Sunday, August 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Army recruitment turns into free-for-all 
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, August 10
Several aspirants to the army were injured in a stampede during a recruitment drive here at the famous Hathi Khana ground. Some of them received serious injuries and fractures in their limbs. They have all been hospitalised. Military officials blamed the district officials for the incident. The district authorities had not made ‘adequate arrangements’ for the recruitment rally, the army officials claimed.

As a major recruitment drive for the various technical and non-technical posts started here at the regional recruitment centre, more than 10,000 candidates gathered at Hathi Khana from 6 in the morning for about 400 vacancies of clerks and store keepers in the army. Recruitment officer Colonel R G Ghatpande told the media persons that he had written a letter to the district administration to make arrangements for the rally which include deployment of PAC, traffic police, mounted police and also civil amenities for the boys, keeping in mind the expected large gathering.

The army officials also sought ambulances, fire tenders and water tankers to meet any contingency.

However, the authorities failed to make proper arrangements. The recruitment official said that when he reached the recruitment office at 4 in the morning, there was no arrangement. Only 4 police constables reached the drive office who were obviously not sufficient to control the crowd of more than 10,000, young aspirants. The youths were feeling jittery awaiting their turn.

Grasping the gravity of the situation, they sought the help of a local tent house owner and tried hard to barricade the area. But soon the frenzied youth went berserk and broke the barricade. They started heading towards the recruitment officer from all four directions. There was a stampede now in which 50 candidates were injured and some got even fractures in their limbs.

Ambulances from the military hospitals were pressed into service and the victims were rushed to hospital. But, no civil medical official reached the spot.

Recruitment officer Col. Ghatpande also lost his medals and name batch as the youths manhandled him. He immediately sought the help of other army officials and soldiers to control the situation. Army officials were also deployed from administrative branch. col Ghatpande soon reported the matter to the sub-area commander Brig Nambiar VSM.

He spoke to the higher authorities in Lucknow and a large contingent of police and PAC circled the area. Circle officer N P Singh was also deployed there. Army officials told that a meeting was called to discuss the arrangements but no civil official showed up in the meeting. ADM city and SP city were in the capital.

When the ‘NCR Tribune’ approached the district magistrate, Mr P V Jaganmohan, he said that all the arrangements for the drive had to be made by the army as it was their programme.

However, the army officials said that it was the state government’s recruitment drive.


Delhi Police take umbrage at Punjab IG’s role
J. T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The Delhi Police are learnt to have taken a serious note of the presence of a Punjab Police Inspector General (Chief Minister’s Security), Rajinder Singh, in Delhi during the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections in June, without any prior intimation to the Police Headquarters here.

The Delhi Police is understood to have written to the Director General of Police, Punjab, and Joint Secretary (UT) in Home Ministry, P K Jalali, to look into the matter and initiate necessary action against the officer who for some inexplicable reason overlooked the usual procedure.

“We have indicated to the DG, Punjab, that he had not followed the regular procedure and did not officially inform the Delhi Police about his arrival in Delhi. Then, he reportedly went to Hari Nagar ward and interfered in the elections,” well placed sources said.

The Delhi Police further said that they were in touch with the Punjab Police and claimed it is up to the DG, Punjab, to take any further action as the officer is from that cadre and posted there.

Sources in the West district police, however, claim that he informed the district police on the day before the elections about his arrival. “We thought the officer was here to check the activities of the commandoes who were attached with the VVIPS and Ministers of Punjab. But we had no idea why the officer went to the Hari Nagar ward,” said a senior officer.

During the elections, the Union Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Secretary-General, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, also reported that senior police officials of the Punjab Government had interfered with the polling process in Hari Nagar ward.

Mr Dhindsa also lodged a complaint with the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijai Kapoor, about Punjab Police Inspector-General Rajinder Singh interfering in the polling at the Hari Nagar ward, which was being contested by SAD (Badal) Delhi chief Avtar Singh Hit.

“The polling had to be stopped for an hour in Hari Nagar because of Rajinder Singh’s interference, which I would call direct interference of Punjab’s Congress Government in Akali affairs, even outside that state,’’ Mr Dhindsa had said.


Sahib Singh hospitalised
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The visit of Union Minister of Labour, Sahib Singh Verma, who was scheduled to inaugurate a new police station building in Prashant Vihar in North-West Delhi, was cancelled after he was injured in a car accident while returning from a function in Faridabad, here today.

The Minister was admitted to the Apollo hospital here and the hospital sources maintained that Mr Sahib Singh has suffered a thoracic-spinal injury and his condition was stable.

However, investigations were going on and only after conducting all the tests and getting a complete assessment report, the actual condition of his health could be gauged. The Minister would be kept under observation for some time at the hospital, they added. Earlier, family sources said, Mr Sahib Singh, a Member of Parliament from outer Delhi, suffered injuries in his back when the driver of his car applied sudden brakes while he was coming back from Faridabad this morning. The Minister had gone to Faridabad to inaugurate the Shyama Prasad Institute of Social Administration and was returning to the capital when the incident occurred at around 12.30 pm.


Case of missing cop: A game of hopscotch is on
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
There is considerable consternation among the top brass of the Delhi Police here over the whereabouts of Mr. R. K. Sharma, a senior Haryana Cadre Indian Police Service officer, wanted in connection with the sensational Shivani Bhatnagar murder case even as half a dozen police parties are scouring the three neighbouring states for him.

The officer, posted as Inspector General of Police (Prisons), Haryana, has managed to elude the police for well over a week now, causing considerable frustration among the Crime Branch officials investigating the 1999 case.

Sources said that police parties were rushed to several places in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh following what they described as tip offs from sources but the officer managed to elude them. What is galling is that how an officer on the run has managed to communicate with his family and lawyers, even though all of them have denied any knowledge of his whereabouts or the fact that he was in touch with them.

These sources said that there was no denying that the officer, trained in all aspects of police work and familiar with the procedure, was using this knowledge to stay several steps ahead of the sleuths. They also do not rule out the possibility of some personnel from the force aiding him despite the threat by the Delhi Police that any one found to be aiding or harbouring him would be proceeded against under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

The hunt for the police officer officially started on August 3 after the arrest of Shri Bhagwan, whose father had at one time served as a station house officer under Sharma.

It is possible that the officer received information about the nabbing of Shri Bhagwan almost a week earlier and this had given him enough time to plan his moves. Officially, it was recorded that Shri Bhagwan was arrested on August 3 and produced before a magistrate within 24 hours as required under law. His relatives, however, have contested this claim and continue to assert that he was in the custody of the Crime Branch officials for almost a week and his arrest was made public only after his father moved a habeas corpus petition in the court.

A senior officer, who did not want to be identified, said that it was a battle of wits between the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and the Indian Police Service trained officer and “ every one was waiting for the end result.”


SSI suspended for dragging CM’s father to thana
Our Correspondent

Meerut, August 10
The SSI, C.P. Singh, who had the ‘audacity’ to bandy words with the Chief Minister’s father and his driver, has been suspended and transferred to another district. The station house-incharge of Khurja Kotwali also got his deserts and was suspended and transferred.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the reports published in the ‘NCR Tribune’ on Saturday, senior home ministry officials at Lucknow have started a damage-control exercise. All of them are shocked at the faux pas committed by the police officials.

A detailed report was sought by the chief secretary office about the incident.

Deputy Inspector General of the Police, Meerut range, himself reached the District Headquarters in the morning. He asked the SSP Bulandshahr to inquire the matter and submit a report immediately. SSP Bulandshahr G P Kannojia submitted the inquiry and action taken report (ATR) within two hours.

He found the SSI C P Singh, station house incharge, Khurja Kotwali, Ramanpal Singh guilty as they did not even inform the higher authorities about the incident. DIG Gurdarshan Singh immediately signed the suspension and transfer order of the SSI and the SHO.

Even the acting SSP of Bulandshahr was not spared as he was transferred to the vigilance department, Lucknow. R N Katheria, IPS from vigilance department, Lucknow, joined in his place.

According to reliable sources, a mob had gathered on the spot earlier as the matter was directly related to the Chief Minister’s father.

Some eyewitnesses also confirmed that Mr Prabhudayal with whom the SSI had exchanged high words was the Chief Minister’s father. But it seemed the SSI had a chip on his shoulder. He dragged him to Kotwali along with his driver. Hearing the news, some local leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party reached Kotwali. After a while, the Chief Minister’s father left Kotwali with his driver and soon spoke to somebody at Lucknow from a nearby STD booth.

The situation was different now. The guilty SSI cried and even apologised in black and white for his presumptuous conduct. But the damage had been done for which the SSI got his comeuppance.


End to dowry: Rawal gotra shows the way
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bapoli (Panipat), August 10
A silent revolution is brewing in this sleepy block of Panipat district. At a time when opulent weddings and dowry are the norm, the Gujjar community has set a unique example by ushering in “dowryless” marriages. And this has been achieved without any government or NGO initiative.

In fact, the decision of the panchayat of the ‘sataisi’ (27 villages of the Bapoli block) belonging to the Rawal “gotra,” which was taken over two months back, has been religiously enforced by the community, except for a few aberrations. Considerable time and effort went into the trail-blazing decision. It all started when the “sataisi” met here on April 3 this year to formulate ways and means to combat the dowry menace and reduce expense on marriage. A committee was formed to formulate guidelines and ultimately the panchayat took the decision to enforce the rules. The decision came as a great relief to the middle and lower income groups, who invariably get into a debt trap while marrying their daughters off.

Under the new code drafted by the panchayat, one cannot give and accept dowry; the marriage party cannot exceed five persons; Simple food is to be served; shooting of video film has been proscribed; ostentatious decorations are to be discouraged; and no band is to be played, thus substantially reducing the wasteful expenditure. Even the marriage menu will be simple, consisting of rice and jaggery. The only concession is that an amount ranging between Rs 1 and Rs 1,100 can be given at the time of kanyadan.

Apart from marriages, no expense is to be incurred on serving food at “bhog” ceremonies. With a view to strictly enforce these regulations, the panchayat has worked out an effective system of deterrence. The panchayat can even resort to the extreme step of “social boycott.” This, the villagers believe, is an effective check on the recalcitrant families — a “social boycott” is seen to be biggest punishment in the Gujjar community. Despite a couple of “violations”, and that too of a minor nature, which were apparently not intentional but born out of ignorance, the new system has worked well. However, the panchayat has not winked at the aberrations. They errant families have been fined, to teach a lesson or two to prospective violators.

A village elder told the `NCR Tribune’ that as dowry was one of the major problems afflicting the nation, control over it would do a lot of good. Besides reducing dowry-related cases, the move would put a check on female feticide. 


Bringing girls out of the Meo closet
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Nuh (Mewat), August 10
Sanjeeda Ali of village Janda in Hathin block in Faridabad district, who hails from a family that ekes out its living below the poverty line, finds herself on cloud nine following her admission in the DPS School here. With a twinkle in her eyes she asserts that her dream of becoming an MBBS doctor will now be fulfilled. The reason for her heightened sense of joy is that the school has a 200-bed girls hostel.

There are 26 other girls from Mewat, whose spirits soared following their admission to Standard VIII and IX of the school. More batches of girl students will be admitted to the school in a few more days. The students, who will be selected from all the six revenue blocks of Mewat, spanning Gurgaon and Faridabad districts, will be provided free uniforms and food. The idea is to facilitate poor students who had to discontinue their studies due to lack of good schools in their surroundings.

The admissions to DPS School have been expressly provided to only those girl students of Mewat who can avail the hostel facility, which is expected to be functional by month end. The hostel is a collaborative effort of the Mewat Development Agency (MDA) and the Delhi Public School Society, which is managing the three model schools of the MDA in Mewat.

The MDA has roped in several voluntary organisations for implementing its projects in Mewat. These NGOs were asked to shortlist the girls seeking admissions to the hostel and the school. Thereafter, an admission committee, including functionaries of the DPS, finalised the names of the successful applicants.

According to official sources, the DPS will also run a special English language and personality development course for hostellers with rural background. The students admitted are both Meo Muslims and others.

While the admission charges have been waived for all the students, the tuition fee has been left to the parents of the wards. The majority of the students hail from the poor strata – small-time farmers and labourers. According to the Chairman of the MDA, Mr S.A.Khan, the hostel will also cater to the female students of a proposed degree college. Presently, there is no exclusive degree college for females in Mewat. There are plans to set up five more girls hostels, one each in all the remaining blocks of Mewat. Each of them would have 100 beds, he added.

(The female literacy rate among Meos is 3.5 per cent and among non-Meos 18 per cent).


Advani inaugurates Savarkar Park 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, inaugurated the Veer Savarkar Park and unveiled the statue of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar to remember the national hero, freedom fighter, an ageless thinker and a devout nationalist today in a function organised by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) at Lodhi Colony.

Earlier, this park was known as the Central Park. The park has been developed in a plot area of 4 acre at an estimated cost of Rs 30 lakh within a short period of six months. Mr Advani also planted a Kadamb sapling in the park.

Paying rich tributes to Veer Savarkar, Mr Advani congratulated the NDMC for naming the park in honour of Veer Savarkar. He recalled the sacrifices made by him in the freedom struggle. He said that throughout his life he indulged himself in revolutionary activities to get India free from shackles of slavery. He said that Savarkar wrote a number of books and the book, “War of Indian Independence”, on the 1857 Independence’s struggle was very popular and he was inspired by it.

Mr Advani said Savarkar was penalised and sent to ‘Kalapani’ (Andaman’s Jail) for his revolutionary activities.

Exhorting the students, Mr Advani said that they should know more about their national heroes and freedom fighters.

He said that the NDMC should organise an essay competition on the life of Veer Savarkar for the school students so that the children would acquaint themselves with the life history of Veer Savarkar.

Mr Nana Wagh, the sculptor who made the statue of Veer Savarkar, was also felicitated by the Deputy Prime Minister on this occasion. Welcoming the guests, Mr Subhash Sharma, Chairman, NDMC, said that NDMC was developing parks and gardens in the city and naming them after our freedom fighters so that the citizens could know more about our national heroes. He said that the civic body expected the cooperation of the residents in the maintenance and cleanliness of these park and gardens. He also paid tributes to Veer Savarkar.

Presiding over the function, the area MLA and Vice-Chairperson, NDMC, Mr Ram Bhaj recalled the works done by Veer Savarkar in the national freedom movement.

He said that the park at the Sarojini Nagar Market had been earlier renamed after Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and his statue had been installed, so that the younger generation could get inspiration from these freedom fighters. Next week, the Vivekanand Park at Sarojini Nagar would be dedicated to the nation by Mr Jagmohan, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture.


Ajay Chautala gets Bhumi Putra award
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The 22nd death anniversary of Mohd. Rafi, the immortal singer, was observed as ‘Music Day’ at the Talkatora Stadium here. The programme was organised jointly by Kala Darpan and Lions Club, (Yamuna Vihar) Delhi.

On the occasion, Kala Darpan presented the ‘Rajdhani Ratna Puraskar’ to singers Bhupinder and Mitali, Peenaz Masani, Vandana Vajpayi, Rekha Raj, besides Mr Ashwani Chopra, MD, Punjab Kesri, Raju Srivastava (film comedian actor), Pavan Gupta, Pramod Jain and Ramesh Pandit.

In a musical tribute to Rafi, Pradeep Sharma sang two of his popular songs, ‘Teri Aankhon Ke Sivaa and Meri Aawaz Suno.’

In all, about 40 male and female singers participated in the programme from different states. Dance groups like Zenith, Thunderball and BMP presented dance items.

A fashion parade of traditional Indian designs was presented by well-known models. Sangeeta Puri, Akriti Kakkar, Raj Kumar Vinayak and Sharad were the stage artists from Delhi, who danced to the tunes of Rafi.

The programme was inaugurated by Raj Jyotishi Pt. Jaiprakash Lal Dhagewale and Mr Tejpal Singh Khillan, president of Lions Club Janpad. Mr Ajay Singh Chautala, the Member of Parliament from Haryana was the chief guest. Mr Ajay Singh Chautala was presented the ‘Haryana Bhumi Putra’ award by Kala Darpan in the memory of Chaudhary Devi Lal.


Sad finale to Samaritan’s social services
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, August 10
Social work is a seldom noticed today and if someone tries to do it, quite often he faces the music.

This is what happened with a resident of Safdarjung Enclave, who had been doing a yeoman’s service to society since 1987. M. D. Sharma took over the responsibility of postal agency in 1987 as the post office is located at a distance of 2 km from the houses of the residents of Safdarjung Enclave block B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, B-5, Krishna Nagar, Humayunpur, Arjun Nagar and other adjoining areas.

He took the agency and started the work with a fixed 3 per cent commission on the total sale. The government did not provide him with any property. It did not give rent of his premises or any salary. But thinking it as social work, Mr Sharma did not complain and started devoting his time and energy to his work.

Soon, he became popular in the colony as it became easy for the people to get postal services nearby rather than going far. Mr Sharma said, “As per the procedure after every three years, the owner has to get the contract renewed. Since 1987, I had not faced any problem in getting it renewed but this year was different. An inspector visited my place in mid-June and told me that the board was not displayed. But I have different reason to not to display board as earlier when I displayed the board, the DDA sent me a bill of Rs 32, 000, saying that the building was being used for commercial purpose. It is after when I showed them the contract with the postal authorities that mentioned that I am doing social work, they cancelled the fine. And now the postal agencies have ordered me to discontinue the services, saying that I was not abiding by the rules.”

The agency provided postal stamps, tickets, stationery, registry and other small things. Senior citizens in the colony were the main beneficiaries who did not have to go to a distant place. P R Chaudhary, a senior resident of the area added, “Mr Sharma is not earning any profit and this was beneficial for senior citizens. Now, just for getting a stamp, we will have to rush to 2 km away near Kamal cinema and the most troublesome thing is that there is no proper transportation.”

Many shared the same view but the postal department hardly bothers. Sushil, a young boy came to buy a postal stamp, said: “I am surprised how this agency can be closed down. I am working nearby in the area. I do not go to Kamal cinema for buying a stamp as this is nearer.”

The residents have made a representation at Chanakya Puri headquarters also, but they alleged that the officer refused to listen to them. DL Bhutani said, “It’s loss of government’s revenue. We have got appreciation letters from all the RWAs in Safdarjung Enclave and adjoining area as he is carrying on social work, but it’s pathetic the way the postal authorities treat senior citizens.”

On the other hand, the postal department sources claimed to having received no written complaints from any of the residents. They said that they had no information about the problems the residents were facing.


Special training package for 26 Afghan police personnel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
In an unique initiative, 26 senior personnel from the Afghan police are visiting India to undertake special training from the Delhi Police and associated agencies on various aspects of traffic management, road safety enforcement and regulation of stipulated norms.

All the 26 Afghan police personnel underwent a specialised training package at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in life support techniques and emergency care.

Part of the specially designed lifesaver campaign, the training programme included basic life support, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), emergency evacuation techniques etc.

The specially designed training package comprised a comprehensive in-the-class module on all the aspects of emergency care and was made more lucid through live demonstrations on handling emergencies with the most basic infrastructure.

Trainers of the Apollo Emergency Services also provided hands-on feel to the Afghan policemen on how to provide support services in case of an accident, helping them become real time lifesavers.

Welcoming the Afghan police personnel, Dr Yogi Mehrotra, managing director, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said “It

was a welcome move by the Delhi Police to provide training to their counterparts in Afghan police. We, at Apollo Hospital, are glad to offer our lifesavers training package to the Afghan police and hope that it will be

helpful to them while dealing with emergency situations. We have always worked closely with government agencies on such initiatives and will continue providing our value-additive services.”

The Apollo ‘Lifesavers’ package is part of a weeklong training programme for the visiting personnel of Afghan police. The programme includes both theoretical and practical aspects of traffic management and the Afghan police delegation is undergoing training sessions on traffic regulations, handling support equipment, safety audit, accident recording, analysis etc.

The Apollo Lifesavers training was imparted to help them understand the handling of emergency situations.

The training modules for lifesavers have been drafted keeping in mind the present situation in Afghanistan and provided inputs on how to provide first aid and immediate medical support to accident victims, using the most basic materials like wooden splints, pieces of cloth etc.

The aim of the training is to ensure that timely medical aid could be provided in case of an emergency till proper medical facilities were made available.


Non-serious’ attitude of Chautala on SYL criticised
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 10
The deputy leader of the Haryana Congress legislature party, Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav, has asserted that the “inept” handling of the SYL issue by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, showed that he was not serious about this issue.

He said the construction of the SYL canal and the supply of canal water, a lifeline for the farmers of Haryana, particularly those in the Ahirwal (south Haryana), was an important issue for the people of the region.

He made this assertion at a press conference here today. To lend substance to his charge, he asked if it was not a serious lapse on the part of the Chief Minister that instead of forcefully presenting Haryana’s case on the SYL

issue himself, he sent his Cabinet colleague, Mr Ram Pal Majra, to the meeting convened by the Union Water Resources Minister, Mr Arjun Charan Sethi, at Delhi recently.

Contrary to this, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, made it a point to be personally present at the meeting, which had been convened to resolve the stalemate.

Further, seven months have passed since the verdict of the apex court on January 15, 2001, but nothing concrete has yet emerged towards the completion of the SYL canal. Was it not deplorable that during the past seven months, the Chief Minister had not made a single formal request to the NDA government at the Centre to resolve the issue, he asked. 


A new bus stand for Rohtak in Oct
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, August 10
The new bus stand constructed at a cost of approximately Rs 2.40 crore on the Rohtak-Hisar bypass, opposite the district jail here, will become operational in October. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ here today that the new bus stand, spread over 10 acres, would be dedicated to the people in the first week of October.

The date of inauguration will be finalised according to the convenience of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

He said that the site of the existing bus stand, measuring nearly five acres in the heart of the old city, would be handed over to HUDA for development of a commercial complex. The HUDA, in turn, will construct the roadways workshop near the new bus stand. About eight acres of land has been earmarked for the workshop, he said.

Similarly, he said the meat market and the slaughterhouse would also be shifted out of the town. The administration has a acquired land near village Sunaria for the proposed meat market. This market will be ready for occupation before the end of the year.

Mr Yadav said that the drive against encroachments on the municipal and government land would continue unabated.

After successfully vacating encroachments on the Bhiwani stand and railway road, the next drive would be launched to clear encroachments on the busy Circular Road.

The entire vehicular traffic for Rewari, Jhajjar and Bhiwani pass through the Circular Road. Mr Yadav felt that a large number of shopkeepers and residents on the Circular Road have been guilty of encroachment. He said the administration has planned to replace the existing metalled roads with concrete roads.

Following the removal of encroachments on the Bhiwani stand, the road has widened on all sides. The traffic bottlenecks, that were a common sight on the Bhiwani stand, have now ended.

The removal of encroachments on the railway road and Agarsen Chowk, opposite the railway station, has been hailed by the ‘Rohtak-Delhi Daily Passengers Association.’

Between 15,000 to 20000 persons commute daily between Rohtak and Delhi, majority of them being government employees, shopkeepers and students.

The encroachments near the railway station and the resultant frequent traffic jams, had become a major cause of concern for the daily passengers.

The president, ‘Daily Passengers Association,’ Mr Vijay Kumar Saini, had in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, praised the work of the district administration for the wonderful work pertaining to the removal of encroachments.

Mr Yadav said that the petty shopkeepers who have been hit hard during the anti- encroachment drive would be provided alternate sites either outside the new bus stand or the civil hospital.

The ‘Dhabawalas,’ whose shops had been removed during the anti-encroachment drive at the Bhiwani stand, had been provided new sites for shops at the new bus stand area, Mr Yadav said.


Chittorgarh: The last citadel of a bygone era
Our Correspondent

A city, which is till date is remembered for tales of valour and Rani Padmini’s Jauhar, Chittorgarh stands atop a 500-feet high hill taking pride in its erstwhile glory. About 150 miles Southwest of Jaipur, the great fort of Chittorgarh is seen rising sharply from the surrounding plain. Today, largely a deserted ruin, the fort nevertheless testifies to the valour of its people. Chittorgarh became the first capital of the royal house of Mewar in the early thirteenth century. In 1303, Alauddin Khilji, the sultan of Delhi, who wanted to claim the beautiful Rani Padmini, attacked the fort. The Rani and her female attendants, fearing disrepute, committed suicide (Jauhar) by jumping into fire, while the menfolk rushed ahead to meet the enemy.

The Chittorgarh Fort, which is the main attraction, is an august building tracing the echelons of time. Legend goes that Bhim, the third of Pandavas, is credited with the fort’s original construction. The main gate on the eastern side of the fort is known as the Surajpol. From the western end of the fort, there are fine views of the town and the surrounding country-side. For visitors, the places of interest are:

Padmini Palace

Built beside a large pool with a pavilion in its centre. Legend relates that, as Padmini sat in this pavilion, Alauddin caught her glimpse in a mirror hanging in the palace. The bronze gates in this pavilion were carried off by Akbar and can now be seen in the fort at Agra.

Vijay Stambh

Built in 1440 AD by Maharaja Kumbha, a powerful ruler of Mewar, to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat. It is 37-metre-high structure with nine storeys, covered with exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities.

Kalika Mata Mandir

A temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, it was built as a Sun temple in the 8th century and, later, was converted into Kalika Temple in the 14th century AD.

Apart from these historical places, there is the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers a habitat to panthers, wild boars, antelopes, mongoose and migratory birds. Prior permission has to be obtained from the district forest officer, Chittorgarh, before visiting the sanctuary.

Kirti Stambh

This 22-metres-high ‘Kirti Stambha’, or ‘Tower of Fame’, older and smaller than the ‘Tower of Victory’, was built by a wealthy Jain merchant and dedicated to Adinathji, the first Jain tirthankar. A narrow stairway leads through the seven storeys to the top.

Meera Temple

Close to the Fateh Prakash Palace is the ‘Meera temple’, built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the ornate Indo-Aryan style and associated with the mystic-poetess Meerabai. The larger temple, which is in this same compound, is the Kumbha Shyam temple, or the temple of Varah.


One of the oldest towns in Rajasthan, Nagri is 17 km north of Chittorgarh. Hindu and Buddhist remains from the Mauryan to the Gupta periods have been found here.

Bijapur (40km)

A castle said to have been built by Rao Shakti Singh, the youngest brother of Maharana Pratap Singh. Now, it has been converted into a hotel.

Sanwariyaji Temple

Situated on Chittor-Udaipur road. It is a modern temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and is an important pilgrimage spot for Hindus.

Fateh Prakash Mahal: Just near the Rana Kumbha Palace. It is a modern palace (Maharaja Fateh Singh died in 1930), which houses a fine museum with an exquisite collection of sculptures from temples and buildings from the Fort.

Jaimal and P(h)atta Palaces: The ruins of the palaces of Rathore Jaimal and Sisodia P(h)atta are silent witnesses of the gallantry of the great warriors.

Deogarh (125 km)

A 16th century fort situated near Pratapgarh. It is famous for its palaces and Jain temples To reach Chittorgarh one can take a bus. It is on the main bus and train route. The city is 182 km from Ajmer, 158 km from Bundi and 112 km from Udaipur. For those wishing to travel by train, the city has train links with Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jaipur, Kota and Delhi.


Nine SBI branches to accept rent deposits
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
Rent deposits for cases pending before the Rent Controller, Rent Control Tribunal or any civic court can now be made at select branches of the State Bank of India (SBI). According to information made available by the officials of the State Bank of India in the court of Justice S N Kapoor of the Delhi High Court, nine branches of the SBI have started accepting rent deposits.

The deposits can now be made at SBI branches at Tis Hazari, R.K.Puram, Nirman Bhawan, Kapashera, East Patel Nagar, Shahdara, Laxmi Nagar, Kanjhawala and Janakpuri.

The move, which started on July 15, aims to ease troubles faced by tenants who could deposit rents at Tis Hazari in case of legal disputes with their landlords. Justice Kapoor, expanding the scope of tenant-landlord dispute before him, set up a “study group” in May this year to find ways to facilitate the general public relating to financial transactions like deposit of house tax, electricity bills and other such fees in order to ensure good governance through e-governance.

The study group was considering how quickly the bills of various departments could reach the lay man and how best they could be deposited to speed up the recovery of the revenue on the one hand and to avoid any harassment of the public on the other.

It was also studying how the assistance of various public authorities and branches of nationalised banks, particularly SBI, could be taken in this regard.

Notices, returnable on September 2, were also issued to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council, the Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Jal Board to enlist their cooperation in providing facilities to the public in payment of bills / taxes.


Protest against manhandling of workers
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 10
Several members of the Haryana State Electricity Board Workers’ Union staged a demonstration here in protest against the ‘casual’ attitude adopted by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam authorities and the district administration towards the manhandling of a team of power officials by an erring power consumer recently.

In a joint statement, Mr Inderpal Bhatia and Mr Bharat Bhushan, president and secretary respectively of the district unit, said a tubewell consumer, Rampal, in sub division number 4 was caught red- handed while stealing power by a raiding team led by Assistant Executive Engineer, S.K. Bansal of Vigilance Department on Tuesday.

They alleged the ‘erring’ consumer along with his family members attacked the team and beat up a Junior Engineer, N.P. Singh mercilessly.

The union leaders said the matter was reported to the officials of UHBVN and the district administration but they alleged, that no action had been taken in this regard. They alleged that the cops, escorting the power officials’ also remained mere spectators during the assault. They sought strict and timely action against the offenders so that the drive against power theft could continue smoothly in the region.

Demonstration held

Hundreds of students of PDM Engineering College and Polytechnic demonstrated outside the SDM office in Bahadurgarh in protest against the poor services provided by the Haryana Roadways.

The students complained that the service of the Gurgaon bound buses in the evening was inadequate. This had led to a tussle between the students and the roadways authorities. When the students demanded that the authorities arrange a bus for the stranded passengers, including the students, the roadways officials called the police who lathi-charged the students.

They further complained that while the college is situated on the Beri road, nearly 4 km away from the bus stand, there was no transport facility on this route.

They demanded the plying of special buses for transporting the students from the bus stand to the collage.

Later, the students submitted a memorandum to the SDM. The SDM assured the students to look into the matter and solve their problems.

Sarpanch suspended

Mr Mohinder Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner, suspended the sarpanch of Badli village, Mr Raj Singh, acting on Article 177-1(A) of the Panchayati Raj Act. He was suspended for having more than two children. The sarpanch has four children.

In another case, the sarpanch of Bamnoli village was served with a notice to clarify his position on charges of serious irregularities leveled against him.

The DC order directed the sarpanch to reply to the charges within 15 days or action would be taken against him under Article 51(3) of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act.

Suicide pact

A young couple reportedly committed suicide in Devenderpuri Labour colony of Modinagar by swallowing a poisonous substances.

According to the police, Sonu, who was living with his widowed mother in the Labour Colony, had married against the wishes of his mother. But his wife was living separately. Reportedly, Sonu had brought his wife back to his Devinderpuri house. However, both were moved to the local Jeevan Nursing Home after they swallowed some poisonous substance. Even as they were being rushed to a Mohan Nagar hospital, they died. 


Three held for selling duplicate water pumps
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The Crime Branch, Economic Offences Wing have arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the business of selling duplicate water pumps and induction motors of Crompton Greaves Ltd. The police seized duplicate goods such as 12 mono water pump sets, three induction motors and six duplicate plates of Crompton Greaves worth Rs 60,000 from their possession.

The police after conducting a raid at the Trinagar area, arrested the accused identified as Satya Narayan Aggarwal, Harish Kumar and Manveet Singh. 


Cop gets doctorate for work on adolescents

New Delhi, August 10
The Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, Mr UNB Rao, was honoured with a doctorate degree for his work on relations between the police and the adolescents by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Mr Rao was awarded the Ph.D. for his research on impact of pro-active policing approach on the attitude of adolescents in metropolitan cities. The work focuses on the prevalent attitude of the adolescents towards police and endeavours to check whether these attitudes could be changed through interaction between them and the policemen during their school time.

The research reveals that children who receive inputs about policing indicated better and positive attitude in contrast to those who are not told about policing. Mr Rao points out that the study is contemporary in view of the growing need to improve the relationship between the police and the public and aid in checking the criminal tendencies in adolescents. OC


Chhattisgarh handicrafts emporium inaugurated in Capital 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10
The Chhattisgarh handicrafts emporium, ‘Shabari’, was opened today in the Capital. Located in the Kanishka shopping arcade at the Ashoka Road, the emporium will display and sell the work of the craftsmen of Chhattisgarh.

The emporium was inaugurated by Mr Dinesh Nandan Sahay, the Governor of Chhattisgarh. The state Chief Minister, Mr Ajit Jogi, presided over the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dinesh Nandan Sahay, said “Chhattisgarh has a rich heritage of art and craft which is still unknown to the outside world. This emporium will make available the best of our culture and traditional art.

This is only the beginning. We plan to extend this initiative to other major metros like Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad as well.”

Managed by Chhattisgarh Khadi and Village Industries Board, ‘Shabari’ is now open to customers. One can choose from a wide range of artefacts and textiles, typically produced by the tribal craftsmen of the state. Prominent among the items are bell metal and wrought iron figurines, statues, lamps, and other artefacts depicting traditional gods, goddesses and animal figures.

Other prominent articles are sarees, fabric and dress materials made from the famous Kosa silk from Bilaspur, Raigarh, Jagdalpur and Jangirchampa regions of Chhattisgarh.

Beautiful and uniquely patterned with vegetable dyes in attractive hues, block printing techniques and typical fera and jaala weave patterns, these make very attractive purchases. “Chhattisgarh Gramodyog offers the second largest employment opportunities to those engaged in cottage and rural industries in the state. Outlets such as these will provide our craftsmen exposure to more and better market opportunities,” said Dr Indira Mishra, Principal Secretary, Department of Rural Industries, Government of Chhattisgarh.

“This is an initiative geared to keep our heritage alive and make it relevant to meet the market demands. Already,

we are working with the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the National Institute of Design to preserve and develop the designs, prints, colours and motifs of Chhattisgarh. We are also talking to the Khadi and Village Industries Commission to help us in the development of leather items,” she added.

Apart from sale and display of goods, craftsmen, artisans and weavers from Chhattisgarh will also be invited to `Shabari’ to showcase their skills from time to time. Chhattisgarh came into being on November 1, 2000 as the 26th state of the country. Ninth largest in the country, it is the richest state in mineral resources like coal, iron-ore, bauxite and diamonds. With its surplus power, social and industrial peace and natural resources, the state is poised to become the ideal destination for investors and tourists.


A Book of lasting spiritual influence

One of the major contributions of the missionaries to this country is their role in the development of regional languages at a time when there was little effort being made indigenously in this direction. This fact was brought into focus at a function held by the Bible Society of India held at the Constitution Club in New Delhi for release of a re-edited Hindi Bible (Old Version) and a new illustrated Children Bible in Hindi.

Very few people today know that William Carey, a missionary, who landed in India in November 1793, was the first man to translate and publish the great Indian religious classics such as the Ramayana and philosophical treatises such as Samkhya into English. Carey transformed Bengali which was considered “fit only for demons and woman’’ into the foremost literary language of the country. He wrote Gospel ballads in Bengali so that the people could, through musical recitations, enjoy their worship of God.

Carey, who was only a cobbler when he left the shores of England, by dint of hard work mastered the languages here and became professor of Bengali, Sanskrit and Marathi at the Fort William College in Calcutta. He also had translated the Holy Bible and its portions into over 40 languages. There had been other missionaries like Gundert who wrote dictionaries for some of the South Indian languages.

Now to revert to the function. The old version of the Hindi Bible, which is quite popular suffers from certain disadvantages. It was first published in 1905. The language therein in archaic. As in English and other languages, many Hindi words and terms have changed their meaning over the years. There have been changes in the manner of spelling certain words. The modern reader requires study helps and explanations to make the subject matter more intelligible. The re-edited version seeks to correct these shortcomings. The Bible Society had constituted an editorial committee comprising theologians, pastors, linguists and lay leaders. The committee has also taken into consideration the viewpoints of various denominations.

The Children’s Bible too, presented in large print, simple sentences and life transforming stories and more than 200 colourful illustrations should prove quite attractive for children.

The Bible, the world’s bestseller, is an amazing library of 66 books — 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament — written in 1600 years by 40 different authors. The Old testament is the description of God’s work in the history of Israel before the time of Jesus Christ and the New Testament is about the life, teaching and works of Jesus Christ. The book or its portions have already been translated into 2287 languages (2001 survey). The first printed Bible was in Latin in the year 1456. The printing machine was invented to print this very book.

The influence of the Bible, a guide book of life, has been universal. Whether you are attending a discourse at any of the centers of the Ramakrishna Mission or a satsangh of Radha Saomis or simply some illustrated talks on the Holy Gita or the Granth Saheb, You will hear profound verses from the Bible being quoted to support a particular doctrine or viewpoint.

“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work’’ (2 Timothy 3: 16) observed St Paul of the Bible. This book has shaped and influenced many leaders of even third world countries. Mahatma Gandhi himself had acknowledged his indebtedness to this scripture. He was particularly fond of the Sermon on the Mount and even Christians admit that he had tried to make its teachings the blueprint of his own life. The late Abraham Lincoln used to maintain: “Take all of this book upon reason that you can find and the balance by faith and you will live and die a better man.’’

Most religions lay great emphasis on the reading and meditation of the scriptures. The Brahmins here and the Jews of Israel teach and train their children in the scriptures. The Jews claimed that their children learned the law even from their swaddling clothes, and that they drank it in with their mother’s milk.

St Paul makes a distinction between man-made philosophical books and the inspired word of God. The great books for a man’s soul are the God-inspired books, which time and tradition and the experience of men had consecrated and sanctified.

An unknown author has written the following about this book: “The book contains the mind of God, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding and its decisions immutable. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass…Christ is its subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It is a mine of wealth, a river of pleasure. It is given to us in life, will be opened at the judgement…’’

Napoleon, exiled in St Helena, had reportedly observed: “The Gospel is not really a book — it is a living power — a book surpassing all others. I never omit to read it, and every day with the same pleasure. Nowhere is to be found such a series of beautiful ideas and admirable moral maxims, which pass before us like the battalions of the celestial army …The soul can never go astray with this book for its guide.

The function was attended by bishops of various denominations, the general secretary of the Bible society, Dr Pramanik, pastors, Christian leaders and MPs. Dr T. K. Chandy gave a presentation on the working of the Bible society and Mr J. S. Rathore dwelt on the highlights of the forthcoming golden jubilee celebrations of the society.

M P K Kutty

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