Sunday, November 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

N C R   S T O R I E S

 

 

Killing spree in Bulandshahar
Three hanged to death
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 17
Criminals seem to have thrown a challenge to the police by killing seven persons in different areas of Bulandshahar in the last two days.

Three persons were hanged to death in Ahmedgarh area while the body of an armyman was recovered in an area under Arirya police station. The jawan appeared to have been killed elsewhere and his body was thrown in the jungle. The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination, the police said.

Unidentified persons reportedly intruded into the house of one Rashid, 72, and hanged him, his wife Rohila, 65, and a child, 11, to death last night in Barari in Ahmedgarh.

The police said that the triple hangings appeared to be a revenge killing. A large number of persons have been interrogated and investigations are still continuing.

The gruesome triple murder, which sent shockwaves throughout the village, comes close on the heels of a double murder of a gram pradhan and his nephew outside the village on the night of November 14.

Villagers had subsequently blocked the traffic on the main road for five hours in Khurja town in protest against the murder. The blockage was lifted only on the assurance of the senior police officials that they would arrest the culprits soon.

According to the police, the gram Pradhan, Ramphool Singh

and his nephew, Rajesh, were going on a motorbike when Surinder and eight other miscreants shot them dead on the outskirts of the village.

Inspector Suresh Chouhan, circle officer Khurja, Subash Chander Shakiya, ADM Shashi Kant Diwedi, and other officials reached the site and brought the situation under control. Nobody has been arrested so far in the case.

The residents said that Gram Pradhan Ramphool was fighting for a just cause, but was murdered by miscreants who wanted to usurp the village land. There has been considerable tension in the village over this.

An old man, Sonepal, had also been killed in retaliation. His house was burnt down allegedly by the villagers, sympathetic to the pradhan. The villagers went on the rampage to protest against the killings

The police said that a picket had been stationed to check violence since the relatives of the deceased and his supporters swore revenge.

Khurja residents alleged that the law and order situation in the district had deteriorated considerably and the criminals were having a run of the city under the patronage of some local politicians who are running a land mafia.
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This school does not need students, it wants errand boys
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, November 17
What do kids in government schools do? They wash utensils, clean toilets and also ferry grocery and knick-knacks to the teachers’ house. This when they should be studying and playing games.

“Our teachers do not teach us, instead we are made to sweep the class rooms and clean the toilets. And if we protest, we are thrashed”, said Balu, a class eight student of Rajkiya Seh Shiksha Madhmik Vidyalaya, Vikaspuri.

Like Balu there are several others who complain of step motherly treatment in the government-run schools.

“Just because we live in slums we are ill-treated. The teachers do not even talk to us politely. We want them to love us and teach us, not belittle us”, says Varsha, referring to the general conditions in these schools.

These emotionally charged up students had gathered to demand their right to quality education at a conference organised by NAFRE, a grassroot-level national coalition of voluntary organisations, in the capital today. The conference, which was inaugurated by Ms. Sheila Dikshit, chief Minister of Delhi, was called for consultations on the 93rd Constitution Amendment Bill.

Students from various government schools in Delhi are affected by the lack of quality education. The increase in the drop out rate and also the poor performance of the students in the board exams are proof enough of the fact.

“Our teachers just rush through the chapters, they do not even bother to explain anything, and if we ask questions we are snubbed’, said Meena, a class five student in Nagar Nigam Prathmik Vidyala. The children also alleged that every month they are made to shell out money for activities, which never take place.

“Every month the teachers collect money on one pretext or the other. We collect money for the PTA meetings, which have never ever taken place,” said Balu. “We thought PTA meant PT, no one ever told us what it means,” added Varsha.

The teachers, who ironically refrain from teaching in schools, are encouraging private tuitions. “Our teacher tells us to come for tuitions to his house. They also tell us to study from guidebooks instead of the textbooks. Our principal condemns guides, but our teachers refer to them and encourage us to study from them ”, pointed out Sameer, a class six student of Prathmik Vidyala.

These children are now being provided assistance by KSLAY, an NGO, which has been working with the slum children. NAFRE has also taken on the responsibility to help these children get their due.

“We organise workshops for these kids. We take them for educational trips to different places. Last month we took them to Jaipur. The SCERT’s

Samuday Nigrani Sangh has also created awareness among the slum dwellers about the rights of the school students. Now, parents can go to schools and hold meetings with teachers”, said Anita of KSLAY.

She added, “Earlier the parents thought that since the schools are owned by the government, they could not register a complaint or hold meetings, but as apart of the Samuday Sangh they are becoming aware and are able to maintain checks”.

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Waning of faith blamed on Sikh bodies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
Sikh religious institutions have come in for flak from the intelligentsia for their failure to preserve and spread the basic tenets of the faith.

“Sikh institutions like Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee should be blamed for their failure to fulfil their duties, which has resulted in community members deviating from the basic tenets of Sikhism,’’ Prof Jaspal Singh, Principal of Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, said.

A number of Sikh intellectuals last evening discussed the implications of recent incidents of burning of the Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab and the reason for such happenings. Sikhism developed as a religious movement in response to the rigid and ritualistic practices of Hinduism. But, over the years, the caste system has anchored itself in Sikhism and rituals have gained credence.

The former diplomat, Prof Jaspal Singh, said the deepening of the roots of caste system in a religion, which is antithetical to this philosophy, is heartening, and the increasing discrimination of people on the basis of caste is deplorable.

“Such practices have emerged because institutions like SGPC and DSGMC have failed to fulfil their responsibilities,” he added.

Other scholars who expressed their views at the discussion included Dr Satinder Singh Noor and Dr Jagbir Singh, both professors of Punjabi at Delhi University, Mata Sundri College Principal M K Gill, Prof Harbans Singh Chawla of Khalsa College and his colleagues Dr Tajinderpal Kaur and Dr Harbans Kaur.

The scholars said the cropping up of `Deras’ and the `Babas’ are a clear manifestation of their increasing hold over individuals and their attempt to act as mediators between the religion and the followers.

The recent incident of burning of Guru Granth Sahib, the scholars said, was a sad incident, especially since the community is celebrating the bi-centenary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

“The clout of Babas and deras have grown because of the political patronage extended to them. Piara Singh Bhaniara was ex-communicated by the SGPC in 1998, the political patronage continued, which sent a wrong message to the community members,” said Harinderpal Singh, a SGPC member.

Piara Singh Bhaniara, a Sikh monastic leader, was recently arrested on charges of desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab. The desecration of the community’s religious book caused a political furore in the state.

They also discussed the need to draw elaborate plans to celebrate the 400 years of the compilation of Guru Granth Sahib and the handing over of the Guru tradition to the holy book in the coming years. Such milestones should be seized as an opportunity by the community to introspect, they said.

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Faridabad thrives on child labour
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 17
An adverse fallout of industrialisation in this town is child labour. The problem, it seems, is only discussed in seminars and debates. While an official survey is still to be taken up, the unofficial statistics put the number of child labourers in thousands, in the age group of 7 to 16 years. It is reported that a large number of such children belong to migrant labourers, who work in factories or are daily wagers.

According to social activists, the majority of child labour finds work in hotels, tea stalls and dhabas operating in industrial sectors or on the highway. Many children have been earning a living by working as domestic servants in posh residential areas.

Munna, 15, living in a jhuggi colony near Agra Canal here, works as a domestic help in several ‘kothis’ in Sector 14, 15, 16 and 17. He said that he had been working as a domestic help for about four years and had been able to contribute an income of Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 per month to his family.

He said his younger brother, aged 11, had also started working in houses. When asked as to why they were not going to school at this age, he said that his family was poor and could not afford their studies. Moreover, finding a suitable job after the studies was not all that easy, he said. He told the NCR Tribune that he knew several children in his age group who had to work to earn a living.

Several children slog for 10 to 12 hours every day and get only meagre wages. A child aged 10 and working at a tea stall-cum-dhaba said that he had no idea how much the owner paid him. He was abandoned at the stall by a relative. He gets food twice a day only. According to reports, many children have also taken to begging at intersections, railway stations and bus stops.

Some children could also be seen visiting houses and colonies for ‘begging’ in the name of ‘Shani Maharaj’ every Saturday.

An 11-year-old girl said that she was able to earn about Rs 50 to 70 each Saturday.

There is one Child Welfare Society in the district, which is generally engaged in holding painting competitions or the like, especially on November 14, celebrated as the Children’s Day across the country.

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‘New bill can jeopardise child’s right to education’
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, November 17
The present provisions of the proposed 93rd Constitution Amendment Bill, which aims at making education a fundamental right of every child in the country, will amount to withdrawal of children’s right to education, alleged Sanjiv Kaura, National Convenor of the National alliance for the Fundamental Right to Education (NAFRE).

Speaking at a function organised to discuss the 93rd amendment, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, “Education has for centuries been the right of select sections of society. In the current scenario, money is not the constraint -- it is the lack of will.”

She added that if the highly significant ‘Green Revolution’ was not assessed in terms of cost, how could an equally important revolution in education be abandoned by employing the logic of economy. Ms Dikshit called upon the activists and scholars to find out ways to garner support for adequate provisions in the education bill, which the Government intends to table in the winter session of Parliament.

Noted parliamentarians like Eduardo Faleiro, Prakash Ambedkar and Mitra Chenoy attended the function. Mr Chenoy insisted that at least six per cent of GDP should be dedicated to education, working conditions of teachers and mid-day meals. NAFRE is a grassroot level national coalition of voluntary organisations. It aims at coalescing a nationwide groundswell demand for equitable and quality education. Today’s function was a part of its campaign for spearheading the cause of education.
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Four highway robbers held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
The North district police arrested four members of a notorious gang of road robbers and auto-lifters last evening when they were planning to waylay a passenger of a vehicle. The anti-auto theft squad also seized country-made firearms and button-actuated knives from the gang.

The accused, Joginder Singh, alias Dhilla, Abid Hussian, alias Guddu, Sanjeev Yadav, alias Tunda, and Ravi Kumar were arrested near the Sarai Rohilla police station. All were reported to be residents of the CRPF Camp area in their mid-twenties.

The police said that the gang revealed during interrogation that they were involved in the shoot-out in Mehrauli area in June this year when a renowned pediatrician, Dr Deepak Sehgal, was shot at and seriously injured. The gang also told the police that they used to steal cars from Najafgarh and Gurgaon and ply in Vasant Kunj and Mehrauli areas.

The reason for choosing these areas was that there was very less number of people moving on the roads here during late hours and most of those who were out belong to the affluent class, they said.

In fact, the same gang had stolen a Maruti 800 car from Gurgaon and was found roaming in the Mehrauli area looking for possible targets. Around 11 pm in June, the gang spotted a Toyota Prado vehicle in which Dr Deepak Sehgal and his friend Rajan Parekh were returning after attending a wedding.

When the gang failed to open the door of the vehicle, which was locked from inside, a frustrated gang member, Joginder Singh, fired at both in which Dr Deepak Sehgal was seriously injured.

Incidentally, Daljeet Singh, alias Mintoo, another member of the gang, was arrested by the South district police and his interrogation led to the arrest of this notorious gang.
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Armed men loot housewife
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
Four armed desperadoes intruded into the Mandawali , east Delhi house of a 30-year-old woman, Ms Queresha. The culprits escaped with Rs 30,000 and two gold chains after threatening her with a gun. The housewife did not put up a resistance.

The police suspect that the desperadoes used a getaway vehicle, parked outside, with another accomplice at the wheel.

The suspects were described as young and ordinarily dressed. Their description has been flashed to all the police stations. A case of robbery has been registered.

This is the fourth armed robbery in the Capital in the last few days and comes close on the heels of looting of a businessman in the posh Safdarjung area of South Delhi when armed desperadoes intercepted his vehicle while he was on his way home. After injuring him, they escaped with more than three lakh rupees.
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Encroachers won’t leave even the dead alone at this cemetery
Priyanka Gupta


Widespread encroachment and illegal businesses flourish near Rajpura Cemetery making the area a veritable hell

New Delhi, November 17
For many years, the boundary wall of the three-acre Rajpura Cemetery has been surrounded with shops and scooter workshops creating a nuisance to commuters and disfiguring the beauty of the area. Not only outside the wall, but people have also started encroaching on the cemetery premises to carry on their businesses, mostly illegal, like stitching bags, making iron bolts and chairs etc.

Besides that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has allotted 4x6 open spaces to some people on the payment of a tehbazari, the mushroom growth of illegal vendors and shopkeepers in the area has put the corporation’s efficacy in doubt. Many of the shopkeepers say they have been paying regular rent to the MCD for the past 24 years.

In fact, a demolition drive by the MCD had taken place on September 23 as part of the Metro Project but the encroachments have come up again in the area. The MCD now claims that what is going on inside the cemetery premises is just repair works rather than an encroachment.

Till 1982, there were no encroachments. However, when colonies like Vijay Nagar, Hudson Lines, Outram Lines, Reeds Lines and Advert Lines came up, people grabbed some portion of the land on the roadside adjacent to the cemetery for running the business of wood and coal. Later, this work extended up to the entrance of the cemetery and unscrupulous people flooded the area but authorities concerned remained blind to the goings on.

A few senior citizens on condition of anonymity alleged that some people also constructed two to three-storey buildings in the area violating all rules and regulations of the MCD and in connivance with authorities. They also said that the people were also misusing electricity and water supplies without paying a single penny to the DESU (now Delhi Vidyut Board) and Delhi Jal Board.

After the orders of the Supreme Court in 1998 to shift polluting industries and unauthorised colonies and also to allot alternate places to them, no action has been taken as yet.

The area’s proximity to Delhi University has only added to the problem. Xerox shops, STD booths, cyber cafes, scooter repairing shops, eating joints and many other vends are always flooded with students. Even the footpath is full most of the time. The scooter and car repair work is done on the main road that links the road directly to the inner Ring Road.

The workshop owners park vehicles on the road, which hinders the free flow of traffic and leaves the pathway less than 25 feet. The earlier bus stand here has now disappeared due to rickshaw pullers. The commuters have to wait for buses at the turning to Vijay Nagar, which now has become an accident-prone area.

Mr Sanjeev Nanda, one of the commuters, said, “I have to cross this stretch daily and it is really troublesome in the evenings. The road is already narrow. Now with the shop owners carrying on their business on the roads, the road here is made more congested. I avoid using this stretch.”

Another commuter, Ms Rinku, added, “This is one of the favourite places of university students. Rates of photostat copies and other things are less than the usual rates. Mostly, college students linger here to get a bit of entertainment. Eve-teasing is very common in the area.”

The narrow road results in constant honking of horns by drivers and with the noise of iron rods being hammered always, the noise pollution reaches new levels everyday. Besides, the smoke emanating from the repair shops and the vehicles, which get stuck in the traffic jam here, makes the air heavy.

The MCD demolished over 100 unauthorised shops in September. The shopkeepers created a lot of hue and cry on the issue as it came out of the blue for many. Mr Jagdish Kumar, one of the shopkeepers, said, “The MCD should have informed us before demolishing our shops. Isn’t it a deliberate harassment? We all have to bear losses to the tune of lakhs of rupees. It has taken more than two months for us to reset our work and lead normal business.”

The demolition took place on the ground that the Metro Project was going to be extended up to the area but the annoyed shopkeepers lamented that the area had nothing to do with the project. However, the Deputy Commissioner of the MCD, Mr K. D. Akolia, said, “The demolition have been carried out for further development of the Metro Project. A double carriage has been planned near the Najafgarh Drain popularly known as the nullah in the area that will link up to Patel Chest on the right turn and then stretch up to Mall Road via Kingsway Camp and Vijay Nagar.”

Though the encroachments have come up again, MCD officials say they are just repair works. And despite the corporation’s claims that it has maintained the footpath and provided enough space to pedestrians to walk, the area still remains crowded with vendors and encroachers.
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GETTING AWAY
Living out royal fantasies in a jungle
Tribune News Service


The Sariska Palace is a visual treat. 
 — A Tribune photo

New Delhi, November 17
For those looking for some excitement in tandem with all worldly comforts and adventure in the midst of the jungle, Sariska is an ideal getaway. Just a short drive from Delhi, the romance of Sariska is never-ending. Just like its history, wrapped as it is in a tradition as old as the Aravallis.

Sariska is all things to all people. For those on a holiday, it is a perfect resort where you live out your royal fantasies surrounded by the idyllic beauty of a king’s palace. It is a setting unlike any other for close encounters with rare animals and birds – an ideal getaway for those on a tryst with the wild. And an outstanding nature cure-oriented health and rejuvenation retreat if you want to take off on weekends, recharge your batteries and be back home for yet another gruelling week ahead.

Amidst the sylvan surroundings stands the majestic Sariska Palace, which is now a heritage hotel. The palace is an architectural marvel, blending Indian and European styles to create a visual splendour. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh of Alwar, the hotel is nestled amid the stunning flora and fauna of the valley.

The Sariska Valley with its forests, wildlife and palaces brings to life the majesty of a bygone era. It is now a tiger reserve but apart from the tiger it is also home to spotted deer, sambar, rare birds and some other exquisite and endangered species. The valley once served as a favourite hunting ground of the royal family of Alwar, the Mughals and the British. The wildlife today lures hunters of a different kind – those who believe in shooting with their cameras.

Sariska is also tiger country, home to Project Tiger sanctuary. For the adventurous, there is a jungle jeep safari and a thrilling night trek on the trail of the tiger. Also on the itinerary are package tours like the panorama trek, a conducted tour to Ranjitop – the hilltop overlooking the Sariska Palace – that passes through typical dry deciduous forests of the Aravallis. Then there is the village culture experience, designed for tourists cramped for time and wanting to feel life in a rural setting. The experience of a camel cart safari to a nearby village untouched by the influences of modern day living is worth cherishing.

Away from the wild forays in the sanctuary, tranquility prevails in the nearby locales. The royal town of Alwar is splendid for its palaces, hilltop forts and artificial lakes. Silisreh, with its lakeside castle; Naldeshwar with its ancient Shiva temple; Kushalgarh with its small fortress; the shrine of Bhartrihari which enjoys a devout following; Kankwari with its bristling battlements; and the ruined temple towns of Paranagar and Bhangarh.

A special festive season package valid through December 30, 2001 is Sariska’s gift to people who want to celebrate this winter. “This winter we want the guests to savour the festive season with this package”.

From Delhi: 190 km; three hours by road

Attractions:

  • Sariska Tiger Sanctuary
  • Sariska Ayurveda Centre
  • Buddhist temples, Prathiaras temples, Mughal Shikars camp sites
  • Lakeside castle of Silisreh, fortress of Kushalgarh


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SONEPAT
Houses to be auctioned from Nov 26
Our Correspondent

THE Haryana Housing Board has offered fully built houses for allotment through auction in 14 towns of the state. According to official sources, the towns are Sonepat, Panipat, Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Faridabad, Palwal, Bhiwani, Dharuhera, Ambala, Gurgaon, Jind and Panchkula.

The auction for the houses at Palwal, Faridabad, Karnal, Dharuhera, Bahadurgarh, Rohtak and Ambala City will be held on November 26 whereas the houses at Gurgaon, Panchkula, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Panipat will be auctioned on November 27. Similarly, the houses at Jind will be auctioned on November 28 and at Kurukshetra on November 29.

Official sources also revealed that the houses of various categories include low-income group (LIG), middle-income group (MIG), high-income group (HIG), economically weaker section (EWS) and duplex. These houses would be auctioned on “as is where is” basis.

APROs shuffled

The Haryana Government has appointed Mr Om Parkash Lakra, Assistant Public Relations Officer (APRO), Karnal as the APRO at Meham against a vacant post.

According to official sources, Mr Howa Singh Dahiya, APRO, Bahadurgarh has been posted at Dabwali whereas Mr K. K. Binda, APRO, has been posted at Karnal in the same post. Similarly, Mr Raghbir Singh, FPA, Rohtak has been posted at Bahadurgarh in the same post with immediate effect.

No water

The drinking water supply remained suspended in the old city area Friday evening causing inconvenience to thousands of residents.

Several residents alleged that the disruption in water supply in the evening in this part of the city had become a routine and the officials of the Public Health Department had failed to maintain the water supply despite public complaints in this regard.

Beaten up

Hoshiar Singh, a youth, was allegedly beaten up by some persons at Panchi village, about 15 km from here, Friday night. The injured youth was immediately hospitalised. A dispute over the throwing of filth at the panchayat land was stated to be the reason behind the assault.

Youth assaulted

Bijender, a youth, was allegedly assaulted by three persons at Liwaspur village, about 15 km from here, on Friday.

According to a report, Bijender was monitoring the work for the construction of a temple in the village. The temple was being built after the panchayat passed a resolution to this effect. The alleged assailants resisted the construction work and assaulted him with lathis. The injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment.

Suicide

Mrs Desh Kumari, a 45-year-old Lady Health Visitor (LHV) of the local civil hospital, died Friday night after consuming sulpha tablets in a bid to commit suicide. She was reported to have taken sulpha tablets in her house in Sector 15 here in the night and was rushed to the hospital when her condition worsened.

But she died later. A family quarrel is stated to have forced her to take the extreme step.

Falls from jeep

A 23-year-old man, Surinder, was killed on the spot when he fell down from a jeep near Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, on Friday. The victim fell from the jeep, as the driver was taking a turn, and died. The Kharkhauda police have registered a case.

Dharna

The HUDA Public Health Karamchari Union has decided to launch an indefinite dharna from November 26 at Rohtak in protest against the “anti-employee attitude” of the HUDA authorities and the state government. Mr R. K. Nagar, president of the union, told mediapersons here on Saturday that the dharna would continue until all the demands of the union were accepted.

Minor raped

A minor girl was allegedly raped by a youth at Tanda Jhundpur village, about 15 km from here, Friday night. According to a report, she came out from her house for easing herself and she was caught by the youth who took her to his shop where she was molested.

The police have registered a case of alleged rape against the youth who is still at large. The girl has been medically examined.

Family clash

Three members of a family, including two women, were injured seriously in a clash that took place between two brothers at Bhadana village, about 10 km from here, on Friday.

According to a report, all the injured were rushed to the local civil hospital where they are stated to be out of danger. The police have registered a case. However, no arrest has been made. A dispute over the amount spent on the tube well was stated to be the main cause of the clash.

Gamblers held

The Kharkhauda police conducted surprise raids at two gambling dens in the foodgrains market area of the town on Friday and arrested seven persons on the charge of gambling. The arrested persons have been identified as Ram Kishore, Satya Parkash, Devinder, Latif, Salman, Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Rahim. The police also seized Rs 540 in cash and other articles of gambling from their possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against them.

6 hurt in clash

Jhajjar
At least six members of a family were injured, two of them seriously, when another group of people attacked them in Bhatera village of the district, a police spokesman said here on Saturday.

According to the police, Krishan Kumar along with eight of his family members armed with lathis arrived at the home of Jitendra and reportedly started beating up all those present there. Six members of the family, including Jitendra, Bijendra, Omati, Asharphi, Sunita and Indira sustained injuries.
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Haryana abolishes ST on fertilisers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 17
The Haryana Government has abolished sales tax on the sale of all kinds of fertilisers used in the agricultural sector in the state.

Inaugurating the sale centre of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, Mr Satbir Singh Kadiyan, Speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, made the announcement on Friday. This centre has been opened by Kisan Welfare Club of Sonepat district. The Speaker said that the state government was providing all facilities and technical know-how to the farmers for boosting farm output in the state. He also said that Haryana, once a deficit state in foodgrains, had now become a surplus state as it was exporting foodgrains to other states.

He disclosed that the state government had launched a new agricultural policy for the benefit of the farmers. He, however, admitted that the farmers had not been getting remunerative prices for their produce for the past many years despite the fact that the prices of seeds, fertilisers and other allied outputs had gone up considerably. As a result, the profession of agriculture had become non-profitable and the economic condition of the farmers had become miserable. The Speaker urged the central government to take immediate and concrete steps for giving remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce so that their living standard could be improved.

He assured that the state government would take steps for improving the living conditions of farmers. For this purpose, scientists at CCS Agricultural University, Hisar, were being sent abroad for getting trained in new technologies but they had utterly failed to give advantage to farmers in the state.

He called upon the farmers to increase their agricultural output in the state by adopting modern technology. Mr Ramesh Dagar, Chairman of Kisan Welfare Club, said the main aim of the club was to create awareness about the use of modern technology in the agriculture sector. He disclosed that at least 20 centres for the sale of certified seeds, fertilisers and pesticides would be opened in this district.

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‘Chautala govt anti-farmer’
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, November 17
Mr Shamsher Singh Surjewala, Haryana president of the farmers’ cell of the Congress party, has said that the present policies of the central and state governments are anti-farmer and anti-labourer.

On one pretext or the other, subsidies for the poor are being abolished without providing them with any alternative means, he said while addressing mediapersons here toady. He had come here to attend a workers’ meeting along with other MLAs. Mr Surjewala said that Congress party was always in favour of providing relief/subsidies to the weaker sections of society and that is why it had introduced the policies of purchasing the farmers’ produce and giving them to the needy through the public distribution system.

He lamented that the present NDA government was not giving a fair price for the farmers’ crops, and on the contrary it had adopted the policy of abolishing the subsidies to the poor.

The farmer leader stated that it was a misconception that subsidies had to be abolished as per the agreement with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In this agreement, no such condition had been imposed. He promised that if Congress party were voted to power, it would soon revive both these policies.

Speaking about the ruling Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana, Mr Surjewala said that Mr Om Prakash Chautala was incapable of ruling the state and had sold out the state’s interests to his friend and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Despite the Supreme Court’s directive to Haryana and Punjab to solve the SLY canal dispute within one month

Mr Chautala deferred the decision with a view to providing a poll plank to his counterpart in Punjab in the forthcoming assembly elections.
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2 asphyxiated as sweet shop catches fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
In a bizarre incident in the Capital on Saturday, two persons were choked to death this morning when a sweet shop in Trilokpuri area of East Delhi was gutted following a short circuit.

The two men, who were identified as Guddu Singh (20), resident of Agra, and Amar Bahadur (25), resident of Sultanpuri, were reportedly sleeping inside the locked shop when the incident occurred. Two LPG cylinders kept inside the shop also caught fire and got burst. Both were taken to the nearby Lal Bahadur Hospital where they were declared brought dead by doctors. The cause of the incident is still not known. The police have registered a case under Section 304 A of the IPC.

The police said the fire broke out in the wee hours and both persons died on the spot. According to the Delhi Fire Service, about eight fire-tenders were rushed to the spot immediately to control the fire, but they could manage to overpower the blaze only after an hour.
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Dhumal seeks agrotech park in HP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 17
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, has urged the Government of France to establish an agrotech complex - A Food Industry Science Park - in the state.

The Chief Minister, who met the French Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Jean Glavany, here today, said that the park would go a long way in imparting technical knowledge to the farmers as is being done in France. Mr Dhumal said that Himachal Pradesh had immense horticulture and agriculture potential and value-addition to products would go a long way in boosting the state’s economy. There was also a great scope for floriculture in the state. The French Minister said that a delegation of experts led by the French Ambassador, Mr Bernard de Montferrand, would visit Himachal Pradesh soon to work out the modalities of the project. The Union Minister for Rural Development, Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, was also present at the meet.

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Illegal liquor flows unchecked in Sonepat
R.D. Sapra

Sonepat, November 17
The Haryana Government has been suffering a huge loss of revenue on account of liquor smuggling and the sale of illegal liquor in the urban areas of this city and its surrounding villages on a massive scale by the liquor mafia operating in this district.

According to informed sources, certain officials of the Excise Department were in league with the mafia engaged in the smuggling of liquor and its sale. The gangs of liquor mafia bring the liquor from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and sell it in this city and elsewhere in the district in connivance with certain officials of the Excise Department.

Illegal liquor sales continued unabated at the dhabas, restaurants and hotels on the GT Road and other state highways where liquor is served to the visiting customers on demand. Most of the customers include the truck drivers and passersby.

Even after the state government sent a message to the district and police authorities to crack down on illegal liquor vends bootleggers operating from the villages have been managing to do brisk business. Many people who buy liquor from the roadside dhabas, hotels and restaurants said that they get the liquor pouches right under the nose of the police and even at hiked price thanks to the failure of the Excise Department officials to check the sale of illegal liquor.

Illegal liquor was also freely available in the villages where liquor pouches are the main source of livelihood for most shopkeepers there. Some paanwallahs used to stock liquor pouches, which are generally good quality liquor, but following police raids many shopkeepers appear to have discontinued the practice.

During the past six months, the police had seized thousands of bottles of country liquor, liquor pouches and English wine worth several lakhs of rupees and challaned hundreds of people under the Excise Act. The action of the

police has led to a decline in the cases of liquor smuggling during the past two months.

Representatives of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations as well as trade unions today urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the complaints of illegal liquor smuggling and transfers of the official of the Excise Department who are said to be involved in this racket.

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Criminal arrested from North Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
A notorious criminal carrying a reward of Rs 20,000 on his head, Mohammad Akram, was arrested today from North district. The suspect is a declared ‘bad character’ of the Hauz Qazi police station and an accused in a murder case of Sarai Rohalla that took place last year. The suspect was arrested from Inderlok in North Delhi. During interrogation, he disclosed that the murder at Sarai Rohalla was the result of a gang rivalry between Khalil and Gemini gangs. Both gangs wanted to establish supremacy over each other. Khalil is a declared ‘bad character’ of Lahori Gate police station and Gemini is declared a ‘notorious criminal’ of Chandni Mahal police station.

The suspect posed himself as a police officer of the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police last year and picked up Mohammad Harun, Mohammad Ashraf, Mohammad Nasir and Mohammad Nazir from Sarai Rohalla. The suspects and his accomplices were armed with iron rods. A case of abduction was registered by the Sarai Rohalla police. Two days after, bodies of Mohammad Harun and Mohammad Arshad were found from Sector 39, Noida. The whereabouts of the other two victims are still not known.

Charas seized

The Nangloi police arrested two persons Friday night and seized 3.12 kg of charas from them. The two were identified as Vishva Nath Prasad (42), resident of Champaran in Bihar, and his brother-in-law (Sadhu) Muni Lal (34), resident of Patna. The police said that during a course of routine check, the duo was found near Camp No. 2 on the Railway road in Nangloi. A case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has been registered against the duo.
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Two die in road mishaps
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17
Two motorists were crushed to death today in separate accidents in the Capital, the police said.

A CNG-driven bus (DC1P B0487) allegedly overran a two-wheeler (DL7S Q2106) killing Rajesh Kumar (23) on the spot near Shivmurti in West Delhi this morning, the police said adding that he was working as a mason.

The bus driver, Sudhir Kumar has been arrested.

The bus was plying from Nazafgarh to Badarpur when the accident occurred.

In another accident, motorist Sandeep Trehan was overrun by a private bus (DL1P A3964) near Anand Vihar bus terminus in East Delhi this afternoon.

The victim was working as a salesman in a private firm.

The police said cases of rash and negligent driving had been registered and efforts were being made to ascertain the exact cause of the accidents.
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Three robbers posing as CBI officers held

New Delhi, November 17
Three persons, who tried to rob a person posing as CBI officers, was arrested yesterday from near the Loni flyover in North-East district last evening. They were identified as Sajeev, Sonu and Jaipal.

The suspects were arrested while they were reportedly fleeing after robbing Meet, who was waiting for a TSR near the Loni flyover. They were caught by local people when the victim cried for public help, the police said. TNS
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