Tuesday, May 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


After ‘Maruti’, it is notorious ‘Gypsy’
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 26
The Ghaziabad police have finally turned the heat on dreaded criminals. They have even managed to kill some of them in encounters in the last few days.
Today, at about 2 am, the Vijay Nagar police killed another notorious criminal, Naresh alias ‘Gypsy’, in an encounter. He was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head and was wanted in 65 heinous crimes in various police stations.

SSP Chander Prakash said here today that Gypsy had demanded Rs one crore as extortion money from two persons — a city councillor, Mr Om Ahuja, and the Director of Yashoda Hospital, Mr P. N. Arora. They had informed the Sihani Gate and Kotwali police stations, respectively, of this threat.

Last night, Gypsy asked Mr Arora to come to a place under the Vijay Nagar police station with the money and leave the bag near an electric pole to which a cloth would be tied. Circle Officer K. K. Gautam, SP City Ganeshwar Tiwari and SO of Vijay Nagar S. K. D. Pratap reached the assigned spot near Leela Watti School with their men.

The SSP said that at 2 am two men approached an electric pole and tied a cloth around it. A little later, Mr Arora reached there in his Santro car (UP 14-S-3290) and placed the briefcase containing Rs 5.19 lakh in cash by the side of the pole and left.

The two youths returned to the spot. One of them picked up the briefcase, checked the contents and was about to leave when the Circle Officer asked him to surrender. At this, they started firing at the police and tried to escape. In the police firing, one criminal was wounded while the other made good his escape. The wounded criminal, who was rushed to a hospital, succumbed to his injuries later.

The SSP said that the slain criminal was later identified as Naresh alias Gypsy of Dehra Dun. An Italian revolver, Rs 5.19 lakh in cash and a motorbike were seized from the spot. Gypsy had been a terror in Uttaranchal and western UP and was wanted for 65 heinous crimes, he said. 



Two girls rescued from Apollo Circus, another missing
Allegations of sexual exploitation against organisers
Our Correspondent

Meerut, May 26
The police raided the Apollo Circus camp on Sunday and rescued two minor girl acrobats following complaints about their sexual exploitation by the organisers. Another girl, Urmila, was allegedly kidnapped and removed to a ‘safer place’ by the organisers before the police arrived.

One of the owners of the circus, Ahsan, was arrested and booked under Section 364 of the IPC for kidnapping the girl. He was remanded in police custody today.

The sexual exploitation came to light after Urmila leaked the news to local journalists who informed the police. The police had already got some direction from the National Human Rights Commission in this regard.

The SSP, Mr Mukul Goel, constituted a team. Some cops, including women officers, posed as visiting journalists from Delhi and approached the management of the circus. Finally, two girls, who happen to be sisters, were rescued. However, the organisers had got wind of the police operation and removed Urmila to a ‘safer place’.

The rescued girls told the police that they were being sexually exploited by the organisers. They were severely beaten up, if they resisted such attempts.

Today, the inspector in charge of the woman police station, Ms Madhu Malti, summoned Ahsan and arrested him under Section 364 of the IPC for kidnapping Urmila. Urmila had told journalists that her owner used to forcibly take her inside his tent and assault her sexually. This was allegedly a daily ritual.

A section of the circus has been shifted to Muzaffarnagar as the Nauchandi Mela has come to an end. The police have stalled the shifting of the remaining sections till the investigation is complete.

In a telephonic conversation with the NCR Tribune, SSP of Muzaffarnagar Bhajni

Ram Mina said that he was looking into the matter and the circus would be closed down if the allegations of sexual harassment proved correct.

The rescued girls have been sent to the Nari Niketan under police protection, where they will stay till they are restored to their parents.



Two main accused in DDA scam granted bail
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
A judge of the Delhi High Court today granted bail to two key accused in the DDA land scam — Commissioner (Land Disposal) Anand Mohan Sharan and Director (Land) Jagdish Chander — after the CBI said that a challan in the case was not likely to be filed within the required 60 days.

The bail application of prime accused and DDA vice-chairman Subhash Sharma is expected to come up tomorrow. Earlier, as many as three judges had refused to hear bail pleas of the accused.

Justice S K Agarwal granted bail to Sharan and Chander — who had spent 58 and 50 days, respectively, in police and judicial custody — with the CBI accepting that there would be no change in situation in the next ten days, after which the accused were anyway entitled to bail. Sharan was asked to produce a personal bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of like amount for securing bail; and Chander a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of like amount. The CBI, which had initially opposed the bail applications, said it had no objections to the court granting the accused bail on certain conditions, to which the court agreed.

The judge said the bail was contingent on the accused not trying to influence the witnesses or tampering with the evidence in the case, surrendering their passport, if any, to the court and cooperating in the investigations whenever required.

Former Delhi High Court judge Shamit Mukherjee, another key accused in the case, has already obtained interim bail. Mr Mukherjee, the first former judge ever to be arrested, was charged by the CBI with corruption, bribery and sleaze.

The CBI has filed four cases since March 26 relating to corruption in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The has charged Justice Mukherjee, the suspended DDA Commissioner (Land) Anand Mohan Sharan, DDA Commissioner (Planning) Vijay Risbud, DDA Director (Planning) Jagdish Chandra, the suspended private secretary to Vice-Chairman Ashok Kapoor, an employee of DLF Universal Ltd Ajay Khanna, Pradeep Kapoor, Anil Wadhwa, Ved Prakash Kaushik, S Minocha of APY Hoteliers and Developers, property dealers G R Gogoi and Ravinder Taneja and Director of Modern School Education Society (Shalimar Bagh) Amrit Lal Kapoor. The names of Sharma and the alleged middleman Khattar figure in all the four cases.



Tension over usurping of graveyard land
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 26
Tension has gripped Tharia village of this district following the forcible occupation of eight bighas of graveyard land and dismantling of 2,000 graves allegedly by an influential farmer of the village.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, a group of residents have pointed out that the population of the village had reached 1,600 and most of them belonged to a particular community.

The village itself was 300 years old. After Partition, Punjabi families had settled here. They were allotted evacuee agricultural land in lieu of what they held in Pakistan. Some families had sold their land to residents of a nearby village. One of them is Mr Puran of Kami village, son of Mr Hari Chand. He had purchased 400 bighas in Tharia village.

The memorandum says that Mr Puran had been encroaching on the graveyard in a systematic manner. A few days ago, tractor-trolleys were used to dismantle about 2,000 graves; with that, eight bighas were usurped. This had been resented by the residents, who had asked him to vacate the land.

Eventually, the residents thronged the Deputy Commissioner’s office and sat on a dharna. The Deputy Commissioner is reported to have assured them that he would look into the case and take action against the person who had forcibly occupied the graveyard land.



Border dispute resurfaces with onset of sowing

Sonepat, May 26
With the onset of the sowing season, the dispute over the tract of land along the Yamuna belt on the Haryana-Uttar Pradesh border has surfaced once again. This time the dispute erupted between a farmer of Barauli village and his counterparts of Ninana village in Baghpat district of UP.

According to a report, when Mr Rattan Singh, a farmer of Barauli village, was engaged in sowing sugarcane in the land along the Yamuna belt, over 20 armed youths from Ninana village converged at the spot and threatened to kill him if he continued with the sowing operations.

Mr Rattan Singh managed to flee. He reached Sonepat and met the Deputy Superintendent of Police and other officials and narrated the incident. Thereupon, the DSP and other police officials accompanied him to the village. On seeing the police, the armed youths fled, taking the sugarcane seeds with them.

Thereafter, Mr Rattan Singh sowed jowar in the land in the presence of the police force. This caused panic among the residents of Ninana village of UP. However, the incident has created a problem for the residents of other villages like Jajal, Palri, Jhundpur, Dahesra, Bhera Baqipur, Manoli Tonki and Khurampur, which are situated on the Yamuna embankment, as they cannot go ahead with the sowing operations.

This problem arises every year at the time of sowing and reaping of crops. On many occasions, there had been clashes between the farmers of both the states.

On March 28, a meeting between the SDMs of Sonepat and Baghpat was held at the PWD rest house, Rai, and it was decided that the farmers on Haryana side would reap the standing crops of wheat in the disputed land. Ms Seema Devi, sarpanch of Jajal village, had also met the Collector of Baghpat (UP) and urged him to solve the problem on a permanent basis by implementing the Dixit Award. OC



This is no blind man’s bluff in a hair salon
Tribune News Service

Ramzan, who operates in Rohini, now wants to see his name
Ramzan, who operates in Rohini, now wants to see his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

New Delhi, May 26
Not many people would fancy getting their tresses chopped by a blindfolded hairdresser. But when the hairdresser in question is Ramzan Ali, who has cut hair for a marathon 150 hours, you have every reason to sit in the couch before him.

Ramzan is now seeking to create a world record: He wants to cut hair continuously for 150 hours, that too blindfolded. Ramzan has found a patron in Ayur Herbal, who in collaboration with Itely Fashion, Italy, has decided to support the hair razing exercise.

Way back in 1988, Ramzan carved a niche in the Limca Book of Records by beating noted hair stylist, Habib. He broke Habib’s record of cutting hair for 25 hours and 45 minutes with his remarkable 36 hours of non-stop snipping.

Then, he cut hair continuously for 100 hours and, subsequently, for 105 hours. Not content with the record, Ramzan, who operates in Rohini, now wants to see his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Ramzan, who began flirting with the scissors as a teenager at 15, learnt the nuances of the trade after completing two subsequent courses in hair cutting from Mumbai. His saloon in Rohini has become a big draw with curious onlookers turning up for a dekko at the master cutter.

Ramzan’s feat also has a humane side to it. The act of cutting hair blindfolded is being studied minutely, to understand how a technique can be developed to aid visually challenged people, so that they can take up the profession.

The inspiration behind the attempt stems from the desire to open an institute for the blind to teach them the art if hair cutting, which in turn will help them earn their living without being dependant on others.

For Ramzan, the desire and the will to succeed are the recipe for success and his resolute confidence and immaculate work are enough to steady a palpitating heart.



Noida water table plumbs to new depths
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 26
The industrial town of Noida is sandwiched between the Yamuna and the Hindon rivers. Yet water is scarce in this concrete jungle.
The spurt in construction activity — virtually reducing the city to a maze of building blocks, commercial plazas and industrial complexes — has drained the city of its meagre water resources. The underground water table has depleted from a depth of 25 feet in various sectors, especially in Sectors 15-A and 16-A, to 40 feet. The conditions in other sectors, which are at some distance from the riverbed, is even more alarming, say the experts.

According to officials of the Water Works Department, water conservation and harvesting are the only viable alternatives, if Noida is to be saved from a serious water crisis.

The underground water table in Noida is constantly receding. Near Mullaur village, the Water Works Department recently attempted to sink a tubewell, but even after boring at 20 different places they failed to hit water.

Water can be pumped out only by boring up to a depth of 200 feet. But when water is drawn from such depths, the underground reservoir does not get replenished. This is perceived to be a grim development by some Water Works Department engineers, who do not wish to be identified.



Shootout in court complex: DGP’s claim belied

Rohtak: The district police have so far failed to track down the rest of the assailants who shot dead a dreaded criminal, Anoop Singh, in the district court complex on May 23.

The police had nabbed three assailants from different places within a few minutes of the incident while at least four others had managed to escape.

The Director General of Police, Mr Mahender Singh Malik, had claimed during a hurriedly convened press conference that the police had got certain vital clues regarding the criminals and all of them would be arrested within 24 hours. However, the police had not been able to trace the whereabouts of the culprits even after the expiry of 72 hours.

Several attempts to contact the SSP, Mr Alok Rai, proved futile. Other police officials refused to comment in this connection.

Meanwhile, Mukesh, who was overpowered by the police just after the shootout in the court complex, was sent in judicial remand for five days by a local court today. OC



Over 5 lakh bogus voters enrolled: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
The Bharatiya Janata Party today came down heavily on the Congress for enrolling more than five lakh bogus voters, most of them illegal Bangladeshi migrants, in the Capital to influence the ensuing Assembly polls in November this year.

Addressing a press conference at the Delhi BJP headquarters here, party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra told reporters that the party would soon approach the Election Commission to cancel their enrolment, as it would influence the results of the Assembly elections in favour of the ruling party in the Capital.

He said a BJP delegation would hand over a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner J. M. Lyngdoh highlighting the party’s concern over the matter and seeking its immediate intervention. Mr Malhotra pointed out the bungling in voters’ list in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to show how the Congress was systematically trying to create a situation in its favour by tampering with the electoral rolls.

Claiming that Delhi Election Minister Deep Chand Bandhu had enrolled 54 voters in his house, of which 16 votes were cancelled after verification, he demanded that action be taken by the Election Commission against the officers who played into the hands of the state government. He urged the Election Commission to ask the state election department to reject bulk applications received for enrolment as voters.

State unit president Madan Lal Khurana, who was also present at the press conference, went a step ahead by asking the Election Commission to allow only voters with the EC identity cards to cast votes in the election as he apprehended a large-scale bungling during the voting.

He said that of the five lakh bogus voters, more than 3.5 lakh were illegal Bangladeshis, who have been settled in Delhi by the Congress keeping the elections in mind. Though the Congress had tried to enrol more than 10 lakh bogus voters, 6.5 lakh applications were rejected during scrutiny.



Power supply: MCD leader flays move to 
‘siphon off’ public funds
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
Leader of Opposition in the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Mr Vijender Gupta condemned the act of recommending to the Delhi Electric Regulatory Commission (DERC) the payment of Rs 3,600 crore to DISCOMS as loan assistance for the year 2002-2003.

Describing it as a conspiracy, Vijender said that at the time of signing an MoU for the privatisation of distribution of electricity, it was agreed that Rs 2,624 crore would be given as loan assistance for 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.

In a letter to the Chairman of the DERC, he demanded a detailed probe in the matter and opposed any move to increase the electricity tariff in the Capital.

When the privatisation of power supply was discussed, it was decided to provide a loan of Rs 3,450 crore from the year 2002-2003 to 2006-207. The Delhi Government has now recommended to give Rs 3,600 crore to the DISCOMS which is unjustified and unconstitutional.

He alleged that it was a scandal to pump out public funds in the coffer of the private firm.

Vijender said that with this payment, the budget provision of the Delhi Government would be in jeopardy. It would be recouped by imposing additional tax burden on the citizens or curtailing essential services.

He deplored the fact that in the coming three years, no money would be left whatsoever for loan assistance.

The modus operandi adopted by the DISCOMS for getting the loan assistance was to show higher AT and C losses.

Moreover, higher expenditure on the non-productive heads has also been claimed.

The power supply was privatised as the government system failed to meet the demand in the Capital. However, there is hardly any improvement in the supply. Delhiites still live without power, Vijender Gupta said.



Illegal use of motors to tap water from mains
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 26
With the summer on, residents of most of the localities in the town including the HUDA sectors are faced with the problem of low pressure in taps supplying drinking water.

The reason attributed by both the residents and authorities for this is that a large number of residents have illegally attached electric motors directly with the main water supply pipelines to pump water to the overhead tanks and also to ensure full pressure in the supply to different floors.

According to dealers who sell electric motors, around 500 single-phase motors are being sold every year. In most of the cases, these are installed directly on the main water pipelines.

Following several complaints against this unauthorised installation of electric motors, the District Magistrate had ordered the imposition of a fine of Rs 1,200 in each case. The order gives time to the owner to remove the motor with a month. If it is not removed, the order directs the authorities to confiscate the motor and impose heavy penalties.

Despite these orders, several residents continue to use electric motors. The HUDA authorities in their sectors and public health authorities in other residential areas have conducted surveys, which reveal that more than 15,000 single-phase electric motors have been installed in the town.

A number of residents, who do not get water in the taps in their houses resent the state of affairs. The problem is not new but has been continuing for the last two decades and the authorities have failed to curb the menace, which has been increasing year by year.

Both the local public health authorities and the government are blamed for the continuing problem. A number of residents in Sector 14 of West Ram Nagar pointed out that there was a huge difference between the quantity of supply and demand. They said that during other seasons too, water supplies did not reach the houses at the tail end of the main pipelines.

A senior citizen of the Mission road, Mr R. Goyal, said that the government and the administration had failed to meet the water requirements on accordance with the growth of population and the increase in demand. “Either the government should increase the supply or get all authorised electric motors removed at one go to solve this problem to some extent,” he said.



One man’s crusade to shatter 
myths about Shanidev
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
All gods are not favourites of all people, especially among the pantheon of Hindu gods. Even as myths surround each of them, misconceptions regarding one particular god, Shanidev, are too projected.

A person who has vowed to dispel these myths about Shanidev, His Holiness Shanicharananuragi Pandit Madan Lal Rajasthani, has thought up one sure way to achieve that. By installing the idol of the partial incarnation of Lord Shiva, Shanidev, at Shanidham, located on Chattarpur Road, Asola, Fatehpur Beri here on this coming Saturday. This is when there are serious misgivings about even sculpting the idol of Shanidev.

The idol will be inaugurated by His Holiness Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Madhavashram of Badrinath Jyotirmath. Sri Shankaracharya himself is considered the incarnation and representative of Lord Shiva.

This Saturday is unique in the sense that the birthday of Lord Shani, Shaniamavasya, and the solar eclipse are occurring on the same day. Such powerful and auspicious combination occurs once in hundreds of years. Worshipping Shanidev on such a day equals the performance of thousands of yagnas and is sure to rid a person of all Shani related afflictions.

The programme is the brainchild of Pandit Madan Lal Rajasthani who is leading a mass awakening movement about Shanidev. Pandit Rajasthani was born in Pali district of Rajasthan. At the age of seven, he left his house in search of the divine. His Holiness learned mystical sciences and astrology from Her Holiness Mother Rukmini Devi, His Grace Deoraha Baba and Karpatriji Maharaj. He attained self-realisation under Swami Sivanand Ji Maharaj. Since then he has devoted his life to serve the suffering humanity and enlighten them.

He runs a number of social service projects, the latest being the establishment of a goshala replete with fodder and water facilities for 4,000 cows in famine-affected Pali. He has written a number of books on astrology and Shanidev, ‘Shanisamagradarshan’ being the most important one.

He says that a lot of misconceptions are prevailing in the minds of people regarding Shanidev. Astrologers and pandits have portrayed Shanidev as a heartless, cruel, angry and inauspicious demigod. People dread to keep Shanidev’s photo in the house and sculptors avoid sculpting His idol.

Only when afflicted by Shani Saddesatti (seven years, six months), Dhaiya (two years, six months), Mahadasha and Antardasha do people remember him. However, all notions regarding Shanidev’s cruelty are a myth, Pandit Madan Lal Rajasthani says. “Shanidev is not inauspicious but auspicious, a giver of joy and not sorrow, not cruel but kind hearted, a giver of peace, prosperity and moksha. Shani awards justice and releases His devotees from all fear,” according to a statement from the organisers of the event.

Shanidev is the partial incarnation of Lord Shiva. Among all the planets, Shani is the most powerful and has a special place. In the planetary court, he is the appointed judge who imparts justice to the living entities as per their karmas.

Like Lord Shiva, Shanidev is very merciful and is pleased easily if a person worships him with sincere devotion. Any household, which keeps Shanidev’s photo and worships it will be blessed with peace, prosperity, justice, righteousness, love and happiness. All discord will vanish from that household, the statement says.



DDA opens Wazirabad flyover 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
Much to the relief of the residents commuting from Wazirabad, the flyover at the intersection of Wazirabad road number 66 was opened by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) today.

The flyover has been constructed at an extremely busy intersection in Trans Yamuna Area, having traffic intensity Equivalent to over 14,000 passenger car units per hour.

This flyover, constructed by DDA, is the sixth one to be Opened in the area. So far, the five flyovers which have been completed and thrown open to the public are at Sarita Vihar, Nelson Mandela Marg, Jail Road, Wazirpur Depot and Vikas Marg.

Another flyover at Noida Mor is likely to be completed within the next few months, an official press release said today.

During the course of construction, several problems like widening of the existing bridge, relocation of intervening high-tension line and sewerage and water mains, non-availability of open space for setting up casting yard, were faced.

The flyover will provide relief to traffic from Wazirabad to Ghaziabad, Loni etc which constitutes nearly 70 per cent of the total traffic. Smooth flow of traffic would also be ensured from Seelam Pur to Loni and Wazirabad to Seelampur.

The flyover is 740 metre long and has of 21.50 metre width with 6 lanes. Three lanes on each carriageway are nine metre wide. Cost of the project, inclusive of widening of bridge, is 11 crore. Latest technique of piling with hydraulic rig machine and precast pre-tensioned beams, was used during the construction process. The DDA had engaged RITES, a Government of India Undertaking for planning and designing of the flyover.



DPCC gives itself full marks; readies for polls 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
Criticising the BJP for its ‘anti-poor measures’ and ‘failure to fulfil promises’, the Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, today pointed out that her government, despite having limited powers, has received adulation from both within and outside the country.

With the Assembly elections high on the agenda, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has begun its preparations. In today’s convention, organised to set the ball rolling for the elections, it was pointed out that the Congress government has discharged its political duties effectively.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Subhash Chopra exhorted the Congress workers to gear up for the elections scheduled to be held later this year. He said the BJP is in for a severe drubbing.

Mrs Dikshit recalled that the BJP leaders, who had promised to take up the statehood issue, had failed to fulfil the promise and added that despite limited powers, her government has been able to make the city clean and green.

The MCD Chairman, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, said that the corporation would welcome the Congress workers for getting the problems of the people solved. He added that owing to the quality work put in by the Congress workers, the party would come to power at the MCD.



Rewari salutes Kargil martyr
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 26
Several thousand war widows, ex-servicemen and other residents of the Rewari region participated in the Shaheed Samman Samaroh organised to mark the fourth death anniversary of Deputy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav of the 171Bn of BSF, the first martyr of Kargil war of 1999, at Dhamlawas village, seven km from here today.

Haryana Governor Babu Pamanand was the chief guest of the samaroh.

Describing the sacrifice of life in the defence of motherland as something supreme, the governor paid homage to Deputy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav who had sacrificed his life while defending the frontiers of the country in Kargil on May 26, 1999.

He said that he was a great martyr of Ahirwal who earned a name for his village Dhamlawas, state of Haryana and the country while serving his motherland.

The governor also paid tribute to Capt. (retd) Raghbir Singh and Mrs Chandravati, parents of Deputy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav, for giving birth to a brave soldier who lived and died for the country.

Dr Sudha Yadav, MP, wife of the deceased (Deputy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav) was also present on the dais.

Describing the Kargil region as one of the most difficult terrains of the country, the governor said that being a native of Jammu and Kashmir, he himself was familiar with the extremely difficult living conditions prevailing in the Kargil region where our brave jawans had been facing heavy odds .

He said it was a matter of pride that the soldiers and the people of Ahirwal, comprising Rewari and Mahendergarh districts played a significant role in the national freedom movement. The jawans also showed their bravery in the Indo-China, Indo-Pak and Kargil wars.

He said that he had been told that the Rewari district alone had 24,290 sainiks in the defence services and 36,972 ex-servicemen which showed that Ahirwal’s contribution in the armed forces of the country was superb.

Making a special mention of the water problem being faced by the residents of Ahirwal, the governor said that despite their efforts, they had not been able to solve it.

He assured the people that although the Punjab government had been detrimental to the smooth and expeditious completion of the SYL canal, he was confident that with the help of the apex court verdict, “my government’s well-intentioned efforts would ensure the flow of SYL canal water into Haryana within the remaining period of my tenure”.

Referring to the cross-border terrorism, posing a threat to the country, the governor expressed confidence that victory would ultimately be ours as our leaders were sincere in their efforts.

As many as 32 war widows and other dependents of the jawans and officers, who laid down their lives in wars as well as anti- insurgency operations during the past four years from 1999 to 2002, were also honoured on the occasion by the governor.

Earlier, the governor inaugurated the Shaheed Sukhbir Singh Yadav Library and unveiled his statue in the school complex at Dhamlawas village.

Mr Gopi Chand Gehlot, Deputy Speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Dr M.L. Ranga, Health Minister, Mr D.P.Yadav, MP (UP), Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan MP (Sonepat) and Mr Arvind Yadav, president of Dakshini Haryana Vikas Manch also paid tributes to Dy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav.



‘Don’t uproot the slum dwellers, give them jobs’
Syed Ali Ahmed

Amita Joshi, who has been working for the betterment of slum dwellers and women for more than a decade, has come up with a unique idea: volunteers living with the slum dwellers to understand and solve their basic problems. When she began this noble mission, she managed to lure the children to attend schools by popularising a slogan - “education for better living”. Amita was born on June 14, 1959 in Anup Shahar in Uttar Pradesh. She was inspired by her mother, who had been educating the children of poor families in the city. After completing her MA in psychology from Kanpur University in 1981, she started helping needy people in the locality. Since 1991, she devoted her life to social work.

She had even gone to the North East to get first hand knowledge about women who suffered from militancy and the cause of their involvement in the insurgency. She is of the view that women are the worst sufferers whether it is because of poverty or militancy.

Amita, who is now a well-known face among city’s slum clusters, has also worked as a counsellor with the Crime Against Women Cell of the Delhi Police. Recipient of many awards, she has also authored a book in Hindi, which deals with the women and their problems arising out of penury and deprivation. However, she has managed to divide her time effectively for the family as well as social work. In a conversation with the NCR Tribune, she recounts her experiences.

For how many years you have been doing social work?

I have been doing social work for 12 years. I started social work for the uplift of women and downtrodden. In my view, they are the worst sufferers in the society. Initially, I started counselling women, those who were suffering from social evils like estranged relations in married couples, dowry cases and those unfortunate victims of sexual crimes. Seeing my sincerity, the Central Social Welfare Board deputed me as Chief Counsellor at the Headquarters of Crime Against Women Cell of the Delhi Police at Nankpura, for counselling young couples, who had developed strained relations. I exploited this golden opportunity for saving a number of marriages, which were on the verge of breaking.

Have you done any work in highlighting the behaviour of the police with women in general?

Yes, I have written a book, ‘Mahiala and Police’, to highlight the police behaviour. How they misuse their power and distort the cases. I got a fellowship from the Bureau of Police Research and Development for writing the book.

Can you give some details of the areas where you have worked?

Going from street to street, colony to colony and house to house is not social work. What I understand is that social work is to identify the area, mix up with the local population and then try to find out their basic problems. And this is the way I work in slum areas in East Delhi. After completing my project of book writing, I joined an NGO, Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), as a counsellor and researcher. While working with the ISST, I identified two slum clusters, Sonia and Nehru Camps near Mandawali.

I mixed with the local women and tried to find out their basic problems and necessities.

There are around 500 jhuggies in Sonia Camp and only six toilet blocks for the whole slum. Of them, three were locked by the local authorities concerned. Often youths were seen going to the nearby jungle for their natural call. And that really hurt me. Later, I contacted the local authorities and opened the locked toilet blocks. When the women saw my sincerity, they started reciprocate to me. They came along with their children. I talked to them about education, health, strong economy, self-respect etc.

Slum dwellers generally do not have interest in education and they do not care for economy. How did you convince them?

It is not so. It depends from person to person. If you meet them you could visualise their talents. They want to go to school but the problem is they do not have money. They go to government schools where they are not given proper guidance.

Consequently, they drop out from six or seventh class. The government’s slogan is that “education for all”. But it is not successful because only slogan is not enough. The government should make congenial environment for education.

I talk to them about health awareness. I take them to the nearby government hospital, where the doctor do not behave properly. When I saw the doctor’s behaviour, I advised them to be educated to get self-respect.

Now, they have started sending their children to school. They have participated in ‘nukkar natak’ organised near Mandawli police station on the International Women’s Day.

Now they also try to be self-reliant. They stitch clothes, make pickles and other goods, which are sold door to door. They also run a centre with the earning they get from their work.

Now computer education is given to school students. What have you done for the children of slum dwellers?

With the help of the ISST, I had installed a computer at Nehru Camp Centre. And the school going children of Nehru and Sonia Camps are being imparted computer education. A few of them have learnt the basics of computer operation. They have also learnt to operate the Internet. They do not have funds from any government agency.

The ISST is funding them for their computer education. When I saw their interest in education and economic productivity, I made two groups – ‘Phulwari’ for children and ‘Sahailion Ki Bari’ for adults. To lure them towards education, I have given a slogan “education for better living”.

Have you ever faced any problem while working with the slum cluster?

Yes, the elders in the clusters were opposing me. They fear that I will misguide their women. They have threatened me several times. When I was given a proper place by the Slum Wing of the MCD for running the centre, the Pradhan of the Nehru Camp opposed it, saying this place was used for celebration of marriages and other functions. However, it was started with the help of the local councillor.

What have you learnt while working with the downtrodden in the slums?

I have learnt that people in slums should be educated and given jobs instead of demolition. If they are uprooted and rehabilitated somewhere else, it means the government has cleaned a place at the cost of another. People make clusters near posh localities or industries, where they get jobs. In posh localities, women do household work in houses and men go to factories or pull rickshaw. If they are shifted to other places where they do not have jobs it will be an act of injustice to them.

Since you have been working with the underprivileged, you will be aware of their involvement in crime cases.

This is hypothetical. There is a general feeling that people living in slums commit crime. What I do know that they do hard work in the day, drink in the evening and beat their wives. But all are not the same.

Exceptions are there. They don’t harm others. I have been going to slums but they never attacked me. If you read newspapers most of the crimes are committed in posh localities and white collar criminals live there. In slums, small crimes like eve teasing are common.



Call to declare Jains a minority community
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 26
The All India Jain Milan (AIJM) and the All India Jain Women Milan have urged the Centre and the Haryana Government to declare the Jain community as a minority community and safeguard the interests of the people belonging to this community.

A resolution to the effect was jointly passed by the regional conference of both these organisations here last evening. Thousands of delegates from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh participated in the conference which was presided over by Mr Ram Niwas Jain, a contractor.

The conference also expressed concern over the social evils prevalent in the community and resolved to continue its fight against these.

Earlier, addressing the conference, Mr Jai Chand Jain, national propaganda secretary of AIJM said the Central Government had issued a rectification including a number of communities in the list of the minority communities and the Jain community was one of them in this list.

But so far the Central Government had failed to declare the Jain community as minority community despite the fact that the population of this community is two per cent of the population in the country.



Youth’s body found near Dewru village
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 26
The Sadar police have seized a body of a youth lying in the fields of a farmer near Dewru village about three km from here yesterday and sent it for a post-mortem.
According to a report, the body was identified as one Mahinder of Bakhtawarpur village. He had been living along with two brothers at Murthal village for the past few years. He was employed in a hotel and did not go to his house for the past two weeks. His wife along with two children had left him. She had been living with her parents for the past four months.

The police believe it to be a case of murder as he has been strangulated. A case has been registered and further investigations are on.

Youth ends life: A youth Naveen is reported to have committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in his house at Ferozpur Bangar village about 25 km from here yesterday. He leaves behind his wife and two children. A family quarrel is stated to be the cause of the extreme step.

Power bills delayed: The electricity consumers in Sikka Colony, civil hospital and other adjoining residential colonies on both sides of Sonepat-Bahalgarh Road have been awaiting the electricity bills for the past three months or so.

The ordinate delay on the part of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has caused widespread resentment among the power consumers.

According to many consumers, the bills had not been received by them for the last three months and all their complaints to the authorities have fallen on deaf ears.

Kerosene sold in black: There has been no let-up in the black-marketing of the rationed kerosene by the owners of certain fair price shops in the city and elsewhere in the district.

It is alleged that the bulk quantity of the rationed kerosene is being sold to the ‘halwais’ and the banks for use in ‘bhattis’ and diesel-run generators in the absence of power supply.

The authorities of the Food and Supplies Department have utterly failed to check the menace, as many officials are allegedly involved in the racket.

Youth kidnapped: A youth Ravinder Kumar, resident of Tewri village in the district, is alleged to have been kidnapped by three persons on May 21.

The kidnappers have demanded Rs 2.50 lakh as ransom from the parents of the youth.

According to a report, Mr Azad Singh, a relative of the victim has complained to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and other higher police officers demanding an immediate action against the kidnappers and release of the youth.

Mr Azad Singh has named the alleged kidnappers who have directed the parents of the youth to hand over the money at a place in Sector 14, a residential colony of HUDA in the city.



Killers of truck driver, cleaner held
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 26
The Ghaziabad police arrested three criminals who had killed a driver and a cleaner of a truck in Kavi Nagar area on May 11 and then looted the truck.
The police have seized the truck and the goods worth Rs 5 lakh loaded in the truck. The criminals arrested are Suresh Kalia, Imran, alias Iman, and Sonu Kumar Pal of Shahid Nagar in Sahiabad, Ghaziabad, SSP Chander Prakash said.

The accused were nabbed during a police patrol in Lohia Nagar industrial area on the tip-off of an informant. During interrogation, they told the police that they had boarded a truck in Mohan Nagar at 1.30 am on May 11 and paid Rs 50 as fare to the truck driver also.

At Dasna-Musori railway crossing, they took control of the truck at gun-point. One of the accused Suresh Kalia took the wheel and took the truck to bypass. They made the driver and the cleaner unconscious by hitting them with a revolver butt.

Later, they dumped one body opposite Mehrauli village and the other near Atma steel-soap factory.

The accused confessed that they had crushed both the bodies under the wheels of the truck so that they could not be recognised.

Cong rally for SYL canal

Jhajjar: Mr Virender Singh, a Haryana Congress leader and member of the AICC announced to hold a rally in Kaithal on June 7 to press for the completion of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal. Central leaders Kunwar Natwar Singh and Nawal Kishore Sharma would address the rally.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Singh alleged that the Chautala government is responsible for the sorry plight of the farmers in the state.

He said that the ruling party candidate in the Fatehabad Assembly byelection won with only a narrow margin despite all the government machinery at their disposal. This vindicated that resentment is brewing among the people against the Chautala government.

The Congress leader claims that the Kaithal rally would reflect the mood of the people. The rally would be attended by a record number of people. Mr Jaiprakash, a Congress MLA is the organiser of the rally.



Good Samaritan stabbed to death
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
Central district police have launched a hunt for five suspects who allegedly stabbed to death a youth, Qasim in North Washing Line near New Delhi Railway Station yesterday. The youth tried to save a man who was being beaten by the suspects.

According to police, Qasim and his brother Tahir rushed towards the North Washing Line after hearing the cries for help. When they saw that some people were beating a man, they intervened to save him.

However, one of the youths stabbed Qasim, the police said.



Cricket betting racket busted, eight held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
The Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a cricket betting racket with the arrest of eight persons.
Acting on a tip-off, sleuths raided a residential complex at Saraswati Vihar locality in North-West Delhi last night and caught the alleged kingpin of the racket Mukesh Nagpal and house owner Subhash while they were busy in betting for the Australia-West Indies one-day cricket match played yesterday, the police said here.

The police also seized three television sets, one laptop computer, three personal computers, 17 mobile phones, one printer, 450 betting slips and one recorder from a briefcase which was fitted with three telephone lines.

Later, the police arrested six accomplices of Nagpal identified as Rajiv Sharma, Suresh Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Annu Kumar and Jitender, the police said.

Alleged killer held: Kirti Nagar police have arrested Anil who along with his brother Sunil, killed a resident of Resham Camp, Ashok Kumar. They killed the victim on a trivial matter. Sunil is absconding, the police said 


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