Sunday, February 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Summoning the dead to answer land-grab charge
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 22
An over-enthusiastic patwari in Ramgarh village in Dadri has accomplished an impossible task. He has filed an FIR against two villagers who died over ten years ago for usurping a Dalit’s land.

Soon after assuming office in May last year, Chief Minister Mayawati had issued strict instructions to the district administrations that the land snatched from Dalits, who had been deprived of their land deeds (pattas), should be restored to them at the earliest.

While this kindled the hope among the Dalits, who had been deprived of their land illegally, it also enthused some government officials eager to show quick results, to get into the good books of their superiors.

Maya, a Dalit widow of Ramgarh village, informed the Dadri Tehsil that some influential persons of the village had deprived her of her land. Dadri SDM Sheshmani Pandey summoned the village patwari, Rajpal Singh, and ordered him to probe the matter, so that justice could be done to the Dalit woman.

The patwari, after completing the inquiry, reportedly filed an FIR against five persons of the village in the Dadri police station on February 15. The accused named were Preetam, Babu, Jagdish, Gopi and Rohtash.

When the cops were dispatched to serve summons on these five persons, they were flabbergasted to find that Gopi and Rohtash had died ten years ago. They had to cut a sorry figure and were at the receiving end of the villager’s jibes.

The SDM points out that it is possible the complainant might have mentioned the names of two dead persons, but the ignorance or lapse on the part of the patwari is a serious matter. Now, the inquiry has been entrusted to Tehsildar Hira Lal, following which a fresh FIR will be filed, it is learnt.


Sale of seized arms: No preference to MPs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
The Delhi High Court has ruled out giving preference to MPs and other VIPs in the sale of confiscated weapons. The court said that any surplus firearms, after according priority to the demands from various government departments, should be publicly auctioned.

A Division Bench said no preference should be given to MPs and VIPs in this matter, as the lives of ordinary citizens are equally important. The Bench directed the Central government to furnish by March 4 a list of all departmental personnel who had been issued such weapons. The court had earlier directed the Centre that all confiscated weapons should be sold at their market prices.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by People for Animals. The petition has alleged that in contravention of a well-established policy according priority to government departments in the sale of confiscated arms, most of these weapons were being sold to MPs and VIPs at heavily discounted prices.

As per policy, prohibited confiscated weapons could only be issued to government officers on returnable basis while non-prohibited arms, after giving priority to service officials, could be sold to MPs at a rate five per cent below the market price. However, in June 1991, through a letter, the Ministry of Finance allowed such weapons to be sold to VIPs who were above the rank of MPs. There were many prominent figures in the list of 653 MPs and VIPs who had been sold such weapons. The petition claimed that in 1987 when the policy for disbursement of such arms was framed, it was stated that only ‘surplus non-prohibited confiscated arms’ could be sold to MPs and VIPs at a price fixed by the price commission.

However, such weapons, which were meant to be used by public servants for the effective discharge of their duties, were being bought for personal use, the petition alleged. In 1990, the government made an amendment that the price could be fixed at Cost Insurance Freight (CIF) plus 250 per cent customs duty, which was reduced to 150 per cent in 1999, thereby allowing the weapons to be sold at a price which was as low as half its market price, the petition claimed.

The petition also said prices of such weapons were astronomically high in the open market and cited the example of a Smith & Webley revolver that costs up to Rs 2.5 lakh and a Walther that costs around Rs 3.5 lakh, which were being sold at Rs 5,000 to the VIPs.

The petition also demanded that as in the case of government officials, who had to return the leased confiscated weapons after their retirement, the MPs and VIPs should be asked to return the arms after they ceased to be in power.

There should be proper inquiry in each case before a weapon was sold to an MP or a VIP and the government should satisfy itself on the need of the member before granting a renewal of license needed after three years of the sale, it added.


With VAT clock ticking away, traders announce stir
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 22
Youth Udyog Vyapar Mandal state chief Sandeep Bansal has warned the government that it will resort to a statewide agitation if VAT is imposed from April 1.

Both the officials and business community have no clarity about the VAT, which the government is keen to enforce in the state. Not only UP, even states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal and Delhi have no idea about the system, Mr Bansal said.

The implementation of VAT will give rise to 87 clauses, the violation of 26 of which is punishable with one-year imprisonment or a fine of Rs 5,000, he said.

At present, there is no tax on 50 commodities. Henceforth, purchase of even farm implements will attract trade tax.

In case the government decides to implement VAT from April 1, the traders and businessmen will take out rallies. Besides, black flags and banners will be displayed on vehicles. On February 28, a torchlight procession will be taken out.

A special meeting has been called in Lucknow on March 2. That day, all shops and establishments will display black flags. Protest rallies will be organised on March 15 in Gorakhpur, in Bareilly on March 22 and in Lucknow on March 28. On March 26, the Assembly will be picketed by traders. On March 29, a demonstration will be held in front of Parliament House.

Even then if the government goes ahead with implementation of VAT, they will start an indefinite bandh from April 1 in the state. A memorandum with 15 lakh signatures will also be submitted to the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister, Mr Bansal declared.


After Metro, a tramcar named desire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
After Metro, electric trolley bus and high capacity bus system, the Government of NCT of Delhi is toying with the idea of introducing tramcars.

Trams in India are synonymous with Kolkata, where they are battling for life. However, the NCT of Delhi feels that the tramcar is a viable proposition to beat rush-hour traffic.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says the tramcar could be the answer to the NCT of Delhi’s woes. She concedes that the proposition is “very” expensive. “We are still not sure about the shape it would take.”

Skoda of Germany is exploring a collaborative venture with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to manufacture tramcars.

The Chief Minister also has ambitious plans to extend Delhi Metro to 263 kilometres by 2011. She also takers credit for putting Delhi’s transport fleet on CNG. However, she is not too sure whether the experiment can be replicated in other states owing to problems of pipeline and supply of gas.

Supporters of trams in Kolkata say they are a comfortable means of transport; easy to board and have a smooth ride; ideal for women, children, the aged and the infirm; they are pollution-free vehicles; and cause less number of accidents. A two-coach tram costs less than a bus, and has a life span of 50-80 years. A bus, on the other hand, has a life span of only five years. The average operating speed of buses is about 14 km per hour. The operating speed of trams is about 11 to 16 km per hour.

However, sceptics say when they break down or get derailed, a long queue of trams is formed; they fail to operate whenever streets are water logged; traffic gets disrupted when they stop in the middle for passengers to alight/board; and Kolkata trams move at a snail’s pace when compared to trams of the first world.

Will Sheila herald another ‘first’ in the national Capital?


Fire at CNG station engulfs auto, RTV
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
A fire broke out at the CNG filling station at Okhla Mod on Mathura Road this evening following a gas leak from an autorickshaw. The gas leaked when it was being filled in the auto. When somebody lit a cigarette, the auto caught fire.

An RTV, which was just behind the auto, was also engulfed by the fire. However, there were no casualties. Both the vehicles were destroyed completely. The incident occurred at 6 pm when traffic was at its peak on Mathura Road. When the fire broke out, people who had lined up for the gas started driving away. The Delhi Fire Service (DFS) was called by the CNG station employees. Within 15 minutes, it rushed five fire engines which controlled the fire, a DFS spokesman said. There was a huge traffic jam on Mathura Road for half an hour as DFS vehicles were parked on the road due to lack of space. The spokesman said smoking should be banned at the filling stations and proper arrangements for parking of fire vehicles should also be made inside the stations.


Five executive engineers booked for irregularities
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, February 22
The district police have registered a case of misappropriation of Rs 5 lakh against 36 persons, most of them employees of the Irrigation Department, including a senior engineer and five executive engineers. According to sources, the police have registered cases under Sections 404, 420, 408 and 406 of the IPC against the accused on the complaint of Mr P. V. S. Sangwan, executive engineer of Division Number 36 of the Irrigation Department. It has been alleged that apart from certain irregularities, substandard material was used in the construction of three distributaries in the district.

The sources said that the Financial Commissioner and the State Vigilance Bureau (SVB) had conducted inquiries into the alleged misappropriation and the cases had been registered on the basis of their reports.

Husband beats asthmatic wife to death

Faridabad: At least four persons have been booked in separate cases of crime against women in the district. These include a case of alleged beating to death, a molestation bid and a rape attempt. The police have arrested one Mahesh on the charge of beating his wife, who later succumbed to her injuries, in Sarai Khwaja area. It is reported that the victim was an asthma patient and was undergoing treatment. The body was recovered from her house yesterday.

In the second incident, two youths tried to molest an eleven-year-old girl at Pawta village of Ballabgarh subdivision. The accused are absconding. In the third incident, one person identified as Chander, has been booked on the charge of attempting to rape a married woman at Banchari village in the district. The accused reportedly entered the house of the victim when she was alone tried to rape her. TNS

Court asks Centre to enact law on kids of illegal immigrants

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has observed that the Central government should either bring out a law that would dis-entitle children of illegal immigrants from getting Indian citizenship or consider not to deport those born in the country.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said either the government brings out a law on the lines of those existing in the UK, France and the US, which does not allow children of illegal immigrants the benefit of the country’s citizenship, or show consideration to such children.

Seeking time, Additional Solicitor General K. K. Sud said the Centre was considering all the sensitive and complicated issues pertaining to illegal immigrants. The court was dealing with a petition seeking deportation of illegal immigrants. TNS

Traffic education in schools soon

New Delhi: In a bid to make the coming generation better and responsible drivers, the Government of NCT of Delhi is planning to introduce traffic education at the school level.

The Education Department plans to introduce traffic education at the school level as a new elementary subject, sources said. A letter to this effect has been written by the Education Minister to the Education Director, they said. Delhi has one of the highest rate of fatal road accidents. Delhi also has the largest number of vehicles, more than that of the three other metros put together.

The issue gains importance because of the rise in fatalities on account of rash driving and negligence. TNS

Minister reviews work of drainage in rural areas

New Delhi: Development Minister Haroon Yusuf today reviewed the construction work of drainage for wastewater of rural villages in a meeting held under his chairmanship in the Secretariat.

Divisional Commissioner of the Government of NCT of Delhi, Engineer-in-Chief of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Chief Engineer of Irrigation and Flood Control Department and other officers attended the meeting.

It was informed in the meeting that as many as 85 drains had been constructed by the MCD in rural villages and the work was on progress on 25 drains. TNS


Land restored to Dalits after 10-year legal battle
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 22
Finally, after 10 years of legal battle Dalit families of Jakholi village were given possession of five acres of land which was originally allotted to them for residential plots way back in 1992.

According to information, five acres of land in the village was allotted to Dalit families for 200 residential plots by the village panchayat in 1992. But the land was forcibly occupied by some influential persons of the village who started cultivating the land.

When all efforts made by Dalits and the administration in getting the land vacated failed, Dalit families finally filed an appeal in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission in 1992. And after about 10 years, the commission gave a verdict in favour of the Dalits, directing the district administration to hand over possession of the land to the Dalits.

On the directions of the commission and the Deputy Commissioner, the Tehsildar and Panchayat Officer reached the village with JCB machines. Despite opposition from influential persons, the officers got the standing crops rooted up by JCB machines and gave possession of the land to the Dalit families.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has demanded the intervention of the Governor to ensure the protection of the Dalits in the state.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he demanded that the perpetrators of the Harsola (Kaithal) violence should be brought to book so that no such incident is repeated in future. He also demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident.

He also expressed grave concern over the increasing police repression, custodial deaths and atrocities on Dalits, alleging that the Indian National Lok Dal government in the state had failed to check the police which was holding law to ransom. He said jungle law was prevailing in the state and the police were hushing up cases of crime in which police officials were involved.

Referring to the failure of the central government to hike the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat this year, Mr Vidrohi said the decision to retain the MSP of wheat at Rs 620 per quintal was totally anti-farmer and a cruel joke. He said it seemed a strong anti-farmer lobby was active, which had made the NDA government go against the hike.

He said the inputs of farming, which include water, power, fertilisers, seeds and pesticides, had become dearer by several times in the past few years but the MSP had not been increased in the same ratio, resulting in a lower income and margin for the farmers. He said if the government could not hike the MSP then it should also freeze the cost of various inputs and stop the state government from hiking power tariff.

Mr Vidrohi also alleged farmers of the state had not been paid compensation for the loss suffered due to drought. In most of the districts the drought relief ranged between Rs 1 to Rs 10 only. He appealed to the political parties of the state to come together and fight against the injustice done to the farmers.


HVP demands Rs 10 lakh aid for panchayat secy’s family
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 22
The Congress and Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) have condemned the apathetic attitude of the government and the district administration in not announcing any kind of compensation
to the bereaved family of Panchayat Secretary Suresh Saini, who was electrocuted while erecting flag poles just hours before the visit of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, at Kharkhauda Rest House on February 19.

In a press statement, the HVP General Secretary, Mr Rajiv Jain, has criticised the Chief Minister for not expressing grief over this fatal accident during his “Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar” programme on the same day and at the same venue.

Neither the CM nor the district announced any compensation to the family of Suresh Saini who was put on the unofficial duty of erecting flag poles for welcoming the CM, he stated.

Mr Jain has demanded financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the bereaved family.

Similarly, the Kharkhauda Congress leaders have also condemned the negligent attitude adopted by the CM and the administration over the tragic death of Suresh Saini. They have demanded financial aid as well as a government job for the wife of the deceased.

On the other hand, when contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, informed NCR Tribune the administration officers had expressed sorrow over his death by visiting the bereaved family.

Besides, as the deceased was a government employee in the Panchayat Department his wife would be given all due benefits, he said, adding that necessary papers were being compiled for recommending ex gratia employment to his wife.

Moreover, some financial grant from the District Red Cross Society would also be given to the bereaved family, the DC said.


Haryana’s handling of SYL issue ‘inept’
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 22
Veteran statesman Rao Birender Singh, who is also a former Union Irrigation Minister and former Chief Minister of Haryana, has expressed concern over the state government’s inept handling of the SYL issue in the wake of the apex court verdict.

Replying to newspersons’ specific queries at a Press conference here, he said after the expiry of the stipulated period of one year during which the Punjab Government did nothing to make the SYL canal functional the onus to get it completed was now clearly on the Union Government.

He further said it was worrisome that the Haryana Government had so far done nothing tangible to get the Union Government to take it up expeditiously. He wanted the Haryana Government to file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an injunction for a stipulated time frame for the completion of the SYL canal.

Recalling the efforts made by him as Union Irrigation Minister for the settlement of the Ravi-Beas waters dispute, he pointed out an agreement was executed between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on December 31, 1981, following which Punjab and Haryana had withdrawn their suits from the Supreme Court. He further said in July 1985 the Rajiv-Longowal Accord put things in the wrong perspective. He described it as unconstitutional as well as inappropriate. He went on to say that he had then resigned from the Rajiv Cabinet on September 25, 1985, in protest against the accord.


JD(U) asks govt to give fodder at subsidised price
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 22
The Haryana Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has flayed the apathy of the Chautala government towards the cattle-keepers of South Haryana who, he said, had been facing tremendous hardships on account of acute paucity as well as spiralling prices of fodder.

He said owing to the persisting fodder shortage even chaff had been selling at Rs 500 a quintal in most parts of Rewari, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Jhajjar and Bhiwani districts as well as the Mewat region. This, he said, had led to a large-scale distress sale of cattle in the above areas.

Mr Vidrohi demanded subsidised cattle fodder should be provided in these areas by the Chautala government, which had earlier meted out appallingly discriminatory treatment to the hapless farmers of these areas in the matter of financial assistance pertaining to drought relief.

Medical camp held

The 65th medical camp of the district, under the “health at your doorstep” programme, was organised at Mangleshwar Majri village, about 15 km from here, on Friday. It was inaugurated by the Haryana Health Minister, Dr M. L. Ranga.

In his inaugural address, he specifically remarked that it was a matter of concern that mostly women in villages initially ignored their minor ailments which later developed into serious diseases whose treatment then became expensive and hence unaffordable for them. He exhorted them to make optimum use of such medical camps to keep themselves fit and free from ailments.

The minister also distributed hearing aids to 20 persons, pairs of spectacles to 35 others and sewing machines to 10 destitute women.

As many as 1,328 villagers were examined for various ailments and given medicines free of cost by a team of government doctors headed by the Civil Surgeon, Dr B. M. Kapur.


Left clamours against US threats
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 22
The state level convention organised jointly by the CPM and the CPI here today has called upon the people to understand the larger meaning of the war threat posed by the USA against Iraq and come out against the potential threat. Delegates from various districts of Haryana belonging to the two parties attended the convention to suggest ways for building up a movement against war.

The CPM state secretary, Mr Inderjit Singh, moved the main resolution which highlighted the background and events of the past decade leading to the emergence of unipolar world in favour of US imperialism.

The resolution said that with its unbridled hunger for the world hegemony, the USA was bent upon silencing all voices of resistance of those regimes who refuse to surrender their sovereignty and independence.

The resolution castigated the Vajpayee-led NDA government for keeping a studied silence on this vital issue and its failure to extend India’s support to a most friendly nation like Iraq. The government’s foreign policy in this regard goes against the time-tested non-aligned stand and it is contrary to the overwhelming anti-war feelings of the Indian people, the resolution said.

The CPI state secretary, Mr Raghbir Chaudhary, exhorted the delegates to expedite the anti-war campaign as such an eventuality would prove disastrous for all developing nations including India and people would have to bear the cost of war in various ways. While endorsing the resolution, he blasted the blatant lies being shamelessly spread by the USA and the UK against Iraq in the name of weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the USA itself has been the source of such weapons.

Participating in the deliberations, many delegates gave suggestions to effectively expose the nefarious game of imperialism which was aimed at occupation of Iraq’s rich oil fields and a strategic move to establish its armed forces permanently in the Middle East and surrounding countries.


Man makes amends; marriage saved
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 22
Mrs Neelam of Sonepat stated that she was married to Raghbir, son of Mr Deva Nand of Hathwala village. After a few months of the marriage, she was pressurised to bring a scooter from the parents’ house.

When she refused, her husband would often beat her after consuming liquor. She alleged that her drunkard husband would disrobe her and force her to stand in the nude in the open.

The matter reached the Jagriti Parivar Pramarsh Kendra, a non-official agency, set up by the district administration for dealing with the cases of dowry harassment and atrocities on women.

The officials of the Kendra warned the man that stern action would be taken against him if he did not behave. Thereupon, the husband of the woman apologised and Mrs Neelam agreed to go with him.

Three more couples were reunited at the instance of the officials of the Kendra. The couples are Mrs Seema and Mr Dinesh, Mr Ramphal and his two wives Mrs Ramesh and Mrs Umesh, and Mr Aklesh and Mrs Shashi.

Bizarre rape case

A young housewife narrated a story of the rape with her by her father-in-law with the help of her mother-in-law at a monthly meeting of the Kendra held in the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner here yesterday.

The housewife stated that she was married at Panipat and was forced to bring Rs 1 lakh from her parents immediately after the wedding. When she refused, she was harassed and often beaten up.

On December 21 last, she was raped allegedly by her father-in-law. She made a complaint to the police, but the case was hushed up.

Thereafter, she was raped repeatedly by her father-in-law. Her mother-in-law took the side of her husband.

The harassed housewife became pregnant soon and the abortion was done after it.

The case was adjourned for the next date as none of the members of the in-laws’ family appeared in the meeting.


Discover happiness within

HE does not leave you with a book or a well-tried formula for happiness or success. You are left to wonder to which religion or ideology he is close. Yet you are profoundly touched by all that he says because in his own words, the subject is “You”.

At the Image auditorium in Adayar (Chennai), a large assembly of invitees listened to Maharaji, as he is affectionately called by his disciples, some of them coming from other states and even neighbouring countries on Saturday, February 15. One could see from their beaming faces and the animated conversation that replaced the silence during his hour-long talk, that his words were quite thought-provoking.

He has a way of speaking that awakens in you an appreciation of the unappreciated and a desire to be thankful for life irrespective of the situation you are in. But at the end, when you seek to put down his speech in terms of a formula, you feel at a terrible loss! This Hardwar-born teacher, who is a trained pilot as well, has a way with the audience that an orator or a scholar would envy.

For more than 30 years, Maharaji — his real name is Prempal Singh Rawat — has continuously travelled to all six major continents addressing millions on the perennial subject of achieving inner peace and personal happiness. Currently he is covering many cities within this nation spreading the self-knowledge and the Chennai meet was part of the series.

He begins his talk right where human attention has always focused — man’s need for happiness. People have an innate need to be content; to be satisfied in life. But how to achieve it in a world full of problems? Many come up with different answers over a long period of time. Politicians claim they have the answer; economists have been coming out with their solutions. Religion negates such answers to suggest some of its own. Also, there are always new Gurus and groups turning up to claim a new discovery.

As long as people have debated on ways of seeking happiness, or resolving all problems, there have been a few who pointed out that man must “look within himself; he must find the answers within.’’ The teacher says he is repeating that old proposition; if he is not the first to do so, he is sure he will not be the last one to do so.

He draws our attention to a little baby; its progression through various stages as a teenager, an ambitious youngster, householder, and then on to the stage of retirement. At that stage, there is a gradual shifting of burdens and responsibilities, a decline in bodily strength and so on. Through it all, regardless of circumstances, some specific needs remain constant — something which we all have experienced. We may become aware of the need and call it by different names, contentment, satisfaction, joy, fulfillment and so on.

The baby, unable to express itself, finds a contentment which the adult seeks in all possible ways to secure and often in vain. Perhaps a man, in his retirement, after being through all the trials and struggles learns at last to be content. For that kind of a contentment or joy, men keep reading books, visit holy places, and employ all kinds of gimmicks hoping to unravel the mystery.

But there is within every man a source of joy if only he could discover it. It is easier to discover joy in things outside than to connect to this inner source of enjoyment. While looking for exciting adventures and achievements, he fails to acknowledge and appreciate the basic gift of life, which is a requisite for all of man’s adventures and plans.

“All the things you do in your life are only made possible by the courtesy of existence. Without existence you won’t accomplish anything. And what is existence like? It is beautiful, it is simple. It manifests itself with the most amazing thing called the breath. One breath at a time.’’ Maharaji asserts and adds: “This gift, the gift of life is made available to us. We must learn to value it, cherish it, appreciate it and acknowledge it.’’

When he goes around the world, he is telling people that all they need or are looking for can be found in the inside: “If you are looking for the Truth, then Truth is inside of you. If you are looking for love, then that love is inside of you. If you are looking for that immortality, then that immortality is inside of you…If you want to make this life complete, then the missing puzzle is inside of you.’’

If the thirst for Truth comes from within, that thirst existed much before the founding of religions. It is part of human nature. We human beings are so much alike. “You want to be happy. I want to be happy too. You want this and that … So am I’’. There are so many similarities. Unfortunately today, the human being has disappeared — there are only religious labels dividing them into Hindus, Muslims, Christians and the like. That observation of the Maharaji confronts us with the current scenario. And he advises us to look at the similarities, not at the differences. ‘When there is a hole in the boat, it poses a threat to everyone.’

He calls us to enjoy life. And not enjoying by the indulgence of the flesh. Joy is certainly not having a barbecue or winning a lottery. It is to have a heart of gratitude and to be able to say, “Thank you for this life; for this existence. I feel its beauty; I feel fulfilled!’’

This Chennai event and other similar conferences and sessions are regularly held by the Divine United Organisation with a view to promote his teachings. It has its registered office at Shri Sant Yogashram at Mehrauli in New Delhi. (Phones 26654900,26595548)). The Maharaji is scheduled to address meetings in the national Capital on February 28 and March 8 and 9.

M P K Kutty



Businessman robbed of Rs 3 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
Sarai Rohilla police have launched a massive hunt for three youths who had allegedly robbed Rs 3 lakh from a footwear businessman last night. The suspects robbed the victim, Banwari Lal, a resident of Inderlok when he was returning home from his factory. The suspects were on different scooters. Two of the suspects overtook the vehicle of the victim near his house and had an argument with him. While they were arguing, third suspect came on another scooter and hit on his head with a butt of a country-made gun. The victim fell down. The suspect drove away with the bag containing money, police said.

Dharm Sansad

A jawan of the Rapid Action Force of the CRPF keeps vigil at the venue of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Dharam Sansad at the Ramlila Ground in the Capital
A jawan of the Rapid Action Force of the CRPF keeps vigil at the venue of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Dharam Sansad at the Ramlila Ground in the Capital on Saturday. — Tribune Photo

Motorists are advised to avoid movement on the roads leading to Jantar Mantar on February 24 as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is organising “Dharm Sansad” at Jantar Mantar from 11 am to 2 pm. Sadhus and activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, the Durga Vahini etc will reach the venue in buses. Traffic will not be allowed to come to Jantar Mantar. Traffic will be diverted from Parliament Street, Tolstoy Marg, Janpath, Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Barakhamba Road during the time of the Dharm Sansad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Arun Kampani said.

Tributes to Swami Shradhanand

The Mayor of Delhi, Mrs Jaishree Panwar, today paid tributes to the freedom fighter, social reformer and philosopher, Swami Shradhanand on the occasion of his 146th birth anniversary. The MCD organised a function at his “Balidan Sthal” at Town Hall in Chandni Chowk where his statue is installed. The Mayor garlanded the statue. While paying tributes to Swamiji, she said that the life of Shradhanandji taught the people to be ready for sacrifice for the motherland and society. Besides, he rendered great services in the field of education by establishing “Gurukul system”. He always stood for Hindu-Muslim unity, the Mayor said.


CITU to rally against govt’s ‘anti-worker’ policies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 22
More than 10,000 workers affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) from all over Haryana will take part in the workers’ march towards the Lok Sabha on February 26 against the ‘anti-worker’ and ‘anti-people’ policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

Stating this, Mr S N Solanki, president of the Haryana State Committee of the CITU told mediapersons here today that the march is aimed at registering their protest against the globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation policies pursued by both the Central and the Chautala governments.

He alleged that more than 6,00,000 factories had been closed down rendering crores of workers jobless on account of these policies. The workers, he said, would oppose the adverse findings of the second National Labour Commission’s report.

JE held for bribe

Lalit Arora, a junior engineer of Ganaur Municipal Committee was caught red-handed by the officials of the vigilance team on the charge of accepting ‘bribe’ from a contractor at Ganaur town, 16 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, it is alleged that Lalit Arora had demanded Rs 5,000 as bribe for releasing the pending amount of Rs 65,000 from the building material supplier, Mr Krishan Kumar, who had paid Rs 4,000 as the first installment to him. The remaining amount of Rs 1,000 was to be paid by him yesterday. It is stated that Mr Krishan Kumar has made a complaint to the SDM Ganaur, Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, in this connection. He also lodged a complaint with the vigilance bureau and the operation was carried out by the vigilance team. When Mr Krishan Kumar gave the currency notes signed by the officials of the vigilance team to Lalit Arora, the officials pounced upon him and recovered the amount from his possession. He was arrested and subjected to the medical check-up.

Succumbs to injuries

A 17-year-old youth Harish who was seriously injured when a tempo collided with the engine of a goods train at an inter-locked gate near Khera Kalan railway station about 25 km from here on Wednesday last, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Delhi last evening. According to a report, the number of deaths has now gone up to three. Earlier, Sunil and Lala Ram were killed on the spot.

One held for petrol pump heist

The police have arrested a youth Mahinder, alias Sunil Rajput, of Urban village under the Chandni Bagh police station in Panipat district in connection with a looting incident at a petrol pump of G T Road near Bhigan village on the night of February 20. Superintendent of Police Paramjit Singh Ahlawat told mediapersons here today that the police have recovered a stolen car, a country-made pistol, a live cartridge and Rs 1,400 from him.

Giving the details, the SP disclosed that Mahinder along with two others arrived at Satya petrol pump in a white Maruti car and purchased petrol for Rs 200. As the salesman demanded money, one of them brandished pistol and snatched the cash bag from him. The bag contained Rs 1,400. The three suspects immediately fled in the car. The salesman informed the police and a case was registered. The SP also disclosed that a police party was organising a ‘nakabandi’ on Ganaur-Sonepat Road near Rajpur village under the ‘Operation Alert’ campaign when the suspects happened to pass that road. The car was being driven by Mahinder and he was arrested on the spot. The police impounded the car and recovered the looted money from his possession.

In the meantime, other two suspects escaped under the cover of darkness. According to the SP, the suspect, during the course of interrogation, told the police that he along with Sunil, alias Raju, had stolen a motorcycle from Panipat on January 26 and they reached Chandigarh. They parked the motorcycle at a scooter stand at Panchkula from where they stole the car and reached Panipat. They later again stole a motorcycle on February 19 which was taken by Sunil. On February 20, the three suspects reached the filling station and committed the robbery.


Illegal arms factory unearthed
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 22
The Hapur Police recovered two country-made revolvers from the dicky of a motorbike and unearthed an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Trilokpura, Hapur. They arrested four persons in this connection.

The staff officer of the police station, Dharamveer said during a checking operation, the dicky of the motorbike was checked and two country-made revolvers were found in it.

The motorcyclist Zakeer, was taken in custody. He hailed from village Nahali under Police Station Bhojpur.

After interrogating Zakeer, police raided Naim’s house in Mohalla Trilok Pura and found an illegal arms manufacturing factory. Zakeer had purchased the revolvers from this factory. About a dozen finished and semi-finished revolvers were recovered from the factory along with some equipment.

The raiding party noticed a person near Naim’s house who was about to leave on his scooter. When searched, the cops recovered a revolver and opium from him. He identified himself as Sirajjuddin, resident of Badli under police station Babu Garh.

He confirmed that he too had bought the revolver from Naim’s factory.

All the four were arrested. The revolvers were marketed in Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, and other districts.

The police team is being awarded cash prizes from the SSP and the IG Zone, a source said.

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