Saturday, December 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


No electronic meter, no hike: Maken
Govt dangles bait, auto drivers yet to bite
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The Department of Transport on Friday reiterated autorickshaws would have to come installed with electronic meters for revision of fares.

Transport Minister Ajay Maken told media persons the three-member committee constituted to recommend a suitable tariff structure has recommended a hike.

The committee consists of two representatives from National Centre for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) and Sales Tax Commissioner Rahul Khullar.

“But,” Maken said, “for the government to implement any of the recommendations of the committee the autorickshaw operators will have to agree to install electronic meters.”

“No electronic meter, no hike,” he said of the government’s decision to impound autorickshaws without electronic meters. “We stick to our stand … vehicles without the meters will be impounded.”

The Department of Transport has impounded 2,500-odd autorickshaws in its crackdown against autorickshaw drivers for overcharging the commuters.

The minister will not comment just yet on the quantum of hike or from when the revised fares will come into force. “As soon as the autorickshaw drivers install the meters we will increase the fare,” he said.

The tariff is not likely to be revised next week. “We have asked the drivers to use the meters for a week after which the committee’s recommendations will be considered,” Maken said.

The minister’s comment comes in the backdrop of the government’s insistence on a written undertaking by the unions of autorickshaw operators to abide by the rules.

The autorickshaw operators put a similar pre-condition : “Let the government give us a written undertaking that fares will indeed be revised,” they said, without wanting to bite the bait.

Autorickshaws charge Rs 5 for the first kilometre and Rs 2.50 for every other kilometre travelled. They maintain the fares should be raised to Rs 10 for the first kilometre and Rs 5 for subsequent kilometres.

The minister said the Department of Transport’s Helpline 9604-400-400 had served to empower the commuters and discipline errant autorickshaw operators.

The helpline, he said, was introduced to empower the common man to lodge complaints against autorickshaw drivers. “On the basis of the complaints challans were being issued,” he said.

To counter the strike by autorickshaw operators the government on Thursday started Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC’s) emergency services to ferry commuters to and from airports and railway stations.

Claiming that an owners’ cartel was behind the strike, Maken said, certain individual owners had 50 autos plying on the road and made Rs three lakh out of the business per month.

“Otherwise how can someone who has to shell out Rs 150 per day continue this strike when he has to feed a family ?” he asked referring to the men who hire autorickshaws daily after paying the rental.

The strike, meanwhile, has drawn a vehement reaction from commuters in general and certain non-government organisations (NGOs) in particular.

Expressing solidarity with the government’s desire to discipline errant autorickshaw drivers and put an end to the fleecing of commuters the People’s Action called for sterner measures.


Crime Spiral Dadri: A murder every fourth day
Parmindar Singh

Noida, December 27
Ninety-one persons, including 22 women, were murdered in Gautam Budh Nagar district in 2002. Some of them were victims of incidents of loot and dacoities.

Dadri accounted for 25 murders out of the 91 in the district. Incidentally, Dadri is one of the 16 police stations in G B Nagar. On an average there was a murder every fourth day. The most talked about murders also took place in Dadri. In fact, in one instance five people were murdered within few hours.

According to the data available with the police department, there were 5 murders in January, 6 in February, 12 in March, 7 in April, 10 in May, 6 in June, 7 in July, 5 in August, 14 in September, 8 in October, 5 in November and 6 in December.

Dadri police station had the dubious distinction of having recorded 25 murders, followed by Sector 58 police station, Noida, with 13 murders and Kakode and Javar with eight murders each. The remaining police stations had almost similar figures.

Some of the incidents were quite chilling. In June, criminals had shot dead Pinky Bobal in Sector 14, Noida, in broad daylight. The police arrested Pinky’s husband while the actual contract killers went scot-free. The impunity with which Pinky was gunned down in a busy market place, also spoke volumes about the police and the security scenario.

The police is yet to overcome the harrowing events of September when criminals in Dadri police station area had let loose a reign of terror in Shahpur, Chithera villages and adjoining areas. Bhagmal, Lokesh, Veena, Kishan and another person had lost their lives in separate incidents in different police station areas. However, the police could not catch even a single perpetrator of these crimes.

The member of Nagar Palika, Mr Dinesh Bhatti, was also done to death in the most savage manner in this very police station area.

The motive in most of the murder cases was land dispute, simmering enmity, love triangles etc. In some other cases, soured money transactions were responsible for the murders.

The greed for dowry had led to the death of half a dozen married women. Some of them were charred to death, others strangulated and still others forced to swallow poison. Some 16 women had been killed.

Statistics reveal that every fourth day a person had been deprived of his life. The police, in their defence, contend that they cannot accept the responsibility for murders over land disputes, family feuds, etc.

Although the lay man is sceptical and people may not accept police claims about cracking the murder cases, the cops insist that they have solved most of the murder cases in their area.


Ahulana arson: Relook at cases against villagers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
The district administration would review the criminal cases registered against 36 persons of Ahulana village in connection with arson, violence, assault on police officials and burning of four government jeeps during their protest against the recruitment made by the management of the Ch Devi Lal Sugar Mills at the village on December 10 and 11.

The assurance was given by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to a delegation of the people of Ahulana village led by Mr Lal Chand, a former sarpanch of the village. Mr Lal Chand called on the Chief Minister at Haryana Bhawan, New Delhi last night.

Mr Chautala also stated that the innocent people would not be arrested, if found ‘not guilty’, after an inquiry conducted by the district authorities.

He said that he had never assured the people of Ahulana village that the mill management would recruit them.

He maintained that he had never given a guarantee about the number of persons to be recruited in the mill.

Mr Chautala, however, agreed that the government would absorb the educated youths of the village whenever the new recruitment would be made.

Mr Chautala, it may be recalled, had accepted some other demands of the people, one of them include the construction of a yard on the premises of the mill for parking the vehicles loaded with sugarcanes.

Meanwhile, the district authorities have expressed anger over the publication of ‘false and baseness’ news items in various dailies on the functioning of the mill. They were also scrutinising them for taking a legal action against the media persons who would be found guilty of instigating violence in the mill.


Khurana will only shuttle
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Chairman Madan Lal Khurana on Friday assured Managing Director E Sreedharan and his team there would be no political interference in administering the Delhi Metro. He, will, however act as a buffer between DMRC and political parties.

“My role will be limited to the extent of acting as a catalytic agent for coordination and cooperation among the Union Government, the Government of NCT of Delhi and the DMRC,” he said after taking charge as chairman of DMRC.

Khurana is President of Delhi Pradesh BJP and Member of Parliament from Sadar in Delhi. He was appointed chairman only days prior to inauguration of Delhi Metro. The Congress dubbed it as a desperate ploy to gain political mileage.

Mr Khurana, who reviewed the security paraphernalia with Commissioner of Police RS Gupta in the morning, said Metro Police would be constituted to prevent eve-teasing, snatching, robbery and begging at stations and on trains.

The strength of Metro Police will be increased from 180 to 500. The files were with Lieutenant. Governor Vijai Kapoor, he said. “I will be meeting Mr Kapoor and officials of Government of NCT of Delhi to hasten the process.”

For the safety of DMRC properties such as yards, cash, etc, a private security agency had been hired. The agency would be provided professional help and training by the Delhi Police. Delhi Police would also be deputing its own men for specific tasks.

Mr Khurana said DMRC had earned Rs seven lakh on the first day when two lakh passengers were ferried. Day 2 of the service had generated a revenue of Rs four lakh after 95,000 people commuted on the Metro trains.

Mera Metro......

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s slogan of “Mera Dilli, Mein Hi Ise Sawaroon” and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC’s) “Delhi Metro, Mera Metro” seem to be working, after all.

Day 3 of DMRC’s service did not see any of the chaos, confusion or vandalism that marked the last two days. The first train began ferrying passengers at 6.15 am. Till four in the evening, the four trains that are in service had completed 90 trips. The frequency showed some improvement although it was still a modest 10 minutes.

The DMRC has set for itself the target of running trains at eight minutes’ interval. Four trains with four coaches each are to run from six in the morning till 10 in the night.

The revenue collected after Day 2’s run totted up to Rs 4 lakh. The figure, said an official, was likely to stabilise after the initial rush of joyriders and people wanting to explore the Metro was over.


Metro has many fathers, a trifle too many
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
Who built the Taj Mahal? Think again before you blurt “Shah Jahan” for Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana thinks otherwise.

“It was built by the artisans …. Artisans built Taj Mahal which Shah Jahan claimed as his own,” Khurana said on Friday referring to the Congress’ attempts to claim credit for inauguration of Delhi Metro.

Khurana isn’t trying to rewrite history but he wants NCT of Delhi to believe it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that accommodated Delhi Metro Project in the Budget as far back as 1993.

“This was the time I was chief minister of NCT of Delhi,” he went on to add, “The Congress cannot now claim Delhi Metro is its gift to the people of Delhi.”

Lending Khurana a helping hand was Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma. “When did you join as managing director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) ?” he asked of E Sreedharan.

To which Sreedharan sheepishly replied : “November 5, 1998.” “See,” thundered Verma, “the Congress came to power only on December 2 that year. How can it then claim credit for his appointment ?”

Verma’s broadside was in response to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s oft-quoted statements where she referred to Mr Sreedharan as her nominee on the DMRC Board.

More was to follow as Verma claimed it was during his tenure as chief minister that the Delhi Metro Project was launched on October 2, 1998. “It was I who appointed Mr E Shreedharan,” he asserted.

“The Congress Ministry was formed in December 1998 when the project had already been physically started,” Verma added with a flourish of his hand. The duo then went on to claim “all the raw material required for the project was collected by us.” Land, Verma was to chip in, “was acquired by my government.”

The verbal duel was not to end at that, yet. “It was the Group of Ministers chaired by Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani that took all the decisions regarding Delhi Metro,” Verma added.


Civic limits of Rohtak being extended
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, December 27
The municipal limits of Rohtak are being extended to facilitate formation of a municipal corporation in this ancient town. The municipal committee, Rohtak, which is likely to be replaced soon by a municipal corporation, is among the oldest civic bodies constituted in 1885 under the Punjab Municipal Act, 1884.

The town has a population of nearly 2.94 lakh. The district administration has recommended the inclusion of new areas in the municipal limits, so as to meet the population criteria of three lakh laid down in the Municipal Corporation

Act adopted by the Vidhan Sabha in September last. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, told the NCR Tribune that the district administration has suggested the inclusion of 21 villages with a combined population of over 75,000 in the existing municipal limits of the town.

The villages which are proposed to be included in the municipal limits are Kheri-Sadh, Garhi Bohar, Kharawar, Peharwar, Kalor, Maina, Sunari-Kalan, Sunari Khurd, Dobh, Gaddi-Kherk, Kultana, Bahu Jamalpur, Singh pura-Khurd,

Singhpura-Kalan, Sunderpur, Ladoth and Bohar, besides Huda Sector - 1,2,3 and 4,and Asthal Bohar.

The proposals submitted by the district administration will be considered at a high level meeting scheduled to be held on December 31 at Haryana Bhavan in Delhi. The Urban Development Minister, Mr Subhash Goyal, will preside over the meeting.



Fog forces school closure
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
The District Magistrate of Sonepat, Mr S N Roy, has issued an order under Section 144 CrPC ordering the closure of all schools within Sonepat district till January 4.

According to official sources, the District Magistrate has, however, allowed excursion trips, picnic and cultural programmes which are generally organised during the vacation. The order does not apply to any pre-planned external examinations which are scheduled and cannot be changed by the management of the schools at local level.

The step has been taken in view of the foggy weather conditions as during the daytime also, the temperature remains extremely low with dense fog conditions.

Such erratic and bad weather could adversely affect the health, particularly of children, Mr Roy added.

The District Magistrate said that it was essential that the movement of children during the inclement weather should be restricted for their safety. The foggy weather could lead to mishaps.

During last year, it may be recalled, the buses carrying the schoolchildren were involved in the accidents, killing and injuring many of them because of dense fog and poor visibility.

Meanwhile, a thick blanket of fog descended on Sonepat region today, disrupting road and rail traffic for several hours.

Not only long-distance trains, even suburban trains running on the Sonepat-Delhi section of Northern Railway, were delayed due to poor visibility.

Many commuters on sidewalks were seen shivering, straining to spot the buses they had to board. Cars moved through crammed roads in a slow crawl, many using headlights.


Change cropping pattern: Chautala
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 27
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala today urged the farmers to go in for a change in the cropping pattern as it would help lift their economic condition.

Mr Chautala, addressing a gathering at a public function in Mohammadpur Ahir village near here, stressed that under the changed circumstances, the traditional crops like wheat and paddy were not paying rich dividends. Hence, the farmers would be well advised to go in for floriculture, horticulture and vegetables as well as taking up dairy farming and fisheries.

He stressed that his government would make all efforts to provide ample water and electricity to the farmers. He also emphasised that the government agencies would buy their agriculture produce at the required rate and also that they would try to procure, as much as they can, their grains.

Mr Chautala was in Mohammadpur Ahir to take part in a function organised to mark the first death anniversary of late Col Nihal Singh, a local politician.

The Chief Minister asserted that in the last 40 years of his party’s rule in the state, a record number of 33,000 development works were accomplished. He announced that the ‘chaupals’ and surrounding roads in the villages would be made pucca constructions.




Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?

If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

APROPOS Virender Sharma’s letter, “When will the exploitation end?” (December 14, 2002), I wish to add that the Haryana Education Directorate enacted the Haryana School Education Act 1995, which received the assent of the President of India on May 4, 1999. It was published in Haryana Government Gazette (Extra) of June 4, 1999.

The Act and the rules to be framed there under are aimed to rein in erring and wayward private schools.

The parents had hoped that with the enactment of the said Act, their problems in regard to the financial exploitation by these schools every year, and their arbitrary functioning would be solved.

However, these public schools run by influential societies/trusts, with high contacts, have manoeuvred to put the Act in the cold storage by exerting undue pressure on the authorities.

This is evident from the fact that more than 3 years have passed since the Act was gazetted, but the various provisions of the same have not been enforced. Moreover, no rules under the said Act have been framed.

In order to put an end to the exploitation of parents by the private schools, the Haryana Education Directorate should immediately enforce the provision of the Haryana School Education Act 1995 without succumbing to the pressure from the private schools.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Unjustified demands

The strike by autorickshaw unions for the enhancement in fares is unfortunate. There is no justification in their demand of enhancing the present rate from Rs 5 to Rs 10 for the first kilometer and from Rs 2.50 to Rs 5 for every subsequent kilometer.

They should realise their duties towards the public. They must be made to realise that they cannot hold the commuters and the government to ransom by their unilateral step of going on strike and demanding illogical and irrational tariff hikes.

There should be rational demands by the autorickshaw union so that commuters are not fleeced and harassed. The Government of Delhi must make utmost effort to end the strike at the earliest.


Alumni get-together

The Gohana College Alumni Association organised a get-together on December 15, 2002. The principal of the college, Mr Tek Chand Aggarwal, welcomed the alumni and briefed them about the latest events in the college, including academic developments and financial health of the college. He particularly mentioned the role of alumni in the developmental activities of the college.

Several people sacrificed their lives for the country from this area. Gohana College was established in 1966 as Haryana War Heroes Memorial College.

In 1981, the college was taken over by the state and is a government college now.

Mr R. K. Malik, HCS, Deputy Director (Panchayat), Government of Haryana, who graduated from the college in 1969, said a person would be successful in life if he learnt to respect his teachers.

Another student of the 1970 batch, Mr Dharam Pal Malik, presently the Director, All India Radio (AIR), Rohtak, emphasised the role of the individual. He said that the infrastructure during his college days were minimal when compared to the present time.

Another former student of the college, Dr Sat Pal Sangwan, a scientist (History of Science and Environmental History) at the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, Pusa, New Delhi, talked about the relationship between teachers and students. He said both are scholars. He quoted the example of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where students have a very cordial relationship with their teachers.

Mr Verender Malik, an old student of the college and now a businessman of Gohana, praised the role of the present principal, who had done great service for the overall development of the college.

Mrs Saroj Malik reminded the former students of their duty to keep the alumni association of the college alive by having such meetings on a regular basis. Prof O. P. Kaushik thanked the alumni for coming to the function and interacting with the students and staff of the college.

O. P. WADHWA, Lecturer, Gohana

Reclaim them from the streets

Human beings have common problems. Whether they belong to the affluent or poor section, the same problems bedevil them. Stress, lack of love and proper upbringing of the children may compel them to run away from their hearths and homes.

These children ultimately seek shelter at the most secure places. For some, railway platforms are the safest, the most reliable and economically, the most viable place for them. Once they make the railway platforms their homes, they stay there. Rain or shine, they seem happy there. They never look back. Unfortunately, they get the tag of `street children’ and such other derogatory names.

No country, whether in the East or the West, has remained untouched by these problems. However, for the vulnerable sections in India, the problem is most glaring. This is particularly due to the population explosion and poverty among the vast number of people in our country.

The problem needs a humane solution. Both the government and the various NGOs involved in this field will have to play a pro-active role in this regard. The problem cannot be solved by shooing them away from the streets. It is not the police with `fascist face’ but with ‘humane face’, along with the government and NGOs, that will help to solve this problem.

These children need sympathy to reclaim them, put them on the right track and make them an integral part of the mainstream civilized society. Providing them non-formal education, making them learn and acquire some professional skills to become self-reliant, will ultimately make them live a dignified life.

This is the only way to empower them and provide the necessary social and economic security. Indifference towards them will turn them into `hardened criminals’. They can’t be dispossessed of their fundamental rights. State has a duty towards them. Let them not be our liabilities but our assets.



This hospital speaks volumes of govt attitude

Jhajjar, December 27
The civil hospital here is a telling example of the state government’s apathetic attitude towards the essential service of health care.

The dilapidated building; patients forced to lie outside; and medical wastes strewn around the civil hospital at Jhajjar.
The dilapidated building; patients forced to lie outside; and medical wastes strewn around the civil hospital at Jhajjar.

The building of the only government hospital of the town at this district headquarters is in such a dilapidated condition that it can come down at any moment. Also, required facilities like toilets, drinking water, sufficient medicines and beds are not available in the hospital. One can see stray animals rummaging in all kinds of medical wastes thrown around the hospital building.

The hospital building, constructed in 1972, now is disfigured and in a dangerous condition. Most parts of the building are damaged beyond repair. Water leakage is common on the roofs. Glass panes of most of the windows are missing, especially in the women’s ward.

There is no arrangement of drinking water even for the patients. Hospital toilets are simply not usable. Patients complain that medicines prescribed by the doctors are not available in the hospital and they have to purchase them from outside.

Meanwhile, hospital sources said that they had sent proposals to the government to shift the hospital from this building or construct a new building. However, this was rejected by the government. Instead, the government decided to repair the building and assigned the task to the Public Works Department. The PWD inspected the building and prepared a proposal of Rs 9 lakh for the repair, which is reportedly gathering dust, while the medical staff and patients are left to suffer the ordeal under the dangerous roofs jeopardising their lives.

The newly built blood bank has also not been commissioned so far. The hospital officials said that the building was still with the contractor and it would be taken over and commissioned after the government cleared his dues.

The Chief Medical Officer, Mr R. S. Gupta, said that some repair works were taken up by the PWD with whatever annual funds it had. He, however, admitted that the problem of drinking water and toilets was persisting. He maintained that almost 85 per cent of the prescribed medicines were available in the hospital and being given to the patients.

“We have complained to the Deputy Commissioner about the damaged water pipe resulting in water shortage in the hospital on which the DC directed the Executive Engineer, Public Health, to make proper arrangements,” he said. Their repeated requests and reminders to the government about repairing the toilets and the damaged portion of the building had not been responded with yet, he added.

Mr Gupta informed that after the creation of new districts a few years back, the civil hospitals at the district headquarters were not upgraded, nor were they provided with other required infrastructure and staff. In Jhajjar too, there was only this 30-bed hospital while there should have been at least a 50-bed hospital at the district headquarters.

On medical wastes, he said: “They are being dumped in a pit and then buried with sand completely.” However, small heaps of wastes can be seen around the building.

Lack of rooms was also evident as many women patients after undergoing tubectomies were lying in the open under the sun. Interestingly, some of the doctors said that lying under the sun was beneficial for these patients.



DCC chief ‘ignorant’ of Bhajan’s rally
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, December 27
Preparations for the Congress rally, being organised in the district and will be attended by Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Bhajan Lal, are in full swing. However, factionalism in the party has surfaced again with the District Congress Committee chief saying that he did not have any information about the rally.

Meanwhile, the HPCC spokesperson, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, and former MLA and son of Mr Bhajan Lal, Mr Kuldip Bishnoi, arrived here today to review the arrangements for the rally on December 29. The leaders held a meeting of the local leaders and party workers at the residence of Raju Pahalwan in Dawla village and urged them to mobilise maximum number of people for the rally.

Factionalism in the state unit of the party is yet again proving a hurdle and might hamper the rally. The DCC president, Mr Raghubir Singh Kadian, has distanced himself from the rally saying: “I am the district in charge and I have no information about the party rally here on December 29.” Terming it as somebody’s civic reception, he answered in the negative when asked about his attendance.

However, the HPCC spokesperson claimed today that the rally would be a massive one, which would be attended by Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr V. Hanumanth Rao, who is the joint in charge of Haryana. Reacting on the statement of the district chief, Mr Hooda said that the rally was the official function of the Congress as it was being organised by the HPCC and which would be attended by the joint in charge of Haryana affairs of the party, Mr V. Hanumanth Rao.


Big HVP rally against Casino Bill
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) organised a massive rally here today against passing the Casino Bill by the Chautala Government.

According to a report, braving the chilly winds and foggy weather conditions, thousands of party workers and supporters from various parts of the district took part in the demonstration which was led by its general secretaries, Mr Surinder Singh, and Mr Rajiv Jain.

The demonstration was the seventh in the series of protests organised by the party. Similar protests had already been held in Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Hissar, Gurgaon, Rewari and Jhajjar.

Carrying placards and raising anti-government and anti-Chautala slogans, the party workers took out a procession which passed through the main bazaars of the city. The procession turned into a big rally on the premises of the mini-secretariat.

Addressing the rally, Mr Surinder Singh, a former MP and the secretary-general of the HVP, lashed out at the Chautala Government for the evil designs behind its proposed introduction of casinos in the state.

He asserted that the Chief Minister’s plea that casinos were being set up to augment the state’s income, which would be utilised for development purposes, seemed to be hollow.

He said the income of the state government had already increased manifold on account of levying a variety of taxes on every section of society.

Describing casinos as licensed gambling houses, the HVP leader said that it was anybody’s guess that such casinos would be a hefty drain on the pockets of the poor.

Giving a graphic description of the havoc caused by the world’s biggest casino of California in the USA, he said that it had ruined the lives of the youths who used to visit there. More than 70 per cent of them had become drug addicts in the end.

He announced that they would not allow such a situation to develop in Haryana and would do whatever was possible to stall the establishment of casinos.

Mr Rajiv Jain also opposed the decision of the state government to deregularise the colonies which had already been regularised by the Chautala Government and announced that the party would file a petition against it in the High Court.



Photography’s his scene!
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

Dubey’s artwork sees the light of day
Dubey’s artwork sees the light of day

New Delhi, December 27
Imagination is a powerful tool, that it can help us achieve results even in unconventional ways, is a fact less known.

Ask Prakash Dubey who was laughed at for trying to capture wildlife with his 500-mm mirror lens.

However, for the man who had first not just visualised his shot, but also developed it in his mind, the end justified his means.

A 1971 batch Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer, Prakash Dubey has refused to let his creativity lie buried and unsung. That’s why he is described today as a ‘Janus figure’ and a ‘stylist par excellence’.

Having won numerous awards including the National Press India Award for his work, Dubey has three solo exhibitions and an equal number of books to his credit, while the fourth, ‘Indiascapes’ is yet to be released.

Experience taught Dubey what they do not teach in your classrooms and colour labs.

Mesmerising landscape
Mesmerising landscape

“A sensitive photographer looks upon the external scene and forms a frame in his mind’s eye without lifting the camera to it. Under these conditions being too attentive to technical detail and tinkering with the high tech equipment could stifle the flow of creativity,” expounds Dubey.

For this Income Tax Commissioner, photography is a way to enter the realms of the unseen and the extraordinary.

“Photography makes me see what others can’t see—a face in a crowd, which can be brought back by my brain even after 10 years, to see a pattern where there is none and to bring meaning into the unmeaning lens,,” Dubey said.

He added, “It is a visual experience, it entails the absorption of an external event, a natural scene unfolding or a flower blooming.” While Dubey’s landscape frames have been rewarding experiences, his work in the Mahakumbh has won him reviews from the best in the field.

Dubey, all set for the release of his fourth book, considers using light like a palette of colours through control of aperture and speed of lens, the challenge of photography.



Haryana fails to set up human rights panel
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
Mr Justice Ranganathan Misra, MP and Chairman of the Human Rights Department of the All India Congress Committee, said that the Supreme Court had directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up the state-level branches in all the states of the country, but the government of Haryana failed to constitute such a commission.

Speaking at the first state convention organised by the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee on the premises of the Shambhu Dayal Senior Secondary School here yesterday, he said that the human rights were the need of the hour in Haryana as its boundary exists on three sides of the Capital. Hence, there was a dire need of such a commission for creating awareness among the people of the state.

He disclosed that the branches of the Human Rights Commission had been functioning in 12 states of the country and they were safeguarding the rights of the people.

He said that at least 50 per cent complaints on the violation of the human rights were received by the NHRC from Uttar Pradesh alone whereas the Government of Himachal Pradesh had already abolished such a commission without any reason.

He stressed the need to launch a nationwide campaign to prevent the violation of human rights. The cause of the violation of human rights in our country was the result of the western culture, he said.

Mr Justice Misra lauded the media role for exposing the violation of human rights and the complainants had succeeded in getting justice from the commission.

He urged the media persons to continue their fight for the success of the Human Rights Commission.

Mr Ramjilal, a former MP and president of HRD of the HPCC, said that the police officials and the bureaucrats patronised by the ruling party politicians, are fully responsible for the violation of human rights in Haryana.

Mrs Shanti Rathi, a former Haryana Minister, also blamed the Chautala Government for shielding the criminals which was the main cause of harassment of women in the state.

Mr Dharampal Singh Malik, a former MP and ex-president of the HPCC, Mr Ramesh Kaushik, a former Haryana Minister, Mr Suman Singh Sharma, Co-ordinator of the convention, Mr Pradeep Gautam, Mr Bachan Singh Arya, a former MLA, Mr Sumitra Chauhan, a member of the HPCC, Mr Azad Singh Nehra, secretary of the HPCC and others also spoke on the occasion.


Haj Camp to be set up at Ram Lila Ground
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The Government of NCT of Delhi will set up a Haj Camp at Ram Lila Ground for the benefit of pilgrims reaching Delhi from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

An estimated 14,000 pilgrims from these states enplane at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The number would be higher still if the family and relatives who reach Delhi to see them off is considered.

Chairman of Delhi State Haj Committee Abdul Sami Salmani on Friday said 2.5 lakh people are expected to be in Delhi when the first batch of pilgrims arrives on January 14 next year.

The Haj Camp will come equipped with tents, bathrooms, medical care, electricity and water. Orders will also be issued soon to regulate the traffic around the venue.

Urban Development Minister AK Walia told media persons that the Haj Manzil would be renovated for the occasion and a fire tender and CATS ambulance requisitioned for the pilgrims staying in the camp.

The measures were decided upon during the course of the meeting chaired by the minister Friday.

Besides Mr Walia and Mr Salmani, Deputy Chairman of Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD’s) Standing Committee AK Jain participated.


Govt misleading farmers on drought: HPCC
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, December 27
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and spokesman of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, has charged the state government with misleading the farmers about the recently announced compensation for the drought-affected farmers.

In a statement here today, Mr Hooda said the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had announced to provide a compensation of Rs 3,000 per acre to the drought-affected farmers in the region nearly two months ago. However, he said the state government later announced a compensation of Rs 4,000 per hectare in place of announcing it in terms of acre.

Exposing the “trickery” in the announcement, the Congress leader said one hectare comprised nearly 2.75 acre. In this way, he said the drought-affected farmers would get about Rs 1,500 per acre as against the promised Rs 3,000 per acre. Moreover, he alleged the government discriminated against the vegetable growers by announcing a compensation of Rs 2,500 per hectare for them.

Mr Hooda said the hopes of farmers had been shattered by the poor package announced by the state government. He alleged the Chief Minister was responsible for the insufficient grant released by the central government for the affected farmers as he did not present the severity of the drought and its ill effects in an appropriate manner. The Congress leader also alleged that the government had been misinforming the masses about the position of power supply in the region. He alleged that six to 10 hour power cuts were being imposed in urban areas while the residents in rural areas got power only for four to six hours in a day.

Refresher course ends

“History is facing a real danger. This danger poses a real threat to the integrity of the nation.” This was stated by eminent historian Prof D. N. Jha in his valedictory address to the participants in the UGC refresher course in social sciences in Maharshi Dayanand University here today. The History Department had been hosting this inter-disciplinary course since December 8. Prof Jha stated that India had been multi-religious since ages. He gave historical proofs of the pluralistic society prevalent in the country. He also pointed out towards the sectarian rivalries prevalent in earlier times. However, he cautioned that communal division or sectarian political mobilisation could cause disintegration of the nation.


Uttaranchal Govt told not to construct road
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
Mr Ashok Bhardwaj, president of Vanasthali Wild Life India, has urged the Government of Uttaranchal not to build the Govind Ghat Ghagharia road in the interest of the people of the area. In a signed press statement issued here today, Mr Bhardwaj stated that the construction of this road would not only affect the environment but it would have a disastrous impact on the glaciers there. He said that the rising pollution in this area had already led to the extinction of about 4,000 spices of flowers, spices and fauna. If the road was constructed, the existence of the world’s renowned valley of flowers would be in danger.

Free computer education

Rajiv Gandhi Brigade has opened a computer centre in this city to provide free computer education to the poor youths, both boys and girls. According to a report, at least 100 boys and girls would be given one-year training in the initial stage and after the completion of one-year diploma course, they would be given Rs 1,800 each as scholarship amount.

Five booked in dowry case

Panipat: On the complaint of Ms Bharati Devi, a resident of Ward 10, Krishna Colony, Samalkha, the police have booked five persons for demanding dowry. According to sources, the accused include Sukram Pal, husband Shingara, father-in-law Jaipal and his wife Bimla, all residents of Sukhpura in Karnal, and Ishwar, a resident of Jalpad in Panipat district.

Obscene calls

The police have registered cases against some mobile phone owners on the charges of making obscene calls. The cases have been registered on the complaint of Mr Anil Aggarwal, a resident of Virat Nagar.

Encroachments removed

The squad of the Municipal Council (MC) removed encroachments from the Ram Lal Chowk in Model Town and at the Assandh road on Thursday evening. The council staff, with the support of a strong contingent of police removed temporary and permanent structures erected by shopkeepers along the roadsides. These structures had considerably reduced the width of the roads.


Martyrdom of Guru’s sons observed

New Delhi, December 27
The martyrdom anniversary of Sahibzadas Ajit Singh, Jhujhar Singh, Zorwar Singh and Fateh Singh, sons of Guru Gobind Singh, was observed today at Gurdwara Mata Sundari in the Capital. Two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Sahibzadas Ajit Singh and Jhujhar Singh laid down their lives fighting the army of the Mughal ruler in the battle of Chamkaur. The other two sons – Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh – were bricked alive at Sirhind for fighting for the freedom of religious worship. TNS


Four members of Santa gang nabbed
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 27
With the arrest of four members of the notorious Santa gang, which specialised in robberies, loots and dacoites, the Kotwali police have claimed to have solved cases related to a murder, a loot, the murder of a driver and snatching of a taxi in the Sihani Gate police station area. The criminals were arrested after an encounter near the city bus stand on the evening of December 25.

A Maruti car, two revolvers and knives were seized from them. The car was stolen from the Punjabi Bagh area of New Delhi. They have been identified as Sonu, Rajinder, Ram Avtar and Bunty, members of the Santa gang and residents of Hapur Mode under the Kotwali police station.

The gangsters confessed their role in the murder of Yatharth, the son of an advertising agency proprietor, on September 28 this year in Patel Nagar under the Sihani Gate police station here. They had decamped with valuables from his house after the murder.

They told the police that when they saw a lock outside Yatharth’s house, they decided to break into it. They planned the whole operation sitting in the park opposite Yatharth’s house and gained entry by scaling the boundary wall late in the night. Once inside, they clashed with Yatharth who resisted them. They struck him on the head with an iron and decamped with Rs 25,000 in cash, gold and silver jewellery and other valuables.

On November 21 again this year, they went to attend the marriage of their friend in Shibbanpura. They hired a Maruti van from Vijay Nagar and went to Raipur village in Dadri to attend the marriage ceremony. On their return, they decided to commit a crime. They killed the van driver, Ram Gopal, by strangling him in

The Secunderabad area and dumped his body there.

Then they went to Khurja, Bulandshahr and Hapur in the same van. Ram Avtar parked the van at the house of a person in the Dadri area pretending that they had run out of petrol. The vehicle was later handed over to the police at Chopraula check post in Dadri by that person.

The police are still trying to nab the gang leader, Santa, and two other members.



Couple booked for kidnapping girl’s brother while eloping
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
A young couple, who eloped taking a seven-year-old brother of the girl along with them, were booked on the charges of kidnapping a minor after the girl’s father reportedly lodged a complaint with the police.

While the boy is under safe custody of his parents, the man, Amit, has been lodged in Tihar jail and Savita (21) has been remanded to judicial custody after she reportedly surrendered before the court.

Savita, a resident of Mahalakshmi Vihar colony in East Delhi, left home with her brother Chintu in the night on the pretext of fetching water on June 1 last year, but had never returned.

Later her parents found that she had eloped with one Amit, a resident of Solan in Himachal Pradesh, with whom she allegedly had a relation. Since Chintu was with her when she left her house, the couple also took Chintu with them.

Meanwhile, Savita’s father filed a complaint at the Gokulpuri police station accusing the couple of kidnapping Chintu. The trio then went to Vaishnodevi, where they chanced upon a neighbour, who informed them of the complaint, adding that the police were on the look out for them.

The couple after hearing the news handed over the boy to the neighbour and ran away. The police arrested Amit on December 13 this year and produced him in a court, which remanded him to judicial custody.

Later, Savita moved an application before Metropolitan Magistrate M. R. Sethi, expressing her desire to surrender before him. She surrendered in the court the same day and was send to judicial custody. The court also fixed January 2 for recording her statement. 


Anganwadi worker strangled
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 27
A woman was strangled to death with her sari and her body thrown in a field. Mrs Guni Devi of Maqsood Pur village used to work for an anganwadi.

Four days ago, she left Maqsood Pur village to participate in an anganwadi meeting in Javer. On her way back home after the meeting, she reportedly went missing. When her relatives went to the Rabupura police station to lodge a missing person’s report, the police allegedly did not register it.

The family members then had to complain to the Circle Officer of Javer on whose intervention a report of missing person was registered by the police. The CO of Javer said that he had received an information about a woman’s body lying in the field near Maqsood Pur village.

The body was identified as that of Guni Devi by villagers and police. She had been strangled with her sari as her neck bore strangulation marks.

Her nephew, Rajiv Tyagi, has lodged a report and the police have started investigation into the murder suspecting it to be linked with a land dispute. But villagers are piqued at the police attitude and functioning. 


Heroin worth Rs 15 cr seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
With the arrest of four youths, the Narcotics Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have seized heroin worth Rs 15 crore, the biggest catch in the last few years.

The suspects — Ram Gopal, Wajid Hussain, Sita Ram and Ghanshyam — were arrested from Nizamuddin roundabout where they were sitting in a truck and discussing about delivering the consignment to their contacts in the Capital. They had come from Rajasthan. Sleuths of the Narcotics Branch received a tip-off and arrested the suspects. While searching the truck, 10 pouches of heroin, each containing 1.5 kg of heroin, were seized, the police said. The truck has also been seized.

During interrogation, the suspects disclosed that they had been involved in the racket for the last six months. They supplied narcotics in and around the Capital. They had also disclosed names of their contacts in the Capital and the police are trying to trace them. They further disclosed that the consignment was brought from Bhiwani Mandi in Rajasthan. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics), Mr D.L. Kashyap, said that such a big catch was made after 1997 when 10 kg heroin was seized. The branch seized 81 kg of narcotics during the last seven years. But in 2002, the branch seized 91.8 kg of heroin.


Case against two cops registered

The police have registered a case today against two fellow policemen who had barged into the house of one Mukesh in Khora Colony and assaulted him 15 days ago.

The guilty policemen have not been suspended yet, which could influence the inquiry report, it is feared.

According to police, on December 12 at 10 pm, Mukesh Kumar had a fracas with his neighbours: Ram Bharose, Vinode, Ram Niwas and Raj Kumar. After sometime, two cops, Servesh and Rakesh came from Sector 58 police

station and started beating Mukesh. The cops beat up Mukesh so badly that some of his bones were fractured and Rs 15,000 kept in the house was also missing. OC



6,000 fake Rs 5 coins seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The North district police today claimed to have seized 6,000 counterfeit coins of Rs 5 denomination with the arrest of Mohammad Sadiq, Mohammad Nizamuddin, Jagpal and Arvind Mehta.

The police received a tip-off that a gang is involved in counterfeit currency racket in Chandni Chowk. The police arrested Mohammad Sadiq yesterday from Chandni Chowk where he had gone to deliver the coins. His interrogation led to the arrest of other suspects. One thousand counterfeit coins were seized from Sadiq while 5,000 coins were seized from Arvind Mehta. Besides, 18 dies used for manufacturing the coins, one hydraulic machine and three rings were seized from Mangal Bazar, Laxmi Nagar in East district. They had been in the racket for the last three months and they had already delivered Rs 3 lakh worth counterfeit coins in Haryana and Delhi.

Youth succumbs

Rajender Singh (20) succumbed to his injuries he received after he fell from a building that is under construction opposite Hotel Janpath on Tuesday. He was admitted to a private nursing home where he died. A case has been registered and efforts are being made to arrest the contractor, the police said.

Suicide attempt

Umesh Kumar (20), a resident of the staff quarters of Punjab Bhawan, tried to commit suicide by hanging last night. By the time he hanged himself, one of his family members saw him and saved him. He was admitted to Eden Nursing Home where he was undergoing treatment. The Tilak Nagar police are investigating the case.

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