Friday, May 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


HC cracks the whip: Fire safety in high-rises
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
Expressing concern over the combined failure of the Delhi Government, the MCD and the DDA to enforce fire safety norms in the high-rise buildings in the Capital, the Delhi High Court today imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on each of them and directed that the building owners should be made to comply with the safety measures within four months.

Directing the government agencies to enforce the fire safety measures in all high-rise buildings as per the National Building Code of India (NBCI) and other relevant rules laid down in this regard, a Bench comprising Chief Justice B. C. Patel and Mr Justice A. K. Sikri said if any tenant or occupant failed to comply with the same within four weeks the premises could be sealed by the authorities.

The court also directed the MCD and the NDMC to issue public notices about enforcing the fire safety norms.

Stating that no owner, contractor, builder, developer, engineer and organisation would be given the occupancy certificate in any new building unless the Delhi Fire

Service (DFS) gave fire safety clearance, the court said the power companies and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) would also not provide electricity and water connections to them.

If any builder was found guilty of providing power and water connection to occupants, which he had obtained for construction purposes, strict action under the law should be taken against such offenders, the court said.

The directive came on a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that many of the 1200 high-rise buildings in the Capital had not complied with the fire safety norms, making them unsafe for residential as well as commercial use.

With today’s order, the PIL, filed by advocate B. L. Wadhera in 1998, was disposed of by the court.

Directing the DFS to have a regular check on all such buildings with periodic surprise inspection, the court said the DFS could take steps for sealing as well as stopping power and water connections to the buildings found violating the fire safety norms.

The court said the Chairman of the MCD and the Vice-President of the DDA would be held personally responsible, if they failed to enforce the fire safety measures as per the directive issued by it.

The court also directed the Delhi Government, the DDA, the MCD and the NDMC to place before it details after three months to show how many of the 1200 buildings had adopted the fire safety measures and what action had been taken against those who did not comply with the same.

While asking the DJB to put in proper working order all static water tanks meant for supply of water to the fire brigade in any emergency across the city, the court directed the Delhi Police to remove all encroachments along the roads to ensure that the passage to the fire engines was not found blocked in any area.

In the government buildings, if the fire safety measures were not enforced properly the departments concerned would initiate action against the officials who were supposed to do the job, the court said, adding that the action would include initiating disciplinary proceedings against them.



Salesgirl found stabbed to death by roadside 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
Sapna, 21, who worked as a salesgirl with a card shop in East of Kailash, was found stabbed to death by unidentified assailants by the roadside in Block D late last night.

The police said the body had been sent for a post-mortem examination and efforts were being made to trace the suspect or suspects. Her body was discovered by some passersby at about 9 pm who informed the Police Control Room. The police took her to AIIMS where she was declared brought dead. The police suspect it could be the handiwork of someone known to the victim.

According to the police, the incident occurred after the victim had left the shop for her home at Garhi near Lajpat Nagar in South district. She always used to leave the shop at 9 pm but yesterday she left a little early. Her brother had come to pick her up from the shop but by the time he reached the shop she had left. While returning he searched at the bus stand and other areas on the route.

The police said the road on which her body was found did not lead to Garhi. The police are investigating how she reached there. The police believe that she may have been lured to the street in Block D by someone known to her and then stabbed. She sustained deep cut marks on her neck. She was found in a pool of blood on the road. The police identified her from the contents of her bag.

The police said a list of local criminals and eve-teasers was being verified. A number of them were called to the police station for questioning. A list of her relatives and friends is also being prepared. While giving a statement to the police her parents said that they did not have enmity with anyone in the locality.

When they were informed by the police in the night, they did not believe that she had been murdered. 



Honours for three women who dared to say ‘no’
Tribune News Service

Nisha Sharma, Anupama Singh and Farzana were honoured by the Delhi Social Welfare Board
Nisha Sharma, Anupama Singh and Farzana were honoured by the Delhi Social Welfare Board in the Capital on Thursday.

New Delhi, May 29
Three women, who took the courageous step of calling off their weddings, were today honoured by the Delhi Social Welfare Board. These women, Nisha Sharma, Anupama Singh and Farzana, recounted the tales of their harassment by greedy grooms and vowed to help eradicate dowry. Anupama, who was inspired by Nisha, decided to call off the wedding when her would-be in-laws abused her parents, wasted the food and smashed soft drink bottles.

Anupama recalled that the groom’s family, which had initially not pressed for dowry, began harassing them when they rebuffed the demand for Rs 8 lakh at the time of the wedding. “They made the demand at the time of ‘bidai,’ not realising that a girl, when hurt, can do very courageous things”, said Anupama, adding, “They, perhaps, never realised that girls can become very strong, if the occasion demands. And, I gathered courage that moment and refused to be married in such humiliating conditions”.

She now wants to complete her textile designing course and become self-dependent. Her parents, who are now waiting for “enlightened boys,” are in no hurry to get her married.

Farzana, who also underwent a similar experience, said she was doing a beautician’s course before her marriage. Now, she “is trying to get over her bad experience and do something towards becoming self-dependent”.

Still shaken, Farzaana said her nikaah had been solemnised four years ago, but on the day of rukhsati (send-off), the boy’s parents demanded an exorbitant sum. Her parents were threatened that if their demand was not met, the bride would not be allowed to accompany the groom.

A humiliated Farzana also took the decision to call off the alliance. Her father, Sheikh Aleemuddin, said that they were now trying to obtain a divorce; otherwise, they would go to court.

Nisha, who shot into limelight recently, said she would remain in contact with the other two girls and would endeavour to inspire others to fight the menace of dowry. She decided to call the police when her parents came to her crying, recounting their humiliation by her prospective in-laws.

During the function, five boys from Delhi Public School, Mathura Road — Varun Khanna, Pratik Kundra, Dhruv Khanna, Rachit Chawla and Faizan Ahmad — and four girls from Kalindi College — Sunita, Meerara Chaudhry, Nisha Malhotra and Sarita — took an oath that they will neither demand nor give dowry..

Speaking on the occasion, the president of the Central Social Welfare Board, Ms Mridula Sinha, said: “The three girls and their families have done a very courageous thing. Significantly, these incidents have happened in and around the Capital; this would send the right signal to the whole nation”.

She said the Central Social Welfare Board was providing pre-marriage counseling by organising camps and workshops with very encouraging results.



Firm owner ‘drugs staffer’s wife, rapes her’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The police are on the lookout for an owner of a firm in Gurgaon, who allegedly raped his employee’s wife on May 24 after offering her a cold drink mixed with sedatives.
The victim’s husband was employed with Multi Engineering Service, which is owned by the accused, N. A. Makawana. On the fateful night, the 24-year-old victim rang up the office of her husband at Palam Vihar as he had not returned home till late evening.

The accused, who took the call, asked the victim to come to Shiv Murti where he would arrange a meeting with her husband who had gone for some work there.

When the victim reached the spot with her seven-year-old son, the accused took them in his car to Apano Ghar Hotel in Gurgaon; he allegedly served her a cold drink mixed with sedatives.

The victim, after sipping the drink, felt unconscious. Makawana later took her to a room and raped her. The victim, on gaining consciousness, reported the matter to the police.

The Vasant Kunj police have registered a case and are trying to trace the accused who has been absconding ever since the incident took place.



Truck driver among two killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
Two persons were killed and five others injured, some of them seriously, in three different accidents on National Highway 1, near here, last evening.
According to a report, the victims were identified as Roopinder Singh, a truck driver of Ghaziabad (UP), and Mrs Shamo Devi of Trilokpuri in Delhi. The injured persons are Dinesh Kumar, truck conductor, Sharvan Kumar, his son Sonu, his daughter Neha and Rajbir Singh, a resident of Gohana and foreman with the Delhi Jal Board. The injured persons were immediately hospitalised. Neha has been reportedly referred to a trauma centre at Delhi for further treatment.

The police have registered cases and further investigations are in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

According to another report, the Ganaur police have recovered the body of a chowkidar, Roshan, at Khubru village in this district and sent it for a post-mortem examination. The police believe it to be case of suicide.



Three kids die as mound caves in
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 29
Three girls were buried alive and four other children were injured as mud mounds caved in yesterday. The earth mafia has been active in this area, which falls under Sector 49 police station. Often, the mafia leaves behind a trail of craters and mounds of mud.

Almost a dozen children, mostly girls, were playing at one such site when the mound collapsed. In all, seven children were buried. Children, who happened to be watching the others play, panicked and rushed to the village. Later, the villagers extricated the children.

Sangeet, 8, D/o Pappu Yadav, Sonu, 12, D/o Rajendra, however, died on the spot. Kajal, 6, was rushed to Kailash hospital in serious condition succumbed to her injuries later. Monika, 10, Pushpender, 8, Mamta, 16, and Puja, 10, were admitted in different hospitals.



Rs 124-crore project to fortify 
Faridabad power distribution
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 29
The Government of India had sanctioned a Rs 124-crore project under its Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP), for strengthening power distribution and metering system in Faridabad district, according to Mr V Umashankar Managing Director, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN).

In a press statement released here today, he said under the project, total under-sized conductor of 96 feeders of 11 KV level in the district would be replaced with the conductor of more strength and capacity. All the substations in Faridabad district would be revamped by replacing old circuit breakers, etc. All damaged meters would be replaced with electronic meters. Bijli Suvidha Kendra would be set up for lodging centralised complaints in the city

He said that under the project APDRP-1, the DHBVN was carrying system improvement works costing Rs 33.31 crore in the district.

Under the project, complete power distribution system in the towns of Faridabad Patwal, Hathin and Hodel is being renovated

The managing director said that there was a Rs 203-crore comprehensive plan of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) and DHBVN for strengthening power transmission and distribution system in Faridabad district.

The HVPN, under this plan, would construct new substations including a 220 KV substation at Palli and eight substations of 66 KV level. Three of these substations have already been commissioned at Sector-46, Sector 31 and NH-3. Capacity of 220 KV substation Palwal and 66 KV substations NH 3 and Ford was also being augmented.

He said that Faridabad was the first operation circle in India to earn profit. Considering its efficiency, the government has given priority in the power development in the district.

Faridabad is one of the 63 operation circles chosen by the Government of India under APDRP for improvement of power distribution system.

The Bijli Suvidha Kendras (call centres) at Faridabad, Hisar and Gurgaon are likely to start functioning by the end of this month. Such centres would be established in other district head quarters also by the end of the year.

The technical staff to work with these centres would be provided with mobile phones to get the complaints of consumers registered at the centres.

The centres would be equipped with computers, telephones, etc where the consumers can get their complaints registered telephonically.

Mr Umashankar said that DHBVN was providing facility of payment of bills through Internet.

In rural areas, the facility of depositing the electricity bills in post offices has already been started in the districts of Hisar, Fatehabad, Mahedragarh. Rewari and Gurgaon.

The facility was introduced n February in 99 villages of Hisar and Fatehabad districts, which has now been extended to all the villages of Mahendragarh, Rewari and Gurgaon districts. The collection through post offices in Hisar circuit area was Rs 9 lakh during February, which increased to Rs 30 lakh during March.

He said that the information regarding bills and consumption pattern of power of HT (high-tension) consumers would be made available on Internet by the end of this month.

The DHBVN has started the facility of getting information regarding the electricity bills on mobile phone.

The Nigam is the first power utility in India to introduce such a service.



When illiterate foremen man sub-centres, UHBVN needs no enemies
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 29
It may sound incredible. Most of the foremen posted to maintain power supply by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) at its rural feeders in the district are either illiterate or non-technical. The UHBVN is in fact facing an acute shortage of qualified personnel to man its subdivisions and sub-centres in the rural areas, where the transmission losses are as high as 55 per cent.

Thanks to the dearth of qualified personnel, sub-centres have no junior engineers (JE(I)) to head the units. The posts of JE (I) are lying vacant at Meham, Kalanaur, Kahnaur, Bhalaut, Jassia and K. Kalana. These centres are now headed by illiterate assistant foremen. Of the 17 assistant foremen posted in these subdivisions and sub-centres, five are illiterate and the remaining 12 are merely matriculates.

The persons heading these sub-centres are supposed to launch campaigns against transmission losses and power theft. In the absence of qualified staff, the department appears to be handicapped in checking power thefts. A few of these illiterate foremen have to maintain more than one feeder, it was learnt during a tour of the Meham and Kalanaur areas by this correspondent on Wednesday.

During the visit, it was learnt that 53 per cent of the electricity consumers in the Kiloi Assembly constituency have not paid their electricity bills for the past many years. Of a total of 18,643 consumers in this constituency, 9,819 are defaulters and jointly they owe over Rs 35 crore to the UHBVN. The situation is not different in the Hassangarh Assembly constituency. Of the total 6,721 consumers, nearly 2,563 are defaulters and jointly they owe Rs 2.39 crore.

An UHBVN official told the NCR Tribune on condition of anonymity at Jassia that the vast majority of the consumers in Dhampur, Basantpur, Khidwali, Sanghi, Jindran and Guskani villages have not paid their electricity bills for the past over five years. Dhampur has 523 consumers and 510 of them have not paid the bills. They owe over Rs 4.34 crore to the UHBVN.

Of the 192 consumers in Basantpur, 185 are defaulters. Sanghi, the native village of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has 1,837 consumers among whom 1,420 are defaulters. They owe over Rs 6.15 crore to the nigam. Khidwali village, to which the spokesman of the Pradesh Congress Committee belongs, has 1,022 consumers and 820 of them are defaulters. Together, they owe over Rs 3.27 crore.

The recovery of electricity bills is comparatively better in the Meham and Kalanaur Assembly constituencies. The Meham constituency has 22,430 consumers of whom 6,428 (29 per cent) are defaulters, owing Rs 9.26 crore to the UHBVN. The Kalanaur constituency, represented by BJP legislator Sarita Narain, has 15,057 consumers of whom 4,923 (33 per cent) are defaulters and they owe Rs 2.83 crore.

A top-level official of the nigam have told the NCR Tribune that the government is not planning to introduce any more surcharge waiving scheme as was done last year and 2001. The department had recovered over Rs 2.63 crore, actual bill amount, last year from the rural defaulting consumers.

The UHBVN officials, however, believe that if the department posts qualified persons as per the sanctioned strength, the arrears of outstanding bills could be realised. As on date, the field staff are unwilling to disconnect the supply to the defaulting villages. They did launch a campaign to detect power thefts and had succeeded in nabbing over 200 such consumers who were slapped with a penalty of Rs 9.75 lakh of which Rs 2.75 lakh had been recovered.



Two computer centres on verge of closure
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
The computer training centres at Ganaur and Bahalgare, run by the district computer society with financial assistance from the district administration to impart computer training to the wards of the poor and backward families, are reportedly on the verge of closure. This follows the non-payment of salaries of the trainers and reimbursement of other expenses of the centres for the last six months.

According to information, the district computer society was formed about three years ago on the initiative of the then Deputy Commissioner, Sudhir Rajpal, to provide free computer training to the brilliant students of poor families. In this co-operative society, the Deputy Commissioner and the Additional Deputy Commissioner were made ex-officio president and vice-president respectively.

To begin with, one computer centre each was opened at Bahalgarh and Ganaur on September 15, 2000. These were inaugurated by a Member of Parliament, Mr Ajay Singh Chautala.

During the stewardship of Mr Sudhir Rajpal, the centres did not face any problem and got every financial assistance on time. However, just after Mr S. N. Roy took over as the Deputy Commissioner, the centres had reportedly faced some problems, but later the computer trainers met him and briefed him about the centres’ activities. Mr Roy then reportedly consented to arrange finances to run the centres. However, since Mr Balwan Singh took over as the Deputy Commissioner six months back, neither the trainers have got their salaries nor the other expenses have been compensated. The trainers have now brought the matter to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner who has reportedly assured them of taking necessary action.



Drains with low capacity main cause of floods
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
Adequate arrangements have not yet been made to check floods, which are a recurring menace in this district, every year. The main sources of the floods are the Yamuna, which traverses along the entire eastern boundary of the district, Drain 8, Diversion Drain 8 and some other drains passing through the district.

Flood waters from the Yamuna usually spread to vast tracts of Khadar area from the river embankments. In the Ganaur and Sonepat subdivisions, at least 60 villages usually face the danger of floods. Several villages in the Gohana subdivision are the worst-hit by the floods, which are caused due to the overflowing of Bhambewa drain and Drain 2.

After the 1955 floods, a 48-km-long marginal earthen bundh was constructed between Bega and Dahesra villages to control the flooding of the Yamuna. Similarly, stone studs were constructed at Bega, Memarpur, Garhi Asadpur and other complexes to check the erosion of cultivable land from the Haryana side of the Yamuna.

Sonepat district has a saucer-shaped depression, which has been visited by floods every year. The floods are caused by the overflowing drains, many of which have their tail-ends here. There are numerous natural depressions, which are flooded during the monsoon causing waterlogging in vast areas. The Khadar tract in Sonepat subdivision is threatened year after year by the Yamuna waters.

Almost all old drains passing through this district have not been remodelled to increase their capacity. At some places, new drains have been dug to clear out water from the natural depressions. A number of drainage schemes now under way are likely to be completed soon. The emphasis hereafter will be on digging link drains to provide relief to isolated villages situated in the low-lying areas.



Rs 769.44-lakh projects to beautify 
Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, May 29
Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri towns would soon get a facelift. Projects worth Rs 769.44 lakh have been sanctioned under the solid waste management. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Harpal Singh, disclosed this to the newsmen here on Wednesday.

He said that the project sanctioned for Bhiwani town would cost Rs 515 lakh and a compost plant would be set up on 10 acre to convert waste into compost fertiliser. Dumper, tractor, trollies, richshaws, JCB machines would be purchased for the collection and carriage of waste.

Earlier, addressing a meeting of the district officers held at mini secretariat, Mr Singh said that a special grant had been given for the construction of roads and drainage at Charkhi Dadri town under the solid waste management. All roads would be widened with the grant of Rs 163.20 lakh.

He said that drains and nullahs would also be constructed for the drainage of rainy water. The town would be cleaned completely after the implementation of the scheme.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the action was being taken to transfer the milk dairies outside the town and the dairy market would be equipped with the necessary facilities.

He said that Bhiwani Municipal Council and Buwani Khera Municipal Committee had received a sum of Rs 5-5 lakh each under the revenue earning scheme and the development works were being carried out with this amount.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the executive officers of the council to select site for the construction of a shopping complex and a banquet hall in Bhiwani so that the income of the council could be increased.

Mr Singh asked the officials concerned to inspect the meat shops located in the area to check the sale of contaminated meat.



Man shot dead in Jhajjar
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 29
One person was reportedly shot dead by three car-borne assailants in Issarheri village of the district last evening. The murder is stated to be the outcome of an old rivalry, which had in fact claimed several lives already. According to information, Rajender Singh (40) was returning from Najafgarh in a three-wheeler. When he reached his village, three armed youths in a Santro car pulled him out of the vehicle and pumped four bullets into his head. He died on the spot. The assailants fled the spot immediately.

They were identified as Virender, Naresh and Ravi of the same village. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt for them. Sources said that the deceased was the son-in-law of Braham, a gangster, who was killed in an encounter by the Delhi Police two years ago. Surender, the son of Braham, was killed by assailants near the court complex at Bahadurgarh shortly after the murder of his father.

Prabhu Dayal society honoured

The Prabhu Dayal Memorial Religious and Educational Society, Sarai Aurangabad, has been awarded ISO 9001-2000, for implementing quality management complying with high standards in imparting education. The society managing director, Mr M M Sharma, and the principal of PDM Engineering College, Mr J S Lamba, said that the accreditation mark has been awarded for the next three years. They informed that the PDM education society had come into existence in 1996, to give impetus to higher technical education and instil high standards of discipline and character building among students.

Tiff over money turns into group clash; four held

Noida: In a clash between two groups in Sultanpur village on a money matter, nine persons were injured. Both the groups filed reports in Sector-39 police station. Four persons have been taken in custody. Sant Ram, a resident of Sultanpur, had been having a dispute with someone over a money transaction for quite some time which took an ugly turn yesterday. He had lent Rs 6,500 to Tarachand of the same village who promised to return the money on May 27, but he did not do so on the stipulated day.

When Sant Ram demanded the money from Tarachand, things came to a boil. People started gathering nearby and took sides of the warring persons who came to blows soon. Lathis were also freely used. Six persons on Sant Ram’s side and three on Tara Chand side were injured.

Both the parties went to Sector-39 and lodged reports. The police took into custody Tarachand, Shiv Kumar, Sandeep and another person on the report filed by Madhu Balu, wife of Sant Ram People of other group are absconding.

Three autolifters held

New Delhi: The North-East district police today arrested three inter-state autolifters who were involved in a number of cases in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Three Maruti cars and one Hero Honda motorcycle were recovered from them.

The accused Deepak (24), Raju Singh (26) and Umed Ali (25), were all residents of Ghaziabad near Seemapuri.

Prayer for Tohra’s recovery

The Shiromani Gurudwara Sewadar Committee’s national president S Raja Singh and members today prayed for Jathedar Tohra’s speedy recovery and commended his services to the Sikh community. Mr Tehal Singh Taneja, Bibi Arvinder Kaur, Pritam Singh Walia, Satinder Singh also attended the meeting and Ardas in the gurudwara.



NDMC programme on ‘How to quit smoking’
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, May 29
The NDMC in collaboration with the Indian Cancer Society organised a cultural programme as part of the, ‘No Tobacco and Smoke Free Office’ awareness campaign.
Artists from the ICS performed at Palika Kendra and stressed the need to quit tobacco, gutka, zarda and pan masaala. The performers drew upon the fact that these substances are injurious to health and cause diseases like cancer, TB and asthma. Literature containing advice on ‘How to quit smoking’ was also distributed on the occasion.

Only 16 SBI branches to accept DDA dues: The State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced the number of its branches accepting the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) dues from the public from 23 to 16 branches. The SBI branches at Jahangirpuri, Azadpur, Malviya Nagar, Mayapuri, Hari Nagar, Tilaknagar and Delhi Cantonment have been directed not to accept the DDA dues from the public starting June 1, 2003.

The DDA has accepted the proposal of the SBI to reduce the number of branches but advised it to display the notice indicating that the dues will not be accepted from June 1 at its various branches.

The DDA dues can be deposited in many branches of the SBI and the Central Bank of India. These dues include monthly installments, ground rent, service charges, initial deposit, earnest money, cost of flats, etc.

‘Stamp duty decrease won’t benefit Delhiites’: Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Subhash Arya said that the citizens of the Capital would have no benefit of decrease in stamp duty on sale and purchase of property. He said that the step to decrease the stamp duty was taken in a hurry.

He said that earlier the stamp duty was 13 per cent (eight per cent of Delhi Government and five per cent of he MCD). Thirteen per cent stamp duty was declined to eight per cent (five per cent of Delhi Government and three per cent of MCD). The decrease was announced by the Delhi Government without taking the corporation into confidence. It was done keeping in view of the ensuing Assembly election.

MCD function: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today organised a function in Lajpat Nagar on the occasion of 120th birth anniversary of Savarkar. The function was presided over by the Deputy Mayor, Mrs Varyam Kaur.



Selling medicines without licence, held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
Mr Padam Singh Rathi, District Drugs Inspector of the Health Department, conducted a surprise raid at a chemist shop on Sonepat-Bahalgarh Road here last evening and caught the ‘chemist’ red-handed while he was selling the medicines to the customers without licence. According to a report, Mr Rathi also seized the samples of some medicines and sealed them on the spot.

The medicines would be sent to the chemical laboratory for examination. It was also found that the chemist had not been issuing the cash memos for the medicines sold to the customers. This action followed the complaint made by Mr Sajjan Kumar Dahiya, president of the Sonepat Chemists and Druggists Association, alleging the sale of medicines by the chemist without obtaining a licence from the government.

Meanwhile, some leaders of the ruling party are reported to be trying to hush up the case.

However, the association warned that if this case was hushed up by the authorities, it would launch a statewide agitation on the issue. The association members have also submitted memorandums to the DC and the SP demanding a stern action against the erring chemist.

10 injured: At least 10 persons including two women were injured in the cases of assaults occurred at Juan, Badh Malik, Zainpur Tikola and a ‘dera’ on Sonepat-Murthal Road last evening.

According to a report, the injured were identified as Jaipal, Ram Niwas, Sunder Lal, Munni, Nizam, Maula, Momina, Shakil and Balbir. All were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered the cases and investigations are on. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Contaminated water: The officials of the Northern Railway took a serious note of the complaints of the passengers about the supply of contaminated water and seized samples of the water at the railway station here last evening. The officials have sent the samples for test in the laboratory.



One killed, liquor shops looted in backlash
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, May 29
One person died and two others were injured in a bizarre incident involving a liquor contractor near Behal, about 50 km from here today.
The injured have been admitted to civil hospital here whereas the body was handed over to the relatives after a post-mortem. An irate mob looted liquor shops and the shopkeepers observed bandh in protest against the incident.

According to reports, Ram Niwas, son of Ram Chander; Mahabir Soni and Dharmbir Khichar of Gokulpura village were going to Bhiwani from Behal in a jeep in the wee hours today. They were reportedly carrying jewelry and vegetables for a wedding party. As they arrived Nunsar from Obra, three youths alighted from a Marshal jeep and asked them to stop their jeep.

It is learnt that the Marshal jeep belonged to the liquor contractor who had asked his men to nab liquor smugglers. The Gokulpura youths got panicky. Thinking that there were surrounded by the robbers, they tried to speed up their jeep towards Obra village.

However, their jeep was allegedly hit and Ram Niwas fell down from it. The liquor agents attacked Ram Niwas with lathis and iron rods resulting in his death on the spot whereas two others, Dharmbir and Mahabir, sustained serious injuries. Apparently, the agents thought of them as liquor smugglers.

As the news of the incident spread in the area, people gathered and looted liquor godown located behind the gas agency and scattered bottles on the road. They later looted English and country liquor vends and decamped with liquor boxes and other articles.

The police have started investigation after registering a case in this connection, but no arrest has been reported so far. The situation is tense but under control, according to the police.



Murder at juice shop

Faridabad: A vendor of plastic items was killed by a juice seller in the NH-2 area of the NIT locality here last night. The accused is reported to be absconding. According to information, the victim identified as Dhaiamire had gone to the shop of the juice seller and had a dispute with him over an issue. The owner of the juice shop reportedly attacked him with a broken glass bottle.

The victim died on way to hospital. A case has been booked.

This is third murder in the town in the past one week. On Friday last, a married woman and her son were done to death. TNS



SBI scheme to finance ‘arthias’
Our Correspondent

Panipat, May 29
The State Bank of India (SBI) yesterday launched a scheme, Arthias Plus, specially designed for financing the ‘arthias’ against their receivables from farmers.
According to a press note, a meeting was organised by the bank in which over 50 arthias participated, including the president of the Arthias Association, Mr Jai Bhagwan Goel.

Mr T R Pahwa, Branch Manager of the Krishnapura Branch, said that the scheme envisaged financing of arthias against their receivables from the farmers. The quantum of loans is up to Rs 25 lakh available on easier terms and lower interest rates depending on the size of the loan, he added.

New ATM: Mr Rohit Bhardwaj, Executive Director of the Panipat Refinery, inaugurated an ATM of the ICICI at Indian Oil’s retail outlet, COCO, at the Panipat marketing complex here yesterday.

Ideally located, the ATM has various facilities such as cash withdrawal, cash deposit, transaction statement, cheque deposit.

Mr P R Das GM (PC), Mr T Vasudevan, GM (F), Mr C Manhoran, GM (T), and TR Sabharwal, DGM (PJ), Mr S S Bapat, DGM (RC), Mr Vinay Mishra, SDM, Mr Dhiraj Relli, Regional Head, ICICI Bank and Mr Amit Taneja, Branch Manager, ICICI, were present at the time of inauguration.



Co-op bank gives loans worth Rs 244 crore

Sonepat, May 29
The Central Co-operative Bank disbursed loans to the tune of Rs 244.1 crore for various purposes in the district during the last financial year.
Speaking to the media persons here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, said a major portion of the loans disbursed, worth over Rs 177 crore, had been advanced for a short term to the farmers as crop loans. Besides, the bank also disbursed Rs 4.1 crore as medium-term loans to the agricultural sector.

The other major loans advanced by the bank included Rs 54 crore to the Co-operative Sugar Mills in the district, Rs 2.8 crore to Confed, Rs one crore (mid-term loan) in the non-agricultural sector, Rs 1.9 crore to the individual societies and Rs 45.3 lakh to the labour and construction co-operative societies in the district during the year, Mr Singh informed.

The bank, through its various branches in the district, also disbursed short-term loans of around Rs 99 lakh to the rural artisans, Rs 18.5 lakh to the petty shopkeepers and Rs 2.8 crore for the purchase of fertilisers on credit card by the farmers through mini-banks in the villages, he said. OC


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