Sunday, May 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Road rage: Good Samaritan motorist shot dead by driver
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
The Capital was witness to another incident of road rage last night. Only, this time the victim was an innocent motorist who had tried to pacify two road users engaged in a slugfest. The slugfest ended in her death. The victim of the livid motorist, a mother of three, had tried to intervene in a fight between a scooterist and a Ceilo driver on Ganda Nallah in Sector-18, Rohini.

She was later shot dead by the Ceilo driver while she was driving her car.

The victim, Sunita Chadha (36), received two shots in her chest and was rushed to Ambedkar hospital where she was declared brought dead. The accused is absconding and the police have launched a manhunt.

The police said that Sunita, a resident of Sector-8, Rohini, was supposed to pick up her two daughters from her mother’s house in Sector-18 and drop them at their school.

The children were later supposed to go for a picnic to Shimla. The incident took place last evening when Sunita, in her Maruti Esteem car, spotted a scooterist and another person in a Ceilo car having an argument.

According to the police, the victim stopped the car on impulse and tried to intervene. However, she got into an argument with the person in Ceilo. Around this time, she received a call from her children that they were getting late and she left the spot.

It is alleged that the occupant of the Ceilo, livid over her intervention, came after her and shot her twice in the right side of the chest. Sunita later succumbed to her injuries. A large number of people, after hearing the gun shots, gathered at the spot and tried to help Sunita but in vain.

Sunita is survived by three daughters and all of them were staying at their grandmother’s place. She had divorced her husband in 1994 and was living separately.


Tehsildar, on transfer, issues 600 registries overnight
Parmindar Singh

Noida (Javer), May 3
The Tehsildar, Javer, before proceeding on transfer, reportedly issued registries for 600 bighas of land overnight. He accomplished the task in connivance with a suspended patwari of the village. Result: About 600 bighas were handed over to 198 people and this transfer was duly entered in revenue records with back date. But there is no trace of correspondence pertaining to these registries in the tehsil records and even the Dy DM is stumped.

The city municipal chief has pointed out that clause 117 of the Landlords Act had been violated and the right of the people had been trampled upon. The tehsil staff, in connivance with property agents, had allegedly made lakhs in this operation. Most of the tehsil staff and some chosen few were the beneficiaries.

After land consolidation, a large chunk of LMC land, running into thousands of bighas, was left unclaimed in the area. Five months ago Mahender Singh was posted as the Tehsildar at Javer. In spite of a ban and the matter being sub judice, he had ordered the issuance of registries in connivance with Patwari Govardhan and some property dealers. Eventually, Deputy DM Arya had taken the tehsildar and patwari to task. DM Gautam Budh Nagar, on February 20, 2003, had asked the Dy DM to submit a report on the total LSO land available and how much was covered under lease.

The Deputy DM, in his report on March 14, had shown the land in question as vacant and unattached. (Incidentally, Govardhan was suspended in some other case on March 14 itself.) On April 20, Kali Charan was appointed as the patwari.

While assuming charge, it came to light that on the previous tehsildar’s order land registries were issued to 198 people on February 15 and these were entered in the land revenue record.

At a number of places, there are clear instances of over-writings in the revenue record and all the names had reportedly been entered before handing over the charge.


Fleecing of farmers by arhtias with tacit approval of govt ?
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 3
There is widespread resentment among the farmers of this district who are being fleeced by the arhtias for cleaning their produce. According to a report, the arhtias are reportedly charging extra amount from the farmers. The state government is paying Rs 2.50 per quintal as commission and Re 1 per quintal for cleaning of wheat to the arhtias.

Many arhtias told this correspondent that it was ‘impossible’ to clean the wheat at the government rate of Rs 1 per quintal. So, they were overcharging with the tacit approval of the authorities.

According to the procurement agencies and the district administration, the traders were reluctant to purchase wheat this year and had bought only 90 tonnes so far. The traders said that they were reluctant to purchase the produce as there was no profit in ‘stocking the wheat’. However, informed sources revealed that the traders were engaged in benami transactions, purchasing wheat directly from the farmers; they were not showing the purchases in the stock registers in a bid to evade the market fee as well as the sales tax. Such traders were ‘duping’ the government on one pretext or the other.

According to the farmers, the arhtias have been indulging in many ‘irregularities’ and malpractices. For instance, they have alleged the arhtias were taking extra wheat from the farmers. The arhtias, on the other hand, maintain that the wheat being marketed by the farmers was below the norms fixed by the government. The procurement agencies and the district administration said that they have not received any complaint from the farmers in this regard, but they would conduct an inquiry and take stern action against the erring arhtias.

The Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Food and Supplies Department, Haryana, Mr H.C. Disodia, visited the Ganaur mandi, about 20 km from here yesterday and inspected the ongoing purchases.

According to a report, he listened to the complaints of the farmers and the arhtias and directed the officials of the procurement agencies to take immediate and effective steps for lifting the procured stocks from the mandis and the purchasing centres. He also asked them to check the weight of the empty gunny bags before filling it with wheat.

Many arhtias complained that they were being supplied sub-standard gunny bags by the officials of the procurement agencies. Mr Disodia took serious note of the complaint and promised to take action against the erring officials of the procurement agencies. About 2.22 lakh tonnes of wheat has reached various mandis and purchasing centres in this district.


You can keep out fog, but not haze
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
It wasn’t a good morning that greeted the Capital today. The Delhiites woke to a morning clouded by dust and haze, forcing asthmatics and people prone to dust allergy to stay indoors. The poor visibility was reminiscent of the foggy conditions in winter and the dirt seemed to cling to one’s clothes with the tenacity of a leech.

While morning strollers returned with their faces half-covered, wishing that they had armed themselves with masks, housewives had a tough time trying to seal their houses and protect them from the onslaught of dust. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the dust haze has enveloped the entire northern belt, including Rajasthan, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

They attribute the phenomenon to a pressure gradient generated by western disturbances passing over Punjab and moving eastwards and creating loose dust particles in the atmosphere. The weather man has also predicted that the conditions are likely to persist for the next 24 hours and may improve following a shower.

While the Met department concurs that there is nothing unusual about a dust storm in the month of May, which can experience even four to five such storms, Delhiites found it hard to take it in their stride. “We have been cleaning the house since morning. The dust is making it difficult for us to breathe. It is a strange phenomenon and we hope that it passes off quickly, otherwise it will lead to whole lot of health problems,” said Sunita Sharma, a school teacher.

Meanwhile, in the city, vehicles, particularly in the morning hours, moved at snail’s pace owing to the poor visibility caused by the haze. The city, however, got some respite from the scorching heat.

The maximum temperature, which had touched 41 degree Celsius yesterday, today dropped to 37 degrees. The Met Department said that prospects of rain in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh would lead to a further drop in temperature in the northern belt.

FARIDABAD: Residents here had to cover their faces and heads from dawn to dusk. With the day temperature hovering around 40 degrees Celsius, the prospects of a dust storm and squall, accompanied by strong winds, has increased, according to weather experts.

But the dust cloud today was not accompanied by rain. As a result, everything found covered with a thick layer of dust at the end of the day. The phenomena raised the night temperature, but in the morning it was quite warm.

“We had to give up the morning walk today as it was very dusty,’’ said a local resident. Many people were seen dusting and cleaning their belongings with water.


Three die in cracker blast
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 3
Three members of a family were charred to death following a blast in Palwali village in the district last evening. The blast occurred while the family was engaged in making crackers. One person was injured in the incident.

According to reports, the blast took place under mysterious circumstances when the father-son team was preparing crackers in a hutment located in the fields, about 30 km from here.

The victims were identified as Barkat (55) and his sons,

Salim (25) and Khaill (20); all of them died on the spot. One bystander, Devender, was injured in the blast. However, another son of the deceased, Shamim, survived the blast as he was at some distance from the spot.

Barkat had a license to prepare crackers and was in the business for many years.

The victims hailed from Bagpat district in U.P.

The authorities have announced an ex gratia help of Rs 11,000 each to the kin of the deceased.


DFO sent to ‘rescue’circus lions sent back empty-handed
Our Correspondent

Meerut, May 3
It was panic time with tempers running high on the Mela Nauchandi premises when a team of Forest Department officials arrived to take into their possession eight Asiatic lions. An order had been pronounced by the Central Zoo Authority against Apollo Circus and as a consequence of that Forest Department officials came armed with cages and a directive from the CZA. This led to heated exchanges with the management of Apollo Circus. A six-hour drama ensued. Eventually, the officials had to return empty-handed amid strong protests by the circus employees. The officials claimed they would be back again to take possession of the lions held in illegal confinement by the management of Apollo Circus.

The Central Zoo Authority had passed an order on April 30, saying that Apollo Circus, showing at the Nauchandi Mela, had 11 Asiatic lions. The management of the circus did not possess the ownership certificate necessary to keep the lions. The Chief Wildlife Conservator of Delhi and that of Haryana had cancelled the certification given for keeping the animals. Thus, the Forest Department officials were asked to take possession of the eight lions and make arrangements to have them sent to the rescue centre at Nahargarh in Rajasthan.

The apex court had passed a directive in 1998, quashing a writ petition filed by People for Animals, asking for a ban on the performance of five species of animals, including lion, tiger, monkey, bear etc. Meanwhile, some local political leaders, including Mayor Shahid Akhlaq and district panchayat president and the organiser of Mela Nauchandi, arrived and manhandled the DFO and other administrative officials.

The manager of Apollo Circus alleged the officials were biased and the copy of the order was not served to the circus. Certain BSP activists joined the fray as the owner of the circus belongs to the BSP. As the situation took an ugly turn due to the intervention of BSP activists, Forest Department officials beat a hasty retreat, suspending the programme to seize the eight Asiatic lions for a day.

Hoax bomb call at Shastri Bhawan

NEW DELHI: The security agencies went into a tizzy on Saturday evening following a call that two terrorists had entered Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi district. The bhawan houses several union ministries, the Press Information Bureau and important offices. The call was later declared a ‘hoax.’ The police said that at around 3.40 pm a call was received in the Police Control Room (PCR) that two terrorists had entered Shastri Bhawan. Immediately, police personnel, along with sniffer dogs and a bomb disposal squad, reached the spot. However, after about two hours of intensive search, the police dubbed the call a hoax. This is the second time such an incident has taken place in Shastri Bhawan; last year the authorities had carried out a drill to check the alertness of the security personnel. Since it was a holiday, the police did not have a hard time evacuating the building.


Rs 25 crore set aside for cyber Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
The Government of NCT of Delhi has set aside a budget of Rs 25 crore for buying computer hardware to make the Capital a full-fledged cyber city by this year end.

All departments, including education, land and building, and birth and death, besides hospitals and transport and service centres will be computerised and linked through the internet, S Raghunathan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, said on Saturday while inaugurating Infotech Forum 2003 organised by VAR India, a computer magazine.

He said 12 fully computerised service centres will provide facilities, including lodging of complaints, and information relating to employment, education, land and building records, and birth and death certificates through the internet.

More than 1,000 government schools in the Capital will have full-fledged computer laboratories by this September end. Each computer lab will have 20 state-of-the-art internet-ready computers with all the software needed for education purposes.

All major Government of NCT of Delhi hospitals will also be linked through the internet and will share patient data, he said. “It will hence become easy to check the spread of communicable diseases like SARS,” he said. To attract IT companies, the government is setting up a state-of-the-art IT park near ISBT, Kashmere Gate, which is also likely to come up by this year end, he said. “IT companies can set up their offices in this park through a single window service,” he added.

Last year, the city government had spent Rs 16 crore on computerisation.


RLD to support HVP candidate
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 3
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) would support the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) candidate, Mr Prahlad Singh, in the Fatehabad by-election. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state executive committee of the party held at the office of the state unit here today.

Addressing to the mediapersons, state president of the party said that the decision had been taken to check the division of opposition votes in the election.

He said that Mr Surender Singh, secretary-general of HVP had been making efforts to bring Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Kanshi Ram and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati to Fatehabad for canvassing in support of the HVP nominee. Besides, efforts were being made to organise a public meeting to be addressed by Mr Ajit Singh, RLD president (national) and Union Agriculture Minister at Fatehabad for the same, he added.

Swami Indervesh said that around 150 party activists would move to Fatehabad for electioneering on May 7 and exhort the masses to vote in favour of the HVP candidate by organising public meetings.

He announced that a kisan rally would be organised at Palwal on May 27 and the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, would be the chief guest on the occasion.


Govt spent Rs 3.03 cr on Sonepat’s development
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 3
The Haryana Government has spent Rs 3.03 crore on the development of Sonepat city, which is a district headquarters in Haryana during the financial year 2002-03.

Deputy Commissioner Balwan Singh told to the mediapersons here today that the government led by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, was committed to develop the city as a model one in the state. And for that, it has allocated more funds for the execution of development works in various wards of the city.

He also disclosed that the Sonepat Municipal Council had spent the following amount in 19 wards of the city as under:

Ward no. 1 (Rs 10 lakh), Ward no. 3 (Rs 15.83 lakh), Ward no. 5 (Rs 4.28 lakh), Ward no. 6 (Rs 38.14 lakh), Ward No. 15 (Rs 18.80 lakh), Ward no. 16 (Rs 12.09 lakh), Ward no 18 (Rs 26.34 lakh), Ward no. 19 (Rs 14.22 lakh), Ward no. 20 (Rs 6.11 lakh), Ward no. 21 (Rs 19 lakh), Rs 14.22 lakh); Ward no 20 ( Rs 6.11 lakh), Ward no. 21 (Rs 19 lakh), Ward no 24 (Rs 6.99 lakh), Ward no 25 (Rs 10.97 lakh), Ward no. 26 (Rs 27.39 lakh), Ward no 28 (Rs 7.68 lakh), Ward no. 29 (Rs. 21.85 lakh), Ward no. 30 (Rs 9.53 lakh ) and Ward no. 31 (Rs 29.77 lakh).

Six hurt

Six persons, including a woman, were injured in a clash between two rival groups at Kheri Damkan village about 30 km from here on Friday night.

According to a report, lathis and gandasas were used freely in the clash. All the injured persons were rushed to the Community Health Centre at Gohana town, and four of them, who were seriously injured, referred to the PGI at Rohtak for further treatment.

It is stated that some fire shots were reported during the clash but it is yet to be confirmed.

The police have registered a case and further investigations were in progress.

A hunt is on to apprehend the culprits who are at large.

The clash followed the altercations between Mr Surat Singh, sarpanch of the village, and his brothers. Both the groups used deadly weapons during the clash.

Mr Dharampal, brother of the injured sarpanch told to the police that Vijender, son of the sarpanch, has entered the house of his brother in inebriated condition and started using abusive language about Sheela, wife of Jai Karan.

When she tried to run away, he along with two other brothers Katar Singh and Suraj Bhan arrived.

In the meantime, they were attacked by the members of other groups.

Some of the alleged assailants reportedly fired shots on them.

On the complaint of Surat Singh, the police have registered a case against Mr Dharampal, Mr Suraj Bhan, both brothers of the sarpanch and Surinder and Baljit, sons of Mr Dharampal and Suraj Bhan.


Chautala opens call centre
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 3
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala inaugurated a Call Centre, ‘Prefaxa Solution’, set up by an American-based NRI in the local UNITECH Park, and used the occasion to emphasise the growing attraction of Gurgaon city to the foreign investors.

The Chief Minister claimed that so far Rs 30 crore have been invested on the project and would initially provide jobs to 200 persons.

The final plan is to invest Rs 100 crore and employ three thousand persons.

Mr Chautala picked on his opponents whom he charged had belittled his foreign trips to woo foreign investments in Haryana.

The Call Centre is manifest case, which gives a lie to his political opponents, he added.

He asserted that Haryana has emerged as one of the best developing states in the country.

The state has achieved milestone in its success in areas relating to Information Technology.

Three years back, the state used to make exports worth Rs 400 crore from IT sector, but now it has shot up to Rs 4,000 crore.

A good percentage of car, motorcycles, tractors, refrigerators, bicycles, electronic goods etc., are produced in Haryana.

He attributed the rapid pace of industrialisation of the state to the good law and order situation, adequate and quality supply of power and water, good industrial relation and well-thought out new Industrial Policy.


Panel to push for Punjabi as second language in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has constituted a Punjabi Vikas Committee under the chairmanship of veteran Akali leader and advocate Birinder Singh to chalk out a detailed programme to get the second language status for Punjabi language in Delhi.

The Punjabi Vikas Committee has been asked to approach the Delhi Government for resolving the difficulties faced by students who opt for Punjabi in the absence of teaching staff.

They have been instructed to seek appointment of Punjabi teachers as per requirements.

A delegation of the DSGMC led by the president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, had earlier met the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, who had in turn assured them that the Bill pertaining to the issue would be cleared soon.

It was pointed out that though the central government asked for clarifications and information on the Bill, they had not thus far cleared the Bill for adoption. It has been demanded by the DSGMC that Delhi, having a large populace of Punjabi speaking people, should have Punjabi as its second language.

They have been demanding that Punjabi language should get official recognition as the second language of the state.

In a statement issued here, Mr Sarna said though successive government’s in the Capital had made declarations of making Punjabi the second language these declarations had not been implemented in the absence of necessary legislative enactment.

It alleged the present government had tried to remove this lacuna by passing the Bill in the legislative assembly. However, the Bill is yet to be passed by the central government.

The DSGMC members have expressed anguish over the inordinate delay in passing the Bill.

They have threatened to launch an agitation if the government fails to pas the Bill granting Punjabi the status of a second language.


Money spent on canal-based schemes goes down the drain
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 3
Thousands of residents of about 40 villages in the Salhawas assembly segment, a major portion of which falls in the Kosli subdivision of Rewari district, are facing considerable hardship on account of dismal functioning of various water supply schemes.

The onset of the summer season has further aggravated their woes.

There are reports that the functioning of the water supply schemes taking care of the Nehrugarh-Jharoda, Gugodh-Kanhadwas, Kohrar-Khurshid Nagar, Guriani–Jakhala, Kheri Nangal–Ramgarh, Bawwa-Bisoha (all in Rewari district), Jamalpur– Salhawas, Kondhrali-Lilaheri, Matanhale, Akedi- Mundsa, Birhor and Jhaswa–Sundrethi group of villages has been persistently erratic.

The reports further say the storage tanks of some of these canal-based water supply schemes have become inoperative because of leakage and other deficiencies while some schemes are devoid of independent power feeders, which impedes their functioning.

Talking to NCR Tribune in this regard, Congress legislator Anita Yadav, who is also the president of the Haryana Mahila Congress, said she was constrained to say that crores of rupees spent on these canal-based water supply schemes had virtually gone down the drain as they had failed to provide much needed and long-awaited relief to the hapless residents.

If their hopeless functioning was any indication, they could well be designated as white elephants which the state government, rather the Public Health Department, was burdened with, she asserted .

She went on to say that it was ironical that the top brass of the state government had been constantly harping on their determined efforts to provide 70 litres of water to each person daily while people in these villages had been facing acute shortage of drinking water because of deplorably erratic supply.

She said in spite of water being supplied by government tankers many people were forced to purchase a pitcherful of water for Rs 2 in Matenhale village where the water supply scheme was inaugurated with much fanfare by the Chief Minister himself.

The issue pertaining to the deplorable condition of the water supply in Matenhale was also raised by her in the recent session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, she explained.

She further said the situation was agonising in Kosli too where the water supplied through the canal-based system was contaminated.

The filtration system at several other places was also defective, she complained. Besides Matenhale and Kosli, residents of Birhor, Khanpur Kalan, Khanpur Khurd, Mohanbari, Mundhara , Jhadli and several other villages had also been facing a severe crisis of drinking water because the sub-soil water in these villages was extremely brackish .

Emphasising the urgency of overhauling of these ‘fault-ridden’ canal-based water supply projects, she painfully remarked she was at a loss to know why people were being misled and persistently fed on false assurances given by the top brass of the ruling INLD when things were in a shambles here.

Making a specific mention of the cattle–keepers’ difficulties, Mrs Yadav said that here too the situation was deplorable.

She explained that village ponds, which were the mainstay of the cattle, had been dry in Gugodh, Shyam Nagar, Nathera, Nehrugarh, Jharoda, Jhadli, Khanpur Kalan, Mohanbari and several other villages while water in the pond at Nahar village was fast drying up.

She deplored that things had come to such a pass that even repeated requests made by the villagers to fill up the ponds with canal water frequently remained unheeded by the authorities concerned.


Survey to identify BPL families
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 3
A district-level survey to identify families living below the poverty line (BPL) will commence in the district from May 7.

As many as 330 numerators, 26 supervisors, seven inspecting officers and five block-in-charges (executives) had been appointed for this purpose.

This information was given by Mrs Neerja Shekhar, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Rewari, at a meeting of district officials here on Friday. She said relevant training in this regard would be imparted to the staff on May 7 at Bawal block, on May 8 at Rewari and Khol blocks and on May 9 at Nahar and Jatusana blocks.

She further said the survey of BPL families was being conducted for development works enlisted in the Tenth Five Year Plan in accordance with the directives of the Union Government.

She asked the officials concerned to do the job diligently and carefully and also see to it that no eligible BPL family of the district was left out.

Dalit leaders form committee

Prominent Dalit leaders of the region, Mr Mahesh Kumar Khinchhi, Mr Ramesh Chander Bohat, Mr Ram Kishan Kangra, Mr Jagmal Singh, Mr Lala Ram and others belonging to ‘A’ category of the Scheduled Castes, have formed a Dalit Nyaya Andolan Samiti (DNAS) to fight against the alleged highhandedness of Dr Ambedkar Library Management Committee (DALMC) comprising members belonging to ‘B’ category of the Scheduled Castes .A delegation of the newly formed DNAS recently met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, and submitted to him a memorandum seeking dissolution of the “illegally” constituted DALMC, immediate reconstitution of a new DALMC comprising members of both category ‘A’ and ‘B’ of the Scheduled Castes and ban on the release of government grant of Rs 51,000 to purchase books for Dr Ambedkar Library.

The leaders of the delegation told the DC that in the recently constituted 20-member DALMC headed by Mr Mahesh Dutt only members belonging to ‘B’ category comprising communities like Chamar, Jatav, Jatia etc had been included while members belonging to ‘A’ category, comprising the Balmiki, Dhanak, Khatik, Koli and several other communities, had been ignored completely and arbitrarily.


Check effluents’ discharge, plead villagers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 3
Residents of Hassanpur, Kurar, Murthal, Jahri and other villages on National Highway 1 today urged the state government to direct the Haryana Pollution Control Board authorities to take immediate steps to check the discharge of effluents from the distillery at Jahri village and rice shellers on the GT road and save their cultivable land from being rendered unfit for cultivation.

In a memorandum sent to the state government, a copy of which was released to the press here, they alleged the discharge of effluents had resulted in the accumulation of polluted water along the roadside, causing the damage to the cultivable land and standing crops. They also alleged that owners of the distillery and rice shellers had been discharging the effluents in the nearby canal whose water was being supplied to the Motilal Nehru School of Sports at Rai for drinking purposes.

The memorandum warned if the discharge of effluents was not stopped the situation would worsen. The farmers of the area then would have no alternative but to launch an agitation against the owners of the distillery and the rice shellers.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Students Welfare Association has expressed grave concern over the supply of polluted drinking water to the students of the Motilal Nehru School of sports, Rai, and threatened to launch an agitation if the supply of polluted water is not stopped immediately.

It alleged repeated complaints made to the Principal-cum-Director of the institution in this regard have fallen on deaf ears. The association demanded his immediate removal and a high-level probe into the complaints of the students on the issue.

The association also urged the district administration to take action against the owners of the distillery and the rice shellers and initiate steps for the prevention of discharge of effluents.


Residents demand Noida land be made freehold
Pamindar Singh

Noida, May 3
Representatives of various organisations which attended a meeting called by the Noida Authority yesterday opposed the imposition of amenities tax on Noida residents.

They rather demanded that land in Noida should be converted into freehold as against leasehold now.

The president of the UP Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Mr Sunil Jain, by citing data said land was acquired from farmers at the rate of Rs 356 per sq m. Out of this only 40 per cent land was allowed to be used. Even if the land not used was taken into consideration, it came to Rs 556 per sq m. Even if the Noida Authority added Rs 600 by way of development charges to it, it came to Rs 1,156 per sq m.

Despite this the average price of land in Noida was Rs 10,000 per sq m.

Noidaites had pointed out that when they purchased land from the Noida Authority, they paid development charges, lease rent, transfer charges, park or road facing surcharge, water charge and sewer charges to the authority.

The office-bearers of various organisations like the Noida Entrepreneurs Association president, Mr Rakesh Katyal, the general secretary, Mr B. K. Girdhar, the president of the UP Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Noida, Mr Sunil Jain, the president of the Federation of Resident Welfare Association, Mr Sushil Agarwal, the general secretary, Mr P. S. Jain, the Women Entrepreneurs Association chief, Mrs Bimla Batham, put their point of view across at the meeting.

Paying amenities tax under the circumstances hardly made sense and was totally unwarranted.

As regards shops, 50 per cent shops have not opened yet and those which have started business, shop keepers are a worried lot there.

The shops in markets in Sectors 11,12, 39, 56 fall in this category, it was stressed.

The representatives who opposed the imposition of amenities tax pointed out that Noida authority should set its own house in order and stop squandering public money on one or other redundant projects.

In areas and sectors which needed road repair it was not being done but carpeting was being done on good roads. Similarly, wherever streetlights were needed they were seldom provided.

It was pointed out even maintenance bills of government vehicles added up to an amount surpassing the price of the cars.

The organisations demanded that land in Noida should be declared freehold soon.


Will peace as a strategy break the chain of hate ?

Will this 50-year-old bloody game end or not?” Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee wonders while announcing his “last-effort at peace making during my life time”. Saner people of India and Pakistan—except the extremists on both sides—have been asking themselves this question while precious lives have been lost in senseless fighting and huge resources diverted to the arms race in both countries. Nuclear bombs and military strategies have not helped both countries to clinch the issue of Kashmir. Religion and politics have combined in both countries to spread venom and hatred.

Neither countries had benefited from the exercise but had only reaped the bitter fruits of continued conflicts and enmity, submerging vast populations in poverty and misery.

Wars had only brought sorrows to families on both sides that had lost breadwinners-young sons, husbands and young fathers.

Announcing the new peace moves amidst the thumping of desks in the Rajya Sabha on May 2, the Indian Prime Minister told the House, “We should not remain a slave to the past, while not forgetting it either.’’

Recently, a powerful book has been written giving a birds eye view of Indian history from Kurukshetra to Kargil by Rajmohan Gandhi.

It was the serial on the Indian epic, Mahabharata that had prompted the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi to write the book.

As he watched some of the episodes, he discovered that they ended with a hero or heroine vowing to wreak revenge not merely as an immediate reaction to a horrible event but as a well-considered sacred duty.

Should the vengeful spirit prevail over the spirit of reconciliation shown by men like Ashoka, the Buddha and lately Mahatma Gandhi?

The author who goes into the scriptures of the land and the history of South Asia as a whole finds that “revenge” has been a motivating factor making up the history of nations.

“We cannot be proud of the Mahabharata’s acquiescence in the triumph of revenge over reconciliation,” the author observes and goes on to show with a tinge of pain that Indian history before and after Independence has traits that amounts to a retelling of the story of conflict, revenge and war.”

Barring the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the US invasion of Iraq, the global scenario had witnessed some astounding acts of reconciliation, of late. The “demolition” of the Berlin Wall and the unification of the two Germanys, establishment of peace in Ireland putting an end to the internecine war, the smooth transfer of power in South Africa from the Whites to the Blacks and the ending of Soviet Communist rule in some countries are examples. Tracing Indian history, Rajmohan relates the philosophy of his grandfather.

To Mahatma Gandhi, nonviolence was both a principle and a strategy.

He believed in overcoming evil with good. As Gandhi saw it, a killer assumed the status of God, ascribing to his stand, a perfection no human could claim and to his victim, an irredeemability that no human could pronounce. Since all humans were fallible, no human being had the right to kill another.

Also, Tolstoy’s influence on Gandhi is discernible from several quarters. The Russian author’s book, ‘The Kingdom of God is within You’, “overwhelmed’’ him.

It left an abiding impression by its independent thinking, profound morality and truthfulness.

In his letter to Gandhi, Letter to a Hindoo, Tolstoy had urged Indians to fight for freedom using the weapon of non-violence. Gandhi had described the Russian as “one of the clearest thinkers in the western world, one of its great writers, one who, as a soldier, has known what violence is and can do.

In the last phase of his life, when Gandhi saw the hatred and violence trying to engulf the population, he recalled the horrors of 1857-58 blood-letting, about which he had read while in South Africa. On July 24, 1947, he said in Delhi: “…we are nurturing attitudes that will result in (Hindu-Muslim) war and if this drift is not stopped we shall find ourselves in a conflict much more sanguinary than the mutiny of 1857…God forbid that!’’

Having such a prophetic vision, he set guidelines not only for winning freedom but also for safeguarding the integrity of the country. He clearly saw the need for Indians to be reconciled to one another if they were to free themselves. Not only across religion–Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and so on—but also across caste and class.

Untouchability was a great offence and a stumbling block, but caste Hindus had to be carried along in all efforts to bring about political and social reforms. Secondly, Independence should result in empowering the weak Indian and “not transfer strength to those rich in arms, land and gold.” His concept of Hind Swaraj meant not the welfare of the few princes but the progress of the teeming millions.

It also meant true democracy in which every man is made his own master.

If the new rulers did not ensure enough food and clothing for the poor, they should be removed from office.

What he meant was that unless the needs of the ordinary citizens were met, Independence did not have much meaning; unless power was available to the man on the street, freedom or slavery did not matter.

Thirdly, his injunction to fight the British “non-violently” had its own validity.

He had read how the 1857 violent uprisings were swiftly and ruthlessly suppressed.

A far greater reason for eschewing violence is that if practiced against the British, violence could become a habit. “The bomb now thrown at Englishmen will be aimed at Indians once the English leave the Indian shores.’’

Though Gandhiji could not avert bloodshed and Partition, his stands and initiatives in 1946-48 contained the cruelty that was abroad, preserved India as a home for people of all religions, protected their rights and healed the wounds.

In the light of the guidelines, how have we fared in the last 50 years? The reconciling of Indians, one to another, has not been completed as evidenced by the Ayodhya problem, the caste wars, minority issues and the Indo-Pak conflict. We must now pray for the peace initiative to prevail over a vengeful spirit.

M P K Kutty



Krishnamani elected president of Supreme Court Bar Association
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
Senior advocate M. N. Krishnamani and Rupinder Singh Suri were elected president and vice-president respectively of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SBCA). The elections for these posts were held on Friday. Priya Hingorani was elected as its secretary, a SBCA release said here today.

A 3400 member strong Apex Court Bar has also elected Raj Birbal, Brijbaans Kishore, A. S. Nambiar, H L Agrawal, Rajendera Chowdhary and Vijay Hansaria as members of the senior executive. Besides, other office-bearers, like treasurer and assistant secretary, a nine member executive committee was also elected by the SBCA, the release said.

Admissions at Motilal School

The governing body of Motilal Nehru School of Sports at Rai (Sonepat district) has decided to give admission to the students both girls and boys form sixth class instead of fourth class at present from the next academic session.

According to official sources, it has not yet decided about the age of the students to be given admission to the premier sports institution in the northern region. However, the age of the students was fixed between eight years and 10 years. The governing body has also abolished all the five centres set up at Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Mahindergarh, Hisar and Narnaul where the prospective students were required to sit in the written examination.

Now, the admission would be held on the school premises and the written examination will also be held in the school.

It has also decided to hold the medical check-up for the students before the written examination and the clearing students would be allowed to sit in the written examination.

Thereafter, they would be required to take part in the interview process. Presently, the strength the institution is 425 and it will be increased to 800.

Man arrested

The police arrested a youth, Subhash of Nagar village, for allegedly abducting and raping a married woman. The youth had lured the woman on the pretext of giving a job and took her away to Sonepat city, where she was repeatedly raped by him. The police have sent the woman for medical examination, a report said.

One killed

One person was killed and another injured when a canter rammed into a parked truck on the G T Road near Kundli village about 25 km from here on Friday evening.

According to a report, the victim was identified as Fateh Singh of Punjab and the injured as Sonu of Uttar Pradesh.

The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. The body of the victim has been sent for the post-mortem examinations. OC


Inter-state vehicle thieves’ gang busted, arms seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
With the arrest of four persons, the Delhi Police today claimed to have worked out an organised inter-state gang specialising in lifting vehicles and selling them to the underworld as well as in the North-East. They were also involved in murder, attempt to murder, robbery, vehicle theft and disputed property cases in Haryana and Delhi. They belong to Vikram gang.

One Italian pistol with seven live cartridges, one country-made pistol of 315 bore with three live cartridges and 35 cartridges of nine MM and a Santro car in which they were travelling, were seized from their possession by the police. The suspects were identified as Rohtash, Dharminder, Vijender and Rajpal. Four members of their gang were also arrested. Rohtash alias Manish, Dharminder were arrested on April 17, from Pooth Kalan while others managed to escape firing on the police party. Fortunately, no police personnel were injured in the firing. According to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Mr U.K. Katna, all the suspects belong to Haryana.

He disclosed that the gang was found involved in lifting 125 vehicles from Delhi and Haryana. They used to sell the stolen vehicle to some gangs in North-East and to Dinesh gang, which operate in the Capital. And they had been using the stolen vehicles to commit crime in the Capital and in Haryana.

While addressing to the mediapersons, Mr Katna said that the police had launched a special drive under the supervision of ACP Ravi Shankar, Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch, to burst the gang. During the operation, various teams were sent to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Haryana.

The team members who were in Sonepat yesterday, received an information that the suspects would come to Jatikra More in the area of Najafgarh police station in a white Santro car having a number plate - HR-26J-1472, written in Hindi.

A police team was deployed at the Jatikra More, which noticed the Santro car having the same number plate and blocked the way of the vehicle by putting their tempo traveller in front of their car.

One suspect, Rakesh, who was standing outside the car, managed to escape by firing at the police party while Rohtash, Dharminder, Vijender and Rajpal were apprehended. Later, Rakesh was also arrested after a raid conducted in Narela area.

During the interrogation, they disclosed that the car in which they were travelling was stolen from Keshavpuram and they used this car to commit crime. Rohtash, Dharminder and Vijender had criminal record and they were not appearing on the court dates and subsequently they were declared proclaimed offenders by the Delhi and Haryana courts.

Rohtash is having a reward of Rs 15, 000, Vijender and Rakesh Rs 10, 000 each on their heads from Haryana police.

Mr Katna claimed that with the arrest of these suspects, six cases of murder in Rohtak and Sonepat, 14 cases of cash looting, house robberies involving properties worth Rs 50 lakh and several other cases of car theft in Delhi Haryana were worked out.


BHEL gets OHSAS certificate
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 3
All major units of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) have secured the prestigious OHSAS-18001 certification for occupational health and safety management system with the awarding of this certification to its Industrial System’s Group (ISG), Bangalore.

After receiving this certification from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) of Netherlands, ISG, Bangalore, has achieved the distinction of receiving all the three quality certificates - ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 - in its onward march to Total Quality Management.

A quality conscious organisation with a strong customer focus, BHEL has upgraded all its operations to the latest ISO 9001:2000 version.

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