SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Private schools warned against flouting orders
Hisar, January 10
The district administration has warned the owners and managements of the private schools against flouting the Deputy Commissioner’s orders on keeping their institutions closed in view of the cold-wave conditions prevailing in the region.

High court
HC shows dismay over mishandling of case property

Chandigarh, January 10
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today expressed shock over the manner in which the Panipat police had handed over evidence in a case of abduction-for-ransom to the complainant without bothering to seek any orders from the trial court.

Woman alleges forced abortion
Jhajjar, January 10
A woman was reportedly forced to abort by certain doctors of the Civil Hospital, Bahadurgarh, when she was tested found pregnant despite having undergone tubectomy operation about a month ago.

Huge power theft in Jhajjar division
Jhajjar, January 10
Who is to blame for the ongoing power crisis in the state? Official figures of the Haryana Vidhyut Prasaran Nigam can help in finding out the real culprit.

Emergency session of Assembly criticised
Chandigarh, January 10
The Indian National Lok Dal today criticised the Hooda Government for convening an emergency session of the Vidhan Sabha “without any constitutional necessity.”

New labour policy this week
Chandigarh, January 10
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has said there have been fewer labour disputes this year as compared to the figures of the past five years.


Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in
 Delhi & neighbourhood.

YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Chandigarh
Hisar
Kaithal
Panipat
Rohtak


EARLIER STORIES
 

Drinking water scheme cleared
Chandigarh, January 10
The National Capital Region Planning Board has approved the first phase of a Rs 205.91 crore project for providing sustainable drinking water in Mewat area.

Puneet was next target, admits Kalu
Bhiwani, January 10
The next target of shooter Kalu, who had been arrested recently, was Congress leader and municipal councillor Puneet Masta, son of the late municipal council president Ramesh Masta.

Councillor threatens to expose corrupt colleagues
Ambala, January 10
Corruption issue rocked the Municipal Council, Ambala Sadar, General House meeting today.

IT officer held taking bribe
Kaithal, January 10
A CBI team arrested an Income Tax (IT) officer while accepting bribe of Rs 20,000 from a rice miller here today.

Order on Group C posts
Chandigarh, January 3
The Haryana Government will fill up all Group C posts vacant in departments, boards and corporations, through the Haryana Staff Selection Commission.

Senior citizens seek rebate in bus fares
Karnal, January 10
Senior citizens here demanded from Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Haryana government grant of at least 30 per cent rebate in bus fares in the state.

DA relief for family pensioners
Chandigarh, January 10
The Haryana Government will allow the benefit of dearness relief on the family pension to the employees employed on compassionate grounds.

2 killed in shuttering collapse
Rohtak, January 10
A building contractor and a mason were killed when the shuttering put up for the construction of a house collapsed in Sector 3 here today.

2 workers die in factory fire
Panipat, January 10
Two workers were burnt alive in the wee hours of Tuesday in a blanket manufacturing unit at Wadhwa Ram Colony, near here.
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Private schools warned against flouting orders
Tribune News Service

Hisar, January 10
The district administration has warned the owners and managements of the private schools against flouting the Deputy Commissioner’s orders on keeping their institutions closed in view of the cold-wave conditions prevailing in the region.

In an official statement issued here today, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dr Amit Aggarwal, asserted that strict action would be taken against the authorities of the schools which were found open tomorrow.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar Gupta, had ordered yesterday that all government and private schools located in the district be closed till January 12 in view of the cold weather.

However, the managements of a number of private schools in the district did not comply with the order and kept their schools opened today. A number of parents of students brought the matter to the notice of the district authorities.

Taking a serious note of the open disobedience of the administrative order, the SDM issued a stern warning today. He said teams of the Education Department would conduct a surprise check of local schools.

Meanwhile, the cold-wave conditions prevailing in the region have caused an extensive damage to the potato, chilli, tomato, brinjal and early-sown mustard crops. The chilly weather has also taken its toll on the domestic animals, besides hitting fodder plants.

The Agriculture Department has directed its field staff to survey the affected fields to assess the extent of damage.

Dr V.U.M.Rao, Head of the Department of Agricultural Meteorology at Haryana Agricultural University here, maintained that sub-zero temperatures had been recorded in the past four days consecutively. “A temperature of -3.5°C was recorded on January 8, which is the lowest at least since 1969,” he affirmed.

Dr Rao said according to the forecast received at their end, there was no possibility of rain in the next two days. The minimum temperature was also expected to rise a little, he added.

Dr R.S.Dhukia, Senior Extension Specialist (Agronomy), said the farmers should irrigate their crops whenever required. He said spraying of 0.5 per cent urea on the crops could also be beneficial at this stage.

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High court
HC shows dismay over mishandling of case property
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today expressed shock over the manner in which the Panipat police had handed over evidence in a case of abduction-for-ransom to the complainant without bothering to seek any orders from the trial court.

During the trial of the 10 accused in the abduction of one Amit Kumar (9), it came out that the SHO, Police Station, Panipat City, had handed the ransom money recovered from the abductors back to the family of the boy without any court orders.

“Such assumption of power, if not mala fide, would amount to destruction of material evidence,” the Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall noted in its judgement.

The Bench was deciding the appeals filed by the accused — Sunder Pal and nine others — against the lower court orders, which had sentenced them to life for their involvement in the crime.

Amit had been abducted on May 29, 1996, and his family was told to pay Rs 10 lakh if it wanted the boy back.

The family paid the ransom amount through one Yashpal.

Major portion of the ransom was later recovered from the abductors. However, one abductor Virender is still at large and was declared proclaimed offender.

In its judgement, the Bench directed the DGP, Haryana, to get an inquiry conducted by a gazetted officer into the circumstances under which the case property (money recovered from the abductors) was returned to the family without informing the trial court.

The Bench also directed that on the completion of the inquiry, departmental or any other action would be initiated against the defaulting persons.

The Bench also expressed concern over the ease with which the accused were able to approach the victim’s family for ransom.

It said it expected the police to put in place adequate measures for protection and safety of the complainant and his family.

While upholding the sentence of three of the accused, it let others off, holding that their conviction was not sustainable.

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Woman alleges forced abortion
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 10
A woman was reportedly forced to abort by certain doctors of the Civil Hospital, Bahadurgarh, when she was tested found pregnant despite having undergone tubectomy operation about a month ago.

Rekha, wife of Sunder Singh, a resident of Noona Majra village alleged that she was having pain in the abdomen for some days. She visited a private hospital yesterday where her urine test and the ultrasound was conducted .

As per the test reports , she was found six week pregnant. She had undergone abortion in October in the Civil hospital, but the ultrasound report pointed out that even the earlier abortion was also not conducted properly.

However, the woman along with her husband came to the Civil Hospital to complaint about a failed tubectomy as she became pregnant. The doctors reprimanded her saying she did not provide exact information about her menstruation cycle to them at the time of tubectomy on December 8.

The woman said three doctors forcibly aborted her yesterday even when she did not want.

The doctors admitted that they had not taken the written consent of the couple while adding that it was not necessary. “As she had given her consent at the time of tubectomy, we didn’t think it necessary to seek her written approval yesterday when reports tested her positive for pregnancy”, claimed one of the doctors who aborted her foetus yesterday.

The doctor stated that the ultrasound showed that she had become pregnant in the first week of December while she came for tubectomy on December 8. The urine test or any other test could not establish the pregnancy before five weeks, informed the doctor.

The woman was writhing in in pain today, as she had to go through two operations within one month. The couple however said they had not concealed any information and they should be adequately compensated as a failed tubectomy had resulted in an unwanted pregnancy.

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Huge power theft in Jhajjar division
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 10
Who is to blame for the ongoing power crisis in the state? Official figures of the Haryana Vidhyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) can help in finding out the real culprit. In Jhajjar division, out of 238.13 lakh units (LUs) consumed in October, 2005, only 116.65 LUs were charged in the electricity bills. A staggering 51 per cent loss. These losses were 48 per cent and 50 per cent in August and September.

These were the figures during off-peak months. The situation aggravates with the onset of winter and reaches its peak during December and January when electricity consumption goes up sharply. Though the figures of unit consumption in November and December were not compiled officially, but as per the estimated figures in the Nigam, these losses has reached as high as 70 per cent, particularly in the rural areas, out of which only 10 to 15 per cent could be attributed to line losses.

To put it simply, a great power theft is going on and the short supply from the grid is not as serious as is being perceived. The Superintending Engineer, Rohtak Circle, Mr K.C. Sharma, said even as the entire northern area was facing the shortage of power in general, the circle comprising Rohtak and Jhajjar district was not a big loser in terms of unit cut. “We are facing a shortage of just about 4 LUs daily, which is about 10 per cent of the total requirement, i.e. 35 LUs”.

He admitted that unbridled and unauthorised use of electricity had posed a problem to the lawful consumers as well as the nigam.

To prove their point further, official sources said a total of 91 transformers, including 71 transformers of 100 kva, had burnt from December to till date in Jhajjar division, all in the rural area. Excessive overloading due to unauthorised consumption and theft on a large scale was the cause of breakdown of transformers, the officials maintained.

The major cause of concern for the HVPN was that power theft was increasing gradually as more and more consumers were taking to this immoral practice.

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Emergency session of Assembly criticised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) today criticised the Hooda Government for convening an emergency session of the Vidhan Sabha “without any constitutional necessity.”

A senior party leader and former Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, said here today that in the past emergency sessions of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha had been convened for four valid reasons on different occasions. The four reasons, for which the emergency session was convened in the past, according to him, were administering of oath to new members, ratification of a constitutional amendment, vote of confidence and the constitutional obligation of holding the two sessions within six months. However, he said, this time there was no valid reason to convene the session when the winter session was held just a month ago.

Prof Sampat Singh alleged that the Hooda Government had convened the session to cover up infighting in the Congress and due to its political compulsions.

He said it was in the air that the Speaker, Mr H. S. Chatha, was to be inducted in the Cabinet. The INLD leader said the heavens would not have fallen if the post of Speaker had remained vacant till the Budget session. In the past also the post had remained vacant on a number of occasions. Since the Government had not come out with the reason for which the emergency session was being convened, one could draw only one inference; that there was a tussle in the ruling party about the ministerial berths and someone powerful enough was to be adjusted as Speaker simultaneously with the expansion of the Cabinet.

Prof Sampat Singh said this was sheer wastage of state fund. If at all the Government wanted to convene an emergency session, it should have done so to discuss the worst power scenario facing the state. He alleged that the power situation in the state had worsened because of the “unintelligent and inapt handling of the situation, coupled with lack of foresightedness”.

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New labour policy this week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has said there have been fewer labour disputes this year as compared to the figures of the past five years. The state government has been taking steps to improve industry-labour relations, Mr Hooda said this while chairing the first meeting of the Joint Task Force here last evening.

The state government has constituted the Joint Task Force, comprising government officials and representatives of the industry, to discuss issues related to industry in the state. Representatives of various industrial associations, including CII, PHDCCI, Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Faridabad Industries Association shared their problems with the Chief Minister during the meeting.

Mr Hooda told the industry representatives that the state's new labour policy would be announced on Thursday. He said the emoluments of the labour had been revised for the purpose of defining a worker.

On the issue of truck unions not permitting hiring of trucks in the open market, Mr Hooda said the state government was not supporting or protecting any truck union in the state. The entrepreneurs were free to hire trucks from any place for transportation of their goods.

While referring to the issue of unscheduled power cuts raised by representatives of industry, Mr R N Prashar, Principal Secretary, Power, said Haryana fell in the northern grid and was a part of a larger system. The grid has been under heavy stress and the availability of power had been a problem, he said.

Mr Prashar said the state government has been trying to get gas from different sources to generate power. He also suggested that entrepreneurs should arrange power at their own level.

He said the seventh unit of the Panipat Thermal Power Plant was being repaired on a war footing by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). The unit would be made functional by the 15th of this month, he said.

The DGP, Mr Nirmal Singh, said policing in the areas of Haryana around Delhi was being strengthened to make it at par with that of the national capital. He added that 22 new traffic police stations were being set up in the State.

The Principal Secretary, Home, Mr Prem Prashant, said the Union Home Ministry has accepted the proposal of the state government to include more equipment, arms and vehicles in the plan for strengthening policing in NCR. The Plan outlay on police had been increased from Rs 37 crore to Rs 44 crore as a result, he said.

The Chief Minister revealed that eight more special economic zones (SEZs) were likely to be approved by the Centre. These SEZs would be set up in relatively less industrialised areas of the state to ensure overall development, he said.

The Principal Secretary, Industries, Mr P K Chaudhary, said the government was keen that new technical institutes came up in SEZs. A proposal had also been received for setting up of a large SEZ in Faridabad, he said.

On the issue of subsidising the cost of power generation sets, he said the government would give a fresh look at the proposal.

Mr Chaudhary, who is also Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Information Technology, said the e-governance road map of the state would be finalised shortly.

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Drinking water scheme cleared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The National Capital Region Planning Board has approved the first phase of a Rs 205.91 crore project for providing sustainable drinking water in Mewat area.

While stating this here today, a spokesman of the Haryana Public Health Department, said under this project two Ranney Wells were being constructed in Maholi and Rahimpur villages in Faridabad district on the banks of the river Yamuna.

He said that the water produced from these Ranney Wells would be transported through a network of distribution system with intermediate boosting stations.

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Puneet was next target, admits Kalu
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, January 10
The next target of shooter Kalu, who had been arrested recently, was Congress leader and municipal councillor Puneet Masta, son of the late municipal council president Ramesh Masta.

This was revealed by the accused during police interrogation yesterday.

Kalu and his associate Rajiv, alias Raju, said they had contacted Bhawani Singh of the Lohar Bazar area about a month-and-a-half back and taken a pistol from him.

The duo said Bhawani asked them to kill Puneet in return.

Police sources said several vehicles had been recovered from the accused as the gang was involved in vehicle theft in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The local branch of the CIA had arrested Hari Pandey and Siddheshwar Upadhyay of Bihar in this connection.

They were produced before a court, which remanded them in juidicial custody till January 11. Congress leader Ramesh Masta had been shot about an year-and-a-half back and his son Puneet was a witness in the case.

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Councillor threatens to expose corrupt colleagues
Tribune News Service

Ambala, January 10
Corruption issue rocked the Municipal Council, Ambala Sadar, General House meeting today.

The municipal councillor, Mr Kamal Kishore Jain, made the sensational revelation that he had a cassette which would reveal the involvement of some municipal councillors in corruption.

This revelation rocked the Municipal Council meeting with MCs demanding that the name of the municipal councillors should be disclosed.

Mr Kamal Kishore Jain stated he would play the cassette at appropriate time. “It is a very serious issue and it needs to be thoroughly probed,” he said.

He stated that the municipal councillors should take a pledge that they would not indulge in corruption.

Mr Hira Lal Yadav said Mr Kamal Kishore Jain’s revelation needed to be thoroughly looked into.

“I demand that a proper probe should be carried by any competent authority. The authority could be vigilance, judicial or even a committee of municipal councillors headed by the vice-president, Mr Sudhir Jaiswal,” he said.

The corruption issue was raised by Mr Suresh Trehan who pointed out that standard work was being carried out by the contractors.

He alleged that some of the tenders of the contractors had been taken at much less the schedule rate.

He said the schedule rate was fixed nearly two decades back and it was impossible to perform the task at such low rates.

Mr Trehan said the poor quality of the roads being constructed was clear from the fact that within weeks of the completion of roads, there was a damage.

He said the road leading to Ram Bagh was made of cement but when poor quality were pointed out, a sheet of bitumen was spread on it to hide the truth.

The suggestion for a committee to look into corruption came in for flak with municipal councillors demanding that who would enquire into the background of the committee members.

Municipal councillors stated that the MCs were unnecessarily facing allegation of corruption even though the work was being independently carried out by the contractors.

Municipal councillors demanded that the rent from the shops, located at the War Heroes Stadium, should come to the Municipal Council.

They said the stadium had been leased out by the Municipal Council and the shops, therefore, should come under the Municipal Council.

The construction of shops on the Jagadhari road, near the Municipal Colony, raised a storm in the meeting.

It was alleged in the meeting that the shops had not been constructed according to the blueprint which was submitted to the Municipal Council.

Mr Narendra Bangali and Mr K.K. Jain claimed that the blueprint which was being produced now was different from the blueprint which was submitted earlier.

Earlier, a special meeting was held in which oath was administered to the three nominated members. The nominated members were Mr Pardeep Goel, Mr Gulshan Chabra and Mr Babu Kanojia.

Although, budget was to be taken up in the special meeting, municipal councillor K.K. Jain objected to it and he said that in a special meeting only one agenda could be considered.

He said that since oath had been administered in the special meeting, budget could not be considered.

Thereafter, it was decided that the budget meeting would take place a week later.

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IT officer held taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Kaithal, January 10
A CBI team arrested an Income Tax (IT) officer while accepting bribe of Rs 20,000 from a rice miller here today.

According to information, the Income Tax officer, Mr Gurdev Singh, who was recently transferred to Kaithal, allegedly demanded Rs 25,000 from rice miller Raghbir Singh, partner in Bajrang Rice Mill, Pundri, for finalising his assessment of income tax case. The businessman approach CBI officials at Chandigarh following which a raiding team, headed by Mr S.S. Sandhu, DSP, was sent to Kaithal. The businessman handed over Rs 20,000 to the official and the latter was caught by the raiding party accepting the bribe. The Income Tax officer was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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Order on Group C posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The Haryana Government will fill up all Group C posts vacant in departments, boards and corporations, through the Haryana Staff Selection Commission.

An official spokesman said all heads of departments had been directed to send the requisition of Group C posts to the Commission expeditiously. They had also been asked to ensure that the posts for which the requisition was being placed with the Commission was not pending in any court of law.

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Senior citizens seek rebate in bus fares
Tribune News Service

Karnal, January 10
Senior citizens here demanded from Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Haryana government grant of at least 30 per cent rebate in bus fares in the state.

A resolution in this regard was passed unanimously at an executive body meeting of the Senior Citizens Council, Karnal.

Stating this in a press note, the general secretary of the council, Mr K.L. Chugh, said the rebate in bus fares had already been provided to senior citizens in several states, including Punjab, Rajasthan and Chandigarh.

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DA relief for family pensioners

Chandigarh, January 10
The Haryana Government will allow the benefit of dearness relief on the family pension to the employees employed on compassionate grounds.

An official spokesman said it had also been decided that like other pensioners or family pensioners, dearness relief equal to 50 per cent would be treated as dearness pension with effect from December 12, 2005, to such family pensioners. — TNS

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2 killed in shuttering collapse
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, January 10
A building contractor and a mason were killed when the shuttering put up for the construction of a house collapsed in Sector 3 here today.

The deceased have been identified as building contractor Khem Chand and mason Jairam. The two were cousins.

A case has been registered and Jasbir has absconded.

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2 workers die in factory fire
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 10
Two workers were burnt alive in the wee hours of Tuesday in a blanket manufacturing unit at Wadhwa Ram Colony, near here.

Various workers’ unions have condemned the incident and blamed the state machinery for overlooking the safety norms in the handloom industry.

Yogesh, a resident of Muzzafar Nagar in UP and Pramod were burnt alive when fire broke out in Sawan Textiles.

Yogesh and Pramod were working in the factory and the shutters of the factory were down. Workers in the nearby units said though they tried to save after hearing their screams but the iron shutter was too hot to touch. Fellow workers alleged that there was no fire fighting gadget in the factory.

This is the third such incident in the past 15 days.

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