Sunday, June 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Delhi Govt says cheers!
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
With the Government of NCT of Delhi throwing open the sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to private players while retaining the rights of distributing country liquor, Delhiites will soon be able to place their order by fax or at the click of a button on the internet and get the choicest of spirits (beer or wine only) delivered at home.

The idea apparently is to wean away people from hard liquor and encourage the consumption of mild liquor. During last year, the government had initiated certain measures including selling of beer from the government vends that, officials said, had a positive impact on the sale of beer and excise revenue registered 10 per cent growth.

The government is now expecting to achieve a target of Rs 770 crore this year – an estimated 26 per cent increase in excise revenue.

Sharing the salient features of the draft excise policy with media persons, Finance Minister M S Saathi on Saturday said that private hands would be allowed to open five IMFL vends in each revenue district subject to a maximum of 70 in the whole of Delhi. No Objection Certificate (NOC) of legislator will not be mandatory for private players. “We will invite interested parties. Where there are two or more applicants, we will go by a draw of lots,” he told media persons.

The minister said that there were only 249 IMFL (L2) vends and 29 country liquor (L10) vends for a population of around 140 lakh as against 601 in Mumbai, plus 325 country liquor vends and 856 IMFL vends and 520 country liquor vends in Bangalore. “The number of retail liquor vends in Delhi is inadequate which causes inconvenience to the consumers and encourages smuggling,” the minister said, underlining the objectives of the excise policy: To liberalise and rationalise the licensing procedures and ensure availability of safe and quality liquor to the public.

Under the new excise policy to come into force on July 1, over-the-counter sale of beer will be allowed in department stores. Provided the department store will be of not less than two thousand square feet area. Also to be allowed is the serving of liquor on special occasions like parties, for which L49A licence can be secured by paying a fee of Rs 2,000. Liquor will also be allowed in banquet halls and farmhouses upon receipt of L20 licence. For banquet halls of less than one thousand square feet, the annual fee will be Rs 2.5 lakh; it will be Rs 4 lakh for others. The L20 licence will cost in the range of Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 depending on the number of guests.

The Government of NCT of Delhi will retain the monopoly rights over the distribution of country liquor. The excise policy incorporates certain recommendations made by the Jagdish Chandra Committee Report that was constituted after the 1991 tragedy. Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramesh Chandra said that the less number of country liquor vends (there are only 30 vends in 18 Assembly constituencies) had been posing problems to the Department of Excise and Delhi Police and often the cause of deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor.

“The new excise policy,” the minister said, “also touches on decentralising of the sale of licence forms.” Besides the excise commissioner’s office at Vikas Bhawan in IP Estate, the L20 and L49A application forms can be purchased from the offices of deputy commissioner and sub-divisional magistrate. “We are planning in the long term to make it online,” he said.

Bar-coding of stocks has been made mandatory for all vends – IMFL and country liquor. “The idea,” said Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramesh Chandra, “is to ensure quality at affordable price. Also to ensure that the vend owners have paid their various taxes.” Further discussions, he said, would take place next week to consider changing the timings of liquor vends and whether restaurants should also be allowed to sell liquor. Several restaurateurs, he said, had represented to the government to lift the restrictions and the government is sympathetic to their demands.


New excise policy

  • Place your order by fax or at the click of a button on the Internet and get beer or wine delivered at home.
  • Five new IMFL vends in each revenue district subject to a maximum of 70 in Delhi.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) of legislator will not be mandatory for private players.
  • Over-the-counter sale of beer by department stores; serving of liquor on special occasions like parties and in banquet halls and farmhouses will be allowed.



Akalis promise revamp of educational institutions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
Even as rival Akali factions battle it out on the political front in a rare exhibition of unanimity, they have promised to revamp the educational institutions run by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee by granting more powers to the Educational Council.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) is promising to grant full autonomy to the Educational Council in terms of appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff and is in the process of revamping the evaluation process adopted by schools.

On the other hand, the Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, which is a pro-Tohra faction, apart from promising to grant autonomy to the Educational Council, will ask the council to review all appointments, both teaching and non-teaching staff, in the past two years.

The SAD Delhi president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, alleged that there have been several irregularities in the educational institutions during the past couple of years and several persons, who do not even fulfil the minimum qualifications, have been appointed due to pressure from the DSGMC members.

“If SAD Delhi comes to power, it will grant 60 days’ time to teaching and non-teaching staff to submit their certificates, which will be verified and if found faulty, they will be dismissed. The staff strength in educational institutions will be reviewed and excess staff retrenched,” he added.

The claims of Mr Sarna have been countered by the outgoing DSGMC president and SAD (Badal) Delhi unit chief, Mr Avtar Singh Hit. He said, “Our committee has appointed the Educational Council with Prof Amrik Singh, a renowned academician, as its head. For the past one year, all appointments have been made by the council only and there has been no interference from the committee members.”

Senior DSGMC member Manjit Singh said the quality of education in the committee- run schools was in low ebb and strong measures were needed to revamp the system.

“The Akali parties, cutting across party lines, should vow to pass a resolution in the first sitting of the general house of the committee to grant full powers to the Educational Council,” he said.

The son of noted Sikh leader of Delhi, Jathedar Santokh Singh, who established the first Guru Harkrishan Public School in the city, said, “The standard of education in the committee- run school has fallen due to undue interference from committee members. The educational institutions should be run by professionals and academicians and there is no role of committee members to be present in its board.”

However, members of the existing council are skeptical about whether the Akali factions will keep a date with their promises.

Former diplomat and member of the council, Prof Jaspal Singh, said the present council had no legal entity as the general house had not passed its powers.

“Though the council has framed the rules for appointment, promotion and revamp of the educational institutions, it is unlikely that the members will grant autonomy to the council,” he said.

Stating that the deterioration in the standard of education started in the 1990s with increased interference from committee members, he said, “It is highly unlikely that the members, who see the educational institutions as a golden goose, would let it go away from their hands.”

The DSGMC runs 23 educational institutions, including schools, colleges and technical institutes.


Sikh Forum clarifies 

New Delhi
The Sikh Forum today claimed it had not extended any support to Independent candidate from Patel Nagar, Mr Avtar Singh Sethi, or any other candidate contesting for the 46-ward DSGMC elections.

The forum said when it decided to extend support or issue an appeal to voters to support any candidate/s in the coming DSGMC poll it would issue a statement in this regard.

The body of Sikh intelligentsia was reacting to the claims by Mr Sethi that he had been promised support by the community’s intellectual organisation, including the Sikh Forum.


Dharna against ‘misuse of power’ by V-C
Our Correspondent

New Delhi June 15
The Academic Council (AC) members of Delhi University, including Mr D. K. Sethi, Mr Aditya Narayan Mishra, Ms Rekha Dayal and Mr P. Kakra, went on a dharna inside the council meeting hall, following a meeting of the Academic Council last evening to protest against specific charges of misuse and abuse of powers by the Vice-Chancellor as the Chairman of the council.

The controversy started when the Vice-Chancellor reportedly pushed through the amendments in the university ordinances on composition of the selection committees for Principals and lecturers in colleges.

Members demanded that before amending the ordinances on composition of the selection committees in colleges, the Academic Council should have discussed the selection procedure so that interview is not the sole criterion for the selection.

"It is quite dichotomous. These amendments ignore the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, are aimed at giving control of appointments in colleges to the Vice-Chancellor by providing two nominees of the council (in place of one) besides two other university representatives in the seven- member selection committee’’ said Ms Rekha Dayal, one of the members of the Academic Council.

“Prof Deepak Nayyar, Vice-Chancellor, has been sending only a few selected political activists of his coterie as nominees to the Academic Council without even post facto information to the council, let aside seeking its approval regarding council nominees’’, pointed out Mr Sethi.


Common man pays as drug mafia makes hay
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, June 15
The menace of spurious drugs seems to be assuming dangerous proportions in several states of the northern region. While it has been posing a threat to the public health, the authorities’ failure to cope with the problem appears to have made the matter worse.

Several cases of manufacturing and trading of spurious drugs and medicines have been unearthed in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the past few years.

Delhi being the Capital and housing Asia’s biggest drug market is also a prominent centre for the sale and purchase of all kinds of drugs including fake. Although the number of cases of spurious drugs seized has gone up sharply recently, a large number of cases go undetected yearly, thanks to the poor infrastructure and the lack of proper vigilance system. While on the one hand, the mafia engaged in the spurious drug trade has excellent communication links with the high-ups, the state government’s machinery, assigned with the job to keep a check on illegal activities, is in a bad shape.

There is an acute shortage of officials in the drugs control department. Besides, there are no facilities such as proper office, telephone, transport, legal assistance and the authority to interrogate.

Keeping in view the norms, one drug inspector is required for every 100 chemist shops or 25 manufacturing units, but in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi there is one drug inspector for at least 1,000 shops or even more.


School finds it hard to discipline land mafia
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, June 15
Rajkiya Bal Balika Varisht Madhyamik Vidyalaya, a school in East Delhi’s Lalita Park area, was established in 1985 to provide the basic education to the girls of the adjoining resettlement colonies.

But today, the very existence of the school is threatened due to the blatant encroachment on the school land by the “local mafia”. And there is little that the school can do about it. The powers that be have also turned a blind eye to its activities.

Of the 19, 500 square metres originally allotted to the school by the Delhi Development Authority ( DDA), an area of about 6,500 square metres has already been encroached upon by the denizens of the nearby slum clusters. Repeated requests to the authorities, including the Delhi Government’s Education Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, have elicited little reaction and the encroachments continue. Such is the situation in the school, that it is now forced to keep its main gate permanently closed because of the encroachments. Cattle roam freely on the school premises posing a danger to the students besides creating unsanitary conditions.

The Principal, Mr Vishnu Gopal Saraswat, is a scared man who knows the clout of the mafia. He refused to speak to the ‘NCR Tribune’, but admitted that the situation was bad and the authorities had been informed from time to time. Others, who demanded anonymity, claimed that the mafia comprised local politicians, policemen and some powerful residents and this was the reason that no action was being taken.

Some of the old residents of the area recalled that when the land was allotted in 1985, jhuggi clusters encroached upon some parts of the land.



PGIMS Prof granted pre-arrest bail
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 15
The Special Judge, Mr Shiva Sharma, today granted pre-arrest bail to Dr A. D. Tiwari, Professor and Head of the Department of Paediatrics, Pt B. D. Sharma Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) and Dr O. P. Yadav, Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Bhiwani in a case registered against them by the State Vigilance Bureau on June 4 under the Prevention of Corruption Act, read with Section 120-B of the IPC.

The prosecution has alleged that Dr Tiwari used to harass senior residents and fail them in annual examinations and that he used to collect money from the candidates and also misused their vehicles and made them to do his private jobs. The FIR alleged that Mr Umesh Metha, student of MD failed seven times because he was not having “good relations” with Dr Tiwari.

Mr Umesh Mehta had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court about this and Dr Tiwari was not appointed as examiner at that time. Despite that, Mr Umesh Mehta was failed. It was alleged that Dr Tiwari got him failed by using his influence. It was also alleged that due to the complaints, Dr Tiwari was removed from being the examiner. Another allegation said that he used to collect money through Dr O. P. Yadav.

The Vice Chancellor, Maharshi Dayanand University, it is stated, had constituted an inquiry committee consisting of Dr A. K. Madan and Dr Satbir Singh to investigate the charges levelled against Dr Tiwari. Twenty-three students gave their affidavits saying that Dr Tiwari used to exploit them and charge money and used to threaten them that they would have be failed in the examinations like Dr Umesh Mehta and used to collect money through Dr O. P. Yadav. On the basis of the inquiry, the FIR in question was registered against Dr Tiwari and Dr Yadav.

The counsel for Dr Tiwari, however, argued that there was no allegation against the petitioner of collecting money from the students and that money was allegedly collected by Dr Yadav and not Dr Tiwari and that Mr Umesh Mehta failed during that year when Dr Tiwari was not the examiner. Dr O. P. Yadav also argued that there were no allegations against him of exploiting the students and that he had not collected any money for himself.

The Special Judge said that Dr O. P. Yadav was alleged to have collected money for Dr A. D. Tiwari. “Merely because the petitioners are senior doctors and were in a position to exploit the students is by itself no ground for their persecution and allowing custodial interrogation.”

Granting pre-arrest bail, the Special Judge said that “there is no direct evidence of demanding and accepting bribe. Inquiry has already been conducted by Mr Mahender Singh Malik, DSP, and all material documents are already in his possession. Therefore, I allow pre-arrest bail to the petitioners on their furnishing a personal bond of Rs 15,000 each with one surety each in the like amount to the satisfaction of arresting officer.”

However, in the interest of a fair investigation of the case, the petitioners must join the investigation as and when required by the investigating officer by a written notice served at least two days in advance, the order said.

The court directed that the petitioners should not in anyway hamper or tamper with the evidence and would not leave India and would surrender their passports to the investigating officer of the case within one week or file their affidavits in case they did not have passports. 


Internal bickering over Cong padyatra
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, June 15
The leaders of the Human Rights cell of the District Congress Committee (DCC) have alleged that the decision to launch a ‘padyatra’ from Jind to Delhi by the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda and certain leaders of the party, was taken at individual level.

In a joint statement here today, Mr Dalip Singh Hooda and Mr Kashmir Singh Hooda, presidents, Human Rights cell of Rohtak, and Kiloi segment Congress Committee respectively, alleged that this programme was launched by the HPCC chief in a hurried manner.

They alleged the decision regarding the ‘padyatra’ was not taken at the meeting of the state committee of the party, recently held at Jind.

The leaders alleged that the HPCC chief neither consulted the party nor invited them to the ‘padyatra’ because of which the ‘yatra’ was not getting the desired response from the masses.

They also appealed to Mr Hooda to clarify the stand of the party on remittance of power dues of the farmers.

They cautioned the Congress leader that he would have to face similar resistance from the farmers if Congress came to power in case he mislead the farmers on the issue.

The state unit of Janta Dal (United) condemned the ‘politicisation’ of the farmers’ agitation. Mr V.P. Vidrohi, state president of the party warned the HPCC chief not to use the innocent farmers as a tool to derive political mileage.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, said that the Congress Party would not end its agitational path until the Chautala government was dismissed and a CBI inquiry ordered into the ‘atrocities’ committed by the official machinery against the agitating farmers in Jind.

He was addressing a gathering after the ‘Padyatra’ launched by the party reached Meham this afternoon. The Congress leader called upon the masses to attend the party’s rally in large numbers, slated to be held in Delhi on June 21, if they intended to put an end to the present ‘misrule’ of the Chautala government.

He alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had forcibly sent nearly 20 MLAs of the party on a foreign visit in apprehension of a growing rebellion in the party. He said as a matter of principle, the MLAs of other political parties should have also been sent as part of the delegation visiting various countries.

He challenged the Chief Minister to register a case against him for inciting the farmers. He said the AICC president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, was regularly informed about the farmers’ agitation. He expressed his gratitude to the residents of Meham Chaubisi region for supporting him in his political work.

Mr Hooda reiterated that the Congress would give a martyr status to those farmers killed during the agitation. He also said that a compensation of Rs 10 lakh would be provided to the family members of those killed, if his party was voted back to power.

Besides, he also announced that a government job would be provided to one member of the bereaved family. He also declared that statues of the gallant farmers who laid their lives fighting against the ‘atrocities’ of the Chautala government, would be erected in different parts of the state.


Ranikhet, a dream resort for vacationers
Our Correspondent

SITUATED at 1829 metres above sea level, Ranikhet with its idyllic charm has long fascinated holiday seekers. Legend holds that a queen who was passing by was so bewitched by the beauty of the place that she abandoned her journey to settle in this womb of serenity.

Ranikhet, as hill station, has drawn holidaymakers throughout the year, luring them with its climate and visual delight. Against the backdrop of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, Ranikhet makes a perfect holiday resort for those seek a getaway.

The place was used by the British as a hill station and as the headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment. With its tall oak and pine, and the blooming flora, Ranikhet offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas, from the Bhagirathi peaks in the west to Nanda Devi in the east. It is an ideal holiday spot for nature lovers, and its main attractions, apart from its natural beauty, are a golf course, the orchards of Chaubatia and the Jhoola Devi Temple.

The bazaar of Ranikhet is quiet unusual, it is located on the slope of a mountain. It owes its name to the steep slope, therefore it is called the “Khadee Bazaar”, Khadee meaning steep in the local language.

The lowest part of the bazaar is at 5000 feet and the upper most at 8000 feet. The roads in Ranikhet wind their way through greenery, providing a much-needed relief to the travellers.

Among the places to see are Chaubattia, a garden spot commanding a fascinating view of the Himalayas. The chief attraction of the place is the Government Apple Garden and the Fruit Research Centre attached to it.

Baludham, a small artificial lake is little less than 3 kms from Chaubattia. Upat Kalika, a golfers delight, with its nine hole golf courses is a must see.

Hairakhan Ashram, yet another place to visit, is the temple of Baba Hairkhan and offers a panoramic view of the extensive Himalayas. Then there are the Jhula Devi and Ram Mandir on way to Chaubattia garden. These are famous for the temples of Goddess Durga and Lord Ram.

Doonagiri is another place of interest, especially for the religious minded people. It is a temple of Goddess Durga and provides a good view of the Ramganga and Someshwar valleys from here.

For those wishing to go for a picnic, Shitalkhet is a good bet. Khairna offers a treat to those who wish to go fishing in the Kosi river.

Binsar Mahadev, located in a sleepy hollow in dense pine and deodar forest, with an old temple of Lord Shiva, is a unique place for meditation and picnic.

Another place of interest is Dwarahat, 37 kms from Ranikhet and a prominent tourist attraction of Kumaon. Once the power centre of Katyuri rulers in the 16th century, Dwarhat became a part of Chand dynasty.

Apart from temples, Dwarhat is full of ancient sculptures. Kumaon’s famous Syalde-Bikhoti Mela is held in Dwarhat from 13th to 15th April annually.

Ranikhet Club, Rotary Club and the Ranikhet Mountaineering Club are good recreational centres. To reach Ranikhet, the nearest airport is Pantnagar, which is 119 km away.

To travel by rail, the nearest railway station is Kathgodam, which is 80 km away. One can also travel by road. There are regular buses to Nainital, Almora, Delhi, Ramnagar, Kausani, Haldwani, Badrinath and Haridwar. There are shared jeeps to Almora. To reach Nainital, one can travel by bus via Bhowali.



Making religion real

WHAT are the ways in which we can make religion real in our lives? The question is particularly important because one of the charges unbelievers make against believers from ancient days is that their professions do not match with their practice. 
Yes, every preacher of worth in any religion will exhort us to live our faith. How do we translate our faith into our daily living?

Rituals and worship are common to all religions. But how do we live our faith? The desire to worship God is ingrained in human nature. Contending that adoration or worship of God is one of the most selfless of all emotions which cleanses us from selfishness, William Temple, has summed up beautifully, the real purpose of worship: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” 
The will to live becomes a “will to love” through religion. It should get manifested in our relationships with God and fellowmen. Our thinking, our prayer, our daily work, our reading, our charity and sacrifices and our care for the family and community must reflect this love.

Prayer is defined as communion with God and in most religions prayer has an important role. Men of God have spent much time in prayer. It is a means of strengthening faith, a source of light and power.

The life of faith is deepened, as in prayer we express our gratitude to God, adore His might and majesty, seek forgiveness for our omissions and commissions and also intercede others in need. Prayer is petitioning God in the hour of need, it is preparation to accept His will.

Prayer changes people and situations. We get closer to God through prayer. True prayer delivers us from our fears and anxiety, gives us confidence and improves our effectiveness as people of faith.

Religion is expressed in the family, the basic unit of life, depending on the faith of the parents. If religion is all about love, it is first exercised and learnt in the family. The quality of family devotions, the state of faith of the parents and discipline influence children and determine their values.

Religious training determines the kind of relationship they develop with fellow beings-those at home, and with others in the world outside.

Satsangh of fellowship of believers constitutes a means of employing faith for one another’s edification and encouragement. Such fellowship of like-minded people becomes a channel through which the community is blessed. Together, they seek to achieve the greater welfare of the community by caring and sharing; they also seek to promote those values, which make for peace and harmony.

Those who seek to understand reality through religion must focus their minds on things eternal.

The mind of the seeker is dedicated to finding the truth that cannot alter, the hope, which cannot fail, and the faith, which will not flinch. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,’’ declares the scriptures, stressing the importance of thoughts in the making of man. When the mind is focussed on God, His will and righteousness, our life is set on the right path. This is how religion should influence our thought.

Svadhyaya or reading of the scriptures keep the mind alive to the ideals and inspires us to follow the wisdom contained therein. Biographies of great saints provide valuable insights into life and its challenges. Reading should be deep so that the ideas soak into our lives and we grow in knowledge. It is said study and life should go together. The cultivation of the mind, the sowing of noble thoughts and ideals produce their impact in the way we live; in our aspirations and goals. Few endeavours could be more rewarding than the discovery of the meaning of faith. By preserving within us a youthful zeal and a devout eagerness to learn more, we can even combat the onset of old age. The head truly enlightened through reading will presently have a wonderful influence in purifying the heart; and the heart really affected by goodness will give a proper direction to the head.

All religious thinking and reading, meditation and satsangh are intended to change the way people live.

Religion is intended to teach people the right way to live, it is to impart to them a character that is in keeping with Godliness and righteousness; it is to impart power to its adherents to face life’s challenges.

Religious knowledge should empower them to face situations of pain, sorrow and suffering. Suffering tests our faith; in the case of many it is suffering which, in the first place, brought them to a closer relationship and dependence on God.

When religion is real in our lives, it also affects the way we manage our resources and time; it teaches the virtues of giving and sacrifice. As against man’s natural inclination for self-preservation and aggrandisement, he begins to have a new understanding of reality because of which new goals and attitudes become possible.

We have religions, which bring us messages of love and peace. With all right principles and ideals, we still seem to be walking in darkness judging by what goes on in our land and elsewhere in the world in the name of religion.

Only one conclusion is possible: we do not observe those standards laid down for the good life. We are disobedient to the light and we have gone our own ways One Caleb Colton (1780-1832), a clergy, observed so long ago: “Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; die for it; anything but live for it.”

M P K Kutty


No clues yet to Ghaziabad student’s disappearance
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 15
The Ghaziabad police are still clueless about Vishal Sharawat alias Chaudhri (22), a management student and son of businessman Nepal Singh Chaudhri, reported missing since Wednesday evening from Sector 6 in posh Rajnagar under the Kavi Nagar police station. The Circle Officer (City), Dr Dharam Veer Singh, had contacted a number of Vishal’s friends but failed to get any lead.

Vishal had left his residence three days ago on his scooter (UP14-G 4047) after taking Rs 100 from his sister-in-law saying he “would be back soon”. The police are suspecting Vikrant Yadav, nephew of Rajya Sabha member D. P. Yadav, as Vishal was last seen having a soft drink with Vikrant Yadav at the district centre. Vishal and Vikrant are classmates in the Bachelor of Business Management course at the Ghaziabad Institute of Management Studies.

Meanwhile, the police have picked up Vikrant Yadav and his cousin Shailendra (both Mr D. P. Yadav’s nephews) from their residences and about half a dozen other persons in this connection.

The day after his disappearance, Vishal’s father, Chaudhri Nepal Singh, had expressed his fears to the police that his son, who had not returned home, might have been killed after having been kidnapped.

The SSP, Mr Chandra Prakash, said the police has taken a number of persons, including Vikrant and Shailendra who are the main suspects, into custody and were interrogating them. The police denied that any ransom call had been received by the family so far.

The police suspect that Vishal might have become involved in some love tangle or romance in the institute and his rivals might have kidnapped him. Educational institutes in Ghaziabad, anyway, are proving to be a source of high-profile crime. The police had formed a number of teams under Circle Officer Dharam Veer Singh, SO of Kavi Nagar police station Anil Somanaya and SO of Vijay Nagar station Vijay Prakash, the SSP said.

Never a lender be

Two real brothers called out a person from his residence and allegedly murdered him under the Modinagar police station area. The deceased, identified as Suresh, originally resident of Bhadhola village but living in Bhupender Puri, had given the brothers a loan of Rs 50,000 and whenever he demanded it back they would pick up a quarrel with him. Finally, they decided to eliminate him to put an end to the controversy, it is alleged.

The police found the body from a drain in Modinagar. The police said that Suresh had been killed by two Ashok and Sanjay, son of Mahavir and resident of Begumabad. Ashok and Sanjay had taken a loan of Rs 50,000 from Suresh. They murdered Suresh and threw his body in the drain. The police have arrested the duo.



Narnaul lacks transport facilities
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, June 15
There is a growing resentment among the people of the region at the lack of transport and communication facilities, which has severely affected the development of the area.

The long standing demand for broad-gauge from Rewari was still pending with the authorities. There are only two passenger trains from Narnaul to Rewari, which causes a lot of problem to the commuters. The high bus fare has adversely affected the pocket of the common man. Talking to the ‘NCR Tribune’, daily commuters said that even after several assurances from the present Member of Parliament from the Mahendragarh Lok Sabha constituency, Ms Sudha Yadav, the needs of the people had not been fulfilled. The people said that even though the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Ms Sushma Swaraj, belongs to Narnaul, the Railway Ministry has not looked into the long-standing demand.

In fact, this metre-guage railway track is particularly used for transportation of goods like cement and petroleum products. Moreover, the present timings of the trains are not suitable for the daily commuters going to Delhi, Rewari and Gurgaon.

It is perhaps the most important railway track joining the four states of Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Strategically too, this railway track which joins Delhi with the Kutch region, leading to the Pakistan border, is significant for military purpose. Significantly, relief work during the Gujarat communal violence and last years earthquake was severely hampered due to the lack of fast track railway communication from Delhi.

Moreover, transportation of materials, particularly food items can be lowered by converting the metre-gauge into broad-gauge. 


Model dairy complex near Gurgaon soon
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, June 15
The Haryana Government has finally moved into top gear to get the proposed multi-facility dairy complex constructed at Khedki Majra Dhankot village, near here.

The government has issued orders for the acquisition of 40 acres of the village panchayat land for setting up the model dairy complex. A gazette notification is expected any moment with regard to the acquisition. The Haryana Slum Clearance Board had taken the decision for shifting the dairies, especially from the cities falling in the National Capital Region (NCR). The facilities to be provided in the proposed complex include a veterinary hospital, a biogas plant, water, streetlights and other forms of lighting.

The Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Mr Anurag Rastogi, at a high-level meeting of the district officials a few days ago, had stressed the early shifting of dairies from the city, said Mr Y.S. Gupta, Executive Officer of the Municipal Council.


4 hurt in Lakshmi Nagar fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
Four persons, including an old woman, sustained serious burns when a fire broke out in a sweet shop in Lakshmi Nagar area of East district this morning.

The injured were admitted to LNJP Hospital where the doctors on duty stated that the victims were in a serious condition. The victims have been identified as Ratan Lal, his wife Kamla, mother Meena Devi and son Ved Prakash.

The fire broke out in an electricity meter. Since it was a very hot day, the fire engulfed the entire basement and later caught the LPG cylinder kept there.

The victims were inside the shop when the fire broke out. They tried to douse the fire with whatever means they had, but could not succeed. The victims were rescued by their neighbours who also tried to douse the fire.

When the fire engulfed the entire shop, the victims called the Delhi Fire Service (DFS). The DFS rushed four fire fighters which, controlled the blaze within half-an-hour. The Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, visited the spot and inquired about the measures taken to control the fire and about the victims of the tragedy.. 


Professional jealousy behind trailer driver’s murder 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 15
Professional jealousy seems to have led to the murder of Gurmail Singh, a resident of Gurdaspur district of Punjab and driver of a trailer that was carrying Hero Honda motorcycles, on the Delhi-Jaipur highway near Kasaula Chowk, about 10 km from here, on Thursday night. He was beaten to death by his unidentified rivals.

It is stated that as soon as Gurmail Singh drove his trailer, which was laden with Hero Honda motorcycles, out of the factory premises near Dharuhera and entered the Delhi-Jaipur highway, his unidentified rivals, who were seated in another vacant trailer, which was being driven by one Ram Das, gave him a chase. When both the trailers reached near Kasaula Chowk, the other trailer dashed against Gurmail Singh’s trailer and turned turtle. Then Gurmail Singh also stopped his vehicle. At this, his rivals, numbering about six and were armed with swords and pistols, pounced on Gurmail Singh and fired two shots at him injuring him fatally. Later, Balwinder Singh, cleaner of Gurmail Singh’s trailer, made a complaint with the Kasaula Chowk police who registered a case of murder against Ram Das and five others, who all had absconded by then. The post-mortem examination of the body was conducted at the Community Health Centre, Bawal.

ATM service in Rewari

The State Bank of India branch has introduced the ATM service (automatic teller machine service or popularly known as any time money service) here. This modern banking facility is making an appearance in Rewari for the first time. Giving details of the service, Mr J. R. Chhabra, chief manager of the bank, told ‘NCR Tribune’ today that under the scheme, any customer holding a savings account or a current account in the branch and an ATM card could withdraw cash from his or her account at any time (24 hours) and all the seven days of the week without any break or holiday.


Sonia releases book on Chaudhry Prem Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday released the book– “Vijay Ke Sutradhaar: Chaudhry Prem Singh”– on the life of the Speaker of Delhi Assembly.

Mr Singh finds a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for winning elections from the same constituency for 44 years. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her Cabinet colleagues were present on the occasion.

The book has been written and edited by Siddharth Rao, Joint Secretary in the Assembly secretariat.

The author said Mr Singh had the rare and enviable distinction of winning eight successive elections since 1958 and was the longest serving legislator anywhere in the world. Mr Prem Singh became Speaker of the Delhi Legislative Assembly in 1998. He was also president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC).



Sonepat turning into an urban slum
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, June 15
This city is fast turning into an urban slum. Unattended heaps of garbage are a common sight in the town. Even the sectors of the so-called well-planned Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) are no exception.

However, the authorities in the Sonepat Municipal Council are engrossed in internal bickering, completely ignoring the concerns of the residents of the city. Effectively, with a population of nearly 2.50 lakh, Sonepat remains totally in a state of neglect. The sanitary staff hardly bother about their duties. Officials liberally deploy them for personal work at their residences. No wonder, stray cattle and street dogs as well as monkeys can be found roaming on the city roads.

Even a short spell of rain turns the roads of Sonepat into a quagmire, making it difficult for the residents to commute.

Innumerable puddles on the city roads make mobility extremely difficult.

The worst affected are the children who have to wade through knee deep dirt while going to their schools.

Most of the city roads, lanes and by-lanes have not been repaired for years.

Patchwork is done carelessly. Effectively, the entire stretch of the Murthal-Subzimandi road is marked by potholes, making it unsafe to travel, particularly at night in the monsoon season.

Last year was the most disconcerting for the residents of this industrial city.

The residents were affected by unscheduled power cuts, acute scarcity of drinking water and inefficient civic services.

The residents, who had hoped that a new political leadership would look into their problems, have been disillusioned by the performance of the present political dispensation.


Able-bodied men called up for civil defence
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 15
The District Magistrate, Mr Anil Malik, has directed that all able-bodied adult male residents of all villages in the district shall be liable to perform patrol duty during day and night in view of the internal security. The District Development and Panchayat Officer has been directed to ensure the regulation of requisite patrol through village panchayats. The order shall remain in force till December 15. The District Magistrate said the order had been issued for public safety and to safeguard the railway tracks, canals, power transmission lines, telephone lines, bus stations, railway stations, waterworks, government buildings and roads passing through the district.

Killers arrested

The district police arrested two persons suspected to be involved in murders from different parts of the town on Friday. Those arrested are Hans Raj, a resident of Salara Mohalla here, and Sanjay, a resident of Ismaila village. Hans Raj had allegedly stabbed to death Hemraj last week and Sanjay allegedly shot dead Netram at Ismaila village recently.

Stolen car seized

The district police arrested a youth from near Bajrang Bhawan here and seized a stolen Maruti car. The accused has been identified as Anil, a resident of Dighal village, who reportedly confessed to have stolen the vehicle from in front of the Maruti factory at Gurgaon. He said he had come here to strike a deal for the sale of the vehicle. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered in this connection.



Power dept staff waylaid
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 15
Two unidentified youths waylaid an employee of the Electricity Department last night near Ballabgarh and snatched Rs 3,260 from him. The incident took place at about 10 pm last night when the victim, identified as Swaraj Kumar, was coming towards his house from Samaipur Power House after duty. The robbers also took away his identity card. Meanwhile, Jaipal, a lineman of the Dakshin Haryana Vidyut Nigam, got serious burns when he was electrocuted while repairing a fault. It is the fourth such case in the past seven days.

Killed in mishap

One person was killed on the spot and seven others were injured in a head-on collision between two jeeps near Tihar Malik village, about 25 km from here, on the Sonepat-Gohana road last evening. According to a report, one jeep, carrying passengers, was on its way from Sonepat to Gohana while the other jeep was coming from Gohana. One of the jeeps tried to overtake a vehicle and collided with the other jeep.

The injured were identified as Surat of Mahra village, Sunder of Pinana village, Mrs Angoori of Bhainswal village, Ms Kanta of Vikas Nagar, Sonepat, Neeraj of Lath village, Ajay, a jeep driver of Qumashpur village, Rohtak of Lath village. They were rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment and they are stated to be out of danger.


Two labourers from Bihar travelling in the Amritsar-bound Barauni Express were arrested on the charge of pulling the chain and stopping the train at Sandal Kalan railway station, about 5 km from here, on Friday. Both the passengers could not get down at Sonepat and they pulled the chain at Sandal Kalan railway station so that they could alight. They wanted to go to Dhaturi village for the plantation of paddy crop.

Circus artiste hurt

Manoj, an artiste with Bharat Circus, was injured seriously while he was presenting his item on a motorcycle here last evening. According to a report, the injured artiste was immediately hospitalised. He is stated to be out of danger.

Duststorm hits life

The city and its surrounding areas were lashed by a severe duststorm last evening disrupting power supply and normal life here. According to a report, many trees were uprooted causing disruption in traffic on the national highway and other state highways. Traffic moved at a snail’s pace with headlights on. Power supply in the city and its suburbs remained disrupted for six hours between 3 pm and 9 pm. This affected the drinking water supply.


Delhi Govt to include priests in BPL category
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
The Delhi Government has decided to include religious priests living in shrines under the ‘Below Poverty Line’ (BPL) category for drawing rations at concessional rates. The priests living in mosques, temples, gurdwaras and churches run by registered bodies, trusts and ‘samitis’ would be eligible for BPL coverage if their annual family income from all sources was below Rs 24,200, an official release said.

They could approach the circle offices concerned to issue them the BPL ration cards. Their applications would have to be accompanied by a certificate from the management of the religious registered bodies/trusts/samitis.

The government decided to include religious priests under the BPL ration scheme after observing that a good number of imams, pujaris, granthis and priests living in shrines managed and run by trusts, societies and samitis were living on meagre salaries. After careful consideration, the government had decided to include these people under the BPL scheme, providing them specified food articles at concessional rates, the release said.


Jobless man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
Yogesh (27), a resident of Lajpat Nagar in South district, reportedly committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in his house last evening. He was married and had no children. He was unable to bear the expenses of his family, as he was unemployed. He asked his parents some money to start a business but his parents refused. He was frustrated, which had reportedly forced him to take the extreme step. His body has been sent for a post-mortem examination. The Lajpat Nagar Police would investigate the case, the police said.

Pirated CDs seized

The Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police seized a huge number of pirated CDs of popular Hindi and English movies along with CDs of MP3, audio and pornographic movies. The total estimated cost of the seized CDs is about Rs 2 crore in the market.

This has been the biggest recovery in the recent times. The police received an information about the pirated CDs and raids were conducted on shops in the Katwaria Sarai area and seized 8,461 pirated VCDs and arrested Harvinder Singh, Shailesh Kumar and Vijay Kumar. Besides, one computer set and two CD writers were seized.

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