Sunday, November 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Be warned! Goraksha Sangh to govt
Says Dulina incident was a spontaneous reaction of the crowd

Jhajjar, November 2
Urging the government to take stringent measures to stop slaughtering and skinning of cows, the ‘sarva-khap mahapanchayat’, organised by the Haryana Goraksha Sangh here today, warned the state government against taking punitive measures in the Dulina incident. It expressed no regret at the lynching of five Dalits and termed the incident a spontaneous reaction of the crowd.

The mahapanchayat, attended by a large number of turban-wearing ‘khap’ leaders and saffron-clad sants from various goshalas, gurukuls and the VHP, heard speeches in an electric atmosphere. Though para two of its resolution did express sympathy over the ‘accident’, adding that “the mahapanchayat feels that people should not take the law into their hands.”

About 28 khap leaders from Haryana and Delhi participated in the meeting reportedly to show solidarity with the people who could be charge-sheeted in the Dulina lynching case. The meeting was presided over by Swami Omanand Saraswati, head of a gurukul. Acharya Baldev, pradhan of the Haryana Goraksha Sangh, Jagad Guru Jiwa Ram Shankracharya of Madhavashram Pithaseen and other religious leaders were present on the stage.

The mahapanchayat passed 10 resolutions. While one of them censured politicians and organisations, who were allegedly luring lower caste Hindus to convert to other religions in the context of Dulina incident, another termed it as an accident. This resolution said that the mob went out of control on hearing that a cow was being slaughtered.

It said that the five victims were cow-slaughterers in the eyes of the mob as all circumstantial evidences led to this conclusion. A photograph of the cow, which was being skinned on that day, was also released in the meeting today.

Another resolution called for a law against cow-slaughter at the national level, formation of a special task force and constitution of a goraksha commission.

The fourth resolution appealed to the state government not to initiate any enquiry into the incident and threatened to launch an agitation if any person was ‘framed’ in the case. It also threatened that the mahapanchayat would not hesitate in making any kind of sacrifice and the government would be responsible for the consequences.

Acharya Baldev stated that the skin of even a dead cow should not be removed as greedy elements would resort to administering poison to cows. He demanded a complete ban on skinning cows. A Dalit sarpanch of Aurangabad village, Bhajan Lal, supported the campaign for protection of cow in his speech but called upon the mahapanchayat to visit the bereaved families to offer sympathies.


Parliament attack
Shekaran soldiered on when many scurried for cover
J T Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Thirty-eight-year-old Shekaran, a Grade-II civilian driver of the late Vice-President of India Krishan Kant, is an unhappy man as the government authorities failed to recognize his daring act during the Parliament attack on December 13, last year. While all others involved in the incident have been awarded in some way or the other, Shekaran has been ignored for some inexplicable reason.

In fact, Shekaran was the first person, who though being unarmed, caught hold of one of the terrorists that led to the discovery of their intrusion into the Parliament complex. His action saved the lives of a large number of political leaders.

As the Vice-President’s motorcade got ready to leave from Gate No 11 with Shekaran keeping the engine running, an ambassador car suddenly hit one of the bullet-proof vehicles in the Vice-President’s motorcade. With the impact of the collision, all the four doors of the car flung open. Shekaran immediately got down from his car and caught hold of one of the terrorists. He blasted the ultra for rash driving. One of the terrorists even reportedly warned Shekaran to run away otherwise he would be killed.

It was only after this encounter that the terrorists started firing indiscriminately at the personal security guards and killed them. “If he had not accosted the terrorists in the Ambassador, they would have easily entered the complex which would have had serious consequences. His name is there in the FIR registered in the case and even the Delhi Police Special Branch came and questioned him about the entire incident,” said a relative of Shekaran.

The late Vice-President Krishan Kant even appreciated his role. Mr A N Tiwari, Secretary to the late Vice-President also promised some award to him which he could value in life. But this promise is yet to be fulfilled.

Senior police and Parliament security officers admit that Shekaran did play a crucial role and showed an exemplary sense of duty and courage by accosting the heavily armed terrorists. They are also unanimous that he should be awarded.

Now that the anniversary of the incident which shocked the democratic world is fast approaching, Shekaran and his relatives hope that the promise made to him would be fulfilled.

Only last week, the wives of Head Constables Om Prakash, Bijender Singh, Ghan Shyam, SI Nanak Chand and ASI Ram Pal were given Kirti Chakra at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Shekaran, who has been in the Vice-President’s secretariat since 1998, is now the driver of the new Vice-President of India, Bhairon Singh Shekawat. He also served in Hyderabad as the pilot driver of Channa Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Janarthanan Reddy, Vijayabhaskar Reddy and N T Rama Rao.


Behind IT façade, they extorted money from magnates
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Anti-Extortion Cell of the Crime Branch today claimed to have busted a gang of IT professionals who were allegedly indulging in extortion by targeting businessman and industrialists. All the five accused are from well-off families.

The suspects, Ravi Kumar, Vikas, Jaswinder Singh, Anurag and Prem Pal, alias Raju, were arrested last evening from Britania Chowk while they were going with the money extorted from a leading transporter of Ram Nagar in Paharganj area, B. R. Gupta. The money has been recovered.

The suspects belonged to well-to-do families and were professional technocrats. They also had diplomas in software and hardware from a known institute in the Capital. They were also running a computer institute, SAVS Computer Solutions in Rohini, the police said.

According to the police, the victim received an envelope containing a greeting card, a threatening letter and a live cartridge on October 29. He was threatened that he would be killed if Rs 10 lakh was not given to them. Thereafter, he received a telephonic message from an unknown caller asking the victim’s response in respect of the money. He again received two more calls last evening directing him to be available near Keshav Dwar with Rs 10 lakh at 8 pm.

The Crime Branch constituted a team and deployed sleuths at the decided place. As it was planned, Mr B.R Gupta reached there with a bag containing Rs 10 lakh. The suspects came in a group and sat inside the car of the victim but were arrested while they were heading towards Britania Chowk.

During interrogation, they disclosed that they belonged to well-heeled families and had been carrying on computer application jobs under the name of SAVS Computer Solutions in Sector 3, Rohini. They are technocrats and also had software and hardware diplomas. They had a maintenance contract of computers of the victim and thought that he could be an easy target. Since they had a financial crisis in running their business, they conspired to target B. R. Gupta. They disclosed that they had also sent more threatening letters to businessmen in North-West district.

Their sources of procuring live cartridges by the accused are being probed. The police are also trying to find out the names of their other targets.

In another case of extortion, the Crime Branch arrested Bir Singh, gang leader, and his accomplice Vikram Singh. They were involved in numerous cases of extortion from cable operators and property dealers in North, North-West, West and South-West districts. They were also involved in robbery cases. They were arrested from Vasant Kunj where they had gone to extort money. Their third associate, Dharmender, is absconding. A country-made pistol was recovered from Bir Singh.

During interrogation, Bir Singh disclosed that he had committed two cases of dacoity and murder in which he was sentenced for seven years’ rigorous imprisonment. He had also committed 15 cases of dacoity and robbery in 1995. In all these incidents, he used to throw chilly powder in the eyes of victims, the police said.


Faridabad plan to rein in autos
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 2
The district administration has at last launched its ‘ambitious plan’ to check the plying of outdated and polluting autorickshaws in this industrial town. The scheme to decongest the city roads by allowing autorickshaws to ply on alternate days has also come into effect, bringing some relief to commuters.

While there is resentment among a section of owners and drivers of autorickshaws over the new directions, the district authorities, it seems, have decided to go ahead with the plan. The Deputy Commissioner has used his judicial powers and imposed Section 144 to implement the new orders.

The orders include a ban on plying autorickshaws that are more than 15 years old. The autorickshaws plying in the town will also have to display various colour strips, denoting the age of the vehicles. For example, the three-wheelers up to five years will have a green strip while those between 5 and 10 years and 10 and 15 years will have to display yellow and red colour strips.

The administration has set up several teams of officials with nakas at main points to check the vehicles and challan or impound those violating the new orders.

On the first day yesterday, about 65 three-wheelers were impounded and about 40 others challaned. Today, action was taken against at least 24 vehicles. The effect of the new scheme of alternate plying days could be seen on the roads with traffic moving more orderly.

The authorities have warned action if the three-wheelers do not ply as per their registration numbers. According to it, the autos having odd registration numbers will be allowed to ply on dates with odd numbers and those with even numbers on dates with even numbers respectively.


School bus runs over 3 Divali shoppers
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, November 2
In a gruesome accident, a family of three persons died here in the afternoon after a school bus ran over them. They were returning home after making purchases for Divali.

According to police sources, an employee of Maruti Udyog Ltd, Mr Bhupender Singh (30), his wife Anita Singh and their one-and-a-half-year-old son Akshit were going home at the New Railway Road at about 2 pm on their motorcycle. A speeding school bus of Rose Land Public High School, situated on National Highway No. 8, hit the vehicle from the back. The sudden impact made Bhupender Singh lose control over his Hero Honda motorcycle (HR26 M 5106) and all three of them fell on the road. The bus ran over them, killing them on the spot.

Mr Bhupender Singh, who belonged to Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh, was residing here in Ashok Vihar as he was employed in MUL.

Following the accident, local residents assembled on the scene and damaged the bus. Furious over the incident, some of them tried to beat up the driver but the police party reached there in time and saved him. The police arrested the driver.


HC tells pvt hospitals not to turn away burn cases
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Delhi High Court has ordered all Government and private hospitals and nursing homes not to turn away any patient brought in with burn injuries. The court said that special arrangements should be made for treating such persons during the festive season.

A division bench, comprising Justices A D Singh and R S Sodhi said directions issued by the High Court last year for special arrangements in government hospitals during Diwali was to be adhered to this year as well.

The Chief Justice’s bench had asked all Government and private hospitals in the Capital to make special arrangements to cope with the possibility of an increase in casualties related to burns during Diwali last year.

They had asked all the Central or Delhi Government hospitals as well as private nursing homes to arrange for treating burn victims and not turn away any patient.

The court said arrangements for treating burn patients, including sufficient oxygen and blood, besides additional staff, should be made during the period.


Where is the light that will overcome our darkness?

The origin of the most widely celebrated festival, Divali, can be traced to different traditions. One of them is Vamana avatara of Vishnu, his coming as a dwarf to the sacrificial hall of the Asura king, Bali, asking for a gift — three steps of land. Bali’s teacher suspects foul play and warns his pupil to be vigilant. But the generous king can not send away empty handed a Brahmin who comes seeking alms.

Vamana has simply asked for three steps of land. The king is astonished and wants the Brahmin to “ask for more.’’ But Vamana is not greedy. Just threes steps will do. With his first step Vamana covers the whole earth; with his second, the whole heaven. As there is no more land left for the third step, he places his foot on Bali’s head and pushes him to the nether world, according to an account given in the Bhagavata purana (8. 15 to 23)

According to Skanda Purana, the festival is about the freeing of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth from Bali’s prison. But there are those who hold that on Dipavali day, Lakshmi emerged from the ocean when the Devas and Asuras were churning it. So, Lakshmi puja has become an important aspect of the festival. Houses are repaired, whitewashed, doors are painted and cleaned during this period so that the goddess of wealth could be welcomed with the dignity she deserves. Sweets and delicacies start arriving for the children in baskets. Even the poor queue before sweet shops. Merchants worship their account books and even open new accounts on this auspicious occasion.

In some parts of the country, the festival is associated with the home coming of Rama, a much loved king who was banished from his kingdom, but regained it subsequently. His subjects rejoice and celebrate as he returns to the Capital, Ayodhya, after killing Ravana, and rescuing his wife, Sita.

The month of Karttika in which this festival falls, marks the end of the monsoons. The sky clears up, the air has the gentle touch of autumn. Farmers have gathered their harvests and there is plenty at home. In the towns, the employees have got their bonus and other extra payments so that wives could go on their shopping spree.

Whatever the origin, Divali is a festival of lights, dipa-utsava Illumination of houses with rows of earthen lamps at night presents a delightful sight. In the Skanda Purana, we have this prayer addressed to the lamp: “This lamp is born from a little particle of the sun. It is the destroyer of all darkness. May I always have its light. May it always show me what is good and what is evil.’’(Vaisnava khanda 9.10). The lamps are lit to drive away demons, poverty and ill-luck and also to welcome the goddess Lakshmi. The Upanishad prayer, “Lead me from darkness to light’’ can be said to represent the spirit of the festival.

The celebration goes on for days together and even the slums reverberate with their effect — there is much merrymaking, eating and drinking. The poor find themselves poorer at the end of it all.

The sensual enjoyments that mark this period of the year set off many questions in the mind of a thinking individual. The consumerism that is being promoted does not promise heaven on earth. A steadily rising Gross National Product will not ensure the happiness of the largest number in our nation. If anything material progress here is marked by increasing inequalities and poverty that can explode at any time putting to risk the prosperity of the middle class. The well-to-do exchange gifts among themselves and the poor are left out invariably. We have not learnt to share or to be compassionate towards those who are less fortunate than ourselves. The security guard, who faces the bleak prospect of losing his job this Divali confides to me that he has been sleepless for days wondering how he will feed his four children in the coming days; his anxious and aged father is admitted to a hospital with heart attack and the medical bills would be colossal. Millions find themselves in similar miserable plight on account of unemployment, poverty, disease and physical handicaps. Do we invite them to our table to share the light of Divali? Or is it going to be a vulgar show with the overfed delighting themselves in the company of one another?

Poor governance has made our nation one of the most corrupt in the whole world while the majority find itself helpless to stem the tide. Hatred and violence have created widespread insecurity. It is not safe to travel by planes or trains! We have a democracy in operation but criminals get elected to legislatures. Your life could be at risk because of your religious affiliation.

It is against such a background, that public spirited individuals like Shiv Khera and others have come up to form an organization called “Country First’’ to launch a “brand new freedom struggle.’’ This move represents the call of the silent majority for rescuing the country from the brink of disaster. There will be seminars, public addresses, pamphlets and public interest litigation to set things right…All these are intended for a change of heart in individuals that will result in a resurgent India. The earthen lamps of Divali is symbolic of the country of one billion seeking light: “the light of love abolishing the darkness of hate; the light of peace, abolishing the darkness of strife and confusion; the light of life, abolishing the darkness of death; the light of creativity, abolishing the darkness of destruction…’’ (in the language of the late Malcolm Muggeridge who dominated the media scene for nearly 50 years in the west.)

M P K Kutty


Dehra Dun: A quick retreat from Delhi’s madding crowd
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun situated at an altitude of 2,200 feet above sea level is favourite weekend getaway for those wishing for a quick retreat from the Capital’s hullabaloo.

It is one of the quieter and cleaner cities in the country with a moderate climate. The places to be visited nearby are Sahastradhara, Robbers Cave, the Forest Research Institute, Tapkeshwar Temple, Laxman Sidh and the Malsi Deer Park.

Some of the prime attractions of the Capital of Uttaranchal are:

Rajaji National Park

Situated at the edge of the sprawling Dehra Dun valley and founded in 1966. Spreads over an area of about 820 sq. km. in the valley of the Shivalik Range, the park is an ideal holiday resort with its many picnic spots and excursion sites for the nature lover.

For those wishing to go on excursions around the city, the places to check out are: Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills situated at an altitude of 3000 metres above sea level and about 36 kms from Dehra Dun. Well connected by a good road, the place offers a lot of sight-seeing apart from adventure treks. The places to be visited include Municipal Garden, Kempty Falls, Gunhill and the Depot hills.

Asan Barrage

Popularly known as Dhalipur Lake, Asan Barrage and created in 1967, it was developed by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), as a water sports complex in 1994.

Sahastra Dhara

Located 14 km from Dehra Dun is the famous picnic spot known as the Sahastra Dhara. Noted for their astounding beauty, the medicinal sulphur waterfalls are a great attraction.


A celebrated spiritual centre, Rishikesh enjoys a calm environment, impressive waterfront and dense Forest Hills. Virtually a town of saints, sages and scholars, Rishikesh is a large religious centre situated at the Right Bank of the Ganga river.

The place offers great relief to those wishing to meditate on the banks of the Ganga. River rafting is another attraction for Rishikesh.

Skiing at Mundali

Located in Dehra Dun, Mundali is 129 kms from the city. It comes under the Yamuna Hydel Scheme, Dak Pathar has emerged as a tourist spot which boasts of lush green lawns and blooming gardens. It is 45 kms situated on Dehra Dun- Chakrata Road and is connected by regular bus service.

Jhanda Fair

The Jhanda Fair marks the arrival of Guru Ram Rai, the Sikh Guru, in Dehra Dun.

Lakhawar Mela

Lakhawar fair is a village fair, held during the months of September- October.

Lakha Mandal Temple

Lakhamandal is situated on a hill slope along the bank of the Yamuna in district Dehra Dun. It is a site rich with ancient remains of temples, sculptures and inscriptions, some dating from as early as fifth century AD.


It is about 5 kms from Dak Pathar on way to Chakrata, where there is an Ashoka edict inscribed on the sizeable rock. It is preserved by National Archaeological Department.

Laxman Sidh

This picturesque place about 12 kms from Dehra Dun on Hardwar Road is a favourite spot with visitors. Legend has it that a saint underwent penance at this place. The place is connected by local bus service.


About 80 kms from Mussoorie on Mussoorie-Yamunotri Road, Lakhamandal is believed to be the place where Duryodhana of Mahabharata episode conspired to burn alive the Pandavas in the Lakshyagriha house, specially constructed with shellac.


Situated at a distance of 92 kms from Dehra Dun at an elevation of about 700 feet, Chakrata is known for its serene environs and sylvan charm. The place allows one to come closer to nature and enjoy the calm and beauty.

The northern part of Chakrata sub-division provides most fascinating area for trekkers and nature lovers. Covered by dense virgin forest dotted with attractive village of colourful Jaunsari tribe, the area is dominated by 10,000 feet high peak of Kharamba.

On its northern slopes is situated Mundali at a height of 9,000 ft where skiing is possible during the period from November to April.

Deoband at 9,000 ft., Kanasar, Kathiyan, Molta, Tiger Fall near Chakrata are some other spots worth visiting. The famous temple of Mahasu Deota at Hanol is annually visited by thousands of pilgrims from Garhwal and Himachal Pradesh. 

Getting there

Air: Jolly Grant airport is the nearest airport situated 24 km from Dehra Dun

Rail: Dehra Dun has got a railway station of its own, connected to all the major cities of the state.

Road: Being a capital city of Uttaranchal is well connected with all the major cities of the state. 



DSIDC hopeful of shifting units before Dec 31
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) is optimistic about meeting the December 31 deadline set by the Supreme Court for relocating industries on the outskirts of the NCT of Delhi.

The lukewarm response to the relocation plan notwithstanding, DSIDC Chairman Hasan Ahmed told mediapersons on Friday that 15 factory owners, who had been allotted plots in the Bawana Industrial Complex, had begun work of constructing their respective industrial units.

The DSIDC was mandated to develop Bawana and adjoining areas to relocate polluting units located in non-conforming parts of the city. Sixteen thousand plots of sizes 100, 150, 200, 250 square metres spread over five sectors have been developed in the complex.

Mr Ahmed said 14,500 plots had already been developed. “Possession letters have been given to 2,500 owners of plots,” he told a news conference. The Bawana Industrial Complex, he informed, would give employment opportunities to one lakh persons.

He said the Bawana Industrial Complex project was self-financing and would cost Rs 1,000 crore. “The place will be linked by Delhi Metro,” he said, referring to the plans for improving the connectivity of Bawana with other parts of Delhi.

To meet the requirement of water, five tubewells had been bored that would make available one million gallons of water per day. “The Delhi Jal Board has made available another 1.5 mgd of water besides a regular connection from their 1,800-mm water mains,” he said.

A 10-mm ring main had already been laid by Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB). Two 66 KV grid substations were getting completed. A number of poles had been erected in three sectors and 25 overhead transformers had been installed.

The DSIDC, Mr Ahmed added, was also taking up a low-cost housing project for the industrial workers who would be employed in the Bawana Industrial Complex. About 28 acres of land had been identified for this purpose. 


DSGMC chief greets Jamiat leaders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Paramjit Singh Sarna organised a meeting to welcome leaders of the Jamiat-i-Islami Hind. The members expressed pleasure at getting together at a time when communal hatred is prevailing in the country.

Pointing out the friendship between Sikhs and Muslims, the members recalled that it was Pir Miyan Mir who laid the foundation stone of the Golden Temple.

Mr Sarna said that Indians should unite and exchange views between each other and create an atmosphere of goodwill and tolerance. Mr Qasani thanked the DSGMC for the invitation and expressed the desire to unite with leaders of other communities to maintain harmony. The need to unite and fight fundamentalism was reiterated by all those present. A langar was also organised on the occasion.

Counselling centre set up

The Ninth Family Counselling and Legal Aid Centre was set up today by the Delhi Legal Services Authority in association with Sai Baba Dharmarth Trust.

The centre was inaugurated by Justice Devinder Gupta, the acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and Executive Chairman of the Delhi Legal Services Authority. Mr Justice Gupta assured the public that the authority was committed to providing justice at the doorsteps of the people. He also said that none would be denied justice just because of his poverty or disability.

The authority has been providing legal aid and advice to the eligible persons and organising Lok Adalats to facilitate speedy and inexpensive justice to the common people. The authority also organises legal awareness camps and interactive programmes in rural and semi-urban areas.

Teachers’ training

A 20-hour training programme for Sanskrit teachers of Kendriya Vidyalayas that commenced on October 28 concluded here today. Thirty teachers from the Kendriya Vidyalayas of the Delhi region participated in the programme.

The programme, a bridge course for Sanskrit teachers, was organised by the NCERT with an objective of promoting Sanskrit education in schools. The programme is meant to educate teachers as to how to teach Sanskrit through that language itself. Programme coordinator Y. S. Ramesh said that the successful completion of this second training programme went on to prove it was needed and accepted by the teachers.


Villagers continue stir for IOC jobs
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 2
The dharna launched by several residents of Asavati and Piyala villages of Ballabgarh subdivision outside the premises of the Indian Oil Corporation to seek employment has entered the sixth day today. Some of the protestors, including a few women, have gone on a hunger strike.

A spokesperson of the agitators said that the dharna was started in protest against the failure of the IOC in providing employment to the farmers whose land had been taken over for setting up the company’s project here several years ago. He said land of about 342 farmers had been taken for the purpose and they had been promised jobs as compensation besides the payment. He said the IOC authorities had also assured the farmers of a favourable decision in July, when farmers had staged a dharna for about a week.

It is reported that 12 women have joined the hunger strike announced recently in support of the demands. A panchayat is likely to be held in Asavati village tomorrow to discuss the strategy for intensifying the stir.

National integration camp

Panipat: The seven-day national integration camp, jointly organised by the All-India Rachnatmac Manch and Union Ministry of Youth and Sports, concluded at Bal Bhavan here today. Delivering a lecture on ‘Terrorism, World Peace and India’, Prof H. M. Qureshi, Dean of Students Welfare, JNU, New Delhi, said India could play a significant role in eradicating terrorism from the world.

Talks on a variety of topics such as independence movement, region, community and nation, role of youth in social reforms and Indian Constitution were the highlights of the camp, which was inaugurated by Ms Nirmala Despande, a prominent social activist and national president of the manch.

Today, the participants marched in procession from Bal Bhavan to the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Smarak and garlanded the bust of the revolutionary trio of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. As many as 331 children from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu participated in the camp.

Crackers seized

Rohtak: An official team led by City Magistrate G. L. Yadav inspected various areas in the town on Friday and seized stocks of crackers kept for sale in unauthorised areas. According to official sources, the team raided several shops in Huda Sector 14, Model Town, Tilak Nagar, Para Mohalla, Gandhi Camp and Kamal colony and seized several types of crackers. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, said nearly 80 persons had been issued licenses for selling crackers in the town. Certain places had been specified for the sale of crackers. Besides, eight duty magistrates had been deputed in different areas to prevent any untoward incident during Divali. These magistrates would keep vigil in their respective areas till November 5, he added. 


Canal water not reaching Gohana villages
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 2
Although the sowing of Rabi crops has started in this district, the farmers have been hit hard by the canal water crisis. According to a report, farmers in the villages falling under the jurisdiction of Gohana Water Service Division were the worst-hit as the canal water failed to reach the tail-end fields.

Many farmers alleged that theft of irrigation water by unscrupulous and influential farmers, backed by some officials as well as leaders of the ruling party, was rampant. Some farmers also alleged that there was a nexus between the officials of the Irrigation Department and influential farmers and this was the main cause of the water shortage.

In addition to this, cases of breaching the canal at many points have also been on the increase in the Gohana Water Service Division for the last few months, thanks to the failure of authorities to check them effectively. Informed sources revealed that whenever canal cuts were reported, these were hushed up the officials quoting that they were mishaps. This way, the officials duped the government and misappropriate public funds by preparing bogus muster rolls in connection with the repair works and pocketing the money.

Farmers of many villages flayed the authorities of Gohana Water Service Division for not cleaning the canals and distributaries properly despite clear instructions by the state government. They alleged that the desilting and de-weeding operations carried out in the past by the officials were merely eyewash.

The farmers whose fields are situated at the tail-end have demanded a high-level probe into their complaints and the immediate suspension of the Executive Engineer, the SDO and the junior engineers of the division. 


Vidrohi condemns attack on scribe
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 2
The president of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, has condemned the assault on a press reporter at Sirsa by some anti-social elements allegedly at the behest of certain religious leaders. He demanded security to the reporter so that vested interests could not harass him physically again.

In a signed press statement issued here on Friday, he alleged that the attack on the Press had exposed the religious people who had been given undue importance by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and other government functionaries. He also cautioned the Chief Minister against allowing the religious personalities to use red headlights on their cars and other vehicles and demanded immediate withdrawal of permission given to them by the state government.

Mr Vidrohi also alleged that under the garb of religious activities, these persons were indulging in anti-social activities. Referring to the Dulina murders, the Janata Dal leader deplored the leaders of various political parties for politicising the incident for selfish ends.


Patient assaulted in hospital
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 2
Ajit Singh, an in-patient, was allegedly assaulted by an unknown man on the premises of the civil hospital here last night. The patient sustained injuries in the attack. The alleged assailant managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

Ajit Singh was admitted to the civil hospital on October 27 for treatment after he was injured in Mehndipur village during a clash. The police are still investigating into the case. The alleged assailant is still at large.

According to another report, one of the persons admitted at PGIMS, Rohtak after he received injuries in an attack at Umedgarh village in this district succumbed today. He was admitted along with two others, including a woman, after an attack on them by a rival group on Thursday. Six persons were injured in the attack. One of them, Mr Daya Nand, had sustained bullet injuries and he along with two others - Krishan and Jai Bhagwan - were referred to the PGIMS at Rohtak.

It is stated that Daya Nand and his family members Krishan, Jai Bhagwan, Ms Santosh, Narinder and Jatinder were working in the fields when the alleged assailants arrived there and one of them fired shots at Daya Nand. While Daya Nand received injuries, the assailants attacked the other family members with deadly weapons. When they raised an alarm, the assailants fled. The victims have identified some of the alleged assailants.

A long-standing dispute over 2.5 acres of land is stated to be the main reason behind the attack. Meanwhile, six persons, including two women, were injured in clashes that took place in this city and some nearby villages during the past 24 hours. The condition of one of the injured woman is stated to be serious. She has been referred to a trauma centre in Delhi.

Gamblers held

The city police arrested four persons on the charge of gambling following a surprise raid conducted in the municipal park here last evening. According to a report, the arrested persons were identified as Naresh of Ganaur mandi, Mauji Ram of Jawahar Nagar, Chetan Lal of Indira Colony and Ashok of Panipat.


Two kids die in wall collapse

Faridabad: Two boys were killed and a girl was injured seriously after a wall collapsed on them following an accident in Khandavali village in the district on Friday. The deceased were identified as Sahjad (9) and Gulfam (8). They were playing near a wall, when a tractor-trolley hit the structure. The wall fell on the children. While Sahjad and Gulfan died on the spot, a girl, identified as Rohija (6), was injured. The tractor belonged to one Deen Mohammad, father of one of the deceased.

Eight hurt in Alipur factory collapse

New Delhi: Eight persons, including three women, were injured today afternoon when a newly constructed biscuit factory collapsed in Alipur village in Bhakoli.

Chandan Singh (35), who was injured, is in a critical condition in Hindu Ram Hospital. The other injured, Thana Devi (35), Kusum (30), Meera (45), Feroz Khan (20), Aleem (18), Abbadin (25) and Babu Ram (24), have been admitted in Babu Jivan Ram Hospital.

The incident occurred today around 3 pm in the factory of Vinod. Immediately after the collapse, employees of an opposite factory came to the rescue of the victims. They cleared the debris and informed the police. The contractor of the building, Junoon, is absconding.

Dacoits strike in Kalindi Colony

New Delhi: Six armed desperadoes intruded into the house of an excise collector in Kalindi Colony near Maharani Bagh and, after attacking him and his family members, escaped with cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees early this morning.

The excise collector, Mr B. K. Jain, was admitted to a hospital where he is reported to be progressing well. The incident occurred early morning when Mr Jain and his family members were asleep in different rooms. The suspects barged into the house after jumping the main gate, the police said. TNS


MP takes offence at CM remarks
Our Correspondent

Rewari, November 2
The critical remarks made by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, relating to the lack of development works at his “Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar” durbar at Kund (23 km from Rewari) recently, has threatened to snowball into a controversy with his BJP partner. The area sarpanch had supported the Haryana Chief Minister that hardly any development works had been done in the area.

Talking to NCR Tribune today, Dr Sudha Yadav said that she had allotted a total amount of Rs. 8. 50 lakh for development works in Dhamlawas village under MPLAD scheme. Besides, large amount of money had been allotted for development works in 71 other villages of the Khol block.

She further said that the sanctioned funds under MPLAD scheme had been released by the Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-chief planning and Development Officer, Rewari, who had monitored the development works in the area.


Dacoits strike at house in Kalindi Colony
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Six armed desperadoes intruded into the house of an excise collector in Kalindi Colony near Maharani Bagh and, after attacking him and his family members, escaped with cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees early this morning.

The excise collector, Mr B. K. Jain, was admitted to a hospital where he is reported to be progressing well. The incident occurred early morning when Mr Jain and his family members were asleep in different rooms. The suspects barged into the house after jumping the main gate, the police said.

While the suspects were ransacking the house, Mr Jain woke up and switched the lights on. When he tried to resist, the suspects overpowered him. Mr Jain received minor injuries and was later admitted to a nearby hospital. During the scuffle between the suspects and Mr Jain, other family members also got up. The suspects tied them up with a rope and looted Rs 25,000 in cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees.

Though the suspects took two hours to rob the house, neighbours had no inkling of the incident. Once the suspects left the house, Mr Jain untied his family members and telephoned the police.

The police reached the spot immediately and tried to track down the suspects who had managed to escape under the cover of darkness by the time. Police vans were rushed to three directions - Sarai Kale Khan, Julena and Ashram - in search of them.

Later in the day, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Lajpat Nagar, held a meeting with the SHO of New Friends Colony police station and his other subordinates to chalk out the plans to solve the case. The police suspect that it could be the handiwork of a criminal tribe as Kalindi Colony was located on the bank of Yamuna. There is also a jungle nearby. The police said that though the suspects had guns, they did not use them but beat the victim with sticks like such tribes do.

The members such criminal tribes generally rob houses located in deserted areas, near parks, canals and jungles. They take sticks from the jungle and use them for the crime. They normally first recce the house in the garb of junk dealers and then strike, the police said.

Driver stabbed to death

Trilochan Singh, a truck driver and a resident of Yamuna Nagar in Haryana, was stabbed to death near Libra Patrol pump on GT Road this morning. He had parked his truck near the patrol pump. The victim had a scuffle before he was caught and stabbed. The victim tried to catch them so as to hand them over to the police. Subsequently, he was taken to Babu Jagjeevan Ram Hospital, where he was declared brought dead, the police said.


BSNL launches its first call centre in Haryana
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 2
The Bharatiya Sanchaar Nigam Ltd(BSNL) today launched its first call centre in Haryana. A customer service centre was also inaugurated. The Chief General Manager, Haryana Telecom Circle, Mr A.K.Nagpal, who launched the call centre, said that presently it would cater to Gurgaon Circle, but its area of operation would later include Faridabad district. He said the possibility of extending its operations to the entire state by upgrading the centre could not be ruled out.

The centre, set up at the headquarters of Gurgaon Telecom office, is to provide answers to all kinds of commercial queries.

The centre will respond to the inquiries with the help of software database of consumers. The dial number for the call centre is 1500 and the system would work under the Integrated Voice Record System (IVRS).

The customers service centre will be an integrated customers service centre, equivalent to the ‘singel window service’ devised by various state governments to provide information and services to industrialists and other segments of the society, said Mr Nagpal.

It is aimed to streamline the administration in order to provide better services to the customers.

The customer service centre is capable of providing all kinds of help including facilities like billing and installment of telephone lines.

The customer service centre is the first in Gurgaon. More than 50 such centres have been established through out the state. There are plans to set up six more such centres in Gurgaon city, namely at South City, Sushant Lok, Sector 56, Palam Viahr, Sector 4 and Manesar. These will cater to the entire district. Mr Nagpal said that there are about one lakh prospective consumers for the basic service (fixed lines).

Out of them, 80,000 are from the rural pockets. According to him, the thrust of the department was on the WLL system, which provides both mobile and fixed line services. Efforts will be made to adjust those in the queue in the WLL system.

The cost of providing connections and maintenance is cheaper in this system. The department has completed the logistics for the operation of WLL.According to him, the BSNL launched its cellular services in Haryana on October 28 in Panipat. The department has planned to attain the target of providing 1,16,000 cellular lines by starting another 68,000 lines by the end of this calendar year.

The BSNL faces competition from Touchtel and Reliance Info-the two private firms with licence for operation in Haryana-in the basic service sector. In mobile services, the BSNL faces competition from Essar, Airtel and Escotel. According to the officials of the BSNL, the thrust of the department was on the upgradation of technology. Moreover, the BSNL has launched a special drive to motivate its field staff. 


UK mission launches website

New Delhi, November 2
The acting British High Commissioner, Mr Mark Runacres, launched a new global website during the British High Commission Festival, here at Ansal’s Plaza. The website has been specifically designed to provide information about opportunities and attractions that UK has to offer.

As many as seven British companies participated in the festival. Virgin Atlantic Airways gave information to the prospective travellers to UK.

The launch was followed by a laser show and performance by Mrigaya band. TNS

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