Monday, August 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Delhi Airport a sitting duck
Cecil Victor

Mayday! Mayday! 

A terrorist sitting on a rooftop in Dwarka can shoot down an aircraft taking off and landing from the Delhi Airport with shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades or surface-to-air missiles.
Aircraft parked on the tarmac in the Domestic segment of the airport, part of which is the VVIP enclosure, are in his line of vision.
A part of the problem is that buildings that give access to the flight path have been allowed to be built in the area.
Between Bagdolla village and Delhi Airport run a medium gauge and a broad-gauge line of the Indian Railways, bereft of any security barricade.

New Delhi, August 25
A terrorist sitting on a rooftop in Bagdolla village in the Dwarka residential complex can shoot down an aircraft with shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades or surface-to-air missiles. Such is the easy access to the flight path of aircraft taking off and landing at the Delhi Airport. Worse, from the same vantage point, he has a clear line of sight to aircraft parked on the tarmac in the Domestic segment of the aerodrome, part of which is the ‘Technical Area’ and VVIP enclosure under the control of the Indian Air Force.

Between Bagdolla village and Delhi Airport run a medium gauge and a broad-gauge line of the Indian Railways also bereft of any security barricade. One can stand on the tracks and wreak havoc on Delhi Airport just like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam did in Colombo earlier this year.

Neither rocket launchers nor grenades or shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles are difficult to smuggle into Delhi from either Jammu and Kashmir (where thousands of lethal weapons have been captured from terrorist hideouts) or Nepal or even the north-east. They are not too heavy and can be concealed in a suitcase.

Post-Kargil, there has been a review of national security at the highest levels of Government and a plethora of suggestions have been made and accepted. Yet the attack on Parliament took place and anyone with an anti-national bent of mind would see in Bagdolla an easy access to wreak maximum damage.

It is a wild-west type of terrain in the heart of the National Capital Region and it is appalling that buildings that give access to the flight path, particularly in that segment where the aircraft is the most vulnerable, have been allowed to be built. Anyone with a modicum of military training can do a lot of damage without hindrance and could, very easily, escape after the attack.

This is the external aspect of the threat to the security of Delhi Airport. Along most of the periphery there are high walls that prevent line of sight and watchtowers with sentries but not near Bagdolla village because both wall and watchtower would fall foul of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules and regulations as the flight path must remain free of such encumbrances. But modern-day threats demand that other means of protection be deployed. These are absent in this portion. And that is the lethal loophole.

Another is the likely attempt to infiltrate explosives into the airport or the aircraft. ‘Shoe-bomber’ Reid has demonstrated how it is possible to smuggle explosives onto aircraft even in the midst of the tightest-ever security in the US civil aviation. After a great deal of controversy, the security of Delhi Airport has been handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). If the perimeter defence of the airport is also part of its responsibility, then the Bagdolla breach is a pointer to other likely lapses.

There are thus several layers of security arrangements that go into the maintenance of security at airports. The first is the internal security of terminals where passengers and baggage are handled. More and more closed circuit television (CCTV) enables a comparatively small security force to conduct surveillance of large areas within airports. Given the possibility that the baggage handling facility may be utilised to plant explosives on board aircraft (as happened in the case of the Kanishka Air India flight in Canada), failsafe methods like the use of sniffer dogs to search all baggage as well as handheld bags and body searches are increasingly being used successfully and must become organic components in airport security. However, as things stand a terrorist may prefer to use the loophole in Bagdolla and live to strike another day.



Identikits of Sharma being circulated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
The Delhi Police today finalised photo identikits of Haryana cadre IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma, the prime suspect in Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, even as they claimed to have collected “important leads” about his hideout. Sharma has successfully evaded the Delhi Police dragnet for well over three weeks now.

"We have got some vital leads about R K Sharma and the investigators are working on them," Delhi Police officers claimed.

According to these officers, the photo identikits show the absconding police officer in various possible disguises. These will be sent to various police stations and border check posts to help nab the fugitive.

Declining to elaborate on the "leads" established by the Crime Branch investigators, the sources said teams have been sent to Uttaranchal, UP, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

The application for anticipatory bail will come up for hearing before the Delhi High Court tomorrow. "We are waiting for the outcome of the anticipatory bail petition of Sharma, to be heard by the High Court tomorrow and would initiate appropriate legal steps to get him declared a proclaimed offender after the High Court verdict," they said. The police further claimed that the interrogation of the third co-accused, Satya Prakash, pointed towards "involvement" of Sharma in the crime and his statements were being verified independently. Asserting that Sharma's bail petition would be "strongly" opposed, sources said a reply to it has already been framed.

Seeking pre-arrest bail, Sharma in his petition before the High Court has claimed that he was not involved in the murder and was being "falsely implicated and made a scapegoat at the behest of higher echelons and the real culprits."

Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking CBI probe into the case has been filed in the High Court, which is also likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.

In another development, a group of 100 people from Ravi Kant’s native village demonstrated in front of the Delhi Police Headquarters demanding a CBI inquiry into the case. "The Delhi Police is unnecessarily harassing the family members of Sharma as well as other villagers in connection with the case. We demand an impartial inquiry by the CBI," Babu Ram, one of the demonstrators, who claimed to be a neighbour of Sharma at village Deeg in Haryana, told reporters.

Criticising the police for the alleged harassment of the residents of the village, he said: "My home was raided by police personnel in my absence and they quizzed my family members about the whereabouts of Ravi Kant Sharma."

The villagers shouted slogans against the alleged high-handedness of the police.

"The decision to come here to lodge a protest was taken in a meeting of the Brahman Sabha yesterday,"



20-litre jars: Delhi Govt’s antidote to a dry tap
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is marketing “Jal” brand of 20-litre jars of pure drinking water exclusively for South Delhiites. Chief Minister and DJB Chairperson Sheila Dikshit says the jars costing Rs 15 each can be bought from the five Jal Suvidha Kendras set up there. “We have only one bottling plant. We are planning to increase the number of bottling plants and Jal Suvidha Kendras in a phased manner in other parts of the city,” Ms Dikshit on Sunday told the media soon after the launch.

DJB says the water is drawn from the Ganga and carried from Muradnagar to the Bhagirathi Water Treatment Plant near Gokulpuri in East Delhi. After treatment and chlorination, the water is made potable as per Bureau of India Standards (BIS), pumped into the reservoir in Greater Kailash and taken to the bottling plant that has the capacity of filling 4000 jars a day. The water is further filtered through activated charcoal and micron filters before it is filled in the jars.

All the consumer needs to do is pay security money of Rs 260 per jar and buy them from the Jal Suvidha Kendras. The security deposit is refunded to the consumer upon return of undamaged jar to the Jal Suvidha Kendra concerned. For the record, Ms Dikshit says, Jal is not mineral water but pure drinking water. And DJB is not immediately planning to market the pure drinking water in smaller containers.

The brand was to have hit the markets on August 1. Announcing the Government of NCT of Delhi’s desire to market pure drinking water, Ms Dikshit had on July 17 said the 20-litre jars would signal the beginning of the end of Delhi’s water woes. Why South Delhi? she was asked to which the chief minister had then replied : “Availability of potable water is at present low in the colonies in South Delhi.”

The investment for setting up the bottling plant, the chief minister told media persons, would come good in the long term as the demand for potable water was set to rise steadily over the next few years. “There has been a quantum jump in the demand for water and the government thought it fit to make optimum utilisation of the funds allocated for improving water services by setting up this plant,” says Ms Dikshit.

Jal as a concept flowed from the fears of an impending water crisis. It was the third week of July but a dry spell persisted. Notwithstanding a receding ground water-level and a monsoon that was playing truant, a stoic Ms Dikshit had comforted Delhiites by pointing out that a ‘contingency plan’ was being worked out. “Jal” and a special weeklong campaign to check wastage of potable water formed a part of that plan.

An optimistic DJB feels “Jal” will be the antidote to a dry tap. With “Jal” hitting the market, South Delhiites need not wait for uninterrupted power for a running tap! As water treatment plants and pumping stations are rendered dysfunctional on account of erratic shedding of load by the private distributors of electricity, vast areas used to go without water.

DJB officials say the water treatment plant in Sonia Vihar with an installed capacity of 140 million gallons per day (mgd) will cater to the needs of East and South Delhi. It is expected to be commissioned by December next year. For the record, DJB’s supply of 655 mgd falls short of the requisite demand by 200 mgd. The shortfall, the chief minister asserts, will be overcome once the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant is commissioned. The plant is set to add another 1 crore 40 lakh gallons by 2003-end.



Labourer electrocuted in Okhla
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
One labourer was killed and three injured in a bizarre accident when the iron bars they were unloading at a construction site in the Okhla Industrial area of South Delhi came in contact with an overhead live wire late this evening. Several others sustained burns. The construction was at Orient Fashion Garments factory.

The slain labourer was identified as Alauddin, 35, and the injured were Mohammed Akhtar, Bharat Mandal and Mahendra Mandal. They were residents of Indira Camp, Okhla Industrial area Phase II.

According to eyewitnesses, the mishap occurred when at least half a dozen labourers were engaged in unloading the iron rods at the construction site. While unloading the rods, some of them several metres in length, they came in contact with an overhead live electricity wire and became entangled in it. Three of the labourers died instantaneously, several others sustained burns as they tried to escape the heavy current.

There was considerable panic at the site in the congested industrial area as a large number of workers gathered and were apparently at a loss as to how to extricate the victims. The police and fire brigade were informed and the electricians’ help sought to get the current switched off.

The police said that a case had been registered and inquiries were on to ascertain the cause of the accident. The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem examination.



Schoolkids finding smoking hep and happening
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, August 25
Light a cigarette to puff away your blues or simply have an affair with Lady Nicotine just to impress your peers! That the ‘liaison’ proves dangerous does not matter so long as it is considered ‘de rigueur’ to light a cig. So long as you appear ‘hep’ and ‘cool’. So long as you ‘attract’ the opposite sex. No wonder, an increasing number of school students are giving in to smoking despite knowing the repercussions. While most of these smokers are likely to tell you that it helps them ease off tension, a fair percentage will confess that it is basically to attract the opposite sex.

Even though anti-smoking campaigns are active in schools and the ill-effects of smoking are emphasised upon, yet the gen-Xers seem to have taken a fancy to smoking. However, the heartening news is that of the students who participated in the health survey, 68.9 per cent thought that smoking should be banned from public places and 69.6 per cent thought that passive smoking is harmful to them.

‘HRIDAY– SHAN’, an NGO in Delhi which has been creating health awareness and promoting anti-tobacco and other health issues among children had carried out a survey in the schools in the Capital.

The NGO compiled data on prevalence of cigarette and other tobacco use as well as information on five determinants of tobacco use: access/availability and price, environmental tobacco smoke exposure (ETS), cessation, media and advertising, and school curriculum. It was a school-based survey of students in standards eight-10.

The survey revealed that 4.2 per cent students had sometimes smoked cigarettes, of which 5.7 per cent were male and 2.2 per cent females. It also pointed out that 4.5 per cent currently use any tobacco product and 1.1 per cent currently smoke cigarettes, of which 1.5 per cent were males and 0.7 per cent females.

The study also indicated that 22.0 per cent thought boys and 10.3 per cent thought girls who smoke or chew tobacco have more friends, while 26.9 per cent thought boys and 15.4 per cent thought girls who smoke or chew tobacco appear more attractive.

The fact that one in every two smokers dies prematurely and half of them do not cross middle age or that most of the smokers are likely to die from any of the three diseases--lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease like bronchitis

and coronary heart disease and that those chewing tobacco can succumb to cancer of the mouth, throat or oesophagus are ironically well known to these children.

During the survey, 58.4 per cent admitted to have been taught in class the dangers of smoking, while 42.7 per cent had discussed in class as to why people of their age smoke and 58.9 per cent had been taught in class the effects of tobacco use.

The survey also took into account the access and availability of tobacco to the smokers. While 31.9 per cent lived in homes where others smoke, 53.2 per cent were around others who smoke in places outside their home, 32.8 per cent had one or more parents who smoke, chew or apply tobacco and 3.3 per cent had most or all friends who smoke.

Health experts suggest that students should be exposed to the ills of smoking and to encourage the smokers kick the habit, there should be counselling sessions and focus on healthy living must be maintained.

Smokers should be provided helpful tips like munching carrots, mint tablets, chewing sugarless gum and hiding ashtrays, when they feel the urge to smoke. Support from family and friends as well as adopting alternative approaches like acupuncture, herbal treatment and nutritional supplements may also prove helpful, suggest the experts.



Residents make mincemeat of robber
Parmindar Singh

Noida, August 25
It was his funeral! A man, who had climbed to the roof of a house with his accomplices allegedly to commit robbery, was lynched by the residents of Khoda Colony.

According to Sector 58 police, the criminals had gone to the roof of Mr Visu Gupta’s house in Kala Enclave of Khoda Colony by using a ladder at 2.30 am on Saturday. However, the family members woke up and raised an alarm.

The neighbours gathered around their house in no time and surrounded the intruders. The criminals, finding themselves cornered by a lathi-wielding crowd, fired in the air and tried to flee. One of them was overpowered by the people and got kangaroo justice on the spot. He was beaten black and blue.

By the time police came, he had become unconscious. Police rushed the 30-year-old man to hospital where he was declared brought dead. His four companions had managed to escape the wrath of the people. The slain criminal could not be identified. He is not the first criminal to have been lynched by the inhabitants of Khoda Colony. According to police, criminals find it hard to escape because of narrow lanes of Khoda Colony.



For God’s sake, do not be mute spectators
Prem Kumar

THERE have been some recent cases of bold kidnappings and rape of young women in the national Capital which have made citizens sit up and review the state of law and order and the status of women in this city. Of particular concern were two cases in which a young woman was forcibly lifted into a vehicle in the Delhi University area and raped by four persons in the moving vehicle and then dumped on the roadside. The other case was that of four drivers of a company going in a vehicle who grabbed a woman from the road in South Delhi and raped her by turns in the vehicle. Reportedly, these were not isolated cases. Such incidents have occurred in Delhi University and elsewhere in the past also but had gone unreported. One can understand the predicament of the victims who suffer the indignity and pain but hesitate to report to the police or even to their family for obvious reasons. Any way, the reporting of the two cases did disturb some well-meaning citizens and there was a minor debate in the media before other more important developments overtook the issue.

The police took a serious note of the incidents, decided to post women and male constables in plainclothes in the university area and spots near women’s colleges. The experts suggested various ways to face such situations, like learning the art of self-defence and use of modern self-defence gadgets. Women activists also gave some tips to young women through the media. The authorities advised women against travelling alone at night. They are all well-intentioned ideas and moves but will they help?

The fact is that Delhi and its surrounding areas have a culture of their own as far as treatment of women is concerned. It is not like Kolkota or Mumbai where women are considered safer during day or night. It has proved a myth in the case of Mumbai though because of two recent incidents in one of which a disabled girl was raped in a local train in the presence of five or six other passengers who had watched without intervening. One would not know ever how many rapes take place in Delhi’s urban and rural settlements or on its roads or deserted spots. There would be many more assaults not amounting to rape. There would be numerous cases of eve teasing. One does not have to go far to be aware of them. In overcrowded buses, congested markets, public demonstrations in streets, or at any crowded place for that matter, one can see women being pushed and pulled and physically harassed. The eve teasing, visual assaults and verbal abuse are no longer limited to the university campus but have been extended to colleges and schools and even markets, transport terminals and other public places—religious spots are no exception. Sometimes, there are not just individuals but teams of culprits. It is not that it is happening all the time and everywhere but it can happen any time and anywhere, not necessarily at night.

Can the police or any other authority do much about it? Can their men in uniform or in plainclothes be present everywhere all the time? Can women trained in judo and karate succeed in thwarting such assaults? How many women can afford to possess mobile phones or other gadgets and make use of them in such emergencies even if they possess them? Even the experts who think seriously about the problem know that such efforts can make only a marginal difference to the situation. The only way is to change the mindset of men in an around Delhi. Things can get worse with the Metro coming to the National Capital, which will carry large crowds of men and women day and night. More and more women are working, quite a few of them keeping late hours or doing night duty. Then there are more well-to-do women who visit clubs. Not all of them are escorted. Sometimes those escorting them can act funny.

The only way out is possible if the menfolk start treating them with greater care and respect. Even more important than this mindset of men in general is the need to inculcate a sense of duty among the citizens. They need not watch helplessly but should intervene effectively when they see such an incident taking place before their eyes—the number will be on their side as there are many well-meaning persons while there are only a few mischievous ones.

If they start intervening, there will be help from the police more promptly. They could physically stop a woman being lifted forcibly into a vehicle or dragged to a lonely spot, they could note down the number of the vehicle and inform the police immediately, they could just shout and collect others for help and do many other things to prevent such a crime. Generally, those engaged in such crime are not the violent type or armed and can be tackled more easily than murderers and robbers. The big question is how to motivate the citizens to intervene in such situations? Perhaps the social, religious and even political organisations can take up this task. The earlier they do it, the better for all.

House hunting

Last year, a friend wanted to buy a house in Gurgaon. He had his priorities clear. He wanted an exclusive house, spacious, with good surroundings and modern construction. Of course, he was careful about the neighbourhood and wanted facilities like a market nearby. Somehow, he could not make his choice. Also, the price range was beyond his capacity. Early this year, he started scouting for a house again. The prices had come down a little and his sights had been lowered a bit. He was prepared to go in for a flat in one of the multi-storeyed complexes which have come up in the area. But the first priority for him was the security status of the building. He must have been reading a lot in the newspapers about the murders and robberies in and around Delhi. Some months have passed but his hunt for a house continues. He is perhaps in a hurry now but his priority for security has slipped by a point. Top of his requirement now is a power backup, preferably for running an air-conditioner. The weather in the past two to three months and the erratic, rather, most unsatisfactory electricity supply in the town must have influenced his decision about the choice. Maybe, he is wiser than many others who had bought property in Gurgaon’s many colonies, having been taken in by the promise of the state government to make it Haryana’s first zero power cut district, IT millennium city, etc.

Urban jungle

Now that we started talking about houses in Gurgaon, we might as well refer to an almost running battle between a coloniser and the residents’ welfare association of his colony. Incidentally, many colonisers have developed what looked like beautiful residential complexes and colonies near the old city. From a distance, it looked like living was good there and many eminent persons shifted residence to these colonies. We do not want to add our comment to the residents’ woes but would like to describe their problem in their own words—it is taken from their latest communication to fellow residents about the association representatives’ meeting with the officials of the coloniser: “We further proposed that a joint committee should go into all outstanding issues like adequate water supply, improvement of the internal electricity supply, proper transport, efficient security service, cleanliness and environment and proper allocation of all the community sites and buildings. We further suggested that we could arrive at an understanding regarding certain amount for some of the services to improve the quality of life. This would be until the court cases are decided and with the approval of our lawyers and general body and without prejudice to our rights and contentions in the various cases that are pending. The officials, however, did not agree to our proposals.”

Now, we do not know what the cases are and how legitimate their demands are. But what one feels is that there should be a mechanism in the fast emerging urban settlement around this old city which could solve such problems to the satisfaction of the residents. If such a mechanism is to be created, now is the time for the authorities to do so.

Otherwise it will be too late and there will be another urban jungle beside the bigger urban mess that is Delhi.

Minorities’ panel

It is interesting that the National Commission for Minorities has suddenly become active. This has happened at a time when a certain section of the majority community has been made to believe that so much is being done for minorities at the cost of the majority. The National Commission for Minorities is a useful institution but its activities generally were confined to preparing reports which not many people ever read or came to know about. Its chairmen and members have been eminent persons but often they were less active than what they should have been. Recently, the commission visited Gujarat and has been wanting to visit Kashmir. It has been issuing statements, through its Chairman or Vice-Chairman, on important issues concerning the minorities. Its members met President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam recently, who advised them to visit different parts of the country more often. How has this change come about in the attitude of the commission? Only the Chairman and other members would know. I can only make a guess. Much of the statements emanate from its Vice-Chairman, Mr Tarlochan Singh. He is also conspicuous during the commission’s visit to various parts of the country. He was also prominent at a meeting of Hindu and Muslim religious leaders which was convened by the commission some time ago. Many Punjabis know how active Mr Tarlochan Singh, a former aide of President Zail Singh and once Chairman of the Delhi Tourism Corporation, can be at any time. He must have been feeling restless in his present position and would have loved to infuse the new spirit in the commission. Of course, he must have initiated such efforts under the patronage of the Chairman and with his consent.

The society

It has a long name—Bharatiya Shishu Evam Mahila Vividh Vikas Samiti—and that is why I prefer to describe it as just the Society. If you got confused, you may translate the name into Indian Society for Integrated Women and Child Development. It is an old organisation, formed at a grand inaugural function in 1990. The sponsors admit that the activities of the society in the early years remained confined mostly to seminars, symposia and workshops but later it was felt that seminars lose their purpose beyond the four walls of the venue. Incidentally, that is what most of the NGOs in Delhi do. But this society realised early enough the need to go beyond seminars and work in the field. Since then, it has taken up work in many areas and that too without any government support—something for which most NGOs strive most of the time. It chose a low-lying stretch along the Yamuna, particularly the villages of Badarpur, Jaitpur, Mithapur, Madanpur Khadar, Jassola and Aaligaon for its activities. The last mentioned village where the society has its office is an alcohol-free village. Its work has included, in the field of health, vaccination against hepatitis B, blood grouping through camps, blood donation, eye donation, awareness about AIDS and birth control. It has been arranging basic education to child labour and women and carrying on cleanliness campaigns and initiatives to spread environment awareness.

Safe flyovers

Now that a few new flyovers have been opened to traffic and more are expected to be ready in the next few months, it is time that the traffic police also think of ways to make them safer. It is fine and smooth over the flyover but a certain amount of confusion persists under them. For instance, the new flyover on Vikas Marg, which opened last fortnight, has a lot of congestion and long waiting time for the traffic passing beneath it. With so many buses and many other varied types of vehicles vying with each other and jumping lanes to be ahead of others, this creates a problem for the more orderly drivers. As it happens, too many buses pass under it or turn at the point.

Then, there is the flyover in Vasant Kunj which has two openings underneath. The second, smaller one, of course, can be really dangerous. Then there is that notorious flyover near Greater Kailash on Outer Ring Road where some fatal accidents have occurred. The traffic police have to study the specific problems of each flyover coming up and find solutions to them.

Smoother traffic

One has been hearing about inter-state trucks passing through Delhi, overcoming the ban imposed on them for venturing into Delhi territory, courtesy the toll staff or laziness of the police. But they are only intruders while, as a rule, most trucks are being diverted from neighbouring towns. The police in Gurgaon have been particularly efficient and effective in the matter and do not allow such trucks through the Gurgaon-Delhi border on the Jaipur highway. I have this information on the authority of some road users who drive from Delhi into Gurgaon at night and who used to find the trucks a major menace, not only causing traffic jams but also posing a big hazard to car and two-wheeler drivers. They feel much safer driving along this stretch at night and find the traffic much smoother now.



Haryana Govt staff unions to hold joint rally on Sept 1
Sword of retrenchment forces warring SKS, HKM to join hands
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 25
State government employees and their leaders opposing the policies and attitude of the Chautala regime regarding retrenchment, privatisation, contractual system of employment and alleged victimisation of the staff seem to be in an upbeat mood. After the formation of a Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the two leading federations, representing over four lakh state government employees, the employee leaders are busy in organising a rally at Jind on September 1.

Leaders and representatives of the organisations - known as Sarva Karamchari Sangh, Haryana (SKS), a Left Front body representing over 2.5 lakh employees, and the Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh (HKM) are taking rounds of various government offices requesting employees to take part in the rally.

This is perhaps for the first time in the past about five or six years when two organisations have formed a JAC and decided to hold a joint rally. Earlier, thanks to the `differences’ in their approach and stand, the leaders of the SKS and the HKM had launched their agitation and campaigns separately.

These two organisations had also exchanged allegations and traded charges that the other group had not been cooperating and had been playing in to the hands of the government.

As these separate agitation and strikes had hardly any effect on the attitude of the government, the leaders of SKS and the HKM decided to come close. “After the meetings held in the past, the employee leaders were unanimous over their approach to the alleged `anti-employee’ attitude of the state government,” said Mr Subhash Lamba, president of the district unit of the SKS and its spokesperson. He said the SKS had always been vocal against the failure of the state government to remove the problems faced by the staff.

Alleging that the authorities had been bent upon retrenching thousands of employees, he said various demands had been pending for long and even justified ones were being overlooked.

The SKS leader alleged that while over 10,000 employees had been rendered jobless in the past about three years. The functioning of various departments had been affected adversely due to the shortage of staff and infrastructure and the state government was holding the employees responsible for any inefficiency or problem, he complained.

It is reported that the decision of the state government to close down the Minor Irrigation Tubewell Corporation (MITC) and to retrench about 3,916 employees had led to the closing in of ranks between the employees federations.

The JAC has reiterated that it would not hesitate to intensify the stir across Haryana, if the state government does not adopt a proper attitude towards various issues concerning the staff. The leaders of both the organisations claim that the proposed rally of the JAC had sent a signal that employees would not tolerate the one-sided policies and they were ready to fight against any injustice.

They also believe that the success of the rally would help the employees to get support of opposition parties and their leaders and the attention of masses as well. The closing down of MITC had caused a lot of consternation among the unions.



Four child prisoners escape after assaulting warden
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 25
Four child prisoners reportedly escaped from the Bal Sudhar Grah (Children’s Home) after injuring a warden, Mr Balram, here last night.

According to a report, the prisoners have been identifiede as Updesh, Krishan, Vinay and Kamlesh. The police have registered a case against all the prisoners and launched a massive hunt to apprehend them.

It is stated that the inmates raised a hue and cry around 2 am about one of them suffering from pain. Thereupon, the warden, Mr Balram, went inside the Bal Sudhar Grah after opening the locks. As soon as he entered it he was attacked

by the prisoners and beaten up. The warden fell down in a semi-conscious condition. The prisoners snatched the keys of the main gate and four of them

managed to escape after opening the locks.

The injured warden was rushed to the local civil hospital and he is stated to be out of danger.



Tri Nagar councillor missing

New Delhi
Atma Ram Gupta, councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi from Tri Nagar, has been reported missing since yesterday. A report of abduction has been lodged in the Keshavpura police station.

Mr Gupta, who is a senior member of the Standing Committee of the corporation, attended the Congress rally held in Ram Lila ground yesterday. He left the rally in the afternoon and took a lift from another councillor, Sharda Jain, who dropped him on the way. His family started making enquiries when he did not reach his residence even late in the night. After initial attempts to trace him failed, the matter was reported to the police.

The police said that efforts were being made to trace Mr Gupta and his personal description had been flashed to all the police stations. TNS



Fire in two factories
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
Property worth thousands was destroyed in two separate fire incidents in Udyog Nagar and Tikri Kalan in the city last night.

Even though the first fire was reported to be of a serious nature, there were no casualties. It broke out in a rubber factory in the Udyog Nagar area of West Delhi and immediately 24 fire tenders were pressed into service. The second fire erupted in a cardboard factory in Tikri Kalan area at 10.50 pm and eight fire tenders were pressed into service.

The fire personnel battled for more than an hour to douse the fire. It was finally brought under control by 12.45 am. The Fire Service sources said that they were ascertaining the exact cause of the fire in both the incidents.



Married woman raped in broad daylight
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 25
A young married woman was allegedly raped in broad daylight by a youth in Kanwali village under the Jatusana police station in the district on Friday. It is stated that the woman was returning home after washing clothes at a well in the afternoon. She was overpowered and raped by a village youth near the tubewell. On reaching home, she narrated the incident to the members of her family who made a complaint to the police. The police have registered a case of rape under Section 376 of the IPC against the accused, Bir Singh, who is stated to have absconded. The police also got the woman medically examined.


Bala Devi (35), wife of Pawan Kumar, was electrocuted when she tried to remove an electric wire with wet hands and feet in their house, which was under construction, in the Vishva Karma Colony at Kosli town, 35 km from here, on Friday morning. She was rushed to the hospital where she was declared brought dead. Later, her body was taken to her native Khachroli village and was cremated. The deceased was a mother of three children.

Girl ends life

Two persons, including a girl, died in different incidents today. Sangeet, an unmarried girl, committed suicide today by consuming some poisonous substance. Tension at home is stated to be the reason behind her extreme step.

In the second case, Khalid died after he was run over by a speeding truck near Dhauj village. Local police have registered cases and carrying out investigations.

Lawyers’ fund

New Delhi
The Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, presented a cheque of Rs 1 crore to the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on behalf of the Delhi Government towards the advocates welfare fund, a release said.

Working on Sunday

The Sonepat Municipal Council has launched a campaign to improve the sanitary conditions in this city. According to a report, all the safai workers have been asked to turn up for duty on Sunday, which is a gazetted holiday for the employees. This step is first of its kind in the history of the state. The council would provide compensatory leave for half a day to the safai workers in the week.



Police hunt for youth who stabbed man, daughter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
The Defence Colony police are in search of a youth who reportedly stabbed a 15-year-old girl, Ritika Lama, and her father La-Sang Lama. The victims were admitted to a hospital where they were stated to be serious.

The suspect, Shaila Limbu, resided with La-Sang and the duo used to work in a Chinese restaurant, Chopstic, at Lodhi Road. A quarrel took place on Saturday between La-Sang and Shaila following which the suspect stabbed La on his abdomen and arms whereas Ritika was stabbed on her forehead. Shaila had absconded, the police said.

Crushed to death

Two youths, Rajesh Parashar (30) and his brother Ranjan Parashar (24), who were on a scooter, were crushed to death by a speeding tempo near Gaurav Nursery on the Delhi-Gurgaon road on Saturday. While Rajesh died on the spot, Ranjan succumbed to his injuries at Safdarjung Hospital. The victims were brothers and worked in Gurgaon. When the incident occurred, they were returning home in Nahara village from work. In another incident, Gulam Mohammad and Mahmood, who were on a motorcycle, were hit by a tempo in the Kapashera area. They died on the spot, the police said.

Commits suicide

Ranbeer (30), a rickshaw puller, reportedly committed suicide in his house in Nand Nagri by hanging from a ceiling fan last night. The deceased lived in a rented room along with his family. He belonged to Eta district in Uttar Pradesh and was facing economic problems. He was addicted to ganja. He had an argument with his wife on Saturday following which he bolted the door from inside and hanged himself from the ceiling fan, the police said.



Auto thieves held
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 25
With the arrest of three youths on Saturday evening, the district police claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle thieves who had allegedly been active in the town for the past few months. Those arrested include Vijay, Rajbir and Manoj, all residents of Salwan village in Karnal. The police recovered two stolen autorickshaws and a motorcycle.



New range of footwear for women offers 
comfort plus fun
Our Correspondent

NIKE comes out with a new footwear range for women. Maintaining the heritage of offering the most innovative products, Nike launches the novel range of woman footwear that allows you to lead a healthy, fitter life. Based on an athlete’s specification, the product is simple enough for everyday use even on an uneven terrain.

The latest range is based purely on function, comfort and fun for all age groups. If W.Escapeaway Plus and W.Alveus Plus are for teenage enthusiastic girls who are always on the move, W.Attest Plus and W.Sustain Plus satisfy the need of the serious fitness freaks.

Contemporary furniture

Renaissance Furniture has introduced an entrancing range of Contemporary Renaissance and Home Accessories from some of the most well-known international brands under their flagship brand, Renaissance Homes. The range consists of imported chairs, sofas, tables, lights, cabinets and beds mainly from the United States and Italy. The range consists of unique functional furniture with uncluttered design, rhythm and flow.

Working on the design principle of Zen, the straight-lined yet warm contemporary range uses sheen and steel to bring in the retro look.

Jubilee offer

During a month-long celebration, Cinthol celebrates its 50 years of skincare. The flagship of Godrej Consumer Products, Cinthol is celebrating the golden jubilee with exciting offers for both the dealers and consumers. Cinthol has launched a special golden jubilee offer pack of three soaps. The offer is valid on the Cinthol deodorant and complexion soap. The special offer pack is in the striking original red colour of Cinthol and is priced at Rs 50, and is available across the country.

Casual wear

Daks Simpson, Britain’s contemporary classic brand, recently unveiled in India a complete global range of men’s casual wear, which will serve to complement the regular formal wear already available at the Taj in Mumbai and Sehgal Brothers in New Delhi.

Daks causal range consists of T-shirts in solid colours of Polos, made of a soft fabric called the Egyptian cotton yarn, mercerized jacquards and a special grindal in a number of colours.

Digital key phone

Matrix Telecom has launched Eternity, an indigenously designed digital key telephone system developed for the first time by an Indian company. The product is made keeping in mind diverse, complex and integrated communication needs of an organisation. Ganesh Jivani, Managing Director, Matrix Telecom, said: “Telecommunication today has undergone a radical upheaval from days of a considerable feat by Marconi.”

All-season engine oil

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has re-launched its flagship diesel engine oil (DEO) brand Milcy in a new avatar as HP Milcy Toofan. Keeping in tune with the technological changes, improved engine designs and more stringent emission norms, the new improved HP Milcy Toofan is a multi-grade DEO with a viscometrix of 15-40w making it efficient in all weather conditions, thereby protecting the engine and enhancing its performance.

Reva adds class

Reva Electric Car Company (RECC) has launched the new luxury version of Reva, the Reva Classe, with thoughtful additional features over the standard model. Reva Classe will sport swanky interiors and accessories such as Kenwood stereo system, security system with remote central locking and soft touch interiors that will add to the lifestyle tastes of the customers. It also has an anti-glare rear view mirror to facilitate easy driving during night and a heater with windscreen defroster.

Bath solutions

Kohler, leader in kitchen and bath solutions, has come out with a range of ultra-modern steam and shower boxes, massage bathtubs, shower panels, bathroom furniture and tiles.

Pimple cure cream

Eraser Ayurvedic Skin Cream has launched a new cream, Eraser Acne and Pimple cream, for treatment of pimples. This is a complete Ayurvedic formulation with multani mitti, Neem, haldi, masoor, Rasak, phitkari and gandhak.

Italian fittings

Crabtree Aquatech Limited has launched an exquisite range of designer Italian faucets and bathroom fittings. Ushering in a new era of designer bathrooms, the range promises to bring out a sophisticated blend of feelings and functionality.

The broad objectives of launching this product in India are to bring the Italian elegance to our bathrooms. These products are not only exquisite on design but also promise smooth operation and ease of functionality.


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