SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

New Godhra probe may flare up passions: BJP
New Delhi, July 15
Terming Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav’s announcement of a departmental probe into the Godhra carnage as “legally untenable”, the BJP and VHP today warned that it could “flare up” the communal situation in the country.

Report of Ahmedabad Forensic Science Laboratory

Manmohan, Armitage review bilateral ties
New Delhi, July 15
United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, during his day-long substantive talks with a wide spectrum of the Indian leadership yesterday, was assured of continuity in Indo-US ties.

Should Verma have sent Bill to Kalam?
New Delhi, July 15
There is a view in the government that Punjab governor O. P. Verma acted in haste in giving immediate assent to the controversial water Bill passed by the state Assembly.

Vasundhara briefs House on talks with PM
Jaipur, July 15
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who returned here after apprising Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh of the devastating implications of the Punjab Government’s Act annulling all existing agreements on Ravi-Beas waters with the neighboring states told the Legislative Assembly that the Centre had directed to ensure regular supply of water to the desert districts of the state.



EARLIER STORIES

 

Amitabh BachchanAmitabh immortalised in crystal
Mumbai, July 15
After being immortalised in wax, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan’s face has been captured in a glittering block of crystal. Unveiled last night, the three-dimensional image that will never fade, was produced using patented laser technology, which ensures that the image remains the same regardless of the angle from which it is viewed.

Dr Kasturirangan honoured
New Delhi, July 15
Noted space scientist and member of Parliament Dr K. Kasturirangan has become the first Asian to win the prestigious Award for Space Research.

Bill on job quota in pvt sector soon
New Delhi, July 15
Union Minister of Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan today announced the UPA government’s resolve to bring a bill in Parliament soon to introduce reservation of jobs in the private sector for the socially backward sections of the society.

Massive blaze in Oil India pipeline
Siliguri, July 15
A massive fire broke out tonight in an Oil India pipeline near a railway bridge here leading to suspension of train services from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and prompting authorities to call out the Army for dousing the flames. The fire broke out at 9.15 pm and raged fiercely late into the night as firemen failed to get close to the inferno because of intense heat, sources said. — PTI


Member of Parliament Jaya Pradha having words with Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan A 39-day-old leopard, Shuchi, has struck an uncanny rapport with a bitch at Delhi Zoo in the Capital
Member of Parliament Jaya Pradha (right) having words with Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan at the Samajwadi parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. A 39-day-old leopard, Shuchi, has struck an uncanny rapport with a bitch at Delhi Zoo in the Capital. — Tribune photoS Mukesh Aggarwal


Videos
Soha Ali Khan, the new kid on the block.
(28k, 56k)
Chotu gets artificial limbs.
(28k, 56k)
Centre welcomes Hurriyat's decision on talks.
(28k, 56k)

Top









 

New Godhra probe may flare up passions: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
Terming Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav’s announcement of a departmental probe into the Godhra carnage as “legally untenable”, the BJP and VHP today warned that it could “flare up” the communal situation in the country.

The BJP, which forced an adjournment on both Houses in Parliament over the issue, also said the move smacked of a “deep-rooted” conspiracy involving, among others, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and accused the UPA government of pursuing the “path of confrontation” on all major issues.

“It is a well-planned move to cause instability and unrest in Gujarat. It is aimed at vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the state and generating communal frenzy. It is the old and hackneyed Congress technique to garner votes, for which they can go to any extent,” senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi told newspersons here.

Dubbing Mr Yadav’s move as purely “political”, Mr Joshi said: “The decision may give some temporary benefit to Mr Yadav, but it would be a loss for the country, the government and the Congress. The Congress and the UPA would lose heavily if the communal situation deteriorates,” he said.

The former Union Minister said it would be better if Mr Prasad consulted his Law Minister and the Attorney-General on the issue as, “according to well-established legal practices, when an inquiry commission is on the job and the issue is pending before the courts under the Supreme Court’s supervision a new commission cannot be set up to investigate the same matter.”

On the report of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory presented by Mr Prasad, he asked, “What is new about it? In Parliament, the NDA government itself had confirmed the presence of such a report in response to a question asked by some members.”

“The report was part of the answer to the question, which is equivalent to tabling it in Parliament,” he said when asked why the NDA government had not tabled the report in Parliament.

Alleging a “deep-rooted” conspiracy, BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha V. K. Malhotra said the UPA was “playing the Muslim card” ahead of the assembly elections in Bihar and Maharashtra.

Asked whether they would continue to disrupt parliamentary proceedings, Mr Joshi said former Railway Minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar should be allowed to respond to the allegations levelled against him by Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Meanwhile, the VHP also joined the chorus and warned that the decision to constitute another probe on the Godhra train massacre could trigger communal tension and disturb peace in Gujarat.

“There is no need for another inquiry when already there is a judicial commission probing into the incident. There will be division of opinion on the fresh probe, which could result in avoidable tension,” VHP international working president Ashok Singhal told newspersons.
Top

 

Report of Ahmedabad Forensic Science Laboratory

The following is the text of the report submitted by the Forensic Science Laboratory, Ahmedabad:

Dt. 17.5.2002
Forensic Science Laboratory, State of Gujarat
New Mental Corner, Ahmedabad -16

Spot investigation report No. 2 regarding CR No 9/2002 Godhra Railway Police Station.

A team of forensic experts had visited the place of offence on 3.5.2002 in which along with the under signed Shri A.N. Joshi, Scientific Officer, Ahmedabad was included. In order to recreate the real picture of how the offence was committed on the day of incident, one coach of the train was kept on the same spot. With the help of different types of containers experimental demonstrations were also carried out by using liquids inside the said coach. On the basis of which the following conclusions were made.

1. It was found that the height of the window of the coach was around 7 ft. from the ground at the place. Under this circumstance, it was not possible to throw any inflammable fluid inside from out side the coach from any bucket or carboy, because by doing this, most of the fluid was getting thrown out side. At the place of the incidents there was one heap of grit of three feet height at a distance of around 14 ft. in the southern side of the coach. Water was thrown on the windows of the coach with the help of bucket standing on the top of the said heap, in that case only about 10 to 15% of the water went inside and the rest of the quantity was spilled outside itself. Thus if the inflammable fluid is thrown from outside then bottom side of the coach. But after examination of the coach and the track, no effect was found of the fire on bottom side below the windows of the coach. By taking in to consideration this fact and also the burning pattern of the outer side of the coach, a conclusion can be drawn that no inflammable fluid had been thrown inside from outside of the coach.

2. There also appears to be no possibility that any inflammable liquid was thrown through the door of the coach.

3. By standing in the passage between the compartment of the coach and the northern side door of the eastern side of the coach, water was poured towards the western side from a container with a wide mouth like a bucket, in that case most part of the coach was covered with 60 liters of water. By pouring the water in this manner, the water went only towards the West and no part of it came out of the door nor did it go towards the latrine side.

4. On the basis of the above experimental demonstration such a conclusion can be drawn that 60 liters of inflammable liquid was poured towards the western side by using a wide mouthed container by standing on the passage between the northern side door of the eastern side of the S-6 coach and the compartment of seat No. 72 and coach was set on fire immediately thereafter. If the period after the train had started from Godhra Railway Station, intensity of fire, the degree of burn of the objects that were inside the coach etc. are taken into account, it can also be concluded that a large quantity (around 60 liters) of highly inflammable fluid was used to set the aforesaid fire and that the fire had spread very rapidly.

Sd/-

Dr. M.S. Dahiya, Assistant Director

(Seal)

Note: The sketch of the coach and the sketch of the spot are included.

Spot investigation report No. 1 regarding CR No. 9/2/2002, Godhra Railway Police Station The forensic experts had visited the place of offence on 1.5.2002 in the team of the experts along with the undersigned, the other experts were Shri A.R. Vaghela, Scientific Officer, Vadodara, Shri Yogesh Patel, Scientific Officer (Mobile), Panchmahal and Shri S.L. Desai, Photographer, Surat. The experts have made detailed investigation of the burnt down S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train. The said coach was kept in the yard of the Godhra railway station. The observations made on the basis of the formations learnt by the detailed examination of the coach are as under.

1. A large number of his marks were observed on the outer part of the southern side of the burnt out S-6 coach which were due to stones. A part from this a large number of stones were found scattered inside the coach and similarly glass pieces were also seen. It was found that the said glass pieces were of the windows. From these observations it is possible to say that there was large scale stone pelting on the coach from outside and the glasses of the southern side was primarily broken due to the stone throwing and the glass of the northern side were broken due to the heat of the fire.

2. From the condition of the colour on the door of the coach, the burning pattern, condition of the hand lock, the marks of the melting aluminium strips of the frame of the window etc. it can be established that both the east-west doors of the northern side of the coach and similarly the eastern door of the southern side thus a total of three doors were opened at the time of the incident of fire and the door in the west direction of the southern side was closed.

3. Out of the windows in the southern side; one rod of one of the windows was found to be broken due to heat. As the height of the lower part of the window was at the height of more than 7 ft. from the ground, it negates the possibility of force on the rod from window side. Further it was not found that any instrument was used to bend the rod. Thus it becomes clear that the rod was attempted to be broken by the use of force from inside. It appears that the other rods had become loose due to the melting of joints due to heat.

4. By observing the burning pattern inside the coach, its degree, the depth and the eligatering pattern on the floor. It appears that the fire had spread inside the coach very rapidly. Further by observing the intensity of the eligatering pattern on the floor. It appears that the fire has started from the eastern side of the coach and thereafter spread towards western side rapidly. Further, it appears that the intensity and proportion of the burning of the objects inside the coach was very high, up to around 80 per cent part of the east to west side whereas in the 20 per cent part, the intensity of burning was less in comparison with 80 per cent part.

5. No sign was observed of the use of any corrosive fluid like acid in the said fire.

6. By observing the condition of the frames of the windows of the coach it appears that all the windows of the coach were closed during the time of the fire.

Dr M.S. Dahiya, Assistant Director

(Seal)
Top

 

Manmohan, Armitage review bilateral ties
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, during his day-long substantive talks with a wide spectrum of the Indian leadership yesterday, was assured of continuity in Indo-US ties.

Key diplomatic sources told The Tribune today that not only the top functionaries of the Government of India but also the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mr L.K. Advani, assured Mr Armitage that strengthening of India’s relationship with the US was not a partisan issue or a contentious issue.

At yesterday’s talks, both sides pledged to have continuity in Indo-US relations at all levels and expressed their desire to further intensify bilateral cooperation with a strategic perspective.

Mr Armitage did not make any request to the Indian leadership for sending combat troops to Iraq and the issue of fencing of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir was not discussed, though Pakistan and Indo-Pak relations did come up for discussions.

There was no assurance from Mr Armitage on the issue of Pakistan still continuing to have terrorist infrastructure in place on its soil — something which Mr Armitage told to his Indian interlocutors as well as to reporters at his press conference at Roosevelt House in the evening. Sources said there was no assurance from Mr Armitage because no assurance was sought from the Indian side in the first place.

A thorough review of the bilateral relations was conducted when Mr Armitage called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for about half an hour. He held a substantive meeting with External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh and a relatively brief meeting with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the latter assuming importance as India and the US have a bilateral dialogue mechanism on defence cooperation.

Mr Armitage also held talks with National Security Adviser J.N. Dixit and Foreign Secretary Shashank. This is the first visit at the broad policy level from the US after the UPA government assumed office here.

Mr Ronen Sen, who is going to be India’s Ambassador to Washington, also joined the talks later in the day. Mr Sen was present at the talks when Mr Armitage met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh.

Before his departure for Pakistan, Mr Armitage addressed a press conference where he said that he did not make any request for Indian troops for Iraq.

On Pakistan, he said Pakistan had clearly not dismantled all the infrastructure that supported cross-border terrorism. He also admitted that infiltration was continuing from the Pakistani side.

Under the next stage in strategic partnership (NSSP), India and the US agreed to expand cooperation in three specific areas: civilian nuclear activities, civilian space programmes, and high technology trade. In addition, the two countries also agreed to expand their dialogue on missile defence.

Among the regional and international issues discussed were the recent developments in South Asia, India-Pakistan relations, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Top

 

Should Verma have sent Bill to Kalam?
Anita Katyal

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
There is a view in the government that Punjab governor O.P. Verma acted in haste in giving immediate assent to the controversial water Bill passed by the state Assembly.

Given the far-reaching ramifications of this legislation as it also concerns other states, the Governor should have referred it to the President for further perusal, senior UPA ministers maintain.

This aspect of the controversy is learnt to have figured at last night’s meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs (CCPA) called especially to review the fallout of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s unilateral move, abrogating water-sharing accords with neighbouring states.

Besides reviewing the Punjab situation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also briefed the CCPA about his discussions with the four Chief Ministers concerned.

Sources said a presidential reference is not required for all Bills sent to him by a state government. However, there are exceptions where a consultation with the President is called for. This is particularly so in the case of Bills which have inter-state implications like the one passed by the Punjab Assembly.

The same applies to Bills concerning tribals and on subjects on the concurrent list.

UPA ministers, who did not wish to be quoted, said the centre could have intervened if the Punjab governor had not acted in haste and instead referred this Bill to the President. “He should have realised that this Bill has serious implications for the neighbouring states,” a UPA minister said.

The Centre is smarting from the manner in which Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh got this Bill passed without consulting the Prime Minister or Congress President. It was stated that the CM has succeeded in pre-empting his political rivals by making this a state issue and strengthened his own position.

But by showing utter disregard for the other states, he has weakened the Centre. “Legally, a Chief Minister is not bound to consult the Centre, but politically he should do so,” said a senior UPA minister.

It was pointed out that now that the state Assembly has passed the legislation, the Centre’s options are limited and it will have to depend on the courts to bail it out. Legal experts, consulted by the Centre have informed the Prime Minister that Mr Amarinder Singh’s move is constitutionally untenable and will be struck down by the Supreme Court.

They refer to a 1991 precedent when the Karnataka government had passed a legislation rejecting the award given by the Cauvery tribunal asking Karnataka to release 205 TMC water to Tamil Nadu. This was rejected by the Supreme Court and the then Karnataka Chief Minister S.Bangarappa suffered the consequences. He was later removed and replaced by Mr Veerrappa Moily. It is a different matter that the Moily-led Congress was routed in the 1994 Assembly elections.

Clearly, this precedent holds important lessons for the Congress and Mr Amarinder Singh.
Top

 

Vasundhara briefs House on talks with PM
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, July 15
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who returned here after apprising Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh of the devastating implications of the Punjab Government’s Act annulling all existing agreements on Ravi-Beas waters with the neighboring states told the Legislative Assembly that the Centre had directed to ensure regular supply of water to the desert districts of the state. An Executive Engineer would be deputed to monitor water supply at the Harike barrage, she added.

She also informed the House that Rajasthan had constituted a team of legal advisers to devise a strategy for a legal battle in the matter.

She stated the Rajasthan MPs would also submit a memorandum urging the Prime Minister to get the Punjab Termination of Agreement Bill 2004 cancelled and maintain the status quo as on July 12, 2004. They would also demand that Rajasthan’s share of 52.69 per cent (8.60 MAF) in the Ravi-Beas waters be maintained and that the BBMB should be directed to control the headworks at Ropar, Harike and Ferozepore.
Top

 

Amitabh immortalised in crystal

Mumbai, July 15
After being immortalised in wax, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan’s face has been captured in a glittering block of crystal.

Unveiled last night, the three-dimensional image that will never fade, was produced using patented laser technology, which ensures that the image remains the same regardless of the angle from which it is viewed.

A few years ago, the actor’s image was crafted in wax and installed at Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London.

The image was made public at a function at which Bachchan unveiled the exclusive signature collection of the Damas Solitaire.

Damas, a jeweller based in the Middle East, recently signed him as its brand ambassador on a three-year contract.

Every piece of jewellery in the collection bears the signature of the Big B and can be personalised with the customer’s name or signature.

Each piece in the collection will have the initials of the Big B engraved in the girdle of the solitaire. — UNI
Top

 

Dr Kasturirangan honoured
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
Noted space scientist and member of Parliament Dr K. Kasturirangan has become the first Asian to win the prestigious Award for Space Research.

The prestigious Brock Medal by the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), is given for outstanding contribution in the field of photogrammetry, remote-sensing and spatial information sciences.

The medal is instituted by the ISPRS and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

The ISPRS International Council conferred the international award on Dr Kasturirangan for his contribution to space science in India, especially in Earth observation and spactial technologies, an ISRO press note said today.

The medal was presented to Dr Kasturirangan, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), now director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), in Istanbul, Turkey.
Top

 

Bill on job quota in pvt sector soon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
Union Minister of Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan today announced the UPA government’s resolve to bring a bill in Parliament soon to introduce reservation of jobs in the private sector for the socially backward sections of the society.

Allaying the fears of industry, Mr Paswan asserted, “Nobody can stop reservation in the private sector. We are committed to the issue as per our Common Minimum Programme (CPM) and a bill in this regard will be brought in Parliament soon.”

Speaking at a seminar here on reservation in private sector, he contended that the issue of reservation was a national issue and should be supported by all political parties and industrial associations.
Top

 

Surjeet discharged

New Delhi, July 15
Veteran communist leader and CPM General Secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet has been discharged from a private hospital.

He was admitted yesterday after he complained of general weakness.

Sources said doctors attended on him for gastric trouble. He was discharged last evening. — TNS
Top

 

Bansal, Maken among LS presiding officers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mr Ajay Maken were among the 10 presiding officers of the Lok Sabha, announced by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today.

The other members on the list are Mr Giridhar Gamang, Ms Sumitra Mahajan, Mr Lakshmi Narayan Pandey, Mr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Mr Varkala Radhakrishnan, Mr Arjun Charan Sethi, Mr Manavendra Shah and Mr Devendra Prasad Yadav.

The presiding officers conduct the proceedings of the House in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
Top

 

SP joins Left on FDI hike issue

New Delhi, July 15
The Samajwadi Party joining hands with Left parties on the FDI cap hike in telecom, insurance and civil aviation, said it would oppose the proposal tooth and nail, as the move endangered national security.

“The national security would be endangered by such a move,” SP general secretary Amar Singh said. The SP would formulate a joint strategy with the Left. — TNS
Top

 
BRIEFLY


Gladys Staines, the widow of slain Australian missionary Graham Staines, with her daughter Esther Editorial: Goodbye Mrs Staines!


Gladys Staines (R), the widow of slain Australian missionary Graham Staines, with her daughter Esther talks to media persons in Kolkota on Thursday. Graham Staines and his sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6, were burnt in the jeep they were sleeping in by a group of hardliners in 1999 in Orissa. Gladys Staines, who has been working with lepers in Orissa since 1999, said she had forgiven the killers and would go back to Australia. — Reuters

Magsaysay winner dead
PUNE:
Padmabhushan and Magsaysay award winner Dr Banu Koyaji died on early Thursday morning after a prolonged illness. She was 86, sources close to the family said. Dr Koyaji was known for her contribution to the cause of women and children, public health and family planning. — UNI

Mala Sinha, Danny, Baichung felicitated
GANGTOK: Yesteryear film actress Mala Sinha, cinestar Danny Denzongpa and ace footballer Baichung Bhutia were among the 59 Nepali-speaking personalities from all over the country who were felicitated by the Sikkim Government here on Wednesday as part of its celebrations of the 190th birth anniversary of 19th century Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya. — PTI

3 kanwarias drowned
DEHRADUN:
Three kanwarias were drowned in the Ganges on the last day of the Kanwar mela at Hardwar. Police officials said two kanwarias were drowned at Kangra Ghat and one at Har ki Pauri while taking a holy dip. While one body has been recovered, search is on for the other two. — TNS
Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |