Tuesday, December 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



BJP decides to gag dissidents
Ravi Bhatia & R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Concerned over the growing differences between the so-called stalwarts of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the central leadership has finally intervened and made it mandatory for the party MPs to inform the party and the RSS unit before holding any programme in different localities of the National Capital Territory (NCT).

The decision was apparently taken to arrest the differences between Madan Lal Khurana, Sahib Singh Verma, the two former chief ministers and Mange Ram Garg, president of BJP Delhi unit, lest the rift should become a liability in the municipal corporation elections.

Party sources said that the former BJP president Khushabhao Thakre was specially asked last week to convene a joint meeting with Mr Garg and Mr Verma to curb the dissension before the elections to the Delhi Municipal Corporation are announced.

Incidentally, Mr Khurana, who had recently made public utterances against the Centre for the problems being faced by the residents of the Capital, was not invited to the meeting.

There is a feeling in the top central leadership that the Delhi BJP, which has a majority in the present MCD, is likely to face anti-incumbency factor during the forthcoming polls. Further, the party had failed to cash in on the Lokayukta report in the Delhi Jal Board scam, as it fears that raising the corruption issue could boomerang as the Congress might retaliate by highlighting the Bangaru Laxman episode in the Tehelka tapes, sources said.

According to party sources, both Mr Garg and Mr Verma were livid that the MPs did not inform the party about the activities in different areas. As a result, the majority of the party workers could not participate in them. This, they felt, was counter-productive since the Sangh cadres are the main campaigners in their areas during elections. .

Mr Garg is understood to have informed the central leadership that Mr Verma had held several meetings in different parts of the Capital recently but he had neither informed the party’s local unit nor the RSS workers in the area.

On the other hand, Mr Verma told Mr Thakre that he was not averse to informing the party nor the RSS local shaka head about the scheduled programmes. The former Delhi Chief Minister, while expressing his anger over the non-cooperation by the local cadres, said that he would be willing to attend any programme chalked out by the party or the RSS in different areas of the Capital, only if he was informed of these on time.

It was decided that in the first show of solidarity, both Mr Verma and Mr Garg would be present at a function being organised to felicitate Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary at the Prime Minister’s residence on Tuesday.

However, the differences between Mr Verma and Mr Khurana continue and seem to have widened during the past few days. Mr Khurana had called a rally in the Capital to highlight the problems facing Delhi like CNG, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, definition of pollution for relocation of industrial units in non-conforming areas, full statehood to Delhi.

In a letter to the Union Home Minister, Mr L K Advani, the former Chief Minister, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, had blamed the Centre for most of the problems facing the Capital. Mr Verma had endorsed the issues raised by Mr Khurana.

However, on the day of the rally, Mr Verma boycotted it on the grounds that the tone and tenor of the attack, appeared to be directed at the Centre. Though he was of the opinion that the problems faced by the people of Capital were due to the failure of the Congress-led Delhi Government.

The two leaders, sources said, have not spoken or met each other after the ‘rally’. Mr Khurana, in a game of one-upmanship, had projected himself as a messiah of the people and announced that he was only postponing the future course of action on the request of Mr Advani and would disclose the strategy after a meeting with the Prime Minister. Several days have passed since Mr Vajpayee returned to the Capital after his trip to Japan, but Mr Khurana continues to wait for an appointment.



House-owners can breathe easy
Verification for new tenancies only
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Relief has finally come for the harried house-owners in the Capital with the Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, intervening in the issue to stop their harassment in the ongoing tenant-verification campaign of Delhi Police. The police have already arrested over 100 house-owners for the violations.

Now, the house-owners need to verify the antecedents of the tenants only for new tenancies from December 15, 2001 and there would be no arrest for non-compliance.

Mr Kapoor decided this after a prolonged meeting with the Principal Secretary (Home), the Delhi Government officials and senior police officers here today.

The Lt-Governor observed that the order of the Commissioner of Police, aimed at keeping a check on terrorist and anti-social elements, “should be so operated that it does not expose the bona fide citizens to undue harassment.”

The meeting also decided that the tenant-verification required only giving intimation to the police station and the tenancy need not await any approval or permission from the police.

A statement said instructions are being issued to the police that though the offence under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code is non-bailable in Delhi, “no arrest shall be undertaken”.

“Any case arising from the non-compliance of the order will be investigated and followed up according to the law,” it added.

Following the arrest of a house-owner for keeping Shaukat Hussain and Afsana allegedly involved in the Parliament shoot-out, the police launched a massive tenant-verification drive and arrested over 100 others in the National Capital Territory.

The move by the police sent a chill down the spine of several thousand house-owners, who queued up outside the police stations to fill in the tenant-verification forms and in several places the forms, supposed to be given free, were being sold at a premium.

Police had issued the tenant-verification orders earlier this year following the reports that a large number of criminals were staying as tenants in several parts of the Capital, seeking anonymity in the teeming metropolis. In several cases, the criminals having several aliases, also used these houses as launching pads for their anti-social activities. However, the orders were strictly enforced after the December 13 shoot-out and many house-owners were booked under Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO). The owners cannot seek even bail under the ordinance.



Senior citizens may soon have smart cards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
The Government of NCT of Delhi is toying with the idea of smart cards for senior citizens and bringing general category applicants under the purview of the SC/ST loan scheme, so that below poverty line (BPL) families living in resettlement colonies or JJ clusters also stand to benefit. These and other proposals were discussed by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with Social Welfare Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan in Monday’s meeting called by her to review the activities of the Social Welfare Department.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the departments of environment and industry. According to Industries Minister Deep Chand Bandhu, the government would hand over possession of 3,000 industrial plots in Bawana by year-end and 15,000 more plots by the end of the fiscal year. Earlier in the day, the Cabinet met and approved the creation of a new post of Deputy Controller of Accounts in the Transport Department.

Social Welfare Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said smart cards would come handy for senior citizens while making reservations for rail or air travel and while availing health and medical services in hospitals. Besides the proposal on widening the ambit of SC/ST loan scheme to include general category applicants, the minister said the government was considering a proposal for raising financial assistance under the widow pension scheme and increasing the aid for physically challenged persons.

According to the minister, it is proposed that the one-time financial assistance to widows between 18 and 45 years of age be raised to Rs 15,000 and monthly pension be disbursed among widows between 45 and 60 years of age, instead of making them a one-time payment. “Also proposed is the setting up of councils comprising prominent citizens and non-government organisations (NGOs), similar to the visitors council in schools, to monitor the activities of welfare homes and schools for the blind and the orphaned children.

In a similar meeting called to review the working of the departments of industry and environment, Industries Minister Deep Chand Bandhu said the government was evolving a mechanism to overcome the anticipated problems in the enforcement of the ban on manufacture, sale and use of plastic bags. He also said the next phase of the Clean Yamuna Project would begin in February next year.


Triple abduction, murder case solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
The anti-homicide section of the Crime Branch of Delhi Police today claimed to have solved a sensational case of abduction and triple murder of husband, wife and minor son with the arrest of three persons. The police have also recovered the skeleton of one of the victims from a sugarcane field.

The police acted on a complaint of Saigam Ali, a resident of Muzaffar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. Saigam Ali said in his complaint that his brother Hasan Ali used to live in a rented house at C-55-56 in Old Seema Puri, along with his wife Rafat Jahan and her son Shehbaz. A report of kidnapping was also lodged at Seema Puri police station.

Saigam Ali informed the police that the missing persons had last been seen with Hussain Ahmed, Mohammad Khalid, Dost Mohammad, Mohammad Gufran and Mohammad Furkan near G T Road in the second week of June, 2000.

Saigam Ali felt that Hasan Ali might have been kidnapped by these people. Hussain Ahmed and Mohammad Khalid were accused in the murder case of Ahasan. Saigam Ali suspected that Hassan Ali, Rafat Jahan and their son Shehbaz were killed in order to prevent Rafat Jehan from filing an affidavit in the court in connection with the murder of Ahsan.

Taking a lead from this, a team led by ACP Gurbux Singh with Inspector Ram Pal Singh interrogated Dost Mohammad and his brother Mohammad Gufran. They revealed that Hussain Ahmad had hatched the conspiracy and asked Dost Mohammad to kill Hassan Ali, Rafat Jahan and their son Shehbaz.

Two meetings were held in the house of Hussain Ahmad, attended by Dost Mohammad, Mohammad Furkan and Mohammad Khalid. Later, two killers, Tilak Ram from Tewra and Shah Nazar from Sikandarpur, were hired.

The police said that on June 13, 2000, as the three members of the family were passing via a sugarcane field on their way to house, the two contract killers who were waiting for the opportunity to strike, killed all of them and kept the bodies on the field during the day.

Later, the bodies were buried in an adjacent field. Broken bangles as well as hair have been recovered from the field after digging the place.

Police are further investigating the case and have launched a manhunt for the other hiding accused.


CNG school buses can jump queue for fuel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
CNG-driven school buses now need not wait in queues at filling stations. Such buses, owned and registered in the name of schools, would be given “priority” and would not be required to wait for their turn. The decision was taken at the meeting of CNG vehicle manufacturers, CNG kit manufacturers, transport operators and the representatives of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) last week.

The decision has come as a relief to thousands of school children and their parents. The managements of various schools, which have their own fleet , have welcomed the decision.

The Director (Commercial) of IGL, Mr L Lobo, said there was no shortage of CNG and that the government had also confirmed the availability of adequate gas to IGL and, if required, more could be made available. To address the “dispensing bottleneck,” he said the IGL was procuring 29 new compressors and 300 new dispensers. By February-end, IGL would be geared to dispense 10 lakh kg per day of CNG. This, he reiterated, would be adequate to service 8,000 buses plus other vehicles on any given day.

Keeping in view the Supreme Court’s deadline of January 31, 2002, the IGL would be able to service additional buses plus other vehicles with its increased dispensing capacity of six lakh kg per day by that date. The IGL, he said, was planning to increase the number of its CNG filling stations from the current 87 to 120 by March 2002 of which there would be a total of 14 dedicated stations for Delhi Transport Corporation, up from the present nine. He said a new CNG pipeline was being laid from Dhaula Kuan to GT Karnal Road with 14 new online stations. “This will not only add to the dispensing capacity but will also considerably cut down on the dead mileage factor being faced by the transport operators,” Mr Lobo said.

He informed that certain design modifications had been suggested with regard to the safety aspects of CNG-driven vehicles and that a core committee had been formed, comprising representatives from all parties concerned, that would meet regularly to address CMNG related issues.


Cops had not cleared passport applicants
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
The applications for the passports of Gurjit Singh and Sukhchain Singh, arrested from the IGI Airport a few days back while trying to board a flight for France, were rejected by the special cell of the Delhi Police.

According to the police, the special cell sleuths had visited the address, given on the application forms, and conducted an inquiry. The forms were sent back to the Regional Passport Office with the remarks that the applicants were “not residing” at the given address, the police said. The suspects had applied for the passports in the names of Nahid Hasan and Sahid Hasan. They stated their father’s name as Chaudhary Hasan, a member of Parliament and resident of 40, South Avenue, New Delhi, the police said. However, during interrogation before boarding the flight, they forgot the name of Chaudhary Hasan. The youths told the authorities that they were sons of MP Munawwar Hussain, which aroused the suspicion of the cops.



Noida pips Gurgaon in the rush for dream house
Parmindar Singh

Noida, December 24
Noida appears to have emerged as the most favoured residential destination of professionals. Reasonable costs and the considerable commuting advantage have helped position Noida as the better suburban option, especially for those working in Connaught Place, CGO Complex and Nehru Place in New Delhi.

The middle range flats, available for between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 14 lakh in Noida, compared to those between Rs 14 lakh and Rs 18 lakh in Gurgaon, entice salaried persons, according to experts.

Property rates have been fuelled by many factors, including the shift of industry to Greater Noida.

Apart from professional settlers, companies seeking employee accommodation and guesthouses are also opting for Noida. Upcoming sectors, where flats were selling at Rs 4,000 per sq.m. six months back, are now fetching Rs 7,000 and even more, reveals Mr Pradeep Awal of United Properties Consultants Works.

The upward trend in prices is likely to continue, though a spurt is not likely because of an oversupply in the residential sector.

From private builder flats to houses and flats built by the Noida authority, the suburb has it all. An average buyer has both the price and local options even in the various LIG, MIG, HIG and Duplex home schemes, says a senior Noida official.

And the quality of the buildings recently built and those under construction has improved considerably. Keeping in tune with the industry trends, even the government organisations, once infamous for passing on skeletal structures with inferior construction parameters to the customer, have standardised product offerings.

The private sector goes a step further to showcase the completely finished Grade Apartments with wrought iron designer furniture and glass-topped tables, laid out with service mats.

Better specifications aside, the customer is also wooed by swimming pools within the premises, adherence to Vaastu norms and signature design forms of architects like Hafeez Contractors.

The first allotment is always preferable since the secondary market in Noida is a tough maze, says Mr Rahul Singh, who is looking for a plot here. The early settlers are those who purchased industrial land or were given land as compensation.

This was followed by a phase when financiers picked up most of the available plots. Today, the end-user has limited upper-end options of primary allotment and is entirely dependent on the secondary market for plots.

Private builders like ATS, Parasvnath and Padmini Infrastructure have apartments that average Rs 1,500 per sq.ft., while the society flats are available in the Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,400 per sq.ft. range.

The HIG flats, constructed by Noida, begin at Rs 17 lakh while single units sell for Rs 20 lakh upwards. A four-bedroom super deluxe unit (2,500 sq.ft.) is available for Rs 24 lakh. Sector 15-A is the prime residential destination, selling at Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 per sq.m., owing to its proximity to DND Flyaway and Sector 18 market. Sectors 14, 14-A and 15 follow closely at Rs 20,000 per sq.m.


Performance is the poll plank of this mayor
Syed Ali Ahmed

THE budget of the corporation is an election budget. Would you like to comment on this?

The corporation has not presented the budget so far. It was a speech of the Commissioner of the MCD that was read at the Standing Committee meeting. The Commissioner is an administrative officer. He has no power to present the budget. The Chairman of the Standing Committee will present the budget at year-end.

IT has been a rather long innings for Mayor Shanti Desai in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Mr Desai’s association with the MCD dates back to 1973 when he was elected as the Chairman of the Education Committee. Almost a quarter century later, he was elected Chairman of the all-powerful Standing Committee in 1997. In between, he has served in different capacities, including that of the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition.

Born in Porbandar, it is not surprising that the Mr Desai strongly champions the fundamental principles of Gandhian philosophy.

Mr Desai, born in Porbandar in Gujarat, was brought up and educated in Delhi. He has been closely connected with the MCD since the beginning of his political career. He has been elected the Mayor of Delhi for the first time and will complete two years of his Mayorship in April next year. The tenure of Mr Desai as Mayor is full of notable achievements. There has been considerable improvement in the civic services despite several financial constraints.

In conversation with NCR Tribune, the Mayor said different local bodies like the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council, the Delhi Cantonment Board as well as the Delhi Government were governing the national Capital. The state of affairs of these bodies are earmarked but there is a certain kind of confusion which leads to problems for Delhi’ites. He said to make Delhi a better place it should be under one governing body.

Excerpts from the interview

Has the issue of the Rs 100 crore aid given to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) by central government been solved? Why did it become an issue? And is the corporation being controlled by the Delhi Government or the central government?

The corporation is an autonomous body. It is neither controlled by the Delhi Government nor the central government. The aid of Rs 100 crore given to the corporation by the Union Ministry for Urban Development was never an issue. It was politically motivated by the government of the National Capital Region of Delhi as it was led by the Congress Party while the MCD and the Union Government were led by the BJP. It was the share of the corporation for the development of roads, which was given by the Union Urban Development Ministry. The aid was given to us through the Delhi Development Authority. It was the first time when we asked for our share from the government, which was given to us in a proper and legal manner.

There is confusion about the development work done by the MCD and the Delhi Government. How would you sort out the confusion?

There is no confusion in the development work done by the corporation as well as other governing bodies. The area of development is earmarked. The areas of development are clearly mentioned in the bylaws of these bodies. The Union Government specifies the names of roads to be developed by the corporation. The corporation cannot construct any big hospital in the Capital. We can only construct dispensaries and small health centres with a capacity of 40 to 50 beds. We have to look for the development of education but for that the corporation has its own schools. In some areas the Delhi Government and the corporation both work. Sewerage and electricity are their joint responsibility but the areas are earmarked. The Delhi Government has total control over Delhi Fire Service.

The stray animals’ menace in the busy markets of the Capital at times becomes hazardous for the traffic and other passersby. What steps has the MCD taken to control this menace?

Yes, this is a major problem in the busy markets in Delhi. Employees of the department concerned of the corporation pick up the cattle. But their owners get them released after paying fine. The cause of this menace is dairies operating from the residential areas. Once the dairies are shifted to the outskirts of the Capital, the menace will automatically be controlled. About 25 years ago a provision was made by the Union Government to develop dairies in the outskirts of the Capital. This was done in Ghazipur in East district. Since the area had not been properly developed people did not show any interest in establishing dairies in Ghazipur. The development work falls under the jurisdiction of the Delhi Government.

To solve the stray animals’ menace as well as other problems, Delhi should be under one governing body. Right now, a part of it is controlled by the MCD and the NDMC, the DCB and the Delhi Government look after other parts.

Innumerable complaints regarding civic amenities have come up from the walled city and some other areas. What is the MCD doing to improve the civic amenities in the Capital?

There is no problem of civic amenities in the walled city. Sometimes, rubble from damaged buildings is dumped on roads or road crossings, which creates a nuisance for the inhabitants. But this rubble is removed once it is reported to the department concerned. Whenever people talk about civic amenities they should know that it is a big issue. Delhi is the Capital of India. I think 1.5 per cent population of the country resides in the Capital. To provide them proper facilities within a limited period is not a joke.

What will be your issues for the ensuing corporation elections?

Our performance will be our issue in the corporation election. When we came to power the corporation was bankrupt. The MCD was under a debt of Rs 400 crore of the Delhi Government. The operation theatres in all MCD hospitals had been closed. They were reopened. Lifts were installed in the hospitals and new medical wards for patients constructed. The corporation in the Capital constructed new electric crematoriums. The condition of schools run by the MCD was pitiable. When we came to power it was improved. The students did not have proper books. They were given books and school uniforms free of cost by the corporation.

An insurance scheme has been launched. The corporation will do the life insurance of students in MCD-run schools itself. Though we had come to power five years ago we had to pay a debt of Rs 400 crore to the Delhi Government. This was a 50 years’ old debt.


Police face farmers’ wrath
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 24
Hundreds of people from the Saroha community hailing from nearly 12 villages, held a peaceful demonstration outside the residence of the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat. The demonstration was in protest against the failure of the police to arrest the culprits involved in the murder of a 19-year-old youth Ravinder Kumar in his house near the police post set up on the Sonepat-Rathdhanna Road in the evening of December 17.

Surat Singh, President of the Saroha community of 12 villages, who led the demonstration, also submitted a memorandum to the superintendent of police, protesting against the failure of the police to apprehend the culprits named in the First Information Report (FIR), lodged by the parents of the victim. The memorandum alleged that the culprits managed to escape from the site of the murder mainly due to the inaction of the police. They held the police responsible for their failure to visit the site immediately after being informed about the incident.

It pointed out that the youth was living in the house alone and the assailants forced their way into the house and killed him with sharp-edged weapons.

The memorandum said that if the police had arrived immediately, the culprits could have been arrested and punished for the heinous crime. It was also pointed out in the memorandum that the residents of the village were not satisfied with the action taken by the police and nothing short of the immediate arrest of the culprits would satisfy them.

The SP assured the angry residents of the village that all the culprits involved in this case would soon be brought to book.

However, he denied the allegations that the police had not taken immediate action to arrest the culprits. Meanwhile, the condition of Mr Ram Kumar, father of the victim was deteriorating rapidly in the aftermath of the shock suffered by him when he had heard the news of the death of his son.

As a result, Mr Kumar failed to accompany the delegation of the panchayat that called on the SP to take appropriate action to apprehend the culprit.

The members of the delegation, who met the police chief included Anoop Singh, sarpanch of Rathdhanna village, Hazari Lal, sarpanch of Harsana Kalan village, Pardeep Kumar, sarpanch of Liwan village, Randhir Singh, sarpanch of Jagdishpur village, Satya Narain Saroha, a Muncipal Councillor, Ashok Dhankar, Yogesh Kumar Thakran, Maj. Partap Singh and Bhup Singh.


Foot-and-mouth disease attacks seven cattle in Ghaziabad
Parmindar Singh
Tribune News Service

Ghaziabad, December 24
Seven cattle of the Shiv Gaushala have succumbed to the foot-and-mouth disease in the last two days. Yet, the veterinary doctors in the area has not paid any attention to the problem, alleges gaushala manager Thakur Sangram Singh. Among the dead animals, there were four cows, two calves and a buffalo.

The manager has alleged that the doctor did not respond when he was contacted at the District Veterinary Hospital.

Instead, Mr Singh was told to return to the gaushala, where somebody would be sent to attend to the ailing cows. But no one turned up, Mr Singh claims. On Tuesday evening, he requested the veterinary doctor to conduct a post-mortem, but again no one turned up, the manager alleged.

Even while Mr Singh was trying to draw the attention of the doctors, the cow attendant informed him that two calves and a buffalo had also died of the disease. He has written to the District Magistrate, apprising him of the situation at the Gaushala. He disclosed in his letter that almost all stray cows, rounded up by the police, are sent to his gaushala. He earns little and runs the gaushala with the help of donations. Three months back, 14 cows reportedly died of the same disease at the gaushala. At that time too, he had approached the veterinary hospital, but the doctors did not heed his call.

Mr Singh claims that his written complaint to the District Magistrate also met with a lukewarm response. He recalls: “When we started this gaushala, we had no land or money. After barricading a small plot in the Meerut industrial area, we set up the gaushala. The Government has not encouraged us at all”. In another incident, about 40 cows died after consuming polluted water from the gaushala’s hand pump.

The water pollution was caused due to the reverse boring by the industrial units of the area. Though the water problem has now been resolved, “the foot and mouth disease has created a havoc,’’ the manager said.


BKU leader arrested for instigating farmers against government

Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 24
Mr Braham Singh Dahiya, a leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), was arrested by the police here yesterday on the charge of instigating people and farmers against the state government and the police. A case under Sections 153 and 147 of the IPC has been registered against Mr Dahiya.

Meanwhile, Dr Surat Singh, president of the district unit of the BKU, has strongly condemned the arrest of Mr Dahiya and charged the state government and the police with trying to suppress the leaders of the union and other farmer organisations.

In a press statement, he demanded the immediate release of Mr Dahiya and warned that if he was not released, the farmers would launch an agitation against the state government and the police.

Consumers of Kurar village have been without power supply for the last seven days following the burning of the electricity transformer in the village. They have now sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister demanding immediate suspension of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) officials who were delaying the replacement of the burnt transformer.

Many residents alleged that the authorities had not responded in spite of repeated representations made to them. They also said that the drinking water supply had been badly hit. Moreover, tubewells had been lying idle and the farmers had been facing a lot of inconvenience to irrigate the land under wheat crop.

Some other residents also pointed out that the women folk of the village had to fetch water from distant places to meet their requirements.

The sarpanch of the village warned that if the damaged transformer was not replaced immediately, the residents had no alternative but to block the National Highway No. 1 passing through near the village.

A scooterist was killed on the spot when he was hit by a car on the G. T. Road near Garhi Kalan village, about 30 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, the victim has not been identified so far. The victim was going on his scooter towards Panipat. The police have registered a case against the car driver on the charge of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

A young housewife sustained serious burns when a stove burst at her house in Murthal village, 8 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, she was immediately hospitalised and her condition is stated to be serious. The incident occurred while she was cooking meals.

A deputation of the people of Bhuri village called on Mr Ajay Chautala, INLD MP, in Delhi yesterday and sought his help for the arrest of the culprits involved in the alleged murder of a prisoner on November 21 last in the village.

The members of the deputation apprised him about the inaction of the police in arresting three remaining culprits involved in the alleged murder.

Mr Chautala assured the deputation that he would ask the police authorities to take immediate action in the case.

A Delhi-based student was injured when he was assaulted by students of a local school in a bus at the general bus stand here last evening. According to a report, the irate students also pelted stones on the bus smashing the windowpanes.

The policemen on duty immediately swung into action and took into custody some of the students who were handed over to the Civil Lines police station immediately.

An old enmity is stated to be the main cause of the assault. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

All the students belonged to a local school and they were returning to their homes after the annual prize distribution function.


Hospital owner threatens team

Faridabad, December 24
The owner of a private hospital at Ballabgarh has been booked by the police in connection with threatening a team of health officials, who had gone to conduct a checking for alleged violation of the Pre-Natal Determination Test Act recently. The team was led by Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of Ballabgarh Civil Hospital. In his complaint, the SMO has alleged that the owner of the hospital not only misbehaved with them, but also threatened them. A case under various sections of the IPC has been registered.

A surprise check done by the panchayat of nearby Tigaon village in Government Girls School there found that five teachers absent from duty.

The ‘raid’ was conducted on Saturday by the sarpanch and some other members of the panchayat, after they received some complaints. There are about 30 teachers in the school. The report of the raid has been submitted to the authorities concerned. TNS


Girl raped by tenant’s relative

New Delhi, December 24
A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped at her house in the Saraswati Vihar area in North-West district by a relative of her tenant yesterday. The suspect, Ganesh, has been arrested.

The victim, who was a student of class 10, was alone at her house when the incident occurred. Her mother had gone to visit somebody in the neighbourhood. The suspect called her to his room on some pretext and raped her. She narrated the story when her mother came. A medical examination of the victim had confirmed that she was raped and a case was registered. TNS


North’s biggest flower market in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
North India’s biggest flower market is proposed to be built in south Delhi on the land reclaimed after covering a drain in the heart of the National Capital Territory.

The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has decided to build a flower market opposite Dilli Haat on the land reclaimed by covering the Khushak Nallah.

The flower market, to be built at a cost of Rs 4 crore, would cover an area of 200 metre, the NDMC chairman, Mr Subhash Sharma, told reporters here today. It would be a landmark for tourists especially those visiting Dilli Haat. Facilities for cold storage of flowers and loading and unloading would be provided at the proposed market, he said. The existing wholesale flower market at Baba Karak Sing Marg would be shifted to the new mart, which was expected to be ready by December 2002, Mr Sharma said. The construction of the new market would begin early next year. The NDMC has also decided to use the land reclaimed by covering the drain at Brig Hoshiar Singh Marg to construct a working women’s hostel. A four-storeyed building would be constructed at a plot of about 2.5 acre and it would accommodate 436 residents. The foundation stone for both the projects will be laid by the Lt Governor tomorrow.

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