Thursday, October 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

First-ever spy satellite
New Delhi, October 24
The Indian satellite launched on Monday by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C3 from Sriharikota has military use capability and may well be India’s first-ever spy satellite, well-placed sources said here today.

Cell to thwart anthrax attack
New Delhi, October 24
Recovery of two suspected anthrax-lased letters from the office of Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, the Government has directed all the Government Departments and Ministries to create a centralised mail sorting cell to prevent any possibility of an anthrax attack.

Centre to involve states in housing
New Delhi, October 24
The Centre will involve the states in preparing the reforms programme for the housing and real estate sector, the Union Urban Development Minister, Ananth Kumar said here today.

A delegation led by BJP MP Bhairon Singh Shekhawat called on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi on Wednesday before their departure to China. — PTI

Jogi must quit, says BJP
New Delhi, October, 24
The Bharatiya Janata Party today demanded the resignation of Chattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi on moral grounds.

Marxists woo the devout in Bengal
Kolkata, October 24
Marxists in Bengal, who often call themselves atheists, have come out in the streets to use Durga pujas for their political gain.

Haj flights from three more cities
New Delhi, October 24
The government has decided to add Lucknow, Srinagar and Calicut to the existing stations from where Haj flights will be operated from November 12.




A customer looks at the book "Osama bin Laden The King of Terror" in a bookstore in Bhopal on Wednesday. Since the September 11 strikes in the United States, many people have rushed to book stores across the country to purchase books on Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

 

Film actresses Nandita Das and Rekha at the music album release function of Jagmohan Mundra's "Bhawandar," in Mumbai on Tuesday night. — PTI


Sculptors giving finishing touch to the engraved pillars for the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday. — PTI

Vajpayee makes peace with RSS
New Delhi, October 24
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has, at last, made peace with the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh which, till the other day, did not approve of his policies.

Proof of killing in defence rests with accused: SC
New Delhi, October 24
In a major ruling, the Supreme Court has held that if a murder case accused takes the plea that he resorted to killing only in self defence, the onus of proof rests on him.

Museum on Sikh history opened
New Delhi, October 24
A museum on Sikh history was opened in the Capital today in memory of great martyrs Bhai Mati Das and Sati Das who sacrificed their lives along with Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru.

Nigerian held with heroin
New Delhi, October 24
Three kilogram of fine quality white heroin worth Rs 5 crore in the international market was seized from a Nigerian citizen at Indira Gandhi International Airport yesterday.

Minor girl returns home after 2 years
Sriganganagar, October 24
A minor girl returned to her home in Sadulshahr, near here, after more than two and a half years. She along with her brother had gone missing from Chandigarh.

New Pondy CM to assume office on Oct 27
Pondicherry, October 24
Mr N. Rangaswami will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Pondicherry here on October 27.
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First-ever spy satellite
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
The Indian satellite launched on Monday by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C3 from Sriharikota has military use capability and may well be India’s first-ever spy satellite, well-placed sources said here today.

The satellite can prove to be useful for keeping a sharp eye on the movement of terrorists along the Line of Control virtually at will, sources said.

The satellite is understood to be fitted with a sophisticated panchromatic camera having one-metre resolution. Hitherto, Indian satellites have been equipped with five-metre resolution cameras.

Sources said one-metre resolution camera can take fine pictures of objects as small as one metre. This can facilitate keeping a closer and far more effective watch on the movement of humans along the LoC — the treacherous 740-km-long stretch being used by Pakistan-aided terrorists more than a decade for infiltration and exfiltration.

However, one-metre resolution camera is virtually primitive as compared to the satellite technology with developed countries. Western spy satellites have such capabilities that these can have not only a clear photograph of the targeted man standing on the ground but also can focus on the cigarette the man is smoking and even tell the brand of it.

The western satellites have such a hawkish eye that they can focus on a car on the ground, moving or stationary, and clearly show its number plate even. It is not known whether the Indian satellite launched on Monday has similar capabilities.

During the 1999 Kargil war India felt the pinch of not having an effective system of espionage from the space. The Kargil Review Committee, which conducted a detailed analysis of the Kargil war and made a series of recommendations, had strongly underpinned the need for India having a vibrant spy satellite technology.

With this satellite, India may well have entered the select club of nations who own spies in the skies.

A security source said the satellite could well mark a watershed in combating militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in the way as fencing of the Punjab border with Pakistan was in fighting militancy in Punjab in late eighties.
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Cell to thwart anthrax attack
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
Recovery of two suspected anthrax-lased letters from the office of Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, the Government has directed all the Government Departments and Ministries to create a centralised mail sorting cell to prevent any possibility of an anthrax attack.

The direction issued by the Home Ministry came a day after two suspicious letters containing some powdery substance, addressed to the Home Minister, were received at his North Block Office.

Confirming this Home Secretary Kamal Pande told The Tribune that centralised mail sorting cell had already started functioning in the North Block, where trained personnel had been posted. He hoped that other Government Departments and Ministries would also immediately follow suit.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister L.K. Advani talking to reporters on the sidelines of ITBP’s 40th Raising Day celebrations said “although no cases of anthrax so far have been found to be positive, the Government is not taking any chance.”

“The laboratory tests conducted at DRDO for letters received at Gwalior and Chennai have revealed that they contained only chalk powder,” he said adding “there seems to be an attempt to create terror and panic.’

Urging the people not to get panicky about anthrax, the Home Minister wanted them to be vigilant.
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Powder found inside mail for Swami

Dehra Dun, October 24
Panic followed the receipt of a suspicious envelope at the residence of Uttaranchal Chief Minister Nityanand Swami yesterday.

The police immediately reached the spot as it was feared that there might be anthrax inside the envelope.

Powder found inside the envelope has been sent for analysis to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi.

Sources at the establishment of the Chief Medical Officer here said the envelope contained a message in Urdu bearing the name “Laden”. UNI
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Centre to involve states in housing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
The Centre will involve the states in preparing the reforms programme for the housing and real estate sector, the Union Urban Development Minister, Ananth Kumar said here today.

He said a national summit of the Chief Ministers would be convened by the Prime Minister in the next couple of months to evolve a consensus for carrying out reforms in housing and real estate sector.

Addressing a CII conference on real estate, Mr Kumar said the Government would also set up a Task Force in a week to strengthen Government-industry partnership.

Mr Kumar said there were several issues like the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, the Model Rent Control Act and the Property Tax, to reform which would require the consensus of the States. Consensus on all these key issues was necessary for encouraging the real estate sector, he added.

The Centre would constitute a Task Force with industry representatives in a week, to strengthen public-private partnership in developing the real estate sector, Mr Kumar said, adding an Advisory Panel would also be set up in 15 days for monitoring the progress of reforms.

On industry’s demand for allowing 100 per cent FDI in real estate, he said India would come up with the norms which were best suited here and might not necessarily adopt those in East Asian nations.

In case the real estate sector is opened to the foreign investors then there would be a minimum lock-in period for those FDIs to ensure that there was no overnight flight of investments.
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Jogi must quit, says BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October, 24
The Bharatiya Janata Party today demanded the resignation of Chattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi on moral grounds.

Addressing mediapersons, BJP spokesman Sunil Shastri said Mr Jogi should step down in the light of the rejection of his claim of being a tribal by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Declining to accept a parallel between the induction of Mr George Fernandes in the Union Cabinet even before the Venkatswami Commission probing into the Tehelka expose tapes and Mr Jogi, Mr Shastri said the latter’s claim had already been rejected and if the courts of the land gave a different verdict on his claim of being an ST, then it would be a different case. Mr Shastri denied reports in some quarters that the National Executive meeting of the party would be held as scheduled on November 2-3 at Amritsar.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would attend the Executive meeting on November 3 and deliver the concluding address, Mr Shastri said, adding that the Prime Minister would later address a party workers’ meeting. The meeting with the party workers assumes importance in the context of the coming Assembly poll in Punjab, he said.

Earlier, the spokesman officially announced the visit of a six-member delegation to China. The delegation, led by former Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, today held meetings with the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh.

Both Mr Vajpayee and Mr Jaswant Singh stressed on improvement of bilateral ties and ties between the BJP and the Communist Party of China, Mr Shastri said adding that the members of the delegation were also briefed by the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Apart from Mr Shastri and Mr Shekhawat, other members of the delegation were convener of the Foreign Affairs Committee Surendra Arora, Lieut-Gen (Retd) K.P. Candeth, Mr R. Ramakrishna and Mr Narpat Singh Rajvi.
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Marxists woo the devout in Bengal
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, October 24
Marxists in Bengal, who often call themselves atheists, have come out in the streets to use Durga pujas for their political gain.

The party has set up special camps near puja pandals from which they sell or distribute party booklets, pamphlets and other items to encourage more people, particularly, the youths, to join their party. These puja pandals draw a large number of crowds, whom the CPM is trying to woo.

Books written by Marxist leaders like Mr Muzzafar Ahmed (better known as Kakababu), Mr Jyoti Basu, Mr Saroj Mukherjee, the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharyya, and Mr Anil Biswas, the party secretary and published by Ganasakti, are on sale at cheap prices in these camps for mass circulation.

Side by side, there are books written by Karl Marx, Hegel, Angel and other Communist ideologists on sale.

Veteran leaders like Mr Jyoti Basu and Mr H.K. Surjeet have admitted that the party had suffered some set-back in Bengal as well as Kerala and Tripura, which had been their stronghold, following internal rivalry and squabbles on various matters.

In Bengal, some prominent leaders and workers like Mr Saifuddin Chowdhury, Mr Samir Putudanta, have left the party to form a new party. Mr Subhas Chakraborty, state Transport Minister, has also been not very happy, with the leadership. He has a large number of workers and supporters behind him in Kolkata and North 24-Parganas.

The party also suffered heavily very recently, following stiff opposition jointly by Trinamool Congress and BJP as partners of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), now in power at the Centre. Mr Biswas gave a call to those workers who had left the party to return. He, however, clarified that those against who disciplinary action had been initiated on charges of corruption and anti-party activities would not be allowed to rejoin the party.
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Haj flights from three more cities
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
The government has decided to add Lucknow, Srinagar and Calicut to the existing stations from where Haj flights will be operated from November 12.

Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain said here today that these stations had been included keeping in view the large number of Muslim population living in and around these cities.

This will reduce the arduous journey the Hajis have to take to reach other stations like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and Hyderabad.

The Kochi station, from where the Haj flight were operated last year, is now dropped from the list, the minister said, adding that the new stations had been included on the recommendations of the Central Haj Committee and Muslim community leaders.

In all, nearly 100,000 pilgrims are expected to fly to Jeddah by Air India and Saudia Airlines.

He said Air India would no longer use lease aircraft.
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Vajpayee makes peace with RSS
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has, at last, made peace with the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh which, till the other day, did not approve of his policies.

Guess who made it possible, it was none other than Mr Narayan Rao Tarte an RSS pracharak - who in forties, had initiated Mr Vajpayee into the Sangh at Gwalior.

The Prime Minister sought out Mr Tarte last year when the BJP National Council and Executive Committee meeting was held at Nagpur. Mr Vajpayee had visited Mr Tarte then.

Mr Tarte worked hard for reconciling the differences between his pupil and the alma mater and succeeded in getting Mr Vajpayee’s worst critics in the RSS see good and positive aspects of the NDA government and its policies.

Even RSS leader Dattopant Thengdi, champion of Swadeshi and patron of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, finally has agreed to give Mr Vajpayee and his National Democratic Alliance government a chance, a source said adding “we were all surprised when Mr Thengdi paid visits to the Prime Minister’s Office and residence”.

So much so, Mr Thengdi also attended a dinner at Mr Vajpayee’s invitation and during a felicitation ceremony of a veteran RSS pracharak Bapu Lele, which also was attended by Mr Thengdi, a great bonhomie was witnessed, sources said.

After long discussions, it has been agreed that it would be Mr Vajpayee’s responsibility now that there was a “level playing field both for the RSS and for the NDA allies”. Neither the RSS nor the NDA allies would try to embarrass each other by their “irresponisble statements and observations”, sources said adding that the responsibility to ensure that the understanding was not breached was Mr Vajpayee’s responsibility.

Sources said that the Prime Minister’s recent boldness and sharp observations as well as reinduction of Mr George Fernandes into the Union Cabinet with Defence portfolio can be attributed to his recently struck rapport with the RSS.

A direct fallout of the peace at RSS front, is that Mr Vajpayee does not have to bank upon Union Home Minister L.K. Advani who, till recently used to liaison with the RSS sources said adding that the Prime Minister “never forgets or forgives his rivals”.

The development has sharpened the ongoing conflict within the BJP over the control of the party, sources pointed out adding that the return of Tehelka tainted former party President Bangaru Laxman on to political centrestage was one evidence of it.

Mr Advani’s assertion at the BJP National Council meeting on Sunday in the capital that Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue had helped the party to attain power and thus cannot be abandoned was a result of Mr Vajpayee’s rapport with the RSS, sources said.
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Proof of killing in defence rests with accused: SC

New Delhi, October 24
In a major ruling, the Supreme Court has held that if a murder case accused takes the plea that he resorted to killing only in self defence, the onus of proof rests on him.

“Under Section 105 of the Evidence Act, the burden of proving that the act of the accused was protected as being one done in exercise of right of private defence lay on the accused,” a Bench comprising Mr Justice R.C. Lahoti and Mr Justice P. Venkatarama Reddi said in a recent judgement.

It was not necessary for the accused to have adduced any positive defence evidence to substantiate his plea if the same was highly probablised by prosecution evidence itself or by other material brought on record, Mr Justice Lahoti, writing the judgement for the Bench, said.

This ruling came in a case where the apex court upheld the conviction of Gurmit Singh, charged with murder of Kashmir Singh.

Gurmit contended that he had sustained injuries during the incident and took the plea that he resorted to killing only in self-defence. PTI
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Museum on Sikh history opened

New Delhi, October 24
A museum on Sikh history was opened in the Capital today in memory of great martyrs Bhai Mati Das and Sati Das who sacrificed their lives along with Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru.

The Bhai Mati Das museum, situated opposite Gurdwara Sisganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk, where the two Sikhs were executed along with the Guru on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1675, was inaugurated by Delhi Lieut Governor Vijay Kapoor. UNI
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Nigerian held with heroin

New Delhi, October 24
Three kilogram of fine quality white heroin worth Rs 5 crore in the international market was seized from a Nigerian citizen at Indira Gandhi International Airport yesterday.

Mr Arvind Deep, Deputy Commissioner of Police of IGI Airport, said here today that the Palam Airport police received a secret information that a Nigerian citizen carrying a huge quantity of narcotics concealed in a false cavity of his bag would depart from the IGI Airport to Mumbai by a Jet Airways flight scheduled to leave at 1400 hours. UNI
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Minor girl returns home after 2 years
Tribune News Service

Sriganganagar, October 24
A minor girl returned to her home in Sadulshahr, near here, after more than two and a half years. She along with her brother had gone missing from Chandigarh.

A police team has been despatched to Chandigarh.

Sources informed the minor, Rinki, was brought here and examined by doctors. She has given clues about her brother’s whereabouts.

In 1999, an acquaintance of the children took them to work in the house of a local landlord, Mr Joginder Singh.

He took them to his farmhouse in Badal village in Punjab and later to his residence in Sector 37-D, Chandigarh.

A few days later, the children were reported missing by Mr Singh. The parents registered a case against Mr Singh.

The sources said Rinki told the police that they had gone to an orphanage on their own.

There they were befriended by a nurse who took them to her house. She also arranged employment for the children.

Rinki revealed that the nurse later on got employment as a constable in the Chandigarh Police.

The parents of the missing children had picketed Sadulshahr police station many times.

They had later moved the Rajasthan High Court which had taken serious view of the matter and passed adverse remarks against the police.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr R.P. Singh, has constituted a special team to probe the case. 
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New Pondy CM to assume office on Oct 27

Pondicherry, October 24
Mr N. Rangaswami will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Pondicherry here on October 27.

According to official sources, the indication is that Mr Rangaswami alone would assume office on that day and his Cabinet colleagues on a later date since the composition of the Cabinet is yet to be finalised. The AIADMK and the TMC are yet to decide whether to take part in the ministry or not. UNI
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

ANTHRAX SCARE AT CM’S RESIDENCE
DEHRA DUN: An envelope containing white powder and with ‘Laden’ written on it in Urdu was received at the residence of Chief Minister Nityanand Swami, the police said on Wednesday. The envelope was found when the Chief Minister’s personal staff were sorting mail on Tuesday evening at his Park Road residence here, they said. PTI

MOTHER, DAUGHTER MURDERED
LUCKNOW:
Two female members of a business family were killed in the posh Gokhale Marg locality on Tuesday night. The bodies of Santosh Talwar (60) and her daughter Shailja Talwar (27) were found in a bedroom while their maid servant was found in a critical condition in another room. UNI

4 TEENAGE GIRLS DROWN IN CANAL
HYDERABAD:
Four teenage girls who had gone for a swim in the Taliperu Left Canal in Kothur village of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday evening, met with a watery grave. The police said the girls who plunged into the canal, were washed away and could not be saved by villagers who were in the vicinity. Their bodies were fished out eater and sent for post-mortem. UNI

RI FOR RETIRED RLY OFFICIAL
MADURAI:
A retired Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of the Southern Railway here was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5 lakh by a CBI court for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. The CBI had charged that the official I.S. Iqubal had amassed wealth to the tune of Rs 8.53 lakh between 1987 and 1995. PTI

FIVE KILLED IN ROAD MISHAP
AGRA:
Five persons, including two women and a young girl, were killed and 12 others injured when their Jeep rammed into an oil tanker near Nagla Sohanlal village on the Mathura-Agra highway, the police said on Wednesday. PTI

BUSINESSMAN IN ASSAM KIDNAPPED
GUWAHATI:
A businessman was kidnapped on Wednesday, apparently for ransom, by suspected ULFA militants in Assam’s Jorhat district, the police said. Deepak Agarwal was travelling in a bus when the ultras kidnapped him at gunpoint near the Maleng railway station, they said. PTI
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