Wednesday, August 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Colleague ‘behind’ councillor’s murder
Tribune News Service

Politics of murder or murder of politics?

The crowd outside the residence of Atma Ram Gupta in Tri Nagar in the Capital on Tuesday.
— Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, August 27
Congress Municipal Councillor from Tri Nagar, Atma Ram Gupta, who went missing in the Capital on Saturday, has been murdered. Gupta’s party colleague and fellow Corporator, Sharda Jain, and her brother were responsible for the killing, the police claimed today.

Sharda Jain and her brother Raju, who allegedly got Gupta murdered and had the body disposed of "somewhere in Western UP", have been arrested, Joint Commissioner of Police Ajay Chadha said.

Efforts were being made to trace four other suspects, including Sharda Jain's driver, who have been identified.

"The motive behind the killing was jealousy as Sharda Jain suspected that he (Gupta), a fifty-year-old father of three, had relations with some other woman," Mr Chadha said.

Jain and Raju would now be produced in the court and later taken to the place where they had allegedly disposed of the body, he said, adding that efforts were on to identify the other persons involved in the crime.

The alleged murder of the senior corporator, who was a member of the all-powerful standing committee of the Municipal Corporation and chairman of its appointment committee, sent shock waves through his Tri Nagar council segment. Hundreds of his supporters and friends thronged his residence even as the stunned family tried to reconcile to the fact.

Gupta, a member of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) from Tri Nagar, was last seen at Kashmiri Gate Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) on Saturday evening when he was returning home after attending a party rally. Gupta's family members, in their complaint to the police yesterday, alleged that he had been abducted.

Mr Chadha said that the police were in the process of identifying the spot where Gupta could have been murdered. He said the identity of four other conspirators, who were absconding, had been established and a hunt was on to track them down.

Some leads were available with the police and a few arrests were likely. Among the four is Jain's driver. Meanwhile, sources said Jain told police during interrogation that she had close relations with Gupta, a father of three, and did not like his ''growing proximity'' with some other woman.

A former headmistress of a school, Sharda Jain was initiated into politics by Gupta who also helped her secure a Congress ticket for the corporation elections earlier this year. She had won from the Keshavpuram ward. They were often seen together and drove to the council meetings together.

However, the police did not identify who the other woman was. Fifty-year-old Gupta was found missing after a public meeting of Congress President Sonia Gandhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday. He was last seen travelling with Jain in her car.

When the corporator did not reach his residence till late in the night, his family lodged a complaint in the Tri Nagar police station which registered a case of abduction after a preliminary inquiry. As he was last seen getting into Jain’s car by party colleagues, the needle of suspicion pointed at the woman corporator.

During interrogation, she kept giving contradictory statements -- that she had given a lift to Gupta at Ferozeshah Kotla and dropped him somewhere near Raj Ghat or the ISBT. It was only after her statements were counter-checked that the police realised she had been trying to mislead them. The police have questioned a large number of people, including Mr Gupta and Ms Jain's family members, relatives and close associates. A few people, who attended the rally on Saturday and last saw Mr Gupta, were also questioned.


Sharda Jain expelled
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
The murder of Delhi Congress Corporator Atma Ram Gupta, allegedly at the behest of fellow party corporator Sharda Jain, today sent shock waves in the political circles in the Capital. In a swift damage-control exercise, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Subhash Chopra said Ms Jain, who had brought disrepute to the party, ‘‘has been expelled from the primary membership of the party and asked to resign her councillorship.”

Describing Gupta's murder as ''a very, very unfortunate incident,'' Mr Chopra told press persons that reports indicated that Ms Jain had plotted the crime. “There is no need for such people in our organisation.”

The party has also expelled Ms Memwati Barwala, councillor from Prahaldpur Banger, from the primary membership of the party. No reason has been assigned for her expulsion. The DPCC president said there would be no political interference in the probe.

Delhi BJP president Madan Lal Khurana expressed deep shock and anguish over the murder and said it smacked of a deep conspiracy. He demanded action against Ms Jain and others found guilty of complicity in the crime.

Reacting to the incident, Leader of the House in the MCD Ram Babu Sharma (Congress) said: ‘‘It will damage the image of the party.’’

The MCD this afternoon passed a resolution condemning the killing and demanded severe punishment for the culprits. The police should make all efforts to bring out the truth before the public, the MCD resolution passed at the Town Hall said.


Atma Ram’s death: Holiday for MCD offices, schools 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
All the offices, hospitals, dispensaries, schools and other institutions of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will remain closed tomorrow as a mark of respect to Atma Ram Gupta, senior councillor who was murdered. He was the Chairman of Appointments, Promotion, Disciplinary and Allied Matters Committee. He was also a member of the Standing Committee. He was elected for the second time as councillor from Tri Nagar, a release of the MCD said.


Petty criminals, amateur killers
J.T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
The murder of Congress Councilor Atma Ram Gupta has once again highlighted the role of hired killers who have easy access to the corridors of power.

These hired killers are not members of organized gangs -- like Babloo Srivastava or Chotta Rajan – and are petty criminals who have graduated to heinous crimes.

Police sources said that in most such cases, the hired killers turned out to be amateurs. Nor did they have a striking criminal record.

In Gupta murder case, the accused, Sharda Jain, and her brother, Raj Kumar, struck a deal with hired killers in Western Uttar Pradesh for Rs 60,000. Even in the sensational Shivani Bhatnagar case, the hired killers did not have much of a criminal background.

These co-called hired killers are mostly from western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. They mostly have links with the liquor mafia and commit petty crimes like kidnapping and extortion.

“In Haryana, after prohibition was lifted, the criminals no longer found bootlegging a lucrative business. Some of them drifted away and took to other crimes which brought them in touch with politicians,” explained a senior police official.

Most of these criminals use farmhouses in the periphery areas of the NCR region as hideouts.


Meerut doctor abducted from bus
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, August 27
A reputed doctor in the city was kidnapped by four heavily armed youths late in the evening while he was returning from his clinic at Ramraj in Muzaffarnagar.

The incident occurred at 8.30 pm. The kidnappers dragged Dr Sandeep Rastogi to the sugarcane fields at pistol point. The doctor goes back to Mawana every day after closing down his clinic at 7.30 pm.

About 10 km before Mawana, four armed men entered the bus. Two of them covered the driver while the remaining ‘took care’ of the passengers. The armed youths announced that they would not harm anybody. They were there just to kidnap Dr Rastogi. Robbery was not their motive, they said.

Two of them caught hold of Dr Rastogi and dragged him towards the sugarcane fields. After the incident, the driver rushed the bus to the police post and narrated the incident. As the news of kidnapping reached the district headquarters, senior police officials reached the spot and started the combing operation.

The police took a ‘doctor’ in custody who allegedly told Dr Rastogi to travel by that private bus. Dr Rastogi, on the other hand, was planning to board a roadways bus that evening.

The police recovered the purse and the wristwatch of the doctor from a nearby sugarcane field. The driver and the conductor of the private bus were also taken in custody. The doctor was an active member of the RSS.


Excise chief’s exit: More questions than answers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
The forced exit of Narender Kumar from the post of excise commissioner even before the new, liberalised excise policy could be taken to its logical conclusion has thrown up more questions than answers.

Although the office of Finance and Excise Minister Mahender Singh Saathi claims Kumar had attempted to “bulldoze” the Cabinet’s decision of routing all files pertaining to the Department of Excise to the minister, yet the officer – as it turns out – was only implementing in letter and spirit the very orders of the Government of NCT of Delhi’s agencies but got the boot anyway.

In a confidential circular issued sometime ago, the Director (Vigilance) is learnt to have noted that the excise commissioner is competent authority to exercise the statutory powers under the provisions of the law. The provocation for the circular apparently, sources say, was the proliferation of illicit liquor trade and smuggling of spurious liquor and the consequent loss of revenue to the State Exchequer.

Another circular issued by the Department of Administrative Reforms at around the same time touched upon the “decision-making” powers of officers concerned and suggested a suitable model as alternative. The circular, the sources say, also suggested that there should “not be more than three levels” in the decision-making structure.

Kumar was given the marching orders on Saturday for rubbing Finance and Excise Minister Mahender Singh Saathi the wrong way and, worse still, for quoting the rule book to the minister. Kumar, the official version is, had in his August 8 “office order” noted that files need not be sent up to the minister’s office because the excise commissioner was competent authority in matters pertaining to award of liquor licenses.

Incidentally, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had on June 7 approved Kumar’s transfer. The next day, June 8, the Government of NCT of Delhi approached the Ministry to allow Kumar to continue in office. And on June 9, he was shifted from the Department of Labour and appointed as excise commissioner.

The Government of NCT of Delhi, sources said, invoked that communique of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (approving his transfer) two-and-a-half months later to send Kumar packing. Kumar was Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the office of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit between June 2000 and May 31, 2001. He was then moved to the Department of Labour where he served from June 1, 2001 through June 9, 2002.

Narender Kumar handed over charge on Tuesday noon to Debashree Mukherjee. The new excise commissioner is expected to firm up the terms and conditions for awarding of licenses to departmental stores for beer sales and oversee the draw of lots tentatively scheduled for later this week. Under the new, liberalised excise policy, 70 new Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) vends are to be thrown open to private sector participation.

Under the new excise policy that came into force on July 1, over-the-counter sale of beer is allowed in department stores. Provided the department store will be of not less than two thousand square feet area. Also allowed is the serving of liquor on special occasions like parties L49A licence for which purpose can be secured by paying a fee of Rs two thousand.

Liquor will also be allowed to be served in banquet halls and farmhouses upon receipt of L20 licence. 


NCERT’s mantra for value education
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, August 27
Reconciling science with spiritualism, constitutional values with fundamental duties and rights, and educating the youngsters about religion so as to make them secular is NCERT’s strategy for the implementation of value education in schools.

Having earned the consensus of various academicians and religious heads for the implementation of value education in schools, the NCERT has revealed its strategy of doing the same.

Describing the strategy as “not prescriptive”, the NCERT claims that it is aimed at encouraging alternative approaches towards achieving the goal. The council has developed a handbook for schools on strategies of value education, which it hopes will serve as a basis for selection and development of instructional material for inclusion in the relevant school texts.

Clarifying its stand on the implementation of religious education, the council states that it has recommended education about religions and not religious education and this is in accordance with the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The council also states that since value education is not going to be an independent subject, there is no question of having a syllabus based on a curriculum format. The school boards will be encouraged to design and develop courses, which will make value transmission an integral part of all school learning.

The NCERT Director, Prof J. S. Rajput, said, “There is a need felt to revamp the teacher programme, which are at present inadequate to do justice to value-oriented education. The NCERT has already announced a project to promote research and innovations in value education”.

He added, “The purpose of value education is to fight obscurantism, religious fanaticism and violence and promote and nurture critical thinking, reflection, reasoning and build up a humane approach.”

Yoga too has been seen as an ideal exercise for promoting mental and physical fitness by the council. It is being pointed out that yoga will help the students in concentrating, focusing and fighting the problems associated with body malfunctioning and aging.


Daylight dacoity in Panipat
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 27
Another daring dacoity took place in the city this morning. Panic gripped the posh Sector 11-12 of Huda this morning when about five unidentified armed assailants barged into the house of Mr Darshan Singh and decamped with cash and jewellery worth several lakhs of rupees.

According to sources, the dacoits, armed with knives and other sharp-edged weapons entered the house No 466 around 11 a.m. At the time of the crime, daughter of Darshan Singh, Ms Dimple (32) and his mother Veerwali (76) were in the house. After tying and locking up the old lady in a room, the armed men asked Dimple to hand over the cash and jewellery in the house to them. As Dimple resisted, she was repeatedly hit on several parts of her body with knives and other sharp-edged weapons.

After injuring Dimple, the assailants ransacked the house for about 45 minutes and decamped with cash and jewellery worth several lakhs, the sources said.

When the assailants escaped with the booty, the old lady and Dimple somehow managed to inform their neighbours. The neighbours, in turn, informed Harwinder Singh, a son of Mr Darshan Singh, who runs a cosmetics shop in Ward No 3. The police reached the house around noon. A case has been registered and manhunt launched to nab the culprits.


No proposal to hike auto fares
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
The Government of NCT of Delhi on Tuesday denied reports of a hike in the autorickshaw fares and said no such proposal was being considered.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told media persons the Department of Transport will launch a drive in a day or two to enforce strict compliance with the guidelines stipulated for charging tariff and proper use of electronic meters.

Clarifying news reports to the contrary, the chief minister said the proposal, “if there is one”, was mooted for the purposes of a seminar likely to be hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, in which “one of the talking points will be whether a hike in fare will be adequate compensation for drivers otherwise prone to fleecing commuters by improper use or none at all of electronic meters.”

The Supreme Court had made installation of electronic meters mandatory for three-wheeler rickshaws (TSRs.) 


Hooda blames Chautala, Devi Lal for SYL delay
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 27
Holding the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and his late father, Devi Lal, responsible for the ‘delay’ in the completion of the remaining part of the SYL canal in Punjab territory, the Leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) in Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bhupinder Hooda, said here today that Punjab would have to complete the canal as the SC directive was in the spirit of the Rajiv-Longowal Accord.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Hooda alleged that it were Mr Chautala and his father, who had opposed the accord tooth and nail, delaying the completion of the project. Had they not opposed the accord, the Haryana farmers would not have suffered for long due to lack of water for irrigation, he added.

Demanding the resignation of the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, for his alleged role in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, he said only the CBI inquiry could bring out the truth in the case.

Claiming that every section of society was ‘dissatisfied’ with the lop-sided policies of the government, the CLP leader informed that a meeting of the CLP was being held today and on September 2 in Chandigarh to chalk out the Congress strategy during the Haryana Assembly session beginning on September 2.

When asked about the factionalism in the party, Mr Hooda said that Ms Sonia Gandhi was the only undisputed leader of the Congress.

He reiterated the demand of the Congress for a CBI probe into the Joginder Kaur murder case. Joginder Kaur was murdered in a local courts complex on November 26. The involvement of four close relatives of Haryana Assembly Speaker, Mr Satbir Kadian, is alleged in the case.


In Haryana, all projects are christened ‘Tau’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 27
In Haryana these days, names of most of the projects, old and new, start with ‘Tau’ Devi Lal, the late father of Cheif Minister Om Praksah Chautala and former Deputy Prime Minister.

Notwithstanding the hue and cry raised by the opposition parties and other organisations over naming or renaming of certain projects after Tau, another project here has been named after him.

The latest in the series of “renaming spree” is a shopping complex between the Railway Road and GT Road on the site of Old Truck Union. Mr Chautala will lay the foundation stone of the project on August 30, official sources said here today.

However, there seems to be some confusion over the total cost of the prestigious project, to be constructed under Scheme 3 of the Improvement Trust. While an official press note, issued by the District Public Relations Office (DPRO) on August 26, mentions the cost as Rs 5 crore, another DPRO press note, issued today, pegs the cost at Rs 3 crore.

With this, at least four major projects have been named after “Tau” in the district. These are the Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Station and Tau Devi Lal Town Park, both at Panipat, and Tau Devi Lal Memorial College of Education, being executed by the Jat Dharmarth Sabha, coming up at nearby Manana village.

It may be recalled that several organisations criticised the naming of a large number of projects after “Tau” and installation of his bust at certain cities.

In fact, a former Chief Minister and HVP supremo, Mr Bansi Lal, had gone on record that if his party came to power, he would rename all such projects and remove the board “eulogising” Mr Chautala’s father.

Meanwhile, it learnt that the layout plan of the shopping complex had been approved by the Urban Development Department. It would have 110 double-storey shop-cum-offices (SCOs) and two booths. There is also a provision for the construction of the office of the Improvement Trust.

Once completed, although there is no deadline, the SCOs would be auctioned and the authorities expect to net an amount of Rs 1 crore. There is also a proposal to develop the pond nearby a park, which would provide good ambience to the surroundings.

Spread over an area of about 10,514 square metres, the site had been under the illegal occupation of the truck union for the past several year. Later, it was got vacated by the district administration and now its ownership rests with the Improvement Trust.


Youth Cong rally slams Centre, Chautala govt

Sonepat, August 27
Hundreds of Youth Congress workers took out a procession here on Monday to register their protest against the “anti-people and anti-farmer” policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre and the INLD government headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala in the state.

Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, they marched through the main bazars of the city. Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, president of the All-India Youth Congress, Mr Sudesh Sharma, Haryana Youth Congress leader, and Mrs Sumitra Chauhan, a member of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), were among those who joined the procession. Later, they held a demonstration in the mini-secretariat in the city. Earlier, addressing a huge rally in the Nagar Parishad Park here, Mr Surjewala said that no section of the society was satisfied with the working of the central and state governments. OC


Farmers, administration concerned over decline in ground water level 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 27
The ground water has come down considerably due to lack of rains, affecting the working of tubewells in the paddy belt area of the district.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.N.Roy, told mediapersons here today that most of the tubewells have been closed down and the paddy growers have been concerned over this development. The district administration, he said, has taken a number of steps to combat the drought conditions prevailing in the district. He disclosed that the officials of the Revenue Department have already completed the survey work in the drought-hit villages of the district following the receipt of instructions from the state government for providing compensation to the affected farmers.

The Deputy Commissioner disclosed that the decline in the ground water had started about 10 years ago and if this trend continued, the people of the district would not get water even for drinking. He also said that the progressive farmers have started installing a new type of tubewells to combat the declining ground water level.

The Deputy Commissioner disclosed that the farmers were being provided loans by the banks and other financial institutions to save their standing paddy crops.

He also said that the farmers would also get loans from banks to restart their tubewells for irrigation purposes. The farmers were installing new tubewells in the district with the help of engineers.

The Deputy Commissioner appealed to the farmers not to sow paddy crop in the wake of declining groundwater level but to sow other crops to raise their income.

Referring to the anti-power theft campaign, the Deputy Commissioner said that the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam have carried out raids and checked 475 premises during the first fortnight of the current month.

He said the authorities had detected as many as 76 cases of power thefts in the Sonepat circle.

The officials, he said, had imposed a penalty of Rs 11.24 lakh on the defaulters and recovered Rs 7.88 lakh on spot from them.


Sisters thrown out of in-laws’ house for dowry
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 27
The incidents of daughter-in-laws being tortured, thrown out of the house and even killed have been on the increase in western UP. The shameful, inhuman incidents are common among people of all castes and religions.

Two sisters, married in the same family six years ago, were thrown out of their in-laws’ house for their failure to bring buffaloes and Rs 50,000 in cash, after they had been kept without food for weeks together.

The two women were thrown out along with their six children. After getting them medically examined, their father had filed a report with the Link Road Police Station on August 22. Six years ago, dairy owner Anees of Maharajpur village under the Link Road Police Station, Ghaziabad, had married his two daughters, Afsana and Gulbahar, to two brothers of village Sharaba under Kharkhoda Police Station in Meerut.

Anees had brought his two hapless daughters for treatment to the district hospital, Ghaziabad. According to doctors, both the sisters had serious injuries on their bodies.

There were many scars of old injuries too. The in-laws had started abusing the sisters and taunting them for bringing inadequate dowry from the first day of their marriage.

Later, they started persecuting and torturing them on a regular basis, said Afsana.

Some 18 months ago, their in-laws had thrown Afsana out of the house for not having brought buffaloes and Rs 50,000 as demanded by them.

She had been living with her father since then. However, about two month ago, on the intervention of some village elders, she was given one buffalo and sent to her in-laws’ house. However, soon the in-laws started the torture to her.

The sisters were denied food and were forbidden to go out of the house. The two sisters along with their six small kids were thrown out of the house. After passing a night in a neighbour’s house, they were brought back to their father’s house in Maharajpur village here on August 22.


NGO launches drive to check dowry menace in Ahirwal
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 27
The NCRD, a newly floated social organisation, has launched a multi-pronged campaign in Ahirwal for the elimination of the menace of dowry system on the one hand and eradication of the fast increasing problem of unemployment among youth on the other. Besides, it has also launched programmes for providing free medicare to the rural population as well as scholarships and incentives to poor meritorious school children.

Maj (retd) Dr Tara Chand Yadav is the founder general secretary of the NCRD, the executive committee of which mostly comprises retired defence personnel like its president Wing Commander R. Pathak and treasurer O. P. Yadav.

Briefing newsmen here about the activities of the NCRD, Maj Tara Chand Yadav said that to save families from the tentacles of the dowry system, their major thrust was now on organising mass marriages in certain selected villages of the Jatusana segment of the Rewari region. The centre was in the process of obtaining concurrence of parents of the would-be brides as well as grooms to give the project a concrete shape, he added. He also informed that the entire expenses incurred on these mass marriages would be borne by the centre.

As regards their campaign against unemployment, he said that they had been liaisoning with Intertoll India Consultants Private Ltd, a South African company that had provided jobs to 68 youths of Ahirwal in the past few months.

Simultaneously, they were in the process of forging tie-ups with other multinational companies (MNCs) to ensure employment to more jobless youths. Besides, they had been conducting free coaching classes which had been instrumental in the recruitment of 62 youths of Ahirwal in the Army, Air Force and Navy.


Ghaziabad stinks as garbage piles up on roadside 
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, August 27
The Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam, unable to guarantee the cleanliness of the entire city, has embarked on a plan to have the city cleaned up in parts. This has resulted in about one-third of the five tonne garbage daily produced by the city, being piled up on roadsides, green belts and on streets.

In the absence of a common dumping ground, garbage remains scattered in various parts of the city. The conditions of drains in the city are no better. Even if they are left uncleaned for a few days, it results in the drains being choked and the spread of obnoxious smell all around. An amount of Rs 16.90 crore was allotted in the Nagar Nigam’s budget this year for health and hygiene. However, even with a liberal budgetary grant, heaps of garbage and choked drains in city speak volumes about the apathy, negligence and inefficiency of the health department.

When the chief health officer is not in a position to maintain minimum cleanliness in the area around his own residence on Rakesh Marg, what could an ordinary citizen expect from the authorities in the city. The areas which have become an eyesore, include Delhi Gate, Dasna road, Old Bus Stand, Kela Bhatta, Bajariya, Sabzimandi,

Chamman Colony, Rate Ram Road, Kiryana Mandi, Nehru Nagar, Kailash Nagar, Gopuri, Arthala, Bharat Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Nand Gram. Residents complain that safai karamcharis are hardly seen in these areas. And whenever they do some cleanliness work, the garbage is left unattended for weeks. Residents in the area complaint that unattended garbage attracts stray cattle.

Residents also blame the private dairy owners as one of the main culprits for the pathetic state of affair. They claim that dairy owners throw cowdung around the roads, which causes foul smell in the area. A green belt is being developed along the roadside in many of the posh colonies like Kavi Nagar by the Forest Department and Nagar Nigam. However, no action has been taken by the Nagar Nigam against those dairy owners who throw cowdung around the roads.

Incidentally, the Chief Nagar Officer, Mr R.B.Morya, had recently written to the government for relieving the Chief Health Officer, Dr S.K. Garg, in view of the deteriorating health and hygiene condition in the city. However, no action has yet been taken by the administration.


Children in publishers’ good books at fair
Megha Manchanda

New Delhi, August 27
There are books galore to suit everybody’s taste at the eighth Delhi Book Fair which commenced on the 24th of this month here at Pragati Maidan. However, what catches one’s attention almost instantly, is the fact that the publishers and the organisers seem to have taken a special care to woo the children with books written for them.

Almost every stall has a separate section for children, exhibiting a wide collection of books. From the cartoon characters to the mystery novels, from folk tales to the scientific compendiums, there is something for everyone.

Moreover, there are quite a few stalls, which cater only to the young readers. The comic books of the award-winning film ‘Lagaan’ are a sell-out, as are the informative CDs from Encyclopedia Britannica.

The good response to the earlier book fairs is perhaps the reason why there are numerous publishing houses displaying their collections this year. “This year’s book fair has started well,” said Mr Amarjit Singh, sales executive, Bharat Publishing House.

While the visitors to the book fest are from all age groups, college students seem to have taken a fancy to the fair. Browsing in groups and sometimes wandering alone, these students find the fair a welcome chance to acquaint themselves with books.

The book fair is organised annually so that the publishers from all over the world can take part in it. This year too, there are publishers from Iran, Pakistan and England. The fair is aimed at enhancing the prospect of the publishers. “It does affect our sales in the long run,” added Mr Singh.


Flyovers help check pollution’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
Air pollution in the Capital has decreased. Health Minister A. K. Walia says this is because of the flyovers. The number of flyovers constructed over the past few years, he reasons, has decongested traffic allowing for smoother flow of vehicles and is also responsible for a decrease in the incidence of diseases.

The minister was speaking after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurated a pedestrian subway constructed by the Department of Public Works (PWD) at a cost of about Rs 1 crore under the Road No 40 in Inder Lok today.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister said the PWD would construct ramps for physically challenged persons on footpaths, subways and buildings. As many as 61 sites had been identified for construction of subways, 16 of which (including the subway she inaugurated) had already been thrown open to public.

Ms Dikshit said Delhi was the first state in the country where out of the total income accumulated from public taxes, 98 per cent of the funds was spent on development works. The corresponding figure for some other states, she said, was not more than 85 per cent. 


18 hurt as RTV jumps red light, hits truck
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
Eighteen persons, including three women and five girl students, sustained serious injuries when an RTV in which they were travelling overturned after colliding with a truck at Burari crossing in North district this morning.

While 12 victims were admitted at Trauma Centre, five were admitted at Babu Jagjeevan Ram Hospital and one at St Stephen’s Hospital. The incident occurred at 7.30 am when the speeding RTV jumped the red light, hit the truck and overturned, the police said.

The students belonged to Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in GTB Nagar.

A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the RTV driver who fled the spot after the accident, the police said.


Labourer killed as mound of slush caves in
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 27
A labourer was buried alive under a mound of slush that caved in while digging in the fields of Bamnouli village today. According to information, Neehar, hailing from West Bengal, was working for Rajender of Silothi village, a contractor for land filling. When he along with another labourer was digging, the mound suddenly collapsed. While another person managed to sneak out, Neehar was buried under it. The police have registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC on the complaint of Meenu, wife of the deceased, against Rajender.

Sarpanch suspended

The sarpanch of Silana village was placed under suspension by the Deputy Commissioner, acting under the Panchayati Raj Act. The sarpanch, Anoop Singh, was found guilty in an inquiry conducted by the SDM at Jhajjar. In its orders, Mr Mohinder Kumar, DC, directed the sarpanch to hand over the charge to a member of the panchayat.

Another member of Rishi Prakahs Panchayat in Kulasi was disqualified under Section 177-B of the Panchayati Raj Act for having three children.

Amenities urged

The Rashtriya Safai Karamchari Aayog has directed the officials of different departments to ensure adequate supply of piped water, cleanliness and availability of basic amenities in Dalit localities in the town.

Mr Ganga Ram Teja and Mr Ram Prasad Balmiki, members of the Aayog, were addressing a meeting convened here today to review different schemes launched by the state as well as union governments for the uplift of safai karamcharis and to hear their grievances. They directed the public health authorities to settle the problem of scarcity of potable water in wards 3, 4, and 6 as early as possible.

The members of the aayog urged the officials of the municipality and the Health Department to provide gloves and masks to the safai karamacharis for desilting sewerage. They also stressed that the safai karamcharis should be medically examined at least once in three months.

Scribe remembered

Members of the Rohtak unit of the Haryana Union of Journalists (HUJ) paid homage to Mr Satyapal Saini, former general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and a senior staff correspondent of ‘Dainik Tribune’ stationed at Rohtak on his fourth death anniversary today. A meeting of journalists was held under the presidentship of Mr Virender Singh Chauhan at canal rest house here this morning.

The Haryana Lok Sanskritik Manch also remembered the veteran journalist who was the founder president of the manch. Mr Yashpal Panwar, general secretary of the manch, said a two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed soul.

Blood camp

As many as 141 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the Rotary Club here in the Sri Baba Mastnath Educational Institution complex today. The camp was inaugurated by Mahant Chand Nath Yogi of Ashthal Bohar Math. Mr Prem Grover and Dr R. K. Chaudhary, president and secretary, respectively, of Rohtak unit of the club, said the distinguished feature of this camp was that the whole team of this camp had come from the newly established Rotary Blood Bank, Tughlakabad in Delhi, which, they claimed, was one of the top blood banks in Asia.

Urged to donate eyes

Mr Abhay Singh Chautala, vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association and MLA from the Rori assembly segment, has exhorted the people including the activists of youth wing of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) to opt for eye donation for the welfare of the society.

He was addressing a state-level function organised by the Jat Education Society here this afternoon to honour freedom fighters, war widows and those rendered disabled by the conflicts on border.

Killed in mishap

A scooterist, Parvesh Bhasin (45), was killed on the spot when he was hit by a truck on the Old DC road here last night. According to a report, the victim belonged to Model Town here. The Police have registered a case against the truck driver and further investigations are in progress. The victim leaves behind his wife, two daughters and a son.

According to another report, two persons sustained injuries in two different road accidents on the GT Road near here last night. The injured persons were identified as Baldev Singh of Sharifgarh village in Kurukshetra district and Joginder of Nepal. Both the injured were sent to the Trauma Centre at Delhi, for further treatment.

Dowry death

The Ganaur police have registered a dowry death case against the members of the husband’s family of Mrs Reena who had committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in her parent’s house on Monday. According to a report, her in-laws and her husband had been harassing her for not bringing adequate dowry. The police are still investigating the case and no arrest has been made in this connection so far.


Power supply to be cut today

New Delhi
The North North-West Delhi Distribution Corporation Limited owned by Tata Power today announced a planned shutdown in Wazirpur Industrial Area, Ashok Vihar Phases I and II and Shalimar Bagh. The power supply will be cut tomorrow from 10 am to 6 pm. According to company sources, the planned shutdown was to facilitate maintenance work of the Wazirpur Grid No 1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company Anil Sardana said the shutdown was part of the company’s preventive maintenance exercise. TNS


Gang of robbers nabbed, truck confiscated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
With the arrest of four suspects — Javed alias Hero, Anil, Vinod and Babu — the South district police today claimed to have worked out nine cases of auto lifting-cum-robbery. One truck, two motor cycles and one mobile phone were recovered from their possession. However, their two associates have absconded.

During sustained interrogation, they disclosed that they were members of the Javed gang. The modus operandi of the gang is to keep a watch over persons who withdraw huge amounts of money from banks. When their target came out of the bank, Vinod would inform other members on mobile phone. They would follow the victim on motorcycle and robbed him on reaching a lonely place. Likewise, the gang also used to attack salesmen who collect money on weekly basis from shopkeepers, the police said.

Held for robbery

The Mansarovar Park police arrested Pradeep Kumar alias Sonu in connection with a robbery case. He along with his associate had robbed a rickshaw-puller, Om Prakash Tiwari, at knifepoint. His associate has absconded, the police said.

Stabbed to death

Jeevan Singh Negi, a resident of Meethapur village, was stabbed to death by unidentified persons. His body was recovered from near Agra Canal. A case of murder has been registered in the Badarpur police station and the case is under investigation.

Chain snatched

Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a gold chain of a schoolteacher, Mrs Madhu Mahajan, in Anand Vihar area on Monday at 3 pm when the victim was about to enter her house along with her son and daughter. The motorcyclist came from behind and snatched the chain from the victim.

Pirated CDs seized

In three separate raids conducted on complaints of Super Cassettes Industries Limited near Golcha cinema in Darya Ganj, the police seized thousands of pirated MP3, CDs and VCDs of T-Series albums. Three persons — Bunty, Asif and Mahenderpal — were arrested under the Copyright Act, Anil Kakkar, Chief Executive (Media) of Super Cassettes Industries, said.


Touchtel launches Zipnet
Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 27
Touchtel, Haryana’s first fixed line service provider, today launched a digital subscriber line (DSL) service under the brand name Zipnet for its subscribers in Gurgaon and Faridabad.

Zipnet is the first service of its kind for internet access being offered by a telecom operator in Haryana.

A functionary of Touchtel, Haryana, said that Zipnet offers the freedom to access data and voice simultaneously over a high speed uninterrupted broadband platform. No more engaged telephone line when subscribers are surfing the internet, he added.

According to him, Zipnet is a broadband internet/data access technology riding on the copper-based network. It is the most convenient and reliable way to stay connected.

Unlike other cumbersome modes of internet access, Zipnet allows the freedom to talk while one can run applications like video conferencing, video streaming, downloading songs and net meetings.

Touchtel today also unveiled their multi-international strategy to target the rapidly growing residential and business segments for its DSL broadband application.

With the launch of the DSL service, Touchtel has made broadband access affordable for homes and corporates.

Bharti Telenet Limited Haryana is a licensed private basic service operator for the Haryana circle.

It had recently launched its fixed line telephone services under the brand name Touchtel in January 2002. This is likely to facilitate faster net access.


First winner of Corsa test drive challenge 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27
General Motors India today announced its latest marketing campaign of Opel Corsa Test Drive Challenge. The two-week promotion, which has been on since August 19, is aimed at providing the prospective customer with a fulfilling experience in car purchase. The company also announced the results of the first week’s challenge today.

The campaign entails that each customer who walks into any Opel showroom in Delhi and test drives a Corsa will be eligible to enter the contest. All he would have to do is fill up a form and drop it in the drop-box. On every Monday, a lucky draw will decide who among the test drivers would take home the fantastic set of Samsung 21” Flat Plano TV and DVD Player.

The lucky one for the first week was Mr Annu Dahna who had test driven Opel Corsa in this period. Mr P. Balendran, vice-president, corporate communications, General Motors India, picked the lucky winner. Congratulating the winner, Mr. Balendran said, “The test drive is a simple incentive we have put together to attract the potential buyers to test drive Opel Corsa. The rationale being to get him to feel comfortable with the car of his choice without being forceful and only then make a decision.”

“We are convinced that once a prospect test drives the car, he would be convinced of the supremacy of Corsa in performance, ride quality, handling and power and help him judge for himself the car he would like as his own,” he added. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |