Friday, June 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Tronica City
The graveyard for allottees’ hopes
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 20
Some 250 allottees of D-Block of East End in Tronica City, 3 km from East Delhi and 9 km from Wazirabad Barrage, in Loni area of Ghaziabad district, are facing a grave issue literally. They have been allotted residential plots amidst cremation and burial grounds.

“We really had not bargained for this. Our only mistake was that we fell for the promises of getting an eco-friendly area, located in the futuristic mega-township and sunk our life’s savings by buying a plot in this colony being developed by the Ansals,” said a number of middle-class allottees.

“We have been dumped amid a burial ground and a cremation ground, where nobody can ever think of living. Our culture, beliefs and moorings do not permit us to even think of it, let alone building a house here. We could never ever dream that the Ansals would dump us amidst the dead,” chorused Ashok Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Suresh Pal, D.S. Tandon, T.S. Oberoi and other allottees.

According to Regional Manager V K Panwar, UP State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC), the organisation that has developed Tronica City, “Ansals were allotted 87 acres in 1997 on lease at the rate of Rs 350 to Rs 397 per sq. mt.”

The allottees said that Ansals had in turn sold it at the rate of Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,750 per sq. yd.

Whereas the UPSIDC has itself sold the residential plots at the rate of Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,700 per sq. mt. in 2000 and Rs 1,850 in 2001 and Rs 2,025 during 2002 in the rest of Tronica City.

The UPSIDC has handed over the possession of plots to the allottees, who had just paid 25 per cent of the cost, while Ansals, who have already collected 65 to 75 per cent of the amount are nowhere near giving the possession to the allottees.

Actual land for ‘shamshanghat’ and ‘kabristan’ appears to have existed in D-Block of their project as is evident from the prevailing conditions but was not disclosed by the developer to the plot holders in any site plans/advertisements or in discussions, etc.

While the MoU signed with UPSIDC stipulates full development in five years, it is still lacking in development and there is no indication that the plots will be handed over to the allottees in the near future. “Ansals earned crores of rupees fraudulently by adopting arbitrary means and cheated innocent buyers by selling the plots in D-Block where shamshanghat and kabristan exist,” said Mr Oberoi, a retired central government officer.

Whereas Ansals have come up with strange statement, saying that they themselves had come to know of the “existence of graveyard and cremation ground much later and that was why they did not disclose it to the allottees”.

But as per revenue records, the cremation ground had existed, while there is enough proof that a graveyard was also very much there in the vicinity. Both Inder and Mohd Anees, general secretaries of the cremation ground and the graveyard, told this correspondent that the villagers around had been using these cremation and burial grounds for the past 20 years. “Even my own daughter is buried there. It is a pucca graveyard on over 14 bigha,” said Mohd Anees.

Given a choice, while most of the allottees would prefer a full refund of their money, others wonder how long would they have to wait for the alternative allotment, if at all it is made. “In view of the bitter experience, we had in dealing with the Ansals, we shall like to get our money back and forget about it as a bad dream. Once bitten is twice shy, you see,” they chorused, giving a grave look.



Gurdwara Polls
Akali groups begin casting stones as 
campaigning hots up
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 20
With only 10 days left for the polls, the two main Akali factions, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, contesting for the 46-member Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee have resorted to “slanderous allegations” against each other, forgetting the “Sikh maryada” in the heat of the moment.

The SAD (Badal) Delhi unit chief, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, alleged that “the former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, has been campaigning along with the former Congress MP, Mr Sajjan Kumar, who was allegedly involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom. The Sikh community cannot digest the fact that someone could take the support from such a person.”

He alleged that “Mr Tohra was plunging the campaigning to such a low level that he has made a joke of the whole Sikh community.”

Further, Mr Avtar Singh Hit stated that the rival faction was removing the banners put up by his party, especially in Hari Nagar and Punjabi Bagh.

On the other hand, the SAD Delhi president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, alleged that the Union Minister and SAD (Badal) general secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, was misusing his official capacity and machinery, while campaigning for his party candidates.

Mr Sarna alleged that the “senior SAD leader had threatened our Dilshad Garden ward candidate, Mr L S Bajwa, and the SAD workers had intimidated the party nominee.”

Stating that he has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to prevent the Akali leader from misusing the official machinery, Mr Sarna stated that he had complained to the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections.

The mudslinging is not confined to senior leaders alone. The lone SAD (Badal) woman candidate, Bibi Parkash Kaur, alleged that rival “SAD Delhi candidate Jathedar Gurcharan Singh, used to teach gataka in the gurdwaras abroad. In the name of seva, he has been teaching gataka and making money out of it.”

Observers said the leaders of the Akali factions by making such slanderous allegations puts a question mark on their pledge to inculcate religious virtues amongst the members of the Sikh community.

With about a week left for the campaigning, the candidates are leaving no chance to woo the voters. Dressed in the politically correct kurta pyjamas, perfectly starched turban and donning holy saffron stole around their neck, they visit Sikh homes with their supporters to do their share of pressing the flesh. Some of them take a round of the ward in open jeeps.

They begin their day by visiting their respective ward gurdwaras early in the morning, greet the voters of the community in their house-to-house visit. While the afternoons are reserved for strategy session, in the evening, it is time for street-corner meetings.

Meanwhile, the SAD (Badal) has suffered a blow with senior leaders of the party defecting to the rival faction.



The unknown soldier in the defence of territorial integrity
Cecil Victor

This is a second part of the special report on how the National Capital Region has emerged as the very hub of national security and how it plays a strategic role in the nation’s defence.

New Delhi, June 20
After months of cajoling and written requests, the Indian Army revealed that it has 400 dogs (which works out to fewer than one dog per brigade, presuming again, that all of them are deployed in J and K). The Delhi Police have not given a reply so far. The Central Industrial Security Force which has been entrusted with the task of protecting Delhi Airport took recourse to the Official Secrets Act to hide a gaping loophole in its defensive posture.

The Border Security Force reply was both comprehensive and indicative of the extent of inadequacy of an acknowledged superior means of detection of explosives. The BSF, the encampments of which have been attacked by terrorists in J and K on several occasions, has only seven dogs deployed there. The BSF provides trained dogs for infantry patrol (anti-infiltration), explosive sniffing, and guard duties for all the Central Police Organisations and Special Police Organisations under the Ministry of Home Affairs. It has the grace to admit that “under the present scenario, there is requirement of 1,000 dogs per year”. At its National Training Centre for Dogs at Tekanpur in Madhya Pradesh, there are facilities to breed 60 dogs to produce up to 200 pups a year – and the shortfall between requirement and actual deployable assets is obvious.

As for the protection of vital points within the National Capital Region, the police forces of Delhi, UP, Haryana as well as the Railway Protection Force need to increase exponentially at short notice the number of dog squads. It is not in national interest to give to the terrorist the propaganda advantage of being able to enter areas that are politically or militarily sensitive. The fact that terrorists could enter the Parliament complex is a permanent blot on those who plan protection of such symbols of Indian nationhood.

Creating facilities to deal with the intrusion of terrorists into various sensitive complexes within the NCR is laudable by itself but, to be able to deprive the terrorist the psychological triumph of being able to effect a penetration of his target, it is better that defences are placed forward of the potential target so that the interception of terrorists can be effected well before they can inflict damage.

It is a fact of life that terrorists have evolved new ways of hiding explosives. The Rajiv Gandhi assassination, the World Trade Towers, and the Richard Reid “shoebomber” episodes underscore that the new ethodologies of delivering explosives on target are limited only by the imagination of the perpetrator.
It will be in the fitness of things that the agencies involved in protecting vital areas within the NCR do so with a tactical gameplan that will discover the terrorist before he gets to his target instead of having to ferret him out from inside his target – a potentially destructive operation as proved time and again in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Parliament House in the heart of the NCR.

Roads and railways entering the outer periphery of the NCR need to be patrolled with dogs to sniff out the explosives before they are brought into Delhi. The current method of using mirrors to peer under cars, uses and trucks is outdated because explosives are now carried inside the vehicle and the only way to detect them quickly is with the help of dogs. Thus, all checkpoints on the periphery must have dog squads to do the job. The Northern Railway, within which lies the NCR, has the responsibility, along with the Delhi Police, of guarding 117 road bridges that cross railway lines inside Delhi. These bridges have sheet-metal barricades to prevent miscreants from lobbing explosives onto the tracks below.

It is time to think the unthinkable and assess the effect of, say, a five-kg pack of RDX high explosive flung from an overbridge on a train moving at about 20 kmph within the crowded confines of the NCR because not all the barricades are in fit condition. The destruction and disruption of rail links within the NCR will have a cascading deleterious effect on the entire logistics of the war effort on the international border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Counter-terrorism is a manpower-intensive operation. Given that the Delhi police are already overburdened by their current duties which include VVIP protection, force-multipliers will make their job easier. There is no better force-multiplier than a well-trained dog.




DC ‘behind’ school demolition
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 20
The demolition of the premier MJR Public School by the District Town Planning Department and the district administration on Wednesday has taken a new turn with the owner of the school and senior advocate, Mr Fateh Chand Saini, terming it as “politically motivated” and accusing the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, of masterminding the whole operation.

Talking to reporters at the district courts here today after securing bail from the court of the Duty Magistrate, Mr Rajinder Goel, Mr Saini alleged the DC was angry with him as he had not deposited Rs 35 lakh under the small savings scheme a few months back. The DC, in a written circular, has said that the state government was annoyed with him and he must deposit the above said amount. He had also warned him of “stern action” if the requisite amount was not deposited, Mr Saini alleged. Meanwhile, Mr Goel also granted his son, Ravinder, bail.

On the other hand, the DC denied Mr Saini’s allegations, saying that he had only appealed to the general public to deposit maximum amount to the small savings scheme. Terming the demolition as violative of the judgements of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court, under which more than three- year-old constructions could not be demolished, he warned that he would move the High Court.



Delhi-bound passengers going through hell 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 20
Chaotic conditions prevail at Sonepat and its neighbouring railway stations, where commuters, particularly women, go through great inconvenience while travelling in Delhi-bound trains. Nearly 20,000 commuters, including 7,000 women, commute daily between Sonepat and Delhi.

The commuters are largely government servants and teachers. There is also a sprinkling of employees of private firms and a large number of milk vendors and businessmen. There are half a dozen trains linking Delhi with Sonepat and Panipat. The trains are always over-crowded.

However, the authorities have frequently cut down on the number of coaches, forcing the passengers to huddle themselves into the compartments. Milk vendors also travel in the suburban trains and have monthly season tickets. Their milk containers are a major obstacle to the travelling public.

The railway authorities have not been able to discipline them into making proper booking for their milk containers. Repeated representations made to the railway authorities to increase the number of second class compartments have been ignored.

The monthly season tickets issued to the commuters do not seem to guarantee them a seat.

A large number of daily commuters have been facing hardship due to the change of rakes of the 1 DPM and 4 DPM passenger trains by the Railways. Many commuters point out that the Railways had replaced the rakes of these trains by ordinary rakes, resulting in the delay of these trains.

This has caused great inconvenience to the passengers as they are invariably late. At the railway stations, the passengers can be seen frantically running from one coach to another, in an attempt to find a seat for themselves. This has caused widespread resentment among passengers, particularly government servants and teachers who commute daily to Delhi and Panipat. The daily Railway Passengers Welfare Association has demanded a high-level probe into the causes of frequent delay of trains on this section and urged the authorities to ensure the punctuality of the suburban and long-distance trains.



Khurana cries foul on scrapping of 
kilometre scheme
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 20
Mr Madan Lal Khurana, vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and leader in charge of the Delhi unit, today threatened to launch an agitation against the scrapping of the “profit-making” kilometre scheme of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) by the Delhi Government.

Mr Khurana alleged that the “callous” and “inhuman” move had left 1,800 DTC conductors “virtually unemployed”. “The hasty closure of the kilometre scheme is an attempt to cover up a big scandal of the government,” Mr Khurana charged at a press conference here today.

“The recommendations of the government first to take away profitable routes from the kilometre scheme for awarding them to Blue Line bus owners and shifting the kilometre scheme buses to loss-making routes and then declaring the scheme as financially un-viable were all part of a design on the part of the Delhi Government,” he alleged.

He said the kilometre scheme buses were mostly running on high-yielding routes which in turn accrued profits for the government. He said that he had written to Lt-Governor Vijai Kapoor pointing out that 1,800 conductors of such buses had been rendered jobless.

“The government-run DTC surrendered the kilometre scheme routes to enable the State Transport Authority (STA) to issue permits to the private bus owners overnight, thereby giving undue benefit to them. It is a big scandal,” Mr Khurana alleged. He also alleged that the move was “illegal” under the Motor Vehicles Act.

He charged that the government’s policies had landed the DTC in “extremely pitiable state” and that it was “hell-bent on leaving the commuters in Delhi at the mercy of private bus operators”. 


Congress’ ex-minister flays padayatra 
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 20
Former minister Subhash Batra has severely criticised the Haryana Congress leaders and said that the padayatra organised by PCC chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda in support of the ‘violators of the law’ has sent wrong signals to the peace-loving citizens of the state.

Addressing newsmen here today, Mr Batra said that while Mr Hooda was quick in launching the agitation in support of those who were not paying electricity bills and who created hurdles in the normal movement of the people by putting up blockades, he had adopted an indifferent attitude when the urban population was being burdened with heavy taxes like the professional tax, ‘bhatti’ tax and unprecedented hike in the house tax.

The PCC chief, he further alleged, had miserably failed to raise voice against the anti-people policies of the Chautala government and the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

He said that the law-abiding citizens, who had been paying their electricity bills on time, were the worst sufferers today. Such persons, who constituted over 80 per cent of the population, both urban and rural, should also be reimbursed 75 per cent of the amount of the power bills they had paid on time since 1992. This amount, he suggested, should be adjusted against their future power bills. The government would face no problem in acceding to this demand as it had already allowed a rebate of 75 per cent of bill amount to the defaulters.

Mr Batra said though he was not in the Congress, he had not joined any other party and considered Mrs Sonia Gandhi as his leader. He claimed that he had remained the president of the District Congress Committee (urban), Rohtak for nearly 17 years and had also served the party as general secretary of HPCC.

He said that he still subscribed to the Congress ideology but the attitude of the present PCC leadership had demoralised the party activists and diverted their energy on the wrong path.

He now plans to lead a deputation of Congressmen to brief Mrs Sonia Gandhi about the functioning of the Pradesh Congress leadership and the damage caused to the party with the padayatra.

Mr Subhash Batra told newsmen that he was convinced that the Pradesh Congress was responsible for the Chautala government coming to power and still was instrumental in keeping it in the saddle, because of lack of vision and disunity in the party. 



Interfacing frontier technologies with management 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 20
National Power Training Institute (NPTI) has trained more than 70,000 personnel in the power and allied energy sectors in India and abroad over the last 36 years. The National Power Training Institute, with its sustained efforts, managed a quantum jump in growth in the last two years and were able to sensitise over 40,000 people on the need for energy conservation and power reforms in addition to its other regular programmes. Dr B.S.K Naidu, the director-general of the institute said that the National Power Training Institute, an 9001-2000 ISO organization, was set up in 1965 as the national apex body for training and human resources development in the power sector with its corporate office at Faridabad.

NPTI operates on an all India basis through its nine (9) units located in New Delhi, Nagpur, Durgapur, Bangalore, Neyveli and Faridabad. NPTI conducts several short-term, long-term and custom-built objective based training programmes to meet the specific needs of their clientele in Thermal, Hydro and Nuclear power plants, transmission and distribution systems and similar energy related fields.

Dr Naidu said that NPTI is a hi-tech institute with state-of-the-art training facilities and infrastructure like 210 MW and 500 MW power plant simulators, power system training simulators and multi-media Computer Based Training (CBT) systems. As per one estimate, the annual savings in India can be as much as Rs 1,400 crore in terms of availability, performance, component life and environment compliance in our 70,000 MW thermal power plants, only if the operators are duly trained on simulators, which is NPTI’s forte.

Giving details of the various specialised programmes, Dr Naidu said that NPTI has also ventured into new domains of education and training by launching B.Tech/B.E. in Power Engineering to create technical professionals to run the Indian power sector on techno-commercial lines.

It has successfully inter-linked formal education with industry oriented specific skills through its postgraduate diploma and post diploma courses in Thermal Power Plant Engineering. By induction of these qualified engineers, NPTI has contributed, in its own modest way, towards improvement of all India average Plant Load Factor (PLF) of thermal power plants from around 63 per cent in 1996 to nearly 70 per cent in 2002.

During this period, as many as 2000 operation engineers were trained on NPTI’s simulators, whose sharpened reflexes also contributed to this improvement. Dr Naidu informed that the Centre for Advanced Management and Power Studies (CAMPS) of NPTI has been established at the corporate office, Faridabad, with the aim of interfacing frontier technologies with management.

CAMPS launched its first ever MBA in Power Management to produce business leaders with managerial and technical skills, duly sensitised to the needs for environmental protection so as to steer the Indian power sector towards commercial viability. The course was formally inaugurated by Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Power, on 27 March, 2002. Besides normal training programs benefiting the power and energy sectors, NPTI sensitised over 14,000 stakeholders from central and state power utilities, parliamentarians, policy makers, opinion makers, public representatives, mediapersons, consumer forums, trade unions, industrial organizations etc., in power sector reforms during 2001-02.



Bansi lashes out at Chautala
Our Correspondent

Rohtak /Jhajjar, June 20
Former Chief Minister Bansi Lal today refused to comment on the ‘agreement’ reached between the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and the government but expressed satisfaction that the resolution of the crisis has relieved the common man. He also lashed out at both the INLD government and the state Congress in separate meetings in Rohtak and Jasaur Kheri village in Jhajjar charging them with making false and impracticable promises before elections to the voter.

Talking to newsmen in Rohtak, Mr Bansi Lal said that he was not aware about the contents of the agreement but held Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and the BKU chief Ghasi Ram Nain equally responsible for the hardships the people had suffered because of the road blockades. While Mr Chautala had been instigating the farmers against paying the electricity bills, the BKU had resorted to armed resistance. “Neither I nor the Haryana Vikas Party support such agitation’s,” he said. He has a dig at the padayatra being undertaken by PCC chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda in support of the BKU led agitation. Surprisingly, he said, neither the BKU nor its president Ghasi Ram Nain had demanded support from the Congress. But it appeared that the Congress in Haryana had deviated from the path of “Gandhiwad” to embarrass “Ghasiwad”. Mr Bansi Lal said that the concession of 75 per cent rebate in the outstanding electricity bills allowed to the defaulters should also be given to those consumers who had paid their bills on time. This amount, he suggested, should be adjusted against the future bills of these consumers.

Mr Bansi Lal said that corruption was rampant in Haryana and challenged the Chief Minister to order an inquiry by the CBI into the assets of all the Chief Ministers the state had since November 1, 1966. He said that he had also made this offer on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha.

He said that during his nearly 12 years of chief ministership of Haryana, he had never gone abroad on official expenses. “It does not mean that I have not visited other countries,” he said. Many multinational companies had also set up their units in Haryana during his tenure as Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal said. The former Chief Minister hoped that the construction work on the SYL canal in Punjab territory would be completed within the period stipulated by the apex court, failing which, the Punjab Chief Minister might face contempt of the court charge. He believed that the SYL canal could be made functional within two months, if the Punjab Government was serious in implementing the Supreme Court directions.

Addressing a public meeting in Jasaur Kheri village, Mr Bansi Lal took the Chief Minister and Mr Hooda to task for “exploiting the people emotionally by promising the moon just to fulfill their petty political interests”. Stating that the just-concluded farmers agitation in Jind was the fallout of such promises, he said that Mr Chautala had assured the farmers before elections that their power dues would be waived but they felt cheated when the government announced the power dues waiver schemes.

Similarly, Mr Hooda had also promised to give free power to the poor in 1998.

He disclosed that now the president of the Congress party, in the recently held conference of its chief ministers, had directed them not to make any such promises. Stating that such promises were responsible for creating a law and order problem in the state, he alleged that late Devi Lal and Mr Chautala had put the state on wrong tracks.



BSF officer cremated with full honours
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 20
Assistant Commandant Sumer Singh of 103 battalion of Border Security Force (BSF) was cremated with full civil and military honours at his native Balambha village today. A contingent of the BSF and the Haryana police reversed their arms and fired in the air as a mark of respect.

The martyr is survived by his wife and two sons - Bhupender (15) and Jitender (6). Bhupender lit the funeral pyre. Mr G. B. Lohani, a BSF inspector who accompanied the body, said the BSF team was attacked with mortars and machineguns by the Pakistan Army near Badarpur during patrolling. He said Mr Sumer Singh sustained a bullet injury in his temple and died on the spot. Capt Inder Singh, MP, Mr Dharampal Makrauli, chairman of the Zila Parishad, were among those who paid floral tributes to the martyr.

Water tank built

A water tank would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 3.19 crore in the water works located on the Jhajjar road here by the Public Health authorities to augment the water supply in the town. According to official sources, the department has obtained government approval for the construction of the tank, having a capacity of nearly 2.87 crore gallons. The sources said that efforts were being made to increase the capacity of the water tanks through desilting. Both the water works in the town had been supplying 320 lakh litres of potable water to about 2.60 lakh people in the town daily, the sources said. It is learnt that there are 67 unauthorised localities in the town out of which nearly 20 localities are even deprived of pipelines .



Dharna against traffic snarls on June 23
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 20
The inability of the police to check the growing instances of traffic congestion, chain snatching and other hooligan activities has prompted the Samata Sangharsh Party to stage a peaceful dharna in Dilshad Garden soon.

According to a press release issued by the party today, the growing incidents of chain snatching and other hooliganism, which were a result of the heavy traffic that passes through the inner lanes, had long irked the residents who were made to put up with the ordeal. Since no action had yet been taken by the authorities, the party had decided to stage a peaceful dharna on June 23.

The protestors, who had earlier submitted a request to the Traffic Police of East district, are demanding that the traffic should be diverted to the outer spacious roads covering GTB Hospital and Shahdara General Hospital instead of using the inner lanes and by-lanes.

They claim that the diversion will help in reducing accidents and also help in the reduction of noise and air pollution. 



DRDA to develop solar energy park
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, June 20
The District Rural Development Authority (DRDA) will develop a ‘solar energy park’ in the tropical and sunny area of south Haryana at a cost of Rs 6 lakh. The authority has also decided to start a solar energy programme in Baba Kheta Nath Polytechnic here to impart solar energy studies and technology among students.

This was disclosed by Deputy Commissioner, Narnaul here last evening. He said people of this area would be able to look at the solar energy machines. The final touches to such machines had already been given and they would soon be installed in the polytechnic here. After the activation of these, students would get practical experience in the use of solar energy for running electric motors used for boosting water pressure and lights.

He said the DRDA was all set to provide subsidised solar instruments and lanterns and other solar power machines so that people did not have to be dependent on the conventional source of power.

licences verified

The scrutiny and verification of all types of driving licences had been completed by the SDMs of Narnaul and Mahendragarh. A total of 1,399 driving licences had been verified in Narnaul registration office. Licences to drive two-wheelers and light motor vehicles had also been verified. The Deputy Commissioner said that if the holders of driving licences did not get verified their licences verified before the June 30, the same would stand cancelled.

Killed over dinner

The failure to cook vegetables for the husband cost a woman her life at Bijawa village in the district last night. According to the information available, Darshana, wife of Dharam Pal, served dinner to her husband with “chutney” last night. The couple had arguments over the absence of vegetables for dinner. After heated exchanges, an enraged Dharam Pal hit her the head with some blunt article. Darshana died on the spot.

In another incident, a 100-year-old person, Abhay, resident of

Samalkha, died after being run over by a train. He was crossing the railway track to reach his fields.

New ADC takes over

Mr R. P. Bhardwaj has taken over as the Additional Deputy Commissioner here in place of Mr Ashok Kumar Yadav who has been transferred to Rohtak as Deputy Commissioner. According to a report, Mr Bhardwaj, soon after assuming charge, released Rs 18.75 lakh for the construction of 75 houses under the Indira Awas Yojana at Manoli Tonki village where all the houses were burnt in a devastating fire about two months ago rendering the poor families homeless.

The ADC also directed the gram panchayats of the villages situated on the embankment of the Yamuna to take immediate and concrete steps for the strengthening of ring bunds before the onset of the monsoon season in a bid to save their villages from floods.

Roadways workers

The Haryana Roadways Workers Union has given an ultimatum to the Transport Minister and Commissioner, Haryana Transport, to either accept the just and legitimate demands of the union by July 7 or face a state-wide agitation after it.

According to a report, the main demands of the union, among other things, include the regularisation of all employees working on an ad hoc basis and contract basis, payment of bonus, cancellation of all transfers of union activists, payment for overtime work, promotion of sub-inspectors and all other employees and implementation of all the decisions given by the courts.

Shop looted

A gang of thieves numbering around 10 reportedly broke open the shutters of a godown of a trader at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, last night and escaped with kiryana goods worth about Rs 1 lakh in a Tata 407.

According to a report, the stolen goods included 50 bags of sugar, one bag of ‘dal’, three boxes of ghee, rice and three bags of tea. The trader, it is stated, had unloaded the sugar bags and kept them in the godown around 1 am. The thieves, it may be recalled, had stolen electronic goods worth about Rs 60,000 from a shop on the Sampla road five days ago. The spate of thefts in this town has caused panic among residents and shopkeepers and they are demanding intensive night patrolling by the police in and around the town.

Hit by train

Mr Mohinder, a canal patwari, was killed after he was hit by a running train while crossing the railway track near the railway station here last night. According to a report, a seriously injured Mohinder was rushed to the local civil hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The victim belonged to Rajpur village.



Who’s defence estate officer?
Prempal Singh

Meerut, June 20
A peculiar situation has arisen here with two claimants to the post of the Defence Estate Officer. Mr Dhanpat Ram has been the DEO here since past three years. Circumstances have put him in the position of an adversary against Mr Majumdar. The latter was sent from Kirki, near Pune, to take charge of the Defence Estate Office here following the transfer of the Dhanpat Ram.

The whole drama ensued on the night of June 11 when Mr Majumdar hurriedly took charge as DEO. Unlocking Mr Dhanpat Ram’s office at night, he took charge in quite an unbecoming manner. Mr Dhanpat Ram, who had been transferred out, in the meantime got his transfer stayed through a CAT order.



Scindia Villa burgled, insider’s hand suspected
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 20
Unidentified persons burgled Scindia Villa, housing residences of the late Vijayaraje Scindia’s family in Sarojini Nagar area of South-West district early this morning.

The house was completely ransacked. However, the details of the valuable items and cash stolen were not known as none of the family members was there to comment. They had gone out of the Capital and only guards and other employees were in the house last night, the police said.

The burglary in Scindia Villa was detected at around 5.15 am by one of the guards who slept there in the night. The guards and other employees are being questioned. The police suspect the involvement of an insider as it is very difficult for an outsider to gain entrance in the highly guarded Scindia Villa located on Ring Road.

A number of employees worked there. The police doubt that the burglars would have entered the house in connivance with the employees. They are being questioned thoroughly.

Union Minister for Small Scale Industries Vasundhara Raje also has property on the premises, which also house the Jain TV office. She is not in town. The police would get the details of missing valuables once the minister returned to the Capital. Senior police officers visited the spot along with fingerprint experts and dog squads.

Auto-lifter held: With the arrest of a notorious auto-lifter, Sunil Kumar, the Delhi Police claimed to have worked out a number of vehicle theft cases in Delhi and Chandigarh. In another incident, two others — Dharam Singh of Bahadurgarh and Krishan of Rohtak — who were involved in several illicit liquor cases were also arrested for smuggling a truck full of liquor. The liquor was being smuggled in to Delhi from Haryana. .

In the first case, the police said that Sunil was earlier associated with the Sant Ram gang of auto-lifters. But he had been operating alone for the last three years after a difference with Sant on the sharing of the booty. With his arrest, 10 cases of auto-lifting in Delhi and Chandigarh were worked out.

One Maruti car, stolen a few days back, from Vikaspuri had been recovered. There are around four active associates of Sunil who used to pick up the vehicles and park them near deserted schools and parking lots. Once they had managed to get three to four vehicles, they would drive them down to West Bengal and Assam for their disposal. They used to take a recee on their two-wheelers and would drive away with the vehicles when they find a chance. They have been active in West Delhi for a few months.

In another case, Dharam Singh and Krishan were arrested and a truck full of Mastana and Bonnie Scot brands of liquor were seized from Nangloi, the police said.

Found dead: Ashik (35), a resident of Subhash Mohalla in Bhajanpura area of North-East district, was found murdered today. Bullet injuries were visible on the body, which had been sent for post-mortem examination. A case of murder had been registered, the police said.

Held for murder: The East district police today arrested Kailash Chand, a resident of Vishwas Nagar, for allegedly raping and murdering a nine-year old girl. The body of the girl was found from a deserted place in the area. Her chappals were also lying nearby the body, which suggested that some acquaintance was involved in the murder.

The parents of the victim were questioned who told the police that Kailash was their distant relative who used to come to their house often. The police questioned Kailash who confessed to have committed the murder, the police said. 



Bank manager, allies held for fraud 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 20
The manager of the Corporation Bank branch in Noida’s Sector 26 and two others were arrested from Noida and Delhi by the CBI, Ghaziabad, in a fraud case of Rs 15 lakh.

A CBI team led by Mr J. B. Singh arrested the bank manager, K. Ramesh Naik, from Delhi.

The CBI team also nabbed Arun Kumar, a resident of Noida’s Sector 26, and Gagannath Jha from Sector 22.

They were presented in the CBI court in Ghaziabad on Wednesday. Ramesh Naik was presented in the court of Ujawala Garg, since the judge, Manju Rani Gupta, was on leave. The court sent him to judicial custody.

It is learnt that the Zonal Manager of Corporation Bank in Lucknow had filed a case with the CBI, Dehradun, on February 29, 2000.

The inquiry, which was entrusted to Mr J B Singh of CBI, found that a director of a Noida-based electronic firm along with K. Ramesh Naik, Dinesh Arora, Arun Kumar and Gagannath Jha were all guilty in the case. The court had issued non-bailable warrants against all the accused.

The CBI sleuths are trying to nab the director of the electronic firm of Noida, who is still absconding.

Ashok Tyagi murder solved: The Ghaziabad police claimed to have solved the murder of Ashok Tyagi that took place recently in broad daylight. The police said he was killed by two brothers and a brother-in-law of Subhash Tyagi, who was allegedly killed by Ashok Tyagi. In fact, Ashok Tyagi, the main accused in Subash Tyagi’s murder, was released on bail three months ago.

The main brain behind the present murder and elder brother of Subash Tyagi was sent to jail on the charge of possessing a knife on Sunday. When Ashok Tyagi (42), a resident of Morti village under Sihani Gate police station, was going on a trailer-trolley along with his son Anju, brother-in-law Satyaveer, and Subodh Tyagi of Meerut when four youth shot him dead in a hail of bullets near kiln No 5. The youth was lying in wait for Ashok Tyagi.



2 held for impersonating HVPN officials
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, June 20
The police on Wednesday arrested two persons who were allegedly extorting money from people in Sobana village by impersonating officials of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN). The sources said that the duo, Jasbir and Sukhbir of Samaspur Majra village, used to raid the houses and demand money in case the electricity meters were found tampered with. Around three dozen persons were thus deceived by them. A case under Sections 419 and 420 of the IPC was registered against them.

One Shot: One person was reportedly shot at by some assailants in Chhudani village of the district on Wednesday. According to information, five persons, armed with country-made pistols, arrived at the house of Subhash in a jeep and car. Two of them, Jaibhagwan and Sagar, shot at Subhash in the legs three times. He received two bullets and was rushed to the civil hospital at Bahadurgarh where doctors referred him to the PGIMS, Rohtak. He was stated to be out of danger.


SDM commits suicide

New Delhi, June 20
Mr Jaipal Singh Kataria, 57, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Tis Hazari, reportedly committed suicide by consuming an overdose of sulphas tablets in his office today.

The suicide of the SDM caused considerable flutter in the Tis Hazari courts. A suicide note found on his person said that he was taking his own life as he was fed up with his prolonged chronic illness. The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.

According to the police, Kataria left his Pushpanjali Enclave house as usual at 9.45 am. He reached his office at about 10.15 am and rang up his wife to tell her that he had reached safely. Half an hour later, he started throwing up violently. He was rushed to Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital by his personal staff and other colleagues where he breathed his last at about 1.15 p.m. TNS


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