Friday, April 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DU stalls hostel admissions on bogus plaint
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
A major controversy has erupted over the admission of residents in the Jubilee Hall men’s hostel of the University of Delhi with aggrieved applicants alleging that the hostel and university authorities have completely bypassed the norms and procedures. It is also alleged that the university authorities have stalled the admission process, apparently in response to a “bogus complaint” lodged by an alleged “non-student”.

The Jubilee Hall, one of the several post-graduate men’s hostels on the university campus, had invited applications from eligible candidates for admission in the Hostel in August 2001. After more than six months, the hostel authorities issued the admission list on February 26 this year, short-listing the names of 50 students in the general category, one in the foreign, two in the handicapped and 11 in the SC categories. The list also included four names in the internal category. The short-listed applicants were asked to appear for an interview on March 1.

However, a letter was written by the president of the Jubilee Hall Students Union (JHSU) to the Vice-Chancellor pointing out “irregularities” in the preparation of the list. “An attempt has been made to bypass the student representatives’ participation in the hostel activities, including the preparation of the list, which is against the rule (Article 5 and Article 9) as mentioned in the Constitution of the Jubilee Hall,” the letter, issued in the letter head of Nand Kishore Lal, president of the JHSU, said.

The Pro-VC of the university, Prof C. R. Babu, immediately sent a copy of the letter to the hostel authorities with the noting: “Please convene the meeting of the Managing Committee immediately to sort out the issue. Meanwhile, no admissions should be made”. This letter was sent to the hostel authorities on February 26, the same day the JHSU president had shot off the letter to him.

Interestingly, Prof K. T. S. Sarao, the Head of Department of Buddhist Studies, had sent a letter to the Provost of Jubilee Hall with a copy each to the Dean of Colleges and the Pro-VC that Nand Kishore Lal was no more a bona fide student of the department anymore.

Prof Sarao was responding to an anonymous letter sent by some researchers of his department. “I have received an anonymous letter from some researchers of my department that Shri Nand Kishore Lal (union president) who is a resident of your hostel has obtained an MPhil bona fide certificate from the department for the purposes of continuing his stay at your hostel. I do not know whether this complaint is correct or false… I may particularly point out that Shri Nand Kishore Lal is no more a bona fide student of the Department of Buddhist Studies. Thus, if he has deposited any bona fide certificate or any such document that points to his being a bona fide student of my department, then that document should be treated as invalid,” Prof Sarao said in his letter.

Importantly, Prof Sarao’s letter was dated January 25, 2002, more than a month before the letter was written by Nand Kishore Lal to the V-C and the subsequent intervention by the Pro-VC stalling the admission process. Further, Article 2 of the Constitution of the Jubilee Hall clearly states that “Membership of the union shall cease when the member ceases to be a bona fide resident of the Hall”.

Questions are now being raised about the unwarranted intervention of the university authorities in the matter, more so because the Pro-VC intervened directly in response to a letter written by somebody whose bona fides as an union member was questionable.

Mr Kapil Dev Singh, the legal counsel for some of the aggrieved applicants, said that “the internal administration and discipline of the Hall are vested in the Provost, who is assisted by the Warden and a Resident Tutor. This is clearly stated in the handbook of information and rules of the Jubilee Hall”.

A Writ Petition was filed before the Delhi High Court on April 20, 2002. The case is slated for hearing on May 20, 2002.



All is well in MDU, ‘till further orders’
Jatinder Sharma

An ad hoc university

* The Maharshi Dayanand University slogan is ad hocism.

* Almost all appointments to key administrative posts carry the rider ‘Till further orders.’

* Among the posts subjected to this curious rider are that of the Registrar, Dean College Development Council, Director Distance Education, Librarian, Director of Sports etc.

* The canopy of ‘till further orders’ hangs over all the five chairs established in the university.

* About 40 per cent of the sanctioned posts of professors and readers are lying vacant.

Rohtak, April 25
In Maharshi Dayanand University, ad hocism has been elevated to an art form. The institution’s mantra and leitmotif is a cryptic ‘till further orders’. This ad hoc style of administrative and academic functioning is manifest at different levels.

Result: In MDU, almost all appointments to key administrative posts carry the rider: ‘Till further orders’ and ‘In addition to’ the normal duties of the officials.

On the administrative side, the posts subjected to the curious rider are that of the Registrar, Dean College Development Council, Director Distance Education, Librarian, Director of Sports, Dean Students Welfare, Director Youth Welfare, Finance Officer, Medical Officer etc.

On the academic side, the canopy of ‘till further orders’ hangs over all the five chairs established in the university. These chairs had been instituted in the names of Sir Chhotu Ram, Dr B R Ambedkar, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, Maharshi Balmiki and Maharshi Dayanand.

About 40 per cent of the sanctioned posts of professors and readers are lying vacant in the MDU. Against a sanctioned strength of 45 professors, the university has only 27 in position. Twenty-six posts of Readers, against a sanctioned strength of 68, are lying vacant, whereas, against a sanctioned strength of 186 lecturers, 47 posts are lying vacant for the last few years

The Directorate of Distance Education, the money minting department of the MDU, does not have a regular Director. The charge has been given to a teacher `till further orders.’ The posts of Coordinator and Assistant Directors are also lying vacant.

The MDU campus, spread over 25 acres in 1976, is now a sprawling 679 acres but it has no land scapping officer. The charge has been given to another official ‘in addition to his normal duties’ till further orders.

Although the campus is buzzing with construction activity, it has no senior architect and the post is lying vacant. Again, the post of the Senior Accounts Officer is being held by a person till `further orders’ and that of confidential PA to Controller of Examinations is vacant.

Interestingly, whenever the government wishes to “adjust” someone, the coveted post of Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC) comes handy, to which only full-fledged appointments have been made. The post carries with it such frills as a big house, an official red light car, assistants, security guards, gardeners, peons, helpers etc.

According to highly reliable sources, the Governor-chancellor and the entire faculty feel that the post of the PVC must be abolished as the expenditure incurred on the PVC’s establishment is many times the amount spent by the university on research scholarships, stipends and prizes.

All said and done, the `well-intentioned’ vice chancellor, Maj Gen (retd) Bhim Singh Suhag, deserves ‘three cheers’ for his `till further orders’ style of functioning.



HC notice on traffic impediments
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police Commissioner on a petition seeking to regulate the flow of traffic without interruptions from vendors and beggars, particularly at traffic intersections.

A public interest litigation, filed by the Society for Awareness and Development, has alleged that the irresponsible and negligent attitude of the respondents has resulted in giving vendors, hawkers and beggars a free run of the roads, particularly at traffic intersections, thereby endangering the lives of the motorists.

Seeking replies from the Urban Development Ministry, the Government of NCT, the Delhi Police Commissioner, the MCD and the NDMC, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice S B Sinha and Justice A K Sikri, directed the respondents to file a status report on the action taken or proposed to be taken to ensure road safety and fixed the next hearing on July 10.

Stating that the activities of hawkers and beggars had earned the approval of the respondents, the PIL said that recently a reputed newspaper had taken to roads, canvassing for their publication in the name of road safety awareness, disrupting the traffic flow.

The petitioner’s counsel, Arvind Nigam and Amit Mahajan, pointed out that permitting the roads to be used for commercial activities tantamounts to flouting the spirit of the Supreme Court directives.

The PIL submitted that the international road traffic convention, to which India is a signatory, says that the responsibility devolves on the respondents to minimise the level of distraction to commuters as a matter of precaution, but the authorities had failed to remove the hawkers, vendors and beggars from the road.

The petitioner said that while the Delhi Police had banned the use of hand-held mobile phones to prevent the drivers from losing concentration, the same department is aiding and abetting the risk of injury to commuters by passively encouraging people to throng the road to carry out commercial activities.



Our indigenous Harry Potter wants to see the 
Taj disappear
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, April 25
He may not be a graduate of the now universally famous Harry Potter’s imaginary alma mater, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

But he would very much like the government authorities to start some thing on the lines to impart training to magicians in order to revive the ancient art in real life.

Claiming to be the only Sikh magician in the world, Jatinder Singh Babbar professes to be the master of the art of hallucination and would like to make the world famous Taj disappear from in front of your eyes, authorities permitting. Or if not that, then an entire train from a platform.

Recipient of several awards like the Jadoo Samrat, Jadoo Shiromani and Jadoo Ratan, this Lakshmi Nagar, East Delhi-based entertainer has overawed many an audience during the last decade by making an elephant disappear from the stage or by just producing a beautiful lass from thin air.

Babbar, as he is known, spends most of his off stage time working for the Delhi unit of Multipurpose Art Association for National Integration of which he is the president. Babbar told the NCR Tribune that he was not at all happy with the attitude of the authorities towards this form of art which had made the country world famous and even lent a bit of oriental mystique to it.

For years he has been trying to convince the powers that be to include magic as an optional subject in schools and has been in the forefront lobbying for the abolition of entertainment tax on magic shows. Babbar has recently started his own production unit where he designs and manufactures various instruments required on stage by the masters of this craft. “This is my way of propagating an art form which otherwise is slowly dying out”, he claims.

He has, along with several other magicians, petitioned the government to think of starting an institute to offer training to those who want to pursue this art form as a career. In fact, he is hopeful that one day the government would veer around to his point of view.

For Babbar, this passion started from early childhood and perhaps he was destined to this career. He recalls how he used to impress his classmates by producing eatables from thin air.

This ability, obviously, made him the most popular boy in the school and he had a large fan following, he recalls with a mischievous smile. Babbar is happily married.

His wife Manjeet, son Gurdeep and daughter Sonia often assist him on stage. For them, magic runs in the family and he is already grooming Gurdeep in the art.



Noida lost its budding talent
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 25
Two talented Noida residents, Ashish Puri (25) and Nishit Saran (26), who in a short span of time had made a mark in the world of TV serials and ad films, died in the gruesome car-truck collision at the Lodhi Road crossing in the Capital on Wednesday.

Ashish had produced and directed a number of ad films. He had been in the field for the past 10 years. A pall of gloom has descended on Ashish’s house in A-344 in Sector 19 here. His father, retired Col Ajay Puri, and his mother, Renu Puri, were surrounded by relatives and close friends. It was a bolt from the blue for the family. The life of their only son had been snuffed out in the prime of his youth. The relations said Ashish had taken the full responsibility of the family on his shoulders. “Ashish was the darling of the entire family,” said his sister Radha Puri, while fighting hard to control her tears. Ashish was the youngest among three children. His other sister, Richi Puri, is married and lives in the United States. Ms Radha had come here on hearing the news of the tragedy that had befallen the family. Mother Renu, who had collapsed on hearing the news, is still unable to talk. The scene was similar at 1-177 in Sector 21 where relatives and friends had gathered to stand by Nishit Saran’s family in its of hour of tragedy. His father Col R. Sharan’s eyes, it seemed, were still searching for his son among those who walked in to offer solace. Also present were a number of Nishit’s friends, waiting for the last glimpse of their dear friend.

Driver of truck arrested

New Delhi: The driver of the truck, which rammed into a Maruti car on early Wednesday morning and claimed five lives, has been arrested from his residence in Sultanpur in the Mehrauli area of South Delhi. The driver has been identified as Munna Khan (34); he had abandoned the truck after the accident at Lodhi Road crossing. He had a genuine license valid till January 2003. He had been driving the vehicle for 15 years, which bore the registration number of Haryana. The bodies of the victims, including that of the VJ of Channel V, Pooja Mukherjee, have been handed over to the parents after the post-mortem at AIIMS. The post-mortem report confirmed that the victims were not drunk. TNS



Police hunt for armed desperadoes
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 25
The police have launched a massive hunt for the armed desperados who secured the release of two prisoners being ferried to Jind by a police party yesterday.

According to a report, both the prisoners, allegedly involved in cases of loot and other crimes, were being taken by a three-member police party consisting of a head constable and two constables from the district jail, Sonepat, to Jind for a court hearing.

When the Haryana Roadways bus, in which the prisoners were travelling, was one km away short of the Mohana police station on the Sonepat-Gohana road, a Maruti car intercepted the bus.

Four to five miscreants, who were travelling in the bus, sprang to their feet and threatened the passengers with dire consequences. One of them even threatened the driver with a pistol. Meanwhile, two occupants of the car entered the bus and forced the policemen to release the prisoners. When the policemen resisted, they were roughed up. The miscreants later fled in the car along with the prisoners.

The prisoners were identified as Sanjay, son of Hukmi of Butana village, and Sanjay, son of Ghansham of Jind.

This is the fourth incident of its kind in the district. One prisoner escaped from police custody when be was being brought from Hissar. Two more prisoners were freed from police custody when they were being brought to the district jail from Jhajjar. Another prisoner escaped from police custody just outside the district jail.



SDO placed in judicial custody

Panipat, April 25
The Duty Magistrate, Mr Vimal Sapra, has remanded P. C. Bhargava, SDO of the Sanoli Road Subdivision, to judicial custody for 14 days. He was arrested by the Haryana Vigilance Bureau on Tuesday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000 for releasing a new electricity connection.

A team of the bureau, led by the DSP, Mr Mohinder Singh, swooped on the office of Bhargava on the Gohana Road and caught him red-handed while accepting the money from Mr Shamsher Singh Rana. There was chaos at the office as a section of the employees did not allow the team to take the official for questioning. The employees alleged that Bhargava had been framed in the case. TNS



Drive against graft fails to convince 
Faridabad residents
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 25
Bad days are here for corrupt government staff, at least the lower and middle ranking officials and employees of various departments in the district. As many as three cases have been exposed and five employees, including a doctor, have been nabbed indulging in corrupt practices in the past two weeks.

Faced with such rampant misuse of authority to mint money, the administration recently started a reward scheme by which the persons helping the authorities to nab corrupt government staff red-handed will get Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 depending on the rank of the official arrested. However, residents here are sceptical about the success of the drive against graft since they doubt that high-ranking officials would get away while lower grade staff would land in trouble.

In the latest incident, the officials arrested a Sales Tax Inspector and his assistant at Karman Border (UP) in the Hodal sub-division on Wednesday night for indulging in corrupt practice during a routine checking of trucks preparing to enter Haryana from UP. According to the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) of Hodal, Mrs Sunita Verma, she had been receiving complaints of corruption by the Sales Tax staff at the border check post and she decided to conduct a raid with her team.

She said that the truck drivers had to pay Rs 150 per tonne as penalty for overloading, but the Sales Tax staff posted there used to charge extra money as `bribe’ at the time of issuing overload tax receipt. She said she sent her driver along with a truck driver, Dinesh Yadav, of (vehicle No: MP-07G-2588) for getting an overload receipt for three tonnes. She said while Inspector (ST)

Surajbir Singh and his assistant Chetram took Rs 450 as the overload charge and issued a receipt, they also took Rs 50 as bribe from the driver. However, the currency notes taken by the Sales Tax staff were powdered and were arrested by the team consisting of the SDM and DSP on the spot. A case under Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been booked against the accused.

This is the third such case in the past fortnight. Earlier, a doctor of the civil hospital here and his attendant (peon) were arrested for taking a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a physically challenged person for preparing a `Disabled certificate’. They were caught red-handed taking the money from the complainant. The doctor was arrested but was later released on bail.

A head constable of the Home Guards was also arrested a few days ago for taking a bribe of Rs 800 from a person at Palwal for getting him issued an arms licence.

The authorities now claim that a campaign has been launched to root out corruption by stating that anyone who helped the administration to nab corrupt officials and employees would be rewarded with cash prize of Rs 20,000 and 10,000. Faridabad is the first district where such an incentive scheme had been launched against corruption, says the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar.

Despite these measures, a section of the society is sceptical over the success of the drive. They claim that corruption starts from higher-ups. Till senior officials of the administration and departments like the police, power supply and municipal corporation were arrested, such a scheme could not succeed. “Who will catch the big fishes in the pond?” asks a social activist based here. He said corruption had taken deep roots and if it was to be uprooted, officials of all ranks, including those supervising, should be brought under the ambit of such a programme. 



Irrigation schemes riddled with corruption 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 25
Most of the schemes undertaken by the Irrigation Department in this district are riddled with corruption, thus defeating the objectives of such ventures. According to knowledgeable sources, the bulk of the amount spent on these schemes is being misappropriated by the officials entrusted with their execution. Some of the works executed remain only on paper even though the department had made payment for the same. The muster rolls also include the names of persons who were never put on the job, it is alleged.

In fact, the Government of Haryana, with an aim to rooting out corruption from the department, had appointed an SDO (Vigilance) to supervise the works relating to the maintenance of canals, distributaries and minors and also to check the ongoing works as well as the malpractice in the utilisation of public funds by the officials. However, no substantial action has been taken by the said officer. On the other hand, he has become a part of the official machinery which is flagrantly violating the government rules and indulging in financial and corrupt practices, it is alleged.

These sources also reveal that whenever the “Letters of Credit” (LOC) for various purposes are received by various water services divisions, the said officer reportedly takes commission. Due to this, the maintenance of canals, distributaries and minors continues to remain a major problem despite heavy expenditure incurred on them in this district, particularly in the Rai Water Service Division of the department. Though the state government had made available lakhs of rupees to the water services divisions for the cleaning operations of the canal networks, the conditions have hardly improved with the result that tail-end fields of the farmers continue to remain dry as canal water doesn’t reach there.

According to many farmers, embankments of various canals and distributaries are silted resulting in waterlogging of large areas. They alleged that many officials of the canal department are minting money by preparing bogus muster rolls showing that labourers were employed for a particular job. But most of these ‘appointments’ were only on paper.

On the orders of the state government, the officials of the Vigilance Department had made site inspection of the works relating to the de-weeding and desilting operations carried out by the Rai Water Service Division in this district and found at least 53 per cent of the works as bogus. This revealed that the public funds were misappropriated by certain officials involved in this scandal. Similar irregularities were also detected in other water services divisions of this district.

Meanwhile, the state government is now contemplating to take sterner actions against the erring officials of the department. This has caused panic among the corrupt officials.

Another racket has also come to the surface about the preparation of bogus muster rolls by the officials of the irrigation department in this district.

Informed sources have revealed that whenever canal cuts are made by some unscrupulous farmers, backed allegedly by some ruling party politicians, these are hushed up by showing that they are due to mishaps. In this way, the officials find an opportunity to dupe the government and misappropriate the funds by preparing bogus muster rolls in connection with the repair works.

The government has also been suffering a huge financial loss owing to the use of sub-standard materials in the construction of watercourses by the officials of the Command Area Development Authority (CADA) in this district during the past few years.

According to informed sources, some of the works executed in the past were found to be of sub-standard quality and the higher authorities of the department have already taken a serious note of it. This followed numerous public complaints received by the state government in this regard.



Delhi Police flouted SC ruling in 
sexual harassment case: NCW 
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
The National Commission for Women has taken exception to the Delhi Police for not following the Supreme Court ruling while conducting an inquiry into the sexual harassment case against the Director of its Finger Print Bureau and allowing the case to linger on for almost seven years.

A complaint of sexual harassment was lodged in 1995 against the Director of Finger Print Bureau by a lady Assistant Sub-Inspector. The complaint was submitted to the DCP Crime, DCP Vigilance and a few other senior officers. But no concrete result came of the complaint and the victim had been transferred to another department while the officer was still enjoying the coveted post of the Director, sources in the National Commission for Women (NCW) said.

The sources claimed that according to the apex court ruling, if any woman employee makes a complaint against an official, a committee should be set up to conduct an inquiry into the complaint. A lady officer should head the committee and half of the members should be women.

However, in the case of the Assistant Sub-Inspector, no committee was set up and inquiry was conducted by a single woman officer. In her report submitted a few weeks back, the accused ACP had reportedly been given a clean chit.

Fed up with the report and attitude of the police, the Assistant Sub-Inspector approached the National Commission for Women on February 4 this year.

The NCW sent two reminders to the official concerned for registration of an FIR against the ACP. However, the commission has received no response so far. If the police do not respond even after the third reminder, the NCW would approach the courts for registration of the case, the sources said.

The sources said that besides the Assistant Sub-Inspector, two other women had made verbal complaints against the said ACP’s behaviour. One of them was subsequently transferred. The Assistant Sub-Inspector has also been transferred to another branch of the Delhi Police.

The complaint of the Assistant Sub-Inspector said that she was harassed from the day one when the Finger Print Bureau was inaugurated in Malviya Nagar in 1995. At the time, the officer concerned was holding the rank of an Inspector. The complainant was a bachelor. She was allegedly called in the office of the Director where she was sexually harassed and it continued for sometime. When she refused to give in, the director reportedly adopted other methods of harassment by allegedly marking her absent while she used to be present in the office. 



Sudden NCERT postings raise eyebrows
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, April 25
NCERT is no longer the academic body it once was, it has been turned into a dictator’s regime, alleges former Head of the Social Science Department, Prof. Arjun Dev. “It is time a high level enquiry or a committee is appointed to check the malfunctioning of the organisation”, says Prof Dev, referring to the recent controversial postings of some NCERT staff members.

In the week gone by NCERT has issued transfer orders for four staff members — Dr. Dinesh Sharma and his wife Dr. Jaishree, M A Hussain and Dr G Venkatesha Murhty. It is alleged that these people had to face the sudden posting orders because of their proximity to Prof. Dev. However, the NCERT maintains that the postings are perfectly in tune with the norm. “There is nothing unusual about them. People who have nothing to do with the organisation now are unnecessarily bad mouthing NCERT’s director and this is something that they should refrain from doing. These people have been posted as per department norms and requirements”, said the Public Relations official of the NCERT.

But the others beg to differ, “ I do not know the exact reason why we were transferred but it is not in good taste”, said Dr. Sharma who is expected to join duty in 12 days. Interestingly, while the others got the transfer orders first, Dr. Jaishree was handed over the relieving orders before being given the transfer orders. “ She got the relieving orders before the transfer orders. And there was no indication that a transfer was in the offing”, said her husband.

Mr. Hussain had left for the day when he received the transfer orders at home delivered by a ‘special messenger’. “ I reached home at 6.45 p.m. and the messenger came at 7.30 p.m. with the transfer as well as the relieving orders. This is not the usual practise. Though we do not have any concrete evidence, but from what we gather we have been punished for proximity with Prof. Dev”, said Mr Hussain who has been posted to Bhopal.

Insiders reveal that some of these staffers were suspected of being ‘informers’ of

Prof. Dev. It is also reported that some of the people who dared to raise their voice against the changes in the curriculum and the general functioning of the body had to meet similar fate.

“A number of senior staffers have taken voluntary retirement because they could not put up with Dr. Rajput,” said Dev. He adds, “When Dr. Rajput took over, he told us that he has a reputation for closing down institutions. What we thought was a joke has more weight now”.

Members and staffers are reluctant to speak to the press as they have been prohibited to do so. “ This is a sort of dictatorship”, alleges Prof Dev. But the ones who had to accept untimely postings and assignments are far from convinced. “There has to be some sort of transparency in what is happening. Some one has to raise a point, but who will do that?” demanded Prof Dev just as others continue to wait and watch.



Official apathy leads to problem of plenty 
at grain markets
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 25
With the government agencies delaying the lifting of wheat from the 12 grain markets and wheat purchase centres in the district, there is problem of plenty in the grain markets. And with the grain markets bursting at seams, farmers are finding it difficult to bring their wheat to the mandis.

The unprecedented piling of wheat in the grain markets and the adjoining open areas has led to its own problems.

Due to the slow procurement of wheat and the resultant lack of space at the shops of the commission agents, farmers in the area are now hesitant to bring their crop to the mandis.

Though the farmers are generally happy at the procurement of wheat at the government announced minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 620, the slow pace of the procurement process are a source of constant worry to the farmers.

It may be recalled that there had been a marked improvement in the lifting of wheat, following the visit of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, a few days back. However, the official machinery has again gone into deep slumber.

Apart from the bumper crop, the early arrival of the wheat in the mandis has markedly slowed down the procurement process. A quick survey of some of the mandis revealed that the situation was by and large the same in all the procurement centres.

Matlauda mandi, which had procured the highest quantity of wheat last year, followed by Samalkha, seem to be packed to the capacity. The situation was no different at the small mandis and local new grain markets.

The lack of space at the local mandis had reached to such an extent that heaps of wheat was seen piled up on the GT Road, a distance of nearly one km from the grain market.

In fact, one side of the four-lane road had been completely choked with the piled up wheat. It has led to the disruption of traffic and inconvenience to the general public.

The sheer volume of wheat seems to have caught the official machinery on wrong foot. Many farmers said that as a result of rain at regular interval during the harvesting season last year, there was a staggered arrival of wheat at the mandis.

However, the scenario has been exactly the opposite this year and the resultant problem of plenty this season.



VVIP security: Training for DP junior staff
J. T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
With the Union Home Ministry recently reviewing the security cover of the country’s most protected persons and constant intelligence inputs alerting the security agencies about the heightened security threat perception to VVIPs, the security wing of the Delhi Police has realised the need to sensitise the junior-level police officers to meet the growing challenges of terrorism and has embarked on a specially designed short-term refresher courses.

According to sources, the need to sensitise the lower-level officers has been seriously considered as, on many occasions, the information had failed to reach them leading to confusion during important security arrangements and left the officers in a state of disarray. Therefore, it was decided that everyone involved in the security set-up irrespective of the ranks must be apprised and updated about the VVIP security.

For this, special training courses have been conducted for officers, Inspectors, ASIs and constables and two batches have already completed the course this year.

The third course, which started on April 22 with the help of other central agencies, promises to make the lower staff highly aware by laying emphasis on briefing on VVIP security in their own language, making them physically fit and mentally alert and practise “real life” firing for personal protection and elimination of enemy. Training to handle sophisticated weapons and latest gadgetry from foreign countries is also imparted in the courses.

The training courses focus on the knowledge of threat perception, nature of types of danger in security for VVIPs, observation power, training them through films, simulated exercises, picking up important assassination cases of the past and discussing them threadbare.

During the course, cases of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination, attack on Nagaland Chief Minister S. C. Jamir, LTTE ambush in Colombo city and Parliament attack are being studied and discussed in detail.

The security cell has also formed a Research and Development (R&D) Cell under a senior officer. The cell is examining in detail the set up of a number of terrorist organisations – methods, strategies, modes of operation, networks and their activities — to know their future course of action.

The Special Commissioner of Police (Security and Operations), Mr S. K. Kain, says that the main focus is on rationalisation of manpower.

“We want to give an unobtrusive outlook and at the same time provide maximum protection to VVIPs during public functions.”

About 7,500 police personnel had been deployed for VVIP security purpose in the city and we wanted to utilise the best available human resources in the present force, Mr Kain said.



Youth loses his legs in Haryana bus accident 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 25
A youth Shyam, a resident of Ladhaut village lost both his legs, when a Haryana Roadways bus ran over it. According to a report, the victim alleged that even before he fully alighted from the bus, the driver accelerated the vehicle, and his legs came under the wheel of the bus. The accident took place at Ladhaut village on Wednesday. According to information, the youth boarded the bus from Sukhpura chowk on his way to his village. He was rushed to the PGIMS where both his legs were amputated by the doctors. The police have registered a case under Section 279,337 and 338 of the IPC.


A former minister, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, has been appointed as secretary of the All India Congress Committee Labour Cell. Mr Hooda received a notification in this regard issued by Mr G. Sanjeeva Reddy, national chairman of the cell. Mr Hooda has been given the responsibility of the unorganized sector. A copy of the notification has been sent to Mr Oscar Fernandes, MP and general secretary, AICC.

Crops destroyed

Standing wheat crop, worth several lakhs of rupees, was reduced to ashes in a devastating fire, which broke out in about five-acre of fields, at Deepalpur village, 13 km from here on Wednesday evening. According to a report, the fire spread to the nearby sugarcane field which was also burnt down. On receiving the information, the municipal fire brigade from Sonepat was rushed to the site that brought the fire under control. The cause of the fire and loss incurred was being ascertained.

Reports of similar fire was also received from the villages of Jataula and Kheri Gujjar, which caused huge loss to the farmers. The increasing incidence of fire in the farming fields has caused panic among the farmers. The farmers have requested the state government to provide compensation for the losses suffered.

Trains disrupted

Rail traffic was disrupted by passengers for about an hour on the DUK section of the Northern Railway on Thursday, at Bodhwal Majri Railway Station. According to a report, the passengers were protesting against the non-availability of drinking water and other facilities at the railway station. Two Shatabadi trains were among those that were held up at Ganaur and other railway stations on account of the incident. On receiving the information, the Government Railway Police (GRP) was able to clear the railway track. Thereafter, the train services were normalised.


Mr Anil Thakur, a former municipal councillor and a Youth Congress leader has been appointed the district president of the All India Punjabi Ekta Manch. The aim of the manch is to strengthen the unity among the Punjabis in the country.

Food adulteration

The authorities of the Health Department have stepped up their anti-adulteration campaign in the different parts of the district. According to a report, the District Health Officer, Dr Har Bhagwan Dass Arora and other officials, went round the city this morning and checked the foodstuffs sold by shopkeepers, including the sale of milk by the dairy owners. During the surprise raids, the officials seized eight samples of various foodstuffs and sent them for examination. The anti-adulteration campaign was a result of a series of public complaints alleging the sale of adulterated foodstuffs in the district. Meanwhile, the officials of the department also seized samples of mineral water and aerated water bottles from different parts of the city. The campaign has caused panic among the shopkeepers and halwais. Most of them kept their shutter down to avoid samples being taken from their shops.

Road accidents

Two persons were seriously injured when a private bus collided with a tanker on the G T Road near Murthal Chowk, 8 km from here. According to a report, the injured persons were identified as Rakesh and Radhey Shyam. Both were immediately hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger.

According to another report, a youth Suresh was seriously injured when he was hit by an unknown vehicle on the G T Road near Rai, 13 km from here. The youth was returning to his house when the accident occurred. The police have registered the case.



Illicit liquor seized from six places
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, April 25
In a special drive, the district police raided six places and recovered a huge quantity of pouches and bottles of country-made and Indian-made foreign liquor.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldip Singh Siag, said that the police, on the basis of information, raided six different places and seized 611 pouches and 375 bottles of country-made liquor and 65 bottles of IMFL and arrested six persons.

A team of city police station recovered 400 pouches of liquor from the possession of Karan Singh on Basai Road. The accused allegedly used to sell the pouches to the rickshaw-pullers and labourers, and other members of the weaker sections of the society at cheaper prices compared to the market prices.

Mr Siag said that a team of the Sohna police raided three villages. From Rithoj village, the police arrested Gian Chand and recovered 270 illicit bottles and 211 pouches of liquor. Mr Gian Chand has been in the business for quite sometime, alleged the SSP.

In Bahalpa village, the police raided the house of Tony and found 90 bottles of different brands. In its third raid, the Sohna police checked a Maruti car (DL 4CB 1909) at Baikhera village and found 56 bottles of IMFL hidden under the seats of the vehicle. The car was driven by Davinder Singh, a resident of Baikhera village. The police arrested the culprit and impounded the vehicle. Mr Siag further said that the Bilaspur police raided two different places in its jurisdiction and seized nine bottles of IMFL and 15 bottles of illicit liquor and arrested Ajit Singh and Anil Kumar.



Xen, six others chargesheeted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
Seven persons including a MCD Executive Engineer have been chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation, for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The CBI, in the chargesheet filed in a Special Court here, named MCD Executive Engineer (Building), Devender Gupta and six others, including his relatives for allegedly helping him collect disproportionate assets worth approximately Rs 10 crore.

Devender Gupta was on anticipatory bail, while other accused have not yet been arrested.

According to the chargesheet, the total income of the accused from known sources, during the check period (1985-99), was Rs 2.28 crore, while his total expenditure during the same period was estimated to be Rs 52.11 lakh. Thus, his likely savings during the period was Rs 1.76 crore. However, he was found in possession of assets worth Rs 11.34 crore, which was disproportionate to the tune of Rs 9.57 crore, CBI alleged.

The accused purchased nine immovable properties and three cars in his name and in the names of other accused persons, CBI alleged.

Man killed: Kishan Lal (34), a resident of Majnu Ka Tilla in North district was knocked down by a TATA 407 truck on the Ring Road near Sindhi Baba temple. The incident occurred when the victim was crossing the road. He was taken to hospital where he was declared brought dead, police said.

Brother stabbed: Tilak Ram, a resident of Burari village, reportedly stabbed his younger brother, Mohinder, who was hospitalised. When Tilak Ram was beating his wife, she ran to the house of Mohinder to save herself. When the victim tried to prevent Tilak for beating his wife, the suspect stabbed Mohinder. The police have registered an attempt to murder case against Tilak Ram. 



Nirula’s opens first highway 3-star hotel
Tribune News Service

Panipat April 25
Nirula’s, the largest restaurant chain in Delhi, has finally arrived in Panipat. The first highway three-star hotel of the group, intended to provide banqueting facilities to the business and leisure traveller, was formally thrown open to the public on the GT Road here. Speaking to reporters, the vice-president, Mr J.S.Grover, hoped that the hotel would be able to serve the people from the textile town. However, apart from the business traffic, we will also be targeting leisure travellers passing by the GT Road, he added.

Giving details of the facilities, Mr Gurreet Singh, general manager, operations said: “Our restaurants will offer a variety of food items to our guests. We have Potpourri—a multi-cuisine restaurant for lunch and dinner, Pegasus bar—a well-equipped bar, offering a wide-range of cocktails, mocktails and a family-style restaurant.” Mr Grover informed that Nirula’s planned to open four more hotels on the highways in two years time and target areas included on the Delhi-Agra highway and Delhi-Jaipur highway. Cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Agra, Jaipur and Jalandhar were also being explored.


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