Sunday, May 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Stolen Jain idols recovered after two decades
Our Correspondent

Rewari , May 24
It was a historical moment for the Jain community when a few kids accidentally recovered from the bank of a pond four precious Jain idols, stolen more than two decades back from a temple here.

Since then, the members of the community are flocking to the Nasiaji Digambar Jain temple to have a glimpse of the metallic idols of Lord Shantinath, the 16thTirthankara, Lord Parasnath, the 23rd Tirthankara, and Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara.

In 1983, 10 ancient Jain idols, all made of an alloy of eight different metals, were stolen from the Nasiaji temple. Livid over the theft, the community members had agitated for the recovery of the icons and the arrest of the culprits. However, the police had failed to trace the culprits and the matter remained in a limbo.

Yesterday morning, when a few children were playing near the banks of Diggi, a pond in the vicinity of a loco shed of the Railways, they happened to stumble over the idols. Unmindful of their uncanny discovery, they carried the icons to their houses.

When the matter was brought to the notice of a colony resident, he informed a member of the Jain Samaj, on the hunch that the find could be of some significance. Around 50 members of the samaj reached the spot and, to their immense joy and surprise, realised that these were the same idols which had been stolen 20 years ago.

The four idols have been now kept for ‘Lok Darshan’. The community is scouring the area, hoping to find the remaining six idols also.

Homage to sadhvi

A Jain sadhvi, Nirbhay Vani, who was observing ‘santhara’ — a fast unto death — for the last 20 days, breathed her last today on the premises of an ancient Jain temple in Gohana.

According to a report, the 68-year-old sadhavi wanted to attain salvation. Thousands of people thronged the town to pay their last respects. Her body was taken in a specially prepared palanquin before the last ritual.

Santhara is a rare event in the Jain tradition in which a monk decides to observe fast to obtain moksha. The members of the Jain community from various states flock to the site for a ‘darshan’ of the monk. During the fast, Jain monks conduct various rituals.



Elusive Yasin finally nailed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
The police today arrested Yasin Mohammed, a notorious inter-state criminal of Aligarh, after a brief encounter in South Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh (Sarita Vihar area).

Yasin’s chase had led to the killing of two businessmen — a case of mistaken identity — in Connaught Place in 1997. He had been allegedly involved in more than 30 cases of heinous crime and was carrying a cash reward of Rs 50,000 on his head. In February this year, Yasin escaped from Aligarh jail along with 12 associates.

The Delhi Police had been on Yasin’s trail for years and the unfortunate Connaught Place encounter was an outcome of “incorrect intelligence input.” The encounter had generated much heat and public criticism and the then Delhi Police Commissioner, Nikhil Kumar, was shifted to the Home Ministry.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police, South District, Mr. Vivek Gogia, the special staff of the district was maintaining a vigil in the area following a tip-off that the suspect would be passing through Sarita Vihar. He was subsequently spotted on the Kalindi Road on a motorcycle. When he refused to heed the orders of the policemen who were also in a vehicle, they chased him for a short distance and then rammed the motorcycle. It was at this point that Yasin reportedly whipped out a revolver and fired three shots at the policemen who retaliated. Mercifully, none of the shots found their mark and no one was injured. In self-defence, the police team also retaliated. Yasin was finally overpowered and taken to Sarita Vihar police station for interrogation.

A Czech pistol and 19 live cartridges were seized from him. The police said that the suspect was being interrogated to ascertain the identities of his associates and his links with criminal militant groups. During interrogation, he disclosed that he had snatched the pistol from a victim whom he had kidnapped from Delhi. The arms licences and the ownership of the vehicle were being verified.

Yasin was involved in a number of murder cases in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Indore and Nagpur. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in a dacoity-cum-murder case in Indore. He had later escaped from the Aligarh jail, where he was lodged by the UP police in a trial case.



Power users to be compensated for inflated bills
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
Coming to the rescue of power consumers in the Capital who complain of receiving inflated electricity bills from private distribution companies, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has made it obligatory for the distribution companies to pay a compensation to the consumer in case of an inflated bill. “It has come to light that distribution companies repeatedly levied arrears in respect of bills for which payments had already been deposited, thereby causing harassment to consumers,” the DERC said in a statement.

The compensation would be to the tune of 10 per cent of the arrear amount with a ceiling of Rs 500 in the first instance. This would go up to 15 per cent with a ceiling of Rs 750, if the arrears are incorrectly levied the second time, it said. In case the distribution company fails to rectify the lapse and adds the arrears for the third time, the consumer would be free to approach the Commission for redressal by way of petition.

30 doctors against 16 posts in Noida district hospital!

A five-member UP Legislative Assembly Committee headed by Lok Dal MLA Verinder Singh was shocked to find 30 doctors working against 16 posts in District Hospital, Gautam Budh Nagar. This is when there is a shortage of doctors in Meerut, Bijnore and Muzzafarnagar government hospitals. The committee would recommend utilising the surplus doctors from Noida in these hospitals, Mr Verinder Singh said. OC



Clerk sentenced 11 years after he was caught red-handed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
Eleven years after a clerk in the Land Acquisition Collector’s office in the Capital was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 500 for releasing the amount due to a farmer whose land had been acquired, a Special Court today sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of one year.

Special Judge PK Bhasin also imposed a fine of Rs 4,500 on Sushil Kumar Sharma who was caught accepting the bribe from one Ram Niwas on February 5, 1992.

According to the CBI, the government had acquired 80 bighas of land belonging to Ram Niwas in village Biharipur in 1988. Thereafter, the government had paid Rs 8.59 lakh out of the total compensation assessed at Rs 10.13 lakh.

On February 4, 1992, the complainant visited the Land Acquisition Collector’s office in Tis Hazari for seeking the release of the balance remaining amount of Rs 1.54 lakh. Sharma, who was posted as an Upper Division Clerk, demanded Rs 500 for delivery of refund voucher.

Ram Niwas, who was asked to pay the amount the next day, lodged a complaint with the CBI on the same day and a trap was laid.

Court summons trio in case of molestation

A local court, acting on a complaint of molestation and assault lodged by a woman entrepreneur, Ms Neeraj Bala, has issued summons to three persons — Lekh Raj Jatana, Chander Shekhar Dharni and Vipin Bathla.

The complainant has alleged that on April 17 evening, when she was on her way to ward number 11 near Veer Bhavan Chowk, Jatana tried to outrage her modesty. The other two – Dharni and Bathla — even attacked her with knives, before escaping. However, Jatana was captured by the crowd..

Despite a medical examination, the police paid no heed to her complaint, Ms Bala has alleged. Incidentally, she had filed a criminal case against Jatana and certain other persons in March last year. She has alleged that Jatana had retaliated by getting a “false” case registered against her and four others. Both the cases are still pending in different courts. TNS



For once, the industry in Haryana is happy
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 24
The industry in Haryana has welcomed the State Government’s decision to settle the issue of rate of Change of Land Use (CLU) to its satisfaction.

The industrial clusters in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Panipat, Rewari, Sonepat, Panipat and Jhajhar districts are particularly happy; a large number of units, which have come up on agriculture land in these clusters, would stand to gain.

The Haryana Cabinet, in its meeting last Thursday, took the decision to reduce the rate of CLU from Rs 50/sq yd to Rs 10/sq yd, Rs 5/sq yd and Rs 2/sq yd, depending on the zone in which the unit is located. (The state is divided into `high’, `medium’ and `potential’ zones).

The cabinet also decided to reduce the “scrutiny” charges from Rs 10/sq yd to Rs 2/sq yd. The revised rates for CLU and scrutiny will be effective from June 1.The gazette notification of the details is expected shortly. For the record, those who had applied for CLU, will have to pay at the existing rate.

The industry had been given to understand that the revised rates would be revised ex-post facto, that is from April 1,2003. But the government’s move to go post facto hardly appears to have caused a ripple in the business circles. The reason is understandable. The new rates have stumped the industry as Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, at a public function, had committed himself to a reduction of 50 per cent.

Several industry-related organisations had been pursuing the issue with the government. It was contended that no industry could absorb such a high rate of conversion. Already reeling under the high rate of power tariff and erratic supply, the CLP rate had hit them hard. Many units had also moved the court against the government on the issue of CLP. The formal decision of the government comes at a time when the matter is sub judice.

It is now felt that the move will go a long way in giving a fillip to the pace of industrialisation in the state. The Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), which was in the vanguard of the struggle for reduction in CLU rate, has expressed satisfaction over the Cabinet’s decision. 



Laggards in CBSE class X results, boys will be boys
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
Piping the girls to the post by 0.50 percent last year, Delhi boys have taken a beating in this year’s class X results declared by the CBSE. Girls in the Capital have taken a lead of 3.90 percent over boys who have recorded a pass percentage of 55.67.

There is a decline of 1.22 per cent in the overall pass percentage — from last year’s 69.24 percent, it has come down to 68.02 per cent. The government schools, which had showed a perceptible improvement in the class XII results, have failed to deliver in class X. With an increase of just 2.97 percent, they have recorded a pass percentage of 48.87. The JNVs continue to lead with 96.59 percent followed by the Kendriya Vidyalayas with 88.63 percent.

The independent schools have recorded a negligible increase of 0.52 percent. The pass percentage of these schools stands at 86.85, as against last year’s 86.31 per cent. Patrachar and private candidates have taken a plunge, from 28.43 per cent last year to a dismal 26.94 percent; they are the lowest in all six zones.

Of the 112956 students who enrolled this year, 62606 have been placed under compartment and 33 were booked for using unfair means. The first chance compartment exam will be conducted on July 29. Candidates can apply for verification of marks within 25 days of the declaration of results.

Students today flocked to cyber cafes to access the websites for their results. However, jammed lines and heavy traffic made the task extremely cumbersome. With parents and friends in tow, students sat glued to computers and it was brisk business for cyber cafes. SMS and IVRS were also a let down.

Schools were beseeched with calls from students asking for results, which could not be accessed otherwise.



Row over Javer school’s prime land
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 24
Vested interests are allegedly trying to grab land worth crores of rupees belonging to a higher secondary school in Javer. Incidentally, the school has been functioning for the last 50 years and falls in the constituency of Chief Minister Mayawati and the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Minister of State for HRD Ashok Pradhan.

Besides, the Basic Education Officer of the district, Shailender Singh Verma, and other teachers of the school have been threatened with dire consequences, if they try to thwart the plans of the land grabbers. The registry has allegedly been prepared clandestinely.

The legal owner of the land happens to be the District Basic Education Officer.

Towards the west of the land is a student’s hostel. In 1997, Javer’s Dy DM had usurped and converted a part of the land into a tehsil office; the higher secondary school was pushed into the student’s hostel.

The Panchayat chief had, in August 1999, claimed the entire land under Khasra No. 3814 as the District Panchayat land. He had then transferred 2500 sq. mt land in the name of the patwari of village Dyanat Pur. The patwari has since then allegedly made many attempts to occupy the land. According to the local residents, even in revenue records the land is shown in the name of the school.

According to school principal, Dev Dutt Sharma, Accountant (patwari) Goel had tried to occupy the land during the recent holidays on May 15 and May 16. He had even created an opening in the school wall.

The principal has now requested the District Magistrate, through The DEO, to deploy police for protection of the school land during vacation. The DEO had personally apprised the DM of the situation on May 20.

Incidentally, Patwari Goel’s brother Tej Pal Goel and one Mahipal, a Congress activist, had reportedly warned the District Education Officer, Shailender Singh Verma, to mind his business. Verma has also apprised the Director, Basic Education, UP, Dinesh Chand Kanaujya, through a letter, repeating his request that police be deployed during vacation, so that the school premises are not occupied illegally.



Khanda to be developed as model village
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 24
In a bid to check the migration of people from rural areas, the Government of Haryana has decided to develop one model village in each block of the state. According to official sources, there are seven blocks - Sonepat, Ganaur, Rai, Kharkhauda, Gohana, Mundlana and Kathura - in this district and they will have one model village each and the Country and Town Planning Department will develop these village on a par with the cities and towns.

The government has selected the villages of Murthal, Khewra, Sandal Kalan, Khanda, Khanpur Kalan, Baroda, Purkhas and Kathura to be developed in this regard. In the initial stage, Khanda, the native village of Mr Padam Singh Dahiya, an INLD MLA, will be developed.

Khanda village will have a sector consisting of 678 plots, which will be developed by the government. This sector will have a shopping complex, a dispensary and a park. The Town and Country Planning Department has drawn up a scheme, which has been sent to the state government for its approval.

The state government has proposed to acquire five acres of land for developing the sector. The rate of the land will be Rs 500 per yard. After seeking the approval, the work on the development of the sector will be started within two months.

Each plot will range between 50 yards and 250 yards. There will be 109 plots of 50 yards, 239 of 100 yards, 150 of 150 yards, 62 of 200 yards and 118 of 250 yards. Residents of the village are happy at the scheme of development and hope that it would get a boost in the near future.



Delimitation: Haryana to have more Assembly segments
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 24
Under the new delimitation of the Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies, the population of the constituencies based on 2001 Census figures is to be taken into consideration.

As a result, the number of Assembly constituencies will go up in Haryana. On the basis of 1991 Census, six Assembly constituencies had been created in Sonepat district. But the number of these constituencies is likely to come to five though the population of the district has gone up to 12,78,830 from 10,45,148.

Similarly, in Faridabad district, three more Assembly constituencies are likely to be created and the district will have nine Assembly segments against the existing six. In Gurgaon, the number of constituencies will go up to seven from the existing six. Similarly, Hisar district will have seven Assembly constituencies against the six existing ones.

The Assembly constituencies in Sirsa district will remain unchanged at five Assembly segments. However, the districts of Bhiwani, Karnal and Jind will have five Assembly constituencies each against six at present. The districts of Kaithal and Fatehabad will have four Assembly constituencies each and these will remain unchanged.

Similarly, the number of constituencies in Yamunanagar, Panipat, Kurukshetra and Mahendragarh will be increased from three to four. Rewari will have four constituencies. The number of constituencies in Rohtak and Jhajjar will be decreased from five to four and Panchkula district will have two Assembly segments against the one at present.

There would not be any change in Ambala district, which has four constituencies at present. The number constituencies in Mahendragarh district will go up form three to four.



This grass has nothing to do with Congress
but it grows all over
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 24
The unchecked growth of allergy causing congress grass in the residential areas in both urban and rural areas in the district has been a cause of concern for many. Although the district administration has called for co-operation of the residents to check the menace, the efforts have not made the people volunteer.

“The grass, whose botanical name is `Perithinium Histrofors’, is scaling new heights this year as far its growth is concerned,” says Dr Vinod Kaul, head of a pathological laboratory chain here in Sector 14. He said though several people, who knew about its harmful effects, had talked about its presence, nobody had come forward to take the steps to remove it, at least in the residential pockets.

It is learnt that the weed could lead to several skin allergies, besides causing some respiratory disorders if touched and inhaled.

The parks in the sectors have become the favourite ground for this grass to take root, thanks to the poor upkeep. It poses a risk to the children and adults, who use the parks for playing or for a stroll.

The district authorities recently launched a drive to uproot and destroy the grass from rural areas. They held functions at two villages where the officials formally started the campaign. The grass was uprooted by the officials and employees of the public relations department here in the compound of their office. But the respective residents welfare associations and other voluntary organisations are still to wake up to the seriousness and start any broad-based programme.

This is when the authorities have announced to give incentives to panchayats, voluntary organisations and other bodies if they take steps to weed out the problem. The response has been poor. The authorities have stated that people should co-operate in the drive and provide their support and should not expect the government machinery to do the job alone.

Mr S. S. Chauhan, a resident of Kheri Pul area, said that it was the duty of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) to check the growth of the grass and engage its staff to clean up the public places. If the MCF employees started such a campaign on the main roads and in parks, the residents would clear their surroundings themselves, he said.


Vidrohi urges Chautala to mitigate water shortage in south Haryana
Our Correspondent

Rewari , May 24
Haryana Janata Dal (U) president Ved Prakash Vidrohi has written to Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala urging him to direct the authorities concerned to provide drinking water to the residents of Pali village and other villages of south Haryana, which are reeling under severe drinking water shortage.

He said that the Chief Minister’s repeated pronouncement regarding his government’s efforts to provide 70 litres of drinking water per head daily in the rural areas of the state were hollow. The ground reality in numerous villages of south Haryana portrayed a different picture. What to speak of the supply of 70 litres of potable water per head daily, the residents of these villages had been actually facing acute shortage of water for a long time, he said.

He said that Pali, which lies on the Rewari-Narnaul road, 18 km from here, was one such village. The 4,000-odd residents of Pali had been in the grip of drinking water shortage because of the apathy of the state government as well as the Public Health Department, he said.

When the level of the subsoil water receded to extreme depths, the tubewells of the Public Health’s Water Supply Scheme became inoperative about three years ago following which the authorities switched over to the village panchayat wells, which too had failed miserably to cope even with the minimum requirement of the residents. He said that authenticated reports said that the government had sanctioned a new tubewell for Pali but the work on digging it had been lying in abeyance for the last about ten months for reasons best known to the authorities concerned.

In view of the prevailing situation, Mr. Vidrohi has now made a written representation to the Chief Minister urging him to direct the authorities to provide immediate relief to the hapless residents of Pali as well as initiate measures in all such other villages of south Haryana where the tubewells of the water supply schemes had become inoperative due to the receding underground water level.

Workshop on road safety held

Officials and prominent citizens participated in a workshop on ‘Road Safety and Traffic Engineering’ organised by the district police administration under its Operation Speed Breaker programme at Dharuhera on Thursday.

Highlighting the objectives of the workshop, Mr Hanif Qureshi, SP, said that creating awareness among people about road safety and traffic rules as well as provision of better co-ordination among the agencies concerned was essential to minimise road accidents, which took a toll of 182 precious lives and causing injuries 400 others in the district during the past five months.

Mr L. S. M. Salins, Commissioner of Gurgaon Division, who was the chief guest, complimented the police administration for organising the workshop, which, he hoped, would provide the participants and others an understanding as to the ways to facilitate safe and smooth road traffic that alone could save life and property from accidents.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, who presided over the workshop, wanted the police to equip schoolchildren with cards containing information about important traffic rules. He also emphasised the need of constructing bridges for villages lying near the National Highway.

Mr S. P. S. Bakshi, General Manager, NHAI, Gurgaon, pleaded for making road traffic as simple as possible while Dr S. Gangopadhyay, senior scientist, CRRI, New Delhi, highlighted the importance of wearing safety belts, removing road encroachments and following traffic rules to ensure the road safety of motorists and others.

Beautify parks in town: NGO

The Rashtriya Navchetna, a local voluntary organisation, has urged the district administration to initiate steps for the appropriate maintenance and beautification of all four public parks of the town as well as restoration of the historical Bara Talab, which had been lying in a state of total neglect.

The demand was contained in a resolution adopted at the 60th convention of the organisation held here recently. Through another resolution, it sought relaxation in the stringent provisions of house tax for the residents of Rewari city and Bawal town as well as redressal of the drinking water and sewerage problems of the citizens.

Expressing grave concern at the acute drinking water problem being faced by hundreds of cattle-keepers, the convention also urged the administration to fill up the dry ponds with canal water in various villages of the district.

In his keynote address, Dr Vijay Somani, all-India convenor of the organisation, exhorted activists of the Rashtriya Navchetna to rise above the prevailing tendencies of casteism, nepotism and parochialism and put in united efforts to make the development–oriented programmes a success.

Major (Retd) Sukhdev Singh Yadav was elected the new state president of the organisation.



Cooperative management centre opens
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 24
Haryana has the distinction of providing the maximum amount of loans to the cooperative sector, Mr Kartar Singh Bhadana, Cooperation Minister of Haryana, said here on Friday.

He said that the cooperative societies in Haryana had done a good job during the past few years. He was speaking after inaugurating a cooperative management centre, which was constructed recently at a cost of nearly Rs 50 lakh.

Mr Bhadana said that the cooperative sugar mills in the state had been providing maximum price to the farmers for their produce. He said that 200 cooperative milk societies had been established to make women self-reliant in the state. He said two new cooperative sugar mills had been set up at Gohana in Sonepat and Panniwala Mota in Sirsa, while three new cooperative banks had been set up at Jhajjar, Gurgaon and Yamunanagar. Besides, a residential colony for the employees of the cooperative banks was under construction at Panchkula, which would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore, he added.

Bahadurgarh CCI president

Jhajjar: Mr Ashok Redhu has been retained as the president of Bahadurgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) for the second consecutive term.

Mr Subhash Arora, spokesman of the BCCI, informed that Mr Redhu was elected unopposed for next two years. He retained the earlier executive bodies. Other office-bearers are: Mr Sushil Goyal, senior vice-president, Anil Gupta, vice-president, J. S. Bhatt, secretary, Mohan Manocha, joint-secretary and Ajay Gupta as cashier.

Dharna against erratic power supply

A large number of residents including women sat on a dharna in front of the office of the Superintending Engineer (Operation) of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), Mr T. C. Gupta, here yesterday in protest against the erratic power supply in the villages.

According to a report, there was an altercation between the agitators and the officials of the nigam. When the situation started taking an ugly turn, the SE summoned the police.

The residents submitted a memorandum to the SE demanding immediate linking of the transformers with the urban feeders and the acceptance of other demands.

The SE is reported to have assured them that he would look into the case and sought time for linking the village transformers with the urban feeders. Thereupon, the villagers ended their dharna.

BSNL open house on June 29

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is holding its open house session on June 29 on the premises of the Mahfil Banquet Hall in the Model Town area for hearing the grievances of the subscribers. According to a report, the officials of the BSNL would get the suggestions from the subscribers for improving the services in the district.

Jain conference today

The Bharatiya Jain Milan and the Bharatiya Women Jail Milan are organising a one-day joint conference here tomorrow. According to a report, delegates from various states will take part in it. Mr Suresh Jain (Dehra Dun), president of the All India Jain Milan, will be the chief guest on the occasion. Mr Satpal Goel, president of the Sonepat Municipal Council, will inaugurate the conference.



Dharamshala opened in LNJP Hospital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor today inaugurated the 50-bed Kanshi Nath Gotewala Dharamshala inside Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital.

LNJP Hospital provided land for the two-storeyed Dharamshala. The Kanshi Nath Charitable Trust constructed the building.

Health Minister A. K. Walia said 30-odd per cent of the patients treated in the hospitals administered by the Government of NCT of Delhi came from neighbouring states.

“Since there is no proper arrangement for the stay of the attendants accompanying the patients, they have to spend nights in the corridors and parks of the hospitals,” he said.

The minister said a five-member committee including two members of the trust had been constituted for the proper management and maintenance of the dharamshala.

Traffic advisory for Chandni Chowk fest

The Delhi Traffic Police have made elaborate arrangements in view of the third Chandni Chowk Festival to be held on May 25.

The police said that the main cultural programme would be held opposite the Red Fort rampart while the other activities are supposed to be held on the Chandni Chowk main road from the Red Fort intersection to Fatehpuri Masjid.

The general public, who wish to attend the festival, are requested to approach the Red Fort intersection (Lal Quila Chowk) either through Delhi Gate–Subhash Marg or through Ring Road–Shanti Van Chowk–New Darya Ganj Road.

As a huge gathering is expected to attend the festival, the motorists are advised to avoid Subhash Marg and roads leading to Chandni Chowk from 6 pm onwards to avoid any inconvenience.

Drawback clearance month launched

The All India Drawback Clearance Month, hosted by the Delhi Exporters Association every year to clear pending drawback claims of all kinds of exporters throughout the country, was inaugurated by Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Custom (CBEC) M. K. Zutshi. A large number of exporters including the chairmen of the export promotion councils and exporters associations were present on the occasion.

A cool weekend for Delhiites?

Light rains for the third consecutive day gave the Capital a fairly cool evening today with temperature dipping to 31.1 degree Celsius after reaching around 38 degrees, four degrees below normal, earlier in the day.

The weather may continue to be soft on Delhiites during the next 48 hours, says the Met office, with more light rains and thundershowers expected.

Yesterday morning rains (five mm) and dust storm had brought down the maximum temperature to 34.5 degrees Celsius. The Capital was hit by a squall on Thursday too when the maximum temperature had fallen to 39.4 degrees Celsius from around 44 degrees, the season’s highest, a day earlier.

These rains and dust storms were caused by a circulation over northern Rajasthan areas adjoining Haryana and Pune. The circulatory system was still persisting over those areas and today’s development was part of that, the weather office said.

The minimum temperature today was 25.4 degree Celsius, which was two degrees less than the normal.



Of friendship, in these days of loneliness

THESE days, people are lonely and remain isolated despite the tremendous strides made in communication facilities. They are too busy and too preoccupied to think of forming lasting friendships. Some people build walls around themselves and complain of lack of friends.

As life becomes more and more complex and the pace of living is speeded up with the help of technology; friendship, like other institutions, may undergo change. This age of competitive materialism perhaps discount the possibility of lasting relationships.

But then as the saying goes, no man is an island. He is a part of the society and the environment and he cannot remain isolated. His health and wellbeing is bound by what happens in the society and the environment. Man has emotions and the emotional needs are met through relationships. If the joy of living consists in relationships, then it goes without saying that a part of this joy consists in friendship.

We all are in need of friends, someone to look up to in times of need, someone with whom we could unburden our souls and share our difficulties. Blessed are they who find such faithful friends. Since good and trusted friends are hard to come by, one must follow the advice of Shakespeare to grapple such friends to one’s soul with “hoops of steel”.

It needs efforts to keep up friendship; it needs to be renewed by kindness, sympathy and understanding.

We live in an imperfect world with imperfect persons. In the parable of the Prodigal son (Bible) we read that the rebellious son went to a far city taking his share of the father’s property to live lavishly as he liked. While he had the wealth, a lot of friends were with him. But when he spent all his substance in riotous living, he found himself friendless. That is the way of the world. Many will court you while you have much to give; when you need to receive, the number of your friends will be diminished, but their quality will be improved. “Your misfortune, like the blast of wind upon the thrashed corn, will drive the chaff away but the wheat will remain where it was. How very sweet sometimes is the human friendship that remains when sore adversity has sifted it!” wrote Rev Arnot.

If we examine people with a microscope, it is quite likely that we may not come across anyone whom we can count upon as a friend. We must make do with what we have. “The only way to have a friend is to be one” is a maxim popularised by R. W. Emerson and it still holds good for today. We must be willing to go more than half the way to seek the hand of friendship.

Jeremy Taylor (1613-67), English Bishop, has defined friendship as the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable of. If such is the expectation of this relationship, and if we expect friends to be similarly disposed, then we need to take the initiative in exhibiting these features in our relationship.

To win such friends is a matter of enlightened self-interest. Loneliness in this complex world offers challenges, which are faced better, if possible, with friends at hand to offer us guidance and wise counsel.

In younger days, there occurs to all a temptation to be socially popular, until fickle human relationships so formed teach us a lesson or two. It is human to “use” persons to gain things (and advantages) whereas the ideal is to “use” things to gain persons. Social popularity has not much to commend about it. The same crowds which shouted “Hosannah to the King of Kings” (hail Jesus) later demanded His very blood shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!!” Crowds have the same fickleness today. And those who base their happiness on the opinions of others will find themselves swayed hither and thither. Here is a warning to those who seek mere popularity without counting the cost: “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” so reads Proverbs 18:24 (Bible).

If you read some of the great biographies, you can find examples of persons who stuck closer than a brother in life’s storms and sorrows. Blessed are those who have learnt to stick to one another in adversity as well as in prosperity.

An old wit has this to say on friendship: As old wood is best to burn, old horse to ride, old books to read, and old wine to drink, so are old friends, always most trusty to use. The Bible too suggests that old friends are better; so do not forsake your friend or your father’s friend.

You may have been too hurried in life to think of the utility of having trusted friends. Perhaps you are a loner. Many life situations render people lonely. A certain amount of grief and loneliness in this life will be felt by all from time to time. The loss of a dear one, failure in career, break-up of a relationship, unexpected turns and changes, sickness, accidents, loss in business, divorce — one can go on listing many such events, which bring sorrow and pain. Some of them might put us on the road to depression and ruin. What can be more useful to us on such occasions than a trusted friend with whom we could share our feelings! To unburden the heart filled to the brim and to breaking point!

Psychiatrists and religious texts speak of the need for everyone to have a friend, guide or mentor in whom he or she could confide his or her deepest secrets and effect an emotional catharsis. When sorrows are shared, they are halved; likewise joys are doubled when shared. And above all it is psychologically healthy to have someone to whom we are accountable — a person who could warn us when we stray from the path of righteousness and holiness. If you have not found a friend so far, seek one. That is needed for your emotional health.

And when you have found a true friend or friends, praise and thank God for the gift; for the comfort of knowing that we can trust them; for the joy of sharing our time, our work, amusements, sports, hobbies and for everything we do with them. May He teach us to be true friends to others, and guard us from letting them down or doing them harm in anyway.

— M. P. K. Kutty



Gangster’s murder: Three nabbed, but
DGP is evasive
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 24
The Director General of Police, Haryana, Mr Mahender Singh Malik, has claimed that the assailants who shot dead dreaded criminal Anoop Singh in broad daylight in the district court complex here on Friday would be behind the bars “within 24 hours”.

Addressing mediapersons at the IG’s office here last evening, the DGP claimed that the police had got certain vital clues and the investigation was going in the right direction. Meanwhile, one of the assailants, Gola, was remanded to police custody till May 28 by a local court today.

Anoop Singh, an undertrial lodged in the Sonepat jail, was brought here by a police party to produce him in a court. He was allegedly the kingpin of a gang involved in several cases of robbery, dacoity and murder in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The accomplices of Krishan Dichau, a rival gangster, allegedly fired several rounds at Anoop of Mitrau village (near Delhi) in the court complex. Anoop died while being taken to the PGIMS. Four cops had also sustained bullet injuries. One of the assailants, Mukesh, was overpowered by the police in the court complex while two others — Kaptan and Gola — were nabbed from near Shiela bypass.

Though the journalists had collected these pieces of information from different sources, including the local police, the DGP refused to confirm officially any of these. The scribes, who had to wait for nearly two hours for the press conference, felt bad when the DGP evaded answering almost all their questions on one pretext or the other.

In the beginning of the press conference, the DGP refused to say whether it was a gang war or not while the local police had already established with the help of those arrested that it was a well-planned attack by the rival Dichau gang. When the scribes stressed that it should be seen as a gang war, the DGP got irritated and asked them to report whatever they like. Later, the DGP refused to announce the names of those arrested without assigning any reason. He also avoided the question as to whether the weapons used in the crime had been recovered or not.

When asked to comment on the factors responsible for the rise in such crimes, Mr Malik argued that anti-social elements could carry out their evil designs anywhere. He said even a former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was shot dead despite top security arrangements.

When asked whether the leaders of both the rival gangs had been regulating their nefarious activities from their respective jails, Mr Malik said he had no such information. On the other hand, it is reliably learnt that both the gangsters had been carrying out their activities from the jails.



Body of youth found. Friends did it?
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 24
The police found the body of a youth, who was allegedly killed by his friends, from a jungle near Kallukhera under the Dankaur police station today 22 days after the crime. The murder is said to be committed out of revenge.

Satish had left his house to attend a marriage on April 29 and had not returned home since then. His relatives lodged a missing report in the Dankaur police station the next day when they failed to find him.

On May 11, Satish didn’t turn up to attend his own sister’s marriage, raising suspicion that something had happened to him. On May 14, when Satish’s father, Iserat, went to Ghaziabad to see off his daughter, some relatives told him that they had seen Satish going along with Hemraj, Dushyant and Vijayender of the same village towards a jungle on April 29 evening.

Getting this news, Iserat immediately informed the Dankaur police. The police registered a case and started looking for the accused.

Meanwhile, Satish’s skeleton and clothes were recovered by the police from the jungle. Hemraj and Vijayender were taken into custody while the other accused, Dushyant, has absconded.

The arrested duo confessed that they had taken Satish to the jungle on the pretext of attending the nature’s call, where they had strangled him with a cord. His body was stripped and hidden in the bushes in the jungle.

Satish and his family members had been suspected of being involved in the murder of Hemraj’s brother, Bhagirath, a month ago. Satish and Bhagirath were friends.



Inter-state car thieves held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
With the arrest of three inter-state criminals, the Central district police today claimed to have busted a dreaded gang, involved in a number of car robberies and murders. The police also claimed to have seized at least 100 SIM cards, keys and mobile phones from their possession. The Delhi Police had recently announced rewards for their arrests.

The gang leader, Deepak alias Rahul, a resident of Ghaziabad, his two associates Jayant alias Ajeet alias Amit, a resident of Ghaziabad, and Sunder alias Sanjay, a resident of Bulandshahr, all in their early twenties, were arrested when they were travelling in a stolen Maruti car.

The accused were involved in at least 45 cases of murder, robbery and car thefts in different parts of Delhi and more than 150 cases in Uttar Pradesh. They were actively involved in car thefts in Delhi and disposed of the vehicles mostly in Siliguri, Guwahati and Nepal. They had at least 25 dealers, whom they sold over 100 cars in the north-eastern region.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Arvind Deep said that a team, headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Karol Bagh), Ms Meenu Chowdhury, had information about the criminals’ movements, who were ultimately nabbed.

The accused on a number of occasions had hired taxis and killed the taxi drivers. Later, they disposed of the vehicles. The gang members always came to Delhi in the evening and after studying the topography of the area, they used to steal the vehicles.

The main accused, Deepak, was arrested by the UP Police and was lodged in Bulandshahr jail. But he escaped from the jail by getting a stamp imprinted on his hand from a visitor. Deepak told the police that they had 32 members in their gang out of which only seven are active in Delhi and UP, at present. The gang had stolen vehicles in Delhi areas, like Filimistan, Sadar Bazar, Baraf Khana, Idgah and Subzi Mandi.

Probe into police lapse

The Commissioner of Police, Delhi, Mr R.S. Gupta, has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the road rage case of Rajender Singh Josh, who was crushed to death by a truck driver on Thursday. His son alleged that the police did not take action immediately when he called the police control room.

The Commissioner of Police asked the Joint Commissioner of Vigilance, Mrs Kanwaljeet Deol, to submit the inquiry report within 48 hours and take strict action if any policemen are found guilty. He has also asked the senior police officers to take immediate action if any distress call is received.



Move to lease out veg markets unlawful: Mandi board staff
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 24
The Haryana Mandi Board Employees Association has condemned the state government’s decision to lease out fruit and vegetable markets to private parties on contractual basis. The step would not only be unlawful, it would also be against the farmers’ interest, said the association.

In a statement issued here today, the general secretary of the association, Mr Sadhu Ram Bandhu, pointed out that under the Punjab Agriculture Marketing Produce Act, 1961, also applicable in Haryana, no authority is empowered to lease out the markets to any private parties on contractual basis.

Quoting the preamble, the association said the Act was framed to consolidate and regulate the trade for which the market regulating authorities could charge a fee sufficient to meet the recurring expenses and those related to the establishment of the markets only.

Referring to the government’s contention that the fruit and vegetable markets were being leased out due to the huge evasion of market fee, the association said it was not sustainable in the eyes of the law. The general secretary also said if there was any evasion of market fees, suitable action should be taken against the defaulters. Even if the present provisions of taking punitive measures were insufficient in the rules of the Act, then these should be amended so as to prevent the evasion of market fees, he said.


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