|Wednesday, May 24, 2000,
72 crore for police modernisation
Cabinet Secretary summoned
4 held in fake currency racket
Samata asks Cong to quit
Raj Babbar Punjabi actor of
Army forced to scrap rockets
worth 494 m
Scribe held on espionage charge
Buy TV, get water for 45 days
Decision to fence Indo-Bangladesh
IAS officer suspended
Rabri faces tough task
Ansari named AMU V-C
Civil services exam results on May
Lok Sabha prorogued
Rs 72 crore for police
NEW DELHI, May 23 To help the police upgrade itself and keep in tune with the changing technology the Centre has released Rs 72 crore to the States during 1999-2000.
At the Inter-State Council meeting last week, several Chief Ministers had urged for more funds for the modernisation of the police and to tackle serious law and order situation in many parts of the country.
Haryana sought more funds on the ground that the incidence of crime in Haryana was inextricably linked with crime pattern in the neighbouring states.
According to statistics released by the Union Home Ministry, Himachal Pradesh which witnessed terrorist attacks in the areas bordering Jammu and Kashmir in the past two years, had been given Rs 4.37 crore in 1999-2000 as against Rs 1 crore given during the last fiscal year.
Similarly, Haryana got a grant of Rs 3.17 crore in 1999-2000 as against Rs 71 lakh during the previous financial year.
Punjab which was given Rs 28.46 crore during 1997-98 had been granted Rs 4.23 crore in the next two years.
Jammu and Kashmir had been given Rs 4 crore during 1999-2000 as against Rs 58 crore in 1998-99 and Rs 8.15 crore the previous financial year.
Assistance under the scheme consists of 50 per cent loan and 50 per cent grant-in-aid and nearly 20 per cent of the funds are for the development of forensic infrastructure.
In the first phase of the scheme during 1969-80 the Centre released Rs 52.24 crore to the states while in the next decade (1981-91) the amount of reimbursement went up to Rs 110 crore and during the current phase, up to 1999 the amount went up to Rs 464.74 crore.
The annual provision
under the scheme has been enhanced from Rs 50 crore to Rs
200 crore from 1999-2000 onwards and includes Rs 100
crore as special assistance to redress the special
problems of the states.
Cabinet Secretary summoned
NEW DELHI, May 23 (PTI) A warrant of arrest was issued against the Union Cabinet Secretary, Mr Prabhat Kumar, but its execution stayed on an undertaking that he would appear in the Ayodhya demolition case before the Justice M. S. Liberhan Commission on June 9.
The Commission ordered issuance of warrant yesterday, but it was not executed as Mr Kumars counsel filed an undertaking that he (Mr Kumar) will appear before it on the said date.
The commission issued the warrant taking serious note of Mr Kumars failure to appear before it despite repeated summons.
The commission has also issued fresh summons to a former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Kalyan Singh, to appear before it on June 21, as Mr Kalyan Singh through his counsel informed that he was busy in elections and, therefore, could not appear on May 22.
Mr Justice Liberhan, in
his three-page order, said Mr Prabhat Kumar cannot be
discharged from appearing before the Commission because
he was an important witness as the then Principal
Secretary (Home) of Uttar Pradesh at the time of the
demolition in December 1992.
4 held in fake currency
NEW DELHI, May 23 The Delhi Police today claimed to have unearthed "firm linkages" between a major Pakistani financial institution and the Dubai-based underworld mafia through the ISI with the arrest of four persons and seizure of fake Indian currency amounting to Rs 4.10 lakh.
Acting on a tip-off that Aftab Bukti, an associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was involved in pumping fake currency and arms into the capital and Mumbai, sleuths of the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch apprehended Anil Soni and Devender Singh on May 19 and recovered 16 fake currency notes of Rs 500 denomination from them, Deputy Commissioner of Police P.K. Srivastava told reporters here.
Their interrogation led to the arrest of Abid, who had allegedly killed a Mumbai customs officer Santosh Patole in 1994 at the behest of Ibrahim, and Javed, a dhaba owner yesterday, he said adding fake currency notes amounting to Rs 4.10 lakh were recovered from Abid.
During sustained interrogation, Abid allegedly confessed to working as a hitman of the Dubai mafia along with one Nabi and Saleem, and that he had gone to the factory and residence of a south Delhi industrialist to extort money, he said.
The industrialist told the police that he owed money to a Pakistani financial institution in Dubai and that when all legal channels to recover the money failed, the institution approached the Dubai mafia through the ISI, he said.
"This is for the first time that a concrete proof of linkages between a Pakistani financial body, the Dubai mafia and the ISI has surfaced," Mr Srivastava said.
Efforts were on to arrest three other associates of the group Saleem, Nabi and Iqbal, he added.
Police found that the fake currency recovered from the arrested persons was of very high quality.
Samata asks Cong to quit govt
NEW DELHI, May 23 (UNI) The Samata Party said today if the Congress believed in the concept of devolution of powers and the panchayati raj system, it should quit the Rabri Devi Government in Bihar where local body elections were held 23 years ago.
Party general secretary and spokesman Dr Shambhu Srivastava said that Congress presence in the RJD-led government was a testimony to its hollowness and double standards.
Given Mrs Sonia Gandhis concern for devolution of power and her stress on the contributions of her late husband Rajiv Gandhi in empowering Panchayat Raj institutions, he said the Congress ministers should resign. More so after Rashtriya Janata Dal president Laloo Prasad Yadavs statement that there would be no elections to these institutions until the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the reservation issue.
He said with no Supreme
Court stay against conduct of elections it was now clear
that the government had been fooling not only the public
but also the legislature and courts. It was also denying
much-needed development funds of Rs 8,000 crore meant for
local bodies over a period of five years. There were no
provisions to remit these funds without Panchayat Raj
institutions in place, he added.
Raj Babbar Punjabi actor of millennium
NEW DELHI, May 23 (UNI) Actor-filmmaker and member of Parliament Raj Babbar, whose film "Shaheed Udham Singh" is running to large crowds in Punjab and overseas, has been chosen the Punjabi male actor of the millennium by the people of Punjabi origin in the USA.
The Punjabi American Heritage Society, the largest organisation of the US-based people of Punjabi origin, is to confer the honour on Raj Babbar at a special Punjabi American festival 2000 on May 28 in Yuba city in California.
According to a letter received by Raj Babbar from the society president, the annual festival which draws more than 10,000 people every year is aimed at promoting understanding and friendship among those living in the Yuba-Sutter region that is the home of the most concentrated population of Punjabis in the USA. The festival will feature performances by children groups, high school and college students and famous international Punjabi artistes.
The letter says that his
role in the film "Shaheed Udham Singh" has
proved to be very inspirational to all Punjabis/Indians
worldwide. This historical film is the saga of the little
known Shaheed Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammed Singh Azad
who in 1940 killed Sir Michael oDwyer who had
ordered the killing of thousands of innocents people at
Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in 1919. The judge who
passed the death sentence on the martyr on June 5, 1940,
directed the press not to publish the statements made by
Udham Singh in court. The papers were banned from public
domain under the Official Secrets Act and another order
under the Public Record Act said the files would remain
secret until the year 2040.
Army forced to scrap rockets worth 494 m
NEW DELHI, May 23 (IANS) The Indian Army was forced to junk indigenously manufactured rockets worth Rs 494 million and instead import rockets worth Rs 722 million to meet its requirements, according to a government watchdog.
The 122 mm Grad rockets, used in a Russian-made multi-barrel launcher, were made by the state-owned Bharat Dynamics in Hyderabad and an ordnance factory in Chandrapur, Maharashtra, between 1987 and 1991, the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) said. The rockets had a shelf-life of 20 years, it said.
Accidents occurred when some of the defective rockets were used by an artillery regiment for training purposes in October, 1995, the report said. After these accidents, more than 8,800 rockets worth Rs 244 million were "segregated and banned from use...even for training," it said.
The ordnance factory in Chandrapur also had inventory worth Rs 250 million that was not picked up by the Army, it said.
To make up for the shortfall of Grad rockets, the Army had to import 23,500 rockets worth Rs 722 million in 1996, the report said.
The army suspended production of the rockets at the state-owned factories in 1991 after its quality assurance directorate detected that the rockets had not been made according to the specifications of the Russian designers. By that time, the two factories had made more than 12,500 rockets, the report said.
Significantly, the armys quality assurance directorate and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were both involved in clearing the indigenous production of the rockets even after tests had shown that they did not conform to the Russian manufacturers specifications, the report said.
In the same report, the CAG also criticised state-owned ordnance factories for failing to meet production targets over the past five years. There are 39 ordnance factories with a manpower of 150,000 engaged in the production of 1,210 items ranging from weapons and ammunition to heavy and armoured vehicles.
Scribe held on espionage charge
NEW DELHI, May 23 (PTI) The Delhi Police has arrested a city-based freelance journalist on charges of passing on highly confidential documents to Pakistans ISI through her Nepal-based husband, police sources said here today.
Ms Ruchi Singh, who wrote for several Hindi newspapers, was arrested on Friday by sleuths of the counter-espionage section of the city polices Special Branch following a tip-off from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the sources said.
Several documents were allegedly seized from Ms Ruchi Singh against whom the police has registered a case under the Official Secrets Act at the Janakpuri police station, they said.
Ms Ruchi Singh, who was arrested on Friday and subsequently remanded in police custody by a city court, is being interrogated by joint teams of the Special Branch, RAW and the Intelligence Bureau, the sources said.
She allegedly used to pass on documents obtained from senior police and other officials to her Nepal-based husband, Mr M. Shah, who, in turn, forwarded them to his ISI contacts, the sources claimed.
The police has also laid their hands on Ruchi Singhs personal diaries which allegedly contain details of her "friendly relationship" with some important people and the same were being verified, the sources said.
The Nepal polices help has also being sought to trace her husband, they said.
Ms Singh allegedly used to be a frequent visitor to the Pakistan High Commission located in the Diplomatic Enclave of Chanakya-puri, the sources said.
BKS, BMS threaten stir on May 31
MUMBAI, May 23 (PTI) The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) have threatened to launch a nation-wide agitation on May 31 to protest against the Centres recent EXIM policy announcing the slashing of import duties on 714 industrial, agricultural and consumer goods.
Speaking to reporters here today Sharad Joshi, a spokesperson of the organisations, said thousands of the activists would stage a demonstration outside the Mumbai Port Trust on May 31.
Similar demonstrations would also be launched at Kandla in Gujarat, Paradeep in Orissa, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Mangalore in Karnataka and Calcutta in West Bengal, he said.
Flaying the new import
policy, Mr Joshi said the lifting of quantity
restrictions on the import of foreign goods would have an
adverse impact on the production of Indian goods leading
to widescale closure of small scale industries in the
Top US official arriving in
NEW DELHI, May 23 Sri Lanka will be under focus when US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering meets Indian officials here tomorrow morning.
Mr Pickering, who is arriving tonight, will meet the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and the National Security Advisor, Mr Brajesh Mishra and Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh tomorrow, a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Meanwhile in view of the fast developing situation in Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes have cancelled their scheduled visits to Bhopal and Bangalore.
Buy TV, get water for 45
RAJKOT (Gujarat), May 23 The notification of water supply to four zones of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation has become a regular feature in Gujarats vernacular dailies.
According to sources in the corporation, the time table spells out the availability of water in different areas in these zones namely, Jubilee, Gurukul, Aji and Nyari. The total population of Rajkot city is estimated at 10 lakh.
The Rajkot Municipal Corporation assures half-an hour of water supply every alternative day to the areas which have water distribution lines. The areas which dont have such lines get water from tankers and standpoints from 7 am to 8 pm every third day. Each tanker has a storage capacity of 12,000 litres of water.
A vernacular daily and some local non governmental organisations have taken upon themselves the task of supplying water free of cost.
Sources in the corporation said private parties were selling water at anything ranging between Rs 400 and Rs 550 for 10,000 litres. A company had found in this crisis a way to promote its television brand and any person buying the set would get on assured supply of water for 45 days.
Mr J.P. Gupta, Municipal Commissioner, told TNS that all surface water sources had dried up due to negligible rain.
He said the recent extension of the corporation limit and the inclusion of Riaya, Mavdi and Nanamava on the periphery of Rajkot to Rajkot city had put extra burden on the municipality.
According to Mr Gupta, Rajkot city with an estimated population of 10 lakh needed 150 lakh gallons (65 million litres) of water everyday. He said he would like to supply 100 litres to each person everyday which was the absolute minimum recommended by the World Health Organisation. "Right now, we supply 55 litre per person per day."
Mr K.D. Balodia, city engineer of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation said the municipality began supplying water on alternative days from June 28 last year. This was followed by water supply through tankers and standpoints sometime in August. He said water shortage had resulted from negligible rainfall and drying of Haji dam (I) and (III) in Rajkot and Jamnagar, respectively, and Nirhari dam (I and II) in Rajkot.
Mr Balodia agreed that the recent inclusion of Riaya, Mavdi and Nanamava formerly in the Rajkot Urban Development Area (RUDA) within the municipal limit had put burden on the depleting resources. He said these areas which had an estimated population of two lakh did not have water distribution lines.
Mr Balodia said the muncipality was getting water from borewells and a deepwell in Wankanara, about 40 km from Rajkot.
Decision to fence Indo-Bangladesh border
NEW DELHI, May 23 (UNI) In a bid to stop illegal immigration and infiltration of militants into India from Bangladesh, the Centre has approved Rs 1334 crore for fencing the entire Indo-Bangladesh border, an official spokesman said.
Work on the project involving construction of 797 km border roads and fencing of 2429 km border will begin this year and will be completed by March, 2007.
The spokesman said the ongoing fencing project at a revised cost estimate of Rs 1042 crore is expected to be completed by March 31, 2001. Most of the work on the project is complete while some portion remains.
Bangladesh shares a
4094-km border with India which includes patches of
marshy and riverine areas. These areas would be manned by
border outposts (BOPs). Nearly 2216 km of border is with
West Bengal, 262 km with Assam, 443 km with Meghalaya,
856 km with Tripura and 378 km with Mizoram.
IAS officer suspended
NEW DELHI, May 23 (IANS) A senior IAS officer has been suspended for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his income, official sources said.
The suspension order of Virender Singh, a former chairman of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), was issued by the Home Ministry on Monday after it was cleared by Home Minister L.K. Advani.
Mr Singh was the subject
of a recent probe by the CBI. The investigating agency
had earlier raided his residence here and registered a
case against him for allegedly "misusing" his
office to "accumulate" immovable and movable
assets worth millions of rupees, the sources said.
Rabri faces tough task
RAGHOPUR (Vaishali), May 23 (PTI) Amid prospects of sharp caste polarisation of Yadavas and Rajputs, Chief Minister Rabri Devi is facing a stiff challenge to romp home in a straight fight with NDA nominee Beera Devi in Raghopur, once considered a pocket borough of RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav.
"I am getting an overwhelming response from people including Yadavas... My victory is certain," claims Beera, while talking to a visiting PTI correspondent at Rajput-dominated Jahangirpur village.
among the Rajputs has forced the RJD supremo to move into
top gear to woo voters to ensure the victory of his wife
in the byelection to the seat vacated by him after he
decided to retain Danapur.
Ansari named AMU V-C
NEW DELHI, May 23 (PTI) Mohammad Hamid Ansari, a career diplomat, has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The appointment was made by President K.R. Narayanan, who is also the visitor of the university, an official spokesman said today.
Mr Ansari succeeds Mr Mahmudur Rehman.
Civil services exam results on May 25
NEW DELHI, May 23 (PTI) The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) today said results of the civil services examination 1999 would be declared on May 25.
Lok Sabha prorogued
NEW DELHI, May 23 (PTI) The Lok Sabha was today prorogued by President K. R. Narayanan.
thanks Jaipur artiste
in education harmful
Baba Amte has
leaves for Switzerland
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