Wednesday, January 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Raid on tantrik nets Rs 3 cr in assets
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 7
In a raid on two houses of a tantrik, the income tax officials seized Rs 20 lakh, fixed deposit receipts of Rs 80 lakh, and gold and diamond ornaments worth crores of rupees. In the operation that went on till late Monday night, the income tax sleuths seized the property worth Rs 3.5 crore, imported cloths, electronics items and valuable showpieces.

The Director of the Investigation, Income Tax, Mr R K Tiwari, ordered the raid on several premises of the tantrik.

The Joint Commissioner (Investigation) constituted two teams of senior officials from Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Meerut and raided the premises of the tantrik Satya Prakash Sharma. From the administration, SHOs of Sadar Bazar, Nauchandi, Medical and Kankerkhera accompanied the income tax officials. The officials searched the almirahs, boxes, briefcases and even the quilts.

The raid was so confidential that even the neighbours could not know about it. The income tax officials recovered FDRs and imported articles from the Defence Colony residence of the tantrik. The Joint Director Investigation, Mr V K Gupta, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the tantrik became ‘crorepati’ within two years. Earlier, he was an employee in the UP health department. After retirement, he became tantrik and also created a sex tonic of sorts. He had devotees even in the USA. He exported the sex tonic to several foreign countries, including the USA.

The JDI revealed that while the tantrik got 6 lakh US dollars through a ‘hawala’ racket from the USA, he showed his income Rs 50,000 only in the current year. Income tax officials said that his sex tonic was not registered.

The JDI told the media persons that the department was investigating the matter as to how the alleged tantrik got linked to the hawala racket. The tantrik claimed that thousands of his devotees donated property to him. He said that he was going to open an ashram for his devotees and would donate his property to the ashram, just to pull the wool over the eyes of income tax officials.

But the income tax department had got a tip-off and raided all his premises.



Property owners, watch out for new tax regime
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
The Government of NCT of Delhi on Tuesday unveiled the Unit Area System for assessing property tax from April 1. The new tax regime will entail amendment to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Act. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told a news conference the Council of Ministers would discuss the matter before taking it up in the Assembly. “It would then be forwarded to the Union Government,” she said.

The proposal is based on the report of the K Dharmarajan Committee that was submitted to the government on Tuesday. The 17-page report dwells on the problems and suggests solutions.

The final report carrying unit area value, rates, revenue simulation based on a detailed survey will be presented by the end of the month to the government.

The chief minister said any property built after April 1 would automatically come under the new tax system. The new tax regime would be “just” and do away with the “Inspector Raj,” she said. The unit area system, she said, would encourage self-assessment of property tax and eliminate “anomalies” by removing the discretionary powers vested in inspectors.

The MCD earns a revenue of Rs 800-odd crores by way of property tax. The revenue thus generated is likely to shoot up to over Rs 14,000 crore after the unit area system comes into force.

“There are an estimated 25 lakh properties of which only eight lakh are in the tax net. That figure is expected to double and cover 16 lakh properties after the new system is implemented,” she said.

Tax assessment would be based on the covered area of the property and unit area value per square metre. The value of property would be decided on the basis of colony category, age of construction, etc.

The 1921 colonies have been classified into seven categories from A to G for assessing the taxes. Colonies had been classified on the basis of the capital value of land and prevailing rental values. Also taken into consideration will be proximity to commercial centres, road on which the colony was located, type of settlement, economic status of occupants and the location.

Referring to the “anomalies,” Dikshit said similarly placed properties were having to pay different quantum of taxes on account of collusion of the owner with the inspector assessing the tax.

“The owner of an MIG flat No 259 in Sector A, Vasant Kunj, is paying Rs 2,600 as tax calculated on the rateable value while his neighbour in MIG flat No 260 is paying Rs.19,400 as tax,” she said.



Hitchhike proves fatal for five kids 
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 7
Five children were killed and four others injured in a tractor trolley-train collision at the unmanned Nizampur Railway crossing, near Khurja railway station, five km from here, last night.

The five children were identified as Rajiv (8), Sanjeev (10), Harish (15), Pawan (8), and Nandu (9). While two of the injured have been discharged after first aid, two others have been shifted to AMU Medical College. Their condition is serious, doctors said.

The tractor-trolley carrying the children and others from Nizampur village was passing by an unmanned railway crossing when the collision occurred. About a dozen children had apparently hitched a ride on the tractor trolley and some of them were hanging from the rear of the trolley for a joy ride. Eyewitnesses said that such was the impact of the collision that the bodies of the children were found scattered about 30 metres away from the site of the accident.

In the collision, the locomotive and the diesel tank of the train also got damaged. Angry villagers tried to set the train on fire, but were prevented from doing so by the prompt action of the administration. The news of the accident created tension in the area with people from the neighbouring villages coming out in the open and protesting against the callous attitude of the administration in dealing with the situation. The agitated residents of Nizampur claimed that the unmanned level crossing had been the scene of several accidents earlier as well and they had demanded that a gate be put up there. But the authorities apparently ignored their suggestion. Unmanned level crossings have claimed a large number of lives over the years, particularly in the densely populated rural areas of western Uttar Pradesh.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rameshwar Dayal and other senior officials of railways and administration reached the spot to carry out the relief and rescue operation. The district administration officials assured the angry villagers that compensation would soon be disbursed to the families of the dead children and those injured.



Lid off spurious fertiliser unit
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 7
The police unearthed a fertiliser factory in Ekta Vihar Colony which had been making spurious fertilisers of popular brands for about a year or so. Four persons have been arrested in the raid.
Three hundred bags of illegal material were seized apart from machinery, generator, pumps, etc. The bags are worth Rs 40 lakh in market, the police said.

According to the SP City, Mr Rajesh Kumar Pandey, owner of the factory and three others have been nabbed. The SO, Vishesh Kumar Singh had received a tip-off that zinc oxide and phosphatic fertilisers were being made in the factory. The SO along with Tila Mod police post incharge R.R. Singh raided the factory at noon and nabbed the owner Nempal Singh of Bulandshahr and three employees—Rajan, Devinder and Kanhya, while they were making the spurious fertilisers.

Nempal Singh, a resident of Krishan Nagar Colony on Meerut Road, said phos sulphate was being manufactured

which is used in fertiliser, water treatment and chicken feed. The seized bags had zino sulphate printed on them. Flying Horse, Sikandrabad UP, Ship Brand, Zinc Oxide, Venus Brand, Suri Zinc Oxide were also printed on the bags.

Nempal Singh said that he manufactured phos sulphate and supplied it to a firm in Khauri Baoli, Delhi. He has so far supplied 9 tonnes ‘fertilisers’ to that firm.

He used to buy iron scrap from a factory and made phos sulphate out of it after melting.

The police station incharge said that the samples were being sent to a lab to know whether the material is zinc oxide or phos sulphate. The factory and its goods have been seized. There is a ban by the High Court on issuing new licences to manufacture zinc oxide or phos sulphate.

All those arrested for making fake fertilisers could be booked under the National Security Act, SP City Pandey said.



Guru Gobind Singh’s relics on rare display in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
The Prakash Purv anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh on Thursday would be different. The Sikh devotees in the Capital will have a rare purview of the relics of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, and Mata Sundari.
The relics would be part of the nagar kirtan procession. The relics of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Sikh Guru, include his dastar and kachera, pajami, shoes and kharaun (wooden sandals).

In addition, the bedsheets, which were used by the Guru during his stay in the house of Mai Desan at Chak Fateh Singhwala, the piri of Mataji, the ghagra of Mai Desan and the ‘loh’ used for preparing langar (community kitchen) would also be on display during the procession.

This would be the second time the Guru’s relics are on display in the Capital, the first being in 1966 when some relics brought from England were taken out in a procession on January one that year.

National Institute of Punjab Studies (NIPS) Director Mohinder Singh said the relics had been earlier sent for conservation to the Lucknow Lab of INTACH. “These have just come back to the Capital from Lucknow,’’ he pointed out.

He said the relics would be displayed at an exhibition in the Baba Baghel Singh Museum and later in other important gurdwaras in the Capital.

“The conservation of these relics was a part of the project of the NIPS, which included cataloguing and taking photos of the relics of Sikh Gurus and other historical personalities in India, Pakistan and Britain,’’ he pointed out.

After three years of research, the institute had taken photographs of over 700 objects obtained from different families and also published pictorial books on the relics,” with a view to creating awareness for their conservation,’’ Dr Singh said.

Apart from the INTACH Conservation Lab, Lucknow, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, had also promised help to the NIPS for the conservation of these relics, he said.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee said a nagar kirtan would be taken out from Gurdwara Rakab Ganj to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. Eminent ragis jathas would participate on the occasion.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Sewadar Committee has appealed to the members of the community to take part in the nagar kirtan in large numbers and follow the ideals to which Guru Gobind Singh dedicated his life.



Villagers turn captors of protected animals
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 7
A joint team of the forest officials and the officials of the civil administration conducted raids in several villages of the Mawana tehsil within the limit of Hastinapur wildlife sanctuary on Monday, following reports that some villagers had confined several protected animals. The animals include black buck, deer and ‘Neel’ cows and bear. Protected birds are also being hunted for several years.

According to the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, several animals and birds are protected and their hunting is punishable with imprisonment up to six years and fine up to Rs 25,000. However, many villagers do not care for such laws and confine the protected wildlife.

Some villagers confined two black bucks for over two months. One of them escaped on Sunday evening. It was alleged that the buck was later trapped and killed for eating. To cap it, an influential person keeps a deer in his house.

In Poothi and Bhindwara villages, two Neel cows are kept. While a man of Kalandar caste in Asifabad village of Parikshitgarh area keeps a small deer in his house.

When the ‘NCR Tribune’ approached the wildlife conservator, Mr I P Singh, for his comments, he admitted that the forest range officials were aware of these incidents.



Tusker scare in qutab nursery

New Delhi: First, it was a leopard unleashing terror in Neb Sarai area and now it’s the turn of an elephant. The elephant, belonging to someone who entertains people on the road, entered the Qutab nursery of the DDA in the afternoon today and shocked everyone for sometime.

After entering the nursery, it went berserk, breaking most of the pots placed there. Nobody was injured though. The officials in the nursery cordoned off the area and called the wildlife officials to rein in the pachyderm. TNS



Japanese soft loan for 3rd Metro corridor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
The Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) will extend another tranche of soft loan to the tune of Rs 580 crore to cover the revised cost-estimates for extending the third Metro corridor from Dwarka to Barakhamba Road.

The Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Mr E. Sreedharan, on Tuesday told mediapersons that an Integrated Rail Bus Transit (IRBT) for the National Capital Region (NCR) was under consideration. A project report had already been prepared by Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) in this regard.

“The Japan Bank for International Co-operation has in principle agreed to the amount. A formal communication is expected soon,” Mr Sreedharan said. The third Metro corridor was initially from Trinagar to Nangloi. “Now with its extension from Dwarka to Barakhamba Road, an additional Rs 1,800 crore will have to be incurred,” he said.

Mr Sreedharan said the visiting Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Yoriko Kawaguchi, visited the DMRC. She was told about the operations of Delhi Metro and services on offer.

The 23-kilometre corridor will have 22 stations and the cost is estimated to be Rs 3,000 crore. It would be opened in two stages: from Barakhamba Road to Kirti Nagar (7.16 km) in 2005 and Kirti Nagar to Dwarka (16 km) in September that year. The Government of Japan is funding 56 per cent of the total cost of the Metro project.



Only one CGHS dispensary for whole of Noida
Pensioners wait for Shatrughan Sinha to take their call 
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 7
The central government pensioners living in different sectors of Noida are angry at the alleged step-motherly treatment being meted out to them by the authorities under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). There are about 7,000 such pensioners and their dependents in Noida, but there is only one CGHS dispensary in Sector 36, which caters to a total of 34,000 beneficiaries including the serving and retired government officials and their families.

According to Mr D. K. Jain, president of the Central Government Pensioners Welfare Association, Noida, they have been hit by the two-month-old strike by

panelled chemists. This has practically choked the supply of medicines to them from the dispensary. Now the pensioners have to purchase the medicines from the market paying from their pocket, which is reimbursed later. But this takes normally three to six months.

This has broken the back of pensioners from the middle and lower strata for whom to keep their body and soul together out of their meagre pension itself is already a big question. How long will they be able to withstand this added financial burden is anybody’s guess.

There are about four to five dispensaries in Meerut city though the population of pensioners is not comparatively that high there, says Mr Jain.

Union Minister of Health Shatrughan Sinha has not responded to telephone calls by the association. “He has not bothered to give us time for a meeting so far. We sent a letter to him about a month ago. But there has been no response yet on that also. We do not know whom to turn to now,” the hapless pensioners say.

“Our demand for at least one or two more dispensaries and construction of a proper dispensary building on the plot allotted by the Noida administration in Sector 11 have been pending for long. A proper building must have an emergency ward, laboratory facility, homoeopathic and ayurvedic dispensaries. Considerable time, money and energy of pensioners are wasted in getting the medicines owing to the distance and long queues at the present dispensary,” say the association representatives.

For the old and infirm pensioners, it becomes an uphill task. While the number of patients has swelled up to several thousands, the staff strength at the one CGHS dispensary remains the same.

The chemists’ strike and the slow working of the government do not augur well for the hapless pensioners, who, after having given the best of their life in the service of the nation, are sadly nobody’s concern today and are left to fend for themselves.



Delhiites snuggle deeper into the quilt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
The Capital faced braved yet another chilly day with temperatures dipping further. Chilly winds blowing in from the higher reaches in the northern part of the country resulted in continuos drop in night temperature.

The Met office recorded a night temperature of 6.1degree Celsius, which is one degree below normal. The dense fog, which has been disrupting the traffic, persists. School and office goers faced commuting problems as fog made driving tedious.

The Delhi Government has decided not to close the schools in the city on account of the cold wave. However, the decision to change the timings of the schools is being considered. The government has permitted the schools to change the timings to suit their requirements.

Meanwhile, 11 domestic flights and one international and two cargo flights were diverted due to poor visibility. The Runway Visibility Range (RVR) was only 300 metres last night, which diminished further, forcing the authorities to divert the flights to various places, including Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

However, the RVR improved to 1100 mtrs at about 11 a.m. The rail traffic was also affected with nearly 45 trains, both incoming and outgoing, running behind schedule, the railways sources said.

While Udyan Abha Toofan Express from Sriganganagar to New Delhi-Howrah has been cancelled, the Intercity Express from Bathinda and Jalandhar city have been running inordinately late.

The Met department maintains that the cold wave will abate and there will be a rise in night temperature.



EC not convening delimitation panel meeting: BJP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 7
Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP and vice-president of the Haryana BJP, has alleged that the Election Commission had not convened any meeting of the committee constituted about six months ago for the delimitation of the assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

Talking to mediapersons at Gohana town, 35 km from here, yesterday, he said that he himself was included as a member of this committee but he was still unaware about its functioning and norms. He, however, indicated that this committee was likely to meet after the completion of the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh.

He also indicated that the number of assembly and Lok Sabha seats would be the same but the number of reserved assembly seats would be increased from 17 to 18 in accordance with the figures of 1991 Census. Mr Sangwan apprised party workers of the figures of 1991 Census relating to the Sonepat Lok Sabha constituency and invited their suggestion for possible changes in the party strategy.

Referring to the SYL canal issue, the BJP leader announced that his party would extend its support to the state government if it was keen to take concrete steps in this regard. He said that time had come for taking positive steps to get the share of water from Punjab. The convening of an all-party meeting alone could not solve the problem, he reminded Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala who, he alleged, was not interested in safeguarding the Haryana’s interests on this issue.

Replying to a question, Mr Sangwan asserted that this issue could be resolved by the Supreme Court and not through negotiations between the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana, as the leaders of political parties had already politicised the issue for their selfish motives. 



SYL project was Bansi Lal’s brainchild: HVP
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 7
The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) headed by former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal kept up the pressure today on the raging Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue and projected its leader as the progenitor of the project.

The general secretary of the HVP, Mr Anil Rao, stepped up the gas from the party’s side, saying that it was Mr Bansi Lal who, as Chief Minister, impressed upon the then Prime Minister, late Indira Gandhi, in 1969 to devise the project to bring in Ravi-Beas waters to the state from Punjab.

All political parties, including the ruling INLD in the state, have been literally sucked in the vortex of politics and posturing in Haryana and Punjab. While construction work on the project has drawn to a close in Haryana work has not been completed in Punjab. Various political parties in Punjab are not willing to part with Haryana’s share of the Ravi-Beas waters. With the January 15 deadline set by the Supreme Court for the Punjab Government to complete the project drawing near and the state government still continuing its negative approach on the issue, various political parties in Haryana are getting worked up.

The proposed Ravi-Beas waters were exclusively meant for South Haryana, which encompasses districts like Rewari, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Rohtak and Jhajjar. The SYL plan was indeed devised for these areas as a panacea for the irrigation ills plaguing the farmers. The overwhelming view is that the proposed share of river waters had the potential of becoming the lifeline of South Haryana.

According to Mr Rao, the Centre was prevailed upon by Mr Bansi Lal to provide Rs 425 crore as monetary help to Punjab for construction of the part of the SYL project falling in that state. The government in Haryana under the tenure of Mr Bansi Lal spent a sum of Rs 55 crore for completion of that part of the project which fell in this state.

Mr Bansi Lal, again as Chief Minister, further played a pro-active role on account of which Haryana was successful in presenting its case to the subsequent Eradi Commission for enhancement of the state’s share. It was during the time of Bansi Lal, and the Sarpanches of South Haryana were witnesses to the fact after making joint visit to the sites organised by the state government, that about 95 per cent of the works was completed.

Mr Rao, trying to make out a case of constructive contribution made by Mr Bansi Lal in favour of the project, said that when he again became Chief Minister he took up the issue about the Punjab Government expediting the construction work in the Supreme Court on September 6,1996.It was on account of this that the apex court gave the directive to the Punjab Government to complete the SYL project by January 15 this year.

Making light of the claims and posturing indulged in by leaders of other political parties towards the SYL project, he argued that it was Mr Bansi Lal who had first introduced the lift irrigation scheme in the sandy and uncultivable areas of South Haryana. Consequently, farming became possible, giving a major boost to the economy of South Haryana.

Mr Rao was critical of the present government headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala, saying that he did not avail of the golden opportunity of resolving the issue when the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal was in power in Punjab. SAD and the ruling INLD in Haryana are part of the present BJP-led NDA coalition at the Centre. With all three political parties in alliance with each other, it was a golden opportunity for Haryana to clinch the issue. But Mr Chautala did not take up the issue, as had always been the case, when Mr Badal was the Chief Minister of Punjab, he added.



Youth Congress to launch stir against NDA govt
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 7
The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) has decided to launch a nationwide struggle to put pressure on the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to take bold decisions for protecting national security, honour and character.

Giving this information, Mrs Sumitra Chauhan, a member of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), told mediapersons here today that this had been necessitated by the weak-kneed policies of the NDA government on fighting terrorism and its sponsor-state Pakistan. She also disclosed that the party would also launch an agitation to eradicate corruption, which had become an issue to be tackled by rising above party politics because corruption had affected the future of the youth.

Releasing the six-point agenda of the party, Mrs Chauhan said that the agenda would highlight the uniformity of education in the country. Under its “one nation one education” programme, the party would agitate to demand the setting up of a national syllabus board, which would approve the syllabi of all education boards in the country in one subject so that all students could compete on an equal footing.

Referring to another point on the agenda, she said that the party would demand reservation based on the place of birth and place of education. For this purpose, the party would demand an amendment in the Constitution to provide for reservation both in higher educational institutions and jobs for those who had studied in a rural school for minimum five years and had passed their matriculation examination from a rural school.



Schemes aplenty for women’s uplift
Jeevna Bhinder

New Delhi, January 7
‘An educated man means a single person educated and a woman educated means the entire family educated’ is perhaps an apt saying particularly in the context of the situation in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It has been said that a woman can make or mar the destiny of her children. If she is educated, she can make the nation prosper.

It is particularly for these reasons that more emphasis is now being placed on schemes for the welfare of women. In Delhi alone, more than half a dozen schemes have been launched under the Stree Shakti programme.

The number of middle and upper middle class women seeking employment has been increasing in the recent years. The Government of India has started many schemes for the empowerment of women, to help them take up gainful employment.

In fact, year 2001 was declared as the Women’s Empowerment Year. A national policy was launched for the empowerment of women. For the first time, five Stree Shakti Puraskars were presented to honour the achievements of individual women.

As a part of the Women Empowerment Year, laws concerning women were to be reviewed. They include the Indecent Representation of Women’s Act, Sati Act, National Commission of Women Act and Dowry Prohibition Act.

Swadhar is one of the helpful schemes by the Centre for women in difficult situation. It is expected to be started soon. The scheme will cover widows, destitute women and women prisoners. It envisages provision of shelter and vocational training to such women.

Swayam Sidha is an integrated Self Help Group-based programme, which is being launched in 650 blocks in the country at a cost of Rs 116 crore.

The Kishori Shakti Yojna, a scheme for the development of adolescent girls, is being extended to cover 2,000 blocks. Under this initiative, 13 lakh adolescent girls will be benefited. It aims at improving the nutritional status of girls between 11 and 18 years of age. Currently, it is benefiting about 3.5 lakh adolescent girls through the anganwadi centres.

Another scheme is Mahila Samakhya for the education and empowerment of women. This scheme was awarded with the UNESCO’s Noma Literacy Award for its contribution to women’s education. The outstanding feature of this is to evolve a modality of planning, reaching women in villages, so that the educative principle is not subordinated to the desire for immediate results.

Today, women are proving themselves in every field. But the destination is very far. Still, there is a need for some schemes that are more employment-oriented for women. 



Policing in VVIP New Delhi district is quite a task! 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
Policing in the New Delhi district, often referred to as the VIP district, has never been an easy task. Given the sensitive nature of this district, the police chiefs posted here have often received only brickbats instead of bouquets for discharging their duties efficiently.

The district houses the residences of the President and Vice-President of India, Prime Minister of India, Parliament, residence of Union Ministers and other VVIPS, foreign embassies, the Supreme Court and High Court. Apart from this, when the Parliament is in session, demonstrations by political parties and various social groups always puts policemen on high alert.

In 2002, the district saw a total of 2,298 demonstrations, 15 fairs, 5 festivals, 67 religious gatherings and processions, nine strikes, 20 elections and 412 visits of high profile dignitaries, including that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji.

The latest victim to get suspension orders for stopping a political rally headed by D P Yadav from crossing the barricades – and at the same time lucky to get reinstated, was the Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), Manoj Lal.

Lal was placed under suspension as the MP was injured during the clash between the policemen and his party workers. Lal was blamed for his insensitivity towards them initially but was exonerated later by a committee.

“Policing needs tact in this district. We are prepared for any kind of situation, as some times it may go beyond our control. To avoid such situations in future, we have sent a proposal to the government to shift the venue of demonstrations to Ram Lila Grounds if the crowd exceeds 5,000 people,” said Lal. “We have also started speaking to the organizers of dharnas in advance, apart from explaining to them the sensitiveness of the district, to avoid such incidents in the future,” he added.

Even the previous district chief M K Meena, was not spared for his inability to control a mob, which later reached the residence of the Prime Minister. Meena was transferred to the Armed Police.

Another DCP, Pranab Nanda was shifted to Headquarters, following a clash between the policemen and lawyers at the Parliament Street.

Given all these, there was a decline of 9.54 per cent in crime rate in the district during the year 2002. Of the total 2,406 IPC crimes on various heads in 2002, six cases of murder, eight cases of attempt to murder, 20 cases of robbery, ten cases of riot, eight cases of rape, 15 cases of snatching, 54 cases of burglary and 304 cases of motor vehicle theft was reported.

The district also proved safe for women as only 11 cases of crime against women were reported which was better than the previous year.

To install confidence among women, anti-eve-teasing drives were launched and 59 persons were nabbed. Lal said busting of gangs involved in robbing foreigners, action against drug peddlers and nabbing auto-lifters were the other achievements of the district police.



Services of Jagdish Kapur recalled
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 7
Leaders of various political parties, trade unions, social organisations and industries associations paid rich tributes to Mr Jagdish Kapur, Joint President of Atlas Cycle Industries, the largest bicycle manufacturing company in the country, at a condolence meeting organised here last evening.

According to a report, the speakers at the meeting recalled his services to the society. They said that the society would never forget his commendable works for the welfare of the people and in the field of industries.

Mr Jagdish Kapur was born on July 15, 1928 at Lahore in United Punjab. He completed his MA there. Later, he joined the bicycle industry with his father, Jankidas Kapur. After Partition, he settled in Delhi.

Mr Kapur was a renowned industrialist and successful businessman and had remained the Joint President of Atlas Cycle Industries for years.

He had left an indelible mark in all phases of his illustrious career both in business and society. His involvement in the field of social work also extends to a number of schools and hospitals and his remarkable services had won him many laurels.

Mr Kapur had also been associated with Rotary International as district governor and as chairman of the Youth Hostels Association of India.

Mr Kapur, it may be recalled, had been awarded with “Distinguished Service Medal” by the President of India on several occasions in recognition of his selfless service in organising and streamlining civil defence.

In 1994, on the occasion of Independence Day, the President of India had conferred on him the Meritorious Service Award for the services rendered by him to the Civil Defence Organisation for the last 40 years. Besides, he was bestowed with Sangram Medal on the occasion of the silver jubilee of India’s Independence.

Mr Kapur was actively associated with a number of charitable and social welfare organisations, especially the National Association for the Blind (Delhi) as its president where about 400 visually impaired children are provided with free education, vocational training, boarding and lodging. He had remained the vice-president of the National Association for the Blind (India) (NAB).

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the welfare of the blind, the Government of Delhi had bestowed upon Mr Kapur the Delhi Gaurav Award and NAB India had decorated him with Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Award 2001.

Mr Kapur, it may also be recalled, had remained the trustee of the Indus Medical Foundation, Shimla and the Jankidas Kapur Memorial Hospitals at Sonepat and Delhi.



Delhi Govt to file SLP on relocation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
The Government of NCT of Delhi today said it would file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order disallowing alternate plots to people living in slums that came up after January 1990.

The announcement comes with the caveat that a law and order problem could arise if only those living in slums that came up before 1990 were given alternate plots and therefore land as a subject be transferred to the Government of NCT of Delhi.

Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia said the Government of NCT of Delhi’s relocation policy mandated that people living in the slums that came up after January 1990 but prior to 1998 be given 12.5 square metre plots.

If a substantial number of slum dwellers were denied an alternate plot the government might find it difficult to carry forward its relocation policy, the minister said, referring to the rural-urban migration, poverty and employment to substantiate his point.

Out-of-turn promotion for courageous constable

The Commissioner of Police, Mr R.S. Gupta, awarded an out-of-turn promotion to a constable of the Delhi Police posted at the Model Town police station for showing exemplary courage. The constable, Jasbir Singh, nabbed two criminals last night after he was badly injured by them near Arya Bhat Polytechnic in North-West district.

Jasbir was on patrolling duty in the area when he spotted two persons on a motorcycle moving in a suspicious manner. When he stopped them and asked for their identification, they tried to escape. When Jasbir followed them, the criminals injured him on his head and threatened him with a country- made weapon.

But the unrelenting constable followed them and nabbed one of them, identified as Hira (24), resident of Ashok Vihar. Meanwhile, the other policemen posted at the picket rushed to the spot and nabbed his associate, Toshin Ali (25), resident of Ashok Vihar. A country-made weapon was seized from their possession. Jasbir was admitted to the Pentamed Hospital for treatment.

IRS veteran passes away

An officer of the first batch of the Indian Railway Service, Mr Brahm Swarup Sehajpal, died in New Delhi on Saturday at the age of 77 following cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife and a daughter who is married to the Union Secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs, Mr L.M. Mehta.

He joined the service in 1948 after Independence and held several important positions, including that of Chief Commercial Superintendent (Safety). He was also associated with several religious and social organisations.



ASI held for son’s murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
An Assistant Sub-Inspector attached with the Delhi Police was arrested last morning on charges of murdering his 14-year-old son, who had reportedly fought over some minor issue with his step-mother.

ASI Raj Kapoor (40), posted as driver in Police Control Room in New Delhi district, started living with his second wife Pooja (30) after divorcing his first wife Lajwanti in 1999, who lives in Shakarpur with her brother.

Kapoor’s three sons and one daughter from his first wife along with two children from the second wife were living together, the police said.

Last evening, when Kuldip, son of Lajwanti, had fought over a minor issue with his step-mother Pooja, she beat him up. She apprised Kapoor of this in the evening, who was in an intoxicated state. An angry Kapoor hit Kuldip with an iron rod, who died subsequently.

In the morning, Kapoor and his wife tried a cover-up, stating that Kuldip fell down from a tractor and died. But the police got suspicious and when the body was sent for a post-mortem examination in Rao Tula Ram Hospital, the doctors said the boy had died as a result of a fracture suffered in his head and the death was homicidal. The police have arrested Kapoor and are on the lookout for his second wife.



1 killed, 14 hurt as statue crumbles
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, January 7
One person was killed and more than 14 were injured when a 100-ft-high statue of Lord Krishna being constructed at National Highway 8 at Narsinghpur village fell on them yesterday.

According to eyewitnesses, more than 25 artisans and labourers were giving the finishing touches to the statue being made in cement and iron. As the upper portion of the statue had been completed, the workers were engaged in working on the lower half. All of a sudden, the statue started caving in and fell on the workers.

One person, Nirmal Mandal, aged 19, a resident of West Bengal and a worker of a nearby private company, died while more than 14 persons were injured. Two artisans, Naresh Kumar and Mahavir Kumar, residents of Pilani, Rajasthan, three labourers, Nur Hasan, Santosh and Arjun, all residents of Bihar, were seriously injured and are still in hospital.



Murder bid in broad daylight
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7
In a daring daylight murder attempt, four armed assailants in a white Maruti car attacked a person this afternoon in the Civil Lines area in North district.
The victim, Bhachu Singh, alias Billa (34), resident of Old Chandravel, however, survived with a bullet on his right chest and another on his shoulder. He has been admitted to a trauma centre. Bhachu, who was associated with one of the suspects, Davinder, earlier, now runs Chowdhury Builders in the Civil Lines area. The police said that today around 1.30 pm the four suspects came and parked the Maruti car near his office. Upon parking the car one person from the rear seat opened the window and beckoned Bhachu. When he came near the car another person sitting on the front seat fired at him, injuring him on his chest and shoulder.

The police said the motive behind the attempt to murder Bachu could be old enmity as Davinder had approached Bachu for some financial help but the latter had declined to help him.

Davinder, a known criminal, had escaped from Gurgaon jail in November 2002 and has been involved in eight cases in Delhi and Haryana.


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