Wednesday, April 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Ordinance ruled out, crisis to linger
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
With the Centre today ruling out promulgation of an ordinance, the chances of finding an early solution to the vexed CNG problem in the Capital seemed to be bleak.

‘’An ordinance cannot solve this problem,’’ the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, said after an hour-long meeting with the Union Home Minister, Mr L K Advani. Other leaders who attended the meet were Environment Minister T R Baalu, Law Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Vijay Goel, Delhi Lt Governor Vijay Kapoor and former Delhi Chief Ministers M L Khurana and Sahib Singh Verma, both MPs from Delhi. Curiously, former Chief Ministers of Delhi, Mr M L Khurana and Mr Sahib Singh Varma, who were all for an ordinance till yesterday, changed their stand today claiming that any legislation aimed at countering the Supreme Court order against diesel-run buses had to be proposed by the Delhi Government.

Both of them on Monday made it clear that all parties, including Congress, were being pressed to seek an Ordinance to allow plying of vehicles on low sulphur diesel. The two leaders said that the Centre was ready to supply the CNG required to the national capital, which was quickly rebutted by the Petroleum Minister who pointed out that “availbility of CNG is one issue while its dispensation is another.”

“It will take the Centre nearly one to one-and-a-half year to lay pipe lines for the dispensation of CNG,” Mr Naik disclosed. Disappointed with the Centre’s decision, the transporters blamed the Union and state governments of playing petty party politics at a time when the commuters and the transporters were facing an acute problem. “We are disappointed at the Centre’s decision. Now the Centre is passing the buck and blaming the State Government squarely for the transport crisis,” Mr H S Kalra, a member of the Joint Action Committee of Transporters said. He said: “Nobody is bothered about the problems faced by the commuters and the transporters. The state and the Centre should have risen above party politics and found a way out. But, this does not seems to be happening.”

Dismissing talk of an ordinance, Mr Ram Naik told reporters after the meeting that it was not possible to promulgate one during the recess period of the Budget session.

The minister said he would be meeting Mrs Dikshit on Wednesday to discuss how the Centre can help the Delhi Government cope with the crisis. Mr Naik said mainly three issues were decided at today’s meeting. First, the Centre would do whatever it can to implement the Supreme Court directive to increase the availability of CNG. However, increasing the CNG stations to the desired level could take a year or a year-and-a-half and the apex court would be apprised of the Centre’s stand on this at the next hearing on May nine.

Secondly, the apex court had directed that the supply of CNG to the transport sector be given priority over power, industry and fertilizers. This would need a change in policies and the Centre’s response would be presented to the court. If transport is given priority, the CNG supply to the new gas-based Pragati power station in the Capital would have to be cut. All this would be discussed with the Delhi Government also.

Thirdly, the apex court had made certain observations regarding the Centre. The Government would seek a modification after presenting the correct facts before the court, he added.



CNG duo make strange bedfellows
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
The CNG crisis may have proved a nightmare for thousands of commuters and harried parents of school going children, but for the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party it has come as a blessing in disguise.

For it has achieved what the party leadership could not - bringing the two former chief ministers of Delhi and arch rivals , Sahib Singh Verma and Madan Lal Khurana, to agree on some issue at least.

The two BJP stalwarts have been in the forefront of the effort to bring about some kind of reconciliation among the transporters and for some inexplicable reason have taken upon themselves the responsibility of lobbying with the Central government to bring about an ordinance or an executive order to provide for the use of an alternate non polluting fuel to run the beleaguered city’s transportation.

In the last two days, both of them have together met the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, Union Home Minister, Mr L K Advani, and other senior party leaders and Union Ministers to find a way out of the crisis. The unanimity has surprised many a political observer who has been witness to the tantrums of the two former chief ministers recently, particularly during the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and which probably contributed to the party’s dismal performance.

Mr Khurana distanced himself from the electioneering as the Centre had reportedly failed to fulfill his demands and the local unit leaders did not accommodate his supporters while doling out party tickets.

On the other hand, Mr Sahib Singh, confined himself to the Outer Delhi parliamentary constituency, the area he nurses assiduously. The party won only six wards out of 42 seats there, even though the former Delhi Chief Minister had placed his personal prestige at stake.

In a move to exert pressure on the local unit and the Central leaders, Mr Sahib Singh Verma had resigned from the party’s Vice President’s post owning moral responsibility for the Delhi debacle.

With the two leaders are jointly battling it out, the Central leadership of the party is expected to discuss the crunching defeat of the BJP in the civic polls in the national executive in Goa later this week. It is almost certain that the heads of several office bearers in the Delhi unit of the party would roll. The recent development has by no means gone unnoticed in the upper echelons of the party leadership and they are eagerly watching the moves with the fervent hope that this could be a precursor to a proper rapprochement between the two Delhi BJP stalwarts.



CM not to move SC, ball in transporters’ court

New Delhi, April 9
At around the same time as Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik ruled out the promulgation of an Ordinance permitting the use of alternate fuel, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit made it known that the Government of NCT of Delhi had jettisoned its plans of moving the Supreme Court for waiving of the penalty imposed on plying of diesel buses in the Capital. Ms Dikshit said it was the considered opinion of legal experts she consulted that transporters’ associations be allowed to make a prayer before the apex court if they so chose to and that the Government of NCT of Delhi could then extend its support to their appeal. “We will extend all possible help if they choose to move court,” she said.

Reacting to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik’s ruling out an ordinance, Ms Dikshit said it was not entirely unexpected. She asserted it would in no way affect the bus service and that her government was making efforts to improve the situation. “I am confident,” she said, “bus operators will resume the service after paying the penalty fixed by the court. The situation will improve within three to four days.” TNS



CM apprises Sonia of transport crisis 

New Delhi, April 9
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit accompanied by Transport Minister Ajay Maken called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi on today evening to apprise her of the transport situation in the Capital. The meeting lasted less than half an hour.

According to party sources, the CM briefed Ms Gandhi on the Delhi Government’s contingency plans in the wake of the Supreme Court order. “Ms Dikshit told the Congress president the steps the government was undertaking to improve the situation,” they told NCR Tribune. Ms Dikshit conveyed to Ms Gandhi that the situation had started to normalise and that things were better today than yesterday. Ms Gandhi expressed satisfaction with the government’s handling of the crisis. TNS



Schools to reopen; office hours may be staggered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
All schools will reopen on Wednesday after the two-day unscheduled closure. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Cabinet met on Tuesday morning and decided that the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will resume its school bus service. It was also officially conveyed that school timings will not be tinkered with although sources said the Government of NCT of Delhi had sounded out certain schools to prep one their afternoon shift by an hour.

While deciding against altering the school timings, the government has proposed that the office hours of Central government offices be staggered. Accordingly, Chief Secretary Shailaja Chandra has in a communique solicited the Centre’s views in this regard. Tentatively, the Government of NCT of Delhi has sought postponement by an hour of the office hours of officials who have to report by 9.30 am.

The State Transport Authority has in the meantime re-allocated routes to 960 CNG-driven Stage Carriages. The “rationalisation” of routes was done jointly by Transport Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Prof Jagdish Mukhi by a draw of lots. Mr Maken said there are 2,602 vacant slots for 48 routes in the Capital. “The process of allocation of second choice of operators, who have been allocated the routes, will take place on Wednesday,” he said.

The Transport Department would similarly draw and allot around 1,500 new CNG bus routes in due course of time for providing better transport service to Delhiites. The DTC Board, which met in the morning, ratified the Cabinet’s decision to purchase 1,000 new CNG buses. Chairman and Managing Director KS Baidwan told the NCR Tribune the Board resolution had been conveyed to the Government of NCT of Delhi. An estimated Rs 190 crore will be spent on purchasing the buses and constructing / revamping the sheds that would be required to park those buses.



Cops give the go-by to DIG’s orders
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, April 9
The protectors of the law seem to have become a law unto themselves in some parts of UP. The Ghaziabad police did not pay heed to the directive of their DIG, Meerut Range, who had ordered them to file a case against some 20 erring police officials, staff officer Ram Suresh Yadav of the Modi Nagar police station and a circle officer (DSP) who had allegedly abducted a person from Muzzafarnagar and implicated him in a case of stealing a scooter.

A.P. Bharadwaj, the then SO of the Kavi Nagar police station, is also indicted in the case, it is learnt.

Meerut DIG Arun Kumar had ordered the Ghaziabad SSP Prashant Kumar on February 20, 2002, to register a case in Modi Nagar police station against the guilty police officials.

However, some worthies had given the go-by to the DIG instructions for about a month. On being asked for an explanation, the SSP is reported to have asked the Modi Nagar police station to register the case and investigate the matter.

On March 31, a policeman in Modi Nagar police station was asked by the station incharge to file the case, but in vain.

The policeman concerned queried as to who would be shown as the complainant: Bejinder, the brother of the accused, the investigation officer or the DIG of the Human Rights Commission of UP.

Incidentally, Bejinder made a complaint that the Ghaziabad police team had abducted his brother Jetinder on April 11, 2000. Jetinder belonged to Kursali village under Babri police station in Muzzafarnagar district. After his abduction, Jetinder was shown to have been arrested on April 13, 2000, in Khanjpur village in Modi Nagar district after an encounter. A scooter and a countrymade revolver was shown to have been recovered from Jetinder.

The NHRC had asked the state DIG of State Human Rights Commission to get an inquiry conducted on December 5, 2000. The inquiry was entrusted to the SP, K M Duwedi of the complaint cell of the UP police headquarters.

The inquiry found that the Ghaziabad police had abducted Jetinder from his native village who was later implicated in a fake encounter. Duwedi had given his report to the police headquarters on February 25, 2001.

After this, the DIG of the UP Human Rights Commission had asked the DIG Meerut to take necessary action in the matter.



Blind navigators for all-woman car rally
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
A unique all-woman car rally with blind navigators is all set to be flagged off for the third year in succession on April 14. Organised by the Empress
Club, an all-woman club, in association with the National Association for the Blind, the rally, ‘Drive with Insight Challenge 2002’, is expected to showcase the grit and determination of not only the rallyists but also those of their visually impaired fellow navigators. An eye donation camp will also be organised on the day of the rally.

Around 100 cars are expected to participate in the event, to be flagged off from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Capital. The 65-km rally will culminate in the lush surroundings of Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida. Ms Kamayani Nagar, president, the Empress Club, said, “This is a platform to bring the visually impaired into the mainstream society as much as possible. The Drive with Insight Challenge 2002 is a step forward in the direction of bringing this cause of national concern to the forefront.”

For the convenience of blind navigators, the route map will be available in Braille. At the time of the flag-off, all the participants would be provided with rally kits containing notepads, pens, score cards, rally instructions and food kits.

The route would not be disclosed to any person till the car is being flagged off. There would be five rally booths situated all along the route at intervals of approximately 10 km each. Surveillance vehicles would be strategically located in between the booths for the purpose of monitoring the participants. Speed and time limits would be fixed for each stretch and the winners would be decided according to the penalty points system, common to car rallies. 



A baba who set many political careers rolling
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Ram Ram Baba.
Ram Ram Baba.

Rewari, April 9
Rewari’s revered Saint Ram Ram Baba, who voluntarily embraced death in 1973, is fast becoming a legend. By attaining a high degree of divinity through ceaseless ‘Nam Jap’ (recitation of Ram’s name), he attracted popular adoration at his own native place near here.

Born in a prestigious Brahmin family of Kamalpur village near Rewari sometime around 1905, he was called Udmi Ram in his childhood.

The turning point in his life was when he attained puberty. He married Man Kaur of Khandora village, about 20 km from here, who had lost one hand after the engagement. She died later even before the marriage was consummated. The final stroke came in 1945 when a little girl in his family had a terrible fall. As her mouth started bleeding profusely, Udmi Ram, instead of taking her to a dispensary for the first-aid, started recitation of ‘Ram Nam’. Irked by this, his nephew Jagdish Chander told him that his stay at home seemed futile and he should now go to some ashram and do ‘Nam Jap’ there.

These words were taken seriously by Udmi Ram who made the Shiva Temple of Bithwana village, a little away from his native Kamalpur village, his abode. There, he was completely absorbed in a non-stop silent ‘Ram Dhun’. It continued till he died in May 1, 1973.

With each day spent in silent intonation of ‘Ram Dhun’, the divinity in him began to bloom. From Udmi Ram, he became Ram Ram Baba. As the years went by, his fame grew. People from all walks of life started pouring in at his ‘Ram Kuti’ to seek blessings. One of them was Jagan Nath Sapra, a former president of Rewari Municipality. From a semi-literate tailor, he became a municipal councillor first and then rose to be the president with the Baba’s blessings.

Octogenarian Jagan Nath Sapra recalls that Rao Birender Singh also received Baba’s blessings just before the Haryana Assembly elections of 1967 when he visited the ashram. Rao Birender Singh went on to become the Chief Minister.

It may be mentioned here that Mr Om Prakash Chautala also had sought the Baba’s blessings before he became the Chief Minister for the first time.

During his stay at Ram Kuti, the Baba never accepted money or any other offerings from anyone. His diet was spartan. He never took grain, fruit or vegetables.

He lived on a small quantity of milk offered by his devotees. He used to take milk through his nose and that too when nobody was around him.



An Islamic treasure trove
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 9
The Maulana Altaf Hussain Halli Library, a treasure trove of rare Urdu literature on Halli, a noted poet and close associate of the legendary Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, has added another feather to its cap. It has become the only library in this part of the country to add the “Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam” to its rich collection.

The 26-volume encyclopaedia, compiled by the Department of the Urdu Encyclopaedia of the University of Panjab, Lahore, has been brought to the library through the Arif Book Depot, New Delhi, at a cost of about Rs 22,000. It is a part of the untiring efforts of Dr M.R. Haque, Administrator of the Punjab Wakf Board, the organisation that manages the library, to convert it into a centre of excellence for Islamic research, the librarian, Mr Bilal Ahmed, told the NCR Tribune today.

In fact, the encyclopaedia will prove to be a boon for the readers in general and research scholars in particular. Compiled by a distinguished panel under the leadership of Dr Mohammad Wahid Mirza, an eminent Pakistani Islamic scholar, the encyclopaedia is the storehouse of Islamic knowledge as a visit to the library revealed today.

Brief sketches of the important cities of the world and the Islamic religion find exhaustive coverage in the different volumes.

Who’s who of the prominent Islamic rulers and personalities finds a place of pride in the books. Meaning of typical Islamic words and the history of Islam have been dealt with in detail in the volumes, Mr Ahmed informed, adding that its first edition was published in 1973.

It may be mentioned here that seeing his quick wit and ability to compose beautiful verses, Mirza Ghalib had inspired Halli, a local poet, to take to “shayari” (poetry). Legend has it that Ghalib generally did not recommend poetry as career to the aspiring poets. However, he prodded young Halli to make poetry a career. You would be doing a great injustice to yourself if you did not become a “shayar”, Ghalib was reported to have remarked after seeing the draft of one of Halli’s poems. And for several years, the two poets maintained close relations and Halli is reported to have penned over 600 books.

Besides the encyclopaedia, the library has added several rare books written by Halli to its priceless collection. A 1954-printed book, “Kulyat Nazm Halli”, is reported to be edited by one of the sons of the poet, A. Ahmed. Interestingly the two-volume book was compiled by another prominent local poet Sheikh Mohammad Ismail Panipati.

Then there is the “Diwan-e-Halli”, containing the “shayari” (poetry) of Halli and its meaning. Compiled by Prof S.L. Gomar, this book was published in 1944, and give an insight into the different facets of the poet. “Qalam-e-Halli” brought out by the Taj Book Depot, Lahore, is the another prized addition to the library.

Written by Baseruddin, another book, “Waikagat Dar-ul-Islam” details the rise and the fall of Delhi in the history and contains interesting details and anecdotes connected with destruction and reconstruction of the historical city.



Samples of killer liquor sent for test
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
A joint team of the Crime Branch and West district police of Delhi today brought samples of liquor from Faridabad and sent them for examination after a number of death cases were reported from different areas of the Capital following consumption of liquor of some brands. The report is likely to be submitted after two days.

The liquor brought from Faridabad was of Saunfi Sikander brand, the same reportedly consumed by the deceased. This is the special brand produced in Haryana, which claimed a number of lives in the Capital. The issue came to light following the death of five residents of Rajasthani Colony in East Patel Nagar, police sources said. The police conducted several raids at suspected places and a few pouches were recovered from a resident of Anand Parbat. The recovery of the pouches suggested that it would have been brought from Haryana, the sources said.

The case was being investigated by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police but it was transferred to the CBI on Monday by the Lt-Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijay Kapoor.

The matter was raised in the assembly by BJP’s Nand Kishore Garg and Dr S. C. Vats of the Congress. Moving calling attention motions, both legislators called for a comprehensive and concerted action to deal with the crisis. While the Opposition sought the resignation of Finance Minister Mahender Singh Saathi, who heads the excise portfolio, on moral grounds, the Congress demanded immediate action against the guilty and the negligent officials.

Making a statement on the motion, Mr Saathi said as per the Home Department’s report, the family members of the deceased did not suspect anything untoward and the officials concerned did not consider the cases fit to be treated as medico-legal cases and released the bodies for final rites.

In four cases, the family members expressed suspicion and the matter was reported to the police who arranged for post-mortem examinations. The viscera from the 14 bodies was preserved and sent for examination to the Forensic Science Laboratory. The police, he said, were awaiting the reports.



Indian Ocean: A euphonic treat for 
connoisseurs of music
Smriti Kak

There are four of them. Highly proficient with an almost frenzied calibre for composition that forces you to lend an ear and imbibe every note of music.

Meet the Indian Ocean and the quartet that make it. Sushmit on the acoustic guitar, Rahul Ram on the bass, Amit Kilam on the drums and Ashim on the tabla. All doing vocals as well.

The Indian Ocean (Sushmit’s father came up with the name during one of the brainstorming sessions) was formed in 1990 and is just three albums old.

“Our first album was the Indian Ocean, next came Dessert Rain and finally we had Kandisa. We are ready with our next album, but are still in the process of finalising the details with the Production Company,” says Sushmit adding that the response the group received abroad has prompted them to retain their world rights.

The group that emerged at a time when the world was still not bombarded with Music television (MTV) is today recognised as the authentic and indisputable icon of Indian music.

“We are very Indian, our music, our instruments, our songs are all Indian. We cannot classify our music and we cannot even call it an amalgamation of the western and the eastern. We do not experiment, we express,” says Sushmit.

For Rahul, the Indian Ocean is all about “original music with a different format. Our music is for everyone, it is fun producing it and fun enjoying it”.

The band has performed almost everywhere in the country and also toured the western shores. “We have just come back from New Zealand. It was a great experience and we hope to go back next year. We have also performed in the US and the UK. In fact, it was very heartening to see the crowd following us across our shows,” says Rahul who worked and sang alongside Medha Patkar.

“Not many people know it, but Medha can sing. She knows all the Hindi film songs of the 50s and the 60s. In fact, during the Narmada Bachao Aandolan, we would sit up to play ‘antakshri’ at night,” he reveals.

The band has received accolades for their album Kandisa, which means praise in Arabic. “The title track Kandisa is an enchanting rendition of a Syrian Catholic mass, sung in the ancient language of Aramaic, which we learnt from a very old friend of ours. Then there is Ma Rewa, based on the Narmada River in a language which is very identifiable,” points out Sushmit.

“We don’t understand the words apart from Kandisa, yet it has sunk in. The lyrics and the music are beautiful,” adds Amit who has “become a drummer by default. I wanted to play the guitar but ended up on the drums”.

Amit joined the group when the drummer left. “I was offered a place in the Indian Ocean, I was happy. Since I had not even heard them it was not exactly something to feel proud about, but yes it was a moment of happiness”.

The band performed in the Capital’s British Council on Saturday. Apart from their popular numbers that had the crowds shouting for encore, they also played some new numbers like ‘Bhor’ that was really appreciated. “We test the waters before taking the plunge. We play new numbers to discern the moods and the reaction of the audience and then decide to release it,” informs Rahul.

It was also for the first time that the band was shooting its video. “We have no music videos, because the music companies did not think of having one. They felt that the music was selling without the videos. Besides, we refuse to have semi-clad women in our videos,” says Sushmit.

The band’s concert in BCL was, however, being shot with the help of some friends who are in the profession. “We have made some friends and it is good that they are shooting our video for this show,” adds Rahul. For the group, which refuses to produce any synthetic stuff and promises to make good Indian music, the glitter of the silver screen is beckoning. “Yes. Bollywood is calling, but we are not telling how, when and what”. The quartet is determined not to get “stuck in Bollywood” and “keep moving ahead without any pre-conceived notion”, reason enough for the critics as well as the lovers of the muse to sing Kandisa for the guys who rightly deserve it.



Dharmendra clone pulls your heartstrings
Rana A. Siddiqui

‘Very good’ man
‘Very good’ man

These days you might have been watching this Dharamendra lookalike on screen, singing and dancing to the tune of Hasna Billo ni tera ‘very good, very good’ from his recently released album of the same title.

This singing sensation is Paramveer Singh who has sung and directed this song.

Interestingly, he never had even a rudimentary training in singing. If you ask him the need for it, he would simply smile and say, “Music runs in my blood.

I had been listening to my elder sister Bibi Ranjit Kaur (lovingly known as ‘Punjabi kokila’, a famous singer in the state) since childhood. I have never had a difficulty in singing any kind of song. So, I never felt like taking a formal training in music.”

This Punjabi lad of Ludhiana is not just a singing and dancing boy but also an actor and director. After completing his formal education from Punjab in the early nineties, he went to Mumbai to realise his long-cherished dream of becoming an actor and director. His Greek god looks and well-groomed body had him flooded with offers but of ad films. So, one could see him drive TVS Bike and Hero Cycles gloriously and flash his pearly grin in Cibaca Toothpaste as also making his screen wife happy buying her ‘Wheel Soap’.

A great fan of Dharamendra, he signed his first film with him in ‘Smuggler’. Reminisces a beaming Singh, “When I was a child, I would mimic Dharam ji, especially his role in ‘Sholay’, attracting crowd from my neighbourhood. When I was offered a role with him after 25 years, my joy knew no bounds. I could only thank God that my dream of working with him came true.”

Later, he also worked with Mahesh Bhatt in his film ‘Milan’ with Jackie Shroff and Manisha Koirala.

Though Singh had no godfather in Mumbai, but his strong association in the film world in Punjab helped him step into this glamorous world without much difficulty.

“My father, a film producer in Punjab, Sardar Atma Singh, would take me to film sets often. My regular visits there helped many directors notice me,” he confesses. Hence, he got a lead role in the film “Baagi,’ a love-story hanging on sardar and schedule cast rivalry in the state.

For the regional films here, he became a much sought-after hero. Dard Pardesiyan, Sucche Moti and Jigra Jatt da, saw him in three different roles through which he won much acclaim.

Not many know that he also was one of the most sought-after child artist in Punjab. He shyly confesses to that.

“On film sets, many directors noticed my acting talent. I also worked as child artist in many regional films.”

An admirer of singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, this very soft-spoken, six-feet tall, handsome hunk, finds himself inclined towards direction.

To give fuel to his passion, he directed a few music videos of singer Hariharan and Kumar Sanu. People still remember him as the main lead in Altaf Raja’s Tum to thahre pardesi’ music video.

Digital touch

Music Director Annu Malik has scored with the latest album Hum Kisise Kum Nahin.

The album has songs with digital mastering to give a sound quality that is sure to create an impact.

Singers like Alka Yagnik, Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam have lent their vocals to the album, which also has a bonanza for the Big B lovers. The fan of Anu Malik can really think of a merry time.



14 cops awarded for gallantry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
Five Delhi Police personnel were rewarded with out-of-turn promotions and nine others were given Asadharan Karya Purskar and cash awards for their gallantry and brave performance leading to the arrest of desperate criminals in the city.

ASI Rajender Singh and Constable Manoj Kumar, Constable Vinod Kumar and Constable Rajesh Kumar of Special Staff of South district were promoted to their next rank. Mr Rajender and Mr Manoj were instrumental in apprehending a dreaded criminal, Maman, after a brief chase and encounter in Malviya Nagar on July 7 and were very active in solving heinous cases during their posting in South district.

Meanwhile, Constable Vinod Kumar and Constable Rajesh Kumar played a vital role in solving a sensational armed robbery at Laxmi Art Jewellery on March 3 last year and recovering property worth Rs 50 lakh from the possession of accused.

Constable Ravinder Pal of West district (Operation Cell) has been given promotion for apprehending Raj Kumar alias Raju alias Vinay alias Prince from Punjabi Bagh on July 9 last year. ASI Sanjay Kumar of FRRO was given Asadharan Karya Purskar and cash award for providing intelligence that led to the unearthing of a contact between a government official and a foreign diplomat. Constable Sunil Kumar, Constable Bijender and Constable Suraj Bhan of Narela Industrial Area police station have been bestowed with this awards for apprehending three desperate criminals from Shahpur Garhi.

Constable Amarpal of East district was also given this award for overpowering a criminal in Yamuna Pushta on June 4 last year. SI Lekh Raj, Constable Devender and Constable Subhash of Khajoori Khas police station were given the award for solving a kidnapping case of a young boy, Ratnesh Kumar Awasthi.



Woman killed as water tank caves in
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, April 9
A woman was killed and two children were injured when an overload water tank collapsed in Dubaldhan village of the district today. According to information, the tank was constructed by the village panchayat for water supply in the village.

Villagers said that the tank was overflowing when the incident occurred. The concrete tank suddenly caved in and the walls of the square-sized tank fell on a woman and two children standing under it. The deceased woman, identified as Santara, died on the spot while two children sustained leg injuries. Interestingly, the district police expressed ignorance about the accident.

In another incident, a sadhu, identified as Somnath, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Dubaldhan village in the morning today. Villagers suspect that it is a case of murder and the hands of Balaknath, guru of the deceased, behind the incident.

Sources said that the guru had been absconding after the body was found on the bank of a pond outside the village. The police said that the body of the deceased had been sent for a post-mortem examination at the civil hospital, Jhajjar. The police had not been able to clarify whether it was a murder or not. No arrest had been made so far.



Concessional coaching by Rajya Sainik Board
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 9
Rajya Sainik Board, Haryana has arranged coaching classes for admission to Pre-medical Test (PMT), Combined Engineering Entrance Test (CEET) and Bachelor in Dental Surgery (BDS) courses for the dependants of war-widows, widows, ex-servicemen and serving defence personnel of Haryana at nominal charges.

A spokesman for the Zila Sainik Board said on Tuesday the preparatory classes would be held from April 9 to May 23. He said a candidate should have secured at least 60 per cent marks in Class X and plus two examination and should have applied for either PMT, CEET or BDS entrance tests for the year 2002. He said a candidate who appeared for the 10 + 2 examination in the year 2002, could also apply provided he had secured at least 60 per cent marks in Class X.

The wards of officers would have to pay Rs 700 while those of JCOs and others would have to pay an amount of Rs 500 for the classes, he added.

Jhuggis razed

About 150 jhuggis, which had come up on the land of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 31 here, were demolished by the authorities on Monday.

The jhuggis had been built on about 3.5 acres and had been in existence for the past 10 years. The bulldozers of HUDA also razed a boundary wall of a factory near the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation office.

Education drive

The Milli Islami Foundation, at its meeting here on Monday night, decided to launch a campaign against the widespread illiteracy among the Muslim community.

Held under the presidentship of Hafiz Jabardeen, the meeting decided to lay special stress on the female literacy.



Haryana CM’s brother fears for his safety

Mr Pratap Singh Chautala, a former MLA and a younger brother of Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, has appealed to the Governor to protect the members of his family from the ‘state-sponsored terrorism’. In separate letters faxed to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, the Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh and the Director-General of Police, Haryana today, Mr Pratap Singh Chautala alleged that the law and order machinery had collapsed in Haryana. He said that he had been opposing the ‘malfunctioning’ of the INLD Govt since it took over.



SP took the Pak wolf by the ears 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 9
The probing nature of a senior police officer (IPS Cadre) succeeded in exposing the impostor Abhikar Raj who claimed himself to be a senior IAS bureaucrat in the city last week. The fake IAS officer who was arrested for his alleged links with the Pakistan’s ISI had earlier duped many state IAS and IPS officers as well as some senior officials of the Central Government.

However, none of them had any doubt about his identity but the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, within a few minutes of conversation with the impostor doubted his credentials. It was he who exposed the wolf in sheep’s garb. The SP had to take a bold decision. Had his guess gone wrong, he would have faced the music for harassing an important official. Mr Ahlawat has earned the goodwill of not only his official circles but also of the general public. Meanwhile, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) authorities as well as the state police officers are conducting an in-depth probe. The interrogation of Abhikar Raj alias Akram has revealed that he was sent to India by Pakistan for creating a pro-Pakistan atmosphere among the intellectuals and other people of Kashmir.

The accused had developed his links with the high-ups in India and visited Jammu and Kashmir a number of times in recent years.



Woman helps arrest robber in bank
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
With the help of a woman, the Paharganj police arrested a robber who was allegedly involved in several bank-related robberies and theft cases.

Ms Taravati went to deposit Rs 18, 000 to a bank in Paharganj on Monday. While she was waiting for her turn in the queue, a youth standing behind her offered his help to her to make her currency notes in proper order.

The woman suspected with the body language of the youth and caught the currency notes tightly. A few minutes later, the woman raised an alarm when the youth tried to snatch the cash from her hands. With the help of other people in the bank, the woman overpowered the suspect, beat him and handed him over to the police.

The suspect has been identified as Amjad. During interrogation, he disclosed that he was involved in a few other bank-related robbery cases. It is the first time he has been arrested. He also disclosed the names of his other accomplices who are likely to be arrested. The Paharganj police have registered a case of attempted robbery.

Boy killed: A 15-year-old boy, Tajuddin, working with a cycle repairing shop, was killed and Nazim (25) seriously injured when a compressor kept in the shop in Seemapuri in North-East district burst this afternoon. The injured has been admitted to GTB Hospital.

The compressor burst as the people working in the shop were reportedly mishandling it. The rubber goods like cycle tyres tubes etc caught fire in the shop when the compressor burst. However, the neighbouring shopkeepers doused it. Police have registered a case of causing death due to negligence and it is being investigated, the police said.

Worker shot dead: An owner of a transformer cover shop at Lajpat Rai Market in the Kotwali area had reportedly shot his employee with his licenced weapon today afternoon.

The incident occurred at around 3.30 pm when Vijender Kumar (35), the owner, fired at Joginder alias Jogi (25), resident of Triveni Colony, Alipur who works as an employee in the shop which sells transformer covers.

The victim was declared brought dead in the Trauma centre at Civil Lines and the motive behind the murder is yet to be ascertained by the police. The police have registered a case of murder and are investigating the exact cause behind the murder.

Cyclist crushed: A cyclist youth was crushed to death by a Toyota Qualis today morning at Press Enclave in Saket near the police training school. The police said that the victim, Vikram (21) of Lado Sarai, was declared brought dead at Safdarjung Hospital.

The driver of the vehicle, Joseph Samsun, resident of Ambedkar Nagar, was arrested and police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. 



Woman shot dead by husband
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 9
A woman was shot dead allegedly by her husband at Phoolwari village of the Palwal subdivision in the district on Monday. According to the police, the victim, identified as Babli, mother of two children, was cremated soon after the incident. The accused and her husband, Raghvir, is absconding.

The father of the deceased has alleged that his daughter was shot dead after she protested over the illicit relations of her husband with another woman. A case has been booked.

Meanwhile, the Railway police have arrested one Sanjeev Bhatia of Sector 7 here in connection with the death of his wife recently. Sonia, wife of the accused, was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Her body was found lying on the rail track. The woman, who had been married about six months ago, was a victim of dowry harassment, alleged her kin. They suspected that she was murdered and thrown near the rail track to show it as a case of suicide. Five persons, including her husband, have been named as the accused in the FIR.



100 PHD staff arrested from dharna site

Sonepat, April 9
A strong contingent of police swooped onto the dharna venue in front of the office of the Superintending Engineer, Public Health Department, here on Monday and rounded up more than 100 employees who were taken to the city police station.

According to a report, the police action followed the rejection of the appeal of the Deputy Commissioner to lift their dharna. The police have registered cases under Sections 342, 353, 294 and 34 IPC against the employees . OC



‘Review tax hike on cigarettes’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
The wholesale distributors of cigarettes in the Capital today urged the Delhi Government to review its decision to impose 20 per cent luxury tax on cigarettes.

In a memorandum submitted to the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, the distributors said “imposition of additional state taxes to the tune of 20 per cent will create trade imbalances giving a boost to the inter-state cigarette smuggling as well”.

The cigarette sale in the Capital has fallen by 15 per cent and in the overall tobacco consumption, the percentage of cigarette has come down to 14 per cent while that of chewing tobacco and bidis has grown significantly, the memorandum said.

The imposition of such hefty tax, the memorandum said, was a contradiction to the philosophy of VAT.

“Most of the items under the VAT regime are expected to be taxed at a lower rate of 4 per cent, with a view to encouraging compliance. The current high levy of 20 per cent is therefore a contradiction,” it added.


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