Thursday, February 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Paranoid Delhi Police to shun all-India games
Gaurav Choudhury & Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Owing to the heightened threat perception, largely because of the terrorist strikes, and the general law and order problem in the Capital, the Delhi Police have decided to stretch their human resource pool to the hilt. Such is its paranoid that it has decided against sending its basketball and hockey teams to the annual All India Police Games, despite having several national level players in its ranks.

Sources said that the decision is ominous and could jeopardise the sporting careers of several talented and promising sports persons as they would be required to undertake normal policing duties at the cost of practice sessions.

Interestingly, for some inexplicable reasons, the Delhi Police have stopped recruiting personnel under the sports quota since 1990. Most of the current sports persons were recruited through the general process.

This is at variance with the policy in Central paramilitary forces such as CISF, BSF and CRPF, where sporting laurels are considered to be a matter of great pride.

While the Delhi Police hockey team did not travel to Mumbai to participate in the national police hockey games, members of the basketball team have been instructed to join general duty as they would not be travelling to Trivandrum to take part in the All India Police Games which starts on February 11.

Both the teams had reached the quarterfinal stage during the last games at Bhopal.

For strange reasons, however, the authorities have deemed it fit to send a contingent comprising players of only two disciplines – Kabbadi and Volleyball—sports, in which sources say, Delhi Police teams have not traditionally performed well.

There are at least five national-level players in the present basketball team. Incidentally, two new basketball courts with state-of-the-art facilities were constructed in the New Police Lines at a cost of Rs 7.5 lakhs in 1998.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Armed), Y S Dadwal, however, played down the issue and said as a security agency Delhi Police’s top priority was maintaining law and order.

“Delhi is always on the hit list of terrorists and Delhi Police have to be on maximum alert to plug all loopholes”, he said. With a large contingent of policemen deployed on VIP security duty, the Capital’s police force has been feeling the resource crunch and has repeatedly requested augmentation of its strength.

“Gone are the days when policemen used to play games. As things are, we do not have a sufficient number of policemen for general duty. During emergencies the policemen of executive wing are asked to undertake law and order duties.

As far as national-level players are concerned, there is no doubt that they are good players. We encourage them, but a full-fledged team cannot be constituted for the sake of a few men. Kabaddi and volley ball teams are good and they have been allowed to participate in the national games,” he said.



HC orders opening of ITDC eatery
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi High Court has de-sealed the Lebanese restaurant in Ashoka Hotel premises on the ground that no unauthorised construction had taken place inside the ITDC flagship hotel.

The NDMC had sealed the Lebanese restaurant on charges of unauthorised construction and served notice to the hotel for operating seven restaurants without a health licence.

Justice Manmohan Sareen directed de-sealing after a short hearing on the plea that no construction, leave alone unauthorised, was carried out inside the hotel premises and any action by the NDMC would hurt it.

The NDMC, apart for ordering sealing of Masrabya restaurant, had also a served notice on the Ashoka Hotel asking it to stop operating the seven newly created restaurants as they did not possess the mandatory health licence.

The seven restaurants in question were — China Town, Steel Bar, Burgundy, Kumgang Tokyo, Mashrabya (Bar-e-Kabab), Capitol and Sagar Ratna. In its notice, served on Ashoka’s General Manager, NDMC’s health department on January 24 had asked the hotel “to stop functioning of the above mentioned newly created restaurants within 48 hours.”

The notice had said that “it has been reported by the area inspector that the above mentioned restaurants located within the premises of Ashok Hotel are running without obtaining a health licence. It has also been reported that these restaurants have been created recently by making lot of additions, alterations, including unauthorised construction”.



Problem of plenty in sugar industry
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak. February 5
The godowns of the sugar mills here are overflowing owing to the bumper output and poor demand of the product in the market. As a result, the rates of free quota sugar have crashed to the lowest level in January.

The Haryana Co-operative Sugar Mills, the oldest mill in the region, commenced its crushing season on November 21 last and has till January 31 crushed 12.88 lakh quintals of sugarcane and produced 1.23 lakh quintals of sugar at a recovery rate of 9.83 per cent.

This season, the co-operative mill purchased sugarcane worth Rs. 13.96 crore and has already paid Rs. 4.05 crore in dues to farmers. The mill is also distributing heavily subsidised pesticides and insecticides to the cane suppliers. The facility of `heat treatment seed’ is also provided to the sugarcane growers, the Managing Director of the co-operative mill, Mr P K Sharma, told the NCR Tribune here today.

However, owing to bumper production of sugar in the preceding seasons, the mill has a huge buffer stock. As on January 31, the mill had 3.01 lakh quintals of sugar valued at Rs. 3600 lakhs in its godowns.

In fact, the mill has no room in its stores to stock the sugar produced in the current crushing season. To solve the storage problem, the management has decided to construct two more godowns with a storage capacity of 10000 MT for which a term loan of Rs. 67.50 lakh has been sanctioned by the Rohtak Central Cooperative Bank under the Capital Subsidy Scheme of the Centre.

But the downward trend in sugar prices still persists and it has adversely affected the financial health of the sugar industry throughout the country. In the last season, the net sales realisation of free quota sugar was Rs. 1436 per bag which dipped to Rs. 1146 per bag in January 2003, a slide of Rs. 290 per bag. The Rohtak Sugar Mills is paying a heavy sum of Rs. 165 per bag towards the money it takes in advance against its stocks from the bank. The funds are raised to make payments for the sugarcane purchased from the farmers. According to an estimate, the mill is paying approximately Rs. 4 crore every year to its creditor bank in interest.

Analysing the reasons for the downward trend, an economist explained that following the orders of the Allahabad High Court, the market had been flooded with sugar by the industry in Uttar Pradesh. These sugar mills had sought the intervention of the Allahabad High

Court as the Centre was not lifting its quota of sugar under the Sugar Control Act. The High Court, according to informed sources, allowed the sugar mills to sell this quota in the open market.

The Co-operative Sugar Mills is anxiously awaiting the implementation of the Centre’s decision to allow sugar mills to create buffer stocks on its behalf. Under the scheme, the Centre would pay for the storage of this buffer stock. The scheme, on implementation, is likely to provide relief to the sugar mills in Haryana.



‘Escape Channel’ project runs aground 
for want of funds
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Rewari, February 5
The Irrigation Department authorities in Haryana are running from pillar to post to raise funds for a project devised by them for constructing a 6 km-long channel linking Jawahar Lal Nehru(JLN) Canal and the jinxed Masani Barrage, situated about 30 km from here.

The project, named “Escape Channel” and estimated to cost Rs 4 crore, has passed muster with a technical body of the state. The function of the project is twofold: canalising all rain and flood water in the lower reaches of the areas falling in the central districts of the state to the barrage and acting as an emergency conduit if there is a breach in the JLN. In case there is a breach in the JLN, its water can be drained in the barrage through the new carrier. The water thus stored in the barrage can be used for irrigation by farmers of South Haryana.

Also, the JLN, which is the lifeline for the farmers as it is the main non-rain source for irrigating their land from the Yamuna waters, can be outsourced to feed the barrage if only to raise the water table of the nearby areas in times of grave emergency.

The necessity of devising the new project is steeped in common sense. It envisages making use of the flood and rainwater in other parts of the state as also recharging the sub-surface water level, especially in the Ahirwal belt of South Haryana. As the districts of Rohtak, Sonepat, Jhajhar, Jind and parts of Bhiwani fall in the lower reaches there is always the danger of flood and excessive rainwater in these districts during the monsoon.

According to experts, there is provision of storage of about 6 ft of water in the barrage. If the water is stored to its present optimal capacity, there is a possibility of the water table in villages in a radius of about 30 km of the barrage getting recharged. In effect, hundreds of villages in Rewari and Gurgaon districts stand to benefit directly from the completion of the project.

According to sources, the plan was devised by the Irrigation Department more than two years ago. Precious time was lost in waiting for the proposal to be approved by the technical wing of the state government. Now it has hit a roadblock due to lack of funds. The department authorities have knocked at the doors of several funding agencies, including NABARD, but so far it has not met with any success.



Contaminated bottled water: Probe ordered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Taking cognisance of media reports that highlighted the contamination in mineral water bottles during a random survey in the Capital and Mumbai, the Government today announced a high-level probe into the matter.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had yesterday released the results of a survey conducted by them that revealed the presence of deadly pesticides in various brands of bottled drinking water. Terming the reports as disturbing and very serious, the government has ordered an inquiry. Sources said that the government has asked the Consumer Affairs Department to initiate a probe at the earliest and submit a report within a stipulated time frame.

The procedure for carrying out the investigation is being worked out and inputs have been taken from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which lays down the regulations and standards for packaged water. Meanwhile, the BIS officials have announced that they will study the report brought out by the CSE before making any comments.



IAF man arrested on rape charge
Tribune News service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi Police have arrested an Indian Air Force personnel on rape charge from Delhi Cantonment area. The suspect was identified as Vijender Rathi.
The victim had come to meet her sister. Her brother-in-law worked in the IAF and lived in a government house in the cantonment. The suspect visited their house and informed that civilians were not allowed to live in the cantonment area without the permission of the commanding officer.

According to the police, the victim’s sister told the suspect that they were going outstation and she would fulfill all formalities on her return on Tuesday. The suspect again visited the house on Tuesday and finding the victim alone in the house allegedly raped her. He also allegedly threatened her and told her to desist from mentioning the incident to anybody. However, the victim told her sister about her ordeal when she returned on Tuesday evening. Her sister first lodged a complaint with the Air Force Police and later with the local police in the cantonment area. The local police have arrested the suspect.



BJP seeks sops for middle class in Union Budget
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Bitter memories of Yashwant Sinha’s Budget 2002-2003 have come back to haunt the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). With the NCT of Delhi going to the polls later this year, the Delhi Pradesh BJP does not want Finance Minister Jaswant Singh to antagonise the Great Indian Middle Class, as the Congress’ whitewash in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections last year was credited in no small measure to Mr Sinha’s harsh budgetary proposals.

Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana today met with the Finance Minister and sought relief to the salaried class and industry. The delegation comprised office-bearers of the party’s industry cell, corporate cell and co-operative cell. They proposed an increase in income tax exemption limit, uniform standard deduction and restoration of Leave Travel Concession (LTC).

Mr Khurana told mediapersons that the memorandum also sought tax exemption on medical allowance, abolition of five per cent surcharge on income tax and reduction of subscription fee for the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) for retired government servants. Also ought was the sanction of House Building Advance (HBA) for building houses on private land.

Mr Khurana said HBA was given only through nodal agencies and in the NCT of Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was the nodal agency. The DDA, however, was unable to cater to the need of sufficient dwelling units. Besides, he said, eight casual leaves in one calendar year were not adequate and should be increased to 12.

Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma and BJP MP V. K. Malhotra also spoke at the news conference. They said the Finance Minister was requested to end the three slabs of standard deduction and fix it at Rs 30,000 flat. They said the recommendations were aimed at benefiting government servants and salaried class.

The delegation also urged the Finance Minister to introduce measures to strengthen small scale industries in the country to meet the challenges posed by goods coming into India from China and other countries. It forwarded the suggestions and recommendations of the traders’ associations that proposed that income tax deduction limit be raised to Rs 1 lakh and the slabs be revised to four categories.

The traders suggested that ten per cent tax be deducted for annual income between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh, 15 per cent for annual income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, 20 per cent for annual income between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 5 lakh and 30 per cent for annual income exceeding Rs 5 lakh. The associations also opposed Value Added Tax (VAT) to be implemented by the Union Government from April 1 this year. 



But CII hands out bitter pills to Delhi Government
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi Government must brace itself for tough measures including implementation of VAT from April, rationalisation of stamp duty, user charges, and re-prioritisation of expenditure to improve the foundation of the fiscal situation, said the Confederation of Indian Industries, Northern Region.

The chamber, in its pre-Budget memorandum to the state government, said that though the fiscal position of Delhi is revenue surplus, this cannot be expected to continue very long in the context of rising expenditure relative to revenues.

This revenue surplus met about 42 per cent of the capital expenditure in 2000-01, with the fiscal deficit averaging 3.34 per cent of the GDP for the period 2000-01. The unsatisfactory performance of public utility and public sector undertakings like Delhi Transport Corporation and Delhi Jal Board could prove to be a major factor adversely affecting the fiscal balance in the future.

The CII said given this background, alternative ways of bringing in greater efficiency in spending and resource mobilisation is necessary. The issue assumes greater importance in the context of the institutional changes that will occur with the NCT of Delhi achieving the status of a full-fledged state.

On the revenue generation front, the chamber said the state government should implement VAT as a significant taxation reform measure. The states have consented to design a simple tax structure with two basic revenue neutral rates of 10 per cent and 12.5 per cent for most items, in addition to four more rates – nil for defence and strategic items, one per cent for precious metals, four per cent for essential agricultural items and 20 per cent for demerit goods like alcohol and tobacco, the implementation of VAT calls for intense preparation at the state level.

As the entertainment sector in the Capital’s economy has increased, the CII said the entertainment tax duty should be brought down to 24 per cent from the existing 37.5 per cent. This would ensure survival of the existing cinemas, setting up of new cinemas and building of infrastructure facilities with development of family entertainment centres in the state.

On the issue of housing reforms, the chamber said the prevailing high stamp duty rate inhibits prospective purchasers to register their properties. Hence, the house/property tax should be reduced and rationalised. The existing registration charges are too high and should be brought down to two per cent. This will encourage investments, reduce the “cash” element in property transactions and significantly increase revenues for the state government.

The uneconomic and low user charges in sectors like water impair the state’s finances and hence need to be rationalised. Levy of inadequate user charges has an indirect adverse effect on the exchequer and hence the fiscal situation.

The chamber said there is a need to re-prioritise expenditure so that greater money is allocated towards creation of capital assets that enhance social and economic infrastructure.



Civic amenities miss the mark in a 
city flush with money
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 5
The handloom capital of the country is a perfect example of a rich city cursed with poor civic amenities. The earnings of Rs 1,400 crore as foreign exchange through the export of handloom products last year notwithstanding the affluent industrial city continues to cry for better civic amenities.

In fact, residents of the affluent city, which contributes a substantial share to the state’s revenue by way of taxes, are sore with the administration for its failure to provide basic amenities. And the lack of civic sense among the residents only adds to the problems. A visit to different areas of the city, including the so-called posh areas, can be a nightmare, official claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sanitation tops the problem chart as the concept of garbage bins seems to be alien to the city. The official apathy and lack of civic sense among the people is evident from the fact that any open space is considered good enough to be used as garbage dumping area. With the stray cattle and pigs having a field day the garbage is spilled on to roads, giving an open invitation to diseases. To top it all, the menace of polythene bags only compounds the problem.

It is only recently that the district administration had developed parks in certain posh colonies such as Model Town, Narain Singh Park and HUDA sectors. The less said about the maintenance of Halli Park the better. Work on its modernisation has been going on at a snail’s pace. Even as the parks in the city areas cry for attention, the district administration, in its own wisdom, has started construction work on the 44-acre Tau Devi Lal Town Park at a cost of Rs 1.27 crore and that too at a distance of about 6 km from the city. Its construction is stated to be in the final stages.

Moreover, what is distressing to see is that certain parks have been reduced to garbage dumping areas. With garbage, stray cattle and pollution ruling the roost, it is a virtual miracle that an epidemic has not broken in the city. Perhaps, the administration is waiting for an epidemic to break out to get its act together.

Bumpy rides await you when you venture out in the city as there are no roads worth the name in certain parts in the interiors. The same holds true for the sewer system. Erratic power supply ensures that residents are forced to spend sleepless nights as the notorious mosquitoes only add to the miseries of lesser mortals. The affluent industrial community, however, has nothing to worry as a majority of them have installed generator sets or invertors.

The residents have taken it for granted that the city is not going to change for the better. A top exporter rued the fact that he could not have cleaner environment and minimum basic amenities despite paying hefty taxes to the authorities.

Similarly, the traffic scene remains chaotic. With traffic rules being given a go-by, accidents are common. Hardly any concerted effort is made to regulate the fast and slow-moving traffic.



Be Self-employed, budding entrepreneurs told
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 5
A two-day entrepreneurship awareness camp was organised by the Haryana Delhi Industrial Consultants Limited (Hardicon) at Arya College for the benefit of the final year students of the science stream.

In his keynote address, the college Principal, Dr A. P. Jain, stressed upon the need for self-employment for combating the unemployment problem in the country. He said our syllabi were far behind in coping with the knowledge explosion taking place in the world. And whatever had been learnt by the students would be forgotten soon if the acquired knowledge was not used in time. The only solution in this scenario was self-employment, Dr Jain added.

The main aim of the camp, which was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India, was to motivate and guide the students about seeking self-employment opportunities and understanding the concept of entrepreneurship and its relevance to society, said Mr S. C. Das and Mr B. C. Joshi, Hardicon Project Officers. In their Respective speeches, they emphasised the importance of understanding that entrepreneurship was not a matter of heritage and it could be cultivated through self-development by evaluating one’s resources.

Mr R. P. Kaushik, Branch Manager of the Haryana Financial Corporation, highlighted the role and assistance available from the corporation in assisting small and medium enterprises.



Jhuggi dwellers come out in 
protest against demolitions
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 5
A large number of jhuggi dwellers came out on roads today and organised a demonstration outside the mini-secretariat in protest against the demolition drive. They demanded a halt on the razing down of jhuggis and colonies of labourers and asked the government to provide alternative residential facilities to them.

United under the banner of the recently constituted Jhuggi Bachao Manch (JBM), the organisers of the demonstration claimed that it was a non-political body and it would exert pressure on the authorities not to demolish the jhuggis until and unless residents of such areas were provided with alternative sites.

Addressing the gathering, the organisers alleged that the authorities had left several thousands of persons homeless in the past few years in the name of the anti-encroachment drive.

They said about 10,000 jhuggis and houses had been razed down in the past three years in this town. Several of the colonies demolished had been more than 20 years’ old and the residents had been paying various charges and enjoying amenities like water and power supply, they claimed.

Some of the speakers condemned the role of political leaders and said that these leaders when in opposition supported the slum and jhuggi residents, but when they came to power, they changed their theory and work against them until the next elections.

Holding the state government and district authorities responsible for the growth of encroachments on government land, they said if there had been a plan or scheme to provide residential facilities to the poor, especially the labour class, the various jhuggi colonies would not have come up at all.

The protestors had come from about a dozen colonies located in Ballabgarh and Faridabad areas.

They were joined by activists of various trade unions including the CITU, the Bharat Mazdoor Sangh, the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, Haryana and those of the Ballabgarh unit of the Congress party.

Mr Anand Kaushik, a member of the All India Congress Committee, was among others who addressed the gathering. The protestors submitted a memorandum to the authorities.



Madan Mohan: An economist 
wedded to Hindu ethos
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
In memory of Prof Madan Mohan Sankhdher, a `Smriti Sabha” was organised by the India First Foundation at Hindi Bhavan. It was attended by a large number of scholars from different streams. Mrs Sushma Swaraj presided over the sabha, The other speakers included Prof Subrata Mukeerji from the Department of Political Science, Delhi University, Devendra Swaroop, eminent journalist and historian, and Prof Satya Sheel Pachauri from the University of North Florida.

Prof Madan Mohan Sankhdher was an erudite scholar and teacher and a believer in the essential richness and purity of the Hindu socio-political, ethical-cultural and psycho-spiritual foundation of India.

Born in the small town of Sambhal in Moradabad district in UP, he rose to national and international fame. His quest for knowledge took him to the London School of Economics, the fountainhead of economic research in the world. There, he did pioneering work on the concept of the ‘welfare state’ and was the only scholar on the subject from India. He authored, co-authored and edited about three dozen books on various subjects. Prof Sankhdher’s ideological commitments were beyond reproach. No deviation from the path, cause and true spirit of Hindu ethos and characteristic culture and ethics was acceptable to him. 



Thermal station generates record 
power since inception
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 5
The Faridabad Thermal Power Station here, which is a unit of the Haryana Power Generation Corporation (HPGC), has claimed to have achieved a new feat in power production in 2002.

According to the authorities of the thermal station, about 9,790 lakh units of electricity were generated during the period, which has been maximum in one year, since its inception.

It is also claimed that the plant load factor (PLF) achieved had been 67.73 per cent, which had been optimum for all such capacity units installed by BHEL throughout the country. It is reported that the oil used for generating per unit of electricity was 3.4 ml which had been minimum so far in the history of this power station.

It has claimed to have saved about Rs 2.30 crore by way of reducing oil consumption, which was about 5.06 ml per unit in 2001.

However, the authorities have not spoken about the pollution aspect, which seems a more important issue for many people here.

Commission agent murdered: A commission agent at Subzi Mandi in Palwal town was shot dead by some persons on Tuesday. The police has rounded up some suspects in this connection.

According to reports, the deceased, identified as Ram Singh, was on the way to his shop on Tuesday when some armed persons stopped him and shot at him from close range.

It is stated that a dispute with some relatives had led to the murder. In another incident, the police recovered the body of an unmarried woman in her 20s near the railway track in the NIT area here on Tuesday night.

The victim, identified as Anita Sharma of Dabua colony, had gone to work in Noida and had failed to return by evening. Her body was traced from the railway line near the Bata crossing. Her relatives suspect she was murdered.



‘Jal Yudh’ to be launched at Cong rally
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 5
The Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has announced that a ‘Jal Yudh’ (agitation for water) would be launched at the Congress rally proposed to be held at Jhajjar on March 2.

He was addressing a meeting of the party workers at Sampla town, about 25 km from here, today. Although Mr Hooda had also invited the party leaders of Jhajjar and Sonepat districts, several prominent leaders of both these towns were not seen in the meeting.

Mr Hooda challenged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to fix a date on which he could make public the account of the funds collected for Fiji Prime Minister Mahender Chaudhary. He said he would also give the account of money collected during the Kandela incident the same day.

Couples held from hotel: The police arrested three youths along with three women under objectionable condition from Surya Hotel here today. According to police sources, a police team led by DSP M. I. Khan raided the hotel following a tip-off and nabbed the couples from different rooms of the hotel. Those arrested include Anil of Sector 1 here, Hari Prakash of Bhiwani and Virender of Shiv Nagar locality here.

Several hotels in the town have reportedly been thriving on such businesses as the owners charge exorbitant rent for the rooms in such cases.

Powerless for 7.30 hours:  The residents of several colonies located along the Civil Road here had to face hardship due to the unscheduled power cut from 11 am to 6.30 pm today. The affected residents said that they had made several attempts to register a complaint at the powerhouse in vain. They suggested that the authorities should give prior information about such prolonged power cuts.



Delhi teacher raped by youth at pistol-point
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 5
A woman schoolteacher of Delhi was allegedly raped by an armed youth at Saboli village, about 25 km from here, last evening. According to a report, the youth forced his way into the house and showed a pistol to her and then raped her. She raised an alarm and her sister and brother-in-law came to her rescue but the youth fired shots at them. They escaped unhurt. The youth and his associate fled.

The police have registered a case under Sections 376, 307, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC and the Indian Arms Act against the duo and launched a hunt to apprehend them. The youth belonged to Kanjhawli village (Delhi).

Student shot dead

Pardeep, a 14-year-old student, was allegedly shot dead by some unidentified persons in his house at Kakroi village, about 9 km from here, last night. According to a report, the alleged assailants managed to escape under the cover of darkness. The police have registered a case and a hunt is on to apprehend the culprits. A long-standing enmity is stated to be the main reason behind the attack.

It is stated that the assailants had come to the village to kill a youth who had been a witness in a murder case of a wrestler of Ahir Majra village. The said youth was roaming with Pardeep one day before the incident. The alleged assailants had seen the youth with Pardeep, who was shot dead by them.

Thieves strike at will

Bhiwani: With the increase in theft cases, the residents here have started keeping their houses under surveillance round the clock. Two to three theft cases are being reported everyday here.

In the latest incident, thieves jumped the wall of a notebook making unit at Mundhal village and stolen notebooks besides other goods. The owner of the factory, Amit Bansal, said that he had locked his factory last night but today when he opened the shutters he found notebooks worth thousands of rupees stolen.

In another case, jewellery and other household belongings were stolen in a burglary that took place at Shiv Nagar colony behind ITI last night. The police have booked three persons, Suraj Bhan, Bhale Ram and Mangla, under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the complaint of the house owner, Anand Kumar. No arrest has reportedly been made so far in this connection.

IGNOU to start centre

Gurgaon: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will open its centre in the local Deen Bandhu Sir Chhotu Ram Bhawan in the next academic session. This was announced here today by the Regional Director, IGNOU, Prof Devender Kumar Chowdhary.

Prof Chowdhary was addressing a public function in connection with 122nd birth anniversary of Sir Chhotu Ram in the bhawan. The function was organised by the Sir Chhotu Ram Educational and Cultural Society.

Girl elopes

Rohtak: A teenaged girl of Nigana village reportedly eloped with an unidentified youth on Tuesday. Mr Satya Narayan, father of the girl, stated in the FIR that his daughter was a student of plus two class at Government Senior Secondary School at Kalanaur town. He said the girl had left the house on January 29 for school. However, she failed to return home in the evening. He said that when inquired, her friends said that she had stopped at a beauty parlour at Kalanaur and did not go to the school. The woman at the beauty parlour informed the father of the girl that his daughter was carrying a sari along with her, which indicated that she was allured by the promise of marriage by a youth. The Kalanaur police have registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC in this regard.



Killer RTV knocks down two
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Two persons who were riding on a two-wheeler were killed when their vehicle was hit by an RTV in Abul Fazl Enclave near Sarita Vihar in South district last evening. The victims, Sirajuddin and Sarfaraz, were going to Shaheen Bagh when their vehicle was hit by the rashly driven RTV. They fell down and received serious injuries. They were admitted to Holy Family Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries. The driver of the RTV is absconding, A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered, the police said.

UP gangster arrested: The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police arrested a gangster of Uttar Pradesh from near Pontoon Bridge. He was involved in a number of murder cases, including the murder of UP Police personnel. The UP Police had declared a reward of Rs 10,000 for his arrest. Sleuths of the Crime Branch received an information that he would visit Monastery Market to meet his contact. A trap was laid there. He reached there this morning and as he saw the police party, he fled from there and went towards the Yamuna. The police team chased him and apprehended him from near Pontoon Bridge. During interrogation, he admitted his involvement in eight heinous cases, the police said.

Rural health rally, mela from Feb 8: The Government of NCT of Delhi will organise a Divya Jyoti Rural Health Campaign that includes a rally and a three-day-long Rural Health Mela from February 8. A 24-km-long rally will be flagged off by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at Pitampura Extension on February 8. A three-day Rural Health Mela would also be held in Punjab Khor village near Qutub Garh.

Dr S. K. Arora of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan today told a news conference that the health parade would comprise people on foot, scooters, motorcycles, cars, tempos, buses, trucks and tractors.

The vehicles with banners carrying messages of good health will pass through Mangolpur Kalan, Pooth Kalan, Begumpur, Karala, Kanjhawala, Ladpur, Jaunti and terminate at Punjab Khor.

He said the Health Mela would showcase Indian systems of medicine and offer health check-ups and treatment by medical practitioners. Fifty stalls would be set up for the purpose.

Socio-cultural programmes, street plays, health chat and lectures would be organised on all three days of the campaign. Blood donation camps would be another feature of the campaign.

Dr Arora said the sansthan would adopt 66 villages in North and North West Delhi for dental and eye care. A state-of-the-art mobile dispensary would visit every village after regular intervals. Cataract cases detected by the mobile dispensary would be treated free of cost at the nearest government hospital, he added.



How cops tracked down dreaded gangsters
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 5
The police came out with their version about the busting of the criminal gang, which had been operating in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi for the last few months. Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, Superintendent of Police, told
mediapersons here today that he had got a secret information about a dreaded criminal of Uttar Pradesh, Satinder, and other members of his gang hiding in the Sonepat area. They had two looted cars with Delhi and UP registration numbers with them. The members of this gang, he said, were also planning a crime in this area.

Thereupon, the police beefed up security and a special team was deputed to locate them. During search operations, the team found the cars near a dharamshala on the Sonepat-Mehlan road.

The police immediately swung into action and made an attempt to apprehend them as they were planning to kidnap the owner of a petrol pump on the Gohana road and looting it. As the cops descended on the spot, the criminals started firing indiscriminately at the police party and the latter retaliated but none was hurt in the firing.

According to the SP, the police succeeded in arresting Satinder and his six associates on the spot.

They were identified as Virender Bhadaura, Pankaj Thakur, Puppan alias Amin alias Vipin Pudina, Indervir, all from Barwala, and Devinder and Sajjan of Jahri village. The police, he said, also seized a carbine, a pistol, a revolver, a country-made pistol, a khokhari, 139 live cartridges and 16 empty cartridges from their possession.

He disclosed that the police had registered a case on various charges against them. Further investigations are in progress.

During interrogation, the arrested members of the gang confessed to their involvement in 11 cases of murder, two dacoities, three loots and two kidnappings in western UP and Uttaranchal.



Man kills nephew, commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 5
In a shocking incident, a resident of Jorasi Khas village allegedly killed his nephew and suspected to have committed suicide later. According to information, Sukhbir’s 10-year-old nephew, Pradeep, a student of Class IV, had gone to play with his friends near the former’s fields on Tuesday and he had a quarrel with his friends. He was last seen with Sukhbir. Villagers and the relatives of the child believe that Pradeep was killed by Sukhbir. Pradeep’s body was dug out from near his fields.

Sources said as the needle of suspicion moved to him, a mentally upset Sukhbir hanged himself from a neem tree. He allegedly consumed liquor before hanging himself as two pint bottles were recovered from the fields.

While the villagers and relatives subscribe to the above theory, mystery still surrounds Sukhbir’s death. Since his hands were tied with a thick rope, how could he have hanged himself, sources asked. Meanwhile, the police are examining every aspect of the case.

In another incident, Suresh, a resident of Azad Nagar in the Model Town area, committed suicide. He was mentally upset, the sources added.



Printers sore over entry tax on paper
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 5
The Noida Offset Printers Association has raised objections over the recent show-cause notice issued by the Trade Tax Department to printers, saying that they should either stop job works or pay entry tax on paper. A meeting in this regard was organised in New Delhi in which other paper trade associations also took part.

Mr Krisha Lal Aneja, president of the association, said at the time of imposing entry tax on paper on November 1, 2001, the UP Government and the authorities concerned had maintained entry tax would be imposed on paper being brought for sale and manufacturing purpose only, not for job works. Had this matter been clear at that time, the affected units would have taken up this issue before the authorities concerned for clarification.

The government’s objective in creating and providing a level playing field for the growth of small scale industries gets defeated with such acts and projects a confused and contradictory attitude on the part of the authorities concerned, he said.

He demanded that this unexpected tax should be immediately withdrawn otherwise “we have no choice except to close down our units or shift to neighbouring states”.

He further said the printers only do job works on papers provided by the publishers and had nothing to do with the cost and quality of paper because the printed and other papers are returned to customers after the completion of printing job works.


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