Tuesday, June 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Double murder at noon in Vasant Kunj
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
Unidentified intruders barged into the Vasant Kunj flat of Anil Kumar Mehrotra, a senior employee of Engineers India Limited, this afternoon and stabbed to death his wife and sister-in-law, who were alone in the house. After committing the gruesome murders, they escaped, taking with them an unspecified amount of cash and jewellery.

The brutal double murder in the predominantly upper middle class colony in South West Delhi caused considerable panic in the area. Residents alleged the law and order situation in the sprawling colony had deteriorated over the past few months and criminals were having a run of the area.

The police said that the bodies of Mrs Madhu Mehrotra, 50, and her cousin, Mrs Beena Baijal, 60, had been sent for a post-mortem examination. Both of them were stabbed repeatedly with sharp-edged weapons. All rooms and cupboards in the house were ransacked and things thrown all over. The bodies of the two women were found on the floor of one of the rooms.

According to the police, the incident occurred around noon today when both the women were alone in the house. The owner of the house, Mr Mehrotra, had left for his office at the usual time in the morning. Mrs Baijal had come from Gurgaon to stay with her cousin as she was not keeping well for some time.

The intruders were apparently known to the victims as the detectives found no sign of forced entry. It was also possible that the women had responded to the doorbell and were then overpowered. They were perhaps stabbed to death when they tried to resist the intruders, a senior police officer said.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the maid, who works in several houses in the neighbourhood, had come to the house as usual in the morning and had left a little before noon after finishing her chores. She had then gone to another house on the ground floor. When she returned later in the afternoon she found the main gate ajar, the television on and things scattered all around. Inside, she found the two bodies lying in a pool of blood.

Screaming, she ran back to the neighbours and informed them about the incident. The neighbours then informed the police control room.

The police said the district crime team and the dog squad were also summoned to the flat to pick up clues. Some fingerprints had been lifted from the furniture and the cupboards. Further investigations were continuing and an inventory was being drawn of the missing items. Two cases of murder have been registered. The police were questioning some of the domestic servants working in the neighbourhood to ascertain if any one had seen the intruders.


Probe into charges of spiked petrol, engine breakdown
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 16
A five-member committee, headed by the City Magistrate, has initiated a probe into complaints of adulteration of diesel and petrol.

The committee had been constituted recently, following a meeting called by the district authorities. The meeting was attended by representatives of oil companies, owners of petrol stations and automobile agencies.

Although the committee’s findings and its report are likely to be delayed, the panel is expected to reach some conclusion on the increasing number of cases of damage to engine parts of new vehicles, especially two-wheelers in the town.

While the automobile dealers allege that the alarming incidence of break-downs was mainly due to adulterated petro products, the petrol station owners and the oil companies claim that there was no deficiency in service. The oil companies also claim that the two-wheeler owners and the outlets selling petrol, diesel and lubricants could be blamed for the occurrence. They also claim that the lubricants, especially the engine oil and 2-T oil used by two-wheelers, could be of cheap quality.

Certain auto dealers have claimed they had to replace vital engine parts in two-wheelers which were new but got damages in the warranty period. They say this should not happen in such a short period and the adulterated supply could be responsible for it.

The Deputy Commissioner has now constituted a five-member committee to inquire into the matter and report back to the authorities. It is learnt that the office of the District Food and Supply Controller (DPSC), who is also the convenor of the committee, has received several reports of cases of engine seizure. The office, in turn, has decided to speak to the owners of the affected vehicles and a section of auto mechanics and experts in this connection.

The complaints had surfaced after the oil supplies started flowing in from the terminal at Rewari district a few months ago. The DFSC office collects 10 samples of petrol and diesel from various outlets each month in the district for a quality check. Interestingly, no sample has failed the quality check in the past two months.

Besides, teams from various oil companies conduct surprise raids and collect samples. There are more than 40 outlets of petrol and diesel in the district out of which 18 are located in the town only.


Farmer burnt alive

Usman, a farmer, was burnt alive in the forests of Usmanpur village, which falls under the Jahangirpur police station area. Usman was allegedly burnt to death because of some old enmity. When the relatives of the victim tried to thwart the assailants, they were fired at. Two persons were wounded.

Following the heinous act of arson, the villagers are terror-struck. A deep pall of gloom has descended on the village. The assailants are still absconding.

According to the police, Kallu alias Rajpal lived in Nar Mohmad village. He had some enmity with certain villagers.

Kallu had gone to his farm late in the evening. His rivals, armed with lathis, surrounded him in the forest between Nar Mohamad and Usmanpur villages. He tried to put up a fight, but was grossly outnumbered. The assailants then made a bonfire out of a heap of hay and threw the badly injured Kallu into the inferno.

It is reported that when Kallu’s relatives, Ajit and Om Prakash, went to his rescue they were shot at and wounded. On hearing the sound of gunfire, villagers rushed towards the jungle. Seeing the approaching villagers, the assailants took to their heels. Kallu’s half-burnt body was pulled out of the fire by the villagers. OC


Quota blues: Women protestors stopped in their tracks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
Hundreds of women demonstrators were detained today by the Delhi Police to prevent them from converging at Parliament House where Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi was holding an all-party meeting on the controversial Women’s Reservation Bill. The women’s rights groups were protesting against the government’s ‘’unconstitutional’’ move to seek unanimity instead of consensus on the women’s reservation issue. The group had also submitted a memorandum to Speaker Manohar Joshi this morning, stating that consensus for the Bill already existed, as was evident by the letters of various political parties supporting the Bill.

All-India Democratic Women’s Association general secretary Brinda Karat, Joint Women’s Programme president Jyotsana Chatterji, Muslim Women’s Forum’s Syeda Hameed, NSIW’s Annie Raja and All India Women’s Conference’s Raja Raman were among the women detained. Immediately after detention they were taken to various police stations and were released after some time.

Angry over the inconclusive outcome of the meeting, Ms Karat charged the government with abdicating its responsibility on the women’s reservation issue.

‘’It is both shocking and unfortunate that the government is no longer asking for a consensus on this issue but for unanimity which is unconstitutional.”

The women’s rights groups want the government to present the Bill in its present form in Parliament. They are confident that since the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the opposition Congress and Left parties have already expressed their support for the Bill it will be passed by both the Houses of Parliament. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Left Parties have already written to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, expressing their support for the Bill.

However, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party were opposing the Bill, demanding a separate sub-quota within 33 per cent for women belonging to backward classes.

There was an uproar in Parliament on the last day of the Budget session regarding this issue with women groups asking the government to bring the Bill for voting.


Women blacken civic officials’ faces
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 16
Protesting against the water and power crisis in the city as well as the outbreak of diseases, hundreds of irate slogan-shouting women occupied the chamber of the Municipal Commissioner and blackened the faces of officials, including the Additional Municipal Commissioner, Mr R. P. Dobey, in Ghaziabad today.

The women also broke empty pitchers at the Nagar Nigam complex earlier to vent their ire. The protesters were livid as no official from the Nagar Nigam office had the courtesy to come down to talk to them. The demonstration was lead by SP women’s wing president Anita Tyagi.

The protesters said there was no colony in Ghaziabad which was not reeling under water shortage.

According to Ms Tyagi, in colonies like Nand Gram, Deen Dayal Puri, Kela Bhatta, Seva Nagar, Harvansh Nagar and Sanjay Nagar the shortage was unprecedented. Ms Madhu Chaudhary charged that the civic authorities did not care two hoots for the citizen’s problems.

Despite the tall claims made by the Nagar Nigam authorities, residents have to go from pillar to post for a pitcher of water. Drains and sewers were also in dire straits.

Aspiring police recruits on the rampage

Rohtak: The police authorities had to face the ire of hundreds of candidates who had to wait for over six hours in the scorching heat today for verification of their testimonials for recruitment in police.

Agitated over the attitude of the recruiting police officials, the aspirants resorted to hooliganism and blocked the main road near Ambedkar chowk here.

As many as 1,200 candidates had to reach the police lines ground here at 8 am for verification of their testimonials for 2,000 posts of constables in Haryana Police. Several candidates said they were directed to appear for physical tests on an empty stomach.

The candidates lost their patience at 2 pm when no police official reached the site. They came out on the roads and shouted slogans against the administration.

After 20 minutes, some police officials reached the spot and pacified the demonstrators. The candidates were told that the officials were busy in view of the BKU threat to block vehicular traffic.

Later, a press statement released by the police department stated that the physical test of the candidates would be conducted from June 25 to July 2. However, the statement does not mention the verification of testimonials, which were slated for today. No official could be contacted for comments despite several attempts. OC


Lethal mix of lottery and liquor claims two lives

How lottery and liquor can prove to be a deadly curse for a family was proved when a couple lost their lives in a shocking manner at a colony here yesterday.

Thirty-year-old Mukesh, an employee of a private company and resident of Dabua colony here, allegedly set on fire his wife, a mother of two children, at night after a quarrel over his habit of frittering away money on lotteries and liquor. The woman, identified as Shobha, used to have frequent fights with her husband on this sore issue. She had even left for her parents’ house, located nearby, on the same day.

While she was sent back to her husband’s house in the evening, Mukesh reportedly beat her up and set her afire after dousing her with kerosene. Subsequently, he gave the same treatment to himself. While Shobha died at the spot, her husband succumbed to his burns in the hospital. The deceased have a three-year-old daughter and a two-month-old son. TNS


Bridegroom sent packing over gotra row

Sonepat, June 16
Owing to a dispute over gotra, a bridegroom had to return without the bride yesterday.

The incident occurred at Sehri village, about 15 km from the district headquarters. The baraat reached the village at the time fixed for the marriage ceremony. On reaching the bride’s home, all ceremonies went off without a hiccup. However, at the time of the doli’s departure, a dispute arose over the caste tag and the police had to be summoned to control the situation.

The uniformed men arrived in large numbers on the scene and provided full protection to the members of the marriage party who were forced to return without the bride.

Mrs Ompati, a widow of Sehri village, had betrothed her daughter Rekha to Jai Chand of Naya Bas village, who is putting up at Bahadurgarh. The marriage was slated for June 15. After the ceremonies, a dispute over gotra arose between the two families. This led to a meeting of the gram panchayat, in a bid to resolve the tiff. However, the members of the gram panchayat refused to intervene, following stiff opposition from the bride’s side. Thereafter, the police were informed.

Some relatives of the bride asked the members of the marriage party and the groom to leave the village without the bride. Thereafter, the baraat was escorted back under police protection. OC


Two lakh youths to get jobs: Chautala
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 16
The Haryana government has launched many schemes to generate employment for the educated youths.

In an exclusive interview with the ‘NCR Tribune’, the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, said that in the near future, about Rs 8,000 crore would be invested in various industrial units which would provide employment to about two lakh youths in the state.

He said that the prohibition policy adopted by the former Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, had proved a disaster and attracted the unemployed youths to engage in liquor smuggling. The jobless youths, he said, found it as an easy mean to earn money.

He alleged that even the school-going children had not been spared and they had used to carry liquor pouches in their school bags. The present government, he said, was bent upon creating the congenial atmosphere to bring the youths in the mainstream of society. Mr Chautala claimed that many foreign companies had invested Rs 8,500 crore in the industrial units of the state, as a result of which 1.70 lakh unemployed youths were given employment in these industries.

Referring to the traffic congestion on the national highways, the Chief Minister said that another elevated highway would be constructed and a scheme for this purpose has already been submitted to the Central Government. Regarding the poor condition of Gohana-Sisana Road, he said that a sum of Rs 243.50 lakh had been sanctioned for the repair of 9.75-km-long road and it would ensure the smooth flow of traffic from Gohana town to Sisana village on Sonepat-Rohtak Road.

Referring to the medical facilities being provided to the people of the state, Mr Chautala reiterated that a medical college would be set up at Karnal and the negotiations were going on with the Central Government in this regard. He declared that the proposed medical college would never be shifted to any other part of the state.

He said that a detailed scheme has been prepared for the expansion of medical facilities in the rural areas and the poor have already been exempted from the payment of admission fee in the government hospitals of the state.

Mr Chautala said that special steps have been taken to provide medical aid to the people injured during the accidents on the national and state highways. He disclosed that during the past four months, as many as 593 injured persons were treated in the emergency wards of the hospitals and 194 indoor patients wards.

Moreover, 22 major and 106 minor operations were performed at the trauma centre located on the national highways. The Chief Minister said that a proposal for the setting up of the additional trauma centres on the national highways numbers 2, 10 and 73 has been sent to the Central Government for approval.

Mr Chautala defended the new educational policy introduced by his government and claimed that it would benefit the students.


Civic amenities in Meerut ‘to turn a corner’

Meerut, June 16
Divisional Commissioner Nepal Singh Ravi rued the fact that his administration could not do well in the field of civil amenities. “Our focus will be in the civil amenities in the current year and people in the cities as well as in villages will see considerable changes in this field,” Mr Ravi said. On the power crisis in the Meerut Division and western Uttar Pradesh, he said that a control centre is being established in Meerut and the power supply would be controlled from here which would solve the power crisis. Divisional Commissioner N S Ravi was speaking to the ‘NCR Tribune’ on the completion of one year of his tenure.

On the Ambedkar Gram Vikas Yojna, Mr Ravi said that the backward and neglected villages in remote areas have been developed. As many as 80 officials were suspended; 20 given adverse remarks, FIR was lodged against seven, departmental action was taken against 26, and show cause notice was served to 66 officials for showing negligence in development work. OC


Flurry of missions to Mars, which is suddenly
within reach
By Dr K. K. Paul

With a surfeit of exploratory missions being launched this month, the planet Mars appears to have become the current favourite destination. Mars Express, the European mission, has already taken off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on June 2. One of the two American missions, MER - 1 and MER-2 (MER is for Mars Exploration Rover which is a robotic vehicle of the type of moon buggy used by Appollo Missions), took off on June 8 and the other is scheduled for launch on June 25. Nozomi, which was launched a few years ago by the Japanese and is still in orbit, is being reset, and readied for what is virtually going to be a relaunch from within space, for Mars.

The reason for this sudden rush to Mars is not difficult to seek. The planetary configuration at this juncture would be such that the distance between Mars and Earth would be at its shortest in almost 60,000 years. Considering the journey time of about six months, all spacecraft are scheduled to land around the Christmas time this year.

Being the closest planet to earth, Mars has always fascinated us not only in physical terms but also in appearances and observational behaviour. Its period of rotation is almost the same as that of Earth (24 hours). While there has been much speculation about the existence of its possible inhabitants, the Martians, the instant probes, it is hoped, would bring in results, which may either, entirely rewrite the science fiction centered around Mars, or may even confirm their presence.

Scientific observations have already shown the possibility of liquid water on the surface of Mars. Melting of surface ice, under warmer conditions, has led to visible fissures and some form of gully formation. According to Christensen, snowmelt has important implications for the search of life on Mars and the potential for human exploration. Since the presence of surface water is more or less confirmed, repeated contacts could provide a means for life to survive over extended periods. In order to study the Martian geology, specially designed cameras for satellites have already been devised. These are the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging system and the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Orbiter Camera.

An analysis of photographic spectra reveals an atmosphere, which is much less dense than ours. Martian atmosphere has also shown the presence of clouds consisting of ice crystals. With ample evidence of ice, clouds and water on Mars, it is surprising that so far no traces of free oxygen have been noticed. Primarily, about 98.5 per cent nitrogen, argon 1.2 per cent, carbon dioxide 0.25 per cent, besides traces of hydrogen and helium, only have been tested in its atmosphere but it is the presence of moisture and traces of carbon dioxide, which provides hope for finding some form of life on mars. However, so far the presence of the characteristic green colour of chlorophyll has never been detected, indicating the absence of greenery.

Mars is known to be much cooler than earth with average temperatures of about 20 degree C. The force of gravity being stronger than Moon, though weaker than Earth, would only facilitate physical movement, making it easier for man as and when he lands there. Since the journey to Mars would be of about six-seven months duration, an Internet communication facility for space has been thought of. Known as the Deep Space Network (DSN), it is to function along with Space Communication Protocol Standards (SCPS) and Interplanetary Backbone Network (IBN). At the moment, this may sound every futuristic but the reality is not far. The outcome of these Martian missions as such would be of great interest and significance to not only the scientific world but the entire mankind, as for the very first time, we would be closest to finding life on another planet.

A must read for Dilip Kumar fans

Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in Mughal-e-Azam.Recently, three ‘filmographies’ (biographies of film personalities) have been published. Lata Khubchandani has written on Raj Kapoor while Alpana Chowdhury on Madhubala, but it is Urmila Lanba’s well researched work Life and films of Dilip Kumar - The thespian, which appears to be the winner. While trying to dissect the persona of Dilip Kumar from Yusuf Khan, she has interviewed a large number of film personalities and also consulted relevant film literature, having considerable archival value. Several anecdotes enrich the collection, giving an insight into the making and success of this thespian.

His beginning was somewhat indifferent, as for his debut in Jwar Bhata (1944). a famous film magazine of yesteryears had commented: “Dilip Kumar the new hero of the Bombay Talkies is an anaemic addition to our film artistes. He needs to have a lot of vitamins and a prolonged treatment of proteins before another picture can be risked with him. He looks gaunt and famished and strikes one as a long ill-treated convict who has escaped from a jail. His appearance on the screen creates both laughter and disappointment. His acting effort in this picture amounts to nil.”

Perhaps, at that time none could realise that this anaemic addition to Hindi films was destined to create for himself history, a unique position and a style, which actors of some standing try to copy even today.

Dilip Kumar paired with Kamini Kaushal (Shaheed) in 1948 and by then had established himself as a master of histrionics. At that time, the same film journal had to eat its words and write: “Sensitivity and intelligent understatement are the outstanding characteristics of his acting, and he has with Kamini Kaushal enacted some of the most beautiful and tender love scenes.”

There are some very interesting write-ups on Dilip and his heroines and the Big Three, along with numerous photographs. While the story on K. Asifs’ attempts to tie up Suraiya with Dilip has been given in detail, Kamini Kaushal’s (who was already married) love for Dilip and subsequent withdrawal under pressure from her orthodox family also finds a prominent place. The climax of this break was when both Dilip (Azad) and Kamini Kaushal (Biraj Bahu) were given the Filmfare awards (1955) for the Best Actor and Actress, but Kamini Kaushal refused to go up to the stage and be seen and photographed with Dilip.

It was with Nargis that Dilip saw his career sky rocket to the top with one hit film after another (Andaaz, Mela, Babul, Jogan, Deedar). Nargis acted in seven films with Dilip and later with Raj Kapoor in fourteen. The last of the Dilip-Nargis films was K. Asif’s Hulchal (1952), which also had Balraj Sahni, but thereafter, Raj Kapoor asserted himself resulting in Nargis having to opt out of even Mehboob’s Aan, which also explains that except for Andaaz and Barsaat, all the Raj-Nargis films were post Nargis-Dilip pairing. In spite of their misunderstanding over Nargis, both Raj and Dilip continued to be friends and their almost incognito journey from Delhi to Bhakra-Nangal in Punjab and the halts at GT Road dhabas has been well recounted.

In spite of the Big Three dominating the scene for several decades, Raj Kapoor Andaaz and Dev Anand Insaniyat both, had just one film each with Dilip. Dilip started as a tragic hero while in Dev Anand’s films, love often did end happily. Raj Kapoor was the embodiment of a complete showman while Dilip was always viewed as a serious actor. Dev Anand, on the other hand, to suit his personality, created a niche for himself at a completely different plane. With the looks of a debonair and an urban lover and perhaps under inspiring influence of the late Gregory Peck, he always tried to have a youthful bounce. Dlip himself has been credited with having said that he concentrated not so much on how to act, but how not to act, and instead, appear as natural as possible.

It is a must read for film buffs as well as fans.

(Dr K. K. Paul is Special Commissioner, Administration, Delhi Police)


Plan to expedite tubewell connections
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, June 16
The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has decided to accelerate the pace of releasing connections of tubewells in its area. Stating this yesterday, Mr V. Umashanker, managing director of the DHBVN, said that 5,000 additional transformers of 25 KV capacity and 35,000 poles would be purchased to release more tubewell connections. He said the number of applications for tubewell connections in Bhiwani, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts was much more than the expectations of the DHBVN. Therefore, there was a need to purchase additional transformers.

The DHBVN had released over 800 tubewell connections in Fatehabad district alone during last eight months whereas till three years ago, only 300-400 tubewell connections were being given connections in each year in whole of the state. With the release of additional connections, the load of the additional substation had increased in the district.

He said that areas where consumers were paying their bills regularly would be given priority for developmental works. The Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) and the DHBVN had a comprehensive plan of over Rs 65 crore to strengthen power transmission and distribution system in Fatehabad. Under this plan, the nigams were setting up four new substations, augmenting the capacity of six existing substations and rehabilitating 25 feeders of 11 KV level by dividing each feeder into two or three parts. Nine feeders had already been rehabilitated and renovated, he added.

He said that construction work of the Rs 24-crore project of 220 KV substation, Fatehabad, was complete and erection work of its 220 KV line was also near completion. 


Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day observed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
A huge congregation was today held at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib to commemorate the martyrdom day anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, under the auspices of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. The programme started early in the morning with the recitation of Sukhmani Sahib and Nitnem.

Asa Di Var was recited by famous ragi jatha of Bhai Satwinder Singh of Sis Ganj Sahib. Giani Ranjit Singh, Head Granthi of Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, revived the memory of devotees about the great martyr with his “Shabad Vichar”.

Famour Hazoori ragi jatha of Bhai Rajinder Singh from Takhat Sri Hazoor Sahib, Bhai Amrik Singh Jakhmi, Baba Sukhbir Singh Khalsa Ludhiana Wale and Bhai Chamanjit Singh Lall, including other ragi jathas, also took part in the shabad kirtan.

Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Gatka Master, vice-president, Mr Bhajan Singh Walia, general secretary, and Prof Harmohinder Singh, secretary, of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, including a number of prominent members of the DSGMC, attended the congregation.

Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar, in his well-worded lecture recreated a scene of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, which was a turning point in Sikh history. Guru Hargobind Sahib raised a regular army due to the changed circumstances, which led to the creation of the Order of Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh Ji to fight the tyranny and social injustice of Mughal rulers.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee also released books by prominent writers Dr Harbans Kaur Saggo, Mr Joginder Singh, a retired IRS officer, and two poets, Qasid and Nirwair. All of them were presented with a siropa each (robe of honour).


White Paper to list issues of public concern
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says the Government of NCT of Delhi is preparing a White Paper that will list the issues for public discussion. The White Paper, she says, is needed as she is ‘helpless’ in providing succour to the economically challenged. “The multiplicity of authorities and no clear delegation of powers to the Government of NCT of Delhi are responsible for the mess,” she told academics and bureaucrats attending a seminar on sustainable development of Delhi.

Why is it, she wondered, only the 40 lakh people living in slums are relocated to the periphery when there were others equally guilty of living in colonies built illegally. “The economically challenged have been kept out of the Plan … the planners have no courage to demolish or relocate the affluent people living in colonies like Sainik Farm.”

The Chief Minister was delivering the inaugural address of the seminar hosted by the Institute for Human Development (IHD) at the India Habitat Centre. A candid Sheila Dikshit told the delegates appropriate strategies needed to be evolved to address the twin problems of housing and relocation.

The seminar analysed Delhi’s growth and looked into the institutional framework responsible for managing Delhi’s affairs. “To trace the components of sustainable development; to consider the development of National Capital Region; and to provide an agenda of action for sustainable development of Delhi, would be the objectives,” said Chairman of IHD Dr YK Alagh. The technical sessions delved into the issues of relocating industries, infrastructure, environment, governance and participation. By the end of the two-day event, said Dr Alagh, a report of recommendations would be drafted. Some 25 papers will be presented in the eight sessions. A panel discussion on “Vision for Delhi” will be hosted tomorrow and Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan will chair the discussion.


‘Earn money by honest means and spend some of it for the uplift of the downtrodden’
Syed Ali Ahmed

Unassuming and polite, Devesh Sharma, CEO of a Delhi based advertising firm, has become a cynosure in the eyes of his competitors. Born and educated in Delhi, this young entrepreneur is an example of the age-old adage that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. It is precisely because of this that his firm has registered growth even in adverse market circumstances.

Devesh was born and brought up in the national CapitaI. A graduate from the Delhi University, he is a known face in the Laxmi Nagar area. Even though the demands of his business keep him busy, he has been associated with a number of social and religious organisations including the Hardwar based Gayatri Parivar.

Belonging to a middle-class background, this first generation entrepreneur has immense faith in hard work and fair dealing. He talks about his work and ideals in a conversation with the NCR Tribune.

Could you tell us how you managed to get started in this business even though you did not have any business background??

Having a business background can be helpful though not enough to succeed in business. Good planning, dedication and concentration are important to begin with in any work. Wherever I worked, I have worked with honesty.

I started my business in 1991with a small investment of Rs 25,000. After four years of hard work, in 1996 I converted my proprietorship firm into a private limited company. In another four years, we even managed to get the INS accreditation.

How did you get into the advertising business?

When I was in college, I had a number of friends who belonged to business families. They were well off and used to enjoy life. They always had lots of money. On the other hand, I was always short of money, being from a large family of brothers and sisters.

With this background, I decided that I would start my own business someday. Initially, I did petty jobs in hotels and private companies and started saving money for my dream project. I was inspired by our tenant, who painted advertisements on the city walls.

I knew I could also do it and do it in a more organised manner. I took some contracts for outdoor publicity. Subsequently, my clients were impressed by my work and honesty and gradually, I expanded my business. At present, I have a staff of 25 professionals, including visualisers, copywriters and media managers.

What is your policy and motto?

The policy of the SAMPL is to work hard with honesty. I am not eager for very large profit. Rather, I am eager to develop a long-term relations with my clients and provide them satisfactory and good service.

I want to be associated closely with the business of my clients. The motto of the company is to earn money by honest means and spend at least some percentage of it for the uplift of the downtrodden.

I am very keen to see that proper educational facilities are provided in the slum clusters of the city. Presently, I have started a school for the children living in the slums in Badarpur area. The people living in these slum areas are mainly from outside the national Capital, particularly from Bihar and eastern UP. I wish others would join me in this endeavour.

Could you explain the success of your company when others in the field have registered negative growth??

The reason for our success has been our honesty in dealing with clients, hard work, professionalism and dedication of the team, which is young but totally committed to their jobs.

Our team goes the extra length in satisfying the clients even if it means additional work and expenditure. The fact that some of the top companies associated with us continue to return to us, are a testimony to our commitment and professionalism. The stress has been on personal relationship rather than on impersonal profits.

Now that your company has established itself and carved a niche for itself in the highly competitive field of advertising, what are your future plans?

I would like to see the company expand its market base not only in the National Capital Territory of Delhi but also in the adjoining states. I would particularly like the company to secure a base in Punjab, as I believe that this state has a lot of potential. People are hard working and are aware of the importance of marketing and advertising in the success of business..

Your family and friends accuse you of being a soft touch, which encourages people to take advantage of your goodness. What do you have to say about this??

They are right. But it does not really matter if people use dishonest means to extract money from me. They are only harming themselves. When I give, I give because I generally believe that I am helping them in their distress. As long as my intentions are clear, it does not really matter if the other person is telling the truth or not. I firmly believe that every person should help his fellow human being. Otherwise, what is the use of earning? God gives to those who help others.


Heatwave snuffs out three lives
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 16
The current heatwave has claimed three lives so far in Sonepat district.

According to a report, the police recovered the body of an unidentified youth (26), lying on the road near Rohna village about 15 km from here yesterday. The body remains unidentified and has been sent for a post-mortem.

It is stated that he died on account of heatwave conditions sweeping the district.

Earlier, Mr Dayanand, a resident of Nahra village died of heatwave on June 4 at Gohana town while he was returning home after getting the medicines.

Meanwhile, inadequate and erratic power and water supply have added to the woes of the people. The condition in the rural area is the worst.

Three-wheeler overturns

Three persons, namely Surat Singh, Rajesh and Balbir were injured when a three-wheeler on which they were riding overturned on Sonepat-Meerut inter-state road near Palri Kalan village about 15 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the injured were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger. The police are investigating the case.

Blood donation camp

As many as 70 persons donated blood at a one-day blood donation camp organised by the Sant Nirankari Mandal here yesterday.

According to a report, Mr Chaman Lal Madan, chief of the Sonepat mandal of the mission, inaugurated the camp.

Phones go phut

A large number of telephones remained dead for several hours following a major fault in the main telephone exchange developed yesterday. This caused inconvenience to thousands of telephone subscribers as Sonepat was cut off from rest of the country.

However, the officials of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) swung into action and restored the telephone services after removing the fault in the telephone exchange.

Man robbed of Rs 15,210

Rajbir, a resident of Pinana village was robbed of Rs 15,210 by two unidentified armed youths near Majra village about 20 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the police are investigating the case. However, no arrest has been made so far.


Mobile telephony eats into demand for landline connections
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 16
The increasing penetration of mobile telephony appears to have cast a direct impact on the demand for basic telephone services, in rural as well as urban areas here.

In comparison to the situation prevalent around three years ago, the demand for BSNL telephone connections has slackened, unlike mobile phone connections, where the demand has registered a manifold increase.

Increased market competition has also forced the landline service provider, BSNL, to improve its services.

“A few years back a person who had booked a phone with Telecom department could not

have expected the release of connection in less than a year, but now the BSNL is ready to provide a new phone within 48 hours, depending upon the line structure, says Rajesh, a resident of Sector-16 here. He feels that it is the competition offered by the cellular operators, which has made the BSNL more efficient.

A senior official of BSNL had recently admitted that the demand for landline phones had come down. He said the department would be able to clear the entire backlog within a few months.

It is reported that the waiting list for landline connection of BSNL in the district is only 5,248, whereas it used to be several times higher in late nineties. While the total number of working connections of BSNL is 1.31 lakh, the equipped capacity of the department is around 1.7 lakh.

The department aims to strengthen its system and network and provide state of the art facilities to the consumers at minimal cost, said a BSNL official. He said efforts to make the major areas `poleless’ were going on, and latest technology was being adopted, to ensure a faultless service to the consumers. The work of laying down OFC (optical fibre cable) in order to connect all main exchanges and subscriber units in Faridabad is in process and online facilities for consumer to book a phone, submission of bills and getting duplicate copies of bills have also been provided at various service centres, the official said.

The users of mobile phones have also increased manifold courtesy the customer oriented approach adopted by these companies.

The result has been an increase demand of cell phones. So much that the service and business class, appears to have become dependent on the cellphones. “Even the labour and technical persons including plumbers, fitters, masons and persons engaged in service industry including caterers, milk suppliers property and estate agents vendors and hawkers have started using mobile phones, said Jaiprakash, a owner of a grocery shop in Sector-14, who also sells mobile phone connections and recharge coupons.

It is learnt that the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has also decided to equip its linemen (fault repairers) with mobile phones, in order to ensure quick redressal of customer complaints.


Heat stroke, gastroenteritis claim five lives
Our Correspondents

Narnaul, June 16
Five persons have died due to heat stroke and gastroenteritis in Mahendragarh district in the last 48 hours. Man Mohan Singh (38), a shepherd of village Salkha (Jaisalmer), who had crossed the Haryana border along with his sheep, died due to heat stroke near village Lahroda where he was camping.

In another incident, Om Prakash (65), a mason, died due to gastroenteritis.

A newly born also died due to heat stroke. They were both residents of village Shobhapur. Two other persons — Ram Singh (40), a constable, and a local lad named Som Datt – also succumbed to heat stroke.

Ex-cop shoots himself

Faridabad: At least six persons including a woman and a former policeman have lost their lives in various incidents in the district since yesterday. According to the police, a youth, identified as Bunti, a resident of Sangam Vihar in Delhi, drowned in a lake near Surajkund tourist spot on Sunday. He had come here along with a friend to swim.

In the second case, an ex-cop of the Haryana Police, identified as Jagneshwar Tyagi, shot himself dead with his licensed gun at Garonda village near Tigaon here. In a similar incident, a woman committed suicide at Jharsentli village by consuming a pesticide. In yet another incident, a youth hanged himself from a tree in Asavata village. Another person was killed while crossing a rail track in the Palwal area.

Cable TV on the blink

Ghaziabad: The cable operators in Ghaziabad have stopped beaming TV Channel programmes in the city in protest against the entertainment tax imposed by the UP government.

According to the leader of the Cable Operators’ United Front, Mr Varinder Gaur, the state government has levied 30 per cent entertainment tax per cable connection. It is alleged that the SDM has issued orders to ascertain the actual number of cable users, for which a payment of Rs 5 per connection will also be made.

The cable operators are demanding that the Delhi pattern be followed. In the capital, Rs 10 to Rs 20 is charged per connection. But the best thing would be the withdrawal of this levy.

Mr Gaur alleged that the Information & Broadcasting Minister was trying to coax the cable operators into agreeing to the levy.

Sarkar Aap ke Dwar a ‘façade’

Bhiwani: Haryana Vikas Party president Bansi Lal has termed the Sarkar Aap ke Dwar of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala as a façade. He was addressing a public meeting at Badhra, 50 km from here, today. While the Chief Minister disclosed in one of such programmes that the government had been earning Re 1 from the sale of one litre of petrol or diesel to be spent on development works, the state government in effect had no role to play in this development announcement, Mr Bansi Lal said. The central government had imposed a cess of Re 1 on petrol and diesel as to spend it on the development of rural areas four years back. The Chief Minister was trying to extract mileage out of this even as he was misusing the fund, he alleged.

Matric results on June 25

The result of Matric Examination-2003 of the Haryana School Education Board will be declared on June 25.

Disclosing this, the spokesman of the Haryana School Education Board, Bhiwani informed that the result of Matric would be available on Internet websites, interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), Helpline and leading Hindi dailies like the result of Senior Secondary Examination, which was declared on June 10.

The spokesman informed that 3.36 lakh children appeared in this examination this year, whereas 3.45 lakh children took this examination last year. The detailed result should be collected by all the heads of the schools from their District Education Officer’s office at 12 noon on June 25 and displayed in their schools by 3 pm on that day.


Youth burnt to death in hardware shop
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
An unidentified youth was burnt to death in a fire that broke out in hardware shop at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in North-West district early this morning. When the fire broke out, the shop was closed and there was nobody inside the shop. The Delhi Fire Service (DFS) rushed six firefighters to douse the fire. The cause of the fire is not yet known, DFS spokesman said.

Sanitation drive

Launching a sanitation drive in the Capital, Mayor Ashok Kumar Jain today said that coordination between the local bodies was a must to keep the city clean. In the Capital, different areas are in the jurisdiction of different bodies so the coordination is a basic requirement to keep the city clean. Coordination within the department is also necessary as they are inter-related and without the coordination, work cannot be done properly. For instance, the public works department removes building material waste and malba, the horticulture department takes care of the wastage from gardens like dry grass and dead leaves while the sanitation department takes care of sweeping and recycle waste, he said.

Guru Arjan Dev

The Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev was observed in the Capital with great devotion by the followers of all religions. Special kirtan and path of Gurbani were held in Gurudwaras. Cold sweet water and free food was served. S. Raja Singh Sethi, National President of Shiromani Sewadar Committee asked the people to follow the teachings of religious harmony and universal brotherhood as preached by the great Guru.

S. Tehal Singh Taneja, President of the Delhi Shiromani Gurudwara Sewadar Committee said that Siropa should be presented to only those who have served the nation and the community. Others should just be honoured.

Class X certificate

One Vinita Dobhal, resident of New Tehri, Uttaranchal, daughter of Mr Laxmi Prasad, has lost her Class X certificate. The serial number of the certificate is 0472294. Please contact- No 743, Sector-2, Rohini, Delhi.


Two lawyers in fake degree racket
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
Three persons, including two lawyers, were arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch for their alleged involvement in a racket in fake degrees and mark sheets. The police also claimed to have seized more than 500 such documents, cheques and drafts worth Rs 8 lakh, two computers, a huge quantity of papers used to produce degrees and mark sheets, printers and scanners from their possession.

The Crime Branch sleuths, acting on secret information, arrested Mukesh Paliwal (40), resident of Sector 39, Noida, Manoj Kumar Singh (27), resident of Shastri Nagar, Ghaziabad, and Padam Rathi (24), resident of Tilak Nagar.

The sleuths sent a decoy customer and struck a deal with the accused for a class XII mark sheet for Rs 5,000. The accused had asked the customer to meet them in Lajpat Nagar. When the accused came to deliver the fake mark sheet they were arrested.

The police also recovered bank instruments, including a draft of Rs 5 lakh issued by the IMT, Ghaziabad. An official said a Crime Branch team would be sent to the IMT, Ghaziabad, to ascertain details about the instruments.

Besides, the police are interrogating the accused to find out details of their contacts with other educational institutions, with whose help the accused had been running this racket.

The accused — Manoj Kumar Singh, a computer professional and a lawyer, and another accused, Mukesh Paliwal, also a lawyer practicing in the Noida court — took to the racket to make a fast buck.

The gang would keep interacting with students, whose admission was then facilitated by the accused. 


Seven Bawarya criminals rounded up from graveyard
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 16
The Ghaziabad police claim to have achieved a major breakthrough by nabbing seven criminals of Bawarya tribe from a room in a graveyard in Vijay Nagar area on Saturday night. The police also seized valuables worth Rs 5 lakh on the basis of information provided by the arrested criminals.

The group belonging to the tribe, believed to be traditionally criminals, had started using cell phones and other modern gadgets in planning and executing their crimes, the police said.

Sub-Inspector Prata, SO of the Vijay Nagar police station, was tipped off that some criminals were dividing the booty among themselves in a room in the graveyard, situated on the road along Hindon barrage. They surrounded the room and challenged the criminals. The criminals opened fire on the police and tried to escape in a jeep parked nearby.

The police, however, returned the fire and were able to nab the criminals, who included gang leader Ram Singh, alias Chaman Singh, of Aurangabad, Omi of the Chholas police station area, Jarcha of Gautam Budh Nagar and Mahesh, Om Prakash, Chuniya, Sanjay and Guddu, all residents of Kharkoda, Meerut. The criminals had been living in the Vijay Nagar area in a rented accommodation.

A country-made revolver of .315 bore, cartridges, Rs 5,500, one cell phone, a large quantity of jewellery, wristwatches and smack were recovered from Ram Singh. A country-made revolver of .315 bore with live cartridge, Rs 4,000 and jewellery were seized from Om Prakash. A stolen digital camera, jewellery, cash, walkman, stereo etc were seized from Omi and Chaman Singh.

Besides, cash, jewellery, cameras, watches, steel utensils, colour and black and white TVs, CD players, gas cylinders, attaché cases etc were seized from the other gang members. All these are valued at Rs 5 lakh at least.

According to SP City Ganeshwar Tiwari, the criminals belonged to Bawarya tribe and used to commit crimes roaming like nomads. They did not stick to one place for long. Their modus operandi was to strike the victims immediately on entering a house so as to render them unconscious.

During investigation, the criminals confessed to their involvement in criminal cases at Kavi Nagar in Ghaziabad, Hafizpur in Hapur, Murad Nagar, Bharatpur in Rajasthan, and many other places.


Haryana chemists to strike

On the call of the Haryana state Chemists and Druggists Association, chemists in the district and other parts of the state would go on an indefinite strike tomorrow to protest against the order of the Commissioner for Health, Haryana, to demolish a chemist shop at Yamunanagar and registering of a criminal case under Section 307 IPC (murderous assault) against Mr Manjit Sharma, vice-president of the state unit of the association.

Mr Sajjan Kumar Dahiya, president of the district unit of the association told mediapersons here today that Mr Raj Kumar, Commissioner for Health, Haryana, had ordered the demolition of the chemist shop on June 14.

He alleged that within minutes, the JCB machine was pressed into service and the shop was razed damaging the medicines and other goods worth several lakhs of rupees. OC

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