Saturday, January 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


BJP presence irks Badal faction
‘Sinful sale’ of DSGMC land to government
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
The construction of a parking lot opposite Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is turning into a game of political one-upmanship between the Akali factions, putting the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)’s alliance with the BJP in a quandary.

The former Punjab Chief Minister and SAD (Badal) president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has reportedly expressed his displeasure over the presence of Union Urban Development Minister, Mr Ananth Kumar, and Delhi BJP chief, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, at the foundation stone-laying function of the parking lot.

The Lt Governor of Delhi in June last had laid the foundation stone for the parking lot and kar sewa under the guidance of Baba Harbaksh Singh had been on till the pro-Tohra group, which now controls the DSGMC, stopped it following some objections raised by the New Delhi Municipal Council.

The SAD (Badal) Delhi unit president, Mr Avatar Singh Hit, told newspersons that Mr Badal has expressed his displeasure over the presence of Mr Kumar and Mr Khurana at the “sinful sell-off” of religious assets to the government by the DSGMC. He said the party workers would stage a sit in at the parking site on January 14 to highlight the sale of the religious property of the Sikhs to the government. Mr Avtar Singh said they would also meet the Union Home Minister, Mr L K Advani, to submit a memorandum.

“If the DSGMC and the government did not backtrack, the party workers would physically prevent the whole operation,” he asserted.

Mr Hit said the DSGMC president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, has “handed over’’ Gurdwara Bangla Sahib’s parking lot to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for building an underground parking and a shopping complex.

“Unfortunately, the foundation-laying ceremony was attended by Mr Kumar, Mr Khurana and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,’’ he regretted.

SAD (B) Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr Hit said, had expressed the party’s reservations over the presence of Mr Kumar at the foundation-laying ceremony of the “anti-Sikh project’’ on Wednesday.

“SAD (B) thinks it is high time the BJP clarified its stand – it should now spell out clearly whether it is with the Sikhs or with the Congress,’’ Mr Hit said.

Tracing the history of the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib parking lot, Mr Hit said that the then DSGMC leader, Jathedar Santokh Singh, had acquired the land from government in 1975.

‘’In April 2002, I, as DSGMC President, entrusted the parking construction to Baba Harbans Singh who is known for his selfless service in gurdwara architecture.

‘’But the Sarna administration, backed by Mr Tohra, has instead sinfully sold off the land to the NDMC,’’ he said.

Mr Hit pointed out that a fee would be charged from the devotees for using the NDMC-built facility, which would be a substitute for the general parking lot now closed in Connaught Place owing to the Metro Rail Project.


Brrrr.... Delhi is still shivering
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
The Capital continued to shiver as it recorded the season’s coldest night. The mercury touched a low of less than four degree Celsius. The meteorological office said that the temperature recorded the previous night was 3.5 degree Celsius, which is four degrees below normal.

Last night’s temperature surpassed previous night’s low of 4.5 degree Celsius. The dense fog resurfaced and air and surface traffic continued to remain disrupted. Airport sources confirmed that early morning flights had to be rescheduled till later in the day. The runway visibility range plummeted from 500 metres to 50 metres in the early hours.

Low visibility procedures were used to aid four domestic flight arrivals. Departure of flights was held up till 10 am with many flights being rescheduled by at least five hours. Some international flights were also diverted because of poor landing conditions.

Surface traffic moved at a snail’s pace. Rail traffic, too, was disrupted and at least four trains were cancelled.

Meanwhile, Delhiites continued to grapple with the chilly winds and drop in temperature. Though the day was sunny, the temperature stood at 12 degree Celsius, which is eight degrees below normal. The lowest temperature recorded so far in the Capital was in January 1935 when the mercury dipped to -0.6 degrees.

Schools in the Capital have been already closed. The authorities have warned those schools of stringent action which have refused to comply with its order. The severe cold has kept people indoors. Offices and business establishments have been recording a thin attendance. With the fog making driving a peril, especially in the early hours and later at night, most people are avoiding stepping out.

The city is also struggling with erratic power supply. With a drop in temperature, there is a greater demand for electricity. The increase in the use of heating devices has added to the load and many areas have been putting up with load shedding. There has been, however, little respite for the people and the Met department predicts that the cold wave is likely to continue for a couple of days. 


Safer ride for eves in radio taxis
J.T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
Glad tidings! Women passengers in the Capital and NCR region need not worry about errant taxi drivers, molestation and rape in moving vehicles, thanks to the Global Positioning System (GPS) installed in the Mega Cab’s Radio taxis which promises to give women, elderly people and others an efficient and safe ride.

The advantage of the GPS is that the 24-hour central control room can easily track the taxis under this scheme.

Besides, the control room also disallows overspeeding by the taxis by providing a faster service at your beck and call. Also as the mega cabs are fitted with tamper-proof electronic fare meters and charge Rs 15 per kilometer, there is little chance of over-charging or cheating.

Since the system works in conjunction with satellites and the cabs are fitted with the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT), it is not difficult to reach the car. In case of an emergency, the help of police or technical assistance from the nearest area would be made available.

Presently Mega Cab has 90 radio taxis plying on Delhi roads and only 12 are equipped with the GPS. “We are hoping to install the system in all 90 taxis by the end of this month, as our drivers are getting trained to handle the system,” said Kunal Lalani, Managing Director, Mega Cab.

“Our aim is to provide safe service to women who work at odd hours, plus to cater to a majority of Delhiites. But people have very little awareness about the safety of this system, which can provide a hassle-free and satisfying ride,” he adds.

Since a majority of incidents against the women occur in moving vehicles, we want to ensure that our drivers are well trained and mannered.

“In a three-day training course, the drivers are being given lessons in all areas like technical, customer care, behavior and personal hygiene to ensure a pleasant interaction with customers, ” Mr Kunal said.

On an average, 20 people utilise this service and the majority of them are executives and those employed in multinationals. However, he is confident that the service will soon attract other category of passengers as well.


Metro Rail or political roller-coaster?
A.R. Wig

New Delhi, January 10
The introduction of the Metro Rail at the end of 2002 is a welcome news. But it might soon become a costly gimmick, and a matter of political skulduggery, if the intended results are frittered away at the first available political opportunity.

The manner in which the build-up for the Metro and its elaborate introduction was gone through indicated nothing but political one-upmanship. The fact that most of the technological inputs came from South Korea was not very encouraging factor either, India being the third largest scientific power, much larger than Korea. Delhi’s population far exceeds Korea’s. But when it comes to basic technological changes, which are people oriented, like introducing more conducive and fast transport, the inner-contradictions of a political class outweigh the more legitimate concerns.

The novelty of Delhi entering the Metro-Age will wear off if it fails to save a restive public from daily hassles. Spending crores of rupees from the budgetary allocations, the government has finally fulfilled its dream of giving a faster mode of transport to lakhs of commuters in the Capital. The people of Delhi have complained for decades of total dependence on the road-based bus system, which was inadequate and undependable besides adding to the air pollution.

There is no doubt that the latest addition to the Capital’s mass transport system has ushered in a new era of mechanised travel with world-class technology. In spite of the onset of foggy weather on a December morning, it was the beginning of the hopes and aspirations of the people of the vast growing metropolis. And those who reached at the Kashmere Gate underground Metro station crackled with excitement.

As we all know, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee became the first passenger on board a gleaming new train from the Kashmere Gate station to Seelampur where he formally inaugurated the 8.3-km Shahdara-Tis Hazari Metro corridor by pulling a lever and waving a green flag on the Christmas Eve.

In a way, it was a gift to the people of Delhi. If Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had given the historic Red Fort on the banks of the Yamuna way back in 1638 and shifted his Capital from Agra to Delhi, Prime Minister Vajpayee gave lakhs of commuters of the Capital a new transport system, which is bound to go down in history.

It was undoubtedly a historic event. Kashmere Gate from where Prime Minister Vajpayee began the journey on the first Metro train is also located close to the banks of the Yamuna and just about two miles from the Red Fort.

Politics being played between the Delhi unit of the BJP and the DPCC (I) over the launch of Metro came to the fore when, irked by constant slogan-shouting by supporters of Metro Chairman M. L. Khurana, Congress Councillors in the MCD and MLAs too decided to join the chorus.

Downplaying the politics, the Prime Minister said while a little tussle was understandable, co-operation was needed to move ahead and progress. Emphasising that the Delhi Government and the Centre have together made Metro a reality, Mr Vajpayee hoped that in the coming years, it should move, expand and prosper.

(To be continued)


Gurdwara in Tihar jail?

New Delhi
The issue of religious freedom of Sikh prisoners got an impetus today with the National Commission for Minorities asking the Tihar Jail authorities to set up a Gurdwara inside the Asia’s biggest prison.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Vice Chairman of the Commission, in a letter to Mr Ajay Agarwal, the Director General, Tihar Jail, has stated that the jail authorities “may allow the Sikh priests of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to organise their programme.”

The letter said that a large number of Sikh prisoners are lodged in Tihar jail and they have been demanding a Gurdwara in the premises, where they can perform their religious rituals. TNS


Industry lukewarm, but not DFC: Saathi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
Finance Minister Mahinder Singh Saathi says the Delhi Financial Corporation (DFC) cannot be faulted if there are not many takers for the newly developed industrial plots in Narela and Bawana.

“The DFC,” he says, “has worked overnight to mobilise the resources and ensure that industrial finance is made available to the eligible units in Bawana and Narela without any delay.”

The DFC has disbursed Rs 90-odd crore to an estimated 3,500 industrial units. Loans to 500 of the 1,600 industrial units remaining to be relocated would be disbursed by March, Mr Saathi told media persons.

Industrialists have been sanctioned loans at 15 per cent interest. “The interest rate is likely to be lowered by 0.5 per cent to one per cent in February as per a recent directive of the Reserve Bank of India,” he says.


Haryana Vikas Party vows to form next government
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, January 10
Undaunted with the chilly weather, the youth wing of the Haryana Vikas Party held a rally at local Neki Ram Sharma chowk today and called upon the people to strengthen the hands of HVP supremo Bansi Lal to form the next government.

Addressing the people, the HVP general secretary and former MP Surender Singh said that the youth activists of the party had been working hard to substantiate the party and next government would be formed under dynamic leadership of Ch Bansi Lal.

He said that a worker plays vital role to take a party up to higher level and HVP had active workers than any other party. “Youths are the spine of the party so their working responsibility become more important for party,” he said. The graph of their party was increasing rapidly and other parties were in the state of insanity, he added. He urged the workers to go to villages and tell the people about the developmental works done by the Bansi Lal.

Earlier, talking to mediapersons at local Baya tourist complex, Mr Singh said that the Casino Bill, passed recently in the Vidhan Sabha, would be proved blot on the Haryanvi culture, civilization and social coordination as its plain meaning is ‘Gamble house’. He said that it would throw the youths of the state towards directionless, misdemeanours and criminal activities.

The HVP leader alleged that the law and order situation in the state had collapsed and no one was safe in the present rule. He condemned the state government for increasing flat rates of tubewells and electricity. He said that the Chautala led INLD government was misleading people by presenting incorrect figures about power production. He sought white paper on the power plants installed during the present government. He criticised the appointment of gram secretaries done by the INLD government and said that the government was retrenching employees whereas on the other hand appointing gram secretaries to boost corruption.

A memorandum was submitted to the Governor through the Deputy Commissioner at the end of the rally.


Chautala sore over illegal water connections
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, January 10
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, directed the public health functionaries to remove unauthorised water connections immediately so that adequate drinking water could be available to the people.

While presiding over the monthly meeting of public relations and grievances committee at Panchayat Bhawan here today, Mr Chautala took serious note on the complaint of Mir Singh and Satbir Singh of Panch Gaon Achina and directed to take stern action against the guilty by registering cases.

The Sarpanch of Sirsa Ghoghra village in his complaint said that the depot holder of the village was committing fraud in ration distribution by availing it with fictitious signatures of the Sarpanch. The Chief Minister ordered the Deputy Superintendent of Police to inquire into the matter. On a complaint, he directed the public health department to identify employee responsible for delay in filling the water tank of village Ranila and asked to ensure supply of drinking water by filling the tank within a week.

Mr Chautala asked the Education Minister Bahadur Singh, who was also present in the meeting to enquire into the complaint of teaching students illegally at the Panchayat Bhawan located adjacent to the government primary school at Badal village. The complaint said that most of the students were enrolled with the government schools and they were being deprived of mid-day meal scheme.

District INLD president Ranbir Singh, Shashi Parmar, MLA, Commissioner Hisar range P. K. Daas and Deputy Commissioner Harpal Singh were among those who present in the meeting.


Cold wave snuffs out three lives

The cold wave sweeping North India and UP has claimed the lives of three persons at Bilaspur town in Dankaur. While one old man fell from a moving train and crushed under its wheels.

Three aged persons Babu, sweetmeat seller (70), Kanchhi Lal (65), and Mrs Sushila Devi (70), are reported to have died due to intense cold in the area.

The town people blamed the administration for being in deep hibernation. It is not distributing any blankets to the poor. There is no provision either for lighting a fire to keep them warm. Only three blankets have been distributed to some poor persons so far, they said. In anther mishap, an old man who had fallen from a running train was overrun by the same train. He could not be identified. The man, travelling in a Delhi-bound train, was reportedly sitting on the doorway. His body was noticed in the morning. OC


Labourer succumbs to cold
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 10
The intense cold wave conditions prevailing over the northern region, which have disrupted normal life for 10 days, took their first toll in the district.

An elderly labourer, Manohar Singh, residing in the bank colony in Bahadurgarh, allegedly succumbed to the cold. He had also been ailing for some time.

On the other hand, winter showers followed by chilly winds have proved to be beneficial for the standing rabi crops of wheat, sarson, gram etc.

However, dense fog and poor visibility have been affecting the rail and road traffic as almost all trains on the Delhi-Rohtak section are running behind schedule.


Income tax raid on ‘Charak’ godowns
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 10
The income tax department conducted raids on the Chinkbarpur Road godowns of an Ayurvedic firm, ‘Charak’, in Sahibabad.

According to the income tax department sources, simultaneous raids were conducted in Charak offices and godowns in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Allahabad, Nagpur, Pune, Hyderabad, etc.

The income tax team raided Charak Pharmaceuticals, Charak Health Care, and the godowns situated on Delhi-UP border under the Joint Commissioner, Income Tax, Mr R C Gupta.

The premises were raided with the help of local administrative and police officials.

The income tax authorities had smelt something fishy in the fact that the company had been showing losses for a long time.

During 12-hour raids, nobody was allowed to go in or come out of the premises. Their phone lines had also been frozen temporarily. Though a number of documents were seized and anomalies noticed, the department said it would take sometime to make them public.




Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?
If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

I have read with interest O P Sharma’s letter in the NCR Tribune (December 7), regarding the fleecing of patients by private hospitals/nursing homes in Faridabad-Ballabgarh area. In this connection, I would like to refer to the news report appearing in the Sunday Tribune (December 15), under the headline ‘Regulatory body for private hospitals, nursing homes soon’.

In the above article, the Health Minister of Punjabi stated that the Punjab Government would soon constitute a regulatory authority for monitoring the functioning of private hospitals and nursing homes in the state. He said such an authority has become necessary in view of complaints that private hospitals were charging exorbitant fees from the patients. He said that it had become practically impossible for the poor and even the middle class people to afford treatment in these hospitals.

In the above context, I would like to suggest that such regulatory authorities be set up by all state governments so as to save the patients from being exploited by private hospitals/nursing homes.

ANUP KUMAR, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi

Right to suspend?

I read the news, “MDU Prof suspended for diatribe against VC” (NCR Tribune, October 2, 2002), and have also gone through the news item, “Suspended varsity HoD reinstated” (NCR Tribune, December 26, 2002). According to the Kothari Education Commission (1964-66), “The university should be visualized as an integrated community in which the teachers are, as it were, ‘senior scholars’, the students ‘junior scholars’ and the administration is a service agency to both.”

The vice-chancellor is an academic and administrative head of the university. Mr Hardwari Lal, the vice-chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University was suspended by the chancellor in 1980. Dr Ram Gopal, another vice-chancellor of MDU, was also suspended by the chancellor. Mr Vivek Chand Sharma and Lt. Gen (Retd) O P Kaushik, vice-chancellors of MDU, were ordered to be non-functional-virtually a sort of suspension by the chancellor.

Suspension means, “to debar, usually for a time, from the exercise of function or enjoyment of a privilege, especially to deprive temporarily of one’s office.”

Dr Ram Gopal, the vice-chancellor had suspended the controller of examinations of the university. Similarly, a deputy registrar, a few assistant registrars, superintendents and several clerks have been suspended by MDU authorities in the past.

The main job of a teacher is to teach.

The object of placing an employee under suspension is to keep him away from a position so that he cannot interfere with the conduct of the inquiry or tamper with evidences connected with the inquiry. There was no teacher-student dispute, hence to suspend a teacher and stop the teaching-learning process was not in the interest of MDU. Every employer has a right to suspend his employee.

However, it has often been upheld by various courts that suspension order should be exercised after due application of mind. The order should be free from extraneous considerations and discrimination.

OM PARKASH WADHWA, Government College, Gohana

Is the HUDA listening?

I am an old, helpless victim of callous and indifferent attitude of officials of HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) Sector-14, Gurgaon.

I am the owner of a house (No. 22, Sector, 15-1) in Gurgaon. On July 1, 2002, I requested the HUDA officials for a payment for a common boundary wall. Despite my several written and personal reminders, HUDA officials have not responded to my request.

I am an old person and find it extremely difficult to visit the Gurgaon office of HUDA regularly. Therefore, I would request you to highlight this matter so that the HUDA authorities take effective steps to rectify the matter.

KAILASH CHAND, Shakti Nagar, Delhi

Examination reforms

I was pained to read about the murder of Mr M.N.Singh, the Botany Reader of Swami Shradhanand College, by Ashok Singh Malik, a rusticated ex-student of the college. He was caught cheating in his second-year Chemistry exam (B.Sc General) in April 1999.

Since then, the student wanted to take revenge and has confessed to his having committed the crime. The Jat boy openly declared to TV viewers that he had murdered Mr M N Singh for the Jat community and had no regrets about his deed.

He made victory signs quite conspicuously and was obviously feeling elated at his deed. The policemen accompanying him were feeling maliciously delighted at his remarks of committing the heinous crime. The murder of Mr Singh reflects poorly on our education system.

Mr Singh has become a sacrificial lamb for our examination-oriented education system. The murder also shows the teaching fraternity in poor light.

It is a challenge to the honesty, sincerity and integrity of those conducting examination in a free and fair manner.

Unfortunately, the murder of Mr Singh passed off without any furore from the teaching community. If a boy remains revengeful to a teacher even three years after he was caught cheating red-handed, it is obvious how difficult the task of the teaching staff is while performing their duties.

The development also questions the lopsided examination system in our country. The honest suffer and their merits are never spotted, whereas the dishonest rule the roost and their demerits are honoured.

It is high time the authorities running our education system did not sit indifferently. With liberalization of our market economy, it is the right time to make concrete reforms in the examination system so as to make them absolutely transparent.


A light unto others

Guru Gobind Singh ji was a remarkable personality, who transformed the life of all those whom he touched with his ideas. He was a prophet, patriot, poet, scholar, statesman, ruler, general, archer, and above all, a social reformer and nation builder.

Guru Gobind Singh ji was a devoted democrat in the real sense of the word.

He gave Sikhism a democratic orientation. He preached the principles of the equality of men and women, equality of castes and abolished special privileges.

In his worldview, the lowest was equal to the highest. The equality of castes served as a cementing force for the unity among the saint-soldiers, the Khalsa.

With one stroke on the Baisakhi Day of 1699, the Guru gave them the appellation of Singh, meaning Lion-the status of high-class warrior.

With the help of these fearless and unflinching warriors, Guru Gobind Singh fought many successful battles against the mighty Aurangzeb. Although he fought against the Muslim rule, the Guru was not against the Muslims.

His golden words are: “All men are the same, it is only through error, we see them different”.

Guru Gobind Singh ji laid the foundation of our national awakening with a secular approach, in order to finally achieve freedom for his countrymen.

The world will not be able to forget the name of Guru Nanak ji and of his supreme successor, Guru Gobind Singh ji.


Starvation deaths

It is indeed shameful that in a country where 70 per cent of the population is engaged in agricultural activities, there are reports of people dying of starvation. For instance, all the 32 districts of Rajasthan are facing severe drought conditions.

Moreover, the drought-hit Kishangang and Shahbad blocks of Baran district in Southeast Rajasthan are wrapped in a shroud of starvation deaths. However, in order to avoid its responsibility, these deaths are being given the name of unnatural deaths and caused due to illness by the state administration. The people in drought-hit areas are forced to eat sama seeds. Even after the death of more than 40 people in Baran was raised in the media, the Tribal Commissioner of the Government of Rajasthan was hardly concerned.

He said sama is a high protein food. He added: “it is delicious with milk, a kind of kheer.” But, how are the starvation victims going to arrange milk to make their food delicious?

Moreover, the natives of the area said that sama could not be digested without butter milk, which is very difficult to get by in the drought hit area.

Sama seeds are nutritious only during a normal rainy year. However, as soon as the seeds dry up, they turn poisonous. `Sahrana’, the single largest community in Baran district, is still living in a hunting-gathering stage. They boil the leaves of phang, navali, pumal and binja, all wild green plants, if the stock of sama seeds is over.

Some people manage their food by selling roots of a herb called ‘Shalavari’, which they dig out from the soil. Some people barter `Amla’ for small amount of wheat.

The steps taken by the government are obviously negligible. According to the state government data, only 500 labourers have been employed on the drought relief works.

The people receive supplies against their ration cards only twice a year. The various schemes that promise to provide grain at cheap prices has also failed since the public distribution system (PDS) shops rarely function.

The public hospitals are in bad shape. They are without nurses, medicines, ambulances, etc. Midwives are always absent from the scene. The anganwadis are rarely open. Therefore, children below six cannot get supplementary nutritious food and remain hungry. Our governments are least bothered about reports of starvation deaths. Instead of solving the problem and rushing relief to the needy, they are playing politics, blaming each other for these deaths.

It is ironical that we cannot solve the problem of food shortage, when our food godowns are bursting at their seams.

It is simply a matter of commitment, understanding the difficulties of the needy and doing one’s duty towards society. If state and central governments and social institutions join hands, there is no way that this problem cannot be solved.

SHWETA KOHLI, Shahdara, New Delhi


Celebrating Indian New Year

The newly rich in our country gave a sweet farewell to the year 2002 and welcomed the year 2003 in a grand way.

They participated in lavish parties at home and in five-star hotels, which included wine, music and dance.

Before Independence, the New Year was celebrated by the British and only a fraction of aristocratic Indians.

During the last 30 years, the number of novae-rich Indians have increased manifold and their craze for everything foreign has transformed their lifestyle. Now, they have started aping the West, including their culture, festivals, dress, and customs.

The New Year celebration reached its crescendo due to a lot of hype and coverage given by the media, particularly the TV channels.

Hotels, clubs and various other organisations compete with each other in announcing special New Year packages, which in some cases do not fit in with Indian traditions and social values.

In this context, may I request the media, particularly the English print and electronic media, to give some coverage to the Indian New Year, Vikrama Samvat, 2060, falling on April 13, 2003 so that the nouveaux riches, particularly the youths may spare some time to celebrate the Indian New Year as well.

O P SHARMA, Faridabad


Village society land freed from encroachers
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 10
The Javer development block registered a case with the police against the people who had illegally occupied a piece of land.

The land belonged to the village society (Gram Sabha), according to a report. Though the occupants have been evicted, the police have yet to take any accused in custody.

It is learnt that some people had forcibly occupied land on Mangroli Road. The Deputy DM, Mr O P Arya, issued orders to remove the illegal encroachment.

The District Administration had evicted the occupants of the land in question with the help of a strong police force.

According to Mr Arya, some people after occupying a piece of land, No. 4203, had constructed a boundary wall around it to consolidate their hold.

On getting the information, the revenue officer, Mr Sushil Kumar, had issued a notice and also got the construction work stopped. But the encroachers had somehow got the boundary wall completed.

The Deputy DM then passed the report, sent by Mr Sushil Kumar, to the tehsildar with the orders to probe the matter.

After the inquiry, the tehsildar has found the land belonging to the village society (Gram Sabha). Acting on this report, the Deputy DM, Mr O P Arya, along with the Circle Officer, Mr Rajesh Kumar, and a strong police contingent had demolished the 50-metre-long boundary wall.

While the administration claimed that the number of the land was 4203, the occupants said it was No. 4204 and 4205, and so, it could not be the Gram Sabha land.

In the face of stiff resistance, the authorities, however, were able to demolish the 4-ft-high and 50-metre-long boundary wall. Late at night, a case naming Kali Charan, Ravinder and Raj Kumar was registered with the police.

CO police, Rajesh Kumar said that action would be taken in the case only after the submission of the inquiry report.


Two killed in mishaps on GT Road
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 10
A man, Kasim Singh, was killed on the spot when he was hit by a speeding car on the GT Road, near Rai village, about 13 km from here, on Thursday night.

According to a report, the victim belonged to Liwan village and he was going to his village on a bicycle. The car driver, however, managed to escape. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to track down the culprit.

According to another report, an unidentified youth was killed on the spot when he was hit by a vehicle on the GT Road near the police station at Rai village, about 13 km from here, on Thursday night. The body was sent for a post-mortem examination. The police have registered a case and further investigations are on.

Bodies recovered

The Government Railway Police (GRP) found the body of a man lying on the railway track near Hindu School here and sent it for a post-mortem examination. The victim has been identified as Surjeet (42) of Bhatana Zaffarbad village. He was run over by a train when he was crossing the railway track.

The GRP also found another body lying on the railway track at Ganaur railway station, about 16 km from here, on Thursday night. The victim was identified as Sukhbir (40) of Aghwanpur village. He was hit by a train and killed on the spot while he was crossing the railway track. The victim was working in Delhi and he used to commute daily between Ganaur and Delhi and vice-versa. The GRP has sent the body for a post-mortem examination.

Normal life hit

Sonepat city and its surrounding areas continue to reel under biting cold and foggy weather conditions, which have disrupted normal life and business activity as well as the rail and road traffic in the region.

According to a report, the state government has ordered the closure of all schools till January 13 next because of the intensive cold and foggy weather conditions. This step was taken to save the students from the biting cold.


Lift technician gets crushed, dies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
A lift technician who was in the midst of repairing a lift which had developed a technical snag in New Minto Road Hostel died last night when he was caught between the doors when the lift suddenly started moving upwards. He got crushed in the process. The victim, Inder Mani Sharma (45), resident of Nangloi, was informed by Ram Mehar, lift operator of the hostel, that the lift was not functioning. After coming to the hostel, Inder sent his helper to the 12th floor to check up the lift machine room while he started checking the ‘contact’ lift door.

When the lift started moving upwards, Ram after putting off the main switch immediately rushed to the 12th floor to find out what had gone wrong.

Inder was taken to JPN Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The police have registered a case of causing death due to negligence and are investigating the case.

300 jhuggis gutted

Nearly 300 jhuggis were gutted in a fire in the jhuggi area of Taimur Nagar next to the posh Maharani Bagh area in South Delhi in the early hours of today. The fire broke out in the early morning around 2 am in the jhuggi area, which houses about 2,000 shanties. The fire soon engulfed nearly 300 huts, reducing them to ashes. The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.

Immediately, about 28 fire engines were rushed to the spot and the blaze was brought under control around 3.30 am. However, no casualties or injuries were reported during the fire incident.


Old age pension of nine cancelled
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 10
After reviewing the progress of the work in Ambedkar village Jainpur and the distribution of loans for development projects, Bulandshahar District Magistrate Uma Dhar Trivedi has ordered the cancellation of old age pension to nine citizens. Jainpur village in Gulawathi Development block was selected as an Ambedkar village during 1990-91.

The District Magistrate visited their village in connection with a Tehsil day. Pending applications for loans were reviewed in the open Gram Sabha meeting.

On checking, one widow was reported to have died while 8 senior citizens were found absent.


Youth nabbed for brothers’ murder
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 10
The Sampla police today arrested a youth who had allegedly murdered two brothers of Behrana village recently.

The accused, Pradeep, of Kasrainti village reportedly confessed to having committed the murder of Anil and Sunil with the help of his accomplice Manoj of Bohar village. He said he committed the crime as he had a monetary dispute with Anil. He said he had burnt the body of Anil in a field located between Anwli and Gumana villages.

In a separate incident, the district police arrested Karambir and Satbir of Ladhaut village who allegedly murdered a widow, Shanti Devi, of Bhalaut village and later burnt her body after cutting it into pieces. The police had recovered pieces of bones, half-burnt flesh and ashes from the spot and sent it to the forensic laboratory at Madhuban.

Both the suspects were produced in a local court today which sent them away on two-day police remand.

Safe taken away

Thieves made away with a safe containing gold, silver and cash to the tune of nearly Rs 5 lakh from a jeweller’s shop located at Sayyad Wali Gali on railway road here on Thursday night.Back

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