Friday, November 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



Villagers take on dacoits, lynch two
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 1
Armed with farm implements and lathis, angry residents of Nizampur village under the Sikandra Police station caught and beat to death two persons who were allegedly planning to loot some houses last night. Three accomplices of the hapless duo, however, managed to escape the residents’ ire, after firing at the villagers with their country-made guns.

The police said the bodies of the two persons had been sent for post-mortem examination and efforts were being made to identify them. A hunt has also been launched to trace the three persons, who are absconding.

According to the police, the suspected robbers were hiding behind bushes just outside the village waiting for an opportune time to break into the houses when they were surprised by some villagers who were returning after watering their fields late in the night.

The villagers ran to their houses and raised an alarm. They mobilised all able-bodied men and surrounded the gang. Though the gang was armed with country-made guns, the villagers attacked them with lathis and farm implements.

While two of them succumbed to their injuries, the other three managed to escape after firing at the villagers in which no one was injured, the police said. Investigations are on to identify the alleged robbers.

Noida and nearby villages have witnessed a considerable spurt in robberies and thefts of late, leading to resentment among residents who blame bad policing for the situation. There have been at least a dozen cases of robberies and thefts, some in the posh sectors of Noida.

Local residents said that criminal gangs were having a free run in the area as it was sparsely populated and houses were located at a considerable distance from one another.

The lynching of two persons yesterday was being attributed to the fury of the villagers resulting from their frustration over the deteriorating law and order situation. An irate resident, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals, said: “We are being forced to take law into our own hands as the police is doing nothing.”

The police, however, maintained that it had intensified patrolling in the area but quoted the lack of manpower as a reason for this not being effective. Senior police officers said they had introduced mobile patrolling to stem the crime rate.


Acquitted by court, quarantined by others
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Former Delhi Police officer Balbir Singh continues to be shunned by society despite the Supreme Court exonerating him in the case of assassination of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, on October 31, 1984.

“People are shying away from employing me. Maybe, they are afraid of the police or the government,” Mr Balbir Singh, who was charged with conspiracy (Section 120-B of IPC) in the assassination case, told The Tribune.

The former Sub-Inspector in the Prime Minister’s security said: “The judiciary had done justice by exonerating me of the charges. However, I was not reinstated into service as my lawyer ditched me. I was left to fend for myself. The Government did not pay me any compensation,” Mr Balbir Singh said with deep anguish.

“My only purpose of life now is to enable my children to settle down in life,” the former Sub-Inspector said, recalling the hardship faced by his four children during their growing-up years.

Recalling the exoneration of an accused in the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme assassination case, he said that the exonerated person was paid adequate compensation to start his life afresh.

“Here I am left in the lurch. Dead deep in debt, I am not sure as to how I would repay it,” Mr Balbir Singh said with worries writ large on his face. Stating that the Sikh community had stood by him during his travails, Mr Balbir Singh said, “I have been employed as a manager in a Gurdwara.”

Trying hard not to relive those horrendous days, he said, “It was a nightmare. Even after I had been released from prison, I would wake up at night to see whether I was really a free man”. This fear has nagged him ever since.

Mr Balbir Singh said, “I have come back from the house of death. And, now I am at the feet of God. The incident turned me from an atheist to a great believer in the Almighty.”

He said, “The four years I spent behind the bars were traumatic for my family. My family was not allowed to meet me for 30 days after my arrest. I spent most of my prison term in solitary confinement,” he said.

Balbir Singh, one of the three accused in the Indira assassination case, was arrested within days of the murder.

Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, who were the personal security guards posted at the official residence of the then Prime Minister, were hanged to death on January 6, 1989. Beant Singh, another accused, was killed by the security personnel moments after the assassination.

Balbir Singh was convicted in the case and sentenced to death by a session court on January 22, 1986. The verdict was upheld by the High Court.


Book guilty, demand riot victims’ kin
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
The families of 1984 riot victims today urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to take prompt measures to punish those guilty of the riots and give the riot-affected some financial relief.

“The Centre should take immediate steps to bring the persons responsible for the 1984 riots to book, punish the guilty for the massacre of innocent Sikhs and waive loans given for relief and rehabilitation,” Mr Kuldip Singh Bhogal, president of the All -India Riot Victim Relief Committee,
said in a memorandum to the Prime Minister.

Justice Nanavati Commission should take immediate steps to bring the persons responsible for the riots to book, he said.

Mr Bhogal said the RBI announced `time assistance to persons affected by recent disturbances’ scheme. Guidelines were issued to the banks to give assistance to riot victims for quick rehabilitation. Also, in order to avoid hardship to the borrowers unnecessary documentation on procedural formalities were eliminated.

“We [riot victims] accepted this assistance after leaders advised us that this assistance will be converted into grant- in- aid in the near future and such borrowings will be written off,” he said.

But, this assurance was belied and the banks started recovery proceedings. Now and then some relief was announced but that benefited only a few rich. The poor still faced recovery proceedings, confiscation of property and household items, the memorandum said.

The truckers and small petty businessmen received up to Rs 2 lakh to purchase trucks/goods under rehabilitation measures. The rich paid the loans as the insurance company compensated them for their losses. The poor could not repay as the insurance companies did not compensate them for their losses. Thus, they became defaulters, Mr Bhogal said.

“The poor could not replace their vehicles/trucks in time and these vehicles attained 15 years of age and were phased out of Delhi’s roads,” he said.

Mr Bhogal said 17 years had passed, yet those who perpetrated violence against the Sikhs were at large.

“The police, the prosecuting agencies and the Home Ministry have scuttled all efforts of the affected families and their sympathisers to bring the guilty to book and for awarding them punishment as per law of the land,” the memorandum said.

Of the 2,733 admitted killings in Delhi itself, only three cases involving 20 persons have resulted in conviction.

He said the courts had decided cases relating to only about 250 deaths so far. The cases relating to over 2,500 deaths were still pending in courts or were at the investigation stage with the police or had been closed at the police station level itself for want of evidence.

“This itself speaks volumes of the competence of the prosecuting agencies of the government,” Mr Bhogal said.


Maid held for Saket murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
With the arrest of a 33-year old maid, the Delhi Police today claimed to have solved the mystery behind the murder of an old woman in Saket in South District last month. The maid was arrested from a jhuggi cluster in the area.

The maid, Suman, confessed to having murdered Mrs Sudha Mittal with the help of her two brothers; the latter are absconding, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), Mr P. Kamraj, said.

Mrs Sudha Mittal, was found strangulated and her house in Saket ransacked on September 22. She was lying in a pool of blood with an electric wire tied around her neck and hands.

She was alone in the house at the time of the incident. Her husband, Mr S. K. Mittal, a retired professor from the University of Delhi and a practising lawyer of the Supreme Court, had gone to Japan to participate in a seminar. Their only son was living separately and his driver used to come everyday to help Mrs Mittal in the household work.

Mrs Mittal employed the maid and her daughter a few days before the incident and nobody, other than the driver, had seen them. Their antecedents were not verified by the police either.

Suman was absconding since that day. The police was able to circulate sketches of the maid and her daughter, on the basis of the descriptions given by the driver.

After sustained questioning of servants, electricians and plumbers in the area, the police was able to obtain Suman’s address.

The jhuggi cluster where Suman has been living was raided today and she was arrested. The police also seized some of the booty, including a stereo set. A piece of wire used in the crime was also seized from her house. During interrogation, the maid admitted to having committed the murder.


Tease DU girls at your own risk, they are into karate
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Roadside Romeos and eve-teasers, beware. You may soon end with a bruise, or worse still a few broken bones. Alarmed over the increasing incidence of eve teasing on the campus, the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) is soon going to organise camps to train women students in martial arts to counter the nuisance.

“The atmosphere on the campus is fast degenerating and if it continues unabated, a situation may arise where girls will have to move around with escorts,” DUSU president Neetu Ver a said.

Already, girls were victims of lewd comments by uncouth passers-by and often had to experience unpleasant situations while commuting by public transport, she said.

“The move (for training students in martial arts) is essentially aimed at equipping girls with the power to fight and overcome the disadvantage of physical weaknesses vis-à-vis men. The measures include holding training camps at several colleges and providing training in various forms of martial arts such as Judo, Karate and Taekwondoo,” the DUSU president said.

The police, on its part, is also doing its bit to eliminate the menace. The Crime Against Women Cell is organising similar training centres in schools and colleges. Private martial arts institutes are being roped in to impart training.

Sceptics, however, point out that measures may not give the desired results.

“A few years ago, there was a case when a girl student was killed in a bizarre accident in the periphery of the campus when a reckless driver knocked her down as she was crossing the road.

Not much has happened since then, except for naming a road (Shriya Mishra Marg) in the name of the victim and putting two speed breakers right in front of the University Hostel for Women on Chattra Marg,” a former student, who is now a teacher in the university, said.

Incidentally, snazzy cars zoom past with music set at the highest volume when it crosses this stretch. “These are like mobile discos and it can become dangerous in the dark,” a hostel inmate said.

Girl students confide that in most cases, they try to ignore what the eve-teaser may be saying and mostly prefer to maintain a safe distance.

“A reaction often acts as a provocation for further unpleasant remarks. It is better not to pay attention at all,” a student staying in the university said.

Sociologists say that the root of the phenomenon can be traced to the patriarchal structure of the Indian society.

“In a patriarchal society, the head of the family is a man. It evokes a domineering attitude towards women members. This could partly explain the reasons for eve teasing. The phenomenon is less prevalent in matriarchal societies such as among Nairs in Kerala and Khasis in Meghalaya,” a Delhi-based sociologist said.


Four shops gutted in Chandni Chowk
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Four shops were destroyed and a few persons sustained minor injuries when a fire broke out in a shop in the congested Chandni Chowk area of North Delhi this afternoon.

While the police are ascertaining the exact cause of fire it is suspected the electrical goods shop which caught fire may have suffered a short circuit.

The fire soon spread to other shops nearby. According to the Fire Department sources, seven fire engines were immediately sent. The situation was brought under control within half an hour.

An additional regional officer, four station officers and three sub-officers headed the fire team.

The shopkeepers who sustained minor injuries were given first aid on the spot.

In another incident, a minor fire at the venue of the All- India Criminology Conference at the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (NICFS) in Rohini sent the organisers in a tizzy as panic gripped the participants, including eminent personalities from the Criminal Justice System.

The organisers from the Indian Society of Criminologists and the NICFS must be thanking their stars as the fire in the “Venugopal Rao Mandap” broke out at least 15 minutes after Union Home Minister L. K. Advani left the place after inaugurating the conference.

There was slight panic among the delegates, who were having tea in the “Panakal Mandap”, as smoke billowed from the “Venugopal Rao Mandap”, the venue for the technical session tomorrow, located just behind it.

However, the staff of the NICFS and the organisers, who immediately used the in-house fire- fighting equipment to douse the fire even as the fire brigade was summoned, ably handled the situation.

The Director of the NICFS, Mr Kamal Kumar, who was the main organiser, personally supervised the fire- fighting operation. The fire was brought under control even before the fire engines reached the spot.

According to Fire Brigade sources, a call was received at 11.39 a.m. and the fire was doused at 12.00 noon. The cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, they said.


Body waits as cops slug it out
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 1
The body of a woman, fished out from the nearby Agra canal, had to be kept for about eight hours due to a dispute over the jurisdiction of two police stations here.

It was only when a senior police officer intervened that the victim’s family was allowed to take the body to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem on Wednesday.

According to information, the body of the married woman, identified as Manju, was recovered from the canal yesterday. While the victim’s family alleged that it was a ‘case of dowry death’ the police post at Kheri village refused to take action, stating that the area where the body had been found, did not come under its jurisdiction.

When the family approached the other police station, the same excuse was given. Then, they met the district police chief, on whose intervention, a case was booked and the body was shifted for post-mortem. The victim was residing in a nearby Budhena village with her in-laws.

This is a recurring phenomenon in this area as often a crime is committed in the jurisdiction of one police station while the suspects are arrested in the jurisdiction of the other.Back


Namdharis join Sikh census issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Namdhari Sikhs today joined the Census issue raised by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

Talking to The Tribune, the president of Namdhari Darbar, Mr H. S. Hanspal, said under -representation the Sikh community in Census 2001 would adversely affect the interests of the community. The provisional figures of Census 2001 state there are 5,99,557 Sikhs, 1,338,297 Muslims and 1,17,701 Christians of Delhi’s total population of 1.33 crore. “The effect of an undercount is much higher in other contexts, such as political. And Census data is important in answering certain sentimental questions also, such as where we stand today,” he said.

Mr Hanspal, a former MP, said, “Accurate Census count is vitally important to every religious community as the Census figures are the basis for certain policies and plans related to communities and their economic development.”

The Delhi Sikh Census Committee of the DSGMC is to meet to plan out private enumeration of the religious community in the Capital. Mr Manjit Singh, a member of the DSGMC, first raised the issue and made a complaint to the Prime Minister regarding “inaccurate” Census 2001 statistics of Sikhs in Delhi. "Census 2001 has put the size of Delhi's Sikh community at nearly half of DSGMC estimates that indicates there are more than 10 lakh Sikhs in Delhi," he said.


CVC to draft corruption index
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
In an attempt to root out corruption in public institutions, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is in the process of formulating a “Corruption Perception Index” (CPI).

“ We are working out the modalities of the CPI and hope to implement the idea by July 2002”, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, said while inaugurating a `Vigilance Awareness Week’ organised by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) here yesterday. Mr Vittal said corruption was acting as a major hindrance for the country’s economic growth. He equated corruption with “financial terrorism”. He said the proposed index would be formulated after due consultation with non-governmental organisations to avoid any bias.

Regarding banks, the CVC said the role of the commission was not to play an adversarial role but to assist the bankers.

He said that keeping in view the specialised nature of banking business, the Special Chapter on Vigilance Management in Public Sector Banks had been found to be very useful.


One held in Jhajjar shootout
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 1
The district police today arrested one of the accused in yesterday’s shootout between rival gangs inside the local court complex in which five persons sustained injuries.

A spokesman of the police said that accused Sanjay, resident of Jakhoda village, was also involved in a rape case in which seven persons of Jakhoda village had raped a married woman hailing from Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh at a farmhouse in the outskirts of the village on August 23.

While six of the accused in that case had been arrested, Sanjay went to Jind to take refuge with Dharamendra, a member of the Jitendra Pahal gang. He came along with the gang here yesterday to settle scores with members of the Vazir gang brought here in connection with an abduction case.

While his other accomplices managed to escape, he could not do so due to a bullet injury in his leg. Authorities came to know of his identity when he approached a hospital here for treatment.


Nirankari meet from Nov 10
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Thousands of devotees of Sant Nirankari Mission , including volunteers of its Seva Dal, are busy preparing for their biggest international get- together in Delhi to rededicate themselves to the most cherished cause today – the cause of truth, love and peace.

The occasion will be the 54th annual Nirankari Sant Samagam. The venue is the sprawling ground on both sides of Burari Road, touching Outer Ring Road. The samagam, to be held from November 10 to 12, will be inaugurated by the spiritual head of the mission ,Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj.

His Holiness spends hours on the grounds to oversee that devotees visiting from all parts of the country and abroad
face no difficulty during their stay and are able to make the best use of the occasion to feel blissful as also to show the way for peace and prosperity to
the world.

The vast ground, measuring about 400 acres, is being converted into a tented township. The land is being levelled and provided with all amenities like water, electricity, sewerage etc. Special attention is being paid to the additional area being used for the first time. Besides arrangement for free food, a number of canteens will be set up by the samagam committee and run with the help of the mission’s devotees where tea, coffee and snacks will be available at highly subsidised rates.

The main pandal for holding congregations or satsang programmes is also coming up
fast. Magnificent gates are being erected to give it a fascinating look.

It will be surrounded by various pavilions, including an impressive exhibition on the mission and its message.

According to the convener of the samagam committee, Mr K. R. Chadha, and its Chairman, Mr Gobind Singh, the Delhi Government, the MCD and the DDA authorities are extending their full cooperation to complete the preparation well
in time.

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 Sant Nirankari Mission.


A superplex for a super family outing
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, November 1
Picture this, a family wants a day out. The only hitch is that while the mom wants to watch Shahrukh romancing Kareena, the kids want to sink their teeth into sumptuous delicacies and the financier, the father, wants to flex some muscles – playing games.

Problem, did we say! Well, not anymore. The Capital has woken up to a fantastic reality of a Superplex.

Now, watch a movie, eat and drink to your heart’s content and also play games under the same roof, courtesy AEZ Square. Standing proud in the DDA commercial complex in Vikaspuri, the AEZ Square was inaugurated yesterday by the Lt. Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, and presided over by the Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Bandaru Dattatraya.

The 60,000-sq ft superplex is equipped with a state-of-the-art shopping mall-cum-recreational complex that includes multi-screen movie halls and food courts. Musical fountains, serene terraces, exquisite interiors and fancy lighting effects enhance the ambience of the place.

Leading brands, including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, PVR, Move’n’Pick and United Colours of Benetton, are all there to pull the crowd. The coming together of these popular brands is a bid to ensure customer satisfaction.

The chairman of the Aerens Group, the developers of the AEZ Square, pointed out, “This is a family entertainment centre. The brands and services available here will cater to the needs of all age groups. At this converged retailing medium, the Indian customer can now feel at par with the global customer.”

Global or not, it surely should help a family’s day out.Back



Car blows up

Faridabad, November 1
A Daewoo Cielo car blew up today after the gas cylinder kept in its boot caught fire on Mathura Road around noon. Two passengers of the vehicle, however, escaped unhurt. 

The car (HR S1-C-1141) was on its way from Delhi to Faridabad when the incident took place on the national highway near old Faridabad town. According to reports, one of the LPG cylinders kept in the boot of the car caught fire and burst within a minute. TNS


Property dealer shot dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
An unidentified assailant in the Paschimpuri area of West Delhi shot a property dealer dead last night.

Though the exact motive of the killing is yet to be ascertained, the police suspects it could be a case of old enmity as Narain, the property dealer, was known as a bad character in the area.

At around 10.30 pm someone knocked at Narain’s door. When he opened the door the assailant fired three rounds into his chest and arms. Later, he was rushed to Maharaja Agarsen Hospital, Mr Kewal Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police, West Delhi, said.

Narain was also involved in the Punjabi Bagh sensational triple murder case in 1995, claimed the DCP.The police has launched a manhunt for the assailant.

Body found
In another incident, Tirath Ram (30), a resident of Indira Gandhi Jhuggi Camp, was reportedly found murdered near Raj Nagar Chowk in the Sarojini Nagar area on Thursday morning. According to police sources, Tirath Ram must have been murdered two days ago. He had suffered a head injury. He used to work as a beldar and was planning to go to his native place, Bilaspur, in Madhya Pradesh, after selling his jhuggi. The Sarojini Nagar police has registered a case of murder. Investigations are on

Murder bid
A 40-year -old man was stabbed by his cousin in the Jahangirpuri area of NorthWest district. Pradeep had an altercation with Vikas.The latter stabbed Pradeep with a sharp- edged weapon and fled from the spot.

Pradeep was taken to Jagjivan Ram Hospital, where his condition was reported to be critical. The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against Vikas.

Driver shot at
Vinesh, 23, an autorickshaw driver, was hit by three unidentified youths near Super Bazar in the Munirka area on Wednesday night. The incident happened when the three hired his taxi scooter rickshaw (TSR) for Rs 50 from Vasant Kunj to Munirka. On reaching Super Bazar in Munirka, they asked the driver to stop the vehicle. One of them shot the driver with a countrymade pistol when he asked for money from them. The assailants then fled the spot.

The bullet hit him in the chest on the left. Vinesh was later taken to Safdarjung Hospital, where he was reported to be out of danger. The Vasant Vihar police has registered a case of attempt to murder and launched a manhunt to nab the absconding culprits.

Fatal accident
A woman was reportedly killed and her husband injured when the two were hit by a truck while travelling in a two-wheeler on Shankar Road near the fire station in the Rajender Nagar area late on Wednesday night.

Raj Kumari and Narender, residents of A-4/553 of Paschim Vihar, were taken to RML Hospital where Raj Kumari was declared brought dead and her husband was admitted for treatment. He is reported to be out of danger. The Rajender Nagar police has registered a case and investigations are on.


Sab under one roof at this sabka bazaar for Janakpuri residents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Residents of West Delhi have some good tidings. Sabka Bazaar, one of the largest supermarket chains, today launched its outlet at Janakpuri amidst much fanfare.

The store in Janakpuri is the fourth in a row by Home Store India Limited with three Sabka Bazaars already operating in Pitampura in North Delhi, IP Extension is East Delhi and Zakir Nagar in South Delhi.

In fact, Sabka Bazaar is planning to open 30 stores by December this year catering to the needs of people in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

“We are committed in our efforts to provide the complete range of products and services and increase our reach to all sections of the society. All our bazaars will be based on the customer-oriented philosophy and on a three-pronged strategy of quality, price and service,” said Arif Sheikh, president, Home Store India Ltd.

A completely new concept for the West Delhi residents, the bazaar promises to make a mark in the area with its offers like exciting promotions, quality products and good services at reasonable prices.

“The Sabka Bazaar chain aims at providing a complete and convenient shopping experience to the customers, including ease of mind in today’s hectic life. We offer a full range of unique customer services specially designed to provide the maximum benefits to the customers. It’s our endeavour to provide value for money and services to suit the everyday needs of our customers,” said Mr Sheikh.

According to Mr Sheikh, The Home Store (THS) is a chain of stores established in 1997, and the first outlet came up in Mehrauli in October that year.

It is a pioneer in the concept of “one-stop-shop” to fulfill the complete home requirements, claims Mr Sheikh. The outlets of THS are indeed a true expression of a “concept store,” which symbolises quality, design and variety making shopping a truly convenient and wholesome experience.

The bazaar offers a range of merchandise from groceries, personal care products, select range of cosmetics, processed foods, fresh vegetables etc at wholesale rate to customers.

The bazaar also offers an exhaustive range in kitchen and dining lines like ceramics including crockery, cutlery, kitchen and table linen and storage jars.

The bedroom and the bathroom lines include items like lotion, dispensers, soap dishes, towel rings and a colourful range of bedroom linen and furnishings. It has also launched a party store to take care of all one’s party needs.

Besides, the kids’ corner with television, wheel chair for the elderly and handicapped, baby push chairs and free shopping trolleys are examples of its customer-care services. Special offers like ‘bonus buys’ and ‘bulk pack zone’ are also given to pass on the savings to customers.


Jewellery fair at Hotel Ashok
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, November 1
For jewellery lovers in the Capital here is some good news. An exquisite collection of diamonds, pearls and other gems plus a variety of platinum, gold and silver jewellery will be on display from November 2 to November 5 at Hotel Ashok.

The fair has been conceptualised and executed by ZAK-ANZ International Trade & Marketing Associates.

The participants at the exhibition will showcase their latest and best range suitable for the festive season. A similar exhibition was held in the Capital in February earlier this year. It made a record of sorts in terms of visitor turnout and business generated. 

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