Friday, March 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Akalis sore with BJP over tickets
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7
Discontent in the ranks and among the poll partners seems to be the order of the day with the two major political parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, engaged in firming up their manifestoes and strategies for the civic polls.

Whether it is the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), the Shiv Sena, the Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee or the BJP workers, they all have one thing in common. The ticket distribution and the allocation of seats have not been done to the satisfaction of local cadre.

The SAD, which is contesting in alliance with the BJP on the Lotus symbol, is dismayed over the wards given to their party’s candidates. The five seats which the Akali’s are contesting – Nizammuddin, Seva Nagar, Pratap Nagar, Tilak Nagar and Geeta Colony – were not the ones sought by the SAD.

“The BJP has given us the seats, which they were likely to lose. The performance of the SAD in these seats would not be that impressive, which would reduce the bargaining power of the party in future,” sources in the party said. Even the BJP workers are dissatisfied with the party leadership for awarding the Pratap Nagar ward to the Akalis.

The party workers in Pratap Nagar ward are angry with the party’s decision, but things would be sorted out soon,” said the leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly and senior BJP leader, Mr Jagdish Mukhi.

SAD sources said the party workers are dissatisfied with the party’s choice of candidates as the tickets have been given to those who do not have a large following in these wards.

The five Akali candidates contesting the MCD polls are Gurmeet Singh, Ramsher Singh, Onkar Singh Thapar, Ms Paramjit Kaur and Tarjeet Singh Naagi.

The rift between the Shiv Sea and the BJP continues unabated with Bal Thackeray sticking to his stand,. posing a threat to the alliance formulated for the first time outside Maharashtra for the civic polls.

The BJP had given the Shiv Sena two seats to contest. But, the Shiv Sena candidates have filed their nominations from ten wards. The parties are holding talks, but little progress seems to have been made. The Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress is dissatisfied with the Delhi unit of the party, as it is not being consulted in formulating the election strategy and the manifesto. Ms Motia Garg, the president of the Mahila Congress, said: “We have not been consulted while formulating the manifesto for the civic polls.”

Stating that the Mahila wing performs its work without being in the limelight, she said the party should take the views of the Mahila Congress into account as 33 per cent seats are reserved for women.

The National Akali Dal, president, Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma, said the Congress has neglected the Sikh community, as enough tickets have not been given to the members of the community.

Meanwhile, the two parties are undecided on their manifestoes and have failed to stick to their scheduled release dates – March 7 for Congress and March 9 for BJP. The two parties were busy pacifying the disgruntled workers who have filed their nominations.



Police identify 35 MCD wards as sensitive
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7
The Delhi Police have identified 35 of the 134 wards for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls as sensitive. The top brass of the police is holding a series of meetings to finalise effective policing in these areas and elsewhere to ensure peaceful campaigning and polling due in the last week of this month.

Police sources said that additional companies of paramilitary forces had been requisitioned and these would be deployed in the sensitive areas in the South, North, North-East, Central and North-West districts of the Capital. Deployment would be considerably high in the walled city areas in the backdrop of communal violence in Gujarat and other parts of the country. While the leaders of all major political parties, including the two main ones – the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress – have assured full cooperation to the authorities, nothing is being left to chance.

Some of the areas which have been identified as sensitive are Tagore Garden, Tilak Nagar, Bawana, Khanjhawala, Peeragarhi, Sultanpur Majra, Nangloi, Mundka, Hastsaal, Mahipalpur, Mehrauli, Chattarpur and Tughlakabad.



Cops to move HC for Vikas remand 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 7
The Ghaziabad police have decided to approach the Allahabad High Court for a police remand of the main accused in Nitish Katara abduction and murder case, Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav, son and nephew respectively of Rajya Sabha MP D. P. Yadav. A police team is reported to have reached Allahabad for the purpose. In light of the District Judge R. P. Mishra’s rejection of police remand for the accused on Wednesday, the police have again applied for a remand in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), which also, it is understood, will come up for hearing tomorrow.

This step, it is learnt, is in keeping with the District Judge R. P. Mishra’s observation that the CJM “should have given due weight” to the fact that the “recovery of the Tata Safari could have proved relevant links in the chain of circumstances to bring home the guilt of the accused”. He added that the CJM “should have accorded time accordingly”.

The District Judge held that “the revisional court has no power to grant or refuse the plea”. “It can only look into any illegality or irregularity in the order passed by the magistrate,” he had observed. The Criminal Procedure Code authorises only a magistrate to grant or refuse a plea for remand to police custody.

According to the police, Vikas and Vishal had allegedly abducted Nitish Katara from a wedding in Ghaziabad on the night of February 16. They allegedly took Katara to Mr D. P. Yadav’s official residence in New Delhi at 1.30 am and hours later murdered him on the route to Khurja. His body was burned with diesel drawn from a Tata Safari. The police had sought 10 days’ custody to recover the Tata Safari and a cellphone, but the plea was turned down by the CJM. The judicial remand of the accused in Ghaziabad ended on Wednesday. They have been sent to Gwalior where they were to be presented before a magistrate today. The Ghaziabad police said they had already informed the Gwalior police that the Yadav cousins had been booked under Section 302 of the IPC here.



Cop stays put forcibly in Rly quarters
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 7
A constable posted in Pilkhua has forcibly occupied the quarter of a railway employee, Kishan Lal, near old Ghaziabad Railway Station since 1999 even as the Railways is deducting Rs 1,200 per month from his salary. Kishan Lal is posted in Northern Railway, Delhi.

The wife of Kishan Lal has filed a report in the Vijay Nagar police station in this connection and requested the authorities to get the quarter vacated from the constable who is now posted in Pilkhua.

Kishan Lal has been allotted two one-room quarters near old Ghaziabad Railway Station. The constable was alleged to have occupied the house by breaking open its locks in September 1999.

Kishan Lal’s wife, Snehlata, had requested railway authorities and electricity authorities to discontinue the water and power connections to the house. But In spite of this, the cop continues to occupy the house illegally by hooking a temporary electric connection. Snehlata has also reported to the SP, Rural and Circle Officer, Pilkhua to get their quarter vacated from the illegal occupation from their subordinate.



Nahar slams doors on ticketless corporators
Tribune News Service

Faridabad,March 7
Faridabad rose to the occasion today. The sixth international one-day cricket match between India and Zimbabwe was better managed than the one between India and England, played at Feroz Shah Kotla recently. The 25,000-strong capacity Nahar Singh Stadium was almost chock-full of the spectators enjoying the match till finish without any untoward incident being reported.

It is perhaps for the first time that an international cricket match has been bereft of controversy. At Kotla, thousands of spectators with bona fide tickets were stranded outside the stadium. But at Nahar Singh stadium, all ticket holders were able to gain entry even though some of them had reportedly purchased tickets in black. Only youngsters without valid tickets were turned away.

Some local municipal corporators and their supporters had to face the ignominy of being turned away as they did not possess valid tickets. A woman leader of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) also tried to hustle in her supporters, but the attempt was thwarted by the police.

Likewise, the vehicles of the INLD activists and supporters of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and his son, Ajay Chautala, who were travelling with them, were stopped at the outer gate. According to the Superintendent of Police, Mr Ranbir Singh Sharma, no person without ticket was allowed inside the stadium. About 1200 policemen were deployed at the gates and inside the stadium to maintain law and order. These included 60 women constables and some members of the mounted police. The spectators were not allowed to take food or water bottles inside the stadium, but cold drinks and fast food were available in the VIP and the Press Box. Several seats in the Press enclosure were occupied by policemen. Family members and children of some VIPs had also been accommodated in the media box.

The highlight of the day was the special arrangements made for a senior IPS officer of Haryana, seated in the stadium. He was provided a TV set as he found it difficult to locate the ball on the ground from where he was seated.



Only ‘kutcha’ tracts for parking, service lanes 
off limits
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 7
Thousands of persons parking vehicles in the service lanes on both sides of G.T. Road here would do so at their own peril henceforth as the district administration has decided to tow away the vehicles. With the DC, Mr M.R. Anand, banning the parking in the service lanes, the persons visiting government offices, banks, restaurants, telegraph office and shops and transport agencies on the G.T. Road would face a lot of inconvenience.

The order warns that if the vehicle was found parked in the service lanes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., it would be towed away. Only the “kutcha” area between the G.T. Road and the service lanes could be utilised for parking. The loading of the vehicles could be done from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. only.

However, the order seems to be putting a cart before the horse. With hardly any “kutcha” area worth parking the vehicles and the district administration washing its hands of constructing the concrete parking lots, people are having a harrowing time. Instead of taking the responsibility for developing the parking lots, the administration seems to have passed the buck on the shopkeepers.

It has urged the shopkeepers to construct the concrete parking's for the shoppers in front of their shops and had even claimed that the work on “pucca” had started.

How many shopkeepers take up the work of development of the parking space is a moot question. The development of the infrastructural facilities is the job of the administration and we pay heavy taxes for them, lamented the owner of a textile emporium. It’s not our job to construct parking lots, he quipped.

It may be recalled that traffic jams in the service lanes are the order of the day. With the slow-moving traffic – rickshaws, horse carts and three-wheelers – ruling the roost, the traffic scene is chaotic in the city. How the traffic management improves with the new order remains to be seen.

And with the district transport authorities and the traffic police do not caring two hoots for the regulation of traffic, the problems persist. It may be noted that during a recent drive to check the unauthorized constructions, there was chaos all around, with the transport authorities even towing away vehicles parked on the “kutcha” portion. However, the drive was abandoned shortly and the traffic problems were back.

Thousands of vehicles are parked along both sides of the G.T. every day as scores of banks, hotels, public-dealing government offices, textile and other shops, besides the transport companies, are situated in the area. It is anybody’s guess how the limited “kutcha” area could accommodate so many vehicles.

Meanwhile, with a view to checking pollution, a committee comprising the District Forest Officer, the SDM and GM of the district industries centres, has been formed. The committee would suggest, among other things, the plantation of a variety of trees on both sides of the G.T. Road.



Drop in fatal accidents in Rohtak range
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, March 7
Fatal accidents have declined in the Rohtak range following the imposition of speed restrictions on vehicular traffic plying on national highways. The Haryana Government, in view of the orders of the apex court, had imposed speed limit for vehicles plying on the national highways that pass through the state. These speed limits are also applicable on the state highways.

As a result, the number of fatal accidents in the Rohtak range, comprising the districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Panipat and Karnal, has been limited to 106.



CNG position better in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7
Even as the Government of NCT of Delhi puts the blame for the slow progress in converting the Capital’s fleet of buses to CNG-mode on the Union Government’s inability to make adequate supplies of the fuel, Union Minister of State of Petroleum and Natural Gas Santosh Kumar Gangwar told the Rajya Sabha today that the length of vehicle queues and waiting time had reduced after September 2001 and that queues, if any, were only during temporary breakdown or shutdown in some CNG stations that are generally restored within a few hours. Replying to a question raised by Congress’ Dr Karan Singh, the minister said the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) was planning to increase the number of CNG stations from the current 87 to 94 by March this year.

While there has been a steady increase in vehicle population and fuel consumption in Delhi, the vehicular pollution has dropped appreciably between 1995 and 2001. And to meet the fuel requirements of vehicle users in the Capital, the Centre has banned the supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) to those private vehicles (read cars) converted to CNG mode but not registered with the Transport Department.

Mr Gangwar said the ban had been imposed because of limited availability of CNG and to ensure its smooth dispensing to vehicles for public transport as per the Supreme Court’s directive regarding conversion of the Capital’s bus fleet (Delhi Transport Corporation and private) steadily to CNG. The ban applies to vehicles not registered with the Transport Department as on January 1 and later.

On another question, Union Minister of State of Health and Family Welfare A Raja told the Rajya Sabha that the number of HIV-infected persons in Delhi was 656. The HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women attending ante-natal clinics in Delhi was detected to be 0.25 per cent during the recently conducted sentinel surveillance round.

Ironically, even as the government is engaged in controlling the spread of the virus, it concedes tuberculosis also has to get priority in prevention and control measures. The minister said 170 per lakh TB cases were reported to the government health centres in the Capital. Tuberculosis, he added, was one of the most important opportunistic infections in the HIV-infected persons.

On the increasing number of vehicle thefts, Parliament was informed that 4,053 cars were reported stolen in Delhi during the year 2001, of which 1,332 cars were recovered and 1,637 persons allegedly involved in these thefts arrested. Meanwhile, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) took up new housing pockets in Narela, Rohini, Vasant Kunj, Dwarka, Bakarwala etc for development during the last fiscal. Detailing the achievements of the developmental activities, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Bandaru Dattatreya said development of land for various uses had been a continued process at Dwarka, Narela, Rohini, Vasant Kunj, Jasola, Dheerpur etc. “Construction of flyovers is in progress and further taken up at new locations in different zones in Delhi,” the minister said.

Mr Dattatreya said the Vigilance Department of the DDA had conducted 59 site inspections or surprise checks and initiated disciplinary action against 100 officials. A study group of the Central Vigilance Commission, he said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, had submitted a report on the scheme for conversion from lease-hold to free-hold and it had acted upon the suggestions given therein. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has declared 135 villages as urbanised under Section 507 (a) of the Delhi Municipal Act, 1957 with the prior approval of the Centre. Among the 15 villages still to be urbanised are Sultanpur Majra, Dallo Pura, Trilokpuri, Kondli, Hastsal and Pira Garhi. The Government of NCT of Delhi is yet to approve the proposal for declaring these 145 villages urbanised.



Girl students of relocated slums drop out of schools
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7
The sudden demolition of jhuggi clusters by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and their subsequent relocation have forced the students of these clusters, especially girls, to abandon their studies midway.

The MCD had recently demolished jhuggi clusters at ITO, Nizamuddin and a few other places, which have been resettled at Bhalsawa village near Jahangirpuri in North district.

The corporation began its demolition drive in the middle of the year. Consequently, the children could not get admission in nearby schools in Jahangirpuri and Alipur villages.

These boys and girls now have to travel from Bhalsawa to ITO and Nizamuddin, about 20 kilometres each way, to continue their studies.

Concerned parents alleged that it was very difficult for the girls to travel all the way from Bhalsawa to ITO and Nizamuddin. The long distance has forced many of these girls to leave their studies. While most of the boys have not stopped going to schools yet, they are also facing difficulties as the bus fare is eating into their meagre earnings. The parents are unable to bear the bus fare, Ram Lal, a resident of the jhuggi cluster said.

Sunita, a student of class 8 said, “We, the children of jhuggi clusters, have to go to school and come back and work at home.

The distance of ITO is so much that we feel tired and cannot work after returning from school. Eve-teasing in the buses is also another reason which forced us to leave studies.”

Nandini, another school dropout, said there were 5,000 jhuggis in the Bhalsawa. “There must be over 1,000 children in these clusters. The MCD should have set up a school in the locality or schools in nearby areas should have been directed to give admission to the children of the clusters. This smacks of the step-motherly attitude of the corporation towards the poor people,” she said.

The Bhalsawa camp where the jhuggi residents have been relocated lacks most of the amenities. There is no drinking water at all. Women and children have to fetch water from several kilometres away. The corporation apparently has forgotten all about them after moving them away as they continue to live in makeshift shelters, often under hastily put up plastic sheets.

Residents of the camp allege that the lack of any facilities even at nearby places is taking its toll on them. About 20 newborn babies had died during the last couple of months for want of medical facilities.

The residents, who held several meetings in the camp, are now hoping that the corporation would take notice of their condition because of the forthcoming elections to the civic body.



Daydreamers realise their dream – of helping 
the poor
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, March 7
From a deserted and dilapidated garage at Jhandewalan to an imposing five-storey building at Vishnu Digamber Marg on Rouse Avenue, the Lok Kalyan Samiti, an NGO, has traversed a long path. When it was started in 1952 with 12 members contributing Re 1 each, people called it an organisation of ‘daydreamers’, as the concept of an NGO was new those days. However, it went on to win the hearts of people as well as success in its aim. The daydreamers were not building castles in the air, after all. People appreciated their efforts.

From its one-point programme of providing medical facilities to the needy, particularly refugees from across the border, its objectives have enlarged into incorporating multi-faceted welfare programmes, thus becoming more important for people.

This is the first organisation that introduced mobile medical services. And the mobile services were reached on a bicycle! In 1957, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the first medical mobile van and contributed Rs 3,000 towards the van from his personal account. The samiti has made remarkable strides ever since. For instance, more than 34,000 visually impaired people have got their eyesight restored with the help of its special prevention cell of blindness and restoration of eyesight.

Started by Sucheta Kripalani, the first woman Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in independent India, it took a great effort to convince a postgraduate from London University, Kalyan Singh Gupta, to work for the social cause taken up by the samiti. He agreed on the condition that there would not be any interference from the higher-ups.

After that, it was a test of his patience, perseverance, commitment and determination. Later, the individual contribution of the other members of the samiti like former Prime Minister I. K. Gujral, Rajmata of Tehri Garhwal Kamlendumati Shah and S. N. Jhaver.

Started on a shoestring budget, the organisation had a tough time to meet its day-to-day expenses so much so that Kalyan Singh Gupta used to ask people in Coffee Houses for four annas for which the donators always got proper receipts. However, later people stopped giving him money once he became familiar with them.

Fortunately, the samiti had become somewhat stable by that time and had added some more activities like distribution of milk to malnourished children, old clothes to the poor and needy, distribution of spectacles for Re 1 and Rs 5 per pair.

Kamlesh Gupta, a retired schoolteacher and secretary of the samiti, recalls the earlier days. “He (Kalyan Singh Gupta) was very dedicated toward his work. I joined him in 1984 after much persuasion. We developed our technique to become independent, especially in raising funds. He once wrote a letter to a foreign agency not to send funds, which was really amazing. We stopped accepting government grants. And we succeeded in the end. We are self reliant today and following his footsteps to keep the candle lit for helping the poor.” The hard work got recognition when Kalyan Singh Gupta got land sanctioned from the Land and Development Department at Rouse Avenue. In 1967, he was awarded the ‘Best Social Worker’ of the year by the then Lt-Governor.

Now, its programmes include eye check-up, eye operation, education of children, vocational training to grown-up educated but unemployed young girls and boys, income generating programmes like tailoring, embroidery, knitting to grown up girls and housewives and day-care centre for senior citizens, including specialised treatment by professional doctors. It has treated more than 20 million patients till date.

Many projects including its centre at Chakkarpur village and Nand Nagri in the Capital are running successfully. One of the samiti’s programmes is sponsoring the education of slum children. Almost 2,300 children have already been sponsored till now. The sponsorship includes two uniforms, books, stationery and medical fees, all of which are being extended to the respective families.

As Mother Teresa said, ‘What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean will be less without that drop…” This belief remains with the Lok Kalyan Samiti too. 



When water makes a land barren
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 7
Fertile land of several villages of the Khadar area along the Yamuna in the district has been transformed into a barren land, thanks to the sudden release of water from Tajewala headworks, situated near Yamunanagar, on the border of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

According to a report, the residents of at least 50 villages along the river have been badly affected by the release of water. In fact, they have been facing this problem every year, especially in the rainy season. “Whenever the pressure of water increases in the headworks, the officials release the water suddenly which envelopes several kilometres of land on the riverside and destroys the standing crops,” several farmers of these villages complained.

Moreover, the heavy flow of water also carries sand and stone, which spread over the fertile land of the villagers and turn it barren. According to many farmers, a vast tract of fertile land of the villagers goes barren every year due to this practice of the Irrigation Department as it never gives prior information on the release of water.

The people of the affected areas had complained several times against the failure of the authorities for not providing prior information about the release of water from the Tajewala headworks, but in vain.



Plot holders seek refund, HUDA sector in jeopardy

Faridabad, March 7
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), which claims to be a pioneer in urban development in the state, has been hit by the slump in the market.

Result: It has not been able to develop Sector-2 at Ballabgarh, with nearly half of the allottees seeking refund of their deposits.

It is reported that the plot seekers are primarily unhappy about the underdeveloped infrastructure in the sector. The HUDA had floated this sector five years ago but, even though it had at its disposal the deposits of the allottees, the department could not develop the basic civic amenities.

It is learnt that a large number of allottees have now sought a refund of their deposits. There are about 1,500 plots in this sector. The plots were allotted in 1998, but encroachments in the area hampered their proper development. Some of the residents in the area have filed petitions in the court challenging the evictions and the matter is sub judice. HUDA officials, therefore, have not been able to carry out demolitions in the area. Political interference has further aggravated the problem of encroachments, claimed an official. While two junior engineers had been suspended earlier in this connection, the encroachments persist. It is learnt that some of the allottees could not trace their plots in the map of the sector; subsequently, they were given an assurance that they would be provided alternative sites. But the assurance, it seems, has not yielded results. TNS



Lawyers to continue boycott of courts
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 7
The District Bar Association has extended the boycott of all Judicial and Civil Courts for another one week to register its protest against the alleged indifferent attitude of some judicial and civil officers as well as the President of the District Consumers Redressal Forum towards the lawyers. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the association. Mr Sham Lal Tyagi, president of the association, presided over the meeting.

The meeting also decided to demand an apology from the judicial and civil officers named in the resolution within a week. It also warned the members of the association that action would be taken against those who violate the resolution adopted by the association.

The meeting also decided to lift the boycott of the Judicial and Civil Courts if the named officers offer their regret for their alleged misconduct and misbehaviour with the lawyers within the stipulated period.

Prohibitory orders

The District Magistrate of Sonepat has promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, banning the assembly of five or more persons and carrying of firearms within the radius of 200 metres around the examination centres set up in the Government Industrial Training Institute, Sonepat.

According to official sources, the order which comes into force with immediate effect, would continue till March 9. This step has been taken to check any irregularity in the All India Trade Test of Draftsman to be held in the ITI, Sonepat. The order would not apply to the police and other public servants on duty.

Agents’ ire on LIC

Non-payment of commission by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India officials has caused resentment among insurance agents in the city. According to a report, many commission agents have alleged that all their complaints made to the officials concerned in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.

Some agents have now approached the Divisional Manager of the LIC for the renewal of commission bills and getting the payment for the same.

These agents have also threatened to lodge a complaint with the Chairman of the LIC if their grievances were not addressed by the authorities immediately.

Probe urged

Representatives of various farmers organisations, Sarpanches, panches, members of the block samitis and zila parishad decried the non-availability of canal water to the tail-end villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai Water Service Division. They have demanded a high-level probe into the complaints of the farmers on this issue. According to a report, they have demanded the immediate transfer of the officials found responsible for the mess.

Held for graft

Das Ram, a senior auditor, was caught red-handed by the officials of the Vigilance Department while accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from a retired subedar of the Army in his office here. According to a report, the culprit demanded the amount from the retired subedar for releasing his pension arrears. A case under the Anti-Corruption Act has been registered against him.

Group clash

Six persons, including three women, sustained injuries in a clash that took place between two rival groups at Murthal village, 8 km from here. According to a report, lathis, axes and other weapons were used in the clash. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. A dispute over a tubewell was stated to be the main cause of the clash. The police has registered a case and further investigations are in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.


Vikas Nagar, a residential colony on the Sonepat-Murthal road continued to remain powerless for the 6th day today, causing inconvenience to the residents. Many residents alleged that all their complaints made to the SDO and other officials of the Murthal sub-division of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) in this regard had fallen on deaf ears. Non-supply of power has paralysed the normal life of the people. Students appearing in various annual examinations were the worst hit. They were planning to gherao the officers of the UHBVN.

Safety day

A National Safety Day was observed on the premises of the Atlas Cycle Industries Limited here on Wednesday. The additional joint president of the company, Mr Arun Kapur, who presided over the function, said that the day was aimed at renewing the commitment of the management and employees towards working safely and to ensure integration of health, safety and environment in the work culture and day-to-day activities. He advised the executives to develop specific activities as per the safety requirements with active involvement and participation of the employees. 

Pickpockets nabbed

New Delhi: The police have arrested 81 pickpockets belonging to five major gangs – the Fayeem Kalia gang, the Zebra gang, the Rustam gang, the Bander gang and the Kalo alias Kalia gang — who were operating in buses in the North district, it was claimed today. The drive is still on. (Details Page 3)

Student stabbed

Rohtak: A student of the local Jat College was stabbed by some unidentified assailants in broad daylight here today. According to information, the victim, identified as Naresh, a BA (Part-II) student, was attacked with knives as soon as he came out of the college. While the victim was rushed to the PGIMS for treatment, the assailants managed to escape. The motive could not be ascertained.

Notices to health centres

Faridabad: The pollution control authorities have issued notices to four government-owned health centres in the district for not adhering to pollution norms. It has warned of strict action if registration of these centres was delayed beyond March 31.It is stated that these centres had been throwing the waste in the open, causing a serious health hazard.

Beauty shop busted

Noida: The Sector 20 police arrested two persons with spurious beauty aids worth Rs 3 lakh. The spurious goods manufactured were being marketed under the brand name of Shanaz Hussain’s products. They had started the ‘business’ after they were sacked from the Shahnaz Hussain Co. in Phase II here. TNS



Shiv Ratri celebrations

New Delhi, March 7
The Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, in view of the Trimurti Shiva Jayanti on March 12, have organized for a series of peace processions, exhibitions, living jhankis, divine discourses and public programmes highlighting the spiritual significance and message of Maha Shiv Ratri from today. These programmes, according to the Vidyalaya, will continue till Tuesday, covering all rural areas. TNS



81 pickpockets nabbed during drive
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7
The police have arrested 81 pickpockets belonging to five major gangs – the Fayeem Kalia gang, the Zebra gang, the Rustam gang, the Bander gang and the Kalo alias Kalia gang — who were operating in buses in the North district, it was claimed today. The drive is still on..

The pickpockets were arrested from different bus stands in Parade Ground, Red Fort and Subhash Marg, and the police claimed to have solved several cases of robbery, snatching and pick-pocketing with their arrest. Kishan Chand alias Raju, Mohammad Javed alias Raju and Mohammad Shahzad alias Salaam, all residents of Yamuna Pushta, Shambhu Dass of Shanti Van Chowk, Mahesh Singh of Pragati Maidan, Rajender of Punjabi Basti, Sanjiv of Nand Nagari and Lalit alias Pappu of Haider Kuli were among the criminals nabbed by the police during the drive. The police have also recovered several spring-actuated knives from them.

Witnessing the increasing trend of pick-pocketing and snatching in the running buses, the North district police constituted a special team and the robbers were nabbed after sustained efforts.

According to the police, the gangs were found operating throughout the day in all buses passing through the ISBT or railway stations as the passengers used to carry cash, bags and other valuables while travelling. The criminals revealed to the police that during their operations, they had used code words like ‘machine’ for their gang, ‘phool’ (flower) for meeting points and ‘thokna’ for targets.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), Mr Sanjay Beniwal, they were part of organised gangs and used to conduct a recee of the routes to check the presence of police personnel. Two people on motorcycle with mobile phones would inform the group inside the bus about the policemen and of potential targets on the routes. Before targeting the victim, they would identify him, his baggage and other valuables. Once this was one, then the gang would follow the victim inside the bus and create some ruckus. In the meantime, the valuables would have been robbed by some of their associates. Some men on the front and back door of the bus, and one with a knife near the driver also used to be posted to escape from the bus without any problem. If any passenger showed even a slight resistance, they would threaten him or stab him and in some cases, fire upon him. 



Married woman dies under mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7
A 25-year-old married woman and mother of two children died under mysterious circumstances in her house in Pandav Nagar in East district on Wednesday evening. The police say it is a case of murder.

The woman, Sangeeta, was found dead in her bedroom with scratch marks on her body. She was married to one Vikas four years ago and had two children. It was reported that there had been some tension between the couples for a few months as Vikas was unemployed, the police said.

Vikas had absconded since the death of Sangeeta came to light, the police said. Sangeeta’s father lodged a complaint with the police in which he alleged that she had been harassed for dowry by her in-laws from the very beginning of her marriage. The police have registered a case of murder.

Youth robbed in bus: Three youths armed with knives robbed Rs 7,000 from an employee of a private company, Mr K. L. Fotedar, in a DTC bus on Wednesday evening. The victim boarded a Green Line bus plying from Nangloi to Shivaji Stadium from Punjabi Bagh at 9.30 pm. The youths boarded the bus from Peeragarhi and accosted and robbed the victim and disembarked on the next stand. The police suspect the involvement of the driver and conductor of the bus in the incident. The driver and conductor have been arrested.

Looted of Rs 53,000: Two unidentified youths robbed Rs 53,000 from one Prem Dubey in Nand Nagari area today. The police said that the incident occurred around 6.30 pm when two unidentified youths travelling on a motorcycle and gave a push to Prem Dubey, who was also on a motorcycle. When the victim fell down, they immediately picked the bag containing the money and sped away from the spot. The victim had reportedly brought the money in a bag from New Friends Colony.The Nand Nagari police have registered a case of robbery and have launched a manhunt to tracing the absconding duo.

Illicit liquor: The Excise Intelligence Bureau of the Excise Department, Delhi Government, has impounded several vehicles being used in inter-state smuggling of illicit liquor and seized liquor worth Rs 5 lakh so far in this month.

According an official release of the department, 27 cases have been registered in various police stations leading to the arrest of 31 persons, including four women. Besides, 16 vehicles were impounded, which include three Tata 407, one Mahendra pick-up, one Vikram delivery van, three Maruti Esteem cars, one Maruti van, two TSRs. The estimated cost of seized illicit liquor is about Rs 5 lakh.

In February alone, 77 cases of smuggling illicit liquor were registered leading to the arrest of 86 persons with the recovery of liquor worth Rs 22 lakh, the release said. 



US telecom co opens R&D centre in Gurgaon

Gurgaon, March 7
UTstarcom, a US-based leading company dealing in wireless, wire line and broadband equipment, opened its India Research and Development(R&D) centre in Gurgaon today. Speaking at the inauguration of the centre, the founder president and CEO of the company, Mr Hong Lu, said that the company intended to bring the latest and most cost-effective technologies to high growth telecommunication markets like India, while simultaneously adding value locally through cutting-edge development at regional R&D centres like the one at Gurgaon. The CEO said that India was a focus market for UTstarcom and so the company had accelerated the plan for the establishment of this office at Gurgaon.

In the present time of global market recession, he claimed that UTstarcom, Nokia and Cisco were the only profitable telecommunication corporates in the world in the last financial year. UTstarcom, famous for pioneering a number of telecommunication products, had always tried to invent equipment for the next generation, said the CEO.

Dr Jerry Soloway, senior vice-president, Engineering, said that the Gurgaon-based R&D centre would concentrate on the products keeping in mind the Indian market and global R&D initiatives. OC


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