Tuesday, November 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


MAMC flash strike, exam postponed 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi November 18
Even as the police claimed that the hunt for the alleged rapists of a fourth year Maulana Azad Medical College student had intensified, the ire of the students manifested itself in a flash strike, forcing the authorities to postpone the scheduled fourth year examination today.

Hundreds of students sat on a dharna on the college premises in the heart of the city to protest against the increasing lawlessness and the alleged inertia of the authorities in nabbing the suspects. The students also got into a heated exchange with the senior police officers who visited the campus today.

Shouting slogans against the police and the college administration, the students said that they would continue to demonstrate even at the risk of jeopardizing their careers till the alleged rapists were brought to book.

Three unidentified armed suspects had intercepted the medical student on the busy stretch of Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg on Friday afternoon. After forcing her on to the terrace of the Khooni Darwaza, two kept a watch while the third reportedly assaulted her. The brazenness of the alleged assault has sent shock waves through the Capital, particularly in the university circles where women have increasingly become victims of sexual harassment and crime.

‘’We have postponed the examination today but the next one scheduled for Wednesday would be held on schedule. Talks with students are on and we are hopeful of a solution to the problem,’’ said the Registrar of the College, Mr.S S Gupta.

The main demand of the students was that the security on the college campus be beefed up. It is believed that the authorities are discussing this issue with the police officials. The students were also demanding that the culprits be brought to book immediately.

Delhi Police Commissioner R S Gupta today briefed reporters and said that a women ACP had met the parents of the victim to ascertain the identity of the suspects. The ACP reportedly requested the parents to arrange a meeting with the victim, which will facilitate the arrest of the suspects.

“We want the victim to speak out and once she starts co-operating, the identification of the suspects becomes easier,” said the commissioner.

He also said that intensive patrolling was being introduced forthwith and they would keep a regular interface with a security committee of students and the college authorities.

Mr Gupta disclosed that 15 police teams had been sent to various places in the city to nab the suspects.


Allottees pick holes in Huda policy
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 18
Irked by the ‘pick and choose’ policy of Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) in the allotment of alternative plots to the original allottees, Mr Raj Kumar Rathee, an original allottee, has appealed to the Chief Administrator, Huda, against the ‘sordid’ developments.

Mr Rathee, like hundreds of other original allottees, including NRIs and persons from various parts of the country, are aggrieved at the alleged pick and choose policy of Huda in fulfilling its legal obligation to recompense the investors in its plots, of which they could not take possession on account of subsequent dispute in some of the sectors, including Sector 21. Sectors 21,22 and 23 fall under the canopy of Sector 21. After allotments were made to the investors in 1986, some of the pockets of Sector 21 came under dispute.

The litigants were the farmers whose lands had been acquired by Huda for floating the sectors. As per the rule, Huda had to compensate the original allottees in the disputed parts of Sector 21. The state policy of Huda is to compensate them by giving alternative plots in Sector 5.

In a letter to the Chief Administrator, Huda, Mr Rathee has pointed out that he was allotted plot No 50 in Sector 21. On account of the dispute, he was given an alternative plot No 20 in Sector 5. He agreed, but the catch for him was that Huda charged a new rate from him for the plot in Sector 5. Though he paid the extra amount, he moved the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum (DCDRF) later. The DCDRF gave a ruling in his favour on February 11, directing Huda to give him the plot at original rate, i.e. the rate charged from him for the plot in Sector 21. Huda appealed to the State Commission against the ruling of Dispute Redressal Forum.

The State Commission dismissed its appeal on September 18. But it continues with its negative stance by not implementing the order.

Mr Rathee has pointed out to the Chief Administrator, Huda, of a similar case to one allottee who was allotted an alternative plot No 25 in Sector 5. But in that case, Huda acted promptly and made disbursal of the refunds after its appeal was dismissed by the State Commission. In Rathee’s case, on account of the ‘negative’ approach of Huda, he has not been able to take possession of the alternative plot nor the refund. However, an investigation conducted by the ‘NCR Tribune’ reveals that plots No 290, 446, 289, 477, 490, etc, have been given as alternative plots in the posh Sector 45 to the original allottees of Sector 21.

According to its own practice, Huda, after it loses in the State Commission, complies with the orders of the adjudicatory bodies with the proviso that they were subject to the decision of the National Commission for Dispute Redressal. It moves an appeal to the National Commission after implementing the orders of the lowers adjudicatory bodies.

The National Commission in a celebrated case, ‘Huda vs R.P. Chawla’, ruled that all alternative plots be charged at the price which the original plot was allotted.

Inquiries reveal that the undecided cases with regard to the alternative plots are with the office of the joint director, legal department of Huda, at the state headquarters.


Police ready to poison 23-yr-old Vikas
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, November 18
‘Vikas’ has completed only 23 years of his life span, but his masters have declared him ‘old’ and infirm, for no fault of his. One understands if he dies of any disease, the matter is different then.

Vikas’ employer and owner is, in fact, itching to inject poison in his body. This is the reward for his loyalty. Reconciled to the gory end, Vikas is now waiting for the moment when he would sleep forever.

Vikas happens to be the name of a horse of the mounted police. He was one of the favourites of all horses for years and enjoyed several privileges during his service. But, now Father Time, nay, police have rejected this 23-year-old horse.

Sub-inspector Omvir Singh of mounted police wrote a letter on November 6, 2002, to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Mukul Goel, seeking his approval to give ‘death’ sentence to this horse.

Sub-inspector Om Vir Singh told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the SSP had approved the sentence to this horse.

According to sources, the letter now lies in the office of Dy. I G. Gurdarshan Singh for his approval.

And after the DIG’s approval, some formalities have to be completed. Subsequently, poisonous injections would be given to the horse.

S-I Om Vir Singh revealed that the District Police follow all procedures on the directives of police HQ Allahabad.

However, several questions would be left behind. First, it is the police that implement Cruelty to the Animals (Prevention) Act and now they are going to defy this law.

If the matter reaches some NGOs, there is a possibility that Vikas could get a new lease of life.

The average age of a horse is 40 years and Vikas is just 23 years. Why the police are giving him death sentence when he has completed just half of his life. This practice has been on in the whole of state for years but no NGO has ever taken note of it.


Couple, two kids killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 18
A couple and their two children were killed and three others injured seriously in the worst-ever accident involving a dumper loaded with tarmac, a Maruti Zen car and a tractor-trailer on Jhajjar-Bahadurgarh Road near Dabodha village here this morning.

The victims were identified as Surender (40), son of Umed Singh, Sunil (38), wife of Surender and their children Himansu (11) and Rahul (5), all travelling in the ill-fated Maruti car. The three injured, riding on the tractor-trailer, were identified as Dilshad, Satish and Shamshad, all hailing from Chittour village of Muzaffarpur district in Uttar Pradesh.

However, the driver of dumper, who was being held responsible for causing the accident, escaped leaving the vehicle and victims.

According to information, as the car was trying to overtake a tractor-trailer just ahead of Dabodha village, a dumper coming from Jhajjar loaded with stones rammed it. After crushing the car, the loaded vehicle collided with the tractor-trailer which was also loaded with ‘gur’.

According to eyewitnesses, the collision was so powerful that all the four occupants of the car died on the spot.


‘Grading helps expunge ‘fail’ from education vocabulary’
Smriti Kak

The Director of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Mr B. P. Khandelwal, is an optimistic man. He is convinced that the education scenario of the country holds promise and that the current set-up will witness a change for good. Having worked as an educationist for over three decades, he has held the post of Chairman, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Delhi, apart from heading the UP State Education Board.

A law graduate from the University of Allahabad, he was offered assignment to teach in the commerce unit of the same university. Thereafter, life took an altogether different course for the aspiring civil servant. The journey that began as an Assistant Professor in 1963 has brought him to his current post in the NIEPA.

Mr Khandelwal served as the additional secretary, secretary and director of the education boards of higher secondary and intermediate education for over 15 years in Uttar Pradesh. He was also the Chairman of the CBSE for six years. Mr Khandelwal represented India in different academic bodies and international organisations. He has also co-authored books and published papers on different aspects of secondary and higher education and examinations. Recipient of the life-time achievement in education, Mr Khandelwal spoke to ‘NCR Tribune’ about the state of education in the country.

As the Chairman of the CBSE, you were a staunch supporter of the grading system. Why?

I believe that it is essential to adopt the grading system. It is a scientific and rational way of judging a student. I had worked out the details of implementing the process in great detail with the authorities and I am satisfied that it is being implemented partially.

We have empirical evidence to prove that the education and examination process in the country needs reform. Why I support the grading system is because it is democratic, it supports improvement and development and is relevant with appropriate skill and competency development.

It is undemocratic to differentiate on the basis of marks. It is unfair to say that a student with 92 marks is better than a student with 90 marks. Grading removes this disparity. It is especially true for the economically weaker students. They are differentiated on the basis of these marks from their counterparts in public schools. We have to remove the word ‘fail’; grading helps ensure that. It removes the distinction between those who can afford and those who can’t.

You have been assessing the state of education. The quality of education in government-run schools is a statement of great apathy. The results speak of the quality. What is your observation?

I am a great optimist. I am certain that the quality will improve and very soon at that. You see, the per student expenditure in government-run schools is almost similar to that in the private schools. I am not referring to the hi-tech schools, which are air-conditioned. They are an exception. By and large, the facilities that the government has provided in its schools is adequate and there is plenty of financial help that the schools are being provided.

With the infrastructure available, why is it that it is not being utilised properly? Is it because of apathy, complacence or sheer negligence?

The teachers need to be made accountable and that can happen when the parents participate in the teaching process. The students who go to these schools are mostly first generation lesarners and the parents more often than not are not concerned about their performance.

There is a need to involve parents and rope them in the decision-making procedures. Then, there is a need for devolution and decentralisation of power. We have to provide more powers to the teachers and the principal and make them responsible. We give them the infrastructure and the power to run it, then make them accountable.

The sooner it is done, the better it will be. I have always said that it is necessary to rope in parents and even the public school authorities to help evolve a better environment.

Even the UGC has coming knocking to the NIEPA to work out a solution to their dilemma of introducing contractual appointments? How are you going to address the issue?

I am not ready to share the information as yet. We are a professional organisation and we have to deal with this issue like the rest. I would like to add that we are yet to be formally approached with the problem. When we are asked to find a solution, we are going to base our recommendations on the basis of our research, our observations.

We will speak with all those who are involved, who are going to be affected and who matter. There will be surveys, consultations and meetings. The work will be carried out professionally and at this point I would not like to make any observation on the behalf of the organisation or make any personal references.

You talk about raising the educational standards and of universalising education. How do you propose to do that?

We have to make use of the resources we have at hand. We have a commitment to the people to provide quality education and as a signatory to the WTO and GATTS, we have to ensure that educational standards are met with. India is currently the largest provider of IT personnel. Our educators are also in great demand. Foreign countries have approached us for helping them plan the educational services in their countries.

When I say we have to use the resources to the maximum, I mean why should we not use the facilities available in schools for college students. It is unfair that technology worth lakhs of rupees is utilised in schools for four to five hours and then locked up. Why should not students from other schools and colleges be allowed to share and use it? Sharing and maximum utilisation is the key to success.

There is no such thing as ‘this computer lab is reserved for college students and cannot be utilised by school students’. We have to thoroughly study the standard of education being followed in the country; foreign universities are opening their chapters here, and we should be in a position to negotiate well and derive the maximum benefit for our students.

Education is a pathfinder and we have to utilise education to help us find solutions to the population problem and alleviation of poverty. Being the second most populated country in the world, we should ensure that our education is capable of converting the available human resource into a composed strength of knowledge and skills.


Ground water level goes down by 4.5 m
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18
Parliament was today informed that the ground water level in several parts of the national Capital had receded by 4.5 metres during 2001-02 and the situation was compounded by a further decline of up to three metres due to scanty monsoon rains this year.

Minister of State for Water Resources Bijoy Chakravarty said while the state government was primarily responsible for undertaking schemes for ground water augmentation, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) had taken several steps for drought mitigation in the Capital.

These include construction of 42 deposit wells in the Yamuna Flood Plain Area during 2002-03. Another 85 exploratory tubewells have been constructed, of which 50 had been handed over to the Delhi Government for utilisation.

As many as 560 out of 3,000 drinking water samples covering 173 schools in different parts of the national Capital were found with higher than permissible levels of fluoride, Mrs Chakravarty said in reply to another question.

The water samples were collected from drinking water sources in the residential localities of the schoolchildren covering 173 schools in South, South-West, North and North-West districts of Delhi.

The survey conducted by the CGWB in collaboration with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) during 1997-98 indicated higher levels of fluoride than 1 mg or litre in Najafgarh, Kanjhawala, Alipur and City blocks.

In a bid to tackle the monkey menace in the Capital, the Centre with the help of the Delhi Government and NGOs has so far trapped 200 monkeys, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

With this, the problems caused by monkeys, who had created havoc in front of the police headquarters and a few hospitals in the Capital were likely to be over, a police official said.

Replying to a written question, Minister of Environment and Forests T. R. Baalu, while admitting that the monkey menace had been reported from different parts of Delhi, said action had been taken by the Centre by involving the Delhi Government, NGOs and experts to trap the monkeys and relocate them in their natural habitat. So far, about 200 monkeys had been trapped and kept at Rakokari transit shelter.

Replying to another written question, Mr Baalu said so far 506 industrial units operating in non-conforming areas had been closed down after complaints were received by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.


Sonepat to get new fire station
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 18
The Haryana Government proposes to set up a new fire station in Sector 23, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) of the city. This was stated by Mr Sanjeev Kaushal, Director of Local Bodies, Haryana at a meeting of the officials here yesterday.

Mr Kaushal also disclosed that the population of the city had increased manifold in recent years and most of the residential areas were situated on the western side of the city, which had been separated by the railway crossing near Hindu College. The staff of the existing fire station always faced inconvenience whenever an incident of fire was reported from this area. The vehicles of the fire brigade could not reach immediately on the scene as they had to cross the railway overbridge via Atlas Cycles and double storey quarters.

He also disclosed that all the roads would be repaired and steps would be taken to shift the dairies from the city areas shortly. Mr Kaushal directed the civic authorities to take steps for the recovery of house tax, the arrears of which had mounted to lakhs of rupees. Earlier, Mr Kaushal reviewed the working of the Sonepat Municipal Council and development of the city with the Deputy Commissioner.

Bus robber nabbed

The Murthal police have arrested one John Mohammad, a resident of Kalugarhi village in Ghaziabad district of UP, in connection with the looting of Mr Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Delhi, travelling in a Haryana Roadways bus of Nuh

Sub-depot in Gurgaon district last week.

According to a report, Mr Bhagwan Dass was travelling in the Haryana Roadways bus bound for Delhi and when it started from Ganaur bus stand, the suspect reportedly offered some drug-laced biscuits. After eating these biscuits, Mr Bhagwan Dass fell unconscious and the suspect allegedly removed a gold ring, a gold kada, a purse containing Rs 8,500, two cheques amounting to Rs 1.60 lakh and Rs 4.95 lakh respectively and a wristwatch.

The suspect got down from the bus on the G T Road near Qumashpur village and fled. During the course of interrogation, he has confessed to his crime and told the police that he had committed such crimes in Haryana and Rajasthan during the past few months. The police have registered a case of looting against the suspect and further investigations are in progress.


Farmhouses must not hold banquets
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has once again warned the owners of farmhouses in the Capital against carrying out commercial activities like banqueting, wedding and other social functions without valid licence.

Such commercial activities in the farmhouses create a lot of traffic congestion besides causing noise and air pollution. Moreover, the roads leading to the farmhouses also get blocked causing considerable inconvenience to the motorists.

The MCD has decided to ban commercial activities at farmhouses.

The MCD will take strict action under Sections 347 and 417 of the DMC Act against violators of the law, a press release said.

8 kg charas seized

The Delhi Police arrested Inder Singh and Pritam Singh who had brought charas from Himachal Pradesh to deliver to somebody in the Capital.

The police received a secret information that two persons from Himachal Pradesh will bring charas at ISBT.

A trap was laid there and they were arrested and 4 kg charas seized from each of them, the police said.


Man shot at
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 18
A middle-aged person was injured after he was fired upon by a resident of Bahbalpur village in the district this morning. The accused fled after the incident.

The victim, identified as Man Singh, also a resident of the same village, was nursing an old enmity with the accused, who fired at him from a country-made revolver. He has been admitted in the civil hospital at Ballabgarh. A case had been booked.

In another incident, a labourer was killed after a damaged part of a crane fell on him in Sector 28 here yesterday. The crane was lifting some steel pipes when the hook of the crane fell on the head of the victim, identified as Manu Singh, employed in a private company. He died in the hospital later.


Conman’s extortion bid foiled in CP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18
The police patrolling party arrested a customer care executive from Connaught Place where he was allegedly extorting money from a person who went there for shopping.

The victim, Sumit Kumar, a resident of Karol Bagh, went to Connaught Place last evening for shopping.

As he was parking his car opposite Wenger restaurant in A-Block at about 10 pm, the suspect, who was identified as Nitin Sharma, approached the victim and introduced as an official of the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and started searching his car. The suspect also threatened him of arrest if he did not give him Rs 800. As the suspect was busy searching the victim’s car, the victim noticed a motorcycle patrol party and raised an alarm.

The suspect tried to run away when he saw the policemen on motorcycle. He was chased and arrested.

During interrogation, the suspect disclosed that he worked as an executive in customer care service. He tried to commit the crime as he had no money. He thought robbing a person with this modus operandi could fetch him handsome amount.

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