Wednesday, June 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

HP thanks PM for more aid
Shimla, June 24
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, today said that the rationalisation of the plan size was only the first step towards fiscal restructuring and more corrective measures would be taken to bring the shattered economy of the state back on the rails.

Oppn grills govt on samitis
Shimla, June 24
Heated exchanges were witnessed today in the Vidhan Sabha as the Opposition grilled the government on the issue of user charges in hospitals and the dismantling of the Rogi Kalyan Samitis during question hour.

BJP may move privilege motion
Shimla, June 24
The Opposition BJP may move a privilege motion against Ms Chandresh Kumari, Health Minister, for “misleading” the House on the issue of charges.
Mr P.K. Dhumal, leader of the BJP legislative group, said the members were disgusted by the reply of the minister and she had placed wrong facts before the House. 

Tibet’s response guarded
Dharamsala, June 24
The Tibetan Government in Exile here has adopted a cautious approach on the issue of the joint declaration issued in Beijing by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chinese leader Wen Jiabo.

Two caught red-handed selling woman
Nahan, June 24
The Paonta Sahib police arrested two women on the charge of selling a 29-year-old widow to a decoy customer sent by the police at Paonta today. Mr S.P.S. Verma, Superintendent of Police, Sirmour, here this evening said that on a tip-off that a racket of selling girls was operating in the area, a Sub-Inspector, Mr Shyam Lal, prepared a plan to nab the culprits under the supervision of the DSP, Mr Bhagat Singh.





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Dharamsala
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EARLIER STORIES
 

Case registered following court orders
Nurpur, June 24
The police yesterday registered an FIR under Sections 302, 304, 330, 364 and 120-B, IPC, against CRPF havildar Kasturi Lal for allegedly kidnapping and killing a Dalit youth, Parshotam (22), of Dadoh village of this subdivision.

14 get Balraj Sahni awards
Shimla, June 24
Chander Trikha, Director Haryana Sahitya Academy, Vipan Pubby, Resident Editor, Indian Express, Chandigarh, V.P. Prabhakar adviser, Dainik Bhaskar, Chandigarh, Prashant Kokoty, playwright from Assam, Sanat Chatterjee, artist and painter and Nirmala Devi of Pipli village (Mandi) who killed a leopard with a sickle were among the fourteen recipients of the Balraj Sahni awards 2002-03 for their contribution in various fields.

IT teachers bear the brunt
Solan, June 24
Following media reports regarding the non-payment of salaries to IT teachers for the past four months by a Hyderabad-based company in the district, termination notices have been served to two teachers for “exposing the matter before the media”.

Top three positions go to Bedians
Shimla, June 24
Himachal Pradesh University today declared the result of BA III (pass course) examination held in April. This was declared by Mr B.R. Kaushal, Controller of Examinations, here today.

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HP thanks PM for more aid
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 24
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, today said that the rationalisation of the plan size was only the first step towards fiscal restructuring and more corrective measures would be taken to bring the shattered economy of the state back on the rails.

Moving a resolution thanking Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee for granting additional central assistance of Rs 553 crore to maintain the plan size, he said over the years many distortions had crept in planning and fiscal management which had to be rectified, lest the perennial financial crisis plaguing the state became unmanageable. Already the state was under a huge debt. He had taken a bold step by excluding non-plan expenditure to the tune of over Rs 800 crore from the plan. Now it would be ensured that every penny in the Rs 1,335 crore plan for 2003-04 was spent on development. In fact, more funds would be available for development.

He said the days of camouflaging the Budget and artificially inflating the plan size by including non-plan expenditure to mislead the people were over. The people must be apprised of the real position.

He was all praise for the Prime Minister, who gave additional central assistance to maintain the plan size. Mr Vajpayee understood the gravity of the situation and took immediate action in the matter.

He also issued directions to the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry to prepare the necessary documents in this regard.

While thanking the Prime Minister for the assistance, Mr Virbhadra Singh also had a dig at the state BJP for misleading the people during the elections that the state would not get liberal financial help from the Centre if the Congress was voted to power. He said Mr Vajpayee had proved them wrong.

The resolution was unanimously adopted after discussion.

Participating in the discussion, Mr P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, said the BJP had always considered the state’s interest above that of the party to give liberal assistance to help maintain the plan size of the state.

He said if the finances of the state were in a mess, the Congress must take the blame as it remained at the helm for over 45 years.

He said it was only Mr Vajpayee who had helped the state in right earnest. Had the Congress government at the Centre also provided the requisite funds the state would not have to raise loans. During the 1994-98 period the Congress government raised loans totalling Rs 4,966 crore after paying huge service charges.

Mr Sukh Ram, HVC supremo, said the people of Himachal Pradesh would not forget the contribution of Mr Vajpayee to the development of the state.

He sanctioned several mega schemes like the Parbati and Kol Dam projects and the Rohtang tunnel. He said interstate issues like the state’s share in BBMB projects could be settled with the intervention of Mr Vajpayee.
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Oppn grills govt on samitis
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 24
Heated exchanges were witnessed today in the Vidhan Sabha as the Opposition grilled the government on the issue of user charges in hospitals and the dismantling of the Rogi Kalyan Samitis during question hour.

Ms Chandresh Kumari, Health Minister, faced a volley of supplementaries from the members, who maintained that the government was misleading the people on the issue and trying to create a false impression that the user charges had been scrapped. Mr Mohinder Singh, who raised the issue, alleged that charges of certain tests had, in fact, been increased. He also produced some bills indicating that user charges were still being recovered from patients. He also wanted to know where the money was being deposited after the winding up of Rogi Kalyan Samitis.

The Health Minister, however, said that the government never claimed to have abolished the charges altogether, and the Cabinet had only taken a decision to revert to the position prevailing on March 24,1998, when the BJP came to power. She said the samitis had to be disbanded as there was uniformity in user charges and people were unhappy over the manner these were functioning.

Dissatisfied by the reply, the members of the Opposition were on their feet demanding a categorical answer whether the charge had been scrapped as reported in the media. Noisy scenes followed as the treasury benches and the Opposition engaged in heated exchanges. Mr P.K. Dhumal, leader of the BJP group, said Rogi Kalyan Samitis had been set up in states like Rajasthan and was going after the scrapping of the samitis.

At this stage Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, intervened and told the House that the notification on user charges issued during the Congress rule remained confined to files and it was only the BJP government which started charging the patients for various services. 
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BJP may move privilege motion
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 24
The Opposition BJP may move a privilege motion against Ms Chandresh Kumari, Health Minister, for “misleading” the House on the issue of charges.

Mr P.K. Dhumal, leader of the BJP legislative group, said the members were disgusted by the reply of the minister and she had placed wrong facts before the House. The party members would go through the records of the proceedings of question hour and if the reply was found to be incorrect, the party would move a privilege motion against the minister.

He said the fact was that user charges were first imposed in 1974 and later revised in 1986 and 1995 by successive Congress governments. He said the BJP government only formed Rogi Kalyan Samitis to ensure that amount collected through user charges was spent only for improvement in facilities in the hospital concerned. In all Rs 12.49 crore was collected, out of which Rs 8.20 crore was utilised.

He maintained that samitis had brought about a big change in the sanitation and overall services in the hospitals.

He said that it was a serious issue and the BJP would ensure that the ministers did not mislead the House.
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Tibet’s response guarded
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, June 24
The Tibetan Government in Exile here has adopted a cautious approach on the issue of the joint declaration issued in Beijing by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chinese leader Wen Jiabo.

The Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, in a statement said he did not have any details of the declaration except what had appeared in the media.

Regarding the opening of trade between India and China through Sikkim, he said the resumption of trade through an old route could be considered to be a big concession to India by China. He, however, said there were many complicated issues perpetuated for more than half a century which could not be expected to be resolved instantly.

The process of resolving such problems must be welcomed, he said.

He was convinced that better relations between China and India would make it easier for all parties concerned to find a solution to the Tibetan issue.

He said he had confidence that Mr Vajpayee would try to find a solution to the issue of Tibet.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) has condemned the statement of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, recognising Tibet as part of China.

In a statement issued here today, the president of the TYC, Mr Kalsang Phuntsok Godrukpa, said the Prime Minister had chosen to “obliterate” Tibet and had resorted to “perfidious strategy”.

Linking Sikkim with India’s reciprocal recognition of Tibet as a part of China, has been Beijing’s preparation to satisfy domestic hardliners and to extract maximum concession from the Indian Prime Minister on the pretext of a new chapter in bilateral ties, the statement said.
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Two caught red-handed selling woman
Our Correspondent

Nahan, June 24
The Paonta Sahib police arrested two women on the charge of selling a 29-year-old widow to a decoy customer sent by the police at Paonta today. Mr S.P.S. Verma, Superintendent of Police, Sirmour, here this evening said that on a tip-off that a racket of selling girls was operating in the area, a Sub-Inspector, Mr Shyam Lal, prepared a plan to nab the culprits under the supervision of the DSP, Mr Bhagat Singh. The decoy customer was sent to Santi Devi of Devinagar (Paonta) and Surender Kaur, resident of Rampurghat (Paonta).

Mr Verma said that a deal was finalised to sell the widow, a resident of Paonta Sahib, at a cost of Rs 20000. He said that Santi Devi and Surender Kaur accepted Rs 500 as advance money for the deal. The place was subsequently raided by the police, which recovered currency notes from the accused bearing initials and markings of police officials. Mr Verma said that the girl was reportedly informed by the accused that they were managing her re-marriage with a “good man”. He said the links of the two women with the prostitution in the area were being probed. The police has booked the two women under Sections 370, 371 and 120B of the IPC.

The Superintendent of Police said that a resident of Uttaranchal, Salman, believed to be associated with the two women, escaped from the place along with his wife on seeing the police.
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Case registered following court orders
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, June 24
The police yesterday registered an FIR under Sections 302, 304, 330, 364 and 120-B, IPC, against CRPF havildar Kasturi Lal for allegedly kidnapping and killing a Dalit youth, Parshotam (22), of Dadoh village of this subdivision. The case was registered following the direction of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

According to information, Gurdai Devi, mother of the deceased, had approached the judiciary in this regard. After the failure of the police to register a case against the accused, she had filed an application in the court. The police had “found” that the victim had died in a road accident on June 2 near Nangal in Punjab as the Nangal police had registered a case of death by accident.

In her complaint, she said her son was jobless and the accused promised him a job. He demanded Rs 50,000 for the purpose. She stated that she arranged the money by raising a loan and the accused took her son with him. Several days later, she received an anonymous call, informing her that Parshotam had met with an accident near Nangal. She alleged that her son had died under mysterious circumstances.

According to Mr Suresh Thakur, DSP, Nurpur, the police registered the FIR following court directions but it will take action only after preliminary investigations.
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14 get Balraj Sahni awards

Shimla, June 24
Chander Trikha, Director Haryana Sahitya Academy, Vipan Pubby, Resident Editor, Indian Express, Chandigarh, V.P. Prabhakar adviser, Dainik Bhaskar, Chandigarh, Prashant Kokoty, playwright from Assam, Sanat Chatterjee, artist and painter and Nirmala Devi of Pipli village (Mandi) who killed a leopard with a sickle were among the fourteen recipients of the Balraj Sahni awards 2002-03 for their contribution in various fields.

The awards instituted by the Shimla-based All-India artists association were presented by Himachal Governor Justice VS Kokje at a function here today.

The awards were presented every year for contribution to art, culture, literature, journalism, education and health and acts of bravery.

The awards for promotion of Urdu, Hindi and Sanskrit literature were presented to Raminder Jakhu (IAS), Chander Trikha and Mathura Dutt Pandey of Chandigarh while Saroj Bharadwaj, lecturer in Government College, Mandi was awarded for her book Arbinbdo’s Evolutionary Vision.

K .R. Bharti, former Director Art and Language, Himachal Pradesh and A.N. Sharma, former Commissioner of Shimla Municipal Corporation were awarded for creative writing in Hindi and giving boost to tourism in Shimla.

Besides Vipan Pubby and V.P. Prabhakar, V.K. Jalali of UNI, New Delhi was awarded for contribution in the field of journalism.

Dr L.S. Pal was given award for contribution in field of health while Dr Brij Lal Vinta, Principal Government College, Shimla was awarded for contribution in the field of education.

Gopi Krishan award for excellence in Bharat Natyam, Kathak Dance and Sitar were given to Amrita Avinash Jagam of Nagpur, seven-year-old Khyati of Bhillai and Kailash Sood of Shimla respectively. — PTI
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IT teachers bear the brunt
Our Correspondent

Solan, June 24
Following media reports regarding the non-payment of salaries to IT teachers for the past four months by a Hyderabad-based company in the district, termination notices have been served to two teachers for “exposing the matter before the media”.

The Himachal Pradesh Computer Instructors Association (HPCIA), which had shown resentment at the treatment being meted out to IT teachers, has received letters regarding the termination of services of Mr Naveen Sharma and Mr Devender Attri.

The letter issued from the liaison officer of the company states that their current working violates the terms and conditions specified on the appointment letter whereby it made clear that the appointee was required to maintain secrecy and not disclose any information about the project or the product. It further states that any failure to comply in this regard would attract disciplinary and legal action.
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Top three positions go to Bedians
Our Correspondent

Shimla, June 24
Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) today declared the result of BA III (pass course) examination held in April. This was declared by Mr B.R. Kaushal, Controller of Examinations, here today.

Neha Sharma, a student of St Bedes’ College, topped the BA III examinations, securing 755 marks out of 1000. Amit Kaur Raina of the same college got the second position by securing 735 marks while Itty Sharma and Neha Singh, also of the same college, got the third position by securing 714 marks. Sheetal Thakur of Government College Mandi secured the fourth position by securing 712 marks. Reena Kumari of SGD College, Nadaun, stood fifth by securing 704 marks.
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One booked on rape charge
Our Correspondent

Shimla, June 24
The Dhalli police registered a case of rape against Bharat Bhushan here today. The victim, a Class VIII student, was raped on June 18 and 20. The matter came to light when the victim returned home late and her mother questioned her. The girl reported the incident to her mother and her mother reported the matter to the police. The accused is absconding.
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A clarification

In the report ‘‘Kol Dam project at Bilaspur’’ published in The Tribune of June 24 on page 3, it was inadvertently printed that the total cost of the project is Rs 45000 crore. The actual figure is Rs 4500 crore. The error is regretted.
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