Tuesday, March 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Police try to unravel Natasha knot
Tribune News Service

....And then she was gone

* Natasha leaves home around 10.30 at night.

* Reaches the Hyatt hotel around 11.30 pm, taking almost an hour.

* The distance from her house in Greater Kailash to the Hyatt hotel is normally covered in half-an-hour. Did she halt anywhere on the way?

* The first post-mortem report puts the time of her death at 2.20 am.

* Can anyone account for her movements between 11.30 pm and 2 am. Could she possibly stay on the terrace for two and a half hours without being noticed? Or was she possibly in a room? And, if so, with whom?

* Why was the half-empty bottle lying on the terrace?

* Did she consume the three-fourths of a bottle of whisky on her own?

New Delhi, March 18
The Delhi police today tried to reconstruct Natasha Singh’s movements after she reached the hotel and before she died in the wee hours of the morning. The speculation continued even as the police awaited the second report of the forensic experts.

The police has been able to establish that Natasha left her home around 10.30 pm and reached the Hyatt Regency hotel around 11.30 pm. The first post-mortem report puts the time of her death at 2.20 am.

The police are now trying to unravel her movements between 11.30 pm and 2.20 am. Could she have possibly spent more than two-and-a-half hours on the terrace where the half-empty bottle of whisky was found, triggering speculation about the cause of her death. Or was she closeted in a room with someone? The police have the guest list and are trying to ascertain whether anyone known to her had a room booked in his name in the hotel that night? She possibly could not have loitered in the corridor all night without being noticed.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West), Mr Taj Hassan, has justified the case of murder registered after Natasha’s death. He clarified: “If we had registered a case of suicide, it would have been questioned. Registering a case of murder has left all options open. Natasha’s family members want a fair investigation.”

Arshad, brother of Natasha who was found dead at the Hyatt hotel, waits for the second autopsy report at the Safdarjung Hospital in the Capital on Monday.
Arshad, brother of Natasha who was found dead at the Hyatt hotel, waits for the second autopsy report at the Safdarjung Hospital in the Capital on Monday.— Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

K. Natwar Singh at the Safdarjung Hospital in the Capital on Monday.
K. Natwar Singh at the Safdarjung Hospital in the Capital on Monday.

He said Natasha’s ribs had pierced through the body, creating an impression of bullet wounds. The DCP clarified that the whisky bottle was found on the rooftop of the hotel and not on the seventh floor as reported. He said the hotel staff were divided over the availability of access to the rooftop.

He, however, refused to take any queries on the possible time of her death and refrained from mentioning the names of people whose statements had been recorded, saying all these were under investigation. Mr Hassan said fingerprints had been lifted from Natasha’s mobile phone. “A number of calls were made from the mobile phone. Four of the SMS messages were traced to her husband Jagat Singh,” he said. Some of the occupied and unoccupied rooms in the hotel had been searched for possible blood stains, he added. “Apart from Jagat Singh, we have recorded the statements of 8 to 10 friends of Natasha and the security and other staff of the hotel who were on duty on Saturday night,” Mr Hassan said. He did not rule out recording the statement of Mr Natwar Singh, “if required, in the course of the investigations”.

Mr Hassan said police had also talked to Coca-Cola executive and her friend Vinay Kapoor on telephone. “We are yet to take his statement.” Earlier, the police and the hospital authorities had to wait for a long time this morning, awaiting clearance from the Delhi Health Secretary for the second autopsy. Meanwhile, Natasha’s two brothers – Sharif and Arshad – who had earlier met her husband Jagat Singh in the hospital, told newspersons that they did not suspect any foul play in their sister’s death. There were no differences between the two families, they added.

After making the statement to the mediapersons, the two brothers left in Jagat Singh’s car. The first autopsy report of Natasha indicated that the death could have been caused due to a fall from a great height. The report said there were no bullet injuries on the body as suspected earlier on Sunday. The report said several of her ribs and other bones were broken, apparently due to a fall. The body of Natasha, a former model and freelance photographer, was found by an air-conditioner technician of the Hyatt Regency hotel in R K Puram at around 0555 hours on the first floor Garden Porch on Sunday.

The authorities said that the body would be handed over to the family tomorrow for cremation. The cremation which was scheduled for 2 pm today had to be postponed because of the second autopsy.

Many loopholes: Natasha counsel

Even as the panel of doctors today carried out the second autopsy to rule out any doubt about the cause of death of Natasha, the counsel, Ms Malvika Rajkotia, who had been fighting her divorce case, alleged that there were several loopholes in the probe. Asked whether she would contest the police theory, if they concluded that Natasha had committed suicide, Ms Malvika said her family members had to take a decision.

“Her parents and brothers would decide,” Ms Malvika said, without elaborating on the loopholes she had found in the investigation.

While during the day, the police had maintained that Natasha had gunshot wounds and stab marks, the autopsy report on Sunday evening stated that there were no bullet or stab marks on her body. The advocate contended that Natasha had not shown any suicidal tendencies, when she met her earlier. Ms Malvika had received an SMS message on her mobile phone and she had asked her assistant to report the matter to the police, which resulted in the registration of a missing report.



MCD Poll
Shadow boxing over statehood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
The issue of partial statehood accorded to the NCT of Delhi was yet again catapulted to the fore by political parties in the run-up to the March 24 poll. The BJP on Monday accused the Congress-led Government of NCT of Delhi of stalling the grant of full statehood. BJP President Mange Ram Garg, in the meetings he addressed during the day, criticised the Congress for not acting on the resolution passed by the Assembly. The Congress responded by pinning the blame on the BJP-led government at the Centre and dismissed it as a ‘non-issue’ in the local bodies elections.

The senior leaders of both the parties fanned out in the different wards and addressed election meetings in support of their respective candidates. In spite of the ‘reluctance’ of senior leaders and Members of Parliament to campaign for the party in the civic elections, the BJP got Union ministers Uma Bharati and Arun Jaitley to address election meetings in support of the party’s candidates in Shastri Nagar, Dabri and Guru Nanak Nagar. The party has in the meantime expelled 13 workers for indulging in anti-party activities and contesting against the official candidates.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which is contesting on 24 wards, on Monday held a sit-in to protest against the “indiscriminate” and “unaccounted for” expenditure on development works in the Capital. Led by the party’s president Rajsingh Mann, the RJD workers demanded that the councillors and legislators belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress submit a statement of works undertaken or completed and expenditure incurred therefore. Mann said every year crores of rupees are sanctioned to the people’s representatives in the Corporation and Assembly. Instead of telling people what kind of development works had been undertaken and where, he said, the two parties were engaging in shadow-boxing.

The Lok Janshakti Party, which has fielded its candidates, released its manifesto for the civic polls. Senior national vice president of the party Ramvir Singh Bidhuri told media persons his party would work for regularising the unauthorised colonies. “Owing to wrong policies of the Congress-led Government of NCT of Delhi the unauthorised colonies of 1993 have not been regularised,” he said.



In politics, early bird catches the first worm
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
With four days left for the parties to campaign for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls, die hard politicians and candidates are taking recourse to innovative methods to woo the voters, in view of the curbs imposed by the Election Commission and the state government.

The restrictions include a ban on the use of mobile loudspeakers, a Rs 50,000 ceiling on poll expenses, a ban on the use of posters, plastics flags, handbills and hoardings.

Taking a cue from the adage, `early bird catches the first worm,’ the activists fan out at dawn, scouting for anyone who might hit the road for a morning stroll. Points out Mr Rakesh Gupta, “I was surprised when I found unknown persons greeting me during my morning walk. On closer look, I realised that they were wearing small badges, which announced their party affiliations.”

Chips in Ms Gunjan Kaur, another early bird: “As the group assembles after a brisk walk, these activists try to join us in light discussion.” They invariably steer the conversation around the polls and try to feel the pulse of the voters and the issues that concern them. They do not try to plead the case of a party or a candidate, but merely assess the mood of the electorate. Incidentally, such tactics are also being deployed in market places or where locals converge for lunch. The activists, dressed innocuously like householders, also try to ascertain whether they would exercise their franchise or not.

Padyatra are also in vogue, led by candidates with supporters and drummers in tow. Some candidates have even engaged street theatre groups to enact plays in busy market places to highlight the problems faced by the people and their ingenious solutions to these problems.

Technology savvy candidates have latched on to cable TV and the SMS. Others find the telephone directory handy for conveying the political message.

With the exam season on, many make it a point to wish the students and the parents at the school gate.

Sources in the BJP and the Congress said the party workers have been asked to assess the political undercurrents for the purpose of formulating the campaign strategy.

With no major issue likely to swing voters or trigger a wave, the Big 2 are trying their best to ascertain which way the pendulum will swing.



ASP to probe school thrashing incident

The Additional SP, Mr Sanjay Kumar, has been asked to probe allegations of a students being beaten up by a teacher of the Delhi public school (DPS). The police have lodged a case under section 342 of the IPC against the teacher and the manager of the school.

The complaint was lodged by the mother of a student of the fifth standard. She had alleged that the teacher gave her son a beating and locked him in a room as punishment, after she had complained against the teacher to the principal on an issue concerning studies. The district police chief wants the ASP to conduct a probe before taking any further action. On the other hand, the school management has described the allegation as baseless. TNS

One dies in shootout

One person was shot dead accidentally by a friend in Dadri yesterday. Three friends were examining a country-made revolver after a bout of drinks. There was a tussle as to who would handle it first. In the confusion, the loaded pistol went off, killing Brijender Singh Chauhan, 24. The person who fired the gun accidentally is absconding.

9-year-old kidnapped

A nine-year-old boy has been kidnapped from Vijay Nagar police station area. The kidnappers have, through a letter, demanded Rs 10 lakh to free the child.

Drunk kills infant

A dead drunk person killed his brother’s granddaughter by hitting her against a stone. He later threw the body of the child into a pond. The body of the child was recovered by the police from a pond in Arthala area of Sahibabad. OC


Presence of Vikas sought in Jessica case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
A letter of request for the presence of Vikas Yadav in the Jessica Lal murder case was today sent by a Delhi Court to the Ghaziabad Chief Judicial Magistrate. Vikas, son of Rajya Sabha MP DP Yadav, is lodged in Dasna Jail, Uttar Pradesh, in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Nitish Katara, son of an IAS officer. Additional Sessions Judge R L Chugh decided to this effect after Vikas Yadav’s counsel moved an application for issuing his production warrant to Dasna Jail authorities in Ghaziabad district, which was supported by prosecution counsel.



Panipat phones hit

Careless digging, allegedly carried out by a contractor of a private telecom company, has disrupted the telecom services in certain parts of Panipat since March 16 night. With the cutting of the OFC cable opposite the Main Telephone Exchange in the Sukhdev Nagar, over 15,000 subscribers are out of the touch with the outside world. TNS



1071 colonies unauthorised in Capital 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, March 18
There are about 1071 unauthorised colonies in the Capital with an estimated 30 lakh people residing in them, informed the Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

He said the Government of India has filed guidelines for the regularisation of these colonies in the Delhi High Court. The High Court has restrained the government from regularising any unauthorised colony till further orders. Mr Dattatreya also informed that the High Court has constituted a coordination committee under the chairmanship of a Secretary to look into the relocation of squatters. This committee has conceived a pilot social housing project involving construction of multi-storey flats.

The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has reported that in compliance with the orders if the Supreme Court, sealed premises are being reopened to permit the removal of belongings, raw materials and machinery.

The Rajya Sabha on Monday was also informed that review committees have been set up to scrutinise requests for de-sealing. The Minister informed that till January 22, 2002, appeals of 720 sealed units came up before the Review Committee, which recommended the de-sealing in 520 cases. The de-sealed premises can be used for residential or other purposes which are in conformance to the Master Plan Delhi 2001.

The Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr Shahnawaz Hussain on Monday informed the Lok Sabha that a number of works have been undertaken to upgrade passenger facilities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the Capital. He said that the terminal building has been connected to visitors lounge and the existing arrival hall has also been modified to provide for increased claim length of the six conveyor belts.

To overcome congestion in the check-in hall, the existing glazing has been shifted towards the city side and the flooring in the arrival and departure terminals has been changed to enhance the ambience.

The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr Jagmohan informed the House that Rs 631.40 lakh had been released by the Department of Tourism, Government of India, to help the Delhi Government undertake tourism projects.

The Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr T.R. Baalu, informed the Lok Sabha that to check air and water pollution, a comprehensive policy for abatement of pollution control has been formulated. Effluent and emission standards for industries have been notified under the Environment Act, 1986, to check pollution.

Apart from this, financial assistance is provided for the construction of Common Effluent Treatment Plants in small-scale industries. He added that steps have been taken to control pollution from 17 categories of highly polluting industries.

Moreover, industries have been required to install necessary pollution control equipment before commissioning of their plants.

Mr Baalu added that a financial assistance amounting to Rs 221870,000 has been provided to the Delhi Government to help undertake projects to curb pollution in the city.

The minister also informed that the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has carried out random inspections of fuel quality at the fuel dispensing stations, oil depots and tank lorries in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The Centre for Science and Environment analysed fuel quality inspection data and reported 26 per cent failure of petrol samples subjected to adulteration test, testing methods designed for fuel quality monitoring were inadequate to detect adulteration and reduced level of Sulphur content in petrol from oil depots and retail outlets when compared to the level of refineries.

The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Mr A. Raja, informed the Rajya Sabha that there are 64 mobile health vans for the poor residing in 430 large jhuggis clusters and efforts to augment the same are underway.



Fiscal bungling afflicts Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 18
The lack of discipline in most of the departments in Noida and the resultant increase in the financial crimes has brought into focus the working, fiscal control and accounting system of various departments.

In recent days, some anomalous cases pertaining to the trade tax, banks, water department, telecom in Noida came to light which show that the officials had been misusing their positions. Many of them were guilty of even embezzlements. Action has been taken only in a few cases.

Sunil Verma, an assistant accounts officer in Noida, instead of depositing the money in the authority accounts, chose to keep the money, Rs 2.92 lakh with him for about two years.

Sunil Verma is posted in the anti-encroachment wing of Noida. He is understood to have used this amount in constructing his house.

The fraud came to light after two years when it was discovered that the amount he had entered in the cash book as deposited in the Noida account had never been deposited in the official bank account. When he sensed that the cat had been out of the bag, he immediately deposited Rs 98,000 in the authority account.

A case of fraud was registered with the police and Sunil Verma was placed under suspension. On March 10 this year, Rs 1.20 lakh and on March 12, Rs 1 lakh have been deposited in the bank on behalf of Sunil Verma.

Interestingly, Noida has not been able to find out the actual amount that Sunil Verma has embezzled. The police have arrested Sunil Verma and sent him to jail. Noida is learnt to be preparing a case for Sunil Verma’s dismissal.

An official, N.C.Aggarwal of the UP Power Corporation has gone even one step ahead. A cheque was issued by the Power Corporation in Sector-3 in the name of a private company for Rs 2.92 lakh. However, instead of handing over the cheque to the company, it was deposited with some “over writings” to the account of his own son by Assistant Engineer N C Aggarwal.

The Power Corporation had to file a case in Sector-20 police station, Noida, against N C Aggarwal, now posted in Agra and his son. Though some unknown person had deposited Rs 2.92 lakh in Vijay Bank account of the Power Corporation the same day, N C Aggarwal was suspended from his job. The departmentalised inquiry is continuing against the suspended officials.

In another case, pertaining to the Power Corporation, a sum of Rs 5.92 lakh was to be deposited in the Power Corporation bank account. But, it was deposited in a private saving account.

The amount remained in the saving account for 18 months.

The account holder had even withdrawn Rs 3.45 lakh from this account for his personal use. An inquiry is on in this case also.

A telecom department was being fleeced by a gang in Sector-15. The gangsters made foreign calls. The bills for these calls would even be wiped off in the exchange record. This gang was being headed by a sub divisional officer B. Saxena of the telecom department who has since been arrested along with his associates.

This group is credited to have fleeced the department to the tune of Rs 10 crore. Another similar case is under investigation in which 275 phone lines of ISD have been grossly misused.

One official of the trade tax department, Noida, who had to deposit Rs 3 lakh in the official account had absconded with the money. He had been arrested and sent to jail but police could not recover the government money from him.



‘I want to help the Punjabis by giving them a 
broad outlook’
J T Vishnu

Prithipal Singh Bedi
Chelmsford Club General Secretary Prithipal Singh Bedi

He is a man of different feats - from horse racing to providing education to the deprived sections of society. Many have heard about him,but very little is known about the different facets of this industrialist, who just does not shy away from social service.

And, to honour his contributions, a hall has been dedicated to his name in the prestigious Chelmsford Club. And the former Prime Minister, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, inaugurated the P S Bedi Hall.

Prithipal Singh Bedi, Honorary General Secretary, Chelmsford Club, is quite well known among the Punjabi community. He has been actively associated with all social and business houses in the last two decades. Mr Bedi is also the President, Delhi Race Club and served as Director of PSB international and Kwality ice cream.

He has been bestowed with many awards like the International Excellence Award by the former Prime Minister of India, I K Gujral and ‘Punjab Ratan Award,’ by Hillary Rodham Clinton, former first lady, United States of America and the present Governor of New York at the Millennium Punjabi Convention in New York, 2000. He was also awarded with Jashne Bedi, by Delhi Governor and Guru Govind Foundation award by the Delhi chief minister in 1992.

Born in a rich family at Derababananak in Gurudaspur, to a landlord father, Bedi was educated in Lahore and Delhi. In an interview with NCR Tribune he said, “I want to help the Punjabi community by giving them a broad outlook.”

What are the activities of the International Punjabi Society and how does the society helps the Punjabi community?

The International Punjabi Society Khalsa tercentenary educational foundation was basically started to help and promote the education of children in schools, colleges and other institutions by means of giving scholarships, payment of fees in centres providing books to study. We also grant aid for the establishment and maintenance of educational and vocational institutions, schools and colleges. Besides, we promote sports activities and encourage young Punjabi sports persons and cultural activities. The Society has centres all over the world in London, New York, Vancouver, Edmonton, Singapore and Bangkok, to encourage the NRI Punjabis.

The society also encourages to the NRI Punjabis. We honored recently the former Prime Minister of British Columbia Dosanj and Lord Swaraj Paul in London, both are NRI Punjabis. The present cabinet minister in the Canadian government, Herb Dhaliwal, was also honoured recently. Besides, we help other Punjabi people in visa matters, resolve their family problems by counselling them from time to time.

What had been the Society’s contribution to the welfare of 1984 riot victims?

We have done our best to rehabilitate the 1984 riot victims in Delhi, like visiting them and taking care of their needs. Currently, we are in the process of adopting a separate village in Punjab to accommodate the riot victims with all facilities. We are also planning to open schools and colleges for their children. I still remember those black days when the Punjabis were put to extreme pain.

You must be succumbing to pressures by influential people to issue the membership in your club?

I strictly go on merit for issuing memberships in the club. I have never misused my authority till now and my main aim is to promote this club as the top club in Delhi. We have a screening process and the person has to clear the first interview. Then we recommend that very person to the Managing Committee for the final approval, which finally clears the membership. At present, we have space problem in the club and we are planning to have a mini golf course in Chelmsford Country Club in Meharauli in Gadaipur.

What are the activities of the club?

The Chelmsford is one of the leading clubs in Delhi, and is a non-political social and cultural organisation, where members with their family enjoy and participate in various cultural programmes, sports and recreation activities. The club has place to play Tennis, Squash, Snooker and Billiards and the Swimming pool here is considered one of the best in Delhi. The club has 4000 members and had donated Rs 15 Lakh, to the Prime Minister’s relief fund to help the Kargil victims.

Could you say something about the P S Bedi Hall?

The former Prime Minister of India, Mr I K Gujral, inaugurated the P S Bedi Hall in Chelmsford Club in 1997, in recognition of my work to this club. The Managing Committee of the club unanimously decided to christen the hall in my name. I have been associated with this club for more than two decades and done enormous work to bring this as the top club in Delhi. The hall has a capacity to accommodate more than 150 persons and various programmes, seminars and cultural activities take place time to time.

What are the activities by Indo-Japan and Indo-Thai friendship organisations?

These institutions are represented by the Union Cabinet Ministers and the Ambassadors of the respective countries in India. We organise various social and cultural programmes every year and there is also a youth exchange programme, where students of these countries visits the other country to know the traditions and cultures.

You have been an active promoter of horse racing in Delhi?

I have been actively involved in promoting horse racing for the last 15 years. I introduced the inter-venue races during off-season and various competitions like the ‘President of India Cup,’ has been organised. We get a great support from various banks and business houses. The revenue collected in the form of taxes to the tune of Rs 3 crore, every year goes to the NCT of Delhi government. There are about five All-India horse races organised every year in Delhi, sponsored by the breeders and owners.

But there was a PIL filed in a court that horse racing encourages gambling and it should be banned?

The PIL was filed in Madras. But, the Supreme Court’s double bench, headed by Justice Kuldeep Singh, cleared that misconception stating that horse racing is not a gambling but a ‘game of skills’. This misconception still persists among many people that this is a gambling game, but they should understand that this is just a game. Those who posses the skill wins and those don’t loose the game. 



PHD programme to augment water supply 
in Panipat
Our Correspondent

Panipat, March 18
Under its water supply augmentation plan, the Public Health Department(PHD) has launched a crash programme to augment water supply in 104 villages and Panipat, as well as Samalkha Municipal towns of the district, with the aim to make available 70 litres of water per day per head. According to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, out of 176 villages of the district, the augmentation work in as many as 40 villages will be completed by the end of current financial Year. The water supply in the rest of 64 villages will be completed by the end of next year.

Out of these 64 villages, the augmentation work in 34 villages would be financed by the NABARD with allocation of Rs 13.2 crore, the Deputy Commissioner said on Monday. He added that the work in other 27 villages was being executed under the Chief Minister’s “Sarkaar Aapke Dwar” programmes.

The construction work of a drain from Joshi Minor up to village Kurana was in progress to augment canal based water supply in the remaining villages.

The Deputy Commissioner claimed that though at present 70 litres per day per head water was being supplied in Panipat town, there is a need to maintain sufficient supply of water, keeping in view the increasing demand of the town in future.

Similarly, to augment supply from 54 litres to 70 litres per head in Samalkha town, the Central Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs 2.10 crore for the installation of four new tubewells, the construction of which was likely to be completed this year. Besides, the estimates for other 52 schemes has also been sent to the government involving estimated expenditure of Rs 9.17 crore.



Public help sought to check graft
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 18
The District Authorities have appealed to the residents to cooperate in its endeavour to check corruption and bring transparency in the work of various departments. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, in a press statement said here today that the administration provides licences and no-objection certificate (NOC) in several matters including starting a cinema hall, a brick kiln, ration depot, outlets for selling oil and lubricants, fire crackers, starting a beauty parlour and trading in solvents.

He said any person dealing in such items should go through the related formalities and ensure that no illegal activity was carried on.

He said his office would entertain any complaint regarding delay in issuing various licences or NOC or demand of hush money from any resident. He has assured prompt action against such complaints.



Stolen cars, jewellery recovered in Rohtak
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 18
The police recovered four stolen cars, a motorcycle, a scooter, an autorickshaw, iron pipes and jewellery. A police spokesman said an accused Rajesh, admitted his involvement in the theft of four cars which were later recovered by the police from Pali district in Rajasthan. The police have already arrested four accomplices of Rajesh- Dharmender and Bijender of Gohana, Jaipla of Aanwali village and Ashok of Lijwana village. As many as eight stolen cars had been recovered from their possession.

Woman, girl Killed

A woman and a minor girl were killed in different road accidents in the district during past 24 hours. Ms Sonu of Gandhra village died and seven others were injured when a tempo carrying them collided head-on with a truck near Asthal Bohar village on National Highway 10 on Sunday evening. In another accident, a minor girl died on the spot when a car ran over her near Ismaila village on National Highway 10 on Monday.

Training camp

Nearly 130 farmers from this district and adjoining areas participated in a training camp on “Soil and Water Consolidation” as a part of agricultural intensification programme organised by Krishi Vigyan Kendra under Haryana Waters Resources Consolidation Project on Monday. The courses included ‘Importance of Soil and Water testing,’ ‘Soil Fertility,’ ‘Integrated Nutrient Management,’ ‘Irrigation Requirement and Weed Control’ in different crops and ‘Economics of Different Crops.’ The topics were discussed in detail by Dr B. K. Suneja, Dr I. S. Dahiya, Dr B. C. Sethi, Dr R. S. Panwar, Dr Y. P. Malik

Fire in Refinery

A minor fire was reported in a unit of the Panipat Refinery here on Sunday night. According to information available, the fire was reported in the air duct of the vacuum distillation unit furnace of the refinery. Several fire tenders were pressed into service to put out the blaze, which was brought under control in a short period.

No loss of life was reported. No other unit has been affected and the functioning of the refinery is normal and there was no cause for worry, claimed Mr Noorana, Deputy Manager (Public Relations). However, as a precautionary measure, the unit has been put “under circulation”, he added.

Driver beaten

Driver of a school bus who tried to stop some youths from eve-teasing students of a school at Hathin was beaten up. One person has been arrested in this connection. It is reported that the group had been making indecent comments against the girls. Shabbir Khan, the driver of the school bus was beaten up by these boys, when he objected to their behaviour on Saturday. A case has been registered against them, stated to be residents of Reendka village.

Armyman cremated

Mortal remains of army personal Rakesh Kumar was consigned to flames at his native village in Lowa Khru here on Monday. His body was brought here from Rajouri sector of Jammu where he laid down his life fighting against terrorists. Martyr Rakesh (22) was recruited to Grendier Core of the Indian Army two and a half years ago. He was unmarried and had joined duty after completing his yearly leave on March 12, where he died in an encounter with terrorist on March 16, while on patrolling duty in the Rajouri sector. He is survived by his mother, two brothers and his father, an employee of DTC.

Fund released

The Haryana Government has speeded-up the work for the construction of toilets in each government school in this district. According to a report, the work will be completed by the end of the current month. There were 453 primary, 74 middle, 120 high schools and 70 senior secondary schools in this district. The district administration has released Rs 2 lakh for the construction of toilets in 19 primary and 12 government middle schools in the district.

Eye operation camp

More than 100 persons suffering from various eye diseases attended a camp organised in the Aggarwal Dharamsala here on Sunday. According to a report, as many as 212 patients were selected for operations. Of these, 110 patients would be given lens facility.

Anti-Polio camp

As many as 202 patients suffering from the polio disease were examined by a team of specialists at a one-day anti-polio camp organised at Ganaur town, 16 km from here on Sunday. According to a report, at least 60 patients will be operated in due course.

Membership campaign

The ‘Alipur Biradari’ of this city has decided to launch a membership campaign for strengthening the organisation. Mr Ashok Kumar Chandna, senior vice-president of the ‘Biradari’ told mediapersons here on Monday that the campaign will continue till Baisakhi.

The ‘Biradari’, he said, will hold a function on the Baisakhi day and it will be attended by delegates from the neighbouring states like Delhi and U.P.

Copying menace

There has been no improvement in the use of unfair means by the examinees in the on-going annual X plus 2 examinations held by the Board of School Education, Haryana.

It is alleged that the authorities concerned have completely failed to put a stop to the use of unfair means during the examination.

Employees assaulted

Ram Kumar, an employee of a dhaba sustained serious injuries when he was attacked by the owner of another dhaba and his associates at the dhaba on the G.T. Road near Murthal village, 8 km from here on Sunday night.

According to a report, the injured employee was working in the dhaba when he was attacked with lathis and other weapons. According to another report, five persons under the influence of alcohol assaulted one Madan Lal, an employee of a dhaba and injured him seriously outside the general bus stand here on Sunday night.

Dhayan Sadhna shivir

A three-day Divya Adhayatmik Satsang Samaroh and Dhayan Sadhna Shivir, in the memory of late Ram Chander Girdhar, a social activist, will commence on March 19 on the premises of the Girdhar Regency on the Atlas road in this city.

According to a report, a well-known saint, Dr Swami Divyanand `Bhikhshu’ Ji Maharaj of Tapovan Hardwar, will perform the yog and dhayan sadhna during the camp which will conclude on March 21.

Theft in temple

Thieves are reported to have taken away bells and the tape recorder from the Shaniji Maharaj temple near the subzi mandi here on Sunday night. According to a report, the stolen bells were found in the Ramlila ground on the Sonepat-Kami road. 



Tempo turns turtle; 10 injured
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
At least 10 persons were injured, two of them seriously, when a tempo carrying them overturned on the Sonepat-Kakroi Road here last evening.

According to a report, the tempo was packed to capacity and it was on its way from Bhadana village to the city.

The tempo driver lost control resulting in the overturning of the tempo. The injured persons were identified as Ms Bimla, Ms Parkasho, Ms Kitabo, Vikki, Kuldeep Kumar, Vinod, Bijender singh, Krishan, Om Parkash and a two-year-old child. All the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where two seriously injured persons, Vikki and Kuldeep, were sent to a Delhi hospital.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were on. The tempo driver, however, managed to escape.

According to another report, a truck loaded with sugarcane was overturned on the BST road at Ganaur town, 16 km from here on Sunday night. The poor condition of the road is stated to be the main cause of the accident. The driver, however, escaped unhurt.



Yoganand Shastri relieved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
“Relieved” at being given a clean chit by the Lokayukta in the inquiry conducted into allegations of corruption in Delhi Consumer Co-operative Wholesale Store, former Civil Supplies Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi, Dr Yoganand Shastri, on Monday said the “episode was a political vendetta … a conspiracy hatched by political opponents within and outside the party to tarnish my political and social image and reputation.”

The Lokayukta had in his order dated February 5 absolved Dr Shastri of all the allegations. Justice R.N. Aggarwal had held 11 hearings over six months and after examining voluminous records and recording the statements of individuals had dropped the proceedings and closed the inquiry. Dr Shastri had been axed from the Sheila Dikshit Ministry last year on the allegations of corruption. 



Two arrested for shahtoosh smuggling
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police have apprehended two Kashmiris in the Jangpura area on Sunday night who were in Delhi to sell Shahtoosh shawls. The police have recovered 80 shawls worth Rs 50 lakh from their possession. Sources revealed that the minimum price of a Shahtoosh shawl is Rs 80,000 and can go up to Rs 3 lakh, depending on the quality of the shawl.

Acting on a tip-off that a few Kashmiris are looking for some customers to sell shawls, the Special Cell sleuths under the supervision of ACP L. N. Rao laid a trap near the DAV school, Jangpura Extension and nabbed the two persons. They were later identified as Fiaz Ahmed Parray (37) and Ghulam Nabi (44), both resident of Srinagar and living in Malviya Nagar.

A case under the Wildlife (Protection ) Act, have been registered against them and Wildlife officials of the Delhi Government were informed. On sustained interrogation, they revealed that they purchased the shawls from M/s Gani Brothers of Srinagar for selling them in Delhi.

The police said that a large portion of “Shahtoosh” from Tibet is smuggled to production houses in Kashmir through Nepal, and sometimes through Pakistan. Shahtoosh is the undercoat or down wool of the Tibetian antelope or Chiru. It is extracted by shearing or combing the hides of dead Chirus. It must be stated that “Chiru” is protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and all hunting and trade of this type has been banned.

Shahtoosh is smuggled by concealing them inside gasoline tanks, stuffed into sleeping bags, mattresses and jackets. When raw Shahtoosh reaches India, it is transported by land, rail and air by a network of specialised smugglers, either directly to Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir or via Delhi, where it is sold to Kashmiri traders, said the police.



Krishan Dichao gang member confesses to double murder
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 18
Sanjay Taygi, a member of the Krishan Dichao gang and who was on two days remand, has reportedly confessed his involvement in the double murder cases in Chhudani and another in Bahadurgarh. He would be presented in the local court on Tuesday.

According to police sources, the Modi Nagar police arrested Sanjay Taygi in Delhi recently. A dreaded gangster, who was active in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and neighbouring states, he had been reportedly involved in several cases of murder, robbery and dacoity in this region. The police sources here said that during investigations, he admitted having been involved in two separate double murder cases.

He was involved in a murder case in Chhudani village in which two persons, Vicky and Anil, were shot dead on September 18.

In another confession, he disclosed that he also shot dead Surender, another criminal from Tandaheri village, in the police custody near the DSP office in Bahadurgarh last year when he was being brought back after an appearance in the local court. A policeman also died in the shootout.



Alleged rapist arrested 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
North-West district police arrested an auto rickshaw driver, Lokesh (18) who had allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl. The suspect took the girl forcibly to his house in Rohini where he raped the girl. The victim narrated the story to her parents who informed the police. The suspect was arrested from Rohini, police said.



Myanmar envoy to look for business opportunities
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
Mr U Kyaw Thu, Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar, will visit here on March 25 for exploring the possibility of business in agricultural sector as well as the small and medium business enterprises.

According to official sources, the visit of the Ambassador followed the invitation sent to him by Mr I D Verma, Secretary General of Indo-Myanmar Friendship Society Haryana.

On his arrival at the HSIDC complex at Kundli village along the Haryana-Delhi border, Mr U Kyaw THU will inspect some industrial units and interact with the businessmen.

However, in the afternoon, the Ambassador will visit the Atlas Cycles, the largest bicycle manufacturing concern in the country and its sister concern, Milton cycle Industries Limited.

Thereafter, he will visit Jagdishpur village and the Dagar Mushroom Farm at Akbarpur Barota village and will see the progress in the agriculture sector.

The Ambassador will leave for New Delhi in the evening.


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