Friday, November 16, 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

PM rejoices over Taliban defeat
New Delhi, November 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the military defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan was an occasion to rejoice as the Afghan people’s long-awaited journey from darkness to light had begun. (28k, 56k)

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee with the Dalai Lama at the World Congress for Preserving Religious Diversity in New Delhi on Thursday. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee with the Dalai Lama at the World Congress for Preserving Religious Diversity in New Delhi on Thursday.
— PTI photo
  • Oppose Taliban participation: CPM

PM briefs President
New Delhi, November 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today called on President K.R. Narayanan and during his hour-long interaction briefed the President about his just-concluded tour of the three Permanent Member countries of the United Nations Security Council — Russia, U.S.A. and the U.K.

Omar Abdullah visiting Ukraine, Belarus
New Delhi, November 15
With in 48 hours of the fall of Kabul to the Northern Alliance forces, the Minister of State for External Affairs today left for two Central Asian countries — Ukraine and Belarus — to discuss the post-Taliban political arrangement in Afghanistan.




EARLIER STORIES

 

Shariat violated: experts
New Delhi, November 15
If The Muslim Personal Law Act of 1937 has conveniently disregarded the Shariat by depriving women of their share in agricultural land, why should there be an outcry when women demand reinterpretation of the Quranic laws in other matters?

President's rule extended in Manipur
New Delhi, November 15
The Union Cabinet today approved the extension of President’s rule in Manipur beyond December 1, for six months.

CMs to discuss security tomorrow
New Delhi, November 15
To take stock of the internal security scenario across the country, especially, to examine the implications of the new dimension of terrorism that has emerged in the wake of September 11 terror attacks in the USA, the Centre has decided to hold a conference of State Chief Ministers here on November 17.

No change in N-policy: Chidambaram
Rajagopala ChidambaramNew Delhi, November 15
Asserting that the country’s nuclear control and command system was already in place, the new Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Dr R. Chidambaram, said today that the Pokhran-II nuclear tests were “eminently successful” and ruled out a change in the nuclear arms policy.

Dr Rajagopala Chidambaram, who has been appointed the new Principal Scientific Adviser to the Indian Government, speaks to journalists in New Delhi on Thursday. Dr Chidambaram played a key role in the 1998 Pokhran II nuclear explosions. — Reuters photo

SC convicts rapist on kids’ evidence
New Delhi, November 15
In a rare instance, the Supreme Court relied on the evidence given by two little boys to reverse a Bombay High Court order acquitting a person accused of raping and killing a three-year-old girl on Divali in 1995.

PM: child labour complex problem
New Delhi, November 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has called for the creation of a conducive and congenial environment saying it was essential for the overall growth and development of children.

Sky marshals on Air-India soon
New Delhi, November 15
In the backdrop of the changing security scenario, India’s international carrier, Air-India is likely to see the deployment of sky marshals on its flights in the near future.

27 die in bus-van collision in TN
Chennai, November 15
Twentyseven persons, including three women and an equal number of children, were killed and about 30 injured in a collision between a Tamil Nadu public transport bus and a van at Kovilpatti, about 600 km from here, today.
 

Chennai accident report in video
(28k, 56k)

Mawlong govt survives crisis
Shillong, November 15
The E.K. Mawlong government in Meghalaya today survived a major crisis when it scrambled up the numbers by inducting two rebel Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators and elevating another in the ministry after the NCP withdrew its support reducing it to a minority.

Tributes paid to Nehru
New Delhi, November 15
The nation paid homage to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 112th birth anniversary yesterday with President K.R. Narayanan laying a wreath at his samadhi at Shanti Van here.

Heritage theatre gutted, sabotage suspected
Kolkata, November 15
One of the oldest theatres in the city, “Biswarupa” was destroyed in a devastating fire early today.

Manjrekar award for VC
Coimbatore, November 15
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) Vice-Chancellor Dr S. Kannaiyan was awarded the prestigious Dr G.B. Manjrekar Memorial AMI award for 2001-2002 for his contributions for the development of microbiology.

Gill appointed envoy to Mexico

Teacher to get Keller award
Top




 

PM rejoices over Taliban defeat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the military defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan was an occasion to rejoice as the Afghan people’s long-awaited journey from darkness to light had begun.

Addressing the World Congress for Preserving Religious Diversity here, Mr Vajpayee stressed that the international cooperation against terrorism should be further strengthened as the fight against religious terrorism was yielding the desired results in Afghanistan.

“Now that the world community has known the true face of terrorism and now that international cooperation against terror has been proved to yield desired results, such cooperation should be continued and further strengthened around the world the Prime Minister said.

Referring to the destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA, Mr Vajpayee said “a single common causative thread” ran through them all — religious intolerance of the most extreme and violent kind.

While pointing out the multi-religious tolerant fabric of India, the Prime Minister observed: “Christanity came to India in the first century AD but not with the East India Company. Islam came to India in the seventh century AD but not with the Mahmud Of Ghazni.”

Oppose Taliban participation: CPM

Meanwhile, the CPM today asked the Vajpayee government “not to get pressurised” in accepting Taliban participation in any future dispensation in Afghanistan and to continue to oppose it .

In a written statement, the CPM Politburo expressed concern over the efforts of the USA and its allies to see that sections of the Taliban were brought into a future government in Afghanistan which was in process of being set up in the wake of the capture of Kabul by the forces of Northern Alliance.

While the Indian Government had earlier firmly rejected such proposals to include the “moderate” Taliban, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee stated at a press conference in London that liberal elements from the Taliban can be included in a future coalition, the statement pointed out saying that “this contradicts the earlier stand taken by the government”.

The UN has to work out a credible plan so that a representative and multi-ethnic government takes over in Kabul, the statement said.

In another statement, the CPM took a serious note of the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment’s decision to sell off Indian Petrochemical Corporation Ltd (IPCL) and demanded that the government should consider some alternative proposal.
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PM briefs President
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today called on President K.R. Narayanan and during his hour-long interaction briefed the President about his just-concluded tour of the three Permanent Member countries of the United Nations Security Council — Russia, U.S.A. and the U.K.

Prime Minister customarily calls on the President after his foreign tour to apprise the head of the state of his interactions with leaders of the countries he visits and today’s meeting between Mr Vajpayee and Mr Narayanan should be seen against this backdrop, Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said.

The Prime Minister gave a detailed briefing of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President George W. Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as well as his meetings with other senior leaders of these countries. Mr Vajpayee also briefed the President about his address to the 56th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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Omar Abdullah visiting Ukraine, Belarus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
With in 48 hours of the fall of Kabul to the Northern Alliance forces, the Minister of State for External Affairs today left for two Central Asian countries — Ukraine and Belarus — to discuss the post-Taliban political arrangement in Afghanistan.

Mr Omar Abdullah will be in Ukraine for three days and in Belarus for two days, official sources said. He is the first Union Minister in eight years to visit these countries.

His visit to Ukraine assumes significance in view of the fact that this Central Asian country had recently sold 300 tanks to Pakistan. He would be meeting Ukraine Prime Minister Anatoli Kinakh. Besides, Mr Abdullah would also be holding discussions with the Defence Minister and Foreign Minister of Ukraine.

India’s diplomatic relations with Ukraine and Belarus have been rather cool since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in early 1990s.
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Shariat violated: experts

New Delhi, November 15
If The Muslim Personal Law Act of 1937 has conveniently disregarded the Shariat by depriving women of their share in agricultural land, why should there be an outcry when women demand reinterpretation of the Quranic laws in other matters?

This was one of the main posers raised at a seminar on Equality and Rights of Muslim Women held here today.

Economist Dr Bina Agarwal of the Delhi University in her paper pointed out that in the past certain property rights of Muslim women were based on tradition, depending on the economy of the region.

For example, she said, in some southern states which had a tradition of matriarchy, Muslim women were given their share in agricultural land as directed by the Quran. But the Muslim Personal Law Act of 1937 did away with this right surrendering to the patriarchal hold of the family in the north.

However, some southern states amended the law after independence and reverted to the old system, but in other parts of the country, women continue to be deprived of their share in agricultural land due under the Shariat, she added.

The Shariat, she pointed out, did not make any distinction between agricultural and other property while determining a daughter’s share in the parental property.

Muslims in India are even lagging behind Pakistan where the law gives to women their due share in the agricultural land as guaranteed under the Shariat, she said.

Dr Agarwal said the main reason cited for this anomaly in India was that if women were given their share in agricultural property, it would lead to the break-up of the family, as a woman after marriage had to leave her parental house and her life becomes tied with another family.

Intervening in the discussions, various speakers said that sometimes it were social considerations that made women forgo her share in the property even if her parents agreed to give it to her.

Writer Sughra Menhdi and others felt that most of the times it was the custom of dowry that was coming in the way of women getting their due share in the property.

They said that even those who agreed in principle that a daughter should be given her due share, argue that when so much is given to the daughter in dowry, it would be unfair to her brothers if anything further is taken out from their property.

Thus women are deprived of their share in the immovable property, sometimes even for a dowry far less in value to the property they would otherwise have got, felt some of the speakers.

They called for serious efforts to eliminate dowry in the form it had taken today.

Sahba Farooqui of the Indian Federation of Women and some other speakers said that if provisions of the Shariat could be tampered with by men when it suited their convenience, it could well be at least reinterpreted when it came to other matters like rights of Muslim women relating to marriage divorce and maintenance.

The seminar was organised jointly by the Guild of Service, the Muslim Women’s Forum, the National Federation of Indian Women, the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation, and the Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society. UNI
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President's rule extended in Manipur

New Delhi, November 15
The Union Cabinet today approved the extension of President’s rule in Manipur beyond December 1, for six months.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, also decided that the sanction of Parliament would be obtained by moving a resolution in both Houses before December 1, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan told reporters.

Mr Mahajan said the extension of President’s rule was approved by the Cabinet after the Governor’s report that the ground situation in the state was still not conducive to hold elections.

Bowing to the demand of Christian Members of parliament and community leaders, the Cabinet approved the introduction of the Indian Succession (Amendment) Bill, 2001, which will enable a Christian widow to get a share in her husband’s property even when there is a contract to the contrary.

The Bill will also seek to delete clause in the Indian Succession Act, 1925, which says that a Christian widow and her children have to wait five years after the husband’s death for realisation of the will.

The spouse of a former or incumbent Vice-President will now be entitled to pensionary benefits and accommodation facilities as in the case of the President. The Cabinet decided that family pension would be paid at the rate of 50 per cent of pension as admissible to a retiring Vice-President for the remainder of his/her life. However, the Vice-President’s Pension Act, 1997, did not provide for pension or other facilities.

Mr Mahajan said the approval of the Cabinet would be sought by initiating a suitable amendment to the 1997 Act. UNI
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CMs to discuss security tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
To take stock of the internal security scenario across the country, especially, to examine the implications of the new dimension of terrorism that has emerged in the wake of September 11 terror attacks in the USA, the Centre has decided to hold a conference of State Chief Ministers here on November 17.

The conference, to be addressed by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, will deliberate threadbare the challenges posed by unconventional terrorist activities, including the use of weapons of mass destruction — nuclear, biological and chemical.

The first-ever Chief Ministers conference on internal security was held on August 5, 2001.

The deliberations will also focus on the impact of emerging global consensus against international terrorism in India’s immediate neighbourhood and how it could influence and reshape our own ongoing fight against terrorism being sponsored by Pakistan from across the border.

The recommendations contained in the comprehensive report on national security, submitted by the group of ministers led by Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, will form the basis for structuring new strategies — both offensive and defensive — against militancy and terrorism.

These strategies would take into account the imperatives of strengthening the preparedness of the Central and the State forces; enhancing the capacities of the intelligence apparatus; sound border and coastal security; plugging infiltration; controlling organised crime; and bringing those found indulging in terrorism and organised crime to speedy justice.

There will necessarily be a review of the efficacy of existing laws and instruments of investigation and law enforcement and a resultant examination of the need for new laws and instruments.

Mr Advani, the two Ministers of state for Home Affairs Vidyasagar Rao and I.D. Swami, Union Home Secretary Kamal Pande and several top Home Ministry officials will attend the conference.
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No change in N-policy: Chidambaram
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
Asserting that the country’s nuclear control and command system was already in place, the new Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Dr R. Chidambaram, said today that the Pokhran-II nuclear tests were “eminently successful” and ruled out a change in the nuclear arms policy.

He stressed that the country had the policy of maintaining a “credible nuclear deterrent”. On the status of India’s hydrogen bomb, he specifically said that although the yields of fusion and fission devices at Pokhran were expected, “they were eminently successful”.

Addressing the media after assuming new posting in the morning from his “illustrious colleague” Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who resigned lask week, Dr Chidambaram said that India had a “mature and strong foundation” of its nuclear programme. He pointed out that the country had made satisfactory progress in the development of nuclear weapons and its missile development programme was also well defined.

He ruled out the review of the moratorium on nuclear testing even in the face of the USA not signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). He said that New Delhi’s policy was very clear on the issue with the Prime Minister declaring a moratorium on further testing.

He said focus should also be on the use of nuclear technology in agro-processing and health besides the military and energy sectors. He stressed that the sanctions had hardly affected the country’s nuclear programme because the level of self-reliance was so high.

In fact, he said nuclear power production had gone up by 5 per cent in the period and the Nuclear Power Corporation had made a net profit of Rs 1,000 crore.

Although high priority would be given to the development of non-conventional energy, he saw India going ahead very rapidly in the field of nuclear power production.

“The target set in 1995 of producing 20,000 mw by 2020 looks to me entirely feasible”. At present India’s production is 3,000 mw which is three per cent of the total power generation.

Dr Chidambaram also ruled out the possibility of Saudi outlaw and his organisation the Al-Qaida possessing nuclear weapons. He said that assembling nuclear weapons was not an easy task and it involved a great deal of manpower from the scientific field.

Dr Chidambaram also wished to see India put a man on the moon. “India is too big a country not to be present in any field of science and technology”.

He said, “Any project of this kind is indicative of your capability. It’s not a stand-alone technology. Dr Kasturirangan (Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation) must make up his mind...but how you decide to spend is a matter of wisdom”.

Dr Chidambaram, however, felt that India could very well afford it as taking a satellite to the moon was not too different from the technology for other space launches.

But the man known to be one of the chief architects of the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998 clearly indicated that his heart was in utilising science for rural development technology.

He was of the opinion that while in the nuclear, space and defence fields India had done well, not enough of science and technology had gone into giving food and health security, improve life in rural areas and create national wealth.

He said rural development was very high on his agenda. The thrust must be increased especially in areas like agro food processing.

Another priority area, Dr Chidambaram said was creating manpower for science and technology. The government was thinking on the lines of ensuring school children a guaranteed career profile.

“In my opinion guaranteeing an assured career profile for young people in the 10 plus 2 stage would help attract talented youngsters to pursue careers in science”, he said.
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SC convicts rapist on kids’ evidence

New Delhi, November 15
In a rare instance, the Supreme Court relied on the evidence given by two little boys to reverse a Bombay High Court order acquitting a person accused of raping and killing a three-year-old girl on Divali in 1995.

Bharat Fakira Diwakar was convicted of raping and killing the girl on October 23, 1995 taking advantage of the absence of her guardians. He then carried the body in a bag and disposed it off in a nearby canal.

Two children of the locality, who were bursting crackers on the road, saw the accused taking a bag on his shoulder with blood dripping out of it. The police, after arresting the accused on the basis of this information, seized several blood stained garments after his confessional statement.

The trial court, after putting various questions to the two child witnesses, found they had answered all questions properly and sentenced the accused to death penalty for the murder and 10 years’ imprisonment for committing the rape.

The high court disbelieved the evidence of the two child witnesses and raised seven doubts over their credibility. The high court said in a congested locality why only two boys noticed the accused? whether the boys belonged to the locality at all? why only two and no other child was bursting crackers? why did they not inform their parents about it and that there were contradictions between their statement to police and to the court.

The Maharashtra Government challenged the acquittal order given by the high court in the Supreme Court.

An apex court Bench comprising Mr Justice K.T. Thomas and Mr Justice S.N. Variava said none of the reasons given by the high court was sufficient for the purpose of discarding the evidence of these two child witnesses.

Citing several rulings of the apex court on child witnesses, Mr Justice Variava said it was held that corroboration of the testimony of a child witness was not a rule but a measure of caution and prudence.

The Bench, however, cautioned that while appreciating the evidence of the child witness, the courts were required to rule out the possibility of the child being tutored.

Coming to the present case, the apex court said it did not find any material contradictions between the deposition given in court and the statement given by them to police.

“The trial court has found the evidence of the children witnesses to be reliable and truthful. We also find the evidence to be reliable and truthful,” the Bench said upholding the trial court decision to convict him. PTI
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PM: child labour complex problem
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has called for the creation of a conducive and congenial environment saying it was essential for the overall growth and development of children.

He said in his recent address to the UN General Assembly, he had called for a global initiative in this regard. Mr Vajpayee was inaugurating here today an International Children’s Assembly, organised by the National Bal Bhavan to mark the Children’s Day.

Referring to child labour, the Prime Minister said for us it was a very complex problem. However, steps were being taken to deal with this in consonance with Indian conditions, providing for their education and extra-curricular activities.
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Sky marshals on Air-India soon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
In the backdrop of the changing security scenario, India’s international carrier, Air-India is likely to see the deployment of sky marshals on its flights in the near future.

The Civil Aviation Ministry already having deployed sky marshals on domestic routes on a random basis is now working on a plan for the presence of security personnel on the international routes also. The deployment would apparently be made shortly on selected and sensitive routes.

The move comes in the backdrop of the September 11 terror strikes in the US, LTTE attack on Colombo airport and last month’s incident in which two Afghan nationals landed at Heathrow airport in London on an Air-India flight without travel documents and tickets.

Reports here said that the ministry was also working on a “contingency plan” to meet threats to aviation, including measures to counter attacks like the terror strike in the US. A review of security arrangements at major airports, jointly by the Intelligence Bureau, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and other agencies, has also already been done as part of the exercise.

The government is also contemplating to bring in a new Civil Aviation Security Act to strengthen aviation security on the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The ministry has also decided to increase the number of domestic flights on which the sky marshals would be deployed. Currently, the security personnel were being pressed into service on routes “on a random basis” including those being operated by the private airlines.

In an effort to create a separate aviation security force, the BCAS has so far trained 11,000 personnel in handling of aviation security.

The BCAS has also given approval to the security programmes of foreign air carriers and private domestic operators like the Jet Airways, Air Sahara and Jagson.
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27 die in bus-van collision in TN

Chennai, November 15
Twentyseven persons, including three women and an equal number of children, were killed and about 30 injured in a collision between a Tamil Nadu public transport bus and a van at Kovilpatti, about 600 km from here, today.

All victims were travelling in the van, which was mangled in the collision and dragged for about 100 by the bus, reports received here said. While 25 persons died on the spot, two succumbed at a hospital, they said.

About 30 persons, including the driver of the van, were injured. While 15 of them were admitted to a hospital at Kovilpatti, five were taken to a government hospital at Tirunelveli and the others were discharged after administering first-aid, the reports added.

According to official sources, the driver of the bus had been employed on a temporary basis, following the strike by employees of various state government public transport undertakings since Friday. PTI
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Mawlong govt survives crisis

Shillong, November 15
The E.K. Mawlong government in Meghalaya today survived a major crisis when it scrambled up the numbers by inducting two rebel Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators and elevating another in the ministry after the NCP withdrew its support reducing it to a minority.

“There is no threat to the government,’’ Chief Minister E.K. Mawlong said after the swearing-in ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan this afternoon.

Three new Ministers of State, including rebel NCP MLAs Abdus Aleh and Methrona Marak, were inducted and six Ministers of State, including rebel NCP MLA B.K. Sangma, were elevated to Cabinet rank at a hurriedly convened swearing-in ceremony.

Earlier in the day, the NCP pulled out of the 20-month-old Mawlong government reducing it to a minority. An NCP delegation, led by its president Robert Kharshiing, met Governor M.M. Jacob and informed the party high command’s decision to withdraw support to the Mawlong government.

Mr Kharshiing told reporters at the Raj Bhavan shortly after his meeting with the Governor that an alternative government would be formed by tomorrow evening when NCP national secretary P.A. Sangma arrived in Shillong.

The other new face in the ministry is Rasor Rani (UDP) and the UDP ministers elevated to Cabinet rank are P.T. Sawkmie, R.A. Lyngdoh, R.L. Tariang, J.A. Lyngdoh and Cyprian R. Sangma.

The Governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to the ministers at a simple ceremony.

Later talking to reporters the Chief Minister said he enjoyed majority and there was no threat to his government. UNI
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Tributes paid to Nehru

New Delhi, November 15
The nation paid homage to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 112th birth anniversary yesterday with President K.R. Narayanan laying a wreath at his samadhi at Shanti Van here.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee inaugurated the International Children’s Assembly and integration camp here on the occasion, also celebrated as Children’s Day.

Later at a function at Bal Bhavan, while receiving his own portrait, Mr Vajpayee said he could have been presented with a portrait of Nehru or a row of earthern lamps or children of Kabul who are feeling free today.

Among others who paid floral tributes to the architect of modern India at Shanti Van were Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and former Union Ministers Manmohan Singh and Natwar Singh.

At a function at Nehru’s ancestral home Anand Bhavan in Allahabad, children took part in cultural functions organised on the occasion. Prizes were also given to best speakers who participated in a debate on the life of India’s first Prime Minister. PTI
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Heritage theatre gutted, sabotage suspected

Kolkata, November 15
One of the oldest theatres in the city, “Biswarupa” was destroyed in a devastating fire early today.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee did not rule out sabotage behind the fire and said two persons — the promoter and the manager — had been arrested.

“We are waiting for the police and forensic reports and will take necessary action after the receipt of the reports,” Mr Bhattacharjee told reporters.

Fire Brigade Minister Pratim Chatterjee said some people owing allegiance to the promoter attacked the firefighters and obstructed their way for about 35 minutes.

“Armed with iron rods they attacked the fire-brigade men who went to douse the flames. The firefighters were detained for about 35 minutes before they could reach the spot. I have asked the police to take actions against those who obstructed the fire-brigade men,” Mr Chatterjee told reporters.

Mr Chatterjee said though the fire broke out before 1 am the fire-brigade was informed around 1.25 am by an outsider.

He said 27 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire. The flames were extinguished around 6.30 am. UNI
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Manjrekar award for VC

Coimbatore, November 15
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) Vice-Chancellor Dr S. Kannaiyan was awarded the prestigious Dr G.B. Manjrekar Memorial AMI award for 2001-2002 for his contributions for the development of microbiology.

The award, carrying Rs 10,000 cash and a citation, was presented to Kannaiyan at the 42nd conference of the Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI), held at Gulbarga University in Karnataka on November 10, a TNAU release said on Thursday. PTI
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Gill appointed envoy to Mexico

New Delhi, November 15
Mr Surinder Singh Gill, currently India’s envoy in Bahrain, has been appointed Ambassador to Mexico, while Mr Ramiah Rajagopalan will be the next Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, it was officially announced here on Thursday.

Mr Gill, a 1968 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, will be replacing Mr G.S. Iyer. UNI
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Teacher to get Keller award

New Delhi, November 15
S Balaram, the principal designer at the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID), has won the Helen Keller award, 2001 for promoting the cause of employment for disabled people.

The award, instituted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), will be presented to Mr Balaram here on December 2, the “World Disability Day”, by NCPEDP chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

SIX OF FAMILY GUNNED DOWN
PATNA:
At least six members, including two women, of a family were gunned down by miscreants at Nawada village in Bihar’s Nalanda district on Wednesday night, the police said on Thursday. Another woman from the family was admitted to hospital in a critical condition. A preliminary report had said that seven members of the family fell to bullets. DIG (Administration) Ravindra Kumar said the perpetrators of the crime in league with two villagers — Kishori Yadav and Mahesh Yadav — shot at the victims after storming Bachchu Yadav’s residence. Kishori and Mahesh had a long-standing land dispute with the Bachchu’s family and this might have been the reason behind the incident, the DIG inferred. UNI

INDIAN CHOSEN FOR US HONOUR
HYDERABAD:
The USA-based Global Environmental Foundation has nominated noted Marine Turtle Pradeep K Bhagvandas to its Environmental Hall of Fame 1000 for 2000-2001 for his outstanding contribution to marine turtle conservation and study of their migratory behaviour in the eastern and southern Indian Ocean. Mr Bhagvandas shares the nomination with seven other international conservationists this year. The award, carrying a gold-plated plaque, a citation and a cash prize of $ 10,000 would be handed over to him on March 21 next year at Miami (USA). UNI

VILLAGERS LYNCH THREE ULTRAS
AGARTALA:
Tribal villagers lynched three Borok National Council of Tripura militants at Ganga Nagar in Tripura’s Dhalai district on Wednesday, the police said. Local tribals hacked to death the insurgents who were extorting money from the villagers at gunpoint. The police has recovered the bodies. UNI

BLACK DIVALI FOR JE’S FAMILY
LUCKNOW:
Criminals murdered four members of the family of a PWD junior engineer at Hauslanagar New Colony in Faizabad town on Wednesday night, police said. State police headquarters said here the criminals killed Mr K.P. Srivastava (46), his wife, Rita (42), along with his two teenage children — Prince and Sonal. Mr Srivastava, who is posted at Ambedkar Nagar, had come to his house in Faizabad for Divali. UNI

RAMZAN LIKELY TO BEGIN TOMORROW
NEW DELHI:
The Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid, Mufti Mohammed Mukkaram Ahmed, said on Thursday that the holy month of Ramzan would start on November 17, but did not rule out the sighting of the moon on Friday. The Imam is to make a formal announcement on Friday at the Fatehpuri mosque. UNI

UNLF CHIEF ARRESTED
IMPHAL:
Chief of underground United National Liberation Front (UNLF) R.K. Meghen, alias Sana Yaima, was among 200 Manipur insurgents and arms dealers arrested in helicopter raids by the Myanmar army on underground camps in that country, a senior BSF official said on Thursday. Giving details of the raids, the DIG, BSF (Manipur and Nagaland), Mr P.K. Mishra, told mediapersons here that head of another underground group Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) Mayang was also caught in the raids. PTI

HERO OF KHEM KARAN’ IS DEAD
CHENNAI:
Brig T.K. Theogaraj, the “Hero of Khem Karan”, died at Madurai following a brief illness on Monday. He was 83. Brig Theogaraj was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his valour in the 1965 Indo-Pak war when he and his men knocked down 40 Pakistani ‘Paton’ tanks in the Khem Karan sector, he was cremated in his home town Tirunelveli. UNI
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