Monday, December 3, 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

Review stand on POTO, PM urges Opposition
Hyderabad, December 2
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today announced that his government was ready to consider suggestions for making changes in the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance and asked the opposition to reconsider their “politically-motivated” stance in the interest of the country’s security and safety.

7 p.c. growth rate can end poverty, says Sinha
New Delhi, December 2
The lives of at least 200 million people in India can be raised above poverty level with a sustained growth rate of seven per cent over one decade, Union Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha said here today.

Fernandes rules out sabotage
New Delhi, December 2
Defence Minister George Fernandes today ruled out the possibility of sabotage in the explosion which ripped part of the ordnance factory in Itarsi killing three persons.

TN hooch toll put at 51
Cuddalore, December 2 
The toll in the Thursday night hooch tragedy in this district of Tamil Nadu has been officially put at 51 with as many as 230 persons still battling for life at the district headquarters hospital.



EARLIER STORIES

 
1,677 Indian nationals in Saudi Arabian jails
New Delhi, December 2
As many as 6,245 Indian nationals are languishing in foreign jails with a maximum number of 1,677 Indian prisoners lodged in Saudi Arabia.

Navy prowess on display
Mumbai, December 2
Underlining India’s status as a significant power in the Indian Ocean region, the Navy today displayed its offensive, defensive and sea-denial capabilities in an unique show of its maritime might held in the Arabian Sea off the Gateway of India here. The maritime event was a rare opportunity for the people to witness the prowess of the three dimensional blue water force.


Indian Navy commandos drop into the high seas from a naval helicopter during naval operation demonstrations to mark Indian Navy Week in Mumbai on Sunday. 
— Reuters photo

Graft cases: CVC writes to HCs
New Delhi, December 2
Alarmed by inordinate delay in deciding corruption cases, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, has written to the Chief Justices of various High Courts to expedite the disposal of trap cases that involved limited number of witnesses.

Indian dancers practice the ancient Odissi
Indian dancers practice the ancient Odissi dance during the Konark Dance Festival, 70 km from the city of Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, on Sunday. 
— Reuters

Protesters shout on the eve of the 17th anniversary of the world's worst chemical disaster on Sunday.
Protesters shout on the eve of the 17th anniversary of the world's worst chemical disaster on Sunday. Up to 7,500 people died and a further half a million were injured when lethal gas leaked from the former Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal in 1984. After the disaster, the company (now merged with Dow Chemicals) abandoned the factory leaving tonnes of poisonous chemicals strewn around the site. More than 16,000 people have died since the disaster. — Reuters

Police opens fire to disperse mob
Baharampur (West Bengal), December 2
The police fired two rounds in the air to disperse a mob as a lathi charge and the bursting of tear gas shells failed to curb violence which broke out in connection with the immersion of an idol at Beldanga in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district yesterday.

20 lakh kids given polio drops
New Delhi, December 2
More than 20 lakh children were administered polio drops in the Capital during the second phase of the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme beginning all over the country today.

Judge linked to Shakeel to face trial today
Mumbai, December 2
Nearly two years after his arrest, dismissed judge J.W. Singh would face trial tomorrow in a case registered against him for alleged extortion and nexus with underworld under a stringent law of Maharashtra.

Tutor charged with killing student
New Delhi, December 2
Delhi police has charge-sheeted a private tutor who allegedly pushed a teenage girl student to death from the fourth floor of a house here three months ago.

Oppn boycotts CM’s party

1 lakh initiated into IT education

VIDEOS
Naval aviation Museum in Goa, the first of it's kind, is attracting a lot of visitors pouring in to see the enthralling vintage collection.
(28k, 56k)
ISKON completes one year of providing meals to twenty thousand schoolchildren in Bangalore.
(28k, 56k)

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Review stand on POTO, PM urges Opposition

Hyderabad, December 2
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today announced that his government was ready to consider suggestions for making changes in the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) and asked the opposition to reconsider their “politically-motivated” stance in the interest of the country’s security and safety.

Launching the “Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana” for construction of houses for urban poor, he lashed out at the opposition for their “politically motivated” resistance to POTO and accused them of not willing to help the government in combating terrorism.

He said the political parties were opposing POTO just because the NDA government was at the helm and added that irrespective of which party was in power any government would have to do its duty.

Having a dig at the Congress, he said those who were in power earlier and had passed “black laws” were now opposing POTO. When the BJP was in opposition it had always cooperated with the government in matters of national security, he added.

Expressing his government’s firm determination to pass the legislation, he assured that it was not aimed to target any section or snatch anybody’s freedom. The minorities need not fear POTO, he said and added that the suggestions put forth by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu during the Chief Ministers Conference were being considered. He asked chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, where more stringent laws were enacted, to give suggestions for changes in POTO.

The Prime Minister, on a whirlwind tour of the city, earlier dedicated the Rs 300 crore Indian School of Business (ISB).

He also launched a scheme to clean up the Musi river waters and laid the foundation stone for the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority.

At the function of the housing scheme held in the Lal Bahadur Stadium here, Mr Vajpayee reiterated his government’s commitment “to better the lot of the poor’’.

In the presence of the captains of Indian industry and management gurus from different parts of the world, he launched the ISB at its picturesque 300-acre campus in Gachibowli on the city outskirts.

Mr Vajpayee left for Delhi in the evening.

Governor C. Rangarajan and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu were among those who received him at the airport. UNI
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7 p.c. growth rate can end poverty, says Sinha
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 2
The lives of at least 200 million people in India can be raised above poverty level with a sustained growth rate of seven per cent over one decade, Union Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha said here today.

Though focus on growth rate of 7 per cent sounds almost “cliched”, this figure would give a doubled output, to a level where the GDP would rise roughly a trillion dollars. This should help reduce poverty rate in India to below five per cent.

Mr Sinha, who addressed captains of industry from India and abroad at the inaugural function of the India Economic Summit, organised by the CII and the World Economic Forum, added that bringing poverty rate down to five per cent would mean taking more than 200 million people out of the state of poverty.

“I think that taking 200 million people out of deprivation is a great goal; one that should motivate all of us,” he said.

Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, who has gone to Hyderabad, in a statement read out by CII President, Sanjiv Goenka, also talked about alleviation and eradication of poverty around the world. He said the continued coexistence of affluence and want on the same planet and within the same countries was a sign of poverty of the human spirit.

“Besides being an ethical imperative, elimination of poverty and promotion of all-round development for all human beings on earth is also the biggest business opportunity.

Giving a recipe for seven per cent growth, Mr Sinha said apart from putting the nation’s savings to optimum use, there should be progress on the second phase of reforms.

The Minister referred to four other areas where progress had been made. These areas were labour market reforms, food policy, electricity reforms and privatisation. “In particular, reforms to the labour market and privatisation were once words that could not even be uttered in the political arena. It is evident that there has been sea change in attitudes in this regard.”

Listing the priority areas for reforms in the coming days, the Minister said the liberalisation process had had relatively little impact on the agricultural sector. This was an area that had an impact on the lives of 60 per cent of the population, he added.

The country is facing a serious fiscal crisis which was impacting on the capability to spend public resources to produce public goods and improve governance.

On the revenue side the tax to GDP ratio was still far below the level required to produce public goods on an acceptable scale and on the expenditure side, there was considerable outgo on subsidies and transfers to special interest groups.

Bringing down import tariffs to Asian levels, improving regulatory capacity in the financial sector, reforming the banking system to help it move from the traditional Government-dominated system and improvements in the social sector were the other areas which need to be tackled on a priority basis.
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Fernandes rules out sabotage

New Delhi, December 2
Defence Minister George Fernandes today ruled out the possibility of sabotage in the explosion which ripped part of the ordnance factory in Itarsi killing three persons.

“Though the cause of the accident is not known, sabotage is not indicated prima facie,”Mr Fernandes told reporters here, but added that an independent inquiry by the Directorate General (Quality Assurance) had already begun alongside the preliminary probe ordered by the ordnance factory management.

The DGQA probe was being headed by the Additional Director-General (Quality Assurance).

Mr Fernandes identified the three killed as Chargeman Prabhat Kumar Dubey and chemical processors, Ram Bharose and Kharesa and said two persons injured were convalescing in the hospital and one of them had a head injury.

In the explosion which occurred at on Friday, a building in which a chemical paste called NCNG was being dried was “blown off completely’’ and an adjacent building ‘‘ partially damaged”, Mr Fernandes said. PTI
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TN hooch toll put at 51

Cuddalore, December 2 
The toll in the Thursday night hooch tragedy in this district of Tamil Nadu has been officially put at 51 with as many as 230 persons still battling for life at the district headquarters hospital.

According to hospital Superintendent, Narayanaswamy, 16 had died in Panruti, two others in Jipmer, Pondicherry and one in Villupuram. 

The bodies were handed over to the relatives after post-mortem examination. UNI
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1,677 Indian nationals in Saudi Arabian jails
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 2
As many as 6,245 Indian nationals are languishing in foreign jails with a maximum number of 1,677 Indian prisoners lodged in Saudi Arabia.

According to information from the Ministries of External Affairs and Home, after Saudi Arabia it is Pakistan, followed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia, where maximum number of Indian nationals were in jails.

While Pakistan accounts for 861 Indian prisoners, there are 717 prisoners in UAE and 657 Indians in Malaysia (in detention camps/jails).

Apart from Pakistan, the other SAARC countries account for a total of 741 Indian prisoners. While in Bangladesh there are 421 Indian prisoners, there are 207 prisoners in Nepal, 47 in Bhutan, 41 in Sri Lanka and 25 in the Maldives.

In European countries, although the number of Indian prisoners are comparatively less, over 500 of them are in jails, majority of them in Germany, followed by the United Kingdom.

While Germany accounts for 224 Indian prisoners, in the United Kingdom the figure stands at 190, while in Greece it is 97, in Italy 47 and just two and one in Denmark and Romania, respectively.

In United States of America, where a large number of Indians reside, only 68 Indian prisoners are detained and in Canada, where a large number Sikhs are live, accounts for only four Indian prisoners.

Singapore, where a lot of Indians, especially from South India reside, a total of 226 Indian prisoners are lodged in various jails there.

According to sources, unless prohibited by the provisions of data protection laws, all countries signatory to Vienna Convention inform Indian Missions about the arrest of Indian nationals.

As soon as an Indian Mission/Post is informed of the arrest of an Indian national, a request is made to the host Government for consular access.

An official of the Mission/Post then visits the detainee to ascertain circumstances leading to the arrest and where necessary, the Mission/Post takes up the matter with the host Government for speedy and fair trial and also for review of the sentence, the sources added.
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Navy prowess on display

Mumbai, December 2
Underlining India’s status as a significant power in the Indian Ocean region, the Navy today displayed its offensive, defensive and sea-denial capabilities in an unique show of its maritime might held in the Arabian Sea off the Gateway of India here.

The maritime event was a rare opportunity for the people to witness the prowess of the three dimensional blue water force.

An array of ships of different classes and a mix of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, which form the air arm of the navy, and submarines, the silent killers, took part in the two-hour operation titled “Operation Display” which among others was witnessed by the Maharashtra Governor, Dr P.C. Alexander.

The display commenced with a fly past involving two naval Chetak helicopters carrying the naval ensign which was soon followed by a display of missile vessels of the Veer-class. These included the INS Nipat, INS Nishank and INS Nirbhik, all Veer-class vessels.

The versatile Abhay-class Russian-built ships - INS Angrey and INS Akshay - demonstrated torpedoes firing. These torpedoes are used to destroy submarines.

The capabilities of the marine commandos, popularly known as the Marcos were also on display. Landing from mighty Seaking Charlie helicopters on to high speed Gemini rafts, the Marcos performed with pinpoint accuracy their assigned task of blowing up a simulated oil rig.

A steam past and helicopter operations by various classes of ships, including INS Vindhyagiri, a Leander Class frigate, INS Godavari and INS Gomti, the Godavari-class Russian-made multi-role ships, INS Brahmaputra, the recently inducted guided missile frigate and INS Ranvir were also part of the display. UNI
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Graft cases: CVC writes to HCs

New Delhi, December 2
Alarmed by inordinate delay in deciding corruption cases, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, has written to the Chief Justices of various High Courts to expedite the disposal of trap cases that involved limited number of witnesses.

The CVC, who reviewed the cases pending under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) with the CBI Director, Mr P.C. Sharma, said there were a large number of trap cases pending across the country for a long time.

“If trap cases could be given priority by the courts then it may be possible to get speedy decisions and this in turn will have a very healthy impact on checking of corruption,” Mr Vittal said in his letter to the High Court Chief Justices.

He has also requested the CBI Director “To particularly ensure that at least in trap cases all witnesses are produced well in time so that the courts are not required to adjourn the cases.”

The move follows recent reports of the CBI filing quite a good number of closure reports in trap cases involving petty sums and that too after 10 years or so.

The CVC has also sent to the High Courts a list of pending trap cases under their respective jurisdiction.

According to the list, in Delhi alone 257 such cases are pending even after filing of chargesheets against the accused by the CBI. Out of these about 30 cases are hanging fire for the past 10 years. PTI
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Police opens fire to disperse mob

Baharampur (West Bengal), December 2
The police fired two rounds in the air to disperse a mob as a lathi charge and the bursting of tear gas shells failed to curb violence which broke out in connection with the immersion of an idol at Beldanga in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district yesterday. Thirteen persons, including a jawan of the Rapid Action Force, were injured in the clash between the mob and police during the immersion of ‘Burima’ (Kali) idol of a household on the occasion of ‘Raas’ festival, the police said.

Tension brewed in the area on Friday following an altercation between two groups of people after the idol was accidentally damaged by a drunkard when it was being brought to the household for worship, the police said.

Trouble erupted again yesterday afternoon when some people resented the presence of policemen at the immersion procession and pelted stones at them, forcing the police to lathicharge the agitators. PTI
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20 lakh kids given polio drops

New Delhi, December 2
More than 20 lakh children were administered polio drops in the Capital during the second phase of the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme beginning all over the country today.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched the programme by administering polio drops to several children at her official residence .

The Chief Minister said only two cases of polio had been reported in the national Capital so far this year and expressed the determination of her government to make Delhi polio-free next year.

Dr Walia said 7000 centres, including 200 mobile centres, had been set up with 26000 health personnel involved in the immunisation programme. UNI
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Judge linked to Shakeel to face trial today

Mumbai, December 2
Nearly two years after his arrest, dismissed judge J.W. Singh would face trial tomorrow in a case registered against him for alleged extortion and nexus with underworld under a stringent law of Maharashtra.

The prosecution, led by Ujjwal Nikam, would commence recording of evidence by examining two key witnesses before a special court to prove its case that the then Sessions Judge had sought help of a notorious gangster in lieu of judicial favours to recover his money from a chit fund operator.

This is for the first time in judicial history that a Judge has been booked for serious criminal offence such as establishing links with underworld. PTI
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Tutor charged with killing student

New Delhi, December 2
Delhi police has charge-sheeted a private tutor who allegedly pushed a teenage girl student to death from the fourth floor of a house here three months ago.

In the charge sheet filed in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Kumar Sharma, the police accused tutor Ravi Kumar Ghai of killing 15-year-old Sonam Sarin, who was allegedly in love with him.

Ravi, a 30-year-old married man, killed the girl as he wanted to get rid of her, the police alleged. After taking cognisanze against the accused under Section 302 (murder), of the IPC, the court has issued summons asking him to appear before it on December 11.

According to the charge sheet, the gruesome incident occurred at 10.30 a.m. on September 2 and was witnessed by 12-year-old Master Love Sahni who saw Ravi and Sonam near a water tank on the fourth floor of the West Patel Nagar house.

The witness, standing in the balcony of his house, was stunned to see the accused pushing Sonam, the police alleged.

During the probe, the police seized from Ravi several papers including seven love letters purportedly written by the victim to him. They have submitted many documents and cited several witnesses in support of the charge sheet. PTI
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Oppn boycotts CM’s party

Nagpur, December 2
The opposition Shiv Sena-BJP today boycotted the customary tea party hosted by Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on the eve of the three-week winter session, indicating its aggressive posture to take the Democratic Front government to task on various issues, including the non-payment to cotton growers and the high court order reinstating the dissolved Nagpur Municipal Corporation. UNI
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1 lakh initiated into IT education
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 2
More than one lakh people of various age groups in the country were initiated into computer training on the occasion of World Computer Literacy Day today in an effort to bridge the digital divide.

Information Technology and Communications Minister Pramod Mahajan,while unveiling a customised postal envelope to commemorate the 20th foundation day of the NIIT, said today that computer training should be made mandatory and included in the Right to Education from the high school level.

Mr Mahajan said ministers, Members of the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies were among the determined newcomers to the IT world.

Buddhist monks in Dharamsala, film actors in Mumbai and toppers from about 3,000 government schools also took part in the drive by the NIIT.
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

DIET, EXERCISE CAN CONTROL DIABETES
KOCHI:
With studies indicating a 50 per cent rise in diabetes cases in the country by 2025, the need for proper exercise and dietary restrictions were stressed at the international symposium on type-2 diabetes here. Prof Sree Kumaran Nair, Mayo Clinic, USA said on Saturday that India had become the ‘diabetic capital’ of the world. Diabetes, he said, could only be controlled through dietary restrictions and physical exercises as modern medicine had so far not succeeded in curing the disease. UNI

MAN HELD FOR KILLING WIFE, KIDS
MUZAFFARNAGAR:
A man has been arrested on the charges of killing his wife and three children, the police said here on Sunday. It said Indrapal, who was accused of poisoning his wife and three children to death in Mayagaon village under Jhinjhana police station was arrested on Saturday. PTI

2 CHILDREN KILLED IN HOUSE COLLAPSE
BILASPUR (CHHATTISGARH):
Two children were killed and one was injured when the wall of a deserted house collapsed at Melapara village on Saturday. The police said the victims were identified as Sangeet Jaiswal (8) and Gautriha (4), the condition of injured Lukesh Kewat (5) was reported to be critical. UNI

6 DIE IN JEEP-LORRY COLLISION
NELLORE:
Six members of a marriage party, including a five year-old-boy and two women, were killed and eight others injured when their jeep collided with a speeding lorry near Nayudupeta in Nellore district on Saturday. The victims were returning to Narsaraopet from Tirupati after attending the wedding. UNI

SPURIOUS BREW CLAIMS 6 LIVES
RATLAM:
Six persons have died after consuming spurious liquor during a family function at Hewdakala village, 3 km from here. Five of the victims succumbed on Saturday, while one died on Sunday afternoon. UNI

5 DIE AFTER CONSUMING LIQUOR
INDORE:
Five tribesmen died on Sunday and 28 others fell ill after they consumed locally-made liquor at Hevdakala village in Ratlam district. District Collector Prabhat Parashar confirmed the five deaths, and said they had assembled at the village to participate in a function related to a marriage where they had food and liquor on Saturday and fell ill soon after. PTI
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