Monday, June 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Khuranaspeak stirs up a hornet’s nest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
The recent remarks of the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and incharge of Delhi, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, pledging support to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for the June 30 elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) have triggered off a debate among the community whether political parties should be allowed to interfere in the religious affairs.

Such was the reaction within the community and religious leaders that the former Punjab Chief Minister and president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr. Prakash Singh Badal, was forced to defend the decisions of his party seeking support from the BJP, an old ally.

Mr Badal found nothing wrong in this since the alliance partner had not fielded its own candidates. Mr Khurana had promised support to the party after SAD (B) Delhi unit chief Mr Avtar Singh Hit accused him of siding with the opponents loyal to senior Akali leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra in the run-up to the DSGMC polls. The critics apprehend that non-Akali parties’ support to the two Akali factions could open the way to interference in Sikh religious affairs.

‘’I agree the June 30 polls are religious elections, but there is nothing wrong in my party seeking support from the BJP ahead of the polls. Moreover, no BJP candidate himself is fighting the DSGMC elections, and even they have not shared podiums with any of our Akali candidates. So there should be no criticism as such,’’ Mr Badal said here after he had called on the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on Saturday.

‘’On the contrary, our opponents are fighting the DSGMC elections with the help of the Congress whom they helped in the Punjab Assembly elections. They helped those responsible for the Operation Bluestar and the 1984 riots,’’ added Mr Badal in a reference to Mr Tohra.

The June 30 DSGMC elections are being fought along political lines in the wake of a split between two Akali leaders in 1999.

The Akali chief also reiterated his stand for a ban on the voting rights of Sehajdharis in religious elections, saying that many vested interests misuse the right in order to interfere in Sikh bodies.

The Delhi Gurdwara Act of 1971, however, allows no non-Sikh to cast vote in DSGMC elections, but the rule is relaxed for Sehajdharis (non-Sikhs who believe in the Guru Granth Sahib) in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Act of 1925.

The SAD (B)–BJP alliance has come under considerable strain because of the poor performance during the Punjab assembly elections and later during the elections to the Delhi Municipal Corporation.Back



Sikh Forum dwells on transparency
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
The Sikh Forum today appealed to the members of the community to take a promise from the candidates contesting the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections that they would work for bringing about total transparency in the working of the body and ensure a general body session every three months. In a statement issued here today, the forum said the three-monthly sessions should be open to the media so that the topics discussed could be presented before the public.

The forum also decided to invite leaders of the two rival factions of the Shiromani Akali Dal to Rakab Ganj Gurdwara and urge them to take a pledge on the seven suggestions of the forum. These include setting up of an autonomous Education Council, an autonomous Medical Council to look after the affairs of the hospitals, a financial controller to oversee the finances of the body, a separate academy to prepare students for competitive all-India examinations, including the allied services, and total boycott of those having links with the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom and Operation Bluestar.


DC’s transfer raises eyebrows
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 16
The abrupt and unexpected transfer of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, by the state government in the midst of a campaign launched by him to check corruption in public life, has raised a few questions. While some of the local residents seem to be baffled over the development, they believe that it could badly hit the drive launched by him. Mr Kumar had joined here on January 4. Thus, his tenure lasted just over five months, which can at best be described as a very short period for the post of a DC. His style of functioning had created a flutter when he got his personal assistant (PA) booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for offering him money that he had collected as bribe from various sources. This was perhaps the first incident of its kind in Haryana in which a DC got his own PA caught in such a manner.

The manner in which the PA was caught raised eyebrows with the DC announcing that he had started a drive to nab corrupt employees in various government departments. The list of the nabbed officials and employees started getting longer each month and the campaign was able to net about 15 officials and employees in the past five months. His style of functioning was disliked by a section of officials and employees. It soon resulted in a confrontation between the civil and the police administration. The heat was soon turned on the police department. Two cops, including a Head Constable working in the SSP’s office, were nabbed. The involvement of the vigilance staff instead of policemen in the team led to high tension between the police chief and the Deputy Commissioner. While a verbal duel erupted between the two and the matter reached the Chief Minister, the relations between the police and the civil authorities turned really bad.

Although the Chief Minister had talked to the DC and SP in this regard during his last visit, the rift kept widening.

While a section of residents and officials might have believed that the ongoing duel between the police and the civil administration could have resulted in a transfer but what is now being asked is whether the campaign which had brought some cheer among the common man and a sense of fear among the corrupt employees would be able to survive. “It had certainly dampened the spirit and morale of the people who had approved of the drive. The abrupt transfer had left such people demoralised,” commented a retired teacher.


Preet Vihar police post recovers its rightful owners
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, June 16
An abandoned police post which had become a den of anti-social elements who would come to the post to chat and clink glasses or what have you, presents a picture of law and order today.

Two constables have been posted here to police the upmarket commercial and residential Preet Vihar in East Delhi. The ‘NCR Tribune’ carried a story on June 5, mentioning about the sorry state of the police post…

The two-room police post was abandoned by the guardians of law one fine day. Soon, it became a ‘speakeasy’ where lawless elements gathered to liquor up and indulge in all kinds of illegal activities much to the chagrin of shopkeepers and residents.

A large number of residents of the area then complained to the ‘NCR Tribune’ that since the rooms of the police post had been left open, the mischievous elements had a free access to it to sow their wild oats—.raucous scenes of wining, gambling and fighting were the order of the day for donkey’s years. “No member of any respectable family can think of going near the abandoned post,” a shopkeeper alleged, adding that he had never seen a policeman or beat constable making even a cursory round of the place.

According to the residents, the picket, located opposite the building of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), had been constructed and then inaugurated with a great fanfare. It was also announced that the police post would be manned by at least two policemen round the clock to maintain the law and order in the congested market as well as the residential area. The authorities kept their word for a few days and then made themselves scarce.

Senior area police officers later admitted that the post had been abandoned. The reason was the staff shortage. The officials claimed that the Preet Vihar police station had only 85 constables against the required strength of 158. Ergo, it was not possible to post two constables for 24 hours there.

The shopkeepers and residents, however, were not convinced. Given the security environment in the Capital and in their area in particular, they wanted the authorities to keep their promise of providing proper security. It was only then the story was carried in the paper, mentioning the state of police affairs.



Suspect in Yadav murder case nabbed
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 16
Ghaziabad Police today claimed to have arrested the second murderer of the Parmanand Yadav, vice-president of the Rashtriya Parvartan Dal. Satinder Jat was held from Vijay Nagar Medical Trijunction on Saturday night along with the pistol used in the murder, SSP Chander Prakash said.

It may be re called that two youths had shot dead Parmanand Yadav in his house in Sector 4, Raj Nagar under Kavi Nagar Police Station. A.38 bore revolver had been used in this crime.

Acting with speed, the police had arrested Jatinder Yadav within days of the murder who had told the police that another criminal, Satinder Jat was also involved in this crime along with him. The SSP said that SO Vijay Nagar Police Station had been put on this job under the Circle Officer, Dr Dharam Veer Singh. Satinder Jat was arrested with the pistol used in the crime.

The SP City Umesh Kumar Srivastava expressed the hope that police will soon be able to nab the criminal who had planned the murder of Parmanand Yadav.


DVB privatisation in sync with Centre’s policy: Suresh Prabhu
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
The Centre is pinning hopes on privatised power distribution in Delhi with Union Power Minister Suresh Prabhu saying that this could eventually bring down distribution losses by netting the “big fishes”. He also said that the Delhi Government’s decision to privatise power distribution in the Capital is in conformity with the policies of the Centre.

“In Delhi, the losses are already 60 per cent. We have persisted with a particular kind of management for several decades that had not delivered the results. Unless one takes care of the vested interests, the required results cannot be achieved,” Mr Prabhu told the ‘NCR Tribune’.

Mr Prabhu said that the exercise had been extremely successful in Mumbai and “there was no reason why it should not be successful in Delhi”.

“Privatisation increases efficiency and increases accountability and the decision of the Delhi Government to privatise power distribution is in complete conformity with the central policies,” Mr Prabhu said.

According to a recent World Bank report, the national average of T&D (transmission and distribution) losses is around 23 per cent, while in Delhi it is as high as 58 per cent. Of it, transmission losses are about 12.5 per cent and distribution losses, meaning theft, amounting to 45.5 per cent.

The government has planned to split the loss-making Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) into one generation company, one transmission company and three distribution companies and also create one holding company.

The Delhi Government has inked agreements with the Bombay Suburban Electric Supply Undertaking (BSES) and Tata Power to distribute electricity to the end-consumer in the Capital.

The BSES will have a controlling interest in two distribution companies covering South and West Delhi and Central and East Delhi. The third distribution company, covering North and North-West, will be managed by Tata Power. Under the terms of the agreement, the six companies–a holding company, a generation company, a transmission company and the three distribution companies–replacing the DVB, will become operational from July 1.

Mr Prabhu said that opportunities had to be created by commercialisation. “This monopoly mentality of the public enterprises has to end,” he said.


Chemist shops raided to check fake drugs
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 16
The Drug Control authorities have launched a campaign to check the sale of spurious medicines. The officials have conducted several raids in the district and lifted more than 50 samples.

The places raided in the past three days include Ballabgarh, Old Faridabad, villages located in Muncipal Corporation limits and subdvisional towns like Hodal and Hassanpur.

According to the strategy, the team selects a few chemists shops in an area, deputes a policeman at each shop and checks the drugs sold from there. Samples are taken of the medicines, suspected to be substandard or fake. “We have lifted over 50 samples in the past three days and the campaign would continue indefinitely,” said a senior official of the department.

He said that the help of the police and health officials was being taken and the drive would not only lead to awareness among the masses, but it would also check the supply of fake drugs. The raiding team also took more than 30 samples in Hodal, Hathin and Hassanpur sub-division on Saturday. They have been sent to the laboratory in Chandigarh for testing. The raids followed the reports that a racket had been on in the NCR and fake drugs were supplied to the chemists and drug stores in large numbers. The officials had unearthed such a racket in the district about two months ago in which some persons had been supplying fake medicines to the quacks.


Heres mud in your eye!
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 16
The Kundli police have launched a massive hunt to apprehend a prisoner, Anil, alias Bhagta, who was involved in a number of cases of murder and looting. Anil escaped from the police custody with the help of two of his accomplices while he was being taken to Ambala by three policemen in a bus on Saturday evening. The policemen were offered aerated drinks by the accomplices of Anil. The guardians of the law soon became unconscious. Cocking a snook at the fallen cops, the prisoner escaped along with his partners.

According to a report, the incident occurred on the GT Road near Rasoi village of this district where the three policemen-Head Constable Iqbal Singh and Constables Sukhbir Singh and Des Raj—were found unconscious on the road. The three were rushed to the Civil Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the bus informed the Kundli police about the incident. The cops immediately swung into action and succeeded in arresting the accomplices of the prisoner. The duo have been identified as Ajay of Barwala village (Delhi) and Vikas of Jatheri village (Sonepat). A case has been registered against them.

Anil was produced before a magistrate in Tis Hazari Courts on the date of hearing in a case of murder. Thereafter, the policemen took him to the ISBT for boarding an Ambala-bound bus. At the bus stand itself, the policemen were offered aerated drinks by the accomplices of the prisoner. The cops soon became unconscious in the bus that they had boarded.

On reaching near Rasoi village, the accomplices of the prisoner asked the bus driver to stop at pistol-point. They pushed the policemen down the bus and fled along with the prisoner towards Rasoi village.

The prisoner, it may be recalled, had been lodged in Ambala Jail for the past few months. He was under trial in cases of robbery and murder. A similar incident had occurred about one and a half months ago when two dreaded criminals were freed by their accomplices while they were being taken to Jind on the date of hearing in criminal cases.

This correspondent made a series of attempts to contact

the SP on telephone for seeking information about the three policemen who were found unconscious on the GT Road. All queries about his whereabouts were met with the stock response that `Saheb Rai gaye hain’. This process continued till 8 pm. Mediapersons of this city have resented the attitude of the SP.


Metro Rail: An open sesame to many public facilities
Prem Kumar

Last week, the management of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation invited the MLAs from Trans-Yamuna constituencies to go round some of their project sites and see for themselves how the work was progressing.

It was natural that they should have been acquainted with the ongoing work because the Metro Rail will launch its first phase of operation from Shahdara, across the Yamuna to Inter-state Bus Terminal, near Tis Hazari, from December this year.

They hope to be ready with the capacity for this by October this year, when they plan to have potential users of the rail system at workshops and seminars to “train” them how to make the best use of the system and to help the management in good maintenance of various facilities.

It is important because it would be setting the trend which will prevail over the entire Capital to be served by the system as and when it is completed.

Needless to say that it is going to be a state-of-art-system which has not been seen in these parts of the world and would be as good as the one in Singapore or in any other advanced countries.

The management would need the co-operation of Delhi residents to keep the system in shape and in the best working order. Many people have grown old waiting for such a system of rapid transport coming to Delhi. The first blueprint for it was prepared perhaps over four decades ago. The trams disappeared from the city long ago and so did electric buses.

The ring railways did not help much nor did the ring roads complete with flyovers. The traffic in Delhi continued to be in a mess. Many experts had believed that only a rapid transport system like the Metro Rail would sort out this mess.

I am looking forward to the system being introduced in a different way and for different reasons.

I, somehow, feel that it may change the very work culture and human behaviour of Delhi. This is the first system which is being managed with a professional and commercial angle, trying to give the best to the people, of course, in return for a price.

The people who have been watching the work on the project in different parts of the city have been impressed by the way the areas are demarcated, sites isolated from the normal traffic, barricades and signposts put up and properly dressed and well-behaved guides posted to help road users. I, frankly, was impressed because I have seen for decades municipal workers and men of Telephone, Electricity, Water and such other departments digging up roads and streets in a haphazard manner and leaving them in the shape of death traps for the citizens.

Roads were blocked by them in the past without even a warning. I remember having described them as municipal gravediggers years ago.

Now that the people are getting used to the new building culture by the Metro Rail Corporation, they will expect an equally citizen-friendly work environment by other agencies.

The Metro people are also trying to keep to the schedule as far as possible and hope to run an efficient system.

For this, they are recruiting their officials and workers in a strict, professional manner and not the way various government agencies recruit people to oblige somebody or the other.

They want the very best among available human resource and will put them to the best use. They are also going in for new standards of mechanisation and procuring the best equipment for it. It is necessary because Delhi is spread in a rather funny manner and there are cobwebs not only over land but underground too. They are going to introduce smart cards for rail tickets, the very possession of which will open the entrance gates to the railway facility.

There will be a mutual arrangement with the bus service so that the same card can entitle them to travel in bus for the remaining part of the journey.

They will provide the parking space for car and owners can park the car at a station and take the Metro for the main journey. What is remarkable is that the management is confident of solving the city’s transport problem once it is completed.

By 2005, it hopes to handle some 18 lakh rail users every day. The train frequency and speed will be determined and revised according to the need at a particular time. The management hopes to educate the Metro users in keeping the facility clean and orderly, something that Delhiwalas are not used to when it comes to civic services.

If this is achieved, it will be the greatest service by the Metro management to this city, something much greater than even solving the traffic problem. How they motivate Delhi residents to do so, will be seen in days to come.


Among the MLAs who went round to see the Metro Rail project being implemented, was Dr Harsh Vardhan, former Health Minister of Delhi. He took the opportunity to do something for his favourite subject, that is health and fitness awareness. He has been trying to do something in this regard and has been motivating others to do the same all these years. He has been selling an idea in this connection to the Railways for a long time but did not get much of a response.

Mr S.Sreedharan, Managing Director of Metro Rail Corporation, however, is said to have jumped at the idea and promised to follow it up with Dr Harsh Vardhan.

It is a simple thing that the former Health Minister of Delhi wants. He wants the spread of health messages, through catchy and attractive slogans, over the Metro system. There are hundred and one ways to do so.

Have slogans at the Metro stations, in rail coaches, on rail tickets, in parking lots and so on. Announcements could be made regarding health whenever the audio or video channels at stations or in trains are free.

The two of them are going to meet and discuss ways to do something in this regard. The doctor says that many other professional bodies both at national and international level are prepared to support this effort.


It seemed to be a function with a difference on June 5, the World Environment Day. And it was not merely because it was held at Ashok Hotel as pointed out by Mr Deep Chand Bandhu, Environment Minister of Delhi who happened to be the chief guest. It was organised by the National Forum on Tourism and Environment, a body formed 32 years ago for promoting tourism, keeping the environmental interests in mind. They have tried to do something but mostly through seminars and workshops for the elite, naturally because they are the right persons to take interest in tourism. But at this seminar, the only person who talked about eco-tourism was Mr Feodor Starcevic, Director, UN Information Centre in Delhi. There were other eminent speakers. Ms Kiran Bedi for instance, who recalled how she started the compost making in Tihar Jail which saved the authority Rs 25 lakh, which was spent on waste removal from the jail premises.

In addition, it brought Rs 28 lakh as the price of compost sold in a year. This money was spent to start an education project in the jail.

Mr Deep Chand Bandhu took this opportunity to talk about his favourite suggestion of providing a drain along the Yamuna to carry all the dirty water from the city and cleaning it before letting it flow into the river. It was a great plan but he was not getting any funds for it from the Centre, he said. The speakers talked about rainwater harvesting, solid waste management and health of slum children and such other subjects.

Those who gathered at posh hotels to discuss such subjects had also been doing a lot in villages and slums, they said and added that they could contribute their bit to improve the environment. Obviously, tea and snacks followed and they were in keeping with the status of the hotel.

I met Mr Starcevic in the lift who was rushing for another engagement without the tea. He smiled and said, “Eating is an important part of meetings in Delhi.”


The authorities all over are particular about the environment being kept clean of pollution, that is, as far as possible. Those in the National Capital Region (NCR) are no exception.

It is obligatory on the part of vehicle owners to get the emission levels checked every three months and get a certificate and a sticker for the vehicle to certify the same.

It surely is a good decision. There are some pollution checking booths at petrol pumps that do a proper job but are often very liberal to be helpful.

There are others who just keep a table along the road, particularly on the highways approaching Delhi. Some of them have battery run checking equipment, others do not have any equipment at all. Those who have the equipment seldom use it. They just take the money and issue the certificate and the sticker. They get their money, the vehicle owner his certification. Both are happy. But the environmental pollution? Well, nobody knows.


Maybe, you guessed it right. If not, it stands for Very Important Dogs. In Delhi, where there are many VIPs, there are bound to be very important dogs and cats because of their high connections. And they have to be taken care of the best possible way. There are clinics and nursing homes for such pets which are expensive just as the private nursing homes and hospitals patronised by their masters. It is in such an environment that I was not surprised to find a leaflet in my newspaper announcing a holiday home for pets.

It is attached to the clinic of a vet who himself looks after the dog. Those who go on a holiday and cannot take their dogs with them can leave them there for that period—a holiday both for the masters and the pets. The charges vary according to the size of the dogs and can vary from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per day.

Of course, there are many such homes—or hostels—for dogs in the city and around and the charges vary according to the facilities available. There can be dogs who are choosy about their food or do not like to eat unless the master is around and asks it to eat. They may be offered special fare at these holiday homes to keep them from starving.

The vet will naturally take care of medical and health part, though it may mean some extra expense.


Hooda wants central team to visit Haryana
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 16
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has demanded that the official team of the Union Government proposed to visit Punjab should also visit Haryana to take stock of the “atrocities” allegedly committed against the agitating farmers by the Chautala government recently.

He was talking to mediapersons today after the ‘padayatra’ launched by the party reached Rohtak from Madina village this afternoon. Mr Hooda claimed that the state government, which had termed the farmers killed in police firing as anti-social and criminals, was forced to come on the negotiating table due to the mounting pressure of the Congress. Moreover, the government had to withdraw all the cases registered against the farmers since 1992 and to release the arrested farmers besides the assurance of providing a government job to a kin of the deceased farmer, he said.

Commenting on the recent ‘anti-party’ activities of a former HPCC chief, Mr Sultan Singh, Mr Hooda said the central leadership of the party was fully aware of the issue and a probe at the party level had already been started in this regard. He reiterated that the party would continue its agitation till the removal of the Chautala government.

Expressing surprise over the recent foreign visit of a delegation of Haryana MLAs, the HPCC chief said that the government had no funds to provide compensation to the families of those killed or injured in the police action while a hefty amount of nearly Rs 2.70 crore was being lavishly spent on the said visit.

Teachers’ plea

The Haryana College Teachers’ Union (HCTU) has demanded that the time limit for completing refresher/orientation courses to become eligible for senior/selection grade be extended up to December 2003.

The demand was raised at a meeting of the executive council of the union held at Jat College here under the presidentship of Mr K. S. Dhillon this afternoon.

Dr J. N. Sharma, press secretary of the union, said several teachers in the state could not complete the refresher/orientation courses due to certain technical reasons before December 2000 as stipulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC). 


Delhi Metro line to be extended till Gurgaon
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, June 16
The Union Government has agreed to extend the Delhi Metro Railway service to Gurgaon, the Haryana Town and Country Planning Minister, Mr Dhir Pal Singh, said here today. Addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stones of various projects in the city here today, the minister revealed that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) on the behalf of the Haryana Government would soon deposit Rs 38 crore, its share of the investment, with the central government for the project. The metro railway line would be extended from Bijwasan (Delhi) to a place near Gurgaon railway station, said Mr Dhir Pal Singh. It would be a 5-km stretch.

The railway line, when it became operational, would save time and money for the daily commuters who would be greatly benefited by the project, added the minister. The minister laid the foundation stone of the community centres at Sector 5 and Sector 7 Extension each at the cost of Rs 60 lakh. He also laid the foundation stone of an old-age home at Sector 4, which would be built at a cost of Rs 27 lakh. Mr Dhir Pal Singh also inaugurated the multi-purpose hall at Sector 4, Gurgaon.

House tax

Interpreting the stay order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to suit its own purpose, the local municipal council has again started directing the local residents to deposit house tax to avoid penal actions.

The people are surprised at the latest move of the council, as it had agreed in April not to charge house tax in the wake of the stay order granted by the high court on March 18, 2002.

The Executive Officer, Gurgaon Municipal Council, Mr S. N. S. Sidhu, had been informed that the recovery of house tax would remain stayed till the matter was decided by the high court. The matter is still pending in the court.


Gandhi Ashram: Working to uplift the SCs and STs
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, June 16
The Gandhi Ashram in Dhakka village near Kingsway Camp has been an active witness to the development of the area and society after Independence. It has been serving the society for more than 32 years.

The origin of the ashram can be traced to the Harijan Sevak Sangh launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932 for the uplift of the poor in India. Whenever Gandhiji visited Delhi, he used to stay at the place where the present ashram is. It came to be known later as the Gandhi Ashram.

Located in 20 acres here, the ashram has a hostel for children of safai karamcharis, a school, bank, museum, staff quarters, dispensary and a counselling centre being run in collaboration with the Central Social Welfare Board. The main aim of the Harijan Sevak Sangh that runs the ashram is to empower SCs and STs to give them a better place to live in and also to make them confident so that they can find space for themselves in this world.

G. D. Birla was the first president of the sangh. Initially, the organisation worked to remove untouchability from all states of India and also achieved success to a great extent. Gandhian Nirmala Deshpandey, who has been serving as the president of the ashram and the sangh since 1983, says: “The organisation approached me as I had been working to promote Gandhian philosophy for many years. We have different channels in different states and we coordinate all the activities from Delhi. Delhi being the headquarters, all the major decisions are taken here only. We emphasise on removing untouchablitiy from different parts of the country. Now, we run schools, colleges and hostels. Though we have managed to improve the situation, untouchability still exists in many states.”

One of the oldest organisations of India, it has had most of the great leaders, who served India, including Rajendra Prasad, G. B. Pant, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and others as active members. The ashram still has memories of Gandhiji.The Harijan Sevak Sangh has been facing financial crunch. Nirmala Deshpandey says, “Thakkar Bapa was always a source of inspiration and real soul behind the management. Eminent personalities have dedicated their life for this organisation. Aditya Nehru is our executive member and many of our children have become IAS and IPS officers, engineers, doctors, ministers, vice-chancellors, professors etc. Even The President, Mr K. R. Narayanan, had said in one of his speeches that ‘I would have been nowhere if there had been no Harijan Sevak Sangh. Whatever I am today, it’s all because of the sangh’. It is an honour working for this organisation, as these people do not get opportunities in life and we want to give them equality. We have signed a pledge that we will not accept any discrimination and we circulate this among all to spread awareness.”

The concept on which the organisation runs remains the same. It wants the elite and upper class people to help in eradicating untouchability. It is a kind of repentance and a penance for the fault their forefathers had done. The organisation is opening a hostel for girls coming from all over India to study here and who cannot find a place to stay. It will provide all basic amenities to the hostel inmates to earn some revenue for the sangh. Also, some state governments provide funds to this organisation. 


Girl commits suicide after failing in exam
 Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 16
A teenaged girl student who failed in her Class 12 examinations committed suicide by throwing herself in front of a moving train near the old Faridabad railway station on Saturday. The girl, identified as Geeta, was a resident of Sunder Colony. She did not leave behind any suicide note. This is the first such incident reported in the town after the declaration of the board examination results. Meanwhile, the police recovered the body of a youth near Agra Canal here on Saturday. The police have started an investigation on the cause of the death.

Woman killed

Three persons lost their lives in various incidents in the town today. These include a middle-aged woman, who fell from a running train near old Faridabad station here this morning. The victim, identified as Asha Devi, was a resident of Shakurbasti in Delhi and had come to visit her relatives in NIT here. She died in the Civil Hospital.

In the second incident, Udaiveer, a resident of Ramgarh in UP, was killed after his motorcycle was hit by a speeding truck on the National Highway near Sarai Khwaja today. He died on the spot. Bhupender of Bhagat Singh Colony here also died after he consumed some poisonous substance.

BBA course

Global Educational and Social Trust (GEST), a private institution here, has launched ‘Bachelor in Business Administration’ (BBA) on the German pattern, which provides job training (practical) along with theoretical studies. According to Mr Nagendra Goel, chairman of the trust, the BBA programme launched by his institute was unique and was perhaps, for the first time in the state that such a course was being started.


Widow murdered

Shakuntala, wife of Jai Singh, was allegedly murdered by her father-in-law, Bhagwan Singh, at Gopalpur village, about 25 km from here, on Saturday. According to a report, she sustained serious injuries after she was attacked with `kulhari’ by her father-in-law on being informed that she had some illicit relations with his another son after the death of her husband. She succumbed later. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. The assailant has absconded.

According to another report, Virender, a youth was found murdered in his field at Garhi Sisana village, about 25 km from here, on Saturday. The victim had gone to the field as usual on Friday and slept there after work. He was found murdered on the next day morning. The body bore multiple injuries inflicted by sharp-edged weapons. Mr Om Parkash, father of the victim, has lodged an FIR against his brother in this connection alleging that he had threatened to kill him. Meanwhile, Sandeep alias Bholu, a youth, was reportedly shot dead in sleep by some unidentified persons in his fields at Khandrai village, about 50 km from here, last night.

3 die in mishaps

Three persons were killed in two accidents on G. T. Road near Kundli village, about 25 km from here, on Saturday. In the first incident, the victims have been identified as Ram Bahadur and his son, Sanjay. Both were crossing the road when they were hit by an unknown vehicle. In another accident, a cleaner of a truck, Dina Nath, was killed when his head hit another truck while it was overtaking his truck. The police are still investigating into the cases.


Shiv Sena threatens stir against excise policy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
The Shiv Sena has threatened to launch an agitation against the Delhi Government’s new liberalised excise policy. Accusing the government of playing a crude joke on the people, vice-president of the party’s Delhi unit Abhimanyu Gulati said the move to partially privatise the liquor trade was “anti-people”.

Liquor vends, Mr Gulati said, would attract anti-social elements and make life miserable for some. The new excise policy that was announced by Finance Minister Mahinder Singh Saathi on Saturday, he said, was fraught with dangerous implications for the youth.

“On the one hand, a liquor bottle carries the mandatory message that it is injurious to health. On the other hand, it is now being made available as home delivery. Even the departmental stores have been allowed to stock and sell beer. This is a total mockery of the government’s so-called concern for its people,” Mr Gulati alleged.

He warned that if the excise policy was not withdrawn, the Shiv Sena would expose the real motives of the government behind such a policy.

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


Violence mars Bar Association election
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, June 16
A violent scuffle marked the elections of the District Bar Association (Anand Prakash Kadian group) as lawyers of the defected group allegedly tried to disrupt the poll process here on Saturday.

It may be recalled that the association had split last month on the issue of voting rights to some members who were practising at other places. Advocate Satish Chahar, who was the president in the undivided association, floated a parallel association and filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

However, the Chahar group conducted its election process on Friday in which J. Punia and Bijender were elected president and secretary, respectively.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the Anand Prakash group alleged that Mr Satish Chahar along with his some supporters arrived stormed the polling station at around 10 am on Saturday. They insisted on casting their votes stating that they were eligible.

A verbal duel ensued which subsequently turned violent. Mr Chahar and his supporters allegedly hit some of the lawyers of the other group. The issue was settled after a while. However, the returning officers, Rishal Singh and Rajpal Suhag, informed the police and a police team arrived on the scene.

However, after sometime, Mr Chahar and his supporters again entered the polling station. This time, other lawyer members present inside allegedly thrashed them. The returning officer also filed a petition with the police against Mr Chahar and his accomplices charging them with disrupting the poll process, attempting to snatch ballot boxes and threatening their life. However, the election results were declared in the evening. Advocate Naseeb Kadian was elected president and Mr Mukesh Nagpal vice-president. Mr Dinesh Sharma and Mr K. P. Gahlot were elected secretary and joint secretary, respectively.


7.35 lakh saplings to be planted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
Volunteers and officials of the Government of NCT of Delhi alike will be engaged to plant saplings as part of the Department of Environment’s Green Delhi campaign. Environment Minister Deep Chand Bandhu on Sunday said 7.35 lakh saplings would be planted this monsoon.

The initiative will form a part of the Action Plan formulated by the department. The minister said targets had been fixed for various departments and local bodies. “People,” the minister said, “will be sensitised to the need of not only planting saplings but sustaining the campaign over a certain period of time”.

For the purposes of the campaign, 40 water tankers would be purchased. He said 47 thousand saplings would be planted in the West Forest Division, 1.58 lakh in the Central Division and 70 thousand in the South Division. Another 2.5 lakh saplings will be distributed free of cost to non-government organisations (NGOs) and others for planting on private and public land through the 14 state-owned nurseries. Fourteen forests would also be developed by planting of 36 thousand trees.

The minister said 10 thousand saplings would be planted this year and ten check dams constructed to conserve ground water in the Asola wildlife sanctuary in south Delhi, for which purpose Rs 823 lakh had been earmarked.

In the Bhatti mines area, the Eco Task Force of the Territorial Army would rehabilitate nearly 600 acres by planting indigenous tree species and taking up various water conservation measures.


Smuggled liquor seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
The West district police of the Capital claimed to have seized 864 quarter bottles of smuggled liquor from a Maruti van on the Bahadurgarh road on Saturday and arrested two persons. The liquor was to be sold in the Uttam Nagar area.

The police had a secret information that Raj Kumar alias Raja of Uttam Nagar would smuggle in liquor from Bahadurgarh in a van.

A police team was deployed at Bahadurgarh near Lokesh Cinema for checking the vans entering the Capital.

When the suspect reached near Lokesh Cinema, his vehicle was stopped and Raj Kumar and his associate, Rakesh alias Motta, were arrested.

The vehicle of the accused was also seized.

While searching the vehicle, 18 cartons of liquor, including four cartons of 48 quarter bottles each of Bonnie Scot whisky and 14 cartons of 48 quarter bottles each of Rock Feller whisky, were seized.

During interrogation, they disclosed that the liquor was procured from Shidipur Loha village in Bahadurgarh and was to be sold in retail in Uttam Nagar. Raj Kumar, who was the owner of the Maruti van, is already facing a case of cheating in the Capital.

However, as per the instructions written on the cartons, the liquor was to be sold in Chandigarh and Arunachal Pradesh. The smuggling of liquor is expected to come down with the announcement of the new liberalised excise policy. 


Five-year-old raped

Narnaul, June 16
A five-year-old girl student from village Amerpura Jorasi was reported to have been brutally raped on Saturday night. Reportedly, the girl was sleeping in the open in the house premises with her grandfather, a retired CRPF driver. When he woke up to answer the call of nature, he found the girl missing. The father of the girl, an employee in a shop at Narnaul, was sleeping inside the house.

She was later found near a railway track. The Narnaul police have begun combing the area to trace the culprits.

The victim was admitted to the Civil Hospital and her condition was stated to be critical. A board of three doctors examined the alleged rape victim. OC


Elegant and spacious, this bathtub is quite a pool to swim in
Our Correspondent

Woven Gold, producers of bathing products, has launched a new exclusive range of bathtubs. The range comprises round-shaped ‘Eden’, a bathtub designed for two people, a cornet-shaped ‘El dorado’, a tub with a cascading waterfall, and a cornet-shaped ‘Utopia’, a tub with many features.

Elegantly shaped and spacious, these tubs are made of Lucite Acrylic and come with features like 12 jets, back and side massage, back rest, hand shower and adjustable sprays and water filter and flow diverter.

Cool wear

Peter England has launched two new collections to beat the summer heat — ‘Aqua Cool’ trousers and ‘Summer Mint’ shirts. Summer Mint is made from light cotton and specially imported cotton-rich fabric that ensures comfort. The collection includes both full-sleeve as well as half-sleeve shirts. The Aqua Cool trousers are given a treatment called aqua enzyme, which allows more breathing and better moisture absorption. The range is available in 16 colours and comes with pleated as well as flat fronts.

Safe switches

M K Electric has launched tamper-proof switches for use in residences and public areas. The unique feature of these switches is the use of a secret key instead of the conventional on and off arrangement called rocker. The switch can only be operated when the key is used. Priced at Rs 90, this switch comes with a 10-year warranty.

Portable CD player

Philips India Limited has introduced a new price-point CD segment with the launch of their new portable CD player, AZ 1007. Its features include a compact disc digital audio player, a powerful 100 watt sound output, 15 track programmable memory for the CD player, metal mesh speaker grills, stereo cassette deck, special head phone socket, dynamic bass boost, full range four inch speakers and AM/FM tuner. The product is priced at Rs 3,990.

All-weather torch

Duracell, manufacturers and marketers of alkaline batteries, have launched a premium all-weather flashlight, Duracell Voyager. It has been specially designed for the outdoor person with a specialised shock-proof and rubberised body. The flashlight is waterproof and comes packed in a tamper-proof thermo-seal blister pack with two AA batteries.

Hair care range

Schwarzkopf Professional, hair specialists, has launched the ‘bc bonacure’ premium range of hair care products. The new range with over 30 products under six categories promises to cater to each and every kind of hair care requirement. This range is meant for the professional use by hair stylists and to the end consumer. Positioned as the intelligent hair care range of products, bc bonacure has the special ‘aphinity technology’ that goes straight into damaged hair leaving the rest unscathed. The range is priced at Rs 350 onwards.

Shades to hair

Godrej Colour Soft has launched three new exciting fashion shades — Dark Mahogany, Burgundy and Copper Brown. Godrej Colour Soft has double conditioners, which give visible and uniform colour results. The built-in conditioner penetrates the hair during the colouring process and protects the hair from any damage and strengthens it. A complete hair-colouring kit includes 40-ml colourant, 40 ml developer lotion, 30 ml shampoo, 30 ml conditioner, a pair of gloves, a protective cap along with an applicator brush and measuring cup. The pack is priced at Rs 125.

Herbal henna

Diamond Herbal Henna is a mixture of pure herbs and henna. It is chemical free and provides total hair care as well as cooling effect to the mind. The specialty of the product is that it provides the right ingredients required by the hair, in appropriate quantities, which can otherwise be obtained from the mixture of henna, neem, Katha and shikakai. Available in three sizes of 50 gm, 150 gm and 200 gm, it is priced at Rs 7, Rs 20 and Rs 25, respectively.

Linen trousers

Freelook, a brand of menswear and kidswear, has unveiled its new range of linen trousers and shirts for men. Designed to provide freedom at the workplace, the range provides both comfort and style.

The range of shirts and trousers is crafted from richly textured 100 per cent Irish linen. The shirts are available in basic colours of blue, peach, sage, mint, bright tie and dye prints while the trousers are available in black, natural and grey. The trousers are priced at Rs 1,395 a pair while the shirts are priced between Rs 845 and Rs 1,995.

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