Tuesday, August 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Police to grill Mumbai model
Puniaís son-in-law still untraced
Hisar, August 27
A Mumbai-based model, Rajiv cyber buddy of Sonia, who has confessed to murdering her father, former legislator Relu Ram Punia and seven others, is to be interrogated by the police for possible involvement in the case.

YC men to attend Bhajanís rally
Fatehabad, August 27
The former Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, received a shot in the arm when the Haryana Pradesh Youth Congress announced its decision to participate in the September 9 Faridabad rally being organised by the former Chief Minister. The state Youth Congress president, Mr Satvinder Singh Sandhu, alias Timmi, revealed this while talking to mediapersons at PWD rest house here last evening.

Chohan backs demand on acquisition of hotel
Gurgaon, August 27
The self styled president of the Council for Khalistan, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, will be part of a delegation which will call on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. It will urge for governmental acquisition of Fort Palace Hotel in Nimrana, Rajasthan bordering Rewari district of Haryana. It will also ask that the mortal remains of the last Hindu emperor, Prithviraj Chauhan, be brought from Ghazni in Afghanistan.

Basmati: Haryana writes to ministries
Chandigarh, August 27
Rattled by the news of a US firm patenting three basmati varieties, the Haryana Government has reportedly written to the Union Agricultural Ministry, the Union Commerce Ministry and the Agricultural Product Export Development Authority urging them to explain to the state the implications of the firmís move.



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EARLIER STORIES

 

Illegal hawkers at rly station
Panipat, August 27
If you are in search of restricted items banned by the Railway authorities, come to the Panipat circulating area of the railway station. Banned items are available at the 13 to 14 temporary shops of cigarette vendors, spurious cold drinks, kulfiwalas, paan shops, tobacco gutka and barbers sitting under umbrella shelters, cobblers and unhygienic food shops.



 

Police to grill Mumbai model
Puniaís son-in-law still untraced
Raman Mohan

Hisar, August 27
A Mumbai-based model, Rajiv cyber buddy of Sonia, who has confessed to murdering her father, former legislator Relu Ram Punia and seven others, is to be interrogated by the police for possible involvement in the case.

According to highly placed sources, it had been found that Sonia, who was remanded in police custody till September 2 late last night, chatted online with Rajiv frequently. A police party is likely to be sent to Mumbai to interrogate him. The police has seized Soniaís computer to look for possible evidence linking him with the case.

The sources said a numbers of fingerprints had been lifted from the rooms in which the bodies of members of the Punia family were found. The steel bar used in the crime was found to have been washed after the crime. Fortunately, however, many fingerprints still remained on it. Likewise, the police has found fingerprints of more than two persons on a mineral water bottle and a soft drink bottle found in Soniaís Tata Sumo in which she had brought her younger sister Priyanka from her hostel here to the farmhouse.

Despite extensive efforts the police has not yet been able to trace Soniaís husband, Sanjeev, who was last seen with her. Sonia has been claiming that he did not accompany her to the farmhouse. Instead, he left for Faridabad from here itself. However, he did not reach Faridabad. He was neither found at his ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh nor his home at Saharanpur. He too is under suspicion as he has not visited Sonia since the murders took place.

Manager of the farmhouse Ajit Singh, on whose complaint the police registered the case, has also made startling revelations. He has reportedly stated that when Sonia left the farmhouse around 4.45 am for a brief period after the murders, he heard three doors of the vehicle open and then shut. However, when she returned after half an hour he only heard one door open and shut. This strengthens suspicions that Sonia dropped her accomplices at a nearby crossing. Sonia continues to deny this.

Sonia is also reported to have levelled allegations of adultery against her mother and stepfather. She alleged that none of them ended their liaisons even after she caught them red-handed in compromising positions and asked them to behave in future. The sources said Sonia had an unhappy childhood and suffered from hypertension. She had sought treatment at many places.

The police is also investigating why her mother Krishna gave her revolver to Sonia. The revolver was found at the farmhouse after the murders but it had no cartridges. Sonia always carried this revolver with her. Sonia has claimed in her statement that the arguments between her mother and father often led to firing. She said there were still marks of bullets in the kitchen and a room.

Meanwhile, senior police officials continue to grill her after securing her remand from a local court last night. The police expect to determine the truth once the forensic reports were received from Madhuban. It might take another two to three days to verify Soniaís story. 

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YC men to attend Bhajanís rally
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, August 27
The former Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, received a shot in the arm when the Haryana Pradesh Youth Congress announced its decision to participate in the September 9 Faridabad rally being organised by the former Chief Minister. The state Youth Congress president, Mr Satvinder Singh Sandhu, alias Timmi, revealed this while talking to mediapersons at PWD rest house here last evening.

Mr Sandhu said the Faridabad rally was a very important event for Congress workers of the state and all Youth Congress workers would participate in the rally. The former Chief Minister, it may be recalled, had announced this rally without consultations with the permission of the state unit of the Congress and the faction of the party owing its allegiance to the HPCC chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had distanced itself from the preparation of the rally.

Mr Sandhu said the Youth Congress had also decided to launch an agitation in the state from September 1 against the state governmentís action of implicating the leaders of Opposition in false criminal cases. He said these agitations would be launched at district as well as subdivision level. The youth leader came down heavily on the INLD government in Haryana and said that the Om Prakash Chautala government had failed to fulfil promises it made to the people before coming to power. He said the Chief Minister had promised to provide more jobs to the unemployed youth but after coming to power he had been snatching jobs of many government employees. He said the INLD government claimed to be champion of farmerís cause but after coming to power it had failed to provide sufficient power and irrigation water to the farmers.

The YC leader alleged that Mr Chautalaís meddling with the politics of UP had brought misery to the formers of Haryana. While crops coming from western UP were purchased by the procurement agencies on top priority, those of the Haryana farmers were left to rot in the grain markets.

He castigated the Chief Minister for ignoring the interests of the farmers of Haryana due to his friendship with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He said it was ironical that despite the family ties between Mr Badal and Mr Chautala, the important bi-lateral issues like the SYL were hanging fire. Mr Sandhu also criticised the government for not holding elections for the student unions in the state.

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Chohan backs demand on acquisition of hotel
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 27
The self styled president of the Council for Khalistan, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, will be part of a delegation which will call on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. It will urge for governmental acquisition of Fort Palace Hotel in Nimrana, Rajasthan bordering Rewari district of Haryana. It will also ask that the mortal remains of the last Hindu emperor, Prithviraj Chauhan, be brought from Ghazni in Afghanistan.

The Chairman of the Samraath Prithviraj Chauhan Foundation, Capt. Vikram Singh, disclosed that Dr Chauhan has decided to support the movement for bringing the mortal remains of Prithviraj Chauhan and for governmental acquisition of the Nimrana Fort Palace Hotel, which was associated with the last descendants of the emperor.

The delegation will call on Mr Vajpayee after Dr Chohanís visit to Nimrana on August 30. Dr Chohan will meet the wife of the late Maharaja Rajender Singh, the last descendant of the emperor. He will also visit the fort of Maharaja Rajender Singh.

The date for the proposed meeting of the delegation with Mr Vajpayee is yet to be decided.

This will be Dr Chohanís first public involvement after his return to the country from the United Kingdom.

According to the office-bearers of the foundation, Maharaja Rajender Singh had sold the fort to a consortium of business houses, including a native of France, in the nineties with the understanding that it will be converted into a museum to keep intact its national importance. But the buyers breached the agreement and converted it into a glitzy hotel. The belongings of the Maharaja are being used for commercial purposes. The royal emblem is also being used for commercial purposes, generating resentment among the local residents.

The descendants of the emperor had established their estate at Ateli in Mahendergarh district of Haryana. Later, they shifted base to Nimrana. A number of villages then came to be associated with the descendants of the emperor. They are still collectively called ďRaathĒ.

Local residents have been launching a movement, time and again, against the alleged misuse of the Nimrana fort and the reported occupation of the surrounding forest land by the hotel.

A former Sarpanch of Nimrana, Mr Udai Singh, has also lodged an FIR with the police against the hotel management, alleging theft of the life-size sapphire statue of a deity related to the Chauhan clan from the Nimrana Fort.

The Samraath Prithviraj Chauhan Foundation intensified the movement for acquisition of the Nimran fort hotel. It organised a maha yagya near the hotel during the last Navratna festival. A number of political leaders, including former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, Mr Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party and Mr D.P.Yadav, and noted environmentalist Yogi Ranjit took part in the yagya.
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Basmati: Haryana writes to ministries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Rattled by the news of a US firm patenting three basmati varieties, the Haryana Government has reportedly written to the Union Agricultural Ministry, the Union Commerce Ministry and the Agricultural Product Export Development Authority urging them to explain to the state the implications of the firmís move.

Haryana has a premier position in India as far as the production of basmati is concerned. It is grown in about 40 per cent of the area under paddy cultivation in the state. A substantial quantity of basmati produced in Haryana is also exported.

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Illegal hawkers at rly station
Our Correspondent

Panipat, August 27
If you are in search of restricted items banned by the Railway authorities, come to the Panipat circulating area of the railway station. Banned items are available at the 13 to 14 temporary shops of cigarette vendors, spurious cold drinks, kulfiwalas, paan shops, tobacco gutka and barbers sitting under umbrella shelters, cobblers and unhygienic food shops.

Though the unauthorised movement of hawkers in trains has been curtailed for the present, the circulating area of the station is encroached by unauthorised hawkers allegedly with the connivance of law enforcement officials. 

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CM visits martyrís residence
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 27
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today visited the residence of Major Amit Ahuja, who was killed at the Indo-Pak border.

Mr Chautala offered his condolences to the family members and praised Major Ahuja for his sacrifice. Some of the family members were away to Hardwar to immerse the ashes of the slain soldier.
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