|Wednesday, July 5, 2000,
tank deal soon: Fernandes
4 murdered in Delhi shop
Notification hits gas
PSU closure: Left to stage dharna
84 riots : Badal for
Trip down memory lane for PM
Politicians infringing on
Strike disrupts telecom services
Pradesh Ratna for
CPM, Muslim League to share
75 injured in clash
T-90 tank deal soon:
NEW DELHI, July 4 India and Russia have resolved to contain and eliminate the scourge of terrorism and would formalise cooperation to achieve this objective during the visit of the Russian President, Mr Vladimir Putin, here in October.
Addressing a press conference after his five-day visit to Russia, the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, said during his meeting with Mr Putin, issues of bilateral interest were covered which included cross-border terrorism.
"While we are facing cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, in Chechnya terrorism is being exported via Afghanistan by the Taliban and even happening in some provinces of China, Mr Fernandes said.
Mr Fernandes said during his visit, he also had detailed discussions with his counterpart Igor Sergeyev and the Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov.
Both India and Russia also decided to raise the level of the institutionalised mechanism of defence cooperation by setting up a Joint Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation at ministerial-level.
The commission will be co-chaired by the Defence Minister and the Russian Deputy and will have two working groups one co-chaired by the Defence Secretary and his counterpart and the other by Secretary Defence Production and his counterpart.
Mr Fernandes said Russia had appreciated Indias role as a force for stability and peace at the regional and global levels and promised to aid and assist India in taking its rightful place among the comity of nations and a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council.
Mr Fernandes said apart from cross-border terrorism, during his talks with Mr Putin developments in Sierra Leone and Fiji were discussed. Mr Fernandes said Mr Putin had asked his Foreign Minister to take up the matter on a priority basis as these were the places where principles of international law and the UN charter were not being observed.
He said Russia appreciated New Delhis stand on Sri Lanka when overall security environment in the region was discussed.
Referring to reports of purchase of T-90 main battle tank from Russia, Mr Fernandes said the price negotiation committee was to resolve the issue of price for it. In reply to another question, he said the deal would not affect procurement of indigenous MBT Arjun and that the ministry had already placed order for 124 tanks whose serial production had commenced.
On procuring Sukhoi 30 MKI combat aircraft, Mr Fernandes said during the visit he witnessed an aerobatic display of the aircraft which were fitted with avionics. He said terms for the purchase of 140 planes were not yet finalised and stated that some of the instruments were of West European origin and some from India.
On "Admiral Gorshkov" aircraft carrier being gifted to India, he said, Russia was yet to submit a project report as to how much it would cost for refitting and aircraft. He also said INS Viraat, the only aircraft carrier that India had now was undergoing refitment
The Defence Minister said he also visited two shipyards, one at Baltic where three frigates were under construction and another at Admirality where submarines were being readied.
To a question on efforts to bring back the Sea King two Harriers which were grounded in the UK, Mr Fernandes said these aircraft had US systems which had been made unavailable after the US ban following Pokhran-II. However, the Sea Kings were being cannibalised and made ready for operations.
4 murdered in Delhi shop
NEW DELHI, July 4 Four persons, including two watchmen, were found murdered inside a jewellery shop in the Karol Bagh area of Central Delhi this morning, the police said.
The bodies of the four persons, all tied up with their throats slit - apparently with sharp-edged weapons, were detected this morning from Udal Singh and Sons, located on the first floor of Sareen building in Hardian Singh Road, Joint Commissioner of Police Ajay Chadha said.
While three of the victims have been identified as Raju, a watchman with the shop, who also worked as driver in the nearby shop N.M. Jewellers his uncle Surender who worked as a watchman in a nearby market and Anil, a peon who used to supply tea to the shops, one person remained to be identified.
According to Mr Chadha, robbery was the motive behind the killings, though it was not clear whether the culprits were able to take away any jewellery.
"They had ransacked the place and had cut open the shutters of N.M. Jewellers with the help of gas cutters, but it seems they ran out of gas and failed to open the safe, where the gold jewellery were kept," he said.
Mr Chadha said the killers were apparently known to the victims, who occasionally used to stay with Raju, and the entry was friendly. Only a digital balance, used for weighing jewellery, has been found missing so far.
Senior police officials have rushed to the spot along with forensic experts even as the bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination, he said, adding that cases of murder and tresspass have been registered.
Anils elder brother Balbir, who also worked as a watchman with D.K. Jewellers in the same market said he also stayed with Anil. He left Anil, who was in company of Surender and Raju, for Sonia Vihar on Monday morning to meet his uncle. He had no knowledge about the fourth person.
He said Surender and Raju, who were relatives and belonged to Farukhabad, worked as security guards in the market.
He said that they were good friends and lived together in weekly holidays. Recently they met Nauratan who came to Delhi hardly 25 days back. He also hailed from Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh. At present Nauratnas whereabout is not known, Balbir said.
He said the deceased were very healthy. One person could not kill them. The accused could be more than eight or 10 in number.
Mr Rajiv Jain, a
jeweller, whose shop is in adjacent to Udal Singh
jewellery shop said Anil was an honest man and he was not
of criminal nature. The jewellers of Karol Bagh do not
have watchman to guard the market during the night.
Notification hits gas victims
BHOPAL, July 4 Nusrat Jehan, a scraggy pale-faced girl, looks much elder than her age which according to her father, Noor Mian, is 18 years. She had been suffering from some or the other affliction since the night of December 2-3,1984, when the entire old Bhopal was engulfed by the poisonous gas emanating from the pesticide plant of the Union Carbide Corporation.
Her most persisting affliction had been a headache which refused to go. She was admitted to hospital on March 25 this year and operated upon April 4 and she spent nearly two months in the hospital.
Her case for compensation, fixed for hearing on April 5, was dismissed by the claims court because she was not present personally . When she appeared in the court after her discharge from the hospital, the Deputy Commissioner (the presiding officer of the court) expressed his inability to reopen the case in view of the latest notification issued by the Commissioner for Gas Claims (who is a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court).
The notification, gazetted on February 5 this year, empowers the Additional Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and other officers appointed to discharge the functions under the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985, to refuse to reopen the case which has been dismissed or rejected by the claims court in the absence of claimant. However, the Additional/Deputy Commissioner, it appears, have been using this power liberally. According to Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan convener Abdul Jabbar, over 3,000 such cases have been rejected by the claims courts since May 1.
Mr Jabbar feels this is blatantly against the letter and spirit of the Act of 1985 which was enacted by the Union Government to take upon itself the responsibility of ensuring justice to the gas victims, most of whom were poor and illiterate persons. Now the provisions of the same Act are being used to deny justice to the victims.
The claims courts were started in 1990-91. Around one lakh of the six lakh cases of compensation are still to be disposed of. The procedure adopted by the claims courts is so peremptory that many of the genuine sufferers have been left out. Notices were, by and large, sent by ordinary post. Many of the victims have changed places of residence during this period. The BJP government had demolished dwellings in several localities saying these were unauthorised and bundled off the inhabitants to the outkirts of Bhopal. Postal delivery of notices in a large number of cases was thus a near impossibility.
The victims were at
least heard even if they approached the claims courts
after the due date. Now the February 5 notification has
deprived them of their right to be heard if they have not
appeared, for whatever, reasons, in person on the due
date of hearing.
PSU closure: Left to stage
CALCUTTA, July 4 The CPM and other Left parties will stage a six-hour dharna and stage-in demonstration before the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, during his one-day visit to the city on July 6.
The rally which has been planned to protest against the Centres recent decision to close down five central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in West Bengal, will be participated by the Left Front ministers, MPs and MLAs as well as the wives and children of the retrenched employees. Left Front government is sponsoring the demonstration-rally.
Mr Vajpayee will visit Calcutta to inaugurate the birthday centenary function of Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, founder of the Swantantra Party, now the BJP, whom Mr Vajpayee regards as his political guru. Mr Vajpayee was Dr Mukherjees personal secretary when he was a minister in Pandit Nehrus Cabinet.
The issue of closing down of PSUs in the state has caused much political uproar and controversies. The Railway Minister, Ms Mamta Banerjee, claimed that the Prime Minister had agreed to reconsider the decision but Mr Vajpayee denied this.
Employees and their family members are on indefinite fast and sit-in demonstration in front of the factory gates of the respective units in Durgapur and South 24-Paragans since July 1 against the decision.
The factories, include Mining and Allied Machineries Corporation (MAMC), Cycle Corporation of India, Tannery and Footwear Corporation, Weigh Board India Limited, Rehabilitation Industries Corporation and Bharat Process Mechanical Engineers Industries Corporation. Over five lakh employees and their dependants have been affected by these closures.
Railway Minister, who has been criticised by the Left parties as well as Congress (I) leaders, for making a false propaganda on the eve of the recently held Panskura and Calcutta civic elections over closing down of the PSUs, has deferred her programme to go to New Delhi and is now busy in the elections for Mayor, post in Calcutta and Bhidhannagar.
Ms Banerjee has demanded Presidents rule in West Bengal on the charges of the governments failure to maintain law and order. She had accused the government machinery of siding with the CPI (M) in the re-polling at booth 16 in Bidhannagar, which had decided the fate of the CPI (M) by gaining one seat in the 23-ward board Trinamool Congress and the Left Front had 11 seats each.
will contest in the elections in Calcutta as well as
Bidhannagar. In Calcutta, Trinamool-BJP "jot"
has a substantial margin of seat, while in Bidhannagar,
the Left Front has a water-thin victory by one seat only.
The election for Mayors in Calcutta will take place
on July 6.
84 riots : Badal for
NEW DELHI, July 4 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today called for exemplary punishment for those guilty of massacre of innocent Sikhs in 1984.
Addressing a meeting of the Committee to help and expedite the work of the Justice Nanavati Commission set up by the Centre to probe the events afresh, Mr Badal said it was a shame that those guilty of the "most heinous crime were allowed to go scot-free".
"Far from being punished for their grave sin, they were actually rewarded with ministerial berths and other high office by the Congress rulers," Mr Badal said according to a state government release here today.
Mr Badal said the earlier commission set up by the Congress government did not ensure justice to the victims and praised the role of some non-government organisations and individuals in highlighting the massacre.
The Chief Minister said the committee set up by the Punjab Govern-ment would help the victims or their survivors in presenting the facts before the commission.
Mr Parkash Singh Badal also emphasised the need for immediate and comprehensive recasting of the Constitution especially with regard to fiscal relations between the Centre and States.
Presiding over the first meeting of the committee to prepare and present Punjabs case before the Constitutional Review Panel of the Centre, Mr Badal welcomed its setting up and described it as historic development, in post-Independence history.
He expressed satisfaction that the demands of the Shiromani Akali Dal and Punjab Government on recasting Centre-state relations, devolution of financial powers to states and decentralisation in general formed the core of the terms of reference of the review commission.
Trip down memory lane for PM
CHENNAI, July 4 (PTI) It was a trip down memory lane for Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as he recalled his student days at the silver jubilee celebrations of an educational institution here today.
Inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of the institution, which runs 17 schools in Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister said, "I have vivid memories of the schools in which I studied. My father was himself a school teacher. So you can say that the home was also my school and the school too was rather homely," he said.
Mr Vajpayee was accompanied by Union Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan, Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and PMK leader S. Ramadoss.
Earlier, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Union Commerce and Industries Minister Murasoli Maran, Tamizhaga Rajiv Congress chief Vazhapadi Ramamurthy, MDMK leader Vaiko and state BJP president I. Ganesan were among those who received him at the airport.
UNI adds: The Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee, on Tuesday declared that the national long-distance telecom services would soon by opened up to foster large-scale competition.
Inaugurating the Tidel Park, Asias biggest information technology park here, he said opening up of international long-distance telecom services was also under serious consideration.
Politicians infringing on poors rights
NEW DELHI, July 4 (PTI) Super-speciality Apollo Hospital today complained to the Delhi High Court that the city government was recommending politicians to it under the free treatment scheme available for poor patients.
"Politicians are coming to the hospital for treatment and a post-facto recommendation is sent by the government for their free treatment under the scheme," Apollo counsel Lalit Bhasin told a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Anil Dev Singh and Mr Justice M.K.Sharma.
Seeking clear guidelines for patients to avail of the free treatment scheme, Mr Bhasin said recently a politician, on whose treatment Rs 8 lakh was spent, had managed to procure post-facto recommendation from the government making him eligible to avail of free treatment. He, however, did not disclose the politicians name.
Under the agreement, the hospital is to provide indoor treatment to 200 poor patients out of its total capacity of 600 beds, while treating 40 per cent of outdoor patients free in lieu of the land provided by the city government at Re 1 per sq metre.
Strike disrupts telecom services
NEW DELHI, July 4 (PTI) Telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai were disrupted today on account of the one-day pen-down strike by non-executive staff of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) who are demanding revision of pay scales and perks.
All complaints were left unattended and customer care services were worst hit due to the strike, representatives of employees unions said.
"The strike is 100 per cent in both cities. We are going to take another step of indefinite strike from July 11 in case the agreement between management and unions for revising pay scales, perks and allowance is not implemented," Mr Sarup Singh, General Secretary, MTNL Staff Unions said.
Meanwhile, the management said the strike was not justified as it was looking at the proposals.
Pradesh Ratna for Vijaya
KANPUR, July 4 Vijaya Goel, an eminent poetess, writer and artist who had recently won a national award for her Hindi fiction was conferred the title of "Pradesh Ratna" by Mr Suraj Bahan, Uttar Pradesh Governor, at a glittering function held at Merchant Chamber of Commerce here recently. A cash award of Rs 51,000, a certificate of merit and a shield were given to her for her contribution in the field of literature.
Vijaya Goel has been
contributing to prominent newspapers and magazines since
many years. She has authored over 10 books of verse and
fiction in Hindi and English. The plight of women and the
poor in society is amply reflected in her creations.
PUNE, July 4 (PTI) Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Gujarat, Konkan and Goa, Andhra Pradesh, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, at many places in east Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, interior Karnataka and Lakshadweep and at a few places in Orissa, west Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha and at isolated places over the rest of the country, according to forecast issued by the central observatory here today.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rainfall is likely to occur at isolated places in Gujarat, Konkan and Goa, Andhra Pradesh, coastal Karnataka and Kerala during the next 48 hours.
The south-west monsoon
has been vigorous in Saurashtra and Kutch and Konkan and
Goa and active in Gujarat region. Rain or thundershowers
have occurred at many places in Andaman and Nicobar
islands, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, at a few places in
sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, hills of west Uttar
Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra,
coastal Andhra Pradesh, south interior Karnataka and
Lakshadweep and at isolated places in Assam and
Meghalaya, Gangetic West Bengal, Orissa, Jammu and
Kashmir, Vidarbha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and north
interior Karnataka. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the
rest of the country.
CPM, Muslim League to share platform
CHENNAI, July 4 (PTI) For the first time in several years, CPM leaders will share platform with leaders of the Indian Union Muslim League and the Indian National League here on July 6, at a public meeting organised by the CPM to condemn attacks on churches.
committee member N. Varadarajan, in a statement here
today, said AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha, TMC President G K
Moopanar, TNCC President E.V.K.S. Elangovan, CPIs
state unit secretary R. Nallakannu, state JD (S)
President G A Vadivelu, Tamil Nadu RJD President, K.
Jagaveerapandiayn, IUML state General Secretary K.A.
Wahab and INL General Secretary M. Abdhul Latheef would
address the meeting.
75 injured in clash
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, July 4 (UNI) About 75 students and police personnel were injured in clashes and lathicharge when an agitation by pro-opposition students on the plus two school sanction issue turned violent here today.
About 250 students of
oganisations owing allegiance to the Congress-led United Democratic Front who took out a march and held a
demonstration in front of the state secretariat, pelted
the police personnel with stones.
Bajrang Dal, RSS: Surjewala
Shiv Sena leader
hacked to death
bidi-makers to get training
worth Rs 1 cr seized
arrive in Mumbai
unearthed, 2 held
accused of rape
central Hindi panel
Chandra Basu dead
Jail inmate hurt
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