Saturday, August 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S

Main suspect held in Shivani case
Syed Ali Ahmed

New Delhi, August 2
The main suspect in the murder case of the Indian Express Principal Correspondent, Shivani Bhatnagar, hunted by Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, surrendered before Lodhi Colony police this evening. Pradeep, a registered criminal of Najafgarh, is wanted in a few other sensational cases committed in the area, police sources said.

It is suspected that Pradeep was hired by Shri Bhagwan, son of a former Haryana police inspector to kill Shivani Bhatanagar. Shivani was found murdered in her Navkunj apartments in Indraprastha Extension on July 23, 1999.

While the police officers were reluctant to discuss the development in the sensational case, highly placed sources said that the suspect was a registered bad character of Najafgarh area and was known to Shri Bhagwan.

The actual perpetrator’s name emerged during intensive interrogation of Shri Bhagwan who has been in police custody for 14 days. Sri Bhagwan was arrested from his house in Gurgaon on Wednesday.

The police are also continuing their hunt for a distant relative and accomplice of Shri Bhagwan. Identified as Sat Parkash, a property dealer of Jhajjar in Haryana, he is believed to have played a crucial role in the conspiracy to eliminate the then principal correspondent of the Indian Express.

According to the police, Shri Bhagwan was specially chosen for the purpose of hiring a killer for the job by some of the key conspirators since he was known to have links with the underworld. Sat Parkash, his distant relative, may have also helped him in searching for the hit man.

Several police teams, led by senior officers, are already scouring several cities in neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for the suspects. A team has also been sent to Chandigarh to question the Haryana Cadre Indian Police Service officer, R. K. Sharma, whose name has figured in the interrogation. This officer is at present posted in Chandigarh and Shri Bhagwan’s father had served as an SHO under him when he was posted as superintendent of police of a neighbouring district in Haryana. The home ministry and the Haryana DGP’s office are being kept informed of the developments.

In fact, Shri Bhagwan was traced from the large number of calls made by this officer from his mobile phone to him, sources said.

Meanwhile, special teams under the supervision of gazetted officers are taking turns in interrogating Shri Bhagwan to ascertain the names of other conspirators and the motive behind the murder. A senior police officer, when contacted by the ‘NCR Tribune’, said that they were confident of cracking the three-year old case during the next few days.



, BJP politics of drought or dearth of ideas?
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
At last count, 12 states were affected by drought. And of the six states that have declared a drought the Congress rules four. That is the backdrop in which chief ministers of the 13 Congress-ruled states will be meeting with Sonia Gandhi over the weekend. Dominating the agenda will be getting the Centre to accede to the demand of extending financial relief to the affected population.

The conclave of Congress chief ministers will come a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) national executive meeting in which the party will prepare the strategy to fight the Assembly elections due in 10 states over the next 16 months. Madan Lal Khurana, as the head of the Delhi Pradesh BJP that is organising the meet, is likely to harp on the issues concerning the party in Delhi that goes to polls next year.

Besides financial relief, says Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the discrimination the Congress-ruled states, including Delhi, are being subjected to will also be taken up. For the chief minister of a state that is reeling under a drought, Ms Dikshit says the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA Government at the Centre needs to be reminded that drought is a humanitarian crisis, not a political issue.

Politics of drought however has become as much a reality as the parched earth what with the BJP and the Congress trading charges. “Why is Delhi and the other Congress-ruled states being discriminated against ?” Ms Dikshit asks, alluding to the Centre’s reluctance to extend a financial package to the affected population. “Why is Delhi being singled out ?” she wonders when “drought is as much a problem for farmers here as it is for farmers elsewhere.” And, she continues, so what if farmers account for one odd per cent of the population? That should not render Delhi any less eligible for financial help than the other states.

Ridiculing the BJP for attempting to exploit a human misery for narrow political gains, the chief minister says one of their principal concerns will be to get the recovery of outstanding loan amount deferred by a year and an interest-waiver for the farming community. The Government of NCT of Delhi, she says, will renew its demand for Rs 30 crore from the Centre as relief.

Notwithstanding the differences with the Centre, the chief minister agrees Delhi will wait a fortnight before reviewing the situation and approaching the Centre in this regard. “Two months still remain for the monsoon to end. The Cabinet will take stock of the situation again and if the dry spell persists we will seek more funds.” In the interim, she adds, the government will release Rs six crore from its coffers towards providing fodder and financial relief, etc to the farming population.

The BJP, meanwhile, has accused the Government of NCT of Delhi of sleeping through the weeks prior to declaring a drought. “A responsible government that it so often claims to be should have known better instead of ordering a survey after considerable delay,” said Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Jagdish Mukhi.

If the BJP has found in the drought yet another issue to pummel the Congress, the latter has trained its guns on the Centre for tardy action. Development Minister Haroon Yusuf says if that party were serious enough a financial package should have been declared by now. “Instead of trivialising an issue they should rise above partisan considerations to tackle the situation,” he adds.

To queer the pitch further, the Congress says the Centre seems to have ignored the landless labour altogether. “Which is why,” Yusuf says joining issue with the BJP for trying to make political capital out of the drought, “we are insisting the Centre release the Rs 30 crore we have sought so that a certain sum could be extended to the landless labour also.”



RDX seized from armyman’s house
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, August 2
The Meerut Police have arrested an army personnel and seized from his possession 10 packets of RDX. A country-made revolver (.315 bore) and three live cartridges were also seized from his house. According to sources, a local SHO had received a tip-off that the army personnel had in his possession some highly explosive material. The former reported the matter to the higher authorities following which SSP Mukul Goel sent a team led by Circle Officer Somitra Yadav to raid the house of the army personnel.

The ten packets of RDX were found to be mixed with plastic; 12 detonators (7 simple and the rest electric), 5 primers for firing a detonator and other incriminating material was recovered from his almirah. Besides, the house of the accused was found to contain seven barrels (1400 lt) of kerosene.

The arrested person is Naik Ramesh Chandra of 236 Engineering Regiment, currently posted at Meerut. His unit is currently deployed in the Nokha sector on the Bikaner border.

On hearing the news of the seizure, several police and army officials rushed to the Transport Nagar police station where the alleged is being kept in custody. The police officials had reported the matter to the Intelligence Bureau, Army Intelligence and the local intelligence unit.

The IB and Army Intelligence sleuths have also interrogated Ramesh Chandra. He told the Intelligence Bureau that he had stolen the explosives from the unit during the Kargil hostilities; the explosives were given to him for use in the war time.

Later, SSP Goel addressed a press conference and showed the explosives to media persons. He said the police was investigating whether the accused had any links with any militant outfit. Also, whether he had earlier been involved in any subversive activity. The accused told media persons that he intended to use the explosive for killing fish in a pond as it was capable of detonating in the water.

It is learnt that the potency of the seized material is such that it can blow up a building in a 1,000 sq ft area. According to some sources, Ramesh Chander’s wife reported the matter to the police as she had quarrelled with him over a woman.

Ramesh Chandra’s Army unit commandant told media persons that a court of inquiry had been initiated. Later, today, he was produced in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court and placed in seven days police remand. A case under sections 3/5 of the Explosive Act and sections 25 of the Arms Act and 409 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.



Vacant posts missing in PGIMS advt
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, August 2
The advertisement for 57 faculty posts (14 professors and 43 lecturers) in the Pt B D Sharma Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) by the Haryana Public Service Commission on Thursday, has set the alarm bells ringing on the Medical College campus here.

Posts of some departments, in which the number of vacancies was the maximum, have been kept in abeyance although associate professors having the longest experience, were stagnating in these departments.

In the Department of Surgery, there is only one professor and three posts of professors are lying vacant. They have not been advertised.

A senior associate professor, who has put in 15 years as associate professor, remarked that when the present head of Surgery Department was selected as professor, he was not having even the minimum essential experience.

On the other hand, there are associate professors on the verge of retirement and despite having 20 years’ experience as reader and associate professor (against the required 4 years) and available vacancies, the posts have not been advertised for reasons best known to the administration.

Similarly, the vacancies in the Department of Medicine have not been advertised.

It is alleged that the administration has been adopting double standards due to which the faculty has lost confidence in the fairness of the administration.

In the Department of Cardiac-thoracic Surgery, a post of professor has been advertised and as per advertisement, the minimum essential experience is four years as reader. However, the Director, PGIMS, has reportedly recommended the case of a lecturer for ad hoc promotion to the post of professor in that department.

A senior professor remarked that these are the indirect methods to block recruitment of senior faculty and give back-door entry to favourites. When the post has already been advertised, what justification could be given for recommending ad hoc promotion for that post.

Many senior faculty members, on condition of anonymity, complained that similar approach was adopted in the appointment of Medical Superintendent.

To satisfy the faculty, the Director, PGIMS, sent to the government a panel of three professors for appointment as Medical Superintendent, but out of them, he quietly recommended the name of Dr O P Lathwal (a non-teaching cadre HCMS doctor) for appointment as Medical Superintendent in a DO letter addressed to the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

Favouritism is also alleged in the allotment of houses, distribution of air-conditioners ignoring seniority and so on.

Demoralised by such actions, many senior faculty members have left their jobs and joined other institutes.


Fake extension counter of bank busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
With the arrest of two persons, the West District police today claimed to have busted a gang of cheats who ran a fake extension counter under the Bank of India banner in Nihal Vihar, Nangloi, in West district.

The police, acting on a complaint that some persons had opened a fake counter for extending house loans and were forging documents in the name of Bank of India, arrested the accused Manoj Kumar Kaushik, a resident of Haryana, and his associate, Santosh Kumat, a resident of Sultanpuri.

Two hundred bank challans, loan applications for Rs one lakh, a large amount of money collected from firms and individuals, files, receipts, passbooks and identity cards of employment exchanges were recovered from their possession.

The police learnt that the accused also ran a fake employment exchange. One of the identity cards seized from the accused identified him as an Accountant Assistant in the Bank of India, but he would introduce himself to the customers as a Branch Manager.

The accused had also employed a lady receptionist, a clerk, an office boy and a security guard. Manoj would claim that the branch was opened in the area in order to help and assist the poorer sections of society. Prior to opening the fake extension counter, the accused was running a courier service for more than a year. He started this fake business three months ago.



Two cops who refuse to put their house in order
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, August 2
It is a police case with a difference. In this case, the guardians of the law themselves have to put their house in order. Many police stations in UP have had the distinction of being run without an officer-incharge, but this is the first instance of two inspectors staying put in one police station — two swords in one case, as it were.

This has happened at Sihani Gate police station in the city here. The matter has reached the High Court at Allahabad and from there to the zone Inspector General Police, Meerut. However, both the inspectors refused to retreat.

The UP administration had in June transferred eight police inspectors to different departments, including those of Sihani Gate police station incharge, Inspector K N Singh, Kotwali SO incharge Y P Ahlawat and Loni Inspector J K Singh.

After the transfer orders had been issued, the officials went all-out to stop their transfers. But due to mounting pressure from the higher-ups, they filed the departure reports from their respective police stations. Thus on June 12, SSP Chander Prakash posted Sahibabad Inspector as Incharge of Kotwali, City, while Rajpal Singh, who was awaiting orders in Police Lines, was sent to Sahibabad.

In Sihani Gate, R.P.Singh was posted as Incharge Inspector, but it resulted in almost a free-for-all when the incumbent inspector of Sihani Gate, K.N. Singh secured a stay order from the High Court against his transfer.

However, K N Singh was not given charge of the police station by the district officials. Then K N Singh is reported to have made an entry in GD of Sihani Gate Police Station and accordingly informed the IG police, Meerut. I.G. Police has instructed the SSP on July 29 to put K N Singh as incharge of Sihani Gate police station to comply with the High Court orders.

But strangely, both inspectors K.N. Singh and R.P. Singh have reportedly continued to work as inspector incharge of Sihani Gate police station. While K N Singh has taken a stand on the basis of High Court stay order, R P Singh is not prepared to let go the Thana charge, it is learnt.

This is not a once-in-a-blue-moon happening. Inspectors crossing swords is almost a routine in western UP’s police stations, insider say.

Sahibabad police station also witnessed a similar situation when the then DIG Arun Kumar ordered the posting of Kotwali inspector M M Negi as incharge of Sahibabad.

On getting a wind of this, the then inspector incharge, Sahibabad, Ashutosh Gautam had left by entering his departure in GD “to pursue the criminals” so that he could make efforts to stall his posting out.

For many days, he could thus postpone the handing over of the charge of the police station.



17 animals died in Sariska sanctuary
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
Seventeen animals have died in Sariska Tiger Reserve this year alone, the Minister for Environment and Forests, Mr T R Baalu, informed the Rajya Sabha, in a written reply today. He said reasons for their death include infighting injuries, trauma, liver diseases, poaching and road accidents. The exact reason for death in case of two animals could not be ascertained because the major portion of carcass was eaten by scavengers and the postmortem examination of the animals was not possible.

The steps taken by the Rajasthan Government to safeguard against such incidents include diversion of heavy vehicles outside the prime wildlife habitat, regulating the speed of vehicles inside Sariska sanctuary, regular patrolling by field staff and equipping them appropriately, improvement of the wildlife habitat and augmenting the water supply through water holes, involvement of local communities and non-governmental organisation in wildlife conservation efforts and strengthening of communication network.

The Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Ms Rita Verma, informed the Rajya Sabha that the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan has informed that a complaint had been received from a Member of Parliament regarding the arbitrary closure of such subjects as Arts/Physical Education in Class XI in Vishesh Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ghaziabad.

The Minister said the matter was enquired into by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. The Arts stream has been closed down by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan headquarters because additional section was sanctioned for Commerce stream in view of greater demand for the Commerce stream.

There has been a reduction in the sale of Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS) milk in Delhi in the last years mainly due to the hike in sale price of milk from Rs seven per litre to Rs 14 per litre from March 2000, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, informed the Rajya Sabha.

He said steps taken to augment the sale of Delhi Milk Scheme milk include better consumer service, increased marketing activities like conversion of booths into All Day Milk Stall, upgradation of booth infrastructure. The Delhi Milk Scheme is also adopting professional approach in different areas of operation like marketing, transportation to augment the sale of milk, he said, adding that there is a proposal to launch certain sale promotional schemes like special discount scheme for new consumers, home delivery agents and dealers to augment the sale of milk. The Minister of State for Railways, Mr Bandaru Dattatraya, informed the Rajya Sabha that there is a proposal to introduce 2055/2056 New Delhi-Dehradun Jan Shatabdi Express with stoppage at Haridwar during 2002-03.

The Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Ms Rita Verma, informed the Rajya Sabha that the Delhi High Court has directed that the rescued girls who have completed their role as witnesses in the lower court shall be repatriated to their respective states and properly rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society by the concerned state governments. A Delhi based NGO has been asked to help the Delhi Police in repatriation of these girls in coordination with local NGOs of the respective states. The state governments have been asked to submit comprehensive project proposals to the Department of Women and Child Development. Some of these states have since submitted the project proposals, which have been sanctioned under the newly launched scheme of Swadhar and general grant-in-aid scheme of the department, Ms Verma added.



Bhajan Lal’s appointment brings cheer to Ahirwal
Nawal Kishroe Rastogi

Rewari, August 2
The appointment of Mr Bhajan Lal as president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee and the simultaneous appointment of Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda as the Haryana Congress Legislative Party leader marks the return of the former to centre stage. Mr Bhajan lal, it will be recalled, has been in political hibernation since the ouster of his government after the poll debacle in 1996. Incidentally, NCR Tribune was the first mainstream paper to predict Mr Bhajan lal’s comeback in these very columns (Report titled `Bhajan, Hooda to swap posts’).

His comeback has been welcomed all over the state and has particularly brought cheer in Ahirwal. This was duly demonstrated when thousands of elated party activists from various parts of the state made a beeline for 10, Janpath yesterday and formally expressed their gratitude to the Congress President, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

Among those who converged at 10, Janpath included Congress legislator Rao Narendra Singh (Ateli), MLA and Haryana Mahila Congress Chief Anita Yadav (Salhawas), former minister A C Chaudhary (Faridabad), former minister Dharam Bir Gauba (Gurgaon), prominent Congress leader Rajendra Singh Yadav (Rewari) and former District Congress Committee chief Mr J P Purohit (Rewari), all from South Haryana.

Former Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dharam Pal Singh Malik and Mr Bhajan Lal’s son, Kuldip Bishnoi, formally introduced the various state leaders to Mrs Gandhi.

Mr Rajendra Singh Yadav (Rewari) told Mrs Gandhi that her decision to appoint Mr Bhajan Lal as party chief had boosted the sagging morale of the people of Ahirwal.

Mr J P Purohit predicted that with Mr Bhajan Lal at the helm of affairs, the party would surely secure a two-third majority in the next Assembly polls.

Prior to their visit at 10 Janpath, most of the leaders called on Mr Bhajan Lal at his 135, Golfline, residence and conveyed their congratulations on his elevation.

Mr Bhajan Lal’s appointment as state party chief has renewed speculation about his political manoeuvring. It is an open secret how he virtually `usurped’ power by knocking his rivals off the perch by engineering defections in June 1979 and, then, in May 1982. He has often boasted that he is a Ph.D. in politics.

The confidence in his abilities notwithstanding, only time will tell how far he succeeds this time in dislodging the deeply entrenched O P Chautala.



Another fasting doctor hospitalised
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
With one more doctor from the All India Association of Foreign Returned Doctors, sitting on a “fast unto death” to protest the Medical Council of India’s decision mandating an eligibility test to practice in the country, being admitted to the Ram Manohar Hospital today, the number of doctors admitted to the hospital has increased to three.

“Mohammad Idrees was admitted to the hospital at 12:30 p.m. today while Gagan Vyas and Mohammad Jameel Anwar were admitted in critical condition yesterday,” a release from the Association said today.

The rest of the four doctors are still on dharna in front of the Medical Council of India.

Meanwhile, Resident Doctors Association of Safdarjung Hospital and RML Hospital, expressing their solidarity with the striking doctors, have threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the demands of the foreign-returned doctors are not fulfilled, the release said. The doctors began the “fast unto death” on July 30 to protest Medical Council of India’s decision making it mandatory for Indian students qualifying from erstwhile USSR and Russian medical colleges to clear a screening test as eligibility to practice in the country.



Four public utility complexes inaugurated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
Mrs Memwati Barwala, Chairperson, Rohini zone ward committee, inaugurated four newly constructed public utility complexes under the Yamuna Action Plan. Two of the public utility complexes have been constructed at Village Shahbad Dairy and the other two at Rohini Sector-26. These public utility complexes also have bathroom facilities.

The area MLA, Mr Ramesh Kumar was also present on the occasion. On the occasion, Mrs Memwati Barwala said that to facilitate the bulk users, a scheme was being evolved to introduce family passes at concessional rates.

She also announced that a TB clinic shall be constructed in the village Shahbad Dairy after acquiring the land from the Slum Department to facilitate the treatment of TB patients close to their homes.

Mrs Memwati Barwala also informed that the blockage on the direct approach road from Rohini to Sultanpuri road will be soon removed. She said that an important decision has been taken in this regard in a meeting with DDA officials.



Demand for extra funds for trans-Yamuna area
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
Leader of the House and Chairman, Standing Committee, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, on Thursday said that he would make use of his authority to speed up development projects and avoid procedural delays.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the Municipal Primary School building at Radhey Shyam Park in the trans-Yamuna area. The Member of Parliament, Mr Lal Bihari Tiwari, former Delhi minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Mrs Deepika Khullar, Municipal Councillor were present on
the occasion. Others present
on the occasion included Mrs Kanchan Bhaskar, Mr R K Meena and Mr Bhuvaneshwar Singh.

Mr Ram Babu Sharma on the occasion demanded that 33 per cent of the development funds of the city be made available for the trans-Yamuna area, which is in proportion to the population of the national Capital.



Guru’s birth anniversary celebrated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
The birth anniversary of Guru Harkrishan was celebrated in the Capital with religious fervour and gaiety. Sikhs in large numbers thronged the Gurdwaras since morning to pay their obeisance to the religious figure, who fought against injustice.

In the historic Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, the programme started with recitation of Sukhmani Sahib and Nitnem. Bhai Gurmej Singh, Hazoori Ragi Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Amritsar performed Asa Di Var, Giani Sahib Singh, head Granthi of Gurdwara performed the Shabad Vichar.

Prominent ragi jathas performed shabad kirtan on the occasion in Lakhi Shah Vanjara Hall, where large number of devotees listened in rapt attention.

The DSGMC president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, led the community in pledging to follow the ideals set by the Sikh Guru.The former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, addressing the devotees recalled the sacrifices made by the Sikh Guru for the cause of protecting the religion. The Shiromani Gurdwara Sewadar Committee appealed to the community to follow the teachings of the Sikh Guru.





Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?

If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

BY nature every human being is sympathetic to other human beings for their common lapses. This is equally applicable to the Indian Police as we know policemen, too, are human beings.

We know that up to now policemen have been less educated, their training has been outdated, the atmosphere they live in has been vitiated and material facilities have been nominal. Yet one thing is clear that laymen still sing songs of perfect law and order in the remote villages during the time of the British rule. “The British rule was better and people could easily roam in the jungle with ornaments on their person,” says a Mev woman when encountered.

Things turned from bad to worse after Independence. Most policemen are now lethargic, slow, reactionary and dishonest. They do not inspire confidence in them. The judiciary has condemned the police force in no uncertain terms, without any mincing of words.

Despite all this, there are some tough supercops like Mr K.P.S. Gill and humane ones like Mrs Kiran Bedi who are out to give a human face to the Indian Police.

Both old and young policemen in the Delhi Police have a word of praise for Mrs Kiran Bedi and her staff at the Police Training and Reorientation Centre, Jaroda Kalan, New Delhi, where they are making their utmost efforts to give new shape and a modern look to the Delhi Police. However, Mrs Bedi, her dedicated staff and young reoriented trainees of the police force feel that the acid test of their training will start when they rejoin their respective duties. “We are afraid”, say the young policemen after the refresher course. “Practically every thing is impossible,” they say. However, they hope gradually things will change for the better as the young policemen are highly educated and bent upon taking reins from the old guard.

But again one gets hopeless when one hears about unbelievable incidents of police brutalities. The other day a promising and young female student doctor of Agra Medical College was shot dead by a band of policemen on the national highway near Agra.

She was shot because her classmate, a young male student doctor at the steering wheel, did not abide by the cops’ directive to stop their car. Later, nine policemen were suspended, a case of murder was booked and a police inquiry ordered.

In another incident, nine policemen were booked by the Chennai Police for their involvement in a dacoity. A woman was saved from the trafficking business from a den of vice. One shudders when one hears that she was raped by a policeman.

It is a shame when the police become a brute force of lawlessness instead of their becoming legal protectors of citizens. One hopes these incidents will soon be forgotten when the young, dynamic and progressive police force takes over the reins. One hopes that the efforts to give the Indian Police a human face will bear fruit.

For animals’ sake, bring Maneka Gandhi back

Having been associated closely with animal welfare work for over a decade, I have had the privilege of interacting with Mrs Maneka Gandhi on various occasions for the benefit of animals in distress.

As is known by everybody, Manekaji’s compassion and concern for animals is not superficial. She is sincerely and selflessly involved with the cause of animal welfare. She earned credibility and added respectability to the portfolio of Animal Welfare by sheer ground level hard work and enthusiasm. Manekaji, as the country is already aware, left no stone unturned to protect animals. Her integrity as a Minister, handling a portfolio that requires genuine sensitivity and fresh approach, cannot be disputed. Through your esteemed newspaper I would like to share my personal experience of her readiness to help, advise and assist anybody who she felt was committed to the cause of animal welfare.

A few years back we had approached her Ministry for grants and assistance to strengthen our abilities as an NGO to serve ailing animals. It is thanks to her prompt response and assistance that today we have two hospitals-cum-shelter homes in Neb-Sarai, Delhi, and in Sohna, Haryana, where we medically treat a large number of animals every day. It is a result of her help that our team is equipped today with two ambulances for picking up abandoned and ailing animals from various places in the city. Every time we attend to an ailing animal in distress, we remember her with gratitude.

The animal lovers’ fraternity of our country has received a serious blow at Manekaji’s dismissal, as the Minister handling the Animal Welfare portfolio. Honestly, it is a great loss to the animal lovers and the animals. Why was she shunted out so unceremoniously and suddenly after her long track record of sincere and praiseworthy performance? Will the real cause of her dismissal remain hidden in our bureaucratic corridors?

It is not every day that a Minister dares to be so forthright, unconventional and bold in the interest of mute animals, who silently bear cruelty at the hands of humans in the name of pharmaceutical/medical experimentation, food and frolic, transportation, hobby and entertainment and what not ! It seems to us as if she is God’s Angel, the saviour of helpless but lovable animals, who have few sympathisers in our self-centred world.

I request the Prime Minister through your respected newspaper, to bring her back to the Ministry and give her the Animal Welfare portfolio. Let us, the animal lovers, be assured that our interests are supervised by none other than Manekaji, who is Mother Teresa to the animals.

Irani Mukherjee, New Delhi

Education standard

Haryana is a progressive state. Nature has made it so. The mindset of the people has been helpful in its progress. Go to any part of Haryana and the same trend of struggle for progress in the people is discernible. Whether they are the original inhabitants like Ahirs, Gujjars, Jats, the weaker castes, Dalits and others or the Punjabi settlers and refugees from the North-West Frontier Province of pre- Independent India they all make the state a homogenous unit. All are hardy, strong, devoted and sincere in their efforts to make Haryana one of the most prosperous states of the country.

But the irony is that education here is the domain of so-called politicians and the bureaucracy. Education is the most vital of the assets, which a nation possesses. When it is not properly imparted, the deprived people suffer an irreparable loss. Quite recently, the state Education Department decided to weed out teachers in the name of rationalisation. The scheme is under way for implementation. According to the scheme, now there will be one teacher for 60 students in a class. Such bankruptcy of wisdom has never been seen in the state in the past 50 of years of independent India.

Once, I met two French ladies at Gandhi Museum in Delhi. They were teachers from France. They were stunned when I told them that there was one teacher for 50 students in our classes. They informed that there was one teacher for 10 to 15 students in the schools in their country. The state of educational institutions in both urban and rural areas of Haryana is getting from bad to worse. The primary needs of children like drinking water, lavatories for boys and girls, dilapidated school buildings, closed libraries, out-of-use laboratories, crowded classrooms or children sitting under the open sky at the mercy of the gods are some of the worst features of the schools.

Already, a petition on the condition of schools in Haryana is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The state has promised to provide schools with satisfactory drinking water supply within three months of the notice. God knows when the authorities in Haryana will wake up to the challenges of providing down-to-earth education to children?

Ujjal Pal Singh, Faridabad

Suffering students

In my opinion the motto of any institution should be the satisfaction of all concerned. In a large number of cases students of the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE),it has been observed, are least satisfied with the evaluation of their answer sheets. After seeing the poor marking they have no other option but to surrender to their lot as there is no facility of re-evaluation.

My son has also suffered on this count. He secured 89 marks in the math paper whereas he was quite hopeful of obtaining 97 marks. Had there been a re-evaluation system, I would have applied. It is

said, “Better late than never.” The CBSE must consider introducing re-evaluation.

Subhash C. Taneja, Rohtak

Litigation galore

During the past 20 years, there has been a huge increase in the number of service matter cases filed by government servants in the apex court, the high courts as well as the lower courts. Now, even minor service matter cases with regard to annual confidential reports, expunging of adverse remarks, grant of increments, crossing of efficiency bars, transfers and fixation of seniority are being filed in the courts.

Neither the central government nor the state governments have tried to analyse the reasons for the rising number of service matter cases filed by the disaffected government servants in the courts.

Litigation in service matters is not relished by the government servants because it takes considerable time to reach a final decision in the courts. It also puts great financial burden on their meagre resources apart from causing undue mental tension. Government servants are forced into litigation by the unhelpful attitude of the departmental competent/appellant authorities, whose rigid adherence to the letter of the law prevents them from taking a sympathetic, realistic, just, judicious, rational and logical view of matters, which come to them for decision. It has been observed that a majority of the service matter cases are decided in favour of the government servants by the courts. It may perhaps be worthwhile for the central and the state governments to compile statistics to ascertain how many cases pertaining to service matters have been filed by government servants during the past 10-15 years. More interesting, though, would be the number of such cases decided in favour of the government servants. It may be an unpleasant surprise for the central/state governments. To remedy the situation, the central and state governments should consider an amendment to the civil services rules to make the competent and appellant authorities personally responsible in service matter court cases arising out of the decisions taken by them. This would force the said authorities to act judiciously and take decisions in service matters according to the letter and spirit of the law. This would also minimise litigation in service matters as most of the civil writ petitions filed in the high courts relate to service matters of government servants.

O.P. Sharma, Faridabad

Premature demise

Vice-President Krishan Kant’s sudden demise on Saturday last close on the heels of the swearing-in ceremony of Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam drives home the truth as to how a person gets the shock of his life if he is deprived of his rightful elevation to a higher position. The people of India do think Krishan Kant was sinned against, which took his life rather prematurely.

There has been a practice to elevate the Vice-President as the President but political restraints and compulsions played their dubious role in making a departure from the established system. This augurs ill for the fundamentals of democracy and those at the helm must avoid denying anyone his rightful due. Mr Krishan Kant as Vice President was very popular and should have been elevated to become the first citizen. Anyone else could have been offered the Vice- President’s position to gain experience and wait to be elevated in due course. Perhaps that would have made Mr Krishan Kant give some more fruitful years of service to the nation.

R. L. Pathak, New Delhi

Choked sewer

Hygienic living conditions are the basic necessity for any person. During a visit to C-60, Ankush Apartment, Shalimar Garden, Ext. II, Ghaziabad, it was found the unhygienic conditions there are worsening with each passing day. It has been ascertained that since the past 10 months a sewer line in the area has been choked, resulting in overflow of filthy water and waste. The filthy water collected in the area has created a sort of pond. Water-logging is also adversely affecting the foundations of the house. This stagnant water has become the abode of mosquitoes, which are breeding there. If the same situation prevails longer, then due to insanitary conditions many diseases like diarrhoea can spread. Intolerable foul smell is also permeating the area.

It has also been learned that several complaints have been lodged with the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam. The employees concerned did pay a visit but did a temporary job. When approached again, they refused to come for reasons best known to them. Thereafter, they have stopped visiting this area to do the needful for removing unhygienic conditions.

The Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam is also excavating roads to put sewer lines but nobody bothers to fill the roads. Not only the vehicles but people passing by also face severe problems. Private builders also aggravate the situation by blocking the roads with building material like bricks, sand, and iron rods, etc. right on the roads.

Shweta Kohli, Delhi

Subsidised courses

For the benefit of computer lovers and IT professionals, the Computer Society of India was established in 1965. It has at least 20,000 members in the country. The Delhi chapter has as many as 1100 members. The purpose of the society is to provide a platform to encourage the exchange of computer knowledge.

The CSI, Delhi, runs subsidised courses and training to encourage e-mail communication. Shortly, the CSI will start a plan for evening lectures on popular subjects for the members. It will organise more seminars and conferences on the latest IT issues. The CSI also wants to play a pivotal role together with the government in drafting IT policies to benefit the common man.

The CSI also publishes a newsletter covering events and programmes of the Delhi chapter. For the benefit of IT professionals, it is also informed that the CSI has been representing the Indian community in the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) since 1974. All computer buffs can exchange their views on [email protected]

Rajnish Verma, New Delhi



CPWD engineer held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
The Central Bureau of Investigation have arrested an Assistant Engineer of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) posted at the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 8,000. A subsequent raid at his house lead to the recovery of Rs 5.35 lakh.

A CBI spokesman said that the complainant had executed three electrical contracts for the UPSC and had Rs 80,000 worth outstanding bills. The CPWD engineer was allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 8,000 to clear his outstanding bills.

The complainant reported the matter to the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI which laid a trap and caught the suspect, R. P. Goel, red-handed while he was allegedly demanding and accepting the bribe from the complainant.

The suspect was later produced before the designated court, he said. The CBI also raided his residential premises and recovered Rs 5.35 lakh of cash, 345 share certificates with a face value of Rs 3.32 lakh, 53 tolas of gold, documents pertaining to possession of two flats and a two-and-half storeyed house, the spokesman claimed.

2 held for murder

The South district police have arrested two persons Nanhu, resident of Chattarpur Pahari and Hemant Sachdeva, resident of Satbari and claimed to have solved a blind murder of Shaheed, resident of Chattarpur. The police also recovered a Tata Sumo jeep which was used by the accused to kill the deceased. It is alleged that the deceased, Shaheed, had an affair with the accused Nanhu’s wife.

Nanhu along with Kamal alias Pappu alias Kamal Kishore and Kiran Pal followed the Maruti car in which Shaheed was travelling. While the Shaheed stopped the car to relieve himself, the accused hit him on his head with bricks.

Shaheed was declared brought dead at the AIIMS. The police have launched a manhunt to nab Kiranpal, the brother-in-law of the accused who is absconding.

Vendor stabbed

A vegetable vendor was reportedly stabbed to death after a dispute with another person last night in the West district. The deceased Ram Preet (45), a vegetable vendor and a resident of Ram Pura used to sell vegetables on the footpath in Keshav Puram.

On Thursday night, he had an altercation with the accused, Vaibhav Sharma alias Montu (19), resident of Keshav Puram which resulted in Vaibhav stabbing him to death.

Burglars arrested

With the arrest of two burglars, the North-East district police today claimed to have worked out seven cases of burglary and one case of robbery. Three TV sets, one cycle and three gas cylinders have been recovered from them. The accused Vijay alias Abdul Kalu (27) and Azaz alias Azad Singh (30), both residents of Karawal Nagar were arrested.

During sustained interrogation they disclosed that they were involved in burglaries in several areas like Gokulpuri, Usmanpur and Saraswati Vihar. The accused, Vijay, was earlier convicted in a murder case.



Man shot for snubbing daughter’s suitor

TWO youths reportedly shot dead an ordnance employee in broad daylight here on Thursday. According to information, Mahabir Tyagi, a resident of Trimurti Vihar, was going to join his duty at 7 am. He was stopped by two youths, riding a red-coloured motor bike near Jalalpur Road poultry farm. One of them demanded that Tyagi should marry his daughter with him.

On his refusal, the youth reportedly pulled out a countrymade revolver and shot at him. Seriously injured, Mahaveer Tyagi was rushed to Ghaziabad’s Shivam Hospital where he died. OC


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