Sunday, November 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



Bank staff waylaid, relieved of Rs 5 lakh
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 10
Four car-borne armed youth robbed two bank employees of Rs 5 lakh in broad daylight in the NIT area here today. The cashier of the bank, who was shot at twice, was injured and has been admitted to a hospital. He is stated to be out of danger.

The incident took place at about 12.30 pm near the premises of the thermal power station when clerk-cum-cashier Ram Naresh and peon Om Prakash of Canara Bank (Nehru Ground) were going on a scooter to transfer Rs 5 lakh from the main branch to the extension counter of the bank, located on the Whirlpool factory premises under the Mujesar police station.

Reportedly, the robbers, armed with a pistol, a knife and a hockey stick, pounced on the bank employees after hitting the scooter with their car. As the two employees fell on the road, the assailants asked the clerk to hand over the bag containing the cash at gunpoint. When resisted, one of the assailants fired at him, hitting him in both shoulders.

It is learnt that the robbers used a knife to cut the strings of the bag when they failed to prise it apart. Ultimately, they managed to flee with the bag. The car used in the incident was later found abandoned near the Mujesar rail crossing. The injured clerk has been admitted to the Escorts Hospital, where his condition is stated to be stable.

Despite the police claiming that security around various banks has been stepped up, such incidents have been occurring off and on. Cash was also looted during an inter-bank transfer in Sector 7 about three months ago and a businessman was deprived of Rs 9 lakh at gunpoint about two months ago. One of the criminals was shot dead in an encounter after the hold-up.

The residents of this industrial hub of the National Capital Region have alleged that the law and order situation in the city has deteriorated considerably in the last few months. They cite concrete instances of violence, robberies and kidnappings for ransom.

Agitated residents are now demanding additional deployment of police in major commercial areas, in view of the festival season. The police says that security is being tightened in the city. Additional vigil was being mounted on the border checkposts to prevent criminals from fleeing after striking.


Education mafia busted, 4 held
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, November 10
The special operations group of the Ghaziabad police has smashed a racket of stamp paper and degree printers by arresting four persons near the RTO's office in the city.

Illegally printed stamp papers worth Rs 25 lakh, degrees and certificates and mark sheets of various educational institutes, computers and fax machines etc have been seized from the racketeers by the police. One member of the gang, however, gave the police the slip.

According to the SSP, Mr Prashant Kumar, Modinagar Circle Officer Ram Suresh was asked to smash the racket run by the education mafia, following a tip-off. Along with other sleuths he swooped down on the gang and arrested four of them. Fake stamp paper worth Rs 25 lakh along with degrees, certificates, mark sheets of various universities and educational institutes were seized. Among other things, computers, a photostat machine and other equipment used by the group were taken into possession.

According to Circle Officer Ram Suresh, four persons were arrested near the RTO's office under the Kavi Nagar police station. Those arrested included Vijender Singh Bhatti, son of Raja Ram of Dadri, Tarun Kumar, son of Rajender Singh Segar of Kavi Nagar, Ghaziabad, Mahesh Kumar Saxena, son of Bukhwa Lal of Meerut, and Mummoo, alias Abdul Samad, son of Abdul Late of Kotwali, Ghaziabad. The fifth racketeer, Digvijay Wakil, however, escaped.

While the stamp papers were sold in the open market, the educational degrees and certificates were palmed off to semi-literate persons, in order to turn them into `graduates' overnight.

Apart from various universities in UP, they would churn out clones of degrees issued by the CBSE and various other state universities.

Among the arrested is one Vijender Bhatti, who is running a coaching school in Dadri; Mummoo dealt in fake and illegal documents even as he passed himself for a reporter of a newspaper, the SSP said.

Apart from Mr Ram Suresh, the SOG team included Sub-Inspector Vedpal Singh and constables Manoj, Brahmpal Narinder Singh and Bhanwar Singh. The SSP said he would recommend the team for some reward.

The mafia had reportedly spread its tentacles into tutorial centres and academies, which churn out readymade-students by the dozens. At one end of the assembly line are the racketeers who are ever-ready to pounce on freshers eager to become graduates overnight. The mafia, apparently, had an extensive network and was suspected to be acting with staffers in educational institutions.



Dengue stalks Sonepat areas
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 10
Sonepat and its surrounding villages are in the grip of dengue fever owing to the failure of the Health Department to take immediate and effective steps to check the spread of the disease.

According to official sources, the Health Department had referred nine cases of suspected dengue fever to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi. The report in 8 cases is positive. This, in turn, has alarmed the authorities and they are anxious to prevent the disease from spreading to more areas.

Informed sources reveal that four employees of a private hospital in Sector 14, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), were down with dengue fever last month and the hospital was closed down for a week to prevent the disease from spreading among other employees.

Case of dengue fever have also surfaced in Tihar, Sangathal and Dodwa villages in Sonepat district.

The cases of malaria and viral fever are also on the rise in urban and rural areas and the government as well as private hospitals are said to be over-flowing with such patients. Lack of life-saving drug in Government hospitals, primary health centres and dispensaries is held responsible for the spread of such diseases.

Enquiries by this correspondent revealed that even anti-septic lotion was not available for the last one year or so, as the Directorate of the department had failed to ensure regular supply of these medicines to the government hospitals, dispensaries and primary health centres.

Similarly, the ESI dispensaries and hospitals lack life-saving drugs and the industrial workers are forced to purchase the medicines from the market.

A corollary of the scare is the pathetic cleanliness campaign launched by the district and civic administration on October 2.

The whole town stinks and is replete with garbage heaps. If one goes to Sectors 14 and 15, the HUDA residential colonies, the less said the better. These are just the urban slums. The nauseating sight of garbage in almost every lane and by-lane is most painful for the residents as well as visitors. Residents allege that the present municipal set-up is caught up in petty fights.

With a population of over two lakh, the city is in a state of neglect, thanks to the archaic attitude of officials who deploy most of the sanitary staff for the upkeep of their own residences, as admitted by a municipal official.

Sanitary work in the entire town has collapsed with pigs, stray cattle and street dogs roaming all over the town, wherever there is filth. These stray animals rake in the garbage dumps and polish off what is palatable to them, leaving the rest scattered for days.

Things have come to such a pass that but for the pigs and scavengers, the town would have been more unlivable than it is.


3 held for stabbing Minister’s PSO 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 10
Three of the seven armed desperadoes who allegedly stabbed and robbed constable Ved Pal, the Personal Security Officer (PSO) to the Union Minister for Power, Mr Suresh Prabhu, were arrested near Liberty Cinema in Central Delhi on Thursday night. They were arrested when they tried to flee the spot after the incident.

An injured Ved Pal said he was ambushed by a group of men who later snatched his salary, Rs 5,600, and fled from the spot. He was heading for his house after duty when the incident occurred.

Mr Ved Pal has been admitted to a hospital in the area where he is reported to be recouping. The police said that efforts were being made to trace the remaining four suspects who have been identified. The three suspects caught on Thursday night were being interrogated to ascertain if they were involved in other similar incidents in the Capital. A part of the looted money was seized from them.

According to the Joint Commissioner, Mr S. K. Choudhry, the police control room (PCR) Inspector, Mr Jagdish Chand, who was stationed near Liberty Cinema for routine duty, spotted a group of men beating a person in a deserted lane.

When the PCR team reached the spot, the robbers scurried into different directions. The team gave a chase and managed to overpower three of them. The other four disappeared in the narrow lanes of the area under the cover of darkness. The three suspects were then driven to the Deshbhandu Gupta Road police station and handed over to the area police.


Watch out betel nut, big brother is watching
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 10
It matters little if law enforcement agencies are at their wits end trying to enforce the Supreme Court’s directive banning smoking in public places. Cigarettes were in any case banned in the swank new Secretariat at ITO. And, if the administration has its way, the Secretariat would soon become out of bounds for the paan-chewing hangers-on also.

A take-off possibly on the red corner alert, the general administration department has gone into an overdrive, issuing a circular to “all concerned” officials, warning employees and visitors against littering the plush interiors with paan stains and paan masala pouches. The offence would be punishable by law and if the offender happens to be a government official, appropriate disciplinary proceedings would be initiated under the rules, as deemed fit by the authorities concerned.

The circular has come as a double-blow for a few officials. The fire alarm that threatens to spew water at the whiff of even as much as a cigarette puff has long been a deterrent for many. Now, close-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) would be keeping a tab on anybody in the habit of littering nooks and corners with paan stains or remains of the ubiquitous gutka sachets.

And just in case the order might be dismissed with a contemptuous guffaw, the deputy secretary (administration) – the issuing authority of the circular – suggests that the CCTVs be reinforced with “mobile squads” that would be deputed for the singular purpose of catching the culprits. These mobile squads would be headed by the superintendent (co-ordination) and have as members the assistant engineer (PWD) and superintendent (environment).

The CCTVs would henceforth be used for spotting trespassers, given the relatively lax security paraphernalia inside the complex. Also, to dissuade numerous hangers-on around ministerial chambers who come with individual complaints or requests.

Sources say the move has been prompted by the express inability of the PWD to maintain the building spick and span and also save moolah that would otherwise go towards whitewashing etc. The PWD shells out a handsome amount annually on sprucing up the complex. Cigarette butts and paan stains, besides being an eyesore, spoil the aesthetics of what has come to be acknowledged as a posh office space for lawmakers. Critics, incidentally, are yet to form an opinion on the matter. Be that as it may, if the move delivers what it promises to, the Secretariat could well become a model for the other government offices to emulate.


3 sentenced for murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Nov ember 10
Three persons, including a woman, were sentenced by a Sessions court here for killing a man and throwing his body into a well two years ago. While the court sentenced Nilu and Narain to life imprisonment , the woman, Ms Mukesh, was given a ten year jail sentence. They all were held guilty of murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 13,000 on Sunil and Narain and Rs 8,000 on Ms Mukesh. Additional Sessions Judge S. N. Dhingra convicted the three persons - Sunil alias Nilu, Narain Singh and Ms Mukesh - for killing one Hariom to settle their personal score

According to the prosecution, Hariom was blackmailing Mukesh as she had an affair with one Ravinder. It is further stated that after their affair broke up, Hariom tried to take advantage and develop an intimate relationship with her. However, she rebuffed his advances.

Prosecution said the conspiracy was hatched by the trio a few days before the incident. Hariom was lured to an isolated place by Narain on July 5, 1999. He was killed by Nilu on the instruction of Mukesh.


Dark Divali for Saket potters
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, November 10
Just about a year ago, hundreds of people flocked to the Kumar Basti, bang opposite the Press Enclave in Saket colony, to buy a variety of clay pots as Divali approached. However, this year, things are no longer the same. Now, all that the potters of the Basti can do is sit on their charpoys and hope that the authorities repair a sewer line that remains blocked for almost one year.

Ganesha, a potter of the Basti recalled: “Once upon a time, people used to flock to this place (Kumar Basti) during Divali. Now, look at it. All we can see is this dirty sewer water flowing out from that blocked manhole. Who would want to come here in this muck?”

The problem might seem small-that of a blocked sewer line-but one has to see it to believe it. The road along the Basti is full of muck-exactly like Ganesha said, overflowing with “black coloured water.”

Leave alone people stopping to buy anything from the market, those that used to use the road have found alternate routes to reach their destination.

Rajendra Bajpai, an eminent journalist, residing in Press Enclave, which is home to many well-connected journalists of the Capital, said: “Some of my friends living in Gurgaon always used this route for going to the Golf Club. But now, they don’t. No one would even want to cross this place where there is so much muck flowing all over the road.”

Bajpai said living in the area was “worse than living in a village.” Ironically, the road where all the muck overflows is barely hundred yards from the G.M. Modi Hospital. The Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr Ambrish Jain said: “I have made several representations to the MCD. (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) Leave alone doing some work, they have not even replied. I have given up all hopes. But I can assure you that the time is not far away when this so-called posh area would be vulnerable to all possible dangerous epidemics. It is already gradually becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

For the residents of the Press Enclave, the only place to

shop for their daily needs like bread, eggs and milk is Village Hauz Rani, which adjoins Kumar Basti. “It is extremely difficult to even go there. The minute you walk out of your homes, you see the sight and it makes you puke. Oh the stench, yuck!” remarked Gaurav Chander, a resident.

Hemraj Singh, who owns a cigarette shop in the market, said: “Our business has come down drastically-50 per cent at least. So many times, we have complained to the MCD but nothing has been done.”

Singh said the last time the MCD officials came here, the shopkeepers of the area collected money and gave it to them as bribes to solve the sewer problem, once and for all. “All they did was cover the road with mud so that the dirt cannot be seen. Next day itself, it was back to square one.”

Jagdish Bhatia, who runs a dhaba in the market said: ”I regret running the shop here. When I came here, I thought I was coming to a posh area where I would do great business. I was so wrong.”

Shanti, a potter of Kumar Basti, wept: “It is such a small problem for the authorities. All they have to do is to take some time out and fix the sewer once and for all. Why can’t they do it? Why are they torturing us like this?”

“There are so many press reporters living right opposite the Press Enclave, but not one of them ever pulls up the MCD. After all, they are also suffering. But they can’t be bothered to do something because their children are hardly affected. Their children never sleep hungry. Mine do. They have cars to go to better markets to buy the goods that they previously bought from our market. But we have no where to go,” she complained.

But the big question still remains - why can’t the MCD just fix the problem once and for all?

Well, a MCD official gave a rather shocking reply: “These people of Village Hauz Rani and Kumar Basti have occupied the place illegally. Most of the shops have been encroached and as a result, the sewer line has not been able to take the overload. Even if we repair it today, it will again get blocked tomorrow. We cannot do anything about it.” How does one react to such rationalisation of inefficiency?

Predictably, it made the shopkeepers of the area go red with anger. Naresh, a shopkeeper, said: “It is not the end of the topic. If required, we will take the MCD to court. It is

irrelevant whether the place is legal or illegal. The fact of the matter is that the market is there and there is a residential colony right opposite it where human beings reside. We want a clean environment for God’s sake.”

Did he say God’s sake? Even before he realised the full potential of God’s power, a bus passing by splashed the sewer water on Naresh’s clothes.

He turned around and saw that some of the sewer water had been splashed and dirtied the clay idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Krishna in the potters shop. He quietly turned around, picked up a cloth and started cleaning the idols. 



Devi Garh: An amalgam of tradition and modernity
Gaurav Choudhry
Tribune News Service

IT was earlier called the Delwara Fort Palace. Nestled in the Aravalli hills, this 18th century Fort Palace is strategically important as it is located in one of the three main passes in the Udaipur valley.

Historically, the principality of Delwara was awarded to Sajja Singh, who hailed from Gujarat, for displaying his bravery and loyalty to Maharana Pratap of Mewar against the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the battle of Haldighati (1576). Since this was a time of continuous wars against the Mughal invaders, the construction of the Fort Palace began in the 1760’s by Raghudev Singh II who was murdered in the Durbar intrigue in 1768. Subsequent rulers made many additions to the building, with the last inhabitant being Vicar Singh. These jagirs were merged into the state of Rajasthan in 1954 and the palace was abandoned in 1960.

Located 28 km North-east of Udaipur City, the scintillatingly beautiful palace is a convenient 45 minutes scenic drive both from the airport as well as the city railway station.

While train and air connections are available to Udaipur, people prefer travelling by road because of the picturesque and historical locations en route.

After years of restoration and rebuilding, Devi Garh is now ready for visitors. The Fort Palace was conceived as a place where the past meets the future. This all suite luxury hotel, comprising of 23 suites and six tents takes on the look of modern India, with an emphasis on design and detail, using local marbles and semi-precious stones.

The contemporary design, showcased within this spectacular heritage property, complemented by personalized and intimate service, creates a new image of India for the 21st century.

Combined with the gymnasium, steam, sauna, Jacuzzi and beauty parlour, the Fort Palace also offers traditional Indian Ayurvedic therapy. Traditionally, Rajputs were known for their forays into the wilderness – either to wage war or on hunting expeditions. Setting up of portable tents became one of the most important rituals.

For adventurous travelers, Devi Garh provides six tents at the foot of the Palace, as an option.

These tents, erected from October to March, recreate the desert sky on the cloth ceiling with patterns of clouds and stars, made up of shimmering mirrors. In order to match the comfort levels with modern day lifestyles, the tents are provided with electricity, heaters and fans, telephone connection and an attached marble bathroom, with running water.

By climbing a few steps, one can participate in all that the Palace has to offer. Alternatively, one had the option to enjoy the simple pleasures from the verandah of the tent – such as soaking in the sunshine, listening to the chirping birds while gazing out on to the lush green vegetable garden laid out in a Mughal pattern.



Dry spell dashes farmers’ hopes
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, November 10
Farmers in this part of Haryana are a worried lot these days. The dry spell and insufficient canal water have dashed all their hopes. Cracks have begun to appear on the parched fields. Several farmers have now abandoned at least a part of their paddy crop in the hope that they could save at least the rest.

Adding to their agony is the apathy of the government towards their problems. Plagued by repeated failure of the crops and the continuing drought-like condition, the farmers have landed themselves in an acute resource crunch.

A survey of the villages conducted by this correspondent reveals that most of the farmers who had planted paddy in their fields are in a dilemma now. The dry spell has made their task difficult. Those farmers who are dependent on canal water for irrigation complain that they are not getting sufficient water to save the crop, while the farmers who have to depend on tubewells are hit due to the shortage of power. The result is that cracks have developed in many of the
paddy fields.

Farmers are forced to use tractors to run tubewells, raising the cost of production. Others have installed new pumps by arranging loans from the banks. However, even they do not have much hope on their crops in the absence of rains.

Experts say if the present dry spell continues for another week, the total yield of paddy this year is likely to decrease by nearly 50 per cent.

The situation is such that most of the farmers have decided to abandon half of their land under the cultivation of paddy, as they feel that with the given resources, they would be happy if they could save at least the other half of their paddy crops.

Most of the farmers are trapped in heavy debts. Marginal farmers are sitting on the edge of poverty. Even affluent farmers have been rendered defaulters at banks by the failure of crops over the years. Many of the farmers owe big amounts of money to banks and arhtias. The interests many farmers have to pay on the loans taken to buy tractors and other agricultural equipment have crossed the principal amounts.

Now, even the arhtias have started refusing further loans to the farmers who are finding it difficult to arrange for fertilisers and pesticides. People are worried whether they will land in a situation like their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab where many framers resorted to suicide.

Meanwhile, drought-like conditions prevail in the villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai Water Service Division and Samalkha sub-division following the erratic supply of canal water even during the rotation period. Many farmers alleged that the water did not reach their fields at the tail end and their crops had started withering away. Repeated complaints made to the authorities concerned in this regard had fallen on deaf ears, they alleged.


Demolition of Ambedkar Park angers Dalits
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 10
A former Haryana minister and a senior Congress leader, Mr K.R. Punia, today strongly condemned the action of the district administration in demolishing Dr Ambedkar Park near the general bus stand in this city.

He alleged that the leaders of Dr Ambedkar Samarak Samiti were not taken into confidence prior to the demolition of the park despite the fact that the samiti had spent at least Rs 90,000 on its renovation besides construction of a boundary wall and a room for the chowkidar.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said demolishing the park was an unfortunate event, which had caused widespread resentment among the Dalits, and other backward classes people. Describing the action as unjust, unwarranted and anti-Dalit, he demanded stern action against the officials involved in the demolition.

He said during the regime of Mr Devi Lal a number of statues of Dr Ambedkar were erected all over the state. But, sadly, he added a park named after Dr Ambedkar was demolished during the regime of Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister and son of Mr Devi Lal.

He demanded that the park should be developed again to avoid any confrontation with the Dalits.

Mr Punia disclosed that the general body of the samiti would meet here tomorrow to chalk out the future course of action to be taken against the government and the district administration on this issue.

He also declared that the Congress party would extend its support to the agitation launched by the samiti on this issue.

Meanwhile, a former MP and former President of the Haryana state unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mr Aman Kumar Nagra, today criticised the demolition of the park by the district administration. He described the action as sarkari aatankvad (state terrorism).

Talking to mediapersons here, he alleged that it was a conspiracy hatched between the state government and the district administration to install the statue of Mr Devi Lal at this place.

He warned that if the park was not developed in its original shape his party would launch a statewide agitation on this issue. He disclosed that a meeting of the Dalits affiliated to his faction would be held here tomorrow to chalk out the future course of action for launching the agitation on this issue.


Nirankari Samagam begins with fervour
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 10
It was an emotional reunion for thousands of devotees who gathered today at the Nirankari Samagam on the Burari Road in North Delhi. An atmosphere of religious fervour swept the area as devotional songs in praise of the mission’s head rend the air.

As the head of the Nirankari Mission, Baba Hardev Singh, stood on the open jeep, thousands of people from different walks of life both young and old, who were waiting for over four hours, rushed forward to have a glimpse of the Baba. The Baba was accompanied by his wife Sawinder and mother Kulwant Kaur.

Baba Hardev Singh’s two daughters, son-in-law and other relatives who were dressed in designer suits also welcomed the mission’s head. They appeared in quite contrast to his devout followers, who were mainly from the poorer sections of the society.

With words of praise on their lips and expectation in their eyes, the devotees stood to their ground despite the crowds surging to have a glimpse of the Baba.

“Let us work for peace, because today we need it the most. Every right thinking citizen of the world, including many of those who indulge in fighting, will vouchsafe that wars cause only destruction and seldom yield lasting peace,” Baba Hardev Singh in his message to the world said, marking the beginning of the three-day samagam.

Recalling the two world wars fought in 20th century, Baba Hardev Singh said: “Let the 21st century man at least learn from this sad experience and reverse the trend. The current generations have already paid the price, so they must get peace now.”

The Nirankari Mission head, without a direct reference to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, said “humanity cannot even think of a worldly progress unless the minds are free from tension, fear, hatred, lust and greed.”

A mini-township has come up in a 400-acre land along the Burari Road in North Delhi, where thousands of people have gathered to attend the annual Nirankari Samagam. Volunteers of the Nirankari Mandal have set up tents, medical facilities, STD booths, railway booking counter and eating counters for the devotees who would be staying at the ‘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 water supply, sewerage, electricity and langar. A samagam committee has been set up to look after the overall arrangements. An exhibition on the mission and its messages has also been set up at the ground.

The Samagam started in 1948 for the first time when devotees came to express grief and anguish for 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 God knowledge and realisation of 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 Ulimate Truth, all our rites and rituals will remain un-rewarded.



Trade unions lash out at govt, US
Our Correspondent

A large number of industrial workers affiliated to the CITU, UTUC (Lenin Sarani), the BMS and other trade unions took out a huge procession here on Saturday and raised slogans against the US and the anti-people policies of the government.

Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, they marched through the main bazars of the city and held a rally near Subhash Chowk. The rally was addressed by leaders of various trade unions.

The speakers opposed the anti-peasant policies of the government and condemned it for surrendering to the dictates of the WTO. The leaders also alleged that America was waging an all-out war on the weak nations of the world. While in Afghanistan, it was using bombs to kill and terrorise the people, at Doha ministerial summit of the WTO, it was trying to use trade as a weapon of war and terror, they said.


Parents of girl students here urged the police to intensify patrolling near girl schools and colleges and apprehend eve-teasers. Cases of eve-teasing around the girl schools and colleges in the city were on the increase causing, they alleged.

Many parents alleged that the police had failed to take any step to curb the menace.

Divali mela

A four-day Divali Mela began in the municipal park near Subhash Chowk here on Saturday. Several games and other events will attract the visitors, say the organisers of this mela.

Unity day

The Haryana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to observe a national unity day on November 18. According to a press release, it would hold massive demonstrations and rallies at each district headquarters on that day in support of the demands.


Sulabh drive launched
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 10
The Sulabh International, a social service organisation, which has been awarded a Rs 5 crore project to construct and maintain Sulabh toilet complexes across Haryana under the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP), formally launched an awareness programme here yesterday.

The YAP, introduced in 1994 to clean up and prevent pollution of the Yamuna, is funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Senior Vice-President of Sulabh, told The NCR Tribune that the organisation would carry out a mass awareness programme to educate the local community about harmful effects of river pollutants. It would also construct toilet complexes near the Yamuna in districts like Faridabad, Gurgaon, Yamunanagar, Sonepat, Panipat and Karnal.


Man crushed to death on Mathura Road
Tribune News Service

A factory worker was crushed by a speeding vehicle on the Mathura Road here last night. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital later. The victim, Jitender Kumar, a resident of Sector 4, was coming back
from duty last night on a bicycle when he was hit by a vehicle near Sarai Khawaja. The killer vehicle sped away after the incident.

Duplicate items

The police has arrested a shopkeeper of the NIT area here in connection with selling duplicate electronic items of a well-known brand. The police has seized the items from the shops. Some stamps and papers were also seized following after a complaint lodged with it.

Two held

New Delhi
The North district police arrested two youths who were allegedly waiting to waylay people in the parking lot at Katra Neel in the Chandni Chowk area yesterday night. The duo were armed with button-actuated knives and were spotted moving in a suspicious manner by cops on duty.

The duo, Jeetu (20) and Raju (20), both residents of the Nand Nagri area, were found armed with knives with a criminal intent to rob business people who come to the parking lot in the area to take their vehicles. They fumbled with the answers when Sub-Inspector Narain Singh and constable Yunis questioned them. They were being questioned by the police to find whether they had been involved in my other crime.

Robber arrested

The Lahori Gate police arrested a robber, who reportedly snatched Rs 1,200 from Mr Krishan Singh, resident of Mandawali, while he was paying the shopkeeper for the dry fruits he had bought from
the shop.

The accused, Deepak (22), resident of Babarpur in the Shahdara area, after snatching the money immediately fled towards Church Mission Road, where he was nabbed by head constable Ramesh after a long chase.

Mr Ramesh had rushed towards the spot after hearing some commotion.

A case of robbery has been registered and the accused is remanded in the police custody.


5 chain snatchers held
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 10
The Ghaziabad police arrested three men and two women members of a gang involved in chain snatching and seized three gold chains from different areas under Kotwali, Sihani Gate and Kavi Nagar police stations yesterday night. Three knives were also seized from the robbers by the police. Two woman members of the gang, Urmilla and Rekha, were also nabbed by the police.

The Kotwali Inspector, Mr Y. P. S. Ahlawat said that three members of the gang were nabbed by the police patrol team last night. The three men arrested were Karan, Bhoop Singh and Munna of Dankaur in Gautam Budh Nagar. They have confessed to having snatched the chains.


Back in police net after three escapes
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 10
An alleged criminal, who had escaped from the police custody thrice, and his companion have been arrested by the Modinagar police. The police also seized 1.25 kg doda (opium) and Rs 33,000 from the duo, Gudar, alias Subash, and Raju, alias Rajkumar.

The Modinagar police arrested Gudar almost a month after he had threatened a Sub Inspector that he would kill him. Subash had escaped from a police vehicle on being taken back to Meerut from Ghaziabad after a court appearance last month. He had escaped by cutting the grill of the vehicle. Gudar also had stolen Rs 50,000 from the room of head clerk of Modinagar police station on an earlier occasion, the police said.

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