Saturday, September 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Suicide bomber kills seven in Colombo

COLOMBO, Sept 15 (PTI) — A senior Sri Lankan minister escaped a possible assassination attempt in an LTTE suicide attack that left seven persons dead and 28 injured in central Colombo this morning.

The bomber, who was lurking at the main gates of a hospital triggered a powerful explosion minutes after the convoy of Minister for Health Nirmal Siripala de Silva, entered the compound of his office located a few yards away from the hospital, eyewitnesses said. Mr De Silva later said he was climbing the stairs of his office when he heard the blast. Minutes later army helicopters were seen hovering around to locate two accomplices of the suicide bomber.

Eyewitnesses said the blast took place when a Reserve Police constable attempted to search the unidentified male suicide bomber. The bomber and the constable were killed on the spot with their bodies blown to pieces.

Chhota Rajan shot dead

MUMBAI, Sept 15 (UNI) — One of the dreaded underworld dons, Chhota Rajan, was today killed in a shootout by a rival gang at Bangkok late tonight, police sources said. According to sources here, one of his accomplices, Rohit Verma, was also killed in the shootout. The police has not ruled out involvement of the Dawood gang in the incident.


Oberoi Vice-Chief of Army Staff

NEW DELHI, Sept 15 (PTI) — In a major shakeup in the Army, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi, Western Commander, was today appointed Vice-Chief of Army Staff in succession to Lt-Gen Chandrashekhar.

General Oberoi, according to a Defence Ministry announcement, will take over on September 30 on superannuation of General Chandrashekhar.

The Central Army Commander, Lt-Gen Surjit Singh, has been shifted as GOC-in-C, Western Command.

Two other seniormost Lt-Generals N.C. Vij, Director-General, Military Operations (DGMO), and Pankaj Joshi, Commandant, College of Combat, Mhow, are likely to be elevated as Commanders to fill vacancies arising in Central and Southern Commands.


CBI may name foreign cricketers
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Sept 15 — The CBI report in the match-fixing case could name a few foreign cricketers apart from Indian players in the biggest ever cricket scandal, which has resulted in the resignation of the Haryana hurricane Kapil Dev as the Indian team coach and the dropping of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia from the team.

“The report on the match-fixing case would be a comprehensive one and I do not rule out the possibility of naming of one or two foreign cricketers in it,” the CBI Director, Mr R K Raghavan, told newspersons here today in an informal gathering.

The CBI is likely to submit the report by this month end to the Union Sports Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. The agency had begun its probe into the scandal, which rocked the cricketing world, in the first week of May.

Mr Raghavan said “the decision as to whether any legal action needs to be taken (against any cricketer) has not yet been taken. Any decision in that regard will be taken only after seeking legal experts opinion.”

Refusing to divulge whether the CBI has got “concrete” evidence against any of the Indian cricketers or cricket officials, he maintained that “I don’t know about the evidence available on record as we do not interfere in the investigation being conducted by our subordinates.”

He further stated that when the report is finalised by the investigators he would go through it and once he is satisfied the report would be submitted to the government.

Stating that “most of the inquiries pertaining to match fixing case have been completed”, he said the CBI has also got the extracts of the “King Commission Report” from South Africa and if there is any corroborative evidence in it, the agency would refer to it.

Asked whether the CBI was helping the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Mr N Vittal in the probe into the “kick-backs” in defence deals, Mr Raghavan said the CBI officials had sometime back met Mr Vittal and impressed upon him that only those cases where the Defence Ministry and the CVC were convinced of involvement of “kick-backs” be referred to the agency.

“We have not taken up any probe with regard to Defence deals so far... We have not so far heard from them (CVC or the Defence Ministry),” he said.

In the wake of reports over “shoddy” defence deals during the Kargil conflict, the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes had last year asked the Central Vigilance Commissioner to probe into any possible “kick-backs” in defence deals and refer it to the CBI for further investigation and legal action.

On the case relating to allotment of television rights of cricket matches by the BCCI, Mr Raghavan said the CBI has made “significant” progress.

The CBI had took up the probe following submission of a “personal” report on the TV rights issue by the former President of Indian cricket board, Mr I S Bindra, to the premier investigating agency on May 15.

In his report, Mr Bindra has alleged large-scale bungling in the allotment of television rights from 1996 onwards, swindling of money by some middlemen, event managers and cricket officials.

Referring to the various efforts made by the CBI to boost the morale of its employees and to bring about improvement in the conviction rate, Mr Raghavan said the agencies suggestion for creating 75 new posts of Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) and 10 new posts of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) have been approved by the government.

“Creation of these new posts will help cutting the stagnation and benefit 80 per cent of the direct recruit employees,” he said.

Greater thrust is also being given to providing more and more houses to the employees in all centres and having more open communication with subordinate staff to know their grievances and requirements, he said.

To improve the conviction rates and to hone up the computer skills of the employees, regular law tests were being conducted for all investigators and a computer training programme have been devised for them, he said.

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