Wednesday, May 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Yet another HC judge declines to hear bail plea
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
After the CBI challenged the interim bail granted to former Delhi High Court judge Shamit Mukherjee in the DDA scam, the high court judges seem to have developed cold feet on bail petitions filed by the other accused in the case.

Justice B N Chaturvedi on Tuesday became the second judge who has declined to hear the bail petitions filed by the three sacked DDA officials; last week, Justice R C Chopra, who had granted interim bail to Mukherjee, refused to hear the bail plea of the three officers.

Justice Chaturvedi referred the bail petitions of sacked DDA vice-chairman Subhash Sharma, Commissioner (Land Disposal) Anand Mohan Sharan and Director (Land) Jagdish Chander to Chief Justice B C Patel with the request to post them for hearing before another judge tomorrow.

Justice Chaturvedi, like Justice Chopra, did not assign any reason for seeking the transfer of the case from his court. CBI has registered four corruption cases in connection with the DDA scam; the authority’s former vice-chairman Subhash Sharma and the alleged conduit, Dharmbir Khattar, are co-accused in all of them.

Former high court judge Mukherjee, who has been accused by the CBI of passing an order in a case after accepting illegal gratification, was granted one month’s interim bail on May five on humanitarian grounds; the court had accepted his plea that he has to attend to his ailing wife and aged mother.

When the interim bail order was challenged by the CBI, the Supreme Court did not make any changes in the high court order, but nonetheless said that a trial court could take an independent view on extending the remand of the former judge. Subsequently, the trial court extended Mukherjee’s remand by five days, just before he was released on interim bail on May 12.

While Mukherjee was arrested on March 30 the DDA officials were taken into custody soon after the scam surfaced.

Though Justice Chopra had on May two issued notices to CBI on Sharan’s bail petition, directing the agency’s Investigating Officer to produce before him the case diary, he later refused to hear the plea. Sharma and Chander had moved bail applications later.

Sharma was named an accused in the FIR registered by the agency on March 26 in connection with the Modren School land allotment case in which a bribe of Rs one crore was allegedly paid by the school society.

The money was allegedly paid through Ashok Kapoor, the private assistant of former DDA vice-chairman P K Ghosh, while Sharan was arrested two days later by the CBI; the agency had allegedly seized Rs 36 lakh from his residence.

Chander’s name figured in a separate FIR relating to the demand of Rs 1.10 crore from the DLF society. Another DDA official, Vijay Rishbud, DLF representative Ajay Khanna, Ansal Buildwell’s officials R K Gogia and Ravinder Taneja and Mukesh Saini, a private person, were the other accused in this case.



Extortionist wanted in five states dies in encounter
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 20
Two notorious criminals, who specialised in kidnapping for ransom, were shot dead in an early morning encounter near the Kanwali culvert by the Indirapuram police here.

The police have recovered three pistols, Rs 90,000 in cash and a Zen car, which they had seized from an Agra businessman, Mr Kanwaldeep Singh, at about 12.30 am. One of the slain criminals has been identified as Mohan Lal, alias Don, of Agra.

The SSP, Mr Chander Prakash, said Agra’s well-known builder, Mr Kanwaldeep Singh and his associate, Mr Rajinder Jain, were being pressed to cough up Rs 10 lakh by Mohan Lal who was holding out various threats against them in case they did not shell out the money.

“The police have not been able to take any action against me in a case of extortion filed by you”. Thus, emboldened, he used to tease the businessman. The builder thought it fit to arrive at a mutual settlement with Don, the SSP said.

The SSP, Mr Chander Prakash, and the SP (City), Mr Ganeshwar Tiwari, who were present with the police party which killed the two extortionists, had a narrow escape when they were fired upon. Bullets smashed the windscreen of their car; they were found embedded in the car seats also.

The Station Officer, Indira Puram, Mr Dharmendra Chauhan, said an alert was sounded last night when the Agra businessman brought the looting to the notice of the police. The two suspects were challenged by the SO but instead of stopping, they started firing at the police party. The police sharpshooters eventually prevailed. They injured suspects were rushed to the District Hospital, Ghaziabad, but were declared dead soon after.

Last night, Agra businessman Kanwaldeep Singh had been called by the duo at Meera Plaza. Mohan had been harassing Kanwaldeep for the past two years, even though he was in jail during this period. On his release a month and a half ago, he had raised the decibel and demanded Rs 10 lakh.

Efforts are being made to identify Mohan’s accomplice. The bodies have been sent for an autopsy.


  • Mohan Lal, alias Don, was wanted in five dozen cases of kidnapping for ransom, extortion etc in Meerut, Delhi, Agra, Mumbai and Aligarh.
  • Originally from Agra, he was wanted under TADA and in 55 other cases in five different states.
  • He carried a reward of Rs 70,000 on his head.
  • Spreading his tentacles wide, he used to receive extortion money from businessmen even in far-off places like Mumbai.
  • He had been arrested along with his cohorts in Moradabad in 1998. A carbine and four revolvers were seized from him.



Munish Dalal beaten up by jail inmates
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 20
Munish Dalal, who had hogged media attention for having reportedly demanded Rs 12 lakh and a car in dowry and created a ruckus at the venue of his marriage to Noida’s Nisha Sharma last week, was assaulted by fellow prisoners in Dasna jail to which he has been sent on Nisha’s complaint. Munish Dalal, who is lodged in barrack no 9 in Dasna jail, has become a butt of ridicule in jail.

He was beaten up by fellow inmates yesterday as a result of which he sustained some injuries. The advocate of Munish Dalal, who was dubbed a “greedy groom” and jeered at, is reported to have filed an appeal with the National Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, the whole episode has taken a new turn with the statements of Munish Dalal and his family members claiming that dowry was never an issue and the whole incident had been orchestrated by Nisha Sharma and her family. The real cause of the return of the marriage party, according to Munish, was the commotion created by Nisha Sharma’s suitor, Navneet, and a few friends of his who were hell-bent on not allowing Nisha’s marriage with Munish. The prisoners, who were taken to court for a hearing, created a ruckus and raised slogans against the police. Later, the Kavi Nagar and Sihani Gate police contingent restored order among the prisoners.

Yet another dowry death

Harassed by her in-laws, another newly wed committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in Panchawati colony, Loni, near border police post on Monday. The in-laws of the deceased had begun pressing her for Rs. 50,000 in cash and a motor bike within a week of her marriage on March eight. The police have arrested husband Ravinder and mother in-law Manori Devi on a report filed by the victim’s father, Shyam Lal.

Shyam Lal of Vishwas Nagar Shahadra, Delhi, had married his only daughter, Minoo, 22, to Ravinder S/o Rajpal Singh of Panchawati Colony, Loni, on March 5, 2003. Shyam Lal had married his daughter as per Hindu rites and given her whatever gifts her could afford.

When Minoo expressed her parents’ inability to meet the additional demands, her husband and in-laws had started harassing her and threatening her with dire consequences. Two days ago, recalls Shyam Lal, his daughter and son-in-law had again called on him and reiterated the demand. Exasperated, Shyam Lal had handed over to his son-in-law his one-year-old scooter and promised to give him Rs. 50,000 in cash later. But yesterday morning Minoo’s in-laws informed Shyam Lal that his daughter had committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling.

The police broke open the bedroom door after Minoo’s parents arrived. Her body, which was hanging from the ceiling fan, was brought down. Letr, Minoo’s father named husband Ravinder, his father Rajpal Singh, mother Manori Devi, brother Raju, his wife Rekha and brother-in-law Jaideep in his complaint. Minoo’s relatives and neighbours in Vishwas Nagar, Shahadra, had marched to the border police post and demanded action against the accused in the dowry death case.



Heroin worth Rs 2.5 crore found hidden in
LPG cylinder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested two persons and seized 2.25 kg of high quality heroin of Pakistani origin, which was found concealed in an empty LPG cylinder in a car in the Vikaspuri area in West district. The consignment was worth Rs 2.5 crore in the international market.

Based on a tip-off that certain people were involved in illicit trafficking of drugs from Pakistan, which was routed to Delhi through Rajasthan, the NCB sleuths intercepted a Matiz car (DL-4C-J-0822) in the Vikaspuri area and apprehended two persons, Gulshan Kumar alias Sunny and Sukh Charan alias Billu.

According to the NCB Zonal Director, Mr Abrar Ahmed, when the sleuths searched the car they found the drugs concealed in an empty cylinder. The consignment was supposed to be handed over to two Sudanese nationals in the area and destined for some European countries.

Both the Sudanese nationals were being questioned by the sleuths about their alleged involvement in the case.

During interrogation the accused told the NCB officials that they were carriers of a Rajasthan-based drug peddler and were paid Rs 15,000 for supply of one kilogram of heroin.

Mr Ahmed said efforts were on to trace the supplier of the drugs and teams had already left for Rajasthan in this connection.

Beef seized in raids on cold store

The meat recovered during the raid on a cold store was found to be beef. The samples sent to a laboratory in Mathura have confirmed this. The cold store from where the meat was seized belongs to a local politician and his sons.

The police and administrative officials once again raided the meat plant and searched the premises where 10 tonnes of beef was seized. The police also raided the residence of the politician, but he managed to give the slip.

The District Magistrate, Mr Amit Mohan Prasad, has said the National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked in this case. OC



Three dozen battery-run buses rusting in depot
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, May 20
About three dozen battery-run buses, worth crores of rupees, parked for more than a decade at the bus depot of Delhi Energy Development Authority at School Block near Shakarpur area of East Delhi, have been reduced to junk, thanks to the apathy of the Delhi Transport Department.

About 80 odd employees of the depot, mostly drivers, conductors and mechanics, are now working as watchmen. However, the employees are getting their salaries. Rampal, a driver, said that though he does not like to sit idle, there is nothing he can do about it.

About 15 years back, the Non-Conventional Energy Source Ministry, with the help of Delhi Energy Development Authority (DEDA), had jointly introduced these battery-operated buses to fight pollution caused by traffic. Five separate depots — at Shivaji Stadium, Lal Quila, Rajapur Road, Seelampur and Shakarpur — were set up for the purpose. Unfortunately, these buses could not ply on the roads for long. According to the sources of Transport Department, there were too many drawbacks. One, it was not practically feasible. The batteries were too heavy and took a long time to get recharged. Besides, the buses used to face problems while negotiating steep roads. The DEDA sources said that the Transport Department never took the programme seriously. They always promoted DTC and private buses. Result: the battery-operated buses had to be withdrawn. According to the Energy Development Minister of Delhi, Mr Harun Yusuf, “We are working on a fresh proposal to re-introduce these buses.” However, Delhi Transport Minister Ajay Maken expressed ignorance of any such proposal.



MCD ties up with ICICI Infotech
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today signed an agreement with the ICICI Infotech to provide consulting and project management on e-governance initiatives for two years, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, said.

In addition to providing consultation on e-governance, the ICICI Infotech will also advise the MCD on issues ranging from networking, computerisation of municipal hospitals, introduction of computer literacy programmes in schools as well as back office automation and assistance to various departments of the corporation in all matters connected with computerisation, the Municipal Commissioner said.

He said the ICICI Infotech would assist the MCD in providing easy access of information to the public and also participate in decision–making and conveniently transacting with the government.

Commenting on why the corporation had chosen the ICICI Infotech, Mr Mehta said the MCD took pride in being professional and responsive to the needs of its constituents. This calls for innovative and effective solutions to provide the public with easy, fast and secure access to the corporation for improved citizen services. The ICICI has demonstrated in-depth understanding of the requirements and the capability to provide innovative solutions which will be valuable to the citizens in the near future, he said.

Outlining the e-governance strategies of the MCD, the Mayor, Mr Ashok Kumar Jain, said the corporation’s aim was to digitise the records of departments that had the greatest interface with the public, develop a small application on the client server model with web interface, train municipal staff in computer literacy and prepare a master plan for IT laying the groundwork for creating the MCD’s IT infrastructure in the long run. The corporation had already launched an online web portal which was providing a host of municipal services to the people of Delhi, the Mayor said.

The Leader of the Opposition in the corporation, Mr Subhash Arya, expressed hope that collaboration between the ICICI Infotech Limited and the corporation would enable in providing convenient, quick and transparent services to the citizens. Providing civic services to an estimated population of more than 13.8 million in the Capital was a daunting task. Mr Arya said that in response to the requirement of the citizens the MCD had undertaken an ambitious e-governance project to improve the quality of its services.



Sikh youths urged to follow code of conduct
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Paramjit Singh Sarna today said that the new generation of Sikhs is blindly following modern customs and has started degrading the code of conduct.

Speaking at the Gurmat Samagam here, Mr Sarna revived the memories of Sikh heritage and said that the new generation seems to have forgotten the spiritual life leading to a truthful character.

He appealed to various Sikh groups to unite and teach the new generation the path shown by the religious leaders. An appeal was also made to the youngsters to follow the code of conduct and wear the turban.



Co-operative bus societies leave Sonepat
villagers in the lurch
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 20
Residents of villages in the district have been facing great hardships due to the lack of transportation facilities for the last five years, but the state government seems not to be moved by the plight. Despite knocking at every door in the administration, the problem persists.

One of the main reasons for present situation is the introduction of co-operative bus services during Mr Bansi Lal’s rule. Roadways bus services were withdrawn from all routes allotted to co-operative bus societies. This step led to a monopoly of the societies on the routes mostly connecting villages with the towns.

After maintaining almost regular services on these routes for about two to three years, the co-operative societies started withdrawing their buses from the allotted routes one by one. Today, the societies ply buses on hardly a dozen routes out of the 100 allotted ones.

According to available information, there are more than 150 villages on the routes allotted to the societies. When the societies deserted the routes, the villagers started raising their problems with the administration and elected representatives for reintroducing the Haryana Roadways bus services.

But under the rule, the roadways is not supposed to ply its buses on these routes. Residents demand that the local roadways authorities must at least run some skeletal services, say morning and evening, only on a few routes.

In the prevailing situation, resentment prevails among the people, particularly students and the employees in the government and private offices who have to commute from their villages daily.

The worst-affected villages include Pabnera, Himarpur, Kakana, Niyat, Mahendipur, Bali Kutubpur, Rabra and Basodi. The villagers squarely blame the government authorities for the present crisis.

One Ramesh of Basodi village told the NCR Tribune: “There is only one bus going to our village in the morning. There is no other service for the whole day.” Nand Ram of Rabra village said: “He has to walk for about two kilometres to board a roadways bus on the Gohana-Kharkhauda route. Mehar Singh of Mahendipur pointed out that the villagers had to walk around for three kilometres to reach the GT Road for want of bus services.

A number of teachers and employees from these villages, who daily travel to Delhi, told the NCR Tribune today morning at the Sonepat railway station that there had been no problem in reaching Sonepat before the introduction of the co-operative bus services. “But for the last four-five years, we have been forced to make alternate arrangements including hiring private jeeps, tempos, three-wheelers or buying vehicles on our own to reach on time at the railway station,” they said. They demanded that the roadways bus services should be restored immediately.



Laparoscopy launched in Meerut MH
Our Correspondent

Meerut, May 20
The much-awaited laparoscopic surgery facility was launched in Military Hospital here by the Deputy Director, Medical Services, Uttar Bharat Area Brigadier Ramesh Kumar.

The Meerut Military Hospital is the second after the command hospital in Lucknow in the state to start this facility. Speaking to the NCR Tribune on the occasion, Brigadier Ramesh Kumar said that laparoscopic surgery would benefit a lot of patients, especially serving soldiers, since the patients could be discharged on the same day of the surgery.

After conventional surgery, the patients would have to remain in the hospital for four to six days and a serving soldier could not be posted in the field for another six months. But after laparoscopic surgery, he could be posted to the field within a week.

Brigadier Ramesh Kumar added that 95 per cent of the cases would be operated upon through this system while the more complicated cases would be solved through conventional surgery.

Speaking to the NCR Tribune on the occasion, the Commandant of MH Meerut, Brigadier Surjeet Singh, said that more than 90 cases of gall bladder removal came to the MH every year. These would be done through laparoscopic surgery from now. He said that the post-operative effects were very less as there would be no significant incision on the body. Thus several types of infections could be avoided. This would also need less manpower.

Over 45,000 ex-servicemen, 25,000 serving soldiers and lakhs of their dependents and families would be benefited through this surgery.



HARSAC holds workshop on natural resources data
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, May 20
The Haryana State Remote Sensing Application Centre (HARSAC), established on the HAU campus in Hisar, organised a workshop on “Natural Resources Information System (NRIS)” for Bhiwani district officials at Baya Tourist Resort. The objective of the workshop was to apprise the district officials of the database generated and the land and water resource development plans prepared for Bhiwani using satellite data.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pius Pandarwani, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, said that India had made long strides to become one of the leading nations in the field of space technology in the last two decades. Satellite data was being extensively used to map, monitor and generate management plans of natural resources of different areas.

The HARSAC had prepared a good database and action plan for the development of Bhiwani district. This needed to be made use of by district officials in their respective fields, he said.

Presiding over the workshop Mr P. K. Das, Divisional Commissioner, Hisar observed that land, water, mineral and bio-mass resources were currently under tremendous pressure in the context of the demands of an expanding population. The consequent overexploitation and mismanagement of resources were exerting a detrimental impact on the environment. Since remote sensing technology could provide reliable and timely data on the condition of these precious resources, this could be a valuable input for use in our planning process. He called upon the district officials to make full use of the latest information being provided by the HARSAC to improve the economic condition of the rural population.



Something’s stinking in Vasant Kunj!
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, May 20
Whenever residents of Pocket 9 of Sector C in Vasant Kunj move out, they cover their noses because of the unbearable stench in the area. Many residents complain of having developed respiratory problems and skin diseases and many others are planning to move out.

The root problem lies in the open drain running parallel to the boundary of C-9 block. The drain has no outlet and ends near the C-9 boundary. Though it was covered partly in 1998, over 6,000 ft length of the drain was left uncovered for some inexplicable reasons. The open drain emits foul smell, polluting the air. Moreover, the stagnant water has become a breeding place for mosquitoes, beleaguered residents say. As the water level in the drain increases by evening, the stench becomes unbearable and pervades the houses. Air fresheners do not help either, the residents claim. The occupants of houses 9351 to 9531 are the worst sufferers.

Dr V. K. Sinha, secretary of the Residents Welfare Association, said, “I shifted to this place just four months ago. Since then, we have been trying to get the problem solved but no one listens to us. We have moved all the authorities but have got no response. Being a doctor, I know that methane that emerges from this nullah is quite dangerous. And I have developed skin irritation due to this.” Some of the residents complained that drain water from C-6, which has cow dung mixed in it from the dairy complex in Masoodpur, has been diverted to this area.

When contacted, the DDA Chief Engineer said, “I do not have a proper idea about the drain and under whose jurisdiction it falls. But I have assured the residents that if it is under the DDA, then work would be started soon. The problem is coming from Masoodpur area as the people of that area throw cow dung and other rubbish into the drain. I have already asked for a detailed report from my staff and by the end of the week, we can surely tell the status and try to get it covered.”



MDA Budget casualty in bureaucrat-NGO tussle
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Nuh (Gurgaon), May 20
The Mewat Development Agency (MDA) and a section of the bureaucracy appear to have adopted ‘one step forward, two steps backward’ model in the development of Mewat, considered to be one of the most backward areas of Haryana.

In the latest move, the Chief Executive Officer of the MDA (an IAS man) has nullified the Budget and work plan for the year 2003-2004, passed by its Governing Body at its meeting held on May 16. The CEO, who was present at the meeting, presided over by MDA Chairman, Mr S. A. Khan, had not objected to the contents of the document then.

The CEO is said to have taken offence to the incorporation of details on NGOs in the document. Incidentally, the document has been questioned after copies of it have already been sent to some ministries of the Government of India and the Chief Minister of Haryana.

Earlier too, the Mewat Development Board (MDB), the controlling body of the MDA, on some allegations from its members led by a minister and MLA from the Mewat area, had decided to stop giving funds to the NGOs till their accounts were audited in its meeting on January 28. This happened even after the Accountant General of the state had found no objections to the management of their books.

There are only about 15 NGOs listed with the MDA, but strangely the audit report has not been filed so far. The auditing started in February. According to sources, no concrete anomaly has so far been found. It is reliably learnt that the audit of the entire MDA for the past 10 years has now been ordered, which was not on the agenda and in the decision taken by the MDB.

The NGOs, however, continue to work as usual in their respective areas even after the stoppage of funds.

According to many, the NGOs had been able to make palpable progress in the core fields of empowerment and literacy of women, child education, healthcare, change in the cropping pattern by fostering horticulture, starting dairy cooperatives and self-help groups among women etc.

According to the official statistics, the NGOs have been able to bring about 21,000 children under the cover of literacy under the Child Development Programme (CDP), helped setting about 1,300 women SHGs in all 491 villages in Mewat and treated 94,000 patients through mobile healthcare services programme (conducted by five NGOs) in less than two years.

Significantly, the MDA’s major development schemes are funded by the IFAD, a body of the UNO, under the Area Development Project.

The vital part of the agreement between the government and the IFAD is that the schemes will be implemented with the help of the NGOs. The IFAD has already extended the project till December 31, 2004, after the tenure expired in March.

However, religious fundamentalists and a section of local politicians have allegedly started to put a spoke in the wheels of the NGOs’ activities. These people feel that their stronghold among the large number of Meo Muslims in Mewat is getting weakened.

There are many who feel that fundamentalists, both among the Hindus and the Muslims, share a common interest in keeping the status quo of economic backwardness and illiteracy in the society here.


DHBVN not to charge departmental rates on
shifting of 11 KV lines
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, May 20
The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has decided not to charge the prevailing 24 per cent departmental rates over and above the total expenditure on shifting of 11 KV and 33 KV lines, on request of the consumers.

While stating this today, a Nigam spokesman said that due to rapid urbanisation all over the state, houses were being planned and constructed under 11 KV and 33 KV lines, making the lines accident-prone. For the safety of people, it becomes necessary to keep safe distance of houses from the lines, hence people were coming forward with requests to shift the lines.

He said that under the existing instructions, wherever a consumer asks for shifting the line, he was required to deposit the total cost of shifting along with 24 per cent departmental charges.

Keeping in view the necessity of consumers, the DHBVN had decided not to charge the departmental rates on shifting of such lines. However, inspection charges at the rate of 1.5 per cent of the cost of estimate would continue to be charged.



Magisterial probe into wall collapse
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 20
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the collapse of a wall of the Farmers’ Service Centre which claimed the lives of two labourers in the storm on Monday night. The service centre is being constructed by the Haryana Agro Industries Corporation in the new Anaj Mandi here.

The City Magistrate, Ms Ranjit Kaur, has been asked by the Deputy Commissioner to find out the reasons of the mishap. She would be assisted by Superintending Engineer, (B and R) and Executive Engineer, Panchayat Raj.

The magistrate will take samples of the material used in the construction of the building and find out if its quality was as per standards.

Two labourers, sleeping on the roof of a shop adjoining the building under construction died when a wall that was being constructed collapsed in the storm. Both of them died on the spot. While one of the deceased belonged to Gohana (Sonepat), the other hailed from Bihar. Their names and addresses were being ascertained, by the administration.



Life term for four in murder case
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 20
The local fast track court has awarded life term to four persons including three brothers for murdering a person in 2001.

As per prosecution, the accused identified as Ramesh, Brahma and Lala and Indraj had murdered Jasbeer, a cycle stand contractor at Old Faridabad Railway Station, after a dispute.

Meanwhile, an employee of a factory identified as Santosh Kumar was electrocuted while working on the company premises.

In another incident, two women were overrun by speeding trains at Jharsentli and Bamoi Khera villages in the district on Monday.

Duststorm lashes city

Sonepat city and its adjoining areas were lashed by a strong gale last evening disrupting the normal life of the people and power supply for at least five hours. According to a report, the power supply went off around 4.30 pm and was restored at 9 pm.

On account of the duststorm, the standing sugarcane crop in seven acres was burnt in the fields of some farmers at Bagru village near here last evening.

Reports of fire and burning of wheat crops have also come from the villages of Kakroi, Chhota Khanda, Bhadana and Farmana in the district.



Armyman’s body cremated
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 20
The body of an Army jawan Bijender of IVth Sikh battalion was cremated at his native village Salimear Majra about 10 km from here last evening. According to a report, a large number of villagers and some Army officials were present on the occasion. Bijender along with two other soldiers were killed when their vehicle overturned in Nagaland recently.

Tanker overturns

A tanker, loaded with thousands litres of LPG, overturned on G T Road near Sonepat-Panipat border about 30 km from here last evening.

According to a report, however, none was injured in the mishap as the LPG did not leak from the tanker.

Labourers’ death

The District Magistrate of Sonepat, Mr Balwan Singh, has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of three labourers by poisonous gas while working in the 30 ft. well at the Yamuna Action Plan treatment plant at Gudha village about 50 km from here on Sunday.

Voter cards

The work of preparing photo identity cards for the voters in the Faridabad Assembly area is being started again from tomorrow. According to the authorities concerned, photographic teams will be made available at various schools from May 20 to 30 in the NIT area and various colonies. The officials have informed that all those voters who have not got their I-cards prepared so far could get them made from the places identified by the authorities. For the voters of Faridabad Assembly seat, office of ADC could be contacted, while the community centre 21-C, and the Government Primary School, have been selected for the voters of Mewla Maharajpur and Ballabgarh segments respectively.



Four inter-state gangsters held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 20
With the arrest of four persons, the police have busted an inter-state gang of criminals involved in the cases of loot, dacoity, murder and extortion of money, operating in several parts of Haryana, UP and Delhi for the last few years.

According to a report, the culprits were identified as Brijinder of Bhatgaon village, Raj Kumar of Kathura village, Anil of Babel village and Babloo of Samalkha (UP).

The police have recovered Rs 4.30 lakh looted from an ‘arhtia’ of Kathura village last year.

The police have so far solved as many as 17 cases of loot, dacoity and murder committed by the members of these gangs in different parts of Haryana, UP and Delhi.

The culprits are reported to have confessed to their involvement in the case of looting of Mr Prem Dureja of Gohana from whom they had snatched Rs 50,000 after firing a shot at him, snatching a Maruti car and Rs 35,000 in Sector 15 in Sonepat, at least nine mobile phones, a gold chain and Rs 15,000 in Sector 14 of Sonepat, and Rs 1.65 lakh in another case.

Meanwhile, the police have busted an inter-state gang of highway robbers after the arrest of its two members, Surinder Singh of Jahangirpuri (Delhi) and Budh Ram of Dhaboda village in Gurgaon district.

The culprits had looted a number of trucks loaded with rice and three Nygerian students who were going from Sonepat to Rohtak in a truck last year. These students were offered some biscuits. They fell unconscious after taking them. Thereafter, the students were relieved of cash and other goods.

The police have solved as many as six cases of looting. Further investigations were on.



Youth killed; body found in jungle
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 20
A youth has been killed with sharp-edged weapons in a field where he was taken by his own friend. The alleged murderer is absconding.

Arvind and Manoj, alias Puppoo, of Saini village were fast friends. Arvind asked Manoj to accompany him to the fields for irrigating some areas late in the evening recently. Whereas Arvind is reported to have returned home late at night, Manoj did not come back. His family thought he might have stayed on in the farm for the night. But when Arvind did not give a satisfactory reply, they started looking for him. Manoj’s body was located in Bisarakh jungle with stab wounds inflicted with a sharp-edged weapon all over his body. Arvind is reported to have disappeared as soon as Manoj’s body was found.

Manoj’s father, in a written complaint to the police alleged that his son had been murdered by Arvind. Police have started the investigations after registering the case.

The police surmised that the two had fallen out on some issue. The cause could be personal enmity, romance or something else.

There was tension between them, the police said. The body has been sent for an autopsy.



Brother stabbed to death

New Delhi, May 20
A suspected criminal was reportedly stabbed to heath by his elder brother in Mayapuri area last night. The deceased was identified as Sanjeev who was a declared bad character of the Mayapuri police station. He was released on bail recently. He had an argument with his brother Hemraj and alleged that he had taken his Rs 200.

They had a heated argument over the money, thereafter Hemraj stabbed Sanjeev. He was admitted to a hospital where Sanjeev was declared brought dead. Their eldest brother is also a bad character in the area. He is lodged in Sonepat Jail at present, police said. TNS



House of BSNL official looted

Unidentified number of thieves made their way into a house in Sector-9 here and escaped with a booty of about Rs 3 lakh from the residence of a BSNL official in broad daylight on Monday. A case has been booked.

According to reports, the burglars took away gold jewellery worth Rs 2.50 lakh and Rs 30,000 kept in a safe. No member of the house was present at the time of incident. This is the second such incident in Sector-9 in the past month. TNS



Wife assaulted after quarrel

A young housewife Nisha sustained serious knife injuries after she was assaulted by her husband Kali Ram at home in the Housing Board Colony of Sector 15 here last evening.

According to a report, she was rushed to the local civil hospital from where she was shifted to a trauma centre in Delhi for further treatment. A family quarrel was stated to be the cause of the assault. The police are still investigating the case. OC


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