Wednesday, December 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Metro security gets tangled
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
With barely a week to go before the prestigious Metro Rail becomes operational in the Capital, the Delhi Government is yet to adopt the Model System of Security on the pattern of European countries because of the reported differences in perception between it and the Raj Niwas here over the optimum number of personnel required.

Initially, Mr S. K. Kain, Special Commissioner of Police (Security) who is chief of the security committee constituted by the Lt-Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijai Kapoor, recommended that 1,600 securitymen, including officers, were required to police the Metro Railway from Tis Hazari to Shahadra.

However, the Delhi Government turned down the recommendation saying that it could not afford the expenses of such a large security for such a small stretch, police sources said.

The committee members again studied the security pattern of the Metro from various angles and recommended that any number fewer than 1,400 securitymen would not be sufficient to police the rail line as the localities falling between Tis Hazari and Shahdara were extremely congested and it would be difficult to control the huge crowds expected.

“Since its fare will be less than that of the local buses and other modes of transport in the Capital, the local people will prefer to travel in the Metro rail,” senior officials argued. This recommendation too was rejected by the Delhi Government and returned to the security committee for another review.

After careful deliberation for several days, the committee recommended deployment of 500 personnel, the barest minimum required to police the stations as well as the tracks between the two points.

The final recommendation of the committee has now been sent to the Lt-Governor. But recruitment has yet to be started. At present, 116 securitymen are being deployed to look after the security from December 24. The Metro Rail security would be under Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) R. S. Ghumman, the sources said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had sent Mr S. K. Kain to Paris to study security pattern for the metro there to recommend a model system of security for the Delhi Metro Rail. After having studied the security scenario in France, Mr Kain discussed the security issues for the Delhi Metro with other committee members and finalised the recommendations.

The security experts, who are getting the jitters for this prevarication, say since the Metro Rail is underground and hence more vulnerable, and the Capital has always been the main target of militants and subversive elements, the government should not compromise on security. 


’84 riot widows to meet Akal Takht Jathedar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
Aggrieved over the ‘indifferent’ attitude of the Sikh leaders towards the 1984 riot victims, the widows of the incident today stated that they would meet Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti this weekend and urge him to direct the members of the community to view their problems sympathetically.

Criticising the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee for failing to raise the issues concerning the riot widows at the highest quarters, Ms Darshan Kaur, president of the November 1984 Victim Widow Jatha, said it would urge the Akal Takht Jathedar to direct the SGPC to take the cause of the riot victims.

Stating that the Jatha would meet Giani Joginder Singh on Saturday, she said they would submit an eight-point memorandum to the Akal Takht Jathedar to highlight the plight of the victims.

Ms Darshan Kaur said the former DSGMC member, Mr Atma Singh Lubana, in alleged connivance with the Congress leader, Mr H K L Bhagat, has lodged ‘false’ cases against the victims.

“We would urge the Akal Takht Jathedar to summon Mr Lubana and direct him to withdraw false cases against the riot widows,” she said.

The charitable dispensary in Tilak Vihar, the colony where widows were resettled, has now started charging for medicines, she said, adding that the Jatha would urge Giani Joginder Singh to direct the dispensary to continue its charitable work.

A pension of Rs 500 per month to the widows has been stopped by the DSGMC, she said, adding “we would urge the Akal Takht to restore the pension and it should be increased to Rs 1,000 per month.”

The unemployed children of the widows be provided loan at nominal interest rate by the community’s bank to enable them start small units so that they may earn their livelihood, she said.

Ms Darshan Kaur said the Jatha would urge the Akal Takht Jathedar to direct the prosperous members of the community to extend a helping hand to the victims by employing the youth in their establishments.

The Jatha expressed dismay over the DSGMC’s act of honouring such persons during the ‘shaheed divas’ function in Tilak Vihar, who had done little for the welfare of the victims.

The president of the Jatha said that other issues concerning the problems faced by the widows would be brought to the notice of the Akal Takht Jathedar as the widows have been left to fend for themselves while those who claimed to espouse the cause of the victims reaped the benefits.


Beasts did not spare even mentally challenged
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 17
Four persons took a mentally challenged woman to a mango grove near Panch Watti in Khurja town and allegedly raped her throughout night. Three of them were caught by the villagers in the morning and handed over to the police.

The fourth who managed to flee was the main accused in the heinous crime.

Vijaypal Singh, a rickshaw-puller, Gokul, resident of Qila Swai and Rajkumar, a driver in a travel agency were sipping tea at Pappu’s tea stall in Mohalla New Shivpuri, Junction Road, yesterday.

A 30-year-old mentally challenged woman passed by there.

Rajkumar offered her a cup of tea and somehow managed to take her for a joyride in a rickshaw. The other three also followed them in another rickshaw.

As it was getting dark, they took her into the grove where all four of them are alleged to have repeatedly raped her the whole night. In the morning, when the villagers of Qila Mawai came to know of it, they surrounded them and caught them.

Ex-MLA Haram Singh, BJP’s councillor Vivek Malik, alias Guddu, Ajit, Gautam Singh and some others led the villagers in nabbing Vijay Pal Singh, Pappu, and Gokul.

But Rajkumar somehow managed to escape.

The former MLA took the mentally challenged woman and three accused in his own vehicle to Kotwali police station.

The police initially tried to resist filing the report, but as the former MLA gave in writing and the police were told that some journalists were also in the know of the incident, a case under Section 376 IPC was registered against the three accused.

The women was so terrified that she could not tell anything coherently. She was sent for medical examination.


Trader robbed as hundreds look on
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
Terror loomed large in Khari Baoli and Chandni Chowk following a daylight robbery in front of Masjid Fatehpuri this morning. The unidentified youths armed with knives robbed a trader of a large sum of money. The trader had come to the Capital and was going to Khari Baoli. The victim carried a cotton bag in which he had kept money for purchasing things. The suspects snatched the bag brandishing knives in full view of hundreds of passers-by.

While fleeing with the bag, the suspects threatened him not to raise an alarm. They disappeared in the narrow by-lanes of Fatehpuri. Finally, the victim reported the matter to police control room. When the PCR van reached the spot, nobody came as eyewitness.

Traders in Khari Baoli said that this was not the first incident of daylight robbery in the area. It had occurred several times in the past and generally the traders from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan become victims.

These incidents generally occur in the morning when the market is not open. Trading activities in Khari Baoli, Fatehpuri and Chandni Chowk begin after 11 am.

Chandni Chowk Police have reported a case of robbery and are investigating the case. A number of criminals involved in robbery and snatching cases have been detained and are being questioned, the police said.

In another incident, three youths armed with knives robbed two traders, Bahadur Pandey and Raja Dhirender and injured them

The victims were admitted to a nearby hospital and discharged after the first-aid. Paharganj Police have registered a case of robbery, police said.


All this, and heaven too!
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
Santa may still be poring over the colossal wish list, but our marketing gurus have kept their date with the consumers. Freebies and great deals — read temptations — marking the Yuletide spirit have been announced expounding the beginning of the e ‘great Indian festive shopping season’.

If you thought that the Christmas tree ornamentation was about the stars and shapes made by amateurs and art aficionados, take a dekko at the shopping windows, right from the papier machie knick-knacks to Swarovski embellishments, the festoons are a delight.

Swarovski with its declaration, “Dress up your home for Christmas”, has put on display star candleholders and ornaments for the tree. The company with its exclusive Annual edition 2002 Christmas Ornaments is aiming for a larger piece in the fiscal pie.

Cottage Emporium, the cradle of the craftsmen, is offering candles, bells, and the usual Christmas paraphernalia.

Shoppers Stop has also announced a month-long shopping festival. The customers are being tantalised by gifts being sponsored by corporate houses like Lakme, Gilli and the Mahindra Group. The shoppers can bag diamonds or a holiday package and the luckiest of the lot can look forward to driving home a Scorpio.

Mouth-watering deals have been doled out for the palate as well. Superstars in Noida have roped in the music troupe, Aryans, to play while you indulge yourself with delicious fare on offer and what’s more the winners get to spend a day in the Raddison.

The Raddison on its part has created a perfect ambience to usher in the festival. Mistletoes and candles have been effectively used to create a festive look. A carnival at the poolside and a Christmas party are also in the offing. The fun and dancing along with the treasure hunt are the baits.

Those wishing to do some carol singing can join the singers at the Westend where the festive bonhomie will include a Santa on his reindeer greeting the customers, specifically the children apart from the usual gifts to be won.

Confectioners and bakers are also trying to outdo each other in the race to win the hearts through the stomachs. While the stores have been done up in vibrant hues, there are many like Francis Phillips who are aiming to bake the best Christmas Cake.

Phillips, one of the marketing gurus who operates from home and has clients from across the seas has never had to advertise his product, it is the quality of his fare that has won him admiration.


Demolition squad faces violent mob, many hurt
Our Correspondent

Rewari, December 17
In the on-going campaign against unauthorised constructions in the controlled area, a squad equipped with JCB machines launched its demolition work on the Garhi-Bolni Road here today.

The squad, led by the SDM, Mr Mahabir Kaushik and the District Town Planner, Mr B.L.Kaushik, had to face the anger of a mob that had gathered on the spot. A violent confrontation erupted between the mob and the police contingent accompanying the demolition squad. It is reported that the mob resorted to pelting of stones, which resulted in the injuries to about a dozen persons, including some police personnel.

Besides, the windscreens of government vehicles were also smashed. The police also fired several rounds in the air to disperse the mob. The situation could have taken a grave turn had the police personnel and members of the demolition squad not made a hasty retreat. Later, the agitated crowd blocked the Rewari-Garhi-Bolni Road.

The DC, Mr Vineet Garg, said that the squad had only dismantled unauthorised constructions, which lay in the controlled area of the Town Planning Department. However, the residents described the demolition proceedings unwarranted and unjustified as they had legal telephone and power connections in their houses and had been living there for many years.


It may be curtains for Ahulana sugar mill
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 17
The management of the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mill at Ahulana village in this district is contemplating to close down the mill from December 21 as it had been suffering a loss of about Rs 12 lakh per day.

According to a report, the ongoing agitation by the people of the village is another cause of its closure as they are demanding the employment of 200 persons which the management is unable to fulfil.

This sugar mill, set up by the state government at Ahulana village, had donated 87 acres valued at Rs 3 crore. There are 80 villages around the mill and their sugarcane growers are supplying their produce to the mill.

The residents of Ahulana village wanted to get 200 jobs in the mill and if the people of other villages made a similar demand, the management will

be unable to meet this. On refusal to meet their demand, they could launch an agitation against the mill and prevent the vehicles loaded with sugarcane to pass through their villages. It will become a law and order problem in the area.

Enquiries have revealed that the mill was purchasing sugarcane at the rate of Rs 1,100 per quintal and it has to spend Rs 350 per quintal at the processing operations. Moreover, the mill has to seek loans from the banks at the rate of 12 per cent interest to make payment to the growers within three days after the receipt of the sugarcane from them.

It is also reported that the mill had to spend Rs 1,600 per bag on producing sugar and its market rate is Rs 1,200 per bag. In this way, it is suffering a loss of Rs 400 per bag. The mill is producing 3,000 bags of sugar every day and thus it is incurring a loss of Rs 18 lakh per day. The mill has to wait for one year to sell the sugar produced by it. Official sources blamed the Opposition parties for exploiting the people of the area for their selfish ends.


Vested interests ‘behind’ demolition drive
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, December 17
The demolition drive by the Enforcement Wing of District Town and Country Planning Department (DTCPD) against illegal constructions has raised eyebrows in the city. Most of the affected persons, whose buildings had been demolished during the last fortnight, alleged that their buildings had been built in accordance with the law.

Their buildings, including shops and houses were demolished to appease the big colonisers and developers, alleged Mr Ram Swaroop, whose shop was demolished without any notice.

Mr Swaroop further alleged that they felt terrorised by the action of Enforcement Wing of DTCP, as most of the shopkeepers were not even allowed to remove their goods from their shops.

Last week, the department demolished around fifty shops that were in existence for more than five years.

The shopkeepers alleged that their shops were demolished so that they were forced to buy new shops in the nearby shopping malls.

The affected persons said that the officers of the DTCP had wrongly interpreted the announcement by the

Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who had stated that no illegal colonies would be regularised by the state government. The Chief Minister had said that the earlier decisions to regularise illegal colonies were taken in haste and would be reviewed.

Those affected by the demolition drive said that they would soon meet the Chief Minister and inform him about the real situation. They said that houses of poor people should not be demolished to facilitate the business prospects of big builders. The residents alleged that the demolition drive was undertaken to serve the vested interests.

The department demolished around ten shops in Palam Vihar last year, which were built in the green belt owned by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). However, most of these shops have been reconstructed after flouting all rules and regulations, said the affected residents of the area. They alleged that such illegal constructions were not being checked by the department.

Most of the residents are for a proper investigation into the demolitions carried out by the Enforcement Wing of the department.

An officer of the DTCP agreed that a number of illegal constructions were on in the city. The department had failed to demolish all the illegal structures due to the lack of the infrastructure, said the officer. However, he failed to give a convincing answer to the question as how some of the illegal constructions had again come up after being demolished by the department.


828 buildings to be demolished in South Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has identified 828 unauthorised buildings and farmhouses in South Delhi for demolition under the DMC Act of 1957, Minister of State for Urban Development O. Rajagopal said today.

He informed the Lok Sabha in reply to a question that the MCD chalked out demolition programmes every month on a day-to-day basis, depending on the availability of a police force.

The minister added that there were reports of shopkeepers encroaching on verandahs meant for customers and pedestrians and action had been taken against defaulters from time to time.

The Delhi Government had reported trading of harmful chemicals from various areas of the old city and the DDA had developed a 25-hectare area in Narela for their relocation, Mr Rajagopal informed the Lok Sabha.

In a written reply, he said the committee constituted by the Lt-Governor had identified shifting some 1,100 non-pharmaceutical chemical traders in Tilak Bazar, Khari Baoli, Sadar Bazar and Fatehpuri areas and, after a survey, it had demarcated plots at the Integrated Freight Complex, Narela, for relocation.

Altogether 302 companies of Delhi had been found misusing funds to the tune of Rs 186 crore offered under various export promotion schemes such as duty drawback, duty-free replenishment certificate scheme and duty entitlement pass book scheme, Minister of State for Finance Anandrao V. Adsul informed the Rajya Sabha. He said 33 persons had been arrested and 16 cases registered against these companies.

There were at present 50 police stations in Delhi without any lock-up facilities as they were mostly located in rented buildings or temporary structures, Minister of State for Home Vidhyasagar Rao informed the Lok Sabha.

Replying to a question, Mr Rao said these police stations were currently using facilities available in adjacent ones and added that the Delhi Police had a plan for construction of permanent buildings which would be implemented in a phased manner depending on availability of funds.

Delhi Police had planted two dummy bombs along a VIP route on October 19 to check the alertness of its force but the personnel on duty failed to detect the bombs, Mr Vidhyasagar Rao informed the Lok Sabha.

Replying to a question raised on the basis of a news item of a daily with the headline: ‘’Police fail to find bombs,’’ the minister said such mock exercises were conducted frequently as a security alertness drill and weaknesses noticed thereof were analysed for further improvement and preparedness. A PCR vehicle had been provided on an experimental basis and a four-digit toll-free helpline service set up at the Crimes against Women Cell of Delhi Police at Nanakpura, Mr Rao said.

He told the Lower House in a reply that a team consisting of an inspector, a head constable and a constable had been detailed by the cell to provide immediate assistance to women in distress and the arrangement would be augmented in due course of time in the Delhi Police’s drive to check eve-teasing and chain-snatching.

In another reply, he said a proposal to deploy 106 women as sub-inspectors, 212 as assistant sub-inspectors, 31 as head constables and 92 as constables was under consideration of the state government. At present, there were 2,419 women personnel against the total sanctioned strength of 59,007 in Delhi Police.

The Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) had prepared and submitted a development plan for modernisation of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences campus, Mr Rao informed the House in a written reply. He said as per its Development Plan-2025 report, there would be redensification of all three campuses.


Noida roads littered with garbage
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 17
Safai karamcharis, who are on strike under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Safai Mazdoor Congress, threw garbage on main roads and crossings in this industrial town to give vent to their anger.

Apart from making the movement on roads difficult, the littered garbage in the open is posing a health hazard in the town.

A few non-striking safai mazdoors, sent in by the health department, were assaulted by the striking workers.

Today again, hundreds of sweepers staged a rally and demonstrated in front of the Noida administration offices in Sector 6 here even as the Additional CMO, Mr K. M. Panday, reportedly agreed to the demands of protesters in principle.

However, irate karamcharis were not satisfied and decided to stage a dharna. They have decided to continue their agitation.

Today again, the karamcharis marched in a rally to Sector 6 from Noida Stadium.

The main demands of the demonstrating safai mazdoors are regularisation of their services in Noida, providing bonus, issuing of uniforms and bringing them under the purview of labour law so that they can be entitled to the basic privileges.

The ACEO, Mr Panday in his talk with a deputation of the agitating karamcharis, said that regularisation of the services of safai mazdoors could only be done at the state government level and the Noida administration could not take a final decision in this matter on its own.

However, the rallyists were not satisfied with their talks with the ACEO and decided to continue the stir till their demands were met.


Trust completes six years in the service of poor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
The anniversary celebrations of the Human Care Charitable Trust, which completed six years of activities on August 26, were held last week in Saket.

The function was held under the chairmanship of Mr N. P. Thareja, the managing trustee of the trust. Trustees, residents of D Block, Saket and friends and relations of Mr Thareja graced the occasion with their presence. Mr Rohit Manchanda, Municipal Councillor of the area, was the chief guest. The celebrations coincided with the 77th birthday of Mr Thareja.

Confronted by the sufferings of the less fortunate and motivated by the philosophy of karma, the trust was set up with the following objectives: to provide financial and other help to poor students, assistance in cash or kind to the needy, poor and old people, medical aid for the poor, education for social integration and to educate willing persons in Adhyatma Vidya, including astrology, palmistry, numerology etc.

Since its inception, the trust has provided significant assistance to the widows, students, sick, needy and aged members of the community. The trust has a credible record of helping small charitable institutions and underprivileged individuals, who deserve financial and medical assistance in their hour of grief.

Speakers including Dr R. C. Dwivedi, trustee of HCCT, Mrs Satyawati Narang, retired school principal, and Padma Bhushan G. L. Tandon appreciated the selfless social services being rendered by the HCCT.

Mrs Narang expressed her strong belief that if our younger generation came forward to work unitedly and selflessly for the social, economic, political and technological uplift of the nation under the experience and guidance of our senior citizens, very soon our country would become one of the best in the world.

Mr Rohit Manchanda promised maximum assistance in his capacity as the municipal councillor of Saket. He said Mr Thareja had set an example of maintaining a beautiful park in this vicinity. He offered support of the MCD in this regard if other residents also contributed and came forward to shoulder similar civic responsibilities. 


Bandh in Panipat over threat to MC chief
Tribune News Service

Panipat, December 17
A near-total bandh was observed in the town on Monday to protest the threat issued against Municipal Council president Sanjay Bhatia allegedly by certain persons on December 13 outside the civic body office.

Shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters. People marched in procession from Palika Bazar to the disputed land, over which the threat was allegedly issued, to express solidarity with Mr Bhatia.

Addressing the protesters, senior BJP leaders Niti Sen Bhatia and Dr Manohar Lal Suneja threatened that if strict action was not taken against the accused, the trading community would resort to an indefinite bandh from January 1.

They also demanded a CBI probe into the whole issue and arrest of the main accused, Maha Singh, a resident of Garhi Chhaju, under POTA.

It may be recalled that a stretch of prime commercial land on the Sanoli Road is behind the tug-of-war between Maha Singh and the municipal council. The council had rejected the building maps of the shops on the disputed land at its meeting here on December 11 and decided to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case. Meanwhile, Maha Singh alleged that Mr Bhatia had demanded Rs 5 lakh from him for not taking the case to the High Court. Refuting the allegations that he threatened to kill the MC chief, Maha Singh said that about the 1,540 square yard of land was duly registered in his name and the MC was not passing the building maps deliberately.


Able-bodied men to do patrol duty
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 17
The District Magistrate of Sonepat, Mr S. N. Roy, has promulgated the Punjab Village and Small Towns Act, 1918, making it obligatory for the able-bodied male adults to perform patrol duty round the clock for safeguarding the canals, minors and distributaries, bridges and bundhs in their villages in this district.

According to official sources, this step has been taken for the safety of all vital installations in the rural areas of the district.

The District Magistrate has also ordered the officials of the Irrigation Department to take immediate and concrete steps for checking cases of canal water theft and ensuring that canal water reaches the tail-end villages and the fields of the farmers at all costs.

The District Magistrate has also asked the gram panchayats to monitor the work of `thikri pehra’ in their respective villages and depute men for this.

Crime against women

The Police Department received six complaints regarding crimes against women during the ongoing Operation Sadbhavna in this district. According to a report, the police officials disposed of all these complaints on priority basis. Moreover, the police officials have organised meetings in schools at Bayyanpur, Ghasauli, Manoli, Pabsara, Rubra, Bidhlan, Bhainswal Kalan and Mundlana villages and apprised the students of traffic rules.

The police also challaned 115 persons on the charge of violating the Motor Vehicles Act and impounded 15 vehicles in this connection. The police officials are making inquiries about 18 persons whose whereabouts are not yet known.

Two from Delhi hurt

Mr Ashok Kumar and his wife Anita of Janakpuri in Delhi were seriously injured when their Maruti van rammed into a parked truck on the GT Road near Qumashpur village, about 12 km from here, on Monday evening.

According to a report, both the injured persons were sent to a trauma centre at Delhi for further treatment. They were going to Delhi from Panipat when the driver lost control. The police are still investigating into the case.

According to another report, Rajinder of Bakheta village sustained serious injuries when his jeep collided with a tractor-trailer on the Sonepat-Rohtak road, near here, on Monday evening. The injured was immediately hospitalised and he is stated to be out of danger.


L-G wants more routes for RTV buses in Dwarka
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
To ameliorate the inter-city transportation difficulties of residents within Dwarka, the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, suggested that Transport Minister Ajay Maken and Commissioner (Transport) work out more routes for RTV buses as plying of DTC buses in the sub-city is economically not suitable at present.

The Dwarka sub-city is being developed by the DDA. A network of 30 meter-wide roads has already been laid in Dwarka. A large number of people have already moved into houses constructed by the DDA and cooperative group housing societies. Keeping in view the necessity of commuters, the introduction of RTV buses would be welcomed by the residents. The Commissioner (Transport) was asked to work out the route plans for the buses in consultation with the Federation of Cooperative Group Housing Societies, Resident Welfare Associations and Project Chief Engineer of DDA, so that commuters’ satisfactions is maximised.


Bhajan Lal discriminating: Birender Singh
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 17
Mr Birender Singh, member of the Central Election Committee of the Congress and former president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), has charged Mr Bhajan Lal with adopting discriminative attitude during the constitution of the executive committee of the HPCC. The opinion of even the leaders of the party was ignored, he said.

Talking to mediapersons at Bahalgarh village, about 10 km from here, yesterday, he said that the party workers were discontented with the style of functioning of Mr Bhajan Lal. He declared that he would continue to oppose the discriminative attitude adopted against the rival factions in the party.

He also lashed out at the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. He accused Mr Chautala of making false promises to serve his selfish ends. He said that even the Indian National Lok Dal workers and legislators were dissatisfied with the Chief Minister, but did not oppose him because they did not want to incur the wrath and vindictive attitude being adopted by him against his political opponents.

Referring to the foreign tour of Mr Chautala, the Congress leader disputed the Chief Minister’s claim that foreign investors were vying to set up industries in Haryana.

In fact, he said, a large number of entrepreneurs had migrated from Haryana during the regime of Mr Chautala on account of his dictatorial policies, rendering thousands of workers jobless in the state.

Regarding incidents of arson and violence at Ahulana village, the Congress leader accused the Chief Minister of using force to crush the voice of the people. It may be recalled that police had resorted to lathi charge and firing to disperse the villagers protesting against bias in the recruitment process in Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mills in the village.

He said that the Ahulana episode was a grim reminder of a similar episode at Kandela, where masses had come out on to the streets when they realised that the politicians were not keeping their promises.

At Ahulana, the people felt cheated. Some of the villagers, who had donated their land on Mr Chautala’s assurance about jobs, did not get jobs in the sugar mill.

He condemned the lathi charge and firing by the police and assured that if his party came to power, it would not only provide jobs to the people of the village, but would also order a judicial probe into the recruitment and police atrocities.

The Congress leader reminded Mr Chautala that no government had ever survived with the use of force on the people. He described the Chautala government as dictatorial and warned that its days were numbered.

Referring to the construction of the SYL canal in the Punjab territory, he assured that the Congress Party would extend its wholehearted support to Mr Chautala, if he were to take concrete steps to safeguard the interests of Haryana and its people.


Slaughterhouse to start functioning by January 26
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 17
The Municipal Council will go ahead with its slaughterhouse project, the agitation by the residents against it notwithstanding.

The Executive Officer of the municipality, Mr Y. S. Gupta, asserted that the project would go ahead on account of a directive of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The slaughterhouse, for which construction work is in progress, will become functional on January 26 next year, he added.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) allotted 1.5 acres of land to the municipality in Sector 37 following interference by the administration for setting up the slaughterhouse. This was a sequel to a directive from the high court in Amir Singh vs State of Haryana for the entire state to have a proper slaughterhouse.

Residents of Sector 10 and nearby areas falling in the vicinity of the proposed slaughterhouse have raised a banner of revolt against the project. They want the site for the project to be shifted to some other place. In fact, the residents held demonstrations last evening against the authorities on the issue. They argue that setting up a slaughterhouse near a residential area will be unethical and unhygienic.

According to municipality officials, before the move to set up the slaughterhouse a joint meeting of the owners of meat shops of the city was held. They were apprised of the entire development and the directive of the court.

The plan is to shift all meat shops of the city to the new slaughterhouse complex, which will have more than 50 shops. Veterinary doctors and official of the Health Department would have chambers in the complex. Only those animals will be permitted to be slaughtered which are certified by doctors and the authorities concerned.

For speedy implementation of the project in Gurgaon, as was the case with other municipalities of the state, the government has decided to give grants. The local self-governing body has already been given Rs 15 lakh as grant money.

At present, the city does not have a proper slaughterhouse.

The project has been well received, especially by the non-vegetarian crowd of the city. The reason is that they will have so many shops under one roof. They will have the luxury of going to different shops and stalls for shopping. In the bargain they will be assured of hygienic mutton, chicken and fish.


VAT should be hassle-free: Saathi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
The value added tax (VAT) to be introduced next year should be transparent, hassle-free and efficient in the process of implementation, the Delhi Finance Minister, Mr Mahinder Singh Saathi, said here today.

Addressing the valedictory session of a training programme on audit management on VAT system, he said in the present system the taxpayers faced avoidable inconvenience in filing for paying tax, the procedure for detecting defaulters was unreliable, the follow-up action against defaulters was time-consuming and haphazard and even the audit procedure was lax and full of loopholes.

Stating that the shortcomings of the present system should be avoided, Mr Saathi said the general experience about VAT had been that it promoted greater voluntary compliance. This was achieved by creating a possibility that non-compliance would be detected and when detected, appropriate and stringent penalties would be followed without discretion.

Proper implementation of VAT-based system would eliminate cascading effect on existing sales tax system by setting of the tax paid earlier at every stage of sale, tax structure would become simple, improve compliance, would be export competitive, and there would be greater transparency in functioning, he added.


Penitent jeweller refunds money
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 17
The police and the Traders Association had to talk tough to a jeweller of South Extension, Part-1, to teach the niceties of dealing with elderly customers.

The incident took place on Sunday when the owners and salesgirls of a jewellery store in South Extension, Part-1, reportedly misbehaved with 65-year-old Yogesh Khanna who had gone to the shop to get a ring replaced. She had purchased this from them on the occasion of the engagement of her son. The ring was defective and the jewellers themselves told the old lady it had some manufacturing defect and offered to replace it with a new ring.

The jewellers added some gold to the new ring but what hurt Mrs Khanna was the crude shape in which it was manufactured. She objected to the shape of the ring and demanded a refund of her money. The jeweller, the salesgirls and salesmen at the shop started misbehaving with Mrs Khanna and told her ‘to get lost’ without making the payment.

When she insisted on the refund of her money, the salesgirls went to the extent of pushing her and used abusive language. The old lady then contacted the police on her mobile to seek their help in getting her money back. A police team headed by Sub-Inspector Meena reached the spot and told the shopkeeper to behave. Mr Vijay Aggarwal, President, South Extension Traders Association, too reached the jewellery shop. Realising that the jeweller was in the wrong, Mr Aggarwal apologised to the old lady and sought her forgiveness. The owner of the jewellery shop also apologised in writing for his behaviour and assured the police and the traders’ association of not misbehaving in future. He refunded the cost of the ring to Mrs Khanna.


Power cut today

New Delhi
As a result of repair and maintenance work there will be power cut tomorrow, December 18, from 10 am to 5 pm at Rohtak Road, Manglapuri, Jafferpur, Khera Dabar, Udyog Nagar, Mundaka, IOC, Shanker Road and adjoining areas. TNS


Infant rescued from kidnapper
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
A two-and-a-half-year-old child was rescued safely by the Sultanpuri police from a kidnapper. The kidnapper was a relative of the victim. The family members of the victim are resident of Prem Nagar.

The victim, identified as Nitesh, was kidnapped by his relative on December 16. Subsequently, a demand was made for a ransom of Rs 8 lakh by the kidnaper.

However, when the victim’s family told the kidnapper that they could only manage Rs 1 lakh, the kidnapper asked them to drop the money in a bag in Japani Park in Sector 11, Rohini.

Subsequently, the kidnapper was nabbed by the police when the victim’s family went to the park to deliver the money. The kidnaper, identified as Sonu (20), was found to be a relative of the victim.

Manpower racket busted

With the arrest of four persons, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang, that used to cheat innocent people by promising them fictitious jobs. The accused, identified as Narender alias Rampal (25), resident of Karawal Nagar, Atul Mishra alias Sunil (24), resident of Shahdara, Bunty Bharadwaj alias Rajni Kant (26), resident of Karawal Nagar and Nasir alias Anil (34), resident of Daryaganj were nabbed by the Crime Branch sleuths for duping youths of huge amounts on the pretext of offering them jobs.

The accused had reportedly published advertisements in a Marathi daily and in a newspaper in Raipur that one STL (Suzuki Technology Ltd) needed field officers, supervisors, clerks, drivers, guards, storekeepers and helpers for the firm and asked the applicants to deposit Rs 2,050 as registration fees.

Man arrested for taking bribe

The Anti-Corruption Branch have arrested one Jhagar Ram, a junior reception officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, for accepting a bribe of Rs 100 from one Manish Goyal, for permitting him to enter the Income Tax Office in R.K. Puram. The official was nabbed red-handed when Mr Goyal made a complaint to the police.

Two arrested for robbery

Two persons were arrested by the Adrash Nagar police for reportedly robbing a 60-year-old woman of Rs 140 and trying to snatch her jewellery today in Rameshwar Nagar.

The police have recovered two knives from the arrested persons. According to the police, the victim, identified as Bora Devi Yadav, was alone in her house when two armed persons entered her house and tried to rob her.

When the lady alerted her neighbours by screaming for help, one of the miscreants, Sathish Chandra (24), was nabbed with the help of the neighbours. Later, the police arrested his associate, Raj Bahadur (35). The police said that both the arrested persons hailed from Uttar Pradesh and were residents of Etah.


Security guard shot at, injured
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 17
Mr Surinder Kumar, a security guard, was injured after he was shot at by two persons while on duty at the main gate of an automobile shop at Kundli village, about 25 km from here, last night. According to a report, the injured guard has been sent to a trauma centre in Delhi for further treatment. The police have registered a case against the miscreants and launched a massive hunt to apprehend them.

It is stated that two unidentified armed youths arrived at the main gate of the shop late at night and asked the security guard to open it. When he declined to do open the gate, the miscreants started abusing him and one of them fired at him resulting in injuries on the guard’s foot.

On hearing the shots, some people arrived on the scene but the miscreants managed to escape. The incident has caused panic among the people of the village.

According to another report, the Kharkhauda police have recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy, Jaipal of Chulka village, from the fields of the village and sent it for post-mortem examination. The boy was suspected to be strangled by a 20-year-old youth of the same village, Sandeep who, it is alleged, has taken him to Narain Ashram at Sisana village for having a meal. The police have registered a case of murder and launched a manhunt.


GIA welcomes cut in LADT
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, December 17
The Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) has expressed satisfaction over the state government’s decision of reducing the fees for the local area development tax (LADT) and the change of land use (CLU).

While welcoming the initiative taken by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, at a recently held interaction with industrialists, the GIA president, Mr J. N. Mangla, said the reduction in the charges would not only provide a relief to the existing units but also encourage upcoming units.

The state government has announced a 50 per cent cut in the charges of the LADT and the CLU. Mr Mangla also appreciated the government for its decision to withdraw certain restrictions with respect to installation of generators in the units.

Mr Mangla opined that the decision would enable the industries to achieve more competitiveness when compared to industries in the neighbouring states. In his view, though it was a marginal relief, the industry had something to cheer about.

Mr Mangla further said the GIA had been in the forefront since last year when Mr Chautala came to address the GIA’s annual general meeting last year and again when the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr Miglani, was invited to GIA House in April 2002 for discussing these issues.

Mr K. C. Papreja, honorary general secretary of the association, informed that the GIA had already submitted a proposal to the Industries Department to abolish the internal development charges (IDC) and external development charges (EDC) imposed on the industries in the state. As the industries do not find it economically viable to run their units such charges must be minimum or negligible to give a boost to the industries, said Mr Papreja.

As far as the Gurgaon Industrial Association is concerned, it believes in effective dialogue between the different government agencies and departments and the industries to sort out any issues concerning them. Both the office-bearers of the association requested the government to decide on other pending issues related to the industries and give incentives to them.

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