Sunday, December 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



DSGMC suspends 8 women staff
Row affects gurdwara’s functioning
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 29
The conflict between the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and the gurdwara employees not only escalated with the management suspending eight women employees late last night, but it has also begun to seriously affect the normal functioning of gurdwara. So far, 33 agitating employees have been suspended.

The suspension of three women employees from the historical Majnu ka Tila Gurdwara forced many devotees to leave the holy place without the traditional langar today. It being a holiday for many, a large number of devotees had converged on the gurdwara but returned after listening to shabat kirtan and having paid obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib. “This perhaps is the first time that devotees left without tasting the langar,” a devotee commented.

The gurdwara has four women employees for preparing langar and the DSGMC yesterday suspended three of them for taking part in the union activities. The stern action by the DSGMC follows within days of the employees submitting a charter of demands. The employees have demanded the payment of dearness allowance (DA) arrears since 1996, uniforms to the staff, which have not been issued for the past three years, the reinstatement of 33 persons, laid off by the committee without assigning a reason, and a change in the behaviour of DSGMC executive members.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Employee’s Union has threatened to launch an agitation and expose the “corrupt practices” being indulged by the DSGMC members if the demands are not met within a month. While the president of the union, Mr Iqbal Singh, said the charter of demands had been submitted to the DSGMC, the general secretary of DSGMC, Mr Kulmohan Singh, said they had not yet received any representation so far.

Mr Kulmohan Singh, who represents the pro-Badal faction of the Shiromani Akali Dal, contended that “in a religious place like the gurdwara, the employees should not form any union to fulfil their demands”.

“It is not a factory that the employees form a union to put forward their demands. We have no objection if they form a welfare society to protect the interest of the workers,” he said. He found unexpected support from chief of the pro-Tohra faction, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna. In a rare show of unanimity, he said, “Religious places should not be used for union activities. The employees can air their grievances even by forming a welfare society and negotiate the demands with the management.”

While the DSGMC general secretary claimed that the management had started distributing uniforms to the employees, the former president of the committee, Mr Sarna stated that during his tenure in 1995 and 1999, it had provided the employees with uniforms. “If the uniforms had not been distributed, then the present committee is to be blamed for that,” he said. Mr Iqbal Singh said, “The uniforms are to be distributed every year, but this is not being followed. The gurdwara employees have not got the uniforms and even the turban (two for each worker) as agreed by the management have not been given for years.”



After Mewat, demand to make Palwal district
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 29
While the proposed new district of Mewat is on the agenda of some of the political parties, a section of residents have started raising the demand for making Palwal, a sub-division of Faridabad, into a new district. Kisan Sangharsh Vahini (KSV), a non-political outfit of Palwal, staged a procession on Friday and submitted a memorandum to the authorities at the sub-divisional headquarters.

The Vahini, which had earlier taken up the demand on various occasions, has claimed that districts like Yamunanagar, Panchkula, Kaithal and Rewari had been ‘smaller’ in size. It had demanded that Palwal be upgraded as district comprising Palwal, Hodal and Hathin sub-division, besides some area of Mewat region. It says that revenue collected from the Mandis here are not less than many districts in the state.

The members of the Vahini and other people supporting this idea claim that Palwal was an old town with historical significance.

The ‘Father of the Nation,’ Mahatma Gandhi, was arrested in Palwal during the freedom struggle, according to the convenor of the Vahini.

He said the late Chaudhary Devi Lal had also expressed his desire to upgrade Palwal as a new district. However, on other hand, the move lacks political support. While the present MLA from Palwal and a former Minister, Karan Singh Dalal, has been silent on the issue, main political parties, including the Congress and Haryana Vikas Party have supported the proposal of making Mewat a new district, if they come to power. But the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and its coalition partner BJP has not shown any interest so far. However, some of the leaders of political parties claim that up-gradation to district will not solve any problem. Quoting the example of Jhajjar, which was made a district in last year, a social activist said that the state of affairs at Jhajjar had not changed much, except the construction of new buildings for the district administration.

He claimed that the pace of development in some of the new districts, including Jhajjar, was very slow and few officers wanted to be posted in these districts. Moreover, a majority of residents of districts like Faridabad and Gurgaon seem to be opposed to any proposal of making either Palwal or Mewat into a new district in the near future.



Security strengthened in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 29
Security in the Capital has been strengthened following intelligence inputs that there could be more terrorist attacks in the city. Members of at least three terrorist groups – Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Al-Umar Mujahideen – are believed to have infiltrated into Delhi for launching attacks on vital installations and targeting VVIPS.

All VVIPS, ministers and MPs have been provided with adequate security as once again the possible targets seem to be the politicians of the country. More security are deployed in and around the vital installations and this time, Jammu and Kashmir House and Army housing engineering wing are on the top hit list, according to intelligence sources.

It is said that about three batches of terrorists consisting of 14 persons each and of mainly Afghan nationals and trained Kashmiri youth have reached Delhi.

Although some unconfirmed reports claimed that at least two persons belonging to the terrorist groups had been picked up and their interrogation was on, officials sources refused to confirm the same.

Sources, however, said that there had been no concrete evidence to indicate their association with the groups and as of now there was no adequate proof to prove their links with these terrorist outfits.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir House has been alerted and asked to verify the visitors on a day-to-day basis to prevent any untoward incidents, as the house is on top of the hit list.

Officials also say that it has become very difficult to check the antecedents of people during the festive season, as normally most of the places are crowded. Although officials in the Delhi Police have admitted the threat perception, they refuse to come out with any information about the suspects who were arrested, and only say we have no such information.



Police ‘harassment’ makes couple end life
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 29
Unable to cope with the alleged harassment by officials of the women police station in Rohtak, a middle-aged couple, Mr Jaipal Jain (50) and Mrs Makhmali Jain (45), committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets at their house in the West Ram Nagar area here last evening.

According to Mr Tarun Jain, younger son of the victims, his elder brother, Mr Rajesh Kumar Jain, had married a girl, Neelam of Mugan village in Rohtak district about four years back. Mrs Neelam had a quarrel with her husband and left the house after this. She had been living in her parents’ house for the last 11 months. Mr Jain also pointed out that his father had made a series of attempts to settle the dispute between Mrs Neelam and Mr Rajesh but failed. Thereafter, Mrs Neelam made a complaint to the officials of the women police station in Rohtak alleging dowry harassment against her husband and other members of her husband’s family.

Mr Jain also stated that his father and mother got the information about the complaint and they went to the house of their daughter-in-law at Mugan village for a settlement. But the family of Mrs Neelam informed the officials of the women police station at Rohtak and the officials asked them to come to the police station for an inquiry.

When they reached the police station, they were allegedly maltreated by the officials. They were let off later and reached their house in the city yesterday. However, the humiliation was too much for the couple who committed suicide after a few hours.



Shiksha: Where the needy are schooled
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, December 29
Each smiling face that greets you has a different story to tell, yet a common purpose draws the faces together. The desire to seek their share of happiness and learn the lesson of survival is what goads the children of this school to pursue their love for learning.

Meet the students of Shiksha Kendra, a special school started by the Delhi Public School for underprivileged children. The school has helped students realise their dream of studying in a reputed institution where they are provided with the best of academics as well as extra-curricular activities.

“I am very happy to be here. I never knew school can be such fun,” said Gabriella, a class five student who was enrolled in the school about five months ago.

The school opened its doors about three years ago for those who cannot afford quality education for their children. Run in the afternoon shift, it teaches more than 1,000 children living in the nearby slums from pre-nursery to eighth class.

“The maximum number of students are in the junior classes. We try to take in as many as we can. School dropouts or those who have not been admitted to a school before are all taught here,” says the Headmistress of DPS Shiksha Kendra, Mrs Pushpa Aggrwal.

The children from the economically weaker sections of society are not only bereft of education, but they also lack good mental and physical health. Therefore, it becomes essential not just to educate them, but also shower love and attention to make them feel wanted, said a child psychologist. “We nurture these kids with affection and care. We understand that some of them come from unstable backgrounds, so it our duty to make them feel safe and secure,” said Jasmine a teacher at the Kendra. Sanjay, a student of class five, who has been in the school for about two years told the NCR Tribune, “ I wish we didn’t have to go back home. The school should be open seven days a week. The moment we go back home, it is back to the same old things, parents scold us for attending school, they want us to work instead.”

“In spite of concessions like free uniforms and books and nominal fees, it is difficult to convince parents to send their children to school. We try our level best to provide children with the best of education and also channel their talents by making them participate in various activities,” said Ms Aggarwal. While there are some individuals who are willing to help and sponsor children who find it difficult to finance their education. There are quiet a few who have to earn money washing cars or doing odd jobs. “I want to study, but my father refuses to give money. So I wash cars in the neighbouring Som Vihar. I don’t want to miss school, but my parents don’t understand,” said Sujay, a class six student.

Some of these children reveal that their parents had pulled them out of the government schools because the quality of education was poor and it was a better option to help them by earning money.



Next year’s motto: Turn over a new leaf

AT the dawn of the New Year, several thoughts flood our minds. Some of the events of the past had shaken us a great deal such as violence in the cities like New York, the sorry plight of the refugees in Afghanistan or the war clouds nearer home.

Amidst such changes and threats, we need to be anchored in those values which make for stability and peace of mind. We need to see that regrets of the past and fears about the future do not paralyse us.

The hymn, ‘Abide with me’, a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, expresses beautifully the truth that the unchanging Lord is the One, who could be the reference point and the source of strength and refuge in the midst of all the changes and decay we see all around.

In Tolstoy’s words, “God is He without whom one cannot live.” Human life can be described as a search for the meaning of existence. In that, not a few are led to the conclusion that the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. With that understanding, everything falls into place in man’s life.

Generally speaking, faith in and love for God provide us with a set of moral principles to live by. How are we to look at the New Year? Every day gives us an opportunity to make a new beginning. Sweeping away the past with its mistakes, failures and disappointments, we can make a fresh start. Every day could be a day of regeneration and renewal.

So let us never lose sight of the higher goals and ideals, which had shaped some of the great and beautiful lives on the face of this earth. You reap what you sow; this is especially true of our thought patterns. “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” We must remain on higher ground. Which are those values which should govern us in the New Year? What shall be our mottos?

The Sterling Group of Publications came out with a calendar last year that illustrates how even a wall hanger can serve a useful purpose. It carries powerful thoughts, each of which, could serve as a maxim to guide your life and mine. Here is a sample that relates to our work life: “One thing I am resolved upon, I will not be a sponge or a parasite. I will give an honest equivalent of what I get. I want no man’s money for which I have not rendered a full return. I want no wages that I have not earned. If I work for any company or any institution. I will render a generous service. If I work for the city, or the state or the nation, I will give my best thought, my best effort, my most conscientious and efficient endeavour.

No man shall ever be made poor by his dealings with me. If I can give a little more than I get every time, in that shall be my happiness. The great commonwealth of human society shall not be the loser through me. I will take good care to put into the common fund more than I take out.” (Washington Gladden).

Corruption can be defined as an attempt to take away from society abnormally more than what one has contributed to it. A society that worships wealth and power without regard for character or honesty promotes a lifestyle that would soon eat into its vitals.

The great scientist Einstein had pointed out that society often regards as successful that man who receives a great deal from his fellowmen, usually incomparably more than corresponds to his service to them.

He maintained that the value of a man should, however, be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.

The God-fearing man will be concerned that the means he employs to earn a living or achieve prosperity should be honest. An ancient clergyman, Caleb C Colton (1780–1832))

would put two questions in this regard: “What keeps some

persons poor? And what had made some others rich?” The true answers to these queries would often make the poor man more proud of his poverty than the rich man of his wealth.

It is a paradox that while all religions agree that the greatest of God’s commandment is to love God and fellow-beings, we find the world filled with hate and a spirit of revenge. We need to repent and be peace-makers.

For this, our love must be all-embracing.

To love is to fulfil all commandments. Love must compel us – whatever our role here – to fall in line with a motto to attributed to a Quaker, William Penn: “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there can be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do to my fellow-being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”




An adventurous pilgrimage to snow-capped
 Hemkund Sahib
Tribune News Service

VISTING the snow-clad peaks is a good idea. If it also means a pilgrimage and an adventure, it is great, right? Especially so when the winter sports are gaining popularity in the country and several hill resorts are gearing up to welcome tourists even during cold season. Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara in the Garhwal Himalayas in Chamoli district of Uttaranchal is such a place, inviting one to experience both, serenity and adventure.

The place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, meditated.

An important pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Sikhs.

The snow-clad mountains have been a source of great attraction from time immemorial and many great saints have been to these mighty boulders of rock to understand the `Ultimate’.

The serene surroundings, chirping of birds and the sound of streams flowing at a steady pace provides a mystical aura and sages since ancient times have been attracted to these places to meditate and search the truth.

A similar journey is believed to have been undertaken by Guru Gobind Singh, in one of his earlier birth, to meditate on the banks of the river. The place where the 10th Guru of Sikhism meditated, a Gurdwara of historical importance has been constructed – Hemkund Sahib.

The Guru had introduced the features now universally associated with Sikhism. On April 15, 1699, he started the new brotherhood called the Khalsa (meaning the pure, from the Persian word ‘Khales’), an inner core of the faithful, accepted by baptism (amrit).

The five Ks date from this period: kesh, kangha, kirpan, kara, and kachha. The most important is the uncut hair, adopted before the other four. The comb is designated especially as wooden and the dagger and the shorts reflect military influence.

Despite the historical significance of the area, Hemkund Sahib was lost in the mist of time in the snow-clad Garhwal Himalayas. However, in the 1930s, Hemkund Sahib was discovered by a Sikh Havildar, Solan Singh. And since then, it has become a major pilgrimage centre not only for Sikhs but for others too.

The high altitude Lokpal lake, known as Hemkund (4329 mt) flows in heavenly environs. A steep trek from Ghangharia leads one to this spot in about four to six hours.

Hemkund Sahib is located 5 km from Ghangharia, which is approachable on foot from Govindghat, which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehra Dun, Hardwar, Nainital, Ranikhet and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills. The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, located about 293 km from Hemkund Sahib.

Several resorts have come up along the way to meet the budget of all kinds of travellers; the gurdwara itself can accommodate approximately 5,000 tourists, who can stay in three halls and 40 rooms.

Hemkund Sahib is an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Sikhs, as well as for people from other faiths. There is a gurdwara and a Lakshman temple built on the bank of the Lokpal lake.

Encircled by seven snow-clad peaks and their associated glaciers, the lake reflects its surroundings enchantingly on its crystal-clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of the lake.

The Lakshman temple is also a major centre of attraction. It is believed that Lakshman, the younger brother of Ram, meditated by the lake and regained his health after being severely wounded by Meghnath, son of the demon, Ravana, during the battle.



Morning darshan of animal slaughter!
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, December 29
How would one feel if there were a big fish and meat market just outside one’s house? The sight of butchering animals in front of one’s eyes in the morning? Well, residents of Pushpa Vihar have been living with such a market for over a decade now.

“Yuck!” exclaimed residents of the south Delhi colony on being asked about their feelings on the fish market running in Sector 4 of their colony. But those running the fish market doesn’t feel so as they are doing roaring business.

What infuriates residents living close to it is the fact that the market is absolutely unauthorised. The vendors had no licence or, for that matter, any sort of permit for the tehbazari they put up every single day in the locality, said Area Welfare Officer Murari Lal. Not only fish, it is a market of all sorts of meat, mutton, chicken etc.

And the “unbearable stench” the market produces is not the only problem the residents are facing. There is a drain behind the market, which forever remains blocked because the vendors dump all the leftovers of the day in it. “This is the main drain of Sector 4. And during rains, our life becomes miserable. You won’t believe it, we have water overflowing from this drain and coming right up to our doors with all the leftovers of mutton, chicken and fish,” said Mr Jai Singh, president of the Residents Welfare Association (RWA).

“They are butchers! The most disgusting part is that they slaughter right in front of our homes. Look out of the window and it’s all slaughtered goats and chicken and fish,” said Mr Jai Singh with a disgusted look on his face.

The boundary wall of the drain is against which the fish and meat sellers put up their stalls. The wall is now broken and shattered so there is no partition between the market and the drain. Naturally, the filthy remains are bound to find a way into the drain.

On the complaints by the RWA, municipal councilor Anil Goyal along with Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials Had visited the area where the tehbazari is functioning. After a look at the goings on, “Mr Goyal had instructed the officials to get the market cleared. So far nothing has been done,” said residents.

Moreover, the residents allege that the fish sellers steal electricity from overhead cables. “They often use generators which is the cause of all sorts of considerable pollution.”

With the unauthorised fish and meat market came the anti-social elements. The police followed them, However, residents ask why the cops are there – to keep an eye on the fish or the fishy (anti-social elements? For, if the market itself is illegal, why don’t they shoo the sellers off and close the market?

“Several goons loiter around here the whole day. None of our colony girls can move out. And more surprising is that the policemen also sit and loiter around the market. Several times we have seen them take ‘stuff’ from the sellers free of cost. And I am sure they take money from these vendors too,” alleged Mr Jai Singh. The vendors as well as the goons had got into heated exchanges with residents on several occasions because they were told to leave from there, he added.

Meanwhile, MCD officials were at their diplomatic best saying they were soon going to get the orders from the Commissioner and the market would be out of sight. “We have decided that the market will be relocated at a place where no residential colonies are close enough to have problems with it. It will happen soon,” an MCD official told NCR Tribune.

Mr Ganeshwar, president of the fish market, made a point, though debatable, when he said, “all these residents that want us to move out of here buy fish and meat from us”. “They buy from us and then criticise us once they reach their homes and shut the doors,” he said.

“The market has been here for the past 15 years. Though we admit there is no permit for the market from the authorities, the MCD officials still come and challan us for it. We have no problems going to some other place. Our business will only grow. But we must be given an alternate place before we are asked to leave from here,” Mr Ganeshwar said.



Simians, the scourge of Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 29
The residents of various colonies including Sectors 14 and 15, Indira Colony, Model Town, New Colony and Mohalla Kot are simply terror-struck. The reason? Monkeys have played havoc with their lives.

For the last one year or so, groups of monkeys have been on the prowl, damaging lids of tanks, flower pots and other material kept in verandahs of the houses and smash bulbs in the houses.

The monkeys jump from one terrace to another, go inside the kitchens or bedrooms of the houses and strike terror. They fearlessly open fridges and eat whatever is kept.

Many residents complain that the monkeys often come near and try to touch them. They have also bitten a number of children and elderly persons. The Sonepat district administration and other official agencies are maintaining a studied silence on the issue. The parents of the children are quite worried and do not let their children play outside the houses.

The monkeys have become so ferocious that they often attack passers-by without any provocation. Many residents said that they had lodged a number of complaints with the Sonepat Municipal Council, the forest department and the district administration, but nothing has been done so far.

They also alleged that the official agencies had taken no steps to catch the monkeys and hence the menace continued.

The officials feel helpless as whenever any step is taken to catch the monkeys, they were stopped on the pretext that it would hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.

This has irked residents who say that the authorities take shelter under the Animal Cruelty Act. They should know that the Act only restrains killing of an animal. It definitely gives them the right to catch and rehabilitate them, the residents argue.

Meanwhile, the representatives of various organisations have urged the state government and the district administration to take immediate steps in order to catch the monkeys and ensure the safety of the residents, particularly children and the aged.



A year of swindles
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 29
The year 2001 has been a busy year for the police in Faridabad, if the number of police cases is any indication. Over a dozen prominent cases, involving swindling of several crore of rupees, were booked by the police in Faridabad.

A couple of days ago, a big case of fraud involving a bank in Faridabad had been booked by the Kotwali police. About seven people had been charged with illegally withdrawing about Rs 1.27 crore from a branch of Canara Bank in Faridabad.

In his complaint, the manager of the bank charged that officials and employees of two companies had taken away Rs 1,27,10,127 in an illegal manner. The companies are based at Nehru Place and Paharganj in New Delhi. The latest case of cheating comes even as the police are still investigating into a cheating case of nearly Rs 60 lakh from a branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce in Faridabad. While some people have been rounded up, the police are still unable to get to the core of the case.

Similarly, several lakhs of rupees were embezzled in extending loans on the basis of fake documents from the Gurgaon Gramin Bank and a branch of Canara Bank here.

Allegedly, an amount of Rs 4.95 lakh was also illegally withdrawn from the branch of the Central Bank of India.



A ‘snatching’ year
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, December 29
The district witnessed an alarming rise of incidents like snatching purses and chains in the year 2001.

According to police sources, 27 such cases were registered only in the town and the police have traced just 5 cases during the period. On an average more than two chains/purses were snatched every month. The police recovered property worth Rs 50,500 out of a total stolen property amounting to Rs 1,91,910 in these cases.

Ironically, 25 such cases out of a total of 27 cases were registered in the civil lines area, while two incidents occurred in the jurisdiction of the city police station.

The district police chief, Mr A S Ahlawat admitted that the police could not perform satisfactorily in tracing such cases. However, he assured that the police would take this crime against women seriously. He said that he had directed all the SHOs in the district, to be vigilant to such incidents in their respective jurisdictions. He said the SHOs were also directed to investigate all the untraced cases as early as possible or to be prepared for the punitive action.

Mr Ahlawat said that the police would chalk out a special strategy, to check such crimes in the coming year.



City plunged into darkness
Tribune News Service

Sonepat, December 29
The entire city of Sonepat remained in darkness between 9 pm and 10 pm last night and again between 5.15 am and 6.55 am today as the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam switched off power supply. The long spell of power cuts not only paralysed normal life of the people but also adversely affected the business and industrial activities in the region.

All the essential services including the drinking water supply and telecom and telegraph services were hit. The hospital services too were badly affected, as it did not get power supply during the period of loadshedding.

Residents were very critical of the leaders of all the political parties, especially those of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the BJP, as they had failed to check the long spells of loadshedding particularly in the morning and evening.

They also regretted that the district authorities too were ineffective on this issue and remained silent spectators in this regard.

Meanwhile, dense fog and poor visibility have disrupted the road and rail traffic in the region today. Almost all the incoming and outgoing long distance and suburban trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule for hours together, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at the railway stations. The speed of all the trains has also been restricted by the authorities of the Northern Railway.

Similarly, traffic on the G. T. Road and other state highways also remained disrupted for many hours on account of thick fog. The drivers used headlights while plying their vehicles to avoid accidents.

According to a report, about a dozen vehicles involved in accidents on the G.T. Road last night. At least five persons sustained serious injuries. They were immediately hospitalised, and all of them were stated to be out of danger.



Worsening ecology in Gurgaon worries NGO
A. Jain

Gurgaon, December 29
Intellectuals and NGOs here are displeased with the district administration for its alleged failure in checking the deterioration of the environment in the city.

The People for Plants and Environment (PFPE), an NGO, lamented that despite the Supreme Court’s order and the clear-cut directions from the higher authorities, the administration had not taken proper steps to protect the greenery and check the worsening pollution.

Sweepers of the Municipal Council, Haryana Urban Development Authority and the private colonisers were burning the polythene bags thrown by the residents in the open, said Dr Yudhvir K. Bhoon, PFPE’s secretary. He revealed that the burning of the polythene produces dioxin and furan gases, which can cause cancer.

The PFPE has written a letter to the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner mentioning that thousands of labourers and the persons belonging to economically weaker sections of the society are defecating in the open. The administration should make arrangements for them and direct the owners of the buildings where they live in to construct toilets for them, the letter appealed. Defecating in the open should be stopped immediately as it generated a wide range of pathogens deteriorating the environment of the surrounding areas, asserted the secretary.

Dr Bhoon further said that thousands of autorickshaws and other three-wheelers are the constant sources of pollution to the environment through their exhausts daily. These vehicles were adding large quantities of particulate matter to the environment, which could cause black-lung disease as the carbon particles emanating from the vehicles were taken by the passengers of these vehicles and passersby, he said.

The dumping place of waste materials are neither properly constructed nor maintained by the local authorities. In the city, all the four dumping places, near Jain Mandir, Sabjimandi, opposite to Dronacharya Government College, and at the new railway road, have turned into breeding centres for mosquitoes and other harmful insects.

Despite making many appeals to the district authorities to take proper steps to improve the environment, no concrete actions had been taken so far, Dr Boon added.



Celebrities frequent this health club
Nalini Ranjan

THE Hauz Khas village-based Power House Health Club is the only health centre in Delhi where persons from different walks of life are regular visitors. Model-turned-actor Rahul Dev, models Mukul Dev and Preeti Mankotia, music composer Jawahar Wattal, TV personality Vipin Handa are a few famous persons who frequent this centre. The centre is the brainchild of its Managing Director, Mr Raj Kumar Dhingra, who is also an athlete of national repute. He says, “We are number one in providing the most modern equipment and services to the people interested in fitness. The existing facilities include air-conditioned gymnasium with latest computerised equipment, aerobics studio and yoga, steam baths, sauna baths, jacuzzis, chill snowers and pressure showers.”

The club has several pluses like state-of-the- art imported equipment, like Precor treadmills, nautilus time machine, weight-resistant equipment, cross-trainers, exclusive ladies section etc. The company is also into manufacturing health equipment, namely multi-gyms, various other mechanical health equipment, steam baths, sauna baths, jacuzzis and swimming pools on turnkey basis.

He informed the Power House health equipment had successfully executed on a turnkey basis several gymnasiums for multinational and governmental institutions, such as Hughes Software Systems, the National Thermal Power Corporation, Hindustan Lever Limited, Universal Gymnasium (Kathmandu), Hotel Le Meridien International, All Heaven Resorts, Police Headquarters, New Delhi, and Hotel Samrat International.



Woman and girl abducted in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Two cases of abduction of women have been registered by the police in the district. The police have arrested a youth, Pratap, from Ballabgarh town for allegedly abducting a married woman. Malkhan of Aligarh, now living in Ballabgarh, had alleged that Pratap had abducted his wife. Pratap had been living with her at his house in Naval colony.

In another case, a 14-year-old girl of Rajiv colony of old Faridabad has been allegedly abducted by a youth identified as Alam. Alam had been living on rent in the house of the victim. Meanwhile, an employee of Escorts factory was crushed to death by a Tata 407 truck on the National Highway last night. The deceased has been identified as Ramesh Chand.

‘Road safety week’

The district administration will observe ‘Road Safety Week’ from January 7 to January 13 in the town to make the people more aware of the necessity to observe traffic rules and regulations.

A spokesman for the district administration on Saturday said the traffic and the transport authorities would jointly supervise the campaign. He said the traffic campaign was targeted at inspiring people against exceeding speed limits, overloading, wrong parking and driving under the influence of liquor. He said the authorities would also check the plying of unauthorised vehicles.

Open darbar

The district administration organised a one-day open darbar at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, Mr J. P. Thamman, City Magistrate, who presided over the open darbar, received as many as 35 complaints and most of them were related to inadequate and erratic supply of power and drinking water as well as illegal occupation of government and panchayat lands in the villages. Mr Thamman also took a serious note of the complaint regarding the supply of sub-standard flour at ration shops for the people living below the poverty line (BPL).

He ordered the authorities of the department concerned to take a sample of the flour for investigation so that further action could be initiated against the guilty.

Shop gutted:
A variety of goods worth several thousands of rupees were reduced to ashes in a fire which broke out in a general store on the Sonepat-Mehlana road here yesterday night. According to a report, the cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Temple inaugurated:
Acharya Satyanand Ji Maharaj, an Arya Samaj leader, will inaugurate the newly constructed Arya Samaj temple in Sector 15 here tomorrow. According to a report, a havan yajna will also be held on the occasion. It will be followed by a langar.

Youth assaulted:
Suresh, a youth, was allegedly attacked with lathis and other weapons by three youths at Guhna village, about 20 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, the injured youth was immediately hospitalised and is stated to be out of danger. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection so far.

Manoj, a youth, was caught and beaten up by some girls for teasing them on the Murthal road near Sonepat yesterday. According to a report, the youth teased these girls. The girls caught hold of Manoj and beat him in the presence of a large number of people.


New Delhi
Panic gripped residents of Lajpat Nagar this morning after a powerful explosion in the area. The incident took place at about 2.30 am in an apartment of a Kashmiri family. The police said that the family members had a miraculous escape. They suspect that it could have been caused by cooking gas leak. TNS



Durga Market robbery case solved, 3 held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 29
With the arrest of three persons, the East district police today claimed to have worked out a robbery case of Durga Market at Khichripur, in which the robbers had broken open eight shops and injured the chowkidar, Mangi Lal, before decamping with the booty.

The accused, Jitender, resident of Kalyanpuri, Bille and Tinku, both residents of Kalyanpuri, were arrested by the police although the gang leader, Ravi, is still absconding, and efforts were on to nab him.

After the incident, the chowkidar went missing as he was being terrorised by the robbers. Later, the local police traced the chowkidar, and on recording his statement, the police came to a conclusion that the boys of ‘Kunjar’ community of the area might have been involved.

With the help of Mangi Lal, the police team identified one of the accomplices and interrogated him. He confessed to the crime and disclosed the involvement of Bille, Tinku, and Ravi.

Man robbed:
The police today arrested a member of the gang involved in the robbing of a resident of Naraina Vihar at gunpoint on last Tuesday. The victim, Dr Pramod Mangwana, resident of G-17 of Naraina Vihar, was robbed of Rs 35,000 and a mobile phone by two unidentified youths while he was returning home in his Maruti car after withdrawing money from the Punjab National Bank in the locality.

The robbers immediately fled from the spot. But the police during its course of interrogation kept the mobile under observation and after four days, found Asif of Meerut was using the phone.

Asif, later revealed that his brother Arif had given the phone to him, and he had committed the robbery along with his gang members James, Samir, Zakir and Titu. Police have arrested James, Anees and Arif and Sameer are still absconding.

Criminal nabbed:
A special team of the Crime Branch has apprehended a criminal and seized a revolver with two live cartridges from his possession in the Model Town area.

The suspect, Dalip Kumar, alias Albeli (40), resident of Kabir Nagar, was nabbed by constable Rajbir, after he had a secret information that the criminal would come there to meet his gang members for committing a crime.

A case under the Arms Act has been registered against him and efforts are on to track down his associates.



Kidnapped by son-in-law
Tribune News service

Faridabad, December 29
A resident of Trikha colony of Ballabgarh town here has allegedly been abducted by his own son-in-law with a view to grabbing his landed property. This has been stated in a complaint filed by a woman identified as Mrs Anju, wife of Mr Kunwar Bhan, to the police.

In the FIR registered under Sections 365 and 34 of the IPC, the complainant has charged that Kishan, son-in-law of Mr Kunwar Bhan, had abducted his father-in-law recently. She said that she had witnessed the incident and charged that the motive behind the abduction had been to grab about 7.5 acres of land owned by her husband.



Gang swindles Rs 32 lakh
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, December 29
The district police have claimed to have busted a gang involved in swindling money out of companies with the arrest of one of the gangsters. The criminals have withdrawn more than Rs 32 lakh using tampered drafts. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, today said that Rajiv Kapoor, who lives in Faridabad, Y. K. Sharma, his wife Rajni Sharm residents of Meerut, and Atul Sharma of UP misused the drafts.



Bank's new branch opened

New Delhi, December 29
The Indusland Bank Limited today opened its 4th branch in NCR at Preet Vihar, which was inaugurated by the chairman of the bank, Mr Arjun Asrani. Other three branches are at Nehru Place, Connaught Place and Gurgaon.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Asrani said that there was ample scope in the field of retail banking. Seeing this, the bank had decided to switch over from wholesale banking to retail banking, he said. The assistant vice-president of the branch, Mr V. S. Goel, informed that the bank would give special thrust on customer care. "For this, we will try to ensure person to person interaction. In our view, customers are like our family members. TNS


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