Tuesday, March 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Half of the sitting corporators denied tickets
Over 1,500 in fray for MCD polls
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
Ironically there appears to be some unanimity amongst the two main political parties – the Congress and the BJP – in the Capital. Both the parties have denied tickets to almost half the sitting corporators and have given preference to youth and new faces for the forthcoming Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls scheduled for March 24.

Releasing the list in the wee hours today, the last day of the filing of nominations, the two parties gave anxious moments to party workers eagerly waiting for the list of candidates.

While the Congress is contesting all the 134 seats in the MCD, the BJP would contest 127 seats. The BJP, which has an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), has given the latter five seats to contest and two seats to Shiv Sena.

It is for the first time that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has entered into an electoral pact outside Maharashtra. The two seats the party would contest are Mustafabad and Burari (Reserved ward for women).

Political observers said the Shiv Sena campaigning in the two sensitive wards would have to be closely watched in view of the recent events in Gujarat and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s call to begin the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya after March 15.

The 35 Returning Officers of the Election Commission had a busy day today with party candidates and a large number of Independents assembling at the nomination filing centres since morning. Music, dance, sloganeering rent the air as motor car cavalcades arrived at the nomination centres.

But, these processions resulted in traffic jams in several parts of the Capital and the motorists had a harrowing time. Throughout the day, the traffic moved at a snail’s pace, particularly around nomination centres, as the papers were being accepted till 3 p.m.

Several party workers, who were hopeful of getting tickets, were disappointed with the list and some of them filed their papers as independents.

The five seats the Akali Dal is contesting are – Nizammuddin, Seva Nagar, Pratap Nagar, Tilak Nagar and Geeta Colony.

The BJP today stated that it would highlight the failures of the Congress-led Delhi government and the achievements of the outgoing BJP dominated corporation. The Congress said it would focus on the failures of the BJP and the achievements of its own state government.

The mood in the Congress camp was generally upbeat with some activists expressing their displeasure over the nominations of some candidates. The BJP tried to put up a brave face, but the disillusionment amongst the party workers was evident.

As the Centre has stayed the rotation of wards, the Commission has reserved 46 wards for women, including nine for SCs.

The Commission will scrutinise the nominations on March 6 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 9. The polling will be held on March 24 and the counting on March 27.

In the Capital, there are 550 registered but unrecognised parties and 42 state-level recognised parties. The number of electors has dipped from 82.3 lakh in 1997 to 78.9 lakh this year. The largest number of electors happens to be in Rohini (Ward No 33) that has 1,55,084 registered voters. The poll process is likely to incur the exchequer an expenditure of about Rs 17 crore.

As a large number of candidates filed their papers today, the last day of filing nominations for the MCD polls, the Election Commission took hours to compile the final data on the number of candidates contesting the polls.

In 98 of the 134 wards, for which the figures were available at the time of going to press, 1,445 candidates had filed their nominations.

On an average, there were about 10 candidates contesting in each ward, the Election Commission said.



Racket in chalk-filled drugs

Faridabad, March 4
A racket in spurious drugs has been unearthed here by the drug control officials. Over 15,000 capsules and a large number of fake drugs have been recovered from a house near Sector-55 here. The preliminary examination confirmed that the drugs sold as antibiotics contained only chalk. According to the deputy commissioner, some persons residing in Gonchi village near here had been dealing in fake medicines reportedly brought from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country.

He said that the preliminary examination had confirmed that the drugs sold as antibiotics had ‘zero’ content and contained only chalk. The medicines include 2,000 tablets of megaprin (DS), a salt of septran, 6,000 tablets of dextamethason, 1,000 capsules of amoxycline, 1,300 capsules of ampicillin, 1,500 capsules of tetracychine and 600 capsules of oxttetracycline. Some injections have also been recovered.

A total of nine samples were lifted and sent to state drug testing laboratory at Chandigarh. The raiding team was led by the Assistant State Drug Controller, Mr G L Singhal. Custody of the samples was given by the court of the CJM, Mr Y s Rathore. A case under Section 18/27 of the Drug Act has been registered by the police against the accused identified as Rajesh and Rajvir. The medicine was mostly supplied to quacks and Ayurvedic practitioners working in the rural areas. The drug control authorities have seized more than 20 types of fake drugs in the district in the past one year. The district authorities have appealed to the residents to purchase medicines from the reputed outlets only and insist on having a cash memo. TNS



Commission agent’s killer shot dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
Sanjeev Verma alias Sanju, a student of a local college and a resident of Hari Nagar, wanted in connection with the February 28 murder of a commission agent, was killed in an exchange of fire with the police in Hastsal area of Uttam Nagar on Sunday night. Three other suspects, who were holed up inside the LIG flat, were also arrested. They were identified as Bharat, the owner of the flat, Rakesh of Nangloi and Pranay Singh of Bihar. The police claimed to have seized three foreign made guns from them.

The police said that efforts were being made to trace the other members of the gang and recover the money, about Rs. 25 lakh, from the commission agent. The suspects had intercepted the commission agent, Mohan Lal Bansal, and his friend, Mukesh Sharma, soon after they had withdrawn Rs. 25 lakh from a bank in the Anand Parbat area and had escaped in the victim’s car after shooting him dead.

According to the police, during investigations it was discovered that a similar modus operandi was adopted by a gang which had looted another commission agent in August last year. At that time, the police had managed to arrest two dismissed constables of the Delhi police while two of their alleged associates, Sanjeev Verma alias Sanju and Rakesh, managed to flee. On further enquiries, it was discovered that all these suspects were known to Bharat, a resident of LIG flats in Hastsal, Uttam Nagar. A police party led Inspector J. L. Meena rushed to the flat and questioned Bharat. According to the police, Bharat returned to his flat and signaled to his associates that police was on their trail. When the police insisted that they open the door, the suspects opened fire.

The police party returned the fire, killing Sanjeev on the spot. The two other associates, Rakesh and Pranav, tried to run away but were over powered by the policemen. Rakesh also hurt himself when he fell down the stairs while trying to escape. He was taken to the Deen Dayal Upadhaya Hospital and treated. The police said that all suspects were hardened criminals and wanted in several cases of robbery and looting in Delhi and Haryana. Sanjeeev was a notorious criminal and a member of the Rajesh Rathi-Suleman gang. Rathi and Suleman are presently lodged in the Tihar Jail.


NBW out for Pehlwan in Nitish case
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 4
The Ghaziabad Police have been able to secure a non-bailable warrant against the third accused in Nitish Katara abduction and murder case, Sukhdev alias Pehlwan. Sukhdev Pehlwan was declared a proclaimed offender by the court today.

Further action against Sukhdev Pehlwan will be taken under section 82 of the IPC, the police said.

Meanwhile, the Ghaziabad district court has admitted a petition seeking further police remand of the main accused Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav.

The arguments in the case will be heard by the district Judge, R P Mishra, tomorrow, it is learnt.

On February 27, the Ghaziabad Police had been given a 24-hour remand of the main accused, most of which was taken up in taking the accused to Khurja and Alwar in Rajasthan for the recovery of Nitish Katara’s clothes, wrist watch, mobile phone, hammer and the Tata Sumo used in the crime. The Tata Sumo and the mobile of the victim are yet to be recovered.

Meanwhile, the police have recorded the statement of Ms Bharti Yadav, sister of accused Vikas Yadav and daughter of Rajya Sabha M P, D P Yadav, stating that she and Nitish were just classmates and there was nothing special about their friendship.

The police hope to gather valuable clues when they interrogate Sukhdev.



India’s global messenger for Special Olympics
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, March 4
The mission is to promote, educate and inform. Subject: The philosophy, strategic direction and benefits of Special Olympics. Messenger: A special girl who has become an inspiration for many.

Diagnosed at birth to be suffering from cerebral palsy, a degenerative disorder, the girl will be the first Indian to represent the country as a global harbinger of the Special Olympics.

Tamanna Chona has left behind the traumatic world of ailments to embark on a sortie to a more productive and blossoming life. She is all set to represent India and serve as a Special Olympics Sargent Shriver Global Messenger for the year 2002-2003.

She joins 12 other athletes from across the world to represent the Special Olympics scheduled to take place in Dublin. “It is indeed a moment of pride for the country as also for a mother”, points out Dr. Shyama Chona, Tamanna’s mother and the Principal of Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram.

Dr. Chona recalls that Tamanna took her first steps when she turned nine. “ It was a miracle that she began walking, eating and talking at that age. Now, of course, she talks 20 to the dozen. Tamanna is a very compassionate child, and I feel she was born to teach us. She keeps lecturing people. Recently she lectured a gathering of around 400 American Express employees”.

Tamanna has completed part of her education from the Tamanna special school started by the Chonas for children like her who didn’t have access to quality education. She is presently completing her teacher’s training programme from the National Open University.

“ I am very happy right now. I really enjoy travelling and it is great that I will be travelling a lot for the cause”, says Tamanna, giving you a glimpse of her unfettered warmth and innocence. Her amiability, combined with her mien, makes her a really special person, claim those who have come in contact with her over the years.

“ I have come a long way and I really thank my mother for her support. I have completed my schooling thanks to her efforts”, explains Tamanna, adding: “ I had very nice friends in school. They would help me with my homework and take care of me”.

Tamanna has been instrumental in raising funds for the Tamanna special school, “I can’t see those children in pain. I want to make everyone happy”, elucidates the girl with a golden heart. “ I love children, I work with them in DPS Infants and really enjoy it”.

Her new role as a global messenger will see her travelling across the continent to spread word about the Special Olympics. Her first orientation and assignment will take place in Los Angeles from March 13 to 17, 2002. Tamanna will work with public speaking and public relations professionals to prepare for her future assignments.

The responsibilities that will be shouldered by her include developing an action plan to promote Special Olympics.

“ Right now I am in the middle of a shopping frenzy, I am shopping for my trip abroad”, reveals Tamanna who wants to visit Disneyland and the Universal Studios. “ I am so thrilled that I am going to the US. And also about the fact that I will be highlighting the needs of special people”.

For the Shahrukh, Salman and Hrithik fan, reading and watching TV is a favourite pastime.

“ Tamanna is so credulous she can’t recognise malice, this scares me sometimes”, adds the concerned mother. 



HC gives relief to operators on CNG issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
In a significant relief to city bus operators, who have submitted applications for conversion of diesel buses into CNG, the Delhi High Court today directed the authorities not to challan them till their applications are disposed of.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice Anil Dev Singh and Justice Madan B Lokur, said this benefit would be available only to those bus operators who had submitted applications for conversion to the State Transport Authority (STA) within the stipulated time.

The Court made it clear that bus operators, who had not applied for conversion of buses prior to March 2, when the scheme lapsed, would not get any protection against being challaned for not opting for a non-polluting fuel system.

The order came during the hearing of a bunch of petitions filed by several bus operators, challenging the amendment to the Delhi Motor Vehicle Act deleting exemptions regarding permits and fare structure given to diesel buses. The Delhi Government had amended the Act last year after the Supreme Court passed an order on conversion of all diesel buses in the Capital to CNG mode.

While posting the next hearing to May 13, the court asked the Delhi Government to expedite the decision on 1,000 buses for which applications were submitted to the STA by bus owners.



Most spectators will squat for one-dayer
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 4
The Nahar Singh Cricket Stadium here, which is the only international-level cricket ground in Haryana, is being readied for the first one day international match between India and the touring Zimbabwe team on March 7. Even though this will be the sixth one dayer to be played here, the sitting arrangements in the stadium are highly unsatisfactory. As against a seating capacity of 24,000, the stadium has only about 3,000 chairs. The chairs are intended for VIP pass holders or those who cough up Rs 2,000 or so for the ticket. The remaining spectators will have to squat on the ground. The authorities have failed to improve the sitting arrangements, feel cricket lovers in the district. However, the state and district cricket associations are claiming that they are fully prepared for the match, the tickets for which are being sold at the counters of Bank of Baroda and its branches. The stadium has been repaired and white washed. According to officials here, the pitch has bounce and it would help both batting and bowling. The outfield is lush green while the pitch is dry and has an undelying hard surface. The news that players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag will not be available for this match has dampened the mood of cricket lovers. But they are looking forward to seeing the local lad, Ajay Ratra, play on his home turf.

The stadium had hosted its first one dayer in 1988 when host India took on touring West Indies and lost the match. However, India beat Zimbabwe in the second match played here in 1992. India again lost the match in 1994 against West Indies. The fourth one dayer was held in 1996 between South Africa and Australia. The fifth and the last match was played here against South Africa in 2000, when India was thrashed. India is now looking for their second win in at the stadium.



BJP to observe Virodhi Diwas on March 9
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, March 4
Retaliating against the ‘ill attempts’ of the leftist parties of politicising the incidents of violence in Gujarat and other parts of the country that took place in the aftermath of the ghastly attack on hundreds of kar sewaks at Godhra recently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to improve its image among the masses and expose the superficial stand of the so-called secular parties including the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the CPM.

Mr Pradeep Jain, secretary and spokesman of the Haryana BJP today announced that the state unit of the party would observe ‘Aantarik Aatankwad Virodhi Diwas’ at all the state on March 9 to explain the situation to the masses.

He said that programmes would be organised as per a resolution passed at central level of the party.

The BJP leader appealed to the masses to maintain peace and communal harmony. He alleged that the leftist parties were spreading communalism by politicisation of the incidents of violence during the past four days.

He expressed surprise, as the leftist parties kept mum when barbarities were committed against the passengers of Sabarmati Express and they were charred to death. But, he said that the leftist parties became active and over-reacted against the retaliatory incidents in certain parts of the country.

He alleged that the leftist parties had led the nation towards internal conflict to derive political mileage.

Mr Jain said that the state unit of the BJP would expose the ‘shallow’ stand adopted by the opposition parties to encase the sensitive situation by exploiting the feelings and sentiments of the masses.



CM launches Touchtel in the Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
Almost a century after the first manual truck exchange was established in Delhi, the consumers finally have a choice to choose the landline telephone service provider. And, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, launched the service here by making an inaugural call to the Information and Communication Minister of Singapore, Mr David Lim.

Entering the MTNL monopoly zone, the Touchtel service from Bharti is targeting 225,000 fixed lines this year. Sixty per cent of the lines are in the residential areas while the rest are with the corporate subscribers. The company has launched services in the high user areas of south and central Delhi and would envelop two areas every month. Over 100 corporate buildings have been wired.

“We will pick up five per cent of the revenue of MTNL in the first year of operations”, Group Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal today said at a news conference. He said that the company expected a turnover of Rs 100 crore in the first year itself.

As an incentive the company offers an internet connection with no access charges for 90 days from the date of activation and will add a host of value added services in a phased manner.

The numbering plan for the new network will be seven digits starting with 85 and 86.

Costing Rs 1.20 for three minutes, Touchtel customers will have a host of features on their fixed lines telephones including free voice mail, fast internet connectivity, calling line identification and multiple number line — which will give the consumer an added advantage of having two numbers on one connection..

Touchtel will offer telephone connections on demand, convenient billings, high-speed data transmission facilities and 24-hour customer care.

The Company has partnered with telecom majors like Siemens, Nortel, Lucent and Duraline for its network.



Villagers block traffic as cops foil bid to hold 
Maha Panchayat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 4
The police foiled an attempt of the Bharat Naujawan Sabha to hold a Maha Panchayat, convened to discuss measures to repair the Sonepat-Purkhas Road at Shahzadpur village, about six km from here.

According to a report, the entire village was converted into the police cantonment and all the routes towards the village were sealed. No one was allowed to enter the village and attend the Maha Panchayat. The police also rounded up some activists of the Sabha as a precautionary measure.

However, a large number of people from adjoining villages succeeded in reaching the venue of the panchayat but they were driven away by the police. Thereupon, the irate villagers blocked the road near Sandal Kalan village for an hour.

On receiving information, a strong contingent of the police arrived there and succeeded in lifting the blockade. The action of the district and police authorities has caused resentment among the people of Shahzadpur and other nearby villages.

The representatives of various farmers, social and voluntary organisations have strongly condemned the action of the district and police administration.

They criticised the police for using cane charge to disperse the people. The representatives demanded an immediate release of all those persons detained by the police.



Delhi Speaker pays homage to Balayogi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The Delhi Assembly today mourned the death of Lok Sabha Speaker G M C Balayogi, who died in a helicopter crash in Andhra Pradesh yesterday. The Secretariat was closed down for the day as a mark of respect.

Assembly Speaker Choudhary Prem Singh, addressing a condolence meeting of officers and staff, said the fraternity of Presiding Officers and parliamentary institutions in the country had become poorer with the sudden passing away of Balayogi.

Recalling his close association with Balayogi, especially in the national and international conferences, he said the late Lok Sabha Speaker was a “gentleman to the core and a gem of a person.”

Balayogi conducted the proceedings of the Lower House of Parliament in turbulent times with tremendous skill, patience and impartiality, which was admired by all, he added.

Earlier in the day, Mr Singh visited the Parliament House and placed a wreath on the body of Balayogi.



“It’s the National Policy on Education that guides me”
Smriti Kak

Prof. J.S. Rajput
NO SAFFRON LEANINGS: Prof. J. S. Rajput, Director, NCERT.

He personifies the adage, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Prof J. S. Rajput, Director of the National Council of Education, Research and Training (NCERT) has been criticised by his detractors for his alleged saffron leanings. The leftists have gone on record saying that Prof Rajput is influenced by the saffron forces and perhaps that is the reason for the arbitrary attitude of the NCERT in deciding the new curriculum and writers for their new books.

In the recent past, the NCERT has been pulled up for its alleged communal leanings, resulting in petitions being filed in courts by the historians who have been offended by arbitrary deletions and additions in history texts books.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) too has sent notice to the NCERT on the basis of a petition received from educationists, alleging that the revision of textbooks for the schoolchildren was likely to affect their mental development and distort their personality.

Recently, the Supreme Court directed the NCERT to stay the implementation of the controversial National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education (NCFSE).

The court passed the interim order on a PIL filed by Ms Aruna Roy, Mr B. G. Verghese and Ms Meena Radhakrishna Tyabji, alleging that an important decision to change school syllabi was taken without consulting the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE), the apex body on education policy.

However, for the 58-year-old man, who started his journey from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, criticism is just a means to strengthen his character. Taking a cue from Gandhiji’s words, “My critics are my best friends,” he continues to tread on the path that he is convinced is right.

Where did you receive your education and what were your concerns as a student?

I received my education in a small town school in Uttar Pradesh, which did not even have furniture. We used to sit on the floor and study. Things have still not changed much in that school. Later, I completed my M.Sc. and Ph.D. in physics from the Allahabad University. Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, the HRD Minister was my teacher.

I joined the BHU as a lecturer at the age of 31. Though I was underage, I was recruited. I was later told that the age concession was made for me due to my good academic record.

As a student, my only concerns were obtaining good marks. I topped both the class X as well as the intermediate exams from my school. In those days, students were not as aware as they are now.

Being a graduate was a big achievement, even my father once told me that I should aim to be a graduate.

Our exposure to the media was limited to the radio and in some cases like mine, to a newspaper. Apart from that, we were confined to small surrounding. Studies meant good and dedicated teachers who taught us well.

Who have been your mentors and guides?

I have always been inspired by achievers. My role models have been successful people. Nehru, Gandhi, Bhagat Singh were the sources of inspiration those days. Lala Amarnath was the idol as far as sports were concerned.

What are your concerns regarding education, now that you head a premier education body like the NCERT?

My main concerns are quality education. There has to be a quality to the education that is being imparted. Today, I see many youngsters with professional degrees who are in the dark about their future.

Sometimes, I interview people who are doctorates in some subjects. They are academically bright, yet we have no jobs to offer them. It makes me sad. When I graduated, I was offered not one but two jobs. Today, the scenario has changed.

The nature of education has to change, it must make students more self- reliant. The problem that we face is when the first generation learners, having completed their education return home, have no jobs.

Therefore, people must learn skills. Education has to be vocational as well. It should be self-motivating. The biggest skill today is to learn how to learn more. The NCERT is aiming to do so. We are trying to make subjects more activity-based. English and history are becoming more activity-oriented and less stress is laid on details that require mugging up.

Who do you address your concerns to?

I respect age and experience. This is something that I have learnt early in life. I may not have been where I am today, if my teachers and my elders had not guided me. I meet people and interact with them a lot. When I was the chairman of NCTE, I was given the responsibility to operationalise the 1993 NCTE Act. I spent two months studying the feedback that 30-40 people, I had interacted with, had given me. I always carry a notebook with me and jot down whatever I feel is educative. Interacting with others has given me a vision.

Have you been briefed by those who are in power as to what should be your line of action?

I have been told to consult as many people as I want to. Those in power have given me the choice to interact with thousands of people and take my decisions.

How much are you influenced by Dr Murli Manohar Joshi?

Dr Joshi was my teacher. He taught me physics, and all those who read meanings into our relationship are ignorant. Dr Joshi is a learned man, he is good at the subject and all his students will vouch for it. Most of Dr Joshi’s students are well placed. Some of them occupy important positions in the government of India.

I’d like to tell you that both Dr Joshi and me have been students of Prof Rajendra Singh (Rajju Bhaiya), the former chief of the RSS. He was the best teacher of physics and the love of the subject was common between us and not the political ideology.

To all those who see my appointment in the light of my relationship with Dr Joshi, I would like to inform them that I was appointed the founder chairman of the NCTE by Mr Arjun Singh. Mr V. P. Singh appointed me the chairman of the Bal Bhavan Society of India. Can you read meaning into that as well?

The NCERT has been in the line of fire for a long time now, it is alleged that you have been following the so-called government’s saffron agenda?

I have only been following the guidelines laid down by the National Policy of Education 1986 and 1992. The policy has been decided by the government, which I have to follow. I cannot violate the government policies. If there is criticism from one section, there is also approval from the other. I get letters from people saying that I am on the right path.

How do you justify the deletions in the syllabus? Don’t you think that these deletions are going to have an adverse effect on the learning process of the schoolchildren?

I have had people tell me that you have to reduce the burden on schoolchildren. There is too much load on the students. Parents are fed up with extensive courses in mathematics and science. We always learn from experience. We did not decide to change the syllabus overnight. We had interactions and workshops with thousands of teachers from Kendriya Vidyalaya and CBSE-affiliated schools in 1999.

We received strong feedbacks. Subsequently, it was pointed out that we need to have a comprehensive social studies text. Instead of history, civics, geography, we introduced social studies. The children are happy and so are the parents.

The steps that we have taken are keeping in mind the recommendations of the Yashpal Committee Report of 1992 that looked into ways to reduce the burden of books on school children. The committee had been formed after President K. R. Narayanan made a speech in Parliament about how children suffer because of the load of books.

But wielding scissors across portions of texts that certain religious groups felt offended by, can be seen as bowing to political pressure?

We have only done so keeping in mind the directives of the court. In 1995, the Punjab and Haryana High Court gave us the directive to delete the portions related to Guru Gobind Singh. When the NCERT approached the Supreme Court to allow us to continue using those portions, our plea was dismissed.

Then, there was furore regarding the portions related to Guru Tegh Bahadur. Again, we went by the directives issued to us. Yet, we are being accused of trying to change the textbooks. The NCERT is a professional institution, dealing with educational reforms and guided by the National Policy on Education (NPE).

Why have you decided to introduce value education in the education system?

There are no political or religious reasons for it. Wherever we went, people told us that there is large-scale erosion of values. Long ago, American school principals had got together and decided that value education should be introduced for schoolchildren. People said that we must do something about it.

It should be looked upon as a means of providing quality education. A Standing Committee report of 1999, headed by Mr S. B. Chavan, mentions that the primary school stage is the most appropriate stage in a child’s life when value-education can be implanted in a subtle manner. Acquainting a child with the basics of all religious values should begin in middle school and continue up to the university level.

What do you think we need to do in the field of education today?

It is so sad that children as young as eight and nine are committing suicide today, and no one seems bothered about it. It is time we did something about it. Even if a single child is not going to school, we should be worried.

As far as improvement in the education sector goes, it cannot be done in isolation.

While more resources in terms of funds are welcome, we also need more commitment from the teaching community. The quality of education can be enhanced by community participation. Education is something that needs to be discussed.

How long will it take for the implementation of the grading system developed by the NCERT?

We have done are best. We have prepared the model, but its implementation depends on the CBSE board. The CBSE has to take the decision when it wants to implement it. We will provide them with all the professional help that they require and are willing to discuss everything with them. We have to devise ways of creating a stress-free education for the children.



Five booked for creating public nuisance in Machhrouli
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 4
When it comes to the harassment of law-abiding citizens, the Samalkha Police seem second to none. In yet another case of police high-handedness, five persons of Machhrouli village in the district were picked up by the Samalkha Police on the night of February 24 and booked under Section 109 of the IPC on the charges of creating nuisance at a public place.

This was done despite the fact that the Sarpanch, Mr Dharam Singh, and other panchayat member stood guarantee that they were not involved in any wrongdoing. Interestingly, one of the booked persons is over 60-years-old. They had reportedly been involved in petty crime years ago and acquitted by the courts later. They are leading a normal lives now.

A delegation led by Mr Dharam Singh, today met the SP, Ms Mamata Singh, and expressed resentment at the police high-handedness.

Meanwhile, a couple was injured when about six persons assaulted them in their house near the Darpan Cinema on Sunday night. The assailants also decamped with Rs 4,500. The couple, Mr Balvinder and his wife were admitted to the local Civil Hospital, EOM.

Shops razed

In a major anti-encroachment drive, the district administration demolished over 40 illegal shops on the G T Road leading up to the Panipat refinery road here. Apart from causing inconvenience to the general public, these shops posed a security risk to the refinery. The demolition squad was lead by the SDM, Mr Satbir Singh Saini.

Meanwhile, the SDM visited the schools in Kishanpura and Ugra Kheri, where the board exams were in progress. Mr Saini warned the students of stern actions if they were caught cheating or creating hindrances in the examination process.

Burglary at ITI

There has been no let-up in the cases of burglaries and thefts in the city and other parts of the district. According to a report, the burglars managed to enter the premises of the Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) on the Sonepat-Rathdhanna road last night and took away three UPS from the computer block worth several lakhs of rupees in their vehicle.

Another theft was committed in the shop of a goldsmith and escaped with about seven tolas of gold, 1.5 kg silver and at least eight gold rings worth lakhs of rupees from it.

According to another report, thieves are reported to have taken away two video cameras, one coloured TV, three steel cameras, 22 small cameras, one poloride, one four-lense camera and one deck from the photographer studio on the Sonepat-Gohana road here last night. All the cases have been reported to the police for tracing the thefts.

Four hurt in clash

Four persons sustained injuries in a clash took place between two rival groups at Bakharpur village about 25 km from here yesterday. According to a report, the clash followed by the acrimonious exchanges between some women on the issue of fetching water. Lathis and other weapons were used freely in this clash.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they were stated to be out of danger.

According to another report, one person was seriously injured when he was attacked with lathis by some persons at Dahesra village about 25 km from here on Sunday.

A land dispute was stated to be the main cause of the clash. The police have registered the case and the injured was hospitalised.

Body recovered

The police recovered an unidentified body of a 27-year-old man lying in the fields at Pipli Khera village about 13 km from here on Sunday.

The police believe it to be a case of murder as the body bore multiple injuries. A case of murder has been registered.

Refresher course

“Nano technology is the technology of future and it will usher in a new revolution in the times to come, especially in the realm of Biology, Material Science, Medical Science, Electronics etc.” This was stated by the eminent scientist and former Director-General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Prof S K Joshi, in his key note address on 'Glimpses of Nano-science and Technology' in the UGC sponsored refresher course in Physics which commenced here today in Maharshi Dayanand University.

Prof Joshi said that information technology, bio technology and Nano-technology were the key technologies.

He urged the teachers participating in the refresher course to keep themselves open to vistas of knowledge and absorb it continually, and also impart it to students.

Maj Gen B S Suhag (retd),vice chancellor of the university said that refresher courses provide teachers an opportunity for self-improvement and scientific exchange of view point.



R S Gupta elevated

New Delhi, March 4
The Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) R S Gupta will take charge as Special Commissioner of Police (Administration), on Tuesday. Mr Gupta, an IPS officer of 1968 batch will take over R K Sharma, who has been transferred to the Home Ministry as Special Secretary (Internal Security).



Saraswati Vihar double murder cracked, two held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
With the arrest of two persons, the North-West district police today claimed to have solved the double murder in which both father and son were murdered, in Saraswati Vihar, last week.

The accused Shailesh Kumar (26) and Santosh (21), both resident of Basti in Uttar Pradesh, were nabbed by a special team in Basti for murdering Ramamurthy (50), resident of Baghora village and his son Chamky (15), in the victim’s house and later abandoning them in a trunk box.

The police said that on February 28 around 9.45 am, two dead bodies were found in the house No. A-151 & 152 Shakurpur, Saraswati Vihar, and one was strangulated and other had been hit on the head and their bodies were kept hidden in a big box under quilts.

A special team was constituted and the police did not rule out the motive of robbery behind the murder.

During the preliminary investigations, it was found that the deceased were last seen on in the company of three other persons, who came from the village of the deceased Ramamurthy. The team later went to Basti and nabbed the suspects.

On interrogation they broke down and confessed to their involvement in the murder. Shailesh disclosed that he along with his brother Alok (20) and Santosh, Alok’s friend, were involved in the crime.
Shailesh, a farmer sold a piece of land to Ramamurty for Rs 3,50,000. The deceased also paid an advance of Rs 1,35,000 and when he wanted to pay the remaining balance amount, Shailesh told him that he would collect it in Delhi.

He revealed that he planned to kill Ramamurty at his residence, to loot the money and to retain the land in his name. Shailesh came to Delhi along with his two associates on February 19, and on midnight of February 21, the accused first strangulated Chimky and after this they hit Ramamurty on his head with a dumbbell.

Later, they took the money from the box and left the house, putting the dead bodies inside a box. All the three fled to Basti, and had distributed the booty among themselves.

Kisan Vikas Patras worth Rs 50,000, was recovered from Shailesh, Rs 10,000 was found deposited in his brother’s account as his share in a bank in Basti. Santosh had bought sarees and other items of house use.

A massive manhunt has been launched for nabbing Alok, who is still absconding from the police.

Mob torches bus: An angry mob torched a bus after it ploughed into three boys, killing one and injuring the other two in Najafgarh today afternoon. The police said that the bus (no DL-1PA-6967) mowed down the three youngsters -- Pawan (12), Ashok (15) and Bhola (12) -- all residents of JJ cluster Dabri, near Pankha road. While Pawan died on the spot, Ashok and Bhola were taken to the DDU hospital and given first aid.

Later, when the crowd discovered that the driver had abandoned the bus, they torched it. However, the driver escaped from the spot. The police have registered a case of accident and rioting and are trying to trace the driver.



Sangam Vihar kidnapping case solved, four arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
With the arrest of four persons, south district police of Delhi today claimed to have worked out a kidnapping case of Sangam Vihar. The suspects picked up the victim, Rahul from his residence in Sangam Vihar, where he was playing with his friends on February 2. The victim was a student of Ranjana Public School in the same locality.

The suspects, Feroz, Jaibir and Divesh Kumar were arrested from Agra where they had kept the victim. The fourth suspect, Raju was arrested from his residence in Sangam Vihar.

Father of the victim, Indersen, reported a missing complaint to Sangam Vihar police when the victim did not return home till evening.

The next day missing report was changed into a kidnapping case after a ransom call was received by one of the neighbours of he victim. The suspects telephoned to the victim’s neighbor, as his father did not have telephone connection. The suspects demanded a ransom amount of Rs 5 lakh for safe release of the victim. The police provided a mobile phone to Mr Indersen to talk to the suspects, who telephoned him again. And after a negotiation they reduced the ransom money to Rs 2.5 lakh. The transaction was fixed at Kosama Railway Station in Mainpuri district. He reached there along with a police team in plain clothes but the suspects did not return the rendezvous.

The suspects contacted Indersen again on February 27 and finally settled a place in Agra for transaction. The police team reached Agra and sealed the rendezvous with the help of local police after surveying the area. Indersen was sent with a polithene bag containing Rs 2.5 lakh. Feroz and Jaibir, who came to collect the ransom amount, were overpowered by the police.

The boy was rescued after their interrogation and the suspect, who was guarding the victim, was also arrested. Their interrogation led to the arrest of the fourth suspect.

During interrogation the suspects disclosed that Feroz Khan, Rahu and Netrapal, who have yet not been arrested, planned the kidnapping. They were residents of Sangam Vihar and knew the victim’s father. The police are trying to arrest them also.



10-year-old Noida boy missing since Feb 17 
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 4
A 10-year-old boy has been missing since February 17 from A-32 in Sector 8 under Sector 20 police station. He has not been traced so far.

Yogeshwer Paswan had filed a report in the police station that his son Lakhwinder had gone missing.

The police, it is learnt, had not taken the matter seriously and advised the father to search for his son. The father of the victim, Yogeshwar Paswan contacted the Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and requested him to help the family in tracing the son.

On his initiative, the police are understood to have assured that the child would be found soon.

The parents of Lakhwinder are worried that the child might not have been harmed. Some anti-social elements are reportedly threatening the parents of the boy, it is learnt. The boy was wearing his school dress on the day he went missing.

Three nabbed: Kakode police have nabbed three dreaded criminals including one history-sheeter of Kakode police station in a raid last night. One rifle, two countrymade revolvers and a large number of cartridges were recovered from them by the police.

Kakode police SO Brahmpal Singh, got a tip-off that some criminals were meeting at Chachoor canal with criminal intent. The police party accordingly surrounded the area at 9.30 pm and gave them a warning, but they started firing on the police party while trying to flee.

The police warned the trio that they would be shot dead if they try to flee. The accused themselves as Jagpal, Shishupal and Ghanshyam, who are brothers. Ghanshyam is a history sheeter of with eight heinous crimes like murder registered against him, SO said.



Student beaten up
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 4
An examinee of 10+2 was beaten up mercilessly by some unidentified youths outside Girls Senior Secondary School here today. He was referred to the PGIMS at Rohtak after frittering away the crucial time at the Government Hospital here, where his condition is said to be critical.

According to the eyewitness, the examinee identified as Biloo, a resident of Seni Dhani village of the district was attacked by 3-4 youth who thrashed him with lathis.

Ironically, the incident occurred in the presence of the police, just outside the examination centre where prohibitory orders under Section 144-CrPC were imposed.

However, the victim was rushed to the local civil hospital with serious injures on his head and blood gushing-in from his mouth. He was not attended by the doctors for a long hour there and later an eye specialist come to him just to complete the formality to refer him to Rohtak. The reasons behind the attack were not known yet.Back

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