhuwalia clashed with the panel Chairman when he ruled that a majority of members were opposed to a discussion. He said the panel Chairman was setting a new and dangerous precedent.
Journalists union flays INS
HYDERABAD, April 20 (UNI) The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) today charged the Indian Newspapers Society (INS) with trying to misuse the judicial process to deny employees of the newspaper industry their long-delayed and overdue wage revision.
In a statement here, IJU Secretary-General K. Srinivas Reddy said the decision of the INS to file a petition in the Delhi High Court against the tentative proposals of the Raj Kumar Manisana Singh Wage Board was aimed at deceiving the wage board and the Centre and frustrating the newspaper employees.
He pointed out that wage revision in the newspaper industry was taking place after a decade-long gap.
Mr Reddy said it was
strange that the INS had chosen to file the petition
after taking much time to argue its case before the Wage
Board. "The tactics of the INS were highly
condemnable and the journalist and non-journalist
employees of the newspaper industry would meet the
challenge squarely by a determined, intense and united
struggle", he added.
NEW DELHI, April 20 A sub-committee comprising the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Minister of Planning, Statistics and Programme Implementation and representatives from the disability sector has been constituted to work out modalities to include disability as a category in data collection in Census 2001.
Mr Javed Abidi, Convenor of the Disabled Rights Group, a non-political advocacy group of disabled and non-disabled persons and NGOs, told TNS here today that the first meeting of the sub-committee was scheduled to take place tomorrow.
This decision was taken at the end of a meeting between the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, the Minister of Planning, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Arun Shourie, the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mrs Maneka Gandhi, the Census Commissioner, Mr J.K. Banthia, and representatives of voluntary organisations working in the area of disability.
Apart from Mr Abidi, the Secretary of the Spastics Society of Northern India, Ms Vandana Bedi, was present at the meeting yesterday. Satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the DRG decided against sitting on dharna today and instead had a solidarity sit-in.
Mr Abidi said the DRG began pressing for inclusion of the disabled in the census after it received a letter from the Census Commissioner last December. The letter, written in response to the DRGs voluntary support in data collection for census, came as a major blow to the disability movement.
It said the Census Commission was not contemplating including disability as a category for data collection.
Provoked by this
decision, the DRG, the National Centre for Promotion of
Employment for the Disabled, and various NGOs working in
the area of disability sent protest letters to the Census
RJD stages walkout over PDS prices
NEW DELHI, April 20 (PTI) Rashtriya Janata Dal members today staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha protesting against increase in the prices of foodgrains released through the public distribution system (PDS).
The walkout came when Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Shanta Kumar remarked during the question hour that the government had not withdrawn or reduced subsidy on foodgrains. It had been only re-focussed to ensure that the benefit reached the poorest sections, he said.
At this statement, RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and his colleagues walked out of the House, saying the cut in the subsidies had hit the poor people.
The minister said the subsidy on foodgrains had increased from Rs 6256 crore to 7656 crore as the quantity of foodgrains to be released to those living below poverty line had been doubled.
While there had been an
increase of 68 per cent in the increase of price of
foodgrains, the quantity to be released through the PDS
had been increased by 100 per cent, the minister said,
adding every family would get a relief of Rs 30 per month
due to this new policy.
Khairnar back in action
MUMBAI, April 20 (UNI) Twentytwo cops and a civic employee received injuries today when a 3000-strong mob protesting against the demolition of hutments in the metro last evening turned violent.
The agitationists at Daulat Nagar at Santacruz in North-West Mumbai were staging protest against a demolition programme being initiated by Govind Ragho Khairnar who resumed duty yesterday as Deputy Municipal Commissioner after six-year legal battle.
The police has registered a case of rioting. No arrests were made, the police said, adding that the agitators had resorted to hurling stones and empty bottles on the anti-encroachment staff of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The police also said they resorted to a mild lathi charge and burst tear shells to disperse the mob.
Panel on Haj arrangements
NEW DELHI, April 20 (PTI) External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today announced that the government had constituted a group of ministers to look into Haj arrangements and said authorities would probe the incident of hundreds of Indian pilgrims being stranded at Jeddah airport during the recent pilgrimage.
Responding to severe criticism by members in the Rajya Sabha over the hardships faced by Haj pilgrims, he said his ministry was "not satisfied with the arrangements particularly flight schedules and would take up the issue with the Civil Aviation Ministry.
He said a large number of pilgrims were stranded at Jeddah airport as a hired aircraft was delayed for 48 hours due to a snag.
"We have to probe how such an aircraft was hired, he said.
He said to compound the situation, Air India had curtailed its operations and "we have to find out why"?
The minister intervened after a number of members raised the issue during Zero Hour wanting a parliamentary house committee to probe where the governments Rs 125 crore Haj subsidy was spent.
Blankets in summer for cyclone-hit
SAMBALPUR, April 20 (PTI) While preparing to tackle any situation arising out of prevailing heat wave conditions, the Orissa Government is puzzled over the arrival of a consignment of woollen blankets worth Rs 6 crore for distribution among victims of the super cyclone.
"We dont know what to do with it at the height of summer and a decision on this is pending," Revenue Minister Biswa Bhushan Harichandan told reporters here yesterday. The previous Congress government had placed orders for blankets worth Rs 19 crore of which the first consignment had arrived, he said.
NEW DELHI, April 20 (PTI) Home Minister L.K. Advani today introduced in the Lok Sabha Bill providing for certain amenities for spouses of retired Presidents.
Emoluments and Pension (Amendment) Bill provides that the
spouse of a retired President, after the death of the
latter, while holding or demitting office, gets suitable
pension and accommodation so that she can maintain a
reasonable standard of living for the remainder of her
TN order quashed
CHENNAI, April 20 (UNI)
The full Bench of the Madras High Court today
quashed the Tamil Nadu Government order dated November 19
last, introducing Tamil as medium of instruction up to
fifth standard in all the state board and matriculation
schools in the state from this academic year.
adjudged best city
2 m child
labourers in tobacco units
plea to statute panel
orders in Pipar
DMK leader dead
Four of family
killed in AP village
Five hurt in
6 killed in
9 killed, 35
hurt in mishap
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