Wednesday, September 24, 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

Ex-Colonelís son held for murder
Dharamsala , September 23
The Kangra police has arrested Sagar Rana (23) son of a retired army colonel, for the murder of Ms Renu Sood, vice-principal of a private school. The revelations by him have raised many social issues.

Scrub typhus claims one more life
Shimla, September 23
The scrub typhus caused one more death at the IGMC hospital here today taking the total toll to 16. The deceased was identified as Tulsi Ram of Rohru.

Govt to encourage private educational institutions
Shimla, September 23
The Himachal Government will encourage opening of quality educational institutions in the private sector to improve the quality of education in the state. 

Ordinance to reduce pressure on VC
Shimla, September 23
While certain provisions of the ordinance amending the Himachal Pradesh University Act are being seen as an onslaught on the autonomy of the institution in certain quarters, such provisions already exist in the laws governing the two farm universities of the state.

Clouds form multiplex patterns as the sun sets Clouds form multiplex patterns as the sun sets in Shimla on Tuesday. ó Photo by Anil Dayal



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Dharamsala
Mandi
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES
 

VC should proceed on leave, says CM
Shimla, September 23
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said that Dr S.D. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University, should proceed on leave to pave the way for an impartial inquiry into charges against him.

Panwar is back as varsity Registrar
Shimla, September 23
Within 24 hours of the promulgation of the ordinance amending the Himachal Pradesh University Act, Mr R.D. Panwar, an officer of the state administrative service officer who was reverted by Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, is back as Registrar.

HC sets up panel on stone crushers
Shimla, September 23
The HP High Court yesterday constituted a committee under the chairmanship of a former Chief Secretary of the state, Mr B.C. Negi, to find out whether stone crushers in the state are functioning as per the norms laid down by the state government.

Resentment against non-supply of post office lottery coupons
Kangra, September 23
Resentment prevails among the Saving Bank depositors of the Post Office here for allegedly depriving them of the lottery coupons by the postal authorities for which they were entitled and the lucky draw of Rs 20.31 lakhs lottery is likely to take place tomorrow at Bachat Bhavan Shimla.

Mandi hero remembered
Mandi, September 23
Commandant Sunil Dutt Sharma of this town was among the nine climbers of the ITBP who were killed in an avalanche on Saturday. The town plunged into grief as the news reached and his griefstricken relatives rushed to New Delhi.

6 held for assault on Dalit family
Chamba, September 23
The police has arrested six of the eight persons allegedly involved in committing atrocities on a family belonging to the scheduled Castes of Didodi village in Churah subdivision in the district recently.

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Ex-Colonelís son held for murder
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala , September 23
The Kangra police has arrested Sagar Rana (23) son of a retired army colonel, for the murder of Ms Renu Sood, vice-principal of a private school. The revelations by him have raised many social issues.

Sagar Rana is computer savvy and is reported to have hacked the Army computer network in J & K in 2001 when his father was posted there. As per his confession this resulted in complete breakdown of Army computer network in the area for three days which he set right later.

The accused confessed that he had been a drug addict and also used these on some girls including Ms Renu Sood (45) before exploiting her and making pictures to blackmail her. He also enticed some young girls. According to SP Kangra Zahoor Zaidi, while some girls were filmed after drugs, others were filmed with consent .

According to the police nearly six girls in late teens or early twenties were his prey and some of them later took to prostitution.

Mr Zaidi said some parents themselves came forward showing anxiety on their daughterís involvement and all were correct. He said parents had been ignoring waywardness of their daughters. He said the investigations raise a social issue.

The youth had been dealing in drugs, porno material and had two journalists involved in these trades the police said. He also confessed to drug trafficking in the area, flesh trade and sale of habit forming drugs by certain chemists to students and others. Mr Zaidi said that the police would launch an offensive against chemists involved in the illegal sale of drugs. He however, declined to name influential persons named by Sagar Rana but said that police would keep an eye on them.

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Scrub typhus claims one more life
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 23
The scrub typhus caused one more death at the IGMC hospital here today taking the total toll to 16. The deceased was identified as Tulsi Ram of Rohru.

As many as 12 new patients were admitted in the past 24 hours to the hospital. In all 56 patients were undergoing treatment, and while 51 had been discharged.

Dr Harbans Kapoor, Principal of the college, said that it had been decided to carry out serological studies in the hospital itself. The required reagents and other chemicals had been procured from the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, for the purpose.

He said Weil-Felix test would be conducted on the blood samples of the suspected patients to confirm if they had scrub typhus. By conducting tests in-house the doctors would be able to distinguish other patients showing similar of symptoms.

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Govt to encourage private educational institutions
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 23
The Himachal Government will encourage opening of quality educational institutions in the private sector to improve the quality of education in the state.
Stating this while presiding over the annual function of DAV Public School at New Shimla here today, Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, said the state was heading towards cent per cent literacy through a vast network of about 14,000 educational institutions in the government sector and a number of educational institutions in the private sector. He said there were only 331 educational institutions in the state when it came into being and today it had three universities, 40 colleges included in the 14,000 educational institutions in the government sector. The literacy percentage had also increased from about 8 per cent in 1948 to over 77 per cent.

The Chief Minister said the government would welcome entrepreneurs with experience and resources to establish institutions of standard in information technology, bio-technology, medical, engineering and other professional fields.

He lauded the role of the DAV management for setting up outstanding educational institutions in the country to supplemented the governmentís efforts in achieving good results in the field of education. He said in times to come such organisation would have to contribute more to the field.

He said his government had, during its previous tenure, successfully achieved the target of compulsory primary education. He said now the steps were afoot to achieve the target of compulsory elementary education in the state.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said English would be introduced from the first standard in all government primary schools from the next academic session, which would be a step towards providing quality education to children.

Mr M.L. Khanna, general secretary of the DAV College Management Committee, and Mr A.L. Bhari, chairman, local management committee, also spoke.

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Ordinance to reduce pressure on VC
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 23
While certain provisions of the ordinance amending the Himachal Pradesh University Act are being seen as an onslaught on the autonomy of the institution in certain quarters, such provisions already exist in the laws governing the two farm universities of the state.

In fact, the ordinance will bring parity in the laws governing the three universities in the state. It provides for the appointment of officers from the government as Registrar and Finance Officer on deputation. However, officers from the IAS and the state administrative service have been holding the posts of Registrar and those from the state accounts service have been functioning as comptroller of finance in the Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry and the Chaudhary Shravan Kumar Agriculture University. The arrangement has been working well all these years.

While the ordinance seeks to curtail the emergency powers of the Vice-Chancellor, no such blanket powers have been bestowed on the Vice-Chancellors of the farm universities. The Vice-Chancellor of the Himachal Pradesh University will still be more powerful as the ordinance does not take away the emergency power but only puts restrictions on it. For instance, it has been made mandatory for the Vice-Chancellor to get all decisions taken using emergency powers ratified by the executive council within 60 days, failing which there will cease to have effect. Also the Vice-Chancellor will not be able to use emergency powers for making appointments and removing officers.

Dr L.R. Verma, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Horticulture and Forestry University, maintains that restrictions on emergency power will reduce pressure on the Vice-Chancellor to a great extent. Not only that the provision for ratification of decisions taken using emergency power will also ensure the democratic functioning of the institution as envisaged under the law.

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VC should proceed on leave, says CM
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 23
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said that Dr S.D. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University, should proceed on leave to pave the way for an impartial inquiry into charges against him.

Talking to newspersons here today, he said he endorsed the views of the Vigilance Department that Dr Sharma should not occupy the post of Vice-Chancellor until the completion of the inquiry. He said the government would make a recommendation in this regard to the Chancellor.

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Panwar is back as varsity Registrar
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 23
Within 24 hours of the promulgation of the ordinance amending the Himachal Pradesh University Act, Mr R.D. Panwar, an officer of the state administrative service officer who was reverted by Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, is back as Registrar.

The decision of Dr Sharma to remove Mr Panwar had created an embarrassing situation for the government. In fact, the university had two Registrarís for some days as Dr Suresh Kapoor, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, started functioning, whereas Mr Panwar did not relinquish charge.

Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, had taken a serious view of the action of Dr Sharma and met Mr V.S. Kokje, Governor, the next day on the issue. He said the Vice-Chancellor could not be allowed function in defiance of the government and the same day an FIR was registered against Dr Sharma by the Vigilance Department.

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HC sets up panel on stone crushers
Our Legal Correspondent

Shimla, September 23
The HP High Court yesterday constituted a committee under the chairmanship of a former Chief Secretary of the state, Mr B.C. Negi, to find out whether stone crushers in the state are functioning as per the norms laid down by the state government.

The court directed the Secretary, Industry, to file an affidavit by September 24 explaining how many stone crushers are working as per the norms.

The court directed the committee to give its report within three weeks. The court made it clear that if any stone crusher was found violating the norms, it would not hesitate in closing down such a unit permanently.

The members of the committee are Mr A.K. Mukherjee, a former Director (Forests), Mr J.R. Kainth, a former Engineer-in-Chief of the HPPWD, Mr N.K. Sharma, Director, Geological Survey of India, Dr R.K. Kohli, Professor, Centre for Environment, Panjab University and Dr Subhash Gupta, Senior Scientific Officer, State Council for Science and Technology.

The court had earlier directed the state government to close down 314 stone crushers in the state in the wake of failure of the State Monitoring Committee to submit its report in time before the court. These orders were passed by the court on a public interest litigation. 

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Resentment against non-supply of post 
office lottery coupons
Our Correspondent

Kangra, September 23
Resentment prevails among the Saving Bank depositors of the Post Office here for allegedly depriving them of the lottery coupons by the postal authorities for which they were entitled and the lucky draw of Rs 20.31 lakhs lottery is likely to take place tomorrow at Bachat Bhavan Shimla.

Prof. V.C. Bhandari, said today here that under small savings award programme people were asked to deposit money in the post office from July 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 and they would be provided Lucky Draw Coupons one each for Rs 5000 deposit. He said that he and his wife Ms Rennu Bhandari deposited under PPF head but they were not given the lucky draw coupons. He said that his wife deposited more than Rs 45000 during this period and was entitled for nine coupons.

He alleged that many depositors were deprived of lottery coupons. He said that he had approached the postal authorities several times but without any result.

The Postmaster of the Head Post office here, Mr Prem Chand said that these coupons should have been available with the post office here between February and July this year but were not supplied by the authorities.

He said that these coupons were supplied to the post office on July 27, this year and next day on July 28, 2003 we were asked to deposit back the remaining coupons at Dharamsala.

Depositors allege that there was some discrepancy in the distribution of these coupons for the vested interests and demanded the lucky draw should be stopped and the matter be inquired into.

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Mandi hero remembered
Our Correspondent

Mandi, September 23
Commandant Sunil Dutt Sharma of this town was among the nine climbers of the ITBP who were killed in an avalanche on Saturday. The town plunged into grief as the news reached and his griefstricken relatives rushed to New Delhi.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had honoured Commandant Dutt at a function held at Vigyan Bhavan on May 20 by presenting him with the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for mountaineering expeditions.

Sunil Dutt (41) was born in Dev Dhar village near the Tungal valley. He had joined the ITBP in 1986 and scaled Mana Peak of Uttaranchal in 1988. He had also scaled Thelu peak, Sudershan Parbat, and Saser Kangri.

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6 held for assault on Dalit family
Our Correspondent

Chamba, September 23
The police has arrested six of the eight persons allegedly involved in committing atrocities on a family belonging to the scheduled Castes of Didodi village in Churah subdivision in the district recently.

On September 19, a group of eight persons, armed with axes, a gun and lathis entered the house of Umed Singh, a Dalit, and allegedly beat him up along with his wife and kids. One of them fired in the air to terrorise this family. 

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Hunter kills another hunter
Our Correspondent

Kangra, September 23
Ravinder Singh, a hunter, was killed by another hunter, Balwan Singh by mistake the police said yesterday.
Kangra district police chief, Mr S. Zahoor H. Zahdi, said a group of hunters had gone to Halaid forests in the Jawalamukhi area hunting. He said according to a report Balwan Singh fired at Ravinder Singh mistaking him for some animal. The police has arrested Balwan Singh.

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Special courts sought

Shimla, September 23
Mrs Viplove Thakur, chairperson of the State Commission for Women, has expressed concern over the increasing cases of rape and demanded special courts to bring the guilty to book. She said this after enquiring after the well-being of a seven-year-old victim of rape, admitted in the IGMC Hospital, here. ó TNS

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