Thursday, March 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Cong wins hands down, lotus wilts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
Delivering a body blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress swept the civic elections, winning by a comfortable two-thirds majority and wresting control of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The BJP was trounced in its strongholds across the city with the Delhi Mayor Shanti Desai, a senior Delhi BJP leader, losing the Chandni Chowk ward. And Chairman of the Standing Committee, Prithviraj Sawhney, losing from Janakpuri.

With this victory, the Congress now attains a unique position of controlling both the civic body as well as the government of the National Capital Territory. The BJP had 80 seats in the outgoing corporation. The civic polls were termed as a referendum for the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government.

Victory-fresh faces: Congress leaders (from left) Sajjan Kumar, Sheila Dikshit, Subhash Chopra and Kamal Nath during the press conference after the party’s victory in the MCD polls in the Capital on Wednesday. Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

The corporation elections are considered crucial in view of the Delhi Assembly elections due next year. Coming close on the heels of the losses suffered by the BJP in the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal and Manipur, the heavy losses in the Delhi Corporation, considered the BJP’s turf, is a major jolt for the party. Among the wards in Congress’ kitty, most of which it has wrested from the BJP, were Malviya Nagar, Greater Kailash-I and II, R K Puram, Vasant Vihar, Madipur, Subhash Nagar, Paschim Vihar, Tri Nagar, Keshavpuram, Shakurpur, Mantola, Madhu Vihar, Mahipalpur, Kamla Nagar, Sadar Bazar, Qadam Sariff, Kishan Ganj, Hauz Khas, Gandhi Nagar, Raghurbar Pura, Krishna Nagar, Jagat Puri and Bharat Nagar. It also won the Karam Pura, Ramesh Nagar, East and South Patel Nagar, Nanak Pura, Anand Parbat, Sewa Nagar, Sultanpur Majra, Saket, Maujpur, Pipal Thalla, Timarpur, GTB Nagar, Rana Pratap Nagar and Model Town wards. The Congress tally is substantially higher than the 46 wards which it won in the last corporation polls. Five others, who also won, included a husband and wife pair contesting on the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha tickets. While Mr Dayanand Chandela won from Khayala, his wife Dhanwanti won from Guru Nanak Nagar. Two independents – Ishwanti and Preeti – won from the Ishpur and Vivek Vihar wards, respectively.

This is the second time that elections are being held for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which was earlier a nominated body.

A jubilant Congress attributed its resounding victory in the civic polls to the positive leadership of the party and rejection of the policies of the BJP government and its draconian law POTA. “Our thanks to the people of Delhi for giving a resounding victory to the Congress Party in MCD polls. The credit for this sterling performance goes to the national leadership of Sonia Gandhi and the positive record of the Delhi Government,” party spokesman S Jaipal Reddy told reporters.

“BJP wins through manipulations in Parliament while Congress Party wins among the people through polls,” he said, adding that the MCD polls were significant as several national issues dominated the election campaign. “Ultimately people have realised that BJP can never be a proper ruling party,” he added. The BJP General Secretary Pyarelal Khandelwal today expressed surprise at the drubbing of the party in the Municipal elections in Delhi and said anti-incumbency was the main factor responsible for the party’s dismal electoral performance.

‘’Our effort is to find out why the voter is unhappy,’’ he said, adding that the party’s three-day National Executive commencing at Goa from April 12 would analyse the results of all elections, including Assembly elections to four States and local body elections in Mumbai and Delhi. Interestingly, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), which had contested on the Lotus symbol from five seats, won the Pratap Nagar ward. Mr Onkar Singh Thapar won the seat with a margin of over 2000 votes.



Cong leaders harp on their ability to govern
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
Having delivered a body blow to the BJP in the civic elections, a jubilant Congress said its emphatic victory signalled the beginning of the end for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Describing Congress’ victory in the civic polls as “historic,” All India Congress Committee General Secretary Kamal Nath said the “true” face of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been exposed. “Coming as it (Congress win) does in the backdrop of the Ayodhya episode, Gujarat riots and the debate over POTO, the message has gone out from the Capital that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi people are reposing faith in the party,” he told media persons. “Yesterday the prime minister, while addressing the joint session of Parliament, had said people were with him. Twenty four hours later, people have returned him a terse reminder,” Nath said, adding that the prime minister was surrounded by “sycophants.” Nath asserted that the Congress would deliver on the promise of good governance and effect a systemic change in dispensation. With the experience, vision and viewpoint of the Congress, he added, people in general and Delhiites in particular could rest assured of getting an able and efficient administration.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Congress had received the “unprecedented mandate” with humility and a sense of responsibility, too. People, she asserted, had given the Congress a positive vote in appreciation of the efforts of party legislators and the achievements of her government. “The Government of NCT of Delhi and the Corporation can now work in tandem to undertake development works,” she said. Chiding the BJP for having dubbed the civic polls as a referendum on her government, Ms Dikshit said the results were a warning for that party. Referring to the “abhootpurv parivartan” (unprecedented change) ushered in by Delhiites, she said the win signalled a Congress resurgence.

Attributing the Congress win to the achievements of her three-year-old government, the chief minister said the success of Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) Programme had enabled the party to wrest wards that were perceived as BJP strongholds. “The results prove that Congress enjoys the mandate of all sections of society – from JJ and slum clusters to urban colonies and rural outbacks to resettlement colonies.” Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Subhash Chopra said the dream of a clean and green Delhi that was promised in the Congress manifesto would become a reality after the party wrested control of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi with a thumping majority.

Scotching rumours of a rift in the party in the run up to the polls, Chopra said it were the achievements of the Sheila Dikshit Ministry and the concerted efforts of the party rank and file that had ensured a Congress victory. “The achievements of the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi,” he said, “played a decisive role in the elections. The results vindicate our beliefs.”

The party, he said, would effect a radical change in the functioning of the Corporation and begin to deliver results to the people very soon. The people, he added, had rejected BJP’s policies and shown an inclination towards the Congress based on its experience in governance and ability to deliver.



Middle class did not turn up: Garg
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
Acknowledging defeat even before the reality of the loss could sink in, Bharatiya Janata Party President Mange Ram Garg said the middle class did not turn out in full strength on the day of polling. “Our voters did not turn up at the polling booths in as many numbers as we had expected,” he said referring to the voter “apathy” and “anger” that were the highlights of these polls.

Garg, reluctantly though, conceded that the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha had antagonised the middle- and working-classes, particularly government employees. The rollback of price of cooking gas, he felt, came a trifle late in the day for the party to resurrect its image among the voters. He, however, also apportioned the blame to the uncertainty surrounding the court order on the freeze of rotation of seats. “People and candidates alike were not sure till the last moment,” he said.

Asked if he would own up moral responsibility for the debacle, Garg said the BJP believed in collective responsibility. “There is no question of my resigning (from the post)”.



11-yr-old sways votes for father

New Delhi
Even as the Congress swept the MCD elections, an independent candidate, Asif Mohammed Khan, who is currently lodged in the Tihar Jail, won hands down with a margin of over 15,000 votes in Ward 7 of Okhla. Khan is in jail ever since he was arrested for his alleged involvement with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). He defeated his nearest rival and Congress candidate, Shoaib Danish, in a triangular contest. As Khan was confined to the high-security central jail, his 11-year-old daughter Ariba fought a lone battle, campaigning on the behalf of her father.

With the battle lines drawn between the BJP and the Congress and star-struck voters flocking to catch a glimpse of tinsel town luminaries, Ariba’s solo effort alone swayed the voters. As the final results were declared, supporters of Khan took out a procession with a beaming Ariba carrying a small placard saying – ‘Thank You.’ In the run-up to the elections, Ariba sought votes for her father by invoking the good work done by him. “ The decision is yours. Please vote on what my father has done for the area. I will be grateful to you”. And today, the ballot box gave the verdict. TNS



Can NCERT comic books take on Chacha Chaudhri?
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, March 27
How do you tell a class of first generation learners, who belong to different age groups, that the learning process is not confined to the classroom but also extends to home? How do you explain the virtues of hygiene, simple values and the basics of science in lucid, coherent terms?

If the new NCERT methodology is anything to go by, there is hope for those who see informal education as an effective viable option in an otherwise straitjacketed and often insipid educational system. The NCERT has released a set of eight graphically illustrated comic books for the first generation learners, introducing them to the lessons that form the basics of education.

The books have been published and released after extensive research. “ It took two years for the books to hit the stands. Initially, the response to the books was not favourable; it took time to convince the NCERT officials about the viability of the comics. But when Prof. Rajput took over, it was decided that the books will be printed at the NCERT and used as a means of non-formal education”, said Prof. N.K. Ambasht, Chairman of the National Open School who was the head of the non-formal department of education at the NCERT.

The books are in Hindi and priced at Rs. five. The content is reader-friendly, so that the children can identify with the text and also understand it without any difficulty.

“We made sure that the children understand the language and identify with the characters and names. Attention was paid to the writing of dialogues. No complex and compound sentences were framed. I went through every word of all the eight comics. The entire team, including the dialogue writers and the artists, were instructed to make the books appealing and instructive”, adds Prof. Ambasht who led the project.

The comics are meant to be self-educative. “A class of 20 students and one teacher can be split into groups and each group can be given a book to read. Out of these eight books, four have questions at the back that test the students’ understanding of the text,” points out Prof. Ambasht.

So, if ‘Ladoo Raja’ teaches all about seasons, `Kaise Chamke Daant Nirale’ is all about the necessity of maintaining personal hygiene. The eight books are a perfect example of learning through fun. These books are meant for the students of class three and efforts are on to create similar books for students of class five as well. “We are trying to produce more such books, which encourage self-learning and also generate interest”.

As far as the marketing of the books is concerned, the NCERT has approached wholesale retailers. “ We have asked the wholesale dealers to pick up copies and pass them on to students and schools, where non-formal education is followed. These books are available throughout the country. In fact, they were released during the Book Fair in January this year,” adds Prof. Puran Chand, Head of the Publication Department, NCERT.

However, it remains to be seen whether these comics will meet the NCERT objectives. Or will the upmarket Archies’ and Chacha Chaudhri’s steal a march over them?



Militant behind CRPF camp attack nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police claims to have worked out last year’s CRPF camp attack case in Jharoda Kalan with the arrest of a Kashmir militant.

The militant, Mohammad Abdulla Mir, a resident of Pulwama in south Kashmir, was arrested on Tuesday evening from Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in the Azadpur area of North district.

The information of his arrest has been given to the Special Task Force, UP, as he was involved in a few terrorist activities there also. His interrogation is in progress, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), Mr Ashok Chand, said.

Mir is understood to have brought three Pakistani terrorists along with a huge cache of sophisticated arms, ammunition and explosive in a truck for carrying out the attack on the CRPF camp in October last year.

Four suspected terrorists had stormed the CRPF camp on the night of October 10 last year and killed a CRPF constable in indiscriminate firing.

The terrorists managed to escape, but AK-47 and AK-56 rifles, hand grenades and some ammunition had been recovered by the police during the search in a nearby forest, the police said.



Head warden shot dead on jail premises
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 27
About half a dozen criminals swooped down on the district jail in Bulandhshahar on Wednesday morning and killed the head warden in the jail compound. The assailants came in two Maruti cars, which were also used for getting away. In a swift operation, they fired a hail of bullets at head warden Ramesh Dubey, who was had just walked in to join duty. The district police chief, Rajiv Krishna, suspects the hand of dreaded criminal, Sensarpal, who was released from the jail two days ago, in the attack.

Sensarpal had been imprisoned just before the Assembly elections in the state. He had reportedly threatened Dubey in the jail.

Sensarpal is a close associate of dreaded criminal Jatan Sirohi; he was arrested by the police after an encounter. The IG Prisons, Prakash Chand, and the District Magistrate, Bulandshahar, Dimpal Verma, have rushed to the site of the crime. The criminals, who used 9mm weapons, fled in two different directions — one vehicle sped towards Sekanaderabad and the other towards Bulandshahar. The criminals, it is learnt, had wished another warden, Ramkhilari, who was walking a few steps ahead of Dubey. Though the police was on the look out for the two cars soon after the incident, the vehicles could not be traced. The hunt for the criminals is still on.



Reward on pahelwan’s head
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 27
The UP Police have announced an award of Rs 2,500 for the arrest of Sukhdev alias Pahelwan, the third accused in the Nitish Katara abduction and murder case. Pahelwan has already been declared an absconder and his property has also been attached by the Ghaziabad Police under a local court order.

According to SP (City) Ashok Kumar Raghav, it has come to light that Sukhdev Pahelwan and Vishal Yadav had obtained arms licences from Bulandhshahar district in an illegal manner. The Ghaziabad Police will be writing to the District Magistrate, Bulandshahar, and seek their immediate cancellation.

Pahelwan had given the number of a fictitious house in Luxmi Nagar in Bulandshahar for securing the licence for a double-barrel gun. Likewise, Vishal Yadav had procured the licence for a .30 bore pistol by giving a fictitious house number in Luxmi Nagar in Bulandshahar. The S.P. City said that the police will file the chargesheet in the Nitish Katara murder case in the court in a day or two. Both Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav, the prime accused in the Nitish Katara case and the son and nephew of Rajya Sabha M.P. D.P. Yadav, respectively, were present in the court which has placed them in 14-day judicial remand.



IT parks: Land demarcated
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 27
The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has taken a number of far-reaching decisions, including the setting up of a biotechnology park, an information technology park, an electronic library, a sports and cultural foundation and an international cricket stadium. The authority has also decided to hike the rates for residential plots.

The GNIDA will allow those who want to set up biotechnology units in the biotechnology park to use 15 per cent of the allotted land for professional uses, 20 per cent for public utilities and services and 15 per cent for residential purposes. The remaining 50 per cent of the land will be used for setting up biotechnology units. A total of 100 acres has been earmarked for the biotechnology park by the authority. The rate for this land will range between Rs 515 per square metre and Rs 570 per square metre.

Besides, the authority has decided to increase the prices of land in its residential and industrial areas while the rates for land for setting up a medical college will be reduced, Mr Brijesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, GNIDA, has said. According to Mr G. C. Chaturvedi, ACEO, Greater Noida, 21 proposals were on the agenda of the board meeting of the authority in all out of which the proposal to set up a biotechnology park was the most important.

Mr Chaturvedi said that Greater Noida was making all efforts to set up units in biotechnology and information technology disciplines. The GNIDA had decided to earmark 300 acres for the information technology park.

The authority will allot 10 acres at the rate of Rs 570 per square metre, 25 acres at Rs 535 per square metre and 25 to 50 acres at Rs 515 per square metre. The rates have approved by the board.

The ACEO said that status quo had been maintained with regard to the rates of industrial plots while those for the medical college have been reduced to Rs 750 per square metre.

However, for developed residential sectors, the rates have been hiked from Rs 2,800 to Rs 3,200 per square metre while for the new sectors, the rates have been kept between Rs 2,500 and Rs 2,800 per square metre.

A sports and cultural foundation will also be set up in Greater Noida to promote these activities. This foundation will also work for the setting up of an international cricket stadium in Greater Noida. This has also been approved in the board meeting.

An electronic library on the pattern of the library in India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, will also be set up in Greater Noida. The construction procedures and byelaws had also been simplified, the CEO added.



It’s cheaper to hit the bottle here
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, March 27
The liquor vend at Bapoli village, 7 km from here, is the hot spot for tipplers. Ideally located on the G.T. Road on the Panipat-Karnal border, the vend has been a favourite haunt of Bacchus lovers. The reason: The liquor prices are substantially lower here than in Panipat, an added impetus for regular drinkers to have “one for the road”.

And with liquor prices hitting rock bottom on account of stock-taking and due to competition from the liquor vends in Karnal district, the happy days are here again for the tipplers.

Such is the price difference between liquor sold in Panipat and in Bapoli, that a large number of people in Panipat prefer to go to the Bapoli for their daily quota. The rush for the “weekly” and “monthly” quotas has begun in the earnest, ahead of the end of the “discount” from March 31”. Why spend Rs 150 for a bottle at Panipat, when we can have the same brand for Rs 100 here,” reasons an inebriated Ravi Sharma, a salesman at a handloom showroom, sitting with his friend at the “ahata” sipping his favourite brand.

A visit to the Bapoli liquor shop by this correspondent revealed that the rush at this particular shop was not without reason. There was a difference of between Rs 30 to Rs 70 per bottle for the “regular” whisky. While a bottle of “regular” whisky was available from Rs 130 to 170 at Panipat, the same was available at a reasonable Rs 100 at Bapoli.

An employee of a vend informed that since the sale was on the higher side, the vend could afford less profit to compete with the liquor vends falling in Karnal district. It may be recalled that the “price war” between the vend falling in Karnal district and in Bapoli is a regular feature for the past many years.

With the onset of summer, beer drinkers have become habitues of this vend. A bottle of beer could be had at Rs 25 here as against Rs 50 in Panipat. To top it all, the “manpasand whisky”, a euphemism for the inferior quality whisky, is available at Rs 80 a bottle against a price of Rs 100 in the city.

As one crosses the vend from the Karnal side, one is greeted with the banners and hoardings flashing the rates of different brands of liquor, thus luring motorists to buy their quota. The “ahata” owner seems to be laughing his way to bank as the tipplers make a beeline for the place.

Slogans like the “Whisky is risky on the road” and “Do not mix whisky with driving” are given the go-by as the motorists gulp one more for the road.

Interestingly, some of the chronic drinkers can be seen making a fool of themselves while gulping peg after peg not at the “ahata” but at a nearby “rehri”. The high accident rate at the GT Road notwithstanding, tipplers had a good time at the vend. A majority of them are happy at the thought that they had saved a substantial amount on buying the ‘refresher’. Their only worry is whether the “happy times” would last after March 31.



Jhajjar youth who fell in love with Denmark coins

Jhajjar, March 27
Jhajjar and Denmark. There may not be anything common between them. However, the fondness of a Jhajjar youth for Denmark, located at the mouth of the Baltic sea in the western Europe, especially for the coins belonging to the ancient dynasties of that country, has brought them closer, in a way.

Neeraj Goyal has a special affection for Denmark. This affection gave birth to an interest in collecting more than a century old rare coins of that country. Even the compilers of Denmark, who were in contact with Neeraj via email, have admitted that his collection is rare. He has nearly 700 coins introduced by the successive kings who ruled after 1874 every year during their regimes with their stamps. The prices of these coins range from Rs 5 to Rs 5,000 in the international market

His passion for Denmark coins started after he saw a coin of that country with someone seven years ago. He began his search for the coins of that country. Then he came in contact with some Danish people through correspondence, who helped him in the campaign. Today, he has achieved quite a success. He also possesses a fairly good knowledge about the history of Denmark. He informed that the constitutional-monarchical system of governance was established in Denmark in 1849 and the decimal system of coinage was introduced in 1874 when the first coin of a small unit, which was called ore, made of bronze was issued. It is still in circulation and would be there until the Euro arrives in the country. Giving details about the various regimes and the coins of their times, Neeraj said that the there were two units of currency in Denmark: small which is called ore and large which is called kroner. He said that almost all the coins had an imprint of the facial picture of the contemporary ruler on the head side and mark of its national sign, Crown, on the tail side. The rulers introduced 23 types of silver coins and seven types of other coins made of different metals. All types of coins had its own classical imprints on it, he informed. The first-ever silver coin worth two kroner was introduced in 1888 under the kingship of Christian IX on the silver jubilee of his reign.

According to him, in a major turnaround, a coin weighing 31 grams and with a price of 200 kroner was introduced in 1990 on the occasion of the 50th birthday of Queen Margrethe II. This coin contained the picture of the queen in simple attire wearing a hat. Only seven silver coins of this type were released on special occasions. Another rare series of 200 kroner silver coins were introduced on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the queen’s rule in 1997. After the introduction of the Euro this year in Denmark, these coins could be seen only in the museums of that country.



Woman, child run over by train at Sholaka
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 27
A woman and her two-year-old daughter were after they were run over by a train in Palwal sub-division on Tuesday. The incident took place near Sholaka railway station. The victims have not been identified.

Meanwhile, the police have recovered 600 gm of opium and 500 gm of poppy husk from two persons near Saran village. About 600 pouches of illicit liquor were also seized.

10 booked under Dowry Act

At least 10 persons have been booked under the Dowry Act in two cases in the district. The police have booked six members of a family on a complaint by a married woman hailing from Babaka village in Hathin district. The accused are her in-laws and at present residing in Radka village of Mewat. Four persons, including a woman, have also been booked on a complaint by Ishrawati, daughter of one Deepchand of Aurangabad village.

Units sealed 

Two dyeing units operating in Sector 27 here have been sealed by the pollution control authorities for not checking air pollution. The Pollution Control Board had served notices to these units for not having their Air Pollution Control Measure (APCM) instrument in proper functioning order. Although the units had submitted a reply, the authorities found the response and the attempt to check pollution unsatisfactory.

ST evasion detected

The Excise and Taxation Department has detected 984 cases of sales tax evasion and recovered an amount of Rs 55.97 lakh in the form of tax and penalty till February during the current financial year in a special campaign.

A spokesman for the district administration today said the recovered amount included Rs 52.84 lakh as fine and Rs 3.13 lakh as sales tax. Besides, he said the authorities had detected 1,422 cases of passenger tax evasion and recovered an amount of Rs 76.96 lakh as revenue. He said 2,033 cases of goods tax evasion had been traced and Rs 74.21 lakh recovered. In addition, eight business establishments had been inspected and Rs 53.40 lakh, including a fine of Rs 35.82 lakh, had been recovered during the period, he said.

Suicide pact

A teenaged girl died and a youth was admitted to the PFIMS here after they consumed poison in the Saini Anandpura locality here today. According to information, Baby (18) consumed poison along with a youth, Prem, who had been living in her house on rent. The duo was noticed lying unconscious in a field at Chamarian village by some people who informed the police.

Boy crushed

An eight-year-old boy was crushed to death by a Tata 407 in front of the Pathania School gate on the Gohana road here today. It is learnt that Reetesh (8), a student of class 2, had gone to the school to get his results with his mother in an autorickshaw. As soon as he alighted from the autorickshaw, a speeding Tata vehicle ran over him. He was killed on the spot. The body was handed over to the parents after a post-mortem examination.

Drowned in canal

An employee of a bakery, Puran Ram, was drowned in the Benjohl canal. The accident when the victim was taking bath on Monday. His body had been fished out of the canal. Meanwhile, the decomposed body of a youth had been found from the fields of Ugra Kheri village near here.

Two die in mishap

Mr Tara Chand, a resident of Tihar Kalan village, died after he was hit by a speeding jeep on the Sonepat-Gohana road near his village, about 20 km from here, on Tuesday evening. According to a report, the seriously injured victim was rushed to the local civil hospital where he was declared dead. The police have registered a case against the jeep driver who is still at large. The victim was on his way to the village when the accident occurred.

According to another report, a cyclist was killed on the spot after he was hit by a tractor near Kheri Gujjar village, about 25 km from here, on Tuesday. The victim has been identified as Deepak (18) of the same village and he was employed in a private factory. The police have registered the case and launched a hunt to apprehend the tractor driver.

Another accident occurred on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road near the office of the Truck Operators Union on Tuesday evening when a youth, Rajinder, was hit by a truck and sustained serious injuries. He was immediately rushed to the local civil hospital.

Three attacked

Three members of a family were injured when they were allegedly attacked with deadly weapons by their neighbours at Baba Colony here on Tuesday. The injured persons have been identified as Mr Jagdish, his son Rakesh and daughter Lalita. All of them were hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. The police have registered a case against the alleged assailants who are still at large. A hunt is on to apprehend them. According to another report, a chowkidar, Krishan Chander, of the local employment office was injured seriously when he was attacked by some armed youths in the office in Sector 14 here on Tuesday. The alleged assailants, however, managed to escape. The police have registered a case against them.

The injured chowkidar, who belonged to Aghwanpur village, was immediately hospitalised. He is stated to be out of danger.



Brahma Kumari media meet
Our Correspondent

Rewari, March 27
A two-day media meet is being organised by the Brahma Kumaris Value Based Media Wing, in association with the Media Watch Group on March 30 and 31 at their Om Shanti Retreat Centre (ORC) near Bilaspur Chowk, Pataudi Road, about 30 km from Rewari, according to Brahma Kumari Asha, Director Programmes of the ORC.

She said that the meet would comprise plenary and interactive sessions on role, responsibility and empowerment of media persons to usher in a nobler life and society on this planet, particularly on the soil of Mother India.

She said that about 100 journalists from the print and the electronic media from Delhi and other adjoining states were expected to participate in the meet. Noted media personalities would highlight the role of media in the present socio-political turmoil in the inaugural session. Besides, the topic in the valedictory session on Sunday Afternoon would be “current trends and future prospects in the media world”.

The participants would be provided with the board and lodging facilities.



Armyman robbed in train

Sonepat, March 27
Mr Rajesh Kumar, an official of the Indian Army, was reported to have been robbed by some unidentified tricksters while he was travelling in the New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express between Jammu Tawi and Sonepat on Tuesday night.

According to a report, the official was going to his native Asawarpur village in the district on leave. It is learnt that the miscreants had offered him some biscuits and he became unconscious after eating them. Thereafter, the miscreants escaped with his luggage.

The Army official was helped down from the train by his associates and he remained unconscious for about two hours at the platform of the railway station. However, no official of the Government Railway Police turned up there. Finally, some persons rushed him to the local civil hospital. The medical officers of the hospital sent a message to the GRP about the incident. Thereupon, the GRP officials arrived at the hospital to record his statement but could not do so as the victim had not regained consciousness. According to another report, a youth armed with a knife inflicted injuries on a youth and allegedly snatched a motorcycle from him on the Khubru road in broad daylight at Ganaur, 16 km from here, on Tuesday.

The youth, Virender was on his way to his native Gumar village. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to apprehend the culprit who managed to escape. The incident has caused panic among residents of the town. OC



Doctor booked for siphoning off AIIMS funds 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
The head of the Department of Transplant Immunology and Immuno-genetics in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly siphoning off the hospital funds worth several lakhs of rupees. The CBI booked N. K. Mehra, head of the department, under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“We had carried out raids earlier and booked him for corruption,” Mr S. M. Khan, the CBI spokesperson, said. Mehra allegedly siphoned off the money with the help of other colleagues, Mr Khan said, adding, “we are still investigating and trying to find out who all were involved.”

Mr Khan said the funds were misappropriated from his department’s laboratory, which conducts various clinical tests. He said raids were conducted on March 21 after they found discrepancies in the laboratory’s accounts. “The day’s collection of testing charges were to be deposited by him in the AIIMS accounts department and cash receipts obtained from there were to be entered in the fund register of the laboratory,” Mr Khan said.

“We found that in 1998 and 1999, the testing fee collection was shown to be near Rs 2,70,000 while records revealed that the actual testing fee was Rs 3,30,000. We are further verifying the records.”

Boy falls in septic tank, dies: Rakesh (7), son of a labourer, died after falling in a septic tank in a Sulabh public toilet in the Ghazipur area in East Delhi this afternoon. He had gone to the public lavatory maintained by Sulabh International, an NGO, when he slipped into the tank which was reportedly open. Local residents fished him out, but by that time he had died. A case of death due to negligence has been registered, the police said.

Murder solved: With the arrest of two persons, the North-West district police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case where the body of a person who was found strangulated to death in a gunny bag on the main Kanjhawala road near Sector 23, Rohini on February 2. According to the police, the deceased, Banwari Lal, resident of Rameshwar, Sector 11, Rohini was strangulated by Shyam Singh (29) of Pandit Purva Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, and Mohammad Rabban (20) of Saeed Pur Khagriya because of personal enmity. During preliminary investigations, the police had found out that Banwari’s sister, Sunita, was married and used to live in Jaipur. With her relations with her husband becoming strained, she came back to Delhi and started living with her parents in Budh Vihar. Later, she started working in a bulb factory in Shakurpur. During this period, she became friendly with the main accused, Shyam Singh, who worked in the same factory and when Banwari and parents opposed to this affair, she started living with Shyam Singh in Vijay Vihar, who was already married with three children. Both lived for almost one year there. Later she was taken back by her husband. Irked by this and Banwari’s opposition to their affair, Shyam and his friend strangled Banwari to death on February 2.


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