Friday, February 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Flip-flop on pre-paid auto booths
Sheila hits out at back-seat driving by L-G
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
The ‘pro-activism’ of Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor has ruffled the feathers of the Council of Ministers yet again.

Joining issue with Raj Niwas for, first, raising objections to the upward revision of autorickshaw fares and, second, ordering the closure of pre-paid booths only to re-open them later, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says its “intervention” was unwarranted.

“Something is going on … which has not been happening earlier,” Ms Dikshit said alluding to the Union Government’s attempts to govern the NCT of Delhi by proxy. “I cannot say for sure it is not deliberate,” she told media persons.

To close down pre-paid booths unilaterally and re-open them later could be attributed to lack of co-ordination which situation, she was adamant, could not be rectified if Raj Niwas continued to play an interventionist’s role.

Ms Dikshit said the Council of Ministers had adopted the recommendations of the committee constituted to suggest means of empowering the duly elected Government of NCT of Delhi. Also endorsed was the recommendation of special status to it under Article 371.

The committee headed by Chief Secretary Shailja Chandra has sought amendments to the Transaction of Business Rules so that the powers to administer certain civic agencies come to vest in the Council of Ministers.

The chief minister told media persons she would be forwarding the committee’s report to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. “I will write to Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani. I shall ask him to do the needful,” she informed.

Ms Dikshit said the Union Government should make the relevant amendments to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Act, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Act and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Act.

“The status of a Special State to NCT of Delhi will take time. In the interim, the Centre should delegate the powers hitherto vested in the Government of India and the Lieutenant Governor to the Council of Ministers,” the chief minister told reporters.

The ball, she was categorical, was in the Centre’s court now. “Amendments to the Transaction of Business Rules do not require prior approval of Parliament. There is no reason why the Union Government cannot act on the recommendations immediately,” she asserted.

On the Special Status to NCT of Delhi under Article 371, Dikshit said barring law and order (“which issue requires to be discussed at length”) the Council of Ministers should be granted unbridled powers to administer civic agencies and utilities.

Explaining the urgency of amending the Rules, she said there were many sections / sub-sections in the MCD Act and NDMC Act where the Union Government exercised the powers or it delegated the powers to the Lieutenant Governor.


Delhi-bound bus looted at gunpoint
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 13
A Delhi-bound UP Roadways bus of Etawa depot, coming from Secunderabad, was looted at gunpoint at Chhapraula village by three desperadoes. Before snatching conductor Hari Kumar Sharma’s moneybag, the criminals assaulted him and a few other passengers. There were a little over 12 passengers in the late evening bus.

The police are reported to have checked the bus at Kote and a few other places but had failed to spot the criminals. Three miscreants had reportedly boarded the bus at Secunderabad. They had bought tickets for Dadri and two others had bought tickets for Lal Kuan, Ghaziabad.

The desperadoes, who had a ticket for Lal Kuan, asked the bus to be halted at Chhapraula at a dark and secluded place. In spite of passengers’ objecting to this, the bus was stopped near Chhapraula.

As soon as the bus stopped the criminals snatched the conductor’s moneybag and deprived some passengers of their cash, wrist-watches etc, threatening to kill everybody in case they put up resistance. After the incident, driver Ramvir drove the bus to the Ghaziabad police station.

Surprisingly, the police at Lal Kuan, Ghaziabad, refused to register an FIR, saying that the looting incident did not take place within their jurisdiction. The bus then headed towards Dadri. Here, the driver-conductor twosome were able to file a report at Chhapraula police post but by that time criminals had reached a safe haven.

Dreaded gangster gunned down near Shipra sun city

Ghaziabad: The Ghaziabad police today claimed to have gunned down a dreaded criminal, who had been an active member of the Satendra Barwala and Sanjeev Jeeva gangs and was wanted in a number of heinous crimes including murder, loot and kidnapping in Delhi, Haryana and Uttaranchal. He has been identified as Ramesh Thakur, a resident of Nagar Palika, Muzzafarnagar, and he carried an award of Rs 25,000 on his head.

A police team led by SO of Indirapuram Dharmendra Chohan was checking vehicles at the Kanawani culvert when a Maruti car without the number plate was noticed coming from Hindon Vihar. The cops signalled it to stop, but the driver turned the car towards Shanti Khand and sped away. The cops chased the car. When they reached Shipra Sun City, the occupants of the car started firing on the police vehicles. Soon a Zebra eight jeep confronted the car from the front while the other police vehicle closed in on from the back. At this, the criminals left the car at the Shanti Khand-IV crossing and started firing on the police parties.

The cops retaliated. The police bullets hit Ramesh Thakur who fell down while the others succeeded in giving a slip. He succumbed to his injuries in the government hospital here.

Though his gang leaders Satendra Barwala and Sanjeev Jeeva were arrested by the Haryana Police and the STF, Mumbai respectively, Ramesh Thakur had escaped the police dragnet several times. He was not only the prime accused in the Brahm Dutt Dewedi murder case, but was also involved in all big loots and dacoities in Shamli, Saharanpur and Khatauli committed by the two gangs. He was also the prime accused in the Tayal kidnapping case of Muzaffarnagar as also in the abduction of Prateek Dewan, son of a Kolkata businessman.


Sainiks at it again
Valentine’s Day ritual
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
Shiv Sainiks today attacked an Archies gallery in East Delhi and destroyed Valentine’s Day cards and other items stocked in the shop. The group later claimed that Valentine’s Day was an “attack on Indian cultural heritage as it propagated obscenity”.

About 15 Sainiks barged into the shop at the busy Vikas Marg this morning and objected to the sale of Valentine cards. When the owner did not relent, they attacked the shop and damaged the articles on display.

The incident caused considerable commotion on the road, leading to a traffic snarl that lasted for several hours, putting commuters to much hardship. Some vehicles had to take a diversion.

The Sainiks had earlier cautioned youngsters that celebrations would create “unwanted” problems. Shiv Sena Delhi unit president Jai Bhagwan Goel said: “Indian culture is being abused through festivals like Valentine’s Day. Obscene cards and photographs are being given to girls in the form of Valentine’s Day gifts. But the Shiv Sena would not tolerate this.”

Mr Goel denied that the Sena is trying to impose its brand of cultural fascism by denying people the right to celebrate Valentine’s Day. “We are not against any festival or love. The Indian cultural heritage is very rich. We have a lot of festivals, which promote love, brotherhood and peace. But vested interests try to import obscene practices on such occasions. We will resist this by all means,” he said. Claiming that Valentine’s Day would promote crime against women, Mr Goel said that the Sena office had received 15 to 20 telephone calls from girls since morning, mostly stating that some youth had forcibly given them an obscene card or a poster.

Mr Goel said that the police, which keeps launching drives against ragging and eve-teasing, turns a mute spectator when it comes to harassment of women by hooligans on Valentine’s Day.

Goel’s men had made a bonfire of Valentine’s cards yesterday. The burning of cards and destruction of property, especially ranscaking of shops stocking Valentine’s Day cards and other gift items, has become almost an annual ritual with the local Shiv Sena unit.


Jama Masjid denies entry to disabled, NHRC moved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
Disturbed at being prohibited from entering the holy minar at the Jama Masjid, Manoj Kumar, a disabled person, has approached the National Human Rights Commission. Kumar was refused entry into the holy minar at the Jama Masjid because of his physical handicap. This was done despite the assurance given to the management committee of his ability to climb the steps.

A resident of Uttam Nagar here, Kumar alleged that the committee refused him entry to the holy minar owing to his physical disability. “There is no logical reason behind the ban on entry of the handicapped, yet the practice is being followed. We have also written to the Management Committee but there has been no response”, said Mr Ashok Aggarwal of the Social Jurists, who have now approached the NHRC seeking action against the violation. Kumar, who has 60 per cent orthopaedic disability, had gone to the Jama Masjid along with his family in December last year. But his request for an entry ticket was turned down on the grounds of not allowing disabled people into the shrine. It was pointed out that notwithstanding Kumar’s assertion that he could climb the staircase of the minar despite his handicap the officials refused to let him in. Kumar had sent a representation to Shahi Imam Maulana Abdullah Bukhari to permit him and other disabled persons entry into the minar. However there has been no response.


Additional BSNL phone connection for just Rs 50
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 13
Dismissed as not so `customer-friendly’, the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced a slew of schemes and services in the district.

For instance, a new phone connection will be provided to an existing customer on the payment of just Rs 50. According to BSNL General Manager Yashpal Kataria, the new connection could be released within 48 hours, provided it is installed at the same address and is intended for the same user.

Under the scheme, the BSNL will not provide any instrument or fittings. The customer only has to dial 2444444 and the department would release the phone, depending on the logistics in that area. Normally, the department charges Rs 2,000 for a new connection.

The department has also decided to reactivate its scheme of `phone on phone service’ launched in August last year. Under this scheme, the consumer calls the office (2444444) and keeps ready a draft of Rs 2,000; against this, the department will provide a new instrument with fittings within 48 hours. The scheme had been suspended due to shortage of drop wire and other equipment. It is now being revived in many urban areas from February 15.

Also, now, a telephone calling card (STD-ISD) worth Rs 525 would be given free to the subscriber with every new connection booked after February 16. This card will be handed over after the new connection is operational. Admitting that the BSNL revenue collection had dipped by 16 per cent last year, he attributed it to the slashing of the STD and ISD rates.

Likewise, a PCO holder’s rate of commission has been increased from 22 per cent to 25 per cent in the urban areas. The PCOs can also function as BSNL franchises and serve as marketing agents of its services and schemes. Moreover, PCOs with a billing of Rs one lakh and above per month would be given an online terminal.

The department will also launch a special Direct Internet Access Service within a week. Then, Internet will be available 24 hours along with a parallel telephone.


The Achievers
This do-gooder helps sex workers return to the mainstream
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, February 13
For 38-year-old Anand Sharma, a resident of Central Delhi, rescuing women trapped in prostitution has become a faithful pursuit. Aware that most of them are victims of adverse circumstances, he scours the red light areas in his sincere efforts geared towards identifying victims. He rescues them and then helps them in returning to the mainstream and leading a normal life without the stigma of the past blemishing their present.

Married and having two children, Anand has found support from his wife who helps in running Sawera, an organisation launched by him in 1999. As the name suggests, the organisation helps in bringing a new dawn into the lives of hapless victims. A former trade union leader, Sharma was moved by the plight of thousands of such women in distress when he went to attend a four-day conference organised by Durwar Mahila Sammanvey Committee in Kolkata in March 1998. Thousand of sex workers from different states and 15 countries came to attend the conference, which was dubbed as one of the biggest in the world. The theme of the conference was how to help the victims return to a normal life.

According to Sharma, the four days of interaction with the sex workers really opened his eyes and he vowed to do whatever he could to help them. At the conference he was also moved by the plight of Niloufer (name changed), who had spent many years in one of the worst red light areas of Kolkata. Rather than wait, he decided to act. He persuaded the woman to return with him to the Capital and live with him as his sister. Such was the respect given to the woman that even the neighbours believed that the woman staying with them was Anand’s older sister.

Her rehabilitation was easy after that as the woman was reasonably educated . The support of Sharma and the family helped and gave the required boost to her courage. This was the turning point and the rest is history.

Sharma and his organisation Sawera are credited with helping scores of such women, many from the red light areas of the Capital itself.

Sharma modestly claims that the success of his venture is the result of the confidence reposed in him by his wife Sadhana, son Bharat and daughter Manisha in his work. Several friends, including a public spirited doctor, Samarjeet Jaina, have supported his venture. Last year, his organisation was responsible for carrying out a detailed survey of the socio-economic condition of such women covering several states. The findings of the survey were subsequently released in book form, which is now considered as a compendium for those engaged in the task of rehabilitation of women trapped in the red light areas.

Again, about two years ago, it was Anand Sharma and his organisation which came to the aid of an entire village near Khanpur whose residents were convinced that all of them were suffering from AIDS. The villagers were rehabilitated and the records of their medical examination shown to some irate residents to acquaint them with the real picture. Anand hails from Jewar tehsil of Gautam Budh Nagar. After doing his 10+2 from a local school, he joined the trade union movement and was active in it for about a decade. He spent about three years in the Marathipura, Manduk and Dharavi slum areas of Mumbai where the first spark of social work got ignited in him.


DURA rally against delay in fellowship revision
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
The Delhi University Researchers Union (DURA) staged a demonstration outside the UGC office here today. The scholars were protesting against the delay in the implementation of the enhanced fellowship amounts and the denial of the fifth year fellowship.

“There was an announcement made by the UGC vis-à-vis the enhancement of the fellowship amounts for junior as well as senior research fellows in April 2002, but later withdrawn. The UGC issued the orders asking the registrars to withhold the revised emoluments citing insufficient funds as a reason,” said the DURA president, Mr Sanjay Tiwari.

The researchers allege that the fellowship revision should have taken place with effect from September 1, 2001, however, the UGC has agreed to pay the same from April 1, 2002. “We are not satisfied with the announcement. If they do not agree to pay us from September, we will continue out protest and will have researchers from across the country to stage a demonstration,” Mr Tiwari added.

The researchers are also complaining against the UGC’s inadequacy to provide fifth year fellowship. “Another demand that we have put forth is awarding fifth year fellowship to researchers. A three-member committee has agreed to the recommendations. However, the UGC is yet to implement them,” Mr Tiwari said.

He said, “There are many instances where students despite the clearance from the dean of the faculty, the head of the department and the supervisor are denied fellowship for the fifth year”. At present, the UGC pays fellowships for two years to SRFs and for the same period to the JRFs. However, for the fifth year they have to get clearance after the review of their performance to seek fellowship.

The UGC has increased the fellowship for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 a month and for Senior Research Fellows (SRF) from Rs 5,600 to Rs 9,000. The contingency for JRF (non-science) has been increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 and for SRF to Rs 20,500 from Rs 5,000 per annum.


MDU Merit Promotion Scheme: Confounding academic confusion
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, February 13
The more one tries to understand the academic system, the more confused one becomes. If we take the case of the Merit Promotion Scheme (MPS) at Maharshi Dayanand University, one finds that there are 20 Readers presently trapped in the pay scale of Rs 3,000-5,000.

Of these, four have been promoted out of the one-third quota fixed for the scheme. They are Dr A. K. Sharma and Dr Nawal Kishore of the Physics Department and Dr Manjula Gupta and Dr Balbir Acharya of the Department of Sanskrit.

The remaining 16 are promoted within the fixed quota. They are Dr V. K. Jain and Dr D. R. Goyal (Physics Department, Dr Manmohan Kumar (History Department), Dr Anita Dagar (Economics Department), Dr Geeta Manmohan and Dr Narender Kumar (Commerce Department), Mr Atiq Khan, Dr Suman Lata, Dr Nina Vashishth, Mr A. S. Verma, Dr Asha Sharma, Dr Promila Chugh (Law Department), Dr H. J. Ghish Roy (IMSAR), Dr N. K. Rattan (English Department) and Dr Sudha Jain, Dr B. S. Mehra, Dr Manjula Gupta and Dr Balbir Acharya (Sanskrit Department).

Dr Sudha Jain is the president of the Maharshi Dayanand University Teachers Association (MDUTA). Dr Narender Kumar is the Dean, Student Welfare. Dr B. S. Mehra, is the Chancellor’s nominee on the Executive Council of Kurukshetra University.

On a close perusal of the academic merit of these 20 Readers promoted under the MPS and as provided in the five-volume report of Maharshi Dayanand University submitted to the NAAC, one gets confused about the basic concept of merit. On the one hand, some teachers do not even have PhD degrees and on the other, Dr V. K. Jain, Dr D. R. Goyal and Dr Manmohan Kumar have a large number of publications to their credit. The remaining ones are hardly have any research publications to their credit. And this is what has made the MPS to be called the “Mercy Promotion Scheme”.

Unfortunately, all these have created an academic cobweb, which has trapped only those who have been doing excellent academic research work. Dr V. K. Jain had published almost 100 research papers by 1996. And since then, he has not published any paper. Dr Narender Kumar has all the papers published between 1985 to 1992.

The basic reason of this is the academic frustration. It is known to everybody that in most of the cases of open selection to the posts of Readers and Professors, the candidates hardly have any research publication in referred journals. At the most, they might have contributed a few general articles in newspapers or newsmagazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Gram Udyog, Third Concept etc. Whatever the case, it is high time that the academic system should think over it and clearly identify research publications.

Another significant point is to differentiate between teaching and research. These are two separate activities. A good teacher may not be a good researcher. Similarly, a good researcher may not necessarily be a good teacher. There are only a few who have both these qualities.

In the fairness of things, we should accept the reality and de-link promotions on the basis of research publications. Researchers must be a very special category. They are the thinkers and contribute to the advancement of the existing knowledge. Teachers impart this knowledge to their students. Researchers must be more honoured and respected. Essay writing and research papers are certainly different publications by nature. The general view in the academic circles here is that the system should not permit the essay writers to frustrate the researchers.

Interestingly, to fulfill the minimum required qualification of publishing five research papers, one can find some scholars suddenly awakening themselves and getting several papers published within a few months.

56 truant employees

The SDM, Rohtak, Mr G.L.Yadav, inspected nine government offices in the district today and found 56 employees absent from duty.

The SDM said the inspection was done following the directions by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav. It was carried out from 9.05 am to 9.45 am and the team visited the Fisheries Department and the offices of District Town Planner, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner and those of Executive Engineer and Superintending Engineer, Haryana Urban Development Authority.

Besides, the team inspected the offices of SDO and Executive Engineer of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (Operation) and that of District Public Relation Officer. Several employees of these departments were found absent from duty during the inspection.

The Deputy Commissioner said complaints against the erring employees would be sent to their headquarters for disciplinary action.

Anesthesiologists meet

Over 200 anesthesiologists from the northern region are expected to attend the third annual conference of Haryana unit of Indian Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA) scheduled to be held at Pt B.D. Sharma, PGIMS on February 22 and 23.

Dr K.R. Goriyan and Dr Manoj Bharadwaj, organising secretary and joint secretary of the conference today said the state Health Minister, Mr M.L. Ranga, would inaugurate the two-day conference. Dr Sushil Indora, MP from Sirsa and an anesthesiologist, would preside over the function.

They said the focus would on a workshop on ‘Airway Management’. The latest techniques and inventions in anesthesia would be discussed during the conference and the best anesthesiologist in the state would be honoured.


Merchant’s car recovered
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, February 13
The car of a cloth merchant, Naresh Agrawal, that was looted by five robbers at pistol-point near the railway bridge in Ismail village on the night of February 9 was recovered from the main bazaar here today. The car was abandoned by the robbers in a narrow street adjacent to the market.

Interestingly, the car had been parked there for the last three days but it did not raise suspicion among either the police or the local shopkeepers. Some shopkeepers today informed the district police about the car and a police party reached the spot to inquire about it.

The police later found out that the Santro car with the registration number DL 2CW-1829 had been robbed from a merchant when he was returning to Bhiwani with his wife and children after attending a marriage at Punjabi Bagh in Delhi on Sunday night on the National Highway No 10 near Ismail village. 


SC to decide soon on extending mining ban 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 13
A decision regarding continuing the ban on mining within five kms radius of the Delhi border in the NCR or its withdrawal, is likely to be taken soon by the Supreme Court.

The ban was imposed last year in response to a petition filed by some environmentalist groups which alleged large-scale damage to underground water level and the ecology of the region due to mining.

It is reported that a two-judge bench of the apex court heard the arguments in support and against the ban on February 11 and today. The court has now fixed the next date in this regard on February 18.

One killed, 8 injured in accident

Ghaziabad: A Tata 407 on its way from Ghaziabad to Hapur met with an accident as a result of which one passenger was killed and eight, including a policeman, were injured.

Promode Kumar, 38, of Arya Nagar, Pilkhua was declared brought dead at hospital. Hapur police station constable Harswarup Singh, Nasir of Jafarabad, his uncles, Dilshad and Shamsheer, Ved Prakash of Narainpur, Safaya, Ahsan of Haijapur Amroha, Punjab Singh of Morena, Raisuddin of Sarai Chora were injured.

The injured were rushed to MMG District Hospital. Three of the eight injured are reported to be serious in the hospital.

Students robbed

Three engineering students were assaulted and deprived of cash, watches, gold chains, rings and books by four criminals sitting in the tempo.

The students had come to Ghaziabad to purchase some books. They had boarded a tempo for their return journey to Dadri from Lal Kuan, but were thrown out of the running tempo near Chhapraula police post by the miscreants, it is learnt.

Complaint against INLD leader

Bhiwani: A man has registered a complaint with the police that he has been defrauded by a political leader who promised to accommodate him in a government service.

In his complaint, Anil, son of Dharmpal of Charkhi Dadri has mentioned the name of this leader as Ms Shakuntala Sangwan of Charkhi Dadri. Ms Sangwan has been district president of the ruling INLD from Bhiwani.

Anil said that Ms Sangwan had taken Rs 45,000 from him to accommodate him as a PTI teacher in a government school but he was not adjusted.

After a while, when he approached the leader and asked her to return the money, she refused and even threatened him.

The police have registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 506 and 8/9 PC Act of the Indian Penal Code and investigation was on.

Man badly burnt

A man was burnt badly at Dohki village late last night. The victim, identified as Suresh, son of Banwari, charred 90 per cent, has been admitted to civil hospital here.

In another case, a jeep driver has been charged with hitting a three-wheeler driver with his jeep. Dharmvir, a resident of Guwar factory area, said in his complaint that the driver of jeep No. HR 16/1417 struck his autorickshaw deliberately. OC


Two shot dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
Two persons were allegedly shot dead in the Capital in two different incidents since last night. In the first incident, one person Jaivir Singh Pawar (40), resident of Shah Pur Jat who runs a security agency, was shot dead at his house last night by some unknown assailants. The victim received a bullet injury on his head and was declared brought dead at the AIIMS.

In the second incident, one Vinod Rohilla (21) was killed by two unidentified youths outside his house at Sainik Vihar in Uttam Nagar this morning.

Robber nabbed

A robber involved in a sensational bank robbery in Srinagar was today nabbed by the Delhi Police in the walled city area. The police recovered Rs 78,000 and a mobile phone from his possession.

The accused Rais Ahmed Bhat (26) of Hawal area of Srinagar is one among the five robbers involved in a sensational daylight robbery and looted Rs 7.8 lakh from the Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch in Nallah Mar in July last year.

Blind students’ rally

The visually challenged students of the Delhi University today held a demonstration and demanded a CBI probe into the lathi-charge and the arrests made thereafter by the police.

The students staged protest at Jantar Mantar this morning against the police action during their ‘peaceful’ demonstration on December 22 on the university campus last year. The police had lathi-charged the students to disperse them but when they resisted, 93 of them were arrested. After registering a case against them under Article 308 of IPC, they were sent to Tihar Jail.


Thefts in eight places cause panic in city
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 13
The law and order situation seems to have collapsed in and around Sonepat city following a spate of thefts committed by the anti-social elements.

This has caused panic among the residents and shopkeepers of the area.

According to a report, at least eight thefts were committed on the G T Road near Murthal Chowk last night.

Thieves are reported to have broken the locks of the shops opposite the Murthal police station and decamped with cash and goods worth several thousands of rupees.

The shops include Arora Medicine Centre, Ram Electrical, Goyal Electrical, Gupta Medical Store, Rajesh Khad and Malhotra Electrical. These shops are situated about 50 ft. from the police station.

The shopkeepers alleged that the police reached the site around 9 am only despite informing them early in the morning.

According to another report, the thieves are reported to have entered the house of Mr Mahabir Prasad Jain in Vikas Nagar here last night and decamped with goods and household articles worth several lakhs of rupees. The thieves scaled the ceiling of the house with the help of the ropes and entered it. A report to this effect has been lodged with the police by the owner of the house. Investigations were in progress.

Body found

The Kharkhauda police recovered the body of an unidentified man lying in the field of sugarcane at Sisana village about 25 km from here last evening and sent it for the postmortem examination.

According to a report, the police were informed by a youth Kartar. The body still remains unidentified.

‘Jal Yudh’ flayed

Mr Dharampal Deswal, president of the Haryana Kisan Union has criticised the Opposition leader in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, for launching the ‘Jal Yudh’ from March 2 and alleged that Mr Hooda has once again come out to mislead the people in general and the farmers in particular of the state.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said that Mr Hooda had remained the president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) for six years and during this period, he did not launch an agitation on the issue of the SYL canal completion and the river water disputes with Punjab. Now, he is trying to get the people’s support on these issues by threatening to launch an agitation.

He reminded Mr Hooda that Haryana was formed in 1966 and Mr Ranbir Singh, his father, was the Irrigation and Power Minister in the united Punjab and even after the formation of Haryana. During this period, the share of water between the two States was settled and hence Mr Ranbir Singh was fully responsible for this.

Mr Deswal also accused Mr Hooda of covering up the lapses of his father on the issues by putting the blame on three ‘Lals’ of the state.

He said that Mr Hooda has no right to launch an agitation on the issue. Describing Mr Hooda as a paper tiger and selfish leader, he asked the people not to take part in any agitation launched by him and be misled by his promises. Mr Deswal urged Mr Hooda to provide the details of the funds collected by him for the victims of police firing at Kandela.

He alleged that Mr Hooda had collected a huge amount but distributed only Rs 9 lakh among the members of the bereaved families.

He warned that if Mr Hooda failed to provide the details of the account and money collected by him, the farmers of the state would teach him a lesson.


Farmer hacks kids to death
Our correspondent

Jhajjar, February 13
In a tragic incident, a 35-year-old farmer allegedly hacked his three children to death in Badsa village of the district today. He surrendered to the police later. According to information, Jai Bhagawan (35), son of Ran Singh, was unemployed. In a fit of rage, he reportedly hacked his children — Sonu (10), Pooja (7) and Mohit (4) — with a sharp-edged weapon while they were sleeping. The bodies were handed over to the relatives after autopsies at the civil hospital in Bahadurgarh.

The villagers disclosed that the relations between the farmer and his wife were strained; the wife was living with her parents in Silana village for the last three months.

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