|Monday, June 5, 2000,
No diesel delivery by road
Paswan justifies move on rent-free
Cruelty to animals: PM writes to
CBI examining tapes
Smuggling case: HC pulls
Decision on Ram temple in Jan
Cong was behind
Top cops to probe cases of
DDA loses crores due to delays:
ISI active in UP, admits DIG
Fake currency notes seized
Ramoowalia chairs Rajya Sabha body
PMK, MDMK have double
standards on Lanka issue
Laws for crime against women
Clap your way to good health
NCP to celebrate foundation day
Convicted cops plea rejected
No diesel delivery by road
NEW DELHI, June 4 (PTI) Oil PSUs have banned the inter-state movement of diesel and naphtha by road in the wake of the sales tax scam in Gujarat even as Indian Oil Corporation alleged today that "failure" on the part of state government authorities had led to the scam.
The decision to ban inter-state road movement was taken at a meeting of the top officials of the IOC, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and the IBP earlier this week, oil industry sources said.
"This is not an oil industry scam. It is in fact a failure on the part of licensing and sales tax authorities that could have led to diversion of diesel and other petroleum products," the IOCs Marketing Director O.N. Marwaha told PTI when contacted.
"Oil industry has been supplying the products to authorised buyers who have been given licences by the Controller of explosives and the deliveries have been made to transporters authorised by the buyers on due sales tax certifications and C-form for inter-state movement," he said.
On their part the IOC, the BPCL and the HPCL have constituted high-level inquiry committees to see if any of their officers had erred in following the laid down procedures for supply of products to authorised buyers and the committees would submit their reports within 10 days, sources said.
The sources, however, said press reports relating to the scam were "highly exaggerated" and the amount involved would not be more than Rs 100 crore as against the reported Rs 1,000 crore.
The oil PSUs have so far been delivering the products by road and through pipelines to depots in the states. But now they would deliver only through pipelines to depots within the states.
Products would be given to buyers at their premises thereby eliminating the present system of dispatches through authorised transporters of the industry.
The step would ensure deliveries at the right places and cut down the possibilities of diversion, Mr Marwaha said.
Oil PSUs wrote to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry explaining the position of the oil industry and claimed the failure, if any, lies with the licensing authorities.
The PSUs have also decided not to give any discounts or financial incentives on diesel sales to any consumer and eliminate the role of intermediary in order to prevent recurrence of the scam entailing diversion of petroleum products meant for other states to avail concessional sales tax rates.
Listing the other steps taken by the oil PSUs, the letter said: "Supplies by road to the consumers including processors (other than parties to whom consumer pumps have been provided by the oil companies, state transports, power houses and railways) will be made on delivered basis with recovery of transportation charges at actuals".
Meanwhile the CBI teams, investigating the scam, had been sent to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Sabarmati and Sidhpur and simultaneously raided the administrative offices and terminals of the IOC, the BPCL, the HPCL and the IBP, sources said.
Paswan justifies move on
NEW DELHI, June 4 The Communications Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, today made attempts to justify his decision to give rent-free telephones to certain categories of telecom employees by saying that it would help in making the telecom services more professional.
Addressing newspersons here, Mr Paswan while pointing out that such a provision did exist in the rules, said plans were afoot to corporatise the Department of Telecom Service (DTS) in the next six months.
He said steps were also being taken to help the Telecom Industry live up to the challenges of a global economy in a more professional way. The decision to provide the Class III and IV grade employees with rent-free telephone connections was a step in that direction. Mr Paswan was of the view that it will also act as morale booster.
Mr Paswan pointed out that there had been no objections when Mrs Sushma Swaraj, during her tenure as Communications Minister in the then BJP-led government, had sanctioned rental-free telephone connections to all retired DTS employees along with a slab system of free calls for them.
He said the decision to provide these connections would only advance the process of granting the rent-free phones as these employees would in any case have got the connections on retirement. He said the benefits were meant for Class III and IV category employees who belonged to the economically weaker sections.
Mr Paswan said even the Telecom Commission in its latest report had recommended granting 250 free telephone calls. This was modified to granting free telephone connections.
It was pointed out by
various Telecom Staff Federations on May 27 at a meeting
that the recommendations of the Telecom Commission had no
relevance as long as employees did not have telephone
connections. He said all senior officials of the ministry
were present at the meeting where this decision was
Cruelty to animals: PM writes to CMs
NEW DELHI, June 4 (UNI) Horrified after reading reports in the media of how animals are treated before being taken to slaughter houses, the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, has written to all Chief Ministers, urging them to enforce laws for more humane treatment to animals.
In a letter from Manali, Mr Vajpayee has told the chief ministers to also associate non governmental organisations (NGOs) to achieve the basic minimum care for animals.
The Prime Ministers advice comes in the wake of strong protests by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other animal protection organisations on cruelty against cattle in India. These organisations have been putting pressure on overseas customers of Indian leather not to buy goods made here.
"Till very recently this kind of inhuman treatment of animals was prevalent in Europe and elsewhere. Cruelty to animals while being transported for slaughter and the mode of slaughter had received very adverse comments in the media and society. However, the governments in most of these countries as well as civil society organisations got together and were able to insist upon and enforce laws ensuring that animals were treated much better. I have no doubt that with your cooperation we will be able to achieve a basic minimum care for our animals, Mr Vajpayee said.
The Prime Minister said to begin with the Chief Ministers should initiate steps for the enforcement of the existing laws and involve the NGOs in this regard.
He said the reports describing the inhuman methods of slaughter of animals was "horrific". The inability to protect animals against the greed of unscrupulous traders had led to this situation, he felt.
CBI examining tapes
NEW DELHI, June 4 (PTI) The CBI began examination of the video tapes, submitted by former cricket all rounder Manoj Prabhakar to the agency, even as the income tax authorities were planning to prepare details of the returns filed by the cricket players and board members whose names have surfaced during the match-fixing controversy, official sources said today.
Prabhakar yesterday submitted to the CBI video tapes of his conversation with other cricket players and board officials, secretly filmed by him on the subject of match-fixing.
The video tapes were being viewed by the sleuths of the special crime branch of the agency, the sources said, adding that the 40-hour long video tapes were slow and it would take a day or two for the agency to complete it.
The tapes after this are likely to be handed over to the legal cell of the agency which would examine whether they could stand the court of law.
Prabhakar, who had made allegations about match-fixing in 1997, met the CBI officials for the second time in a fortnight. He had deposed before the agency first on May 24.
Meanwhile, IT sources said they were planning to prepare details of return of cricketers and board officials whose names have surfaced repeatedly during the investigations of the match-fixing.
The sources said, however, the department was only collecting information and was not planning to rush into investigation.
Income tax authorities in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Hyderabad were assessing the incomes of prominent cricketers and board officials, IT sources said.
The CBI also plans to rope in the Enforcement Directorate to investigate possible hawala transactions in the scandal, agency sources said.
Meanwhile, the CBI has initiated efforts to get in touch with a Delhi batsman, who is at present abroad playing a minor county, the agency sources said.
The name of this former Indian cricketer had surfaced during examination of bookies in Mumbai and other parts of the country, the sources said.
Among the witnesses cited by Prabhakar, the CBI has already questioned former team manager Ajit Wadekar and cricketer Navjot Sidhu and will be shortly examining others including former skippers Mohammed Azharuddin, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, the sources said.
Prabhakar has alleged that the offer of bribe was made to him to play below his potential against Pakistan in a one-dayer in Sri Lanka by Kapil Dev, who, however, has said there was no truth whatsoever in the allegation.
The CBI has also prepared a list of persons to be questioned and may send teams to different places in the country and abroad, the agency sources said.
The government has empowered the CBI to probe any other scandal or allegations concerning the game.
Smuggling case: HC pulls up Centre
NEW DELHI, June 4 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has pulled up the Centre for sleeping on a detention order against an accused in a smuggling case for a decade and quashed his recent arrest on the ground that long delay has snapped links in the matter.
"We are of the considered view that the link in the case stood snapped because of the long and unexplained delay between the date of detention order and the arrest of the petitioner," a Division Bench comprising Ms Justice Usha Mehra and Mr Justice S.N. Kapoor in an order passed on Friday said, while setting at liberty Manjit Singh, who was arrested on March 28 on the basis of a detention order issued in February 1990.
A Joint Secretary in the Finance Ministry had issued detention order against Manjit Singh on February 28, 1990 under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, but the authorities concerned who were to execute the order failed to implement it.
"The authorities have not been able to show that any serious effort was made to serve the detention order on the petitioner, nor were they able to deny the fact that he was available in Delhi, sending his children to school and operating his bank account," the court said.
Decision on Ram temple in Jan
JAIPUR, June 4 (UNI) A date and method to begin the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be decided at a dharma sansad meeting in Allahabad during "kumbh" in January next year, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Vice-President Giriraj Kishore said today.
Nearly 1,30,000 cubic feet of stone was required to build the structure and only 25,000 cubic feet stone had been cut, he told reporters here.
Mr Kishore said the stones were being prepared at Pindrawada in Rajasthan and in Ayodhya and the task would need at least 10 years for completion.
In Udupi, Karnataka, VHPs Jeenvaneshwar Mishra told the organisations central margadarshak mandal meeting of southern states, that 40 per cent work on the proposed temple was over and the ground floor would be completed next year.
Mr Kishore asserted here that the organisation had collected from the people only Rs 9 crore for the temple. He maintained that not a single paisa was received from foreign countries and added that foreign funding was not possible without the Home Ministrys clearance.
Of the total collection, about Rs 1.25 crore was spent in preparing the stones and the rest Rs 7.75 crore was deposited in the bank and invested with the Steel Authority of India. The fund had grown to Rs 10 crore with the accruing interest.
Mr Mishra, VHPs dharmacharya sampark pramukh, said dharmacharyas would meet at Goa on October 10 and 11 to discuss inter alia conversion and the governments "attempt for direct control" over temples through legislations.
Cong was behind anti-Sikh violence
NEW DELHI, June 4 (UNI) The military attack at the Golden Temple complex was the denouement of a political drama enacted by the Congress "to teach Akalis a lesson" whose ground was prepared by a consistent anti-Sikh propaganda on the media, says former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana.
Tracing the historical developments that led to the entry of the armed forces into the holiest Sikh shrine, Mr Khurana yesterday told a memorial assembly on the eve of the 16th anniversary of Operation Bluestar that the then government orchestrated anti-Sikh violence and manoeuvred conditions to brand the community anti-national.
He said during that period the media had projected each violent activity in Punjab as if Sikhs as a community were behind it. "But now the media is not dubbing the violence in Kashmir as a handiwork of Muslims and terrorist killings in Andhra Pradesh as that of Hindus," he added.
The attacks on Sikhs in Haryana during the Asiad Games in Delhi in 1982 and at other places outside Punjab were part of a similar strategy, Mr Khurana said, adding that the then Premier Indira Gandhi "wanted to teach a lesson to Akalis and the BJP (then the Jan Sangh) as both gave a consistent fight against Emergency she had imposed in 1975".
However, speaking at the same venue, eminent columnist Kuldip Nayar, MP, said: "The Army attack was inspired by the same ideology and mindset in June, 1984, which saw the Babri Masjid demolished eight years after that.
Quoting a recent statement of Gen Shanker Roy Chaudahry (retd), now Rajya Sabha member, that the Army action was "politically motivated", eminent writer Dr Mahip Singh said: "As her style showed, Indira Gandhi wanted to regain her lost political ground by enacting some krishma (miracle). Striking at the Golden Temple served that purpose.
Mr Nayar stressed that Parliament adopt a resolution to tender apology for Operation Bluestar since it had caused a feeling of alienation and wounded the psyche of Punjabis, particularly of the Sikhs.
"Earlier I attempted to move a resolution to that effect in the Rajya Sabha, but each time it was rejected on technical grounds. But I am determined to see it through, Mr Nayar said.
"India is a pluralistic state but the Army action at a religious place is violative of the very edifice on which the state rests.
Besides, the operation was conducted amidst several contradictions as the then President Giani Zail Singh opposed the sending of armed forces into the Golden Temple complex but the then Prime Minister bulldozed her way through, Mr Nayar said.
He said Indira Gandhi had planned Army action much in advance while she kept up a facade of talks with the Akalis to resolve the so-called Punjab problem.
Top cops to probe cases of terrorism
NEW DELHI, June 4 (PTI) Providing a vital safeguard against abuse of the proposed terrorism law, the Law Commission has suggested to the government that only fairly high-level police officials would be competent to probe the cases of terrorism.
The Law Commission in its 173rd report on "Prevention of Terrorism Bill-2000", described as the resurrected form of the much abused Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) which lapsed five years ago, said the safeguards were provided in view of wide spread criticism regarding the manner of implementation of the previous Act.
The report says no case is to be registered by the police without the prior approval of the DGP or the Commissioner of Police and that no court shall take cognizance of an offence under the Act without the previous sanction of the central or the state government.
The Bill, prepared on the basis of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 1995, provides for the setting up of review committees comprising Home Secretary, Law Secretary and Secretaries of other ministries concerned in case of the central government and Chief Secretary to the government, Home Secretary and other Secretaries of the departments concerned in the case of a state government.
These review committees should be competent enough to decide continuation of any case or a class of cases, it said.
To safeguard the liberty and freedom of citizens, the report said "soon after the information in respect of an alleged offence is recorded, copies of the first information report (FIR) and other connected papers shall be sent to the DGP of the state and the review committee."
"If the DGP does not approve the FIR within 10 days or if the review committee does not approve of the FIR within 30 days (from the date of registration of the crime), the case shall stand withdrawn" and the accused has to be released immediately unless required in connection with some other offences, the report said.
In what it termed as a "salutory provision", the report said "during interrogation the legal practitioner of the person arrested shall be informed of his right as soon as he is brought to the police station".
Though the cases under TADA were directly appealable in the Supreme Court, the Bill talks of empowering the high court to make rules for carrying out provisions of the Act relating to special courts and hear appeals.
The Bill also provides that if the special court is of the opinion that a person has been corruptly or maliciously proceeded against, it may award compensation to be paid by the officer, authority or the government.
In TADA, often described as draconian, refusal by an accused to give samples like handwriting, finger prints, foot prints and photographs among others things was considered to be a presumption that the offence was committed by him but the report provides that the court can draw adverse inference against the accused in case of his refusal to give sample.
As regards the
protection witnesses, the reports talks of empowering the
court to take measures for keeping identity of a witness
secret and facilitating his cross examination without
disclosing his name or address by providing a screen in
such a manner that the accused or his counsel cannot see
him yet put questions and hear his statement.
DDA loses crores due to delays: CAG
NEW DELHI, June 4 (UNI) The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has incurred a whopping extra expenditure of Rs 7.29 crore on a housing scheme for the middle income group (MIG) in Rohini in north-west Delhi due to delays, according to the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
The DDA had awarded a contract for the construction of 520 MIG houses in block C and D, Sector 18, Rohini, in July, 1991, at a cost of Rs 12.59 crore, stipulating that the construction should be completed in two years i.e. by July 1993.
The contractor was to submit the layout plans in July, 1991, itself which was to be approved by the DDA within a week. The firm submitted the plans as per schedule but these were approved by DDA after eight months.
Also, the DDA handed over the site to the firm only in March, 1994, eight months after the scheduled time for the completion of the project.
It subsequently rescinded the contract in November, 1994, stating that the work was progressing slowly and paid the contractor Rs 2.35 crore against the work carried out to the extent of Rs 2.56 crore, the report said.
After a lapse of 19 months, tenders were opened in July, 1996, for the balance work which was awarded to another contractor in September, 1997, at a cost of Rs 17.32 crore. The time for completion was fixed for March, 1999.
"Thus due to the
delay in the approval of layout plans, handing over of
full site and further delay of three years in the award
of contract for the balance work had resulted in extra
expenditure of Rs 7.29 crore on the housing scheme,"
the CAG said in a report for 1998-99.
Fake currency notes seized
MUMBAI, June 4 (UNI) The customs officers at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport today arrested a passenger arriving from Dubai and seized 7,200 counterfeit currency notes of Rs 100 denomination concealed in his two cartons of crockery.
According to official
sources, the passenger, Abbas Akbarbhai Unjawala, a
resident of North Gujarat, travelling on a fraudulently
obtained passport in the name of Husain Akbar Satak,
arrived from Dubai by the Cathy Pacific flight when he
was intercepted by the officers.
ISI active in UP, admits DIG
LUCKNOW, June 4 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Sriram Arun has admitted that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan is active in the state but said the problem was not as big as was being projected in media reports.
"ISI is active especially in western districts of the state and the area around Nepal border", the DGP told PTI here yesterday.
"Some agents have been arrested, specially in Muzaffarnagar, in the recent past", he said adding the state police was vigilant in this regard and all necessary arrangements were being made to curb the ISI activities.
With regard to the free movement of people across the Indo-Nepal border, Mr Arun said as it was a porous border it was difficult to stop movement of traffic. However, he added the Indo-Nepal police was maintaining utmost vigil to check infiltration of the ISI agents, inflow of fake currency and smuggling activities on the border.
Meetings between senior police officials of the two countries were held frequently to exchange information and help each other in controlling criminal activities, Mr Arun added.
No move for law on infanticide
COIMBATORE, June 4 (PTI) The Centre has no proposal to bring in any law against female infanticide, prevalent in some parts of the country, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Rita Verma said today.
Female infanticide is a bane to our society and a social crime which is difficult to spot as it is committed between the four-walls, she told reporters here, and added that the police, and for that matter any law, would not be able to prevent such social crime.
Stating that the practice was prevalent in parts of Rajasthan and also Tamil Nadu, she said a social movement was absolutely necessary to curb such practices with proper education and some measures of punishment.
The government has many schemes to improve the lives of girl child and campaign to remove many social prejudices against them, she said, adding that the government wanted to bring down the infant mortality rate and thrust was given to educate mothers and earn their trust in solving problems of girl child.
The Health Ministry and the HRD Ministry were intertwined in the area of female literacy scheme, with participation and cooperations of state governments, she said.
Mrs Verma said the government was making efforts to check the population growth in the country, which had crossed 100 crore recently.
"The government does not want coercion. People have to come out and opt for family planning", she said.
When a reporter brought to her notice that population control would have political repercussions, as many states, including Tamil Nadu, had expressed fear of losing two or three Lok Sabha constituencies because of the steps, she said "politics should be kept out of health and sports".
Spelling out various programmes taken up by her ministry, Mrs Verma said the Health Department was giving more impetus to fight malaria, which had resurfaced in a new virulent form.
Heavy rain likely in Goa, Kerala
PUNE, June 4 (UNI) Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Orissa, Konkan and Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep during next 48 hours.
The southwest monsoon has been active in coastal Karnataka.
Rain or thundershowers have occurred at most places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Konkan and Goa, at many places in Vidarbha and Madhya Maharashtra, at a few places in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, Bihar plateau, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, east Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat region, Marathwada, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, interior Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep and at isolated places in Punjab, east Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra and Kutch, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
Very light rain has also occurred at isolated places in hills of west Uttar Pradesh. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the rest of the country.
Rain or thundershowers are likely at most places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Orissa, Konkan and Goa, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep, at many places in Gujarat region, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Telangana, Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu, at a few places in Madhya Pradesh and Saurashtra and Kutch and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, north Rajasthan where weather will be mainly dry.
Day temperatures were appreciably above normal in Jammu, Saurashtra and in some parts of southwest Rajasthan and north coastal Andhra Pradesh and were above normal in south coastal Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, north Rajasthan, east Madhya Pradesh and Kutch.
They were appreciably below normal in Bihar, plains of Uttar Pradesh and in some parts of Madhya Maharashtra and were below normal in Haryana, Vidarbha and north Telangana.
They were normal over the rest of the country.
The southwest monsoon has further advanced into some parts of south Konkan and Goa, north interior Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra. Northern limit of monsoon passes 15 degree north 60 degree east, Goa, Hyderabad, Machilipatnam, 20 degree north 88 degree east, Agartala, Dhubri, Jalpaiguri and Gangtok.
Conditions are favourable for the further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of Konkan (including Mumbai), south Madhya Maharashtra, south Marathwada, some more parts of Andhra Pradesh and coastal Orissa within next 2-3 days. Under the influence of an upper air cyclonic circulation a low pressure area has formed over west-central bay and neighbourhood and is more marked.
circulation extends up to mid tropospheric levels. System
is likely to concentrate into a depression. The trough on
sea level chart from south-west Rajasthan to northwest
bay and thence southeastwards to east-central bay now
runs from northwest Rajasthan to the centre of low
pressure area across central Madhya Pradesh and thence
southeastwards to north Andaman sea and extends up to lower tropospheric levels.
Villagers trapped in sanctuary
PUTHUR (Kerala), June 4 (PTI) One has to tread this forest path cautiously, lest one be trampled by a wild elephant.
An occasional visitor can enjoy the thrill of the ride through the bumpy forest road, but the 64 families living in this village within Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary are a scared lot as the animals attack on humans are on the rise.
Puthur is the only one of the 89 villages within the Wayanad sanctuary, which is part of the Nilgiri bio-reserve. These isolated tracts of land within the forests house around 11,000 persons including settlers who had come from Travancore more than 50 years ago and tribals who had been living here for decades.
The world celebrates another Environment Day tomorrow, hardly remembering the hapless human beings trapped in the forests. The animals, on their part, are left with little choice as their freedom of movement in the woods is restricted by the settlements.
The human inhabitants of the forests still love their land from where they have dug out a fortune. But wild animals, mostly elephants, bears and monkeys, play havoc with their life and cultivations.
The settlers are now offering to move out to the periphery of the forests provided they are adequately compensated. A project report towards this end had been submitted to the Kerala Government way back in 1995 on which no step had so far been taken.
The report prepared by the then Wildlife Warden, Sulthan Bathery, O.P. Kaler, did not see the light of the day.
In a recent letter to Mr K. Muralidharan, MP, Union Minister of State for Environment Babulal Marandi had stated that the ministry had not received any proposal from the state regarding the rehabilitation of farmers residing in the lease-hold forest land in the Wayanad sanctuary.
The Wayanad Forest Lease Karshaka Samiti (WFLKS) is now in the forefront of fighting for the rights of settlers. They have submitted several petitions before the state government and in the courts seeking the relocation of farmers in the forests to adjoining forest lands sans wildlife population.
"Any relocation project for the farmers will not only save them from constant fear of attack by animals but will enable the wild animals to recoup their own territory", says P.K. Keshavan, President of the WFLKS.
The Wayanad forests, declared as a sanctuary in the early 70s, have all kinds of wild species including tigers. The fields where the farmers raise their crops are precariously close to the natural forests. The farmers place crackers connected to a long road to scare away the wild animals during daytime.
Thomas, a settler belonging to Thottamala, was killed by an elephant while he was returning home at Konnamoola three weeks back, and Unni, a convener with the Forest Department, narrowly escaped death after being attacked by an elephant last week.
Reports of human cruelty on animals are also coming in from this region. An elephant was recently found poisoned to death in the Muthanga sanctuary, part of the bioreserve.
If you want to
preserve the ecology and wildlife, you have to resettle
the settlers and others elsewhere. If you are leaving the
settlers, farmers and tribals only with a scheme of
compensation when attacked by wild animals, you can
certainly be accused of not taking any genuine interest
in the human problems involved, the High Court of
Kerala had observed in a judgement in 1986.
Ramoowalia chairs Rajya Sabha body
NEW DELHI, June 4 Former Union Minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, MP, has been elected Chairman of the 12-member United Parliamentary Group in the Rajya Sabha.
The group comprises, among others, Mr Kuldip Nayyar, Mr Suresh A. Keshwani, Mr K.S. Duggal, Ms Shabana Azmi, Dr C. Narayana Reddy, Dr (Ms) P. Selvie Das, Mr D.P. Yadav, Dr Raja Ramanna Reddy, Mr Vijay J. Darda of the Lokmat group of newspapers, Dr Akhtar Hasan Rizvi and Mr M.J. Varkey Mattathil.
PMK, MDMK have double
CHENNAI, June 4 (PTI) The Tamizhaga Rajiv Congress, a constituent of the National Democratic alliance in Tamil Nadu, today accused the PMK and the MDMK, two other NDA constituents, of "adopting double standards on Sri Lankan Tamils issue".
TRC chief and former Union Minister Vazhapadi K. Ramamurthy told reporters here that while both parties endorsed the Centres view of non-intervention in the Sri Lankan issue at New Delhi, they were supporting the outlawed LTTE in Tamil Nadu.
Either they should pull out their representatives from the Vajpayee government or give up their support to the LTTE, he said.
He said a solution to
the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka could be arrived at only
through talks between the Sri Lankan government and the
LTTE, with the mediation of others. He was against any
third party intervention on the issue, including that of
the Indian Government, he said.
Laws for crime against women "weak"
NEW DELHI, June 4 (PTI) Though there have been various pro-active and preventive measures to check the increase in the cases of violence against women, the government says the "impact of these measures and legislation remains weak."
"There has been extensive acknowledgment by the government and society of the growing trends in cases of violence against women," the country paper, prepared by the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD), says.
The paper will be presented at the five-day special session of UN Assembly convened to review the implementation of the commitments made by the member countries at the 1995 Beijing conference regarding womens rights.
Even as the Indian delegation headed by the Human Resource Development Minister Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, is all set to attend the session opening on June 5 in New York, the country paper which the delegation will present stresses the need for greater efforts to make women aware of their rights and measures initiated to curb violence against them.
Though the National Crime Records Bureau figures, cited in the country paper, clearly show an increase in the crime against women, the government says it has taken several measures, including setting up of all-women police stations in 14 states and strengthening of existing laws to deal with the problem.
Describing the raising
rates of conviction, fair trials and facilitating the
judicial process as important areas for action, the paper
says there is a need for improving and expanding support
structure for victims of violence.
Clap your way to good health
NEW DELHI, June 4 (UNI) Looking for a miracle cure to any serious ailment? Just relax. No need to visit any distant doctor or take costly medicines.
Just clap your way to good health, literally crushing your chronic illness with your own, bare hands, says a self-styled yogi who claims to be the inventor of "clapping yogasana."
"Clap on, warm your blood and enjoy good health," is the message of 79-year-old Krishan Chander Bajaj, who looks much younger to his age and claims to enjoy perfect health, and a number of people who benefited from his advice agree.
A lot of Delhiites, who about a decade ago used to mock at him as a lunatic out to jolt them out of their slumber daily before the break of dawn, are themselves today responsible for causing much noise in their neighbourhood, clapping incessantly to keep good health.
Bajaj admits that the efficacy of clapping in curing ailments has not been subjected to any clinical analysis. Nonetheless, many a resident of the city has got rid of their ailments heeding his advice.
According to him, the problems that would vanish after doing the exercise over a period of time range from a life threatening heart condition to hypertension, diabetes to depression, asthma to common cold, arthritis to ordinary headache and insomnia to hairloss.
Besides getting him recognition from his followers, his efforts also landed him and his "invention" in the Limca Book of Records in 1997.
"Now, I want to have the clapping exercise entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in a bid to popularise it, thereby reaching its benefits to people across the globe," says Bajaj who found its curative effects by chance.
Over a decade ago, he was looking for a miracle cure to glaucoma due to which he had lost his vision in both eyes. He did not have the courage to undergo surgery. It was then he heard in a discourse at a satsang that clapping can cure diseases and that is why devotees clap while reciting kirtans.
Bajaj says he regained his eyesight in about a year just by clapping for about half-an-hour every morning. He has come a long way since then, helping scores to overcome a multitude of diseases.
Clapping stimulates blood circulation and in the process removes all types of obstructions in the veins and arteries including bad cholestrol, he argues.
He, however, has a word
of caution for those who want to take to clapping: Do it
the proper way as wrong methods can be harmful. The right
way is to strike both the hands against each other,
keeping them straight facing each other and the arms a
little loose. Finger tips and the palm of each hand
should strike the other. Clap 200 to 300 times the first
day and increase it every day, raising the speed to 60 to
100 claps per minute and the duration to about 20
NCP to celebrate foundation
NEW DELHI, June 4 A year after its inception, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would be celebrating its first foundation day on June 10 with party leaders attending a function at Talkatora indoor stadium here.
A release issued by the party headquarters here said that all members of the NCP Working Committee, secretaries, chiefs of frontal organisations, state party presidents, NCP ministers in states, party MPs, MLAS, MLCs, former MPs, former MLAs and other senior state leaders will attend the programme.
The meeting will discuss
the anti-people activities of the National Democratic
Alliance (NDA) government at the centre like hike in the
prices of PDS articles, withdrawal of subsidies on
fertilisers and the problems of the farming community,
growing unemployment of the youth and the
"increasing atrocities on minorities, especially on
Christians," partys permanent secretary S.R.
Kohli said in a release today.
Convicted cops plea rejected
NEW DELHI, June 4 (PTI) A sessions court has rejected a request for transfer to a central jail in Chandigarh or Punjab by five state police personnel, sentenced to life by a Calcutta court in connection with the killing of a terrorist and his wife seven years ago.
"I do not think to consider the transfer of the convicts to the central jail in Punjab and Chandigarh as stated by them at the time of hearing on the question of sentence," Alipore (Calcutta) Additional Sessions Judge, Sukumar Chakrabarty, who held the trial, said in his 148-page judgement while sentencing Punjab Police SP Sanat Kumar Singh, DSP Sukhdev Singh Chahal, Darshan Singh, Ram Dayal and Sukhjiban Singh to life imprisonment recently.
force to prevent train robberies
protects against snake venom
Rs 2 cr project
to combat virus
2 Naxalites die
8 die as truck
6 killed, 7 hurt
in road mishap
6 killed in NSCN
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