Tuesday, March 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Ban on shakhas in parks since 1983; BJP 
never revoked it 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
The controversy over the reported ban on RSS shakhas in municipal parks in the Capital took a twist today with the Leader of the House in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Ram Babu Sharma, claiming that the shakhas had been banned way back in 1983. The order was never revoked even during the five-year rule of the BJP.

He pointed out that there was nothing new in the statement of Mayor Jaishree Panwar who had reportedly said that the RSS will not be allowed to hold shakhas in the municipal parks as their activities could damage the green cover. The remarks of the Mayor had evoked an angry response from the Delhi BJP cadres with the state unit president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, threatening to launch an agitation.

While addressing newsmen, he revealed that the activities of the shakhas were restricted vide a proposal moved by the then Garden Committee before the corporation for consideration on July 19, 1983. The proposal said,

“…Whereas in the parks the RSS workers organised unauthorisedly their shakhas daily. Whereas in shakhas they play so many games and spoil the plantation and grassing (sic) in the parks and misuse them for personal ends. Whereas the Garden Department makes (sic) plantation and grassing to beautify the parks for the welfare of the public. This meeting of the Garden Committee, therefore, resolves that it be recommended to the corporation that restriction be imposed on organising shakhas by the RSS workers and such other organisations in the parks”.

The resolution number 477 was moved by Ramji Lal, the then councillor from Ghonda segment in North-East district, and Babu Ram Sharma seconded it, he said.

When the resolution was moved before the corporation, the then councillors advised that the words “RSS and shakhas” should be deleted and it was changed by the then Chairman of the Standing Committee. The proposal was passed with 47 members voting for it and 35 against. Mr Shanti Desai – a former mayor when the BJP controlled the corporation — was a member of the corporation in 1983..

Ram Babu Sharma alleged that the BJP during its tenure did not initiate any step to rescind this resolution. “Hence, it reflects that the BJP is in favour of the resolution,” he said.

He recalled that a few years ago the Supreme Court had also placed curbs on cultural and social functions in municipal parks. Wedding and other activities affect the beauty and upkeep of parks, which is detrimental to the ecological balance and the health of citizens of the Capital. 



L-G tom-toms Delhi Govt’s achievements
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
The Union Government and the governments of Haryana, the NCT of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh will enter into a memorandum of understanding to pursue the Regional Rail Network Project so that the travel time from Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad is reduced and the commuters get inter-changes for the Metro.

This is one of the policies finding a mention in Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor’s address to the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The Budget session began today. The NCT of Delhi goes to polls later this year.

The Lieutenant-Governor spelt out the achievements of the Government of NCT of Delhi. He also dwelt on the new thrust areas of the government but left the details for the Finance Minister to spell out in his Budget speech.

The unbundling of the Delhi Vidyut Board into six companies, the management of three of which had been handed over to the private players, and the inauguration of the Metro figured prominently in his speech.

During the last one year, he said, the government had taken steps to augment power and water supply, transport and construction of roads. Looking ahead, he said the government would accord priority to the setting up of a Senior Citizens Council and housing for the working and lower middle class besides improving the delivery of public service.

The government, he said, in its fifth year would strive to consolidate the achievements and reaffirm its resolve to provide good governance through careful planning and implementation of programmes by tightening delivery of public service.

The government said all three units of the Pragati Power Project had been commissioned. Arrangements had been tied up with Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal to augment power supply. The water treatment capacity of the Delhi Jal Board had been augmented from 580 million gallons per day to 650 million gallons per day.

The DDA had been requested to provide 2,700 acres more to accommodate the remaining industries. Also, mobile magistrates could be deployed to penalise people for littering. Extensive monitoring of the removal of garbage, rubble and stray animals by local bodies had brought about a substantial improvement in general cleanliness in many parts of the city but, he said, deficiencies still remained and these would be addressed by stationing mobile magistrates to penalise people for littering. The BJP, meanwhile, dubbed the contents of the Lieutenant-Governor’s address as distorted and a misrepresentation of facts.



Tax on bus  commuters in Haryana
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 17
The Haryana Transport Department has imposed toll-cum-road users tax without prior notice. The department has started charging the tax from passengers of Haryana Roadways buses with immediate effect.

According to a report, under the new system, the roadways buses are required to pay Rs 100 for once during the onward and return journey and the staff in turn would charge the extra fare from the passengers in accordance with the new schedule.

According to the new schedule, passengers of roadways buses up to 15 km are not required to pay this tax. However, it will be payable at the rate of Re 1 between 1 km and 25 km; Rs 2 between 26 km and 75 km; Rs 3 between 7 km and 125 km; Rs 4 between 126 km and 175 km; and Rs 5 for onward journey. The staff will issue separate tickets of toll tax. The state government has also exempted motorcycles, tractor-trolleys, police vans, state and central government vehicles, non-commercial vehicles, ambulance vans, Army vehicles and vehicles carrying dead bodies from the purview of this tax.

Passengers of roadways buses from Gohana to Delhi via Sonepat were being charged Rs 40 earlier and Rs 39 for the return journey. Now they will have to pay Rs 18 between Gohana and Sonepat and Rs 25 between Sonepat and Delhi. Earlier, toll tax was being charged from the buses passing through Haryana-Delhi border on National Highway 1. Now this tax has been imposed on buses plying on the Sonepat-Meerut road. These buses will have to pay the tax at Gauripur in Baghpat (UP). The Sonepat-Meerut interstate road has been declared a national highway and it has been extended to Jind via Gohana. 



Demolition acquiring political hue
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 17
Faridabad is perhaps the first district in Haryana where the demolition drive against encroachers has acquired a political hue, straining the ties between the ruling INLD and the BJP.

The recent skirmish between the BJP leaders and the local authorities has further soured the relations.

Of course, some BJP leaders, such as the MLA from Metwa Maharajpur Assembly constituency, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, are known critics of the Chautala government. But even Mr Gurjar had no inkling of the battering that the party’s image had taken till he visited the housing board colony of Sector-29 on March 15. The reality sank in only when angry residents protested against his visit and some even stoned his vehicle.

The BJP leaders from the district have decided not to celebrate Holi this year in protest against the incident on March 15; the party has appealed to the people not to celebrate Holi and protest against the demolition drive.

But while, on one hand, the BJP leaders are anxious to corner the Chautala government, the leadership has been unable to take action against one of its MLAs who is reported to be quite close to the chief minister. Moreover, despite the flip-flop, a senior party leader from Haryana confessed, the BJP will continue its support to the INLD government.

Sonepat: Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP and vice-president of the Haryana BJP, today condemned the ‘brutal’ lathi charge on MPs and legislators of the party by the police at Faridabad and demanded immediate sacking of the police officials responsible for the same. Talking to mediapersons here, he described the incident as unfortunate and alleged that the police officials had acted on the specific instructions of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

The Chief Minister was hostile towards the BJP leaders who had been openly opposing his style of functioning, his anti-people and anti-farmer policies in the state. OC



NCP general secretary robbed of Ford Ikon
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 17
General secretary of the Nationalist Congress Party and former president of the JNU Students’ Union, D. P. Tripathi, was injured grievously and robbed of his Ford Ikon car at Vasundhara township under the Indirapuram police station on Friday night. Mr Tripathi was rushed to Walia Nursing Home, Vikas Marg, New Delhi with a broken arm.

Mr Tripathi, former president of the Intellectual Cell of the Congress Party and an associate of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, told the police that the criminals were young and one of them was wearing a mask.

At about 11.20 pm, three persons in a Maruti Zen intercepted his car in an isolated stretch near Sector 9 in Vasundhara. Two of them stepped out of the Zen and overpowered the driver and pulled Mr Tripathi out of the car. Mr Tripathi fell on the roadside and fractured his right arm. The criminals then drove away with the car and the driver.

Mr Tripathi immediately informed the police who flashed a message on the wireless, but the criminals had got away.

The Indirapuram police have registered a case under Sections 392 and 342 of the IPC.

Dr Dharam Vir, the Circle Officer, said that the car was being driven by one Amit, the son of a former Bihar MLA and a friend of Mr Tripathi. The criminals had reportedly fled towards Hapur. They paid the highway toll at the at Dasna post. After crossing Hapur, they diverted the car towards Meerut. At Tejgarhi, they stopped the car at a petrol station. While refuelling, Amit slipped out of the car and contacted the police post at Ghaziabad.

Woman poisons daughter, herself

Rewari: A woman, Vinod Kumari, administered poison to her 10-year-old daughter Jyoti and consumed it herself in Hasanpur Mohalla of Bawal town, 14 km from here, on Saturday. Both of them died subsequently. Her son Deepak, who was taken by a relative to Delhi a while before the tragedy, escaped death.

It is stated that strained relations between Vinod Kumari and her husband Om Prakash, who is an employee of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Bawal, led her to take the extreme step. Om Prakash was away on duty when the incident happened. When he returned home for lunch, he found both his wife and daughter lying unconscious. OC



SGPC blamed for alienation of youth
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) dominated by Badal faction came in for sharp criticism from the pro-Tohra Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for its failure to check the growing alienation of youth from the basic tenets of Sikhism.

“It is unfortunate that some persons in Amritsar and Gurdaspur have converted themselves to Christianity. It is a matter of great concern for us and urgent steps should be taken to stop such incidents,” the DSGMC president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said here today.

“These deplorable incidents clearly indicate how the SGPC has been functioning in Punjab,” Mr Sarna said, adding “the DSGMC has decided to render every help to all Sikh organisations to check such incidents in the future.”

The strong reaction from the Tohra loyalist comes within days of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) president and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal meeting former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra. The meeting of two Akali leaders, twice in the past fortnight, had given rise to hopes of Akali unity in the near future.

Apart from making critical remarks about the functioning of the SGPC, Mr Sarna also highlighted the efforts being made by the DSGMC in propagating Sikhism and instilling a sense of pride amongst the youth.

In this direction, he said, the DSGMC had formed a screening committee for the forthcoming All India Sikh Sammelan in the Capital. The sammelan would discuss the issues facing the community and increasing alienation of youth from Sikhism. The sammelan, which would be attended by members of the intelligentsia, social workers and opinion makers cutting across party lines, would suggest measures to encourage the members of the community to follow the basic tenets of Sikhism.

The screening committee members include Manjit Singh Calcutta, Jaswant Singh Mann, Prof Harmohinder Singh, Dr Jaspal Singh, Dr Jaswant Singh Neki, Birinder Singh and Makhan Singh. The committee would hold its first meeting March 25, a release said.



Highway patrols will be on the prowl
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 17
The Haryana Highway Patrol and Road Safety Police have geared up to carry out a special campaign during Holi against drunken driving on the national highways in the state. The patrol parties will carry out surprise checks after every 30 km from 6 am to 6 pm.

In a press statement, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Saurabh Singh, stated that 10 persons had been killed and 23 injured on the national highways during Holi last year. In these accidents, the drivers were found to be under the influence of alcohol.

The SP has cautioned that any effort to disrupt the traffic would be dealt with severely. “In case of inconvenience, rash driving or driving under the influence of liquor or other intoxicants, please inform at Tel No. 1033 or 98120-66666,” the statement added.

Two-day holiday on Holi in Capital

New Delhi: The Delhi Government has announced a two-day holiday on the occasion of Holi. The authorities have notified that March 18 will be a restricted holiday while March 19 will be a gazetted holiday. All schools and other educational institutions will remain closed on both days. TNS



Hooda asks BJP to withdraw support to Chautala govt
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 17
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and spokesman of the HPCC, has alleged that the cane charge on leaders and activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party at Faridabad recently has once again proved that Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has been using state police force as a tool for serving his political interest.

He suggested that the BJP should withdraw its support to the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in protest against this ‘tyrannical’ act of the government. He said the situation of the BJP had become embarrassing among the masses due to its silence on various issues of public concern.

In a statement here today, Mr Hooda alleged the BJP was equally responsible for the decline in different spheres as it never raised its voice against the faulty and autocratic policies adopted by the government. He said the state government had been continuing its atrocities on the people for the last three years but the BJP never opposed any act of the government which, he said, had exposed its incapacity.

Speaking sarcastically, he said the BJP leaders realised the malevolence of the government only when they themselves became a target of the atrocities of the Chief Minister. He alleged that the BJP had been loosing its grip among the masses by standing beside the ruling INLD in its every act of oppression and suppression.



Delhi traffic policemen to check ‘unholy’ high jinks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
The cops have decided to rein in Holi revellers. The Capital’s roads will be watched by the Delhi traffic policemen, who have been given strict orders to ensure the maintenance of law and order in the city. Bacchanalian buffs would have to check their spirits in particular.

To prevent the revellers from causing disturbance and indulging in eve-teasing and to ensure an incident-free festival, the traffic police have made elaborate arrangements. Drunken driving and triple riding on two-wheelers is strictly forbidden.

DCP (Traffic) Satish Golchha told mediapersons that past experiences had shown that during the festival, people tend to drive their vehicles recklessly.

He said the police would check those driving under the influence of liquor, violating speed limits and causing danger to the life of people.

To ensure a peaceful Holi, the traffic police would be deployed in full strength on the festival day, he said, adding that there would be special checking at vulnerable locations against dangerous driving, over-speeding, drunken driving, triple riding and driving without a helmet.

Mr Golcha added that any violation of traffic regulation would be met with suitable and heavy punitive fines. He sought the cooperation of the people and said that no one should be compelled to play Holi against his or her wishes.

According to Mr Golcha, widespread ingestion of ‘bhang’ and alcohol encourages eve-teasing, violence, wanton disregard of traffic rules, hooliganism and clashes and the occasion is used by some groups to settle old scores.

The DCP said all groups moving around in vehicles should ensure and arrange for a ‘’designated driver’, at least one person who has not drunk ‘bhang’ or alcohol so that he or she is always available to drive in a sober manner.

The Delhi Traffic Police have also set up a traffic helpline – 23378888 or 100 — for any police help regarding road accidents and breach of peace. 



Delhiites treated to a spectacular early 
morning musical 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
It was a mosaic as vibrant as it was serene: the colours of Holi, rich and brilliant, amalgamated with the colours of the rising sun and notes of music.
Taking the audience on a musical high were the duo, Rajan and Sajan Mishra, as a part of the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) endeavour of treating Delhiites to a spectacular early morning musical.

The open-air concert, held amid the Nehru Park greens, had nature and music lovers enjoying the sound of music. The concert titled, ‘Aman ki Holi’, began with the Raag Bhairav followed by Tarana, Raag Lalit and finally, excerpts from the epic Ramcharitramanas.

The concert was part of the NDMC’s campaign to promote art and culture to perpetuate the traditions of the city. The campaign, titled the ‘Morning Raga’ series, had showcased similar concerts in the past with stalwarts like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia performing before a mesmerised audience.

Though the programme had been sadly discontinued, the NDMC is hoping to restart it on a regular basis.

The Council has been constantly entreated to restart the programme, with the objective of upgrading urban life, which is increasingly being drawn away from the cultural ethos the country is so proud of.

It was also seen as a move to bridge the gap that has crept between art and culture and the masses at large and at the same time, provide some moments of tranquillity in the otherwise stressful and strenuous life in the national Capital. The NDMC is looking at corporate sponsorships to give the programme a new lease of life.

Meanwhile, in Sarojini Nagar’s DG Park, Ram Kailash Yadav and his troupe presented Birha, the folk music of Uttar Pradesh. Present on the occasion was MLA and vice-chairperson of NDMC, Mr Ram Bhaj. 



Demand to reassess drought relief 
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, March 17
The severe impact of the recent drought in the state, particularly on the farmers of South Haryana, was raised during the current Budget Session of the Lok Sabha. The districts of Rewari, Mahendergarh and some parts of Gurgaon district constituting the Mahendergarh Lok Sabha seat, which also forms the core of the Ahirwal belt, was most affected during last year’s drought.

According to the BJP Member of Parliament from Mahendergarh, Ms Sudha

Yadav, the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha and she urged the Centre to reassess the losses to the farmers due to the natural calamity.

Moreover, due to inadequate rainfall, most of the farmers could not sow the seeds. The Centre had worked out a package for compensation to the farmers affected by the drought. The assessment to compensate the affected farmers of Haryana was on the basis of damage to the standing crops. However, Ms Yadav said that the farmers who could not sow the seeds on account of the draught also suffered adversely.

According to her, she also took up the issue of the introduction of services of DMU trains on the Rewari-Gurgaon-Delhi route.

She further said that she had taken up with the Centre the issue of the setting up a Sainik School in Rewari-the epicentre of the Ahirwal belt in Haryana. A large number of recruits to the armed forces are from the Ahirwal belt.

She alleged that the state government had given a proposal to the Centre to set up two Sainik schools in the state-one each in Rewari and Jhajjar districts. However, as only one school could be set up in Haryana, the state government is “rooting” for Jhajjar, she added.



Dharna against gang rape of Dalit woman
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 17
Several persons staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner in protest against the abduction and gang rape of a Dalit woman at Kharkara village recently.

The dharna was jointly organised by the district units of CPI (M), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Khet Majdoor Union and Janwadi Mahila Samiti. It evoked positive response from other organisations including Dalit Chetna Manch, Dalit Adhikar Manch, Dalit Chetna Majdoor Manch and several distinguished citizens.

The speakers while addressing the dharna narrated the incidents of social oppression being faced by the women in general and Dalit women in particular. The Kharkara incident was described as the most shameful for society in which the victim was taken away through the streets of the village at gun-point and gang raped.

CPI (M) state secretary Inderjit Singh questioned as why the police took no action against the criminals who had earlier made an attempt to sexually attack the same woman despite a complaint having been registered by her husband to the police.

Ms Jagmati Sangwan of Janwadi Mahila Samiti criticised the incident and urged the women to come forward against such incidents. Capt Shamsher Singh Malik, president, Haryana unit of LJP, appealed to all the organisations to forge a unity and fight against the ‘collapse’ of law and order situation in the region.

Later, a memorandum seeking immediate arrest of the culprits and adequate security to the members of the victim’s family, was submitted to the City Magistrate to be forwarded it to the Governor.



An economist with a passion for excellence
Smriti Kak

As a student of economics in St Stephens, it might not have crossed his mind that one day he will be occupying the most important chair in the hierarchy of Delhi University, he was enrolled in. For Deepak Nayar, his modest hostel room may have housed his dreams of making it big in his chosen field, but perhaps never foretold that destiny would bring him back to his alma mater, only this time as the man on the top.

In his room, which bears a testimony to the time gone by, Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Deepak Nayar is looking at the future of the university that paved way for his grand entry into the academic corridors.

Mr Nayar has dreams that span across into the unfathomable. He claims that he is continuously striving to see the dreams turn to reality and wants the institution better known as Delhi University to be nothing short of the best.

An economist, Mr Nayar taught at University of Oxford, University of Sussex, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Having held the post of President of the Indian Economic Association, Mr Nayar has served as a member of many commissions, committees and boards, both here and abroad.

Acknowledging his contribution to the field of economics, the United Nations and other international organisations have invited him as an expert and he has also been a visiting professor at the University of Paris, Sorbonne.

Author of books like ‘India’s Exports and Export Policies’, ‘Economic Relations between Socialist Countries and the Third World’, Mr Nayar talks to the NCR Tribune about his dreams and concerns for the university.

Being a premier educational institution, Delhi University is not just expansive in geographic terms, but also houses a colossal number of students from across the country. What were the concerns when you took over as Vice-Chancellor?

When I was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University in May 2000, I was touched by the warmth that was extended to me not just by the University, but also by the media and the society at large. It was touching and gratifying to know that I was chosen for a responsible post and showered with love.

It is not an easy job. The university, being a miniature republic of India, is difficult to govern and the expectations are awesome. But, my sole objective has been the pursuit of academic excellence.

The university is a premier education body. In fact, while the others have been gradually declining, Delhi University continues to remain on top and do well.

My concerns were to concentrate on development and also on evolving what we already have.

The curriculum needed to be restructured. There is a need to upgrade the existing academic standards and we have been able to make conscious efforts in the direction. Fair appointments have been made as far as hiring more academic staff goes across departments. As far as our dreams are concerned, we are halfway there.

Can you elaborate when you say that we are halfway there?

Delhi University should have the best, whether it is Romilla Thapar or Amartya Sen. If we manage 300-400 good appointments, we have secured the future of the university for the next 25 years. It is essential that we give the students the best that we have.

Existing courses are therefore being restructured. I have appointed committees to work out the details of how we can include new topics, do away with the obsolete.

At present, changes are made just once in five years. What we have also done is that we have identified three experts from outside the university to give their opinion on the new courses and the changes in the syllabi.

These opinions will be evaluated and kept in mind during the time of making the changes.

Do you agree that revamping and restructuring the courses is long overdue and that the university needs to introduce more vocational courses?

The BA pass course has not been changed since 1950, from the time it was introduced. The course, which was based on role models that existed 50 years ago, needs amends. We are talking to principals, teachers as to how to restructure the syllabi for BA Pass, B Com Pass and Honours courses.

Well, as far as introducing of new courses concerned, I do not quite agree. The university is a place for attaining liberal education.

The university is not simply a place to impart education, but teach you how to become good citizens and it is a place that harnesses the love of learning.

There are professional courses and vocational courses. The university is a place for higher education where you can learn subjects like History and Philosophy.

Tell us more about the developments in the university.

We are not just developing new things, but also preserving what we have. The university has been places of historical importance, we are trying to preserve them and we have raised money to carry out all these activities from outside sources.

The government, for instance, has given us grants for restoration of places, like the Gwyer Hall, IP College and the other old buildings like the VC’s office itself.

In the last two years, we have built 400 hostel rooms, out of which three fourths have been for girls. Our plans include refurbishing the Arts faculty, which is spilling over, we have already begun work on the plazas for students, an academic complex is underway and then there is a student’s centre, complete with facilities for recreation and entertainment.

We want to make the university people friendly. When I joined in the VC’s office did not even have a computer. This is unacceptable. We have mobilised five crores from the IT ministry for connecting the university through optic fiber lines. With just one click, various departments of the university can now connect with each other.

Considering the anxiety that has enveloped the teachers’ fraternity after the gruesome murder of Dr M. N. Singh, is there any proposal to beef up security during exams. Are there any changes or additions in the offing vis-à-vis examinations and invigilation rules?

Roosevelt said there is nothing to fear, but fear. The incident was sad, but we are not the police. We will have security but we will not bow to unruly elements. If we have more security we will be giving into these lawless forces. The exams will be held as per schedule.

The issue of raising the fees has for long been a contentious one. Has the university taken any decision regarding the hike in fees?

We do need to restructure the fees. For the last so many years, students have been paying Rs 20 as tuition fees.

Students don’t mind paying Rs 10 as parking fees per day or paying Rs 30 for a cup of coffee, but when it comes to paying more fees, they are alarmed.

We need the society to engage more with the university. Everybody who can must do their bit for the university. It is everybody’s university.



Unit shut down, workers cry foul
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 17
The management of the Jesh Industries Limited, situated on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road, has shut down its unit for five days for repair work.
Stating this, Mr Hari Parkash, the president of the UTUC Lenin Sarani, told mediapersons here today that as many as 250 workers are working in this factory and have been rendered jobless on account of the closure of the factory.

He alleged that the workers of this factory were being denied weekly holidays, provident fund, bonus, ESI facility, identification cards and overtime, which has caused resentment among them.

Labourer Killed: A labourer identified as Kamuriddin was killed after he fell down from the building of a public school in Patel Nagar area here last evening.

According to a report, the victim was working on the roof the building of the school when he slipped and fell down.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. The body has been sent for the post-mortem examination.

Women Injured: Two women identified as Ms Rajbala of Harsana Kalan village and Ms Santosh of Chitana village were injured when they were assaulted by rival groups in their villages last evening.

According to a report, both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and were stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating the cases. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.



CBSE urged to give grace marks in Maths exam
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, March 17
The Haryana Students Welfare Association has urged the authorities of the Central Board School Education (CBSE) to grant the grace marks to the students appeared in the Class X Mathematics board examination on Saturday last. In a press release, it pointed out that many students may not score a cent per cent following a printed error in the question paper.

It also said that the error was only in the third set of the question paper. However, in the other two sets, the questions were correctly worded. In set three, question No. 25 mentioned a theorem and the students had to use this theorem and then prove an application. According to the association, the question did not mention that the students had to first prove the theorem and then prove the application.

It also threatened to launch an agitation if the CBSE authorities failed to grant the grace marks to the students for discrepancy in the class X maths paper.

Seven Bangladeshis held

Rewari: As many as seven suspected Bangladeshi youths were arrested by the police from the Solahrahi area here on Saturday on the charge of staying illegally in the region. A case under Section 3/14 of the Foreigners Act (1946) has been registered against them. The arrested youths, who are in the age group of 18-25 years, have been identified as Sheikh Jamal, Sheikh Moin, Saleem, Hamimuddin, Sheikh Swaran, Mohammad Jamal and Mohammad Inayat.

They were living in a slum in the area and had been doing petty jobs. They told the police that they were residents of Kolkata but failed to provide any concrete evidence in this regard. They were later produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mrs Bimlesh Tanwar, who remanded them in judicial custody for two weeks.

600 bottles of liquor seized

Faridabad: About 600 bottles of country-made liquor were seized by the police from Sector 3 here today. The liquor was being transported in a truck illegally. According to reports, the truck had brought the bottles packed in 50 boxes from Panipat district. It was intercepted by a team of excise and police officials. The truck has been impounded. TNS



Assembly mourns death of Kalpana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
The Delhi Legislative Assembly condoled the death of India-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla who perished in the space ship Columbia mishap on February 1.
“We are grief-stricken at the death of Kalpana but we are also proud of her achievements. She has made women and youth of this country proud,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said.

Describing her as the “source of inspiration” for the youth, Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi also mourned the death of Kalpana.

Ram Bhaj also of the BJP said the Assembly should pass a resolution to construct a memorial for Kalpana in the NCT of Delhi. The Assembly also condoled the death of some of its former members.

Demo against hike in petrol prices: In order to protest against the frequent hike in diesel and petrol prices, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar and condemned the BJP-led NDA government.

Addressing the demonstration attended by hundreds of Congress workers, the committee spokesman said the prices of diesel and petrol had shot up. As a result, the prices of vegetables, wheat, milk and sugar have been increased making the life of a common man quite difficult.

Holi Milan: The NDMC workers federation organised Holi Milan at the Palika Kendra today. The NDMC Chairperson, Ms Parminder Mandip Singh, was the Chief Guest while Ms Tajdar Babbar presided over the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Singh assured the employees that the report of one-man committee constituted for the revision of pay scales of a few categories would be announced shortly.

Artistes of the song and drama division presented a cultural programme on the occasion.



Chhota Shakeel’s four aides nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
Four associates of underworld don Chhota Shakeel, who were in Delhi on specific assignment to kill someone were apprehended by the Delhi Police Special Cell yesterday in Dwarka in South-West district. Some pistols seized from them.

Sources in the Special Cell said that they were planning to kill someone very important in South-West district. Acting on a secret information that Shakeel’s associates would be coming near the DDA nursery in Sector 6, the sleuths spotted three persons on a motorcycle.

When the police tried to know their whereabouts, the suspects fired at the police party but they were overpowered and taken into custody. The accused were later identified as Mohammad Almas alias Salim (25) and Mohammad Javed alias Asif (25), both residents of Sultanpur, and Mohammad Ajmal, resident of Faizabad, and were staying in different places in Delhi.

During interrogation, they revealed that they belonged to the group headed by one Mohammad Tariq alias Raju, resident of Ghatkopar, a close associate of underworld don Chhota Shakeel. Raju was subsequently nabbed by the police from a hideout in New Ashok Vihar.

Tariq told the police that Shakeel and he were involved in more than seven cases of attempt to murder and the Arms Act and he was detained under the National Security Act (NSA) in Mumbai. He and his accomplices were arrested in 1997 in Delhi for possessing 10 kg of RDX. On his release, he again got in touch with Shakeel and continued his nefarious activities. 



Hoax caller at it
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
The police and the railway authorities went into a tizzy when a hoax call was received in the New Delhi Railway Station this morning that some explosives had been planted in the station. The call was received around 7.45 am. The railway protection force, railway police, bomb disposal squad, fire service and forensic experts immediately rushed to the spot and after two hours of search, the officials dismissed it as a hoax call. The police have tightened the security around the railway stations, as only last week, the railway police recovered six crude bombs packed in a plastic bag in the railway station.

Petrol pump robbers: With the arrest of an inter-state gang of petrol pump robbers, the South district police today claimed to have solved four cases of murder and robbery in Delhi. One country-made pistol, two live cartridges, one knife and Rs 57,000 were recovered from their possession.

The duo, Sanjay (26), resident of Jhajjar and Vikram (24), resident of Bahadurgarh in Haryana, were arrested last evening by the Special staff of South district from the Mehrauli area, police said.

The police acting on a tip-off, nabbed the accused near Syndicate Bank at Chattarpur temple who then confessed to their crimes. During interrogation, the gang disclosed that they specifically targeted the border districts of Haryana like

Rewari and Jhajjar besides committing crimes in Delhi.



Son kills mother over her illicit ties
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, March 17
A woman and her paramour were reportedly murdered by her three relatives, including her 17-year-old son, in Raiyya village of the district. The son, Satyawan, and his two uncles, Sunder and Rohtas, have been arrested by the district police. The bodies were cremated after the post-mortem examination today. According to information, the deceased, Kanta (37), mother of three children, was allegedly having an affair with a cab driver, Rajesh (30), a resident of Talao village, who is also a father of three children. Both had been carrying on their affairs for over a year.

When the police reached the spot late in the night, the body of the woman was lying in a pool of blood while the body of the man was found hanging from the roof.

Police sources disclosed that the son had confessed to the crime. The friend of the paramour had managed to escape. Kanta’s husband had committed suicide eight years ago. Her relatives had complained to the panchayat about her behaviour.



Rs 30,000 snatched from salesmen
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 17
Four unidentified armed youths are reported to have snatched Rs 30,000 from salesmen of a petrol pump on the Sonepat-Rohtak road, near Kalupur octroi post here last night and managed to escape.

According to a report, the alleged suspects came to the petrol pump around 3.30 am and snatched the cash from them at gun-point.

The police has registered the case and launched a manhunt to apprehend them. The incident has caused a panic among the residents of the city.



Body dumped near Amarpali drain
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 17
Some miscreants shot dead a youth on Friday night and threw his body near Amarpali drain before fleeing. A love affair is said to be the cause of the murder, according to police.

Narinder alias Nandu, a resident of Nehru Nagar, was going on his motor bike when he was bundled into a jeep. The deceased was running a dry cleaning shop in Nehru Nagar.

The abductors had shot Narinder from close range and later took the body across the Okhla barrage and threw it near Amarpalli tri-junction. The body has been identified.

A love affair is said to be the cause of the murder, but the police are also examining the possibility whether it was a contract killing.


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