SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

SEZs
Don’t acquire good agricultural land: SC

New Delhi, November 11
In an important ruling having wide ramifications for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy of the government, the Supreme Court ruled that good agricultural land should not be acquired by the state for setting up of a company.

Cong attacks Left on Nandigram
New Delhi, November 11
Clearly under pressure from its West Bengal unit, the Congress today shed its initial ambivalence and stepped up its attack against the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government for its inability to contain the violence in Nandigram.

TN Youth Cong chief attacked
Chennai, November 11
Factionalism once again reared its head within the Tamil Nadu Congress as the party headquarters was attacked here today by a group of men in which state Youth Congress president Mayura S. Jayakumar and two other party workers were injured.



EARLIER STORIES


Rahul to attend UPCC meeting
Lucknow, November 11
All-India Congress Committee’s month-old general secretary and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi has a packed schedule in Lucknow tomorrow. Besides the inaugural meeting of the 28-member UP Congress coordination committee, Rahul is scheduled to meet around 20 delegations and may end up spending the night in Lucknow.

‘Govt policies can’t be questioned through RTI Act’
New Delhi, November 11
The Central Information Commission has held that citizens cannot question government policies and plans by utilising the Right to Information Act. The commission noted this while dismissing an application filed by a Mumbai resident Amin Merchant who had sought information from the finance ministry as to why a certain tariff policy was framed by the Centre.

Children stand around the Golden Elephant, logo of the 15th International Children Film Festival, in Hyderabad
FAIRY TALES:
Children stand around the Golden Elephant, logo of the 15th International Children Film Festival, in Hyderabad on Sunday. — PTI

‘Hospitals on Wheels’ launched
Guwahati, November 11
Assam today became the first state in the country to launch an innovative ‘Hospitals on Wheels’ to serve people in rural and far flung areas devoid of healthcare facilities under the National Rural Health Mission.

Karuna flayed for eulogising slain LTTE leader
Chennai, November 11
In a sign of souring relations between the Congress and the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, senior Congress leader and union minister E.V.K.S Elangovan today slammed Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi for “eulogising” the slain LTTE leader S.P. Tamilselvan.

Dutt gets a break from jail work on Diwali
Pune, November 11
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, lodged in Yerawada prison here following conviction by a TADA court for possessing weapons, has enjoyed a rare two-day recess from manual work as jail inmates celebrated Diwali.

Lakshmi doing well, says doctor
Bangalore, November 11
Little Lakshmi, who underwent a complex surgery to remove her parasitic twin, is making good progress and had solid food today, doctors said. “Lakshmi is doing very well. She not only took full oral liquids like water and milk but also had ‘idlis’ during the day,” Dr Ashley D'Cruz, chief paediatric surgeon of the Sparsh hospital, where she was operated upon, said.

Army guns down ULFA militant
Guwahati, November 11
The Army shot dead a senior cadre of the ULFA following an encounter that took place inside a reserve forest area in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Tinsukia district of the state.

Virtual celluloid feast awaits cine buffs
Hyderabad, November 11
A virtual celluloid feast awaits cinema lovers as the 15th International Children's Film Festival will open in Hyderabad on November 14, coinciding with Children's Day that will showcase 119 films from across the globe.

Man divorces wife over colour of motor cycle
Ranchi, November 11
For a bride here, it was a tale of two marriages and a divorce in one night - and all for the colour of a motorbike. Farhana was married to Riyaz Ansari on November 8 in the Ormanjhi block of Ranchi, 35 km from the state headquarters.

Buddha’s idol stolen in Nawada
Nawada, November 11
Burglars stole an idol of lord Buddha from Dev Mandir at Roh bazar under the Roh police station area in the district late last night. The police said villagers had lodged an FIR regarding the theft of an idol of Lord Buddha worth Rs two lakh in the open market adding that the police was investigating the matter.





Top








 

SEZs
Don’t acquire good agricultural land: SC

New Delhi, November 11
In an important ruling having wide ramifications for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy of the government, the Supreme Court ruled that good agricultural land should not be acquired by the state for setting up of a company.

A bench comprising Justice SP Sinha and Justice Harjeet Singh Bedi allowed the appeals of some land owners of Hoshiarpur district, Punjab, including Devinder Singh and others, challenging the acquisition of land under the Land Acquisition (Companies) Rules 1963, and also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the state government.

The apex court in its judgement said, “the state is also enjoined with a duty to make an enquiry where for an opportunity of hearing the company is required to be given. When the state intends to proceed with the acquisition of land it must form an opinion that the land which is going to be acquired is not good agricultural land. The rules by and large lay down a statutory policy in that behalf and the question of ignoring the same by the state does not arise.” According to Rule 4 the state also has to ensure that no other suitable land is available for acquisition and should try to acquire barren or waste land, if available.

Commenting on the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Courts upholding the acquisition of farmers land, the apex court said “the approach of the High Court in this behalf, in our opinion, is totally erroneous. A provision of a statute is either mandatory or directory.” Even if a provision is directory, the same should be substantially complied with. It cannot be ignored in its entirety only because the provision is held to be directory and not an imperative one. In this case, admittedly, there has been no compliance of Rule 4.

If Rule 4 has not been complied with, the exercise of jurisdiction under part-VII must be held to have been erroneous. For the reasons aforementioned the impugned judgement cannot be sustained, which is set aside accordingly. The appeals are allowed with costs. Counsel’s fee assessed at Rs 25,000.”

The state government had proceeded to acquire the land of the appellate located in village Chak Gujran for M/S International Tractors Limited which wanted to setup a tractor manufacturing project named Ganesha Project. The state government acquired the land on the grounds that it was required for public purpose and the company was to deposit the entire amount of compensation payable to the land owner before getting possession. Later the state government paid a nominal amount of Rs 100 as compensation to comply with the provisions of the Act, which made it mandatory for the state to make a contribution towards the acquisition of land for public purpose.

The apex court, however, held that the state government made the contribution only after the agreement had been signed with the company and hence it was only an afterthought. — UNI

Top

 

Cong attacks Left on Nandigram
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
Clearly under pressure from its West Bengal unit, the Congress today shed its initial ambivalence and stepped up its attack against the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government for its inability to contain the violence in Nandigram.

“The primary responsibility of any government worth its name is to protect its citizens and ensure the safety and security of their lives and property. Unfortunately, it is not happening in Nandigram,” AICC general secretary Mohsina Kidwai, who is in-charge of West Bengal, said in a statement here.

Putting the onus squarely on the Left Front government, she said media reports indicated that the writ of the state government does not run in that area. This situation is totally unacceptable, she added.

Noting that the happenings in the area for the past several months have been disturbing, Kidwai said all miscreants, irrespective of party affiliation, should be dealt with firmly and the guilty brought to book without delay.

Kidwai’s statement comes a day after AICC media chairperson Veerappa Moily’s muted response to the unfolding situation in Nandigram. He had described the developments as “unfortunate” and a “matter of concern” but felt it was up to the state government to deal with the situation since law and order is a state subject. The party also played down WB Governor Gopal Gandhi’s public statement in which he likened Nandigram to a war zone.

The Congress has been forced to tread a cautious path on the Nandigram issue since the UPA government is critically dependent on the support of the Left parties.

As the party leading the ruling combine at the Centre, the Congress leadership has to take a conciliatory stand. However, as an opposition party in West Bengal fighting for its political space, the Congress can hardly turn a blind eye to the developments in Nandigram. Its state unit has launched an attack against the Left government and has even called for a bandh tomorrow to protest the eruption of fresh violence in Nandigram.

Top

 

TN Youth Cong chief attacked
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, November 11
Factionalism once again reared its head within the Tamil Nadu Congress as the party headquarters was attacked here today by a group of men in which state Youth Congress president Mayura S. Jayakumar and two other party workers were injured.

According to eyewitnesses, around 10 men, armed with knives and sickles, barged into Jayakumar’s chamber at the first floor of Sathyamurthy Bhavan and attacked him. Youth Congress members, who tried to prevent the attackers, were slashed with knives.

While this violence was going on, a meeting of state Congress legislators was being held in the same building to discuss the recent attack on TNCC president M. Krishnaswamy at Ramanathapuram district during which he was stabbed in the abdomen with a spear.

Jayakumar, who was stabbed in his right shoulder, was taken to a private hospital along with the two injured workers.

The attack was a result of bitter factionalism within the Youth Congress as Jayakumar has recently dropped some office-bearers “unilaterally” and he is close to union minister and former TNCC president G.K. Vasan.

Condemning the attack, Vasan, who visited the party headquarters later, said: “At no time in the history of the Congress had such an uncivilised and brutal attack with knives and sickles taken place within the Sathyamurthy Bhavan. The police should immediately arrest the attackers and the Congress high command should identify those who instigated the attack and initiate an action against such black sheep in the party.”

What surprised many is that despite the dangerous attack on Krishnaswamy on October 29 and no action taken by the ruling DMK government, of which the Congress is an ally, there has been no resolution from the state Congress unit or the legislature party condemning the incident.

Before today’s attack at the party headquarters, union minister E.V.K.S. Elangovan, a bitter critic of the DMK government who had on earlier occasions got into trouble within his party for waging personal attacks on Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, once again criticised him for his poem in praise of slain LTTE leader S.P. Tamilselvan.

Though he did not mention Karunanidhi by name, Elangovan said: “There are people who write elegies, take out rallies and put up posters for the death of a leader of a banned outfit, which killed our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. How can it be justified?

Top

 

Rahul to attend UPCC meeting
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 11
All-India Congress Committee’s month-old general secretary and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi has a packed schedule in Lucknow tomorrow. Besides the inaugural meeting of the 28-member UP Congress coordination committee, Rahul is scheduled to meet around 20 delegations and may end up spending the night in Lucknow.

Almost three years after entering active politics and becoming MP from the state, Rahul would for the first time visit the state headquarters of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) at Nehru Bhawan on Mall Road on Monday.

According to party insiders the Lucknow meet is expected to put together a scheme for the revival of the party in the state. Rahul’s presence is likely to work as glue to keep the party together and focused on a come back agenda.

In view of his heavy engagements and the likelihood of spending the night in the state capital the Special Protection Group is keeping three alternative venues ready for a possible night halt, informed sources.

Arriving by the early morning Indian Airlines flight from New Delhi Rahul would be participating in the crucial UP Congress Coordination Committee from around 10.30 am to 1 pm. After that he is expected to have lunch with the media and then address a formal press conference at 3 pm.

After that he is expected to meet around 20 delegations that may take several hours necessitating an overnight stay in the state capital.

UP in charge and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh arrived this morning, a day ahead of the meeting to supervise late minute details. He remained huddled in a series of meetings at Nehru Bhawan with UPCC president Rita Bahuguan Joshi, Pramod Tiwari and other senior leaders giving the final touches to Monday’s programme.

In anticipation of Rahul’s visit the 100-year-old building, housing the state party headquarters has been given a fresh coat of paint and has been spruced up.

Top

 

‘Govt policies can’t be questioned through RTI Act’

New Delhi, November 11
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has held that citizens cannot question government policies and plans by utilising the Right to Information Act.

The commission noted this while dismissing an application filed by a Mumbai resident Amin Merchant who had sought information from the finance ministry as to why a certain tariff policy was framed by the Centre.

"..it is not open to citizens to question the government about why a certain matter was handled in a certain way and not differently. The public authority owes him no explanation," information commissioner A.N Tiwari said.

Merchant, in his application to the ministry, had questioned its policy for not issuing exemption notification against certain goods.

"While the RTI Act entitles each citizen to seek and receive information from public authorities, it does not allow them any liberty to seek explanations and reasons from it," the commission said, adding that such "freewheeling questioning" should not be encouraged.

Holding that the RTI Act was not a proper instrument for seeking such explanation from the government, the commission said, "No explanation is owed to the appellant (Merchant) by the Centre, which pilots the budget before Parliament and is answerable only to it and no one else."

"If he is not happy with some of the proposals such persons may even petition the appropriate department of the government or Parliament or agitate the matter before a court of law," the commission said. — PTI

Top

 

‘Hospitals on Wheels’ launched
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, November 11
Assam today became the first state in the country to launch an innovative ‘Hospitals on Wheels’ to serve people in rural and far flung areas devoid of healthcare facilities under the National Rural Health Mission.

Setting the ‘well-equipped’ Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) on roll, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi promised to take the modern health care facilities to the doorsteps of the rural populace in far flung areas of the state which suffer from a lack of government health care units.

The Central government has approved the introduction of MMUs under the NRHM only for the remote and far flung regions of the north-east.

Gogoi informed that the Union Health Ministry in response to a proposal submitted by the Assam government had approved 27 MMUs for all the 27 districts in the state. Today eight such ‘Hospital on Wheels’ were flagged-off in the first phase.

Assam health minister Himanta Bishwa Sharma said rest 19 MMUs would be launched together in March next year with some modifications, if required, on the basis of the experience from the first-phase implementation.

He said each of these MMUs were better equipped than any of the state public health unit and in fact would serve as the first referral unit for the patient. Each unit will be located at the headquarter of every district and the deputy commissioner of each district would coordinate the operation so that each village of the concerned district is visited by the MMU at least once a month.

Each MMU comprises of three vehicles including two 709 Tata bus equipped with an inbuilt OPD, laboratory facility and other essential diagnostic accessories fitted with power generators and one Mahindra Scorpio for the Medical team.

One of the vehicles of the MMU will be fitted with accessories such as microscope, auto-analyzer and a generator while the space in back will be utilized for placing a couch that will be used as an examination table during health camps and for shifting patients in case of an emergency.

The second vehicle is fitted with diagnostic facilities like portable X-Ray machines, portable ultra-sound machine and a portable ECG machine.

Meanwhile, the Assam government is drawing up a plan to introduce boat clinics to serve people living in numerous river isles which are located at the bosom of rivers. These river isles inhabited by immigrant farmers are devoid of basic amenities including health care facilities and are cut-off from the land mass of the state.

Top

 

Karuna flayed for eulogising slain LTTE leader

Chennai, November 11
In a sign of souring relations between the Congress and the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, senior Congress leader and union minister E.V.K.S Elangovan today slammed Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi for “eulogising” the slain LTTE leader S.P. Tamilselvan.

Elangovan said: “There are people who sing elegy, take out rallies and put up posters on the death of a leader of a banned outfit, which killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. How can it be justified?”

“If questioned, they say Tamil blood is flowing in their veins. When the LTTE killed innocent Tamils, didn’t they realise that it was Tamil blood too,” he asked while speaking at a function to mark the 90th birth anniversary of late Congress leader Maragatham Chandrasekar at party headquarters ‘Satyamurthy Bhavan’ here.

Karunanidhi, while reacting to criticisms that he had acted in violation of the Constitution by eulogising the slain leader of the banned outfit, had said that he condoled the LTTE leader’s death as Tamil blood was flowing in his veins.

Elangovan urged Karunanidhi to stop the rallies announced by some political parties to mourn the death of Tamilselvan.

Stating that the DMK had neither given due respect to the Congress nor shared power with it in the government, he asked, “Do they think that we are their slaves? Should the Congress support whatever they say?”

Elangovan said as a party which won freedom for the country, the Congress had concern for the nation’s security and the law and order.

“But, when we say that the law and order situation has deteriorated in the state, they (DMK) become furious,” he said.

The Congress leader criticised the DMK-led government for taking the recent attack on Tamil Nadu party President M Krishnaswamy as a “trivial issue”.

Quoting LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran’s remark that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was a “tragic incident,” he said the attack on Krishnaswamy could also be a “tragic incident” for the DMK in LTTE’s parlance. — PTI

Top

 

Dutt gets a break from jail work on Diwali

Pune, November 11
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, lodged in Yerawada prison here following conviction by a TADA court for possessing weapons, has enjoyed a rare two-day recess from manual work as jail inmates celebrated Diwali.

Dutt, like the 2,000 other convicts lodged here, devoured sweets from the jail canteen during the break. But he had to shell out some money for it as, according to a senior official, the sweets were sold at a price to be paid by prisoners from their wages.

However, the inmates had to do other mandatory chores in the jail including cleaning, washing and cooking by rotation, even during the break, officials added.

Dutt, waiting for his bail application to come up before the Supreme Court, tentatively in the last week of this month, has been carrying on with the cane furniture work during his second stint at Yerawada, sources added.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Sanjay’s sister, and Congress MP, Priya Dutt had met him at the Yerawada jail. — PTI

Top

 

Lakshmi doing well, says doctor

Bangalore, November 11
Little Lakshmi, who underwent a complex surgery to remove her parasitic twin, is making good progress and had solid food today, doctors said.

“Lakshmi is doing very well. She not only took full oral liquids like water and milk but also had ‘idlis’ during the day,” Dr Ashley D'Cruz, chief paediatric surgeon of the Sparsh hospital, where she was operated upon, said.

“She continues to be quite stable with all her vital parameters functioning normally,” he said.

“We will take a decision as to when to move her out of the ICU, probably tomorrow,” D'Cruz said, adding that her parents met her frequently during the day.

Two-year-old girl, with eight limbs, had arrived at the hospital on October 3 with an abnormal body structures. Her body was fused at the pelvis with her parasitic twin. — PTI

Top

 

Army guns down ULFA militant
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, November 11
The Army shot dead a senior cadre of the ULFA following an encounter that took place inside a reserve forest area in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Tinsukia district of the state.

An Army source informed that the killed militant had been identified as an ULFA corporal, Utpal Baruah. alias Moina Moran, from the ‘A’ Company of the 28th battalion of the banned outfit. The slain ULFA cadre hails from Rangajan village of Doomdooma in Tinsukia district of Assam.

The ULFA cadres based inside Arunachal Pradesh’s forest areas are under tremendous pressure from the Army that has mounted vigil in the thickly forested area by engaging mobile troops to prevent ULFA cadres from sneaking into Myanmar via Arunachal Pradesh.

Top

 

Virtual celluloid feast awaits cine buffs
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, November 11
A virtual celluloid feast awaits cinema lovers as the 15th International Children's Film Festival will open in Hyderabad on November 14, coinciding with Children's Day that will showcase 119 films from across the globe.

The biennial festival has six sections - International Competition, Asian Panorama, The Children's World, Special Screenings, Creative Workshops and Special Events for Children.

Information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, union minister of state for defence M.M. Pallam Raju and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy are expected to attend the inauguration while Bollywood star Aamir Khan will participate in the closing ceremony, scheduled for November 20.

A total of 40 films will compete for awards in the international competition and 20 in the Asian Panorama section.There are 26 films in the non-competitive Children's World section and 20 in the special screenings.

Around 300 children aged 10-16 will attend the event from all over the country as state guests.

A large number of filmmakers from several countries, including Brazil, China, France and Iran, are also expected to attend the festival.

Besides an international jury, chaired by renowned short filmmaker Mike Pandey, there will be an Asian Panorama jury and a children's jury to judge films from the perspective of the young.

The international jury includes veteran filmmaker V.G. Samant, New Zealand producer Mathew Horrocks, Andi Spark of Griffith Film School in Brisbane (Australia), Telugu film journalist Vasiraju Prakasam and writer and social worker Dr K V Krishna Kumari, Chairperson of Children's Film Society, India (CFSI), Nafisa Ali said.

Top

 

Man divorces wife over colour of motor cycle

Ranchi, November 11
For a bride here, it was a tale of two marriages and a divorce in one night - and all for the colour of a motorbike.

Farhana was married to Riyaz Ansari on November 8 in the Ormanjhi block of Ranchi, 35 km from the state headquarters.

After the marriage, Riyaz and his father Aalimuddin Ansari, residents of Ramgarh district, desired to see the bike gifted as dowry.

Riyaz got angry when he found a black Hero Honda bike. He had demanded a red-colour Bajaj Discover. The bride's family tried hard to pacify him, but an angry Riyaz divorced his new bride.

The shocked villagers beat up the bridegroom and his father and handed them over to police.

The parents and villagers were very disappointed over the development.

Then, Yasin Ansari, who had come as 'barati' (member of groom's party), offered to marry Farhana, which the girl's family accepted with happiness. Farhana was married to Yasin. The police at the initiative of the village elders released Riyaz and his father. — IANS

Top

 

Buddha’s idol stolen in Nawada

Nawada, November 11
Burglars stole an idol of lord Buddha from Dev Mandir at Roh bazar under the Roh police station area in the district late last night.

The police said villagers had lodged an FIR regarding the theft of an idol of Lord Buddha worth Rs two lakh in the open market adding that the police was investigating the matter. Intensive raids were being carried out to nab the burglars and recover the lost idol. — UNI

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 |