Friday, May 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DVB: Differences with bidders ironed out
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of NCT of Delhi and the two private players – Tata and BSES – that have bid for a majority stake in the three distribution companies of the soon-to-be-unbundled Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) will be inked Friday evening, considered an auspicious time by one of the parties to the agreement.

The event has been choreographed to suit one of the two bidders’ request. That company, sources said, had been advised to enter into the agreement anytime between 12:03 pm and 6:17 pm (but not between 3 pm and 4 pm) as the planetary configuration will be favourable. “If the agreement cannot be signed on Friday it will be deferred till June 3,” they said quoting company sources.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will chair the meeting of the Cabinet Friday afternoon prior to the signing of MoU. Sources said the government is agreed that the companies will have to reduce Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) loss by 17.5 per cent. While the government had stipulated 20 per cent, the companies were insisting on not more than 13 per cent.

With the inking of the agreement, sources said, the countdown to privatisation of distribution of electricity in Delhi would have begun.

From July 1, they said, the DVB would cease to exist. Separate entities of generation and transmission will come into existence besides the three distribution companies and the holding company. The management will pass into private hands and the government will have a minority stake in the three distribution companies.

Sources further said the MoU incorporates adequate safeguards against indiscriminate upward revision of tariff and a mechanism to address outstanding issues. One of the provisions, they said, is that the assured return on investment to private distribution companies will be subject to their performance. The only recourse available for appeal will be the Delhi High Court. “Regulator will not allow windfall profit to investor,” they added referring to the document.

Meanwhile, joining issue with Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Jagdish Mukhi the government issued a rejoinder debunking the allegations levelled by him with regard to privatisation of the power utility. Power Minister Ajay Maken asserted the negotiations were above board and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had approved of the Government of NCT of Delhi’s model of unbundling of DVB.

To buttress their point, the sources said more than five cases were filed before the courts but the High Court refused to stay the process of privatisation. Furthermore, tariff is expected to drop upon the completion of four years. Also tariff will be fixed by the regulator. In Mumbai, BSES has not revised the tariff for five years now, they added.


UHBVN gets an earful
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 30
The members of the special inquiry committee of public undertakings, set up by the Haryana Vidhan Sabha and headed by Mr Puran Singh, arrived here on Wednesday evening and visited the power houses at Kundli Fazilpur and some other places in the district.

The members of the committee are Mr Krishan Panwar, Mr Dev Raj Dewan, Mr Rajinder Bisla, Mr Mange Ram Gupta, Mr Anil Vij, Mr Sher Singh and Mr Abhey Singh Chautala.

The members of the committee took serious note of the burning of electricity transformers and reportedly snubbed the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam for not replacing the oil in the transformers regularly, which was the main cause of the recent incident. The officials, on the other hand, pointed out that it was not possible for them to replace the oil in the transformers. Mr R. K. Gupta, Superintending Engineer (Operation) of the UHBVN, informed the chairman of the inquiry committee that as many as 368 electricity transformers were burnt during the last year whereas 253 transformers had been burnt till the end of May this year in this district.

Mr Gupta also apprised the committee about the big response to the new concession policy announced by the state government for the recovery of outstanding amount of the electricity bills. He claimed that the Sonepat operation circle topped in the state in the recovery of the dues from the defaulting consumers.

He claimed that 60 per cent of the target in the recovery had already been achieved which is the highest in the state.

The committee also scrutinised the record of the nigam and got information about the cases of power theft.


DSGMC polls: Hectic lobbying on for ticket
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
Even as the two main Akali parties finalised their first list of candidates for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee general elections, hectic lobbying is on to secure party ticket for the elections to the body which controls the community’s religious and educational institutions in the Capital.

While the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today released its first list of 15 candidates for the 46-ward DSGMC, the rival pro-Tohra faction, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi said that it would release its list of 25 names in a couple of days.

The SAD (Badal) has given tickets mostly to the sitting members of the committee and there are only two new faces — Dr Harmohinder Singh from Civil Lines and Devinder Singh Kawtara from Kamala Nagar. There are no surprises in the list as the members have retained their own wards. The list released by the party’s Delhi unit chief contained the names of Mr Manmohan Singh Sachdeva (Punjabi Bagh), Mr Surjit Singh (Chandni Chowk), Mr Kuldeep Singh Bhogal (Defence Colony), Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu (Connaught Place), Mr Jasbir Singh Kaka (Ashok Nagar), Mr Jatinder Singh Sahani (Lajpat Nagar), Mr Manjit Singh (Greater Kailash), Mr Rajinder Singh Techno (Vishnu Garden), Mr Ravinder Singh Khurana (Wazir Pur), Mr Tarjit Singh Nagi (Geeta Colony), Mr Mohinder Singh Matharu (Model Town), Mr Kulmohan Singh (Pahar Ganj), and Mr Avtar Singh Hit (Hari Nagar).

The pro-Tohra, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi has finalised the names of 25 persons who would be given party ticket. In the first list, most of the candidates are sitting members of the outgoing DSGMC and the list does not have any woman candidate.

Party sources said that those who could get the party tickets, include Dr Harminder Singh from Shiv Nagar, Mr Baldev Singh Rani Bagh from Shiv Nagar, Mr Bhajan Singh Walia from Pitampura, Mr Nirwair Singh from Tilak Nagar, Mr Harbajan Singh Matharoo from Preet Vihar, Bhai Gurcharan Singh from Shakur Basti, Mr Harinderpal Singh from Geeta Colony, Mr Gurcharan Singh Gatka Master from Khureji Khas, Thekedar Surjeet Singh from Kamala Nagar, Mr Kuldip Singh from Karol Bagh, Mr Baldev Singh Nauroji Nagar from Vasant Vihar and Mr Surjeet Singh Ramgadia from Hari Nagar.

The party is likely to formally release the list in a couple of days. It is awaiting the arrival of the former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, in the Capital to release the list, as this would curb any possible dissention amongst those who are denied the party ticket.

Meanwhile, the president of the National Akali Dal, Mr Paramjeet Singh Pamma, stated that his party would contest all those seats, where important sitting leaders of the SAD (Badal), would file their nominations. Stating that the party was holding talks with other parties opposed to the Badal group, Mr Pamma indicated that the smaller parties could join hands and form a third force in the gurdwara polls.


BKU activists block roads, tear-gassed
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, May 30
Responding to the call given by the Bhartiya Kisan Union at Kandela yesterday, the farmers today blocked the Rohtak-Jind and Rohtak-Gohana roads in the district.

The BKU activists of village Titoli and its neighbouring hamlets blocked the Rohtak-Jind road near village Samargopalpur while the BKU activists of village Khirwali, Polangi etc forced a blockade at village Brahman Vas.

The police resorted to a lathi-charge at both the places in a bid to clear the important state highways. However, the police had to beat a hasty retreat at Samargopalpur when the agitating farmers retaliated by pelting stones on the lathi- wielding cops. The police lobbed at least eight teargas shells while retreating at Samargopalpur.

According to late evening reports, two persons sustained bullet injuries when policemen fired upon the agitating farmers at Samargopalpur.

The police also resorted to a lathi-charge at Brahman Vas to clear the Rohtak-Gohana state highway. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Aloke Rai, told the NCR Tribune that the police used lathis when the agitators refused to lift the blockade following talks. The police also arrested nearly two dozen agitating farmers to restore the vehicular traffic.

In another development, the bodies of the farmers, who died in the police firing at village Gulkani in Jind district yesterday night, were brought to the PGIMS for post-mortem. Those injured seriously in the police firing have also been admitted at the PGIMS.

Condemning the police action at Gulkani, the Pradesh Congress chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the firing incident. Addressing newspersons, Mr Hooda alleged that the police had resorted to firing without any provocation.

He alleged that the police chased the farmers up to their houses and showered them with bullets. Even women, who were busy in their household chores, sustained bullet injuries. The PCC chief said that the bullet marks on the residential walls of the houses at Gulkani and the empty shells were the tell-tale signs of the police barbarity.

Extending support to the farmers’ agitation, Mr Hooda said that a meeting of party MLAs and members of the Pradesh Executive Committee would be held at Chandigarh on June 3 to chalk out the future course of action.



BIFR cos sitting over workers’ dues
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 30
Several sick industrial units in the district have been adopted by the Board of Industrial Finance and Reconstruction (BIFR). This has become a cause of labour unrest as several companies have failed to release salaries, provident fund benefits and the ESI contributions of hundreds of workers, running into several crores of rupees.

It is stated that as soon as the BIFR accepts the proposal of a sick unit and orders its liquidation, the unit comes out of the purview of labour rules and the workers bear the brunt.

The employees of a prominent tool manufacturing unit lodged a complaint in the weekly ‘open durbar’ of the deputy commissioner here on Wednesday, stating that the management of the company had not released their wages, PF and ESI funds for the past 52 months. The harassed employees had brought up this problem at the ‘durbar’ about two months earlier also. Although the deputy commissioner had asked the labour authorities here to sort out the issue then, it seems that the problem was out of the purview of the labour department due to some rules or loopholes provided to such units under the BIFR provisions.

About 15 industrial units have already been adopted by the BIFR and it is learnt that the liquidation process has also started for about six units.

Another nine or 10 units are reported to be in line for the ‘adoption’ process of the board. The signals are alarming as this could mean the workers would not be able to recover their dues.

About 9,000 workers of various sick units could be badly affected as there was no rule to force the units to release the pending wages and other payments. While the Wages Act of 1936 contains a provision for a hefty penalty and punishment if a management goes in for a lock-out without releasing the wages and other dues, the company could get a stay on the order of a labour court if the unit had taken a loan from a bank or government department.

About 15 units of the district have already got a stay on this count and the workers of these units are awaiting the release of their money. While the labour department seems to be helpless on such issues, about nine more companies are reportedly preparing to close down their operations by declaring themselves sick and applying for BIFR adoption.


For some students, there is no life after CBSE exams
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, May 30
Within five days of the CBSE declaring the Class X and XII results, half a dozen students in the Capital have committed suicide. And while you are reading this, there could be many others contemplating ending their lives because they have failed to clear the exams.

The rising incidence of suicides among students is a manifestation of a deeper malaise. “Earlier, people did not associate depression with adolescence. There is a nascent realisation that adolescents also suffer from depression and more so”, points out Dr. R C Jiloha, Professor and Head, Psychiatry, G B Pant and Maulana Azad Medical College. The problem gets aggravated because at this tender age they neither have the sagacity nor the experience to reconcile with failure.

Dr. Jiloha blames the expectations that parents have from their children. The expectations get translated into unrelenting ambition which, when not achieved, results in frustration that drives adolescents to suicide. “A student has not just his parent’s expectations and peer pressure to live upto, but also his own ambition to satisfy. When a student kills himself, it is also because his ego is hurt. Nobody wishes to fail in life”.

Come March and tele-counsellors are put on the job. Helplines started by NGOs, educational institutions and the Delhi Psychiatric Society work round the clock to cater to the queries and the apprehensions of the students. Yet, there is a lot more to be done.

Says Ms. Sharma, a tele-counsellor, “It is vital for parents and teachers to recognise the need for counselling. Sometimes what parents can’t do, a stranger who is trained can deliver. I receive almost 10 to 12 calls daily and most of these students do not want to reveal their identity. They also admit that their parents are not aware that they are seeking counselling”.

Talking to your traumatised child is a must, says Dr. Jiloha. “When a student fails or scores less marks, there is an acute sense of depression. It is vital for parents to stay with such a child. In fact, the child should not be left alone at least for a fortnight. Parents should also remember that while psychiatric intervention in some cases may be required, the need to talk is the necessity”.

Dr Jiloha suggests, “Talk to the children. Give them an opportunity to express their feelings and give them a chance to explain their failure. Non-verbal communication like show of anger by not talking to the child causes damage”.

Doctors warn parents that any change in behaviour, which may be drastic, needs immediate attention. Emotional turbulence is at its peak during adolescence, because of the hormonal changes and the physical metamorphosis that a child undergoes, tensions caused by exams aggravates their stress.

“Parents undergo a lot of stress when they feel that their child is not working as hard as he should. Times are tough and the competition is severe. It is therefore important to draw a line between plain concern and anxiety. Parents should not burden their children with their unachieved ambitions”, reasons Ms. Sharma.

Dr Jiloha adds, “Parents have to allow children to ventilate their feelings. Instead of criticising the child, it is necessary to encourage them. Parents should look out for signs like irritability, aggression, mood swings, disorder in daily routine and expressions of hopelessness.’’

Exam results are not the end of the world; there is life after exams, even if you have performed badly. That is what the parents and the teachers need to understand, says Ms Sharma.


Cricket betting gang busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
With the arrest of six persons, the Central district police today claimed to have busted a betting racket in one-day cricket match between India and West Indies. The gang operated from a well-furnished office in Charkhewan area of the walled city. Ten mobile phones, five landline telephones, one laptop computer, one printer, two colour TV sets, one keyboard and one recording system installed in a briefcase were seized.

The suspects were identified as Anil Kumar Goyal, Sanjay Dutt, Pradeep Garg, Naresh Kumar alias Ravi, Niranjan Kumar and Raj Kumar Goyal. The police said that the suspects were arrested when they were allegedly betting on telephone while watching the telecast of the match between India and West Indies. Naresh Kumar was the ring leader of the group, “Gopal Delhi Wala”. The group of 40-50 people regularly participated in the betting whenever there was a match.

They hired the premises from one Raj Kumar Goyal on monthly rent of Rs 7, 000. Strategically, they regularly changed their place of operation. Reportedly, they earned around Rs 5 to 10 lakh from a single match. Their interrogation revealed that they had links with the leading bookies of Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur. Scrutiny of electronic gadgets and seized documents was being done to ascertain the details about the profile of the gang leaders, their links and modus operandi. The police were also trying to ascertain whether they had any connection with the murder of Ravinder Arora who was shot dead by unidentified persons in front of his restaurant in Model Town area in North Delhi last month. 


World opinion is restraining us, says Defence Secy
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 30
Indian armed forces are fully prepared and poised for war with Pakistan but India is not going to war out of deference to world opinion, particularly pressures from friendly countries like the USA, the UK and Russia, the Defence Secretary, Dr Yoginder Narian, has said. He was speaking after inaugurating the Citizen Cooperative Bank in Sanjay Nagar on Wednesday.

The Defence Secretary said that the country had never before prepared for war so well and so thoroughly. Even Pakistan was aware of it so much so that, according to information available with us, even the ISI had suggested to the Pakistan Government that to suspend the infiltration across the border and LoC with India for the time being, he said. However, India was seeking a permanent solution to the problem of infiltration of terrorists and jehadis who cross over to India in Jammu and Kashmir and from elsewhere, he said.

Dr Yogindra Narain, who was chatting informally, said that Indian troops had foiled 26 attempts to push Pak-trained terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir since January this year. As many as 46 terrorists had been killed in these incidents. The tension that started with Gen Pervez Musharraf’s January 12 statement had not subsided till today.

After the attack on Indian Parliament, Pakistan had converted 66 terrorists camps in occupied Kashmir into Pakistan Army camps. Dr Yoginder Narian said internationally, all the important countries had admitted that Pakistan was the main nucleus of terrorism now.

In spite of world opinion, Pakistan had failed to act in a responsible and effective manner in this connection. India was now trying to build a world opinion for economic pressure on Pakistan as the US, UK and Russia too were worried about its nuclear stance, Dr Narain said.


Hooda, Bhajan Lal to swap posts to revamp party?
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, May 30
Speculation is rife in Congress circles here about imminent changes in the state unit set up to reinvigorate the party. Sources said that along with Maharashtra and one or two other states, the Haryana PCC president would also be changed in the second half of June.

In all probability, Mr Bhajan Lal, leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP), and Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, president of HPCC, would be made to swap posts, they said.

It is common knowledge that discontent had been simmering at various levels in the party against the style of functioning of Mr Hooda. The party got a drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections fought under his stewardship in the state. He had been drawing flak over the defeat of the party against the Chautala-led INLD in the previous assembly elections. Moreover, the rout of the party nominees in many of the 35-odd urbanised constituencies where the INLD was considered to be weak, was a stunning blow. The latest setback was in the recent Yamunanagar by-election, in which the party nominee crawled to a poor third position.

All these had put a question mark on the leadership capabilities of Mr Hooda, sources said. The failure of the party to fully cash in on the present unrest among the farmers of the state would also go against Mr Hooda, they said.

The sources further opined that the instances of the two neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Punjab where the reins of the party had been handed over to Mr

Ashok Gehlot and Capt Amarinder Singh and where this change of leadership had paid rich dividends in the subsequent assembly elections could also be in the mind of the top leadership of the party to do the same in Haryana too.

Interestingly, when Mr Bhajan Lal was queried by mediapersons here on Tuesday whether he would like to become the president of the PCC if the post was offered to him, he replied that Soniaji (Mrs Sonia Gandhi) was their leader and he was prepared to shoulder the responsibility of the HPCC chief if and when it was entrusted with him.

The HPCC president, Mr Hooda, too was present here on the occasion of the performance of the funeral rites of Rao Abhay Singh, father of the deputy leader of the HCLP, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav. He first refused to answer direct when asked about his reaction to a report regarding his imminent removal from presidentship of the party calling it a hypothetical question. But when pressed hard by newsmen for a reply, he said that Soniaji had made him the president and he would continue in his present post as long as she wished.

Meanwhile, hectic lobbying by supporters of Mr Bhajan Lal to win the support and favour of important central functionaries of the party to ensure his elevation to the presidentship of the HPCC by Mrs Sonia Gandhi has been going on for quite sometime.


Noida staff demand pay panel salaries
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 30
Employees of the Noida Authority are still waiting for the implementation of the 5th Pay Commission recommendations and a fair promotion policy. Mr Brijpal Chaowdhry, president of the Noida Employees Association, in a memorandum submitted to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Noida Authority, Mr Dharmender Dev Mishra, has drawn his attention to the problems of the employees.

He has also cautioned the authorities that if no action is taken by June 6, the employees will take a tough stand in their meeting scheduled for June 7.

He demanded that those employees who had completed 14 years of service should be immediately given a promotion. In case there are no vacancies, they should at least be given the next higher grade of salary.

Other demands included 30 per cent house rent allowance and regularisation of those who are working on the daily wage basis.

All vacant posts reserved for backward classes should be filled up by OBC and SC employees, the memorandum says. The Noida authority should also stop getting officers on deputation so that their own employees can be given an opportunity to work in these officer-cadre posts. Forty per cent quota for appointing officers on deputation should be immediately be done away with, the association demanded. The staff performing field duties should be paid a travelling allowance of Rs 1,500 per month.

The employees association also called for removing the ban on the sale of residential plots allotted to them in draws by the Noida Authority and building a common room for women employees and sanctioning Rs 400 as allowance per month to each employee entitled to get over-time allowances.


Power dues waiver scheme ends today
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 30
People who have arrears of electricity bills must come forward to clear their dues by tomorrow, the last date to pay their outstanding dues and earn concession announced. Otherwise, they will be made to pay the full amount of the bills including surcharge and interest, said Mr S. N. Roy, Deputy Commissioner, while talking to mediapersons here today.

He disclosed that as many as 19,323 defaulting consumers had deposited their outstanding dues amounting to Rs 466.84 lakh and availed a concession of Rs 971.14 lakh from the UHBVN. He hoped that more defaulting consumers were likely to avail of the opportunity.

The DC also disclosed that 13,991 defaulting consumers had deposited Rs 318.25 lakh and got a concession of Rs 952.88 lakh so far. Similarly, 4,626 defaulting consumers had deposited Rs 127.10 lakh and their surcharge had been waived of.

According to the DC, as many as 706 defaulting consumers had deposited Rs 21.46 lakh in the urban areas and thereby availed a concession of Rs 2.97 lakh.

The DC claimed that the people living in the villages had appreciated the scheme and they were clearing their dues. The rural folks, he said, had also realised that this benefit would not only give them relief in the shape of concessions ranging from 50 to 75 per cent but also bring development works in the villages.

Mr Roy also made an appeal to the defaulting consumers to deposit their amount of arrears outstanding against them by tomorrow, the last date fixed by the government.

The DC claimed that Sonepat leads other districts in the recovery of power dues. He also highlighted several development schemes carried out in the district under the 'Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar' programme.


Haryana Police activist remanded in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Panipat, May 30
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Mr A. K. Jain, today remanded Satbir Chahal, a senior leader of the Haryana Police Karmachari Sangh to 14 days’ judicial custody. It may be recalled that Satbir Chahal was arrested while he was on his way to Panipat for the union activities on Wednesday night. In another development, Jitendar Mann, general secretary of the sangh, who was posted at the Matlauda Police Station, was transferred to Jhajjar.

The two leaders, who had been spearheading the agitation for the rights of the policemen, had reportedly held the Haryana Government responsible for the ongoing farmers’ agitation in Kandela village of Jind district. Later, they were charged with treason and cases were registered against them.

Committee’s visit

The seven-member Public Undertaking Committee of the Haryana Government on Wednesday visited the Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Station. Led by the Haryana Housing Board Chairman, Mr Krishan Lal Pawar, the committee inspected the pollution control panel of the station and sought other necessary information from the plant officials.

Baby show

Over 100 kids participated in a baby show organised by the VLCC here. While Rikshit and Bhuvan Kalra stood first and second in the 1- 6 years category, Kabir and Dipanshi Rai were declared first and second in the 1-2 years category. Diya and Ravi Malik were placed first and second in the 2-3 years category and Ritik Kadian and Ketan Khurana in the 3-5 years category.

Two injured

Two persons were injured seriously when their scooter collided with a Maruti car coming from the opposite direction on the Jhajjar-Dadri road near Kheri village of the district today.

According to information, the injured were identified as Dharamendra and Pummy of Guddha village. Both were rushed to the PGIMS at Rohtak in serious condition.

Road accidents

A six-year-old child was killed on the spot and three others, including a woman were injured in a road accident on the G. T. Road near Qumashpur village, 13 km from here on Wednesday night. According to a report, the victim was identified as Ravish Garg from Mandi Gobindgarh (Punjab). The car was on its way to Chandigarh from Delhi. It was stated that the front wheel of the car burst, leading to the driver loosing control over the vehicle.

The car owner, Mr Sandeep, and his wife Anita, along with the car driver Inder were trapped under the car. Later, they were brought out by the Highway police. All the injured persons were hospitalised at Murthal and their condition were stated to be serious.

According to another report, Mr Bhagwan Sahaye Rawat, an INLD MLA from Hatin (Gurgaon), his son Ashok and their driver, escaped unhurt when their car met with an accident on the G.T. Road near Rai village, 13 km from here on Wednesday. Mr Bhagwan Sahaye Rawat and his family were on their way to Chandigarh. It is stated that the rear wheel of the car burst and the car rammed into the road divider. Fortunately, the occupants of the car escaped unhurt.


A buffalo was electrocuted at Ganaur town on Wednesday evening. According to a report, the buffalo was being taken to the `gher’ of the house when it touched a live wire.

Beopar Mandal

The working committee of the Haryana Pradesh Beopar Mandal will meet on June 1 in this city to discus the problems faced by the traders and shopkeepers. According to a report, Mr Luxmi Chand Gupta, president of the mandal and other office-bearers will take part in the meeting.

Two murdered

A youth, Ved Pal, was allegedly stabbed to death by another youth Jagbir at a liquor vend near the bus stand in Jahri village, about 5 km from here on Wednesday night. According to a report, a dispute arose between them when they were consuming liquor.

The police have registered a case of murder against the suspect who is still at large. A hunt is on to apprehend him.

According to another report, a youth was shot dead by another youth at Sisana village, about 25 km from here on Wednesday. The victim was identified as Sita and the suspect as Satish. A dispute over some money was the main cause of the murder.

It was stated that the culprit had called Sita to his house for resolving the dispute. However, the dispute was not resolved and when Sita came out of the house, he was shot dead.

The police have registered the case but the culprit is still at large. A hunt was launched to apprehend him.

Constable dead

A police constable Jai Singh died in the police lines here yesterday after a prolonged illness. According to a report, the deceased belonged to Rohnavillage and had been suffering from TB for the last few years.

Youths forgiven

The Jain muni, Subodh Maharaj let off five youths after they offered unconditional apology in the presence of a large number of people here on Wednesday. According to a report, the five youths were caught by the police on the charge of assaulting the Jain muni.


SC ban on smoking being flouted at will in Haryana
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 30
Tomorrow is the ,No Tobacco Day’ for the world. Many people may take a resolution today to kick the habit of smoking or taking tobacco in other forms once and for all. But the meaning of the day for a state like Haryana may not be the same as it is for other parts of the country or the world.

A large number of Haryanvis who are regular smokers seem to be unaware of the importance of the occasion. The natural difficulty to quit something one is addicted to and their rustic approach have proved to be a deterrent in the success of any campaign against smoking so far.

The Supreme Court’s order to ban smoking at public places, delivered about six months ago, seems to have no impact on the public here as far as its implementation is concerned. Its implementation is reported to be only in the files as the authorities, especially the police, have not been able book even a single case of violation of the order till now, while smoking at public places in the state is going on as usual.

Be it hospitals, bus or railway stations, buses of the Haryana Roadways, trains, police stations, government offices, parks or markets, smokers are having their way. Although some of the offices, private institutions, hotels, schools and auditoriums have displayed `No Smoking’ boards but there is hardly any (public) place where it was written that smoking in a public place was a crime and punishable as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

Travelling in a Haryana Roadways bus may be a nightmare for non-smokers.

Although every bus may display 'No Smoking’ slogan inside it, but it has been noticed that this rule gets violated first by the staff of the bus themselves. Recently, a young doctor, who had to travel in a roadways bus, had to face a humiliating situation when he objected to smoking by a fellow passenger. The smoker asked him why he was travelling in a bus instead of a car if he was so allergic to smoking. He was shocked when some other passengers and even a conductor came to the rescue of the smoker.

Senior officials of the administration and the police do admit in private that banning smoking at a public place or spot was quite difficult at this stage as many officials and policemen are habitual smokers themselves. At least 60 to 70 per cent of policemen in the state are smokers and many of them chain smokers. About 50 per cent of the male staff in government schools also smoke and how they could preach to their students that smoking was a bad and dangerous habit and one must avoid it at any cost, asks a social activists here.

Dr Raman Kakkar, an eminent chest specialist based here, says that smoking or consuming tobacco has been the main cause of diseases like asthma, TB, cancer and it even leads to cardiac arrest. He says with the awareness campaign, education and proper environment, both at the school and home, was very much required. He adds that incentives and motivation must accompany any move to check the menace.


Addiction drives students to steal vehicles
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, May 30
An inter-state gang engaged in the theft of luxury cars and jeeps was busted with the arrest of its key member in Gurgaon. The gang, primarily functioning in Gurgaon and Delhi, had stolen more than 21 vehicles from different places.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, informed that the police arrested Vikas, a resident of Sector 31, Gurgaon, and recovered one Balero, two Maruti cars and one Maruti van from his possession.

A student of engineering, he confessed before the police that he along with his friends of engineering college based in Maharashtra — Rajiv, Pankaj and Amit Gulati, residents of Jammu and Kasmir, Neeraj Gautam of Delhi, Vinay Awasti and Paramjit of Punjab — used to stealing four-wheelers and two-wheelers for making a fast buck.

He revealed that they started taking drugs and after sometime all of them became addicted to it. They needed extra amount for buying the drugs, for which they started stealing the vehicles and selling them at cheaper prices.

He also revealed that they had stolen two Maruti cars and one Gypsy from Jalavayu Vihar, two Belero jeeps and two Maruti cars from Phase III of DLF, one Maruti van and one motorcycle from Railway Vihar and one motorcycle from Hope Apartments in Gurgaon.

He further confessed that they also had stolen some vehicles from Delhi. These vehicles included three Tata Sierra, three Maruti cars, one Balero jeep, two Maruti vans, one Santro car and one motorcycle from different places. He informed the police that they used to sell these stolen vehicles mostly in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Siag said that various teams had been formed and sent to Maharashtra, Punjab, Jammu and Himachal Pradesh to trace the remaining culprits and stolen vehicles.



No religious discrimination in probe: DP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The Delhi Police today assured the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) that it did not discriminate on the basis of religion while investigating any case.

The NCM had summoned the Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr Ajai Raj Sharma, to present his views following a complaint lodged by one Rashida Begum alleging that she was being discriminated against by the Delhi Police as she belonged to a minority community, NCM vice-chairman, Tarlochan Singh said.

However, in the absence of Mr Ajai Raj Sharma, Joint Commissioner Amodh Kanth (New Delhi Range) appeared before the commission and said “the police is making all efforts to solve Rashida Begum’s case which was a simple incident of robbery by a gang operating in the East Delhi.”

It is to be recalled that East district is part of New Delhi Range headed by Amod Kanth. “There is no communal angle in the investigation of the case. The police is making efforts to solve the case,” Kanth said. Rashida Begum had filed an FIR stating that some miscreants had entered her home on March 14 and escaped with cash and jewellery worth approximately Rs three lakh. However, later she approached the NCM alleging that she was being discriminated against as she belonged to the minority community. 


MCF to regularise 44 colonies, for a heavy price
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 30
The Municipal Corporation, Faridabad (MCF) has recommended the regularisation of as many as 44 unauthorised residential colonies located in the three zones of the town. A resolution to this effect was adopted at the meeting of the corporation here on Wednesday.

However, the corporation has imposed a ‘heavy’ development fee as the condition for regularisation.

The colonies have been asked to deposit a development fee of Rs 215 per square yard, Rs 200 per square yard as sewerage charges and Rs 285 per square yard as external development charges.

The colonies, which have been approved for regularisation, include about 25 colonies of Ballabgarh zone, 14 colonies of old Faridabad and five colonies of NIT zone.

The corporation would provide roads, sewerage, streetlights and regular water connection besides drainage in these colonies. But no promise has been made about the development of parks, community centres and garbage collection in such colonies.


Memorial for Chaudhry Charan Singh mooted

New Delhi, May 30
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday said the Government of NCT of Delhi would consider erecting a memorial in the memory of Chaudhry Charan Singh. Addressing a rally of Jat Mahasabha in the Capital, Ms Dikshit said she had been beseeched by leaders of the Jat community to rename certain roads in the memory of popular leaders of the community. Her government, she said, would consider all of those proposals. The rally was attended among others by Union Fertiliser and Chemicals Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and former chief of Central Bureau of Investigation Joginder Singh.

Dr Passey dead

Padma shree Dr M. N. Passey, former consultant and head of the Department of Medicine of Hindu Rao Hospital, passed away today morning. He had served the poor and middle class patients coming to Hindu Rao Hospital from 1967 to 1991. TNS


Waterborne diseases: Child latest victim

Yet another child died of waterborne diseases in the district. The victim has been identified as Dimpy, two-year-old son of Devi Singh of Mandhavali village of the district. It is learnt that Dimpy had been undergoing treatment at a private clinic at Tigaon. He died on Wednesday morning.

RDX scare at Patiala house courts

New Delhi
Proceedings in the Patiala House Courts here were disrupted for over two hours today following a telephone call which claimed that deadly RDX explosive was planted in the premises. The entire court complex was immediately evacuated as the police cordoned off the compound after the call was received around 10.15 am. The premises, including chambers of the judges and lawyers, were thoroughly searched but no explosive was found. TNS


Mumbai RPO held for passport irregularity
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police has arrested the Regional Passport Officer (RPO), Mumbai, and a dealing clerk for allegedly renewing a passport of an Israeli national without a police verification report. The arrested RPO of Mumbai, K. G. Patil, and the dealing clerk, P. P. Mahtre, have been remanded to judicial custody till June 11 by the court concerned in Mumbai with a direction to the Superintendent of Jail there to produce them in the court of V. K. Maheshwari, ACMM, Patiala House in Delhi on or before the expiry of the remand period.

The RPO and the dealing clerk issued the passport of Mrs Sayag Rachel under an assumed name of Ilava Rachel Cyrus projecting as an Indian national. The case came to light following the arrest of the Israeli national from IGI Airport while she was allegedly trying to board a flight for Abu Dhabi.

The sleuths of the Immigration Department identified her from her attitude while she was getting checked her luggage at the airport. Her passport was issued from Mumbai in 1998 but her Israeli passport was not recovered from her possession. In 1998, she had submitted an application for an Indian passport and had enclosed the school leaving certificate, reportedly issued from D. M. Patel School, Vijapur, Mehsana in Gujarat, as a proof of date of birth and a ration card as a proof of residence in Mumbai.

Her application was sent for police verification by the regional passport office in Mumbai. In the meantime, she had submitted a verification certificate allegedly issued by a Joint Secretary in Rural Development and Water Conservation Department of Maharashtra. The verification certificate was addressed to the RPO along with a request to issue a passport urgently on medical grounds. The RPO ordered the issue of the passport for one year on the same day. In 1999, she had submitted an application for renewal of the passport on priority as she had been called by the Consulate of USA with valid passport for interview. The dealing clerk, P. P. Mahtre, allegedly without a police verification report, gave a report that the security report is clear. K. G. Patil, PRO, approved the renewal of the passport up to 2008.

During investigation, the school leaving certificate, ration card and verification certificate were found to be forged and bogus. The case was later transferred to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, who arrested the suspects.

Crushed to death

Shakeel 21), a resident of Batla House in South Delhi, was crushed to death by a Blue Line bus near Jamia Millia Islamia this morning. He was reportedly standing on the steps and trying to go inside the bus (DL-1PA-6956) plying on route number 402. When the bus turned towards Jamia, he slipped and came under the rear wheels of the bus. He died on the spot.

Burglars arrested

With the arrest of two youths, Naveen (20) and Dhirender (21), the Bawana police claimed to have foiled a burglary bid.

On Tuesday, Randhir Singh, a retired constable, returned home to find two boys coming out of his house. Seeing the constable, they tried to flee but were nabbed by him. The stolen property was also recovered, the police said.

Suicide pact

Mukesh and his niece, whose name was not disclosed by the police, reportedly committed suicide by consuming poison mixed in cold drinks in the residence of their relative in R. K. Puram.

A suicide note said that people had a doubt that they had illicit relations. To end the insinuation, they took the extreme step.


Power, water problems hit industrial units
Tribune News Service

New, Delhi, May 30
Delhi is facing acute power and water problems besides frequent shutdowns for more than 10 hours sometimes. It has disturbed the normal life, particularly during May when the mercury touches 45 Celsius. Industries are thus badly hit, said Mr J R Jindal, president, Delhi Factory Owners’ Federation, an apex body representing 1.5 lakh industries in the Capital.

He said that the cost of Common Effluent Treatment (CETP) plant had been increased four times. Fifty per cent was required to be paid by the small units. Mr Jindal pointed out that the members of society had not been able to collect even 50 per cent of the original cost till date, accepted by the Supreme Court.

However, he said, the Delhi Government’s decision to collect the amount by imposing tax to be collected yearly was hailed by the industry, though it was to be seen whether the Centre would permit the Delhi Government to collect this tax.

Mr Jindal pointed out that the cancellation of 2,500 industrial plots in Bawana for non-payment of the full cost before March 31, 2002, was a setback to the member allottees.

He said that the units had applied for plots in December 1996 by paying 10 per cent as earnest money taking loans from the banks which were regularly charging interest from the members without handing over the plots.

Nearly six years have passed. The industry is upset at the decision and has requested the Lt-Governor and the Chief Minister to stay the cancellation, he added.

The government’s demand of 778 hectares of land for the rehabilitation of units located in the non-conforming areas of Delhi is welcome to the industry, he said.

However, why shift the industries from one place to another within Delhi, when all the industries are non-polluting, he asked. According to Mr Jindal, the government spent about Rs 500 crore in setting up 15 Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) around the city, yet they would not serve the purpose, i.e. to decimate the deadly faecal bacteria present in the sewage.

He criticised the government for planning to spend another Rs 939 crore to upgrade these STPs, saying it would be a criminal waste of money. Similar was the case with the CETPs which the government had constructed as they would not serve the purpose either.

He said time might come when a CBI enquiry would have to be constituted to ascertain why such huge amounts were spent.

Mr Jindal said that he had written to the Delhi Government several times on all these issues but till date, he had not received any reply. The government was bent upon uprooting the industries from Delhi, he added.

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