Thursday, February 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


4 die as truck ploughs through crowd
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
Four persons were killed and a Delhi Police constable was seriously injured when a truck reportedly ploughed through a crowd waiting at a bus stand in front of Hanuman Mandir on Ring Road in the Kotwali area late last night.

The police said that the accident occurred when the truck tried to overtake another truck on the usually crowded road and collided with a car, a TSR and a jeep before ploughing through the crowd. The driver of one of the trucks (DL-1GA-5772), Neeraj, has been arrested while the driver of the other truck (HR-29G-3205) is absconding. The vehicles have been seized, the police said.

The deceased were identified as Rakesh (40), Varun Sharma (24), Vaharu Singh (35) and Rajbir (55). All of them died on the spot. Delhi Police constable Jaswant Singh fractured his backbone and has been hospitalised. The constable was on night duty at the bus stand as several cases of robbery had been reported in the area.

The accident occurred around midnight. There were about two dozen persons waiting at the stop, which is right opposite Hanuman Mandir. Suddenly, the trucks came careening down the road at great speed. Before the people had time to react, the truck had already taken its toll.

There was total confusion as people screamed for help and the traffic on the busy Ring Road came to a halt. Many devotees from the temple also rushed to the aid of the victims.

Onlookers say that the truck drivers abandoned their vehicles and ran, but they were chased by the crowd. While the crowd managed to nab Neeraj, the other driver managed to escape in the confusion. The police said that he had been identified and efforts were being made to trace him. Cases of causing death by rash and negligent driving have been registered against both of them

The police said that the occupants of the TSR, the jeep and a private car, which were also hit by the truck, escaped with minor bruises. The vehicles suffered some damage.

Traffic cops pat themselves on the back

New Delhi: The Delhi Traffic Police took action against 210 bus owners for stopping at places other than designated stops, 122 for overtaking, 32 for not plying in the bus lane and 26 for over-speeding during the ongoing special drive against city transport buses.

In compliance with the 1997 order of the apex court on the issue and to improve the deteriorating traffic situation in the Capital, the traffic police launched a special drive on February 13.

Cautioning bus owners of stern action if the court’s directions and other traffic bylaws were not complied with, sources said that the drive would be intensified in the coming days.

The Supreme Court in M. C. Mehta case in 1997 had directed heavy traffic vehicles, medium traffic vehicles and light traffic vehicles plying in the NCT of Delhi to move on the specially designated bus lanes, install speed governors, ply within speed limits, not to overtake any other four-wheeled motorised vehicle and stop at their designated bus stops only.


Woman booked for sending 10 on foreign jaunt
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 26
The Union Labour Ministry has filed an FIR against a woman living here and her Delhi-based firm for illegally sending 10 job seekers to Sudan. The persons were furnished with illegal documents.

The firm had clandestinely facilitated their trip abroad on the promise of securing them employment. The fraud came to light when the Sudanese Government sought information from the Indian Embassy about the job seekers. The woman is said to be absconding ever since she got the wind of the government inquiry.

According to SP City Vijay Bhushan, 35-year Asha Gupta lived in House No H-61, Sector 41, Noida. She was running a firm in the Moolchand area of Delhi, which facilitated job seekers’ visits abroad. She used to personally interview applicants desirous of going abroad. The SP City disclosed that the Union Ministry of Labour had never issued any authority letter to Ms Gupta; yet she had sponsored the visit of 10 unemployed persons to the Agricultural Institute of Animal Science in Khartoum (Sudan). She had allegedly procured visas from the Sudanese Embassy in New Delhi for these 10 persons on the basis of a forged letter of the ministry.

When the job seekers reported at the institute in Khartoum, the latter informed them that it had no vacancies; the authorities and the Sudanese Government were also informed. The matter was eventually referred to the Sudanese Embassy in New Delhi which, in turn, informed the Union Ministry of Labour. The ministry learnt that Asha Gupta had illegally sent the persons to Sudan and was ready to send another batch of 30 persons. The ministry informed the Noida police who have now filed a case against her under Sections 14 and 25 of the Application Act of 1983.

The Sector 39 police subsequently found that Asha was not residing at her given address, House No 62; she was actually living in H-61 in Sector 41. The police also learnt that Asha seldom came to Noida and stayed in Delhi mostly.

The Noida police are investigating how many job seekers have been sponsored by her in the past. They will hand over the matter to the Delhi Police after conducting a complete investigation into the property owned by her in Noida.

Impersonator held

A criminal masquerading as an advocate and a Shiv Sena activist has been arrested by the Bulandshahr police. The police said that Vinode Kumar used to browbeat people, even police, passing himself for a Shiv Sena worker or an advocate, depending on the circumstances. He used to commit crimes using fake identity cards. He was wanted in several cases of rape, abduction, vehicle theft and murder and had been imprisoned a number of times.

It was a chance catch. A suspicious looking character on a motorcycle was stopped by the police while carrying out a routine check on the Dibai-Ahmedgarh road on Monday night. He identified himself as Vinode Kumar of Etah district, which falls under Unchagarh police station. A search yielded a country-made revolver and two identity cards with his photograph. One identity card was of the Bulandshahr Bar Association while the other was of the Shiv Sena, Bulandshahr unit.


Traders to down shutters against VAT
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
The trading community is up in arms against the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT). To register their protest, the traders owing allegiance to the Confederation of All India Traders would down their shutters on the eve of presentation of the Union Budget 2003-2004 by Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh.

General secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders Praveen Khandelwal claimed that VAT, if implemented, would hit the small traders and, therefore, the government should defer its implementation.

“The entire business activity in the Capital will come to a standstill on February 27, when traders down their shutters on the eve of the General Budget to protest the implementation of the VAT regime,” he said.

The traders have been agitating against the VAT Act for the past two days. More than 30 leading trade bodies in the Walled City burnt the effigy of VAT. The unanimous resolution passed by the Confederation of All India Traders said that the VAT regime was unbalanced and impractical and would not only jeopardise the business activities in the Capital but would also result in steep increase in the prices of commodities, adversely affecting consumers.

Several states, including the NCT of Delhi, have expressed concern over the impact the VAT will have on trade. The Government of NCT of Delhi is among the states that have been called for further discussions on the VAT regime to ascertain the likely fallout of such a move on trade and industry.


Traffic grinds to a halt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
Traffic in the Capital was disrupted today for several hours as thousands of activists of the United Forum of Bank Unions staged a rally in support of their demands.

The activists marched from Ramlila Grounds towards Parliament. As a result, the traffic on the busy Vikas Marg, ITO, Mathura Road, Connaught Place and Delhi Gate remained choked for hours. Even later, the vehicles were found moving at a snail’s pace, putting the commuters to much hardship. Many passengers, who had to reach railway stations, bus stops and airports, faced considerable inconvenience.

Government employees and workers could not reach their offices on time. Vehicles on Vikas Marg proceeding towards ITO were diverted to the Nizammudin bridge and many motorists and public buses were seen caught in the maze. The diversions had a cascading affect on roads in South Delhi.

Traffic police constables and officials were out in full strength on the roads to control the traffic, but to no avail.

Exasperated policemen were seen arguing with motorists who were trying to extricate themselves from the traffic snarls, disregarding all rules and regulations. Some of the school buses were also caught in the traffic jams, causing much anxiety among the parents waiting for their wards.


Landlords on leash, told to furnish details about tenants
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 26
The Deputy Commissioner has invoked Section 144 of the IPC and directed all house owners in the district to refrain from letting out their accommodation to any person whose name and permanent home address had not been intimated to the nearest police station and verified by it. The order will remain in force till April 22.

The move is reported to be the fallout of the recent abduction drama that ended in the freeing of the 60-year-old wife of a prominent jeweller of Jaipur from a house in Sector 19 here. The operation was launched jointly by the Delhi Police Crime Branch, Rajasthan Police and intelligence agencies.

Interestingly, the Haryana Police and its intelligence network were not aware of the operation and they were not taken into confidence at the time of the raid on Sunday morning. This had created quite an embarrassing situation for the district authorities and the police officials.

The order states that it had come to the notice of the authorities that some tenants had been involved in some cases of looting, abduction and murder. Often, the victims were house owners or their family members. It is mentioned that the Director-General of Police, Haryana, had intimated on December 27, 2001 that after the attack on Parliament, it was essential that intelligence sources should be geared up and all houses owners should inform the local police about existing and new tenants.

While the authorities have held out the threat of prosecution, the chance of such an order yielding results is negligible. The police had issued similar directions about a year ago but the response had been poor, say sources. Observers feel that certain factors undermine such a drive, especially non-co-operation of the residents. Also, it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of tenants in the district. It is also feared that policemen may start harassing house owners, points out Raj Kumar Gaur, general secretary of the Haryana Janata Dal. Again, a tenant may give wrong address, if he or she has a dubious background.

Usually, landlords try to extract maximum information from the tenant. However, often landlords, especially those who stay outstation, depend on property dealers or estate agents to find them tenants.

Even in the recent abduction drama in Sector 19, the landlord was not residing in the house in question. It was, therefore, desirable that district authorities take the help of Resident Welfare Associations on the issue and refrain from taking steps which could lead to harassment of bona fide residents.


Old woman rescued from couple’s clutches
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 26
A 70-year-old woman, Mrs Ram Kali, was freed from the clutches of her abductors here last evening, thanks to the prompt action taken by the police. A young housewife, Neeta, and her second husband Balraj were arrested in this connection and a case of alleged abduction has been registered against them. A hunt is on to apprehend the other suspects involved in the case.

It is stated that Neeta was the wife of Rajesh, younger son of Mrs Ram Kali, who died about five years ago. Neeta got married to Balraj later and her son Pankaj and daughter Jyoti were living with her mother-in-law Ram Kali in Burari village. Later, Mrs Ram Kali along with her grandson and granddaughter left Burari and started living in Kalyan Nagar area of this city.

Mrs Ram Kali and the two kids were returning to their house yesterday when a while colour Maruti car stopped beside them abruptly. Its occupants dragged her into the car and fled. The children raised an alarm and a large number of people assembled there and informed the police about the incident.

The police immediately sealed the border with Delhi and UP and organised a `nakabandi’. After a long search, the police succeeded in arresting the couple and freeing the old woman.


SWA asserts Sikh woman’s right to undertake seva
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
The Sikh Women’s Association (SWA) today urged the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to immediately facilitate gender equality, so that Sikh women may undertake all types of seva at Sri Darbar Sahib Ji, Amritsar, and at all other gurdwaras.

A statement issued by the association here today said that Sikh women want their religious leaders to become Gursikhs by setting aside their material ambitions, which are endangering Sikh tenets. The association demands that Sikh leaders rise above party politics and petty self-interest to restore Sikh women’s rights according to the Sikh tenets, a spokesperson said. “In every civilisation, it is the woman who is the engine of progress. Sikh women were granted equal rights by the Gurus and it is the duty of every Gursikh to protect those rights,” a written statement said.

Sikh women were accorded equality by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 15th century, much before the women in the West were bestowed with adult suffrage, the spokesperson said.

The SWA will mobilise a group of Sikh women from Delhi to undertake seva at Harmandar Sahib Ji shortly. The SWA looks forward to working with other Sikh women organisations to ensure the continuity of the seva undertaken by women at Harmandar Sahib Ji.

In response to the issues highlighted by an incident on February 13 this year, when two UK-based Sikh women, Mejindarpal Kaur and Lakhbir Kaur, were refused their right to undertake seva at Harmandar Sahib Ji, the SWA will organise an international Sikh women’s conference later this year. The conference will identify the causes for the weakening of Sikh women’s rights and provide solutions for awakening the women about their rights and role in the Sikh society. The SWA will participate in a seminar being organised by Voices for Freedom in Amritsar on March 2.

Woman set afire

The Delhi Police arrested Raj Kumar and his friend Sunil, East district general secretary of the Congress, for allegedly setting ablaze a woman today. The victim, Geeta, received 45 per cent burns and she was admitted to LNJP Hospital where doctors on duty stated that she was in a serious condition. They took this extreme step to take revenge, the police said. TNS


NCR given the go-by in Railway Budget: PHDCCI
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 26
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and the Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) reacted sharply against the Railway Budget tabled in Parliament today.

While the PHDCCI president, Mr P.K. Jain, said that the Railway Budget fell short of the expectations of the industry, the former GCCI president and now an office-bearer of PHDCCI, Mr Sunil Sabarwal, said that the National Capital Region (NCR) has been neglected.

Mr Jain, who was here in connection with a public function, said that the budget focuses only on short-term issues. With the cargo business of the Railways constantly dipping, and the focus shifting to the road transportation, the budget shows little in terms of strategic planning to make the organisation commercially viable.

The issues like passenger’s safety and security, civic amenities, etc, have been touched, but only in a perfunctory manner.

Mr Jain was critical of the proposal to create new jobs in the D-category and making more recruitment in the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in the name of security. Just when there is a trend of downsizing the world over, the Railway ministry was thinking of making more appointments. The best would have been to make things moving with the available human resources.

The PHDCCI has also criticised the Budget for continuing with the trend of subsidies in matters of structuring the fares.

Mr Sunil Sabarwal regretted that the Budget has shown no sensitivity for transportation of cargo goods from Delhi to the satellite towns like Gurgaon, Noida, etc. Delhi is the main junction and the command station to which the industrial units in the satellite towns are attached to for its lifelines. For example, if one was to bring cargo goods from Delhi to Gurgaon, there is virtually no railway facilities. The goods imported from abroad first reaches Delhi.

The Railway services for passengers traffic could take away a lot of the congestion on the national highway, he added.


MCD ‘helpless’ to check stray cattle
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
A Delhi court today directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi government to employ sufficient staff to deal with the stray cattle and locate their owners. The stray animals in the city distract the traffic besides polluting the environment.

The direction came after the MCD today expressed its helplessness in clearing the city’s roads of stray animals without police help before the High Court which took exception to the ‘shifting’ of responsibility by the authorities in this matter.

“Catching of stray cattle directly affects and clashes with the interest of some people who were earlier making money out of this business and resentment from this section is going to be at every place,” said the MCD in an affidavit placed before a Bench comprising Justice B A Khan and Justice R S Sodhi.

“Don’t go around dodging and shift the responsibility,” the court told the MCD counsel and directed the Delhi Government, the city police and the corporation to file an affidavit on the coordinated action taken by them to make the city clear of the menace of stray cattle.

The corporation pleaded to the court to issue a direction to the police to provide help to the MCD’s catching squads when they face resentment from people. However, the court, which on December 16 last year, had issued directions to clear the city roads and streets of stray animals by the end of last month, was not satisfied with the MCD reply.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by an NGO, Common Cause, which said that about 36,000 stray animals were roaming on the city roads and the authorities had failed to take action against their owners.

Common Cause counsel Meera Bhatia said the MCD’s affidavit reflected its ‘total helplessness’ in implementing the court directive. The Common Cause counsel said if the authorities were finding it difficult to catch the stray cattle, they should be directed to employ private parties for the job.

Concerned over the obstacles caused by the cattle to traffic besides polluting the city, the Delhi court on December 16 had ordered imposition of Rs 1,000 as fine for each animal let off free by their owners. While setting up a committee under the chairmanship of the MCD Commissioner for coordinating the action with regard to catching the animals, the court had said that each animal should be tagged with a number to identify their owners.

It had also directed the authorities concerned to launch prosecution against the owners under Section 289 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they were found letting their cattle free on the city roads. The section provides a minimum jail term of six months and maximum of one year and fine to the owner of an animal if he fails to guard it from causing ‘probable’ danger to the human life.


Noida, Ghaziabad may get Ganga water from June
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 26
Noida and Ghaziabad may start getting Ganga water by June this year, according to Noida administration sources. This optimism was expressed during an important meeting of the Rs 122 crore Ganga water project held here on February 22 in the Noida administration office. The progress made by the project was reviewed by all participating officers representing the Noida administration, the Ghaziabad Development Authority and the UP Housing Development Council. All experts present at the meeting had expressed their satisfaction at the progress of the project and expected Noida, Ghaziabad and areas of the UP Housing Development Council to start receiving the Ganga water by coming June.

Dr Om Prakash, CEO, Noida, had called the officers concerned of the UP Jal Nigam and the Irrigation Department for a meeting to review the progress.

The GDA has so far contributed only Rs 1 crore out of Rs 10 crore it had to contribute for this project, which is delaying the project, it is understood.

Still, there was a feeling that if there are no further hurdles in the way, the project may be completed by May-end this year. By the beginning of June Noidaites might start getting Ganga water.

Noida has completed its infrastructure for the distribution of water in the town. The distribution channels have been put in place. Noida, Ghaziabad and the UP Housing Development Council will get 50 cusecs Ganga water with Noida getting 10 cusecs and GDA and the Housing Development Council getting 15 cusecs each. The area is being connected with Murad Nagar through a link pipeline.

A water treatment plant has been set up near Pratap Vihar to control and monitor the water supply to these three areas.

In Noida the Ganga water will be stored in an underground reservoir of 25,000 kilolitre capacity.

From here it will be linked with five zonal reservoirs being readied in different parts of Noida. Each of these storage tanks will have a capacity of 5,000 kilolitre each.

From here, the Ganga water will be supplied to all sectors through pipe network from the underground reservoirs. In all, 32 underground water reservoirs are being constructed in Noida, it is understood.


Civic body to conduct house survey for tax
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 26
Following the state government’s directive to implement the new changes in the assessment of house tax, the Municipal Council, Sonepat, has decided to start a survey of houses within its municipal limits immediately and have it completed by March 15.

According to the Executive Officer of the council, Mr S. S. Ahlawat, under the new policy of the government in this regard the house tax assessment will be on the basis of the District collector’s rates and it will be conducted every year. The assessment will be done by private parties on contract.

The council has set a target to recover over Rs 1.90 crore as house tax during the current financial year. This was on the basis of the old assessment rates fixed last year, he disclosed, adding that most of the 8,868 objections raised by house owners were amicably removed.

He hoped the new assessment would not only prove to be satisfying to the house owners but also increase the tax amount and its recovery.

It is pointed out that after last year’s survey, which was valid for five years, objections were raised by a number of residents over the assessment. A number of municipal councillors had also opposed the assessment procedure and demanded a re-survey on the basis of the District collector’s land rates. But then this demand was rejected by the Deputy Commissioner.

It is also worth mentioning after the abolition of octroi by the government about three years back almost all civic bodies in the state are starved of funds. It has become very difficult for them to pay the salaries of the staff, let aside think of taking up development work.

The authorities then thought of concentrating on the recovery of house taxes to supplement income and new methods of assessment were devised. However, this was opposed by the people, who alleged discrimination in assessment by the civic staff. Finally, the government had to come out with a new method for assessment on the basis of land value as per the Collector’s rates.


Centres that can detoxify drug addicts and rehabilitate their families 
Jeevna Bhinder

New Delhi, February 26
Rehabilitating drug addicts is a highly specialised and multi-pronged effort. Not only detoxifying the addicts, but helping them and their family members cope with the after-effects, both physical and psychological, is also part of that effort. This is especially difficult in Delhi considering that the number of addicts has been increasing while the centres that can address the problem in its totality are too few.

The Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre (DATRC) is one of them. The Government of NCT of Delhi has recognised it as the nodal centre for tackling drug abuse and alcoholism. This centre provides outpatient services twice a week. It also has a 20-bed inpatient treatment facility. There has been 32 per cent increase in the number of outpatient coming to the DATRC.

The centre is at present engaged in some research activities to uproot the problem from the society. A comparison of detoxification strategies among inpatients using buprenorphine tablets and naltrexone-clonidine combination is being conducted. The DATRC is also active in creating awareness among the people about drug abuse.

Navjyoti, a non-government organisation operating from Sarai Rohilla police station, undertakes welfare activities in this field and is engaged in drug de-addiction, education of slum, street and working children and women empowerment. Conceived by Kiran Bedi, its activities include a well-developed drug treatment-cum-rehabilitation programme in Tihar Jail in Delhi. Data about 250 addicts were collected after interviewing them and they were admitted to the de-addiction centres of Navjyoti in North and North-West Delhi.

The problem of drug addiction is not only confined to the individual but it also affects the family members of the addict who go through emotionally shattering experiences. This individual behavioural problem leads to wastage of valuable lives. Navjyoti has accepted this bitter reality. Activists of the group meet the family members of the addicts twice a week to share their problems and aspirations.



Delhi In parliament
No person eligible to be enumerated as ST
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
No person is eligible to be enumerated as Scheduled Tribe in the NCT of Delhi.

Union Minister of State of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Harin Pathak on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the Presidential Order does not contain any list of the Scheduled Tribes in respect of NCT of Delhi.

The minister clarified that the procedure to enumerate the population of Scheduled Tribes, followed at the Census of India 2001 in the NCT of Delhi, was the same as followed at the earlier Censuses and is in accordance with the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950.

Mr Pathak, meanwhile, told the Lok Sabha that Hari Krishna Agarwal, who contested the Delhi Police version on Ansal Plaza shoot-out some months ago, is alleged to have received mysterious calls from Dubai. An inquiry has been instituted.

Mr Agarwal has filed a complaint with the police regarding the calls, Mr Pathak said in a written reply. He said an inquiry had been instituted in the matter and the calls were found to have been made from Saudi Arabia.

Mr Agarwal, a self-proclaimed eyewitness, had hit the headlines when he alleged that police had carried out a “fake encounter” at Ansal Plaza shopping mall on November 3, killing two “unarmed” persons.

Police had maintained that the two were heavily armed terrorists of Lashker-e-Taiba outfit who had come to the shopping mall to carry out indiscriminate massacre of Divali-eve shoppers.


IFTU stages protest march against ‘anti-labour’ policies
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, February 26
The district unit of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) staged a protest march in the town against the ‘anti-labour’ policies of the central and state governments and handed over a memorandum of their demands, addressed to the President of India, to Deputy Commissioner M. R. Anand here today.

Their demands included cancellation of the report of the second Labour Commission, withdrawal of the new economic policies, abandoning of World Trade Organisation, cessation of privatisation and auctioning of public sector industries, implementation of labour laws and abolition of contract system and opposition to the threatened American attack on Iraq.

Addressing the participants of the protest march, district president of the IFTU Dayanand Bhapra alleged that the central government, under pressure from the American Government, was going to abolish all those labour rights, which were obtained after a great struggle.

In the unorganised sectors, crores of labourers were living the lives of slaves as the labour laws had not been enforced, he said and remarked that after the implementation of the reports of the second Labour Commission, lock-out, retrenchment and contract system would automatically get legal approval.

Vice-president of the IFTU district unit Jai Narain Hathwala alleged that all the parliamentary parties including the Congress, the BJP, the CPM and the INLD were anti-labour and had been directly or indirectly supporting the privatisation process.

State coordinator of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha P. P. Kapoor criticised the Haryana Labour Department for being the protector of the capitalists. He said that labour laws were not being enforced in any of the industries in the state. He charged the central and state governments with selling public sector units at very low prices to multinational companies. All those people inciting communal violence in the name of mandir and masjid were the enemies of farmers and labourers.

Havaldar robbed

In a daring incident of loot, a havaldar of the city police station, Prem Singh, was waylaid by three armed gangsters near a railway underbridge near Ghabha Colony today around 10 am and was deprived of his motorcycle at pistol-point.

However, one of the gangsters was overpowered by the Havaldar and other persons who had reached on the spot at the time of the incident. The two others sped away on the motorcycle.

According to a report, Prem Singh was coming to the police station from his residence in New Ghabha Colony when three gangsters stopped him near the underbridge and attacked him with country-made pistols. He was hit on the head with the butt of a rifle. He has been admitted in the civil hospital with head injuries.


53 chaupals to be rebuilt in urbanised villages
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia today said 53 chaupals would be renovated or reconstructed at a cost of Rs 4.18 crore in various urbanised villages in the NCT of Delhi.

The expenditure of 36 chaupals will be met out of the funds of the Department of Urban Development of Government of NCT of Delhi and of 17 chaupals from the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme of Dr Karan Singh and Ms Ambika Soni, Members of Parliament (Rajya Sabha).

The minister said this after reviewing the construction work of these chaupals. Senior officials of the Department of Urban Development, Irrigation and Flood Control Department of Government of NCT of Delhi and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

The minister said the construction of 22 chaupals had already been completed. Eighteen chaupals will be ready by the end of March and the construction work of another 13 chaupals will be completed by the end of June this year.

The minister directed the officers of MCDE to immediately release funds for the construction of chaupals in Khizrabad, Taimur Pur, Sarai Julana, Rajpura and Bhadola urbanised villages. Similarly, instructions were given to the officers of Department of Urban Development to find out the land status of the chaupal sites at Sarai Pipalthala, Mubarakbad and Sangam park so that the construction of these could also be started shortly.

The minister informed that the scheme for renovation and reconstruction of chaupals in urbanised villages was started by the Congress during 2001-2002. An expenditure of Rs 42 lakh had already been incurred during the last year and Rs 2.41 crore in the current financial year so far under this scheme.


Arms licences much in demand in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 26
More and more people are reported to be seeking arms licences here and elsewhere in the district in view of the deteriorating law and order situation and increasing activities of criminals and anti-social elements.

According to a report, those who have sought licences include several women belonging to wealthy families. It is reported that the number of arms licence holders was 470 in 1993 and now it has increased to 2,991 in the district. The process of giving arms licences started in 1990 in this district. Women applied for licences in 1996 for the first time in the district.

Mrs Savitri Devi, a resident of Ganaur town, became the first licence holder of arms. Mrs Murti Devi, a resident of Mehndipur village, got an arms licence thereafter. The fad for seeking an arms licence caught on.

Official sources have revealed Ms Sujata Dahiya of Nahri village, Ms Savitri, Ms Suman Lata and Ms Saroj Kumari of Sonepat, Ms Rajbala of Bidhal village, Ms Sumedha Katarya, Managing Director of the Sonepat cooperative sugar mills, and Ms Nirmala Dembla, wife of Dr Dembla, had got arms licences in the district.

These women said they had got arms licences for their safety alone despite the fact that they had not received any threat from any quarter.


Haryana PFA chief honoured
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, February 26
The Chairman of People for Animals, Haryana, Mr Naresh Kadyan, was honoured with the merit certificate for his services in checking cruelty to animals by the former President, Mr K. R. Narayanan, recently.

The award has been constituted by Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation. He was awarded the certificate for his role “in bringing to light violations by major circus companies on exhibition and training of animals to the Union Ministry”.

Speaking to NCR Tribune, he said there should be a complete ban on cow slaughter and illegal smuggling of cows from one state to another. He has made a suggestion to the central government for amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, because the punishment stipulated in each section of the Act is very nominal. The PCA Act should be completely cognisable. It is partly cognisable now.

Mr Kadyan helped the administration seize 29 lions and one bear from a Russian circus, four tigers from Asiad circus, four lions, two pups and one bear from Amar circus. He was instrumental in the recovery of four black bucks from farmhouses.


Workers not paid four months’ salary
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 26
At least 200 workers of a manufacturing unit located on Mathura Road near Sector 6 here, have asked the district authorities to get their four months’ salary and bonus released from the management.

The workers, who came up with their complaint at the open durbar held by the Deputy Commissioner here yesterday, alleged their salary and other benefits, including

bonus, had been withheld by the factory management without any reason. They said their wages from October 2002 to January this year were pending and as a result they were on the verge of starvation.

The Deputy Commissioner has directed the Deputy Labour Commissioner to take immediate action. The durbar received several complaints, which included some on the failure of the HUDA authorities to provide proper sewerage connection to the residents of Sector 55 here, illegal occupation of public land by certain influential persons in various parts and tardy development work.


Rs 2.4 lakh fine paid for evading tax on rifles

Ghaziabad: The Trade Tax Department has recovered Rs 2.40 lakh as penalty from a person who was transporting 15 rifles from Sunam in Punjab to Kanpur via Ghaziabad in an Indica car. When the car went past the TP Nagar check-post without stopping for a check the Joint Commissioner of the investigation wing of the department, Mr A. K. Gupta, asked the police to chase it. The police were able to overtake the car. On conducting a check 15 rifles were recovered from the car. Bills and other documents were in place with the consignment but Form-31 was blank. The rifles were handed over to the Sahibabad police. The Trade Tax Department put the value of the rifles at Rs 6 lakh for which a trade tax evasion penalty of Rs 2.40 lakh was imposed. After the penalty was deposited, the rifles were ordered to be released. OC


Railway Budget ‘anti-Haryana’
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 26
The president of the Janata Dal unit of Haryana, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, said that the Union Railway budget presented in Parliament today had failed to offer anything to the state.

In a statement here today, Mr Vidrohi alleged that it was ‘anti-Haryana’, as no new scheme or train had been announced for the state.

He said that the Railway Minister had ignored the proposal moved earlier to provide a new railway line between Rohtak and Rewari.

Mr Vidrohi said the demand for making the metre gauge line between Rewari and Narnaul and between Rewari and Bikaner had not been taken either in the budget.

He said that the Rail Minister should have honoured the promise made by him during his visit to Rewari, a few months ago.

Three killed

Three persons, including an employee of the ‘Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) lost their lives in separate incidents in the town in past 24 hours.

Dharampal, a foreman with DHBVN office in Sector-28 here was found killed in a road mishap near Chandawali village this morning. He was on the way to his house in Dayalpur village on a scooter last night. He was crushed by an unidentified vehicle.

In another incident, one Vinod of Nangla Enclave committed suicide by hanging himself. In third case, Raju of Mujesar village died under mysterious circumstances.

One dies in tempo-truck collision

Jhajjar: One person was killed and two were injured seriously in a road accident involving a tempo and a truck near Swastic pipes factory on the National Highway No 10 here today.

According to information, tempo loaded with bottles of mineral water was going towards Delhi from Iceburg food factory near Rohad village. It collided with a truck coming from opposite direction. The driver of tempo Rattan Singh of Dawla village died in the accident while two others Basant and Suresh were injured and hospitalised.

Charas seized

The CIA police of the district raided a house in Gocchi village and recovered around 2.5 kg charas from there. The owner of house, Rishal and his son Raju have been arrested under NDPS acts. OC

Man electrocuted

Bhiwani: One person was electrocuted at Mittathal village last night. According to a report, the deceased, identified as Ramphal, was rushed to the civil hospital where the doctors declared him as brought dead.

Stabbed to death

Two persons have been charged with stabbing a man to death. Police sources said that Uday Singh and Mahender of Kohad village attacked Mahavir, son of Gobind, with knives. The assailants fled after injuring Mahavir seriously. He was admitted to a hospital but he did not survive. The police have registered a case under Sections 302 and 24 of the Indian Penal Code. No arrest has been made.

Sarpanch booked

The sarpanch of Kalali village in Siwani area has been charged with selling the grain meant for the “Kam ke badle anaj’ scheme in the open market. The Block Development Officer has reported the matter to the police that the sarpanch, Pratap Singh, had misused the scheme and sold 78 bags of wheat in the open market instead of distributing the same to the deserving persons.

The police have registered a case under Section 409 of the IPC against the sarpanch. He has not been arrested so far. OC


Middle, high schools to be upgraded in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 26
The Directorate of Education has ordered the upgradation of 75 middle schools to high schools and 106 high schools to senior secondary schools with effect from May 1 on the recommendations of the Government of Haryana.

According to a report, the middle schools upgraded to the high schools in Sonepat district are situated at Rasoi, Prahladpur Kiroli, Kanwali, Halalpur, and Garhi Sisana villages whereas the government high schools, upgraded to the senior secondary schools, are situated at Kundli, Nangal Kalan (girls), Rohat, Anwali, Gohana Mandi (girls), Kakroi, Jahari (girls), Badhana, Rindhana, Gumar and Akbarpur Barota villages. Other schools are situated in the districts of Panipat, Gurgaon, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, Hisar, Jind, Narnaul and Faridabad.

Crop damaged

Standing sugarcane crop in about half an acre field was damaged in Jahri village on Tuesday due to short circuit in electricity supply lines.

However, the fire was brought under control as the fire tenders from Sonepat reached the spot immediately. The losses are estimated around Rs 15,000.

Bail to gangsters

Two gangsters, Yudhvir and Shilu, were released on bail by the Fast Track Court’s judge, B S Rawat for want of evidence.

A case under Sections 307 and 506 of the IPC and Arms Act had been registered against them on October 18, 2001 on the complaint of one Lal Chand of Garhi Ghasita village.

Unauthorised colonies

The Haryana government has directed the Sonepat Municipal Council to send the relevant records of 69 unauthorised residential colonies of Sonepat city by February 28.

According to official sources, this step has been taken to consider the case of regularising these colonies in view of the persistent demand of the people. The colonies are likely to be regularised after the completion of screening process.

One killed

A youth Rajesh (22) was killed on the spot when a tractor on which he was travelling, overturned near Patla village about 20 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the victim belonged to Bahalgarh village. He was returning home after work in the fields. The police have sent the body for a post-mortem.

According to another report, two persons, Hemant Sharma and Mahesh Aggarwal of Delhi were seriously injured in an accident on G T Road near Rai village.

Both of them were sent to a trauma centre in Delhi for treatment.


Delhi digest
Petrol pump dacoity foiled; 5 held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
With the arrest of five persons, the North-East district police today claimed to have averted a dacoity at a petrol pump in Bhajanpura. Two countrymade pistols, four live cartridges and three knives were recovered from their possession. The accused Suraj Pal (23), resident of Etah, Sunil (22), resident of Sultanpur, Sunil (19), resident of Pratap Garh, Arun Yadav (21), resident of Sonia Vihar and Sagar (20), resident of Sonia Vihar were nabbed when they were planning to commit dacoity at a petrol pump in the area. They also disclosed that they robbed a resident of Gaya, Bihar of a Titan watch and Rs 20,000.

Four gangsters nabbed

The North district police have apprehended a gang of four members who used to rob passengers. The accused Nadeem alias Toshi alias Rahul, Deepak, Sunil Kumar, all residents of Ghaziabad and Azad Singh alias Pappuu Pager, resident of Usmapur were nabbed.

Police transfers

The Delhi Police have ordered the transfer of seven ACPs and 11 SHOs with immediate effect. ACP R K Meena has been transferred from DIU, East district to Traffic, Rakesh Pawariya to DIU, East district, Rajiv Ranjan to DIU, West district, Bisham Singh to CAW, Nanakpura, Joy N Tirkey from SDPO, Narela to SDPO, Model Town, M S Yadav from SDPO, Model Town to Vigilance and R K Bansal from Vigilance to SDPO, Narela.

Suicide by architect

Deepankar Chakravorty (36), an architect reportedly committed suicide in his residence in Aravali Apartments in Kalkaji on Tuesday. He was found hanging from ceiling fan. He took the extreme step when all family members had gone out for some work. A suicide note was recovered from his person in which he had written that due to financial crisis he committed suicide, police said.

Hawala operator held

The Delhi Police Special Cell has nabbed an ISI-backed hawala operator Abdul Wahid in Chandni Chowk. Wahid is a contact of Lahore-based ISI agent Tariq. He runs a PCO booth in the area and his arrest comes after the arrest of two ISI agents Mohd Arif and Nihal Chand, alias Abid, in Chandigarh two days back. Wahid was engaged in passing on hawala money to ISI operatives in India and his name was disclosed by Arif during interrogation. Arif had been instructed by Tariq to contact Wahid to collect Rs 15,000.

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