Thursday, October 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


RSS chief hails Bapu, but questions his ism
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 2
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief today paid a back-handed compliment to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Speaking to about 5,000 volunteers of the RSS at a function held in Sector-12 here today, Mr K S Sudarshan said that Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest human beings that India has produced and Indians were indebted to him for his contribution to the freedom movement.

But in the same breath, he turned the Gandhian credo of non-violence on its head and pointed out that it was hardly relevant in the changed scenario, especially in view of the dangers posed by terrorism. Asking the people to be ready for a war against terrorism and anti-national forces, he said that the time had come when one should return violence with violence and slap the enemy 10 times, if he dares to slap us even once.

In an oblique reference to the US, the RSS leader said: “We should not depend on others to fight the enemy for us, but should be prepared to tackle the problem ourselves.’’

Criticising the stand of the US on the war against terrorism, Mr Sudarshan said that “India should not look towards America”, as the latter had its own interests in maintaining good relations with Pakistan.

He said that the US was more interested in setting up a permanent air and military base there, so that it could strike against  Iraq or the regime in Afghanistan, if all did not go well there.

He claimed that the US would not come to India’s aid at the cost of jeopardising its interests in Pakistan. About the situation in the neighbouring country, the RSS sarsanghchalak said: ``There were about two lakh Hindus there, but they were being treated as second grade citizens while the Muslims in India were enjoying an equal status and full autonomy.’’

Criticising the policies adopted by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on Kashmir, he said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir today was the result of the alleged wrong doings of the Nehru Government.

He claimed that Mahatama Gandhi had made two ‘mistakes’: ‘making Nehru the Prime Minister’ and supporting the ‘Khilafat movement’ in Turkey at that time.

He said that opportunistic and ‘manipulative’ type of elements had been ruling Jammu and Kashmir. As a result, the Jammu region, which had been generating 70 per cent of the state’s revenue, was getting only 30 per cent of the budget allocation.

Reacting to the ‘terrorist attack at Akshardham temple’ in Gandhinagar recently, Mr Sudarshan blamed the ISI for masterminding it. Sparing the Union government and state government in his criticism, the RSS chief cautioned the younger generation against the ‘evils of untouchability’ in society.

He asked them to give up this social evil and fight the ‘narco-terrorism’ forced by certain anti-national forces, in the Indian society. He also called for self-reliance in the oil sector and Stressed the need for adopting ‘swadeshi’ polices.

The Lok Sabha member from here, Mr Ram Chander Bainda, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, MLA from Mewta Maharajpur, Mr Chander Bhatia, MLA from NIT, Mr Deep Bhatia, Mr Dharmvir Bali, district chief of RSS and a large number of BJP and RSS activists were present on the occasion.



Students damage Mahatma’s statue 
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 2
A section of students, who opposed the setting up of a police post in Meerut college, allegedly vandalised a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the college today.

The college, which has been witnessing students’ unrest for the past few days over the proposed police post and deployment of RAF, is presently closed.

The police discovered the broken statue when the college was to hold a function on Gandhi Jayanti, said SSP Mukul Goyal. He said, “Some of the agitating students are suspected to have broken it.”

Assistant District Magistrate J P Singh said the statue was damaged after 4 am as the policemen posted at the college had found it intact till then. The college principal has lodged an FIR in this regard and investigations were on to identify the culprits.

The SSP said the city was calm and there was no tension after the incident. The principal has decided to replace the statue with a bronze one at the earliest. Meanwhile, groups of students met the district magistrate to lodge their protest against the incident.



DU teachers’ workload up per class by 5 min
Sanjog Gupta

New Delhi, October 2
The Delhi University teachers will now be required to teach 16 ½ hours per week as per the decision taken at the Academic Council meeting, which was held yesterday. But, the increase in workload will be affected through an increase in the duration of classes, which will now last 55 minutes rather than 50 minutes. Even though the teachers will continue to take 18 classes per week – in as per the existing norm – the total teaching per teacher will increase.

The immediate implication of the ratified amendment is that it prevents downsizing of teaching staff and at the same time provides an assurance to the UGC that its suggestion has been taken into consideration. The amendment will come into force after a meeting of the Executive Council. The meeting will take place after a month, which means that the duration of classes will change in December.

The final verdict on the workload issue emerged from the recommendations of the Workload Committee, which had been specifically constituted to review the workload and consider possibilities of amendment to the Ordinance XIII, which stipulates the workload of teachers at 15 hours per week. The Workload Committee had proffered two options – increasing the workload of the teachers to 16 hours or continuing with the ordinance, as it is.

The much-awaited meeting, which began at 2 p.m., ended at 1:30 a.m. today. Sanjaya Bohidar, said: “At the meeting, it was clear that there was no academic rationale behind deliberating on an increase in workload, it was purely an exercise undertaken to please the UGC.” The meeting witnessed a large number of proposals being considered and being shot down in a flurry of discussions. The majority of members agreed that a direct increase in workload – leading to a higher number of papers being taught by each teacher – would devalue teaching standards.

The final decision emerged as a middle path between the opposing stands being taken on the increase in workload. The meeting also brought to an end the month-long agitation by DUTA, which included dharnas, hunger strikes and other innovative forms of demonstrations. Mr. Bohidar, DUTA Treasurer said, “Even though we are not content with the decision, we do understand the rationale behind it and we will abide by it.”

The row over the teachers’ workload had started almost a month back and was triggered by the UGC directive, increasing the workload to 22 hours. Since then the controversy had snowballed with both sides trading allegations. The UGC had alleged that the teachers had accepted the increased workload as part of the 1998 Pay revision while DUTA had accused UGC of attempting to trespass upon the autonomous status of Delhi University. DUTA had also alleged that this was a deliberate government ploy to reduce investment in higher education and had condemned the V-C for playing partisan to the government motives.



Toddlers stressed out by parents, not school 
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
Two months before two-and-a-half-year-old Ananya was to go to a play school, her parents began a rigorous exercise to train their daughter for the gruelling ‘admission test’. Part of the training was ignoring the child if she spoke in any language other than English, making her eat her meals with a fork and a knife apart from making her cram the names of months, countries and what ever else they could force down the kid’s throat.

And Ananya’s parents are not ambitious stereotypes, they are the stuff parents are made of in the present day scenario. The almost brutal zeal to secure admission in the city’s best schools is the only reason why psychiatrists and counsellors now have patients as young as five and six. What makes it worse is that there are thousands of Ananyas in the national Capital who continue to suffer this torture every year. This despite protests from not just psychologists, but also the government.

“ Bed wetting, stuttering, restlessness and cranky behaviour are just some of the symptoms that children undergoing stress exhibit. Parents and in some cases the teachers at the play schools where these children are trained for the more rigorous admission tests later, put undue pressure on children. Ironically both the parents and the teachers deny that they are pressurising the child”, points out Kavita Sharma, a school teacher and counsellor.

Psychiatrist Dr. Samir Parikh adds, “The fact we use the word nervousness and stressed up for a child of four in itself questions this whole approach of the academic system”. He points out, “The child goes through pressure for performance, failures, disappointments, fearfulness and anxiety. Parents often complain that their child fails to speak in the interview”.

Listing the impact of this pressure, Dr. Parikh says, “Language and speech disorders are a result of this stress. Further, making a child write beyond his expected levels can cause dyslexia and in worst cases it can affect the relationship between a child and his parents”.

Academicians maintain that a child should not be put through tests. Instead, admissions should be based on criteria like distance between the residence and the school. “All schools are good, what is essential is the work that the teachers and the schools do with the children. In our school, admissions are provided on first-come, first-serve basis. And the interview is limited to an interaction with the parents”, says, Mr. S S Minhas, Principal, GHPS, Vasant Vihar.

“There are voices aplenty that a child should not be made to go through multiple entrance exams to secure a place in the so-called ‘good school’, but things are yet to change. It is basically the Government’s responsibility now to ensure that public schools are made accountable and prevented from causing anxiety to the parents as well as the children”, says Anil Kumar, confessing, “We have already begun the preparations for the battle for admission”.

Dr. Parikh adds, “One can understand parents concern about the child’s education and also understand that a school cannot take all the children. Therefore, there has to be an approach which at least changes this dangerous trend, or else the vicious circle will only worsen”. He adds: “There is a need for schools to take help of mental health professionals and adopt a scientific and sensitive approach, if we are at all serious about the future of the children”.



Spectacular land turns into spectral site
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 2
The residents and plots holders in DLF City Phase III, having roots in various parts of the country and abroad, rue the fact that they spent a fortune on accommodation which was promised to be scenic and spectacular. However, what they find is enough to make their flesh creep, literally. They find themselves in the vicinity of a cremation ground, from where funeral pyre fumes and dust particles emanate all day. They were sold dreams of a spectacular view all around, but what they find is a spectral site. Their representation to the authorities concerned in this regard has fallen on deaf ears so far. While many original plot holders have already left the place by disposing of their land, many others are in two minds. Some of them are still hoping that the funereal problem would be overcome.

The fact that the DLF City Phase III Association has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking its intervention is just small comfort to the residents. Many residents hold the DLF management responsible for their sorry plight.

They opined that the promoters did not specify in the layout plan of the area that there was a cremation ground. Rather, an open space was shown. As a result, the residents were allegedly lured into purchasing plots in the DLF City Phase III, little knowing that they were buying a pig in a poke.

Why the DLF management did not notify the prospective buyers of plots about the cremation ground? The reason is not far to seek, they allege. The entire project of launching the DLF City Phase-III would have jeopardised!

The DLF City Phase-III is surrounded by land of Nathupur village. Rather, this part of the city has been set up on the land of this village after it had been acquired by the government and sold to the DLF management.

An elderly man of the area said that there were a number of spooky stories about the plight of the plot owners. Although it could not be ascertained, there are about 50 plots lying vacant around the cremation ground. The owners, about a dozen of them NRIs, are not willing to come on account of the crematorium in the neighbourhood. A good number of the original buyers disposed of their plots to unsuspecting purchasers. A woman resident lamented that there were often smoke, stench and dust particles emanating from the lit pyres. Her house oversees the frontal view of the cremation ground.

She alleged that the unhealthy climate occasioned by the burning of bodies was in violation of her fundamental right to life. “How can my family members live a healthy life in such a damned situation?” she wondered.

She as well as her neighbours regretted that they were losing their social life as many of their friends have reservations visiting their place on account of the grisly site.

They said that their growing children had also started facing psychological problems on account of the nearby development.

Some of the residents said that one fine morning, it was noticed that a body was being burnt at the site by the villagers. This development took place long after the residents had settled in Phase III of the City. Then, it became a recurring feature.



Lady teachers shunted to remote areas
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, October 2
The primary teachers in the district are on tenterhooks as at least 294 women teachers have been transferred in mid-session. Some of the teachers have been shifted to even remote areas up to 50 km from their residence. They had stayed at one place for a long time

Male teachers were also transferred but somehow they ensured that they were shifted to nearby places. The women teachers stopped work in the schools, demanding the cancellations of their transfer orders. They gheraoed Chief Development Officer Basik Shiksha Adhikari, district panchayat president and the Commissioner Meerut Division for hours.

According to the Commissioner, Mr N S Ravi, the government conducted a survey and a physical assessment. It was found that several schools in the remote areas were without teachers or were managing with a single teacher as the teachers managed their transfers in ‘easy’ locations.

It was also found in the survey that the number of students was sharply decreasing in primary schools and up to 90 per cent of schools students belonged to the poor, SC and BC categories. Only 4 to 10 per cent of students belonged to upper caste.

The Commissioner asked the CDO and the BSA to transfer the teachers in remote areas to fill the vacancies. The BSA has warned the teachers to join by October 1 or face disciplinary action. More than 300 women teachers came out on the streets and gheraoed the CDO, the BSA and the district panchayat president. As they were not granted audience, they took out a procession to the Commissioner's office at noon.



Costly mistakes were made in Kashmir: Arjan Singh
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 2
“Agreeing to a ceasefire, plebiscite, taking the Kashmir issue to the UNO in 1948 and releasing 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war after 1971 were big mistakes made by the Indian leadership which have cost the nation dear,” said former Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh here last evening.

The Marshal was addressing a senior citizens’ forum in Jalvayu Vihar in Sector-21 after honouring Noida's elderly citizens at a simple function.

The former Air Chief said that the Indian Defence Force is extremely professional, committed and patriotic.

He said that the government needs to ensure two things: give the defence proper and latest equipment and the government should not interfere in the day to day conduct of the war once a brief has been given to the forces. Interfering midway in the operations, demoralises the soldiers.

The Defence Forces, he said, have never failed the country. After the end of the war in Kashmir in 1948, there was much emphasis on non-violence, with the result the defence was neglected. No new equipment and weapon systems were inducted in the forces. The nation had to pay a heavy price during the Chinese aggression. But the defence forces did not fail the country then also.

The Air Force Marshal made a strong plea to the government to hike the defence budget from its present level of 3.5 per cent to 7 per cent of country's GDP. No other country has as low a budget allocation for defence as India, he said.

“Country has enough money. Its economy is sound so there is no justification to starve the armed forces of the best equipment, weapon systems and facilities for the personnel who lead a very hard and lonely life,” he said.

Speaking about his initial years in the air force, he said it had taken the British Indian Government seven years to raise one air force squadron from 1930 to 1937, but with the onset of Second World War, 10 squadrons were put in operational kit in two years.

Indians had by far acquitted themselves well during the war, particularly in Arakan and Burmese campaigns.

“The Japanese were tough adversary, but the Indian Army and the Air Force had played a crucial role in the victory of the Allied Forces in these theatres. Though India lost 28,000 men and officers in the war,” Mr Arjan Singh said.

The programme was conducted by retired Vice-Admiral Inderjit Bedi. Former Naval Chief Admiral Sushil Kumar was also present on the occasion. Both of them have made Noida their home.



Cong leader angling for rebels in choppy 
INLD waters
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 2
Emboldened by the success of the Congress Party's recent rally addressed by former Chief Minister and HPCC president Bhajan Lal here, supporters of Mr Dharampal Singh Malik, a former MP and former HPCC chief, have decided to make as much inroads into the vote bank of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the district as possible. As a first step, Mr Malik has established contacts with disgruntled workers of the INLD and some other political heavyweights and assured them of a respectable position in the Congress in case they decided to desert the INLD and join his party.

According to a report, Mr Malik has also contacted prominent leaders of the area who had in the past left the party on account of the style of functioning of former HPCC president Bhupinder Singh Hooda. He hopes that all these persons will soon return to the Congress fold and declare their loyalty to Mr Bhajan Lal.

He said that some of the prominent Congress leaders had abstained from attending the party rally on September 15 at Sonepat due to some misunderstanding. The show cause notices issued to some of them by Mr Bhajan Lal for not attending the rally and violating the party discipline have made them realise their mistake.

He said that it was the need of the hour for all leaders to sink their differences and put up a united struggle against the misrule of Mr Om Prakash Chautala who has not only followed anti-people policies but had lost the confidence of the masses.

He alleged that Mr Chautala was blatantly misusing the government machinery to curb the activities of his party and also adopting unconstitutional steps to implicate the Opposition leaders in false criminal cases.

He also alleged that by illegally requisitioning the vehicles used for transporting school students for ferrying the party workers for the Jind rally resulting in the closure of the schools had caused irreparable loss to the cause of education.

Mr Malik further alleged that the character assassination campaign launched by some disgruntled party leaders against him was the result of their jealousy against his political graph going up in the party. He said that on account of his tireless efforts and cooperation by the local party workers, the party rally organised at Sonepat was a big success.

Mr Malik announced that he along with the party workers would visit all villages falling in the jurisdiction of the six assembly segments in this district to create awareness among the people that the only way to get rid of the misrule of Mr Chautala was to strengthen the hands of Mr Bhajan Lal.



Cong shy of decrying BJP’s anti-people 
policies: Vidrohi 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 2
The Haryana Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, has criticised the Congress for its failure to raise voice against the ‘anti-people’ policies of the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre and alleged that the Vajpayee Government had lost confidence of the common people in the country.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said that the minor increase in the minimum support price for various coarse grain, including bajra is a joke played on the farmers in the wake of hike in the prices of fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides as well as the cost of production of grain.

He said that most of the standing kharif crops had been ruined by drought in all the districts of the state and the farmers had suffered a huge financial loss on this account. The frequent increase in the prices of petroleum products, he said, has also hampered the running of diesel pumping sets.

Mr Vidrohi alleged that the erratic and inadequate supply of canal water and power has also stopped the working of the tubewells and the farmers were facing hardships to get water from the tubewells for irrigation.

He blamed Mr Chautala for not exerting pressure on the NDA Government to raise the MSP for the grain and it has proved that Mr Chautala was not serious about the interests of the farmers.

He said that soon the sowings of the rabi crops would begin and the negative attitude of the government would discourage the farmers to take recourse to other cash crops.

Expressing concern over the regular infighting among the Congress leaders in Haryana, he appealed to all the opposition party leaders to fight against anti-farmer policies of the Chautala Government.



Ahirwal women flocking to HVP

Rewari, October 2
Thanks to the anti-incumbency factor against the Mr Om Prakash Chautala-led INLD government and the increasing factionalism in the state unit of the Congress, people of Ahirwal are now flocking to the Bansi Lal-led Haryana Vikas Party (HVP). Another aspect of this phenomenon is that now women too seem to be vying with men to swell the HVP ranks in Ahirwal.

Under the newly launched rejuvenation campaign of the women's wing of the party, scores of women activists of the Rewari region joined the HVP at a workers’ meeting here on Tuesday. They included Kamlesh Devi, Chander Kanta, Lagga Devi, Savitri Devi, Rajbala, Maya Devi, Santosh Devi, Shobha Sharma, Yashoda Devi, Kaushalya Devi, Veer Mati, Bhateri Devi, Kamla Devi and Murti Devi.

Mrs Mithlesh Chaturvedi, a senior leader of the women's wing of the party, is playing a pivotal role in the above campaign. A number of men activists also joined the party on this occasion. OC



Eco campaign to make Neeti Bagh a model colony
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, October 2
The ‘Eco-Care Campaign’ began in Neeti Bagh last week with the purpose of making it a “model Colony of Delhi”. The local Residents Welfare Association, in cooperation with the NCT Bhagidari cell and the Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Delhi, initiated the programme. Apart from the residents, the Bar Association, the DDA, the MCD Horticulture programme, NGOs, schools, colleges, eco clubs and NCC have been involved in the campaign.

Mr Deep Chand Bandhu, Minister Environment, Forest and Wildlife, was the chief guest at the inaugural function. The programme started with a 'shram daan' by students of Gargi College and students of Waulden School, Father Agnel's School, MCD primary schools and members of the NCC. More than 200 volunteers extended their helping hand to the campaign.

As part of the campaign, a trench of 12-ft long and 3-ft wide was dug for vermi-composting. The enthusiasm of school kids was really commendable. The programme included activities like cleaning the premises, tree plantation, garbage management through vermi-composting, anti-plastic bag campaign etc.

Mr K. M. K. Nair, secretary of the Neeti Bagh Welfare Association, said, "We had been approaching the environment and forest department of the Delhi Government, to solve various difficulties being faced by us. The department finally accepted our request. This will be the first colony where such activities are undertaken and being declared a model colony. We are grateful to the Bar Association for extending its help and doing so much for us."

An official at the Chief Minister’s office said, “We have been planning it for the whole Delhi. The main thrust is to involve local citizens, authorities and other associations. It's a year-long programme. We have started from Neeti Bagh as the Residents Welfare Association there works actively and pestered us to start the campaign. The campaign includes action against plastic bags, popularising solid waste management, vermi-composting and conducting general awareness camps. The main purpose is to include local citizens to come forward and clean their neighbourhood, instead of sitting ideally and criticising the authorities. Also, we have involved eco clubs and NGOs. Previously, we had been emphasising only on rainwater harvesting.”

Big blue banners are all around these days. The colony is flooded with people involved in working, cleaning, planting and managing things. The NCC students in the uniforms, school students and young girls lifted the spirit of everyone. The doctors from Apollo for health-related activities and awareness programmes gave an added dimension to the campaign.

Dr B. C. Sabata, Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Environment, said, “We have 12,590 schools and colleges where there are eco clubs. The RWA of this colony is really active and this is why we have been able to plan out all these things. We were running such campaigns in schools and colleges but they were a bit difficult in residential areas. We have got the whole-hearted support of the residents as well as government so we will definitely extend it to other colonies. We are just waiting for the impact and response of the people. Our main motto remains the same -- outreaching every place and citizens but together.”

Plenty of saplings were planted as part of the plantation drive. Trees like neem are known to generate oxygen worth Rs 8.8 lakh, control air pollution worth Rs 10.5 lakh, recycle fertility and stem soil erosion worth Rs 8.4 lakh, provide flowers, perfumes and medicines worth Rs 4.3 lakh. Every time we cut a tree, we lose something worth. 



Delhi Govt to set up 12 farm markets
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
The Government of NCT of Delhi will set up 12 agricultural markets for farmers and issue identity cards to them for selling agricultural produce in these markets.

Development Minister Haroon Yusuf today informed mediapersons of those decisions after inaugurating a sapling plantation programme in Bapraula village in West Delhi.

The programme was organised by the Department of Development. As many as 20,000 saplings were planted by villagers and officials of the Department of Development at the Government of NCT of Delhi-run Farm Centre in the village.

The minister said the process of acquisition of land had been initiated for the purpose of setting up the 12 agricultural markets. These markets, he said, would be free from any market fee and there would be no role for commission agents as well as other market functionaries.

“Platforms,” Mr Yusuf said, “will be constructed in these markets and farmers will be allowed on the first-come-first-serve basis to sell their agricultural produce on these platforms.”

The aim of setting up the markets, the minister was to elaborate, was to provide direct marketing facilities to farmers of the NCT of Delhi and neighbouring states. “By introducing the new marketing system, farmers will get the opportunity to sell their produce to retailers and consumers directly,” he said.

The minister hoped the adoption of such a marketing practice would allow farmers four to five times more returns on the sale of produce. He said these would not only be an ideal and convenient market place for vegetables and fruit growers but would also receive a warm response from Delhiites.

On the occasion, the minister urged the farmers to practise floriculture also, instead of the traditional patterns of crops like wheat and paddy as cash crops were more profitable in comparison to the traditional crops. Farmers, he added, should adopt modern marketing techniques to respond to the challenges in agricultural marketing in the wake of the World Trade Organisation regime.



Farmers told not to pay dues
Our Correspondent

Panipat, October 2
Veteran Shetkari Sangathan Kisan leader Sharad Joshi today called upon the farmers not to pay any kind of government dues, including loans, electricity bills and property tax as the central and state governments had been exploiting the farming community for the last 50 years.

Addressing a largely attended kisan rally here, Mr Joshi explained that as the chairman of the task force on agriculture constituted by the government, he had pointed out that more than Rs 3 lakh crore had been looted by the government from the farmers in one way or the other during the past three years.

"That is why there is nothing wrong on the part of the farmers in not paying the government dues, which are estimated at around Rs 21,000 crore,” he said, adding that the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Agriculture Marketing Board and the Essential Commodities Act were the main enemies of the farmers in this country.

He asked the farmers to bring down wheat and paddy sowing by 50 per cent this year and should switch over to cultivation of oilseeds and pulses. "If you could do this during this year, it will be your government next year. Otherwise, the farmers will be forced to commit suicide," he said.

Mr Joshi criticised the government for not announcing the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy before the sowing season and in this way Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh had violated the government rules. He termed them as “extremists’ for violating the rules and regulations.

Among others who addressed the rally included chairman of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (KCC) Bhupender Singh Mann, Haryana BKU president Hari Singh Khokhar, Uttar Pradesh BKU president Harpal Singh, Maharashtra Shetkari Sangathan president Laxman Badale and former convenor of KCC Prem Singh Dahiya.

Elaborate police arrangements were made by the authorities to maintain law and order situation in case the G T Road was blocked by the farmers. The police force heaved a sigh of relief when Mr Joshi announced the cancellation of G T Road blockade programme.



Lecture focuses on ‘ahimsic’ farming 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
To commemorate the birth anniversary of Gandhiji, a leading environmental NGO, Navdanya, today organised the third Albert Howard Memorial Lecture that focused on the ‘ahimsic’ agriculture in the memory of Sir Albert Howard, who learnt organic agriculture from Indian peasants and spread it worldwide.

The lecture was attended by Masanobu Fukuoka, an agriculture visionary of Japan and a renowned apostle of natural farming who was also the main speaker at the lecture. For more than 60 years, Fukuoka has been sowing the seeds of natural farming all over the world, with his unique criticism of unethical, non-sustainable and violent contemporary civilization. He believes that human agriculture has been killing all living things on this earth.

He said, “Let us return to a nature ruled over by God and let us halt science’s wild rampage. We must hurry to establish a human charter for the 21st century and stop the desertification of the earth.”

The meeting was chaired by the Environment Minister of Ethiopia and the leader of African nations in UN negotiations, Dr Tewolde Egziaber. He said, “Bio-farming is no longer a luxury for us. It is our only remaining hope.” 



Online prosecution of traffic offenders in Noida
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 2
The Noida traffic police have started a drive on `online prosecution' of traffic offenders from today. All that the traffic cops will need to do now is to note down the registration number of the offending vehicle and feed it to the computer. The computerised challan will be sent to the owner/driver of the vehicle at his address and the offender will have to pay the fine. Those who contest the challans will have to approach the court for a decision, the SSP, Mr Rajiv Kishen, said here today.

The ACP of Delhi Traffic Police, Mr G. S. Awana, who had developed the database and implemented the system in Delhi, has helped the Noida police develop the system. Apart from Noida vehicles, the details of all Delhi vehicles will also be fed in the system. In due course, the database will be enlarged to include details about the vehicles from neighbouring states like Haryana.

The SSP said he was sure that the introduction of the ‘online prosecution' would considerably bring down the number of traffic offenders. To begin with, only those jumping the traffic lights would be booked, but later other offences like over-speeding, overloading, honking etc would also be included in the online prosecution system, Mr Rajiv Kishen said. The SSP today showed the details about the first offender of the day on the computer screen.



Sheila, MLAs pay homage to Mahatma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today joined others in paying tributes to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on the occasion of his 133rd birth anniversary.

At the function organised by the Delhi Legislative Assembly in the Old Secretariat, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Deputy Speaker Kiran Chaudhary led Delhiites in paying homage to the Mahatma and floral tributes at his Dandi March statue erected on the premises. Bapu’s songs were recited on the occasion by vocalists of Gandharv Mahavidyalaya.

Industries Minister Deep Chand Bandhu, Health Minister A. K. Walia, Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi, former minister Narendra Nath, legislators Malaram Gangwal, Amrish Gautam, Darshana Ram Kumar and freedom fighters and members of the bureaucracy led by Chief Secretary Shailja Chandra also paid tributes.

Members of Parliament from Delhi and union ministers Sahib Singh Verma and Vijay Goel and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also offered floral tributes to the Mahatma at Raj Ghat.

Award for CSIR chief: The Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr R. A. Mashelkar, has been conferred the Sir Bharatratna Visvesaryya Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of science and technology. The award, comprising a citation, a memento and cash prize of Rs 25,000, was presented to him at a function organised in Kolhapur.

SBI customer meet: The State Bank of India, Delhi zone office, today organised a customer meet for its customers of South Delhi branches at Balwant Ray Mehta, Vidya Bhawan, Greater Kailash-II.

About 300 customers attended the meet. The meet was headed by the Chief General Manager (Delhi Circle) of the bank, Mr R. K. Thapliyal, and was chaired by AIR Commodore Ujjagar Singh, a press release said.



Gandhi Jayanti Mela: Mayor distributes prizes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
Mayor Jaishree Panwar today distributed prizes to the outstanding stalls on the concluding day of the Gandhi Jayanti Mela, organised by the MCD opposite the Red Fort grounds. The prizes were received by Education, Community Services and Sanitation, all MCD departments; the Delhi Jal Board, Directorate of Prohibition and Directorate of Information and Publicity, Delhi Government departments. NGOs Gandhi Sahitya Kendra, Street Children, Sewa Bharti, Akhand Charkha Yajna and Gandhi Hindustani also received prizes, a press release said.

The Mayor also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi by garlanding his statue installed at historic Azad Park opposite Town Hall in Chandni Chowk, the release said. 



Rescue, relief training for youth from Oct 7
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 2
The authorities plan to provide a special “rescue and relief” operation training to about 400 youths of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendragarh districts from October 7 to 9 at the sports complex here. The programme has been prepared on the directions of the Commissioner, Gurgaon division, and will be inaugurated by the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Faridabad.

According to local officials, training would be given to the volunteers of the Nehru Yuva Kendras. While 25 volunteers from each district will be given all-round training, the rest of them would get `specialised' training.

Over 100 volunteers of this district would be trained in rescue and relief work, while the volunteers from Gurgaon will get training in work related to five incidents. Similarly, the selected youths from Rewari and Mahendragarh would be trained for maintaining security and safety of the affected area and providing first aid to the victims of any disaster or tragedy.



One hurt in group clash at Vyapar Kendra
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, October 2
The shop owners at Vyapar Kendra and the residents of Palam Vihar are terrified following the shoot-out incident between two groups at Vyapar Kendra on Tuesday.

According to eyewitnesses, about 15 rounds were fired. One person, Pradeep Kumar was seriously injured in the shoot-out.

More than 200 persons of two contractors clashed at Vyapar Kendra in the presence of Vinod Kumar Seghal, the president, Projects, Ansal Properties and Industries Ltd.

Ansal Properties and Industries Ltd officials told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the Ansal had given a contract to

M/s Shiv Shanker Securities owned by Uddal Singh Yadav for scavenging two different colonies, Palam Vihar and Sushant Lok, developed by the company.

Around 20 days ago, the company hired some persons of other contractor, acquaintance of Rohast and Jitender to clean Vyapar Kendra in Palam Vihar.

Both the contractors impressed upon Vinod Kumar Seghal that they should be given the contractor to clean Palam Vihar. Having heard both the contractors, Mr Seghal announced that the contract with Mr Yadav would continue.

Following the decision, the group led by Rohast went ballistic and clashed with Mr Yadav's group.

The police alleged that they had come well prepared to intimidate the staff of Uddal Singh as well as of the Ansal. They fired many rounds in the air to terrorise them and the shopkeepers of Vyapar Kendra. They also used bamboo to hit the rival group.

After the clash, they ran away, leaving their parked vehicles in the market. The police have compounded a couple of vehicles, owned by the persons who had come with Rotash and Jitender.



Degree certificate racket unearthed, three held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
With the arrest of three persons, the South-West district police today claimed to have unearthed a racket in forging degree certificates and mark sheets of various schools, universities and colleges, DTC passes and driving licences.

The accused, Anil Kumar Kaushik of Shahdara, Som Bir of Bhajanpura and Satbir Singh of Meerut, were arrested on the information that some persons were involved in the selling of fake degree certificates. The police sent a decoy customer for getting a forged class 10 certificate and struck a deal for Rs 2,000 with Anil Kumar Kaushik. The accused agreed to deliver the said certificate in Gopi Nath Bazar on September 30 and was nabbed by a team when he delivered the certificates.

The police have recovered a forged mark sheet and a certificate of class 10 of UP Board of High School and Intermediate Education from his possession. During interrogation, the accused revealed that he used to sell forged documents to students who were looking for jobs in private factories and security services. Besides, people whose marriages were to be fixed also were customers of Anil. He also disclosed that he had sold more than 300 certificates and the printed blank documents were provided by Sanjay, a resident of Meerut.

Robbers nabbed: In another case, the South district police arrested two persons, who used to steal accessories of cars, including music systems and batteries, in the district. The police have claimed to have solved more than eight cases with their arrest.

The accused, Ashok, resident of Mahipalpur, and his associate Shyambir were nabbed while they were on their way to a scrap dealer to sell some stolen items. During interrogation, they revealed that they had committed thefts with the help of their associates -- Deepak and Alam. The accused also revealed that they used to store the stolen items in a room in the jungle near the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Bus robbers: The New Delhi district police today claimed to have apprehended four persons from the Super Bazar bus stand while they were planning to commit a robbery in a bus in the Connaught Place area. One country-made weapon with two live cartridges and a spring-actuated knife were recovered from their possession.

Based on the information that some robbers would assemble in the Super Bazar bus stand to commit a robbery in a bus, a special team arrived there and nabbed the accused -- Hari Singh (24), Rakesh Kumar Choudhary (24), both residents of Bihar, Ravi Thakur (21), and Jagjeet Singh (25), all residents of Vikas Puri. 

Murders brother for house: A man killed his younger brother with an iron rod over the division of a house in Kachora village in Dadri. According to the police, Braham Singh's younger son Sarjit came home along with his brother-in-law and started cleaning his portion of the house. Soon, his elder brother came and demanded that they should divide the house. A quarrel ensued between the two brothers. The elder brother then hit Sarjit with an iron rod on his head. Villagers tried to rush Sarjit to the hospital, but he was already dead.

Braham Singh has filed a report about his younger son's murder, naming his elder son, his wife, grandson and granddaughter for the crime. The four have fled the village.

Kills teacher, commits suicide:
A youth shot himself after killing a woman at Highway Dhani, a tourist spot, here today. The deceased have been identified as Rajesh Badhwar, a resident of Vijay Nagar, and Ms Anu Dalal of Adarsh Nagar localities here. According to information, Ms Anu was a part-time lecturer at the local Jat College and used to run a coaching institute near D park and Rajesh was a student at the institute. Rajesh reportedly opened fire on his teacher and then shot himself. The cause of the crime is yet to be ascertained.


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