Friday, March 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Four die in Sarojini Nagar fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
Four persons, including two women and a two-year-old child, were killed in a fire which devastated a dozen shops in the Sarojini Nagar main market in South Delhi this morning. The victims were identified as Devika (30), Ritu Wadhera (32), two-year old Sunny Wadhera and Narain Das (65).

While the exact loss was being estimated, the authorities said that property worth at least several lakh of rupees could have been destroyed in the fire which broke out at about 8.20 a.m.

It took more than two hours and 17 fire tenders to douse the flames and prevent the blaze from spreading to the adjoining flats and shops in the popular south Delhi market. There was complete panic in the market and the adjoining residential flats as smoke billowed out of the shops and engulfed the entire area. Panic-stricken residents rushed out of their homes and tried to save whatever valuables they could as the police cordoned off the area to facilitate fire-fighting operations.

The police said that a case had been registered and efforts were being made to ascertain the cause of the fire, which reportedly started from a furniture shop at about 8. 20 a.m. and within minutes spread to other shops, finding ready inflammable material in the form of wood and garments. Some of the shops, which also have their godowns there, were closed as the owners were yet to open the shutters for business.

Many of the shopkeepers came to know about the fire only when they reached the market. Most of the victims claimed that they had been ruined as almost the entire merchandise had been destroyed, either by the fire or by the water which was used to douse the flames.

The Delhi Fire Service officials said that the first call was received around 8.20 a.m. and the first tenders arrived there within a few minutes. Additional fire tenders were rushed to the spot when the fire was declared as major. It took the fire service personnel more than two hours to bring it under control, though several pockets continued to smoulder till about noon. “Our main concern was to prevent the fire from spreading to the residential flats,’’ a senior Fire Service officer said.



They perished in bid to save father-in-law
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
All the four persons killed in the Sarojini Nagar fire belonged to one family and apparently died while trying to save their aged 65-year-old father-in-law, Mr. Narain Das, who was also physically challenged.

According to the residents, the four members of the Wadhera family were trapped inside their first floor flat when the fire broke out in the ground floor shop and also engulfed the staircase. There was complete panic as the neighbours yelled at them to get out. The two daughters-in-law, Mrs. Devika and Mrs. Ritu, who were present in the flat tried to help the old man out but since the stairs were also on fire, they were overcome by smoke and the flames. Two-year old Sunny, who was unable to come out himself, clung to his mother and perished. All the four bodies were subsequently recovered by the Delhi Fire Service.


The ‘wedding’ was not her cup of tea
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, March 21
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Shiva Sharma, has granted bail to Ms Poonam, mother of Sumit Parkash, who has been charged with forging the documents of his marriage with Ruby Gupta, a law student of Maharshi Dayanand University. According to the prosecution, Sumit Parkash met complainant Ruby Gupta on January 21 in front of the Yamuna Girls Hostel of the university and requested her to have a cup of tea at a restaurant near the university gate.

At the restaurant, Sumit Parkash administered something in tea. Ruby fell unconscious soon after drinking it. The complainant further alleged that she regained consciousness in the evening and found herself in the hostel. Later, accused Sumit Parkash sent her certain documents declaring that the complainant had married him at Arya Samaj, Bhogal, New Delhi. Ruby Gupta further stated in her complaint that she had neither consummated the marriage nor was she aware of any such marriage. She said that fake photographs of marriage and other papers were prepared by the accused who had already extorted Rs 1 lakh from her parents.

Mr Ruby Gupta also stated that her diamond ring and chain had been taken away by Sumit Parkash who told her later that they were disposed of and the money was used for the wedding expenses. It was also alleged by the complainant that the accused Sumit Parkash, Vipin Kumar, Vipin Kumar’s wife, Sumit Parkash’s mother and some other persons were running a racket and luring the innocent girls into modelling who were then exploited.

Denying all the allegations, Ms Poonam argued that complainant Ruby Gupta was a major and was a student of LL.B. (second year) at Maharshi Dayanand University. Ruby Gupta had of her own accord swore an affidavit on January 19 before Mr G. R. Meena, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Kotwali, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi. She also produced her date of birth certificate. Thus, the wedding of complainant Ruby Gupta and Sumit Parkash took place on January 21.

Thereafter, Mr Poonam said, the complainant withdrew from the company of Sumit Parkash under pressure of her parents. Subsequently, Sumit Parkash filed a petition for the restitution of conjugal rights. The petition is still pending. Granting bail, the Additional Sessions Judge said that the marriage certificate issued by the Arya Samaj Mandi show that the wedding was solemnized on January 21. Several photographs have been placed on file and their careful study shows that the complainant was not under the effects of any intoxicant and was in her full senses and happily participated in the various ceremonies as also in the photo-session. These photographs show that the complaint was quite cheerful. It all goes on to prove that no pressure was exerted upon her by anybody.



Four persons who interacted with Natasha identified
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
The police today claimed to have identified at least four persons, two of them employees of the hotel, who were perhaps the last few to have interacted with Natasha Singh before she met her death in the early hours of Sunday morning on the first floor terrace garden of the Hyatt Regency hotel here. The police sources said that all the four had been questioned and their statements recorded. These sources also indicated that all the four found her a little “disturbed” but at that time thought it could have been because of the liquor she had consumed. However, the police refused to reveal the identity of these persons as they were still in the process of verifying their statements. Meanwhile, the police teams, assisted by specialists from the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, were trying to ascertain Natasha’s financial condition following reports that she had been borrowing heavily from friends and her husband because of lack of a regular source of income.

The police said that she was earning very little from her photography assignments and this could not have sustained her life style. There were also reports that the estranged husband had only recently loaned her a substantial amount. ``All this could have added to her mental stress”, a senior police officer said.

The police said that they were still waiting for the report of the analysis of the viscera from Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL). The viscera was referred to the CFSL to ascertain the amount of alcohol and sedatives.



Building by-law violators to be let off the hook
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 21
There is good news for hundreds of violators of building bye-laws here. The Municipal Council of Panipat is all set to regularize the “illegal constructions” in the city. In yet another populist decision, it has decided to withdraw court cases against 300 violators and give them another chance to get their building maps endorsed.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Building Branch on Wednesday. At the meeting it was decided that a team of the Building Branch would visit New Delhi to study the criteria adopted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to regularize “illegal constructions”. The MCD has reportedly adopted the criteria with a view to give maximum relief to the people .

Under the new plan, the violators would be required to deposit their building maps with the MC, which in turn would clear the revised maps. However, the building owner would be required to shell out “penalty” for the area encroached upon.

The step is aimed at reducing corruption in the Building Branch, according to Mr Sanjay Bhatia, the MC Chairman. The scheme would also put an end to the harassment of over 300 persons, against whom the council had initiated court proceedings under Sections 208 and 209 of the IPC. It may be recalled that recently one of the violator was awarded 6 months’ imprisonment by a court.

The maximum relief would be given to building owners, Mr Bhatia said, indicating that demolition of the “illegal constructions” was not on the agenda of the council.

The scheme would also be open to over 150 violators, who had been issued notices but the court proceeding against whom were yet to initiated. Asking the public to avail of the opportunity, Mr Bhatia, however, warned of strict action against future violations.

When asked about the illegal construction in the city, Mr Bhatia appealed to the owners of such buildings to get their them approved from the council.

The MC populism does not end here. It is also considering a proposal to give approval to hundreds of “rejected” building maps at its meeting to be held on March 26.

The MC populism notwithstanding, the decision is fraught with dangers. While the MC decision may draw kudos from violators, the safety of the building would be in question. In a city where people care two hoots for building bye-laws, the MC decision may encourage violators to further take law into their hands.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the MC has written to the Haryana Government, asking it to regularize several colonies which had come up in the city in violation of the Town Planning norms over the last several years. Though they enjoy “regular” status with proper water and power supplies, yet the MC did not get a single paisa by way of house tax from these colonies.

As such a large number of houses cannot be demolished, the best option is to regularize them, so that the MC can earn revenue by way of house tax and other levies, the sources added.



Mass copying in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 21
The first day of the matriculation and intermediate examination of the Haryana Board witnessed ‘copying’ on a large-scale in the district. While over 50 students were booked, the police arrested several anti-social elements engaged in helping the examines. The police even had to resort to a lathi charge at an examination centre at Badoli village, after a mob gathered and pelted stones.

According to reports, `mass copying’ was observed in the majority of centres located in the rural areas and in about 50 per cent centres in the urban belt.

Each centre had hundreds of persons standing outside and many of them were seen supplying answers to their friends inside. While several teams raided these centres, they could not curb the menace in an effective manner.

The centres where outside interference was rampant included: Dayalpur, Dhetir, Dheegot, Sarai, Chandhut, Korali, Bahin, Palwal, Prithila, Hathin, Banchari, Mindkola, Manpur, Tigaon, Kheri Kalan and Hodal. Shortage of police staff and presence of a large number of persons outside the centres led to a chaos-like situation, according to the Board sources.

While some of the centres remained unchecked, at least 50 cases of unfair means were booked. About 20 persons were arrested from Hodal and Palwal on the charge of helping the examinees. While one youth was arrested at Badoli, six others were booked by the police for pelting stones under sections 148, 149, 353, 332 and 506 of the IPC. One youth, identified as Vinod, received bullet injuries, allegedly in police firing. The police denied the allegation and claimed that some anti-social elements had opened fire from a country-made weapon. It is alleged that the staff on exam duty at some of the centres was involved in facilitating ‘copying.’

A team of the flying squad of the Education Board was also stoned at Hodal examination centre. The police had to cane the mob.



Gurgaon decides to get its sex ratio right
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, March 21
The local Health Department has decided to give more teeth to its measures for enforcing the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act,1994. The head of the crack team, constituted by the Health Department, Dr Vishesh Kumar, a child specialist, lamented that the public was not forthcoming in its drive against pre-natal sex tests and other violations of the Act. To ensure community participation, the department has decided to organise a mass awareness programme on the issue.

According to sources in the department, the Supreme Court has put the state governments on notice, insisting on effective implementation of the Act. The apex court is especially perturbed over the sliding male-female ratio in Haryana. (The last census put the ratio at 1000:820).

This, in turn, has turned the heat on the health department which fears that the sliding ratio could create several incongruities in the society. According to experts on sociological jurisprudence, this could surely lead to adoption of unethical and unnatural practices. Given the current pace of industrialisation, the trend could have a telling effect on the moral fabric of the society.

Taking this into cognizance, the Supreme Court, responding to a Public Interest Litigation(PIL), had directed the Civil Surgeons of all the states and the Union Territories to effectively implement the provisons of the Act As per the Act, it is mandatory on the part of the gynaecologists serving in the Genetic Counselling Centres to register themselves with the government. The onus is now on the Genetic Clinics to register themselves as well as the ultra sound machines used in their premises. The genetic laboratories also need to register themselves.

A couple of days ago, the district’s medical chief, Dr N.K.Jain, convened a joint meeting of the local units of the Indian Medical Association, the Indian Radiological Association and the Gynaecologists Forum to enlist their cooperation for effective implementation of the Act. The government has warned of a no-holds barred approach against any violation of the rules.

The Health Department claims that so far it has received applications from 68 Genetic Counselling Centres, of which 54 have been registered. It further claims that Gurgaon is the only district in the country to register such centres. During its drive, 46 genetic clinics were also registered in the district.

Criminal cases were registered against four genetic clinics and in one instance the doctor was recently put behind bars. The other three doctors obtained anticipatory bail. Eight doctors were given show-cause notices and let off after a strict warning. The licenses of the other two were suspended for seven days.

In the latest instance, a raid was conducted by the crack team of the Health Department and three more doctors have been issued show-cause notices.

On account of the satisfactory implementation of the Act, the Health Department recently honoured Dr Vishesh Kumar and Dr R.K.Chugh - members of the crack team - with a cash reward and citation certificates.



Body of abducted youth found
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, March 21
The Ghaziabad police, who could not trace 20-year-old Manoj Sharma abducted on February 24, today confirmed that the youth had since been killed. His body was found from the Shamli police station area in Muzzafarnagar district today.

The SP (City), Dr Ashok Kumar Raghav, said today that Manoj Sharma had been killed on February 26, two days after he was kidnapped, even though his family members continued to receive calls demanding Rs 6 lakh as ransom from the kidnappers. They, apparently, kept up the facade so that they could collect the ransom amount from the hapless Ram Avtar Sharma, Manoj’s father.



MCD to shift to accrual method of accounting
Signs MoU with ICAI-ARF to move away from 
cash-based system
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India – Accounting Research Foundation (ICAI-ARF) to shift the present cash-based accounting method to the modern accrual system of accounting which contributes to good governance and better financial management.

This is the first research-oriented project being undertaken by the institute in the field. The MOU aims at providing for conversion of the present accounting system to the accrual system, computerisation of its accounts and training to various categories of accounts personnel.

The MOU was signed on Wednesday between Mr Ashok Chandak, president of the ICAI-ARF, and Mr S. P. Aggarwal, Commissioner of the MCD. The MOU will pave the way for obtaining private funding as well as bilateral and multilateral funding for the corporation’s civic services such as waste disposal. To convert the accounting system from the cash to accrual basis, it required amendments to relevant legislation and bye-laws, Mr Aggarwal said.

Meanwhile, Mr Chandak said that the major weakness of the cash-based accounting method was that there was no distinction between capital and revenue expenditure. Another big weakness related to the timing of recognition of revenues, expenses, gains and losses.

He said that traditionally, the government departments in the country had been generally following the cash basis of accounting. Under this system, transactions were recorded when the related cash receipts or cash payments took place. Thus revenue (for example from property tax or water charges) was recognised when cash was collected, he said.

Similarly, expenditure on acquisition and maintenance as assets used in rendering services as well as on employee remuneration and other items was recorded when the payments took place in the present method. A statement of assets and liabilities might or might not be prepared.

On the other hand, Mr Chandak said, the accrual-based accounting attempted to record the financial effects of the transactions and other events of an enterprise in the period in which they occurred rather than recording them in the periods in which cash was received or paid by an enterprise.

Explaining the process of the MOU, he said that the ICAI-ARF would undertake the project in two phases. In the first phase, the institute would convert the accounts at the MCD Headquarters to the accrual system as well

computerise it. In the second phase, the same approach would be applied to the 12 zones of the corporation.

The first phase is to be completed by March 31, 2003. The first balance sheet of the MCD under the new system will be taken out by this date. The Union of India had filed an affidavit in a writ petition in which one of the suggestions made was that the urban municipal bodies should be persuaded to shift from the existing accounting systems to the double-entry accounting system to pave the way for obtaining private funding as well as bilateral or multilateral funding for the civic services.

While considering the matter, the Supreme Court, in its order on December 13, 2001, had indicated that it would proceed on the basis of contentions in that affidavit, in case no objections were filed.

According to Mr S. P. Aggarwal, while the issue of private funding related to the future and the immediate aim was to merely change the accounting system, such funding could be by way of bonds. Some municipal bodies such as the Kolkata and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporations had gone in for bonds subscribed by the public.

Mr Chandak said the first generation economic reforms that took place in the 1990s had brought out a significant change in the perception about the role of the government — be it the central government or a state government or a local government — in the national economy. Simultaneously, the need was also felt for making governments more accountable for their actions.

The second generation financial reforms had reinforced that need. There was, however, a general scarcity of financial reforms at all levels of government, Mr Chandak said.

He, therefore, underscored the importance of presentation of accounts in commercially acceptable formats leading to possibilities of raising funds from the markets and transparency and accountability in terms of financial statements.

Flaws in cash accounting

*No distinction between capital and revenue expenditure.

* Revenues, expenses, gains and losses are recorded only when cash receipts or cash payments take place.

* A statement of assets and liabilities might or might not be prepared.

Why accrual accounting

* Records the financial effects of transactions and other events of an enterprise in the period in which they occur.

* To help in obtaining private as well as bilateral and multilateral funding for the corporation’s civic services such as waste disposal



BJP, Cong steady their sails
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
As campaigning enters the closing stages ahead of Sunday’s poll, both parties have got down to assessing the “feedback” and are working out “course corrections” in wards, where necessary. While the BJP is counting on the “silent” voter and the “firepower” of the smaller parties that are in the fray, the Congress is determined to hold out on its own, though it is having to overcome the hurdles posed by rebels in key constituencies. The party expelled two more rebels on Thursday.

The slanging match between the Congress and the BJP, however, continued for the nth day with both parties hurling accusations of misuse of official machinery and violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The BJP on Thursday accused the Congress of “inducting” anti-social elements with a view to creating disturbances. “They have taken up positions in various wards and might resort to bogus polling,” said a senior leader of the party.

During the last two days, said party president Mange Ram Garg, incidents of violence had been reported from Ashok Vihar and Sagarpur and 12-odd persons arrested for bootlegging. Fearing violation of the Election Rules and the Code of Conduct, the party has approached the Lieutenant Governor, the police commissioner and the Election Commission and sought their intervention.

The Congress camp, on the other hand, not wanting to risk becoming complacent in the wake of favourable opinion polls, has expelled two more rebels who were contesting from ward Nos 94 and 133. Congress Spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had issued eviction notices in Rohini and other areas in spite of Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar’s assertion that demolitions would not be carried out.

After concentrating their efforts in East Delhi areas over the past couple of days, senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, on Thursday went around the resettlement colonies addressing election meetings. The smaller parties were not to be left behind as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) made last-minute efforts to make a “dent” in the outcome of the polls, reaching out to voters in as many wards as they could cover.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) held an emergency meeting to review the arrangements for the polling day. Besides Jathedar Avtar Singh Hit, the meeting was attended by all office bearers, executive committee members and members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. Highlighting the co-ordination between SAD (Badal) and the BJP, Hit introduced a resolution that was passed unanimously on continuing with the “old alliance” with the BJP and supporting each other’s candidates in the civic polls. Hit later met with the BJP leaders at the latter’s office and held mutual discussions on the election arrangements. 



More women in Delhi Police soon
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, March 21
On the basis of the recommendations of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, the government had decided in principle to suitably increase the number of women police personnel in a phased manner, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, informed the Rajya Sabha today.

He said that there were 1,852 posts sanctioned for women in the executive cadre of Delhi Police. While one woman holds the post of ACP, there were 62 inspectors, 171 sub-inspectors, 246 assistant sub-inspectors, 355 head constables and 1,017 constables who are women. In addition to this, there were 562 women police personnel working in the non-executive cadre. Mr Rao also informed the Rajya Sabha that the Delhi Police had removed 9,448 encroachments from the footpaths in 2001 and arrested 10,873 people in this connection. Though the removal of encroachments was the responsibility of the civic agencies, the Delhi Traffic Police took action against the encroachers to ensure the free flow of traffic, he added.

As many as 5,800,683 out of 8,707,531 electors in the NCT of Delhi were issued defect-free Identity Cards by the Election Commission, the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley, informed the Lok Sabha today. A sum of Rs 424,45,61,710 has been released so far by the central government to the states/UTs towards reimbursement of their share of expenditure on the scheme of electors’ photo identity cards. Answering a question on whether the government has plans to put the proceedings and other day-to-day information of cases taken up in the high court on the Internet, Mr Jaitely said that it was the court’s prerogative to do so.



Train passengers going through hellish experience
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 21
A large number of passengers, mostly office-goers and schoolteachers, have been facing hardships for the last three years owing to the change of racks of 1 DPM and 4 DPM passenger trains by the Railways.

According to several commuters, the Railways had replaced the racks of these trains with ordinary ones, which have resulted in delays in their journey between Delhi and Sonepat, a distance of 48 km only.

The two DPMs leave Delhi at 12.50 pm and Subzimandi at 1.10 pm and arrive between 2.45 pm and 3 pm, instead of the arrival time at 2.10 pm. The running time of these trains between Delhi and Sonepat was only an hour whereas it had been taking about two hours almost every day.

According to commuters, these trains are held up on the way in a bid to allow the long-distance mail and express trains to pass through. This has become a routine causing a lot of inconvenience to the passengers.

On March 19, these trains were held up at Badli railway station to allow the Amritsar-bound Flying Mail (4647 UP) to pass. They were again held up at Holembi Kalan and Narela for allowing the Ambala-bound Bathinda Intercity Express, an

Amritsar-bound superfast and the Sachkhand Express to pass through the area, delaying them for more than two hours. Finally, the trains reached Sonepat around 3.15 pm. Some passengers alleged that the replacement of the racks of these trains was the main reason for the delay.

The trains cannot achieve the running speed, attained on the EMU racks, on the new ordinary racks.

Now the trains are running behind schedule for about an hour daily on account of the replacement of the racks as well as the practice of holding up the local trains to make way for long-distance trains. As a result, the passengers, especially schoolteachers and students, never reach their destinations on time. Repeated complaints made by the passengers to the railway authorities in this regard have fallen on deaf cars.



Sarpanches lining their pockets via
grain-for-work scheme
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 21
The Kam Ke Badle Anaj (grain for work) scheme to give grain to
the labourers in villages in exchange for work has proved to be a boon for the corrupt sarpanches and officials concerned.

The scheme was floated by the Central government so that the buffer stocks of grain could be properly utilised. However, there are a number of complaints of embezzlement and other irregularities in the implementation of the scheme.

According to a report, Ashok Kumar, sarpanch of the Luksar village reportedly sold the stock of grain that he had lifted from the Food Corporation of India at Bahadurgarh in the Anaj mandi at Najafgarh. The vigilance departments as well as the SDM at Bahadurgarh are investigating the case. According to confidential sources in the SDM office, the sarpanch is found guilty in the case and a vigilance inquiry is still on.

Eight members of his own panchayat have detected the case and filed the complaints to the deputy commissioner, alleging selling of grain and misuse of his office. According to the complaints, the sarpanch was released two lots of the grain on January 18 and January 24.

After loading the lots in the tempo, the sarpanch hired a tempo and drove off to the Anaj Mandi in Najafgarh. He reportedly sold the grain on the same dates; 19 quintal and 86 kg sold off at Rs 12,160 and 23 quintal and 32 kg sold off at Rs 14,320.

While the SDM Bahadurgarh confirmed the sale of grain stating that during inspection of the gunny bags containing the grain, each bag should be weighed 50 kg while the bags in his possession had weighed nearly 70 kg, indicating that the bags were refilled.

On the other hand, the officials of the block development and the panchayat office maintained that the sarpanch was innocent and a victim of village politics. The sarpanch, Ashok Kumar said that he was being implicated as he belongs to Dalit community.

It may be mentioned that the post of sarpanch of the village is reserved under the Scheduled Caste quota. A similar case of Kulasi village has also come to light where the grain released under the same scheme was sold in the mandis. The SDM has taken up the matter and started investigation.



JD(U) flays hike in MLAs’ allowances
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 21
The Haryana unit of the Janata Dal (United) has criticised the hike in allowances of the ministers and the MLAs.

The party chief, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, in a statement today described the hike as “unwarranted” and only a burden on the state exchequer.

He said while the term of the session of the state assembly had been inadequately short, the majority of the time “was being wasted on unnecessary issues and the problems which need to be addressed are given the go-by”. He said it was amazing that the resolution regarding the hike in allowances got passed unanimously and no one tried to assess the performance of the representatives of the people.

He also criticised the presentation of free laptops to each MLA. He said some of the MLAs were not properly educated and could not handle such an item and it was only a financial liability on the people in an indirect manner.



UK police donate Rs 1.75 lakh to Prayas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
The South Yorkshire police of the United Kingdom, which is at present in the Capital to attend an Indo-British police conference, donated 2,500 pounds (Rs 1,75,000) to Prayas, an NGO (jointly run by Delhi Police) for street and slum children. The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire police, Mr Michael Hedges, presented the cheque to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Additional Coordination), Mr Amod K. Kanth, at a cultural show on Wednesday night.

“It is very impressive to witness what the police in Delhi have done for the betterment of children. It is a very small amount but we would like to contribute towards this noble cause,” said Mr Hedges.

The cultural show put up by Prayas children was an impressive visual treat ranging from fusion Punjabi dance to Rajasthani folk and western dances. A play, ‘Sapna’, was also showcased by the children about their dreams of a family life.

Earlier, a documentary on the history and current programmes of Prayas was screened at the function. Prayas, which started with 25 children in 1988, looks after 50,000 children.



Farmer electrocuted in Rohtak
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 21
A farmer, Rameshwar (65), was electrocuted at Kasar village today. According to information, he had gone to the field to harvest mustard crop. He touched the barbed wire fencing around the field in which there was electricity supply. He died on the spot.

The body of the farmer was noticed by his wife who reached the field after some time. It is learnt that an electricity transmission wire broke and fell on the fencing wire charging the fence with power.

In a similar incident, a minor boy received burns when electric current flowed into his house located at nearby Nidana village today. According to reports, a high-voltage transmission wire passes very close to the house which often touches the house and poses a serious hazard to the occupants.

Girl missing

A teenaged girl of Tej Colony here has reportedly been missing from her house since Wednesday. Mr Baldev Raj, father of the girl, stated in a complaint that his 18-year-old daughter was a student of BA (Ist year) at Government College for Women here and had gone missing. It is learnt that she was mentally disturbed.

Auto spares stolen

Three incidents of theft have been reported in the district during Wednesday night. Unidentified thieves broke open an auto spare parts shop located at Sonepat Stand here and decamped with three engines of autorickshaws.

In a separate incident, thieves made away with a black and white television from a hotel at Chamanpura village. In another incident, thieves stole Rs 6,000 and some pieces of cloth from a cloth shop located in the Gandhi Camp locality here.

Clerk remanded

A senior divisional clerk (SDC) of the Canal Department, who was arrested by the police on Tuesday on the charge of taking bribe, was sent to 14-day judicial custody today. The SDC, Shiv Charan, was caught red-handed by the police while receiving illegal gratification of Rs 300 from a class IV employee of the same department for reducing the amount of his monthly instalment of GPF.

Scribes angry

The newly formed Panipat Journalists Association today served a 24-hour ultimatum on the police to withdraw a “false” case filed against four local journalists. At a meeting here, the association, while condemning the registration of the case as “false and motivated”, urged the police to withdraw the case immediately.

It may be recalled that the SP, Ms Mamata Singh, had assured a delegation of the journalists on March 18 that the case would be withdrawn soon. However, nothing had been done so far.

Body found

The body of Avtar Singh, a resident of Dera Bassi in Patiala district of Punjab, was found by the police this morning from near the G. T. Road. The deceased, an electrician working in a factory at Mohali in Punjab, was probably run over by some vehicle on Wednesday night.

Student assaulted

Rakesh, resident of Khewra village and a class XII student of Hindu Senior Secondary School, sustained injuries when he was attacked with knives and other sharp-edged weapons by some motorcycle-borne youths outside the school on the Sonepat-Dewru road here on Wednesday.

According to a report, the alleged assailants also fired at him but he escaped unhurt. Thereafter, they assaulted him with knives and other sharp-edged weapons and fled on the motorcycle.

It is stated that the injured youth along with another student, Vikas, was on his way to the school when he was waylaid and attacked. He was rushed to the local civil hospital where he is stated to be out of danger. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. A hunt is on to apprehend the culprits involved in this case.

Chautala’s visit

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is arriving here on March 31 to address a meeting of the INLD workers. According to a report, the office-bearers of all the party cells will take part in this meeting. The main aim of the visit is to redress the grievances of the party workers at all levels.



New timings for sweeping welcomed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
Welcoming the change in timings for sweeping in 46 colonies in the Capital from morning to evening, Member of Parliament Chhatra Pal Singh urged the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, to do the same in other colonies too.

There are thousands of colonies in the Capital where brooming roads are swept in the morning, which is the peak time of traffic with students and office-goers come on the road. The dust generated from sweeping causes asthma, bronchitis and breathing problem, the MP said. 



Boy stabs mother for having illicit ties
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 21
A woman, Harsi (45), was allegedly stabbed to death by her son, Saket Ali, in their house in Idgah Colony here on Wednesday night.

According to a report, the alleged culprit had a quarrel with the mother about her illicit relations with another man and thereafter he assaulted her with a knife and inflicted multiple stab wounds. These resulted in her death.

The police have registered a case against the alleged assailant on the complaint of Mr Mohamad Omar Azad, husband of the victim. A hunt is on to apprehend the culprit.

In another incident, the Sadar police have registered a dowry death case against the members of the husband’s family of Meenu (22) who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her house at Shahzadpur village, 6 km from here, on Wednesday.

Mr Ram Mahar, father of the girl and a resident of Ehigan village, lodged a complaint with the police saying that his daughter, who was married to a youth

Tanjit of Ghahzadpur village two years ago, had been harassed and beaten up by her husband and other members of her husband’s family for not bringing adequate dowry all these days. He also suspected that his daughter was strangulated to death by her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law and other members of their family. Investigations are in progress. No arrest has been made in this connection.



Racket in forging postal franking marks unearthed 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
With the arrest of Gajender Kumar Sharma, Y. K. Sharma and Dinesh Sharma who have allegedly caused loss of lakhs of rupees to the Postal Department, the CBI today claimed to have unearthed a racket in forging franking marks on envelopes and parcels.

The suspects used to tamper with meters of franking machines and use forged dyes of the machines to mail bulky annual reports of a leading business house in Faridabad, spokesman of the CBI said.

M/S Abhishek Enterprises, a licensed agent, took up jobs of franking and posting annual reports of 2000-2001 of the business house to its shareholders.

The business house handed over 89,000 copies of annual reports for franking and posting to their shareholders. For this, the business house handed over 16 demand drafts to the mailing agent amounting to Rs 14,59,657, which were in favour of the Senior Post Master in Ghaziabad.

The suspects, employees of the mailing agent, in connivance with officials of the Postal Department opened three savings accounts in Kaushambi Post Office and Mukund Nagar Post Office in Ghaziabad district. The amounts of the 16 demand drafts were deposited in these accounts and subsequently the money was siphoned off.

The investigation disclosed that the mailing agent posted the envelopes, containing the annual reports of the business houses, after franking them with forged franking dye through Ghaziabad Post Office instead of posting them through Authorised Post Office at Delhi.

A number of such envelopes containing fake franking impressions have been seized. During searches conducted in Delhi and Ghaziabad, the CBI seized franking machines along with the forge dyes.

Tools used in opening the franking machines and tampering with the seals affixed on the machines were also seized, the spokesman said.



Two RPF cops die in mishap
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
Two cops of the Railway Protection Force reportedly died on Wednesday night when their scooter was hit by a Honda City car from behind in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg area.

Both Inspector Ashok Kumar, resident of Mahawat Khan Road, and Sub-Inspector Raj Kumar, resident of Modi Nagar, were declared brought dead in JPN Hospital. The IP Estate police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and arrested the car driver.

Liquor seized: As part of the ongoing drive against bootleggers, the North-West district police arrested four bootleggers from different areas on Wednesday and seized 25 bottles of country-made liquor, 870 quarter bottles of IMFL and 240 pouches of country-made liquor.

They were identified as Mangtu, resident of Azadpur, Shabbo, woman resident of Jahangir Puri, Rameshwar alias Petu, resident of Bahuyan camp, and Jasmer, resident of Sonepat (Haryana). They were arrested by Adarsh Nagar, Jahangir Puri, Kanjhawala and Shalimar Bagh police respectively on Wednesday.



Vehicle thieves at it in Faridabad 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 21
Thefts of vehicles in the town seem to be going on unabated. Two motorcycles and a dumper truck have been stolen in the past 48 hours.

A dumber truck of one Ajay Yadav was stolen from Sector-16, Tubewell here. In the same sector, a motorcycle (HR 51-J-9024) parked inside was stolen by some persons who broke open the main gate of the house.


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 |