Saturday, April 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Suspects fly as cops try to score brownie points
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
The clash between two branches of the Delhi Police led to the escape of two prime suspects who were allegedly involved in a Rs 2-crore robbery at the ICICI Bank a few months ago near Parliament Street in New Delhi district. The suspects were hiding in a hotel at Kolhapur in Maharashtra from where they managed to escape even as the teams of Special Staff of West district and the Crime Branch were present in the city.

The Crime Branch is officially investigating the case. Its team was led by Inspector Ishwar Singh under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Extortion Cell), Mr P.S. Kushwaha, sources said.

The West district police sent teams to Kolhapur when it received a tip-off that the suspects were hiding in a hotel. While the West district team was preparing to raid the hotel room, the Crime Branch sleuths also reached Kolahapur.

Both the teams wanted to score brownie points by cracking the sensational robbery case. They had an argument. The Crime Branch team then contacted the Joint Commissioner of Police, Dr K.K. Paul, who prevented another team through the then DCP, West, Mr Kewal Singh, on the pretext that the case was investigated by the Crime Branch and it was their right to nab the suspects. According to the sources, the Crime Branch was asked by the Joint Commissioner to keep vigil on the hotel since the Crime Branch DCP, Mr M.S. Upadhaye, arrived there. The suspects had fled the hotel as Mr Upadhaye reached Kolahapur. The sources said that the Crime Branch team was equipped with the latest machine to intercept the conversation of the suspects, made on their mobile phones. But the team failed to operate the machine. Now they do not have any clue about the suspects.

The robbery took place when the cash was being carried from the Reserve Bank of India at Parliament Street to ICICI Bank in Connaught Place in a

vehicle of Brinks Arya Security Agency. The security guards have been absconding since the day of robbery. However, the police suspected that they had been killed by the suspects. There were four security guards in the vehicle and they belonged to different districts of Haryana. The Delhi Police contacted their counterparts in the state to inquire about them, but they had not returned home so far, the sources said.

Rs 12 lakh robbed

Four youths armed with country-made revolvers robbed Rs 12 lakh and gold jewellery worth lakhs of rupees from the house of a businessman in Anand Vihar in East district this morning.

When the incident occurred, the businessman, Pawan Kumar Goyal, was in his shop on Vikas Marg. His wife and their two servants were at home. The robbers barged into the house through back door and they robbed the cash and the jewellery at gunpoint. A case of robbery has been registered, the police said. TNS



Trucks banned on select roads 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
In a knee-jerk response, the Delhi Police today banned the entry of heavy and medium vehicles carrying goods on selected roads to prevent the repeat of Wednesday’s gory accident, which claimed the lives of five promising youngsters.

The ban on trucks would be limited to certain pockets and it is unlikely to affect the movement of goods to the wholesale markets.

The areas where the heavy and medium goods vehicles have been banned are: Aurobindo Marg upto AIIMS, Bhisham Pitamah Marg upto Andrews Ganj crossing, Khel Gaon Marg - Siri Fort Road, Simon Bolivar Marg, Rao Tula Ram Marg upto Olof Palme Marg, Subhash Marg, Rajpur Road, Entire Delhi University area, Raj Niwas Marg, Sham Nath Marg upto IP college, Lodhi road, Feroze Gandhi Marg, Veer Sarvarkar Marg and Vikas Marg upto Karkardooma chowk.

Meanwhile, Munne Khan, who drove the killer truck that claimed the lives of the five youngsters, was remanded to 14 days’ judicial custody by a Delhi court. He was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar Sharma with his face covered and he refused to join the test identification parade. The truck driver denied before the court that he was under the influence of alcohol when the accident took place. The police informed the court that the driver had another escort, who was absconding. A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered as the driver did not stop the vehicle even after hitting the car.

CM cautions

That the Delhi Administration was seized of the matter was apparent when the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, sounding a note of alarm, stated that the Capital has witnessed a nine-fold increase in the number of vehicles in the past 30 years while the road network has gone up by a mere 2.6 times. She said there was a need to streamline the transport system by formulating a core policy to meet the increasing vehicle population in the Capital. Delhi has more vehicles than all the other three metros put together.



NOC issued to a building that does not exist
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 26
Ever heard of a no-objection certificate (NOC) being issued for installing fire-fighting equipment in a building that does not exist? The credit for this uncanny feat goes to the Fire Department of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF), the biggest civic body in Haryana.

The NOC in question was issued by the Assistant Divisional Fire Officer recently to Plot No 104 in the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation Sector 31.

While normally an NOC is issued to an industrial unit only on completion of the building and after the installation of machinery and adoption of fire safety norms, in the aforesaid case the fire official allegedly issued the NOC to a company without even ascertaining whether the building had been constructed.

The plot in question, in fact, is vacant and has only a makeshift shed. It is suspected that there were some extraneous considerations for issuing the NOC. The irregularity was brought to the notice of the district authorities by a resident of Sector 28, Mr Bipin Somastamb, in the form of an affidavit. The matter was later brought to the notice of the Chief Minister and the district administration has now sent its report to the CM. However, no action has been taken.

The complainant has, meanwhile, lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP that the accused fire officer of the MCF had started threatening him for raising the matter. Demanding security and action against the culprits, Mr

Somastamb alleged that he had been receiving threats on the telephone and the accused was pressing him to withdraw his complaint. While no case has been registered on his complaint, the SSP has reportedly marked it to the SHO concerned for an inquiry.

The NOC issued by the officer is dated December 22, 2001, but interestingly the application was received by the Fire Department only on December 26, 2001.

An enquiry by the district authorities revealed that building construction work was in progress and a basement had been completed, but it was still not eligible for an NOC.

The same fire official was booked for corruption in March this year after being caught red-handed in a bribery case, but was reinstated later. The role of a local politician in the whole affair is also suspected. Mr K. L. Gera, a social activist, has sought a detailed probe into the functioning of the Fire Department of the MCF.



Speed merchants’ mantra: Live on razor’s edge & die young
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, April 26
They make no bones about it. Speed gives them a high. Ask any youngster about his liking, and speeding in a snazzy car on a highway is almost certain to crop up.

“A good road which is inviting and with no one to interrupt my excursion with their exasperating honking is my idea of letting my hair down,” explains a 20-something Pavan, working with a call centre.

He, however, is reluctant to disclose the speed at which he makes his car kiss the air, “I know speed kills, but it also thrills. You cannot always remain confined to speed limits. Once in a while, you have got to break loose.”

Asked whether the recent accidents have made him give some thought to safety on the road, Pavan offers, “What is the guarantee that the other guy on the road will not kill me. I may be a safe driver, but what if he isn’t one. And we can’t always calculate as to what will happen next. Life is also about living for the present.”

Speed governors were invented to spoil the fun. The youngsters are convinced that they are capable of taking care even when the spirits are high. “I have been driving for years. Much before I got my driving licence, I could well drive around the town. Driving is like second nature to me, I can do it with my eyes closed,” boasts Rajat.

Like Rajat, there are scores of them who brag about their driving ability, which in turn is used as an explanation for their penchant for living life on the fast track. So it is late nights, booze, relationships and also drugs that have enticed the Generation Y.

But is it only about confidence and the ‘I-know-my-limits’ syndrome, Dr R C Jiloha, Head of the Psychiatric Department of G B Pant Hospital, does not agree. “These youngsters are basically running from reality. The need for speed is basically an escape from the tensions of everyday living. It is like living in a mirage.”

Dr Jiloha cites the example of a young girl who was brought for counselling by her father. “The girl came from a broken family. Her father was busy running his business and her mother had left the house. To kill time, this girl spent time partying till the wee hours in the morning. She came home only to indulge herself all over again. Her friends had introduced her to dope. She is still undergoing treatment.”

Broken families and relationships gone wrong are not the only reason for the youngsters to lose themselves to the alluring world of drugs, discotheques and sex.

“Peer pressure and immaturity are vital in making children go wrong. Everyone who takes to a fast life doesn’t have to come from a broken family. There are hundreds of cases where the desire to move with the times has prompted kids to

choose the wrong over the right,” elucidates Kiran Sharma, a mother of two teenagers.

Dr Sanjay Chug, a noted psychiatrist, adds that the manifestation of this need for living life on the edge is basically a means of “seeking sensation”. He says, “People who lack thrill in life, who want excitement and stimulation often fall prey to such means of sensation seeking. These people are also prone to becoming drug addicts.”

Dr Chug points out, “The media should help in creating awareness about this syndrome. If anybody recognises such attributes in himself, they should understand that there can be an underlying genetic or biological factor to it, which can be effectively rectified.”

Statistics reveal that every year about 2,000 people fall victim to road accidents, including hit and run cases in Delhi. In contrast, the number of deaths in Mumbai and Chennai is 400 every year, followed by Kolkata, where about 300 die in accidents annually.

The Capital has, of late, become notorious for road rash. Accidents, involving youngsters in particular, often make headlines, telling the parents to rein in their kids.



Motorists, watch out for wheat stocks on 
Sonepat roads
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, April 26
The poor offtake of wheat in the various grain markets in Sonepat district has resulted in a glut. The wheat stocks have spilled on to the roads. The situation is so bad that there are traffic snarls all over. The farmers are finding it difficult to unload their stocks in the markets; in fact, they were unloading their stocks in any available slot near the markets. It was difficult to walk in the market without wading through a pile of wheat.

Some traders blame it on the official procurement agencies. They alleged that the officials of the procurement agencies favoured only those shops where the ‘arhtias’ were ready to pay overhead charges for lifting the stocks.

In turn, the officials of procurement agencies were reluctant to go to the sites of stocks for auction. As a result, the farmers had to wait for two to three days before their wheat could be auctioned.

At some mandis and purchasing centres, the farmers have pitched up tents on the roads leading to the grain markets and could be seen sitting there for two to three days.

The wheat stocks have spilled over to the adjoining vacant sites. Many farmers said that they had been waiting for two days for the auction of their wheat lying outside the market. There were hardly any arrangements for water.

They had to spend the day under the scorching sun. They have to arrange for their food from the nearby dhabas.

Most of the farmers from the nearby villages complained of slow lifting by the official procurement agencies. They also complained that in the beginning, their wheat was purchased much below the minimum support price on the plea that it contained more moisture. But the rates these days were as per the minimum support price. However, none of them was satisfied with the minimum support price offered to them. The farmers were unanimous in their demand that the minimum support price of wheat should be Rs 800 per quintal as against Rs 620 per quintal now. With the present minimum support price, they would not be able to repay their loans.

The arrivals of wheat in the markets of Sonepat, Ganaur, Gohana, Beeswan Meel, Rai, Kharkhauda and Murthal is at the peak these days. The farmers are anxious to unload their stocks in the markets because of the uncertain weather conditions.

Many ‘arhtias’ complained that despite several pleas to the authorities of the procurement agencies, they had not speeded up the lifting operations.

The complaints of the traders had not been solved despite the visits of the senior officers and district officials to the grain markets and purchasing centres in the district.

There were no sheds in the markets and the shortage of drinking water have added to the woes of the farmers.

The frequent power failures in the markets were also affecting the work of the ‘arhtias’. They complained of power failure for several hours at a stretch every day.

Meanwhile, most of the farmers are taking their wheat and other grain to the nearby Narela mandi in Delhi for getting remunerative prices for their produce, following the alleged non-purchase of wheat by the officials of some official procurement agencies in the grain markets of this city and elsewhere in the district.

The harvesting season is in full swing and the arrivals of wheat and other grain have already picked up in the mandis of the district.

The farmers are also perturbed over the non-purchase of wheat by the officials agencies which had been asked by the government to buy at the support price fixed by it.

Many farmers alleged that the traders and the ‘arhtias’ are forcing them to sell the produce at the price of their choice and the authorities concerned have failed to check this malpractice.



Allotment of plots: Noida officers chargesheeted
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 26
The Noida administration has issued chargesheets to a number of employees on the basis of a report submitted by the CBI to the apex court pertaining to the anomalies in the allotment of plots during the tenure of Neera Yadav, former chairperson of Noida.

All these officials have been asked to submit their reply to the authority within a fortnight. The Chief Vigilance Officer, Mr Dharinder Pal Singh, has been asked to conduct the inquiry.

Those served with the chargesheets, include Deputy General Manager G.C. Tiwari, Asstt. General Manager Jai Prakash, Deputy Managers V K Sharma and V K Joshi, Sr. Asstt. Dhan Singh, Engineer S Kumar and Asst. Accounts Officer S K Allon besides N P Jaiswal, R K Kalra and L K Jha.

The chargesheets to all of them have been issued on the orders of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brijesh Kumar of Noida.

The improprieties, in the allotment of plots during the tenure of Ms Neera Yadav, are being heard by the apex court on a plaint filed by the Noida Entrepreneurs Association. According to highly placed sources, the CBI has sought permission from the Central and state governments for filing a case against two senior IAS officers, Ms Neera Yadav, and former Dy Chief Executive Officer Rajiv Kumar.

Similarly, permission has also been sought for filing a case against former Noida Secretary Rama Shankar who is learnt to be posted in Dehra Dun under the Uttaranchal Pradesh Government. The CBI is understood to have based its report on the points on which the state government-constituted Mutaz Hussain Commission had made its recommendations.



Jana to preside over BJP Delhi unit meet today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
The strategy to rejuvenate the Delhi unit of the BJP would be the main focus of the working committee meeting of the party, to be presided over by the BJP national president, Mr Jana Krishnamurthy, here tomorrow. The meeting would discuss the reasons for the party’s poor performance and its defeat even in its stronghold.

Considerable importance is being attached to the meet, as the party president would be present to assess the views of the local leadership, especially in view of the talks of leadership change of the state unit.

Apart from the BJP president, the meet would be attended by Delhi BJP MPs, MLAs, senior leaders of the state unit of the party and other office-bearers.

Though the three-member committee, set up by the Delhi unit of the party, is yet to submit its report on the whys and wherefores of the party’s poor electoral performance, the members of the committee, who have ascertained the views of the district and mandal leaders, would present their findings in the meeting.

The civic poll issue was discussed by the BJP national executive in Goa and the state leadership had come under sharp criticism.



BJP MPs go for the jugular
Want dismissal of Sheila govt, discussion under Rule 
184 in Lok Sabha
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
The Congress-led Delhi Government came in for sharp criticism in the Lok Sabha today with the Bharatiya Janata Party members charging the state government with “total failure” in resolving the power and water crisis in the National Capital Territory and they sought the dismissal of the government.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Mr Madan Lal Khurana said lakhs of people in the Capital were reeling under the impact of the twin crisis and the Congress government in Delhi was doing little to find solutions to the problems.

He said out of a population of 1.40 crore in Delhi, 70 lakh were living in unauthorised colonies and they were the worst sufferers as there was no water and power in their areas.

Pointing out that the Capital had a demand of 850 million gallons of water a day, he said it was getting only 650 million gallons. Similarly, the Capital was being supplied only 2,760 mw of power against the demand of 3,250 mw, he said.

Mr Khurana suggested that the Centre should convene a meeting of the Delhi ministers concerned and find a way out to give the much-needed respite to the people.

Recalling that during his tenure as the Chief Minister in 1998, Mr Khurana said a plan was chalked out to link the Yamuna involving four states – Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi – but nothing had been done so far.

Stating that even Parliament was hit by the power crisis during the past three days, he said the summer had just begun and what would happen in May and June. “It was beyond anybody’s imagination,” he said.

Accusing the Shiela Dikshit government of failing to tackle the issue, the East Delhi MP, Mr Lal Bihar Tiwari, said arrangements should be made to send water tankers to unauthorised colonies.

The Outer Delhi MP, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, said the Congress government should be dismissed and a motion be moved in the House to discuss the matter under Rule 184 which provided for a vote.

The BJP spokesperson and Delhi MP, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said the Congress government was fully responsible for the plight of the people living in Delhi and sought stern action against its government in the Capital.

Demanding the dismissal of the Congress government, Ms Anita Arya, said one could imagine what would be the plight of the people living in slums and unauthorised colonies when VIP areas had been suffering due to power crisis.



No increasing trend in drug trafficking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
The seizure of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances during this year compared with that in the previous years in Delhi and Haryana, as reported by various law enforcement agencies, does not indicate an increasing trend, the Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr G. N. Ramachandran, informed the Lok Sabha today.

The proximity to the international border and good air linkage with other countries make Delhi and Haryana vulnerable to drug trafficking. During the first three months of this year, the minister said, 15.80 kg of opium, 21.76 kg of heroin, 32.75 kg of ganja and 36.99 kg of hashish had been seized in Delhi and 41.48 kg of opium, 0.04 kg of heroin, 6.80 kg of ganja and 13.87 kg of hashish in Haryana.

The minister said all confiscated narcotics were liable to be destroyed and no authentic market value existed and hence the valuation of the above-mentioned seized narcotics was not possible. This year, 118 persons in Delhi and 60 in Haryana had been arrested for prosecution under the NDPS Act. The minister said the government had taken several measures to prevent and put effective checks on drug trafficking.

Replying to another question, the minister said the government was collecting information regarding the recent detection by the Customs Department of export fraud in which a private firm exported and over-valued garment consignments to obtain higher export incentives.

The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Satyanarayan Jatiya, informed the Lok Sabha that the Centre had released Rs 8.06 core to various non-government organisations during 2001-02 under the integrated programme for street children.

He said the programme aimed at prevention of destitution and its consequences amongst children without homes and family ties. The programme had provisions of shelter, nutrition, health care, sanitation and hygiene, safe drinking water, education and recreational facilities and protection against abuse and exploitation to the destitute and neglected children.



Mayor calls for people’s cooperation to 
save Yamuna
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
The new Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Ms Jaishree Panwar, today exhorted the residents of the Capital to help save the Yamuna from further degradation and pollution.

She appealed to the Delhiites to minimise household wastes, segregate them into degradable and non-degradable wastes for proper waste management, not to use polythene bags and try to keep the environment clean.

The Mayor was speaking after flagging off a Mobile Publicity Van for slum and JJ colonies to educate the residents on the need to improve personal hygiene and to provide informative literature on saving the Yamuna from further deterioration.

An attempt was also being made to inculcate better civic sense among the young citizens of Delhi through a large-scale environment programme in community schools. Under the programme, 1,000 eco-clubs would be set up, which would inculcate environment-friendly attitude amongst the children, and through them in their families, the Mayor said.

A series of rallies and meals to be organised in conjunction with the major community and religious occasions was also planned under the Public Participation and Public Awareness (PPPA) programme. These will attempt to focus public attention on the acute problems of contamination of the Yamuna water and the need for action by every citizen to save the river.

She said that the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) had been taken up with financial assistance with the Government of Japan. The YAP was being implemented by the Delhi Jal Board and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which has also been designated as the implementing agency for the YAP. The programme involved construction of community toilet complexes. 



MLA demands more gunny bags to lift wheat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 26
The BJP leader and MLA from the Mewla Maharajpur assembly seat in the district, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, has demanded adequate number of gunny bags and speedy lifting of wheat from the various mandis of the region. Alleging harassment of the farmers by various agencies, he has asked the government to ensure procurement of all wheat that was brought to the mandis.

Speaking to newsmen here today, Mr Gurjar claimed that a large number of complaints had poured in regarding procurement. He said a tour of the mandis revealed that shortage of gunny bags and delay in lifting of the procured wheat from the mandis had been creating problems for the farmers. They were forced to wait for many days outside the mandis before they could bring their produce for sale, he said.

Moreover he said the agencies had failed to make immediate payments for the wheat bought from the farmers. He claimed that some of the middlemen had been procuring wheat of the farmers from their villages at a rate much lower than the MSP of Rs 620 per quintal and selling it in the mandis in the name of the farmers. He has demanded action against such persons and the officials involved in such irregularities during the procurement.



Speaking out


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?

If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Many months ago, the public schools had passed on the increase in the transport cost to the parents. They had to purchase the CNG buses, justifying the increase in the transport fee. Obviously, no other major factor emerged which could have made the public school management raise the school fee by a huge margin of 30 per cent.

As things stand, even the pre-hike fee was not fully justified as most of the schools lack many modern educational facilities required for the all-round development of students. They are unable to provide the education which requires qualified and trained teachers, who can guide the students in a scientific manner.

Thus, it should not be surprising that most of the public schools in Delhi are unable to provide the conducive atmosphere for the all-round development. However, when it comes to raising the school fees, they rarely miss an opportunity and exploit it in every possible way. The fact of the matter is that the managements of public schools enjoy tremendous political clout.

In the aftermath of the widespread privatisation of education in Delhi, the school managements and the political classes have struck a big deal, so that they can serve each other’s interests.

But for the parents who are unable to pay the huge school fee, increased at regular intervals, there is nothing that they can do except fretting and fuming in private or through the media. They have no choice. The school management always has the last laugh. The Education Department of the government does issue guidelines regarding the admission charges and fees through newspapers and electronic media.

However, in reality, these guidelines mean little to the school management. In connivance with the political elite, they flout them brazenly. Clearly, the education in Delhi has become a big business in which the government is a partner that shares the profit with the school management, but has no liability towards the students and society.

Therefore, it is obvious that the government will not take any action against the school management. However, for the sake of public consumption, it issues certain guidelines from time to time. In reality, little action is taken to provide relief to the students.

Another point is that the private schools take advance fee for every quarter. If the parents are unable to pay within the stipulated time, they are made to pay fine.

It is an irony: You pay advance fee and are liable to be penalised if you cannot do it. So it hardly matters to the school, whether you beg, borrow or steal, you must pay the entire school fee and other charges in advance, or face the prospect of your ward’s name being struck off the school roll.

Thus, the products of these institutions learn very early in life that the money power is the only way to survive in this jungle called life. Ergo, society should not lament if the human values get eroded and materialism become the order of the day.

TISH MALHOTRA, Rohini, Delhi

A paean to ‘NCR Tribune’

I would like to congratulate you on making ‘The Tribune’, particularly the ‘NCR Tribune’, a highly attractive publication.

Indeed, it is a useful source of information to the educated community.

The publication is read to acquire up-to-date knowledge.

In fact, the matter carried by ‘The Tribune’, has often been used in the educational institutes as part of extension lectures.

Undoubtedly, the publication is a reservoir of information and knowledge.

R.K. HANDA, C-8/310 Sector-8, Rohini, Delhi

Menace of copying

I read the news “Invigilators to be answerable for copying”(NCR Tribune, March 28, 2002). To check the menace of copying, the university appoints invigilatory staff. Several persons are involved in conducting the examination in a fair manner. As per Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) calendar, volume II, “The Controller of Examination shall be responsible for all arrangements connected with the conduct of examination and all matters connected therewith.... The Controller of Examination will appoint members of the flying squads/observers, the superintendents of each examination centre shall be appointed by the Controller of Examination; the assistant superintendents are directly under orders of the Controller of Examinations in matter of appointment and removal.”

The principals of colleges affiliated to the MDU are designated as Superintendents-in-Chief of the examination centre or centres in their college. However, I believe that whoever can enter the examination hall—whether the controller of examination/superintendent-in-chief or other people- all are answerable in the eye of law. To put the whole responsibility for the conduct of fair examination on the shoulder of the invigilator alone, is unjustified. It is submitted that the power and responsibility go together. The person having more power should also have greater responsibility.

Hence, to solely hold one person responsible for the conduct of free and fair examination is unreasonable. All officials responsible for the conduct of the examination, at all stages, must be held responsible and accountable for their conduct.

OM PARKASH WADHWA, Lecturer, Govt College, Gohana (Sonepat)

No traffic signal

There is no red light signal at the C-block market T-point in East of Kailash. The lack of a traffic signal at such a vital point leads to daily traffic jams, especially during the office hours in the morning and in the evening.

The problem is made worse by the people residing in the area, especially in Kailash Hills. The residents of these areas have little traffic sense and drive recklessly and park their vehicles most carelessly. In the circumstances,

I would request the authorities to install a red light signal at the T-point and post a traffic policeman there, to see that there is a free flow of traffic.

ABHINAV KAUL, East of Kailash, New Delhi

Pak agents did it

If last year, it was the earthquake that hit Gujarat, this year, it was the Godhra killings, when the ‘Pakistani agents’ mercilessly killed 57 Ramsewaks returning back from Ayodhya. The common people don’t understand the political jargons but know that we are all the children of God.

The real religion means to be one with God. By another name, we term it as yoga, i.e. to join in communion with God.

Jesus Christ declared, “I am his son.” Prophet Mohammed pleaded with humility when he said, “I am his messenger.” Hinduism says that God loves all His creatures so much and comes in various forms.

Thus, there cannot be two gods: “their god” and “our god”.

The Gita says: “Asat ki satta nahin hai, aur sat ka abhav nahin hai,” meaning that there is no dearth of truth while falsehood has no ground. That is why, true religions can never encourage sectarian feeling.

And the eternal truth is that we belong to God. Hope this eternal truth will be practised and realised not only by the Gujaratis and the Pakistanis, but all those who have faith in humanity and mankind.

Let us not play into the hands of Pakistan, who after the defeat at Kargil and the elimination of the Talibans, want to disturb the communal harmony and peace in India.

At Goa, the Indian Prime Minister had rightly said that Islamic jehad (read terrorism) cannot be tolerated. While Islam or Christianity are a few hundred years old religion, Hinduism has been there for thousands of years.

Thus, his statement that “secularism existed in India much before the advent of Islam or Christianity” should be welcomed by each Indian, irrespective of their narrow political thinking.

In India, the media is playing a very positive role in discharging its responsibility. It is a matter of great satisfaction and pride for the common man in India.

MOHAN BHATNAGAR, R.K. Puram, New Delhi

Good counselling

During the conduct of the recent CBSE examinations, the issue of counselling centres, which help school students cope with exam blues, came to light. Some students, due to the lack of proper and timely guidance get misled by their surroundings.

They do not understand what is right for them. They easily get confused, thus creating tension for themselves. This, in turn, affects their studies.

If a student is tense, how he can devote his time and mind to his studies?

In these circumstances, counselling centres in schools, help students to overcome their problems. They listen to the students and understand their mental state and give them necessary suggestions.

Counselling centres not only guide the students but also inform their parents regarding the behavioural pattern of the child and what sort of remedies will suit the student.

Today, the students are overburdened with studies. Apart from their teacher’s guidance, they need some experienced friends like counsellors, whom they can trust for friendly advice.

In this competitive world, every student tries to do his best. The urge to get good marks has created unnecessary tension.

And if a student is tense, he cannot study properly. Counselling centres in schools help students in a big way to cope with the examination blues.

SHWETA KOHLI ,Shahdara, Delhi

Pensioners’ plight

Though the Finance Minister of Haryana supported the idea of a welfare committee for the pensioners, few steps have been taken to implement it.

All the states, except Haryana, have formed these welfare committees.

Through your paper, I would request the Haryana Government to take steps for the formation of the committee.

Ironically, the Haryana Government (Finance) which was sending pension letters to the pensioners associations from 1986 to 1999, stopped doing it in the ‘Year of the elders’.

This needs to be restored early in the interest of the pensioners.

The Central Government converted the dearness allowance as dearness pay at 568 C.P.I. for those retiring on 31.3.1985 to 31.12.1985. All the states, except Haryana, have given this benefit to their pensioners. As the Haryana Government is not releasing the order, the pensioners in Haryana are getting less gratuity. The Haryana Government is yet to announce the dearness relief at 49 per cent w.e.f.1.1.2002 as done by the Central Government.

The grant of 5 per cent and 10 per cent extra old-age pension has become necessary due to the ever-increasing medical expenses.

B. R. MALHOTRA, Faridabad

Sportspersons’ fate

It was extremely shocking to know that the well- furnished house of Rachna Govil, an Arjuna Award winner, was reduced to ashes within a few minutes in Asiad Village Complex.

She is working as Deputy Director of Sports with the Sport Authority of India. What a great pity that no official from the SAI came to see Rachna after this tragedy. If this is the treatment meted out to such sportspersons, what can be the plight of an ordinary player.

She should have been allotted another house lying vacant nearby. If we want good result from our players, the authorities would have to change their attitudes toward talented sportspersons.


Typhoid outbreak

I would like to inform you that there is an outbreak of typhoid in Gurgaon. I myself was down with typhoid for three weeks and now my daughter who is four and a half years, has been down with typhoid for the last three weeks. It appears that drinking water pipes are getting contaminated with sewage lines. While it sounds impressive if you hear someone calling Gurgaon a fast growing satellite town, what about the basic infrastructure?

Dr MEENU CHOPRA, B.H.M.S. (DU) Gurgaon 



Man gets life term for wife’s murder
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 26
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Manjit Singh, today sentenced Surinder, a resident of Samalkha, to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 for the murder of his wife about two-and-a-half years’ back.

It may be recalled that Surinder, a chronic drunkard, allegedly used to beat her wife often. On November 13, 1999, an inebriated Surinder beat her wife black and blue till she fell conscious. Later, the accused sprinkled kerosene on his wife and set her on fire.

Bihar MLAs’ visit

A five-member team of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha visited the city today. Mr R. K. Sharma, Xen, Pollution Control Board, who accompanied the team, informed that of the over 500 dyeing units, about 400 had installed effluent treatment plants. And to overcome pollution problems, the dyeing units were being shifted to Sector 29 here, he added.

Hooda flays govt

The HPCC chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has charged the state government with adopting a reluctant attitude towards procurement of wheat from the farmers in the region. After a visit to different grain markets in Kiloi and Sanghi villages, Mr Hooda alleged that the government was intentionally harassing the farmers at the grain markets so as to pressurise them to sell their produce at throwaway prices.

Mobikes stolen

Two motorcycles were stolen from different parts of the town during the past 24 hours. Mr Sandeep Barak, a resident of the Ram Nagar locality, alleged that his motorcycle was stolen from in front of the Man Sarover park here. Mr Somveer, a resident of Durga Colony here, complained that his motorcycle was taken away by some unidentified miscreants from medical college complex.

Women block traffic

A large number of irate women blocked the BST road and held up traffic for several hours in protest against the non-repairing of the damaged road at Ganaur, 16 km from here, on Thursday evening. According to a report, a large number of vehicles, especially those carrying wheat, were lined up on the roads causing great inconvenience.



HPSC den of corruption, says MLA
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 26
Terming the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) a den of corruption, the Republican Party of India (RPI) MLA in the Haryana Assembly, Mr Karan Dalal, today demanded a CBI probe into the functioning of the commission. Talking to ‘NCR Tribune’, Mr Dalal alleged large-scale irregularities in the functioning of the commission. Merit had been given the go by and jobs were available for a price, he alleged, adding that he would soon write to the Prime Minister and the President in this connection. Referring to the Haryana Government’s advertisement for the recruitment of 200 SIs, he alleged that this would hamper the prospects of the ASIs and Head Constables as the SIs had never been directly recruited. 



Arrest of accused in murder stage-managed?

Jhajjar, April 26
Although the district police claimed to have achieved a major success with the arrest of Rajesh Dahiya in the triple murder in Bahadurgarh last Saturday, further inquiries and inside reports suggest that his arrest has served little purpose in making any crucial headway in the case so far.

In fact, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police had arrested him much before the murders took place. This fact has also refuted the claims being made by the senior police officials in Bahadurgarh about solving the murder case in which three persons reportedly owing allegiance to the Anoop gang were shot dead.

Authoritative sources in the district police said that Rajesh could have been one of the conspirators behind the murder, but investigations had indicated that he was not directly involved in the incident occurred just outside the police station.

The main targets of the assailants were Kuldeep, who died in the attack, and Sanjay, who survived. The police sources confirmed that rivalry between the Kishan gang and Anoop gang was the reason behind the deadly attack.

Clearing the confusion due to overenthusiastic statements made by certain police officials in Bahadurgarh over the arrest of Rajesh, Mr Mohammed Akil, Senior Superintendent of the Police, here said that Rajesh was handed over to the Bahadurgarh police on Sunday by the Delhi Police on getting reports about the murder of a particular gang members by its rival gang of which he was a member. He was arrested under the Arms Act and later handed over to the Bahadurgarh police with the permission of a Delhi court.

The SSP said that Rajesh had been booked under Section 120-B of the IPC by the Bahadurgarh police for conspiracy. He was present in the local court on Monday, which refused to remand him in the custody of the Bahadurgarh police and sent him to the Rohtak police custody.

Police sources disclosed that he tried to court arrest in Bahadurgarh on Saturday afternoon but failed. These sources added that his arrest in Delhi might be a stage-managed by him. Although the highly placed sources stated that the accused in the Saturday murder case had been identified on the basis of the interrogation of Rajesh Dahiya and the statements of the victims who survived the attack and other family members of the deceased, some of the names were not found mentioned in their statements. 



Heroin worth Rs 1.6 crore seized, three held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
In its latest drive, the Narcotics Cell of the Delhi Police apprehended three persons in two different cases and seized heroin worth Rs 1.60 crore in the international market.

With this recent haul of heroin, the Narcotics Cell also claimed to have broken the previous year’s record. While 21.710 kg of heroin was seized last year, 22.110 kg of the contraband was seized within four months this year.

In the first case, the cell received a tip-off that two persons would be coming near an inter-continental hotel on Barakhambha Road. About 5.30 pm, two persons were seen waiting to supply the stuff and were nabbed. They were booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The two were later identified as Pawan Kumar alias Bablu Singh (20) and Kuldeep alias Nanhe (24), both residents of Badayun in Uttar Pradesh. On their personal search, 250 gm of heroin was recovered from each of them. In the second incident, a member of 27-member family, which was recently convicted for their involvement in the narcotics business, was nabbed for indulging in selling heroin after his acquittal from the jail.

The accused, Raj Kumar alias Bittoo (36), resident of Sultan Puri, started selling huge consignments of heroin on a daily basis. The police received a tip-off that he would deliver a consignment near Sultan Puri Nala and found the suspect with a polythene bag. He was immediately overpowered by the officials and taken into custody. About 1.100 kg of fine quality heroin was recovered from his possession.

Woman crushed by bus: Dhanno (55), resident of Wazipur, was crushed to death by a speeding bus (No DL-1P-8159) on the Deshbandhu Gupta road in Central district.

She was crossing the road when the incident occurred. She was found in the middle of the road when a speeding bus from the other side hit her. She died on the spot.

The bus driver fled the spot after the incident. The police have booked a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and launched a massive hunt to trace the accused. 



Woman stabbed to death

Ghaziabad, April 26
A woman was stabbed with a pair of scissors to death here by unidentified assailants this morning. She was stabbed in the stomach. On being informed at about 9 am that a woman, Mrs Chameli, widow of Kailash, living near the Tibra Road railway crossing has been murdered, the Modi Nagar police station inspector, Ms Urmilla Udenya, and her team rushed to the colony. The victim, who has a married daughter, was living alone in a rented house. While the neighbours said that the assailants had tried to rob the house, the police suspect the involvement of her brother in the attack. Her brother wanted her to give him the money which she wanted to give to her daughter, it is learnt. OC



BSNL mulls over launching mobile 
services in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 26
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is contemplating to launch mobile telephone services in the Sonepat telecom district and elsewhere during the current financial year. Stating this, Mr R C Hooda, general manager of the telecom district, told mediapersons here today that the services, when commissioned, would benefit lakhs of telephone subscribers in the state.

Referring to the achievements made in the telecom district by the company, Mr Hooda said that while the total equipped capacity of the district was 73,940 lines, there were 61,183 connections at present. During the financial year 2001-2002, a net capacity of 25,480 lines had been increased and a total of 16,912 new telephone connections were provided. The total waiting list of Sonepat district was 2,856 and this list would be cleared during the current financial year subject to the availability of stocks, he added.

He also said that at present, connections were in demand in Sonepat Main, RSU Sector 15, Ganaur, Gohana, Palri, Mehlana, Bhadana, Saidpur, Kundli, Rai Panchi Jatana, Bahalgarh, Murthal and Jakhauli telephone exchanges and all-out efforts were being made to provide the connections in all the feasible areas.

According to Mr Hooda, the BSNL had provided as many as 5,547 new telephone connections to the consumers in Sonepat district during the last month alone. The telephone exchanges of Farmana, Mohana and Khubru villages had been converted as the RSUs of Sonepat main exchange of 1,000-line capacity. And 500-line RSUs had been commissioned at Kathura, Mahra, Akbarpur Barota, Bhatagaon and Garhi Bala villages in the last month.

He also disclosed that the capacity of Bhainswal, Bhanwar, Bichpari, Butana, Gangana, Nuran Khera, S P Majra, Bidhlana, Datauli, Kiroli, Moi and Panchi Jatan telephone exchanges had been increased by 152 lines. Similarly, the capacity of Kharkhauda exchange was being increased by 600 lines and that of Kundli exchange by 1,000 lines. 


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