Friday, June 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


16 girls, three boys freed from Apollo Circus camp
Our Correspondent

Meerut, June 5
It was curtains for the controversial Apollo Circus after the police rescued 16 girls and three boys, mostly from Nepal, from its Muzaffarnagar camp late last night.

On May 25, the police had rescued two girls from the circus premises; the girls had levelled allegations of sexual abuse against the co-owners of the circus. One girl was then reported to be missing.

The 16 girls and three boys, who were rescued today, had a tearful reunion with their parents. All of them vowed not to work for the circus, in case it resumes operations.

The drama unfolded when parents of some of the girl employees and the president of the Non-Resident Nepali Friends Forum, Durga Prasad Aryal, president of the Mahila Wing, Parwati, and an advocate made a representation to the Inspector General of Police, Meerut Zone, Mr Vibhuti Narayan Rai, requesting him to secure the release of their children.

It was alleged that the girls and boys had been taken hostage by the owners of the circus with the help of some musclemen. It was further alleged that the children were being harassed on the premises.

In turn, the IG asked the SSP of Muzaffarnagar, Mr Bhajni Ram Mina, to personally look into the matter as the circus was currently running in that district. Mr Mina constituted a team.

At about 10.30 pm yesterday, a heavy posse of police surrounded the circus camp and took the 16 girls and three boys into custody.

The parents of the children had assembled outside the camp. It was a mushy scene when the cops marched out of the circus premises with the children. The jubilant parents hugged the children, who were later escorted to the police station.

The SSP quizzed the employees before releasing them. The captives told the cops that they would like to return to Nepal with their parents.

Later, the parents met the SSP at Police Lines, where he was presiding over a meeting of subordinate officials. They requested the SSP to order the release of the children. They expressed fears that the owners of the circus would force the girls into prostitution, if they lay their hands on them.

Speaking to the NCR Tribune on phone, Mr Mina said that efforts were on to arrest the owners of the circus as the girl workers had alleged that they were made to work forcibly and that they had not been paid for months. They were also harassed in other ways.



Livid residents block traffic at Moolchand
Tribune News Service

Activists of the BJP Mahila Morcha block traffic near Regal Cinema against water and electricity shortage in the Capital
Activists of the BJP Mahila Morcha block traffic near Regal Cinema against water and electricity shortage in the Capital on Thursday. — Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi & Dadri, June 5
It may not be a case of water riots yet. But the anger of residents against water and power shortage in the region has started spilling into the streets. In one such outburst, a large number of people gathered at the Moolchand flyover today morning and blocked traffic to protest against water scarcity in Sadiq Nagar area of South Delhi. Tempers ran high as the temperature soared and the angry crowd roughed up some officials of the Delhi Jal board. Ultimately, the local police rescued the officials from the crowd.

The police said that the residents of the area had initially gone to the Delhi Jal Board office and complained about the water shortage being faced by them. They refused to disperse from the office till they had an assurance from the officials. Finally, the local police came and persuaded the residents to vacate the office, besides promising them that normalcy would soon be restored.

But the agitated residents, after vacating the office, instead of returning to their houses, made a beeline for the Moolchand flyover and started blocking traffic, that too in the peak hour, creating traffic snarls in the area.

In Dadri, a large number of women staged a protest rally at the office of Deputy District Magistrate Sheshmani Pandey and raised slogans against the Power Department and the UP Power Corporation. Mr Pandey tried to placate the protestors who had trudged to the office in the blazing sun, assuring them that the power situation would improve soon.

Women complained that they had been coping with intermittent power cuts and voltage fluctuation for the last one month. At times, they were not able to use even fans owing to low voltage. There were frequent cuts as the power cables were being changed in the area; Result: they had to suffer for hours in the scorching heat even though they had been paying their bills on time.

Mr Pandey assured them that the power situation would improve within three days. He told the engineer in charge of the Power Department to see to it that the problem was remedied within three days. 



No more thugs; HC gags auto finance companies 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
The Delhi High Court has warned finance companies against predatory practices, including the use of muscle power, to impound vehicles financed by them in case of default in repayment of loan amount. The court has also framed guidelines for the recovery process.

Taking a serious note of the complaints against finance companies which are known to whimsically impound the defaulters’ vehicles, a two-judge Bench comprising Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog framed guidelines to be followed by the companies for repossessing the vehicle.

Observing that the contracts for the repayment of vehicle loans mostly involved issuance of post-dated cheques, the court said that where a cheque is dishonoured for the first time, the borrower should be notified of the same immediately through registered post.

Again, seven days’ time should be given for serving the notice and facilitating the repayment of the amount, they said, adding that if the cheque is dishonoured for a second time, another notice should be given to the borrower regarding the lender’s right to recall the loan as per the terms of the contract.

If the notice is not complied within seven days, the company may recall the loan but even this would not entitle it to track the vehicle while it is plying on the road, the Bench observed, confirming the RBI guidelines against undue harassment of borrowers.

Lastly, where a borrower refuses to sign the papers when the vehicle is repossessed, the company should immediately bring it to the notice of the local police, intimating them about the time and place when it was repossessed, the court added. 



Fifty-fifty town: The other half doesn’t 
have water, amenities
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 5
Nearly 50 per cent of the population of this district town reside in unauthorised colonies, which have been denied basic amenities like supply of piped drinking water, sewerage and pucca streets.

Rohtak town has a population of approximately three lakh of whom nearly 1.5 lakh live in unauthorised colonies. The town has 68 unauthorised colonies of which the Janata Colony, Shora Kothi etc are densely populated.

Soon after the Vidhan Sabha elections in 2000, the state government had decided to regularise these colonies. But the development charges fixed for granting approval to these colonies were so high that most of the residents of such colonies could not afford them. Thus the plan ended in a fiasco.

The government, with a view to pressuring these residents to agree to the charges fixed for the approval of these colonies, withdrew the scheme about a year ago. The government also banned the sale and registration of property in the unauthorised colonies.

However, keeping in view the impending elections to the Lok Sabha, the state government lifted the ban on the sale and purchase of property in the unauthorised colonies on May 30.

The Rohtak Property Dealers Association, while welcoming the decision to lift the ban, has urged the state government to reduce the stamp duty on the registration of property from 15.50 per cent to six per cent as was being charged in the neighbouring union Capital. The association general secretary, Mr Manmohan Azad, reminded the government that the stamp duty being charged in Punjab was also 6.50 per cent.

The association has also asked the government to reconsider the authorisation of those colonies that were approved initially but were disapproved later.

Interestingly, the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), a successor company of the Haryana State Electricity Board, has provided electricity connections to the unauthorised colonies. But for meeting their water needs, these residents have to depend on hand pumps and supply of water from unauthorised sources. A few of them, however, have managed piped water supply allegedly in connivance with the officials of the Public Health Department.



Agitated students storm DSW office
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
After a first day sell-out, the Delhi University was coping hard to provide admission forms to students today. Even as the university officials maintained that there was no need to panic, agitated students stormed the office of the Dean, Student’s Welfare (DSW), and created a ruckus. Led by the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) activists, students marched to the office of the DSW, where they broke window panes and raised slogans.

“We had informed the DSW office last evening that no forms were available and we were assured that the forms would be supplied to us in the morning,” said Deepti Rawat, General Secretary, DUSU.

She added, “The university had said yesterday that by late evening we will have more forms ready, but till noon today there were no forms. Students, who came all the way from distant places, had to return empty-handed.’’

Deepti also pointed out: “Nor are forms available in any of the university or DUSU centers.” The DUSU has warned that if forms are not supplied by Friday morning, they will stage another protest.

The Dean’s office however maintained that that the problem had been blown out of proportion and there was no shortage. They pointed out that the last date of submission of forms was still distant and there is no need for students to panic.

Officials at the DSW said, it was possible the artificial shortage had been created by black marketeers and forms had been supplied to some centres this morning. It was pointed out that there were centres and post offices where the forms were still available. Even as confusion reigned, some students trudged to different colleges to procure the forms. “I could not get the centralised form, so I went to a few colleges and bought the prospectus and the forms. At least, I will have something in hand,” said Neha, who is seeking admission to B.Com Hons.

The early birds, who procured the forms yesterday, have already started submitting them. “I started early. I had all the forms ready last evening and have submitted them in Hindu, Kirori Mal and St. Stephens. There was no point in waiting further”, said Deepika Gupta who, with a percentage of 89, is “hoping to get into a good college”.

On the other hand, those with less marks are worried about making it to a regular college. “A friend, who has secured above 90 per cent, is worried that he may not get into St. Stephens; and I am concerned that my 72 per cent may not get me into the course I want to study, the college being second priority,” said Gaurav Gupta. 



Sanitation in Sonepat wards handed 
over to private parties
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 5
The Sonepat Municipal Council is all set to engage private parties for sanitation work in at least one-third of the localities in the town. The council had already passed a resolution in this regard. Within 15 days, the resolution will come into operation.

According to chairman of the council Satpal Goyal, initially the sanitation work in the localities falling under 10 municipal wards west of the railway line will be handed over to the private parties. Each ward will be covered by at least a team of seven safai personnel. Till now, 55 safai karamcharis of the council used to carry out the work in these 10 wards. Mr Goyal told the NCR Tribune last evening that the cleanliness work in the remaining 21 wards would be carried out by the council’s safai karamcharis.

He claimed that the experiment of handing over sanitation jobs to private parties in many other towns had proved successful.

He stated that there were around 250 safai karamcharis in the service of the council to cater to the needs of a population of nearly two lakh at present. The safai karamcharis collected garbage from more than 400 points. The total garbage generated in the town was estimated between 70 to 90 tonnes daily, he said.

“There are around 36,000 houses and over 10,000 shops within the municipal limits of the town and their numbers continue to increase every year,” he said.

The council also planned to enrol 50 more safai karamcharis in the future. A resolution to this effect would be sent to the government with the approval of the Deputy Commissioner for obtaining the government’s sanction for these posts.

The NCR Planning Board-aided project of shifting the dairies from the town limits was being completed almost on schedule. After its completion, the town would be free from many problems relating to cleanliness, drainage and water supply, he said.



Robbers attack ex-cop, loot lakhs from 
his finance company
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 5
In a daring daylight robbery, a group of armed criminals barged into the finance company-cum-residence of former police Inspector Inderaj Singh alias Brahmachari and looted lakhs of rupees and a licensed revolver after injuring the ex-cop, his son and nephew here yesterday.

Incidentally, Mr Inderaj Singh is credited with the first encounter in Ghaziabad when he was an inspector. He owns a building, Seema Complex, on Ambedkar Road near Kalka Garhi Chowk from where he runs his Seema Credit and Motor Finance Company.

Three persons came to the company at about 2.30 pm to get a vehicle financed while Mr Inderaj Singh was taking a siesta after lunch. As he was getting up to attend to them, four more youths barged in. Three of them were armed with country-made revolvers while the fourth had a dagger in his hand.

Seeing the revolvers, Mr Inderaj Singh tried to whip out his pistol from the holster. But the criminals pounced on him; one of them hit him on his ear pit with a revolver butt while the other attacked him with a knife. He was injured in the hand.

He managed to fire twice from his revolver even as they were grappling with him but the bullets missed the target. He was eventually overpowered. By this time, Mr Inderaj Singh’s nephew Subash heard the commotion and raised an alarm. At this, the assailants attacked him with the knife and revolver butts, injuring him.

The assailants then snatched Mr Inderaj Singh’s revolver and locked him up in a room. His younger son Ankit arrived on the scene but he was also attacked, injured and locked up in the room.

After this, the intruders decamped with cash amounting to lakhs of rupees and the revolver. While leaving, the criminals tried to lock the premises from outside, but could only down the shutters.



11 businessmen nabbed from five star hotel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
In a midnight swoop, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have smashed a gambling cartel with the arrest of 13 high-profile businessmen from a state-owned five-star hotel in the heart of the national Capital.

The businessmen were identified as Ravinder Kumar Malhotra alias Pappi, Manjet Singh, Sumit Benarjee, Khusvinder Singh, Prabhu Dayal, Parminderpal Singh, Amarnath Aggarwal, Jaswant Singh, Manoj, Joginder, Krishan Chand, Pawan Bajaj and S. Kumar. The Police seized Rs 5.34 lakh in cash and tokens worth Rs 65 lakh from their possession, Deputy Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak said. They have been booked under the Delhi Gambling Act in the Chanakyapuri police station.

The suspects run hotels, restaurants, finance companies, property dealership etc in the Capital. They were arrested from a luxurious suite of the hotel during the raid.

The police had information that high-profile businessmen were involved in gambling in a hotel in the Capital. A decoy customer was sent to the hotel to fix the deal.

When the deal was fixed, he alerted the police, who raided the suite concerned and arrested them.



Third Front to contest all seats
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
The Third Front of ‘secular’, ‘non-Congress’ and ‘non-BJP’ parties have joined hands to offer an alternative political dispensation to the people of NCT of Delhi.
Janata Dal (Secular) senior national vice-president Romesh Bhandari; senior national vice-president of Lok Janshakti Party Ramvir Singh Bidhuri; president of Janata Dal (Secular) Shoaib Iqbal; national general secretary of Samajwadi Janata Party H.N. Sharma;s president of Nationalist Congress Party Sukhbir Singh Panwar and president of National Akali Dal Paramjit Singh Pamma met on Thursday to float the conglomerate.

They told mediapersons that the Third Front would contest all 70 Assembly seats. Explaining the coming together of different political parties under one secular umbrella, they attributed the formation of the Third Front to the “disenchantment with the misrule of the two parties over the past decade.” The Front, they said, would ensure that the economically challenged sections and neglected communities got their due in the dispensation.

Mr Bidhuri told reporters that the Congress and the BJP had failed to fulfil the expectations of the people who had voted for them. “Such is the connivance of the two parties,” he said, “that they have filed an affidavit in the court agreeing to the harsh penalties and development charges for regularisation of illegal colonies.” Moreover, he said, about 20 lakh consumers living in slums were being fleeced by private contractors in the name of levy of development charges for the electricity supplied.

The failure of the Congress and the BJP governments to get the Lal Dora extended in the villages, waive off house tax on villagers and issue of ration cards to the slum dwellers were also raised by Mr Bidhuri and others. Lashing out at the Congress and the BJP for leaving a trail of broken promises, Mr Bidhuri said, “They had taken the landless for a ride…. Not a single inch of Gram Sabha land had been allotted in the past several years.”



CM targeting BKU: Hooda

Sonepat, June 5
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, the spokesman of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), has accused the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala of adopting vindictive attitude against the leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union

He alleged that a reign of terror has been let loose by the police to terrorise the activists of the union so as to discourage them from taking part in the protest rallies and demonstrations against the government. OC 



Samajwadi Party demands suspension of official for continuing water crisis
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 5
Holding the Executive Engineer, Public Health, Rohtak, responsible for the inadequate supply of piped water in the district, the Haryana unit of Samajwadi Party has demanded the immediate suspension of the officer concerned.

In a statement here today, Ms Kanta Alaria, state president of the party, alleged that residents of Rohtak had been facing acute hardship due to the scarcity as well as contamination of piped water for the last several years.

She said the present Executive Engineer, Public Health, continues to hold on to his post for the last several years though the aggrieved residents had been complaining against the shortage of water and supply of contaminated water to their localities repeatedly.

She alleged the Executive Engineer had adopted a casual attitude towards the sufferings of the residents. The Samajwadi Party leader claimed that people in different localities had been suffering from various water borne diseases as they were forced to consume the highly contaminated water supplied by the department.

She said the problem had been highlighted by different newspapers from time to time but it seems the concerned authorities have ignored these reports as no remedial measures have been adopted so far.

She also sought that the explanation of the state government as to why the said Executive Engineer continues to be posted at the same station for several years while the other officials were being shifted constantly.

She warned that the party would launch an agitation and gherao the ‘erring’ official if he was not removed from his present post and no improvement was made in the supply of piped water within a week. The official concerned could not be contacted for his views despite several attempts.



Problems galore on Power Minister’s turf 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 5
Even as the mercury is rising, Ghaziabad is reeling under an acute power and water crisis. However, political parties and their representatives have been conspicuous by their absence and have failed to take on the government on these issues.

It seems that the political representatives have little time for the worries of the common man.

In spite of the acute crisis of power and water in the city, no political party or leader seems to be concerned about it because they no longer live here, said one resident.

This is despite the fact that the Minister of Power in the UP Government, Ram Vir Uphadhyay, is from the city.

Perhaps his silence is due to the compulsions of a coalition government in the Centre as well as in UP, said another residents. No body raises the vital issues affecting the daily life of the people here any more, he complained.

In the days gone by, the BJP used to be the most vocal protagonist of all public issues and concerns, and did not think twice before holding protest rally even at the residence of Union Ministers in Delhi.

Even though the problems have become all the more acute with the passage of time, the people are surprised that the BJP ministers no longer bother about the problems of the common man, said another resident of the city.

The local MP, Dr Ramesh Chand Tomar and MLA, Mr Narinder Sisodya, are yet to inform the public whether they have sought the help of the Central and the state government to overcome the present power and water crisis.

The public is surprised that these leaders, who had spearheaded ‘crusades’ for public good in the past, have considerably ‘mellowed’ down.

Perhaps, since they themselves no longer live in Ghaziabad, they are giving the city and its people a cold shoulder, felt another harassed resident of the city.

The people in the city are surprised that even when the problem has become so acute, no party has raised the issue of power shortage this year.



Land auction: DC target of villagers’ ire 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 5
Large number of residents of Aurangabad village held a demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here in protest against the alleged irregularities by the officials of the Panchayat Department in the auction of the panchayat land in the village.

According to a report, the demonstrators shouted slogan against the officials of the Panchayat Department and demanded re-auction of the panchayat land and an inquiry into the public complaints against the officials. The demonstrators also alleged that the Gram Sachiv and a Panch were involved in the secret auction of the panchayat land. The Deputy Commissioner directed the Block Development and Panchayat Officer to look into the complaint and take necessary action in the matter. The District Panchayat Officer, Mr V S Malik, assured the demonstrators that the panchayat land would be re-auctioned soon. Thereupon, the demonstrators dispersed peacefully.

According to another report, the residents of Barwasni village held a demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office here to register their protest against the erratic power supply and drinking water crisis.

The residents also apprised the Deputy Commissioner about other problems being faced by them. The DC assured the residents that he would look into their problems and solve them as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the SDM, Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, held an open darbar at Ganaur, a sub-divisional town in this district yesterday and received as many as 13 complaints about the erratic power and water supplies, old age pension and drainage of storm water. The SDM directed the officials concerned to take immediate action for redressing the grievances .



Anti-trader policies driving out industrial units?
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 5
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has alleged that several major industrial units have either shifted to other states or are contemplating to settle in other state due to the anti-trader policies of the state government.

Addressing newsmen here, Mr Jagdish Rai Kaushik, state general secretary of the party, said the Reserve Bank of India had released a list of 65 major industrial units against which an amount of nearly Rs 350 crores was pending.

He said some of these units had been closed down while the others were on the verge of closing.

Quoting certain examples, he said several major industrial groups including Atlas, BST, Jindal Group, Parle Biscuits, Escorts, Hero Honda, Eicher etc, had shifted their business to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Many of them had been on the verge of winding up their business to settle somewhere else due to the ‘faulty’ policies of the state government.

Quoting a report of the Haryana Finance Corporation, the RLD leader said five industrial units of Bhiwani, 12 of Bahadurgarh, five of Faridabad, 11 of Gurgaon, 20 of Hisar, eight of Jind, six of Sonepat, five of Sirsa, eight of Panipat, two each of Rewari, Kaithal and Panchkula left Haryana during the past few years.

These industrial units have also not paid government loans amounting to approximately Rs 1 crore pending against them.

He said that strangely the state government did not take any action against such industrial units while the farmers and labourers in the region were lodged in jail on having failed to repay the government loans of merely Rs 10,000.

Swami Indervesh, state president of the party, said Ajit Singh, national president of the party resigned from the post of Union Agriculture Minister to fight for the interest of farmers. He said Mr Ajit Singh would address a kisan rally at Sonepat on June 16.

Commenting on the electoral alliance with the Haryana Vikas Party in Haryana, he said the party’s main aim was to check the division of anti-INLD votes.



More castes added to Central list of OBCs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
Apparently with an eye on the coming elections, the Union Government today decided to include certain new castes and communities in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in NCT of Delhi.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Union Cabinet at its meeting presided over by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Briefing reporters after the Union Cabinet met, a spokesman said that in NCT of Delhi, Julaha-Ansari, Idrishi, Naddaf, Mansoori and Salmani would be included in the Central OBC list.

NCT of Delhi will have Assembly elections along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, later this year and the inclusion of these communities is seen as an attempt to woo the Muslim community ahead of the polls.

The spokesperson said the Cabinet approved the entries in the lists for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan, and West Bengal and the Union Territories of NCT of Delhi and Chandigarh.

Acceding to a recommendation by the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) in this regard, the Cabinet also accorded the OBC status to the Yadav / Ahir community in Chandigarh.



Green revolution not as glorious as it is painted
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 5
Mr Vijay Yadav, convener of the Disaster Mitigation and Community Preparedness Forum (DMCPF), has raised some serious questions on the usefulness of the second green revolution. The green revolution is in the offing to usher India in the comity of developed countries by 2030.

He said that it was a matter of concern that only the massive one-sided (quantitative) success of the first green revolution, which led to glutted warehouses throughout the country, had been publicised while its disastrous effects on environment and the quality of life seemed to have been sidetracked.

Emphasising the urgency of reviewing the pros and cons of the first green revolution, Mr Yadav said that it was common knowledge that to extract optimum production of grain, so-called progressive peasantry irrationally used pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and rodenticides—all manufactured from the earth’s deadliest chemicals.

Besides, there was a threat to the oceans where accumulation of large quantities of nitrates and phosphates of the consumed fertilisers was causing eutroplication, i.e. death of water because of loss of oxygen. It would ultimately endanger aquatic life on a mass scale, he added.

Turning to information supplied by the world resource institute of the UN, he said that global food production, during the mid 60’s to mid 80’s, had increased at the rate of 2 point 4 per cent per annum while there was now a decline of about two per cent in the growth rate of global population annually.

This showed that food for every mouth could now be managed through sustainable agriculture.

Mr Yadav asserted that the message was now quite loud and clear that serious thought must be given before we embarked upon the second green revolution which, he said, was bound to bring in more disaster and harm than the benefits.



Goods worth lakhs gutted in Karol Bagh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a fire that broke out at NITCO godown in Karol Bagh early this morning.
The fire broke out around 2.15 am when the godown was locked. About 30 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. The fire was brought under control within an hour, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) said.

No casualties were reported and the exact extent of damage was yet to be estimated. The cause of the mishap was yet to be ascertained. According to preliminary investigation, short-circuit could be the cause of fire. Nobody was in the godown when the fire broke out. Night watchman noticed the smoke emanating from it. He informed the DFs.

By the time the firefighters reached there, the fire had engulfed the entire godown. Since there was no way to enter the building, the DFS personnel made a hole in the walls.

Residents living in the nearby areas said that they had fear that the leaping flames could catch other buildings. They had come onto the streets during the night.

The residents heaved a sigh of relief when the fire brigade official announced that it had brought under control.



Heat wave claims life of old woman
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, June 5
The prevailing heat wave took its first toll in the district today when an unidentified aged woman succumbed to the scorching heat at the bus stand here today.

The woman was reportedly waiting for a bus. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital where she died.

Kidnapped man freed

Narnaul: On the complaint of Murti Devi of Khudana village, Mahendragarh police have registered a case of kidnapping against four persons and recovered Jhamman Singh, husband of Murti Devi, along with the accused.

The woman informed the police on the evening of June 3 about the kidnapping of Jhamman Singh.

The arrested persons were, Man Singh (Khedi), Bajrang (Basai), Krishan Kumar (Khudana)—all from Mahendragarh sub-division..

Taxi driver killed

Four unidentified persons killed a taxi driver near Kunjpura in Ateli block. The culprits threw the body in the fields and abandoned the vehicle on the night of June 3, 2003.

The police have registered a case and looking for the killers.

Roadways staff on strike

Sonepat: The Haryana Roadways staff at Gohana sub-depot went on strike today in protest against alleged slapping of a workshop employee by the general manager of the Sonepat Roadways depot, Mr S C Jain last evening.

However, the strike was called off after 2.00 pm when the GM reportedly apologised after intervention by the SDM Gohana and the state president of the Haryana Roadways staff union, Baldev Singh.

Two bikes stolen

Thieves are reported to have taken away two motorcycles from the house of Mr Om Parkash at Mohalla Kot here last night.

According to a report, the thieves scaled the walls of the house and broke open the locks from inside and took away both the bikes.

The owner of the house lodged an FIR with the police. He found one of the bikes at some distance as the petrol of the bike had perhaps exhausted.

The police have also recovered another bike found abandoned near a cremation ground. This motorcycle was partially burnt.

Two injured

Two persons, Narinder and Suddep were injured, one of them seriously, when an unknown vehicle hit their car on G T Road near Rai village about 13 km from here last night.

According to a report, the injured were rushed to the local civil hospital from where Narinder was sent to a trauma centre in Delhi. The car was on its way from Panipat to Delhi.

Looting case

The police have achieved no breakthrough in the case of looting of about Rs 10 lakh from Mr Pawan Goel, president of the Sonepat Foodgrains Association and a prominent trader of Sonepat on Sonepat-Rohtak Road near Kanwali village last month.

According to a report, this has caused resentment among the trading community. Similarly, the police have failed to find a clue to the broad-day theft committed in a house in the Housing Board Colony of Sector 15 in the city on Saturday last. The thieves are reported to have taken away cash and gold ornaments worth about Rs 1.5 lakh.



SDM and four officials transferred
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
The Election Commission (EC) has ordered immediate transfer of a Sub-District Magistrate (SDM) and four Assistant Electoral Registration Officers (AEROs) in NCT of Delhi taking serious view of dereliction of duty by them in finalisation of electoral rolls for the forthcoming polls.

The EC also told the Chief Secretary to ensure that ministers did not interfere in the functioning of government officials involved in electoral work.

The Commission, in a letter to Chief Secretary Shailja Chandra, asked her to replace these officers with “officers of integrity and experience” and send a compliance report to it by Saturday.

It pointed out that the officials concerned had disposed of only 35 per cent of the claims and objections in Delhi Cantonment Assembly constituency.

CBI probe sought: Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Subhash Arya demanded CBI probe in awarding 81 contracts for development works to the contractors in division 28 of engineering department.

All the tenders were floated without completing any formalities.

Giving details of the contracts, he said that notice inviting tender (NIT) numbers 35 and 36 were issued on January 20, in which tenders were invited for 45 works.

In the NIT number 42 and 43 floated on March 7 for three works and NIT number 48 and 49 floated on 13the and 14th March for 32 works were invited.

All these works were allotted to three contractors without completion of any formalities. Subhash Arya alleged that all the NITs were of amount more than Rs 2 lakh and hence acquired adequate publicity. The NITs also required to be sent to vigilance and quality control department, but it is painful that neither these NITs were sent to press and information office for publication nor were forwarded to vigilance and quality control department.

He alleged that of the six NITs, four were re-floated after a disciplinary action was proposed against Accountant and Tender Clerk, but no action has been so far taken against the erring officials.



Haj pilgrimage

New Delhi, June 5
The Delhi State Haj Committee announced that application forms for the next year’s Haj pilgrimage would be available from today.
The application forms can be obtained from the office of the Delhi State Haj Committee on all working days.

Committee Chairman Abdul Sami Salmani, in a statement, said July 15 had been fixed as the last date for submitting the forms.

The application form must be accompanied with a photocopy of the ration card, 15 photographs (against white background), blood group certificate and a bank draft of Rs 10,550 in favour of the Delhi State Haj Committee. TNS



Five robbers held; 14 cases solved

New Delhi, June 5
The North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of five robbers who were planning to commit a dacoity in the Nand Nagari area. Two motorcycles, one knife, one country-made weapon with two live cartridges were recovered from their possession. Acting on a tip-off that the robbers would assemble near a temple at Kodhi Colony in Nand Nagari, a special team apprehended Nafees (20), Abdul Akram alias Rahul (22), Mohammad Umer Malik (20), Amir alias Guddu (20) and Mohammad Asif (20), all residents of Loni, Uttar Pradesh. During interrogation, the accused confessed to their crimes and said that they were involved in more than 14 cases of robbery and auto-lifting.

The police deployed in the routine duty in the North Avenue area last night apprehended a person after he was found carrying a stolen colour TV and a digital camera wrapped in a bedsheet. Last night the police spotted a person Mohammad Yusuf, resident of Madhya Pradesh carrying some items and after questioning the person it was revealed that the items were stolen from an MP flat No 76. TNS



Three get deserts after savouring peacocks!
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, June 5
Three persons of Ratera village have been charged with the killing of peacocks and then eating their meat.
The accused have been arrested and now cooling their heels in police custody.

In a complaint registered with the police, the village sarpanch, Dalbir Singh, alleged that the trio Mota, Kishan and Sanjay killed several peacocks and consumed them. The sarpanch alleged that the accused had been killing peacocks for the last several days. The police have arrested the accused under the Wildlife Animal Protection Act 1977.



PHDCCI calls for labour reforms within 
ILO parameters
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has pressed for a review of the provisions relating to scope of employment relationship within the parameters of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The reforms should also highlight the employer-employee relationship, even for a contract job, said Mr PK Jain, president of the Chamber.

Mr Jain, who is also the founder president of the Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), is representing PHDCCI in the 91st session of the ongoing International Labour Conference in Geneva, which concludes on June 19.

He will take up various labour related issues during the conference.

According to Mr Jain, as regards the scope of the employment relationship, the protection offered by most national labour laws and ILO instruments is only applicable to workers who are employees and have an identifiable employer who has an employment relationship with them. Failure to obtain a clear idea of the nature of the relationship, between a person performing work as a service and the person receiving the work or service, can leave workers unprotected. Various forms of employment can be disguised, or may become ambiguous, thereby raising serious questions as to who is an employee and who is an employer, he said. This phenomenon is by no means new, but it is increasing and certain categories of workers-women, marginalised workers and illegal immigrants, can be particularly affected by it.

The PHDCCI also emphasised the need for revision of human resource development recommendation of ILO, as it is largely outdated, and needs to be replaced, by a dynamic instrument, that is more applicable and useful to member states and the social partners while formulating and implementing human resource development policies and programmes.

Regarding the occupational health and safety, Mr Jain said global, social and economic changes in trade, regulatory systems, technology, information, work organisation, employment patterns, and in other spheres, are having an increasing effect on the status and role of international labour standards. This effect is significant in the field of occupational safety and health. There is need for integrated approach on the overall coherence, relevance and impact of ILO occupational safety and health standards related activities in the area of occupational safety and health.

In the area of improved security for seafarers’ identification in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11,2001,the Assembly of the international organisation adopted a resolution called “Review of measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism which threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships”.

According to the chamber, the aspect to be considered in this context concerns the present arrangements for the identification of seafarers seeking authorisation to exercise their important right to shore leave or for carrying out professional duties in a territory. The ILO’s Seafarers’ identity Document Convention, 1958(No 108), covers this aspect, but provides for an identity document lacking the security features necessary for the present-day conditions. Convention 108 thus, requires urgent updating in this respect, the Chamber said. It also needs to be reviewed to ensure that the new provisions to be adopted, which could be included in a protocol to that convention or in an instrument revising it, are readily acceptable to the largest possible number of countries, the PHDCCI added.


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