Thursday, March 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


BJP hitches its wagon to a star
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
The war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress continues in the run-up to the civic elections with accusations flying thick and fast. The BJP has in the meantime decided to rope in cine stars to prop up its candidates’ fortunes even as the Congress – banking on the anti-incumbency factor and believing that it is riding the crest of a “wave” – got down to systematically shred the BJP’s poll planks. Refuting the BJP’s claim, that the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi deliberately curtailed the funds available to the MCD on account of which developmental works suffered, Congress Spokesperson Mukesh Sharma on Wednesday said for two of the five years that the BJP governed the corporation, the BJP also headed the Government of NCT of Delhi. “They should tell the people of their achievements in those two, if not five years, when they were in power both in the government and the corporation,” Sharma said, chiding the BJP.

On the rebound, the BJP retaliated by raking up the Congress’ indifferent attitude to the issue of relocation of industries and the charges of corruption that were levelled against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. The relocation of industries, the BJP said, was scheduled for completion in September last year but little progress had been made on that front. Also alleged was the tardy progress in desealing the industries that were erroneously closed down.

Accusing the BJP of recycling their old manifesto, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) President Subhash Chopra said an “issue-less” BJP had sensed the inevitability of facing defeat and was, therefore, trying to fool the people by projecting falsehoods. “The BJP’s manifesto,” he said, “has justified the anti-people policies of the Union Government regarding the decision to charge Rs 512 per square yard as developmental charges from the unauthorised colonies.”

Reiterating that the Congress had made its stand on unauthorised colonies amply clear in its manifesto, Chopra said the BJP should follow suit and tell the 30-odd lakh people living in unauthorised colonies whether they supported or opposed the policy laid down by the late prime minister Indira Gandhi. Heightening the rhetoric, he said the people did not fancy the BJP anymore on account of the rampant corruption in the MCD over the past five years. “The corrupt rule of BJP in the MCD,” he said, “has put the developmental works in Delhi behind by at least 20 years.”

Dismissing the charges of resorting to populism with regard of regularising small and medium businesses run from shops constructed in government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and private residential accommodation, Chopra said such measures were long overdue given the challenges posed by urbanisation and demands of infrastructure development.



Yet another fake medical institute
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 13
Within a week of the detection of a medical college, offering ‘outlandish’ degrees in medicine, the drug control authorities have unravelled yet another self-styled medical institute. The institute offers a diploma in an unknown medical discipline. Although the authorities have recommended action against the accused, there has been an unusual delay in lodging an FIR against the institute.

While the owner of the medical college, located in the NIT area here, has shifted to another building in the same locality, the authorities have failed to take action against the persons running the college. The drug control authorities had found that the degrees offered by the college were unrecognised and illegal.

They had taken up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Medical officer (CMO). The drug officials have also found another such institute providing ‘Diploma’ in ‘Nutreopathic medicine’ which, they say, was also unrecognised.

This institute, ‘Indian Institute of nutreopathic medicine’, is located at Tigaon Road in

Ballabgarh town here. The three-and-a-half-year course is unrecognised and the diploma (DINM) is illegal, said the drug authorities who had raided the institute recently. The drug officials in their report submitted to the civil surgeon claimed that ‘nutreopathy’ system of medicine was not recognised by the Medical Council of India or any other body authorised to grant recognition. Besides, the system does not come under the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which is the proper authority for recognising the universities.

It is stated that ‘nutreopathy’ was not recognised either in the state or country and the Director, Ayurveda, Haryana in his letter, dated July 15, 1997, had directed Dr Munish Sethi, the director of the institute, to explain his position on running the ‘Indian Institute of Nutreopathic Medicine’.

It is alleged that the institute running for the past several years had been illegal and cheating public. It has about six students on its rolls at present.

The senior medical officer (SMO) of Ballabgarh has sent a report to the Deputy Commissioner, CMO and SDM and requested for a proper action against the institute.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, said that he had directed the health officials to lodge an FIR against the accused in both cases. The SSP, Mr Ranbir Sharma, however, said that he had not received any complaint against the fake medical colleges or the accused so far. He said that his office would take immediate action if somebody lodged a complaint.



A much-travelled mouse generates funds for Umang
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, March 13
Inspired by actual events during their three-year stay in India, the authors (three-year-old Sam and his mom) tell a whimsical tale of a mouse who makes it all the way from the desert of India to the White House, reads the back cover of the book that has made more news than the bestsellers.

The reason! The theme, the authors and perhaps the hype. Titled, “There’s a Mouse in Roosevelt House,” the book traces the journey of the protagonist, a mouse, from the Roosevelt House to the White House. The book has been penned down by Jacqueline Lundquist, wife of the former American Ambassador to India and her son Samuel Celeste. Sam for short.

“There was a mouse in the Roosevelt House, which would appear at the most awkward times but disappeared after Mr. Clinton’s departure. When Sam questioned me, I said that he had gone on board the Air Force One”, recalls Jacqueline Lundquist the co-author of the book.

The inspiration behind the book was Sam who wanted to pen down the memoirs of his days with the mouse in India. “The book was launched in April 2001 and has been read in various schools across the country, including Sam’s school”, recounts Jacqueline, who presented a cheque of Rs. 50,000 to Umang Charitable Trust from the sales proceeds of the book.

The book is Jacqueline’s tribute to India, “ There are three reasons for writing this book. The first being when we left India we wanted to have some concrete evidence of our stay in the country. The second is that I wanted to pay tribute to the country and promote interest about the country abroad. And finally I wanted to help Umang because they are working for such a generous cause” points out Jacqueline. The money that has been collected from the sales of the book and given to Umang will be used to build a library for the Umang School and will be named after Sam.

When asked whether the book is likely to be translated into vernacular languages, Ms. Jacqueline said, “I haven’t thought about it, but it is a good idea, we must have kids across the country read it”.

The illustrations are done by Sheyna Baig, who was given, “just a week” to complete the work. “It was very interesting to sketch the book”, is what the illustrator has to say.



Commuters sweat it out at exit points 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
With more than 50,000 auto rickshaws and taxis off the Capital’s roads, the traffic flow was much smoother today but the commuters faced considerable problems, particularly at the entry and exit points, because of the strike by the operators.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Indira Gandhi International airport, the railway stations and the Inter State Bus Terminuses as they tried to find alternate modes of transport. The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation (DTTC) had made arrangements for an additional 200 buses to be deployed on the roads in view of the strike but apparently these were not enough as passengers complained of over crowding.

There was some confusion among the various auto rickshaw and taxi operators unions in the Capital over the duration of the strike. While some claimed that it was indefinite, others were adamant that it was only for 24 hours.

The strike call was given by the All India Auto and Taxi Unions Front, Confederation of Transport Operators, Delhi Confederation of Public Transport Operators and the Bharatiya Tiphiya Chalak Sangh to protest against the Delhi government’s insistence on CNG mode and installation of tamper proof electronic meters.

For some time, passengers have complained about the boorish behaviour of auto rickshaw drivers and the widespread overcharging. It was precisely due to this that the authorities decided to install tamper-proof electronic meters in all commercial vehicles operating in the Capital.

The union leaders, however, claimed that while there were only a few culprits the switch over to the CNG mode and the installation of tamper proof electronic meters would put an extra burden on the operators as most of them had bought the vehicles on loans.

The authorities have been unrelenting and officials said that they wanted to end the harassment of passengers by making the operators adhere to the rules and guidelines.” The auto rickshaw and taxi drivers have no public sympathy at all”, an official said.



16th century sculptures seized from exhibition
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today claimed to have seized antique stone sculptures worth Rs 2 crore in the international market from an exhibition held in Blind National School in Delhi. The sculptures, made of granite and sandstone, are believed to be that of 16th century AD. They are of Surya, Vishnu, Brahma, Buddha and Kalabhairav.

The sculptures were brought by M/S Artefacts, an antiquities and handicraft dealer of Bangalore, to be displayed at the exhibition for sale. The total price of the sculptures displayed was put at Rs 14 lakh. A case had been registered against the firm, spokesman of the CBI M. S. Khan said. However, no arrest has so far been made as the case is still being investigated.

Addressing newsmen, Mr Khan said that all the sculptures were registered with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and nobody could sell such antiques without the permission of the agency concerned. A licence was also required for the sale of such antiques.

He said that the CBI received secret information that M/S Artefacts was allegedly indulging in the sale of registered antiques without licence in violation of the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act 1972. A joint team of the CBI, ASI and Sales Tax Department of Delhi Government conducted a surprise check at the Exhibition Hall of the National Blind School. It was found that sculptures were antiques and the firm had no licence to sell them.



Two drown in Yamuna

New Delhi
Two youths died today after drowning in Yamuna near Kailash Nagar Pushta today. The body of one of them, who was identified as Dharmender, was fished out of the river. TNS



DDA owes MCD Rs 171 cr in property tax 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, March 13
As many as 22 departments, including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Air India (AI) and Delhi University (DU), have defaulted in the payment of property tax to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, today read out the list of defaulters in the Rajya Sabha.

While DDA tops the list for not having paid Rs 171 crore for the last 20 years, Delhi University owes Rs 35.26 crore, accumulated over an equal number of years. The NDMC has not paid Rs 1.66 crore due for the last 10 years.

Joining the list are Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which has not paid Rs 13.98 crore for the last eight years, and MTNL, with outstanding dues of Rs 33.15 crore for the last three years.

Mr Rao informed the House that efforts were being made by the MCD to recover the dues, including submission of applications in the courts for vacation of stay in certain cases and the early settlement of disputes regarding the assessment of property tax made by the corporation.

As many as 167 persons had been reported kidnapped in the Capital in the first two months of this year, of whom only 57 had been rescued, the Rajya Sabha was informed by Mr Rao. He said that 30 persons had been arrested for their alleged involvement in these cases.

The Law Commission of India has recommended changes for widening the scope of offence in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and make it gender neutral, said the Minister of State for Home, Mr I. D. Swami, in the Rajya Sabha today. He added that various other changes had been recommended in Sections 376, 376 A to 376 D. The commission had also recommended insertion of a new Section 376 A, dealing with unlawful sexual contact, deletion of Section 377 of the IPC and enhancement of punishment in Section 509 of the IPC.

In a written reply to another question, Mr Vidyasagar Rao told the House that the NDMC had introduced computer education in 23 of its schools. Computer education had been introduced as a regular subject at the 10+2 level in some secondary schools, where lessons were imparted with the help of teachers appointed on an ad-hoc basis.

The council was also exploring the feasibility of outsourcing teachers for computer education, as it was difficult to retain qualified teachers in schools for long, he added.

Necessary action had been taken by the government against those CGHS dispensaries that were not functioning properly or supplied inferior drugs, said the Minister of State for Health, Mr A. Raja, in the Lok Sabha today. Mr Raja added that a five-member task force had been constituted to carry out surprise inspections of the dispensaries.



Private IT varsity coming up in Noida
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 13
Education is the index of a nation’s progress and development. Without education, one remains a beast and not a human being. While education and health services are the yardstick of a country’s development and society’s enlightenment as a whole, all segments of the society should make their full contribution to the development of these two institutions.

This was the crux of Uttar Pradesh Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri’ speech at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Amity Information Technology University, Noida here today afternoon.

“It is perhaps the first university in the private sector which the brain behind it, Dr Ashok Chauhan, wishes to make the best university in information technology (IT) not only in the country but in the whole world,” Dr Shastri said.

“IT has changed the world in a revolutionary way. I, at my 73 years, am learning to be computer savvy. One can, with the help of computers, read a book on any subject in any university of the world while sitting at one’s own home. This is the extent of revolution ushered in by information and computer technology in our life,” the Governor said.

Indians were respected throughout the world for their intelligence achievements in different fields. But it had not been realised that the government was spending Rs 12 lakh on the education of an engineer and Rs 8 lakh on training a doctor.

It was here that the private sector universities could play a useful role, Mr Shastri said. Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Ashok Chauhan, chairman of the Amity Education Society, said that he was always impressed with the intelligence and devotion of Indians in foreign countries. He had been thinking of setting up this university for many years which he was sure would not only be the top university in the country but would be the best university in IT in the world.

Probe urged

The Haryana Brahman Kalyan Sabha (HBKS) has appealed to the Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University to probe the irregularities allegedly committed by Pt. Fateh Singh Sharma, president of the Gaur Brahman Vidya Parcharini Sabha (GBVPS), which runs several educational institutions in the region. A resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting of the sabha held under the presidentship of Mr Ram Kishan Kaushik here Tuesday evening.

In a copy of the resolution sent to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Kaushik alleged that the president of the GBVPS did not take the managing committee of the institute into confidence regarding a ‘major change’ in the construction plan of a women’s hostel being built at nearby Brahmanvas village and the funds spent on it. He alleged that the students had been charged more than the prescribed fee under non-resident Indian (NRI) quota and for the paid seats in BAMS, Physiotherapy and Diploma in Pharmacy courses during the last two years and the excess amount, running into crores of rupees, had been unaccounted. Mr Kaushik charged the president of the institute with bringing it under undue financial burden by creating new posts and appointing more than the specified number of employees. Moreover, he alleged that the president was misusing the official funds by purchasing a Toyota Qualis vehicle and maintaining two or three mobile phones from the funds of the institute.

Labourers killed

Two labourers, including a woman, were killed and five others injured seriously when a tractor trolley, on which they were travelling, overturned on the G.T. Road near PIO Munyari, about 15 km from here. According to a report, the deceased have been identified as Ms Vimla and Vijay. The injured labourers have been identified as Bandhan, Naya, Suklesh, Neel Mohan and Devinder. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and were stated to be in serious condition.

The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to apprehend the tractor driver who is still at large.

Exam stress: boy commits suicide

New Delhi: Abhinav Atrey (17), son of a serving Army Officer, who was a student of class 12th in the Army Public School, reportedly committed suicide in his house in Dhaula Kuan by hanging from a ceiling fan. He apparently took this extreme step as he did not fare well in his mathematics paper. He was alone in the house when he committed suicide. No suicide note was recovered from his possession, the police said. Lt Col N.P. Sharma, the father of the deceased, is posted out of Delhi. The boy’s mother was visiting some relative in the Capital. When she returned, she found the bedroom of Atrey bolted from inside. There was no response after repeatedly knocking at the door. When the door was prised apart, he was found hanging with the ceiling fan. The police have registered a case of suicide.

Elusive schoolkid held for murder

Sonepat: The police succeeded in arresting a student, Sehwal, involved in a murder case. Sehwal had been caught earlier also, but he escaped from the police station. According to a report, the culprit along with four other students were arrested in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old youth Vipin who was the son of a trader, Mr Rameshwar Dass Bansal, in the local grain market.

The culprit, however, gave the slip to the police and escaped after scaling the wall of the police station. He reached the godown of the railway station after crossing the municipal park and the Indira Colony area. The police took a prompt action and launched a massive hunt for him. Finally, the police officials with the help of the public managed to arrest the culprit again after giving a chase to him on Tuesday. TNS



Two die as car rams tree
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
Two persons were killed after a Maruti Zen (DL-3CK-3036) rammed a tree on Rohtak Road at Ghewra turn today morning. Both Joginder (30) and Raj Kumar (42), residents of Veena Enclave, Nangloi, died on the spot.

The car driver, Satbir (24), resident of the same area, sustained minor injuries. The Nangloi police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

In another incident, a pedestrian was killed after he was reportedly hit by a DTC bus (DL-1PB-0181), plying on route no. 531, under the Moolchand Flyover today morning. The deceased has been identified as Lal Bahadur (23), resident of Andrews Ganj and a newspaper vendor. According to the police, the victim was hit by the speeding bus when he was crossing the road. The Defence Colony police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and arrested the driver, Prem Narain (42), resident of Chirag Dilli.



Police chief urges restraint in campaigning

New Delhi, March 13
The Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr Ajai Raj Sharma, today appealed to the leaders of the various political parties to ensure fair and peaceful polls for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and urged them to campaign in a responsible manner in view of the tense communal situation in many parts of the country.

In an hour-long meeting with the representatives of various political parties who have fielded candidates for the civic polls, including that of the two major players, the BJP and the Congress, the Police Commissioner also requested the leaders to ensure that the campaigning adhered to the rules laid down in the model code of conduct. TNS



Racket in spurious oil, ghee unearthed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
The special staff of the Geeta Colony police, East district, today claimed to have unearthed a racket in selling spurious refined oil and desi ghee of famous brands.

The accused, Rajender Kumar of Lakshmi Provision Store and Satish Aggarwal of Phool Chand Hari Kishan Store at Krishna Nagar and Tarun Dua, were arrested and a huge quantity of refined oil and desi ghee weighing more than 1.5 tons were seized from their premises.

JMD Proteins Pvt Ltd had made a complaint with the police on February 28 that spurious refined oil under its brand ‘Diamond’ was sold in the market. On March 9, a special team raided the premises of Rajender Kumar and Satish Aggarwal under the supervision of Mr Mohammad Ali, ACP, Gandhi Nagar along with the representatives of JMD Proteins and seized a large quantity of spurious oil from their possession. Tarun Dua was arrested later and a large quantity of spurious refined oil and desi ghee was seized from him.

On sustained interrogation, the accused revealed that they used refined oil, Mahakosh, which is cheap and good in quality, to make desi ghee after mixing an essence of desi ghee in the refined oil. To prepare refined oil, they used soya oil with lower quality refined oil. The police have launched a massive hunt to nab their associates in the racket.

DDA engineer held: The CBI has arrested a Junior Engineer of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), R.K. Sharma, while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a businessman, Ravinder Kumar, of Dilshad Garden in North-East district for doing some favour. A search was also conducted on the official and residential premises of the suspect during which certain documents relating to assets and investments were recovered.

The spokesman said that the complainant had a tent house business and he used to erect shamianas on the open land of the DDA in front of the Vivek Vihar police station.

He had to deposit a security of Rs 10,000 for each function which was refundable. His total deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh was pending with the DDA. When the complainant met the engineer, he allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 10,000 from the complainant for the refund of the security deposit, he said.



Cops in pursuit knocked down 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 13
Two cops patrolling at the Chhuchhakwas Chowk under the Salawas police station area had a harrowing experience on Tuesday night.

The Sub Inspector in charge of the Salawas police station, Hoshiar Singh, along with ASI Hari Singh signalled a truck coming from Matanhale to stop at the chowk. The truck driver, however, ignored the signal and sped away towards Jhajjar knocking down the naka put on the road.

The cops immediately chased the truck on their official jeep. But, when they reached near Khatiwas village, a Tata 407 coming from the opposite direction hit their jeep on the right side injuring the cops.

The Tata 407 also managed to commandeer away after the accident leaving the injured policemen on the spot. While Mr Hoshiar Singh had a narrow escape, his colleague sustained serious injuries. The police jeep was also damaged completely.

The district police had registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338 of the IPC.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |