|Tuesday, May 30, 2000,
Family planning tops
Meeting on Punjab border areas
Laloo: CBI cant probe assets
CISF to oversee security at city
BJP lambasts 4 ex-PMs
Punjab girl wins Olympics prize
Rain likely in HP, UP areas
Pak-trained child soldiers fight
CBSE plus 2 results on May 31
Verdict on TV scam today
Family planning tops ministry
NEW DELHI, May 29 The Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr C P Thakur who assumed charge today said that family planning would be on the top of the agenda of the ministry as population explosion was eating away the fruits of development.
He said improved primary health care would be next on the agenda as it would minimise the workload of district hospitals.
The minister said that all states, Departments of the Human Resource Development, Rural Development, Poverty Alleviation, Women and Child Development, Social Justice and Empowerment, non-governmental organisations, corporate sector, all medical practitioners and the general public would be involved in the governments onerous task of providing better health care to all at affordable price and stabilising the countrys population with the present one billion mark.
Dr Thakur said efforts would be made to set up viable satellite medical centres in the state Capital and major cities. He said he would try his best to include hepatitis B vaccine in the national immunisation programme in light of its epidemic nature.
The minister expressed concern at the recent incidents of isolated cases of cholera in Delhi and blamed the bad management of water supply. He visited the Infectious Diseases hospital and the IIT hostel to see students who have recovered from cholera.
He said two types of diseases are afflicting the country, those associated with poverty such as malaria, tuberculosis and cholera and those associated with affluence such as diabetes and heart disease.
The minister called upon
the senior officers of the ministry, the Director-General
Health Services and the Project Director of the National
AIDS Control Organisation to cooperate in carrying out
the governments plans of providing health care to
all at the centre.
Meeting on Punjab border areas
NEW DELHI, May 29 The possibility of Punjab getting an extension on the ad-hoc grant for farmers of border areas appears bright as the issue will be taken up at the inter-ministry meeting convened here tomorrow.
According to sources the Planning Commission which had released a sum of Rs 8 crore as compensation last year to farmers whose cultivation was affected as their lands lay beyond the fence, could benefit this year too.
The issue had come up for discussion when the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, led a delegation which met Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr K.C. Pant, and urged him to continue the scheme.
"I can afford it" Mr Pant said after the meeting last Friday when asked whether the ad-hoc grant would continue.
However, Mr Pant did not make any announcement and the matter along with other issues raised by Punjab, including problems encountered by people residing close to the border, night-curfew, opening of more gates and maintenance of border roads, will figure in tomorrows meeting.
Apart from the Union
Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, who has called the
meeting, the officers from the Ministries of Defence,
Rural Development and Agriculture and Planning Commission
and Border Security Force will also attend the meeting.
Laloo: CBI cant probe assets case
PATNA, May 29 (PTI) RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav today strongly contested the disproportionate assets (DA) case instituted by the CBI against him and Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, claiming the case was beyond the agencys jurisdiction.
Appearing on behalf of the Laloo-Rabri duo against the agencys plea for framing charges in the Designated CBI Court in the DA case, their counsel P.N. Pandey and Chittranjan Sinha said as per the Supreme Court and the Patna High Court order, the CBI was entrusted to probe only those 41 cases registered by the state government relating to fraudulent withdrawals from various state treasuries after the fodder scam surfaced.
The case has been instituted by the CBI on the basis of the returns filed by both of them in 1996, they said, emphasising the DA case is in no way linked with the fodder scam.
"There have been recoveries and discoveries of evidences in connection with the fraudulent withdrawals from the state treasuries by the state Animal Husbandry Department. But in the instant (DA) case there has been no recoveries or discoveries," Mr Pandey said.
"How a matter which was being examined by the Income Tax Department came under the jurisdiction of the CBI probing the multi-crore fodder scam," he asked.
Hearing on the case for framing of charges, however, remained inconclusive as the Designated CBI Judge S.K.Lal asked Mr Pandey to resume his argument tomorrow.
He said according to set norms, the CBI would probe only those cases being handed over to it either by the respective state governments or the courts.
"There is not even an iota of evidence with the premier investigating agency to prove that the DA case has any relation with the fodder scam," he claimed.
Yadav was present in the court while Mrs Rabri Devi could not attend the proceeding. Her lawyer filed a petition seeking exemption of her personal appearance on the ground that she was preoccupied with official work.
The CBIs counsel, Mr L.R.Ansari, while pressing for framing of charges in this case, had on Saturday charged the RJD chief with having committed the offence of criminal misconduct as public servant between 1990 and 1997 and earned property and pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income to the extent of Rs 46.26 lakh.
The Patna High Court had already granted provisional bail to Mr Laloo Yadav for three months earlier this month. Mrs Rabri Devi is on regular bail in this case.
The Income Tax
Department had last week attached the moveable assets of
the RJD leader and the Chief Minister for their alleged
failure to clear the tax liabilities to the tune of over
Rs 42 lakh during 1990 and 1996.
CISF to oversee security at
NEW DELHI, May 29 The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is overseeing security of 12 domestic airports, will soon expand operations to 11 more airports including Amritsar and Chandigarh, from next month.
In the wake of the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane from Kathmandu last December, the Centre had decided to induct the CISF for providing security cover at all airports in the country.
So far the CISF has been inducted at 12 airports in the country, including Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati, Vadodra, Port Blair, Agartala, Ranchi, Rajkot, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kochi.
The government had earlier decided that all 66 airports in the country would be covered in a phased manner covering all by the middle of the next year.
According to a tentative schedule prepared by the government, apart from Amritsar and Chandigarh, the airports to be covered by the CISF include Bangalore and Calcutta among others.
The CISF is expected to be inducted at airports in Shimla, Gaggal and Bhuntar during January-February, 2001, while the international airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram will be included between March-June, 2001.
BJP lambasts 4 ex-PMs
NEW DELHI, MAY 29 The Bharatiya Janata Party today launched an attack on four former Prime Ministers for their double standard in regard to economic policies on disinvestment.
The party spokesman Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu expressed surprise over the statements by the former PMs in which they attacked the Vajpayee government for majority disinvestment in Air India. He pointed out that the process of disinvestment was started by the Congress, pursued by the United Front and continued by NDA government.
"I find no reason why these people should term the decision of disinvestment in Air India as anti-national," Mr Naidu said.
He said these former PMs had considerable knowledge and experience in governance and national affairs and the BJP was expecting a more responsible and mature approach from them.
He said it was all the more surprising as they shared the platform with the Communist parties who were now consigned to ideological irrelevance the world over. He said the Communists wanted to use this forum to prop up and cobble another third front which had failed the nation.
The BJP leader accused the former PMs of helping the Congress which had ruled and ruined the country in the past 45 years.
Mr Naidu said that holding a two-year old government responsible for accumulated maladies of unemployment, illiteracy, poverty and economic disparity was also not justified. These maladies, he said, were inherited by the NDA government from previous governments.
The BJP would have appreciated if these PMs had said something on what they had done to tackle these problems, he said.
Regarding disinvestment, he said West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu in 1991 had written to the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao seeking privatisation of a steel plant using industrialist Swaraj Pauls money and experience in this sector.
Similarly, it was the
United Front government which had referred 40 public
sector units (PSUs), including Air India, HAL, ONGC, NTPC
and MTNL, for disinvestment in 1996. The common minimum
programme of the United Front, of which the CPM was an
ideologue, also spoke of disinvestment in non-core areas.
Punjab girl wins Olympics prize
NEW DELHI, May 29 While a 11-year-old girl Ms Aboli Satish Kadam from Pune has won the Sydney 2000 Visa Olympics of the Imagination, the second prize has been awarded to 12-year-old Ms Sukhmeet Kaur from Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab.
The contest was open to children in the age group of 9 to 13 to create an original piece of art representing the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher and stronger), a press note said today.
Children could depict athletes in the midst of competition or they could choose symbolic images to depict their interpretation or they could create an entirely different way to express the Olympic motto.
Ms Kadams artwork featured Lord Hanuman. "Olympics is a celebration of conquering the barriers of speed, power and limitations. My drawings bring the goodwill of Indian heritage to the festival of achievements," she said.
The second prize winner Ms Sukhmeet Kaur describing her artwork said "The whole world participates in the Olympic games. People represent their nations to prove that they are faster, higher and stronger. If all the nations of the world cooperate with each other, society will progress so much that our mother planet will be a better place to live on."
The contest received 6,190 entry artworks from across the country. The largest number of entries were from Andhra Pradesh (591), followed by Maharashtra (530) and Haryana (548).
Bal Vikas School, Panipat, Haryana, was given special award as the school sent the highest number of 426 eligible entries.
The panel of judges comprised Dr Madhu Pant, Director, National Bal Bhavan, Mr Ravi Shankar, Director, Childrens Book Trust, Mr Shabbir Wahid, Australian Counsel-General and Trade Commissioner, Dr Rani Raote, psychologist and Mr Raell Padamsee, theatre personality.
theme across the artwork was a representation of nature
and animals to depict the Olympic motto with a strong
mythological element," said Mr Anant Pai, editor of
Tinkle, who conducted the first round of judging.
Manu denied bail in Jessica
NEW DELHI, May 29 The bail plea of the main accused in the Jessica Lal murder case, Manu Sharma, alias Siddharth Vashisht, son of a former Union Minister, Mr Venod Sharma, was today rejected by the Delhi High Court.
Mr Justice R.S. Sodhi dismissed the bail plea of Manu Sharma, who had been in judicial custody for about a year, saying it was not an appropriate stage and the trial court was yet to frame charges in the case.
The court directed the police to ensure that the process of framing charges in the case was expedited and completed within a month.
The police had chargesheeted more than 10 persons in the case, including Vikas Yadav, son of a Rajya Sabha MP, Mr D.P. Yadav, for harbouring Manu Sharma and helping him in destroying evidence. All other accused are out on bail.
Manu Sharma has been accused by the police of shooting Jessica Lal in the head at a point-blank range with a licenced revolver at socialite Bina Ramanis Qutab Colonade restaurant on April 30 1999, on her refusal to serve him liquor late at night.
The police said she was working as a bartender in the restaurant when Manu Sharma along with one of his friends arrived there around midnight.
Opposing the bail plea, police counsel S.K. Saxena said the accused, who was an influential person, could tamper with the evidence if released on bail at this stage.
Senior advocate Rajinder Singh contending on Manu Sharmas bail plea said the involvement of his client in the alleged crime was doubtful as the police had not even been able to recover the weapon of offence.
Rain likely in HP, UP areas
PUNE, May 29 (PTI) Forecast valid until the morning of May 31 rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim; at many places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka and Kerala; at a few places in Gangetic West Bengal and at isolated places in Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, hills of west Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Maharashtra, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and interior Karnataka. Mainly dry weather will prevail over the rest of the country.
Heavy rainfall warning: heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya and Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura during next 48 hours.
Temperatures recorded in four metropolitan cities were: Mumbai max 32°C and min 26°C, New Delhi max 42°C and min 31°C, Calcutta max 34°C and min 22°C, Chennai max 39°C and min 26°C.
Southwest monsoon further advanced into Nagaland, Manipur Mizoram and Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into Lakshadweep area, south Kerala and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim during next two to three days.
The trough on sea level chart from Punjab to northeast Bay across south Uttar Pradesh persists. The trough on sea level chart from south Gujarat coast to Kerala coast persists and extends in the lower levels.
Rain or thundershowers have occurred at many places in Assam and Meghalaya and coastal Karnataka; at a few places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, West Bengal and Sikkim and Konkan and Goa and at isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir, central Maharashtra, Rayalaseema and Lakshadweep. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the rest of the country.
Chief amounts of
rainfall in cm are: Port Blair 8.6, Shillong 6.0,
Calcutta 4.9, Panambur 2.9, Guwahati 2.8, Panjim 2.7,
Jalpaiguri 2.3, Ratnagiri 1.8, Vengurla 1.6, Hut Bay and
Shirali 1.3 each, Kathua 1.1 and Agartala 0.8.
Pak-trained child soldiers fight in J&K
NEW DELHI, May 29 (PTI) They are victims of fate, caught in the quagmire of conflict. A sad but recent dimension of modern wars is the emergence of children as soldiers in the state and non-state armies.
Today, an estimated three lakh such children are supposed to be recruited as regular forces fighting alongside adults. And what was for long perceived as a problem afflicting Africa, has now caught up with Asia where some 75,000 children are supposed to be engaged as soldiers, says Rory Mungovan of the "Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers."
According to the Coalition, which is spearheading a movement for a worldwide ban, in Sri Lanka, where Tamil secessionists have been involved in a running battle with the government, the Red Cross came across 140 dead bodies of LTTE cadres of which 49 were child soldiers 32 of them girls.
Mungovan, who compares child soldiers with biological and chemical weapons, says "their use is as rampant as land mines and therefore needs to be redressed seriously by governments as well as non-government organisations".
According to Mungovan, the record of the state governments has been as poor as the non-state armed groups. "Even the governments have been found to recruit children much below the age of 16.
"It therefore requires a complete ban and setting of stringent global standards," he says citing the examples of Myanmar, Cambodia, several Latin American and African nations like Mozambique.
While Mungovan defines child soldiers as armed personnel less than 18 years of age and goes to the extent of branding even cadets of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in similar category, Mr D R Mohanty, a senior fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses says there should be clear distinction between state and non-state actors.
"Government soldiers are legitimate functionaries with the consent and will of the people, unlike cadres of armed rebel militia, who could be forced into war," notes Mohanty.
The biggest impediment that comes in the way of rehabilitation of these soldiers, at times, is extreme poverty or complete isolation that makes them join the fighting corps after being abandoned by their communities, notes Heinrik Haggstorm, Advocacy Director, Save the Children, a Swedish NGO.
"Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a programme of support for them." The problem, he says, is worse than child labour and the Coalition is trying to get an International Criminal Court, on the lines of War Tribunals, established to look into the matter and get justice delivered.
According to Haggstorm there are 36 areas of conflict across the world today and most of them have deployed child soldiers in one form or the other.
Similarly, Cambodia, under pressure from western countries, has banned child soldiers, they say noting that support for the cause has also been coming from countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand.
The cause, says Haggstorm, deserves special attention in India as a large number of child soldiers recruited in Pakistan and Afghanistan are fighting in Kashmir.
Naxalites too are using them as shields to defend themselves when under attack from state forces and also as cannon fodder in high risk areas, he says.
The condition of girls as soldiers is even pathetic, as they join the forces in guise of equality of sexes but end up being used as cooks and also abused sexually, he says.
The coalition is now in the process of mobilising public opinion across the world in favour of a proposed protocol banning recruitment of child soldiers and their rehabilitation.
Self-immolation bid by Cong
NEW DELHI, May 29 A Congress party worker from Bihar, Mukesh Sharma (35), attempted to immolate himself in front of Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshits residence on Purana Quila Road, this afternoon, he was reportedly under depression due to unemployment for a long time.
He was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital by the guards posted outside the CMs residence with 100 per cent burn injuries. He is in a critical condition, the police said.
CBSE plus 2 results on May 31
NEW DELHI, May 29 (UNI) The results of senior school certificate exams (plus 2) will be declared on Wednesday for the Delhi, Chandigarh, Guwahati and Allahabad regions, the CBSE announced today.
The results would be provided on e-mail and the Internet to its schools located in different parts of the country and abroad. Student and schools may access the website for results at www.cbse.nic.in from 11 am onwards, a CBSE press note said.
In Delhi, regular candidates can have the result from their respective schools, private candidates from exam centres, and patrachar stream from Patrachar Vidyalaya.
Schools in Delhi may
contact the office of the respective Deputy Director of
Education for gazettes and marksheets. Requests for
verification of marks can be made within 30 days from the
date of the declaration of the results.
Verdict on TV scam today
CHENNAI, May 29 (PTI) A Special Judge here will pronounce the final judgement in the Rs 10.16 crore colour TV scam case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and nine others tomorrow, even as the police has made elaborate security arrangements to maintain law and order in the state.
Police personnel have been put on full alert to prevent the sort of violence that was unleashed by AIADMK supporters on February 2 when public transport buses were burnt and brickbatted in protest the conviction of Ms Jayalalitha in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case, the police said.
Three women students of Coimbatore Agriculture University were burnt alive in a bus at Dharmapuri in the violence that erupted after she was sentenced to one years rigorous imprisonment in the case. Over 30 AIADMK members have been chargesheeted as participants in the chilling arson incident.
The verdict in the
colour TV scam will be pronounced by Special Judge V.
Radhakrishnan, who had earlier convicted her and her
colleague T.M.Selvaganapathy in the hotel case. This will
be the second case in which the final verdict will be
pronounced by the trial court.
killed in bus mishap
Woman, kids jump
into well, die
Rain snaps link
Hunt on for
appreciates Assamese craft
gesture on NTR stamp
murder to be probed
3 commit suicide
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |