Saturday, June 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


387 candidates to fight it out for 46 wards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee polls are expected to witness a keen contest with 387 candidates in the fray for the 46 wards. The general elections would be held on June 30.

On the last day of withdrawal, the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections said that 65 candidates withdrew their candidatures, including the surprise withdrawal of Sunit Pal Singh of the Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi from the Greater Kailash ward.

His withdrawal leaves the field virtually open for the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate, Mr Manjit Singh, in the ward.

While the Chandni Chowk and Vivek Vihar ward would witness straight contest between the two Akali faction nominees, the Sahibpura ward would see the contest between 20 candidates for the seat.

The two main Akali factions have given ticket to only one woman candidate each – Bibi Gurjeet Kaur from Lajpat Nagar on SAD Delhi ticket and Ms Parkash Kaur from Khureji Khas on SAD (Badal) ticket.

The withdrawal of the SAD Delhi nominee from Greater Kailash ward drew sharp reaction from both the Akali factions. The SAD (Badal) Delhi unit chief, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, described it as the ‘first blow’ to SAD Delhi and its head, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna.

However, Mr Sarna alleged ‘foul play’ resulting in the withdrawal of his party candidate’s retreat from the ward. “The rival faction has lured him with monetary and party posts,” Mr Sarna alleged. Mr Sunit Pal Singh, however, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that he withdrew his candidature as the party had not extended support to him. “I have resigned from the party and rejoined SAD (Badal), who have appointed me as the head of the youth wing,” he said.

Sunit Pal Singh said another factor behind his decision was that he was not interested in contesting from the Greater Kailash ward as he was an outsider in the area.

Interestingly, in the Patel Nagar ward, SAD (Badal) candidates have found support from an unexpected quarter. The rival faction SAD Delhi has decided not to field any candidates from the ward, giving the sitting DSGMC member, Mr Dalwinder Singh Ayur, full support from the two party machinery.

However, the ward could face an interesting tussle with the Vishwa Sikh Forum candidate, Mr Avtar Singh Sethi, getting the support of community’s intellectual organisations like the Sikh Forum and Intellectual Sikh Organisations. He had been the Director of Gurdwara Elections.

While the sudden withdrawal of the SAD Delhi nominee was a blow to the party, the Badal faction too had some bad news with the Delhi High Court today rejecting the party’s contention to have “Scale” as the symbol for the polls.

The Election Commission had allotted SAD (Badal), which ruled Punjab before its debacle in the assembly polls earlier this year.

For the DSGMC polls, the party has been allotted “Bucket” symbol by the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections. The Delhi High Court rejected the plea of the SAD (Badal) as the symbol had been allotted to the party in 1999 and the party had not contested it then. The Badal faction had moved the court on the plea that the Delhi unit should have the same symbol as the parental organisation and any change in symbol could confuse the electorate. The SAD Delhi, which had contested the last polls in 1995, under one symbol, has been allotted “Car” symbol by the directorate.

There are 15 registered parties with the Directorate and 28 free symbols for Independents to choose. The candidates have to deposit a sum of Rs 200 to file the nominations. The DSGMC is elected for a term of four years.


MDU to change PG question papers
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 7
Maharshi Daynand University (MDU) plans to introduce changes in the question paper pattern for postgraduate classes, ensure uniformity in the evaluation of answer sheets and initiate many administrative measures to improve the functioning of the university and academic standards.

The Vice-Chancellor, Maj-Gen (retd) B. S. Suhag, said that a question bank in each postgraduate (PG) subject would be created. Each PG question paper would contain three parts now onwards — (a) short questions, (b) medium length questions, and (c) long answer questions. The emphasis would be on the thorough coverage of the syllabi. Complete guidelines for marking answer sheets would be provided to the evaluators..

The prospectuses and admission forms of MDU would now be available at the post offices also. The Vice-Chancellor said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed with the postal authorities for the sale of handbooks and admission forms at post offices located at Bhiwani, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Rewari, Faridabad, Narnaul and Gohana. The arrangement, he said, had been in the interest of the students and would come into force from the current academic session.

The V-C said that the university had undertaken the revision work of the PG/UG syllabi as per UGC guidelines. The syllabi had been revised in all the 27 departments except the English Department. The revised curricula would conform to the revised National Eligibility Test (NET) syllabi, he said. He said that interviews under the career advancement scheme (CAS) up to the level of Readers were almost complete. The interviews for Professors would be held shortly and the results of both the interviews would be announced simultaneously.

The V-C disclosed that the Sociology Department had been chosen by the UGC for its special assistance plan. Proposals in respect of science subjects had been forwarded to the UGC and other central funding agencies.

The university had been, he said, able to improve its financial position owing to the special measures taken by the administration. The university had a balance of Rs 31 crore on March 31, he claimed.

General Suhag said that in the coming academic session, emphasis would be on academic activities including lectures by eminent personalities, panel discussions on contemporary issues and national level conference and seminars in at least five subjects. Apart from the academic activities, campus development work and construction activities would be taken up on a priority basis. The construction of the auditorium would be resumed and the multi-purpose indoor gymnasium would start soon. General Suhag said that he would try to improve the facilities for sports in the university, especially in sports like boxing, wrestling and athletics in which MDU’s position had been very good. The V-C said that personality development and improvement of communication skills of university students were a priority.



DVB employees jockeying for ‘safe’ positions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
It’s a veritable race against time for some of the 23,000-strong employees of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) who don’t quite relish the idea of giving up a cushy, government job for the insecurity of being employed by private distributors, Tata Power and Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply (BSES).

The “fraternity of shirkers” that comprises the technical staff is leaving no stone unturned in their quest to secure a berth for themselves in the generation company (Genco) and transmission company (Transco), both wholly owned by the government. Such is the phobia that many of them have begun to do the rounds of the corridors of power and beseeching bureaucrats and MLAs to stall their transfer to any of the distribution companies.

“By now, all the employees have a fair idea of where to report to on July 1,” says Power Minister Ajay Maken. He does not deny that his office is being flooded with requests. The transfers of top brass, he continues, has been more or less formalised. The incumbents on the post of Member (Technical) I and II will move to Genco and Transco while those of the other cadres like the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) etc will either revert to their parent cadre or be adjusted elsewhere.

Attributing the panic among some of the employees to insecurity (“culture shock”) of working for a private company, DVB sources say the private distribution companies have their reservations on the employee profile. “The average age of the DVB workforce is 52 years … they might not suit the agenda of the private players,” they say acknowledging though that a section of the workforce fancies the idea of a golden handshake. The employees’ unions are opposing that.

Officials engaged in the protracted negotiations prior to the inking of the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the two private companies, Tata Power and BSES, have drawn up a ‘wish list’ whereby streamlining of metering and billing would be accorded priority. “It may take time but it is more or less agreed that the private companies will overhaul the metering and billing system to shore up the bottomline,” they say.

Sharing the contents of the MoU, Mr Maken clarifies that the companies have been given the incentive of netting profits (over and above the 16 per cent assured return at the end of every year for five years) if they exceed their target of reducing aggregate and technical (AT&C) loss beyond the stipulated percentage. They can do so, he says, only when they meet the percentage fixed by the government (19.25 and 20.75 per cent).



Rewari’s banquet hall worth a king’s ransom razed
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, June 7
A palatial banquet hall “Luxmi-Vilas Sadan”, which lay in the controlled area of the local town planning department on the periphery of the HWDA by-pass here, was razed by a demolition squad of the department today. The hall had been constructed on a piece of agricultural land measuring over one acre at a cost of lakhs of rupees.

Its entire boundary wall, several rooms, three guest-huts and the front portion of the main building of the Sadan were completely demolished. The entire demolition proceedings were conducted under the supervision of Mr Mahavir Kaushik, SDM, Rewari, Mr K. K Yadav, District Town Planner, Rewari, and the Duty Magistrate-cum-Naib Tehsildar, Mr Om Prakash. A heavy police contingent was also there.

It is reported that Mr Chhotu Ram Yadav, a former City Magistrate and Municipal Administrator of Rewari, is the de facto owner of this magnificent banquet hall which, in paper, is owned by Mrs Luxmi Devi, daughter of Mr Kanhiya Lal.

The district town planner, Mr K K Yadav, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that it had been demolished because it was a completely unauthorised construction, which lay in their controlled area here.

He also disclosed that Mrs Luxmi Devi, owner of the site and building had earlier sent an application to the Director of Town and Country Planning, Chandigarh, seeking permission for change of land use. But, when her application was rejected by the Director, she appealed to the Commissioner, Town and Country Planning, Chandigarh, challenging the decision of the Director.

However, her appeal too was dismissed by the Commissioner who also directed the department to proceed against the owner of the site and building as per rules.

Meanwhile, notices were also issued to its owner not to do anything in contravention of the rules and regulations.

Subsequently, the department swung into action and the unauthorised construction was demolished today.

It is noteworthy that the demolition of the above palatial mansion is the talk of the town since its owner, Mr C R Yadav, ruled the roost in the Rewari region when he was first the Municipal Administrator and then the City Magistrate, Rewari.



Dreaded contract killer shot
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 7
The notorious contract killer Rajpal Nai was shot dead in a hail of bullets at Etawa Railway Station on Thursday night by four criminals, in spite of being with the police escort. One constable and three others were injured in the attack.

SSP Etawa, J. K. Goswami said that western UP’s dreaded criminal had been transferred from Meerut jail to Etawa jail on April 20 this year by DM Meerut. He was being taken to Bagpet for a date in CJM’s courts today. When the police party with Rajpal Nai was waiting for Sangam Express at Etawa railway station, four armed youths descended on the platform and starting shooting all around.

Rajpal Nai was killed in a hail of bullets, while constable Bharat Singh was seriously injured. Three other persons at the railway station were also hurt. All of them have been admitted to hospitals, the SSP said. Rajpal Nai, a resident of Ramala Bagpet was notorious as a contract killer in western UP. He had also contested for recent Assembly elections on BSP ticket. He had shot into infamy with the Devedi murder case and was also an accused in the murder of five other persons, including two real brothers of dreaded criminal Jatav Sirohi. He had also made on murderous attack on the brother of Meerut’s ex-MLA Amit Agarwal as per a contract to kill him.

Rajpal Nai was known for allegedly keeping Delhi Police constables in his gang whom he would use in different crimes, the plans of which he would himself draw. He had shot dead Brijveer, a businessman in Bagpat in broad daylight. After the death of his companion Shamshad Kala in an encounter in Loni last year, Rajpal had become vulnerable. 


Freeze non-teaching posts: UGC to colleges
Tarun Gill

New Delhi June 7
A moratorium on the recruitment of non-academic staff in Delhi University appears to be on the anvil with the University Grants Commission (UGC) instructing the colleges not to sanction non-teaching posts during the next five years. The UGC’s instruction to the colleges follows observations and recommendations made by the Expenditure Reforms Commission (ERC), which has voiced concerns over the high proportion of non-teaching staff in academic institutes.

The UGC has laid down a strict six-point guidelines for colleges to follow in the matters pertaining to availing of non-academic staff, failing which there were indications that ‘maintenance grants’ to the colleges sanctioned by the UGC, could dry up. In a communication issued to all the deemed universities, Delhi colleges and Benares Hindu University colleges, recently, the UGC has asked all colleges not to sanction non-teaching posts during the 10th Plan (2002-07).

Moreover, the UGC has instructed colleges to abolish all redundant posts such as those of bhisti, gas mechanic, book-binder, waraq, janitor etc and colleges should ensure that no such posts are created in the future. In addition, any vacancies that may arise due to superannuation, retirement and death should not be filled up without the approval of the UGC.

Colleges have also been asked to outsource activities such as transportation, cleanliness and security from the private agencies instead of engaging regular staff for the purpose.

The UGC has also asked colleges to immediately dispense with all casual/daily wage/ad hoc/temporary staff, appointed by the college authorities on a non-permanent basis. The ERC in its Ninth Report recommended that the academic institutes should maintain a ratio of 1:1.5 to 1:2 between academic and non-academic staff in the institutes. The commission said that the ratio should be attained within a period of next few years and this can be achieved only by abolishing 75 per cent of non-academic staff falling vacant.


BKU holds traffic for four hours
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 7
Traffic was held up for about four hours on the Sonepat-Rohtak Road near Sisana village about 25 km from here today by the activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union in support of the demands of the farmers of Kandela village in Jind District.

According to a report, the situation became tense when a large number of vehicles were lined up on both sides of the road causing inconvenience to the travelling public. On receipt of information, the officials from Kharkhauda town rushed to the site but failed to lift the blockade as the agitators refused to open the route for traffic.

Thereafter, Mr Padam Singh Dahiya, an INLD MLA and Mr Hardeep Singh Doon, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) arrived on the scene and tackled the problem. They assured the agitators that the negotiations were going on between the representatives of the BKU and the state government and they would bear fruit.

The agitators then agreed to lift the blockade. The protestors demanded immediate release of all the farmers arrested by the police and withdrawal of criminal cases filed against them.



Sword of suspension hangs over MCF staff
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 7
The Municipal Corporation, Faridabad is beset by internecine differences among its employees. While three elected members have already been placed under suspension, the sword hangs on some more. The alleged infighting has led to at least three cases being filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In the latest development, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has provided a stay on the suspension move against Mr Daya Shankar Giri, an elected corporator from ward no two, here. Mr Giri had filed a writ petition in the high court after he had received a notice from the Commissioner, Gurgaon division, asking why he should not be placed under suspension for alleged violation of the Haryana Civic Act for having more then two children. The applicant had stated that he had three children before his election and no child was born after implementation of the Act. But one Gajender Pal, who had lost the ward election against Mr Giri, had in his complaint alleged that he had violated the Act and could not remain as member. The high court is reported to have directed the MCF authorities to probe the matter first before putting Mr Giri under suspension. He has fixed July 17 as the next date of hearing in this connection.

The second case pending in the high court is concerning the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, and his wife, Mrs Maya Sharma, who represent ward no five and six, respectively, in the MCF. The couple had challenged their suspension a few months ago by the Commissioner, Gurgaon division, for their alleged involvement in a case of fraud concerning a development work.

The Sharma couple, who claim they had been unnecessarily victimised by vested interests having a say in the corridors of power, got relieved to quite an extent when a few days ago when the forensic laboratory test report from Madhuban (Karnal) regarding their signatures on the file concerning the case went in their favour. As a result the local court granted them bail. The Mayor of the MCF, Mrs Anita Goswami, has also been not left unaffected by the controversies. A case against her is also pending in the high court. A member of the MCF has challenged the holding of the post held by her. It is stated in the petition that the post of Mayor had been reserved for a backward class (BC) candidate and Goswamis had not been notified as a backward class in Haryana. The UP government has notified Goswamis as a backward class.

With the suspension of Mrs Renu Bhatia, corporator from ward no eight, the total member of suspended members has gone up to three out of the total strength of 25 in the corporation. Mrs Bhatia, who was suspended for alleged involvement in a criminal case a few days ago, has described the action against her as illegal. She might challenge her suspension in the court very soon, said one of her supporters.

The sword of suspension also hangs on at least two other Members. Dr Ramanand Rastogi, representing ward no four, and Mr Dharampal from ward no nine could also come into the net, say insiders. While Dr Rastogi had been booked recently by the police in connection with violence that erupted during the anti-encroachment drive in sector 22 of his ward, Mr Dharampal faces the axe on charges of having more children. Certain members had opposed the registration of a case against Dr Rastogi and even staged a dharna in protest against the action on the MCF premises during a meeting of the corporation.

A meeting of the local BJP leaders and activists was held today to discuss the suspension of Mrs Renu Bhatia, who is also a party activist.


Radio station that connects soldiers with family
Our Correspondent

Roger! Wing Commander R. V. Sai (retd) kicks off the Special Message Hour for the families of Army personnel stationed at the front.

New Delhi, June 7
How do you reach out to your friend, relative, neighbour or just a stranger who is braving the weather and the war in the higher reaches of Kashmir? Send them a message, courtesy Radio Indigo.

Radio Indigo was launched in April 2001 with the mission of bringing back the romance and excitement of radio and today it has acquired a new mission, that of letting the national heroes know how the country salutes them and stands behind them.

The radio station has started a special one-hour message programme for families of Army personnel stationed on the warfront. The callers can ring to leave a message or a request for a particular number, which is aired by Radio Indigo.

At a time when physical distances and circumstances create a divide, emotions and support are the only means of bridging that gap. Head of Radio Indigo Jagadeesh says, “We were pleasantly surprised by the warm mails that we received from the Army personnel on the front. The officers feel connected to civilisation even when they are hundreds of kilometers away. This encouraged us to do something special for them by involving their families back home.”

So the request programme accepts calls for song requests and also accepts e-mails to connect the soldiers and their families. Adds Jagadeesh, “We hope that music will turn them away from the war-torn situation and move them closer to a bright and new future.”

Based in Bangalore, Radio Indigo is run by a team of talented radio jockeys.

This new programme is a means of expressing their gratitude to the soldiers who have confessed enjoying the programmes aired by Radio Indigo. The radio claims that the soldiers from the front have sent mails saying that the programmes are their only means of entertainment in difficult times.



Haryana BSP spokesman resigns
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 7
The simmering differences between the state BSP president, Mr Ashok Sherwal, and the party spokesman, Mr Rajiv Ahuja, came to the fore today with latter resigning from his post.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Ahuja charged Mr Sherwal with running the party like his personal fiefdom and sidelining the committed workers. In a letter to the party president, Mr Kanshi Ram, he alleged that Mr Sherwal had not been inviting him to the meetings of the office-bearers for a long time. He had not been invited for the party workers’ meeting here for tomorrow.

A former Haryana Pradesh Youth Congress general secretary and spokesman, Mr Ahuja had joined the party on December 25 last year. While he was appointed the spokesman, he was not made the president of the youth wing of the party as was promised, he alleged.

He later filed his papers as the BSP candidate from the Yamana Nagar by-elections. However, he withdrew from the contest in protest against, what he called, the “economic exploitation” and “non-cooperation” at the hands of the BSP workers.

It may be recalled that Mr Ahuja hit the headlines after the infamous “fake DSP case” in September last year and allegedly harassed a Chandigarh-based couple in his hotel here posing as a DSP of the Haryana Police. Later, a case was registered against him.

Man killed

Bhajan Singh, resident of Maina village in Moga district of Punjab, was killed when the car he and two others were travelling in hit a truck parked on G . T. Road near Ganjbad village near here. According to the information, the driver of the car (DDB 9519), Jinderpal, and two other occupants of the car, Ms Jaswinder and Mr Khuswant, sustained injuries.




DO you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?
If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked:

Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

IN the report, “The fight for brilliant students: Many a school stoops to conquer” (May 30), Bijendra Ahlawat has stated that Huda in Faridabad has issued notices to about 70 public schools, which have been allegedly violating the authority’s norms of allotment of land to these institutions.

These norms are mostly related to admissions, fee structure, fee concessions, reservations of 20 per cent seats to students belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society, reservations in respect of students whose fees will be determined on the basis of means and merit, appointment of Huda representative on the school management committee, giving priority in admission to children of plot-holders/residents of the sectors where the land is allotted and upgrading the school without permission.

The reporter has also stated that the authorities had failed to take action against schools for the above violations.

It is pointed out that the main reason for not taking action against the erring public schools by the Huda, Faridabad, is that the studies of thousands of students were likely to be affected.

However, there is a way out. To ensure that the students do not suffer in the event of the resumption of land of the defaulting schools, the Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad, can put the administrative control of such schools in the hands of some government officer, designated as the administrator of the school under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

NET qualification

This is with reference to the news report “MDU students win their spurs” (NCR Tribune, June 1, 2002). It is stated that six students of the Bio-sciences Department of Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, have qualified the CSIR-UGC national eligibility test (NET). I congratulate all of them.

In order to ensure the quality of new entrants to the teaching profession, the UGC appointed committee, headed by Prof R. C. Mehrotra, had recommended that the minimum qualifications for eligibility to a lecturer’s post should be a high second division at the postgraduate level and a NET certificate.

While recommending NET, the committee rightly felt that “such a test would have the merit of removing disparities in standards of examinations at the Master’s level between different universities.”

However, those who had completed their MPhil in 1990 and PhD in 1992 were exempted from appearing for the NET. Moreover, certain states were allowed by the UGC to conduct their state-level eligibility test (SLET or SET).

However, the drawback in this system is that for those intelligent students, who have secured 75 per cent marks or above through out their career, the teaching profession was practically closed to them, simply because they could not qualify the NET.

There are several candidates in my knowledge who had obtained 75 per cent or above marks through out but were unlucky in the NET.

Though the NET should not be difficult to qualify for brilliant students aspiring for lectureships, it is said that luck and hard work have equal weight.

Without going into the details, it is submitted that the UGC should give a thought to the suggestion that the eligibility for lectureship should be modified to the NET clearance or 75 per cent marks at all levels of examination.

O. P. WADHWA, Govt College, Gohana, (Sonepat)

Do we care for the court order?

We all know that smoking at public places is banned by the order of the Supreme Court. But the ban is only on paper as no one will accept it until it is strictly implemented.

The situation is worse when it comes to travelling in the Haryana Roadways buses.

Recently, while I was travelling in one such bus from Delhi to Rohtak (HR 61-0231), it was written that smoking was banned by the order of the Supreme Court and strict action will be taken against those who violate it.

However, to my surprise, the driver of the bus was smoking bidi all the way to Rohtak, least bothered about the notice. Surely, for him, the Supreme Court was in Delhi and not in the bus.

Dr G. B. SINGH, PGIMS Campus, Rohtak


Ban on smoking

The article “SC ban on smoking being flouted at will in Haryana" (NCR Tribune, May 31), makes one ponder over the need for such ban. The reasons why such ban orders are not taken seriously can be found in the article itself. It clearly shows that if the problem is not tackled at the grassroot level, simply imposing a ban on people would hardly serve its purpose. Creating awareness among the people would be more fruitful than formulating these impractical and unfeasible laws, which can be broken at will by all and sundry, thereby making a mockery of the judicial system.


Artificial scarcity

Through your esteemed daily, I want to draw the attention of the government to the fact that prices of building construction materials — stone dust, ‘Badarpur’ and rori — are sky high in the National Capital Region.

In April 2002, the prices of best quality materials, including cartage, were as follows: Rori – Rs 16 per cubic foot; stone dust - Rs 17 per cubic foot; Badarpur - Rs 14 per cubic foot. But since the second week of May, 2002, the prices of even an inferior quality material, including cartage, are: Rori - Rs 21 to 22 per cubic foot; stone dust - Rs 24 per cubic foot; Badarpur - Rs 18 to 20 per cubic foot.

Due to the soaring prices of these materials, the construction work in the NCR has been adversely affected. Several construction works have been altogether stopped and lakhs of daily wage labourers have become unemployed. These materials are supplied in the NCR mainly from Faridabad and Gurgaon districts of Haryana.

On inquiring from various sources, we have come to know that vested interests have been creating an artificial crisis of these materials. Crusher owners and suppliers are compelled to bow before the vested interests as they have direct links with the political establishment in Haryana. If any crusher owner raises his voice against the quarry mafia, he is harassed by notices from the State Pollution Control Board. Unruly elements, engaged and protected by the state ruling party, are forcefully extracting money from the crusher owners, it is learnt.

Besides, crusher owners are deprived of sufficient quantity of stone at the instance of those enjoying political clout in the government. Unfortunately, these issues have not been raised, even though the opposition parties in Haryana and mediapersons are aware of the above mentioned facts.

The most shocking fact is that vested interests are exploiting the situation by spreading misinformation on the issue in order to cover up their nefarious design.


Marriage Act

The series of amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act and the corresponding sections of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that the Law Ministry has proposed and the reported move to help separated wives get entitlement to maintenance is a welcome decision.

This would naturally help protect women who have been married extra-legally or where the marital status might be under dispute.

Simultaneously, Section 19 of the Act is proposed to be amended to discourage harassment of wives while filing divorce cases.

When the Law Ministry is set to make certain amendments in the Hindu Marriage Act, it is suggested that certain clarifications in the Act may also be considered for incorporation.

The harassment of the wife should be a punishable offence in as much as even making blank calls should be categorised as mental torture. Side by side, the case history of every marital dispute should be judiciously scrutinised to control the nefarious attempts of seduction by false allurements, attempts to implicate by pre-marriage conception and attempt to socially ostracise the woman.

If the government has the welfare, development and rehabilitation of the separated women in mind, a mere forced magisterial attempt at reconciliation, without proper analysis, will lose its purpose.

Dr K. K. GHOSH, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi.

Caring for the old

Not long ago, the government reduced the rate of interest on the fixed deposits in the banks and post offices. The Finance Ministry justified the cut on the ground that this was one of the ways by which the recession could be addressed.

Senior citizens made a plea that in view of the fact that most of them depended wholly on the interest they got on their savings, the cut was bound to hurt them severely.

The daily life of senior citizens would be severely affected as they neither have any independent source of income or the capacity to work. On the other hand, their medical bills are mounting.

It is really ironic that while members of the able-bodied working class add to their income, those in the twilight zone lose more and more on account of increasing expenditure.

Over the years, this section of the society has suffered the most due to unimaginative decisions and the apathy of the government. Social security for the disabled aged should be one of the vital concerns for the government. Our Constitution explicitly says that the interest of the weaker sections of the society must be protected.

R. L. PATHAK, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Farmers’ debts

It is indeed very disturbing that our farmers, particularly in Punjab, should be suffering to such an extent that they want to “sell” themselves. And all this to settle their accumulated debts due to repeated crop failures.

Unfortunately, for the past few years, farmers have committed suicide in several parts of the country due to unbearable financial crisis, mostly owing to repeated crop failures. In the NCR areas also, a crisis on similar lines may be brewing.

As such, there is an urgent need to take preventive measures. Is there no solution to alleviate the miseries of our

There is an urgent need, on the part of the state government and others concerned, to launch a massive programme for providing a package deal of quick financial relief to our poor

In the first instance, steps should be taken to waive their outstanding debts. They should be given immediate cash grant to tide over their present financial crisis and work out a strategy to address their bleak future. If they are caught in the net of the moneylenders, the government departments concerned should do the needful to save them from the clutches of these “sharks”.

Further, there is a need to emulate the example of successful institutions such as the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which operate at the local level. This institution has achieved tremendous success in Bangladesh in the field of rural development and alleviating poverty by providing loans to the rural poor. Another institution from Bangladesh which can provide us further lead in this matter is an NGO called Proshika, which has been working for the socio-economic uplift of the landless in the rural areas.

Back home, our indigenous initiatives like Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY) can also be emulated to create similar schemes for male counterparts to bring about the desired change in the rural areas. NGOs like Self-employed Women’s Association (SEWA) has sufficient experience to organise cooperative banking and life insurance schemes. They can launch similar programmes by organising the male members from the farming community.

Many other NGOs have established self-help groups, which are active at the local level, to alleviate the miseries of our rural folk.

Thus, the experience gained by the MSY, SEWA, Proshika, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and others at the local levels can help the agencies concerned to evolve similar or special schemes for solving the debt problem of our poor farmers.

TISH MALHOTRA, Rohini, Delhi

No sympathy

With reference to your recent report titled “Rapist lynched”, I strongly feel that people who rape minors do not deserve any sympathy and have no right to live in this society.


Drain needed

Despite repeated requests to all concerned, including the MCD, Rohini Zone, for the last two years, the exit drain for rainwater has not been provided for the last 12 years on Amar Shahid Bismal Marg, Pitampura, for Ghalib Apartments. The residents of MIG II on the ground floor have been the worst sufferers on this account.

During the monsoon season, dirty water flows into their flats. The MCD has many excuses, including lack of budget. I appeal to the authorities concerned to take note of our problem and solve it as soon as possible. We need the drain before the monsoon season begins.

JARNAIL S. DULLAY, Ex-serviceman, Pitampura, Delhi


Five from Model School enter IIT portals
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 7
Five students of the local Model School have brought laurels to their school by getting selected for admission to the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

Dr S. C. Singh, Principal of the school, claimed that this was for the first time in the history of Rohtak that five students from an educational institute had got selected for IIT.

Those selected are Atul Gasain, Mohit Chawla, Tushar Narwal, Swosti Chatterjee and Ashish Virmani. Dr Singh said all five students passed their ten plus two examination this year and cleared the test in their first attempt. Besides , he said, a student, Manisha, qualified for at least five prestigious competitive examinations , including CBSE- PMT, Air Force Medical college, Pune, BVP (Pune), CET, Karnataka, and MAHE, (Manipal), this year.

Woman run over

A woman was killed on the spot when a Haryana Roadways bus ran over her at Ismaila village on National Highway 10 on Thursday. The deceased has been identified as Ms Hanso Devi. She was crossing the road near the bus stand of the village. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the bus driver.

Hike decried

Leaders of various political parties and businessmen reacted sharply to the steep hike in diesel and petrol prices saying that it was against the common man.

President of the District Congress Committee Sumer Singh and senior Congress leader Vaid Kishan Vashisth said this was the fifth time the present central government had hiked the oil prices. The price hike would affect businessmen as well as the general public. They also argued that the farmers would also feel the sting as the cultivation cost would go up now.

Vaid Kishan Vashisth is of the view that Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala should immediately withdraw his support to the NDA government over this decision.

Two killed

One person was killed on the spot when a truck hit a Tata 407 on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, on Thursday evening. According to a report, the victim was identified as Ghanshyam, the cleaner of Tata 407, which was on its way from Talab village in Jhajjar district to Meerut (UP). The truck driver, however, managed to escape immediately after the accident. The police have registered a case against the truck driver.

According to another report, a jeep carrying passengers rammed into an electricity pole killing one person on the spot and injuring four others, including the driver of the jeep.

The jeep was on its way from Samalkha to Delhi-Haryana border. The accident occurred on G. T. Road near Qumashpur village. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. A case has been registered and further investigations are in progress.

Meanwhile, a youth, Ashok, was seriously injured when he was hit by a motorcycle on the Sonepat-Murthal road near here on Thursday. He was immediately hospitalised.

A youth, Afroz, was seriously injured when he fell down from a running train between Rathdhanna and Harsana Kalan railway stations, 6 km from here, on Thursday. The injured youth, belonging to Bihar, was rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment and he was stated to be out of danger. The youth was travelling in a Panipat-bound passenger train and he was sitting at the door of the compartment.

Tributes to martyr

Tributes were paid to a martyr, Bijender Singh Dahiya, by leaders of various political parties and social organisations at a prayer meeting held at his native Rohna village, about 15 km from here, on Thursday. The leaders also demanded financial help to the members of the bereaved family.

Youth shot at

A youth, Kamaljit, was seriously wounded after he was shot at by two unidentified armed motorcycle-borne youths in New Jiwan Nagar area here on Thursday. According to a report, the alleged assailants fired shots into his mouth. The assailants, however, managed to escape immediately after the incident. The injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was shifted to a Delhi hospital for further treatment.

The police have registered a case against the alleged assailants and further investigations are in progress. A hunt is on to apprehend the culprits. The reason behind the attack was not immediately known.

According to another report, Mr Inderjit, owner of the Haryana Mishthan Bhandar, escaped unhurt when two unidentified armed youths fired shots at him when he was closing his shop in the mandi area here on Thursday. Both the miscreants managed to escape soon after. The owner of the shop informed the police about the incident saying that he had no enmity with anybody.

Extortionists held

The Ganaur police arrested three armed youths while they arrived at Panna Rice Mill on G. T. Road near Bauye village, about 20 km from here, to get extortion money of Rs 2 lakh from the mill owner, Mr Anand Jain, on Thursday.

According to a report, the arrested youths were identified as Anil alias Titu, Kuldeep and Jagbir. The fourth suspect, Anil, who was the ringleader, however, managed to escape when the police conducted a surprise raid at the rice mill. All the culprits came in a Maruti car, which they had hired it from the taxi stand.

According to another report, Mr Daya, a farmer of Moi village, was kidnapped and robbed of Rs 60,000 by two armed miscreants at Ganaur town, 16 km from here, on Thursday. The farmer was whisked away in a car by the miscreants who snatched the cash and pushed him out of the car on the canal embankment near Kailana village.


Action sought against SHO in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 7
A married woman, Mrs Somna, a resident of Vikas Nagar, Kakroi road, Sonepat, has demanded immediate arrest of the culprits allegedly involved in a case of dowry harassment. She has also sought action against Mrs Asha Rani, Station House Officer (SHO) of the women’s police station, Sonepat, for her failure to arrest them even after the registration of a case as well as the violation of the orders issued by the Superintendent of Police on this issue.

In a complaint sent to the Director-General of Police, Haryana, Mr M. S. Malik, a copy of which was released to the press here, she has stated that she was married to Umesh, a son of Mrs Sukhbir Singh, of Lon Malikpur village under the Barot police station in Baghpat district in UP. Immediately after the marriage she was harassed by her husband and other members of her husband’s family for not bringing sufficient dowry. She made a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Sonepat, on March 4 last, urging him to take action against the culprits. The SP, she said, had sent her complaint to the women’s police station for taking action against the persons named in the complaint.

She also pointed out that she was called to the police station frequently and was maltreated and beaten up by the SHO in the presence of her husband and other members of in-laws’ family. She also alleged that on May 5 last she was forced to sign on a blank paper after being threatened by the SHO that she would be penalised if she failed to sign on the blank paper. She also pointed out that the police registered the case under Sections 498 A and 406 of the IPC against the culprits on May 15 last but so far no arrest had been made in this connection.

The complainant also alleged that the SHO was patronising the members of her in-laws’ family and trying to hush up this case. She demanded that all dowry articles given at the time of her marriage by her parents should be recovered and returned to her parents.

She also stated that she had narrated the story of excesses to the Deputy Superintendent of Police a number of times. He, too, directed the SHO of the women’s police station to arrest the culprits but nothing had been done so far.



Brother clubbed to death over land row

Rohtak, June 7
Two youths allegedly battered their younger brother to death in a land dispute at Bharan village on Thursday. Mr Jasbir, a resident of Mahra village in Sonepat district, stated in his complaint that his sister, Kamlesh, got married to Mr Ranbir at Bharan village. He said Ranbir had not been in the best of terms with his brothers — Balwan, Jai Singh and Ishwar — regarding the distribution of land among them by their father.

The complainant said he along with his brother, Jogender, had gone to plough the fields of Ranbir on Thursday. He said Ranbir asked his brothers for irrigation water, which infuriated them. He alleged that Jai Singh and Ishwar, brothers of Ranbir, and Surender, a son of Jai Singh, attacked Ranbir with sticks and jellis. He was also allegedly assaulted when he tried to intervene. Ranbir succumbed to his injuries while being taken to the PGIMS while the complainant, Mr Jasbir, who sustained serious injuries, was admitted to the PGIMS. OC


Father killed over land
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, June 7
An old man was reportedly killed by his two sons in Azad Nagar village of the district this morning. According to the police, the deceased, Hardwari Lal, was waiting for a bus at the bus stop in the morning to come to Jhajjar along with his son Chand Ram and his family.

His two other sons, Chander Bhah and Satpal, arrived there accompanied by Ram Niwas, Rohtas, Rakesh, Mainavati and Koshaliya. All of them carried lathis and sharp-edged weapons. They reportedly attacked Hardwari and Chand Ram who received severe injuries. While Hardwari died on the spot, Chand Ram and his daughter were admitted to a hospital in serious condition.

Chand Ram, in his statement to the police, said that there was a dispute between his father who was staying with him, and his three brothers — Chander Bhan, Satpal and Karambir — over a piece of land. He along with his father was going to the civil courts for a hearing in this connection today.

The police said that three of the assailants — Satpal, Rohas and Ram Niwas — have been arrested and a hunt is on to nab the remaining culprits.

Custody death

The post-mortem report of Jaipal, who was found dead in the custody of excise and taxation officials on Thursday, reportedly could not ascertain the cause of death, police sources said here today.

The sources informed that the brain and heart of the deceased were sent to PGIMS, Rohtak while the viscera was sent to forensic experts at Karnal to find out the exact cause of the death. The sources said that no case had been registered so far.

However, it is learnt that some wine contractors have struck a deal with the family of the deceased by giving Rs 3 lakh in their bid to hush up the case. Sources said that the deceased was reportedly beaten up by these contractors, as he was harming their business by selling illicit liquor.


Gang of highway robbers busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang of highway robbers with the arrest of three youths. They were arrested from ISBT flyover last evening.

The robbers, Salim alias Ashok, Siraj and Mehmood alias Rahul alias Kirori, were arrested while they were going to Jama Masjid in Central district. The sleuths of the Special Cell received a secret information that the robbers would come in a Maruti car from Usmanpur in North-East district and would go to Jama Masjid.

A team of the cell was deployed on the ISBT flyover. When their car reached near the flyover, the police arrested them and recovered three country-made pistols along with cartridges from their possession. Two heavy water pumps were also recovered from their vehicle.

During interrogation, they disclosed that the gang was led by Salim who was allegedly involved in seven cases of kidnapping, highway robbery, encounter with police and two snatching cases of two-wheelers in Bharatpur and Govardhan in Mathura district. He was released on bail eight months ago.

Siraj was involved in one case of robbery in Faridabad while Mehmood was involved in cases of theft, attempt to murder and Excise Act cases in Okhla in Delhi and Faridabad.

They used to stand on highway number 8 with country-made pistols and stop the loaded trucks coming down to Delhi from Jaipur side. In case of resistance by the driver and their helper, they used to hit them with pistol butts. After tying up their hands and gagging their mouths, they would decamp with the loaded trucks. After selling the stolen goods, the suspects would leave the truck on the highway.

The stolen materials would then be sold to a junk dealer, Kishan Kumar, who had his godown in Sadar. He has been arrested as well.


Youths stab councillor over power cut
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
Regular power cut in Mansaraovar Park area in North East district made youths of Ram Nagar so angry that six youths entered the house of the local Municipal Councillor, stabbed him and beat his brother on Thursday evening.

The councillor, Divya Jaiswal, was admitted to a hospital where he was stated to be out of danger. The youths threatened him of dire consequences if power cut continues. They told him that there should be proper supply of power in the area, police said.

The youths allegedly robbed his mobile phone and a gold chain after stabbing the councillor. A case of robbery has been registered in police station, Mansarovar Park.

The Councillor said that the youths were of his neighbourhood and they were allegedly drunk. They asked him about power cut, which is not in corporation’s jurisdiction. The Delhi Vidyut Board is part of the Delhi Government so residents should talk to area MLA.

As they entered the house of Councillor the youths allegedly had cut one of the fingers of the councillor. When they were resisted, they beat up Councillor’s brother, the police said.

DJB staff held

The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government arrested a class IV employee of the Delhi Jal Board, Tej Singh, who allegedly demanded an illegal gratification from one Mehar Chand, a resident of Hastsal Vihar. The employee allegedly threatened to disconnect the water connection of the complainant saying that his connection was illegal. He allegedly demanded Rs 500. The complainant gave him Rs 100 and promised that the remaining amount would be given after three days. Meanwhile, the complainant reported the matter to the Anti-Corruption Branch, which laid a trap and arrested the employee.

Youth beheaded

Rangeela (18) was found murdered in the Shahadra area of North-East district this morning. His beheaded body was found near Metro Rail line, Shahdra Terminal. The head was also found lying at a distance. He lived along with his brother in Bihari colony in the area. Personal enmity could be the cause of the murder, the police said. 


Councillor held for assaulting rival
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
Mr Sunil Bidhuri, an independent Councillor from Harkesh Nagar near Okhla Industrial Area, was arrested today along with his supporters on the charge of beating up his rival, Mr Sahi Ram Pehelwan.

Mr Bidhuri and his supporters armed with sticks allegedly intruded into the house of Mr Pehelwan and had a fight with his family members. During the fight, the Councillor's supporters reportedly used sticks and injured the uncle and a few other members of Mr Pehelwan. However, Mr Pehelwan managed to escape unhurt.

Later Mr Pehelwan gathered his supporters and gheraoed the Okhla Industrial area police station and demanded quick action against the Councillor. The police finally arrested the Councillor and some of his supporters, the police said.


Old-clothes traders find it hard to keep wolf from the door
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 7
Have you been of late wondering what happened to the mobile utensil vendors who came right up to your door, and in exchange of your old clothes, gave you sparkling bright utensils?

These women who came calling almost every day are alleging that the neighbourhood watch schemes and the resident welfare associations have just shut the doors on them.

Self-Employed Women Association (SEWA), working in the Capital’s Raghubeer Nagger, has taken up the cudgels for the old-clothes traders who have been living here for the last two years. SEWA alleges that due to the MCD’s apathy, the traders are finding it hard to earn their livelihood. With the residential colonies shutting doors on them and the MCD having refused permission to let them operate in the Lal Quila Grounds, these Gujarati migrants are battling for survival.

They earn up to Rs 1,500 a month — not enough to keep body and soul together. Besides, they have to bribe the watchmen of the residential colonies to find their way in. Travelling across the city to sell their wares also adds to their expenditure, claims SEWA..

It is also alleged that some traders continue to sell their wares in the Lal Quila Grounds defying the MCD’s order. The corporation has ordered the uprooted traders from the Qila Grounds to shift to a new location, Burari Gaon, which most traders are not even aware of.

The corporation, it is pointed out, has officially permitted only 140 of the 2,000-odd traders from Raghubeer Nagar to operate in the Lal Quila Grounds and these permits were granted over 25 years ago, yet the registered traders are being barred from operating.

These tradespeople who toil even in harsh weather condition are now demanding that the government should consider giving them an option to shift to an area where the market is already established. Issuing of identity cards by the MCD, to be recognised in all areas, is also being demanded. The traders are seeking permission to vend inside the residential colonies without having to pay any fees.

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