Sunday, January 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Another spell of snow in Himachal

SHIMLA, Jan 6 (UNI) — Higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh experienced another spell of snowfall while the sky remained partially cloudy in the region today.

High altitude areas in the tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur and the Pangi and Bharmour areas of Chamba district had fresh snowfall today. People continued to reel under the intense cold wave in these areas with the mercury hovering around minus 10°C to minus 15°C in these areas. All natural water sources have already frozen in the tribal areas. The Pangi-Tindi-Purthi-Udaipur road in the tribal belt had been already closed to traffic due to snowfall. The Manali-Keylong road was also closed due to the closure of the 13,050-foot high Rohtang Pass.

The Rohtang Pass, gateway to Lahaul Spiti district, and the Dhauladhar mountains facing the Kangra valley also experienced snowfall, aggravating cold wave in the twin valleys of Kulu and Kangra.

Cold wave persisted in Shimla and its adjoining areas as the temperature continued to remain low.

MANDI (FOC): Higher reaches of Mandi and Kulu had the third snowfall of the season while the lower areas of Mandi region remained overcast, gripping the entire valley under severe cold.


Surprise at VHP proposal
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 6 — The Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee (BMMCC) has expressed surprise over the VHP’s announcement of negotiations on the Babri masjid question.

In a statement, BMMCC convener Syed Shahabuddin said Mr Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the original petitioner against the unlawful occupation of the Babri masjid, with whom the VHP is going to start talks on January 13, had no authority to commit the Babri Masjid Movement or the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board on the issue.

He said that the BMMCC would like to clarify that the Muslim Personal Board alone was competent to enter into negotiations with the government or the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on the Babri masjid question and its committee on the Babri Masjid includes all senior members of the BMMCC and the AIBAC.

The statement said while Mr Ansari, a resident of Ayodhya, has been associated with the litigation on the issue since 1949, the matter now being heard by the Allahabad High Court was a consolidated and representative suit of various related cases.

“The BMMCC is aware of the machinations of the VHP to secure the services of some non-entities from the Muslim community to sign on the dotted line but such signatures will have no legal or moral validity,’’ the statement said.

Meanwhile, the BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, who yesterday announced that talks would be held between VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore and AIBMAC member Mohammad Hashim Ansari in Lucknow on January 13, today exuded confidence about the success of negotiations.

Meanwhile, according to a UNI report the VHP tonight said Acharya Giriraj Kishore would not attend the meeting of Hindu and Muslim leaders at Lucknow on January 13 and the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya would proceed in accordance with the programme to be announced by the Dharam Sansad during the Kumbh mela in Allahabad.

Senior leaders of the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, including Mr Ashok Singhal, Acharya Kishore, Mr Praveen Jain and Mr Surendra Jain, held a meeting in the Capital to discuss various issues, including the proposed talks with Muslim leaders.

After the meeting, Bajrang Dal convenor Surendra Jain said the Lucknow meeting had not been convened by the VHP or the Bajrang Dal. It was the result of the personal initiative of Vinay Katiyar, BJP MP from Faizabad. “While we are not opposed to any positive outcome of the meeting and will welcome it, none of our leaders would attend the meeting,” Mr Jain said.

The BJP on Saturday dissociated itself from former Bajrang Dal President and BJP MP from Faizabad Vinay Katiyar’s initiative to organise a meeting of Hindu and Muslims leaders to resolve the Ayodhya issue.

Party spokesman K. Jana Krishnamurthy reiterated that the party would go by the court verdict.Back

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