Saturday, March 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Six bombs defused at railway station
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
A tragedy was averted outside the bustling New Delhi Railway Station when six bombs packed in a plastic bag were found abandoned near the auto stand this afternoon. The bombs, meant to trigger off in the heat, were defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad of the Delhi Police which rushed to the spot.

The police said that the bombs were referred to the experts at the National Security Guard headquarters in Manesar, which also houses the National Bomb Disposal Research Centre.

Mr R. S. Ghuman, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime and Railways, said that efforts were being made to ascertain if there was a connection between the bombs found at the auto stand and the explosion in a train in Mumbai last night.

He said that security around the stations and in the trains had been beefed up following the Mumbai blast.

A hotel employee, Girdi Ram, who had detected the abandoned bag, was given a cash reward of Rs 500. It was mainly due to his alertness that a tragedy was averted.

According to Mr Ghuman, Giridi Ram saw the bag lying near the auto stand, right in front of the main gate of the station. He watched it for sometime and when no one came to claim it, he immediately informed the police. Several policemen were rushed to the spot and the bag was examined from a distance as per the guidelines. Senior police officers and the Bomb Disposal Squad were also informed and the area cordoned off.

Hundreds of passengers arriving and departing from the station in the heart of the Capital thronged the site even as the police tried desperately to keep them at bay just in case the bombs went off. The Bomb Disposal Squad later took the bag in its possession and managed to defuse the bombs.

The police believe that the suspects may have abandoned the bag after checking at the station.

Mr Ghuman said that it was only in the morning that he had called a meeting of the office-bearers of the auto and taxi operators unions at the railway station and alerted them of the possibility of finding suspicious objects.

It was emphasised that the cooperation of the public was paramount in such cases as the police could not be everywhere. “Apparently our efforts have paid off,” said Mr Ghuman.

Meanwhile, the police said that the security around other public places and vital installations was being tightened. A meeting of senior officials was also convened in the evening to review the security arrangements.


Housewife stabs intruder to death in Sainik Farms
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
A fifty-year-old housewife reportedly stabbed to death an alleged intruder in a scuffle in her Sainik Farms residence late last night. The housewife, Mrs. Neelu Minotra, wife of former Davis Cup tennis player, Shyam Minotra, escaped with minor injuries.

The suspect was identified as Pankaj and his body has been sent for post-mortem examination. The late night incident caused considerable panic among the residents of the posh colony in the Capital’s South District. The police said that a case had been registered and further investigations were continuing.

According to the police, the incident occurred at 11 p.m. Mr. Minotra, his wife and daughter-in-law were chatting in the living room when the suspect reportedly entered the house from the terrace after breaking the latch on the door of the staircase.

Armed with a large knife, the suspect entered the living room, much to the consternation of the family. The suspect reportedly attacked Mrs. Minotra, who was the nearest to him. A scuffle ensued and, on finding an opportunity, Mrs Minottra picked up a kitchen knife lying on the table and in an act of self defence stabbed the suspect. The knife reportedly pierced his chest.

As the suspect lay bleeding on the floor, the family rang up the police who arrived there shortly and rushed him to a hospital where he was declared dead.

The police said that the statements of the family members had been recorded and efforts were being made to ascertain the intruder’s intentions. It might have been a case of attempted robbery. Mr. Minotra had represented the country several times in the Davis Cup in the 60s. He is also chairman of the Senior National Tennis Committee.


Two lakh names deleted from voters’ list

Noida, March 14
The verification of the electoral rolls in the district has resulted in more than 2.09 lakh names being struck off the list. This in turn has disturbed the poll arithmetic in the district. Some parties were banking on the bogus names in the voters’ list.

The voters’ list is being reviewed and updated for the first time since 1997.

As a part of this exercise, representatives of the election office go from door to door to update the list. This exercise is undertaken once a decade under the orders of the Central Election Commission.

Instances have come to light of more than 100 voters being listed from one household in Sectors 12 and 37 of Noida. In the Dadri assembly constituency, more than one lakh voters’ names have been struck off.

Noida is a part of this constituency and most of the voters’ names thus struck off are said to belong to that place.

The names of some 18,904 voters from Javer, 18,777 from Secunderabad and 3,176 voters from Ghaziabad constituency have been removed. Many of these voters have of course expired in the last decade, but mostly the names are fictitious. The voters’ list is published at the tehsil level. Following the recent review, even though names of new voters have been added to the list, the number of total voters in the district has come down to 6.44 lakh from 7.13 lakh. The corrected voters’ list of the district, incorporating objections and suggestions, will be published by May 15 this year, it is learnt. OC


Security stepped up on DU campus to check Holi hooliganism
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
Delhi University has made elaborate security arrangements in and around its campus and in the affiliated colleges, deploying private security guards to prevent harassment to students, especially women, at the hands of anti-social elements during Holi.

The Delhi Police has issued directions to cops to take preventive steps, so that no untoward incident takes place in the Capital during the festival of colours. The police have taken further precautions following a bomb explosion in a train in Mumbai yesterday. Playing Holi during working hours has been banned and no one except students and staff holding identity cards will be allowed entry on the university campus and in the colleges.

The Proctor of the University, Prof Shyam Menon, has warned of strict disciplinary action against anyone who indulging in hooliganism and rowdyism during Holi. The police would be deployed at strategic points around the colleges.

The DTC crew have been instructed to take the buses to the nearest police station if anyone on board indulges in hooliganism or drive the bus with lights on so that the nearest PCR van can intercept such a bus and take action. There will be special checks on the entry of guests in the hostels during these days.

Prof Menon said all principals, heads of the departments and provosts of halls and hostels would be available in their respective institutions to take care of any incident by activating their respective disciplinary committees. A control room (27667221), jointly manned by the Delhi Police, the DTC and the university authorities at 16 Chhatra Marg on the main campus of the university would deal with any untoward incident.

The Delhi Police have put up pickets in residential areas and near schools to prevent hooliganism. Beat constables have been given directions to arrest miscreants. There was a report that eve-teasing incidents increased near schools and other educational institutions during Holi. The PCR personnel have been instructed to station the vans at vantage points and take action if hooligans create problems.

On the eve of Holi and the next day all PCR vans and police personnel will be in the field.

Security personnel in plain clothes will be posted at important place like India Gate, Connaught Place, Rashtrapati Bhawan etc to keep vigil, police sources said.


Licences of 20 brick kilns cancelled

Sonepat, March 14
The Food and Supplies Department has cancelled the licences of as many as 20 brick kilns in the district following the detection of certain irregularities and malpractices during the checking by the staff.

Giving this information, Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner told mediapersons here today that the officials of the department had also checked eight petrol pumps during the period under review and the departmental action was being taken against the petrol pump owners.

He also said that the authorities were taking steps to streamline the public distribution. OC


HRC begins inquiry into distressed persons complaint 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 14
The officials of the Human Rights Commission have started an inquiry into the complaint of Suresh Kumar, one of the accused in the triple murder case, alleging that his shops and houses had not only been demolished but allowed to be looted by the district administration last year.

According to a report, the officials recorded the statements of certain employees of the Sonepat Municipal Council and other departments yesterday on the issue. This has caused panic among the officials and subordinate employees of the departments. The accused, it is reported, had also filed a complaint in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking justice in this connection.

Reduction in Assembly sittings criticised

The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi has criticised the reduction in the number of sittings of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha during the current Budget session. He said the convening of the Assembly sessions in Haryana has become a constitutional formality and the legislators are deprived of raising the problems of the people of their constituencies in the House.

In a press statement issued here today, he alleged that Mr Chautala has been convening short Assembly sessions in order to comply with the provisions of the Constitution and save his government from criticism by the Opposition parties.

He called upon the members of the Lok Sabha to raise the issue and formulate a uniform code of conduct for the state legislative Assemblies in this regard. 


Red-tapism leads to delays in MC projects in Bahadurgarh 


Jhajjar, March 14
The sluggish pace of the government machinery has become the biggest obstacle in the implementation of the various schemes in Bahadurgarh. Even though the funds have been sanctioned, and in most cases have arrived with the implementing authorities, the four projects related to the shifting of the dairy, slaughterhouse, solid waste management, and slum development, has been held up due to red tapism. Resultantly, their files continue to gather dust in the office of the Municipal Council.

The state government had decided to shift the slaughterhouses out of the residential areas in the towns, following the High Court’s directives in this regard. Even though the government has released the grants to all the civic bodies for the relocation of the slaughterhouses, the Municipal Council Bahadurgarh (MCB) is yet to take concrete steps in the implementation of this project.

Similarly, while the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) provided a loan of Rs 83.23 lakh for shifting of the dairies from the municipal limits, the project is unlikely to be completed in the near future due to bureaucratic delays.

Similarly, the work on the solid waste management project, conceived by the NCR Planning Board, needs to be pushed through. The Executive Officer said that the 7 acres piece of land for the project has been selected near Bir Baraktabad village on Badli road. He said that NCRPB had sanctioned a loan of Rs 89.65 lakh for construction of roads under the scheme.

It may be mentioned that the land identification and acquisition process had created much controversy and tension between the district administration and the civic body when Ashok Khemka was the Deputy Commissioner.

The NCRPB had provided a loan of Rs 10 lakh for the construction of toilets in the slum area couple of years ago, which has now lapsed due to non- utilisation of the funds. The MC authorities said that they could not identify the area for the construction of toilets. “When we are able to earmark the appropriate land, the MC would apply for the renewal of the loan,” said one official of the MC. 


Dispute between cable operators, residents resolved
Our Correspondent

Panipat, March 14
The two-week long dispute between the Siti Cable operators of Panipat town and the residents was amicably resolved today after a meeting of these operators with the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr R P Bhardwaj. In the meeting, the Executive Officer of the local Municipal Council, Mr Shiv Kumar Vats and representatives of different Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWA) from Model Town, Tehsil Camp, Sukhdev Nagar and HUDA sectors were also present.

It may be recalled that following dispute over the Siti Cable charges from the different operators, the Siti Cable services had been disrupted for about two weeks. It had led to resentment among the residents and the matter was reported to the Deputy Commissioner for necessary action by the people of the town.

In today’s meeting, the cable operators agreed to charge a fixed rate of Rs 185 per month for all paid and free air channels and promised to restore the cable service immediately. Further, they also agreed to charge Rs 40 per month for 25 to 30 free air channels.

Sub-Inspector killed

A Sub-Inspector of the Jammu and Kashmir police was reportedly killed in a road accident near Jai Bharat Rolling Mills, in Samalkha town on G T Road today. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Panipat, but succumbed to his injuries on the way. According to information, the police officer, identified as Mohammad Hussain, was coming to Delhi by a bus.

However, while crossing the road at a dhaba on the G T Road, he was hit by an Indica car (No. IIR-38-1342).


Workshop stresses need for spreading IPR awareness 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
A national level workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) stressed the need for spreading awareness about the various facets of the IPR.

The protection and promotion of all IPRs has become particularly important due to its wide spread impact on agriculture, pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. As per the statistics of 2001, domestic and foreign patents registered in US is in the ratio of 50:50 whereas in India, it is in the ratio of 20:80.

Mr Sudhir Kumar Jain, Professor, IIT, S. Taneja, S. K Bhatnagar, Prof I. Sridhar, Prof Anthony, Mrs Rupali Kumar, Mrs Kirti Sharma and other members from Jamia Hamdard and Indian Institute of Planning and Management attended the workshop.


Can Section 144 check the copying menace?

Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?
If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

The season of examination has set in. The Board of School Education and Colleges in Haryana are known for taking seasonal steps to check copying menace. The administration, the Board of School Education and the universities gear up against the evil of copying by the students, teachers, parents and allied forces in society.

The blatant violation of norms springs from the places of assigning duties to the staff at places of their choices. The ‘file pushers’ in offices rule the roost.

The connivance of clerks with the persons who want the duty stations of their choice suits the copying business. Who can nip the evil? The competent authorities just leave the work to the clerks. The flippant attitude of the authorities provides room to clerks to click the choicest cord. The imposition of Section 144 is meaningful if the staff on duty is fairly assigned and performed its duty inside the exam centre. The police staff and the public play their role in the process.

The same proposition is with the parents and teachers who attained high premium on copying in their youth today find themselves in cahoots with the hooligans who break windows and grills to set their prized possessions of copying material.

Only a culprit co-operates with a culprit. The culprits in positions get multiplied and do the needful. The flagrant misuse of official position boosts the morale of perpetrators and malefactors.

The sincere and conscientious duty performers are in utter minority who feel the twinges of conscience. Who will save and shield them? Everyone is busy in skin-saving exercise. Then the mere formality of imposition of Section 144 gets failed to bring the desired results. The thick-skinned are reaping the fruits of mass copying in Haryana.

What a sequence of events! Are the so-called special task forces doing their jobs sincerely? Those passing the buck and sucking the system at every step can hardly stop the menace of copying.

— R.S. YADAV, Rewari

MDU and consumer court

This is with reference to the news item “MDU to pay compensation for criminal negligence” (NCR Tribune Feb 16) and “MDU hauled up yet again” (NCR Tribune Feb 19).

In this connection, I wish to say that Rohtak University, Rohtak, was established vide Haryana Act No.25 of 1975, which came into force on April 19, 1976. The name of the University was altered in 1977, by the government headed by Ch Devi Lal, former Deputy Prime Minister from Rohtak University, Rohtak, to Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak.

The Consumer Protection Act was enacted by Parliament, which came into being in 1986. The general feeling is that the commodities of daily consumption only come within the purview of this Act. But, how the university has been made responsible to a student, as consumer is explained as follows:

After paying the requisite examination fees, a student appeared in the Bachelor of Law examination in April 1989. Madurai Kamraj University declared him as having passed the examination and issued a certificate on 7.12.1989. On the basis of this certificate, the student got enrolled as an advocate with the Tamil Nadu Bar Council on 10.1.1990. On 6.3.1990, the university concerned asked the student to return the certificate for some rectification. Since the student was failed in LL.B. part II examination, he was issued modified detailed marks certificate accordingly on 2.4.1990.

On paying the prescribed fees in April, 1990, he applied for re-evaluation and was informed that he had passed the re-evaluation. A new certificate was issued to him, which enabled him to resume practice in July 1990.

The student lodged a complaint before the District Consumer Protection Forum, Tiruneveli, that due to the negligence on the part of the university, he was put to financial loss and had to suffer mental trauma for which he claimed Rs 25,000. Later, the university contended that the complainant was not a consumer and the matter reached before the State Consumer Redessal Commission, Madurai.

I would like to state:

The rules of the universities are quite categorical that marks can be increased and decreased after re-evaluation. A student who is failed in a subject can get through, can be placed from third division to second division or even in some cases from third division to first division.

Yes, a student is a consumer and can be compensated on several accounts, like for an inordinate delay in declaration of original result or result of re-evaluation.

Directing the MDU “to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a rejected aspirant” by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum is not only judicious but also a liberal decision in granting compensation. The MDU has been asked to compensate the students from its (MDU) exchequer for Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively in a short span of 10 days. If this trend goes on, the university will become bankrupt in a year or so.

— O. P. WADHWA Govt College, Gohana

Mayawati and the tapes

Being the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati is a constitutional functionary. She has to perform her duties flawlessly. As a woman leader from the oppressed class, she has shown her mass appeal among the oppressed people. But not as a politician whose integrity is aboveboard. She has raised several moral issues: First, celebrating her birthday in a royal style, receiving many luxurious gifts; second, changing a personal affair into a state function, involving a huge amount of public money.

In fact, the members should contribute a part of their riches out of the allegedly misappropriated public development fund to her Bahujan Samajwadi Party.


Give their salaries

It was extremely shocking to learn that the doctors and para-medical and other staff of the District Government Hospital of Noida, have not been paid salary for the last two months.

As a matter of fact, these are the crucial months when the salaried people have to deposit the amount in LIC, PF etc. Hence, the non-payment of salaries make their life miserable. Of course, patients visiting this hospital have to face the wrath of doctors not being paid salaries. The state government should make the payment of all the months without further delay.


Women’s Day: An urban phenomenon?

Apropos your news item, ‘For some women, it was just another day out’ (NCR Tribune, March 8). Another International Women’s Day passed off on March 8, 2003.

Every year, the Day is celebrated with fanfare. The national dailies give wide coverage to this Day by publishing special articles, interviews of the celebrity women, and views of politicians and other important personalities. Every year, the question of passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, by Parliament, crops up and fades away for want of consensus among the political parties.

It is felt that the International Women’s Day in India is still an urban phenomenon and the rural women, who form a bulk of women population, do not know about this Day. In fact, it is also evident from your report referred to above. In the above context, it is suggested that March 8 should be declared a national holiday, so that every woman becomes aware of the significance of the Day and it is not reduced to a mere annual formality and function of only urban women.

— O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad



Satta racket busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
With the arrest of four persons, the Delhi Police claimed to have busted a ‘matka satta’ racket in Jahangirpuri in North West district. The suspects were identified as Munim Sher Mohammad, Gopal, Ved Prakash and Manohal Lal.

They were arrested for operating the ‘matka satta’ racket and cheating people. They were working for satta king Hazi Usman of Kala Mahal in Jama Masjid area of the walled city, the police said. The police received a tip-off that a “matka satta”, was being operated from a house in Jahangirpuri. Sub-Inspector Anil Kumar was sent as a decoy customer. Subsequently, a police team raided the premises and arrested the suspects.

The police also arrested eight others who were playing satta. They were identified as Padam Singh, Babu Lal, Jamal, Sher Singh, Ranjit, Mohammad Mefijuddin, Mohinder and Dharam Bir.

The raiding party also seized Rs 3,087 from the operators. A case under various sections of the Delhi Public Gambling Act was registered against the 12 accused in the Jahangirpuri Police Station, the police said.

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