|Sunday, July 2, 2000,
by VIP kin
Badal defends autonomy
CPI, Trinamool men clash, 1 dead
India set to benefit from gene
MDMK: meeting not in LTTEs
Monsoon advances in
J & K resolution negates Pak
CMC poll: CPM to go it alone
Inconvenienced by VIP kin
NEW DELHI, July 1 An eerie of silence descended on the arrival lounge of the Indira Gandhi International Airport last night after a "VIP entourage" comprising two Mercedes, two Gypsies carrying a horde of Black Cat Commandos and an Ambassador car with red light fitted on its roof, arrived in front of the VIP arrival gate.
The occupants, including Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, a former Punjab MP, and son of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, clad in white kurta-pyjama, walked into the terminal building, unchecked. An officer of the Customs, who escorted the "VIP entourage", and a couple of other officials from the security at the IGIA not only made way for the "guests" but also kept on shouting "Mantriji aa rahe hain, piche hat jao" (Minister is coming, move aside).
Some passengers, who had arrived by the same Lufthansa (LH 760) flight by which wife of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal had come, made no secret of their "displeasure" at the "rough treatment meted out to them" to look after the "VIP daughter-in-law".
For almost 20 minutes, the entire work at the arrival lounge came to a standstill until Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife departed from the terminal building after immigration check in.
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, a former Union Minister of State for Industries, left in one of Mercedes (PB-13F 1) while the second Mercedes (DL 4C J 1) and one of two Gypsies (PB 12D 8201 and PB 12D 8202) followed him.
The Ambassador car with red light fitted on its roof and the second Gypsy, however, remained parked outside the VIP arrival gate till some of the Commandos walked out of the terminal building with some suit cases and personal baggage of the "VIP daughter-in-law".
The baggage was taken out through "green channel" as no one stopped the Black Cat commandos to check or screen the baggage. Only after the VIP baggage was taken out that other passengers were allowed to get their baggage from the luggage belt. The drama lasted a little more than half an hour.
Members of the VIP entourage moved in and out of the terminal building freely, without being checked or screened by any one from the security or the Customs staff.
Other passengers kept on
wondering as to which Minister had come to the terminal
building. Some of the passengers and their relatives and
friends argued with security staff and other officials
for allowing all members of the "VIP entourage"
but preventing them from going anywhere closer to the
arrival gate. They said that they had to wait more than
50 yards away from the gate to receive their passengers.
Badal defends autonomy
CHENNAI, July 1 (PTI) The Akali Dals demand for "full autonomy" to Punjab was aimed only at strengthening states for a strong India and different from the greater autonomy sought for Kashmir, Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal said on Saturday.
Mr Badal, who arrived here from Delhi en route to Erode to participate in the MDMKs two-day conference which begins later in the day, said his party, like the DMK in Tamil Nadu, was only seeking a "true" federal structure.
It was the Akali Dal, after the DMK, which had raised the demand for a "true federal structure", Mr Badal pointed out.
"Our constitutional framework was for a federal structure, but due to the rule of the Congress Government both at the Centre and states, slowly the powers of states were usurped and a unitary set-up had nearly come", he said.
He said the country had crores of poor people but nothing could be done for them unless states had more powers. "So we want a federal system", he said.
Asked if the demand amounted to separatism as is being described by some parties, Mr Badal replied in the negative.
"We are the most patriotic people. Though we are just 2 per cent of the population, 80 per cent of those who sacrificed their lives during the freedom movement were from Punjab", he said.
Mr Badal said he was for a strong India, which meant strong states. "If limbs are strong, the body will be stronger", he said.
Emphasising on true federalism, Mr Badal said the increased allocation of central revenue to states to the extent of 29 per cent was still insufficient.
There was need for providing people with basic amenities like drinking water and other essentials. The states were unable to fully carry out development programmes only because they were starved of funds.
Asked whether the demand for full autonomy would destabilise the NDA, he asserted it would not.
Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani said the autonomy resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly had negated Pakistans claim that accession of the region to India was vitiated by force and fraud.
"Pakistan has no reason to be happy about it (resolution) as it clearly accepts validity of accession and establishes that the people of Jammu and Kashmir do not want secession from India, but only more autonomy", he told reporters here.
Describing the resolution as a view of the Assembly, a political body, the minister said it would be duly considered by the Centre.
Mr Jethmalani, who also holds the portfolio of Justice and Company Affairs, tried to allay fears over its implication, saying that the resolution did not cover the three vital areas of defence, foreign affairs and finance.
CPI, Trinamool men clash, 1 dead
MIDNAPORE, July 1 (PTI) A CPI activist was killed in a clash with Trinamool Congress (TC) supporters, 50 houses were looted and paramilitary force deployed in the Pingla area, where an indefinite bandh called by the TC against "police excesses" on its activists began today, official sources said.
The police said a 36-year old CPI activist was killed last night in a clash in Asthi village in Pingla area.
The clash soon spread to the adjoining villages of Dujipur, Burai and Pingla and 11 persons, including a CPM activist were seriously injured in an exchange of fire between the two sides.
The Pingla police station, Mr Sandip Sinha, was gheraoed and heckled by supporters of the TC, the CPI and the CPM on his way to the spot and was rescued late in the night by policemen, who had to resort to a lathi charge and fire four rounds in the air, the police said.
Paramilitary personnel were deployed to control the situation and later 20 persons, including 15 TC supporters were arrested.
Meanwhile, the indefinite bandh had hit life in Pingla and adjourning areas of Sabang, the scene of bloody clashes between the LF and the TC activists for the past several months, with educational institutions and markets remaining closed and vehicular traffic off the roads, the sources said.
The situation, however, was now under control and no untoward incident had been reported from the two areas, the police added.
Trinamool Congress sources said the indefinite bandh from today was against the "police excesses" on activists yesterday.
CPI sources alleged that TC supporters had gone to Asthi village to loot the houses of CPI and CPM supporters.
Block TC leader Gour
Ghorai said the clash occurred when the police and the
Leftist parties supporters attacked his partymen
when they blocked a link road between Pingla and
Midnapore town at Jamna village demanding agricultural
loans, the restoration of the road and the maintenance of
law and order in the area yesterday.
India set to benefit from gene discovery
NEW DELHI, July 1 (PTI) India is gearing up to mount a major research initiative to take advantage of the draft of the entire human genome sequence made public this week.
Department of biotechnologys (DBT) task force Chairman H. Sharat Chandra told PTI in Bangalore that he planned to call an urgent meeting to discuss implications of the sequence being made public and what India should be doing.
Biologists said the gene discovery efforts would get a tremendous boost now that the entire human genome sequence was made public.
Though India missed the chance of participating in the global human genome project (HGP), biologists say they are all set to put the available data to use, thanks to new facilities like the Centre for Functional Genomics set up by the DBT.
"The genome sequence data is a massive gift to us by the western world," said Anuranjan Anand, head of the human genetics unit at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore. "We can reap huge benefits if all of us put our act together. One thing is for sure, we can move faster with gene discovery."
Anand who is trying to discover the gene (or genes) responsible for a form of epilepsy and schizophrenia said in Bangalore "Now I do not have to go hunting for a gene over long stretch of DNA. I can focus it on a short region which means I will save a lot of time."
"Its (the complete human genome sequence) like a gold mine," said Alok Bhattacharaya, a bio-informatics specialist from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here. "Complete information about humans will help interpret biology in a way that has never been done before."
The availability of HGP data in the public domain will give a level playing field for all to explore its tremendous opportunities, said Sameer K. Brahmachari, the Director of Centre for Biochemical Technology here.
Brahmachari cautioned that Indian scientists should accelerate the genome work because "the world is going to use the Indian gene pool" which may result in the loss of genetic wealth for the country.
"It is the
worlds largest medical dictionary. But its
encrypted. We need to decode it to identify the cause of
variation in genome sequence and its association to
diseases," Brahmachari said adding that knowledge
about the specific gene sequence will usher in an era of
"predictive and preventive medicine".
MDMK: meeting not in LTTEs support
ERODE (TN), July 1 (PTI) MDMK general secretary Vaiko today denied allegations that his party was "taking any extreme step" on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.
"We are only expressing our concern over the developments. We want other parties also to raise their voice on this", he told newsmen here.
Denying that the two-day MDMK conference, beginning here today, was being held in support of the LTTE, he said being a partner in the NDA, the MDMK was aware of its responsibilities and as Union Home Minister L.K. Advani was participating in it, the party would exercise utmost restraint on the Sri Lankan issue.
Agreeing that there "were differences in perception among NDA constituents on several issues", he said this was natural in coalitions.
On the resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly demanding restoration of the pre-1953 status, Vaiko said he did not entirely agree with it. However, it merited a clause-by-clause study.
Monsoon advances in Punjab, Haryana
PUNE, July 1 (PTI) Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, at many places in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Orissa, Haryana, Punjab, east Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep, at a few places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar, hills of west Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and interior Karnataka and at isolated places over the rest of the country, according to forecast issued by the central observatory here today.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Haryana, Punjab, Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka and Kerala during the next 48 hours.
The Southwest Monsoon has advanced into more parts of north Arabian Sea, rest of Saurashtra and Kutch, Gujarat region, east Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. The northern limit of the monsoon passes through 24 degree N/60 degree E, Naliya, Jalore, Ajmer, Churu and Ferozepore. The lower pressure area over east Vidarbha and adjoining parts of southeast Madhya Pradesh and Telangana has become less marked. However, the associated cyclonic circulation extending up to 4.5 km a.s.l. Now lies over south Vidarbha and adjoining parts of Telangana.
A low pressure area
formed over east Rajasthan and its neighbourhood last
evening and became less marked today. However, a cyclonic
circulation extending up to 2.1 km a.s.l. Lies over east
Rajasthan and neighbourhood. The trough on sea level
chart passes through Bikaner, Kota, Raipur and
Kalingapatnam and extends up to lower levels. The
cyclonic circulation over north Konkan and neighbourhood
persists between 1.5 and 3.1 km a.s.l..
J & K resolution negates Pak claim: Jethmalani
CHENNAI, July 1 (PTI) The Union Law Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, today said the autonomy resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly had negated Pakistans claim that accession of the region to India was vitiated by force and fraud.
"Pakistan has no reason to be happy about it (resolution) as it clearly accepts validity of accession and establishes that the people of Jammu and Kashmir do not want secession from India, but only more autonomy", he told newsmen here.
Describing the resolution as a view of the assembly, a political body, the minister said it would be duly considered by the Centre.
Mr Jethmalani, who also holds the Portfolio of Justice and Company Affairs, tried to allay fears over its implication, saying that the resolution did not cover the three vital areas of defence, foreign affairs and finance.
CMC poll: CPM to go it alone
CALCUTTA, July 1 (PTI) With the Congress turning down its request for support, West Bengals Ruling Left Front today said it would go it alone in the mayoral elections of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) in the run-up to formation of the board in the civic body.
West Bengal Chief Minister and veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu had sought Congress support in the CMC board formation on Thursday before leaving for Israel.
Mr Basus plea to the Congress came in the wake of the recently-concluded civic poll that threw up a hung board, with the Congress holding the key to the new CMC formation.
The Congress, however, rejected the plea and decided to maintain a neutral stand.
Briefing newspersons after a meeting of the Left Front, which reviewed the results, senior CPM leader Biman Bose said the front would neither pitch for support from the Congress nor extend support to any other party in mayoral contest.
"We will put up our own candidate for the post, Mr Bose said.
cops killed in ambush
New methods for
5 die in
water kills 1
Sikkim to start
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