Saturday, May 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Army recruit missing, father sent on merry-go-round
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari , May 30
An ex-serviceman and a resident of Jhal village in Kosli tehsil of Rewari district has been going from pillar to post for the last one year to secure precise information about his missing son, Anup Singh (20), whose alleged desertion (without leave) from the Kumaon Regimental Centre (KRC), Ranikhet, is shrouded in mystery since April 2002 .

Anup’s father, Ramesh Kumar, has made written representations to the President of India in this regard. However, the representation and his personal visits and repeated reminders to the Kumaon Regiment officials as well as the court of inquiry held at Garhwal Rifle Regimental Centre have failed to yield any tangible results.

Anup (197209 A) was a recruit of Rezangla company, the training battalion of the Kumaon Regimental Centre ( KRC), Ranikhet. He reported for training at Ranikhet in October 2001 following his recruitment at Charkhi Dadri. Six months later, on March 25, 2002, he was admitted at the Military Hospital, Ranikhet, following a stress fracture. On April 17, 2002, he was shifted to Base Hospital, Lucknow, from where he was discharged on April 26, 2002, and dispatched to KRC, Ranikhet (vide movement order no. BH / 268); he was also issued a free Railway warrant (93 PA 188691), dated April 26, 2002, for single railway journey from Lucknow to Kathgodam.

Prior to this, on April 25, Anup had rung up his father at Jhal, and informed him that he had recovered and would be returning to his training centre at Ranikhet.

This turned out to be the last telephonic contact between father and son. When Ramesh did not receive any letter or call from his son for a long time, the hapless father reached the regimental centre at Ranikhet on August 17, 2002, to seek precise information about his son .

But, according to Ramesh, the Army authorities behaved almost in a bizarre manner and made him run from MH, Ranikhet, to Base Hospital, Lucknow, and then to MH, Bareilly, and finally to MH, Dehradun. When nothing tangible came out of these visits, a dejected Ramesh Kumar returned to Jhal on August 21.

On August 23, Ramesh sent written representations to the Centre Commandant, KRC, Ranikhet; the Adjutant General Hqrs, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi, and the Commandant, Base Hospital, Lucknow, seeking information about his missing son. But when he failed to get any reply even after two weeks, he again reached KRC, Ranikhet, on September 8, 2002 .

In quick succession, he met the Adjutant, KRC, Ranikhet (on September 8), and the Deputy Commandant as well as the Chief Ward Master of BH Lucknow (September 9). But their stock replies added to his torment, forcing him to return home.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. B.S. Basraon, Officer Commanding, Rezangla Company, KRC, Ranikhet, issued an apprehension roll dated September 13, addressed to the District Magistrate, Rewari, which sought arrest of Recruit Anup who was described as a deserter.

A copy of the apprehension roll was also sent to Ramesh Kumar, who was stunned to note the reasons for seeking Anup’s arrest. Also, he could not comprehend why the apprehension roll had been issued five months after the date of the disappearance of his son.

In view of the aforesaid, Ramesh Kumar on September 27, 2002, sent a detailed communication to the President of India. The President’s secretariat forwarded the communication to the Secretary, Ministry of Defence, for attention. Information to this effect was also conveyed to Ramesh Kumar by the President’s secretariat .

A court of inquiry was held from December 14 to December 16, 2002, at the Garhwal Rifle Regimental Centre, Lansdowne. After giving a patient hearing to the aggrieved father, Colonel S.K. Ballal, Presiding Officer of the Court of Inquiry, and Deputy Commandant, Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre, Lansdowne, reportedly assured Ramesh Kumar that justice would done.

But when no information in this regard was received even after 11 weeks, Ramesh Kumar sent a communication on March 6, seeking information about the findings of the court.

Col. S.K. Ballal (vide letter no. 1258, dated March 24) informed Ramesh Kumar that his application dated March 6, 2003, had been forwarded to HQ UB Area (‘A’ Branch), Bareilly, for information and necessary action .

Since then, two months have lapsed and Anup’s hapless father is completely at a loss: he does not know what to do and whom else to approach, to secure precise information about the whereabouts of his son.



Scam fallout: Panel to review 
DDA vigilance apparatus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
One nominee each of the director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Central Vigilance Commission will jointly recommend measures for strengthening of the vigilance establishment of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA.)

In a statement released to the media, the DDA has said the study will suggest revamp and restructuring of the housing utility’s vigilance establishment. The terms of reference of the study will be :

l To review the existing organisational structure of the vigilance set-up in DDA in the light of the role it is expected to perform;

l to define its role and objectives with reference to prevention, detection and punitive functions performed by it;

l recommend measures for strengthening of the vigilance set-up, source of recruitment of personnel and training of its manpower to make it a more effective arm of the organisation; and any other matter incidental or related to the study.

Says Vice Chairman of DDA Anil Baijal : “This is being done with a view to introspect our own functioning and what more needs to be done to strengthen detection, punitive action and prevention aspect of the vigilance administration.”

The team will submit its report by July 15, 2003.

The CBI has filed four cases since March 26 relating to corruption in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the country’s biggest urban development agency.

Apart from Mukherjee, the CBI had arrested 14 persons, including Subhash Sharma, Dharamvir Khattar, suspended DDA Commissioner (Land) Anand Mohan Saran, DDA Commissioner (Planning) Vijay Risbud, DDA Director (Planning) Jagdish Chandra, suspended private secretary to Vice Chairman Ashok Kapoor, employee of DLF Universal Ltd Ajay Khanna, Pradeep Kapoor, Anil Wadhwa, Ved Prakash Kaushik and S Minocha of APY Hoteliers and Developers, property dealers GR Gogoi and Ravinder Taneja and Director of Modern School Education Society (Shalimar Bagh) Amrit Lal Kapoor.

The names of Sharma and alleged middleman Khattar figure in all the four cases.

Sharma was named an accused in the CBI FIR registered on March 26 in connection with the alleged bribe given by Modern School Society to one Ashok Kapoor, PA to former DDA Vice Chairman P K Ghosh, while Sharan, a 1990 batch IAS officer, was arrested on March 28 after the agency recovered Rs 36 lakh in cash in a raid at his residence.

The scam had drawn a sharp reaction from the political parties. The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) had alleged a former BJP legislator of NCT of Delhi was involved in a similar scam. The DPCC had further alleged members of the BJP were involved in several scams besides the DDA scam that was exposed recently. Soon after the CBI arrested certain officials on charges of corruption, the DPCC had threatened to come out with documents pertaining to several such scams involving members of the BJP.

Put on the backfoot by the bad press the arrest of an official “hand-picked” by its president Madan Lal Khurana generated, the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party, in sharp contrast, chose to keep a studied silence.



Who pays the power bill? Tussle costs fish dear
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, May 30
The tussle between the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) — as to who will pay the power costs of the water pump installed at Naine Lake in Model Town — is threatening the life of aquatic creatures at the lake. According to the project-in-charge, 30 to 40 kg of fishes have been dying per week, resulting in a severe stench all around the area.

Incidentally, the responsibility for tourism (boating) vests with the DTTDC while the general maintenance is under the charge of the MCD.

According to the officers deputed on the site, for six years there was no attempt to check the number of fishes in the lake. Nor was there any attempt to clean the lake. Incidentally, paddle boats are not too conducive for fishes. The aforesaid are cited as the reasons for the high fatality rate among the piscine creatures.

Reliable sources reveal that the MCD owes Rs 89,000 to the NDPL for the use of pump. As the NDPL has not been paid, it has snapped the electricity supply to the pump. With the power supply going for a toss, the pump supplying water to the lake is not operational.

Mr N.L. Meena, project-in-charge deputed at the site, said: “As the pump is not operational, the fishes find it difficult to breathe and they keep swimming to the surface to take in oxygen. In turn, they become easy prey for anglers. Either the fishes should be removed, or a contract should be given to a private party for cleaning the lake.”

The visitors, too, complain about the filth and the stink in the lake, but nothing has been done about all this.

Pradeep, a lifeguard, added, “We are caught in an awful situation as it is very difficult for us to explain to people why the pump is not operational and the water level is depleting.” With the rise in temperature the water is evaporating fast. The residents of the area are forced to stay indoors. They cannot even open their windows as the foul smell makes it impossible for them to inhale fresh air or enjoy the scenario.

Mr Madan Rai, Deputy Manager, DTTDC, said, “We have clarified several times that the DTTDC is taking care of tourism only and the maintenance work is vested with the MCD. The water pump, which has stopped operating, is under the jurisdiction of the MCD. The lake has never been handed over to the DTTDC entirely. The MCD officers have been cooperative and we want to close this chapter. We have been holding meetings about this.”

Mr Sanjay Saxena, Deputy Commissioner, Civil Lines, said, “We gave the lake to Delhi Tourism about 10 years ago. Everything related to its beautification, sanitation etc is their responsibility. They are earning profits from the lake.” It seems there is no easy solution to this tussle.



Advani to lay stone of Metro’s Dwarka 
phase on June 3
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, will lay the foundation stone of the Barakhamba-Dwarka phase of the Delhi Metro on June 3, DMRC Chairman Madan Lal Khurana announced today and said the people whose shops and residential units were affected would be properly rehabilitated.

Political observers here felt this was Mr Khurana’s apparent attempt to prevent the Congress government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi from stealing credit for the Metro Rail as it had done earlier. Mr Khurana is also the president of the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party who is likely to lead his party in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Khurana also said the Metro had suffered a net loss of only Rs 26 lakh in the first three months of this year.

The revenue generated was Rs 4.27 crore against an expenditure of Rs 4.53 crore on establishment, traction and maintenance.

The difference was more or less covered through advertisements, car and scooter parking and rented shops which generated Rs 1.78 crore. The fare collection was Rs 2.49 crore.

This, he said, was expected as tickets were being sold on concessional rates till September. But once the entire phase is completed the revenue generated will be more as a larger number of people will be travelling by Metro.

Mr Khurana said despite the losses incurred on account of passenger fares, there was no proposal to hike the fares till November (when the assembly poll is to take place in Delhi).



Disclosure scheme for consumers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) has announced that it will launch a Voluntary Declaration Scheme for Tampered Meters from June 1 to 11 which would enable consumers to come forward and declare any tampered meters to avoid penalty and future hassles.

People availing the scheme will be charged for assessed loss of consumption at normal tariff as per specific approval of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for a period of six months, and their meters will be replaced free of charge.

Consumers have been asked to contact NDPL Consumer Care Centre, District Office, Keshav Puram; the special numbers for inquiries specific to the scheme are: 9818384411 / 9818384422. The details and forms for the scheme were also being made available on the NDPL website, NDPL Chief Executive Officer Anil Kr. Sardana said.

He added that the scheme has been introduced for Consumer Convenience, giving them a chance to come forward and mutually eradicate the ills that have been inherent in the erstwhile system.

Sardana said that every one of the NDPL consumer should take this golden opportunity as a positive step towards a hassle-free future and assured them of their support.

CM told to reduce tax On set-top boxes: Hitting back at Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit over her apprehensions on Conditional Access System (CAS), cable operators today asked her to abolish entertainment tax and cut sales tax on set-top boxes.

The Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) has said in a statement that entertainment tax had been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 and abolishing it will reduce the “burden” on the consumer.



Cop waylaid, stabbed

Sonepat, May 30
A police constable, Joginder Singh (26), was stabbed to death by two unidentified armed miscreants while he was on his way to Mehlana village, 7 km from here, last night.

According to a report, the victim was going on a motorcycle to drop his sister’s son, Deepak (9), at Mehlana village. On the way, he was waylaid by two persons near the embankment of the Western Yamuna Canal between Barwasni village and Mehlana. They assaulted him with knives. He tried to save himself from the attack but failed in resisting the duo and was killed. However, Deepak escaped unhurt. The assailants managed to escape. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to apprehend the culprits. The victim was posted at Panipat.

According to another report, a police constable, Balwan Singh, was injured seriously when he was hit by a motorcycle near the railway station here yesterday. He was rushed to the local civil hospital where he is stated to be out of danger. OC



Daring robberies in Lajpat Nagar, Lahori Gate

New Delhi, May 30
It was panic stations in Lajpat Nagar part – I in South district and the Lahori Gate area in Central district yesterday when unidentified youths robbed lakhs of rupees after shackling their victims in the house and on offices premises.

The first incident took place in the house of a Lajpat Nagar businessman, Ram Kumar (55). When the robbers entered the house, the victim, his wife and their 15-year-old son were in the house. The robbers, armed with knives, did not meet with any resistance as the main gate was open. According to the police, the suspects tied the hands and feet of Ram Prakash and threatened other family members to keep quite. They ransacked the whole house and decamped with Rs 40, 000, two gold chains, four bangles, two rings and ear-rings. Ram Prakash informed the police after the suspects had left the house. A case of robbery has been registered and local robbers whose names are in the police records are being questioned.

The second incident occurred in the Lahori Gate area where three youths wearing shabby clothes looted a finance company. They entered the office, tied the receptionist with her dupatta and robbed Rs 2 lakh. TNS



Fund-strapped Jhajjar MC twiddles its thumbs

Jhajjar, May 30
It was another year of dismal performance by the Municipal Committee of Jhajjar , which failed to complete any major development projects in the town. Be it the dream project of resurrection of the Sahidi Park, or the construction of a fire station, the residents are disappointed by the MC’s performance as these projects still remain incomplete.

While financial crunch is being portrayed as the major reason for the dismal performance, the MC remained more in news for its internal conflicts.

The MC had also failed to take up any development work which it proposed to undertake during 2001-2002.

“The reasons behind this dubious record are the severe fund crunch due to non-availability of grants-in-aid and loan and meagre sources of income with the civic body,” an MC official said.

However, despite the prevailing financial crisis, the 15-member municipal committee leaves no chance in playing the blame-game. All that the members strive for is oneupmanship.

It may be recalled that 12 members of the committee withdrew their support to the chairperson, Mrs Usha Bansal, accusing her of large-scale financial bungling and corruption in the functioning of the committee by giving affidavits to the deputy commissioner, Mr Mohinder Kumar last month.

Later, a local INLD leader, Mr Balwan Suhag, intervened and reportedly persuaded all dissident councillors who were dissatisfied with the functioning of the chairperson to retrieve their affidavits, containing allegations, submitted to the Deputy Commissioner.

It was also alleged that the top district officials behaved as a conduit for the chairperson, who enjoys the support of local INLD unit. The Deputy Commissioner neither conducted the general body meeting of the MC nor initiated any inquiry into the allegations of financial irregularities despite the fact that 12 members of the MC submitted affidavits in this regard.

However, on the development front, no major work was completed by the MC to provide better civic amenities to the residents of the town. The Sahidi Park project came to a standstill for want of funds. “The grant of Rs 22 lakh for developing the park has been utilised and another grant is awaited. Only after receipt of that grant, the work will restart,” Mr Dilbag Singh, Secretary of the Municipal Committee, told the NCR Tribune. The historic bus ka talab is also to be renovated but it remained dry due to non-availability of water.

Another long-awaited project, setting up of a fire-station, could not be completed during the financial year 2002-03, though the secretary maintained that the project is in its final stage and would be commissioned soon. He informed that the building of the fire station is near its completion and a fire tender would also be ready soon.

However, the MC officials put the blame for this on the industrial underdevelopment of the town. They held that the grant are distributed as per the population of the town and the population of Jhajjar is much less as compared to other towns. Coupled with the meagre financial resources, the house tax arrears of about Rs 8 lakh pushed it into a deeper economic crisis.



YAP gas tragedy victim’s family refuses 
to accept compensation

Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 30
The family members of Kuldeep, one of the victims of the gas tragedy at the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) plant, have refused to accept cash compensation of Rs 50,000. The families of the victims are reportedly insisting that strict action be taken against the YAP authorities who are being. Held responsible for the mishap in which three casual labourers - Hari Om of village Moi Hooda, Suraj Mal of Ludana and Kuldeep of Busana, lost their lives due to presence of poisonous gases in the tank.

The 11-member action committee, which includes one member from each of the families of the victims, has expressed its dis-satisfaction over the inquiry into the incident.

They have now planned to approach the Punjab and Haryana high court to demand CBI inquiry into the incident.

Spokesperson of the committee, Azad Singh Dharra said that though the Deputy Commissioner, Sonepat, Halwan Singh ordered for SDM’s inquiry on May 19 – one day after the incident, the SDM so far has only issued notices to the concerned parties asking them to be present before him on May 31. “We are not satisfied the way the SDM is conducting the inquiry,” he said, while talking to mediapersons here.

However, the SDM Gohana, Suraj Bhan Jangra assured that the inquiry would be fair and impartial. He refuted the allegation that the administration was trying to subside the matter.

Meanwhile, the family members of the other two victims have accepted cash compensation. The incident occurred on May 18 when the labourers died after inhaling poisonous gas While working in a 30-feet well at the YAP treatment plan. Several lapses had been pointed out, mainly on part of the authorities, which allegedly led to the death of the three labourers. 



DTC itching to go to Lahore again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
Burning of the Lahore Bus by the Shiv Sainiks notwithstanding, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is all geared up for the resumption of the service between India and Pakistan.

The excitement of watching the ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ or the Call of the Border, buses rolling once again across the borders from Delhi to Lahore, is palpable. Massive signboards have come up in the city heralding the resumption of ties between the two not so cordial neighbours.

Take for instance the poetry that has been penned to reinforce the need for friendly ties. A sign board at the Indraprastha Depot reads ‘Phir Chalegi Lahore Bus:

Ab jo miloge to, deewar gira aanaa,

Dil dil se milana hai, duniya ko dikhana hai,

Humsafar ban jana, yeh bus to bahana hai...’

(The Lahore Bus service starts again. This time when we meet let us break all barriers and show to the world how hearts can be united. This journey is just a an excuse, let us become companions forever...)

The author of the couplet is the DTC Chairman and Managing Director, A J S Sawhney.

DTC has also agreed to procure new luxury coaches and get the old buses ready for the 536-km trip as soon as it gets the official notification.

Despite Prime Minister, Mr. A B Vajpayee’s declaration about the resumption of the Delhi-Lahore bus service, the Delhi Government is yet to get any official notification about the resumption of the service. Meanwhile, the old buses that had been put on domestic circuits running between Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Dehra Dun, are not fit to be run on the high profile international route right away, DTC sources said.

They added that the luxury coaches, which would ply on Delhi-Lahore route twice weekly, need to meet international standards of facilities and comfort.



Information on housing schemes on DDA website
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The DDA has decided to make available information regarding the latest updated position/status of its allottees under the Vasant Kunj HIG Housing Scheme 2002 and Dwarka and Sarita Vihar HIG Housing Scheme 2002 on its website (

The successful allottees under the scheme do not have to visit the DDA office to know the status of their cases and can complete the formalities as mentioned on the website. This is the first time the DDA has put out the information on its website.

The DDA allotted 765 flats under the Vasant Kunj HIG Housing Scheme 2002 in October 2002 and 1,163 flats under the Dwarka and Sarita Vihar HIG Housing Scheme 2002 in March 2003.

Successful allottees under both these schemes who deposited the demanded amount and documents will be issued with possession letters/execution of conveyance deeds etc as per the terms and conditions of allotment.

Allottees who have not deposited the demanded amount or document could lose their allotment after action is taken. Cheques of refund amount in case of allottees who desired refund have already been dispatched.



Reward officials informing about 
graft: Justice Mishra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
Expressing concern over the growing corruption in government departments, former Chief Justice of India Justice Ranganath Mishra today said any official who provided information about any corrupt practice should be rewarded adequately.

“I would like to provide special benefits to such officials so that people come forward to take the initiative to fight corruption and help the society to get rid of the menace,” Justice Mishra said while releasing the first issue of ‘Balprada’, a monthly magazine for alert citizens brought out by an NGO of the same name.

The NGO said the magazine would focus on making the society aware about corruption, oppression, exploitation and mismanagement of resources and environment protection.

Justice Mishra said though the salaries of government employees had been raised considerably by the 5th Pay Commission, which had put enormous burden on both central and state governments, the incidents of corruption had increased.

Former judge V. S. Malimath, who recently submitted a report on reforms in criminal laws, said a time had come for all right-thinking people to come forward to fight against corruption.

“Voice of good people is necessary in whatever form. They should assert themselves and not take things lying down. We should have the courage to say that a wrong is wrong and such an effort would definitely have an effect in the fight against corruption,” he said.



Speaking out


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Kudos to the judgement passed by Justice J. D. Kapoor against the misuse of the anti-dowry laws. All is not well at the Crime Against Women Cells. This remedy has proved worse than the disease. It is not denied that there are genuine cases of dowry demands. But the experience has shown that these provisions are in a majority of cases being misused. Along with the innocent old parents, young sisters and brothers, the schoolchildren are also being implicated by the complainants (wives). And by this way, the sanctity of the holy matrimony are being eroded day by day.

It has been rightly observed by the High Court that the offence under Sections 498-A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code should be made bailable and compoundable.

Under Section 8-B of the Dowry Prohibition Act, there has been a provision of the appointment of Dowry Prohibition Officer to be assisted by an advisory board of five social welfare workers, two female and three male from an area in respect of which such Dowry Prohibition Officer exercises jurisdiction. Let Crime Against Women Cells be closed and the cases should be referred to the Dowry Prohibition Officers of the area concerned.

It is high time that the Law Ministry should take the matter seriously and take necessary measures to remedy this most urgent social problem. The sooner, the better.

Advocates, New Delhi

Re-check poor Sanskrit score

On behalf of the parents and students of Delhi Public School, Rohini, I want to say that students, who appeared in class X CBSE board examination in March 2003, scored much below their expectations in Sanskrit.

Last week, when the class X results were declared on May 24, most of the students and their parents were taken aback by the poor marks in Sanskrit.

Usually, students opt for Sanskrit over other languages as it is a mark-fetching subject. But most students of the school have scored less than 70 percent marks. Only three students of the school have scored above 70 per cent. Even students, who have scored close to 100 per cent in other subjects, have failed to score more than 60 per cent in Sanskrit. Comparatively, students of other schools have done fairly well in Sanskrit.

Something has gone wrong. As per some unofficial reports, Sanskrit papers of the particular school were possibly sent to the wrong teacher.

Therefore, the CBSC authorities should take remedial measures, so that the students don't suffer, as it is a question of their future.

Special claps for RLHP

Children are often construed as undeveloped and not serious. But recent school results have shown that there are some children, who in spite of all the difficulties and deprivation, they have reached the level of success and given their life a new direction.

And these definitely children deserve a very special applause from society not just because they have passed seventh standard public examination, rather they are unfortunate children who have not grown in the shelter of parents. They had absconded from their homes owing to several reasons and suffered exploitation from others too. But, they somehow fell into the hands of Rural Literacy and Health Programme (RLHP), an organisation working for the welfare of street children.

Thus, these children were able to change the course of their life and achieved success through their sincere hard work. Unlike other children, who enjoy the protection of their parents - Rachappa, Mahesh Babu, Nigaraju, N Raju and Parameshwari - are some children who are not leading a normal life.

Rachappa was never sent to school by his own parents. He had run away from his house when the cruelty became unbearable for him. RLHP found him begging on streets and took him under its shelter. Similarly, Nagaraju, who was treated badly by his father and stepmother, ultimately left home to work in a hotel at the tender age.

He was abused frequently and was forced to work hard by his employer. When his small shoulders were not able to bear the burden, he ran away to Mysore and started leading the life of a beggar.

Fortunately, RLHP spotted Nagaraju and took care of him. The RLHP gave him non-formal education, he was sent to school, where he cleared seventh standard exams.

RLHP has also found Mahesh Babu of Andhra Pradesh begging on streets. He lost his parents when he was very small.

His neighbours brought him up. Later, they persuaded him to look after their children. Finally, circumstances forced him to leave home. And for N. Raju, the story is same. He was prevented from going school by his own parents. He was forced to work in a garage, where he was harassed. Finally, he too ran away and begged for survival before coming into contact with RLHP.

Parameshwari lost her father when she was young. Her ailing mother was unable to take care of her and she went to her grandmother’s home. And there she helped the old lady to somehow make both ends meet. Ultimately, she ran away from there and was found by RLHP, while begging on streets. By educating such children, RLHP is not only helping them, rather they are doing a noble job by eradicating the menace of child labour, which has now become a major curse for our country.

At an age, when children should make fun and frolic, a few unfortunate children are getting the sticks from their family. If all of us take a vow to make at least one child educate, then illiteracy would totally disappear. And we can ensure that every child has a bright future. India is the largest nation plagued by the problem of child labour.

But the problem needs to be solved by all, like government, society and agencies. With our joint efforts, we can save the future of our country where there is no child labour at all. We need many more RLHPs to come forward to help our unfortunate children.


Friend in need is a friend indeed

This is with reference to the article, ‘Of friendship, in these days of loneliness’ (NCR Tribune, May 25), by M P K Kutty, the writer has explained various aspects of ‘Friendship’, very lucidly by quoting Bible, Shakespeare and some religious and eminent persons.

In this connection, I wish to say, that friend in need is a friend indeed, so reads a proverb. At home, at work in the office or in business, we depend on others. We look around to discover qualities that we need to perfect. We may discover them in a friend who has generous spirit, who may stand by us in time of need, a silent partner, interested in every thing that interests us.

An eminent writer enumerates seven steps on which friendship is built:

  • Friendship is trust.
  • Friendship goes slowly. It cannot be mass-produced. It requires sincerity, tact, prudence and delicacy.
  • Friendship is patient, it grows out of common interest, values and commitments.
  • Friendship, is not competition. Friends rejoice over each others successes and accomplishments, because, they take nothing from either, but add to each.
  • Friendship is ever capable to more growth, ever ready to breakdown the barriers of egoism, never goes weary of beginning a new.
  • Friendship is outgoing. It enable us to give more to others.
  • Friendship is playful. Plafulness enables us to relax, to let ‘our air down’, to lower our defences to castaway inhibitions.

However, in friendship, we should shun manipulators. A friend is one who likes us in spite of our shortcomings. A manipulator is one who feigns friendship with us because we are useful to him. Some one has beautifully said – “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart”.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Allotment of plots

It was heartening to learn that the Delhi Development Authority has decided to hold a computerised draw for the allotment of 589 alternative residential plot for those formers whose land has been acquired. This will ensure that seniority will prevail, that is based on the date of taking over the possession of the land.

In fact, in such cases there must be total transparency so that there is no iota of doubt in any person’s mind that fair action has not been taken. One must be given his/her share on merit.


Hollow claim

The claim of the Chief General Manager, Telecommunication, Haryana Circle, having created a record by providing Telephone facility to all villages of Haryana in NCR Tribune, April 14, is a hollow one.

I would like to apprise to the Manager that I along with many others from the villages, Sarupgarh, Santor, Bhagwi and Neemli (Bhiwani), had applied for the telephone in the year 1999. Demand notices were issued in the beginning of the year 2000, when the rate of security deposits was Rs 1,000, which at a later date slashed to Rs 500. Whenever I visited the office, I was assured that the connections would be provided within three months or so. But months and years passed, I was still waiting. Every time they gave me the same reason: short supply of material. The labourers were seen digging the pit for laying the cable a couple of years back between Sarupgarh and Bhagwi village.

Meanwhile, many of the applicants had to resort to buy mobile phones, as the need of telephone is no more a luxury these days, rather necessary. Nagged with my frequent visits, the officer asked me with more confidently that I should book a complain against the authorities concern.

SUMER SINGH, Bhiwani (Haryana)



Poor cannot die in peace
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 30
It is always difficult when you are poor. If you are also sick, it is the end of the road. It appears true at least in one of the two recent cases where the victim had to fight a protracted illness.

Rajo Devi, wife of Lachhman Singh of Kheri Kalan village near here, committed suicide after she lost all hopes of recovering from her illness. It is learnt that being poor, the family could not get her treatment from private hospitals at a high cost. Her husband is a labourer. He could take her only to the government hospital where, it is reported, she did not get proper attention and adequate medicines. The woman ended her life on Wednesday night by consuming poison at her house.

In another case, a woman had to deliver a baby in the bathroom of the civil hospital here, due to the carelessness on the part of the hospital staff. This is not an isolated case when patients, especially women, are not attended, even if they are in a critical state. The kin of the patient, who protested and argued with the nurse over the lack of attention for the pregnant woman, got shocked when the police booked two of them on the charge of obstructing the staff in their duty.



Abductors held, victim missing
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 30
The Loni police today nabbed two persons, who had been named in a case of kidnapping of a young girl three months ago. The girl has not been traced yet.
In Banthala colony, Loni Ram Udhay’s 15-year-old daughter was kidnapped on February 14. Lakshman and Ajit, who had been named in the FIR for abducting the girl, were nabbed by the Loni police today from the Delhi-Saharanpur road. But there is no trace of the girl.

In another development, a case of abduction of a young girl in Banthala has been registered against three persons. No arrest has been made in this connection so far.

One elderly woman, wife of Mohinder of New Vikas Nagar colony, was run over by a Saharanpur-Delhi train while crossing the railway line.

Two get life term for killing boy

Noida: The Court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Gautam Budh Nagar, today awarded life imprisonment to two criminals, who had killed a child two years ago. A report was filed on April 24, 2001 about the missing of an eight-year-old boy, Rajkumar, from Mohmoodpur village under the Dankaur police station.

Rajkumar’s father, Dev Kumar, had expressed fears in the report that the child might have been done to death by his abductors. The Dankaur police found the body of the boy from a jungle of Mehmoodpur village a week later on April 29. The police arrested both the suspects, Rajinder and Kripal, and sent them to jail. In his verdict, the Additional District and Sessions Judge – I, G B Nagar, sentenced both of them to life imprisonment, including three years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 each.

Mystery shrouds death of distillery worker

Sonepat: Mystery shrouds the death of Om Parkash (32) while working in a distillery at Jahri village, about 5 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, the police have registered a case and sent the body for the postmortem examination. The deceased belonged to Sultanpur district in UP.

Protest against erratic power supply

Residents of Bandepur village, located on the outskirts of the city, held a demonstration and shouted slogans in front of the office of the Superintending Engineer (operation), Mr T. C. Gupta, here yesterday demanding the linking of the rural feeder with the urban feeder to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the village.

Polio drops on June 1

Rohtak: Over 1.51 lakh children below five years in the district would be administered polio drops during the second phase of pulse polio campaign on June 1. According to official sources, 614 booths have been set up for the purpose and 28 mobile teams constituted for administering polio drops to the children at brick kilns and other areas located on the outskirts of the town.



Former PR joint director dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
Prof G. S. Randhir, former Joint Director, Public Relations, Government of Punjab, breathed his last on May 27 evening. He was 83 and had been critically ill for the last few months.

He was an eminent journalist, author of books, poet and was an acknowledged authority on Sikh politics and Punjab affairs. Prof Randhir made tremendous contributions for the promotion of Punjabi art and culture. His book, `Sikh Shrines of India’, brought out by the Publication Division, Government of India, was widely acclaimed in literary circles.

Prof Randhir who started his career as a Lecturer in Government College, Lahore in 1945 had been actively associated with All India Radio and Doordarshan for over 40 years.

After retiring from the Punjab Government in 1979, he had worked as a special correspondent of National Herald and Daily Ajit, Jalandhar for a number of years. He is survived by two sons and two daughters.

The bhog ceremony will be performed on Sunday at Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh, East Patel Nagar from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

Guru Singh Sabha office-bearers: The following have been elected to the executive committee of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Rani Bagh, run under the aegis of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee: chairman - Mr Sohan Singh Kharakh; president - Jathedar Baldev Singh of Rani Bagh; senior vice-president – Mr Sohinder Singh Lamba; vice-presidents - Mr Thaman Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh Virdi; general secretary - Mr Anokh Singh; joint secretary - Mr Kulbir Singh Bhinder; and treasurer - Mr Kundan Singh.



Two held for stealing TV set from Chinese Embassy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 30
The Delhi Police today arrested two youths, including a gardener of Chinese Embassy, on the charge of stealing a TV set from the embassy. The suspects were identified as Nasiruddin, gardener, and his associate Rafiq.

They were arrested by the staff of PCR from Rajaji Marg near Chankyapuri. The PCR staff got suspicious at the boys, who were going to Pragati Maidan on a bicycle, as they had the TV set wrapped in a piece of cloth. Nasiruddin lives near the Nursery gate of Pragati Maidan. During questioning, they confessed to have stolen the TV set from the embassy. The PCR handed them over to the Chankyapuri police and a case of burglary has been registered there, the police said.

Three held for burgling house: Three persons who burgled a house in the Paharganj area in Central district on May 16 have been nabbed by the police. The police claimed that 300 gm of gold, one kg of silver, jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 40,000 in cash were seized from their possession.

The police, acting on a complaint by Rakesh, resident of Paharganj, that his house was burgled when he was away in Madhya Pradesh with his family, apprehended the accused — Shakti, Ajay Kumar and Sandeep, all residents of Multani Dhanda — while their another associate Sanjay has absconded. .

Duo arrested for robbing passengers: In another case, the Central district police arrested two persons, Ayub alias Pehalwan and Zahir, both residents of Turkman Gate, for their involvement in robbing unwitting passengers, who hired their autorickshaws from railway stations. The accused used to take passengers mainly from New Delhi Railway station in their TSR. Once the passenger enters the auto, they would rob them and desert them on the way.

UTI scam accused nabbed from Vishwas Nagar: Former manager of the Lucknow branch of the State Bank of India and a suspect in the UTI scam was arrested by the Delhi Police from Vishwas Nagar in East district yesterday. He was arrested from his hideout in street number 10 in Vishwas Nagar on the charge of cheating.

The police seized four blank bank drafts, one cheque and Rs 57,500 in cash from his possession. The police have informed the SBI headquarters at Parliament Street and the AGM of the SBI in Kanpur.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he had a gang, which has been active in Kolkata, Kanpur, Chandigarh and Nagpur. The gang members who were identified as Liaqat Ali, Farid, Shahanshah, Arjun Shankar, Aziz Khan, Veer Singh and Harender Singh are absconding. Police teams have been sent to these cities to arrest the suspects, the police said.



Youth held for cousin’s murder
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 30
A youth of Chandpur village, who had allegedly eliminated his cousin with the help of some hired criminals, was arrested by the police on Thursday. He was remanded in police custody till June 3 by a local court today.

According to police sources, the accused, Narendra, son of Ram Kumar, is a cousin of deceased Hari Ram, son of Ran Singh. The sister of Ram Kumar, Ms Naseeb Kaur, is married at Dulhera village. She had provided a piece of land (5 acres) from her share to Narendra and ignored Hari Ram. This created a rift between the two cousins. Narendra allegedly fixed a deal for Rs 1.5 lakh with Rajesh and Rajiv of Ismaila village to eliminate Hari Ram. Rajesh and Rajiv allegedly took the help of Sudhir of Riwara village in Gohana and Amit of Delhi in carrying out the plan. The miscreants reportedly took Hari Ram in a Maruti car, killed him and threw his body in the fields at Kansraiti village on April 6.


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