Thursday, June 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Punjabi gets its due; Cong, BJP vie for credit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 25
Punjabi and Urdu have been given the second official language status in the NCT of Delhi with President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam giving his assent to a Bill to this effect, a Union Ministry of Home Affairs spokesman said today.

The assent to the Delhi Official Language Bill, 2000, fulfils a long-standing demand of a sizeable Punjabi-speaking population of the NCT of Delhi.

The spokesman said, “The enactment declares Punjabi in Gurmukhi script and Urdu in Urdu script to be the second official language of Delhi for various official purposes.”

The recommendation for presidential assent was made by Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani after a delegation of Punjabis led by BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana had met him in the first week of this month to press their demand.

The spokesman said with this enactment, it would be necessary to publish translation of important government rules, regulations and gazette notifications as well as important government advertisements in Punjabi and Urdu also.

“It has also been made obligatory on the government functionaries in the Government of NCT of Delhi to reply to the applications and petitions made in Punjabi and Urdu in the same languages,” he said.

The enactment, he said, further provided that the proceedings of the Delhi Legislative Assembly shall be recorded and issued simultaneously in Punjabi and Urdu also, wherever required. With this enactment, it would be necessary to publish the translation of important government advertisements in Punjabi and Urdu. The passage of the Bill was therefore likely to open up avenues of employment in various departments.



A late but welcome move: CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 25
A “late but welcome move”, said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, responding to the news about the President’s nod to the Bill granting second official language status to Punjabi and Urdu in the state. The BJP state unit president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, termed it as “fulfillment” of the party’s 40-year-old promise.

A visibly happy Ms Dikshit said: “Personally, I am very glad that the Centre has approved the decision to make Punjabi and Urdu official languages.”

“This is a major achievement of the BJP. The party had been making efforts to declare Punjabi an official language since the time of Jan Sangh in 1964. We have fulfilled our promise,” Mr Khurana said.

Ms Dikshit, on the other hand, said that the Congress had been pressing for the demand for three years after the Assembly adopted the Bill in early 2000, and blamed the Centre for adopting “dilly-dallying” tactics on the issue.

“The Bill has been moving from one table to the other. First, it was pending in the Lt Governor’s office for about five to six months and, then, it went to the Home Ministry, which returned it several times seeking clarifications,” she claimed.

The Chief Minister said every time a clarification was sought by the Home Ministry, the Delhi Government sent its response and each time it was returned with some query. “It is really a nice thing that the Bill has finally been approved,” she said.

Ms Dikshit felt that the decision was important considering that the Assembly elections were round the corner. “I definitely think that this will have an impact on the electoral performance of the parties and people would appreciate the efforts made by my government for the passage of the Bill,” she said.



Historic, say city residents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 25
The Punjabi in the Capital are a happy lot. They have welcomed the decision to grant official language status to Punjabi in NCT of Delhi.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Member Harinderpal Singh said it was a day of celebration for Delhi’s Punjabi community.

A close aide of senior Akali leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Harinderpal Singh called for urgent implementation of the Official Languages Act.

International Council of Punjabis General Secretary Pushpinder Singh thanked Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani for their “prompt” response to the community’s request. “It’s a historic move. The Government of NCT of Delhi and the Union Government, especially Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and BJP Parliamentary Party spokesperson Vijay Kumar Malhotra, have done a commendable job in promoting the cause of Punjabis and their culture,” he added.

The Sanatan Dharamis also hailed the decision. “We, in particular, thank Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for her initiative. We also thank the Centre which did take some extra time, but finally cleared the Bill passed by the Delhi Assembly,” said All India Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sammelan’s Ramakant Goswami, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

“The Delhi Akali Dal and the DSGMC had been pressing for Central clearance of the Bill that had been pending with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs since 2000,” DSGMC President Paramjit Singh Sarna said.



At this rate, DU faculty appointments will cease
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 25
After July 12, Delhi University’s selection committees, which hold interviews for appointments to faculties, will no longer have any Visitor’s Nominees. At present, the Arts and the Science faculties are the only ones with a Visitor’s Nominee each, but they will retire by July 12. Already, 10 out of 12 faculties do not have Visitor’s Nominees.

According to the university statute, a selection committee, which is constituted for holding interviews for appointments as well as promotions of teachers, should have a Visitor’s Nominee duly appointed by the President of the country. Without the nominee, the panel cannot select anybody.

“The selection and promotion of teachers, thus, has been put on hold. No Visitor’s Nominee means that no appointments or promotions can be made and there is no one answerable for this predicament,” said an official of the university.

The selection of teachers is made with the help of a committee under the chairmanship of the principal of the college. The committee comprises the principal of the college, one senior teacher or head of the department of the subject, a nominee of the university and a subject expert not connected with the university/college to be nominated by the chairman of the governing body out of a panel of names prepared by the principal.

“There are 17-18 vacancies in the Economics Department alone. These vacancies have caused a crisis situation. Two-and-a-half years have passed since the first advertisement was released inviting applications for filling the posts, but till date we have not made a single appointment. Besides, there are people who are about to retire in the near future, which will worsen the situation,” pointed out the Director of the Delhi School of Economics, Prof Badal Mukherji.

Agitated over the state of affairs, Prof Mukherji said, “The country does not lack scholars. Why can’t we have a Visitor’s Nominee? If we allow vacancies to remain, we are causing a grave loss to the students as well as the university.” He went on to add: “All good people will not wait for the university to appoint them, they will move to better places and ultimately the university will suffer.”

It was pointed out that the Department of Economics would soon be unable to offer specialised papers, as there were not enough teachers. “There are so many departments where the teachers are awaiting promotion and some may even retire without getting it,” said Dr Sanjay Bohidar, treasurer, DUTA.

He went on to add, “Despite various representations, including to the UGC, there is no response. We have written even to the Ministry of HRD, which has not even responded.” Distraught teachers point out that the provision for filling up the post of the Nominee should be made in advance. “There should be no gap between retirement and appointment. A situation like this sounds the death knell for postgraduate departments, which are the worst affected,” pointed out Dr T. C. A. Anant of the DSE.

“There is no provision for reappointment of those who have retired. We cannot have them as Professors Emseritus, we cannot even pay them the taxi fare for visiting lectures,” said Prof Mukherji, adding that “Each specialist is difficult to replace”.

It is also pointed out that interviews to fill teachers’ posts should be conducted every second year, so that there are no vacancies. 



Trader strangles wife, 7-yr-old son; surrenders
Tribune News Service

Harpal Singh with cops and the bodies of victims.

 Tribune photos Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, June 25
A building material supplier killed his wife and his seven-year-old son and later surrendered before the police in Paschim Vihar in North-West district.
Harpal Singh (42) strangulated his wife Sushila (36) and son Harshit alias Chintu with a telephone wire at his residence in Pashchim Vihar last night allegedly over some family dispute. This morning he walked into Pashchim Vihar police station, narrated the incident and surrendered, the police said.

The accused told the police that he took the extreme step because his in-laws were troubling him. The police recovered a note from his person written in Hindi which said, “Mein, in dono ko mar kar, atma hatya kar raha hoon”.

The suspect told the police that he had consumed two bottles of `All Out’ in a bid to commit suicide before killing his wife and son. This fact is being verified through medical examination, the police said.

The suspect ran a building material supply business from his office in Vardhman J.P. Plaza, Sector 4, Dwarka. He had a diploma in Civil Engineering from Bahadurgarh.

After securing the diploma, he had left for Libya in 1984 and worked in a private firm till 1986. He had also worked with some private companies in the Capital till 1991. Thereafter, he started his own business of building material.

He married Sushila, a resident of A-block, Janata Flats, Paschim Vihar, in July 1988. The couple had a seven-year-old son who studied in class second in a private school in Paschim Vihar.

His in-laws alleged that Harpal had been missing for about eight months from his house in Paschim Vihar from March to November last year. He allegedly had an extra-marital affair and was living with a woman in Papankalan. The couple had frequent fights over the wayward conduct of the suspect. In June this year, the couple had shifted from Paschim Vihar to Sector 12, Dwarka.

He brought his wife and son to his Paschim Vihar house last night. In the night, he strangulated both of them and then surrendered before the local police.

The police said that he would be interrogated at length to ascertain the exact reason for the double murder.



Last call to regularise building violations
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 25
With the Panipat Municipal Council looking the other way, hundreds of residential and commercial buildings are coming up in the city in gross violation of the building bylaws, endangering the lives of residents. The council has now decided to give another chance to such violators to get their maps passed, after paying a penalty.

A perusal of the records of the department concerned revealed that only a few notices had been issued to violators of building bylaws. A majority of such violators have been let off the hook for reasons best known to the department.

The MC’s attitude can be gauged from the fact that no survey of illegal constructions has been carried out in the recent times. During 1999-2000, only 177 notices were issued to violators of building bylaws. The figure went up to 231 during 2000-2001, although thousands of buildings were built during this time. (The rest of the cases were settled by the officials after accepting some gratification, a source alleged.)

In fact, the civic body does not have the necessary infrastructure and political will to check the growth of illegal constructions since a majority of the builders are patronised by politicians belonging to all parties.

The MC also loses crores of rupees, which should come to it by way of development charges. It may be recalled that after the abolition of octroi in September 1999, development charges from new buildings have become a major source of income for the municipality. While the department has dithered in enforcing the bylaws in new constructions, legal recourse has also not been taken in a majority of cases by the department, raising doubts about its impartial functioning. Sources say that officials of the department had been minting money all these years.

Mr Sanjay Bhatia, the MC chief, wrote to the department about a year back to fix responsibility for the alleged irregularities in the records since 1999. Tired of the dithering in the department, he shot off a letter to the Local Bodies Commissioner. After that, he too seems to have developed cold feet.

The MC has now decided to give another chance to the violators to pass their maps after the payment of penalty. In this case, they would be the losers on two counts. Having paid a “bribe” to the officials, they will now have to shell out a penalty to the civic body. 



DSGMC protest backfires

New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Minorities (DCM) today slammed the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for providing its school buses for transporting Akali activists to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s house in the high-security zone. On Monday, Akali activists had dodged the security by arriving in buses belonging to DSGMC schools and held a snap demonstration at 10 Janpath to protest against Punjab’s government’s alleged witch-hunt against supporters of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

“The DSGMC authorities should not have allowed use of their resources for a political protest. It is absolutely unacceptable that a religious body has provided transport for political demonstrators,” DCM member Navinpal Singh Bhandari said. Significantly, DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna is considered close to Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. (Mr Sarna is abroad on a business trip). Senior DSGMC members have also condemned the committee’s role in Monday’s protest at Ms Gandhi’s residence. “Any religious body offering its resources for such demonstrations needs to be condemned. Providing transport, which belongs to a religious organisation, for a political protest is uncalled for,” said DSGMC member Prahlad Singh Chandok, a close associate of late President Giani Zail Singh. TNS



Five drown in storage tank
Tribune News Service

A Tribune photograph

New Delhi, June 25
Five employees of a private firm engaged by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to operate its sewage treatment plant in Rithala, Narela, in North-West Delhi, drowned while they were reportedly cleaning the sludge storage tank of the plant today.

The police said that the bodies had been retrieved and sent for a post-mortem examination. The victims were identified as Ravi Kumar, senior maintenance engineer; Virender Kumar, fitter; Phagu Yadav, supervisor; Fayyaz, electrician, and Dharmender, a helper of the Degrimont India Limited, which had the maintenance contract of the plant.

According to Delhi Fire Service officials, the five had descended into the tank shortly after 11 a.m. When they did not surface for some time, an alarm was sounded by their colleagues. The DFS was informed at noon and a rescue vehicle rushed to the spot. All the five were found dead. According to DCP (North-West) Sanjay Singh, the mixer machine of the sludge storage tank was out of order.



Fake notes: Innocent people facing loss of 
face and money
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 25
The fake currency note racket is turning out to be a hard nut to crack. Nonetheless, the police have arrested at least eight persons in connection with such cases in the past one month in Faridabad and Gurgaon districts.

Three persons were nabbed with fake notes of Rs 500 denomination worth Rs 14,000 from the Sarai Khwaja area here about two weeks ago. One of the accused was reportedly purchasing some items from a shop. His arrest led to the nabbing of two others and notes worth Rs 14,000 were seized. They told the police that the money came from Delhi.

The police also arrested one person from Mundete village of Gurgaon district recently. He was carrying Rs 5,000 worth of fake notes. The police had earlier arrested four persons and seized notes worth Rs 3.22 lakh from the same area.

The authorities are believed to be slow in tracking down the persons involved in pumping fake notes into the market. The result is that unsuspecting people face embarrassment when they are caught with such notes.

A resident here, who did not want to be identified, said that he recently withdrew an amount from the local branch of a nationalised Bank to deposit an instalment of a bank loan he had taken to buy a plot. To his surprise and embarrassment, the bank staff found one of the Rs 500 denomination notes fake and it was destroyed on the spot. He had to pay Rs 500 more from his pocket. When you are caught in such a situation, there is no way out than to face harassment and financial loss as well, he said.

The employees of banks have been instructed to destroy fake notes when detected. However, the authorities concerned have failed to clarify who will have to bear the loss in case of destruction of a fake note. An employee of the bank here said that the staff or the cashier would have to bear the loss if a fake note is detected among the cash lying with him or her. But it is learnt that the staff may like to pass on such notes to the person who withdraws money. If it is not detected at the counter, then he will lose the money as the bank may not accept the claim that the fake note was issued by the bank.



Flyover project hangs fire, clamour to dump it in favour of a bypass 
Our Correspondent

Panipat, June 25
The proposal for a 6-km-long flyover project costing more than Rs 370 crore has been hanging fire, awaiting government sanction. Residents of the area spend sleepless nights over this and the trading community in particular is much perturbed. Moreover, people had already experienced similar indifference at the time of the construction of the flyover over the Assandh road.

Even now people have started feeling that simply building a flyover on the GT Road at a cost of more than Rs 370 crore may not be a perfect solution for overcoming the traffic jams in the town.

A traffic jam are still an irritant on the Assandh road where a flyover was constructed eight years ago. The junction of this flyover with GT Road is still a bottleneck. Motorists who used to go right from this flyover now have to go to the bus stand and take a U-turn from that point to join the main stream of traffic.

It may be recalled that the Assandh road flyover scheme was initiated in 1977. However, local residents and traders who were to be affected wielded influence to delay work on the project. But with public pressure building on the government over the frequent traffic jams the stone laying ceremony in the year 1992 was held. The flyover was ready for the public in 1995.

The business of this area was totally ruined. Alas, the flyover could not clear the snarls on the Assandh road.

Once again, to clear the jam on the GT Road, a 6-km-long flyover has been now planned. On the one hand, there is talk as to whether this flyover would be suitable enough to clear the jam. On the other hand, the future of big showrooms of the trading community is also being taken into consideration. If the snarls still persist after the construction of a 6-km-long flyover then except for repentance nothing would be left.

Around three years back, the then Deputy Commissioner (DC), Mr Sandeep Garg, tried to resolve this situation. He started diverting some traffic load from the Assandh road to the bypass of the nearby canal and succeeded to some extent. The additional traffic passing through the town can be diverted to a bypass which will cost much less than a flyover.

Recently, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, inaugurated a water channel that would be completed in a period of maximum 24 months. In that proposal it was mentioned the road constructed on the bundh would go to Delhi via Moonak, which would be useful for the motorists, and heavy traffic could be avoided to enter the town.

On the Assandh road, where snarls were the result of the railway crossing, affected shopkeepers tried to get a stay from the courts and refused to hand over their shop areas for the common cause. At that time, the government had proposed to compensate the traders with a road on both sides of the flyover to be constructed. This was, however, not done and the size and the shape of the flyover was amended, resulting in the construction of a small, zigzag shaped flyover and without sidelanes, resulting in jams daily.

Now after a gap of eight years, the present DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, has persuaded the local traders to shift back their shops at least 10 feet from the road, giving a total width of 20 feet on one side of the flyover.

But there is hardly a space of 3 ft to 8 ft left. This is not feasible and moreover in this particular residential area there is Prahlad Nagar Colony to provide space for a road. A large number of houses would have to be demolished which may not be possible to take up. At the time of the construction of this flyover, the road was closed. Certain traders switched off their units and took up shops in other parts of the town. They pledged jewellery and property papers with the banks and till date they have been unable to repay their loans.

With the latest amendment under the Securitisation & Reconstitution of Financial Ordinance Act 2002, traders have lost their properties and still the loan amounts are outstanding. Mr Rakesh Gupta, a trader of dyes and chemicals, with an office on the GT Road, told this correspondent that with the construction of the 6-km-long flyover, the local business of the traders would be finished like that on the Assandh road flyover. He said on the GT Road there were enough margins on both sides and if the government made this flyover without disturbing the traffic and without repeating previous mistakes then it would be viable. Tourists coming and going to Punjab, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh used to break their journey here in Panipat to purchase the local produce, particularly handloom durries, bedspreads, curtain cloth, mats, khes, blankets, Pachranga pickles. The sale of these commodities would be affected, he added.

Another showroom owner on the GT Road, Mr Anil Raizada, told NCR Tribune the public at large was still facing the problem of traffic snarls on the Assandh road flyover and the business stood ruined. Trade was also affected as there were no two way entries from the flyover, resulting in the area presenting a deserted look. The value of the property here had dwindled.

A similar situation would be witness here too. The trading community on the GT Road, which is 20 times more strong, would be routed out to clear the jam. Still, if the jam persists what would be the future of the present trading community is anybody’s guess, he added.

An architect by profession and reputed valuer of Panipat town, Mr Vinod Kapoor, said a semi-ring road could be constructed at a lesser cost. It could be diverted from the National Fertiliser Ltd plant on the GT Road towards the Yamuna. By passing the industrial sectors 29 and 25 and crossing through Kala Amb, the prestigious War Memorial Heritage Centre and then this bypass it could be connected to Karnal “chungi” and onwards. The government only had to acquire agricultural land towards this purpose. It could be constructed like the Karnal bypass, he suggested.

Even the Citizen Council of Panipat, in a letter written to the Chief Minister has requested him to reconsider the flyover scheme. It has urged the central government to dump the plan for a flyover in favour of a bypass.



Succumbing to a lethal mix of lottery and liquor
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 25
Picture this: A daily wage earner dreaming to strike it rich. For him, the lure of lottery or matka is hard to resist. He begins with small stakes, but is soon entrapped. And each win is celebrated with liquor. But soon he is drowning even his losses in drink. The two ‘L’s have enjoined to become a heady and a lethal mix.

Unfortunately, this is the way of life for a majority of residents here. According to reports, Faridabad has a 70 per cent share in the total sale of lotteries in the state. A large number of residents here have become addicted to lottery and ‘satta’, thanks to the mafia, which is reportedly pocketing lakhs of rupees of their hard earned income.

The death of a young couple a few days ago at Dabua Colony was an eye-opener: Mukesh, an employee of a private company, had got addicted to satta and lottery; his family life was in a shambles with domestic strife the norm. On June 15, Mukesh set himself and his wife ablaze.

According to Mr K L Gera, a social activist, this was not a solitary incident.

Addiction to lottery, satta and liquor was increasingly causing break-ups in families. Many persons, especially labourers and daily wage earners, visit lottery bazaars and satta spots and lose lakhs weekly, disclosed Mr Gera.

Reportedly, there are nearly a dozen lottery bazaars operating in the city. The Badarpur border is one of the biggest lottery and satta hubs. When the Delhi Government banned single digit lottery, the operators found a convenient way out. They moved over to the Haryana side of the border at Badarpur, where they are able to get customers from both Delhi and Faridabad.

‘Teen patti,’ ‘ek ke nau guna’ are among the popular satta games that are played here. It is reported that the amount at stake in satta and matka is much higher than that in authorised lotteries.

While the senior police officials claim that they have tightened the noose around the satta and lottery mafia, it is alleged that a monthly bribe is paid to the policemen of the nearest police station.

Sources say that without ‘proper police protection’, no satta operator would dare to operate.



CM unveils power generation plan
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 25
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has said the seventh and eighth units of 250 MW each of the Panipat Thermal Plant would start generating power by July next year.

Addressing a rural gathering after unveiling a 13-ft-high statute of late Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal at Jassia village, 20 km from here, yesterday, the Chief Minister disclosed that the Indian Oil Corporation was also installing a power plant of 350 MW at Panipat.

He said the new gas-based units of 432 MW capacity were being installed at Faridabad. Similarly, two gas-based units of 500 MW each were being set up at Hisar and Yamunanagar.

By the end of 2004, Haryana would be in a position to provide electricity to other states in the country, he told the audience.

The Chief Minister said that after reversing the decisions of the previous government his government had undertaken repair of the watercourses at government expenses so that the farmers at the tail end could also get canal water.

He further said that the repair of the damaged watercourses had been undertaken on a war footing and the government had secured a loan of Rs 305 crore from NABARD for this purpose.

Mr Chautala said his government had introduced a new education policy to train the rural youth to participate in the development of their villages.

He also delved at length on the industrial and sports policies of his government.



Chautala lays stone of two bridges
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 25
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, laid the foundation stone of two bridges to be built across the Gurgaon and Agra canals passing here today.
The project will cost about Rs 3.37 crore and is likely to be over in a year.

Later, addressing a gathering near Palla village, the Chief Minister produced the list of his claims about the development works accomplished during his tenure so far.

He said his government had got repaired 17,162 km of roads in the state and got constructed new roads of about 4,242 km length.

He said about Rs 1,605 crore had been spent on repair and construction of roads so far. Mr Chautala claimed that another Rs 300 crore would be spent on roads in the current financial year.

He said Rs 305 crore would be spent on the brick-lining of kutcha drains and channels.

He said only 199 MW and 118 MW of additional power was generated during the regime of Mr Bansi Lal and Mr Bhajan Lal, respectively.



Sonepat has 341 fair price shops 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 25
As many as 341 fair price shops under the public distribution system (PDS) are functioning in this district. These include 240 in the rural areas. From these depots, the subsidised rationed commodities are being supplied to the families living below the poverty line
(BPL) every month.

According to a report, there are 2,57,156 ration cards under the PDS in the district and the number of persons on these ration cards is 13,47,629. The number of ration cards in the rural areas is 1,80,267 whereas the number of ration cards in the urban areas is 76,839. The number of persons on the ration cards in rural areas is 10,15,687 whereas the number of persons on the ration cards in urban areas is 3.31 lakh. Of these, 2,21,610 ration cards belonged to BPL (general category) and the number of persons registered on

them is 11,70,346. The number of ration cards is 30,357 for BPL families (yellow colour) on which the number of persons has been registered around 1,51,870. The department has issued 5,139 pink colour ration cards and the number of persons registered on them is 25,443.

The Food and Supplies Department has issued 560 tonnes of atta on the BPL ration cards. 



People vent their anger as Sonepat witnesses string of protests 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 25
It was a day of processions, demonstrations and rallies in this city yesterday. According to a report, large number of auto-rickshaw operators led by Mr Rajiv Jain, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party took out a procession in protest against indiscriminate challans and forcible collection of funds by the Traffic Police.

Carrying placards and raising anti-police and anti-government slogans, they marched through the main markets of the city. The protestors reached the mini-secretariat and held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office where the leaders of the auto-rickshaw operators submitted a memorandum to the DC demanding immediate intervention and stoppage of harassment by the Traffic Police.

A rally was also held, which was addressed by the leaders of the HVP and auto-rickshaw operators union deploring the alleged excesses by the traffic police.

They alleged forcible collection of money from auto-rickshaw operators. They warned that if no step was taken to check the malpractices of the Traffic Police, they would have no alternative but to launch an agitation and gherao the police officials.

According to another report, hundreds of residents of Tharia village, who came on their tractor trolleys, held a massive demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office in protest against the demolition of graveyards and the occupation of land by some influential persons of the village.

The demonstrators shouted slogans in support of the demands and alleged that the police officials were siding with the persons who had occupied the land in the village.


Gurdwara Board electoral rolls published 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 25
The Haryana Election Department has published the electoral rolls relating to the election of Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Board for inviting objections and claims from the electorate for preparing fresh electoral rolls. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, told mediapersons here today that the claims and objections could be made before the concerned designated officer till August 22.

Such claims and objections would be disposed of by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer by October 1. The new electoral rolls would be prepared by November 11 and published on November 21.

He disclosed that the Tehsildars of Sonepat, Gohana and Ganaur have been appointed as designated officers and empowered to receive claims and objections relating to the electoral rolls published by the Election Department.

According to the DC, the state government has decided to give prizes to the farmers for boosting the farm production in the state. These prizes have been introduced in the memory of Tau Devi Lal.

Under this scheme, the selected farmers would be given a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh at the state level and Rs 25,000 at the district level.

The DC disclosed that the last date for filing applications is August 14. The relevant forms would be available in the offices of the Agriculture Department till June 30.



Boy rescued from kidnapper in Loni 
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, June 25
The Loni police have freed a 4-year-old child from the clutches of a man who had abducted him from east Delhi. The kidnapper, who has been arrested, was in involved in many cases of kidnapping in Delhi and Bareilly, the police said.

The 4-year-old boy, identified as Vijay Pal, was sitting outside his house in Usmanpur village of east Delhi in the afternoon when Ravi, of Ram Park Extension, Loni, enticed him into a three-wheeler and brought him to Loni tri-junction.

Here, when the child started crying, it aroused the suspicion of the policemen posted there.

When the police questioned Ravi, he told them that he had kidnapped the child and had planned to initiate him into begging. He also confessed that he had kidnapped many other children for similar work.

Police said Ravi could be a member of a gang who specialised in abduction of children to initiate them into begging and crime.

Order to protect fish fauna

Sonepat: In order to protect the native fish fauna, the District Magistrate, Mr Balwan Singh, has ordered the Fishery Department to destroy the stock of Magur and big headed fishes and to ban the production and stocking of seed of these fishes in the district.

The order has been issued in public interest under the provisions contained in the section 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act 2 of 1974).

It is mentioned in the order that these exotic species of fishes have been introduced in the district in contravention of the instructions of the Government of India, as these species can pose threat to the indigenous fish fauna and the eco-system in view of the fact that it may lead to cross breeding and cause genetic degradation.

Prompt action against cheating

Bhiwani: The Haryana Board of School Education finalised all unfair means cases that were detected during the Middle, Matric and Senior Secondary School Examinations this year.

The Secretary of the Board, Mr Rakesh Gupta, said that out of 8,695 students booked for unfair means this year, stern action was taken against 8,530 students and 165 candidates were exonerated. 



DPS Society pact on training 
programme with IGNOU 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 25
The DPS Society is to collaborate with the Indira Gandhi National Open University for the practical training of prospective pre-school educators enrolled in the Diploma programme in Early Childhood Care and Education of IGNOU.

The collaboration will be formalised on June 26 at the IGNOU campus, Maidan Garhi, in the presence of Prof. H. P. Dikshit, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU, and Mr Narendra Kumar, chairman of DPS Society. DPS principals and Regional Directors of IGNOU across the country will witness the signing of the MoU between these two premier institutions.

The EMC (Education Management Centre) of the PDS Society will co-ordinate the placement of IGNOU students in PDS society schools for project work and practical assignments.

The duration of practical work will be from a minimum of 30 to maximum of 90 working days. The Diploma programme comprises of 4 courses worth 32 credits and practicals worth 8 credits forms its further course.

The IGNOU students will be exposed to the best teaching-learning practices, amidst state-of-the-art infrastructure, guided by innovative, experienced principals and teachers. This is a pioneering initiative in the field of pre-service teacher education programme, aiming at bridging the great divide between the theory and practice of teaching.

Rs 50 crore demanded for water, sewage pipelines: Water, sewage and sanitary problems dominated the weekly ‘adalat’ held by Minister of State for Sports Vijay Goel in his constituency Chandni Chowk.

After receiving a number of petitions from the residents relating to the water and sanitation problems, he demanded that the Delhi Government immediately release Rs 50 crore for laying of water and sewage pipelines in old Delhi.

Goel also demanded a white paper on the water, sewage and sanitation conditions in the walled city area. The ‘adalat’, which was also attended by the senior Delhi Jal Board officials, sanctioned applications for new water connections, besides rectifying faulty bills.

Jathedar Honoured: Jathedar Karan Singh, vice-president of the Punjabi Sikh Nojawan Munch, was honoured by Sardar Parlad Singh Sahni, MLA, for his distinguished services to the Sikh community in the area.



Haryana school board to launch its website 
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, June 25
The Haryana Board of School Education will launch its own website in the next two months. Moreover, a citizen chart will also be formed to enable one to know the completion period of any work.

This was disclosed by the secretary of the board, Mr Rakesh Gupta, during a press conference held at the board premises yesterday. He said that from next year the list of students who topped in the examinations to the various classes would be declared along with the annual results.

2 held for traffic violation: The police have booked a driver for rash driving. Rakesh, son of Veer Singh of Isharwal village, was found driving his jeep rashly. Similarly, Lilu Ram of Pur village has been charged with obstructing vehicular traffic by parking his Gypsy jeep in the middle of the road. The two were arrested. 



Xen among three held for corruption
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 25
Three engineers posted at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Police for preparing documents containing fake names of workers for cleaning drains in the Shahdara area.

The police on Tuesday arrested the accused, identified as Harpal Singh, Executive Engineer, Tara Chand, Assistant Engineer and Agnesh Verma, Junior Engineer, posted at the sanitary wing in Shahdara zone.

The police said that they received a tip-off that some persons were involved in forging documents on the pretext of cleaning drains and collected huge amounts of money based on those documents. The police had also raided their office and registered a case on August 13 last year.

The list containing the names of the 5,000 labourers, whose fake signatures were entered in the registers, has been obtained by the police. The police said that the work was to be done between March 2002 and July 2002. Further investigations are on to find out the other details of the racket, the police said.

Auto thief held: With the arrest of an auto thief, the South district police claimed to have solved five cases of motor vehicle thefts in the area. Two Yamaha motorcycles were recovered from his possession.

The accused, identified as Suraj Thapa (20), a resident of Mehrauli Road, was caught red-handed while he was trying to steal a Yamaha motorcycle from the Ansal Plaza parking. The accused told the police that he got into this crime along with his associate Sunil, who is now in Mumbai trying his hands at modeling.

Robbers nabbed: The Operational Cell of the North district police has busted a gang of pickpockets and robbers, who were active in buses operating between Kalyanpuri and ISBT (Kashmere Gate). Four knives were recovered from their possession.

The accused, identified as Ram Babu, Amit alias Machhi, Devi Singh, Rakesh alias Keshav, Rajan, Mahesh and Pappu alias Nehla, were arrested by the police at the ISBT flyover (Kashmere Gate) when they tried to rob a person of his suitcase. Ved Prakash told the police that he was surrounded by the accused in the bus and one of them tried to lift his suitcase and when he resisted, the other whipped out a knife and threatened him.

Burglars arrested: Three burglars, who were active in the Mayapuri, Kirti Nagar, Dabri and Okhla Industrial areas, were arrested by the South-West district police while they were carrying a generator on a rickshaw in the Sagarpur area. The accused, identified as Nathu Lal alias Rajender (25) from Bihar, Chand (26), resident of West Sagarpur and Rudal alias Vinod (28), all rickshaw pullers were involved in several burglaries.

One generator set, two colour TV and VCD players and one knife were recovered from their possession.



Murder case registered against in-laws 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 25
The Sadar police have registered a case of murder against a woman, identified as Sharbati and her two sons, Devinder and Dilbagh of Kheri Dahiya village. The case was registered following the statement of Mr Satbir of Mata Darwaza area of Rohtak city before his death in the civil hospital.

According to a report, the culprit, Sharbati, is the mother-in-law and Devinder and Dilbagh are the brother-in-laws of the victim. Mr Satbir, in his statement, has alleged that he was beaten-up by them before being poisoned. The victim also stated that he was married to Geeta about three years ago and she had left his house after a family quarrel and was living with her parents. He visited the house of his in-laws frequently to bring back his wife to his house. However, she declined to go with him. On Monday evening, when he was on a similar visit to his in-laws house, they had mercilessly beaten him and also poisoned him. When his condition worsened, they admitted him to the civil hospital.

Judicial custody for 83 persons: The Judicial Magistrate of Sonepat has remanded 83 persons to judicial custody for a period of 14 days yesterday. According to a report, another three persons were remanded to judicial custody for one day. They belonged to Ahulana village and were arrested after they ruined 600 acres of standing crops belonging to the panchayat by pressing tractor trolleys into the land.

Body recovered: The Mohana police recovered a body from a canal near Juan village, about 15 km from here last evening. According to a report, the police believe it to be a case of drowning. The body has been sent for postmortem examination. They body is yet to be identified.

Youth falls from train: A youth, identified as Sandeep of Bhawar village, was seriously injured when he fell down from a running train near the railway station here last evening. According to a report, he was immediately rushed to the local civil hospital and later referred to a hospital in Delhi for further treatment. The police are investigating into the case.Back

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