Thursday, August 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Cops scour countryside for body
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28
The police today continued to scour the countryside in Uttar Pradesh for the corpse of Congress corporator from Tri Nagar, Atma Ram Gupta, who was allegedly murdered at the behest of another councillor on Saturday.

Senior police officers, who are monitoring the case, said that the help of Uttar Pradesh police had been sought in retrieving the body which they believe was dismembered after the murder and either thrown in the Ganga Canal or buried in separate places in the countryside.

Ms Sharda Jain, another Congress corporator, and her brother Raj Kumar have already been arrested for the murder. A hunt is on for the others involved in the conspiracy. Ms Sharda Jain, who has been expelled from the primary membership of the Congress, had confessed to having ordered the murder of the corporator from Tri Nagar because of his alleged proximity to another woman.

Ms Jain said in her confessional statement that Atma Ram Gupta was driven to an isolated place near Ghaziabad, where he was shot dead with a country-made revolver; the body was dismembered and later disposed of. She is believed to have told the police that she had returned to Delhi after the murder and had left the task of disposing of the body to the hired killers.

The police said that they were also looking into the tantrik angle as some reports suggested that Ms Jain seemed to be in a trance at the time of the murder. She is also known to have been in regular touch with a tantrik of Vikaspuri. The police were also looking afresh into the disappearance of her husband some two years ago.

Meanwhile, Ms Jain and her brother Raj Kumar alias Raju were today placed in police remand for seven days by a local court. Metropolitan Magistrate Gurdeep Singh Saini remanded them into police custody after the Delhi Police counsel said that the force needed them for custodial interrogation.

Both Ms Jain and her brother, who allegedly hatched the plot to kill Gupta, were brought to the Tis Hazari lower courts with their faces covered.

Mr. Madan Lal Khurana, president of the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party, today met the Delhi Police Commissioner Mr. R S Gupta, and demanded a "proper probe" into the killing of the Congress corporator, alleging that there was a conspiracy and more people might be involved.

Stating that the incident had brought "shame" to Delhiites, Mr Khurana demanded immediate resignation of the Shiela Dikshit government as under their administration "sex and crime" had increased in the Capital.

Alleging that Ms Jain had a criminal background, Mr Khurana said she had tried committing suicide earlier and that her husband had mysteriously disappeared two years back. He charged that it was clear that in the MCD elections Congress had given tickets to candidates with a criminal background. The Commissioner of Police assured Mr Khurana that the conspiracy angle would be probed into.


Local Cong leader found killed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28
A day after the arrest of a Congress councillor on the charge of murdering a fellow party corporator, another local party leader, Ram Singh Sharma, was found murdered behind a temple on Kusumpur Pahari in Vasant Kunj area of South-West district this morning.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West) Tejinder Luthra said that Sharma had apparently been stabbed thrice in the neck. His mouth was muffled and his hands and legs were tied with a cord.

Ram Singh, ex-president of Youth Congress from Palampur block, went missing yesterday evening. When he did not return till late in the night, his family registered an FIR in Dabri Police Station where he had gone to settle a case of a resident.

The body was recovered from a forest cluster behind a temple close to the National Highway-8 (Delhi-Gurgaon highway) in Vasant Kunj around 9.30 A.M. It seems to be a blind case with hardly any evidence to indicate the identity of the suspects and the motive.

He said no one had so far been arrested in connection with the case, but a large number of people, including Sharma's family members, were being questioned. Yesterday, Congress MCD member Sharda Jain had admitted to having murdered fellow party corporator Atma Ram Gupta who had abandoned her for another woman.


Meerut varsity
Fallout of answer sheet scam: Prof
Missing files: HoD’s office raided, sealed
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, August 28
The Chaudhary Charan Singh (CCS) University campus here witnessed high drama with the administration sealing both the office and the computer cell of the Head of the Department of Microbiology, Dr A. P. Garg, after the Vice-Chancellor charged him with illegal possession of nine ‘sensitive’ files that went missing last week.

The Vice-Chancellor also removed him from the post of Coordinator of Bio-Informatics and Applied Microbiology. Dr Garg, in turn, along with students of his department, staged a dharna in front of the V-C’s office.

Earlier last week, the V-C had sought nine ‘sensitive’ files from Dr Garg, which the latter said he did not possess. On receiving his reply, in a late night move on Monday, the V-C constituted a team of six members, including two retired Deputy Superintendents of Police. The team raided the premises of the Department of Microbiology. Around midnight, the two rooms of the department, Prof Garg's office and the computer cell were thoroughly searched and sealed by the raiding team.

Later, on Tuesday, Prof Garg staged a dharna in front of the V-C’s office where he accused the latter of playing politics on the campus. He, with the help of over 120 students of his department, also blocked the entrance to the V-C’s office.

Prof Garg alleged that the action of sealing his department rooms was taken to destroy the evidence of ‘answer sheets scam’ of 2001 in which up to 75 marks were given against an answer carrying just 20 marks. The ‘ETV Uttar Pradesh’ had unearthed this scam and later an inquiry was ordered. Prof Garg was the chairman of the Inquiry Committee and had submitted his interim report in February 2001 after a writ was filed in the Supreme Court. In its order, the Supreme Court had ordered a detailed inquiry into the episode.

Prof Garg charged that from the date of receiving the apex court order, the V-C had been exerting pressure on him to slow down. As he had refused, the V-C had got his office sealed and destroyed several important research papers, he charged.

The students of Microbiology Department and Prof Garg also demonstrated before the District Magistrate’s office and submitted a memorandum. The DM assured the students of immediate relief. The students argued with the DM that their future would be jeopardised if the Coordinator and the HoD is changed at this stage. The students also refused to recognise Prof A. K. Srivastava as the new HoD of Microbiology. Following this representation, a committee from the DM’s office inspected the sealed rooms.

Later, Prof Garg informed the ‘NCR Tribune’ that a team from the Chancellor’s office was expected. Repeated attempts to get the reaction of the V-C of CCS University and his PRO, Mr Piplani, by this correspondent failed.


Workload was part of 1998 salary deal: UGC chief
Sanjog Gupta

New Delhi, August 28
The University Grants Commission (UGC) today sought to play down the ongoing spat with the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) stating that the workload clause had already been incorporated in the revised salary package adopted way back in 1998 and the agitating teachers were adopting a “myopic” approach to the whole issue.

“The increase in workload was a part of the increased salary package offered to the universities back in 1998. The 1998 salaries’ package clearly stipulated a teaching workload of 20 hours. The acceptance of the package would imply increased workload for university teachers, except if the University Ordinances were amended,” the UGC Chairman, Prof Arun Nigvekar, told ‘NCR Tribune’ in an exclusive interview.

Prof Nigvekar’s comments comes at a time when the DUTA has announced an extensive agitation plan involving a week-long strike during the first week of September, demanding resolution of all outstanding issues, including the removal of the minimum workload clause as specified by the UGC in a recent directive.

The UGC Chairman today said the teachers’ association was looking at the issue from a “myopic” viewpoint as the measure was all-encompassing aimed at reforming the education system in about 150 universities spread across the country. “In any case, one of the contentious recommendations – the ban on appointments – has been taken back. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) was still in the process of reviewing the other recommendations and, therefore, there was no need for agitation,” he said. One of the main issues that has annoyed the agitating teachers has been the controversial directive issued by the UGC recommending some kind of a temporary moratorium on teachers’ appointments. On the anticipated adverse effect on the student community due to a hike in college fees, he said, “the cost of higher education has been rising and it is impossible for the government to bear the total increase in costs. Therefore, a fee hike is imminent.”

Citing instances of global practices, Prof Nigvekar said that around the world, 15 per cent to 20 per cent of higher education costs was borne by the students. In India, however, the students’ share was less than a meagre five per cent.

“The notion that the fees will be suddenly increased is wrong. We are proposing a phased increase in college fees, which will not pinch the students,” he said.

The UGC Chairman also allayed fears that colleges were being compelled to forego grants entitled to them from the UGC. “The 10th Plan in fact entails a one-and-a-half times increase in the general development grant over the 9th Plan,” Prof Nigvekar clarified.

Elaborating on the measures as envisaged in the 10th Plan, he said that it was based on the principle of “innovation-based approach to education”. The Plan proposes the setting up of a National UGC Network, which will connect all 150 universities and will provide Intranet and Internet facilities. The cost of setting up this network (to be set up by ERNet), its maintenance and provision of bandwidth will be borne by the UGC. “The network will enable universities to store various information such as research work, teaching material etc. in digital form, and will also offer multiple-user access, facilitate information sharing between universities in Delhi and far-flung areas,” said Mr Nigevkar. This would facilitate easy and cost-effective access to information which otherwise would command a hefty premium.


Addl CP suspended
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28
The Home Ministry today ordered the suspension of Additional Commissioner of Delhi Police R.K. Sharma who was arrested on charges of raping his servant's wife in his Dehra Dun house.

The Home Ministry order said that R.K. Sharma was arrested on August 23 on a rape charge and, at present, he is in judicial custody. As per All India Service rules, a member of the services, who is detained for a period longer than 48 hours, shall be deemed to have been suspended by the government. Therefore, R.K. Sharma is deemed to have been suspended by the competent authority with effect from August 26 until further orders.

The action was taken by the Home Ministry after the Delhi Police and the Uttaranchal Police, which arrested him, sent their reports to the Ministry. Sharma, head of the Delhi Armed Police, was scheduled to retire next year.

The Uttaranchal Police, on the basis of a complaint by Sharma's servant, registered an FIR and arrested him on August 23. A medical examination of the woman confirmed charges of rape and a local court remanded Sharma in 14-day judicial custody.

Sharma, according to the complaint, had come to his house in the Rajpur Police Station area of the city from Delhi on August 22, and the next day he was arrested.

The FIR filed in the Rajpur Police Station in Dehra Dun said the official was heavily drunk and a medical examination had proved that.


Let the sleeping policemen lie
Parmindar Singh
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 28
The Ghaziabad Police never tire of proclaiming that they have a stern grip on the crime rate. However, the criminals in the district also have an uncanny knack of escaping from custody. Sometimes, they have simply walked out of custody while their police escorts enjoyed a snooze.

In the past 18 months, at least nine prisoners have escaped from custody. Sadly, the district police force is yet to learn a lesson. In fact, the escape of dreaded Pushpinder is the stuff legends are made of. He escaped after drugging the cops who also opened his handcuffs.

History-sheeter Santosh, who was being escorted to Ghaziabad from Bihar last year, jumped from the Magadh Express at Kotgaon railway crossing near old Ghaziabad railway station while the cops took a nap.

On May 7 this year, a criminal, Shahzad Sheikh, who was in the custody of Saharanpur police, jumped from a train at Chandernagar halt near Link Road police station. Three days earlier on May 4, one Ashok had jumped to freedom from a train while the policemen snored away to glory.

But the most sensational escape this year was that of Amarpreet, a notorious criminal active in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. Amarpreet had shot dead one of his escorts and injured another before escaping with their rifles and ammunition, a little distance from the Dasna Jail. The accomplices helped Amarpreet wriggle out of his handcuffs.

The cops manning a nearby police post were mute spectators while Amarpreet made good his escape. Later, after interrogating the injured cop, the police were able to recover the looted arms and ammunition. Amarpreet was later gunned down by the Delhi Police in an encounter.

Among the other persons who escaped from custody, the district police could succeed in gunning down only two, Nandu and Sarpanch, in encounters later. The local police are still embroiled in a controversy over the escape and subsequent shooting down of Nandu.

A prisoner’s escape on Friday has once again exposed police complacency and revived the memories of the sensational triple murder in the court complex here, but senior police officers seem to be unperturbed.



Saplings planted
About 10 lakh saplings have been planted under a plantation drive, informed Mr Mhonder Kumar, DC, while inaugurating a community plantation programme in Kheri Jat village here today.

He stated that the target of planting 12 lakh saplings would be accomplished by August 31. He said that Maharana village had topped in the district in the campaign by planting 50,000 saplings. Stating that the village panchayats, which surpassed the target, would be honoured by the district administration, he also sanctioned a grant of Rs 11,000 for the village school and assured to provide sewing machines to widows of three martyrs in the village. Earlier, Mr Mohinder Kumar, presided over a van mahotsav in Government Nehru College, here.

Teachers stage dharna
Several teachers staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner to protest against the rationalisation policy of the government. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the DC, Mr Ashok Yadav, to be forwarded to the Cheif Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

The agitating teachers demanded the teacher-student ratio to be fixed at 1:30 and no change in the number of periods of teachers. They sought regularisation of services of teachers serving on ad hoc or contract basis and benefit of maternity leave to the teachers serving on contract basis. They demanded immediate filling up of different posts lying vacant in the government schools and a check on the unabated growth of private schools to maintain the quality of education. They also demanded that the teachers should not be detailed for non-teaching purposes.

MDU counselling
Maharshi Dayanand University would organise counselling for some vacant seats in MBA two year and five year courses on August 29. A spokesman for the university said today that the interested candidates having at least 50 per cent marks in ten plus two class or in graduation could report with their original documents at the Institute of Management Studies and Research (IMSAR) of the university.



Probe into PDS irregularities sought
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 28
The Sonepat Depot Holders Association have complained to the Director, Food and Supplies Haryana, alleging unnecessary delay in the delivery of atta by the CONFED authorities for distribution among the families living below the poverty line in Sonepat city and other parts of the district.

According to a report, the association pointed out that the depot holders were being supplied poor quality of atta every month. Moreover, they alleged that the poor people were unable to get their ration because the supply reached the depot in the last week of the month and the people were unable to arrange the money so late in the month.

Furthermore, they claimed the atta was of poor quality and unfit for human consumption.

The association also pointed out that even though the depot holders deposit their atta requirements on time in accordance with the instructions, the CONFED authorities have been unable to supply it before the last week of the month.

The association demanded a high-level probe into the scandal and exemplary action against the officials responsible for the late delivery of the rationed atta.

Meanwhile, widespread resentment prevails among the families living below the poverty lines (BPL) against the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the Food and Civil Supplies Department in this city and other parts of the district. They alleged that they were being harassed on some pretext or the other and the bulk supply of rationed commodities were being diverted to the black market. They also alleged that there was no supply of levy sugar and kerosene oil to them by the depot holders who sold them in the black market. They further alleged that all their complaints made to the authorities of the department had fallen on deaf ears.

They also demanded a probe into the public complaints against the department officials and stern action against the officials found guilty of irregularities and malpractices in the distribution of rationed commodities.


Regulatory mechanism for cargo movement demanded
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28
A mechanism to regulate the charges and practices of shipping lines, shipping agents, freight forwarders, consolidators and Customs House Agents (CHAs) needs to be put in place, a background paper prepared by the Northern India Shippers Association (NISA), a sister organisation of the PHDCCI, says. It observes that upcountry exporters are unable to maintain their competitiveness due to the charges levied arbitrarily by these agencies.

The background paper states that to achieve a 12 per cent rate of growth, it is imperative that India’s exports acquire a competitive edge over their competitors, which is possible only if transaction cost is significantly reduced.

At present, the irrationally high charges levied by these agents and consolidators are making the cost of transportation of goods extremely high. As per one estimate, the cost of carrying goods from an ICD at Delhi or Ludhiana to Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai is more than the freight charged by shipping lines for carrying the same consignment from Mumbai to a port in Europe.

According to the paper, such arbitrary charges need to be checked. No foreign buyer pays for terminal handling charges. It is only the hapless Indian exporter who is forced to bear it because, again, there is no regulatory mechanism to examine and regulate. In all fairness, these should be borne by the steamship companies themselves.

The background paper has also suggested that since the volume of export and import cargo is bound to increase, it is imperative that a long-term strategic action plan for upgrading the new and minor ports is drawn up. Port capacities need to be augmented and the equipment and facilities at Indian ports for handling cargo have to be modernised.

There is an urgent need to stabilise freight charges as frequent upward revisions in terminal handling charges, inland haulage charges, bunker adjustment factor etc, make exporters’ pricing out of gear. The Airports

Authority of India should hold consultations with exporters, CHAs and freight forwarders before announcing revision in its charges.

According to the background paper, besides the creation of new ports, there is an urgent need for sprucing up port management systems. The thrust should be on improving internal administration, reduction of bottlenecks and limiting investment at fairly low levels. There is a need to match the port capacities (existing and proposed expansions) with cargo potential. Inland container depots and container freight stations need to be upgraded in a time-bound manner. 


Jhankis being decked up for Janamashtami
Megha Manchanda

New Delhi, August 28
The preparations for Janamashtami, the birth celebration of Lord Krishna, have begun and temples in the city are being decorated for the purpose. Adding to the festive spirits of Janamashtami are the colourful Jhankis or tableaus depicting the life of Lord Krishna. The preparation of these Jhankis takes time and requires craftsmanship. Like every year, temples across the city are busy preparing to present the best Jhanki.

On the occasion, devotees throng the Birla Mandir in the Capital, which houses exquisite idols of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. The temple organises a special Janamashtami celebration.

Ever since its inception in 1933, the Janamashtami celebration at the temple starts with a morning aarti at 5:30 a.m. followed by Bhajans and pravachans throughout the day. The preparations for the celebration start 15 days before Janamastami.

On an average, the Birla Temple is visited by more than 20 lakh devotees on Janamashtami and the serpentine queue winds its way from the Panchkuian Road to the Talkatora Stadium. The ISKON temple, located in the Southern part of the city has a similar tale to tell. Devotees have to stand for hours before they can make their way into the sanctum sanctorum.

Keeping with the tradition of previous years, cultural programmes including dramas and dances will be organised on the occasion. However, amid all the celebrations, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has a word of caution for the people. They have cautioned people to go easy on the rich diet and not indulge themselves too much.

Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, President, IMA, has advised patients of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases to refrain themselves from butter (makhan) as it increases the amount of cholesterol in the body, making people to susceptible to heart attacks.


Rain god lets loose fury in old Gurgaon
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 28
The first major unseasonal rain today plunged Gurgaon, especially the old areas of the city, in a flood-like situation, exposing the infrastructure and civic amenities here in the process. The apparent ill-preparedness of the authorities exposes the government’s repeated claims of Gurgaon being a modern city in terms of infrastructure development.

The heavy downpour, which began at about 3am, continued for about six hours on trot, putting the Public Health Department and other agencies in a quandary with the commoners running for cover. A large number of areas, especially in the lower reaches, witnessed rainwater entering the houses as the sewage system proved to be in a pitable state. In some of the colonies the residents had to leave their houses for safer destinations.

The flood-like situation was most glaring in some areas like 4-8 Marlas, Shakti Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Madan Puri, Baldev Nagar, Veer Nagar, Feroze Gandhi Colony, Jyoti Park, Arjun Nagar, Pratap Nagar, a major portion of Patel Nagar and Jacompura, Prem Nagar, Rajiv Nagar, Om Nagar, Hari Nagar Enclave, Surya Nagar, Feroze Gandhi(Colony-II), Laksman Vihar and Ashok Vihar, all forming part of old Gurgaon.

A visit to these areas revealed that following inundation of the streets and bylanes water started pouring into the houses about two to three hours after the rain started. By the time the rain abated there was knee-deep water in the houses of a major portion of old Gurgaon.

The main Sadar Bazaar, Subzi Mandi falling in old Gurgaon also faced a flood-like situation. A large number of the parks had knee-deep water several hours after the rain stopped.

The roads, especially the arterial ones, witnessed heavy accumulation of water. Even the main road in the posh Civil Lines could not withstand the fury of the rain.

Sectors of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) were also victims of the heavy downpour. The houses in Sector 10 had to grapple with rainwater entering them. The areas around the main road of Sectors 7 and 5(near Sheetla Mata temple) were also affected.

Although water cleared after some time when the rain stopped, even the fancied sectors of HUDA witnessed pools of waters on the roads. The general feeling is that the way the state government markets Gurgaon, particularly the HUDA sectors, the infrastructure should have shown better resilience.


Operation Jagriti to haul up ticketless Rly passengers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 28
The Railway Board has launched a special campaign named Operation Jagriti to haul up ticketless passengers in the incoming and outgoing trains.

According to a report, the special checking staff of Northern Railway, headed by Mr Surya Partap Singh, Railway Magistrate, Ambala, checked several incoming and outgoing trains at Sonepat station last evening and hauled up about 100 passengers travelling without tickets. The ticketless passengers were produced before the Railway Magistrate who imposed a fine on them. Those who could not pay the fine were sent to the jail by the Railway Magistrate.

Youths held
The special staff of the Police Department arrested two youths on Tuesday for allegedly possessing three countrymade pistols and eight cartridges. A case under the Indian Arms Act has been registered against them.

Suicide bid
A young girl, Promila, was reported to have made an attempt to commit suicide by taking sulphas tablets in her house at Deepalpur village, about 13 km from here, on Tuesday.

According to a report, she was immediately rushed to the hospital and was saved. A domestic quarrel is stated to be the main cause for her resorting to this extreme step.

According to another report, a 14-year-old girl, Suman, sustained burn injuries when her clothes caught fire in her house at Khewra village, about 13 km from here, on Tuesday evening. The injured girl was sent to the PGI, Rohtak, for further treatment. The cause of the fire was not yet known.

Hurt in clash
Two persons were injured in a clash that took place between two neighbours at Kalupur village, near here, on Tuesday evening.

According to a report, both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. The police are still inquiring into the case.

House tax
The Sonepat Municipal Council has sent notices to various heads of government departments asking them to pay the amount of the house tax outstanding against them within 15 days. According to a report, the Executive Officer of the municipal council has threatened them with stern action if they fail to deposit the amount within the stipulated period.

Meanwhile, the council has also sent notices to the owners of 17 houses directing them to demolish the unauthorised constructions on their own otherwise these would be demolished.

The Ganaur SDM, Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, has also sent notices to the dhaba owners of National Highway 1 asking them to remove their encroachments otherwise they would be dealt with sternly.

Sent to jail
A local court has sent two child prisoners, namely Updesh Kumar and Krishan, to the District Jail, Sonepat, instead of Bal Sudhar Grah (Children’s Home) from where they escaped.

According to a report, the police have failed to achieve any breakthrough in arresting two more child prisoners who had escaped along with them on Saturday night last.

LJP dharna
The Lok Janashakti Party, Haryana, has decided to hold a dharna on September 14 in front of the Lok Sabha at New Delhi in protest against the failure of the central government to pressurise the Punjab Government to complete the SYL canal in its territory in accordance with the directive of the Supreme Court.

Woman missing
A woman, Mrs Babita Devi, of Patla village was reportedly missing from here house since Rakshabandhan day. According to a report, she had gone along with her husband to her parents’ house to tie a rakhi on her brother’s wrist.


Woman, daughter burnt to death
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 28
A young woman and her five-year-old daughter were reportedly burnt to death by her husband and other family members for not fulfilling their demand for dowry in Kaliawas village of the district yesterday.

The father of the deceased reached the village on getting information from an unknown person.

He recovered the half-burnt bodies of his daughter Sushma and granddaughter Priti (5)from a heap of cowdung cakes outside the village.

The police today arrested Sushma’s husband Suresh Kumar and his mother Dhan Kaur under the Prevention of Dowry Act on a complaint made by the father of the deceased.

Police sources said the deceased Sushma, daughter of Ran Singh, resident of Jarodha in Delhi, was married to Suresh of Kaliwas village six years ago.

The husband and in-laws started harassing her just after the marriage, demanding more dowry. After the birth of the girl child, Suresh sent Sushma and the newborn to her parental house in Jarodha and put a condition of Rs 10,000 for taking her back home.

The father acceded their demand and Sushma was back with her husband.

Again, after some time, her in-laws threw Sushma and her daughter out of the house, demanding Rs 50,000.

However, her father gave Rs 30,000 and assured to send the balance amount after the harvesting season.

Meanwhile, an unknown person informed them Suresh and Sushma’s parents burnt both Sushma and her daughter alive in a heap of cowdung cakes outside the village on the night of August 26.

The father of the deceased and some other relatives came to her husband’s house and found both the bodies in half-burnt and naked condition.

The police have booked four persons in this connection and arrested the husband and mother-in-law.


Residents battle diarrhoea, viral fever
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 28
A large number of people in Noida town and surrounding villages are down with diarrhoea and viral fever.

Fourteen-year-old Raj Kumar of Sector 12 has been down with fever for the past one week. One and a half-year-old Sahil has been battling diarrhoea for the past four days. Kajil and Deepak of Sector 31 have been under treatment in the government hospital for the past four days.

The fury of these ailments is all the more greater in the slum areas of Noida like Sectors 5 and 9, Sadarpur, Khoda Colony etc.

People from rural areas are also trooping in for getting treatment for diarrhoea and viral fever.

According to doctors, these ailments are the direct outcome of polluted drinking water. People in slum clusters and villages are still using water drawn from hand pumps, which is the main cause for spread of diarrhoea and viral fever.

The doctors have advised people to take precautions in the changing season. Top on the list is this advice: Desist from taking ice and drinking cold water, eating sweets etc. Coolers should be used without water these days, doctors say.

There is an increase in the incidence of diarrhoea and viral fever in the area during the monsoon.


CM calls for collective effort to fight AIDS
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 28
Acknowledging that the government has limited resources, the Chief Minister, Ms Shiela Dikshit, has urged the corporate sector and the NGOs to join hands with the government in their fight against the spread of AIDS. Speaking at the release of a book on HIV/AIDS titled, ‘ The Positive Side’, authored by the Vice-Chairman, Modicare Foundation, Samir Modi, Ms Dikshit asked the corporates and the NGOs to aid the government to fight the menace of AIDS keeping in view meagre resources available to the authorities.

“We need the collective effort of the corporate sector, individuals, NGOs, and the government to win over this silent killer”, she said. Adding that salesmanship, which is an asset that the corporate sector possesses, was the point where the government and the corporate sector needed to join hands against the deadly disease.

The Chief Minister pointed out that the government did not have adequate resources to meet the demand for contraceptives. She said people in the country were not all that ignorant about the HIV virus. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Naresh Trehan, Director, Escorts Hospital, called for a partnership scheme between the government and the citizens of Delhi to contain the disease on the lines of the schemes already being implemented in other sectors.

Dr Trehan suggested a change in laws, which restricted blood banks from informing the donors if they were found to be HIV-positive.

Bazigar ill

The general secretary of the All-India Tapriwas and Vimukt Jaties Federation, Raunki Ram Bazigar, who has been protesting since 1996 and has been on a fast unto death since the past 20 days, is critically ill. The protesting leader has been demanding Scheduled Tribe status to Bazigar, Khanabadosh, nomadic and denotified tribes. The protesters claim that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has overlooked their case and are demanding action. Saperas, Aherias, Gardarias have also joined the protest outside Jantar Mantar in the Capital.

Drugs seized

In a major seizure, the Drug Control Department of Delhi today unearthed four unlicensed godowns and seized drugs worth Rs 80 lakh.

The operation took place in the Capital’s Bhagirath Place where these godowns had been set up. In a similar raid conducted last week, drugs worth Rs 60 lakh were unearthed from an unlicensed godown. The bulk of the drugs seized were antibiotics like Norfloxacin tablets, CIP Z tablets and painkillers like paracetamol. In all, 29 items of drugs of different batches were seized from the godown.

In another godown 13 different drugs worth Rs 12 lakh were seized and the bulk of the drugs comprised analgesics apart from other drugs like Omeprazole and prednisolone.

The state Minister for Health, Dr A. K. Walia, informed that the test reports were awaited. Further investigations are under way.


Cong slams ‘scam-tainted’ NDA govt
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 28
Activists of the district Congress Party took out a procession and demonstrated outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office on various issues including the `Petrol Pump scam’ here yesterday.

Demanding the resignation of the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Nayak, the Congressmen assailed the `inaction’ against the culprits.

Mr V Hanumantha Rao, AICC secretary and in charge of Haryana affairs, later held a press conference and claimed that allegations of certain BJP leaders that irregularities were committed during the Congress rule, were baseless and an attempt to divert the attention from the present `scam’ of the NDA government.

He said the BJP leaders were putting undue pressure on the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) to hold elections in Gujarat. He charged that the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Modi, had no moral strength to admit the damage done in the state. He said all
allegations against the Congress
president, Ms Sonia Gandhi and
the CEC, Mr Lyndoh, were baseless and reflect the `mindset’ the BJP leaders.

On the elections in Jammu and Kashmir and the proposal of the RSS for the trifurcation of the state, Mr Rao said it was a wrong suggestion and could not be entertained.

He alleged that the BJP was exploiting the issue for election purpose.

Talking about the state of affairs in Haryana, Mr Rao said there was no disunity in the Congress Party and claimed that the Congress would form the next government in the state.

He also denied that the former HPCC Chief, Mr Birender Singh, had issued statement against the HPCC Chief, Mr Bhajan Lal. However, several supporters of Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Mr Birender Singh stayed away from the demonstration today.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner
in which they demanded immediate relief for farmers facing
draught, withdrawal of hike in
house tax, professional tax and fire tax.

Mr B.R.Ojha, president of DCC (I) and Mr Raghubir Singh Tewatia, president of Rural Unit (DCC) were among others who were present.


Illegal ghee unit unearthed
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 28
In a raid, the Vijay Nagar police have unearthed an illegal factory manufacturing duplicate desi ghee, refined oil and salt and arrested four members, including the brother of a BJP leader, of a gang.

The factory was functioning at the residence of the BJP leader. On a tip off, the police first raided a room over a general merchant’s shop in Sector 9 of Vijay Nagar and arrested Ashwini Mittal. On the basis of information provided by him, the police raided the premises of a former BJP mandal president of Mawai village in the area and nabbed Ravinder Sharma and Nain Singh from Atrauli village in Bulandshahar and Jagdish, a resident of Jatvada.

About three quintals of duplicate ghee, salt and refined oil were seized. The police also recovered wrappers, stickers and labels of popular brands of refined oil and desi ghee and the equipment and raw material used in the manufacture of the duplicate materials.

The interrogation of the arrested gang members has revealed that they had been running the same business from the Bulandshahar residence of Nain Singh.


Four of inter-state dacoit gang nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28
With the arrest of four persons, the South district police today claimed to have busted a desperate gang of dacoits who were wanted in several cases of dacoities in banks and petrol pumps, murder, robbery, attempt to murder and car thefts. The police also recovered three firearms with 12 live cartridges and one knife from their possession.

The accused — Mohammad Yasin alias Pradhan (33) of Nand Nagri, Sajjid alias Bhoora (21) of Baghpat, Yunus alias Salim (25) of Sahibabad and Sabir Choudhary (29) of New Seelampur — were nabbed from Zakir Nagar on Monday. While two of them tried to escape by jumping in the backyard, they were injured and before they could flee the police team overpowered them. The gang leader, Yasin Pradhan, also tried to escape but was nabbed with a weapon in his hand. During sustained interrogation, they confessed to their crimes in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh with a gang led by Suleman and Changez. Suleman had received injuries in an encounter with another group and is at present lodged in the Tihar jail for his involvement in a number of dacoity and robbery cases.

Yasin Pradhan also used to lend financial help and provide criminals who used to work on his behalf with weapons and shelter. The inter-state gang, which consists of more than 40 members all over North India, used to frequently operate in Delhi and adjoining areas.

Robbery solved

With the arrest of one person, the North district police today claimed to have solved a house robbery and recovered stolen jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh from his possession.

The accused, Narayan, resident of Pathal Gatha in Bihar, along with Lalit, a domestic servant of the victim’s family in Satyam Apartments on Rajpur Road, had forcibly entered the house and tied a woman member, Nidhi Jain, with a rope and later escaped with the booty. Narayan told the police that Lalit had left for Nepal.

Stabbed to death

Ram Chander, a restaurant owner in Keshavpuram area, was stabbed to death by unidentified assailants this evening. The assailants had a fight with Ram Chander on some issue and there after they stabbed him. He died on the spot. A case of murder has been registered, the police said.


Village youths held for raping two sisters
Our Correspondent

Faridabad, August 28
The local police have registered a case against two youths of Chansa village, about 15 km from here, on the charge of raping two sisters while they were sleeping in their house in the same village. The father of the girls alleged that first the police tried to dismiss the case when he approached them for lodging the complaint due to pressure put on them by certain influential persons. Later, due to the intervention of Mr Ranbir Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police, the local police was compelled to register the rape case against two youths, identified as Shivji and Mukesh. the two have been arrested. Great resentment prevails in the village.

The role of the SSP in ordering the arrest of the rapists is being lauded by people from all walks of life.

Minor raped

A teenaged minor girl was allegedly raped by a youth in Hassanpur village on Tuesday. A case has been registered but no arrest has been made. According to the complaint, the victim, aged 15 years, had gone to answer nature’s call in the fields near the village in the evening when she was overpowered and raped by the accused. The alleged rapist has been identified as Suresh of the same village. It is reported the victim was also threatened by the accused. In another incident, the police booked a resident of Prithla village for firing in the air after a dispute with his neighbour.


Touchtel services in Karnal, Panipat soon
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 28
Bharti Telenet Limited, the first private telephone service provider in Haryana, is in an expansionist mode. The company, well known by the name ‘Touchtel’, will soon launch its telephone service in Karnal and Panipat.

The company had started its service in Faridabad and Gurgaon districts in January this year and the number of subscribers has crossed 20,000 mark in the Faridabad and Gurgaon zone.

Stating this, the chief operating officer of Bharti telenet, Haryana, Mr Rajiv Kohli, said here yesterday that touchtel had been making rapid progress in the state.

He announced the plan to launch Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) under the brand name of Zipnet in Faridabad, Gurgaon and Delhi, which are its operating circles at present.

He said the DSL is a latest technology in this field, which offers Internet facility without disruption of the telephone service.

He said while DSL provided fast and efficient Internet uplinking, it was very nominal in terms of cost. He said DSL provided high-speed Internet connection and fast downloading facility.

According to Mr Kohli, Zipnet provides one of the most advanced Internet connections in the country. He said Zipnet connection would be available at a cost of Rs 995 per month with unlimited access to Internet. Besides, he said, touchtel had been offering several other features for the benefit of the consumers. He said touchtel would start its service in Ambala and Panchkula by the year-end.

Regarding the complaints of overcharging or faults in billing, Mr Kohli said they would be looked into favourably and the company was prepared to enquire into such cases when brought to its notice.

However, he claimed that complaints regarding its services were minimum and said it was one of the reasons behind the ‘dramatic’ increase in numbers of subscribers in Faridabad and Gurgaon.

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