Wednesday, February 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Judge raps recalcitrant MDU, orders Registrar’s arrest
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, February 25
The Additional District Judge, Dr Shiva Sharma, today held the Maharshi Dayanand University guilty of wilful disobedience for not following the directions of the court and ordered that the Registrar be arrested and detained in civil prison for one month. He further ordered that the property of the office of the Registrar be attached.

Dismissing the appeal filed by the university against the order dated December 24, 2002, Dr Sharma said that if there was no clarity in the mind of the appellant about its order, he could have approached the court.

On December 24, the court had directed the university to declare the result of respondent Roopa Bhardwaj, a student of Gaur Brahmin Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Brahmanwas. Pursuant to this direction, the appellant university cancelled the result of the respondent on the ground that she was not eligible to appear in the said examination.

Dr Shiva Sharma said that a harmonious interpretation of the ordinances of the university makes it clear that Roopa Bhardwaj was eligible to appear in the second year examination of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy course and was rightly permitted so by Ms Kanchan Nariala, Additional Civil Judge (Sr Divn). The university should not have cancelled the examination of the respondent while her suit was pending and also without show-causing her.

Giving the verdict, Dr Sharma said that Roopa Bhardwaj was eligible to appear in the second year examination of Bachelor of Physiotherapy but the university did not obey the directions issued by his court on December 24 last. “The university is a premier educational institution in Haryana. If the appellant does not honour the court orders, what will its students learn”, the order said.

“Such flagrant flouting of court orders cannot be tolerated. The university is held to be guilty of wilful disobedience of the direction issued by this court. Not only the appellant undermined the authority of law but was also unmindful of the harassment it meted out to the student. This blatant affront to the authority of law has to be dealt with sternly, lest it should encourage such callousness against helpless students,” Dr Shiva Sharma ordered.


Yet another clean-up act in Gurgaon
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 25
Violators of building bylaws of the Haryana Municipal Act, beware. The Administration is determined to check violations, especially in the matter of basements. The Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Mr Anurag Rastogi, has given a firm directive to the Municipal Council to take action against violators.

The municipality has divided the city into four zones, each under the charge of one official. Result: In the past few days, the local body has taken cognizance of six buildings, all under-construction, which were breaching the basement bylaws. While some of them have been penalised, the other cases have been referred to the police. Owing to burgeoning urbanisation and industrial growth, Gurgaon land is at a premium. With appreciable increase in the market value of land, it is virtually free for all among the poachers, land mafia and other vested interests, seeking to circumvent the rules.

There are a number of instances of officers, including functionaries of the municipality, colluding with the violators. In most cases the officials looked the other way: this is especially true of illegal constructions in shopping plazas. There are some plazas and complexes in the city which are illegal in their entirety.

If there is hue and cry from any quarter, the authorities intervene either after the construction is complete or when it is in its final stages. Notices are sent to the violators. Just before the deadline for responding to the notices lapses, the builders are through with the construction. If pushed, they move the court, from where they obtain stay orders, inhibiting any action against the illegal structures. With the passage of time the public forgets the irregularities.

There is another angle to the story. Sometimes when action is inevitable, the violators get together and lobby with the powers that be. It is anybody’s guess what is the quid-pro-quo involved in the whole exercise. The basements in commercial buildings have been mostly converted into shops, which have been either disposed of or leased out. This also impinges on the parking space in the complexes.

Although the administration’s initiative has been welcomed by the public, many wonder if the authorities will ever crack down on huge complexes which have brazenly violated the rules and got away with it. The underlying feeling, therefore, is that of deja vu, especially when one considers the possible outcome of the present exercise.


Criminal murders look-alike to throw cops off the track
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 25
To escape the long arm of law, a criminal murdered his look-alike, dressed him in his own clothes, and planted a letter in his pocket to mislead the police and dupe them into believing that he was dead. The police, too, took the bait and declared that the criminal had died. However, he ran out of luck when someone spotted him and informed the police that the latter was alive and kicking.

According to Addl SP (Rural) Pushpak Jyoti, Ram Chander of Roza Yaqubpur village had informed the police on February 7, 2003, that a body of a youth was lying on the outskirts of the village. The police took possession of the mutilated body with the face badly smashed. A letter found in the pocket of the dead man identified him as Lala, son of Khajan Singh, resident of Chansi, Bulandshahar.

The youth was later identified as Lala by Brijesh, son of his maternal uncle, and one Azad, resident of Gulawati. They identified him from his dress and the body structure. While investigations were on, the police were informed that one Dhiraj, son of Chandan, resident of Barbandpur, Gulawati, Bulandshahar, who had come to Roza Yaqubpur with a marriage party, was missing.

The police also learnt that Lala had murdered one Satish in 2003. Earlier, in 1998, Lala had murdered his mother and filed a complaint in the police station naming a few villagers as accused. He had been arrested, granted bail and was absconding since then.

Lala, the police subsequently found, was searching for a look-alike for some time. The plan was to murder the look-alike, disfigure the face and dress him up in his own clothes, so that the police would write off Lala as ``dead’’ in its records and he, in turn, could start life anew.

Lala had badly disfigured Dhiraj’s face and had fled after abandoning the body. Many relatives had even visited Lala’s residence to offer condolences on his demise. Meanwhile, Dhiraj’s family was trying to locate him. At this point, someone informed the police that Lala had been spotted.

As police already suspected something fishy, they summoned Dhiraj’s family members on February 16 who recognised the body as that of Dhiraj’s. The police are now trying to nab Lala.


Case against Delhi cop for picking pocket during scuffle

The Government Railway Police (GRP) has registered a case against Raj Kumar, a Delhi Police constable, on the charge of chain pulling in the New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express and stealing Rs 5,000 from the pocket of an Army jawan travelling in it.

According to a report, this followed the registration of an FIR against Raj Kumar by an Army jawan, alleging that Raj Kumar had removed the amount from his pocket during a scuffle. Further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

The New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express was delayed for about an hour following a clash between Army jawans and other commuters at the railway station here yesterday. OC


Racket in fake sureties on court premises
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
The South West district police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang dealing in fake sureties and operating from different courts in the Capital and neighbouring states with the arrest of three suspects, including a woman.

The racket was allegedly being run from a lawyer’s chamber in Tis Hazari Court. The main accused had been allegedly providing bogus sureties along with all relevant documents, such as bank FDRs, sale deeds, ration cards etc. All these documents were forged.

The suspects were arrested from different places in the Capital. They were identified as Rajrani Bansal alias Maharani alias Sethani, Surender Singh and Thakur Suman Singh, the police said.

The police had secret information that Rajrani Bansal was running the racket from the lawyer’s chamber. A decoy customer was sent to the chamber to fix a deal for a surety of Rs 20,000. Rajrani agreed to deliver the bogus surety along with the forged documents at the Sarojini Nagar bus depot at about 8.30 pm yesterday.

A trap was laid. On receiving a signal from the decoy, Thakur Suman Singh was overpowered by the raiding party. A search of the accused yielded a fake sale deed, a bogus FDR of Punjab National Bank of Rs 20, 000 and ration cards.

During interrogation, Thakur Suman Singh disclosed he had been engaged in the racket for the past six months. He got 20 per cent of the fixed commission from his tout. He had furnished sureties at least 11 times in various courts of Delhi. He further disclosed that the gang was being operated by Rajrani. She apparently made direct contact with the customers and sent them to different courts in the Capital and neighbouring states.

Rajrani was arrested from her hideout in Mangolpuri. Various forged documents were seized from her possession. During interrogation she confessed to having been engaged in the racket for the past eight years. She had been earlier arrested eight times for the same offence. She has links with various advocates and provides them fake sureties on 25 % commission. Her associate Surender Singh was arrested from Sarai Rohilla and some more forged documents were seized from his possession. He has been arrested 13 times for the same offence, the police said. The case is under investigation.


Residents trap monkey after month-long rumpus
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 25
While there are several organisations which are extremely articulate about animal rights, there is hardly anyone to check the menace of stray animals. Eventually, residents of Sector 14 had to muster courage to trap a monkey last night. The simian had been on the rampage for the past four weeks, biting anyone who ventured in its way.

Mr G.S. Dahiya and Mr Sanjiv Ahlawat, residents of the pocket, told NCR Tribune that the harassed residents had informed the Municipal Corporation authorities, the Deputy Commissioner and the district police chief about the menace. The Forest Department authorities, which were asked to take necessary action, had asked them to wait till the next day as the official team of monkey catchers was not available.

The monkey, which had bitten at least 12 persons, including women and children, in the past one month, was finally locked inside a room last evening when it ambled in to snatch a bite. With the authorities expressing their helplessness, a few residents summoned some local persons to cage the animal.

Mrs Khanna, an employee of Escorts Limited here, called for a Gypsy and some employees who brought with them two persons from a nearby village to trap the monkey. While one of the residents offered to shoot the animal others said catching the animal and deporting it to a faraway place was the best option. The simian, which was in the room for close to three hours, could be caught only at 9.30 pm. The animal was later taken to the Tughlakabad area where it was freed. The simian had bitten several persons, including a pregnant maidservant, an old lady and at least six children.

Reports of monkeys, dogs and pigs biting the locals are common in the town, which is densely populated. Although two dozen stray animals, including monkeys, were trapped by the municipal authorities in the past year, the drive has not been persistent. Stray animals are visible in several parts of the city and the residents feel helpless. The Principal of a public school in Sector 17 had also raised the issue last year and asked the authorities to trap the monkeys, which had infested the school premises and the hostel corridors. Although there has been a demand for sterilising the stray animals, especially dogs and monkeys, no organisation has come forward to tackle the problem.


What Northern Railway can do in the Capital with a little imagination
Cecil Victor

New Delhi, February 25
Northern Railway’s infrastructure within Delhi seems to border on either utter neglect or sheer decrepitude. It is desperately in need of a facelift. It is a pity as there is a vast pool of expertise within the establishment which can be harnessed to make the passage through Delhi pleasurable and memorable.

If there is a modicum of cleanliness and order on such major platforms as Delhi Main, New Delhi and Nizamuddin it is under duress but at either end of the stations there is no attempt to adhere to basic cleanliness. Encroachments by shanty dwellers, garbage ranging from the ubiquitous polythene bag to the soft drink tetrapacks discarded by pantry cars and, of course, human excreta blot the landscape with nauseating pervasiveness.

Between Sarai Rohilla (the meter gauge system there lies in the jurisdiction of North-Western Railway) and adjoining Kishanganj exists the largest railway colony in the whole of Asia. Tenements for lower-grade staff lie on either side of the tracks. Vast pools of stagnant water and garbage litter a large tract of land in the very heart of the National Capital Territory where pigs nearly as big as buffaloes wallow in absolute contentment.

In contrast, in Safdarjang, Moti Bagh, Chanakyapuri and on SP Marg where senior officers have their residences it is spick and span, reinforcing the suspicion that the expertise in habitat management, cleanliness, horticulture and landscaping available within the railway establishment is selectively applied.

Official apathy is evident from the fact that 50 meters away from the VVIP side on “State Entry Road” is a huge dump of polypacks directly opposite the office of the Assistant Engineer. And it is ironic that the teeming humanity in the shanties that have been erected by railway gangmen is not encouraged to keep their environs clean.

It is not without significance that in an earlier survey it was revealed by traders of the crowded Sadar Bazar-Chauri Bazar complex that they would have preferred to take the Ring Railway instead of the overcrowded highways were it not for the sight of defecating humanity along the tracks early in the morning.

Yet, it need not be that way. If Northern Railway decides it can beautify its environment with proper landscaping, horticulture, afforestation and yet remain in benign coexistence with the shanty towns created by its own employees and a steady stream of migrants —a phenomenon that is the bane of the entire Delhi region..

Northern Railway can, with some imagination, utilise the space between sets of tracks that are unencumbered by overhead electric wires to plant flower-bearing trees like laburnum and gulmohur, thereby adding to the depleted tree cover of Delhi. Once outside the stations if an attempt at greening is made the huge spaces occupied by Northern Railway along the length and breadth of the NCT can soon shed their dreary countenance and the rapidly creeping decrepitude can be reversed.


HC notice to Centre on plight of prisoners
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
The Delhi High Court has sought reply from the Centre, the Government of NCT of Delhi and the administration of Tihar Jail on the plight of prisoners following a petition, alleging that the conditions in the six prisons were deplorable.

Taking cognizance of a criminal writ petition, a Bench comprising justices Usha Mehra and Pradeep Nandrajog issued notice to the Centre, the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Tihar Jail administration asking them to submit their replies by April 4.

Filed by advocate L.R. Luthra, the petition said, “The number of prisoners lodged in six prisons in Tihar Central Jail is larger than the capacity to accommodate them and they are huddled like animals in the barracks in sub-human conditions.”

The court told the Government of NCT of Delhi’s standing counsel Anoop Bagai to find out whether the condition in jail was as bad as had been described in the petition and if it was so, then it was a “very serious” matter.

Seeking direction to the government for improving the conditions in the jail, the petition said when there was a “great hue and cry for the protection of human rights all over the world, this segment of our society is being kept deprived of their basic rights.”

For the kith and kin of the undertrial prisoners and those convicted, having a meeting with them was a “Herculean” task.

“The toilets for the prisoners are located right inside the cells and they cannot answer the call of the nature in a manner befitting a human being,” it said.

Enumerating various measures to be implemented by the government as suggested by various committees on jail reforms, the petitioner said while the total capacity of Tihar was to accommodate 3,600 prisoners, more than 12,500 of them were currently lodged there.

Though a new jail at Rohini in West Delhi with the capacity to accommodate about 1,100 prisoners was ready, yet it would take at least a year to make it functional as no trained staff were available with the Central Jail authorities, the petition said.

Also seeking amendment to the rule regarding earnings by the prisoners, it said the convicts should be allowed to send a part or the whole money earned, to their kith and kin. This would be of a great help to the families whose only breadwinner is incarcerated.

“The population of convicts, which may include doctors, consultants, businessmen and other such professionals is quite large in jail and their skills and knowledge can be put to a better use for the benefit of society,” it said.


Cong to spell out Jal Yudh strategy on March 2
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 25
Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP), has declared that the strategy of the Jal Yudh (crusade for canal water) would be spelt out at the state-level “Adhikar Rally” at Jhajjar on March 2.

He was talking at a press conference along with Congress legislator from Jatusana Rao Inderjit Singh at Kanina, 35 km from here, last evening.

Exphasising the urgency of the completion of the SYL canal, Mr Hooda and Rao Inderjit Singh said that they had mobilised the people of Haryana for this cause through a series of rallies at Ambala, Karnal, Kaithal, Hansi, Bhiwani, Nuh and several other places.

They announced that they would pressurise the Union Government for the expeditious implementation of the Supreme Court verdict in this regard.

Reiterating their demand of equitable distribution of available canal water in the state, they said that great injustice was being done to Rewari, Mahendragarh and Gurgaon districts and parts of Bhiwani and Jhajjar districts.

These districts had been getting only a meagre quantity of 700 cusecs per monsoon in sharp contrast to the 7,000 cusecs being given to areas of Sirsa, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar and Fatehabad districts.

The leaders declared that they would make all-out efforts to end this discriminatory distribution of canal water.

On the disbursement of development funds, they said that about Rs 300 crore had been spent on development works in the Rori constituency (Sirsa district) alone while almost all the assembly segments in south Haryana had been facing a shortage of funds to undertake development projects.


Plan to shift piggeries from Sonepat town
B. S. Malik

Sonepat, February 25
After launching special drives against encroachments in Sonepat town, the district administration and civic authorities have almost finalised a plan for shifting piggeries from the residential areas to a place outside the municipal limits.

As stray pigs have become a nuisance for the people of the town in many ways, there have been persistent demands to get rid of this menace.

Efforts were made by the administration earlier for shifting pigs and many a times stray pigs were picked up and dropped outside the town areas, but they came unstuck for want of proper planning and resentment among the pig owners. And the exercise was abandoned midway.

Now, according to the chairman of the Sonepat Municipal Council, Mr Satpal Goyal, a site to where piggeries could be shifted has already been approved in the adjacent Devru village. After holding discussions with the pig owners, the required infrastructure will be provided at the new site.

The District Town Planner has been asked to prepare site plans for shifting of the piggeries, he said.

A survey conducted by the municipal authorities revealed that there were over 10,000 pigs owned by 39 individuals in a number of localities of the town. These pigs, as alleged by the people, loiter in the town in search of feed. Many a times, the pigs have bitten children while trying to snatch eatables from the latter’s hands.

Though the municipal authorities are moving ahead with the plan to shift the piggeries, local residents are sceptical of its success.

They allege that the earlier attempt was abandoned after recovering licence fees from the identified pig owners.

After the initial opposition to the shifting plans, the pig owners seem to have given their consent.

Rajinder, the owner of a piggery, said: “We are ready to shift to the new site, but the administration should also complete the works at the earliest. The banks will not hesitate to advance loans for sheds etc at the new site.”


Mashelkar elected associate of US Academy of Engineering
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
Dr R.A. Mashelkar, Director-General, CSIR, has been elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering, USA, in recognition of his “outstanding engineering contributions and exceptional leadership and management of the Indian national laboratories”, as per the citation.

The election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Only 165 foreign associates from around 30 countries have been so honoured in the last 40 years so far. Only three Indian engineers have received this prestigious honour, late Dr Satish Dhawan, late Dr Jai Krishan and Dr R. Narsimha, a release said.

Parampara is celebrating March 9, 2003 as ‘Vaastu Day’ in association with the Institute of Vaastu and Joyful Living and All India Federation of Astrologer’s Societies (registered).

“Both these organisations are also engaged in spreading Indian knowledge of astrology and Vaastu through 75 branches in India and abroad.”

On the occasion, a souvenir ‘Parampara’ aptly named after the NGO is being released. Some of the legends and celebrities of these fields will share their experience and knowledge.

“Through this souvenir, we take an initiative to enlighten the masses about the purpose, benefits and science of Vaastu and astrology,” the release said.


Five get life term for dowry death
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 25
Five accused in a dowry death case were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Fast Track Judge, Mr B. S. Rawat. The accused are, Raj Singh, Shanti Devi, Jitender, Rakesh and Krishan of Kharkhoda town.

A case of dowry death had been registered against them in Kharkhoda police station on the complaint of the parents of Babita, wife of Rakesh, alleging that when Babita failed to meet their dowry demands, she was killed by them. Meanwhile, on the complaint of a woman, Reshma, a case of harassment and torture for dowry was registered against her husband, Saddiq and in-laws. Reshma had been married to Saddiq of Gannaur on September 1, 1999.

Erratic power supply

The residents of Bainyapur village expressed their resentment over erratic power and contaminated drinking water supplies. They lodged a complaint with the local MLA, Mr Devraj Dewan.

They complained that the power supply was hardly for 5 to 6 hours a day, which was insufficient and potable water supplied in the village was not being filtered despite several complaints to the authorities.

Mr Dewan assured the villagers that their grievances would be put up before the Chief Minister during his ‘Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar’ programme in Sonepat on March 3.

Two killed in accidents

Rohtak: Two youths were killed in different road accidents in the district during the past 24 hours. Umed Singh of Gumana village succumbed to his injuries when a tractor driver hit his motorcycle near Bhalaut village last evening. In another accident, Balbir of Asanda village died when a speeding car ran over him at Jhajjar chowk in Sampla town last evening. Separate cases under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC were registered in both the cases.

‘Pran Patishtha’ ceremony

Noida: Pran Pratistha ceremony will be held at the Brahmashree Saraswathy Devi Aadi Shakti Math in Arun Vihar, Sector 37 here.

The ceremony will be conducted under Maa Brahmashree Saraswati Devi's guidance by renowned acharya Brahmashree Pavaroor Sridharan Tantri from March 8 to March 14. "Pran Pratishtha of Devi Aadi Parashakti Sri Chakra is an extremely rare ceremony that comes once in a lifetime," the organisers say. It is believed that witnessing a Pran Pratishtha ceremony is equivalent to 10,000 visits to a temple.


A garden for meditation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
A spiritual garden with facilities for meditation and yoga is being developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the NCT of Delhi.

Union Minister of State for Urban Development Radhakrishnan on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that the garden, being developed over an area of approximately 200 acres at the cost of Rs 40 crore, is proposed to be completed in about two and a half years.

In a written reply, the minister said the park would include neighbourhood facilities like children’s park, senior citizen’s corner, fitness corner, etc.

He added that it would also have meditation area, yoga platform, discourse centres and nature trails besides an arboretum and ecological corridor.

As many as 24 persons have been arrested in connection with the busting of betting rackets after the start of the World Cup 2003. Union Minister of State for Home I. D. Swami said in a written reply that the Delhi Police busted seven betting rackets, arrested 24 persons and seized cash worth Rs 4,81,522.

During the last three years, 275 complaints were received, alleging that the Delhi Police constables were extorting money from the hawkers. Mr Swami said that the preliminary inquiry revealed prima facie evidence in support of the allegations in four cases only involving 16 police personnel. Departmental action depending upon the evidence was initiated or taken in all these cases.

However, none of the accused was dismissed from service, the minister said. Delhi Police have taken action against 12,918 autorickshaws and 83 taxis for over-charging and misbehaviour in 2002, Mr Swami informed the House.


SKP condemns violence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
The members of the Delhi Unit of Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat (SKP) have condemned the violence initiated allegedly by the paid workers of the SGPC and the AISSF against the unarmed workers of the SKP at the SGPC office on February 22.

The members have also urged the Punjab State Government to take action against the AISSF members and the SGPC workers who launched the attack.

They have criticised the Punjab Police for arresting the workers of the SKP instead of taking action against the SGPC and AISSF workers.

NCERT projects

The Assistant Director General of UNESCO, Sir Daniel John, met with the Director of NCERT, Prof. J S Rajput, here today.

Prof Rajput briefed Sir John about the activities of the NCERT and about the collaborative projects undertaken with the assistance of UNESCO.

He also spoke about the National Curriculum Framework for School Education 2000, and its emphasis on indigenous knowledge, culture-centred pedagogy and stress on universally shared values. Sir John also met the teacher educators currently receiving training in the NCERT.

The programme is being conducted by the NCERT and Commonwealth of Learning (COL).

TUs demonstration

The Delhi Committee of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) organised a rally today against the Central Government’s proposal to change various labour laws as per the recommendations of the Second Labour Commission.

Around 1,000 IFTU workers marched up to Parliament Street where the rally was converged into a meeting.

It was addressed by the Delhi State general secretary of the IFTU, Dr Vikas, along with other leaders of the Delhi Committee.


Cops arrested for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
The Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government has arrested a sub-inspector, Mange Ram, and a constable, Kirpal Singh, for allegedly demanding and accepting Rs 5,000 from a complainant for disposing of his case pending in police station, Mukherjee Nagar.

The victim Kamaljeet Singh reported to the branch that cops had demanded Rs 10,000 as illegal gratification for disposing of his case pending in the police station. When the complainant reportedly expressed his inability to pay the amount, the police officials agreed to accept Rs 5,000 and a part of the amount was to be paid yesterday. A trap was laid and the police officials were arrested, a press release said.

Train robbers held

The Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers who used to rob innocent passengers at platforms and in running trains with the arrest of four persons. All belong to Bihar.

The suspects were arrested from New Delhi Railway Station after they had offered biscuit laced with poison to a passenger who was waiting for a train. The suspects were identified as Mohammad Hafiz, Mohammad Naushad, Mohammad Sabir and Mohammad Nawab, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) R. S. Ghumman said.

The police recovered 112 tablets of poison, which they offered to the victims after mixing it in cold drink, tea and cream biscuits. The modus operandi of the suspects is to choose their target at platforms or in running trains, be friendly with their victim and then offer him the eats. As he becomes unconscious, the suspects would decamp with his luggage.

According to the report, the suspects today offered biscuit to a passenger at railway station after befriending him. The passenger found an unusual taste and threw the biscuit, but a few minutes later, the poison started affecting him and he cried for help. When the suspects tried to escape, the victim caught one of them. Thereafter, other passengers and the railway police came into action and nabbed the suspects.

Student robbed

The South-West district police arrested a robber, Surrender Kumar, who had allegedly robbed a student of the Institute of Hotel Management, Anurag Mishra, yesterday of his mobile phone near the institute. 


Operation Alert: Many lawbreakers in police net
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 25
The ongoing ‘Operation Alert’ campaign launched by the district police, has yielded good results.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told the mediapersons here today that the Kharkhauda police captured two proclaimed offenders, namely Surinder, alias Gappe, of Kharkhauda town and Mukesh, alias Thakur, of Kharkhauda town. Both the culprits were involved in a case of assault and were declared proclaimed offenders by the judicial courts.

He also disclosed that the CIA staff also arrested Anil, alias Kala, of Gumar village for allegedly carrying 80 grams contraband opium. A case under the Opium Act was registered against him.

The SP said that the special police staff also arrested two youths, Megh Nath, alias Raju, of Mahavir Colony, Panipat and Satyava, alias Bitto, of Bhatgaon village and recovered two countrymade pistols and two live cartridges from their possession. They were charged under the Indian Arms Act, he added.

He revealed that the police arrested three persons, Chanderpal, alias Dhaula, a Harijan of Makrauli village, Satyapal, alias Satu, of Dhaturi village and Naresh Kumar of Salimpur Trauli village and seized 41 bottles of country liquor from their possession.

He said that cases under the Excise Act were registered against them.

According to the SP, the ‘Operation Alert’ would continue till February 28.

During the campaign, night patrolling has been intensified and ‘nakabandis’ are being organised daily at night in vulnerable points in the urban and rural areas of the district.


VAT an added burden on small shopkeepers: Vyapar Mandal
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, February 25
The president of Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal, Mr Bajran Das Garg, has said that the new VAT system to be implemented by the Centre and the Haryana Government from April 1 is against the interest of the traders and would boost corruption, not business.

Under the new system, tax would be levied again and again on the same item, Mr Bajran Das said.

In a press statement issued by its organising secretary, Mr Sanjay Sethi, the mandal said that the proposed two slabs of 10 per cent and 12.5 per cent are higher than what is being presently levied. It should be reduced to three slabs of 2 per cent, 4 per cent and 6 per cent.

The new system shall involve more bureaucratic work and every small shopkeeper shall have to collect and deposit the tax, the way it is done by the industries.

It further said that under the proposed system, the shopkeepers would have to deduct the tax amount paid on the purchase from the tax collected on sale and deposit this balance amount to the authorities.

This way, the small traders wouldn’t be able to keep track of thousands of items and transactions and computation of tax liability on them.

The mandal added that this would give an opportunity to corrupt officials to pocket bribe by finding faults in traders and harassing them for the not depositing tax as per the various sections. These small shopkeepers cannot afford computers and computer operators to keep track of these transactions.

The policy is the result of the conspiracy of such corrupt officials who have imported the VAT system from America where there are no uneducated small shopkeepers and have only big departmental stores with computerised systems.

Mr Garg and Mr Sanjay Sethi said that the mandal is not against the VAT system; it may be implemented with suitable amendments to reduce the tax burden and simplifying the tax collection system.

They suggested that the government should introduce the earlier system of tax collection at one point so that the small traders have the ease of buying and selling tax-paid goods and they are spared from the complex computing of tax liability. If such positive amendments are made in the VAT system, tax collection shall increase.

The government should involve trade representatives while implementing changes in the system, it said.

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