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Show more organised than opening day 
New Delhi, October 14
It was a different picture for the spectators of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) closing ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.
(above) Artistes perform on the final day and (below) The aerostat during the CWG closing ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.. Tribune photos: Mukesh Aggarwal 



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Disabled children perform during the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at the Jawharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi
Disabled children perform during the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at the Jawharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Many with right sifarish get tickets
New Delhi, October 14
Even as tickets for the closing ceremony were sold out a couple of days ago, long queues of people, carrying recommendation letters from VIPs and VVIPs for getting tickets, could be seen outside the organising committee (OC) office in Jantar Mantar.

Itís bye from Shera as well
Kalmadi booed
New Delhi, October 14
It was a night of goodbyes at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010 today. Bidding goodbye along with the athletes was Games mascot, Shera.

Delhi shuts amid tight security
New Delhi, October 14
A veil of calmness fell over Delhi today evening as majority of its millions of residents sat indoors to enjoy the spectacular closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Dip in fuel sale during Games 
New Delhi, October 14
Though India gained second position in the Commonwealth Games, making the nation happy, petrol and diesel pump owners remained tense during these 12 days as their sale came down. This also affected the revenue of the city government.

Viewers enjoy ad-free closing ceremony
New Delhi, October 14
Millions of people depending on national broadcaster Doordarshan to watch the magnificent closing ceremony were in for a pleasant surprise as the channel relayed the event live without any commercial break, marking a change from its opening ceremony telecast when it ran advertisements for as long as 10-15 minutes during the event.

Bhanot draws jeer
New Delhi, October 14
Spectators reserved their loudest jeers for Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot as his boss and OC president Suresh Kalmadi thanked him for his "relentless efforts" for making the Games a success.

1 more dengue death in Gt Noida 
Greater Noida, October 14
One more dengue death has been reported from this town adjoining the national Capital. While three others, including a media personnel, are reportedly down with the vector-borne disease.

DU students plan to boycott exams 
New Delhi, October 14
As Delhi University's first semester examination for science courses near, more and more students are getting anxious and many are in favour of boycotting them.

Acquitted of bid to kill kin
New Delhi, October 14
A city court has acquitted a youth of allegedly trying to kill his grandmother.

Pradhan shot days before poll
Ghaziabad, October 14
While preparations for the second stage of panchayat election in Ghaziabad are on in full swing, the present pradhan (village chief) of Uncha Gaon and a candidate for the membership of panchayat from the village in Murad Nagar, Samyapal Singh, was shot dead yesterday.

CBI man held for security breach
New Delhi, October 14
The Delhi police today detained a CBI official near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for using a security sticker on his vehicle, bearing a different registration number.





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Show more organised than opening day 
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
It was a different picture for the spectators of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) closing ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.

Learning from the mistakes of the opening ceremony, the organisers ensured that everything went right.

The signages worked, security was tight but had a humane touch, and the card readers at the entry points seemed to be working this time around.

Policemen deployed at Mehar Chand Market entry point presented a much organised show, with the spectators being guided correctly and efficiently. The Delhi police had also posted its men at a makeshift elevated stand who announced information regarding direction to the entry gates.

"This time, things are well organised. Even the spectators are more informed and are coming to the right place. A number of advertisements were put in the media for the spectators. There is not much problem like that of the opening ceremony," said a senior police official.

Even the spectators, not wishing to take chances, started trickling in from 2 pm. So, policemen did not have to jostle with the crowd at the time of the closure of entry.

A large number of volunteers were seen guiding the spectators enthusiastically and helping in traffic management.

A group of anti-sabotage squad of the Delhi police and sniffer dogs was also seen in the area which highlighted the fool-proof security arrangement.

The policemen appeared much organised and lenient as they allowed residents of the nearby areas to move in and out without any hassle, unlike the inaugural ceremony.

Residents of Lodhi Road Complex had least to complain and heaved a sigh of relief, after the police did not prohibit them from taking their vehicles in the reserved lanes.

It was much easier for even two-wheeler commuters heading to their residences in Lodhi Road Complex. They made their ways after telling the police personnel that they were the residents of the locality.

This was in contrast to the inaugural day ceremony on October 3, when a number of residents were stranded near Mehar Chand Market as the police did not allow them to go to their homes without necessary documents.

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Many with right sifarish get tickets
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Even as tickets for the closing ceremony were sold out a couple of days ago, long queues of people, carrying recommendation letters from VIPs and VVIPs for getting tickets, could be seen outside the organising committee (OC) office in Jantar Mantar.

Politicians, bureaucrats, police officials and journalists, they were all there. And, most of them managed to get the tickets.

For the last few days, the common people are being told that tickets are not available. But the organisers had allegedly hoarded a large number of tickets to please anybody who came with a request.

The economy tickets worth Rs 750 were not available for a few weeks, but you could have got it from the OC office till yesterday if you had the right credentials.

"I had got a recommendation letter from an MP. The only difficulty I faced was jostling with scores of other hopefuls to get in. I got the tickets easily," a banker living in east Delhi said.

However, many were not successful and had to return disappointed. "I could see so many people walking out of the OC office with tickets and even passes. I was not given one, may be my 'sifarsih' was not good enough," said Navin Sharma, a student.

According to official sources, the OC had allegedly kept stacks of tickets and passes to oblige people with the right recommendation.

Some top babus in the OC, including its president Suresh Kalmadi and secretary general Lalit Bhanot, who have received flak and are facing possible probes, apparently went an extra mile to ensure that some people got the tickets of the coveted ceremony.

Though giving passes to a select few are a natural part of any event, many have blamed the organisers of virtually acting as hoarders.

Many volunteers and private groups have alleged that the organisers had promised passes to them, but were denied. Protesting against this, a group of angry volunteers had allegedly barged into the OC office, a few days ago. 

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Itís bye from Shera as well
Kalmadi booed
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
It was a night of goodbyes at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010 today. Bidding goodbye along with the athletes was Games mascot, Shera.

Entering the stadium along with popular singer Shaan, Shera took a round of the stadium and waved to his fans. The large LCD screens focused on the faces of young children who looked sad bidding farewell to their loving Shera.

Even as the athletes and volunteers of 'Delhi United' also received a generous cheer and warm goodbye from the crowd, organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi couldn't get a breather.

The crowd refused to cheer for Kalmadi when he came to the podium for his thanks-giving speech. The roaring jeers for more than 30 seconds did not let Kalmadi to even begin his speech.

However, Kalmadi, witfully turned to the positives of the Games, forcing the crowd to responded favourbaly. Noticeably, only those parts Kalmadi's speech where he praised leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received cheers from the crowd. Also, the part of the speech where Kalmadi spoke about India finishing second in the Games was well received by the crowd. However, in all, Kalmadi failed to strike a chord at the spectators. Even when he thanked Lalit Bhanot, the entire stadium jeered them loudly.

The crowd's reluctance to give Kalmadi any appreciation became clear right from the moment he entered the stadium. The crowd did not seem very happy when the LCD screen showed Kalmadi making his way to the stadium.

"The speech was completely buttering. Construction workers, volunteers and civic agencies were thanked in Kalmadi's speech. But how much justice has been done to them will only be known after the Games. I did not feel like cheering for him," said Kishori Bansal sitting in the VIP lounge of the stadium.

"We are proud Indians. We couldn't have kept quiet when Kalmadi talked about the 101 medals that India claimed to finish second in the Games. We didn't cheer for his speech, but for the players. A lot of questions remained unanswered. The Games have been successful because of the contributions of a lot of people," said Kirti, who had come to watch the closing ceremony event with her family.

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Delhi shuts amid tight security
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
A veil of calmness fell over Delhi today evening as majority of its millions of residents sat indoors to enjoy the spectacular closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

The usual chaos stalking city roads was missing with all government offices, thousands of private enterprises, banks, schools and markets remaining closed.

The most visible faces across the city were of the thousands of Delhi police personnel manning every nook and corner of the city along with vital installations, including railway and Metro stations. The city, especially the area around the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue of the closing ceremony in south Delhi, witnessed unprecedented security.

Delhi police officials said they do not want to leave anything to chance on the last day and so the security was higher than the opening ceremony.

"We can spare more men now and they have been put on duty in and around the stadium tonight," said the officer.

As part of the security plan, people coming to the stadium for the ceremony were put through manual and mechanical security checks at four points, while Indian Air Force choppers surveyed from the sky.

All the 19 entry points to the stadium have been installed with card readers, door frame metal detectors and baggage X-ray machines.

"Mobile quick reaction teams have been deployed on the outer perimeter of the stadium. Several high-tech security equipment, including devices to check CBNR (chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological) weapons have also been put in place," revealed the officer, adding that beside its men, the Delhi police has deployed snipers, commandos on light armoured troops carrier (LATC) and specially trained men from the paramilitary forces at the stadium.

According to information, more than 40,000 Delhi police officials assisted by paramilitary forces, intelligence and army personnel kept vigil in and around the stadium, which hosted several top VIPs of the country, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the chief guest, Sri Lankan President Mahindra Rajapaksha.

As part of the heightened security arrangements for the ceremony, frontline combat jets like Sukhoi, SU-30 and the MiG-29 have been kept on standby at Air Force bases like Adampur, Bareilly and Srinagar to immediately respond to any emergency situation. Mobile radars and Pechora SAMs were positioned at strategic sites around the Capital to counter any aerial threat, including those from micro-UAVs and remote-controlled gliders. Especially trained IAF "Garud" commando units also strengthened the security setup.

According to Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesperson, the city force has been on high alert since the commencement of the Games and it will remain so till the last athlete leaves the city.

"Our responsibility will continue till the last foreign athlete and official leaves the country safely," Bhagat said.

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Dip in fuel sale during Games 
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Though India gained second position in the Commonwealth Games, making the nation happy, petrol and diesel pump owners remained tense during these 12 days as their sale came down. This also affected the revenue of the city government.

The general secretary of the Federation of All-India Petrol Diesel Association, Ajay Bansal, said during the Games, the sale of petrol came down by 22 per cent and diesel by 25 per cent. As far as CNG is concerned, the scenario was not that bad, as though the Blueline buses were off roads, all DTC and other government buses took fuel from the petrol pumps.

Bansal said the reason for the decrease in the sale of fuel is that all government offices, market places and schools remained closed on the closing and opening days, which reduced the movement of vehicles. Besides, tourists turn up was also less than expected.

Bansal said Delhi normally sells about 500 kl petrol and diesel everyday. But during the Games, the sale came down to less than 400 kl. The fuel dealers have faced loss of around Rs 40 to 45 lakh per day.

He said that TATA Motors had given 1,800 taxis to the Games organising committee (OC) to transport the guests and the company had given Rs 5 lakh in advance to petrol dealers for the fuel of the vehicles. But not all the vehicles were used, as the OC did not receive as much guests. This also caused loss to the petrol dealers.

A senior officer of revenue department, Delhi government, said at least the city exchequer lost Rs 1 crore during the 12 days of the Games. 

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Viewers enjoy ad-free closing ceremony
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Millions of people depending on national broadcaster Doordarshan to watch the magnificent closing ceremony were in for a pleasant surprise as the channel relayed the event live without any commercial break, marking a change from its opening ceremony telecast when it ran advertisements for as long as 10-15 minutes during the event.

DD had come in for much flak from viewers who felt cheated by the channel which charged heftily from the advertisers.

However, official sources said the decision was not caused by any compunction on the part of DD, but by a government of India direction, asking it to show the event uninterrupted.

In fact, DD in its attempt to milk the ceremony to the fullest had hiked its advertisement rate to Rs 2.5 lakh for 10 seconds as advertisers were making a dash to get their products shown during the highly-anticipated event.

The decision not to take any commercial break came as a major dampener for the advertisers whose slots were pushed either prior to the beginning of the ceremony or after it concluded.

This forced the advertisers to demand DD to reduce its rate as fewer audiences were expected to tune in to DD prior to and after the event.

However, DD's director-general Aruna Sharma ruled out any concession in the rate.

If advertisers were cribbing, viewers rejoiced.

"I was so frustrated and angry over DD for its truncated telecast of the opening ceremony. Today, I felt like I was in the stadium as I watched the ceremony without any interruption. I thank the government for this gesture. It was an event of national pride and commercial interests should never prevail over people's interest in such telecasts," Arun Bhalla, a government official, said.

DD had even deferred the live telecast of the opening ceremony by over half an hour to accommodate advertisements and its "live" telecast was still on even after the conclusion of the ceremony. 

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Bhanot draws jeer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Spectators reserved their loudest jeers for Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot as his boss and OC president Suresh Kalmadi thanked him for his "relentless efforts" for making the Games a success.

It was clear that the public had no love lost for Bhanot, who had brought heaps of ignominy upon himself and embarrassment to the country with suggestions that the West had a higher standard of hygiene than Indians.

As crowds roared their disapproval of Bhanot, Kalmadi smiled, as he has been all this while in face of all-round criticism, and continued with his thanksgiving speech.

Delhi's Lt-Gen Tejendra Khanna might not like Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit talking away all the credit for the turnaround in the "unlivable" Games Village, but the spectators have a thumbs up to her as her name was mentioned by Kalmadi.

Kalmadi, who himself has been at the receiving end of public jeers, ensured that he did not miss any name in his speech. Apart from the expected names like those of the PM, the Finance Minister and the Chief Minister, he also acknowledged the support of Delhi's Mayor Prithvi Raj Sahni and Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The BJP-run MCD had been sulking so far over its 'ignorance' by the organisers. 

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1 more dengue death in Gt Noida 
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, October 14
One more dengue death has been reported from this town adjoining the national Capital. While three others, including a media personnel, are reportedly down with the vector-borne disease.

In Dadri, where a large number of dengue patients are heading to hospitals, doctors have noticed a fast change in symptoms during the last fortnight. Skin, eyes and joints appear to be adversely affected. Initially, the symptoms had even confused the doctors, but tests have confirmed them as dengue cases. Besides, six persons have died of viral infection, dengue and malaria in the recent past.

In all, around 28 persons have died of dengue, viral infection and malaria in Greater Noida.

According to doctors, stagnant water in villages due to the recent floods in the Yamuna served as a breeding ground for mosquito. And, the authorities concerned allegedly did not carry out any fogging operation.

People in Greater Noida are upset by the health department officials as they have neither carried out fogging or sprayed insecticide in the area.

A Laadpura resident, Prakash, was admitted to a Greater Noida hospital with viral fever which was later diagnosed as dengue. His platelet count has gone down alarmingly. A Beta-2 resident was also having viral fever which was later confirmed as dengue. A TV journalist is also down with dengue. 

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DU students plan to boycott exams 
Charu Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
As Delhi University's first semester examination for science courses near, more and more students are getting anxious and many are in favour of boycotting them.

The examinations are scheduled for November.

Students complain that a large part of the course has not been taught, as the teachers remained largely absent due to the ongoing tussle between the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) and vice-chancellor Deepak Pental over the semester system.

The principal of a popular college, who did not want to be named, said, "The studies of science students are in a complete mess. The students are not prepared to sit for the examination in November. Large parts of the syllabus remain untaught due to teachers being away, participating in numerous dharnas and strikes against the VC. I do not blame the students for their nervousness and an interim solution to this problem is being worked out."

With less than a month to go before the semester examination, students are panicking and want the examinations to be deferred.

The students' union has already threatened to boycott the semester system if held in November.

The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) recently sent a memorandum to the VC, stating that if the semester system row was not resolved soon, students might stage a large-scale agitation against the university.

Nikhil Sharma, a science student from Dyal Singh College, says, "Semester examinations are approaching, but we are not ready. Not even a quarter of the course has been covered and the syllabus is pretty tough. The teachers have simply skipped the lectures and now, they are rushing through the course. This is unfair to students. The new syllabus needs to be taught carefully and not rushed through. If examinations are held in November, we will definitely boycott them."

"There is no way that we can face examination in November. Because of the agitation, teachers have covered just two to three chapters of the syllabus. Moreover, the new syllabus is specialised and needs to be taught properly. We do not even know if the semester system will stay and some teachers are teaching chapters as per the old course," said Shalini Grover, another science student from Hansraj College.

Meanwhile, there are rumours that the examination may be delayed by a few days.

"We have heard that the examination may get delayed by a few days, but this is no solution. We want the teachers to come to classes regularly. Now, as only a few days are left for the exams, the teachers are rushing through the course. Students are the ultimate loosers. We will boycott examination till classes are held properly," said Gaurav Singhal, a science student from Hindu College.

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Acquitted of bid to kill kin
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
A city court has acquitted a youth of allegedly trying to kill his grandmother.

Additional sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma acquitted Nitin Sharma of sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 392 (robbery) of the IPC.

"On perusal of the record exfacie, the prosecution fails to bring on record any evidence to prove the guilt of the accused," the court said.

Sharma was accused of strangulating his grandmother Kaushlya Devi on May 3, 2009, when she resisted him while he tried to rob her of her gold bangles at his Baljeet Nagar residence.

Taking note of the fact that the key witnesses did not support the case, the court said, "There was no purpose in examining the remaining witnesses which would have resulted in wastage of time and money."

During the hearing, the prosecution examined Sharma's mother Rita Sharma and his uncle Rajeev Sharma, but both did not support the case. So, Sharma was let off on benefit of doubt.

Surender Kumar Sharma, another key witness and the father of the accused, and Kaushlya Devi died during the trial, without recording their statements.

"Surender Kumar Sharma, in his statement to the police, stated that he had seen his son quarrelling with his mother, beating and strangulating her and, then, decamping with her gold bangles. Unfortunately, he died during the proceedings," the court
said.

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Pradhan shot days before poll
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, October 14
While preparations for the second stage of panchayat election in Ghaziabad are on in full swing, the present pradhan (village chief) of Uncha Gaon and a candidate for the membership of panchayat from the village in Murad Nagar, Samyapal Singh, was shot dead yesterday.

Three masked men shot Singh in the earpit at the Majhola area under Vikas Nagar police station here. He died on the spot. Singh's wife, Shalini Devi, is also contesting the election for the post of pradhan of Uncha Gaon.

The voting for this seat will be held on October 20.

Singh's family has lodged a murder report, naming Vishesh Yadav, a candidate from Uncha Gaon; Munender Pal, manager of Pt Deen Dayal Inter College and two brothers-- Ashok Singh and Anil Singh.

Pal has been arrested.

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CBI man held for security breach
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
The Delhi police today detained a CBI official near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for using a security sticker on his vehicle, bearing a different registration number.

The incident took place around 9:30 am when a Tata Sumo, in which the official was travelling, was spotted at gate number 1 of the Central Government Offices (CGO) complex next to the stadium. Taking a preventive measure, armed commandos surrounded the vehicle.

"The sticker on the vehicle had a different registration number which led to a security scare," said a senior police official.

The official was detained and was taken to the Lodhi Road police station where his identity was verified.

On interrogation, it was learnt that the vehicle was driven by a UP police constable and an assistant superintendent of police of the CBI's anti-corruption bureau in Delhi was travelling in it. The CBI official said that he had put the security sticker, issued by the home ministry for CGO complex entry, from another vehicle. 

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