Thursday, May 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Hotelier wanted in DDA scam case surrenders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Hotelier Vinod Khatri, who was wanted by the CBI in the DDA land scam case, today surrendered before a Delhi court; he had been evading arrest for the past one week.
Khatri, owner of Sahara Restaurant, who enjoys considerable political clout, went missing after the CBI named him in an FIR filed against former Delhi High Court Judge Shamit Mukherjee, suspended DDA Vice-Chairman Subhash Sharma, DDA middleman Dharam Vir Khattar and private secretary to a former DDA Vice-Chairman Ashok Kapoor on April 29.

Special Judge Prem Kumar had on Monday issued a non-bailablewarrant against the 42-year-old former Delhi Police personnel. So far, the CBI had failed to locate Khatri. The CBI had also sought the help of the public.

The hotelier was not available at any of his hotels, residences or offices either. At around 4 pm, he surprised every body when he appeared before Mr Prem Kumar along with his lawyers and surrendered. All the other accused in the case are in the CBI net.

The CBI had said in its FIR in January this year that Mukherjee had hatched a criminal conspiracy with an aim to help Vinod Khatri, who was an interested party in a suit, ‘Bimla Chaudhry VS DDA’. The request was for a ruling favouring Khatri, owner of Sahara restaurant, located at Vasant Kunj in South Delhi.

The CBI has so far arrested 15 accused in the case, including former High Court Judge Shamit Mukherjee, Subhash Sharma, Dharam Vir Khattar, suspended DDA Commissioner (Land) Anand Mohan Saran, DDA Commissioner (Planning) Vijay Risbud, DDA Director (Planning) Jagdish Chandra, suspended private secretary to Vice-Chairman Ashok Kapoor, employee of DLF Universal Ltd Ajay Khanna, Pradeep Kapoor, Anil Wadhwa, Ved Prakash Kaushik and S. Minocha of APY Hoteliers and Developers, property dealers G. R. Gogoi and Ravinder Taneja and Director of Modern School Education Society (Shalimar Bagh) Amrit Lal Kapoor.



Few takers for HUDA multiplexes
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 7
Even though the multiplex culture is fast catching up here, the Haryana Urban Development Authority’s foray into commercial complexes has proved to be a fiasco. Disheartened, the department has given up any proposal to construct such a complex for the time being. The first commercial complex of its kind, built by the HUDA on the main Mathura Road (national highway) in sector-19 here, has failed to attract any buyer so far, despite several attempts to auction it. The authorities have now decided to dispose it of piecemeal, bit by bit.

As a part of this exercise, one block comprising of two storeys and two floors of another block have been sold in the recent past.

The building has six blocks, with two blocks each of two storeys, three storeys and four storeys, and a covered area of several thousand square feet.

The authorities had put up for auction parts of the building, euphemistically called the unique market, on March 27 and 28. At stake were mostly shops-cum-offices (SCOs). The buyers were given the option of bidding block-wise or floor wise, depending upon one’s capacity. But the exercises yielded little and HUDA was able to find customers for only one full block and for two floors of another block.

The authorities had earlier put a tag of Rs 10 crore on the entire building. But at this price, there were no takers. The matter dragged on for two years. The department has three more sites for commercial complexes in the same area, but it has decided to auction them rather than undertake any construction.

HUDA, after great deal of effort, has been able to sell a half acre plot to a company for Rs 3.55 crore for the construction of a multiplex in Sector-12. There are a total of four such sites in this sector, of which two have been sold. Two sites of hotels, however, have also failed to find any buyer. The department has now developed two sectors (20-A and 20-B) as institutional areas on prime land located between the Mathura road and the Rail track, near Ajronda Chowk. Now, it hopes to find `lucrative’ buyers for plots in these sectors.



Rigged prices keep wheat out of reach
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak May 7
Even though wheat procurement is still on, the golden grain appears to be getting out of reach of the common man.
As wheat is fetching a price higher than the MSP of Rs 630 per quintal, the common man is facing much hardship in purchasing his needs.

Good quality of wheat has not been yet marketed by the producers and the arrivals in the purchase centres in the district are of poor quality.

The traders and consumers have, therefore, refrained from purchasing this poor quality of wheat as is evident from the figures provided by the district administration. Out of the total arrival of 80416 mt at various purchase centres, the traders have purchased only 25 mt and the balance has been procured by different government agencies.

The arrivals of even the ordinary quality have slowed down. As against the daily arrival of 15,000 to 25,000 quintal, the arrival yesterday in the Rohtak grain market was merely 6,500 quintal. The total arrivals till today are put at 80,416 mt as against 97,605 mt in the corresponding period last year. This decline in the arrivals is attributed to less yield this year because of drought conditions last year.

The area under crop was also less by nearly 300 hectares. The foodgrain dealers here believe that the big farmers have not yet marketed their produce.

They have reportedly stored their crop, anticipating a jump in the prices later in the year. The current spurt in the wheat prices is also attributed to the hoarding among big farmers.

The connivance of certain foodgrain dealers in rigging the prices is also not ruled out.

The common variety of wheat is selling at Rs 670 per quintal in Delhi, up by Rs 40 per quintal, compared to that in Haryana. The best quality of wheat from Madhya Pradesh is reportedly selling at Rs 1,200 per quintal and the desi variety of 306 is selling at Rs 900 to Rs 950 per quintal.

The 2083 and 1553 varieties are fetching Rs 725 to Rs 750 per quintal. The flour mills have reportedly purchased their stocks direct from the farmers. Thus, they have saved at least Rs 70 to Rs 100 per quintal, which would have been levied in the shape of market fee, sales tax and other charges had they bought from the market.



CM’s ‘success’ has unnerved Khurana? 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) on Wednesday said the “successes” of the Sheila Dikshit Ministry had unnerved the Delhi Pradesh BJP, forcing its president Madan Lal Khurana to make “irresponsible” statements against the chief minister.

Khurana had alleged Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had a role in the Delhi Police and CBI not taking action against a certain Congress MLA who was charged with corruption. Khurana said a complaint about their (agencies’) inaction would be made to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani. Khurana also told reporters the Congress MLA had, in 2001, been named in FIRs of the Delhi Police and the CBI along with several others for allegedly grabbing government land in Tughlaqabad, South Delhi.

Joining issue with Khurana, DPCC President Subhash Chopra on Wednesday told reporters he (Khurana) was getting paranoid about the success of the Congress government. Khurana, he said, was unnerved by the popularity of the Congress in the run-up to the Assembly elections later this year.

Chopra said Khurana ought to have known the Delhi Police and the CBI were not under the Government of NCT of Delhi but under the direct charge of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. 



Avoid strong drugs which can 
suppress SARS symptoms 
Tribune News Service

Any attempt to suddenly bring down high fever can mask the symptoms of SARS
Any attempt to suddenly bring down high fever can mask the symptoms of SARS. — File picture

New Delhi, May 7
Go soft on high fever, else the patient may end up a SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) victim. A strong NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like Nimesulide can precipitate a sudden drop in the body temperature. Experts treating SARS patients the world over have, therefore, warned about using strong NSAIDs.

According to them, such medicines have been found to suppress the symptoms of SARS like high fever, body ache etc, and may delay proper diagnosis and prognosis of SARS. The delayed diagnosis results in deferred treatment and may even prove fatal in the case of a SARS victim.

Experts state that lowering of temperature is a must, but it should be done with milder antipyretic such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. They have noticed cases of hypothermia (sudden lowering of temperature) resulting from strong medication.

As SARS, slow but surely, is making its presence felt in the country, leading medical experts have expressed concern about the tendency among some doctors of a “no-holds-barred” use of strong ‘hypothermic’ medicines like Nimesulide.

Expressing grave concern about the use of wrong medicines, Dr C. M. Gulhati, editor of Monthly Index of Medical Specialties (MIMS), said, “In the initial stages, signs and symptoms of SARS are similar to those of flu, fever, bad throat and body aches. However, respiratory disorder occurs later. It is only notional, but high fever, coupled with respiratory anomalies, only points to SARS.”

In case of fever, according to Dr Gulhati, a mild and safer antipyretic like paracetamol is only advisable, given that the mysterious killer SARS is acquiring an epidemic dimension.

Strong antipyretics will only deepen the mystery of SARS. Dr Tarun Sahni, senior consultant physician, Apollo Hospital, says high fever must be treated, else it can cause damage to the brain. He said, “It is always advisable to bring down the fever gradually, for which the best remedy is sponging the body with cold water.

A milder antipyretic like paracetamol is advisable if fever does not subside even after sponging. In case of SARS, it is not necessary that respiratory disorder will come close on the heels of high fever, which is a fact being noted the world over. Therefore, where there is even the slightest possibility of SARS-like symptoms, strong medicines like NSAIDs should be avoided. A sudden drop in the body temperature, below even normal level, may mask the possibility of SARS, catching the doctor unaware, till it is too late”.



Big catch of highway robbers on NH-8
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 7
With the arrest of four members of a notorious gang of criminals belonging to the Bawaria community, the Rewari district police are touting it as a major ‘catch’ of its ongoing Operation Speed-breaker.

The criminals were identified as Vidya Ram, Raj Kumar, Rakesh and Kala Behari alias Vikram, all hailing from the Bawaria community and belonging to various villages of Jhajjar district. The police nabbed them when they were reportedly planning to rob motorists on National Highway No 8 near Dharuhera on Sunday night. The police also seized a stolen Indica car, a country-made pistol and some other lethal weapons from their possession. A case under Sections 399, 402, 307, 353 and 332 of the IPC has been registered against them at the Dharuhera police station of the district. At a press conference here on Tuesday, SP Hanif Qureshi said that following a tip-off, two raiding parties of the police, headed by ASI Ram Avtar and ASI Jawahar Singh, challenged the desperadoes, who were waiting at an abandoned cottage near the Sahibi barrage on NH 8.

Later, the police party, headed by ASI Jawahar Singh, tactically moved forward and succeeded in nabbing four of the gangsters while their fifth accomplice, Rakesh, managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

Mr Qureshi disclosed that the apprehended criminals confessed that they had murdered a truck driver near Manesar, Gurgaon, in November 2002. They had stolen a Maruti car from Jhajjar on February 2, 2002. They had also stolen copper coils from power transformers in about two dozen villages of the Rewari district during the past 18 months.

Describing it a big catch, Mr Qureshi informed press persons that all the ten members of the raiding parties would be suitably honoured. 



Notices served, but will HUDA rein in 
the public schools?
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 7
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has reportedly served notices on 50 public schools here, in connection with ‘violations’ of its rules and regulations. The schools have been asked to submit their replies by June 6.

According to department sources, the notices had been issued after complaints were received that many schools were not adhering to HUDA’s admission rules; they had also failed to reserve 10 per cent seats for the poor.

The HUDA had allotted plots to public schools on the condition that they would abide by its rules and regulations; and if any school failed to act according to its directions, the HUDA was free to resume the plot allotted to the school.

There are about 80 public and private schools, mostly affiliated to the CBSE, which are operating on plots allotted by the HUDA.

But it is interesting that the authorities have restricted their action to serving notices and no school plot has been yet resumed, said the sources.

Fake currency recovered from SP Councillor’s house: Ghaziabad: The Kotwali police today claimed to have recovered a large quantity of fake currency notes and an illegal gun from the house of a Samajwadi Party Municipal Councillor in Dasna.

The Councillor, identified as Iqbal, has been arrested. He is being interrogated.

The Inspector incharge of the Kotwali, Sohan Veer Singh, had received a tip-off that a resident of Dasna was in possession of fake notes.

The police raided Iqbal’s house and recovered Rs 50,000 in fake notes. Circle Officer K.K. Gautam said the police had also gathered some ‘sensational’ information. He revealed that the notes were printed using the latest technology and even the picture of Gandhiji appeared to be genuine. The police suspect a larger conspiracy with possible ISI connection.



Sheila stresses ‘waste not, want not’ water policy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
NCT of Delhi has the highest per capita availability of water. It is also among the cities with the highest per capita consumption of water. So where does the problem lie?

“The problem,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit acknowledged, “lies in the leakage/wastage of water which is as high as 40 per cent. Also, the low water tariff which is among the lowest in the world.” The admission came on Wednesday in her address to the seminar-cum-workshop hosted by the Delhi State Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII.)

“Joint ownership,” Mrs Dikshit told the gathering, “could be a way-out of the mess which NCT of Delhi finds itself in.” The magnitude of the problem, she continued, takes alarming proportions when one reckons that the distribution of water in the Capital is not equitable. “Some areas having a per capita consumption of 350 units per day; others consume 35 units per day.”

Agreeing to the recommendations made by the Delhi State Council of the CII, Mrs Dikshit said the Government of NCT of Delhi could rationalise the water tariff and plug the leakage (in the pipelines) so that NCT of Delhi could move toward a 24-hour water supply situation.

Elaborating further, the Chief Minister said there was an urgent need to rationalise the water tariff because the tariff in NCT of Delhi was among the lowest in the world.

Continuing from where the Chief Minister left, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Delhi Jal Board PK Tripathi said the industry could come forward to share the costs of treating the water. “In Chennai and Singapore,” he said, “industrial areas mostly use treated water.”

The Delhi State Council of the CII had recommended among other things efficient meters to audit wastage of water, recycling of waste water and setting up of norms for rainwater harvesting for buildings depending on the area covered.



Ordeal for commuters thanks to woeful 
shortage of coaches
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 7
Rising number of passengers, sale of more tickets than the seats available in coaches and shortage of coaches are the reasons behind overcrowding not only in the suburban trains but almost all long distances express, mail, superfast and Shatabadi trains running on the DUK section of Northern Railway.

According to a report, almost all EMU trains and the New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express and Delhi-bound Bathinda Inter-City Express are the worst hit.

A large number of daily commuters, particularly women, have been facing hardships due to milk vendors occupying space in the 1DPM (EMU) train bound for Panipat. They travel with their huge containers in the absence of any checks by the railway staff. The containers block the way of passengers wanting to board or get down from the train. If any one dares to oppose this the milk vendors rough up the hapless soul.

Not only long distance but even suburban trains on this section run late as a matter of routine.

Almost all suburban trains originating either from Delhi or Panipat and some from Ambala and Kurukshetra run behind schedule by 30 minutes or above, stranding thousands of commuters, including government servants and teachers, who face departmental action for reaching late in their offices or schools in Delhi.

The extension of the Flying Mail up to Darbhanga (Bihar) has proved a curse for the passengers as this train always runs behind schedule for hours together and the long-distance passengers remain stranded on the railway stations for hours.

During the winter season, the condition of the passengers is much worse.

Non stoppage of the Bathinda-bound Bathinda Inter-City Express at Subzi Mandi is causing hardship to the passengers in the wake of the late running of the 4647 Up Flying Mail bound for Amritsar.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 commuters, including 7,000 women, commute daily between Sonepat and Delhi and have to undergo an ordeal. The commuters are largely government servants and teachers. There is also a sprinkling of employees of private firms and a large number of milk vendors and businessmen.

There are half a dozen trains linking Delhi with Sonepat and Panipat. The trains are generally overcrowded but to make things worse the authorities cut down the number of coaches frequently, forcing the passengers to huddle themselves into any available space in the coaches. Milk vendors also travel in the suburban trains and they hold monthly season tickets (MSTs), occupying most of the space with their huge containers. The authorities have not been able to make them travel with proper booking of the containers.

The MSTs issued to the commuters do not seem to guarantee the right to a seat. More tickets than the number of seats available in the trains are sold. As soon as a train arrives, the passengers are seen frantically running from one coach to another to grab a seat.

Representations made to increase the number of second class coaches have been ignored. A provision of separate two coaches for women passengers and one for the milk vendors will ease the situation.



ISI-sponsored terrorists finding western 
UP a safe haven: IG
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 7
The Western UP, particularly the Noida-Ghaziabad-Muzaffarnagar belt has emerged as a happy-hunting ground for the ISI-sponsored terrorists, said the new IG of Police, Mr V N Rai, in Noida yesterday. Some 114 districts have been identified for the ISI activities in the country.

Though crime is on the decrease in western UP, financial crimes, especially in Noida belt, are increasing.

IG, Meerut Zone, said that he was keen that the police force in the zone should take only three minutes’ reaction time to reach the spot after getting the first information of a crime, etc.

The IG police was on his first visit to Gautam Budh Nagar district after taking over. He had addressed a meeting of the police officers and inspected the control room.

Though there was a marked improvement in the equipment and mobility of the police, it was still way behind its counterparts in Delhi.

The state government makes a matching grant to the funds allocated by the Centre for the purpose, he said.

Mr Rai made an appeal to the public and the press to extend cooperation to the police in the district without which no police force can really deliver the goods.

The police on their part will try to win people’s trust through their efforts, he added.



A rarely visited museum which houses a 
treasure trove for scholars
Our Correspondent

Panipat, May 7
Panipat Museum, which is maintained by the Panipat Memorial Society, was set up with the intention to disseminate information about history, archaeology and the arts and crafts of Haryana with special emphasis being laid on the battles of Panipat which marked the turning point in Indian history.

The three battles of Panipat virtually changed the course of the history of India. For setting up the museum, the work was assigned to the Haryana State Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural heritage (INTACH).

During the medieval period, Panipat town served as a gateway to India for foreign invaders. In 1014 Mahmud Ghaznavi invaded India and in 1191-92 Shahab-Ud-din Mohammed Ghori established Islamic rule here after defeating Prithvi Raj Chauhan at Taraori, near Panipat. The invasion of Timur in 1398 caused havoc in the regions of Kurukshetra and Panipat and in 1526 Babur invaded and defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the battle of Panipat.

Through different galleries an attempt has been made to provide an insight into the acts of bravery of some valiant and patriotic warriors who sacrificed their lives at Panipat, including Hemu, a local hero, Raja Surjamal of Bharatpur, Vikramaditya (Vikramajit) of Gwalior, Maharaja of Patiala, Sher Shah Suri, Sadashiv Rao Bhau, Vishwas Rao Peshwa, Tukus Shinde and Ch Ganpat Rai, Pradhan of Sarvakhab panchayat of Sisauli village.

Photographs of a large number of important miniatures, mostly from Babur Nama and Akbar Nama, relating to these battles and personalities connected therewith, have been obtained from the National Museum of India, New Delhi, The British Library and Victoria and Albert Museum of London. A large number of contemporary weapons, armoury and guns have been loaned to the museum from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

A large number of blow-ups of the buildings and sites of the region which are important from the archaeological and historical point of view have also been provided by the ASI for display in the museum.

The photocopies of many original documents and handwritten letters concerning this theme have been procured from the National Archives of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Rampur Raza Library and the Aligarh Muslim University library. Akbar’s farman concerning Hemu is one such important handwritten document.

The Department of Archaeology and Museums, Haryana, which is also associated with this project, has donated a large number of items for display in the museum.

These include replicas of a number of artefacts in the form of statues, pottery, coins etc which were collected from the excavated sites in Haryana besides a number of blow-ups of building and sites of historical and archaeological importance. In addition, a large number of items of traditional art have been procured from various districts of Haryana with the help of the district administration which exhibit a glimpse of Haryana’s traditional art.

In the introductory gallery, the description of the evolution of historical and cultural growth of Haryana in general and of Panipat city in particular has been briefly given on two panels as an introduction to the theme of the museum.

In the gallery showing the first Battle of Panipat, a short historical note on the first battle and the battle scenes from Babur Nama have been displayed, some on translites. Portraits of Ibrahim Lodi, Babur and photographs of various related monuments have also been displayed in the gallery besides a model of a cannon.

The first Battle of Panipat was fought between Sultan Ibrahim Lodi and Mughal invader Babur on April 21, 1526 AD. Ibrahim fought with a big army of one lakh soldiers whereas Babur possessed only 12,000 soldiers but had cannons in a fair number. The supremacy in the art of fighting, the organisation of force and the deadly use of cannons won for Babur a decisive battle over Ibrahim Lodi. Lodi was killed and Delhi and Agra passed on to Babur who laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in India.

Another gallery displays the genealogy of Lodi and Mughal rulers besides a short note on the historical aspects of the battle, followed by portraits of Behram Khan, Akbar and Hemu shown on translites. Other special features are photographs of Akbar’s royal farman and execution of Hemu’s fate. The photographs of Hemu’s haveli on the Qutubpur–Rewari road and miniature paintings are other attractions of the gallery.

The second Battle of Panipat was fought on November 5, 1556, between King Hemu and Akbar, who succeeded Humayun to the throne of Delhi. Hemu led a far bigger army then Akbar’s and in addition also had 1,500 elephants. History says that initially Hemu succeeded but an arrow hit his one eye accidentally, which reversed the fate of the battle. Hemu fell unconscious and his army fled. Hemu was caught and produced before the adolescent Akbar, who beheaded him and became the master of Delhi and Agra. This battle gave the final verdict in favour of the Mughals.

In the next gallery, which shows the third Battle of Panipat, a big sized, large and artistically carved wooden frame, about 200 years old, has been brought from Karnal, where it was installed in the Victoria Memorial hall. The frame is said to have been made from the wood of a mango tree from Kala Amb. It was a remnant of the third battle fought between the ruler of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali, and Maratha leader Sadashiv Rao Bhau.

Life-size models of Maratha and Mughal soldiers are the other attractive features of this gallery. The genealogy of the Peshwas and Shendes, Maratha arms and armories are other important exhibits of this gallery.

The third Battle of Panipat was fought on January 14, 1761. In this battle Abdali defeated the Maratha commander.

The Nawab of Oudh and the Rohilla leader Sardar Najib Khan were on the side of Abdali who in this fierce battle defeated the Maratha army in a decisive manner. Sadashiv Rao Bhau, son of the Peshwa, and a number of Maratha commanders fell on the battlefield. This gave a tremendous blow to the Maratha power.

The battle proved to be disastrous as not only the Marathas had to bear tremendous losses but the event marked the beginning of the downfall of the Mughals.

On the other hand, there was confrontation among the Muslim rulers. All this paved the way for the rise of British power in India.

The location of the Museum, which is situated 4 km west of the Delhi-Chandigarh road in Binjol area, is not prominent due to which only 12,935 persons, including 77 VIPs, have visited this place. Only 60 persons visited the museum during the past six months.

People are unaware about its existence otherwise thousands passing through the GT Road daily could visit the place. Its existence in a secluded place is a major drawback. If it could be shifted to Kala Amb with adequate publicity it would definitely invite visitors, opined the staff working in the museum.

Last Saturday, when Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit came to Panipat for laying the foundation stone of the carrier channel here, she visited the museum and received a sculpture of Lord Shiva and Parvati as a memento.



Franchisees wanted for products made by jailbirds
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Tihar Jail is looking for franchisees to sell products manufactured by the prisoners. The idea is to encourage entrepreneurs who will buy the products in bulk and sell them to consumers. Besides, an emporium will be established in Harinagar to showcase the products.

The media division of Tihar Jail believes franchisees will be appropriate since the jail does not spend money on advertising its products. “Anybody who wants to earn a living can buy these products from the jail authorities in bulk to sell them onwards,” they say.

The Director-General (Prisons), Mr Ajay Agarwal, says the inmates manufacture confectionery at a bakery that is “as hygienic as any personal kitchen.” The inmates also weave cloth and carpets besides producing stationery.

The inmates are paid Rs 10, Rs 12 or Rs 16 per day as wages depending on their expertise. The proceeds from the sale of these products go to the Government of NCT of Delhi.

A variety of cookies, potato chips and namkeen like aloo bhujia, cakes and bread are sold inside the prison complex and at Tihar Jail’s outlets in the city. One outlet set up by the Gandhi Smriti Sansthan is functioning out of Gandhi Smriti.

The Tihar bakery has earned profits in lakhs this year and the officials believe this is expected to increase in the days ahead. The business flows from the concept of reforming the prisoners by directing their energies to more constructive causes.



Police in mufti to man theft-prone bus routes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
In an effort to control the growing menace of bus robberies in the city, the Delhi Police has taken several steps including deployment of policemen in plain clothes on vulnerable bus routes, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Home Harin Pathak while replying to questions said that surprise checks were being conducted besides educating the bus driver on the need to inform the nearest police station or Police Control Room (PCR) van in case someone was found indulging in unlawful activities in the vehicle.

He said the police have also been carrying out operations to target the gangs besides increasing patrolling. The minister said that the national Capital had recorded 15 cases of bus robberies from September 2002 to April 25, 2003, which was six fewer than the corresponding period in 2001-02. On the cases of car theft, while replying to a separate question, the minister denied that the car thefts in the national Capital were on rise.

He said 3,555 cases of car thefts were reported last year, which were fewer than those in 1998-2001 when the police registered more than 4,000 cases every year. The police have also taken steps including setting up of coordination committee with the neighbouring states to share any information related to crime, the minister informed.



Man alleges police apathy in tracing his daughter
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 7
Father of an abducted minor girl has alleged that despite his repeated requests to the police, they had not taken any action against the persons involved in the abduction of his daughter on the night between April 28 and 29.

In a statement issued here today, one Ranbir Singh of Mahra village has stated that his 13-year-old daughter along with her mother and elder sister was sleeping on the roof of the house during the night when a youth in the neighbourhood who drives a truck in Delhi, came on the roof with his companions and kidnapped his daughter.

He has also alleged that two days before kidnapping, the youth had created nuisance in front of his house under the influence of liquor. But when he was asked not to do this, he had threatened him with dire consequences.

According to statement, Ranbir Singh lodged a written complaint with the State Housing Officer of the Mohana police station against the kidnappers, but no action has been taken to recover his daughter.

He said that the family members of the alleged accused had also left the village and gone to some unidentified place.



Workshop on National Highways traffic
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 7
The Haryana Highway Patrol and Road Safety (HHPRS), in close co-ordination with India Road Traffic Education (IRTE), New Delhi, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is organising a one- day workshop on “Safety Traffic Management for National Highways” at Karnal on May 10.

Mr M.S. Malik, DGP Haryana, will be the chief guest while Mr R. N. Prashar, Commissioner Transport Haryana will preside over the workshop.

Mr R.N. Prashar, Mr Rohit Baluja, President IRTE, Prof P.K. Sikdhar, Director CRRI and Mr Peter Muelen, Director Institute for Traffic Care Holland will be the key speakers who will highlight important aspects pertaining to the subject.

Mr Saurabh Singh, SP, HHPRS Karnal informed that senior police and administrative officers, educationists, engineers, NGOs and other prominent persons of the area were expected to participate in the workshop, which would comprise safety and traffic management, enforcement of traffic laws, prevention of accidents, first-aid processing and engineering specifications.



Councillors threaten to stage dharna
Our Correspondents

Rohtak, May 7
Charging the district administration with adopting a dual stand regarding the new house tax policy, the municipal councillors have threatened to start an indefinite dharna at the Municipal Council here from May 13 if the district administration failed to clear its stance on the issue.

In a statement signed by 14 municipal councillors here today, it was alleged that the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, had misled the people including the media and the councillors, by giving press statements that the hike only up to 25 per cent in the house tax would be recovered from the house owners and that exceeding 25 per cent be revised.

It is pertinent to mention here that an increase of up to 400 per cent was made in the collectorate rates and up to 300 per cent in the house tax in the district recently which met with a widespread criticism.

The people alleged that the enormous hike in the collectorate rates and in the house tax was arbitrary and could not be justified in any way. Moreover, they said the municipal authorities had revised the house tax in the last session which had been in force for five years. Observing widespread resentment among the masses, the Deputy Commissioner had announced that an increase up to 25 per cent in the house tax would be recovered by the MC while corrections would be made in those cases where the increase had been more than 25 per cent.

He had also directed the house owners to meet the MC authorities in a specified time schedule for getting revised their house tax if the hike exceeded 25 per cent. However, the councillors claimed that the house owners were being forced now to pay the enhanced amount without any reduction. They said the MC authorities found themselves in a spot as they had got no ‘written orders’ of revision or reduction in house tax so far.

IOB net profit rises

Rewari: With a present network of 1431 branches and 240 extension counters throughout India as well as 6 overseas branches, the business growth of the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has been phenomenal in the recent years. The net profit of the IOB for the nine months ending December 2002 has been Rs 277.88 crore as against 167.23 crore for the corresponding period last year while its global business crossed Rs 55,000 crore. It is creditable that the bank has outperformed the system in the two important parameters of deposits and advances.

Giving details in this regard, Mr S.C. Gupta, chairman and managing director of the IOB, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ here that the IOB envisage to become the most competitive bank in the Indian banking industry. It would, therefore, be the bank’s endeavour to increase its volume of fund-based business by laying emphasis on retail credit and mobilisation of low cost deposits through expansion of the client base horizontally. Consequently, housing finance and other retail credit schemes were now the thrust areas for the current financial year.

Disbursement under Direct Housing Finance during the year 2002-2003 was Rs 591 crore. Special Housing Finance Divisions have been set up at various branches throughout India for giving a push to the housing finance. Sanjeevani was another innovative retail credit scheme of the bank which enables doctors and medical practitioners to establish nursing homes, hospitals, polyclinics and acquire sophisticated medical equipment. Besides, the bank had recently launched a new product in alliance with the Life Insurance Corporation, “IOB Chiranjeevi Bima Yojna”, which provides the customer the benefit of the insurance cover for a paltry premium of 79 paise per day.

Minor raped

Faridabad: A minor girl was raped at a nearby Mangar village yesterday. The incident took place when the girl was alone at home. The accused is reported to be known to the victim’s family. A case has been booked on the complaint lodged by the victim, but the culprit is absconding. Meanwhile, two persons were killed in separate cases of road mishaps. While Yashin, a cyclist was run over by a Tata 407 truck near Hathin town, another person identified as, Kanwar Pal was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle in the same town. TNS



Police trying to zero in on Chadha’s killers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
The Delhi Police on Tuesday claimed to have questioned hundreds of persons to establish the identity of the killers of Sunita Chadha on Friday night in the Prashant Vihar area in North-West district.

The police teams are fanned out in the adjoining states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as there is a growing suspicion that the car-borne suspects may have entered these states after committing the crime. Besides the collection of data of black Cielo cars, the police are also developing some definite clues and local intelligence to ascertain their identity.

Meanwhile, the police got the post-mortem of Sunita. The report stated that all injuries are ante-mortem in nature caused by the fire arms bullet.

Father, son killed in accident: Satya Prakash (40) and his son Mukesh (15) died and his younger son Daleep (8) was injured when their scooter was hit by a truck bearing registration number HR46-5910. The injured has been admitted to hospital where his condition is stated to be out of danger. Truck driver is absconding while the truck has been seized. The incident occurred near Dabri More in Janak Puri police station area on Monday night. Body of Mukesh was found 15 meters from the accident site while Satya Prakash was found around 100 meters away. The truck was being driven very fast. The driver stopped the truck after 500 meters from the accident site only when he saw that the scooter was still being dragged by the truck. He ran away leaving the truck on road.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered, police said.

Fire in house of IPS officer: Property worth thousands of rupees was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday in the house of a senior IPS officer Sunil Garg.

The incident occurred at around 4.21 pm and the fire was brought under control at 4.40 pm. Two fire tenders were immediately rushed to the house in the Court Lane.

During the incident, Garg’s wife and children were at home, but none of them was injured. Fire service sources said that there was no power at home and inverter was on. Suddenly the family members noticed a fire on a sofa. It soon spread in other areas of the house.

Two bedrooms were completely destroyed during the fire. Garg who was DCP, PM (Security), has now been posted in Pondicherry.

Fire in Karol Bagh: In another fire incident on Monday night, a devastating fire in some shops destroyed property worth lakhs on Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh in Central district.

The incident took place at around 10 pm and two fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot to control the blaze. Fire sources said the fire destroyed at least five garment and footwear shops. It was brought under control within an hour.

Rainwater harvesting: Coca-Cola India and the Delhi Police have jointly set up five rooftop-cum-surface rainwater harvesting units on the premises of the Delhi Police Public School, Safdarjung Enclave.

The project is implemented under the technical guidance of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). The units were dedicated to the school students and the local community by the Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R S Gupta.



Civic body’s anti-encroachment campaign in full cry
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 7
The Sonepat Municipal Council has launched an anti-encroachment campaign in the city following the orders of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh.
According to a report, the officials of the council swung into action and removed all ‘rehriwalas’ from the roads around the main bus stand. They also seized goods and ‘rehris’.

The officials also demolished unauthorised structures and signboards of several shopkeepers between the bus stand and Gandhi Chowk of Sector 14. This caused a flutter among the shopkeepers.

Many shopkeepers alleged that the officials of the council were adopting a pick and choose policy in removing the encroachments and demolishing the unauthorised structures. They demanded a high-level probe into the public complaints and punishment to the erring officials.

Truant employees: The SDM, Mr Sujan Singh Yadav, conducted a surprise checking in various government offices in different parts of the city today and found at least a dozen employees absent from duty.

According to a report, the SDM also directed the heads of the department to take disciplinary action against the erring employees. This step has been taken to ensure the punctuality of the employees in government offices.

Thieves strike: Thieves are reported to have stolen a thresher and an engine from the fields of Mr Suraj Bhan at Bhatgaon village about 15 km from here last night.

According to another report, two shops were burgled at Ganaur town, 16 km from here last night and the thieves are reported to have taken away cash and other goods worth several thousands of rupees. The increasing incidence of thefts has caused panic among the residents and shopkeepers of the region.

‘Black Day’ observed: The residents of Manoli Tonk village observed a ‘Black Day’ yesterday to register their protest against the alleged unhelpful attitude of the district administration and the state government towards them.

All the houses in the village , it may be recalled, were burnt in a devastating fire that broke out on May 6 last year resulting in the death of a woman and a girl besides a number of animals.

The district administration and the state government made a series of announcements that the fire victims would be given relief but they failed to grant any relief so far. This prompted the residents to observe the ‘black day’ and lodge the protest.

Suicide by woman: A young housewife Shakuntala is reported to have committed suicide by taking insecticide tablets in her house at Murthal village about 8 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, a family quarrel is stated to be the cause of the suicide. However, the police are still investigating the case. The body of the victim has been sent for a post-mortem.

Sarpanch fined: The SDM, Mr Sujan Singh Yadav, has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on four persons including the Sarpanch of Garh

Meerakhpur village on the charge of instigating some persons to occupy the village land illegally. This action followed the public complaint filed in his court.



Row over statue snowballs

Noida (Dankaur): The row over the removal of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s statue from a controversial site by the administration in Dankaur is refusing to die down. In fact, it is beginning to snowball and is manifesting itself in civil unrest.

The row has fuelled the indignation of the Dalits, who have directed their wrath at the BSP’s Nagarpalika chairman, Mahipal Garg. Hundreds of Dalits targeted his spare parts godown in Ganj Mandi, Jhajhar road, and his office. Windowpanes were broken, a cabin and some furniture was damaged etc. OC



Six held; 53 cases of murder, dacoity solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
With the arrest of six persons, the South district police today claimed to have solved more than 53 cases of murder, dacoity and robbery in moving buses and other cases of robbery, burglary and thefts in some shops.

A German pistol, three daggers, live cartridges, mobile phones, gold chains, 20 wrist watches and a Tata Sumo were recovered from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Lala Ram alias Kale (26), resident of Ashok Vihar, Subrati alias Pappu (28), resident of Sangam Vihar, Nanhepal Singh alias Nanhe (23), resident of Badayu, Satpal alias Mota (27), resident of Jehangirpuri, Surinder (28) and Amar Singh (31), both residents of Ghaziabad.

The police said that the accused are in their late twenties.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vivek Gogia said that the gang had been active in the city for quite some time and the accused were involved in several cases of bus robberies.

The police said the information about the gang was provided by a person who was nabbed recently by the police during a law and order drive led by the Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R S Gupta, on Saturday night.

Based on the information, the accused were apprehended while they were planning to meet at Sarai Kale Khan bus terminal for committing dacoity. During interrogation, they admitted to have committed the crimes in different parts of Delhi.


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