Sunday, September 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Rs 2,000 per acre for drought-hit
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 21
The Haryana Government has decided to grant compensation at the rate of Rs 2,000 per acre to the farmers whose kharif crops had been damaged due to the drought conditions in the state.

This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while addressing the convention of party workers in Municipal Park here on Friday evening.

He disclosed that though the state government had declared the entire state drought-hit, only six of the 19 districts had been hit by drought. The state government, he said, would give compensation soon without waiting for the Central assistance in this regard.

Mr Chautala claimed that his government was pro-farmer and it would fulfil all their demands.

He, however, accused the Congress of misleading the farmers in respect of compensation to the farmers.

Ridiculing the Congress demand of Rs 10,000 per acre as relief, Mr Chautala said that the total land under cultivation in Haryana was one crore acres and the compensation as demanded by the Congress would come to Rs 10,000 crore. He said that the total Haryana budget was Rs 1,800 crore. Thus, the Congress leaders had just tried to capitalise on the issue.

Mr Chautala ridiculed Mr Bhajan Lal who became the HPCC president by making a false claim to the AICC president, Mrs Sonia

Gandhi, that he would topple the state government in three months.

The Chief Minister declared that his government was as strong as a rock and would complete its five-year term. Mr Bhajan Lal would never succeed in dislodging him from power, he said.

He claimed that he enjoyed the confidence of not only his party legislators but also of the BP and the Independent legislators. Mr Bhajan Lal’s attempts to break away any MLA of his party would fail so long as he is their leader, Mr Chautala said.

The Chief Minister also termed big crowds in the Congress rallies as just ‘tamasha’ and said that the people were witnessing groupism in the party. The days of ‘saang’ in Haryana had gone. The people are now enjoying the faction-ridden Congress party while attending the rallies, he said.

Referring to the development projects in the state, Mr Chautala claimed that as many as 33,000 projects had been completed in the state and the work on 6,235 other projects was in progress.

He said that the party was celebrating the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Devi Lal on September 25 by organising a state-level function at Jind and he had come here to invite them to that function. He also urged the party workers to follow the path shown by Chaudhary Devi Lal for shaping Haryana into a model state of the country.

He stressed the need for discipline, courage and dedication to boost the party activities in the new changing political scenario in the state.

Mr Chautala claimed that the party image had improved during its three years’ rule despite the misguided propaganda of the opposition parties.

He called upon the party workers to play a proactive role for strengthening the organisation and the state and be prepared to make any sacrifice in the interest of the party. He also called upon them to ensure publicity of the state government policies in the remote rural areas.

The Chief Minister lashed out at the Opposition parties, particularly the Congress and the HVP, for not extending support.

Earlier, Mr Sher Singh Badshami, state president of the INLD, Mr Padam Singh Dahiya, Dr Ram Kumar Saini, Mr Romesh Khatak, all INLD MLAs and others also spoke. Mr Dev Raj Diwan, an independent MLA (Sonepat) was among those present in the function.


Half-baked steps irk industry chamber
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 21
The Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) today came out in the open against the government on the non-implementation of the provisions of the state's new industrial policy.

The GIA president, Mr Jagan Nath Mangla, said that the industrial policy, formulated in 1999, envisages the setting up of an apex standing committee comprising of government and industrial representatives.

The committee, as envisaged, was expected to study the existing industrial laws and procedures and suggest modifications.

Mr Mangla said that the GIA had not received any intimation on this front from the government, even though the policy was drafted after taking into account the views of various industrial groups and associations.

Although the GIA praised the state's industrial policy as a whole, it expressed concern over the non-constitution of the ‘single service window’, as provided by it.

Earlier, the additional deputy commissioners headed the single service window in the districts. But the new policy provides for a District Level Industries Grievances Redressal Committee. According to the GIA, the non-implementation of this measure was affecting the industrial growth in the state.

The GIA also urged he government to provide land to the entrepreneurs at cheaper rates. Setting up more industries would help boost the government's revenue and expedite the developmental works of Huda and HSIDC. It also pleaded for a longer loan repayment period.

On the issue of Change of Land Use (CLU), the GIA urged that all powers be given to the deputy commissioners in the districts, so that the entrepreneurs do not have to run to Chandigarh. It also sought reduction in the External Development and the CLU charges for faster industrialisation in the state.

Further, the GIA called for amendments in the rules so that any firm, which changes its nature of production, continues to enjoy sale tax exemption.

As per the present policy, the units in category ‘B’ and ‘C’, after availing themselves of the benefits of sales tax exemption, will have to continue their production at least for the next five years, not below the level of

average production in the preceding five years.

It also sought a review with regard to the level of average production in the preceding five years, as the industry is facing many problems due to recession in the market. The units should also be allowed to change their project any time during the first five years, if the project for which the sales tax exemption was granted has not been economically viable, it added.


Residents demonstrate against cops
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 21
Thousands demonstrated outside the SSP’s office here, accusing the local cops of favouring the accused in a rape case. They shouted slogans against the cops and at least 50 people began a fast unto death. The protestors came in droves by trucks and matadors. According to reports, one Sahabuddin repeatedly raped a minor girl Nasima, alias Bhuri, for more than one year. The accused forced her to have sex after threatening her with dire consequences. On August 11, 2002, the accused again abducted the girl at pistol point and repeatedly raped her in a hotel room. Finally, he abandoned her near Ghantaghar.

Later, the members of her community passed a resolution that the accused should marry the girl. But Sahabuddin refused to oblige. Disgusted, the girl and her mother lodged a complaint with the police. But the police have not taken any action yet. The mother and the daughter have alleged that the accused belonged to a well-to-do family and had spent Rs 50,000 to thwart the filing of a police case.

The SSP has now instructed the CO Kotwali area to book the suspect under Section 376 IPC and send him to jail. The SSP has also assured the girl and her family that justice would be done.

Criminal lynched

Noida: Villagers lynched one of the three criminals who had barged into a house in village Luharli under Dadri police station last night. His accomplices, however, managed to escape.

SP (Rural) Pushpak Jyoti Dutt has rushed to Luharli village with police personnel and cordoned off the area. Even though the entire area had been combed, the criminals managed to flee. OC


These days all rallies meander through Gujarat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
The road to New Delhi, the seat of power, usually passes through Uttar Pradesh. The Indian National Congress (INC) believes otherwise. At a rally hosted on Saturday in the Capital, speakers criss-crossed the length and breadth of the country – their speeches journeying through Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and the NCT of Delhi – to slam the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) governments at the Centre and in the states for following a sectarian and communal agenda.

Turning the rally organised for the “Unity of Dalits and Backward Classes” into a forum for mobilising opinion ahead of the Assembly polls due in the NCT of Delhi and other states over the next 12 months or more, the party cited the Gujarat riots, curtailment of powers of the popular, duly elected Government of NCT of Delhi, BJP’s raking up Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin and the INC President’s election meetings in Jammu and Kashmir to send their message across to the audience.

“The BJP, aided by the Sangh Parivar outfits, is attacking the very foundations of peace and communal harmony and unless it is checked, India’s history will become what these leaders want it to be,” said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. “The government does not belong to one religion. It belongs to all sections of the society. But lately there has been a dangerous trend ...,” she said in an oblique reference to the Narendra Modi Ministry in Gujarat.

“The history of BJP has been a history of Rath Yatras. Have you heard of any other party resorting to such antics elsewhere ?” Dikshit asked the people who had assembled at the Talkatora Stadium, again in an apparent reference to Modi’s Gaurav Yatra. The time had come, she added, to fight such obscurantism tooth and nail and exhorted people to come to the streets in a banner of revolt.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ circulars that sought to curtail certain powers of her Ministry also came in handy. Citing the July 25 and August 29 circulars, Dikshit said the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre had gone to the extent of thwarting independent thinking on governance. “It is an attack on the people and not merely on the city government .… The BJP is trying to weaken any independent thinking that is not in consonance with their retrograde ideology,” she asserted. The All India Congress Committee general secretaries invited to the rally joined the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee in lashing out at the BJP’s policies. Ambika Soni said the BJP tried to raise the issue of INC President Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin after they realised the threat posed by her leadership. “They also tried to dissuade her (Sonia Gandhi) from visiting Jammu and Kashmir. But she went ahead to become the first and only leader of national recognition so far to address election rallies in the militancy-infested state which is in the midst of Assembly polls,” Soni said.


800 kids brave vagaries of nature to learn the three Rs
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, September 21
More than 800 students are forced to study under makeshift tin sheds for the last few years, completely devoid even of the very basic facilities, thanks to the tussle between the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Education Department of the Delhi government, Residents of Ghazipur in East Delhi near the border with Uttar Pradesh said that their children had no choice. Either they face the vagaries of nature or remain illiterate.

They said that it was because of the staff dedication that the secondary school was still functioning. Had it been not for the teachers and the principal, the school would have closed down a long time ago.

According to the school authorities, the land was allotted to the Education Department for building a school some three years ago. But for some inexplicable reason, instead of a school building, the DDA constructed rooms for themselves to be used as an office. And to add to the problem, no one is bothered to sort out the matter.

The school principal, Mr R.P. Singh, said that he had repeatedly brought this matter to the notice of the higher-ups in the Education Department but of no avail.

The teachers also said it was surprising that when the government was laying a lot of stress on universal education, existing schools in colonies in the far-flung areas of the Capital continued to be neglected.

The school has neither water nor an electricity connection. Children and teachers are forced to bring water from their homes or in certain cases, walk up half a kilometer to the nearby market for a glass of water.

The condition of the primary school in the area is no better except for the fact that it has a building. The school having more than 500 students on its rolls is mostly flooded with sewage water. A drinking water tank provided by a do-gooder has not been cleaned for years. The taps of the tank have been pilfered away a long time ago and not replaced since then.

Such is the condition of this school that even the teachers have stopped coming to school now. They do not want to risk their health because of the unsanitary conditions.

The area MLA, Mr Naseeb Singh, when contacted by the ‘NCR Tribune’, claimed that the condition of other schools in the area was no better and he was trying his best to get things done.

He claimed that he had repeatedly brought this to the notice of the Education Department but in vain.

Natasha case closed

New Delhi
The case of death of Natasha Singh, the estranged daughter-in-law of senior Congress leader K Natwar Singh was closed today by a court after the Delhi Police concluded it as a suicide. Metropolitan Magistrate MC Gupta closed the case after the counsel for Natasha’s family submitted that they were satisfied with the police investigation, which found that the victim had committed suicide. TNS


Admn on its toes as Chautalas visit Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 21
The VIP visits prove to be a nerve-racking experience for the district administration which puts its nose to the grindstone to make the visit a grand affair.

Past two days appear to have proved really hectic for the authorities. First it was Mr Ajay Chautala, MP, and National President of the youth wing of the INLD who was here on Friday in connection with a meeting of the party activists and, today, it was the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who spent several hours here.

Although the officials claimed that it was a routine affair, their ‘work load’ was quite visible.

Mr Ajay Chautala was to address the meeting of party workers of the youth wing at MCF auditorium here and, as expected, the local authorities worked overtime to see everything went smooth. Even several three-wheelers commuting on the National Highway and in the NIT area were diverted or taken off the road to ensure smooth traffic, said a local resident.

The police personnel could be seen manning various points and checking the movement of commercial vehicles in various areas of the town. Several rounds of meetings of officials have been held in the past few days over the issues concerning the visits of the VIPs.

The authorities have really pulled their socks up since the Chief Minister had announced that he himself would preside over the monthly meeting of the district grievances committee. Moreover, Mr Chautala seems to be taking a special interest in Faridabad district and has visited it several times in the past couple of months.

The Chief Minister also had a rather busy schedule as he presided over the ‘grievances committee’ meeting, attended the Golden Jubilee function of the Faridabad Industries Association (FIA) as chief guest and took the meeting of the INLD workers and leaders at a banquet hall today.

Addressing the FIA meeting, Mr Chautala called upon the industrialists to cooperate in order to weed out corruption. He asked them to inform him if any senior official demanded bribe from them and promised strict action against the accused. Enlisting various works taken up or completed during his tenure, he said that foreign investment in Haryana would grow in near future.

The Chief Minister looked into several complaints at the Grievances Committee meeting and directed the officials to take necessary action.


Kanha National Park, Kipling’s inspiration
Tribune News Service

Rudyard Kipling paid Kanha National Park a compliment, when he went on to describe it as the inspiration behind his classic work, ‘Jungle Book’. The inhabitants of Kanha came alive for millions of readers as Bagheera, Mowgli and Sher Khan. And for times to come, Kanha will echo the names of these characters based on its stock.

This setting for the famous ‘Jungle Book’, Kanha National Park in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, spreads over 1,945 sq. km of dense Sal forests, interspersed with the chunks of wild bamboo. The deep alluring forest allows you a scenic view of the wild in all its glory. This is where you can spot the tiger, the rare Barasingha deer and more than 200 species of birds.

The park forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974, under Project Tiger. It is one of the most well-maintained National Parks in Asia, and a major attraction for avid wildlife buffs all over the world.

Kanha boasts of about 22 species of mammals. Some of the inhabitants of this park are the gaur, the largest of the world's cattle; the sambar, the largest Indian deer; and the chausingha, the only four-horned antelope in the world.

Shravantal is an old tank in the central Kanha meadows, which happens to be an important watering hole, for a large number of water fowl in winter. Bamni Dadar, or Sunset Point, attracts visitors for its view of the setting sun.

The forests of the Banjar valley and Halon valley, respectively forming Kanha's western and eastern halves, have been famous for their deer and tiger population. By a special statute in 1955, Kanha National Park came into being.

Since then, a string of stringent conservation programmes have been launched for the overall protection of the park's fauna and flora.

Barasingha is a major attraction for visitors. Barasinghas exist almost totally on grass, and tall grass meadows are essential for their security. At the height of winter between December and January, falls the rutting season of these animals, and huge groups can be easily spotted in the Kanha and Sonph meadows. A small, but significant number of blackbucks also inhabit the central Kanha meadow.

However, the trip is not complete without spotting the king of jungle. The majesty on all fours with smouldering eyes is Kanha’s speciality. Elephants are used to give rides to those who wish to go tiger tracking. The Forest Department guides accompany visitors around the park on circuits, which enable the latter to view a good cross-section of the abundant wildlife.

The park is closed from July 1 to October 31 because of the heavy monsoon. The ideal time to visit Kanha would be between February and June. Though the National Park is closed for a few months, the Krishna Jungle Resort is open around the year.

How to reach

To reah Kanha, the nearest airports and railway stations are Jabalpur (175 km) and Nagpur (260 km).


A rose and a smile make them spring to life
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
How do you make a day special for children who battle for life? How do you give them a reason to celebrate life? Gift them a rose, a smile, love and support. A recipe with results that you will vouch for.

For the hundred odd cancer-afflicted children, yesterday was a day when their pain and sorrow took a dip and the buoyancy of laughter gave them a high. Thanks to the efforts made by the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), these children had a day to themselves.

The CPAA held its annual National Cancer Rose Day in the Capital’s Essex farms yesterday. Schoolchildren and celebrities came together to make the day a special one for these children and adults who battle the deadly disease. Students from Tagore International, Vidya Niketan and Sanskriti Schools presented a cultural extravaganza, but the show stealer was the programme put up by the brave children who form a part of the Phulwari, a children’s play group run at the AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital.

These children performed with elan and a zest that seemed to have relegated their ailment to the confines of defeat. Said the Director, CPAA, Ms Kiran Hukku, “Rose is a symbol of love and care. On this day, we invite all to gift a rose, a smile, love and support to the cancer patients.”

The CPAA has been working with the cancer-stricken people for the last 23 years now and has been organising the annual Rose Day for the past one decade.

“ Our aim is to organise a patient-oriented event. We want to give care and support to these patients. It is not a fund-raiser, but an opportunity for coming closer,” said Ms Sudha Murgai, GM, Projects. Sponsors like Essex farms, Nestle and Toy Park among others also gave the patients gifts. “We work with these people and have created kind and food banks for them. We help these patients get free chemotherapy and also take care of their needs like clothes and even toys for the children,” added Ms Murgai.


Giants group distributes artificial limbs
Our Correspondent

Noida, September 21
Artificial limbs were distributed to 288 students of government primary schools of Gautam Budh Nagar district at a function organised by the Giants group in Sector 8 here on Friday.

The children, who are deprived of use of both the legs, were selected from primary schools in the district for presentation of artificial limbs and tricycles.

Presiding over the function, Minister of State for Labour Ashok Pradhan said it was a very laudable effort on the part of the members of the Giant group who have a good record of providing social services. He hoped that the group would organise many such functions to help the needy members of the society in one way or the other.

Mr Nawab Singh Naggar, MLA, said that the Giants group had incurred Rs 8.50 crore on providing such services and on other social causes in the past 20 years. However, these huge efforts seemed to have gone unnoticed. There was a need to make the general public aware of the group's humanitarian face, he added. He suggested that a centre for providing and co-ordinating social, educational and health services should be set up by the group. The Giants group, according to its president Goel, had provided for treatment, including the cost of medicines and surgeries, for the needy people from its own kitty on many occasions.

The Giants group, which today comprises top industrialists and prominent Noidaites, many of whom had started their enterprises and careers in a very humble and modest way, has blazed a trail of success due to its consistent hard work and perseverance. The function was also attended by Mr Ravi Gautam, UP Revenue Minister, and many other top officials and residents.


Fear of God must for righteous conduct

The recent Supreme Court judgement has held that the teaching of religion in schools does not go against the secular policy of the government. The court has rejected the public interest petition filed by a number of persons alleging that the government was trying, through its National Curriculum Framework for School Education, partisan political and religious ideology.

The petition as well as the subsequent judgement on the issue were matters of public debate at a number of fora. Eminent men in the academic and teaching circles have spoken on the subject and nearly all newspapers have written editorials on the issue. All these go to show how vital the subject is for the future of the children and the destiny of the nation.

What shall we teach our children? In the United States, which is a pluralistic society like India, the ban on prayer in schools had led to continued criticism by men of faith on the ground that a secular education without reference to God and faith would not give them the right values for life. They argue that without the fear of God there may not be a sound basis for righteous conduct and that secularism and humanism alone would not impart to the children enough motivation to do what is right and avoid what is evil.

These men of religion have been pointing out that the kind of secular education being imparted has been one of the causes of sexual perversions and violence reported from the campus. They point out that man-centred humanism and secularism, which are neutral as regards mercy killing, adultery, abortions and similar issues, do not provide the correct guidelines. Secular values, they argue, are not powerful enough to stem the tide of immorality and materialism that play havoc with the lives of youngsters. Those for religious education point to numerous evils threatening civilization itself because of the attempt to live in isolation from God; because America had excluded God from its science, politics and even thinking!

The above are powerful arguments why children should be taught the tenets of religion. American orator and statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852) had observed the following as regards education: ``If we work upon marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellowmen, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity.’’

Education does not consist in mastering languages, but is found in that moral training which extends beyond the schoolroom to the playground and the street. Its ultimate aim is not merely the acquisition of skills and scholarship in particular subjects; true education must enable the child to discriminate between right and wrong; between good and evil. The idea has been beautifully expressed by an anonymous author: ``Education does not commence with the alphabet; it begins with a mother’s look, with a father’s nod of approbation, or a sign of reproof, with a sister’s gentle pressure of the hand, or a brother’s noble act of forbearance; with a handful of flowers in green dells, on hills and daisy meadows; with birds nests admired, but not touched; with creeping ants, and almost imperceptible emmets; with humming bees and glass beehives; with pleasant walks in shady lanes, and with thoughts directed in sweet and kindly tones and words to nature, to beauty, to acts of benevolence, to deeds of virtue, and to the source of all good—to God Himself.’’

That being so, why be so touchy about introducing religious instruction in schools? The word of caution expressed by Mr Justice D. M. Dharmadhikari, in his separate but concurring judgement, makes this clear.

``There is a potent danger of religious education from the primary stage to the higher level being perverted by educational authorities, whosoever may be in power, by imparting `religious instructions’ in which they have faith and belief. ‘’ Educationists, he went on to say, should ensure that in teaching religions there was a possibility for indoctrination or brainwashing of the children and thus curbing their inquisitiveness and free thinking in the name of religion.

The judge was of the view that the real meaning of secularism in the language of Mahatma Gandhi was `sarva-dharma-samabhava’ meaning equal treatment and respect for all religions. He did not mean negation of all religions.

The critics of religious instruction in schools have been expressing the fear that politicians in power who do not mind ``twisting’’ history books to suit their whims and fancies may not desist from indoctrinating children in the name of religion. In that case schools would churn out narrow-minded bigots It is indisputable that narrow-minded religious bigotry has been at the root of many problems and divisiveness in this land.

The ‘madrassas’ have been blamed for injecting hatred into children in the name of religion. Afghanistan reaped the fruits of such hatred. On September 11,2001, there was a display of what mass-scale destruction can be brought about by misguided religious enthusiasts. It looks as though civilisation remains under threat not as much from nuclear weapons but from religiously inclined fanatics who might end up destroying this world in the pursuit of their particular goals.

India is a pluralistic society and everyone needs to be vigilant against the growth of such religious fanaticism. The children are too precious for the destiny of this nation to be left in the hands of those who cannot distinguish between love and hatred, right and wrong. The public, particularly the teaching community and public spirited individuals, must remain vigilant in ensuring that intolerance and hatred are not promoted in young minds in the name of religious instruction.

In an interview given by Tagore to Izvestia (a Russian newspaper) in 1930, he criticised the lack of freedom he saw in Russia and observed as follows: ``I must ask you: Are you doing your ideal a service by arousing in the minds of those under your training anger, class-hatred, revengefulness against those whom you consider to be your enemies? Freedom of mind is needed for the reception of truth; terror possibly kills it…For the sake of humanity I hope you may never create a vicious force of violence, which will go on weaving an interminable chain of violence and cruelty…You have tried to destroy many of the other evils of(the czarist) period. Why not try to destroy this one also?’’

M P K Kutty


Vidrohi accuses MCF of discrimination
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 21
Leaders of the Haryana unit of the Janata Dal (U) have condemned the alleged discrimination by the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) authorities in the matter of allotting its auditorium for political meetings. The party president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has threatened to take the authorities to court, if they do not tender an apology in this connection.

Charging the MCF officials of adopting a non-cooperative attitude towards the leaders of opposition political parties, he said the MCF had demanded an amount of Rs 10,000 as rent for holding a conference of the JD(U) in which the Union Minister, Mr Sharad Yadav, was likely to participate on September 29. At the same time, the MCF authorities had charged only Rs 101 from the organisers of a function in which the Union Minister of State, Mr I. D. Swami, took part recently, he claimed.

Similarly, the MCF auditorium was given on nominal charges for holding a district-level function of the ruling INLD youth workers, attended by Mr Ajay Chautala, he said. This was a gross discrimination with no reasonable ground he said, and added that if the MCF officials failed to express an apology for their response to their request, the party would file a legal suit against them in the court.

Mr Vidrohi also alleged that certain administrative officials in the state had been working like activists of the INLD and had been violating the service rules. The issuing of a press note by the Public Relations Department about the a function of the Youth INLD meet here on Friday was a glaring example of the misuse of the official machinery and violation of service rules, he said.


I-T raid on Gurgaon developer’s premises
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, September 21
The Income Tax Department raided different premises of a developer yesterday and seized a huge amount of cash, jewellery and documents pertaining to properties, which allegedly establish the evasion of income tax. The raids, which started early in the morning, lasted till late in the evening.

According to highly reliable sources at the Income Tax Department, Gurgaon, the raids had been conducted at different offices and the residences of Mr D. D. Mittal and his two sons, Manoj Mittal and Vinod Mittal, at Gurgaon, Delhi and Bathinda (Punjab). The raiding team, which was led by the Deputy Director of Income Tax (Investigation), seized a huge amount of hard cash, jewellery and papers of properties worth crores of rupees.

The family is engaged in the “ghee” business in Bathinda and property business in Gurgaon. They are developing a condominium called Tulip Gardens in Gurgaon City and Orchard Resorts near Sohna in Gurgaon district. The sources further added that the Income Tax Department had kept the three persons under the scanner for quite some time. The department had confirmed that the family had not been paying income tax to the department as per the known sources of their income from their business. The Income Tax Department had also raided the house of Mr Vijay Jain at Adarsh Nagar in Gurgaon city. He had acted as a property dealer in the sale of a plot to the Mittal family in Gurgaon.


Abducted, gangraped in Rohtak
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 21
A woman of Sector 1 here was allegedly gangraped by four youths recently. In the FIR lodged with the police on Friday, the complainant said that she was employed as a teacher in Hisar. She alleged that she was forcibly picked up by five persons, including a woman, and taken to Punjab in a Tata Sumo on September 7. She also alleged that she was robbed of her jewellery and gangraped by the four youths. She identified three of the abductors as Suman, Manjit and Dharampal (brother and father of Suman).

Woman commits suicide

A married woman allegedly committed suicide allegedly following the harassment by her in-laws here on Friday. Mr Geeta Ranik, resident of Panipat, stated in a complaint that her daughter, Ritu, was married to Sonu of Durga Colony, Rohtak. She alleged that her daughter had been often harassed by her in-laws for bringing insufficient dowry. She said that Ritu was forced to commit suicide by consuming poison on Friday as she had been exhausted by the maltreatment at the hands of her in-laws. The police have registered a case under Section 304-B and 498-A of the IPC.

Dies on the spot

Two persons, including a teenaged girl, were killed in different incidents in the town during the past 24 hours. Ashok Kumar, resident of Khokhri village, was killed on the spot, when his motorcycle was hit by a tractor near Chiri village, on Friday evening.

In another incident, Suman (14) of Ismaila village fell unconscious, when she went to a field for fetching fodder, due to insecticide sprayed on them. She was declared brought dead at the PGIMS.

Car runs into squatters

Sonepat: One person was killed and four others were injured seriously when the car driver lost control and the vehicle dashed against a tree on the G.T. Road near Bahalgarh Chowk, 12 km from here, on Friday evening. The car hit four persons who were having food on the roadside.

According to a report, the deceased was identified as Parmod. The injured were his father Bhoj Ram and another Jagbir. They were taking meals along the roadside when the car ran over them.

Similarly, the occupants of the car, Sukhwant Singh and his wife Daljit Kaur, also sustained serious injuries. All of them were sent to a Delhi hospital for treatment. The injured, Sukhwant and his wife, belonged to Mohali and they were going to Delhi by the car. The car driver tried to save a boy who came on the road all of a sudden and this resulted in the accident. The victim and the remaining injured persons belonged to Farukhabad district in UP. The police are still investigating into the case.

Man killed

Mr Ram Bhaj, a resident of Sarurpur village in Baghpat district in UP, was killed on the spot and two others, Meharban and Dharampal, sustained serious injuries when a truck hit their tractor from behind on the Sonepat-Meerut road near Khewra village, 13 km from here on Friday.

Both the injured persons were referred to a Delhi hospital for further treatment from the local Civil Hospital. The tractor was loaded with bricks and it was parked near a petrol pump at Khewra village. 


BJP says ‘no’ to power tariff hike
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday opposed any hike in the electricity tariff in the Capital and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the privatisation of power sector by the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has denied any move to raise power tariffs in the Capital.

Delhi Pradesh BJP Madan Lal Khurana told reporters that "The proposed increase in power tariff by 15 per cent by private companies would be gross injustice, reneging on promise and betrayal with the people of Delhi. If the new rates are implemented, BJP will launch a massive agitation against it." Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, he said, had assured that power tariff would not be hiked in near future. "When power bought at the rate of Rs 1.41 per unit was being sold by private companies to consumers at the rate of Rs 4.15 per unit, are the rates being increased to give more profits to them?" he asked.

Alleging that the conditions on which power distribution was privatised in Delhi was a "big scandal" in itself, he demanded a CBI inquiry into it and said the party would submit a report with relevant facts to the Prime Minister. He said the party was not against privatisation per se "but the process."

Ex gratia for fire victims

The Government of NCT of Delhi on Saturday announced ex gratia to the families of those killed in Friday's fire in Yamuna Pushta.

Urban Development Minister A.K. Walia said that Rs 25 thousand would be given to the families in the case of minor and Rs 50 thousand in the case of major. The injured would be given ex gratia of Rs five to 15 thousand according to the intensity of injury. Rs one thousand will be given per jhuggi (slum dwelling) destroyed in the fire.

The minister made the announcement after visiting the site and meeting with the affected people Saturday. Two children were reported to have died, six persons injured and about 500 jhuggis destroyed in the fire. The minister said the deputy commissioner had been told to survey the JJ cluster and distribute ex gratia to the victims.


Akalis of different hues come together
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
Thousands of ground-level workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and those belonging to the allies were honoured at a special convention organised by Mr Onkar Singh Thapar, deputy leader of the Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and national general secretary of the SAD (Badal), in Hari Nagar last night.

According to Mr Thapar, who achieved the unique distinction of being the only elected member from the party to the MCD in the elections held earlier this year, it was the first time that ordinary workers were honoured and treated like VIPs by the leaders.

Among those who attended the gala convention were Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, BJP MP from South Delhi, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, MP and president of Delhi Pradesh BJP, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP, Mr Vijay Goel, MP and Minister of State in the PMO, and a large number of BJP MLAs and members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

What apparently came as surprise to many was the presence of Mr. Gurmeet Singh Meeto, Mr Harjinder Singh Khanna and Mohinder Singh, all members of the DSGMC, and many others belonging to the SAD (Tohra) faction, which had swept the recent DSGMC elections. Also present was the former president of the DSGMC, Mr Avtar Singh Hit.

The leaders praised Mr Thapar’s initiative in organising such an event to honour the workers without whom no party could even dream of contesting elections. Mr Dhindsa described the convention as the biggest gathering of Sikhs outside Punjab and lauded the efforts of Mr Thapar in restoring the confidence and morale of the community in the last few years in the backdrop of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The highlight of the convention was the exploding of four rose bombs, each weighing 20 kilograms, which showered the gathered workers with petals. Earlier, Mr Thapar and Mr Malhotra were honoured with saropas and traditional kirpans by Jathedar Surjit Singh, executive member of the DSGMC.


Accused in factory looting nabbed
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 21
The Vijay Nagar police have arrested a criminal, who was wanted in the looting of a factory in the Kavi Nagar industrial area and in the snatching of Rs 3 lakh from a mill cashier in broad daylight recently. A stolen Yamaha motorbike, a country-made revolver and Rs 10,000 in cash have been recovered from the suspect who has been identified as Lokesh. The police are now trying to nab his accomplices.

SP (City) Umesh Kumar Srivastava said that SO of the Vijay Nagar police station Anil Somanya and cops on a patrol duty at 10 pm last night had a tip-off. They stopped a youth astride a motorbike near the Medical tri-junction. The youth identified himself as Lokesh, resident of Kailash Nagar under the Vijay Nagar police station. He could not give satisfactory answers about his motorbike (DL-15C 3041). On being frisked, a country-made revolver and two cartridges were recovered from him. The SP (City) said Lokesh admitted of his involvement in the looting of P. K. Jain’s factory at D-5 in the Kavi Nagar industrial area four days ago. Two others, Ved Prakash alias Vedu and Bhushan, were also with him during the looting, he said.


Saraswati Vihar dacoity solved, 3 held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21
With the arrest of three persons, the North-West district police today claimed to have solved the sensational dacoity in the house of a Joint Commissioner of Income Tax in Saraswati Vihar on September 11. They were identified as Neeraj Gupta, alias Deepak (23), resident of Shakurpur, Ram Ashish Mukiya, alias Manoj (19), resident of Sapore, Bihar and Vijay (19), resident of Mabhubani, Bihar. A country-made weapon with one live cartridge, jewellery, and Rs 2.5 lakh were recovered from the suspects.

The incident occurred when Joint Commissioner Trispal Jain (58) and his wife Ramamurti (54) were alone at their house. Around 7.45 pm, someone rang their doorbell and when his wife opened the door, suddenly five youths armed with katta and knife barged into the house and clamped her mouth.

They later took away Rs 65,000, one camera and jewellery worth several lakhs of rupees and fled the spot. Investigations revealed that a servant, Ram Ashish, who worked in the house, had earlier burgled the house. When Ram Ashish was interrogated, he confessed to his involvement in both the crimes.

Juvenile burglars
With the arrest of five juvenile persons, the South district police today claimed to have solved eight cases of burglary in the Kalkaji area. The police have recovered stolen property worth Rs 2 lakh, including one Sony video camera, one Premiere camera, two walkmans, three wristwatches and some jewellery from their possession.

On September 13, the house of Pankaj Dubey in Aravali Apartments, Kalkaji was burgled. Over Rs 40,000, a video camera, a still camera, a mobile phone, wristwatches and jewellery were stolen. The assailants entered the house by breaking open the window. The victim was not present at his house when the burglary took place.

The police received some secret information that the local criminals might have been involved in the crime. The police also put up pickets to round up the criminals. Subsequently, the police found two youths on a motorcycle without helmets. When they were asked to stop, they tried to flee. But the police nabbed them and during interrogation, they confessed to have committed several burglaries in many houses in the area.

Wife behind murder
With the arrest of one person, Irshad, resident of Badayun in Uttar Pradesh, the Special Staff of the East District police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case of Gokul Puri.

Few days back, a dead body with several injuries had been found in Gokul Puri and the police came to know that one Irshad was involved in the crime. When Irshad was traced in Uttar Pradesh, the deceased was identified as Kallu, alias Kallua, resident of Badayun. The police said that the accused and deceased were relatives. The accused had allegedly developed an illicit relationship with the wife of the deceased, Sitara, for which the deceased had objected. As Kallu was acting as a stumbling block, both Irshad and Sitara decided to kill him. The police have launched a hunt to nab her.

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