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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

Mock drill at mall claims one life
ITBP jawan loses life when fire tender runs over him

Gurgaon, December 1
A fire cum chemical leakage mock exercise was conducted at a high rise DT Mall (City Centre) here by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in which a subaltern from Indian Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) lost his life on the spot as one of the fire tenders ran over him during the operation.

Nafisa Ali with an HIV positive child during a rally against NACO demanding new drugs for AIDS patient on the occasion of the World AIDS Day in the Capital on Friday Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with schoolchildren during Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Awareness Run at Delhi Secretariat
Nafisa Ali with an HIV positive child during a rally against NACO demanding new drugs for AIDS patient on the occasion of the World AIDS Day in the Capital on Friday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with schoolchildren during Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Awareness Run at Delhi Secretariat. — A Tribune photograph


EARLIER STORIES




Post offices to accept passport applications
New Delhi, December 1
As a major facility for those aspiring to go abroad, as many as 67 speed post centres and post offices have been designated for sale and acceptance of applications for fresh passport, including for minors.

A treat for theatre buffs from today
Two-day fest to mark Prithviraj Kapoor’s birth centenary
New Delhi, December 1
An enthralling treat of socially relevant plays from across the country will form the major chunk of Prithvi Theatre Festival beginning here tomorrow. On stage at the two-day festival, being held on the occasion of the birth centenary of the late Prithviraj Kapoor, will be six theatre productions from across India that “speak vibrantly, passionately and often with incisive humour to the concerns of our times.”

Haryana Governor A. R. Kidwai during the third convocation function of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
Haryana Governor A. R. Kidwai during the third convocation function of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. — A Tribune photograph

HC upholds bank manager’s dismissal
New Delhi, December 1
Subsequent repayment of loan by the defaulter will not ‘mitigate’ the gravity of the charge against a bank officer who abused his position, the Delhi High Court has held while upholding the dismissal of a senior manager in a public sector bank.

NHRC intervention sought in Seelampur police firing case
New Delhi, December 1
A Delhi-based Supreme Court lawyer has sought the intervention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for a CBI inquiry into the incidents of alleged police atrocities on minorities in Seelampur on September 20.

Land scam worth crores unearthed
Ghaziabad, December 1
Fraudulent sale and purchase of land worth crores of rupees in Partapur Shamli village in Modi Nagar has come to light. The Deputy District Magistrate has found the role of two leading property dealers and 35 other persons suspicious in this connection. He said apart from buyers, even the witnesses of the land deal had been found to be fictitious.

Call for strike by Haryana Roadways Employees Union fizzles out 
Gurgaon, December 1
The call for token strike given by the Haryana Roadways Employees Union not to allow the state Roadways buses to travel to Delhi fizzled out today, as the police prevented the union members from disrupting the bus services.

Solidarity march by deaf tomorrow
New Delhi, December 1
Volunteers of the National Association of the Deaf will stage a solidarity march at India Gate here on December 3, World Disability Day, to demand the immediate recognition of sign language as a scheduled language.

BJP accuses Transport Minister of causing bus row
New Delhi, December 1 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today held the Transport Minister of Delhi responsible for triggering the row over bus services of the DTC and UP Roadways. The party’s Delhi unit president Dr Harsh Vardhan alleged that due to “unreasonable” decision of the minister, Mr Haroon Yusuf, the Delhi government had lost Rs 1.19 cr and lakhs of people had to face inconveniences due to the disruption of the bus services.

Gang of illegal arms suppliers busted, three held
New Delhi, December 1
With the arrest of three persons, the North-West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of illegal arms suppliers. Three pistols and 55 live cartridges have been recovered from their possession. One car used for the supply of arms has also been impounded.

One charred to death in godown fire
New Delhi, December 1
One person was charred to death and eight sustained burn injuries when the godown of Hindustan Lever Ltd in Alipur village area caught fire this evening. The injured were admitted to a local hospital.

Inter-state drug trafficker held
New Delhi, December 1
The Central district police today claimed to have arrested an interstate drug trafficker, Bilal Ahmad Khan, a resident of Srinagar. He allegedly used to struck deals with only foreign tourists. Fifty grams of charas was allegedly seized from him.

Third floor allowed in Noida houses
Noida, December 1
The state government in understood to have allowed the construction of third storey in houses in residential sectors of Noida, while buildings in the institutional sectors can go up to many storeys now.

Five interstate robbers held
New Delhi, December 1
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested five interstate robbers, Sumer Singh (22), Raj Kumar (23), Subhash (22), Vikram (22) and Dharmender (20), after an encounter in West Delhi.

 

 

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Mock drill at mall claims one life 
ITBP jawan loses life when fire tender runs over him
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 1
A fire cum chemical leakage mock exercise was conducted at a high rise DT Mall (City Centre) here by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in which a subaltern from Indian Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) lost his life on the spot as one of the fire tenders ran over him during the operation.

The jawan, who lost his life, was allegedly feigning to be an injured during the drill just when smoke tenders were burst outside the Mall and the billowing smoke soon enveloped the entire area. Just then a fire tender of Haryana Fire Services speeded to tackle the fire, apparently not spotting the jawan lying on the ground.

According to eyewitness account, his skull was crushed under the wheels of the fire tender. He was immediately rushed to the hospital vide an ambulance of District Red Cross Society, which was also on duty during the mock exercise. Although the Vice-Chairman of the NDMA, General (retd) N. C. Viz said that an investigation in the case had been ordered, it was clear to all that a fault in the planning and operations accounted for the death. Although the authorities gave evasive reply, many eyewitnesses claimed that the fire tender came from unspecified direction.

Many government departments like the district police and the administration, fire services, health department, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)/ITBP, public health, telecom and electricity department, were involved in the exercise. Besides, RWA and the Security Chiefs of DT Mall, MGF, Millenium Plaza and the DLF were also roped in for participation.

According to Dr Abhey Srivastav of the faculty of the Disaster Management of the Haryana Institute of Public Administration (HPA), who was the observer during the mock exercise, all the stake holders, particularly the district administration, the district police and the local health department gave a good account of themselves in their role positions. Their response was quick and methods effective in the relief and rescue operations.

The mock exercise started with a short circuit in the cafeteria just outside Audi-2 of the Mall. The fire started spreading in spite of the best efforts by the security staff at the Mall. Soon the fire engulfed the third floor of the high building. The sparks of the fire landed on a truck full of LPG cylinders and one lorry carrying a container full of LPG gas on the road across the mall causing chemical leakage.

The fire fighting operation included the security wing of the Mall activating their fire evacuation drill like evacuation of people from the complex. Following alert call the fire tenders of Gurgaon Fire Services arrived at the site.

Since the fire was strong, reinforcement of fire tenders from Delhi Fire Services also arrived at the spot. A team of the NDRF of ITBP climbed up the top floors and evacuated the stranded people. While the fire was in the process of being contained, chemical leakage took place. The NDRF team, which was already there went into action along with DRDE team and removed 25 people affected by the chemical gas. It was during this process when the jawan lost his life.

The fire was brought under control within about an hour, and the entire process of decontamination due to chemical leakage was also contained, an hour following this.

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Post offices to accept passport applications
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
As a major facility for those aspiring to go abroad, as many as 67 speed post centres and post offices have been designated for sale and acceptance of applications for fresh passport, including for minors.

Besides this, applicant can also now submit their passport applications at three district passport centers in Delhi and eight in Haryana, falling under the jurisdiction of the Regional Passport Office, Delhi.

The 67 speed post centres and post offices designated for sale and acceptance of applications for fresh passport include Ashok Vihar HPO, Delhi GPO–110006, Speed Post Centre, Market Road, N. Delhi-1, Krishna Nagar H O., Ramesh Nagar HPO, Kalkaji HPO, 636, FPO, APO, Palam, New Delhi, 756, FPO (APS Sena Bhawan), C/o – 56 APO., Sarojini Nagar HPO, Lodhi Road HPO, New Delhi HPO, Indraprastha HPO, Naraina HPO, Jhilmil HPO, Janakpuri B-I PO, Tilak Nagar PO, Paschim Vihar PO, Nangloi PO, Najafgarh PO, Palam Village PO, Punjabi Bagh PO, Sunder Vihar PO, DK PO, Gandhi Nagar PO, Patpar Ganj PO, Shahdra PO, New Seelampur PO, Greater Kailash PO, Jangpura PO, Lajpat Nagar PO, Malviya Nagar PO, Okhla Industrial Area PO, Golf Link PO, Hazarat Nizamuddin PO, Saket PO, Alaknanda PO, Jamia Nagar PO, CR Park PO, Sarita Vihar PO, Civil Lines PO, Malka Ganj PO, Model Town – II PO, Shalimar Bagh PO, Chandni Chowk PO, Rohini PO, Shakti Nagar PO, Delhi University PO, Shakur Basti PO, DR. Mukherjee Nagar PO, Bawana PO, Mangol Puri (N) PO, Kamla Nagar PO, Onkar Nagar PO, Ganesh Pura PO, Samai Pur PO, Padam Nagar PO, Vasant Kunj PO, Chanakya Puri PO, Delhi Cantt. PO, Hauz Khas PO, Safdarjung Enclave PO, JNU PO, Karol Bagh PO, Patel Nagar PO, Rajinder Nagar PO, SRT. Nagar PO, Darya Ganj PO.

The three District Passport Centres in Delhi are located at Delhi Police Bhawan, Asaf Ali Road; Police Station, Shakarpur; and DAP lines, Pitampura.

In Haryana, the applications can be submitted to City Magistrate-cum-Nodal officer at District Passport Cell in Gurgaon; City Magistrate cum Nodal officer at District Passport Cell, Sonepat; City Magistrate- Cum-Nodal Officer, O/o the City Magistrate, District Passport Cell, Faridabad; City Magistrate-cum-Nodal Officer, O/o the City Magistrate, District Passport Cell, Jhajjar, City Magistrate-cum-Nodal Officer, O/o the Deputy Commissioner, District Passport Cell, Mini Secretariat, Rohtak; City Magistrate, O/o the City Magistrate, District Passport Cell, Rewari; City Magistrate-cum–Nodal Officer, District Passport Cell, Mohinder Garh at Narnaul; and District Magistrate, O/o the District Magistrate, District Passport Cell, Mewat at Nuhn. 

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A treat for theatre buffs from today
Two-day fest to mark Prithviraj Kapoor’s birth centenary
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
An enthralling treat of socially relevant plays from across the country will form the major chunk of Prithvi Theatre Festival beginning here tomorrow.
On stage at the two-day festival, being held on the occasion of the birth centenary of the late Prithviraj Kapoor, will be six theatre productions from across India that “speak vibrantly, passionately and often with incisive humour to the concerns of our times.”

Inspired by the motto of Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatres, “Kala Desh Ki Seva Mein”, the festival, to be held at Kamani Auditorium in the Capital, will begin with the Marathi play, “Ram Prahar”, based on Vijay Tendulkar’s column. Directed by Sandesh Kulkarni, “Ram Prahar” is a dramatic representation of the post-1991 times of Babri Masjid destruction and the Mumbai blasts.

Addressing a press conference to announce the festival, Sanjana Kapoor, granddaughter of Prithviraj Kapoor, said the festival was her tribute to the late actor “who has been motivating and guiding us in promoting art and culture.”

“Two years ago, my father Shashi Kapoor reminded me 2006 was Prithviraj Kapoor’s birth centenary and asked me how I planned to commemorate it”, she said. “In a way, this festival is a continuation of Prithviraj Kapoor’s efforts to preserve the art form of theatre as a medium to serve the country. In fact, this was the guiding spirit behind the launching of Prithvi Theatres by him in 1944, at a time when he was at the height of his acting career.

“For 16 continuous years, Prithviraj Kapoor travelled with his theatre company in various parts of the country, from cities to small towns in remote areas, to stage plays on pressing topics of the day”, Sanjana said.

It was in memory of his extraordinary dedication and passion for theatre that Shashi Kapoor revived Prithvi Theatres in 1978, which was run for many years by his wife Jennifer Kapoor. Subsequently, Shashi Kapoor’s daughter Sanjana took the responsibility to keep alive the “flame” of Prithvi Theatres.

“Through this festival, we hope to make the small proportion of the public that would rather watch a movie develop an interest in theatre”, she said.

The festival is being organised by Prithvi Theatres in association with the telecom major, Hutchinson. Hutch has been presenting Prithvi Theatre Festival since 1997 and has supported all artistic activity under the aegis of Prithvi Theatres.

Lauding the support rendered by Hutch for holding theatre festivals over the last few years, she said, “Prithvi Theatres have increased their activities over the years thanks to Hutch. It is largely the support of the company that enabled us to bring Footsbarn Travelling Theatre, the internationally acclaimed theatre company, to India for a two-month tour, during which they performed 23 shows across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore.”

Among the other plays to be staged during the festival will be the English play, “Mahadev Bhai”, a humorous play based on the daily diary maintained by Gandhiji’s secretary Mahadev Desai, and Hindi play “Shambukvadh”, based on a tale from the Ramayana.

The weekend of theatre will be accompanied by free platform performances as well as an exhibition on Prithviraj Kapoor and Prithvi Theatres, a bookshop and food stalls at the venue. The plays will be staged in three shows daily — at 11 am, 3 pm and 8 pm.

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HC upholds bank manager’s dismissal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
Subsequent repayment of loan by the defaulter will not ‘mitigate’ the gravity of the charge against a bank officer who abused his position, the Delhi High Court has held while upholding the dismissal of a senior manager in a public sector bank.

“There is no merit in the submission that the subsequent repayment of loans by the defaulters, even partially, somehow mitigate the gravity of the charge that the failure of the petitioner (Ram Dhari Vats) to verify the particulars of the borrowers was not in the interest of the bank,” Mr Justice S. Murlidhar observed and dismissed a petition filed by Vats.

“It appears that the punishment in the present case cannot be termed as disproportionate or one that shocks the judicial conscience. In the circumstances, there is no scope for interfering with the quantum of punishment awarded to the petitioner,” Mr Justice Murlidhar also said.

The order followed a submission made by Vats that the defaulters against whom he had sanctioned the loans had repaid the loans partially, therefore, the court should quash the charge.

It was alleged Vats, who was working as Manager of the Baghpat (UP) branch of Syndicate Bank, had sanctioned six loans worth Rs 60,000 without verifying the creditworthiness of the borrowers in 1988.

The disciplinary authority of the bank had taken a decision to dismiss Vats from the job following a report filed by the inquiry officer in the same year. Vats had then filed an appeal in the high court. 

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NHRC intervention sought in Seelampur police firing case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
A Delhi-based Supreme Court lawyer has sought the intervention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for a CBI inquiry into the incidents of alleged police atrocities on minorities in Seelampur on September 20.

The petitioner, Sonia Raj Sood, has drawn the attention of the Commission to “indiscriminate and unexplained” firing by the Delhi Police on a gathering of people in Seelampur. According to the petitioner, the firing resulted in loss of lives and grievous injuries to various people belonging to minority communities. She has requested the Commission to direct the Police Commissioner of Delhi to register cases against the concerned police officers allegedly involved in firing.

The petitioner has said, “Firing at people and that too indiscriminately can only be used if the mob is armed and has started firing at the police or other innocent people in the vicinity.”

The petitioner has further asked as to “why the police chose to fire at innocent people totally unconcerned with the traders’ bandh.”

The petitioner, who claims to have met victims of police atrocities of Seelampur, has said that they have not been adequately compensated. She has mentioned three cases of human rights violations involving persons belonging to minority communities.

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Land scam worth crores unearthed
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, December 1
Fraudulent sale and purchase of land worth crores of rupees in Partapur Shamli village in Modi Nagar has come to light. The Deputy District Magistrate has found the role of two leading property dealers and 35 other persons suspicious in this connection. He said apart from buyers, even the witnesses of the land deal had been found to be fictitious.

According to sources, the fictitious case pertains to Khasra No. 327 with 0.964 hectare area. Property dealer Bhagat Singh Kohinoor had allegedly planned the sale of this piece of land in connivance with another leading property dealer of the area.

A property dealer Ram Avtar had paid Rs 7 lakh as agreement amount for this land also. After receiving Rs 7 lakh, the two property dealers sold this land in fraudulent and fictitious way with non-existent witnesses on August 26.

A fictitious agreement to sell was also made out.

When the Deputy DM got the report of a fictitious sale of land, he found that both seller and witnesses were also fictitious. Some 35 people were found to have connived in the fictitious sale of some other pieces of land in the village. He has directed Tehsildar, Naib Tehsildar and their revenue officials to probe into the matter.

The Deputy DM said the report of both these cases of fictitious sale of land has been sent to the District Magistrate. On the DM’s approval, a case will be filed and the full report will be submitted in eight days.

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Call for strike by Haryana Roadways Employees Union fizzles out 
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 1
The call for token strike given by the Haryana Roadways Employees Union not to allow the state Roadways buses to travel to Delhi fizzled out today, as the police prevented the union members from disrupting the bus services.

The Union has alleged that the drivers of Haryana Roadways buses were challaned ‘arbitrarily’ by the Delhi police in Delhi when the buses passed through the areas of the national Capital.

They claimed that the drivers had to bear the expenses from their own personal budget for paying the challans, as the Haryana government did not foot it. They had demanded from the Haryana government to meet the expenses and asked the authorities in Delhi not “harass” the drivers of the Haryana Roadways.

In the morning, more than a dozen members of the Union tried to disrupt the bus services at IFCO Chowk, as they prevented the buses from going towards Delhi. The disruption was only for a few minutes. The police accompanying the Duty Magistrate intervened to ensure smooth movement of the buses. The General Manager, Haryana Roadways, Mr Jaivir Singh Arya, said that the attendance of drivers in the Gurgaon Depot was more than the normal days. The services of the buses were also normal.

However, the general secretary of the union, Mr Sarbat Singh, claimed that the authorities had suspended and arrested some employees in Faridabad and Kundli border. The union members would meet shortly in Rohtak to chart out further course of action, he added.

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Solidarity march by deaf tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
Volunteers of the National Association of the Deaf will stage a solidarity march at India Gate here on December 3, World Disability Day, to demand the immediate recognition of sign language as a scheduled language.

A spokesman of the association said at least 3,000 volunteers from the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the adjoining states were likely to participate in the solidarity march.

The association has also written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention in the matter. According to the association, there are 1,261,727 persons with hearing impairment in the country, which is 5.8 per cent of the total population.

The association claimed despite the fact that the deaf were the largest chunk of disabled in the country they were the most marginalised. 

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BJP accuses Transport Minister of causing bus row

New Delhi, December 1
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today held the Transport Minister of Delhi responsible for triggering the row over bus services of the DTC and UP Roadways.
The party’s Delhi unit president Dr Harsh Vardhan alleged that due to “unreasonable” decision of the minister, Mr Haroon Yusuf, the Delhi government had lost Rs 1.19 cr and lakhs of people had to face inconveniences due to the disruption of the bus services.

 “If there was really any dispute it should have been sorted out mutually by the ministers of both these states. There was no need to confiscate the buses of UP by the Delhi Transport Department,” he pointed out.—OC

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Gang of illegal arms suppliers busted, three held

New Delhi, December 1
With the arrest of three persons, the North-West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of illegal arms suppliers. Three pistols and 55 live cartridges have been recovered from their possession. One car used for the supply of arms has also been impounded.

Following a tip off, the police apprehended Parvinder Singh, Raj Kumar and Manoj Kumar near Japanese Park, Rohini after a short chase. During interrogation, it was revealed that Raj Kumar was an armourer at Chiiler Gun House in Bahadurgarh, Haryana.—OC

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One charred to death in godown fire

New Delhi, December 1
One person was charred to death and eight sustained burn injuries when the godown of Hindustan Lever Ltd in Alipur village area caught fire this evening.
The injured were admitted to a local hospital.

Among the injured one Praful Chaube is said to be critical, while the deceased has not been identified yet, said the police.

Investigation suggests that fire broke out due to short circuit in parking lot of the complex and the dead and injured are believed to be the workers of the firm.

About a dozen fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire, a fire brigade official said.—OC

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Inter-state drug trafficker held

New Delhi, December 1
The Central district police today claimed to have arrested an interstate drug trafficker, Bilal Ahmad Khan, a resident of Srinagar. He allegedly used to struck deals with only foreign tourists. Fifty grams of charas was allegedly seized from him.

Acting on a tip-off that a notorious gang of Kashmiri drug peddlers was active in Paharganj, the drug peddler was arrested. On interrogation, he allegedly revealed that he had rented a shop in Gali Chandi Wali. He used to pose as a handicraft businessman as a cover for his illegal activities.

He had built special cavities in his shop and furniture to hide drug consignments. Efforts were being made to net the main source of his supply and his other accomplices, said a police officer.—OC

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Third floor allowed in Noida houses
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 1
The state government in understood to have allowed the construction of third storey in houses in residential sectors of Noida, while buildings in the institutional sectors can go up to many storeys now.

In industrial units, lintels have been allowed on guard room, motor room, panel room and transformer rooms.

The state government, it is learnt, has approved the changes in Noida housing rules. The rules incorporating these changes will be made effective from the first week of December.

In rules pertaining to residential buildings approved in 1986, not more than two floors were permissible. Also, only one fourth of the third floor, like a room and a toilet, were permissible under these rules.

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Five interstate robbers held

New Delhi, December 1
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested five interstate robbers, Sumer Singh (22), Raj Kumar (23), Subhash (22), Vikram (22) and Dharmender (20), after an encounter in West Delhi.

The gang was involved in robberies and attempt to murder here and in Haryana. Seven cases have been worked out with their arrest. A countrymade pistol, one fired and two live cartridges besides a stolen motorcycle have been recovered. They were arrested near the CNG petrol pump in Paschim Vihar. Two of them allegedly tried to escape on the motorcycle after hitting the police party, but they were overpowered. Efforts were being made to arrest their other accomplices, said a police officer.—OC

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