Tuesday, April 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


12 die in Noida slum fire
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 22
Twelve persons were charred to death and over a thousand jhuggis destroyed in a devastating fire in Sector 40 near Amity School here today. The fire, which started in a jhuggi behind Sheetal petrol pump at about 12.45 pm, spread quickly, gutting hundreds of jhuggis in the cluster. Four children were among the dead.

Some of the dead have been identified. They are: Sonu (4), Sarveshi (30), Ratna (4), Priyanaka (4) and Prempal (6). About a dozen among the injured have been transferred to the Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi from the government hospital in Sector 30, Noida. Among those hospitalised locally, seven are in the government hospital, three in Prakash Hospital and two in the Bhardwaj Hospital.

According to Dalip Kumar, manager at the Sheetal petrol pump, the blaze had started in one Babloo’s jhuggi and spread like wild fire due to the strong breeze. He informed the fire service almost immediately and within 15 minutes the fire tenders had arrived.

It took 15 fire tenders from Noida, Ghaziabad, Surajpur, LG Daewoo Motors and Escort about three hours to control the fire, which has rendered about 10,000 persons homeless. Even two hours after the fire, jhuggi dwellers were seen rummaging the smouldering remains for their belongings.

According to SP city, Mr Umesh Kumar Singh, the jhuggis are mostly made of cane and other combustible material.

A large number of kids died as most adults were out at work. The children could not react and save themselves. Most women in the cluster work as domestic help and men as manual labourers or as rickshaw-pullers.

According to police, many people in the jhuggis use small gas cylinders and gas stoves for cooking; a gas leak could have caused the fire.

A number of cylinders were heard exploding in the fire. Incidentally, the roofs of most jhuggis were stacked with polythene bags, which are highly inflammable.

In the large cluster, spread over acres of land, only about 200 were left.

According to a worker of the Samajwadi Party, Naresh Pandit, there was a clash yesterday between two groups of jhuggi dwellers, one led by Bawa and the other by P K Vishwas. Therefore, mischief could not be ruled out.



PGIMS: General category thrives on SC/ST quota
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, April 22
It appears that the reservation policy of the State government is being undermined in the government-owned Pt B.D. Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Science (PGIMS).

Although very few candidates are available for faculty posts from the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe category, the rules are bypassed with impunity whenever a faculty post falls vacant on a reservation roster point. The post, thus, is given to some influential candidate from the general category, throwing all norms of reservation to the winds.

The Haryana Government had announced way back in September 1989 that a vacancy falling on ‘reservation roster point’ in the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe category cannot be de-reserved, even if reserved category candidates are not available, and this fact has to be advertised repeatedly, points out Mr Mange Ram Dahiya, President, Dr B R Ambedkar Education Society.

A post of lecturer was advertised for the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe category in the Department of Orthopaedics, but the same was given to an influential general category candidate with a concomitant decision that the next post falling vacant be reserved for the SC/ST category. The post has not yet been filled from the reserved category.

Similarly, the post of professor in the Department of Medicine and Surgery fell vacant on `reservation roster point,’ meant for the SC/ST candidates, and was advertised as a reserved post. But instead of holding the interview, though candidates for the reserved category were available in the PGIMS, the post has been filled on an ad hoc basis from the general category and the advertisement was allowed to lapse despite intervention by Governor Babu Parmanand, complains Mr Dahiya.

So much so, in one department there are six professors against four sanctioned posts and three of them are working on an ad hoc basis. Similar was the case of the Department of Surgery, where a post of lecturer, advertised as reserved for ex-servicemen, was given to the son-in-law of a former high-ranking official of the Health Department and a decision taken that the next vacancy in the department be reserved for ex-servicemen.

Again, the services of the daughter of the same high-ranking official were permanently transferred to the Dental College, Rohtak, from HCMS (Sental) cadre, without advertising and without giving a chance to other similarly placed dental surgeons in the HCMS.

As per rules, the post could have been filled only through direct advertising and selection, and even if the post was reserved for the HCMS, at least by inviting applications from the dental surgeons working in the HCMS.

The admission of the daughter of the officiating director in the MBBS course in the PGIMS in the backward class category, despite her being in the creamy layer and not being entitled to the benefit of reservation, was recently the subject matter of a civil suit filed by a professor against the officiating director.

There are countless examples of reserved category candidates being deprived of their rights, whether in jobs or professional courses, and the posts and the seats being given to those not entitled, complains Mr Dahiya. This puts a big question mark on the seriousness of the administration’s resolve to give due rights to reserved category candidates.



Gurgaon closure notices revoked
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, April 22
The notices served by the Gurgaon Municipal Council last week on industrial units operating in residential areas, directing them to down shutters within three days, may be treated as null and void.

Having realised its mistake, the MC today decided to issue afresh notices to these units. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had recently directed the Gurgaon MC to initiate action under section 128 of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973, against industries which are operating in residential areas with or without license/permission. It was also ordered to submit the status report in the form of an affidavit during the next hearing on May 6.

“The previous notices were not consistent”, explained the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Rastogi. New notices are to be issued soon. They would direct all industrial units to follow the norms and guidelines of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, clarified Mr Rastogi. If the units fail to adhere to the guidelines of the pollution department, then and only then, they would be directed to close down, he added. Directing the units to close down within three days without serving a show cause notice on them was wrong, he agreed.

The sources revealed that the earlier notices, personally handed over by the MC to these units, were drafted in haste. The MC had directed all industrial units to close down, without verifying whether these units were running legally or illegally. The department did not also check the legality of the notices.

Speaking to the NCR Tribune, the Executive Officer, Gurgaon Municipal Council, Mr S N Sidhu, explained that there were 245 industrial units in the residential area, which fall in the ambit of the MC.

This time, the Municipal council would issue show-cause notices under section 128 of the Haryana Municipal Act, as per the directive of the high court, to only these 245 industrial units. These units must seek permission from the Pollution Control Board. Only then, they would be allowed to run in the residential areas, said the executive officer. Under the rules, these units would be given sufficient time for adopting the pollution norms, said the officer.



Doctors take umbrage at ‘harassment’
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Pataudi (Gurgaon), April 22
Medical practitioners in the district are up in arms against the alleged harassment of a prominent child specialist, Dr Narender Yadav, who has done his post-graduation from the Rohtak Medical College. The doctor’s business establishment was recently raided by the Health Department, ostensibly to check the use of spurious drugs and to sniff out ‘quacks.’ The raiding team seized drug samples from the premises. The medical fraternity, however, feels that Dr Yadav is being harassed for having allowed a former Haryana Minister and senior Congress leader, Dr Kripa Ram Punia, to stay in his house during canvassing for the Assembly elections. (Dr Punia, a former bureaucrat who took premature retirement to enter politics, had contested the election as a Congress nominee.) The local doctors are agitated as the Drug Inspector neither provided a copy of form-17 to Dr Yadav, nor the sealed sample of drugs seized from his premises.

A few days ago, a notice was served on Dr Yadav by the office of the Drug Inspector, alleging that he had not responded to the show-cause notices which had asked for details of medicines that were taken from his hospital. Dr Yadav alleges that he had received no such notices from the office of Drug Inspector. He has demanded the registry numbers of the letters.

The test report of government analysts has revealed that the quantity found in a bottle of the syrup taken from the hospital of Dr Yadav was 176 ml against the stipulated 200 ml. According to the Drug Inspector, Mr Parjinder Singh, the discrepancy with regard to quantity was not a major crime and the liability would be that of the pharmaceutical company, if Dr Yadav could prove that he had purchased the stuff from it. The general perception is that the health department is acting at the behest of a local INLD MLA who is said to be a relative of Haryana’s Minister for Health.



MCF to spend Rs 1 crore on civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 22
The Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, is likely to spend Rs. one crore on revamp and repairs of roads, lights and other civic amenities in the industrial sectors here.

According to deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, the repairs of roads, street lights and sewers in the industrial sectors had been taken up in various meetings, including the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee, chaired by the Chief Minister, here on April 1.

In turn, the industrial units and factory owners had been asked to clear their pending dues, including house tax and other charges.

A sum of Rs. 70 lakh is being spent on repairing street lights on the National Highway, especially in the 10-km stretch between Badarpur border and Ballabgarh.

The work would be completed by May end.



Water-harvesting: Time to take a leaf from President’s book
Cecil Victor

New Delhi, April 22
Delving deep into the well-springs of Indian folklore, President K.R. Narayanan has set an example in water conservation by installing water-harvesting technology in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. In two monsoon seasons, the level of groundwater rose by 0.87 cm in 2000 and I cm in 2001, thereby reversing a trend of depletion in which the aquifer shrank by seven metres in a decade. It is an example the rest of the nation, the Capital in particular, can ill-afford to ignore.

A similar system has been installed in the Prime Minister’s Office in South Block on Raisina Hill and the conservationists are confident that similar gratifying results will obtain after rainfall during July and September this year.

In fact, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) which was invited by President Narayanan to draw up the blueprint for water harvesting scheme in the former British Viceroy’s residence has calculated that if the techniques of water conservation are employed throughout the 1,485 sq km of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the groundwater level will rise by 0.5 metre in a year.

The prediction is based on satellite imagery showing rooftops and paved areas which form the catchment for the runoff which hitherto has disappeared down the storm water drains with barely marginal salutary effect on the habitat.

The Government has since ordered that all new buildings in Delhi must install water harvesting systems but the experience of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the PM’s Office shows that the CSE prediction can only become reality if all structures with harvesting potential, irrespective of vintage, join the conservation effort.

The Central Ground Water Board and the Central Public Works Department which were involved in the actual installation of the systems in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the PMO have married their respective expertise in hydrology and public works to help accelerate water conservation where overexploitation of groundwater aquifers through borewellsby an exploding population has resulted in depletion of the water table by between two to eight meters in the past decade.

Through seminars and lecture-demonstrations, they are motivating the myriad group housing societies and privately-owned bungalow residents to employ water recharging facilities on their plots of land.

In Delhi, the ground water levels vary from 3 metres to 60 metres, depending on the geological structure which consists of alluvium in the north and quartzite rock of the Aravalli range in the south.

The Ridge bifurcates Delhi on a north-south axis creating a western basin and an eastern catchment that slopes down to the Yamuna floodplain. Within these areas, there are huge campuses that are occupied by buildings owned by either the Central or the state governments or autonomous bodies like the Pusa Institute (1300 acres), the Indian Institute of Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and its affiliated colleges, hotels, hospitals, defence estates, ministerial and MP bungalows and umpteen government colonies of which R.K Puram is perhaps the largest in Asia. Given that both the Central and state governments can easily access the expertise available with the Central Ground Water Board and the CPWD, it will be in the fitness of the concept of rapid recharging of the depleted groundwater aquifers that they take the lead.

The rainwater harvesting facilities installed in the Rastrapati Bhavan, the Prime Minister’s Office and Shram Shakti Bhavan on Rafi Marg are sporadic in the application of a concept recognised by Mahatma Gandhi as early as the dawn of Independence when he said: “We need not pathetically resign ourselves to fate, fixing our gaze at the skies for the rains to come. There is an inexhaustible reservoir of water in the bowels of the earth. It should be tapped ....”

President Narayanan used this quote in his address to the National Conference on Water Harvesting organised by the CSE in 1998 to underscore the finite nature of such an invaluable asset. That was when he decided to set the example.

The fact that the recharging systems have been installed in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the PMO and Sharam Shakti Bhavan indicate the potential of expanding the facility to the score of Central Government offices that border the Central Vista from Raisina Hill down Rajpath to the National Stadium and Purana Qilla on the verge of the Yamuna floodplain.

The one factor that governs the water harvesting project is the depth of the groundwater table. It is 12 metres at present in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, about 11 metres at the PMO, and 9 metres at Shram Shakti Bhavan which lies about 200 metres from the Rajpath median.

The water table rises to about 3 metres around India Gate which does not allow for installation of recharge trenches and borewell because percolation cannot take place. This variation in water table is for the reason that the groundwater aquifer between India Gate and the Yamuna has not been exploited because the water is brackish and not fit for human consumption.

However, the Central Ground Water Board has drawn up an action plan under which it has identified four segments in the Yamuna floodplain for exploitation of groundwater reserves based on the principle of hydraulics by which it will extract the brackish water and, through recharge borewells, facilitate the injection of fresh rainwater into an area covering the Pragati Maidan, National Zoological Park, Nizamuddin, Sarai Kale Khan, Okhla village and Friends Colony.

Pumpage in this sector will have the effect of lowering the water table from India Gate down to the river Yamuna in the dry season and replenishing it through water harvesting in the monsoon months. In view of this, it is possible to harvest the monsoon runoff from the rooftops and paved areas of all government buildings on both sides of Rajpath.

If hydraulics does not permit the creation of recharging trenches on the Central Vista it is feasible to set up the system on the front-gate side of these buildings as the Shram Shakti Bhavan facility has shown.

Similarly, there is significant harvesting potential in the ministerial and MP bungalows on both sides of Rajpath.

The Ministry of Defence which controls large segments of land in Delhi and has created ecology units in the Territorial Army to replenish arid zones and reafforest depleted mountains in the Himalayan foothills can make sure that all lands under its purview are covered.

Returning to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, given the fact that the Mughal Gardens and the President’s Estate require two million litres of water per day and 35 per cent of this is sucked out of the groundwater aquifer (the major cause for the lowering of the water table by between 2 metres and 7 metres within a decade) it may be possible to cut consumption for irrigation of this 1.33 sq km real estate by introducing the drip system of water management.

The point is that given the urgency to reverse the depletion of groundwater, merely making it mandatory for all the new buildings to install harvesting technology, will not answer the purpose. The approach should be holistic rather than selective. The whole of Delhi will have to do it together, not piecemeal.



Ban wheat sale by UP farmers: HVP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 22
The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) general secretary, Mr Rajiv Jain, today demanded an immediate ban on the sale of wheat in the grain markets of Haryana by the farmers of Uttar Pradesh as it was creating a lot of hardships for the state farmers.

In a signed press statement issued here, he said that in some mandis, the official procurement agencies were giving preference to the farmers of UP and purchasing their wheat the same day whereas the farmers of Haryana have to wait for days to sell their produce in the markets.

He alleged that some political leaders having the patronage of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, were minting money through these transactions. The officials of the Food and Supplies Department were also involved in several malpractices.

In some cases, the brokers even purchase the wheat from the UP farmers at a lower price and sell it to the procurement agencies at a higher price.

Mr Jain held the Chief Minister responsible for the deals as he wanted to make himself popular among the UP farmers.

He alleged that some procurement agencies were rejecting the wheat of Haryana farmers on the ground of adulteration and 20 per cent to 25 per cent of wheat had been rejected in the past. This, he said, has exposed Mr Chautala who claims himself to be pro-farmers.

The HVP leader declared that if these practices were not stopped immediately, the HVP would launch a statewide agitation to safeguard the interests of the Haryana farmers.

He expressed concern over the non-availability of the facilities in the grain markets and held the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board responsible for it.

He said that there were no sheds in the grain markets and the purchasing centres set up by the state government for procurement purposes. Similarly, potable water was not available to the farmers despite the fact they had to spend the nights in their tractor-trolleys.

Mr Jain also demanded compensation at the rate of Rs 20,000 per acre to those farmers whose crops had been burnt in fires caused by the short-circuit.



Call to probe HPSC functioning
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 22
The president of the Haryana unit of the Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has demanded a high level probe into the functioning of the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) in order to expose the alleged corruption.

Quoting the recent case of corruption in the Punjab Public Services Commission council after the arrest of its chairman, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Mr Vidrohi said that corruption plagued HPSC also and demanded a probe to nab the culprits.

Demanding an independent enquiry into the selections made during the tenure of all the previous and present chairmen and the members, Mr Vidrohi said the agencies should also probe the assets and wealth of all the present and past officials of the commission.

He said enquiry must also cover the selection of the family members and relatives of the all the chairmen and members so far.

He alleged that the family members and kin of influential persons including politicians and bureaucrats get selected through the commission every year, while the talented youths who had no approach or resources had failed to get through.

He said some persons who could not clear for lectures’ post through the HPSC, later joined as members of the commission.

He said while the chairman of such a commission had been arrested in the neighbouring state for corrupt practices, it was high time that the government should set up an independent panel to probe the functioning of HPSC and the wealth of all the members of the commission before and after their joining.

Quoting the recent results declared by the HPSC for the selection of HCS (Judicial), he said, the commission had declared about 12 candidates pass in the written examination and surprisingly, none of candidate was from OBC, BC, physically disabled or ex-servicemen. All were from the general category.

He said while he had written to the President of India about these anomalies, the CBI should immediately probe the commission’s functioning. 



‘School is the place to learn the art of film-making’

Sandeep Marwah
Sandeep Marwah, director, Asian Academy of Film and Television.

Sandeep Marwah is a well-known stage, film and television personality and probably the youngest director of a film school anywhere in the world. Sandeep Marwah had been instrumental in the establishment of the Noida Film City in 1987 He has been supporting the film and television producers in their work in the sprawling Marwah Films and Video Studio complex for the past 11 years. He has been associated with more than 40 television channels for the production of more than 2500 feature films and TV programmes.

Sandeep Marwah has done pioneering work in the field of media education and training by establishing the Asian Academy of Film and Television— a premier institute of its kind in the private sector in 1993.

This academy has so far trained nearly 2000 students from various states and territories of the Indian Union and 31 Asian, African and European countries, as well as the USA.

He has about 30,000 hours experience of training film and television professionals and the production of over 3000 training films in the past nine years.

Sandeep Marwah has also been acting, directing and producing talk shows, television serials and tele-films from time to time.

Sandeep Marwah is associated with a number of national and international cultural, social and media organisations.

Apart from being the director of Asian Academy of Film and Television, Sandeep Marwah is the National Chairman of the International Film and Television Research Centre and National President of International Film and T.V. Club.

In a candid talk with the NCR Tribune, he explains his vision and the various facets regarding his institute.

How long has the Asian Academy of Film and Television (AAFT) been functioning?

The academy was established in 1993 and since then, it has been continuously imparting media education and training.

What are the courses conducted at AAFT?

The AAFT conducts courses of three months duration in production/direction and TV journalism; camera and lighting techniques; video editing and sound recording; film fashion and costume designing and acting and presentation.

One year diploma course in film making is available to those who wish to learn the art and craft of film and television production in greater detail. Special courses are also organised to fulfil the specific training need of an individual or a small group.

Are the duration of short-term courses adequate?

AAFT is an alternative to formal film and television schools. The academy offers over 500 hours of carefully designed education and training, during a period of three months. This period is sufficiently long for preparing the individual for the professional work in the chosen field.

What is the eligibility criterion for admission to AAFT?

Besides possessing the required educational qualification for various courses, persons committed to serious study of cinema and television, faith in systematic training, and a strong will to make the grade in a highly competitive industry are welcome to join the institute.

Is the lack of knowledge and experience of film and television production, a handicap for admission to AAFT?

The AAFT training courses have been designed keeping in mind the perceived needs of a new entrant to the field of film and television.

What is a working day like at AAFT?

The institute functions from 10 am to 4 pm, from Monday to Friday. Additional time may have to be spent during some evenings for the post-production work.

Does the timetable of the institute suit a working professional?

The major portion of classroom teaching and practical training is over by lunchtime. Thereafter, arrangement can be made to free the professional, so that they could go back to their work.

What is the content of the practical work in the various courses of the institute?

The AAFT believes that performing arts are best learnt by performing it. Most of the training and education are practical in nature.

Do the students actually participate in the production of films during the session?

Every student gets an opportunity, directly or indirectly, to participate in several training films, and observe others at work in large number of training films during the session.

Do the students get an opportunity to observe the professionals at film-making and television programme production work?

The AAFT has the unique distinction of being located at the Marwah Films and Video Studio complex in the Film City of North India. The breakfast show ‘Subah Savere’ of Doordarshan is currently being shot at the Marwah studios. Producers/directors often permit the students of AAFT to watch the professional programme production work.

What about the trainers at the institute?

The greatest strength of the AAFT is its faculty. The training is imparted by a group of highly experienced and practicing professionals.

What are the fees for the training courses?

The cost of making films and producing television programmes is indeed very high. As such, the cost of training in this field is also high.

However, the AAFT subsidises the training cost substantially. The student is required to pay only 25 per cent of the commercial cost of the training. Currently, the course fee ranges from Rs 32,000 to Rs 37,000 for the three months courses and Rs 1,20,000 for the one-year course.

Are there any hostel facilities available for the outstation students?

Hostel facility is provided to those who require it. There are separate wings for the boys and girls.

Is AAFT a better place than serving industry apprenticeship for a beginner?

School is the right place to learn the art and craft of film making and television production. The industry is good for gaining professional experience.

Film schools and the industry have different roles to play. Industry apprenticeship is no substitute for formal schooling.

What can a student hope for from the AAFT?

The AAFT will provide you an opportunity to learn to communicate with pictures and sounds; to gain hands on experience in your chosen field of specialisation; to work with large number of fellow students who will be moving into the industry, and to develop a network of contacts.

The AAFT will also help you to discover your talents, skills, energies, form long range goals, and develop the ability to recognise appropriate opportunities when they arise.

Who are among the well-known alumni of AAFT?

Most of the close to 2,000 AAFT alumni, hailing from 28 Asian, African and European countries as well as the USA, are gainfully employed in their chosen field of creative work.

AAFT trained video editors and camera persons are amongst the best paid professionals in the industry.

However, special mention may be made of Kaushik Ghatak (director of many episodes of Star Plus popular serial ‘Kiyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee’),Rajshekhar (Associate director of Star Plus serial ‘Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani’) Manoj Krishnatre (director of the Sahara TV’s serial ‘Rait Ka Dariya’); Swati and Henna (leading ladies of the feature film ‘Pyar Ki Dhun’ which is ready for release) who have come into limelight due to their outstanding professional work in the last two years.



Airport security forces keep their powder dry

New Delhi, April 22
In order to check the preparedness of the agencies attached with the airport security during emergency situations, a ‘dummy exercise’ was jointly carried out by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), this afternoon at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The wireless of all security personnel buzzed with a message that “an airlines, AV-321 had crashed at the airport, killing all 64 passengers on board”.

Immediately, police and para-military forces took positions while fire tenders and medical and rescue teams, stationed at the airport and nearby areas, zoomed in on the “crash site” only to find that everything was normal. The AAI and the BCAS have in the past carried out such exercises including creating a hijack scenario.

Commenting over the exercise, the AAI officials said that the response of various agencies during the exercise was found to be “satisfactory”. But a detailed inspection of the preparedness was being carried out to improve on the capabilities during such an emergency. Even telephones of various newspapers and news agencies went abuzz to verify whether such an accident had taken place. TNS



Roadways employees told not to take part in strike
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 22
The Transport Commissioner of Haryana, Mr Rajan Gupta, has directed all the general managers (GMs)of Haryana Roadways in the state to take strict disciplinary action against the employees participating in the token strike on April 24 for which a call has been given by a section of the employees of Haryana Roadways against the supported policy of the state government for privatisation of certain depots of the roadways.

According to Deputy Commissioner, Mr M R Anand, the Transport Commissioner has asked the GMs not to grant leave to any employee of their depots on April 24. The managers have also been asked to dissuade the employees from resorting to an illegal strike by explaining them that there was no proposal to privatise five Haryana Roadways depots.

In a letter addressed to all the deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and general managers in the state today, the DC said, the TC has asked the district authorities to ensure that transport services were not allowed to be disrupted in any manner and adequate police force be provided at various depots and bus stands in their districts.



Citizens appeal to the President on 
Gujarat violence 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 22
Several prominent citizens of the town have appealed to the President to issue necessary directions to the centre and the state governments to put an immediate check on the ongoing violence in Gujarat and to protect the constitutional framework of the country.

In a joint letter signed by nearly 70 distinguished personalities of the town including university and college teachers, doctors, lawyers and student leaders, the President has been appealed to order a high-level probe into the riots and initiate stringent punitive measures against the government officials and the political leaders and the organisations who supported the rioters in Gujarat. It was demanded in the letter that immediate measures be adopted for the rehabilitation of the violence-affected people of Gujarat. It was also appealed through the letter to maintain communal harmony to protect the sovereignty of the nation.

Stay order

The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Shiva Sharma today stayed the arrest of nearly 30 officials and employees of the Sales Tax Department till May 1.They were recently booked by the police in connection with a sales tax evasion racket. The court said that the bail application of the accused would be decided later. However, all the accused were directed to attend the inquiry proceedings and to cooperate with the investigating authorities.

Relocation of dairies

New Delhi: To expedite the shifting of dairies to the outskirts of the Capital, the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will be sitting down soon to earmark the land to be used for relocating them. This was decided in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday.

According to official sources, an estimated 83 hectares of land is required. Sources said the government was toying with the idea of making use of the Gau Sadans (cow shelters) lying unused.

Youth drowns

A Nepalese youth drowned in the lake of famous Bhadkhal Tourist Complex here on Sunday.

The victim identified as Neel Bahadur, had come to the spot for a picnic. While he and three of his friends decided to take a dip in the lake to beat the heat, Neel Bahadur drowned. His body was later fished out, and sent for post-mortem. Meanwhile, a teenaged girl of Rajiv colony was crushed to death by a speeding vehicle near Ballabgarh.

Rs 90 lakh recovered

The district authorities recovered an amount of nearly Rs 90 lakh by challaning 4,714 vehicles illegally plying on the roads during the last year.

A spokesman for the district administration today said that the vehicles challaned included 356 buses, 203 Tata Sumo, 2,142 maxi cabs and taxis, 11 tractor-trailers and 2003 other vehicles.

Three arrested

The police recovered a stolen Tata Sumo and arrested three proclaimed offenders and 16 bail jumpers from the district during last week under 'Speed Breaker' campaign. A spokesman for the police said four youths were arrested on the charge of consuming liquor on public places and one arrested for illegally possessing 45 bottles of illicit liquor during the period.

Wheat arrival

A total of 2,83.907 metric tonnes of wheat had arrived in the mandis of the district till yesterday. Various agencies procured about 283752 metric tonnes of wheat. This is about 1.16 lakh metric tonnes more than the arrivals last year by the corresponding period.

According to information of the procurement done so far, the Haryana Agro Corporation has purchased the maximum 76040 metric tonnes, followed by 40,544 mt by Haryana warehousing, the FCI has procured about 35498 mt and the food and supply department has purchased 31710 mt so far.

Nine injured

At least nine persons, including a woman, sustained bullet injuries in a clash between two rival groups at Jharot village about 10 km from here late on Sunday evening.

According to a report, four persons of a family, who were injured seriously, were sent to the PGI, Rohtak, for further treatment.

However, all the alleged assailants managed to escape and the police have registered a case against them.

The trouble arose when Dalbir, a youth, took offence at the loud sound of Ashok’s tape recorder. This led to altercations among them. Subsequently, Ashok along with his other associates assaulted Dalbir and other members of his family. It is alleged that Ashok fired shots from his gun at the rival group, resulting in injuries to four persons namely, Jagbir, Dheeraj, Rajbir and Mahabir.

All the four injured were sent to the PGI, Rohtak. Other injured persons, including a woman, were hospitalised.

Anti-encroachment drive

The district and the civic administration continued their anti-encroachment campaign here with full vigour. According to a report, officials of the anti-demolition squad, went into action and demolished more than 50 houses and structures in Patharon Wali Gali on the Sonepat-Rohtak road.

A strong contingent of police accompanied the officials of the squad as a precautionary measure. The City Magistrate, Mr J.P.Thamman, the Executive Officer of the Sonepat Municipal Council, Mr Y.S.Gupta and

the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mr Hardeep Singh Doon, were also present on the occasion. All the routes leading to the Pathron Wali Gali were closed for traffic and no one was allowed to pass through these routes.

Many residents alleged that the authorities disconnected the power and water supply during the demolition drive.

As several telephone and electricity poles were uprooted by the JCB machines, the telephone system collapsed in the area. Official sources revealed that the road of this gali would be widened by 37 ft and it will be connected with the Kakroi road.

Illegal construction

The Sonepat Municipal Council has issued notices to owners of 21 shops near the Shani Mandir in this city, declaring them to be unauthorised construction. In an appeal filed by the Municipal Council against the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Supreme Court held them to be unauthorised construction.

Mr Y.S.Gupta, Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, told to the mediapersons here today that through these notices, the occupants of these shops have been directed to vacate the premises and further demolish them before May 3, failing which it would be demolished by the council.

Moreover, the cost of the demolition would be recovered from them as per rules. The owners of these shops had constructed these structures even though there was objection by the municipal council. The shop owners approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which overruled the objection of the municipal council. Thereafter, the municipal council appealed to the Supreme Court, which in its order dated April 12, declared that the respondents have constructed the premises despite the status-quo order and without obtaining the permission from the municipal council. The apex court, however, authorised the municipal council to take appropriate action including the demolition of unauthorised construction.

Jeweller robbed

Three cases of theft were reported at Ganaur, a sub-divisional town in this district, 16 km from here on Sunday night.

According to a report, the thieves entered the shop of a jeweller near the police station and took away cash and ornaments worth over Rs 2.50 lakh.

Sarpanch removed 

The deputy commissioner has removed the sarpanch of Bhulwana village on charges of irregularities. He has been asked to hand over the charge. It is stated that an enquiry found the allegations of irregularities against Sarpanch Kishan Singh true. The allegations were mainly related to misappropriation of funds.



Inter-state criminal arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 22
The Delhi Police special cell has apprehended an inter-state criminal, Rajesh Dahiya, alias Kala (30), who was a sharp shooter in the Kishan-Pahelwan gang and involved in cases of murder, dacoity, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and criminal intimidation.

The police have recovered a revolver and six live cartridges from his possession. The special cell sleuths under the supervision of ACP L N Rao received a tip-off that Rajesh, resident of Sonepat, would be coming near Nangloi DTC bus depot to meet his gang members.

Later, he was apprehended by the police and was booked under the Arms Act and sent to the police custody. The police said that after his release from Rohtak jail, he was re grouping with other member of the Kishan-Pahelwan gang to retaliate against Anoop-Balraj gang.

On sustained interrogation, he revealed some information about the triple-murder in the Kishan-Pahelwan gang for owing allegiance to Anoop-Balraj gang. He disclosed that the names of the gang members Jasbir alias Kala, Parambir alias Mauli, Karambir, Mahabir, Manoj alias Don, all resident of Haryana and Bholu of Najafgarh. An active member of the Kishah-Pahelwan gang and was arrested earlier in 1991 under Arms Act in Sonepat, he was found indicted in many criminal cases. In 1993 he was involved in an encounter with the police and received bullet injuries besides involving in a sensational case of kidnapping for ransom of Arpan Palliwal, grandson of Suraj Prakash Palliwal, the then MLA of Najafgarh.



Gang of thieves busted, 2 women among 4 held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 22
With the arrest of four persons including two women, the Murthal police have busted an inter-state gang of thieves operating in Delhi and parts of Haryana.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat told the mediapersons here today that the arrested persons have been identified as Sunil of Sagarpur, Neelam of Janakpuri (Delhi), Suresh of Kerala and Bimla of Nangloi (Delhi). The police, he said, also recovered stolen property and a Maruti car from the possession of the arrested persons. He also disclosed that the culprits, during the course of interrogation, confessed to their involvement in a case of theft committed in the broad-day light on the premises of an engineering college, Murthal.

Similarly, the culprits had committed a series of thefts in Panipat, Karnal and Gurgaon towns in Haryana. The SP further disclosed that the police have arrested a youth Satpal alias Pal of Titauli village and recovered a stolen Maruti car from his possession. The culprit, on interrogation, told the police that he had stolen this car from Panipat. He also disclosed that the culprits had committed thefts in Bhiwani, Jind, Rohtak and Sonepat. The police have so far recovered three stolen cars on the information provided by the culprit.

According to the SP, the police have arrested five armed robbers and recovered a country-made pistol, a sword, a knife and other arms from their possession. The arrested persons were identified as Rakesh of Jawahar Nagar, Sonepat, Sushil of Vishal Nagar, Rajesh of Rohni (Delhi), Pawan of Arya Nagar, Sonepat and Anand Kumar of Prabhu Nagar mandi, Sonepat.

He also disclosed that the culprits, during the course of interrogation, have confessed to their involvement in five cases of thefts and burglaries. The police, he said, also recovered a coloured TV, four LPG cylinders, and other goods from their possession. The SP also said that the culprits were planning to commit a dacoity at a petrol pump in Sector 12 of this city. All the culprits, he said, were sitting in a house under construction in Sector 15, a residential colony of HUDA in the city.



Four minors held for alleged gang rape
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 22
The North-West district police have identified six minor persons for their alleged involvement in a gang rape in Ashok Vihar area.

Police have arrested four minors, all residents of Chandrashekar Azad juhggi in Wazirpur. The other two were at large, and the police have launched a major hunt to trace the remaining accused. An owner of a sanitary trading company was robbed of Rs 25,000 at his residence by four unidentified youths today when he was with his wife in West Patel Nagar. Police said that four youths entered the house, armed with country-made weapons and threatened the elderly couple to part with the money. After robbing the resident Ram Charan Sharma, they fled. Police have registered a case of robbery and looking for the suspects.

Student ends it: Mohammad Samad (12), studying in Anglo-Arabic school at Kashmere gate and a resident of Seelampur today committed suicide at his house by hanging himself from the ceiling. According to the police, he failed in the exams when the results were declared on March 29. His parents scolded him. 



Woman seeks arrest of husband’s killers
Our correspondent

Rewari, April 22
Mrs Saroj Devi, wife of Jitender Kumar, whose body was recovered by the Government Railway Police (GRP), Rewari, from a spot some distance away from the Bawal Railway Station on November 15, 2001, has made a written complaint to the Chief Minister and the DGP of Haryana as well as the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, seeking an immediate arrest of the killers of her husband. She also demanded the conversion of the present case of culpable homicide into a case of murder.

According to the information received here, Jitender Kumar (31), a resident of Bawal, had been working as a clerk in a factory, Asahi India Safety Glass Ltd near Bawal since February 1991. He went out to take his morning walk as usual on November 12, 2001, but he never returned home. Later, on November 15, his body was recovered by GRP, Rewari.

Mrs Saroj Devi then told the police that her husband had been murdered by some of his colleagues and insisted on the registration of a murder case against them.

However, it is alleged that in connivance with the accused persons, the GRP daily-delayed and the case lingered for about 12 weeks.

Ultimately, the Railway Police of Rewari registered a case on charges of culpable homicide and kidnapping under Sections 304, 364 and 201 of IPC on February 6, 2002.

Again, 10 weeks have elapsed, but the GRP has not yet apprehended the criminals who are stated to be roaming about freely and making life miserable for the victim’s wife, Saroj Devi and her three small children.

Saroj Devi said that if the case was not converted into that of murder and the killers were not immediately sent behind the bars, she, along with her three children, would commit self-immolation.



Crime branch nails fake company, owner held 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 22
The economic offences wing of the crime branch has unearthed a racket of a fake company Adsum Capital Inc near Mahipal Pur Extension for cheating many innocent people on the pretext of providing them loans on reasonable interest rates.

The company used to promise them loans on the basis of the ownership documents and used to give advertisements in the leading newspapers. The accused Abhay Veer Batra, the owner of the fake company, used to collect huge amounts from the innocent people by first asking them to fill up the loan application sold for Rs 500.

Later, they were charged between Rs 2,200 to Rs 10,000 depending (non-refundable amount) on the loan amount of the individual.

If anyone charged the owner of non-sanctioning of loans and threatens to approach the police on this issue, he repaid them the said amount and brought the situation under control.

The company which claimed to have had financial links with some companies in the US and UK was also exposed and found to be a fake claim.

The computers, which were recovered from the office, was also found not working and only kept to attract the people. The company used to collect amounts varying from Rs 20 to 25 lakh and was amassing wealth over the last two years. Till now, the company had sanctioned loans to only four persons. The other accused Chander Shekar, Prabhat and Sarvdeep have also been arrested.


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