Sunday, November 4, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


SAI officers knee-deep in archery scam
J.T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Some unscrupulous officials have reportedly taken the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for a ride, squandering away huge amounts by overlooking irregularities in the purchase of archery equipment.

An internal memo circulated by the SAI’s Deputy Director says indigenous archery equipment rates have been exaggerated in the current rate list of sports equipment, which is valid up to March 2004. The archery equipment was over-invoiced by 100 per cent.

SAI Deputy Director Roque Dias has sought an inquiry into the matter, which will have within its ambit the current rate list of sports equipment.

A copy of the internal memo, which was procured by The NCR Tribune, stated that the national archery coach had demanded the indigenous equipment for more effective use by residential trainees in the hostel.

The administrative approval was later given for purchase of target boss-100 units, target stand - 40 units, target face (a) 122cm –1500 units (b) 80cm-1500 units and target pins-500 units, for the use of residential trainees.

The memo cites a concrete example of over-invoicing in the list – a 100 target boss, each costing Rs 2,100, would now cost Rs 2,10,000; the old rate was Rs 950, which worked out to only Rs 95,000 last year.

(O P Bhatia, Executive Director (Teams), who is in the approval committee, had given a nod to this new rate list.)

This increase is more than 100 per cent, which is surprising since all raw materials are easily available in the market

The total expenditure comes to Rs 7,68,000 under the new rate list, and if the aforesaid items are to be procured from the allocated funds, it will adversely affect the running of the hostel scheme at SAI Training Centre, Delhi.

Incidentally, the Archery Federation of India forwarded a quotation on September 9, 2001 – Rs 1350 for a target boss – which is lower than that quoted in the SAI rate list. Apart from this, the rates of the other items also seem to be inflated in the current SAI rate list.

Further, the memo cited that the dimension of a target boss, as per the latest specification of International Federation , is 130 * 130 sq cm, the thickness is 6 inches and the straw is stuffed in two layers of thin rubber sheets and stitched with jute bags, which are available in the market at a very low price.

Sources in the SAI said the indefinitely postponed inaugural Afro-Asian Games helped some people in the SAI line their pockets.

The Afro-Asian Games may or may not be held, but some SAI officials have certainly become “richer” after the cosmetic renovation of various stadiums in Delhi.


Delhi’s gift to stuffy Faridabad – diesel autos
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 3
Traffic pollution is perhaps one of the issues that has received the least attention in this industrial hub of the state. As a result, the pollution level has defied all limitations leading to serious problems for local residents.

The town, whose population has crossed 12 lakh, has not seen any serious effort on the part of authorities to tone down the anti noise pollution and air pollution caused by the ever-increasing traffic on its roads.

The high pollution level here is one of the main reasons why businessmen, NRIs and others flocked to Gurgaon to set up houses and business establishments.

The problem becomes more acute in the winter season when a pall of pollutant and smoke clouds hang over the main roads and congested residential areas of the NIT, Old Faridabad and Ballabgarh town. According to experts, the pollution reaches a dangerous level at many places in the town between 5 pm and 10 pm.

The major culprits of the traffic pollution are commercial vehicles and three-wheelers run on diesel. The town has witnessed a spurt in the number of auto-rickshaws for the past one year and since the Supreme Court ordered to allow only CNG auto-rickshaws to ply in Delhi. Over 3,000 rejected vehicles (three-wheelers) found their way here from Delhi roads, in the absence of any check.

Another cause behind the spurt in the three-wheelers is the absence of any credible public transport system in the town. As a result, residents have to depend on auto-rickshaws for local movement. About 98 per cent of the three-wheelers operating here are run on diesel. Moreover, they have no original engines. Most of them are either converted to diesel engines or made illegally, claimed a former dealer of such vehicles.

The majority of over 10,000 three-wheelers plying in the city are stated to be violating the norms. While many of them have no pollution certificates, a large number of them are not even registered or have fake papers.

Although there are some traffic cops stationed at various points, there is no agency to check the emission from three-wheelers and commercial vehicles. Despite the demands to check the menace were being raised occasionally by voluntary organisations, there seems to be no proper authority who could be approached for a long-term solution.


Sweating it out for another day in school, or for a marathon?
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, November 3
How would you describe a school-going child’s average day? Or rather how would you plan out the itinerary? You may not give it a serious thought, but a high school student’s working hours can safely be compared to that of a time-strapped executive, who often loses count of time.

Sai is a 15-year-old class 12 student. He begins his day at five in the morning. Since he is preparing for board examinations, which will in turn decide his entire future, he has to sweat it out. Back from school at around 2 pm, he catches an hour’s sleep. At 11 in the night, Sai calls it a day. You may be wondering what it is that Sai keeps doing for the eight hours after he wakes from his afternoon siesta.

“I go for tuitions, first maths, then chemistry and finally computers. This is followed by hours of self-study. We have tests every Monday in school and weekends are taken up by tests at the tuition centre. My dad also springs a surprise test now and then, which means that I can do anything except relax.” Television, games, outings, even undisturbed sleep are out of question.

Sai is not the exception, but the rule. Children in classes as low as six are increasingly being mechanised to follow the norm, which is to work and work and work. Mind you, studies are not the only culprit. Our parents and teachers believe in an ‘all-round’ development these days. So kids have music lessons, art classes, dance practices and sports to attend as well.

“I used to juggle my time between music classes, art classes and tuitions. There was a time when I could do no more. Since most of my friends were doing the same, my parents could not understand why I could not cope with the things which seemed so simple,” says 21-year-old Shilpi, who was ‘rescued’ when her psychologist aunt put her foot down.

Blame it on the competition or ambition that makes us sweat it in or out, children are increasingly falling prey to anxiety and nervous disorders. The number of suicides by schoolchildren and also the number of helplines which are set up each year to counsel the wrecks, most such children become in the end, vouch for the fact.

Helplines such as Snehi are flooded with calls when results are announced. A sizeable number of these are from anxious parents. Psychologists blame the obsolete and cumbersome examination procedures for the sorry state the children and they find themselves in.

Talking about the rising stress levels, Dr Sandeep Vohra, a senior psychiatrist at Apollo Hospital, mentioned a class five student calling in for a counselling session. The alarming increase in the number of suicides and cases of clinical depression has led the Delhi Psychiatric Society to launch a helpline for students. Dr Vohra heads the helpline.

“These stressed children need to be effectively handled,” he says and stresses the need for “professionals who are trained to meet the requirements”.

While the problem of stress is deeply acknowledged, there are some who have proceeded to take it in their stride. “Life is such. The lack of opportunities, especially in India, has made the children well aware of the fact that they have to face stress. They have to live up to the expectations and they need to work hard for that. Stress is inescapable. At the same time, I feel the mindset of the entire academic world must change,” says Ms Udita Ganguly, an English teacher at DPS.

Pointing out the reasons for stress, Mrs Renu, who teaches in the lower classes in a school in Faridabad and the mother of two high school kids, says: “ Children are very conscious of what they will do. They will not settle for anything but the best. Considering that these children have set themselves such high goals, stress is bound to take its toll.”

Schools, on their part, are trying their best to curb the menace. They have started activities which are seen as de-stressing. “We have yoga and meditation classes for students. We try to involve them in as many co-curricular activities as possible. Children are told not to see exams as the be-all and end-all of things. They are even personally counselled depending upon their needs,” points out Ms Mamta Sharma, an education counsellor at Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram.

Even though the stress our children are undergoing has made us worried, too little has been done so far. Whether it is the revamping of the exam procedures or changing the mindset, it’s high time we started the arduous task of rescuing childhood. This is the consensus of concerned parents and experts. Or else, we may have to add few more hours to the faces of the clocks.


Arms racket lands Jind SDM in CBI net
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) claims to have arrested the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Jind, Mr A. N. Icchapuri, from the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Karnal, Mr Devender Singh, in connection with the alleged inter-state arms licence racket.

The SDM was produced before a designated court of the CBI in Delhi today and remanded in CBI custody for four days. A raid was also conducted on the residential premises of the SDM and the Deputy Commissioner of Karnal besides the house of the SDM, Palwal, Mr R.C. Pawaria, at Ballabhgarh in connection with the arms licence racket, a spokesman of the CBI said.

The CBI sleuths claimed to have seized several incriminating documents. Besides, a huge stock of foreign liquor was seized from the residential premises of the Deputy Commissioner of Karnal. The entire consignment of the seized foreign liquor has been handed over to the Excise Department for further investigation.

The Special Investigation Cell of the CBI registered four cases under different heads. Further investigations to unravel the inter-state ramifications of the racket were continuing.

According to the CBI, during the investigation of the case, several raids were conducted at 20 places in New Delhi, Jammu, Faridabad, Palwal and Panipat on the premises of arms dealers. The raids led to the arrest of three gun dealers, namely R. N. Sharma, Om Prakash Kapoor and Vinay Verma. They are now in judicial custody.

The gun dealers entered into a criminal conspiracy with certain state government officials and unknown private persons in Delhi, Faridabad, Jammu and Gurgaon with the aim of facilitating the procurement of arms licences from these places under assumed names during 1994 to 1998.

The licences were allegedly issued from offices on the basis of forged papers. This was done by tampering with the records at the office of the ADM or the SDM at Jammu, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

During interrogation of the gun dealers and scrutiny of seized documents which was corroborated by a number of witnesses, the criminal role played by certain government officials, including the one arrested, came to light.


Kith & kin sold into flesh trade
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 3
Beginning with the sale of his own sister for Rs 16,000 18 years ago, Dalvir of Kapla village near here has not looked back. The motive, of course, was to make a few quick bucks. In all, he and Ramphool – to whom he sold his sister – have disposed of eight girls and killed the mother of one. But the game was over when one of the girls sold by the duo returned to recount how she was pushed into flesh trade on the pretext of being married off.

Finally, Dalvir and Ramphool were arrested by the Jahangirpur police. Dalvir sold off his sister for Rs 16,000 to Ramphool 18 years ago. Ramphool did marry the girl, however. In order to exploit Dalvir's clout in the village, he inducted the former as his “business” partner. The `business’ was what they excelled at: Selling innocent village girls on the pretext of marrying them off.

They first lured the parents of a girl by “arranging” her marriage in a Rajasthan village 15 years ago. Of course, there was no marriage. The girl was sold off for Rs 8,000.

Then, they kept a low profile for some time before venturing out and selling two more girls 11 years ago. The hapless girls also were forced into flesh trade, the police said.

Finding the trade lucrative, Dalvir reportedly sold off one more sister of his for Rs 10,000 and another for Rs 20,000 two years later.

Emboldened by the successes, Dalvir was ready to lay a trap again. This time he ensnared the three pretty daughters of physically challenged Hasina Begum. The duo managed to sell Hasina Begum's two daughters, one after the other, two years ago. But only after drowning the mother in a canal.

This proved to be their undoing.


Showdown imminent on Dalit meet
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The proposed mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism, scheduled for tomorrow here, may snowball into a showdown, with the police withdrawing its earlier permission for the programme and the organisers expressing their determination to go ahead with it.

“Permission has been denied to the organisers as the programme is likely to disrupt the law and order in the Capital. Terrorists and anti-social elements might take advantage of the huge gathering and could play pranks on the occasion,” the Joint Commissioner of Police, Northern Range,
Mr Ajay Chaddha, told The NCR Tribune.

The president of the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, Mr Ram Raj, talking to The NCR Tribune, said: “We are going ahead with the scheduled programme. Hurdles are being created to prevent us from going ahead with the conversion.”

“Even if the authorities deny permission for holding the function on the Ram Lila ground, we will have it on the road,” he asserted.


Bomb scare in VVIP area
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Panic gripped the VIP area of Tughlak Road near the Prime Minister’s house, following a hoax bomb call at the Delhi Police Headquarters.

The call, which was received by the authorities in the afternoon, said that a bomb had been planted somewhere in the VIP area near the Prime Minister’s house. All senior police officers, including Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma, reached the spot immediately.


Seeking greener pastures overseas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Canada is emerging as the hottest destination for immigrants with nearly 2.5 lakh people making it to that country every year. India is next only to China in contributing to the burgeoning immigrant population of Canada with people of Indian origin accounting for nearly 3 per cent of the population.

Besides IT professionals, teachers, lecturers and chefs are much sought after in Canada owing to the shortage of skilled manpower. According to immigration consultants Brig K.S. Sodhi and Maj-Gen Atma Singh, there are over a thousand professions in which skilled professionals are required and a recent survey has shown that it will need about three lakh professionals each year to cope with this shortage of skilled manpower.

Brigadier Sodhi and General Atma Singh, who specialise in Canadian immigration, say that given the fact that immigration to Canada is need-based, there is a fair chance that skilled professionals and businessmen besides families would find their way to the ‘No 1 welfare state in the world’ where people enjoy a very high quality of life.

“Today Canada welcomes nearly 2.25 lakh immigrants. This figure will rise soon after the Canadian Government raises the target to three lakh,” they told this correspondent. The incentive to prospective immigrants, they add, is that a landed citizen – one who reaches Canada after clearing the immigration process – can become a permanent citizen in three years’ time.

The two, who run a consultancy firm approved to carry out the business of immigration by the government, feel generally there is little awareness among the people on the issue of immigration. To educate the public they are hosting free seminars on Sunday at PHD House, Khelgaon Marg, and Montfort School, Ashok Vihar. The entire process of immigration takes nearly two-and-a-half years.

Detailing the immigrant profile, they say that the preferred age group of people is between 21 and 44 years. Besides age of prospective immigrants and the demand in Canada for a particular occupation, other factors like experience, language ability and personal suitability also count.


DDA flats have no takers, yet it wants to build more
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, November 3
The ways of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) – the biggest bulk supplier of residential flats – makes one believe that it has all the right to destroy what it builds. Or is it a game the DDA loves to play?

Of course, there are no takers for its creations – 250 flats in R-Block, near the petrol pump at Dilshad Garden, worth a whopping Rs 10 crore. But its solution to the problem is ingenious: Knock the flats down and build new ones. But isn’t that stretching credibility to new limits?

But why are prospective buyers looking the other way? The president of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of the area, Mr Mahabir Tuli, gives some insight into DDA mind. He says the flats were of such poor quality that people are afraid to move in. “We have witnessed all kinds of malpractices when they were being built. Knowing all the facts, who would take such a risk?” he asks.

With hardly anybody turning up to buy the flats, the DDA came up with another “gimmick” in 1987 and spent around Rs 2 crore in the name of beautification-cum-renovation drive for the reserved flats, in a bid to attract buyers. But even this game plan did not work. No one came forward to purchase even a single flat.

In this piquant situation the flats are now being demolished one by one. When contacted, a top official of the DDA revealed on the condition of anonymity that they would build new flats after demolishing the existing ones.

It means that several more crores of rupees will be spent on the new project. But what is the guarantee that the new flats will have any takers either? For local residents, the doubt seems genuine, in view of the track record of the DDA.

Meanwhile, residents of the other blocks of the sprawling DDA colony on the eastern edge of the city alleged that their area had become a living example of civic neglect and apathy. The roads were encroached upon and were in a deplorable condition, garbage was not collected for days together, and the parks were in a state of disarray.

They claimed that repeated attempts by the office-bearers of the Residents Welfare Associations to galvanise the civic authorities into action had proved futile. "Now that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has got a grant from the Centre, it should spend some money on improving the residential colonies," a resident said.


Mayapuri flyover has shopkeepers jittery
Priyanka Gupta

The Mayapuri flyover will ease traffic congestion, help commuters avoid intersections and shrink the distance. But that is when it is complete. Given that the construction is proceeding at a tardy pace and is expected to be complete only by June 2002, local residents and shopkeepers are having a torrid time. Weigh this against the fact that the flyover was originally intended to be complete by December 2000; this deadline was extended till March 2001. (The work began in February 2000).

The construction has especially hit the shopkeepers under the bridge. Parking was always a problem in the market. Now, construction work has narrowed the existing road further, which includes parking space as well as pedestrian track.

Mr Rajesh Kaushik, one of the residents, says: “The traffic jams are really choking us. There is virtually no space for parking. Once the flyover is complete, the motorists would give us the go-by.”

The agitated shopkeepers have petitioned the authorities, including Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, the Lt Governor and local MLA Kiran Chaudhary, but to no avail. A proposal to convert the space under the bridge into a parking slot has been accepted in principle, but the order is yet to percolate down to the junior officials. Kiran Choudhary explains: “The flyover was scheduled to be completed last year but the work is progressing slowly. The people are worried that the flyover would only add to their parking woes. So, we approached the Chief Minister and she personally took up the matter with the Lt Governor. The area earmarked for a green belt will now be the parking slot for shopkeepers.

Only the orders of the LG have not been conveyed to the junior officers.’’ Water supply was another casualty. Mr Kamal, a local resident, points out: “Once our pipeline broke down. Since the pipeline is under the bridge, the officials had to dig deep under the pillars to rectify the problem.’’

Some residents say the flyover was not supposed to be built in the area at all. In fact, initially, the land survey and measurements were taken at a different site.

However, certain Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials managed to divert the flyover, as their houses in Maya Enclave would have been affected.

Infuriated by the allegation, the DDA officials say that everything is in the papers submitted to the public commission. Whatever be the truth, none can hide that the delay in completing the flyover has only helped in making matters difficult. Mr Avinash Nagalrai, a resident of the area, says: “The work is progressing very slowly. Only eight to 10 workers are at the site at any given time. The market association had approached the Chief Minister to speed up the work, but nothing seems to have come of it.”

The Executive Engineer with the PWD department of the DDA, Mr A. L. Garg, reacts angrily to the allegation: “We are at work continuously. The Delhi Vidyut Board had not shifted 60 kw wires lying at the site. These wires could have endangered the lives of our workers. Now, the wires have been shifted and we have started work again. Aap kaahan se layman ki batein sun kar vishvaas kar lete hai.”


Surajkund helps bring handicrafts out of the closet
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Thanks to the annual crafts mela, Surajkund in Haryana has become a favourite destination of those pining for chic handloom and handicraft products.

The mela brings out of the closet the country’s finest handlooms and handicrafts, ranging from wickerwork baskets and mats to silk saris, shawls, carpets and metalwork and much, much more.

The mela, which began in 1987, gave a new lease of life to crafts that have been languishing. It revives the glorious Indian tradition of respecting craftsmen and extending to them the patronage they so richly deserve.

Each year, a theme state is chosen and the rich cultural vibrancy of the state is portrayed. The mela revived the dying tradition in many states and has given a new hope to craftsmen.

The mela is held each year between February 1 and 15. This year, Goa was the theme state. With the 2002 mela only a few months away, states are vying with one another to be the chosen state.

Located barely 8 km from South Delhi, the approach road to Surajkund passes through some distinctive scenery.

In parts, the terrain comprises low hills and ravines, and shallow, boulder-strewn depressions and escarpments of rock. The vegetation is typically dry and thorny scrub jungle.

The name, Surajkund, itself is taken from a splendid water tank that is believed to have been constructed by the Rajput king Suraj Pal in the 11th century.

Another historical reference in 1876 placed it between the villages of Baharpur and Lakkarpur.

The pool originally had a sun temple by its side.

The temple is now in ruins but the ‘kund’ still stands. It was around this temple and sun pool that a resort property came up. This is called Surajkund. What began as a simple tourist centre in 1987 flowered into a centre of pilgrimage.


DPCC demands better upkeep of Shakti Sthal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee today criticised the Centre for the poor maintenance and upkeep of Shakti Sthal, the samadhi of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The party said it would be forced to launch an agitation if remedial measures were not taken immediately.

“We are shocked at the utter lack of respect and decorum shown to our great leaders by the powers that be, who are in charge and control the maintenance of the samadhis,” the DPCC president, Mr Subhash Chopra, in a letter to the Centre said.

“It is a sad reflection of the changing political mores and values that the Union Urban Development Ministry, whose responsibility it is to maintain the memorials of the great national leaders at the Raj Ghat complex, has totally neglected the upkeep of Shakti Sthal,” the letter to the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr Ananth Kumar, said.

Mr Chopra said the Congress party would be forced to resort to an agitation if quick remedial measures were not taken to clean up Shakti Sthal and other samadhis like that of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Rajiv Gandhi and other national leaders. He urged the intervention of the minister in the matter in giving the place the reverential treatment it deserved by keeping the place tidy and neat.

The letter said, “ Shakti Sthal has now become the playground for children, hooliga ns and drug addicts and the grazing and resting ground for stray cattle. Its deplorable upkeep has indeed shocked the sensibility of the countrymen.” The DPCC president said it was a sacrilege to neglect the memorial of such a great leader.


Suniye calls for more ‘able’ Act
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Suniye, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working for the cause of the disabled, has called for an amendment to the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, for removing anomalies to facilitate admission of the disabled into educational institutions.

In a representation to the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Satyanarayan Jatiya, the President of Suniye, Dr Sudarshan Vaid, said that if children with disabilities did not have access to educational institutions then reservation in jobs was meaningless for them.

Referring to the recent Delhi High Court judgement ruling that the 3 per cent reservation in government jobs for the disabled persons under the Act could not be interpreted as reservation in educational institutions, Dr Vaid said many NGOs and disability activists had been pointing out various flaws in the said Act.

He pointed out that Section 39 of the Act talked of “seats” in all `government educational institutions and other educational institutions receiving aid from the Government’

Moreover, the Act defined ‘establishment’ (where not less than 3 per cent vacancies are to be reserved) as a “corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act…”, he said.

Therefore, the NGO pointed out that the definition covered not only government educational institutions to be added for the purposes of reservations of vacancies or jobs for teachers, clerks or peons.

“ While I would sincerely pray that you expedite introduction of the Amendment Bill to remove the anomalies”, Dr Vaid said in the letter to the minister.


Quota for minorities sought
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, Minority Cell, vice-president, Md. Shahid Siddiqui, today demanded more representation of the minority community in the proposed re-constitution of the DPCC.

Talking to NCR Tribune, he said the reconstituted body should have at least four general secretaries and 10 secretaries.

“In the present DPCC, the minority community has feeble representation. They should be adequately represented as they constitute a sizeable section of the population,” Mr Siddiqui said.

Lauding the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, for her efforts in protecting the interests of the minorities, he said in a letter that the community had stood by the party over the years and they should be adequately rewarded. On the forthcoming MCD poll, he said there should be reservation of at least 20 per cent of the total wards in the city for the minority community.


CSWB Chairperson

New Delhi, November 3
Well-known social worker Mridula Sinha has been reappointed as Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board for the second term. TNS


Betting on Sharjah tourney: 1 held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi
The Delhi Police on Saturday claimed to have busted a satta racket with the arrest of one of the operators in North Delhi yesterday. He was putting his bet during the one-day cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Sharjah yesterday.

The operator, Anil Kumar Aggarwal, was arrested from his residence in Shalimar Bagh following a tip off that he was booking satta on the match.

He had booked a satta for Rs 3 lakh. He was working for two big operators called S. K. and Surinder Nandi. They have absconded. The arrest has proved that despite the Cronjegate and subsequent ban on Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja and disclosures on other operators, betting on cricket matches are still rampant. There are no effective curb on the menace. Although small fishes are held time to time, the sharks are still out, say sources.

6 robbers held

The West district police on Saturday arrested six youths reportedly involved in several cases of murder, robbery and burglary in the Nangloi area. The arrested who are in their early twenties were identified as Neeraj, Shamsuddin, Gautam, Santosh, Vijay and Govind.

According to the police, they were planning to commit a robbery in the area when they were arrested. Two country-made revolvers, three knives and one iron rod were seized. Two cases of murder-cum-robbery had been solved with their arrest, the police said.

Commits suicide

A 28-year-old man, Raj Kumar, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his rented room in Nagli Rai in South Delhi on Saturday. The man lived along with his landlord.

The landlord was not in the house on Friday night. A neighbour told the police that he saw Raj Kumar alive till around 12 O’ clock in the night. He was found hanging in the morning when somebody came to meet him, the police said.

Child mowed down by tanker

A 2-year-old boy was killed in an accident when a water tanker hit him from behind at Mitraon village in South-West Delhi this morning. The boy was sitting in front of his house when the accident occurred.


Cut on luxury tax ‘inadequate’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) today complimented the Delhi Government for accepting its long-pending demand for reduction of luxury tax on hotels.

The chamber, however, feels that reduction from 12.5 to 10 per cent is too inadequate. It should have been further brought down considering the present international situation and its effect on the Indian tourism industry.

Also, the reduction should not have been limited to the current financial year.

The reduction of luxury tax as announced by the Delhi Government is applicable to all hotels in which room tariff is more than Rs 500 per day. In the chamber’s view there should be no such limit.

The hotel industries also applauded Delhi government’s move of tax reduction

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