THE KARGIL FUND Set up by The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika
More than a hundred soldiers have already died in the undeclared war in Kargil. Many more are lying injured in hospitals. No assistance is compensation enough for the mother who has lost her son or the wife her husband. But we, the citizens of this country, need to help, in however small a way. The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika are setting up a fund with that modest aim in mind. The fund is being started with an intial contribution of Rs 5 Lakh from the ABP Group. If every reader of The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika donates a small sum, we can raise a huge amount for the families of the soldiers killed or injured in action. As a token of appreciation, both papers will publish the names of donors contributing Rs 500 or more. This is a time to ask yourself what can you do for the nation.   Only account payee cheques and drafts - payable to 'ABP Kargil Fund' - will be accepted. Put the cheque/draft in an envelope with your name and address. Write 'ABP Kargil Fund' and mail it to or deliver (between 10 am and 6 pm except on Sundays) at  
ABP LTD 
6 Prafulla Sarkar Street 
Calcutta 700001 
India
 
 
 
Diplomacy hits Pakistan stonewall
CBI traces Anjana drafts to molestation accused
Police wring tutor for lead
Persecuted Mission schools score high
Suicide by Dunlop worker?s son
Calcutta weather

 
 
DIPLOMACY HITS PAKISTAN STONEWALL 
 
 
FROM PRANAY SHARMA
 
New Delhi, June 25: 
The chances of an early resolution to the Kargil crisis receded further today with Pakistan turning down a US proposal to pull back intruders and Delhi repeating its stand that there can be no negotiation with Pakistan unless status quo ante is restored along the Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanded India return territories held by it in violation of the LoC in 1984 as a bargain for de-escalating tension along the borders. Delhi laughed off Islamabad?s demand as a blatant attempt to obfuscate the real issue of the current conflict: the intrusion in Kargil.

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee rushed back from Patna this evening to chair a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Sources said the meeting, which lasted for an hour and 40 minutes, took stock of the developments following US General Anthony Zinni?s visit to Islamabad and discussed the stand to be taken when his companion Gibson Lanpher arrives in Delhi tomorrow. No decision was taken on crossing the LoC. Sources described the meeting as more related to external affairs than defence. Other than regular participants of the CCS, only foreign secretary K. Raghunath and the joint secretary in charge of the Indo-Pak-Afghan desk were present.

Raghunath will go on a two-day visit to France and the UK on June 28 to brief leaders there.

Earlier in the day, Vajpayee said at a rally in Patna: ?We are not prepared to hold any talks till every inch of our territory is vacated and Pakistan commits itself to respect the LoC.? He added: ?We want peace, but this time we have to ensure that peace rests on our strength.? Vajpayee said Pakistan had had to beat a humiliating retreat each time it attacked India.

In Islamabad, the Prime Minister made Pakistan?s refusal to shift from its stated position clear to Gen. Zinni. Sharif said de-escalation was only possible if India acceded to its demand for concessions on the LoC.

The Pakistan Prime Minister claimed Delhi had twice breached the LoC in the past ? in 1984 and 1988 ? and for restoration of normality it has to return the territories it held so far.

Scoffing at the Pakistani demand, Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal reiterated Delhi?s stated position: ?There cannot be any negotiation with Pakistan unless status quo ante is restored on the LoC.?

Though Gen. Zinni will return to the US, deputy assistant secretary of state Lanpher is sche-duled to arrive here tomorrow to brief Indian leaders about the meetings the US delegation had with the Pakistanis and its assessment of the current mood in Islamabad.

During his meetings with Sharif and Pakistan army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Gen. Zinni made it clear that the tension along the LoC needed to be brought down to avoid a full-scale war.

He indicated that Islamabad needed to take the initiative for this by recalling the intruders.

Describing this as a very ?narrow agenda? for resolving the current crisis, Pakistan emphasised that a ?balanced and constructive approach? was required to cool down the temperature in South Asia. Islamabad argued that the Kashmir dispute in its entirety should be discussed to restore normality between the nuclear twins in the sub-continent.

Despite Pakistan?s tough talk, Indian officials feel that Islamabad will not do anything at the moment to escalate tension along the LoC.

?It serves no purpose for either side to escalate the tension and engage in a full-fledged war at this juncture,? an official in the Indian foreign ministry said.

He, however, pointed out that a lot will now depend on Pakistan?s assessment of the situation, particularly by its top military generals who were calling the shots.

The official was quick to add that India was observing the developments in Islamabad with keen interest and will take whatever steps were necessary to deal with the emerging situation.    


 
 
CBI TRACES ANJANA DRAFTS TO MOLESTATION ACCUSED 
 
 
FROM DEBASHISH BHATTACHARYYA
 
Bhubaneswar, June 25: 
The CBI has traced a mysterious ?donation? of Rs 20 lakh, received by gangrape victim Anjana Mishra on June 18, to former Orissa advocate-general Indrajit Ray and one of his relatives.

Ray denied sending the drafts to Mishra. ?I have never sent her any money,? he said. ?Why should I send her Rs 20 lakh when she has already deposed before the CBI court against me and vilified me??

Mishra, estranged wife of an Indian Forest Service officer, is fighting a molestation and attempted rape case against Ray. The CBI last year issued a chargesheet against Ray in the case, forcing him to quit the post.

The surprise ?gift? came at a time when the CBI is preparing another chargesheet in the gangrape case. Mishra had accused former chief minister J.B. Patnaik and the former advocate-general of collusion in the sexual assault against her.

CBI sources said in Delhi that five of the drafts, worth Rs 10 lakh, were traced to Indrajit Ray?s account with Vysya Bank. The rest were found to have been sent by one of his relatives through Uco Bank in the form of four drafts of Rs 2.5 lakh each.

The sources said the five drafts of Rs 2 lakh each (798008-798012) were issued by Vysya Bank, Narayan Market Complex branch in Ashokenagar, Bhubaneswar.

The drafts, in the form of pay orders, were issued on May 28 in favour of Anjana Mishra. The other drafts were issued on June 2 in her favour in the form of manager?s cheques (543378-543381).

Ray said he had an account with Vysya Bank?s Cuttack branch but the CBI claimed his wife Kalyani had an account at the bank?s Narayan Market branch.

The CBI sources said they have sought legal opinion on whether they should register a fresh case against Ray for trying to ?bribe? Mishra or tag it to the attempted rape case. The agency decided to notify immediately the CBI court where the case against Ray is being tried.

Mishra said she became suspicious when she received the drafts by Speedpost on June 18. She said the drafts were sent from Bhubaneswar GPO by ?some Biswas?, a resident of Shahidnagar.

?An unidentified man called me up a few days before I got the drafts to say the money was being sent to help me fight for justice. But I did not take it seriously as I often receive crank calls,? Mishra added.    


 
 
POLICE WRING TUTOR FOR LEAD 
 
 
BY SUBRATA NAGCHOUDHURY, AVIJIT NANDI MAJUMDAR AND DEBASHIS CHATTOPADHYAY
 
Calcutta, June 25: 
The private tutor of Sohini Pal and his estranged wife were whisked away from their home at Oxytown this morning for interrogation. Twelve hours after they were picked up, the tutor?s 72-year-old mother and his two children were still anxiously waiting for them to return.

The couple was detained at the CID headquarters at Bhabani Bhavan and interrogated through the day in connection with the murders at Oxytown in Thakurpukur.

Investigators picked up from where they left off on Thursday afternoon, when the tutor was taken to ?Retreat?, the interrogation chamber of the CID in Tollygunge, and questioned for nearly six hours. As of now, the tutor is the only person the clueless police feel can give them a lead.

On June 14, Bidyut Pal, his wife Manjulika and two daughters, Sohini and Triparna, were found with their throats slit inside their home. The bodies lay in the house for at least three days before the stench alerted the neighbours.

Police sources said in the absence of any surviving member of the Pal family, the tutor was the person closest to Sohini.

The investigation seems to be moving along the suspicion that the affair with the tutor was the turning point in Sohini?s life. From the girl next door of a middle-class family, she might have been led into a murky world.

Independent investigation by The Telegraph reveals that Sohini was a fairly good student in her school days at Bidya Bharati in Sarsuna, having secured first division with letter marks in life science in the Madhyamik examination. She began taking tuition from the teacher, who lived right next to the Pal family, during her higher secondary examinations, developing a relationship with someone double her age.

In 1997, Sohini was in the midst of a passionate affair with the tutor, the liaison causing turmoil in both families. The tutor?s wife complained to all and sundry about the affair, but finding her husband unmoved, she pressed for divorce.

By early 1998, the relationship was flagging. But this premature entry into an unpleasant world of adults could well have emboldened her to shed the inhibitions a girl of her age and background carry.

According to some neighbours who kept track of the family, they saw unknown faces sometimes knocking at the door of the Pal home. ?I saw Sohini coming out and talking to them on a couple of occasions,? said a neighbour. ?But then every family has visitors and we never bothered to check who they were,? the Pal neighbour added.

Another neighbour, whose help was sought by Bidyut Pal to resolve the family crisis, said Sohini must have been trapped by people connected with the underworld. ?This phase in Sohini?s life began after her relations with the tutor turned sour,? he added.

But most were of the opinion that such a brutal murder could not have been engineered by a single person. ?There must be some bigger fish in it,?? they said.    


 
 
PERSECUTED MISSION SCHOOLS SCORE HIGH 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 25: 
Two schools run by the Ramakrishna Mission, which suffered near-persecution by the state government for not conforming to its education policy, reaffirmed their class by bagging the first and ninth positions in the 1999 Madhyamik examinations.

Releasing a provisional merit list of 17 toppers, the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education announced that Suman Karmakar of the mission-run school at Baranagore had stood first scoring 761 out of 800. Subhabrata Nandy of the Rahara Ramakrishna Mission Boys? Home scored 748 to bag the ninth position.

Board president Chittaranjan Bandopadhyay said the pass percentage for 1999 was 68.94, slightly down from last year?s 69.47 per cent.

An estimated 549,000 boys and girls from nearly 15,000 institutions sat for the examinations held in March.

Last year, the ruling communists had mounted a full-scale attack on the RK Mission schools at Baranagore and Rahara for teaching English at the primary level in defiance of the state government?s controversial, and now dead, fiat and for not replacing their monastic heads with government-recruited teachers.

When the schools did not buckle under threats, the government tried to bludgeon them into submission by stopping financial assistance. Riding on popular support, the monks ran the primary sections of the two schools in tune with the mission?s philosophy and ideals.

The schools run directly by the state education department covered themselves with glory, too, as eight of the 17 toppers on the provisional merit list belonged to them.

Avinandan Banerjee of St Xaviers? Collegiate School and Chetana Chaudhuri of Malda Chintamoni Chamatkar Girls? High School jointly stood second with 760 marks. Chetana also topped among female candidates.

Arnab Sen (758) of Hooghly Collegiate School obtained the third position, while Ridhi Deb, a pupil of Bidhannagar High School and daughter of CPM legislator Rabin Deb, stood fourth with 756 marks.

Schools will start distributing the mark-sheets from tomorrow.

A first division holder with 580 and above marks will qualify for the national scholarship, for which an application will have to be made in prescribed forms within 30 days from the announcement of results.    


 
 
SUICIDE BY DUNLOP WORKER?S SON 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 25: 
Twenty-six year-old Samar Mukherjee today killed himself to save his father, a worker of the closed Sahagunj unit of Dunlop India, and family from going into further privation trying to organise money for treatment of his epilepsy.

The body of Samar, an employee of an ailing pen factory, was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in the family?s Bandel Station Road home in district Hooghly early this morning.

Samar?s suicide comes barely three months after a worker of the Dunlop?s Sahagunj factory, Prasenjit Sarkar, killed himself for being unable to treat his cancer-stricken daughter.

The Sahagunj unit of Dunlop has been closed since February 7, 1998, rendering over 4,000 employees jobless. The workers received their last salary in October 1997.

A helpless chief minister Jyoti Basu said he was expecting a letter from the Centre regarding the reopening of the Dunlop factory.

?A week has passed since I have written to the Centre asking it to take over the factory but nothing has been done so far,? Basu said tonight, adding: ?However, I welcome the Dunlop management?s eagerness to talk to me on reopening the unit.?

Citu state president and CPM central committee member Niren Ghosh blamed the Centre for today?s incident. ?The Centre cannot disown its responsibility for Samar?s death,? he said.

At Bandel, the Mukherjee family has been struggling to make both ends meet since the Sahagunj unit downed its shutters.

Samar was increasingly becoming frustrated as he had not been able to support his father, Prabir, financially with his meagre income from the pen factory.

His only solace were media reports saying that the Centre may take over the Manu Chhabria-controlled tyre company and reopen the Sahagunj unit.

Samar?s dream that the unit would start functioning again was shattered yesterday as the Centre declined to take over the tyre company.

Crestfallen, Samar revealed his plans to bring his life to an end. ?I cannot bear it any more. So far, I have failed to support you financially. I have also failed to arrange for my medical treatment. There is no point living this life,? he reportedly told his father last night.

His father, Prabir, tried to console him and asked him to be patient.

But Samar gave in to his frustration and his family found his body hanging from the ceiling this morning.    


 
 
CALCUTTA WEATHER 
 
 
 
 
Today?s forecast: Cloudy sky with one or two spells of light rain.

Temperature: Maximum 31.8?C (1?C below normal)
Minimum 24.8?C (2?C below normal)

Relative humidity: Maximum 98%
Minimum 73%

Rainfall: 8.1 mm

Sunset: 6.22 pm
Sunrise: 4.56 am
 

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