SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Schools to be scanned for ‘dubious’ male teachers
Chandigarh, September 18
The Haryana Government has taken a decision to scan its schools for ‘dubious’ male teachers. A number of other stringent measures have also been taken to boost the morale of girl students and their parents and to ensure that the Hisar incident – where a student was molested - does not get repeated.

Bansi Lal’s family feud echoes in House
Chandigarh, September 18
The ongoing feud between Ms Kiran Choudhary, Haryana Minister of State for Tourism and daughter-in-law of late Bansi Lal, and remaining members of the Bansi Lal family today spilled over into the Assembly and marred the solemness associated with the practice of paying homage to people who had passed away since the last session.

Mahendra gets week to respond
Bhiwani, September 18
The five-member panel set up to resolve the row over property of former Chief Minister Bansi Lal today decided to give Congress MLA Ranbir Singh Mahendra another week to respond to the verdict given by a mahapanchayat to allow Haryana Tourism Minister Kiran Chaudhary to stay in the Bhiwani kothi.

Huge hoardings boast of govt achievements
Chandigarh, September 18
That politicians in power are fond of eulogising themselves is a known fact. But what is new in Haryana is keeping their political bosses happy by “space sharing” on bill boards, with photographs of top Congress politicians in the state smiling down at the masses, along with the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, or a former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Haryana MLAs to get more incentives
Chandigarh, September 18
The Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, promised positive action on most of the demands raised by MLAs at a meeting here today. Congress legislators wanted parity with MPs in facilities, perks and allowances.


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




YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Chandigarh
Hisar
Karnal



EARLIER STORIES


Rishi Sagar’s remand extended
Hisar, September 18
A local court has extended the police remand of Rishi Sagar Vishwas, director of Vishwas Senior Secondary School, for seven more days.

2 officials held for taking bribe
Ambala, September 18
The Vigilance Bureau nabbed an inspector of the Food Supply Department for taking bribe here today.

Protest against tannery
Ambala, September 18
Residents of Shivalla Mandi in Ambala Sadar today held a demonstration outside a tannery near their area.




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Schools to be scanned for ‘dubious’ male teachers
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Haryana Government has taken a decision to scan its schools for ‘dubious’ male teachers. A number of other stringent measures have also been taken to boost the morale of girl students and their parents and to ensure that the Hisar incident – where a student was molested - does not get repeated. Principals and Head Masters of various government and private educations institutions have been told directly as well as through the District Education Officers (DEOs) to keep a strict vigil on the ‘suspicious’ activities of the male staff and anything ‘abnormal’ should be reported immediately.

The state has taken a decision to summarily dismiss ‘promiscuous’ teachers from service, doing away with the process of ‘issuing a charge sheet’. The state government has also decided not to appoint any male teachers under 50-years of age in girl schools.

Meanwhile, the Director General School Education, Mr. K.K Khandelwal has issued a show cause notice to the Management of Vishwas Senior Secondary School, Hisar asking it to reply to the notice within 15 days stating why the state government should not ask the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to disaffiliate the school.

Through the notice, the school has also been asked to disclose various steps taken to ensure that such an incident does not happen again, besides any other measures taken by the school to ensure the safety of the girl students. Principal Secretary Education, Mr. R.S Gujral confirmed that a notice has been sent.

Apprehensive over the possibility of decline in school attendance after a series of reported molestation of girl students by their teachers in Hisar, Jind and Ambala districts, the Haryana Government has asked the State Education Board to ensure that the examination center for girl students taking the board exams in Middle, Matric and Senior Secondary classes is within their school premises or close by. The board has been asked to ensure that girl students have to travel the least to write their board exams, Mr. Gujral said.

About 1200 schools heads were summoned for a meeting at Kurukshetra recently and asked to ensure ‘sensitization’ on the issues in their educational institutions. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Education Minister Phool Chand Mulana have told officials of the Education Department that incidents like one at Hisar “were nothing short of shame for the state” and another incident will not be tolerated. The State Education Department is scanning the male staff under 50 years of age and those found to be deployed in co-educational or girls’ schools would be shifted immediately.

The Chief Minister also conveyed his sentiments on the issue in a recent meeting of Deputy Commissioners saying, “it is not possible to prevent such incidents without sensitizing people about the issue and taking exemplary penal action against the guilty”. The Deputy Commissioners’ have been told that they cannot absolve themselves of the onus of responsibility if an incident like this takes place in their district.

Haryana has shown its resolve on the issue by dismissing about half a dozen male teachers in the state found to be making ‘sexual overtures’ towards their students or involved in other sexual activity.

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Bansi Lal’s family feud echoes in House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The ongoing feud between Ms Kiran Choudhary, Haryana Minister of State for Tourism and daughter-in-law of late Bansi Lal, and remaining members of the Bansi Lal family today spilled over into the Assembly and marred the solemness associated with the practice of paying homage to people who had passed away since the last session.

Ms Kiran Choudhary, widow of Mr Bansi Lal’s younger son, Mr Surender Singh, and her main adversary, Mr Ranbir Singh Mohindra, elder son of Mr Bansi Lal and a Congress MLA, both spoke on the obituary resolution and tried to score points against each other. Mr Som Vir, son-in-law of Mr Bansi Lal, who is siding with Mr Mohindra, too, is a Congress MLA and was present in House, though he refrained from joining in the family wrangle.

Bansi Lal’s daughter, Ms Saroj Siwatch, Haryana Labour Commissioner, showed up in the officers’ gallery initially, but she did not hang around there and thus was spared the embarrassment of watching the differences among her family members surfacing inside the Assembly.

The matter was set rolling by the Haryana Agriculture Minister, Mr H.S. Chatha, who made a well-meaning but indiscreet appeal to the family members of late Bansi Lal to bury their differences. The next speaker, Mr Karan Dalal, Congress MLA, who was a minister in the HVP government headed by Bansi Lal, also made a similar appeal to the family.

Mr R.K. Gautam of the BJP, Mr Arjun Singh of the BSP, also spoke on the issue.

Mr Birender Singh, Finance Minister of Haryana, then rose up to speak and came up with a very touching account of a meeting. Next speaker was none other than Ms Kiran Choudhary herself and she sneaked in a very important point in her speech which was otherwise a laudatory account of Bansi Lal’s contribution as a Chief Minister and a Central minister. The point Ms Choudhary cleverly made in course of her speech was that Bansi Lal had anointed Ms Shruti Choudhary, daughter of Ms Kiran Choudhary, as his political heir.

It was now the turn of Mr Ranbir Mohindra to speak. Ms Choudhary, who had sat down, however, got up again to say that she would urge the Haryana Government to propose Bansi Lal’s name for the Bharat Ratna award. Mr Mohindra then spoke and claimed that his mother, widow of Mr Bansi Lal, had been kept virtually under “house arrest” in the family’s ancestral house at Bhiwani due to the ongoing dispute over the property.

It was the inaugural day of the session and the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, while moving the obituary resolution, proposed to adjourn the sitting after the obituary references as a mark of respect to Bansi Lal. The proposal was endorsed by the House, but not before the ugly feud in the family had made its reverberations felt inside the Assembly.

The House also paid homage to Suraj Bhan, Chairman of the SC, ST Commission, shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan, freedom fighters from Haryana, soldiers from Haryana who died in action, Swami Indravesh and others.

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Mahendra gets week to respond
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Bhiwani, September 18
The five-member panel set up to resolve the row over property of former Chief Minister Bansi Lal today decided to give Congress MLA Ranbir Singh Mahendra another week to respond to the verdict given by a mahapanchayat to allow Haryana Tourism Minister Kiran Chaudhary to stay in the Bhiwani kothi.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the panel at Golagarh village, near here, on the expiry of the seven-day deadline given to the two parties to accept the verdict.

Panel chairman Anant Ram and secretary Ved Singh told The Tribune that Ms Chaudhary had already communicated in writing her willingness to go by the panchayat’s verdict. However, they had not received any such communication from Mr Mahendra. It had therefore been decided to give him more time.

The panel would meet again on the expiry of the extended deadline and then decide its strategy, they added.

Mr Mahendra is adamant on his stand to honour his father’s purported will and convert the kothi into a memorial. Ms Chaudhary, on the other hand, is seeking the right to stay in the portion of the kothi which was occupied by her late husband Surendra Singh till his untimely death in a chopper crash last year.

Efforts by elders from Bansi Lal’s ancestral village Golagarh and other nearby villages to solve the dispute have not yet succeeded. The five- member panel of village elders has met the two sparring relatives and ruled in favour of Ms Chaudhary. Mr Mahendra refused to honour the verdict.

The matter was then referred to a mahapanchayat of 108 villages which ruled on September 10 that Ms Chaudhary be allowed to stay in the kothi. Mr Mahendra again rejected the diktat, saying that the panchayat could not adjudicate a dispute which was already pending in a court of law.

Since then there has been a flurry of activity to counter the verdict. Mr Mahendra’s brother-in-law and fellow Congress legislator Somvir Singh convened a meeting of their supporters at his residence on Thursday last which “nullified” the mahapanchayat’s verdict. However, Ram Sarup, head of the Sheoran Chaurasi khap who chaired this meeting, issued a disclaimer the next day denying he had nullified the Golagarh mahapanchayat’s verdict.

Mr Mahendra’s supporters gathered at his residence on Friday where he explained his stand. Although he categorically stated that he respected every panchayat, he remained adamant on his stand.

Under the circumstances it appears unlikely that that the issue will be resolved soon. In case Mr Mahendra refuses to accept the verdict, the five-member panel is likely to refer the issue to a sarv khap panchayat which may meet by the month-end.

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Bansi Lal’s daughter joins NCP

Karnal, September 18
In a jolt to the Congress ahead of next year’s Assembly poll in Punjab, a daughter of former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal and state general secretary Sumitra Singh has joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Ms Sumitra joined Mr Sharad Pawar-led party at its national convention held in Dehra Dun. — PTI

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Huge hoardings boast of govt achievements
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

A hoarding on the Ambala-Karnal national highway where more emphasis has been laid on the political message than the distance it is meant to display.
A hoarding on the Ambala-Karnal national highway where more emphasis has been laid on the political message than the distance it is meant to display. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 18
That politicians in power are fond of eulogising themselves is a known fact. But what is new in Haryana is keeping their political bosses happy by “space sharing” on bill boards, with photographs of top Congress politicians in the state smiling down at the masses, along with the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, or a former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Taking the lead is the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is going all out to propagate the policies and programmes of the Congress government, “under the guidance” of Ms Gandhi. From the sign boards indicating distance on the highways, to huge hoardings highlighting welfare programmes of the government at busy traffic intersections in cities, at bus stands, outside hospitals, courts complexes, mini secretariat et al — all places which get a huge flow of visitors everyday — are all dotted by this ‘promotional material’.

Other than the Chief Minister, hoardings of Finance Minister Birender Singh and Transport Minister Randeep Surjewala too, are all over the state and national highways, “space sharing” with the party high command late Rajiv Gandhi or former Jat leaders from the state.

At Nilokheri near Karnal, the hoardings announcing a political rally to be addressed by the Chief Minister can be seen manning at the two entrances to the Government Polytechnic, while at the Ambala Civil Hospital and the Panchkula District Courts complex, hoardings hail the achievements of the state government, upon its completion of one year in office.

This in spite of the directions of the Supreme Court, given in 1997, that all highways and important roads should be free from hoardings and display boards. Disregarding these directions, the Congress government in the state has launched a massive programme of “displaying its achievements” on huge hoardings throughout the state.

These hoardings are sponsored by Hafed, the Haryana Warehousing Corporation, Panchkula Kendriya Sahkari Bank, the Agro Industries Corporation, the Agricultural Marketing Board and the Forest Development Corporation, besides several other public sector undertakings, which draw their finances from the state government.

While putting up these hoardings, the state agencies perhaps overlooked the directions of the apex court as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court (in 1998), on regulating vehicular traffic with “greater emphasis on removal of all hoardings and advertisement boards on the roadside which were considered hazardous and disturbance to safe traffic movement”. The High Court passed a series of directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) case to make road traffic safe.

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Haryana MLAs to get more incentives
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, promised positive action on most of the demands raised by MLAs at a meeting here today. Congress legislators wanted parity with MPs in facilities, perks and allowances.

The Chief Minister accepted their demand to increase the limit of house building loan from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Other major demand conceded by Mr Hooda was to raise the allowance of each MLA from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 a month.

When some legislators rued that only one of their two cooperative societies figured on the list of the successful societies in the group housing scheme, the Chief Minister asked for the names of those who want flats in Panchkula so that they could be adjusted in the successful societies.

While the government will bring a Bill in the assembly about raising of house building loan limit to Rs 25 lakh, increase in monthly allowance will be put up before the Council of Ministers for approval, sources said.

Some legislators wanted that their allowances and facilities should be on a par with MP. The Chief Minister promised to consider their remaining demands also.

While the legislators were demanding more facilities, the acting president of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Ram Prakash, wanted them to contribute liberally to the party funds as well. Mr Ram Prakash also wanted that the legislators should intimate their programme in advance to their respective District Congress Committee about their tour programmes.

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Rishi Sagar’s remand extended
Tribune News Service

Hisar, September 18
A local court has extended the police remand of Rishi Sagar Vishwas, director of Vishwas Senior Secondary School, for seven more days.

The director, accused of sexually exploiting girl students of the school, was produced in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sukarm Pal, who extended the police remand till September 25. The police has also initiated legal proceedings against the school Principal, Ms Maya Mishra, and the chairman of the Vishwas Education Board, Rishi Gautam Vishwas, under Section 176 of the IPC.

The SSP, Mr Arshinder Singh Chawla, said the school Principal and the chairman did not inform the police, though they knew about the matter. Informing the police about a cognisable offence was mandatory for them, he added.

Meanwhile, the inquiry committee headed by SDM Ashima Garg today submitted its report to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Phateh Singh Dagar.

Addressing a news conference later, Mr Dagar said according to the report, many instances of financial irregularities and other anomalies in the functioning of the school had been found, which has necessitated a more elaborate inquiry into the matter.

He said on the basis of comments received from parents, it was clear that they wanted a change in the school management. The school would be reopened within a few days, Mr Dagar said.

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2 officials held for taking bribe

Ambala, September 18
The Vigilance Bureau nabbed an inspector of the Food Supply Department for taking bribe here today.

The bureau has registered a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to information, a ration depot holder of Ambala City, Mukesh Kumar, had filed a complaint with bureau DIG M.S. Ahlawat, alleging that D.K. Goel, the inspector, had been demanding a sum of Rs 2,000 from him for helping him in a case registered against him by the department.

In another case, the bureau arrested an official of the Excise and Taxation Department at Ambala Cantonment for taking a bribe of Rs 1,000 from a three-wheeler owner this afternoon. — OC

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Protest against tannery

Ambala, September 18
Residents of Shivalla Mandi in Ambala Sadar today held a demonstration outside a tannery near their area.

The tannery is located between Shivalla Mandi and Sunder Nagar. The residents held the demonstration outside the tannery. They demanded that the tannery should be shut down. They said that there has been a high level of water pollution in their area due to the tannery.

The residents stated that foul smell emanates from the tannery. They said if the tannery could not be shifted out, they should be suitably rehabilitated. — TNS

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