SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A   E D I T I O N

Truck falls into canal in thick fog, two feared killed
Karnal, December 28
Two persons were feared dead when the truck they were travelling in fell into a canal near Rassulpur village in the district early this morning.

An inconsolable kin of one of the victims; and a crane pulls out the truck from the canal at Rassulpur village.

An inconsolable kin of one of the victims; and a crane pulls out the truck from the canal at Rassulpur village. Tribune photos: 
Ravi Kumar

Police drive against habitual offenders
Over 500 challaned, 100 vehicles impounded
 Policemen check the documents of a vehicle in Model Town, Rohtak, on Tuesday.Rohtak, December 28
The local police seems to have tightened its belt to check traffic violations to make the city roads more safe. Over 500 vehicles, mainly two-wheelers and autorickshaws, have been issued challaned in the past two days. The police has announced that it will issue special stickers for all auto- rickshaws in the town to monitor their movement.

Policemen check the documents of a vehicle in Model Town, Rohtak, on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph





YOUR TOWN
Chandigarh
Sirsa



EARLIER STORIES

KP Gurjar, BJP chief BJP seeks White Paper on land acquisition
Chandigarh, December 28
Alleging large-scale irregularities in the acquisition of land by the state government, the Haryana BJP today demanded a White Paper on notices issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act and their subsequent withdrawal.


                                                                                                                  KP Gurjar, BJP chief

Stamp duty reduced by 1 per cent
Chandigarh, December 28
The state government has reduced the stamp duty by 1 per cent on transfer of self-acquired immovable property to a son , daughter, father, mother or spouse.

WINDS OF CHANGE
ADC Pankaj Chaudhary (right) with Basanti and Kavita during “kuan poojan” at Dhukra village in Sirsa on Tuesday. Daughter no longer seen as burden
Sirsa, December 28
There are winds of change in the rural Haryanvi hinterland, notorious for its skewed gender ratio. Thanks to the efforts of Pankaj Chaudhary, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sirsa, two women from Dhukra village, under the Nathusari Chopta administrative block, today performed “kuan poojan” to celebrate the birth of their girlchild.


ADC Pankaj Chaudhary (right) with Basanti and Kavita during “kuan poojan” at Dhukra village in Sirsa on Tuesday. Photo: Amit Soni

Village gets broadband kiosk
Fatehabad, December 28
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today started a broadband kiosk at Bighar village. Naveen Sharma, SDO (Telegraph), inaugurated the kiosk by communicating with OP Jangar, Deputy GM Hisar.

Minister Gopal Kanda CM to attend Kanda’s birthday function in Sirsa today
Sirsa, December 28
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will be visiting Sirsa tomorrow for the second time in four days.



                                                                                       Minister Gopal Kanda

Hooda’s visit peps up Congress workers
Large turnout exceeds expectations
Faridabad, December 28
The visit of Chief Minister Bhupinder Snigh Hooda here on Sunday, during which he addressed a public meeting in the NIT Assembly constituency, has boosted the morale of Congress workers.

Couple gets life term for minor’s rape
Kurukshetra, December 28
The court of Dr Neelima Shangla, Additional Sessions Judge, Kurukshetra, in a judgment announced here today, awarded life imprisonment under Section 376 of the IPC to Lalji Shukla and his wife Shyamo Devi, residents of Bila Ooni, UP, for the rape of a 14-year-old orphan girl.

Community hall turned into store
Hodal (Palwal), Dec 28
The community hall located on the railway road here has been converted into a storehouse by the municipality. The civic body has kept its old records in it.

Freedom fighter dead
Rewari, December 28
The mortal remains of veteran freedom fighter Ramji Lal Azad (88) were consigned to the flames with full state honours at his native village, Lukhi, near Kosli, today.

Shift headmistress, demand villagers
Residents of Dhanana village in Bhiwani hold a protest on Tuesday.Bhiwani, December 28
Demanding immediate transfer of the headmistress, residents of Dhanana village, 18 km from here, locked the main gate of Government Girls Primary School and sat on dharna here today.


Residents of Dhanana village in Bhiwani hold a protest on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Sharma







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Truck falls into canal in thick fog, two feared killed
Tribune News Service

Karnal, December 28
Two persons were feared dead when the truck they were travelling in fell into a canal near Rassulpur village in the district early this morning.

According to the police, the driver of the truck, Manjit Singh, failed to see the canal due to dense fog and the vehicle fell into it.

The strong water current carried the truck to quite a distance in the canal before it went down into the water. The police said Manjit, along with his companion, Mahinder, both residents of Rassulpur village, were yet to be traced.

Villagers expressed the apprehension that they might have been drowned.

The police said some passersby saw the truck submerged in the canal waters and informed the police control room.

The police pressed three cranes into service to pull out the truck. The owner of the truck said both accident victims worked for him and were supposed to meet him this morning.

However, as they did not report for duty, he started looking for them only to find that they had met with an accident.

The police said a search operation had been launched to trace the two victims.

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Police drive against habitual offenders
Over 500 challaned, 100 vehicles impounded
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, December 28
The local police seems to have tightened its belt to check traffic violations to make the city roads more safe. Over 500 vehicles, mainly two-wheelers and autorickshaws, have been issued challaned in the past two days. The police has announced that it will issue special stickers for all auto- rickshaws in the town to monitor their movement.

“The police has set up at least 21 points across the city to check the registration number and other documents of the vehicles.

This is being done to discipline rogue drivers and habitual offenders,” said SSP Satish Balan.

He said the drive, over two weeks old now, would continue for some time till a perceptible drop in the number of violations.

He said a large number of two-wheelers and autos were being plied in the city in violation of norms and without the fear of the law. A large number of vehicles had been found with inappropriate number plates. About 250 vehicles were being challaned everyday for various violations. Over 100 vehicles had been impounded, mostly autorickshaws and commercial vehicles, so far.

Some residents’ associations and voluntary bodies had been associated with the drive to ensure that it was transparent and impartial, said the SSP.

He said the autorickshaws, that had been the main cause for the rising pollution and traffic chaos in the town, would be issued stickers so that these could be easily identified for any violation.

About 100 such vehicles had gone off the road for fear of the drive, claimed the police. However, the drive is being seen with cynicism by certain quarters.

“The ongoing drive may prove to be a flop show. A large number of vehicles flouting the norms are owned by influential persons and their relatives associated with the ruling party,” claimed Yoginder Dahiya, a social activist here. Said Pawan Bansal, a local resident: “The government ought to chalk out and implement a concrete plan to enforce traffic rules on the pattern of Chandigarh and Delhi, if it wants to solve the problem and not just take cosmetic steps each year.”

He said such campaigns had become biannual rituals to cough up revenue.

“The state government and the district authorities should together initiate long-term measures to find a lasting solution in view of the increasing population and traffic in urban areas,” said Dr SS Chahar, a senior professor at Maharshi Dayanand University here.

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BJP seeks White Paper on land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Alleging large-scale irregularities in the acquisition of land by the state government, the Haryana BJP today demanded a White Paper on notices issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act and their subsequent withdrawal.

Talking to newspersons here, party chief Krishan Pal Gurjar said during the past six years of the Hooda government, it had become a common practice to first issue notices under Section 4 and then withdraw these to give undue benefit to “the favourites of the government”.

Gurjar also demanded a White Paper on government recruitment. He said the White Paper should give details of the government jobs given in each district as well as the district-wise details of various development projects.

The BJP leader said the NDA would organise a big rally at Rohtak on February 6 to “expose the corruption” of the UPA government. Senior NDA leaders, including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Sharad Yadav would participate in the rally, part of a series of rallies the NDA had planned to apprise the people of the “loot and rampant corruption” in every sphere by the UPA, he added.

Gurjar said the Haryana BJP was going all out to ensure the success of the Rohtak rally, for which workers’ meetings were being organised in every district to mobilise support.

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Stamp duty reduced by 1 per cent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The state government has reduced the stamp duty by 1 per cent on transfer of self-acquired immovable property to a son , daughter, father, mother or spouse.

A spokesman of the Haryana Revenue and Disaster Management Department said here today that the stamp duty had also been reduced by 1 per cent ion purchase of residential property by serving and retired defence personnel. He said this this concession could be availed once in lifetime by the defence personnel.

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WINDS OF CHANGE
Daughter no longer seen as burden
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, December 28
There are winds of change in the rural Haryanvi hinterland, notorious for its skewed gender ratio. Thanks to the efforts of Pankaj Chaudhary, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sirsa, two women from Dhukra village, under the Nathusari Chopta administrative block, today performed “kuan poojan” to celebrate the birth of their girlchild.

Basanti and Kavita celebrated the birth of their daughters Muskan and Arzoo, respectively, by performing the “kuan poojan” ceremony which is conventionally held at the birth of a male child.

“I have named my daughter Muskan because of her disarming smile. Though women from the village at times try to run me down, I am happy with my daughters Mehak (7), Pallavi (5), Kashish (2) and Muskan,” said Basanti.

Her husband Balwant is a farmer. He too said he considered daughters as good as sons. “Girls are outshining boys in every walk of life today. They have shown their mettle in the recent Commonwealth Games once again,” he opined.

Kavita’s husband Subhash said his parents had hoped for a grandson after two grand-daughters. “But my wife and I are not disappointed at the birth of another girlchild,” he said.

According to tradition, praying to the well, the only source of water in olden times, brings good fortune to the newborn male child. Villagers believe that it also ensures the birth of another male heir. Chaudhary has been relentlessly working for the “Beti Bachao Abhiyan”.

Recently, she organised a “maha kuan poojan” ceremony at Sirsa which was attended by 161 families.

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Village gets broadband kiosk
Tribune News Service

Fatehabad, December 28
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today started a broadband kiosk at Bighar village. Naveen Sharma, SDO (Telegraph), inaugurated the kiosk by communicating with OP Jangar, Deputy GM Hisar.

Sharma said the villagers could surf on the broadband kiosk free of cost for the first 15 days, after which nominal charges of Rs 5 per hour would be charged.

This was the third broadband kiosk in the district after Bhattu Kalan and Bhuna. The BSNL has been setting up broadband kiosks in villages under its Universal Service Obligation Fund.

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CM to attend Kanda’s birthday function in Sirsa today
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, December 28
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will be visiting Sirsa tomorrow for the second time in four days.

After addressing the “Badhte Kadam” rally at the local Shaheed Bhagat Singh Stadium on December 25, Hooda is coming to the town again for the birthday celebrations of his minister Gopal Kanda, who turns 46 tomorrow.

Kanda has planned several philanthropic activities like holding free health camps and distributing blankets and ration among the poor.

“We have organised 10 health camps where doctors specialising in different fields of medicine and surgery will examine patients and provide free treatment,” said the minister’s younger brother Gobind Kanda.

An official spokesperson said Hooda would reach Sirsa by plane at noon tomorrow and drive straight to the Tara Baba Kutiya managed by the Kanda family.

Hooda would address the people at a meeting and fly back to Chandigarh after lunch. According to sources, Kanda had wanted to hold a rally here today and “gift” the newly constructed railway overbridge and the astroturf at the local stadium to the people of Sirsa on his birthday. However, local Congress leaders reportedly scuttled Kanda’s move and announced the rally for December 25.

Earlier, these leaders had foiled Kanda’s attempt to organise a rally on November 7. Meanwhile, several slum dwellers have been left out in the cold with the authorities razing their huts on the ITI road where the cavalcade of Hooda is to pass on way from the Air Force Station.

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Hooda’s visit peps up Congress workers
Large turnout exceeds expectations
Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 28
The visit of Chief Minister Bhupinder Snigh Hooda here on Sunday, during which he addressed a public meeting in the NIT Assembly constituency, has boosted the morale of Congress workers.

The meeting was organised by Minister of State for Revenue and local MLA Shivcharan Lal Sharma.

Congress sources claimed that this was the biggest-ever rally organised by the party in Faridabad in its entire political history.

The large attendance at the meeting came as a reassurance for the party workers that the Congress has a strong base in the area. In the past few months, the Congress workers in Faridabad had got disillusioned with the working of senior party leaders, including MLAs and ministers. Some leaders had openly indulged in infighting.

Besides, an MLA of the party had recently been charged by MC employees with shielding a councillor accused of beating two of their colleagues and also falsely implicating them in a criminal case.

The employees had gone on strike for around 10 days, affecting the functioning of the civic body.

In addition, the soaring prices, especially of onions, and allegations of corruption at the Centre, had made it difficult for the average Congress worker to face the public.

However, after a long time, all Congress MLAs from the district where seen together with the Chief Minister at the meeting.

District president of the Congress B Ojha attributed the large attendance at the meeting to “the large number of development projects” completed by the Congress government in the area, besides the popularity of Shivcharan Lal Sharma.

The NIT Assembly constituency has a large migrant population, especially labourers.

Ojha said the government’s move to construct low-cost dwelling units for slumdwellers and agreeing in principle to regularise unauthorised colonies had gone down well with the weaker sections of society.

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Couple gets life term for minor’s rape
DR Vij

Kurukshetra, December 28
The court of Dr Neelima Shangla, Additional Sessions Judge, Kurukshetra, in a judgment announced here today, awarded life imprisonment under Section 376 of the IPC to Lalji Shukla and his wife Shyamo Devi, residents of Bila Ooni, UP, for the rape of a 14-year-old orphan girl.

The court also sentenced the couple to 10-year and 5-year rigorous imprisonment under Sections 372, 373 and 366-A of the IPC along with a fine of Rs 1,60,000 each.

The judge also sentenced accused Amrit Lal, Rajinder, Satpal and Jony to 10-year and 5-year rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 1,10,000 each under Sections 372, 373 and 366-A of the IPC.

The victim used to beg in Hardwar. Lalji Shukla and his wife Shyamo Devi, along with Amrit Lal, Sat Pal and Madan Lal, took her to their house on the promise of getting her married. However, Shukla raped her on the way. Later, Satpal handed her over to a man, who too raped her.

On September 15, 2009, SI Naseeb Singh received a tip off that Amrit Lal, Madan Lal and Rajinder of Sarsa, through Shyamo Devi, Lalji Shukla and Jony, bring minor girls from UP for sale. The SI conducted a raid at the dera of Satpal from where the above accused were arrested.

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Community hall turned into store
Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

Hodal (Palwal), Dec 28
The community hall located on the railway road here has been converted into a storehouse by the municipality. The civic body has kept its old records in it.

Constructed more than six years ago with much fanfare, it was meant for use by local residents for organising wedding ceremonies. The hall has a park attached to it. The residents had been looking forward to using the park for morning and evening walk.

The public, however, was not allowed in and the main entrance gate remained locked.The reason given by the authorities was that goods and records kept inside had to be protected.

For some time, wedding ceremonies were allowed to be performed to anyone willing to pay a fee. This was a good source of revenue to the civic body. Now the authorities refuse to rent out the hall on the plea that it needs to protect the goods stored inside.

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Freedom fighter dead
Our Correspondent

Rewari, December 28
The mortal remains of veteran freedom fighter Ramji Lal Azad (88) were consigned to the flames with full state honours at his native village, Lukhi, near Kosli, today.

The body of Azad, who died of protracted illness at his residence in Gurgaon yesterday, was brought here today.

While Kosli SDM Pradeep Kumar and the DSP placed wreaths on the pyre, a police contingent gave a salute to the freedom fighter. His son Yashwant Singh lit the pyre.

Azad was a soldier with the INA of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and was imprisoned in Singapore and Rangoon jails during the freedom struggle. 

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Shift headmistress, demand villagers
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, December 28
Demanding immediate transfer of the headmistress, residents of Dhanana village, 18 km from here, locked the main gate of Government Girls Primary School and sat on dharna here today.

They alleged that the headmistress had misbehaved with students and teachers and they had met departmental officials several times for her transfer.

They said the Deputy Commissioner had also assured them of her transfer on December 22, but no action had been taken so far.

Later, District Elementary Education Officer Birbal Singh met the villagers and assured them that the headmistress would be transferred, following which they opened the school gate.

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