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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

Due to inflation
Govt proposes to double MLAsí salaries
New Delhi, February 10
The Delhi government has finalized the proposal to increase salaries of MLAs and ministers by more than double giving the reason of high inflation that has increased the cost of living, sources said.

Govt plans better treatment of EWS patients at pvt hospitals
New Delhi, Febrauary 10
In view of ensuring transparency in the treatment of patients under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), the Delhi government is in process of bringing in a new mechanism under which 40 private hospitals, which have purchased lands on subsidised costs from the city's land agencies, would have to put the patients'contact details on display on the website.

Spoilt brat held for extortion bid
Father disinherited him from property because of his bad habits
New Delhi, February 10
The Delhi police has arrested "the pampered son" of a rich father, who turned into a robber-cum-extortionist. He was declared a proclaimed offender after his father disinherited him from his property because of his bad habits.


EARLIER STORIES




Walia promises civic amenities in slum areas
New Delhi, February 10
Delhi Urban Development Minister A.K. Walia today stated that the city government was committed to provide better living conditions in existing slum clusters. The amenities will continue to be improved.

JNU scandal: Probe report to be submitted today
New Delhi, February 10
A day after the two students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University were suspended in the sex scandal case, the administration today said that the final probe report on the matter will be ready by tomorrow.

Disabled persons flag off the "Census Roadshow by the Disabled" in New Delhi
Disabled persons flag off the "Census Roadshow by the Disabled" in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo

2 held for rape
New Delhi, February 10
A 16-year-old girl has been allegedly raped by two persons over a period of four months in the Khazoori Khas area of northeast Delhi.

8-yr-old raped by neighbour
New Delhi, Febrary 10
An eight-year-old student of a government school was allegedly raped by her 20-year-old deaf and dumb neighbour here, the police said on Thursday.

Get welfare scheme info online
New Delhi, February 10
The city government took a measured step in the direction of inclusive e-governance with the launch of the first component of the System Integration Application for streamlining social services delivery.

Bofors Case Closure: Court refuses to wait for CIC info
Order on Feb 21
New Delhi, February 10
A Delhi court today refused to wait for the order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) for pronouncing its verdict on a plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking withdrawal of the two-decade-old Bofors gun deal payoff case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.

Artistes from Thailand perform at Surajkund Crafts Mela Footfalls increase at Surajkund fair
Surajkund, February 10
The number of visitors to the internationally-acclaimed Surajkund Crafts Mela (fair) has gone up by nearly 20 per cent this year, a Haryana government spokesman said here today.




Artistes from Thailand perform at Surajkund Crafts Mela. Tribune photo

Murder accused escapes from police custody
Ghaziabad, February 10
An undertrial, facing as many as 35 charges, including murder and loot, in different states, allegedly fled from the police custody today after he was produced before a lower court in New Delhi.

Ex-armymanís murder: One held, another surrenders in court
Ghaziabad, February 10
An absconding man, allegedly involved in the murder of a retired Army officer, has been arrested while another accused surrendered in a court.
The Delhi police arrested four snatchers and two receivers on Thursday
The Delhi police arrested four snatchers and two receivers on Thursday. Tribune photo

Four held for stealing MTNL cables
New Delhi, February 10
The Delhi police arrested four men while they were trying to steal MTNL cables on the pretext of repairing them.

Trafficked NE girl rescued
Gurgaon, February 10
A 14-year-old girl from Manipur, who was trafficked and about to be sold off in a marriage here, was rescued by the Gurgaon police, a statement by a northeast helpline group said today.

 





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Due to inflation
Govt proposes to double MLAsí salaries
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
The Delhi government has finalized the proposal to increase salaries of MLAs and ministers by more than double giving the reason of high inflation that has increased the cost of living, sources said.

This is the second time the city government has finalized the proposal that is three months after the Union home ministry rejected a similar proposal on the ground that perks and privileges not granted to even the MPs were sought by the Delhi government.

The proposal will be tabled before the Delhi cabinet's next week for approval. Thereafter it would be sent to the Union government through Lt-Governor Tejendra Khanna.

At present, an MLA draws a monthly salary of Rs 32,000, including all the incentives while a minister draws Rs 36,000. If the new proposal is accepted by the Centre, the MLA will get a salary of around Rs 70,000 while a minister will get around Rs 95,000.

The issue of enhancement of salary was raised in 2009. The issue was raised in the Assembly also.

Legislators said that nine states, including Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have already increased the salaries of their MLAs and ministers.

In the new proposal, the basic salary of an MLA is proposed as Rs 20,000, while the ministers' basic salary per month is Rs 25,000 and the Chief Minister's basic salary is proposed as Rs 30,000.

The proposal also seeks 2,000 units of free power for legislators per month, while it has fixed 10,000 kilolitres of water free of charge per month for them.

The house rent has been sought to be increased from the current Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 per month, while the office allowance has been proposed at Rs 25,000 per month.

Travel allowance has been proposed to be increased to Rs 10,000 from the existing Rs 4,000 per month, while stationery allowance has been sought to be increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000.

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Govt plans better treatment of EWS patients at pvt hospitals
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Febrauary 10
In view of ensuring transparency in the treatment of patients under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), the Delhi government is in process of bringing in a new mechanism under which 40 private hospitals, which have purchased lands on subsidised costs from the city's land agencies, would have to put the patients'contact details on display on the website.

Also, after the proposed cell for streamlining treatment for the EWS patients has been made functional, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) of NCT Delhi is mulling the idea of bringing in a system for bettering the occupancy rate of the free beds designated for the poor.

The picture, at present at various hospitals, with the latest addition being the Action Cancer Hospital, where a total of 591 beds have been reserved for the poor, continues to be dismal and much below the mark, with the occupancy rate remaining around 15 per cent.

Dr RN Das, who has recently taken over the charge of the nursing home cell at DHS, said, "Patients still can be seen queuing up at the government hospitals and free beds are running vacant. This indicates that something is still a miss and the area is being worked out, but concrete thing is yet to crystallise."

Under the new system, which would be rolled on from tomorrow, the hospitals have to provide daily update on not only status of free beds, but also the details of the patients, along with the mobile number. Currently, the hospitals concerned give the information on the availability of beds and the DHS updates the website daily around 5 pm based on the facts received via mails.

"We are creating a webpage, which would be functional from tomorrow and the hospitals would be mandated to give information on total number of beds, designated free beds, break-up of those meant and available for the critical and non-critical category patients. The webpage would run simultaneously with the old one until February 14 on trial and this would allow us to iron out problems if any," said Dr Das while talking to The Tribune.

Apart from this, the Delhi government-constituted monitoring committee would conduct random inspection either through phone or on-site visit to check the veracity of the details furnished by the hospitals. The five-member committeee, presently comprising chairperson Dr JN Mohanty and Dr Ashok Rana from DHS, lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who filed a PIL against private hospitals on behalf of NGO Social Jurist, Dr TK Cherian from St Stephens Hospital and a representative of the hospital to be inspected, would go to hospitals, talk to the admitted patients and try to find out the facts about the treatment.

While from February 14 onwards, the new system would be functional, majority of the private hospitals have collected their username and password and others would have it by tomorrow. Henceforth, the hospitals would update the details on their own on the website, which would be managed and monitored by the DHS.

"The occupancy is gradually improving, though it is not satisfactory. We are hoping to see it around, at least, 60 per cent within the next three months. We held a special meeting on February 1 to discuss the matter and yet to finalise the details," added Dr Das.

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Spoilt brat held for extortion bid
Father disinherited him from property because of his bad habits
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
The Delhi police has arrested "the pampered son" of a rich father, who turned into a robber-cum-extortionist. He was declared a proclaimed offender after his father disinherited him from his property because of his bad habits.

The accused has been identified as Uttam Jeet Singh, alias Boby (35).

With his arrest, the police today claimed to have foiled his attempt of kidnapping the son of a Delhi-based businessman, who deals in super bikes and has a big clientele.

The arrest came after an investigation was taken up on the complain of one Bittoo Sondhi. He stated that on February 1, he received a ransom call seeking Rs 5 lakh. The caller threatened that if he failed to give it, his son would be kidnapped.

A case was registered and following a tip-off, the police nabbed the accused from near the Central Secretariat Metro station yesterday.

During interrogation, he said that due to his bad habits, his father had disinherited him from his property and in order to meet his expenses, he had taken to crime.

"A month ago he took his father's SUV from his residence at DLF, Gurgaon, without his consent and mortgaged the vehicle to his friend Rs 1.25 lakh. He lost all the money in gambling. Since his father pressurised him to get his vehicle back, he decided to take a shortcut and targeted Sondhi," said a police official.

Sondhi was already known to the accused as his father also dealt in the purchase of second-hand bikes and cars and was one of his regular customers, the police official added.

In order to evade arrest, the accused used to sleep in a shelter home for the homeless.

Singh went to Thailand in 2003 for work, but due to loss in business he returned. He used to visit casinos in Nepal frequently with his girlfriends, the police said.

He has been arrested several times in the past and is involved in six cases of snatching and robbery.

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Walia promises civic amenities in slum areas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
Delhi Urban Development Minister A.K. Walia today stated that the city government was committed to provide better living conditions in existing slum clusters. The amenities will continue to be improved.

While taking round of slum clusters in Gandhi Basti near Okhla Subzi Mandi and Srivnivaspuri, Walia said the government was working on a time-bound action plan to improve civic amenities in clusters. With setting up of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), the improvement is becoming visible day-by-day.

Walia was accompanied by local MLA Subhash Chopra, CEO of the DUSIB Amar Nath, DC (MCD), other senior officers of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and other departments concerned.

The minister observed that the civic amenities needed to be improved immediately. The dwellers must have an atmosphere conducive to better health conditions. He instructed the authorities concerned for maintenance of cleanliness and removal of debris from the land belonging to the Railways.

Further, he instructed the DUSIB to properly develop parks and maintain greenery thereafter. He also instructed the DJB, MCD and DUSIB to work in tandem to provide their services within shortest possible time and attend to the complaints relating to cleanliness, sanitation and maintenance. The DUSIB has been asked to renovate a community centre which is presently not in a proper use.

Chopra requested to the minister to release more funds for the betterment of amenities in slums under his assembly segment.

Walia assured a delegation of Okhla Subzi Mandi that he would take up the issue of choked drain with APMC so that it could be made flowing with technical input from the DJB.

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JNU scandal: Probe report to be submitted today
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
A day after the two students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University were suspended in the sex scandal case, the administration today said that the final probe report on the matter will be ready by tomorrow.

Attempts to increase gender sensitization on campus are also likely to be taken up in the coming days.

Speaking to The Tribune, JNU proctor HGS Bohidar who is currently heading the enquiry into the matter and preparing a report said that the long due revision of the JNU hostel rules and regulations will be among the measures to be taken up.

"I hope to submit the report to the vice-chancellor by tomorrow evening. One must understand that such an incident has not occurred due to lack of rules and regulations in the university, but this happened on an individual level. But yes, the hostel manuals are now long due for revision. Some restrictions may follow in the coming days," said Bohidar.

"Along with the findings of reports, proctor's recommendations will also be submitted," said the JNU spokesperson.

Final decision about lodging an FIR will also be known tomorrow.

What students now fear is that the revision of hostel rules may soon restrict the entry of girls into the boys' hostels.

"I have been living here for the past five years now. We are all adult individuals. Just this one instance will affect the lifestyle of all the others if some rule like this is implemented," Farhan Abdul, a Tapti hostel resident, the same hostel where the objectionable video was shot.

In the meantime, student bodies on campus and the university's gender sensitization agency GSCASH have been appealing to students to follow a more strict code of conduct.

"More than the fact that such a clip was made, what shocked us was its circulation. Students should collectively make efforts to destroy the tape copies anywhere on campus," said student leader Sucheta De.

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2 held for rape
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
A 16-year-old girl has been allegedly raped by two persons over a period of four months in the Khazoori Khas area of northeast Delhi.

According to the police, the matter came to light after the victim confided with her family and informed the police on February 4.

The accused, identified as Amit (26) and his cousin Jaikaran (36), a CRPF jawan, have been arrested and sent to two-day judicial custody.

"The girl is a student of Class XI and has alleged being raped by Amit and Jaikaran. Amit was arrested last night while Jaikaran surrended this morning," said a police official.

According to information, Amit, who stayed on rent at girl's house in the Tukmirpur area, developed relationship with the victim and later when Jaikaran came to known about it he called the girl to his room and both raped her.

"The duo has been raping her since the past four months and threatened her with dire consequences, if she told her parents about it," said the police official.

Jaikaran is posted with the 103 Battalion of CRPF in Wazirabad.

Initially, the police lodged a case of fraud and cheating, but when the victim's family approached the area SDM, a case of rape was registered.

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8-yr-old raped by neighbour

New Delhi, Febrary 10
An eight-year-old student of a government school was allegedly raped by her 20-year-old deaf and dumb neighbour here, the police said on Thursday.

The accused was caught while raping the victim, who lived in a slum in the Chawla area in southwest Delhi and had stepped out to play.

An employee of Delhi's electricity company BSES rescued the girl, who was screaming for help, said a police officer. The employee overpowered the rapist. ó IANS

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Get welfare scheme info online
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
The city government took a measured step in the direction of inclusive e-governance with the launch of the first component of the System Integration Application for streamlining social services delivery.

Launching the web-based solution today, chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said, "The System Integration Application is designed to provide single-window access to the poor regarding information on welfare schemes of the government and the community development services being rendered by the grievances redressal councils (GRCs).

With the next phase of the System Integration, identification of the beneficiary based on their eligibility for various schemes will be automatically done.

Additionally, fast and accurate application processing through online approval system will become a reality."

The GRC module incorporates a transparent online grievance redressal module for solving issues of underprivileged sections as also a self-help group module for the promotion of micro enterprise under the livelihood component of the Mission Convergence Programme.

Director of the mission Shyami Sodhi, emphasised the need for constant monitoring of the programme.

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Bofors Case Closure: Court refuses to wait for CIC info
Order on Feb 21
Rashi Agarwal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
A Delhi court today refused to wait for the order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) for pronouncing its verdict on a plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking withdrawal of the two-decade-old Bofors gun deal payoff case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.

"There is no point in holding back the ruling for CIC's order. All arguments in the case have been heard," said chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Yadav while fixing the matter for pronouncement of order on February 21.

The court remarks came after advocate Ajay Agarwal, who is opposing CBI's plea for closure of the case, said the court should wait for the order of the CIC, which is likely to be delivered this month.

Agarwal said the CIC order would likely have some information which "would prove crucial" for the court for taking decision on the CBI's plea.

The court, however, rejected Agarwal's submissions, saying that he had been heard for a fairly long time and that the court could not give him more time.

Meanwhile, additional solicitor general P.P. Malhotra, appearing for the CBI, opposed Agrawal's arguments, saying that the advocate was wasting court's time and the information that he had sought from the CIC was not relevant to the matter.

On October 3, the CBI had moved an application before a court here to quash all charges against Quattrocchi after it failed to get him extradited on two occasions-- from Malaysia in 2003 and from Argentina in 2007."The continued prosecution of Quattrocchi is unjustified in the light of various factors, including the failed attempts to extradite him," Malhotra had said.

Agarwal had challenged CBI's move, saying that the investigating agency was trying to close the "politically-sensitive" case despite having "sufficient evidences" against Quattrocchi.The CBI had registered a criminal case on January 20, 1990 to probe who were the beneficiaries of the pay-offs in the 1986 Bofors gun deal.In November last year, the agency had asked the Interpol to take Quattrocchi's name out of the Red Corner notice. Quattrocchi has not appeared before any court in any country.

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Footfalls increase at Surajkund fair

Surajkund, February 10
The number of visitors to the internationally-acclaimed Surajkund Crafts Mela (fair) has gone up by nearly 20 per cent this year, a Haryana government spokesman said here today.

"In the year when the ongoing Surajkund Crafts Mela is celebrating its 25th edition, it has already recorded 20 per cent increase in number of visitors," he said.

He added that even though the fair, which is held from February 1-15 every year, has five more days to go, the visitors have already surpassed last year's figure of over 7,54,000.

Conceptualised in 1981, the fair, which became a regular annual feature in 1987, had a footfall of only about 1,75,000 people till 1989.

"The fair has pioneered in identifying, introducing, preserving and nurturing the art and crafts from across the nation and successfully created an assortment of culture. Exuberant, exotic and exclusive display of handlooms and handicrafts amidst various cultural performances has proved to be a delight for art lovers over the years."

"Besides, it also provided a platform to various languishing crafts of the country and works as a custodian of the traditions, heritage and history," the spokesman added.

The theme state this time is Andhra Pradesh while the partner country is Uzbekistan. All South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are also participating in the fair. -- IANS

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Murder accused escapes from police custody

Ghaziabad, February 10
An undertrial, facing as many as 35 charges, including murder and loot, in different states, allegedly fled from the police custody today after he was produced before a lower court in New Delhi.

"Amit, alias Bhura, fled from the custody of the Uttarakhand police near the Sahibabad area when he was being taken back to Dehra Dun after appearing before Rohini court," SSP Raghuvir Lal said here today.

He fled from the custody near the Hindon bridge where his accomplices were waiting for him in motorcycles, Lal added.

The three policemen, who were accompanying him, were taken into custody by the Uttar Pradesh police. -- PTI

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Ex-armymanís murder: One held, another surrenders in court

Ghaziabad, February 10
An absconding man, allegedly involved in the murder of a retired Army officer, has been arrested while another accused surrendered in a court.

Bijendra, who was absconding in the murder case of retired Army officer Rajbeer, was arrested and produced in a court here, the police said.

Meanwhile, another accused surrendered in the court here, the police added.

Rajbeer was found murdered near Chhijarsi village last month.

The former Armyman was killed while he was on his way to his village in Modinagar by four hired criminals, who later threw his body near roadside. - PTI

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Four held for stealing MTNL cables
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10
The Delhi police arrested four men while they were trying to steal MTNL cables on the pretext of repairing them.

According to the police, Rajender (31), Sunil Sadhu (24), Shahid (27) and Vijay (26) were arrested three days ago while they were cutting the cables in a manhole near Government Quarters of Kasturba Nagar in Sewa Nagar.

According to Ashok Chand, DCP (Crime), the thieves tried to mislead the police by saying that they were working for an MTNL contractor, but when the area engineer (Jorbagh) was contacted, he denied assigning any repair work to anybody. "Stolen cable was recovered from them. Rajender, the gang leader, disclosed that he surveyed the area to steal MTNL cable. The gang then committed the theft between 6 am and 9.30 am," said Chand, adding that Rajender used to park his car near the manhole and stood near the car with a file cover.

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Trafficked NE girl rescued

Gurgaon, February 10
A 14-year-old girl from Manipur, who was trafficked and about to be sold off in a marriage here, was rescued by the Gurgaon police, a statement by a northeast helpline group said today.

According to the Northeast Support Centre and Helpline, the parents of the girl lodged a case of human trafficking in Imphal, Manipur, and four days back.The police yesterday rescued the girl when she was about to be sold off by the trafficker to another man.

Madhu Chandra, spokesperson for the Northeast Support Centre, said: "An FIR was registered in Manipur..

While the accused has denied the charges, the victim has confessed that she was abused sexually and raped repeatedly"."She was rescued while the accused was selling her off in a 'marriage' to another man for Rs 50,000. At the moment an NGO, Shakti Vahini, has given her shelter until her parents reached here. She is also undergoing medical tests," he added.

The Manipur state government is also planning to send a team of police to Gurgaon to receive the girl. Chandra said: "The issue of human trafficking is a huge challenge for the northeast community. Due to socio-political unrest in the region, poor economic condition and lack of educational opportunities, youngsters are easily lured with false promises of jobs and trapped into the trafficking network." - IANS

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