Thursday, September 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Security beefed up at shrines
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25
Following a major terrorist attack at Akshardham temple of the Swaminarayan sect in Gandhinagar last evening, security has been strengthened in all major temple complexes and important buildings across the Capital.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit returned home on Wednesday night, cutting short her visit to Moscow. She arrived in the Capital 30 minutes past midnight to study the situation in the wake of the carnage in Gandhi Nagar temple. The Chief Minister had left for Moscow on Sunday on a five-day visit.

Tight security arrangements have been made, particularly in the sprawling Chhatarpur temple complex, the ISKCON temple, the Baha'i temple, Malai Mandir, the Laxmi Narayan temple, the Hanuman temples in Connaught Place and Yamuna Bazar, the Gaurish temple in Chandni Chowk and other prominent shrines, police sources said.

“A red alert has been sounded all over the city and we are taking all necessary steps,” said Joint Commissioner of Police Satish Chandra.

Lieutenant-Governor Vijay Kapoor also reviewed the security arrangements in a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), Delhi Police Commissioner R S Gupta and other senior officers.

Mr Gupta was asked to be in touch with the Rapid Action Force to mobilise security forces. The DCPs of all the districts have been asked to stay alert and the specially trained Delhi Police commandos have pulled their socks up to keep watch on public places.

Police personnel have also been deployed outside important gurdwaras, churches, mosques, Buddhist monasteries and Jain temples. To avoid any untoward incidents, devotees are being frisked and their vehicles checked before allowing entry, the sources said.

Security in and around other government buildings, particularly the VVIP areas and the Diplomatic Enclave have also been tightened with intense patrolling and increased number of barricades and additional deployment of police and paramilitary personnel. Senior police officials are personally supervising the arrangements.

FARIDABAD: The authorities have sounded a red alert here also. The police have stepped security at some of the well-known temples and mosques in the town.

Armed policemen have been posted at prominent shrines to prevent any untoward incident or communal violence. Faridabad has over 30,000 Muslim voters and several villages of the minority community in Hathin sub-division, which is a part of Mewat, a Muslim enclave, The police have also intensified patrolling in the sensitive residential and commercial areas.


Parties condemn terrorist strike
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 25
Different political parties and social and apolitical organisations have condemned the ghastly attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in Gujarat on Tuesday in which more than 40 devotees were killed and another 100 injured.

Mr Pradeep Jain, spokesman and secretary of the Haryana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, urged the Union Government to adopt tough measures to deal with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. He alleged that it was an evil attempt made by the neighbouring Islamic nation to disturb the communal harmony and violate the unity and integrity of India. The BJP leader expressed condolence to the bereaved families and hailed the timely and gallant action taken by the security forces and the commandos of the National Security Guard.

The district units of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Congress have given a call for Rohtak bandh tomorrow as a mark of respect to those killed and to express solidarity. Mr Joginder Saini, spokesman of the District Congress Committee (urban), said a condolence meeting would be held at the Congress Bhawan here at 10.30 am under the presidentship of Mr Shadi Lal Batra, local MLA. After the meeting, he said the party activists would take out a protest march against the Union Government and submit a memorandum to the President through the Deputy Commissioner seeking immediate dismissal of the Vajpayee-led central government and the Gujarat government. The effigies of the Prime Minister and Gujarat Chief Minister would be burnt in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, he added. Mr Surender Singh, member of the state secretariat of CPI(M), described the attack as an act of cowardice performed with the motive of creating instability and flaring up communalism, especially in Gujarat.

Plea to keep calm

New Delhi
The Indian Council of Religious Leaders has strongly condemned the barbaric killings in Gujarat's Swaminarayan temple.

In a statement issued here, the religious heads have appealed to the masses to keep calm and not to react to this provocation. Slamming the killings, the leaders have reiterated that no religion in the world supports or preaches such practices.


Rs 18 crore Japanese memorial to Devi Lal
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 25
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today launched two projects, one in Gurgaon and the other in Manesar about 15 km from here, to mark the 89th birth anniversary of late Devi Lal, former Deputy Prime Minister.

He laid the foundation stones of Jan Nayak Complex at IMT Manesar and a Rs 18-crore Japanese Hostel-cum-Restaurant Complex here. A spokesman of the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) said that both the projects would be developed by the corporation.

The Jan Nayak Heritage complex would comprise four segments. The first segment would house a museum of Haryana arts and culture, displaying artifacts, traditional Haryana pottery and sculpture, rural lifestyle items, including ethnic jewellery and costumes, wall paintings and murals. This would form a major tourist attraction of the heritage complex. A college of arts would be set up in the second segment of the complex. This is likely to draw students from all over the country for certificate courses in fine commercial and performing arts.

According to the spokesman, the third and the most important segment in the complex would have a sprawling garden with a water feature and a statue of Devi Lal. The terraced garden around the statue had been planned on the pattern of Mughal Gardens with a lavish landscaping of greenery. The statue and the garden would complement each other so as to make the environs lively throughout the year.

The fourth segment would consist of conveniences and information centre. This would comprise shopping booths, including fast food joints and eateries. The information centre would be set up to disseminate the salient features of the heritage complex in the form of literature, picture postcards and take-away mementos.

Referring to the Japanese Hostel-cum-Restaurant Complex, he said that it was one of its kind and would soon come up where a large number of Japanese companies had already set up their venture.

He added that the decision to set up the complex had been taken following a plea by the members of Japan External Trade Organisation during the visit of Mr Chautala to Japan. The complex would be completed within 18 months.


MCD standing committee wants strict norms for tender seekers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25
The all-powerful Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today unanimously agreed to authorise the municipal commissioner to formulate strict norms for tender seekers, so that those linked to the dreaded tender mafia were eliminated. The members of the standing committee, who were agitated over the recent abduction and murder of one of their colleagues, Mr. Atma Ram Gupta, agreed to evolve strict norms, so that racketeers would find it difficult to operate.

The members of the Standing Committee admitted that the tender mafia did exist and was extremely active in the corridors of the corporation, making it difficult for genuine contractors to even make a bid for various works. The result was obvious as most of the works commissioned by the corporation were found to be below the accepted standards.

While the presence of the tender mafia was well known in the corporation, it became public only after Atma Ram Gupta, a senior Standing Committee member, was shot dead in Ghaziabad by dreaded criminals of UP on behest of another woman councillor, Sharda Jain. The suspected councillor and three killers have been arrested and lodged in judicial custody while the fourth one is still absconding. After the death of Atma Ram, it was alleged that the tender mafia was involved in his murder as he was in favour of privatisation of toll tax, which the tender mafia does not approve of.

The Standing Committee also issued directions for constituting a committee to review an order circulated on September 9, recommending that all the cases of Rateable Value in General Power of Attorney be reopened and they be charged transfer duty security at the rate of 5 per cent only. An additional eight per cent duty is charged by the Delhi government, making it a total of 13 per cent.

The transfer duty security is neither maintainable in the DMC Act nor in legal interpretations made by various courts in property tax cases.

There is reference to a duty on the transfer of property under section 113 (e) of the DMC Act, Vijender Gupta, an opposition member, pointed out.

The committee also issued directions to the chief of audit department of the corporation to conduct an inquiry into all bogus appointments of teachers in the MCD schools. The department has been asked to submit its report before the standing committee within one-and-a-half month.


Do look this gift-horse in the mouth!
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 25
Be wary of this enticing phone call and the sensuous voice at the other end, coyly informing that you are the lucky winner of a golden pot, lying at the end of a rainbow. Some fly-by-night operators keep offering freebies to unsuspecting customers in order to entrap them in their promotional lulus.

While many residents dismiss these offers as dubious, others succumb hook, line and sinker. You have been led up the garden-path, you realise quite late. A couple residing in the Housing Board Colony in Sector-3 told the ‘NCR Tribune’ how they were lured to a Delhi hotel. The husband received a call that he had been selected as a winner in a competition, even though neither he nor his wife had ever filled a form or taken part in any competition. They were further informed that they could get a brand new car, if they turned up at the assigned place.

The ‘enlightened’ couple, children in tow, made a beeline for the venue, thinking almost a la Sheikh Chilli: how they will drive back with their prize. What they will do with it and so on and so forth. But, after reaching the hotel, the penny dropped on them. They were asked to pay a hefty fee and get registered before entering the hotel. They were not offered even a cup of tea or coffee, which was available only on payment. Then some men and women addressed the gathering and explained to them the conditions before they could get a prize through a lottery.

The family were shocked when they learnt that they could compete for the prize booty – a car -- only if they deposited Rs 1 lakh and marketed some of the company’s products. In the recent past, many companies have pulled the wool over the eyes of naïve people. This correspondent also received a similar call from Delhi on

Tuesday. The girl said she was calling from a company in Sarvodya Vihar and gushed: “I am pleased to announce that the owner of the phone (5222136) has been selected from about 500 people for a four-day package tour to Nepal.”

When asked how the selection was made, since I (this correspondent) had not applied for it, the girl said the selection had been made from the telephone numbers lifted from the directory. She said the couple would have to come.

Suspicious of the call and the offer, self asked for the address of the company, its contact number and the address of the place he was required to visit. However, the caller disconnected the line as soon as she came to know that the offer was being made to a journalist.

It is learnt that there are several companies of artful dodgers which have been pulling a fast one on the middle class people by making such offers on phone or through advertisements.


School buses to ferry INLD men to Jind
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 25
The students of various public schools in the town today ‘enjoyed’ a forced holiday following impounding of the school buses by the administration for carrying INLD workers and supporters to Jind.

This is perhaps for the first time in the history of Haryana that the district administration has impounded buses owned by schools to ferry people to a rally organised by the ruling party. The district authorities have virtually forced the students of primary sections of various public schools to remain confined to their houses. Working couples also suffered hardships.

The management of a leading public school, which has over 3,000 students on its rolls, preferred to close the school for the day as the administration had impounded its buses.

Another school also announced a ‘holiday’ for its primary section. Still another school asked its students to make their own arrangements to reach school. The rally at Jind has been organised by the ruling party as a part of the birthday celebrations of late Ch Devi Lal, former Deputy Prime Minister, popularly called "Tau" by his followers.

Political analysts believe that had Tau Devi Lal been alive, he would have never allowed the administration to mobilise people to celebrate his birthday. The ruling INLD, founded by the late Deputy Prime Minister, has deep roots in almost 20 villages and small towns in the state.


Rs 12 lakh ransom demand for Student

Prince, a student of B.A.M.S. in Gaur Brahaman College, Rohtak, and a son of well-known Dr Des Raj Juneja of Gohana town in Sonepat district, is reported to have been kidnapped. The alleged kidnappers have demanded a ransom of Rs 12 lakh to be given to them in Patna.

According to a report, Prince was taken to Patna by the kidnappers on the pretext that he would be given admission there in an MBBS course. On September 20, the parents received a telephone from Prince that he had reached Patna safely. But on September 22 they received another telephone from Prince who said that he had been kidnapped and attempts should be made to get him released as soon as possible, after paying the ransom.

The kidnappers had initially demanded Rs 16 lakh but climbed down to Rs 12 lakh after reaching a compromise on phone. On account of a gazetted holiday on September 23 in Haryana, the parents could not arrange for the huge amount. They informed the kidnappers who gave them more time.


Northern Rly — nourishing the Capital day in & day out
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 25
The Northern Railway has formed the life line to the National Capital Region (NCR) by providing train services at regular frequency.

These train services not only provide sustenance to the national Capital by carrying essential commodities on their freight services but also bring the non-resident workers of the NCR into the city of Delhi to each working day and take them back home every night.

According to a report, the Northern Railway carries approximately five lakh commuters daily on the suburban network. The people from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana travel to the city of Delhi from places as far off as Meerut, Mathura, Khurja, Sonepat, Panipat and Rewari. To ease the problem of commuters, the Northern Railway is continuously upgrading its infrastructure and improving its services to meet the constant demands of the passengers.

The first Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) of the Delhi area was flagged off from the Hazrat Nizamuddin station in 1982 on Independence Day. This was following the sanctioning of a project to introduce electrified rail commuter service in the Delhi urban area in 1980. Since then, EMU services have been introduced in towns around Delhi on the radial routes to Ghaziabad and Palwal in a phased manner. By introducing these services, the Northern Railway is contributing significantly in reducing the traffic movement on the roads in and around Delhi. This decongestion of the roads is helping to reduce pollution levels in these areas.

The running of EMU trains on a particular section includes considerable appreciation of the infrastructure on the railway system. A characteristic feature of the EMU is its wider body, which increases its passenger carrying capacity. It can carry up to 3,912 passengers in peak hours. Along with this wider body, the floor level of coaches has been closely aligned with the edge of the platform. In common parlance, the EMU train is the electric local train without footboards. This makes the raising of the height of the platforms on the stations serviced by EMUs essential.

Of all the arteries feeding the NCR, the Delhi-Ambala railway line is an important line. Important industrialised townships of Sonepat and Panipat lie along this route. The Delhi-Sonepat-New Delhi service has been made available at hours convenient to the commuters. This being the first such service on this section, it will provide an alternative to commuters using other modes of transport in the early hours of the morning. While the service 1 ENS departs from New Delhi at 5.40 am and reaches Sonepat at 7 am. The return service 2 ESD leaves Sonepat at 7.25 am to reach Delhi junction at 8.30 am. En route the train halts at Subzi Mandi, Naya Azadpur, Badli, Holembi Kalan, Narela, Rathdhanna and Harsana Kalan on its way from New Delhi to Sonepat. In the return direction, additional halts have been provided at Khera Kalan and Azadpur.

The Northern Railway has appealed to the passengers and commuters to take precautions while travelling on the EMUs.

The passengers are required to entrain or detrain when the train has completely halted as the train picks up speed quickly. They are also required to board or disembark on the station platform only as the EMUs are not provided with footboards.

The EMU train service was inaugurated recently by the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, who arrived here by a special train. He was received by Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, BJP MP, Mr S. N. Roy, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, Superintendent of Police, legislators of the area and the officials of the Northern Railway. During his 18-minute stay, the Minister listened to the grievances of the commuters and assured them of taking necessary action for redressing them on priority basis.


HSIDC gets licence for overseas job placements
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 25
The Haryana State Industrial Corporation (HSIDC), a nodal agency of the state government for developing industrial and support infrastructure, has obtained the licence from the Centre for overseas placements of personnel.

A booklet containing information to this effect was released here today by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while laying the foundation stone of a Rs 18-crore Japanese Hostel-cum-Restaurant complex.

Giving details about this initiative, a spokesman of the HSIDC said that the corporation intended to provide a dependable cost-effective platform for persons aspiring for jobs abroad and at the same time provide efficient single window service to overseas employers and placement agencies. This step had been taken primarily with a view to broad-basing job opportunities for competent job-seekers, he added.

He further said that keeping in view the international market scenario, the HSIDC would mainly focus on the areas of information technology, accounts and finance, healthcare, engineering and manufacturing, teaching, human resources and sales and marketing.

According to him, the HSIDC had decided to enter this field for facilitating trained personnel in securing jobs abroad without running any risk. For the purpose of turning this vision into reality, a task force of well-trained and experienced professionals had been entrusted with the job of managing the activity, he added.

NGOs’ role hailed

Gurgaon Divisional Commissioner L. S. M. Salins said the NGOs were playing a very significant role in the uplift of the downtrodden sections of the society.

Expressing his views at a one-day camp for physically challenged and polio stricken persons, jointly organised by the Om Indu Jain Charitable Hospital and Delhi-based St Stephen’s Hospital at Dhankot village here on Tuesday, Mr Salins said that the NGOs, corporate houses and government agencies had to work together to provide better services to the most needed population.

The director of St Stephen’s Hospital, Mr Mathew Varghese, informed that more than 135 patients were examined and five were found to have been affected by polio. corrective surgical intervention of 40 patients would be performed free of cost at the Delhi hospital, he said. He further said that artificial limbs were distributed among 10 persons, callipers to 28 persons, tricycles to 21, wheelchair to one and crutches to 15 persons free of cost.

Welcoming the doctors and patients, Mr D. D. Jain, the chairman of the Om Indu Jain Charitable Trust, said that a state-of-the-art Artificial Limb Centre (ALC) was being planned at Dhankot Hospital, as a satellite centre of St Stephen’s Hospital.


FSIA to offer free services to new units
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 25
The Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA) has decided to provide free services regarding filing of income tax returns and sales tax to those new units that will come up here in the future.

According to Mr Rajiv Chawla, general secretary of the FSIA, this decision had been taken as part of the ‘business development programme’ of the association, which is celebrating its silver jubilee year of its formation. He said the association would provide free consultancy and other services, including sales tax and income tax, to the new units for at least a period of two years.

He said this step could really provide a boost to new units as the young entrepreneurs could save their energy, time and money to tackle the problems regarding completing the procedures and formalities for filing various taxes and returns. He said help would also be given in preparing balance sheets, filing challans, and scrutiny of such cases. Besides this, he said the chartered accountant of the association, Mr Sangeet Kumar Gupta, would be available to all new members for any query in this regard. He said a `vendor development programme’ would be organised by the FSIA in October.

Man commits suicide

Jhajjar: A 25-year-old man reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree outside Vazid Pur village of the district today. According to information, Sunil, resident of Vazidpur village, had been missing for the last two days. His body was found hanging from a tree in the fields of the village.

He was unmarried. The body was spotted by villagers in the morning today. He was employed to operate a water supply pump near Government College here. When residents did not get water supply, they arrived there and saw the body.

Traffic lights to be installed

Panipat: With a view to regulating the ever-increasing vehicular traffic, the district administration has decided to install traffic lights at four intersections in the city.

According to official sources, the traffic lights costing Rs 24 lakh will be installed at the Gohana Road, the Bus Stand, the Railway Road Chowk and the Barsat Road. And to regulate traffic in the night, four high mast lights would also be installed. An amount of Rs 25 lakh has also been earmarked for installing sodium lamps and tubelights on different roads. These steps would go a long way in reducing the accidents and smooth flow of the traffic, the sources hoped.

Prisoners booked

Sonepat: The police have registered a case against several prisoners, including Yogesh, Jagdeep, and Ajay, in connection with the alleged assault on two fellow prisoners resulting in injuries to the latter in the district jail here on Monday night.

According to a report, Rajesh, son of Nafe Singh, and Rajesh, son of Karan Singh, sustained injuries in the assault and they were admitted to the local civil hospital for treatment. Further investigations are still in progress.


Soda ash worth Rs 3 lakh seized
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 25
Trade tax officials at the Indirapuram check-post have seized 600 bags of soda ash, which were being illegally transported in a truck. The seized soda ash reportedly commands a price of Rs 3 lakh in the market.

The material was being transported from Gujarat and was booked for Ghaziabad.Trade tax officers at the Indirapuram check-post in the Loni area seized a truck after giving it a hot chase. When the documents of the goods being transported were demanded, many loopholes were found in them. The 600 bags of soda ash were being transported from Tata Chemicals, Meethapur, Gujarat, to a chemical agency in Dayal Market, Chandpuri, Ghaziabad in a truck bearing a Haryana registration number.

After having been caught red-handed by the tax officials, the transporter brought out another set of documents on behalf of two Sekeda village agencies. The tax officials, however, maintained the same material could not have two different sets of documents. The truck has been impounded and the bags seized by the trade tax officials.

Auto thieves held

Noida: The Sector 58 police have smashed an inter-state gang of vehicle thieves by arresting four of them and recovering five cars from them on Wednesday. SO Santhosh Kumar Yadav said a gang of auto thieves was trying to sell stolen cars in Sector 71 when a police party overpowered them after being tipped off about them.

When they were interrogated in the police station, they confessed to having stolen a large number of vehicles from Delhi, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad. Five cars, including four Maruti cars, were recovered from them, SO said.

The thieves identified themselves as Ravi, Imroz, Manoj and Uvedesh Kumar, all from Khoda Colony. The police are still looking for Suresh Kumar, who is absconding. Mr Yadav said a knife each were seized from Ravi and Imroz.


AIIMS doctor commits suicide in hostel

New Delhi
A 27-year-old junior resident in the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his hostel room. The deceased, Dr Partho Parthin Gangopaday, resident of West Bengal and an ophthalmologist, joined the RPI Centre in AIIMS on July 1. 

Police said that Dr Partho was living in a single room in the hostel. His body was discovered by his friends when a foul smell started emanating from his room. They broke open the door to find his body hanging from a ceiling fan.


Three nabbed, 14 mobikes seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25
The Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have nabbed three auto-lifters, who used to target brand new vehicles and used to sell them in Uttar Pradesh after making forged papers. With their arrest, the police also claimed to have solved more than 20 cases of vehicle theft and seized 14 stolen motorcycles and one scooter.

Acting on a secret information that some auto-lifters are active in Delhi, the Crime Branch sleuths conducted raids in Jattari and Hamidpur in Aligarh and Sanjay Colony in Okhla Phase-II and apprehended all the gang members — Ram Kishan (23), resident of Mathura, Shiv Kumar (22), resident of Aligarh, and Ram Babu (28), resident of Mathura.

The accused were specialists in making forged documents and used to show them as having been issued by Bharatpur and Aligarh transport authorities. They used to sell the stolen motorcycles in Aligarh, Khurja and Bulandshahr. During interrogation, the accused revealed that initially, they feared about police checking in the pickets, but once they were not checked, they gained confidence and became desperate in the crime.

Robber drugs rly passengers

In another case, Shabbir, resident of West Bengal, has been arrested by the Crime Branch for offering drugged eatables to passengers in railway stations and robbing them whey they become unconscious.

Acting on a complaint from Imtaz Ali alias Intaju that he was offered a ‘Frooti’ that had drugs by a person who had struck a conversation with him in Bengali in the Old Delhi railway station. The Crime Branch officials nabbed the accused, Shabbir, and recovered stolen items like purses, a suitcase containing clothes, a watch and Rs 2,900 from him. During interrogation, he revealed that he and his gang leader Juber had also drugged an Armyman at New Delhi Railway Station on September 16.

Man, wife receive burns

A man and his wife was admitted in J P N Hospital with burns after the woman set herself ablaze and the husband tried to rescue her.

The incident followed an heated argument between Anita (44), resident of Sarai Rohilla, and her husband Samaya Singh over money. In the ensuing rift, Anita poured kerosene and tried to set herself ablaze to commit suicide, the police said. While her husband tried to rescue her, he also sustained burns. Both have been admitted and are being treated.

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