Thursday, September 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


All singing the same statehood song now
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

All the CM’s Men
All the CM’s Men: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and other Congress MLAs before the special session of the Assembly in the Capital on Wednesday. — Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, September 11
After a five-hour-long debate, the Delhi Legislative Assembly today unanimously passed a resolution seeking statehood for Delhi by bringing about major institutional and structural reforms based on broad consensus. The House also passed by voice vote the resolution demanding the withdrawal of the controversial circulars, aimed at curtailing the powers of the elected government amid a walkout by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress and the BJP claimed their respective victories. The Congress says the July 25 and August 29 circulars issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs will have to go now. In respect of transferred subjects, the Lieutenant-Governor should act only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and, in respect of reserved subjects, mandatory consultation will take place and the elected government’s views sought.

The BJP camp, on the other hand, claimed a moral victory, given the Congress’ climbdown and agreeing to press for statehood. The BJP in general and Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana in particular had been maintaining that it had to be ‘full’ statehood with all powers or none. The Congress, particularly Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, had been insisting on a workable model of a state that will have certain powers in keeping with the NCT of Delhi’s national Capital status.

Lobbing the ball back in the Centre’s court, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, nevertheless, said it was now up to the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to withdraw those circulars and accord statehood to the NCT of Delhi. Rationalising of powers and defining the territorial boundaries of the state, she told mediapersons, could be later taken up after exhaustive discussions among the stakeholders.

The final arbiter, though, would be the people of NCT of Delhi. Calling the ‘third umpire’ into play, the Chief Minister said the people would be involved in arriving at a suitable model of statehood with or without all the powers allocated to the states. Let the people also have a say in deciding what shape the state should take, she told reporters after the House was adjourned sine die. Throwing open the debate, the Chief Minister said dialogue and reconciliation could begin with the Vision 2021 document prepared by the Government of NCT of Delhi.

Earlier, participating in the debate on the motions, Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi accused the Congress of refusing Centre’s offers of more powers. The special Union Territory status with limited powers, he said, was the Congress legacy. Rejecting the Sheila Dikshit Ministry’s contention, he said the Chief Minister had made an issue out of the curtailment of powers to hide her party’s lacklustre performance over the past four years. No powers had been snatched from the elected government, he was emphatic, and accused the Chief Minister of raking up the issue to divert attention from the Congress’ misdeeds.

Replying to the debate, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit underlined the need for rising above partisan considerations to give a new direction to governance and chalk out the NCT of Delhi’s future.

Dubbing the controversial circulars as ‘mischievous’, ‘nefarious’ and ‘draconian’, Mrs Dikshit told the House that the ‘administrator’ (Lieutenant-Governor) of the NCT of Delhi and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs would have to recognise, accept and respect the special status of the Government of NCT of Delhi.

Dismissing allegations of the Congress’ indifference to the BJP’s persistent demands for statehood, the Chief Minister said she was ready for a dialogue with that party and the Centre to sort out any outstanding issues. “We called this session because the autonomy of the Government of NCT of Delhi was in danger. Let the circulars be withdrawn … we still have time to hit upon the appropriate model of statehood,” she told the House before rounding up her reply to the two motions moved by her (to demand withdrawal of the circulars) and her Cabinet colleague and Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia (on granting of statehood).

The day-long session saw the culmination of a political drama that unfolded itself over the past week. It all began with the Chief Minister lashing out at the Centre for issuing the circulars aimed at curtailing the powers of her ministry. After the BJP joined issue with the Congress, the debate extended to whether the bane that is the multiplicity of authority could be eliminated by demanding statehood for the NCT of Delhi.



MC officials getting their just deserts, 
inspector suspended
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 11
The anti-corruption campaign launched by the Municipal Council (MC) president, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, entered the decisive phase today with the suspension of the building inspector Ashok Madan.

With the suspension of Madan for alleged corrupt practices, panic has gripped the civic body staff as several heads are likely to roll in the days to come. Several departments, including the Building Branch, are alleged to be the dens of corruption and the list of complaints to the MC chief of money being demanded openly is getting longer with each passing day.

It was in this context that Mr Bhatia met the DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, on Tuesday and apprised the latter of civic body staff’s acts of omission and commission. The DC had reportedly taken a serious note of the matter and Madan’s suspension is seen as the first step to set the MC House in order.

It may be recalled that getting the building maps passed from the Building Branch is quite a task. Hundreds of maps had to be approved by the civic body and the residents, who had deposited the maps, are at the mercy of the officials and had to make repeated visits to the MC office.

There are allegations that files do not move till the money is paid to the officials. Concerned at the inconvenience to public, Mr Bhatia had passed 80 maps using his special powers under the Haryana Municipal Act on August 6. However, true to its reputation of delaying things and making the public suffer, the Building Branch did not hand over the maps to the residents. Tired at the delaying tactics, Mr Bhatia apprised the DC of the situation.

Speaking to the ‘NCR Tribune’, Mr Bhatia alleged that the maps were locked up in an almirah and he had to get a duplicate key to open the almirah and hand over the maps to the residents. The staff, he alleged, did not include the approval of maps in the agenda of the meeting of the House slated to be held on September 13.

However, Building inspector’s suspension notwithstanding, setting the MC house in order seems to be a tall order for the district administration and Mr Bhatia. 



Why do sportswomen miss the bull’s eye?
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 11
The three-day state level women sports festival, which concluded here today, has not only exposed some of the chinks in the organising armour, but also brought forth some issues needed to be addressed to improve the standard of women’s sports.

While more than 1,200 women players from different districts of Haryana took part in various events in the festival, a majority of the players were students of the middle, high and secondary schools of the state government. It is worth mentioning that participation of girl students of private, public and convent schools, especially located in urban areas, had been negligible.

According to the feedback from participants, the organisation of the games was not up to the expected standard. “While the authorities and officials expect the sportswomen to break state and national records in various events, the participants were made to sleep on floors of the rooms in school buildings. Moreover, the diet provided was normal,” stated a participant on condition of anonymity.

Though the prize money for national and international tournaments and winners had been increased, she lashed out at the standard of diet (food money), incentives and scholarships provided to promising and talented players.

The organising of the games here has not been above controversies. The sports complex in Sector 12, which hosted the games, has no facilities to house the outstation players. The authorities arranged for classrooms of some private schools to lodge the players.

The complex has no facility either for holding games like boxing and hockey, which were held in private schools. Except for food, the organisers could not provide additional refreshment like fruits, juices or cold drinks. State-level sports persons were seen queuing before water tankers. “Several players had to buy packed water bottles, as they did not want to risk their health by drinking the water supplied here, which was not purified,” said a participant.

It was also alleged that there were no proper change rooms for girls. In fact, any outsider could enter anywhere in the complex. It is also learnt that the proposal to provide new tracksuits and other equipment to participants was shelved at the last moment, leading to resentment. 



76 pc kharif crops run to seed in Jhajjar
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, September, 11
Nearly 76 per cent of the kharif crops have been damaged in the drought-prone Jhajjar district due to failure of the monsoon this year.

The Deputy Commissioner, Jhajjar, Mr Mohinder Kumar, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the farmers had sown various kharif crops on an area of 94,752 hectare believing that the monsoon would arrive on time. But as the rains played truant, standing crops over 72,479 hectares have been totally damaged, he said.

The agriculture in this drought-prone and desert-prone district is dependent on rain for most part of the year. The irrigation system depends on canals and tubewells. The canals do not cover the whole area and even in the area so covered, the intensity of irrigation is not sufficient to produce two crops, an essential requirement for making farming viable. Jawar, Bajra and Gowar are the major kharif crops of Jhajjar district. Mr Mohinder Kumar told that Jawar was sown on 26,144 hectares but the crop on 18,732 hectares has been damaged due to dry weather. Similarly, Bajra was sown on 26,152 hectares of agricultural land but the crop has been damaged on 20,985 hectares due to failure of rains.

Even the Arhar crop, which agricultural scientists believe can withstand dry weather conditions, has suffered severe loss in this district. The special girdawri conducted by the district administration revealed that the Arhar crop on 6913 hectares of land, out of a total sown area of 7918 hectares under this crop, has been damaged.

Similarly, Chari (green fodder) was sown on an area of 5,697 hectares but the crop has been damaged in 4,741 hectares, plunging the district in shortage of green fodder. 



Delhi becomes a byword for crimes 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The national Capital has attained the dubious distinction of being also the ‘crime capital’ by topping the crime graph in the country for the year 2000. These startling facts were revealed during the annual press conference of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which has been collecting and compiling crime data from all states in the country.

If statistics are to be believed, Delhi reported the highest rate of increase of 399 per cent in crimes under the IPC sections. This is 2.3 times higher than the national crime rate of 176.7 per cent. In kidnapping and abduction of children up to 10 years of age, Delhi recorded the maximum of 33.7 per cent increase during 2000.

However, there is some hope that the incidents of crime may have come down for the year 2001, the figures for which are still being compiled and likely to be released by the year-end.

In fact, Delhi reported 56,249 incidents of total cognizable crimes in the country, leading other states in the crime graph. During 2000, 586 cases of murder, 435 cases of rape, 758 cases of robbery, 3,453 cases of burglaries and 8,043 cases of vehicle thefts were reported in the Capital.

Even in the violent crime category, Delhi recorded 30.4 per cent increase, which is once again the highest. As many as 2,439 cases of crime against women and 426 cases of crime against children were also reported during the year.

In auto thefts, Delhi reported 57.1 per cent, which is the highest rate of increase as against the all-India average of 5.8 per cent. While the rate of increase in cheating cases was 19.4 per cent in Chandigarh, it was 13.8 per cent in Delhi.

Mr Ramavtar Yadav, Director, NCRB, said that the number of crimes was on the increase in the Capital every year. During the year 2000, the incidents of crime against women were the most in the country. For instance, rape, dowry deaths, sexual harassment, cruelty by their husbands and importation of girls for the purpose of prostitution were reported the highest in 2000 compared to 1999.

Mr Yadav said the bureau had been taking some special efforts to make the state police forces more computer savvy. There would be a five-year special programme to achieve this target. The bureau had also imparted specialised computer training to 21 police personnel from Afghanistan. A total number of 25 training programmes were being conducted every year.

“The bureau has complete details of the stolen vehicles. Every year, at least 1,000 persons were saved from buying stolen cars from the market, as the bureau was providing some vital information regarding stolen vehicles,” Mr Yadav added. 



Fugitive ex-minister held from court premises
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, September 11
The state police Vigilance Bureau has finally succeeded in arresting Dr Dharambir Yadav, a former minister in the Bansi Lal Cabinet, from the premises of the district courts here today afternoon. Dr Yadav had been evading arrest for the last more than 10 months.

The Vigilance Bureau had registered a case against Dr Dharambir Yadav and three others in a land-related forgery case in November 2001. During the period, he had approached lower courts and then the Punjab and Haryana High Court but all courts had refused to grant him bail. According to police sources, he had also been declared a proclaimed offender by the court.

The sources said that Dr Dharambir Yadav allegedly did a fraud of Rs 75.89 lakh on the Delhi-based K J Saumaiya Trust, which had issued a General Power of Attorney to Mr Yadav.

On a complaint filed by the trust, then Superintendent of Police (Vigilance) K. K. Sidhu investigated the allegations and found that total Rs 1,09,35,000 was given to Dr Dharambir Yadav by the trust. Against the amount, Dr Yadav purchased 11 acres for the trust, spending just Rs 29,85,325. Thus, Mr Yadav, who was the PWD Minister in the Bansi Lal Cabinet at that time, swindled the remaining Rs 75.89 lakh.

The FIR mentions that the trust had executed an agreement with Dr Dharambir Yadav on June 26, 1995, when he was a property dealer and again on June 19, 1996, when he was a minister for purchasing the land for the trust from a villager, Siria, for the trust. Dr Yadav received Rs 1,09,35,000 from the trust on different dates from April 1995 to March 1997.

On the complaint, Siria's thumb impression, executed on the above-said registry, was sent to the Finger Prints Bureau at Madhuban. The fingerprint expert, in his report, mentioned that Siria's thumb impression did not tally with the impression in the above-said registry. Finding the forgery, the State Vigilance Bureau lodged an FIR under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC against Dr Dharambir Yadav, then Sohna Naib Tehsildar Hanuman Singh, Namberdar Jagdish and Hanuman, resident of Sohna. 



DDPO to educate masses on welfare plans
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 11
The office of the District Development and Panchayat Officer has launched a mass contact programme to educate the elected members of village panchayats and villagers on the development programmes initiated by the government.

The main objective of the programme is to impress upon all those concerned with the functioning of village panchayats and the villagers on the need to get their photo identity cards, mandated by the Election Commission. Talking to newsmen, the District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO), Mr Devinder Singh Surjewala, said that the new deadline fixed for completion of the IDs was September 30.

As part of the programme, Mr Surjewala met sarpanches and officers of the panchayats of Gurgaon block today. He met sarpanches of villages falling in Pataudi and Farukh Nagar blocks on Tuesday.

According to Mr Surjewala, more than 80 per cent of the electorate in Gurgaon district had already procured photo IDs. The exercise, sometimes, would hit some roadblocks on account of the ignorance and illiteracy among villagers to assess the virtue of having the cards.

He said that besides the cards issue, his department was streamlining the procedures to expedite the development works as announced by Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, especially during the government's "Aap ke sarkar, aap ke dwar" programme.



Haryana VAT Act will be ‘fair’ to all
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, September 11
The draft of the VAT Act of Haryana is ready and the government machinery is in all preparedness to implement it on April 1, 2003, announced Mr M. L. Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Government of Haryana, at a seminar on value-added tax (VAT) organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Northern Region, here today.

Addressing the gathering that mostly comprised finance and taxation heads from industries in and around Gurgaon, Mr Gupta said in the new system there would be two main rates of tax under VAT — 4 per cent on declared goods and goods of common use and 10-12 per cent, called revenue neutral rate (RNR) to be so fixed that there is no fall in tax collection on the remaining goods.

The officer further added that there would be two special rates — 1 per cent applicable on gold, silver etc. and 20 per cent applicable on liquor. It is proposed to keep petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel out of the VAT system. These commodities would continue to attract tax at the same rate as applicable at present.

Under the VAT system, the list of commodities exempt from tax would be common to all states. So, any goods wherever sold or purchased in the country would get the same rate of tax. Only discretionary power left with the states would be in fixing RNR, which would not be less than 10 per cent, revealed the officer.

There would not be any significant difference in RNR across the states, particularly the neighbouring states. So, there would be more or less a level playing field and no possibility of trade diversion on account of difference in tax rates, observed the officer.

Mr Gupta added that there would be no tax concession to new industries under the new system. These concessions distorted the investment decisions and gave unfair tax advantage to some. Now, all this would be over. The new taxation system would be equitable and fair to all.

All tax paid on purchase of goods within the state would be adjustable against the tax payable on sale of goods whether within the state or in the course of inter-state trade. In the event of export of any goods out of India, the tax paid on purchases would be refunded. However, in the event of branch transfer or consignment sale of goods out of the state, there would be, as at present, no refund of tax, said Mr Gupta.

The selling dealer would collect tax on the full price of goods sold by him and would show the same separately in the sale invoice issued by him.

At the session, a detailed presentation on problems in the existing tax system, an ideal VAT and the transitional issues was given by Dr Pawan Aggarwal, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

In his presentation, Dr Aggarwal said that an ideal VAT is nothing but a modified version of the Retail Level Sales Tax (RST). An RST can overcome most of the deficiencies that exist in our current tax system provided it is administered efficiently. The major problem of implementing the RST is that it provides a high scope for tax evasion.

As a solution to this problem, Dr Aggarwal suggested that the tax could be collected at each stage of sale and full set-off to be provided for the tax paid on purchases. The resultant system is nothing but the purest form of VAT.

Dr Aggarwal added that any deviation from the ideal VAT would lead to complexities, corruption and large-scale tax evasion.

More than 40 delegates attended this session, which was inaugurated by Mr Ashok Kapur, Vice-Chairman, Haryana State Council, CII (NR), and Mr Krishna, Chairman and Managing Director, Maruti. Mr Sanja Rikhy, Convener, Finance and Taxation Panel, Haryana State Council gave the welcome address. Mr J. S. Ahlawat, Mr J. S. Dhankar, Deputy Commissioners, Excise and Taxation, Government of Haryana, Mr M. S. Hooda and Mr S. D. Sharma, Excise and Taxation Officers, Government of Haryana, were also present on the occasion.



INLD set to enter Rajasthan poll fray
Our Correspondent

Rewari, September 11
Ever since its success at the hustings both during the parliamentary elections as well as the assembly poll in Haryana, the INLD has been making earnest endeavours to broaden its base in the Hindi heartland in a bid to register its presence on the national political scene. Its massive participation in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh may well be viewed as a part of this prospective expansion exercise.

Notwithstanding its dismal performance in the UP elections, the INLD’s quest for greener pastures has now led the party brass to Rajasthan where assembly elections are due late in the year 2003.

A massive exercise to rope in former ministers, former legislators and prominent activists of various organisations was held in a majority of assembly segments of Rajasthan recently (from August 21 to 27).

According to party sources here, Mr Ram Pal Majra, an INLD minister, Mr Shahsi Ranjan Parmar, MLA from Mundhal Khurd (Bhiwani), Mr Ranvir Singh Mandola, MLA from Bhadra (Bhiwani), Mr Ramesh Rana, MLA from Gharaunda (Karnal), Mr Lila Krishan, MLA from Fatehabad, and a host of other ministers, legislators and prominent party activists had been assigned the job in various constituencies. Soon after the expiry of their contact tours to the assigned constituencies they submitted their brief reports, mostly comprising names of prominent persons evinced keen interest in the INLD’s ongoing exercise as well as their observations, to their party bosses.

Mr Rattan Singh Tanwar, Chairman of the Kanina Market Committee, who conducted this contact campaign in the Kota, Bundi, Pripalia and Hadoti areas, told NCR Tribune that people, particularly farmers, were disenchanted with the Congress government of Rajasthan and were looking forward to a viable third alternative which the INLD had the potential to provide.

Subsequently, a massive conclave was held at E-18 at Vaishali Nagar in Jaipur, which reportedly belongs to the Chautala family, on August 27.Mr Ajay Singh Chautala, MP, who is also the national president of the youth wing of the INLD, held day-long parleys and meaningful consultations with a large number of prominent persons of the above assembly segments of Rajasthan along with the campaign managers of these areas. According to these party sources, preparations are afoot to give a concrete shape to the above deliberations. Further, it is now almost a certainty that the INLD is on its way to entering the poll fray in Rajasthan in a big way.



HVP criticises govt’s trade policies
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 11
The ‘Vyapar Cell’ of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) today accused the ruling INLD government in the state of adopting retrogressive policies against the industrialists and traders. Addressing a public meeting of traders of this district here today, the chairman of the cell, Mr Dharampal Gupta, said the government led by the INLD had made tall promises to the traders and industrialists before the last Assembly elections, but had executed policies that were just the opposite. He said that should his party come to power, it will scrap these regressive policies.

The HVP president of Gurgaon, Mr Mukesh Sharma and Mr Ramchander Yadav also spoke on the occasion.

Mr Gupta said that the government had introduced the B-38 form, adding to the already cumbersome paperwork and procedures for the traders and the industrialists. The B-38 form would have to be filled up where goods worth over Rs 10,000 are bought from outside the state. It would also be applicable to the parties transporting goods from one district to another in Haryana.

The traders alleged that it is another method for the authorities to harass the business community in the state.

The traders said the form was introduced to raise the revenue. However, the business community alleged that the revenue had decreased since the form was introduced. Rather, it had discouraged the businessmen from doing business at the optimal level, Mr Gupta added.

He further said that the policy of the government of levying four per cent tax on entry of goods in the state, had put the industrialists of Haryana behind their counterparts in the neighbouring states.

He criticised the government for levying professional tax, halwai tax, municipal tax on the consumption of power, fire tax, toll tax etc.

The HVP leader charged that besides levying taxes on various counts, the traders and industrialists were being subjected to large-scale extortion.

He alleged that the law and order had deteriorated and members of the business community had become the soft targets for the anti-social elements.

Mr Gupta is also touring the state to mobilise support of the business community in favour of his party. He appointed Mr Om Prakash Soni as the president of the party’s Gurgaon Vyapar cell.

Earlier, talking to newsmen, Mr Gupta said that the former Chief Minister of Haryana and president of the HVP, Mr Bansi Lal, was getting tremendous response from the public during his on going tour of the state.



Jhajjar tops in implementing Rojgar Yojna
Our correspondent

Jhajjar, September 11
The district has gained the first position in the state in implementation of the Sampoorna Gram Rojgar Yojna by utilising the 100 per cent grain stock and 91 per cent fund as cash, under the scheme.

Deputy Commissioner Mohinder Kumar told here today that Rs 262.41 lakh as cash and 2,525 metric tonnes of grain was sanctioned for the district to provide employment to the rural population living below the poverty line.

Of this, the entire grain stock was utilised and Rs 241.42 lakh spent.

The Deputy Commissioner said that Rs 500 lakh project is ready for the district and the administration has demanded more funds to the tune of Rs 250 lakh and 5,000 metric tonne wheat stock after the drought-like conditions in the region from the state government under the scheme.

Revealing the prevailing situation, Mr Mohinder Kumar said that the live stock population of the district has been facing acute shortage of fodder and the cost of the dry fodder rose up to 350 per quintal during the last month.

The failure of monsoon has changed the scenario of agriculture and drinking water problem has been plaguing the human and animal population, he informed, adding that ponds were being filled with fresh water, where canal water is available and water projects of Rs 32 crore were being completed on a war-footing in various parts of the district.

“Efforts are being made by the administration to ensure drinking water in all the nearby villages on priority basis as per the reports of the task force of the district officials,” the DC added.

He said that the post-monsoon rains have provided much relief in parts of the district.

The district administration availed water supply in 526 schools in the rural areas and the work on a pilot project on the Bhindawas birds sanctuary is in progress and a sum of Rs 64.94 has been spent.



Social insurance for women in 
unorganised sector sought
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
Social insurance for women, particularly in the unorganised sector, is the need of the hour. This becomes particularly important as it is the unorganised sector that generates 90 per cent of the jobs in the country, said Mr Jairam Ramesh, joint secretary, Economic Affairs, AICC, while addressing a workshop on ‘investments and finance’ organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in association with HDFC here today.

Elaborating on the issue, Mr Ramesh said the social insurance package would include benefits like health insurance, provident fund, maternity insurance and accident insurance. Urging the insurance companies to take initiative in designing specific packages for women, Mr Ramesh said women in the unorganised sector had particularly been deprived of the benefits of social insurance.

He lauded the efforts of self-help groups (SHGs) in promoting women entrepreneurs. He said the private sector banks could offer Line of Credit to the SHGs, which would, in turn, help them in becoming commercially viable entities.

Ms Surekha Kothari, president of the FLO, said globalisation had pushed competition in the financial sector to an unprecedented height, making the banks and their services globally competitive. Emphasising on a proper understanding of various aspects of finance and banking like mutual funds, venture capital and e-banking, she said financial implications of these aspects in organisational decisions made it essential that a broad understanding of the current trends and finance and investment must be there.

Ms Shyamali Basu, regional head of the HDFC Mutual Fund, gave a presentation on investment decisions. She spoke about various types of mutual funds and about investment planning -- the requirements, important factors to be kept in mind etc. She also highlighted the benefits of investing in mutual funds.

Mr Navin Puri, regional business manager (north), HDFC Bank, Ms Madhumita Ganguly, general manager, HDFC, and Mr Prithvi Haldea, managing director, Prime Database, were the other speakers at the workshop.



Rainwater enters houses in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 11
The heaviest downpour of the monsoon this year put the sewage and rainwater drainage system out of gear in this city last evening.

According to a report, the rain submerged several areas in knee-deep water due to defective drainage system. Rainwater entered houses in some areas, including Braham Colony, New Braham Colony, Jiwan Nagar, Pancham Nagar, Tara Nagar, Garhi Ghasita, and slum clusters. The residents blamed the Sonepat Municipal Council for the poor drainage system in residential colonies.In Sectors 14, 15 and 23 residential colonies of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) all roads and bylanes were submerged in rainwater. Residents had to wade through storm water. The jhuggi clusters were in knee-deep water. The sewage failed in many areas and the water started flowing back from the gutters inside the houses. Traffic on the main roads remained blocked . Several cars and two-wheelers were stranded. The roads in the mandi area were flooded by the heaviest downpour. The premises of the city police station were also inundated. The showers wreaked havoc in more than one way and the rain led to severe waterlogging in many parts of the city. This heaviest downpour has exposed the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the Sonepat Municipal Council, the PWD (B and R), the Public Health Department, the Sonepat Market Committee, HUDA and other official agencies.



WTC victims remembered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The International Council of Punjabis (ICP) today held a special ceremony in the Capital to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attack last year.

A special prayer meeting was held at the residence of ICP chief, Manjit Singh. The members also observed a two-minute silence in the memory of the 3,025 victims of last year’s terrorist strikes that shook the world. Mr Singh vowed to extend his Council’s support to all US-led initiatives against terrorism. He said, “Punjabis spread across the world are known for their contributions to the country of their residence. They have excelled in social and commercial spheres. We support all initiatives against attempts to choke world development and especially against the evil of terrorism”.

An ICP conference scheduled for October 18 in Kuala Lumpur would condemn terrorism in all its forms besides holding discussions on issues central to the world Punjabi community, he added. Mr Singh will also organise special prayers at Gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib tomorrow, in memory of the Arizona gas-station-owner Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was killed last year in racial attacks that erupted after the September 11 terrorist attack.



Govt staff hold gate meetings
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 11
For the third day today, government employees of the district continued their gate meetings in support of their demands. At a gate meeting at the Main Electricity Office, held under the presidentship of Mr Narinder Khokhar, district president of the All Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union, the lopsided policies of the Centre and the Haryana Government came in for severe criticism. Mr Khokhar alleged that the government was bent upon privatising the government undertakings at the behest of the IMF and the WTO.

Addressing a meeting of the Roadways workers, Mr Suresh Kumar, district president of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, said a two-hour token strike would be observed on September 18 and a strike on October 17 against the privatisation policies and retrenchment of the government staff. Reports of gate meetings have also come in from Matlauda, Israna, Samalkha and Chhajpur.



Call for uniform sales tax on insulin 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
A uniform sales tax policy on insulin across the country and a preferably a zero per cent tax, are perhaps the only way to discourage people from smuggling the life-saving injection, insulin, point out medicos.

According to the president of the Delhi Diabetics Society, Dr A.K.Jhingan, smuggling of insulin is rampant in many states in the country, thereby, posing a threat to the lives of millions who are dependant on the drug for survival.

He attributed the smuggling to the disparity in the sales tax slabs in different places. Dr Jhingan pointed out that while the sales tax is up to 10 per cent in some states, there are many other states where no sales tax is levied on it. He also added that when Insulin is transported under such illegal conditions, the drug, which needs to be otherwise kept under regulated temperature, looses its effectiveness. He said that smugglers in a bid to make profit are playing with the lives of the people.



Fast unto death

Activists of the Dalit Kisan Sangharsh Samiti began a fast unto death demanding an increase in the compensation for the land acquired by the government in the Ganga Nagar area. The president of the Dalit forum, Dalchand Dalit and Hazi Amir Ahmad addressed the activists.

The farmers were demanding the implementation of the MoU signed between the government and the farmers last year. The farmers first took out a procession and then blocked the Meerut and Mawana road for several hours.

In the morning the farmers organised a gram panchayat in which large numbers of women and children also participated. The farmers decided to halt the construction work by MDA in the area and gherao the officials of the MDA.



Five of Bangala gang nabbed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 11
A joint team of the special staff of Sonepat police and the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) staff has succeeded in arresting five members of the Sheikh Bangala gang, including its leader, while they were planning to commit dacoities in houses of Sector 23, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development
Authority, here last night.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the arrested gangsters were identified as Shabir alias Chairman, the ring leader, Bazid, Tahir alias Zarin, Harif alias Papoo and Katlu alias Nadir.

The members of this gang used to create terror among the people of the area. The police also seized three pistols, nine live cartridges, iron rods and other weapons from them.

The SP disclosed that they were allegedly involved in at least 200 cases of murder, loot and dacoity committed in parts of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

With their arrest, the police had also solved four cases in Gurgaon city, four in Rohtak, two in Faridabad and two in Sonepat. These gangsters used to enter the houses and attack the inmates before looting.

According to the SP, the arrested members, during the course of interrogation, confessed to their involvement in a dacoity committed in the house of Mr Ashok Chitkara on March 16, 2000. Cash and jewellery worth several lakhs of rupees were looted from there. The gang members also allegedly killed two persons in Kabirpur village. The police, he said, arrested some culprits in this connection but had failed to arrest Shabir, the ringleader of this gang.

Mr Ahlawat also disclosed that these persons belonged to a community known for its involvement in criminal activities and they used to change their hideouts after committing crimes. They also used to force their children to commit crimes. The members of this gang, he said, were engaged in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Delhi.



Newly married woman shot by husband
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 11
Rajni, an 18-year-old young housewife, was shot dead allegedly by her husband Dharminder at Rewli village, about 15 km from here, on Tuesday. According to a report, the murder followed the non-compliance with the in-laws demand for Rs 50,000 in cash and a scooter as dowry.

The Murthal police have registered a dowry death case against Dharminder and his other family members on the report of Mr Raj Kapoor, father of the victim. Further investigations are in progress. No arrest has been made in this connection so far.

It is stated that Dharminder married Rajni on July 14 this year. She belonged to Garhi Haqiqat village. The first wife of Dharminder had died about five months back. It is alleged that immediately after marriage, Dharminder forced Rajni to bring Rs 50,000 in cash and a scooter from the parents' house. The parents, however, could give only Rs 30,000 but Dharminder was not satisfied and he allegedly killed his wife on Tuesday.

According to another report, as many as eight persons, including four women, were injured in a clash that took place at Memarpur village, about 20 km from here, last evening. The clash followed a dispute over the money.

It is stated that a resident of the village, Sube Singh, had a long-standing dispute over money with one Prem of the same village. Both had an altercation, which resulted in the clash. Lathis and other deadly weapons were used freely in the clash. The condition of four persons, including three women, is stated to be serious. They are Ms Kamlesh, Ms Geeta, Ms Shanti and Pawan.



Three held for murder, auto thefts 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
With the arrest of Roshan, Pawan and Manoj the Delhi Police today claimed to have worked out four cases of murder, one robbery and three cases of auto theft committed in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. They were arrested from Mukarba Chowk in North-West district while they were going in a stolen TATA Indica car. During interrogation, they disclosed that they hired the car on Saturday from Sat Kartar Taxi Stand, Vaishali, in Ghaziabad for Anoop Shahar but they took the car to a lonely place and killed the driver. They were taking the vehicle to one Ajay Veer in Ghaziabad for selling it off as he had earlier also bought stolen cars from them. They were earlier also involved in such cases, the police said.

Husband held: Lalit, a resident of Biharipur Extension in North-East district, was arrested on the charge of killing his wife. Along with his friend, Santosh, he killed his wife, Yashodha, whom he had married 11 years ago. They did not have any children. Santosh has also been arrested. Lalit wanted to go in for a second marriage but his wife was opposed to this. In frustration, the accused hatched a plan with Santosh and stabbed his wife to death on Friday. It was a blind murder and police were confused. The accused lived in a rented house along with his wife and they had a dog. The presence of the dog during the murder forced the police to suspect that it could be the handiwork of some insider. During sustained interrogation, Lalit confessed his involvement in the murder, the police said.

Chain snatchers: The South-West district police arrested two chain snatchers operating in the Inderpuri area. They have been identified as Arun Swami and Anil Kumar. Their third associate, Gopal, alias Mani, is absconding. They were arrested while the police was investigating a snatching case of a wholesale dealer of Pataka biri, Rakesh. The victim reported to the police that three youths on a motor cycle had snatched Rs 2.90 lakh kept in a bag while they were going to deposit the money to the Indian Overseas Bank branch in Inderpuri. The police detained a number of suspects and questioned them. During questioning the suspects confessed their involvement in the case, the police said.

In another case, the North district police arrested Sonu and Vijay who jumped into the Yamuna to escape the police after snatching a chain of Pema, a woman from Karnakata. The victim was going to Gandhi Nagar market on an auto. The auto became slow because of traffic when it reached near the old Yamuna bridge. The suspects snatched the chain of the victim. When she raised the alarm, two constables deployed there tried to catch the suspects. Seeing the police, they jumped into the river. The police called swimmers from the jhuggi clusters located nearby and arrested them. 



Two crushed to death 
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 11
Two workers were crushed to death on the premises of a factory at Noorwala, near here, last night. According to information, the workers were accidentally crushed under a tank weighing around 12 tonnes when the tank was being fitted into a plant. While the supervisor Khushi Ram, a resident of Noorwala, died on the spot, another worker, Dhillon, a resident of Ludhiana, succumbed to injuries at a private hospital. The post-mortem of the bodies was performed at the local Civil Hospital.

Youth returns:
A son of a local trader, who was allegedly abducted on September 5, returned safely to his house on Wednesday. Mr Dayanand, a resident of Hari Singh Colony here, had stated in an FIR registered on Tuesday that he had been running a business of flour and ‘suji’ in Delhi. He said his son, Ashok Kumar, had left his house for the vegetable market on September 5 but failed to return. He said a complaint was lodged with the police after preliminary inquiries were made by them.

The youth said he was abducted by two miscreants who had taken him to Uttar Pradesh. He said he managed to dodge the abductors and escaped from their clutches.

Mysterious death:
Bhirbhan, a resident of Kharman village, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the field on Monday night. The police recovered the body, which has been reportedly lying there for three-four days. It was sent to PGIMS at Rohtak for a post-mortem examination on Tuesday.

Worker killed: A factory worker was killed when a speeding tempo ran over him near Rohad village on the national highway on Tuesday. He was reportedly walking along the road while returning from the factory, PS Dania & Sons, where he was employed.

Woman dead
: Mystery shrouds the death of a woman, Darshana, in her in-laws’ house in Roop Nagar here on Tuesday. According to a report, the police have sent her body for an autopsy. According to another report, Mr Ishwar Singh, a resident of Vikas Nagar, died in his house here on Tuesday after taking some poisonous substance. The police are still making investigations.



Car stolen
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 11
A car was stolen from in front of the main branch of the State Bank of India(SBI)here on Tuesday.

Mr B.K.Garg, Branch Manager, SBI, said he had come to attend a meeting in the main branch of the SBI and parked his car outside. He said he did not find his car when he came out after attending the meeting. The police have registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC in this regard.


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 |