Tuesday, May 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Gurdwara Polls
BJP’s turn to be sore with Akalis
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
Differences have cropped up between the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and its alliance partner, Bharatiya Janata Party, over the distribution of tickets even before the Delhi government has notified the dates for the general election to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

The nine-member election committee constituted to select the candidates for the 46-ward DSGMC does not have a nominee of the BJP, resulting in a war of words between the two electoral allies. The vice president of the Delhi unit of the BJP and DSGMC member, Mr Swinderjit Singh Bajwa, expressed disappointment over the composition of the election committee.

Stating that the committee was not representative, Mr Bajwa said: “All the members of the committee are ticket seekers. How can they select the candidates.”

“They would only be negotiating amongst themselves and give tickets to their own men,” he alleged.

Hopeful of securing at least half a dozen tickets for the BJP candidates and his supporters in the forthcoming polls, Mr Bajwa said, “The party would fight on the SAD symbol only. But, it is unjust that we have not been consulted before the ticket distribution.”

Party sources in the SAD (Badal) said the election committee has tried to appease the different groups within the party by giving representation to them. While the party’s Delhi unit chief Avtar Singh Hit’s group has two representatives in the election committee, the other group leaders – Inderpal Singh Khalsa and Manjit Singh Greater Kailash — are the lone members of the committee. In the DSGMC, the Hit group has 12 loyal supporters and the other 15 are supporters of different factional leaders. About 12 members joined the Tohra faction following the split in the Shiromani Akali Dal and they support the Sarna group – the Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi.

Following the defeat of the SAD (Badal) in the Assembly polls and the rout in the municipal polls in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala, the stakes have gone up in the Capital.

Considering the ramifications of the DSGMC polls, the former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, himself cleared the names of the members of the election committee and is likely to oversee the process of selection of candidates.

Sources said Mr Badal would be giving a personal touch to the election strategy, a move aimed at damage control following the multi-crore Sidhu scam.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, met the Lt Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, on the DSGMC poll issue. The Akali delegation was assured that the polls would be held on June 30.

The last general election to the DSGMC, which holds office for a four-year term, was held in 1995 after a gap of 17 years.

More than three years have passed since the elections to the committee became due, which has control over a number of schools, hospitals and other institutions and an annual budget of crores of rupees. There were about 3.07 lakh registered voters, after the final round of enlisting of names. As per 1999 electoral rolls for the gurdwara polls, there were 2.67 lakh registered voters in these wards. The DSGMC comprises 56 members and the general elections are held for 46 wards in the National Capital Territory. Four members from the Singh Sabhas, one from the SGPC and the five Jathedars of the five Takhts in the country are members of the committee. Except for the five Jathedars, all others have voting rights.



Cops unravel spurious drug trail to Bihar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
The Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a racket in manufacture and trade of spurious drugs with the arrest of two persons. It has sealed three such factories of spurious drugs in the Capital, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Finished and semi-finished drugs, dies, rubber seals, machines used in manufacture of spurious drugs and other incriminating materials have been seized during a swoop down on the factories. The Special Cell had a tip off that a large consignment of 562 kg of drugs booked for Patna was lying in the godown of M/S Sri Krishna Air Services, Teliwara, in Old Delhi. The consignment was bought by Shankar Kumar Sahu of Patna, who was staying in a hotel in Paharganj.

The police raided the hotel room and arrested Shankar Kumar Sahu and recovered the tariff slip of the consignment from his possession. The drugs were also seized. During interrogation, he disclosed that he had a chemist’s shop in Patna in the name of Sahu Medicos. He had been involved in the racket for the last three years. He would come to Delhi off and on and look up the factories in the Capital and its neighbourhood for the purchase of spurious drugs. Having negotiated the purchase, he would personally take the spurious drugs consignment to Patna and distribute it to various chemists in Patna and rural areas in Bihar. Following Sahu’s arrest, the factory premises were also raided. The spurious drug factories were located at village Shalamar in Shalimar Bagh area, Patti Kalyana near Samalkha in Panipat district and in Saharnpur.

The owner of the factory in the Capital, Madan Lal alias Gopal Choudhary, has been arrested. The other two, who own the factories in Haryana and UP, respectively, are absconding. During interrogation, Madan Lal disclosed that he has been in the racket since 1986 and had been arrested earlier, too. The drugs manufactured by him are sold in Kolkatta, Guwahati, Patna and in and around the Capital.



Toilet repair project smells foul
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 20
The local Improvement Trust, which keeps getting embroiled in controversies at the drop of a hat, is knee-deep in another one.

The row has snowballed largely due to the attempts of some vested interests to stonewall an inquiry into the materials used and the cost incurred on repair of a public toilet.

The property in question is that of the Improvement Trust and the cost incurred on the repair works, undertaken through a contractor, is said to be more than Rs 80,000.

The toilet is located at Khandsa road, where the Improvement Trust has about 190 shops, the majority of which have been sold through auctions. The toilet is meant for the public and the shop-owners. According to reports, some members of the Improvement Trust have raked up the matter, bringing it under the scanner. Now, they are trying to press the chairman of the trust, Mr R. Mangla, for the filing of the inquiry report.

Two members of the trust had paid a surprise visit to the toilet on January 12, a few days after the repair work was over. They were sceptical about the standard of the materials used as well as the amount spent on the repairs. In a full House meeting of the Trust on April 5,the two members raised the issue and demanded that the issue be investigated by an engineer of the body. Result: A junior engineer was deputed to inquire into the matter.

Some of the members have now alleged that so far the report has not been filed. They were still in the dark about the status of the inquiry.

Some of the members have alleged that the mandatory monthly meetings of the full House of the trust were not being held under the present dispensation. This is why, even though two members had suspected irregularities in the repair works and possible misuse of public money way back in January, the House could discuss the issue only in April. Even after that, the report has not been filed, although a month has lapsed.

Many wonder about the credibility of the awaited report, especially when the inquiry, in the first place, was conducted three months after the construction. Further delay would naturally allow the evidence to be tampered with.

The general feeling is that the powerful local politicians of the ruling INLD in the state are behind the alleged attempts to cover up the issue. The wide-ranging view is that politicians at the helm of the Trust, as well as outside the body, are acting in collusion. The development flies in the face of reiterations of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala that his government’s agenda was to root out corruption from public life and institutions.

Incidentally, the Trust was revived by the present government. Earlier, the affairs of this body were looked after by an Administrator (a government officer). This is not to say that things were hunky-dory under the Administrator.



Yet another fire in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
More than 100 makeshift shelters and shops were destroyed in a fire which broke out in the congested Turkman Gate area near the Guru Nanak Eye Hospital in the early hours this morning. No one was reported injured in the fire, which lasted for over an hour.

However, the Delhi Fire Service officials said that one of the firemen sustained minor burns while battling the flames and was being treated at the Lok Nayak Hospital.

According to the Delhi Fire Service, the fire started around 1.15 a.m. and, finding ready fodder in the makeshift shelters, soon engulfed the entire area. There was considerable panic as the residents, roused from their sleep, scurried for safety. More than 40 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The initial attempt was to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjoining congested areas. It took the Delhi Fire Service more than one-and-a-half hour to control the fire.

The police said that a case had been registered and efforts were being made to ascertain the cause of the fire, which could have been caused by either sparks from an open hearth or an electrical short circuit.

This is the sixth major fire in the Capital this month. According to the Delhi Fire Service officers, May is usually a month of fires because of the extreme dry conditions and strong winds. On an average, three to four fire incidents are reported every day during May.



Rewari group makes its debut on celluloid
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, May 20
Artistes of Banjara, a cultural organisation of South Haryana that has drawn accolades for its superb plays at Delhi, Jaipur, Rewari, Gurgaon and Ram Nagar (Nainital), have come out with their first Hindi feature film, ‘Doosri Ladki’. The movie is due for release in Rewari in early June.

Directed by Mr Arun Jaitley, who gave us Hindi films like ‘Chhuppa Chuppi’, ‘Nirman’, ‘Bare Ladiyya Mohe Wale’ and tele-films like ‘Bachche Kya Kahenge’ and ‘Main Dilli Jaonga’, the film is based on the burning issue of female foeticide.

The heroine, Ganga (Aparna Ghoshal from Kolkata), belongs to a middle class family and is married to Rajan (Khoob Ram from Rewari), the only son of wealthy parents, Vijay Bhatotia and Lila Saini, both noted artistes of Banjara.

When Ganga becomes pregnant, her in-laws get to know from their family gynaecologist that the foetus is that of a girl. They get it aborted, sending a clear message to their daughter-in-law that the family only needs a male child to protect its lineage. However, this inhuman act, which robs the girl of the bliss of motherhood, goads her to resolve that she would not allow it to happen again.

She gets pregnant again, and this time too it is a female foetus. Her in-laws’ insistence that the foetus be aborted and her decision to carry the baby ultimately lead to her estrangement.

She seeks refuge in her parental house, but her travails don’t end here. Her in-laws covertly seek the services of a woman tantrik (Sabia Khan from Delhi) who becomes instrumental in the elimination of Ganga as well as the female child in the womb. Instead of grieving over his wife, the husband, Rajan, becomes involved with another girl (Prerna Sharma) on the rebound.

However, fate would have none of that. Even as he sprinkles the ashes in the Ganges at Hardwar, an apparition of Ganga (the heroine) abruptly appears before him, following which he slips and drowns in the river.

His death leads to the derangement of his father as well as his mother. The story does not end here. Ganga is reborn in another family and shall continue to be reborn till the society is enlightened about the sanctity of the girl child.

The director-producer, Mr Arun Jaitley, has complimented Banjara’s talented artistes, whose performance (on stage) is second to none. The entire cast comprises actors and actresses drawn from Rewari, Gurgaon, Delhi, Kolkata etc. The music has been provided by Vipin Sunya, a budding musician of Banjara.

The film was shot in Rewari, Delhi, Hardwar, Mussorie and at Prasad Studio at Ghaziabad. Looks like another feather in the cap of Banjara.



City woman tipped Abu Salem on extortion victims
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
Chanchal Mehta, an entrepreneur who surrendered in the city court a few days back, was one of the main contacts of the Dubai-based underworld don Abu Salem and used to identify affluent businessmen of the Capital for extortion.

She surrendered in the special court of Prem Kumar in Patiala House a few days back. Thereafter, she was taken on police remand for two days. Her name came to light after the arrest of her business partner Majid Khan and his aide Mohammad Ashraf, who are in turn close associates of Abu Salem. Her subsequent interrogation has given the investigators a clear but frightening picture of the network established by the underworld don through coercion and blackmail in the nation’s Capital.

During interrogation, Chanchal disclosed that her husband had a plastic factory in the Capital. Some small businessmen had borrowed money from him. In December 2000, her husband died and the businessmen refused to return the money. At that point, she approached Abu Salem through Majid Khan for getting back the money.

Later, she came into direct contact with Abu Salem and reportedly sidelined Majid Khan. Sleuths are now interrogating her to ascertain how many businessmen were identified for extortion in the Capital, sources in the Special Cell said. Abu Salem has been involved in several cases of organised crime in the Capital. He reportedly identifies the businessmen through his contacts, then threatens them on the telephone with dire consequences if they did not pay the specified amount. The businessmen who refuse to oblige are known to have been attacked by Abu Salem’s hit men.

The Special cell is also trying to find out how many times she had visited foreign countries and how many times she had met Abu Salem and others. She reportedly had political contacts in the country but the names of political leaders have not been disclosed by the police.

So far, the Delhi Police claims to have nabbed five contacts of Abu Salem in the Capital. They have been identified as Pawan Mittal, Sajjan, Mohammad Ashraf, Majid Khan and Chanchal Mehta.

Chanchal reportedly told the police that after the death of her husband she came in contact with Majid Khan who had come to the Capital to work in TV serials. Chanchal had established the Mayur Cassette Industries in Mohammadpur village in partnership with Majid Khan and through him she had met Abu Salem. 



Pact reached on captive cops
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 20
The district administration today heaved a sigh of relief as the four-day old hostage drama, involving the detention of four cops, reportedly ended following an “agreement’ between the district administration and the agitating farmers and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders this evening. However, no senior official of the district administration and the police could be contacted for the official version despite several attempts.

As per the “pact”, the district administration released the jeep owned by the BKU leaders that was impounded by the police a few days ago. The administration assured the farmers that the criminal cases registered against 58 farmers, including the BKU leaders, would be withdrawn. The BKU leaders, in turn, assured the release of four cops who were taken hostage by the irate residents of Kiloi village on Thursday night.



DMRC to supply water from work sites to MCD
Cecil Victor

With the Supreme Court ruling on the closure of the Bhatti mines in South-West Delhi for mismanaging the groundwater in the area to the detriment of the residents still fresh, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has done a quick review of how it will handle the subsoil water in the path of the underground segment of the Metro rail. And it has come up with a solution that will benefit thousands of drought-hit families.

In the segment between Delhi University and the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) where it will use the cut-and-cover method to lay the underground dual carriage-way, it will have to extract between 4000-5000 cubic metres of water per day during peak operations. It intends to divert a major portion of this water to the Chandrawal pumping station for treatment and distribution to the areas worst-affected by water shortage. It is an arrangement the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) can ignore at its peril.

In its interaction with the Central Ground Water Board, the DMRC adopted its blueprint for replenishment of the sub-soil water it extracts in the segment between Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat where an estimated 100 to 500 cubic metres (1,00,000-5,00,000 litres) of water is expected to be withdrawn every day to facilitate the construction of the underground Metro. Because that area is “notified” – where the use of borewells is banned – the DMRC has planned to drill eight recharge wells to replenish what it withdraws.

About 1,00,000 litres of subsoil water will be used in curing the concrete infrastructure and dust control measures and the rest will be diverted to the recharge wells. However, if the extraction does reach 5,00,000 litres or more per day, the DMRC will construct more recharge wells because percolation is a slow process and it feels it would be inappropriate to discharge the excess into the storm-water drains in these days of acute shortage of drinking water in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

In the segment between Patel Chowk and the ISBT, the DMRC will use two ultra-modern Tunnel Boring Machines to dig the twin carriage-way nearly 13 metres underground going to 20 metres below ground level in the dense commercial district of Chawri Bazar so as not to affect the foundations of buildings.

There is no problem with the end-use of subsoil water here because what comes out is in the slurry form. The slurry will be dumped in special pits at points designated by the MCD where evaporation and percolation will leave a residual mudcake.

The problem of groundwater management was somewhat acute in the ISBT-university segment where again, as in the Patel Chowk-Central Secretariat portion, the DMRC would use the cut-and-cover technique to lay the underground Metro. Here the water table is high (2-3 metres below ground level) compared to that in the latter where it is about 9 metres) and not amenable to the recharge methods advocated by the Central Ground Water Board.

Because the water table is so close to the surface, it was obvious that if the DMRC were to excavate earth up to a depth of 24 metres, it will have to resort to massive de-watering. The DMRC’s own estimates prove the amount of water it will have to extract would be between 4000-5000 cubic metres (40-50 lakh litres) per day. In such a scenario, it is impossible to return such a large amount of water (after utilisation for construction of the concrete tunnels and dust control including washing of the tyres of trucks leaving the work site which is typical of DMRC work culture – a point noted with appreciation by Delhi citizens in the meticulous traffic control arrangements set up around its work sites).

The most obvious solution appeared to be to release this water into the storm-water drains but that would have been a criminal waste at a time when many colonies are suffering acute water shortage. With environmentalists peering over its shoulders, the DMRC applied its mind to utilising this huge amount of water in the best interest of the public. It discovered that there is a dried-up lake in the Kamala Nehru Ridge (Northern Ridge) and that the Chandrawal waterworks is less then a kilometre away from its work site.

So it decided that after using a portion of the groundwater drawn daily for construction activity, it will pipe half of the remainder to the dried-up lake in the ridge and the other half (approximately 20 lakh litres per day) to the Chandrawal waterworks where it can be treated to remove salinity, and traces of fluoride, nitrate etc. before it is supplied either through the existing piped-water network or through tankers to water-starved colonies.

The DMRC insists that the proposed arrangement with the Chandrawal waterworks is still in the discussion stage but it is inconceivable that the MCD will look a gift horse in the mouth.

It had become necessary to put the DMRC’s water policy under the microscope because the people of Delhi were appalled at the massive balding of the landscape and removal of the tree cover all along the routes of the Metro. It has assured that many of the trees that were transplanted at designated nurseries have shown a 90 per cent survival rate. Also, arrangements have been made to grow more trees for the new landscapes that will come up after the digging is completed and the tunnels are covered up.

The DMRC says that its work sites will look better than what they were before they began working on the Metro. That is believable 



‘Setting up Institute of Advanced Studies is my 
first priority’
Tarun Gill

The unforgettable, traumatic Partition in 1947 brought this innocent lad, Gopal Krishna Chadha, the newly elected Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, to India. A journey with all its ups and downs, Prof G. K.Chadha has seen it all. The dreadful Partition not only took the lives of his father and maternal uncle but also affected his emotional balance. But the perseverance to move on and to achieve something in life kept him going from Kurukshetra to Himachal in search of shelter.

When the dust got settled between the two countries, Prof Chadha enrolled himself in the high school in Kangra in 1956.

A good academic record in the school earned him a place at the prestigious Panjab University in 1961, where he took up the difficult and rare combination of Economics and Mathematics. Prof Chadha topped all his four years in the university securing awards like National Merit Scholarship. He also got the letters of acclaim from his faculty members.

With such sharp academic acumen, MA in Economics was the obvious choice. While pursuing his Masters in Economics from Panjab University, Prof Chaddha decided to sit for the UPSC examination. That proved to be the turning point in his life. When he went to get his recommendation letter from his economics professor, Prof S. B. Rangnekar, the latter’s reaction completely changed the course of his life.

Prof Rangekar tore the form and asked him to leave his office. When asked why did he do so, the professor replied, “How can you be a bureaucrat? I have always seen in you an economics teacher”. And there it was, a complete twist in the tale.

In a chat with the ‘NCR Tribune’, Prof G. K. Chadha shared some of his experiences and his vision about JNU. Excerpts:

What is your educational background?

When I came to Delhi, I didn’t have a single penny in my pocket. To make things worse, my father and maternal uncle, who were very close to me, died during Partition. I matriculated from G.A.V High School in Kangra in 1956.

Academically, I was a very bright student and I always stood first class first. Whether it was my school or my university, I always had the strong inclination towards economics as a subject. As we didn’t have Economics Honours at the college level at that time, I was left with no choice but to take up economics and mathematics together in 1965, which did the trick for me. The teachers were so amazed with my performance that they even send me letters of appreciation for my work and also enticing me to join the faculty as a trainee. Further to their amazement, I also topped in my masters. After that, I was straight away taken as a junior teacher in Panjab University without any formal interview. In 1975, I decided to do my PhD in Economics. After finishing that, I was shifted to Jawaharlal Nehru University within a week as an Associate Professor.

Those were one of the most fruitful years of my life and I consider myself to be very lucky to join a team of such experienced faculty members, who not only made me feel at complete ease but also taught me to a certain degree.

Though I did go to Panjab University for sometime in 1983 for two years, from 1985, I have been in JNU only. Since then, there has been no looking back

What do you intend to do for JNU?

I have been a teacher in this very university for the past 18 years and I know most of the problems people confront here. What are the areas and what needs to be worked upon. JNU has been recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as a “University with potential for excellence”. And the budget of Rs 30 crore has been allotted by the UGC to areas like Molecular Medicine and Information Technology.

The first and foremost thing I’d like to do is to set up the JNU Institute of Advanced Studies. This will be the first of its kind, as senior and eminent teachers and scholars will be called upon to teach. Their salary would be as good as any other Indian professor. And they will be provided with a lavish office and convenient place to stay. But the process is still in its infancy and it will take time before it actually happens.

I would also like to revive the JNU School of Arts and Aesthetics. We have started admitting students and our Chancellor, Dr Karan Singh, is also a keen promoter of the school.

I have also made the provision for concurrent appointment, where any faculty member can be a part of any other school also. And we are also considering to start a School for Information Technology, which will have three major centres, namely Communication and Information Services (CIS), Bi-Informatics Centre (BIS) and Centre for Biotechnology (CBT), which will enhance the process of networking.

How safe is JNU?

Every university has some sort of minor theft cases and other incidents, we can’t ignore that. But JNU is considered to be one of the safest universities in India. We are the only university to have a gender sensitisation committee against sexual harassment (GSCASH) to ensure women security. Compare with any other university, JNU has the minimum number of sexual harassment cases. For campus security, there is also a Security Advisory Committee. Apart from this, we also have a Campus Development Committee, which looks after the sanitation and other commercial interest such as shops on the campus.

What do you have to say about Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU)?

It’s a very effective and, at the same time, very responsible organisation. The JNUSU also participates in almost all academic matters.

The members are fully abreast of most of the things. In other words, they are enlightened.

How different are you from Prof Asis Datta?

There can never be a comparison between any two vice-chancellors, but I would say I have my own agenda, as I would lay more emphasis on academics.

I am easily accessible and quite open minded and enthusiastic.



Citizens told to help nab power thieves
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
Vigilantes or informers? The stakeholders of the Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) programme have been asked to assist the government nab those guilty of pilfering water and electricity.

“Identify those involved in illegal withdrawal of power and water,” is Chief Minister Sheila Diskhit’s appeal to the resident welfare associations (RWAs). The idea, apparently, is to enable Delhiites to help the agencies better combat theft of electricity (“fraudulent abstraction of energy,” Delhi Vidyut Board mandarins tell you) and water, with the Capital undergoing a torrid summer complete with erratic supply of power and acute shortage of potable water.

RWAs, she was to elaborate later, could play an important role in helping its members increase the personal power load capacity in residential connections, as there had been instances of load allocation not in tune with their present requirement.

Ms Dikshit made the “appeal” after inaugurating the rain water harvesting scheme initiated by the Panchshila Cooperative House Building Society Resident Welfare Association under the Bhagidari Programme.

According to the Panchshila Cooperative House Building Society RWA, a group called Naya Savera had been hired to keep the premises clean.

The rain water harvesting project, they said, had been installed at three places : Panchshila Club, Panchshila Montessori School in N Block and Panchshila Public School in S Block.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday inaugurated a rainwater harvesting scheme undertaken by the Panchshila Cooperative House Building Society Resident Welfare Association.



Bansi flays Centre on terrorism
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 20
The Haryana Vikas Party President and former Defence Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, today described the steps taken by the Central Government to tackle problem of cross-border terrorism afflicting the country, as “unsatisfactory”. Emphasising the need to take some concrete and decisive step to curb the menace of terrorism, Mr Bansi Lal said in the existing circumstances, chances of a war were running high, as there remains no other option.

The HVP leader blamed the Chief Minister Chautala for creating such an unsavoury situation in which the government and the citizens have been at loggerheads on the issue of recovery of outstanding power dues. He alleged that Mr Chautala himself had incurred a huge power bill, when he was in the Opposition.

Referring to the state government and the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), he held that the official machinery had completely failed in maintaining the law and order in the state. He alleged that the government itself had been resorting to unlawful activities and always opposed the non-payment of electricity bill.



BSNL staff demand end to ban on recruitment 
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 20
The two-day district committee meeting of the Karnal SSA of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL) got underway here today. Talking to mediapersons, Mr J.S. Dahiya, treasurer of the BSNL Employees Union, New Delhi, demanded the lifting of ban on the recruitment to the Class III and IV, which was imposed by the Central Government in 1986. He said that ban must be lifted as the BSNL was going in for major expansion programmes. Consequently, the staff shortage had affected the services provided to the subscribers.

He said that after the formation of the BSNL, there were 11 employees union registered with the government and the government faced great difficulty in negotiating with different unions. To end this confusion, he said, a countrywide election would be held on September 4 and the union emerging victorious, would be the sole representative of the BSNL employees. Urging the BSNL to launch the nationwide mobile phone service immediately, Mr Dahiya said this was imperative to beat competition from the private service providers. He also wanted the Central Government to release special grant to the BSNL for the rural telecom network, as most of rural projects were not viable.



Shaheed smarak to be built on MDU campus
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 20
A shaheed smarak would be constructed on the Maharshi Dayanand University campus, covering an area of two-and-a-half acre, at an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore. Disclosing this at Bhali Anandpur village on Monday, Captain Inder Singh, Member of Parliament, said the names of the martyrs from all over the state would be carved on it, so as to inculcate a feeling of patriotism among the youth.

He was speaking during the ‘kirya’ ceremony of Flying Officer Sandeep Palarwal, pilot of the ill-fated Jaguar aircraft, which crashed in Ambala recently. Captain Inder Singh said a sainik kalyan complex would be constructed in the army recruitment office complex at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore. He said professional training would be imparted at the proposed complex to the children of the martyrs and serving army personnel for self-employment.

Firing condemned

Condemning the incident of firing on farmers at Kandela village in Jind district on Sunday, various political parties have appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to resolve the issue through negotiations. A former minister, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, alleged that the government had adopted an undemocratic means to crush the farmers agitation. He suggested that the government send its representatives to the agitating farmers and settle the issue amicably.

The Lok Janshakti Party alleged that the present tension had been generated due to the adamant attitude of the government. Captain Shamsher Singh Malik, state president of the party, charged the government with breach of agreement made with the farmers a few days ago. He extended the support of his party to the agitating farmers.

Killed by kin

A person was murdered allegedly by his nephew’s wife and her paramour in Rudhiwas village of the district on Sunday night.

According to the police, the deceased, Sumer Singh, uncle of Dashrath Singh, was killed by Dashrath’s wife, Neelam, and her lover Sukhsagar when he was sleeping. The police said that Sumer Singh had objected to Neelam’s illicit relationship with Sukhsagar, a resident of the same village. The police arrested Neelam after registering a case under Section 302/34, IPC. The other accused has absconded.

Principal dead

A principal of a private school, who was injured in a road accident near Samalkha, 21 km from here on May 18, died at a private nursing home here on Monday. Ajit Singh, a resident of Boharwal Majri village, was seriously injured when his scooter was hit by a car. In another incident, a retired Naib Tehsildar of Badoli village, and one Jagdish, were crushed to death by a train when they tried to cross a railway track.

Sankit(10), a resident of Muzaffarnagar in UP, was seriously injured when he was run over by a canter in the Chandani Bagh police station area. The deceased had come to his maternal grandfather’s house, and was hit by the canter while riding a bicycle.

Congress dharna

Members of the Mahila Wing of the District Congress Committee, on Monday staged a dharna outside the DC office demanding the resignation of the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, for his alleged partisan role in the communal riots in the state.

Various speakers condemned the alleged police high-handedness with the farmers in Jind district and worsening law and order situation in the state. Prominent people who spoke on the occasion were state president of the Mahila Wing of the Congress and MLA, Ms Anita Yadav, the local MLA, Mr Balbir Pal Shah, and the president of the District Urban Congress Committee, Ms Sashi Saini.

84 persons arrested

The police have registered 82 cases and arrested 84 persons under the Prohibition Act during the current month. As many as 20 bottles of foreign made liquor, 155 bottles of country made liquor, 123 bottles of illicit liquor, 7,650 pouches, 15 beer bottles and 250 kg of “lahan” were recovered from them. Similarly, 80 kg of opium and 250 grams of charas were recovered and six cases registered under the NDPS Act.

Dues recovered

An amount of Rs 1.84 crore were recovered from defaulting electricity consumers in the district under the waiver scheme of the Haryana Government.

Defaulters warned

The Haryana Government has decided to take stern action against those defaulting consumers who fail to clear their arrears by May 31 under the waiver scheme. This was announced by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while inaugurating a Rs 1.70-crore godown constructed in a five-acre land by the HAFED at Ganaur, 16 km from here on Sunday. The godown has a capacity to store 12,000 tonnes of foodgrains. It will go a long way in solving the problem of storage of foodgrains, procured on behalf of the government.

Mr Chautala said that the state government had been persuading the defaulters to take advantage of the wavier scheme introduced by it and pay the arrears. He informed that Rs 951.56 crore was recovered from the defaulting consumers under the ongoing waiver scheme.

He also appealed to the people, particularly the farmers, not to be misled by the false propaganda of the Opposition parties against his government.

He claimed that his government was in favour of the farmers and other weaker sections of the society. He also accused the Opposition parties, especially the Congress, of exploiting the farmers on one pretext or the other.

Recalling the violent incidents at Nising and Kadma during the previous regimes, Mr Chautala declared that such incidents would not be repeated during his regime.

The Chief Minister also appealed to the farmers not to sow wheat and paddy crops in future as the government would be unable to buy the crops.

Instead, they should take to the cultivation of fruits, vegetables and flower crops, so as to increase their income. 



Three killed in scooter-mobike collision

Noida, May 20
Three persons were killed and two others injured seriously in a head on collision between a motorcycle and a scooter near Kudbal Banaras village under the Dehat Mankhera police station, Bulandshahar.

While the two of the deceased were riders of the vehicles involved, the other one was a passerby who was injured seriously in the accident.

Bablu (25) and Raju (35) were going from Tajpur village to Bulandshahar on a scooter while Shahid and Lala alias Irshad of Tajpur were going to his village from Bulandshahar. While Lala and Bablu died on the spot, Raju and Shahid were injured seriously, the police said. Both the drivers of the scooter and motorcycle had lost control of their vehicles at a turning near the railway crossing and collided head on. Sanjay of Kudbal village, who happened to pass through the spot, was also injured. OC



Six hurt in cylinder blast
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 20
More than six persons, including two women and two children, received burns as a gas cylinder exploded in a house in the Loni area near the Banthala police post. The house was engulfed in flames soon after the explosion. Another cylinder explosion was reported in a house in Lajpat Nagar.

In another incident, the computer room of the Sahibabad railway station caught fire destroying goods worth lakhs of rupees.

According to the police, a gas cylinder exploded in the house of Ramesh Upadhya near the police booth about at 7 O’ clock in the morning due to which the house caught fire. Ramesh’s wife Omwati, daughter Rajni, son Ravi and Upadhya’s mother received burns. Some others were also injured due to the flying splinters of cylinders. All the injured have been admitted to Delhi’s Guru Tegh Bahadur

Hospital where three of them are reported to be serious. Fire-tenders took about two hours to completely control the blaze.

The fire in the Lajpat Nagar house did not do much damage. The fire in the computers’ room of Sahibabad railway station had broken out at 10.30 am, the cause of which has not been ascertained yet.

Finance company director held: The director, manager and four field officers of a finance company have been arrested by the Indirapuram police for defrauding people of thousands of rupees by promising them loans.

According to the police, Dolphin Finance Consultants Pvt Ltd, Sector 2, Kamla Vaishali under the Indirapuram police station, had claimed through advertisements in various papers that it could arrange loans of lakhs of rupees within a fortnight. One Pural Lal Bassra is its director.

Mr Vijaypal of Meerut and Mr Surinder of Kanpur approached the company after reading the advertisements for a loan of Rs 10 lakh each. Bassra allegedly made them sign a number of papers and charged Rs 5,000 from each of them for expenses.

After sometime, when they again contacted the company, they were made to pay another Rs 11,000 each by the manager of the firm, Rakesh Sharma, and field officers Anil Kumar, Lalit Kumar, Sheel Kumar and Amit Arora.

Despite all these payments, their loans were not given. Finally, they filed a report with the police on the basis of which the director, manager and four field officers were arrested by the police. Rs 7,200 were also seized from them.

They used to charge Rs 5,000 for sanction, Rs 5,000 as file charges and Rs 7,200 for other expenses, the police said.



Hotel supervisor stabbed, looted of Rs 60,000
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
A supervisor in Sagar Ratna restaurant in East district, Mr Venkatesh,( 30) was reportedly stabbed to death in the restaurant on Monday morning.

At least Rs 60, 000 of sale proceeds of Saturday and Sunday was found missing from the money box, whose lock was found broken. The police said that he lived inside the restaurant along with other employees. According to the police, the entry was reported to be friendly and preliminary investigation disclosed that it could a insider’s job. The police have questioned other employees who stayed in the restaurant after the duty hours.

Boys rescued: With the arrest of five youths, Navraj Tomar, Pramod, Deepak, Devinder and Kanhaiya, the North-East district police today claimed to have rescued two kidnapped boys. The suspects were arrested from Murad Nagar in UP. Last week, Mrs Firdaus, a resident of Chauhan Banger in North-East district, reported the matter to the police that her two young sons, Rahis alias Sonu (20) and Rizwan (18) were missing. Subsequently, in the evening she received a ransom call for Rs 2 lakh. The kidnappers asked her to come to the Murad Nagar bus stand with the money and warned her not to disclose this information to the police, otherwise her sons would be killed.

Her telephone was put under observation and the ransom call was tapped. A police team in plain clothes was deployed at the Murad Nagar bus stand.

Subsequently, the police suspected two boys, identified as Navraj Tomar and Pramod, moving around in the bus stand, as being involved in the kidnapping. On being questioned by the police, they disclosed that they had come to collect the ransom amount.

They also disclosed that the kidnapped boys were kept at Kondli village, where other suspects were also present. The police team raided the hideout and arrested the suspects and rescued the victims.

RTV driver killed: Mohan Bahadur (20), a driver of a Rural Transport Vehicle (RTV) was killed, when his vehicle was hit by a truck on Kapashera-Bijwasan road here this evening. The helper of the RTV, Lakshmi Dutt, was also injured.

He was admitted to a hospital where he was stated to be out of danger. The driver of the truck is absconding, the police said.



Truckload of rice seized, 2 arrested
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 20
The Murthal police on Monday claimed to have arrested two persons, namely Sanjay of Kanaundha village and Subhash of Sewli village, following the recovery of a truckload of rice worth Rs 7 lakh from their possession. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here on Monday that the police had launched a hunt to apprehend four of their associates, namely Jaivir and Ashok of Alipur (Delhi), Virender of Kulashi village and Ajit of Kanaundha village.

He said that they were arrested after Mr Surinder Sharma, manager of the Satnam Overseas Limited, Murthal, filed an FIR with the police. In the FIR, the manager stated that 675 bags of rice, that was loaded in a truck, and dispatched to Kandla by their firm, had failed to reach its destination.

During interrogation, the police found that the truck had a fake registration number. Subsequently, the Kharkhauda police, arrested the truck driver, Sanjay, of Kanandha village, during a nakabandi along with the truckload of rice.

The police later came to know that the truck owner, Ajit of Kanaundha village, had prepared a fake number plate and drove the truck to Delhi, instead of Kandla (Gujarat). Thereafter, the truck was taken to a godown in Swaroop Nagar, Delhi, owned by Subhash Dhaka of Sewli village and Jaiveer Jat of Alipur (Delhi). Subsequently, they sold the rice for Rs 2.20 lakh and unloaded the rice bags at the godown. According to the SP, the culprit, Subhash Dhaka, told the police that the rice bags were shifted to another godown in Alipur (Delhi), owned by Ashok, a Mahajan in Alipur. Subsequently, the police recovered the rice bags.

Two killed: Two persons including a boy were killed in a road accident that occurred here on Sunday evening. According to a report, the victims were identified as Tej Singh of Dhanana village and Akhaya (2 years), son of Mr Raj Kumar, a brick kiln worker. The police have registered the cases and further investigations were in progress.

HPSC criticised: The President of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, today criticised the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) for converting the posts reserved for the Scheduled Castes and allied categories into general categories, on the pretext that no suitable candidate was available for these posts in the Haryana Judicial Services. In a signed press statement issued here, he alleged that it was done to accommodate the candidates with political patronage in the general categories. He described the claim of the Chairman of the HPSC that no candidate belonging to the Scheduled Castes and allied categories have qualified the written test as absurd. He alleged that the HPSC and the state government had conspired against the reserved categories candidates and deprived them of their rights. 



‘Operation Catch’ nets gangster

Under ‘Operation Catch’ launched by the Haryana police, the special staff of Sonepat police arrested a proclaimed offender, Jagbir Singh, a resident of Ahri village in Jhajjar district, after an exchange of fire near Rohat village, about 5 km from here, on Sunday night. Two pistols, five live cartridges and two empty cartridges were seized from him. A case under the Indian Arms Act has been registered. During interrogation, he told the police that he was a member of the notorious gang of Jatinder Pahal. This gang is now headed by Dharminder, a resident of Jakhauda village. The culprit also confessed that he was a proclaimed offender in a murder case. OC


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