Sunday, June 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Cybercity: Another Gurgaon milestone
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, June 1
The foundation stone for the much-awaited cybercity, to be constructed by the leading builders, the DLF Group, was finally laid here today at a well-attended function by Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala. This marks another milestone in the industrial march of Gurgaon city, which would enable it to further create a niche for itself in the global corporate world.

The cybercity, billed as an “integrated technology hub”, will be set up on a sprawling area adjoining DLF City. While the Haryana Government will provide the infrastructure and other logistic support in terms of legislative framework, administrative and legal facilities for the successful completion of the project, the DLF group will raise the resources for the cybercity. The project will be set up at an approximate cost of Rs 7,500 crore in about six years.

The DLF group will shell out about Rs 5,000 crore and the rest will come through service providers and occupants. However, the final cost of the project, elephantine that it is, could be anybody’s guess at the present juncture.

Speaking at the foundation stone-laying ceremony, which was attended by the leading figures from the corporate world, the DLF group chairperson, Mr K.P.Singh, said that India was rapidly becoming the first choice of global corporates for locating their information technology services and systems hubs. The proposed world-class hub would be the cynosure of the global audiences, he added.

The cybercity would offer over 15 million square feet of state-of-the-art workspace for software majors, IT-enabled services and leading coporates having an eye for the world-class infrastructure. Unlike almost every other technology or software park, DLF Cybercity would offer a comprehensive residential complement for over half a million people with a quality of life on a par if not better than anywhere else in the country in addition to the corporate office, Mr K.P. Singh added.

Both the DLF management and the government claimed that the cybercity would provide employment to one lakh persons. Of this, 75,000 would be direct in nature. The rest would comprise service providers. At any point of time during the period of construction of the project, a 10,000-strong workforce would be engaged.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chautala said that the cybercity had already drawn the attention of the global information technology community even before its formal unveiling today.

He said that the government was determined to initiate more development projects in Gurgaon and other parts of the state.

Mr Chautala lamented that the Disneyland project in Gurgaon, which the earlier government headed by him wanted to push through, had to be scrapped because of the opposition to it inspired by his political opponents. The state had missed an opportunity to improve its financial position, he added.

He gave the assurance that his government would take all measures to increase the quantity of the generation of power in the state.


PCC to hold dharna at Jind, rake up farmers’ issue
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 1
The Pradesh Congress has decided to stage a dharna at Jind from June 3 to protest against the ‘atrocities’ being committed on the farmers. The PCC Chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, said that the dharna would continue till the government implemented the Kandela agreement. Addressing newspersons, Mr Hooda demanded imposition of President’s rule in Haryana as the constitutional machinery in the state had failed. The Chief Minister, he alleged, was acting in a dictatorial manner.

The Pradesh Congress also proposes to appeal to the Nation Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the use of brute force by the government against the farmers. “The party will urge the NHRC to hold an inquiry into the atrocities committed on the farmers,’’ the presspersons were told.

Mr Hooda said that the meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee, which was earlier scheduled to be held at Chandigarh, would now be held on June 4 at Jind. Besides , the members of the Executive Committee, the DCC and the Block Congress chiefs will also participate in the Jind meeting. Party MLAs and former ministers and legislators have also been invited to attend the proposed meeting.

Meanwhile, the blockade on Rohtak-Jind state highway continued for the third today with the agitating farmers refusing to call off the stir. The district administration, with a view to avoid direct confrontation with the farmers, made no effort to have the highway cleared.

The Inspector General of Police (Rohtak Range), Mr Resham Singh, established telephone contact with influential persons of the villages to persuade them to remove the blockade. He reportedly told them that Centre has deployed CRPF to clear the roads as Army was likely to move in any time because of the mounting tension on the Indo- Pak border.

He recalled the sacrifices made by the villagers in defending the nation. He said that the roads should be cleared of all obstacles in national interest .

Interestingly, the bodies of the farmers killed in the police firing in Jind district are being brought to the PGIMS for post-mortem . The families of the deceased, it is said, wanted the post-mortem to be conducted at the PGIMS as they have no faith in the government doctors posted at Jind.

Our correspondent adds: The PGIMS administration has prohibited people, especially presspersons, from meeting the patients who sustained injuries during the firing and lathi-charge in Jind district and were admitted to the institute.

A notice pasted in the PGI complex categorically stated that nobody is allowed to see those injured in Kandela without prior permission of the Director of the institute or the Medical Superintendent.


College teachers frown upon UGC ‘incentive’
Tarun Gill

New Delhi, June 1
There is considerable consternation among college teachers here over a UGC incentive scheme, which was ostensibly designed to motivate them, but has turned into an impediment.

College teachers here point out that if accepted by the government, the Meritorious Teacher Award scheme will virtually spike their promotional prospects in the orthodox hierarchy. Under the conventional system, a college teacher begins his career as a Lecturer, becomes a Senior Lecturer, Reader and, finally, a Professor.

The scheme, which has been forwarded to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, stipulates that selected 500 Readers and Lecturers with at least eight years of service in the affiliated colleges shall be eligible for the award which carries a merit certificate and a sum of Rs one lakh.

The UGC has prepared an elaborate system of procedure premised upon a number of criteria for selecting the 500 teachers every year from all the affiliated colleges in the country.

Amongst other things the teachers will have to possess the “academic capability and their service rendered to the academic institution and society”.

The criteria have been categorized under four major heads with each category having a different weightage. While “Academic Capability” carries a weight of 40 per cent, “Interaction with students’’ carries 30 per cent. The other two criteria, “Service rendered to academic institution” and “Service to society,” carry a weight of 15 per cent each.

The scheme, however, has not gone down well with the prospective beneficiaries, who point out that it would work against their career enhancement.

College teachers fear that once the scheme is in place, the post of the Reader will be the highest rung for most of them in their academic career. The scheme effectively rules out promotion to the post of Professor during the career.

``This scheme is nothing but humiliating. How can an academic recognition of a teacher be replaced by some cash reward’’, former President, Delhi University Teachers’ Association, S.S.Rathi, said. ``The scheme not only nullifies a promotion from Reader to a Professor at the college level, but also embarrasses faculty members by presenting them with a cash prize’’, he added.

There was a widespread agitation by the teachers of almost all the colleges in 1998, when the University Grants Commission (UGC) nullified the scope of promotion of a college lecturer.

``Only one Lecturer in the statistics department from Ramjas College was promoted as Professor”, Mr Rathi pointed out.

Under the scheme, the concerned college will recommend the eligible teachers among the applicants to the university. A university-level committee shall review the list generated by the colleges. The recommendations of the university shall be forwarded to the UGC for final selection. At the final stage, an expert committee of the UGC shall select the meritorious teachers for the award.

“At the university level, UGC has left some loopholes to make an allowance for promotion. Only the process has been made more cumbersome’’, Mr Rathi said.


Drive against corrupt runs aground
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, June 1
The drive to ‘catch the corrupt’ here seems to have caused enough bad blood between the civil administration and the local police as both the authorities have joined issue over the genuineness of some of the ‘corrupt’ cases brought to light so far.

As the district police have reportedly made themselves scarce due to differences, the administration has started taking the help of the vigilance officials to catch the culprits.

At least two cases in which a havaldar (head constable) of the CIA wing and a reader of the DSP at Hodal have been booked in the anti-corruption drive recently. The police officials have expressed unhappiness over the issue.

The alleged implication of their staff in such cases has raised the hackles of many senior police officials. They said that it was done with mala fide intentions.

It may be recalled that a team of vigilance and local administration had caught Rati Ram, a reader of the DSP Hodal on May 28, while he was allegedly accepting a bribe for the registration of a vehicle.

However, the police officials, including the DSP concerned, claimed that the reader had been implicated in the case.

The police officials claimed that the present case followed as the DSP, Hodal, had arrested a gunman and driver of an SDM on the charges of extorting Rs 20,000 from a man about a month ago.

The police department also objected to the nabbing of Havaldar Hari Singh (IA) working in the SSP office here earlier.

The police officials claimed that the money recovered from the Havaldar was the amount seized from a raid and it was kept as custody till the investigation of a case.

The SSP, Mr Ranbir Sharma, said that the police were ready to cooperate in the anti-corruption drive. However, he said it must be allowed to do some investigation itself and be taken into confidence before taking any action, especially against the ‘corrupt’ policemen.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, on the other hand said that the drive to catch the corrupt would continue and no one, including the officials and police staff, would be spared if found guilty.

He said that a total of 14 ‘corrupt’ officials and employees had been nabbed in the past few months which include his own P.A., two doctors, two policemen, two homeguard jawans, a junior engineer of the Haryana Urban Development and a clerk of SDM office at Ballabgarh.


Contract killers eliminated Yadav
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 1
Rashtrya Parvertan Dal vice president and a notorious criminal himself, Parmanand Yadav, was murdered by contract killers for an amount of Rs 2 lakh, Rs 20,000 of which was paid as an advance, SSP Chander Prakash informed today. Parmanand Yadav was killed on May 27 at his Raj Nagar residence.

Ghaziabad police claimed to have solved the murder by arresting two criminals today, Jatinder Yadav of Bhagpet and Kuldip, who was wanted in another case of Meerut. The other accused Satinder Jat is absconding. The police have also recovered a revolver from the criminal today, the SSP said.

According to SSP Chander Prakash, it was a contract killing for Rs 2 lakh and the killers were paid Rs 20,000 as advance. The criminals were going to collect the remaining amount of Rs 1.80 lakh at Bulandshahar. The arrest was made near Lal Quarters, Ghaziabad at about 1.30 pm today. They were travelling in a Cielo car and were going to Bulandshahar to collect the balance of the contract amount from Inder Pehlwan and Satinder Yadav.

Jatinder, Kuldip, Gyan Singh, Anees Yadav were all travelling in the car, when the police nabbed them. The police had received a tip-off that some criminals would be proceeding to Bulandshahar in a car to collect the balance amount of the Parmanand Yadav’s killing.

On seeing the police force, the criminals first tried to escape, but were overpowered. The SSP said that they were the same assailants who had attacked Parmanand Yadav on the bypass on April 23 in which an innocent three-wheeler driver was shot dead. The killers had travelled from Meerut in a car on the day Parmanand Yadav was murdered. They were left near his house and after killing Parmanand Yadav, they slipped to Haridwar.


Bansi Lal takes up cudgels for farmers
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 1
Former Chief Minister and the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) chief, Mr Bansi Lal, has expressed concern at the continued bloodshed of farmers at the hands of the `trigger-happy’ Haryana Police who are trying to crush the Bharatiya Kisan Union-sponsored agitation of the farmers at the behest of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

Speaking to the media persons here on Friday evening, he said that this bloodshed must be stopped immediately at all costs before it assumed perilous proportions.

In a vitriolic attack on the style of functioning of Mr O P Chautala, the HVP supremo asserted that the present situation was the creation of Mr Chautala.

He went on to say that if any person could be held responsible for the deaths of the farmers, caused by the police firing during his own regime or Mr Bhajan Lal’s rule or in the reign of Mr Chautala himself, it was Mr Chautala alone.

In the context of the urgency of adoption of effective remedial measures, the former Chief Minister wanted the Chautala Government not to make it a prestige point and immediately start negotiations with the farmers to sort out their problems.

Simultaneously denouncing the farmers for taking the law into their own hands, he advised them to adopt only the constitutional ways to vent their grievances.

Mr Bansi Lal said that blocking of roads, which caused inconvenience to the public, could never be approved of as a means of agitation.

As for the role of his party in the crisis, the former Chief Minister categorically stated that during his four-decade-long political career, he had always shunned politics of expediency and he was of the opinion that the problem should be sorted out by the state government and the agitating farmers through bilateral negotiations.

Mr Bansi Lal had come to Rewari to express condolences at the death of Rao Abhey Singh, father of the Deputy Leader of HCLP, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav. He was accompanied by senior local HVP leaders, Mr Anil Rao and Mr Sheo Lal Singh.


BJP leader demands release of BKU activists
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 1
Leader of the BJP in the State assembly and MLA from Mewla Maharajpur constituency, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, demanded the immediate release of all the BKU activists and holding of talks with farmers for a peaceful solution to the ongoing agitation of farmers in Haryana.

He said here on Saturday that the state government should withdraw all cases and announce a compensation of 10 lakh to the kin of the farmers killed in the police firing.

He said that in order to prepare a conducive environment, the authorities should provide a government job to the family member of those killed in the agitation and call the farmer leaders for talks.

He held the Chief Minister and his party responsible for the deterioration of law and order in the state.

He claimed that farmers who were killed in campaigns launched by the late Devi Lal were described as `martyrs’ but now his son and his colleagues were calling the agitationists `anti-social elements’.

He said if Mr Chautala went into the background of such agitations, he would discover that the government had been mainly responsible for the deterioration in the situation.

He said, although the BJP was against the free supply of water and power to consumers, the INLD government was ignoring the farmers and was against holding talk with them.

Mr Gurjar said the BKU activists had agreed to solve the issue through talks earlier and an agreement had been reached with the Haryana Agriculture Minister on January 31.

However, after the UP elections, the government had backtracked on the agreement.

The secretary of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), Ms Sharda Rathaur, also condemned the police firing on farmers in Jind district. She demanded compensation to the families of those killed or injured and filing of criminal cases against police officials who ordered the firing on the people.


HVP wants governor to sack INLD govt
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 1
The general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), Mr Rajiv Jain, on Saturday urged the Governor to dismiss the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

He alleged that the state was heading towards chaos in view of the recent agitation by the farmers.

In a signed press statement, he criticised the Chief Minister for describing the farmers agitation as criminal activities.

He said that Mr Chautala should not forget that the farmers were responsible for his victory in the state assembly elections.

He said that the farmers were forced to adopt an agitational path since Mr Chautala not only went back on his election promises, but let loose a reign of terror on them.

Mr Jain also ridiculed Mr Chautala’s claim that he had launched many pro-farmer projects in the state.

He said instead of giving relief to the farmers, the Chief Minister had hiked the power tariff, sales tax and fertiliser prices.

He said that if Mr Chautala had not made false promises of providing free power and water to the farmers, the present situation would not have arisen.

The HVP leader demanded a judicial probe into the cases of police firing on the agitating farmers at Kandela and other places in the state.

He also urged the Haryana Governor to direct Mr Chautala to honestly implement the agreement between the government and the BKU leaders, so that the situation in the state could be brought under control.

Mr Jain also alleged that the INLD government had failed on all fronts and no section of the society was satisfied with its performance.

He said that the people of the state wanted a change in the government and his party was an obvious alternative as it had regained its popularity among the people. He claimed that Mr Bansi Lal was the only leader who could provide a corruption free government in the state.


MCF yet to get its act together to cope with monsoon fury
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 1
The Municipal Corporation, Faridabad (MCF) seems to have been caught in a jam by the pre-monsoon showers in the town. Several areas, including the main roads got flooded even by the short spell recently and it took up to 24 hours to get the water drained out in some of the colonies. While the monsoon is about a month away, the civic administration is still to get its act together. Choked sewerage system, blocked underground drains and lack of measures to drain out excess water, tell the story of the poor upkeep of the civic amenities.

While the MCF authorities propose to charge a heavy development fee of more than Rs 700 per square feet from the unauthorised colonies for regularisation, there is hardly any maintenance of the existing system of sewerage and drain network in the town.

The civic experts believe that if no measures are taken, the town could get flooded during the monsoon. Recently about one-km-long road and several kms of total area got submerged on May 27 and 28 near Sector-15A market and Ajronda village.

About three feet of water remained in the locality for more than 15 hours, said a resident of the area. Similar was the scene in the majority of areas in the town including the NIT, Old Faridabad and Ballabgarh.

The rain water damaged several roads in the posh sectors of Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) also, which are claimed to have the most modern drainage and sewerage system. The administration had got constructed a drain along the railway track about 10 years ago to deal with the problem of flooding in the residential areas of NIT. However, it is learnt that the drain has been filled up at several places and the area encroached upon, leaving no space for cleaning or making the drain operational now.

The issue had been raised in the meeting of the MCF here recently. While the town has received about 95 mm of rainfall in the past six days, the civic authorities are yet to start cleaning operation of choked sewers and drains. Although the work of garbage and cleaning in several parts of the town has been given to Sulabh International on monthly contract of about Rs 25 lakh, but the cleaning of sewer line is still with the MCF. Although the corporation has several motor pumps with it, they had been quite old and insufficient in number. Some of the pumps are about 30 years old.

The authorities had last year decided to purchase a new motor pump worth over Rs 8 lakh, but it has not been acquired due to shortage of funds, it is learnt.


Say your prayers and save humanity

If wars begin in the minds of men, it is clear that the battle for peace should also be waged in their minds. For sometime now the prospect of a war has loomed large on the horizon of the subcontinent and hearts are filled with fear. The whole world is fearful because the antagonists, India and Pakistan, possess nuclear weapons.

It is plain that it is enmity and hatred that are allowed to fester in the minds that ultimately produce the spectre of war threats. What do we do to avert catastrophes?

We need to be in prayer. You may ask why. It is not the weapons but those who have the authority to deploy and use such weapons who need the good sense not to choose death and destruction. It is the decision-makers ,who promote hysteria and patriotism of the wrong kind, who need to recognise that the destiny of a nation depends on peace and not on war. They need to recognise that in a nuclear war both sides suffer, winning as well as losing.

In such crucial times the ordinary people of all lands who do not want war find themselves helpless.What can they do to avert war? They can pray that good sense might prevail on the authorities so that they may know that nuclear weapons do not offer any security They do not ensure victory. So the best strategy is to avoid war.

It is widely believed that God can change men’s hearts. He can change people blinded by passions. He can change circumstances. He is sovereign over all lands and peoples and ``not a hair falls to the ground without His knowledge.’’ And if He does not defend, no defence is adequate and no security foolproof.

The desert fathers regarded prayer as an act of unhooking from the harness of the world’s securities. Such prayer may be the only action powerful enough to free us from our spiritual bondage to property, money, power and ideas which has made us willing to destroy everything in a desperate and futile effort to protect them. This futility has been amply demonstrated by history and the latest demonstration was on September 11.

Only those who have found their security in God can resist the tugs and pulls of the false security offered by the nuclear powers. One wonders if Gandhiji was alive would he have taken delight in the Pokharan blast. His faith was in God, not in the atom.

Prayer has several effects. It changes the very people who pray. It changes their perspective ; it changes their frame of reference.

For instance when we come into God’s presence, it occurs to us that we are as much capable of evil as the Pakistanis. That humbles us. They are people like us wanting to live in peace, wanting to progress in life, build happy homes and guard against sorrow and pain. In prayer we no longer hold them as our enemies but as people of flesh and blood like us, interested in righteousness and peace. The demonisation of the enemy ceases and they become friends. We become willing to see things from their perspective. And Pakistanis when they truly pray will no longer picture Indian as an enemy willing to destroy them at the first opportunity.

Violence begins in our minds when we perceive others as enemies. We are good, they are bad. Our cause is just and theirs unjust. We can be trusted but they are untrustworthy. We are noble, they are ugly. They are incapable of any good feelings or actions. We want to love but they always hate!

Prayer must end this perception. Further are we not commanded to pray for our enemies? Consider what will happen if in our temples, churches and mosques, prayers were made for the enemy –likewise in Pakistani mosques, churches and temples, prayers were made for India? Prayer moves us from opposition to friendliness, from resistance to cooperation, from blind hatred to understanding love.

Prayer, by affirming our faith in God’s authority over evil powers, removes our worst fears and gives confidence and hope—confidence not in ourselves but in His ability to guard us and avert danger. Prayer undermines hostility; enemies turn into friends. It recognises we are all children of the same Father.

In a nuclear age, any threat of war implies the threat of total annihilation. The faces of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be ever before us. The pictures of bomb-raining planes and earth-shaking explosions should be held before us. What if the victims are not those faceless, distant people but we ourselves and those who are dearer to us than our own lives?

And it is also repeated that there will be no winners in a nuclear war. The traditional “just war’’ theory becomes obsolete in the modern context because it will lead only to unlimited violence and devastation. It will be suicidal in effect. Neither can a battle be waged for a limited purpose when the parties caught in a conflict are in possession of nuclear weapons.

We should rather be willing to make sacrifices for the sake of peace rather than war. We, who live in modern times, at least see the absurdity of all old wars. But what of the present arms race? We must pray to the One who created the human mind to create a world of peace within. We must be willing to take risks not for war, but for peace.

M P K Kutty



A paradise of the lovers of flora and fauna
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 1
The mountains and the meadows together make a perfect picture of God’s design. And when it comes to the sylvan beauty of Khajjiar, a small grassy meadow located in the picturesque Chamba valley, the design is a tribute to the beauty itself.

A joy for ever.
A joy for ever.

Nestled between two equally exquisite places, Dalhousie and Chamba, Khajjiar with its quaint attraction stands out and cajoles the travellers to behold. Khajjiar is located in the north-western part of Himachal Pradesh, and stands at an altitude of 1951 meters above the sea level. It is about 520 kms from the Capital. To reach Khajjiar, you have to undertake a journey of 22 km from Dalhousie or 24 km from Chamba. The best time to visit this Alpine state is from April to June and from November to February.

A famous tourist spot in the region is Khajjinag Temple. The 12th century temple is dedicated to Khajjinag. The temple has life-size wooden images of the Pandavas. The Chamera Lake is yet another place of great tourist interest. Set in the rolling green turf is the small lake. Tiny streams feed the Chamera Lake, this small lake lies at in the centre of large Khajjiar glade. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag- after whom the place is named.

Golden Devi Temple is a landmark in the Khajjiar region. The golden spire of the Devi’s abode beckons one to the fringe of the lake.

Lush green meadows with shy high deodar tress and crystal-clear water bearing lakes make Khajjiar a picturesque location. The place can only be reached by road. It is well connected with other towns in the Chamba valley. Bus journey from Chamba and Dalhousie takes about 1½ hours. Travellers can also hire taxis from either Dalhousie or Chamba to reach here. The nearest rail head is at Pathankot and is at a distance of 120 kms. For those wishing to fly the airport at Gaggal in Kangra district is 180 kms.

Khajjiar has a thick forest of the Kalatope sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass. For the lovers of flora and fauna, there is plenty to watch and enjoy.

Accommodation is not a problem. Hotels and rest houses from the HPTDC-owned to those owned by the private sector are available to the tourists.


Panipat “rehri mafia” getting the stick
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 1
After delaying for years now, the authorities have wielded the stick against the “rehri mafia” and removed over 200 “rehris” along both sides of the GT Road. The action had been taken to beautify the city and make traffic flow smooth in the service lanes along the GT Road.

In fact, the joint action by the Haryana Highway Patrol, the District Transport Officer (DTO) and the local Municipal Council (MC) paid rich dividends with the result that the service lanes, which presented a chaotic traffic scene about a week ago, are now drivers’ delight.

Earlier, haphazardly parked “rehris” led to the traffic jams. Besides, the unhygienic goods sold from them were an open invitation to several diseases. The situation was complicated since the slowing-moving traffic such as rickshaws, bicycles, horse-drawn carts and three-wheelers led to long traffic jams.

The jams are now a thing of the past. Although the three agencies had done a commendable job, yet full marks to the MC chief, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, who risking political repercussions, had adopted a tough stand against what he called the drive against the “rehri mafia”.

Earlier, a majority of the anti-encroachment drives had been a non-starter due to the political pressure.

There are allegations that a substantial number of “rehris” operating from the service lanes had been rented out to the poor “rehriwalas” by certain influential persons of the city. In return for “protection”, these unscrupulous elements had been minting money over the years and blocking any action on the part of the authorities.

Although Mr Bhatia faced protests by the “rehriwalas” and municipal councillors for his “unpopular” decision, his party, BJP, seemed to be succumbing to pressure from the vested interests. In fact, the president of the local unit of the BJP, Dr Manohar Lal Suneja, met the DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, to plead the case of the “rehriwalas” before the district administration.

However, the administration’s dream of making the service lanes “traffic-friendly” is yet to be fully realised. Parking of vehicles on the service lanes continues to be a hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic.

It may be recalled that in April, the administration had warned that strict action would be taken against the persons parking vehicles on the service lanes. The vehicle owners were directed to park their vehicles on the space between the GT Road and service lane.

However, like other drives of the administration, this also lost steam after a few days with the result that the situation was back to the square one. Similarly, pleas of the administration to the shopkeepers to make concrete parking area between the GT Road and service lanes seems to fallen on the deaf ears.


13 shops of Myna Tourist Complex locked
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, June 1
A police party led by the SDM Kumar Supraveen locked 13 disputed shops owned by Myna Tourist Complex, Haryana Tourism Corporation this afternoon.

Describing it as unlawful, the tenants of the shops claimed that the matter was pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the date for hearing was fixed on June 3. They said that they sought shelter of the High Court when their appeal in this regard was disposed of by Ms Anita Choudhary, Commissioner, Rohtak Division. A copy of the order was delivered to the tenants on May 28.

The tenants claimed that they could challenge the order of the commissioner in the High Court within two months after its receipt as per law and it was illegal on the part of district authorities to put government locks on their shops during the period.

The counsel for the appellants stated that they had been tenants on the shop for last more than 25 years and paying the agreed rent at the rate of Rs 300 a month till March 1997. He said that the tourist complex revoked their licences and demanded a rent of Rs 3000 a month with effect from last three years, vide a letter in June 1997.

He stated that the corporation MD had, in a meeting of the Board of Director in April 1999, directed that rent at the rate of Rs 850 a month be charged from the shops and the dispute be settled.

However, he alleged that the letter was intentionally cancelled by the then manager of the complex. He said no notice for enhancement was issued. Moreover, the licence was revoked in June 1997 while the complex had been demanding a rent of Rs 3000 from June 1994 to June 1997 with 18 per cent rate of interest.


Forest labourers to hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 1
The Forest Department of Mazdoor Union Haryana has decided to organise a one-day dharna on June 3 in front of the office of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) in the city in support of their long-standing demands.

Announcing this, Mr Anand Sharma, general secretary of the union told newsmen here today that the officials of the department had failed to fullfil the ‘legitimate’ demands of the forest labourers in spite of their assurances given to the union leaders from time to time.

This indifference, he said, has forced the labourers to take to the agitational approach and hold a dharna and a demonstration.

He warned that if the authorities failed to accept the demands of the employees, the union would launch a statewide agitation against the government. Mr Sharma said that the union had already submitted a 16-point charter of demands to the higher authorities of the department but none of them had been accepted.

The officials of the department, he alleged, absent themselves from their offices and the union leaders are disappointed when they visit the offices for redressing the grievances of the labourers.

He said that the main demands of the union, among other things, included the regularisation of all employees having completed 240-day service, preparation of seniority lists of the workers’ disbursement of monthly pay on the seventh of every month, reinstatement of all the labourers with full pay who had been sacked earlier, implementation of all the awards announced by various courts in favour of labourers, providing medical facilities under the ESI scheme and deduction of provident fund from their salary, payment of bonus and other arrears of pay, ban on contract system and introduction of attendance cards and muster rolls, grant of adequate compensation in the event of any mishap during the duty, etc.


2 schoolboys drown in canal

Faridabad, June 1
Two teenaged schoolboys drowned in the nearby Agra canal here last evening. While one body was fished out yesterday, another was recovered near Palwal town this morning. It is reported that 14-year-old Mritunjay, son of Virender Singh of Sector-9, went along with a friend to take a dip in the canal at about 3 pm. As he went deeper inside the water, he could not swim and found him encircled by gushing water. He cried for help, a 16-year-old boy Satender, son of Meharchand of Baroli village responded to his SOS and dived into water. It is learnt that as Mritunjay took hold of Satender, the latter also drowned with him.

The fire brigade personnel and the police reached the spot after an hour and then the body of Mritunjay could be fished out by 6 p.m. However, the body of other boy floated away and it could be fished out early this morning about 30 km from the spot. Meanwhile, in other incidents, two more children were killed. TNS


Patriarch of Ahir politics remembered
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 1
With the demise of Rao Abhey Singh (78), the grand old man of Rewari politics, his house in Model Town has virtually become a focal point of convergence for politicians from the region and outside.

Apart from being the patriarch of Ahir politics, the deceased was also the father of Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, who is a well-known politician of Haryana and the Deputy leader of the Haryana Congress legislature party. Prominent among those who have visited the place to express their condolences in the past four days included former Chief Ministers of Haryana, Mr Bansi Lal and Mr B.D.Gupta, Mrs Meera Kumar, former general secretary, AICC, Miss Sheilja, former Union Minister and Mr Sultan Singh, a former Governor.

Paying his homage to Mr Rao Abhey Singh on Friday, Mr Bansi Lal said that Rao Abhey Singh was soft spoken and mild mannered. Mr Bansi Lal also spent about twenty minutes with Mrs Shanti Devi, wife of the late Rao Abhey Singh.

Earlier on Tuesday, the funeral of Rao Abhey Singh in the vicinity of his native village Saharanwas, 6 km from here, was attended by the former Chief Minister and leader of HCLP, Mr Bhajan Lal and the HPCC (I) president, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda.


Soldier cremated with full honours
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, June 1
The mortal remains of Sepoy Pankaj Kumar, who laid down his life fighting the enemy near the international border in Drass Sector on May 28, was consigned to flames in his native village, Dhakala here today. Pankaj, son of Balbir Singh, was in the 19 Jat Regiments and posted at the strategically sensitive Drass Sector in Jammu and Kashmir. He was cremated with full state honours and local MLA, Mr Dariao Singh, Deputy commissioner Mr Ashok Khemka and Superintendent of Police, Mr Mohhamed Akil attended his funeral.

Bodies recovered
The police today recovered two mutilated bodies near Talav village of the district today. According to information, one of the bodies was identified as that of Mohit of Karnal district, while the other could not be identified.

One killed
Sonepat : One person was killed and two others sustained serious injuries when a house roof on the old DC Road collapsed here on Friday evening.

According to a report, the dead man was identified as Mr Om Prakash (35) and the injured as Bitoo (22) and Taejpal (18). The injured Tejpal was discharged after first aid, whereas Bittoo was admitted to the hospital for treatment. The police are investigating into the case. According to another report, one person was killed and another seriously injured when a roof of a shop collapsed at Bayanpur Khurd village, 3 km from here on Friday evening.

It was reported that the men were working in a furniture shop when the roof collapsed. The police have sent the body for postmortem examination.

Body found
The police recovered the body of Mr Dharam Singh (55), a farmer from a field in Asawarpur village, about 15 km from here on Friday. According to the police, the body bore multiple injuries inflicted from sharp-edged weapons. The police believe it to be a case of murder. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. The victim had gone to his tubewell, where he usually slept at night. The cause of the murder was still uncertain.


Inter-state car gang busted, 3 arrested
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 1
With the arrest of three youths, the police have busted an inter-state gang of car thieves operating in Haryana and other neighbouring States. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the police recovered nine stolen cars and a pistol along with two live cartridges from the arrested youths. Those arrested were identified as Neeraj of Tharu village, Anil of Kansala village and Mahesh of Bahadurgarh.

Giving details of the arrests, the SP disclosed that the police organised a `nakabandi’ near Jhundpur village along the river Yamuna for routine checking of incoming and outgoing vehicles.

When the police signaled the car driver to stop, it tried to escape. Subsequently, the car was seized and the culprits arrested. The SP disclosed that the occupants of the car fired shots at the police but none was hurt.

During interrogation, the gang members said most of the cars were stolen from Rohini area of Delhi. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

The SP further disclosed that the police had also solved a loot case and arrested three youths, namely Yogesh alias Babloo of Saboli village, Somvir of Mandela village and Ajay of Sanghi village in this connection. The police, he said, also recovered Rs 3 lakh from them.

According to the SP, the culprits had robbed Rs 10 lakh from a trader, Mr Vijay Kumar, of Narela (Delhi) near Shafiabad village, when he was going in his car to Narela on May 6.

Mr Vijay Kumar, he said, had withdrawn Rs 27 lakh from a bank in Sonepat. He had kept the money in two bags, one containing Rs 10 lakh and the other Rs 17 lakh. Unfortunately, the culprits had snatched the bag containing Rs 10 lakh and escaped.


Cash, jewellery looted from Noida house
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 1
About half a dozen armed criminals barged into the residence of Mahem Mittal, provincial vice-president of Bharat Vikas Parishad at about 6 am today and decamped with cash, jewellery and valuables worth lakhs of rupees.

City SP Vijay Bhushan said that six to seven criminals had intruded into the house No D-102, Sector-55, Noida and tied the parents of Mahem Mittal with a cord and ransacked the house at a gunpoint. They took about a lakh in cash, jewellery and other valuables from the house.

While leaving, the criminals also took away Mittal’s Santro car No. DL-CG-3589, parked outside the house.

Mahem’s father, retired principal K.C. Mittal said that some neighbours had tried to chase the dacoits, but they could not catch them. Mr Mittal said that it seemed that the dacoits were conversant with the nature of the work of Mahem Mittal who is a building contractor. SP City said that the police would be able to nab the culprits soon.

After inspecting the site of the crime and making inquiries, the police felt that the intruders were some known persons.SP Vijay Bhushan and Nawab Singh Nagar, MLA, reached the spot to examine the situation.


Political activist shot at

Some unknown assailants fired several rounds at Rajesh alias Rajje, a young political activist and husband of the Municipal Council vice-chairperson, Mrs Sangeeta Rajje, today. More than four bullets hit him. Admited in a private hospital, his position is stated to be serious. Sangeeta Rajee informed the ‘NCR Tribune’ that around three unknown persons entered Kanisha Food Guest House, owned by Rajee. They asked him to come to one corner of the guest house. The unknown assailants fired at him at point-blank range. Two bullets hit him in head. OC

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