Monday, July 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Four of family killed in Meerut
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, July 28
In a gruesome incident, four persons, including an accountant of Syndicate Bank, were murdered with their heads smashed and their house ransacked by dacoits in Baghpat in the wee hours of Saturday. According to preliminary reports, it could be the work of a tribal gang.

The deceased have been identified as Uma Singh (45), his wife Usha (42) and daughters Rajni (22) and Deepshikha (19). Their bodies were found in a pool of blood with the heads smashed by iron rods. Among the ill-fated family, only Uma Singh’s son, Ramakant, has survived the incident. He was away at his aunt’s house. Apparently, the dacoits have robbed cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Meerut Range) Gurdarshan Singh, who visited the crime scene, said that Uma Singh’s younger daughter might have been raped before she was killed as the body was found disrobed.

The incident came to light when neighbours Sanjay and Satyaprakash knocked at the door of the house when Uma Singh did not join them for a morning walk, as was his wont, on Saturday. When they did not get any response for a long time, they peeped through a window and were shocked to find the bodies lying in a pool of blood on three cots. They informed the police.

Uma Singh’s body was lying on a cot with his head smashed and bones crushed. His wife’s body was lying on another cot and daughters’ bodies were on a different cot. Both girls’ heads were hit from the front. Several articles and clothes were scattered in the room and almirahs and boxes open.

Hearing the shocking news, several police and civil officials rushed to the spot. District Magistrate of Baghpat S. K. Srivastav, SP Deepak Ratan also visited the crime scene. A large number of residents gathered at the house and protested against the ‘inability’ of the police to curb the crimes in the area. A mob also manhandled senior police officials.

DIG Gurdarshan Singh told the NCR Tribune that he had suspended the in-charge of Baghpat Kotwali and ordered the CO of Khetra to personally supervise the investigation. The DIG has also ordered several police officials, including CO of Baraut and SHOs of Khekra, Chandinagar and Baloni to be stationed at Baghpat to help the local police. Later, the DIG also sought the help of the Army dog squad to solve the matter. Though a sniffer dog of the Army squad was brought to the spot, it could lead the authorities to any clue.

The DIG informed that prima facie it is the work of a tribal gang as there were cases earlier also where the same modus operandi of hitting the head with heavy iron rods and crushing the bones was used by such gangs. He said that the culprits entered the house by jumping a wall.

The bodies have been sent to the district hospital for post-mortem examination. The Superintendent of Police has constituted a special team to nab the culprits. Several persons of suspicious character have been detained by the police for interrogation. The combing operation in the area is still on to track down the culprits.

Later in the day, UP Cabinet Minister K. Hamid visited the crime scene and expressed his condolence to the bereaved family. Meanwhile, several employees of the Syndicate Bank proceeded on a one-day strike in protest against the killings.


CM harps on achievements; industrialists want more
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 28
The announcement regarding the formation of two committees for the state’s industrial development notwithstanding, the industrial community failed to get anything concrete from the much-hyped interaction of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, with the industrialists of Panipat and Karnal here today.

Addressing the industrialists, Mr Chautala, in fact, repeated the ‘achievements’ of his government in the field of industrialisation since he took charge about three years back.

He claimed that during his tenure, about 176 big industrial names had pumped in over Rs 27,000 crore and 5,000 small and medium units had been set up. Similarly, there was no labour unrest in the state and several procedures had been simplified and the ‘inspector raj’ limited to a bare minimum.

Haryana was the first state that had introduced the self-assessment of up to Rs 5 crore and the abolition of octroi had directly benefited the trading community, he claimed.

Terming the Form 38, scrapping of which is one of the main demands of the industrialists, as a “transit pass”, Mr Chautala had a dig at the trading community regarding corruption. He advised the traders to “change their bribe-giving habit”.

Referring to the development of infrastructure, the Chief Minister assured all help in this direction. To decongest G. T. Road, work on the elevated flyover would start here soon. Similarly, the 7th and 8th units of the Tau Devi Lal Power Plant, intended to generate 500 MW power, would be commissioned in 30 months. To tide over the power crisis, 15 sugar mills in the state would be producing 60 MW power each from the waste materials.

Stressing the need for industrial development to provide more job avenues, Mr Chautala announced the setting up of the two committees with representation from the industry.

While a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary will look after the grievances of the industrialists, another would be set up to generate resources for the state.

Earlier, the industrialists highlighted the poor infrastructure which was having an adverse impact on the production and export of the handloom industry here.

Mr Pawan Garg, president of the All-India Shoddy Association, while regretting the poor condition of roads, alleged that the unscheduled power cuts played havoc with the industry.

Similarly, water and sewerage facilities needed much to be desired. Railway link with UP, reasonable rates for change of land use (CLU), waiver scheme for the industry in respect of power dues and grant of subsidies sanctioned in 1994-95, reduction of sales tax on yarn from 4 per cent to 2 per cent were the other demands highlighted by Mr Garg.

Mr Ram Niwas Gupta, president of the Exporters Association, while demanding the issuance of the CLU and NOC on time, wanted the development of basic infrastructure if Panipat was to compete with the other countries.

Demanding the abolition of the Form 38, the president of the Small Scale Industry, Karnal, Mr Vijay Sethia, wanted reduction in the newly-introduced toll tax near Karnal.

Panipat Dyers Association president Yash Pal Malik demanded the allotment of plots from 3,000 square meters to 1,500 square meters at the rate of Rs 828 per meter.


Disabled take the wheel in Maruti rally
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Fifty physically challenged persons and their families took part in a rally, specially organised by Maruti Udyog Ltd at the Hotel Inter Continental here today.

Maruti is the only company that makes cars specially designed for the physically challenged. The participants were seen driving either the earlier Maruti 800 AT cars or the recently introduced Zen Easy Drive.

Earlier, when the participants arrived at the venue, they were given a time card, feedback form and a clue map. The cars were flagged off one by one at around 10 am.

The participants were also given a set of six cryptic clues and these clues helped them in identifying the six locations that were required to cover during the rally. Having cracked the clues, the participants had to decide the shortest possible route to cover all locations. Besides, the routes had to be covered at an optimum average speed. Participants with the lowest penalty points were announced the winners.

After covering a distance of around 60 km, the participants started returning to the venue around afternoon. Back to the venue, there were a whole lot of fun and games for the participants and their family members. The first prize winner took home a gift voucher of Rs 20,000 while the second runner-up received a Kenwood stereo and the third runner-up a Nippon car alarm system.

Maruti Udyog launched the Zen-AX Easy Drive in August 2001.

Earlier, Maruti had manufactured 2,000 Maruti 800 cars for this special category. The Zen-AX Easy Drive gives the freedom of mobility to the physically challenged. The company has sold 120 Zen-AX Easy Drive cars in India out of which 56 customers are based in New Delhi.


SC slaps Rs 30,000 fine on DU
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The Supreme Court slapped a cost of Rs 30,000 on Delhi University for its failure to introduce an IT course in two of its engineering colleges despite the All-India Council for Technical Education granting permission for the same.

A Bench comprising Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Justice Shivaraj V. Patil said, “With regard to the manner in which Delhi University conducted itself,” in dealing with the matter, “We impose on it a cost of Rs 30,000 payable to the petitioners within a period of four weeks.”

The court, however, observed that “it may not be feasible at this stage to hold any special session and commence the course from the last academic year, particularly keeping in view that the new academic year (2002-03) has already commenced.”

Disposing of a special leave petition (SLP) filed by some students against the Delhi High Court order, which had declined to issue a specific direction for starting the IT course from the academic year 2001-02, the apex court did not interfere with the High Court order, saying that it was not possible to put the “clock back” because the new academic session (2002-03) had already begun.

The students in their SLP had alleged that despite the AICTE giving the approval for starting IT B.E. course by the Delhi College of Engineering and Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology from the academic year 2001-02, Delhi University failed to start the course. Both the colleges are affiliated to DU.

The petitioner had moved the Delhi High Court after Delhi University refused to introduce the IT course and also increase the number of seats in affiliated engineering colleges.

A single-judge Bench of the High Court had allowed the petition of the students and directed the university to start the course from 2001-02 and also ordered substantial increase in seats of some other courses.

Delhi University went in appeal against the order before the High Court’s Division Bench which, upholding the single judge’s directive to increase the seats, directed that the engineering colleges “shall” start the IT B.E. course from the academic year 2002-03.

Aggrieved by the order of the High Court’s Division Bench, the students moved the apex court, seeking to uphold the directive of the single-judge Bench.

However, the Supreme Court said “though the unreasonable stand of Delhi University has been adversely commented upon by both the single-judge Bench and Division Bench of the High Court, it does not think it is possible to start the new course from the academic year 2001-02.”


Running before one can walk, PGIMS-style!
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 28
Putting the cart before the horse has become the order of the day in Pt B.D. Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), the only government-owned medical college in the state. Whether it is out of ignorance or deliberate, it cannot be justified either way. The recent decision of the PGIMS administration (on which the government’s consent is said to have been obtained) to convert the trauma centre building into a cardio-neuro centre and shift the departments of cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and cardiology in that building is the latest in the series. There are a total of four faculty members in these three departments-one each in the departments of cardiac surgery and cardiology and two in the department of neurosurgery. Optimum utilisation of two blocks of a three-storeyed building (to which two more blocks are being added) by a total of four staff members is not difficult to imagine. The building is being planned to be equipped for these three departments at a cost of several crores of rupees.

The moot point is that whether the equipment should be purchased first or the user faculty should be recruited first. There are no two opinions that super speciality departments like cardiac surgery, neurosurgery etc can only function properly when there is a dedicated team of surgeons, anaesthetists and other paramedical staff supported by specialists from other departments as per the need. If the department has a single junior surgeon and no trained anaesthetist, the department cannot function despite best efforts.

Two anaesthetists were given short-term training in cardiac anaesthesia about a year ago. One of them has gone to Colombo and the other to Kuwait. A second lecturer in cardiac surgery has been absent from duty for the past more than nine months. There is only one lecturer left in the entire department. Equipment worth almost Rs 5 crore has already been purchased for this department and still more purchases are being planned.

However, unfortunately, no serious efforts have been made to make recruitment for these super speciality departments.

During the past several years, there has been no addition to the staff in these departments. Rather, there has been a decrease from what was available even previously. Against the sanctioned posts of Professor in these departments, persons have been promoted in other departments, who are drawing their salary against these posts. Such actions give credence to the belief that purchases of machinery and equipment have preference over making available competent senior faculty. Under such circumstances and with the available staff and past experience what justification can be given for spending huge sums of money on buildings and machinery or equipment for these unmanned departments?

On the one hand, departments are planned for shifting but on the other hand, huge amount is being spent on renovating the old ICU and operation theatres already in possession of these departments. There has been an unfortunate tendency to start new departments without recruiting faculty and staff for them. The manpower and space are taken for them by squeezing some other sister departments. The end result is that a new department is not able to develop and the existing department gets crippled.


Chorus to declare state drought-hit
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, July 28
There has been an increase in the demand to declare Haryana drought-hit. While raising their demand to provide relief to farmers, various political leaders and their parties have announced their strategies to highlight the problem and put pressure on the state government.

The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who came here today to condole the death of Mr Pratap Singh, elder brother of Mr Ram Chander Bainda, Lok Sabha member from here, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that his party would launch a dharna programme from August 1 to highlight the drought issue.

Criticising the Chautala government for its failure to declare drought-hit districts in the state, he said neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana had already taken the lead. He wondered why the Haryana Government had been keeping mum while the kharif crop in a majority of the districts had been badly damaged due to dry spell. He said dharnas would be held district-wise and the first one would be in Jhajjar.

Claiming that the Chautala government had failed miserably on nearly every front, Mr Hooda said the drought had also exposed the state government, which, he said, had been making tall claims and befooling the people through various political stunts. He alleged that the authorities had been making false claims on the availability of water and power as the people in rural areas were not getting power supply for more than four to six hours a day. Besides, unscheduled cuts of up to six to 10 hours daily were being made in urban areas.

Alleging that the BJP and INLD MPs from Haryana had failed to take up the issue properly in Parliament, he said he would request his party MPs from other states to highlight the grievances and problems of farmers of Haryana.

Meanwhile, the leader of the BJP Legislative Party in the state assembly and MLA from Mewla Maharajpur here, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, said today that a delegation of BJP leaders from Haryana would meet the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, shortly to take up the issue.

Charging the Haryana Chief Minister with failing to declare Haryana drought-hit, he said Mr Chautala, who claimed to be a messiah of farmers, had been unmoved by the plight of farmers due to loss of crops. Leaders of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) and the Janata Dal (United) have also demanded declaration of a majority of the districts as drought-hit.


Danseuse sends up a prayer to Indra for rain
Tribune News Service

RAIN DANCE: A chase after rainbows!

New Delhi, July 28
The Parliament Street crossing today came alive to the beats of the dholak and the jingle of ankle bells as renowned danseuse, Rani Singhal, performed the traditional Bharatanatyam to appease the rain god Indra as hundreds of men and women in the audience literally sweated it out in the intense heat and humidity.

Unconcerned by the heat, Rani went through the intricate dance steps with practised perfection keeping step with the lilting notes of Raag Amrit Barsni, a raag meant specially to invoke rains.

The special performance was organised by the National Human Rights Council, a voluntary organisation based in the Capital’s Pahar Ganj and the idea was to appease the rain god as the entire region was in the grip of a drought.

Mr Subhash Gupta, president of the council and the main organiser of the rain dance under the open skies with the imposing Parliament House in the backdrop, said that it was apparent that the rain god, Indra devta was upset since there had been no rains at all in the region, raising a spectre of drought.

Traditionally it was the ‘apsaras’ who danced in front of the rain god in order to keep him happy.

Mr Gupta claimed that while Yajnas and special prayers had been performed in several parts of the northern region and the Capital to invoke rains, these had apparently proved futile.

He thought of this idea after reading the scriptures in which he claimed it is mentioned that if the rain god is angry, he needs to be placated.

Mr Gupta said that he was confident that spectacular performance by Rani Singhal would do the trick.

After seeking the requisite permission from the authorities, a stage was erected at the crossing. The dance festival lasted well over two hours and the audience left on a hopeful note as some clouds started gathering in the sky above.


Parties must think up a people-friendly form of protest
Prem Kumar

Another season of rallies, bandhs and dharnas has been opened by the great rabble-rouser of Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party president Madan Lal Khurana. The occasion was the protest bandh to spotlight the power and water crisis in the national Capital, rather the state of Delhi. The occasion was also to announce the arrival on the scene of BJP’s master storm trooper Khurana on the scene to get the party out of the dumps following its humiliation in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections and to prepare it for the big fight for the state Assembly.

The cause is understandable, the motive too is not difficult to decipher, the man opening the innings is also familiar to the people of Delhi. Only the context has changed and the organisers knew it too. Last Monday, the day of the bandh, was hot and sultry despite that freak shower the previous day. The people are already irritated by the weather and the unbearable civic conditions in the city. They would explode at the slightest provocation. It is good that Khurana chose a day when a large number of shops have their weekly closed day —the Congress, which is the ruling party in Delhi state, says that 70 percent of the shops normally observe the weekly closure on Monday. He was also wise in not covering transport and, what he describes as essential services in the bandh, giving the minimum cause to the people to grumble. That way, the people are unhappy with the BJP, it was only proper not to give them an additional cause to be annoyed.

It is natural that Khurana should describe the bandh as a great success and the Congress should call it a flop. The fact is that many shopkeepers who do not close on this day wanted to open their shops but had to close because of the demonstrating workers of the party most of whom looked like street urchins or idle youth, according to the TV images. At some places, it was like the hide and seek and the shops were reopened after they left.

Protest rallies had started in Delhi when life was more comfortable and the people had more leisure and better mood to take part in the agitations. The large public rallies or meetings were held at Ramlila grounds which could accommodate huge crowds away from the normal road traffic. Another favourite spot was the lawns along the Rajpath where there was a lot of green and sort of a long water feature to make it more comfortable. The additional advantage in the Rajpath lawns was that office-goers joined the rallyists during lunch hour and stayed longer if they found it interesting. Forceful speeches were made because there used to be popular leaders to make them. The hawkers had a field day and the traffic also continued to flow on the Rajpath and other roads crossing it. These rallies did not bother anybody. It was only rarely that the protesters were brought in a procession from some other points necessitating the suspension of traffic on those roads.

Ramlila grounds cease to be used much because the organisers can no longer mobilise huge crowds and thin crowds in large grounds make it unimpressive especially for the electronic media and news photographers. The lawns along the Rajpath are no longer available for such activity. The real reason is best known to the authorities, though there can be claimed reasons like security, spoiling of lawns, etc. In any case, this area is more VIPish and the crowds, which may turn into mobs sometimes, can be diverted to those areas as are used by common citizens. So, we have these rallies on Parliament Street or Jantar Mantar Road. That these two spots are near Parliament House is only a notional advantage. That it is close to the Parliament Street police station is incidental. If the normal traffic goes haywire, it is for the people to avoid. That many people who have work in this area and can neither drive into it nor find a place to park their vehicle and walk up to the concerned office is their botheration. The situation has become more complex with parts of the roads in the area made unusable because of construction work for the Metro Railway. You can go round the entire place without finding a chink to enter what looks like a fortress during a rally

Now for the bandhs. Surely Khurana and others must be planning more of them to confront the Congress government of Delhi. They can cause immense misery to the people in many ways. The present generation of Delhiwalas do not seem to be very fond of bandhs and dharnas unlike the people in cities like Kolkata. Most of them depend heavily on road transport, public or private and feel miserable in the absence of transport, the distances being long and public offices, schools, colleges, railway stations, airport and such other destinations spread all over in a haphazard manner. More and more citizens in all age groups have started asking questions about the mode of agitation by political parties. They wonder if the political leaders cannot come up with more original and effective ways of protest without causing inconvenience to the citizens for whom they are organising the protest. The more intelligent among them also believe that the exercise is meant to make a public demonstration rather than doing something tangible to solve a problem. They say that both the Congress and the BJP have had their respective tenures in government and have done little to solve the people’s problems like power and water shortage, inadequate transport facilities and simplifying office procedures to deal with the public complaints. How is it that they remember to “fight” for people’s interests and causes when they are in the opposition?

It is clear to an average citizen that both the BJP and the Congress will be seen being more active in streets than in their respective offices — Congress running Delhi Government and BJP in power at the Centre — till the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. This would be to mark their presence before the electorate. Otherwise, they could solve many of the people’s problems if they were to deal with them effectively in their respective domains of power. One example is that of CNG which is in a mess in Delhi and the two together can solve it easily. Even if it calls for a protest activity, there are new ways being tried elsewhere in the world and there is no reason that our political parties also take to them. What is needed today is a people-friendly form of public protest.

Tribute to Sanjoy

It was in July 1997 that Sanjoy Ghose, a promising young man who had dedicated his life to public cause, had been abducted by ULFA militants in Majuli, the world’s largest riverine island in Assam and went missing. A Delhi boy who graduated from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand and got his Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Oxford, he had decided to take to development work in rural areas. I had seen his work in the desert of Rajasthan and also the affection and respect he enjoyed among the villagers of areas near Bikaner. He had gone with his colleagues to Assam to help the rural folk with development schemes knowing fully well how risky it was in those days of militancy. He was the founder general secretary of Charkha, a voluntary non-government organisation, which was set up in October 1994 with the realisation that developmental issues pertaining to rural India were not receiving adequate coverage in mainline media.

The NGO is still active with its base in Delhi. It serves as a link between grassroots activists, rural India, NGOs and the mainstream media. Its objective is that constructive and positive aspects of all development work receive media attention. It also helps draw attention to the underprivileged and unknown millions whose cause has got overlooked somehow. Already, it has 400 features published in English, 300 in Hindi with about 125 mainline media vehicles in the print, visual and electronic systems having used Charkha features. It has also published a number of books on issues like conservation of natural resources, water harvesting and such other projects. It has been organising training workshops for print and visual media in difficult areas to develop writing skills so as to empower the underprivileged to express their concerns. It plans to develop a documentation resource centre on panchayat raj institutions with special focus on women, children and related issues.

Cooling gadgets

A side advantage of the delayed monsoon this time has been the continued use of room coolers, which used to become ineffective the moment the rains set in bringing massive humidity with them. The usefulness of these coolers was also realised because of the power crisis in and around Delhi. The smaller size coolers could be made functional with the power drawn from generators and inverters and could result in some relief. Air-conditioners are not possible to run with small generators, surely not with inverters, which most households have acquired. With the electricity supply being normal, a room cooler is preferred any day by an average citizen because of less power needed to run it as against air-conditioners.

Yet another interesting offshoot of the present state of power supply in Delhi, which is erratic, often interrupted and fluctuating, is the people’s preference for normal refrigerators as compared to frost-free ones. As the electricity goes off because of power cut, tripping or breakdown, the ice formed in the freezer keeps the refrigerator cool to save the food stored there. The frost-free refrigerator does not have the same advantage. The manufacturers too seem to have realised that the traditional type refrigerator would sell more here.

History course

While the higher authorities in the field of education at the Centre seem to be engaged in correcting or removing distortions in history, the students in Faridabad seem to have developed a liking for history as a subject whatever way it is written. The Government College at Faridabad, a fairly large institution catering not only to this satellite town but neighbouring areas, has revived the Master’s course in history this year with more than 30 students having enrolled for the course within the first few days of the announcement with more wanting to get into it. Interestingly, this course was discontinued only last year but had to be revived within a year looking at the demand for the course. This is the only affiliated college of Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak in Haryana which has an MA course in history. It is possible that there is always an overflow of students wanting to take up this course but not getting admission in Delhi colleges. What one does not understand, however, is the reason for discontinuing the course last year when it had some 56 students studying for it. The question becomes relevant because the course has been run successfully since 1978 there and the college has adequate infrastructure including the faculty for it.

‘Gas’ stations

Last time we wrote of traffic jams caused by crowding of buses and autorickshaws waiting for CNG supplies at gas stations, which are generally adjoining petrol pumps. These places not only cause confusion on the road on both sides of the pump but are a traffic hazard at the particular spots with buses entering or coming out of the roads already rendered narrow because of long rows of buses and autos parked on them. A friend, who went to get petrol for his car at one of these places, has come up with another alarming discovery. The place was stinking as if it is a large public lavatory not cleaned for days. One can understand it. After all, hundreds of drivers of buses and rickshaws spend almost whole days or whole nights there. They could bring their tiffin or can go to a nearby ‘dhaba’ to buy their food but where would they go to answer the call of nature. In this heat and humidity, one’s intake of water is also substantial requiring one to go often to ease oneself. There are no urinals and lavatories to cope with such a demand. The petrol pumps do have a single toilet but it is neither enough nor available for such large numbers of people. It is obvious that they use the vacant areas around for the purpose. That these places would stink is nothing unusual. How does one deal with such a situation? 


Plastic unit destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Property worth lakhs of rupees was destroyed in a devastating fire that broke out in a plastic factory at Peeragarhi Chowk, Udyog Nagar in Nangloi this morning.

The fire broke out on the second floor of the factory building which was packed with plastic goods used for manufacturing plastic slippers. The fire continued for several hours and destroyed the entire factory. The first and ground floors were also packed with combustible materials and could have been destroyed in the fire but presence of mind of the personnel of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) saved it, a spokesman of the DFS said.

The DFS rushed 28 fire-fighters, which took around four hours to control the blaze. It could have been put out earlier but the strong gusts of wind fanned it and within minutes, it engulfed the entire second floor.

According to preliminary inquiry, a possible short circuit could have caused the fire. When it broke out, the factory was closed as it was a Sunday, a weekly holiday. Only a watchman was on duty. He noticed the flames coming from one of the rooms of the second floor and informed the DFS. No loss of life was reported.

Since flames were leaping high, the DFS personnel feared that it could spread to the neighbouring factories and other floors of the plastic factory. They managed to confine it only to the floor where it started. There was panic in the area as the flames were spotted from afar. Owners of the neighbouring factories who were informed of the fire rushed to the spot and some of them even tried to save expensive material stacked inside lest the fire spread to their premises. The police said that a case had been registered and efforts were being made to ascertain the cause.


Mobile van out to detect adulterated milk

New Delhi, July 28
In a move to bring about greater awareness about the need to drink the good quality milk, a leading milk manufacturer today began an awareness campaign in the National Capital Region.

Apart from testing milk for adulteration, this campaign also intends to educate consumers on healthy milk consumption habits and sources of adulteration of milk, to provide them with greater awareness to lead a healthy life, said Mr K K Bhadra, marketing head, VRS Foods Ltd, the manufacturers of the “Paras” brand milk. The consumers would be made aware of fat and SNF content and how to detect the presence of common adulterants and preservatives in milk The consumers can instantly check the quality of the milk that they use. This campaign also intends to educate consumers on healthy milk consumption habits so as to lead a healthy life. The testing campaign would be conducted on Sundays for the convenience of consumers. All that the customers would have to do is to bring a small quantity of the milk get it tested for its physical and chemical composition. The consumers would be given free booklets containing information like the sources of adulteration. TNS


A healer who serves God by serving humanity
Nalini Ranjan

Bahardurgarh, July 28
“Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa” is what Vaid Davinder Kumar Rohilla believes in and has been doing for the past 20 years. Every Sunday early in the morning, hundreds of needy people line up at his dispensary, namely Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa, where he distributes free medicines to the people of the surroundings areas.

“My father was a very good vaid and an expert in chemotherapy,” states Davinder. He has now set up a small-scale unit, Rohilla Industries, where he manufactures “Krishan” brand of sewing machines to keep up with his noble task, which was his father’s dream.

Due to the financial liquidity in the family and also the increase in the number of patients everyday, the frequency of distribution of medicines has been reduced to once a week, which was done on a daily basis earlier. In the remaining six days, patients are distributed tokens and only the lucky ones could seek treatment the same day, the rest have to turn up the next time.

Vaid Davinder claims to have cured several patients whom even the doctors had refused to treat. He also provides medicines for many chronic diseases like TB, cancer, infertility, disc problems, heart problems etc.

Vaid Davinder, being a very religious person, along with his family, has manufactured a unique pain killer cream in large quantity for “Kanwarias” for the upcoming festival of “Maha Shivratri”. Recently, he even introduced a mobile van, which shuttles between Delhi and Bahardurgarh everyday and distributes medicines on its way.


Home truths: Why children take to streets?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Physical abuse by the members of family forces many children to take to the streets, according to a study conducted by the researchers of the Maulana Azad Medical College.

Conducted at a Child Observation Home in Central Delhi, where Delhi Police bring street boys from all over the city, the study concluded that “the precipitating factors are physical and sexual abuse in the house, poverty, rejection and emotional insecurity”.

The study revealed that of the 400 boys contacted, 89.2 per cent had run away from their homes to become street children while 9.2 per cent had been working on the street and had not run away from home. Among the runaways, the age of leaving home varied from five years to 16 years with 58 per cent leaving home between 10 and 14 years of age.

“The reason may be that around puberty, children start ascertaining their identity. Besides, the parents are more loving towards and less expectant of younger children and at around puberty, the expectations begin to increase,” the study said.

The other reasons that emerged for children running away, included abandonment by parents (9.7 per cent), presence of step-parents (6.6 per cent) and both parents dead (6 per cent), in that order, the study said.

The study published in the Indian Journal Diatrics said, “Some of the children also showed healed wound marks, which, they claimed, were the result of beating.” The next common reason was the desire for economic independence (28. 5 per cent), which is probably a reflection of the deprived families they belonged to as both the groups (children ‘of’ the street and ‘on’ the street) were from the families that lacked basic amenities, it said. “In many countries, the foundation for homelessness is recalcitrant poverty, which prevents the family from meeting the fundamental, developmental and nutrient needs of the young. Studies in India have also demonstrated the same,”
it said.

Interestingly, a higher percentage of runaway boys were from joint families. Perhaps the frustration of not rising up to the expectation of a literate father had a negative impact, as the literacy of the father was higher in the runaway group, the study said. Also, a significantly higher proportion of “not runaways” had only the mother earning, which reveals that they were just supporting their mothers.


Robbers flee with rice-laden truck
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 28
Unidentified robbers reportedly drove away with a ten-wheeler truck loaded with rice when the driver and cleaner were taking tea after parking the vehicle near a petrol station in Bahadurgarh town here today. According to sources, the driver of the truck tried to chase the robbers but the truck disappeared near Mundela village. The police have been put on alert.


LJP on dowry death

The women’s wing of the Haryana unit of the Lok Janshakti Party has threatened to launch an agitation if the in-laws of Ms Sunita, who was allegedly poisoned to death on Thursday at Sector 1 here, were not arrested soon.

Ms Kumari Sujata, state president of the women’s wing, said a women’s team of the party visited the locality and talked to the neighbours of the deceased today. She said the neighbours told the team that her in-laws had been harassing her for not bringing adequate dowry.

The neighbours reportedly told the team that a huge amount was spent on the marriage of Ms Sunita in 1998 and almost all the household goods and articles were given to her. They claimed that several costly and luxury items were also given to Ms Sunita from time to time by her parents but, they alleged, it only aggravated the thirst for dowry of the in-laws.

2 killed in mishap

Two scooter-borne youths were killed when an unidentified vehicle hit their scooter near Mahendra Model School on the Sonepat road last evening. The deceased have been identified as Dharamvir, a resident of Baliana village who died on the spot, and Krishan, a resident of Bohar village, who succumbed to his injuries.


3 held for robbery
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Three youths who had allegedly robbed a person were arrested by the Saraswati Vihar police. The victim belonged to Kolkata and had come for a visit to the Capital.

The victim was robbed while he was travelling in a private bus from Rani Bagh to the Delhi Railway Station.

When the victim got down near the New Rajdhani Enclave, he informed Constable Naresh Kumar and Constable Rajesh Kumar about the incident.

With their help, the robbers were spotted near Sri Nagar Colony and arrested. They were identified as Pratap, Suresh and Raj Kumar. The robbed amount and a knife were recovered from their possession, the police said.

Body found

A 25-year-old unidentified youth was found strangulated to death in Sultanpuri area this morning. His body was found in a vacant land behind Delhi Vidyut Board sub-station on Kanjhawala Road. A murder case has been registered, the police said.


Army recruitment racket busted, one nabbed
Our Correspondent

Alwar, July 28
With the arrest of one person, the police on Saturday claimed to have busted a gang involved in the Army recruitment racket. The gang members were involved in extracting money from the unemployed, on the pretext of getting them a job in the Army.

The arrested was identified as Bijju alias Bijendra Gurjar. However, his three accomplices managed to escape, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Sharma said here.

The cheats had demanded Rs 60,000 from a youth, Gopal Gurjar, for helping him get a job in the Army. They had taken three documents that included caste and residential certificates from the youth for the purpose but later refused to return these documents and threatened to kill the victim, the police officer said.

The youth’s father then refused to give the money and instead complained to the District Superintendent of Police who promptly ordered action against the gang.

A manhunt has been launched to nab the three absconders, Mr Sharma added.


A fount of lights to remove darkness from your path
Tribune News Service

Geep, a leading player in the battery and flashlight segment, has unveiled “Geep Galaxy”, an exciting new range of flashlights. These flashlights are an extension of portable flashlight range. They are available in a range of sporty bright colours of red, green and yellow.

Geared to light up the darkest corner, Galaxy flashlights from Geep are aesthetically designed and are extremely appealing, both in their looks and functionality. They deliver a sharper, more focused beam coupled with a superior quality diamond light reflector that are packed into a light and longer lasting ABS plastic body, making these flashlights durable.

They have a positive non-slip grip and have a smooth switch mechanism. Light and small, they are extremely effective for both indoors and outdoors. These flashlights also boasts of a unique built-in stand that prevents them from rolling away making it easy to locate and use promoting user convenience.

New-Touch keyboard

Imagine listening to your MP3 or surfing the Net…through your keyboard! Logitech’s NewTouch keyboard and NewTouch Multimedia Keyboard allows you to do just that, besides typing of course.

The NewTouch multimedia keyboard has a standard keyboard layout with an easy one-touch media control to play CD, DVD and MP3 media files. It has intelligently integrated the web, e-mail, search and other favourite applications with a one touch Internet access key.

The gently curved palm rest can be easily detached if you want more desk space and reattached to rest your hands on.

The NewTouch basic keyboard has full-size, responsive typing keys that allow easy keystrokes and a familiar, comfortable key layout that lets you type right away.

For healthy hair

Hindustan Lever Limited has launched its all new Clinic plus shampoo with `revolutionary protein serum’. The serum spread along each hair strand leads to better absorption of the protein, resulting in stronger and healthier hair. This revolutionary change in formulation is accompanied by a complete makeover of packaging and price point.

Hi-tech washing machines

LG Electronics has launched its new range of fully automatic washing machines in the country – the world’s only 3-step turbo drum washing machine. These machines using the unique fabricare system, enable unmatched cleaning with minimum tangling of clothes, making them last longer.

They are available in three models –Turbo Deluxe, Turbo Choice and Fuzzy Nova. While Turbo Deluxe has a 6.5 kg wash capacity, the two other models have a 6 kg wash capacity.

They are packed with punch +3 pulsator, stainless steel drum, hot/cold water inlet, turbo soak, fuzzy logic control, auto restart, auto balance system, error detection, delay start and memory back-up amongst others.

These machines divide the wash process into three steps–saturate, shake and separate. Under this process, the clothes are washed in a perfect manner, kicking out the toughest dirt and also preserving the life of the fabric, which means that the clothes washed through this process stays as good as new, year after year, wash after wash.

Wide-view monitor

Likom of Malaysia, a world leader in computer monitors, in collaboration with Delhi based Mangal Electronics has launched an international range of colour monitors with wide view ability.

The unique feature of Likom new premium range of colour monitors is their wide view ability, which ensures that in a 17-inch colour monitor, view ability is 16.3 inches against 16 inches in other similar colour monitor available in the market. The four different models of Likom colour are available in two different sizes of 17 inches and 15 inches.

Digital inverters

Guard Electronic Systems (Pvt.) Ltd, a leading UPS manufacturers under the brand name Nexus, have now forayed into inverter industry segment with the introduction of a complete range of hi-tech digital inverters with various unique features and state of the art Mosfet technology that ensures an uninterrupted, smooth, efficient and prolonged power backup during the long load shedding hours.

Nexus inverter employs the hi-tech phase controlled CVCC battery charger that ensures that once the batteries are fully charged, the inverter consumes negligibly low power, hence saving substantially in the electricity bills.

The controlled charging also enhances the battery life, while the electronic overload protection prevents overloading on Nexus inverter, thereby increasing its life.

The hi-tech range of Nexus inverters also has unique short circuit protection and deep battery discharge protection system, which provide total protection against circuit and accidental deep discharge of batteries.

Customized wardrobes

Overseas Connexions Ltd, pioneers in international designer wardrobes in the country, has introduced a whole new range of Italian wardrobes under the brand name “Euro XO”, which truly lives up to its name, European Extra-Ordinaire from Italy.

It provides completely imported customized wardrobes and walk in closest, which are designed keeping in mind ones needs and requirements and are available in different styles.

The wardrobes are available in beige, cherry, fawn, dark brown, light green, yellow, blue and peach colours. Specialized accessories are available as internals such as pull down hangers, trousers rack, tie rack, pull out drawers, shoe rack, lockers, movable shelfs, corner swivels, full round basket clothes cabinet for easy accessibility and convenience.

Water purifier

Combating the killer germs is so easy now. Let Alfaa’s all new e-water do the job while you just sit back and relax. Pride of every modern kitchen, the technologically upgraded ewater can tackle the health vagaries unleashed by monsoon.

ewater is the country’s microprocessor controlled water purifier. ewater has an inbuilt microprocessor that scans the water purifier functions to ensure absolutely pure water.

The microprocessor tells the user when to replace the carbon or UV lamp, ensures you get only as much water as you desire, online monitoring device stops the flow of water in rare case of water quality not meeting the designated exacting standards.

Made from the best quality 316 grade stainless steel ensures non-stop nontoxic water. In the normally available aluminium UV water purifiers, with the passage of time, toxic aluminium oxide is formed which is bad for health.

The system works on three stage advanced filtration system–removal of the suspended impurities like mud, sand, silt and rust in the special bacteriostatic advanced filtration system, removal of organic pollutants like colour, taste, odour and chlorine through an activated carbon cartridge, removal of water-borne disease causing microorganisms by exposing the water to ultra-violet rays.

‘Tight’ shoes

Making fashion statement is the long-term propensity of Mirza Tanners, which has time and again inspired awe and excitement through the launch of its new trend setting range of shoes. This summer, Red Tape has yet again come out with its sleek range of shoe in the casual and the semi-formal category.

‘Wicked’ shirts

Oxemberg has come up with `Bias’ collection of shirts, a design innovation in tune with the latest, international trend in men’s fashion. The `bias’ line is for those who want to be fashionable in their daily dressing, a need that has been ignored until this innovation. This cotton blended, semi-formal collection has a colour palette inspired by blues, grays and maroons.

The essence of the design innovation is the diagonal cut of checks, at an angle of 45 degrees, which gives the shirts a smoother drape, maximum stretch-ability and flawless vertical fall. Designs range from micro checks to medium checks.

Bias designs actually makes the wearer look slimmer thanks to the unique angle cut, another reason for the soaring popularity of the design internationally.

Futuristic sanitary ware

Hindware, the market leader in the country’s sanitary-ware industry, has launched an exclusive range of one-piece closet– Orion. Notable for its contoured finish, futuristic and novel designing, Orion is yet another masterpiece from Hindware. Designed for better comfort, Orion combines aesthetic design and ease of fitting to bring out the most convenient one-piece closet in the country.

Orion comes with pre-fitted imported cistern fittings, ensuring trouble free operation, aesthetically designed, matching seat cover and choice of three pastel colours to match your decor.

Sports watch

Tissor, the renowned Swiss watchmaker, has introduced the Quickster summer special sports watch, designed specially for young go-getters. With its blue and white striped leather strap and smooth brushed steel case, reminiscent of the racing cars of the 1970s, this is a watch of people on the move. The open, 1970s style chronograph dial of the Quickster is in perfect accord with modern trends and its stopwatch hand is striking red, topped with the characteristic `T’, giving it a dramatically arresting look.

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