Wednesday, April 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Panipat gangwar spills on to court premises
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 8
The sensational daylight murder of notorious gangster Kuldip Kalwa in the district courts here today, allegedly by two members of the rival Surinder Kala gang, has again set off the gang war in the region.

In fact, the booking of the two Kala gang members on the statement given by Pradeep, another dreaded criminal, who was injured in the firing, has only belied the police claims that criminal gangs had been finished in the district. In his statement, Pradeep is understood to have disclosed that the duo, Prakash and Durjand, who resorted to indiscriminate firing on Kalwa and himself in police custody were members of the Kala gang.

Observers feel the brutal murder of Kalwa, prime accused in the infamous Pritam Ahuja case, in police custody in the district courts has given a lie to the police claims that there are no gang wars in the district.

The latest killing is all set to give a fillip to the bloody encounters between the two notorious Kalwa and Kala gangs, operating in Panipat, Sonepat, Jind and parts of Delhi.

In the past too, bloody encounters and heinous crimes such as murder, dacoity, kidnapping and extortion had been the rule rather than the exception for these gangs. According to insiders, the war between the two gangs was set off with the murder of Ajit Pehalwan, mentor of the Kalwa gang, allegedly by members of the Kala gang. After the death of their mentor, Rohtash and Kalwa spread panic in the region. Prime accused in the murder of Pritam Ahuja, a prominent Congressman and industrialist, who was allegedly shot dead for propping up a local leader in 2000, Rohtash and Kalwa ruled the roost in the crime world of the region.

Even as Kalwa went behind bars in the Pritam Ahuja case, Rohtash was killed in a police encounter in Sahibabad in UP. Independent inquiries, however, disputed the police version and termed the encounter as stage-managed.

In the meantime, Kalwa continued with his criminal activities from jail. He dropped a bombshell when at a press conference held by the local police he claimed he had masterminded the killing of Joginder Kaur in the district courts on November 26, 2001. The old lady had gone to the court to plead that three close relatives of the Haryana Assembly Speaker, Mr Satbir

Kadian, be also included in a case related to the demolition of her plush house in Model Town on the night of June 20, 2000, by over 20 unidentified persons. He claimed he had deputed a criminal, Shillu, to kill Joginder Kaur. With their leaders Kala and Kalwa in jail for various offences their followers lay low for some time. No serious fighting was reported between the two gangs with only occasional skirmishes doing the rounds and hitting the headlines in the local media. However, tension continued to brew between the rival gangs and today’s incident is seen as the culmination of years of rivalry.

Meanwhile, panic has gripped the advocates and litigants after the incident. Advocates said after the murder of Joginder Kaur, the then SP, Ms Mamta Singh, had assured that entry to the court complex would be regulated and a metal detector placed at the main gate. The rest of the three temporary gates were to be closed. However, no follow-up action seemed to have been taken up and it was the barbed wire area near the rear gate of the complex which was used by the assailants to escape today.



Boss out for dinner, porter controls rail traffic!
Our Correspondent

Meerut, April 8
Strange are the ways of the Indian Railways. On one hand, the government spends a fortune on high-tech signals; and, on the other, a nondescript porter holds the fort for an assistant station master, controls the traffic for hours and gives the green signal to the passing trains.

The lives of thousands of passengers were thus endangered. The saving grace is that the incident came to light before it could wreak havoc.

The incident has rattled the railway officials in Muradabad division, where the matter of gross negligence on the part of the ASM in Nazibabad Railway Station has come to light.

Several passenger and goods trains from the Sneh Road Railway Station on the Nazibabad-Kotdwar railway track were given green signal without the ASM. The ASM concerned of the Sneh Road Railway Station was found absent from duty and an untrained porter was in control of the traffic.

Consequently, there was a risk to the lives of thousands of passengers passing through the Nazibabad-Kotdwar route. Several passenger trains ran late for hours.

The matter has now been reported to the senior railway divisional officials and the senior divisional operational manager of Muradabad.

According to preliminary reports, ASM Pankaj Juneja was on duty at the Sneh Road Railway Station on the Nazibabad Kotdwar route, but he left at 7 pm, delegating his charge to the porter, saying that he was going for dinner at Nazibabad. The ASM did not join duty till noon the next day.

Incidentally, the Railway Protection Force chief Rajive Ranjan happened to be patrolling the route. He reached the room of the station master and was surprised to see that the porter was clearing the traffic.

The matter unfolded when the RPF chief grilled the porter. He broke down and told the truth. The RPF incharge immediately reported the matter to the senior railway divisional officials of Muradabad.

Panicky senior railway officials rushed to the spot and stopped the traffic. The porter was taken in custody while the hunt was on for the ASM. The railway officials have ordered an inquiry.



Only 30 minutes wasted this time in Budget session
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
The Budget Session of the Delhi Assembly, which concluded yesterday, was the longest one so far with a number of records created in terms of utilisation of floor time, business transacted and time spent on discussion on the motion of thanks on the Lt-Governor’s Address, Speaker Prem Singh said today.

Addressing a post-Budget press conference, he said the biggest achievement of the session was that it was the longest held so far with maximum business transacted during the period.

The House transacted business for 44 hours and 52 minutes, a 97.5 per cent utilisation of the floor time, which was the highest of all sessions so far, he said.

“Owing to lack of quorum, just 30 minutes were wasted. This is not only a great achievement but is highly satisfactory if compared with the 1997 Budget Session when nine hours and 25 minutes were wasted due to pandemonium,” the Speaker said.

He said only one member was named and suspended during the entire session and the suspension was revoked within a few minutes. Therefore, no member remained suspended for a day or more, which was also a record, he said, going on to speak about the discipline and decorum maintained by the members.

A total of two hours and 45 minutes were utilised on discussion on the motion of thanks on the Lt-Governor’s Address and 23 members participated in the debate, he said. “Nearly 23 per cent of legislators took part in the discussion, which has broken all records.”

He said a record was also created in terms of the supplementaries asked. Of the 260 starred questions, 87 were replied orally by the Chief Minister or ministers concerned and 337 supplementaries were asked on these questions by the members, which was a record.

When pointed out that some ministers perpetually avoided answering questions, the Speaker said they should do their homework properly. “I can ask them to come prepared which itself should be enough when told in the House,” he said.



Did he die due to head injuries or official apathy?
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 8
Even five months of intensive treatment at a top hospital of the country could not save the life of a bubbling youth, who became the victim of not only a road mishap but also lack of proper care at the initial stage.

Anuraag Lamba (22), a fourth year student of law, was the only son of his parents residing here. According to his father, Mr S. S. Lamba, a senior judicial officer posted here, Anuraag had been a student of Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, and had been staying in the hostel. Anuraag was riding on a scooter with his friend on October 30 last year when he met with an accident. A tractor-trailer hit them near the university. Both the students were injured seriously and shifted to the emergency ward of the PGIMS, Rohtak. But it is reported that instead of getting instant attention and care, Anuraag, who had received serious head injuries, became a victim of the apathy, which is a norm at government hospitals.

As no specialist doctor was reported to be present when the patient was admitted, the staff there told the attendants to get the CT Scan of the patient done from outside as their machine was not functioning at that time. While the attendants got the CT Scan done they were told further treatment was not possible as the surgeon concerned had expressed his inability to perform an operation and advised kin of the victim to shift him to Apollo Hospital in Delhi.

Enraged students of the university staged a protest outside the residence of the Director of the institute. The students alleged the PGIMS authorities had failed to take any interest in the case. The delay on their part may have caused the damage that made the patient go into coma.

To top the woes of the victim and his kin, the hospital authorities were not able to provide an ambulance to shift the patient to Delhi. They were told staff accompanying the patient in the ambulance was not available. As a result, the patient’s attendants had to wait for several hours before an ambulance from Apollo Hospital could reach Rohtak and take him to Delhi on October 31.

The PGIMS authorities have spent several lakhs on upgrading the ambulance service in recent years but the process of requisitioning an ambulance at odd hours

is reported to be very tardy, feel observers. They say if things were this bad for the patient, who was son of an Additional Sessions Judge, then the treatment meted out to a common man could be anybody’s guess.

The period of treatment at Delhi was no less a trauma for the family. “As Anuraag remained in coma for about 154 days, each day was a test for us”, says his father.

The desperate parents left no stone unturned to make their son regain consciousness. All possible treatment and care was made available but to no avail. Anuraag succumbed to his injuries on April 4 last. 



Stabbing spree in moving train
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 8
Five criminals on a stabbing spree killed one passenger and injured two others in a passenger train going from Ghaziabad to Delhi. The criminals targeted three youths with whom they had an altercation three days ago in the same train, it is learnt.

The incident spread panic and led to commotion among other passengers. After stabbing the three repeatedly, the assailants jumped from the moving train at Sahibabad station yesterday.

One of the seriously injured youth was rushed to Kapur Nursing Home in Shyam Park, where doctors declared him brought dead. Pintu, a resident of New Market, Hapur, was going to Delhi along with his brother Satish and a friend Jit Singh. On April 5 the trio had come to blows with the assailants over seats in the train compartment.

That day some co-passengers had intervened and the dispute was resolved. But the assailants were itching for revenge, the police said.

Pintu and Satish boarded the IMU train from Ghaziabad station along with Jit Singh. Four to five other youths were seen boarding the train after them.

As the train picked up speed, they attacked Pintu, Satish and Jit. When the three put up resistance, the assailants took out knives and stabbed Pintu repeatedly.

Satish and Jit Singh also received stab injuries while defending Pintu. As the train slowed down at Sahibabad station, the assailants jumped out and fled.

Satish, Jit Singh and a few other passengers took Pintu to a private hospital in Shyam Park Extension where he breathed his last. Satish has lodged an FIR at the GRP police station naming three persons and an unknown person.

The assailants are reportedly from the Madhopura area of Vijay Nagar.

The police said they would arrest the assailants soon.

The incident has created a scare among the railway commuters in this area.



NRI elopes with sister-in-law, ends in jail
Our Correspondent

Bulandshahr (Noida), April 8
More than a month ago an NRI dazzled his minor sister-in-law with his lavish lifestyle, which made the young girl elope with her sister’s husband.
But the law does not take kindly to such acts, especially when a minor is involved, and the brother-in-law has been sent to jail by the police. A case of seduction and rape has been registered against him. The NRI had reportedly squandered Rs 2 lakh on his romantic sojourn in Goa where a five-star hotel has reportedly confiscated his baggage as he still owes them Rs 63,000.

Rajiv Sharma, 40, a resident of Avas Vikas Colony under Bulandshahar Kotwali, is reportedly employed in a large showroom in South Africa. He was married in the Secunderabad Kotwali area and had returned from South Africa some time back.

His 17-year-old sister-in-law had to appear in an examination on March 8. When the girl did not return home after her examination her father had lodged a report with the police against Rajiv, alleging that he had a seduced his minor girl and abducted her.

The police tapped Rajiv’s phone and learnt that he was staying with his sister-in-law in a Goa hotel.

The Bulandshahr police got in touch with the Goa police and got both of them arrested. A police team was later despatched to fetch them from Goa.

Rajiv told the police he had withdrawn Rs 2 lakh from his Bulandshahr bank branch before leaving for Goa. He had hired a taxi in Delhi where, after doing some shopping, they took a flight to Mumbai. After staying in Mumbai for a few days the duo proceeded to Goa.

As the medical examination of the young girl has confirmed rape, a case has been registered under Sections 363, 365 and 376 of the IPC. The girl has since joined her parents.



Judge makes accused do sit-ups in court

New Delhi: An accused learnt has a hard lesson for trying to pull political strings and getting himself a favourable judgement. A Delhi court, vexed by the gimmick, ordered the accused to do sit-ups, holding his ears, for allegedly exerting pressure on a judge through a Union Cabinet Minister.

Additional Sessions Judge S. C. Mallick asked the accused, who has been charged with cheating the public and various financial institutions of Rs 48 lakh, whether he had asked a Union Cabinet Minister to talk to him about the case.

When the accused replied in the affirmative, hoping that the judge would succumb to the political pressure, the judge ordered the 70-year-old to hold his ears and do sit-ups inside the courtroom. A bewildered courtroom then watched the accused do sit-ups for more than five minutes. The judge said in the open court that on Saturday morning the minister had called him up and asked him to help the accused who had been charged under Sections 138 and 420 of the IPC for cheating various financial institutions and public of Rs 48 lakh by opening Moonbill Finance Ltd in Delhi. TNS



DDAgate: Thirty-eight officials booked 
in three years
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
As many as 32 cases, involving 38 DDA officials, have been registered by the CBI and the Crime Branch in the last three years even as the Authority’s Vigilance Wing initiated departmental proceedings against 373 officials during the same period, the Lok Sabha was told today.

In all such cases, investigations are carried out by the agency concerned and action taken as per the prescribed rules and regulations, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar said in a written reply. Further, during the last three years, penalties have been imposed on 433 officials (including disciplinary cases initiated earlier), Mr Kumar said.

The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB), set up in 1985, has so far financed 172 schemes of which 84 are completed and the remaining 88 are at different stages of completion, Minister of State for Urban Development Pon Radhakrishnan said.

The total estimated cost of these projects is Rs 5359.47 crore for which a loan amounting to Rs 2372.08 crore has been sanctioned and an amount of Rs 1433.98 crore was released as on February 2003.

There was a possibility of Pak-sponsored terrorists creating their hideouts in the areas adjoining Delhi, the Lok Sabha was told today. There were five cases in the recent past in which Pak-sponsored terrorists were either arrested or killed in the western parts of Uttar Pradesh near Delhi, Minister of State for Home Harin Pathak said in a written reply.

The possibility of Pak-sponsored terrorists creating hideouts in the areas adjoining Delhi, therefore, cannot be ruled out, Mr Pathak said.

Delhi Police are geared up to develop intelligence about the activities and movements of terrorists and their harbourers in and around Delhi and put in place an appropriate security cover to ensure that their nefarious designs are neutralised, the minister said, adding this includes a close coordination with the police forces of the neighbouring districts and the intelligence agencies. One person was arrested on February 24, 2003 near Pakistan High Commission recently and several classified documents were recovered from him, Mr Pathak said.

The documents relating to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre recovered from the accused are public documents and do not contain any classified information, he said. The Central and state intelligence and security agencies work in close coordination to detect espionage cases, Mr Pathak added.



Delhi Govt should hold the reins of 
DDA: Subhash Chopra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Subhash Chopra has demanded that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) be put under the government of NCT of Delhi.
He sought this while addressing his party’s workers, who on Tuesday held a sit-in at Jantar Mantar to protest against the corruption in the DDA.

Mr Chopra sought “action” against Delhi Pradesh BJP president and member of Parliament Madan Lal Khurana for shielding corrupt officials.

“There is no point,” he told the Assembly, “in hounding the bureaucrats alone. People like Khurana, who patronise certain corrupt officials, should also be brought to book.”

He said the “whole truth” behind the DDAgate should be placed before people so that the government could send the right signal across the country. Criticising the BJP for “saffronising” the DDA, he said Subhash Sharma was replaced by an officer who lasted 24 hours; Suman Swaroop was then appointed vice-chairman who was also shunted out in 48 hours.

Within a seven days, he said, four officials were appointed and removed from the post of vice-chairman of the DDA. “These ad hoc appointments established the ulterior motives of the BJP,” he alleged.

Mr Chopra also sought an inquiry into the land allotment during the past two years to the BJP sympathisers, organisations and office- bearers of the Sangh Parivar.



Anil Baijal is DDA vice-chairman

New Delhi: Anil Baijal of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been appointed vice chairman of the Delhi Development Authority. He replaces Suman Swarup. Swarup was appointed vice chairman last week and shunted out in less than 48 hours.

Both Baijal and Swarup are from the 1969 batch of the Union Territory cadre. Baijal was Additional Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and has been posted in the DDA with the same rank and pay.

Swarup has been posted as Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor in the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers in place of Vijay Singh who will take Baijal’s place in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Singh is a 1970 IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh. TNS



Industry-govt project on waste disposal hailed
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 8
A two-day training programme, organised by the recently constituted Haryana Environmental Management Society (HEMS), on the ‘management of hazardous waste from industrial units’ voted for extensive awareness campaign on the issue.

Although industrial pollution in Haryana is considered to be lower than that of other states in the country, the HEMS, on the concluding day of the training programme, urged upon the industries to intensify the campaign for better management of their hazardous wastes. The programme was conducted with the help of a private consultant firm having expertise on the subject.

The HEMS has undertaken to set up a plant for disposal and treatment of hazardous wastes. For this, the Haryana Government, with the intervention of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, has decided to give the society 32 acres of land at Palli village in Faridabad district. The cost of setting up the plant and its maintenance will be borne by the industrialists. Incidentally, this venture is claimed to be the first of its kind in North India. The HEMS, having 249 members, was floated by industrialists with the state government playing a catalytic role.

Several bigwigs from the government and the industry took part in the training programme. In his inaugural speech, the president of the HEMS, Mr Sunil Sabarwal, stressed that although industrial development is important for the economic and social growth, it is imperative that industrial activities are laced with proper precautionary measures for environmental protection.

According to him, it was imperative to go beyond mere compliance of regulatory norms for prevention and control of pollution. One of the problems faced by the industry is in ensuring proper management of growing volumes of hazardous wastes generated, as well as their scientific treatment and disposal.

According to him, the proposed plant will have state-of-the-art infrastructure, which would include special purpose vehicles for waste collection from the units, a receiving station, a storage centre, a laboratory for waste characterisation and testing, treatment centre, engineered secure landfill for ultimate waste disposal and effluent treatment plant along with an environment monitoring station.

The president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), Mr P. K. Jain, welcomed the proposed waste disposal project saying that it is unique in the sense that government and the private sector collaborated with each other on safeguarding the environment. According to him, industrialists from the neighbouring states are also evincing interest to associate themselves with the HEMS.

Mr Jain lamented that there is very little literature and awareness on the management of hazardous wastes, but hoped that the HEMS would soon get over the teething problems.

The Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Government of Haryana, Mr D. S. Desi, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that the present government was taking all possible measures for controlling environment pollution. He assured all help from the government to the HEMS in its endeavour to protect environment.

The president of the GCCI, Mr Arun Jain, the chairman of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, Mr H. S. Bains, and Dr Asholkar, a professor at IIT, Mumbai, also spoke on the occasion.



Centre gives with one hand, state takes 
back with the other
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 8
The central government has enhanced the monthly honorarium of thousands of anganwadi workers and helpers working in the villages and towns under the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) Scheme by Rs 500 and Rs 240 respectively with effect from April 2002.

However, the Haryana Government has ordered the withdrawal of its honorarium of Rs 200 and Rs 100 per month from the workers and helpers respectively from the same date.

Interestingly, both the letters, of enhancement as well as withdrawal, were dispatched on the same day, March 31, 2003 to the Director of the Women and Child Development Department. The department authorities have been asked to deduct the amount of the state government honorarium already paid from April 2002 to March 2003 from the amount of arrears of the enhancement of central government honorarium for the same before making payment to the workers and helpers.

After these orders, the total monthly enhancement in honorarium has come down to Rs 300 for the workers and Rs 140 for the helpers. And in this way, the contribution of the state government in this scheme has almost come to naught now.

The state government action has evoked sharp criticism from the block Congress president, Ms Saroj Pannu, who said that the anganwadi workers and helpers are the lowest paid employees with a monthly honorarium of Rs 738 and Rs 400 respectively after these two orders. She remarked: “These employees of anganwadis used to contribute in many state government-sponsored activities in the past. But now the state government has lost its moral right to ask them to do other works.



Two held, nine theft cases solved 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 8
With the arrest of two youths, the special staff of the Sonepat police claimed to have solved as many as nine cases of theft committed in the city during the past few months. Superintendent of Police Paramjit Singh Ahlawat told mediapersons here today that the police have recovered two stolen coloured TV, nine watches of video games, nine locks, one toothbrush, one cricket bat, three bottles of Dabar Anwala oil, a sum of Rs 700 and two knives from the possession of the arrested youths.

Giving the details of the arrest of Sombir, alias Kala, of Bhainswal Kalan village and Sandee, a Balmiki of Garhwal village, the SP disclosed that a police party was patrolling between Sector 23 Mehlana Road and Kakroi Road when a tip-off was received that both the culprits were planning to loot the passers-by. The police immediately swung into action and conducted the raids at the place where they were sitting. The police arrested the duo and recovered knives and other weapons from them.

Youth falls into well

Rambir, a youth fell into a well and sustained serious injuries at Mehndipur village about 10 km from here last evening. According to a report, the injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was shifted to a trauma centre in Delhi for treatment. The youth was playing near the well when he slipped into it.

Two women hurt

Two women were injured when a three-wheeler on which they were travelling, rammed a parked vehicle on the road near Amrit Palace cinema house in Sector 14 here last night.

According to a report, both the women were hospitalised and the condition of one of them is stated to be serious. The police are still investigating the case.

Life term for murder

The Additional Sessions Judge of the Fast Track Court, Mr B S Rawat has convicted Sham Lal, a resident of Mohanpur in Gaya district of Bihar under Section 302, 201 and 34 IPC and sentenced him to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000 for killing one Baleshwar on March 11, 2001. According to the prosecution story, the Government Railway Police (GRP) had registered a case of murder against and arrested him.

INLD nominee elected MC chief

Rohtak: Indian National Lok Dal candidate Sulekha was today elected Chairperson of the Kalanaur Municipal Committee. She got seven out of 13 votes and defeated Ms Laxmi Devi of the Congress with a margin of one vote only.



Delhi Police transfers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
The Delhi Police today announced the transfer of five officials under the level of Assistant Commissioners of Police. Mahesh C Bharadwaj, SDPO, Vasant Vihar, has been transferred as ACP (Operations), South district, Ranbir Singh, ACP (Operations), has been asked to take over as SDPO, Vasant Vihar. Mangesh Kashyap has been transferred from Security to Police Training College, Jharoda Kalan, Amrender Singh, SDPO, Pahar Ganj to ACP, DIU, East district while Rakesh Pawariya has been transferred from ACP, DIU East to SDPO, Pahar Ganj.

Traffic workshops: The Traffic Police in the Capital have launched a drive to instil road discipline in children by organising workshops in schools. The workshops would try to raise awareness levels in connection with road safety like recognition of symbols and following drive rules.

Walia on SARS: The NCT of Delhi has not reported any case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Health Minister A. K. Walia says there is no cause for worry but the symptoms of the disease should not be ignored.



Directive on markets

Sonepat: The Haryana Financial Commissioner has directed the State Agricultural Marketing Board and the market committees of Sonepat, Ganaur and Gohana towns to take immediate steps for the supply of electricity and drinking water in the markets. He warned that laxity would attract penal action as the state government was committed to providing basic facilities to the farmers and buying their produce at the support price fixed by it. He also asked them to make arrangements for lifting the procured wheat from the markets. He also directed the authorities to pay the farmers within 72 hours. OC



Sarpanch arrested for embezzlement
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 8
The sarpanch of Mitrol village in the district was arrested on the directions of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who was told during the `Sarkar Aapke Dwar’ programme at Hathin yesterday that the accused had misappropriated Rs 35 lakh. The sarpanch, identified as Tarachand, was reportedly present at the programme.

In another case, Mr Chautala asked the officials to get a case booked under Section 182 of the IPC against one Kaluram of Pali village for putting up a false complaint. He ordered in the third case that the authorities should take proper action against one Sher Singh of Jodhpur village for illegal operation of funds of land mortgage bank.

The Chief Minister, in response to another complaint, directed the Labour Department to initiate proceedings against a factory in Sector 37 for retrenching about 126 workers in an unlawful manner.

Earlier at the programme, the Chief Minister asked the authorities of the irrigation and public health departments to ensure proper supply of drinking water and to fill up all the ponds in rural areas.

He announced that if a gram panchayat deposited 10 per cent of the amount of the project under `Swajal dharna scheme’, the government would provide private water supply connections to houses in villages by bearing 90 per cent of the cost. He said all the transformers would be repaired and the power lines passing over public places would be shifted.

As many as 67 complaints were taken up at the programme. The CM also inaugurated the building of a primary school at Sector 31 here later.



Gang of vehicle thieves smashed, 152 cases solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
With the arrest of five members of a vehicle thief gang, the South district police today claimed to have solved more than 152 cases of auto-lifting in Delhi and Noida.
The police also recovered three cars and forged documents and stamps of the transport authority, registration number plates, forged driving licences and drilling machines, which were used to steal the vehicles.

Most of the stolen cars were driven to Jammu and Kashmir and sold at throwaway prices. The gang used to steal mostly cars like Maruti 800, Maruti Zen, Alto, Santro and Tata Sumo.

Following an increasing number of car thefts in the area, the police team deployed various teams. Acting on a secret information, the police laid a trap at Kalindi Kunj and arrested the five members when they were travelling in a stolen Maruti Zen car. Since the accused possessed all original licences, the police are also investigating whether transport authorities are also involved, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) P. Kamaraj.

The accused were identified as Vikas alias Vicky (28) and Jogesh alias Yogi (24), residents of Ghazipur, Praveen Sangwan alias Dimpy (24), resident of Sonepat, Manu Sharma (28), resident of Mayur Vihar, and Ashique Hussain alais Sabah (30), resident of Jammu and Kashmir. During interrogation, it was found that the gang operated under the leadership of Vikas who was once arrested by the Delhi Police in 2001. He was later released. With the help of his associates, he started stealing vehicles. Praveen is a first year student of Hindu College in Sonepat.

The gang always carried implements to break the car locks along with them and once they lift the cars, they drove them to a hideout of Praveen in Sonepat. Next day, the cars would be driven to Jammu and Kashmir with forged documents. The gang members were in touch with each other through mobile phones, and everyone had at least five cash cards with them.

Bus robbers nabbed: In another case, the South district police nabbed a gang of bus robbers and dacoits who were planning to commit a bus dacoity. The accused were identified as Sudhir Gupta, resident of Sangam Vihar, Manoj, resident of Tigri, Manish alias Lalit, resident of Dakshinpuri, Rajinder, resident of Delhi Gate, and Raj Kumar, resident of Kapasera. The police have recovered four knives from their possession.

Man shot at by four: A group of four assailants on a Tata Sumo shot at a person today morning in the Barwala area in West district. The incident took place near Good Luck Public School when the victim, Shankar, was on his way to his farmhouse.

The assailants stopped the vehicle near him and fired two rounds. The victim was immediately rushed to Bramjit Hospital where he is reported to be stable.

Builder kidnapped: Shakeel-ur-Rehman, a builder, was reportedly kidnapped from Basti Nizamuddin by unidentified persons in South district on Sunday. According to police, the builder was kidnapped on Sunday morning when he went to see one of his buildings under construction in Basti Nizamuddin. Police suspected the involvement of local builders in the case and a few of them have been questioned. He owned property on prime locations in the locality and had professional enmity with the local builders. One of them had reportedly threatened him with dire consequences a few days ago. The victim’s family got a case registered on Sunday evening when he did not return home. They could not contact him even on his mobile telephone, the police said. 



Minor girl abducted from her house
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 8
A 16-year-old girl is reported to have been kidnapped by a youth from her house in the Housing Board Colony here yesterday. According to a report, the police have registered the case against a youth Monu of Sainipura village and launched a hunt for him. According to another report, the Rai police have registered a case against two youths of Jakhauli village on the charge of allegedly trying to rape a minor girl of the same village.

The girl, it is stated, was returning home from a shop when she was waylaid and taken to a nearby house. When the youths tried to rape, the girl raised the alarm. A number of people assembled at the site, but the youths took to their heels.


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