|Tuesday, May 16, 2000,
DMKs broadside at
Sahyog case: NSA not to be
Elders recall Kargil heroes
missing links in chain of events
Haryana yet to start new phone
Compensate riot victims: SP
Complete bandh in Doon valley
Former minister held for murder
IFFI to be held in October
Adulterated milk: gang busted
Sankhya Vahini project to stay
DMKs broadside at LTTE
CHENNAI, May 15 (PTI) The DMK today came out openly against the LTTE, asking how an organisation which had killed prominent Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka could claim itself to be the saviour of the ethnic minority community there.
Denying that the DMK was supporting the Tamil Tigers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi asserted in the state Assembly that his government would not allow the LTTE or its supporters to indulge in any violence or activity in the state.
Mr Karunanidhi said the DMK had distanced itself from the LTTE after it murdered important leaders of Tamil Elam movement, A. Amirthalingam (TULF), Sri Sabarathinam (TELO), K. Padmanabha (EPRLF) and Umamaheswaran of the PLOTE.
"How can a movement, which had killed the leaders of its own race, save Tamils from annihilation, the Chief Minister asked while replying to the demands of grants for the police.
He said after the 1983
genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, four or five groups had
been fighting for their cause. Each group had the
patronage of one party or the other in Tamil Nadu. While
the LTTE was backed by the AIADMK leader late M.G.
Ramachandran, the TELO had DMKs support, Mr
Sahyog case: NSA not to be invoked
NEW DELHI, May 15 (PTI) A group of womens organisations today said Home Minister L.K. Advani has disapproved invoking of the National Security Act (NSA) against the activists of Sahyog, a Uttar Pradesh NGO, on the ground that it had published a booklet that contained objectionable material.
The group, which called on Mr Advani, in a statement welcomed his stand and said the Home Minister has assured them that he would immediately inform the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister of his opinion.
"The misuse of laws of detention was one of the reasons why the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) was allowed to lapse," the statement quoted Mr Advani as saying.
They also submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister saying "while genuine concerns have been expressed regarding the language used in the document, it is reiterated that there is no justification for such a drastic step."
The controversy over the allegedly obscene booklet on AIDS, AIDS Aur Hum came to light a month ago, after a group of local youth attacked the office of the NGO, which works in the Almora area in Uttarakhand.
Telugu Desam MP Yerran Naidu, who was also present at the meeting, supported the appeal of the womens groups for revoking the NSA order immediately.
The activists who met the minister were from the AIDWA, the National Federation of Indian Women, the Joint Womens Programme, the NAZ Foundation, the Sama, the Nirantar and the Wama.
In a separate statement, another group of intellectuals criticised the administrations "heavy-handed action" against the Almora-based group sahyog and said the invocation of the draconian legal instrument was unwarranted.
Elders recall Kargil
NEW DELHI, MAY 15 Members in the Rajya Sabha today paid homage to the jawans who laid down their lives during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan last year.
The occasion came in the shape of a discussion on the working of the Defence Ministry.
The discussion was initiated by the senior BJP member T.N. Chaturvedi who spoke highly of the defence preparedness of the country and said that it had been exhibited in the recent conflict with Pakistan.
Mr Chaturvedi said research and development work in various fields was on, but there was need for increased interaction between the researchers and the defence personnel so that both benefit from such an action.
Mr Chaturvedi welcomed the announcement of the Defence Minister for probe through the Comptroller and Auditor-General and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into defence acquisitions.
Mr Chaturvedi called for special efforts to popularise army as a lucrative career among the youth through talk programmes by senior officers in the universities and other educational institutions.
Mr Suresh Kalmadi of the Congress said the Kargil war proved to be a wake up call for the nation. He said with each conflict the "gap between Indian and Pakistani forces was narrowing and this was a matter of concern."
The members expressed serious concern in the delay in procurement and induction of vital armaments systems, like weapon locating radars (WLR), and unmanned arial reconnaissance which could affect security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pointing out that
security situation in the valley had deteriorated as
borne out by todays killing of the states
Power Minister Ghulam Hassan Bhat, members asked the
government to expedite the induction of these weapon
system as well as go full steam ahead for the
modernisation drive in the armed forces.
No inquiry into Kargil: Pak
NEW DELHI, May 15 (UNI) Indicating Pakistans unrepentant attitude towards its aggression in Kargil last year, General Pervez Musharrafs information adviser says his country has an open stand on Kashmir and, therefore, there is no need to hold an inquiry into the Kargil episode as India had done.
In an interview to the BBC (Urdu) last night, Mr Javed Jabbar said the Mujahideen wanted Kashmir liberated and there was no secrecy about our stand on the issue.
Replying to a question why Pakistani rulers were not in favour of instituting an inquiry commission into the Kargil episode though there were allegations against certain people because the consequences the country had to face as a result of it he said Pakistan in contrast to India has an open policy on Kashmir and thus had not felt the need for it.
When asked whether
Pakistan does not want to assess the gains and losses
from the Kargil war, Mr Jabbar evading a direct reply
accused the Nawaz Sharif government of digression from
the ground realities during the Kargil war.
Bribery case: missing links in chain of events
NEW DELHI, May 15 (UNI) Former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao told a Delhi Court today that the CBI had framed the MPs bribery case against him without providing any chain of events to prove that opposition MPs were paid bribes to defeat the July 28, 1993 no-confidence motion against his then government.
Citing several high court judgments, Mr Raos counsel, R.K. Anand told the trial court of Additional Sessions Judge Ajit Bharihoke that to prove a conspiracy charge on the basis of circumstantial evidence, as was in the present case, the prosecution had to present the chain of events leading to the crime. Even if one link in the chain was missing the case could not stand.
In the case against the former Prime Minister, the CBI had given a series of incidents allegedly relating to the conspiracy, arrival of bribe money from Bangalore and payment to some MPs but these had no links whatsoever, counsel Anand said.
Describing the case as politically motivated, Counsel Anand said it was filed as his client, who had provided a stable government for five years, was perceived to be a potential political threat and the case was still being pursued as Mr Rao continued to be a formidable force.
Former Haryana Chief
Minister Bhajan Lal, through his counsel Dinesh Mathur,
said the charges of mobilising support against the motion
did not amount to any offence and the CBI had failed to
put on record any evidence to prove that bribe was
actually paid. Some photographs and a video-recording
submitted to the court did not hold out anything specific
against his client.
North India in Parliament
NEW DELHI, May 15 - The new telephone connection scheme with reduced registration fee has not been introduced in Haryana, according to the Minister of State for Communication, Mr Tapan Sikdar. He was replying to a question raised by Mrs Kailasho Devi in the Lok Sabha.
The government has envisaged making telephone available on demand throughout the country by the end of the Ninth Plan, ie by March 2002 along with contributions from the private sector complementing the efforts of the government, Mr Sikdar said.
Giving statewise details of the waiting list and target fixed for 2000-01, he said the target fixed was much higher than the waiting list in most of the circles.
The waiting list as on March 31, 2000 in Haryana, was 73262 and the target for the new connection was 150,000; The Himachal Pradesh waiting list was 24708 and the target 60,000; the Jammu and Kashmir waiting list was 31882 and the target 50,000 and the Punjab waiting list was 176,732 and the target 250,000.
Replying to another question raised by Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, the Minister of State said the telephone advisory committee had been constituted in Bathinda. It has been constituted in June 1998, for a period of two years up to June 30, 2000. At present there are 34 members in the TAC.
Environment: The proposal for a refinery in Punjab submitted by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited was accorded environment clearance on November 6, 1998, the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Mr Babu Lal Marandi said in reply to a question raised by Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura in the Lok Sabha.
Power: Rural Electrification Corporation provides financial assistance for village electrification, intensive electrification of already electrified villages, energisation of pumpsets and system improvement schemes, the Union Minister for Power, Mr P R Kumaramangalam said.
Giving details of the financial assistance provided by the REC in 1999-2000, he said Haryana had been given Rs 3418 lakh, Himachal Pradesh Rs 2771 lakh, Jammu and Kashmir Rs 1637 lakh, Punjab Rs 33231 lakh.
The team of the Bhakra Beas Management Board is reported to have visited Nalagarh district in Himachal Pradesh four times for inspection of 400 KV Dehar-Panipat line where the construction activities in respect of government hospital building were going on near the above transmission line, the Minister of State for Power, Mr Jayawanti Mehta, said.
Law, Justice and Company
Affairs: The number of cases of contempt of court pending
in the High Court of Himachal Pradesh was 34 (civil 33
and one in criminal); Jammu and Kashmir 3621 (civil 3569
and criminal 52); and in Punjab and Haryana 2528 ((civil
2478 and criminal 50), the Union Minister for Law,
Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Ram Jethmalani said
replying to a question raised by Mr Rampal Singh and Dr
Compensate riot victims: SP
NEW DELHI, May 15 (UNI) The Centre should direct the Uttar Pradesh government to pay compensation to Sikh families who were affected by the riots which followed Indira Gandhis assassination way back in 1984, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded in the Lok Sabha today.
Raising the issue during the zero hour, Mr Yadav said a government which spends a sum of nearly Rs one hundred crore for the upkeep of its 100 and odd ministers should not find it difficult to pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 to each family as recommended by the Ranganath Mishra Commission.
The Samajwadi Party leader said a group of ministers which was set up when he was the state Chief Minister to look into this issue has been wound up.
Mr Priyaranjan Dasmunshi (Congress) referred to the massive rise in prices of antibiotics and other drugs in the recent months and asked the government to take steps to control them. Prices of certain essential drugs have gone up by 75 per cent, he said.
Mr Basudev Acharya (CPM) said the government of India is violating the Payment of Wages Act by non payment of salaries to the tune of Rs 1700 crore to employees of various central government undertakings.
He said workers in as many as 17 undertakings have not been paid salaries for period ranging from four to 16 months. They have also not been paid gratuity and other retirement benefits.
Complete bandh in Doon valley
DEHRA DUN, May 15 (UNI) All shops, banks, government offices and schools remained closed in the Doon valley today in response to a bandh call given by the Uttarakhand Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (USSS).
The district administration divided the city into three sectors. Kasnagar, Rishikesh and Mussoorie were kept under separate sectors for the purpose of beefing up security measures.
The bandh call was given many days ago and evoked a tremendous response despite the central Cabinets approval on May 13 of the Bills relating to the formation of the new states of Uttaranchal (Uttarakhand), Vananchal and Chattisgarh.
According to Mr Avadhash Kaushal, a senior citizen and environmentalist, this showed the complete disbelief of the people of Uttarakhand in the governments intentions.
According to Lt. Col (retd) Vijay Ghildiyal, Secretary General of the Uttarakhand ex-servicemen organisation, the governments tabling of the Uttarakhand bill on the last day of the parliamentary session is a part of its "delaying tactics.
Mr S.S. Pangtey, president of the Uttarakhand Jan Vikas Party, said it was now the responsibility of all political parties of the region to ensure that all irregularities in the bill were removed before it was passed in Parliament.
Meanwhile Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishane state Cultural Minister described todays bandh as "anti-people. when the new state is in the offing, certain forces were calling for such bandhs in order to save their identity, he said in a press release issued from Lucknow.
Col Ghildiyal said that as the Uttaranchal Bill was to be introduced on the last day of the Parliamentary session, people would have to wait for future sessions in order to see their dream of a hill state being realised.
Many people, however, saw todays bandh as a loss to the tourism-based hill economy as this was the peak tourist season in the region.
The bandh call had
received widespread support in the valley and its
surrounding areas. Work in offices came to a standstill.
Some of the schools, which had not informed their
students earlier, had to send them home at about
Former minister held for murder
GANTOK, May 15 (UNI) The Sikkim police yesterday arrested former state Forest Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Thuch Chuck Lachungpa in connection with the murder of a 25-year-old youth at Rayekhola, 18 km from here. Police here said Mr Lachungpa was arrested from Gangtok as he was one of those named in the first information report.
IFFI to be held in October
NEW DELHI, May 15 (UNI) In a major shift of policy, the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in January will now be held in October every year in an attempt to ensure a better package of films and greater participation from overseas.
It has also been decided that the next IFFI, which will continue to have a duration of 11 days, will be held in Bangalore from October 21 next year. The festival will be non-competitive. There will be no festival in October as the 31st IFFI was hosted by Delhi in January this year.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley is understood to have approved the change from January to October following a recommendation to that effect by the Directorate of Film Festivals of the Ministry which organises the annual fete. The new dates have also been approved by the Paris-based International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) which lists the Indian fete among the top 10 in the world.
Although, India has been
hosting international film festivals since 1952, it was
only from 1976 that it became an annual feature from
January 3 to 17 every year. At that time, a general
competitive fete was held in Delhi every second year with
a non-competitive IFFI or Filmotsav in a film producing
centre in the intervening year.
Adulterated milk: gang busted
NEW DELHI, May 15 The Delhi Police claimed having busted rackets of sale of adulterated milk and petrol from different areas of the Capital with the arrest of 12 persons.
In the first case, Economic Offences Wing of the police arrested owners of Health Guard Product located in Bahadurgarh, Tarun Walia and Rajan Sharma and owners of Dindson India Pvt, R. K. Yadav and Satish Gautam on charges of selling adulterated milk in Delhi, Noida and Faridabad. They allegedly used trade mark of Mother Dairy.
Efforts are on to arrest two remaining partners, of the Health Guard Product, Sunil Dave and Yashvir.
Sankhya Vahini project to stay
NEW DELHI, May 15 (PTI) The Government today ruled out scrapping of the Sankhya Vahini project and said clarifications sought by the Ministry of Information Technology about the project have been explained.
Replying to a written question in the Lok Sabha, the Communications Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, said there was no proposal to scrap this project and clarifications sought by the Ministry of Information Technology have been adequately and explained to it.
To the extent required these have also been built into the draft joint venture agreement, he said.
The Minister said although the project had been approved by the government in principle, joint venture agreement between the two main promoters was yet to be signed.
pilgrims killed in bus mishap
6 in Tripura
found making liquor
Three of family
3 run over by
bus near Ajmer
30 pc of PDS
subsidy lost to corruption
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