Monday, August 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

132 crude bombs recovered

KANPUR, Aug 20 (UNI) — The Kanpur police nabbed 29 more persons during the past 24 hours and recovered 132 crude bombs from their possession, even as the ongoing searches in different parts of the city continued for the fourth day today.

With this, the total number of arrests and bombs seized during the operation has gone up to 47 and 192 respectively, Senior Superintendent of Police (Kanpur) G.P. Sharma said.

Meanwhile, a technical report from the bomb advisory group, New Delhi, on the nature and strength of the explosives used in two bomb blasts on August 14 in Arya Nagar locality is expected to reach here tomorrow.Back


Dr Sihag in TA controversy
From Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

KURUKSHETRA, Aug 20 — The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) of Kurukshetra University, Dr Hoshiar Singh Sihag, is in trouble. Allegations have been levelled that when he was the Chairman of the Department of Public Administration in 1994 he claimed excess amount as travelling allowance for attending a conference in Berlin.

Though on the face of it the allegations have been levelled by a local advocate, these are so well documented that one gets a feeling that the beans have been spilled by someone who must have been very close to Dr Sihag at one time.

The allegations in short are that Dr Sihag purchased a return ticket for the Delhi-Frankfurt-Berlin-Frankfurt-Delhi sector from Air India for Rs 39,010 in August, 1994, but claimed that he had spent Rs 60,825 on it. Dr Sihag, of course, denies the allegations vehemently. He told TNS that the allegations were the brainchild of certain persons on the campus who were inimical towards him. He said these persons, including a senior functionary of the university (not the present Vice-Chancellor, Mr R.S. Chaudhary), had hatched a conspiracy to malign him.

The PVC said he had submitted a certificate from Air India before seeking the sanction of the university to attend the conference. The airline had certified that the “normal economy class fare” for the sector was Rs 60,825. He said the payment was released by the Accounts Department after seeing the original ticket. The university had the system of pre and post audit where also the original ticket were seen. Moreover, since the University Grants Commission (UGC) met 50 per cent of the expenditure, the TA bill was sent to it also. He also received a grant of US $ 900 from the organisers, who also saw the original ticket, he added.

He said he had been the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university. If he had committed any irregularity, he had every opportunity to destroy the record.

University sources revealed that the Executive Council of the university decided vide its resolution no. 24 on October 28, 1992, that there was no need to append original tickets to the TA bills. No TA bills were sent to the UGC. Only a utilisation certificate of its grant was sent by the university to the central body, the sources added.

Dr Sihag had appended a photostat copy of his air ticket (no. 098 4413126028 3). The copy, attested by Dr Sihag himself, mentions fare as Rs 60,825. The usual practice in the university, TNS has been told, is that the Accounts Department after seeing the original ticket writes “OS (original seen) on the photocopy. In this case the photocopy does not carry “OS” on it.

However, the agent’s coupon, a copy of which is with TNS, mentions the fare to be Rs 31,010. Both the agent’s coupon as well as the photocopy submitted by Dr Sihag carry the same number.

Enquiries with Air India are revealing. A senior functionary told TNS that the words, “normal economy class fare”, in the certificate submitted by Dr Sihag were significant. These words in the airlines parlance means fare of a ticket on which a passenger can return anytime within one year. There is another category of economy class ticket which is known as excursion ticket and is usually valid for three or four months. The excursion ticket for economy is usually 30 per cent to 40 per cent cheaper than the “normal economy class” ticket. Dr Sihag had returned after about a week.

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