Friday, March 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


‘Cyber’ Delhi moves closer to e-governance
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
The Capital today moved one step closer to the government’s professed goal of making Delhi a cyber city and providing e-governance by the end of the year.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today inaugurated the complete web portal of the Delhi Government. The portal will be linked to all other departmental websites. It can be accessed at and.

She also inaugurated the Automatic Application Announcement System, which can be accessed via net, telephone and SMS. Akin to the information provided by the Railways and the MTNL, this service will give the status of applications submitted in various government offices.

Initially, this system will be implemented in the deputy commissioners’ offices and can be accessed via the Delhi Government portal, by telephone by calling 23392339 or 23392340, where the computer will give the status using interactive Voice Response System, and through cell by sending the 10-digit acknowledgement number to 986823102. The system will send back the status as an SMS.

An exhibition of successful e-governance projects was also put up by 23 departments of the government on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Dikshit said that in cyber Delhi there will be not only cyber parks and kiosks, but the citizen will use information technology to his benefit. In the process, the government aims at establishing a transparent, responsive and corruption-free regime.

She was happy at the pace of the IT revolution in various government departments in spite of teething problems and expected that the goal of computerisation and e-governance will be achieved by the end of the year.

Reiterating the government’s goal through its IT policy enunciated in August 2000, Mrs Dikshit outlined the targets as electronic governance, equality, education, employment, entrepreneurship and economy. She gave a call to work towards bridging the electronic divide and exhorted officers to work for implementing a system, where even the most marginalised sections of society could avail themselves of the benefits of information technology.

Stressing the need to computerise all government schools, Ms Dikshit emphasized that projects should aim at benefiting children and women. She suggested that a system of rewarding and acknowledging officers and departments for their efficiency in implementing the IT policy should be evolved.

The Chief Minister took the opportunity to inform that the government had been slowly and silently achieving quite a few milestones in the field of IT-driven governance. It was only now after its benefits had actually started showing that they were being spoken of. In this regard, she informed that Delhi started issuing computerised plastic driving licences way back in 1999 much before Mr Bill Clinton was issued such a licence in Hyderabad. Similarly, Delhi’s Sales Tax Department is the first in the country to be fully wired, connecting offices right from the ward to the commissioner level. The MCD was perhaps the first municipal body in the country to implement its website project and the Delhi Government’s Tender Information System is the first and only such web-based system, where tender notice details are uploaded directly by more than 250 tender issuing authorities, she informed.

Mr S.Regunathan, Pr Secretary (Information Technology),on his part gave a status/achievement report of the IT Department. Terming the publicity efforts in the past as hesitant, Mr Regunathan said that now he had sufficient reasons to be confident that the city will be e-enabled by the end of 2003.



STF spreads dragnet for Gazi Baba
Our Correspondent

Meerut, March 13
The Special Task Force has thrown a dragnet for the dreaded Jaish-e-Mohammed militant Gazi Baba, Area Commander, Kashmir, who is believed to be hiding somewhere in western UP.

The STF has obtained this lead from two Jaish militants, Ezaz and Mehraz, who were arrested in Muzaffarnagar on Monday. Gazi Baba is suspected to be the mastermind behind the terror attack that the two militants were planning to unleash in the national Capital in tandem Manzur, another militant who was slain in Noida on Wednesday.

The STF officials have also learnt that explosives and ammunition intended for the Jaish operation had already been transported to the area. On a tip-off, the STF and the local police had raided a premises in Hapur and in Simbhaoli in Ghaziabad, but drew a blank. Later, the police learnt that the explosives had been shifted.

The STF and Muzaffarnagar police sleuths, who are scouring the area for the explosives, have informed SSP Bhajni Ram Mina that more than a dozen Kashmiri students in the area have been taken into custody for interrogation.

It is learnt that the local police had been tapping the mobile phones of Ezaz and Mehraz for several days prior to their arrest.

The phone transcripts had revealed that Manzur and Gazi Baba were hiding somewhere in western UP. It seems that Manzur was not aware of the arrest of his accomplices in Muzaffarnagar; otherwise, he would not have kept his appointment at Noida bus stand, where he was gunned down by the cops.

Suicide bid by cop posted at embassy

New Delhi: A security person of the Special Nagaland Armed Police (SNAP), posted at the Embassy of Turkey, attempted to commit suicide this afternoon by firing from his weapon.

The victim, Rosen, who sustained a bullet injury on his chin, was immediately rushed to the surgical ward of Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital where he was operated upon and reported to be in a critical condition. The reason behind his taking this extreme step is yet to be ascertained and statements of his fellow personnel have been recorded by the police.

The news created considerable panic among the security personnel in the embassy area. The police said that Rosen was supposed to have joined duty at around 1pm but didn’t turn up.

According to the police, Rosen tried to commit suicide around 12.40 pm in the camp behind the main embassy, where he was reportedly staying. TNS



Demolition drive runs into roadblocks
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 13
Though the state government has announced the removal of all encroachments on public land by March-end next, the tone and tenor of the drive suggests that the authorities may not be able to achieve the desired results.

The authorities may claim success in removing hundreds of encroachments in both urban and rural areas in the past few months but it appears that the drive so far has lacked consistency and follow-up action. Moreover, the charges of discrimination and taking action on selective basis have also put the official claims in the dock. The district administration had announced a few weeks ago that all housing board colonies in the town had large-scale encroachments and the drive would primarily focus on such areas. While several residents demolished the encroachments themselves the pace has not been up to the target. Many encroachments could be still noticed in several colonies.

In the market of Sector 7 and 10, which is itself an illegal commercial place, several shopkeepers who had removed the encroachments earlier have now started putting up temporary structures of cloth or sheds on the front and sides. Kiosks and stalls rented out by these shopkeepers could be seen in the area meant for parking. A resident of Sector 10 said if there was no follow-up visit by the authorities the shopkeepers may soon occupy the space vacated by them recently.

It is learnt that residents of various sectors who had faced action for illegal occupation of the green belt last year have now started putting up private fences and seem to be thinking of converting the open space into their own little private gardens.

Owner of kothis have converted the green belt of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) into private gardens in Sectors 14, 15, and 17, which are posh areas of the town.

While some residents have developed gardens others have been running taxi operator service, selling cement and building material or even keeping shops. The HUDA authorities had removed a large number of encroachments related to boundary wall extension and grills erected around the green belt a couple of years ago but many of the encroachments removed at that time have surfaced again. It is alleged that encroachments done by influential persons, including officials and their kin, have not been touched. Encroachments done by a businessman in Sector 16-A have been a raging issue but due to his close connections with the powers that be the officials do not dare to issue a notice even.

Observers feel that the drive may go on for a year or two if carried out in an honest and unbiased manner. It is claimed there is hardly any colony or market where encroachments are not the norm. The Sector 15 market, touted as Connaught Place of Faridabad, is also notorious for encroachments. While the verandah and open spaces in front of the shops have been occupied and the customers have a tough time negotiating their way almost all basements constructed here are reported to be illegal as per the HUDA norms. The then Administrator, Mr Vijayendra Kumar, had taken up the matter and even decided to take action but the basements could not be closed. 



Gurgaon civic body does not care two hoots about citizen’s right to life with dignity
creating hellholes in the name of development
Ravi S. Singh

Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, March 13
It is a case of perverse logic to start big things, advertise them from the rooftops as a badge of your efficiency and neglect the basics pertaining to the common man. The Municipal Council is following this skewed development model in the areas under its jurisdiction, much to the discomfort of the residents.

It remains unconcerned even when the residents’ fundamental right to life with dignity (as provided in Article 21 of the Constitution and reinforced by various judgements of the Supreme Court) gets seriously breached. The residents of Dron Vihar in the Old Gurgaon city have no proper roads in the colony. About half a dozen roads and streets in the colony are dotted with big potholes.

At some places, massive digging up was done by the Public Health Department to lay a network of pipes for distributing water to Dron Vihar and the adjoining colonies.

What has vexed the residents of Dron Vihar is the ‘lack of accountability’ on the part of departments of the state government, including the Municipal Counci, which falls in the category of “state” as per the definition provided by Article 12 of the Constitution.

The Public Health Department, a few months ago, set up a water storage tank in the park of Dron Vihar for nearby colonies. The department dug up the roads for laying the water distribution network.

The president of the Dron Vihar Sudahar Samiti, Mr T.C.Jain, regretted that though the government solved the water tangle, it bequeathed the residents with pot-holed roads. The Public Health Department takes no responsibility for their repair.

The Municipal Council, when approached first time in October last year, to repair the damages done by the Public Health Department, gave up on the plea of lack of funds.

Mr Jain said that the Dron Vihar Sudhar Samiti took up the matter with the Sanyukt Kalyan Parishad, an apex body of a cluster of Residents Welfare Associations. But the problem persists.

Inquiries reveal that when a department does damages like digging up roads for the developmental projects, it seeks permission and recompenses the authorities concerned, in this case the Municipal Council, for restoration and repair works. Hence, there are many who allege that the Council’s plea of lack of funds is dereliction of duty to keep up the living standards of the people. Besides, the residents now pay revised house tax, apart from the existing imposts under several heads. There is another development which is troubling the residents. Each time the Municipal Council repairs the roads, it increases the layer of the structure of the roads. This increases the height. As the houses in Dron Vihar were constructed more than two decades back, in many cases, their plinths have fallen below the height of the roads. Consequently, during the rains, water accumulating at the sides of the roads enters the houses. With no drainage system in the colony, the residents keep their fingers crossed and just dream of leading a life with dignity.



Regularisation of colonies should be 
left to legislature: HC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
The Delhi High Court today questioned the Centre’s policy of proposed regularisation of 1,071 unauthorised colonies in the Capital, questioning how a policy with “contradictory” clauses could be framed by an Executive order without it being passed by the Legislature.

“This policy is required to be examined and it has to be left to the wisdom of the Legislature to be decided,” a Bench comprising Chief Justice C. B. Patel and Mr Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed observed while hearing a petition on illegal constructions in the controversial Sainik Farms, where influential people have built palatial houses.

The court sought details from the Centre and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) about the exact number of original allottees of land in a society for ex-servicemen in Sainik Farms and the total area of land given to them. The court also directed government counsel Geeta Luthra to submit details of circumstances under which the society for ex-servicemen was formed and the number of houses existing in Sainik Farms at present.

The Centre’s counsel was directed to furnish the details about these aspects before March 27 during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that nexus between MCD officials, the police and the builder mafia was responsible for the construction of about 5,000 houses illegally in the locality. The Centre, in an affidavit, while categorising different unauthorised colonies for regularisation, had said Sainik Farms was not being considered for such relief as the houses there were built in violation of “land use plan” on agricultural land and a reserved green belt.

Assurance to BJP team

A delegation of the BJP was assured by the Central Government on Wednesday that it plans to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi which had come up till March-end last year and amend the Master Plan.

Delhi BJP president Madan Lal Khurana said that the Union Urban Development Minister, Ananth Kumar, had told a delegation of Delhi BJP MPs yesterday that commercial and industrial units would be converted from leasehold to free-hold and about four lakh shops of less than 50 metres in residential areas would be regularised as per recommendations of the Malhotra committee.

Khurana said that the delegation also demanded a reduction in stamp duty required for registration of property from the current 13 per cent to eight per cent, contending that the prevailing rate was the highest in the country.

He said Kumar’s assurances followed meetings he has had with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani and BJP national president M. Venkaiah Naidu last week. 



Haryana Govt orders immediate shifting of milk dairies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 13
The Haryana Government has ordered the immediate shifting of 301 milk dairies from Sonepat city; it has even granted Rs. 1.26 lakh to the Sonepat Municipal Council for this purpose.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, said here today that the Sonepat Municipal Council has already acquired panchayat land at Dewru and Harsana Kalan villages for this purpose. The council, he said, would allot plots to the owners for relocating their dairies. Once these plots are developed, the council would provide electricity, drinking water, roads, gobar gas plants and other facilities.

He disclosed that the Gohana civic body would also shift 41 milk dairies to Barauta village where it has acquired a five-acre plot for this purpose.

Earlier, the DC reviewed the progress of the Solid Waste Management Scheme and launched by the state government in Sonepat, Ganaur and Gohana which fall in the National Capital Region (NCR). Speaking on the occasion, he said that the NCR Planning Board had already released two loan instalments to the civic bodies for carrying out the development works in these towns. A sum of Rs. 250.50 lakh has been given for Sonepat, Rs 54.90 lakh for Ganaur and Rs. 26.60 lakh for Gohana town.

The DC disclosed that a 32 km road stretch had been repaired in Sonepat, 10.80 km in Ganaur and 4.9 km in Gohana town. He directed the officials to complete the remaining work by the end of the current financial year.

The DC further disclosed that the NCR Planning Board had released a loan of Rs. 30.75 lakh to the Sonepat Municipal Council and Rs. 21.72 lakh to the Gohana civic body for strengthening the fire services.



Woman pleads with PM to save her 
land from minister’s lackeys
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 13
Ms Reeta Tyagi, a resident of Bhangel Begumpur, has alleged that some influential persons, said to be close to the state Revenue Minister, are out to grab her land. She has made a strong plea to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief Minister for help to save it from them.

Ms Reeta Tyagi said she is the owner of the land under Khasra No 58 along with Malkhan Singh, who had filed a civil suit against one Meena Devi, resident of Gangawali in Bulandshahr district.

She has inherited the right to Malkhan Singh’s property as his inheritor after his death. She is in possession of the said property, she said.

The court, in its decision announced on May 15, 2002, had ordered a stay on the disputed property. Ms Reeta Tyagi alleged that two persons along with Dr Sanjeev Garg had met village pradhan Ram Kishan Sharma and discussed the purchase of this disputed land from Ms Meena Devi. They also said that they wanted to start construction on that land with the co-operation of the tehsil staff.

They had reportedly written a letter on February 3 this year to the Tehsildar, Dadri, and the SO of Phase-II police station with which a copy of the court order about the status quo has also been attached.

In spite of this, Tehsildar Hira Lal and Naib Tehsildar Narinder Pal Sharma had gone with a strong police posse to take possession of the disputed land on February 22, she said. The Revenue Minister’s son had also come along with them in a government car, it is learnt.

When the court order was shown to the Tehsildar, he reportedly said that the “court order has no value as the mantriji (minister) is our boss,” Ms Reeta Tyagi said. “Since the mantriji’s own people have purchased this land, nobody on earth can now stop them from taking possession,” the Tehsildar reportedly told her.

The party had, however, to beat a retreat as villagers who had collected there opposed their move. But again, they descended on the scene accompanied by 25-30 musclemen apart from a police force. The musclemen allegedly threatened the villagers and made sure that the construction work started.

Ms Reeta Tyagi said she had kept the District Magistrate informed about the situation and it was on his intervention that the construction was finally stopped.

She said that since the state Revenue Minister himself was involved in the whole episode, she had informed Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Deputy PM L. K. Advani, BJP president Venkaiah Naidu and state Chief Minister Mayawati through fax. She has also pleaded to the district officials to provide protection to her life and property.

Apart from village pradhan Ravi Kishan Sharma, Ram Niwas Tyagi, Brij Mohan Tyagi, Amit Tyagi, Memraj Tyagi and others were also present when she spoke to the media.



Publish white paper on sacked workers: HPCC
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 13
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former Haryana minister and a spokesman of the HPCC, today demanded a ‘white paper’ from the state government on the number of jobs provided by it and the number of workers retrenched or terminated during the past three years.

In a signed press statement issued here, he pooh-poohed the claims of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, that his government has provided jobs to 20,000 youths in the state during the past three years.

He described the claims as false and said it had already retrenched thousands of employees from their jobs.

He accused Mr Chautala of misleading the people on the issue as it had already removed 25,000 employees from their jobs and at least 30,000 posts had been abolished. He alleged that the government employees were being terrorised and a reign of terror had been let loose on them by giving threats to them on some pretext or the other.

Mr Hooda termed the March 2 Vikas Rally as a ‘Vinash Rally’ and alleged that the Chief Minister’s announcement regarding the carrying out of 33,000 development works during his regime was a hoax and Mr Chautala was trying to remain in power by giving false promises.

Expressing concern over the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the Bhagwat Dayal Sharma PGI Medical College, he alleged that there had been an acute shortage of life-saving drugs in it and even the cotton and bandages were not available for the emergency patients.

He alleged that the director-cum-principal of the college remain on furlough and he had not inspected the college hospital for months. As a result, poor patients are not being treated properly. If the state government failed to improve its working, the PGI hospital will turn into a death trap.



Move to set up National War Memorial
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
The government has proposed to set up a ‘National War Memorial’ in the national Capital to remember those who have laid down their lives for the country, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

The matter is being pursued with the Ministry of Urban Development for allotment of a suitable plot of land for this, Union Defence Minister George Fernandes said in a written reply. Mr Fernandes said the memorial is to be set up preferably along the central vista in New Delhi.

The accused in a clash, which took place between two groups of students in a college hostel in Delhi University, have been arrested, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr Sanjay Paswan said. The incident was enquired into by a retired senior police officer on behalf of the governing body, the minister said, adding the victims have been medically examined and some accused have been arrested.

There is no proposal to enhance or start holiday special trains from Delhi to Kerala, the Minister of State for Railways, Mr Bandaru Dattaraya said. He added that the Railways run special trains to clear the extra rush of traffic, subject to operational feasibility, availability of resources and traffic justification. 



Cylinder blast calls in question admn’s role
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 13
The oxygen cylinder explosion in Harola market on March 11 in which a worker, Ajay Kumar from Bihar, was killed, has not only come as a bolt from the blue for the residents there but it has also exposed the administration’s negligence.

The administrative machinery does not seem to have any control over gas cylinder business being carried on in congested markets and residential areas. A look at similar accidents in the past year proves that the administration never learns from them. As many as 17 persons have lost their lives in about a dozen such accidents in the past.

After the recent explosion, people are asking who is ultimately responsible for such accidents? Be it Noida or small towns or villages, such dangerous explosive materials are being sold in every market. Nobody seems to be concerned about it, not to say of stopping it. Thus, those whose job it is to check the sale of such commodities are least bothered about the flagrant violation of the law and rules.

In one incident, five persons, including three women, were buried in a cracker factory. In a fire in Sector 44 slum cluster, caused by a cylinder explosion, nine persons lost their lives. Most of the victims of such accidents are labourers and workers.

Sectors 8, 9 and 10 are so congested and thickly populated that in the event of such a tragedy, the administration would not know the exact number of casualties. After every such accident, people keep wondering who is responsible for the frequent blasts. After a while, everyone forgets. And the administration knows it well. The March 11 incident will not be the last one either.



The best breed of buffaloes in danger
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, March 13
The acute deficiency of minerals in the conventional cattle feed has been causing serious ailments in the Murrah breed of buffaloes, considered to be the best breed of buffaloes all over the world.

This was revealed by a recent report of a team of scientists of the Department of Animal Nutrition, Chaudhary Charan Singh Agriculture University, Hisar. The team visited Kahanaur village in the district on December 18 and randomly collected samples of blood and hair of Murrah buffaloes suffering from various reproductive problems including repeated breeding, silent heat, etc.

Dr Rajender Singh, Senior District Extension Specialist (Animal Sciences) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra here, who had accompanied the team of scientists to Kahanaur village for collecting samples, said these ailments ultimately led to long calving intervals in the animals.

He said the team had collected samples of blood and hair from 10 buffaloes which were analysed at the Animal Nutrition Laboratory of CCS HAU, Hisar and it was found that all the animals had been suffering from acute deficiency of minerals.

He said the deficiency of calcium, phosphorus, cobalt, magnesium and zinc was registered in the animals at the rate of 60,50,80,50 and 90 per cent respectively.

Commenting on the causes for this deficiency of minerals in the animals, Dr Rajender Singh said the soil used to be rich earlier in these essential nutrients which would transfer from soil to plants (fodder), plants to animals and then from animals to soil through their dung.

Dr Singh said this recycling of nutrients had been disturbed now as the farmers had been cultivating two to three crops a year which made the soil deficit of these nutrients.

He said the report highlighting the deficiency of these minerals was applicable not only to the animals of the district but also to those in the neighbouring region.

He said the problem was severe in Rohtak, Hisar, Bhiwani and Jind districts where a majority of the best breed of buffaloes was suffering from these ailments.

Dr Rajender Singh said that he had informed the cattle owners about the causes for ailments affecting the health of animals at Kahnaur village today. He suggested the cattle owners to feed mineral supplements for the recovery of this depletion and asked them to feed the green fodder like berseem, lucerne, cowpea and green leaves of trees, legumes and cereal grain like maize, wheat and byproducts like wheat braw, rice braw, cotton seed and oil cakes etc.

He suggested the farmers to feed 50 to 100 grams of mineral mixture daily to dry and lactating buffaloes and 40 to 60 grams to heifers and young buffaloes respectively.

He offered the farmers to contact him at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Rohtak for any query regarding their animals. He appealed to the government to take immediate measures to protect the best breed of buffaloes.



A yogi who heals the sick through spiritual music
J. T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda SwamiNew Delhi, March 13
Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji of Mysore, known for his powers to heal people through spiritual music, will perform a number of auspicious ceremonies in the Capital during his stay till March 17.

The seer would perform Sri Chakra Puja, homam, spiritual discourse and satsangs in Sri Kamakshi Temple and Malai Mandir till March 15. Bhajans and spiritual discourse are also organised in his ashram in Swarup Nagar on G T Karnal Road on March 16.

He was born as Satyanarayana on May 26, 1942 in Mekedatu village in Karnataka to a poor couple, Sri Narashima Shastry and Jayalakshi Mata.

His mother was a ‘yogini’ and transferred all her spiritual energy to young Satyanarayana at the time of her samadhi in 1953.

“Divinity is a lesson of endeavour and is within the reach of all, irrespective of caste, creed, sex or colour. Your inherent nature is divinity and it is your duty to find that out,” says swamiji.

Having his headquarters in Mysore, he has established many ashrams and has devotees around the world spreading the message of peace. Swamiji’s greatest contribution to the suffering humanity is healing them through his music. According to him, “music has great influence on the ills of the body and it is considered as the fourth ‘upaveda’, the Gandharvaveda.

He is also called Nada Yogi and conducts unique spiritual music concerts for healing and meditation in India and abroad. He is noted for his ‘Namasankeerthan’, and he sings self-composed bhajans, which are rich in melody and meaning, in languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi and English.

On the educational front, he has set up vedic schools, educational institutions and libraries. Swamiji has also built many Dattatreya Temples in many states and Datta yoga centres in the USA, the UK, Trinidad, Holland and Germany.

The ashram is also publishing monthly magazines about the activities and teachings of swamiji in different languages.



Hola Mohalla celebrations at Gurdwara Damdama Sahib
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna and Mr Bhajan Singh Walia, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, said in a release that the traditional Hola Mohalla is being celebrated under the auspices of the committee at Gurdwara Damdama Sahib, near Humayun Tomb, Nizamuddin, here on March 19.

The programme will start from early morning with recitation of Sri Sukhmani Sahib and Nitnem. Asa Di Vaar with Shabad Kirtan will be performed by Principal Baldev Singh.

Thereafter, Giani Ranjit Singh, Head Granthi, Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, will conduct Shabad Vichar. It will be followed by Shabad Kirtan by famous Ragi Jathas of Bhai Darshan Singh Nirmal, Bhai Manohar Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh Gurcharan Singh and many others.

In addition, there will be Amrit Sanchar (baptism) at 11 am within the premises of Gurdwara Sri Damdama Sahib.

Apart from the grand congregation, Guru Ka Langar (free community lunch) will be served to all irrespective of colour, caste and creed.



Pickpocket paraded naked
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 13
A youth, said to be a pickpocket, was paraded naked in the vegetable and fruit market here today. According to a report, the youth was caught red-handed while trying to pick the pocket of a man who has come to purchase vegetables and fruits. The youth was allegedly thrashed by the people and later let off as the police declined to arrest him.

Vigilance seals PWD records

The officials of the State Vigilance Bureau inspected the record and files in the offices of the Executive Engineer, SDE and the junior engineer of the PWD (B and R) here yesterday. According to a report, the officials have also sealed a number of files and other relevant records relating to the payments to the contractor who had made a complaint to the DC about seeking money as bribe from him. It is alleged that some employees of the department had tampered with the records after the arrest of the officers under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

No salary for two months

Four firemen and two drivers of the Gannaur fire station have not been paid their salaries for the last two months, making it difficult for them to sustain their living and meet daily expenditures.

These employees, who are on daily wages, were paid their salaries after three months last time. Several employees of the Gannaur municipality also have not received their salaries. The civic authorities plead that they have to depend on financial grants from the government after abolition of octroi in 1999.

Tractor driver killed

Kishan, a tractor driver of Shahzadpur village, was killed on the spot when he was hit by a truck on the G T Road near Bhigan village, about 10 km from here, last evening. According to a report, the victim was crossing the road when the accident occurred. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. It is stated that the victim was going to sell potatoes to a nearby market.

MLAs in MDU court

Rohtak: Two members of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Ms Sarita Narain and Mr Nafe Singh Rathi, have become members of the university court of Maharshi Dayanand University by virtue of their membership of the Vidhan Sabha. Dr A. K. Rajan, Registrar of the university, said these two members would be eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections to be held in the court’s meeting on March 21.

Delhi Licensing Branch shifted to Defence Colony

New Delhi: The Licensing Branch of the Delhi Police will soon be shifted to the Defence Colony Police Station, following space crunch at the Police Headquarters. The decision to shift the branch was also taken in the light of the recent threat perception at the Police Headquarters, as the branch has been regularly dealing with a large number of people from different walks of life. Moreover, the officials needed extra space to check the arms and ammunition before issuing licences.



Terror attack on Digboi Refinery condemned

New Delhi: The Public Relations Society of India has condemned the terrorist attacks on oil installations in Assam. The society has been striving towards spreading the message of global peace and harmony and condemning terrorism. The society is the premier professional body of public relations practitioners of the country with 32 chapters and about 4,000 members.

In his statement, the PRSI president, Dr Ajit Pathak, said, “The society has been striving towards projecting the merits of the Northeast regions, its hospitality and culture and the potential inherent in the region to contribute to the national economy. The PRSI has been spearheading the PR movement in the region and making efforts to showcase the Northeast and its industrial heritage to the other parts of the country with the ultimate aim to bring it to the mainstream of the country.” TNS



Member of dreaded Pahel gang arrested 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 13
The special staff of the Sonepat police have arrested a dreaded criminal, identified as Jagbir, alias Dandu, said to be a member of the Pahel criminal gang, operating in this region. According to a report, the suspect has confessed to be a member of the Pahel criminal gang and his involvement in the alleged murder of a sarpanch near Anupgarh.

The suspect also confessed that he had fired shots on his rivals outside a court in Jhajjar a few months ago, from where he had managed to escape.

The police also recovered two unlicensed pistols and four live cartridges from his possession. He was overpowered by the police and arrested while he was planning a crime.

The police produced the suspect in the Fast Track Court in this city yesterday, which ordered his judicial custody.

Meanwhile, the police have also arrested a youth, identified as Sanjay, who was declared a proclaimed offender by Mr R. K. Bishnoi, Additional Sessions Judge of Sonepat.

It is alleged that the suspect was released on bail in a criminal case but he failed to appear in the court on the date of hearing. Thereafter, he was declared a proclaimed offender.


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