|Wednesday, July 12, 2000,
cyber-attack on Indian ISI
Pak pressure on
Hurriyat Geelani may continue
Howard for dynamic
More funds for
Fresh summons to 3 foreign witnesses
Curfew in Tonk after
Defence deals : CVC
report by month-end
Oil sold as desi ghee
2 hurt in
shoot-out in court
Trinamool to observe
HC restrains Ilyasi’s in-laws
SC talks tough
Father or Dracula ?
Monsoon active in
Pak ISI’s cyber-attack on Indian ISI
CALCUTTA, July 11 (PTI) — In a cyber attack suspected to be the handiwork of Pakistan’s ISI, the homepage of 70-year-old Indian Statistical Institute was hacked here in an abortive bid to erase vital data.
"Our organisation’s name is ISI. And no other organisation can exist with this name," a message flashed on the homepage when scientists at the Computer and Statistical Services Centre of the Institute, which shares its acronym with the ISI, logged in at 9.30 a.m. on yesterday.
"It was an abortive attempt by whoever tried to do it. At first we thought some vital documents have gone but all that was restored by our experts from the back-up," Institute Director S B Rao told PTI.
The institute’s homepage was hacked and a portion erased to accommodate the message by a group of hackers claiming to be members of the ISI.
Mr Rao said though at first instance it appeared that some e-mails had also been erased and those prior to July 3, could not be retrieved, institute experts later recovered all data from the back-up.
"The message which followed had derogatory remarks and rude jokes on Indians," institute sources said.
The needle of suspicion rested on the ISI more so with the hackers referring to all Indians in derogatory terms and expressing their anger over the Kashmir issue, the sources said.
Cartographically representing on an outline map, the hackers highlighted portions of North-western and north-eastern borders and Calcutta with a note: "We are all over here".
Swiftly reacting to the hacking, institute authorities retracted erased data and restored the homepage within a couple of hours.
Pak pressure on
Hurriyat Geelani may
NEW DELHI, July 11 — Pakistan, nervous over the autonomy debate in Jammu and Kashmir, is making efforts to get another term for the present Chairman of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The APHC, which is largely divided in pro and anti-Geelani camps currently, witnessed stormy scenes when its executive committee met three weeks ago in Srinagar to discuss the issue of the election of a new Chairman of the organisation.
Eyewitness accounts confirm that the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader, Mr Yasin Malik almost manhandled Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat of the Muslim Conference.
While Mr Malik along with the People’s Conference leader, Mr A.G. Lone, are said to be opposed to continuation of Mr Geelani for another one year as the APHC head, Mr Geelani is being firmly supported by Professor Bhat.
Islamabad, coming to know of the ugly scene at the executive committee meeting, has been exerting pressure on other APHC constituents and their leaders to allow Mr Geelani to continue.
The autonomy debate in India has unnerved both the ISI and the rulers controlling Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as similar demands are likely to be raised over there also. The interviews given by the JKLF chief, Mr Ammanullah Khan, to Indian newspersons recently are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with regard to pent up feelings that citizens of the PoK nurse against rulers in Islamabad.
With New Delhi trying to open channels of communication with certain Hurriyat leaders and other political groups, Islamabad is no more confident of the APHC leaders. That is why ISI wants someone on whom it can depend as the boss of the APHC
A senior Pakistan High Commission official called on Mr Malik this week in the hospital, where he is convalescing these days in the Union Capital.
While the visit of the High Commission official is being described as a courtesy call, the sources said Mr Malik is being persuaded to extend support to Mr Geelani.
The former Hurriyat Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who enjoys a lot of support among the expatriate Kashmiri community in both the USA as well as in the United Kingdom, is keeping aloof from the intense power struggle but he does not enjoy the confidence of Islamabad.
At the moment, the strategy of the
pro-Geelani group supported by Islamabad is to delay the election of
the APHC Chairman. Islamabad desperately wants to have Mr Geelani as
the Hurriyat boss while New Delhi is making moves for a dialogue, the
Howard for dynamic
NEW DELHI, July 11 — Indo-Australia relationship will gather momentum after a short setback caused by New Delhi’s nuclear explosions in 1998.
The Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Howard told media persons during his two-day stay here that there was a need to impart "new vigour and dynamism" to the bilateral ties.
The Australian Prime Minister’s visit ended here today with the two countries expressing commitment to exert international pressure for the unconditional and immediate release of Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Pal Chowdhury and his Cabinet colleagues being held hostage for the past eight weeks.
During his meetings with the President, Mr K.R. Naryanan, the Vice President, Mr Krishan Kant, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, the Commerce Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran and his interaction with the captains of industry, Mr Howard stressed that the real potential of bilateral relations was still to be explored.
While Australia hoped that New Delhi would move towards signing the CTBT, the visiting Prime Minister made clear that no single issue would be allowed to hold back the bilateral ties.
On nuclear issue, Mr Howard told newspersons during a press conference that "We then felt strongly about it (nuclear explosions). But you don’t allow one issue to contaminate the entire relationship."
On Fiji, Mr Howard said that he would remain in touch with the Indian leader on developments in Fiji. "I will contact the Indian Prime Minister in a few weeks time if the situation in Fiji changes".
When asked about the latest agreement signed between the rebel leaders and the military authorities in Suva, Mr Howard pointed out that "it is still a very delicate situation there".
While a decision to resume the defence cooperation between the two countries was taken during the Australian Foreign Minister, Mr Alexander Downer’s visit to India few months back, Australia would post its Military Attache at its High Commission in New Delhi by the beginning of the next year.
EU trade barriers
The Australian Prime Minister called for joint action with India in fighting the trade barriers set by the European Union (EU) and the USA even as he reiterated Canberra’s opposition to India’s nuclear tests.
"Australia and India have common interests fighting the trade barriers of the EU and the USA. We can make it a common cause to ask for the lowering of trade barriers imposed by many countries," Mr Howard said, while addressing a luncheon meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
He said the two countries must resist protectionist measures adopted by the EU and restrictive practices adopted by the USA.
Stating that the trade between India and Australia was quite low, Mr Howard was optimistic that it would double in the next three years.
The Australian Prime Minister said the governments could facilitate and draw policy frameworks for the growth of trade and business.
It was up to the individuals and corporates to take the decisions, he said and highlighted the taxation reforms carried out by his government and withdrawal of the state control from different sectors like banks, airports and power.
Australia would give India $ 18.5 million (Australian) assistance to combat AIDS over a five-year-period, he said, adding that talks between the two sides were nearing completion over the issue.
To a question, he said there was no rift between India’s objective of food security and Australia’s concern at the liberalisation of agriculture. "We understand India’s policy on self-sufficiency given the size of the country."
The relations between India and Australia somewhat soured after the May 1998 nuclear test.
He said the issue of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty dominated his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, the Commerce Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran and other leaders. "We emphasised our strong views on the CTBT in all these discussion," Mr Howard said.
Australia, which snapped military ties after the nuclear tests, has urged India to sign the CTBT. The Indian Prime Minister has said the CTBT would be discussed in the monsoon session of Parliament and consensus on India signing the treaty could emerge within this year end.
More funds for population project
NEW DELHI, July 11 (Agencies) — The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved enhancement of project cost of World Bank-assisted India Population Project from Rs 335 crore to Rs 414 crore.
The cost of the project, currently being implemented in Assam, Rajasthan and Karnataka, has been enhanced to facilitate completion of activities and to ensure full utilisation of the committed assistance from the world bank, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
The project period also has been extended to December 31, 2001 from June 30, 2001 to coincide with the credit closing date of the World Bank for the project, Mr Mahajan said.
The CCEA also approved continuation of Watershed Development Project in Shifting Cultivation Areas of North East States during the Ninth Plan period. Mr Mahajan said under the project 1.20 lakh hectares of land would be taken up for watershed development at a total cost of Rs 75 crore.
Lakhubhai case Fresh summons to 3 foreign witnesses
NEW DELHI, July 11 (PTI, UNI) — A designated court today issued fresh summons to three foreign witnesses including a former US Congressman in the Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case in which former premier P.V. Narasimha Rao, Chandraswami and his accomplice K.N. Aggarwal, alias Mamaji, are facing trial.
Special Judge Ajit Bharihoke issued the summons to former US Congressman Marvyn M Dymally (California), Binod Bhat (Canada) and Swami Chakradhari (New Jersey) asking them to appear before it on August 30 and 31 for recording of their evidence as defence witnesses.
All accused are facing trial for allegedly cheating London-based pickle tycoon Pathak, now dead, of $ 1 lakh on the promise of getting him a paper pulp supply contract in India in 1986.
The court also directed accused Chandraswami to give within two weeks the correct address of Swami Chakradhari in the USA so that summons could be served upon him.
The court direction came after CBI counsel J.S. Wadia said summons on Dymally had already been served and the order regarding Bhat had been pending with the Canadian Department of Justice. Swami Chakradhari’s address was not available with the US authorities, Mr Wadia said.
Meanwhile the court directed the CBI to file its reply by tomorrow to the statement of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and other accused in the said case that the bureau was deliberately delaying the trial.
The court issued the directive to CBI counsel A.K. Dutt following the contention of the accused that the "abnormally long duration of the trial is in violation of their fundamental rights to speedy trial."
Two of the accused, Chandraswami and
his accomplice K.N. Aggarwal alias ‘Mamaji,’ today filed a
petition seeking that they be allowed to go abroad to serve summons to
"vital" defence witnesses as they "suspect that the
prosecution is not anxious to serve the summons."
Curfew in Tonk after
JAIPUR, July 11 — The Malpura town in Tonk district of Rajasthan was put under curfew for an indefinite period after communal violence erupted there on Monday evening.
Ten persons, including two children, are reported to have been killed in the communal frenzy. Five of the killed were from Malpura town and nearby areas while three belonged to Tonk and one each to Jhalawar and Jhalrapatan.
Violence started after one person Kailash Mali, was injured after being attacked by some persons belonging to the other community. He was rushed to local hospital but was sent to Jaipur in view of his critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries on way to Jaipur.
The Home Minister, Mr Gulab Singh Shekhawat, said Kailash Mali was a VHP activist and a member of the Bajrang Dal. He was a history sheeter and main accused in the post-Babri riots in Malpura in 1992 in which 26 persons were killed. Kailash was facing umpteen number of criminal cases in Malpura and elsewhere.
Kailash Mali’s wife said her husband had been receiving threats from some persons for the past some days and these people had executed their threats yesterday.
As soon as the news of Kailash Mali’s death spread the communal violence flared up with persons belonging to two communities attacking each other. They also attacked a jeep and killed four of its occupants on the spot. One more body was recovered subsequently. In all 10 bodies have been recovered so far. The bodies were either consigned to flames or buried under strict police vigil.
As soon as the information about the communal violence reached Jaipur, top police officials along with large contingent of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary were despatched to Malpura and other sensitive places of Tonk district. Two companies of the Rapid Action Force have also reached Malpura and one more is on its way to meet any eventuality.
The Additional Director General of Police, Mr Ashok Bhandari, said here this evening that Malpura was peaceful and no untoward incident had taken place since yesterday night. He said though tension still prevailed there yet the situation was well under control.
The BJP has demanded a high-level inquiry into the Malpura incident and charged that the broad daylight murder of Kailash Mali in Malpura was indicative of the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. Vice-President of Rajasthan unit of the BJP Ghanshyam Tiwari said communal riots were a common phenomenon during Congress rule in the state.
Defence deals : CVC report by month-end
NEW DELHI, July 11 (PTI)— The Central Vigilance Commission will come out with ''specific'' pointers on major defence deals since 1989 in its interim report likely to be submitted to the Defence Ministry by the month-end.
"Our findings in the interim report will be substantive", Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) n. Vittal told PTI maintaining that his organisation planned to maintain the pace of the investigations.
He said the commission had made "progress" in its probe which was to cover each defence procurement deal valued at more than Rs 75 crore, the involvement of middle-men in these deals, allegations levelled by former mp Jayant Malhotra of kickbacks in the Rs 6,310 crore Sukhoi deal and allegations made by Rear Admiral Purohit of exorbitant rates paid for the Russian spares.
Mr Vittal said that though the commission had formally asked serving defence officials to depose before it on these deals, ''there has been no response so far''.
He said a vital government file barring middlemen from defence deals, asked for by the commission, had still not been made available to it.
Commenting on reports that the CVC's probe, like other probe would yield nothing, Mr Vittal asserted : ''I wish to disprove this by submitting an interim report shortly and to make government take action on it''.
The CVC said the commission had sifted 30 to 40 specific allegations out of numerous files submitted to it and an interim report would deal with some cases out of this.
He said 12 retired top defence officials had deposed before the commission on various defence deals and the organisation was also in touch with the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) and the CBI on their investigations.
He said the allegations of defence officials acquiring wealth disproportionate to their known-sources of income, if found correct, would be handed over the CBI for investigation.
Asked if the interim report would be placed in the monsoon session of Parliament, he said: ''This is a special study made on the request of the Defence Ministry. We will give it to them and it is for the gov ernment to decide what to do with it''.
The CVC did not discount the possibility of the commission coming up with further interim reports at intervals till the final report was submitted.
Oil sold as desi ghee
SRIGANGANAGAR, July 11 — Beware! The "desi" ghee you use in your kitchen may hot only be adulterated but actually detrimental to health.
For the past many years the trade in adulterated desi ghee has been growing in various towns of Punjab and Rajasthan. The adulterated ghee is sold both under famous brand names and unbranded.
A few days ago, the local police apprehended three persons for selling adulterated desi ghee for the past two years and selling it in the local market.
Mr Vishal Bansal, ASP, when contacted, said the three accused identified as Gopi Ram Sharma, Rajinder Kumar and Bhadarram, had been booked under Sections 420 and 482 of the IPC.
More than 900 kg of adulterated desi ghee packed in 65 containers was recovered from the accused.
The accused would mix 75 per cent vegetable oil with the 25 per cent desi ghee and sell it as pure ‘desi’ ghee to shopkeepers.
2 hurt in shoot-out
NEW DELHI, July 11 — Two persons were injured in a shoot-out in Tis Hazari Court in North Delhi today.
The victims, Umedh Singh and his son, Baljit, were admitted to Hindu Rao Hospital from where they were discharged after being given the first aid, the police said.
The police said accused, Ajmer and Dayanad, who were arrested, had some old enmity with the victims. They belonged to Bawana village.
The victims and two associates, Rajesh and Surender, were reportedly involved in a murder committed in 1999 in Bawana in West Delhi. Rajesh, Umedh and Baljit were arrested but Surender was declared a proclaimed offender. Later, they were released on bail.
The police said Dayanand, Ajmer, Kawal Singh, Ravinder and Bijender were eyewitnesses in the Anand murder case.
The eyewitnesses were summoned to
appear before the court today. They became agitated in the court when
they saw Umedh, Baljit and Rajesh. Ajmer, who had reportedly brought a
revolver, fired at them in the court of Mr D.S. Pawaria, the police
Trinamool to observe
CALCUTTA, July 11 — The Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee today finalised the list of office-bearers of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation with Mr Subrata Mukherjee as Mayor.
Ms Banerjee also announce a march to Writers Building on July 21 which would be observed as ‘martyrs day’ in memory of 13 Trinamool Congress workers killed on the same day in 1993 in police firing, while marching towards the Writers Building.
She said on the same day, their election campaign for the forthcoming Assembly polls, due in May, would also begin. A massive rally has also been planned on the same day in the city where the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, will be invited.
This will be also their victory day celebration for capturing Calcutta Municipal Corporation after long 23 years. The CPM-led front had ruled the municipality for the last 15 years and prior to that the corporation was under the ‘rule’ of government-appointed Administrator.
The Railway Minister has gone to Delhi to meet the Home Minister with the demand for sending a Central team to Keshpur-one of the constituencies of Panskura Lok Sabha seats which the Trinamool-BJP combine recently bagged, where the CPM allegedly began a reign of terror after their defeat in the byelection.
The CPM, however, made a counter-allegation by alleging that the Trinamool Congress workers, who, Mr Anil Biswas, CPM State Committee Secretary alleged, had been involved in the criminal actions in their attempts to capture local areas, which are under the CPM’s control.
Meanwhile, the Railway Minister earlier demanded imposition of President’s rule in West Bengal with the allegation of state government’s failure to tackle law and order problems, which Mr Advani had rejected.
Now, she has been demanding for a central team to visit the trouble-torn Keshpur, where there was an armed attack on the Trinamool Congress supporters in some 14 villages yesterday, killing a school boy and injuring several others, alleged Ms Banerjee.
State minister Buddhadev Bhattacharyya said a large contingent of police personnel had been sent to Keshpur to maintain law and order. He alleged that there had been provocation by the Trinamool Congress workers at the instance of Ms Banerjee which led to the present lawlessness in the area.
Mr Bhattacharyya said it was a law
and order problem of the state which could be solved only by the joint
efforts of both the CPM and Trinamool Congress of the state and the
Centre had no role to play.
HC restrains Ilyasi’s in-laws
NEW DELHI, July 11 (PTI) — The Delhi High Court today restrained mother-in-law and sister-in-law of Suhaib Ilyasi, producer of popular crime serial "India’s Most Wanted", from taking custody of his two-and-half-year old daughter, Aaliya, by force.
Justice S.K. Mahajan, however, allowed the two women to take legal recourse before the appropriate authorities to secure Aaliya’s custody.
Ilyasi had filed a suit seeking to restrain his Canada-based mother-in-law, Rukma Singh and sister-in-law, Reshma Singh, from taking forcible custody of the child saying they might take her to Canada.
Aaliya had been staying with her
father since July 2, the court was informed. Ilyasi, who was released
from judicial custody in a case of alleged torture of his wife Anju,
said he was the natural guardian of the child.
NEW DELHI, July 11 — Television serial producer, Suhaib Ilyasi’s brother, Zuber Ilyasi and his two associates, Navin Sharma and Nasim, were arrested today on charge of car theft.
SC talks tough on Yamuna
NEW DELHI, July 11 (PTI) — Irked by the "snail-paced" effort to clean the Yamuna river, the Supreme Court today warned the Delhi Government that if the water quality of the highly polluted river did not improve substantially in three months stiffer penalty would be imposed.
"We put the authorities to
notice that if the water quality of Yamuna does not improve, not only
the earlier fine of Rs 10,000 will be directed to be realised, further
action in this regard will also be taken," a Division Bench said
while adjourning the case to October 10.
Father or Dracula ?
GUWAHATI, July 11 (UNI) — In a bizarre incident, a tea labourer of Morioni in Upper Assam, sucked the blood of his six month old baby after slitting open his throat.
According to the police, Dasharat Baraik slit open his baby’s throat and started sucking his blood. By the time the neighbours noticed, the baby was already dead.
Monsoon active in east Rajasthan
NEW DELHI, July 11 — Monsoon has been active in east Rajasthan and east Uttar Pradesh. Rain or thundershowers have occurred at many places in Haryana, east Rajasthan, east Uttar Pradesh and the hills of west Uttar Pradesh, at a few places in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the plains of west Uttar Pradesh and at isolated places in the rest of the region. The chief amounts of rainfall in cm are: HARYANA: Rewari 6, Gohana and Guhla 3 each, Loharu, New Delhi (Palam) and Panipat 2 each and Ayanagar (Delhi), Bhiwani, New Delhi (Safdarjung), Narnaul and Thanesar 1 each; HIMACHAL PRADESH: Baijnath 5, Rampur Bushar 3 and Dehragopipur 2; PUNJAB: Ludhiana and Patiala 3 each, Nakodar 2 and Phillaur 1; RAJASTHAN: Halena 8, Baswa, Bandi Kui, Hingota and Urmila Sagar 6 each, Durra Coilont 5, Ajam Dam, Bhusawar, Radia Bandh, Sever, Sikrai, Sikari and Wair 4 each and Angai, Bari, Baseri, Bisalpur, Kota, Khanpur, Mahuwa, Moral Dam, Sepau and Talab Shahi 1 each; and UTTAR PRADESH: Allahabad and Chhatnag 11 each, Basti 9, Bareilly 8, Chillaghat, Regoli and Sardanagar 5 each, Bansi, Kakrahi and Uttarkashi 4 each, Haripur and Sultanpur 3 each, Ballia, Birdghat, Bhatpurwaghat, Gorakhpur and Morara 2 each and Chandradeepghat, Etawa, Hanuman Setu, Kakardharighat, Mukhlispur, Neemsar and Rudraprayag 1 each.
Forecast valid unitl Thursday:
Rain or thundershowers will occur at many places in east Uttar Pradesh and the hills of west Uttar Pradesh, at a few places in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and at isolated places in West Rajasthan.
Heavy rainfall warning:
Heavy rain is likely at isolated places in east Uttar Pradesh during the next 48 hours.
Forecast for Delhi valid until Thursday:
Generally cloudy sky with one or two showers/thundershowers in certain areas.
Farmers weather bulletin for Delhi
Forecast valid until Thursday:
Light to moderate rain will occur at a few places.
Outlook for the subsequent two days:
Amrita Pritam honoured
NEW DELHI, July 11 (PTI) — Noted litterateur Amrita Pritam was today honoured with the highest award for Punjabi literature for the century, the "Shatabdi Samman".
The prestigious award, instituted by the Punjabi Akademi, comprises a cheque for Rs 11 lakh, a citation, a shawl and a silver plaque.
12 die as
destroys 2000 huts
in bus mishap
Rs 3 lakh
penalty on Education Dept
reference to go
kidnapped by NLFT ultras
resolution on ex-princely states
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