Sunday, October 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Delhi slums to burst at the seams by 2011
One crore slum-dwellers projected
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
More than one crore people could be living in sub-human conditions in the slums by the end of the decade if the unplanned growth of the National Capital Region (NCR) continues, urban planners associated with the NCR Planning Board (NPB) have said.

Sources in the NPB told The Tribune that various civic agencies of the Capital would be largely responsible for this horrendous state of affairs. “Non-adherence to the Regional Plan has already driven the Capital to the brink of a breakdown, bringing the services and utilities under severe strain from more than one crore people (the current population in the city),” a member of the planning board said.

Assuming the current rate of growth, the population of the Capital would reach the two crore-mark by 2011, with almost one crore people living in slums, putting a severe burden on the civic infrastructure.

The National Capital Region covers an area of 30,242 sq km, which includes the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi (1,483 sq km), and parts of the three adjoining states of Haryana (13,143 sq km), Rajasthan (4,493 sq km) and Uttar Pradesh (10,583 sq km).

The core objective of the NCR development plan, popularly known as the Regional Plan 2001, is to reduce the population pressure on Delhi and achieve a balanced and harmonised development of the entire region, through the creation of physical and economic infrastructure.

The main thrust of the plan is to decongest Delhi by encouraging over 20 lakh people to seek jobs and residences in nearby areas, by stimulating accelerated development of the towns and complexes designated “priority towns” in the NCR.

Sources, however, maintain that there is already a mismatch between the Regional Plan for the NCR and the Master Plan for Delhi, when one considers the projected population in the Capital for 2001. Whereas the former has assigned a population of 112 lakh, after factoring in the anticipated defection of 20 lakh people to the towns in the NCR through regional development programmes, the latter has projected a figure of 128.1 lakh.

Further, whereas the Regional Plan moots the development of only 18,000 hectares for future urban use, the Master Plan proposes use of 24,000 hectares under the euphemism `urban extension’. “Such excessive urban development would act as an invitation to migrants to flock to the Capital, thus adding to the woes of the city,” a Delhi-based city planner said.

Sources observe that there is a growing concern among planners within the official establishment about the blatant use of ‘non-urbanisable’ areas for new projects, such as Dwarka Phases II, III, and IV, Narela Sub-City, PVC Market at Tikri Kalan and even the Capital Complex of the Delhi Government on the extended bed of the Yamuna, which could have grave repercussions.

Moreover, the Regional Plan for the NCR envisages a restrictive policy in terms of investment and employment in the industry in Delhi and wants all new industries to be located in the NCR Priority Towns. But, the Delhi Master Plan provides for development of a total of 1,798 hectares (4,441 acres) of industrial area in Delhi Urban Extensions.

“Rather than restricting the growth of industries, its proliferation – mostly unauthorised in non-conforming areas – has been allowed over the last decade, so much that between 1986 and 1996 alone their number virtually doubled from 65,000 to 1,26,000,” a source said.

Independent observers say that as part of the process of dispersal of economic activities beyond the NCT of Delhi, concrete linkages must be established between the core economic activities to be developed in various townships in NCR and those activities which are identified for relocation out of Delhi.


Post-anthrax, even dengue has health officials worried
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
Is it going to be another outbreak of dengue in Delhi like that in 1996 when over 400 lives were lost to the disease? And, is it a strand of the bio-terrorism threat that is rearing its head in parts of the world? Health officials and experts in the Capital are splitting their head over these questions.

With yet another suspected case of dengue surfacing at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where a woman was admitted on Thursday, health officials fear the number of people afflicted with the fever could exceed 150 and may spurt further, if preventive measures are not taken immediately. What has them worried is the recent outbreak of the disease in Rajasthan and parts of Uttar Pradesh bordering Delhi.

The Director of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Dr K. K. Datta, told The Tribune that he had written to the Delhi Government warning against a possible outbreak of dengue fever and advised the authorities concerned to monitor the situation. “We may have to live with dengue fever,” he told this correspondent, “but we can certainly prevent deaths.”

According to Dr Datta, this time, the incidence of the disease was significant for other reasons as well. With the spectre of bio-terrorism looming large – since the anthrax scare has proved to be real not only in the United States but also in India -- the health officials are in a predicament as to whether the outbreak is natural or intentional.

“The problem,” as he put it, “is that information relating to biological agents and germ warfare is not well documented in India. The recent cases of dengue fever reported from Rajasthan, parts of Uttar Pradesh and even Delhi might not actually be part of a design or caused by engineered pathogens. However, it might not be so the next time round.”

Although there is no conclusive proof that biological warfare has indeed been introduced in the country in the past, he said all the factors were very much in place during the 1996 outbreak of dengue fever that claimed several lives.

“Although epidemiological studies did not offer any answers, the dengue strain behind the 1996 outbreak showed matches with that of a country in our neighbourhood but it could not be conclusively proved whether it was deliberate or natural.” Also, the Siliguri encephalitis outbreak of February, which claimed more than 40 lives, fell in the suspicious category and had baffled researchers, he said.

Among the recommendations of a group of experts, whose report is pending before the government, is augmenting the National Disease Surveillance Network and establishing a strong public health system. Referring to the general lack of awareness among the medical fraternity, a senior health official, requesting anonymity, told this newspaper that even at the level of directors-general of health services, there was very little appreciation of the various dimensions to the issue. Interestingly, while the number of medical colleges in the country has risen appreciably, there is only one institute – All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health – that is engaged in the capacity building of public health services and training of personnel.


AK-47 rounds found buried in field
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
The police today seized a cache of ammunition, including five AK-47 rifle magazines, containing 144 rounds, and five hand grenades from a field in Ishaheri village near Najafgarh in south-west Delhi. The top brass of the Delhi Police fear that the arms may have been concealed by terrorists for a possible strike in the future.

The ammunition, with government regulation markings ‘8 GR 84,’ normally issued to soldiers and par-military forces, was found in a bag by Mr Satish Chand and an agriculture worker, Mr. Prem Parkash, while they were working in former’s field, around 1.30 pm.

The police was informed immediately. Senior police officers and the bomb disposal squad were rushed to the spot. The entire field was cordoned off, even as hundreds of villagers gathered to see the ammunition.

A dog squad also reached the spot, but could not pick up the scent, indicating that the bag must have been buried some time back. The ammunition was carefully wrapped, which proved that that it had been concealed by a professional, or someone familiar with the use of weapons, the sources said.

The ammunition has been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The description of the ammunition and the distinctive numbers have also been intimated to the Army as well as par-military authorities, which will now tally it with the master list of weapons and ammunition reported missing by armed personnel. The police are also inquiring whether the ammunition was possibly dumped by a deserter.

A senior police officer said that there was a possibility that the ammunition might have some link to the slaying of a guard at the nearby CRPF training camp in Jharoda Kalan. The guard was sprayed with bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle.


It’s back to stone age for govt schools
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, October 27
It is a proposal aimed at saving the schools and the exchequer some green wads. As the wooden benches and desks in classrooms are easily damaged and cost a lot to replace, the Delhi Government has come up with an ingenious idea. It has ordered the government schools in the Capital to replace the usual wooden benches or the ones made of moulded plastic with cement ones.

The only imaginable hiccup is that the students may have a hard time concentrating while sitting on cement benches in the classroom, especially when cold creeps through their limbs in winter. But what is a small discomfort, when it is a matter of replenishing the government coffers.

The immediate provocation for the order is the fervent desire to rein in rising expenditure. In fact, the move has been initiated by Minister of Finance, Planning and Revenue Mahinder Singh Sathi.

At a meeting chaired by the minister, it was further decided that 288 schools, which were nearing completion, would also come within the ambit of the aforesaid scheme.

Though it would cost Rs 1.50 crore to implement the plan, cement benches are seen as the next best thing to repairing wooden desks and benches, which is a drain on the exchequer every year.

According to one conservative estimate, the cost of furnishing one classroom with cement desks and benches is around Rs 45,500 while that of furnishing a classroom with ordinary wooden or plastic furniture is almost double.

The Education Minister, Mr Narendra Nath, speaking to The Tribune, said: “Two schools in Delhi have already been furnished with cement desks and benches and the students are very comfortable. We have taken the decision to make use of cement furniture in other classrooms as well after several brainstorming sessions.”

When questioned about the discomfort that cement furniture may cause during winter, especially benches, the minister replied, “The desks and benches would be made of Kota stone and there would be a proper back rest. We will provide cushions or rugs in winter, so that children do not feel the cold.”

But why was cement furniture selected in the first place? “We have been receiving complaints daily that there is a shortage of desks and chairs in the schools. Whenever we provide wooden furniture, the children break it. It is a cumbersome and expensive task to repair or replace furniture every time it is damaged. Plastic chairs could be used, but then they are not eco-friendly. We have to keep all these things in mind and that is how we zeroed in on cement furniture,” Mr Narendra Nath explained.

“How can the children sit on cement benches in winter? Comfort will be negligible and consequently it will affect their studies,” points out a public school teacher.

The decision should serve as an eye-opener for kids who fail to take care of their school property. The naughty ones beware, or your wooden perches will be replaced with cement ones.


Challans mount, so do accidents
J T Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
Imagine a bus driver, who has jumped a red light, and a scooterist without a helmet slugging it out on a busy intersection, pointing a finger at each other for violating traffic rules. This is precisely what happened on the Ring Road at Dhaula Kuan recently until a traffic constable intervened and fined both for their transgression.

The Delhi traffic police slaps approximately 12,000 challans and collects a whopping Rs 1,50,000 in a month. And most of this booty comes in the form of fine on traffic violators, usually in places like Punjabi Bagh, Kalkaji, Tilak Marg, Model Town, Hauz Khas, Dhaula Kuan and Civil Lines; at each of the aforesaid places the police daily records 350 challans. “The traffic police collects money in crores from violators by way of challans, but still the traffic is not under control. To compound matters, motorists continue to flout traffic rules with impunity,’’ said a senior officer.

According to him, “Most of the fatal accidents take place at night when heavy vehicles like trucks and buses have a tendency to accelerate. So, we take precautions, such as putting up barricades, to check the speed of vehicles and in order to nab drunken drivers.”

Nonetheless, the number of fatal as well as minor accidents has jumped this year compared to the previous. If statistics are to be believed, every month at least 150 simple accidents and 20 fatal accidents are reported from North-West district, West district and South district. The other districts, however, are reporting fewer accidents.

Interestingly, last year’s traffic analysis by the Delhi Police reveals that people from other states, who are not accustomed to the kind of traffic one witnesses in a metropolis, are more prone to accidents.

In fact, the Traffic Engineering Department has sent proposals to other agencies like the Public Works Department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Delhi Vidyut Board, the Delhi Jal Board and the Delhi Traffic Corporation on ways to improve traffic, road conditions, street lights etc.

To curb accidents, the authorities have taken several steps, such as day and night checking, mobile patrolling and radar tabs. Besides, the traffic police have commissioned a website,; the site is eliciting complaints from citizens in droves,’’ said the officer.


Suicide bid by 70-yr-old man

Ghaziabad, October 27
Frustrated over general inaction and alleged police complicity in the killing of his grandson, a 70-year-old man tried to kill himself in front of the SSP’s residence here on Thursday. The police whisked Risal Singh away as he tried to light a match after pouring kerosene on his clothes.

According to Singh, his grandson was murdered by some people from his village, Seekri Khurd; he approached the police, but they registered the FIR under a diluted section, following which the alleged killers began exerting pressure on him to settle the matter out of court. Our Correspondent


Builder mafia fans out in the Capital
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, October 27
The builder mafia, originally active in Mumbai, has spread its tentacles in the Capital, particularly in the posh localities of South Delhi.

Malviya Nagar, one of the most flourishing colonies of South Delhi for over a decade now, has seen rampant illegal constructions. Building bylaws are ignored by “almost 70 per cent of the residents, who join hands” with the builders to construct ‘skyscrapers.’

One senior official in the Union Urban Development Ministry said that this could not take place unless there’s connivance with the local authorities. The official, requesting anonymity, admitted that blatant malpractices are the order of the day when it comes to building activities in the Capital. He said there was a clear conspiracy between the owner, builder, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

“How could dwelling units with more than three stories be permitted and constructed without getting the layout plan and service plan amended from the competent authority?,” the official asked. Building by-laws are clear that only “three floors, including the ground floor,” are allowed. But a visit to Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar or Khirki Extension will reveal the falsity of such building bylaws. Newly built houses are proof of how much people care for government rules and regulations, of how fearless they are of the law.

Interestingly, the member of the Standing Committee of the MCD, Mr Jeetender Kumar Kochar is a resident of Malviya Nagar, Block E-5 where the largest number of illegal constructions have taken place. In fact, his house stands right next to a ‘skyscraper’. However, Mr Kochar explained his helplessness: “How many people can we stop? Everybody is busy constructing multi-stories houses. I cannot do anything about it.” His plea was that unless and until people start respecting the laws, nothing can be done.

Naresh Malik, secretary of the Malviya Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, said: “There are about six to seven major builders in Malviya Nagar who are creating problems for law abiding citizens. “Whatever illegal constructions are there in Malviya Nagar, is all due to the very active builder mafia in the area,” he said. He also spoke of two small-time politicians of Village Hauz Rani being involved with these builders.

S. P. Malkani, president of the RWA, said: “Such constructions put tremendous load on the various civic infrastructure. Every thing including parking, power, water and drains get affected.

Allegedly, the Junior Engineers are hand-in-glove with those involved in these illegal constructions. But they enjoy a dubious immunity. A senior DDA official said: “If we take action against junior officials, there will be none left. That officials take money is a ground reality.”

These builders have been playing havoc with the lives of lower-middle class house owners, who lack the resources to convert them into modern living units in tune with the changing times. According to sources in the building industry, the builder first entices an unsuspecting house owner to enter into a collaboration agreement with him for the development of the house. The agreement is packed with very attractive terms, with the builder usually representing a non-existent firm. However, in practice the builder goes by the “time-tested theory of double standards” – building the portions meant for the owner in a “pre-functionary way, using sub-standard workmanship and material,” even while converting his portion into palatial flats.

An unfortunate victim of Malviya Nagar said: “When the portion meant for me (the house owner) was ready for functional use, the builder stopped payment to me.

“All sorts of pressures like coercion, threat, and entreaties were used to induce me to execute the documents.” Finally, scared of continuous threats, the owner sold the house to the builder at a negligible price and now lives in a rented apartment in Malviya Nagar.

Similarly, another victim from Khirki Extension said: “This vested interest is the cause of several reported and unreported cases of property-related murders in Delhi.”

Senior police officials admitted that there have been “numerous” such cases reported in the Capital and were making all possible effort to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

However, such bureaucratic response is hardly enough for the terrorised victims of this new mafia in the Capital. Like in Mumbai earlier, if the problem of builder mafia is not addressed seriously, the fear is that the common law abiding citizens of the Capital may fall prey to this lucrative ‘business.’


Posh Vasant Kunj paddles in puddles of cattle urine
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
A dairy farm, an open drain overflowing with wastes spreading diseases and loads of health hazards. This is part of the life in the posh residential colony of South Delhi, Vasant Kunj.

The Masoodpur Dairy Farm, housing over 5,000 cattle, is located in the heart of Vasant Kunj. The cattle here produce more than “50 tonnes of dung and about 50,000 litres of urine everyday” all of which flow into the open drain situated across Sector C.

“The dairy farm was allotted the space in Masoodpur even before Vasant Kunj came up (in 1989). This part was then said to be in the outskirts of Delhi,” said Dr S. S. Kame, a resident of Sector C.

Vasant Kunj, one of the biggest colonies of Delhi, now has nearly 12,500 houses and is home to nearly 60,000 people. “The dairy farm should certainly be removed from here,” Dr Kame said.

The ‘gobar’ and urine from the dairy had been flowing through the open drains before going into the sewerage of Sector C. All this muck had been causing an unbearable stink, fouling the environment, said Mr Ajit Saluja, president of the Sector C Residents’ Welfare Association.

“It has been there for 10 long years. So many times ministers, governors and administrative officials have visited and promised so many things, but nothing has been done yet.

At least, they can cover the open drain if not remove the dairy farm from here,” he said.

“The drain is right along the road in our sector. People go there for morning and evening walks. The stink is there throughout the day. The overflowing drain poses a danger to unwary children, who while playing can fall into it,”
he added.

More dangerously, effluents from the drain overflow into the neighbouring flats at times.

“The drain always remains choked. This has led to its stagnation and consequent overflow of the effluents on to the roads.

Several times the wastes have come up to our doors,” said
Dr Kame.

“The choked drain is a great health hazard. Malaria has become very common in Vasant Kunj. The situation becomes even worse during rains,” she added.

The Superintending Engineer of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Mr R. K. Sood, said the DDA had done its job of developing the drain for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

“But the MCD refused to take over the drain after it was developed saying it has to be further extended. It was because of this conflict that no work has been done on the drain for so many years. But now we have taken over the matter and we will be making a new drain and will join it to this one.

The whole problem will be sorted out in about a year and a half,” Mr Sood said.

Mr B. P. Varma, another resident, said he had given so many suggestions to the authorities that the cow dung that was being wasted in the open drain could be made useful.

“It seems so ironic that even after explaining how authorities could produce cooking oil out of dung, they are still not taking any action,” he said.

“The best way to produce valuable resources from the waste, which is presently fouling the environment, is to create a system for collecting the cattle dung, urine etc. at suitable points in the dairy farm itself. This waste can be used to produce biogas that can be used as a fuel for cooking
in 2000 households,” explained Mr Varma.

Disappointed by the official apathy, Dr Kame has now threatened to take to the streets along with other residents if the authorities did not take prompt action.

“The government talks about keeping your coolers clean inside your homes but what about their duty? We are left with no option but aggression. And we will do it if needed,” she said.


Badkhal waits, if you can wriggle out of the traffic
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
Far from the madding crowd of Delhi is the splendid lake retreat of Badkhal, just an hour’s drive from the Capital.

An ideal weekend getaway, Badkhal Lake, 32 km from Delhi, is surrounded by Aravalli Hills. The lush-green environ, pollution-free air and the serene atmosphere provide one with peace and tranquility — a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

All these could be had only if one could get there since driving up there could be a nightmare as the Delhi-Faridabad road has some of the heaviest traffic, including a virtual bottleneck at the Ashram crossing. The traffic snarl may be over once the flyover under construction there is completed.

The lake and its surrounding is an ornithologist’s delight as several migratory birds from different parts of the country and abroad come here to spend the winter. Many bird watchers, with their specialised telescopic lenses, lay a trap for these rare and exquisite birds to capture them in their films.

The Badkhal Lake, surrounded by hills, is a man-made embankment, which holds back the waters of the lake, making it a perfect spot for water-sports.

On one inlet in the surrounding hill, there are cottages, which are small, cozy and compact. On request, one can hire a private jetty for a pleasurable boat ride. The Badkhal Lake has also been provided with a compact and cool bath complex.

Badkhal delights visitors with its accommodation wings. One could watch the scenic beauty of the landscape and lake from the luxury guestrooms. After dusk, on moonlit nights, the lake shimmers with a magic of its own. Boating here is a special attraction.

The lake is located next to Badkhal village. The lake probably got its name from the village. The area still fits the description bedakhal in Persian meaning ‘free from interference’ – it is still free from the concrete maze which have come up a few kilometers away from the lake.

Formed in a scooped natural depression in the Aravalli Hills, the lake is fed by rainwater and a small rivulet. There are a number of restaurants and motels around the lake, and a flower show is held every spring.

The lake complex came into existence in 1973. The small huts, splendid gardens in the motel area and luxurious facilities make it
a charming stay. The embankment favours picnic parties with kiosks of snack foods. A bath complex provides swimming pool and sauna facilities.


Nirankari township comes up for Samagam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
A mini-township is coming up along the Burari Road in North Delhi, where over five lakh persons are expected to attend the annual Nirankari Samagam to be observed next month.

The 54th annual Nirankari Sant Samagam would be held from November 10 to 12, Mr Kripa Sagar of the Sant Nirankari Mandal told The Tribune.

Volunteers of the Mandal are setting up tents, medical facilities, STD booths, railway booking counter and eating counters for the devotees who would stay at the tent township for three days.

The venue has been divided into seven vast grounds and devotees from different areas have been allotted the same for making all necessary arrangements including levelling, water supply, sewerage, electricity, langar, Mr Sagar said, adding that a Samagam Committee had been set up to look after the overall arrangements.

The head of the mission, Baba Hardev Singh, who inaugurated the preparations for this year’s annual meet, said that the principle objective of the Samagam is to present to the world an example of unity in diversity.

This attains its own significance in the backdrop of the prevailing situation marked by hatred and violence afflicting almost every civilization of the world, he said.

The Baba said that humanity is fragmented on various grounds and every individual, group and nation seems to be in conflict with the other.

Only saints have shown the right path, which is the path of unity and fraternity.

The Samagam started in 1948 for the first time, when devotees came to express anguish to Nirankari Baba Avtar Singh who lost his son Sajjan Singh at a young age.

Since then, the devotees have been assembling in the Capital to discuss the ways and means to spread the ideology of the Sant Nirankari’s mission.

Nirankaris believe that ego is the greatest enemy of man and ignorance its reason.

The removal of this ignorance by knowledge of God and realisation of the self is the ideology of the mission.

As a movement of spiritual awakening, the Sant Nirankari Mission dates back to 1929. Baba Buta Singh founded the mission in Peshawar to tell the masses that unless we are conscious of the Ultimate Truth, all our rites and rituals will remain unrewarded.


Panwar takes over as NCP Delhi unit president
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
Sukhbir Singh Panwar today formally took over as Nationalist Congress Party’s Delhi Unit president here in the presence of prominent party leaders, including NCP general secretary and former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma.

Mr Panwar, who came in a procession to the party’s Bishambhar Das Marg office, thanked his supporters and assured them that he would try his level best in making the organisation more active, popular and strong.

Mr Sagma, in his address said that Mr Panwar’s dynamism would create history in the coming Corporation elections in Delhi.

Mr T P Peethambaran Master, NCP general secretary, Ms Veena Nayyar, president Nationalist Mahila Congress and Haji Salamat Ullah, chairman, Minority Department of the party were among several top NCP leaders who were present on the occasion.


HUDA notice to plot owners
Our Correspondent

Faridabad, October 27
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) here has issued notices to as many as 106 owners of plots and houses in various sectors to stop using their premises for commercial activity or face action.

According to administrator, Mr Vijayendra Kumar, notices had been given after a survey by the department, in which it was found that several house owners had permitted commercial activity including building shops and offices without any prior permission. He said if the `defaulters' fail to stop such activity within stipulated period, the HUDA will start action, which include penalty and demolition.


Constable killed in road accident

A constable of the Delhi Police, Narender, was killed in an accident when a Blue Line bus hit him at Bhogal in South Delhi yesterday evening. The constable, who was posted in Delhi Armed Police, went to Bhogol to see one of his relatives in Sahi Hospital. While he was crossing the road, the Blue Line bus hit him. TNS


Dadri youth stabbed to death in Ramleela
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 27
One youth was stabbed to death while half a dozen were injured in a clash of people watching the Ramlila celebrations in Dadri town last evening. Police have arrested four youths in this connection.

According to Dadri police, Manoj, son of Chatter Sen of Gautampuri Dadri was watching Dasehra floats when some youths from Badpura picked up a quarrel with him. Both the parties used iron rods in attacks. Meanwhile, someone stabbed Manoj in the abdomen. The knife reportedly pierced his heart. He ran a few metres after assailants and then fell dead. Manoj’s brother Gyan filed a report in the Dadri Police station naming nine persons for his death.

The police have registered a case under Section 147,148 and 302.

Vinder, Sanjay, Vijender, Omen and his brother Pappu, Krishan, Satte alias Surjit and Subhash have been named in the FIR. Four have been taken into custody.

According to the spectators, the assailants were drunk and just spoiling for a fight. SP (Rural) R.P. Tyagi has visited the scene of crime and asked the police to take necessary action.

Over 200 held

More than 200 anti-social elements including a number of wanted criminals were taken into police custody yesterday to prevent any untoward incident during Dasehra celebrations in the Capital. At least 100 arrests had been made in East district and 60 in North-East. An equal number of arrests had been made in South Delhi and Central Delhi which is considered most sensitive area in the Capital.

These arrests had been made during a drive of preventive arrests launched on the occasion of Dasehra. The concentration was only on sensitive areas from where several militants have been arrested in the past.

A senior official of the Delhi Police said that this time the preventive arrest drive as launched two weeks before because of the terrorist threat. A suspected militant shot dead a policeman in CRPF Camp in Jharaudan Kalan.

A bomb like object was recovered from Nand Nagri area of North-East district and explosives were recovered from a bag near the CRPF Camp today.

Son missing

Delhi Police are still investigating a case of Sathish Malik, son of a retired Delhi Police Inspector H B L Malik, who has been missing since January 26, 1994. Till now, the police have no information about the whereabouts of Sathish.

Sathish, a resident of Karol Bagh and an employee of Bombay Merchantile Co-operative Bank, Darya Ganj, went out of his house to meet a friend on a two-wheeler.

The police have found the two-wheeler in a good condition from IP Estate. The members of Sathish's family are worried as they have not received any ransom call so far.

Sathish is married and has a son and a daughter.

Scholar clarifies

Dr Komal Singh Avtar, a member of the Dharam Parchar Committee of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee today clarified that he had only expressed the views of the majority of the Sikh community.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, he said that these were not only his personal views but also those of the majority of Sikh clergy who were concerned about the waning religious faith. However, he expressed confidence that under the present leadership of the DSGMC things would improve.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |