|Wednesday, June 21, 2000,
BJP, allies to boycott all-party
to attend Warsaw meeting
Swamy for Arjuns ouster
WB Chief Minister donates
Chautala meets Fernandes
Ganga "highly polluted"
Bharatendu awards announced
Monsoon session from July 24
BJP, allies to boycott all-party meeting
PATNA, June 20 (PTI) The BJP and its NDA allies, Jd-(U) and Samata, besides the CPI-ML (Liberation) would boycott the all-party meet called by Chief Minister Rabri Devi on June 22 to discuss a strategy for checking caste violence in Bihar.
"There is no justification for calling such meeting by Chief Minister who has been an abject failure to prevent recurrence of the massacres," BJP state president Nand Kishore Yadav told PTI here today.
"We will not attend the meeting convened by such a government which is responsible for a spate of killings for the past one decade," he said accusing the RJD of patronising the Ranbir Sena and other ultra organisations, including the outlawed Maoist Communist Centre (MCC).
Mr Yadav, however, said his party would consider participating in the proposed meet if RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav and Chief Minister Rabri Devi tendered an "unqualified apology" for failure to check the cycle of caste violence in the state.
CPI-ML (Liberation) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said his party, too, would stay away from the proposed meeting and demanded a White Paper on the activities of the Ranbir Sena, a private army of upper caste landlords.
"When the Monsoon Session of the state Assembly is starting from June 23, calling an all-party meeting a day before has no justification," Mr Bhattacharya said.
Jd-(U) General Secretary Mangani Lal Mandal said "a civil war-like situation has been created due to the misgovernance by the Laloo-Rabri regimes...We need a solution to the senseless killings of innocent people."
CPI State Secretariat Member P.S. Madan said his party would send its representatives to attend the meeting to mount pressure on the state government to take immediate remedial measures to stop the caste violence and restore peace and social order in Bihar.
Meanwhile, a crucial meeting of the coordination committee of the coalition allies in the Rabri Devi ministry is slated for tomorrow to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to end the recurrence of carnages.
Representatives of the smaller parties like BSP, CPM and Revolutionary Community Party supporting the Rabri Devi ministry would participate in both meetings.
Jaswant to attend Warsaw meeting
NEW DELHI, June 20 The External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, will lead the Indian delegation to the first-ever Ministerial Conference of countries representing the Community of Democracies to be held in Warsaw from June 25 to 27.
Briefing mediapersons about the conference, a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said the initiative to set up the Community of Democracies aims to forge an international consensus among countries committed to democracy, on ways of enhancing cooperation to support and deepen democracy where it exists and to defend it where threatened.
The Ministerial Conference, being hosted by the Government of Poland, is being attended by over 100 countries. India has been a member of the Convening Group along with the governments of Chile, the Czech Republic, Mali, Poland, the Republic of Korea and the USA.
Mr Jaswant Singh will chair the ministerial panel on sharing best practices. The other panel on cooperation to strengthen international institutions will be chaired by the US Secretary of State, Ms Madeleine Albright.
A third panel on
Responding to the Threats to Democracies will be presided
by the Foreign Minister of Chile and the last panel on
strengthening democratic institutions will be presided
over by the Foreign Minister of Mali.
BJP submits report on Bihar
NEW DELHI, June 20 A BJP committee, constituted to go into the latest massacre at Mianpur in Bihar, today submitted its report to party President Kushabhau Thakre and reiterated its demand to impose the Presidents rule in the state.
Briefing newspersons about the visit of the committee to Nawada and Aurangabad districts, a former Minister of State of Information and Broadcasting, Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said the committee would also meet the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, and apprise him of the findings of the committee. He said that the committee would also brief the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, about the incidents of carnage in Bihar.
Mr Naqvi alleged that the Rahstriya Janata Dal President, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, and the state Chief Minister, Mrs Rabri Devi, were sponsoring these incidents of massacre and carnage for diverting the peoples attention from real problems. Organisation like Ranbir Sena and Marxist Coordination Committee (MCC) were being sponsored and supported by the RJD, he stressed.
Demanding imposition of the Presidents rule in Bihar and suspension of the Assembly, Mr Naqvi appealed to all political parties to rise above party interests and work towards restoration of peace in the state.
Mr Naqvi said that terrorism perpetrated by the RJD government in the state was more dangerous than even the ISI sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Rajya Sabha MP from
Bihar, Mr S.S. Ahluwalia and the Lok Sabha MP from Nawada
also alleged that the Congress was responsible for the
incidents of carnage as it continued to support the Rabri
Swamy for Arjuns ouster
CHENNAI, June 20 At every news conference he addresses, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy goes for the jugular against his political opponents and enemies. At todays press meet, the victim, rather one of the victims, of his verbal assault was senior Congress leader Arjun Singh.
Dr Swamy claimed that Mr Arjun Singhs "involvement" with Sikh extremists was documented in Home Ministry files and said he hoped to disclose some of these facts soon, after full verification. Some of the disclosures would be "quite sensational,"he added. He made a series of allegations against Mr Arjun Singh to suggest that he was a sympathiser of the LTTE.
Dr Swamy said not once had Mr Arjun Singh referred to the LTTE as assassins in his flood of statements on the Rajiv Gandhi murder. He had never asked for LTTE leader Prabhakarans extradition of a ban on the LTTE.
Dr Swamy urged the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to "throw Mr Arjun Singh out" since "his continued presence in the proximity of Sonia Gandhi is a possible threat to her and a danger to the future of the Congress party, which is even today the largest secular party."
Answering questions on the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis, Dr Swamy said President Chandrika Kumaratunge should immediately abrogate the unitary Constitution of Sri Lanka and replace it by a semi-federal type of Constitution on the Indian model. Sri Lanka should allow the stationing of a unit of 20,000 Indian soldiers in that country on an indefinite basis.
Dr Swamy said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr Karunanidhi, who had proposed a Czechoslovakian type of solution, should not be taken seriously.
Dr Swamy, who had met the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) chief, Mr G.K. Moopanar, yesterday, spoke of the possibility of the formation of a new front in the state to fight the state Assembly elections next year. He said the Congress should get out of its alliance with the AIADMK and join the proposed new front under the leadership of Mr Moopanar.
Dr Swamys targets today included Mr Karunanidhi, Ms Jayalalitha, Mr Vaiko of the MDMK, Dr S. Ramdoss, leader of PMK and Mr Veeramani of the DMK. He suggested that the last three, votaries of Tamil Eelam, should "take a boat and go to Jaffna since they are not-Indians at heart."
Chautala meets Fernandes
NEW DELHI, June 20 The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, met the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes to pursue certain development issues concerning Haryana, here today.
Mr Chautala thanked the Union Defence Minister for the Centres decision to takeover the Dabwali-Hanumangarh road measuring 32 km.
The Chief Minister took the issue of reimbursement of the cost incurred by State Public Works Department (B & R) in the repair and maintenance of the same in the intervening one and a half years, when the Defence Ministry had refused to take over the maintenance works.
The Chief Minister also stressed the matter relating to the maintenance of the defence road from Hisar to Balsamand which was in a bad condition at present, a state government release said.
In the interest of
national security and also facilitating civilian as well
as military vehicle movement on main roads, the Chief
Minister proposed the takeover of three different roads
by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
WB Chief Minister donates
CALCUTTA, June 20 The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Jyoti Basu, has donated his eyes.
Following his elder party colleague, the late Benoy Chowdhury, the Marxist Chief Minister yesterday signed the paper for donating his eyes for the cause of the blind people. Mr Basus young colleague, Mr Subhash Chakraborty, also similarly donated his eyes to International Eye Bank.
The secretary-general of the IYB, Mr Monoranjan Majumdar, said he had received a similar offer from other important personalities but refused to disclose any further.
Mr Mojumdar said steps
were being taken for proper preservation as well as quick
utilisation of the donated eyes. He regretted that the
eyes donated by the late Benay Chowdhury and Minister for
Public Works Jatin Chakraborty could not be used due to
negligence on the part of the Health Department
Air Force martyrs honoured
NEW DELHI, June 20 The Indian Air Force (IAF) today honoured its martyrs who had laid down their lives in various operations since Independence at the headquarters of Western Air Command.
Air Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, AOC-in-C, Western Air Command, presented the "Emblem of Honour" and a citation to next of kin of the martyrs. In addition, an amount of Rs 1 lakh was given to next of kin. The contribution was made by serving Air Force personnel as well as many well-wishers.
Earlier, Air Marshal Krishnaswamy along with the Principal Staff Officers of Western Air Command paid homage to the martyrs at the war memorial at Palam at a wreath laying ceremony. Next of kin of the martyrs, their family members and a number of Air Force personnel and their families paid floral tributes.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal S. Krishnaswamy said the concept behind this felicitation function was to recall the contribution of our gallant airmen and to extend a token of appreciation and remembrance to next of kin and their family members. The occasion, he said, served to inspire the current generation of airmen who had followed in the traditional footsteps.
The commitment of our martyrs, he reminded, was towards protecting our independence and sovereignty and helped to maintain peace and integrity of our country.
The bond and friendship
in the Air Force was such that the members of the family
of the martyrs were a part of the Air Force, he said. He
called on those currently serving in the Air Force to
further enhance their skills and commitment through
determination and deeds in the highest tradition of the
Indian Air Force.
Row over shifting of IFFI
NEW DELHI, June 20 (UNI) The shifting of the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) from January to October has raised strong protests from the film industry which says the new dates will impede on the celebrations of Divali or Dasehra.
However, Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources say the dates October 21 to 31 - are flexible and can be moved by about a week in case Divali or Dasehra occur between these dates. The flexibility has been permitted by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (IFFPA) which approves the dates for international film festivals because the dates for Divali and Dasehra change from year to year. In fact, only a few festivals like Cannes and Pusan have been permitted such flexibility by the IFFPA.
Reacting to the controversy as a storm in a teacup, the sources told UNI that several senior filmmakers, including some from Bengal, had hailed the change of dates. The sources clarified that the proposal for changing the dates had been demanded by film critics and the industry for a long time because of various constraints that prevented good films and better participation in January.
While accepting the recommendation for a change in dates made by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) which organised the annual fete, the ministry announced last month that the next IFFI would be held in Bangalore from October 21 next year. The festival would be non-competitive. There would be no festival in October this year as the 31st IFFI was hosted by Delhi in January this year.
Although the January fete was ideal considering Indian climatic conditions, it had several disadvantages coming as it did immediately after the end of the previous year. Under the rules of competition, only films not entered in any other festival were allowed to compete. Thus, all best films made during the previous year went to prestigious fetes all over the world and only the "leftovers" came into the Indian basket.
Year after year, decisions remain clouded in bureaucratic wrangles till the proverbial 11th hour, and so it became difficult to contact important film personalities - particularly in western countries - after mid-December as the Christmas-New Year holidays began. In any case, filmmakers whose work is suspended because of the vacations prefer to get back to work than to go to a "not-so-glamorous" festival.
Although India has been hosting international film fetes since 1952, it was only from 1976 that it became an annual feature in January. At that time, a 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. The competitive fete was discontinued after the 1987 IFFI, but restored from 1996 following pressure from the public and critics. Thus, there is a competition for Asian cinema in the IFFI in the capital every alternate year.
In the late eighties,
the Directorate which organises the festival prepared a
report detailing how the Indian IFFI could be improved
and also recommended increasing the cash component of the
prizes. However, no action has been taken on that report
Centre offers aid to Haryana
NEW DELHI, June 20 The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today called on the Union Minister of Rural Development, Mr Sunderlal Patwa. Mr Patwa assured maximum possible assistance to Haryana after noting that the state had been performing well in most of the rural development programmes.
The Rural Roads Programme was extensively discussed during the meeting. Mr Patwa said the parameters and guidelines of the programme were being formulated and Haryanas need would be fully kept in view. He, however, clarified that consumption of diesel was not going to be a criteria to determine the share of diesel cess to be utilised for the Rural Roads Fund for each state.
Department of Rural Development, said all-weather, black
top roads would be provided under the Rural Roads
Programme. He suggested that more proposals for watershed
programmes could be entertained. The Secretary informed
that Rs 5 crore had already been released in the first
instalment towards Employment Assurance Scheme.
Monsoon session from July 24
NEW DELHI, June 20 The Union Cabinet today decided to recommend to the President to summon the monsoon session of Parliament from July 24.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, told correspondent after the meeting that subject to the exegencies of work, the session will end on August 25.
Ganga "highly polluted"
KANPUR, June 20 (UNI) A Norwegian institute report has found the Ganga water "to be highly polluted with a concentration of chemical oxygen demand (COD) twice as high and the concentration of chrome a thousand times higher compared to untreated public sewer in Norway.
The report by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, which conducted tests on water samples collected by an Oslo University researcher from the downstream of the Ganga near the combined effluent treatment plant (CETP) in Jajmau here, found the Ganga was being "highly-polluted by toxic tannery effluents discharged by the CETP.
The report said "following western standards, the water was not even fit to be led out in nature without thorough cleaning.
After testing, the COD concentration was found at 800 mg per litre against the allowed Indian standard limit of 250 mg per litre and the total sulphar (sulphates and sulphides) concentration at 620 mg per litre.
The concentration of total chromium was found to be 10.9 mg per litre against the permissible limit of 2 mg per litre and total phosfor at 11.6 mg per litre, the report said.
Ms Ane Schjolden, a reseracher at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography in University of Oslo (Norway), had visited Kanpur to study the Ganga and the effect on it by the tannery industry. Accompanied by a local NGO Eco-Friends executive secretary, Rakesh Jaiswal, she collected water samples from the river just south of the CETP at Jajmau.
It was subsequently tested at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and a copy of the report was also sent to Mr Jaiswal here.
According to the report, the high concentration of sulphur was dangerous as in anaerobic condition (without oxygen) this could form hydrogen sulphide gas (H2s) which was very poisonous gas and in aerobic condition the sulphur could be transformed to sulphuric acid which is corrosive.
The report said skin problems and rashes on people working in the water could be explained by the high concentrations of chrome in the water or by the presence of PCP (pentachlorophenol) fungicide, once common in use to prevent the growth of fungi in the leather.
Reacting to the report, Mr Jaiswal said the Kanpur tanneries had been slow by poisoning villagers living in about 15 villages downstream in the Jajmau region. "The leather industries are also chemicalising the Ganga water with toxic effluent, containing chromium and known carcinogen and other chemicals.
Mr Jaiswal said though the effluent generated at tanneries passed through various stages at the effluent treatment plant in the factories and the combined effluent treatment plant and post-treatment plants, the treated sewage finally reaching the Ganga and the nearby agrofarmlands for irrigation still contained toxic chemical exceeding high quantity.
"Thus farmers in
the area are directly exposed to the toxic chemicals
which adversely affects their health. Skin diseases, and
stomach ailments have assumed epidemic dimensions in the
affected villages with various kinds of skin problems
ranging from spots, rashes, blotches, itching, lesions,
and numbness in the limbs very common, he
Bharatendu awards announced
NEW DELHI, June 20 (UNI) "Patrakari Lekhan Ke Aayam" by Manohar Prabhakar, "Samacharpatra: Sampadan Aur Prakashan" by Rajendra Rahi and "Hindi Patrakarita Aur Madan Mohan Malaviya" have been chosen for the top three Bharatendu Harishchandra Awards for 1999.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry today announced the awards given for promoting original writings in Hindi on journalism and mass communication for 1994 to 1999. The awards will be presented by the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, on June 28 in the Capital.
The consolation prize for 1999 has gone to Ramesh Dutt Sharma for his manuscript, "Vigyan Aur Krishi Patrakarta Kyon Aur Kaise". In addition, awards have also been announced for promotion of original writings in Hindi on childrens literature, womens issues and national integration. The prize in all three categories is Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 besides a citation.
For the year 1998, the first Bharatendu Harishchandra Prize has been given to Shyam Sundar Sharma for his book, "Hindi Prakashan Ka Itihas". The second prize goes to Ratneshwar Kumar Singh for his book, "Samachar Ek Drishti" and the third prize to Dayanand for his book "Aarthik Patrakarita".
For 1997, the first prize was been awarded to well-known writer and radio news reader Krishan Kumar Bhargava for his book, "Vishva Uchcharan Kosh". For 1994, 1995 and 1996 (combined), the first prize has been awarded to late Karmal Singh for his book, "Filmein Kaise Banti Hain".
In childrens literature category, the first prize for 1999 was bagged by Govind Sharma for his manuscript "Kalu Kauvva Evam Anya Kahaniyan," and the second prize by Swaran Prabha Agrahari for her manuscript, "Adhikaron Ke Khel." The first prize for 1998 in childrens literature category has gone to Alka Pathak for her book, "Insan ka Beta", and the second prize to Shashipal Sharma for his manuscript "Pakshi Puchhay Swayam Paheli". In the womens issues category, the first prize has gone to Kshama Sharma for her book "Istri ka Samay, and the second prize to Gayatri Mehshwari for her book "Samkaleeen Mein Istri." The first prize for 1997 in childrens literature category has gone to Zakir Ali Rajnish for his manuscript, "Samay ke Paar" and the second prize to Rama Tiwari for her book, "Nanhi aur Nani". The first prize for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996 (combined) in childrens literature category has gone to Devendra Mewadi for his book, "Sooraj ke Aangan Mein", the second prize to Shyam Sunder Sharma and Ashok Malhotra for their jointly written book "Jeev Jantuon ke Rang", and the third prize to Malti Basant for her manuscript, "Dadaji Ki Sair."
In the womens
issues category, the award has been given to Asha Rani
Vohra for her manuscript, "Istri Sarokar". In
the national integration category, Devan Chand Das and
Amar Nath Singh have been jointly awarded for their
respective manuscripts, "Asma Sushma Manorama"
and "Rashtriya Ekta Evam Sampradaik Sadbhav".
disrupts life in Manipur
LPG leak from
for suspended ACP
Pande sworn in
Four killed in
Fossil park to
be set up in MP
to meet PM
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |