SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI





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

Season’s first fog delays flights
People sit around a bonfire on Saturday. New Delhi, December 25
The national Capital woke up to a cold and hazy Christmas morning today as dense fog was seen in the city for the first time this season.



COLD COMFORT:
People sit around a bonfire on Saturday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Ex-village head shot
Had been getting extortion calls for 1 yr
New Delhi, December 25
A 50-year-old property dealer was shot dead by some unidentified assailants on the outskirts of Alipur village in the Sarita Vihar area of south-east Delhi last night.
People  from Alipur protest against Delhi police as property dealer Bhim Singh (inset) was shot dead at Sarita Vihar in New Delhi on Saturday.
People from Alipur protest against Delhi police as property dealer Bhim Singh (inset) was shot dead at Sarita Vihar in New Delhi on Saturday. A Tribune photograph





EARLIER STORIES

Scolded for partying till late night, air hostess hangs self
New Delhi, December 25
A 20-year-old girl employed as an air hostess with a domestic flight allegedly committed suicide inside her room in the Hari Nagar area of west Delhi this morning.

Book fair opens at Pragati Maidan
New Delhi, December 25
'Books of Rural India' is the theme of the 16th edition of Delhi Book Fair that was inaugurated today at Pragati Maidan by Dr Suvas Pani chairman and managing director, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).

Wine, dine, dance marks Xmas
New Delhi, December 25
Christmas Eve in Delhi was marked by brightly lit up markets and shopping malls and a plethora of themed parties.





MERRY CHRISTMAS:
An illuminated Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi where girls light candles (Below left) Gurgaon residents pray to the Lord. Tribune photos: Mukesh Aggarwal/ Sayeed Ahmed

Over 1,000 Delhi schools lack fire safety norms
New Delhi, December 25
More than 1,000 schools in the Capital, both government and private, are flouting basic fire safety norms. The majority of government and MCD schools lack basic fire safety equipment and many private schools especially of the middle rung have not cared to incorporate the safety equipment on their campuses or get a no-objection certificate from the fire service.

Men and their mean ways
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) might have scored some brownie points on the publicity front by publicizing its decision to conduct surprise checks of women's compartments, but that has failed to deter mischief-makers and even others, forced to seek refuge in the women's area from the milling crowds in the rest of the train. When caught, some plead helplessness while others become aggressive and brazen it out.

Noida cops brainstorm steps on law and order
Noida, December 25
The police has prepared a concept paper to improve the law and order in Noida for which SSP Amitab Yash has invited suggestions from the people. He shared his thinking with the media today.

Faridabad Gujjars to join quota stir
Faridabad, December 25
The Gujjars of Faridabad and other districts surrounding Delhi today decided to join the ongoing agitation staged by the community in Rajasthan, from Monday.

Govt has failed to control vegetable prices: BJP
New Delhi, December 25
The Delhi BJP today alleged that the state government had failed to control the soaring prices of vegetables in the national Capital.

Noida RTO earns Rs 472 lakh from tax, violations
Noida, December 25
With the fast development of Noida and Greater Noida, the number of vehicles in the area has increased phenomenally, resulting in increased revenue for the state government.

Zail Singh remembered
New Delhi, December 25
Vice-President Hamid Ansari led the crowd of dignitaries who paid tributes to former Indian President Giani Zail Singh on his 16th death anniversary at his samadhi here today.

Cop’s son killed, three held
Ghaziabad, December 25
The Ghaziabad police on Saturday claimed to have cracked the brutal murder of a pre-teen boy, missing since late Friday night, with the arrest of three local youths.

2 held with 740 gm heroin
New Delhi, December 25
A team of the crime branch led by the ACP of the narcotics department has arrested two notorious drug peddlers and a supplier in two separate cases and seized 740 grams of heroin.

Man killed in accident at Bhajanpura
New Delhi, December 25
A 35-year-old was killed by an unidentified vehicle in the Bhajnapura area of north-east Delhi last night.

3 carjackers arrested
New Delhi, December 25
With the arrest of three men— Ashok (25), Hukum (23) and Subhash (24)— officials of the Pul Prahlad Pur police station has claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle thieves.





Top


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Season’s first fog delays flights
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
The national Capital woke up to a cold and hazy Christmas morning today as dense fog was seen in the city for the first time this season.

Even as the minimum temperature moved up in the last few days and settled at 8.2 degree Celsius, the dense fog came as a pleasant surprise.

However, it led to some inconvenience as the low visibility at Indira Gandhi International Airport caused disruption in flight schedules.

"Fog appeared at 1.30 am when visibility was at 700 metres and remained the same till 4.30 am. Around 7.30 am, the visibility fell below the 50-metre-mark," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

This is the first time this winter that flights were affected at the airport. Nearly 12 domestic and one international flights were delayed today due to the fog, said an official statement.

The minimum temperature today was one degree above the normal level for this time of the year.

The maximum temperature today was recorded at 23 degrees Celsius which is also one degree above the normal.

For tomorrow, the Meteorological department has predicted similar weather conditions for the Capital. However, the official indicated that the fog might reappear in the early hours again.

"The days will get only colder now. Fog is expected in the morning hours again. The minimum temperature is expected to be around 8.0 degrees Celsius while the maximum is likely to be around 22.0 degrees over the next 24 hours.

Top

 

Ex-village head shot
Had been getting extortion calls for 1 yr
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
A 50-year-old property dealer was shot dead by some unidentified assailants on the outskirts of Alipur village in the Sarita Vihar area of south-east Delhi last night. According to the police, the victim has been identified as Bhim Singh Nagar, an ex-village head. He was shot around 9.30 pm while he was on his way to his house on a motorcycle with a driver.

"Unidentified men opened fire on Bhim Singh Nagar. He was shot in the chest and shoulder. He was admitted to the Apollo Hospital with four bullet injuries. A team of doctors operated upon him till late night, but he could not be saved," said a police official.

According to him, six rounds of bullets were fired during the attack by at least five men. Nagar was rushed to the hospital by his driver who informed his family and the police.

"Nagar was getting extortion calls and it seems when he did not pay the money, he was killed. The matter is being investigated. We have detained his driver Pradeep and would soon crack the case," the officer added.

However, Nagar's angry family and friends have charged that he was getting extortion calls for the past one year and despite approaching the police, no action was taken. According to Rajesh, Nagar's son, his father had received several threat calls in the past two weeks and the police was given a complaint in this regard but nothing was done in the matter.

"My father had submitted the complaint not only to the police station, but senior police officials of the district were also informed about the threat calls. The calls came from different phone numbers and all the numbers were given to the police. However, no body bothered and my father lost his life," alleged Rajesh.

More than 200 villagers accompanied by victim's family reached the Sarita Vihar police station today morning and demanded the arrest of culprits.

As per a police source, Nagar was being asked to pay Rs 2 crore by the anonymous caller. The caller was probably aware of Nagar's strong financial statues. Nagar was a big landlord and had dairy and property businesses. "Nagar had recently sold a portion of his land at a very exorbitant price. We are investigating whether the victim had any business or personal rivalry," said a senior police official.

Top

 

Scolded for partying till late night,
air hostess hangs self

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
A 20-year-old girl employed as an air hostess with a domestic flight allegedly committed suicide inside her room in the Hari Nagar area of west Delhi this morning.

According to the police, the deceased Raunak Bhatia was discovered hanging by her stole inside her house in Maurya Enclave around 11 am today.

According to the preliminary investigation, she allegedly took the extreme step after her father scolded her for partying till the wee hours on Christmas Eve.

She was employed with Indigo Airlines and joined it about seven months ago.

"Raunak had been working with Indigo in Jaipur till a few months back before she was shifted to Delhi. Her brother Akash, who studies in Mumbai, had come home for holidays and both of them gone for a party in Hauz Khas last night. They returned around 4 am today after which their father scolded her," said a police official close to investigation.

The body has been sent to DDU Hospital for postmortem and further investigation is on.

Top

 

Book fair opens at Pragati Maidan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
'Books of Rural India' is the theme of the 16th edition of Delhi Book Fair that was inaugurated today at Pragati Maidan by Dr Suvas Pani chairman and managing director, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).

The fair is jointly organized by the ITPO and the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP). It is expected to witness over 250 participants from India and abroad.

Dr Pani said that the Indian book market is truly vibrant. The fair will also organize seminars, book launches, and panel discussions and will be concluded on January 2.

"Hindi records the highest number of titles published every year, while 30 per cent of all the books are published in English. Other major books are published in Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, and the rest in other 16 official languages," he said.

The fair is usually held in September, but was postponed to December due to the Commonwealth Games. Since the fair is being organised at the festive time from December 25 to January 2, there might be fewer participants from countries like the US and Britain, said the publishers at the fair.

But organisers said this would help focus on books from across India. Last year, 2.74 lakh people visited the fair. This year, the organisers expect around 5 lakh visitors.

Top

 

Wine, dine, dance marks Xmas
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
Christmas Eve in Delhi was marked by brightly lit up markets and shopping malls and a plethora of themed parties.

After the formal visits to the city churches, while Christian families stayed home and enjoyed dinners and quality time together, youngsters were out celebrating with cakes and wine.It wasn't just the Christian community that rejoiced in the celebrations, others seemed to be participating in the festivities as well. Most of the leading restaurants, hotels, clubs, bars and pubs hosted Christmas Eve parties and served special cake .

While Bennigans in Greater Kailash II hosted its Karaoke Nights on Christmas Eve, Poison Ivy in New Friends Colony organized costume-themed parties. The club owners did not miss the chance to cash in on the occasion. The minimum couple entry at most places was Rs 2,500 only if one had names on guests' lists.

Anyone who would enter after 11.30 pm was charged anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000. However, the entry fee was no deterrent for the party crowd not to go out and celebrate.

"We had planned the Christmas outing almost a week back. So we had our names on the guest list at the Smoke House grill bar. We then went to India Gate late at night for ice cream. It was foggy at that time. I just hope we have good fog on the New Year's Eve as well," said Shikha Srivastava, a call centre executive .

However, some stayed in and hosted parties at their home as they said they wanted to avoid the rush in clubs.

"We organized a small barbecue on our terrace and enjoyed drinks with friends. I think that is what the spirit of holiday season is all about, spending time with loved ones. No matter where and how. We are now looking forward to the New Year celebrations," said Ankit Ahuja, a businessman.

Top

 

Over 1,000 Delhi schools lack fire safety norms
Charu Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
More than 1,000 schools in the Capital, both government and private, are flouting basic fire safety norms. The majority of government and MCD schools lack basic fire safety equipment and many private schools especially of the middle rung have not cared to incorporate the safety equipment on their campuses or get a no-objection certificate from the fire service.

Delhi Fire Service data indicates that some 1,000 schools in the Capital lack no-objection certificates and do not have any safety equipment on campus.

An official from the Delhi Fire Service said, "Despite the fact that schools across the Capital are supposed to incorporate basic safety norms and get no-objection certificates from the fire service, on the ground very few of these schools have taken basic safety measures. Also, the majority of government schools in the Capital and even many MCD schools lack safety equipment."

The official said, "Government schools are not the only ones to neglect fire safety, many private schools, including some top ones have not taken the necessary preventive measures to achieve safety. This neglect will continue and we cannot interfere unless the DOE orders scrutiny."

The official added, "Many private schools prefer to get a temporary no-objection certificate that requires them to install safety equipment within a year, but schools do nothing after this and tend to forget about fire safety."

The schools that lack basic safety measures include some prominent ones. The principals of many of these schools refused to say anything on the issue.

A teacher from a reputed school in Dhaula Kuan, said on the condition of anonymity, "It is true the school has not really taken fire safety measures so far but it eventually will. What is the rush? I am sure the principal will get a no-objection certificate soon."

Top

 

Men and their mean ways

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) might have scored some brownie points on the publicity front by publicizing its decision to conduct surprise checks of women's compartments, but that has failed to deter mischief-makers and even others, forced to seek refuge in the women's area from the milling crowds in the rest of the train. When caught, some plead helplessness while others become aggressive and brazen it out.

So, women want to close the inter-connecting passage with the rest of the train.

However, the DMRC insists there has been a noticeable decrease in the complaints of harassment of women since the separate compartment was introduced.

It plans to increase the number to two once some more six-coach trains are put on tracks.

Bizarre school admission criteria

The general apprehension of the people that private schools will give short shrift to the Right to Education Act, if allowed to decide their admission policy, is turning out to be true.

People are questioning some schools' admission policy of preferring the wards of their alumni, because this is being taken as profiling the students, something the RTE Act expressly prohibits.

Some schools especially those run by religious minorities have come out with the most outlandish admission rules which would appear simply ridiculous to any rational mind.

A few schools, especially those run in the name of community or religions, have announced a preferential policy for the wards of parents who are vegetarians and practise abstinence.

Affected parents are protesting the obvious attempts by such schools to intrude into the private lives and personal choices of people.

To cap it, they ask as to how such a school would investigate these attributes.

Woman’s outburst closes court work

Judges are often seen as impersonal and stoic figures going about passing judgments on crimes without taking any visible notice of the reaction to their verdicts. But sometimes their human side does show.

A Tis Hazari magistrate's verdict about the killing of an 18-year-old boy terming it as an accident so upset the child's mother who was convinced that this had been a murder by one of her relatives, that she cursed the magistrate in an open court.

A shaken Lordship immediately rose and adjourned all the case for another day because the woman cursed him to suffer the same agony she was undergoing.

The magistrate ordered her out of his court, but could not take his mind off a hapless woman's curse.

Woman DCP on a mission

If there is one Deputy Commissioner of Police in Delhi who seems determined to take on the riding tide of crime in the Capital, it is Chhaya Sharma, the woman in charge of Outer Delhi district police. Sharma was the only woman DCP heading a district before the new Commissioner, BK Gupta, brought in a couple of more woman DCPs.

A spate of heinous crimes in Outer Delhi, of late have led to murmurs that she was not cut out for this district, with a high crime graph. This has prompted her to pull up her socks. She is conducting surprise checks almost every night on the nakas and police stations, punishing errant cops and is in the field most of the time. But this does not seem to show much result. One hopes her hard work would eventually pay.

Jamia brings new year with hockey

Jamia Millia Islamia will welcome the New Year with some hockey, or rather lots of it. It will host the North Zone Inter-University Hockey Tournament (Men) from December 28 to January 4.

A total of 27 teams will participate in it. Hockey lovers could look forward to fast-paced and thrilling encounters because as many as 23 out of 29 matches will be played at the knock-out stage while the rest will be played at the league level.

The inaugural match will be played on Dec 28 at 12 noon in the Education Faculty grounds while the final played on January 4 at the Jamia Sports Complex ground.

(Contributed by Jyoti Rai, Kumar Rakesh, Rashi Agarwal, Sandeep Yadav, Charu Singh)

Top

 

Noida cops brainstorm steps on law and order
Parmindar Singh

Noida, December 25
The police has prepared a concept paper to improve the law and order in Noida for which SSP Amitab Yash has invited suggestions from the people. He shared his thinking with the media today.

The police, he said, wants to ensure that every resident of Noida, including those working here, is identified and the information about them is stored for ready reference.

The police wants to secure every housing block by working with RWAs and filling gaps in the housing group security.

While working with BOP operators, the cops want to ensure security of female employees. They also want to ensure cyber security in order to prevent misuse of publicly available Internet.

A proper layout for infrastructure for Police Lines is also aimed. Besides, the police aims to achieve a fivefold increase in traffic policemen.

The police wants to make rapid technological advancements in the three basic policing infrastructure--fire power, mobility and communication.

It is aimed to work directly with NGOs to improve the police reach in slum areas, and thus prevent the origin of petty crimes from these areas.

The police also wants to train an elite group to respond to situations created by armed groups, besides raising a frontline group capable of dealing with riotous/aggressive mob.

And lastly, SSP Amitab Yash said he was keen on imparting better behavioral training to policemen so that a more friendly face of the police is projected before the people.

Top

 

Faridabad Gujjars to join quota stir
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 25
The Gujjars of Faridabad and other districts surrounding Delhi today decided to join the ongoing agitation staged by the community in Rajasthan, from Monday.

A decision to show solidarity to the agitation by the community for the acceptance of five per cent reservations in government jobs was taken in a 'panchayat' organised here today at Gujjar Bhawan. A Gujjar Araakshan Sangharsh Samiti, headed by Ranbir Singh Chandella, was constituted to spearhead the agitation in Faridabad and others districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh falling in the national capital region. Gujjar leaders from Palwal, Gurgaon and other parts of Haryana took part in the panchayat.

Giving details of the decision of the panchayat, Chandella said that to start with the Gujjars in Faridabad and other districts will submit a memorandum to the President of the country. He cautioned that the agitation would be intensified, depending on the unfolding situation in Rajasthan.

In a related development, the Faridabad police has got its act together to maintain law and order in view of the agitation. Since yesterday, the police authorities here were in constant touch with their counterparts in the districts of Rajasthan bordering with Faridabad.

There is a good size of Gujjar population in Faridabad and the two bordering districts of Palwal and Gurgaon in Haryana. There were a number of violent incidents in Faridabad and other districts during the last agitation.

Top

 

Govt has failed to control vegetable prices: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
The Delhi BJP today alleged that the state government had failed to control the soaring prices of vegetables in the national Capital.

The party said the government had been incapable of providing cheap onions at its outlets.

Delhi BJP chief Vijendra Gupta alleged that the prices of onions, tomatoes and other vegetables at government outlets were higher than their prices in retail markets.

Gupta charged that by the time food items reached the kitchen of the common man from the farms, they became 15 to 20 times costlier.

"The farmers who came to mandi told us that they are being paid only Rs 8 per kg for onions, but the same onions are being sold to people at Rs 60 per kg. Same is the case with other vegetables also," alleged Gupta.

He said that vegetables were being purchased from farmers at dirt cheap prices but sold to consumers at very high rates.

"This is being done with the full knowledge of the Delhi government," he stated.

Mentioning the prices of vegetables in Azadpur Mandi, Gupta said potatoes were available there for Rs 3.75 per kg, onions for Rs 8 per kg, tomatoes for Rs 8 per kg, couliflower for Rs 4.75 per kg, cabbage for Rs 8 per kg, carrot Rs 3 per kg, pumpkin Rs 10 per kg, green peas Rs 10 per kg, lemon Rs 12.50 per kg.

However, he said, these vegetables were being sold in the retail markets at exorbitant rates. Onions are selling for Rs 60 per kg, tomatoes Rs 35 per kg, cauliflower Rs 20 per kg, cabbage Rs 20 per kg, green peas Rs 30 per kg, cucumber Rs 30 per kg, carrot Rs 15 per kg, pumpkin Rs 30 per kg. 

Top

 

Noida RTO earns Rs 472 lakh from tax, violations

Noida, December 25
With the fast development of Noida and Greater Noida, the number of vehicles in the area has increased phenomenally, resulting in increased revenue for the state government.

According to assistant regional transport officer (ARTO) Anil Kumar, this year, the transport department has booked 1,852 vehicles and seized another 3,858 for violations and collected revenue of Rs 301.85 lakh. Another Rs 170 lakh were collected as tax from vehicles.

According to the ARTO, at present, 7,000 tempos, 836 trucks, 700 buses, 3,200 taxis, 4,700 three-wheelers, 1,51,717 two-wheelers, 76,908 cars and 3,803 jeeps ply on the roads of the district. According to him, public buses, tempos and three-wheelers are usually hauled up for overcrowding and fixing extra seats than legally allowed. The number of cars being driven without proper license is also very large.

A fine of Rs 4,000 is imposed on commercial vehicles for lack of permit or improper permit. Overloading or fixing extra seats attracts a fine of Rs 1,200.

Overloading is common in trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles, he said.

Top

 

Zail Singh remembered

New Delhi, December 25
Vice-President Hamid Ansari led the crowd of dignitaries who paid tributes to former Indian President Giani Zail Singh on his 16th death anniversary at his samadhi here today.

He had been the President during the most turbulent period of the independent India when the country witnessed Operation Blue Star, the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and anti-Sikh riots.— TNS

Top

 

Cop’s son killed, three held

Ghaziabad, December 25
The Ghaziabad police on Saturday claimed to have cracked the brutal murder of a pre-teen boy, missing since late Friday night, with the arrest of three local youths.

The body of 11-year-old Vikash Dohre, son of police head constable Kamlesh Dohre, was found with its head crushed with a blunt object from under a tractor-trolley parked near the police post in Sidharth Nagar Colony of Ghaziabad.

Earlier, Vikash's family launched a hunt for him after he failed to return home from an evening party in the Krishna Nagar Bagh locality.

The body of Vikash, a student of class VI, was found late on Friday night after his father went to look for his son around the bypass police post, where he is posted. He found the battered body of his son lying below a tractor-trolley.

Kamlesh said he suspected a boy he had once slapped who used to roam around the police post under suspicious circumstances.

"The police has held three boys . They have confessed to their crime and revealed their identity as Sandeep, Shambhu and Sudhir," said SP (City) A.K. Vijaita. — IANS

Top

 

2 held with 740 gm heroin
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
A team of the crime branch led by the ACP of the narcotics department has arrested two notorious drug peddlers and a supplier in two separate cases and seized 740 grams of heroin.

In the first case, the police arrested Rahman (22) from near the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in Kalyanpuri after a tip-off. Rahman was held with 320 gms of heroin.

During investigation, it was learnt that Rahman had purchased the heroin from Ajayveer, a resident of Barreily, UP. Ajayveer too was arrested later.

In the second case, the police arrested Sunil Kumar (40) with about 420 gms of heroin while he was on his way to Nand Nagri three days ago. Sunil's supplier is still at large. 

Top

 

Man killed in accident at Bhajanpura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
A 35-year-old was killed by an unidentified vehicle in the Bhajnapura area of north-east Delhi last night.

According to the police, the victim has been identified as Vinod, a Bhajanpura resident.

"The victim had gone to a roadside eatery close to a bus stand for dinner. After eating, he got food packed for his friends and was on his way home when he was hit by a vehicle near a petrol station. He died on the spot," said a police official.

A case in this regard has been registered at the Bhajanpura police station and investigation in the matter is on. 

Top

 

3 carjackers arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25
With the arrest of three men— Ashok (25), Hukum (23) and Subhash (24)— officials of the Pul Prahlad Pur police station has claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle thieves.

According to the police, the three were arrested yesterday with a stolen Maruti car on MB Road. “They were stopped by the police and asked to produce the registration papers of the car. But they failed to produce the papers,” said a senior police official from the district.

Hukum Singh and Subhash are mechanics. They stay in Aligarh and Bulandshahr, respectively. 

Top

 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Classified Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |