Thursday, May 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


CBI arrests former HC judge
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
In a major development in the DDA scam, the CBI today arrested former high court judge Shamit Mukherjee on charges of corruption and abuse of his official position. Mukherjee had submitted his resignation on March 31 after his name surfaced in the scandal.

The agency has registered a case under section 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. This is the fourth case to be registered in the DDA scam. Sacked DDA vice-chairman Subhash Sharma, suspended DDA official Ashok Kapoor, main conduit Dharambir Khattar and owner of Sahara restaurant Vinod Khatri have also been named in this case.

The agency sleuths had earlier swooped down on the residences of the former judge and others, including an advocate Ms Anshu Aggarwal. In all, eleven places were searched on Wednesday morning, including the official residence of Mukherjee at B-10, Zakir Hussain Marg, and his two premises at Chittaranjan Park. Two locker keys have also been seized from his residence.

Immediately after the raids, Mukherjee was taken to the CBI headquarters for questioning, where he was later arrested. According to CBI sources, some incriminating documents have been seized from his premises. He will be produced in the court tomorrow.

According to PTI, the CBI has made out a case that Mukherjee had allegedly taken illegal gratification for delivering an order in a case pertaining to widening of the Aruna Asaf Ali Road in the Capital.

Earlier, during the raids on the DDA bigwigs on March 27, the CBI had recovered some important files pertaining to Mukherjee’s court from a guest house in Asiad Village.

The CBI Director P C Sharma had met Chief Justice V N Khare and apprised him about the recovery of the files. The CBI had alleged that the papers were taken out of court files in cases pending before Justice Mukherjee, an allegation which he has categorically denied.

Mukherjee had submitted his resignation on March 31, but cited the health of his wife as the reason for the decision.

When the DDA scam broke, the CBI had registered a case against sacked DDA Vice Chairman Subash Sharma, Commissioner (Land Disposal) Anand Mohan Sharan, Commissioner (Planning) Vijay Rishbud and Director (Lands) Jagdish Chander. Subsequently, all of them were arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly abusing their official position.


When Govt usurps school buildings with the impunity of encroachers
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 30
Although the Chief Minister inaugurated the newly constructed building of a primary school in sector 21-D here yesterday, there is perhaps no guarantee that it will be used for the purpose for which it was built and not be occupied to run a government office. There are such misgivings as several school buildings have been taken over by the administration in the town.

According to the authorities, the building of the new primary school had been constructed at a cost of Rs 22 lakh in response to public demand. The building, spread over 0.70 acres, has five rooms besides a headmaster’s room, a staff room, office room and toilets with a covered area of about 5,855 square feet. Though the authorities claim the primary school will cater to a population of over 30,000 in the area, the past history of some of the school buildings constructed in the HUDA sectors tell a different story. The authorities have occupied about half a dozen school buildings for use as offices. These include the office of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police.

HUDA had got a senior secondary school building constructed in Sector 21-C in 2000-2001 but it was occupied by the Deputy Commissioner in the same year. The office is still functioning from the same building. The authorities claim it is a temporary arrangement till the completion of the mini-secretariat building, which is under construction in Sector 12 here.

Similarly, the SP’s office has been running in a primary school building in Sector 16 here since it was built about 17 years ago. Interestingly, the primary school for which the building was constructed is being run from a rented makeshift building in the same sector. A police station in Sector 12 is also reported to be functioning from a building meant for a school.

The police department has also occupied several other buildings built by HUDA for commercial purposes. According to observers, perhaps this was the reason why HUDA had not been able to sell or auction a large number of shop-cum-flats in various sectors. The ground floor of an SCF in Sector 7 is occupied by the police and by the office of the CID (DSP) and Crime (DSP) in the Sector 17 market here. Similarly, the Additional Deputy Commissioner’s office (ADC) is being run in the hostel building of HUDA in Sector 15-A here. Not only this, the primary school buildings in Sectors 8 and 9 here have also been occupied by the CIA office and the District Primary Education Office, respectively.

According to sources in HUDA, at least a dozen of its buildings are under occupation by various departments of the state governments. While there has been misuse of some of the school buildings it is also a fact the condition of a majority of government primary school buildings in the town and villages is quite poor.

Some of the buildings are in a dilapidated condition and face gross shortage of well-lit rooms. The existing rooms in many schools have no lights or fans and students have to squat on the floor as there are no chairs or benches. There had not only been a shortage of potable water supply in several schools but the buildings were also not being cleaned regularly.


These days students are wary of being kept occupied
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30

What is this life if, full of care

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

The inspiration for these lines could well have been 21st century kids, saddled with not just their academic texts, but ironically burdened with activities that are supposed to help them unwind.

Summer vacations are something that scores of students may not look forward to. Uncanny as it may sound, students are likely to be wary of these breaks, which entail not just copious amount of homework but also gruelling exercise sessions, sports practice and computer classes with dance and music lessons thrown in.

Overweeningly ambitious parents wanting their children to excel in all spheres have been pushing them too hard, claim psychiatrists. Dr Samir Parikh, a psychiatrist, points out: “The purpose of vacations is not just to make kids learn as much as they can. It is not the structured time spent that is important, actually the unstructured time also has its importance”.

He adds, “It is important for children to learn how to spend the unstructured time with friends, and themselves. Unstructured time spending allows them to handle boredom, to come closer to their self-needs, and be creative”.

Families, especially where both parents work, are particular about enrolling their children in activities which will keep them occupied and also add to their mettle. “We have plans of enrolling our teenage sons in sports and computer classes. At least, we will be able to keep them off internet and harmful TV watching”, said a parent.

Psychologists, however, express concern over the concept of “keeping kids occupied”. It is pointed out that children can often end up feeling more stressed out than refreshed. Therefore, they must be allowed to choose their hobbies and to explore. “There is a mad rush for enrolling children in computer classes and the same goes for sports like swimming and tennis. However, more often than not the parents fail to understand the aptitude of the children”, said a counsellor.

Dr Parikh, who endorses this view, adds, “Sometimes, the parents, in their quest to give the maximum almost force on the child more than he or she can handle”. He adds: “After considering the child’s interests and gifted areas, he needs to be given adequate stimulation in a structured manner, so that he can develop his interest in a hobby. And in the long run this ‘alternate stress’ would act as a good stress buster”.

Outdoor activities, which inculcate social skills, also need to be encouraged. Stress should also be laid on the need for discouraging learning by rote. Schools are being encouraged to bolster the spirit of experiment and innovation. Projects on subjects closer to everyday living are an example of the same.

“Our idea is to enhance the lateral thinking of the children. By means of holiday homework we strive to bring out their skills, keeping in mind their ability and age, but without inducing pressure”, said Ms Neeta Rastogi, Principal, Sadhu Vaswani International School for Girls.


Farmers diverting wheat to Narela
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 30
Farmers in Sonepat district, especially those living along the Delhi border, have started diverting their wheat crop to the nearby Narela market. They hope to get a higher price in Narela than that prevailing in the mandis and purchase centres of the district.

In fact, a large number of farmers in tractors and mule carts can be seen daily ferrying their produce to the Narela mandi. (There is no ban on the movement of wheat.)

Although the government has fixed the wheat MSP at Rs 620 per quintal, the farmers are getting between Rs 625 and Rs 640 per quintal in Narela, depending on the quality of the produce.

Incidentally, the crop is being purchased by private companies and not traders. The latter are now in a fix and to fend off the challenge posed by the private companies, the arhtias of Narela mandi have started touring the villages for buying the wheat directly from the farmers at their doorstep.

The farmers are all too eager to sell the surplus wheat, after setting aside their requirement, to the arhtias at their doorstep. This way they avoid the hardship and harassment that is inevitable in the foodgrain markets and the purchase centres.

Many farmers have alleged they were being forced to stay in the mandis and purchase centres for days together to unload their stock and sell it to the procurement agencies.

Almost all mandis and the purchase centres lack facilities like drinking water, power supply etc as a result of which the farmers have to sit in the sun. All complaints made to the authorities concerned in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.



Armed men ransack exporter’s house
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 30
In a daring act, armed robbers struck at the house of a prominent exporter on the GT Road near Kamal Cinema and made away with cash and jewellery worth over Rs 7 lakh.

According to information available, at least seven persons armed with countrymade revolvers and sharp-edged weapons barged into the house of Mr Ram Kishan, owner of Siwan Woollen Mills, around noon and asked those present to hand over the cash and jewellery at gunpoint. Since only women were present in the house, they offered little resistance.

Even as terrified occupants were unable to raise the alarm, the desperadoes ransacked the house. Police sources said Rs 1.4 lakh in cash and jewellery worth several lakhs were looted. Before escaping, the men injured Ms Shiksha, wife of Mr Ram Kishan. She has been admitted to a hospital.

The daylight robbery near the busy GT Road has spread panic among the affluent handloom exporters. It may be recalled that daylight robberies and dacoities are a routine affair in the handloom capital of the country. The police have failed to work out a majority of the cases.


Jal Board CEO does not agree with his CM on water shortage 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit would like “illegal” colonies to be declared legal in accordance with the policy formulated in 1977 that suggested the settlers be exempted from the levy of penalties.

She, and her party, have on several occasions spoken about the proverbial sword hanging above the necks of the 30 lakh slum dwellers for whom the future is uncertain.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB), of which Ms Dikshit is the Chairperson, holds a different and contrary view. Chief Executive Officer P.K. Tripathi believes the mushrooming of illegal colonies is the primary cause of supply of potable water being perennially short of the demand. “Illegal colonies, and to a lesser extent wastage of water, are responsible for the shortages,” he told the delegates to a seminar on “Water for National Capital Territory.”

Terming media reports on the shortage of water in the Capital as “hyped,” Mr Tripathi said the shortages had been caused by the fall in the level of groundwater and were not, as some like to believe, a making of the DJB. There had been no reduction in per capita supply of water by the DJB in the past 50 years but, says Mr Tripathi, “the pressure on the DJB has increased due to reduced supply of groundwater.”

He refuted that closure of the Upper Ganga Canal had affected the water supply in the Capital. “Whenever the canal is closed, we issue a circular three or four days in advance, alerting the people of low pressure for a few days,” he asserted.

To the skeptics, he said, the annual water woes of Delhities would be a thing of the past when the Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant in East Delhi becomes functional in December. “The new plant will have the capacity to supply 140 million gallons per day (MGD) while the existing gap in water supply was 160 MGD. This will probably be the last summer of discontent.” To a question on the quality of water, he said the water which was being drawn from the river turned out to be very good after treatment but this could not be guaranteed as ground water formed 10 per cent of the DJB supply.



BJP playing dog in manger: Maken
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
“What expertise do they have on transport affairs ?” Transport Minister Ajay Maken shouted at “critics” of the Government of NCT of Delhi’s ambitious-and-still-to-be-implemented Transport Policy. The “critics” at the receiving end of Maken’s tongue-lashing were Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana and BJP Parliamentary Party Spokesperson VK Malhotra. Ridiculing the BJP for criticising the much-hyped Transport Policy, particularly the Metro and the high-capacity buses, Maken on Wednesday told media persons, “The BJP does not want us to perform because of the Assembly elections.”



9 positive SARS cases so far
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
The Lok Sabha was informed today that as many as nine positive SARS cases have been registered in the country so far. Out of these, six cases have been reported in Maharashtra, two in West Bengal and one in Goa, Health Minister Sushma Swaraj said in a written reply. She also gave treatment details of the patients and the list of hospitals in the country identified for treatment of the killer virus.

Security beefed up

The Rajya Sabha was informed today that intelligence reports, following recent detection of some crude bombs at the New Delhi Railway Station, suggested that the possible terrorist targets are VIPs, symbols of national importance and crowded places in the national Capital.

The steps taken to beef up security arrangements in the National Capital Territory of Delhi include intensification of beat patrolling, developing intelligence on terrorist activities and intensification of vigilance at border check posts, the Minister of State for Home, Mr Harin Pathak, said in a written reply.

The investigation in two cases registered in connection with illegal operation of telephone facilities has been completed, Mr Pathak said. In the first case, four accused have been arrested. In the second, two accused have been arrested while the third is absconding.

Steps to reduce public inconvenience

The Minister of State for Home, Mr I. D. Swami, said a number of measures have been suggested to State/UTs and concerned agencies to reduce public inconvenience during movement of VIPs. Stating that the government was sensitive towards the inconvenience caused to the public, Mr Swami said the matter has been examined in consultation with concerned security agencies and state authorities to find out ways and means to reduce inconvenience to the public, while ensuring appropriate security.


Loan defaulter driven to suicide
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Unable to pay back loans, an owner of a medical shop committed suicide last evening by consuming poison in the Civil Lines area.

The businessman, identified as Ajay Gupta (40), resident of Ganapati Apartment in Alipur, runs a medical store in the Karol Bagh area.

Last evening, he reached his house at around 5 pm while his wife was talking to their guests at home.

After sometime when she tried to wake him up from his bed, Mr Gupta did not respond. He was immediately rushed to the Sant Parmanand Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

A suicide note, which was recovered by his bedside, stated that since he was facing problems clearing loans to the tune of Rs 40 lakh, he was taking the extreme step. He also said that no one should be blamed for his death. Mr Gupta is survived by two daughters and one son.

Illegal cylinder unit unearthed

The Economic Offences Wing have unearthed an illegal cylinder manufacturing unit and arrested two persons in this connection. A large number of cylinders and raw materials used to manufacture cylinders of various brands were recovered from their possession. The accused, identified as Harish Kumar Pandey and his brother, identified as Anil Kumar Pandey, both residents of Parampuri Colony, Uttam Nagar, were arrested after sending a decoy customer.

The police said that no person is authorised to manufacture such gas cylinders without permission of Controller of Explosive as it endangers human life.


The North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) has announced a rotational power cut on May 1 in blocks AG and AL of the Shalimar Bagh area. The power cut is being initiated to revamp a transformer in the area.


Some homage this! Acquiring plots in dead father’s name
Our Correspondent

Noida, April 30
A man living in Sector 22, Noida, has got a plot from the Noida Authority by using the photograph of his dead father. A complaint about it has been made to the District Magistrate by Hemant Kumar of Sector 27. He has alleged that Sri Niwas, son of Murari Lal of Chaura in Sector 22, fleeced the Noida Authority of crores of rupees with the connivance of his family. According to the written complaint, Murari Lal, father of Sri Niwas, Ram Niwas and Subash, died on October 27, 1988.

Subash had acquired plot no C-195 in Sector 19 from the rural court. These persons, the complaints states, had fraudulently got plot no D-34 in Sector 32 allotted in 1993-1994 in the name of Murari, son of Vaishali, while the fact was that Murari had died in 1988. In the registration document Murari’s photo had been pasted. The Noida Authority had converted Sector 32 into Sector 39. The plot (number G-71 in Sector 39), measuring 212 sq mt, had been acquired by these people. Sri Niwas, Subash and Ram Niwas then got the plot transferred in the name of their mother, Soni Devi. The complainant further states that Sri Niwas got plot no A-68 in Sector 35 transferred in the name of Prem Raj, son of Shyoli, by pasting somebody else’s photograph. According to Hemant Kumar, a case concerning this matter was registered in the Sector 20 police station in 1997. Sri Niwas and others are on bail in this case. Plot no C-7 in Sector 50 had also been allotted in the name of Murari after his death.

The complaint has urged the DM to order a probe into the whole matter so that the guilty, who are politically well-connected, can be brought to book, it is alleged.



Prakash Purab celebrations at Bangla Sahib
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Sardar Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, DSGMC, today said that the celebrations of Prakash Purab of Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji at Gurdwara Sri Rakab Ganj Sahib, New Delhi on May 2 will begin in the morning at Gurdwara Sri Bangla Sahib.

The programme at Gurdwar Sri Rakab Ganj Sahib, will start early morning with the recitation of Sri Sukhmani Sahib and Nitnem. Thereafter, Asa Di Var and Shabad Kirtan will be performed by Bhai Sahib Bhai Manpreet Singh Ji. Thereafter, Bhai Sahib Bhai Gurcharan Singh Ji—Head Granthi, will revive the memory of devotees through Shabad Vichar with the historical background of life and achievement of Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Shabad Kirtan of renowned Ragi Jathas will continue till afternoon..

In the evening, the programme will start with the recitation of Rehras Sahib at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, New Delhi. Head Granthi, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, New Delhi, will revive the memory of devotees with Shabad Vichar.

The programme will continue with Shabad Kirtan of Singh Sahib Prof Darshan Singh Ji, former Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and other renowned Ragi Jathas. The programme, will conclude at midnight. Guru Ka Langar (free community kitchen) will be served to all, irrespective of caste.


A Sufi saint with a heart of gold
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, April 30
Panipat is a world-renowned historical town for its three wars as well as for handloom industry. Before Partition, about 365 mosques and dozens of madrasas existed here.

The town was known for Sufi saints from amongst whom the name of Baba Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar is quite prominent. A building was constructed by both Kheezar Khan and Shadi Khan, the sons of Allauddin Khilzi, 700 years ago in his name and it is known as ‘Dargah Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar’.

An Iraqi national, Sheikh Fakhrudin and Hafiza Bibi Jamala were the parents of Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar. His elder brother Sheikh Nizamuddin Iraqi came to India for business and settled here in Panipat. Long separation from son of Bibi Hafiza Jamala compelled her to come to Panipat where the whole family settled in 1205. After four years, Bibi Hafiza Jamala gave birth to a male child Sharfuddin in 1209 and he was later known as Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar.

Their mother tongue being Persian and family being well-educated, Bu-Ali-Shah while staying in Panipat completed education under Maulana Sirazuddin Makki. Afterwards, he went to Qutab Minar area in Delhi and remained in service of Sufi saints there. But for the reasons unknown to the people, he threw his literature-specific books in the river and became ascetic. He was responsible for many miracles due to which many people became his disciples.

Even Prince Mubarik Khan, son of Sultan Gyassuddin, became his disciple and the Kalandar became so much attached to him that he could not bear his separation even for a moment.

Unexpectedly, a Sultan Allauddin Khan reached Panipat while hunting and met Hazrat Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar. Hazrat Bu-Ali-Shah requested Sultan Allauddin Khan to get a tomb constructed for him and also said that only those masons should be engaged who learnt the Holy Quran by rote. The Sultan agreed to fulfil the desire of Hazrat Bu-Ali-Shah.

Sultan got prepared delicious food for Hazrat Bu-Ali-Shah. After taking food of Sultan, the Hazrat directed his disciple Prince Mubarik Khan to throw the remaining food in the dustbin, but the Prince took it to be the spiritual master’s boon and ate it up. He died immediately.

The body of Prince Mubarik Khan was brought before Hazrat Bu-Ali-Shah who wept bitterly saying, “Friend! You be blessed to attain nearness to the beloved” and buried him in that very tomb, which was constructed for the Kalandar by Sultan Allauddin.

Till date, that tomb still precedes that of Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar Dargah and disciples as well as devotees, who visit this shrine, pay obeisance first to Prince Mubarik Khan before visiting the Dargah of Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar.


Mini-secretariat remains a pipedream of residents 
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 30
The reported statement of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, that the subdivisional towns would get mini-secretariats soon notwithstanding, it has been a 13-year-long wait for the residents of the district for a mini-secretariat.

And this is despite the tall claims of the district administration regarding the early construction of the secretariat.

In its absence, hundreds of residents frequenting the city for routine administrative jobs are left to fend for themselves.

The foundation stone of the project was laid by the then Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, on June 3, 1994. Panipat was carved out a district from Karnal in 1989.

In fact, the story of the foundation stone makes an interesting reading. While the stone on 66 acres was laid by Mr Bhajan Lal, the ownership of the land in question was disputed.

While the district administration thought the land belonged to it, the defence authorities staked its claim on land and even reportedly moved the court in this regard.

Finally wisdom dawned on the administration and it proposed to transfer a ‘suitable’ land to the defence authorities at Ambala in 1999.

The district authorities had repeatedly gone on record saying that the land had been transferred to the defence authorities at Ambala and the construction work on project would commence soon.

However, its brave face notwithstanding, the fact of the matter is that the project had been hanging fire for the past 8 years putting general public to a lot of inconvenience.

This is despite the fact that it had been a longstanding demand of the people of the district and several organisations had been protesting against the absence of the mini-secretariat.

A former president of the District Bar Association, Mr Satyindra Singh, had even moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the early construction of the complex. Currently, while the DC Office, SDM Office, the District Courts are functioning from Narin Singh Park area, several small offices are functioning from the Seema Theatre complex. The SP office is about 3 km from the city.

Apart from the foundation stone laid at the site opposite the Skylark Motel on GT Road, the only achievement of the district administration in the last eight years had been the putting up of a board indicating the ‘site of mini- secretariat’.

And in the absence of the mini-secretariat, the post of the District and Session Judge (DSJ) had been lying vacant since there is no office for the DSJ.

And with the absence of the mini-secretariat, Panipat was among very few of the 19 districts of the state which did not have the mini-secretariat. Even a comparatively new district, Panchkula, has the mini-secretariat.


A beggar with a difference
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 30
On the wrong side of 50, Prakash Nath calls himself a beggar.

He has become a fount of inspiration for the people for his selfless service during the last two decades.

Originally a resident of Kavi Nagar in Gohana town, he has devoted his entire life to the charitable activities.

Nowadays, he boards a passenger train from Gohana at 10.30 am, offers fried grams and cold drinking water to the passengers up to Panipat, free of charge.

The same service is repeated on return journey from Panipat to Gohana in the scorching dog days.

He has also planned to extend his service up to Rohtak from May 6 onwards.

He goes around the town every Tuesday and Saturday to beg for alms with a board affixed to his chest, stating the purpose of alms.

And believe it, his begging bowl is full of coins and currency notes.

The Gohana residents told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the beggar Prakash Nath has donated alms to the Kargil martyrs, victims of floods and cyclone in Orissa and the earthquake in Gujarat.

Not only that, he has been donating regularly for the studies of the students of poor families and many other social causes, including the marriages of destitute girls, free medical camps and treatment of the poor.

Prakash Nath has also planned to adopt 100 students of the poorest families on May 5.

He will give their fee for the whole year, provide study material and school dresses to them.


Stamp duty racket alleged, corporation robbed of revenue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
The Delhi Government reportedly forced the Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta to reduce the stamp duty from five per cent to three per cent, which caused a huge loss to the Corporation. Total revenue collection through stamp duty was estimated at Rs 100 crore. By reducing the duty, the Corporation would lose around Rs 40 crores, highly placed MCD sources claimed.

The stamp duty (transfer duty) is charged when ownership of property is changed. Stamp duty is the major part of the revenue collected through house tax.

These sources alleged that the Municipal Commissioner was pressurised by the Minister of Industries in the Delhi Government, Mr Mahender Singh Sathi, to reduce the stamp duty before the presentation of the annual budget for 2003-2004 by the Government of NCT of Delhi.

Earlier, the MCD had five per cent share in the total revenue of the stamp duty and the state government had only three per cent. Now, the state government has increased its share to five per cent leaving the MCD with only three per cent, sources said.

The Opposition Leader in the Standing Committee, Mr Vijender Gupta, demanded that the Delhi Government should now reduce its rate of stamp duty from three per cent to 1.80 per cent and total stamp duty should be charged at 4.8 per cent instead of 8 per cent.

Autonomous status for dental college

The first dental college in NCT of Delhi, functioning under the Maulana Azad Medical College, has been given autonomous status. The decision has been taken by the Council of Ministers of the Government of NCT of Delhi. The Cabinet also approved increasing the number of seats in the dental college from 20 to 40. “The decision will establish the dental college as an independent institution,” Prof Mahesh Verma, Principal, said.

“It will also help us in starting postgraduate dental courses and others on paramedical and dental hygiene,” he said. Currently, the college runs the undergraduate dental courses. Verma said the college would get financial independence, which would help in strengthening the infrastructure.


MDU cancels MA English exam due to paper leak
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 30
Maharshi Dayanand University cancelled the paper-II (new scheme) of MA English (previous) course, scheduled in the post-lunch session today, owing to complaints regarding the leakage of the paper. Dr A. K. Rajan, Registrar of the University, said the decision had been taken as a precautionary measure and fresh dates for the paper would be notified later.

The examinees, who reached the examination centre from far off places, were told by the university authorities at 2 pm that the exam would be conducted at 4 pm without assigning any reason thereof. This infuriated the examinees, who argued that they should have been informed in advance. The agitated examinees shouted slogans against the university authorities and staged a demonstration in front of the office of the Vice-Chancellor. They resolved to boycott the examination due to the ‘lapse’ on the part of university administration. Later, the Vice-Chancellor apprised the examinees about the leakage of the paper.

Woman killed

A woman teacher was killed and several others injured when a maxi- jeep carrying them rammed into a tree between Singhpura and Sunderpur villages today. The deceased has been identified as Ms Sheela, wife of Head Constable Somnath of CIA here. The accident reportedly took place as one of the tyres of the speeding vehicle burst and the driver lost balance over the vehicle.

Rigorous imprisonment for rape

Sonepat: Mr B. S. Rawat, the Additional Sessions Judge of the Fast Track Court, has convicted a youth, identified as Subhash, under Section 376 IPC and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 2,000 on the charge of raping a girl in Sunder Sanwari area of this city on July 26 last year. According to the prosecution, the city police had registered a case against the accused on the complaint of one Ramesh of the area.

Case registered for illegal supervision of exams

The city police have registered a case against one Maman Singh, who was illegally supervising an examination conducted by the Board of School Education Haryana. According to a report, the police have arrested him. He turned up for duty at an examination centre at Hindu Kanya Senior Secondary School on Monday. However, he escaped when the officials of the flying squad reached there. The flying squad officials informed the police about the incident. Meanwhile, the officials of the flying squad caught students engaged in using unfair means in the middle standard examination.

Six injured in group clash

Six persons were injured in a clash that took place between two rival groups at Gopalpur village, about 25 km from here yesterday. According to a report, lathis and jelleys were used in the clash.

All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection so far. An old enmity is stated to be the main cause of the clash.


Credit card rackets unearthed, major banks cheated of Rs 45 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police has unearthed two rackets involving the misuse of credit cards in connivance with restaurant owners and shopkeepers.

The people involved in the racket have cheated banks such as Citi Bank, HSBC, HDFC and others to the tune of Rs 45 lakh. Twenty counterfeit credit cards, one floppy drive, two skimmers, one decoder, one laptop and three floppies have been recovered from their possession.

Three persons, identified as Mayank Garg alias Bobby (26), resident of Gurgaon, Sharif Ahmed alias Sahil (32), resident of Turkman Gate and Ajay Taneja (23), resident of New Rajinder Nagar were arrested by the sleuths initially.

The police have also arrested the pub employees, identified as Jagdish Chand, Mukesh Kumar and Aleem Ahmed, Naresh Nagpal, an owner of medical shop, Gaurav Bansal, mobile phone dealer, Mukesh Dubey and Dheeraj Gupta and Jaspal Singh, dealers in electronic goods for preparing fake bills.

During interrogation, Mayank told the police that he worked as an executive in a computer firm when he came into contact with two foreigners. The two foreigners, one Thai national and another, a Nigerian, told them about the counterfeit credit cards.

Mayank also visited Bangkok and learnt the technique of misusing cards. Later, he bought one laptop and a decoder worth Rs 1.7 lakh from the Thai national.

He met Sharif Ahmed and Ajay Taneja and asked them to join him as his associates.

The accused also visited pubs in the posh South Delhi areas and asked the pub owners and employees to work for them. Their modus operandi was ‘simple’. When the customers handed over their credit cards for payments, the accused swiped it in the skimmers. The data was transferred from the skimmer to a laptop and later transferred the decoded data into counterfeit cards.

Meanwhile, in another case, two persons were arrested for stealing credit cards and misusing them with the connivance of drivers and packers of the Postal Department vans.

The accused, identified as Manjot Singh (27), resident of Anand Vihar and Vinod Kumar (42), resident of Shahdara, were arrested. The police is also looking into the role of the postal staff in the racket. The police recovered a kit and electrical goods and jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh from their possession. 


Gang of wire-cutters busted
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 30
With the arrest of three persons, the Kundli police have busted a gang of wire-cutters operating in Sonepat district for the past few months. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the arrested members of the gang were identified as Rohtas Jogi of Kundli village, Rajesh of Shukla Khera village in UP and Mahesh of Rohini (Delhi). The police, he said, also recovered a country-made pistol and stolen electricity wire worth several thousands of rupees from the possession of the arrested persons.

Giving details of the arrests, the Superintendent of Police said that a patrolling police party got a secret information about five suspects who were sitting on a drain bridge of Nangal Kalan road.

The police party swung into action immediately and surrounded them. The police asked them to surrender but one of the suspects fired shots at the police party. Thereupon, the police party succeeded in arresting three of the five suspects and recovered a country-made pistol from Rohtas. The two other suspects, Satey alias Satnarain and Bharat Singh alias Paras of Kundli village, however, managed to escape under the cover of darkness. During the interrogation, the arrested people said that they were involved in cutting electric wires in the region.


Rs 6 cr to be spent on tourist complex at Rai
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 30
The Haryana Tourism Corporation (HTC) has decided to spend at least Rs 6 crore on the development of a tourist complex, Ethnic India, on the GT Road at Rai in Sonepat district.

According to a report, the first phase of the development work was completed three years ago and it had earned a revenue of Rs 2.60 crore and a net profit of Rs 91 lakh during the period under review.

During the second phase, the work for the construction of Ethnic India village in an area of 14 acres is in progress and will be completed soon. This village will depict the Haryanavi culture. Stalls of handicrafts will be set up for tourists.

A motel consisting of 20 suites with modern facilities had been constructed for providing residential accommodation to the tourists. A big dining hall, a conference hall and a restaurant have been set up in this complex. Several parks have also been set up on the premises of the complex for the tourists. The complex is providing employment to 200 persons. Recreation facilities for the families and their children will be provided in the Ethnic India village soon.

Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee, Commissioner Haryana Tourism, inspected the tourist complex yesterday and directed the authorities and staff to provide more facilities to the tourists visiting this complex.

He announced that more funds would be allotted to the HTC for the expansion of this complex. The state government, he said, would make this complex one of the best tourist complexes in the state.

Later, Mr Chatterjee inspected the purchase centre at Biswan Meel on the GT Road and the old and new foodgrain markets in this city. The DC, Mr Balwan Singh and other officials of the procurement agencies also accompanied him.

Mr Chatterjee heard the grievances of the arhtias and the farmers and directed the arhtias to make prompt payment to the farmers after buying their wheat at the support price.

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