Tuesday, November 13, 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

NA’s entry into Kabul: Fernandes backs USA
Patna, November 12
Defence Minister George Fernandes today backed the US’ decision asking the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance to refrain from entering Kabul in its current military offensive till post-militia dispensation was put in place.

UK Defence Secretary coming today
New Delhi, November 12
British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is arriving here on a day’s visit tomorrow for discussing primarily the defence issues, particularly the negotiations for the nearly Rs 6,000-crore advanced jet trainer deal hanging fire for years.

Seven more join Uttaranchal ministry
Dehra Dun, November 12
The Chief Minister of Uttaranchal Mr Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has inducted seven more ministers into this council of ministers taking the total to 13.

Hike in rail fare ruled out
Patna, November 12
Railway Minister Nitish Kumar today ruled out any hike in railway fare in near future and asserted that the ongoing projects would be executed expeditiously.

Dispute hampers Railways GMs’ appointment
Kolkata, November 12
The process of the appointment of five general managers in the Indian Railway has come to a halt following a dispute between the Railway Board and the Home Ministry over the process of empanelment of the GMs’ list.

A woman shops for utensils A woman shops for utensils on the occasion of Dhanteras at a shop in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, on Monday. People purchase ornaments and utensils on the festival, which is celebrated two days before Divali. 
— Reuters

2 RJD leaders shot
Daltonganj, November 12
Naxalites struck at two places killing two RJD leaders and injuring another, blowing up a Railway line and torching six vehicles in Jharkhand today. 



Diya Mirza
Model-turned-actress Diya Mirza poses for photographers during a news conference to promote her new movie, “Deewaanapan” in New Delhi on Monday. The movie, directed by Ashu Trikha, is due to be released on November 16. 
— Reuters 
(28k, 56k)

EARLIER STORIES

 
A security guard stands in front of a jewellery shop
A security guard stands in front of a jewellery shop decorated with the face of a woman in Calcutta on Monday. 
— Reuters

NCERT science exhibition
New Delhi, November 12
The National Council of Educational Research and Training and the Uttar Pradesh Government are organising a week-long exhibition on the theme ‘Science and Technology for Development’ in Allahabad.

At the first glance one would think that a picture has been pasted inside a bottle. But when given a closer look, one would be taken by surprise to see a painting that has been meticulously made from inside the bottle. These are the creations of V. Sridhar. (28k, 56k)

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NA’s entry into Kabul: Fernandes backs USA

Patna, November 12
Defence Minister George Fernandes today backed the US’ decision asking the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance to refrain from entering Kabul in its current military offensive till post-militia dispensation was put in place.

He told reporters here that India wanted a broadbased government in Afghanistan after the Taliban were ousted from power but at the same time there was reason in the US decision to hold back the Northern Alliance from entering Kabul till an alternative ruling combination was cobbled together.

Mr Fernandes supported continued US attacks in Afghanistan during Ramzan saying bringing religious sentiments in the fight against terrorism “did not make any sense.”

“I don’t think we should bring religion into it .... What is happening in Afghanistan is not a fight against religion .... it is a fight against terrorism and a terrorist has no religion,” he said.

Asked to comment on the suggestion by some countries that US strikes should stop in view of rising civilian casualties, he said “I want to know of any war, in which innocent civilians are not killed. We have lost over 30,000 innocent civilians in the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. Don’t Kashmiris have human rights ?” he asked.

Asked if it was fair on the USA’s part to wage a global war against terrorism only after becoming a target itself, he said it was a fact that it had never looked at terrorism as a major danger till it “paid a price for it.”

“A number of countries have been trying hard to drill this fact into the US mind and a large number of people in that country also share our view,” Mr Fernandes said. PTITop

 

UK Defence Secretary coming today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 12
British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is arriving here on a day’s visit tomorrow for discussing primarily the defence issues, particularly the negotiations for the nearly Rs 6,000-crore advanced jet trainer (AJT) deal hanging fire for years.

Mr Hoon will meet Defence Minister George Fernandes tomorrow afternoon and Union Home Minister L.K. Advani in the evening. However, his first meeting here could be in the forenoon with Leader of Opposition Sonia Gandhi.

The AJT deal, pending for the past 17 years was nearly clinched earlier this year but finally got stuck because of price squabbling.

According to sources in the Ministry of External Affairs, the ministry had got nothing to do with Mr Hoon’s visit and it was a out and out a Ministry of Defence show. Mr Fernandes is hosting dinner in the honour of Mr Hoon tomorrow.

Mr Hoon will be the fourth top Western leader to visit India in the past few weeks in rapid succession after the visits of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, US Secretary of State Colin Powell and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.Top

 

Seven more join Uttaranchal ministry
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, November 12
The Chief Minister of Uttaranchal Mr Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has inducted seven more ministers into this council of ministers taking the total to 13.

In a simple ceremony held in the Raj Bhavan here today, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor, administered the oath of office and secrecy to the three new Cabinet and four state ministers. Portfolios would be reallocated to the ministry on November 15.

Mr Bansidhar Bhagat, former agriculture minister, who was earlier dropped during the formation of the new government has been inducted as a Cabinet minister. Two new faces, Mr Lakhe Ram Joshi, MLA from Tehri, and Mr Tilak Raj Behar, MLA from Haldwani, have also been inducted as Cabinet ministers.

Mrs Nirupma Gaur, Mr Narayan Singh Rana, Mr Tirath Singh Rawat and a new face, Mr Gyan Chand, have been inducted as state ministers.

Mr Lakhe Ram Joshi and Mr Gyan Chand were among the dissident MLAs who had differences with Mr Nityanand Swami, former Chief Minister.

Soon after the oath-taking ceremony, Mr Koshiyari told the TNS that the portfolios would be re-allocated to the ministers on November 15. Top

 

Hike in rail fare ruled out

Patna, November 12
Railway Minister Nitish Kumar today ruled out any hike in railway fare in near future and asserted that the ongoing projects would be executed expeditiously.

Addressing mediapersons after flagging off the Patna-Howrah Shatabdi Express train here, Mr Kumar said the recent levy of 20 per cent surcharge on passenger fare was to be utilised on safety measures.

The additional revenue earned out of the surcharge would be spent on renewal of railway tracks, modernisation and upgradation of signalling system and other allied heads relating to safety, he stated.

The surcharge for safety had nothing to do the with security of passengers which continued to be the joint responsibility of the state governments concerned and the Railway Protection Force (RPF), he declared.

To make the RPF more effective, the force would be vested with adequate powers for which some amendments to the Indian Railways Act would be undertaken, the Railway Minister observed.

He declared that Patna would have direct railway link with Bangalore from December 29, but indicated that the introduction of a direct train from Patna to the North-East might take some time.

About the Patna-Howrah Shatabdi Express, Mr Kumar said this was the 14th such prestigious train in the country connecting the metropolis with industrial and commercial hubs.

The flagging-off function was attended, among others, by Defence Minister George Fernandes, Union Health Minister C.P. Thakur and senior officials of the Railway Board and Eastern Railway. UNITop

 

Dispute hampers Railways GMs’ appointment
Our Correspondent

Kolkata, November 12
The process of the appointment of five general managers (GMs) in the Indian Railway has come to a halt following a dispute between the Railway Board and the Home Ministry over the process of empanelment of the GMs’ list.

Railway Board officials feel if the stalemate is not resolved immediately, at least 12 major zonal railways in the country will be run with a stop-gap arrangement empowering the junior officials to act as general mangers, which will affect promotion prospects of some 20 senior IRS officials.

The Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, who had taken up the matter with the Home Ministry, has failed to end the deadlock. He may have to seek the Prime Minister’s intervention to settle the dispute.

There are 13 zonal railways and five other production units where GM’s post has been allotted. Five railways in which GM’s posts are lying vacant, include Eastern Railway, S.E. Railway, Northern Railway, Metro Railway and the DLW in Benaras.

Over 17 lakh employees are now working in these zonal railways and other production units who are running and maintaining some 8,000 mail trains and 12,000 odd local and goods trains all over the country.

According to Railway Ministry sources, the stalemate was created during the empanelment of 12 senior IRS officials for the GM’s post under the former Railway Board Chairman, Mr Ashoke Kumar. The list included Mr S.M. Singla, Chief Engineer, Northern Railway, whose empanelment was not in order, but still the list was sent to the Directorate of Personnel for its formal approval. But the list was soon returned to the Railway Board with a direction to re-empanel it.

However, the Board again sent the same list at the instance of Mr Nitish Kumar as the minister found nothing wrong in the empanelment. But the Home Ministry still stuck to its stand and returned the file to the Board, which has been waiting for the minister’s direction since then.

Mr Nitish Kumar, however, is now busy in various development programmes in his home constituency in Bihar as he fears losing the portfolio to Ms Mamata Banerjee.Top

 

2 RJD leaders shot

Daltonganj, November 12
Naxalites struck at two places killing two RJD leaders and injuring another, blowing up a Railway line and torching six vehicles in Jharkhand today.

Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) extremists killed RJD leaders of Latehar district, Riyaz Khan and Jogeswar Yadav, and injured another partyman Kuldip Thakur, at Makaiatand village, Latehar Superintendent of Police said.

The RJD leaders had once been active members of the Krantikari Kisan Samiti, a front organisation of the MCC.

People’s War Group (PWG) members blew up Railway lines between Karkatta and Untari stations and set ablaze six commercial vehicles in Palamu district.

A crater was formed when the 50-foot rail stretch was blasted which affected movement of trains on the Garhwa Road-Dehri-on-Sone section of Mughalsarai division since 2 a.m., Railway sources said.

PWG activists also torched four trucks, a bus and a jeep on the Daltonganj-Aurangabad road near Kanda valley in the district, official sources said here. PTITop

 

NCERT science exhibition
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 12
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Uttar Pradesh Government are organising a week-long exhibition on the theme ‘Science and Technology for Development’ in Allahabad.

Scheduled to begin on Saturday, the exhibition will be inaugurated by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi.

A press note issued by the NCERT here said the sub-themes of the exhibition are food, health and nutrition for all, industry, transport and communication, energy, information and technology. Scientific models developed by school children from 33 states and union territories, regional institutes of education, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, schools run by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and some Gulf countries, will be on display.

The exhibits have been selected from state-level science exhibitions held previous year. Besides 25 schools from Allahabad, some government departments, including the Indian Remote Sensing Agency, Department of Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and non-government organisations will display their models at the exhibition.Top

 

Salman’s brother gets bail

Mumbai, November 12
Upcoming actor Sohail Khan, brother of film star Salman Khan, was today arrested in an assault case and later released on bail by a local court.

Besides Sohail, his friend Anil Sachdeo was also arrested and enlarged on bail. They were charged with assaulting actor Kabir Merchant at a hotel here yesterday.

The duo were arrested around 2 pm today and produced before Metropolitan Magistrate M. H. Belose who granted them bail on a bond of Rs 3,000 and one surety of like amount each. PTI
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Tagore house collapses

Barrackpore, November 12
A major portion of the 200-year-old palatial house, once the residence of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, collapsed at Shyamnagar in North 24 Parganas last evening.

At present, 12 families were staying in the house, ‘Shyamnagar Rajbari’ on the eastern banks of the Hoogly river.
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Ambedkar memorial
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 12
The construction of Dr Ambedkar National Library and Dr Ambedkar National Memorial is likely to start by April 14, his birth anniversary.

Announcing this at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Satyanarayan Jatiya said while the land for the construction of national library in the Capital had been obtained, land and property for setting up Dr Ambedkar memorial was expected to be finalised shortly.
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

ADDL CHARGE FOR ASSAM GOVERNOR
KOLKATA:
The Assam Governor, Lt-Gen S.K. Sinha, on Monday assumed additional charge of West Bengal in the absence of Mr Viren J. Shah, who has proceeded on a 17-day leave. The Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, Mr Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur, administered him the oath of office. Mr Shah, who left on a tour of Southeast Asia on Sunday, is scheduled to be back on November 27, official sources said. UNI

ORIYA DAILY MD DIES IN MISHAP
CUTTACK:
Mr Kali Charan Panda, Managing Director of the Oriya daily Anupam Bharat, who was injured in a road accident on Saturday, died at SCB Medical College and Hospital here on Monday, family sources said. Panda (41) founded the newspaper, published from Berhampur. PTI

KIN OF VEERAPPAN ARRESTED
SALEM:
Four close relatives of elusive sandalwood smuggler Veerappan have been arrested by the police on charges of receiving Rs 14 lakh alleged to have been sent by the outlaw and Rs 5.7 lakh in cash seized from them. The four, including three women, were arrested from Jalagandapuram village near Mettur in the district on Sunday. PTI

HC STAYS ORDER IN GULSHAN CASE
MUMBAI:
The Mumbai High Court has stayed an order of a lower court which rejected prosecution’s plea to treat the approver in Gulshan Kumar murder case as an accused and not as a witness in view of his hostile attitude. Mr Justice Vikay Tahilramani, on November 9, stayed the impugned order until an appeal filed by the Maharashtra Government was disposed of. Earlier, the same Judge had granted an interim stay. PTI

KERALA ASSEMBLY STALEMATE RESOLVED
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
The stalemate in the Kerala Assembly over the suspension of three LDF MLAs ended on Monday with the Opposition expressing regret over the ‘unfortunate’ incidents in the House on October 18. A consensus on resolving the deadlock was reached at a meeting of the floor leaders of both the ruling and opposition parties convened by Speaker Vakkom Purushotham after question hour. PTI

3 DIE ON INHALING CARBON MONOXIDE
KOLKATA:
Three members of a family died after inhaling carbon monoxide when they went for unauthorised mining in an abandoned colliery of Eastern Coalfields Limited at New Kenda, near Asansol, on Sunday. Official sources said here on Monday that the deceased had been identified as Rabi Majhi (50), Lal Majhi (35) and his wife Sonemani Majhi (32). UNI

EX-OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH CONTEMPT
NEW DELHI:
A dismissed employee of the Customs and Excise Department has been charged with criminal contempt of court for his scandalous remarks made in the Delhi High Court. The dismissed employee, M.Z. Khan, had made the remarks before a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice B.A. Khan and Mr Justice Sharda Aggarwal during the hearing of his petition, filed for the review of an earlier high court order upholding his dismissal from service. Khan made scandalous remarks against the judiciary and government counsel Ashok Bhasin. The court directed Khan to pay Rs 50,000. UNI
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