Friday, November 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


MRP row set to snowball
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 14
After the Gurgaon Industrial Association and the Haryana Beopar Mandal, it is now the Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal that has criticised the state government for imposing sales tax on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of about 60 consumer items.

The Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal will hold its emergency meeting in Kaithal shortly to take stock of the

matter. It is awaiting the government response on the widespread opposition to its move to revise the structure of sales tax.

As the Chief Minister,Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is presently abroad, the Mandal just chooses to see how the land lies before taking further action.

An office-bearer of the Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal regretted the decision to impose sales tax on MRP, instead on the billing prices, as done before.

The move, in effect, meant that the dealers would have to deposit the tax after collecting from its customers at the print rate of the products, which was earlier applicable on the sale rate of the goods at the first point of the sale.

After the sale at the first point, the goods were traded as tax-paid goods. They were not subjected to further tax. The government’s move entails a drastic increase in the amount of sales tax to be deposited.

Applicable on 60 items, containing hundreds of sub-items, the increase would have a direct bearing on the consumers as well as the traders.

Although the move would adversely impact those in the trade of consumer goods, it would affect the consumers as well. The Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal will oppose it on all fronts, the Mandal office-bearer said.

According to reports reaching here, a delegation of representatives from pharmaceuticals from the state met the Commissioner, Sales Tax, Haryana, a few days ago, against the government’s move. Medicine are among the goods that are affected by the new tax structure.

The traders wonder at the rationale of levying the sales tax on MRP in Haryana when all the states, including the bordering ones, are adhering to the old system. They charged that the government was only interested in increasing its exchequer without any regard to the interests of the public.

They expressed the view that the decision of the government flies in the face of its assertions that it wanted to industrialise the state. The measure would not only hit the traders and industrialists hard, but also deter them from expanding or opening business in the state.

The traders rued the ‘contradiction’ in the government’s policy of luring the foreign investments, but hitting out at the domestic trade and industry.

The charged-up traders’ community went to the extent of alleging that Mr Om Prakash Chautala left for foreign tour immediately after imposing the new structure. It has been a pattern of the INLD government to increase the existing taxes and levying under fresh heads.



DU protestors ring the Ring Road
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, November 14
Around 350 slogan shouting Delhi University students descended on the Ring Road (near Khalsa College on the North campus) and did not let a single commuter pass for almost two hours.

The students brought traffic to an absolute halt and commuters, who attempted to steer through the bastion of protestors, were handed a severe punishment: the tyres of their vehicles were deflated. The students finally dispersed after the area ACP promised to place their demands before the authorities.

The DUSU-led procession – which began at 12 noon from Jubilee Hall – was targeted at the Delhi University authorities for their non-action in the Jubilee Hall matter. Nakul seemed to echo the views of the protestors: “We demand the resignation of the Vice Chancellor as he is incapable of handling this university.” The V-C has been refusing to meet the agitating students or residents of Jubilee Hall since trouble broke out on October 31 and, according to Nakul, is “too busy furthering his personal agenda”. The indignant students are now wondering what it would take to meet the esteemed Vice Chancellor. The DUSU has been considering going on an indefinite strike from November 18.

The students were visibly dissatisfied with the limited action initiated at the university officials’ end. In the past week, the Dean of Colleges has called for election of student representatives on the hostel managing committee. The university authorities have also held several meetings with members of DUSU and promised to take action on a list of demands submitted by the disgruntled residents.

In fact, the sub-committee instituted by the Managing Committee met yesterday in a bid to resolve the issue. Nakul said, “This is superficial action meant to subdue the agitation, no real action will be taken on it, we demand the resignation of the hostel authorities (Warden, Provost and Resident Tutor) and even the elusive V-C who fails to hear the voices of students.”

The problem of hostels is not confined to Jubilee Hall and is rampant in the PG Men’s Hostel. The authorities have in the past failed to conclusively deal with the problems relating to alleged irregularities and financial bungling by the authorities, deprecatory status of messes and other facilities and, most important, the rampant harassment of students by the officials.

The DU authorities blame a students lobby with political linkages for instigating violence against them.



Magistrate’s car stolen
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
The car of a Judicial Magistrate, Mr R K Mehta, was allegedly stolen from Ashok Nagar, a thickly populated area of the city, last evening.

It is stated that Mr Mehta along with other family members went to the area to purchase some domestic articles. He parked the car outside the bazaar and went inside a shop. When he returned, he found the car missing. The police were immediately informed and the cops swung into action and sealed the border. But, the car has not been found so far.

This is the first time in the history of Sonepat when the car of a Judicial Magistrate has been stolen. The police have registered a case.

According to yet another report, two armed youths snatched a car from its driver Ramesh of Sikandarpur Majra village about 45 km from here yesterday. The miscreants had hired the car from Fawara Chowk at Gohana for a marriage party. A case has been registered.

In another incident, at least half-a-dozen miscreants armed with pistols and other weapons forced their way into a chemist shop in the Chah Dayal Chowk area around 8.30 pm last night. They closed the shutter of the shop and warned its owner, Mr Mukesh Chawla, and his two associates, Mr Vijay Gupta and Mr Arora, against raising an alarm.

According to a report, the intruders threatened them with pistols and other weapons. They then snatched the cash, gold rings and chains from them and escaped. Subsequently, all the three persons came out of the shop and raised an alarm.

On hearing the commotion, a large number of people assembled at the site and informed the police about the incident. The police arrived on the spot and launched a hunt but failed to trace the miscreants.



A ‘people’s movement’ without govt, NGO backing
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Panipat, November 14
Even as the NGOs rake in millions in the name of fighting social evils, the anti-dowry campaign of the Rawal Gotra of the district has turned into a “people’s movement” in the whole of Haryana, without government or NGO support.

With another village—Kohand in Karnal district— joining the anti-dowry bandwagon on November 10, the ambitious campaign, which made a modest beginning in Bapoli village a few months back, has picked up momentum.

In fact, at a meeting of the 51 Rawal gotra villages recently, ways and means to include other communities in the “dowryless marriages” were deliberated upon and the villagers, particularly the community leaders were unanimous that the dowry evil should be exterminated.

The sporadic protests by the vested interests notwithstanding, the Rawal leaders are determined to make it a statewide campaign. Mr Ilam Singh Bapoli, panchayat member and driving force behind the campaign, while talking to the ‘NCR Tribune’ claimed that with several villages of Karnal district joining the campaign, the dowryless marriage drive had gained ground in the state.

He warned that the violators would be strictly dealt with.

The penalty includes a social boycott, the severest punishment in the Gujjar community. The very fact that the experiment had been working perfectly for the past several months should be enough to silence the campaign critics, the villagers felt.

At the meeting, however, several useful suggestions were thrown about and certain doubts expressed. Some villagers wanted a check on what they called “under-the-table dowry”, before or after the marriage. Others wanted a sustained anti-dowry campaign and strict action against the violators so that such a path-breaking movement did not lose steam midway. The apathetic attitude of the state government and the NGOs for not helping the campaign crusaders came in for severe criticism at the meeting.

The speakers alleged that while the authorities and NGOs had been promoting the frivolous campaigns, the genuine campaigns were being given the go-by.

It may be noted that the Rawal Gotra had launched this ambitious project with a view to checking dowry and giving relief to the common man. Under an ingenious system developed by the Gujjar community, a marriage, which earlier cost a couple of lakhs, could be solemnised in a couple of hundred rupees. The same was true of the functions after the deaths of elders in the family. And the decision had been widely appreciated by different sections of society, including even the “dowry-takers”, who did not want to come on record for obvious reasons.

Under the system, elaborate guidelines had been worked out by the community for solemnising marriage and other functions.



Plaint of victim’s father against DCP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
Chandra Bhan Singh has appealed to Lt-Governor of Delhi Vijai Kapoor, the National Human Rights Commission, the Central Vigilance Commission and the Home Minister not to give sensitive posting to Deputy Commissioner of Police Manoj Kumar Lall, as he was allegedly involved in the fake encounter in January this year in which his son died. A CBI inquiry is being conducted in the case at present.

In a letter to these authorities, Mr Chandra Bhan said his son, Rupinder, was killed in the night of January 11 in his Pandav Nagar house in East district by a team of the local police.

The police had claimed that Rupinder was a criminal and he was killed in an encounter, which was not true, Mr Chandra Bhan said. Rupinder was innocent and he was killed in a fake encounter.

Mr Chandra Bhan filed a case in the Delhi High Court for investigation of the case. The high court ordered an inquiry into the case by the CBI and following which Manoj Kumar Lall was transferred to the Fourth Battalion.

He appealed that all police officials involved in the fake encounter either should be suspended or should not be given sensitive postings till the investigation of case was not completed.

Mr Chandra Bhan has said that it was a punishment transfer for DCP Manoj Kumar Lall to New Delhi district.

The CBI office is located nearby in the same district and the Investigating officer of the CBI is junior to Mr Lall in rank and the investigation of the case can be manipulated, Mr Chandra Bhan has said in the letter.



The mountaineer who meditates with his boots on
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
There is perhaps not a single adjective that can best describe a man who has looked death in the face not once, but 17 times, spent a harrowing 65 hours at a height of more than 27,000 feet without oxygen and led teams to the tallest and the most challenging peaks.

Only a book can do justice to Padma Bhushan Capt. M S Kohli and reveal the Odyssey of a determined mind. Capt. Kohli, who enjoys the sobriquet spiritual climber, will turn 71 next month. This will be another milestone for the leader of the nine-member expedition to the Everest in 1965, a record that India held for nearly 17 years.

But the most astounding aspect of the septuagenarian’s life was when he, along with two others, in the year 1962 were caught in a raging blizzard at a height of 27,650 feet for over 65 hours. The team was on a mountaineering expedition when it had to brave nature’s fury, this when most of their 65 hours were spent without oxygen.

Capt. Kohli has 14 major expeditions to his credit, including the Indian Navy’s challenging ascent of Nanda Kot in 1961 when the team had to fight not just formidable conditions, but also the aggression unleashed by high altitude bandits. He was also a part of the Indo-American expedition to Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot from 1965 to 1967.

Author of 21 books, Capt. Kohli is the recipient of awards like the Padma Bhushan, the Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, Order of the Khalsa and the Arjun Award. His love and concern for the Himalayas instilled in him a desire to preserve nature’s largesse: so, along with Sir Edmund Hilary and other Himalayan lovers, he founded the Himalayan Environment Trust.

Born in Haripur, which falls in Hazra district of the North West Frontier Province, to Sardar Sujan Singh and his wife, Capt. Kohli has worked with the Indian Navy, the ITBP, and has also had a stint with the Government of Bhutan, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, and an International Bank in Hong Kong. He has also had the privilege of addressing both the Houses of Parliament.

Having imbibed the spirit of adventure and courage from his ancestor, Shaheed Kuldip Singh, who was baptised by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699, the Captain was helped develop the Indo-Tibetan Border Police into a formidable

mountaineering organisation. Lovers of adventure sports have Capt. Kohli to thank for the initiation of white water rafting in India and also for introducing aero-sports by organising the first ever-international hand gliding rally in the year 1984.

Married, with two sons, Captain Kohli’s wife Ms. Pushpa Kohli has provided him with support that saw them through traumatic times. Capt. Kohli is also the architect of many conventions, tourist charters and luxury sea cruises in the Indian Ocean.



MDU students get ‘mercy chance’
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, November 14
The Maharshi Dayanand University has decided to grant a ‘mercy chance’ to those students who could not clear their compartment papers within the stipulated chances. This special chance would be allowed to the students of annual 1999 examinations onwards under Section 9-A (5) of MDU Act. The students who could not complete their degree course within the prescribed period and who could not improve their division score would also be eligible for the chance. However, it is not meant for the students of the MDS/MD/MS/PG Diploma courses. The examination fee for this chance will be Rs 1,100 (Rs 1,000 examination fee plus Rs 100 continuation fee).

The students will have to appear as per the current syllabi applicable for the academic session 2002-03. Examination forms can be obtained from the publication cell of the university on usual payment, a university handout said.

The mercy chance for all under-graduate examinations (under 10+2 pattern), postgraduate examinations (annual system) and other examinations in all disciplines will be held during April/May 2003. The last date of submission of examination forms will be December 2 and the forms can be submitted with a late fee of Rs 500 up to March 17, 2003.

The mercy chance for B.Engg/B.Tech/B.Arch (semester system) examination will be held during April/May 2003. The last date for submission of examination forms without late fee for these examinations will be March 3, 2003. Thereafter, the examination forms can be submitted with late fee of Rs 200 up to April 1 and with a late fee of Rs 500 up to April 15, 2003. The mercy chance examination for semester/professional system BBA/MBA/ BAMS/Diploma in Pharmacy/ Ayurveda/B. Pharma etc will be held for even-semester in May 2003 and for odd-semester in December 2003. As regards May 2003 examination, the last date for the submission of examination forms will be March 3, 2003.



No funds for drought relief, enough for 
foreign jaunts: Cong
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former Haryana minister and a spokesman of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), today criticised the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, for going on a foreign tour in spite of the financial crisis in the state.

In a signed press statement issued here, he said that the state government had no funds to provide relief to the drought-hit farmers but the Chief Minister was squandering the public funds on foreign tours. He alleged that to avoid any revolt against his leadership in the party and by the independent MLAs, Mr Chautala had chosen to take some MLAs of different groups with him who could otherwise pose a threat to his chief ministership in his absence.

Referring to the claim of Mr Chautala that he had got the consent of many foreign investors to set up industries in Haryana, Mr Hooda alleged that not a single industrial unit by any foreign entrepreneur had been set up in the state during the past three-and-a-half years. Similarly, the recently developed Rai industrial estate had not attracted any foreign investment so far.

He also alleged that on account of the adverse law and order situation in the state, even the industrialists from Delhi, who had purchased industrial plots at Rai, Bari and other places in the wake of the Supreme Court’s orders to shift their units from Delhi, had not set up any industry and were now interested in disposing of their plots. He demanded a white paper on the foreign tours of Mr Chautala be brought out so that the people could know how mercilessly the Chief Minister had wasted their hard-earned money.

Mr Hooda apprehended if the law and order situation did not improve, many industries would shift from the state, causing a huge financial loss to the state exchequer. He claimed that if the state had been ruled by the Congress under the leadership of Mr Bhajan Lal, many foreign industrialists would have set up their units, which would have helped to reduce the rate of unemployment and also provide adequate funds for development of the state.

He declared that if the Congress came to power, it would provide a corruption-free and fear-free government and would defer the anti-farmer and anti-people policies being followed by the Chautala government.

The Congress leader predicted that in the next Lok Sabha elections, the Congress would win all 10 seats in Haryana, which would serve a blow to Mr Chautala. Mr Hooda alleged that Mr Chautala had let loose a reign of terror on every section of the people, including the Dalits and backward classes.

Mr Azad Singh Nehra, secretary of the HPCC, also opposed the frequent foreign trips of the Chief Minister and urged the state government to release a white paper on these visits. In a press statement issued here today, he said that the white paper should mention the foreign trips during his tenure, expenses incurred by the state exchequer and the details of foreign direct investment in the state.

Mr Nehra also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Casino Bill, which would not only damage the social and economic fabric of the state but would also create a serious law and order situation.

Meanwhile, the president of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, has made a similar demand on the foreign trips of the Chief Minister as well as the Casino Bill. In a press statement issued here, he called upon the opposition parties to come together on these issues and launch a united struggle against the anti-people policies of the Chautala government.



Old Sonepat gets only a trickle
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
Lack of control over the tubewell drivers at the main waterworks in Murthal and the boosting stations in this city as well as over the keymen by officials of the Public Health Department have adversely affected water supply in the city, especially in Ram Bazar, Mohalla Kalan, Mohalla Kot, Ganj Bazar and Mahabir Colony. Except VIP areas, almost all other areas are being supplied with water at very low pressure. The result is that there has been no water in certain places for several days.

Representatives of various political parties and social organisations have expressed concern over the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the PHD and blamed the authorities for the ongoing water crisis in the city.

In a joint press release, they demanded a high-level probe into the public complaints about the inadequate and erratic supply of drinking water and the suspension of the officials found responsible for it.

The public outcry for water has not bothered the officials of the PHD to take steps to improve the water supply in the city. They have also failed to shift a keyman, Mukesh Kumar, from the old section of the town in spite of repeated complaints against him by local residents.

During the past four days, the residents of Ram Bazar and Mohalla Kalan have been facing a shortage of drinking water because of low pressure. The water does not reach even the ground floors of the houses. By and large, most of the residents get only a trickle of water. In certain cases, even that trickle is not there. Those on the first and second floors are having a harrowing time. It is learnt that the shortage surfaces only when keyman Mukesh Kumar is on duty.

For the minimum requirement of water, several residents have installed booster pumps directly on the water mains. The PHD authorities have failed to check the malpractice. Booster pumps, besides further adding to the consumption of power, draw muddy and contaminated water that causes water-borne diseases.

Political parties and social organisations have flayed the authorities for the state of affairs and have immediate steps. They also demanded the immediate shifting of Mukesh Kumar without any further delay to avoid any confrontation with the people.



IOC dithering on job offer to villagers
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 14
Over 340 residents of Asavati village of Ballabgarh subdivision are keeping their awaiting jobs in the plant of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for the past several years. The residents, who are sitting on dharna outside the plant, have alleged that the company officials had failed to comply with the their obligation to provide employment to the persons whose land was acquired.

While the affected persons have reiterated that their agitation will continue till their demands were met, the intervention of the district officials on the issue has failed to bring any acceptable result so far.

A meeting was held at the IOC’s bottling plant at Asavati village on July 23 this year in which the SDMs of Ballabgarh and Palwal, Deputy General Manager (DGM) and Industrial Relation Manager of the IOC and a committee of the affected persons took part.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the affected persons were put into three categories as per the percentage of land acquired.

It was decided that a format be developed and given to the representative of the affected persons for compiling data for ascertaining eligibility of the candidates as on the date of acquiring the land.

The SDMs of Palwal and Ballabgarh reiterated that it would be necessary for the IOC to give a few permanent jobs positively in view of the existing law and order situation, which was stated to be quite volatile. It was also suggested that the jobs being carried out through contract system like horticulture, haulage, canteen etc be converted into permanent jobs and the affected persons be accommodated accordingly.

It was also discussed that in case of future manpower employment at Asavati, the locally affected persons be considered primarily and the contractors working at present be asked to hire residents of the village, especially the affected persons.

While the minutes of the meeting were signed by all parties concerned, the affected villagers have again started a dharna to protest against the delay in the acceptance of the understanding reached earlier.

The dharna has been on for past about three weeks and several women have also joined it. The villagers have been staging demonstrations from time to time in support.

One of the affected persons said although assurances had been given at all meetings held so far, there was not enough pressure from the district administration on the IOC.



Plea for national homage to Rezangla martyrs
Our Correspondent

Rewari, November 14
The Rezangla Shaurya Samiti has given representations to Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President of India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, as well as Mr Manohar Joshi, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, making a forceful plea for paying national homage in the inaugural proceedings of the winter session of Parliament, beginning on November 18, to the 114 Ahir jawans of the Charlie Company of the 13th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment.

These men made the supreme sacrifice while valiantly fighting under the command of Major Shaitan Singh against the Chinese at Rezangla at the dizzy heights of 18,000 ft in the Ladakh region on November 18, 1962.

Copies of the above representation have also been faxed to the Prime Minister and leader of the ruling NDA, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mr Pramod Mahajan, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and several others for information and necessary relevant action.

Elucidating the justification for the move, Mr Naresh Chauhan, general secretary of the samiti, asserted that in view of the pervasively momentous historicity of the battle of Rezangla November 18 needed to be officially declared National Gallantry Day (Rashtriya Shaurya Divas) to ensure national as well as grateful remembrance of these immortal heroes every year on this day.

In further appreciation of their unprecedented valour and heroism, Mr Chauhan pointed out that Charlie Company in five hours of battle had won one Param Vir Chakra, 8 Vir Chakras and four Sena Medals for gallantry- a performance unmatched in the Indian armed forces to this day.

Besides, shortly after the war, Charlie Company the 13th Bn of the Kumaon Regiment, was officially designated Rezangla Company by special gazette, the only battalion in the Indian Army to have been accorded this honour.

Moreover, no country could ask more of its soldiers than the impossible task these men achieved so bravely. No soldier could give more for his country than they.

Major Shaitan Singh and his Charlie Company had done their duty and died, leaving a tradition unmatched for generations to follow.

Even the Chinese have acknowledged that they suffered their highest casualties in the Indo-China war of 1962 at Rezangla.



Chemists’ stir against ST on MRP tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
The Haryana State Chemists and Druggists Association today announced its decision to observe one-day token strike on November 16 in the state to register its protest against the decision of the state government to impose sales tax on the maximum retail price (MRP) on medicines and other products, including electrical appliances, batteries, shaving blades and razers, cosmetic items, computer parts and electronic goods, including washing machines, refrigerators, TV sets etc. Giving this information, Mr R. K. Khera, President of the association, told mediapersons here today the state government had levied sales tax on the MRP of medicines at the flat rate of 10 per cent, which was unjustified and unwarranted. The MRP of an item, he said, was fixed by the manufacturer and the trader purchased them after a great deal of bargaining at rates much below the printed MRP of the item.

He said that levying of the sales tax on the MRP would adversely affect the chemists as well as the consumers in the state as these would cost much more than in the neighbouring states bordering Haryana. He urged the state government to withdraw its decision and avoid confrontation with the chemists.

Youth shot at

A 17-year-old youth, Surinder, was shot at and wounded at Mehndipur village, about 10 km from here, on Wednesday evening. According to a report, the alleged assailant, Joginder, however, managed to escape. The injured youth was rushed to the local Civil Hospital. There he was referred to a trauma centre at Delhi for further treatment. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. A hunt is on to apprehend the alleged assailant, who is a close relative of the injured youth. A land and money dispute is stated to be the main cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested seven persons in connection with the alleged murder of Mr Jai Bhagwan of Umedgarh village. These include Ved and Rajinder of Umedgarh village, Pardeep of Sanpera village, Satpal and Raju of Ganaur, Jai Bhagwan of Dhaturi village and Roshan of Bal Parwana village in Karnal district.

Fire in luggage coach

Faridabad: The Indore-bound Inter-City Express caught fire on Wednesday night near the Asavati railway station. The fire, which engulfed the luggage compartment, left goods worth several lakhs reduced to ashes. However, the fire was controlled within a short period and no loss of life was reported. Railway police said the train had left Nizammuddin railway station at 10 pm and was on way to Indore. The incident took place at about 11 pm when it was near Hodal, a sub-divisional town. The luggage compartment had several items, including woollen goods. 



Bhogal calls for Amarinder’s resignation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
Mr Kuldip Singh Bhogal, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), here today demanded the resignation of the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, following the victory of the Badal group in the SGPC elections.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Bhogal said the Punjab Chief Minister had hurt the sentiments of the community by allowing armed policemen into the Golden Temple complex on the day of the elections.

He also accused the Chief Minister of unleashing a reign of repression against members of the SAD (Badal) in the state.

He urged the religious heads in Amritsar to summon Captain Amarinder Singh to Akal Takth and declare him a “tankhaiya”.

Mr Bhogal also directed his ire at the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, of the Tohra group, which had wrested control of the committee here in the general election held in June this year.

Mr Bhogal asked the authorities concerned to inquire into Mr Sarna’s frequent trips to the neighbouring country.

Naval Band to perform in Capital: The Indian Naval Band will give public performances in the Capital and Noida as part of the celebrations to mark Navy Day, which falls on December 4.

The band will perform near the India Gate, Pragati Maidan, Tihar Jail, Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk in the Capital. The 15-day programme, which will begin here tomorrow, will culminate on November 28.

Navy Day is observed to commemorate the ‘Victory at Sea’ in the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. The Naval Band was commissioned in 1945 and it performs for all service and ceremonial functions.

The band has established itself as one of the best bands in the country, having won the inter-services trophy several times.



Kin nabbed for woman’s murder
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 14
The Vijay Nagar police have arrested four persons on the charge of murdering a woman last night. Her nephew is one of the accused.

Vimla, a resident of Behrampur village in Gautam Budh Nagar, was shot dead near Chipyana Gate. Her nephew, Ashok, a resident of Rakesh Marg, has been arrested.

Initially, Ashok had told the police that the crime had been perpetrated by two motor cycle- borne persons. But when he was interrogated sternly he told the police that he had murdered the woman with the help of certain hired criminals. Vimla was the wife of his uncle (mother’s brother). She had left her husband six years ago. Three years ago Ashok had developed illicit relations with her.

The police said Ashok’s family lives on Rakesh Marg. Vimla apparently used to dissuade Ashok from going to his wife and children. She had created a scene at Ashok’s residence at Rakesh Marg on Janmashtami day.

After this, Ashok had made up his mind to eliminate Vimla. He contacted Raju of Saraya Dua village through Jagat and gave Raju a contract for Rs 60,000 for killing Vimla. Ashok had given 50 per cent of the amount to Raju and his accomplice Dev Karan a fortnight ago, the police said.

Jagat had brought Dev Karan near Chipyana bridge to select a spot near the bushes for the crime.

In keeping with the plan, Ashok took Vimla to Vijay Nagar on his motor bike, ostensibly for getting medicine for her. But he stopped the motor bike at the selected spot and shot Vimla with his licensed revolver.

Dev Karan also appeared from behind the bushes and pumped bullets into Vimla from his countrymade revolver.

Vimla’s body was thrown in the bushes and Dev Karan fled from the scene. Meanwhile, Ashok went to the police post to file a complaint.

The police have arrested Ashok and confiscated his revolver. His accomplices, Raju, Dev Karan and Jagat, have all been nabbed. The murder weapons have also been recovered by the police.



‘Friendship’ club in Janak Puri busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
With the arrest of an alleged call girl and owner of a friendship club, the West district police of Delhi today claimed to have busted a racket of prostitution run under the garb of a friendship club in Janak Puri.

The alleged call girl belonged to Nepal. She is involved in the racked for a few months. The owner of the friendship club, “Dream Girl”, was identified as Neelam (65).

The Nepalese girl was arrested from near Vishal Cinema while Neelam was arrested from her residence, the police said.

The police had secret information that a prostitution racket was being run in the garb of a friendship club. A decoy contacted the friendship club owner and had taken membership of the club after depositing Rs 2,000. He was given telephone numbers of a several girls. The decoy contacted one of the girls yesterday and a deal was fixed for Rs 1,500.

The decoy called the girl near Vishal Cinema. She was arrested by a police team in plain clothes. Her interrogation led to the arrest of Neelam.

During interrogation Neelam disclosed that she had 2,000 members, including 50 girls, in her club. The duty of the club was to play the role of a middleman. The deal was fixed between the call girl and her customer, the police said.

In another case, the South district police busted a gang of call girls being run by Sweety and her associate Satish. The suspects ran the racket through mobile phones. People used to contact Sweety (30) on telephone to strike deals and also to give their requirements.

Sweety’s clientele was limited and carried forward to new customers only through known references. At the fixed time Sweety and Satish used to present the girls before the customers. A decoy contacted Sweety on mobile phone and a rendezvous was fixed at Saket at around 8 pm yesterday. After the deal was fixed and payment was made the police arrested Sweety, Satish and two girls who had been brought there for the decoy’s appraisal, the police said.



Fake currency racket busted in Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 14
The special operation group of Noida police has smashed an inter-state gang of criminals who have reportedly flooded fake currency notes in Delhi and Noida in a big way.

Noida police had been receiving information about the dubious activities of these gangs for quite sometime. The gangsters would strike a costly deal and then would push about 70 per cent fake currency with 30 per cent original currency at the time of the final payment.

The three persons caught are Rajan K. Nair, originally of Calicut in Kerala; Mohan Chander, resident of Usha Mandotam in Kottayam district, Kerala; and Alexender. They were caught at Depot crossing. Police have recovered fake currency of Rs 27,000 in the denomination notes of Rs 100 from the arrested persons.

The SP City Vijay Bhushan said that the culprits were arrested by a combined team of SOG and Sector 20 police station, though the special operation group had done the spadework.

Rajan Nair was a mastermind, who had been caught along with other accused in a fraud as director of a finance company during 2000. The currency notes, the CO City R.B. Singh said, did not carry the RBI’s watermark, so a layman could not tell the fake notes from the original legal tender.

The police said there are a number of other persons involved in the gang and they are trying to round them up also. These people were generally working as a conduit for flooding the market with fake notes printed in some southern or western state of the country. The currency shenanigan is rampant in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The notes seized by the police are reportedly a part of Rs 4 lakh consignment which was delivered to Nair in a Paharganj hotel in New Delhi a few days ago.

The UP police are in touch with Kerala and Tamil Nadu police to find out the place where these illegal notes are being printed. The Noida police team has been recommended for an award by SSP Rajiv Krishan.



Coke comes with a steaming cuppa
Sanjog Gupta

New Delhi, November 14
The first cups of Coca-Cola’s ‘affordability, availability and quality’ hit the market today at the ITPO Trade Fair 2002. With ‘Georgia’ — the latest offering from Coca-Cola — the company has fanned into the hot beverages segment.

Coca-Cola will now serve tea and coffee to Delhi consumers through state-of-the-art vending machines in grocery stores and its soft drink outlets. A senior company official said, “We think it is time to take the product from the class market to the mass market.” Sanjiv Gupta, Deputy President, at the launch of Georgia, called it the “biggest diversification of Coca-Cola in India.”

The company is keen to cash in on the shortcomings in the unorganised sector, especially in matters of hygiene and consistency, and is targeting the 25+ Delhi male. It has developed digital vending machines with in-built water management systems to ensure the highest standards of hygiene. Coca-Cola officials added, “We have done substantial research on the quality of water available in New Delhi and have developed a range of vending machines, customised to the hardness in the water in the 19 zones identified.”

But, the USP of the brand, according to Mr. Gupta, will be “its price”. A cup of standard Georgia hot tea is priced at Rs.4 while the coffee is priced at Rs.5. Apart from the regular fare, tea will also be available in a wide range of flavours, including cardamom, ginger and masala. The coffee aficionados have also been looked after with the availability of blends like cappuccino and moccasin.

Coca-Cola India plans to help its retail outlets in acquiring Georgia vending machines and is also extending a 3-tier maintenance support for the same. The investment for each retailer will range from Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 31,000 per machine, depending on the size of the machine required. 



Delhi Pavilion plays host to Asian cities
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
Perhaps one of the few cosmopolitan pavilions in the India International Trade Fair 2002, the Delhi Pavilion is playing host to nearly a dozen Asian cities for showcasing a diverse range of industrial products as part of the Asian Network of Major Cities.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurated the Delhi Pavilion this afternoon. This is the first time so many Asian cities have come together to, as the Government of NCT of Delhi’s spokesperson put it, showcase the achievements of half of the world’s population that lives in them.

The exhibition is a precursor to the Second Plenary Meeting of the Asian Network of Major Cities to be hosted in Delhi on November 21 and 22. The network held its first exhibition last year in Tokyo with participation from different Asian countries.

The Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) is managing the pavilion that has on display the progress notched up by the Asian cities in the spheres of economy and industry. DSIDC Managing Director Rajni Kant Verma says the landmark participation of the Asian cities is part of the Asian Network of Major Cities 21 Exhibition that has as its theme Tourism, Industry and Local Produce.

Attributing the overwhelming response from Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Jakarta, Tokyo and Yangon to the Network, Mr Verma says the endeavour is to strengthen Asian industry and enhance the importance of Asia in the international community by forging bonds and co-operation among the cities.

The DSIDC Managing Director further says the exhibition is second in the ongoing initiatives to enable the Asian cities to share knowledge and experience of common problems and through participation in joint projects make it possible for the positive outcome of these to be fed back for contributing to economic and social development in Asia.


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