Tuesday, August 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


After the crackdown on polluting units in residential areas… 
Units on ‘commercial’ land may face axe
Tribune News Service

SC refuses to hear petitions on closure of units

New Delhi: The apex court today declined to hear a bunch of petitions filed by the Delhi Manufacturers Federation challenging the Supreme Court order directing closure of more than 10,000 industrial units operating in non-conforming residential areas in the Capital.

A three-judge Bench, comprising Justice G B Pattanaik, Justice Ruma Pal and Justice K G Balakrishnan, said that as already held by a five-judge Constitution Bench of the court, no petition could be entertained in a matter which had attained finality with the delivery of a judgement. Moreover, a review petition against that judgement had also been dismissed.

The Bench, however, directed that these petitions should be treated as ‘curative’. It said that according to the Constitution Bench judgement a curative petition could be filed if the aggrieved party felt that justice had not been done.

The procedure to be followed for disposal of such a curative petition had also been laid down by the Constitution Bench, it further said. The Bench, therefore, directed disposal of the petition in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Constitution Bench.

New Delhi, August 19
After polluting industries operating in residential areas, industrial establishments built on ‘non-conforming,’ ‘commercial’ land are next on the Government of NCT of Delhi’s chopping block.

Sources in the Department of Industries quote a certain order of the Supreme Court to suggest all such industries will also have to be relocated. Acting on the apex court’s directions, the Government of NCT of Delhi is already in the process of relocating the factories operating in residential areas on the outskirts of the Capital.

The matter was listed on the agenda of Monday’s meeting of the Cabinet that did not take place. That, and a couple of other matters pertaining to the Department of Industries, were to be taken up for discussion. The Cabinet is now likely to discuss the matters sometime later this week.

Elaborating on the particular direction of the apex court, the sources say industries today are running in non-conforming residential and non-conforming commercial areas. The court has set year-end as the deadline for relocating the polluting industries built and operational on non-conforming residential land to Bawana and Narela.

After passing that order, the sources say, the court expanded the scope and ambit of its order to include industrial establishments built in non-conforming commercial areas in the list of industries to be relocated. The Department of Industries has studied the court’s orders and forwarded its report to the Cabinet for approval.

Meanwhile, notices under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act are in the process of being served on land owners whose landed properties the Government of NCT of Delhi wants to acquire for relocating the polluting industries built in non-conforming residential areas. Sources say 1500 acres of land will be acquired for developing industrial plots on them.

On the land already acquired, 16,000 plots have been built in Bawana, Narela and Badli. Eleven thousand more plots need to be constructed for which the Department of Industries has identified two sites on Rohtak Road. The two sites are in Gewra-Mundka (450 acres) and Razapur Kalan-Sonout (837 acres.)

Industries Minister Deep Chand Bandhu on Monday visited the two sites and reviewed the matter with officials of his department. The minister says the Government of NCT of Delhi will pay an estimated Rs 350 crore as compensation for the lands to be acquired. The compensation to be paid will be at the rate of Rs 23 lakh per acre.



Consumer forum pooh-poohs claims of zero power cut
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 19
The Grahak Sahayak Gurgaon, a body floated by some residents of Gurgaon to raise consumer-specific issues, has rued the fact that despite the highest tariff rate of electricity consumption in Haryana, the state has not given a fair deal to consumers.

In a statement on the poor electrical system in Gurgaon, the organisation of consumers said that behind a facade of a cyber city or a millennium city, there is a long story of neglect of equipment and a shoddy maintenance service. There is no accountability whatsoever. The residents suffer from 4-10 hours of unannounced and unregulated power cuts. A sense of disillusionment has set in among the residents who shifted their houses here during the last decade.

The body has indirectly charged the authorities with not providing extra sanction for loads. It wondered how anyone in the government or outside could claim Gurgaon to be one of ‘power cut-free zone’. Incidentally, the government has declared Gurgaon to be power cut-free zone.

The consumer organisation pooh-poohs the claims that Gurgaon is pollution-free, green millennium or a cyber or medi-city when powerful, unregulated generators, installed at the offices of the MNCs, the affluent homes and vertical apartment buildings, pollute the air for hours.

Listing out the various faultlines on the transmission front, the organisation alleged that High Tension Lines (HTL) and Low Tension Lines (LTL) conductors used were undersized and not as per the standard laid down by the Bureau of Standards (ISI specifications). Thus, the transmission losses are as high as 45 per cent which put a burden on the consumers. Besides, every fifth or sixth pole carrying LTL should be earthed. Earthing has not been provided.

According to the Indian Electricity Act, earthing of transformers should double. Almost all transformers are not earthed in accordance with the ISI specifications.

Moreover, lightning arrestors are neither on HTL nor on LTL. Due to cloud formation, fluctuation of electricity takes place in the absence of lighting arrestors. This fluctuation can lead to equipment losses due to damage, it added.

On the distribution front, it said the sagging of HTL and LTL far exceeds the norms as laid down and the maintenance on the lines to decrease the sag is not being carried out. Also, the conductors’ sizes do not conform to the standards laid down and at some places telephone, cable and electrical wires are being run on the same poles posing a danger to the consumers, it added.

In the form of suggestions, the Grahak Sahayak Gurgaon said that the HBVPN was now a public sector organisation and it should function on commercial lines. Charges of electricity should also be on a fixed basis. At the most, single phase connections could attract lower tariff.

The consumer organisation has suggested continuous checking of meters in coordination with the resident welfare associations.


Thanks to residents, some semblance of control
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 19
The district administration has finally roused itself and established a control room to attend to water complaints of the residents. Left to itself, the laid-back administration would not have responded at all. The belated initiative came after the residents took to the streets, alleging acute shortage of water in various colonies.

The latest in the series of protests was at the local PWD Rest House yesterday. Scores of women of Sant Nagar, Vikas Nagar and Tehsil Camp thronged the rest house to voice their protests over the erratic water and power supplies. That day the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, was expected to halt at the rest house on his way to Samalkha, where he was scheduled to address a rally.

Having exhausted all official channels, the residents wanted to petition Mr Chautala directly for the redressal of their water and power woes. Seeing the irate residents, who wanted to approach the Chief Minister, officials had a tough time dissuading them. The residents were even told that their water and power problems would be taken care of, if they did not meet the CM.

But the residents, realising the futility of subsisting on official assurances, refused to budge. In fact, for once, the officials were at the receiving end.

However, lady luck seemed to side with the officials. Mr Chautala, who usually makes it a point to stop at the rest house, skipped the sojourn, much to the disappointment of the hapless residents. The officials, on the other hand, were visibly relieved.

The establishment of the control room by the Acting DC, Mr Balwan Singh, is seen as an outcome of the guest house episode. According to an official press note, the control room would be set up in the Office of the Executive Engineer of the Public Health Department, Division No 1. Any complaint regarding supply of water in the city can be registered at telephone no 650003.

The press note promises quick redressal of water problems without stipulating any time-frame and urges the general public to conserve water. 


Boy, sister found strangled at home
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19
Bharat, a student of class 12th of Central School and his elder sister, Sarika (22) were found murdered by unidentified assailants in their house in Sector 3, Rohini this evening.

They were strangulated. The murder came to light in the evening when their mother, Neelam Kaler who works as Special Assistant in the State Bank of Patiala in Kanjhawla, returned to the house from her workplace. She was shocked to find her children lying in the bedroom. There were blood stains in the room and it seemed that they had fought with the assailants as every thing was scattered here and there, police said.

The police said normally when Mrs Kaler returned from her office she would find her house bolted from inside. But today it was opened. When she entered, she found her children lying dead in the bedroom. She called her neighbours who informed the police. Bodies of the children have been sent for a post-mortem examination. According to police, robbery could be the motive behind the murder as the whole house was ransacked. However, nothing except Rs 2,000 was found missing. The police suspected that there were more than two assailants.

The incident has shocked the police as well as the neighbouring residents who gathered around the house of the deceased. Some influential persons of the area pressurised the police to arrest the killers. Their mother said that both the children were alone in the house. Bharat was studying in senior secondary while the girl was doing a computer course. She denied having enmity with anybody in the area.


Man waylaid, killed; assailants whisked away by men in uniform
Parmindar Singh

Noida, August 19
A man returning from the house of his in-laws was shot dead and his wife was assaulted and her clothes torn off when she tried to defend her husband. A Delhi policeman is suspected to be behind the crime, according to the family of the deceased.

Ram Avtar, son of Dwarka Prasad of Patadi village under Jarcha, was returning from his in-laws’ house along with his wife Shakuntla and son Amit when two persons stopped his rickshaw near Salarpur village and pushed him down. Before Ram Avtar could understand anything, the assailants shot at him in the chest. He died on the spot. When Shakuntala tried to come in between to defend her husband, she was pushed around and her clothes were torn by the criminals who tried to assault her. Soon, a Maruti van stopped there from which two persons in Delhi Police uniform reportedly took away the two assailants and fled from the scene. In a short while, the police from Jarcha police station came along with some senior officers. Dwarka Prasad’s report for a murder was then registered. His son in-law, who is a Delhi policeman, is allegedly behind the murder.

According to Dwarka Prasad, about 15 years ago, he had married his daughter Rajkumari to a youth of Kastala village at Pilkhua in Ghaziabad. This youth later joined Delhi Police and allegedly married for the second time in Delhi. He allegedly killed Rajkumari subsequently. However, his two sons continued to live with their grandfather Dwarka Prasad. The bigamous cop wanted to take his sons with him. Ram Avtar, the maternal uncle of the boys, objected to it. The police and the family feel that Ram Avtar was killed owing to this dispute. The police are conducting further investigations in the case.


Pak lady living illegally in Ghaziabad for four decades
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 19
A 70-year-old Pakistani woman, who had been living here illegally, has been arrested by the intelligence wing of Ghaziabad Police.

Her visa limit expired some 40 years ago. She went missing in Aligarh and has been living in Ghaziabad since then with her husband, who is reportedly an Indian citizen.

Bismillah had come to India four decades ago on a visa for a specified period to meet her relations in Aligarh.

During her visit, she had married one Yusuf, a resident of village Taraspur, which falls under Delhi Gate police station, Aligarh. She went underground along with her husband just as her visa was about to expire. At that time also a search was conducted, but she could not be traced.

Now, on the explicit and strict orders of the Union Home Ministry, the intelligence wing of the state police is trying to locate Pakistani citizens like Bismillah, whose visas have expired.


Where pits and craters pass for roads
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 19
The belated monsoon spell has given respite from the heat but proved catastrophic for the roads in the district. In fact, the rain has exposed the quality of material used in construction of roads and the ‘failure’ of the administration to prevent waterlogging.

There is hardly any road in the town which does not get waterlogged; even a light downpour sends the civic amenities for a toss. The drainage invariably gets choked, primarily due to lack of repairs and maintenance. This time, several roads and low lying areas were submerged two feet under water.

More important, even after the rain, there is no attempt to have the roads repaired. Even if repairs are undertaken, in view of the visit of a VVIP, the work is done piecemeal and on an ad hoc basis.

Several roads in the town are pockmarked as the charcoal has been washed away.

It is reported that hundreds of kilometres of road in the district has got damaged in the recent rainfall. As the monsoon is likely to continue for another fortnight the authorities might not go in for repairs till the end of the month. But experts and residents believe that the vicious ‘cycle’ of repairs and damage would continue till a permanent solution was found. They feel that a proper drainage system needs to be developed along the roads, so that the storm water gets drained out and the roads are not damaged.

Mr Kailash Sharma, a resident of Sector-10, blames the lack of vision and faulty planning for the problem. He alleged that officials were only worried about bills and their cut, each time a tender is floated for road repairs. Mr Raj Kumar Gaur, a Janata Dal leader, said that the problem could be checked if drains were developed alongside roads and a water harvesting system was put in place. He said the authorities should identify the low lying areas and construct ponds for collecting the water. Thus, not only the excess water could be removed but it could be used to recharge the underground water table, which he said had been receding dangerously.

It is learnt that the advise of the Central Ground Water Board officials to put in place a rain harvesting system in public places, schools, colleges and other institutions has gone unheeded. While lectures seminars and debates are held regularly on the subject, the authorities do not seen to be serious about implementing the concept. In absence of a proper system, the rain water clogs the sewer lines, which become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other microbes.

While the budget earmarked for repair of roads is not known, it is estimated that it could run into crores if every damaged road was repaired in the district.


‘Aviation industry poised for grand take-off’
Gaurav Choudhury

How does the Air Hostess Academy enhance the skill levels of its students?

The common misconception about the Air Hostess Academy is that it caters only to the aviation industry. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The academy provides training to the entire service industry, including aviation, hotels, air catering organisations, ground services, MNCs, call centres etc.

The institute was set up in 1997 by a group of professionals from the industry with an experience of over a decade. This is the only academy in this field which has been accredited with an ISO-90001:2000 certificate. The course content is designed keeping in mind the latest standards of the industry. The faculty consists of professionals from the industry supported by visiting faculty from leading airlines, hotels and other organisations.

INDIA'S potential in the tourism sector has never been disputed. What, however, remains a matter of concern is that unlike other sectors, the tourism sector cannot grow on its own. Its growth is critically dependent on the growth of other sectors, such as infrastructure, civil aviation and hotels, among others.

While the government seems bullish about the growth of the sector and converting tourism and hospitality as a major revenue earner for the economy, skilled manpower continues to remain in short supply, mainly because of dearth of institutes which provide quality training in this respect.

NCR Tribune spoke to Ms Sapna Gupta, Director of the Air Hostess Academy, which has been imparting training in various associated areas, such as hotel management, cabin crew and ticketing and tourism.

Excerpts from the interview:

How important is the tourism and hospitality sector in the growth of the economy?

At present, India attracts about 2.5 million tourists every year, which is around four per cent of the world tourist arrival. This trend shows the present scenario of travel and tourism in India. Globalisation has set in and along with it has brought a lot of multinational corporations (MNCs) to India. The hotel industry is the second largest foreign exchange earner. Receipts from foreign tourists were $ 1.45 billion in the year 1992 as compared to $ 2.96 billion in the year 2000.

Can you give an overview of the growth potential of the tourism and hospitality sector in India?

For the benefit of analysis, the hospitality sector can be divided into aviation and hotel and tourism sectors. The civil aviation activities can be broadly classified into three areas: operational, instructional, and regulatory-cum-developmental. The aviation industry in India is poised for growth due to the disinvestment policies taken up by the government. More private sector participation is likely to take place in the aviation industry as the investment is open to private sector participation.

Major private sector airlines are likely to gain in terms of market share by increased route-sharing policies and agreements.

Considering the forecasts made by different organisations and taking a reasonably pragmatic view, the traffic scenario is expected to grow till the year 2010-11, which has been projected by the Foundation for Aviation and Sustainable Tourism.

The Airports Authority of India has extended these projections till the year 2016 –17. The AAI has also drawn up a Rs 40 billion plan to modernise and expand its airspace infrastructure to meet the demand growth projected for the coming five years. The growth strategy envisages not only better passenger facilities but also improved navigational and communication systems.

What about the hotel and tourism industry?

The hotel industry is at present going through a transitional period post –September 11 attack in the USA. The Indian market is like that of South East Asia, which is growing and with demand and quality of services offered, the day is not far off when India will hold an important position in the global market.

Another trend, which has been witnessed during the economic slowdown, is the increasing demand for medium budget hotels due to the exorbitant rates charged by five-star hotels. In India, quality budget hotels are expected to be the future of the hotel industry. Companies in future would like to house their middle-level managers in these budget hotels having reasonably good facilities rather than the expensive five star de luxe hotels. Hence, there is a tremendous scope for growth and thus employment potential.

In the long run, the hotel industry in India will have latent potential for growth. This is because India is an ideal destination for tourists as it is the only country with the most diversified topography. At present, India attracts approximately 2.5 million tourists every year, which is around 4 per cent of the world tourist arrivals.

Globally, leisure and entertainment are seen to be growing industries. Hence, stable socio-political and economic conditions coupled with an improvement in infrastructure facilities (roads, airports etc) will improve the sentiments of the tourists towards India. This opportunity is expected to open up employment opportunities for trained and qualified professionals.

Is there adequate skilled manpower available in India to meet the growing demand?

The travel and tourism industry is to experience a boom very soon. As more and more private sector participation is taking place in the aviation and hotel industry, the need for skilled manpower is also increasing.

Though this sector is growing, there are very few institutes to cater to the demand. The human resource requirement is bound to increase by leaps and bounds. In other words there is tremendous scope for career growth in the service industry related to aviation, hospitality and tourism.

How does the Air Hostess Academy enhance the skill levels of its students?

The common misconception about the Air Hostess Academy is that it caters only to the aviation industry. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The academy provides training to the entire service industry, including aviation, hotels, air catering organisations, ground services, MNCs, call centres etc.

The institute was set up in 1997 by a group of professionals from the industry with an experience of over a decade. This is the only academy in this field which has been accredited with an ISO-90001:2000 certificate.

The course content is designed keeping in mind the latest standards of the industry. The faculty consists of professionals from the industry supported by visiting faculty from leading airlines, hotels and other organisations.

What is the selection procedure of the students?

The selection of the students for the academy is done carefully and each batch is limited to a manageable number, enabling us to give personal attention to each student. We gauge the individual demographies, lifestyle, levels of responsiveness, communication skills and past experiences, if any. Only those with a positive attitude and perseverance are enrolled. Once in, they are driven hard because we demand the best out of each. We are proud to say that they can match the quality standards laid down by the aviation, hotel and other services once they pass out of our academy.

What are the courses that AHA offers?

There are two courses that are offered. These are: a six-month certificate course in Aviation and Hospitality Management and a one-year diploma course in Aviation and Hospitality Management.

The training includes: essential cabin crew training; a foreign language; hotel management; international ticketing and tourism; personality development, public relations and communication management; first aid training; industrial training and in-flight and in-house training in the hospitality industry.

What kind of placement assistance does the institute offer?

The Air Hostess Academy has tied up with several leading airlines, five-star hotels and air-catering organisations to impart crucial on-the-job training to students. We provide 100 per cent job assistance after the completion of training.

AHA organises campus interviews wherein various organisations from the aviation, hotel, air catering, and tourism sectors are invited. We have a placement bureau to help students in securing professional employment.

Today, it enjoys an enviable position in the market as a major human resource provider to MNCs such as GE, British Airways, Lufthansa, Taj, and Marriott, among others.


Ban on 2-stroke autos under fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19
The Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Mr Jagdish Mukhi, today alleged that the decision of the Delhi government to ban registration of two-stroke auto-rickshaws in the national Capital was taken to serve “pecuniary interests” of the state Transport Minister and demanded its cancellation.

Claiming that only one private company manufactured four-stroke auto-rickshaws, Mr Mukhi charged the Delhi Transport Minister, Mr Ajay Maken, with granting “open favour” to the company to “serve his own interests.”

“This proves my charge that pecuniary interests were behind issuance of such an order,” Mr Mukhi told reporters here.

“Despite the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry and Central Pollution Control Board terming the two-stroke vehicles as pollution free, Delhi Government never changed its earlier decision to ban the vehicles,” he said.

Mr Mukhi said the Opposition would take up the issue with the Lt-Governor in a day or two and “see to it that the order banning the vehicles are quashed.”

On being asked why he is taking the issue to the Lt-Governor and not the Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Mukhi said, “As the Chief Minister is also involved in the matter, we are seeking redressal from a higher authority.”

With this, the Opposition has renewed its onslaught against the Sheila government.


Khadi workers withdraw stir
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 19
Following an assurance by the Central Government, the khadi workers have withdrawn their indefinite nationwide agitation.

According to Mr Mahesh Dutt Sharma, convener of the Khadi Mission Haryana, the agitation was planned against commercialisation and liberalisation policies of the government.

Mr. Sharma said that the policies had dealt a death blow to the khadi industry and rendered 6 lakh of the nearly 14 lakh workers jobless.

During the protest, which began on August 17, various speakers urged the government to change its lop-sided policies and protect khadi, which was a symbol of economic freedom and livelihood for lakhs of poor workers, including women.



FCI scam: CPM gives govt food for thought
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 19
The CPM, Haryana has demanded a high-level inquiry into the allegations of corruption in the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The Central government was keeping silent on a serious issue, the party said.

The party has referred to public revelations by none other than the FCI employees.

The general secretary of the FCI Employee Association, Mr M C Tyagi, has levelled allegations of rampant corruption in the FCI while inaugurating the regional conference of FCI Employees Union last week at Kurukshetra.

According to Mr Tyagi, the FCI was making rice available to the private traders of dubious background at half the price for export purposes. The same rice, he said, was sold in black market. It found its way back in the FCI godowns at double the price.

The CPM said that the amount of money thus made around the country could be found out only by a CBI inquiry.

The CPM believes that the nexus between the top FCI officials and dubious traders continues with the connivance of politicians.


Students, drivers slug it out every day
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 19
It’s a battle of sorts that is fought between the students and the Haryana roadways daily in the district.

The drivers of the roadways buses become extra cautious when their vehicles pass near a college or an educational institution. It is the spot where the tension develops between the two when the students are not able to take on the buses. The situation at many occasions turn ugly at such spots when the agitated students resort to stone throwing or they squat in the middle of the road in order to get the bus halted.

The spot near the Magpie Tourist Complex on the Mathura Road here, is one of such places where such scenes could be noticed on every other day. Students of the government college and girls college, alight and get down here. Magpie Tourist Complex was a proper and authorised bus stop for Haryana Roadways. But buses, especially running on the longer routes, do not halt here. It is alleged that despite being a stop the administration had failed to construct a bus shelter here.

The majority of passengers who take bus from the Complex are students who resort to all kind of measures to get the bus stopped. But on other hand authorities do contend that it was not possible to halt every bus at Magpie as the proper bus stands of Ajronda crossing and old Faridabad were about a half km from here on other side. The chances of accident at a spot like this get increased when students ‘force’ the drivers to stop the bus in an abrupt manner. There have been many occasions in past when students have turned violent. The students allege that despite having monthly Roadways passes the drivers and conductors do not stop buses for them. The district authorities had announced to start local bus service between Ballabgarh to Border, but the frequency of such buses is ‘poor’. As a result the commuters have to depend on autorickshaws playing in a large number on this route.


Legal services camps held in Delhi zones
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19
The Delhi Legal Services Authority organised legal literacy camps in all nine zones of Delhi last week in association with the Government of NCT of Delhi. These camps were organised at Moti Nagar, Shakurpur, Palam, Seelampur, Jehangirpuri, Sultanpuri, Kalyanpuri, Okhla and Kamla Market. Similar camps were organised by the Delhi Legal Services Authority in July 2002 as well.

The general public were educated and advised at large in these camps. They were educated about their legal rights and given advice about their legal problems. They were told that the Delhi Legal Services Authority was bound to provide legal aid to the weaker sections of society, children and women.

Ms Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi, also visited the camps at Moti Nagar and Jehangirpuri.

NSUI rally

A mass agitation against recent exposure of scandals by, NDA government, was organised by Delhi State NSUI in North Campus, Delhi University today. A large number of students marched under the leadership of Mr Anil Choudhary, demanding the resignation of NDA government along with a fair inquiry in Shivani Bhatnagar murder case. Students were demanding on account of NDA’s three years of corrupt rule. According to the spokesperson of Delhi State NSUI, Kunal Goswami, prominent among those present in the agitation were Minakshi Sharma, Sheetal, Azad, Ashok, Amit Kaushik, Narendra Rana, Harsh, Jitender Sharma, Bharat Bhusan and Sandeep Goswami. This peace of news came from State Spokesperson, Kuntal Krishna.

CS results

The results of the Company Secretaries examination for the foundation, intermediate and final stages held in June, 2002, will be declared on August 25, 2002, at the ICSI Headquarters at 4:00 pm.

The CS results will be announced simultaneously at all the four regional offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, including 57 Chapter offices and 55 examination centres spread all over India and abroad. The results will also be available on the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) Website: www.icsi.edu, a release said.


Farmer done to death with bricks
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 19
In a brutal incident, a farmer, Bijender, was found dead in his fields at Patti Kalyana village, about 22 km from here, today after he was allegedly hit on the head with bricks by unidentified persons last night.

According to reports received here, the deceased, a resident of Jurasi village, was sleeping in his fields when he was brutally killed by unknown persons. The wife of the deceased, Ms Kamlesh, found the blood-splattered body this morning. The Samalkha police have registered a case.

Assault on lensman

The Municipal Council (MC) president, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, on Monday constituted a three-member committee of councillors to probe the assault on a photographer of Amar Ujala, Mr Anil Verma, by Sudhir Kumar, Sanitary Inspector, on August 17 at Halli Park here.

Earlier, a delegation of the local journalists met Mr Bhatia and demanded strict action against the erring employee. It may be recalled that Mr Verma was assaulted and an attempt made to snatch his camera when he was clicking pictures of the civic body staff.

AIKMU dharna

The local unit of the All-India Khet Mazdoor Union organised a dharna outside the DC’s office in support of its demands.

Addressing the dharna, various speakers demanded a compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre for farmers in view of the devastating drought. They also demanded Rs 5,000 per family for farm labourers. They also demanded proper implementation of land reforms.

Gang busted

With the arrest of four youths on Sunday evening the district police claim to have busted a gang allegedly involved in the theft of two-wheelers in the town. The police recovered three stolen motor cycles, two scooters and two bicycles from them.

According to information, a police team rounded up three motor cycle-borne youths following a tip-off and interrogated them. The youths admitted that the motor cycle was stolen from Gohana stand here a few days ago. They also confessed to have stolen two other motor cycles, two scooters and two bicycles from different parts of the town during the past few months.

Those arrested have been identified as Gurpreet, Pradeep and Suraj, all residents of Jagdish Colony here, and Jagdeep of Ladhaut village.

Their fifth accomplice, Sandeep, however, managed to escape. The accused were produced in a local court on Monday. Gurpreet was remanded in police custody till August 21 while the others were remanded in judicial custody.

Youth killed

A youth was killed and another injured when a Tata 407 vehicle hit a car carrying them over the Ismaila flyover, near here, on Sunday evening.

The deceased has been identified as Sat Prakash, a resident of Ismaila village.

A case under Sections 279,337 and 304-A of the IPC was registered against the driver of the Tata vehicle in this regard.

Payment to farmers

The Rohtak Cooperative Sugar Mills would clear the payment of farmers amounting to Rs 2.35 crore on Tuesday.

Claiming this, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, said the pending amount of nearly Rs 80 lakh would also be cleared within one month by the mills.

He further stated that the Meham Cooperative Sugar Mills would also clear the payment of farmers to the tune of Rs 1.30 crore the same day.


Burmese arrested for ‘links’ with J&K ultras
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19
With the arrest of a Burmese national who was going to Jammu and Kashmir to join militancy to fight against the government, the Delhi Police has exposed the foreigner jehadi outfits fighting in the valley.

The Burmese national was identified as Rawfeull Qadar (19). He was arrested following military intelligence, who informed the Delhi Police that a Burmese national had entered the country illegally and resided in walled city. He was arrested from his hideout, police said.

During the interrogation, he disclosed that he was a science graduate and was an active member of Burmese Democracy Freedom Group. In Burma, he had organised and motivated about 100 youngsters to fight the military government of Myanmar. He and his associates are wanted by the Burma police.

In order to escape police dragnet in Burma, he and associate entered the country in 2000. He separated from his associates and stayed in various mosques in Imphal, Dimapur, Guwahati, Kolkatta and then reached Ranchi, where he worked as a casual worker for about one year. He reached Delhi on August 8 and kept his belongings in guesthouse in walled city, the police said.

Student arrested

West district police today arrested a 2nd year student of Delhi School of Correspondent Courses and recovered CDs of newly-released films.

Satish Kapoor of Prime Protection Private Limited company in East of Kailash, made a complaint with the police that the pirated CDs of the latest films are being produced and sold by some mischievous persons in Paschim Vihar.

The police developed the information and arrested Gaurav Arora from his residence in Paschim Vihar.

The police recovered hundreds of CDs, blank CDs, inlay cards, stickers, VCD packing covers, one printing-kit and other accessories, the police said.

Two apprehended

East district police arrested Satya Prakash and Tota Ram on charge of murdering Dilshad and injuring Dildar on trivial issue of some money. They had been living in one room in old Seelampur.

Both were petty businessmen. The injured is admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, the police said.


Two held with 2.5 kg charas
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 19
The Kotwali police, Hapur, last night arrested two persons moving in suspicious circumstances near a private bus stand and recovered 2.5 kg charas from their possession.

When SSI Itwari Lal and SI Ram Swaroop were checking buses last night, two suspicious looking youths, who were found loitering, were asked to stop. But they tried to escape but were nabbed by the police and whisked. They posed as if they were sick. Frisking revealed small pouches in various pockets of undergarments, which had been specially designed and stitched. The pouches were found to contain 2.5kg charas.

The arrested criminals identified themselves as Kharak Singh, alias Kailash, and Gopal Pujari of Uttaranchal. Inspector Babu Ram said the duo were involved in supplying smack, charas and other drugs in the town and had connections with an inter-state gang of drug peddlers.

The police are conducting further interrogation of the arrested persons.


Service station staff robbed of Rs 2 lakh

Jhajjar, August 19
In a daring incident, three unidentified robbers reportedly looted Rs 2 lakh from the employees of a service station, outside MIE Branch of the State Bank of India, on the National Highway No 10 in Bahadurgarh, today.

According to information, Mr Raghunath, owner of Tikari Service Station, situated at Delhi Border, along with cashier Om Prakash Gupta and driver Rajiv arrived outside the Bank in a maruti. When they got down from their car to deposit the cash, a youth approached them and brandished a pistol on the cashier. Later, he snatched the bag from him and rushed to a nearby street, where two of his accomplices were waiting on a LML scooter. They were also carrying pistol.

They drove away in side Delhi area. The service station employees along with the gunman of the Bank attempted to chase the robbers, but all went in vain. The city police immediately came into action but could not track down the culprits.


RPI’s protest against arrest of Ghumantu people
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 19
The Republican Party of India has raised its voice against the arrest of the Ghumantu people, which they clam is an “unfair action”.

Members of the Ghumantu tribe were arrested in the Kingsway camp area of the city, alleged the party leader, Mr Ramdas Athawale. These tribes have been arrested by the sewa kutir workers on the pretext of being beggars. It is also being alleged that the tribesmen have to pay hefty sums as bribes to seek their release from what they call illegal arrest.

The Ghumantu tribes, hailing from Maharashtra, have had to seek shelter in the Capital due to lack of means of earning a livelihood in their home state.


Files set on fire in Tis Hazari
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 19
Mystery shrouded the fire in record room of Metropolitan Magistrate Bharat Prashar in room number 292 in the morning. Forty files were completely destroyed in the fire. The fire was noticed by a watchman, who informed the Superintendent, Mr Rehlan. The Superintendent called the police. The police and employees of the court doused the fire. The police have registered a case of mischief and destroying evidence, the police said.


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