Sunday, January 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Offices on parade route to be sealed
Confusion reigns on Capital’s Fleet Street
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19
Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for the full dress rehearsal of the Republic Day parade on January 23 and the final function on January 26, in view of the continuing terrorist threat hovering over the Capital.

The traditional route of the parade has been pruned by almost two km and now it will meander through Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Subhash Marg in Darya Ganj to the historic Red Fort. The Delhi Police has asked all offices and establishments en route to seal the premises at least 12 hours before the actual event.

While no orders have been issued so far, a large number of office managers and others establishments on the route have claimed that they were contacted by the staff of the Delhi Police and orally asked to vacate the premises by six p.m. on January 23 and January 25. No senior officers of the Delhi Police were available to issue a clarification on this measure throughout the day today, as most of them were closeted in closed-door meetings.

The verbal orders have caused considerable confusion among the newspaper offices on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and the adjoining areas as the orders virtually ban all activity in the premises after six p.m., the day before the actual event. Newspapers and media establishments are normally exempt from such orders.

The new route will as usual be barricaded and policemen stationed at short distances to ensure the safety of the participants. The police said that the security arrangements have been finalised in coordination with the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Central intelligence agencies.

The police sources said that all the buildings along the route will be sanitised, all parking areas vacated and sharpshooters and spotters posted at all the vantage points. The drains running parallel to the roads will also be examined for hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Sniffer dogs will give the final clearance shortly before the start of the parade. Jammer vehicles will precede the parade to render any sophisticated explosive triggering devices useless.

Ambulances and police vehicles will be stationed strategically along the route, in case of any eventuality. “ We are not taking any chances and are trying to anticipate every possibility”, a senior police officers said.

As has been the practice for the last several years, most of the weapons on display during the parade will have their firing mechanisms removed as an added precaution. Only the security personnel will be armed. Security aspects of VIPs are being examined to ensure staggering of arrivals and departures, to prevent clustering. A special control room will coordinate the security arrangements and this will be manned by senior police, defence and intelligence officials.


BJP ‘bogey’ has Cong scurrying around with foundation stones
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19
Having been caught off-guard once already in the run-up to the civic polls, when “certain” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders raised the ‘bogey’ of carving out a separate Municipal Corporation for East Delhi, the Congress is desperate to retain the initiative. Grim-faced party sources however reluctantly acknowledge that if the polls were to be held by February-end, notification for the same would have to be issued soon. Compounding matters for the Congress is the loss of momentum due to the prevailing uncertainty. On the rebound, the Congress has adopted a two-pronged strategy to counter attempts at scuttling the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), on one hand, and denting the Opposition’s reserves, on the other. Therefore, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) President Subhash Chopra’s threat to take to the streets if the BJP resorted to “undemocratic” machinations and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s foundation-stone-laying binge.

In a choreographed move, the party has prodded Chopra into making the right noises while getting Ms Dikshit to make an appearance in key Wards. On one such occasion that presented itself on Saturday, the chief minister laid the foundation stone of a state-of-art socio-cultural centre at Laxmi Nagar in East Delhi. The event became a rallying point for the party with Urban Development Minister AK Walia joining the chief minister in unveiling an agenda for development of trans-Yamuna localities. Funds, Ms Dikshit said on the occasion, would not be a problem for the all-round development of the trans-Yamuna area. To have her government’s achievements rub-off on the party’s electoral prospects, she reminded the gathering of the construction of a number of hospitals and educational institutions in the area before rushing to keep her engagement elsewhere.

And elsewhere, DPCC President Subhash Chopra chided the BJP for raking up the issue of bifurcation of MCD ahead of the polls. The proposal for creating a separate civic body for East Delhi, he said, had been sent by the Congress Government to the Ministry of Home Affairs seven months ago and that the BJP’s raising this issue prior to the polls reeked of ulterior motives.

The Congress is counting on the synergy between organisation and government for a good showing at the hustings. Selection of candidates apart, projecting the government’s achievements is a key concern for the party. Besides the chief minister, her Cabinet colleagues are also logging extra miles each day by visits to the nook and corner of the city. Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan on Saturday dedicated the newly constructed building of Government Primary School for Deaf at Mayur Vihar Phase I and laid the foundation stone of Government Secondary School at Nandnagari. Meanwhile, Development Minister Haroon Yusuf on Saturday said Rural Development Board would be formed within a month.


Little bravehearts, but their troubles were not little ones
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, January 19
There is nothing unusual about their demeanour, yet they stand out. They are 25 youngsters from across the country who have not only done their parents proud, but have also given the country a cause to rejoice. Risking their lives, they have saved others and, in a few sad incidents, some of them even made the supreme sacrifice, so that others could live.

Basking in the sun’s warmth and in the glory they rightly deserve, these children met mediapersons in the Capital today and recalled the incidents that have won them acclaim. “I am ready to fight the terrorists and kill them,” said Surjeet Singh, a recipient of Bharat Award, who along with his cousin, Amreek Singh, bravely fought 40 armed assailants in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.

In July 1999, the militants attacked their village and killed 15 people and injured many. Amreek and Surjeet fought with them and even managed to kill one.

The encounter lasted a whole night till the rescue team arrived. Akash Sabharwal from Delhi is pleased that the D-day is just round the corner. He has been awarded for fighting the assailants who had barged into his house.

However, for the parents of late Reshma Mohapatra, it is a day of mixed feelings. Their daughter died, trying to save her brother whose shawl had caught fire. While other kids fled, Reshma, who is described as a “fighter” and a “courageous” girl by her father, jumped to save the boy. She managed to save him, but lost her own life.

The Geeta Chopra Award and the Sanjay Chopra Award have been conferred posthumously on Prem Kanwar and Nikhil Singh respectively. Prem tried to save four children who were drowning. Despite her best attempts, she could not save the children and herself from drowning. Nikhil too drowned. He saved his friends from drowning in the Mahananda River, but could not manage to keep afloat and was swept away by the currents.

Ashwini Kamath, Andy Fernandes, Shruti Ullal and Sridevi Damodar of Karnataka bagged the Bapu Gayadhani Award. They saved the lives of six of their friends whose boat had capsized

These bravehearts will receive the awards from the Prime Minister on the eve of the Republic Day Parade. They will participate in the parade, riding caparisoned elephants.

The awardees will receive a silver medal, a certificate and a cash award. The Bharat Awardees will get a gold medal and a cash award.


Chautala’s plaint: His panel has no grievances to air
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, January 19
The first-ever meeting of District Public Grievances Redressal Committee, chaired by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, turned out to be a farce. It seems that the administration has not got its act together as it has hardly done anything to improve the infrastructure and the functioning of the bureaucracy in the district.

Mr Chautala’s initiative to provide best possible facilities, matching the international standards in Gurgaon, has not been taken far by the officers posted here. To have a first-hand knowledge of the developmental projects in the district, the Chief Minister had directed his Principal Secretary S Y Quraishi last year to hold a monthly meeting of all officials.

And after Mr Quraishi’s transfer to the Union government, he himself decided to chair the meeting of Public Grievances Committee to solve the problems of the masses.

A total of 16 complaints were placed before the Chief Minister in the grievances meeting held at John Hall today. There was not a single complaint where the Chief Minister could do anything for the complainant, said a senior official attached to Mr Chautala.

He further revealed that Mr Chautala was not happy with the outcome of today’s meeting.

On the first complaint itself, the Chief Minister had no alternative than to announce that the court order would be implemented as the complaint related to a land dispute between two parties who had filed a case in the court, revealed the official. Interestingly, four of the complaints, which had earlier been attended to by the district administration, were put up before the Chief Minister, said the officer.

A complaint was put up before Mr Chautala in which the administration claimed that they had no clue about the whereabouts of the complainant. Two complainants did not even turn up to pursue their plaints. Mr Chautala expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which the district administration tackled half a dozen complaints. He ordered to further investigate these complaints.

One complaint was postponed for the next meeting as the investigation had not been completed to date. Of 16 complaints, it is amazing that 11 complaints related to the property dispute, while one each to power, water, school, dispute and animal husbandry.

Faridabad: The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who presided over the monthly meeting of the district grievances committee for the first time here today, directed the officials to remain present in their offices up to noon on working days. Addressing the meeting after taking up various complaints, the Chief Minister said that officers must stay put in their offices to dispose of pending cases and complaints. He further pointed out that departmental meetings should be held in the post noon session.


New permit policy keeps maxi-cabs off the roads
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 19
There seems to be no end in sight to the plight of commuters and daily passengers in the National Capital Region of the state, particularly Jhajjar district where transportation has become an arduous task even for the young. The new transport policy decision to grant contract carriage permit to the maxi-cabs has come a cropper so far. Not a single aspirant has responded to the offer.

In fact, it has added to the existing “crisis of carriage” for the people as it has failed to ensure adequate and proper transport services to them. Not only this, the policy has also proved to be incapable in successfully tackling the mafia of unauthorised operators ruling the roads in Haryana, which was its main target.

These maxi-cabs operating on the roads with impunity have been inflicting heavy losses to the state exchequer as well as proving to be a safety hazard, as their owners neither pay the requisite taxes nor bother to stick to the road safety norms. If they are caught, they get away with challans of lesser amounts or with the help of their influential links in political or bureaucratic circles whom they always keep in good humour.

According to Mr Deepak Tayal, District Transport Officer (DTO), not a single maxi-cab owner has approached his office at Jhajjar for seeking a fresh permit. Only 62 old cabs operating on the route have renewed the same till the state government issued the notification to grant fresh permits after reconsidering its earlier decision to put a ban on its issuance in March last year.

It might also indicate that it would not be viable for them to ply their vehicles on the sanctioned routes after getting the permits after paying hefty fees and other taxes. When there were an estimated 500 authorised and unauthorised maxi-cabs plying on different routes in the district earlier, the numbers have now come down to just around 100 after the state government’s decision to crack down on them.

The revised policy on maxi-cabs stipulates some strict regulations keeping in view the safety aspects. After several road accidents involving these maxi-cabs were reported, authorities finally formulated the new policy which stipulates some strict regulations keeping in view the safety aspects. According to it, “new permits shall be given only to the light transport vehicles with a hard body made of metal or fibre glasses and doors made of a similar rigid material which can be securely locked”. It gave a three-month provisional time to the old permit holders to get their vehicles fabricated with a hard body. The policy also necessitated that the vehicle must not be more than six years old and restricted the total number of passengers to 10 including the driver for the new permit seekers. All these permits, according to the policy, will be valid up to the end of the year 2002.

The going got tougher for the private operators of maxi-cabs with the Supreme Court’s directing the authorities to allow the plying of vehicles fitted with only Euro-2 engines in the National Capital Region. The DTO, although, denied having received any official instructions from the state Transport Department about the court directive, it has become mandatory for him to follow the apex court orders in this regard. It means that no vehicle manufactured before August 2000 is qualified for the permit as Marshal jeeps had started qualifying Euro-2 norms after it.

However, the common passenger is the ultimate sufferer in this game of one-upmanship between the illegal operators and the government. Some commuters waiting for a Haryana Roadways bus to Bahadurgarh at the main bus stand here reacted that although it was very inconvenient and a risk to life to travel in the jeeps, they had not been as helpless as now. There had been an alternate means of conveyance earlier. Meanwhile, the demand for laying railway line connecting the district headquarters has started picking up.


36-yr-old held for family’s murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19
The police have arrested Balbir Singh, 36, of Bhatti village in Amritsar, for allegedly murdering his 30-year-old wife, Mrs. Raghvinder Kaur, and two young daughters, aged five and three, respectively, in the hotel room of a Pahar Ganj hotel. The police said that Balbir Singh had apparently tried to commit suicide after murdering his family as his body bore several self-inflicted injuries. He was taken to a hospital for first aid and then arrested. The bodies of the woman and the two daughters have been sent for a post-mortem examination.

Balbir Singh had checked into the hotel along with his family on January 11. This morning he had ordered breakfast from the hotel’s room service at around 9 a.m. and had then left instructions that they should not be disturbed till 2 p. m. The gruesome incident was discovered when one of the waiters of the hotel went to his room to wake him up. He found the bodies sprawled on the floor and a bleeding Balbir Singh on the bed. He immediately informed his superiors who summoned the police.

The police believe that Balbir Singh may have inflicted the wounds on himself in an apparent suicide bid after strangulating his wife and young daughters.


Missing businessman was killed
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, January 19
What was thought to be simply a case of a missing entrepreneur till January 15 by the Vijay Nagar police has turned out to be a case of murder. The Vijay Nagar Police claim to have nabbed two suspects and also recovered the body of the deceased. Ram Bharose Chaurasia had gone to the house of a woman in K Block of Sector-9, Vijay Nagar, on the evening of January 13. He had informed his family on his mobile phone that he would return late. But when he did not come back till mid-night, the police started searching for him.

They came to know that a security guard, Satinder alias Babloo, was driving Mr Ram Bharose’s car towards Bulandshahar on the evening of January 12. Ram Bharose was also seen sitting in the car. Satinder had taken a loan of Rs 40,000 from Ram Bharose. He did not want to return this amount. This led to the murder of Ram Bharose.


Alwar Museum: A fossilised collection that comes alive
Tribune News Service

A visit to a museum does not always inspire everybody. But a trip to the Alwar Museum would certainly change the perception of those who do not get any thrill by looking at rare artefacts.

Jahangir playing Holi in his pleasure garden. A Mughal School of Painting.
Jahangir playing Holi in his pleasure garden. A Mughal School of Painting.

The museum, about 160 km from Delhi, is located in the heart of Alwar city in the backdrop of the cenotaph of Moosi Rani. The cenotaph epitomises sacrifice and eternal romance. The Moosi Rani Ki Chhatri is a magnificent structure and notable for its architecture. Near it is a tank called Sagar, which has a flight of steps leading to the bottom and is surrounded by 12 chattris in red marble.

Then, there is the ‘Shish Mahel’ or the glass palace, which contains intricate mirror work and miniature paintings of Lord Krishna, casting a spell on the visitors. The serene ambience creates a romantic aura, which is just the right setting for visitors entering the museum.

Amongst the museum’s prized possessions are a collection of Sanskrit and Persian books, archaeological finds and Rajput and Mughal paintings.

The museum, however, fails to bring out the fact whether indigenous art flourished in Alwar. The collection is arranged in three big halls of the Old City Palace, which was constructed during the reign of the third ruler of Alwar.

Hall one contains miscellaneous exhibits; these include costumes, wooden, stone and ivory products, musical instruments, stuffed birds and animals.

There is also a collection of jade, but it is not rich in quantity. The light greenish white ground of the stone serves as an excellent foil for the gems, which are embedded in the stone pieces.

A type of cloth, called kanwal – used for knotting the skirts of the bride and the bridegroom – represents the best of a dyerer’s art.

The villagers in Alwar are adept at embroidery, which is akin to the phulkari work of Amritsar. This work is ideal for curtains, used for draping windows and doors. The colourful embroidery work of Mevanis, done on ghaghara and lugari (lower garment and veil of a Meva lady), is the best specimen of folk art of its kind. The embroidered coats are fine pieces of art.

A large silver dining table, with a contraption in the Centre which has fish in it, is sure to rivet attention Then, there are the stuffed birds and animals, shot at one time by Maharaja Jai Singh the region. Among the other exhibits are the models of various palaces and buildings. The central hall contains valuable paintings, which are arranged school wise – of Alwar, Udaipur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Kotah, Bharatpur, Nathadwara, Kangra and Kishangarh. The manuscripts, mostly illustrated, are classified script wise, such as Devanagari and Persian, and there is also a short description about them, which enhances the value of the exhibits.

However, little information is available about the masters who produced such magnificent pieces of art. A few names of painters like Bakasrama, Jamunadasa, Nandarama, Baleshrama and Budharama are mentioned. Yet, there are many unsung heroes.

The items of armoury kept in the museum would evoke interest even in these days of nuclear weapons. The weapons on display evoke images of a bygone era, and strike an instant rapport with the visitor. The intricate work of gold and silver on the swords, daggers and shields leaves the visitor wondering about the craftsmanship.

Also on display are the so-called modern weapons – gunpowder, pistols, camel guns, field guns and camouflage guns. Some of these `modern’ weapons are less than a century old while the swords and the shields span from the 13th to the 19th century.

While leaving, the visitor is forced to think of the progress in different fields in the last few decades.


Govt staff: Even retrenchment fears fail to stir them
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 19
Despite the threat of privatisation, corporatisation and retrenchment looming large over several government departments, their employees seem to be unwilling to bring about a change in their style of functioning. A common man still suffers harassment.

Ramu, a worker in an industrial unit here who lost his job sometime back, has been waiting for months to receive his Provident Fund (PF) contribution from the department.

A resident of Atulglass Colony, Ramu has visited the post office several times to enquire whether any cheque had been received.

He said that the employees of the department misbehaved with him several times. The PF office had informed him that the cheque had already been despatched at his address through speed post in November last.

However, he said that the speed post had not been able to deliver the payment at his address which was hardly five kilometres away. The cheque was reportedly posted from postal office in Sector-15A here.

Frustrated Ramu does not know who to approach now. He said that he had come to know about many cases in which factory workers had been forced to visit the PF and post office to know about the status of their payment.

It is common that while the PF officials tell them that their cheque had been despatched, the postal authorities, when contacted, tell them that it would be delivered when they received it. Ironically, the delay could be from six months to a year, said an ex-factory employee.

It may be recalled that the PF payment to the employees are released through cheques only. According to some factory workers, corruption in the departments concerned, including the post office, causes this delay It is alleged that paying bribe often solves the problem.


Rain wreaks havoc on Sonepat roads
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 19
Widespread showers that lashed the city over the past three days have left behind a trail of uncleared garbage bins and water-logged roads. Conditions are appalling in slum clusters, particularly on the embankment of Drain No. 6 passing through the city where many pockets are submerged. More than 20,000 people live in unauthorised clusters and resettlement colonies where planned development has taken the backseat.

In other parts of the city, the condition is no better. The residents in many residential colonies have to put up with choked drains sewer systems and overflowing garbage bins.

For instance, in Ashok Nagar Kalan Mohalla, Mohanpura and near the RSS ground opposite the main telephone exchange, the civic authorities have done nothing to improve the sanitary conditions.

Water-logging in the low-lying areas and overflowing of storm water drains, have done a lot of damage to the roads. The recent downpour has exposed the hollowness of the claims of the civic authorities. Potholed roads even in the posh colonies, including Sectors 14 and 15 are a common sight and the roads leading to the railway over-bridge and the industrial area are no exception.

Driving has become dangerous on the main roads due to the gaping potholes. Roads in almost all the area are crying for immediate attention. Ironically, some of the roads had been relaid only a few months ago.

Though the PWD (B and R) authorities often rush bricks to fill the pits, the work is quickly undone. Meanwhile, uneven surfaces, potholes, lack of repair and almost no maintenance, make a sad story of the roads in the rural areas of the district.

The social and political leaders of the district have alleged that the government contractors are misappropriating funds meant for construction and repair of the roads in connivance with the high-ups of PWD (B and R) and other official agencies. Several panchs, sarpanchs and members of block samitis have demanded a probe into the working of the PWD (B and R). They have alleged that the material being used is substandard. The link roads in rural areas are no better. Most of them are washed away every monsoon.

Bogus billing is a routine in the office of the PWD (B and R) and the HUDA besides other official agencies.


PM to attend Guru’s anniversary
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, would take part in the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh on Monday. Mr Vajpayee would pay obeisance to the Sikh Guru at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj where a shabat kirtan has been organised from early in the morning till mid-night, a release said today.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Traffic Police have made some traffic changes on January 20, in view of a religious procession to mark the Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The procession, which is being organised by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, will commence about 10 am from Gurdwara Rakab Ganj to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.

The procession will pass through Pandit Pant Marg GPO – Ashoka Road – Patel Chowk – Parliament Street – Regal Building – Connaught Circus – Panchkuian Road – R K Ashram Marg – Gole Market – Bhagat Singh Marg – Bangla Sahib Road – Baba Kharak Singh Marg and reach Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.

Motorists are advised to avoid Panchkuian Road, Sahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Parliament Street, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Barakhamba Road, K G Marg, Janpath and Minto road.

They are instead asked to take diversion and use C-Hexagon, Akbar Road, Teen Murti Marg, Shanti Path, Panchsheel Marg, Upper Ridge Road or Rani Jhansi Road, JLN Marg, Delhi Gate for East to West Delhi to avoid Connaught Place, GPO and Talkatora Road.


A warrior and social thinker ahead of his time

IF news reports are to be believed, there are still communities in our land, whose panchayats will not hesitate to award death sentence to a lover who happened to be fascinated by a member of the opposite sex belonging to another community. There are teashops in villages where separate cups are kept for serving tea to Harijans and other lower castes. There are wells from where “lesser children of God” are not permitted to draw water. There are dowry-hungry families who think nothing of torturing young brides who are unable to meet their demands.

In such a scenario, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) was ahead of his time. When one thinks of the warrior-saint, what comes to mind is the establishment of the Khalsa Panth. Persecution of the Sikhs by a fanatical Mughal ruler earlier had motivated them to turn into a martial race to defend their religion. But the process also helped create an awakening in society against caste distinctions and superstitions.

One Persian historian, Ghulam Muhai-ul-Din, reporting the Guru’s address to the Khalsa Panth at its installation at Anandpur, wrote as follows: “Let’s all embrace one creed and obliterate differences of religion. Let the four Hindu castes, which have different rules for their guidance, abandon them all, adopt one form of adoration, and become brothers. Let no one be deemed superior to another. Let none pay heed to the Ganges, and other places of pilgrimage which are spoken of with reverence in the scriptures or adore incarnations...but believe in Guru Nanak and the other Sikh Gurus. Let men of the four castes receive my baptism, eat out of one dish and feel no disgust or contempt for one another.” (The Sikh Religion by Macauliffe, Vol.V)

He enjoined upon baptised Sikhs to practise arms, and not show their back to the foes in battle. They were ever to help the poor and protect those who sought their protection. They must not look with lust on another’s wife or commit fornication, but adhere to their wedded spouses. They were to consider their previous castes erased, and deem themselves all brothers of one family. Sikhs were free to inter-marry among themselves but should have no social or matrimonial relations with smokers; with those who killed their daughters or with others who have fallen away from the tenets and principles of Guru Nanak. The Guru’s reforms and teachings had a magical impact on the outcastes. The story of the Sikh Mazhabi regiments, according to historians, conclusively proved the metamorphosis. It was all the more laudable, considering the conservatism and prejudices of that age. Prior to the time of Sikh Gurus, no general ever thought of raising an army from men who were believed to be unclean and polluted from birth. The Guru kept his promise to “change jackals into tigers” and the “dregs of humanity” into warriors, whose prowess and loyalty never failed their leaders.

Addressing the assembled rajas, he once minced no word as to their sinful ways: “How has your religious, political and social status deteriorated! You have abandoned the worship of the true God and addressed your devotions to gods, goddesses, rivers, trees and the like. Through ignorance you know not how to govern your territories; through indolence and vice, you disregard the interests of your subjects...In your quarrels regarding caste and lineage, you have not adhered to the ancient divisions of Hinduism into four sections but you have made hundreds of sub-sections and subordinate minor castes. You despise and loathe one another through your narrow prejudices and you act contrary to the wishes of the great almighty father.”

It is quite another matter that the minor satraps were not willing to abide by his instructions and turned against him for daring to challenge their privileges and oppressive ways. The Guru also told his disciples that so long as they were bound by caste and lineage, they were like donkeys. “I have clothed you in the garb of tigers and made you superior to all men.” But if you part with it and return to caste observances, you shall revert to your asinine condition and become subject to strangers...” If you revert to evil ways and superstitions from which I have delivered you, your last condition shall be worse than the first,” he had warned.

Guru Gobind Singh was born at Patna at a time when the nation’s honour was at its lowest ebb. The people were groaning under pain and humiliation at the hands of the then rulers. In his fight against oppression and injustice to create a new social order, he may not have met with total success. But historians like Arnold Toynbee have pointed out that he anticipated the thoughts of Lenin by 200 years.

“I have forgotten all vain religion and know in my heart that the creator is the only God.” When he wrote such lines in the Guru Granth Sahib and posed before a superstitious generation, “Why impress false religion on the world? It will be of no service to it...,” he was ahead of many modern thinkers.

M P K Kutty



Contempt of court action against Badal demanded
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 19
The Haryana Arya Pratinidhi Sabha has urged the state government to start contempt of court proceedings against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for his statements about the SYL canal issue which showed a “total disregard” for the recent judgement of the apex court.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Prof Sher Singh, former Minister of State for Defence, and Swami Indervesh, former MP, warned that the sabha would launch a `satyagraha’ movement if the state government failed to pay the Punjab Government in the same coin.

They threatened that the activists of the sabha could go to any extent if no retaliatory action was taken by the state government within a month.

Both the leaders of the Arya Samaj alleged that Punjab was reluctant to provide Haryana’s due share of Ravi-Beas water and it would not start the construction of the canal to complete it even if the review petition was rejected outright by the court.

They said Punjab had made it an election issue and all political parties would be vying with each other for denying Haryana’s share of water.


Power cable stolen, water supply hit
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 19
The supply of potable water to the residents of nearby Sunderpur village remained suspended for the second consecutive day today due to the theft of the electricity cable connecting the water tank at the village from the power meter. According to information, unidentified thieves stole nearly 500 metres of electricity wire from the tank on Thursday night. This resulted in the suspension of water supply to the villagers.

Relief to widow

The Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, gave a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the widow of journalist Satyavir Saini. Handing over the cheque to Mrs Sushma Saini, Mr Chautala said that the journalists played a significant role in a democratic country as they kept a watch over the workings of the politicians and bureaucrats. The programme was organised by the Haryana Union of Journalists.

Man fires at brother

Bijender, a youth, escaped unhurt when his brother Raghbir Singh Fauji fired at him at Pugthala village, about 30 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, a family quarrel is stated to be the main cause of the incident. Ganaur police have registered a case under Section 307, IPC.


Three killed, 25 hurt in mishaps
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19
Three persons were killed and 25 injured in separate incidents in the Capital during the last 24 hours. In the first incident, a 20-year-old youth, Anil, was crushed to death last evening by a speeding truck in the Kanjhawala area in North-West district. In the second incident, a 25-year-old unidentified cyclist was mowed down by a tractor on Mandoli Road near Nand Nagari in North-East district this morning. In the third incident, an unidentified youth was crushed to death by a speeding vehicle in the Kashavpuram area. In yet another incident, 25 persons, who were travelling in an RTV sustained injuries, when an empty DTC bus hit their vehicle near Mukhmelpur village.


Boy dies in freak mishap

New Delhi
Vijay, an eight-year-old schoolboy, was crushed to death by a bus in Mayur Vihar Phase II. He was trying to flee to safety as a fuel tank of an auto-rickshaw in a workshop caught fire. Vijay was among the pedestrians who were near the workshop at that time and all ran in panic. Vijay, however, was mowed down by the bus plying outside the workshop. Two others, Ravinder and Devinder, co-owners of the auto-rickshaw, sustained minor burns. TNS


ICSI gets new president
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, January 19
Mr Subhendru Gangopadhyay has been elected the president of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and Mr Pavan Kumar Vijay the vice-president. Mr Gangopadhyay is the company secretary of East India Hotels Ltd.


Three kill friend over girls
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19
The North-West district police have arrested three persons for allegedly murdering their friend reportedly over a trivial matter of having friendship with two girls of their locality.

The suspects, Amit (21), Sanjeet alias Sangeet (20), and Vijay alias Aula (20), all residents of the same area, killed their friend, Brij Kishore alias Babbi (22), because the latter had become “too close” to two girls of their locality. The victim was found with five stab wounds by his brother-in-law, who took him to a hospital. But he was dead by the time they reached the hospital.

The arrested persons confessed to the murder and said that they could not get close to those girls because of Brij as the latter did not let them interact with them for some reason or the other. Two days before the murder, they had an argument over the matter and finally decided to eliminate Brij. The Mangol Puri police have registered a case of murder. The suspects have been remanded in the police custody.

Currency racket

The anti-robbery cell of the Delhi Police Crime Branch has apprehended two persons involved in the circulation of fake foreign currency and recovered counterfeit currency worth Rs 8.5 lakh.

Based on an information that a gang would be in Delhi for supplying fake currency, the personnel of the crime cell were deployed at the Nizamuddin area. When the suspects, Budh Ram of Sirohi and Baljit Singh of Jind district in Haryana came there, constable Pavitran, posing as a decoy customer, struck a deal with accused persons. The police immediately arrested the suspects and seized 166 currency notes ($ 100 each), worth Rs 8.5 lakh, from them. Further interrogation was on and few more arrests were likely, said the police.

Two boys rescued

The East district police have rescued two boys (both brothers) who were kidnapped from Kasturba Nagar, and arrested their abductor. The boys, Anup Kumar alias Annu (8) and Mohnish Kumar alias Monny (4), were taken to Bihar by the kidnapper, Mohammad Jabbar, resident of Satkudriya, Bihar.

Later, the district police received a tip-off about the whereabouts of the boys. A police team was sent to Bihar and both the boys were rescued in safe condition and Mohammad Jabbar was arrested. He was produced in the court and was remanded to judicial custody.

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