Sunday, March 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


BJP kicks off campaign
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9
The Bharatiya Janata Party today launched its campaign for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, with the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishna Advani, and other senior leaders giving a pep talk to the somewhat demoralised party workers in the Capital this evening.

The factionalism in the party was quite apparent as the former Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, was conspicuous by his absence. Mr Khurana distanced himself from the party’s civic poll as he had reportedly failed to secure the tickets for his supporters and the fact that the party had not consulted him for selecting candidates in the parliamentary seats.

Urging the party candidates to cheer up and the BJP workers to work in coordination with the candidates, the Union Home Minister said, “Only that party would win the polls, which would go in for personal contact with the electorate and establish a rapport with the voters.”

Recalling the party’s performance in the early years of Jan Sangh in the MCD polls, Mr Advani said that the party performed well in spite of the fact that it did not have much presence in the city. “This was possible because the workers then were motivated and dedicated,” he said.

Addressing a rally of party workers, Mr Advani said that the candidates should highlight the work done by the three-year-old Vajpayee Government and the achievements of the outgoing BJP-ruled corporation.

The senior BJP leaders said, “Impressive rallies do not fetch votes. It is the house-to-house visit by the candidates and their power to convince the electorate that their problems would be solved that fetch votes.”

The Mayor of Delhi, Mr Shanti Desai, who is contesting from Chandni Chowk ward, highlighted the achievements of the corporation during the last five years.

“We inherited a bankrupt corporation. In five years, we have brought about significant change in health, education and parks in the city,” he said.

Reeling out statistics to indicate the achievements of the outgoing BJP-led corporation in a move to counter the anti-incumbency factor, he said, “The candidates can go to the electorate and ask for votes on the basis of these achievements.”

The former Delhi Chief Minister and Outer Delhi MP, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, highlighted the failures of the Sheila Dikshit Congress Government and urged the candidates to highlight the failure of the state government in fulfilling its responsibility.

Urging the party candidates to be confident in facing the electorate, Mr Verma predicted that the party would win 90 seats in the 134-member corporation. The BJP has 82 members in the outgoing corporation. The Chandni Chowk MP and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Vijay Goel, asked the party workers to face the elections with confidence.

Narrating a story of a fight between the armies of a small kingdom and a large kingdom, Mr Goel said that the army of the small kingdom won the battle, the moment self-confidence was instilled in them. The Delhi unit president, Mr Mange Ram Garg, said that the party would highlight the prevalent corruption in the Congress government and the failure of the state government on different fronts.



961 left in the fray

With the withdrawal of 120 candidates of various political parties, 961 candidates are left in the fray to contest the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections to be held on March 24. Today was the last day for withdrawal of nomination papers. A total number of 1,081 candidates filed their nomination papers. Of them, 89 withdrew the papers today while 21 did so two days ago. The Congress is contesting all 134 seats while the BJP has put up nominees in 127 seats. The BJP’s allies, the Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, are contesting five and two seats respectively. 



SI suspended for ‘extorting’ money from 
NRI woman
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9
The Foreign Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) has suspended a Sub-Inspector, Sudhir Singh, for allegedly harassing and extorting a bribe of $500 from a non-resident Indian (NRI) who arrived here in the wee hours along with her young son last week.

According to the preliminary enquiry conducted by a senior officer, the victim, Mrs Manjit Kaur, who had come for a visit with her son from the USA, was harassed by a number of immigration officials during clearance at IGI Airport.

Her tale of woes began as soon as she went for immigration clearance after alighting from a Swissair flight. The officials present over there first accused her of travelling on a forged passport and then of escorting someone else’s child. They threatened her that if she did not cough up $500, she would be sent to jail. Tired and harassed, the housewife succumbed to the pressure and paid the amount and went home to Thanesar in Haryana, feeling relieved.

However, fearing exposure and identification, the officials reportedly kept her passport as it would have given the time and date of landing and clearance. Once at home, the woman, who was visiting her family after 10 years, narrated her experience to other family members. The matter was brought to the notice of the senior officers of the FRRO and an enquiry launched. The Sub-Inspector has now been suspended.

Senior immigration officials said that further enquiries were being conducted and the guilty would not be spared as these were the people who tarnished the image of the country. The victim, whose husband is an affluent businessman in the USA, was so upset that she vowed never to return to the country.

The incident has left many faces among the top brass of the Immigration Department red. Of late, the department had been trying to become more professional in its approach as its officials are the first to come in contact with incoming passengers, particularly the tourists. A senior officer said that orders had been issued for proper supervision of the shifts and the officials manning the counters.



This policeman’s forte is to take lid off whodunnits
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, March 9
Prospective investigators are often taught that the criminals leave at least one tiny evidence for the cop. For 30-year-old Dinesh Arya, a Sub-Inspector of Special Branch of Delhi Police at East Delhi, the lesson has been chewed and digested during his training at the college. Solving a case that apparently leaves no trail of evidence has eventually turned out to be his area of specialisation.

Arya’s biggest breakthrough came two years ago when on a sultry day in July, he received a frantic call from a person, Raj Nandan, who had been desperately looking for his seven-year-old daughter. An auto-rickshaw driver abducted her while she had been asleep outside her house in Geeta Colony.

“The only clue that we had was that the girl had been picked up by some auto-rickshaw driver,” said Mr Arya, who was given the responsibility of cracking the case. Arya and his team immediately swung into action and eventually traced the girl in a semi-conscious state to a non-descript place in Krishna Nagar area after a hectic night-long combing operation. “The girl’s

body bore tell-tale signs of rape and physical torture and the victim was too traumatised to say anything then. It was a completely blind case,” Mr Arya said.

Following the description provided by the victim, a computer-aided portrait of the culprit was made and a list of auto-rickshaw drivers was prepared plying and living in the area. Soon, Arya and his team were on hot pursuit and questioned every auto-rickshaw driver. The victim was taken along to identify the culprit.

“We would patrol on a particular route for at least a month and wait in anticipation so that the culprit could be recognised by the girl,” he said. “With every passing day, the case was getting weaker as almost every auto-rickshaw driver in the vicinity had deposed before us. Deep inside, however, I knew that we were close to cracking the case,” he added.

And Arya’s instinct did not let him down. After almost a month, as his team and the girl were standing in Krishna Nagar, an auto-rickshaw driver started running away after spotting them. The police chased him and finally caught hold of him. The girl recognised him immediately as the culprit. “He later confessed to committing the crime. This was a turning point in my career as it spurred my latent investigative skills,” a beaming Arya said.

He has traversed a long path since then and has been instrumental in solving more than a dozen cases in his seven-year-old career. They include a meticulously planned robbery case of Delhi Vidyut Board and the busting of a counterfeit certificate and currency racket.

His tenure has not been without risks. He recalls how a suspect in the DVB robbery case, Ram Charan, fired at him from a countrymade gun when he went to arrest him. It was only a miracle that the shot missed him and he remained in one piece. The robber was swiftly disarmed. But the deadly encounter has never dissuaded the former college weightlifter from pursuing criminals with tenacity.

Arya, a graduate from Hindu College aspires to join the elite Intelligence Bureau (IB) or the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) some day. A bachelor, he has chosen the police station a home from home, of course until he settles down into matrimony. As one of his colleagues put it, “He sleeps, eats and rests here.” A weightlifter during his college days, the training has helped him remain fighting fit. No wonder, a criminal finds it tough to take to his heels in front of this doughty policeman.



MCF may attach property  of house tax defaulters
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 9
The fund-starved Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, (MCF) is considering taking serious action against some of the defaulters of house tax. For instance, it may take steps to attach the property of about 24 schools and industrial units here, which owe about Rs 85 lakh as tax, it is learnt. According to the MCF sources, about 12 factories and an equal number of schools have not cleared their dues. While the schools owe about Rs 73 lakh, the factories have to shell out Rs 12 lakh.

The corporation’s revenue from the various taxes is dwindling; the collection drive has been sluggish and targets have not been met. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, had stressed this point during his meeting with the MCF authorities recently. All the zones of the MCF have been given a target this month; since the financial year is coming to an end, the corporation is anxious to improve its record. The annual budget is already late this year.

The orders of attachment of property could be issued soon against the defaulters named in the first list. But, it is also learnt that some of the units included in the list are already closed for the last many years.

The NIT zone of the corporation owes the largest amount of house tax and its recovery status has not been satisfactory in the last one year, according to sources.


Units take umbrage at HERC order
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, March 9
Call it a quirk of fate, the long arm of the statutory body and the state machinery is finally reaching out to the evasive and defaulting captains of industry here.

The industry, however, pleads innocence and is nursing an injured ego on the alleged implementation of the directive of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) by the local power authorities to collect the dues from the defaulting industrial consumers with regard to usage of captive power plants (CPP) in their units.

The HERC, a statutory body, had issued notification in May last year specifying that those using CPP/generators of between 50 KW and 1000 KW must obtain consent from it. Also, the firm whose case was ratified has to deposit a sum of Rs 1,000. According to reports, a majority if the industrial units had not paid heed to the notification. They, however, continue with the usage of the captive power plants.

The HERC decided to crack down and directed the local electricity authorities to issue fresh notices to the defaulters. Consequently, the local authorities started issuing notices, most of them alleged to be “minatory” in nature. The alleged defaulters have been directed to complete the formalities within a week after the notices, failing which they would be imposed with severe penalties, including imprisonment.

The president of the Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), Mr Jagan Nath Mangla, reasoned that the industrial consumers had already got the consent from the HSEB/DHBVN before installing the captive power plants in their units. The consumers were not aware that they had to seek fresh consent from the HERC, he added.

The GIA has further alleged that instead of issuing generic notices to the industrial consumers, the authorities were using “coloured” languages in the official communications to them with regard to the follow up measure to the directive of the HERC. The industrialists were not aware of the notification with regard to obtaining consent from the HERC, it added.

The GIA has decided to send a delegation to the HERC to urge it to extend the seven days’ deadline to three months.


Drunk cop harasses couple in park
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 9
‘Misuse’ of power and authority by the police is not new, but sometimes it leads to panic and terror among the public. In a recent incident, a cop of the NH-2 police station here exhibited his `authority’ on a hapless couple who had come for an evening stroll in Rose Garden in the NIT area. The policeman, who was on duty to check the movement of unwanted and anti-social elements in the park, caught hold of the young couple and started questioning about their movement in the park.

Besides levelling all kinds of absurd charges against them, he also beat the husband. Though the victim claimed that he was a married man and had come with his wife, the cop refused to listen and thrashed him in full public view. The victim was a resident of Dabua colony here and had come for a walk in the park. The couple was freed from the clutches of the policeman only after some other residents rushed to their help. The couple reportedly told the people that the cop was in a drunken state and had been demanding money to release them. The police authorities had deputed some cops at parks in order to check the movement of anti-social elements and those who indulge in eve-teasing. 



Two women commit  suicide
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9
Incidences of women attempting suicide seem to be on the rise in the Capital with at least two women setting themselves afire in the past 24 hours here. In the first case, a 30-year-old woman committed suicide by setting herself on fire in the wee hours of today in Nazafgarh of South-West district. The deceased, Manju, wife of Kishan Das, died on the spot after the incident. According to the police, the suicide could be a result of the last night’s family feud, but they are looking into other possible angles to unravel the actual cause behind the suicide.

Another women, Munni (30), wife of Vinod and a mother of five children, was admitted to GTB Hospital with serious burns. The deceased is a resident of Ambedkar Basti, Gokul Puri and her husband runs a tailoring shop in Gandhi Nagar. Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that her family was in a severe financial crunch for the past few months, and it could be the possible reason for her attempt to suicide. In another incident, 23-year-old Sonia, wife of Roshan Lal, resident of Gokul Puri, received burns after her dress caught fire while she was cooking in the kitchen on Friday night. Sonia was married to Roshan six years ago and has a six-year-old son.



Bharatpur has an eldorado of palaces
Tribune News Service

An entrancing sight.
An entrancing sight.

The favourite bird retreat. The 55-kilometre journey by road from Agra drives you to the town of Bharatpur, also known as the eastern gateway to Rajasthan. Once the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur, it served as the second capital of the region. This interesting town is strewn with massive fortifications, stunningly beautiful gardens, magnificent palaces and a colourful bazaar. The Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur Palace and the Keoladeo National Park offer a visual treat for tourists.

Home to over 400 species of water birds, the Keoladeo National Park is the destination for exotic migratory birds, the Siberian crane included, that come here to spend the winters. Colonies of spoonbills, storks, pelicans and grey herons can be spotted all over the park. The raised paths camouflaged by babul trees make their viewing easier.

Of the remnants of the royal past remains the Bharatpur Palace housing a rich repository of a large number of ancient exhibits that date back to the early 15th century. This royal edifice is a fusion of the Mughal and Rajput architectural styles with magnificent apartments and intricately designed floor tiles having interesting patterns. One can marvel at the ancient exhibits displayed in the museum in the central part of the palace.

Lohagarh Fort, the massive iron structure built in the early 18th century with its impregnable defences, sustained itself even after a number of British attacks. The fort was conceived and designed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur. It has three palaces within its precincts – Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. A few of the eight imposing towers still stand erect within the ramparts of the fort, especially two of them – Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj. These were built by Maharaja Suraj Mal to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and the British, respectively.

And if you happen to be the inquisitive kind, the government museum with its rich collection of artefacts, exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions can be admired. The items displayed in the museum, located inside the Bharatpur Palace, speak volumes of the rich heritage, art and crafts of the region.

Bharatpur retains the medieval flavour keeping alive the timeless traditions in their rich art and crafts, colourful bazaars and vibrant people wearing multi-hued costumes and a bright smile. Bharatpur is also a part of the Alwar-Bharatpur-Sawai Madhopur-Tonk Mewat-Brij circuit. 



Officials winking at encroachments
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 9
The continuing encroachments on the municipal land as well as the Huda land here have made a mockery of the Master Plan of the city.

According to the residents, the official indifference towards the encroachments and the practice of ruling party leaders to use authorities of various official agencies according to their needs have further aggravated the problem.

According to sources in the administration, pieces of municipal as well as Huda land worth about Rs 1,000 crore have been grabbed by influential persons in different parts of the city and various sectors developed by the HUDA.

Similarly, a piece of valuable land meant for the development of a municipal park near the ESI dispensary has allegedly been grabbed by the shopkeepers for parking of vehicles, thanks to the failure of the civic authorities to take any action against them.

Besides, the embankment of drain No 6, passing through the city, is encroached. Pucca shops and houses have been built on both sides of the drain in the absence of any action by the authorities concerned. Some influential persons have also grabbed land worth several lakhs of rupees between drain No 6 and the Nandwani Nagar and they are now selling the same on higher prices.

Though orders have been issued to clear this encroachment, no action has been forthcoming, probably for fear of the ruling party political bosses, the residents allege. Several jhuggis have come up in the area which are creating unhygienic conditions.

The modus operandi in earlier years was that officials first allowed the land mafia, colonisers and others to encroach on its land. Instead of removing such encroachments, cases were filed against such encroachers, thereby providing them proof that the land was in their actual possession. If the official agencies won, it was not generally enforced, and if the encroacher won, appeals were not made in higher courts. Even today, court stays continue in several such cases.

A high-level probe into the scandalous working of the official agencies is likely to expose the misdeeds of the officials and the unscrupulous colonisers backed by some ruling party politicians.



From cradle to grave, she pays a heavy price for her existence

“Anita Kaur survived her in-laws’ greed for dowry and two broken marriages. But when her second husband’s lawyer referred to her as a call girl, she snapped. The accusation provoked Anita into slapping the lawyer in front of the judge, for which the judge slapped a contempt of court case on her. Three days later she committed suicide..,’’ read a news report on November 21, 2001. Such incidents reported from time to time show that we have a long way to go to ensure a place of honour for woman in this country.

It was the continued dowry demand by her first husband that led to her divorce and the second marriage. Her second husband too began harassing her for more dowry. Ten days after her wedding, she was beaten and dumped at her parents’ residence. Anita had approached the court when persuasion by the mediators had failed to bring her second husband to his senses.

Sometime ago, the reported alarming fall in the male-female ratio in a prosperous state like Punjab, again highlighted the prejudice against the female child and there was even a call for boycott of those who practised female infanticide.

Any gynaecologist will tell you that a ban on sex determination tests has not removed prejudices against the female child. What a writer on women’s issues observed sometime ago, continues to be valid to an extent: “Smothered or poisoned at birth, given away in marriage at a tender age, bargained over like some commodity by the dowry-hungry in-laws, secluded in the name of chastity and religion and finally burnt for the exaltation of the family’s honour, or shunned as inauspicious widows, the burden of oppression took different forms at different stages of a woman’s life, from birth to death in a chain of attitudes linked by contempt for the female.’’

As was usual, several functions were held on March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Day, introduced on a global level by the United Nations. The origin of Woman’s Day is rather sad. In the winter of 1908, in New York, the women working for the textile factory ‘Cotton’ went on strike asking for better working conditions. The strike had lasted a few days, when the owner, Mr Johnson, blocked all the exits of the factory, imprisoning all the women inside the factory itself. A fire broke out and the 129 women died in the fire. It was Rosa Luxemburg who proposed, as a memento of the tragedy, this date, March 8, as a day of international struggle for the women.

Going back into history, several practices could be pinpointed that were in vogue in this country militating against all claims of women enjoying a high place of honour. One of them was sati, (burning or self-immolation of widows on the pyre of husbands) whereby a widow was denied the right of existence after the husband’s death on the ground of defending her chastity.

Besides the campaign by Raja Rammohan Roy, it was the zeal of a missionary from England, William Carey, and his friendship with the then governor-general, that finally saw the demise of the much maligned system.

It was in 1799 at Noserai, 45 km from Kolkota, that Carey first saw a widow burning with his own eyes. In 1803, in a survey it was revealed that only around Kolkota, 400 widows were burnt. The figure for the whole of Bengal in one year exceeded 10,000.

Carey made investigations and submitted a report to the governor general and even satisfied him that the custom was not prescribed in the sacred books of the land. He had to wait 25 more years—until December 6,1829— to receive the edict banning the sati. As the Bengal government’s translator, it was his duty to translate the edict that Sunday. He set himself to do it with the assistance of his pundit, not wishing “to lose an hour with the lives of women at stake”.

Carey has left a moving account of the sati he witnessed. When he tried to dissuade the relations from the burning act, he was told it was a “great act of holiness”. If he did not like to see it, he might move away.

Remembering the past, in a way, doubles our determination to do away with those evils which still persist in society. We need to be grateful to the emancipators, whoever they happen to be.

MPK Kutty 



No more demolitions in Capital, says Ananth Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9
“We are in Nirman Bhawan. Therefore, we believe only in construction and not in destruction. Henceforth, no demolition will take place in Delhi, only construction works will be undertaken by our ministry,” the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr Ananth Kumar, has said.

He was addressing a function to celebrate the 178th birthday of the founder of Arya Samaj, Swami Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, today. And, to do justice to the occasion to which he was invited as the chief guest, the minister said the teachings of Swami Dayanand were relevant today. The country, he said, could achieve its motto of “global peace and prosperity for all” by following the 10 golden principles of the Arya Samaj and asked the community leaders to take up their battle against casteism and social evils in South India too.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Vijay Goel, also called upon the Arya Samaj to fight against the wrongful depiction of women in the media. Mr Goel regretted that some “sluggishness” had crept into the activities of the Samaj after Independence and urged it to rejuvenate itself in line with the need of the hour.

Presiding over the function, eminent writer and scholar Swami Dikshanand stressed the need to “return to the villages” for the country’s all-round progress.



Governor’s intervention sought in House
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 9
The Youth Congress has sought the intervention of the Governor to ensure that the proceedings of the state legislative assembly are conducted in a constitutional manner. Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president and a former MLA, expressed concern over the manner in which the proceedings of the state assembly, currently in session, were being conducted by Speaker Satbir Singh Kadian, who had allegedly been acting as a puppet in the hands of ruling Indian National Lok Dal government.

Charging him with denying Opposition members opportunity to raise vital issues of public interest on the floor of the House, Mr Surjewala alleged the Speaker had flouted all rules, regulations and democratic traditions followed in the House in the past and had lowered the dignity of the House.



Khadi Board simplifies loan structure
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 9
The margin money structure of the rural employment generation scheme of the Haryana Khadi and Village Board has been simplified to provide an easy access to the loans of higher value.

According to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, any individual, firm, trust or limited company could apply for the financial aid up to Rs 25 lakh with the condition of setting up a cooperative society under the Act of 1960.

He said that now an individual could avail himself of the benefits of margin money on such an aid taken for setting up the enterprise. The persons of the weaker sections or categories like women, physically challenged, minorities and ex-servicemen could now avail themselves of subsidy up to 30 per cent of the total aid than the 25 per cent earlier. These applicants will have to invest only a nominal five per cent in such schemes, while general category candidates would have to invest at least 10 per cent of the total cost. The negative list under such a scheme has been shortened and limited only to the enterprises dealing in meat, alcohol and polythene bags only. While the efforts are on to popularise products manufactured in rural sectors, the concept of indigenous or desi mandis was on the anvil. The Haryana Government has declared the Khadi and Village Board as the approved source for purchasing various items.



Computerisation has brought ‘transparency’
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 9
The Chief Secretary of Haryana, Mr L.M. Goyal, has claimed that the computerisation of various services, including registration of land and issuing of licences, has made the workings of the government agencies smooth.

Speaking at a function organised by the District Red Cross Society for the distribution of artificial limbs to physically challenged persons here today, he said that while the society’s income from various services had increased, the computerisation has brought transparency in the work of district authorities.

“There is a lot to be done here if we have to catch up with the facilities provided in the developed countries.”

The state government had given reservation of three per cent to physically challenged persons in the government jobs in Haryana. He announced that the work of issuing driving licences would soon be computerised in the state.

Stating that the society had been engaged in several works aiming at helping physically challenged persons, he said, He asked the physically challenged persons not to feel incapable at any level. It was the will power which steered one to success, he added. He presented artificial limbs and other aids to 23 persons on the occasion, which included seven hearing aids and five tricycles.

Soldier cremated

Sepoy Rajbir Singh Rathi (25) of 9 Jat Regiment was cremated with full civil and military honours at his native Balambha village in Meham sub-division today.

The gallant soldier fell victim to the enemy bullets during ‘Operation Duty’ in Nausheran sector in Jammu and Kashmir on March 7. He is survived by his widow Babli, daughter Priya (1), three-month-old son Aman and a younger brother.

Capt Inder Singh, MP, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, paid floral tributes to the martyr on behalf of the state government and district administration, respectively. A contingent of the police reversed the arms and fired in the air as a mark of respect.

Subedar Mange Ram, who accompanied the body, said Rajbir had fallen victim to the cross border firing at 6.30 pm. The Deputy Commissioner announced an immediate relief of Rs 11,000 to the bereaved family from the District Red Cross Society. He also assured that the financial assistance, announced by the state government for a martyr, would soon be released to the family.

Effigy burnt

Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) burnt the effigy of ‘terrorism’ at the Bhiwani Stand Chowk here as part of the ‘anti terrorism day’ observed by the party all over the country today.

Addressing party workers, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP and vice-president of the state unit of the BJP, alleged that the Leftist parties were trying to defame the BJP in connection with the reaction of Hindus in Gujarat in the aftermath of the brutal killings of innocent kar sevaks at Godhra. Expressing concern, he said that it was unfortunate for the nation that the opposition parties intended to derive political mileage out of this sensitive situation.

Prisoner escapes

The police have launched a massive hunt to re-arrest a prisoner, Dimple alias Dimmi, who managed to escape from the district jail of the city on Thursday evening. According to a report, the accused was involved in a murder case and undergoing life imprisonment. He was called by a jail warden for the repair of power line and he fled under the cover of darkness. The police have registered the case against the warden and the prisoner.

Man killed

One person was killed and two others were injured seriously when a Tata 407 canter on which they were travelling was hit by an empty bus near Khatauli town in Muzaffarnagar district of UP, about 100 km from here, on Friday.

According to a report, the victims hail from the city and were going to Hardwar for taking Gangajal. The deceased has been identified as Rajbir and the injured as Bijender and Karamvir. Both the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where they were shifted to a private hospital in the city here. The UP police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress.

Trees felled

The Haryana Government has been suffering a huge financial loss on account of large-scale felling of trees by unscrupulous contractors with the alleged connivance of some officials of the Forest Department in the district, particularly in Gohana and Ganaur sub-divisions.

According to a report, the leaders of the Forest Department Mazdoor Union urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the cutting of trees in the Shahpur and Larsauli area of Ganaur block without any permission from the higher authorities and this had resulted in a huge loss to the state exchequer. The union also demanded stern action against the officials found responsible for the loss incurred on the state exchequer.

Eye camp

As many as 315 patients suffering from various eye diseases were treated and 39 were operated upon by a team of veteran eye surgeons at a free eye operation camp at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, that concluded on Friday.

According to a report, all the indoor patients were provided free food, milk and fruits during the three-day camp.

Hit and run

One cyclist was killed while another injured seriously when an unidentified Tata Sumo hit them from behind on the Delhi road here today.

According to information, Sandeep and Sweeti were riding on a bicycle on the road when a Tata Sumo run over them. While Sandeep died on the spot Sweeti, who was riding pillion, was rushed to the hospital in a serious condition. The driver of the Tata Sumo speed away after the incident.

30 hurt as bus turns turtle

Jhajjar: Around 30 people were injured, six of them seriously, when a private transport bus overturned while passing over a bridge near Bisan village here today. The accident occurred reportedly due to a technical snag in the steering of the bus just ahead of the JLN canal. According to information, the bus carrying 60-65 passengers was going to Rohtak from Beri town.

MDI convocation

Gurgaon: Waiting on the threshold of joining the odyssey in the practical world, the students who are passing out from the prestigious Management Development Institute (MDI) today had some emotional moments on the occasion of annual convocation. On the occasion, 131 students were awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management.

SHO sent on leave

Sonepat: Mr Joginder Singh Gulati, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Civil Lines police station, Sonepat was reportedly sent on a long leave by the authorities on Friday allegedly following the registration of criminal cases against three persons who are said to be close supporters of an MLA of the INLD. TNS



Aide of Chhota Shakeel held 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9
A notorious extortionist, Adarsh Kumar Puniani alias Billa, an associate of Chhota Shakeel, Aftab Ansari and Raju Anudhkat, was arrested from Sardar Patel Marg on Friday by the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch. The cops also seized several incriminating documents from Adarsh.

Adarsh, who is a resident of Gujarat and wanted by the state police there under the PASA Act, was staying in Gangotri flats in Vikas Puri under a different name, Vijay Kumar Gupta. The Crime Branch got a tip-off that Adarsh has been staying in Delhi since March 2001 after he was released on bail by the Surat police. He has now been remanded in the police custody till March 13.

He was also a close aide of Raju Anudhkat alias Raju Sharma (who was recently deported by the CBI along with Aftab Ansari from Dubai). Adarsh came into contact with an extortionist, O. P Singh, in Mumbai, who was supposed to be a right hand of Chhota Rajan. His main activity was kidnapping businessmen and fleecing money from them. When O. P. Singh was arrested, Adarsh came into contact with Raju.

After coming to Delhi, Adarsh had visited Dubai and met Raju to chalk out their plans in Delhi. He was also planning to extort money from some businessmen by issuing threats on behalf of Raju, but Raju was deported by the CBI in February along with Aftab Ansari.

The police have recovered one Indica car, one Santro car, one Hero Honda motorcycle and one computer. All these were procured after producing fake papers in HSBC, ICICI and Hero Finance posing as Satish Kumar Arora.

He was also found in possession of many fake driving licences, identity cards, nine credit cards, nine SIM cards, five passports and cheque books of HDFC, HSBC, Citibank, Global Trust Bank and UTI Bank.



Guilt-struck murderer confesses 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9
Azad, one of the three persons, arrested a few days ago in connection with running an illicit liquor business and was released, confessed to the police that they had murdered one Dayanand whom they thought was informing the police about their activities.

The trio, Azad (30) of Shahibabad, Pittal alias Shakeel (20) of Maandi and Sant Ram alias Dabal (25) of Maandi, were nabbed by the Mehrauli police for their involvement in illicit liquor business. Later, the trio suspected Dayanand, and invited him for a drinking session and murdered him.

Nine lakh robbed: Three persons on a motorcycle reportedly robbed Rs 9 lakh from four staff of Gautam Motors in Okhla Phase II at gunpoint in Kalkaji area this morning. 



‘EDC decision against HSIDC’s commitment’
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, March 9
Gurgaon Industries Association (GIA) has criticised the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (HSIDC) for putting pressure on the entrepreneurs in Udyog Vihar and Sector 18 to pay external development charges (EDCs). The GIA president, Mr J. N. Mangla, said that the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr M. K. Miglani, had committed to the GIA many times that the matter would be discussed with the office-bearers of the association and the affected industrialists and that a decision would be taken only after such consultations.

The association has said that the HSIDC has no moral or legal authority to ask for the EDCs from the entrepreneurs after such a long period of 12 to 20 years of allotment of the plots.

The costs towards external developments had already been computed while working out the allotment rates from time to time, said the president.


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