Tuesday, December 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Indiri residents want panchayat, not MC
Karnal, December 30
The Haryana Government is in a quandary over the issue of constituting a new municipal committee at Indiri, 25 km from here. Residents of Indiri and Gudha and Ramgarh villages which form part of the municipal committee electorate are opposed to it.

Prohibition panel told to stall proceedings
Chandigarh, December 30
Taking up a petition filed by Haryana's former Prohibition and Excise Minister Ganeshi Lal seeking directions to the Commission of Prohibition, headed by Justice G.S. Chahal, against proceeding with an inquiry against him, Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that the commission shall not proceed with the matter any further.

YEARENDER — 2002
DALITS, FARMERS
BKU agitation, Dulina lynching kept up pressure on Chautala

Chandigarh
In his current stint as the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, arguably faced the most critical phase during the BKU-led agitation of farmers affecting primarily Jind district. The agitation could be linked to a goof-up by the Chief Minister who wanted to isolate BKU leaders from their supporters by announcing a package for the farmers for settling their electricity bill arrears and simultaneously locking up BKU leaders who had been asking the farmers not to pay the pending bills.

Haryana to shift surplus teachers
Chandigarh, December 30
The Haryana Government has decided to post 1036 teachers — found surplus in the districts of Jhajjar, Sonepat and Rohtak as a result of rationalisation of teachers and lecturers — in Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts on a deputation basis for one year as per the teacher student ratio.


Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in NCR Tribune.


YOUR TOWN
Chandigarh
Kurukshetra
Karnal
Sonepat


EARLIER STORIES

 

Haryana facing ‘shortage of cops’
Sonepat, December 30
To discuss the issues of a common control room and joint patrolling, a joint meeting of senior police officers of the northern states will be held here on January 15.

Sarpanch’s murder: villagers give ultimatum
Fatehabad, December 30
Hundreds of villagers today held a demonstration here today, demanding the arrest of those accused in the murder of Ram Kishan, sarpanch of Jandli Khurd village. The sarpanch was thrown into a well near Barsin village on Saturday. The police had booked seven persons in this connection but no arrest has been made so far.

Sikhs protest against Sajjan’s acquittal
Karnal, December 30
Sikhs of Jaraori, about 15 km from here, today staged a demonstration in protest against the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar and others allegedly involved in the 1984 riots by a Delhi court. The demonstration got a positive response and bazars of Jaraori remained closed today.

Jagmohan visits Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra, December 30
Union Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Jagmohan today visited religious and historical places in Kurukshetra and Pehowa and inspected sites of construction.


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Indiri residents want panchayat, not MC
Our Correspondent

Karnal, December 30
The Haryana Government is in a quandary over the issue of constituting a new municipal committee at Indiri, 25 km from here. Residents of Indiri and Gudha and Ramgarh villages which form part of the municipal committee electorate are opposed to it. The electorate have formed an action committee and are persuading those who have filed their nominations for the election to withdraw from the contest.

The opposition of the residents emanates from the fact that during the past 25 years of its existence, the municipal committee had failed to take up any development projects and even to provide minimum basic amenities to them. To name a few, they point out towards the lack of street lights, non-construction of a sports stadium, lack of library facilities, filthy streets with no public toilets.

Another grouse of the residents is that the state government has imposed extra taxes. The heavy taxation has broken the backbone of their economy. And to what cost they ask? The money so raised is hardly spent on providing basic amenities to them. Normally, a major portion is spent on meeting the establishment expenditure of the committee. Furthermore, there is no sanitation worth the name. There are no garbage collection boxes or fixed places to throw garbage.

Upset over all this, a demand for constituting a panchayat instead of municipal committee is gaining ground. Interestingly, at a meeting of the action committee held on December 28 at Devi Mandir Complex, it persuaded a majority of those who have filed their nominations to withdraw these. Those who had filed their nominations for election to ward number six, seven and eight marched in procession to the committee office to withdraw their nomination papers. But the officials there refused to provide them the withdrawal forms on the plea that these were out of stock. The marchers then handed over a signed memorandum to the chairman of the action committee. Enquiries made by The Tribune revealed that all those who had filed their nomination papers from ward numbers 11 and 12 had already withdrawn these. Besides six nominees each for ward numbers eight, seven, five and nine had already withdrawn their nominations. In ward numbers 13, 12, 11 and eight only one candidate was left in the fray.

The residents in a memorandum to the Haryana Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner, Karnal, have made it clear that they wanted a panchayat to be constituted instead of a municipal committee. They threatened to boycott the poll if the state government went ahead with its plans to constitute a new municipal committee.

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Prohibition panel told to stall proceedings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Taking up a petition filed by Haryana's former Prohibition and Excise Minister Ganeshi Lal seeking directions to the Commission of Prohibition, headed by Justice G.S. Chahal, against proceeding with an inquiry against him, Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that the commission shall not proceed with the matter any further.

Fixing January 6 as the next date of hearing in the case, Mr Justice Mittal observed: "In the morning, a mention was made by an advocate appearing for the petitioner that the commission of Inquiry on Prohibition in Haryana had earlier passed an order dated November 18 whereby it had accepted the petitioner's request and had directed that the arguments in the case shall be heard after the decision of civil writ petitions stated to be pending in the court. He further pointed out that now the petitioner had received a notice on December 28 requiring him to appear before the commission on December 30 at 11 am and the proceedings before the commission had been resumed on a reconsideration of the matter".

The judge concluded: "In the view of the matter, it was submitted by counsel that the writ petition be entertained during the present break of winter spell.... I have heard counsel appearing for the petitioner. Put up for motion hearing before the appropriate Bench.... In the meantime, the commission shall not proceed with the matter any further."

Counsel submitted that the petitioner was Prohibition and Excise Minister in the government headed by Mr Bansi Lal of the Haryana Vikas Party in alliance with the BJP. The commission was subsequently notified to inquire into the reasons of the implementation and lifting of prohibition, besides the pecuniary gains to individuals and selling of liquor during the prohibition period.

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YEARENDER — 2002
DALITS, FARMERS
BKU agitation, Dulina lynching kept up pressure on Chautala
Shubhadeep Choudhury
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh
In his current stint as the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, arguably faced the most critical phase during the BKU-led agitation of farmers affecting primarily Jind district. The agitation could be linked to a goof-up by the Chief Minister who wanted to isolate BKU leaders from their supporters by announcing a package for the farmers for settling their electricity bill arrears and simultaneously locking up BKU leaders who had been asking the farmers not to pay the pending bills.

The strategy misfired as the issue of arrest of BKU leaders snowballed into a major agitation with Kandela village, located about 10 km from Jind town, emerging as the nerve-centre of the movement. BKU supremo Ghasiram Nain, its Hisar unit chief, Mr Baljit Singh, and other leaders, who were declared proclaimed offenders, moved with impunity inside Kandela and gave direction to the agitation.

The loss of at least seven lives in the course of the agitation is expected to cast its shadow on the ruling INLD's electoral fortunes in the next elections. There are, however, people who are of the view that even though the Congress under the then PCC chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, lent all-out support to the agitation, it will not be long before the INLD regains its base among the Jat farmers who are traditionally against the Congress.

The incident of firing upon farmers came as a blow to Mr Chautala’s colleagues in his own party who felt ill at ease at this development. The governments led by Mr Bansi Lal and Mr Bhajan Lal had earlier resorted to firing on BKU supporters and those incidents had provided fodder to the INLD for attacking its political rivals.

Apart from blocking a number of roads, the agitators also took two DSPs hostage at Kandela who were released after a few days following promise made by government negotiators about withdrawing cases filed against BKU leaders. The assurance, however, remained unfulfilled.

The movement also showed no sign of waning and the blockades on two major roads became a permanent fixture. The Congress also increased the tempo of its support by organising a foot march from Jind to Delhi, which culminated into a rally at the Delhi Boat Club.

Mr Chautala was initially dismissive about the movement but as it grew among supporters of BKU, he became worried. He had to postpone his official trip on two occasions as the situation in the state became volatile. Finally, state government representatives led by Finance Minister Sampat Singh arrived at Jind to negotiate with Mr Ghasiram Nain and other BKU leaders. The government team accepted the BKU's demand for withdrawing cases against its leaders and giving a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and government job to the nearest kin of each agitator who died in police action.

It was an out-and-out victory for the BKU though seven lives were lost in the process. The state government, however, has kept on with its effort of creating a wedge between Mr Ghasiram Nain and other BKU leaders. Recently, Mr Nain was arrested for organising an agitation on payment dues of sugarcane farmers and with Mr Nain in the prison, some BKU leaders chose Mr Dharam Singh as president in place of Mr Nain. However, Mr Nain remains an important figure in the BKU and Mr Chautala’s attempt to isolate him does not seem to have met with total success.

If the BKU agitation exposed the helplessness of the Chautala-led administration in times of crisis, it came to the fore once again when five Dalits were killed by a mob at Dulina in Jhajjar district on the day of Dasehra, suspecting the victims to be cow slaughterers. Four of those killed belonged to Gurgaon district and though Mr Chautala was in Gurgaon when their bodies were being brought to their respective villages and cremated, Mr Chautala did not bother to pay a visit to the house of any victim. The incident triggered a nationwide furore and even saw Ms Mayawati, Chief Minister of UP, coming to Haryana for addressing a rally at Gurgaon. The All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations organised a religious conversion ceremony at Gurgaon following the incident which also was widely publicised. At last the Chief Minister took the matter more seriously and enhanced the compensation for next of kin of the victims to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh. He also paid personal visits to the families.

Mr Chautala, however, stubbornly refused to order a CBI probe into the incident as demanded by all opposition parties. The inquiry conducted by Mr R R Banswal, Commissioner of Rohtak Division, was by all accounts inadequate as it gave a clean chit to top police and civil officials of the district and fixed responsibility on the DSP, the City Magistrate and a few others. Unlike the farmers, the Dalits, who are not mobilised under any party exclusively championing their cause, have failed to organise any mass agitation on the issue.

The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, which has been carrying out a drive to convert Dalits to Buddhism in Haryana, claims that more people are responding to their call following the massacre in Jhajjar district.

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Haryana to shift surplus teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Haryana Government has decided to post 1036 teachers — found surplus in the districts of Jhajjar, Sonepat and Rohtak as a result of rationalisation of teachers and lecturers — in Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts on a deputation basis for one year as per the teacher student ratio.

Mr Bahadur Singh, Minister of State for Education, said here today that as and when the number of students would increase to the districts of Jhajjar, Sonepat and Rohtak, they would be posted back in these districts as per their seniority.

Each affected teacher would be given a 15 days notice to give their choice of district. Only men teachers, who were neither handicapped nor suffering from any chronic illness, would be sent on such postings as per their seniority. Besides, only those teachers would be posted in other districts whose age was not more than 55 years.

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Haryana facing ‘shortage of cops’

Sonepat, December 30
To discuss the issues of a common control room and joint patrolling, a joint meeting of senior police officers of the northern states will be held here on January 15.

State police chief M S Malik told mediapersons here today that the meeting would also finalise the strategy to combat crimes and curb the activities of the inter-state criminals with a strong hand.

He said Haryana had been facing an acute shortage of policemen and at least 7,000 posts had been lying vacant.

The recruitment would be made shortly after the receipt of instructions from the government.

He said 786 persons were being looked by a constable in Haryana whereas the figure was 235 in Delhi. “The number of policemen in Punjab is much more than Haryana, but still the crime is under control in Haryana than that in other states of the country,” he claimed.

Referring to the cyber crime, Mr Malik said there had been no such crime in Haryana so far but steps had been taken to check such crimes.

A training centre has been set up at Gurgaon where SHOs and other senior officers were being trained for curbing such crimes, he said. PTI

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Sarpanch’s murder: villagers give ultimatum
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, December 30
Hundreds of villagers today held a demonstration here today, demanding the arrest of those accused in the murder of Ram Kishan, sarpanch of Jandli Khurd village. The sarpanch was thrown into a well near Barsin village on Saturday. The police had booked seven persons in this connection but no arrest has been made so far.

Hundreds of villagers from Jandli Khurd and other villages came to the town today in tractors and sat on a dharna outside the mini-secretariat. They met the Deputy Commissioner and the district police chief and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits.

Ram Kishan was allegedly murdered by a resident of Chandrawal village due to some old enmity.

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Sikhs protest against Sajjan’s acquittal

Karnal, December 30
Sikhs of Jaraori, about 15 km from here, today staged a demonstration in protest against the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar and others allegedly involved in the 1984 riots by a Delhi court. The demonstration got a positive response and bazars of Jaraori remained closed today.

The protest was led by the SGPC president of Jaraori, Mr Sampooran Singh, among others.

They served an ultimatum on the Central Government in this regard. UNI

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Jagmohan visits Kurukshetra

Kurukshetra, December 30
Union Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Jagmohan today visited religious and historical places in Kurukshetra and Pehowa and inspected sites of construction.

Mr Jagmohan visited Mahadev Shiv Pracheen Temple and also paid a visit to the proposed site for the hotel management and catering institute at Jyotisar.

He said that at Pipli the Parakeet tourist place would come up soon. PTI

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