|Friday, July 28, 2000,
killed in clash in Birbhum
ensure women’s safety
issues notices to Home Secy, Lt-Governor
appears before court
more Sena MLAs suspended
crocodile in Nandankanan
murder case solved
11 killed in clash in Birbhum
CALCUTTA, July 27 (PTI) — At least 11 persons were killed and seven others injured, some critically, in an armed clash between CPM and Trinamool Congress activists at Sujapur village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district early today, the police said.
The clash, which sparked off over sowing of paddy, later spread to nearby areas with both CPM and Trinamool Congress workers attacking each other with firearms, a district police official told PTI over telephone.
Twenty persons have been arrested from the village, where tension prevails, Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) P. Mukherjee said here.
Countrymade guns and bombs were freely used in the clash that broke out around 8.30 a.m. killing 10 persons. One injured person later died at a nearby hospital, where the rest were admitted, he said.
Large contingents of the police were rushed to the affected village from Suri, he said, adding that the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and other top police officials were camping there.
Home (Police) Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee said at the state secretariat that a detailed report was awaited.
The issue rocked the state Assembly, which witnessed uproarious scenes with the opposition Congress, Trinamool Congress and BJP members demanding an immediate statement from the Home Minister.
Speaker H.A. Halim asked state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Probodh Sinha to ensure that a report on the clash was submitted to the House during the day.
Trinamool sources claimed the deceased belonged to the party.
Charging the CPM with mounting armed attacks on Trinamool activists, they said the Marxists had unleashed terror in the entire area.
They said the bodies were brought to Bolpur morgue for autopsy.
TC chairperson Mamata Banerjee, now in Delhi, had been informed of the incident, they said, adding that party leader Madan Mitra would rush to the village.
CPM sources claimed the villagers had resisted an armed attack by "outsiders backed by TC activists" and beat them to death.
They alleged the TC men had "organised the Jotedars (landed gentry) and some miscreants from nearby district in their desperate bid to grab land of the poor people."
India in Parliament
NEW DELHI, July 27 — Defence Minister George Fernandes told the Lok Sabha today that while Pakistani agencies had been supporting and sponsoring militant outfits in Jammu and Kashmir, there were no indications of a big offensive by Pakistan in the near future.
Mr Fernandes said 3,000 terrorists in various training camps were reportedly waiting to cross over to Jammu and Kashmir. He said all developments having a bearing on the country’s security were being constantly monitored and necessary steps being taken to maintain defence preparedness.
Toy train on Kalka-Shimla section: Minister of State for Railways, Digvijay Singh told the Lok Sabha that the toy train on the Kalka-Shimla route was running in loss. Replying to a question, he said the low earnings were primarily due to limited hours of operation, low carrying capacity and uneconomic fares compared to road transport.
Mr Digvijay Singh said various steps had been taken to introduce value-added services to attract tourist traffic on this section and which inter-alia include Shivalik Deluxe Express, Shivalik Palace tourist coach for party bookings, Shivalik Queen tourist coach and a special summer tourist package from Delhi to Shimla and back in collaboration with the HPTDC.
Safety of women passengers: Replying to another question, Mr Digvijay Singh said the government had received letters signed by 96 women passengers complaining of rowdy behaviour by male passengers. He said the complaint was received on December 31. After inquiry, the authorities were directed to keep strict watch on ladies’ compartments.
He said the steps taken to ensure the safety of passengers included joint checking of ladies’ compartments by GRP/RPF staff and patrolling on platforms. He said the GRP staff had been asked to take action against anti-social elements.
He said the RPF staff of the Delhi division apprehended 38 persons travelling in the ladies’ compartments during 1999 and 22 persons between January 1 and July 20 this year, particularly in the Sonepat-Panipat-Ambala section under the provisions of the Railway Act.
Central investment in public sector enterprises in Punjab: The Minister of State for Planning, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Arun Shourie, told the Rajya Sabha that funds spent by the Central government in Punjab were for various purposes including expenditure on departmental projects/schemes, departmental undertakings, autonomous bodies, financial and non-financial institutions, centrally-sponsored schemes and central assistance to state Plans which had capital and revenue component. He said the central investment in the form of gross block in public sector enterprises in Punjab till March 31, 1999, was Rs 2,950.33 crore.
CAT issues notices to Home Secy, Lt-Governor
NEW DELHI ,July 27 (PTI) — The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued contempt notices to Union Home Secretary Kamal Pandey, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vijay Kapoor and three others for their failure to implement recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission for a group of police officers under the Delhi Administration despite its orders.
A Division Bench comprising CAT Chairman Ashok Agarwal and a tribunal member V. K. Majotra also issued notices to three other respondents—Delhi Government Chief Secretary P. S. Bhatnagar, Secretary in the Department of Expenditure in the Finance Ministry C. M. Vasudev and City Police Chief Ajay Raj Sharma—asking them to file reply by August 29, the next date of hearing.
The petition filed through counsel A. K. Behra alleged that despite the tribunal’s order on January 28 this year asking the respondents to decide on accepting recommendations of the Central Pay Commission for the officers belonging to the Delhi, Andaman and Nicober Islands Police Service (DANIPS) cadre, they had failed to take any step to comply with the direction.
The tribunal, in its judgement
on a joint petition filed by 18 officers of the rank of Deputy
Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Police, had asked the
government to consider the police officers’ demand within three
scraps ‘Dharmada Bill’
HARDWAR, July 27 — In order to retrieve its lost ground among Hindu voters and sadhus, the Uttar Pradesh Government has scrapped the controversial "Dharmada Bill". The decision was taken by the state Cabinet yesterday according to official information available to The Tribune.
Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the Khat Darshan Sadhu Samaj and the All-India Sadhu Samaj in Hardwar where the saints had started a chain hunger strike two-days back demanding the scrapping of the Bill were happy over the decision.
Reacting to the scrapping of the Bill, Mahant Ganga Puri of the Maha Nirwani Akhara, which is one of the main constituents of the akhara parishad, expressed happiness over the decision and said it had come as a big relief to the religious muths and organisations.
According to political analysts, the U.P. Cabinet hastened to scrap the Bill after the failure of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to muster the support of various sadhu akharas in the Ganga Sant Yatra which started from Har Ki Pauri yesterday. In fact, the yatra had proved to be a complete flop as hardly less than half a dozen prominent saints participated in it. The VHP had claimed that it would enlist the participation of about 500 saints in the yatra from Har Ki Pauri to Delhi despite opposition by the akhara parishad and the sadhu samaj.
The two organisations had given a boycott call of the yatra in case the Dharmada Bill was not scrapped. So fierce was the opposition of sadhus and saints to the Bill that the state Chief Minister, Mr Ram Prakash Gupta, had to rush to Hardwar to pacify them.
Mr Gupta, who was in Hardwar on July 19, had assured the saints that a high-level committee would be constituted for bringing amendments to the Bill. He had also assured the saints that the intention of the Bill was not to take revenge from any religious organisation. He had ordered the stopping of a survey of the property owned by religious organisations and muths.
The Hindu Religious Organisation Control Bill was enforced on December 15, 1962, for two years. It was popularly known as the "Dharmada Bill". Its enforcement date was extended from time to time and in 1976, it was enforced on a permanent basis. It was under this Bill that the state government had ordered that the Commissioners and District Magistrates could enquire into the misuse of funds by religious organisations and muths. The government had also ordered that if any misuse of funds was found, the state government had a right to appoint receivers. The Bill was applicable to all such religious organisations whose annual income was up to Rs 1,200 or if it owned property worth Rs 50,000. The Bill was enforced on all muths and temples of Hindus, Arya Samajis, Bodhis, Jainis and Sikhs.
Saints led by Swami Satya Mitra Nand, a former Shankaracharya and founder of the Bharat Mata Temple in Hardwar and Mahant Shankar Bharti of the akhara parishad, had raised the flag of revolt against the state government. They had pointed out that the registered organisations of saints were covered under the Income Tax Act and there was no need for another Bill to probe their assets.
Mahant Ganga Puri said the sadhu organisations resented the dual authority being created by the Bill and its jurisdiction which was extended only to the religious organisations in Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura and Hardwar.
order on tenancy land quashed
NEW DELHI, July 27 — The Supreme Court has set aside a judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which dismissed at the outset a writ petition by Piara Singh of Hoshiarpur challenging orders of the District Chief Settlement Commissioner, Financial Commissioner Revenue and Secretary to the Punjab Government and the tehsildar of Dasuya Uproo Singh from his tenancy land without hearing him.
Quashing orders of all state government forums for not affording hearing to the appellant Piara Singh, the apex court set aside the corrigendum by which the lands on which Piara Singh was a tenant since 1978 was handed over to the individual respondent in the case.
A two-Judge Bench comprising Mr Justice A.P. Misra and Mr Justice M.B. Shah also quashed the order by tehsildar (Sales) setting aside the auction of December 30, 1982, for the said land (for want of defective proclamation) at which Piara Singh was the highest bidders and his bid had been accepted.
The individual respondent in the case purchased the public land through auction in 1959 and never raised objection for more than 23 years that lesser area had been given to him or possession of the total auctioned property was not handed over to him. In 1982 he applied for the correction of error for the inclusion of nearly additional lands on which the appellant was a tenant.
The Chief Settlement Commissioner transferred the land in dispute to the respondent without giving the appellant a hearing on the ground that he had no locus standi to file the appeal before him as the Settlement Commissioner had cancelled the aforementioned auction in his favour.
The Financial Commissioner on appeal held that Piara Singh was not entitled to any prior notice of hearing before the rejection of his bid because Rule 90 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Rules, 1955, gave discretion to the Settlement Commissioner to accept or reject appeals without assigning any reasons. He also upheld the transfer of land to the respondent.
Delivering the judgment,
Justice Shah held that the appellant who was a tenant of the land
since 1978 had right to be heard at every stage of the long drawn out
legal proceedings as he would have been adversely affected.
Mayor vows to improve Calcutta
IN the Naxal period of the seventies here high-profile Siddhartha Sankar Ray, (then Union Education Minister) at a Chhatra Parisad rally at Mahajati Sadan, introduced two ‘young boys’ to the audience as ‘our future C.R. Das and Netaji Subhas Bose.
One of those ‘two boys’, is now Calcutta’s Mayor the chair, which C.R. Das and Netaji once held. And the ‘young boy’ is Subrata Mukherjee. A Congress leader, who has his allegiance to both Ms Sonia Gandhi and Ms Mamata Banerjee, Subrata is a Congress MLA and at the same a Trinamool Congress Mayor.
Subrata, 54 plus, has over three decades behind him in politics. He was a Chhatra Parisad leader in the college days and took active part in students politics in his early days, when he became an important Minister of the Congress government in Bengal under Siddhartha Sankar Ray’s chief ministership. He is now INTUC’s state unit president as well as Calcutta’s Mayor.
‘But the post has never been my ambition and I had never aspired for it’ — Subrata says, ‘But since the opportunity came, I fought for it and I got it’.
Aware of his responsibilities, he says, "I can assure you that I shall try my best to do the utmost good to the people: To supply drinking water to all, to save the city from the perennial water-logging to clean the streets garbage, to ensure proper health and sanitation programme and improvement of the bustee dwellers, are in my priority list," he declares.
Subrata joined politics with the help of Priya Ranjan Das Munshi. But he did not hesitate to desert him when he revolted against Mrs Gandhi and joined the anti-Indira lobby.
He is also close to Jyoti Basu and he has his connection with the CPM leaders as well as BJP and other parties. He is friendly with Jayalalitha, Subramanium Swami, Laloo Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan as well.
Abu Azmi appears before court
Mumbai, July 27 (PTI) — In a significant development, the police today filed charge sheet in a court of metropolitan magistrate against the president of Samajwadi Party’s city unit Abu Asim Azmi for alleged offences under Sections 153 and 153 (A) of IPC but did not arrest him.
Apparently taking a cue from the recent arrest of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray and subsequent discharge of the accused by another Magistrate for the same offence under Section 153 (A) IPC (inciting communal passions either by words spoken or written), the police did not arrest Mr Azmi.
Mr Azmi, however, appeared in the court along with his lawyer Majeed Memon and pleaded that the police had directed him to come personally.
However, public prosecutors Ghansham Kaduskar and SR Balla contended that the police had not summoned him to the court but merely informed him about the filing of the charge sheet.
Mr Azmi’s lawyer Majeed Memon informed the court that his client had been asked by the police to appear in person today as he had been additionally charged with Section 153 (A) IPC. Earlier, he was booked under Section 153 IPC (wantonly giving provocation to cause riots), and granted bail.
However, the magistrate felt that there was no need for him to appear before the court or volunteer arrest unless he had taken cognizance of the altered charge. Accordingly, he told Mr Azmi that he was free to go because he had already been arrested for the offence under Section 153 and granted bail.
On August 10 next, the court would consider taking cognizance of the offences against Mr Azmi. Only then he would be arrested and granted bail as the offence under Section 153 (A) IPC was non-bailable, legal experts say.
Outside the court, Mr Azmi’s supporters raised slogans in support of their leader. There was a huge commotion following confusion that the Samajwadi Party leader had been arrested.
Later, addressing reporters, Mr Azmi said the Democratic Front (DF) government in Maharashtra had ‘fired from a gun placed on his shoulder’. However, he said Samajwadi Party would continue to support the DF as it was its constituent.
Earlier this year, Mr Azmi had delivered a speech at Mastan Talao here in which he had commented that the "country would be fragmented" if anyone attacked his religion. Opposition leaders Narayan Rane and Nitin Gadkari had assailed Mr Azmi’s remark following which the government registered a case against him.
The police had in its possession an audio cassette with the recorded voice of Mr Azmi. The cassette was sent to central forensic laboratory which confirmed Mr Azmi’s voice.
Accordingly, the government decided to add the charge 153 (A) IPC, which is non-bailable.
UNI adds: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that the party was keenly observing the Democratic Front (DF) government’s move in connection with the prosecution of Samajwadi Party Mumbai unit president Abu Asim Azmi for his alleged anti-national utterances earlier this year.
Talking to reporters at
Matoshri on his 40th birthday, Uddhav, son of Sena Chief Bal Thackeray
said that the Sena would decide its response once the government’s
stand on Mr Azmi’s case became clear. The DF government had granted
sanctions for prosecuting both Mr Azmi, whose party is a constituent of
the DF, and Sena chief Bal Thackeray under Section 153 (A) of IPC for
promoting enmity among different sections of society by their
utterances and writings.
Two more Sena MLAs suspended
MUMBAI, July 27 (PTI) — Two more Shiv Sena MLAs were suspended today for a year for their involvement in Tuesday’s pandemonium and rampage in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly to protest against party chief Bal Thackeray’s arrest while the six-month suspension of Sena MLA Vinayak Raut was revoked.
The motion for suspension of Sena legislators — Mr Prakash Khedekar and Mr R.M. Wani — was moved by Legislature Affairs Minister Rohidas Patil.
The two members damaged speaker Arun Gujrathi’s dais and smashed the glasspanes of the sound recording room even as the Speaker was reading out the suspension of 12 Sena members on July 25, Mr Patil said.
Headless crocodile in Nandankanan
BHUBANESWAR, July 27 (PTI) — In yet another gruesome incident at Nandankanan Zoo, the body of a headless crocodile was found in its enclosure this morning, official sources said.
The crocodile, born in the zoo to a pair of "spectacle kimon species" brought from the Americas, was apparently slain with a sharp weapon, they said.
Eyewitnesses said there were footmarks inside the crocodile enclosure.
The zoo had catapulted to international focus barely six weeks ago after 12 royal Bengal tigers were found dead, sparking a countrywide hue and cry.
murder case solved
NEW DELHI, July 27 — With the arrest of five suspects, the police today claimed to have solved the four-year-old murder case of Veena Rathore. Her husband Sanjay Rathore is also suspected to be involved in the murder.
The suspects have been identified as Alka, girl friend of Sanjay Rathore, S.K. Sharma, a lawyer who was general secretary of the Bar Association of Karkardooma Court in east Delhi, and Virender, Satish and Raju, all registered criminals, the police said.
Sanjay Rathore was not arrested as he was earlier booked by the CBI and was released on bail. The police will seek court’s help to arrest him again.
The police received information about Satish and Virender’s involvement in Veena’s murder during an anti-robbery drive launched by the east district police.
NEW DELHI, July 27 — Monsoon has been active in Himachal Pradesh and east Uttar Pradesh.
Rainfall: Rain or thundershowers have occurred at many places in Himachal Pradesh, east Uttar Pradesh and the hills of west Uttar Pradesh, at a few places in the plains of west Uttar Pradesh and at isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Weather was mainly dry in the rest of the region.
The chief amounts of rainfall in cm are: Himachal Pradesh: Baijnath 10, Jogindernagar 9, Nadaun 8, Mandi 7, Gohar 6, Ghamroor 4, Barsar, Jubbal, Sujanpur Tira and Una 3 each, Berthin, Dehragopipur and Sarkaghat 2 each and Ghumarwin, Guler, Kasol and Nahan 1 each; Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kathua 2 each; Punjab: Dasuya 3; Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow 7, Varanasi 6, Dehradun and Dalmau 5 each, Kanpur 4, Katerniaghat and Mohana 3 each, Bhatpurwaghatt, Ghazipur, Raebareilly and Sultanpur 2 each and Ankinghat, Banda, Bani, Bareilly, Banbasa, Birdghat, Haripur, Hardwar, Jaunpur, Mukhlispur, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Turtipur and Uttarkashi 1 each.
Forecast valid until the morning of 29th: Rain or thundershowers will occur at many places in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, at a few places in Punjab and east Rajasthan and at isolated places in the rest of the region.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely at isolated places in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh during the next 48 hours.
Forecast valid until the morning of 29th: Light to moderate rain will occur at many places.
and heart attacks
No to ABVP
demand for dress code
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