Tuesday, February 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Demolition stayed; administration, residents breathe easy
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 17
The bulldozers of the district administration were not deployed for demolishing the 2500-odd houses of AC Nagar locality here, allegedly built on the encroached land of the municipal corporation, after reports trickled in that the Punjab and Haryana high court had stayed the matter till March 6 next.

The district authorities had earlier notified that the demolition of the colony would begin on Monday. As a result, a majority of the residents had vacated their houses by last night. The stay came as a huge relief for both the administration and the residents of the colony as there was palpable tension in the area for the past few days.

People had converged at various entry points today to see if the demolition would take place. It is reported that the administration had also begun moving the JCB machines and the police personnel to the site. But intervention by some leaders, including the ruling INLD politicians and an MLA, stalled work for a couple of hours. At about 2 pm, it is reported the authorities were told that a stay had been granted by the court.

A Congress leader had filed a petition in the high court on Saturday contending that the demolition would harm the interests of hundreds of children facing examinations. While a large number of people were seen roaming near the disputed locality, nobody knew what exactly was in store for the people who had vacated their houses. Even the officials of the district administration, including the Deputy Commissioner and the SDM, Faridabad, were not available for furnishing information to mediapersons.

Meanwhile, at least two Haryana MLAs have come out in the open to oppose the ongoing demolition drive. Describing the `anti-encroachment’ campaign of the state government as illegal and unjust, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, a former minister and RPI MLA from Palwal, and Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, an MLA from the Mewla Maharajpur constituency and leader of the BJP Legislature Party in the Assembly, have decided to stage a dharna outside the Governor’s residence tomorrow to oppose the demolition process.

In a joint press conference held here today, these two leaders said that they would appeal to the Governor to intervene and stop the government from carrying out the drive. Quoting the 72nd and 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, Mr Dalal and Mr Gurjar said that the Constitution had vested the power to identify and demolish public encroachments in the local bodies. More important, there would be no interference of the state government in such matters.

Describing the drive as grossly biased and discriminatory, they said the state government should have taken the Assembly into confidence prior to the action.

Asking the Haryana Government to initiate the drive in Sirsa district, they alleged large-scale encroachments by influential persons and individuals close to the Chief Minister and their family members. According to Mr Dalal, one such encroachment on public land had figured in the Vidhan Sabha session earlier.

He also alleged that statues of late Devi Lal had been installed on public land and claimed that these were also an encroachment and they must be pulled down. He pointed out that a minister was among several influential persons who had usurped public land and appropriated green belts in various villages and urban sectors.

Mr Dalal and Mr Gurjar claimed that the office of Deputy Commissioner, police stations, office of the SP and police posts had been operating illegally from school buildings and were thus an encroachment.

The two MLAs declared that they would approach the National Human Rights Commission and demanded that demolition be carried out with prior notices and order from the local court.



BJP councillors want details, hope to 
open can of worms 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 17
The contentious issue of privatising the Capital’s streetlights rocked the meeting of the all-powerful Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi with corporators demanding an inquiry and a detailed report of the minutes of the meeting which took place between the Delhi Government and the private companies before the contract was signed.

Agitated councillors belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) alleged the power companies charged Rs 60 for the maintenance of each electric point on streets and MCD buildings like hospitals, schools, libraries. The electricity bills for the streetlights were prepared for 12 hours’ use each day. Till July 2002 the MCD had paid Rs 29.90 crore to the power companies as electricity charges and this amount was additional to the charge of maintenance of streetlights. This despite the fact that the Delhi Electricity Regulation Commission (DERC) report specifically mentions that lamps and bulbs (40 watt-100 watt) will be replaced by the power companies after 1500 hours’ use.

BJP councillor Vijender Gupta raised objection and demanded minutes of the meeting that took place between the Delhi Government and the power companies. But for some strange reason the minutes of the meeting were not made available by the Chairman of the Standing Committee , Mr Ram Babu Sharma , claiming that the corporation was not represented at the meeting.

If the DERC had given the responsibility of maintaining streetlights to the private companies why should mercury bulbs, special lamps and other electrical goods be replaced by the corporation, was the query of the agitated opposition councillor.

Mr Gupta claimed that in 2000-2001 the MCD had paid over Rs 12.18 crore as maintenance charges to the DVB and in 2001-2002 it paid Rs 2.9 crore only. This showed that there was some secret understanding between the private companies and the Delhi Government. He said he and his party councillors will continue to demand the details of the contract.

The corporators had earlier submitted a memorandum to the Lt- Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijai Kapoor, demanding a CBI inquiry into the privatisation of streetlight maintenance.

It was also pointed out that the MCD had given over 1.51 square metres of land to the DVB for construction of offices and installation of transformers. The DVB had handed these to the private companies. In all fairness, these companies should now pay the market rent to the MCD. Secondly, the corporation takes five per cent tax of the total revenue of the power companies for the land used for installation of electric poles. The power companies charge 1.5 per cent as administrative charges from the corporation, which is not only exorbitant but also unacceptable.



Prime real estate, proposed shopping 
complex in the lurch
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 17
The proposed construction of a Rs 50-lakh shopping complex on the premises of the old Civil Hospital is hanging fire as the Sonepat Municipal Council has no funds.
The civic body had drawn up a plan for the construction of the shopping complex last year, which it had hoped would pull it out of the red.

It even succeeded in getting the old Civil Hospital building vacated, using the good offices of the outgoing Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. N. Roy.

The office of the Civil Surgeon was shifted to the new building of the Civil Hospital and the CID office was moved to the office of the Sonepat Municipal Council. Both these offices had been functioning in the old Civil Hospital building for the past few years.

Thereafter, the civic body gave a contract for the demolition of the old Civil Hospital building and removal of the debris, bricks and other building material. Incidentally, the contractor paid the council Rs 12 lakh for the scrap value of the building material.

Now, the site is vacant for the past few months and is being used by unlicensed taxi operators and rehriwalas, and that too without the consent of the authorities.

The plot has also turned into a gambling den. Anti-social elements can also be seen roaming on the site. This has led to resentment among residents of the surrounding areas. Many people allege that their complaints to the authorities in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, the Residents Welfare Association and the Sonepat Citizens Forum have criticised the municipal council for its failure to utilise the land for the construction of the shopping complex.

They have urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the council. Such an inquiry is likely to expose the irregularities committed by the officials and the misuse of funds by the council. These organisations have also demanded that the civic body should be superseded as the authorities and the councillors had failed to protect the council’s property.

They also alleged that the police department had forcibly occupied the building of the council and converted it into a full-fledged police station.

The chairman and the executive officer of the council apprised the Deputy Commissioner and other officials but they kept mum and did not take any action against the police officials.

The citizen bodies have also protested against the opening of the CID office in the building of the municipal council and a police post in the Improvement Trust building. They have alleged that this showed the municipal councillors and the authorities had failed to protect the property of the tax-payers. They also warned that they would move the court, if the buildings were not vacated by the police department.



3 get death sentence, prime accused 
at large since 1997
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 17
Three persons, including a woman, have been handed down death sentences by a Sessions Court in a case of triple murder that took place in Achaura village in Bulandshahr six years ago.

Surprisingly, the two main accused, brothers Satinder and Sanjeev, have eluded the police dragnet since the incident in 1997. Meanwhile, another accused, a minor girl, is being tried by a juvenile court.

On September 10, 1997, Ram Gopal’s wife Munni Devi, granddaughter Lovely, and sister-in-law Vijaywati, were attacked with sharp-edged weapons, revolvers and guns leading to their death. The murderous gang had also tried to burn the bodies in front of Ram Gopal’s house after throwing them in a heap of straw and husk bags.

Ram Gopal had named his nephews (brother’s sons) Satinder, Sanjeev, sister-in-law Shanti, and Satinder’s minor daughter Pooja, his brother-in-law Pratap and friend Ram Avtar in his FIR.

The court has now sentenced only Shanti, Ram Avtar and Pratap to death as the police have failed in the last five years to nab Satinder and Sanjeev, the main accused. Pooja, who was a minor at the time of the crime, is being tried by a juvenile court.

The main reason behind the murderous assault was a dispute between the brothers pertaining to a small piece of land, it is understood. Ram Gopal reportedly wanted to divide the land of his brother, who was a bachelor, with his other two brothers, but the sons of his brother Behari Singh were not happy at this and wanted to annex the entire piece of land.

This matter was earlier discussed in a panchayat and later a civil suit was also filed in the court. Sanjeev and Satinder ultimately agreed to a compromise on the intervention of some common relatives but in the heart, they had always nursed a grudge against their uncle and his family and finally committed the heinous crime in 1997.



Booty worth Rs 24 lakh recovered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 17
The South district police today claimed to have busted a gang of burglars who were active in posh areas and solved more than 78 cases of burglaries and house thefts. The police have recovered stolen property worth Rs 24 lakh from their possession.

The police also recovered a camera of a photojournalist, Vijay Saluja, from their possession. The burglars had reportedly entered the photojournalist’s house in Lodhi Colony few days ago and decamped with jewellery and a camera worth more than Rs 3 lakh.

The burglars were active in posh areas like Lodhi Colony, Defence Colony, Sarojini Nagar, Laxmi Bai Nagar, R. K. Puram and Moti Bagh. The accused, Dinesh (27), resident of Laxmi Nagar, his brother-in-law Deepak and Arjun Singh (23), resident of R. K. Puram, and Subhash, a jeweller, were nabbed while they were travelling in a stolen Maruti car near Lodhi Colony.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) P. Kamaraj said the South district police had achieved a major success by nabbing the gang members involved in several sensational cases of robbery and burglary.



‘Even cancer and AIDS can be cured 
through acupressure’
Nalini Ranjan

The empty corridors of the first floor of the WUS Health Centre at Delhi University begin filling up after 3 pm. People from different parts of the walled city, most of them chronic patients, come when all other treatments fail to cure their diseases. They await their turn to enter the small room of the doctor who has cured thousands of people over the years through acupressure techniques. What surprises the first-timers is that the doctor is completely blind. But this challenge has helped him hone up his other senses. Thus, he immediately recognises his patients by their voices. He is never known to have erred so far.

For many, Dr Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal, 34, is virtually a god who has cured them of their disease without charging as much as a single rupee. He is perhaps the country’s first blind doctor dedicated to social work.

Born in Bakshipur mohalla in Ghorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Rajesh was a bright student who wanted to become a doctor and serve humanity. While he was doing his graduation, he suddenly came down with acute stomachache in 1989. He took a painkiller for relief but as fate would have it, the medicine had an adverse reaction resulting in retinal haemorrhage. No amount of medication could restore his eyesight. He was depressed but this only made his resolve stronger—to become a doctor.

After graduating in humanities, he took a three-month diploma in Acupressure and Reflexology from an institute in Gorakhpur. After the completion of this short course, he did a two-year course in alternative medicines where he learnt the basics of human anatomy and physiology. He also did a diploma in Electrohomoeopathy from the Naturo Electrohomeo medicos. Simultaneously, he did a postgraduation in political science. He came to Delhi after that. Here he did B.Ed. from the Jamia Millia Islamia. He took his second master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from the Delhi University where he is enrolled as a Ph.D. student now.

Hailing from a family of four sisters and seven brothers, Jaiswal lost his parents early in life. He was virtually brought up by his sisters. Married to Anajana, he has a one and half year old daughter Aishwarya. His wife and daughter live in their native place with the rest of the family. Jaiswal has been a postgraduate teacher of political science for several years in a government-run senior secondary school near Tulsinagar Inderlok. Apart from Delhi University, he also practises in Karol Bagh-based Jessa Ram Hospital, Loni Mode and Ashok Vihar-based private centres.

In a conversation with the NCR Tribune, he shared some of the pains and perils of his life. Excerpts:

Did you ever think of becoming a doctor in early childhood?

My father Bhagawan Das Gupta was a small businessman. Besides, he was a contractor. He was quite active in social work. So I have had a liking for social service since childhood. My elder sister Dr Vijaya Laxmi Jaiswal has been my role model. She is now a Reader in Gorakhapur University. I also dreamt high. But one unfortunate incident robbed me of all my dreams. It was only my strong will and determination and to an extent Braille script, through which I was able to educate myself. Since I am a victim of the side-effects of allopathic medicine, I decided to do something in the field of alternative system of medicine. There is no room for side-effects here.

How does acupressure work?

Acupressure means applying pressure on the nerves. It is believed that there are 107 acupressure points in our body which are linked with all the organs. When afflicted with a disease, the blood gets contaminated due to waste products and the blood circulation gets interrupted due to air bubbles in the veins.

By applying pressure at the required points, blood circulation is brought back to the normal stage. Pressure is applied daily for 10 minutes, either by the fingers, wooden or electronic gadgets. The duration of the therapy varies from case to case till the blood circulation reverts to normal. A full year may be required in the case of diseases like arthritis and asthma.

Apart from the fact that there are no side-effects, acupressure is cheap, easy to learn and less time-consuming. It is effective in most cases and complete relief can be guaranteed if the prescription is followed which also involves dietary restrictions.

After being blind, what inspired you most to keep on pursuing your goals in life?

It is my elder sister Dr Vijaya Laxmi who has always stood by me. When I had become completely blind, it was my sister who brought me to some blind schools so that I could feel and be inspired how these challenged people were leading normal life. With her inspiration, I learnt Braille.

What is your routine these days?

I get up early in the morning and go to school. Around 1 pm, I return and then go to Jassa Ram Hospital. Here I treat 20-25 patients daily and then reach the health centre of Delhi University. After treating around another 25- 30 patients, I return home late in the evening. Patients come to my house also and I don’t mind treating them even in late hours.

What is new you are doing now in this field?

I am trying to devise a new system by putting together 15-20 therapies so that the time taken for the treatment is reduced. Life is a challenge and I do not even feel the deficiency of my sight anymore. I came across several obstacles but I turned each hurdle into a stepping stone towards success.



Surajkund Crafts Mela prizes distributed
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 17
Mr Ahsok Pradhan, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, presided over the closing function of the 17th Surajkund Crafts Mela after the Union Minister of Tourism Jagmohan, who was supposed to be the chief guest, could not come.

Mr T. P. S. Rawat, Tourism Minister of Uttaranchal, was however present. The chief guest gave away the `Kala Mani’, `Kala Nidhi’ and `Kala Shri’ prizes. The awardees include: Kala Mani - Girish Kumar, Raj Soni (Rajasthan), Anant Malakar Sholapith (West Bengal), Ashok Kumar (Rajasthan); Kala Nidhi – S. P. Roy (Tripura), Kamini Kaushal (Bihar), Umesh K. Pandit (Goa), Amita V. Sagar (Uttaranchal), Faiyaz Ahmed (Uttar Pradesh), D. Jamta (Uttaranchal), G. Ravi Shankar (Karnataka), Rajender Baghel (Chattisgarh); and Kala Shri - P. G. Keshav Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Smt Beena Sigh (Uttaranchal), Ustad Navshad (Gujarat), Rajkumar Kalra (Maharashtra) and Shanti Devi Aggarwal (Maharashtra).



Woman missing, hubby absconding
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 17
A married woman has gone missing from her husband’s house at Brisinghpur village in Antrauli area while all her in-laws have reportedly gone underground. The father of the young woman has expressed fears that his daughter might have been murdered by now. He has lodged a written complaint against his son-in-law and his father.

Hardev Singh, resident of Ghalib Nagar village under the Gangiri police station, has said that his daughter, Naurangi Devi, was married a few years ago with a youth of Brisinghpur village. When he visited her house, he did not see his daughter there. Her husband and father-in-law were also found missing.

Hardev Singh said he was told by the villagers that his daughter was beaten up six days ago by her husband and father-in-law.

Bid to snatch bag foiled

Sonepat: An attempt to snatch a bag containing around Rs 10,000 by two motorcycle-borne youths from an employee of a petrol pump along G T Road near Gannaur on Sunday evening was foiled by the alert employees. The employees also managed to recover the looted amount from the youths. The culprits were handed over to the police.

According to the sources, two youths riding on a motorcycle reached Jain Petrol Pump on Sunday evening around 5 pm and filled petrol. Instead of paying, they snatched the cash bag containing around Rs 10,000 from the pump employee and sped away towards Delhi.

However, the pump employees chased them and recovered the looted amount. The police have identified them as Hassaf Faq and Vinod Kumar of Delhi.

Boy knocked down

A 13-year-old boy of Gohana town, Yogesh, was killed after his cycle was hit by a three-wheeler near Railway Crossing on the Meham road yesterday. A seriously injured Yogesh was rushed to the Primary Health Centre, Gohana but he was declared brought dead by the doctors.

He was returning from Ahulana village on the bicycle. The police impounded the erring vehicle after registering a case against the driver.

Youth Cong protest

Hundreds of activists of the Youth Congress from the district today staged a protest against the “anti-people” policies of the NDA government in the Centre and the Chautala government in Haryana.

Shouting slogans against the governments, they took out a protest march in the town and handed over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh. The protestors were led by District Youth Congress president Krishan Puri, state general secretary Sumitra Chauhan, district president (rural) Jitender Malik, MLA, and district president (urban) Vijay Chaudhary.

New Model School building

Bhiwani: Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala will inaugurate the newly constructed building of Dr S. Radhakrishnan Model School on the campus of the Board of School Education, Haryana, here on February 23. He will give away medals and trophies at the “annual alankaran samaroh” of the board that day. An anti-copying seminar will also be organised on the occasion.

A spokesman of the board said that 15 students of middle, matriculation and senior secondary (academic/ vocational) annual examinations, 2002, who obtained first and second positions in their respective examinations, would be given gold and silver medals. Nineteen schools, which showed excellent results, would be given trophies.

He said that the board had initiated an award in the name of Kalpana Chawla as “Kalpana Chawla Memorial Medal” to pay tribute and in the memory of the great astronaut and scientist of NASA. He maintained that this medal would be given to the topper of matriculation annual examinations every year. This year “Kalpana Chawla Memorial Medal” would be given jointly to Shifa of Saraswati Vidya Mandir High School, Jind and Babita Sehrawat, Jeewan Jyoti Public High School, Palwal (Faridabad), who topped the matriculation examinations, 2002 by securing equal marks.

NBW against Modi Carpets MD

Ghaziabad: The administration has issued non-bailable warrants against Mr S. K. Modi, Managing Director of Modi Carpets Co, for having failed to deposit Rs 2.50 crore which the company owed to PICUP, a UP Government financial institution. A case of breach of trust has been registered by the regional office of another financial institution, Bhavish Nidhi Sangathan, against the MD of Modi Distillery, Mr Rakesh Kumar Modi, along with the Chief Executive of the firm, Mr Akhlesh V. Gupta, for their failure to deposit Rs 57 lakh. Tehsildar Ram Dasharath Ram said Modi Carpets owed some Rs 2.54 crore to the government financial institution. The MD Mr Satish Kumar, had furnished a personal guarantee also with regard to this. OC

Two kids die in fire

New Delhi: Two children were killed today in a jhuggi fire near the toll bridge in Maharani Bagh. The victims, Kaniaya (6) and Veeru (3), were reportedly burnt to death. Delhi Fire Service sources said initially four jhuggis had caught fire, which later spread to others.

Flyover opens

The 305-metre-long six-lane flyover that connects NH 8 with Sardar Patel Marg at Dhaula Kuan was thrown open to traffic today. The Department of Public Works (PWD) will construct a 10-lane underpass by the end of March. PWD Minister A. K. Walia said two curved flyovers, three subways and four pedestrian links would be constructed by September. TNS



Arvinder ‘Lovely’ seeks probe into sex allegation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 17
Faced with yesterday’s damning disclosure by a Gujarat minister about a call girl racket, Delhi MLA Arvinder Singh ‘Lovely’ today demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a Parliamentary House committee to ascertain the veracity of the allegations levelled against him and two Punjab ministers. Ridiculing the BJP for making baseless allegations, the legislator who represents Gandhi Nagar in the Delhi Assembly told mediapersons that he had served a defamation notice of Rs 1 crore and was considering filing a criminal suit against the Gujarat minister for making allegations which were nothing but a “tissue of lies”.


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