SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Siachen Demilitarisation
Govt should respect Army’s view: J.J. Singh
New Delhi, January 15
Two days after he had chosen not to reply to a question on demilitarisation of Siachen glacier, the world's highest battlefield, the Chief of the Army Staff General J. J. Singh today said the government would hopefully consider the views of the force on the issue before arriving at any decision.

Widow of Naib Subedar Avtar Singh of the Sikh Regiment on her way to receive the Sena Medal during the Army Day parade at Delhi Cantt parade ground in New Delhi on Monday — PTI photo
Widow of Naib Subedar Avtar Singh of the Sikh Regiment on her way to receive the Sena Medal during the Army Day parade at Delhi Cantt parade ground in New Delhi on Monday

Veerappan case: Rs 2.8 cr aid for JSTF victims
New Delhi, January 15
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today announced interim relief of Rs 2.8 crore to 89 persons who suffered atrocities at the hands of the Joint Special Task Force (JSTF) during operations to arrest forest brigand Veerappan.



EARLIER STORIES




JD(U) adopts dual strategy towards BJP
Patna, January 15
In what appeared to be a calculated move aimed at a wider gameplan, the JD(U) seems to have adopted a dual strategy with alliance partner BJP. This is evident from the contradictory stand adopted by the JD(U) vis-a-vis the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections in UP and Punjab.

Protesters force Tata men to return
Kolkata, January 15
Tata Motors officials, who visited Singur today to complete formalities for the possession of the land, were forced to go back to Kolkata by the angry demonstrators, including the evicted farmers and their families.

Trinamool Congress supporters block a road in the Esplanade Area in Kolkata on Monday to protest against forcible acquisition of farm land in West Bengal — PTI photo
Trinamool Congress supporters block a road in the Esplanade Area in Kolkata on Monday to protest against forcible acquisition of farm land in West Bengal

Priceless lehnga for Aishwarya
Varanasi, January 15
It’s a one up for the traditional Banarsi silk capital. Aishwarya Rai is likely to tie the knot with Bachchan Jr in an ‘anmol’ lehnga to be handcrafted here. The Bachchan family has reportedly ordered Ash’s wedding dress at one of the renowned stores here.

Haryana invites UK institutions
New Delhi, January 15
The Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, today invited British institutions of higher learning to set up their centres at the Rajiv Gandhi Education City in the state at a meeting with the British business delegation, led by Lord Karan Bilimoria. — TNS

BMC poll lists announced
Mumbai, January 15
With nominations for the February 1 elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) closing this evening, prospective candidates were thrown into a major confusion as all parties delayed releasing the list of candidates till the last minute.
The Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena were holding onto the list of candidates till late this morning in a bid to prevent rebels from jumping into the fray at the last minute. It was clear that 58 of its 104 sitting corporators would not be nominated. — TNS

Speed up probe, SC tells CBI
Tehelka scam, Kargil purchase
New Delhi, January 15
The CBI today submitted status report on latest update on the 48 defence-purchase cases pertaining to Tehelka expose and the acquiring of arms during the Kargil conflict to the Supreme Court, informing it that FIRs in 14 of them had been registered.

Nithari: NHRC awaits govt report
New Delhi, January 15
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said it will send its own team to Nithari village in Noida if the state government’s report on the serial killings is not satisfactory.

CBI raids Moninder’s factory
Noida, January 15
The CBI today raided the factory of Nithari serial killings accused Moninder Singh Pandher, even as four more bones were 'fished out' from the 'bada nullah' close to the 'killer house'.

Channels apologise for Gandhi video
New Delhi, January 15
The two news channels that risked the wrath of the government for beaming an offensive video

Judges Inquiry Bill referred to House panel
New Delhi, January 15
The Judges Inquiry Bill, providing for establishing National Judicial Council to probe any misconduct of the SC and HC judges, has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice to have a detailed study of the provisions laid down in it.

Videos
British soldiers's graves, a tourist spot. 
(56k)
Millions take holy dip in Ganges. 
(56k)
Protesters lathicharged by police. 
(56k)
Govt says cooking gas, kerosene subsides to stay. 
(56k)


Top









 

Siachen Demilitarisation
Govt should respect Army’s view: J.J. Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15
Two days after he had chosen not to reply to a question on demilitarisation of Siachen glacier, the world's highest battlefield, the Chief of the Army Staff General J. J. Singh today said the government would hopefully consider the views of the force on the issue before arriving at any decision.

As India and Pakistan agreed to expedite resolution of the Siachen issue General Singh said the Army had submitted its views to the government. “I am sure the government will keep them in mind,” he said.

Talking to reporters here on the sidelines of the 59th Army Day Parade, Gen Singh comments came when he was specifically asked whether the force was ready for demilitarisation of the glacier.

India and Pakistan have both decided to speed up talks on Siachen with New Delhi making it clear that it was not possible to fix a time frame to resolve the issue.

The decision was taken during the just concluded visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherkee to Pakistan.

Earlier addressing the parade, the Army chief described 2006 as a historic year for the Army as it emerged successful in anti-terror, humanitarian and peace-time operations and achieved progress in modernisation efforts.

The highlight of the year was the release of its sub-conventional warfare doctrine, which he said banks on the Army's vast experience and gives due consideration to human rights while striving to produce results.

The Army chief also presented gallantry awards and unit citations and took the salute of an impressive parade consisting of contingents and mechanised columns.

Seventeen officers, four of them posthumously, were awarded Sena Medals.

The Army showcased its weaponry, including indigenously developed multi-barrel rocket launcher system Pinaka, T-72 main battle tanks, improved Reporter radars, mobile-based transceiver station and mobile decontamination vehicle.

Top

 

Veerappan case: Rs 2.8 cr aid for JSTF victims
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today announced interim relief of Rs 2.8 crore to 89 persons who suffered atrocities at the hands of the Joint Special Task Force (JSTF) during operations to arrest forest brigand Veerappan.

Between April 1993 and October 18, 2004, persons living in the Sathyamangalam forest areas suffered various kinds of atrocities, including rape, outrage of modesty, assault, application of electric current, illegal detention, torture leading to permanent disability and prosecution under Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).

Although the commission has given the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu four weeks to give interim relief to victims and the next of kin of those killed, it would welcome award of relief before the stipulated period.

Justice Shivraj Patil, acting Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission, said the number of victims from the two states is almost equal.

He said the Tamil Nadu Government has already disbursed Rs 20 lakh to 12 victims. Although both the state governments have earmarked Rs 5 crore each for award of interim relief, the NHRC is of the view that the remaining amount could be utilised for development projects in the two states. The commission is, however, yet to begin the Herculean task of identifying the accused personnel of the Joint Special Task Force (JSTF) but hopes to deal with the case as expeditiously as possible.

Replying to questions at a press conference here today, Justice Patil said, “We have not examined the aspect of guilty STF personnel today as it would have taken a long time. We will have to first identify the guilty police officers.”

It was in June 1999 that the commission acted upon complaints by victims and their family members and constituted a two-member panel of inquiry chaired by Justice A.J. Sadashiva, former Judge of the Karnataka High Court.The panel recorded statements of 243 persons included 193 alleged victims, 38 police officers and four representatives of non government organisations. The panel submitted its report to NHRC on December 1, 2003. The report was then sent to the two state governments and the victims for their comments.

Top

 

JD(U) adopts dual strategy towards BJP
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, January 15
In what appeared to be a calculated move aimed at a wider gameplan, the JD(U) seems to have adopted a dual strategy with alliance partner BJP. This is evident from the contradictory stand adopted by the JD(U) vis-a-vis the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections in UP and Punjab.

Sources in JD(U) told TNS that while JD(U) was eager to share seats with NDA partners, including BJP, in Punjab, it was unwilling to enter into any electoral understanding with the BJP in UP, reportedly to keep the party in control in Bihar.

Sources said that the Nitish-Sharad JD(U) already sent a two-member team to Punjab to carry out seat sharing talks with NDA partners for the Assembly elections. The JD(U) general secretary and in charge of Punjab, Mr Javed Raza and the secretary, Mr Virendra Vidhuri, reportedly held talks with leaders of NDA constituents as also with the state JD(U) chief, Mr Indrajit Singh Saini. The JD(U) president, Mr Sharad Yadav, was also said to have spoken to Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal on the issue of seat sharing.

For UP, the JD(U) has completed the homework for possible seat sharing with the Apna Dal chief, Mr Sonelal Patel. Mr Nitish Kumar and Mr Sharad Yadav had taken part in Apna Dal’s programme in Eastern UP last year.

Their inclination towards the regional outfit had also enraged the former JD(U) national president, Mr George Fernandes. He has in the past, on record, disapproved a possible electoral tie-up with the Apna Dal, instead of the BJP.

Besides the common caste considerations of Apna Dal and JD(U), the latter’s desire to consolidate as a force in Eastern UP, close to Bihar, was said to have prompted the Nitish-Sharad duo to opt for the Apna Dal.

Sources claimed that JD(U)’s emergence as a viable force in two crucial Hindi-heartland states, Bihar and UP, was likely to give it greater bargaining power with the NDA.

The BJP’s Hindutva plank was also said to be acting as a deterrent for JD(U) keeping in view the party’s plan to emerge as a force beyond religion in Bihar to dent the minority vote bank of the RJD supremo, Mr Lalu Prasad. Last year’s outcome in the minority-dominated Manihari Assembly bypoll, where the JD(U) had wrested the seat from the Congress, was also being viewed as a pointer to the dividends enjoyed by Mr Nitish Kumar following his pro-minority gestures in the recent past.

Besides raising the issue of reservation for Dalit Muslims on the lines of Hindu SC and ST, these also included the Nitish Government initiative to open up cases of the infamous Bhagalpur riots of 1989 when the Congress was in power. As many as 1,000 people were killed.

The JD(U) here was also keeping a close watch on the January 21 meeting of like-minded people convened by supporters of former party president George Fernandes in Delhi. Mr Fernandes’ associates in JD(U), like the party general secretary, Mr Shiv Kumar, reportedly alleged that the JD(U) has failed to emerge as an effective instrument for healthy social change to justify the move to bring the Samata Party back to life.

It was said that after being cornered in the JD(U) following the election of Mr Sharad Yadav as national president last year, it would suit Fernandes to be expelled by the JD(U). Not only would it guarantee him martyr status, it would also protect his Lok Sabha membership, something the Nitish-Sharad camp was determined not to afford him. Their gameplan was not to take official cognisance of the January 21 meeting.

Top

 

Protesters force Tata men to return
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, January 15
Tata Motors officials, who visited Singur today to complete formalities for the possession of the land, were forced to go back to Kolkata by the angry demonstrators, including the evicted farmers and their families.

The officials, accompanied by the BDO and the police, arrived at the proposed factory site around 3 p.m. But they could not reach the site following the demonstrations by the farmers, including women.

The irate mob raised slogans and forced the car, carrying the Tata Motors officials and the police, to return.

Interestingly, it was a spontaneous demonstration and no leader of the Krishi Bachhaoo Committee or the supporting parties like Trinamool Congress, Congress, SUCI and others was present during the demonstration.

The angry farmers warned the state government and the Tata Motors officials against taking the possession of the land from where they had been forcibly evicted.

As soon as the report of the incident reached Writers Buildings, the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was informed about the happening. But he did not direct the district officials and the police to use force on the demonstrating people. Instead, he met the senior officials and discussed the strategy to be adopted for a smooth handing over of the proposed site to the Tata Motors authorities.

The matter also reached the CPM party office at Alimuddin Street, where the party secretary, Mr Biman Bose, at a hurriedly called meeting, reviewed the Singur situation and discussed the party’s role in helping the government officials for transferring land to the Tata Motors.

In an official statement the Tata Motors management said it did not give much importance to today’s incident. But it stressed that the government should take adequate steps so that it did not face any problems in future at Singur.

Ms Mamata Banerjee once again warned the state government against handing over the farm land from where the poor farmers had been evicted. She demanded that Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should return the farm land to the farmers, who had been forced to sell, and meet them again so as to persuade them for voluntarily transferring their land to set up industry.

The TMC, Congress and all other parties, opposing the transfer of land to industrialists, today reiterated their decision to intensify their stir against the government’s land-use policy for industries.

The Union Information Minister, Mr Priya Ranjan DasMunshi, demanded that the state government should immediately announce an overall policy of the use of agricultural lands for industries.

Top

 

Priceless lehnga for Aishwarya

Varanasi, January 15
It’s a one up for the traditional Banarsi silk capital. Aishwarya Rai is likely to tie the knot with Bachchan Jr in an ‘anmol’ lehnga to be handcrafted here. The Bachchan family has reportedly ordered Ash’s wedding dress at one of the renowned stores here.

''We received a telephone call this morning from some persons based in Lucknow who are close to the Bachchan family. They ordered the lehnga and 21 shagun sarees for Rs 2.33 lakh for Ash and Abhishek’s wedding, the date of which is still to be finalised,'' the Jalan Kabira Dresswear Showroom owner Mr Vishnu Jalan, told newspersons here today.

The same persons had picked up 11 sarees for Rs 50,000 on Amitabh Bachchan’s direction when the family visited the city with Aishwarya on November 27, he said with pride. While the 21 sarees were to be dispatched to Lucknow today itself, the Banarasi lehnga was expected to be ready by the end of this month, Mr Jalan added.

Mr Jalan said lehnga would be a masterpiece. “The lehnga would be crafted by a local master weaver and would have Banarasi Zardozi and Kolkatan-Jaipuri embroidery on a rich silk base,” he said.

Seeks blessings of grandmom

A day after getting engaged to Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai visited her fiance’s ailing grandmother Teji Bachchan at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai this afternoon to seek her blessings.

Accompanied by Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya remained with Teji for quite some time, sources said.

Teji was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in suburban Bandra a couple of months ago. — Agencies

Top

 

Speed up probe, SC tells CBI
Tehelka scam, Kargil purchase
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 15
The CBI today submitted status report on latest update on the 48 defence-purchase cases pertaining to Tehelka expose and the acquiring of arms during the Kargil conflict to the Supreme Court, informing it that FIRs in 14 of them had been registered.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for CBI, told the court that eight FIRs had been registered in Tehelka expose, and six pertaining to the Kargil purchases, while preliminary enquiry (PE) was registered in seven other cases but in five of them no case was made out and they were closed.

PE in the other two cases was still being investigated further to establish whether cases were made out for registering regular FIRs, the ASG told a Bench of Chief Justice K.G Balakrishnan, Mr Justice D.K Jain and Mr Justice H.S Bedi.

Of the 48 cases referred to the CBI, 10 related to Tehelka expose, 23 based on the findings of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) about certain alleged irregularities and the delay by NDA Government in acquiring the arms during Kargil conflict and the remaining 15 were sent directly by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The court was not satisfied with the slow progress of investigation as the cases had been referred to the agency in 2005 and in most of them even the PE has not been registered.

The court said the delay in investigation, the cases would cause harm for both sides, the government for not initiating prosecution in time and the accused persons if they were later found to be innocent.

Attoreny General Milon Banerjee, appearing for the government, said the MoD was not satisfied about the closure of the cases and had referred them to the CBI for intensive probe, particularly those relating to Kargil purchases as it involved spending of over Rs 2,200 crore, whereas the equipment was received much after the conflict was over.

Rakesh Dwivedi, appointed as amicus curiae by the court to assist it in monitoring the probe requested the court to make CBI bound by specific time frame to complete the probe and seek from the Action Taken Report rather than a simple status report otherwise a delay in investigation would lead nowhere.

In view of this, the court gave three months’ time to the CBI to file further status report by April with a direction that investigation be speeded up as many of the cases were based on documents of CAG, which might have made a thorough research.

Top

 

Nithari: NHRC awaits govt report
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said it will send its own team to Nithari village in Noida if the state government’s report on the serial killings is not satisfactory.

The commission said it had taken a very serious view of the serial killings of children in Nithari village and was awaiting the state government’s report.

Replying to questions at a press conference here today, acting NHRC Chairperson Justice Shivraj Patil said they were expecting the government to submit its report within a week. Asked if he plans to visit Nithari during his visit to Uttar Pradesh on
January 18, Justice Patil said, “We took suo motu cognisance of the case. If we are not satisfied with the veracity of the report, we will send our team. We have our own investigation division”.

Top

 

CBI raids Moninder’s factory

Noida, January 15
The CBI today raided the factory of Nithari serial killings accused Moninder Singh Pandher, even as four more bones were 'fished out' from the 'bada nullah' close to the 'killer house'.

The raid, carried out at the D-9, Sector 2 'repairing-cum service centre' here, was done in the evening.

The team also questioned the 'factory' manager Rajendra Singh along with some other workers. — UNI

Top

 

Channels apologise for Gandhi video

New Delhi, January 15
The two news channels that risked the wrath of the government for beaming an offensive video

clip on Mahatma Gandhi, apologised today.

Sahara and IBN 7 sent in a formal apology to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in their replies to the show-cause notice.

I& B Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi had demanded an apology from the channels on Friday after they telecast the video clip featuring Gandhi. — TNS

Top

 

Judges Inquiry Bill referred to House panel
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 15
The Judges Inquiry Bill, providing for establishing National Judicial Council to probe any misconduct of the SC and HC judges, has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice to have a detailed study of the provisions laid down in it.

The committee, headed by E.M Sudarsana Natchiappan, has decided to invite memoranda containing the views of individuals and organisations interested in the subject matter of the Bill.

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Tyagi's bail plea rejected
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected the bail application of former Delhi police official R. P. Tyagi, sentenced to death for a custodial killing. However, a Bench comprising Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice S L Bhayana admitted the former ACP's appeal challenging his conviction order. On December 18, 2006, Tyagi along with two other police personnel were sentenced to death for killing one Mahinder in police custody in 1987. — PTI

Vehicle mows down 3
Mumbai:
Three persons were killed when a vehicle transporting policemen lost control and ran over them in Navi Mumbai on Monday, the police said. Two of the jeep’s tyres burst, causing the driver to lose control and run over the three persons who were walking on Palm Beach road, they said. — PTI

IIT extension centre
Kanpur:
The Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur campus will soon open a study-cum-placement extension centre in Noida at a cost of Rs 25 crore, its Registrar said here on Monday. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated 4 acre of land for the project in Sector 62 of the satellite township. — PTI

BBC to go local
New Delhi:
Smitten by India, world's leading news broadcaster BBC has decided to go local with its communication strategy by developing a campaign that has been developed for the first time outside London in its history. "As part of the channel's marketing strategy to draw attention of Indian viewers to international events, we have developed a country-specific campaign," BBC World, India Head Marketing and Communications Vaishali Sharma said here. — PTI

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 |