Friday, February 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Pak-trained ultra held with RDX
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
The Delhi Police yesterday arrested a Pak-trained terrorist of the Hizb-e-Islamia, a newly formed militant outfit, and recovered two improvised electronic devices (IEDs) and nine kg of RDX from his possession in Kotwali area in the walled city.

The terrorist suspect, Mohammad Hanish Kalish (38), was in the Capital reportedly to pass on the consignment of explosives to a contact. The Special Cell sleuths, however, could not nab his contact as he did not turn up to receive the consignment.

The consignment, according to the police, was big enough to have caused considerable damage, if it was planted in any area. The special cell had received secret information from the Military Intelligence (MI) that a terrorist from the Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir will be arriving in Delhi to hand over the explosives .

Accordingly, a special team led by ACP Rajbir Singh waited in hiding for the terrorist and his contact to surface. Since the contact did not turn up and the terrorist was about to return, the sleuths immediately swung into action and arrested the latter. When they checked his bag, they found two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), one of kg and another of 6 kg.

Besides RDX, the militant was also carrying two detonators and a codex wire.

Police said that the terrorist, after completing training in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) a decade ago, joined the JKLF and was involved in various attacks on the security forces.

He was nabbed in 1993 by the Jammu police and was jailed till 1996. Out on parole, he went underground and formed the Hizb-e-Islami, which took a final shape last year.

The outfit’s main task was to provide explosives and funds, so that the underground militants could continue their nefarious activities. In fact, the terrorist was under constant surveillance by the militant intelligence and when they found he was missing, they immediately passed on the intelligence and alerted the Delhi Police Special Cell.

The special cell interrogates terrorist to ascertain their links with other Pak-based militant outfits. Meanwhile, security in the Capital has been beefed up due to the heightened threat perception.



Task Force to redress woes of rehabilitation colonies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
The Centre has set up a task force to redress the problems faced by the residents of the rehabilitation colonies ranging from ownership rights to building by-laws in the National Capital Territory.

The task force would consider the numerous representations received from the residents of the rehabilitation colonies and categorise them, so that an acceptable formula can be devised for their development. It would submit its report in two months’ time, the official sources said.

Sources said the decision to constitute the task force was taken at a meeting convened by Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar here on Tuesday. Delhi Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor and Solicitor General Harish Salve were among those who attended the meeting.

The task force is headed by Joint Secretary in the Urban Development Ministry P K Pradhan and consists of officials from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Government’s Land and Development department.

Among the 15 rehabilitation colonies, set up to accommodate the hundreds and thousands of refugees who streamed into Delhi following the 1947 partition, are Lajpat Nagar, Rajendar Nagar, B K Dutt Colony, Tilak Nagar, Jangpura Extension and Bhogal. The decision to set up the task force comes close on the heels of the union Urban Development Ministry setting up a high-level committee last week to suggest modifications to existing guidelines so as to facilitate expeditious regularisation of unauthorised colonies.

The ministry’s announcement about the committee brought to an end three days of demonstrations and road blockades by agitated shopkeepers and residents of Lajpat Nagar, whose illegal constructions and encroachments on public space were knocked down by the MCD last week.

Harried residents of the rehabilitation colonies in their representations to the ministry had complained that there was no Delhi Master Plan or building regulations at the time they put up their constructions. Thus, these could not be expected to adhere to the existing layout plans, they said. Also, building by-laws had been modified from time to time, and alterations okayed at one time were rejected subsequently, they claimed.

Another peculiar problem in these colonies, where plots or houses were given on 99 years’ lease, is that ownership rights remain unsettled in most cases.

‘’In a large number of cases, the inheritance issue is locked up in disputes in courts. This has prevented the residents from availing of our offer to give them extra space and regularise some of their unauthorised constructions,’’ the sources said.

The committee would go into all these issues and come up with a formula to take care of the residents’ genuine problems, the sources said. 



MCD adds to problem of policing the lodges
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
The Delhi Police have taken umbrage at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi issuing licences to various guesthouses, lodging houses and restaurants in the sensitive areas of the Capital. The police had repeatedly opposed the idea of giving licences to any more guesthouses in the Capital as these places were often used as hideouts by the terrorists’ organisations and other subversive elements.

The police believe that by allowing more guesthouses, the problems of the beleaguered force would multiply.

They cite several instances when the ultras had used such lodgings to carry out their nefarious activities in Delhi and other parts of the country. Besides, a number of militants had been arrested in the past from various guesthouses and restaurants in Paharganj, Karol Bagh, Adarsh Nagar and Jama Masjid areas, a senior police officer said.

As a result, whenever there was a terrorist strike in the Capital, the guesthouses and other lodgings were the first places to be checked for the suspects. For the last couple of years, periodic checking of guesthouses has become a ritual before holding any national or international event in the Capital. In fact, all the police stations have been given standing orders to keep a vigil on these places.

The decision to issue licences was taken at a meeting held in the headquarters of the MCD in the presence of the Chairman of the Standing Committee, Mr Prithvi Raj Sawhney, other senior members of the committee and the restaurateurs.



Take a stroll in President’s backyard
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, February 14
Designed by the man who was mesmerised by the beauty and bounty of nature, Sir Edward Lutyens, the Mughal Gardens bears testimony to the eras gone by. From the colonial rule to our nascent democracy, it has seen the pages of history being written. The garden has witnessed a host of people from heads of states to beauty queens, from politicians to the common man, walk in and marvel at the beauty and serenity.

Spanning over 15 acres, the garden and a part of the official residence of the President, the Mughal Gardens is open to public every year between February and March. This year, it will be open for public from February 17 till March 17.

The first part of the garden is a rectangular part bifurcated into four quarters, with a terraced garden on each side. The central quarter plays host to the receptions held by the first family. The second part is a long garden, dubbed the ‘purdah garden,’ owing to the high walls that seem to curtain it from the evil eye. This part of the garden has a red sandstone pergola over the central pavement with roses and purple wreaths complementing the ambience together with bougainvillea and grapevine. The walls are robed in China Orange trees bearing fruits that even outnumber the leaves.

This section opens into the circular third section, also called the Pearl Section. The garden is a colourful tapestry woven by the nimble fingers of nature herself. Just as you let the eyes gyrate on the axis of greens decked with a riot of colours, you are reminded of the world’s most beautiful sights. This year, visitors can look forward to the specially crafted bonsai collection done up by the First Lady, Mrs Usha Narayanan. The First Lady, with an eye for beauty, is accomplished in the Japanese art of Ikebana. Her attention to detail is responsible for the enhanced look of the garden this year.

The gates of the garden will be thrown open on every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 in the morning to 4.00 in the evening. The entry is from gate number 35 of the President’s Estate located near the North Avenue.

Apart from the usual variety of Calendula, Oriental Lily, Brachycome, Dahlias, Sweet Pea and Gladiola, new varieties such as Heliconia, Tulip and Bird of Paradise have been introduced by the First lady. 



Sainiks urge Delhiites not to play cupid
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
The police today detained eight Shiv Sena activists even as hundreds of them opposed the Valentine’s Day celebrations in the Capital today by lighting bonfires of greeting cards and distributing handbills urging people not to celebrate the ‘western festival’ of love.

As precautionary measure, the police conducted overnight raids at the residences of several office bearers of Shiv Sena but most of them gave a slip to the police.

The police could only detain three activists, two of them in Chandni Chowk area in the walled city and one in Karawal Nagar in East Delhi, said the Delhi Shiv Sena president Jai Bhagwan Goel.

Today, five more persons, including Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena president Hirdesh Agarwal, were detained in the Bhajanpura area while five Shiv Sena teams, comprising 50 activists each, fanned out in the Capital this morning and held protest rallies outside Archies’ outlets, various coffee homes and restaurants across the city and also lit bonfires of ‘’obscene’’ greeting cards.

The activists also distributed pamphlets among the people, urging them to say ‘no’ to Valentine’s Day. Instead, the Sena contends, the youth should observe Indian festivals like Basant Panchmi.

The Sena protest in the Capital was peaceful unlike last year when several Archies’ outlets and a couple of eating joints were ransacked. Archies’ Greetings and Gifts Ltd had moved the Delhi High Court last week to restrain the Shiv Sena, VHP and Bajrang Dal from interfering in the celebrations.

The Court however dismissed the Archies’ plea, saying the plaintiff could not provide enough evidence to make a prima facie case against the defendants. 



Even Crocin is fake here
Bijedra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 14
The Drug Control authorities have tightened the noose around those dealing in spurious, adulterated and sub-standard medicines in the district. At least, six criminal prosecution cases have been filed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) here.

The CJM, Mr Y.S. Rathore, has issued summons to the accused. These cases were filed after detection and seizure of fake drugs of reputed brands of multinational companies. The fake drugs included Althrocin, Combiflam, Crocin, Tetracycline, Amclox, Oxytetracycline and Megaprem. These drugs were found to be fake when subjected to tests at the state drugs testing laboratory at Chandigarh recently. The samples were collected from different areas in the region during raids. Apart from filing criminal complaints, the department has cancelled the licences of the errant firms. The firms are: Garg Medicare, Palla No three, Sarai Khawaja, Shivam Medicos, Faridabad, Jindal Medicos, Sector -23 (Sanjay Colony), Naresh Medical Store, Dabua Colony, and Kishan Medical Store at Hodal. Besides, the Drug Control officials have sealed an illegal drug retail store located in Malai village of Hathin sub-division. Huge stocks of medicines had been seized from there.

A case has been filed against the aforesaid under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. It is claimed that the accused failed to disclose the source of the ‘fake’ drugs and did not maintain any proper records.



Family feud claims three lives

Rohtak, February 14
An old enmity between two families has claimed three lives at Karor village in the district. The families of Chhaju Ram and Jai Narain had been at loggerheads for sometime. Jai Narain, Ram Chander and Ramesh, son of Ram Kumar, were shot dead yesterday evening allegedly by Dilbag, Dharam Pal, Phoola, sons of Chhaju, and Gandu, grandson of Neeta.

According to an FIR registered with the Sampla police, the alleged assailants came to the house of Jai Narain and threatened to kill them to avenge the murder of Sheelak, son of Chhaju Ram. Sheelak was reportedly murdered at Kharawar Railway Station on January 5 allegedly by Ishwar Singh, son of Jai Narain, and Ramesh, son of Hoshiar Singh, due to an old enmity. Ishwar Singh and Ramesh were later arrested by the police and are lodged in the district jail at Rohtak at present. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Atar Singh Ahlawat, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the incident took place at about 6 pm yesterday but the police learnt about it only after eight hours. OC



IDPL follows two sets of rules on retirement age
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, February 14
Senior officials of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) have failed to implement the Cabinet Committee’s decision to reduce the retirement age from 60 years to 58 years of all categories of employees of PSUs allegedly to fulfil their vested interests. This is so even as they adhere to the order when it comes to the retirement of employees of lower grade and most of them have not been even paid their dues, it is alleged.

The IDPL Marketing Division Karamchari Sangh general secretary, Mr Jago Ram, alleged that the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers had not executed the order of the Cabinet Committee in IDPL as its Chairman and Managing Director (C&MD) and Director (Production) still continued in their services even though they had crossed 59 years. He said that the meeting of Board of Directors of IDPL had been deferred time and again so that the Cabinet’s decision was not implemented.

The general secretary revealed that the meeting of September 2001 did not have the agenda of retirement age. The scheduled meeting of December 2001 was postponed as no representative from the ministry concerned turned up for it. And again in February 11, the meeting was deferred for unknown reasons.

If the meeting, now scheduled for February 22, failed to yield the desired results, the workers of the company would be forced to adopt the path of agitation, warned Mr Jago Ram.

He remarked that the IDPL C&MD, Maj Gen V. K. Sareen, and the Director (Production), Mr Kaushal Goel, who had no background of pharmaceutical industry, were inducted in the company. Though both of them had crossed 58 years, they had been allowed to continue, he said.

However, when the issue of retirement of employees below board level came before the IDPL C& MD, he immediately implemented the scheme. More than 400 employees were relieved on March 31, 2001 without paying them their dues. Besides, hundreds of employees who have been retired on superannuating age and also those who had been relieved under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) long back before March 31, 2001 had not got their dues so far, alleged Mr Jago Ram.

The general secretary lamented that the officials of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry and IDPL were least bothered about the problems of employees. They had not still cleared the dues even to the kith and kin of about 300 deceased employees. The management had relieved below board-level employees (up to the level of peon) at the age of 58 years without paying their dues.



Polling passes off peacefully
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad & Noida, February 14
It was by and large a peaceful poll today in both the districts where the elections were held amidst the tightest possible security arrangements by the authorities. Missing names from the voters’ list in Noida and lack of interest of voters in Ghaziabad were the other major features of the elections.

Over 4,500 votes were missing in the Kavi Nagar area of Ghaziabad from where over 11,000 votes were recorded during the last Nagar Nigam elections. There were only 6,500 votes polled in the area today. Nobody could explain the missing number of votes.

There was slow polling in the morning hours. In Ghaziabad especially, people had shown a marked apathy in coming to the booths, but the polling picked up gradually. By 4 pm, Ghaziabad had recorded 36 per cent polling, according to the District Magistrate, Mr Debasish Panda.

In Noida city and particularly in Javer constituency, there were a large number of complaints about names missing from the voter lists. As a result, hundreds of voters were deprived of their right to cast their votes.

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in half a dozen polling centres in each district spread a bit of confusion and nervousness among officials and dismay and disillusionment among voters when they developed snags.

Though proper training had been imparted to presiding officers and polling officers in the use of EVMs, some of them became a bit nervous and fumbled with machines, according to senior officials. The machines were quickly replaced as we had enough EVMs in reserve, said Mr Panda.



Khurana wants CAG to undertake DVB valuation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
The former Delhi Chief Minister and BJP MP, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, today demanded valuation of the Delhi Vidyut Board by the CAG before the distribution of the power sector is sold to private parties.

“I demand a dispassionate appraisal and valuation of DVB by the CAG before it is put up for sale. This is necessary to restore people’s faith in the process of privatisation,” Mr Khurana told newspersons.

The former Delhi Chief Minister said he has serious objections to the manner in which the process of unbundling, privatisation and transfer of assets is being handled in violation of the mandatory requirement of the biding process.

He said whether the assets should be valued on depreciated book value or the market value or the future earning potential, as adopted by SBI Caps or any other criteria, needs to be considered by the government with an open mind.

Mr Khurana asked whether the valuation has been cross-checked by any other agency and if any irregularity is discovered at a later stage, who shall be responsible for such an anomaly and whether any corrective method is prescribed.

He said whether the investment needed to upgrade the distribution system and to improve the reliability of power supply, is also to be a criteria for selection of the investors, is not known. While incentive to investors for exceeding the targeted loss reduction has been spelt out, no indication is available as to what penalties was envisaged if they failed, or the proposed investments to upgrade the system are not made by the successful bidders.

On the Rs 2600 crore loan to be provided by the government to the transmission company to be used to bridge the gap between its revenue and the bulk supply price, Mr Khurana said “this is a subsidy being given to the private distribution companies without any directions or commitment of repayment.”

He asked whether the “subsidy” to the private companies clause was introduced after the Delhi Government shortlisted the bidder. If so, had the government not favoured few companies”.

Mr Khurana expressed concern whether the service conditions and service benefits to about 35,000 DVB employees would continue after the privatisation process.

Stating that he was for the privatisation of the power sector, Mr Khurana said “the objections raised by me have not been taken in right spirit and were being termed as an opposition to the privatisation process.”

Out of the six companies short-listed by the state government, two multi-national firms - AES (India) Pvt. Ltd. and China Light and Power International Ltd. - have withdrawn from the race.



Bitta pleads for national govt

Rewari, February 14
Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, a former president of the All India Youth Congress and now chairman of the All Indian Anti-Terrorists Front, has decried the presence of film stars at the on-going election rallies of various political parties and called for a national government at the Centre. He also unveiled the names of members he would have in this national government.

Emphasising the urgency of overhauling the present political system in the country which, he said, had lapsed into a `contractual system of looting’, Mr Bitta pleaded for the formation of a national government at the Centre. Elaborating on his point, he explained that under the present system, prominent members of one ruling party openly indulged in loot and corruption for five years and at the end of which was replaced by the “hopeless electorate” by another coterie which continued the looting more ruthlessly for another five years.

The proposed national government should comprise competent, dedicated and honest men like Mr Jagmohan (Union Minister), Mr Manmohan Singh (former Finance Minister), Mr Yashwant Sinha (Union Finance Minister), Mr Rajnath Singh (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh), Mr A. K. Antony (Chief Minister of Kerala), Mr Justice S. P. Bharucha (Chief Justice of India), Mr K. P. S. Gill (former DGP of Punjab), Mr A. B. Bardhan (Left leader), Mrs Kiran Bedi, Mr T. N. Seshan (former Chief Election Commissioner) etc. He wanted the President and all political parties to take an initiative in this regard. OC



Youth urged to imbibe India’s rich culture
Our Correspondent

The other results

Bhajan and Geet: Manisha (DAV College, Karnal)

Mono-Acting: Suman (Tikka Ram Girls College, Sonepat)

Shaloka Ucharan: Priyanka (BPSM Girls College, Khanpur Kalan)

Kavita Paath: Pooja Dhawan (DAV College, Karnal)

Folk Song: Vijeta (Hindu Girls College, Sonepat)

Caption Writing: Pankaj Sharma (Hindu College of Engineering, Sonepat)

Rangoli: Manju (BPSM, Girls College, Khanpur Kalan)

Folk Dance: Deep Mala and Monika Chauhan (Hindu Girls College, Sonepat)

Debate: Jyoti (Hindu Girls College, Sonepat)

Sonepat, February 14
The Commissioner of Rohtak division, Mrs Anita Chaudhary, has called upon the youth not to forget the rich culture of our country, acknowledged around the world.

The commissioner was presiding over the inter-college cultural and academic meet, “Spectrum”, organised at the Hindu Girls College here yesterday. She stressed the need for using the energy of the youth for the betterment of the masses. Mrs Chaudhary reminded the youth that our saints and leaders led a simple and dignified life. They were people of strong character and are remembered for it even today.

She also emphasised the importance of patience and the need to work with zeal for achieving success in life.

In a globalised world order, where exposure to all kinds of culture and values is instant and its impact far-reaching, the youth should be careful and discriminate in adopting values and culture of other countries, she added.

The commissioner emphasised a six-pronged strategy to success-participation, confidence, hope, hard work, concentration and focus. Her ‘Guru Mantra’ to the youth was “carve your own path and do not follow the beaten path”. She also laid emphasis on interacting with the youth and keeping their requirements in mind. She also elaborated on the present-day uncertainty and cut-throat competition faced by the youth at all levels.

Thus, it becomes all the more necessary to prove one’s mettle by having that edge over others. Looking at the contemporary competitive world in a positive light, she remarked that while it made the environment tough and competitive, it also opened new avenues and careers.

Another positive aspect in the transformed world was the career options in cultural activities as in the so-called academic ones, she added.

The running trophy of ‘Spectrum’ was won by the host college, but it was graciously awarded to BPSM Girls College, Khanpur Kalan, who came second in the overall order of merit.



Development is foreign to Manoli
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 14
Manoli Tonki, a tiny village, has the distinction of not having any pucca house even after 55 years of Independence! Here, the people have been living in huts. It seems the Government has totally ignored any development work in this part of the Sonepat district.

Even as the poverty-stricken people of the village could be categorised as living Below the Poverty Line (BPL), they are yet to discover the benefits of the much-acclaimed yellow ration card of the government. People are still unaware of fair price shops, as none of them has ever been opened here. In the absence of any fair price shop, the people have to purchase articles of daily needs from the open market at a fancy price.

The villagers alleged that the state government had failed to provide any facility for health the care or education. Consequently, they are unable to send their wards to schools. Their children just fritter away their time playing in the dust throughout the day.

The streets are full of bumps. There is no arrangement for electricity and drinking water. As a result of salty water in the village, people are dependent on water from hand-pumps. In the absence of electricity connections, many villagers resort to power theft from the transmission lines.

During the monsoons, the village remains cut-off from the rest of the district. People shift to safer places like the embankment of the Yamuna river.

The huts and their fields remain submerged in rain water for months due the lack of drainage facility.

Untouched by the socio-economic developments, the denizens are fed up of the political gimmicks. The candidates of several parties visit them during the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and make promises.

The villagers alleged that neither the MLA nor the member of Parliament (MP) of the area had ever visited them.

No funds had ever been allotted to the village for development works.

Clearly, their disenchantment with India’s tryst with destiny is complete. 



He provides water to an entire village
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Swami Prem  Das.
Swami Prem Das. 

Rewari, February 14
By providing drinking water free of charge to thousands of residents of Siha village and bus passengers of various surrounding villages, Swami Prem Das, a mahant of the illustrious saint Baba Ram Swarup’s Dadu Dwara (Dadu Temple), has evinced a rare philanthropic trait. Thereby, he has also earned the sobriquet of `Water donor mahant’ among the villagers.

The historical village of Siha, 20 km from Rewari, which has a population of over 5,500 people, lies at the foot of a branch of the ancient Aravalli Hills. More than 60 per cent of its population live in the village while the rest reside in the dwellings erected in fields on the outskirts of the village. Those who have taken shelter in the fields are a happy lot because the tubewells fulfil their water requirements. Contrary to this, the villagers had been short of drinking water for a long time, thanks to the negligible supply through the government taps.

On their request, Mahant Prem Das started domestic water supply in the village from the Dadu Dwara’s tubewell in the nineties. But soon the capacity of the overhead tank fell short due to an increasing demand of water connections.

To meet the residents’ needs, Seth Jagdish Prasad Rateria, a noted devotee of the Dadu Dwara, at the behest of Mahant Prem Das, got a huge overhead tank built at a cost of several lakhs of rupees in the Dwara complex in June, 1998. With the help of this huge tank, regular water supply in the morning and evening has been continuing since then. Even when the power supply in the village fails, the supply is run with the assistance of the generator at Dwara.

However, this generator is maintained using the voluntary donations made by residents to the mahant. Siha has a government primary school and high school. Earlier, the students and the staff members had a tough time on account of the non-existent drinking water facilities. They approached the mahant who was kind enough to start the water supply through a pipeline laid from the Dadu Dwara complex to the school. Last year, an overhead tank was also built on the school premises by Seth Jagdish Prasad Rateria. This tank now maintains regular water supply to both the schools.

The bus stand of Siha village on the Rewari-Mahendragarh Road serves as a central place for Siha, Maseet, Kahari, Didoli, Lohana and several other surrounding villages. Thus, the bus stand witnesses a constant flow of nearby villagers who alight from or board buses and jeeps passing through the area from morning to evening. To provide sweet and cool drinking water to these hundreds of men, women and children, Mahant Prem Das has set up a water hut at the bus stand, the entire expenses of which are borne by the Dadu Dwara.

The 70-year-old Mahant Swami Prem Das, who is also the president of the All India Dadu Mahasabha, is now engaged in the construction of a magnificent “Shri Bhagwan Ram Swarup Dadu Vani Mandir” in the Dadu Dwara complex to propagate the teachings of the great Saint Dadu Dayal ji Maharaj who had highly impressed the great Mogul Emperor, Akbar, with his divine powers.



Huge house tax arrears burden council
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, February 14
The Municipal Council of Bahadurgarh has a heavy cross to carry, for the house tax arrears to the tune of over Rs 16 lakh have been lying with more than a dozen important state government buildings in the town.

The 13 buildings of various government departments had not paid the house tax amounting to Rs 16,53,778, due to them. Two of these departments have even not submitted the tax since 1978.

According to the council sources, the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) had topped the list of these defaulters with an arrear of Rs 76,543.

Among other defaulters are: the Bahadurgarh Co-Operative Society Limited: Rs 28,777 since 1978; the HVPN 132 KV power house at Jhajjar road: Rs 45444 since 1998; Executive Engineer Office, PWD, Public Health: Rs 248324 since 1983; Sub-Divisional Engineer Office of PWD Building and Road: Rs 1,22,522 since 1998; Haryana Tourism: Rs 1,58,225 since 1993; the Sadar Police Station: Rs 57,204 since 1997; the Superintendent of Police, Rohtak: Rs 96,635 from 1983 to July 1997; the government veterinary hospital: Rs 49,375 since 1978, Panchayat Samiti office: Rs 91,519 since 1993; Sub-division office, Drainage: Rs 39,740 since 1987; Mini Secretariat : Rs 1,36,332 since 1998; Forest department: Rs 18,399 since 1982 and ITI office at Jhajjar Road : Rs 75,740 since 1998. Mr Baljeet Nandal, member of the council alleged that the HVPN had fixed a penalty of Rs 7 lakh and again Rs 14 lakh on the Municipal Council for the street lights installed at reportedly non-sanctioned spots. He said that the lights were installed on the instructions from the then top district officials, including the Commissioner, Rohtak range and the Deputy Commissioner.



HPCC leader sees BJP debacle in UP
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 14
The secretary of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), Ms Sharda Rathaur, has said that the ruling BJP government in Uttar Pradesh would suffer a massive defeat in the assembly elections there.

In a statement here today, Ms Rathaur said that people of Uttar Pradesh had got fed up of the misrule of the BJP and wanted to have a change. She said while the BJP leaders had nothing to bank upon (achievements), the party had started to rake up non-issues like the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya and `war threat’ to the country.

Claiming that only the Congress was concerned with the issues related to common people, she said all other parties had been trying to muster support on caste and communal basis in that state. She said during her tour of several districts of Uttar Pradesh, she found deep resentment among voters against the tardy pace of development in all areas. With the ouster of the state government there, the countdown of the Vajpayee governments would also start soon.

Darbar held

The Mayor of Faridabad, Mrs Anita Goswami, held an open darbar on the premises of the Municipal Corporation Office here today. As many as 25 complaints were taken up at the darbar. Commissioner Pushpraj Singh, Executive Engineer B. S. Ranolia and some other members of the corporation were present at the darbar.

Beef seized

The police have seized about 70 kg of beef from three persons in the Palwal sub-division. A country-made revolver was also recovered.

The accused, identified as Majru Mohammad, Ilyas and Taj Mohammed, were allegedly carrying the beef for selling when they were intercepted. A case has been booked in this connection.

Woman among 6 held

A woman is among six persons arrested for smuggling illicit liquor in separate cases in the town. About 181 pouches of liquor were seized from these persons.

The accused have been identified as Sube Singh, Premo Devi, Manoj, Kedar and Naresh. In another incident, one person, identified as Rajesh of Jawahar Colony was arrested for possessing illicit liquor, which included 24 full bottles and 48 quarter bottles. They were hidden in his two-wheeler.

Minor girl missing

Three persons were booked after one of them allegedly eloped with a minor girl in Ahari village of the district today. According to the complaint lodged by the girl’s father, Shamsher Singh, Sunil of the same village allured his daughter and took her away.

He said she had been missing from the village since noon today and Sunil had allured her to run away with him. The brother and brother-in-law of the accused were also allegedly involved in the ‘elopement’. On the basis of the complaint, the police registered a case against all three persons.

Abortion clinics

The Civil Surgeon of Rohtak, Dr K. K. Ranjan, has directed all private practitioners to get their clinics/nursing homes registered at his office if they are performing medico-legal termination of pregnancy (MTP).

In a statement here today, the Civil Surgeon said the MTP was permissible under special circumstances. He warned that strict action would be taken against the practitioners who were caught performing MTP without registration.

Cable operators held

The city police conducted a surprise raid on Nanak Cables in Sector 1, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) here, yesterday and arrested two cable operators, Naresh Saini and Sehdev, on the charge of violation of the Copyright Act and showing unauthorised films on their cables. According to a report, Mr Sham Sunder and Mr Mahavir Singh, both officers of the Indian Media Protection Against Copyrights, accompanied the raiding party.

The police action followed the lodging of an FIR under Sections 51, 52-A, 65, 68-A, 66 of the Copyright Act and Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC by Mr Mahavir against the owners of Nanak Cables.

The police also seized two VCDs, one VCR, one modulator, a supply computer and a colour TV from the possession of the arrested persons. Both the culprits were produced before a Judicial Magistrate here yesterday who remanded them to police custody for one day.



One dead, 25 hurt as bus overturns
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, February 14
One person was killed and over 25 others were injured, some of them seriously, when a private transport bus overturned near Silani village of the district this evening. Nearly 100 passengers were in the bus when the accident occurred.

According to sources, the ill-fated bus was going to Khudan from Jhajjar. The bus overturned when the driver tried to overtake another vehicle when it reached near Silani village.

The deceased in the incident was identified as Jagat Singh of Khakhana village.

The injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital. Sources said that while 20 persons were admitted in the hospital, five others were released after administering first aid.



Spring Fair at Australian High Commission
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, February 14
The Australian High Commission Grounds will play host to a Spring Fair showcasing the exclusive handicrafts made by master craftsmen from February 16. To be held on the eve of Basant Panchami, the first day of spring according to the Indian calendar, the event will have about 90 stalls displaying fashion wear, accessories, furnishings and jewellery. Apart from this, the food court is expected to be the centre of attraction with mouth-watering delicacies tickling the taste buds. The fair will also have a special kid’s corner. The Australian High Commissioner, Ms Penelope Wensely, will inaugurate the fair on February 16. The fair will remain open from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm. The fair is being organised by Jan Madhyam.



Gang of vehicle robbers busted, four held 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
The South-West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of auto-lifters and receivers of stolen vehicles with the arrest of four persons.

One trailer truck, one half-body truck, one Maruti Esteem and instruments used to tamper with engines and chasis numbers were recovered from their possession. While, the trucks were stolen from Ghaziabad, Esteem was lifted from Sector 21, Gurgoan, said the police.

The suspects, Rajesh alias Raju, Vinod Kumar, Sher Singh and Jasbir alias Billa, were arrested by the district investigation unit. Acting on a secret information that Vinod, resident of Uttam Nagar, would come to purchase a stolen vehicle, the police formed a team to trap the culprits.

Around 9.45 pm on February 11 (Monday), two persons, Raju and Sher Singh, arrived at the pre-planned spot in an Esteem (No DL-9C-3954) from Dwarka. By that time, Vinod Kumar had also reached the spot as a prospective customer. Immediately, the police surrounded them. Though Rajesh managed to escape from the police, he was later nabbed on Tuesday from Badarpur.

On sustained interrogation, Sher Singh disclosed that he was acting as a mediator and was only facilitating the deal for some commission. He also confessed to have disposed of a truck (No DL-1G-B-4753) they had stolen from Sahibabad to Vinod for Rs 60,000 a month ago. In fact, the car was about to be handed over for Rs 40,000.

He has also told the police of his contacts, Bhola Shankar, Naresh and Sandeep, who helped him to loot vehicles. The police have launched efforts to nab them and have informed the local police.

Mob attacks cops: A mob of residents of Burari village in South-West district damaged a police van and injured a constable, Jai Singh, when a team of police control room personnel insisted them on to hand over a thief whom the villagers had caught last evening. The constable was admitted to a hospital from where he was discharged after being administered first aid.

The suspect, Pradeep, reportedly stole electric wire after cutting it from an electric pole, which led to a blackout in the village. People caught and beat him up mercilessly. The police arrived on the scene hearing the commotion.

When the police tried to prevent the mob from beating up the suspect, they turned violent and attacked policemen with sticks. The mob also pelted stones in which the constable was injured. They also broke the windowpanes of the police van. Finally, more police force was sent to Burari and the suspect was taken into custody. A case of rioting had been registered but no arrest had so far been made, the police said.

Man murdered: The body of a 40-year-old man was found today with multiple injuries in head, arms and chest near a bus stand in the Nand Nagari area. The deceased was later identified as Shameen, resident of Sunder Nagar. The police also recovered a two-wheeler from near his body and said the victim was hit by a sharp-edged weapon. The Nand Nagari police have registered a case of murder and are investigating the case.



Fraud falls in police net
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14
A fraud who had duped several persons by promising jobs, Mange Ram Acharya, fell in the police net yesterday. When he was stopped at the Timar Pur intersection yesterday by the police for using a red beacon car, he tried to wriggle out by posing as the chairman of national human rights cell of the All India Congress Committee.

The truth bundled out only when he was interrogated. Instead of a Congress office-bearer, he turned out to be a criminal involved in a number of cases of fraud, forgery and cheating of persons. He had also been booked in a rape case by the Kalyanpuri police. He had allegedly raped a girl after luring her on the pretext that he would get her a job. He had also been booked under the Arms Act for possessing illegal arms earlier.


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