Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Pak outfit to strike if govt helps USA
New Delhi, October 2
The unceasing barrage of verbal missiles targeted against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s military regime has taken a new and dangerous turn as the ferocious sectarian outfit, Sipah-e-Saheba of Pakistan (SSP), has threatened to launch aerial attacks on the government if it sided with the USA against Afghanistan.

Crackdown on SIMI: Rajnath outwits Mulayam
Lucknow, October 2
Political power, which till a few month, ago, was well within his reach appears to be eluding him as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s moves are being checkmated one after another by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh.

Madhavrao Scindia gets a tearfull farewell from Delhi. Sonia Gandhi and many other Congress leaders pay floral tributes to the leader.
(28k, 56k)

Scindia’s pilot was not experienced
New Delhi, October 2
Even without ‘black box’, the preliminary investigations point out that, both Capt Vivek Gupta and co-pilot Ritu Malik, were not sufficiently experienced in instruments rating flying, which is very essential for navigating a small aircraft through dark clouds and bad weather.

 

 

 

EARLIER STORIES

 

History book ‘not taught in Delhi’
New Delhi, October 2
The controversial history book for Class XI, which has been banned by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for denigrating Sikh gurus, is not being taught in Delhi schools, the Delhi Education Minister, Mr Narendra Nath, claimed today.

The nation celebrates the 132nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. President K R Narayan, Vice President Krishan Kant and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee offer floral tributes at the samadhi.
(28k, 56k)
Khadi weavers in Gujarat opt for other methods of survival. "Khadi," which was once draped by the humble freedom fighters, is today flaunted by the "coolcats" making fashion statements.
(28k, 56k)

Nation pays homage to Gandhi, Shastri
New Delhi, October 2
The country today paid homage to father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries.

Eloped couple faces threat
New Delhi, October 2
Will the Muzaffarnagar incident be repeated in the Capital? Growing incidence of parents threatening to kill their own children for indulging in inter-caste marriages, clearly indicates that they are not ready to compromise on traditional values. This is the general opinion of enforcement agencies and social reformers in the national Capital.

Meet held on Juvenile Justice Act
New Delhi, October 2
“The new Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 is revolutionary and challenging in itself. The Act demands whole hearted commitment for implementation” said Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, S.N. Jatiya at a consultative meeting on the Juvenile Justice Act organised by an NGO, Prayas.

Protest by rickshaw-pullers
New Delhi, October 2
Rickshaw pullers and street vendors today demonstrated outside Lieut-Governor’s office in the Capital against the alleged sabotage of the PMO’s policy to save them from paying bribes to the MCD and the police.

2 MC employees booked for graft
New Delhi, October 2
Two employees of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have been booked in a corruption case by the CBI.

Man held for hoax call to PM’s house
New Delhi, October 2
A man, who made a hoax call to the Prime Minister’s house about planting of a bomb in his South Block office recently, has been arrested.

Cong leader hacked to death
Bangalore, October 2
A district Congress leader of Hassan in Karnataka was hacked to death by three assailants at Hassan, the police said today.


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Pak outfit to strike if govt helps USA
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
The unceasing barrage of verbal missiles targeted against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s military regime has taken a new and dangerous turn as the ferocious sectarian outfit, Sipah-e-Saheba of Pakistan (SSP), has threatened to launch aerial attacks on the government if it sided with the USA against Afghanistan.

Pakistan-watchers here told The Tribune today that the threats of jehadi and fundamentalist outfits of Pakistan had intensified in the past couple of days as the media splashed stories about the “imminent” US attack on Afghanistan.

On Saturday night, the Urdu BBC reported a press conference of the Council for the Defence of Afghanistan in Islamabad saying that the military government would be attacked if it supported the USA against Afghanistan.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, who convened an all-party conference at the party’s headquarters in Mansura (Lahore) the next day, said an attack on Afghanistan would be considered an attack on Pakistan. Radio Zahedan, which reported this, said the all-party conference passed a resolution warning the Musharraf government against supporting the USA.

An SSP leader told Pakistan’s Urdu daily Khabrain that the soil of Pakistan would be made red with the blood of Americans if Afghanistan were to be attacked. Al Badr leader Amir Bakht Zamin said at a public meeting recently in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) that Osama bin Laden was a mujahid and the USA was “common enemy of the Muslims”. Urdu daily Ausaf which reported this also quoted him as saying that “Washington also figured in their target list.”

Only recently, a spokesman for the Harkat ul Mujahideen (HUM), which has been described by the USA as a terrorist organisation, had said in PoK that if the USA did not stop its policy of interfering in Afghanistan, jehad would be launched in New York and Washington.

The anti-USA frenzy has taken such overtones that Pakistan has become to be known as the most dangerous country for Americans. So much so that, sources said, American diplomats in Pakistan have stopped using their diplomatic car numbers and telephone directories no longer list out their numbers.

In August last year, Maulana Salimulah, who heads an organisation of madarasas told militants at a madarsa in Karachi that ‘jehad’ had struck deep inside Europe and the USA. He said all these superpowers would disintegrate because of jehad. Maulana Samiul Haq, who heads his faction of the Jamiat ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and is also the Chairman of the Council for the Defence of Afghanistan, told the international conference of Deoband Ulema last year that the Soviet Union had disintegrated and now it was the turn of the USA.
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Crackdown on SIMI: Rajnath outwits Mulayam
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 2
Political power, which till a few month, ago, was well within his reach appears to be eluding him as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s moves are being checkmated one after another by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh.

When the SP chief asked his party MLAs to submit resignations on September 11 to wrest political initiative from the BJP Chief Minister, little did he anticipate that an event in far away New York and Washington would deprive him and his party of much needed media focus.

First terrorist attack of September 11 in the USA and then a ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India has put Mulayam Singh Yadav in a dilemma of which he is trying desperately to come out. While in the first case, Mr Yadav chose to maintain a studied silence, in the second he decided to adopt aggressive political posture. The moment news about the pre-ban arrests of some SIMI leaders along with other potential trouble makers reached the Samajwadi leadership in the state capital, it did not lose even a moment to exploit politically the situation, a leader close to Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav disclosed to the Tribune.

While it is true that inept handling by the district administration gave SP leadership an opportunity to fish in troubled waters but whether support for SIMI would help the two-time Chief Minister of the most populous state to consolidate his Muslim vote bank is doubtful now. Initial open support for the SIMI was an instant reaction but now on second thoughts, party leadership is not very enthusiastic about the SIMI cause as the grassroot feedback is negative, an SP leader said adding that “our assessment was that Muslims all over the state would react strongly over the issue but it appears SIMI does not have following among the ordinary Muslims”. Barring Lucknow, Muslims have not protested elsewhere in the state. This has forced SP leadership to rethink, sources said.

Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose Prime Ministerial ambition is no secret, knows well that his political hold on Uttar Pradesh would play crucial role in deciding his, his son Akhilesh Yadav’s and his party’s future. 
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9 more SIMI activists held in MP

Bhopal, October 2
With the arrest of nine more activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the total arrests have risen to 49 in Madhya Pradesh today.

According to a police spokesman here, five activists have been arrested from Jabalpur, three from Rajgarh and one from Indore.

The spokesman said as many as 12 activists had so far been arrested in Jabalpur, nine in Indore, four each in Bhopal, Ujjain, Khandwa, Neemuch and Guna, three each in Seoni and Rajgarh and two from Sheopur. UNI


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Scindia’s pilot was not experienced
K. R. Wadhwaney

Congress President Sonia Gandhi with Madhaviraje Scindia, wife of the late Madhavrao Scindia at the AICC Headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi with Madhaviraje Scindia, wife of the late Madhavrao Scindia
, at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
— PTI photo

New Delhi, October 2
Even without ‘black box’, the preliminary investigations point out that, both Capt Vivek Gupta and co-pilot Ritu Malik, were not sufficiently experienced in instruments rating flying, which is very essential for navigating a small aircraft through dark clouds and bad weather.

This all-important revelation and also poor maintenance of Cessna C-90 aircraft by the Jindals group were main causes for the air crash in which Madhavrao Scindia and seven others perished on Sunday afternoon.

Retired pilots and engineers of two national carriers, Indian Airlines and Air India are unanimous in their observation that more than 90 per cent pilots and aircraft in possession of the private operators will not be given air-worthiness certificate, if subjected to tests by independent authority.

According to aviation experts, all privately owned aircraft and pilots should be grounded and subjected to proper checks. They should be allowed to fly only when they are fit to command the fit aircraft to prevent repeat of such fatal accidents. “It is a shame that a former Aviation Minister Scindia, who resigned because of an air crash, should have died in an air crash because of sub-standard conditions”, said Capt S S Panesar, former Director (Operations) of Indian Airlines.

Minister for Civil Aviation Shehnawaz Hussain has appointed a three-member committee to review the procedure for the acquisition, maintenance and operation of small aircraft. The committee comprises Sunil Arora, H.S. Khola (DGCA) and Rubey Lal (AAI-Operations) in the Civil Aviation Ministry, Joint Secretary (Vigilance), Joint Secretary (Indian Airlines) and also Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Airlines. Why should he be entrusted with another heavy responsibility? None of these three incumbents, no matter how competent, are flyers or engineers. Are there no pilots or engineers to review such fatal accidents?

Air Marshal J.K. Seth, chairman of the committee on Aviation Safety, in his report on October 15,1997, says: “The investigations of accidents should be segregated from the DGCA and entrusted to an independent body of expert pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers having practical experience in aviation.

“It may be named as the accident investigation bureau”, and be an integral but functionally independent part of the Civil Aviation Board. The focus of accident investigation should be shifted from punishment to re-training and education, except in cases of gross indiscipline or recklessness.”

Investigation procedures should be modified so as to attract honest and truthful inputs, given willingly even by erring individuals, free from fear of punishment.
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Ex gratia for scribes’ kin
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
The Delhi Government today announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of the four journalists killed along with senior Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia in an air crash on Sunday.

A Delhi government spokesman said that decision was taken by the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. The journalists included Sanjeev Sinha (Indian Express), Anju Sharma (Hindustan Times) and Ranjan Jha and Gopal Bisht (both Aaj Tak).

Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Aaj Tak cameraman Gopal Bisht, who was aboard the ill-fated chartered plane along with senior Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia and six others, were consigned to flames at the Nigambodh Ghat here today.

Mr Bisht’s 15-year old son lit the funeral pyre amid chanting of Vedic hymns. Mr Bisht is survived by two sons and a wife.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Ministers Ashok Pradhan, Bachi Singh Rawat, Maj-Gen (retd) B.C. Khanduri, BJP general secretary Narendra Modi, Congress spokesperson Jaipal Reddy, India Today Editor Aroon Poorie and Aaj Tak chief Sanjay Pugulia were among a large number of people who attended the cremation.

The cremation of Indian Express Special Correspondent Sanjay Sinha will be held tomorrow at Nigambodh Ghat. Anju Sharma and Rupinder Singh, Personal Secretary to Madhavrao Scindia, were cremated here yesterday. Ranjan Jha was cremated at his native place Bhagalpur today.
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History book ‘not taught in Delhi’
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, October 2
The controversial history book for Class XI, which has been banned by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for denigrating Sikh gurus, is not being taught in Delhi schools, the Delhi Education Minister, Mr Narendra Nath, claimed today.

“The book was published about 15 years ago and since then it is being reprinted. However, this book is not being taught in any of the Delhi Government-run schools. If at all it is taught in any public school, I will ensure that it is removed from the school syllabus”, said Mr Narendra Nath, talking to The Tribune.

The DSGMC has alleged that certain sections in the book, written by noted historian Satish Chandra, carry derogatory references about the Sikh gurus. They want the book to be banned by the Human Resource Development Ministry.

“Children have a full right to read and learn about history. They should know about religions and religious leaders, and education through textbooks enables them to do so. Any reference which hurts the religious sentiments of any community must not be allowed”, said the minister. 
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Nation pays homage to Gandhi, Shastri
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, October 2
The country today paid homage to father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries.

Paying homage to Gandhiji, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said Mahatma had wanted to see a modern India applying science and technology to increase employment and benefit the maximum number of people”.

President K.R. Narayanan, Prime Minister and Vice-President Krishan Kant laid wreaths at Vijay Ghat, samadhi of Lal Bahadur Shastri.

A commemorative stamp — Mahatma Gandhi: Man of the Millennium—was released by Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Pramod Mahajan in Mumbai. He said Gandhiji’s thoughts and Shastriji’s actions will help effectively deal with situations prevailing in Kashmir.

Addressing a kisan rally organised by NCP on the occasion of Mahatama Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said people should take a pledge to boycott imported foodgrains fruits, oil, milk and other commodities which were flooding the Indian markets following the WTO agreement.

He said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Opposition Leader Sonia Gandhi were indifferent to problems of farmers. 
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Eloped couple faces threat
J. T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
Will the Muzaffarnagar incident be repeated in the Capital? Growing incidence of parents threatening to kill their own children for indulging in inter-caste marriages, clearly indicates that they are not ready to compromise on traditional values. This is the general opinion of enforcement agencies and social reformers in the national Capital.

A Dalit boy, Satish, from Narela and a Jat community girl, Babita, who liked each other, decided to marry without the consent of their families. And now the couple is on the run as it is being hotly chased by girl’s relatives.

Babita’s family, considered to be influential one, is putting pressure on the local police to find out the couple to punish them.

The Dalit family to which the boy belongs also left Narela as they were “continually harassed” by the police and Babita’s family, an allegation the police officials have denied.

Two sisters of Satish have been named in the FIR as main instigators in the elopement. The boy’s family has also alleged that the girl’s father Bijander Singh has threatened to kill the couple.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the SC/ST commission had failed to address the issue, alleged the family of the boy. A copy of the complaint filed in the SC/ST commission on September 21 was also sent to the NHRC, but there has been no response till date.

Inspite of Babita’s intimation to the local police that she was a major and was marrying on her own will, the police has registered a case of kidnapping and named Satish as the prime suspect. The girl has also told the police in writing that she had not taken anything from her parents’ house.

However, the FIR shows Babita’s age as 17 and that she took away Rs 50,000 and gold jewellery from the house. Babita also sent a letter to the Delhi Police Commissioner and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Along with the letter, copies of her senior secondary school examination admit card showing her date of birth as April 4, 1983, and a marriage certificate from the Registrar of marriage on May 15, 2001, which recorded her as a major, have been attached.

The North-West district police, which is investigating the case, said they were not ready to believe the versions given by both families. District DCP R.S. Upadhyay said the complaint had been transferred to the crime cell.

The case has been mentioned in the Delhi Police bulletin as that of kidnapping. The DCP (Crime) said, “One has to investigate how far the marriage certificates distributed by Arya Samaj Mandir are valid.” Meanwhile, the girl’s family has sought the help of former Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Sahib Singh Verma.
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Meet held on Juvenile Justice Act
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
“The new Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 is revolutionary and challenging in itself. The Act demands whole hearted commitment for implementation” said Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, S.N. Jatiya at a consultative meeting on the Juvenile Justice Act organised by an NGO, Prayas.

Mr Amod Kanth, honorary secretary of Prayas, and Joint Commissioner of Police, Southern Range, called the Act a “blue print for child welfare in India”. He stressed that juvenile justice had been the core areas of intervention both at the programme and policy level of Prayas.

Prayas along with others had been instrumental in drafting of new Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, which was more than just a social legislation, Mr Kanth said.
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Protest by rickshaw-pullers

New Delhi, October 2
Rickshaw pullers and street vendors today demonstrated outside Lieut-Governor’s office in the Capital against the alleged sabotage of the PMO’s policy to save them from paying bribes to the MCD and the police.

The new policy drafted by the PMO for the street vendors and rickshaw pullers in the capital to save them from the “licence-quota-permit-raid-raj” is being sabotaged, alleged social activist Madhu Kishwar.

The task of implementing the policy lies with the Lieut-Governor and the rickshaw pullers and the vendors want him to involve social activists and genuine representatives of the street vendors and rickshaw pullers in all deliberations in implementing the new policy.

They were also demanding that an independent monitoring commitee be set up to ensure that the PMO’s policy was implemented with sincerity, honouring the spirit and intent with which it was drafted.

“If the Lieut-Governor does not agree to our demands, then we will launch a peaceful civil disobedience. We will not accept an arbitrary judgement”, said Kishwar.

The vendors and rickshaw pullers are together paying a whopping Rs 50 crore a month as bribe to the police and the municipal corporation in Delhi. 
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2 MC employees booked for graft
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
Two employees of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have been booked in a corruption case by the CBI.

The agency in its FIR has named House Tax Superintendent (retd) Lakshmi Narayan Gupta, and his friend Ram Avtar Gupta, a Headmaster in an MCD school.

L.N. Gupta, had allegedly amassed assets disproportionate to his known source of income between 1980 and 2001.

Gupta had allegedly acquired a number of houses, flats, shops and plots of land worth Rs 88 lakh, besides shares, and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees. He retired from the MCD on March 31.
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Man held for hoax call to PM’s house

New Delhi, October 2
A man, who made a hoax call to the Prime Minister’s house about planting of a bomb in his South Block office recently, has been arrested.

Raj Kumar Mandal, who made the bogus call on the night of September 23, was arrested in Chandigarh by a team of the Delhi police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Mukesh Kumar Meena said today.

Mr Mandal, who is a proclaimed offender in a murder case in Bihar, had made the mischievous call from a PCO in Chandigarh. He is wanted by the Bihar police in some other cases, including one related to dacoity.

The Chandigarh police, which arrested the accused, had handed him over to the Bihar police. UNI

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Cong leader hacked to death

Bangalore, October 2
A district Congress leader of Hassan in Karnataka was hacked to death by three assailants at Hassan, the police said today.

The police said M.T. Venkatramegowda was waylaid late last night by the assailants, who came in a lorry, while he was proceeding to his farm house. They attacked him with lethal weapons and killed him. His driver also suffered serious injuries. PTI

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