Thursday, March 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


BJP, Cong throw a fit
Drama over Shanti Desai’s papers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Amidst high drama, the nomination papers of the Mayor of Delhi, Mr Shanti Desai, were finally accepted in the Capital, even as the BJP and Congress workers engaged in a minor scuffle outside the Battery Lane office of the Returning Office (RO).

The Election Commission had raised objections to the nomination papers filed by the veteran BJP leader, who has been persuaded to contest the polls.

The Commission objected to the signatures of BJP president, Mr Jana Krishnamurthy, and the Delhi unit chief, Mr Mange Ram Garg, in the forms submitted by Mr Desai because they were not legible. BJP supporters vociferously protested against the objections of the Commission. Even as the Congress workers justified the same, a scuffle broke out in the premises. The matter was resolved after the BJP MP from Chandni Chowk, Mr Vijay Goel and Mr Mange Ram Garg intervened and clarified that the original copy of the signature of the party president was available with the commission.

The BJP, in turn, objected to the nomination papers of Mr Ajay Arora of the Congress, who is contesting from Rohtash Nagar ward. Mr Garg alleged that the Congress candidate was an MCD contractor and as per rules he could not contest the polls.

The BJP has constituted the 91-member campaign committee, which will be headed by Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who had earlier voiced his protest against being sidelined. It will be recalled that Mr Malhotra had agreed to continue as the head of the manifesto committee after the Central leadership of the BJP and the RSS in-charge of Delhi assured him that he would be assigned a prominent role by the state unit.

As a patch up move now, Mr Malhotra has been asked to head the campaign committee whose members include former Delhi Chief Ministers, Mr Madan Lal Khurana and Mr Sahib Singh Verma, the sitting MPs, MLAs, ministers in the BJP-led Delhi government and senior party functionaries. The party has decided to launch its campaign on Saturday with the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishna Advani, addressing a rally of party workers in the Capital. The rally would highlight the party’s strategy for the civic polls scheduled to be held on March 24.



Poll code violation seen in decision
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of resorting to unfair means ahead of the civic polls scheduled for the month-end, the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi on Wednesday said Tuesday’s Union Cabinet decision of reducing the ground rent in 10 markets of the Capital was a “poll tactic” of the Centre and violative of the Model Code of Conduct.

The shopkeepers of 10 markets in the Capital will be charged ground rent at the rate of 2.5 per cent of the concessional premium actually charged from them and not on 100 per cent premium of land.

The shopkeepers in these 10 markets have been given ownership rights through a Cabinet decision on October 20, 1989 by charging 50 to 80 per cent of premium of land. The 10 markets which would be covered by Tuesday’s decision are Mehar Chand Market, Babu Market, INA Market, Ali Ganj Market, Kasturba Nagar Market Sectors VI, VIII, IX and XII, and INA platforms.

“The announcement is a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct as the notification for the civic poll is already out,” Election Minister Deep Chand Bandhu told reporters. “The Central Government is trying to benefit the BJP ahead of the MCD polls,” he claimed.

The Model of Conduct for the MCD elections, he said, was in operation which prohibited announcement of any concessions and taking up new schemes which would be viewed as giving sops to voters with a view to influencing them. “The Government of NCT of Delhi,” he added, “was observing the Code of Conduct so that no impression is given that voters are being influenced in any way by giving concessions to them.”

Mr Bandhu said he has written to the Union Home Minister LK Advani, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar, Cabinet Secretary TR Prasad and Delhi State Election Commissioner MP Tyagi asking them to take “appropriate action” in the case.

Asked what “appropriate action” should be taken, Bandhu said the nomination of the BJP candidates should be cancelled.



Police plea for Yadav’s remand rejected 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 6
The police case for securing a remand of the main accused, Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav in Nitish Katara abduction and murder case, suffered a setback today as the district judge, Mr R P Mishra, rejected the application of Ghaziabad police for a 10-day remand, the SP City, Dr Ashok Kumar Raghav, disclosed.

The judge had reserved the decision after arguments in the day and pronounced it at about 4.30 pm. The CJM had earlier rejected the police plea last week for the remand of the two accused. The police team, which had gone to Deveria to nab the third accused Sukhdev alias Pehlwan, has not returned yet, a source said. Vikas Yadav, son of Rajya Sabha MP D. P. Yadav and his cousin were arrested from Dabra in Madhya Pradesh and brought here on transit remand. They have been accused of kidnapping and murdering Nitish Katara, son of a joint secretary in the Ministry of Shipping in New Delhi. During the one-day police remand given earlier, the Ghaziabad police had claimed to have recovered the murder weapon, a hammer and a wrist watch of the victim. The police said that they were still awaiting the report of a DNA test.

Body found:  
Ghaziabad: The body of a Delhi youth has been found on the roadside in Loni while a woman has been missing from Kavi Nagar area since Saturday evening.

Another youth was run over by a train near Sahibabad border checkpost. The police have sent the body of the unidentified youth for an autopsy. The police have recovered the body of a 25-year-old youth in Loni, identified as Syaram, son of Jabbar Singh, a resident of Gokulpuri area of Delhi. The body bore some wound marks, though it was not clear as to how lost his life.

Manju, wife of Promode, who had been living with the family of her brother-in-law Dharampal in Bambhota village under Kavi Nagar police station area for sometime, suddenly went missing on Saturday evening. There is no trace of Manju till date. TNS



Tihar to house Arundhati for a day

High profile author and Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy was today lodged in jail number six of high security Tihar Jail, where she was brought by the personnel of the Delhi Police. The Supreme Court for contempt of court had sentenced her to one day’s simple imprisonment. Ms Roy was brought to Tihar Jail at about 12.30 pm and taken to the recently opened jail number six, also called the female jail, jail sources said.

The author of the much-acclaimed, “God of Small Things”, is likely to be lodged in a separate room. However, according to the Law Officer, Tihar Prisons, Sunil Gupta, there has been no special facilities provided to Arundhati Roy. She will be treated as a normal person, and is lodged in a general barracks with others. Food prepared generally for the prisoners will be offered to her, and there is no special dish cooked for her. Meanwhile, 2,000 Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists led by their leader Medha Patkar blocked the Parliament Street, demanding that they also should be taken to Tihar.

The activists, who were brought to the Parliament Street police station from the Supreme Court where they had been protesting since early morning, refused to disperse and said they would continue their dharna if they were not taken to Tihar Jail.

“This is a murder of freedom of speech and expression granted by our Constitution. The activists refusing to get off from the police vehicle at Parliament Street police station were yanked down with great force,” an NBA activist sitting on dharna said. TNS



Speed guns deployed on Delhi-Jaipur stretch
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, March 6
To monitor the speed of vehicles on the Delhi-Jaipur stretch of the national highway, the district police today deployed speed guns. Gurgaon is the first district in the state to use the device. Addressing mediapersons at the launch, the Inspector General of Police, Gurgaon Range, Mr Ranjeev Singh Dalal, said that the device would help check the number of road accidents. A light motor vehicle can now touch up to 90 km per hour on the national highway and 50 km per hour on the NH within the municipal limits. The speed limit for motor cycle and scooter has been fixed at 50 km on NH and 30 km in the municipal area. Medium or heavy passenger vehicles can touch 65 and 40 km, respectively.

Mr Dalal advised the public not to breach the limit. The driver shall be fined Rs. 400 the first time and Rs. 1000 for subsequent violations. The Gurgaon Range has recommended to the State government that it should appoint an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police for monitoring the traffic. At present, an inspector does the needful. The supervision of the highway police patrol has been handed over to the State Transport Commission. The highway police have been delegated the power to fine drivers on the spot, as is the case in the national Capital. Mr Dalal disclosed that the casualties in road accidents have increased this year in Gurgaon and Faridabad compared to that in the corresponding period last year.

Fifty persons had died till March 5, 2002, in Gurgaon whereas in 2001, 45 persons were killed in road accidents. In Faridabad, there have been 49 casualties this year as against 45 deaths last year.



Will Kotla repeat itself at Nahar?
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, march 6
The Nahar Singh Cricket Stadium here, which is all geared up to hold the first one-day cricket match between India and Zimbabwe on Thursday, was buzzing with activity today.

While the district authorities and the officials of Haryana Cricket Association were busy with last-minute preparations, there was a scramble for complimentary passes at the stadium.

Hundreds of policemen have already been posted near the stadium to restrict the movement of private vehicles. As the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will be the Chief guest at the opening match tomorrow, the area has been turned into a police cantonment. According to the district Police Chief, a three-tier security network has been put in place and police jawans from other districts have also been deployed for match duty. The parking arrangements for the spectators and visitors have been made at the Dussehra ground in the NIT, which is about 500 metres away from the venue.

Controversy and allegations of irregularities have marked the distribution of passes, including those intended for the media. It is alleged that a large number of VIP passes have been given to favourites and even press passes have been passed on. While an official of the District Cricket Association denied the allegation, there were some Press reporters who did not receive their passes and were instead given only duty cards, normally given to staff on duty around the stadium.

All kind of conspiratorial theories seemed to be doing the rounds. Some of the youths alleged that the free passes were on sale. Allegations of black marketing of tickets were also rife. But the Deputy Director, Sports (Cricket), Mr Sarkar Talwar, denied that tickets had been over-sold. Meanwhile, players of both the teams had net practice at the stadium. Saurav Ganguly and coach John Wright inspected the pitch. while the main pitch is hard and bald, the outfield is green.

Metal detectors have been fitted at every gate and trained sniffer dogs deployed. There were some anxious moments last night after a body was found near the Nahar Singh Cricket Stadium. The unidentified body has been kept in the post-mortem house of the civil hospital here. Police investigation is on.



Pay scale anomalies irk school lecturers
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 6
The Education Department of the Haryana Government has allegedly been discriminating against more than 9,000 school lecturers by denying the Class II status and pay scales to them which are granted to other equivalent categories. This has happened despite the fact that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and the former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, had conceded to their twin demands from time to time.

The lecturers are seething with rage since the pay scales of every cadre of the state government, including the JBT teachers, masters/mistresses and headmasters/headmistresses, had been increased. The problem started with the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission in 1998 as the lecturers were placed in the pay scale of Rs 6,500-10,000, below those of headmasters, who had been placed in the pay scale of Rs 7,500-12,500. Traditionally, both the categories had been on an equal footing even though the minimum qualification for the post of headmaster was B.A., B.Ed and that of lecturer M.A.

The anomaly was brought to the notice of the then Bansi lal Government, who promised to look into the matter but of no avail, alleged Mr Satbir Singh Malik, president of the Panipat district unit of the Haryana School Lectures Association, which had been fighting for the lecturers for years now. With the change of guards in Haryana, the lecturers saw a ray of hope as the Chautala Government assumed the charge. In fact, Mr Chautala announced at a state-level convention of the association in Hissar on November 5, 2000 that the long-pending demand of the association for the grant of Class II had been accepted with immediate effect. But, like other decisions of the Chautala Government, this notification is yet to be implemented.

Regarding the revised pay scales for the lecturers, Mr Chautala announced that this demand would also be met shortly, but in vain. Earlier, Mr Bhajan Lal had also announced the grant of Class II status to the lecturers.

The lecturers’ litany of complaints does not end here. Mr Malik alleged that like other government employees they were not being given assured career progression (ACP), thus blocking their promotional avenues. To cap it all, the minimum qualification for the post of the Principal is M.A., B.Ed., whereas the essential qualification for the post of lecturer is M.A., putting them to disadvantage vis-à-vis the headmaster for promotion to the level of principal-the only promotional avenue open to them.

Demanding the study leave for lecturers on the pattern of the college lecturers, Mr Malik demanded that the condition of B.Ed. for the newly-advertised post of principals in the Haryana school be done away with. Otherwise the association will move court, he added.



Motorists in a real jam
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, March 6
Traffic congestion on the Sheikh Sarai Road leading to the Chirag Delhi crossing has become worse ever since a governmental agency thought of widening the divider on the road and left all the construction material not on the sides of the road but right in the middle of it.

About three weeks ago, the construction to widen the divider began on the Shiekh Sarai Road in south Delhi. But since the past one week, no one from the Public Works Department (PWD) has been seen working there.

The bricks and other construction material have been left behind on the main road and no board whatsoever has been put up to caution the motorists of it.

Nearby shopkeepers said several times in the past week, the vehicles have rammed the huge pile of bricks, but luckily no major mishap has taken place.

“But if the authorities do not complete the half-finished work, a major accident can take place,” said Kasturi Lal, who owns a cigarette shop along the road.

The road is even otherwise busy with traffic rushing from the Madan Gir area and Saket.

Earlier, the traffic would be congested just during the rush hours as the office-goers coming from the fast-developing Gurgaon, Saket, Madan Gir and Khan Pur have to take this road to reach the major office hubs like Nehru Place, Lajpat Nagar or ITO. But the residents said that ever since the work to widen the divider was started, there was “a traffic jam 24 hours of the day”.

A resident of Sheikh Sarai, Mr S.K. Chauhan, said: “This just goes to show that the governmental agencies don’t give a damn about the residents of the city. If they thought the divider needed to be widened, fair enough.

But they should have completed the work. Why have they left it mid-way? They are 
just harassing us.” R.L. Mukherjee, another resident, recalled the incidents on the nearby Press Enclave Marg, where two persons were killed in separate accidents “because of the half-finished work on the road”.

Mr Mukherjee said that minor accidents had already taken place on the Sheikh Sarai road. A major mishap was just round the corner if the authorities did not take prompt action to complete the work that they had begun. Mr Mohit Malhotra, a resident of Saket, who drives down this road regularly to reach his office in Nehru Place, said that he had been seeing the stones and other building material lying in the middle of the road for a week. “The least the authorities could do was to put a sign board. It’s shameful,” he remarked.

He went on to add that everyday he got stuck in the traffic jam because of the construction material lying in the middle. “I just don’t understand their (government’s) psychology. When the agencies don’t know if they would turn up for work the next day, why do they leave the construction material on the sides,” Mr Malhotra said.

However, a PWD official said the work had just stopped for a couple of days because of shortage of labour. “We are widening the divider to make the road look cleaner and neater. The work will be completed in a day or two,” the official told the ‘NCR Tribune’.

But the residents of the area are worried as widening the divider would further narrow down the road. And with the Monday mart and the unauthorized ‘thelewallahs’ (cart-pullers) taking the corner chunk of the road, there would be nothing left of it.



Chamber moots panel to prune workforce
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
In its pre-Budget memorandum submitted to the Government of NCT of Delhi, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has sought the formation of an ‘administrative reforms committee’ to reduce the number of decision-making layers and facilitate level-jumping. The committee, it says, should also delve into the issues of burgeoning administrative expenditure and ways to reduce the same, including cutting the flab by pruning the workforce.

On downsizing, the chamber cites the example of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation that is managed by an executive staff of 300 persons only. Similarly, the memorandum has sought the redefining of Public Works Department (PWD) and restricting its domain of activity to monitoring only, leaving the implementation work to private players.

Further, the chamber has expressed concern over the infringement on the Master Plan and unchecked growth of population. Since the economy of neighbouring towns is closely linked with Delhi, says the chamber, coordination with the NCR Planning Board for holistic development of the region is essential. It may include co-operation with the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and facilitation of two-way flow of traffic by way of MRTS (mass rapid transport system) etc. Seeking a 50 per cent ceiling on subsidy for relocating JJ clusters, the PHDCCI has suggested that slums must not be allowed to come up. It also suggests that steps must ensure that unauthorised colonies do not come up on rural agricultural land.



AIATF asks Muslims to allow temple at Ayodhya
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 6
The pro-Sangh Parivar stand of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF), led by former Youth Congress president M. S. Bitta, came to the fore today when the Haryana unit chief of the front, Dr Viresh Shandilya, asked the Muslims to “hand over” the disputed site at Ayodhya to Hindus for the construction of the Ram temple.

Talking to reporters here today, Dr Shandilya, said if the Muslims considered themselves to be the Indian citizens, they should hand over the disputed site to Hindus. However, replying to a query, he denied that the front was adopting any “pro-Hindu” stance. On the other hand, he hastened to demand the imposition of the President’s rule in the riot-affected Gujarat. He informed that he would lead a delegation to Gujarat on March 11 and after that to the “most-sensitive” areas of Jammu to have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

Meanwhile, the following have been appointed office-bearers of the Panipat district unit of the front: president - Mr Rajnish Gupta; president (urban) - Mr Sachin Sandwan; vice-president - Mr Megh Raj Gupta; and general secretary - Mr Ramesh Gupta.



Death of ‘master kidnapper’ brings relief
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 6
There is relief among people, especially traders, industrialists and even the police, here at the death of ‘Sarpanch’, the ‘master kidnapper’ who must have collected ransom running into crores of rupees.

Sarpanch, whose gang of the same name had wrought havoc in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and many other states with its operations, was killed in an encounter with the Pilkhua police Tuesday night.

He had kidnapped Shashi, the businessman son of Pilkhua’s well-known social worker and philanthropist Lala Balmukund, in November last year when the victim was taking his morning walk on the Sikhoda road. He was released only after Sarpanch had collected a ransom of Rs 35 lakh from the family of Shashi on November 30.

The businessman was reportedly detained in bunkers constructed in various villages of Muzzafarnagar district. The truth in this case had come to light only after a number of Sarpanch’s companions were arrested by the Saharanpur police.

The real name of Sarpanch was Bhagwan who hailed from Haryana. He had also been responsible for the kidnapping of a Sessions Judge of Sonepat in Haryana, Mr P. C. Narwala, in 1990. The Sessions Judge was also released after Sarpanch had collected a ransom of Rs 10 lakh, it is learnt. The Sikandrabad police have already killed some of Sarpanch’s companions — Rambeer, Chaohan, Dharma Gujrar and Anil — in encounters. Now with Sarpanch’s death, people are feeling much relieved.



Five stolen vehicles seized
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 6
The police have recovered two stolen Maruti cars, a Tata Sumo, two motorcycles and a computer worth Rs 8.62 lakh from five youths, who were arrested while hatching a conspiracy to loot the passengers of buses in the evening on February 27.

A spokesman of the police today said that five youths — Narender, Virender, Sumit, Hari Prakash and Ashok, who were arrested by the police last month, admitted their involvement in seven cases of theft. He said these youths had opened fire on the police party when it raided the spot where they were planning to loot bus passengers. The police had recovered a country-made pistol, a live cartridge and two knives from their possession and a case under Sections 399, 402 and 307 of the IPC and Section 25/54/59 of the Arms Act was registered against them..

On women’s rights

Change in the behavioural patterns of the society and its social structure is necessary for establishing women’s rights as human rights. This was stated by eminent sociologist Prof P. N. Pimpley in his valedictory address at the UGC-sponsored national seminar on ‘Women and Human Rights’ organised by the Sociology Department of Maharshi Dayanand University here today.

Prof Pimpley, president of the North West India Sociologists Association, said that though there were sufficient legislation vis-a-vis women’ rights, the implementation part had been floundering due to the rigid mindset. He suggested that the problem had to be tackled at the grass root level, especially at the familial and societal level.

Refresher course

A UGC refresher course in history commenced at Maharshi Dayanand University here today. Dr S. B. Dahiya, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, inaugurated the course. Nearly 40 teachers are taking part in the course which would continue till March 26.

Mishap victim dies

Mr Harish Chugh, resident of the NH-V locality here, who was injured in a road accident on March 3, succumbed on Tuesday night. He was shifted to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi where he died in the night. In another incident, a young married woman of Sector 55 here was run over by a train near Ballabgarh Station here on Tuesday. The victim, identified as Meenu Gupta, was crossing the track when the mishap occurred.

Cyclist killed

A cyclist, Phool Singh, resident of Patti Kalyana village, was killed after he was hit by an unidentified Maruti car near Samalkha, 21 km from here, this morning. Though a grievously injured Phool Singh was rushed to the civil hospital here, he succumbed to the injuries later. A post-mortem examination has been conducted and the body handed over the relatives. A case has been registered.

Bar Association

Some members of the District Bar Association today disassociated themselves from the reported resolution published at the instance of the president of the association, Mr Shyam Lal Tyagi, regarding the two-day boycott of the courts by the lawyers to protest against the lathi charge on people and the arrest of activists of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha at Shahzadpur village in the district. In a signed press note issued here, these members also deplored the conduct of the president and clarified that only one resolution was passed in the meeting of the association held on March 4 to condole the death of Lok Sabha Speaker G. M. C. Balayogi and decided to suspend the work in the courts for two days.

Fake drug dealers held

The police have arrested two persons involved in fake drugs and medicines, unearthed a couple of days ago in Gonehi village in the district. The accused, identified as Rajesh and Ramvir, were taken by police to Kosi to locate the shop from where they used to get the supply. But, the contact person at Kosi had fled. Recently 16,000 capsules of various antibiotic drugs were found to contain only chalk.

IG gets a taste of high-handedness

The Inspector-General of Police, Rohtak range, Mr Resham Singh, had a taste of the high-handedness prevailing in the police stations in the region today. According to information, a relative of the IG went to the Civil Lines police station here to take possession of a car recovered by the police following a direction by a local court. The ‘munshi’ at the police station allegedly demanded stationery and other articles from the person as a routine practice. He also demanded the registration book of the vehicle, little realising that the orders to hand over the car were issued by the court. When the matter was reported to the IG, he immediately ordered that the ‘munshi’ be suspended and transferred to the Police Lines. TNS



Five hurt in fire at export unit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6Five persons, including three women, were reportedly injured in a minor fire that broke out in a factory in Taimur Nagar in the New Friends Colony area today afternoon. While two of the injured employees, Seema (18) and Abdul Shezaf (35), were admitted in Jeevan Nursing Home, Sudha (16), Anju (20) and Nanak (28) were admitted in Safdarjung Hospital. All are reported to be out of danger.

The police said that the fire broke out around 1 pm in the export factory assembling synthetic bags and chappals. The factory belonged to Mr Ajay Kumar. The injured laborers were packing the material when the incident occurred. The exact cause of the fire is still not ascertained. In another incident, two persons, Nabbu Hussain and Najeebul Sheikh, were injured in a fire that broke out in Sanjay Amar Colony, a jhuggi cluster at Yamuna Pushta in North Delhi, this afternoon. They were admitted to LNJP Hospital. The fire broke out at 3.15 pm and engulfed 25 jhuggis. Fourteen firefighters were rushed to the area and they took half-an-hour to douse the flame, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service said. 


Punjabi Sabha to open offices in 20 states

New Delhi, March 6
The All India Punjabi Sabha has announced plans to establish its presence in 20 states in order to bring the community on a platform. To fill the void arising out of the absence of a political space, the sabha has urged the chief ministers of Punjab, Uttaranchal and Tamil Nadu to give adequate representation to the Punjabi community in governance. The national president of the sabha, Mr Yogesh Kumar Gambhir, today said it had decided to spread its wings, as it were, in order to give voice to the Punjabi community living in different parts of the country. TNS



Crackdown yields heroin worth Rs 1.25 crore
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Continuing its crackdown on drug peddlers in Delhi, the Narcotics Branch today claimed to have arrested a 50-year-old woman while she was trying to palm off a consignment of heroin.

The police had been tipped off that one Murti Devi, resident of Karol Bagh, was selling heroin on a large scale. Immediately, she was put under surveillance by SI Bhoop Singh and his team. On March 1, information was received that Murti Devi will deliver heroin in the Karol Bagh area. The SI organised a raiding party and reached the appointed place — DDA Park, Faiz Road, Karol Bagh. At about 4.30 pm, Murti Devi walked into the trap laid by the Narcotics Branch. A personal search yielded 50 gm of heroin. She is alleged to be a veteran in the drug trade. She has been involved in seven other cases under the NDPS Act.

In another case, the Delhi Police Narcotics Branch received a tip off that one Kailash Chand Bairagi, resident of Ganesh Nagar, was dealing in heroin. Immediately, SI Kuldeep Singh began processing the information. On March 4, he received a tip off that the suspect was going to deliver a huge consignment of heroin near Vikaspuri. The SI laid a trap at Keshopur depot, opposite Vikaspuri. At about 6.10 pm, the accused appeared on the scene and was caught red-handed by the Narcotics officers. A polythene bag was seized, which contained 1 kg heroin.

Interrogation revealed that he was getting his supplies from his native place, Bhiwani Mandi. He was also dealing in readymade garments, but the lust for money had pitch-forked him into the world of narcotics. A police team has been dispatched to Bhiwani Mandi to trace the main supplier. The local customers are, however, still absconding. The value of the recovered heroin in both the cases is put at Rs 1.25 crore in the international market.



Staff of DJB contractor held for causing death
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
The Anand Vihar police in East Delhi today arrested engineer Mukesh Ghosh and supervisor C. M. Thomas of OM, a construction company, for causing the death of a labourer engaged in laying pipelines for the Delhi Jal Board in Surajmal Vihar. The victim, Thomas V. (35), died when earth caved in while he was digging a trench. The police are trying to trace the owner of the construction company and the Junior Engineer of the Delhi Jal Board under whose supervision the work was being carried out.

Two burglars nabbed: The North district police have arrested two notorious burglars, Sanjay (21) and Kalu, and seized one stolen video CD player with remote, a walkman and a mixer-grinder. The police claimed to have solved six cases of theft and burglary with their arrest from Mehta Building Chowk in Pratap Nagar.

During interrogation, they confessed to have been involved in four other burglary cases. The modus operandi of the suspects was to first identify the factories, jewellery and electronic shops they would like to target and loot them in the night. They would first keep a watch over the target and hit in the night. They used to break windows and grills with the help of iron rods to gain entry. The accused have been sent to judicial custody. Further investigations are on.

4 held for stabbing man: The Keshav Puram police arrested four persons on charges of stabbing Bishambhar Bhati. The suspects — Uttam Khari and his brother Kalyan Khari and their two accomplices Pradip Pandit and Chotu — allegedly stabbed the victim as they had an old enmity with him. The victim has been admitted to a hospital. .

Chain snatcher held: The Hauz Khas police in South Delhi arrested Mazhar Ahmed, resident of Turkman Gate, while he was fleeing after snatching a gold chain of a woman. On hearing the cries of a woman for help, a policeman on duty in the area rushed there and saw the suspect running. The constable chased and managed to arrest him. The stolen chain was also recovered. During interrogation, Mazhar confessed to have been involved in several such cases. 



Two of auto lifters’ gang nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
With the recent arrest of Rajesh and Subhash, two notorious auto-lifters of the Bijender alias Doctor gang, by the North district police in Pratap Nagar, the police have claimed to have solved more than 13 cases of auto-lifting reported from the Panchkula area in Haryana. The police have also seized one Indica car (HR-03-D-5616) in which the accused were travelling at the time of the arrest.

Both the accused, both residents of Madina village in Rohtak district, confessed to stealing cars from Punchkula near Chandigarh and later disposing them of in Delhi and other parts of Haryana. They were found involved in a number of crimes. While Subhash has been involved in a kidnapping and murder case in Gohana, Rajesh has two cases under the Excise Act and one assault case against him.

Acting on a tip-off that the accused were coming in a stolen Indica, the police kept a surveillance near the T-point in Pratap Nagar and stopped them for questioning on March 1. They panicked when they were asked to produce the original papers of the car, following which the police took them to the station.

Later, the car’s numberplate bearing number HR-16-C-551 was found to be fake. The Haryana police had been informed about their arrest and efforts were on to trace their associates, said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), Mr Sanjay Baniwal.



BSNL augments capacity of exchanges
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 6
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) expanded the Murthal and Nahra telephone exchanges by 600 lines each, the Rai exchange by 500 lines, Bahalgarh exchange by 400 lines and Rohat exchange by 152 lines during the last month. Stating this, Mr R. C. Hooda, General Manager, Telecom, told mediapersons here today that a 1000-line exchange at Sisana, 500-line exchange at Purkhas, 500-line exchange at Janti Kalan and 1000-line exchange at Chitana villages had already been commissioned replacing the CDOT RAX. Similarly, the Murthal, Kharkhauda, Bahalgarh and Nahra exchanges had been converted as the RSUs of the Sonepat main exchange. There would not be any problem with expansion at these exchanges in the future.

He disclosed that the six-digit numbering scheme had also been introduced for Kundli, Rai, Bahalgarh, Jakhauli, Murthal, Ganaur, Kharkhauda, Nahra and Mehlana telephone exchanges in the district. The remaining telephone exchanges in the district would be covered under the scheme by April 30. He said that the registration fees for booking new telephone connections had been reduced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 1,000 for the RSU Sector-15, Ganaur and Gohana telephone exchanges and this facility would be available by March 31. An online cash counter had started functioning at City Telecom Centre at Subhash Chowk, Sonepat where the subscribers could obtain India Telecom Card, he informed.



Kit to improve mileage of old scooters designed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Kinetic Honda has claimed that it has designed a special ‘fuel consumption kit’ to be fitted on its old vehicles to give a substantial improvement in mileage. The kit, consisting of a special carburettor with ‘lean-burn’ technology and a new choke system, will result in a mileage improvement of between 10-15 km per litre of petrol, and will be available for a discounted promotional price of Rs 999, which also includes the labour charges associated with the installation of the kit.

The offer will be made available to Kinetic Honda customers through the company’s nationwide dealer network. The fuel efficiency improvement benefit is expected to last for several years.

Announcing this remarkable servicing initiative, company officials said, “It gives us a great pleasure to be introducing this benefit to our valuable customers. After Kinetic’s joint venture with Honda was realigned, Kinetic has made many improvements in the engine and all Kinetic scooters since 1998 give very good fuel efficiency.


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