Thursday, February 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Cong likely to spring surprises
Some sitting councillors may be dropped, wards may be changed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Congress will kick off its campaign for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections on March 2 by holding a rally in the Capital, which would be addressed by the party’s general secretary and in-charge of Delhi, Mr Kamal Nath.

Among others who would be sharing the dais include the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Subhash Chopra, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and other senior leaders of the state unit of the party.

The party is to release its first list of candidates for the civic polls on Saturday evening.

The DPCC spokesperson, Mr Mukesh Sharma, said the list would contain many surprises, as several sitting councillors might not find their names in the list. And, some wards of the councillors would also be shifted.

Stating that a number of BJP councillors were vying to enter the party, he said the Congress had decided not to give party ticket to new entrants as this would send a wrong message.

The residence of Congress general secretary was thronged by ticket seekers even as the DPCC office wore a deserted look. Some of the ticket seekers feared that the Rs 3000 deposited with the application forms would go down the drain as the tickets were likely to be given to those whose candidature was being backed by the power centres in the state units.

Mr Sharma said the rally in the Capital would set the tone for the MCD polls. The rally would also send a significant message to the people about the organisational capabilities and the advantage of voting for the party. Stating that the rally would be attended by national as well as state-level leaders, Mr Sharma said: “It would force the BJP to come out of its slumber and give a honourable fight to the party.”

Political observers said mostly ticket aspirants would attend the rally as the first list is slated to be released by that evening. The rally would be marked by an air of expectation rather than a feel-good atmosphere of being associated with a party which has performed well in the assembly polls.

The five-member screening committee, comprising Mr Kamal Nath, Ms Selja, Ms Dikshit, Mr Chopra and Mr Sharma, continued to examine the candidates for the 134-member corporation.

The party, after ascertaining the views of district-levels leaders, shortlisted the candidature for the wards of Mehrauli, Krishna Nagar and Chandni Chowk.

The candidates for Sadar, Nazafgarh, Rohini and Karol Bagh wards would be shortlisted tomorrow.

The sources said the DPCC general secretary, Mr Jaivir Nagar, who has been arrested on charges of forgery, could be expelled from the party. The Congress MLA, Mr Jaspal Singh, who also faces allegations of corruption, could face serious disciplinary action.

The state unit of the party has sent a detailed report on the Nagar episode to Mr Kamal Nath, who would take appropriate action.

The mood in the BJP camp seems to be gloomy as the party has failed to cash in on the allegations of corruption against Congress leaders. Though the youth wing of the BJP is holding a demonstration in the Capital tomorrow, the senior leaders have not come out and politicised the issue.

On the other hand, the BJP continued its closed-door consultations on the candidates. The party is scheduled to release its first list on March 1.

The sources said the list had been delayed as the consultations with the district-level workers were on; the party would not like to release names of candidates who are not acceptable to the district unit.

Both parties were today busy giving final touches to the manifesto, which would be released next week.

Meanwhile, eight persons filed their candidature as independents. The wards from where they filed their nominations were: Hastsal, Dilshad Garden, Rohini, Badli, Nangloi Jat, Badarpur and Harkesh Nagar.


Student stress lines keep on ringing
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, February 27
From a distressing, “What will happen if I fail to recollect the answers during the exams?” to an anxious, “What happens if I fail in one paper?” or an innocent, “Can you tell me what I would expect in the maths paper?”, the tele-counsellors are beseeched with calls from the students set to appear for the board exams.

With barely a day left for the class exams to begin, the exam blues have reached an all-time high. Tele-counsellors have been kept busy by the stream of incoming calls from the students who seem to be at their wits’ end owing to the tremendous pressure being exerted on them.

Alarmed by the increasing incidents of suicide by the students who fail to fare well in the exams, the counsellors have set up tele-counselling services to help relieve stress. Snehi, an organisation for psycho-social support has received around distress 1,345 calls from the students and their parents.

“We started the service on the first of February and will continue it till March 6. Till today, we have received about 395 calls from class 10 students and 225 from class 12 students, the rest have been from the parents of the students. They are all anxious that the students may not be able to perform well,” says Ms Jyoti Uplenchwar, Vice-Chairperson of Snehi.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also started helplines for the students to help them fight exam blues. Around 15 helplines are operational in the Capital alone. The teachers and principals of various public as well as government schools are running these helplines.

Ms Aloka Bose of Birla Vidya Niketan told the ‘NCR Tribune’, “I have received about 90-100 calls from the students. All of them have been from class 12, none from class 10. They were anxious about their performance. Some were troubled by even imaginary fears. Like a girl who called up to say that someone close to her had experienced a memory lapse during the exams and she was scared that it might happen to her as well.”

Most of the students ask questions pertaining to the correct method to be adopted

for studying. “People call to find how to study well so that they can recall everything during the exams. The students also seemed confused as to how to devote equal time to each subject. Most of the students were gripped by the exam phobia that made concentration difficult,” said Mrs Gulshan Rai, Counsellor, Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Laxmi Nagar.

The parents of students have also done a fair bit of calling. Mrs Neera Chopra, Principal, Naval Public School, recalls, “Parents wanted information regarding the date-sheets, exam times. One parent even asked me if they had to pay the fees for March.”

While the phones didn’t stop ringing initially, the number has shrunk now. “Initially I used to attend calls throughout the day, but now for the last three to four days, the number of calls has come down,” said Mrs Chopra.

With expectations running high and the competition giving sleepless nights, children and their parents suffer an emotional upheaval. The desire to perform well has overtaken the students and the result is an increase in the number of stress-related disorders and even suicides, said a schoolteacher.



A crackerjack at Kashmir affairs
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
But for the perseverance and dedication of a 36-year-old Delhi policeman, Vijay Pal, a large number of guns looted from a consignment meant for the paramilitary forces in Kashmir would have landed in the wrong hands. The guns were looted while being transported from Bihar in December 1999.

The duty conscious constable (now a head constable with the Special Cell of the Delhi Police), posted with the Crime Branch, swung into action immediately and started gathering information from his contacts about the consignment. When he became sure of the facts, he informed his superiors. A police party was organised and rushed to Moradabad where the three suspects were holed up waiting for an opportunity to send the guns to the strife-torn Valley.

Vijay Pal, who was among the team, managed to locate the three suspects in Moradabad and recovered all the looted guns. Working on this case gave the Delhi-born policeman an insight into the terrorist outfits operating in the Valley and their contacts in other places.

Having gained the experience in dealing with such cases, he managed to smash a gang of car thieves a year later. The gangsters stole vehicles from the Capital and disposed them of to various terrorist organisations active in the Valley. These vehicles gave the much-needed mobility to the ultras. With their arrest, the policeman broke the back of their operations. With this, he became an expert of a sort on Kashmir affairs. His information was always precise, a senior Crime Branch officer recalled. He is also credited with having solved at least half a dozen cases of organised criminals, some even belonging to the criminal tribes.

These are but a few instances of his relentless effort to track down lawbreakers. Thanks to his dedication, he was promoted as a head constable out of turn. Lest his expertise go waste, he has now been posted with the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, the branch which deals with Kashmir-based terrorists and other subversive elements

Born in Joor Bagh village in Tri Nagar area, the stoutly built policeman told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that he was never afraid of chasing the criminals. When he leaves his house in the morning, he goes out with the determination that he would help remove another criminal from the streets of the Capital and make the city safer for law-abiding citizens.

He confessed that he had worked really hard to dispel the notion that the villagers were simpletons when it came to city life. He has managed to dispel that impression a great deal.

Married with two children, this crime-buster takes pride in the fact that his family has been staying in the Tri Nagar area for almost a century now.



Only 24-hr police custody of Vikas
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, February 27
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad, Mr Rajinder Kumar, has allowed the city police 24 hours’ remand of Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav, the main accused in kidnapping and murder of Nitish Katara, son of a joint secretary in the Government of India on February 17, 2002. The police had requested for a week’s and later, a three-day remand.

The SSP, Ghaziabad, Mr Prashant Kumar said, “Now we will interrogate the accused.” The grilling will start at 9 am tomorrow and the remand will end at 9 am on March 1.

The accused will be medically examined before being brought in for interrogation which will be done in the presence of Yadav’s advocates, the court order said.

The Ghaziabad police have also requested Rajya Sabha member D.P. Yadav to produce his daughter Ms Bharati who will be questioned in the presence of lady police. Other members of the accused family and the Katara family have also been summoned by the police.

The DIG Meerut Range, Mr Arun Kumar, is personally monitoring the intricate case in view of the fact that the families of the victim and the accused are both well connected.

Meanwhile, the charges of murder and attempt to destroy the evidence have been added to the case of abduction with intent to murder against Vikas and Vishal Yadav.

This happened because Nitish’s body had been identified from the fingerprints on his driving licence. “Since witnesses saw the duo taking Nitish with them from the wedding hall, the onus of proving their innocence is on them,” Mr Prashant Kumar said.

Mr Kumar also revealed that the basis on which the police had sought their remand were the recovery of the murder weapons, a vehicle used to transport Nitish and a cellphone.

In the opinion of DIG Arun Kumar, both Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav are trying to use the money power to make one of their employees confess to the crime. Their reported confession to the Gwalior police that a ‘pehalwan’ of the liquor syndicate had taken Nitish with him, seems to be part of this well-thought-out strategy.

‘Pehalwan’ could just be a nickname. “It does not mean that he is a wrestler. So far, no hired killer is known to be involved, the Ghaziabad, district Superintendent of police Prashant Kumar said

“We shall stand our ground and see to it that the accused are awarded a suitable punishment. We shall not yield to any pressure and resist any attempt to mislead the investigations,” DIG Arun Kumar added.



Rs 27 lakh missing from DVB van
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Some unidentified persons have reportedly robbed Rs 27 lakh, kept in the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) delivery van, in Chandni Chowk this afternoon.

It is reported that head cashier Gurcharan Bhatia along with two assistant linemen, a guard and a driver went to deposit Rs 1,06,54,000 in the State Bank of India, Chandni Chowk branch from eastern circle. The cash was kept in five canvas kit bags and two handbags. Guard Siril Toppo, 45, kept a vigil as others carried the cash to the bank. After a while, only one bag was left in the van, other six bags had been deposited. Meanwhile, the guard saw that a rickshaw-puller was picking some currency notes from the road. He immediately looked for the bag, but to his chagrin, the bag containing a sum of Rs 27 lakh was missing.

DC’s former PA’s bail plea rejected

Faridabad: The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R K Bishnoi, has rejected the anticipatory bail petition filed by Mr Ravi Mangla, former PA to the deputy commissioner. He had been booked last month under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly offering money to the deputy commissioner. The accused stands suspended; an enquiry into the incident had been conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner. The case has now been handed over to the district police. TNS



Where check-posts leak like a sieve
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 27
The Mines Department officials here have unearthed a ‘racket’ in sandstone. In this connection, a loaded truck has been seized by the Special Cell of the department at Pale check post.

It is reported that large-scale theft of sandstone – which is used as a building material – had been thriving in the region under the patronage of some officials of the department and the cops manning the check post. The theft was detected after a truck was stopped for checking by the Special Cell at Pali village post. While the driver of the truck fled, the officials recovered the slips issued by the department of mines for supply of sandstone, with the time and date of exit.

On scrutiny, the officials seized about 25 slips used time and again by the supplier. As per rules, a slip can be used only once and a copy of it has to be deposited with the authorities. But it is learnt that the time and date was overwritten several times on the slip. It was apparently being used over and over again. Each truck laden that leaves the mines with material is required to pay royalty and sales tax (ST) to the officials. But, in this case, it is learnt the truck owner had been avoiding paying the tax and the royalty by coughing up Rs. 300 per truck to the officials at the check post.

Each check-post has an employee of the Mines Department, a sales tax officer and a policemen. The loss of revenue to the State

government on account of such fudging could run into crores, said an official. The Mining Engineer of the District, Mr M P Sharma, said that all records of the lease-holder were being checked and appropriate action would be taken.

It is reported another truck had been caught by the Special Cell about 10 days ago. The matter has been brought before Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar, who has ordered a detailed probe. It may be recalled that a CBI inquiry is also on in connection with illegal mining by some influential persons in the area. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the probe on a petition filed by a local journalist.



3 youth die as truck rams Qualis
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 27
Three youths were killed and two others injured when a Toyota Qualis in which they were travelling collided head-on with a truck near Silani village on Rohtak-Jhajjar road this afternoon. The deceased have been identified as Mr Heera and Mr Brij Mohan of Jhajjar and Mr Bijender of Rewari.

According to information, five persons were going from Jhajjar to Rewari in a Qualis to attend a marriage. The vehicle was hit by a speeding truck. Mr Bijender, driver of the Qualis, and Mr Heera died on the spot while Mr Brij Mohan succumbed to his injuries at the PGIMS here. Two other occupants of the Qualis – Mr Raj Kumar and Mr Sandeep – sustained injuries in the incident. The driver of the truck is said to be absconding. The police have registered a case.



Residents’ pleas for water fail to wash with DLF management
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 27
After coughing up a fortune for their dream house in the much-hyped DLF City, some of its residents are reeling under acute shortage of potable water.

The affected residents, considered to be among the high-heeled sections of the society, wonder about their plight on the water front in summer as they are at their wits end on the issue even during this time of the year. The governmental authorities appear to be giving a long rope to the DLF management, as they allegedly look the other way to the numerous complaints lodged by the residents on the issue.

The DLF management authorities are aware of the problem, as the residents have apprised them of it several times. The residents had also staged a public demonstration last summer by beating empty buckets with sticks to draw the attention of the management on the “acute” shortage of water.

The management had assured them that it would solve the problem then. However, the situation stays where it was even now.

The most affected are the houses in block E, having more than 400 families. The residents allege that although the houses in the DLY city are supplied water for two-and-a-half hours in the day ‘officially’, the supply is actually for lesser duration.

According to the residents, there are two main tanks for the supply of potable water in the city. The block E is supplied by the tank located in block B. This tank caters to the areas of blocks A, B, C, D, E and F. While the areas closer to the main tank face less problem, the ones far off receive water supply with attenuated or no pressure.

Coupled with it is the fact some of the areas are located at comparatively higher planes, further taking a toll on the supply pressure. Consequently, the houses at the fag end of the main supply point and the ones at higher planes receive supply for a very short duration.

The honorary general-secretary of the DLF Qutab Enclave Residents’ Welfare Association, Mr T. K. Satheesan, says that the affected residents have suggested to the DLF management to install a water supply tank in block D so that it could properly cater to the affected areas. However, the suggestion has so far not accepted by the management.

According to him, the management supplies water for construction of houses, which are coming up now, after charging huge sums from the plot holders. The water is supplied from the same source, which is already depleted, without any regard to the convenience of the existing residents who are reeling under shortage of water, he adds.

The association alleges that while the DLF management appears to be least bothered on the sufferings of the residents, the government has chosen to be a silent spectator. It says that the management has procured “part completion certificate” on May 24, 1991, from the Director, Town and Country Planning, Haryana, for Phase 1, II and III of DLF Enclave on the condition that it “would be fully responsible to meet the demand of water as per the prescribed norms and provisions of/maintenance of allied services...”

In spite of this, the department concerned of the state and the other authorities do not check on the implementation of the undertaking given by the DLF management. The reason is not far to seek.

In such a scenario, the residents are pitted against a mighty estate/coloniser. Some of the members of the association further allege that instead of solving the problems and abiding by the rules, the DLF management is trying to stifle the voices of protest by aiming to divide the residents. According to many, the developments, indeed, suggest a travesty of the spirit of privatisation and liberal economy. 



Only one water sample in Delhi meets norms
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, February 27.
Out of the 120 samples of water collected from various areas in Delhi, only one sample met the minimum standards set by EPA (United States’ Environment Protection Agency). Some of the areas like Rohini, Patparganj, Karol Bagh and Connaught Place are supplied with water containing 1000 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS) and over 350 ppm hardness. According to the EPA standards, good drinking water should contain between 200-300 ppm of TDS and water with more than 500 ppm TDS is unfit for consumption.

The study was conducted by Pentair Water India, a subsidiary of the Pentair,

Inc., USA. The company today launched their products aimed at cleaning water and making it fit for consumption. It has also volunteered to maintain some of the heritage sites in the Capital.

The Transport Minister, Mr Ajay Maken, today inaugurated the fountains in Lodhi Gardens. The fountains have been adopted by the company for its upkeep and maintenance.

Speaking at the inauguration, Mr Maken said, “The biggest problem in our country today is that the motive of all the private companies is to earn money. When it comes to maintenance and social responsibility, it is the government that has to take the responsibility. For the past five decades, there has been a clear-cut division between the duties of the government and the duties of the private companies: the government does the work while the companies earn the money. This should change.”

Referring to the system of Bagidhari, Mr Maken said that more private companies should join forces and expertise with the government to share the responsibility of the government.

The company CEO, Gautam Khanna, told mediapersons that the domestic water solution segment would treat water having impurities, which include biological impurities and arsenic, and make water safe for consumption. “We are trying to change the way people look, use and manage water. We want to solve water problems and make better water available to more people,” he affirmed. The company wants to use part of its profit for the upkeep of heritage sites in Delhi.

The products launched today include filters, purifiers, water-fountains and pumps. The range is priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 45,000.


Shamianas, building materials dot roads
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 27
Come marriage season, roads and streets become private property. People erect shamianas in front of their houses even if the chosen spot is in the middle of the road. Other social functions also make people encroach on the roads, even if temporarily. On top of it is the blatant misuse of public roads and land by private as well as government contractors who dump their building materials on the roads.

For instance, the public street near Chhoti Musjid Shiv Mandir in Mohalla Kalan remained blocked for the third consecutive day today following the dumping of bajri, sand and other materials there by a contractor of the Sonepat Municipal Council.

According to a report, this has caused a lot of inconvenience to thousands of people, particularly passers-by, as there was no place left to pass through the street even on foot. One has to wade through the ‘bajri’ and sand to cross the area. Women are the worst hit on account of this blockade.

Many people alleged that they had made a series of complaints to the officials of the municipal council but no action had been taken against the contractor concerned who has dared to block the street for days together.

The Residents Welfare Association expressed concern over the failure of the police as well as the civic administration to take action against those persons who are blocking the public roads and streets for organising social functions, marriages, construction of buildings, etc.

It also pointed out that such persons were in the habit of erecting shamianas in the middle of the public roads and streets and dumping the building materials thereby holding up traffic in violation of the law. But the authorities remained silent spectators resulting in the frequent blocking of the roads and streets.

The association urged the district authorities to take stern action against such persons and prosecute them in accordance with the law.



Minister suggests ways to improve power sector
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 27
The Principal Secretary to the Union Power Minister, Mr B K Panigrahi has called for improvement in transmission and distribution network to tackle the problem of power shortage in the country.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Power Sector Reforms’, organised by Faridabad Industries Association (FIA) here on Tuesday, Mr Panigrahi said that the investment in power sector should improve so that the reforms could be implemented properly.

He said that the budget would give a thrust to the power sector, besides bringing a ‘power bill-2001’ in Parliament soon.

He said that his ministry was also giving a priority to improve power generation in the country, but added that line losses in distribution and thefts would have to be eliminated for better results.

He said that privatisation of some areas in this sector was being done, but the consumers should be thoroughly aware and there should not be any political interference. Mr R K Sharma, Director (Technical), National Power Training Institute (NPTI), said that there was a theft of about Rs 20,000 crore in the power sector annually and the line loss was 40 to 50 per cent, whereas such a loss in a country like Japan was only four per cent.

Mr R C Brar, President of FIA presided over the function. Mr D C Narang, FIA Secretary, Mr N Narshiman and several local industrialists attended the seminar.



PHD schemes to improve water supply in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 27
The Public Health Department has completed the construction of the waterworks in Sector 23, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), under the long-term water supply scheme costing Rs 4.10 crore. This is supposed to improve the water supply in areas falling in the west of the railway line in the city.

Informing this, the Deputy Commissioner told mediapersons here today that the canal-based water supply scheme would be commissioned next month and it would cover 25 per cent of the city population. The department, he said, would ensure water supply at the rate of 110 litres per head per day under the scheme.

He disclosed that the water supply for the two lakh population of the city, at present, was maintained by 33 tubewells.

The 11th Finance Commission had also approved a Rs 8.85-crore canal-based drinking water supply scheme for Gohana town in the district. The work on this scheme, he said, had already been started and it would be completed by March, 2004. The present population of Gohana town is nearly 50,000 persons. The water supply of the town is based on 12 tubewells with the daily supply of approximately nine lakh gallons.

The Deputy Commissioner disclosed that a Rs 1.21-crore water supply scheme had also been sanctioned for Kharkhauda town and the work on this would be completed by the end of June this year.

Similarly, a Rs 18.50-lakh water supply scheme had been sanctioned for Ganaur, a sub-divisional town in the district. Under this scheme, a big tank would be installed for the augmentation of the supply.

The DC informed that the 11th Finance Commission had also approved a Rs 3.39-crore sewerage scheme for Sonepat city and the work on it had already been started in 23 residential colonies. Under this, sewage pipes were being laid and with the completion of the work, the system would improve considerably.



Cong leader calls for Hooda’s resignation
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 27
Holding the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, responsible for the party’s defeat in the recent by-election at Yamunanagar, a former minister, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, has sought his resignation from the presidentship on moral grounds.

In a statement here on Tuesday, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda said the people’s verdict in the by-election was against the ‘incompetent’ leadership of Mr B. S. Hooda and not against the party. He said the Congress president had, while talking to the reporters after polling on February 21, admitted that the poll was conducted in a fair manner. At the same time, the HPCC chief was blaming others for the party’s miserable defeat to save his own skin, he alleged.

The former minister claimed that the Congress was losing its grip among the masses due to its incapable leadership in the state. This was the reason, he said, for which even the Haryana Vikas Party, which was discarded by the voters nearly two years ago, outclassed the Congress in the by-election.

He suggested that Mr B. S. Hooda should honour the feelings of the voters and tender his resignation from the presidentship in the interest of the party.



Simian nuisance in Faridabad colonies
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 27
The residents of some of the urban sectors here are in the grip of simian menace. Reports of the terror unleashed by the monkeys have become common, especially from some of the areas. One of the victims has been a five-month-old baby who was bitten by a monkey in Sector 17, residential colony of Huda. The unfortunate child needed a plastic surgery in the end.

The principal and students of Modern School of Sector 17 (Huda) here have raised the problem with the district authorities. In a letter written to the Deputy Commissioner, the principal of the school has requested him to take immediate steps to provide relief from the menace.

It is stated that the school premises have become a ‘cantonment area’ for monkeys which attack students who carry eatables or play at the ground. The students living in the school hostel are also in panic, it is claimed.

With examinations round the corner, the school authorities have appealed to the district officials to arrange for caging the animals which are posing a danger to the students as well as staff.


‘Bhoomi pujan’ for ancient temple 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 27
Following the accomplishment of the Bhoomi pujan (site worship) ceremony pertaining to the reconstruction of the ancient historical Siddhashwar Mahadev Temple in Jiwali Bazar near Dholia Kuan here on Monday, Mr G L Paul, a noted social worker laid its foundation.

The ceremony was attended by Mr Mangi Lal Rustagi, President, Mr Roshan Lal Sharma, Vice-President and functionaries of the Shiva Temple Renovation Committee as well as some prominent citizens. Giving a brief description of the popular reverence for the temple since the days of yore, Mr Paul highlighted the role the temple and its well had played during Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha of 1930.

He also said that Mr Shiv Kumar Soni, son of the late Mr Ganga Singh Soni had made an individual donation of Rs 1.51 lakh towards the temple reconstruction project which would cost about Rs 7 lakh.


2,043 cases of power thefts detected
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 27
The Uttar Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has detected 2,043 cases of power thefts in the district during a special drive last month.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr T. K. Sharma, said that the UHBVN had launched a special drive against consumers involved in stealing power. The department had, in January, checked as many as 34,031 consumers.

The department had also imposed a fine of Rs 202.20 lakh on the consumers caught stealing power. Of this, Rs 87.33 lakh had already been recovered. Nearly 308 persons were found taking connections directly from the transmission lines illegally. He said that the UHBVN had replaced 18,650 old meters with new electronic meters in the district.

Child killed in mishap

Two persons, including a five-year-old child, were killed on the spot and two others injured in an accident involving a trailer and an autorickshaw near Karontha village on the Rohtak-Jhajjar road on Tuesday.

The deceased have been identified as Major and Bhagat Singh (5). The injured have been admitted to the PGIMS. According to information, Major, Ms Krishna Devi, Ashok Kumar and Bhagat Singh of Karontha village were coming to Rohtak in an autorickshaw when their vehicle collided with a trailer coming from the opposite direction. The police have registered a case. The trailer driver is said to have absconded.

Labourer buried alive

A labourer was buried alive while working in a mine in the Pali crusher zone here on Tuesday. The victim, identified as Jogender (32), was a resident of

Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh. He got buried under a big stone in the Pali mine area while loading material in a truck. He died on the spot.

Meanwhile in another incident, a woman residing in Raghubir colony of Ballabgarh committed sucide by consuming sulphas tablets.

Scooterist killed

An unknown scooterist was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle near Surya Roshni factory near Bhahadurgarh on the National Highway No 10 here on Tuesday.

The district police said here today that a security guard posted at the factory gate told that the scooterist was going towards Bahadurgarh from Rohtak when a vehicle hit him and sped away. The victim was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries later. The deceased has not been identified yet. The police have registered a case in this connection.

Ad hoc employees

The district unit of the All Haryana PWD Mechanical Karamchari Union, affiliated to the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh, has urged the state government to grant all benefits to the work-charged employees in the categories of 8-18 years and

10-20 years service in accordance with the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In a resolution adopted at a meeting of the employees held here Tuesday evening, the union also urged the state government to order the grant of arrears to all the work-charged employees at par with other government employees.

The meeting expressed its anguish at the exploitation of the work-charged employees by the authorities of the Rai Water Service Division and demanded the end of harassment to them. It also demanded immediate release of the amount of the arrears to the employees of this division.

Dharna against house tax

Members of the Anti-House Tax Action Committee will begin an indefinite dharna in front of the office of the Sonepat Municipal Council to register their protest against the anti-people tax policy of the state government.

According to a press note issued today, the committee had constituted a five-member sub-committee to monitor the dharna on the issue.

Wheat diverted

The Deputy Commissioner has ordered an inquiry into the allegations levelled against the Sarpanch of Bayyanpur village about the attempt to sell wheat allotted for the ‘food-for-work’ programme in the village.

According to a report, some tractor trolleys loaded with wheat meant for the ‘food-for-work’ programme were stopped by the officials on the complaints of the residents of the village.

The wheat, it is alleged, was being taken to Narela mandi in Delhi for sale.

Some residents alleged that the officials were trying to hush up the case on political ground. They have demanded immediate registration of the case against the sarpanch and other persons allegedly involved in the racket.

Thief beaten up

A youth was caught red-handed while stealing valuables from the house of a woman in Garhi Ghasita area during broad daylight yesterday and was beaten up mercilessly by villagers.

According to a report, the youth was beaten up and later handed over to the police for further interrogation. The police admitted the youth to the civil hospital where his condition is stated to be serious.

Two assaulted

Two youths, Manjit and Anil, sustained knife injuries when they were attacked by two persons, Ajay and Ashok, in their shop at Khewra village, 13 km from here, on Tuesday night.

According to a report, the alleged assailants had a quarrel with the shopkeepers in the evening but the residents intervened and settled the dispute.

Later in the night, both the persons armed with knives and other sharp-edged weapons arrived and assaulted them.

The injured youths were immediately hospitalised. They are stated to be out of danger. The police have registered the case and launched a hunt to apprehend the assailants who are still at large.

Phones dead

Telephone services continued to remain disrupted for the third day in a number of villages following a fault in the telephone exchange at Bahalgarh in the district. According to a report, most of the telephones have become dead and this has caused resentment among the subscribers. They alleged that all their complaints in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.

One dies in mishap

One person was killed and another injured seriously when a Maruti car collided with a Punjab Roadways bus on the G. T. Road near Murthal Chowk, 8 km from here, on Tuesday.

According to a report, the deceased was identified as Kishan and the injured Daulat Ram. The condition of Daulat Ram was stated to be serious. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress.

Holy dip

Thousands of people, including women and children, had their holy dip in the Yamuna near here today on the occasion of Magh Purnima.

According to a report, an endless stream of devotees started around 3 am and continued for several hours. The devotees thronged the temples and other religious places to offer their prayers on the occasion.



12,600 vehicles fined in East Delhi

New Delhi, February 27
The Delhi Traffic Police have challaned 12,600 heavy vehicles and Blue Line buses in East Delhi for not following traffic rules, especially during odd hours, during a drive which started on February 1. According to a senior official of the traffic police, the action is being taken against the vehicles which are not being driven as per the Supreme Court direction given a few years back. Generally, drivers park their vehicles at no-parking places. They also drive rashly, often resulting in fatal accidents. Challans are mailed against the erring vehicles which could not be stopped on the road. TNS



Dacoit who spread terror in Bawana nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
A dreaded criminal, Mahender Singh Sansi, who was involved in a number of criminal cases including a series of dacoities that rocked the Bawana area last year, was arrested on Tuesday in Rohini by the North-West district police.

After last year’s dacoity, the police had arrested many of his associates but Mahender remained at large and was operating from his hideout. The dacoities were committed mostly in farmhouses around the Bawana area, and a number of police personnel were injured during encounters with the dacoits, the police said.

Watchman shot: The Narela police have arrested Suresh (46), resident of Rohtak, for allegedly murdering his fellow watchman, Govind Bahadur (40), resident of Nepal. The police said that both of them were working in the Mahavir Rice Mill, Narela.

While Suresh was on duty Tuesday night, Govind Bahadur brought a girl to the factory, for which Suresh objected and rebuked Govind.

Infuriated over the objection from Suresh, Govind chased Suresh with brick in his hand, but Suresh shot him in the chest with his .12 bore gun.

Two held for extortion: The police have arrested two persons from the Kashmere Gate area on charges of extortion and attempt to murder.

The suspects, Vedu (25) and Farooq (25), bad characters of the area, were allegedly intimidating Radhey Shyam Gupta (45), a contractor who had taken up construction work in the area. According to the police, the suspects were threatening him to pay a hefty amount to continue with the work in the area.

When negotiations with the contractor failed, Vedu and Farooq went to the construction site and started beating the labourers while they were preparing dinner on the first floor of the building. The duo hit mason Babulal (40) on the head with a wooden plank and threw Ramdas (35) on to the ground.

20 pick-pockets held: The North district police have nabbed 20 persons involved in pick-pocketing and chain-snatching in moving buses. Of them, 15 have been caught with knives and weapons. They have earlier criminal records against them.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), Mr Sanjay Beniwal, said that the incidents of pick-pocketing and chain-snatching had increased in the past few months. Five special crack teams were assigned the task of nabbing these criminals. The special drive, which was specifically launched to crackdown on these petty criminals, led to the arrest of 20. Many more arrests were in the offing, Mr Beniwal said. The accused were booked under several criminal cases and Arms Act. 


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