|Sunday, July 16, 2000,
toll 69 in Gujarat
on Farooq upsets PM
sentenced to jail
Africa sore at
for more public investment
may reopen case
Fresh auction of
sick mill ordered
seized from 3 Nepalese
apology in blasts’ case
STF deployed in
4 held for
murder in farmhouse
Railways to meet tomorrow
Rain toll 69 in Gujarat
AHMEDABAD, July 15 (PTI) — With 16 more rain-related deaths reported from various parts of Gujarat, the toll in the current monsoon mounted to 69 today, even as heavy rain continued to lash south Gujarat.
According to official reports, 16 deaths were reported during the past 24 hours, eight in Ahmedabad city and rural district, four in Kheda , two in Valsad, one in Broach, two in Junagad, one in Navasari, and one in Sabarkatha.
In the worst-hit Ahmedabad city, two bodies of women who had been swept away in the Sabarmati river were recovered. Six more deaths occurred due to drowning and in house collapses in the city and the rural district.
The Army was assisting the civic authorities to carry out relief and rescue operations in the marooned areas of the city where over 5,000 people had taken shelter in school buildings.
Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, who rushed to the rain-hit areas here today, visited the flood-affected areas of Paldi, Isanpur, Saraspur and Chandlodia.
In Ahmedabad, city and state-run
buses started plying and traffic came back to normal as moderate
rainfall continued in the city and surrounding areas as well as in
Gandhinagar and in north Gujarat areas.
attack on Farooq upsets PM
NEW DELHI, July 15 — Taking exception to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and some BJP leaders launching a frontal attack against the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, on the autonomy issue, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, is endeavouring to put the relations between his National Democratic Alliance government and the National Conference on an even keel.
Sources in the Prime Minster’s office believe that the high pitch saber rattling against Dr Abdullah coupled with the demand that the National Conference government be dismissed was uncalled for.
They point out that Dr Farooq had not sought secession from the Indian union. He had taken up the cause of autonomy albeit after four years, a pledge the Chief Minister had given to the people of Jammu and Kashmir during the Assembly elections in the sensitive border state in 1996.
It is apparent that Mr Vajpayee has not taken kindly to what is perceived as a direct attack on his leadership within the BJP and by the RSS. The RSS has not minced words in condemning the autonomy resolution adopted by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and the NDA government’s further liberalisation of the economy.
Clearly, Dr Farooq fears that he might be marginalised in Jammu and Kashmir if the Union Government opens talks with the All Party Hurriyat Conference. This has compelled him to divert attention by propping up the autonomy issue which has been opposed stoutly in Jammu and Ladakh regions of the state.
Sources in the PMO emphasise that Mr Vajpayee’s invitation to Dr Farooq for talks on the autonomy issue does not amount to conceding the demand. The Union Cabinet has already rejected the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly where the National Conference enjoys a two-third majority.
"The endeavour is to rectify the strains that have developed in the relations between the BJP-led NDA and the National Conference," the sources said and explained that the Prime Minister was not averse to a national debate on the autonomy proposition rather than just dismissing it out of hand.
There is apprehension among some partners of the NDA that the Prime Minister is trying to nullify the Cabinet rejection of the Jammu and Kashmir autonomy resolution. This is hotly contested by officials in the PMO. They maintain that "holding negotiations is the quintessential manner of finding a solution to problems in a democratic system. This did not mean that the government is acquiesing to the restoration of the 1952-53 situation."
The PMO maintains that the executive
will be taken into confidence about the talks between Mr Vajpayee and
Dr Farooq scheduled to be held on July 17. "Now that a
potentially explosive situation has been defused, all that the Prime
Minister is saying is let us sit across the table and hold talks. The
Centre is not rushing into anything."
Commissioner sentenced to jail
IMPHAL, July 15 (PTI) — The Manipur Home Commissioner, Mr D.S. Poonia, and an engineer of the state-owned "Manitron" were sentenced to imprisonment by a Division Bench of the Guwahati High Court in a criminal contempt case.
While Mr Poonia was sentenced to one month’s jail, the engineer, Mr W. Sudhirkumar Singh was given a 15-day term yesterday by the court’s Imphal Bench comprising Mr Justice H.K. Sema and Mr Justice Surjamani Singh for misleading the court by providing false information.
The court also directed the Registrar of the Imphal Bench to execute the order through the Imphal West SP after giving the convicted officers a month’s deadline beginning yesterday.
Mr Sudhirkumar Singh was originally
deputed to the state election department for a year from November
,1997. His deputation was extended by Mr Poonia, the then Chief
Electoral Officer of Manipur, by another year.
sore at policy shift
NEW DELHI, July 15 — Dismayed and concerned over the changing contours of the Indian policy towards their continent, African diplomatic missions here have expressed apprehension as well as misgivings to both the ruling party as well as the main Opposition party.
A group of Ambassadors from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Algeria, representing different regions of Africa, called on the BJP president, Mr Kushabhau Thakre, yesterday and expressed concern at the sudden shift in the Indian foreign policy towards Africa.
The group of Ambassadors cited the recent derecognition of the Saharwi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) by New Delhi on June 26 as a case in point.
The party vice-president, Mr K. Janakrishnamurthy, was also present at the meeting. While both Mr Thakre as well as Mr Janakrishnamurthy described the meeting as a routine affair, diplomatic sources confirmed that the SADR’s derecognition did come up during the meeting. Both BJP leaders told TNS on the telephone that the derecognition issue was mentioned in passing.
The envoys reportedly said it was beyond their comprehension to understand the logic behind India’s derecognition move. India had recognised the SADR in the early eighties and it had done so without any pressure.
India, however, had merely accepted the logic of decolonisation.
A group of African countries have sought time with External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to express dismay over the move. While the request for a meeting with either Mr Jaswant Singh or top officials of the MEA to apprise New Delhi over their respective governments’ view on the derecognition issue is still to materialise, African envoys were today invited to South Bloc for a meeting with the Foreign Secretary, Mr Lalit Mansingh, to discuss the situation in Sierra Leone.
The Ambassadors also met the Congress Working Committee member and chairman of the foreign affairs department, Mr K. Natwar Singh. Mr Natwar Singh was not available for comment.
The African countries are concerned over the recent visit of the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, to Israel where he talked about nuclear cooperation with Tel Aviv and threats to India from Islamic fundamentalists.
Similarly, the External Affairs Minister’s remark in Israel that relations with Tel Aviv would not grow because of Muslim votebank politics adopted by some parties, has not been liked by Arab and African countries.
The Arab League in Egypt had recently called India’s Ambassador in Cairo, Mr S.S. Mukherjee, to ascertain about changes in the Indian foreign policy and reportedly expressed displeasure over it.
panel for more public investment
NEW DELHI, July 15 — Despite strong opposition to the reforms process initiated by the Congress, in the first round of the AICC introspection workshop on economic policy, the pro-reform people carried the day.
After eight-hours of inconclusive discussion spread over two days by the 51-member panel, views expressed by the participants indicated a general consensus for reforms whose objective must be well-being of all sections of society.
Briefing correspondents, the Chairman of the panel, Mr Pranab Mukherjee said introspection was part of the process set into motion by the Congress which resulted in the Pachmarhi declaration. The discussion was also based on the party manifestos for the last two general elections.
In her opening remarks, the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, said change was only constant in contemporary times and that the party had always to keep its policies, stances and programmes under continuous review.
Mr Mukherjee said of the 51 members in the panel, which was expanded from original 45, only 24 member could participate in the discussion. The speakers included Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka and Nagaland.
He said there was a commitment for reforms and it was felt by members that there was need for larger public investment. The speakers said it was the responsibility of the government to make best use of the opportunities and manage efficiently the risks involved in it.
He said the speakers alleged that the National Democratic Alliance approach to reforms was ‘’ad-hoc and casual’’. The Congress President, in her speech, had charged that at a time when the country’s the social fabric was being torn apart by politics of hate prasticed by the RSS, price hike was causing immense misery to the poor.
"New investment is not taking place and this is affecting the growth of employment. Far-reaching economic decisions are being taken in a most transparent manner. No attempt is being made to address growing regional disparities. No consultations are being held and yet we are expected to support the government in Parliament’’, she said.
The participants suggested that reforms should be planned for national, state and district level. They said the public sector undertakings must be strengthened instead of being destroyed and that free import of agricultural products was causing problems to the farmers.
The panel has decided to set-up 11
sub-groups including one each on rural development, social sectors,
support to weaker sections, role of government and bureaucracy,
regional development, fiscal policy and subsidies, agriculture and
multi-national corporations among others, Mr Mukherjee said.
of Punjabi couple in Calcutta
CALCUTTA, July 15 — The West Bengal Government wants to re-open the case of killing of a Punjabi couple in the city seven years ago and put formal strictures in the Punjab police personnel responsible for the killing.
Calcutta police chief Dinesh Bajpayee has been negotiating with the state Advocate -General and Legal Remembrancer to frame charges against the Punjab police personnel who had "encroached upon the functional jurisdiction of the Calcutta police and taken law in their hands."
The District and Session Judge of Alipore in its recent judgement has found a senior IPS and four other policemen of Punjab "guilty" of killing the Punjabi couple in broad daylight and the policemen have been given life-term imprisonment. These policemen, however, gone in appeal against the judgement.
The Punjab police claimed that Lachman Singh, a constable of the Punjab police, was on their wanted list who had absconded on October 12, 1991, from the barracks with some secret documents. Later he joined a terrorist gang involved in a series of killings in Punjab.
The West Bengal Government protested against the "illegal and unprecedented action" taken by the Punjab police and accordingly a protest note was sent to the Punjab Government. But so far, even a word of apology has not been made by the Punjab police, alleged an official spokesman. However, it was stated by the Punjab police that on a tip off, a police team was sent to Calcutta to conduct a spot inquiry in connection with a series of killings by terrorists in Amritsar, Ludhiana and elsewhere.
auction of sick mill ordered
NEW DELHI, July 15 — The Supreme Court has directed in a significant judgment sale by fresh auction of the Sonepat based industrial sick company Tripura Woollen Mills Ltd at a reserved price fixed at Rs 2 crores (offered) while setting aside the appeal of Divya Manufacturing Co (P) Ltd.
A two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Mr Justice M.B. Shah and Mr Justice R.P. Sethi held that although at one stage earlier the sale of the assets and properties of the ailing company at a lesser price to Divya had been confirmed by the court, that sale could be set aside in the interest of justice.
The judges directed the official liquidator of Tripura Mills to obtain fresh directions from the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court where the matter was pending for fixing the time-table for conduct of the fresh sale. The sale is to be conducted "by calling sealed tenders or by auction in accordance with law after giving due publicity in the newspapers, particularly, the newspapers having circulation in Delhi and in the state of Haryana".
The judges ruled while rejecting the appeal of Divya and another, "Confirmation of the sale by a court at grossly inadequate price, whether or not it is a consequence of any irregularity or fraud in the conduct of sale, could be set aside on the ground that it was not just and proper exercise of judicial discretion."
Delivering the judgement, Mr Justice Shah noted that though the sale to Divya had been confirmed before a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court, the sale deed had not yet been executed, nor the possession of properties and assets handed over when other interested companies entered the fray in the high court offering Rs 2 crore.
Referring to earlier rulings of the court in related cases and II of the conditions of the sale deed, Mr Justice Shah said, "There is a specific condition No 11 in terms and conditions of sale which empowers the court to set aside the sale even though it is confirmed for the interest of creditors, contributories and all concerned and in public interest."
"In this view of the matter, it cannot be said that court became functus offcio after the sale was confirmed. The offer of Rs 2 crore and in case where such higher price is offered, it would be in the interest of the company and its creditors to set aside the sale", the judgment added.
Tripura Woollen Mills Ltd was incorporated in 1972 to manufacture carpet yarn at Sonepat. On reference by a financial institution in 1988 to the BIFR, it was declared as sick industrial company. In 1994, the BIFR proposed winding up of the company and the high court of Calcutta in 1995 ordered to that effect and directed official liquidator to take charge of the company.
In 1997 the Shramik Sangharsh Samiti of the mill entered into an agreement with Divya whereby the latter agreed to run the mill and provide reemployment to the workmen after the purchase of assets and properties of the company under liquidation.
The Samiti made an application to the
Calcutta High Court praying for sale of the mill to Divya by the
official liquidator, direction to Divya for reemploying all workmen
according to their agreement and restraining the liquidator from
taking from any further step in regard to the sale of the mill’s
properties and assets.
seized from 3 Nepalese
NEW DELHI, July 15 — Officers of the Customs Preventive Unit have arrested three Nepalese, who arrived from Lahore by a Pakistan International flight at Indira Gandhi International Airport here, and seized heroin worth about Rs 1.6 crore in the international market.
The accused Sucha Ghala, Shyam Bahadur Tamang and Chayangba Tamang were apprehended on July 11 soon after they arrived by PK-270 flight and were trying to pass through the Green Channel, Mr Siddharth Kak, Commissioner of Customs told reporters today.
The contraband concealed in capsules were swallowed by the accused. In all 154 capsules containing high grade heroin were recovered from them, he said.
In another case, customs officers seized compact discs and medicines valued at about Rs 67 lakhs yesterday. The goods booked in the name of two passengers, names not disclosed, arrived by Pakistan Airline flight PK-272 from Karachi, Mr Kak said.
BJP seeks apology in blasts’ case
HYDERABAD, July 15 (PTI) — A day after the Centre disclosed that an outfit headed by a Pakistani was behind the serial blasts at churches in South India, the BJP today demanded an "unconditional public apology" from those who had blamed RSS for the incidents.
"Some self-styled Christian leaders and others have done an irreparable loss to the nation by making irresponsible charges against nationalist organisations. Now that the truth is slowly coming out, they should apologise to the nation," party general secretary M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here.
"In the process of using
religion as a garb to embarrass the NDA government and to drive a wedge
among its allies, these leaders have brought disrepute to the nation
and spread disinformation for extraneous considerations," he
Lashkar admits role in Kargil war
NEW DELHI, July 15 (UNI) — For the first time since the Kargil conflict, Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba engaged in subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir, has admitted to its active involvement in the aggression.
Lashkar, which is working under the
Markaz al Dawah Wal Irshad (centre for religious learning and
propagation) blames deposed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for
forcing them to withdraw from Kargil. "We were shamed by Nawaz
Sharif, who made us withdraw’’, says Prof Zafar Iqbal, Vice
Chancellor of the centre situated at Muridke near Lahore.
deployed in Hardwar
HARDWAR, July 15 — To contain the rising crime graph in the holy town, the Uttar Pradesh Government has deployed special task force here. This has been done on the directions of the Chief Minister, Mr Ram Prakash Gupta.
Highly placed sources in the police hierarchy told Tribune News Service yesterday that the need to deploy the special task force (STF) arose because Hardwar and its adjoining areas were of late becoming a centre for the activities of criminal gangs. The STF in the state was constituted by former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh to eliminate dreaded gangs of criminals which operated in western parts of the state.
The STF was deployed in Hardwar on July 8. The DIG, Saharanpur range, Mr A.C. Sharma, had been pleading with the state Home Department to send the force to the area in order to ensure free pilgrimage to Hardwar.
Inquiries made by TNS show that during the past seven months, the Hardwar police had shot dead seven dreaded criminals under the command of Mr Vipul Kumar, SP. He has been transferred since then.
The STF has identified four gangs of criminals who were operating in this area. In fact, the force has become very active following the snatching of a revolver by a gang from Sohan Lal, a grain trader, on July 8.
Furthermore, the month-long Kanwar Mela will start from July 16, During this period, about 50 lakh devotees would visit Har ki Pauri. The authorities here maintain that about 60 lakh additional pilgrims are likely to visit Hardwar on July 31 — the "mauni amavas" day to have a holy dip in the waters of the Ganga.
The Hardwar police was woken from its slumber when in early June a triple murder was executed by a gang in which a leading trader Ashok Jain of Hardwar and his wife along with the driver of the car were murdered on their way to Hardwar from Roorkee. This followed the murder of a Bengali woman pilgrims whose body was found in bushes at Neeldhara. Immediately afterwards a Delhi-bound bus of pilgrims was looted.
In June two traders Jaswant Rai Chopra and Gulshan Dingra were shot dead in the market in broad daylight. Their murder had led to dharnas and traffic blockades in Hardwar as well as Jawalamukhi areas. The criminal gangs again struck when they murdered two youths of Haryana in July when they were going in their Maruti van with their families after visiting Hardwar.
held for murder in farmhouse
NEW DELHI, July 15 — The Delhi police has arrested four persons on charge of murder committed in Akoi Farm House located in Jaunapur village in South Delhi. The murder was committed on the night of July 1.
The accused, Ravi, Subhash, Satish, and Rajesh were arrested from Dera More in South Delhi yesterday when they were trying to leave the Capital following police pressure, the police said.
The accused had beaten the servants Sukh Ram, his wife Itwari, Yogender Bir and Prakash for refusing to give them glasses as they allegedly wanted to have liquor there. Itwari had succumbed to her injuries in the hospital.
The accused belonged to the Jaunpur village. They asked water and glasses from the servants as they wanted to have a drink session there. The servants gave them water but not the glasses which infuriated them.
Monsoon active in Punjab
NEW DELHI, July 15 — The monsoon has been vigorous in west Rajasthan and active in Punjab, east Rajasthan and east Uttar Pradesh.
Rain or thundershowers have occurred at most places in Punjab and east Rajasthan, at many places in Himachal Pradesh, west Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and at a few places in the rest of the region. The chief amounts of rainfall in cm. are: Haryana: Naraingarh and Sirsa 2 each and Fatehabad, Mahendragarh, Narnaul and Rewari 1 each; Himachal Pradesh: Dharampur 7, Nahan and Nalagarh 6 each, Rajgarh 5, Nagrota Surian 4, Gohar 3, Guler 2 and Arki, Daduhu, Kangra, Kasauli and Rampur Bushar 1 each; Punjab: Dasuya and Patiala 3 each, Ludhiana, Raya, Ropar and Talwandi Bhai 2 each and Dhuri 1; Rajasthan: Galgal 12, Mount Abu 9, Rupangarh 7, Jaisalmer 6, Jodhpur, Phalodi, Pisangan and Reria 5 each, Chauru 4, Arai, Barmer and Kishangarh 3 each, Badi Sadri, Chaksu, Dausa, Gogla, Kama, Khiwsar, Pushkar, Sarwar, Sental Sagar and Udaipur 2 each and Ajmer, Bharatpur, Bassi, Banswara, Diwana, Jalore, Jawaja, Makrana, Nainwa and Nasirabad 1 each and Uttar Pradesh: Kakrahi, Mukhlishpur and Varanasi A.P. 8 each, Basti and Chandradeepghat 7 each, Jaunpur 6, Chhatnag and Haripur 4 each, Fatehgarh and Rudraprayag 3 each, Birdghat, Ballia, Hamirpur, Hanuman Setu,Kanpur, Mainpuri, Shahjina, Tehri and Uttarkashi 1 each.
Forecast valid until the morning of Monday: Rain or thundershowers will occur at most places in north Rajasthan, at many places in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, south Rajasthan, east Uttar Pradesh and the hills of west Uttar Pradesh and at a few places in the plains of west Uttar Pradesh.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely at a few places in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, north Rajasthan and east Uttar Pradesh with very heavy falls at isolated places in Punjab, north Rajasthan and east Uttar Pradesh during the next 48 hours.
Forecast for Delhi and neighbourhood valid until the morning of Monday: Overcast sky with a few spells of rain/thundershowers, one or two spells may be heavy in some areas.
FARMERS WEATHER BULLETIN FOR DELHI
Forecast valid until the morning of Monday: Moderate to rather heavy rain will occur at many places.
Outlook for the subsequent two days:
on Railways to meet tomorrow
NEW DELHI, July 15 — The Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Railways will meet here on Monday to explore ways to generate revenue from to utilisation of railway land.
Sources in the Railway Ministry told TNS here today that the Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee would preside over the meeting. Ministers of State for Railways, Bangaru Laxman and Digvijay Singh would also attend the meeting along with the Railway Board Chairman, Mr V.K. Aggarwal, other members of the board and some members of Parliament.
In recent years, the Konkan Railway Corporation had made efforts to develop railway stations as Washi and Belapur in the new Mumbai sector into commercial complexes.
domain restricted : HC
at West Bengal sectt
suspended for eve-teasing
relaxed in Tonk for 3 hours
Five die of
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