Sunday, August 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DTC takes first step towards reforms
Tribune News Service


The Comptroller and Auditor General, in his Report for the year ended March 31, 2001, says the DTC is sustaining losses continuously. The cumulative losses increased from Rs 202 crore in 1996-1997 to Rs 850 crore in 2000-2001. In fact, it was not earning revenue even equal to its establishment bill up to 1997-1998. From 1998-1999 and onward, the operating revenue did exceed its establishment bill but mainly on account of revision of fare by 66 per cent.
“The reason for such a high establishment cost is deployment of excess work force than required,” the report says. Also responsible for the mounting losses is the steady loss per kilometre. From Rs 8.84 in 1997-1998, it has shot up to Rs 14.28 in 2000-2001.

New Delhi, August 3
On March 26, the first day of the Budget session of the Legislative Assembly, the Government of NCT of Delhi had announced its decision to undertake institutional reform of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Four months later, it has taken the first step toward restructuring the transport utility by inviting consultants. The invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) for appointment as consultants was issued on Friday. According to sources in the Department of Transport, the finances and management of the DTC and the possibility of engineering public-private partnerships for efficient delivery of transport services will be explored by the consultants.

The invitation of EOI sets in motion the policy outlined by Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor in his address to the Assembly. He had said the road map for reform will be drawn up by the end of this year, which will involve identification of projects that can be posed for external funding. “Reforms,” he had also said, “are critical to improve governance and increase return on investment.”

The scope of the consultancy, the sources said, would cover complete design and implementation of restructuring of the DTC starting January 1, 2003. The consultant would work independent of the core committee comprising the Transport Commissioner, Secretary (Planning) and the DTC Chairman.

Giving a sneak preview of the shape of things to come, officials in the Department of Transport said the phrase to watch out for was “functional restructuring.” Which meant the DTC could be hived off into three entities based on their respective functions : inter-state service, city service and repair and maintenance. “Private participation in repair and maintenance will be accorded priority … Private players, including manufacturers, would be able to invest in keeping the fleet roadworthy,” they said. Another proposal the consultants could mull over is inviting private transporters that own 50 or more buses to run them in the city.

“The idea,” they said, “is to have the DTC run a third of the buses, a third by private individuals and another third by corporates. There are an estimated 6,000 buses plying now. Doing so will enable us to add another three thousand or more buses that will raise the capacity to 10 thousand.”

The consultants to be hired will also recommend rationalisation of routes, whereby every operator will ply buses on the not-so-profitable routes also. That will be to overcome the problem of no bus operator wanting to venture beyond the profitable routes. The consultants will also be studying the reform experiences of other State Road Transport Corporations in the country and elsewhere to recommend the best practices.


Cops zero in on key conspirator in Shivani case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 3
Three-and-a-half years after the Indian Express principal correspondent Shivani Bhatnagar was brutally murdered in her East Delhi flat, the Delhi Police is now on the verge of cracking the case and are hunting for a senior Haryana cadre Indian Police Service officer who has emerged as the key conspirator.

A team of Delhi Police officers, which was sent to Panchkula after the arrest of two of the suspects, Shri Baghwan, son of a former Haryana Police Inspector, and Pradeep, a notorious bad character of Najafgarh, found the officer missing from his official residence. The police party was told by the employees there that the “sahib” was away as he was on leave till August 11.

The Delhi Police has been keeping the Ministry of Home Affairs and the office of the Haryana DGP abreast of the developments.

Meanwhile, Pradeep, who had surrendered before the Lodhi Colony police yesterday and subsequently arrested, was produced before a city magistrate and remanded to police custody for 14 days. Shri Bhagwan, who was the first one to be arrested, is already on police custody.

The Delhi Police told Metropolitan Magistrate, J P Narayan, that Sharma had hatched a conspiracy to murder Shivani. “The conspiracy to murder Shivani, a principal correspondent of Indian Express, on January 23, 1999 was hatched by R K Sharma, IPS officer of Haryana cadre,” the police said in its application for remand of Pradeep.

The police revealed that Pradeep, in his disclosure statement, had confessed to murdering Shivani with the help of his associates at the instance of Satya Prakash, a Jhajjar-based property dealer who is yet to be arrested.

“Pradeep Sharma disclosed that he and one of his associates had killed Shivani at the instance of Satya Prakash alias S. P,” police said in the remand application. After committing the murder, Pradeep had stolen a camera from the flat of the journalist and passed it on to Satya Prakash, the police said. Seeking custodial remand of the accused, police said his interrogation was necessary to arrest other co-accused and to recover the camera.

Accepting the prosecution request, the court remanded. Pradeep to 14 days police custody till August 17. Pradeep, a computer engineer, who was working with Satya Prakash in his property dealing business is the second accused after Shri Bhagwan Sharma to be arrested in the case.

Shivani was found stabbed and strangulated to death in her apartment here on January 23, 1999. The motive of the crime is attributed to “her intimacy with someone,” with the needle of suspicion being pointed at Sharma, under whom Shri Bhagwan’s father Onkar Sharma had once served as an SHO.


Badal group accused of trying to ‘hijack’ Hari Nagar school
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 3
Mr. Paramjit Singh Sarna, the recently elected president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), today accused his predecessor, Mr. Avtar Singh Hit, SAD (Badal) group, of trying to “hijack the Guru Nanak Public School in Hari Nagar which was the scene of armed confrontation between the two Akali factions on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Sarna reiterated that the rival faction wanted to wrest control of the school as the property was worth crores of rupees. Mr Hit had claimed that the school was being run by an independent Suko Khalsa Education Society and as such the DSGMC had no control over it. Mr. Sarna, while denying this, had claimed that all Sikh institutions in the Capital were being funded by the DSGMC.

Mr. Hit has, meanwhile, left for Amritsar to appeal to the Akal Takth, the supreme Sikh body. Mr. Hit has declared that he was willing to hand over the school to the DSGMC if it comes up with the compensation decided upon by the Takht earlier. When asked, Mr. Sarna said that he would abide by the decision of the Akal Takth.

On the controversy over the suspension of 900 employees of the DSGMC, including school and college teachers, Mr. Sarna said that those found to be genuinely employed under the rules and regulations would be reinstated. A two-member committee, comprising Mr. Gurcharan Singh Gatka Master, vice president of the DSGMC, and Mr. Harinder Singh, Joint Secretary, had been constituted to review all the appointments made during Mr. Hit’s tenure. Meanwhile, the affected employees have formed an association and have threatened to launch an agitation if the orders of suspension were not revoked. A spokesman of the employees said that they were planning to hold a massive rally on Monday, August 5, and would also appeal to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Vijai Kapoor, and the education minister, Mr. Raj Kumar Chauhan.

The spokesman claimed that the employees of the DSGMC had unwittingly become pawns in the hands of the two political players who were playing a game of one-upmanship.”


Competition makes BSNL sit up
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 3
With private players entering the telecommunication field and posing stiff a challenge, the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) seems to have begun to realise that it must overhaul itself and bring about an attitudinal change in its dealings with the valued customers if it wants to retain its market share. The process of change has started in the BSNL department here, credited with providing phone services to about 1.25 lakh consumers, perhaps the largest in the state. The department is working overtime to have its own in-house billing system for the first time in a few months from now.

“The latest ‘Dot-Soft’ technology-based project, which will deal with billing, repair services and commercial aspects in an efficient manner, is likely to begin its work by the end of September or October, says the general manager of the BSNL here, Mr Yashpal Kataria. Talking to ‘NCR Tribune’, Mr Kataria said the in-house billing system would be able to solve a large number of problems and it would help the department to provide better services without any delay.

He said the `Dot-Soft’ project would enable excellent monitoring and would provide total control over the fault rates in billing, outstanding payments and detecting the problems in service in minimum time period. Till now, the billing was being done by a Delhi-based company on a contract basis and there were a lot of problems faced by the department in tracking down the lacunae, he added. Besides Faridabad, the Dot-Soft system here would also be serving the BSNL office of Gurgaon without needing any extra staff or engineers to run it. “Once it becomes operational, it would not only bring many things under our direct control, but a good amount of the budget could be saved, claimed the GM.

Mr Kataria admitted that private phone service providers, which had already started their operations in Faridabad and Gurgaon, had made a dent in its share but added that the move had begun to rejuvenate the department and making it more responsive towards the consumers. Besides holding training programmes, seminars and workshops to bring about change in the attitude of the staff, he said a tough message had been given to the employees who still thought that performance had little value in a government department like this.

Mr Kataria informed that a special cell had been set up to cater to the commercially important customers (CIC). These customers are those who pay a bill of Rs 5,000 or more per month. He said all complaints and needs of CICs would be looked into by the cell, headed by an SDO. He said the cell that could be accessed at number 178 had started dealing the problems of CICs .


Fastidious Law College director puts in his papers
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 3
The post of Director of the reputed Maharshi Dayanand University National Law College remains mired in unseemly controversies.

The present Director of the College, Prof L.C. Dhingra, has put in his papers after an alleged litany of complaints against him by the students and teaching community of the institute.

The last straw which forced Prof. Dhingra to give up was a one-day strike by the students of the college on Friday in protest against what they alleged harsh treatment and a manner unbecoming of a director with a female student. The students said that he also slapped a male student in the library. Both the incidents occurred on Friday morning after which the students went on a strike. They demanded the removal of Prof Dhingra. However, Prof Dhingra said that he only cautioned the students to come to the institute in prescribed uniforms. He told newsmen that he wanted to enforce discipline on the college campus.

He said that he was not happy either with the teachers as he wanted to stop the practice of taking combined classes of different sections of the classes. This practice was unethical and illegal, he added. Without naming anybody, he referred to the former directors of the college, saying that they had instigated the students against him. After Prof Dhingra failed to pacify the striking students and persuade them to return to their classes, he referred the matter to the Vice-Chancellor of Maharashi Dayanand University, Major-General, B.S.Suhag.

When the Vice-Chancellor wanted to speak to the students on telephone, they refused saying that he would have to come to the college to speak to them. Thereafter, the Vice-Chancellor deputed Pro-Vice Chancellor J.K. Sharma and Registrar Ajay Rajan of the MDU to visit the college and inquire into the students’ grievances. They visited the campus on Friday afternoon.

Significantly, the teachers of the college also gave in writing to the two-member inquiry team, saying that they had lost confidence in the director. Prof. Dhingra had taken charge more than a month back.

According to sources, after talking to all concerned, the Pro-Vice Chancellor suggested to Prof Dhingra to quit in order to restore normalcy in the college.

The sources said that Prof Dhingra put in his papers to the inquiry team, saying that as asked by the Pro-Vice Chancellor he wanted to be relieved and reverted to the law faculty of the MDU and his tenure in the college may be considered for all the compensation. He has asked to be relieved from Monday.

It is reliably learnt that the committee members also inquired from the teachers on the issue relating to charges levelled by a former lecturer of the college against the former Director, Dr K.P.S.Mahelwar.

Certain damning allegations were levelled by the lecturer in a representation to the Governor of Haryana and Chancellor of the MDU, the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar. The representation was forwarded by Prof Dhingra to the authorities concerned for consideration and necessary action as the development related to the tenure of his predecessor. Thereafter the lecturer’s service in the college was done away with.

The teachers are said to have told the committee members that the lecturer’s conduct, both as a human being and as a teacher, was satisfactory and they had no problem with him. When the inquiry team wanted to know if there was any thing personal between Dr Mahelwar and the lecturer, the teachers said they were not aware of it.


Inter-state gangsters killed

New Delhi/Meerut, August 3
The Special Cell sleuths today claimed to have killed two dreaded inter-state gangsters with the help of Meerut Police.

The gangsters Pushpender Jat, resident of Bharatpur and his associate Sunil, resident of Baghpat, were killed in two separate encounters by the Special Cell officials. Pushpender was involved in more than 50 cases of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and criminal intimidation in Delhi, UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. His accomplice Sunil was also involved in several cases of murder and kidnapping.

The accused Pushpender carried a reward of Rs 2.40 lakh for criminal acts in the four states. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Meerut Range, Mukesh Goel said that the gangster used to threaten a local businessman Arjun Ompal Singh to give him Rs 10 lakh, failing which he threatened to kill his son. After the encounter, Inspector-General Vikram Singh, DIG Gurdarshan Singh rushed to the spot and congratulated the officers.

The sleuths got a tip off that both the criminals were hiding in Meerut. They traced Pushpender’s movements near Vedvyas Puri, Industrial Area and Prabhat Nagar. They also got information that Pushpender was moving around in a blue Hyndai Accent car. When Pushpender reached Chaoni Chat Bazar, he was identified by the joint team. As the team accosted him and asked him to surrender, he started firing at the police party.

In the return fire by the police, he was killed. During the encounter, he received at least 12 bullet injuries on his body and finally died. A .45 revolver with five empty and one live cartridge were recovered from him. Though the encounter took place in a busy area, many residents watched the crossfire between the gangster and the police. PRO to SSP Anil Kumar Sachan said that the gangster was in the town to collect the extortion money. He had already collected Rs 1 lakh from the businessman. It was the businessman’s wife who identified the gangster after which the police party asked him to surrender.

For another gangster Sunil, the trap was laid near toll tax collection centre, Meerut. When the Maruti car which he was driving, was spotted in Baghpat area, the police asked him to stop, but he tried to speed away. The police chased him and intercepted his car after a while. He started firing. In the return fire, he was killed. TNS


Scam holding up CNG mother stations?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 3
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) suspects a dispute over the “commission” in the purchase of equipment is delaying the setting up of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) mother stations in the Capital. “Or why else should the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas take so long to increase the supply of gas to Delhi?” asks DPCC Spokesperson Mukesh Sharma.

Asserting that the suspicion has been reinforced by the petrol pump scam that has Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik in the eye of a storm, Sharma on Saturday told media persons the minister has remained indifferent to the concerns of the Capital’s transporters and not done much to mitigate the CNG crisis.

Mr Naik, he said, was aware of the problems of transporters and commuters alike. The minister also appreciated the urgent need of installing mother stations in order to increase the supply of CNG to the Capital. “DPCC delegations have called on him on a number of occasions but,” says Sharma, “the setting up of mother stations is on hold for inexplicable reasons.”

DPCC President Subhash Chopra says the party will hold a sit-in on Sunday evening to press for Mr Naik’s resignation and demand that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should probe the petrol pump scam. This scam, Chopra says, is one of several scams to have become public during the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA Government’s tenure at the Centre.

“The BJP,” he says, “is allotting petrol pumps to members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and capitalists when they were meant for the widows of the soldiers killed in Kargil.” Terming it reprehensible, he adds, the petrol pump scam had further exposed the BJP’s notion of nationalism and put a question mark over its leadership’s credentials.


Drought stalks 21 Jhajjar villages
Our Correspondent

Jhahhar, August 3
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Mohinder Kumar, has declared 21 villages, which have been badly hit by the dry conditions, as highly-sensitive. To alleviate the dry conditions, alternative steps like ferrying of water by tankers were being taken. In fact, the supply of water tankers to three villages — Kasni, Asadpur Khera and Gwalison — and Ward NoNo 10, 11 and Mata Gate areas in Jhajjar town has already started, he informed press persons. Mr. Mohinder Kumar disclosed that only 8 mm rainfall had been registered in June-July this year while in the corresponding period last year it was above 280 mm.

Ten teams of district officials under the BDO and the Tehsildar have been constituted that will take stock of the situation in the 35 villages everyday. Moreover, the Public Health Department has acquired 11 cusec water from the JLN canal.

The DC made it clear that the district administration is unable to initiate major developmental projects due to paucity of funds. “They will have to perform with whatever resources are available with them,” he said, adding that the administration has been sending proposals for big projects to the state government.

On the power front, the DC claimed that electricity Was being provided for 17 hours in rural areas and 20 hours a day in urban pockets. He informed press persons that the administration has received a grant of Rs. 30 lakh under the HRDF scheme that would be distributed among village development committees at the earliest. Out of the 823 anouncements made during the second phase of Sarkar Apke Dwar scheme, 704 have been implemented and 410 announcements of the first phase have been compelted on which Rs 911 lakh was spent. Mr. Mohinder Kumar told press persons that during a special drive to check absenteeism in government offices, 117 employees were served with show-cause notices.

The ongoing van mahotsav had been suspended due to the water shortage, although 1.25 lakh saplings have already been planted. The administration has demanded Rs 7 crore for repair of school buildings and other works.

Drought being handled casually: HVP
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 3
Mr Surender Singh, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), has alleged that the Chautala government has so far failed to take effective steps to deal with the problem of drought, which has damaged the crops of farmers completely.

Addressing a public meeting at Sunarian village in Hasangarh constituency as part of a mass contact programme this morning, the former MP, a son of former Chief Minister Bansi Lal, alleged that the state government had taken this alarming problem very casually. He alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had so far not sought any financial help from the Centre despite the assurance given by the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, for granting prompt financial relief to the state as soon as the demand was raised.

Hailing the recent announcement made by party supremo Bansi Lal regarding distribution of allowance to unemployed youth in the region, he said a separate department would be constituted for the purpose if the HVP came to power.



Ajmer is a mecca for both Hindu and Muslim pilgrims
Tribune News Service

Just over 130 km south-west of Jaipur and an easy three and a half hour drive from New Delhi is Ajmer, a burgeoning town on the shore of the Ana Sagar, flanked by barren hills. Historically, Ajmer had considerable strategic importance.

It was ransacked by Mohammed Ghori on one of his periodic forays from Afghanistan. Later, it became a favourite residence of the mighty Mughals. Ajmer and its neighbouring area is a major pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Muslims during Ramazan. The city also boasts of some impressive Muslim architecture.

The sister city of Ajmer, Pushkar is just 11 km from the city. The road to Pushkar passes through the Nag Pahar or the Snake Mountain. Pushkar is an ancient city. The city is considered to be one of the most sacred places by Hindus in India and has, perhaps, the only existing temple in Asia, dedicated to Lord Brahma. Life in the city is very much related to the Pushkar Lake. Mythology says that this ancient lake was formed when a lotus flower fell in the valley from the hands of Brahma. 
The famous Pushkar fair is held every year on the Kartik Purnima day. This fair is famous as a bazaar for the animals, particularly the camels. However, the folk dancers and the folk musicians add traditional colour to the fair, which gives a new leash of life to the town.

On the road to Jaipur, 27 km from Ajmer is Kishangarh, the medieval treasure house of art. This place had one of the finest schools for miniature paintings during 18th century. It is also famous for Gundelao Lake, Phool Mahal Palace and Temple of Sri Kalyan Raiji.

There are a number of places in and around Ajmer which hold the visitors in awe. Mangliyawas town is famous for two 800-year-old trees of a rare species— Adansonia Digitata Linn—popularly known as s ‘Kalpa Vrikhsha’. People visit this place throughout the year but on dark moon day of ‘sravana’, thousands of people come to worship the trees. The town is 26 kms from Ajmer.

Beawar town is located 54 km from Ajmer and is famous for the Badshahi procession festival held on the next day of Holi. On this occasion, people participate in large number and throw gulal (colour) on each other.

The famous Dargah is the tomb of a sufi saint, Khwaja Muin-uddin Chisti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192. Construction of the shrine was completed by Humayun. Constructed of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building.

It has a marble dome and the actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver platform. The tomb attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year on the anniversary of the saint’s death.

Adhai-Din-Ka Jhonpara is one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. This mosque was a Sanskrit college in the 12th century. In AD 1193, Mohammad Ghori destroyed the college and a mosque was built in its place. The mosque was built on pillars and surprisingly no two pillars are alike.

The Royal Palace of Akbar was converted into a museum and today it houses a rich collection of Mughal and Rajput armoury. Some of the fine and delicate sculptures of the region have been displayed here. The building itself has been made from red sandstone which has been laid down in a square pattern, giving it a fabulous look.

Ana Sagar Lake is another attractive tourist spot. This lake was built by Anaji during 1135-1150 AD. Later, the Mughal emperors made additional constructions to beautify the lake. The ‘Baradari’, a marble pavilion was built by Shah Jahan and the ‘Daulat Bagh’ gardens were laid by Jahangir. This lake is located towards the north of Ajmer city. 

Taragarh Fort: Built in the 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan, the fort gives a bird’s-eye view of the city. Taragarh fort or the ‘Star fort’ is situated on a hill and to reach there, one has to take winding bridle path.

Nasiyan (Jain Temple): The red temple on Prithviraj Marg is a Jain temple built last century and is definitely worth checking out. Its double storey hall contains a fascinating series of large, gilt wooden figures from the Jain mythology which depict the Jain concept of the ancient world.

This red-coloured Jain temple was built in the late 19th century. The wooden gilt in the double-storeyed hall depicts scenes from the Jain mythology. The beauty of this temple is widely acclaimed.


Will Haryana Cong reshuffle end factionalism?
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 3
Although the shuffling of the posts of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief and the leader of the Congress party in the state assembly seems to have given reason for cheer among the party cadre supporting former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, who believe that now the party could be rejuvenated, but it still remains to be seen whether the new move of the party high command ends factionalism.

Although hectic lobbying and political manoeuvring has been going on for quite some time by party activists opposing Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the abrupt decision of the Congress President to ask Mr Hooda and Mr Bhajan to swap their posts has also brought some surprise. Those from the Bhajan camp claim that the move was long overdue. But party insiders believe that Mr Birender Singh, a former HPCC chief, was actually leading the race for HPCC presidentship in the past few months. While a section of the political think tank claim that swapping of top posts in the party may hardly have any magical effect on the internal dissension they believe that it could lead to more deep rifts in the party on the Jat and non-Jat issue but people who support the change have a different view. They say that a change in the HPCC presidentship after six years could be `genuine’ and making Mr Hooda the CLP leader was no less important. Some of them also say that the change does not undermine the claim of chief ministership by Mr Hooda as they say that the credit for making the Congress acceptable to the Jat vote bank in Haryana goes to him. They add that the Congress during the presidentship of Mr Hooda had gained a lot and the vote percentage had got more than doubled from a mere 17 per cent to 34.5 per cent in just six years. In the past Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, Mr Hooda had been projected as the Chief Minister (CM) if the party came to power by his supporters in the Jat belt of Rohtak, Sonepat, Jhajjar, Jind and Bhiwani districts.

But on the other hand it is claimed Mr Bhajan Lal is the undisputed leader of non-Jat communities in Haryana and it is believed that without their support no party can come to power.

With the elevation of Mr Bhajan Lal as Congress party chief in Haryana, there is jubilation among his supporters. Several of the party activists, including a few former ministers who had been either sidelined or had been lying low due to obvious reasons, have become active now.

They have started claiming that the Congress party under the leadership of Mr Bhajan Lal would certainly gain power in the next elections.

About the question whether this step could wipe out factionalism and the race for Chief Minister, they say that Mr Bhajan Lal is the undisputed choice for chief ministership but also add that the matter should be left for future as elections are still far away. They also claim that Mr Bhajan Lal has good support of the Jat leaders and activists of the party and the matter can be resolved easily. Mr J. P. Nagar, General Secretary of the HPCC and a member of the AICC, had recently mentioned Mr Bhajan Lal as the future CM of Haryana in his address in a press conference. But independent observers feel that the change could have a momentary effect and the race will not peter away. They also believe that if the issue hangs fire Jat leaders like the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and the HVP chief, Mr Bansi Lal, could be in an advantageous position.


6 Kanwarias killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 3
As many as six ‘Kanwarias’ were killed and seven injured when a Tata 407 vehicle carrying them overturned along the roadside near Saharanpur (UP) on Friday night.

The deceased have been identified as Mr Som Gandhi, Mr Sunny Sharma, Mr Subhash Pandit and his nephew and two others. Five injured were admitted to the PGIMS Rohtak while two were referred to the PGIMS, Chandigrah. All the deceased and injured belonged to Aanwal village.

According to information, 11 Tata 407 vehicles carrying ‘Kanwarias’ left from Aanwal village for Hardwar on Friday evening. One of the vehicles overturned near Saharanpur. All 11 vehicles returned to Aanwal village after the accident. There is heavy rush of kanwarias on the route.


Working women take part in meet held by cops
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 3
Working women from various factories and other institutions participated in the mahila meet organised under the aegis of the district public-police co-ordination committee in the wake of Operation Social Security Fortnight at Dharuhera on Friday.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, who was the chief guest, said that the increasing incidence of female foeticide, which had led to an alarmingly low female ratio of 750 per 1000 males, was a matter of grave concern. He called upon the people, particularly women, to make it a people’s campaign to ensure the success of the drive against female foeticide. Complimenting the police administration for organising the above fortnight to enlighten women about their rights, duties and redressal of grievances, he informed that the district administration had already been running a women’s

cell as well as a family counselling centre before which aggrieved women could place their problems for speedy redressal.

Mr Hanif Qureshi, SP and Chairman of the committee, enlightened them about the duties and responsibilities of the police administration and also asked them to get in touch with the police station and the women’s cell whenever the need arose for such an emergency.

A few days back , as part of the ongoing programme women engaged in social welfare work in rural areas had staged a lively play, which lashed out at the causes and circumstances leading to the increasing incidence of dowry deaths.Girl students from schools and colleges delivered thought-provoking speeches on the urgency of eliminating atrocities on women.


Now, read the Bible in Hindi
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 3
The Bible Society of India released two Bibles translated into Hindi at a function held in the Capital today. The Bibles, one for the children and the other an improved version of the one printed way back in 1905, have been released for those who wish to read the scared text in Hindi.

The Bible Society of India, which was founded in 1811 in Kolkata, has taken upon itself the work of translating, publishing and distributing the Holy Scripture. Translating the text into Hindi was a move to help those who were not conversant with the English language. The society also saw translating the Bible into vernacular languages as a means of fighting illiteracy. The old version of the Bible printed in Hindi has been popular with the masses but due to changes in the use of certain words in the current scenario and the typesetting it was decided that a new version should be printed. An editorial team consisting of theologians, pastors, preachers and linguists got down to complete the challenging task. The aim was to keep the popularity of the old version intact and yet make it more useful. As for the children’s’ Bible the text had to be made more appealing by use of large prints, smaller sentences, life transforming stories and more than 200 colourful illustrations.

A seminar was also conducted by the society. Dr T K Chandy of the BSI gave a special presentation on the “Role of Church in Mission and Ministry of BSI in this Millennium.”


Seva Mandir for slum children
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 3
The Art of Living’s Sri Seva Mandir, located at Sangam Vihar, New Delhi, was today inaugurated by Delhi Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan. MLAs Choudhary Shish Pal and Kanwar Karan Singh were also present on the occasion.

The Sri Sri Seva Mandir, working under the aegis of The Art of Living, Delhi Chapter, would focus its efforts on: imparting education to the children living in the slum in the age group of 3-6 years, offering vocational training to women and providing medical facilities to the underprivileged sections of society. At the inauguration, the minister appreciated the efforts of the individuals and organisations behind the project and hoped that it would inspire other NGOs and service organisations to come together in a spirit of teamwork to strengthen the positive impulses in our society.

The Seva Mandir, built over 150 square yards, has been constructed with the money donated by the devotees of Sri Sri Ravishankar, a spirtitual guru and the founder of The Art of Living. The South Delhi Round Table 32, a non-political and non-sectarian association of young professionals, has contributed in a big way towards the project. The Sisters of People Society, a charitable society under the Lajpat Bhawan Trust, would run the various courses at the Seva Mandir.

The NDMC schools offer admission only to the six years old plus children. Therefore, it was realised that that they be given the right environment and orientation in their early childhood. Besides, the fact that in homes where both parents go for work, the child is extremely vulnerable.

The Seva Mandir will offer non-formal education and a nutritious mid-day meal to these young minds at a minimal cost of Rs 5 a month. To make women independent and able to support their family, vocational training in courses like stitching and sewing, beauty treatment, henna application, etc will be offered. Health and hygiene is very important, especially in the slum areas. Besides, imparting knowledge on hygienic living, basic medical facilities will also be provided. The Seva Mandir has a medical room where a doctor will provide consultation and medication daily at a nominal cost. Regular visits by the specialists such as gynaecologists, and paediatricians, and medical camps have also been planned. The medical room has been equipped by the Ladies Circle of the DSRT32.


Gaining victory over circumstances

We are all elated over praise and enraged by criticism. It looks as though our happiness or peace depends so much on what the world thinks about us. We are happy or sad in proportion to how others tend to treat us. In other words we become overwhelmed by others and by current circumstances. To be thus continuously swayed by outside forces is to lead a helpless and defeated existence.

Should we be creatures of circumstances, responding to every event and every person instinctively? Should the anger of an enemy provoke me to anger and thereby sow seeds of misery within me? Generally speaking, man seems to be under the control of circumstances; his emotions seem to control the way he reacts to situations. William James, a psychologist, has written: “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.’’

A little thought will make it clear that it is not circumstances that make us happy or unhappy; but the way we react to them. Jonie Eareckson, who was paralysed from neck downwards in a diving accident when she was only 17, was confined to a wheelchair ever since but then went on to be a source of encouragement to millions of handicapped through her writings, stated in her biography: “We aren’t always responsible for the circumstances in which we find ourselves, However, we are responsible for the way we respond to them. We can give up in depression or in suicidal despair. Or, we can look to a sovereign God, who has everything under control, who can use the experiences for our ultimate good (2 Corinthians 3: 18—the Bible).

Survivors of concentration camps in Nazi Germany have demonstrated the power of humans to overcome adverse circumstances by change of attitudes. One Jew, known as ‘Wild Bill’ had lived on a starvation diet for six years, slept in airless and disease-ridden barracks like his colleagues but without the least physical or mental deterioration.

Having knowledge of several languages including Russian and German, he was the official translator of the camp. He went about reasoning with the different groups counselling forgiveness. Many of them had lost members of their families.

“Wild Bill” had lived in a Jewish section of Warsaw. His family consisted of his wife, two daughters and three little boys. When the Germans reached his area, they lined every one against a wall and opened up with machine guns. He begged to be allowed to die with his family, but because he spoke German, he was put in a work group.

How could he forgive the Germans? He had been a lawyer and during his practice, he had seen what hate could do to people’s minds and bodies. “Hate had just killed the six people who mattered the most to me in the world. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life –whether it was a few days or many years — loving every person I came in contact with,’’ he observed narrating his story.

Though greatly idealistic, it may not be possible for everyone to possess the kind of forgiving spirit, which “Wild Bill” possessed.

Abraham Lincoln, known for his fairness even towards archrivals used to maintain: “All of us are children of conditions and circumstances, of environment, of education of acquired habits and of heredity moulding men as they are and will forever be.’’ What he meant was that all of us have inherited the same physical, mental and emotional characteristics that our enemies have inherited and if life had done to us what it has done to them, we would act exactly as they do. So, they deserve our sympathy and understanding.

Stephen R. Covey in his book, The seven habits of highly effective people, refers to concepts of genetic determinism, psychic determinism and environmental determinism about human nature. He quotes Viktor Frankl, Jewish psychiatrist, to point out that “between stimulus and response, man has freedom to choose’’ unlike animals. 
Within the freedom to choose are those endowments, which make us uniquely human. We have self-awareness and imagination. We have conscience: inner awareness of right and wrong. We have an independent will — the ability to act based on self-awareness, free of all other influences.

Frankl uses the word “proactive’’ to describe a person whose behaviour is a function of his “decision’’ and not “conditions.’’ Reactive people, on the other hand, are affected by their physical, social and other environments. Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social or psychological. But their response is a value-based choice or response.

Proactive people do not blame circumstances, conditions or conditioning for their behaviour. Their behaviour is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values rather than a product of their conditions based on feelings.

They have better control over their thoughts, their fears and their spirit. They control their actions, which in turn control feelings. They understand that it is not what happens to them, but their response to what happens to them that produce pain or joy. They have transcended circumstances and conditions to a level that ennobles life and inspires others.

Frankl suggests that there are three central values in life — the experiential, or that which happens to us; the creative or that which we bring into existence; and the attitudinal or our response in difficult circumstances such as terminal illness. The highest of the three values is attitudinal. In other words, what matters most, is how we respond to what we experience in life.

M P K Kutty


Heroin worth Rs 1 cr seized; five held
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, August 3
The Murad Nagar police have arrested five criminals, including a woman, and recovered one kg heroin from them after an encounter in a broad daylight in Bheekanpur village.

The heroin is reportedly commanding a price of Rs 1 crore on the market.

The SO incharge Muradnagar police station said that after a tip-off, the police signalled five persons riding scooters in a jungle near Bheekanpur village at 2 pm on Thursday. Instead of stopping, the criminals fired at the

police and tried to escape.

However, the police arrested them all and seized one kg heroin from them. Packed in five pockets, the heroin was in crystal form. A mobile phone, one countrymade revolver, cartridges were also recovered.

The heroin smugglers were identified as Adyta Jaat, Sarbachen Jatt, Jayveer, all originally residents of Hassanpur under Mussori police station. While Aslam Dhobi, was from Bheekanpur, and Mrs Kasuma, 50, wife of Kanwarpal Jaat was from Bharawathi village under Saidpur police station. The accused are said to be between 20 and 25 years. Aditya’s father is a teacher while he himself claims to be an accountant in a factory in Surajpur, Greater Noida.

The police said the accused had links with drug peddlers. Heroin reaches here via Nepal which this gang transports and supplies to Delhi and other centres.

Apart from SO incharge of the police station, Ashok Kumar, a lady constable Sanyogta played a crucial role in the seizure.


Confidence tricksters’ gang busted, three held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 3
With the arrest of three persons the Kirti Nagar police today claimed to have nabbed a gang of cheats who used to gain entry when women were alone at their homes. They used to carry a powder that would make gold and silver jewellery glitter to gain the confidence of women. Later, they would either run away with the jewellery or drop it in some acid to take away the gold residue. Bablu Kumar, Rinku Shah and Mohammad Kaisher, all residents of the Nand Nagari area, were arrested by the patrolling police on suspicion. They later confessed to their crimes in various parts of West district.

Auto thieves

With the arrest of two auto thieves, the Karol Bagh police on Saturday claimed to have solved more than 14 cases of motor vehicle theft in the area. The police also recovered five motor cycles and one scooter from their possession.

Anil Kumar (30), resident of Jhandewalan, and a minor, who was assisting him, were taken into the police custody. The police during a vehicle checking drive near the police picket on Gurdwara Road found them suspicious and arrested them.

8 held for gambling

The special staff of the Central district police have nabbed eight persons on charges of gambling near Mudhani Dhanda in Paharganj. They were arrested in one of the accused Manjit Singh’s house. The others arrested are Rajkumar Bhatia, Gurjit Singh, residents of Paharganj, Harish Kumar, Prabhu Dayal, Jitender, Suresh and Subhash, all in the age group of 40-50. They were seen gambling at the time of their arrest.

Two lakh in cash, two dice and two badminton rackets were seized from their possession.

Scooters recovered

In another case in Rohini, another auto thief was nabbed and the police have solved more than 17 cases of motor vehicle theft. Three scooters were recovered from his possession.

The accused, Pradeep, went to a dealer to dispose of a stolen vehicle. The dealer got suspicious and later called the police and Pradeep was found guilty. He later confessed to the crime.

Woman robbed

An auto driver in the Samai Pur Badli area robbed a woman who was new to the city of her gold chain, cash and some shopping material. The victim, Puipui (35), hailing from Mizoram, had gone to her relatives’ house in Janak Puri and had done some shopping over there.

While going back she took an auto. Since the lady was new to the city the auto driver took her to Samai Pur Badli and robbed her of valuables and cash. Later, he abandoned the auto and fled the place.


Murder accused falls in police net
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 3
After a long chase of six weeks, the Kasaula Police have now succeeded in apprehending the main accused, Jassa Singh, alias Jaswinder Singh, of Karnal district in Haryana in connection with his alleged involvement in the brutal murder of a trailer driver, Gurmail Singh, son of Piara Singh

of Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The murder was committed on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, near Sangwari village, about 12 km from Rewari, on the night of June 14, 2002.

According to information provided by the district police chief, Mr Hanif Qureshi, when Gurmail Singh’s trailer, laden with Hero Honda motor cycles, was going towards Jaipur, Jassa Singh’s trailer chased it. Gurmail halted near Sangwari where he was done to death allegedly by Jassa Singh and his other accomplices who all absconded after committing the crime.

Later, the Kasaula Police registered a case of murder and launched a drive, which has now led to the arrest of the main accused, Jassa Singh. Trade rivalry is stated to be the reason behind this gruesome murder.


Sarpanch held

The crime branch of the police has arrested today the sarpanch of Madothi village in connection with a double murder case in Bahadurgarh in 2001.

The police said that Sarpanch Umed Singh has been evading arrest for long. Seven persons have already been arrested in this case. Two persons Satpal and Raghunath were shot dead in 2001 in Bahadurgarh.

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