Sunday, December 2, 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

POTO aim to harass opponents: Sonia
Lalitpur (Uttar Pradesh), December 1
The Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, today charged the NDA government with bringing POTO to harass its “opponents and adversaries.”

Ordnance factory blast: probe ordered
New Delhi, December 1
A two-member Central team led by Minister of State for Defence Production Harin Pathak is to inquire into yesterday’s Itarsi ordnance factory blast in which three persons were killed.

Call off strike, Paswan urges coal workers
New Delhi, December 1
Union Minister for Coal and Mines Ram Vilas Paswan today appealed to coal workers and trade unions to reconsider their decision to go on a three-day strike from Monday as “that will not only hurt the national economy and coal industry but also the long-term interests of employees.

Pulse polio drive launched





President K. R. Narayanan administering pulse polio drop to a child to launch the "Pulse Polio Immunisation programme 2001-2002" at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday.
— PTI photo



 

EARLIER STORIES

 
VIDEOS

Reviews of Mira Niar's Golden Lion winner "Monsoon Wedding".
(28k, 56k)


On the occasion of World AIDS Day, a youth rally was organised in the Capital.
(28k, 56k)

Laloo to face trial on Dec 6
Ranchi, December 1
The special CBI court today ordered that former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav be produced in a trial court in Patna on December 6 in connection with a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

Laloo threatens to dislodge Marandi
Ranchi, December 1
RJD Supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav today threatened to dislodge the Jharkhand Government, saying that he was only waiting for an “opportune” moment.

‘High-handedness’ of CPM irks allies
Kolkata, December 1
The Forward Bloc (FB), the RSP and the CPI — three major partners of the Left Front government in West Bengal — are aggrieved at the alleged high-handedness of the CPM.

Role Model award for Chandigarh resident
New Delhi, December 1
Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh has been selected for the first best district award by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for outstanding disabled-friendly work.

Strike threat by Delhi bus operators
New Delhi, December 1
Squarely blaming the Delhi Government for the transport crisis in the city, bus operators today threatened to go on an indefinite strike and also take off CNG buses from the roads if no effort was made to resolve the issue.

Govt to unveil science policy
New Delhi, December 1
The government is on the verge of drafting the Millennium Science Policy, which it will unveil later this month, the Minister for Human Resource Development and Science and Technology Dr Murli Manohar Joshi said here last night.

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POTO aim to harass opponents: Sonia
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

Lalitpur (Uttar Pradesh), December 1
The Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, today charged the NDA government with bringing POTO to harass its “opponents and adversaries.”

Raising the pitch of her party’s attack against the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government, the Congress President said that POTO had been brought by the BJP-led government to fulfil its “fundamentalist ideas.”

Warning that innocents could be harassed by POTO, she said that the legislative measure had several faults. “The government says that POTO has been introduced to curb terrorism but the reality is different,” she said, while addressing a ‘Kisan Rally’ here.

Reminding that both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had fallen to terrorist attacks, she said that it was shameful for the government to doubt patriotism of those who were opposing POTO. “We will oppose every communal and fascist legislation of the government,” she declared.

Paying tributes to Jhansi Ki Rani and recalling the sacrifices of the people of Bundelkhand, she said that the BJP Government in Uttar Pradesh had let down the people. “The farmers were not getting remunerative prices, no industry was being set up, roads were filled with potholes, teachers were unhappy and the law and order situation was bad,” she said.

The Congress President refrained from attacking either the Samajwadi Party or the BSP during her 25-minute address, saying that the BJP-led government in the state had failed to safeguard the interests of the minorities, SCs, STs and women.

The BJP, she said, had suddenly started remembering Lord Rama after three years. “People who can betray God, can easily betray people,” Mrs Gandhi maintained.

The rally organised by the local Congress MP, Mr Sujan Singh Bundela, was addressed by Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ms Mohsina Kidwai, Congress general secretaries, besides the UPCC chief Mr S.P. Jaiswal and the CLP leader Mr Pramod Tiwari.

The presence of Mrs Sonia Gandhi at the rally, her fourth in the Uttar Pradesh, is being seen as her lending support to Mr Bundela’s claim to decide candidates for most of the 17 Assembly seats falling in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh.Top

 

Ordnance factory blast: probe ordered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
A two-member Central team led by Minister of State for Defence Production Harin Pathak is to inquire into yesterday’s Itarsi ordnance factory blast in which three persons were killed.

The Minister of State for Defence Production along with the Defence Production Secretary, Mr Subir Dutta, left for Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh for an on-the-spot inquiry this morning. The two are scheduled to return tonight and would submit their report to Defence Minister George Fernandes.

The blast at the factory, set up in 1970, had ripped through the gunpowder processing unit and brought down the entire building. The factory has been manufacturing small arm propellant, nitric and sulphuric acids and explosives like nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose and picrite.

Meanwhile, the Centre today cautioned ordnance factories about competition from the private sector and foreign firms owing to liberalisation in armament production field and said they should evolve a time-bound plan to enhance exports to Rs 1,000 crore from the present Rs 10 crore in the next three to four years.

Inaugurating the two-day Conference of General Managers of Ordnance Factories the Minister of State for Defence Production said they must expand their customer and product base to emerge as a viable global industrial organisation.

The minister said the recent government decision to open up defence production to private investment and even to limited foreign investment was likely to challenge the ordnance factories “in their own turf”. The factory heads and Ordnance Factory Board Chairman S.B. Mohanty stood in a minute’s silence to mourn the deaths of three workers in yesterday’s blast in Madhya Pradesh’s Itarsi unit.
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Call off strike, Paswan urges coal workers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
Union Minister for Coal and Mines Ram Vilas Paswan today appealed to coal workers and trade unions to reconsider their decision to go on a three-day strike from Monday as “that will not only hurt the national economy and coal industry but also the long-term interests of employees.

In a statement, the minister said when the coal industry was on a recovery path, when Coal India Limited hoped to post a profit this year against a huge loss last year and when production was in full swing, the threatened strike would jeopardise the future of the public sector coal industry. The already sick three coal companies i.e. ECL, BCCL and CCL may become sick beyond redemption, he pointed out.

Mr Paswan said it was unfortunate that strike notices had been served by four major trade unions of the coal industry calling for a three-day strike.

Referring to the trade unions’ demands, Mr Paswan said the Group of Ministers, on receipt of the strike notice, under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister, was called in to deal with the grievances of the coal industry.

The GoM met the trade union leaders on November 22 and assured them that the Bill to open up the coal sector would not be rushed through Parliament, especially in the current session, without taking into consideration the views of the coal trade unions, Mr Paswan said.

The GoM has also assured that the ability of different coal companies to pay the arrears of the Sixth Wage Board, the restructuring of the public sector coal industry by reviving the sick companies and the reorganisation of Coal India itself were inter-related issues which needed careful examination to ensure that the revival plans were sustainable in the long run.

Mr Paswan had personally met the trade union leaders personally on November 25 for half-a-day and explained at length the inadvisability of a strike at this juncture.

The minister assured the trade union leaders that CIL would pay 40 per cent of the Sixth Wage Board arrears by the end of December, 2001, and another 40 per cent by March.
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Pulse polio drive launched

New Delhi, December 1
The nationwide Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme, reaching out to over 16 crore children under the age of five, was launched here today by the President K.R. Narayanan.

The President administered polio drops to Ishika Chaudhury while the First Lady, Ms Usha Narayanan, gave the drops to Anav Bagla at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, according to an official statement.

Nearly 30 lakh volunteers at 6.5 booths all over the country will be involved in this round of immunisation. For the programme tomorrow, the Pulse Polio Day, the estimated expenditure is Rs 150 crore.

The Ambassador of Japan, representatives from UNICEF and WHO, also attended today’s function. PTI
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Laloo to face trial on Dec 6

Ranchi, December 1
The special CBI court today ordered that former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav be produced in a trial court in Patna on December 6 in connection with a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

The directive was given by special CBI judge Harish Chandra Mishra on the trial court’s request to produce Mr Yadav in the court in connection with the DA case.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Home Commissioner Sushma Singh said Mr Yadav would be taken to Patna on December 6 under tight security. 

The former Chief Minister would be brought back to Ranchi on December 10 and produced before the special CBI court here in connection with the regular case 47(A) of the multi-crore-rupee fodder scam. UNITop

 

Laloo threatens to dislodge Marandi

Ranchi, December 1
RJD Supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav today threatened to dislodge the Jharkhand Government, saying that he was only waiting for an “opportune” moment.

He said at least five legislators who had met his party leaders had expressed willingness to shift allegiance which could turn around the number game any time. 

He warned Mr Marandi to “refrain from disturbing and harassing the Rabri Devi government in Bihar.”

He said eight Jharkhand ministers wanted to call on him, but could not as the Special Branch sleuths were surrounding the camp-jail. “They had not come to the forefront as part of a political strategy,” he added. Hinting at fresh polarisation of political forces in the state, Mr Yadav said the entire Opposition unitedly supported his cause. UNITop

 

High-handedness’ of CPM irks allies
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, December 1
The Forward Bloc (FB), the RSP and the CPI — three major partners of the Left Front government in West Bengal — are aggrieved at the alleged high-handedness of the CPM.

Leaders of these parties have alleged that the CPM leadership at Alimuddin Street had been enjoying extra-constitutional rights.

They demanded the formulation of a special code of conduct for the smooth and better running of the Front as well as the government.

The secretary of the FB’s state unit, Mr Ashoke Ghosh, alleged that of late, there had been unnecessary interference and pressures on the functioning of their ministers by the CPM leadership at Alimuddin Street. He said he had received complaints in this regard from his party ministers, including Mr Kamal Guha (Agriculture), Mr Kalimuddin Shams (Food) and Ms Chhaya Ghosh (Agriculture Marketing).

He said these ministers had already brought it to the notice of the Chief Minister. Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharyya. Mr Ghosh said during Mr Jyoti Basu’s tenure as Chief Minister the party leadership would never dare to interfere in the day-to-day administration.Top

 

Role Model award for Chandigarh resident
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh has been selected for the first best district award by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for outstanding disabled-friendly work.

Fortysix individuals/organisations selected for the award for outstanding contribution towards promoting the cause of disability will be honoured by Vice-President Krishan Kant here on the World Disability Day on December 3.

The awards given in 10 categories carry a citation and a medal. Some awards given to individuals for promoting the cause of disability and to the best institution also carry an award of Rs 1 lakh.

Mr Ajit Pal Singh, a visually challenged resident of Chandigarh has bagged the first Role Model award for mobilising people to participate in desilting Sukhna Lake.

Individuals selected for promoting the cause of disability are Mr Kailash Srivastava (Agra), Mr Subhash A. Dattarange (Mumbai), Mr Onkar Sharma (Delhi) Mr Ranbir Bakshi (Dehra Dun) and Mr P. Hanumantha Rao (Secunderabad).
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Strike threat by Delhi bus operators

New Delhi, December 1
Squarely blaming the Delhi Government for the transport crisis in the city, bus operators today threatened to go on an indefinite strike and also take off CNG buses from the roads if no effort was made to resolve the issue.

“The government is playing a very bad political game with commuters and operators Himmat Singh, general secretary of the Bus Operators Joint Action Committee, said.

Meanwhile, commuters in the Capital faced hardships, with about 3,000 diesel buses going off the roads following a notice by the Delhi Government earlier this week asking private operators to phase out diesel buses by today or face impounding. PTI
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Govt to unveil science policy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
The government is on the verge of drafting the Millennium Science Policy, which it will unveil later this month, the Minister for Human Resource Development and Science and Technology Dr Murli Manohar Joshi said here last night. He was speaking, at a farewell reception hosted by him for Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Dr Joshi said the last of the inputs for the Millennium Science Policy draft would be received by the government by December 8.

“Thereafter we will sit together and present the policy,” he said.

Dr Joshi, however did not disclose the salient features of the policy.

Appreciating Dr Kalam’s services to the nation and the country’s missile programmes, Dr Joshi said whatever progress India had achieved in the field of missile technology, was because of Dr Kalam.
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

2 CONVICTS ESCAPE FROM PRISON
MADURAI:
Two convicts lodged in the high security central prison here escaped after scaling the wall in the wee hours on Saturday. The police said Peter and Mariappan escaped by scaling the prison wall using blankets. The Karimedu police has registered a case. UNI

CHARGE SHEET AGAINST FIVE
KOCHI:
The CBI has charge-sheeted five persons, including J. Rajmohan Pillai, a cashew exporter and brother of the late biscuit tycoon Rajan Pillai, and three bank officials in a Rs 6-crore cheating case. The charge sheet was filed on Friday before the CBI special court under various Sections of the IPC. The CBI had alleged that the accused created false letters of credit in favour of Klein Marshals Manufacturers and the Exporters Limited of Mumbai for non-existing goods and cheated the State Bank of India. PTI

HOOCH TRAGEDY TOLL 50
CUDDALORE:
The toll in the Thursday night’s hooch tragedy in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu has risen to 50 with 216 persons still battling for life in Cuddalore Government Hospital, the SP, Mr Davidson Devasirvatham, said. Meanwhile, a special medical team, has reached the hospital and is providing intensive medical care to the victims. UNI

FOREST GUARDS GET MORE POWERS
DEHRA DUN:
Forest guards in Uttaranchal are being equipped with more powers to enable them to protect the precious forest wealth of the hill state. According to Uttaranchal Environment and Forests Minister Mohan Singh Rawat Gaonwasi, training is being provided to the guards under the supervision of the Director of the Rajaji National Park, Mr Sunil Pandey. Latest weapons have been given to the guards, besides the power to shoot poachers. UNI

THREE KILLED IN FACTORY FIRE
HYDERABAD:
Three workers of a private aluminium factory were charred to death when a fire broke out on the factory premises at Kalekal in Medak district on Friday. The police said the accident occurred when some electrical wires caught fire. UNI
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