Friday, May 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Judge refuses to name meddlesome CBI officer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi High Court Judge, Justice R S Sodhi, has refused to divulge to the CBI the name of the agency official who had allegedly threatened him last week. He has also declined to comment on the charge that his telephone was being tapped by them.

A Joint Director of the CBI, along with a senior counsel, met Justice Sodhi and requested him to divulge the name of the official who is said to have threatened him, an agency spokesman said here.

The spokesman said that the agency had taken the reported allegations of threats to the judge and the charges of his telephone being tapped seriously and had decided to take strict action against the delinquent officer, if his misconduct is established in the matter. He, however, added that the judge did not divulge any information to them.

The CBI spokesman clarified that the CBI had at no point of time tapped the telephone of any judge. On May two, Justice Sodhi had accused an unnamed CBI official of interfering with the course of justice by asking him to be careful while hearing a petition filed by former Enforcement Deputy Director Ashok Agarwal.

Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who is the counsel for Agarwal, had requested the Chief Justice to initiate urgent action against the CBI official.

Meanwhile, following allegations that a few CBI officials investigating the DDA scam were “being overzealous,” the CBI Director, Mr. P C Sharma, today directed the team investigating the scam to ensure that witnesses are handled politely.

Mr Sharma also requested the DDA to appoint a nodal officer to interact with the agency. The CBI has proposed that a senior agency official will liase with the Vice Chairman of DDA, Mr. Anil Baijal, who in turn will appoint a nodal officer; the latter can be contacted for requisitioning of documents and summoning of witnesses.

The DDA had appointed a nodal officer in the early 90’s when the housing scam involving former union ministers Sheila Kaul and P K Thungon came to light.

Mr Sharma has told the agency officials that while the investigation needs to be conducted thoroughly and professionally, they should refrain from doing anything that will demoralise the DDA officials and discourage them from performing their normal duties.

He added that for the sake of investigation, summoning of files and witnesses was necessary, but the team should keep in mind that DDA is a public office and it is rendering a great service to Delhiites.

He also directed that the witnesses should be handled politely, leaving no room for harassment or physical discomfort.



Haryana mulls over anti-copying law 
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, May 8
The Haryana Government is considering a proposal for enacting an anti-copying law, after taking a serious view of paper leaks and mass copying in various examinations conducted by the Maharshi Dayanand University, the Board of School Education, Haryana, and the Kurukshetra University.

The vice-chancellors of the universities in Haryana are scheduled to meet on May 15 in Chandigarh to deliberate upon the penalties proposed to be incorporated in the Act.

The intelligentsia here is of the opinion that the government should think twice before enacting such a law, keeping in view the fate of such an Act in Uttar Pradesh and its own experience with the prohibition law.

In UP, the Kalyan Singh government had enacted the anti-copying Act to stamp out the menace in examinations conducted by the education board and the universities, so that the credibility of the examination system could be restored.

This Act, of course, showed wonderful results. But, alas, it became an election issue and found a prominent place in the manifesto of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.

Ultimately, when Mr Yadav came to power in Uttar Pradesh this Act was repealed and met its untimely end.

Similarly, when Mr Bansi Lal formed the government in 1996, his first decision was to impose prohibition, which was widely welcomed at that time. But unfortunately, his government had to repeal the Act after the general elections in 1998.

The intelligentsia, therefore, feels that the state government needs to appreciate the ground realities and the problems it is likely to encounter in the implementation of such Acts.

It is further felt that alternatives need to be considered for checking this widespread menace. Ultimately, the masses will have to be educated about the need to maintain the credibility of the examination system and its long-term implications.

“We all know that social reform movements have shown better results than enactments. We can learn lessons from the Arya Samaj, which has helped in eradication of several social evils in this region. Similarly, the role of panchayats in combating the evil of dowry has been important,’’ say these intellectuals.



BJP opposes bid to foist power tariff hike
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi Pradesh BJP has opposed any hike in retail or bulk supply tariff of electricity. Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Prof Jagdish Mukhi on Thursday said the proposal was “illogical” and that the private distributors of power were showing losses so that they could conspire for an increase in tariff.

Mukhi told mediapersons the involvement of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is not above suspicion. “While calling for objections from the public to an increase in tariff, the DERC never said the Government of NCT of Delhi had already given its consent for increase of 12 per cent tariff in detail and 20 per cent increase in bulk supply,” he said. When the whole information was available with the Regulator, Mukhi argued, why ask for objections from the public? He said: “This is merely a stunt to fulfil the legal formalities and consumers are kept in the dark regarding increase in tariff.” He also accused the government of keeping the elected representatives in the dark.

“When the government has already taken this decision in February and sent across the proposal to the Regulator, why have not they placed the facts in the budget session. This is disregard of the House. The government wants to give favours to private players and allow them to loot the consumer,” Mukhi alleged.



Mystery shrouds youth’s death in NTPC pool
Parmindar Singh

Dadri (Noida), May 8
A youth was found to have drowned in mysterious circumstances in the NTPC township swimming pool in Dadri. His clothes were found lying in a polythene bag outside the pool, indicating that the person knew how to swim.

The police are probing the matter. Coach Gopi Chand imparts training to the children at the pool. Only children with valid identity cards were allowed to swim on Tuesday and about 40 were refused admission. The pool is open from 8 am till 9 pm.

The victim, Arvind Pande, 23, lives with his elder brother Alok Pande, who is employed in a gas project of the NTPC. Arvind had gone to the pool along with two kids of a family.

After a swim, the children went home thinking that Arvind had also gone back.

The pool was closed at 9 pm. Once back, the children said that they had lost track of Arvind at the pool, though nobody took notice of it. The family thought Arvind might have gone to Greater Noida where his house was being constructed.

It was only the next morning that the security guards noticed a body floating in the pool. Police DSP Pradeep Gupta said that considering his age, it was unthinkable that Arvind could have drowned.

He might have sustained a head injury and become unconscious. As a result, he could not come out of the pool, the police said. The police have sent the body for a post-mortem examination.



Ultimatum to Centre on Punjabi’s status
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has asserted that if the Union Government does not take a decision on the status of Punjabi within a month, they will launch an agitation. The DSGMC is clamouring for a second language status for Punjabi.

The bill, which was passed by the Delhi Assembly over two years ago, is lying with the Centre for the last six months. The bill was referred to the Centre for the approval of Parliament.

The president of DSGMC, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said that it had taken the state government two years to seek clarifications and suggest amendments. Due to protracted efforts made by the DSGMC, the bill was passed by the state Assembly, but now it was lying with the Centre.

In a meeting held at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj and organised by the chairman of the Punjabi Vikas Committee, Mr Bir Inder Singh, the members alleged that had the Union Government shown the requisite interest and obtained Parliament’s nod, the Delhi Government would have issued a gazette notification by now, giving Punjabi the status of a second language.

Former diplomat and principal of the Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Dr Jaspal Singh, said that it was a matter of grave concern that Punjabi language had not received its due share in the national Capital, where nearly 25 per cent of the population speak Punjabi. 



Goaded by chief secy, MCD chief 
revives ‘public durbar’ 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
With the Chief Secretary of the NCT of Delhi, Mrs Shailja Chandra, ordering that a list of public dealing offices of the Municipal Corporation be provided in order of priority, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr. Rakesh Mehta, has decided to meet citizens of the Capital two days in a week to address their grievances.

The commissioner will meet visitors on Mondays and Wednesdays between 12 noon and 1 pm. This was the case earlier, but the practice had been suspended for some inexplicable reason after Mr Mehta took over.

MCD sources said that Mr Mehta was directed on May 2 by the Chief Secretary to provide the list of public dealing offices of the corporation. The list will indicate what work was transacted in the offices, the average number of visitors in a day and the time taken to handle various items of work.

The order had said that an inspection should be undertaken to ascertain whether the citizens are getting the services they are entitled to in a prompt and efficient manner. The Chief Secretary had said that she was looking forward to receiving the assessment of the commissioner, together with a daily average number of visitors. The MCD generates a large volume of public grievances and complaints, as it is the main provider of civic services.

The Chief Secretary had said that she would be interested in having “your (the commissioner’s) assessment through personal visits by you and your offices, whether the citizens are getting the services in a prompt and efficient manner, whether scope for improvement was felt and measures introduced as warranted. The facility of electronic system is alright in its own place but what one wants to know is the state of affairs in the house tax offices, Licensing Department, office where building plans are sanctioned and completion certificates are given. Is the time taken to do these works reasonable and the works are done without harassment,” the Chief Secretary had asked.

Sources said that the Chief Secretary was forced to issue the orders following a spate of complaints from citizens, who were haranguing their respective MLAs for the redressal of their grievances, since the regular channels were unable to provide them any relief. 



Yet another step in economic 
regeneration of Mewat
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Nuh (Gurgaon), May 8
The efforts of the Mewat Development Agency (MDA), aimed at the economic regeneration of the marginal farmers in the area, by encouraging them to switch over to high-value aromatic and medicinal plants, bore fruit today with the installation of an oil extraction plant in Nuh, a nerve centre of Mewat. The plant, which was inaugurated by Dr G.Anupma, the Chief Executive Officer of the MDA, an agency set up by the Haryana government for the speedy and integrated development of Mewat, has cost about Rs 6 lakhs. Installed on land owned by the MDA, the plant is expected to benefit farmers who have started opting for cash crops like Lemon Grass, Palma Rosa and Khas, whose oil is being extracted. The MDA intends to encourage the farmers to grow other aromatic and medicinal plants like Isafgol in the future.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the Chairman of the MDA, Mr S.A.Khan, and Dr Anupma goaded the farmers to change their cropping pattern in a big way.

The project is funded by IFAD, a UN affiliate. The MDA has undertaken several such projects in the area. They are implemented by the MDA with the help of NGOs listed with it.

The MDA has been campaigning for a change in cropping pattern owing to the chronic shortage of water in Mewat, soil salinity etc, which made traditional crops a risky and low return proposition. On the other hand, medicinal and aromatic plants have high yields, are suited to the climate of the area and need less water. Initially, seeds of these plants were given to farmers free of cost and demonstrations were held to convince them of the virtues of the new crops. Result: About 90 farmers in different revenue blocs of Mewat switched over to the new crops. The MDA then helped the farmers form an association called the Mewat Essential Oil Association, to save them from possible exploitation.



Former TADA detainee shot dead in encounter
Our Correspondent

Meerut, May 8
A symbol of terror and notorious for his heinous criminal activities in Delhi, Haryana, western UP and Rajasthan, Arvind Jongti was shot dead in an encounter with the Meerut police, near the Jitali railway crossing on Wednesday evening. The police had put a reward of Rs 7,500 on his head. The police have seized a 9mm pistol and some cartridges. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Mukul Goel, told mediapersons that the police had received a telephonic tip-off that the notorious gangster, Arvind Jongti, was headed towards the bypass road on NH-58 and was planning to commit a robbery at a petrol pump. The gangsters were travelling in a grey colour Maruti 800, without any number plate.

Subsequently, the Circle Officer and the SHO cordoned off the area. When the police party tried to stop them, the gangsters tried to escape by opening fire at them. In the retaliatory fire by the police, one criminal was shot dead, while two of the gangsters managed to escape. One constable, identified as Avdhesh Kumar, received bullet injuries in the crossfire. Mr Gurdarshan Singh, DIG, and SSP, Meerut, rushed to the spot when they heard of the encounter. Later, the IGP, Meerut Zone, Mr Vibhuti Narayan Rai, visited the spot and praised the police party for the successful operation. Talking to the NCR Tribune, the DIG said that the slain criminal was identified as Arvind Jongti of Haryana. He had earlier been detained under TADA by the Delhi and Haryana Government.

Youth attempts suicide at DM’s residence

Meerut: A youth tried to commit suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at the residence of the District Magistrate, Mr Amit Mohan Prasad. He was rushed to the district hospital where his condition was said to be critical. The youth, Priyana Sharma, was said to be depressed due to what he alleged was continuing ‘police atrocities’ against him. A suicide note and some poisonous substance were recovered from his pocket.

According to some witnesses, the youth reached the residence of the DM in the evening and wanted to meet him. The staff at the residence told him that since the District Magistrate was not at home, he should come in the morning. Hearing this, the youth took out some poisonous substance from his pocket and consumed it. OC



Dyeing units refuse to shift, plots on 
offer ‘too expensive’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 8
The shifting of the over 500 dyeing units from the residential areas to the industrial area has again hit a roadblock, with the Panipat Dyers Association expressing its unwillingness to shift to the industrial area in Sector 29 here. At a meeting here, the association termed the rates of the plots offered to them by the administration at the industrial area as too ‘expensive’ and hence, decided to wait for the decision on a writ petition filed by the association in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The dyeing units, which are the backbone of the world famous handloom industry here, had been functioning from the residential areas.

On an average, over one crore litre of polluted water is discharged into the open by these units daily, putting the lives of the residents at great risk and playing havoc with quality of the ground water. Moreover, the smoke from the chimneys of these units add to the already-polluted air of the industrial city.

Unfortunately, over the years, these units have been functioning with impunity, as the powerful lobby of the dyeing unit had successfully blocked all moves to shift these units away from the residential areas.

However, few years back, a Supreme Court directive came to the rescue of the hapless residents and the apathetic administration was forced to begin the shifting process. In view of the directives of apex court, the authorities seem to have adopted a carrot-and-stick policy and a shifting scheme favourable to the dyeing units had been worked out.

According to the scheme, to be implemented over an area of 250 acres, the small units would be allotted land at the rate of Rs 828 per square yard.

They would have to deposit only 5 per cent of the total plot price with the application form and 10 per cent after 30 days of the allotment of the plot. The rest 85 per cent of the plot cost would have to be deposited in six monthly installments over a period of ten years.

Sources pointed out that as an added incentive, owners who would set up their units by the year 2006, will get a 20 per cent discount on the total plot cost.

However, the powerful lobby of the dyeing units will not concede “defeat” easily. In effect, the shifting of the dyeing units from the residential areas will be an acid test for the laid-back administration, several of whose officials had winked at the pollution problem in the first place and allowed these units to function from the residential areas without hindrances.



Fluoride-rich water being supplied to 
Gohana villages
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 8
Though the Public Health Department claims to have provided drinking water in every village of the district in a large number of villages of Gohana region in the district the private parties have started their own supplies despite the fact that the private supplies are full of the substances considered injurious to health according to laboratory tests.

This became evident when the Ambala laboratory’s test report of the water being supplied by a party in three villages-Shamri Bura, Shamri Sisan and Shamri Lochab under Gohana subdivision revealed excessive quantity of fluoride and other substances considered injurious to health by the authorities. The tubewell from which the supply is made has been sunk in the fields of Chet Ram of Shamri Sisan.

After receiving the laboratory report, the Public Health Department authorities have reportedly sent a letter to the Sarpanches of these villages, cautioning them that if any untoward incident takes place in the village due to consumption of the water being supplied by the private party the village panchayat will be held responsible for that. In the letter, the panchayats have also been urged to stop this supply in the larger interests of the villagers’ health.

It has been pointed out that the Public Health Department provides public stand posts on the outskirts of the villages and many of these are reportedly found damaged or non-functional due to one reason or the other.

Taking advantage of the dissatisfaction of the villagers over the department supplies, the private parties availed the opportunity and started their own water supplies by laying pipes in the streets and provided water connections in the houses.

According to information gathered from different villages, the private suppliers initially charge nearly Rs 2,000 as security for each connection and then supply the water at monthly charges ranging from Rs 60 to 80 from each consumer of this supply. As the supply is made regularly at least two times a day the connection owners don’t mind paying the charges. However, most of them are totally ignorant and unaware about the presence of the substances considered injurious to heath.

A number of private suppliers on condition of anonymity admitted they had not got the water tested from the laboratories before starting supplies. 



Govt is browbeating farmers: Cong
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 8
The state unit of the Congress has condemned the alleged implication of the Bhartiya Kisan Union president, Mr Ghasiram Nain, in false cases and blamed the state government of victimising kisan leaders and browbeating farmers who were opposing the Chautala government due to its failure in providing adequate water and power.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, spokesman for the state Congress, accused the state Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, of backtracking on the promises made by him during elections of providing free water and electricity to farmers. He said that when the BKU chief reminded Mr Chautala about his promises he was sent to jail by registering false cases against him.

Mr Hooda alleged the Chief Minister was misusing his power and an Emergency-like situation prevailed in the state as whoever dared to raise a voice of dissent was implicated and left to languish in jail on one pretext or the other.

The Congress spokesman also flayed the government for lathi charging terminated MITC employees in Fatehabad and roadways officials in Kurukshtra. He said the Chautala government had sent 30,000 government employees home in the name of rationalisation and the unemployed youth were virtually forced to take to crime.



100 acres of defence land with encroachers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
More than 100 acres of defence land is under encroachment in the national Capital, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
Replying to a written question, defence Minister George Fernandes said over 100 acres of defence land was under encroachment in Delhi and the instruction had been issued to all concerned to take the steps for their removal. The Minister informed the House that the process of detection and removal of encroachment was continuous and added that some of them were under litigation and their removal was subject to the court order. In reply to a written question, Minister of State for Petroleum Santosh Gangwar said Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) had created CNG facilities at 35 petrol pumps. Apart from that 20 more retail outlets had been provisionally selected by the IGL which would be operational only after seeing their feasibility including distance from the main gas pipeline.

A pilot project to provide the Internet kiosks at New Delhi Railway Station and the Internet service on one of the trains during 2003-2004 has been planned, Minister of State for Railways Bandaru Dattatreya informed the House in a written reply. He said that the RailTel Corporation of India Ltd., a public sector undertaking under his ministry, was planning to introduce the Internet service. However, the train and route were still being considered.

The rent collected from the booking of Sapru House Auditorium had increased three times during the past two years, Minister of State for External Affairs Vinod Khanna informed the Rajya Sabha. The amount collected as rent at the rate of Rs 11,000 for three hours during 2000-2001 was Rs 4,76,200, which increased to Rs 7,55,560 during 2001-2002 and Rs 12,88,770 during 2002-2003.

The membership of the Sapru House Library had also increased threefold during this period, he said. It was 79 during 2000-2001, which doubled to 148 in 2001-2002 and then increased to 216 in 2002-2003, he informed.



Dead, for the record only
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 8
Believe it or not, one Luxmi Chand, resident of Rattan Garh village, is alive, but he is shown in official records as ‘dead’. Incidentally, Luxmi Chand’s wife is getting the family pension.

According to Luxmi, some influential persons of the village had enticed his wife a few years ago and had developed illicit relations with her. When he protested, his wife, along with her lovers, gave him a thrashing and turned him out of the house. Luxmi had been threatened with dire consequences, if he made any attempt to return to his village. However, when he returned after some days, he learnt that he was ‘‘no more’’ in the official records and his wife was now entitled to family pension.

Luxmi dashed of a letter to the Superintendent of Police, highlighting the charade enacted by his wife and her lovers. He also mentioned how he had been beaten up and made to leave his village on December 12, 2002. Luxmi also sent a complaint to Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala in this regard and some police officials reached the village for an on-the-spot inquiry. But, he claims, that they were influenced and left the village after beating him up.

He further claims that he has not had a meal for the last four days and that he wants to return home. However, his life is in disarray. His two sons had left their house when they came to know that their mother had developed illicit relations with influential persons of the village.



Demolition-hit shopkeepers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 8
A number of irate shopkeepers and ‘rehriwalas’ held up traffic for about two hours at Devilal Chowk near the bus stand here last evening in
protest against the alleged discrimination in demolishing the unauthorised structures and removing the encroachment on the municipal and public land by the officials of the Sonepat Municipal Council.

Many of them alleged that only the poor shopkeepers and the rehriwalas were the target of the municipal authorities. The influential shopkeepers were let off.

On receipt of information, a posse of policemen arrived on the scene and the officials asked the irate shopkeepers and rehriwalas to lift the blockade, but they refused to do so till they got justice from the district authorities. Thereupon, the police used the force and dispersed the mob. One of the shopkeepers was also manhandled by the police, which led to the shouting of slogans against the cops.

After a while, the police pacified the protesters and succeeded in lifting the blockade.

Earlier, the officials of the demolishing squad removed the rehriwalas from the area of the bus stand and demolished certain unauthorised structures on the telephone exchange and Sarang Road.



HC officer finds man handcuffed 
in ‘illegal detention’ 

Sonepat: Mr Subhash Kumar Nasa, Registrar-cum-Warrant Officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, conducted a surprise raid at the Sadar Police Station of Gohana town, 35 km from here, and found a youth, Bijender of Bhainswal Kalan village, handcuffed in the lock-up.

According to a report, the raid was conducted following a complaint filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Mr Surinder, a resident of Bhainswal Kalan village, who had alleged that his brother, Bijender, was being kept in illegal detention by the Sadar Police since Saturday.

Mr Nasa has also alleged that the police gave him the ‘Roznamcha’ about 15 minutes late; moreover, they had got the delay registered in the ‘Roznamcha’.

The police, on the other hand, has maintained that Bijender was arrested around 6.20 am yesterday. OC



Two get life term for gang rape of minor
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 8
Dr Neelima Shangla, Additional Sessions Judge, today sentenced two residents of Nangal Kheri village—Ramesh Chand and Rajesh—to life imprisonment on the charges of gang rape of a minor girl. It may be recalled that on November 2, 1996, Rajesh had given ‘halwa’ to the 14-year-old victim and she became a little unconscious after having it. Rajesh along with Ramesh then took her to Delhi. She was raped by the duo the whole night. She was then brought to Nangal Kheri village and raped by the accused for five days.

In the meantime, the father of the girl lodged a complaint with the police. On November 7, the accused were arrested and the girl was freed from their clutches. While pronouncing the order under Section 363,366,376 (2) (G) of the IPC, the judge also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on each accused.

The court further said that in default of the payment of the fine, the convicts would undergo further rigorous imprisonment for one year. The amount of the fine, Rs 1 lakh, shall be paid to the victim as compensation.

Two killed in head-on collision

Jhajjar: Two persons were killed and another was injured seriously in a accident between a Tata 407 and truck near Madana village on Jhajjar-Rohtak Road here today.

According to information, the truck was coming from Rohtak while Tata 407 was coming from the opposite direction when both the vehicles collided head on. The driver and cleaner of Tata 407, identified as Balram and Rajender died on the spot, while Ramesh, driver of the truck was injured and rushed to the PGIMS at Rohtak. A case has been registered in this connection. OC

SUCI backs farmers

Rohtak: Socialist Unity Center of India (SUCI) and Krishak Khet Majdoor Sangathan have condemned the ‘tough posture’ adopted by the government for recovery of loans from the farmers and labourers in the state. Both the associations have called upon the masses to express solidarity with them in launching a statewide agitation against the ‘suppressive tactics’ by the government.

In a joint statement here today, Mr Satyawan, state secretary of SUCI and Mr Anoop Singh, assistant secretary, Haryana unit of All India Krishak Khet Majdoor Sangathan said the farmers were on the verge of collapse due to various natural calamities and an increase in different agricultural products. OC

Exam dates clash

The students of Maharshi Dayanand University are sore over the clash between the dates proposed to conduct the entrance examination of Bachelor of Education (BEd) and that of University Grants Commission (UGC) slated for June 29. OC



Ad hoc licensing policy for shops to 
start by May-end
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today announced that ad hoc licensing policy for shops and factories would be started from the end of this month.
The decision was taken after reviewing the licensing department where a number of applications for shops and factory licence were lying. This policy was suspended in 2000.

Now the corporation expects that lakhs of applications would be submitted in the Licensing department, Ram Babu Sharma, Chairman of the Standing Committee said.

He said that strict action would be taken against the official concerned who reportedly harass the applicants for licence. Sometimes they demand bribe to favour them.

He said licensing and other departments of the corporation were computerised to check corruption.

Ganja seized: The West district police of Delhi today claimed to have seized ‘ganja’ worth Rs 25 lakh with the arrest of two youths from Kakrola in Uttam Nagar. The police had a tip-off that 50 kg ganja was kept in house number 164 in Kakrola.

A raid was conducted and the contraband was seized. The youths were identified as Dalip and Nagina. Both belong to Bihar, police said.

Harishchander Hospital in Narela: The 200-bed Satyawadi Raja Harishchander Hospital in Narela will become operational on July 15. The indoor services of the 200-bed Dr Hedgewar Arogya Sansthan in Karkardooma will begin July 31.

Health Minister A K Walia said nine hospitals would be opened in the next four months.

He said the Dental Hospital at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital would be made functional from the second week of August.

Subzi Mandi transformer: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday inaugurated the 100 MVA transformer at Subzi Mandi substation that would cater to the needs of nearly three lakh people living in Shakti Nagar, Kamla Nagar, BG Road and Kashmere Gate.

The Chief Minister said the Subzi Mandi substation had space for 33 KV grid but the engineers of Transco had altered the design to facilitate the installation of a 220 KV transformer there.

Power Minister Ajay Maken in turn said the 100 MVA transformer would augment the existing 100 MVA, 220 / 33 KV capacity at the Subzi Mandi substation. The existing capacity was installed at the substation in 1996.



LPG-laden canter turns turtle
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 8
A canter loaded with LPG rammed a tree and overturned on the Sonepat-Gohana Road near Pinana village about 20 km from here yesterday. According to a report, none was injured and there was no leakage of the gas after the overturning The canter was on its way from Loni (Ghaziabad) to Jind. On receipt of information, the police arrived on the scene and blocked the road on both sides.

According to another report, fodder worth Rs 20,000 was burnt in the fire in the fields at Ahir Majra village about 15 km from here last evening. The municipal fire brigade brought the fire under control after two hours.

Youth shot at: Kuldeep, a youth was shot at and injured near Silana village about 20 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, all three alleged assailants managed to escape. An old enmity is stated to be the cause of the attack. The injured youth was sent to the PGI at Rohtak for treatment. The police have registered the case and launched a massive hunt to apprehend the culprits named in the FIR registered against them. They are Narinder, Om and Pardeep. Giving the details of the assault, Mrs Ram Rati, mother of the injured youth said that his son Satish was shot dead last year and the three accused Satish, Monu and Amit were still at large, and they had been pressing for a compromise. But on refusal, his younger son was also shot at and injured.

Woman killed: Seema, a woman was killed when a jeep and a three-wheeler collided on Sonepat-Gohana Road near Barauta village about 30 km from here last evening. According to a report, the police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. The body of the victim has been sent for a post-mortem.

Teachers play hooky: City Magistrate Anil Sharma and SDM Sujan Singh Yadav carried out surprise raids on various government offices and schools today and found at least 18 employees and teachers absenting themselves from duty.



Sonepat development works get a fillip
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 8
The Sonepat Municipal Council has accelerated the development activities in all the 31 wards spread in Sonepat city, a district headquarters in Haryana.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, told mediapersons here today that the state government, under the Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar Programme, has allocated Rs 4,51,70,000 and released to the municipal council for the execution of development works including the construction and repair of the roads, pavement of the streets by CC flooring and construction of drains etc.



Merchant waylaid, robbed by 
motorcycle-borne youths 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 8
Two unidentified armed motorcycle-borne youths are reported to have robbed Mr Parveen Mittal, a kiryana merchant and fled after snatching Rs 40,000 from him at Gohana town, 35 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, Mr Mittal got down from the train around 7 am and came outside the railway station. On the way, he was waylaid by two unidentified armed youths who snatched the bag at pistol-point and escaping.

The police have registered the case and launched a hunt to apprehend them.

Meanwhile, a patrolling party of the Sadar Police has foiled an attempt of the criminals to loot the owner of the Shubham Gardens on Sonepat-Murthal Road and arrested two miscreants during the surprise raid on their hideout last night.

Superintendent of Police Paramjit Singh Ahlawat told the mediapersons here today that the culprits were identified as Sudhir of Sameypur Badli (Delhi) and Parmod of Galheta village in Uttar Pradesh. The police, he said, also recovered a Maruti car, a ‘kamanidar’ knife and an iron rod from them.

According to the SP, the police also solved three cases of auto thefts during the course of interrogation of the culprits.

Meanwhile, the police have launched a massive hunt for at least 10 most wanted criminals who have been declared proclaimed offenders by various courts in the district.

According to a report, the name of Anil Bhagta of Kundli village is on top of the list of most wanted criminals pasted at all the police stations in the district.

The Kundli Police had registered a case under Sections 222, 223, 224, 332, 353 and 328 IPC on June 15 last year.

In addition to this case, a number of murder and dacoity cases had been registered against him in Rai and Kundli police stations in the district. He had been absconding for the last few years.

A notorious criminal of Bhatgaon village, namely Bijender (33) is also wanted in a number of criminal cases registered against him in Sadar and Civil Lines police station in the city. A case under Section 365 IPC was registered against him on February 13 last year in the Mohana police station and January 8 this year in the Civil Lines police station.

The third most wanted criminal is Rakesh Bokra of Rewara village against whom a criminal case under Sections 148, 149,323, 506, 452 and 307 IPC had been registered on August 31, 2001. He had been absconding for the last two years.

Sanjay and his brother Krishan of Butana village are also included in the list of most wanted criminals. The Gohana police had registered a criminal case against them on April 24 last year.

Ishwar of Farmana village, Krishan of Jahri village, and Rajesh of Jagsi village, who were released on parole by the courts, had failed to turn up again in the jail. Umesh, a criminal of Garhi Kundal village is wanted in a case of loot registered against him by the Ganaur police.

The culprit had robbed a contractor of Rs 4.20 lakh when he was going to Hindustan Tin factory near Dhaturi village for disbursement of salaries among the workers.



Six gangsters held; arms and gold seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of desperate criminals who operated in the Trans-Yamuna area with the arrest of six suspects.
The suspects were identified as Shakilluddin alias Shakeel, gang leader; Taslim Ahmed, Mohammad Aslam alias Ghoda, Arshad Saleem alias Kaira, Anwar and Mohammad Furkan.

They were arrested yesterday near Lakshmi Narain Mandir in Dilshad Garden area where they were planning to commit dacoity in Jhilmil Colony, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Praveer Ranjan said.

Two country-made pistols, six live cartridges, two button-actuated knives, a stolen scooter and gold worth Rs 20,000 were recovered from their possession, the DCP said.

The police received information that the suspects would commit dacoity in Jhilmil Colony last evening and they would gather near Lakshmi Narain Mandir in Dilshad Garden to chalk out their plan. A raid was conducted near the temple and they were arrested. During interrogation, the suspects confessed to have been involved in a number of crime cases in the area and elsewhere.

Their modus operandi would be different every time they struck.

They would get involved in a brawl. Later, their associates would come in a police uniform and question the area residents. They would enter the targeted house and rob it.

At other times, they would identify the victim’s house and went there with a box of sweets. They entered the house as soon as it was opened and robbed the persons at knife-point.

At times, They lifted autos to commit robberies. They were involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and robbery. They were involved in the murder of a builder in Hauz Khas area when he refused to give them extortion money, the DCP said.


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