Saturday, June 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Coming Akali events cast their shadows before
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
The merging of the two major Akali factions, the Badal and the Tohra group, could well have a fallout on the political scenario of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi which goes to polls later this year, thanks to the sizeable electorate the Akalis claim to represent.

Before the unification, the former Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) was aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party while the erstwhile Sarb Hind Akali Dal (Tohra) was known to have been close to the Congress.

The Tohra group, led by Paramjit Singh Sarna, had emerged victorious in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections last year and is at present controlling the cash-rich committee which manages major gurdwaras, schools and colleges in the Capital. It had managed to oust the SAD (Badal) group led by Avtar Singh Hit, which was in control of the committee earlier.

While the modalities of the unification are yet to be worked out, it would be interesting to see who would be chosen to lead the party in the Capital which has a sizeable membership and is known to be the representative of lakhs of Sikhs and Punjabis settled in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Like their mentors, both Sarna and Hit have been arch rivals and have never spared a chance to gun for the other. Only recently, the former SAD (Badal) group had criticised the functioning of some of the committees set up by the DSGMC, particularly the Education Committee, which forced the committee to hold a press conference to project its viewpoints.

The Badal group had also accused the DSGMC of turning a blind eye to the large-scale financial bungles in a hospital run by it.

While the managers of the newly united party are likely to devote a lot of time and efforts to iron out the differences between the leaders of the two former factions and chose someone acceptable to both the groups to lead it in the Capital, the two major parties, the BJP and the Congress, are keeping a close watch on the developments. Both the parties have repeatedly claimed that they are the real champions of the cause of the Punjabi and Sikh population in the Capital, their unrelenting support to the demand of giving the second language status to Punjabi being only one such instance.

Stalwarts of Akali politics in the Capital while conceding that the unity would be good for the community admit that the leadership issue could become contentious given the bitterness that has been allowed to grow over the years. After all, whoever controls the party in the Capital controls the brimming coffers to boot.

According to political observers here, there is no doubt that the merging of the two groups was likely to raise their negotiating power and both the BJP and the Congress were well aware of this. Initial forays have already started. Spin masters of the two parties are already in touch with their contacts within the community and these are likely to intensify in the next few weeks in the run-up to the assembly polls.



Cong UP secretary shot dead
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 13
Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress Satinder Sharma (45) was shot dead in a hail of bullets by two assailants last night in Nai Basti under the Kotwali police station. A property dispute is stated to be the reason behind the murder.

Irate Congress supporters and friends of Mr Satinder Sharma today staged a protest in front of the Kotwali police station and shouted slogans against the delay in arresting the culprits.

Mr Sharma’s brother Om Prakash lodged an FIR against a medical practitioner, Sunil Vasisht, and an unidentified person.

According to the police, two assailants came on a scooter at around 11 pm and pumped several bullets into Mr Sharma killing him on the spot. The body has been sent for a post-mortem.

Mr Sharma, an advocate, had been involved in a dispute with Sunil Vasisht, said to be a quack doctor, over a building. Mr Sharma had purchased the building from a third person. Sunil Vasisht allegedly occupied a part of it. When Mr Sharma pressed him to vacate it, Vasisht allegedly demanded Rs 30 lakh. Mr Sharma’s nephew Ajit Pandit was killed last year. It was suspected to be a fallout of this dispute.

Mr Sharma’s brother Om Prakash suspects that Mr Sharma was also killed because of this fracas. The police also said that the property row was the reason behind the murder.

In a related development, Mahanagar Congress president Vijender Yadav said here today that tomorrow’s protest rally against water and power crisis has been cancelled in view of Mr Sharma’s murder.

Man shot dead; cash, bike looted

Two criminals lay in wait behind bushes near Bisahra culvert under Dadri police station and shot dead a young man while his companion fell unconscious, out of fear. The criminals are said to have looted Rs 30,000 and the deceased’s motorcycle and sped away after committing the crime. Santosh, the Principal of Rana Sangram Singh Inter College, Bisahera, had called Satpal and Murari at his residence in Katahera yesterday.

Both of them were employed as peons in the college. As they were riding a new motorcycle, two criminals who lay in wait for them, fired shots. Satpal was critically wounded. Seeing him in a pool of blood, his companion Murari is said to have fallen unconscious.

Both the criminals took the bike and fled. After a while, Murari regained consciousness and took Satpal to Dadri’s Navin Hospital by bus. Satpal was declared brought dead by the doctors there. OC



18 parolees vanish into thin air
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 13
The district police have so far failed to rearrest as many as 18 prisoners of the district jail who had been released on parole but did not show up.

According to official sources, four of the 18 prisoners were sentenced in the cases of murderous assault, attempts in looting and dacoity whereas 14 prisoners were sentenced in murder cases.

One of the proclaimed offenders Rajesh was released on parole for three weeks in March 1996 whereas another proclaimed offender Jagdish was released on parole in April 1999 for six weeks. Similarly, Narinder was released on parole in October 1999 for six weeks and Cheat Ram in June 2002 for six weeks. Moreover, another prisoner Sudesh was released in January 2001 for four weeks. None of them turned up again.

Official sources also revealed that Krishan, Ramesh, Anil, Krishan and Dharmavir were released on parole in 1999. Rajesh was released in December 2001; Ishwar, Rohtas, Jaipal and Mool Chand were released in 2002 and Naresh, Rajesh and Rakesh in 2003, but all of them have made themselves scarce.

The district jail authorities have repeatedly sent the lists of all the above-mentioned prisoners to the police, but the cops have failed to apprehend them so far despite the fact that they have launched special campaigns in this regard.

The jail authorities say that once they have submitted the list of the escapees to the police, it is their duty to arrest them.

Meanwhile, the police have rearrested a dreaded criminal Jaipal of Sehri village in a trap laid down on the G T Road near Bhigan village in this district. The criminal was going in his car.



4 killed in bus-truck collision

Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 13
Four persons were killed and 20 injured in a head-on collision between a UP roadways bus and a truck near Sakheda village on Ghaziabad-Grh Mukteshwar section of G T Road on Thursday.

Traffic on the G T Road remained suspended on account of the accident as the wreckage of both the vehicles was sprawled on the road and they had to be removed by cranes.

Those killed included drivers of both the vehicles and four others. Out of the 20 injured, four are stated to be serious. All the injured were rushed to a Hapur nursing home.

There were about 30 passengers in the Pillibhit Depot bus No. UP 25-G 9348 which was on its way to Delhi. The truck loaded with general goods was coming from the opposite direction and collided head on with the bus. Both the vehicles were smashed badly with the impact of the accident and passengers, who were dozing, were rudely woken.

Many local people from Sakheda village rushed to pull out the crying and screaming injured and terrified passengers from the bus. The truck had turned turtle and goods were strewn all around on the high way.

Those killed were truck driver Charanjit Singh of Bhot, Rampur, passengers—Sayed Ahmed, 40, of Gandhi Nagar Delhi; Hasmudin, 30, of Pillibhit..

Police from Simbhawali police station soon rushed to the accident site. They extracted passengers from the wreckage and rushed them to Hapur’s Madhu nursing home. Bus driver Vijay Pal Saxena of Bareilly breathed his last on the way to hospital.

Of the injured Kanwarpal of Moredabad; Rajinder of Muradabad; Narinder of J J Phule Nagar; and Deepak Choudhary of Kavi Nagar, Ghaziabad, are stated to be serious. Additional DM Surya Mani Lal Chand, Police CO Ishwar Chand Sharma and SO Simbhawali Munishi Lal Suman visited the site.



That’s not cricket: Rai students
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 13
The Board of Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai, one of the premier sports institutions in the state, has withdrawn cricket from the list of sports with immediate effect. According to a report, this has caused resentment among 64 students as their dream to become another Tendulkar has come to an end with the decision of the Board.

The Board has introduced three other courses—Judo, Rifle Shooting and Lawn Tennis—and included them in the list of the sports activities in the institution. It is stated that the strength of the students in the classes has declined which is the reason to withdraw cricket from the list of sports.

Four students of cricket team were forced to get the admission in the Basketball course, and Mr Chander Parkash, a cricket coach, has started giving training to the students in swimming. The students studying in the Class VIII and Class X would be worst hit as they had got training in cricket for the last five to seven years. And now they would be forced to get training in other sports.

According to a source, none of Class IV students have got admission in the cricket this year.



Uphaar-scarred families go down agonising
memory lane
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
The day brought back memories of an agonising incident that claimed 59 lives and left behind scars that will probably never heal. Family members and friends of those who perished in the fire that broke out in the Uphaar cinema six years ago today gathered to attend a special prayer meeting organised by the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy.

In the sombre environs of the Smriti Upavan built right across the cinema hall, families participated in a Havan and Shanti Path organised to pay respects to their loved ones.

The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, which took up the cause of fighting for justice on behalf of the families of the victims, claims that their fight is not just for financial compensation.

Their quest for justice has gone beyond that.

The association members pointed out that the monetary compensation was never the primary concern, the aim is to ensure that incidents like the Uphaar tragedy do not occur again.

The association disturbed by what they allege is the callousness of the government and civic agencies is determined to focus on the need for having safety norms in public places and making the civic agencies accountable.

The association members offer that the agencies responsible for the incident should be brought to book. Claiming that the tragedy revealed utter disregard for the human lives on the part of the owner of the cinema hall as well as the government agencies, they have taken up the cause of propagating safety norms in public places.

More than 18 families who are a part of this association, have also pooled in to maintain the Smriti Upavan a memorial park opposite Uphaar cinema, which stands testimony to their motto, ‘Let us work together for a safe India’.



Delhiites on cloud nine
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
The Capital had a slight relief from the heat towards the end of the day as patches of clouds appeared, blocking the scorching sunrays.

The maximum temperature today fell by a degree and was registered at 42.7 as against 43.4 yesterday. The minimum temperature also went down by a degree to 32.0. It was recorded at 33.0 yesterday.

There was a decrease in humidity as it was 31 per cent today against 44 per cent recorded yesterday.

The weather office said temperature might come down slightly during the next 24 hours with the possibility of dust storm and thunder showers accompanied by light rains.



HPCC to take up excesses on Dalits at
national level
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 13
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) is planning to take up cases of excesses on Dalits at the national level to expose the “anti-Dalit policies” of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

According to party sources, the HPCC has taken a serious note of the incidents of excesses on Dalits at Dulina and Harsaula villages and decided to air the grievances of those who are victims of such excesses.

Informed sources said that Mr Naval Kishore Sharma, in charge of the party affairs in Haryana, on the directive of AICC president Sonia Gandhi, has sent a letter to all Members of Parliament, MLAs and chiefs of various party wings, asking them to send reports about excesses on Dalits in their areas to him as soon as possible for raising the issue at the national level.

Mr Sharma in his letter noted that the incidents of excesses on and harassment of Dalits in Haryana were increasing day by day. He alleged that the state government had failed to take immediate and effective steps to check such incidents. The party was also contemplating informing the central government and the National Human Rights Commission about such incidents in Haryana for taking further action.

Meanwhile, the HPCC president, Mr Bhajan Lal, has charged the Chautala government with harassing the farmers and putting them behind bars on one pretext or the other. Addressing a party workers’ meeting at Ganaur, he said that Mr Chautala, who was asking the farmers to pay their electricity bills today, had promised to provide power free of charge during the last Assembly election.

He also alleged that the Chautala government was registering false cases of sedition against farmers including Mr Ghasi Ram Nain, president of the Haryana unit of the BKU. “It is Mr Chautala who always duped the farmers by inciting them in the first instance and then implicating them in false cases,” he further alleged.

Referring to the SYL canal issue, Mr Bhajan Lal said that after the present spell of heat, the Congress would organise a `Jail Bharo Andolan’ on the issue. Regarding the outcome of Fatehabad byelection last month, he said that the result had shaken the Chautala government even though it retained the seat. This was “no win” for the ruling party, which had won the seat by a low margin, while the Congress vote bank had swelled by another 15,000 votes.

Commenting on groupism in the party, Mr Bhajan Lal declared that indiscipline would not be tolerated at any cost and he would inform the party High Command about the anti-party activities of some leaders, who had been opposing him since the time he was appointed the HPCC president.

Mr Azad Singh Nehra, secretary of the HPCC, and Mr Dharampal Singh Malik, former MP and former HPCC president, were among those who were present on the occasion.



INLD MLA charged with shady land deals
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, June 13
Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, spokesman for the state Congress, accused the INLD MLA from Bahadurgarh, Mr Nafe Singh Rathee, of indulging in a land scam worth crores of rupees by carving out unauthorised colonies in Bahadurgarh with the connivance of the state government.

In a press statement issued here on Wednesday, the former state minister said that the state government had banned the sale of plots in unauthorised colonies in Bahadurgarh and suburb areas and even cases had been registered in the past against some property dealers for violating the rules. He demanded a probe in this scam as the land revenue worth crores is being evaded.



Cops spoil the movie dream of five children
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
Cops entered unannounced in the dream of a movie career of five children from Sultanpuri in North-West district. The children, aged between 16 and eight years, had left their homes with bag and baggage to board a train to the tinsel town of Mumbai. Four of them were from the same family while the fifth one was from their neighbourhood.

They included three girls. In fact, the movie career was the idea of two sisters and the brother duo were accompanying them as bodyguards. The neighbour girl was fascinated and joined them.

They left their homes around 3 pm and reached the local bus stand with the luggage. While they were waiting for a bus to New Delhi Railway Station, a police patrol team led by Inspector Yugraj Kishan Bhatia noticed them.

The cops wondered what were these children up to. One cop of the patrolling team approached them and tried to find out their identity.

During a brief interrogation, the children blurted out that they were going to Mumbai to join the film industry. The police team inquired about their addresses and took them to their parents. The parents thanked the police for saving the lives of their children, the police said.

The children were identified as Ranjita (16), Lalita (14), their brothers Naveen (10) and Ravi (8) and their neighbour Kiran (15). During questioning, Naveen and Ravi disclosed: “We are going as bodyguards of our sisters”.

Ranjita failed in ninth class. She was demoralised by this and thought up the idea of going to Mumbai to join movies. She discussed it with her sister Lalita.

They sold household articles for Rs 7,000 and hid their cloths and other articles in Kiran’s house and left their house in the afternoon, the police said.



Men and animals in this drought-affected district
 struggle for survival 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, June 13
A waterless summer in this drought-affected district has not only put the residents on trial, but even the cattle are feeling the pinch of the scorching heat.

This rural based district, which has about 265 villages in five blocks, is basically a drought prone region where two of its blocks, Salawas and Matanhale, are situated in sandy areas where canal water is unavailable.

To make matters worse, the ground water here is brackish and the water table in the district is fast depleting, as the annual rainfall over the last decade has been quite low. In the given circumstances, shortage of water for drinking and other purposes is bound to arise during this summer season.

However, this time, the situation is far more serious as the traditional water reservoirs like ponds have gone dry in many villages, which pose a serious problem of non-availability of water for the cattle.

Even as the people manage to arrange some water for drinking, it has become an impossible task to arrange water for the cattle. According to the information available, most of the ponds in the rural areas, which were the main source of water for the cattle, have dried up.

The water crisis has also created economic problems for the people dependent on cattle for their daily earnings. In effect, under such adverse condition when fodder and water has become a scare commodity, it is proving extremely difficult for the people to keep their cattle. Moreover, the milk produced by the animals has been drastically reduced, forcing the owners to sell their cattle at throwaway prices.

A random survey of some of the villages presented some startling facts. In many of the villages, including in Silana, Gizodhore, Utlodha, Katli and Bhatera, the ponds have gone dry.

Even where some water is available, it has turned “greenish” and become unsuitable for consumption. The villagers said that the rainwater was the only source to fill these reservoirs during the monsoon season.

Although in some villages which had an access to canal water, the ponds were being filled by diverting the water of the canal, it could be done only after receiving the permission of the district administration.

Realising the seriousness of the water crisis, particularly for the cattle, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mohinder Kumar, called a meeting of the district officials and directed them to arrange water for these drought-affected villages. The Deputy Commissioner also informed that water and power supply had been restored in about sixteen villages where a heavy storm had displaced the electric poles and damaged the water supply infrastructure last week.

He said that the storm had inflicted heavy damages in some villages of Jhajjar and Rewari district, disconnecting the power supply in these areas. However, the Deputy Commissioner complained that the administration had launched the restoration work on “war footing” and erected about 300 new electric poles, which were displaced by the storm.

Consequently, essential services including water supply was hampered due to the lack of electricity, which has now been restored in Sehlanga, Jhamri, Jhasua, Mohanbari, Khanpur Kalan, Khanpur Khurd, Korda, Goria Jharli, Dhalanbas, Vajidpur, Salawas, Bhurawas, Liloheri, Mundahera, Amboli, Salawas and Matenhale villages. He assured that water tankers have been deployed in remote villages to tackle the water crisis.



Plan to ease power supply norms
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 13
Appealing to the defaulting rural consumers to clear outstanding electricity bills, the Chairman, Haryana Vidyut Parsarn Nigam (HVPN), Maj-Gen (Retd) Bhoop Singh Rathi said that the government was considering proposals to make the electricity supply rules consumer-friendly. He also hinted that the government was seeking a legal opinion on providing some relief to such consumers. The surcharge waiver scheme of the government had been stayed by the High Court on a petition filed by certain consumers of district Yamunanagar.

Maj-Gen Rathi was addressing the rural electricity consumers at Kiloi and Brahmanwas villages in the district today.

Maj-Gen (Retd) Rathi, who took over as Chairman of the HVPN and its subsidiaries—the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN)—nearly a month ago, visited the ‘problem’ villages to persuade the rural consumers to clear their outstanding bills.

Maj-Gen Rathi established a rapport with the consumers and explained to them the problems being confronted by him and the HVPN because of their ‘non-cooperative’ attitude. He agreed with them that the power supply was erratic and sought their support in correcting the system.

“Do you know that we supply power enough to lighten your houses for 17 to 18 hours a day but before it reaches your house, nearly 50 per cent of it is stolen,” he told the gathering and advised them to fight against this menace in their own interest. He also admitted that the HVPN and its subsidiaries, the UHBVN and DHBVN, are under-staffed because of which delay occurs in attending to the complaints. The government, he said, has now authorised him to fill the vacant technical posts and assured them of better services after that.

Maj-Gen Rathi said he needs at least Rs 8 crore daily to provide electricity to the consumers in the state.



FIA asks DHBVN to simplify procedures,
check corruption

Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 13
The Faridabad Industries Association (FIA) has demanded simplification of procedure and transparency in the release of new connections and the norms related to power supply process for both industrial and domestic consumers.

In a detailed representation sent to the top authorities of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), the FIA has stressed the need to remove unwanted procedures and rules from the process and make it simple so that things that breed corruption and lead to unnecessary harassment of consumers could be eliminated.

According to the association, the Power Department should enforce a one-page application form for the release of a new connection and remove all forms or columns, which demand furnishing of irrelevant details. It has asked the DHBVN officials to complete all formalities, including submission of service line charges, meter charges, and advance consumption deposit, at one counter and make the official responsible to be present on the spot.

It is claimed that the dealing clerk normally make the consumers run from one desk to another and do not tell the requirements to be fulfilled at one time. The difference in the sanctioned load and connected load many a times causes problems for the industrial consumers. It is stated that while the senior officials have been authorised to pass the load, they hardly do know the ground realities and no circle office of the DHBVN has a complete circuit distribution diagram from each transformer.

The FIA has claimed that the transparency envisaged by the power authorities could not be done overnight unless the basic data was available. First and foremost, the nigam should have a complete distribution network map with statistics, like how much load is there and how many consumers could be connected and the strength of transmission lines.

The association has mentioned in the letter that it has been the practice of the nigam staff to harass consumers for ulterior gains. It has questioned the necessity of a witness when the applicant had put his or her photograph with the bank account. “Shackles of monopoly are prevalent among the lower and middle rung staff and there is a need to bring efficiency at the clerical level,” it says.

The FIA says it is strange that the nigam, which gets a substantial amount of money and funds from the Power Ministry, insists on supply of material by the consumers, who have already paid service charges and security deposits. The consumers have to “dance to the tune of a coterie of officials and employees” and unless this is broken, the talks about transparency are futile.

It has demanded that all dos and don’ts be printed in a clear language and given to the consumer so that there is no doubt over the process to be followed and whom to approach when one is harassed.

It has recommended that an additional new connection should be released on his/her premises and no conditions shall be attached, as it is not in violation of electricity rules. It adds that the methodology for working out costs of service connections and other charges must be simplified and the rate list provided by a reputed manufacturer or supplier be accepted.



Delhi BJP opposes ‘anti-consumer’ CAS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
After stalling the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) in NCT of Delhi because of the fear of a backlash from the trading community, the Delhi Pradesh BJP has decided to oppose the Union Government’s move to implement the Conditional Access System (CAS) for satellite television channels from July 15 in New Delhi and the three other metros and sought its postponement.

Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana approached Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday to point out to him that the move was being seen as “anti-consumer” and could affect BJP’s prospects in the polls.

“I am not opposed to the CAS as such but since an impression has been created that it is not beneficial for consumers, it should be postponed till people are convinced that the perception is wrong,” Mr Khurana told mediapersons.

“Unfortunately, an impression has been created that the implementation is being thrust on people and that needs to be removed,” he said, pointing out that BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan was present during the meeting with Prasad.

Meanwhile, the Cable Operators Federation of India today urged the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to waive the service tax imposed by the Delhi government on set top boxes (STBs) and the entertainment tax on cable operation if the Conditional Access System for cable TV networks (CAS) has to be a success.

In a meeting with the Chief Minister, they urged that the government should help cable operators in collecting their due fees from the consumers, and also to keep an eye on the entertainment tax inspectors who harassed the cable operators.

DU PG exam results announced

The results of the following annual/supplementary examinations conducted by Delhi University have been declared. Students have been advised to contact their respective colleges/departments. MSc Chemistry II and IV semester, MA Part I - Buddhist Studies, MA I and II Arabic, MA I and II Persian, MA II and IV semester Urdu, MA II and IV semester Japanese.

Meanwhile, the Department of Mathematics has announced the registration for admission to MA./M.Sc Statistics and MA Operational Research from June 25 till July 4 between 9 am and 1 pm at the Department of Mathematics, Arts Department extension building.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College, Punjabi Bagh will hold the entrance test for English Hons on June 23 and June 24 at 9.30 am. The registration will begin at 8 am and the minimum marks required for writing the test is 60 per cent in English and 60 per cent in aggregate.

Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is planning to organise a huge congregation in connection with the martyrdom day anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev on June 16 at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. The programme will start with early morning recitation of Nitnem followed by Sukhmani Sahib and Asa di Var.



Woman among four killed in Sonepat

Sonepat, June 13
Four persons, including a woman, lost their lives in different incidents in the district today. According to information, two youths, identified as Naresh of village Jatheri and Virender of Narela in Delhi, were killed on the spot and two others, identified as Praveen and Balbir of Jatheri, were injured in a road accident near Kundli Barrier on the G T Road today.

They were travelling from Sonepat to Delhi when their canter overturned.

When they tried to lift the canter, a speeding bus coming from Jammu and Kashmir hit it, which resulted in their death on the spot and caused injuries to two people.

The Highway Traffic Police admitted the injured to the local Civil Hospital and also registered a case against the bus driver.

In another road accident, one Sheela of village Garhi Bala, reportedly died on the spot when the scooter on which she was riding, was hit by a speeding vehicle outside the village. Her husband was driving the scooter. The Gannaur police have registered a case against the driver of the unidentified vehicle. The Railway police have also reportedly recovered the body of an unidentified person from the railway track near Sonepat today. It is suspected that the victim has committed suicide by jumping before a running train. OC



Man hurt in building collapse
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
An eighteen-year-old man was injured when a building under construction collapsed in the Motia Khan area in Paharganj this morning. The injured, Manoj, has been admitted in Lady Hardinge Hospital.

The police said that construction work at was going at K-14, Shyamji Mal Lane at around 8.30 am when the second floor of the building collapsed.

The building is jointly owned by Chote Lal and Chand. The building contractor, Om Prakash Wassan, was questioned by the police about the incident.

Servant verification drive in East too

Taking a cue from South district, East district has also started a special drive on servant verification.

The East district police, after witnessing a number of cases in which domestic helps were involved, are now conducting verification drives in the residential areas like Mandawali and Anand Vihar in trans-Yamuna area.

Recently, a domestic servant, Sarwan (20), drugged a family while serving them dinner and decamped with cash and jewellery worth several lakhs of rupees.



Nine resign from MDU staff association panel
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 13
As many as nine members of the 16-member executive committee of the Maharshi Dayanand University Non-teaching Employees’ Association have resigned from their membership in protest against not holding elections to different posts of the association even after the one-year-term expired three months ago.

In a statement here today, the ‘aggrieved’ members said the elections were held on March 6 last year for a term of one year. They were due on March 6 this year, which could not be held till date without assigning any reason by the office-bearers of the association.

The members concerned alleged that the office-bearers of the association wanted to misuse the funds.

They also alleged that not even a single meeting of the general body of the association was convened during the past nearly 14 months.

Mr Rajvir Singh Rahar, Mr Shanti Lal and Mr Radheyshyam Sharma, former presidents of the association, along with several former office-bearers have also extended support to the dissatisfied members and appealed to the university administration to conduct elections to maintain the dignity of the association and to honour the sentiments of its members.

Community centre opened

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, inaugurated a community centre at Bahu Akbarpur village today. Addressing a gathering, the Deputy Commissioner said it would be convenient for the villagers to organise their social and religious programmes after the construction of this centre. Constructed at a cost of Rs 6 lakh, the community centre has a hall, two rooms, a store and a toilet.

He said the ponds situated in the villages would be shifted outside and parks be developed in their places for recreation, as part of the government policy.



DTC to introduce Grameen Mudrika
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will introduce the Grameen (rural) Mudrika and the Najafgarh-Zakhira circular service for the benefit of the people living on the periphery of the NCT of Delhi. No timetable has been drawn up. Transport Minister Ajay Maken today told mediapersons that the Grameen Mudrika is modelled on the Mudrika services that are plying on the Ring Road and the Outer Ring Road.

The Grameen Mudrika will originate/terminate at the Azadpur Bus Terminus. Twenty buses will ply in a day at an interval of 15 minutes. The first bus will embark on the 60-kilometre trek at five in the morning.

“The service will be available till 11 at night,” the minister said. At any given time, two buses will be in operation; one plying clockwise (plus) on the circular trek and the other anti-clockwise.

The buses will touch Shalimar Bagh, Pitampura, Saraswati Vihar, Gokulpuri, Buddh Vihar, Karauli, Kanjhawal, Jaunti, Qutubgarh, Bawana, Shahbad Dairy, Sectors 17, 16, 15 and 13 of Rohini, Badli, GTO bypass and Adarsh Nagar.

The Najafgarh-Zakhira circular service will also have 20 buses plying in a day, at 15-minute intervals, from five in the morning to eleven in the night.

The Najafgarh-Zakhira circular service also will have two buses running clockwise and anti-clockwise at any given time. The buses will ply from Najafgarh to Uttam Nagar via Nangloi, Peeragarhi, Punjabi Bagh, Zakhira, Moti Nagar, Raja Garden and Tilak Nagar.



Man falls to death from train
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 13
Three persons have been killed in separate incidents in the town since yesterday. An Air Force recruit, who was on his way to Nizamuddin from Belgaum after training, was killed after he fell from the train between Faridabad and Tughlakabad.

It is suspected that the victim, identified as Karamvir of Jind district, might have fallen from the train after he hit against a signal post while looking outside from the door.

In another incident, one Suresh of Sehatpur village was killed after he fell from an autorickshaw near Sarai Khwaja in Sector 37 here. In the third case, one Randhir Singh of Parvatiya Colony was electrocuted when he was filling water in a room cooler at his house.

Stone of school building laid

Narnaul: Mr Bahadar Singh, Education Minister, Haryana, laid the foundation stone of Maharaja Agrasain Public School building at Narnaul. Addressing the audience, Mr Bahadur Singh said that the benches for primary school students in Haryana would be provided by June 30.

The minister also said that the government was not planning to retrench the government employees. However, transfers were being effected to streamline the administrative system.

Power cut timings

The residents of ‘Dohan Panchisi’ (25 villages) have urged the Haryana Chief Minister to get the timings of power cuts scheduled in such a manner that the power is supplied in the rural areas during the peak hours of day heat, that is between 11 am and 6 pm. OC

INLD MLA accused of shady deals

Jhajjar: Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, spokesman for the state Congress accused the INLD MLA from Bahadurgarh, Mr Nafe Singh Rathee, of indulging in a land scam worth crores of rupees by carving out unauthorised colonies in Bahadurgarh with the connivance of the state government.

In a press statement issued here on Wednesday, the former state minister said that the state government had banned the sale of plots in unauthorised colonies in Bahadurgarh and suburb areas and even cases had been registered in the past against some property dealers for violating the rules.

He demanded a probe in this scam as the land revenue worth crores is being evaded. OC

Six held under Railway Act

Sonepat: The Railway Protection Force has launched a special campaign against passengers violating the Railway Act. According to a report, at least six persons were arrested for various offences like travelling in women’s compartments of trains, on the roofs, on engines and crossing railway tracks during the past 24 hours at the Sonepat railway station. Cases under the Railway Act have been registered against them.

Body found hanging

The Mohana police found the body of one Suraj Mal hanging in his house at Pinana village, about 20 km from here, last evening. According to a report, the police believe it to be a case of suicide and have sent the body for the post-mortem examination. A family quarrel is stated to be the main cause of the suspected suicide. OC





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.

VIMLA Patil in the article “ Are celebrity icons puppets in the hands of promoters?” (Spectrum June 8) has rightly observed that many celebrities earn more money from their endorsement contracts and appearances than from their main profession and most icons charge money even to appear at charity functions.

In this connection, I wish to say that due to the growth of consumerism among the neo-rich Indian middle class and the entry of many MNCs producing consumer items into India there has been a sea change in the field of advertising in the country. TV advertising has surpassed all other modes of publicity wherein big film stars, TV serial artists, models, well-known cricketers and even children have been roped in by the advertising agencies.

However, the quality of advertising has deteriorated. The advertising agencies have also become commercial minded and have started churning out lewd porno, misleading and shoddy ads, which in many cases cannot be viewed by the parents in the company of their children.

Further, some ad agencies have started using Hindu mythological characters in the ads.

However, it is disgusting to see our big film/TV stars, well-known cricketers, sportsmen and celebrated icons appearing in ill-conceived, unethical ads, which sometimes dip to crass and uncouth levels. There is one such advertisement showing a well-known TV star appearing in the toilet with toilet cleansing product, demonstrating the effectiveness of the product to the housewife! All such ads do not go well with the viewers, who consider some of the celebrated stars as icons. I would therefore like to request the top

film/TV stars, top Bollywood heroes/heroines and renowned cricketers that before accepting ad assignments they should read the scripts and refuse ads which may be bad in taste, unethical, ill-conceived and below their public image.

O. P. Sharma, Faridabad

Another fraudulent marketing gimmick?

There is supposedly a firm by the name of Paramount Traders in New Delhi dealing in electronic items with registration no A/3691/65. The firm published an advertisement in Hindustan Times (Jaipur edition) wherein some questions were to be answered by the readers. I read the ad, answered the questions and sent them to the above mentioned firm around the second or third week of March this year.

On April 5, I received a letter stating that I was one of the 200 winners of a lucky draw which they had taken out and I had won an LG 21” colour TV with remote control costing Rs 14,999.

I was told that within 10 days of receiving their letter I should send a bank draft of Rs 600 payable at Delhi by ordinary post. On its receipt, the 21” colour TV with remote would be sent to me on further payment of Rs 900.

I was apprehensive about the credibility of this firm and the offer but it was quite lucrative. To be on the safe side I thus sent a DD for Rs 600 with an acknowledgement card but it came back undelivered. I then sent it by ordinary post which was received by them around April 10.

I kept waiting for some communication from the firm regarding the TV but all in vain.

I requested a friend to visit them at Delhi on May 19. On meeting the proprietor/employee, it was confirmed that they had received my DD for Rs 600 and the same had also been encashed by the company. They assured my friend that the collection letter for the TV would be sent to me so that I could collect the colour TV from Delhi by May 31. Surprisingly, nothing has happened so far.

This is a clear case of cheating and duping innocent citizens of the country. Like me, there must be hundreds if not lakhs of other innocent consumers who have been duped by such fraudulent firms which claim to be registered.

Tushar Sem, Kota (Rajasthan)

Crazy about all things foreign

This is in response to an article titled “Degrees of Deception” by D. S. Cheema that appeared in Tribune dated May 24. I wholeheartedly agree with the thinking of Mr Cheema that nobody realises the damage being done to Indian human resources by allowing students to be cheated by unscrupulous foreign universities which have opened offshore campuses in India. In our country we are all crazy about everything foreign, whether it is cosmetics, clothes, or electronic items. We offer the same respect to a degree which has been bestowed by a foreign university. We have not learnt so far to honour indigenous items.

Generally, there are two types of students who go abroad, the products of IITs and IIMS and those who are average or below average.

In the second category, it is money drain because the parents take education loan from the banks ranging between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh.

This second category of students are moreover not interested in studies but more inclined towards earning money by doing all sorts of odd jobs which they would not have done in India due to self-respect (ego) problem, family status etc.

In my opinion, the government should try to formulate such policies and offer better avenues so that brain drain and money drain be brought to a halt.

Dr (Mrs) Swaran Lata, Rohtak

Need for a conducive sports environment

A few days back I came to know through The Tribune’s sports page that India had moved one position up in the FIFA world ranking. We are at present placed 126th in the world. It is not the time to be happy for this one step up. This is the time to think why in a span of 45 years the standard of our football is deteriorating. During 1950s Indian football team is among the top rankers in the world. In year 1950 we participated in the world cup which at present seems to look impossible for us. In the 1948 London Olympics we made our first appearance and with seven barefoot players India competed in the Olympics under the captaincy of T. Aao of Bengal.

We participated in the Olympics till 1960. In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics under the captaincy of S. Manna, in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics under Sarna `Badru’ Banerjee and in the 1960 Rome Olympics under P. K. Banerjee. In 1956 we reached the semi-final beating Australia 4-2 and were placed fourth. And after 1960 we were not able to qualify for the Olympics.

The question is what has happened to us now. This is all because we lack infrastructure and bad government policies and have less interest in sports. If we want to regain our lost glory in football we must work from ground level. We have the National

Football League and corporates are coming forward but that is not sufficient to match the standards of top rankers. Our domestic players are not known in society. We love to talk about Beckham and other Europeans but not about our footballers.

So we must create a conducive environment for sports so that our players win medals and fame.

Saurabh Duggal, Faridabad

NCERT’s ignorance of facts

This is in reference to the article ` How Aurangzeb....’ (Tribune, June 7, 2003) which quotes me. The NCERT’s new textbook on the history of modern India says that the former Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, General Dyer, was shot dead in London by Udham singh. The former Lieut-Governor of Punjab who was shot dead by Udham Singh was Michael O’Dwyer, not General Dyer. The latter had not been the Lieut-Governor of Punjab and he was not shot dead; he had died of an ailment 13 years earlier in 1927. The reference to Dyer’s assassination shows the NCERT historian’s ignorance of even elementary facts of history.

Arjun Dev, Noida

Standing ovation for DMA

The exhortation of Delhi Medical Association (DMA) in “Fellow doctors, don’t commit suicide- We need you” in the Body and Mind column on the World No Tobacco Day on June 1 is a normative appeal to fellow professionals who unscrupulously indulge in habits which are ethically antithetical to a civic society. DMA President Dr Bansal’s imperative and sincere efforts are workably worth counting. Tobacco is a dreaded devil creating irreparable damage, to our society, especially, to those gullible poor people who feel obliged and gratified in offering biri or cigarette to even a stranger, unmindfully supplying a dose of disease to an unknown fellow in a train or bus. Isn’t it ironic that co-passengers in bus.

Do not share other eatables like oranges or bananas to other passengers whereas tobacco or liquor items are shared at the slightest pretext? A cigarette packet costs Rs 20 - 25 whereas one kg of vegetable worth 10 to 15 rupees becomes a burden to a chronic smoker. People feel offended if they are not entertained cigarette or ‘bidi’ on a routine meeting.

What a shallow concept of entertainment we usually have! What double standards we adopt!

As a health-conscious organisation, the DMA deserves a standing ovation at this critical juncture of health crisis over the world. We should take this message to every house to make people aware of such simple but complex health hazards of smoking or chewing or drinking. All heads of the offices or departments must take note of such days of public importance, like May 31- World No Tobacco Day, April 7, July 11 - World Population Day, Sept 8 - World Literacy Day, March 21- World Disabled Day, Sept 11 -world Hindi Day, Dec 1- World AIDS Day etc. These are the days worth celebrating and worth disseminating.

I personally felt energised after reading the ‘Body and Mind‘ column in the NCR Tribune on June 1. Every officer should observe good habits and set a model office worth emulating. As charity begins at home, doctors must first doctor themselves.


Harnessing water resources

No one can deny the fact that good monsoon is imperative for prosperity of the farmers. By and large, our economy is dependent on good monsoon.

Indeed, it is a matter of great pity that we have not been able to fully harness our water resources while a large area still remains un-irrigated . Even rainwater is wasted due to lack of proper water management. If our scientists evolve properly management of rainwater there cannot be shortage of water at any time. Even the farmers will not have to depend solely on rains. We must start sincerely working in this direction.




Looting spree: Criminals rob 20 on one night
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 13
The Ganaur police have launched a massive hunt for around 10 armed miscreants, who reportedly looted at least 20 persons including a couple on the Western Yamuna Canal embankment near Khubru fall, about 25 km from here on Wednesday night.

According to a report, the miscreants stopped two tractors, a jeep, a car and a motorcycle at a deserted place and snatched altogether Rs 1 lakh, three mobile phones, wristwatches and other goods from the occupants of these vehicles on the point of weapons. They tied the hands and feet of the hapless victims, beat them up and locked them up in a room along the road before they fled in the jeep.

It is stated that Mr Jeet Singh, a resident of Pugthala village, was going in a tractor-trolley when he was waylaid by the miscreants on the Ganaur-Gohana road near Khubru fall and robbed of Rs 3,700. Similarly, they allegedly snatched Rs 2,200 from Mr Ran Singh, Rs 700 from Mr Balwan Singh and Rs 1,600 from another person. The criminals forced these persons to undress and locked them up in the room.


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