Friday, April 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Hit with revolver butt in market, robbed of
Rs 2 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 3
Two criminals snatched Rs 2 lakh from a woman after hitting and injuring her with the butt of a revolver at 11 am in a busy marketplace in Dibai town and fled on a motorbike towards Bhimpur crossing, brandishing their revolvers in the air.

Prabha Gupta, wife of Rajinder Prasad Vashnoi of Mandir Wali Gali, had withdrawn Rs 2 lakh from the main branch of the State Bank of India in the busy marketplace yesterday.

As Prabha Gupta reached the corner of the street, she was accosted by two criminals who tried to snatch her money bag.

As she resisted, they hit her with the butt of a gun and threw her on the ground before snatching the bag. Though she had raised the alarm but nobody in the busy marketplace came to her rescue.

Interestingly, the police were checking vehicles near the Kotwali but these criminals’ motor cycle could not be checked. Circle Officer Mahendra Kumar came on the spot and questioned the woman. Though police teams had fanned out, the culprits could not be traced.

As it was the first day of Navratra, there was an unusual crowd in the market. The people were irked that the police, normally deployed at the crossing, had been withdrawn.

Interestingly, the robbery took place at the same spot where two months ago criminals had attacked the house of garment seller Shyam Sunder and decamped with valuables worth lakhs of rupees from his residence. Besides, two incidents of robbery and theft have also taken place in the same area in recent days.

Who cares for a stolen purse

Rohtak: An unidentified scooterist snatched the purse of a teacher in Model Town area last evening. What shocked the teacher was the attitude of the cops at the nearby police post, who refused to register a case saying that there is little chance of recovering the purse. The purse contained around Rs 1,000 and certain important documents.

According to information, a teacher of the local Model school was passing near Chand Health Club in the Model Town area at around 8 pm on Wednesday. A miscreant on a scooter snatched her purse and zipped away. The teacher raised an alarm and chased the robber up to a few metres. However, the scooterist took a few turns and disappeared. The teacher was told by a passer-by that a scooterist had just sped towards the powerhouse.

She said she approached the police post concerned to register a complaint. However, the cops at the post argued that there was no use registering such a complaint as there was only a bleak chance of recovering the purse. Moreover, it will blot their record.



Extortionist killed in encounter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
Charanjit Singh, alias Bittoo, a dreaded criminal of the North-West district, who used to reportedly extort money from businessmen in the area, was killed in an encounter near Japani Park in Rohini late last night. His accomplice, who is yet to be identified, managed to escape under cover of darkness.

The police said the encounter took place when a special team of the Crime Branch led by ACP Shivender Tewari spotted the duo trying to extort money from traders in the area. The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police had been asked to apprehend the extortionist following persistent complaints by the traders that they were being regularly threatened by Bittoo and his accomplices. The team had prior information that the deceased would be coming to the area last night and had laid a trap.

The police said last night, when Bittoo reached a businessmen’s house apparently to collect money, the police team asked them to stop. Instead of stopping, Bittoo reportedly asked his friend, who was riding the motor cycle, to speed away. The police team chased the duo on the motor cycle and overtook them near Japani Park about a kilometre away where Bittoo started firing at the police team. The police team retaliated and Bittoo, who sustained several bullet injuries, was killed. His accomplice, who was also armed, fired at the police and ran away, taking advantage of the darkness. A hunt has been launched to trace him.

According to the police, Bittoo was the younger brother of dreaded terrorist Amarjeet Singh Lovely and he was involved in around 50 cases of extortion, murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and loot in the Capital and some other states. He was arrested a few years back and was released from jail only recently.

He started extorting money from a number of businessmen after his release.



SC slaps Rs 1 lakh fine on polluting unit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Rs1lakh on a hot mix plant in the national Capital for causing air pollution. The court fined the owner of the plant and sentenced him to one week’s imprisonment on finding him guilty of contempt for violating the court orders that called for its closure.

A Bench comprising Mr Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice H. K. Sema said that in matters related to air pollution or any environmental hazard if the orders of the highest court are disobeyed, as was sought to be done in this case, the health of the entire society is at risk.

It was pointed out the Bench was convinced about sending a strong signal by imposing exemplary punishment so that like-minded people would not repeat this and such a recurrence was thwarted.

The apex court judges ruled air pollution was causing a deleterious effect on the health of the entire society.

And with the larger interest of society in mind the court had passed the orders for the closure of 44 hot mix plants and allotment of alternative sites to their owners, the judges observed.

The judges said that liberty of an individual must necessarily be balanced with his duties and obligations towards his fellow citizens. They pointed out that every citizen of this country had the freedom to breathe unpolluted air.

The apex court on October 10, 1996, while dealing with an application filed by M. C. Mehta, had directed hot mix plants in and around Delhi to stop functioning after the Central Pollution Control Board rated them as a hazardous industry.



Illegal huts facing demolition gutted
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 3
A fire broke out in an illegal jhuggi cluster in Sector 44 on Thursday, gutting some 350 hutments. Most of these makeshift shelters were located at the corner of the Dadri Road, behind the petrol pump.

Incidentally, the Supreme Court had given a ruling on March 3, declaring the slum cluster, spread over an area of 25 acres on the road to Sarita Vihar from Noida, as illegal. The court had also upheld the right of the Noida authority to demolish the illegal jhuggis, according to CEO of Noida, Dr Om Prakash, who was at the site of the fire today. In all, there were some 2,000 jhuggis in this slum.

The mishap has created the impression that the fire had been deliberately caused by the juggi dwellers as they had been served with a notice to vacate the land.

Incidentally, the jhuggi dwellers had already removed their belongings

from their shelters in view of the Noida authority’s announcement that anti-encroachment squads would be demolishing some of the huts today. Enforcement officer Satish Chandra was at the site when he noticed smoke and flames billowing from the sprawling cluster. All this has further reinforced the impression that the blaze was deliberate.

Following the fire, some rowdy elements in the area attacked some government vehicles and public servants on duty. Some media men were also injured in the stone-pelting. Cameraman Ashok Dhir, who is employed with a TV channel, and some vernacular scribes were injured in the incident. The police have rounded up 31 persons in this connection.

According to SP City Vijay Bhushan, the fire had started at 2 pm and, though the police were busy in a meeting, the forces reached the spot along with a fire brigade in 10 minutes. Seven fire tenders, five from Noida and two from Ghaziabad,were pressed into service. The huts were smouldering till 4.30 pm when the blaze was finally doused by the firemen.

The Noida authority has filed a case against the rioters for attacking public servants on duty and obstructing them in the discharge of their duties.

It may be recalled that a devastating fire had broken out in the same cluster on April 22 last year in which 700 jhuggis were gutted and seven persons, including some children, had lost their lives.



Give subsidised LPG for langar: DSGMC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
Taking strong objection to the Centre’s move to charge commercial rate for cooking gas used in gurdwaras, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee said the gas was used for preparing langar only and not for any commercial purpose.

The langar, DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna said, was not a commercial activity in any sense. Therefore, LPG used for its preparation should not be sold on a commercial pattern.

The running of langar in every gurdwara with the objective of providing free food to all visitors and devotees irrespective of caste and creed, was part of the Sikh tradition, he added.

The DSGMC president said they had lodged protests with the Centre for slapping commercial charges, which has doubled the monthly LPG bill to Rs 600,000.

The Union Petroleum Ministry also forced the DSGMC to deposit an additional security of Rs 15 lakh for cooking gas supply, Mr Sarna told newspersons here today.

Langars (free kitchens) attached to Delhi’s 11 historical gurdwaras consume around 2,500 cylinders a month and commercial charges are nearly double that of domestic rates of LPG.

‘’Four representations made by the DSGMC to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik since the charging of commercial rates for LPG in January this year have been ignored,’’ he said, adding that the fiat had clubbed gurdwaras with other institutions asked to pay commercial charges for cooking gas.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has also made similar representations to Mr Naik after the implementation of new orders on supplying LPG to institutions on commercial prices.



Chautala’s sops for Haryana cops
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 3
The Haryana Government has taken a policy decision to promote constables and hawaldars who have put in 16 and 30 years of service, respectively. Also, the assistant sub-inspectors completing 35 years of service will now retire with the rank of sub-inspector. This was stated at Bhondsi, near here, by Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala on the occasion of the passing out parade of the Indian Reserve Battalion at Devi Lal Training and Research Centre. Mr Chautala also announced that an extension of two years in service would be granted to those personnel who would be the recipients of President’s Police Medal for gallantry. Moreover, the recipients would be granted an increment.

He said class 1V policemen would be given the facility of bus travel in state roadways buses on the pattern of other police personnel. Special arrangements would be made for the treatment of prisoners in existing as well as new hospitals coming up in the state by keeping one room separately for their treatment.

He further said uniforms would be given to CID personnel and an annual allowance equal to the cost of the uniform would also be given to them. Dwelling on the government’s policy to supplement the manpower, he disclosed that 8,000 more personnel would be recruited this year.



Subhash Sharma arrested in DDA scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
In the continuing crackdown in the DDA land scam case, the Central Bureau of Investigation today arrested former vice-chairman of the authority Subhash Sharma. However, the agency has failed to get any breakthrough in tracking down property developer and a key accused in the case Dharamvir Khattar.

The CBI has sought public help in tracing Khattar. Fifty-eight-year-old Khattar was a resident of Gurgaon and has an office in Jangpura Extension, New Delhi. A CBI raid at his residence in connection with the DDA scam on March 27 had led to the recovery of draft judgements of the property cases being heard by the Delhi High Court judge.



The great Indian tradition: Squat and
write exams in the open
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 3
Although the State government allocates several crores to the Education Department for the development of infrastructure every year, the department fails to provide even basic facilities like chairs and tables to board examinees in urban and rural areas of the district.

According to a report, a large number of examinees had to squat on the floor and attempt their papers in the recently held middle and matriculation examinations. In Sonepat city itself, there are a number of examination centres without furniture.
The situation in rural areas is, of course, worse. Often, students carry mats with them to the examination halls.

Again, there are several examination centres in the district where the examinees are made to squat in the veranda due to shortage of rooms. Apart from the obvious hardship that such an arrangement would cause, it diverts the attention of the examinees.

To aggravate matters, most of the rooms in the examination centres are poorly lit and lack drinking water facility and proper toilets.

Representatives of the Haryana Students Welfare Association have blamed the successive governments for not improving the infrastructure. They said, despite the heavy budgetary allocation, neither the standard of education nor the infrastructure had improved in government-run schools in the state.

They also said it was ridiculous for a state, which claims to be one of the most developed in the country, not to have even basic furniture and accommodation for students appearing in board examinations.

It is pointed out that the number of students on the rolls in the primary schools is on the decline and parents prefer to send their wards to private schools. Even senior district officers prefer to send their children to private schools.

It is ironical that these officers preside over functions in government-run schools, but don’t care two hoots about improving the standard of education.

In some cases, the wives of these officers are employed as teachers in government schools; yet, they send their wards to modern public schools.

20 cases of unfair means detected

At least 20 cases of unfair means were detected yesterday by members of the flying squads during their visit to examination centres set up by the Board of Education, Haryana, for the conduct of the annual matriculation examination in this district.

According to a report, the members of the flying squads detected as many as 10 cases of copying in Arya Senior Secondary School, Mohana, three in Doon Senior Secondary School, Sonepat, two in Barwasni village and five cases in

Ganaur subdivision. They also recommended the closure of the examination centres set up at Government Girls Senior Secondary School and Saraswati Senior Secondary School, both in Ganaur, following reports of mass-scale copying by examinees in these centres. The members of the flying squad removed the duty supervisor, Bimla Devi, from the examination centre at Indian Public School, Gohana road, duty supervisor Prem Kumari from the examination centre at Arya Senior Secondary School, Mohana village, and Ravinder Kumar, another duty supervisor, at Government Girls Senior Secondary School from duty on the spot.

Moreover, two examination centres at Government Senior Secondary School and Vivekanand Senior Secondary School were closed and they were shifted to various places in the city.



LJP flays defacing of statue
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 3
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in Haryana has condemned the defacing of the statue of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Kaithal and termed it as an insult to the entire nation. In a press statement issued here, general secretary of the party Surender Singh Hooda stated that the incident was the result of neglect of the interests of the people of weaker sections and continuous increase in the incidents of exploitation of Dalits in the state. “The incident in Kaithal shows that there is a jungle raj in the state and the Dalits are being targeted and supressed on every occasion,” he said and added that these types of incidents were pre-planned so that voters of Dalit community and upper castes were polarised. Mr Hooda has claimed that the LJP would not allow the opportunistic elements to derive political mileage by instigating such incidents, which vitiated the social atmosphere.



Sonepat sonias prefer ‘arranging’ their love
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 3
The age-old division between an ‘arranged’ and a ‘love’ marriage seems to have fudged. Most marriages today can be described as ‘semi-arranged’.

According to a report, the most acceptable form in the institution of marriage is a ‘semi-arranged’ wedding. The marriage is arranged by the parents with the consent of the couple!

At least 250 girl students of undergraduate courses of local colleges, who were approached by this correspondent, have made some interesting observations. Most of the students in the age group of 18 to 21, said they would prefer to marry in the traditional style. Their number was 85 per cent while only 15 per cent would like to try a new mode of marriage.

These 85 per cent girls were not only in favour of the traditional way, they also wanted to match horoscopes.

The interviews reflecting the attitude of a large number of girl students studying in the colleges also threw up another observation. More than 50 per cent of girls wanted to marry either within their religion or within caste or sub-caste.

Only 40 per cent girls expressed willingness to marry outside their caste.

It was a heartening sign that a majority of the girls were not in favour of dowry marriage. A large percentage of them even had the courage to refuse to marry if there was a demand for dowry.

However, a few respondents did not have the courage and will power to oppose the parents’ decision. Five per cent of the girls were not sure of what they would do when faced with such a situation.

The issue of dowry is closely related to the system of inheritance of parental property. Parents and brothers do not want to give equal inheritance rights to girls and instead prefer to give dowry. More than 80 per cent of the respondents wanted a share in parental property while 15 per cent wanted neither dowry nor property.

The remaining preferred to settle for dowry, the interviewees said.

Changing social values and economic realities have moulded the opinion of these respondents. At least 45 per cent of the girls were planning to continue studies while 25 per cent wanted to take up a job. More than 30 per cent were planning to use their knowledge in some vocational field. And only 10 per cent wanted to get married and have a family.

If these data provide any evidence, the girls were certainly thinking in terms of higher education and pursuing a career. Marriage was not the only destination of their life.

Most of the respondents said that the marriage was essential. Among those in favour of marriage, 75 per cent of the respondents felt that marriage is essential for companionship, while 10 per cent were of the view that the marriage was essential because of social pressures, only five per cent wanted protection while three per cent gave sexual contentment as the reason for marriage.

When asked if an unmarried woman could lead a happy life, 65 per cent girls maintained their position that a woman could not be happy without marriage while 35 per cent believed that it was possible for a girl to remain happy without marriage. They cited reasons like career being more important than marriage, freedom more important than marriage and related responsibilities.

A lecturer of a local college said the most favoured age for marriage was between 21 and 25 years.

The age which a girl should get married is governed by many factors like demographic, social economic and religious. Girls were encouraged to have college education in those cases where the mother was a graduate and the father also had the same qualifications.

This indicated that an educated mother would always ensure that her daughter also is educated.



MCD rendering yeoman’s service in healthcare
Jeevna Bhinder

New Delhi, April 3
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which is in the process of electing a new Mayor, is one of the largest municipal bodies in the world providing civic services to more than 13.78 million citizens. One of its key areas of service is healthcare. No mean task, given the area and the fluctuating demography it has to cover in the Capital.

It is one of the main agencies, which carry preventive healthcare services. Many programmes are being carried out to control water-borne and vector-borne diseases.

Hospitals, which come under the control of the MCD, include two general hospitals, one each hospital for tuberculosis, infectious diseases and maternity and for mother and child. The bed capacity of Bara Hindurao Hospital is 980 while that of Swami Dayanand Hospital is 230.

The Health Department of the MCD is also responsible for organising healthcare facilities during natural disasters like flood and fire and during events like rallies, national and state level function.

It is also providing mother and child hospital (MCH) services and family welfare (FW) services to the general public through a network of 23 maternity homes with a total strength of 300 beds, MCH centres, 50 sub-centres, 7 PP units and 11 mobile units.

The Indian Population Project (IPP-VIII) is a World Bank-aided project started in 1993. It is being implemented to provide MCH and family welfare services to about 12 lakh slum dwellers through six maternity homes (90 beds), 21 health centres and 105 health posts.

Works are also being carried out on various projects like ante-natal care, post-natal care, immunisation, family planning and family welfare. Health services are also being provided to students studying in MCD schools.

Services in indigenous systems of medicine are organised through two ayurveda hospitals with 140 beds, 104 dispensaries, 19 homeopathy dispensaries and 15 unani dispensaries.



Special Focus on Rohtak
Town planning official ‘among encroachers’ in HUDA sectors
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 3
There appears to be a race for encroachment in HUDA sectors of this town in spite of a drive by the district administration against this menace in the old city areas.

Interestingly, the encroachers include a senior functionary of the Town Planning Department, who claims to be a relative of the Town Planning Minister of the state.

This official allegedly personally supervised the construction work in front of his corner house and encroached two roads, one being the main entry road of Sector I. All this is happening in the open when the Sub-Divisional Magistrate is also holding the charge of the Estate Officer of the HUDA.

Several IAS officers have their houses built in HUDA sectors here. Though none of them has encroached on the HUDA roads, all of them have closed their eyes on their civic responsibility of asking the authorities concerned to remove the encroachments made by others.

A couple of years ago, these encroachments were removed reportedly on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Mr R. K. Khullar, the then Deputy Commissioner, took personal interest in this and an affidavit was reportedly filed in the high court in this regard.

Though the HUDA sectors are supposed to be developed on modern lines, the electric cables are still over the roads. These wires should be underground so that roads look wide and beautiful.

The condition of roads is anyway bad. The vacant plots have become dustbins and bushes have grown on them.

There is no plantation on the roadsides. No steps have been taken to beautify and clean the sectors.

Appreciably, the green belt of Sector I is beautifully developed as Ch Devi Lal Park. But there is no overbridge to connect the two parts of this park. There is no railing around the fountains in the park either, thereby posing a great danger of children falling into the water.

Moreover, in summer, most of the people tend to dip their legs in the water and sit there. This presents an ugly look.

There is no toilet in the park, which is visited by a large number of people in the evening. Statues of animals and gods have not been given a coat of primer, which could have saved them from getting rusted. The pavement in this park seems to have caved in at several places.



Rohini Aggarwal appointed HoD of Fine Arts
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 3
The Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University, Maj Gen (Retd) Bhim Singh Suhag, has, under statute 21 of the MDU Act, appointed Dr Rohini Aggarwal, Reader in the Hindi Department, as Head of the Fine Arts Department with immediate effect. She will continue to hold the post till further orders.

Meanwhile, a three-day cultural literary recreational bonanza, Techno-Fest 2003, featuring the technical and professional colleges and institutions affiliated to MDU will be held at the YMCA Institute of Engineering, Faridabad from April 4 to April 6. It will consist of literary section `Abhivyakti’; dance section `Natraj’; drama section `Vividha’; fine arts section `Srijan’; music section `Shruti’; and academic/technical section `Manan’. Apart from these sections, informal events like jam session, treasure hunt, bindas bol etc and special events like fashion parade.



MC fails to pass budget
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 3
The budget of the municipal council for the year 2003-04 has not been adopted so far. The meeting of the civic body held on March 24 to consider the budget proposals was adjourned without passing the budget for the current financial year.

Ms Pratibha Suman, president of the MC, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the council would meet on April 7 to approve the budget proposals.

Ms Suman said that the budget could not be approved before March 31 because of certain technical problems.

However, the council has not made any financial transactions in the new financial year for want of approval of budget proposals.

According to the proposed budget estimates, the civic body will have an income of Rs 12.90 crore during 2003-04 and would spend Rs 11.58 crore on various developmental activities and salary to its employees.

Thus, the council will have a surplus of Rs 1.31 crore at the end of the financial year.

The council proposes to earn Rs 2 crore from the sale of land and another Rs 2 crore from development charges. It plans to earn Rs 1.50 crore from stamp duty and Rs 3.50 crore from house tax. The income also includes rent amounting to Rs 75 lakh and fire tax totalling Rs 50 lakh.

Interestingly, nearly 50 per cent of the council’s income will be spent on paying salary to its employees. Of the total income of Rs 12.90 crore, the civic body will pay Rs 6.20 crore towards salary.

The budget has made a provision of Rs 2.93 crore for carrying out development works in the town and another Rs 30 lakh for purchase of equipment.

The council budget has earmarked Rs 50 lakh for purchase of land and another Rs 1.55 crore for meeting contingencies. The council has made a provision of Rs 10 lakh towards repayment of loans.


Human kindness at its best
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 3
There are people who always volunteer to work for some social and humanitarian cause. It was evident when the founder of ‘Ahuti’, a voluntary organisation, Surender Biswas donated blood 90th time in a blood donation camp at Gohana, about 35 kms from here on Wednesday.

As many as 11 members of the organisation donated blood and all of them did so many times. It was 18th time for secretary Anil Bajaj, 13th time for president Kamal Ahuja and 12th time for the former president Deepak Rathore besides Gulab Singh and Ravi Narang donating for the 8th and 5th times respectively.

Other major donors of the organisation in the camp included Rahul Goyal (41 times), Praveen Vaid (17 times), Sunil Jindal (11 times), Shyam Sunder Gupta (8 times), Vijay Bajaj (5 times), Rajinder Malhotra, Chander Prakash and Rajesh Jindal each donating 14 times and Veer Mohan Kapoor, Neeraj Hooda, Somnath, Rajesh Chawla and Sonu Jagga each donating 6 times. The camp was organised on the emergency demand of the PGIMS Rohtak at Sanatan Dharam Mandir in the main bazaar of Gohana town and as many as 41 persons donated blood. Ahuti has so far donated 168 units of blood in three blood donation camps organised at Gohana during this year.



18 policemen in the doghouse
Our Correspondent

Bulandshahr (Noida), April 3
The police department is chalking out a plan to get rid of policemen who have a bad image in order to improve the public perception of the department.

As part of the exercise, comments of police officers of all districts have been solicited about the cops whose name is mud.

The officers have been asked as to how and where the services of errant policemen could be utilised. The names of 18 Bulandshahr policemen figure in this “roll of dishonour”, according to a source in the district. Senior police officers are faced with the difficulty of deciding how to use these cops.

The SSPs have called for written recommendations from police circle officers about the “bad fish” among the cops in their circles.

The basic idea is to streamline the police set-up and get rid of cops with bad image.



Class V annual exams from April 21
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 3
The Haryana Education Department has decided to conduct the annual examinations of Class V from April 21 to April 24 in the primary schools of this district. According to official sources, it has set up 129 examination centres in the district for this purpose. The examination will be monitored by the school heads and supervisory duty would be performed by the JBT teachers. The result would be announced on April 30.

3 murder accused acquitted

The Additional Sessions Judge of the Fast Track Court, Mr B.S.Rawat, has acquitted three persons, identified as Zeindin, Jameel and Zahid, who were accused in a murder case registered against them under Sections 302, 458 and 460 IPC on November 24, 1998 by the Ganaur police. According to the prosecution story, all the three accused had entered the house and murdered a woman, Mrs Chhano.

2 women among 6 killed

At least six persons, including two women, were injured when a Maruti van rammed into a shop at Gohana town, 35 km from here last evening. According to a report, all the injured persons were referred to a hospital at Delhi for further treatment. The passengers in the Maruti van were on their way to Pathri village for a pilgrimage. The driver of the Maruti van hit a cyclist and lost its control. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

Minor girl rescued

The Gohana police have rescued a minor girl who was allegedly kidnapped by a youth, about two-and-a-half months ago from Pinana village in this district.

According to a report, the police have restored the girl to her parents and arrested the youth in this connection.

The youth, it is alleged, had taken the girl to Delhi, Punjab and other places and repeatedly raped her. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

Goods worth Rs 60,000 charred

Goods worth about Rs 60,000 were reduced to ashes in a fire, which broke out in a wooden stall at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here yesterday. According to a report, the owner suspected some foul play in the incident. The police are still investigating the case.



The prophet of universal brotherhood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
A large number of people from India and abroad assembled at Kirpal Bagh yesterday on the occasion of the ‘55th Barsi Bhandara’ of Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj. Mata Harbhajan Kaur sang a melodious verse from the Gurbani on the occasion.

The gathering also viewed a film bringing alive his love, compassion and noble deeds. People showered tributes on him and said that Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj was a seeker of God from a very early age.

He received spiritual initiation by his master, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaj in October 1894. Baba Sawan Singh Ji preached universal brotherhood and peace. He initiated thousands of people from different walks of life into Surat shabd yoga. He taught that religious differences arose on account of the inability to comprehending the teaching of the scriptures. His work was carried forward by Param Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, who was also the president of the World Fellowship of Religion Conferences from 1957 to 1970. He brought people together on the platform of spiritual truth, love, unity and peace. 



Wife hangs self from grill
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, April 3
Manju, a married woman in Panchwatti Colony under Kotwali police station here, committed suicide by hanging herself with her sari from a grill in her room.

She had not opened the door of her room in the morning. When her family members peeped through a window, they saw Manju hanging from the grill.

Her body was brought down by the police in the presence of a magistrate. It was the second marriage of Manju who belonged to Farrukhabad. A divorcee, she had married Yoginder Kumar four months ago. Yoginder had three kids from his first wife. His first wife had died after illness a year and a half ago.

Her husband, Yoginder and mother in-law said that they had no idea why Manju had ended her life.

CM misleading: HPCC

The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has charged Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala with misleading the masses regarding the position of power supply in the region to remain in power.

In a statement here today, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and the HPCC spokesman, alleged that the announcement recently made by the Chief Minister that Haryana would have surplus power within two years was a mere eyewash.

He questioned as whether any power project had been started during the three-and-a-half-year regime of the Chief Minister on the basis of which he had made such tall claims.

The Congress leader claimed that the villagers had been getting power supply only for 5 to 6 hours a day at present.

He said the Chief Minister should make public the position of power supply in rural as well as urban areas before he took over and after his nearly four-year rule.

He alleged that Mr Chautala had captured power on the basis of false promises of providing large-scale employment to the unemployed youth.

On the contrary, he alleged nearly 30,000 employees had been retrenched in different departments by showing them as surplus during the regime of present government.

He claimed that a large number of employees, who had completed nearly 30 years of their services, were rendered jobless by the government.

Two held with stolen container

Dadri police have arrested two criminals along with a country-made revolver and a knife.

On their confession, the police have seized a stolen container along with goods, 24 bundles of cable, which the duo had hijacked from a petrol pump on Dadri G T Road yesterday.

One Amod Singh had filed a report in Dadri police station.

The police said the same criminals were seen looking for buyer of the goods in container. They were both arrested from Gopal petrol station on G T Road, Dadri.

A country-made revolver with cartridges were recovered from Umesh and a knife from his companion Wasim.

They have confessed their crime and told the police that they had taken the container to Faridabad.

The police have seized the container along with bundles of cable and brought it back to Dadri. Both the criminals have been sent to jail.



16-yr-old rescued from abductors within minutes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
A 16-year-old girl was today safely rescued from the clutches of abductors by the staff of Police Control Room (PCR) within minutes of her abduction from her house in Sector 13 in Rohini in North-West district. The girl’s father complained to the PCR at 8.50 am that her daughter had been whisked away by four persons in a white Maruti car (No DL-4CL-0286). The staff immediately got in touch with the father and flashed the information to all the PCR vans.

Since the preliminary information suggested that the kidnappers were heading towards Haryana border, the check posts were alerted. Within minutes, one PCR van deployed in the area spotted a speeding Maruti with four persons and a girl inside. When the staff tried to intercept the vehicle, they managed to get away. Unrelented, the PCR staff gave them a hot chase and managed to stop the vehicle. The girl was safely rescued by the staff and one person, Sunil Sharma (22), was taken into custody. Sunil’s accomplices managed to escape.

Navratra Mela at Jhandewala Devi Mandir

Navratre Mela is being celebrated at the historic Badri Bhagat Jhandewala Devi Mandir. The temple is kept open for devotees from 4 am till past mid-night. There was a heavy rush of devotees, particularly at night, when devotees from neighbouring towns including Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Sonepat visit the temple. The devotees were given prasad from “Ma Ka Langar”.

The general-secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, along with devotees from Canada visited the temple yesterday. OC



55 kg of ganja seized

New Delhi, April 3
With the arrest of a man, the Delhi Police today claimed to have seized 55 kgs of ganja brought from Assam to various places in the country.

Crime Branch of the Delhi Police received a tip-off suggesting that some people from Assam were involved in trafficking ganja to Delhi and other places by trains.

The information was developed and a police team apprehended one Mangol Narzari of Darang at the New Delhi Railway Station sitting with an iron box, police said.

The search of the box yielded 55 kgs of the contrabanddrug, police said.

During interrogation, the accused disclosed that he wanted to sell the drug in Delhi and neighbouring states through his contacts, the police said.

Narzari told the police that the drug was procured from Assam through various contacts, the police said.



Traders protest against imposition of excise duty
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 3
The protest against the imposition of excise duty on blankets and shoddy yarn picked up momentum today with various trader associations organising protest marches and vowing to continue the struggle till the decision was withdrawn.

Hundreds of members of the Panipat Blanket Manufacturers Association assembled at the Committee Market in the morning and marched in procession through G.T.Road, Lal Batti Chowk and the Kacheri Bazar shouting slogans against the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister. As per the decision of the association, the largest blanket market in Asia opened for only two hours in the morning. The procession culminated at the Committee Market where the agitators staged a noisy protest. Addressing the gathering, the president of the ‘Local Bodies Cell’ of the BJP, Mr Niti Sen Bhatia, announced that a delegation would meet the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to urge him to withdraw the excise duty.

The BJP chief, Dr Manohar Lal Suneja, also supported the cause of the blanket manufacturers. The general-secretary of the association, Mr Varinder Rawal, while terming the excise duty a “death blow”, threatened to continue the agitation till it was withdrawn. Prominent among those who spoke were Mr Kaku Bansal and Mr Radhey Shyam Gogia. Meanwhile, the Panipat Powerloom Owners Association also organised a rally against the excise duty. The association president, Mr Prem Bajaj, urged political parties to impress upon the Centre to withdraw the duty and save the textile trade, which was passing through a severe recession.



Industrialists criticise Exim policy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
Industrialists in the Capital have criticised the government for not providing incentives to the small and cottage sector exporters in the Exim policy.

The government should have provided a level playing field and given incentives to the small and cottage sector exporters, particularly when the country’s exports have received a severe blow due to the ongoing Gulf war, said the Delhi Exporters Association (DEA).

“Export orders to the tune of Rs 500 crore have already been cancelled, whereas orders for another Rs 1,000 crore have been put on hold by the buyers due to the war. At such a juncture, we had expected the government to take measures for boosting exports,” said Mr S.P. Aggarwal, president of DEA.

Demanding a level-playing field, the association suggested formation of a ministry for international trade, which would formulate all export-import related policies and constitution of a task force to work out reduction in the transaction cost.


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