Wednesday, January 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Rain or shine, people on cloud nine
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
Incessant rains accompanied by chilly winds on the New Year’s Eve forced many revellers to consider staying indoors to celebrate the new dawn of 2003. This, however, did not dampen the spirits of the celebrations as the year brings hope and aspirations for one and all.

Those who ventured out on a chilly night were the ones heading for star hotels, which had made elaborate arrangements to welcome the third year of the 21st century. They wined, dined and danced to the tunes of Indian, Arabian, Caucasian music. It was all beer and skittles for them!

However, the open-air arrangements for celebrations in different parts of the Capital witnessed bleak response. Shopping centres decked up in festive lighting did not see hectic activity due to the wet weather, which confined many indoors. It was a lovely weather for ducks!

The cuisine and the liquor had all the setting of a great night for the merry-makers. And, those at home were not left behind either. If the sales records of the excise department are any indication, this year the liquor sales have witnessed 10 per cent jump over the previous year, least influenced by the slump in the economy.

The television channels, which had lined up hoards of variety programmes to lure the audience to increase the TRP rating, were thankful to the weather gods for making many stay indoors. However, only those programmes which had innovative concepts, could hold the attention of the viewers for long.

For the Delhi Police, the rains brought glad tidings. With not many revellers on the roads, policing was not all that difficult. By and large, people were cautious not to hit the road, with the police armed with breath-analyser snooping for anyone found with more than 30 ml of alcohol.

And, the weathermen have forecasted foggy days ahead. This was only the beginning of a bitterly cold spell, the weather office said.

“We are expecting the temperatures to go down drastically in the coming few days and fog will envelop most of northern India on New Year’s Day,” said Mr H.R. Hatwar, director of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Mr Hatwar said, “Delhi will be lashed by cold, chilly winds even after the rain stops. This will continue for sometime and the minimum temperature is expected to fall further.”

Delhi recorded 26.6-mm rainfall in the overnight rains. The last showers of the season in the city were on December 23, when the 0.3 cm rainfall was recorded. The rainfall led to a sharp fall in the maximum day temperature to 11.2 degree Celsius, from a maximum of 20.3 degree Celsius last night. The minimum temperature was 7.8 degree Celsius.

“The morning temperature was around normal, but we expect the day temperatures to be around 16 degrees in the coming few days. This is at least six degrees below normal,” he said.

“Rain had been predicted earlier. We generally get light to moderate showers during this part of the year,” he added.

“The temperature is okay, but the breeze is killing. It chills you to the bone. And this is the time when you fall sick, so it is better to take precautions,” said a commuter.

Many got delayed reaching their workplaces due to traffic snarls. Flooding on potholed roads was a common scene throughout the city. 



Haryana Police claim success in arresting crime
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 31
The Haryana Police have created a record in arresting 1,552 proclaimed offenders, 10,476 bail-jumpers and 417 other criminals allegedly involved in 31 cases of dacoities, 53 cases of robberies, 105 cases of burglaries, 177 cases of thefts and 81 other cases registered with various police stations in different parts of the state during the year 2002.

Disclosing this, Mr M. S. Malik, Director-General of Police, told mediapersons here on Monday that the police had also recovered stolen and looted property worth Rs 8.79 crore during the year. This recovery, he said, was estimated around 82 per cent, which is the highest in the country.

He disclosed that crimes in the state had been on the wane during the current year. The number of murder cases had been fewer by 30, dowry-related murder by 26, rape by 43, kidnapping by 12, assault by 195, dacoity by 15, loot by 43, thefts by 133 and dacoity-cum-murder by six. On the other hand, the police had detected more cases relating to social crimes during the period under review.

The police had registered 1,106 more cases under the Excise Act, 1,056 more cases under the Gambling Act, 782 more cases under the Indian Arms Act, 103 more cases under the NDPS Act and 14 more cases under the Anti-Corruption Act compared to the cases registered during the last year.

According to Mr Malik, the state government had taken a series of measures for the welfare of policemen in the state. It had already allocated Rs 106 crore for this purpose between the years 2000 and 2002. Of this, Rs 55 crore had been spent on various welfare schemes and construction of houses. Another sum of Rs 23 crore had been spent on replacing old vehicles and purchasing new ones and Rs 28 crore for purchasing modern equipment for security. Similarly, the Central government had allocated Rs 45.71 crore for modernising the police in Haryana by the end of the current financial year. Under this scheme, 22 police stations, two police lines, in Fatehabad and Rewari, and one police post were set up during the current financial year. 


GIA favours apex body for Haryana industries
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, December 31
The Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) has proposed to form an apex body representing various industrial bodies of the state. The GIA president, Mr J. N. Mangla, suggested to the ‘NCR Tribune’ that there should be a confederation where various district-level industrial associations were given representation. The Chief Secretary of the state could become the ex officio chairman/patron of such a body, he said.

He lamented that there was no such body in the state right now. The industrialists here had to depend on the industrial bodies active at the national level, added the president.

The industries here took part in various discussions and interactive meetings with different government agencies, said Mr Mangla. But when the state government intended to announce some new package or incentives for the state entrepreneurs, it had to seek the platform of the national level bodies due to non-availability of an apex industrial body to represent the state. The industrial associations in Haryana felt alienated due to this, he said.

Giving an example, he said that the recent declaration on some issues had certainly given relief to industries. However, the government could not garner support of the industries as expected. If the government was to be believed, it wanted to discuss the issues with the industries and evolve a consensus.

He suggested that the government should have invited major industrial associations, if not all bodies, as a partner while announcing the decisions.

The main cause of all these issues coming up was due to the improper co-ordination and lack of communication between the government and industry.

The decision-maker of the state should take the industries into confidence before finalising the decision. Therefore, we suggested that every decision with respect to the industries should be followed by support from various associations, said Mr Mangla.

The GIA president said that their association had already started a process of forming a confederation of industries in Haryana so that various associations got an opportunity to discuss any matter with the government without depending on anybody from outside the state.

He said that past incidents had taught the entrepreneurs that various associations active at the local level understood the problems of the industry better as compared to the bodies at the central or higher level.

Mr Mangla recommended that the apex body at the state level did not mean that the government stopped discussing all policy matters and issues with various associations in the state, which had got the backing of the industry.

He said that the government should be prepared to recognise the proposed confederation. The government could also take initiatives in this direction, suggested the president.


You can’t park two-wheelers in CP inner circle from today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
The New Year will spell relief for the city’s commercial hub, Connaught Place. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has issued an order banning parking of two-wheelers and plying battery-operated buses in the inner circle from tomorrow.

The move is aimed at decongesting the market. Each day, almost 1,000 two-wheelers are parked daily in the inner circle of Connaught Place, adding to the already congested market. The council has decided to ban parking of these two-wheelers in the inner circle and give them space at the underground Palika parking area.

For each two-wheeler parked at the underground Palika parking area, a token of Rs 5 will be given to the vehicle owner for as many free rides in the inner circle they want, pointed out the NDMC officials. Ten-seater eco-friendly battery-operated buses will ply from eight in the morning till the time the market closes down for the day.

The initiative is a joint venture between the NDMC, the Delhi Police and the city government’s Transport Department as the first phase of decongestion of Connaught Place.

In the second phase, four-wheelers will be provided with a parking space other than the inner circle. At present, there are nearly 4,000 four-wheelers parked in the parking lots of inner circle. 


Where ban ends in smoke
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 31
Smoking is banned in the roadways buses of Haryana. Though the Supreme Court endorsed the ban in public places several years ago, there appears to be no relief to the non-smokers while travelling in roadways buses across the state.

The transport department keeps issuing directions to the authorities concerned to check smoking in buses and at general bus stands, said a senior official of the department, but added that the orders could not implemented so long as the drivers, conductors and other staff members smoke.

It is noticed that a majority of the drivers and conductors are smokers and the so-called ‘ban’ imposed on smoking is broken by them. There is hardly any roadways not displaying a ‘No smoking’ sign.

Recently, this correspondent noticed that the driver himself smoked three ‘biris’ in about one and a half hours. The bus of the Bhiwani depot was displaying a sign: “Smoking has been banned in the Haryana Roadways buses and any passenger found defying it, will not be allowed to travel in it.”

The notice further stated that strict disciplinary action would be taken against the drivers and conductors who defy the ban. Surprisingly, the

notice was in English only. It is understood that if the driver and conductor do not follow such rules, the passengers would not follow them.

A resident of Sector-15 here said that he avoids travelling in a Haryana Roadways bus when he or his family has to go to places like Chandigarh or Jaipur as there is no check on smoking there.

According to reports, a driver of a long route bus recently stopped the bus when his appeal ‘not to smoke’ was turned down by a passenger. Such cases do cause a positive development.

Experts feel that the department should conduct special training camps and workshops to motivate the smokers to give up the habit or at least avoid it during travelling. They also advocate motivational packages for the employees who do not smoke on duty.


Principal makes an indecent proposal
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, December 31
The warden of a girls’ hostel of Chhotu Ram Polytechnic here has charged the officiating principal of the institute with behaving indecently with her and other inmates of the hostel.

In a letter, the copies of which were sent to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Chief Minister, the Chairperson of the National Women Commission, the IG of Rohtak range and the SSP, Rohtak, the warden alleged that she was removed from service on December 21 as she failed to comply with the ‘amoral’ wishes of the principal. Moreover, she alleged that she was not allowed even to take her belongings out of the hostel after her removal.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, has deputed the City Magistrate, Ms Ranjit Kaur, to investigate the allegations and submit her report before tomorrow evening.

Ms Hoshiari Devi had stated in her complaint that she was a widow and had been serving as the hostel warden (night shift). She said that the principal, just after assuming charge on October 1, asked her and another hostel warden (day shift) to collect the photographs of all hostellers and hand them over to him.

She alleged that it was an unjustified and unprecedented order issued by a principal and said the hostellers also refused to provide their photos.

The complainant said the principal reached the girls’ hostel at around 11.30 pm on November 26 and directed the gateman to ask all the girl students to assemble before him. The principal was drunk and behaved indecently with her and the students. She said the students also reported the matter to certain senior staff members of the institute the next day.

In her complaint, she said that the principal often used to visit the hostel during odd hours without any prior information to the wardens. The principal had also removed certain other employees, including the chief warden and a warden (day shift) from the hostel who opposed his ‘undesirable’ activities, she alleged.

The complainant sought her reinstatement and legal action against the principal of the institute whose ‘unwarranted’ behaviour had generated a sense of insecurity among the hostellers and their parents.


Criminals dumping bodies on road
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 31
The Bhondsi-Rithos road near Gurgaon is fast turning out to be a favourite dumping ground for bodies. Several bodies were recovered on this stretch in the last few months. One of the reasons could be the relative sequestered nature of the area. Moreover, the undulating rocky terrain of the Aravalli hills add to the isolation of the road.

Recently, the body of Mr Ashok Jain, a jeweller from Mumbai, was found on this stretch of road. The body was found without any clothes. The body had cuts, and marks of other injuries. The head was battered. An air ticket and a hammer, which could have been used to kill him, was allegedly found near the body.

The relatives of Mr Jain, who were at the Sohna government hospital to identify the body, told mediapersons that one does not know whether the deceased was whisked away by the criminals immediately after his arrival at the New Delhi airport or murdered elsewhere and his body dumped on the road later. The police was still investigating the case.

The point is that criminals have found this stretch of road in Gurgaon district useful for their activities, particularly for dumping bodies.

A few months back, another body of one More Mukut, a member of a notorious gang, was found by the local police on this road. The deceased was said to be from Agra in Uttar Pradesh. He was alleged to have become a victim of his own gang members on account of differences on the issue of sharing crime money.

According to reports, the members of the gang were given ‘supari’ by one of the partners of a hotel in Delhi to kill the other partner. The gang members revealed the secret to the other partner (who was to be killed). After knowing of the plan to kill him, he allegedly offered a higher sum of money as ‘supari’ to the same gang to liquidate the other partner (the person who had given the ‘supari’ to murder him).

Earlier, two bodies of workers of a nearby factory was found on this road. Preceding this development, the dead body of a kidnapped son of an industrialist was found on this road.

The criminals had given the false impression to the police and the relatives that the captive was alive.

When the criminals were arrested by the police, however, it was found that they had already murdered the captive.

However, the police authorities here have alleged that outside criminals, especially from Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh and contiguous areas of Rajasthan like Alwar, have used the isolated stretch of this road to dump bodies after committing the crime outside the state.


Demand to rename Gurgaon to Guru Gram
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 31
The chairman of the managing committee of local Rishi Public School, Mr R. Chander, urged the powers that be to change the name of Gurgaon to ‘Guru Gram’.

Speaking on the occasion of the Annual Day celebrations of the school, he said that the name of the city must be changed to Guru Gram as it had been a centre of learning since Mahabharata days.

According to folklore, Guru Dronacharya of Mahabharata taught the Kaurava and the Pandava brothers in some parts of the old Gurgaon and nearby areas. Also, the place was known as Guru Gram in ancient times on account of the stay of Guru Dronacharya. But with the passage of time, the pronunciation got distorted and the place came to be known as Gurgaon. Incidentally, this is not the first time that a demand has been made in favour christening the city as Guru Gram.

Mr Chander lauded the Union Government for ushering in the student-friendly educational reforms. He called upon the writers of history books to make them interesting for students who otherwise found the subject dry. He also made a case for revival of Vedic Mathematics.

The principal of the school, Mrs M. B. Pal, while presenting the progress report of the school, congratulated the students for contributing towards national causes like the Gujarat earthquake and the Kargil Heores Fund.

Addressing the gathering, former Health and Education Minister of Delhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was the chief guest, emphasised that the ultimate aim of education should be to primarily mould a child into a good human being. The rest of the development of his career would be automatically taken care of. He urged the parents to devote more time with their children instead of allowing TV channels, soap operas and sitcoms to take away the quality time of the family.


Sheila Dikshit greets Delhiites on New Year’s Eve
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has greeted Delhiites on the In her message, she appealed them to make their city clean and pollution-free.

The Chief Minister said culture and character of the Capital influenced the rest of the country.

She assured Delhiites that the Government of NCT of Delhi was committed to improving the quality of life in Delhi.

New website inaugurated

The Delhi SC/ST/OBC/Minorities/Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation is now only a click away.

Log on to for accessing information and notices and downloading forms. The Social Welfare Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, inaugurated the website on Tuesday.

On the occasion, the Minister said by launching the website, the Government of NCT of Delhi had taken yet another step forward in the direction of an Information Technology (IT)-compatible administration.

The ultimate goal, he said, was to provide open and responsive governance.

Millennium Award

The Sindhi Academy will confer the ‘Millennium Award’ for outstanding contribution to Sindhi language and culture on Hundaraj Dukhayal.

The chairperson of Sindhi Academy and the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, on Tuesday said the ‘Millennium Award’ would carry a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh.

Doyen of Sindhi literature and veteran freedom fighter, Mr Dukhayal, was born in Larkhana in Sindh province of Pakistan in 1910. He runs a chain of educational institutions in Adipur and Gandhi Dham towns in Kutch region of Gujarat.

ICSI award presented

The Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekawat, today gave away the ‘Second Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance’ in a function held here today.

The ICSI ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for translating excellence in corporate governance into reality was conferred on Dr Y K Hamied, chairman of Cipla Limited.


Woman suffers burns in handicraft showroom fire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
Handicraft goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed and a woman sustained serious burns in a fire that broke out in a showroom, Export International Handicraft Work at Motia Khan in North district this afternoon. The victim was admitted to a nearby hospital where doctors on duty stated that she was serious.

According to preliminary inquiries, a short-circuit caused the fire, which broke out at 2 pm in the showroom. The victim, Shanti, was an employee of the showroom. The Delhi Fire Service rushed eight fire tenders to douse the fire and they took two hours to control it, the police said.

Youths strangle moneylender

Two youths allegedly murdered an old man by strangling him for Rs 1,000 a few days ago. Even his family thought that he had died a natural death and cremated him.

When the truth came out, the police arrested the youths, Anil and Leelu, from Maycha village where the 60-year-old victim, Bhagwant Singh, lived. He was a chronic bachelor and lived alone, away from his brothers. Bhagwant Singh used to lend money on interest. Anil and Leelu used to assist him. It is said that they also used to take money from him on loan frequently.

On December 24, Anil and Leelu took Rs 1,000 on loan from Bhagwant Singh. Soon after, they fell out with him on some issue. They put a rope around his neck and strangled him.

There was a cold spell on December 24 night. Some villagers say they did hear Bhagwant’s shouts and screams, but nobody took it seriously. Next morning, his brothers and other relations came to Bhagwant’s house. They peeped through a window and found him lying dead. Taking it as a natural death, his relatives cremated him on the same day.

Soon, rumour spread that Bhagwant had actually been murdered. His brother, Shiva Lal, lodged a report with the police naming Anil and Leelu. Subsequently, the police interrogated the duo, who confessed that they had killed Bhagwant. They produced his account books in which loans given to them had also been recorded. OC


Erratic power adds to farmers’ woes: Vidrohi
Our Correspondent

Rewari, December 31
Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president Ved Prakash Vidrohi has flayed the apathy of the state government and the Dakshini Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) towards the erratic power supply, which had been playing havoc with the farmers in rural areas of Mahendragarh and Rewari districts.

In a signed statement released here, he said that in Nangal Chaudhary, Ateli,

Narnaul-Mahendragarh and Kanina blocks of Mahendragarh district, which had virtually been reeling under severe drought conditions, the continued paucity of power, especially low voltage, had added to the woes of the hapless farmers. He said in these blocks there were hundreds of farmers whose electric motors burnt owing to low voltage and frequent fluctuations.

He said that the situation in Rewari district was no different. The farmers of Bawal and Kosli tehsils of the district were the worst-hit as over 200 electric motors of tubewells had burnt in Khandora, Mohanpur, Jaisinghpur Khera, Brahmpur Prampura, Tankri, Pavati and Rasiawas villages of Bawal tehsil during the past about six weeks.

Earlier, drought combined with the callousness of the state government had played havoc with the farmers. Now, it was the apathetic approach of the DHBVN authorities, which was proving disastrous for the farmers, he said.


Sonepat powerless for five hours
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 31
Sonepat city and its surrounding areas remained powerless for more than five hours again today following the reported tripping of the Panipat power thermal plant. According to a report, the power breakdowns and tripping paralysed the normal life and business activity besides affecting the drinking water supply in the city.

Similarly, industrial activity also came to a halt forcing the closure of a large number of small-scale units. Thousands of workers faced the lay-off for the day. The power supply went off around 4.25 am and was restored for a few minutes till 9 am. After it, the supply remained disrupted for long. The local authorities of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) also refused to say when the supply would be restored from Panipat.

This is the third time when the Sonepat region faced power breakdowns and tripping from Panipat during the current month. This has caused a lot of inconvenience to thousands of people living in the urban and rural areas of the district.

crops damaged

Standing crops in an area of 40,000 acres in the villages of Ganaur and Sonepat subdivisions are reported to have been damaged by stray cows during the past few months.

According to a report, the villages of Ghasauli, Bega, Datauli, Nayabans, Khubru, Shahpur Tagga, Kheri Tagga, Atayal, Samaspur, Gamra, Sardhana, Garhi Ghulama and Roshanpura were the worst-hit. The farmers of these villages are forced to organise `thikri pehra’ round the clock to save their crops. Many farmers alleged that their repeated complaints made to the higher authorities in this regard have fallen on deaf ears. This has caused resentment among the villagers.

Youth killed

Mr Kanahiya Lal, a youth, was killed on the spot after he was hit by an unknown vehicle on the G T Road near Pio Munyari, about 15 km from here, last night.

The victim belonged to Vijay Nagar colony and the police have sent the body for the post-mortem examination.

Civic elections

As many as 17 candidates withdrew their nomination papers on the last date of withdrawal leaving a total number of 45 candidates in the fray for the elections to the Kharkhauda Municipal Committee to be held on January 19. The Returning Officer has allotted the election symbols to each candidate.


Fewer Metro passengers

New Delhi
Rain gods played spoilsport on Tuesday as fewer New Year revellers showed up at the stations to catch a ride on the Delhi Metro. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials however could breathe easy.

The cold wave in the Capital accompanied by drizzle and chilly winds kept crowding commuters at bay giving a much-needed respite to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) authorities, who have been virtually under siege after its inauguration on Christmas eve. TNS


Woman robbed by servant
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
An elderly woman was robbed of her cash and jewellery worth Rs 25,000 by her domestic servant last night.

The robbery occurred on the New Rohtak Road in Central district. The incident occurred when the victim, Jagdish Kaur (50), was alone at her house as her two sons had gone out for dinner.

The domestic servant, a resident of Nepal, who was employed only a few months ago, went out after serving dinner to the lady.

He returned to the house after half-an-hour with couple of his associates. The trio tied the lady and fled from the spot after taking away all the valuables.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) said that the verification of servants has become very essential as many of them have links with local criminal groups and rob in connivance with them.

Family looted

Four unidentified persons entered a house and injured a family last night and decamped with Rs 10,000 and some jewellery in Swaroop Nagar in North-West district. The assailants gained entry to the house owned by one Mahavir Singh (32), who works in Azadpur Mandi. The incident occurred when Singh and his wife were sleeping. The assailants injured them with a block of wood when they got up after hearing a sound. They assailants immediately decamped with the booty. The police have launched an intensive search to nab the assailants responsible for the burglary.

Father arrested for rape

One person was arrested for allegedly attempting to rape his 14-year-old-daughter last night in Ambedkar Nagar in South district. The accused, a resident of Dakshin Puri and employed as a watchman, had been molesting his daughter for the last few months. Two days ago, when he again attempted to rape her, she told her relatives about the matter, who then reported the matter to the police. The victim’s mother had died and she has been working as a domestic help at a house.

Fake documents seized

The Anti-Corruption Branch have arrested two touts, who were active in the State Transport Authority (STA) at Rajpur Road. The accused, Deepak Mehta, resident of Kingsway Camp and Amarjit Singh Bhutani, resident of Vijay Nagar, were arrested after the officials received a secret information that they were involved in issuing fake licences.

A large number of fake documents of various vehicles including blank forms, affidavits and stamp papers were recovered from a Maruti Van (No DL-4C-5255) which belonged to Mehta. The officials also recovered Rs 6,440 in cash from him. 

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