Tuesday, April 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Taps could go dry in South Delhi, but DJB not guilty
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
Taps in East and South Delhi colonies could go dry as early as Wednesday after the Upper Ganga Canal stops releasing water to the Bhagirathi Water Treatment Plant.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) says the canal has been closed in Hardwar for cleaning the Ganga. The plant will cease to supply water after the water left over in the canal has been exhausted.

That is half the story told. What DJB is loathe to admit is it cannot divert water from the other water lines to the lines serving South and East Delhi colonies.

Reason ? The network of water lines is not interconnected. So, while Rohini will get its usual quota, South Extension in South Delhi or Shahdara in East Delhi will have to go without theirs.

The DJB says water is supplied in the NCT of Delhi through a network of pipes. Since the pipes are not connected with one another it would be well nigh impossible to divert the water. And you thought rivers needed interlinking!

Alternate arrangements could be put in place to overcome the acute shortage of water but mum’s the word on how soon. The DJB admits it has a crisis on its hands. It also pleads not guilty.

For the Government of NCT of Delhi, the situation could not have come at a more inopportune time. Already, several areas are having to do with scanty water because of the load shedding by the distributors of power.

Electricity is in short supply. Since there is not enough electricity to operate the water treatment plants to their full capacities, many areas have been facing acute shortage of water.

The drying up of supplies to the Bhagirathi plant due to the closure of the Upper Ganga Canal is therefore likely to compound the woes of South – and East Delhiites.

The situation is likely to persist for a few days. The DJB claims there is no cause for alarm. The agency is expected to draw up a contingency plan to overcome the crisis.

The Government of NCT of Delhi is quiet; it has let the DJB handle the situation as it deems fit. The only official explanation forthcoming is the situation in South and East Delhi will improve after the Sonia Vihar Treatment Plant becomes operational by the year-end.


No move to dump Khurana: Naidu
Tribune News service

New Delhi, April 21
The speculation over whether or not Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana will lead the party in the coming assembly polls in the Capital was put to rest with Party President Venkaiah Naidu today scotching all the rumours.

“I am surprised to see speculation in a section of the media on Mr Khurana. Let me make it very clear we have decided to make him the Delhi Pradesh President after considerable thought and discussion. There is no proposal to replace him,” Mr Naidu told newspersons here soon after a meeting to decide on the strategy for the coming polls.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Mr Khurana and BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan.

Expressing confidence that under the leadership of Mr Khurana the BJP will wrest power in Delhi, the BJP President said in the coming days the Delhi unit would launch a massive agitational programme against the “misrule” of Sheila Dikshit-led Congress Government.

As to whether Mr Khurana could match Mrs Dikshit’s stature in the coming polls, Mr Naidu shot back, saying: “She is no match for Mr Khurana, who is very experienced and knows the ins and outs of the Capital.”

He added that the BJP High Command has decided to contest the elections under the leadership of Mr Khurana due to his “experience and popularity”.

During the one-hour meeting, issues pertaining to grant of full statehood to Delhi and issues relating to unauthorised colonies were also discussed.

“Mr Advani has assured that the Bill on full statehood will be introduced in Parliament soon while the issue of unauthorised colonies will be dealt with by Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar,” Mr Naidu said.


Banks’ plea to quash DDA proceedings 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
Several nationalised banks, operating from residential colonies of the Capital, today requested the Supreme Court to quash the proceedings initiated against them by the Delhi Development Authority in view of a Delhi Government notification permitting them to do so.

A Bench comprising Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice H K Sema asked the DDA to file its response within eight weeks, keeping in mind the notification issued by the Delhi Government. The March 11, 2003 notification stated that residential premises, put to use for non-residential purposes, could be allowed to be used thus on payment of a permission fee. The court ruled that in the light of the notification, the DDA shall file an affidavit of its Vice-Chairman, stating whether the authority is still interested in continuing with the prosecution for non-residential use of the residential premises.

On a specific query from the Bench, Additional Solicitor General Mukul Rohtagi submitted that as per the notification the DDA could not prosecute the banks for using residential premises for non-residential purposes.

The banks, which had approached the Supreme Court, included Allahabad Bank, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, Indian Bank, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and United Bank of India.


Operation speed-breaker: Putting brakes on traffic violations
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
The Haryana Police have launched a special drive, called Operation Speed-breaker, against traffic violators on the national highways passing through the state.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today the special operation was aimed at tightening the noose around traffic violators and taking stern action against them. The operation would continue until May 15 next. He said under the operation the police would keep a close watch on traffic violations like overcrowding, jumping traffic lights and driving vehicles on high beam. The police, he said, would also check the documents of the vehicles. The SP disclosed the police intended putting a check on the activities of anti-social elements, such as bail jumpers and auto thieves.

Referring to the achievements of this special campaign in Sonepat district, he said a patrolling party of the Gohana Police spotted a youth sitting on a bridge on a minor on the Bichpri-Jagsi road. The youth, on seeing the approaching policemen, stood up and started running. However, he was apprehended and a countrymade pistol was seized from him when he was frisked. The youth was identified as Labh Singh from Gangoli village in Jind district. A case under the Indian Arms Act has been registered against him.

The SP disclosed the Kundli police had arrested Lal Singh, a resident of Nai Basti Bankner village in Delhi, on the charge of gambling and recovered Rs 5,470 in cash and satta parchis from his possession. The police, he said, got information about him, alleging that he was engaged in satta on the GT Road where he was operating from a place between the shop of a property dealer and that of a halwai. Thereupon, the police carried out a surprise raid and arrested him.

A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against him.

He also disclosed that the police had also arrested a youth, Ramesh, of Bhatgaon village on a similar charge while he was engaged in gambling near Malviya Shikhsha Sadan in this city. The police, he said, also recovered Rs 190 in cash and the satta articles from his possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

According to the SP, the Ganaur Police have arrested a youth, Suresh, of Kheri Tagga village for allegedly possessing eight bottles of countrymade liquor. The police also arrested two youths, Rajesh of Dadiwala village in Bhiwani district and Saheb Singh of Kailana village in Sonepat district, on the charge of consuming liquor in public places. All three persons were booked under the Excise Act.

Giving details about the arrest of a dreaded criminal and a member of the criminal gang headed by Anil Bhagtey, the SP disclosed a patrolling police party had organised a nakabandi on the GT road near Bhigan village chowk for checking auto vehicles. This police party, he said, got a tip-off that the dreaded criminal, Pradeep, a resident of Pipli village under the Kharkhauda police station, was moving in the area. Thereupon, the police party became alert and he was netted.


Truckers’ stir: Factory workers fear lay-offs
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 21
The manufacturing sector, which generates employment for lakhs of people, has begun to feel the pinch of the truckers’ strike. Although the captains of industry are confident that they will be able to ride the crisis, provided it does not last for too long, workers fear that they might be laid off anytime.

Mr S. Narasimhan, Executive Secretary of the Faridabad Industries Association (FIA), claimed the strike had not affected the industrial activity much in Faridabad as a large number of units were manufacturing ancillary parts for big factories. He, however, added that the problem of inventory and stocks would become noticeable in the days to come, if there was a decline in demand from large units. He said he was hopeful the strike would be over soon and the industrial activity would not slow down to a dangerous level. He added that the impact on the industry in south and western parts of the country had been greater than in the northern region.

According to Mr Rajiv Chawla, a young entrepreneur and general secretary of the Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA), the fact that mini-trucks and tempos were not a part of the strike had given some relief to small and medium units and their production schedules were unaffected. While the local movement of goods had been uninterrupted, the dispatches of big and large units, including car and two-wheeler manufacturers, had been affected by the strike. The strike had also led to a slowdown in major units and there had been reports of an inventory build-up. He said if the strike did not come to an end soon, then other activities, including banking, finance and payments, would also be affected and a decline in demand or orders from mother units could also affect the production and supply in ancillary units. He said the units depending on supply of raw materials and finished goods from far-off places had mainly been affected by the transporters’ strike till now.

Mr Shyam Sunder Kapoor, Managing Director of Akash Hi-tech Industries (P) Ltd here, said the strike had started adversely affecting all types of units. He said owing to a drop in demand and supply of raw material and finished items, the production level had gone down considerably. He said due to low sales and reduced payment, his company may find it difficult to pay salaries to the workers on time.

He said the workers could be laid off temporarily, if the situation did not improve soon. He said a meeting of the Faridabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) may be held soon to discuss the situation arising out of the ongoing strike. He said production in certain units had come to a standstill and material had got dumped on a large scale.

He asked the government to take proper measures immediately to tackle the situation. Mr Navdeep Chawla, general secretary of the Manufacturers Association, Faridabad, (MAF) here said the situation could become serious if the strike continued for a few more days.


Groom shot at during marriage ceremony
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 21
Unidentified assailants last night fired at the would be son-in-law of the Uttar Pradesh Samajwadi Party leader Narender Bhati during the marriage ceremony, injuring him seriously.

The gunmen, who were present during the ceremony, opened fire on Tapesh Choudhury from point blank range when he was exchanging garlands with the bride just before solemnization of the marriage at a function at Meher Mauj Inter College at Dadri, 18 km from here, IG (Meerut Zone), Karamvir Singh, said.

The incident occurred at around 11.30 pm when Tapesh was being escorted by family members and relatives to the marriage pandal. The assailants, who were waiting for an opportunity to fire at him, took advantage of the crowd and made good their escape in the melee.

Thereafter, it was sheer pandemonium. Some policemen, who were on escort duty for VIPs, chased the assailants but in vain. Tapesh was immediately rushed to the Yashoda hospital with a bullet injury in the head. As he was in dire need of blood, the friends and family members of Tapesh reportedly manhandled the hospital staff for the delay in treatment.

According to the police, Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Ashok Pradhan was present at the venue when the incident took place. Pradhan described the attack as “politically motivated” while some others dubbed it as an “accidental fire.”

Meanwhile, the police said that they have some vital clues about the assailants and all efforts were being made to trace them. 


Ayurvedic doctor’s narcotics factory unearthed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Delhi Police Narcotics Branch has arrested two persons, including an Ayurvedic doctor, and recovered from their possession 24 kg of heroin worth Rs 24 crore in the international market. The sleuths have seized 40 injections of diazepam, gas cylinders, five kg of paracetamol, acid and some chemicals used in the preparation of drugs.

The sleuths, acting on tip-off, raided a premises at Pushta Kachi Khazuri, near Hanuman temple, and apprehended the duo — Subhash Jaiswal (36) from Bareilly and Dr Nepal Chand Upadhyaya (62), a resident of West Kanti Nagar. At their instance, the sleuths recovered 220 gm of heroin from Jaiswal, which was found concealed in his knee band and 500 gm from Dr Chandd’s bag. Following their arrest, the police raided two other premises belonging to Dr Chand and recovered 23 kg of drugs besides busting a manufacturing unit. Chand used to prepare drugs on the premises. He would, however, give the impression that he was preparing ayurvedic medicines. He often shifted the premises, so that the neighbours did not get suspicious and received raw materials from Ratlam and Bareilly. Nine cases have been registered under the NDPS Act against the other accused Jaiswal.


One killed as bus ploughs into eatery

NOIDA: A bus rammed into a roadside restaurant, crushing one person to death, while another was seriously injured at the Sector 12-22 crossing here last night.

The accident took place when the bus driver and conductor were having their meal. The driver’s seat was taken over by a youth who drove the bus straight into the people partaking of their meals at the dhaba. TNS


Swaroop to be joint candidate of Left parties in Assembly poll
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, April 21
The CPM, CPI and Lok Janshakti Party have today decided to project the CPM nominee, Mr Krishan Swaroop as a joint candidate of the ‘Left, democratic and secular forces’ in the by-election to the Fatehabad Assembly constituency, slated for May 21.

The name of Mr Krishan Swaroop to contest the Fatehabad by-election was finalised by the state committee of the CPM here yesterday. Mr Krishan Swaroop, who comes from a modest farmer family from a village in Gorakhpur district, was also the nominee of the party in the last Vidhan Sabha elections. He had polled nearly 12,000 votes.

The state leadership of CPM, CPI and Lok Janshakti Party today held a joint meeting and took stock of the prevailing political situation in the light of the ensuing by-election.

The state secretary, CPI, Mr Raghbir Chaudhary, CPM state secretary Inderjit Singh and state president of Lok

Janshakti Party, Capt Shamsher Singh Malik agreed to project Mr Kirhsan Swaroop as a joint candidate of the Left parties.

The have also decided to mobilise more parties and organisations, who are opposed to the policies of globalisation, communalism and casteism in support of the CPM candidate.

The ‘misrule’ of the Chautala government, that has given rise to unemployment, corruption, unbearable taxation etc, would be the major poll plank of the Left and democratic parties, Mr Inderjit Singh said.


Pesticide residue in vegetable samples in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Minister for Agriculture, Mr Ajit Singh, informed the Lok Sabha that there is a need for more detailed studies related to the contamination of food products.

He said the accumulation of heavy metals could be reduced by controlling pollution load in irrigated water by shifting to non-leafy crops in semi-urban areas. Pesticide residue and heavy metals like zinc, lead and cadmium were found in samples of vegetables collected in some Delhi markets, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

A study of 4,100 samples of 31 vegetables found that 55 of them were contaminated with pesticide residues, but only nine per cent of them exceeded the maximum residue limit, Mr Ajit Singh said.

The main reasons for heavy metal accumulation in vegetables were irrigation with sewage water and industrial effluents. Aerial deposition from thermal plants and vehicular exhaust were other major sources of heavy metals, he said.

The study, carried out by All India Coordinated Research Project on Pesticide Residue, Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Imperial College of London, also showed the presence of lead, zinc and cadmium in some vegetable samples grown in and around Delhi.

Several samples of palak, okra and cauliflower were collected from peri-urban areas of Yamunapushta, Okhla, Ballabgarh, Najafgarh and Alipur and nearby markets during 2001 and 2002, and analysed for presence of heavy metals.

The Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Pon Radhakrishnan, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said that only one case out of the 101 corruption cases against DDA officials that were registered between 1998 and 2002 has been decided so far by the trial court and the accused was acquitted.

He said the CBI recently registered three cases involving former DDA Vice-Chairman, Commissioner (Planning), Commissioner (Land Disposal), Director (Lands) and Private Secretary to the former Vice-Chairman. Measures have been taken to strengthen the vigilance and administration of DDA to reduce corruption, the Minister said.

The Department of Prevention of Food Adulteration of Government of NCT Delhi has reported detection of adulteration from time to time, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Mr A. Raja said. The public analyst, who analysed 639 samples of milk collected from different parts of NCT Delhi during the last three years, recommended action in 158 cases, he said.

Mr Raja also informed the House that that government is aware that reputed medical colleges in Delhi are doling out MD degrees that are neither recognised by the Medical Council of India nor by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

He added that of the sanctioned seven doctors in the Cardiology Department of Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, only two are at present working.

The Minister also told the House that around 805 corneas were collected in 2002-03 by the eye banks attached to six major hospitals of Delhi against 1,130 in 2001-02 and 978 in 2000-01.

Mr Raja said that a total of 905 bills relating to medical claims of pensioners have been processed and sent to the Pay and Accounts Office, CGHS during April 1-10. All these bills have been cleared and the cheques will be dispatched to the pensioners within this month.

The Delhi Milk Scheme is selling only 200,000 litres of milk per day against the installed capacity of 500,000 litres due to market competition, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Hukumdeo Narayan Singh, informed the Lok Sabha.


In search of the mighty Saraswati for that missing link
Dr K. K. Paul

RIVER valleys over the centuries have cradled and nurtured some famous civilisations. For obvious reasons, this pattern has continued and even
today most of the large cities continue to flourish on the river banks.

The Egyptian Civilisation on the Nile and the Mesopotamian on the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates are known to have been the oldest (about 5000 BC). Excavations and discoveries undertaken by Sir Mortimor Wheeler during the early decades of the last century added Indus Valley to this list.

We may have known about the Indus Valley Civilisation much earlier had the original discoveries by Charles Mason, a noted archaeologist in the 1820s, been given more serious consideration. It may come as a surprise but some of the Harappan sites around the Indus are known to have been pillaged by contractors for brick ballast to build a portion of the Lahore railway in the later half of the nineteenth century. While the Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilisations were contemporaneous, the Indus valley is given a later date.

A lot of research has since been carried out to know more about the Indus Valley Civilisation and the reasons for its extinction while the other two maintained continuity.

It is now well-established that its southern delta used to be flooded and fertilised by the Indus and its sister river, both being fed by the snows from the Himalayas. Even by the third millennium BC, as archaeological evidence shows, people used to be in constant dread of the Indus, which was notorious for its violent floods and frequent changes of course.

The floods were perhaps not so severe when the first towns come up, as the sister river to the Indus, the Mihran, also carried large volumes of water along a course parallel and eastwards of Indus. But over the millennia, the Mihran has ceased to exist and flooding is known to be one of the most probable reasons given for the extinction of this civilisation.

Moving upstream, the Mihran Hakra Wahind river system (extinct) has been identified with the Saraswati (also extinct).

It is in this context that the progress of the Ministry of Culture-sponsored project on the prehistoric and mythical river, Saraswati, is bound to be followed with keen interest not only by archaeologists all over the world but it would also be of special interest to the people of Haryana.

It would be in the general area of the present states of Haryana and Rajasthan that evidence would be attempted to be collected to ascertain whether the civilisation around the Saraswati was an extension of the Indus valley or vice versa.

The mythical Saraswati river, which is now extinct, has found wide mention in the Puranas and ancient Indian history.

The Skanda Purana mentions that the Kanyakubja Mahadesh of Bhoja, comprising 36 lakh villages, extended up to Kurukshetra and Saraswati.

In the Rigveda, a river course has been mentioned, which now corresponds to the Saraswati and the Ghaggar.

The Saraswati has been mentioned as a mighty river from the pre-Vedic times. By the time the Manusmriti and the Mahabharata came to be written it had already developed its present character. Manu calls the place where it disappears as Vinasana.

The Mahabharata states that after disappearing the river reappeared at three places. The situation is much the same now, according to Vasishta Mehta. It disappears in sands near the village of Chalaur and reappears at Bhavanipur.

At Ballchapart, it again disappears, but reappears again at Barakhera. At Urnai, near Pehova, (ancient Prithudaka), it is joined by the Markanda stream. At Sirsa (ancient Sairishka), it receives the Drishavadi or Chittang.

At a short distance south west of this point the combined streams finally dry up.

The area between the Saraswati and Drishadvati is known to be the sacred land of Brahmavarta, the home of Vedic rishis. After disappearing the dry bed reappears south of Rohri and runs parallel to the Indus into the Arabian Sea, which is analogous to the ancient Mihran Hakra System. The other cities of the Saraswati era were Kapishthala (Kaithal), Sonaprastha or Sonepat and Paniyaprastha or Panipat.

Reports of the appearance of sweet water in certain dry areas of Kutch after the recent earthquake also led to a revival of interest in the archaeology of the Indus Valley and the impact of tectonic movements on the river systems. It is widely believed that the Saraswati river system may have become dry on account of one such upheaval.

There is sufficient data to show that the original course of the Sutlej was to follow a southward flow from Ropar (Punjab) towards the Ghaggar, the two coming together near Shatrana in Sangrur district and then flowing towards Kutch.

The sharp bend and a directional change at Ropar, which is extremely unusual considering the flat terrain, may appear to have been possible on account of a tectonic uplift.

This may have led to the ultimate drying up of the Ghaggar-Saraswati system as Sutlej was the only perennial source of water in the area, which may have changed course due to an earthquake.

That the Sutlej was earlier joining the Ghaggar Saraswati system is also borne out from a legend in the Mahabharata, where it is mentioned that Vashistha threw himself into the Sutlej to commit suicide.

The Saraswati might have been a myth for some but satellite imagery clearly shows that such a river system did exist and had a very wide basin right up to the Rann of Kutch. While Yash Pal and others, who have analysed the satellite data of the area, conclude the Ghaggar-Saraswati was a pre-Harappan river system with indications of habitation all along its channel, there is another school of thought led by Oldham and now by Rikes, where it is propounded that since the Yamuna had been changing its course repeatedly it could also have been possibly feeding the Saraswati river system.

However, the earlier claims supported by scientific analysis of the satellite data are weighty enough to obtain wide credence. Another interesting feature of the ancient history of this area is the speculation on the possible linkage between the Harappan civilisation and the Gangetic plain. Is it that the river Saraswati could provide the missing link?

— Dr K. K. Paul is Special Commissioner, Administration, Delhi Police


‘Punjabi should be an official language of our nation’
Nalini Ranjan

AFTER holding several key posts at a very young age in many prominent social service organisations such as the Delhi Sikh Parishad, the Delhi Sikh Citizens Council, the Delhi Akali Dal (Longowal), the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (minority cell) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Mr Kuldeep Singh realised that working for such organisations was somewhat restrictive, as the genuine sufferers often did not get the benefits reserved for them.

Keeping this in mind, Mr Singh founded his own social service organisation, All India Punjabi Vikas Morcha, with the patronage of Mr Gurupal Singh Gill, a London-based academician, who recently translated the Ramayana into Gurmukhi. This organisation has now thousands of active members all over the country and across the globe.

Interestingly, most of the members are from different communities. For 34-year-old resident of New Mahavir Nagar, Mr Kuldeep Singh, social service is not just a pastime, rather a passion and to some extent an obsession. In a short span, the organisation has managed to organise many philanthropic works like blood donation and free health check-up camps in various parts of the city. A community polytechnic was also recently opened at Hastaal by this organisation. And with the effort of this society, a Tilak Nagar-based senior secondary school was named after the local Kargil martyr Major Vikram Singh Yadav.

Recently, this organisation built two community halls at Mohan Garden and Anand Vihar. During the Iraq war, his organisation organised a peace march from his residence to Raj Ghat.

A mass marriage ceremony of poor girls was solemnised by the organisation at Vikaspuri. It was solely because of his efforts that the proposal to charge sales tax of Rs 750 on the sale of every car from the dealers was not enforced. Earlier, this provision was dropped from the Delhi budget. He had contended that if the government collected such a surcharge, then what would the dealers earn?

He was given an award by the Social Welfare Minister of Delhi, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, for his outstanding contribution in the field of social service recently. In a chat with the NCR Tribune, he recounted his experiences.

What prompted you to start your own social service organisation at a time when your name had become synonymous with the organisations you were associated with?

I have no hesitation in saying that it was difficult for me to continue there, as I wanted to do something independently. All the organisations I was previously associated with were mired in politics and divided on caste, community and creed lines. I wanted to do social work at the grass-root level.

So, I had no option but to start my own social service organisation to fulfil my long cherished dreams. Now, we have more than 300 active members across the Capital. The activities of our organisation are carried out with the donations from our dedicated members. We accept only material aid, not monetary, from our members. My father, Manjit Singh, and my wife, Kulwinder Kaur, are also helping me in my work.

How did your passion for social service first come alive?

Since childhood I had a dream for doing something for those who are less fortunate. I did lot of social work for the underprivileged and for that I got praise from the local people. In my school days, I used to initiate social awareness drives on different themes like sanitation, drug abuse, environment and moral values with the help of some friends. We all even used to clean nearby streets, temples and gurdwaras.

This obsession continued in my college days. Some like-minded students had founded an organisation, ‘Divinity Society,’ in Khalsa College. I was the president there. Under the aegis of this society, we organised many charitable programmes.

I would like to share one experience here. The occasion was the Shahidi Diwas of Guru Teg Bahadur. The tableaux were being prepared by some people hired on daily wages. I objected to that, and pointed out that it should have been prepared by the students of the college. After some discussion, all agreed. And since then the tableaux is being prepared by the students of the college.

Prior to starting your own organisation, you have been extremely active in social works.

My objective has been to eradicate social evils. We organised many awareness camps in different parts of the city to mitigate drug abuse and addiction. For this, we even organised Nukkad Nataks.

We distributed mid-day meals, dresses and reading materials to the students of many government-run schools. We even tried our best to bridge the communication gap between the police and the public in different parts of the city. For this, we had organised police darbars from time to time, so that the common man could air his grievances.

You have been a great advocate of Punjabi language and want it to be declared as the third language of our country after Hindi. What do you have to say on this?

Be it the freedom struggle movement or the development of the nation, Punjabis have always played a major role. Yet, we are treated as refugees. I have no hesitation in saying that this type of treatment is deeply perturbing.

Punjabi language has a worldwide presence and there is nothing wrong in giving it the status of official language of our nation. Our organisation has approached the President in this regard and he has given positive signals. This matter is related to our sentiments, so we will not leave any stone unturned to make this dream come true.

Are you satisfied with the performance of the Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee?

Despite being dubbed as the second Parliament of India, overall performance of the committee is not up to the mark. Recently, hundreds of poor Sikh families had converted to Christianity in Chandigarh, hundreds of widows did not get their pensions for years in Amritsar. And for these mater the committee is doing nothing.

Crores of rupees are being spent every year in the name of disseminating the Sikh faith and to check conversions. How many poor people have benefited from this committee? Social service is not merely confined to the gurdwara. If one gurdwara adopts one destitute child, it will be a big thing for our society. They should help the people living below the poverty line. This committee is mired in politics.


L-G urged not to approve electricity price hike
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Leader of the Opposition in the Standing Committee, MCD, Mr Vijender Kumar Gupta, appealed to the Lt-Governor not to approve the demand of the private electricity distribution and transmission companies to revise the tariff. He said the gap between the income and expenditure of the private electricity distribution and transmission companies can easily be eliminated by plugging the various loop holes.

Referring to the public notice issued by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for determination of electricity tariffs based on the balance sheet of private companies, he alleged that it was an attempt by these companies, in connivance with the Delhi Government, to further tax the citizens to the tune of Rs 1,821 crore in 2002 and Rs 2,579 crore during the current year.

Pediatric Gastroentrologists from across the country participated in a two-day national conference on Pediatric Gastroentrology organised to discuss the recent advancements made vis-à-vis the management of the common gatroentrological problems in children. The conference organised in the Capital’s India Habitat Centre was organised by Dr Neelam Mohan, Consultant Pediatric Gastroentrologist in Ganga Ram Hospital. The doctors discussed issues related to chronic diarrhoea, jaundice and liver failure among others. 


129 centres set up for Class V exams
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
As many as 129 examination centres have been set up in this city and elsewhere in the district for conducting the Class V annual examinations commencing from today. According to a report, the examinations would be concluded on April 24 and would be monitored by the Headmasters of the High Schools and the Principals of the Senior Secondary Schools in the district.

The JBT schoolteachers would act as duty supervisors and would be responsible for conducting the examinations in affair manner.

The answer papers would be evaluated at each examination centres under the supervision of the headmasters of the primary schools and the results would be announced on April 30.

Youth killed

A youth, identified as Sanjay, was killed on the spot when he was hit by a speeding car on the G T road near Kundly village, about 25 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the police have registered the case against the car driver and launched a hunt to apprehend him. The body of the victim has been sent for the postmortem examination.

SUCI rally

The SUCI is organising a state-level rally at Rohtak on April 24, which is
the foundation day of
the party.

Mr Hari Parkash, the district secretary of the party, told mediapersons here today that a procession would also be organised, which will pass through the main bazars and terminate in a public meeting there.

Mr Krishan Chakravarti, a member of the Central Committee of the party and others will address the rally.

Monkey menace

Panic-stricken people of the city today urged the district administration to take immediate steps for controlling the monkey menace in the city.


Sodomy case registered against schoolteacher
Our Correspondents

Rohtak, April 21
The police registered a case of sodomy against a teacher of a ‘Gurukul’, following direction by a local court today. In his complaint, Naveen (14), a student of Class VII at a Gurukul, located at Bhaiyapur Ladhaut village, alleged that his teacher Dharmender had summoned him to a room on November 11. He alleged that he had unnatural sex with him.

He said the headmaster, Satish Kumar, scolded him and directed him not to report the matter to anybody.

The affected student said his parents had filed a petition in a lower court, which directed the police to register a case in this connection.

Youth commits Suicide

A married youth reportedly committed suicide by jumping before a running train, near Kalhawar village today.

The deceased has been identified as Vinod (22) of Nehru colony locality here.

It was reported that the mother of the deceased had also adopted the same path by jumping into a well along with her three minor daughters, nearly 10 years ago. Mr Satvir Singh, father of Vinod, was completely heart broken by this harrowing incident and had lost his mental balance.

Commotion at petrol pump

There was a great commotion on the outer Quilla road here, following sparks from a petrol-filling machine this afternoon. According to information, an employee at the Kalra Filling Station observed sparks while filling petrol in the afternoon.

He raised an alarm, and the owner sitting inside a cabin rushed towards the machine. They immediately used the fire extinguishers and requested the employees of the adjacent station to help them.

Several employees of nearby filling stations gathered on the spot with fire extinguishers to avert a major fire, which could have engulfed the adjoining furniture market. The news caused panic among the employees of the National Insurance Company Limited and those of different banks located in the vicinity.

Drive to recover dues

BHIWANI: In a bid to recover its outstanding dues from the consumers, the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has intensified its recovery drive in Bhiwani circle. Sources disclosed that the Nigam has prepared a list of 49 villages, which has dues of Rs 50 lakh and above. Among these 37 villages in Dadri sub division, four villages are from the Bhiwani sub division.

Sources said that the Nigam had started disconnecting the power supply of defaulters, which was bearing ‘good results’. “Now, mostly of the defaulters were paying their outstanding bills,” disclosed a junior engineer here, adding that the drive would soon be launched in the villages. However, he stated that ‘open durbars’ would be held to inspire the defaulters to pay their outstanding bills before the drive was launched. In the outstanding list, Dhanana village in Bhiwani sub division owes Rs 3.20 crore, Badesara Rs 67.52 lakh, Jatai Rs 5.58 lakh and Talu Rs 1.62 crore. Sources in the department claimed that these figures would be reduced by the end of this month as the Nigam had intensified its drive to recover the dues. 


17 motor vehicle thefts solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
With the arrest of seven robbers, the Central district police today claimed to have solved as many as 17 cases of motor vehicle theft in the district. The police also claimed to have averted a dacoity plan by the gang at a money exchange shop in Pahar Ganj and a jewellery shop in the Gandhi Nagar area.

A huge cache of ammunition including 10 country- made weapons, 47 live cartridges and cash worth Rs 1.84 lakh were also recovered from their possession.

The accused were identified as Nazim alias Munna Sazid from Rampur, Rahil alias Mannan alias Murtza, Mobin Sabir alias Babu, resident of Okhla, Virender Rawat alias Babloo from Pauri Garhwal, Mazid Feroz from Rampur, Irfhan Ansari from Badayun and Mehraj Ali from Muradabad

However, three of their associates, identified as Om Maharaj, Bhura and Shahrukh, managed to escape from the police.


A mentally depressed wife of a CRPF Assistant Commandant committed suicide at her house today by hanging herself from the ceiling, with the help of a saree in Vasant Vihar in South West district.

The deceased, identified as Sonali Singha (35), was receiving treatment for depression from the CRPF Hospital in Jharoda Kalan.

She is survived by her husband, Kalyan Singha, a son and a daughter, who are presently residing at Special Duty Group accommodation in the old JNU campus.


Probe demanded into fraud by bank
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
Four members of a village Mini-Bank have demanded a vigilance inquiry and immediate action against the salesman of the bank, alleging that he had misappropriated thousands of rupees from their bank accounts.

According to information, Balbir, Devi Singh, Jasmer and Maha Singh of village Busana have lodged a complaint with the Vigilance Officer, Sonepat, stating that the salesman of the Mini-Bank, Rajbir Singh, had embezzled money from their account after making false entries for fertilizer supplies in their pass books.

In the complaint, Balbir Singh has stated that the salesman had put his thumb impression on the passbook and embezzled Rs 5,600 by showing ‘bogus supply of fertilizers’. He pleaded that he was an illiterate person and operated his account with the help of his thumb impression.

Moreover, Balbir also alleged that the salesman has misappropriated Rs 22,900 from the account of his son, Mukesh. Jasmer has also alleged that by using his duplicate signature, the salesman has embezzled Rs 7,700. 


Truckers’ strike hits business of dhabas 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
The prices of essential commodities have been constantly rising on account of the indefinite strike by the truck operators in this city and other parts of the district. According to a report, the strike has severely affected the business of dhabas, restaurants and hotels, and roadside shops on the national and state highways, which are mainly dependent on the truck operators.

The prices of vegetables and fruits are sky rocketing as almost all the trucks were off the roads on the eighth day of the nationwide indefinite strike.

The supply of not only fruits and vegetables but also non-perishable commodities like edible oils has been badly affected causing a big hole in common man’s pocket.

There is a likelihood of the shortage of petroleum products and the LPG cylinders, if the strike of truck operators continues for some more days.

The owners of the ice factories have joined hands and created a pool among themselves for the purpose of profiteering during the summer season. The price of ice has increased from Rs 24 to Rs 45 per ‘silli’ in the absence of any ‘check’ by the district authorities. There are 17 factories in this city and they were manufacturing ice round the clock but its quality is sub standard. The residents welfare association and the Sonepat Citizens Forum have urged the district administration to intervene and fix the price of ice, milk and allied products.

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