|Sunday, February 13, 2000,
Passengers drugged, looted
Condition on PTI quashed
crown has not changed me: Priyanka
18 labourers drugged, duped of
Hooch claims two lives
7 hurt in clash over land
Another BJP rebel candidate
HUDA union's call to stop work
Passengers drugged, looted
AMBALA, Feb 12 Tea and biscuits were used to drug and loot 18 train passengers of their savings and belongings.
The passengers, most of them who eke out a living doing manual labour, were travelling by Jansewa Express when they fell unconscious after taking tea and biscuits. They had boarded the train at Jalandhar and it was only at Ambala cantonment station this morning at 5.25 that the incident came to light.
The 18 passengers were travelling in two compartments of Jansewa Express. When some passengers boarded the train at Ambala, they noticed that the passengers in their compartment were lying unconscious. They immediately informed the train guard that passengers were lying in an unconscious state.
It was then that the police was called and the doctors were informed. All the 18 passengers are hospitalised. While five passengers are in Ambala cantonment Civil Hospital, 13 passengers are in Ambala City hospital.
Two persons of the group Jeeten Mukhia and Sanjay Vishwakarma did not fall prey to the drugging. Jeeten Mukhia told the police that he was aware of such incidents and decided not to partake the biscuits and the tea.
The other person Sanjay Vishwakarma told the police that he had only taken tea but had avoided the biscuits. He said that he took the tea seeing other co-passengers accepting the tea. Sanjay did not fall fully unconscious and he told the police that he could make out that the train had passed the Ludhiana station.
Harender, a resident of Gorakhpur, who had just recovered consciousness, said that they were given tea and biscuits by a group of people who hailed from their region. I work at Nawashahr and I was going home. I was having money which I had saved. The group looted us, he said.
Still in a drowsy state,
Harender said that about 25 to 30 minutes after taking
the tea and biscuits, he had felt extremely sleepy and
fell unconscious. It was only after reaching Ambala
hospital that he regained his senses. He said that the
tea had tasted different but he had not suspected any
Condition on PTI quashed
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 The Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday quashed the condition imposed by the Haryana government on Mr Hardip Singh Dhillon, a physical training instructor (PTI) at Krishan Ayurvedic College, Kurukshetra, that he would not demand the UGC or revised pay scale.
Mr Justice J.S. Narang, who handed down this order, directed the respondent-college to grant the UGC scale to the petitioner with arrears.
The Judge ruled: "Carry out these directions within three months from the date the respondent-college receives a copy of this order. If these directions are not carried out within three months, the petitioner shall be entitled to interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum. The interest shall be recovered from the salary of the person responsible for causing the delay."
The petitioner was appointed a physical training instructor on February 16, 1974, on an ad hoc basis in the scale of Rs 250-500 which was later revised to Rs 700-1250. His services were later regularised.
In 1980 the college was taken over by the Haryana Government. The petitioner was absorbed in the college as a PTI with effect from April 1, 1980. In all government colleges in the state and government aided colleges, the post of physical training instructor was designated as Director of Physical Education.
The scale of the
Director of Physical Education was revised to Rs
700-1600. The petitioner made a representation to the
Director of Ayurveda, Haryana. The Director recommended
his case to the government that the petitioner possessed
the requisite qualifications. The government agreed to
redesignate the petitioner as Director of Physical
Education on condition that he would not demand the UGC
scale. He also made another representation which was not
even replied to by the government.
The crown has not changed
AMBALA, Feb 12 Dare to dream? The new Femina Miss India World, Priyanka Chopra, did just that and won the coveted beauty pageant.
The graceful beauty queen who had come to Ambala to meet her grandparents after winning the crown said that although she was never keen for modelling, I always felt like a princess. Specially after Sushmita Sen was crowned Miss Universe, I had this secret desire to become like her.
Priyanka Chopra, who is 18-year-old, said: I had even made a collage of Sushmita Sen in my room. She was, one could say, a role model for me. However, for this beauty pageant I had not decided, she added.
I had come back from Boston when my portfolio was prepared. My family members saw the advertisement for the beauty pageant in Femina and they entered my name. I was sitting at home one fine day when a call came. I picked up the phone and was told that I had been selected and had to go to Delhi for the preliminary round. I did not have any clue about what the person was talking about. It was only later I learnt that my family members had quietly entered my name without informing me, Priyanka says with a smile.
She said that she did not have any time to prepare for the beauty pageant because everything was so sudden. Femina provided us training and that was the only training I received before the beauty contest. Interestingly I did not have butterflies in my stomach throughout the competition, the 5-8 tall beauty queen said.
Priyanka Chopra pointed out that her father Lt Col (Retd) Ashok Chopra is a very good singer and perhaps I have got the love for the stage from him. Incidentally, my first performance on stage was when I was 3-year-old. I had sung the song Kabuli wala in front of a large audience.
Giving credit to her parents for her success, she said that besides her father, her mother had supported her throughout the beauty contest. I have learnt a lot from my parents. The strength of a family and the strong moral values I have learnt from my parents who have always supported me.
Priyanka Chopra who did not manage to take her class XII board exams due to the contest says I am determined to finish my education. During the contest, there was one girl who kept studying during the breaks and she cleared her exams. I will take out time to study.
She says that she is open to offers from films, provided the role offered is good. I want to make a mark in the field of advertising. As a child, however, I had wanted to become a pilot.
Regarding preparations for the forthcoming International Beauty Contest in November, Priyanka Chopra says that she will be shifting from Bareilly to Mumbai as the training will take place there. I am planning to start my rigorous training for the contest from April onwards, she said.
To a query, Priyanka Chopra said that despite winning the crown, nothing has changed in her life. I am absolutely the same person. A number of my friends had called to congratulate me after winning the crown. I called back my friends who expressed surprise at this gesture. I told them that I am still the same person. Definitely the sense of responsibility has increased, she said.
The newly crowned beauty
queen stated that she has been fulfilling her social
obligations to a great degree. I earlier used to
visit Mother Teresas Home at Bareilly and also
Disha, which is for the handicapped children. This time
when I went there, the only difference was that I was
wearing the crown on my head. The children were extremely
happy to meet me, she said.
Random survey on Haryana poll-I
EVER since Haryana was born in 1966, the Congress has ruled the state for the longest period, providing fairly stable governments for long. It is, however, for its manner of governance in the latter phase that Haryana will always be remembered. More, for the dubious proverbial distinction it acquired in breeding a political culture which lies at the very root of political instability in the state. To utter public dismay, the urge to remain in power and then see it blossoming into political stability, has made those in power to imbibe all poor means of how best to create instability in the name of stability.
What happened as a result during the last three-year term of Mr Bansi Lal as Chief Minister exhibits only that particular trait of political behaviour which Haryana legislators have intentionally or imitationally acquired over these years. A helpless Mr Bansi Lal had to face the worst of it when he had to sack ministers and reinduct them into his collapsing ministry repeatedly in a pursuit to control those who once joined hands to form his government. In the process, not only the Bansi Lal Government tragically cave in, in its own antics the Congress also got its face badly damaged to utter public discomfiture and disgust, thus later drawing a complete blank in the parliamentary elections which followed.
The new formation with tit-bits of turncoats which came to be born was equally weak for the Chief Minister, Mr O.P. Chautala, to foresee the serious dangers of unending political uncertainties any time brimming to the full. The brute danger signals thus becoming stronger day-by-day on account of the turncoats threatening to seek greener pastures eventually compelled Mr Chautala to seek a fresh mandate from the voters for a safer shelter under the guise of a stable government. The entire scenario which led to the present assembly elections now being held has been too well known to require any more detail.
Having watched the conduct of the elected representatives through the hard lessons of instability, it is no reason to doubt that the voters are now more well-informed about their choices and compulsions. Thanks to extensive print and electronic media reach which kept them constantly alive to the day-to-day developments in the murky Haryana politics. Wiser as they should now be about the value of their voting right, a qualitative change is expected to have occurred in their overall voting behaviour and the manner they should finally decide exercising their franchise.
In the light of this back-drop, a whirlwind sample survey was conducted during the week prior to the date filing nominations involving more than 1000 voters spread over 69 constituencies. Their response was elicited systematically through a structured and personally administered questionnaire along a few parameters governing the exercise of their voting rights. The results based on statistical analysis of the response data, converted into score points on the Likert Scale, as presented here, are highly significant in showing voters views on issues guiding their voting behaviour and indicating the possible election outcome.
Frequent elections held before the due date result in serious disruption in developmental activities, avoidable social tensions, waste of public money, and even provide an easy platform for the defection game to be played and re-played. Interestingly, the voters in very large majority reaching upto 86 per cent are aware of all such evils of frequent elections. Waste of public money is a subject of extreme concern for them, close on the heels being the normal development process which gets painfully arrested. They also admit that frequent elections cause social tensions and do irreparable damage to social harmony.
While elections are considered a necessary evil as such, those who do not mind the phenomenon of frequent elections repeating the way it does, take it as an opportunity which helps return a party of their choice to power. Amazingly, such voters support repeated elections even in the hope that they will bring about stability in governance and conduct of the normal business of the state. It has also been argued that fresh elections also provide renewed focus on public issues.
It clearly emerges that voters can no longer be taken for a ride and they know what exactly ought to guide their voting behaviour. Importantly, they take past performance of a candidate as the most relevant factor in the matter, followed, almost in equal importance, by ones commitment to public service. While they do concede the role of money and muscle power in determining the election outcome, the question of ones commitment to party ideology takes a back seat in deciding who votes for whom. Even though Haryana is taken to be a caste-ridden state, the caste factor has not been held out as an important element in determining voting decisions.
Voters perceptions on major issues relevant in the context of the current Assembly elections offer important leads to be picked up in canvassing by the candidates. However, so decisive are the voter preferences that these do not let any scope for deviations according to the contestants party affiliations. Conscious as they are about the need for overall development, the voters want and consider it to be the most important issue in the Assembly elections. Power shortage comes quite close as the next important plank, followed by the need for a stable government as an issue of not much less concern.
The question of law and order is not revealed as an issue of high priority despite this being always echoed as a serious lapse in governance by any government. Curiously enough, solving the long-pending SYL imbroglio has not been noticed as a point of serious agenda in the current elections. Nor has the voters, in their best wisdom, accorded much recognition to the issue of free power to agriculture or the need to broaden the OBC base to include more castes in its fold. Obviously, the voters take these issues as politically motivated and refuse to be driven into any vicious game over any such promises.
The voters have rated politicians at their worst in engaging themselves in all ingenious corrupt practices. They are taken as least dedicated to public cause and are viewed highly lacking in their commitment to any political ideology. They have been further accused of being dedicated only to self-interest, as also most unmindful of using the caste-card for petty gains. Still more seriously wanting on being elected, have the politicians been found in their real task of participating in assembly debates.
The results presented would appear to be hardly indicating any clear trends in favour or against any individual or a political party facing the electorate. So strong appear to be the reactions of the voters that even the coming days of canvassing do not seem to help much in changing their perceptions.
Fight for Jat supremacy
ROHTAK, Feb 12 Although 13 candidates are in the fray from the Kiloi Assembly constituency, the fight is virtually between the PCC chief and Congress candidate Bhupinder Singh Hooda and INLD nominee Dharam Pal Singh.
The outcome of the electoral battle being fought in this pre-dominantly rural constituency will have a far-reaching impact on the political scene in the state.
Besides deciding the political future of Mr Hooda, the result will also decide as to who will fill the vacuum caused in the Jat heartland with the exit of Mr Devi Lal from state politics Mr Om Prakash Chautala or Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who hails from the constituency.
With the stakes high for both Mr Chautala and Mr Hooda, the two parties are not leaving anything to chance.
The Kiloi constituency is considered a stronghold of the INLD. Barring the 1991 elections, the Congress has never won from this constituency since 1972. Mr Hooda made unsuccessful attempts to enter the Vidhan Sabha from this constituency in the 1982 and 1987 elections.
Mr Krishna Murti Hooda was the lone Congress nominee who was elected from this constituency in 1991, but he lost to the INLD (then Samata Party) candidate in the 1996 assembly elections. He was not given the ticket this time as he is no more an "active worker" of the party. Mr Krishna Murti has extended support to the INLD candidate, Mr Dharam Pal.
The INLD candidate, Mr Dharam Pal, is contesting his first election to the Vidhan Sabha.
Interestingly, all political parties have changed their players. While the Congress has fielded its Pradesh Congress Chief, the INLD has denied ticket to its sitting MLA, Mr Kishan Hooda, and nominated Mr Dharam Pal Singh. The HVP, too, has allocated its ticket to Dr Ranbir, a resident of Polangi village.
Haryanas plea on central forces
GURGAON, Feb 12 The Haryana Government has sought 50 companies of paramilitary forces for the Assembly poll scheduled for February 22.
The Election Commission has assured the state that it will intervene with the Centre to provide "substantial central forces to supplement the local police to ensure a free and fair election.
The Chief Election Commissioner, Dr M.S. Gill, during his visit here on February 8 to take stock of the poll-related preparedness with senior state officials, expressed satisfaction with the arrangements and urged the authorities to ensure that the election-related machinery was not only neutral, but also perceived to be one.
Dr Gill told reporters that Haryana had a good record in terms of holding fair elections.
However, he cautioned that he would hold the deputy commissioners and the superintendents of police concerned accountable if there was any report of irregularities in the conduct of the elections.
According to observers, the deployment of more central forces will check possible misuse of official machinery and will also take care of the law and order problem, if any.
The general feeling is that with reports of a stiff contest between the INLD-BJP and the Congress and with stakes high or both sides, violence on the polling day in certain pockets cannot be ruled out.
18 labourers drugged, duped of cash
AMBALA, Feb 12 (UNI) Eighteen Nepali and Bihari migrant labourers, travelling by Amrtisar-Barauni Jan Sewa Express, were drugged and duped of cash and valuables by unidentified persons today.
These labourers had boarded the train from Jalandhar to return to their native places. As the train reached Ambala cantonment early today, all except two of them were found unconscious. Their cash and valuables were stolen while luggage and other belongings lay scattered in the compartment.
Two of the labourers told the police that some persons had entered the coach and distributed biscuits and and some eatables to their fellowmen.
This is the second such case in the past one year. The police has registered a case.
Hooch claims two lives
FATEHABAD, Feb 12 Hooch claimed two lives here last evening. The victims, Kailash and Pramod, both aged about 18, were residents of Uttar Pradesh and were working as labourers in a factory here.
When Pramod returned home after consuming liquor, his condition started deteriorating. He vomited blood and was taken to hospital, where he died. The body of Kailash was found lying on the local Bighor road in the morning.
7 hurt in clash over land
PANIPAT, Feb 12 In an armed clash between two families over an old land dispute in Mohammadpur village of the district yesterday, seven pesons including two women, were injured. All injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital.
According to available information, there was an old enmity between the families of Mange Ram and Laxman Sharma of the village over a land dispute. However, recently an agreement was reportedly reached between them with the help of some influential persons of the village.
But when Laxman Sharma started constructing a wall on the disputed land yesterday, about 15 to 20 members of the Mange Ram group allegedly attacked Laxman and his family members with lathis and other sharp-edged weapons and demolished the wall.
The family members of Laxman Sharma also retaliated. In the clash, Narender, Pawan, Kishan Chand and Bala Devi from Laxman's side were seriously injured. From Mange Ram's group, Gorav Sharma, Sudesh Rani, Jai Bhagwan and Sanjiv Sharma were injured.
Another BJP rebel candidate expelled
CHANDIGARH, Feb 12 (PTI, UNI) The BSP today expelled a rebel party candidate from Yamunanagar, Mr Ashok Sharma.
The BJP state president, Mr O.P. Grover, expelled Mr Sharma, a former Youth Congress general secretary from the party for six years.
Mr Sharma is contesting against the official party candidate and a former minister, Dr Kamala Verma.
The BJP had on February
8 expelled another rebel candidate, a former municipality
president of Ambala city, Mr Nirmal Vij, who was opposing
the party's official candidate, Ms Reena Chhibber, for
the Ambala constituency.
HUDA union's call to stop
SONEPAT, Feb 12 The Joint Action Committee of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Karamchari Union today gave a call to its members to stop work from February 15, if the state government or the HUDA authorities fail to accept their demands.
According to a press note issued by the union here, Mr R.K. Nagar, president of the state unit, will also go on an indefinite strike on February 15 to force the state government as well as the HUDA authorities to fulfil all demands of the agitating employees.
The main demands of the
union, among other things, include the regularisation of
the services of all ad hoc and daily wage employees who
had completed 240 days' service, revoking of the
promotion orders issued by the superintending engineers
of the Faridabad and Rohtak circles and the grant of
pension to HUDA employees on a par with other government
BSP to back
4-day drive for
Shot in the arm
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