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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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MCD poll: EC plans drive to draw voters
New Delhi, March 11
The Election Commission (EC) is looking forward to bring special voter participation campaign before the polling for the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD), which is scheduled to take place on April 15.

List of free symbols released
New Delhi, March 11
The Delhi State Election Commission has released a list of 87 free symbols for independent candidates to choose for fighting the municipal polls which are to be held on April 15 for the three municipal corporations in the national Capital.

Hit by truck, auto driver dies
New Delhi, March 11
A 40-year-old autorickshaw driver was killed and two of his passengers were severely injured when a truck rammed into the autorickshaw under the IP flyover at ITO in the wee hours today.
A loaded truck that hit an auto at Vikas Marg, near ITO, on Saturday night in New Delhi on Sunday A loaded truck that hit an auto at Vikas Marg, near ITO, on Saturday night in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui


EARLIER STORIES



Anilís death not linked to caste: AIIMS students
New Delhi, March 11
Amidst uproar over the demand for a probe into the alleged suicide of an undergraduate student at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a rational reaction that emerged from many among the protesting lot, was that Anil's death was not caste-related.

Members of the Sikh community take part in a turban-tying competition to mark Hola Mohalla in east Delhi on Sunday
Members of the Sikh community take part in a turban-tying competition to mark Hola Mohalla in east Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

People pay tributes to those killed in the Japan tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster on their first anniversary during a candlelight vigil at India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday
People pay tributes to those killed in the Japan tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster on their first anniversary during a candlelight vigil at India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Copís wife commits suicide
New Delhi, March 11
A Delhi police head constable's wife, who was reportedly mentally ill, allegedly committed suicide by slitting her throat with a stone-cutter at her residence in Burari in the afternoon yesterday.

Railway official hangs himself
New Delhi, March 11
A 31-year-old railway official allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in GTB Enclave last night. The deceased identified as Sachin Kumar Walia, a Class III employee of the railway sector.

Though rare in kids, glaucoma damages vision
New Delhi, March 11
Even as glaucoma-a diseased condition in which the optic nerve is affected resulting in irreversible damage to vision if not caught early-is uncommon among children, parents whose kids are seen with watering eyes, photophobia or sensitivity to light need to watch out and seek expert medical advice at the earliest.

Light rain likely today
New Delhi, March 11
The bright and sunny afternoon today which provided the feel of summer to Delhiites is expected to cool them down tomorrow with light rain, said the officials of IMD department.





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MCD poll: EC plans drive to draw voters
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
The Election Commission (EC) is looking forward to bring special voter participation campaign before the polling for the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD), which is scheduled to take place on April 15.

The EC will launch an awareness campaign in order to draw more and more people for casting their votes. The campaign will be launched a week before the polls. The commission will send individual letters to the electorate, requesting them to use their right. The commission plans to organise a walkathon, street plays, and use the electronic media to send across its message.

"We will conduct a special voter participation campaign. Right now we are busy carrying out restructuring in the poll list and updating the software to get everything ready on time," said EC Rakesh Mehta.

With the campaign, the EC is confident of raising the voting percentage to 60, which was mere 42 per cent in the last municipal elections. The civic elections will witness a total of over 12,000 polling stations in 2,700 buildings.

There are 272 councillor seats in the new civic structure that comprises North, South and the East MCDs. Half of the seats are reserved for women. "We will have unprecedented staff presence on ground. We estimate the number to be around 70,000," said a senior election commission official.

The commission will work with the police to identify vulnerable polling booths, security requirement and training centres for poll officials.

The commission will also try and work out the poll expenditure ceiling per candidate. "We will take the inflation and related issues into an account. In the past, the limit was Rs 1.5 lakh per candidate. This time it will go up," the official said.

With a total of 68 returning officers, 7,500 booth-level officers and 34 expenditure observers will be deputed across the city. The EC is expected to spend somewhat around Rs 25 crore on poll related arrangements.

State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta announced the poll dates a day after the Delhi High Court dismissed a petition that challenged the new reservation formulae of the State Election Commission.

The commission also said that there would be proper check on the abuse of liquor and money power during the polls.

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List of free symbols released
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
The Delhi State Election Commission has released a list of 87 free symbols for independent candidates to choose for fighting the municipal polls which are to be held on April 15 for the three municipal corporations in the national Capital.

The free symbols include signs like batsman, cauliflower, grapes, dish antenna, etc. The candidates of the six national parties - Congress, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPI (M) - will retain their symbols.

However, the Election Commission (EC) has not recognised any state party for Delhi and parties recongnised in other states can get symbols if there are no other claimants.

According to the rules of the EC, in case more than one state party having the same "reserve" symbol, choose the same "reserve" symbol, it shall be allotted to a candidate of a state party by draw of lot and in no other manner.

"All or any other state party whose candidate does not get the 'reserve' symbol shall be allotted a free symbol by the returning officer in preference to the independent candidate," the EC rules stated.

As it has appeared in case of the Panthers Party which has sought cycle symbol, the one it had been allotted in Jammu and Kashmir as well. However, the Samajwadi Party also had the same symbol and if both parties stick to their demand, then there will be a draw of lot.

The other free symbols include cupboard, balloon, bottle, cake, carrom board, chessboard, coconut, electric pole, envelop, frock, frying pan, funnel, harmonium, helmet, ice cream, nail cutter.

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Hit by truck, auto driver dies
Two passengers of the auto critically injured
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
A 40-year-old autorickshaw driver was killed and two of his passengers were severely injured when a truck rammed into the autorickshaw under the IP flyover at ITO in the wee hours today. A police official said that the truck was coming from Sarai Kale Khan and heading towards Tis Hazari Court.

"The driver, Anil Yadav (27) was unaware of the roads of Delhi and so he asked someone for directions to Tis Hazari Court. He was supposed to take the IP flyover to reach his destination, but instead used the road below it. He drove straight ahead when he was supposed to take a right turn. Yadav didn't see the autorickshaw and rammed into it," added the official.

The accident occurred at the intersection under the IP flyover at 2 am. The autorickshaw driver, Jagdish Mehto (40) died on the spot. His two passengers, Ganga Singh (21) and Dwarka Prasad (25) were critically injured. They were rushed to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, where they are being treated.

The police has informed Mehto's family at Muzaffarpur in Bihar. The owner of the autorickshaw identified him. The postmortem would be conducted tomorrow at the MMC mortuary.

Singh and Prasad belong to Bageshwar in Uttrakhand. They are working as peons for a private company in Karol Bagh.

The police has arrested Yadav who is a resident of Sultanpuri in Uttar Pradesh. A case under Indian Penal Code section 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), section 304 A (causing death by negligence) and section 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) has been registered against him.

Yadav was driving the truck which has a Haryana registration number plate.

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Anilís death not linked to caste: AIIMS students
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
Amidst uproar over the demand for a probe into the alleged suicide of an undergraduate student at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a rational reaction that emerged from many among the protesting lot, was that Anil's death was not caste-related.

"The incident should not be confused with caste leading to the dilution of the purpose," said Zeeshan, general secretary of the undergraduate students union of AIIMS.

Rather it is the lapse of the AIIMS administration in addressing the concerns of students, especially those who make a transition from regional medium of instructions to curriculum in English language, said Resident Doctors' Association general secretary Dr Shivani Pahwa.

In this context, in 2007, the Thorat Committee appointed for enquiring into the allegations of caste discrimination of students at the premier institute in 2006 had put forth several recommendations for the welfare of the students from backward areas.

Among them, a special cell for the reserved category students was one along with English language classes to help the students from the remote areas to cope with the changed scenario.

"Here the atmosphere is competitive and many times students are unable to adjust. A cell was thus proposed, but that never came on ground and even the English-speaking classes supposed to be held for helping out the weak students, are not regular after the initial few months," said Dr Shivani.

AIIMS sub-dean Dr Rakesh Yadav said, "Annually 44 classes are designated to take place between April and May next year and mostly students do not come to these classes."

"It is not about discrimination due to caste but special attention to students who come from weak backgrounds. We hope that with the proposed students and residents' welfare cell, there would be some solution to the problem," said resident doctor Dr Bhowmik Shah.

Sharing the same view, many senior doctors too feel that the media was too narrow in projecting it as discrimination on caste ground. They suggested that students who find it difficult have to be given some special classes.

Meanwhile, the students and resident doctors have suspended their stir over the inquiry into Anil's death till March 16 when the institute's statutory finance committee is supposed to decide on the increase in the ex gratia for Anil.

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Copís wife commits suicide
The victim was undergoing treatment for her mental illness
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
A Delhi police head constable's wife, who was reportedly mentally ill, allegedly committed suicide by slitting her throat with a stone-cutter at her residence in Burari in the afternoon yesterday.

The deceased identified as Meenakshi (36) was undergoing treatment for her mental illness, according to sources.

Her husband, Tej Singh is posted as a head constable with the North-East District police. Meenakshi was married to Singh 15 years ago and they have three children.

The police was informed about the incident about 6.15 pm on Saturday.

When they reached Meenakshi's residence, they found her lying in a pool of blood. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced brought dead.

The police has spoken to Meenakshi's parents, who believe that there was no foul play in her death. They disclosed to the police that Meenakshi had been treated for some mental illness for the past five years.

She was presently being treated at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) and another mental hospital in Agra.

The police learnt that Meenakshi had committed suicide with a stone-cutter. On Friday, she had spoken to labourers working at her house. She asked them the technique of using the tool. Yesterday afternoon, when there was nobody at the construction site, she grabbed a stone-cutter and allegedly slit her throat with it.

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Railway official hangs himself
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
A 31-year-old railway official allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in GTB Enclave last night. The deceased identified as Sachin Kumar Walia, a Class III employee of the railway sector. He stayed with his wife, Shivali and a two-year-old daughter at Janta Flats in GTB Enclave.

Sources said that Shivali had left her GTB Enclave residence to live with her mother's family 15 days before the Holi festival. Since then, Sachin had been tense.

Last night, he allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his room at his residence. The police was informed about the incident this morning.

Sources said that Sachin probably took the extreme step due to a domestic dispute.

The police recovered a suicide note from the site of the incident. The note reads that he does not blame anyone for his action.

The police has handed over Sachin's body to his family after conducting the postmortem.

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Though rare in kids, glaucoma damages vision
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
Even as glaucoma-a diseased condition in which the optic nerve is affected resulting in irreversible damage to vision if not caught early-is uncommon among children, parents whose kids are seen with watering eyes, photophobia or sensitivity to light need to watch out and seek expert medical advice at the earliest.

During this time when children reporting with eye allergies go up with the advent of the pollinating season, the concerns go up on account of steroid-induced glaucoma, noticed usually in these children due to indiscriminate use of eye drops.

"Glaucoma though rare in children could be sight-threatening. It may be congenital or secondary due to steroidal eye-drops and its impact is more in children. If the infant is showing discomfort in seeing towards bright light, watering of eyes, hazy vision, or cornea diametrically bigger in size, treatment is a must. For children who report with allergic conjunctivitis, going for self-medication and over-the-counter drugs could be dangerous," underlined professor of ophthalmology at AIIMS' Dr R P Centre of Ophthalmic Sciences Dr Radhika Tandon.

"The two periods March-April and September-October are the time when parents need to be more cautious. Children reporting with allergies are quite common during this time and pollens are a major cause for this. Overdoing with steroids during allergies may lead to glaucoma, which, if not diagnosed on time, may affect eyesight," stressed Dr Amit Khosla from Delhi Ophthalmological Society, also a senior eye surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Considered to affect the elderly, glaucoma has a prevalence of two per cent among the general population and in children may occur secondarily due to trauma, maintained consultant ophthalmologist at Eye-Q Hospital Dr Deepa Nair.

While observing Glaucoma Week starting today, experts point out that the disease may result in more damage in terms of the number of blind years that a child may have to live. Besides, if the child complains of redness, watering or feels a gritty sensation, they may be symptoms of defects in eye or some allergy.

Hence, pre-school screening and again once the child is five years is a must to avoid any eye defect. It is important to see that schools conduct regular eye check-up for small children, added Prof Tandon.

Doctors say the right time to catch the problems of squint or refractive errors in children is at birth and once the child turns five while all those above 40 must get their eyes checked once in every two-three years and the screening has to be more frequent in case of the high-risk groups.

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Light rain likely today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
The bright and sunny afternoon today which provided the feel of summer to Delhiites is expected to cool them down tomorrow with light rain, said the officials of IMD department.

The minimum temperature today was recorded at four levels below the normal at 9.6 degree Celsius, while the maximum temperature settled at 27.6 degree Celsius, which is again one degree below normal. The sky today remained clear and bright.

"The sky will be partly cloudy towards the evening with the possibility of thundery development. Light rain can occur in some areas," said an official of the weather department. The humidity stood at 78 per cent in the morning.

The maximum and minimum temperature tomorrow will hover around 28 and 12 degree Celsius, added the IMD official. However, the maximum temperature recorded on Saturday was 26.2 degree Celsius, two notches below the average for this time of the season.

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