Sunday, January 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Cops zeroing in on leopard’s lair
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
The Delhi Police have reportedly zeroed in on the farmhouse where the leopard — that was carted away from a plywood factory in Neb Sarai – is suspected to have been kept as a pet.

Police sources claim that there is a possibility that the animal was being kept in captivity along with a female leopard. An investigation is being conducted in consultation with the wildlife authorities.

The Zoo authorities had yesterday pointed to the clipped claws of the leopard as an indication that it was possibly being held in captivity. It was also pointed out that the animal was strong and well fed and not as agile as wild leopards are deemed to be. The leopard had, for instance, failed to scale the wall in the plywood factory.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Zoo authorities today cremated the leopard that was killed by bullets fired by the police personnel.

Additional, DCP (South), Mr. Praveer Ranjan, refuted charges that the police fired at the animal without seeking the approval of the wildlife authorities. He said that wildlife norms permit shooting the animal under life threatening circumstances.

Ranjan said that the police personnel on duty fired at the animal when they feared it might attack the doctors who were enclosed in the room and trying to sedate the animal. He added that the police were pressed into action because the wildlife personnel, who were incidentally not prepared to catch the animal, found themselves closeted in the generator room with the jittery animal.

However, a controversy seems to be brewing with regard to the death of the animal. Though the Delhi Zoo authorities maintain that that the animal died because of bullet injuries, the police claim that the animal could have died from an overdose of the sedative and are examining the post-mortem report submitted by the zoo authorities.

Meanwhile, animal rights activists have expressed concern over the killing of the leopard, with former Union minister, Ms. Maneka Gandhi, announcing that she would move the court. Calling for a need to initiate legal proceedings in the matter, she feared that such incidents would otherwise continue to occur.

Ms. Gandhi also expressed displeasure at what she alleged was the apathy of the Delhi Wildlife Authority. She alleged that the officials of the Delhi Wildlife sent a team of sweepers three hours after they received the call about the sighting of the leopard. The team, she further said, was not trained to sedate and capture the cat.



Murder bid on Rohtak Congress leader
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 4
Three armed assailants made a murderous attack on a Congress leader here this morning. The victim suffered injuries on his head and was admitted to the PGIMS where his condition is stated to be out of danger.

According to information, the attackers reached Standard Sweets shop at Babra Mohalla locality on foot at around 7.45 am. One of them reportedly took out his countrymade revolver and pointed at the shop owner, Mr Suresh Gupta, who is also the president of Block Congress Committee and the district unit of Halwai Union.

As soon as the miscreants opened fire, Mr Gupta bent down. A bullet reportedly hit the rear wall. Meanwhile, Mr Gupta took out his licensed revolver. However, one of the assailants caught hold of him before he could open the safety lock of the revolver. Another assailant hit Mr Gupta on his head with the butt of his gun.

Taking advantage of the fog and thin gathering in the market, the assailants escaped when the employees of the shop came to rescue their owner. An employee, Naresh threw a brickbat on the fleeing miscreants which hit one of them. The assailants took away the licensed gun of Mr Gupta, leaving behind an unloaded countrymade revolver. A team of fingerprint experts and dog squad was pressed into service.

The shopkeepers on Quilla Road, Railway Road, Babra Mohalla, Bara Bazar, vegetable market, Mata Darwaja etc put down their shutters today in protest against the incident.

A delegation comprising Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, leader of opposition in Haryana assembly, Mr Shadi Lal Batra and Dr Raghbir Singh Kadian, both Congress MLAs, Mr Laxmi Chand Gupta, president, Haryana Beopar Mandal met Mr Reshan Singh, IG Rohtak Range and demanded an immediate check on such incidents.

They also met Mr Gupta in the PGIMS, and inquired about his condition. The leaders of Haryana Beopar Mandal, Rohtak Traders Association and other social organisations have convened a meeting at Durga Bhawan Mandir here at 11 am on Sunday to discuss the issue.



Cops, gangsters exchange fire in residential pocket
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
There was an exchange of fire between the members of notorious Sandeep Bhuri gang and a police team in the A-1 Block of Keshavpuram in North-West district this afternoon, causing a considerable panic in the area.
Nobody was injured, however. One of the suspects was arrested after the encounter, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr R.S. Meena, said.

The gangster was identified as Kalyan Khare. Police caught him while he was trying to escape. Four of his associates who were armed with guns managed to flee. All the suspects were in the age group of 20-25 years. They had been travelling in a TATA Indica car which was seized. A mobile phone and a telephone diary were also recovered from the car. A few names of known politicians were listed in the diary. Kalyan Khare is a notorious criminal of Keshavpuram. Six cases, including attempt to murder and eve-teasing, are registered against him, the Additional DCP said.

While talking to newsmen, he said that the encounter occurred at around 12.15 pm when the additional SHO Seeta Ram Meena along with his staff members were returning after a routine check of the banks located in the area. They spotted black colour TATA Indica car which had temporary number plate (HR-C1-KG(Q) – 9514). On the front, the number was MH-12, 0627.

The police asked the driver to stop the vehicle. Instead of stopping, he tried to speed away.

The cops chased the car. There was some obstruction when the suspects reached opposite Kendriya Vidyalaya at A-1 Block in Keshavpuram. They fired at the police team. In return, one of the police personnel fired from his service revolver. When the criminals found no way-out, they abandoned the car near the school and ran away. The police chased them and arrested Kalyan Khare while others escaped, he said.

A bullet mark is visible on the front screen of TATA Indica. There were no blood stains in the car.



Boy suffers facial paralysis due 
to doctor’s negligence
Doctor, hospital told to cough up Rs 1.8 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
In a significant decision, which upholds the rights of the patients undergoing treatment in hospitals, a consumer court in the Capital has held a doctor and the hospital guilty of negligence and deficiency of service and asked them to pay Rs 1.8 lakhs as compensation for causing permanent damage to the face of a minor boy in an operation.

The court also rejected the hospital’s contention that the patient’s father had given consent for the operation. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum II, in a recent order said, “the poor child shall have to live with permanent facial paresis (paralysis of the right side of his face) for the whole of his remaining life. This would affect him mentally, physically, psychologically, socially as well as his future employment.”

Noting that the doctor and the hospital had split the fees received from the boy’s (Mahesh Kumar) father for the operation, the District Forum President G D Dhanuka, Members Nargis Rajkumar and B N Bansal held that south Delhi-based Orthonova Institute of Advanced Orthopaedic Surgery and

Research was equally liable for the negligence committed by the doctor, A K Mittal. The hospital had contended that the complainant cannot accuse it after he had given consent for his son’s operation on being made aware of the risks involved. Rejecting the contention of the hospital, the forum said: “The consent form neither mentioned the name of the operation nor the risks involved in the surgery. Therefore, we believe that he was not made aware of the risks.”

The court said as Mahesh Kumar is a minor the amount shall be kept in a fixed deposit in a nationalised bank till he attains the age of majority. However, Mahesh Kumar’s father shall be entitled to withdraw the yearly interest from the amount for the boy’s upkeep, it said.

Mahesh Kumar was operated upon for an ear infection on July 26, 1997 by Mittal after Rs 26,000 was paid for it, father of the boy, Raj Kumar, said in his complaint. But the boy’s facial nerve was cut by the doctor during the surgery, resulting in the paralysis of the right side of his face, Kumar alleged.

Another Rs 3500 had to be spent for the boy’s treatment at AIIMS.



Feng Shui sways real estate prices in Faridabad
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 4
The concepts of Vaastu and Feng Shui (art of directions and good living), unknown to the majority of urbanites a decade ago, seem to have caught on by leaps and bounds in the urban areas over the past couple of years. They have also affected the real estate scene.

A glance through the real estate advertisements in the print media these days substantiates the changing concepts of an urban resident about the buildings and houses.

“A large number of clients or parties were looking into the Vaastu factors before purchasing property in various sectors of Faridabad,” says Rajiv Makkar, a real estate consultant based in Sector-16 here.

He says the houses or buildings facing the east and the north directions are fetching better prices while

the property facing the west or the south directions are not getting the right price. He, however, states that there is still a section which does not believe in this theory and is ready to purchase property facing any direction. But the Vaastu trend had caught up sharply in the past few years, he says.

It is reported that the prices of some of anti-Vaastu property had gone down in some of the sectors and perhaps it was one of the reasons for the general slump witnessed recently, says another property advisor.

He said the increasing media coverage being given to the Vaastu and Feng Shui topics had generated much heat and several people started believing in these ideas, although there was no scientific basis for such thoughts and concepts.

He claimed that the urban psyche had been affected by the developments in other countries and such ideas were getting imported with other products at a faster rate.

According to information, offices of about a dozen Vaastu and Feng Shui experts have come up in this town in the past two to three years. These ‘experts’ keep placing their ads and pamphlets in newspapers claiming that their ‘suggestions’ could bring a favourable change in people’s

lives if the concepts were followed properly. Many of the new constructions that have come up in Faridabad recently had followed the Vaastu principals, said a contractor here.

Some of the Vaastu and Feng Shui ‘experts’ have also started running short-term courses for people.

Recently an advertisement through a pamphlet was placed in the newspapers here stating that the basic course of Feng Shui could be done by paying only Rs 200.

It is claimed that Feng Shui could turn the negative energy into positive to bring happiness and prosperity in a house, office or property. “While these concepts have certainly made many people following them, others appear to be confused as there was no proof to justify these,” says Raj Kumar, a resident of Sector-15 A.

He said he had also heard of hiring Vaastu experts by some people, but held the media mainly responsible for the rising trend.



No takers for DDA shopping complex for the 
last 13 years
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, January 4
A big shopping complex, comprising 23 retail outlets, built in Yojana Vihar residential area by the Delhi Development Authority, has no takers even 13 years after it was constructed.

Incidentally, the shopping complex has provision for a post office and a bank. Besides the DDA has earmarked commercial space for offices. Yet, in the heart of the city, this prime location bears a deserted look.

A former president of a resident welfare association (RWA) of this area, Mrs. Sneh Mittal, points out that there have been few takers for the shops as the building material used in construction is shoddy. He recalls: ``When the complex was constructed, it really looked good. But after some time, cracks appeared in the walls of the complex.’’

A local property dealer of the area, Mr. Suresh Kapoor, says: ``I can’t imagine why anybody would buy these outlets. Apart from shoddy construction, there is virtually no infrastructure. There are no water and power connections. To cap it, these outlets have been pegged higher than the market rate.’’

But, as another property dealers point out, had the DDA used standard construction material and provided the infrastructure, buyers would not mind shelling out a little more than the market rate. In any case, the DDA would have made good its investment in the last 13 years.

As things are, the outlets have been usurped by barbers and petty hawkers with the connivance of residents, police and the contractor of the complex.

When contacted, a top official of the DDA, on the condition of anonymity, said that the department had recently put up a public notice for the sale of the outlets but despite our best efforts nobody turned up. Such notices have been issued several times in the past, too. “This time, we have slashed the prices, but even this has not helped. Now, we are toying with the idea of dismantling the complex and construct a new one.’’

But what is the guarantee that the new complex would be better and live up to the buyer’s expectations?



Noida shop nets Rs 1.4 crore
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 4
Want to buy a shop in Noida’s commercial sectors? You have to be a multi-millionaire, for a good shop may cost anything between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 1.40 crore. Out of the 134 shops built and put on sale in different sectors of the town, the Noida Authority has earned Rs six crore from 34 shops with an aggregate area of 1298 sq metres. This was disclosed when lots were drawn for the 34 shops.

The lots were drawn by General Manager Pradeep Chaturvedi, incharge of the Commercial Department, Noida Authority. A shop in Sector-18 with a covered area of 185 sq metre was sold for Rs 1.40 crore while its reserve price had been pegged at Rs 1.20 crore.

Likewise, the reserve price for a 156 sq metre shop was fixed at Rs one crore. An offer for Rs 1.10 crore as received for it.

The authority had fixed a price of Rs 40 lakh for another shop built on a 156 sq metre plot in Sector-18. In this case also the Authority had earned Rs 58.80 lakh which was higher than its expectation.



Civic neglect plagues Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 4
Sonepat, an industrial township and a district headquarters in Haryana, is fast earning notoriety for poor civic services. Heaps of garbage, choked drains and non-functional streetlights are the bane of the inhabitants.

Things have come to such a pass that the residents of several neglected areas are toying with the idea of approaching the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala and apprising him of their woes. If their grievances are not redressed soon, they may even stage demonstrations.

Almost the entire populace is unhappy with the municipal council’s scavenging staff which does not bother to clean the streets for days together. There is a growth of grass and wild plants on some streets.

Whenever scavengers are asked to be more dutiful they start complaining about harassment of Balmikis and approach Scheduled Caste legislators and councillors for intervention.

Dirt, flies and mosquitoes have become a nuisance for the inhabitants who feel inconvenienced especially at night. Educational institutions, too, have been hit by the civic neglect. Water from drains overflows into streets and rainwater collects whenever there is a downpour, creating all sorts of problems for students.

The areas in and around the railway station here stink most of the time. Besides, the railway road is in a state of disrepair. 



Good fortune draws devotees here
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, January 4
Though centuries have rolled by yet Baba Garib Das’ “gudri” (a patched bedding) lying at the ancient historical temple of the illustrious saint, Baba Mohan Das, in the tranquil peripheral precincts of Bharawas village near Rewari continues to serve as a sacred relic of the divinely miraculous powers displayed by the former, who was the third presiding saint of the above temple.

The temple is situated beside the ancient Delhi-Jaipur highway at a distance of about 7 km from Rewari.

Legend has it that in the first decade of the 17th century the then Raja of Jaipur along with his queen visited the temple. Garib Das, who was running high temperature at that time, virtually transferred his fever to his “gudri” and then came out of the cottage to lead the king into his hermitage. The king and the queen saw the “gudri” virtually shivering with fever. They instantly prostrated before the saint and said, “O mighty Garib Das! When you can transfer your fever to a lifeless “gudri” why can’t you bless us with a son?”

At this a wave of compassion swept over Garib Das who asked them to undress themselves and then jointly embrace the tamarind (imli) tree in the courtyard of the temple. Both complied with the saint’s dictates.

The story goes that the queen was blessed with a son that year but the tamarind tree, which stood here till recent years, never bore fruit again. Similarly, the miraculous “gudri”, the threads of which were hastily taken away and then preserved in their homes by the devotees, vanished from the cottage shortly after the demise of Baba Garib Das. However, the ritualistic practice pertaining to the replacement of the thus consumed “gudri” with a new one by the temple management continues till date.

The new “gudri” always keeps lying on a cot in the still existing cottage of Baba Garib Das on the temple premises. Devotees pay obeisance to this sacred relic and many take away the threads for good luck throughout the year.

It is noteworthy that soon after the birth of a son to the queen, a passport-like metallic disc which carried the royal injunction was issued by the king of Jaipur for the temple’s presiding saints which enabled them to have easy access to the royal durbar of the king of Jaipur. The metallic disc is now a treasured piece of the temple’s repository.



Service to mankind was his mantra
Our Correspondent

Swami SomanandaRewari, January 4
Swami Somananda, who remained a living source of spiritual guidance to lakhs of people living in Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and other parts of the country, passed away recently.

On December 21, the 95-year-old Swami abandoned his mortal body in his holy cottage at his Seva Ashram of Noorgarh village, about 25 km from here.

Just prior to his death, he summoned the inmates of the ashram to his bedside on December 19, and gave them his final benediction. Later, he entrusted Sharda Devi with the responsibilities of running the ashram.

As per his own instructions and wishes, his ultimate journey was that of a simple man. There were no rituals, no prayers after his death. His devotees from far and near assembled after learning of his death. Thereafter, there was a flow of mournful devotees to pay their homage to the illustrious saint.

Strangely, he had himself prepared the square where he was cremated. His saintly wife, Savitri Devi ji, popularly known as Mataji, maintains that his presence will continue to be felt in the ashram. No one has been formally appointed as his successor to continue his teachings.

However, his statements and sermons, which are reflections of his spiritual and divine realisations, will continue to guide his disciples. His teachings and statements have been engraved on fine pieces of marble stones, firmly studded in various structures in the ashram complex.

Swami Somananda became a saint ever since he had a glimpse of the lord himself, which he often described as a glimpse of the `Shiv Tatva’ in the 1960’s on the banks of Gambhiri in Chittor in Rajasthan.

Unlike most other noted living saints and seers of the country, Swami Somananda had completely confined himself within the four walls of his ashram since November 17, 1972. But even this self-imposed solitary confinement had not been able to put a check on the growing number of devotees, who visited his ashram.

Swami Somananda laid special emphasis on service towards the distressed, afflicted and the sick, which he asserted serves as a portal for union with God. He had cured several patients of such diseases as were declared incurable by doctors.



Convenience tax, the UP way
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 4
In Uttar Pradesh, UP also stands for `You pay.’ And you do pay for almost everything under the sun.
If a person is arrested without a warrant, under Section 50 of CrPc the arresting official is obliged to inform the arrested person the ground of his arrest; the latter also has to be informed under which section of the IPC he is being arrested and whether the offence is bailable or non-bailable. But the police in UP is known to flout this rule with impunity.

However, there is a catch. If the arrested person shells out the ‘convenience tax,’ he is apprised of the crime and tipped off on the spot how he can get bail in the court.

People nabbed for drunkenness, possessing an unlicensed weapon, or indulging in obscene acts, are often sent directly to the court without being formally arrested.

Most of the accused, who are sent to court, are ignorant why they have been sent there, for what crime they have been detained or under what clause?

IG Meerut Zone, Prem Chand Sabbarwal, had in a recent meeting issued orders to the SOs that the bails of those accused whose offence is bailable should be arranged in the police stations itself.

It will save the time of the police and courts and there would not be a need for cops to be detailed for such duties. But sadly even these instructions of the IG are ignored by his own staff, insiders say.



Rise in suicide rate in Sonepat: Report 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 4
Social pressures, the never-ending race to make it big in life and the transformation of the traditional Indian family pattern, have helped in the dramatic rise in suicide rate.

According to a report, people unable to cope with pressures of a materialistic society, are now being pushed to take this tragic step. Social scientists point out unrealistic expectations from life has led to growing frustrations among the people.

Sonepat district, like other parts of the state, has shown a gradual increase in the number of suicides during the past few years.

According to a report, the highest number of suicides were committed in the age group of 18-30 years.

According to social scientists, the increasing rate of suicides cut across barriers of class, caste and religion. Pressures of daily life have shown its impact on the various sections of the society, be it a jhuggi-dweller, a rich housewife or a student.

Social scientists have pointed their finger to the changing values in our society. Although an attempt to commit suicide is an offence according to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the punitive measures in the law have failed to check this disturbing tendency.

Suicide is more of a social malaise. Dowry deaths, a peculiar and shameful feature prevalent in this district, have troubled social scientists. Demand for dowry and the lack of alternative like going back to her parents house, has forced women on this terrible path of suicide.



Cold wave forces people to stay housebound
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 4
Sonepat city and its adjoining areas have been reeling under a severe cold wave for the past five days on account of cold winds blowing in the region following snowfall in the upper reaches.

According to a report, the cold wave has forced most of the people to keep themselves indoors till noon. Almost all main bazaars and shopping centres looked deserted till noon.

Meanwhile, rail and road traffic remained disrupted for several hours today on account of dense fog and poor visibility in the area. Long-distance mail and express trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule for hours. Similarly, the suburban trains ran behind schedule for 15 minutes to an hour or so. This caused inconvenience to thousands of passengers, mostly daily commuters, as they had to stand shivering at the railway platforms, waiting for the delayed trains on this section.

A large number of passengers managed to board goods trains for reaching their destinations on time.

Many passengers alleged there was nobody to provide information about the late running of the trains whenever they rang up at the inquiry office of the Sonepat railway station. They also alleged that the complaints made to the station superintendent in this regard seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

The Daily Railway Passengers Welfare Association has demanded stern action against the station superintendent and the staff posted at the inquiry office for their failure to perform their duty properly.

It also warned that if no action was taken the commuters would be left with no alternative but to gherao the officials at the railway station. It also demanded a high-level probe into the public complaints about the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the railway station at Sonepat.



Youths beset by leisure, pleasure and treasure

Dissatisfaction with the current system of education is being more frequently voiced these days. There is the complaint of rising costs. And there is also an impression gaining ground that our schools and colleges do not produce the kind of citizens the country could be proud of. School campuses report more cases of indiscipline, violence, drug traffic and other disfigurations.

The decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education to introduce “life skills’’ in the syllabus is stated to be an effort to remedy matters to the extent possible. The new subject will be on from Class VI. The resource materials will be provided by the CBSC, according to its Director (academic) G. Balasubramanium

The report goes on to say that the resource materials, designed for teachers as well as for students, will focus on the skills necessary for building up the quality of life. This would include dignity of labour, appreciation of aesthetics, nutrition, environment and interpersonal skills.

Broadly speaking this will be an attempt to save children from the traps of covetousness and greed, reflected in the current consumerism; to make them more humane and considerate towards the needs of people around them and mould them into responsible citizens.

Recall the debate recently on introduction of religious instructions in schools. Some sections were critical of the move only because of the fear that vested interests might use the opportunity to indoctrinate students and instil in them a spirit of intolerance as it had happened in Afghanistan. On the other hand, secularism and Godless humanism would not be adequate to teach proper values. That is the reason why responsible parents in the United States had been critical of secularists who were bent on eliminating all traces of faith in God from educational institutions. The ban on prayer on campuses has been seen as a triumph of secular principles.

But in the absence of religious beliefs, children may not be in a position to understand the meaning of existence, their duties and responsibilities towards God and fellow beings and even the need for upholding moral values in their lives. Without the defense provided by faith, they may be adrift in an ocean of influences like a ship without rudder.

The adverse influence of crass consumerism upon young minds needs hardly to be emphasised. Unless reined in by fear of God and a sense of accountability, young people are bound to go on their pleasure trips unmindful of their impact on themselves and others. The need to counter selfishness and pride and the desirability of compassion towards others who are less fortunate than oneself do not naturally come to a human being.

It is unfortunate that the newspapers often bring to our notice affluent homes wherein absence of parental supervision had rendered children pleasure-loving and violence-prone. Drunken brawls, rape and drug abuse stories in our media trace their origin to upbringing, which leaves much to be desired.

Three huge dangers beset men: leisure, pleasure and treasure. They tend to lead us to become like bullocks unaccustomed to the yoke. There is much wisdom in the saying of a great Russian, who addressed a young man, who came to him for advise, thus: “You have youth, health and riches; everything is unfavourable to you.’’ These things may be turned to good account, but few of us are able to bear anything that exalts us over our fellows.

The youngsters are not to be blamed if they seek to achieve their goals by foul means in a society that worships power and wealth. The universal degradation of standards in all professions and the absence of role models give rise to such risks. They worship the god of success and find meaning only in materialism. There are not many Einsteins or Gandhis today to show them the direction.

It is good to recall Einstein’s words as regards the indebtedness of each individual to the society of which he is a part. “What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it. But from the point of view of daily life, without going deeper, we exist for our fellowmen — in the first place for those on whose smiles and welfare all our happiness depends and next for all known to us personally with whose destinies we are bound up by the tie of sympathy. A hundred times everyday I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other men, living and dead and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.’’

In the materialistic culture, and in a society that worships power and wealth, youngsters are not to be blamed if they view education as a passport for launching into a lucrative career, for making money or acquiring the good things of life. With the job market in mind the young man goes on qualifying for many degrees. He fails to recognise that while knowledge is power, character is even more important if one is to be really successful or contribute to society. Samuel Smiles puts it admirably: “Mind without heart, intelligence without conduct, cleverness without goodness, are powers in their way, but they may be only powers for mischief. We may be instructed or amused by them; but it is sometimes as difficult to admire them as it would be to admire the dexterity of a pickpocket or the horsemanship of a highwayman.’’

The move to teach life skills is admirable. But as the saying goes, one can take the horse to the water but can not make it drink. It is not that the educated people are unaware of values; they fail to act upon such knowledge and choose what is expedient and immediately profitable as against the right and just choices. Besides, only dedicated teachers with a mission to build up young lives will have an impact on the children. The issue of shaping up children into responsible citizens call for involvement of teachers, parents and the society at large.

MPK Kutty



Battle-scarred Panipat: A leaf out of history book
Tribune News Service

Panipat, situated on the banks of the Yamuna river, is made famous by the three battles fought on its soil. The First Battle of Panipat was fought in AD 1526 in which invader Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi, on April 26. In the Second Battle of Panipat, on November 5, 1556, Akbar’s guardian Bairam Khan defeated the Hindu ruler Hemu. Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Afghan ruler defeated the Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat that took place on January 13, 1761.

The town is today known for its handloom products. Of the places to see are the Panipat Museum. The Battle of Panipat Memorial society, set up by the Government Haryana, under the chairmanship of the Governor, has organised for the first time a museum at Panipat to highlight major events that took place for over 200 years which made Panipat, a place of great historical importance. The work for setting up the museum was assigned to the Haryana state chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

Panipat Museum has been especially established for disseminating information about archaeology, history, art and crafts of Haryana with special emphasis on the battles of Panipat, which marked the turning point in Indian history.

The display of antiquities, inscription, sculptures, arms and armours, pottery, old and valuable documents, jewellery and art and craft objects, have been augmented by maps, write-ups, photographs and slides. An attempt has been made to provide an insight into the acts of bravery of some valiant and patriotic warriors who sacrificed their lives at Panipat. These include, Hemu—a local hero, Raja Surja Mal of Bharatpur, Vikramaditya (Vikramajit) of Gwalior, Maharaja of Patiala, Shershah Suri, Sadashiv Rao Bhau, Vishwas Rao Peshwa, Tukuj Shinde and Ch. Ganpat Rai, Pradhan of Sarvakhab Panchyat of village Sisauli.

Panipat: The city historical

The roots of the town of Panipat, a district headquarters, 34 km south of Karnal on Shershah Suri Marg, go to antiquity. Excavations of the Panipat Grey Ware, a kind of pottery at Panipat, have revealed the existence of early Aryan settlements at the place. Panipat was one of the five disputed ‘Prasthas’ during the Mahabharata war.

The old fort is in a shambles today. It strategic location has made Panipat the scene of some of the historical battles in Indian History. The Mughals Babar onwards, had always had a soft corner for the city. Under the patronage of the Muslim rulers, Panipat emerged as a centre of Sufi saints and Muslim scholars.

Kabuli Bagh

Babur built the garden of Kabuli Bagh along with a mosque and a tank after the first battle to celebrate his victory over Ibrahim Lodhi. Some years later when Humayun defeated Salem Shah near Panipat, he added a masonry platform to it and called it ‘Chabutra” Fateh Mubarak, bearing the inscription 934 Hijri (AD 1557). These building and the garden still exist under the name of Kabuli Bagh called so after Babur’s wife – Mussammat Kabuli begum.

Devi temple

A temple dedicated to the local deity exists on the bank of a large tank. A Shiva temple believed to have been built by Maratha named Mangal Raghunath who had remained in Panipat after the battle, also exists beside it.

Grave of Ibrahim Lodhi

The tomb is situated near a Tehsil Office at Panipat. Ibrahim Lodhi fought fiercely with his uncle Babur, in the battle known to us today as the ‘First Battle of Panipat’ and was killed and buried here. It was one of Shershah Suri’s dying regret that he could never fulfil his intention of erecting a tomb to the fallen monarch. Much later, the British erected a plain platform over the place, with a short Urdu inscription on it.

Kala Amb

According to the tradition, the site 8 km from Panipat and 42 km from Karnal, where Sadashiv Rao Bhau commanded his Maratha forces during the Third Battle of Panipat was marked, by a black mango tree (Kala Amb) which is no longer there. The site has a brick pillar with an iron rod and the structure is surrounded by an iron fence.

Salar Gunj Gate

This gate is situated in the middle of Panipat city. The gate is known for its archaeological importance.

Tomb of Bu-Ali Shah Kalandar

The tomb is more than 700 years old. Shah Kalandar Khizar Khan, son of Allau-din Khilji got this tomb constructed. There are tombs of Hakim Mukaram Khan and Khawaja Altaf Hussain Hali on the premises of this tomb. Hali was a great Urdu poet.

Shri Ram Sharnam

Shri Ram Sharnam is a prayer hall with branches across the globe. An emblem of supreme devotion to selfless service of humanity, the hall was inaugurated by Swami Satya Nandji in 1960, who described it as divinely inspired. 



Labourer cheats factory owner of Rs 40,000
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, January 4
A labourer duped a factory owner and decamped with Rs 40,000 here. In his report, the owner of Naveen Industries at the industrial area, Kamal Singh said that he had sent his labourer Noor Ali, son of Hanimauddin, resident of Shakti Karoli (Bihar) to another factory to hand over Rs 30,000 and a draft of Rs 10,000. When Noor did not return for several hours, he tried to trace him, but in vain. Police have registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC against the labourer. No arrest has been made so far.

Truck rams jeep: Police have charged a truck driver with hitting a jeep last night at Charkhi Dadri. Jogender Singh, driver of the jeep No. HR-37/ 9968, said in his report that driver of the truck No. HRO 5525 rammed his jeep and escaped. A case has been registered against the unidentified truck driver.

Eight held for gambling: Police have rounded up eight persons on the charge of gambling in public places at different places in the town. Cases have been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. The persons have been identified as Ajit of Dinod, Hawa Singh of Chang as they were playing cards. A sum of Rs 7,800 and cards have been seized.

Three persons Bijender, Ram Niwas, Krishan were nabbed while they were playing ‘satta’. A sum of Rs 410 and some slips were recovered from them.

Seven booked for attack: Sharp-edged weapons like gandasi, axes and lathis were reportedly used in an attack that occurred at Kheri Bura village last night. The police have charged Sunder, Rajesh, Rajender, Anup, Ram Chander, Satbir and Kalia of the same village under Sections 323, 324 and 325 of the IPC on the complaint of Shamsher Singh in this connection. Police have not arrested any person so far. Shamsher Singh said that the accused attacked his family owing to an old dispute.

On the other hand, police have arrested Ajit, son of Amar Singh of Jewali village for obstructing traffic by parking vehicle in the middle of the road. Later, he was released on bail.

Medical camp held: A free medical camp was held at Adarsh College for Women today. The college Principal, Dr Urmila Singhla, inaugurated the camp wherein nearly 450 girl students were examined. Free medicines were also distributed to the students. SDM Yashender Singh, Dr K C Kajal, Pawan Buwaniwala, Dr V B Dixit, Dr Sushil Dhamija, Dr Narender Taneja, Dr G N Tripathi and Dr Manju Tripathi extended their services in the camp.



Trains cancelled, rescheduled
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
Due to prevailing fog in the northern region, several trains arriving in and departing from the national Capital, were cancelled or rescheduled today, according to a Northern Railway statement here.

The trains stand cancelled were - the 3483 Up and the 3484 Down Farakkha Express, the 3308 Up and the 3307 Down Ganga Sutlej Express, The 2498 Shan-e-Punjab Express, the 4014 Delhi-Sultanpur Sadbhavna Express, the 4000 Amritsar-New Delhi Inter-city Express and the 4881 New Delhi-Jalandhar Intercity Express.

Besides, the Patna-New Delhi Shramjeevi Express was running late by 20 hours, the Raxaul-Delhi Sadbhavana Express by 18 hours, the Dibrugarh-New Delhi Brahmputra Express by 13 hours, the Barauni-New Delhi Vaishali Express by nine hours and the Puri-New Delhi Purushotam Express by eight hours.

Sever other trains were running behind schedule by two to eight hours, the statement added.



Bone test says rape accused major

New Delhi: In a sensational disclosure, the Delhi Police today informed a court here that the second accused in the Maulana Azad Medical College student rape case, Amit, was a major. The claim of the police comes at a time when the court had reserved its orders for Monday on main accused Rahul’s plea for summoning hospital records to ascertain if he was a minor.

The ossification test report of Amit submitted by the police before Metropolitan Magistrate Bharat Parashar claims the accused is aged between 19 and 21 years. TNS



Spurt in polio cases worries Mayor

New Delhi: The Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has expressed concern over the sudden spurt of incidence of polio in the recent months.

Ms Jaishree Pawar said that even though the incidence of polio had been brought down to zero level, it has gone up suddenly.

She said that it is a matter of concern for medical, para-medical as well as common citizens.

Flagging off a parade of schoolchildren carrying placards at Shahpurjat in South Delhi, Ms Pawar said that the MCD would mobilise all its resources to carry on the fight against polio. TNS



Eve-teasers in North district had a hard 
time in 2002
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
Despite being more communally sensitive than other districts of Delhi and having some important monuments which are vulnerable to terrorist attacks, the crime rate in North district declined in 2002.

During 2002, eve-teasers had a hard time as the district police with the help of decoy women police officials nabbed 383 such persons during a special drive on the North Campus of Delhi University alone. But this did not deter them as eve-teasing cases continued to mount. However, rape and molestation cases saw a downward trend during the year.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sanjay Baniwal said that following the spate of crimes against women in the district, the police had initiated a number of campaigns to contain such incidents and to arrest offenders.

To prove his point on the effective presence of police personnel in the district, he cited the example of a couple who were harassed by eve-teasers and had a harrowing return trip time after visiting Pragati Maidan; the couple expressed their gratitude to the policemen later. The couple was chased by a group of youths in a Maruti Gypsy all the way from Pragati Maidan. When the woman mustered courage to report the matter to the PCR staff deployed in the district, the eve-teasers were booked and placed behind the bars.

In 2002, a total of 3,537 cases under the IPC were reported. On the crime front, a total of 145 cases under various heads were reported in 2002 compared to 150 cases in 2001. Of these, there were 38 cases of murder in 2002 compared to 27 such cases in 2001, 31 cases of attempt to murder, 48 cases of robbery, 10 cases of riot, 42 cases of snatching and 29 cases of rape.

The district police also succeeded in nabbing members of Bawaria gang, including its leader, Alauddeen gang and Asif Ali alias Ashu gang of robbers. Even motor vehicle thefts went down from 455 to 394 in 2002.



Man murdered by tenant

Noida, January 4
A landlord was reportedly murdered by his tenant when the latter slit the former’s throat with a sharp-edged weapon. The landlord was a habitual boozer and occasionally used to take ganja also. A few days ago he was seen in the company of his tenant. Both had reportedly taken liquor till late in the night.

The tenant is alleged to have killed Brahmpal, the landlord, with a sharp-edged weapon. After the murder, the tenant is reported to have fled after locking Brahmpal’s body in his room.

In the meantime, someone happened to peep inside the room and saw Brahmpal’s body. The police were informed. The body has been sent for an autopsy. Vijay Pal, brother of the deceased, has filed a murder report in the police station. The police are investigating the matter. OC



One held for extortion bid
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
The East district police have nabbed a person who tried to extort money from a businessman while his accomplice managed to escape from the police under cover of darkness. A countrymade pistol along with two live cartridges were seized from his possession.

The accused had demanded Rs 5 lakh from Vinod Mittal, who runs an import and export business in Daryaganj and is a resident of Anand Vihar. First, they sent a missive on January 3, demanding the money, with the threat that failure to comply would lead to his family members being killed. Later in the evening, his wife Sunita received a call from them, threatening her of dire consequences if they failed to give the money.

The extortionists also advised them to leave the money at a cremation ground near Shanti Mukund Hospital. When the matter was reported to the police, a trap was laid. As one of the accused came to pick up the bag, he was overpowered by the police but his accomplice managed to flee.

The accused was later identified as Ram Babu (24) from Bihar while the person who escaped has been identified as Shanbu Kumar Jha.

Four women held: With the arrest of four women the North district police on Saturday claimed to have smashed a gang who used to pick pockets at bus stands. The police acted on a compliant made by Sarita Jain that at the ISBT bus stand she was surrounded by some women, only to find later that Rs 5,500 was missing from her purse along with a gold chain.

Based on this information, the police later nabbed Bilphool, Rekha, Mamta and Bira, all residents of Samaipur Badli. On interrogation they revealed that they were from Maharashtra and indulged in pick-pocketing.

Truck runs over girl: A five-year-old girl died and her seven-year-old brother was injured on Friday night after a speeding truck hit them while they were playing on Tilak Marg. The victim, Jyoti, and her brother Ashok, residents of Tan Sen Marg, were hit by a Tata Sumo.

Both were immediately rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Jyoti was declared brought dead and Ashok was admitted as he had sustained injuries. The driver fled from the spot after the incident.

Chemist robbed: A medical shop owner was robbed by four unidentified persons of Rs 8,000, milk food packets and some injections on Friday night in Hari Nagar in Ashram. The accused came to the medical shop owned by Mahesh (30) on the pretext of buying medicines.

When they spotted him alone at the shop, they tied him and took away cash and other things. Later, before they fled the spot they closed the shutter from outside, leaving Vinod inside.



154 boxes of illegal liquor seized, two held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 4
With the arrest of two youths, the Kundli police foiled an attempt of liquor smuggling from Haryana to Delhi early this morning.
According to a report, the police stopped a Tata 407 canter at Kundli village near the Haryana-Delhi border and seized as many as 154 boxes of English wine during the search operations from it. The police arrested two youths namely, Manjit and Shaurat, on the spot.

The police also impounded the canter and registered a case against the accused under the Excise Act. The canter was on its way from Panipat to Delhi.

The police launched a hunt for the third suspect who still at large. The canter was loaded with English wine from Samalkha in Panipat district and it was to be supplied to Delhi.

Commits suicide: A 21-year-old woman was reported to have committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in her house at Rajinder Nagar here on Friday evening.

According to a report, a family feud is stated to be the main cause of the suicide. The police are investigating into the case.

Three hurt in clash: Three persons including two women sustained injuries in a clash that took place between two rival groups at Malikpur village about 10 km from here on Friday evening.

According to a report, the injured persons were identified as Mamta, Geeta Devi and Mr Sunehra. The police registered a case. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.


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