Military block to Kargil disclosure
Delhi lifts gates, UP dams Water
Naveen in purge before polls
Bowled-over maiden hits Dravid
Calcutta weather

 
 
MILITARY BLOCK TO KARGIL DISCLOSURE 
 
 
FROM CHANDAN NANDY
 
New Delhi, Feb. 3 
The three service chiefs today argued against making public the Subrahmanyam committee report on what led to the Kargil incursions.

Faced with stiff opposition from the defence heads and senior bureaucrats at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security this evening, the government put off a decision on whether it would table the report in Parliament.

Both the Prime Minister and the home minister are believed to be in favour of placing the document in the Lok Sabha. But the service chiefs — Gen. V. P. Malik, Air Marshall A.Y. Tipnis and Admiral Sushil Kumar — made out a strong case for keeping the document under wraps.

They pointed out that operational secrets like troop deployment along the Line of Control would be disclosed if the report was bared for all to see.

Although Indian forces have since plugged loopholes along the frontier, troop management along the LoC has not been altered completely.

The air force argued that its fighter planes would be exposed if the report were to be made public.

The strongest dissenting note came from the army, which has been under fire for lax patrolling that allowed the Pakistani intruders to capture the icy heights. Questions have also been raised as to how the military establishment misread intelligence reports on the Pakistani plan.

In its report, running into nearly 2,000 pages along with ‘‘sensitive’’ attachments, the committee advised the government not to make public the findings and recommendations on the steps to be taken to strengthen security in the region.

But the panel’s chairman, K. Subrahmanyam, later clarified that it was up to the government to decide whether the report would be thrown open, either in full or in part.

The service chiefs harped on the point that the recommendations would become meaningless if they were made public. The officers argued that by laying bare defence plans, the government would make the enemy’s task easier. If the recommendations are to be taken seriously, the three defence bosses said, the document would have to be kept confidential.

Both Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani had decided on placing the report in Parliament as it did not affix responsibility on individuals and the government was not shown in a poor light.

The stress of the report was on ‘‘systemic’’ failures that are a legacy inherited by the BJP government which had been in power for only a year. The two leaders were confident that they could counter the Opposition in both Houses.

The army has made an independent inquiry into the Kargil bungling. But like all other army reports, this, too, will not be made public.

The report is understood to have blamed Brig. Surinder Singh, then in charge of the Kargil sector. The officer had triggered a controversy by charging his superiors with ignoring his warnings on a possible incursion.

Maj. Gen. V.S. Budhwar, the brigadier’s boss when the war broke out, has been held partially responsible. Only Vajpayee and defence minister George Fernandes have gone through the report.

After the 1962 war with China, the army had blocked the publication of the Henderson Brookes report that had inquired into what led to the Indian defeat.    


 
 
DELHI LIFTS GATES, UP DAMS WATER  
 
 
FROM SUJAY GUPTA
 
Lucknow, Feb. 3 
Citing procedure delays and making vague suggestions, the Uttar Pradesh government ensured that the shooting of Deepa Mehta’s Water did not take off today despite the Centre’s clearance.

Delhi had given the green signal yesterday after Mehta deleted five “objectionable” sentences from the script. But the state government issued a series of ambiguous statements today, effectively blocking the filming.

V.K. Mittal, principal secretary, home, spent the first half of the day saying he was “yet to receive instructions” from the Centre. When the “instructions” reached him at 3 pm, he said the government was “going through” the letter. The letter clearly asks the state government to allow shooting.

In the evening, Mittal said Uttar Pradesh had never denied permission to shoot as the state government was “not required” to give clearance.

“The district magistrate referred the issue to us and gave us an account of the law and order situation. We sent it to the Centre. Now they have sent us a letter giving clearance. So we have asked the district magistrate to assess the ground situation and get back to us. We will inform the Centre accordingly,” he said.

Chief minister R.P. Gupta added to the confusion. “The Centre has cleared it. But it will be good if they talk to the people of Kashi. After all Kashi is a land of the gods,” he said.

The state government has directed the unit of Water to take its problems to the “Varanasi intellectuals and luminaries”. The government did not say who they should talk to.

But that has not prevented the Kashi Sanskriti Suraksha Samiti, which is spearheading the protests against the film, from staking claim to the mantle. “Who is the government? It is the intellectuals of Kashi who will decide. Mehta talks of five sentences. We object to much more. Even entire scenes may have to be deleted. Let her talk to us first,” said parishad spokesman Shivji Upadhayaya.

The Varanasi district magistrate, Alok Kumar, chose to remain inaccessible to the Water unit after promising to meet them.

“Should we call in the army to give security to the unit?” he asked.

Mehta, who returned from Delhi this afternoon, told a press conference: “We have to wait for the atmosphere to be friendly. Parts of the script were taken out of context. We have, as a friendly gesture, decided to change portions of the script. We are ready to start shooting but the confirmation at the local end is awaited,” she said.

In private, however, she fumed at the suggestion that she would have to consult “a body of intellectuals” on the script.    


 
 
NAVEEN IN PURGE BEFORE POLLS 
 
 
FROM DEBASHIS BHATTACHARYYA
 
Bhubaneswar, Feb. 3 
The Biju Janata Dal is headed for a crisis with party chief Naveen Patnaik expelling his main rival, Bijoy Mohapatra, for anti-party activities less than two weeks before the Assembly elections.

Patnaik replaced Mohapatra, who had challenged his leadership, as party candidate from Patkura on the last date of filing nominations today. Mohapatra cannot now contest even as an Independent.

Patnaik had earlier suspended Mohapatra on the same charges. But he had to withdraw the order under pressure from Mohapatra aides before the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP chief appeared to have plotted the “strike” well in advance. He first offered tickets to Mohapatra loyalists Amar Satpathy, Kalpataru Das and Suryanaray Patra, all sitting MLAs. Then he packed them off to their constituencies for campaigning. As a result, Mohapatra today did not have any of his aides around to fight his case.

When news broke, angry loyalists rushed to Naveen Niwas, the party chief’s residence near Bhubaneswar airport, and raised slogans. Police barricaded the two gates of the house, fearing that the protesters would storm in. But as the evening wore on, the protest fizzled out.    


 
 
BOWLED-OVER MAIDEN HITS DRAVID 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Bangalore, Feb 3 
It was a “maiden” Rahul Dravid hadn’t bargained for. Not even after the countless dot — scoreless — balls he played in Australia.

Mary Lawrence, a teenager from Secunderabad, came knocking at his door, desperately seeking to tie the Indian cricket team’s most eligible bachelor up in nuptial knots. The lady in the TV commercial who will have cricket on her personal website only if Ajay Jadeja is playing, please note: the man is not even in the team.

After a harrowing time at the hands of Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee, Rahul ‘Jammy’ Dravid returned to the tranquillity of his Bangalore home on Wednesday to bury the nightmare Down Under.

What he had to face instead was another teaser in what Sunny Gavaskar calls the corridor of uncertainty. Only, this time Dravid was batting at his doorstep.

Police said Mary gate-crashed into Dravid’s house at Indiranagar at about 10 am. After indulging in small talk for a few minutes, she declared her love for him and threatened to commit suicide if he refused to marry her.

As a shy Dravid politely tried to pack her off, she reportedly pulled a bottle from her purse saying she would consume poison from it if he did not accept her proposition.

Just as he would pluck a ball flying towards the slips, the Mr Cool of Indian cricket used his reflexes to pull the bottle from her hand and asked her to wait a while so that he could consult his parents.

Dravid went inside and called the police. Within minutes, a police patrol landed at Dravid’s place and took Mary away.

Police said Mary, a final year B.Sc student, did not appear to be of unsound mind. She was made to cool her heels in the police station the whole of yesterday.

Indiranagar station inspector Ashwathnarayana said Mary’s parents, laboratory technician Lawrence Susen and nurse Kanthamma, were contacted at Secunderabad and they arrived this evening to take her home.

Dravid was mum about Mary.    


 
 
CALCUTTA WEATHER 
 
 
 
 
Temperature: Maximum: 27.4°C (-1) Minimum: 20.4°C (+5) RAINFALL: Trace Relative humidity: Maximum: 93%, Minimum: 63% Today: Partly cloudy sky. Mist in the morning. Fall in minimum temperature. Sunset: 5.20 pm Sunrise: 6.20 am    
 

FRONT PAGE / NATIONAL / EDITORIAL / BUSINESS / THE EAST / SPORTS
ABOUT US /FEEDBACK / ARCHIVE 
 
Maintained by Web Development Company