Tuesday, October 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Undertrials to be produced on video, in court
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
The shuttling of undertrials from prison to court and vice-versa will soon cease. Instead, the undertrials will be ‘produced’ before the magistrate in a digital format with the aid of what is euphemistically called video conference.

This radical departure that incorporates the virtues of information technology (IT) is expected to eliminate the scope of undertrials’ escape and save the exchequer an estimated Rs 3.5 crore annually. The Council of Ministers of the Government of NCT of Delhi on Monday cleared the proposal that was first mooted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in January last year. Hyderabad is the only other city to practice this.

Video conference (“electronic video linkage,” officials insist) will facilitate production of undertrials before the magistrate for extension of remand by doing away with the provision of law that mandates appearing in person.

Accordingly, the Section 167(2) (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) will be amended. Sources in the Department of Home say the proposal, and the amendment, has the concurrence of the Delhi High Court. The amendment adds the words : “[produced before him] either in person or through medium of video linkage” in the matter of extension of remand or similar matters. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told media persons policemen would henceforth not be required to escort undertrials “since only their (undertrials’) image will be projected on the television screen in the court and they will answer questions posed by the court.”

Dikshit says five studios each will be set up in the courts at Patiala House, Karkardooma and Tis Hazari. One studio each will be installed in Patiala House and Karkardooma and three at Tis Hazari.

“Corresponding studios will be set up in the Tihar Jail … there will therefore be five pairs of studios,” she told reporters and recounted the beneficial spin-offs of undertaking such an exercise. Not only will it help save a considerable sum of money but also help improve the safety and security of the undertrials who will not have to be transported to and from the courts. The video linkage, Dikshit says, will be an important step towards managing prisons better. “Bringing the courts and prisons on a computer network will introduce modern practices of prison management.”

As things stand today, Delhi Police personnel escort the undertrials to the courts once every 15 days for producing them in person before the courts. An estimated 350 undertrials are taken to the courts and brought back every day. The Department of Home believes introducing video linkage will allow Delhi Police to depute its personnel, otherwise engaged in escorting undertrials, for other duties. Besides, officials reiterate, video linkage will eliminate the scope of smuggling of contraband, etc and escape of undertrials in transit. Law stipulates undertrials will not be handcuffed at the time of them being produced before the courts. Another spin-off, officials say, is undertrials will be able to vent their grievances to the magistrate.



DLF residents take charge of security
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 7
Cheesed off by alleged partial withdrawal of the security arrangements provided for the plotted areas in DLF City by its promoters, the DLF Management, the residents have pooled in their resources to beef up the security structure. Various small associations of residents in DLF City have joined hands with the larger one, known as the DLF Qutab Enclave Resident Welfare Association, to increase their leverage against the management whenever a contingency arises. In normal circumstances, however, these smaller associations would continue functioning with their officer-bearers.

The management confirmed that even after withdrawal it was providing "reasonable" security cover. It further said that it was not charging anything for the security it was providing since October 1. A senior functionary of the management further said that even this arrangement should not be deemed permanent.

Meanwhile, the DLF Qutab Enclave Resident Welfare Association has sent a fax message to the Vice-Chairman of the DLF Universal Ltd, Mr Rajeev Singh, to protest against withdrawal of security even though he had assured that it would remain so till alternative arrangements were worked out. The functionary, however, has denied that the management gave such an assurance.

Earlier, the management used to collect security charges along with maintenance charges. But the Punjab and Haryana High Court upheld an order of the Haryana Government, issued a few years ago, against the management collecting maintenance charges. The court gave its verdict sometime in May last. Once bitten twice shy, the management now does not want to collect security charges as it wants to fight shy of any controversy and possible animus of the court inviting contempt charges.

The members of the association say that when the management had made an indication about withdrawal of security from October 1 they had met Mr Singh. They further said that in the meeting they had assured the management that they would join hands with the management for bringing about a solution to all problems, including collection of dues on count of security. They alleged that the withdrawal of security before any alternative arrangements were worked out was unfair and a breach of trust. The association members alleged that the management was providing security cover at only 12 of the 18 gates in the city and that too only in the night shift. The association has stepped in and employed security personnel of the same private security companies which have been operating in the city. It said that skeletal security had been provided by it at all 18 gates during the day shifts. It would soon extend the security cover to the inner parts of the city in parts of Phase 1-IV.

Meanwhile, it is working hard to get in touch with the vacant plot holders and others who have constructed houses but are not staying there. The reason why such "ghost owners" have assumed importance is the fact that the association will have to collect the dues from them to bear the security expenses.



Centre owes Rs 15 crore to DU teachers
Sanjog Gupta

New Delhi, October 7
The implicit parity between Class I government employees and Delhi University teachers implies that the central government owes teachers an astronomical sum of Rs 15 crore in arrears. The arrears are an outcome of the delay in the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission revision, which was due in 1996 but saw the light of the day as late as 1998.

According to the Career Advancement Scheme entailed in 1998 Pay Revision, implemented in July 1998, each central government employee (including teachers) was due for three promotions. Even though the pay revision was implemented in 1998, all regulations of the revision would take effect from January 1, 1996. In effect, all central government employees (including teachers) who were due for promotion (according to the new scheme) during the two-and-a-half-year period of delay would receive adequate compensation. Specifically, in terms of teachers, a Sr Lecturer who was due for promotion (to Reader) in the period of delay should have received the difference between his salary for the period and the effective salary after promotion.

But, the central government failed to live up to this promise when it came to compensating teachers, even though all other central employees were adequately compensated. Around 30 per cent of the DU teaching community was due for promotion in the period of delay – either from Lecturer to Sr Lecturer, Sr Lecturer to Reader or Reader to Professor (in case of university departments). Sanjaya Bohidar, DUTA Treasurer, said, “The government decided to follow a discriminatory policy as far as the teachers are concerned, by not compensating for procedural delays in the functioning of their committees.”

An average of Rs 2,500 per month is payable in arrears to each teacher due for promotion and the expectant teachers’ numbers stand close to 2,000. The total arrears payable to each teacher amount close to Rs 75,000. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has been protesting against this indiscriminate abuse of teachers’ pecuniary rights from the outset. But, there has been no concrete action taken by either the ministry or the UGC.

Prof Nigavekar, UGC Chairman, said, “The matter is under review by the MHRD and the Expenditure Secretary. The state government will directly release the funds in case the they receive notification.”

Further, the pension benefits accruing to teachers have also been “targeted” by the ministry. The ministry had withdrawn the provision of five years’ ‘added service’ available to non-PhD teachers entering the profession. Meanwhile, the teaching community is evidently disgruntled by this “singularisation of the teaching community and a frontal attack on the punitive arrears payable to teachers.” Dr Savitri Singh, DUTA Executive Council member, said, “The ministry is following the agenda of curtailing expenditure in higher education and is, therefore, reluctant to settle our dues.” 



NCERT only dabbles in ‘flawless’ facts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Days after a group of historians slammed the NCERT’s new social sciences textbooks for containing factual errors, the council has sought to defend its work on the ground that references made in the texts were based on historical facts thoroughly researched.

In a statement issued here today, the council’s Director, Prof. J S Rajput, said that the references made to zero – that it dates to the Vedic period --- were “flawless”. Mr Rajput also pointed out that the publication of the ‘new evidence’ would serve to “break down the ideological iron curtain,” which hitherto prevented presentation of facts to the public

Prof. Makhan Lal, who is a member of the team that wrote the texts, pointed out: “The Rig Veda refers to the price of a statue of Lord Indra as 10 cows. It also mentions that in the hall of Indra there are 1000 pillars. How can these figures be conceived without taking zero into account? So, the concept of zero dates back to the Vedic ages. Just as the use of decimals dates back to the Gupta period.

The council has however accepted that there are some blunders like the reference to Madagascar (that it is located in the Arabian Sea). These, they claim, are “mistakes that have crept into the texts”. Prof. J S Rajput explained: “The publication of the texts was done under great pressure owing to litigation. The errors are regretted and are being corrected. We are open to constructive suggestions”.

The council, which has been accused of pushing a ‘saffron agenda,” lashed out at intellectuals and school authorities for giving vent to their ideological leanings under the auspices of political parties. “They could have easily informed us about the mistakes and we would have corrected them. As always, they have proved that their crusade against the NCERT is political and not academic or professional. In any case, their criticism is uninformed in the most part”, pointed out Mr Rajput.

Prof. Makhan Lal has challenged certain historians’ interpretation of ‘facts’ in the Press, claiming, “they have only exposed their ignorance”.

He added: “The ignorance of the critics becomes glaring when they deny the use of sindoor (vermilion) in ancient India. Several terracotta figurines dating back to 2800 BC have been excavated by French and Pakistani archaeologists in Naushauro in Baluchistan. Pictures of these have been widely published, including in a popular Time Life Series book. There are also references to this book by the well-known American expert on Harappa, Prof. J Mark Kenoyer, of Wisconsin University, Madison”.

Mr Rajput defended the use of the word “coup” for Russian Revolution. He said, “It is a surprise that students were taught otherwise, because this fact is recorded in contemporary reports and almost every history book published in free world”.



Delhi temples under security wrap
Tribune News Service

Securitymen frisk visitors at the Birla temple
Securitymen frisk visitors at the Birla temple on Monday. — Tribune Photo

New Delhi, October 7
To prevent a recurrence of Akshardham-like situation, the Delhi Police is beefing up security during the festive period beginning today amidst intelligence reports of impending terrorist strikes.

The Delhi Police has also asked the organisers of various Ram Lilas, Durga Pujas and managements of various temples to provide volunteers who will work in tandem with the security personnel. The emphasis will not only be on a heavy police presence in the streets and venues, but also on limiting the general public’s access to the sanctum sanctorum.

Many organisers have been persuaded to issue special passes, so that the security personnel can screen the visitors. “The entire police force – some 55,000 personnel -- will be on duty during the height of the festivities”, a senior police officer said. PCR vans will be stationed in sensitive points in the Capital and respond immediately in case of an emergency. Teams of sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads will also remain on high alert.

Even as the temples across the city have been decorated for the Navaratri festival, the security arrangements are hard to miss. In Birla and Kalka Mandir, special security arrangements have been made to screen thousands of devotees.

With the threat of terrorist strikes looming large, revellers too seem to be wary. In Chittaranjan Park, the capitals’ hot spot during the Durga Puja festivities, security has been beefed up. Organisers have been asked to ensure that fire-fighting devices are at hand. The residents have been issued passes for access to the main pandal and all visitors will be frisked by the security personnel.

DCP, South, Mr. P. Kamraj, told the NCR Tribune that adequate security measures have been taken. Mr. Kamraj disclosed that 3,000 police personnel have been deployed in the south district and all leave has been cancelled. The fire service has also been told to remain alert. In view of the crowd that the Ram Lila draws, special care is being taken to avoid a stampede.



Kalindi bypass gets Cabinet nod
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
The Council of Ministers of the Government of NCT of Delhi on Monday approved the construction of Kalindi bypass from Kalindi Colony, Ring Road, to Kailndi Kunj Road No 13 (A).

Also approved was the construction of an additional road bridge over the Yamuna near Wazirabad. The new bridge is to be constructed on the South Sur Ghat and about 600 metres downstream to the barrage. The Government of NCT of Delhi spokesperson says the construction of the 6.5-km Kalindi bypass would help reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 2 between Ashram Chowk and the border with Haryana. The Council of Ministers also approved the setting up of the Institute of Liver and Biliary sciences in Vasant Kunj. Its primary mission, the spokesperson told media persons, shall be to offer comprehensive treatment and develop a research and resource for advanced training.



Khurana wants Sheila to ‘insist’ on full 
statehood for Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
“Why does the Chief Minister not insist on statehood for the NCT of Delhi …?” Madan Lal Khurana poses to Sheila Dikshit. He says, condescendingly, all the ‘problems’ including the “powers of the Lieutenant-Governor and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to remote control the popular, duly elected government” will be overcome, if a suitable legislation for granting of statehood is introduced in the winter session of the Parliament.

For a Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president who “insists” the Indian National Congress (INC) come out wholeheartedly in support of statehood to the NCT of Delhi, Khurana on Monday told a news conference that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit should desist from “insisting” on the withdrawal of the controversial July 25 and August 29 circulars issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Quoting the contents of the letter the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, wrote to Ms Dikshit, Khurana told mediapersons that no power of the Council of Ministers were sought to be curtailed.

“The Chief Minister,” he said, “should rather insist on introduction of the Bill for granting statehood to the Government of NCT of Delhi for that will render those circulars irrelevant.”

Criticising the Chief Minister for not uttering a single word on the issue of statehood when she called on the Prime Minister last week, Mr Khurana said had the Chief Minister been interested in securing statehood for the NCT of Delhi, she would have indicated her views as early as April 1999 when the Centre had sought its opinion on the Bill that was drafted in 1998 but could not be finalised due to lack of consensus.

Giving the Chief Minister time till the weekend, Mr Khurana said if Dikshit still does not invite them for discussions on the issue, a BJP delegation would call on the Deputy Prime Minister to press for discussion of the proposed Bill by the Standing Committee of Parliament that has representatives of all political parties as its members.



Walia accuses Khurana of misleading Delhiites 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Accusing the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, of misleading Delhiites in the matter of regularisation of unauthorised colonies, the Urban Development Minister, Mr A.K.Walia, on Monday said the Centre was sleeping over a report submitted to it in June this year. MrWalia alleged that the Centre had not shown any interest in taking a suitable decision.

Arguing that the terms and conditions or guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Urban Development for regularising unauthorised colonies were “harsh” and “impractical,” Mr Walia said, he along with the Delhi Chief minister had conveyed as much when they met with the Union Minister of Urban Development.

The Ministry had then constituted a committee to study those guidelines. After several rounds of meetings with the Government of NCT of Delhi in this regard, a report was submitted to the Ministry on June 28 this year. “That report,” Mr Walia said, “was still lying with the Centre and no decision has been taken in all these four months since then.”

Mr Walia reiterated that after the Council of Ministers passed related resolutions in October 1999 and other resolutions that the Delhi Legislative Assembly passed during its special session in August, the Centre was urged to regularise all unauthorised colonies that had come up till March 31, 1998 based on the 1976-77 policy, under which no penalty was to be levied.



Farmers bear the brunt of water paucity
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 7
Farmers of several villages including Farmana, Nizampur Majra, Mauzamnagar and Ridhao, have been facing an acute shortage of canal water for the sowings of rabi crops and urged the Chief Minister Mr Om Prakash Chautala to direct the authorities of the irrigation department to ensure regular supply of canal water.

According to a report, the farmers also criticised the local authorities of the concerned water service division for their failure to redress their grievances about the paucity of canal water even during the rotation period. They said that crops worth several lakhs of rupees had been damaged during the kharif season due to the erratic supply of canal water.

Many affected farmers said that their fields are fed by the Guhna and Farmana minors but the supply of canal water was inadequate and erratic and mere 25 per cent cultivable land could be irrigated by the canal water supply. They also alleged that their complaints to the district and canal department authorities in this regard have yielded little results.

The farmers of Farmana and Sisana villages also alleged that due to theft of irrigation water does not reach the tail end of the distribution system. Some of the farmers, who do not have alternative means of irrigation, have been compelled to purchase water from the owners of tubewells, who charge fancy price for it.

According to informed sources, some farmers of these areas who allegedly enjoy the patronage of the ruling INLD, are indulging in large-scale theft of water tanks to the failure of the authorities concerned to check the menace.

As a result, the farmers whose fields are situated at the tail end bear the brunt of the theft.

Meanwhile, a large number of farmers falling under the jurisdiction of Gohana Water Service Division have not been receiving their due share of irrigation water for the past six months due to erratic canal water supply on account of theft of canal water on the way some unscrupulous and influential farmers.

The leaders of various farmers’ organisations have demanded immediate transfers of the Executive Engineer, SDOs, JEs and a high-level probe into the complaints of the farmers about the shortage and theft of canal water.



SYL in mind, Chautala tells Krishna to 
honour SC order
Our Correspondent

Rewari, October 7
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has asserted that the Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr S. M. Krishna, should honour the apex court's directive and release 9,000 cusecs of water from its reservoir to Tamil Nadu daily. He said this during a press conference here yesterday. He further said the judiciary was a vital pillar of democracy and verdicts and directives of the apex court ought to be carried out in letter and spirit by one and all. As regards the apex court verdict pertaining to the SYL canal, the Chief Minister expressed the hope that the Punjab Government would comply with the order and get the SYL canal completed by January 14, 2003, as stipulated in the verdict. He went on to say that if the Punjab Government failed to do so it would be mandatory for the Union Government to get it completed by its own agency as per the above verdict. As for the Haryana Government’s role in the matter, he explained that they would avoid doing anything which could precipitate the matter and wait till the stipulated time was over.

The Chief Minister also said that in the absence of the SYL canal, the waters had been wastefully flowing into Pakistani territory and thereby causing a revenue loss of Rs 500 crore annually to the Haryana state exchequer. Later, the Chief Minister inaugurated the Rs 80 lakh canal-based water supply scheme of Kuhard group of villages at Khurshid Nagar, about 30 km from here, yesterday. The scheme would benefit about 19,000 residents of Kuhard, Goriya, Khurshid Nagar, Jholri, Bhadanji and Nahar villages of the Kosli subdivision of Rewari district.He informed that work was also in progress on Rs 13 crore drinking water augmentation schemes of 78 villages of the district.



Chautala announces incentives for farmers 
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, October 7
The government has announced an incentive to those farmers who voluntarily disclose their power loads. This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while inaugurating a 132 KV sub-station at village Mundia Khera.

Addressing the people of the area, he assured them that by the end of the year, all tubewells would be provided connections within one month.

He said that after the completion of special gird, drought-affected farmers would be exempted from paying surcharge and interest. He said 74 new sub-stations would be activated and 55 transformers would be upgraded to improve the power situation in the state. He said a sum of Rs 700 crore would be spent on this plan.

Mr Chautala said with the activation of 132 kv sub-station, with an estimated cost of Rs 4.45 crore, 4,500 consumers from 12 villages would be benefited. The Chief Minister announced that at Satnali(Mahendragarh), a 132 kv sub-station is likely to be completed.

He also stressed on the plan for the completion of the SYL canal by January 15.Earlier, Mr Chautala inaugurated a canal water supply scheme built at a cost of 99.30 lakh, which will benefit the people of village Deroli Jat, Deroli Ahir, Kuksi, Nihalawas, Pal Bairawas, Pallah, Kherki, Gadania etc. 



Nod to religious sites in housing societies 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
The Congress ruled Municipal Corporation of Delhi, in its meeting today, passed a resolution proposing to regularise the construction of religious places inside the Group Housing Societies (GHS) in different areas of the Capital. Taking a serious view of the issue, the House unanimously passed the resolution in this regard as demolition of these structures would create law and order problems.

The proposal has been sent to the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, who will hand it over to the Lt- Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, as he is Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The issue may also be discussed in the Delhi Assembly as number housing societies have been constructed on Delhi Government land.

There are about 1,000 GHS in the Capital. Of them, 750 housing societies exist in Rohini area and most of them have religious places constructed in them. A number of notices have been served to these housing societies, asking them to demolish the religious places. However, considering the religious faith of the residents, the DDA never tried to demolish them.

During the discussion in the House, members said that there was provision for adequate space for various community services as well as for religious space in the layout plan of approved colonies.

However, in GHS, no such provision has been made. The issue is associated with the religious sentiments and if these are not regularised, the possibility of law and order problem cannot be ruled out at the time of demolition, the House observed.

In its resolution, the House said that it was decided in the Coordination Committee meeting held on May 28, 1997 that the religious structures constructed in the premises of the societies be allowed and the matter had been forwarded to the then Registrar, Cooperative Societies, for taking appropriate action.

The Lt-Governor and the Chief Minister of Delhi had also given positive response for the regularisation of these structures in 1997.

The House also requested the Lt-Governor that in future, provision be made for religious structures at the time of sanctioning the layout plans for the housing societies.



Music knows no boundaries: From Maithili 
to Punjabi
Nalini Ranjan

Despite being a Punjabi, she has carved a niche for herself in ‘Bhojpuri’ and ‘Maithili’ folk singing. This Laxmi Nagar-based young lady, Survjeet Kaur, is known as the ‘Lata Mangeshkar’ of Bhojpuri folk singing with more than two dozen audio and video cassettes to her credit. She has playback songs in many Bhojpuri feature films.

Despite these achievements, she feels that she is not doing enough. Keeping this in mind, she has just switched over to Punjabi folk singing. Her maiden video album, ‘Mastiyan’, is being released next month. In a tête-à-tête with the NCR Tribune, she talks on various aspects of her trade.


Please tell us something about your new album ‘Mastiyan’.

This album is a good blend of Punjabi folk and pop singing. The songs have been written by my husband, a well-known ghazal writer, Abbass Mirza. Some songs are very funny, and one can’t help laughing. The credit for choreography was goes to Saroj Khan. It has been a good experiment.

What made you switch over to Punjabi folk, considering that you are a household name in Bhojpuri music?

I am an ardent fan of Sharda Sinha, who has given a new dimension to Bhojpuri folk songs. Despite this, she failed to get a major break in Hindi films as a playback singer. There are many good singers in Maithili like Hemkant Jha and Chandermani; similarly, in Bhojpuri you have Bharat Sharma, Om Prakash Yadav and Manoj Tiwari. However, on the national level, these singers have little recognition. Possibly, because they have a limited audience. Some sort of inferiority complex is also associated with it. If you are into Bhojpuri songs, people think you are a second-rate singer.

Moreover, except for Punjabi folk singers, none have made a foray into the world of glitz and glamour. For instance, I have sung playback numbers for many Bhojpuri films like Ugana, Attit Ke Swar, Balma Anari etc, but so far I have not received an offer for a Hindi film. There is no denying the fact that I have received praise and love for my folk songs, but commercial success has always been a distant dream. So, I decided to switch over to Punjabi folk music. Here, there is ample hope.

Don't you think you and other like-minded singers should jointly carve out a niche for Bhojpuri folk music, so that it can compete with its Punjabi counterpart?

Yes, we should. But there is a lack of unity among folk singers. If they make a concerted effort, things will change. One should not hesitate to accept and support Bhojpuri or Maithili, if one hails from those areas. In my opinion, you should promote and support your culture.

There is nothing embarrassing about that, but it seldom happens. For example, quality wise, Maithili painting is very good, but it has no identity on the national and global level. And, there is no organised bazaar for these paintings. Some proponents of this unique art are starving, but nobody is ready to rescue them, not even the Bihar Government.

So far, what are your achievements ?

I have done many live shows in Mauritius, Singapore, Dubai and Holland with Udit Narayan, Usha Utthap, Raj Babbar, Amrishpuri and Mahendra Kapoor.

I was given the title of `Maithili Kokila' and `Bhojpuri Lata' by Bhojpuri Awadhi Samaj. The Punjab Government has also honoured me in Chandigarh.

Apart from ‘Mastiyan’, what is your next venture?

Right now, I am working on two other albums - ‘Wanga’ in Punjabi and ‘Chulbuli’ in Hindi.



Navratri festival begins
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Navratri celebrations in the Capital have begun. Devotees paying obeisance and offering largesse to the deities thronged to temples across the city. In Badri Bhaga Jhandewala temple a Navratri mela has been organised. The temple will remain open to devotees from four in the morning till midnight. The temple management has assigned volunteers to help in the security arrangements. Special provisions have been made for the visitors. A special community kitchen has been organised to provide ‘prasad’.

The Sri Santoshi Mata Mandir, in Hari Nagar, will celebrate its 61st Navratri. The programme will start at eight in the morning with the lighting up of the holy flame the Akhand Jyoti by the founder of the temple, Shamsher Bahadur Saxena and his wife. Devotees will also be taught the Durga Saptsati, a holy book during this period. Special prayer services will be held in the temples apart from the Durga Puja pandals that have been set up in various parts of the city, especially in Chittaranjan Park.



‘Satyagrahi’ breaks 20-day fast
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
Mr Jaiprakash, Chairman of the Surya Foundation, broke his 20-day fast on Sunday evening. Accompanied by several students, he had gone on a fast at Gandhi Samadhi here to launch “Bharat Jagao’ satyagrah throughout the country, rejuvenating the Gandhian tradition of arousing public opinion through satyagrahs.

The Chairman of the Foundation, which is dedicated to the cause of uplift of villagers and villages in true Gandhian style, said that the satyagrah was launched as people had become fed up with corruption and lack of work culture in public life.

He said the time had come to awaken the citizens and make them aware that if they made sincere efforts there was no reason for India to lag behind other nations. He lamented that despite the fact that 55 years had passed since Independence, the country continued to progress at a slow pace.

He particularly urged the youth of the country to popularise the ideals of Mahatama Gandhi who stressed the importance of improving the quality of life in the villages to improve the overall health of the nation.

Mr Jaiprakash said the campaign would focus on massive reconstruction by creating ideal villages and taking naturopathy to all corners of the nation as envisaged by the Father of the Nation.



Professionals elected to Gurgaon RWA
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 7
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Residents' Welfare Association Sector 15-(II):President- Mr J.C.Arora; Vice-President-Capt M. S. Kaushik; General Secretary- Mr Rajinder Singh; Secretary- Mrs Sandhya Sharma; and Treasurer- Mrs V. P. Manchanda.

The notable feature is that those elected are all professionals, both serving and retired. Sector 15 is considered to be one of the high profile residential HUDA sectors of Gurgaon what with senior bureaucrats of the Government of Haryana and the Centre, Judges, defence personnel etc choosing to set up their abode there., Mr Arora said that his organisation worked for the improvement of the civic amenities .



BJP cell for separate Haryana HC 
Our Correspondent

Panipat, October 7
The setting up of a separate High Court for Haryana and a National Judicial Commission for the appointment of judges were the highlights of the first state-level meeting of BJP ‘Advocate Cell’, which concluded here yesterday. The Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Ved Prakash Goyal, who was the chief guest, assured the advocates that he would take up their demands with the central government. Listing the main demands of the BJP ‘Advocate Cell’, Mr Jang Bahadur Chauhan, demanded that the court fee in the state should be charged at par with Punjab.

Construction of advocates’ chambers by the government, no government interference in the appointments to consumer forums and interest free loans for the purchase of cars, establishment of the library and provision of computers for the advocates were the other demands voiced by him. The advocates demanded group insurance scheme for the lawyers and residential plots at control rates. They also demanded the setting up of a vigilance committee to check corruption in the judicial system.

Prominent among those present were the Union Minister of State for Home, Mr I.D.Swami, the BJP vice-president, Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Haryana BJP chief, Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP Legislative Party leader, Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar, Mr Alok Kumar, national president of the BJP ‘Advocate Cell’, and Mr Krishan Dayal Bhardwaj, state president of the cell.

Bank incentives

Narnaul: The State Bank of Patiala, Narnaul branch, has disbursed a sum of Rs 25 lakh on account of house construction, renovation etc., during the current financial year. This was stated by Mr Chattar Singh, branch manager of the SBOP, Narnaul, main branch, today.

He said the bank has provided incentives such as 9.75 per cent interest on housing loan. He made it clear that the 9.75 per cent interest on housing loans was applicable for the urban areas. Mr Chhatar said that there would be no processing charges on housing loans.

School computers stolen

Sonepat: A group of thieves are reported to have taken away four computers worth several lakh of rupees from the Government Senior Secondary School at Bhawar village, about 40 km from here last night. According to a report, at least seven thieves entered the premises of the school and tied the chowkidar with ropes and took away the computers from the school. A woman pass by the school heard the cries of the chowkidar and set him free. The chowkidar has been admitted to the community health centre at Gohana for treatment. The police are still investigating the case.Sometime back, thieves had stolen computers from the Government Senior Secondary School at Kathura village.

Motorcycle, cash Looted

Panipat: A resident of Saudapur, Mr Balbir, was robbed off his motorcycle and Rs 10,000 by three unidentified armed assailants on the Jatal Road, under the Model Town Police Station on Sunday night. According to police sources, Mr Balbir was on his way to his village when he was stopped and robbed at gun-point.

Manager waylaid, shot dead

Noida: A factory manager, on his way back to his workplace after he had withdrawn Rs 5.50 lakh from Corporation Bank, Sector 18,was waylaid by six robbers travelling in a white Maruti van in Sector 8 here at noon today. He was shot dead and the bag containing the cash was snatched from him.

Ravinder (42), who was an Assistant Purchase Manager with Urasia Factory in Sector 8, died on the spot.

According to Dinesh, Purchase Manager, who was accompanying the deceased on a scooter, their way was blocked by a Maruti van. Two persons got down and without any preamble shot at Ravinder, who was riding pillion, snatched the cash and spirited away. The robbers did not utter a word nor tried to shoot Dinesh. The act of the desperadoes lasted hardly a minute.

The money had been withdrawn from the bank for disbursement of salary to the employees. The police immediately laid siege to all routes but the robbers succeeded in making good their escape.

Villagers lynch two robbers

Meerut: Two criminals were lynched by villagers when they hid in a sugarcane field after snatching a scooter from a villager, Yashpal, of Jangethi village, which falls under Kanker Khera police station.

The dead criminals are yet to be identified. The incident occurred at 8 am when Yashpal set out for Meerut on his scooter from Jangethi village. Two gangsters intercepted him in the outskirts and robbed him of his scooter. Yashpal raised an alarm. Responding with alacrity, several villagers began running after the robbers. With the villagers in hot pursuit, the robbers abandoned the scooter and ran into a sugar cane field.

The villagers immediately scattered around the field, armed with lathis and country-made fire arms. They asked the robbers to surrender, who instead opened fire, injuring a 28-year-old villager in the knee.

SHO Kanker Khera, Gajendra Singh Chauhan, also rushed to the spot. OC



PNB festive offer on credit schemes
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, October 7
The Punjab National Bank today announced the launch of its festival bonanza, which offers attractive concession to customers under its retail credit schemes with the onset of the festive season.

The bank offers complete waiver of processing fees-both documentation as well as upfront (processing), under its four retail credit schemes. They are housing loan, car loan, personal loan and loan to doctors.

Documentation has been fully waived for loans to pensioners. The bank has also decided to give a rebate of 0.50 per cent per annum in the rate of interest under its car and personal loan schemes.

Floating rate of interest under housing loan scheme have also been lowered to an all time low of 10 per cent for loan repayable upto 10 years.

Customers wishing to avail housing loan have also been given the choice of either availing free housing insurance cover along with 50 per cent waiver in upfront fee or full waiver of upfront (processing) fee and documentation fee. The rebated under the bonanza are valid up to December 31 this year, the bank added.

Cardiologist honoured: The Delhi Chapter of the Cardiological Society of India has awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to Dr N.S. Dixit, chairman of the Batra Heart Centre. Another awardee was Prof Rajender Tandon, who retired from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, about eight years ago.

Earlier, Prof M.L.Bhatia, who retired from AIIMS about ten years ago, had been given the same award.

Dr Dixit, who presides over the Cardiology Department of Batra Hospital, has been awarded for furthering the teaching and practice of cardiology. He started the Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Department of Batra Hospital.

After he returned from the United Kingdom in 1960, he joined the Vellore Hospital. In 1961, he joined the Maulana Azad Medical College. In 1964, he became the head of the Cardiology Department at the Pant Hospital.

He became the youngest Indian in 1969 to get the FRCP fellowship. He has been the head of the Cardiology departments of several Delhi hospitals, including St Stephen’s, Tirath Ram and Ganga Ram Hospital.



Bhujbal for strict action against Salman
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 7
The Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chhaggan Bhujbal, last night warned of strict action against Bollywood star Salman Khan in the rash driving case. Talking to reporters here, Mr Bhujbal while conceding relations between the underworld and the Bollywood, said the government was keeping a close eye on the activities of the mafia and the Bollywood.

Mr Bhujbal was here to inspect the school building of MJR Public School, which was demolished by the local authorities a few months back.

Condemning the demolition, he said it was a barbaric act and it was for the first time that the demolition of a school building had come to his notice. He claimed that he had spoken to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala on the issue but the latter had failed to provide any satisfactory reply.



Maharaja Agarsain Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, October 7
Maharaja Agarsain Jayanti is being celebrated here with a great enthusiasm. A colourful procession is also planned through the main streets of the town. People from all walks of life are enthusiastically participating in the event.

A ‘langar’ is also being organised by the Aggarwal Samaj at Narnaul. Aggarsain Jayanti is also being celebrated at Mahendragarh.

Jawan cremated: The body of Constable Afal Singh of CRPF, who was on election duty during the Kashmir Vidhan Sabha elections, was consigned to flames last evening with full state honours at his native village Kharkra Bas (Mahendragarh tehsil). The Naib Tehsildar paid rich tributes on behalf of the Haryana Government. Martyr Afal Singh’s brother Mahendra Singh lit the pyre. A large number of residents of nearby villages and senior BJP leader, Prof Ram Bilas Sharma, was also present on the occasion.



3 inter-state gang members arrested 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police have apprehended three desperate inter-state gang members who were involved in murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery and motor vehicle thefts in Delhi and Haryana.

One pistol along with four cartridges and two country-made revolvers with four live cartridges were recovered from their possession. One of the gang member, identified as Satish Kumar (25), resident of Sonepat, fired at the police party but was eventually overpowered by the police. His other associates, Satender (26), resident of Baghpat and Ravinder alias Tinu (24) were also nabbed.

Two persons nabbed: The West district police have nabbed two persons Kuldeep alias Kulli, resident of Kanjhawala and Kunwar Davender alias Peshi, resident of Kamruddin Nagar, for allegedly firing at Hoshiyar Singh, resident of Kamruddin Nagar, when he was playing cards with his family members on September 18.

The police said that some time back, the accused and the victim had some argument over the distribution of a land.

Spurious drugs seized: With the arrest of two persons, the East district police today claimed to have busted a gang dealing in spurious drugs and seized drugs worth Rs 60,000 from them.

Acting on a tip-off, the police nabbed a gang member Sachin with a consignment of 70 boxes of antibiotic Ciprobid 500, containing 10 strips each.

Based on his information, another gang member, identified as Pawan Sharma, a whole-sale dealer of medicine was also nabbed. Efforts are on to arrest the other members of the gang involved in the crime.

Notorious criminal held: The North-East district police have arrested a notorious criminal, Manbir alias Manu (26), resident of Baghpat who was carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 on his head. The criminal tried to flee after noticing the police personnel but was nabbed after a brief chase. A body search led to the recovery of 25 grams of smack. The criminal was involved in cases like robbery, murder and attempt to murder, the police said.



Car service centre inaugurated in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 7
The Hyundai Motors India Limited (HMIL) today opened its second authorised service centre at Sector-6 here. Mr V.D.Bhasin, vice-president of the customer care service of the HMIL, while inaugurating the service centre, said that the company, whose customers were growing rapidly, wanted to provide service at the nearest possible point. The service centre at Sector-6 is called `TCS and Associates’.

He said the authorised dealer for the Hyundai cars (vehicles) in Faridabad was presently functioning in Sector-27. He said a single service centre in such a rapidly expanding city like Faridabad, was causing inconvenience for several customers. As such, he said, with increasing customer base in Faridabad and other nearby areas, opening a second service centre was logical and would prove convenient for the customers.

The owner of the service centre, Mr V.D.

Saluja, said that the centre had company-trained engineers and the latest equipment to provide the best available services to the consumers.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, Haryana, and Mr Y Saharai, General Manager, Indian Oil Corporation (Marketing) were among others who were present on the occasion.


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