Saturday, October 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N



Ulema here have urged Muslims throughout the country to demonstrate against US strikes on Afghanistan by boycotting popular American products like Pepsi and Coke.
(28k, 56k)

Shahi Imam barred from taking out rally
New Delhi, October 12
The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, today confronted the government on stopping him from taking out a rally in protest against the US bombing of Afghanistan, saying that the country’s Constitution guaranteed him full liberty to express his opinion.

Laden funding J&K terrorists?
New Delhi, October 12
As the intelligence and security agencies around the world are working overtime to probe all possible linkages of Osama bin Laden, the Indian agencies are now in possession of credible information about Bin Laden and two Muslim organisations based in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines funding terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Capt Suri gets MVC posthumously
New Delhi, October 12
President K.R. Narayanan today conferred the country’s second highest gallantry award, the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) posthumously on Capt Gurjinder Singh Suri and decorated 30 other armed forces personnel and civilians with the Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra at the investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan.



EARLIER STORIES

 

Naqvi likely to be new BJP gen secy
New Delhi, October 12
BJP President K. Jana Krishnamurthi is consulting senior party leaders to find suitable replacement in his team of office-bearers for Mr Narendra Modi who became the Gujarat Chief Minister last week.

Ramani spots Manu, but isn’t sure
New Delhi, October 12
Ms Bina Ramani, a key eyewitness in the Jessica Lal murder case, today identified the prime accused Siddharth Vasisth, alias Manu Sharma by touching him, but was quick to tell a city court that it did not satisfy her that he was the same man who had allegedly shot the model on April 29, 1999.

Waiver of visa charges sought
New Delhi, October12
The Union Government has been urged to waive the visa charges for Sikhs and Hindus fleeing Afghanistan in order to facilitate their safe arrival in India.

Protest march against sacrilege tomorrow
New Delhi, October 12
The Tohra faction of the Akali Dal, the Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, today appealed to the President and Prime Minister to seek their response on the incidents of sacrilege in different parts of Punjab.

Left parties protest against US strikes
New Delhi, October 12
Hundreds of workers of different Left parties today staged a demonstration near the American Center here, protesting against the US strikes in Afghanistan.

BJP Yuva Morcha convention from today
Agra, October 12
The biggest-ever convention of the BJP Yuva Morcha will begin tomorrow at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Nagar, in the suburbs of the city, with a greater thrust on fighting terrorism and adoption of a national youth policy.


People in Kolkata rummage racks of popular bookstores for titles on terror and predictions by Nostradamus.

(28k, 56k)


Activists of the Shiv Sena protest in Delhi, urging the government to attack militant training camps in Pakistan.

(28k, 56k)


Indo-German strategic alliance dwells on the Afghan situation and issues of bilateral concern.

(28k, 56k)



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Shahi Imam barred from taking out rally

New Delhi, October 12
The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, today confronted the government on stopping him from taking out a rally in protest against the US bombing of Afghanistan, saying that the country’s Constitution guaranteed him full liberty to express his opinion.

Addressing a huge congregation after the Friday prayers, the Shahi Imam referred to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s warning of facing consequences for opposing the government’s stance on the strikes.

“Is there any clause or section in the Constitution that the opposition of the USA would be deemed as anti-national, if not so, every citizen of India has the right to differ with the government on any issue” he said.

After the prayers, he was to lead the gathering for a demonstration outside the US Embassy. However, the administration, apprehending trouble in view of inflamed passions, had banned it.

Taking a swipe at the US-led global coalition against the Taliban regime, he said in the guise of suppressing terrorism, a ‘mischievous conspiracy had been hatched to occupy Afghanistan. “But I believe that brave, courageous and modest Afghan people would foil all such attempts to defame Islam and Muslims by fighting unitedly.’’

He also clarified that the Muslims did not have any problems with their Hindu brothers and was happy that many Hindus had participated in today’s “demonstration against tyranny.”

Meanwhile, a petition seeking registration of a “sedition” case against the Imam was today moved in the Delhi High Court, which posted hearing on it on Monday with the direction to the petitioner to establish how such a writ was maintainable.

A criminal complaint was today filed against the Imam for making “objectionable and highly provocative” speeches.

In a related development, the Shiv Sena held demonstrations and demanding cancellation of the citizenship of Syed Ahmed Bukhari and his arrest of “treason.” UNI, PTI
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Laden funding J&K terrorists?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
As the intelligence and security agencies around the world are working overtime to probe all possible linkages of Osama bin Laden, the Indian agencies are now in possession of credible information about Bin Laden and two Muslim organisations based in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines funding terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources said here today that the Government of India had authentic information that the Philippines-based International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO) and the Mecca-based Rabitat al Alam al Islami (World Muslim League) were funding Kashmir terrorists in a big way.

Incidentally, the IIRO’s Philippines head Mohammad Jalaal Khalifa is Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, the sources disclosed. Khalifa is the intermediary between Bin Laden and the Al Saayef terrorist outfit of the Philippines.

The IIRO is an offshoot of the Rabitat and one of the main subsidiaries of the Rabitat.

Meanwhile, as the international campaign against Bin Laden is intensifying, more details are coming up linking Pakistanis and its leaders to various groups and organisations involved in supporting terrorism.

Pakistani military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf is very close to the Rabitat. General Musharraf is also the President of the Rabitat Welfare Trust. Rabitat is an apex body which funds various organisations and groups for the ostensible purpose of the Muslim community around the world.

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Capt Suri gets MVC posthumously
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
President K.R. Narayanan today conferred the country’s second highest gallantry award, the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) posthumously on Capt Gurjinder Singh Suri and decorated 30 other armed forces personnel and civilians with the Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra at the investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Among the civilians to be decorated are two Village Defence Committee (VDC) members from militancy-hit Doda in Jammu and Kashmir. Teenagers Amrik Singh and Surjit Singh, from Thatri village in Doda district, have been awarded Shaurya Chakras for keeping heavily-armed terrorists at bay for an entire night by using weapons of their slain family members.

The Prime Minister his cabinet colleagues and top military and civil brass were also present. Later at the reception, the two VDC personnel informed the Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, that though they had shown exemplary courage, their application for enrolment in the state police or paramilitary forces had not been entertained. The Home Minister asked them to meet him tomorrow in this regard.

The President gave away 11 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, one Mahavir Chakra, five Kirti Chakras, 16 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, one Bar to AVSM, one Vir Chakra and 24 Shaurya Chakras.

Capt Suri’s father, Lt-Col T.P. Suri (retd), received the award.

Besides the young Captain, the only other gallantry award winner to get the Vir Chakra posthumously was Subedar Ujeen Singh Shekawat for special operations against the enemy in the Chamb sector.

Of the 24 Shaurya Chakras, nine were awarded posthumously as were three of the five Kirti Chakras for daring action by officers and soldiers in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East.

Dharam Pal was the third civilian to be decorated with a Shaurya Chakra for displaying courage.

Among the recipients of the Param Vishist Seva Medals, were Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta, Air Marshal T.J. Masters, Air Marshal K.S. Bindra and Vice-Admiral Rajeshwar Nath. Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal, test pilot who flew the maiden flight of the country’s indigenous light combat aircraft, was decorated with a Kirti Chakra.
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Naqvi likely to be new BJP gen secy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
BJP President K. Jana Krishnamurthi is consulting senior party leaders to find suitable replacement in his team of office-bearers for Mr Narendra Modi who became the Gujarat Chief Minister last week.

While probable names have not yet been finalised, there is a consensus in the party for elevating party national secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to the post of the general secretary to replace Mr Modi, sources said.

Mr Modi, who apart from being in charge of the organisation, was also one of the three spokespersons of the BJP.

While Mr Naqvi, because of his good rapport with the media, is tipped to become one of the three spokespersons, general secretary Pyarelal Khandelwal is likely to be given charge of organisation, sources said.

Since a void has been created by shifting of Mr Modi to Gujarat, the party President is said to be keen on roping in a party leader from Gujarat itself, sources said adding that state unit general secretary in charge of organisation Sanjay Joshi is likely to be appointed as national secretary in place of Mr Naqvi.

Sources said that Mr Jana Krishnamurthi had completed consultations with the party leaders but a final announcement would be made only after Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee gave his final approval.
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Ramani spots Manu, but isn’t sure

New Delhi, October 12
Ms Bina Ramani, a key eyewitness in the Jessica Lal murder case, today identified the prime accused Siddharth Vasisth, alias Manu Sharma by touching him, but was quick to tell a city court that it did not satisfy her that he was the same man who had allegedly shot the model on April 29, 1999.

A visibly nervous Ms Ramani took some time to identify Manu among the accused present in the court of Additional Sessions Judge R.L. Chugh, but said it did not satisfy her that he was the same person whom she had confronted immediately after the offence.

After examining the accused again and again, she pointed towards Manu and touched him for confirmity when asked by the Judge, but added quickly that the person who was confronted by her on the stairs of the premises after the incident was somewhat like him.

When asked by the court to identify other persons who were with the accused on the fateful night, the NRI fashion designer and socialite, without mentioning the names touched three other accused, Amardeep Singh Gill alias Tony, Alok Khanna and Vikas Yadav, son of a former MP D.P. Yadav.

The socialite told the court that on the fateful Thursday night, she had organised a special farewell party for her husband George Mailhot, who was to leave in two hours time for a world trip. PTI
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Waiver of visa charges sought
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October12
The Union Government has been urged to waive the visa charges for Sikhs and Hindus fleeing Afghanistan in order to facilitate their safe arrival in India.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Vice-Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities Tarlochan Singh has said that since Afghani Sikhs and Hindus fleeing that country would be having no money on them, the government might as well waive the visa charges.

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Protest march against sacrilege tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
The Tohra faction of the Akali Dal, the Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, today appealed to the President and Prime Minister to seek their response on the incidents of sacrilege in different parts of Punjab.

Addressing a press conference here today, SAD (Delhi) president Paramjit Singh Sarna said: “The response of the Badal government to these incidents has been slow and half-hearted. Had the government acted quickly and effectively soon after the first incident, the later incidents might have been avoided.”

Mr Sarna said they would take out a protest march on Sunday to express their concern on the incident and demand stern action against the perpetrators of the acts.
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Left parties protest against US strikes

New Delhi, October 12
Hundreds of workers of different Left parties today staged a demonstration near the American Center here, protesting against the US strikes in Afghanistan. Carrying placards and raising slogans denouncing the “imperialist war,” activists of the CPI, CPM, Forward Bloc, RSP and other organisations marched from Mandi House to the American Center under the watchful eyes of a heavy posse of police personnel. PTI
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BJP Yuva Morcha convention from today
Tribune News Service

Agra, October 12
The biggest-ever convention of the BJP Yuva Morcha will begin tomorrow at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Nagar, in the suburbs of the city, with a greater thrust on fighting terrorism and adoption of a national youth policy.

To be inaugurated by senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister L.K. Advani tomorrow morning, the convention is expected to be attended by nearly one lakh BJP activists leaders from across the country.
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MP to revive family courts
Our Correspondent

Bhopal, October 12
The Madhya Pradesh Government has decided to revive family courts, which it had wound up 11 years ago as of little use.

Chief Minister Digvijay Singh told a parliamentary committee on a visit to the state that seven family courts would be started in Madhya Pradesh from the International Women’s Day on March 8 next year. He invited the members of the committee to attend the function when the family courts would be launched. The central Family Courts Act, 1984, makes it obligatory for the state governments to establish a family court in every area comprising a city.

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UP officials have to go , says EC

New Delhi, October 12
Rejecting an Uttar Pradesh Government plea, the Election Commission has directed the state administration to forthwith suspend four senior officials, including a Special Secretary, found guilty of tampering electoral rolls along communal lines in the Thakurdwara Assembly constituency.

The commission at its deliberations here on Wednesday had rejected as “not tenable” reasons cited by the state Chief Secretary for not taking action against the four officials, as directed by the Election Commission on September 28.

The four officials are Special Secretary and former Moradabad District Magistrate S.K. Gupta, Subdivisional Magistrate R.K. Singhal, Tehsildar D.K. Sinha and Naib Tehsildar Satyendra Prakash. UNI

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NATIONAL BRIEFS

THREE GIRLS WASHED AWAY
HYDERABAD:
Three schoolgirls were washed away in the swollen Pedavagu rivulet in Prakasham district of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. The police said here on Friday that five girls on their way to school for their quarterly examination tried to cross the stream which was in spate. Two of them were rescued by villagers while three met with a watery grave. UNI

MINISTER’S CAR KILLS BOY
AIZAWL:
A seven-year-old boy was killed in a road accident by the official vehicle of a Mizoram minister at Dholia in Karimganj district of Assam last Saturday, the police said. The incident occurred when the Minister in charge of Environment and Forests, Mr Rualchhina, was returning from Shillong after attending a meeting, the police said on Friday. His car hit the boy, who later succumbed to injuries at a local hospital. The police said the minister met the boy at the hospital before his death and paid a token compensation to the family. UNI

CRACKER HURLED NEAR TEMPLE, 8 HURT
PURI:
Eight persons were injured, one of them seriously, when miscreants hurled a cracker near the Sri Jagannath Temple here on Friday, the police said. The injured were taken to the district headquarters hospital, where a student was admitted. The rest were discharged after being administered first aid. Security has been tightened outside and inside the shrine following the incident. PTI

BJP LEADER SHOT DEAD IN KANPUR
KANPUR:
Senior BJP Contract Labour Board Chairman Santosh Shukla was shot dead by supporters of a criminal on the premises of Shivali police station adjoining Kanpur Dehat district on Friday, a police spokesman said here. UNI

HOUSE WINTER SESSION
NEW DELHI:
The winter session of Parliament is likely to begin on November 19. According to Lok Sabha sources, the five-week session may end on December 21. However, the House is likely to adjourn for the day on November 19. PTI

MANIPUR ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
IMPHAL:
Manipur Governor Ved Prakash Marwah has decided to recommend to the Centre to hold Assembly elections in the state in February next. Talking to newspersons at the Raj Bhavan on Friday, Mr Marwah said as the term of the President’s rule would expire in December, he had decided to recommend holding of poll as early as possible. UNI
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