Thursday, October 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India





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N A T I O N

SC orders closure of foundries to save Taj
New Delhi, October 3
Concerned over the damage potential of the obnoxious emissions from about 80 iron foundries to Taj Mahal in the heritage city of Agra, the Supreme Court today ordered their closure by the end of this year if they did not shift to gas-based fuel.

Going for Modi not to be smooth
New Delhi, October 3
BJP’s National General Secretary Narendra Modi, who today was named next Gujarat Chief Minister, replacing Keshubhai Patel, has a difficult task ahead with party’s image getting a beating after the recent debacle in the byelection to Sabarmati Assembly seat and a possible “non-cooperation movement” from Patel’s lobby which wields clout in the Saurashtra region.

Pak national held for spying
Varanasi, October 3
A Pakistani citizen was arrested here today for passing on secret information and vital data about military installations of India to Pakistan. Senior Suprintendent of Police Anil Agarwal said the Pakistani national identified as Jalaluddin was caught red-handed while passing on information through e-mail at a cybercafe in the city area.


Dimbeswar Basumatry, an Indian college student, stares into the sun in New Delhi, on Wednesday.
Dimbeswar Basumatry, an Indian college student, stares into the sun in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Basumatry, a science student from Assam, created a stir in the Capital when he sat down near India Gate and began to stare into the sun early on Wednesday morning. He said he enjoyed staring at the sun, he spends hours doing so, and would like to set a record for this. — Reuters

In this story we take you to a dog parlour in Kolkata.

(28k, 56k)


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Parking of vehicles near IGI airport banned
New Delhi, October 3
The Delhi Police has issued an order to those parking vehicles near funnel point area of the Indira Gandhi International Airport on national highway number eight. The order was issued following a police analysis revealing that an attack could be made on the landing aircraft at the airport.

‘Curtail delegation to CPA conference’
New Delhi, October 3
Concerned about the precarious security scenario prevalent in the South Asian region following the terror attacks on the USA, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has advised the Indian Union Branch of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to “drastically” curtail its delegation to the forthcoming Second Regional CPA Conference of Asia Region to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka beginning October 13.

Music Maestro Pandit Jasraj, Bhimsen Joshi and C R Vyas sharing the dias after rendering performance at a function organised by "panchamnishad" at shanmukhananda hall in Mumbai on tuesday night. Music Maestro Pandit Jasraj, Bhimsen Joshi and C R Vyas sharing the dais after a performance at a function organised by "Panchamnishad" at Shanmukhananda Hall in Mumbai on Tuesday night. — PTI
 

EARLIER STORIES

 

SIMI’s accounts may be frozen
New Delhi, October 3
Following the arrest of the national president of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Shahid Badr, and three other office-bearers, the Delhi police is seriously considering freezing the accounts of the recently banned outfit which has been supporting the cause of Osama bin Laden, said a senior police official.

RSS holds procession amid tension
Bahraich, October 3
Citizens of this Muslim majority town today heaved a sigh of relief when on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday a RSS procession of a few hundred volunteers ended without any untoward incident.

Naidu confronts Naxals on rationale
Hyderabad, October 3
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu virtually assumed the role of a scribe today and shot off a series of queries to the Naxalites who surrendered before him, seeking to know why had they joined the movement and how it benefited them.

Manu ‘bought’ Italian pistol before murder
New Delhi, October 3
An arms dealer today testified before the trial court that he sold an Italian pistol to Sidharth Vashist, alias Manu Sharma, the prime accused in Jessica Lal murder case, prior to the incident that happened in April 1999.

Hindu Mahasabha raps PM
New Delhi, October 3
Describing as “shameful” Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s “pleading” before US President George Bush in the wake of terrorist attack on the Kashmir Assembly, the Hindu Mahasabha today said India should fight its own battle and destroy terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

U-turn facility under flyover
New Delhi, October 3
The traffic police has provided U-turn facility under the Chirag Dili flyover in South Delhi to facilitate smooth flow of traffic on Outer Ring Road. The U-turn under a flyover has been constructed for the first time in the Capital, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Maxwell Pereira said.


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SC orders closure of foundries to save Taj

New Delhi, October 3
Concerned over the damage potential of the obnoxious emissions from about 80 iron foundries to Taj Mahal in the heritage city of Agra, the Supreme Court today ordered their closure by the end of this year if they did not shift to gas-based fuel.

If the foundries do not shift to gas-based fuel by December 31, from the present coke/coal, they will be closed by the Agra administration, a Bench comprising Mr Justice M.B. Shah and Mr Justice R.P. Sethi said.

The court ordered each individual foundry owner to file affidavit by October 10 regarding their readiness to shift to gas-based unit. The authorities would close on October 11 all such foundries whose owners do not file the undertaking before the court.

Appearing for the Central Pollution Control Board, counsel Vijay Panjawani said the apex court, keeping in mind the damage caused to the white marble Mughal monument from the emissions, had ordered on December 31, 1996, that all these foundries were to be closed by December 31, 1997, if they did not shift to gas-based fuel.

Taking strong exception to the non-implementation of the court order passed five years ago, the Bench said it was the duty of the government to implement the court order and the non-implementation only indicated the collusion between the authorities and the foundry owners.

The court, while ordering the closure of the non-compliant industries, had directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to allot alternate plots to these foundries, unwilling to change the fuel from coke-coal to gas, outside the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ). Accordingly, the government had allotted plots to several industrial units outside the TTZ but not many industries shifted out of Agra, citing one or the other reason. PTI

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Going for Modi not to be smooth
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
BJP’s National General Secretary Narendra Modi, who today was named next Gujarat Chief Minister, replacing Keshubhai Patel, has a difficult task ahead with party’s image getting a beating after the recent debacle in the byelection to Sabarmati Assembly seat and a possible “non-cooperation movement” from Patel’s lobby which wields clout in the Saurashtra region.

Although he has the blessings of the party’s Central leadership, especially Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister L.K. Advani, besides the RSS, being its “pracharak”, Modi will have his task cut out.

First, he will have to get himself elected to the Assembly within six months and bring-in some semblance of discipline in the rank and file of the party there by selecting carefully his Ministerial colleagues.

He will also have to carry the faction-ridden party, and use organisational capabilities to boost image of the party.

The 48-year-old OBC leader will also be expected to speed up rehabilitation work for the quake affected people.

Modi, due to his abrasive style of functioning, was believed to be responsible for the rebellion by Shankersinh Vaghela splitting the BJP in the mid-90s and costing Keshubhai Patel his first job as CM.

Modi earned the sobriquet of “Super CM” when Keshubhai first became Chief Minister in 1995 and Keshubhai Patel had many a time blamed Modi for all his problems and when he became the Chief Minister for the second time, he demanded of the central leadership that Gujarat should be made out-of-bounds for Modi.

This factor could have an effect this time too, with 48 BJP seats falling in the Saurashtra region, from where Keshubhai Patel hails.

The Central leadership here believes that like in the case of Uttar Pradesh, where Rajnath Singh brought instant success as far as boosting the image was concerned, Mr Modi, who is well-known for organisational capabilities, would repeat the same for the party in Gujarat.

They also strongly believe that if at all there are some differences among the party leaders in Gujarat, Mr Modi, who has popularity among younger leaders there will be able to carry the folks together without hurting the feelings of senior leaders.

The Central leadership also believes that the transition would be “very smooth” as at the end of the day Mr Modi emerged as a consensus candidate and none but Keshubhai agreed to propose Mr Modi’s name in the BJP Legislature Party meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

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Pak national held for spying

Varanasi, October 3
A Pakistani citizen was arrested here today for passing on secret information and vital data about military installations of India to Pakistan.

Senior Suprintendent of Police Anil Agarwal said the Pakistani national identified as Jalaluddin was caught red-handed while passing on information through e-mail at a cybercafe in the city area.

Jalaluddin confessed during the interrogation that he was staying here for the past one year after he entered India on a fake passport. He also revealed he was passing information about Defence data and the Indian military installations and maps, Agarwal said at a press conference.

The police recovered a fake passport, maps of Indian military installations and a diary containing addresses of several military officials in Pakistan.

Jalaluddin said he had recently passed on secret data on Kolkata cantonment area besides other information to officials in Pakistan.

He said he was working in India for Pakistan military. PTI

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Parking of vehicles near IGI airport banned
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
The Delhi Police has issued an order to those parking vehicles near funnel point area of the Indira Gandhi International Airport on national highway number eight.

The order was issued following a police analysis revealing that an attack could be made on the landing aircraft at the airport.

The order provides that there will be no assembly of people and parking of vehicles within 250 metres on either side of the funnel point.

Passers-by used to park vehicles on the funnel point to watch aircraft. During weekdays the gathering becomes large and people parking vehicles on roadsides used to wait for hours to watch aircraft touch down.

The police said at that altitude it was possible to use a high power rifle to fire at the aircraft. Since the area is largely unguarded the risk factor was grave. Keeping the security problem at the airport in view, the ban on parking of vehicle on the funnel point has been banned. PCR van will also be stationed there.

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‘Curtail delegation to CPA conference’
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Concerned about the precarious security scenario prevalent in the South Asian region following the terror attacks on the USA, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has advised the Indian Union Branch of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to “drastically” curtail its delegation to the forthcoming Second Regional CPA Conference of Asia Region to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka beginning October 13.

According to the programme drawn by the CPA, a 100-member delegation, drawn from various states and Union Territories and led by Lok Sabha Speaker G M C Balayogi, is likely to participate and the first batch of delegates are expected to leave on October 10 for the week-long conference.

In a letter dated September 26 addressed to the Lok Sabha Secretary-General, Mr G.C. Malhotra, the Joint Secretary (Coordination) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr V.S. Verma wanted to ascertain whether the conference would be held as per schedule and in that case advised the secretariat to drastically reduce the level of participation due to security reasons, highly placed sources told The Tribune.

But even after the elapse of eight days and just a week left for the conference, the CPA India Chapter has not replied to the MEA letter, the sources said.

When contacted, Deputy Secretary in the Lok Sabha Secretariat U.S. Saxena, who is dealing with the preparations for the conference, feigned ignorance about any such letter written by the MEA.
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SIMI’s accounts may be frozen
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Following the arrest of the national president of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Shahid Badr, and three other office-bearers, the Delhi police is seriously considering freezing the accounts of the recently banned outfit which has been supporting the cause of Osama bin Laden, said a senior police official.

The proposed action aims at restricting the outfit’s activities in the country. The outfit’s portal would also be closed down to prevent mischief by its members. Since the outfit has two bank accounts in the Capital, one near its South Delhi head office and the other in Zakir Nagar, initially a probe would be conducted to find out whether there was any illegal transaction and action would be taken accordingly, said the official.

Although SIMI has never admitted that its funds have been used for encouraging anti-national activities in the country, information available with intelligence agencies prove the outfit’s direct involvement in such activities.

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RSS holds procession amid tension
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

Bahraich, October 3
Citizens of this Muslim majority town today heaved a sigh of relief when on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday a RSS procession of a few hundred volunteers ended without any untoward incident.

While on September 16 a district conference of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) here at Sir Sayyad College became the immediate cause for a ban on the 25-year-old organisation, a small Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) procession called “path sanchalan” through a route from Pipal ka Tirha to Ghantaghar was another attempt which if not properly handled could have become a cause for a communal flare-up.

Preparations for the RSS march were done on a large scale as one saw over three dozen welcome gates erected on the march route starting from the local RSS-run school, Shishu Mandir. Even the route chosen by the organisers of the march was highly sensitive.

While the administration was initially reluctant to grant permission for the use of the route, political pressure from Lucknow made the district authorities helpless.

The RSS was insistent on the route as it wanted to show its clout, a local official said.

While the district administration had rounded up eight of the top SIMI leaders after imposition of the ban, its followers and sympathisers numbering in hundreds were still there to take advantage of the situation.

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Naidu confronts Naxals on rationale

Hyderabad, October 3
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu virtually assumed the role of a scribe today and shot off a series of queries to the Naxalites who surrendered before him, seeking to know why had they joined the movement and how it benefited them.

At a crowded press conference at the secretariat, where 21 Naxalites surrendered, Mr Naidu first turned his attention to K. Venkateshwarulu, PWG Naxalite, who is a district committee member and also a sub-zonal committee member and carried a reward of Rs three lakh on his head. Mr Naidu wanted to know why was he surrendering and what role had he played in the movement.

Venkateshwarulu told the Chief Minister that he joined the movement in 1985 to avoid harassment by the police.

Mr Naidu then turned to another surrendered Naxalite, Thotakuri Linga Murthy (Deputy Commander) of ‘A’ section of military platoon (of the PWG) and asked the latter about the attack carried out by him with other Naxalites killing the Circle Inspector of the Bhupalapalli police station.

He told the Chief Minister that he joined the Naxalite movement in 1995 after the landlords had grabbed 25 acres of land belonging to his family. UNI

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Manu ‘bought’ Italian pistol before murder

New Delhi, October 3
An arms dealer today testified before the trial court that he sold an Italian pistol to Sidharth Vashist, alias Manu Sharma, the prime accused in Jessica Lal murder case, prior to the incident that happened in April 1999.

Surinder Singh, who owns Harayana Gun House at Ambala Cantonment, told the court that a second-hand foreign pistol No-B 56943-UP. Beretta made in Italy was sold to Manu. The licence for the pistol was valid up to September, 1999.

Identifying Manu in the court room, 42 year-old arms dealer said that he bought the pistol from a woman Azra Javed, from Haridwar on December 19, 1998 and sold the same to Manu in January 1999. UNI

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Hindu Mahasabha raps PM

New Delhi, October 3
Describing as “shameful” Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s “pleading” before US President George Bush in the wake of terrorist attack on the Kashmir Assembly, the Hindu Mahasabha today said India should fight its own battle and destroy terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Hindu Mahasabha president Dinesh Chandra Tyagi said the “pleadings” of Mr Vajpayee and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh before the USA to put an end to terrorism in Kashmir were reflective of the nation’s “weakness and cowardice.”

The Prime Minister’s act of writing a letter to the US President in this regard was itself “shameful”. UNI

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U-turn facility under flyover
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
The traffic police has provided U-turn facility under the Chirag Dili flyover in South Delhi to facilitate smooth flow of traffic on Outer Ring Road. The U-turn under a flyover has been constructed for the first time in the Capital, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Maxwell Pereira said.

The U-turn facility would solve the problem of motorists desiring to take the short route to reach their destinations more safely without waiting at traffic signals. Similar U-turns would be provided under the Savitri, IIT and Ashram flyovers, he said.

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NATIONAL BRIEFS

2 NSCN (IM) ULTRAS KILLED IN ENCOUNTER
GUWAHATI: Two NSCN (IM) militants were killed in an encounter with the Army at south Namdang on the Assam-Arunachal border on Tuesday, official reports said here on Wednesday. A huge cache of arms, including an AK-47 rifle and 198 rounds of ammunition, three AK-47 magazines, two Chinese hand grenades, a Bren machine gun magazine and 30 rounds of ammunition, were recovered from the ultras, the report said. UNI

COP SUSPENDED FOR DEATH IN LOCK-UP
PURI:
The officer-in-charge of Chandanpur police station was suspended following the alleged torture and death of a youth inside the police lockup on Tuesday. Sources said here on Wednesday that thousands of irate villagers gheraoed the police station on Tuesday night and blocked the Puri-Bhubaneswar traffic for hours on hearing the news of the death. Later, Mr Priyadarshi suspended the officer-in-charge and assured a suitable job to the victim’s wife, while the district collector sanctioned Rs 10,000 to the family of the deceased, the sources stated. UNI

SIMI OFFICE SEALED, 12 WORKERS HELD
JABALPUR: The local office of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was sealed by the police on Tuesday. The police claimed to have recovered some objectionable notes and other literature from the office. Nearly 24 workers of SIMI were active in the city. As many as 12 workers of the organisation had been arrested so far, the police said. UNI

IMA CELEBRATES RAISING DAY
DEHRA DUN: The IMA on Wednesday celebrated its 69th Raising Day by honouring 31 of its civilian staff members and hosting cultural events. Officiating Commandant Maj Gen Jitendra Singh honoured the civilian staffers by presenting them with cash award of Rs 700 and Rs 1,000 each for their meritorious services at a function organised here. PTI

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