Saturday, August 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


High Court takes lid off 22-month-old killing
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, August 16
A man, whose 11-year-old son was killed 22 months ago, went from pillar to post to get the killers booked, but to his anguish the death of his son was treated as a case of rail accident and disposed of under Section 174 Cr PC by GRP, Rewari.

Finally, Paras Ram, the hapless resident of Jant Sayarwas village near Rewari, has got some relief. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Government Railway police (GRP), Rewari, to register a case of murder in connection with the death of Master Ravi Dutt.

Ravi Dutt (11), a student of sixth class, died under mysterious circumstances on October 21, 2000. The order was issued on a criminal petition filed under Section 482 Cr PC by Mr Paras Ram. The court had earlier directed the superintendent of Government Railway Police (GRP), Ambala Cantt, to personally look into the matter. Subsequently, the superintendent got an enquiry conducted by DSP, GRP, Hissar.

The GRP, Rewari, has now registered a case on charges of murder, disappearance of evidence of offence and criminal conspiracy under Sections 302, 201, 120 B of the IPC against Ram Bir, son of Raj Singh, Satya Pal, alias Satte, son of Jawala, and others. The aforesaid are all residents of Jant Sayarwas village. Simultaneously, the investigation of the case has been handed over to Mr Rameshwar Lal, inspector, patrolling GRP (Haryana).

Mr Paras Ram said that the body of his son was recovered by the GRP, Rewari, from a railway track between Rewari and Khalilpur stations on October 21, 2000. He alleged that the GRP of Rewari, much against his protestations, treated it as a case of rail accident. Strangely enough, the investigating officer had failed to pinpoint the train which had knocked down the boy. Mr Paras Ram alleged that the killers had thrown the body on the tracks from where it was later removed and placed outside by some railway employee.

Mr Paras Ram said that he had made representations to the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, the governor of Haryana, the Chief Minister, the DGP, the Superintendent of GRP, Ambala Cantt, and the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, seeking the arrest of the killers, registration of a case of murder and a CBI probe.

At long last, the hapless father is relieved and hopeful that the killers would get their deserts.


Holy Book defiled at gurdwara
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
The Sikh community in the Capital has expressed shock, anger and dismay over the discovery of a defiled volume of the Guru Granth Sahib at the historic Bangla Sahib gurdwara.

The pages of the holy book, which was kept at it usual place on the first floor of the gurdwara, though intact, were found slashed. The defilement was restricted to only a few pages. The Granth Sahib is accessible to all devotees.

Two gurdwara employees have been suspended and six others have been transferred for dereliction of duty. Stating that a committee has been formed to inquire into the incident, he said immediate steps have been taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents, the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said.

“The defilement was discovered at dawn on Independence Day by one of the devotees who went upstairs to take the Hukamnama (daily holy lesson from the Guru Granth Sahib). He immediately informed us,” he said.

However, the DSGMC president described the defilement of the Guru Granth Sahib as a “planned act” to defame the newly formed committee.

‘’This was definitely an act of mischief, but it will be dealt with sternly. We have already set up a three-member panel to conduct an inquiry into the defilement,’’ Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu, Senior Vice-President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), said.

But the move least satisfied senior Akali leaders in the Capital, who have demanded an “independent’’ probe into the incident.

‘’The desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib is something that concerns the entire faith. It warrants a high-level independent probe so that there is no attempt to cover up any administrative lapse,’’ said Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)’s Delhi unit chief Avtar Singh Hit.

Stating that the DSGMC has failed to protect the holy book, Mr Avtar Singh voiced apprehensions whether they would be able to protect the interest of the community.

Senior DSGMC member Manjit Singh said: ‘’We should all rise above politics on this serious issue. The entire incident should be probed independently.’’

He described the attack on Guru Granth Sahib as an “attack on Sikhism”. The incident appears to be a well-planned move to create a rift among the members of the community, Mr Manjit Singh said and urged the community not to fall in the trap.

The attack on Guru Granth Sahib has brought back memories of the defilement of the holy scriptures by the alleged followers of Pyara Singh Baniyara in Punjab.

The Bangla Sahib gurdwara, situated in the heart of the Capital, is thronged daily by hundreds of devotees. The gurdwara is associated with Guru Hari Krishan. During a visit to Delhi, the Guru worked among poor Hindus and Muslims, who were suffering from small pox and cholera. Everyday the would distribute sanctified water to the ailing, which had a miraculous healing effect. To this day water sanctified by the word of god is distributed in the gurdwara to devotees. Many seriously ill persons have reportedly healed after their visit to the gurdwara.


Gurgaon Inc bullish about cut in EDC 
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 16
After hectic parleys with the government and efforts to score brownie points on the External Development Charge (EDC) issue, the industry has finally something to cheer about.

The Managing Director of the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC), Dr Harbaksh Singh, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ today that the government might reduce the charge to about Rs 200 per sq metre.

The HSIDC had levied the EDC at the rate of Rs 602 per sq metre on the industrial plot owners in Udyog Vihar and Sector 18. The rate was subsequently reduced to Rs 402 per sq metre. The industrialists are now pressing for a further reduction.

The ill-feeling has persisted even though the chief secretary announced a reduction in the rate to Rs 300 per sq metre a couple of months ago. There are about 1,600 plots holders affected by the move of the HSIDC.

Dr Singh, who is said to be espousing the case of the industrialists, is said to have held numerous meetings with the Huda department for an early settlement of the issue.

The HSIDC has said that the fact some industrialists had moved the High Court will not stop the government from taking the initiative to provide relief on the issue.

When pointed out that the levying of the EDC was illegal as the industrialists had paid all the development charges when they had purchased the plots more than two decades ago, Dr Singh said that the EDC was a town-level charge levied by the Huda on account of development of infrastructure in Gurgaon city.

The HSIDC had already provided the facilities to the plots holders for which it had charged. However, Huda had provided extra facilities, such as bringing canal water to the city in 1987. Dr Singh said that in the interest of the overall development of the city, it was imperative that the ‘users pay principle’ was followed.

He also debunked the theory that the HSIDC was passing the buck as it had failed to clear its dues to HUDA.

The HSIDC had purchased the plots from Huda and later sold them to the industrialists. Since Huda was the main body providing infrastructure in Gurgaon, it has levied charges on the HSIDC, the original buyer of plots from it, under the subhead of EDC.

Sources in the other layers of the government said that Mr M.K. Miglani, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, is also in touch with both the HSIDC and the Huda department on the issue.

He may chair a joint meeting of the HSIDC, Huda and other related people shortly, in order to sort out the issue.


Rs 5 cr spent on an MCD house of cards! 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
A government that denied an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the family of security personnel killed in the December 13 Parliament House attack, has blown up Rs 5 crore on housing for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s class IV employees as the project has remained a house of cards.

The project was sanctioned in the financial year 1999-2000 for housing class IV employees in Rohini and Jehangirpuri. Two years and Rs 5 crore later, the ‘colony’ is yet to see the light. By the government’s own admission, the houses are nowhere near completion. The Government of NCT of Delhi will not commit if the monies have indeed been pilfered but a physical verification of the works has been ordered nevertheless.

To make amends for the corporators’ “fiscal profligacy”, Finance Minister Mahender Singh Saathi argues that the next instalment of Rs 8 crore will now be released subject to the MCD’s submitting a status report of the works undertaken. The MCD Commissioner, says the minister, has also been told to enforce fiscal discipline and keep the Non-Plan expenditure under check.

He also blames the Bharatiya Janata Party’s misrule in Town Hall for the mess. The Congress-administered MCD and the Government of NCT of Delhi, he says, are only paying for that party’s misadventures. “How else would you explain the appointment of 5,000 class IV employees during the five years they had been in power?” he asks referring to the employment of daily-wage and safai karmacharis by the BJP.

Notwithstanding the leakages in the monies released for development works, the spendthrift MCD has run up liabilities to the tune of Rs 300 crore already of which Rs 150 crore alone account for dues payable to contractors. Non-Plan expenditure has overshot the budgetary allocation of Rs 450 crore.

The Department of Finance has since decided to advance the release of the third instalment of Non-Plan funds that will otherwise be due in October.

To shore up the MCD’s reserves and arrange for funds to carry development works, Saathi says the Government of NCT of Delhi will press the corporation to introduce a scheme for collecting house tax. House tax to the tune of Rs 2,600 crore, he says, is outstanding. “Even if the MCD waives off 50 per cent of the tax dues, it will still earn about Rs 1,200 crore,” he reasons.


Champion of sports gives up stadium
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 16
The Haryana government keeps harping that it champions the cause of sports, yet the development of infrastructure in the state is mired in reams of red tape. The ambitious indoor stadium project is one such instance. The construction of the state-of-the-art stadium started about four years ago in the Sector-12 sports complex here, but due to shortage of funds the work was stopped abruptly after a few months. Three years have lapsed, but the work has not resumed.

All one can see are the remnants of a half-complete stadium — rusted iron grills and ‘blackened’ walls. The base had been laid and the pillars and the side walls were being raised when the work got stalled. The cost of the stadium was pegged at over Rs 3 crore and the authorities had pumped in about Rs 60 lakhs when the project was abandoned, according to sources. The project was being funded by the Union Sports Ministry, the State Sports Department and local sources. When contacted, a senior official of the sports department said that efforts were on to resume the work on the project. Haryana already has an indoor stadium at Sirsa.

The Sector 12 sports complex, which already has a swimming pool, lawn tennis courts and other facilities, is facing a shortage of coaches and other staff. The eight-feet deep swimming pool has no coach or life guard. As a result, the authorities have handed over the ‘pool’ to the Gymkhana Club which charges Rs 1,000 for a season. Similarly, there is no coach for lawn tennis, table tennis, hockey, wrestling, football and archery.


Don’t create academic anarchy, UGC warned
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has warned that if the university authorities did not take an ‘academic view’ of the current stand-off arising out of the recent circulars issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC), there could be ‘widespread anger’ among the teaching community. In a letter to the Delhi University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Deepak Nayyar, the DUTA president, Dr Shaswati Mazumdar, demanded that the V-C take up the issue of the promotion to professorship in colleges to ensure that the “teaching profession is able to attract and retain talent”.

“The policy intent of the new modus operandi is clearly to render the duly constituted university system defunct and infructuous, and an attempt to take over colleges via pliant governing bodies and principals,” the DUTA said in its letter to the Vice-Chancellor. The teachers association said that the potentially most disastrous of these recent letters from the UGC is the one that concerns teachers’ workload.

“We were shocked to discover that the UGC does not know the difference between notification, regulation, guidelines and circulars. The UGC also appears to be unaware that the workload requirements as enlisted in the UGC Regulations of 1998 stipulate an upper limit of three clock hours per day for lectures/discussions which correspond to the upper limit of “fifteen hours per week” set out in the Delhi University Ordinance XIII”, the letter said. The DUTA had charged the UGC and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with creating ‘academic anarchy’ and ‘disrupting the teaching learning process’, the teachers’ association said in a statement.


Dikshit urges women, kids to make Delhi green
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
Emphasising the pivotal role of women and children in making Delhi a green and clean city, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Shiela Dikshit, called upon women of Delhi to adopt trees in their neighbourhood and ensure their upkeep and maintenance. She asked when women could bring up their whole family, why can’t they bring up trees?

She was speaking at the inauguration of ‘Van Mahotsav- 2002,’ organised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at the ‘Main Park,’ Chirag Delhi.

She also planted saplings to start the tree plantation drive being undertaken by the MCD. This year, the MCD will plant more than 7 lakh saplings.

Nearly 90,000 saplings have been planted, and it is hoped that the target of planting 7 lakh saplings would be achieved by November 2002.

In addition, DDA, PWD, NDMC and CPWD will also carry out tree plantation drives separately, the Chief Minister disclosed.

Highlighting the role of women, the Chief Minister reminded the gathering that during the Prime Ministership of Mrs Indira Gandhi, the women folk had been a major force behind the Chipko Movement, to save trees in the hilly regions of the country.

The women can change the entire scenario and help make Delhi green, thereby curbing pollution and contributing to the good health of their children, Mrs Dikshit emphasised.

Ms Dikshit also called upon the children to adopt at least one tree each for upkeep and maintenance. She disclosed that the Territorial Army had been entrusted with the work of making the ‘Bhatti Mines’ area green. She said that the scheme was being financed by the Delhi Government.

Mrs Dikshit disclosed that there had been a constant increase in green areas during the last four years. At present, there was 108 sq. kms of green areas as compared to about 30 kms four years ago.

Mrs Jaishree Panwar, the Mayor of Delhi, Mr Yoganand Shastri, area MLA, Mr Panna Lal Khairwal, Deputy Mayor, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, Chairman, Standing Committee, Mr Satbir Singh, Chairman, Education Committee, Mr Jitender Kochar, Chairman, Medical Relief and Public Health Committee, Mrs Chandra Makkar, Chairman, Garden Committee, Mr Rohit Manchanda, Municipal Councillor, Mr Rakesh Mehta, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Manoj Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, South Zone, Mr Dev Pal Singh, Director (Horticulture) and other prominent residents of Chirag Delhi were present at the function.

Mr Ram Babu Sharma, speaking on the occasion, called upon the people to adopt at least one tree for upkeep and

maintenance. He also urged the citizens to cooperate with the officials of the civic body in carrying out horticultural works in their respective areas.

He also emphasised the need for a massive tree plantation drive so as to curb pollution and provide healthy environment to the people.

Mr Rakesh Mehta, Municipal Commissioner, on this occasion said that the ‘Millennium Park’ at Chirag Delhi was spread in an area of 12.5 acres. He said that the MCD has planed to plant 725 trees and 6000 shrubs in this park.

He also announced that the MCD would develop an attractive park at the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar.

He called upon the citizens to come forward to make their contribution in making Delhi a green city under the Bhagidari scheme.

Mr Jitender Kochar, the area Municipal Councillor, demanded that sufficient space be provided in this park where women of Chirag Delhi village could organise get-together and kirtan.

Mr Yoganand Shastri said that Delhi had now become a world class city as far as greenery was concerned and the credit certainly goes to the Delhi Chief Minister.

He said the Delhi Chief Minister had endeavoured hard during the last four years to carry out major transplantation drives by various civic agencies like MCD, Delhi Development Authority, Public Works Department, Flood Control Department, Delhi Cantonment Board and NDMC.


Advani to open party meet today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, will inaugurate the political conference of the Delhi state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday. Besides deliberating on the strategy to be adopted ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, a document titled “Delhi BJP Vision–2003” would be released on the occasion.

The Delhi BJP president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, on Friday told mediapersons that the conclave would be addressed among others by the party’s national president, Mr Venkaiah Naidu. He said the conference would also focus on how best to take up the various civic problems confronting the people of Delhi.

The party will also decide on an agitation to be launched to highlight the worsening transport crisis, sewage system, growing menace of pollution, increasing unemployment and rising corruption in the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi.


President’s Police Medal for CBI personnel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
The President’s Police Medal for distinguished service has been awarded to three CBI personnel, while 14 others have been conferred with Police Medal for meritorious service.

The three CBI personnel who have been given the President’s Police Medal were Mr G.N. Gupta, Additional SP, SIC-III, New Delhi, Mr M. S. Sundrarajan, DSP, ACB, Chennai and Mr Rajender Singh, Head Const. SU, New Delhi.

Those awarded Police Medals were Mr R. K. Garg, DIG, CBI, Chandigarh, Mr N.R.K. Reddy, DIG, ACB, Chennai, Mr M.A. Ganapathy, DIG, AC-I, Delhi, Mr P.D. Meena, SP, SIC-II, New Delhi, Mr R.K. Saran, Addl. SP, EOW-II, New Delhi, Mr K.C. Joshi, Addl. SP, SIU-IX, New Delhi, Mr A.K. Sharma, DSP, SIU-X, New Delhi, Mr Daulat Ram, Inspector, New Delhi, Mr K.S.Thakur, Inspector, SIC-II, New Delhi, Mr M. Satya Sheela, Inspector Interpol, New Delhi, Mr Gugan Singh, Sub-Inspector, SIC-IV, New Delhi, Mr B.N. Binjola, Sub Inspector, CBI HQ, New Delhi, Mr Udaivir Singh, ASI, SIU-X, New Delhi and Mr Harbans Lal, Head Const. SIC-IV, New Delhi.


Deployment of extra cops fails to avert mishaps 
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 16
In spite of additional staff having been posted in traffic police to improve the traffic management, the number of road accidents continue to claim precious lives of citizen in Gautam Budh Nagar. Fourteen persons, including 3 women, died in different road accidents during the past 10 days here.

Two main reasons for accidents are over-speeding and driving under influence of liquor, which police seem to have failed to check so far. 35-year-old Lado was crushed by a dumper in Sector-41 on August 5, while Panna Lal had been seriously injured by a rashly driven car near Kendriya Vihar, who later died in the hospital. Ram Manohar had been crushed under the wheels of the bus he was alighting from near Chhalera village on August 7. Deputy CMO’s son, Sumit Maheshwari, was killed by a dumper near Sector-23, Noida.

Om Prakash Sharma, who was going along with his wife Mamta and son Vishal was killed in Dadri. Again in Dadri Kunwar Sen Sharma was killed on August 9 in a road accident. He was going with his son Yogesh and daughter. Rishipal Bhudev, alias, Pappu and Shalu, were killed on August 10, by an Esteem car near Vaish Vedic College Laharsu. Mrs Naseem was killed when a truck hit her near Rama cinema, while a motorcyclist was crushed by a dumper in Sadarpur. On August 11, Dr Jenader Pal and Pappu were killed when their scooter was hit by a roadways bus near Badalpur post. Moolchand and Shiv Kumar were killed by the Canter. Though the police have posted more staff in traffic police. Drivers in the area are an extremely irresponsible and careless lot who need to be disciplined with an iron hand, the police say. Police hope to launch a campaign to discipline the errant vehicles drivers.


GDA shops becoming a haven for encroachers
Nalini Ranjan

Ghaziabad, August 16
A large number of shopping outlets, constructed by the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) near the multi-storeyed residential complexes of Vaishali, Koshambi and Vasundhara at a considerable cost, have been encroached upon by daily-wagers and rickshaw-pullers as there are no genuine takers for them.

Constructed almost a decade ago to provide market facilities near the residential complexes, these outlets were abandoned as no one came forward to either buy them or lease them. The reason being that they were shabbily constructed and did not conform to the requirements of the shopkeepers. As a result, the businessmen were reluctant to invest in these shops. They remained unoccupied.

Over the years, these shops became a readymade shelters for auto rickshaw- pullers and daily-wagers, who arrived at the complexes because of the construction activity going on there.

These shops provided a better shelter from the elements than the makeshift tents and shacks that most of them had erected nearby. Since there were no locks on the shutters, it was easy for them to shift there with their belongings.

According to the residents, the more enterprising of these rickshaw-pullers grabbed several shops and subsequently rented them out to others virtually raising a colony there.

When asked to the senior officers of the GDA, including the executive engineer incharge of the area, they claimed that they were unaware of the encroachers and promised to look into it.


NCC holds seminar on AIDS 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
To curb the growing menace of AIDS, the National Cadet Corps (NCC), organized a seminar on the menace of AIDS during the National Integration Camp at NCC parade grounds from August 12-17.

Addressing over 700 cadets, David Miller, Country Advisor, UNAIDS, highlighted the problem of AIDS as it exists globally with special emphasis on India.

He also explained the peculiar problems in India like poverty, lack of awareness, gender inequality and labour migration among others. While some countries like Thailand have succeeded in reducing the growth rate of the killer disease, in a country like India, it was rising alarmingly.

The cadets who attended the camp from all over the country took an oath to spread the awareness about the killer disease in their respective regions by way of conducting lectures and other programmes through their group headquarters.


Jobs openings dry up in Faridabad

Faridabad, August 16
The employment opportunities and avenues have been shrinking up fast. It is evident from the records of the Employment Office here, which registers educated and unemployed persons.

According to the report prepared by the Employment Office for the month of July this year, about 1832 applicants got registered their names in the office in July, of which only 197 youths got employment. Of these 193 were absorbed by the private sector, and three others got job under reserved category. While the total number of registered names in the office have soared to 68,214, the office could forward names of 445 candidates for jobs in government as well as in the private sector. As many as 301 names were forwarded to private sector during the period. Only 3 woman candidates could get employment through the office in July this year.

About the vacancies, it is reported that about 452 posts have been notified to be lying vacant, of which 451 are in private sector. Only one vacancy is stated to be for government service. The total number of pending vacancies in the employment office records is around 4325, as many as 1222 were in private sector.

It has been noticed over the years that the government jobs for general category candidates have shrunk up very fast, and the employment office informs the candidates whenever there is any vacancy in a factory or a firm. A youth of a nearby village having post graduate qualification and registered for about ten years failed to hear from the office for a government job and ultimately had to start his own work for livelihood. TNS


LJP warns of stir on SYL 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 16
Capt Shamsher Singh Malik, president, Haryana unit of Lok Janshakti Party, has announced that the party activists would stage a demonstration at the Parliament House in Delhi on September 14 to pressurise the Union Government to take suitable action against the Punjab Government for its reluctance to complete Sutlej Yamuna Link canal.

Capt Malik alleged that the all-party meeting convened by the state government in this connection on August 14 ended in a smoke.

He said the leaders of different political parties led by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Praksah Chautala, submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor after the meeting, which he alleged indicated their powerlessness.

He suggested that a delegation of different parties should have met the Prime Minister or the President in this regard and also apprised the masses of their complete action plan.

Bhajan thanked

Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and national secretary, Labour Cell, All India Congress Committee has expressed gratitude to the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Bhajan Lal, for including him in the party after a gap of five years.

Mr Hooda claimed that the state Congress had been strengthened and the party workers had become enthusiastic after Mr Bhajan Lal took over the party leadership in Haryana.

He said that he would hold meetings in the villages of Kiloi Assembly segment to highlight the party policies soon. The first such meeting would be held at Chiri village in Kiloi segment on August 18, he added.


Jat Mahasabha wants transfers of cops revoked 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
The spokesman of the `All India Jat Mahasabha’ Mr Tara Chand Mor, has warned the UP Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati, of grave consequences in case she does not revoke the transfer of police officers of Jat origin stationed at Bulandshahr.

In an emergency meeting of the executive committee of the mahasabha, held under the presidentship of Chaudhary Kehar Singh and attended by vice-president Nathu Singh Dagar and general secretary Yudh Veer Singh, a warning was sounded to Ms Mayawati that failing the revocation of transfer orders against the Jat police officers, the Mahasabha would launch a strong protest movement.

The spokesman of the Mahasabha said that if Ms Mayawati had a genuine case against a particular police officer, she should have moved against him alone and not targeted all the Jat officers out of caste prejudice.

She has gone beyond her sensibilities by even transferring all the Rajput officers of Bulan shahar. It may be recalled that a few days back, a minor accident had led the father of Ms Mayawati to rebuke a police officer, despite his repeated apology.

Subsequently, apart from the police officer involved in the altercation, Mayawati had suspended 25 other Jat police officers of Bulandshahar. Mr Mor said that no one stands above law, including those related to politicians.

He warned that Mayawati would have to face the wrath of the people if she failed to shed her parochial approach and cancel the suspension cum transfer of Jat and Rajput police officers of Bulandshar.


Special Appu Ghar-MUL offer 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
Commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Indian Independence, Appu Ghar, the premier amusement park of the nation has come up with a unique offer.

In collaboration with the Maruti Udyog Ltd, all those families driving to Appu Ghar in their Maruti cars will be entitled to avail a specially priced ticket of Rs 60 per person for Appu Ghar rides and Rs 60 per person for Oysters against a normal ticket priced at Rs 150 per person for all rides and Rs 250 per person for Oysters.

The coupon for these tickets will be handed over by an official, which can be exchanged/availed at a special counter for Maruti owners inside Appu Ghar. A Wagon R contest form per family will also be issued with the tickets along with a complimentary soft drink (Coke) coupon. These specially priced tickets are being offered at almost 1/3rd the price of Appu Ghar ticket for all rides and 1/4th the price of Oysters and Water Park ticket.

Two Wagon R’s will be on display in Appu Ghar. One will be displayed with reclining seats to highlight the unique features of the car and the other will be filled with footballs. Each Maruti family visiting under this scheme will be eligible to participate in the contest.

There will be one coupon per family. The number of footballs in the car has to be entered in the form along with the other details and dropped in the lucky draw box. The winners will be decided by computer generated draw.

There will be 10 lucky winners who will be presented a Maruti genuine accessories coupon worth Rs 10,000 each. The winner will be informed by Maruti through a letter. In total, gift vouchers worth Rs 1,00,000 will be distributed.


Ganges rises to alarming level 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 16
The rising level of the Ganges has created panic among many villages in Khadar in Garh Mukteshwar area. The administration has issued instruction to officials to be alert and vigilant.

Due to the continuous rains in Khadar area, the water level has been rising constantly and posing danger to many villages.

In many Khadar villages like Shakarpur, Bhagwantpur, Naya Bans, Lathira, Garh Wali, Ganga Nagar, the farmers had to suffer huge losses as their standing crops had been submerged in flood water.

Many diseases and ailments have also spread during this period. However, the inability of the administration to distribute relief and compensation had created lots of resentment among the farmers of the area.

The farmers of Bhagwatipur, Shakarpur and Lathira Ganga Wali villages strongly feel that the government should build an embankment along the Ganga river so that the entire area is spared the flood fury and crop damage every year.

Whenever water is released in the Ganges at Haridwar, there is a real danger of flood in the area. As such, all officials have been asked to keep a watch on the rising water level.


Cong rally against Ram Naik

New Delhi, August 16
Hundreds of activists of the Delhi unit of the Congress Party today staged a demonstration in the Capital today. The protestors demanded the resignation of the Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, over the controversy related to the petrol pump allotment. Led by the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Subash Chopra, the protestors sought the minister's resignation for his alleged involvement in the scam.

The Delhi Police took the slogan shouting protestors into custody to prevent them from marching to the minister's office. TNS




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

India is the land of saints and sages. We deify mother power and worship her in different forms of Durga. But alas! In spite of that our country is also known for its absurd traditions and at times show scant respect for human values when it comes to treating our womenfolk. After Independence, India has developed a lot in the field of technology but still evils like child marriage and the practice of sati exist here. Due to illiteracy our rural areas suffer most the pain of absurd traditional systems.

In the land of nod.
In the land of nod. — Photo by Anil Sharma

In the past social leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy had done a lot to root out many evils like sati. Sadly, after such a long period this evil practice still prevails in some pockets of this fast industrialising country. Fifteen years back young Roop Kanwar was forced to commit sati in Rajasthan. Now the unfortunate Gattu Bai, 65, of Patna Tamoli, Madhya Pradesh, committed sati. And what is strange is that the crowd gathered there celebrated the whole unfortunate exercise. In a congregation of at least 5,000 people nobody dared to come forward to prevent the poor woman from leaping into the fire. The people were rather dancing and chanting hymns. Even the two sons of this woman did not try to save their mother. The policemen who tried to take the woman off the funeral pyre were beaten.

The people of the village are, in fact, proud of this shameful incident.

Patna Tamoli village is more prosperous than others and has a higher secondary school too. But the people here still regard sati as a sacred practice. If such a hapless situation prevails in this village then what can we say about our other villages where poverty, illiteracy and ignorance rule.

The death of Gattu Bai should be treated as a murder of an unfortunate woman and as a national shame. Therefore, not only the family members of Gattu Bai but the whole village should be punished for this heinous crime against humanity.

The main cause of the existence of this absurd practice is illiteracy, ignorance and poverty. The central and state governments should come forward to educate people and initiate social measures to avoid repetition of such an incident. Social institutions can also play a vital role in this entire exercise.

All of us who have become accustomed to the heavy dose of female-based glamour and glitter must take time out from our mindless revelry and face the reality: How our poor, particularly the female section, are vulnerable and can always fall easy prey to evil social and so-called religious practices.


Shahdara, Delhi

Stamp out militancy with iron fist

It is reported that nine persons have been killed and about three times that number have been injured at Nunwan, near Pahalgam base camp of the pilgrims bound for the Amarnath pilgrimage.

Mr L. K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, announced that Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists are responsible for the tragedy. He says with certainty that the main purpose of the shootout is first to sabotage the forthcoming elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and secondly to disrupt the pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine. He informed that more than 80,000 pilgrims had already been to Sri Amarnath pilgrimage. He added that a delegation of experts from the Home Ministry had been despatched to make an on-the-spot study of the tragedy.

It is quite certain that a militant outfit is responsible for the heavy loss of life and injuries. But once again alibis will be found. One thing is quite clear that the terrorists ambushed the pickets of the security forces entrusted with the task of providing the pilgrims with round-the-clock necessary security cover. The camp was vulnerable. Sufficient leverage was given to the militants to do the job who came from nowhere. In fact, laxity and carelessness on the part of the security forces are the root cause of the tragedies. Previous to this tragedy, the massive loss of life of innocent citizens, paramilitary troops and regular forces in the makeshift cantonments have been the result of laxity amounting to carelessness on the part of security forces of all hues. Utmost determination to do away with militancy should become our watchword for a long time. We cannot sleep at rest until we do our job successfully. As long as our mission to finish with single-minded devotion the brute force of militancy is not realised every thing will go haywire. The reign of terror let loose by the militants will intimidate the people with nationalistic sentiments to withdraw into their shells. The apathy of the security forces along with their lethargy to act against the terrorists will not encourage the patriotic people of the valley to participate actively in the nation building activities. The enemy is out to succeed in his strategy to dominate and dictate his writ. He should never be allowed to succeed in his nefarious mission.



Cumbersome form

Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, originally Rohtak University, Rohtak, came into being on April 19, 1976, vide Haryana Government Act No 25 of 1975.

Every university, be it affiliated, unitary or deemed, holds examinations for awarding degrees, diplomas or certificates in different disciplines. A student is allowed to take the examination by a university if he/she is enrolled/registered first with that university.

The present examination form of MDU contains seven pages. Plus, it has one envelope duly tagged with it. The envelope is meant for dispatching the roll numbers to the examinees. From this year, MDU has allowed the students to appear in compartment subject(s) of BA/BSc/B.Com Part I and II in September 2002. Earlier, only students of BA/B.Sc./B.Com III were allowed to appear in supplementary examination in September/October.

This time onwards the university has provided students the facility to buy the examination form from certain post offices of Haryana after paying Rs 10 extra. The price of the form is printed as Rs 385 on an examination form of BA I, II, III (pass course/honours) and Rs 450 for BSc/B.Com/BA (with practical subjects) Part I, II, III.

Whether the form is bought from the MDU counter or a post office or obtained after sending a bank draft through registered post, it neither serves the best purpose of the university nor the students.

To cut a long story short, as many as 40,000 students filled their examinations forms for the forthcoming supplementary examinations of MDU. Roughly 10,000 students would have bought the examination forms from the post offices. The remaining have obtained the form either through post or from the university counter.

Almost all candidates have got their form attested from Principals of colleges. The major difficulties faced by students were with regard to procuring the examination form from post offices or by hand from the university counter has put them back by an additional Rs 10 to Rs 150. This could be because of extra charges at the post offices or the money spent on travelling from Mohindergarh/ Narnaul to MDU and back to buy the examination form.

Secondly, the cost of the form is so exorbitant i.e. Rs 385 or Rs 450(though this cost includes the

examination fee) that a student who could not fill the form correctly in the first instance destroyed the same and bought another one for Rs 385,filled it correctly, got it attested from the Principal of the college and deposited the same at the university counter after spending Rs 50 or thereabouts for travelling from Sonepat district to Rohtak and back.

Almost all the candidates for the supplementary examinations of MDU have spent roughly Rs 150 in obtaining and depositing the examination form to the university besides it being a big bother to them. In the case of female students, it extends to their parents/guardians too.

A four-page instruction-cum-code list of colleges and code list of subjects is an unnecessary wastage of paper, plus the printing charges thereon. Important instructions plus code number of centre of examination and code numbers of subjects can be printed on a wooden board by the colleges and should be hanged at an appropriate place in the colleges. Students rarely read several-paged instructions. They are routinely thrown in front of the university counter. Like the one-page Saral form of the Income Tax Department, the MDU should also make this examination form of one or at the most two pages for the examinees of supplementary as well as annual examinations.

Forms should be free of cost. Students should obtain the same from the colleges where their examination forms are to be attested by the Principals. Instead, unlike this year when students have filled their examination forms and deposited them at the individual level in the MDU office should deposit these in future with Principals of the colleges (the attesting officers) who should have them sent to the university by deputing an official of the college. At present, the university is giving Rs 10 for selling examination form to the post offices. This amount may be given to the Principals of the colleges. This amount can be distributed among Principals and officials of the colleges for taking the burden of checking the examination form, attesting the forms, preparing a list of the examinees, preparing financial statement, depositing bank draft plus examinations forms to the university office etc.

Without going into details, it is submitted that the Vice-Chancellor of MDU should constitute a committee of three to four senior teachers of the university, headed by the Controller of Examinations and secretarial assistance rendered by an Assistant Registrar who should have significant experience of examination branches to simplify the examination form and its procedure.



Fashion hysteria

During the past seven to 10 days, the English print media, TV channels and the great Indian middle class of the Capital have together created much hype, hullabaloo and hysteria with regard to the Lakme India Fashion Week, 2002, fashion shows held by various industrial houses, corporate giants and leading designers of the country, all in the bid to advertise their products, outfits beauty aids etc. It appears that due to the failure of the monsoon Delhiites are being compensated by showers of fashion through film stars and models.

We, Indians, are master imitators of the western culture. In fact, our craze for everything foreign has become a way of life. This is also affecting the psyche of the younger generation, which has started aping the West by discarding Indian culture, dress, customs, festivals, languages, 16 shingars (beauty aids) and heritage.

These days our younger generation knows all about Valentine’s Day but very little about Maha Shivaratri and Basant Panchmi, which also fall in February (Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 every year).

These fashion shows and beauty contests have in fact transcended the realms of healthy competition and have become big business. The TV channels have not only enabled people around the world to follow the action live, but have helped the MNCs and corporate giants to advertise their products, thus reducing these fashion shows and beauty contests to mere commercial ventures. They are also instrumental in polluting the minds of our teenagers with negative aspects of the western culture.

One fails to understand why we middle class Indians imitate only the negative aspects of western culture and refrain from following their positive aspects/practices such as hard work, discipline, work culture and love for indigenous goods.



Bandhs a waste

The newly appointed BJP chief of Delhi state, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, is creating a law and order problem while arranging bandhs. Now he has fired another salvo that the Delhi Government has misused funds at its disposal in a Rs 100-crore advertisement scam.

It would be infinitely better if the Delhi BJP chief worked for the betterment of Delhi citizens in solving electricity and water problem rather than adding more problems by organising bandhs. There should be no politics on such issues.



New Rly zones

It is a pity that vested interests reign supreme in the minds of our politicians. It is all the more evident in the case of those who hold ministerial power. The Mamata-Nitish row can be cited as an example to prove how political motives are pursued ardently at the expense of national interest.

Responsible ministers even threaten dharnas and rallies, should their demand be disapproved for being impractical and unfeasible. Ministers are certainly not technocrats and know little about administrative proficiency.

In the creation of the new Railway zones, five former Chairmen of the Railway Board have strongly opposed the idea. It has been described as “an operational debacle, financial disaster and administrative blunder” but the bullfight among the ministers still continues.

The PM should have stalled the move for creation of additional Railway zones as being non-viable on the ground that the nation cannot afford a whopping Rs 600 crore to appease one or the other minister. He should have rejected the proposal outright, which would have avoided the exploitation of the `bone of contention’. But he seemed to have succumbed to the politically motivated demand and fanned the fire of dissension. The PM will do well to reconsider the decision for creating new zones as recommended by the top brass time and again. After all, their knowledge and experience cannot be hoodwinked so tactlessly and there is still time to avoid the impending crisis.


New Delhi

Sports stadium

Through the columns of your esteemed daily I had tried to draw the attention of the Haryana Government towards constructing a sports stadium with modern facilities so that promising athletes may take full advantage of the facilities provided by the government, not having to run to other places to train themselves for giving better results.

Seema Antil, a very promising girl athlete of this district, snatched the bronze medal in the World Junior Athletic Championship held at Kingston from July 16 to 21 this year. There are players of other games too who have brought laurels to the nation and Haryana state time and again at the international level in wrestling, kabaddi, hockey etc. Players at the international level cannot give good results without certain amenities that should be provided to them. Sportspersons, coaches of different games and sports and thousands of their well-wishers very much want a modern sports stadium to be constructed here so that the coaches may train their good players to achieve greater heights in future for Haryana and the country.


Rattangarh-Majra (Sonepat)

What promptness?

The police personnel who misbehaved with the UP CM’s father have been dealt with promptly. (courtesy NCR Tribune, August 10 and 11) Commendable! But would such promptitude be visible were the victim an ordinary Indian?




Two held for stealing credit cards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 16
Two persons were arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell for allegedly stealing credit cards of unsuspecting guests in the different hotels of the Capital.

The accused, identified as Gaurav Gulati (22), resident of Lajpat Nagar and Sarbjit Singh (28), resident of Defence Colony were nabbed and goods worth of Rs 2.30 lakh, including one Omega watch worth Rs One lakh, were recovered from their possession.

The police have taken the accused into custody after they were informed about the matter by a victim, Mr I.P.Saharawatm, of Green Park.

The victim reportedly told the police that soon after he lost his credit card, his account was debited by a huge amount, even though he had not made any purchases.

Acting on his complaint, the police arrested the duo.

On sustained interrogation, they told the police that they stole the credit cards while the guests were busy checking in or checking out of the hotels.

Man killed

An elderly person was killed when an unknown vehicle hit him on Thursday afternoon near the Sardar Patel Marg railway station. The victim, aged between 55-60 years, had a badge with the inscription NR-2234 on it.

The Lahori Gate police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and have launched a manhunt for the driver of the vehicle.

Three arrested

The Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested three persons and booked them under the Copyright Act. Acting on a complaint by the Super Cassettes Industries, the police raided various shops in Gaffar Market and arrested the accused Vikas Chaudhury, Rajesh Kumar and Vikas Pawar.

The police also recovered 1,754 pirated MP3 CDs and VCDs and 311 inlay cards of albums ‘Kaante,’ ‘Tum Bin,’ ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha,’ ‘Dil Chata Hai,’ ‘Gadar,’ ‘Chor Machaye Shor,’ and ‘Sab Ton Sohni’ were recovered from their possession.

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