Tuesday, February 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Cop found shot dead on RSS premises
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The police were today trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Constable Virender Singh, the Personal Security Officer of the former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS) chief, Mr. Rajinder Singh, popularly known as Rajju Bhaiya, in the guard room of the RSS offices in Jhandewalan, late last night.

The body of the 24-year-old Delhi Police constable was found lying on the cot in the guardroom with blood dripping from a gaping gun shot wound in the left temple. He was covered with a thick quilt and his service revolver was found lying by his side.

The police said that the body had been sent for a post-mortem examination and the revolver to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL). The bullet had pierced the skull and was found embedded in the wall of the guardroom.

The police said that preliminary reports suggest that the constable may have committed suicide but they were waiting for the forensic report, before arriving at a final conclusion. However, no suicide note was found.

The news of the death of the constable spread like wild fire in the area and hundreds of curious residents thronged the RSS offices, a landmark in the Jhandewalan area. A large number of RSS workers and office bearers also arrived there to inquire about Rajju Bhaiya’s well-being.

What is intriguing is that no one heard the gun shot even though several persons were present in the premises, including the guard commander. The police said that it was possible that the sound of the gun was muffled in the thick quilt, with which the constable was covering himself at the time of his death.

Preliminary inquiries by the police have revealed that Constable Virender Singh retired to his room around 8 p. m. last night after waiting for his colleague to relieve him. Another constable was sleeping in the room but he reportedly left for duty around 11 p.m. At about 11.15 p.m., Constable Ranjit of the Pahar Ganj police station came to the room to rest for a while. He heard the sound of something dripping and, when he investigated, he found blood dripping from the cot on which Virender Singh was lying. He immediately informed his superiors, who arrived on the spot and found the constable dead.

The police said that efforts were also being made to ascertain if the constable was depressed. The family was also being contacted.

The constable’s colleagues revealed that Virender Singh had got engaged only two days ago and had distributed sweets among the guards. He seemed quite happy at that time and there was no talk of any tension.



DLF takes Gurgaon police for a ride
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, February 18
According to residents of the DLF City, the developer, with 3000 acres at his disposal, has failed to earmark proper sites for the police department and its outposts.

Of course, it has complied with the mandatory guidelines of the Haryana Town and Country Planning Department by giving three plots of land, about one acre each, to the police department for setting up the police stations.

But these plots are reportedly in such a bad condition that no building can possibly be constructed on the sites, pointed out the General Secretary, DLF Qutab Enclave Residents’ Welfare Association, Mr T K Satheesan.

One can gauge this from the fact that while Plot no one in Phase 1 has 20 corners, Plot no two in Phase 2 has 14 corners and Plot no three in Phase 3 has more than 10 corners. Their location, too, casts doubts about the intention of the developer.

The building of the police post in Phase 1 is in such a pathetic condition that it can collapse any time, complained a resident, Mr Anil Gupta, who recently visited the post.

The land earmarked for the police post in Phase 3 is on a secluded stretch, which is of little use to the police department, said Mr Satheesan.

It appears that the plots given to the police department had no commercial value, charges Mr Anil Gupta.

A spokesperson of the DLF City informed the NCR Tribune that a 1.27 acre plot in Phase 1, a 1.65 acre plot in Phase 2 and two plots of 2.42 acres each in Phase 3 have been given to the police department. It is now for the police department to construct the building and make its stations operational, the spokesperson added. However, he agreed that the shapes and the location of the plots was not “up to mark”.

When contacted, Gurgaon Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, said that the police department was considering a proposal to abandon these plots as no proper building could be built there.

“We have already abandoned the plot in Phase 2,’’ said the officer. He revealed that the department was trying to organise alternative sites, so that plots in Phase 1 and 3 could also be abandoned.

The police force is just not visible in the colony and thefts have become a routine feature. The deployment of private security in DLF is an eyewash and does not even act as a deterrent.

According to the Residents’ Association, the DLF developer had allegedly used the original sites intended for police stations for commercial purposes. The site on which the Plaza Tower building stands was originally meant for community buildings like police stations, post office, fire station, etc. It was part of the 45 per cent area reserved for public amenities in the colony, alleged the association.



Hit seeks Akal Takht help, Sarna wants I-T audit 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The tussle between the two Akali factions in the Capital took an interesting turn today with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) chief, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, seeking the intervention of the Akal Takht and the head of the pro-Tohra group, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, demanding an audit of the accounts of the gurdwara-run institutions by auditors and the Income Tax department.

“As the three-day deadline for Mr Sarna to reply to the malicious charges have expired, I have written to the Akal Takht to summon him and take due action,” Mr Avatar Singh Hit told the NCR Tribune. However, Mr Sarna told this paper from Germany that he stands by his statement and demanded immediate auditing of the accounts of DSGMC, including schools, colleges and management and engineering institutes run by it. “An audit of these account would reveal the truth,” he said.

He said Income Tax department can audit the DSGMC accounts and those held by the DSGMC president. “Such a measure would indicate who has accumulated wealth disproportionate to known sources of income,” he said.

Mr Avtar Singh Hit had threatened to take legal action against Mr Sarna if he did not withdraw the allegations that the DSGMC president had misused the gurdwara funds. The SAD (Badal) Delhi unit chief had threatened to sue Mr Sarna for Rs five crore for tarnishing his reputation by making baseless allegations.

Mr Sarna had alleged that a sum of Rs. 32 lakh out of the DSGMC funds had been diverted for Punjab polls and the printing press in Gurdwara Rakab Ganj had been used to print party posters.

The DSGMC president had denied the allegations as “false and baseless” and had stated that no money of DSGMC had ever been transferred for Punjab polls and “no poster regarding elections had been printed in Gurupdesh Printing Press of the DSGMC.”

Countering the allegations by the SAD (Badal) group that Mr Sarna had paid Rs 11 lakh to the former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjeet Singh, the pro-Tohra group leader said: “I have not paid a single penny to Bhai Ranjeet Singh ever. Let them come out with facts, when, where and how I paid, as this would enlighten me.”

With the elections in Punjab over and the DSGMC general elections tentatively slated for June , political observers said the spat between the two factions of the Akali Dal is likely to intensify in the coming months with the two parties resorting to mudslinging in an attempt to prepare the ground for the political tussle for control of the gurdwaras in the Capital. Stakes are high for the two leaders as they vie for control of the DSGMC, one of the most resourceful bodies with an annual budget of around Rs 150 crore, including that of the institutions run by it.



A festival for green fingers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The spring season has been ushered in with flowers in full bloom and the incessant buzz of honeybees. Flowers in a riot of colours and lush green environs provide a magnificent backdrop for exploring the mystique of nature.

All this and more would mark the three-day Garden Tourism festival, beginning in the Capital on February 22. The aim of the festival is to promote environmental consciousness and appreciation of the flora in an ambience of fun and frolic.

The festival would have an attractive display of plants, hanging baskets, floral animals, cacti and succulents representing the rich variety of flora, showing the vast potential that exists in horticulture and the art of gardening.

The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, which is organising the 15th Garden Tourism Festival in Talkatora Gardens, said there would be a display of everything related to the greens like garden equipment, apart from an attractive display of different varieties of plants.

This year’s theme is “landscaping for sustainable environment”. Sustainability is the successful management of all resources to satisfy the changing human needs, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources. Landscaping means arrangement of plants in relation to land and its surroundings for the sake of utility and beauty, keeping in mind the fabric of fragile eco system.

The DTTDC said that it had chosen this theme as Delhi’s population has grown by leaps and bounds and the garden city of Delhi has expanded to become an unwieldy mega-metropolis, posing a severe strain on the civic amenities and the environment.

The highlight of the festival has been the laid-out small gardens with a specific theme, colour in landscaping, gardens of the orient, garden with arbour and terrace garden. Several competitions are being organised in various categories like seasonal flowers, hanging baskets and floral animal, apart from setting up gardens with landscaping for sustainable environment.

In the garden section, competition will be held in 24 classes consisting of over 175 sections besides the competition in Dahlia varieties. This year, there is a separate section “Tray Garden” in which an area of minimum one sq mt and two sq mt would be provided for setting up miniature garden by the participants.

The DTTDC said the competition between the chefs of five star hotels is a popular event eagerly awaited. It is being organised in association with the Indian Culinary Forum.

Band performance, cultural events, dance by schoolchildren and an on-the-spot painting competition for children are other attractions of the festival. The schoolchildren theatre group, Shiv Niketan Education Society KG School, would enact the play “Swatantrata Sangram Ki Deepshikah – Jhansi Ki Rani”.



Polluting units refuse to budge, served notices
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 18
Hundreds of electroplating units operating in non-conforming and residential areas in Faridabad town have failed to move out despite several notices issued to them. Result: The pollution of underground water has assumed alarming proportions.

The Haryana Pollution Control Board has now served an ultimatum to such units to shift to the designated sector by March end or face action. There are about 400 such units functioning in various parts of the town, but mostly they are located in residential areas. Most of them are operating in Ballabgarh town, Jawahar colony, Sanjay Nagar and Dabua colony.

The Pollution Control Authorities had prepared an action plan for shifting such units to Sector 58 a few years ago. For the purpose, about 400 plots had been developed, but it is learnt that only a few units are interested in relocation. The Haryana Urban Development Authority has recently revised the minimum allotment rate of such plots to Rs. 2150 per sq feet. The authorities have decided to provide a treatment plant in Sector 58, but since only a small number of units are aware of the pollution norms, the pollutants keep seeping into the underground water channels.

According to a report recently released by the Central Ground Water Board, 75 per cent of the underground water in the district is unfit for drinking. The badly affected areas are Ballabgarh, NIT and old Faridabad where the situation has become very serious, according to Board officials. Although the Pollution Control Board has issued a fresh warning to the electroplating units, it remains to be seen how far it will go in checking the pollution level.



English from primary level in Govt schools

New Delhi, February 18
In a move aimed at bridging the gap between students of government and public schools, the Delhi Government today announced that English would be taught from the primary level from the next academic session in all the schools run by it.

“English will be taught in Delhi Government schools from the primary level from the next academic session,” Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said here today. English is at present taught in government schools from class six. Laying the foundation stone for a multi-purpose hall at Government Sarvodaya Girls Secondary School, the minister said the Delhi Government was committed to providing quality education. TNS



ASI has Hauz Rani residents on tenterhooks
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, February 18
After Lajpat Nagar, it is the turn of Hauz Rani village to face action. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has sent show cause notices to most of the residents and shopkeepers of the village “for removal of unauthorised construction in protected area”.

According to the ASI, most of the constructions in Hauz Rani fall within the protected area of the Jahanpanah Wall, a “centrally protected monument”. However, the residents said that they had never seen the Jahanpanah Wall. “Where is the monument?” asked Zaheer Ahmed, who owns an STD booth in the village. “We have never seen it (the monument).”

Ahmed said, “This village is about 700 years old. Did the authorities realise that the village is illegal and falls within the protected area?” It is a fact that the monument is nowhere to be seen. Some say that people have constructed over the monument, some say that it had completely broken down with the passage of time and there were just “one or two pieces of stones left of it”. However, an official of the ASI, on condition of anonymity, told the NCR Tribune: “The monument is there. It is a fact that it has been broken, but it is not with the passage of time but because of so much construction around it and even adjoining it. Even then, it is a centrally protected monument and any unauthorized construction in the protected area will not be spared.”

According to the Ancient Monument Archeological Sites and Remains Act, any construction or mining within 100 meters of any protected site is prohibited. The official said that the ancient monuments in Delhi, which attracted foreign tourists to the National Capital, were dying a slow death because of the lack of co-ordination between various government agencies. However, he added that in a span of two years, the ASI would get them back to life. “More than age, it is the apathy coupled with neglect at the hands of the people and the authorities that had withered our national monuments. We have to be tough with these people. But I hate to admit that the various governmental agencies are as much to blame as anyone else for passing the construction work without even consulting the ASI,” he said.

In this case, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had passed the development plan of Hauz Rani in 1979. “Before sanctioning any building close to an ancient monument, the authorities have to take permission from the ASI. But they don’t,” the ASI official said.

He added that mostly the monuments in South Delhi, where the builder mafia was most active, were the prime cause of worry. There are about 166 monuments in Delhi, of which, the official said, there were about 80 that the ASI was working vigorously on. “The major monuments are fine. It is the small ones that have buildings either coming up near them or they have already been constructed.”

However, the aggrieved residents of Hauz Rani village defended themselves saying that the MCD had passed their development plan. “Is it our fault if there is no co-ordination between the different agencies? How can they just remove a village as old as this?” asked Ausaf Ali, a resident.

The residents have replied to the Director-General of the ASI in writing. In the letter, they have mentioned that the notices issued to them are “illegal and contrary to the reality of facts”.

“There is no new construction in progress. In the show cause notice, they have asked us to stop the constructions. They are just finding lame excuses to raze the village,” said an agitated Babu Khan. The residents have requested the ASI to withdraw the notices. But the ASI maintained that any unauthorized construction would be razed in order to give the monuments the kiss of life.



Farmers languish as water theft cases mount
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 18
The cases of canal cut have been on the increase in the Rai Water Service Division of the district for the last few months due to the failure of the authorities to check them.

Some farmers alleged that the officials of the irrigation department were hand in glove with the unscrupulous and influential farmers. They also tried to hush up the cases of water theft. As a result, standing wheat crop had been badly hit, the farmers said.

Informed sources have revealed that whenever canal cuts are made by unscrupulous farmers, supported by certain ruling party politicians, they are hushed up as cases of mishaps. In this way, the officials dupe the government and misappropriate public funds by preparing bogus muster rolls regarding the repair works.

According to a report, a cut was made in the Shekhupura minor by some farmers last month and the executive engineer concerned had failed to plug the gap of canal cut on time.

Moreover, the water continues to flow in to the nearby fields for four days at a stretch before the canal cut was plugged.

Another cut was reported in the Sardhana distributory, but the incident was hushed up by department authorities.

Several farmers also alleged that they had not received the canal water for the last three months even during the rotation period and this had ruined their standing crops.

Expressing concern over the erratic supply of canal water, the farmers of many villages blamed the executive engineer of the Rai Water Service Division and the sub-divisional officer of Samalkha for not cleaning the canals, distributories and minors properly despite clear instructions by the state government.

The farmers whose fields are situated on the tail-end, have demanded a probe into their complaints about the lack of canal water and a stern action against those officials found responsible for it.

They alleged that the officials were misleading the district authorities by insisting that the canal water was reaching the fields and that the farmers had no problem.

The representatives of various farmers organisations today refuted the claim of the department authorities that the canal water had reached the tail-end villages during the rotation period fixed by the Government.

They also maintained that the farmers were still getting the supply erratically and their crops had started withering away.

They also urged the state government and the district authorities to take a serious note of it and take action against the erring officials.

Meanwhile, the maintenance of canals, distributories and minors continues to remain a major problem despite heavy expenditure incurred on them in the district. Though the state government had spent crores of rupees on the clearance of canals and other distributories, the problem has hardly improved as water does not reach the tail-end fields.

The farmers alleged that the embankments of various canals and distributories were facing the problem of siltage, resulting in water-logging in large areas. Many farmers alleged that some officials were minting money by preparing bogus muster rolls and cheating the state government.

The farmers demanded an inquiry into the scandalous working of the officials of the irrigation department, particularly the Rai Water Service Division and the Samalkha sub-division. Such an inquiry would expose the misdeeds of the executive engineer and the SDO. Only the transfer of both the officials would ensure an independent and impartial inquiry, they added.

The farmers also criticised the local authorities of the irrigation department for their failure to check the shortage of canal water even during the rotation period. They also said that the standing rabi crops, particularly wheat worth several lakhs of rupees, are on the verge of ruin due to the erratic water supply.



Sugar mill commissioned at Ahulana
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 18
The newly-constructed sugar mill, named after Chaudhary Devi Lal, was commissioned at Ahulana village about 40 km from here yesterday.

A large number of officials of various government departments, employees of the sugar mills and the farmers of the area, offered their ‘purnahutis’ in the Yajna, organised on the occasion. Thereafter, the ceremony of the mill’s crushing operations was performed. Speaking on the function, Mr M K Miglani, Principal Secretary of the Chief Minister, said that the mill was set up by the HAFED at a cost of Rs 56 crore and its construction work had been completed in a record time.

The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said that he had laid the foundation stone of the mill on April 4, 2000, and fulfilled the demand of the people in the area. He also disclosed that the mill has a capacity of 25,000 quintals of sugarcane every day and it will be increased to 35,000 quintals of sugarcane daily, if necessary.

The management of the mill, he said, has decided to get the bonded sugarcane from the farmers of the villages in the proximity of 15 kms. The farmers would be paid for their produce as early as possible. Mr Miglani said that the mill will produce six MW of power and of it, four MW of power would be utilised by the mill itself and the remaining two MW of power would be sold to the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) for use in other sectors.

He claimed that Haryana is the first state in the country, which is getting the sugarcane at the rate of Rs 110 per quintal. But, this mill will get the sugarcane at the rate between Rs 104 and Rs 110 per quintal according to the quality.

Mr Miglani gave a cash prize to Mr Todar Mal, a sarpanch of Ahulala village, who supplied his sugarcane to the mill on the occasion. The farmers of the village presented a ‘Haryanavi Pugree’ to Mr Miglani on the occasion.

Mr S N Roy, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, ADC, Mr Suraj Bhan Jangra, SDM and Ms Sumedha Kataria, MD of the Sonepat cooperative sugar mill were among those who were present on the occasion.



‘I have taken up the cause of the riot victims at different forums’
Syed Ali Ahmed

Rajinder Kaur
Rajinder Kaur, councillor from Tilak Nagar ward. 

They are a husband and wife team working for the welfare of the Sikh community in West Delhi. While Rajinder Kaur represents the Tilak Nagar ward in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, her husband, Nirwair Singh, is a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

Both of them have taken up the cause to fight for the 1984 riot victims, who live in large numbers in the area. After the carnage, which followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the government set up the colony for the rehabilitation of the victims.

In the political arena for years, she has a good understanding of the problems, faced by the people of the area, particularly those related to the civic amenities.

Rajinder Kaur has often approached the authorities for compensating the victims. In 1997, she contested the MCD election for the first time on the Akali Dal ticket and since then, has worked tirelessly to improve the civic amenities in the ward.

Earlier, the segment was represented by the BJP or the Congress councillor, who she claimed, had done little for the area.

Fifty-two-year-old Rajinder Kaur, hardly misses an opportunity to participate in the residents’ moments of happiness and sorrow. “I regularly move around the area to familiarise myself with the problems of the residents. I have been voted to the corporation to serve the people and I have to fulfil that duty. If I do not, I will be held responsible on the Judgement Day,” she told NCR Tribune in an interview.

Being a councillor of the Sikh-dominated Tilak Nagar area, what have you done for the 1984 riot victims?

Though the corporation has little role to directly ameliorate the problems faced by the victims, I have taken up their cause at different forums.

I and my husband, who is a member of the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, have approached the authorities concerned to help the victims as well as other needy persons. Most of the victims have got the compensation of the loss they suffered during the 1984 riots.

However, less than 10 per cent of the compensation amount is left with them now. Recently, the court had announced enhanced the compensation for the victims, which would be provided to them by the government soon. At my level, I have tried to provide adequate civic amenities in the colony.

What role has the DSGMC played to help the victims?

But for the DSGMC, the life of the victims would have been harsh. It is the DSGMC, which had fought their case in the court and helped them in getting the compensation. Officials of the DSGMC prepared a list of the victims and approached the court for an adequate compensation. The victims and their family members had been on dharna at the Jantar Mantar for years as they had no shelter. Later, after the intervention of the DSGMC, they were allotted flats in Tilak Nagar.

The DSGMC is undertaking a sample survey of the Sikhs in Tilak Nagar municipal ward. Why does the DSGMC not believe in the census report being prepared by the Centre?

The DSGMC believes that the census report prepared by the Union Government is not correct. The report has not provided the correct number of Sikhs living in the Capital. The DSGMC feels that the Sikhs in the Capital have been under-represented in the report. If remedial measures are not taken immediately, it would harm the long-term interests of the community, as policy decisions are taken by the government and the political parties based on the numerical strengthen of a particular community. The issue of granting of the second language status to Punjabi could be affected if the official census figure show low representation of the community.

Apart from taking up the cause of the riot victims, what are the other developmental work that you have undertaken in the area?

I am committed to the development of Tilak Nagar as a whole, but I have generally concentrated on the segment from where I contested the election. When I won the election to the corporation in 1997, there were seven MCD schools, which were in a miserable condition. I have tried to improve their conditions and consequently, two of them are known as model schools. To improve the condition of the schools in the area, the MCD had spent Rs 10 lakh. Earlier, there were no parks in Tilak Nagar. My effort has been instrumental in the development of many parks by the Corporation in the area. One ornamental park has also been constructed in my segment. Apart from this, a parking lot has also been constructed under the flyover.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) had an alliance with the BJP in the last election. How would you contest the forthcoming election this time?

During the last election, I fought on the Akali Dal ticket, which had an alliance with the BJP. In the forthcoming election, I hope the party will contest the election in the same way.

What will be the main issues in forthcoming MCD election?

Some issues are certain to be raised in the forthcoming MCD election, like the construction of Suvidha complex, completion of community centres, removal of encroachment from Tilak Nagar market area and the lack of street lights in the area. Tilak Nagar is a big area where lakhs of the poor people do not have any basic provisions like toilets and water in their houses. They have been using parks and other open area as toilets. I have repeatedly approached the MCD for the construction of public lavatories but unfortunately, nothing has been done so far. There are no street lights in the colony. People are even scared of going out for a walk in the evening in the absence of street lights. Petty crimes like robbery and snatching, have become a common feature of the area.

How much funds have you been given by the MCD for strengthening and repairing of roads in your segment?

Sadly, I have been given nothing this year for strengthening and repairing of roads. Recently, the MCD had sanctioned Rs 100 crore for this purpose but nothing has been sanctioned for my area. I approached the Mayor for the funds but he refused flatly to sanction money for my area, saying that it was meant for certain areas only. Though I am an Akali leader, I have good connections in the BJP. Even then, all my effort has been in vain. I even appealed to the Mayor for the construction of school buildings in the area, which are in a miserable condition. Unfortunately, instead of paying attention to my pleas, he said that such construction works would be done after the MCD election.



Foreign liquor vend plan evokes ire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The Government of NCT of Delhi’s plan to liberalise the excise policy by opening 18 new foreign-liquor vends has drawn the ire of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The matter that is likely to come up before the Cabinet proposes opening of two foreign-liquor vends each in the nine revenue districts ostensibly to stop losing liquor revenue to the adjoining states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and curb bootlegging. At present, foreign liquor is available only in relatively expensive bars unlike Haryana, where brands like Johnie Walker Black label, Chivas Regal, etc, are sold at the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) vends.

Reacting to the proposal, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Prof Jagdish Mukhi, said that by deciding to open foreign-liquor vends adjoining an IMFL outlet, the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi would encourage consumption of liquor. “This,” he said, “was against the Directive Principle No 47 of the Constitution that requires the State to try to bring about prohibition and restrict the consumption (of liquor) as it is injurious to health.”

“Our major objection,” he said, “is that the Government of NCT of Delhi is trying to encourage the consumption of imported liquor at the cost of the Delhi Exchequer as the Excise Department has proposed to bring down the excise duty, vend fee and other charges as compared to the charges made from IMFL.” This game plan of the government, he alleged, would favour some of the foreign liquor companies only.



IT revolution yet to touch MLAs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
While the Delhi government has provided laptop to all its 70 legislators, it is primarily an item of display for many as they have little knowledge about its functionality.

Even the training programme by the state government to initiate them to immense potentials of computers, seems to have evoked little interest amongst the MLAs as only a handful of legislators completed the fortnight-long basic computer course.

And, the lone legislator, who ventured to collect the certificate, was BJP MLA, Sahib Singh Chauhan.

Other legislators who had successfully completed the course were Opposition leader Jagdish Mukhi, Congress Parliamentary secretary Ramakant Goswami, Congress chief whip Mangat Ram Singhal and Congress MLA, Shish Pal Singh.

“If we do not keep pace with times, we would lag behind in our developmental efforts,” Delhi Assembly Speaker, Choudhury Prem Singh said, handing over the certificates to the legislators and the Assembly staff, who attended the course.

He said, “The working of the Assembly would be computerised soon to enhance its productivity and efficiency.”

However, the poor response of the legislators to the computer-learning session, makes one wonder how long the winds of IT revolution would take to breeze though the windows of the corridors of power in the National Capital Territory.



PHD officials fiddle while Sonepat thirsts for water
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 18
Thousands of residents had to go without water for the whole day yesterday after a major breakdown in the supply of drinking water.

Many residents alleged that the officials of the Public Health Department did not bother to tell them the cause of disruption. They did not even care two hoots to reply when the supply would be restored. To cap it all, there were no water tankers for the thirsty residents.

People, particularly women were seen fetching pitcherful of water from distant places to meet their requirements. It being Sunday and also the Basant Panchmi Mahotsava, the residents faced great inconvenience and waited for the supply of water from dawn to dusk but did not get even a single drop.

This is the second time during the month that the entire city with a population of nearly 2.50 lakh remained waterless throughout the day.

The representatives of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations as well as the trade unions today expressed concern over the unsatisfactory working of the Public Health Department in the city and elsewhere in the district. They also urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the affairs of the department and take stern action against the erring officials.

They alleged that the water supply had always been erratic in the district.

Bikes recovered

The Kharkhauda police have arrested a youth, Sunil Kumar of Bakheta village under the police station of Sampla in Rohtak district following an alleged recovery of three stolen motor cycles from him.

Giving the information, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, Superintendent of Police told the mediapersons here today that a police party of the Kharkhauda police station was engaged in checking the light vehicles on the Kharkhauda-Gohana Road near the curve of Gorar and Silana villages. As the culprit came on a motor cycle, the police overpowered him.

The SP disclosed that the culprit confessed to his involvement in three cases of motorcycle thefts. The police, he said, have registered a case against him and further investigations were in progress.

According to the SP, the culprit also told the police that he had stolen these motorcycles from Hassanpur and Jagsi villages and the third from the railway station in the city.

Poor sewerage system

The sewerage system in the city is plagued by a plethora of problems. Many residents alleged that the sewers are decades old. They have been badly damaged due to the poor maintenance and misuse. They get clogged frequently flooding the roads and streets almost every day.

The residents said that the builders dump their construction waste on the road. Once their work is complete, they dispose of the waste material by dumping it into the sewers.

“Our sewer lines are already clogged. To add to the problem, they dump the construction waste into the sewers. The sewerage flows back into our houses and the water pipes are situated near the sewers. This causes intermixing and pollution of the water,” said a resident.

Some residents alleged that all their complaints made to the authorities in this regard, have fallen on deaf ears.

Man assaulted

Mr Pale Ram, a resident of Murthal village sustained serious injuries when he was allegedly attacked by iron rods by one Satbir, a shopkeeper outside his shop on the G T Road here yesterday.

According to a report, the police have registered a case against the alleged assailants. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Undertrial dies

Dharamvir, a 21-year-old undertrial prisoner, died in the civil hospital here yesterday.

According to a report, the deceased was suffering from T B and he was admitted to the civil hospital on the night of February 16 for treatment. He was arrested by the police on January 26 on the charge of eve-teasing at Khewra village and was sent in the judicial custody by a local court.

The body was handed over to the parents of the deceased after the post-mortem examination.

Five hurt

Five persons, including women and children sustained injuries when a mule cart on which they were travelling was overturned after being hit by a truck on the Kharkhauda-Delhi Road near Saidpur village about 25 km from here last evening.

According to a report, all the injured persons were returning their homes after collecting fodder from the fields. All the injured were taken to the community health centre and discharged after the first-aid.

According to another report, a speedy car rammed a stationary truck on the G T Road near Bahalgarh village about 10 km from here yesterday. No one was hurt in the accident.

Girl injured

A six-year-old girl sustained 70 per cent burn injuries when a stove blasted in her house at Murthal village about 8 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, she was taking her meals when the nearby stove bursted.

The injured girl was rushed to the civil hospital, where from she was shifted to the PGI Rohtak for further treatment.

Brahmin Sammelan

A district-level Brahmin Sammelan will be held on February 27 next at Anandpur Majra village under the presidentship of Mr Hari Mohan Sharma, President of the state unit of the Brahmin Maha Sabha.

Two die in mishap

Faridabad: Two persons travelling in a van were killed and several others were injured when their vehicle rammed into a Tata 407 truck parked on National Highway no. two in Palwal sub-division yesterday. According to a report, the victims were going to Delhi to attend a marriage function when their van collided with a stationery truck near Baghola village. The occupants of the van, Pankay and Ram Lal, died on the spot.

Suspect slips away

Noida: A home guard has been arrested for allowing an accused to escape from police custody. It so happened that a Maruti car was damaged by a Tata-407 driver in C Block of Sector-22 yesterday evening. The Tata-407 driver was caught by Abhinyu Mukerjee, the car owner, who informed the police. Sushil Pal and Janesh, the occupants of Tata-407, who were drunk, were abusing and threatening Mr Mukerjee when the police came on the scene. The police brought the accused to Sector-24 police station and then took them to the district hospital in a police jeep. The two home guards who were escorting the accused requested the doctor to help Janesh, but the government doctor refused to oblige. At this, the home guard reportedly misbehaved with the doctor and signalled to the accused to slip away. The police authorities have ordered the arrest of the home guard.



NAREDCO national convention
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) has launched the second National Convention and Exposition of Real Estate and Housing Finance sector. The first event was held in March 2000 and had received an overwhelming response from the industry and the policy makers. This year’s convention will be held from March 15 to March 17 at India Habitate Centre. The event would be managed and coordinated by Mercantile Advertising. The Indian Express is the media partner for the event.



Gang of highway robbers busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The Delhi Police Crime Branch has apprehended four members of Shahid alias Munna gang, which was involved in a number of highway robberies. With the arrest, the Crime Branch today claimed to have solved two cases and recovered one loaded truck with goods worth Rs 8.5 lakh, which was looted from National Highway No 8.

The suspects — Idrish, resident of Seelampur, Firoj, resident of Seelampur, Nazeem alias Sonu, resident of Malka Ganj, and Fiyaj alias Chand, resident of Seelampur — were nabbed by the Anti Robbery Cell of the Crime Branch.

The cell was acting on secret information that some members of the Shahid gang would drive through Noida with a looted truck loaded with goods. A police team, under the supervision of P.S.Kushwaha, ACP, Anti Robbery Cell, was set up to intercept the vehicle.

On interrogation, the four persons in the truck revealed that they were active members of the Munna gang and habitual receivers and sellers of looted and stolen properties.

They also disclosed that the truck (No. HR-51G-A1861), loaded with 187 cartons of confectionery, electronic parts, electrical goods, aluminum wire, plastic goods and stove burners, had been looted from NH-8 from Kapashera area on February 14 ; it was further revealed that their other associates, Ata-ul, Sikander and Naushad alias Guddu, were still at large. The accused also disclosed that four months ago, they had stolen 25 cartons of toys from a Canter parked on Bijwasan Road, Delhi.
During interrogation it was further revealed that the gang leader, Shahid alias Munna, who is in jail since 1999, desperately needed funds to pursue the cases against him. The accused were following the directions of the gang leader, including his brother Firoj, who is also involved in these activities.

One of the accused, Idrish, had even stolen a truck laden with refined ghee in 1998 from Badarpur and another truck laden with chocolates in IP Estate. He had also robbed a truck laden with detergent powder and pesticides in the same year in Vasant Kunj.

The Crime Branch officials are further investigating the case to crack the entire network.



Jeweller stabbed, robbed of gold ornaments
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
Two cases of robbery were reported in the Capital yesterday in different areas of the city. The first incident took place when a 30-year-old jeweller was stabbed and robbed of his bag containing gold jewellery worth thousands in the Gokulpuri area of North-East, late last night.

The victim, Pradeep, who runs a jewellery shop in the same area, was returning home when two unidentified armed assailants stabbed him in his chest and escaped with the bag containing gold ornaments. Pradeep was immediately rushed to the GTB hospital and was reported to be in the critical condition.

Police have registered a case of robbery and have launched a manhunt for the absconding duo.

Another incident took place when a man was robbed of Rs 500 and his belongings, by four robbers in Kotwali area of North district, in the wee hours.

The incident occurred when Sunder Kohli, was on his way to his house after alighting from the Meerut-Delhi bus, around 2 am. When he reached the General Post Office, four men waylaid him and stabbed him in the chest and decamped with his belongings and money.

In the meantime, the victim raised an alarm and the duty constable, Pradeep spotted the robbers running. He immediately gave a chase and nabbed the foursome. The four were later identified as Ravi, Amit, Rajesh and Om Parkash who were found involved in a number of petty crimes. 



Racket in spurious drugs unearthed, four held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The East district police today claimed to have busted an organised racket of manufacturing and distribution of spurious drugs with the arrest of four persons from the Capital and Ghaziabad. The drugs valued around Rs 1.5 crore were seized from their possession.

The suspects were identified as Dhirender Kumar, Rakesh Tyagi, Rajesh and Narender Goyel. The medicines were manufactured in Ghaziabad and supplied in Delhi, using the names of well-known companies, police said.

The police received a tip-off that duplicate medicines of reputed companies like Ranbaxy, were manufactured in Ghaziabad and supplied in Delhi. The police arrested Dhirender Kumar from Anand Vihar.

During interrogation, Dhirender disclosed that he was supplied with the medicine by one Narender Goyal, who had a medical store in Teliwara in walled city. The police raided the medical store and arrested Narender too who disclosed that the medicines were being manufactured in a factory in Shastri Nagar area of Ghaziabad. A raid was also conducted in Ghaziabad and the unit owner Rakesh Tyagi was arrested.

During the search of the unit in Ghaziabad and the medical store of Narender Goyal in Teliwara, a huge quantity of duplicate life-saving drugs, having wrappers of different companies, were seized. The suspects have been booked under various acts, the police said.



Alarming rise in Rewari crime cases
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 18
Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav, Deputy Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP), has expressed concern at the alarming rise in the incidents of crime in the Rewari region. Quoting the recent incidents of looting of two petrol stations by armed youths, several incidents of dacoities in various colonies of the town and the custodial death of a youth at the Rohrari police station, he said that such crimes had become almost a routine in the area. The Congress leader had a dig at the local police administration. The police personnel at various outposts have just failed to check criminals, he said. Emphasising the need to bring an all-round improvement, he pleaded for a liberal issuance of arms licences to the ex-servicemen.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |