Thursday, October 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Fire mishap turns out to be cold-blooded murder
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 9
What appeared to be an accidental fire that charred to death six members of a family in Jani Kalan village under the Jani police station in the wee hours on Tuesday has turned out to be a case of arson. The initial reports, which had suggested that the victims were making crackers when the incident occurred, have been scotched. Even the local SHO’s report, which says that the fire started following a gas cylinder leak, has been refuted.

The latest reports suggest that the local cops had bungled in their preliminary investigation; in fact, the SHO of the station has been suspended. The suspended SHO, Inderpal Singh, had indicated that the fire was caused by a leak from a mini LPG cylinder, but the actual condition of the house and the evidence collected tell a different story.

In fact, the Chief Fire Officer, after visiting the site, had said that the LPG cylinder was intact. DIG Gurdershan Singh’s statement that all the victims were possibly drugged before being charred to death has only added to the mystery.

In the incident, Vipin Kumar Jindal, his wife Sunita, daughter Pooja (13), sons Amit (19) and Sumit (7) and niece Pinkie were charred to death. Vipin had been running a general store from his house. He was trading in animals. Incidentally, there had been several attempts to loot the house in the last five years and the family had been living in terror. They used to double lock the doors.

On the fateful night, Vipin’s neighbours came out hearing the cries for help and saw flames leaping from the house. They then broke open the doors to enter the house. Four members of the family had already perished on their cots by then. Vipin and his son were engulfed in flames. Villagers then rushed the duo to the district government hospital with the help of the police. However, they died at around 4 am on Tuesday as they had sustained 90 per cent burns. However, Vipin had managed to tell the police that when he woke up, four of his family members had already perished. They tried their best but could not save themselves from the fire.

The SHO of the Jani police station had said that prima facie the fire broke out due to the leak, which was ignited by sparks from a kerosene lantern. But investigations by the Chief Fire Officer and senior police officers revealed that there was no sign of any struggle in the house. The four bodies were found lying in the cots and the backs had not been burnt.

A cloth doused in kerosene and a ‘mashal’ (torch) were found on the first floor verandah of the house, raising doubts that this could be a case of arson. Some inflammable materials were also found.

Anguished villagers blocked the Meerut-Sonepat road today, demanding arrest of the culprits. Some of them also allegedly manhandled the police. Realising the gravity of the situation, several senior officials, including the Commissioner, District Magistrate, DIG, SSP and SP Rural, visited the village and assured the bereaved family that the culprits would be arrested soon.

Villagers and relatives suspect a larger conspiracy behind the cold-blooded murder; the brutality of the act can be gauged from the fact that four innocent children were also killed. New SHO S. K. S. Pratap told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the case would be solved soon.



Illegal settlers: Cops scratch at the surface
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 9
The functioning of the local police has come under a cloud again over the illegal stay and employment of Bangladeshis in factories here. The partisan attitude of the police in not booking the owners of the factory from where 21 illegal immigrants were arrested on October 7 has given another dent to their image.

On October 7 the CID tipped the city police that a large number of illegal Bangladeshis immigrants had been working in Radha Spinning Mills, a factory owned by an influential export house, Sheena Export. Acting reluctantly, the city police arrested 21 illegal foreigners. Even as the central and state intelligence agencies sent reports to their headquarters, keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter, the city police dilly-dallied on registering a case against them and the factory owners Allegedly under pressure from the powerful factory promoters and without bothering about the security risks that the presence of illegal immigrants could pose, the police treated the matter lightly. They took the immigrants to the district courts yesterday but no "legal advice" was produced. Instead, using special powers vested by Section 41 (1) of the CrPC, the police proposed that they be allowed to go after furnishing of personal bonds.

However, better sense prevailed and the seriousness of the matter finally dawned on the police. Today, the immigrants were produced before the CJM, Mr A. K. Jain, who sent them to jail till October 23. It may be mentioned that under the Foreigners Act, 1946, a person staying illegally could be sentenced to imprisonment up to six months.

Scores of illegal Bangladeshis have been working here right under the nose of the district administration and police. The authorities cared two hoots for Foreigners Act. Recruiting Bangladeshis has its own advantage. Driven by poverty but experts in operating the handloom machines, the Bangladeshis demand lower wages than their Indian counterparts.

With the arrest of illegal immigrants, scores of Bangladeshis went missing and did not report for work on Tuesday and today. In fact, panic seemed to grip the affluent industrial community after the arrest. Since the contractors supplied labour, the former hardly had any idea about the nationality of the immigrants.



Teachers can play key role in mental health of kids
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, October 9
Mental health experts claim that children constitute nearly 40 per cent of the total population. Of these, at least 10 to 12 per cent, who fall in the under-18 category, suffer from abnormalities in behaviour and development.

The experts are now focussing on disabilities like dyslexia, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder and cerebral palsy in school children and have taken on the task of instructing teachers to help them recognise the signs of such disorders.

A group of teachers from various schools was today apprised of the disorders, their symptoms and the steps that should be taken to help the afflicted children. These teachers were trained at a bridge course in child development conducted by VIMHANS, an institute of mental health and neuro sciences.

Experts spoke about the role of teachers in the changing classroom scenario, common central nervous system disorders in children, motor and sensory dysfunction and specific learning disability.

“We wanted to educate the teachers and sensitise them about their role in dealing with children afflicted with disorders”, said Dr. Kiran Aggarwal, Pediatrician and Hon. Secretary IAP group on Child abuse, neglect and child labour.

Dr. Aggarwal added, “Though no national level studies have been carried out, a study conducted by the department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, estimates that six per cent of the school going children have learning disorders while another such study conducted in Kerala puts the number at 10 per cent”.

The focus was also on stressing the need for integrating these affected children into the mainstream. “Sometimes schools refuse to cater to children, once they find out that a child has learning disabilities. We are trying to tell them that such children need not be segregated from the others. They cannot be sent to schools for physically and mentally challenged as learning disability is curable”, pointed out, Clinical Psychologist, Ms. Divya Prasad.

The experts also point out the increasing incidence of aggression in children. “There is an emerging population of small children who are temperamentally aggressive”, says Dr. Nagpal of VIMHANS.

Dr. Samir Parikh attributes aggression to various factors. Among them he lists “observational learning” as a cause.

“When a child sees violence from an early age, there is desensitisation and a child, then, takes to violence without remorse. Friends who like harassing juniors, parents who are aggressive all contribute to removing inhibition to violence and crime”.

A teacher’s role in helping curb this particular disorder is highlighted. Experts point out that teachers should arrange for an evaluation of the child.

Under the guidance of a trained clinical psychologist, the focus should be on helping the child learn how to control anger, express his frustration in an appropriate way and own responsibility for his actions.



College molestations: Students get restive
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, October 9
Students of Government College for Women here are on a warpath in protest against the “laxity” on the part of college authorities in taking action against two employees of the college who allegedly molested two students in separate incidents recently.

The student leaders have called upon all the students to gather at the college ground at 10 am on Thursday to chalk out a stir strategy. After the re-opening of the college on Tuesday, a notice was pasted on the premises today urging the students to fight against the “degraded step” taken by two employees and the “casual” attitude adopted by the authorities in this regard.

It is learnt, some girl students today met the officiating principal and asked about the action the college administration was contemplating against the duo. The principal reportedly said that any action could be taken only after a direction by the higher authorities. This did not satisfy the students and they resolved to formulate the strategy for agitation.

A lecturer of Fine Arts and a lab attendant of the Psychology Department of the college were charged with molesting two students during the college hours. The affected students had reported the matter to the then principal, Ms Saroj Hooda.

When the matter came out in the open, a letter signed by 68 teachers was sent to the Commissioner, Higher Education, seeking immediate and strict action against the 'offenders'. The college teachers had described it as a shameful incident and said it not only tarnished the image of this premier institution but also generated a sense of insecurity among the students and their parents.

After talking to a cross-section of teachers and students, it came to light that these two 'erring' employees had been behaving indecently with the students for the last several years. However, the matter was always hushed up for want of written complaints by the affected students.



When office hours depend on rly time-table
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, October 9
A large number of Haryana government employees, including some heads of departments, claim the city compensatory allowance (CCA) as well as the house rent allowance (HRA) despite the fact that they daily commute from the neighbouring areas of Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Karnal, Ganaur and Panipat.

According to a report, the state government's instructions to the HoDs not to leave headquarters without prior permission are being flouted with impunity.

The time of arrival and departure of such officials in their respective offices is determined by the railway time table. Trains invariably run late and, predictably, the officers reach their offices two to three hours behind schedule. Some of the employees, of course, never turn up for duty.

Take for instance two officers of the Food and Supplies Department – one commutes from Karnal and the other from Delhi or Gurgaon. Likewise, at least a dozen employees in the irrigation department commute from Delhi and beyond. Many SDOs of one department and their subordinates commute daily and often the offices are deserted. In absence of any checks, the number of their tribe is increasing by the day.

The state government's instruction to the HoDs to conduct periodic checks in the offices has also not been followed. Some employees are believed to be moonlighting and running proxy businesses in the names of their sons and relatives. They are often out during duty hours. These include an Executive Engineer in the irrigation department, who is posted in this district.

The cardinal rule that gazetted officers should not be appointed in their home district seems to have no takers. Many officers who belong to Sonepat have bagged coveted posts in the district.

When such extraneous factors come into play, appointments and transfers lose their meaning. Such officers are unable to function in a clean and impartial manner.

The problem is aggravated by frequent holidays and the five-days week norm in government offices. Many employees leave their offices early on Friday and report late on Monday, on the plea that have to attend to field duty. Thus, for all intents and purposes, they are working only three days in a week.

With the HoDs having no qualms about playing truant, the subordinate staff too have no compunction in following suit. Efficiency and punctuality become hapless victims of this truancy. The general refrain is that either the officer is unwell or that he is coming late. Most patwaris and other officials of the Revenue Department are not accessible to the farmers who have to visit them for various tasks.

The seniors voice their helplessness in being able to check the menace. Result: Most government offices resemble street-corner kiosks where everyone is chatting. The few exceptions to the rule are the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and that of the Superintendent of Police. But whenever the SP is in his camp office, the visitors are told that "Sahab is out and it is not known when he will return".



Update industrial policy, at last
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
After a gap of nearly two decades, the Delhi Government proposes to come out with a new industrial policy, which would not only provide an impetus to industrial growth in the region but also help remove impediments.

Mr Arun Mathur, Secretary and Commissioner of Industries, while addressing a conference organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, disclosed that the new industrial policy would be out this calendar year. ``After a long gap of nearly 20 years you all can expect an update industrial policy very soon, the draft of which is ready. This draft has been prepared after extensive study by governmental departments and after incorporating suggestions from industrial bodies like FIEO, CII and Assocham.’’ he said.

The Delhi Industries and Labour Minister, Mr Deep Chand Bandhu, informed the conference that the government would take all necessary steps to boost the exports from Delhi.

``I assure you that you will get a single window system and we will soon take up this issue in our ministerial meeting,'' Mr Bandhu said, in response to FIEO's demand that exporters should be able to redress their grievances through one nodal officer.

The state government would also consider the demand of exporters that a grievances cell be constituted, with representatives from the government and the industry. ''I feel that these demands of FIEO are genuine and would not only lead to better co-ordination but also help streamline the entire process, making it more transparent and growth-oriented,'' he said.

Mr Mathur said many of the clauses and procedures and requirements, as laid down in the industrial policy formulated in 1982, had become outdated and thus needed to be weeded out.

One of the FIEO recommendation is that the local sales tax on raw materials used in production of goods meant for export should be removed as it was making the Indian goods uncompetitive.

''The Central Government exempts such purchases from Central sales taxes. But I regret that the Delhi government extracts local sales tax on these very purchases, thereby adding to the cost of the end product that is exported and making it uncompetitive,'' FIEO Chairman (Northern Region) Subhash Mittal said. Also, the problems in the administering of pollution control regulations should be addressed.

''There appears to be a lack of co-ordination between the state-level pollution control board, which grants a 'no-objection certificate' to industrial units, and the Department of Industry,'' the chamber points out. The relocation of industries, in order to cap pollution, had led to disruption of supplies to export oriented units.

The FIEO also demanded that the movement of cargo should not be ''unnecessarily hampered'' by the Delhi Traffic Police in the name of various security-related and other checks.



Yamuna stretch most threatened ecosystem
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The Wazirabad-Okhla stretch of the Yamuna is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world and is adversely affecting the water quality of Delhi, according to a World Bank-funded study.

The 25-km stretch comprises flood plains, seasonal pools and marshy areas.

The wetlands provide immense benefits to Delhiites in the form of recharge and supply of fresh water for domestic and agricultural purposes, low input sustainable agriculture, nutrient retention, sediment trapping and habitat for rich flora and fauna.

However, this wetland stretch has been continuously confronted by encroachments and conversion of land for industrial, commercial and residential purposes. It has been a dumping ground for the city's garbage and discharge of huge amount of sewer water, including dangerous chemicals, everyday.

The study -- Valuation of ecological functions and benefits: A case study of wetland ecosystem along the Yamuna river corridor of Delhi Region -- is a World Bank-aided project, sponsored by the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research.

The quality of water recharged in the Yamuna wetland, the study found, was very good, thus eminently qualifying for protection and conservation, considering that Delhi is a water scarce region.

The wetland, in its present form, subsidises the community, which enjoys the benefit of low input and low cost cultivation.

The study recommended its preservation for helping the poor farmers, fishermen and the local people earning their livelihood from vegetation and livestock in the wetland areas.

Setting up of new sewage treatment plants, administrative and regulatory measures to stop further encroachment and conservation of existing wetlands and its bio-diversity are the other measures suggested by the researchers.



Govt coaxes agencies on rainwater harvesting
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
In spite of modifying the building bye-laws to make rainwater harvesting mandatory in all buildings and group housing societies being constructed over a plot area of more than 500 square metres, there seems to be no takers for the Government of NCT of Delhi’s ambitious plans of conserving water.

The Department of Irrigation and Flood Control has accordingly directed all civic agencies – the Department of Public Works (PWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) – to “provide” rainwater harvesting structures in all government buildings like schools, hospitals, offices, residential quarters and parks.

Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) are also being roped in a big way. “A number of group housing societies in Vasant Kunj and other colonies in south Delhi have voluntarily installed water harvesting structures to promote rainwater harvesting,” Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Haroon Yusuf told mediapersons today.

To arrest the declining levels of groundwater, the Government of NCT of Delhi had initiated certain measures for rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge of groundwater like storing rainwater, constructing check dams and development of ponds, Mr Yusuf said.

The depletion of groundwater because of sprawling urbanisation is alarming. The level of groundwater has fallen by 30 metres in South district, eight to 20 metres in South-West district and two to six metres in Alipur and Kanjhawala Blocks in North and North-West districts respectively.

Mr Yusuf attributed the drop in the level of groundwater to indiscriminate extraction. “In order to make good the deficit, private agencies extract groundwater that is used for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes,” he told reporters. (The demand for water, excluding irrigation, is 800 million gallons per day. In contrast, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies 650 mgd.)



CM’s claims on drought ‘bluff & bluster’
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 9
The Haryana unit of the Janata Dal (U) has alleged that the Chautala government has been issuing misleading statements on the issue of drought and measures taken to tackle the problem.

In a statement, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, party president, claimed that while the Chief Minister had announced stalling the recovery of loans in the drought-hit areas, he said the cooperative banks on other hand had been recovering the dues in a usual manner and even the bank branches had been circulated directions that they should recover the loans on time. There had been no mention of the waiver announced by the state government.

Describing the recent statement of the Chief Minister that power bills of farmers hit by the drought would also be waived as ‘bluff and bluster’, he said the Haryana Government had just been fooling the farmers by giving false assurances and issuing misleading statements. Alleging that the CM had been changing his statements daily on the drought issue, he said the authorities had even failed to present the true picture, let aside giving compensation to the affected people.

According to the JD(U) leader, the results of the special girdwari ordered by the state government in August this year and the stand taken by it had been conflicting. He said it appeared the state government was interested only in downplaying the problem.



BJP-Cong bouts: No end in sight
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The political drama being played out by the BJP and the Congress does not appear to be drawing to a close just yet.

If Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana has insisted on the NCT of Delhi becoming a State, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) is adamant on the withdrawal of the circulars issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Joining issue with Mr Khurana, DPCC President Subhash Chopra on Wednesday told mediapersons the BJP’s reluctance to withdraw those twin circulars had exposed that party’s doublespeak on the issue of granting of statehood for the Government of NCT of Delhi.

“They want the NCT of Delhi to become a State … to accord more powers to the Council of Ministers. Still they issue certain circulars that erode the autonomy of the Council of Ministers,” Mr Chopra told mediapersons, referring to the BJP’s speaking on vital issues with a forked tongue.

“What was the need to issue such circulars if the intention was not to trespass on the authority of the Council of Ministers ? The Centre has violated all canons of democratic norms by not heeding the resolution passed by the Delhi Legislative Assembly,” he said.

“If,” Mr Chopra added, “those circulars are not withdrawn forthwith we will launch an agitation in the NCT of Delhi.” He also alleged the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre was not only troubling the Congress party in the NCT of Delhi but also in Chhattisgarh and Punjab where it is in power.



Jat Mahasabha hails CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The spokesman of the All India Jat Mahasabha, Mr Tara Chand Mor, today congratulated Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prof P. K. Dhummal for his decision to grant job reservations to the Jats of Himachal Pradesh before the onset of Devali.

Speaking to the mediapersons, Mr Mor criticised Haryana Chief Minister O. P. Chautala over his continued procrastination on the issue of granting job reservations to the Jats of Haryana. Mr Mor asked Chautala to wake up to the just demands of the Jats of the state. It may be recalled that Chautala had made all claims of extending the benefits of job reservation to Jats as soon as it would be granted to this community in Rajasthan.

However, Haryana Chief Minister has till now done nothing on this regard, though job reservation has already been extended to Jats in Delhi and Rajasthan in August 1999. Mr Mor further said that the Haryana Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti had sent a memorandum to Chautala in this regard on November 4, 1999, and made several subsequent appeals.



MCD ‘kindness’ may backfire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
In its report for privatisation of toll tax, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has allowed contractors use of the vacant land of the corporation earmarked for plazas which could harm the interests of the corporation in the future.

The report was tabled today for discussion before the all-powerful Standing Committee of the corporation. The report was prepared by Professor and Head of the Department of Transport Planning, School of Planing and Architecture.

The toll tax is being privatised to increase revenue of the corporation. At present, the MCD is earning Rs 57 crore in a month from toll tax collection. This revenue can be increased up to Rs 100 crore if the toll tax is privatised. The report also mentioned that there are 42 points in the Capital where toll tax is collected from commercial vehicles. Besides, 26 more toll tax barriers are to be created in the near future.

The report mentions plazas instead of barriers, which is technically wrong, pointed out opposition member Vijender Kumar Gupta in the Standing Committee.

While discussing the report Vijender Kumar Gupta pointed out the word plaza will be misused by the contractors as this word is used for commercial sites and in future shopping complexes will be constructed by the contractors of toll tax. Instead of plaza the word barrier should be used in the report.

The toll tax collection will be increased up to Rs 1000 crore after giving contracts to private contractors but it was not mentioned how it will be increased.

The corporation should have made a survey to find out the number of commercial vehicles entering the Capital, which will help the corporation to assess the revenue to be generated from toll tax.

Earlier, the MCD had constituted a sub-committee to decide the toll tax privatisation issue. Atma Ram Gupta, who was reportedly murdered by Sharda Jain, a corporator, was convenor of the committee.

It was alleged that he was killed by the tender mafia active in toll tax collection in the Capital.



Tihar inmates enact Ram Lila
Tribune News Service 

New Delhi, October 9
Prisoners of Tihar Jail enacted roles of the Ramayana in the popular dance-drama form as part of a four-day Ram Lila festival. The programme was inaugurated last evening by the DIG (Prisons), Mr Mukesh Prasad, in Jail No. 3.

The event is being organised by the 'Ramlakhan Religious Sabha' of Pitampura.

Sabha general secretary Rakesh Gupta said the three prisoners taking part in the Ram Lila were Ajay Kumar Bansal, an undertrial in a dowry death case, Vinod Kumar and Dildar, undertrials in murder cases. All of them enacted the roles of the kings who unsuccessfully tried to break the "Shiv Dhanush" (the bow of Lord Shiva) in the 'Sita Swayamwar' episode.

He said last year, the Ram Lila was only for one day but following a positive response from the prisoners, it was extended to four days this year.

Mr Gupta said the inmates had also performed in another play, 'Muwavaja', staged at Kamani Auditorium here on November 29 last year.

The three prisoners said they were trained by artistes from the National School Of Drama. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain, Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma and BJP Delhi unit chief Madan Lal Khurana would attend the performances in the coming days.



50 pc Delhi kids unaware of vision defects
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
About 50 per cent of schoolchildren in the Capital are unaware of the fact that they are suffering from vision defects, according to a report released here today.

The report, released on the eve of World Sight Day, said Delhi showed an increase of one per cent of such cases in students over last year’s figure of 49 per cent. India has one-fourth of the world blind population and a majority of these 12 million suffers from correctable vision defects.

‘’Ignorance and lack of awareness about eye care are the main reasons for increasing cases of blindness in the country,’’ according to the Youth Vision India 2002 Report by leading eye care company Bausch and Lomb and NGO VIEW, after their year-long School Vision Screening Campaign.

The campaign, involving more than 2,00,000 students from schools in 40 cities, indicated that over half of them who needed vision correction were not even aware of it.

New DPRO for Jhajjar: Ms Roshni Dhara has been posted as the District Public Relations Officer here in place of Mr D. R. Sirohiwal who was transferred to Safido as assistant public relation officer (APRO).

The orders on the transfer in public relations offices were passed by the Financial Commissioner-cum-Principal Secretary, Haryana, on Wednesday.

Mr Nirja Sahgal, RPLO, Jalandhar, has been transferred to DPRO, Hisar, while Mr Ashok Bhartawal was transferred from APRO, Safido, to APRO, Bahadurgarh.

School foundation stone: On the occasion of Haryana Day on November 1, the Union Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, will arrive here to lay the foundation stone of a Sainik School in Matanhale village of the district. According to official information, the state Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will be the chief guest on the occasion. The school is to be constructed on 342 acres of land at a cost of Rs 27 crore.

Roads to be re-modelled: The roads maintained by the Department of Public Works (PWD) will get a makeover by Divali. PWD Minister A.K. Walia on Wednesday said that not only would the roads be beautified and widened but strengthened too using micro-surfacing technology. The minister inspected the Vikas Marg, Swami Dayanand Marg and other PWD roads in Karkardooma, Surajmal Vihar, Dilshad Garden and Nand Nagri.

Devotees throng temple: On the third day of Navratra Mela at the ancient Badri Bhagat Jhandewala Devi Temple, there was a heavy rush of devotees at the temple. Kushmanda Swaroop of Maa Durga was worshipped with full religious rites. The temple was kept open for devotees from 4 am till midnight. Kirtan was performed in the temple complex from 3 pm to 6 pm. There were unending lines of devotees throughout the day. Mr Vipin Sachdeva will perform Jagran on October 13 on Ashtami.

Doctor apprehended: The Chief Medical Officer of MCD Hospital, Narela, Dr R C Mohapatra, was today arrested by the Anti-Corruption branch of the NCT Delhi, for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 400, from a patient who was suffering from TB.

Since the medicines are to be issued free of cost to the patients, the accused had illegally demanded a bribe from the patient. The officials also searched his house and found the doctor having a huge bank balance, NSCs, FDRs amounting to Rs 15 lakh apart from a flat in Peeragarhi. General Body Meeting

A General Body Meeting of the employees of Director General of Audit Central Revenues and Audit held on October 9. The leaders of the association reviewed the current situation to curb the bare minimum facilities of the Central Government Employees.

The employees were against the policy of the Government of India to the closure of leave encashment, gratuity and pension commutation. Hence, a resolution was passed for onward transmission to the Finance Minister that the step like freezing DA and other measures be stopped immediately.

Traffic measures: The Delhi Traffic police has made elaborate traffic arrangements for the Radha Soami Satsang Beas to be held on October 11, 12 and 13 at Chhattarpur Bhatti Mines complex, Bhati Center.

No HTV’s will be allowed to ply on Bhati Mines road between Chhattarpur Gurgoan Road T-point and Satsang Complex from 6.30 am to 4 pm on all the three days.

Woman electrocuted: Mrs Savita, a young housewife, was electrocuted at Mahmoodpur village, about 40 km from here, on Tuesday. According to a report, she was engaged in ironing the clothes when she touched a live wire, resulting in her death.

Factory gutted:
A factory preparing packaging material was gutted at Sampla town, 25 km from here, on Tuesday afternoon.

According to information, the packaging factory caught fire at around 1.45 pm. Goods and machines worth nearly Rs 5 lakh were reportedly destroyed. One fire engine from Rohtak and another from Bahadurgarh rushed towards the spot and managed to bring the blaze under control after half an hour.



Nominations invited for award

New Delhi, October 9
The Indian Merchants Chambers (IMC) Ladies Wing has invited nominations for the 10th Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar for Woman Rural Entrepreneur 2002.

The award, which was instituted in 1993 in the memory of Padma Vibhushan Jankidevi Bajaj, who had involved herself in the movement of rural entrepreneurship in more ways than one. The award aims to felicitate the small but powerful, inspirational rural entrepreneur who is working just as hard and efficiently as her urban counterpart, who dedicates her life to bringing inspiration and hope into the lives of those less privileged people.

The award comprises of a cash award of Rs 1 lakh, along with a citation and a certificate. The only criteria for selection is that the nominee should be a woman working for rural India and she should have made an outstanding contribution through entrepreneurship by which the rural community and society at large should have benefited. TNS



Telecom engineers’ conclave

Rohtak: The Telecom Engineering Officers’ Association (TEOA), Rohtak telecom district, will discuss several important issues related to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), telecom policy of the government and other matters during a district conference of the association to be held here on October 12.Mr Arvind Pal Dahiya, district secretary of the association, said that the telecom officers of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar revenue districts would participate in the conference. An open session on ‘Role and Responsibilities of TEOA Members in BSNL in Present Scenario' would also be organised on the occasion, he added. Mr Dahiya said Mr Suresh Bhargawa, general manager, telecom district Rohtak, would be the chief guest. OC



Heroin worth Rs 1 cr seized, 3 nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The Delhi unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has nabbed three persons, including a couple from Rohini, for distribution of indigenous heroin among the drug addicts in the Capital. The team seized 1.125 kg of heroin worth Rs 1 crore in the international market from a woman.

Mr Abrar Ahmed, Zonal Director, NCB, said the team, acting on secret information, nabbed Akhil Rajat Dass, Raj Bala and Asif. The couple, Akhil and Raj Bala, used to receive 2 kg of drugs from Mandsaur-based drug trafficker every week for distribution to the local drug addicts.

Akhil, who himself an addict, used to go out in the evening in his Maruti car for distribution after his wife prepared the drugs. The team nabbed the accused while he was getting into the car and seized 500 gm of heroin from the dashboard of the car. Later, the team raided his Rohini flat and seized 645 gm of heroin. The supplier of the drugs, Asif, who was also present in the flat during the raid, was nabbed. The NCB is expecting to arrest some more persons who are involved in the illicit trafficking of drugs.



Blind murder solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
With the arrest of two persons the West district police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case of a eunuch, who was killed at a house in Rajouri Garden on October 4.

The accused Mordhawaz, alias, Manju Solanki and Geeta Hijra were arrested and raids are on to nab the other accused involved in the crime. The accused mistook the identity of Zarina for Neelam Hijra, as Zarina’s broad physical features matched that of Neelam Hijra. Neelam was heading a group of 60-70 hijras at the house and they covered the areas like Kirti Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Subhash Nagar, Ashok Nagar and jail road for taking money on occasions like marriage and birth of children. Another group headed by Geeta Hazi, alias, Geeta Hijra were controlling the areas like Dabri, Sagar Pur, Vikas Puri and Tilak Nagar.

Police said that there was a dispute over the dominance issue between the two groups headed by Neelam Hijra and Geeta Hazi. To overcome this problem, Geeta and her paramour Manju Solanki, resident of Najafgarh, planned to eliminate her with the help of some criminals in Haryana. The deal was settled for Rs 3 lakh and Geeta paid an amount of Rs 90,000 as advance to execute the crime.

According to the plan, Manju contacted Bhokal, Praveen, Satish and Billa. On the fateful night when the accused Manju and Bhokal went to Neelam’s house and searched for her, but the other eunuchs said she was not in the town. But the accused went to the second floor and fired at Zarina, as she matched Neelam’s features. After firing at her, both set the house on fire.

Three arrested: The Crime Branch arrested three persons of a gang and claimed to have solved two robbery cases of New Delhi Railway Station. The police recovered one gold chain, two gold rings and one wristwatch from their possession.

The gang members Dalip, alias, Naresh and Parmod, alias, Sanjay Mental both from Bihar and Panwari alias Banwari, resident of Ghonda in Uttar Pradesh, were nabbed and they confessed to their involvement in a robbery case. Police said they robbed Rama Bhargav, professor of IIT Roorkee, who alighted from G T Express on September 18, at knifepoint.



PCO owner robbed at pistol-point
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 9
Three unidentified armed youths are reported to have robbed more than Rs 400 from the owner of a PCO booth on Atlas Road here on Tuesday evening.

According to a report, two of the three youths entered the booth and telephoned at no 460254. They gave a note of Rs 50 to the owner, Mr Maqbool Ahmad. When he was counting the currency notes for returning the remaining amount to them, they pounced upon him and took away the cash amounting to more than Rs 400 at pistol-point.

Later, the owner of the PCO booth informed the police about the incident. The police immediately swung into action but failed to achieve any breakthrough in the case.

The alleged robbers are reported to have fled on a motor cycle. The incident has caused a panic among the residents and shopkeepers of the area.

Body of youth found

Jhajjar: The body of a youth, identified as Sudhir of Shastri Nagar in Bahadurgarh, was found lying in the thickets near the railway barrier on the Bamnoli road on Monday.

According to information, the deceased was working in a glass factory in Bahadurgarh. The body was recovered by the police who sent it for a post-mortem examination.



Tribune scribe’s bag stolen
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
Three youths in the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station on Tuesday lifted a suitcase of The Tribune Rewari Correspondent Nawal Kishore Rastogi.

The suitcase reportedly contained clothes and medicines, and Rastogi had to cancel his travel following the theft. The Government Railway Protection Force registered a complaint of theft and launched a hunt to trace the culprits. Mr Rastogi and his wife Nirmala Devi went to the railway station at 3 pm to board Mahakaushal express to Chitrakoot.

When they boarded the train at platform no 5, three persons in their late twenties, entered the S-4 compartment and sat with Rastogi and his wife and asked them to shift one of their luggage's to the opposite seat.

When Rastogi told them that he had kept the luggage in his seat number and there was no need to shift, the trio later started talking to themselves, said Rastogi.

“Then I started talking to my wife and even got down the train to buy an ice-cream for myself. Later, my wife noticed that the baggage was missing. By the time the trio had vanished from the spot,” he added.

A worried Rastogi said that it was very strange that there was no police personnel on the platform to complain about the theft immediately. “Finally, I went to the GRPF lodged a complaint,” he said.



Handicrafts Fair eyeing EU buyers 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
Major buyers from Germany, France and other European Union (EU) countries are expected to visit the four-day Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair (Autumn 2002) to begin in the Capital from October 13. The fair is being organised by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

As part of its endeavour to boost export of handicraft products from India in close co-operation with the EPCH, the Indo-German Export Promotion Project (IGEP) has invited buyers from Germany and France for the fair. The IGEP is also setting up a buyers’ lounge during the Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (Autumn) to be held at Pragati Maidan in an effort to provide homely comfort and food to foreign buyers. More than 1,000 handicraft exporters from all parts of the country will be displaying their products during the fair, which is considered to be the biggest in Asia.

According to Dr D. Kebschull, Director, IGEP, Indian handicraft industry employs over eight million people, the highest in the world. However, the total export in the global handicraft market is about one per cent. German imports about 11 per cent of the total Indian handicraft exports.

Germany, with a total population of over 82 million, is the largest market for giftware and handcraft items in Europe. India is one of the major exporters of handicraft products to Germany, which has a total market of about Euro 16 billion. The handicraft sector is economically important from the point of low capital investment, high ratio of value addition and high potential for export and foreign exchange earnings for India.

The demand for Indian handicraft products in Europe is in constant increase, including candles, Christmas decorations, gift boxes, gift-wraps, ribbons, eco-friendly products and nostalgic calendars.



Loan scheme for medicos

New Delhi, October 9
Punjab and Sind Bank has launched a new scheme - P&S Bank Swasthya Scheme – for medical professionals.

The scheme is launched with a view to meeting the credit needs of medical practitioners.

The Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, Mr N. S. Gujral, said the scheme had been launched keeping in view the special needs of medical professionals for setting up their own clinics and diagnostic centres.

The scheme is open for all qualified medical practitioners in the country having minimum experience of three years. The scheme extends to covering purchase of all types of medical equipment and machinery, acquiring business premises etc. TNS


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