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Massive support for Ramdev
New Delhi, June 4
The spectacle at the Capital's Ramlila Grounds today reflected the mood that has gripped the nation and the massive popularity enjoyed by yoga guru Ramdev who has emerged as a cult figure for the people, especially those inhabiting the remote parts of the country.

A group of eunuchs expresses its support for yoga guru Baba Ramdev at the site of a yoga camp in New Delhi

A group of eunuchs expresses its support for yoga guru Baba Ramdev at the site of a yoga camp in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Security lapse at fast site
New Delhi, June 4
Even as the Delhi police today claimed that they were keeping a "close watch" on the Ramlila Grounds, where yoga guru Baba Ramdev is on a fast against corruption, a visit to the sprawling site shows the chinks in the security.


EARLIER STORIES


Congress president and chairperson of UPA Sonia Gandhi (L) poses with a holy shawl at her residence in New Delhi before sending it to Mazaar Sharif of Khwaja Saheb in Ajmer on the occasion of Urs
Congress president and chairperson of UPA Sonia Gandhi (L) poses with a holy shawl at her residence in New Delhi before sending it to Mazaar Sharif of Khwaja Saheb in Ajmer on the occasion of Urs. Tribune photo

Agitation shuts petrol pump
New Delhi, June 4
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's agitation against black money at the Ramlila Grounds in the national Capital has cost a petrol pump dear.

Car showroom manager stabbed to death
New Delhi, June 4
A car showroom manager was stabbed to death and his elder brother critically injured in west Delhi by two drunken tailors following an argument, the police said today.

CNG rate goes up by 50 paise
New Delhi, June 4
After petrol, price of compressed natural gas (CNG) has been increased by Rs 0.50 per kg, the second hike in rates in as many months.

Hot Sunday likely
New Delhi, June 4
Delhiites experienced a hot sunny day today with a maximum temperature of 40.6 C and there is no respite likely from the scorching heat over the weekend, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) here.

IGNOU, Chinese varsities to share study programme
New Delhi, June 4
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is all set for a prolonged interaction and exchange with prominent Chinese universities. IGNOU signed a Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with three Chinese universities recently.

Noida to observe Guru Arjan Devs martyrdom today
Noida, June 4
The 405th martyrdom day of the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev will be observed in Noida's main gurdwara in Sector 18 tomorrow 5 from 6.30 am to 10 pm.

Kotla community centre to be revamped
New Delhi, June 4
Deputy Mayor Anil Sharma today announced that the MCD would make Kotla Mubarakpur Community Centre double story. This is being done following the demand of residents of the area.

Nithari witness turns hostile
Ghaziabad, June 4
A prosecution witness appearing in a case related to the Nithari killings turned hostile today during cross examination.

Support for Ramdev or outing?
Baba Ramdev's movement against corruption at the historic Ramlila Grounds is unique. People from various states have descended on the ground with their baggage, treating the event as an outing.





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Massive support for Ramdev
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 4
The spectacle at the Capital's Ramlila Grounds today reflected the mood that has gripped the nation and the massive popularity enjoyed by yoga guru Ramdev who has emerged as a cult figure for the people, especially those inhabiting the remote parts of the country.

During the day, the site appeared like a tourist spot, with surplus arrangements of water and lemon juice for people from all parts of the country who had come there with families to endorse the words of Ramdev whose life-size posters adorned the massive tents.

Nonetheless, the frenzy that has resulted from the exalted yoga guru's "satyagraha" against corruption and black money siphoned away by corrupt government officials and political bigwigs has caught the attention of the world. It reflects public outrage which found a resonating expression two months ago through Anna Hazare's protest, seen by many as a stepping stone towards the cause.

Irrespective of the debate whether Ramdev's high-spirited slogans and well-managed dais are for grabbing attention or for the social cause of fighting corruption, the support that he draws seems huge as his followers expressed their solidarity by fasting with him and also through art.

"We are here for the cause of corruption. A large number of people are ignorant about the real issue. They get to know about it only when their family members or friends face it," said D Sharma, a former BSES official who has been a victim of corruption.

Sharma's entire family had come from Kalkaji for the fast and his daughter, Geeta Sharma, an MA student, used the canvas to vent her anguish against the scam-hit nation's corrupt officials.

"Nearly 800 of us have come here from Ambala district to support Ramdev. We are here to fight corruption and the government which has been trying to sideline it for its own interests. All those who are doubting his intentions suffer from illusion," said Vinod Agarwal and Praveen Jain, who would return Ambala only after Ramdev calls off his fast.

According to Sarojbala Sharma, who came from Chandigarh for Baba's stayagraha, it is time that people, especially the younger generation, take up the charge against "the termites who are eating away the blood and sweat of the crores of Indians."

"Corruption has crossed all limits and it has to be dealt right from the top brass. Cleansing and bathing should be from head to toe," she said.

Responding to the magnetic fan-following of Ramdev, she said people had come by choice.

However, amid parleys over the phone, the stand-off between the government and the Ramdev's coterie remained unresolved until evening.

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Security lapse at fast site

New Delhi, June 4
Even as the Delhi police today claimed that they were keeping a "close watch" on the Ramlila Grounds, where yoga guru Baba Ramdev is on a fast against corruption, a visit to the sprawling site shows the chinks in the security.

The site has two gates - one each for entry and exit, separated by a few metres. The entry gate is manned by at least half a dozen police personnel and an X-ray machine to check baggage.

However, as hundreds jostled to enter the ground Saturday, it resulted in long queues and chaos. As a result, some people removed the barricades at the exit gate and started entering, absolutely unchecked.

"I forgot to remove the pack of cigarettes and a lighter from my bag before entering, but surprisingly nobody checked me because I entered from the exit gate," said a 26-year-old who did not wish to be named.

According to huge banners inside the ground, items like cigarettes, tobacco, matchboxes and lighters are banned inside the marquee, but the instruction remains on paper.

When this was brought to the notice of a police officer, he denied any lapse in security.

However, on being alerted about the chaos at the exit gate, two police personnel put the barricades back in place. IANS

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Agitation shuts petrol pump

New Delhi, June 4
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's agitation against black money at the Ramlila Grounds in the national Capital has cost a petrol pump dear.

Situated bang opposite the protest site, thronged by thousands of his supporters from across the country, the establishment did not see a single vehicle today as the area was cordoned off for security reasons.

Pragati Service Station on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg was hit as the road was shut since morning.

"We sell around 5,000 litres of petrol and around 4,000 litres of diesel everyday. As a result of the road-closure, we will lose around Rs 5 lakh everyday till we are forced to remain shut," said pump in charge Vivek Malik.

But Malik and his colleagues do not mind the loss as they say that the cause for which Baba Ramdev is fighting is much more important.

"If we get back all the black money, I would consider our loss as a contribution to that effort," added Malik.

However, Rakesh Mohan, accountant of the Hyundai service station in the petrol pump complex, was not amused with the forced shut down.

"This is wrong. Why should we pay the price for Baba Ramdev's agitation? This is all a sham and no black money would ever return. In the end, only we would suffer," said Mohan.

According to him, around 15 cars visit the service station daily and an average of Rs 80,000 in revenue will be lost on each day of the shutdown. IANS

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Car showroom manager stabbed to death

New Delhi, June 4
A car showroom manager was stabbed to death and his elder brother critically injured in west Delhi by two drunken tailors following an argument, the police said today.

Manoj, 25, manager of Skoda Auto Showroom in Moti Bagh, and his brother Jagbir, 27, a property dealer, were stabbed outside their house in the Nihal Vihar area of west Delhi on Friday night, the police said.

The assailant tailors, identified as Nadeem and Mohsin, attacked the two brothers after they objected to their using abusive language and creating a nuisance near their house, the police said.

"The victims were at their home on Friday night when they heard two men using abusive language loudly near their house. They came out and found that they were drunk. The two brothers asked them to leave and an argument ensued. The drunken men left telling them they will return to settle the scores," said additional commissioner of police V. Renganathan.

The tailors returned after 20 minutes and resumed the argument, during which the two victims were stabbed, the police said.

"A hunt is on to nab Nadeem and Mohsin," added Renganathan. IANS

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CNG rate goes up by 50 paise

New Delhi, June 4
After petrol, price of compressed natural gas (CNG) has been increased by Rs 0.50 per kg, the second hike in rates in as many months.

Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), a joint venture of state-run GAIL India and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), hiked CNG price in Delhi by Rs 0.50 per kg and in neighbouring Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad by Rs 0.55 per kg.

"The new consumer price of Rs 29.80 per kg in Delhi and Rs 33.40 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad would be effective from midnight tonight," the company said in a statement here.

Last month, state-owned oil firms had hiked petrol price by a steep Rs 5 per litre in view of rise in cost of raw material.

CNG price were last hiked on April 3 when IGL raised rates by Rs 0.30 per kg.

IGL managing director Rajesh Vedvyas said the rates had been hiked because of increase in cost of input .

Besides the government controlled gas and fuel from Reliance Industries' KG-D6 fields, both of which are priced at USD 4.20 per million British thermal unit, IGL also buys higher priced imported LNG to meet the demand in Delhi and its adjoining cities. The increase in price of LNG has led to the hike in CNG rates. Vedvyas said the increase would have marginal impact on the running cost of CNG vehicles.

"Despite the aforesaid prices increase, CNG would still offer 66 per cent savings towards the running cost when compared to petrol driven vehicles at the current level of prices. When compared to diesel driven vehicles the economics in favour of CNG at revised price would be 21 per cent," he said. PTI

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Hot Sunday likely

New Delhi, June 4
Delhiites experienced a hot sunny day today with a maximum temperature of 40.6 C and there is no respite likely from the scorching heat over the weekend, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) here.

The maximum temperature tomorrow is likely to remain above 40 C, an official said.

Today, the maximum temperature was 40.6 C, a notch below average. The minimum temperature was 26 C, two notches below average, said the IMD official.

The maximum temperature tomorrow is likely to be around 42 c and the minimum temperature will hover around 26 C the official added.

"The sky will remain clear on Sunday and the day will be warm," the official said. IANS

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IGNOU, Chinese varsities to share study programme
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 4
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is all set for a prolonged interaction and exchange with prominent Chinese universities. IGNOU signed a Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with three Chinese universities recently.

The three institutions are the Open University of Hong Kong, Human Normal University and Qingdao Technological University.

IGNOU vice-chancellor PR Ramanujan said, "We have entered into a very profitable exchange with three prominent Chinese institutes and certain areas of common interest have been identified. Naturally, following the MoU there will be a sharing of research, course material and a lifelong exchange will be encouraged. Our students and faculty will also broaden their horizons by visiting China and Chinese faculty and students from these universities will be visiting our campus."

"The Chinese varsities will start a cooperative programme with IGNOU in teaching, scientific research, faculty and exchange of students, books, learning resources and magazines," Prof Ramanujan added. According to the agreement, faculty from IGNOU can teach in the Chinese universities under an exchange programme and vice-versa.

Under this arrangement, development and sharing of course material, research and services for life long learning shall be a major area of mutual work among IGNOU and the partner universities. The universities will start a cooperative programme with IGNOU in teaching, scientific research, faculty and student exchange.

The universities may accept professors from both the institutes as exchange of teachers to teach in their universities for the period mutually agreed upon. They may accept self-financed students from IGNOU to study the Chinese language, culture, history, fine arts and other related subjects.

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Noida to observe Guru Arjan Devs martyrdom today
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 4
The 405th martyrdom day of the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev will be observed in Noida's main gurdwara in Sector 18 tomorrow 5 from 6.30 am to 10 pm.

Elaborate programmes have been drawn up by the gurdwara committee for a befitting commemoration of the Guru's sacrifice. Guru Arjan Dev is known for his two outstanding contributions -- compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib, which includes the Gurbani of the first five Gurus of the Sikh faith as well as the contributions of 36 saints, Bhagats and Sufi poets and the second is Guru's unparalleled Shahidi.

Well-known singers of Gurbani and scholars in Sikh theology from different places have been invited to present Gurbani Keertan and thought-provoking views on the circumstances of the execution of great leader.

Among those who will present their Shabad Keertan are Bhai Lakhwinder Singh, Hazoori Ragi from Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar, Bhai Mukhtiar Singh Hazoori Ragi, Bhai Aman Deep Singh Hazoori Ragi, Bhai Onkar Singh from Una and Bhai Amritpal Singh from Sangrur.

Giani Gurpreet Singh, Head Granthi, and Giani Ranjit Singh, Head Granthi, Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, will present their views on the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev at the hands of the Mughal Governor on the banks of the river Ravi in Lahore in 1606.

The morning session will be from 6.30 am to 2 pm and the evening Dewaan will be from 7 pm to 10.15 pm. Guru ka langar will be served at the conclusion of both the Dewaans.

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Kotla community centre to be revamped
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 4
Deputy Mayor Anil Sharma today announced that the MCD would make Kotla Mubarakpur Community Centre double story. This is being done following the demand of residents of the area.

The residents demanded that the single story community centre was not adequate to meet requirement of the area. They demanded addition of a floor to the existing one-story building.

Having seen the need of the area people, the Deputy Mayor took detailed report of the community centre and ordered for the construction of another floor. He also did inspection of sanitary conditions, maintenance of roads and streets and horticulture works.

He found that a few parks were not properly maintained due to the lack of tubewells. These were either not working or needed to be provided. He directed officials of the Horticulture Department to ensure proper water system within 30 days.

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Nithari witness turns hostile

Ghaziabad, June 4
A prosecution witness appearing in a case related to the Nithari killings turned hostile today during cross examination.

Neelam, a witness in the case of the murder of Badi Payal, 21, retracted her previous statement and refused to identify sub-inspector Simran Kaur, an accused in the case along with Moninder Singh Pandher and Surender Kohli, CBI counsel JP Sharma said today.

Sharma said special judge AK Singh asked the witness if she would want to record her statement in person, but she still went back on her previous version.

Kaur was in-charge of Nithari chowki during the time the killings are alleged to have taken place. PTI

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Support for Ramdev or outing?

Baba Ramdev's movement against corruption at the historic Ramlila Grounds is unique. People from various states have descended on the ground with their baggage, treating the event as an outing.

Rajbir Singh from Punjab said attending the event had served two purposes for him-- outing as well as participation in the movement. Singh has come with a group of ten people from Ferozpur district.

During the day, he visited historic places and major markets, and in the evening, entered the Ramlila Grounds where all arrangements for food and lodging have been made for the supporters. He said he would participate in the campaign for a day and then leave for Punjab.

Fast in winter, cop suggests Baba

The hunger strike by Baba Ramdev is giving headaches not only to the government, but also the Delhi police which is finding it difficult to cope with the challenge during the peak summer season.

While the top police officials hold meetings at the PHQ every evening to chalk out their strategy, the constables and head constables present at the Ramlila Grounds are literally sweating it out.

A sturdy Jat constable from Haryana said he did not mind the movement, but his only grouse was that the Baba should have done it in winter!

He said holding the agitation in winter would have been better not just for him, but also for the Baba and his followers, as it was easier to fast in cold weather.

SCs no silences DU teachers

After the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the issue of proposed semester system at Delhi University, the protesting pockets in the teaching community have suddenly gone silent. With nowhere to go and no options left, the teachers are lying low as they know there isn't much that they can do now.

Teachers in the university have been protesting against the implementation of semester system at the undergraduate level for over two years now.

Even though all hurdles have been cleared for the enforcement of the system, the structure of the new system is still not concrete. Even worse, the admission season is to begin on June 15, but the semsterised syllabi for many courses have still not been put up on the DU website.

Parking woes at Jamia

Appearing in entrance exams for Jamia Millia Islamia has become a harrowing task for students and their parents as there is no arrangement for parking outside the university campus. Those accompanying the students to the university have to park vehicles on the roadsides, causing traffic jam during the peak hours. A major traffic jam is expected tomorrow when thousands of students will come to the campus for the BEd entrance test.

Jamia's BEd course is quite reputed and people from far-off places come here for admission. The university's Faculty of Education, which runs the BEd programme, is the first institution in the country to be awarded the status of Institute of Advanced Studies in Education.

(Contributed by Syed Ali Ahmed, Sandeep Yadav, Jyoti and Charu Singh)

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