Saturday, December 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


NCERT slams academics
Accuses them of running a slander campaign
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The National Council of Education, Research and Training has accused a section of academics of ‘slandering’ the council’s work and denied that the books contain any factual errors. It has alleged that a section of the academics backed by a social group have been spreading incorrect and biased views vis-à-vis the council’s work.

Director, Prof. J S Rajput said, “In their frustration, these individuals have not hesitated to even denigrate the Supreme Court of India for not seeing any valid substance in their point of view.”

He was referring to the comments made by a former head of department of the NCERT along with the some schoolteachers about the inaccuracy of the facts included in the history texts for classes six and nine. These academics had alleged that the NCERT included biased views in accordance with the Government’s so-called saffron agenda. Earlier, when the textbooks for classes six and nine were released, a group of academics had pointed out factual errors in the books, thereby questioning the council’s motive and the choice of authors who wrote the books.

In a release issued here today, the council has accused these academics of running a slander campaign against them and defended the contents of the textbooks as “well researched”.

The council claims that the textbooks have been written in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Curriculum Framework for School Education 2000. It also points out that the printing of the textbooks has been carried out after the Supreme Court gave its consent and dispelled the notions that the books have been written to suit a particular political ideology.

Prof. Rajput pointed out that the contents of the earlier history texts, which had been prepared before his tenure, were found objectionable by the Sikhs, Brahmins, Jats and Jain communities and that strictures were passed against the books by the Government of Delhi and the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.

He added that the council was willing to accept constructive criticism and the errors pointed out in the new books had already been rectified. “Such openness to criticism is a proof of our commitment to education and its stakeholders, which had not been displayed in the case of the earlier texts,” said Prof. Rajput.



Parliament salutes Dec 13 martyrs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
Commemorating one year of Parliament attack today, the Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani paid homage to those who sacrificed their lives defending Indian Parliament last year and inaugurated a blood donation camp at the New Police Lines.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Advani said that the police force had done a commendable job by constructing a Martyrs’ Memorial for the five policemen who sacrificed their lives in the Lashkar-e-Toiba attack on Parliament House. The police also have the Martyrs’ Gallery which houses photographs of 16 heroes of Delhi Police.

Earlier, lauding the work of the Delhi Police for their efforts to preserve the memories of the martyrs, Mr Advani laid a wreath at the memorial and inaugurated the gallery, known as ‘Shedeea’. He also inaugurated the blood donation camp at the New Police Lines, Kingsway Camp in North Delhi. He said such camps would help curb malpractices in the collection and distribution of blood. Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor, Delhi Police Commissioner R S Gupta and other senior police officials donated blood at the camp.

Mr Gupta said security had been tightened in the Capital in the light of intelligence reports and the fact that it was exactly a year after the suicide attack.

On October 29, the President of India, Mr A P J Abdul Kalam, awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously to the slain police personnel: Assistant Sub-Inspector Ram Pal Singh, ASI Nanak Chand, Head Constable Ghanshyam, Head Constable Om Prakash and Head Constable Bijender Singh.



Light-fingered gentry, beware!
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The Fingerprint Bureau of the Delhi Police has acquired a state-of-the-art machine which is capable of lifting clear fingerprints or thumb impressions from the scene of crime even if an attempt has been made to smudge them.

The machine was manufactured by Jobin Yvonin Corporation Horiba Group in New Jersey, USA. The Delhi Police purchased the machine at a cost of Rs 20 lakh a few months back. Recently two fingerprint technicians, Inspector Rajinder Kumar Rohilla and Sub-Inspector A.P. Verma were sent to the US to get special training to operate the machine as the representative of the company in India, Spectra Physics, had no arrangement for training.

The machines–Integrated Image Capture and Enhancement System and Integrated Image Capture Enhancement and Transfer System have been imported to help the Delhi Police solve complex and intricate crimes. Costing Rs 20 lakh, the machine will be manned by Inspector Rajinder Rohilla and Sub-Inspector A. P. Verma who were specially sent to the USA for familiarisation and training to operate the sophisticated apparatus.

The machines will be attached to specially programmed computers to get a clear image of the fingerprints and will be in operation in a few days.

The acquisition of the machine is part of the modernisation process of the laboratory which is at present saddled with out-dated machines abandoned by many advanced countries almost a decade ago.

Senior officers of the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police said that with this fingerprints overlapping each other can be easily separated making it easy for the investigators to get the actual fingerprints of the criminal. The police will also get help in working out forgery cases committed on cheques, revenue stamps and other documents.

The Crime Branch has also prepared a proposal to purchase another machine for lifting fingerprint impressions from walls. At present, they have to use a chemical to get the impression.

But the latest machine that is used in the USA and some other western countries does so more effectively without using chemicals, sources said.



Chip off the old block
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, December 13
Like scores of sons and daughters of famous cine stars of yesteryears, another star is all set to shine on the Bollywood silver screen. This time, it is the turn of Juhi Babbar, daughter of Nadira and Raj Babbar.

Due to be launched in her parents’ production, ‘Kash Aap Hamare Hote’, this lass is all excited about her lead role along with Sonu Nigam and stalwart Om Puri. Shot extensively at picturesque locales in Canada, the movie is about the relationship between a father and daughter with the roles being essayed by Om Puri and Juhi.

Juhi herself admitted recently that she had a lot of opportunities earlier, but it was her father’s decision that she would be launched in their own family production. Juhi says that she is a born actress as she literally grew up in the industry. “I opened my eyes in the industry,” is how she puts it. She had her initial training in her mother’s drama group while she was still in college. Starting off with small roles, she soon graduated to large ones thanks to her grooming and inherited acting skills.

Her father saw her potential as an actress while she was performing in a play, ‘Begum Jaan’, directed by her mother. So impressed was the actor father that it was then and there he decided to launch her through his own production.

Juhi, in her own inimitable style, claimed that “Dad was so zapped by the intense role that he made the decision then and there”.

Tall and slim with big expressive eyes, Juhi has sweated blood to acquire the skills needed for an acting job. She would sit and watch stars for hours and then try to emulate them, this is how one of her co-stars on the stage put it when contacted by the ‘NCR Tribune’.

For the Babbars, acting is all in the family. Juhi’s brother, Arya has already made his debut with ‘Ab Ke Baras’.



P&S Bank heist in Sahibabad
Our Correpondent

Ghaziabad, December 13
In a theft at the extension counter of Punjab and Sind Bank at Mandi in Sahibabad, thieves were able to decamp with equipment and goods worth Rs 1.50 lakh last night. Computer, master banker calculator, wall clock, table fans, etc were found stolen. Even some drawers and documents were missing. The burglars had even managed to break into the strong room, but they failed to gain access to lockers. Otherwise, they would have looted over Rs 5 lakh, the bank officials said.

This extension counter of Punjab and Sind Bank branch at Link Road Industrial area has been functioning since 1995.

In the morning, when branch manager Hari Om Chopra and other staff came, they saw that the padlock on the main gate and the locks on his cabin, cashier’s cabin were broken. The furniture, cupboard and papers were lying at sixes and sevens. Even phone instruments had been taken away.

The police arrived on the scene soon. Dog squad and field units were also summoned which took fingerprints of the burglars.

According to the bank officials, one Ved Prakash Agarwal had come to the bank a number of times recently along with his computer to help the bank in important data-feeding. He used to leave his computer in the bank which has also been stolen. Besides, electronic calculators worth Rs 15,000 have been found missing. There is no security guard in the bank. The police dog first went up to the market gate and then went inside an adjoining shop twice. Police are still investigating.

MCD demolition squad beat a retreat

New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi had to abandon the demolition drive in the Kingsway Camp area in North district today due to non-availability of adequate police force. Its squad could demolish only about 100 illegal structures constructed on Kingsway Camp-Burari Road. The rest of the structures would be demolished tomorrow.

Deputy Commissioner A.K. Chaturvedi said that the actual width of the road was 100 feet but because of encroachment, it had been reduced to 30 feet. The demolition drive was launched after a complaint was lodged that traffic was often jammed on the road due to encroachment, he said. TNS



Govt jobs on sale in Haryana: Youth Cong
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 13
Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, President of the All-India Youth Congress, has alleged that government jobs are on sale during the regime of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala. These jobs, he says, are given to those persons who pay huge amount to the ruling party politicians and leaders of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

Talking to mediapersons here last evening, Mr Surjewala said the state government had so far failed to formulate a permanent recruitment policy for providing jobs to the educated jobless youths in the state. If such a policy were to be formulated, they could get jobs on merit alone. He urged the state government to issue guidelines for recruitment to government jobs after formulating the policy in this regard.

Referring to violent incidents at Ahulana village, Mr Surjewala alleged the educated jobless youths had turned violent and assaulted the police on getting information about persons from other places getting recruited instead of those from the village itself.

He said the Chief Minister had promised the people of the village that priority would be given to the youths of the village in recruitment. Mr Chautala had broken the promise made by him and betrayed the people of the village.

He blamed the police and the state government for the violent incident in the village. He also condemned the police lathi charge and firing on innocent people as the village people were only protesting against the injustice meted out to them by the management of Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mill.

The Youth Congress leader urged the state government to provide free treatment to the persons injured during the police lathi charge and firing. He demanded suitable compensation to be given to them.

He announced that the Congress would extend its support to the gram panchayat of the village regarding its decision on the issue. He also warned that if the state government failed to accept the demands of the villagers the party would convene a yuva panchayat on December 17 next in the old foodgrain market at Gohana town to chalk out the future course of action on this issue. He also demanded setting up of a committee to go through the recruitment process, a judicial probe into the police lathi charge and firing and registration of criminal cases against the police officials involved in the lathi charge and firing.



Flush with funds, MC resurrecting Shahidi Park

Jhajjar, December 13
The residents of this district, one of the most backward districts of the state in terms of civic amenities as well as other essential facilities, are expected to get a park at last. The district administration has taken up the resurrection work of the historic Shahidi Park, which had been a picture of neglect for long.

Shahidi Park, situated on the Bahadurgarh road, was developed in 1957 in memory of the martyrs of the first battle of Independence in 1857. Senior citizens of the town remember that it used to be one of most beautiful places in the region earlier. However, as years went by, neither the administration nor the state government took pains in maintaining it with the result that it had become a big bin filled with the town’s garbage for a long time.

However, following the efforts of the district administration and municipal council, the park is being given a new look, as the Chief Minister announced an initial grant of Rs 22 lakh for developing the park in a Sarkar Apke Dwar programme. The amount has reached the local MC.

On the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the park on September 23, the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had also announced another grant of Rs 50 lakh for its further development.

The secretary of the municipal council, Mr Dilbag Singh, said that construction and renovation work was being carried out speedily. Almost 70 per cent of the work had been completed. He said that the park site, spread over 5.5 acres, also included the historic Bua ka Talab. It was also being developed, he informed.

The ground of the park was being levelled for laying lush green grass and three fountains would be installed. The secretary informed that major works like construction of a boundary wall, fixing of iron grills on the wall and levelling were complete and walls around Bua ka Talab were being erected. He said that almost 70 per cent work of the first phase had completed and the park would be further modernised on receiving more funds.

The park has a special significance for the residents, as this would be the only fully developed park in the town. Another park, named after renowned freedom fighter from the region Ram Sharma, is also in an abandoned condition.

Mr Omkar Nath Singhal, a local resident, who has good knowledge about the history of the town, said that the park would prove very useful for the town, especially for residents in the nearby Basti Ram colony. He expressed apprehension over the life of the park, as the authorities had not made adequate arrangements for water supply in the park. Moreover the ground water in the area is saline.

“Until the water channel reaches the area for watering the saplings, grass etc and also for filling the Bua ka Talab, the existence of the park could not be expected beyond a couple of years, which also would be dependent on the interest of the top district officials,” observed Mr Singhal, who has written extensively on the historical places of the town in the vernacular press. 



SC/ST panel for mechanism to remove 
skin of carcasses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The National Commission for SC & ST has suggested that the Haryana Government must evolve an appropriate mechanism to ensure appropriate disposal of dead animals in Jhajjar district, as prevailing in other districts of the state, keeping in view the sentiments of the dominant community and other economic and social factors, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr S. B. Mookherjee, informed the Lok Sabha.

He said the commission, which inquired into the cause of the lynching of Dalits in the district, found that while the contract for removing hides and skin of dead animals was in vogue in Gurgaon, there had been no such system in Jhajjar district for the last 10 years and the dead animals were generally buried.

Perhaps, the victims were not aware of this fact and they had started skinning a dead cow by the roadside, which was mistaken as an incident of cow slaughter and this, perhaps, had hurt the religious sentiments on the day of Dasehra.

The minister said an inquiry initiated in the matter by the Divisional Commissioner, Rohtak, had not been received by the central ministry.

The commission recommended that as four of the victims were married and were the sole bread-earning members of their families and the fifth was an unmarried worker, all belonging to SC community, all of their families deserved full support from the state for their economic and social rehabilitation.

The widows and the next of kin of the unmarried victim should be given appropriate employment by the state government apart from adequate financial compensation. As one of the victims did not own any house and in the absence of the sole bread earner, it would be appropriate to have a dwelling unit allotted to her under the Indira Awas Yojna.

Punitive action should be taken against the erring officials found guilty. The criminals committing atrocities on the victims and found guilty for killing those innocent people and their abettors should be immediately arrested and punitive action must be taken against them, the commission said, the minister informed the House.

The Minister of State for Railways, Mr Bandaru Dattatraya, informed the Rajya Sabha that separate bogies were earmarked for milkmen/vendors in Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) trains. In addition, regular and surprise checks were conducted by ticket checking staff to restrict unauthorised entry of milkmen and vendors in shuttle trains. These checks would be intensified, the minister added.



It is a case of paradise lost for DLF City residents
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 13
Ensconced in an idyllic setting with a serene ambience enveloping them, residents of DLF City Phase-III now realise the peace they had bought for a fortune was a chimera.

They find themselves surrounded by thugs, muggers, land grabbers and many others indulging in anti-social activities, with all this impinging on their lifestyle and security. The latest bugbear is a spew of illegal constructions in the name of places of worship. The worrying aspect is the fact that organised forces from various religious faiths are active in promoting these constructions. The sad part of the story is that the plea of the residents to the authorities seem to be falling on deaf ears. Of late, the trend of setting up temples, gurdwaras, mosques and mazaars has been in full swing in various parts of the new Gurgaon city.

The latest outcry from the residents of DLF-Phase III is with regard to the coming up of a temple on about two acres of land belonging to the panchayat of Nathupur village. Phase-III of DLF City has been set up on the land of this village by the well-known builders, DLF Universals Ltd. Basically, the land on which the temple has come up was meant for rainwater drainage, according to the land records. Now the crevice has been levelled on account of continued dumping of “malba”. This stretch of land could not be purchased by the promoters and developers of DLF City for technical reasons. Surprisingly, the DLF group has earmarked the site adjacent to the place where the temple has come up for setting up Gymkhana Club. The residents allege that now they realise that they have been sold a dummy in the name of the club. Instead, they have a full-fledged temple, erected with the active support of the villagers and in full knowledge of the DLF management and the law enforcing agencies of the state. The result is that the area has become a public place, with loudspeakers blaring bhajans at odd hours and strangers having a free run of the place, posing a security risk to the residents. This site stands in the midst of the Phase-III city. Incidentally, there are several such sites around.

Initially, some shops sprang up in one portion of the area. On the other corner an “akhada” came up for training wrestlers. After representations, the authorities intervened and demolished the shops.

However, some unidentified persons set up a place of worship by building a “chabutra” (a raised platform) at the site. The development irked residents, especially those who were most affected by the development. One public spirited resident of the area, Mr S. K. Sharma, wrote a letter to the Vice-President, DLF Universal Ltd, Mr Rajeev Singh, highlighting the incident, as well as the increasing instances of such grabbing of public places in DLF City.

The legal position is that such vacant plots, which could not be bought by the developer of the colonies, can only be sold to it. These sites can be used for ensuring green lungs. Also, the government’s permission for change of land use, especially as it belongs to the panchayat, has not been taken while setting up the religious place. The residents argue they have a fundamental right to having a life-affirming residential place, which they had tried to secure by purchasing plots in the city. Now the public activities at the place have deprived them of their peace.



After suspensions, cops turn hyperactive
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 13
Incomprehensible is the way the police function. The Mussori police, which was avoiding registering an ordinary report against the accused in the murder of the proprietor of Sharda Hospital, has suddenly become very active after some cops were suspended.

The police have now become so active that they have mortgaged the property (house) of the accused. His two brothers, mother and a pregnant sister have also been made accused in the case. There is a possibility that both the brothers may be detained under the National Security Act.

It may be recalled that Surinder Jain, a resident of Gupta colony under Ketwali police station, was shot dead in his clinic, Sharda Hospital, in Mussori on September 5. Surinder Jain’s son had named two youths for the murder.

It has now transpired that the medico had earlier gone to the Mussori police station many times to lodge a report that Vinode was threatening to kill him. At that time the police had chosen to ignore the doctor’s worst fears.

After the murder, Surinder Jain’s family had complained to the higher police authorities to take action against the negligent Mussori police officials. Taking cognisance of the complaints, the SSP had suspended a number of cops. This seemed to have had a salutary effect on the Mussori police.

Having failed to the nab the main accused, Vinode, they have made his two brothers, Subodh and Manoj, accused in the case. His sister, Manju, has been made an accused on the charge of helping him with the plan for murder.

The police have also mortgaged Vinode’s house. His mother, Sheela, was arraigned on December 8 after which she was sent to jail.

Now, the police, it is understood, are planning to implicate Vinode and his two brothers under the National Security Act.



Speaking out


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

In response to a letter written in ‘NCR Tribune’ regarding the appointment of vice-chancellors, I would like to say that the Kothari Education Commission (1964-66) categorically states that “the vice-chancellor should be a distinguished educationist or eminent scholar in any of the disciplines or professions, with a high standing in his field and adequate administrative experience. We are not generally in favour of appointment of persons who have retired from other fields. An exception to this general recommendation should be made only in case of very outstanding persons whose association with the universities would be desirable from every point of view and should not be made an excuse for `accommodating’ or `reweaving’ individuals, who do not fulfil the conditions laid down”.

The latest recommendation of the UGC Committee on the Appointment of Vice-Chancellors in Indian Universities (1991-93) says that the “vice-chancellor should be a distinguished academic...The selection of vice-chancellor should be through proper identification of a panel of names (3-5 persons) by a Search Committee.....The Visitor/Chancellor should appoint the vice-chancellor out of the panel”.

The above recommendations of the commission/committee clearly indicates that retired persons from other fields—military or civil servants-do not fulfil the conditions laid down.

As such, the University Grants Commission (UGC) should demand that the appointing authority should strictly adhere to its unambiguous (i.e distinguished educationist) criteria both in letter and spirit.

It is necessary that in case the appointing authority does not adhere to its (UGC) requirement, the UGC should stop its grants to that university.

If the appointing authority finds an extraordinary talent in a person other than a distinguished educationist, the appointing authority should seek an approval from the UGC before making an official order.

OM PARKASH WADHWA, Government College, Gohana

When will the exploitation end?

I would like to express my concern regarding the ongoing exploitation by private schools. The Education Minister of Haryana had promised in March that they would not allow the functioning of such schools, which did not fulfil the norms laid down by the government. However, such schools continue to exploit parents, students and teachers.

About 80 per cent of private schools do not have recognition from the government. However, they openly advertise that they have the necessary recognition.

I hope that Haryana Government sticks to its promises and take strict and immediate action against these schools.

VIRENDER SHARMA, Aggarsain Colony, Panipat

Crisis of water

I would like to draw the attention of the people that despite the intervention of the Supreme Court as well as the Centre, the Cauvery water dispute continuous to simmer.

What message does the Karnataka Government want to convey by refusing to abide by the order of the Supreme Court?

It clearly shows that the Karnataka Government has no faith in the federal structure of India or in the Indian constitutional system.

Does it want to give rise to a new and a dangerous trend by ignoring the orders of the Supreme Court?

If other states also start defying the court, what will be the future of federalism and constitutionalism in our country?

How does one expect the common people to follow the law if the constitutional authorities themselves are refusing to follow the laws of the land?

Tamil Nadu is also responsible for this situation because of the inflamatory speeches made by the leaders of the state.

Moreover, farmers as well as film stars have taken maters into their hands, which is well beyond the control of the state itself.

Even as the debate continues on the Cauvery dispute, the issue of better management of water resources has received limited attention.

I wonder what long-term measures have been taken during the last 10 years keeping in view the declining average rainfall in the country.

Climate forecasting remains an inexact science. Water management projects across the country are not sufficient to meet the growing needs of our farmers.

We should learnt from China who had similar problem. However, China undertook gigantic projects aware of the fact that a water-starved population would be hard to control even by a monolithic government.

The problem of water shortage is not a problem of few states. This is a national problem and has to be tackled on a national scale.

As such, it is necessary to speed up the various projects, which are already on the drawing board. Moreover, thousands of projects, from the Panchayat to the national level need to be launched.

The need of the time is not to think about individual benefits but to think about the welfare and the growth of the country as a whole. Otherwise, riots due to water scarcity could become a common problem.

We need to create awareness among the people of our country that the solution to the problem of water scarcity requires the sincere participation and involvement of every citizen. The government will have to take up this matter before severe shortage of water damages the India social structure.

The Centre and the state government should join hands and come forward to overcome the problem of water dispute instead of blaming each other.

N.C. PANDEY, Shahdara, Delhi

Role of Akal Takht

Sri Akal Takht is the supreme seat of Sikh religious and temporal authority. It was constructed by Guru Hargobind Sahib in 1609. It was then known as ‘Akal Bunga’, the house of the Lord. It was later rebuilt by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and came to be known as Sri Akal Takht, the immortal throne.

It stands in front of the Darshani Deori leading to Shri Harmandir Sahib in the Golden Temple complex at Amritsar.

There are two flag posts in front of the Akal Takht, where the saffron flag of the Khalsa panth flies. Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind, at the place where he was ceremoniously installed as the Guru in 1606 after the martyrdom of his father Guru Arjun.

The martyrdom of Guru Arjun changed the course of Sikh religion. Guru Hargobind was convinced that justice could not be obtained without the use of force and power. He wanted to develop a militant spirit in the minds of the Sikhs.

He asked his followers to supply horses and weapons. He wore two swords of Miri and Piri, the symbols of temporal and spiritual authority. The Guru himself sat here and held a court of justice.

Many Sikhs gathered here for the redressal of their grievances.

The Akal Takht has remained a centre of Sikh politics in the past and occupies a central place in Sikh politics even today.

The Hukamnama issued by the Jathedar of Akal Takht is binding on all Sikhs. Even Maharaja Ranjit Singh had to bow before the orders of the Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Akali Phula Singh.

After Guru Gobind Singh and before the rise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Gurmata used to be passed by Sarbat Khalsa at Akal Takht for the protection of the country from invaders.

During the British period, volunteers took vow of non-violence at Akal Takht before participating in the morchas launched by the Sikhs to get their holy shrines free from the corrupt mahants.

A siropa conferred at Akal Takht is a distinction of a high order.

Akal Takht had been demolished by the opposing forces in the past and again rebuilt by the Sikhs.

Guru Nanak raised his powerful voice against the oppressive state and corrupt religion. Later Sikh Gurus carried this spirit of criticism forward.

The Akal Takht had a role to convert Sikhs into saint-soldiers in the cause of faith and justice. At the Akal Takht, the spirit of bravery was infused through the recitation of heroic poetry.

Guru Hargobind watched the Sikhs performing exercises in the art of warfare. Various weapons used by the Sikh Gurus and warriors are kept inside the Akal Takht and are displayed every evening to the congregation. The Akal Takht is playing a historic role in shaping the destiny of the Sikhs.

A.S. PARWANA, Shiromani Gurdwara Sewadar Committee, Delhi

Streetlight maintenance

It was shocking to observe that the private power companies, which were given the charge of maintaining streetlights in Delhi, have not lived up to their commitment. Most of the streetlights are not in working condition.

Above all, even as the MCD is already paying the companies the charges agreed on for its maintenance, the concerned companies are hardly making any effort to get them in working condition. It is important to repair these streetlights before any accident occurs at night.

I hope the MCD will look into the matter immediately and ensure that the private companies take the necessary action.


Poor civic amenities

Faridabad Municipal Corporation is one of the richest local bodies in the country. The house tax here is the highest in Haryana.

However, facilities provided to the consumers are scanty, though drinking water, sewage disposal and supply of electricity are part of the essential services.

The streetlights around the godown area of the Food Corporation of India are in poor condition. People from Faridabad and outside throng the Mahabir Community Centre, where many ceremonial functions are held. However, the poor maintenance of streetlights in the area is a major source of problem for the resident.

This apart, water logging is a common sight in the area. How can the FMC shut their eyes to such a messy state of affairs?

Surely, it is time for the public to unite and file a public interest litigation (PIL) petition against the municipal authorities in the court.


Relocate the meat market

The meat market at Panipat is located in a narrow lane emerging from the G T Road, near Lall Batti Chowk-the heart of this historical city. Besides butchers and meat sellers, a number of fish vendors have also established their stalls on this street. Passing through this area has become difficult because of the foul smell from this meat market.

Moreover, the traffic on this road has become congested. Unfortunately, the district administration and the municipal corporation are not paying any heed to this important work.

Therefore, the government is requested to direct the authorities to shift the meat market and provide a bypass for light vehicles.

A.N. BHANDULA, Panipat 



Borrower repays loan ‘in cold blood’
Our Correspondent

Bulandshahr, December 13
“Never a lender nor a borrower be”. This adage could not have been more applicable than to the blood-curdling story of a Bulandshahr youth.

One Aslam had taken a loan of one-and-a-half years ago from Iqbal, son of Nawab Khan of Rampur village in the Shikarpur area of Bulandshahr. He had promised to pay it back by Id this year.

When Iqbal reminded Aslam to return the loan as promised. On the day of Id, Aslam visited Iqbal’s house along with Zahuriddin and two others to assure him of his promise and even had meals there. Then they invited Iqbal, who had come from Delhi to take part in the festival, to come to their house where the loan would be repaid.

When Iqbal along with his brother Kale went to Aslam’s house, a sinister plan unfolded. He was hit on his head with an axe allegedly by Aslam and others who were lying in wait. Iqbal died on the spot.

The killers have absconded along with their families ever since the murder. The police have taken the body into possession on Kale’s report. Though SSP Alok Sharma had visited the site yesterday, the police have not been able to nab the culprits so far. 



Panipat first in small savings deposits
Our Correspondent

Panipat, December 13
Panipat district has been given a cash ward of Rs 1 lakh for obtaining first position in the state in small savings deposits during 2001-2002 by making a record deposit of Rs 120. According to official information, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, received the cash award and a shield from Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala at a state-level function at Panchkula on Thursday.

Youth killed

Sonepat: A youth was killed on the spot and another sustained serious injuries when their scooter rammed into a vehicle on the G T Road near Kundli village, about 25 km from here, last evening. According to a report, the deceased was identified as Surinder of Bindrauli village and the injured as Mahipal, a friend of the former.

CBI probe sought

Bhiwani: The Haryana Pragatisheel Patrakar Sangh has sought a CBI enquiry into the death of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati here today. A meeting chaired by its newly elected president Shiv Sharma passed a resolution demanding government job to a kin of the scribe. 



MCD extends deadline for paying property tax
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has extended the last date for payment of property tax up to December 31. This was done after the persistent request from various associations and general public to give them more time to pay their taxes, a press release said.

Power cut in Narela: North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) today announced rotational load-shedding on tomorrow from 10 am to 5 pm due to maintenance work at 33 kv Khampur grid station. Power supply to the following areas will be affected on a rotational basis: Bhaktawarpur II, Narela, Alipur II and AIR Khampur.

DTTDC camp for disabled kids: To mark its Foundation Day celebrations, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) organised a one-day camp for the disabled children at Balwant Rai Mehta School here today.

A tourism orientation programme was also launched for the non-tourism officials of the corporation to help create more awareness and impart communication skills among the staff members.

Chief secretary Shailaja Chandra, while inaugurating the programme, stressed on the need for manpower development and effective communication in the tourism sector.

World teachers’ meet: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today stressed the need of spreading literacy for empowerment of people. Inaugurating the 15th Statutory Conference of the World Federation of Teachers’ Union (FISE), Ms Dikshit said that economy sans wisdom bore little consequence. The conference, being attended by delegates from several countries, is being organised under the aegis of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO).



Khora Colony dharna continues
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 13
Residents of Khora Colony, who have been on a dharna for the past 10 days, yesterday again raised slogans against the Noida administration.

The Chairman of the Jan Kalyan Samiti, Mr K.D. Sharma, alleged the Noida administration was exploiting Shivaji Nagar, Khora Colony residents.

People there had been agitating on the question of a passage from Khora Colony for the multi-storeyed flats that are coming up at behind Khora Colony as also on the construction of a boundary wall for the complex. He said people had been forced to start an agitation.

The committee had called on the Noida administration to take a concrete decision by December 15, the Chairman said.



Ahulana stir off

Sonepat: Irate residents of Ahulana village have postponed their agitation outside the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mill, following the reported intervention of Dada Baljit Singh Malik, president of Gathwal Khap, asking them not to sit on dharna till the negotiations with the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, on the issue of recruitments, police lathi-charge and firing on the people, registration of criminal cases against the residents and other allied matters.

According to a report, a 21-member committee has been constituted to meet the Chief Minister to resolve the dispute. Dada Baljit Singh Malik will head the committee. OC



Seminar on women’s exploitation
Our Correspondent

Panipat: December 13
Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice V. K. Batt will inaugurate a seminar on ‘Exploitation of Women Working in Unorganised Sector’ here. The seminar is being organised by the Mata Sita Ram Sewa Sanstha in collaboration with the National Women Commission.

Women activists, representatives of different industrial associations and government functionaries will participate in the seminar, which is the first programme of its kind in this leading industrial township.




Khalsa Express carrying around 15,000 baptised Sikhs was flagged off to Nanded by former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra with the blessings of Railway Minister Nitish Kumar, the DSGMC clarified today. The baptised Sikhs after paying obeisance at Takht Sri Huzoor Sahib shall return to the Capital on December 16, the release added.



Pickpocket, active in Janak Puri buses, nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The West district police today claimed to have nabbed a pickpocket who used to rob passengers in moving buses. The accused was involved in more than 15 cases of robbery and pickpocketing. At the time of arrest, he also had smack in his possession.

Pappu Kana, alias Ravi Kumar (40), who used to operate in Mangol Puri and Janak Puri, used to carry a knife with him while committing robbery. If he found even the slightest of resistance from the victim, he used to retaliate.

CD unit unearthed: With the arrest of two persons, the Delhi Police Crime Branch has unearthed a production unit of pirated CDs of movies and pornographic films worth Rs 18 lakh after a raid in Azadpur.

The police took Gajender Yadav, who used to operate a full-fledged production unit at a house in Azadpur, into custody. About 2,100 pirated CDs, including those of latest Hindi, English, software and pornographic films, were recovered from the unit. Gajender Yadav was also running a shop in Suraj Nagar in the name of Friends Music Mahal with the help of Durgesh Mishra alias Rinku, who was also arrested.

Fake MCBs seized: One person, Arun Kumar Aggarwal, was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing for allegedly running a manufacturing unit of fake MCBs of Indo Asian Fuse Gear in Dilshad Garden on GT Road. The police have claimed to have recovered a huge quantity of fake MCBs worth Rs 3 lakh.



One killed in Canter-Tata 407 collision 
on Gurgaon road
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, December 13
One person was killed and another injured seriously in a Canter-Tata 407 collision on the Gurgaon road here last evening. According to information, a Tata 407 was going to Rohtak after delivering goods in Faridabad when a Canter coming from the opposition direction collided with it. Satish, driver of the Tata 407, died in the accident while its cleaner, Deen Bahadur, was injured seriously. The police have registered a case under Sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC.

Two kids drown: Two kids reportedly drowned in a pond in Beri village of the district on Thursday. According to information, Ranjeet (7) and Pradeep (4), brothers, had gone to the pond with their grandmother with the cattle. They started taking bath in the pond but slipped into the deep waters. Both were rushed to the civil hospital where doctors declared them dead.

Gangster hurt: A member of the Krishan Dichao gang was injured in a shootout with members of the Anoop Mitrao Gang near Jakhoda village on the national highway No 10 here last evening. Police officials in Bahadurgarh informed that two members of the Krishan gang were going to Delhi from Rohtak in separate cars when four members of the rival Anoop gang, who were following them, started firing at them indiscriminately near Jakhoda village, in which Joginder of the former gang was injured.

The assailants fled towards Rohtak after the encounter. The police have intensified checking in and around Bahadurgarh town.

Martyr cremated: The body of martyr Mukesh Kumar was cremated in his native Jharli village of the district today with full military and state honours. Mukesh Kumar was a member of the 19 Punjab Regiment of the Army. He was posted in Jammu and Kashmir.



Three killed, four hurt as trucks collide

Faridabad: Three persons were killed and four injured in a road accident involving two trucks near Palwal on Sohna Road on Thursday. It is reported that one of the trucks was carrying iron rods and was on its way from Gurgaon to Palwal when it collided with another truck coming from opposite direction. Three persons who could not be identified were killed on the spot as the iron rods pierced through them. Tota Ram, Rakesh, Jugal Kishore and Kripa who were injured have been shifted to a hospital. TNS



Steel traders down shutters

Ghaziabad: Iron and steel merchants here downed their shutters today in response to a call given by the UP Pradesh Udyog Viapar Mandal opposing the imposition of Form 49. The bandh was supported by a number of political outfits as well as traders associations. All iron and steel merchants and distributors closed their establishments for the day to register their opposition to Form 49.

Ghaziabad Iron Merchants and Distributor Mandal’s general secretary Shiv Shankar Rathi said that vehicles were being stopped and tax recovered from them under Form 49 and traders were being exploited. The form, which is priced at Re 1, was being issued for Rs 5 by the departmental staff, he alleged. Besides, a levy of Rs 10 per vehicle was also being collected. Mr Rathi said. OC


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