Wednesday, March 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Nine perish in slum cluster blaze
Tribune News Service

Aftermath. — Photo by Anil Sharma

New Delhi, March 18
Nine people, including five children and a woman, were killed and three others injured in a major fire that devastated a slum cluster near Red Fort on the Yamuna Pushta early this morning.

The blaze, which started in a jhuggi at around 0245 hours, soon engulfed 550 hutments in Sanjay Amar Colony. The five children who perished in their sleep were identified as Parvati (nine months), Guriya (8), Qurban Ali (12), Jumna (10) and Tinto (10); the other deceased were: Hamila Beevi (35), Ram Kishan (25) Mehmood (25) and Ulfat (35), the Delhi Fire Service officials said.

The injured — Reena (20), Abdul Razaq (40) and Beetu (20) — were admitted to the LNJP hospital for treatment. .

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, after visiting the spot, announced a compensation package for the victims. Dikshit announced that Rs 50,000 will be paid to the families of adult victims and Rs 25,000 to families of the minor victims. She also assured the families all possible government help. The injured would be compensated as per medico-legal norms. She also announced a package for rebuilding the huts destroyed in the fire.

Ms Dikshit also directed the Divisional Commissioner to personally supervise the rehabilitation and the disbursement of compensation to the victims.

More than 30 fire tenders were pressed into service to put out the blaze, which was brought under control at 5.30 am after two hours of battle. The cause of the fire is not yet known and the Kotwali police are still investigating the case.

Even though the fire was brought under control at around 5.30 a.m., several pockets continued to smoulder till later in the day. Hundreds of men, women and children thronged the devastated colony and tried to retrieve their belongings from the rubble. Senior police, Delhi Fire Service and Delhi government officers visited the spot and arranged for immediate relief to those rendered homeless.

Eye-witnesses said that the fire started in one of the jhuggies, apparently ignited by sparks from an open hearth, and finding a ready inflammable material, soon spread to the adjoining areas.

Confusion reigned for a few minutes as families, rudely woken from their sleep by cries and screams, tried to retrieve their valuables. As men, woman and children ran in panic, the victims were apparently rendered unconscious by the smoke, possibly resulting in death by asphyxia.

Others maintained that the fire was caused by the smouldering remains of a bonfire which was lit by some residents to celebrate Holi. It is suspected that the early morning breeze blew the embers into the jhuggies, which are made of highly inflammable material.

Residents alleged that the fire brigade vehicles arrived almost 15 minutes later and by that time the fire had engulfed most of the jhuggies. DFS officials said that there was no delay on their part.

However, the vehicles faced some problems in negotiating the narrow lanes inside the sprawling slum.



Delhiites happy to paint the town red for two days
Tribune News Service

MIRTHDAY: Newspaper hawkers skylarking opposite The Tribune office in Connaught Place. The Holi function began at 6 pm and continued till 11 pm. The merrymakers danced to the tunes of pop music. Leading hawkers of the Capital like Narayan Singh, Raj Kishore Yadav, Virender Singh, Shyam Narain, Shripal, Vinod Kumar, Shankar Lal et al, took part in the celebrations. Photo by Anil Sharma

New Delhi, March 18
Life becomes all beer and skittles for Delhiites amidst confusion on the official date for Holi. The festival of riotous colours was celebrated on Tuesday, providing a chance for an extended holiday to many though affecting businesses of some.

Although the Union Government declared the holiday tomorrow, the celebrations in the Capital showed no signs of dampening today as the Government of NCT of Delhi announced a restricted holiday for the day and a full break from work tomorrow.

Improving the shining hour of the conflicting dates, many office-goers, claiming to follow the dictates of priests and almanac, stayed back home to do ‘puja’. Students had a gala time as schools in Delhi were closed for two days from today. Several traders’ bodies also shut their businesses for three days starting yesterday, which is a regular weekly holiday.

A rainbow of colours enveloped the city as people from all walks of life joined the celebrations. Life was all cakes and ale as they distributed sweets and applied Gulal on each other.

Patrolling was stepped up in sensitive areas and security tightened all over the city in view of the merrymaking.



When a school is blind to the rights 
of visually impaired
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
The Delhi High Court has asked the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union of India to file their replies to a PIL which claims that seven blind students have been denied admission to a branch of Kendriya Vidyalaya on the ground that they had failed to furnish their birth certificates.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Social Jurists that claimed these children with disabilities were denied admission in the Kendriya Vidyalaya due to non-availability of date of birth certificates. The petitioners pointed out that of these seven blind children, one is a destitute girl child with no one to sign even an affidavit with regard to her date of birth.

The PIL alleged that the children with disabilities have a fundamental right to free education in a congenial environment till they attain the age of 18 years as guaranteed to them under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution, read with the provisions of Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995, Delhi Primary Education Act, 1960, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

Seven visually challenged children, between the age seven and 14, with 100 per cent disability, were denied admission by the Kendriya Vidyalaya, JNU Campus, for the academic session 2003-2004 due to non-availability of birth certificates.

One of these children, a destitute and orphan girl, is under the care of an NGO, Social Outreach Foundation and the National Association for Blind (NAB). The petitioners claimed that despite NAB’s efforts to persuade the respondent school authorities to consider the application of these disabled children for admission to various classes on the basis of affidavits of date of birth, school authorities refused them admission.

The High Court has now sought a reply from the respondents and has fixed March 25, 2003 as the date of next hearing.



‘Sensitive’ UP has only five bomb disposal squads

Ghaziabad, March 18
Despite the heightened threat perception, Uttar Pradesh is ill-equipped to deal with terrorist strikes.
For instance, there are only five bomb disposal squads (BDS), three out of which are regularly stationed at Agra, Ayodhya and Mathura, which leaves just two squads for the rest of the state.

Interestingly, no risk allowance has been sanctioned by the state government or police department for the staff manning these units, to say nothing of any other incentive or special facility.

All this when ISI of Pakistan is known to have chosen Western UP as one of its prime operational and strike zones, mainly due to its proximity to the national Capital.

This has been confirmed by a special task force staff which has recently intensified its surveillance in Muzzafarnagar, Saharanpur, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Muradabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bulandshahar, Mathura and Aligarh districts of Western UP, which are deemed to be high-risk and sensitive.

The bomb disposal squads are summoned wherever a bomb is discovered. The Ghaziabad-based squad has to cater to five districts. This unit has one sub-Inspector, five Head Constables and a dog squad, which is looked after by two additional head constables.

These people are being imparted training by the National Security Guards in Manessar, it is learnt.

According to sources, most of the recruits for the squad come from the PAC as police personnel do not want to get involved in this high-risk job.

In other states, cops discharging such bomb disposal duties are paid a 30 per cent special allowance, but not so in UP.



Legalise extensions for a fee, as in Delhi, say hapless residents
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 18
While the campaign against encroachments in various residential sectors is likely to continue, the estimated loss to the residents, who had gone in for unauthorised constructions and extensions in their houses, will run into several crores of rupees.

Residents and some political leaders are now pleading that the Haryana Government must a take a cue from the neighbouring Delhi Government and charge a fee to legalise such constructions so that they would not have to face such a huge loss.

The Delhi Government a few weeks ago had announced its decision to legalise the extensions in DDA flats. However, the Haryana Government seems to be in no mood to extend such a facility here.

During the recent drive, the authorities bulldozed hundreds of illegal extensions and constructions on government land. A large number of such constructions are on target. The officials have already conducted a survey in this regard.

Although hundreds of such extensions have been removed by the residents themselves after the notices and warnings were issued, the authorities have decided to use JCB machines to pull down the rest within a few days. They suspended the demolition drive for two-three days on account of Holi. But in some areas, the residents welfare associations have sought more time to remove the encroachments as children have their examinations now.

A majority of residents living in the housing board colonies and sectors for several decades had extended and restructured their accommodations as per their requirement.

A resident of Sector 29’s housing board colony admitted that a majority of one and two room set owners had turned these into two and three room sets respectively.

Though such an act could be illegal, he said the residents had bribed the officials concerned who had assured them that no action would be taken against them, as it was a common trend in nearly all housing board colonies throughout the state. He said some of the officials even hinted that the extensions could be legalised after charging some fee later.

The residents have spent around Rs 1 lakh on the construction of an additional room and toilet and paid 10 to 15 per cent of which as bribe to the officials concerned, he said.

Thus, the total loss, if these were demolished, would come to several crores of rupees in a single colony. He said the residents now have to pay heavily to labourers for demolishing and clearing the debris from the area.

It is reported that hundreds of tractor-trolleys have been requisitioned to transport the building material to outside the town. Owners of tractor-trolleys are demanding Rs 150 to Rs 300 per trip.

General secretary of the state Janata Dal (U) Raj Kumar Gaur has condemned the demolition on such a large scale and said it would cause a huge financial loss to the people. He said the Haryana Government could formulate a policy to legalise the extensions and additional constructions up to a limit by charging a fee.

Thus, not only the heavy losses could be averted but also the revenue of the government would go up. He said this money could have been used for development of basic amenities in urban and rural areas.

He alleged that demolitions were being carried out on a selective basis and were politically motivated. He said Faridabad had been made a special target while encroachments were the norm in all the districts of Haryana. 



Three traffickers held, heroin worth Rs 3.5 cr seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
In a major haul, the Delhi Police have seized three-and-a-half kg of heroin worth Rs 3.5 crore in the international market and arrested three suspects from different areas of the Capital.

The consignment was supplied to the suspects by their contacts in Bareilly. Bareilly happens to be the hub of the narcotics trade in North India and the bulk of the supply emanates from there in the region, a senior official of the Narcotics Branch said.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics) D.L. Kashyap, the first suspect, one Ashok Kumar, 38, from Ambedkar Nagar area of South Delhi, was arrested yesterday just as he was about to deliver the contraband to an unidentified person. Two kg of heroin of fine quality was recovered from his possession. He belongs to Shanhjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Initially, he ran a vegetable business which was not too lucrative and he was barely able to support his family. Hard pressed for money, he drifted into drug trafficking. The lure of easy money was hard to resist. Now, he is being interrogated for leads to others involved in drug trafficking, the DCP said.

The sleuths had received a tip-off that the suspects would hand over a consignment to his contacts in Ambedkar Nagar. The sleuths developed the information with the help of local people and deployed a team in plain clothes to keep a tab on the place. He reached the spot at 6.40 a.m. and started behaving in a surreptitious manner. As the men in civvies approached him, Ashok tried to run away. But he was chased and arrested, the DCP said.

In the second case, the police arrested Rahul Kumar alias Nannu (25) from Minto Road bus terminus and recovered one kg heroin from his possession. He belonged to Jhujela in Bijnaur. During interrogation he disclosed that he was a big gangster of his area and involved in a number of heinous cases. He got his supply allegedly from Nathu Seth at village Gudaliya in Bareilly. A police team was immediately dispatched to Gudaliya and Nathu was also arrested.

The DCP said that Nathu was also involved in criminal cases in Bareilly, including three cases of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. He is a manufacturer of heroin, too.

In the third case, the police arrested Dharmender alias Raju (22), a resident of Nabi Karim in North Delhi and recovered 500 gm of heroin. During interrogation he disclosed that he was a pickpocket; of late he was finding it difficult to pursue his vocation due to regular police checking in buses. He took to drug trafficking, thinking that it could be done on the sly and would be more lucrative, the DCP disclosed. 



MC officers blamed for faulty house tax assessment
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
House owners in Sonepat town are upset with the municipal council authorities over the way house tax is assessed and charged. They are also piqued by the delay in issuing the house tax bills and the apathy of the officials in redressing the grievances aired through complaints about wrong assessments.

The vice-chairman of the municipal council, Mr Ashok Arora, blames the officers of the council for this mess. He says the officers are responsible for the erroneous house tax survey. Because of this, the assessment is higher by around Rs 500 per yard, he says.

According to several residents, house taxes are being assessed at higher than the authorised collector’s rates.

Rajinder Kalra of Model Town says that wrong assessment of house tax is a crime and the guilty officials must be punished. Squarely blaming the civic authorities for harassment faced by the residents, he observed that had the authorities been sincere in redressing public grievances, they could have cancelled the old survey and ordered a new one, strictly on the basis of the collector’s rates. Another Model Town resident, Mr T. K. Sardana, says the municipality is maintaining two lists of house taxes.



Jhakhar asks secular forces to unite against NDA govt
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
Dubbing the recent Union Budget proposals as pro-rich and anti-farmer, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha and senior Congress leader Balram Jhakhar has appealed to all secular forces to unite on a single platform to wage a battle to oust the communal and capitalist forces ruling the nation.

Talking to mediapersons here last evening, he lashed out at the BJP-led NDA government for pursuing anti-farmer policies. He said that the Budget proposals were aimed at appeasing multinational companies while the farming sector would had to pay the price as a substantial cut in subsidies was proposed in the Budget. He said that the policies of liberalisation and privatisation being pursued by the government had virtually ruined the farming and labour sector in the country.

He alleged that the central government had failed to grant compensation to the drought-hit farmers of Rajasthan, Haryana and other 12 states where the crops had been damaged badly and milch animals had died in large numbers.

Mr Jhakhar also alleged that the Central Government had allocated only Rs 910 crore as relief to the drought-hit farmers in the country, which, he said, was a joke. He also said that the central government had earmarked Rs 28,000 crore in the Budget for the agriculture sector which, he said, was inadequate.

Referring to the SYL canal issue, he expressed concern over the ongoing tussle between Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda and said they should unite and launch a joint struggle to get the canal completed and share of Ravi-Beas water from Punjab. He regretted the statements of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on this issue and said that this would create chaos in both the states.



NGO asks Nitish Kumar to start DMU service on Delhi-Rewari section
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, March 18
A prominent multifarious NGO, Sanyukt Kalyan Parishad, has appealed to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, to start the already sanctioned DMU train service on the Delhi-Gurgaon-Rewari section.

In a letter written to the Railway Ministry, the NGO mentioned that a DMU train was sanctioned by the ministry in the last Railway Budget (2002-03) on the above said route. “It is regretted that the railway authorities have not been able to start the DMU though a DMU track was tested,” said the letter.

Mr S. P. Nagrath, president of the parishad, alleged that the sanctioned DMU might have been shifted to somewhere else. He suggested that an inquiry should be instituted in the matter.

He further said that due to the increased population over the years in the city, there has been a heavy rush in the trains. A large number of people can be seen travelling on rooftops, foot-board and hanging from anywhere they could get a handle in trains, thereby putting their lives at stake.

Several passengers have died due to accidents, said the president.

Mr Nagrath added that most of the trains going towards Delhi terminate at Sarai Rohilla station whereas most of the passengers have to go to the New Delhi Railway Station.

The letter mentioned that one track of Gurgaon was converted into broad gauge (BG) in 1993. The non-conversation of the second metre gauge (MG) track to BG had created a lot of problems for the commuters.

There has been a strong public demand for many years to convert both the MG tracks into BG tracks so as to link this section with New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin stations and through these with various other parts of the country.

It regretted that the facilities at the Gurgaon railway station were not up to the mark in this fast developing industrial and residential city and the passengers were made to undergo various difficulties during their day-to-day travelling, said the letter.

The parishad has sought a personal meeting with the Railway Minister to brief him about the various other problems faced by the daily commuters from here.



Rs 4 cr sanctioned to pay dues to farmers
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 18
UP Minister of State for Irrigation Nawab Singh Naggar said a priority list was being formulated for speedy payment of dues to the farmers for their land acquired by the government.

A sum of Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned by the state government for the payment.

The Irrigation Minister, who was speaking after opening a pucca road on river embankment in Asgarpur, said that the road will connect the whole area directly with Okhla barrage through a pucca road.

Mr Naggar said since the issue of payment of compensation was sensitive, efforts are afoot to resolve it satisfactorily.

Discussions are on with the Noida and Greater Noida authorities on the problem of ‘Abadi’ land.

The authority has been advised to take action on the basis of actual Abadi land and not merely on the basis of paper work, Mr Naggar said.

The minister said that a plan has been finalised for return of 10 per cent land to the farmers.

Mr Naggar said that subsequently the villages situated on the joint basin of Hindon and Yamuna and Ambedkar villages would all be linked with Delhi and Greater Noida by the express high-way through 3.5-km-long road.



Colonies, posh and model in name only! 
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi March 18
You should be careful while walking in the posh colonies of Civil Lines area, Derawal Nagar and Model Town, considering the state of the roads there. A number of accidents have taken place in the two colonies. Residents often complained that their vehicles got punctured while negotiating the potholed and slushy roads.

Started in 1978, Derawal Nagar was a colony of those who had migrated from Dera Ismile Khan in Northwest Frontier provinces. The Co-operative House Building Society developed the colony. Since then, the officials have not cared two hoots to recarpet the roads. The older colony Model Town suffers the same fate. It’s a ‘model’ colony in name only.

Sarla Gadi, one of the senior residents of Derawal Nagar said, “I used to go for a walk regularly. My husband would drive me till the garden and then we would walk together. However, as the roads have become uneven, it’s painful for me to walk now.”

R. Khurana, another resident of the area echoed almost the same view, “The jhuggi cluster was removed from our area in October 2002 but the service lane of Gujranwala Town and Derawal Nagar is in disrepair. The roads have piles of debris lying there. It’s almost six months but no one listens to us. This stretch is important as it links two colonies, and moreover, this separates the colony from the main road. The meeting with the authorities did not bear fruit.”

The B Block near Taxi Stand is worst hit. Due to overflowing main sewer of the block, water flows down in to the colony. The contaminated water emits foul smell and the stinking area made it hard for the residents to breathe easy.

P C Garg, one of the senior citizens of Model Town said, “We have visited the councillor many times but she has not visited our area even once. The uneven road makes it all the more difficult for us to walk. The other day, a junior engineer visited the area but he also didn’t respond well.”

Another resident Kanta Gupta said, “I cannot go out to market. The uneven road is dangerous. I slipped twice on this road. It’s like you get one problem removed and the other crops up. Moreover, the stretch constructed by the MCD to reach the bus stop remains filthy.”

Municipal Councillor Madhu Arya said, “The dense carpeting costing Rs 26 lakh has been planned in inner and main roads of Derawal Nagar. The order will be passed soon. And for Model Town, we have sent the papers for sanction. We will get the road levelled.”

Whereas O.P. Tomar, XEN MCD said, “We have sent the case for approval in standing committee for Derawal Nagar. We have received complaints and tried to do patchwork also but the residents now want to put down rugs. As soon as the case is approved, we will get the work done. In Model Town, we are waiting for the mud to settle down. We will get it levelled soon and then construct the road.”



Vidrohi voices concern over rape, murder incidents 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, has expressed concern over the increasing incidence of rape, murder, loot and other heinous crimes in the state and said that the police have become just a paper tiger. They have completely failed to check the criminals and other anti-social elements, Mr Vidrohi said.

He alleged that Mr Chautala was fanning not only casteism but patronising the criminals.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he accused the Director General of Police Haryana, Mr M S Malik, of making tall claims of nabbing the criminals and solving the crime cases, but the fact is that he has been a spokesman of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

Mr Vidrohi alleged that by patronising the ‘akharas’, Mr Chautala was contemplating to use the wrestlers in the next assembly elections for capturing the booths.

He criticised the Chautala government for stifling the voice of dissent among the bureaucrats and said that Mr Chautala was patronising a particular community by giving lucrative and important posts to the officers belonging to that community.

Referring to the construction of the SYL canal in the Punjab territory, Mr Vidrohi criticised Mr Chautala for not being sincere in getting it completed.

He accused the leaders of other parties for befooling the people on the issue by claiming themselves as well-wishers of the farming community. But, in fact they had betrayed the farmers of the state on the issue.



Chemists to observe strike on March 25
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
The Haryana State Chemists and Druggists Association today gave a call to its members to observe a day’s strike on March 25 to register their protest against the introduction of VAT in the state from April 1.

Announcing this, Mr R. K. Khera and Mr Satish Vij, president and secretary respectively of the association, told mediapersons here today that at least 7,200 chemists all over the state would close their shops on that day and hold rallies and demonstrations to press their demands. Memorandums listing the demands of the association will also be submitted to the district and sub-divisional authorities for forwarding the same to the central and state governments.

They also expressed concern over the possible rise in costs of medicines and procedural difficulties with the introduction of VAT in Haryana and said that it would be essential before the introduction of VAT to ensure that operating procedures such as the rate structure, product classification and documentary procedures were made uniform across all states.

The association leaders urged the government to exempt small traders from the purview of VAT and give concessions to medium traders.

They also demanded the release of the list of life-saving drugs and these should also be exempted from VAT.

They also demanded that the police should not interfere in imposing the rules and regulations of VAT and the traders should not be harassed while paying VAT to the government.



Knowledge workers key to rural development
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 18
Addressing the first seminar on Development of Mofussil and Rural Areas under the aegis of the Society for Advancement of Networking and Communication for Human and Allied Resources (Sanchar), Dr Shamel Gosh said that communication is the key to development as it leads to knowledge and knowledge, in turn, to wisdom. Communication had led to the development of language, which led to the development of visual media, print media, digital devices etc.

Knowledge workers will be the pillars of development of the future, he said. Today, everything is available for a cost, a price. The time is coming when every service provider like a mali and an artisan will carry a mobile. Kerala fishermen are already using mobile phones to sell their catch on high seas. With 50 million network connections, India is in the fifth place in the world.

Health and education are very important areas where modern communication and connectivity is going to play a vital role. Dr Shamel Gosh said IIT, Kanpur, has done some pioneering work for rural connectivity. Telecom kiosks or Sanchar Dhabas set up in Madurai are indicative of the future trends.

Agriculture will also stand to gain tremendously from this technology when warnings about crop diseases and their remedies could be flashed in no time, resulting in colossal savings; children will pick up homework from the web.

Empowerment of women is a key area in villages. In India, there is a big need for such set-ups and services. In West Bengal, an NGO is taking over from BSNL and providing bulk connections. Technology suitable for a particular terrain will have to selected. 



Cong to launch ‘Jal Yudh’ for SYL canal
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, March 18
Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Leader of the Opposition in Haryana, has declared that his party would launch ‘Jal Yudh’ and block Delhi from three sides to get the SYL canal completed in the Punjab territory.

Talking to mediapersons at Gohana town, 35 km from here last evening, he said that the Congress was committed to getting the share of Ravi-Beas waters from Punjab at any cost and safeguard the interest of the Haryana farmers.

He appealed to all the parties irrespective of their political affiliation to unite on the issue and put pressure on the Central government to get the SYL canal completed at the earliest.

He appealed to the party workers to be ready for participating in the ‘Jal Yudh’ agitation and mobilise the people against the anti-farmer policies of the Central and state governments.

Mr Hooda lashed out at the Chautala government which he said was undemocratic. It was trying to crush the voice of the people by resorting to lathi-charge and firing on the innocent people of the people.

He expressed anguish at reducing the period of the Assembly session and alleged that the Chief Minister was bent upon throttling democracy.

Expressing concern over the deteriorating law and order situation, the Congress leader blamed the Chautala government for its failure to check the increasing activities of the criminals and anti-social elements in the state.

Diocese of Haryana

Gurgaon: A new diocese in North India, Diocese of Haryana has been formed. A resident of Gurgaon, Bishop Dr D E Singh, who was the Adjutor Bishop in Diocese of Delhi along with Bishop E Porter, Suffragan Metropolitan of North India, has been assigned the independent charge of Diocese of Haryana.

The resolution for new Diocese was passed in the meeting of the Episcopal Synod of Anglican Church of India (ACI), held at Kottayam, Kerala, a few days back under the chairmanship of the Most Rev. Dr Stephen Vattapara, Metropolitan of ACI.

All the bishops from North India and South India along with priests and delegates participated in the meeting and formed the Diocese of Haryana.

At present, the ACI had diocese of Delhi, Diocese of Lucknow, Diocese of Chandigarh in North India.



RBI offer on torn notes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 18
During a week-long special driver, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has offered to exchange soiled and torn currency notes from the public through their special counters in various commercial banks.

The special drive to exchange soiled notes of all denominations will begin from Thursday. The public can now avail themselves of the facility from State Bank of India, Shahdara on Thursday, Punjab National Bank, Gurudwara Road on Friday, State Bank of Patiala, Shradha Nand Marg on Monday, Bank of India, Chandni Chowk on Tuesday, State Bank of India, Azadpur on Wednesday and Punjab & Sind Bank, Tilak Nagar on Thursday.

MCD mayoral polls: The elections for new Mayor and Deputy Mayor in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi will be held on April 7. The last date for filing nominations to the posts is April 2. The elections to three members to be nominated to the Standing Committee will also be held the same day. Besides, the elections for the post of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee will be held on April 17. The elections for the chairmanship of other committees will be held later, a press release said.

Gangster held: Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested Jai Prakash alias Kala, a member of Sandeep Bhoori gang. The suspect used to extort money from property dealers and businessmen in North-West district. He was arrested from KP Block in Pitampura. During interrogation, he disclosed that he was a close associate of Sandeep Bhoori who was killed in an encounter in Punjab sometime back, police said.



Revellers throw stones at passengers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 18
Four passengers including two women were seriously injured when a group of miscreants pelted them with stones and filth while they were travelling on a passenger train bound for Delhi yesterday.

The culprits were stated to be Holi revellers. According to a report, the incident occurred at Rajlu Garhi railway station between Sonepat and Ganaur. The injured women were identified as Ms Sheweta and Ms Amrit Kaur. They were going from Karnal to Delhi.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) have not yet registered any case so far. Investigations are on.

Six held for gambling: The police arrested six persons on the charge of gambling here last evening.

According to a report, the arrested persons were identified as Swaran, Baleshwar, Umesh, Bhana, Suresh and Mahesh Dass. The police have recovered Rs 400 and other articles of gambling from their possession.

A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against the arrested persons.

Woman, son attacked: Four unidentified armed youths forced their way into a shop in the main market of Sector 14 here last evening and assaulted the woman and his son there before escaping with some cash. According to a report, the police have registered the case and a hunt is on to apprehend them.

Factory reopens: The management of the Jasch Industries Limited has reopened its unit and directed the workers to come back on duty. This factory, it may be recalled, had been closed down for five days but the management reopened it yesterday.

JBT teachers’ grouse: Resentment prevails among the JBT schoolteachers against the non-payment of their salary for the last month. According to a report, these teachers were transferred to other districts by the Education Department as they were declared surplus under the rationalisation policy introduced by it.

HVP offer: The secretary general of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), Mr Surinder Singh, has declared that if his party comes to power again in the next assembly elections, it would abolish all the anti-trader taxes imposed by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala in the state.

He also announced that it would also scrap the entry tax forms and withdraw the increased rates of power and water. 



Chain-snatching incidents on the increase
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 18
Wearing jewellery and going out in the open has become a risky affair here. At least two incidents of chain-snatching were reported in the last four days.
In the recent incident, a married woman of Sector-16 here was on the way to a temple yesterday when two motorcycle-borne youths came from behind and snatched the gold necklace and a chain worn by the woman. Identified as Neelam Goel, the woman raised the alarm but the culprits had taken to their heels by then.

In another incident, two youths also on a mobike attempted to snatch the chain of a woman in Sector 8 here at about 3.30 pm. While one of them was captured later, the pillion-rider who had snatched the chain, jumped from the roof of a house after being cornered. The youth identified as Chhotu of Parvatiya Colony got seriously injured and succumbed to injuries in hospital on Sunday last.

Rapists jailed: Two persons have been sentenced to five and seven years in jail along with fine in separate cases of rapes by the District court.

One Laxmi Narayan of Ali Brahaman village was found guilty of rape of three years old girl on March 2 last year in Hodal subdivision.

The District and Sessions court has sentenced the accused to five years and a fine of Rs 250.

In another case, a fast track court sentenced one Harender of Rakesh Colony of Ballabgarh to seven years on charges of raping a 14 years old girl. The court has also asked the convict to pay a fine of Rs 1000.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |