Sunday, May 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP forgoes claim to RS seat
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, May 26
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today decided not to lay claim to the Rajya Sabha seat at the BJP MLAsí meeting. Mr O.P. Kohli, the party observer who presided over the meeting said the decision to forgo the claim for the coveted seat had been taken to stall any harm to the ruling Akali-BJP alliance.

The Rajya Sabha seat became vacant after Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majithia became an MLA.

Mr Kohli said the BJP would lay claim to 40 seats for the coming Vidhan Sabha elections. The number of seats had been increased due to the partyís excellent performance in the last elections. He said out of the 23 seats that the ruling coalition allotted to the BJP, the party won in 18.

The meeting which was primarily organised to review the party and the ruling coalitionís image among the public was to be attended by 18 MLAs. However, only 13 MLAs were able to make it, with five significant absentations.

Those absent were Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, party president, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Mr Manoranjan Kalia, Minister for Medical Education and Research, Mr Chuni Lal Chagal and Mr Girdhara Singh.

Prominent among those present in the meeting were Mr Avinash Jaiswal organising secretary of the party, Mr Jagdish Sawhney, MLA of Batala, Ms Roop Rani, MLA of Dinanagar, Mr Surjit Jiani from Abohar, Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Amritsar.

A similar meet took place at Gurdaspur yesterday.


Armsgate: 3 found guilty

New Delhi, May 26
The one-man Ministry of Defence (MoD) probe conducted by Chief Vigilance Officer R.P.Bagai has prima facie found three civilian officials ó H.C.Pant, Narendra Singh and P.Sasi ó guilty of corruption and misconduct in the Tehelka expose on corruption in defence deals.

The Bagai inquiry committee submitted its report to Defence Minister Jaswant Singh on Wednesday for further action, highly placed sources in the Defence Ministry said.

H.C. Pant, an officer of Deputy Secretary rank and at present posted as staff officer in the Ordnance Factory Board, Narendra Singh, Assistant Financial Adviser in the ministry, and P.Sasi, an Assistant in the Army headquarters, are already under suspension.

A Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed that the committee had submitted its report but refused to divulge the findings, saying that the report would now be scrutinised by the minister before initiating action.

Asked whether former Additional Secretary in the ministry, Mr L.N. Mehta, who also figured in the Tehelka tapes, had been indicted by the committee, the spokesman said he was not aware of the findings of the committee. Mr Mehta, a senior Haryana cadre IAS officer, has since been transferred as Adviser in the Planning Commission.

The private portal, in its expose, had videotaped Pant receiving bribes of Rs 50,000 in three instalments, Sasi getting Rs 20,000 and Narendra Singh Rs 10,000. PTI


1993 riots: former police chief booked

Mumbai, May 26
The Special Task Force (STF) appointed by the present Democratic Front government had registered an FIR against former city Police Commissioner R.D. Tyagi and 16 others in connection with the police firing in Suleman Bakery that claimed nine lives in 1993, the police said today.

The FIR was filed last evening against Mr Tyagi and others under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and allied sections, police sources said.

The DF government constituted the STF with K.P. Raghuvanshi as its chief for the implementation of the Sri Krishna Commission report which was earlier rejected by the Sena-BJP alliance government. The report had mentioned about the Suleman Bakery incident.

According to the report, Mr Tyagi, who was the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) and heading a special operation squad, had claimed that he ordered the firing in self-defence. PTI

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