Sunday, September 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Body fished out from canal, cremated
Tribune News Service

Relatives of Councillor Atma Ram
Relatives of Councillor Atma Ram consoling each other at Nigambodh Ghat in the Capital on Saturday. 
— Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, August 31
Exactly a week after he was whisked away to the adjoining state of Uttar Pradesh and done to death at the behest of a fellow corporator, the body of 51-year-old Atma Ram Gupta, Congress Councillor from Tri Nagar, was recovered from a canal near Jainpur village in Bulandshahr in the early hours today. The mortal remains were consigned to fire later.

The body, in advance stage of decomposition, was brought to Tri Nagar residence of the Councillor this evening. It was later cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat after his family members, friends, relatives and a large number of supporters paid their last respects. There was a huge rush when Atma Ram’s body reached his residence at 7.30 pm.

The cremation was attended by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, DPCC president, Subhash Chopra, Mayor Jaishree Panwar, Chairman of Standing Committee of the MCD, Ram Babu Sharma and other leaders of Congress and other parties.

Friends and supporters of Atma Ram Gupta raised slogans protesting against the slow pace of police investigation into the murder. Slogans were also raised against a section of the Congress leaders.

The post-mortem examination of the body was conducted in district hospital, Bulandshahr and the body was later handed over to the family for cremation. A large number of supporters of the slain Congress leader thronged his residence as the news of the recovery of body spread in the area.

The police have made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.

According to the police, the body was spotted by some villagers and the local police were then informed. A Delhi Police team scouring for the body for the last seven days and camping in the area, were subsequently informed. The body was identified from the clothes and the general description of the deceased.

Earlier in the day, Leader of House in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Ram Babu Sharma called on Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor and sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into Atma Ram Gupta’s murder.

The representation to the Lieutenant-Governor read: “Members of our party (are) worried about the murder and the stories which have been floating around through the newspapers leading to speculations and casting a shadow of doubt on the capabilities of the investigating agency. So much so according to newspaper reports, the Uttar Pradesh Police are suspected of being a party to the disappearance of the body.”

Atma Ram Gupta, father of three and senior member of the Delhi Municipal Corporation’s all-powerful Standing Committee and chairman of the appointments committee, was reportedly whisked away by a fellow corporator, Sharda Jain and her brother on Saturday last after the Congress rally at the Ferozeshah Kotla Grounds here.

He was later shot dead at the behest of Sharda Jain and the body disposed of because she resented his growing proximity to another woman corporator. Both Sharda Jain and her brother were arrested and are in police custody. Efforts were also under way to trace at least three other persons, including one Roshan Singh, a former pradhan of Chajjupur village in Ghaziabad who was given the contract to eliminate the Congress corporator.

However, certain sections within the Congress-dominated corporation had cast their doubts over the motive of the crime and alleged that some members of the tender mafia could be behind the murder. The police said that they were investigating all angles. 


Duo in judicial custody for 11 days
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
Even as the prime suspect in the sensational Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, R. K. Sharma, a senior Indian Police Service officer, continued to elude the police dragnet, a Delhi court today extended till September 11 the judicial remand of Satya Prakash and Pradeep Sharma, the co-accused in the case.

Metropolitan Magistrate R. K. Chauhan remanded both the accused in judicial custody for 11 days. The Delhi Police's Crime Branch had asked for an 11-day judicial custody so that both the accused were brought to the court on the day Sri Bhagwan would be produced.

As Metropolitan Magistrate J. P. Narain was on leave, both of them were produced before Mr Chauhan. Sri Bhagwan was earlier remanded in judicial custody on August 28.

According to the police, Sri Bhagwan, Prakash and Pradeep had conspired to kill Shivani in her apartments in East Delhi. However, prime accused and suspended Haryana Inspector General of Police (Prison) R. K. Sharma is still dodging the police dragnet.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High court is likely to pronounce its order on Sharma's anticipatory bail application on Monday. Two courts in Panchkula and Delhi had earlier rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.

Shivani Bhatnagar, a principal correspondent with the ‘Indian Express’ at Delhi, was murdered at her apartment in East Delhi on January 23, 1999.


Five children burnt to death in Janmashtmi fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
A fire that broke out in a temple in West Delhi on Saturday evening claimed the lives of at least five children. Many were injured.

According to police sources, at least five children were roasted alive in the fire that broke out in a shamiana erected outside the Shiv Shakti Temple in J Block, Vishnu Garden in West Delhi.

A large number of devotees had thronged the temple to take part in Janmashtami celebrations. At about 8.15 pm, the police sources said, sparks flew off the naked electricity cables overhanging the shamiana and soon the entire shamiana was on flames. In the melee, a few children were trapped inside.

This is the second major incident of fire in the Capital. Only recently, several shops were destroyed in a fire that broke out in the Chandni Chowk market.

Earlier, the birthday of Lord Krishna was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the Capital today. People thronged the temples to pray and make offerings.

The hub of activities, however, was the Birla temple, the ISKCON temple and the Chhattarpur Mandir. The temples were done up to greet God on his birthday. Apart from the temples, devotees thronged to witness the traditional tableaux depicting the life of Lord Krishna. Small children dressed as Radha and Krishna were part of the tableaux.

Rows of neatly done-up models made by children outside their homes exhibiting the various stages in the life of the Lord were another attraction. Children were vying to create the best model and earn applause.

With the aid of optical illusion, most temples presented a spectacular sight showing Krishna's life, right from the time of his birth to the time he performed the Raas Lila with his consort Radha.

Children and adults alike were seen enjoying on swings. Though there was confusion regarding the exact date of Janamashtami, the festive spirit remained unaffected.

To add to the celebrations, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd also did their bit by organising a cultural programme comprising a Raas Lila, bhajans and folk dances at Dilli Haat in the evening.


Sheila to take a leaf out of Mumbai’s book of solutions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
If Mumbai can, why not Delhi? Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wants to visit that metropolis to find out if the nation’s commercial capital can offer solutions to Delhi’s ills that stem from the contempt for the law and the bankruptcy of ideas.

The tour has been tentatively scheduled for sometime in September. High on her agenda will be studying the “Mumbai Model” of housing and distribution of electricity.

Mrs Dikshit says in situ development of slums and affordable housing interest her. “I want to see if we can replicate the Mumbai Model. It could be a great step forward for Delhi,” she feels.

A gradual cut in the subsidy on housing by roping in private builders to earmark a certain percentage of housing for the lower strata in lieu of certain concessions and allowing for vertical growth of city’s skyline will be explored.

“Can we get private parties to invest in housing by asking them to reserve a certain percentage of residential space for the weaker sections that can be bought on easy instalments?” she wants to know.

Elaborating on her vision, Mrs Dikshit says private builders could be invited to develop a certain land. After reserving a portion of houses that are affordable to the lower and middle classes, private builders can use the remaining land any which way they want to.

Managing private sector participation in the distribution of electricity is next on her agenda. The Mumbai-based Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES) and Tata Power have begun distributing electricity in Delhi since July 1. “How they overcame teething problems and evolved an energy-efficient model over the past decades should interest Delhi given the unbundling of the Delhi Vidyut Board two months ago,” says Mrs Dikshit.

Sources in the Department of Power say the BSES and Tata Power are keen on sourcing contracts for repair and maintenance from Mumbai after paying all outstanding dues to the contractors here. The managements of both the companies have had to deal with contractors threatening to disrupt services by going on strike. A bone of contention is also the “disproportionately” high bills payable to the contractors.

“In June alone, Rs 26 crore was payable to the contractors. The monthly bills are in excess of Rs 14 lakh. The private distributors are seeking an audit of the transactions,” the sources say.

The Chief Minister is likely to be accompanied by Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia and Power Minister Ajay Maken. After globetrotting across Europe (London and Copenhagen) and North America (Chicago and New York) where she signed agreements on information sharing and cultural exchange, Mrs Dikshit has turned to “Amchi Mumbai” for home-grown solutions.


History-sheeters: Cops clueless
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, August 31
Of the 750 criminals registered with Ghaziabad police as history-sheeters, the police do not reportedly have any information about at lease 150 of them.

The police department is trying its best to compile and furnish some data in the crime review to be undertaken by the DG police next month.

Dr Vikram Singh, IG police Meerut zone, had in a recent meeting held at his office and attended by all the senior SPs and DIGs, given fresh guidelines on the subject under which the police have started a campaign against the history-sheeters in each district.

Each SO of the police station has been ordered to furnish information about all such criminals of his police station.

SSP Chander Prakash of Ghaziabad has asked the SOs in charge of police stations to list out these criminals who are no more alive as also those who don’t have any record. According to police sources in all the 22 police stations, a total of 750 criminals have been registered as history-sheeters. Of them, 150 are such about whom no information is available in the police department. The police do not even know whether they are alive.

About 20 criminals registered as history-sheeters in various police stations are reported to have died. Another 150 are those regarding whom the police stations concerned have not maintained any record for a long time. Another 70 history-sheeters are now reportedly in the age group of 60 to 80 years. They are too aged to be active criminals.


Man ends life in Delhi hotel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
A man identified as Saket Saurabh (25), reportedly committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in Ashoka Yatri Niwas this afternoon. He had been staying in room number 1223 since August 26.

He had arrived in the Capital from Kolkata for some work. The hotel employees told the police that he was normal when he had arrived and behaved decently with everybody in the hotel. He used to come out of his room in the morning every day but when he was not seen this morning, the hotel employees suspected some foul play, the police said.

Subsequently, when he did not come out of his room for lunch, the staff informed the police.

There was no response when the police knocked at his room door. Thereafter, the police broke open the door and found him hanging from a ceiling fan.

There was no suicide note recovered when the police searched his room. His parents in Kolkata have been informed about his death and his body was sent for the post-mortem examination, the police said.


Scientists sprout new mustard variety
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 31
Scientists of CCS Haryana Agricultural University Regional Research Station, Bawal, Rewari, have developed a new mustard variety RB-24 (Geeta). This variety has 12-20 per cent more yield than standard varieties of mustard like Kranti, Varuna, RH-819 and PBR-97. This has been developed by the concerted efforts of agriculture scientist Dr Yash Pal Yadav and Dr B S Dahiya, Director of Research.

According to Dr Yadav, the most significant characteristic of RB-24 variety is that it is tetralocular where instead of two rows, seeds are set in four rows in pod which is a rare characteristic.

Enumerating characteristic of the new variety, Dr J S Yadava, Regional Director, Regional Research Station, Bawal highlighted its suitability for cultivation in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi under rain-fed conditions. This variety has performed well under timely sown rain-fed conditions with recommended package of practices.

It has dark brown, bold seeds with 5.3 g seed size. It has 41 per cent oil content and is shattering resistant along with drought tolerance and is moderately resistant to white rust. Dr B S Dahiya, Director of Research, while giving this piece of information described it a landmark achievement of varsity scientists.

He said that potential yield of this variety is approximately 25 q/ha and 30 q/ha under rain-fed and irrigated conditions respectively. The main shoot length of this variety is significantly more than other varieties and has 18-22 seeds per pod, which results into higher yields.

Dr Dahiya informed that due to these traits, this variety had been identified for release by Varietal

Identification Committee in All India Coordinated Research Project on Rapeseed-Mustard conference held recently at Hyderabad for its general cultivation in zone-II. This is one noteworthy achievement of Regional Research Station, Bawal.


A new chapter in publishing industry
Sanjog Gupta

New Delhi, August 31
India publishes the third largest number of English titles each year, standing only behind the US and the UK. The total number of titles published each year exceeds a staggering 70,000. Yet, for a long time, the Indian publishing industry had been watching from within the shadows as its Western counterparts dominated the international literary scene.

This scenario is undergoing a paradigm transition with various Indian authors attaining international prominence and their acclaim having a spillover effect on the Indian literary environment. Something similar is also happening in the publishing world, with an Indian being appointed as the vice-president of the International Publisher’s Association (IPA). What makes the achievement of Mr Ashok K. Ghosh, the chairman and managing director of Prentice Hall of India (PHI), more ceremonious is the fact that he is not only the first Indian but also the first Asian to be honoured in this manner.

“It is a great honour and gives me a sense of pride, being the sole representative of my country in the IPA,” said Mr Ghosh, while observing the proceedings of the Delhi Book Fair. He has been a member of the IPA for the last 30 years and was also the first Asian to be granted membership. His tryst with the publishing world began at an early age of 11 when he started helping his uncle, who was publishing his own books.

Asked to compare Indian publishers with their Western counterparts, he said, “Indian publishers face various constraints ranging from the low literacy rate to the lack of purchasing power and poor reading habits.”


3,000 villages don’t have enough potable water: CM
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 31
It is official now. Of the over 7,000 villages in Haryana, over 3,000 do not have adequate drinking water facilities. This was admitted by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while laying the foundation stone of the Tau Devi Lal Shopping Complex here on Friday evening.

However, the Chief Minister was quick to assure a motley gathering that in the next two years, the government would endeavour to provide 70 litres of potable water per person in all villages. Listing the achievements of his government on the industrial front, Mr Chautala said the state’s exports had crossed the Rs 8,000 crore mark and the software exports from the state were to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore per year.

With a view to promoting the IT industry, an IT park had been established in Gurgaon. Similarly, the reduction of market fee from 4 per cent to 1 per cent had given a boost to state’s revenue, he claimed.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, informed that Sanoli Road had been widened and strengthened at a cost of Rs 4 crore. The Tau Devi Park, which was slated to be completed soon, would have musical fountains, he added.

The Chairman of the Improvement Trust, Mr O. P. Matta, the modern shopping complex, to be built at a cost of Rs 3 crore, would have 110 shops. It would be spread over an area of 19,514 square metres. Prominent among those who spoke were the Haryana Assembly Speaker, Mr Satbir Kadian, the Cooperation Minister, Mr Kartar Singh Bhadana, and the Chairman of the Haryana Housing Board, Mr Krishan Pawar.


Telephone dept feels the heat, tries to pep up staff
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 31
Faced with competition from the ‘well-wired’ private sector in the telephony, the authorities of the local telephone department have begun in earnest to raise the motivation level of the line staff and other personnel to meet the challenges upfront.

The authorities of the department have held a series of meetings with the representatives of the line staff and others to drive home the need to improve the work culture. The General Manager of the department, Gurgaon Circle, Mr S. Sharma, feels that the labour has not gone waste. According to him, there is a growing realisation among the employees that it is their own interest, which would be hurt, if they did not change their mindset.

Notwithstanding the efforts put in by the telephone bosses in this circle for a change in the work culture in the department, the general feeling is that the personnel will have to go a long way to satisfy the subscribers of their professional integrity.

Gurgaon is fast changing its demographic profile. A large number of people, who have come to stay as residents in this city, fall in the fast-track loop. Besides, the rapid industrialisation of the city has resulted in multinational corporations setting up their offices here. Hence, even the slightest of gaffe, dereliction of duty or incompetence on the part of the personnel immediately comes under arc lights.

The personnel of the department are aware that Touchtel, a private firm in telephony service that entered the Haryana market recently, has made palpable dent among the high-heeled residents of the posh DLF City. The authorities, however, are working for improvement with their legs virtually tied to the post. Since 1985, the department has not made recruitment at the lower level. The irony of the situation is that Gurgaon has witnessed exponential growth geographically and in population. In such a situation, while the department has to tone up its services provided in the old areas, it has to continue expanding its network of logistics in the virgin areas, failing which the private operators who are going for the kill could possibly turn the tables against it.

However, the reality is that the department finds itself constrained on account of shortage of staff. With the sharp increase in the population, the ratio of staff and consumers in Gurgaon has gone much below the national figure. According to the official statistics of December, 2001, while the national figure was 13 staff to 1,000 subscribers), the figure in this circle was about 4:1000.

As there has been no recruitment for so many years, the average age of the linesmen and technical staff at the lower level is about 45, an age where one is less receptive to fresh ideas in the face of changing work culture and competition.

However, Mr Sharma feels that the competition is welcome as it improves the general competence of the system. While the employees in the government department can not afford to take things lightly, the private operators will be at grave risk if they sit on their laurels. Happy days await consumers, so it seems.


UHBVN makes light of hardship of 11 Sonepat villages
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 31
As many as 11 villages of Kharkhauda block in the district continue to remain powerless at night for the last few days following the cutting up of electricity wires by a gang of thieves on the night of August 27.

According to a report, the villages affected are: Pipli, Saidpur, Jataula, Ferozpur Bangar, Nizampur Kundal, Rampur, Seohati, Pai, Kiroli and Pehladpur.

The residents alleged that repeated complaints made to the authorities of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) have fallen on deaf ears paralysing the normal life.

According to another report, there has been no electricity at Nahra village for the past one week, causing inconvenience to thousands of the people, especially the school kids.

It was learnt that the electricity cables had been burnt and the officials were trying to restore the power supply at the earliest.

The residents also alleged that most of the telephones in this village have remained dead following a fault in the telephone exchange. The telephone department authorities have, however, failed to rectify the fault so far.

Similarly, the telephone subscribers of Bhadana village criticise the telephone department authorities for their failure to rectify the fault in the exchange.

The subscribers alleged that hundreds of telephones have become dead.

Meanwhile, Mr R C Hooda, General Manager, Telecom of Sonepat district, has said that telephone wire thieves are active in and around Khanda and Chaulka villages in the Kharkhauda block of the district.

The members of this gang, he said, are cutting the telephone and electricity wires almost daily at night which result in the paralysing of telephone and electricity services in the area.

He said that the department authorities had informed the police about the theft of telephone wires.


Cong leader calls to end Chautala rule
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 31
The All India Youth Congress (AIYC) president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, called upon the people, especially the farmers, to make a concerted effort to end the ‘misrule’ of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a farmers’ conference here this afternoon. He alleged that the present government had adopted an ignorant attitude towards the interests of the poor, backward class and farmers and rendered thousands of people jobless. Exhorting the people, he said the decisive campaign to root out the Chautala Government would be started from Rohtak.

The Youth Congress leader alleged that the farmers were on the verge of collapse due to long dry spell in the region while the chief minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, remained busy on foreign trips. Moreover, he alleged the Chief Minister had again been planning to go abroad along with a team of officials just to waste the money of the poor people.

He said the state government sought a compensation of Rs 553 crore for the drought affected farmers while other states had demanded around four times this amount from the central government. He charged the state government with not providing even a single penny as compensation to the affected farmers so far.

Mr Surjewala assured the retrenched employees of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC) that their services would be restored if the Congress Party came to power. Mr Anand Singh Dangi and Ms Kartar Devi, former ministers and Mr Shadi Lal Batra, local MLA, among others attended the conference.

Jind rally

The retrenched employees of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC) would attend the Jind rally slated for September 1 along with the members of their families.

In a statement here today, Mr Inder Kumar, state president of HSMITC Employees’ Union, affiliated to Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh (HKMS), said the decision had been taken to register protest against the ‘anti-employee’ policies of the government. He said the employees of different unions and associations affiliated to HKMS would attend the Jind rally in large numbers.

Youth crushed

A youth was crushed to death by a speeding truck in Kalanaur town, 25 Km from here, on Thursday. Mr Krishan, a resident of Kalanaur, stated in his complaint that his nephew, Kuldeep, was run over and killed by a truck on the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC were registered in this connection.

Snatchers held

With the arrest of four suspects, the district police claimed to have busted a gang allegedly indulged in chain snatching in the town.

Those arrested have been identified as Virender Kumar, Joginder and Arjun, residents of Khokra Kot locality here and Raju of Balak Nath Colony here. During their interrogation, they admitted their involvement in more than 15 cases of snatching of chains and other ornaments. According to police sources, the suspects disclosed that they had sold the stolen ornaments in Lucknow (UP), Jaipur(Rajasthan) and to a goldsmith at Kartarpura locality here.

Two remanded

A local court today sent two accused, who were allegedly nabbed by the police while stealing a car, on police remand till September 2. 

gearing up for Bhajan’s Narnaul rally
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 31
The campaign for mobilising people for the September 8 Narnaul rally of the newly appointed HPCC president, Mr Bhajan Lal, has reached a feverish pitch in the assembly segments falling in the three “pro-Congress” districts of Mahendragarh, Rewari and Gurgaon.

Five Congress legislators of Ahirwal, Rao Narendra Singh (Ateli), Capt Ajay Singh Yadav (Rewari), Mrs Anita Yadav (Salhawas), Rao Dharam Pal (Sohna) and Rao Dan Singh (Mahendragarh), have been working assiduously to make it a historic rally, which is expected to attract a record gathering of about 50,000 people.

Legislator Anita Yadav, who is also the president of the Haryana Mahila Congress, asserted that this time, several thousand women would register their presence in the rally.

Rao Narendra Singh, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Mrs Anita Yadav and Rao Dharam Pal, who jointly addressed meetings in various villages of Mahendragarh district on Friday, received an enthusiastic response from the people.

Rao Narendra Singh, who is considered a staunch Bhajan Lal loyalist, has become a front-runner in the above campaign. Besides the joint tours, he has already individually covered about 100 villages of Ateli and Narnaul segments. He is persistently calling upon the people to register their presence in the rally, which he describes as a massive “political yajna” being organised to purify the `vitiated’ political atmosphere of the entire state. He also asserted that the big waves the Narnaul rally would generate would surely take the shape of an all-sweeping storm when they reach Chandigarh.

In the previous assembly elections, INLD candidates were defeated in eight of the unreserved seats from here and six of them had gone to the Congress while one seat each had been bagged by an independent and a rebel INLD candidate.

The INLD had been able to capture only two reserved seats of Bawal and Pataudi. Thus Ahirwal is considered a bastion of the Congress.Back


Book throws light on basic tenets of Sikhism
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 31
“Sikhism is the youngest of the major religions of the world, with its followers enjoying presence in 48 major countries of the world.”

Facts such as these adorn the text of ‘Let’s Know Sikhism’, written by Kartar Singh Bhalla, the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Nauru.

The book colourfully illustrates major elements of the religion, particularly those related to the Sikh Gurus, shrines and symbols.

The presentation of the book is simple and targets the young reader.

The book seeks to provide a synopsis of the religion, even encompassing aspects such as major festivals, divine hymns, the birth of the ‘Khalsa’ and a glossary of Sikh terms.

The book has received accolades from various quarters. The noted writer Khushwant Singh, who was one of the sources of the book said, “I have been most impressed by this book”.

The book includes a list of 781 Gurdwaras situated outside India and Pakistan-neatly arranged according to the country of their location-which can be of great assistance to a travelling Sikh.

A book is a must for those who like to posses a comprehensive and vibrant record of the religion. 


Special drive to prepare voter cards
Our Correspondent

Panipat, August 31
A special campaign to prepare photo identity cards for the voters of Panipat, Samalkha and the Naultha constituencies, who could not be included last time, will be launched from September 1 to October 17. According to an official press note, the photo ID cards for Panipat will be made from September 1 to 15 and for Samalkha from September 18 to October 2 and for Naultha from October 4 to 17.

The voter I-cards, which have certain discrepancies, would also be entertained for corrections. An additional photographic team will also be stationed at the office of the District Election Office for the convenience of the prospective voters. It may be recalled that there are 51,554 leftover voters in Panipat, 24,410 in Samalkha and 23,452 in Naultha. Appealing to the people to make their voter I-cards, the press note stated that the voter I-card had been included in the list of identity proofs by the Central and the Haryana Government for any official work. For any inquiries, the Naib Tehsildar(District Election Office), can be contacted, it added.


Delegation to chautala
A delegation of Haryana State Medical Teachers Association comprising of nearly 25 professors and teachers led by its president Dr M.S.Gupta, met the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today regarding the long pending demand of the association for 100 per cent promotion at the professor level. He informed the Chief Minister that there was no financial implication involved in implementing this demand. The Chief Minister asked the delegation to meet the Health Minister.


Two killed in accident
Two persons, including a married woman, died in separate incidents in the town. Lajjawati, a resident of Panehra village who had been seriously injured in a road accident on August 22 last, succumbed to her injuries at the Bhadshah Khan Civil Hospital here today. The woman and her husband were travelling on a two wheeler when a dumper truck hit them. The couple had been admitted in the civil hospital.


Employees’ rally
The Joint Action Committee of various Haryana Employees Unions, affiliated to the Sarv Karamchari Sangh Haryana and Haryana Karamchari Sangh, will be holding a joint rally tomorrow at Jind in protest against the dismissal of 16,000 employees of the Haryana State Minor Irrigation Tubewells Corporation (HSMITC) and privatisation policies of Central state governments. This was stated by Mr Janardhan Prasad Kothari, State Secretary of the Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union, and the member of the state joint action committee. They disclosed that thousands of government employees from all over the state would take part in the rally as great resentment prevails among them. 



Delhi advocate wins Rs 2.27 cr jackpot
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 31
Playwin Sikkim Super Lotto, the country’s first online lottery today unveiled the first lucky winner from North India in their 23rd draw. Mr Sudesh Kumar Sabharwal, who by profession is a Supreme Court advocate from Delhi, bought his lucky ticket from Crorepati Lottery Bazaar, Faridabad, Haryana and won the jackpot of Rs 2.27 crore.

The six lucky numbers 02, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 36 were announced live from Gangtok, Sikkim, on Zee TV’s programme ‘Khelo Number Khelo’ on August 29, 2002.

The jackpot win highlights two interesting issues. Firstly, like Mr Sabharwal, there are thousands of people from Delhi who travel to Haryana to savour the excitement of Playwin’s online lotteries.

Secondly, there are several instances of workplace pools being formed, wherein people pool money for online lotteries and a office boy travels to Haryana, and purchases tickets on behalf of all the pool members. These facts only prove the heightened excitement generated in Delhi by online lotteries.

A jubilant Mr Sudesh Kumar Sabharwal said, “I am very happy at winning this jackpot prize by playing ‘Playwin Sikkim Super Lotto’. My family and I have decided that we will donate some money to a charity organization and will go for a world tour.”


Why does He take birth?

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata, abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmqanam srjami aham; paritrnaya sadhunam vinasaya cha duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge.” (Bhagvad Gita 4:7&8)

Few verses from the holy Gita get quoted as often as the above and they are invariably recalled wherever Janmashtami (birth of Lord Krishna) is celebrated.

This is one of the important festivals, widely celebrated all over the country with much religious fervour. The devout flock to the temples, sing bhajans and engage in other forms of worship after fasting throughout the day. The fasting is broken only at midnight, the time Krishna is supposed to have taken birth.

Param Pujya Ma, as the head of the Arpana Ashram (Karnal, Haryana) is known, in her beautiful commentary on the Gita, presents a beautiful annotation of the famous slokas. The slokas indicate whenever dharma (righteousness) declines, and adharma (unrighteousness) prevails, the Lord takes birth to correct the situation. What are the signs of these declines?

Truth disappears from people’s lives; compassion, dhrama and other traditional values are forgotten; their conduct no longer conforms to the scriptures; they easily yield to “moha’’ and are blinded by greed. Even those who ought to know better barter their knowledge for material gains. Truth is sacrificed for fulfillment of wayward desires. These, according to the Pujya Ma, are indications of growing adharma.

The Bhagwan takes birth from age to age for the emancipation of the good, for destruction of evil doers and for the establishment of dharma. Krishna’s mission, we read from the puranas was to kill Kamsa; to deliver those oppressed by him. Further protection of dharma implied protection of the weak and the vulnerable, elimination of all forms of evil, and promotion of whatever is good and noble. Pujya Ma, a former director of physical education, Punjab University, who guides the Arpana movement, compares the incarnations of divinity in various parts of the globe and concludes they are all similar in essence. The only differences that will meet the eye will mirror the different circumstances, society and conceptions prevalent in their lifetime.

The holy Mother (Ma) writes that it would be a great mistake to believe that the Lord takes birth to kill sinners. “If it had been so, there would not have been a single sinner remaining each time He embodies Himself on this earth. There is no such proof. He is born to redeem the sadhus and sanyasis, to take them towards self-realization and to offer them protection against themselves; for whenever sadhus begin to revel in their knowledge without translating it into life, dharma declines in the world.’’

But rituals and ceremonies is only one aspect of any religion. Ma often reminds her disciples that it would be wrong to hold that a visit to a spiritual place or temple can absolve them of their misdeeds and sins. The devotee must perceive his present inner state and truthfully ascertain whether he has those qualities, which he believes he possesses. Thereafter he must contemplate on ‘Who am I’ and ‘Why am I so distant from my Supreme Essence?’ “We can not be one with the Truth by saying, ‘I am Brahm’. It is only through such deep introspection followed by action as enjoined by the Scriptures that the seeker can aspire to become an embodiment of the Scriptures,’’ writes holy Mother, in her Srimad Bhagavad Gita — A Guide to Daily Living.

While the spirit behind every religious festival is one of devotion to God and a desire to tread the path of righteousness and holiness, one wonders whether expressions of religiosity in the form of festivities actually promote the cause of religion. Very often it is seen to promote consumerism helping the business community to reap rich dividends. Instead of the teachings of the Lord as contained in the Gita, it is the glitter of the market place that seems to draw people on such occasions. Pure religion should make us more disciplined, caring and compassionate. If the practice of religion does not go beyond outward observances, then that religion is in vain. We are witnesses to the turmoil caused in the name of religion in our own country.

Ma says that a truly religious person aspiring to achieve a high spiritual state needs to nurture an abiding and selfless faith in divine qualities. He will be forgiving, compassionate and merciful. His intellect and mind will be elevated to such an extent as to remove all aberrations in the same way darkness is removed by light. Besides writing books, the Ma has inspired a large number of volunteers to serve the underprivileged – the lonely, the starving, the orphans and the handicapped. Her love for God and fellow beings found practical expression in Arpana’s wide range of services in rural Haryana, Himachal, Western UP and in some slums of Delhi. Her new center in Delhi is located in Vasant Vihar, off Poorvi Marg.(phone 6152483).

Ma also says in the introduction to her Gita, “If you read the Gita, keep Lord Krishna before you and realize that every word of the Gita is His injunction — His direct command to you. Thus translate every sloka with humble reverence into your life’s practice. It is not just the words that we need to understand — it is the action, which lies latent in the words, which is of importance. You will truly understand the essence of the Gita if you endeavour to study it in the light of the Lord’s precept and the code of conduct in His life and dealings.

M P K Kutty


Tihar inmates get a taste of abracadabra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
For the 500 convicts lodged in the Tihar Jail, there was an unexpected visitor last week. Magician Shankar, with his tricks, had the inmates who are serving long sentences smiling as they momentarily found themselves free from the shackles of prison.

Even as the inmates were enthralled by the sight of the DIG S.S.Sindhu in handcuffs, many clapped with delight at the presentation of tricks like the ‘Flying girl’ and ‘Rain of money’.

Magician Shankar’s feat of handcuffing the DIG was clearly the high point of the evening. While for some it must have been plain humour, there were others who would have marvelled at the role reversal. The magic show had been specially organised on Thursday for the inmates of jail number two where life convicts or prisoners serving long sentences are lodged.

However, what was heart rending was when some of the prisoners urged the magician to free them from the confines of their prison cells and promising that they would never commit a crime again.


DIG warns against harbouring criminals

Ghaziabad, August 31
The DIG (Meerut range), Mr Gurdarshan Singh, has said that those who harbour criminals and abet crimes are more dangerous than the criminals themselves. The administration will take strong action against such anti-social elements, he said.

The DIG was speaking as the chief guest at a function organised here to honour policemen who had given a good account of themselves in nabbing the abductors of

Vishal, son of Chaudhari Nepgal Singh, president of Brick Kilns Association. Mr Gurdarshan Singh said there was a need to change the people’s attitude towards the police. Media could play a constructive role in this, he said.

If common people changed their attitude towards the police and offered full cooperation, it would facilitate the work of policemen to nab culprits and criminals. OC


Janmashtami celebrated

Sonepat, August 31
Janmashtami was celebrated in the Atlas Shree Ram Mandir here today with religious fervour. According to a report, electrically operated tableux depicting the ‘Bal Lila’ of Lord Krishna was on display. The temple was tastefully decorated and extensively illuminated. A large number of devotees from all walks of life thronged the temple throughout the day.

Group clash

Two persons, including a woman, were injured in separate clashes between neighbours at Shamabad and Memarpur villages in this district last night.

Both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating the cases. No arrest has been made.

Driver robbed

Three unidentified armed robbers reportedly robbed Rs 6,000 from a car driver near Bichpari minor, about 40 km from here, last night OC


2 youths killed

Two scooter-borne youths were killed when their vehicle was hit by a private bus near Myna tourist complex here.

The deceased were identified as Sandeep of Godhari village in Jhajjar and Atul Chaudhary of Pitampura (Delhi). Strangely, the scooter caught fire after the accident. oc


Seven criminals nabbed
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 31
Cops of two police stations here have arrested seven criminals in two separate encounters and recovered from them one car, two motorcycles, knives and some arms and ammunition. According to SSP Rajiv Krishen, the Sector 58 police nabbed four criminals, who were planning a loot, in Sector 62. The action was headed by SO Santosh Kumar on the basis of a tip off.

The criminals have been identified as Manoj, Devinder alias Lala, Jagbir and Joginder. They all are said to be residents of Jawli under the Loni police station.

Motorbikes recovered were stolen from Ghaziabad and Noida. Besides, they were wanted in the Rajinder Nagar bank dacoity, loot in a Kavi Nagar house, snatching of a gold chain from a woman and some other loot cases.

The police are interrogating the accused. In another incident, the Jarcha police station learnt that some criminals were hiding behind a car on NTPC-Dadri road. SO D. K. Sharma, along with cops, surrounded the criminals and managed to arrest three of them. One car without numberplate, a country-made revolver and some cartridges were recovered from them. The accused have been identified as Vijay Kumar, Titu alias Pratap, resident of Dujana Dadri, and Vikram Singh, resident of Khoda Dharampur Dadri.


Currency racket busted, 2 held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
With the arrest of two persons, the East district police today claimed to have busted a fake currency racket. The suspects were identified as Anmol Singh alias Hari Singh of Amritsar and Harpreet Singh alias Vicky. They were arrested near Karkardooma Court where they had gone to deliver a consignment.

The police received a tip-of that a person would reach Karkardooma Court around 8 pm to deliver fake currency notes to his contact. The police team reached the spot and arrested him. During interrogation, he disclosed that along with one Hari Singh, he was involved in the manufacture of fake currency notes in Welcome Colony in North- East district. Subsequently, the police conducted a raid at the residence of one Harpreet Singh in Welcome Colony. A manufacturing machine and raw materials were recovered from Harpreet’s house, the police said.

Man crushed

A 40-year old unidentified person was run over by a Rural Transport Vehicle (RTV) in Timarpur area last night while he was asleep on a footpath. The erring vehicle sped away after the accident. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered, the police said. 

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