Wednesday, April 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Schools get Huda stick on fee rules
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 16
Notices have been issued to a large number of public schools by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) for violating the norms on admission, fee structure and upgradation. These schools are operating on the plots allotted by Huda.

According to the officials, nearly 70 schools have been asked about their fee structures after it was found that the fee norms were being violated by the majority of the schools. About 41 schools have been issued notice for upgrading themselves without permission, required as per the rules. The schools, issued such notices, include all the leading ones.

It is reported that while the notice regarding the fee structure was issued about three weeks ago, only one school has given its reply to the authorities so far.

According to rules regarding the allotment of plots to the school, the Huda authorities could resume the plot if the management fails to adhere to its laws and does not submit a satisfactory reply to the notice.

It is reported that due to the lenient attitude and political interference, the Huda authorities have failed so far to include its representative in the admission and fee structure committee of these schools as per the provisions of the rules formulated by Huda itself. According to the Huda rules, all schools running from its plots must admit at least 10 per cent of the students on merit and another 10 per cent from the economically weaker sections without admission charges. But, the majority of the schools have bypassed the rules, said an official.

Similarly, a large number of schools have upgraded themselves without the permission of the authorities concerned. One month’s time has been given to such schools to submit their reply.

The authorities have warned that if no response was received, it could take action against the erring schools under Section 17/4 of the Huda rules, which include taking back the land allotted to them. The then estate officer of Huda had ordered resumption of as many as 18 schools in 1998, after the office received complaints from the parents, but the action was suspended by the higher authorities under political pressure.



NCR meet to mull over common economic market
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 16
The chief secretaries of the northern states will discuss the strategies to accelerate the economic development of the region at a submit meeting to be held at the Surajkund resort here on April 19. The meet, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), will be inaugurated by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. The chief secretaries of the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and advisor to the Chandigarh Administration will be attending the summit.

According to Mr Ashok Khanna, chairman of the Northern Regional Development Council (NRDC) of the PHDCCI, the summit is aimed at creating a barrier-free economic entity with similar facilities throughout the region. He said pursuant to the single market approach through enhanced inter-state co-operation, the PHDCCI had taken the initiative of organising summits of chief secretaries as well as the conferences of chief ministers. He said five summits had been held already and recommendations based on a consensus approach through task forces on `focus sectors’ had been approved for implementation.

The Surajkund summit, he said, would consider the recommendations for the development of tourism and its infrastructure, development of NCR and the strategy regarding the value added tax.

According to the background paper prepared for the meet, emphasis has been given on the need of a common economic market for all forms of employment and economic activities, and expansion of wholesale trade, industry and business with the right mix of incentives and disincentives. It says there should be a comprehensive plan for the entire region in terms of environmental protection, damage, conservation, forestation and recreation and the NCR Planning Board would have to work out a realistic package incorporating all these.

The PHDCCI has asked for the speedy implementation of the NCR plan and for incentives for neighbouring states to encourage the development of trade and industry in the region and check congestion in Delhi. It adds that a plan must be formulated for shifting industries, which are inter-related, and develop `corridors’ to provide an impetus to the rural economy as the hinterlands would be able to find markets for their agro-produce and dairy products.

The organisers claim that the summit offers a unique opportunity for interaction between various state governments at the highest level and captains of the industry to finalise a road map for faster economic development with the objective of achieving a `common northern regional market’ and accelerating the growth of NCR.

Other important recommendations include the need of having a unified transport authority, watershed management, industrial location, punitive measures on states not implementing the NCR plan, involvement of various ministries, private sector participation and establishment of special economic zones in NCR towns. 



Operators seek relief from court
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The diesel bus operators today moved the Supreme Court, seeking relief in the apex court’s earlier order directing complete phase out of diesel buses and imposition of hefty penalty on violators.

Following the court order, 6000 buses were to be phased out. However, several buses, after staying off the road for a couple of days, began plying on payment of Rs 500 fine each day. In the review petition, the Joint Action Committee of Transporters has urged the court to review the order passed earlier this month as it was “harsh” and “unjust” and did not take their concerns into consideration. Mr H S Kalra of the transporters’ committee, which has filed the petition, disclosed that the operators had been given 14 days’ time to buy CNG buses.

Urging the court to ease the bus phase-out schedule and the time given to the operators to buy new buses, the petition also submitted that the court should give the operators the option to buy a new bus or the CNG conversion kit.

Another issue raised by the operators in the petition relates to the availability of gas for the new buses. While the operators have been given 14 days to induct new buses, the Indraprastha Gas Limited has been given time till June 30 to provide 16 kg of gas per day to meet the Capital’s requirements.

Even if the operators bring in the CNG buses within the stipulated

time-frame, they would not be able to operate due to lack of availability of gas. Moreover, the IGL had recently stated that it would be able to provide only 13 kg of gas per day by the end of this year. The petition further urged the court to impose a penal clause on IGL if it fails to comply with the court directive. On the other hand, the operators should be compensated by the IGL The petition also urged the court to dilute the fine imposed on the operators; they were not in a position to pay Rs 1000 per day fine, which would come into effect from next month. The Supreme Court, in its order earlier this month, had ruled that CNG would be the fuel for buses in the Capital.

While the Centre has ruled out issuance of a notification for allowing the use of ultra-low sulphur diesel, which would have undermined the court directive, the Delhi government said it would implement the court ruling in toto, if CNG is provided as per the directive.



Delhiites gasping for breath again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The air pollution level in the Capital has spiralled again with nearly 5000 diesel buses back on the road, after paying Rs 500 fine for plying each day. Pollution levels in Delhi had dropped dramatically after nearly 6,000 diesel-powered buses went off the road, following a Supreme Court order on April 5 asking them to stop plying or face a penalty of Rs.500 per day and double the amount after a month.

The respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) level, a standard for measuring air pollution, had dropped to 189 micrograms per cubic meter (MPCM) within three days of the court order and was under 200 MPCM till last week.

But now, the RSPM level has returned to an average of 310 MPCM. On April 11 it was 277 and two days later it rose to 314. Prior to the April 5 order, the RSPM level used to be 375 MPCM on an average.

The Centre for Science and Environment said there is a need to speed up the process of converting polluting vehicles to the green compressed natural gas (CNG). Green group activist Anumita Roychowdhury said there was enough infrastructure for existing vehicles, and people should concentrate on the implementation of the court order rather than passing the buck.

She said that nearly 6,000 buses or half of Delhi’s total fleet was largely responsible for air pollution in the national Capital.

“The only thing needed is to speed up the process of conversion of polluting buses to CNG,” she said.



EMU services extended by week to tide 
over bus crisis
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Northern Railway today decided to extend by one week the running of four additional services of EMU trains on the ring railway in view of the transport crisis in the Capital with part of the diesel fleet of buses going off the roads.

The additional EMU trains were introduced on a trial basis for a week between Patel Nagar and Pragati Maidan via Safdarjung after the Supreme Court order imposing fines on diesel buses depleted the city’s public transport fleet.‘

’Running of these additional services was reviewed and it has been decided to extend them for a week,’’ a Northern Railway release said. The people of the national Capital has been severely affected by the ongoing bus crisis. 



A subedar soldiers on despite heavy civilian odds
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune New Service

Narhera (Patadui), April 16
Subedar Major (rtd) Ram Pal Singh Chauhan, who stuck to his guns on several controversial issues during his service period, had hoped to live a peaceful civilian life. He had a deep desire to help the needy in the idyllic environs back in his village here. But, sometimes the well-thought-out plans go awry.

Back home, he found that there was an unholy nexus of the politicians of the ruling party in the state with a section of the police personnel. And his fault was that he had supported the INLD in the last assembly election in the state which had coincided with his coming down to his native village, post-retirement. That was his funeral. He paid a heavy price for that support. He could not imagine that the entire civilian system would tilt against him to the extent that his life and property would be jeopardised.

However, this man was cast in a different mould. He along with two of his six children – a son, a serving major and a daughter, a captain - has decided to beard the lion in his own den, as it were. He had, in fact, no choice as in the evening of March 27, some persons set ablaze more than 12 tonnes of his bazra-fodder kept in the agriculture field. The fodder was accumulated from five acres of bazra crop.

Similarly, in November last year, some miscreants set afire a large quantity of his fodder-jawaar in the field. He lodged a complaint to the Pataudi Police Station against the recent incident. The SHO allegedly did not take action in the case. Not even an FIR was registered. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldip Singh Sihag, when approached by Mr Chauhan last

Friday, allegedly spoke to the SHO on telephone before him. Immediately after the conversation, the SSP tore off his application, saying that it was bogus. The complaint accuses a former sarpanch and his sons.

Mr Chauhan alleged that the SHO had received a complaint from the rival party also. This complaint alleged that Chauhan had been threatening them with dire consequences. The subedar fell out with the sarpanch as he had questioned the irregularities in the functioning of the village panchayat.

However, it is the reckless move of the district police chief that rankles in the heart of the subedar who feels that tearing off his complaint did not behove a senior public servant. “Certainly this was not the way to deal with the public,” Mr Chauhan said.

According to the subedar, the SHO was against him as he had espoused the cause of a Muslim widow in the village. Some people had grabbed her land and he had taken up the case. As the SHO did not respond positively, he took up the issue with the senior police officials, since in the interim, even the relatives of the widow were beaten up for no reason.

Mr Chauhan thinks that the district police chief should have checked the veracity of the feedback given to him by his subordinates before throwing his application in the waste basket. “The SSP tore off my application and turned me away in spite of my bringing to his notice that the SHO was against me,” he regretted.



DDCA illegally used Traffic Police logo 
for car parking 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Delhi District Cricket Association had issued parking passes for car using the Delhi Traffic Police logo without the specific written permission from the Delhi Traffic Police, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. The Minister of State for Sports, Mr P. Radhakrishnan, said when the matter came to the notice of the Delhi Traffic Police, a protest letter was written to the DDCA. In its reply, the DDCA pleaded that similar parking labels were issued in the past too.

However, the Delhi Police said that no specific legal action had yet been taken by the Delhi Traffic Police in this regard. However, in subsequent meetings with DDCA authorities, the police were assured that they would adhere to the norms and procedures regarding the issue of parking passes for car during the cricket matches in future.

A scheme for the introduction of electric trolley buses in the national Capital is under consideration of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Responding to queries during the Question Hour, the Union Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, said the option of electric trolley buses was one of the various alternatives being evaluated by the GNCTD for sustainable transport system.

The GNCTD has constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of the Delhi Chief Secretary to suggest the best options, he said The premises of factories sealed by the Delhi Government were being reopened in compliance with the Supreme Court orders permitting the removal of belongings — finished goods or raw materials and machinery. The owner would have to give an affidavit to the review committee that premises would be used in conforming manner, Dattatreya said.. He said the Delhi Government had intimated that 3637 applications were received last year, for reopening of factories sealed by them. Two expert review committees had been constituted to scrutinise requests for de-sealing the premises, he said.

Mr Dattatreya, in reply to another question, said that various road owning agencies in the Capital had informed that all roads were use worthy and routine inspections were carried out from time to time. Between 1999 and January 2002, the MCD had spent Rs 258.92 lakh for road upkeep and re-laying. The Delhi Cantonment Board had spent Rs 329.9 lakh during 1998-2001 for road maintenance while the PWD had spent Rs 2911 lakh for the same. During the period 1999-2002, the CPWD and the DDA spent Rs 266.14 lakh and Rs 675.21 lakh respectively on similar works, the minister added.

There were 4,636 Delhi Police personnel deployed for the security of protected persons, the Union Minister of State for Home, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, told the Lok Sabha. He said 28,426 personnel were deployed in districts for maintenance of law and order.

Presently, 2084 posts were vacant in various ranks in the Delhi Police, the Minister said. He added that steps were being taken to fill up most of the vacancies. The Delhi Police had filed 35,955 cases in courts during the year 2000-2001, of which 7,542 were disposed off, leading to the conviction of 6,014 criminals, Mr Rao said. He said the conviction rate had risen in the last two years. In reply to another question, he said there were 97 cases of physical assault in the Capital during the last year, which included 11 cases in the South-West district. As many as 215 persons were arrested in connection with these cases, included 27 persons in the South-West district.

The minister said the Delhi Police had systematically analysed such crimes and identified the main crime prone pockets, peak crime periods and accordingly, adjusted the patrolling timings in the Capital. In addition, preventive actions had been taken against persons involved in such crimes.

The Delhi Metro Rail Project had affected a green area covered by 7,300 trees, Dattatreya said.Of these, 2,350 trees would be transplanted and the remaining 450 would be cut, he said. Stating that as per the government policy, 10 trees were to be planted for each tree cut, he said 25,000 trees had been planted against 3,060 trees cut. The Forest Department was taking all necessary steps for the plantation of the remaining trees, he said.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was constructing 864 flats in the national Capital based on the joint-less technology, which makes it more resistant to earthquakes, Dattatreya said. The technology involves casting of walls and roofs in one operation and takes about 30 per cent less time in construction and entails increase of carpet area up to five per cent, the Minister said. The minister said the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had decided to have a uniform property tax structure for both the residential and non-residential property.



Common man at the receiving end 
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 16
Normal life was thrown out of gear today in the region on account of the one-day nation-wide strike by various employees’ unions against the privatisation and “anti-employees” policies of the central and state governments. The common man visiting banks for urgent transactions and government offices for getting works done was at the receiving end.

In Panipat, the day was marked by dharnas and demonstrations by employees of various banks, public sector undertakings, boards and corporations. However, the state government offices of various departments functioned normally.

On the call of the Central Public Sector Trade Union (CPSTU), total strike was observed by the employees of National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) plant. The normal production was affected. The main demand of the employees was to stop privatisation of the NFL plants, amendments in labour laws and halt the closure of sick units.

The daylong strike also paralysed the loading of oil products from the Panipat Refinery as the employees of the marketing agencies - Bharat Petroleum Corporation,

Hindustan Petroleum, Indo-Burma Petroleum and Indian Oil Corporation — also joined the strike on the income tax issue.

The normal work schedule of almost all the nationalised banks remained suspended for the whole day due to the strike by the bank employees who staged dharna in front of their premises, causing great inconvenience to the customers.

Representatives of different trade unions under the banner of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh organised a protest march in the town and submitted a memorandum of their demands, addressed to the Prime Minister, to the Deputy Commissioner.

Activists of the district unit of the Haryana Sarv Karamchari Sangh staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s residence. Speaking on the occasion, the president of the unit, Mr Suresh Kumar, said that privatisation was neither in the interest of the country nor of the public. The central government had made 16 such recommendations, which worked totally against the interests of the employees.

These recommendations included retrenchment of employees, closing of various departments and corporations, not constituting any pay commission in the future, ban on new recruitment and curtailment of LTCs. He alleged that the Haryana Government was pursuing the central government policies and closed its door for any negotiation on the issues.

Members of the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union also staged a demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner’s residence as well as his office alleging that step-motherly treatment was being meted out to anganwadi workers.

Rohtak: The activities of public sector undertakings and banks in Rohtak and adjoining areas came to a standstill today due to the token strike observed by employees of these organisations. The employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) also went on a one-day strike.

Members of the Haryana Sarv Karamchari Sangh staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner as part of the decision taken at a state-level convention of the sangh. The protestors held a demonstration in the town and later submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Devender Hooda, district president of the sangh, alleged that the BJP-led coalition government had been putting financial burden on the weaker sections of the society by way of increasing taxes to benefit the capitalists and multinational companies at the behest of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation.

Mr Dharamveer Hooda, secretary of the district unit of the Haryana Roadways Employees Union, said the roadways employees would observe a token strike on April 24 to register their protest in this regard.

Sonepat: On the call of the All India Trade Union Congress

(AITUC), the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), and the CITU, a complete strike was observed in the nationalised banks and insurance companies.

According to a report, the striking employees assembled outside their banks and held demonstrations in the morning. They also shouted the slogans against the government and resolved to continue their struggle against it till all their demands were fulfilled.

The strike also paralysed the functioning of the banks thereby causing a lot of inconvenience to the customers. The customers were critical of the bank employees who, they said, had been in the habit of going on strike from time to time in support of their demands.

Meanwhile, a large number of government employees belonging to different departments took out a procession here today in support of the nation-wide strike call given by various trade unions.

Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, they marched through the main bazars of the city and reached the mini-secretariat where they held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. They also sat on a dharna in support of their demands. 



Vidrohi asks BJP to prove secular credentials
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 16
The president of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, today asked the BJP not to fool the people of the country any longer on the issue of the removal of Mr Narender Modi from the chief ministership of Gujarat.

It was high time the party proved its secular credentials by ousting Mr Modi who was solely responsible of massacre in that state, he added.

In a signed press statement issued here, he described the offer of Mr Modi to resign and its rejection by the BJP high command as a pre-planned drama. He warned the BJP that if it did not take any positive step to check its unpopularity, the country would not tolerate the NDA government at the Centre.

Mr Vidrohi said that Mr Modi was busy implementing the hidden agenda of the BJP and that was the reason for his continuance in the office.

He called upon the high command of his party, JD(U), to immediately disassociate from the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. Otherwise it would face its political death in the country.

Expressing concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Haryana, Mr Vidrohi alleged that the state government had failed to curb the activities of the anti-social elements with a strong hand as a result of which the cases of murder, looting, robbery, kidnapping and rape were on the increase making the people feel insecure. He urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to take a serious note of the matter and order the police authorities to effective take steps to curb the criminals and anti-social elements.

Referring to the construction of the SYL canal in the Punjab territory, the JD(U) leader also demanded that Mr Chautala should take initiative and hold negotiations with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to implement the Supreme Courts verdict on this issue. He also demanded regular power and water supply to the agriculture sector.



Haryana Roadways nets Rs 108 crore profit
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 16
The tentative profit earned by the Haryana Roadways before tax during 2001-2002 was approximately Rs 108.53 crore against Rs 65.80 crore in 2000-2001 and Rs 26.14 crore in 1999-2000, thereby registering 400 per cent growth since 1999.

Stating this, Mr Ashok Kumar Arora, Transport Minister told mediapersons here today that during 2000-2001, the profit made by Haryana Roadways before tax was the highest among all the state transport undertakings in the country and it was expected that it would remain so during 2001-2002 also.

He said that the roadways had contributed Rs 121.38 crore to the state exchequer during 2001-2002 against Rs 88.80 crore during 2000-2001 and Rs 58.86 crore during 1999-2000. During 2001-2002, the roadways paid Rs 132.53 crore as passenger tax/token tax and Rs 22.81 crore as other taxes and SR tax to other states. After payment of taxes, the roadways had reported a tentative net loss of Rs 46.82 crore against a loss of Rs 75 crore during 2000-2001 and Rs 100 crore during 1999-2000, he said.

The minister also said that the number of accidents involving Haryana Roadways buses during 2001-2002 declined to 425 against 515 during 2000-2001 and 576 during 1999-2000. The accidents per one lakh km came down to 0.11 (during 2001-02) which is just half the all-India average of 0.22. Thus the state roadways was one of the safest state transport undertakings in the country.

He made it clear that there was no proposal to close down any depot or retrench any staff. The privatisation schemes were being brought out only to meet the incremental demand in traffic with a view to stopping the unauthorised operations and check the evasion of taxes by unauthorised operators.

He said that the infrastructure of the roadways was being further strengthened as it would continue to play a vital role in providing the essential services to the people of the state.

The minister disclosed that new buses of improved designs were being pressed into service. In the last two years, more than 1,200 new buses had been introduced. More than 600 buses were proposed to be replaced in the current financial year. Old bus stands were being renovated and the workshops modernised with the latest machinery. It was proposed to construct new modern workshops at Rohtak, Ballabgarh and Jhajjar. The construction of Kalka and Thanesar bus stands would also be taken up soon. Nearly 300 bus drivers had already been recruited and more staff would be taken as per the requirement.



Acquittal of ‘terrorists’ puts question mark over cops’ security
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The recent acquittal of three persons, who were arrested on charges of being activists of the Babbar Khalsa, has put the top brass of the Delhi Police in a quandary as to whether to continue with the security provided to five officers of the Special Cell who had investigated the case or to withdraw in the wake of the acquittal of the suspects.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Ashok Chand, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajbir Singh and three Inspectors of the cell were given special security as they claimed that they had received threats after a team of the cell led by ACP Rajbir Singh arrested an NRI and two others in June 1999.

The team had claimed that the three were activists of the Babbar Khalsa and 2 kg of high quality RDX was recovered from their possession. They had allegedly come to the Capital with the intention of committing acts of terrorism.

Because of the alleged threats and the sensitive nature of the investigations, the police officers were provided round-the-clock armed security and even an escort car. The security has been in place for the last three years costing the exchequer lakhs of rupees.

The Special Commissioner (Intelligence), Dr K. K. Paul, said that this case had no connection with the security provided to these officials.

However, there is a clamour among some of the senior officers of the Delhi Police to withdraw the security immediately. “Why should police officers be given security at the cost of the public” is a question which is now being asked in the police headquarters here.

The Special Commissioner said that he was unaware of the details of the case but promised to look into it.

Meanwhile, the arrested persons, NRI Balbir Singh, Sukhmandar Singh alias Sukhi and Karamjit Singh alias Faridkot, were acquitted by the court in the first week of this month as the police could not produce corroborative evidence to prove that they were militants. The court came down heavily on the police and acquitted them.

In the police record, Balbir Singh was arrested at 7.25 pm on June 29, 1999 from Kashmere Gate in North Delhi. However, on that very day, Kulbir Singh, his relative in a telegram to the Delhi High Court, Lt-Governor and other senior officials lodged a complaint that Balbir was picked up by ACP Rajbir Singh from the IGI Airport when he alighted there from a Lufthansa Airlines flight on June 23.

He expressed apprehension that Balbir could be arrested in a fabricated case. During the trial, an official of the Post and Telegraph Department and an official of the Punjab Police were produced as witnesses by Balbir’s relative. 



Risking his life to nab criminals
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, April 16
The President, Mr K. R. Narayanan, will award the Police Medal for Gallantry to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon, Mr Kuldip Singh Siag. Mr Siag is the only officer this year from Haryana who would be honoured for gallantry by the President.

Mr Siag has been selected for his two remarkable brave acts in nabbing members of two notorious gangs while he was posted as the Superintendent of Police in Panipat in 2000. “Mr Siag displayed conspicuous gallantry, courage and devotion to duty of a high order”, mentions the President’s secretariat notification.

In one incident, Mr Kuldip Singh Siag along with his subordinates apprehended a hardcore criminal, Rohtas, and his two accomplices, Surender Singh and Sunil, on September 1, 2000. The gang had looted Rs 10.67 lakh of the Irrigation

Department at Binjol Irrigation Rest House in Panipat while salary was being distributed to employees and escaped in their Maruti car.

The IPS officer chased the vehicle and ultimately forced the assailants to leave the car. The criminals then tried to flee by entering a 250-acre sugarcane field. After searching in around 100 acres, the police party led by Mr Siag noticed the movement of the criminals. He asked the criminals to surrender but they fired at the police party. The police retaliated injuring them and finally arrested them while another of their accomplice managed to escape.

The police recovered Rs 9.60 lakh from their possession and seized a 9 mm pistol along with four cartridges, one country-made .12 bore pistol and one .12 bore cartridge. Mr Rohtas was a hardcore criminal who was then wanted by the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh police.

In another incident, putting his life at stake, Mr Siag arrested three criminals who snatched Rs 9 lakh after firing at a person on May 29, 2000. On getting the information, Mr Siag with his police team sealed Panipat city and cordoned off the particular area.

The quick action and presence of mind of Mr Siag led to the arrest of the criminals, the recovery of the looted cash and the seizure of the weapons carried by the assailants.



Haute couture for that prince charming look
Smriti Kak

This one takes its cue from the famous Mark Twain quote, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

So out came the carpet show, a concept in vogue, where the hunks of the Indian fashion orb dazzled the audience or should we say the patrons of couture.

Santino, a new age store of men’s apparel presented the ‘Princely Affairs’, a collection of men’s vintage clothing and ‘Masculine Senses’ a contemporary yet traditional collection. Models Rajat Raina, Yashpal, Daud, Rahat Vohra and Bhanujeet showcased the collection of sherwanis, safas, kalandi and jutties in vibrant colours and neat cuts. A line of casual wear for men called ‘The Coolers’ was displayed.

A Summery ensemble

A comfy summer top.
A comfy summer top.

Wills has unveiled its spring summer collection reinforcing its commitment to fashion. The collection was unveiled at a spectacular audio-visual show, interspersed by fashion sequences created by Anurag Gupta and shot on locations in India and abroad by ace lens man Bharat Sikka.

Enhancing the appeal of adroitly planned show was the remarkable performance by singer Krista Kellar who had come down from Hong Kong. She treated the audience to a cocktail of R&B and jazz. The spring summer collection has 130 styles crafted from the finest fabrics from around the world. The USP of the collection is the stretch-bend-jump lifestyle. To the backdrop of a natural look created using jute, leading models like Joey Matthews, Aparna Kumar, Jas Arora, Tarun Arora and Rajat Raina sashayed down the ramp displaying the clothes segregated into the three moods, work, leisure and party.

The highlight of work collection is stretch, with unusual blends, two-tone colours and new fabric washes. Urban adventure is the theme of leisure collection, combining the rugged with the urbane. The highlights are cotton canvas nylon blends. For the party-goers, the traditional denim has been given a fresh look. While the men can look forward to rayon cotton Lycra-blended shirts, the women can pick from tees and wrinkle-free capris.

Beauty and Fashion Fiesta

Nature’s Essence a brand of natural cosmetics and beauty care products organised a Nature’s Beauty and Fashion Fiesta 2002.

On the first day of the event, a competition was held for the beauty parlours. It was based on three specially crafted themes. First was bridal make-up, the second was Nature’s Evening beauty 2002 and the third was Nature’s model 2002.

The judges of the evening were danseuse Yamini Krishnamurthy, hair and beauty expert Harish Bhatia, wife of the Additional Commissioner of Police, Mrs Sneha Sharma, Managing Director of the Nature’s Essence, Mr R.K. Nanda and media personality Ms Neeta Sobti.

While Pinky Singh of Shahiba Beauty Parlour was the best presenter in Nature’s Bride 2002, her model Ritu Mehta was selected the Nature’ Model 2002. Ritu Malhotra of Umrao beauty parlour and Anju of Khoobsurat beauty parlour were selected the Nature’s Evening Beauty.

For fashion-savvy women

The models showcasing the collection from Santino.
True-blue Indian: The models showcasing the collection from Santino.

Ose or dew drops is the latest to open its doors offering their best to the female form. The store has been conceived by the designer duo, Jyoti and Saroj. Ose showcases ensembles by different designers to suit the look of the fashion-savvy women.

Ose has brought a talented team of designers to Delhi offering the customers more choice. Ose is a visual treat conceptualised and put together by Meenu and Mitu of Roots Events. The inaugural show had models Jessie, Vandana, Sapna and Shivani display the best of each designer.

Jyoti and Saroj will also house their own creations of fusion wear and ethnic collection under the label DJ’s. The duo have been working to create special wear for women. On why they chose to name the store Ose, they said, “Ose as the name illustrates is about freshness, vibrancy and being in your natural state. We intend to wrap your soul in the finest blend of pure fabrics with the most aesthetic colours, exotic designs and exquisite craftsmanship.”

Among those who will find a place under Ose are Ragini Singhania with her soft and sensual collection of saris, suits and Indo-Western ensembles. Suman Nathvani will sell her collection of nightwear under her brand name ‘Lingerie from Suman’, while ‘Myra’ will have Anasuya Sachdev provide a pret line for the new Indian woman.

‘Avika’ is the collection put forth by Roopa and Neetu Gupta. Avika designs for the modern woman who has a statement to make. Vinita Pittie has an electric collection of ensembles for the style-savvy. The Hyderabad-based designer is here to woo with her collection of sequins, gotas, khari and aari work.



Young and aspiring, the world is their oyster
Rana A Siddiqui

They are new kids in the glitzy globe of films. A 21-year-old former Miss Mumbai Rinku Ghosh and Vikramaditya of the same age. They will be seen in their debut film, ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’, produced by T. P Aggarwal and directed by Osho Raja.

In the film made on sponsored cross-border terrorism, Rinku Ghosh plays Sapna, a teenage schoolgirl. It was her countenance and expertise in dance that got her the role. The daughter of a merchant navy officer and a Kathak dancer, Rinku was already modelling for Parachute oil and a couple of other ad films when she grabbed the role amongst hundreds of contestants. “I was selected Miss Mumbai in 1996, the year Miss Mumbai contest was started. Aggarwal ji (the producer) had seen me there. Though at that time, he had no intentions to make a film but he offered me a role in case he would decide to do so in future.

When the talent hunt for the film was on about six months back, I offered my candidature. There, director Osho Raja told me, ‘I am looking for a girl who could look like a schoolgirl as well as a mature and intelligent human being.’

“I rushed to my friend, borrowed her school dress and went to him again. He was amazed. Without a minute’s delay, he said, ‘This was the character I was looking for.’ And I got the role,” reminisces Rinku who is not just an actress but an accomplished dancer too. “I learnt Kathak and Bharatnatyam right from my childhood as my mother herself is a well known Kathtak exponent in Kolkata.”

Rinku is also doing a major role in a few Bengali films. ‘Aagun Jolbe’ to be released in July this year, is one of them.

Does she have much to do in the film except just being a dancing and kidding schoolgirl? “I think acting with great stars like Jaya Prada and Shatrughan Sinha and Tom Alter in itself is a coveted chance.

Moreover, I am just a newcomer. I don’t mind doing small but strong roles at this stage,” she reasons. Will she go for art films or glamorous roles only?

“Being in a glamour world, you just can’t avoid doing glamorous roles. Unless you become a part of this world, you don’t get acceptability. In any case who does not want to become a star? Moreover, am I not too small to do an art film,” she asks.

This student of St. Joseph College, Mumbai and Bhartiya Vidhya Bhawan, is already stealing youngsters’ heart with the film’s `nigahon main ho tum’ song as “a sweet and cute Bengal beauty”.

While a dimpled Vikramaditya, son of a real estate agent falls in the category of chocolate heroes. This private choreographer has also done some music videos.

He says, “I am very sensitive by nature. Hence, I would like to go for only romantic roles having lots of emotional shades, the kind of roles that Amir Khan did in Qayamat se Qayamat Tak and Kumar Gaurav in Love Story.”

In the film, Vikram is playing Chaitanya Suryavanshi, college-going teenager and an ideal son of Mahendra Suryavanshi, the Home Minister of India (played by Shatrughan Sinha) and Rukmini, Principal of St. Mark School, played by Jaya Prada.

He loves Sapna and occasionally breaks into fight with his friends over her.

Vikram who has given good stunt scenes in the film believes that “confidence is the prerequisite to work in films.” With his childlike face and dancing talent, he has already become favourite of the likes of Rajshri Productions, film-maker Jai Seth and Mansingh who “have approached me for their coming films,” says Vikramaditya.



Jhajjar bandh evokes mixed response
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, April 16
The bandh call given by the Vyapar Mandal in protest against the increasing incidents of theft and burglary evoked a mixed response today as only 60 per cent of the shops in the main bazaar and other markets remained closed in the town. The traders, shopkeepers and other people gathered in the Punjabi Dharamshala in the morning and took out a procession through the main bazaars of the town. Later, a memorandum was handed over to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr J. P. Kaushik, in support of their demands.

A spokesman of the mandal maintained that the bandh, which was to be observed till 1 pm, was a success. The mandal, in its memorandum, demanded that the police chowki should be shifted in the interiors of the town and increase the police vigil during nights. It demanded that culprits in Monday’s theft in Kumar Watch Company be arrested at the earliest. The District Bar Association also supported the bandh and observed a strike today.



Government offers land for Family Courts 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Delhi Government has offered land in different parts of the Capital complying with the Supreme Court order to allot land to the Delhi High Court for setting up Family Courts in the National Capital Territory, a release said here today.

The state government had approached the high court for its approval of plots measuring 1500 sq m each at Vishwas Nagar Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, Janakpuri Institutional Area and Dheerpur for setting up Family Courts, the release added.

Plots have also been offered at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Mehrauli and Badarpur for the purpose, the release said adding that two Family Court buildings at Parliament Street and Kripa Nrayan Marga are under construction.



54 complaints settled by Women Commission 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 16
As many as 54 complaints put forward by the women of various villages were settled on the spot at a meeting chaired by the Haryana Women Commission Chairperson, Ms Sheela here on Tuesday.

Ms Sheela said the commission had decided to resolve the problems of the women in a door-to-door campaign. The officials of different departments in the district were also present on the occasion.

Body found

The police recovered a body of a four-year-old boy from a canal on Tuesday. The deceased was not identified. The police believe that the probable cause of death was due to drowning.

Tata Sumo stolen

A Tata Sumo jeep was stolen from Sampla town on Monday night. Mr Deepak, a resident of Kheri Sampla village alleged in a FIR that the vehicle was stolen from front of his house.


The government agencies have procured 12,897 metric tons of wheat from the 12 mandis and procurement centres in the district According to a press note, Confed has procured a maximum of 4,415 metric tons and the Haryana Warehousing Corporation, a minimum of 1,350 metric tons. While the Food and Supplies Department has procured 3,060 metric tons, the FCI has procured 1,897 metric tons at the minimum support price of Rs 620 per quintal.

Annual function

The annual function and the prize distribution ceremony of the primary wing of the DAV Public School, Sector-14, here will be held on April 18. Dr C.Prakash, vice-president of the DAV College Managing Committee will the chief guest and Dr N.K.Pandey, executive director, Escorts Hospital, here will preside over the function.

Shopkeepers shot

Two shopkeepers, Phool Singh and Pawan, were shot dead by two motorcycle borne unidentified miscreants at Gohana town, 35 km from here on Monday evening. According to a report, the incident occurred around 8.15 pm when the victims were returning to their homes on a scooter. The miscreants also snatched a bag containing about Rs 80,000 and fled on the motorcycle.

The incident has caused a panic in the area. The police immediately arrived on the scene and launched a manhunt to apprehend the culprits. However, it had failed to achieve any breakthrough.

The police had registered the case and further investigation was in progress.

Rice mill gutted

Stocks of paddy, rice and gunny bags worth several lakh were gutted in a devastating fire which broke out in a rice mill on the G.T.Road, near Murthal here on Monday evening. According to a report, the municipal fire tenders from Sonepat, Ganaur and Gohana towns rushed to the site that brought the fire under control after about two hours.

The cause of the fire and estimated loss was yet to be fully ascertained by the owner of the rice mill. According to another report, standing wheat crop worth several thousands of rupees was reduced to ashes at Murthal village, 8 km from here on Monday evening. Large number of residents rushed to the site and brought the fire under control much before the arrival of the municipal fire brigade.

Crushed to death

A five-year-old child was crushed to death by an unknown vehicle on the Sonepat-Gohana road near Kheri Damkan village about 30 km from here on Monday evening.

According to a report, the victim was hit by an unknown vehicle, killing him on the spot, while playing along the road. The driver, however, managed to escape along with the vehicle.

Train delayed

Irate passengers held up the Panipat bound passenger train at Harsana Kalan Railway Station, about 5 km from here on Monday evening. According to a report, the passengers were protesting against the unnecessary delay of the train by the Controller of the Northern Railway on wayside railway stations for allowing the long-distance mail, express and superfast trains to pass through. Angry passengers also picketed the railway track and did not allow long-distance train to pass through. They threatened to picket the railway track daily if the authorities failed to accept their demands.

Arrest of cops sought

Ghaziabad: The former in-charge of the Kavi Nagar police station and some of his other colleagues have not presented themselves in the court despite non bailable warrants having been issued against them for the last two years. A Ghaziabad court has taken strong exception to the non-appearance of the accused and the magistrate has written a letter to the DIG Meerut Range, asking him to have all the accused arrested and produce them in the court. The court has also sought an explanation from the Kavi Nagar police station in-charge as to why the accused have not been arrested so far and produced in the court. OC

‘Fake’ IAS officer in judicial custody

Sonepat: Abhikar Raj alias Akram – who impersonated an IAS officer and duped the district administration before he was exposed by the local SP – was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ms Ritu Tagore, herere today who remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days. The accused had been staying in the PWD guest house, courtesy the district administration. Later, after his arrest on April 5, the police seized a car, a tape recorder and other documents exposing his links with the ISI and bureaucrats in Pakistan and India. OC

Power situation grim

Ghaziabad: The closure of a number of units of Obera and Anpura power plants seems to have further aggravated the power crisis in the state. Though the closed units are being made operational again on a war footing, unscheduled load-shedding has been enforced in the district. In Dadri town, a huge rally was held against the `unprecedented’ increase in power tariffs today. The UP Vyapar Mandal demanded the immediate rollback of the hike in power rates. OC



Cash award on Seelampur murderer’s head
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Delhi Police Commissioner, Ajai Raj Sharma, has announced a cash award of Rs 25,000 to anyone providing valuable information regarding two accused who were behind the murder of a family in Seelampur area. The accused persons, Mohammad Furkan, a resident of Daulatpur, Muzzaffar Nagar and Shah Nazar, a resident of Sikandar Pur, Muzzaffar Nagar, last month had murdered Hasan Ali, his wife, Rafat Jhan and their son, Shahbaz.

In another case, the commissioner announced a cash award of Rs 10,000 to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of Harish Saxena alias Deepak, a resident of Faridabad.

Suicide: An unemployed person, Madan Mohan (38), committed suicide at his house by hanging himself from the ceiling this afternoon, in the Nangloi area.

The deceased was depressed, as he was unemployed for quite some time. Around 2.30 pm, he locked himself from inside and committed suicide. His wife, who is a teacher in a private school, was on duty when the incident occurred.



Export credit risk corpn goes online 
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 16
In a bid to provide more fa cilities to the exporters and easy access to its services, the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) of India Limited has decided to go online, Mr P. M. A. Hakeem, chairman and managing director (CMD) of the corporation, said here today.

The ambitious plan, to be implemented in a year’s time, would give exporters access to various ECGC schemes online, including payments, thus saving precious time spent in making rounds of the offices.

Highlighting various new schemes of the ECGC such as “maturity factoring” and specific shipment policy at a seminar for exporters and importers, Mr Hakeem claimed these policies had been formulated keeping the interests of the medium and small exporters in mind.

Saying that the present insured exports of 12 per cent were too meagre, the CMD informed that efforts were being made to reduce the claim period to less than a week.

The ECGC had a provisional income of Rs 500 during the last financial year. Out of that, Rs 70 crore was profits before tax and the actual profit was likely to be Rs 50 crore, he informed.

Mr Hakeem had a special word of praise for the branch manager of the local centre, Ms Vasantha Srinivas.

He said she had helped in recording a 40 per cent growth in premium and about 30 per cent growth in the number of policyholders.

The regional manager, northern region, Ms Geetha Murlithar, and Ms Srinivas also spoke on the occasion. The seminar, which was a big draw, was followed by a lively interaction. The participants raised several issues like the pre-shipment guarantee, ECGC’s role in the domestic trade and its role vis-à-vis banks.


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