Sunday, January 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Resignation of Nitish rejected
Tribune News Service and agencies

NEW DELHI, Jan 6 — The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today rejected Agriculture Minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation from the Cabinet.

Mr Vajpayee rang up Mr Nitish Kumar to convey the decision that he should continue as Agriculture Minister, an official spokesman said.

Earlier, having failed to persuade the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, to withdraw his resignation, the Samata Party leader and Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, today forwarded the letter of resignation submitted to him to the Prime Minister.

Mr Kumar had submitted his resignation to Mr Fernandes on Wednesday following an attack on him by rebel party MPs and the Defence Minister’s assurance to them against the party’s merger with the Janata Dal (U).

In a statement issued here, Mr Fernandes said he had failed in his efforts to persuade Mr Kumar to withdraw his resignation letter and on his insistence was forwarding it.


Mamata visits carnage site

CHOTOANGRA (WB), Jan 6 (PTI) — The Trinamool Congress (TC) chief, Ms Mamata Banerjee, on Saturday collected charred human bones and blood-stained clothing of victims allegedly burnt to death by the CPM at this village, even as the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, maintained that there was no substance in the TC’s claims as no body had been found as yet.

Ms Banerjee told newsmen in this remote village in Midnapore district that she would show the remains of her supporters handed over to her by villagers to NDA Convener George Fernandes. Claiming that the number of dead might be “more than 18”, Ms Banerjee said she had information that CPM cadres and the police removed the bodies in a police jeep and “buried them” in Jaipur jungle in neighbouring Bankura district.

Former WBPCC presidents Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi and Somen Mitra and senior party leader Manas Bhunia called on the TC chief at the village. They demanded imposition of Article 356 and resignation of the Chief Minister.

At Midnapore, Deputy Inspector-General (Midnapore Range), R.K. Singh said, “We sent our men to the addresses of those allegedly killed but found that they were missing.”

The West Bengal Chief Minister is monitoring the development from nearby Bankura town.

Mr Bhattacharjee told mediapersons at the town that not a single body of the alleged Trinamool Congress supporters had been found at the spot. Inspector-General of Police (South Bengal) Ajay Prasad had visited the village and police were instructed to make all attempts to ascertain the situation.

Ms Banerjee, who reached the village earlier in the day to take stock of the situation, demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state and asked for the resignation of the Chief Minister. She told newsmen that the police had mishandled the case. “You must have seen for yourself parts of human bodies and blood stains, blank cartridges strewn all over. But police could not find anything during the past two days.”

Ms Banerjee, who was accompanied by Lok Sabha member Akhbar Ali Kohondkar and party leader Pankaj Banerjee, said the police had neither brought sniffer dogs, nor collected the evidence for forensic examination.

The party’s Lok Sabha member Sudip Bandopadhyay said here that the proposed visit of NDA leaders to the site during the day had been postponed till Ms Banerjee submitted her report. The NDA team is expected to arrive either tomorrow or the day after.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Government has sent a report to the Centre on the incident of arson at Chotoangra village in Midnapore district.

NEW DELHI (TNS): A four-member team of the NDA led by BJP member of the Lok Sabha Vijay Goel will make an on-the-spot assessment of the alleged massacre of the Trinamool Congress supporters in Midnapur district of West Bengal.

Announcing this here today, NDA Convener George Fernandes said the other members of the team were Capt Inder Singh (Indian National Lok Dal), Mr Prabhat Samantaray (BJD), Dr C. Krishnan (MDMK) and Mr Sanjay Nirupam (Shiv Sena). All of them are MPs, he added.

The Centre had warned the West Bengal government about the possible eruption of political violence in the state, especially in Midnapore district, where 18 persons were allegedly burnt to death on January 4, Union Home Ministry officials said here today.

Replying to questions by newspersons whether the Centre was contemplating sending an advisory team to the West Bengal government in the wake of the Trinamool Congress allegation that 18 of its workers were burnt to death, the officials said the Centre had drawn the attention of the state government about the vulnerability of the Midnapore area to political violence.

The Centre had pin-pointed even the police stations where tension was building up between supporters of the party and the ruling Left Front, they said.Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |