Saturday, April 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Habeas corpus writ backfires on missing youth’s family
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 4
Allegedly angry over the filing of a habeas corpus writ in the Punjab and Haryana High Court over the missing of two youths, Pravesh and Sunil, both from Kakroi village, allegedly from police custody and a raid on the Sadar police station by the Warrant Officer besides summoning of the SP and SHO in the high court, the Sonepat police allegedly took into custody the mother of Pravesh on Thursday.

In a complaint reportedly sent to the high court and the DIG, CID, Haryana, it has been alleged the SHO of the Sadar police station, Mr Mehar Singh, reached the residence of Pravesh’s family on Thursday and took his mother Santosh to the police station.

Also, it is learnt that instead of taking any other appropriate action in the case following the raid by the Warrant Officer, the police reportedly issued a notice under Section 160 of the IPC to the families, directing them to produce both the youths.

Birbhan of Kakroi village had lodged a complaint with the police on November 14 last year, saying that his minor daughter, Meenakshi, was missing. But when the police failed to trace her for more than one and a half months Birbhan informed the police he suspected the involvement of a village youth, Pradeep, in the abduction of his daughter.

After registering a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC, the police renewed their search for the two. Finally, the girl and Pradeep were arrested by the police. After the medical examination of the girl, Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC were invoked against Pradeep who was produced in court from where he was remanded in judicial custody.

However, two more youths, Pravesh and Sunil of the same village, who were reportedly present with Pradeep at the time of his arrest, were also allegedly taken into custody by the police without their names being entered in the police register. The parents of the two youths failed to get any information about them. After waiting for more than two months, they lodged a habeas corpus writ in the high court.

Mr Justice A. K. Goyal of the high court deputed a Warrant Officer to conduct a surprise raid on the Sadar police station but there was no trace of the youths. After the Warrant Officer’s report, Mr Justice Goyal directed the concerned to appear in court on April 10.


‘Yes’ to statue, ‘no’ to Devi Lal cult
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 4
Even as the administration is gearing up for the formal laying of the foundation stone of Devi Lal park at Palwal and the unveiling of the statue of the former Deputy Prime Minister on April 6, the issue has snowballed into a controversy, following stiff opposition by the MLA from Palwal, Mr Karan Dalal, and some of the opposition leaders. Mr Dalal has announced that he will have the statue removed at the first available opportunity.

The park will be developed by HUDA on 2.75 acres of land, adjacent to the National Highway no 2 which passes through Palwal.

The Union Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, will be the chief guest at the function to be held on April 6. The HUDA authorities have even got glossy invitation cards printed; the cards bear the photo of Devi Lal.

However, the decision to install the statue of Devi Lal has raised hackles of the sitting MLA from Palwal, Mr Dalal. Coming out strongly, he said that he was not opposed to the park per se, but alleged that the Chief Minister wanted to put the late leader’s `brand name’ on everything with a view to obliterate the contribution of other leaders in the development of Haryana. Claiming that Ch Devi Lal had done nothing for the benefit of the residents of Palwal, he charged that the `discrimination’ against the area had started during the tenure of the late leader. For instance, the share of south Haryana in Ravi-Beas waters was diverted to Sirsa when Devi Lal was the CM.

According to Mr Dalal, the park’s construction had been taken up for the first time in 1999 when he was a minister in Haryana. He said the land belonged to the Defence Ministry and he had written a letter to the Union Defence Minister asking him to hand over the land.

He said the locals would have appreciated, if the state government had decided to install the statue of the Father of the Nation or former Prime Minister Ch Charan Singh or Subhash Chander Bose or Shri Bhim Rao Ambedkar in the park.

He recalled that Mahatma was arrested for the first time during freedom struggle at Palwal and Netaji had come to Palwal personally to lay the foundation stone of Gandhi Bhawan before independence.

He would, therefore, request the defence minister not to lay the foundation stone or unveil the statue.

An office bearer of the district Congress unit has demanded that a statue of Sir Chhotu Ram be installed at the park.


MDU cash book, bank account don’t tally
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, April 4
The general cash book of the Maharshi Dayanand University has not been reconciled with the bank account for the period November 1983-March 1997. “In the absence of reconciliation of the cash book with the bank account, the possibility of bogus credits and fraudulent debits in the bank and cash accounts is not ruled out”, the annual audit report on the accounts of the university pointed out.

The issue was first raised by The Tribune in 1997. But instead of making efforts to reconcile the cash book with the bank account, the university then got its cash book reconciled from April 1, 1997, onwards and got it checked from the auditors also. However, no effort was ever made to reconcile the cash book with the bank from November 1983 to March 1997.

According to the audit report, the university enrolled 30,154 candidates in its B. Ed correspondence course in 1988-89. The university should have recovered a fee of Rs 6,67,91,110 from these students but as per the income register and cash book of the university, it received only Rs. 6,08,90,836.60. Thus, an amount of over Rs. 59 lakh was realised less. The university has not so far held any inquiry into this lapse or fraud.

Similarly, in 1988-89, bank drafts worth over Rs. 61.85 lakh received from the candidates of B.Ed Correspondence Course were allegedly not deposited in time in the bank account. Although the auditors had been pointing out this lapse since then, the university has not taken any action to recover the amount. In 1980-81, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) offered to transfer 390.30 acres of land to the Maharashi Dayanand University for Rs. 98,76,331.59. Out of 390.30 acres, the university took possession of 379.79 acres of land. Later, a decision was taken to purchase only 125 acres and Rs. 32.50 lakh were deposited. Again the proposal was revised and refund of the amount of Rs. 32.50 lakh was called for. Thereafter, the Executive Council of the University decided to purchase land costing Rs. 1,08,50,000. But even after a lapse of over two decades, the university has not so far fixed responsibility for the loss of Rs. 10 lakh (approximately) caused to it.



Two Hizb militants on special mission held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
Two dreaded militants of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, who were in Delhi to liquidate certain police officials in busy marketplaces, were arrested in the Mother Dairy area in Patparganj last evening by a joint team of the Delhi Police Traffic Police and the Special Cell.

One loaded Chinese pistol, 13 live cartridges, a spare magazine with eight cartridges and one English revolver were seized from their possession.

The militants, Feroz Ahmed Sheikh (34) and Mehboob Jaan (30), both residents of Srinagar, were overpowered by the police officials when they whipped out weapons to fire at them. They were involved in seven cases of murder, two cases of attempt to murder, including one on a journalist, Zaffar Iqbal Sheikh, who was working as sub-editor with Kashmir Image in Srinagar.

The police said both arrived in Delhi on the morning of April 3 and were staying in a hideout in Old Delhi. A raid by the police team soon after their arrest yielded some important papers from the hideout.

The militants were keeping in touch with their associates with the help of a pager and used some code language.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), Mr Neeraj Kumar, disclosed that certain members of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen had been arrested by the Jammu Police. The Hizb activists had revealed that two militants were in Delhi to carry out a specific assignment. This was conveyed to ACP (Traffic), Mr R. P. Meena, by a senior police officer.

Mr Meena immediately passed on the information to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Mr Arun Kampani, which was subsequently given to the Special Cell. Following a tip-off that the two militants would assemble near Mother Dairy in Patparganj to meet their contact, a special team was constituted and a surveillance was mounted. The J&K cops had already provided them with a description of the militants.

However, on the appointed day, the contact failed to turn up. Just as the militants were about to leave, the police team moved in to intercept them. Feroz immediately whipped out his pistol, but was soon overpowered by the officials.

Mr Neeraj Kumar said the presence of mind and timely action of Mr Meena had led to the arrest of the two militants. In fact, when the other teams, which were also supposed to reach the spot, did not do so, Mr Meena went ahead with his action plan without waiting for reinforcements.

During interrogation, Feroz told the police his friend, Mohammad Ibrahim Dar alias Salim had motivated him to become a militant after which he became the area commander of the Hizb-ul-Muhajideen in Srinagar. Feroz, in turn, motivated his other associates to take to terrorism. Later, the group was given special training to eliminate political leaders, police personnel, police informers and others.

The militant group had shot dead Jammu and Kashmir Police Constable Mohammad Ayub, Constable Hari Kishan of the BSF, Gulam Rasool Mir and Mushtaq Ahmed Khan of the National Conference in the valley.

Salim’s associates, who were arrested in Jammu, are Mohammad Altaf Mir alias Raju, Shammimullah Khan (17), Shukat Ahmed Wani (22), Fayaz Ahmed Bilal (22) and Riyaz Ahmed Shah, all residents of the Valley. A cache of arms and ammunition had been seized from their possession.


MCD can now float bonds for civic projects
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has been assigned the Indian Credit Rating Agency (ICRA) rating which would enable it to float municipal bonds for civic projects to the tune of Rs 250 crore.

Addressing a press conference here today, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, said the ICRA had rated the corporation in the category of long term for structured obligation. The agency has found the corporation fit for long-term structured obligation loans, which indicates high safety with modest risk factors. The Municipal Commissioner said reposing of confidence by the leading rating agency in the MCD’s financial sustainability indicated the satisfactory state of the corporation’s resource management. He highlighted the recently initiated far-reaching development and financial inputs in the corporation’s overall strategy towards sustainable civic organisation.

The Commissioner said a factor towards better financial management included switching over to double entry accounting system. Conversion of accounts into accrual system is being done by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. The Commissioner expected to bring in greater degree of transparency, professionalism and monitorability of the corporation’s financial and accounting system.

The Commissioner said the MCD would step up an asset information management system which would help in prolonging the life of such assets through a regular scheme of conditional assessment as well as timely replacement of costly assets. He also said a number of steps had been initiated to strengthen the resource management base of the civic body.


Metro gets tax waiver from Centre
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
The Centre has granted exemption in taxes and duties to the tune of Rs 1,403 crore to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to enable it to complete the first phase within the estimated finished cost of the project.

A notification has been issued granting exemption of import duties of Rs 945 crore and excise duty of Rs 458 crore on all items of equipment, including machinery and rolling stock procured by or on behalf of the DMRC for use in the Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) project.

“The exemptions will enable the first phase of the Metro Project, consisting of three lines covering 62 km, to be completed within the estimated finished cost of Rs 10,571 crore at the 2005 price level,” a DMRC release said.

A similar exemption of sales tax of Rs 140 crore and works contract tax of Rs 50 crore were expected from the Government of NCT of Delhi, the release added.


Two robbed of Rs 23,000 in bus on Mathura Road

New Delhi: Two passengers were robbed of Rs 23,000 and a mobile phone by a group of at least seven persons in a bus today morning. The first victim, Zahir Ul Hassan (18), a resident of Badayun in Uttar Pradesh, came to Delhi on some business purpose. As he had some work in Paschim Vihar, he boarded a bus (route no 893) this morning in Bhogal at around 7.20 am. After he boarded the bus, a group of boys boarded the bus near the Mathura Road petrol station and robbed him of Rs 15,000 and a mobile phone. The boys later robbed another person, J. K. Jain, of Rs 8,000 and disembarked near Baroda House. The victims registered a case of robbery at the Tilak Marg police station. TNS



Consumers critical of DHBVN services
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 4
Even as the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) continues to struggle to provide uninterrupted power supply, many have accused it of “deliberately harassing its consumers”. Apart from the lack of ‘efficient service’, particularly regarding their complaints, the consumers are fed up with “rising corruption” despite the ‘corporatisation of the department.

One of the victims of the “harassment and inefficiency” of the Power Department, Mr Rajender Singh of Ajronda village here, told the NCR Tribune that the DHBVN office had imposed a penalty of Rs 38,000 on him, alleging overload and meter fault.

He claimed that even though the department `failed’ to prove the charges against him, he had to deposit 50 per cent of the penalty to avoid disconnection of his power supply. He filed a writ petition (civil) in the court challenging the decision of the DHBVN. He also filed another case in the consumer forum. He said he continued to deposit his current bills as the matter was pending in the court.

Meanwhile, the department ‘floated’ a scheme in which old dues could be cleared by payment of 50 per cent of the penalty or dues along with the withdrawal of the case from the court. Subsequently, he contacted the officials concerned, who promised to clear the matter if he withdraw the case from the court.

However, to his surprise, when he withdrew the civil case from the court and approached the DHBVN office, a further penalty of Rs 35,000 was imposed on him.

Mr Rajender said that he had been making rounds of the DHBVN office for the past six months but the officials were in no `mood’ to solve the issue and have kept the matter pending. He claimed that the meter installed at his house was shown as 42 per cent slow in 1999 while it had a report of being 20 per cent slow in 2002.

Alleging “manipulations and corruption”, he said that he was being harassed for not paying “bribe” to the officials. He regretted that his attempt to take up the matter at higher level had “failed” to have any “positive result”.

Another victim, Mr Umed Singh, resident of Sector 16 here, alleged “harassment” at the hands of the department. He alleged that the DHBVN office had dispatched “wrong and inflated bills”. Reports from the department are full of hundreds of similar complaints each month. The issue had also been placed before the Chief Minister in the form of a complaint lodged in the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committee held here recently. The Chief Minister had directed the department to ensure that the officials in charge of noting down the meter readings personally went to the location instead of “doing the work from the office itself”. The Chief Minister also promised to remit the penalty of Rs 71,749 imposed on one Ganga Sharan, a resident of Badarpur Saed village.

Moreover, the functioning of the department comes under heavy criticism during the summer months when there is large-scales disruption in power supply.

The employees attending complaints at the various centres fail to rectify the fault in time, especially during the night.

While the complaints regarding faulty meter readings, inaccurate bills and late arrivals of bills are common, the behaviour and uncooperative attitude of the employees at the offices have only made matters worse.

“There is ‘nobody’ to listen to the public grievances and provide a solution to the problems faced on this front in time,” said an aggrieved consumer.


Rs 30.75 crore spent on improving power situation
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 4
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) had spent Rs 30.75 crore for generating more power and ensuring uninterrupted power supply in the agriculture, industrial and domestic sectors in this district.

Giving this information, Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, told mediapersons here today that the UHBVN had set up 13 new power sub-stations during the year 2002-2003.

A 100 MVA transformer had been installed in the existing 220/132 KV sub-station at a cost of Rs 2 crore. Moreover, a sum of Rs 4 crore had been spent on the construction of 132 KV sub-station at Kundli village. He also disclosed that the UHBVN had spent Rs 1.26 crore on the installation of 33 KV power sub-station at Khanpur Kalan village.

A sum of Rs 15 lakh had been spent on the installation of 6.3/8 MVA transformer at Sonepat and another transformer of 8 MVA had been installed in the existing 132/11 KV sub-station at Gohana town, at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. Moreover, a sum of Rs 2 lakh had been spent on the installation of 33 KV power sub-station at Farmana village.

According to the Deputy Commissioner, a sum of Rs 6 crore had been spent on the installation of 132 KV sub-station at Harsana village and Rs 5 crore had been spent on the installation of a new 132 KV power sub-station at Kharkhauda town.

Another 132 KV power sub-station is being installed at Murthal village at a cost of Rs 6 crore.

A 33 KV sub-station is being set up at Khewra village which would cost Rs 1.24 crore.

He also disclosed that a 33 kV sub-station is being installed at a cost of RS 1.24 crone at Butane village and a sum of RS 80 lake would be spent on the installation of 16/20 MVA transformer in the existing 132/33 kV sub-station at Johanna town.

The UHBVN would spend RS 2.54 crone on the installation of 11 kV transmission lines in the district.


Special Focus on Jhajjar/Bahadurgarh
Organised ‘mass copying’ mars Haryana Board examinations

Jhajjar, April 4
Reports of mass copying and unprecedented “outside interference” are pouring in from throughout the district in Class 8 and Class 10 annual examinations being conducted by the Haryana Board of School Education. A visit to any of the examination centres in the district will reveal the menace in its “true colour.

A heavy rush of people, especially in the backyards of the campus, with books and other stationary materials in hands and striving to reach out to their wards sitting inside the centre are a common sight. The menace has reached alarming proportions as the district has topped the chart in cancellation of papers due to the use of unfair means and interference from outside.

The officials in the Education Department admitted that the situation has gone completely out of control. He agreed that they were unable to deal with the ‘situation’ as the villagers and the private school owners have ‘systematised mass copying”. The scale of the use of illegal means by the students is evident from the fact that Class 10 examinations, held two days ago, was cancelled at 9 centres.

Moreover, seven cases of cheating were detected in Golden Valley School, seven in GSS, Bahadurgarh, seven in Rama Bharti School and two in Asaudah village. According to a report, a first year student, Shushila, jumped from the terrace of the Agrasen College, when she was caught copying. She was referred to the medical college in Rohtak in serious condition. This is despite the fact that separate flying squads of the Special Task Force of the board, District Education Officer, SDMs in Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh, DPEO, SDEOs and district police have been conducting raids at the various centres regularly.

Even though prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed at the examination centres, it had failed to help in the smooth conduct of the examinations. A visit to various centres by this correspondent revealed that the village elders and panchayat members played a ‘dual role’ of helping the staff in maintaining order at the examination centres, as well as organising ‘mass copying’.

While most of the superintendent at the centres demanded more police force to ward off the outsiders, the police alleged that it was the staff inside the centres on duty, who allowed the use of unfair means.

The District Education Officer, Mr J. S. Sahu, admitted that the menace of ‘copying’ was a real challenge before them. Acknowledging that the teachers were also responsible for the allowing things to slip out of control, he stated that a lot depends on the parents, who were encouraging the use of unfair means in exams. He said that the situation had come to such a pass that only about 20 per cent of the total students could clear the exams on their own, while the remaining 80 per cent were wholly depended on the use of unfair means and outside help.

The DEO, who was holding a meeting with 44 principals of government schools, said that there was little hope for improvement in the prevailing situation. He suggested drastic changes in the examination system. He said that examinations for Class 8 should be conducted by the school authorities itself and there was no need for intervention by the board. He said the board should have restricted role in the Class 10 examinations.

He maintained that the bogey of board examination could be avoided, as schoolteachers would prove a better evaluator of their students. When the principals were asked about their opinion on this suggestion, majority of them favoured this idea. However, many of them blamed the private education mafia in operation in the state.


How brazen can brazen be


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

A Dalit woman of a big village was recently gang raped in the broad daylight. A gang of six anti-social elements abducted the victim from her residence in the presence of her husband. Although, such types of incidents are taking place day in and day out in various parts of Haryana and other states as well.

But, this tragic event has a special significance in the sense that the victim was carried through the streets of the village, Kharkara. The people of the village were watching the scene while the victim was crying for their help. Kharkara is a very big village of historical importance. It falls within the district of Rohtak and is situated on the National Highway. The people of the area are known for their social involvement. They would not hesitate to take risks by intervening in such matters. Traditionally, the residents of Kharkara village are righteous and brave. They have usually very high regard for women folk, irrespective of caste and creed. Bahu-betis are the honour of the whole village.

Kharkara is one of the most prominent villages of historical Maham Chaubisi, a cluster of twenty-four villages. When the chaubisi sit in Panchayat over such matters, very drastic but judicious action is taken without any fear and favour.

And this was an awful matter, when a married woman was forcibly carried from her residence in the presence of her husband and was also a matter of shame for the whole society when the victim was raped within the precincts and knowledge of the villagers.

The people were quite brazen, as none of them came forward to intervene. However, the people are responsible for this social downfall.

The administration may or may not take legal action against them, but the members of the alleged gang must be taken to task by village elders so that the ordinary villager may feel safe and secured in the village.

A reader from Kamla Nagar, Rohtak

Yet another bad summer?

Winter has gone, spring spreads blossom and now the time has come to welcome summer. It creates confusion in the people’s mind: Whether to welcome it or not. The season is not bad, rather government’s summer package is bad. As summer is knocking at the door, the Government of Haryana is busy preparing a package for its people.

The package consists of providing three to four ‘happy hours’ daily to its people. For these ‘happy hours’, there can be no electricity bill as there is no electricity. People will get up from their deep sleep without alarm clocks as the government provides rouses you by switching off the electric supply.

Therefore, it’s time the government takes this summer seriously and tries to provide electricity and water, at least as per minimum requirement.


Only bachelors, please!

I am shocked to know the higher-ups of the society are still giving and taking dowry, thus defeating the campaign against this menace.

The people of our civil services are the worst perpetrators of pernicious practices of dowry enticers and baiters. Socialites from affluent society and bureaucrats are the common purchasers of grooms at a very exorbitant rate. The auctioned civil servants, now the bureaucrats, plan and implement the social reforms and further take to these reforms to the grass-root level. The masses are always a gullible lot and feel beguiled and duped at the hands of hypocrites who are dowry-driven dwarfs and devils in disguise.

I agree with Khushwant Singh’s views that the majority of probationers of LBS Academy of Administration at Musssoorie get dowry after joining civil services. It is a revelation and manifestation of a deep-seated reality of our administrators, who set the pace too for the “escalation of dowry all over the country”. This is the plight of our women empowerment. Who is responsible for such malefactions?

I am lucky enough not to be a victim of dowry. But the grouse does not end here. The bureaucratic and academic system is quite indifferent to the women like us. I have been facing interviews for the post of Lecturer in Maths at Haryana Public Service Commission since 1990. In one such interview, one interviewee cracked an apt joke that only those who are eligible bachelors and maids may stay.

What a funny concept of women education and empowerment! Merit is a myth, talent is a taboo. Are Public Service Commissions a marriage bureau? What a pursuit of in-laws! What a ludicrous situation we women face before dowry-driven-dwarfs-turned-bureaucrats! Do these dwarfs not vitiate the total social health of our robust society? Mere greed and consumer culture rules the roost. Where is the strength of social harmony?

Such gross violators are really responsible for the plight of our women. Shun the self-seekers and aggrandisers!

Dhiraj Yadav, TGT Maths, K.V. Rewari

Self-inflicted water crisis

The recent UN reports on qualitative potable water to all by 2015 focus attention on the best and worst quality of drinking water available to citizens of Finland and Belgium, respectively. India is amongst the worst countries.

Have we ever noticed the flagrant misuse of water at ISBT, New Delhi? The hawkers of mineral water insidiously employ a few idlers, who keep the taps of fresh water running and wring it dry to the last drop.

They are paid a pittance by the agents of mineral water sellers. As a conscientious citizen and itinerant traveller, I have often felt helpless and confounded to confront such miscreants and malefactors. They have rich clout with police staff on duty and return the favour for an increase in their sales.

They create an artificial shortage of water in taps to augment the demand of spurious bottle water, which is bought by gullible passengers.

Owing to non-availability of fresh tap water, one has to face a catch-22 situation. The same seamy situation prevails at all bus stands of Haryana. The authority concerned should take corrective steps to save the drinking water at the hand of ruffians and goons. They seem to be hand in gloves with the authorities .The Rio (‘92) and the Seattle summit churned out volumes about measures that can be taken for the appropriate management of natural resources.

Will the authority concerned take immediate steps to check the artificial scarcity of potable water at ISBT in the Capital and other bus stands in Haryana?

Ramawtar, Rewari

Harassed pensioner

I am an 80-year-old infirm Muslim woman and defence pensioner. I am drawing my pension via PPO (No. F/NA/2718/94) from DPDO, Gurgaon, payable at SBI Ujina-2497 till January 31, 2001. My H.O. number was F-7836. SBI Ujina is my present PDA.

Despite having written applications on several occasions – on January 15, 2001, February 19, 2001, March 28, 2001, January 13, 2001, January 20, 2002 and March 15, 2003 — and personal visits, DPDO, Gurgaon, has failed to release a sum of Rs 3,800.00 (Medical allowance from December ‘97 to Jan 2001).

The callous attitude of DPDO, Gurgaon, is a constant headache for me.

A. S. Gai, Gurgaon

Artificial LPG shortage

Although the strikes by the LPG cylinder plants and agencies ended, yet the position of supply has not improved.

It’s been heard that the rates of LPG cylinders may be increased in the month of April. In my opinion, the authorities concerned should not announce in advance that rates of cylinders would be hiked in due course. That is a sure recipe for artificial shortages. Such decisions should be implemented without any prior intimation.

Subhash C. Taneja, MDU, Rohtak


Adjustment of surplus lecturers brings relief to hundreds
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 4
The recent orders of the Director, Secondary Education Department, Haryana to adjust the lecturers of the government senior secondary schools, who were declared surplus, in the post of Block Assistant Coordinator in Haryana Prathmic Shiksha Pariyojna Parishad has brought relief to such lecturers. Under the rationalisation scheme of the government, hundreds of lecturers were declared surplus and they had been fearing retrenchment.

Of the 435 lecturers of different subjects in various districts of the state adjusted under the recent orders of the Director, as many as 46 are from Sonepat district.

They include Rajbir Singh, Satyabir, Room Anand, Rajbir, Virender, Narender and Urmila of Zoology, Sangeeta, Jaipal Singh, Priyavarat, Ravi Kishor, Bharat Singh, Manjit Kumari and Shashi Sehgal of Chemistry, Rajbir Singh, Poonam Verma, Sunita Kumari, Babita Sandhu, Sukhwinder Kaur, Anand Singh, Bijender Singh, Poonam Saini, Atul Kumar and Surender Kumar of Commerce and Vinod Kumar, Krishna Devi, Satpal Gupta, Ajai Kumar and Karan Singh of Economics.

The lecturers of other subjects are Suman Batra, Braham Prakash, Rana, Baljit Singh, Shiv Kumar Goyal, Darshan Kumar, Bijender Singh, Daya Nand, Surender Singh, Rajinder Kumar and Shushil Kumar of Mathematics, Pramila, Munesh Kumar and Deepak of Physics and Hem Chander and Indu of Sanskrit.

HUDA told to pay compensation

The District Consumer Forum has directed the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at Sonepat to pay compensation to 10 plot holders for not providing basic facilities to them. Each plot holder will get a compensation of Rs 9,200 within a period of one month.

According to information, nine plot holders — Savitri, Rambir, Koshalya Devi, Chand Singh, Chahar Singh, Rajinder Kumar, Dayanand, Nirmala Devi, Sadhna Devi and Vinod – had lodged complaints on December 6, 1999 with the forum stating that they were plot holders in HUDA’s Sector 23 and the authority had directed them to complete the construction of houses on their plots without providing basic facilities like roads, electricity, water etc in the areas of plots.

In the complaints, it was alleged that the HUDA had promised to provide all these facilities before handing over the possession of the plot, but it failed to do so and issued directions in a dictatorial manner.

The forum had directed the HUDA to provide the facilities to the plot holder, but the HUDA did not respond to the directions and hence the forum ordered for payment of compensation.

Man knocked down

Mr Sunil Nijhawan, a resident of Model Town, was hit by an unknown vehicle and killed on the spot near Gita Bhawan Chowk here last evening. The police have registered a case and sent the body for post-mortem examination. A hunt is on to apprehend the erring driver.

In another incident, a youth of Farmana village, Jagdish, was run over by a train at the Harsana Kalan railway station, about 5 km from here, last evening. According to a report, the Government Railway Police (GRP) seized the body and sent it for post-mortem examination.


Two get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 4
The judges of two fast track courts have awarded life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 each to two accused in two separate murder cases.

The fast track court of Mr D. S. Tripathi sentenced Chintu alias Jagdish Sharma to life imprisonment with Rs 20,000 fine for having shot dead Pankaj Mishra on August 19, 1997 in Vijay Nagar area.

In the second case, the fast track Court of Mr N. K. Garg had awarded life imprisonment and fine of Rs 20,000 to Jatinder for having stabbed to death Ms Prem Lata in Modi Nagar on January 23, 1993 along with his friends Tony alias

Ram Niwas and Kishen Kumar. Tony alias Ram Niwas had died during the pendency of the case while Kishan Kumar has been set free by the court. Jatinder was awarded the sentence yesterday in the case.

Drive to arrest extortionist

Sonepat: Both Haryana and Delhi have intensified their joint campaign to arrest dreaded criminal Anil alias Bhagtey, who is wanted in numerous cases of loot, dacoity and extortion of money registered against him at various police stations in both these states.

According to a report, the Delhi Police have raised the money of reward to Rs 1 lakh and this amount would be given to anyone who provides definite information about him so that he could be arrested.

Similarly, the Sonepat police have also increased the money of reward to Rs 20,000 for his arrest. This criminal, it may be recalled, had become a terror for the arhtias of Azadpur subzimandi, Delhi as he had been threatening them with dire consequences if they failed to hand over extortion money to him.

DGP to tour district today

The Director General of Police, Mr M. S. Malik, is arriving here tomorrow for a two-day inspection tour of the police stations and offices in this city and elsewhere in the district.

According to a report, the officials of the police department are busy in improving the sanitary conditions in each police station and `maalkhanas’ under their jurisdiction. Pending cases are being disposed of by the police officials in order to save themselves from the wrath of the DGP.

Mr Malik will address a meeting of the prominent citizens and dispose of the complaints of the policemen during his visit. He will also redress the grievances of the policemen if any.

Moreover, a meeting of the police officials of Rohtak range comprising the districts of Sonepat, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Panipat and Karnal will also be held to discuss the crime situation and take decisions to curb the activities of criminals and anti-social elements.

Bail to PWD officials

The District and Sessions Judge, Mr S. K. Sardana, accepted the bail applications filed on behalf of two officials of the PWD (B and R), Ved Parkash Chhabra, SDE, and Suman Dev Sharma, Junior Engineer, arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act and ordered their release on bail yesterday.

According to a report, the Executive Engineer of this department, Mr S. C. Singla, has already been released on bail by the court. All of them are reported to have accepted money as bribe from a contractor and were arrested by the officials of the Vigilance Department.


Labourer falls in drain, dies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
One labourer died while two others were injured after they fell in a drain in the Ram Bagh area near Idgah in North district. The deceased was identified as Sultan (27). The injured, Parma Nand (19) and Jai Ram (19), were admitted to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital from where they were discharged after being administered first aid.

They fell in the drain while they were digging it. While rescuing the victims, a fireman was also injured, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service said.

Cong tells dalits to shun BSP

The Congress has dubbed the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rally on Sunday as a vain attempt to lure Dalit voters. Former Congress legislator Jaikishan on Friday told mediapersons that the BSP rally was a well thought-out political strategy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to garner Dalit votes.

Mr Jaikishan said Ms Mayawati had sacrificed the interests of the Dalits by entering into an alliance with the BJP. “I urge the Dalits and Backward Classes (BCs) to identify their political friends and enemies. Ms Mayawati was totally in the grip of the BJP leaders and has sacrificed Dalit interests for the sake of her personal ambitions,” he said.

DDA vice-chief to hold public hearings

The DDA Vice-Chairperson will now hold public hearings once every week. The announcement was made here today. The Vice-Chairperson who had been meeting people on all working days will now do so on Wednesdays between 2.30 pm and 5.00 pm.

Dithering over Campus of Open learning flayed

The Delhi University Teacher’s Union (DUTA) today held a demonstration outside the Vice Chancellor’s Office to protest against what they alleged is the inordinate delay to operate the Campus of Open Learning. The DUTA members later submitted a memorandum to the VC highlighting the lack of action by the university administration and the negative consequences it has on one-and-a-half lakh correspondence students.

The Campus of Open Learning is aimed at evolving ways to radically improve the quality of education being offered to correspondence students. The memorandum alleged that these students were being treated like stepchildren of the university.

The DUTA has raised the demand that the Campus of Learning should be opened at the earliest and the merger of the teachers and non-teaching staff of the School of Correspondence Courses be put into effect prior to the beginning of the next academic session.

Free check-up camp held for prostate, stone

The R. G. Stone Urological Research Institute today organised a free health check-up camp for stone and prostate diseases at Chittaranjan Park-based clinic. Over 120 people were diagnosed and given necessary medicines.

Dr Bhimsen Bansal, chairman of the clinic, said on the occasion that he wants to inform the patients and their relatives that diseases like stone and prostate enlargement are now completely curable. He said that people find these diseases alien and get caught in the trap of ‘Neem Hakeem’ and do not get treated properly. Some people also believe that if you consume a lot of beer, then it will cut the stone. But this belief is totally baseless. The next free check-up camp is on April 6 at Janakpuri-based Satnam Dharam Mandir. Since its inception way back in 1987, this clinic has organised many such free camps for diseases like kidney stone, prostate enlargement and cancer detection.


Autos must display magnified copy of driver’s licence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
Starting April 10, autorickshaw drivers in the Capital will have to display the magnified copy of their driving licence failing which the Department of Transport will take punitive action against the guilty.

Transport Minister Ajay Maken today told the Delhi Legislative Assembly that the Government of NCT of Delhi had started distributing the magnified copies of drivers’ licences having the badge numbers to all autorickshaw drivers since April 3.

“We hope to finish the distribution work being carried out by zonal offices by April 10. After that, strong action will be taken against those who fail to display the magnified copy of driver’s licence at the windscreen of their vehicles,” he said.

Listing earlier steps aimed at streamlining the plying of autos and taxis, the minister said installation of electronic fare meters had been made mandatory to prevent the tampering of meters from February.

The point-to-point distance chart had been prepared by the Surveyor-General of India while a round-the-clock helpline (9604-400400) was made functional to facilitate the commuters to lodge their complaints even in odd hours, he pointed out.

Mr Maken said the revised auto fare was introduced in February and the fare charts were distributed among the TSR operators free of cost. Besides, the issuance of badge to TSR operators had been simplified and provisional badge issued to them having the valid driving licence, he said, adding that badges were being regularised on police verification of their antecedents.


NRI city to come up in Greater Noida 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
A Non Resident Indian (NRI) township, which can compete with cities like Singapore, is to be constructed in Greater Noida. The 85 acre township is being constructed by the Omaxe Constructions Limited. According to Omaxe, the township will incur an expenditure of Rs 400 crore and will have open green areas and a lifestyle that matches international standards.

Situated on the express highway, the township will have unique features catering to the NRIs apart from underground electricity cabling, well-planned roads, a commercial centre and a shopping mall. The township will be known as the NRI City.



Woman’s suicide: Cops file dowry death case, finally
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 4
The Kotwali police have finally registered a case of dowry death against the in-laws of a woman, Manju of Panchwatti Colony.

She was found hanging from a grill with her sari in her bedroom on April 2.

Manju’s brothers Surinder and Ravinder and nephew Jatinder, who had come from Fatehgarh in Farrukhabad, had demanded from the outset that a dowry death case be registered against Manju’s in-laws as they had harassed her for dowry.

The police had agreed to register it as a dowry death case after her relatives created a furore at the police station.

The in-laws of Manju and some neighbours, however, said that it was simply a case of suicide. They had objected to it being filed as a dowry death case. Manju’s husband Yoginder and his parents had maintained that Manju, after having gone to bed on April 1, had not opened her bedroom doors on April 2 till almost noon. When they peeped into the room, they saw her hanging from a grill in the room with her sari tied around her neck. It was the second marriage of both Manju and Yoginder, who had three kids from his first wife.

Manju’s brothers alleged that Yoginder was using some political pressure. While Yoginder, his brother and mother said Manju’s body was taken out after breaking the door in the presence of the Naib Tehsildar and the police.

The police Circle Officer, Mr K. K. Gautam, again inspected the spot and spoke to some of Yoginder’s neighbours.

Later, a case of dowry death naming six members of Manju’s husband’s family was registered.


Textile manufacturers to march to Parliament
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 4
To press withdrawal of excise duty on the textile sector, the Panipat Textile Manufacturers Federation, an apex body of over 20 textile associations, has decided to stage a march to Parliament on April 7.

Announcing this here today, the president of the federation, Mr Ashok Banga, said that all shops and commercial establishments related to the textile sector would remain closed on April 7. The textile units had been closed indefinitely since March 31.

Urging the central government to withdraw the excise duty, Mr Prem Bajaj and Mr Naresh Bareja said the textile sector had been assured by the Union Minister of State for Home, Mr I. D. Swami, that the Prime Minister was seized of the matter and an amicable solution would be found soon.

The office-bearers of the federation took pains to explain that there was no disunity among the various textile associations, saying that apart from the federation, every textile association was making individual efforts to impress upon the government to withdraw the excise duty.

Mr Banga, however, parried a question on the withdrawal of VAT, which had been implemented by the Haryana Government.

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