Monday, February 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Fidgety BJP may opt for new faces
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
In the backdrop of the poor performance in the Assembly polls in four states, the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party is closely scrutinising the prospective candidates for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections, while the Congress, in an upbeat mood because of its performance in these states, would set the process of selecting the candidates rolling from tomorrow. The BJP on Sunday completed the process of ascertaining the views of the mandal and other local unit heads about different prospective candidates who could be given the party ticket for the civic polls scheduled to be held on March 24. At the same time, the local BJP leaders discussed the strategy to be adopted in the run up to the corporation elections, particularly in view of the recent strictures passed by both the Supreme Court and the Delhi High court against the BJP-dominated civic body. The issue of encroachments and illegal constructions in the Capital is likely to emerge as the major poll issue.

Keeping this in view, more than 3,000 prospective candidatures were considered by the 15-member Election Committee headed by the BJP state unit president, Mr Mange Ram Garg, during the last three days. Sources in the party said the first list of prospective candidates for the 134-ward MCD would be shortlisted on Monday. The list would concentrate on the wards in the East and West Delhi. Party sources said less than half of the sitting corporators would be given the party ticket this time, as the local units of the party have complained against their performance and poor track record during their tenure.

Faced with anti-incumbency factor, the BJP has decided to give tickets generally to new faces and deny ticket to non-performers in the corporation, the aged, those who are unpopular, about whom there is poor feedback from the party units, those with criminal background, etc.

On the other hand, the state unit of the Congress is in an upbeat mood after the good performance in four states. The party, which had insisted on holding the polls in February, is now optimistic that the electorate in the Capital would follow the trends set by the voters in these four states, even though the elections are scheduled to be held a month from now.

The party, which had earlier invited applications from the prospective candidates after they paid a non-refundable amount of Rs 3000, would scrutinise the forms from tomorrow. The election committee of the party is likely to come out with the first list of candidates in a couple of days. Sources said the party has decided to deny tickets to those candidates who had earlier lost the polls twice and those who had secured less than 5000 votes in the previous elections. The observations of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court about the violation of building bye-laws in the Capital and the recent demolition in Lajpat Nagar, Congress party sources said, would work in favour of the party. As the Centre has frozen rotation of seats, the 46 seats, as determined by the Election Commission before the last polls, would continue to be reserved for women, including nine for SCs. Apart from these, there are 16 reserved seats in the 134 wards.



Upsets, shocks in Ghaziabad, Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida/Ghaziabad, February 24
Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida and Ghaziabad district had their surprises in keeping with the general trend of upsets and shocks in the assembly elections.

In Noida (Dadri), BJP’s veteran Nawab Singh Nagar romped home, an impressive winner for the third consecutive term, while Ghaziabad saw BJP starlwart, UP Minister Baleshwar Tyagi, making way for Surinder Prakash Goel of the Congress by 3788 votes. Nawab Singh Nagar, the sitting BJP MLA from Noida, defeated his nearest rival, Raghuraj Singh of the Congress, by over 12,000 votes. Mr Nagar has polled 50,328 votes. Raj Kumar Bhatti of Dehat Morcha was a distant third. Nagar’s constituency had a total of 1,52,000 votes.

In Javer, the second constituency in Gautam Budh Nagar district, Mr Narinder Kumar of the Bahjuan Samaj Party (BSP) just managed to defeat his nearest rival Bansi Pahadia of the Congress. Mr Kumar polled 29,106 votes against Mr Phahadia’s 28,805.

In Muaradnagar, the Congress lost its seat to BJP-Lok Dal’s Vivek Tyagi who defeated Rajpal Tyagi by 3,148 votes. In Modi Nagar also, the BJP was able to retain its seat when its candidate, Nasrinder Sishodya, defeated BSP’s Master Rajpal Singh by 5,435 votes.

In Hapur seat, the BJP yielded its hold to BSP’s Dharampal who won by 8,104.



Metro to be operational from December 1
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
After more than half a century and 35 studies on the viability of the project, the first line of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) between Shahdara and Tis Hazari is expected to be operational from December 1. When the state-of-the-art trains zoom past on these tracks, it would mark the unfolding of a dream visualised by transport planners in 1950.

“An 8.3 km stretch from Shahdara to Tis Hazari would be in operation from December 1. Eighty two per cent work in this section has already been completed and we are committed to our deadline,’’ Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Director (Project and Planning), C B K Rao, told reporters.

The first phase of the project, once completed, would comprise the Metro Corridor (underground) of 11 km and Surface Corridor (partly elevated and partly on the ground) of 41 km. The Metro Corridor would connect Delhi University with Central Secretariat and the elevated portion would connect Shahdara with Barwala and also Trinagar with Nangloi, he said.

Stating that the traffic problem in Delhi would be solved once the MRTS project is completed, he said the DMRC is “tying up with the DTC to provide bus service from each and every station to various parts of the city.’’

He said fares would be higher than in the DTC buses for the first eight km. The MRTS project, which started in 1998, would be completed by Mar 31, 2005. The project would cost around Rs 8,000 crore – 56 per cent of which has been provided by Japan as a soft loan and the rest equally shared by the Centre and the Delhi Government, he said, adding that there is a ten-year moratorium on the Japanese loan, which has a repayment period of 30 years..

He disclosed that the coaches have been imported from Korea and the German-made drilling machines are not causing any disturbance to the city life. ‘’Each stations would be different in size, depending on the traffic flow, and we would also be providing private security personnel apart from the presence of Delhi police,’’ he said.

‘’We are expecting nearly two million passengers every day after the completion of the project,’’ he said, adding that ‘’Trains would be available every three minutes.’’

‘’The ISBT station, where the Metro Corridor and the Surface Corridor meets, would be the busiest station in the world with a passenger inflow of 150,000 everyday,’’ he added. RITES, which comprehensively studied the travel pattern in the city and the master plan for the city drawn up by development authorities, recommended a rail based network aggregating 198.5 km for the city by the year 2021.



Fingerprints match in Nitish Katara case 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 24
Even as the Ghaziabad Police await the report of the DNA test, they have found strong similarities between the fingerprints of Nitish Katara and those taken from the charred body in Khurja, virtually identifying him as the victim of abduction and murder.

According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad, Prashant Kumar, the fingerprints taken from the charred body found in Khurja matched and resembled those of the victim, son of a senior Delhi-based bureaucrat. The victim’s fingerprints were obtained from the Transport Department, which had recorded them for the purpose of a driving licence. The samples from the charred body have already been sent to Hyderabad for a DNA test, after the victim’s mother expressed the view that the charred body could be that of her son.

Meanwhile, a police team, led by Ghaziabad city Superintendent of Police A K Raghav, which had gone to Gwalior to take custody of Vikas and Vishal, continued to interrogate the duo in connection with the case.

Vikas, son of Rajya Sabha Member D P Yadav, and his cousin Vishal were arrested from Dabra near Gwalior on Saturday morning. They would be produced in a local court tomorrow and brought to Ghaziabad on a transit remand.

Katara was reported missing from a marriage party here, after he was reportedly spotted dancing with several girls, including a sister of Vikas. Vikas, a candidate in the Bisauli Assembly constituency and son of Rajya Sabha MP D.P. Yadav, is currently on bail in model Jessica Lal’s murder case. 



Chautala cracks the whip, suspends three on citizens’ complaints
Abhay Jain

Om Prakesh Chautala

Gurgaon, February 24
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakesh Chautala, today suspended three employees of different departments on the charges of dereliction of duty.

While chairing the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Redressal Committee here today, Mr Chautala found that a junior engineer of the Public Health Department, a clerk of the Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam Limited and a patwari of the Revenue Department had failed to execute the works assigned to them by their departments.

According to official sources, the sarpanch of Shyad Shapur, Mrs Sakuntala Devi, complained to the Chief Minister that the motor of the Public Health Department installed in their village got burnt due to the ‘carelessness’ of the junior engineer with the result that the water supply of the village and the nearby areas remained affected. The engineer concerned did not get the motor repaired for long and the department had to bear a loss of Rs 30,000.

The sarpanch said in her complaint that she pleaded with the engineer many times to take the remedial measures, but of no avail. Finding that the engineer did not work as per the guidelines of the department, the Chief Minister suspended the engineer.

In another complaint, Vinod Kumar of Tailpuri village mentioned that the electric metre at his residence had been burnt more than a year ago. He went to the office of the Bijlee Vitran Nigam several times, requesting them to replace it, but in vain. He complained to the Chief Minister to take action so that the metre could be replaced. Mr Chautala asked the Superintendent Engineer (SE) of the Bijlee department as to who should be held responsible for the dereliction of duty.

The Superintendent Engineer reported that the clerk of the department was accountable for the lapse. The Chief Minister suspended the guilty person on the spot. In a third complaint, Chandan Singh said that a patwari Dharam Singh had demanded a sum of Rs 80,000 for executing the mutation of his land at Rojka Gujar village, Tehsil Sohna. Mr Chandan Singh mentioned that he had appealed to the patwari and other senior officials for the last three years but without any result.

He complained that he had also met the senior officials for executing the mutation. However, these officials did not care either for his complaint.

Mr Chautala suspended the patwari and also directed the officials to see whether any more complaints are lodged against him. The Chief Minister ruled out leniency for the officials who did not listen to the public complaints.

Faridabad: The removal of encroachments, beautification of towns, shifting of dairies out of the municipal limits and improvements in the traffic system in urban areas are the priorities of the State government. This was announced by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while presiding over the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committee today. He directed the officials to take proper and speedy action on complaints of encroachments and issues concerning the masses.

As many as 22 complaints were tabled in the meeting today. While some complainants failed to present themselves, the chief minister asked the officials to attend to the remaining grievances. He took note of a complaint that loans were being issued by the Central Cooperative Bank under bogus names and asked the Managing Director to brief him n the next meeting.

He also directed the Labour Department officials to present his report on workers’ complaints of harassment and victimisation to factory owners and ask them to adhere to labour laws on retrenchment, payment of bonus, wages and other benefits.

The Chief Minister also asked the Municipal Corporation authorities to provide a detailed report on the status of the sectors developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) within a month. TNS



Old woman attacked by son 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 24
An aged woman, Mrs Sarupti, sustained serious injuries when she was attacked with sharp-edged weapons by her son, Balraj, in their house at Shahpur village, about 14 km from here.

According to a report, she was rushed to the local civil hospital and stated to be out of danger. The police have registered a case against the youth and launched a hunt. The cause of the attack was being ascertained.

According to another report, two persons, including a woman, were injured when they were attacked with lathis by seven persons at Harsana Malcha village about 5 km from here. A dispute over the passing of a tractor near the ‘chaupal’ was the cause of the attack. The injured persons were identified as Mr Raghbir Singh and his brother’s wife, Mrs Anita. The police have registered the case against the assailants and the investigations were on. However, no arrest has been made so far.

In yet another case of violence, two persons of a family were injured seriously when they were assaulted by their neighbours at Mohana village about 19 km from here. The injured persons were identified as Mr Dhanna and his Relative, Ms Sheela. The alleged assailants have been identified as Bittoo and Sonu.



Four assault cops, escape with service revolver
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
The police have launched a massive hunt to trace four unidentified persons who attacked two cops on duty in the early hours of the morning today in the Dwarka area in South-West district and ran away after snatching the service revolver of Head Constable Ramesh. Constable Ashok, who was with Mr Ramesh, was hit on the head with a sharp-edged weapon and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

According to the police, Mr Ramesh and Mr Ashok were on routine duty at Sectors 20, 22 and 23 in Dwarka. Around 2.30 am, they spotted four unidentified persons moving in a suspicious manner towards a marble factory in the area.

As the cops approached the suspects, they noticed that a white pigeon was concealed inside the jacket of one of them. When they started questioning the suspects about the pigeon, they fumbled and failed to give a satisfactory reply, following which the policemen asked them to come to the police station.

Meanwhile, two of the suspects whipped out a sharp-edged weapon and hit Mr Ashok on his head. Mr Ashok fainted from the impact of the blow. When Mr Ramesh intervened, the suspects snatched the service revolver from him and threatened him with dire consequences, if he followed them. All the four fled from the spot soon after.

The police said that they had identified two of the suspects and were confident of arresting all the four and recovering the service revolver. A case of assault on public servants on duty has been registered against them.



No doctor at Hassanpur health centre
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 24
Residents of Hassanpur, a sub-divisional town in the district, are facing inconvenience as there has been no doctor at the Primary Health Centre (PHC) here for the past about six months.

It is reported that the patients visiting the PHC are told to go to private clinics as no doctor or nurse was available.

As a result, the villagers either have to go to bigger towns or depend on quacks who exploit the situation in the villages.

While a demand to upgrade the Primary Health Centre into a hospital has been taken up on several occasions, the failure of the authorities to post a full-time doctor and paramedical staff has led to deep resentment.

The residents have no choice but to ferry their ailing family members to Faridabad for medical attention.



NCR towns are poor clones of Delhi

Planners thought the National Capital Region would reduce the congestion in Delhi. Earlier, they had wanted to achieve this by dispersing the Central Government offices to other cities. The plan had failed miserably because nobody wanted to move out of Delhi, even to nearby towns, forget about distant places. Incidentally, those who were supposed to shift their offices and homes were the persons who matter in the government. Naturally, they had their way and the plan was abandoned. Then came the notion of NCR. Why not expand the area, call it the National Capital Region, move some offices to towns in the region and expect the office-goers of Delhi, at least some of them, to shift their residences to the new towns. Even if the offices did not move out, the shifting of residence would surely mean decongestion. The process began. Colonisers and the urban development authorities of neighbouring states got into the act and started developing these towns. The first to draw attention were naturally the nearest ones — Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon. Lots of people opted for these places. New housing complexes and markets came up and so did vehicles, both private and public, to cater to their needs.

But what the authorities had not bargained for, happened. Instead of decongesting Delhi, these towns became as congested as the National Capital itself. It was not merely the people from Delhi who shifted, but there came many from other parts of the country. These towns were as good as the national Capital, even better, in the sense that it would be some time before they got as polluted as Delhi. Also, the price of real estate and the rents were lower. There would be more space to park cars, too. There was plenty of land in these towns but it was profitable to build multi-storey structures. Industrial units were already located in these towns. Now, more business houses were keen to locate their corporate and regional offices there. They had high-salaried staff who all had cars and would not depend on public transport. The public transport, in any case, did not expand according to need. Even the civic amenities did not increase commensurately. The connecting roads continued to be inadequate with bottlenecks all the way. No wonder, traffic jams became the norm at places like Badarpur and Mahipalpur. The new markets became as crowded and congested as the old bazaars of Delhi. The traffic was now as indisciplined and wayward as in Delhi. The pollution levels have started mounting and so is frequency of electricity cuts and breakdowns. Water shortage is being felt and rainwater harvesting campaigns are being launched. The number of criminals is burgeoning and the law and order enforcement machinery is under stress. Some new problems have surfaced. For instance, the younger lot prefer the styles in vogue while the older residents find the trend rather odd. At times, there are conflicts. New departmental stores and shopping malls have come up and there is dual pricing. Many eating joints have sprouted but there is not enough enforcement staff to keep an eye on them. Wayside vending has started in a big way but there is no way to regulate it. New institutions have mushroomed but there is no satisfactory mechanism to oversee the quality of education. At the same time, there is not much coordination, so that these facilities percolate down to residents of these towns. One particular shortage is that of metered taxis and auto-rickshaws. It may sound odd but the fact is that the residents of Noida and Gurgaon can contact each other on phone only through STD. The transport connecting these towns is not satisfactory, unless you choose to pass through Delhi and fritter away your time and money. There are several other things which can be pointed out in this regard but, maybe, some other time. The point to be made at the moment is that somebody somewhere should think of these problems, even anticipate them and take remedial measures.

Cultural activity

One thing that bothers the residents of an NCR town is the lack of cultural and intellectual activities. They cannot be expected to visit Delhi all the time for such stimulation. And they miss lectures, music, theatre, panel discussions, even the kind of cinema they used to patronise in Delhi. There are, however, a few organisations which are trying to cater to such needs in these towns. One such organisation in Noida is the Senior Citizens Forum which meets in the community centre once a month to hear some eminent person on a subject of their interest and interact with him. It is fairly well organised and there have been doctors to lecture on health problems, analysts to discuss political events and old timers to talk about cultural heritage. The forum is managed by former civilian and Army officers and academicians. Of course, it is a small organisation and it has small gatherings. But they are serving a useful purpose. I am told that there are a few others, but just a few, which arrange social and cultural gatherings. The residents of these towns need to take greater initiative in organising such activities, so that these towns become somewhat like Delhi in this respect.

Public school

There are enough public schools in and around Delhi. But when I visited Taoru beyond Sohna, I did not expect to find one there. It is a small town, in fact a large village, conservative and old-fashioned with an agrarian economy. There is an old type of bazaar and houses and monuments, which make it look even more old-fashioned. One hardly comes across any signs of modernity in Taoru. And the existence of Green Dales Public School is indeed a pleasant surprise. The school has about 500 students; the medium is English and the stress is on extra-curricular activities. In addition, some old values are being inculcated in the students. It has been hosting VIPs from Delhi and Chandigarh on special occasions and among the distinguished visitors has been a former President of India. This school in the Mewat region is a gift from the late P.R.Sharma, who was an education officer in Delhi. On his retirement, he opened the school in his town of birth. He died about a year ago but his family, including his wife and daughter-in-law, continue to run the school.

Bone-joining herb

I heard this from Prof. Sheotaj Singh who lives in Delhi but belongs to a village near Rewari. He showed me a sort of grass with small leaves. It can be dipped in water for the night and that water can be taken in the morning or it can be crushed into paste or powder and taken with tea or water every day.

It is an effective cure for broken bones and expedites the process of joining the fractured pieces of a bone. He has personally used it and found it effective and so have some of his friends. He says that it is used widely in that region and can be found in wild growth, particularly after rains on hillocks and mounds of Aravalli. It is known as Hadjod Booti, which literally means bone-joining herb. Having heard it from him, I was inspired to visit Arogya Mela, a unique exhibition of products and methods of treatment under various systems of indigenous medicine in India. One was surprised to see so many stalls of manufacturers of such medicines at the Mela held in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. There seemed to be something for every ailment. There were herbal tea and soft drinks, honey of different kinds. There were practitioners of the various systems right from Tibet to Kanyakumari.

The stalls had also been put up by some of the Ayurved universities and institutes. Lectures relevant to the subject were also arranged. Among the chief organisers is Dr Harsh Vardhan, former health minister of Delhi, who feels highly satisfied by the participation and public response to the exhibition.

It may be worthwhile to take the exhibition to other big cities and also to repeat it here after a while. It could even be a regular feature in the Capital.

Dancing With Void

It is rather an unusual name for a book on a saint who was born in Denmark but made India his home. Some people in Delhi and Chandigarh which Sunyata visited during his stay in India would remember this quiet and smiling man who spent much of his time as a recluse in Almora. The book published recently in the USA tells the story of an unconventional man whose existence was “mind-free, ego-free, form-free, effort-free, time-free and age-free”. It is a story told by himself, his life journey from a farm boy and gardener in Denmark to a humble cave-dweller in the Himalayas. He had no desires and was a lover of silence and solitude. The name Sunyata was given to him by Sri Ramana Maharishi. His earlier name was Emmanuel Sorenson. The book also includes some of his thoughts and words. For instance, “Love pervades everything. All conflicts and suffering are like surface waves upon the quiet ocean depth.”

His musings are relevant for they concern all, the illumination and liberation of the human spirit. While leaving India, he had left some scribbled notes with one of his admirers, Mr Gurubaksh Rai, a former director of Public Relations in Delhi and Chandigarh and an officer of Haryana Tourism and Public Relations. Since then, he made it his mission to get them published. He edited them with his co-editor Betty Camhi, an American lady who had written an earlier book on Sunyata. He succeeded in his mission. The book is out but he was not destined to see it in print. The book published by Blue Dove Press, San Diego, California, came in the market a few days after Mr.Gurubaksh Rai’s death. Sunyata himself died in an accident in the USA in 1984. He had come to India first in 1930 in response to an invitation by Rabindra Nath Tagore who had introduced him to Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru. In India, he had met many sages and leaders, including Sri Ramana Maharishi.

Prem Kumar



Hauz Rani potters pack bags as ASI digs up a protected ‘Wall’ after 50 years
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, February 24
A number of potters of the Kumhar Basti in Hauz Rani village have already started packing their bags following the notices sent to them by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for the removal of unauthorised constructions in a “protected area”.

Bindwa, 75, is one such potter, who has been living in the Kumhar Basti for the last 40 years and is all set now to venture out to find an alternative place to earn his bread and butter.

“The pottery business here (in Kumhar Basti) started about 50 years ago. And after so many years, they ask us to leave. It isn’t fair,” said Bindwa with a glum face. Kumhar Basti, along the Press Enclave road in South Delhi’s posh Saket, is known for its pottery. Everyday, scores of men and women flock to this market to buy the bright-coloured clay pots. During festivals, the entire stretch of the road becomes a virtual stopover for every passerby.

The ASI, however, said the entire Hauz Rani village, including Kumhar Basti, was “absolutely unauthorised” as it falls within the protected area of the Jahanpanah Wall, a “centrally protected monument”.

The ASI has sent notices to each and every house owner and shopkeeper directing them to remove all the constructions that fall within the prohibited area, which is within 100 metres of any protected site.

The aggrieved residents of Hauz Rani have replied in writing, saying that the notices issued to them are “illegal and contrary to the reality of facts”.

The residents are defending themselves saying that the village is 700 years old and they had never seen the Jahanpanah Wall ever. Though they have asked the Director-General of the ASI to withdraw the notices, they are still awaiting a response.

Contrary to the residents’ plan to fight the ASI move, the potters here maintained that there was no point staying on anymore as the place would definitely become the centre of controversies and their business would suffer a great deal.

“Even if they don’t demolish the place, we will be the losers. I am sure now every governmental agency would start taking money from us for allowing us to run our businesses from here. We will lose everything. It is better to leave and try to find a place, which is more secure,” said Bindwa’s son, Ram Avtar.

Lambasting the government, Avtar said in an agitated tone: “We have been here for 50 years. Hauz Rani has been here for hundreds of years. And now they remember that the place is illegal. Why did they let us settle down here in the first place if they were to raze our houses one day? They are just trying to trouble the poor man.”

Bela Devi, another potter, who has been here ever since potters opened shops 50 years ago, said Kumhar Basti never got any water or electricity from the government and neither were they asking for it and all they wanted was permission to stay on.

“The government does not provide us with anything at all. For water, we have to trudge everyday to the nearest hand pump. And we use candles for the light,” said Bela. “But we are still very happy with it. All we want is to be allowed to live here like we are. We aren’t asking for a lot, are we?”

The ASI, blaming the various governmental agencies for allowing illegal structures to come up within the prohibited area, said no construction within the prohibited area would be spared. “The monuments are dying because of these constructions. Even the Jahanpanah Wall has broken down because so many constructions have surrounded it. We have to draw a line somewhere. We sympathise with the people who have to go. But they will have to go,” a senior ASI official, told ‘NCR Tribune’.

Shankar and his wife, Shanti, both potters, are busy packing their belongings. They have stopped making pots ever since they got the notice of removal. “Why should we make pots when they are likely to come anytime and break everything? We are selling only those pots that are left.”

While Shankar and Shanti have given up all hopes, their son, Govind, was busy working on a clay piece. “I am making a small clay idol of Lord Ganesha. When they come to remove us from here, I will gift it to them. I am sure they will have mercy on us,” he said, as he went back to work the idol.



Poverty drives woman to suicide
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 24
At least two married women in the district committed suicide in separate incidents in the past 24 hours. According to reports, at least one of them took the extreme step because of poverty.

Pappan (35), wife of one Hari of Baselva Colony here, ended her life by burning herself at her house on Saturday. She doused herself with kerosene and set her afire. She died in Civil Hospital in a few hours.

According to information, she took the extreme step due to poverty. In another incident, Rajvati, wife of Raghuvir of Rehrana village near Palwal, committed suicide by consuming pesticide.

Power pilferage

The district police today registered cases of power thefts against seven persons of Chhudani and Bupania villages.

A team of officers of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) had found Daya Sagar, Rajkumar, Jai Narayan, all residents of Chhudani, and Kalira, Mahender Singh, Satpal and Kartar Singh, residents of Bupania, involved in power pilferage during raids on their premises on February 6.

A penalty of Rs 85,725 had also been imposed on them. A case under Section 379, IPC and 39 of the Electricity Act had been registered against them.

Cable thieves held

The district police claimed to have arrested two most wanted criminals — Budhram of Dabodha village here and Satbir of Sarai Sanval village in Uttar Pradesh – and seized 500 kg of stolen electricity cables from them. A police spokesman said here today that a CIA team from Bahadurgarh had arrested the duo in Jhajjar town on a secret information about their presence in the town.

On interrogation, they admitted their involvement in three cable-stealing cases in the Salawas area here. The Delhi Police had arrested two of their accomplices after the cases were reported but the duo managed to escape. With the arrest of Budhram, the district police claimed to have solved nine cases.

Bicycle thefts

With the arrest of Rajesh of Bupania village and Sunil of Dulhera village, the district police have succeeded in solving 18 cases of bicycle thefts from Jhajjar, Bahadurgarh and some other areas. The stolen bicycles were worth about Rs 25,000. The duo was arrested after registering cases under Section 379 of the IPC. The police also expect to solve some more cases of bicycle lifting.

One dies in mishap

One person was killed and another injured seriously when a jeep carrying them turned turtle on the road near Baroda village, about 45 km from here, on Saturday.

According to a report, the deceased was identified as Rajbir, the driver of the jeep. The injured person was immediately rushed to the community health centre at Gohana where from he was shifted to the PGI, Rohtak.

It is stated that the jeep driver tried to save a boy who entered the road all of a sudden and he drove the jeep to a kutcha path where it overturned on account of the slush.

According to another report, two persons sustained serious injuries when a canter on which they were travelling rammed into the divider on the G.T. road near Qumashpur village, about 13 km from here, on Saturday.

The canter was on its way from Punjab to Delhi. When it neared Qumashpur village, one of its tyre got burst and the driver lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the road divider. Both the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where they were referred to a Delhi hospital.

Crops damaged

Standing Rabi crops including wheat in several villages in the district were damaged in the rain and hailstorms that lashed here on Saturday. According to a report, crops in Sardhana, Ahulana, Bali Qutabpur, Kheri Gujjar, Naya Bans, Bulandpur, Khubru, Bhawar, Samaspur Gamra, Sayya Khera, Kailana, Ahir Majra, Ganaur, Rajlu Garhi, Garhi Kesri, Buoy, Datauli and Chirashmi were the worst hit.

At some villages, standing wheat and other crops were submerged under rainwater and farmers there demanded immediate pumping out of the water from their fields.

Many villages in Sonepat, Ganaur, Gohana and Kharkhauda tehsils have been hit by the rain and hailstorms. Reports of losses are still pouring in from other villages.

Liquor seized, 3 nabbed

The police arrested three persons and seized 32 bottles of country-made liquor from them. According to Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, SP, the arrested persons were Jagbir of Fazilpur village, Dinesh of Janti Kalan village and Kpatan of Chitana village. Cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them.

Youth gets burnt

A youth, Pawan Bajaj, sustained 65 per cent burns after a stove burst in his house at New Tara Nagar here on Saturday. The injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was sent to the PGI, Rohtak.

Sex racket?

The police carried out a surprise raid at a private guesthouse here on Saturday and found two couples and a youth in compromising situations. According to a report, though both the couples managed to escape, the youth was taken to the Civil Lines police station for further investigation. However, no case has been registered so far in this connection.

Sweets distributed

Activists of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) distributed sweets to people here on the victory of the party’s candidate, Dr Malik Chand Gambhir, from the Yamunanagar assembly segment today.

A youth INLD leader, Joginder Balhara, claimed that the ‘grand’ victory of Dr Gambhir had proved that the people had faith in the party policies. He said the by-election results had also exposed that the opposition parties, including the Congress and the BJP, were loosing their grip among the masses.


Garden fest at Talkatora a big draw
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
Flower lowers from all over the city turned up in large numbers at Talkatora Gardens on the concluding day of the 15th Garden Tourism Festival here today. People started pouring in from morning to witness the show as well as participate in various events organised at the festival.

The three-day festival, with the theme ‘Sustainable Environment’, was inaugurated on Friday at Talkotora Gardens. In fact, the festival had not only been a riot of colours with thousands of varieties of flowers on display, but also an event during which everything related to the greens was available in one place.

During the festival this year, competitions in different categories, including cacti, art flowers, floral animals and bonsai, were conducted. There was also a quiz contest on gardening for children. It evoked a good response and the winners walked away with attractive awards. 



Man crushed to death

New Delhi, February 24
Jagan Singh (37), resident of Andrews Ganj in South district, was crushed to death by a speeding truck under Moolchand flyover Saturday night. He was crossing the road when the truck coming from South Extension side hit him, killing him on the spot. The driver of the truck, Ajaib Singh, resident of Ghazipur, had been arrested on the charges of rash and negligent driving causing death. TNS



Kirtan durbar

New Delhi, February 24
A Kirtan durbar will be organised in Gurdwara Dera Mohanpur on Tuesday in the Capital to mark the 44th Gurumath Sant Samagam in memory of Baba Jawahar Singh.

Sant Mahendra Singh, who heads the Dera, would lead the religious discourse session and several other prominent religious personalities would render discourses. The Sant Samagam was started to follow the principles of Bhai Kanhaiya, who provided water and food to injured soldiers irrespective of religion, caste or creed. TNS



This radio needs no battery or power, but a wind every 30 minutes

Philips has launched the revolutionary Free Power radio, RL 117, a mass market product. The new radio requires no external batteries or electricity for operation. A one-minute winding of the lever runs the radio for as long as 30 minutes of ultimate listening pleasure. The radio works on the principle of converting mechanical energy to electric energy.

With the launch of the new radio range, the company is taking a bold initiative in the rural base. The urban consumers, who are into enjoying the FM boom, will see the benefit of this breakthrough product on out-of-home trips and other situations, where conventional power sources are not available and batteries are an expensive option.

Group printer

IBM has launched a new line of workgroup printing solutions – IBM Infoprint 1000 series — which offers higher speeds, expanded paper handling capabilities, excellent finishing options and Internet ready printing..

These printers offer users and network administrators a wealth of new features that enable faster and more effective workgroup printing.

The printers’ finishing options feature automatic stapling and offset stacking even in its mid-range products. It also offers the ability to print a host of popular image files or URLs referencing PDF or HTML files directly to the printer, quickly and easily without using a printer driver or application.

Double purchase

Double Diamond from the stable of Duncans Industries has announced its latest exciting offer, “Double Diamond Judwaa Diamond Jadoo”, wherein consumers can look forward to winning exciting prizes ranging from diamonds to cash discounts.

There is an assured gift with every pack bought and there are no ‘try-again’. In the packets, the prize is printed inside the silver foil and in the jars, the lucky scratch coupons are inside.

Cook tops

Inalsa Appliances has introduced three new sophisticated and contemporary looking models of cook tops in the market. They have sleek stainless steel body, brass burners, leak-proof gas valves and detachable drip trays. The three new models — CT-406 SL, CT-406 SLC and CT-416 — spell excellence in technology and aesthetics.

These cook tops are an affordable luxury, which promises to enhance any kitchen décor.

Dark Coffee

Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company has launched the country’s first special coffee, “dark coffee”. It is a single-origin and high-altitude special coffee. It is packed in aluminum foil pouches with a one-way freshness valve and in attractively designed, hermetically sealed tins, the good-old way of packaging premium coffee.

Kathlekhan in Kannada means dark forest. The single-origin coffee derived from this range is named after it. The Kathlekhan estate is 184 years old and has seen a total of seven owners since it was first built by Augustine Co. in 1818 till the ABCTCL took over it in 2000.

The Kathlekhan range is part of the Outer Giri of the Baba Budan Giri hills. Baba Budan Giri is where Indian coffee was born more than 400 years ago when the sage smuggled seven beans into India with him and planted them, in his case, in this range.

Wood finish

Jubilant Organosys has introduced its wood-finish range under the brand name, Jivanjor Charmwood. The product range consists of polyurethane, melamine, nitrocellulose, polyurethane Alkyd, stains, sealers and thinners.

The range seeks to go beyond the products themselves and be identified with the everyday lives of the actual user community of polishers, be they in wood working, surface finishing or interiors.

The wood finishing industry, on an average, has grown by 11.2 per cent per year over the last three years. With the disposal income of Indians on the rise, the demand for quality finishes on furniture and wooden fixtures has grown and so has the concurrent demand for wood finishes.

Creamy delights

Kwality Walls has launched an exotic dessert, Black Currant Sundae, which has a mouth-watering black currant sauce and creamy vanilla.

The Black Currant sauce has been specially formulated to offer a truly delectable dessert to its consumers, one that leaves them yearning for more. Rich in vitamin C and minerals, they are used the world over to make exotic jellies, jams, drinks and sauces.

The company has also launched Corneto Soft range of products. Bigger than conventional cones, the super Cone comes in creamy vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and other flavours. The range includes softy Sundae cup of creamy vanilla topped with rich strawberry or chocolate sauce and the softy nutty delight, which has creamy vanilla with thick chocolate sauce and nuts.

Toilet incinerator

AGL Enterprises has launched “Incinolet”, a revolutionary concept in toilet technology, for the first time in the country. It is the world’s only electric incinerating toilet, a toilet system without a sewage line.

Incinolet uses electric heat to reduce human waste to a clean, non-polluting ash. It uses no water and drains nothing out. There is no digging or plumbing involved. Installation is simple: just plug it in the power point. They are odourless, sanitary and easy to use. The platinum-based catalyst, similar to that used in automobile emission system, controls smoke and odour. The hassle-free convenience provided by the Incinolet can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere and anyplace where electricity is available such as in basements, high-rise building, farmhouses, caravans etc.


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