Wednesday, July 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


BJP wakes up to statehood demand before poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 8
With an apparent eye on the Assembly elections later this year, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is likely to introduce a Bill granting full statehood to Delhi during the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament.

The decision to introduce the Bill was taken at a meeting of a high-powered committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani, BJP Delhi unit president Madan Lal Khurana revealed here today.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Khurana said that Mr Advani had asked Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley to prepare a draft of the Bill for granting full statehood to Delhi.

Besides Mr Advani, Mr Jaitley and Mr Khurana, the meeting was attended by Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar, BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan and senior BJP leader and Member of Parliament from South Delhi Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

The decision to introduce the Bill for full statehood for Delhi during the monsoon session is being seen here as a move to steal the ruling Congress’ thunder.

The Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in the National Capital Territory of Delhi has repeatedly claimed that only full statehood and full powers could solve the problems of the city state.

In the present dispensation, land and law and order subjects are reserved with the Centre, a major bone of contention between the state and the Central government.

The meeting also discussed various other problems of Delhiites, including those related to slum clusters and their relocation, Mr Khurana said.

Accusing the Congress of misrule for the last four-and-a-half years, Mr Khurana claimed that the national Capital was reeling under acute power shortage and burgeoning unemployment.

It was also saddled with an inefficient administration. Mr Khurana also announced that he would be taking out a “Nyaya (Justice) Yatra” from August 16 in all districts of the Capital to highlight the “misrule” and shortcomings of the Sheila Dikshit government. 



Big haul of spurious drugs with MNC tag
Tribune News Service

FALSE FACE: Rahul Varshney and Pawan Varshney, involved in the inter-state racket in spurious drugs, in the Capital on Tuesday. — Photo by Kamal Singh

New Delhi, July 8
The Delhi Police Special Cell today claimed to have unearthed a racket in spurious medicines with the arrest of three persons and a big haul (100 kg) of fake drugs worth lakhs of rupees, which were being sold under the brand names of major multinational companies.

Among the duplicate drugs were Shelcal 500 tablets, Calcium Sandoz injection, Chymoral Forte tablets, R-Cinex capsule, AKT-4 and AKT-3 capsule, Synthcinon (51.V) injection, Voveran injection, Tegrital-200 and Tegrital-100 tablets, Voveran-D and Voveran SR-100 tablets, Aciloc-300 tablets, Nise tablets, Betadine Solution syrup, Betadine Ointment and CZ3.

The seized medicines were being palmed off as leading brands of MNCs like Elder, Novartis, Lupin, Cadilla, Dr Reddy’s Lab and Win-Medicare.

The drugs were seized in a series of raids in Safala market of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh by Special Cell personnel last night, following the arrest of two kingpins — Pawan Varshney (38) and his brother Rahul Varshney (25) – and their associate Pradeep Sharma (45) in Delhi, where they were scheduled to meet their contact. The sleuths also seized 20 gm of spurious drugs from their possession.

Pawan and Rahul were arrested in Delhi three days ago in connection with a drug seizure in the Capital on May 27. Their associate, Pradeep Sharma of Meerut, was nabbed on charges of harbouring two other accused who are absconding, the police said. The latter happen to be the brothers of Pawan and Rahul.

The four brothers were allegedly involved in the illegal activity for the last six years and reportedly supplying spurious drugs to UP and Delhi. The recovered drugs included life-saving ones for TB, ulcers and acute infections, the police said. The accused told the police that they used to procure the spurious drugs from Meerut and Ghaziabad and distribute them in Hardwar, Hathras, Allahabad, Mathura, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Dadri.



Coolers in posh areas infested with dengue vector
Tribune News Service

The Aedes mosquitoNew Delhi, July 8
Rain has brought so much cheer that some of us have switched off the coolers. But in this happy hour, some of us forgot to drain out the water from the containers, turning them into veritable breeding grounds for the deadly Aedes mosquito, which causes dengue and had left a deadly trail in 1996.

According to the Directorate of National Anti-Malaria Programme (NAMP), three to eight per cent coolers were found to be breeding Aedes mosquitoes last week in Moti Bagh flats, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases campus, Prahladpur village, the CPWD residential quarters at Vasant Vihar, Safdarjung Enclave, Nanakpura, Ganeshpura, Pitampura and DSC Line Godown & Signal Enclave in Delhi Cantonment.

These revelations were made at a meeting held today under the chairmanship of Delhi Health and Urban Development Minister Dr A. K. Walia to review water and vector-borne diseases in the NCT of Delhi. Principal Secretary (Health) S. P. Aggarwal, Director of Health Services Dr R. N. Baishya, Municipal Health Officer Dr K. N. Tiwari and senior officers of the NDMC, the DDA, the DJB, the PWD, the Directorate of NAMP, Irrigation and Flood Control etc participated in the meeting.

Dr Walia said that people generally do not use coolers during the rainy season. Incidentally, the Aedes mosquito breeds in clean and stagnant water.

He cautioned Delhiites not to take the situation lightly as over 10,000 people had suffered from dengue in 1996; 423 persons had died.

He directed the officers to take remedial steps and seek an explanation from the Malaria Inspector, if the Aedes mosquitoes were found breeding in any area. He also asked them to immediately undertake door-to-door survey of houses. The Health Minister appealed to all Delhiites to empty their cooler tanks at least once a week. Otherwise, they should sprinkle two spoons of kerosene or petrol into the tank.

Besides, the overhead tanks should be covered and junk like old tyres etc should be discarded from rooftops.



Check mosquito menace: MCD chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 8
Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta today appealed to the administrative heads of all government and semi-government departments, autonomous bodies, educational institutions, owners and occupiers of commercial complexes, office-bearers of markets and resident welfare associations to initiate steps to prevent mosquito breeding.

He said that the recent intermittent rains leading to high atmospheric humidity and temperature have made conditions congenial for the breeding of mosquitoes, especially Aedes mosquito which causes dengue.

It is the foremost duty of every citizen to adopt preventive measures against mosquitoes.

Aedes mosquito breeds in clean water such as coolers, uncovered overhead tanks, old tyres or any other article holding water. He advised the citizens that all coolers should be cleaned once a week and moped dry before refilling.

In the coolers that cannot be cleaned, one can put a tablespoon of petrol or kerosene.

All overhead and other tanks should be kept covered. Collection of water should not be allowed inside or around office and residential premises.

If it does take place, a little kerosene or petrol or diesel may be put in such stagnant water. Unused or broken bottles, cups, pots and tyres that can hold water should not be left open.

The Municipal Commissioner disclosed that in 1996, Delhi faced an outbreak of dengue haemorrhagic resulting in more than 1,000 cases and 423 deaths. With the active cooperation and participation of citizens, it was made possible in the last four years to control dengue as well as malaria.

Though only 45 dengue cases were reported during 2002, recent detection of Aedes mosquito breeding, makes it imperative on the corporation’s part to be vigilant so as to prevent the outbreak of dengue during this year also.

He said that the MCD was ready to render any cooperation and help to citizens for carrying out the preventive measures.

The corporation has set up control rooms for anti-mosquito operations in each of the 12 zone offices as well as the headquarters of malaria department at G-74, Connaught Place, the Municipal Commissioner said.



Retired teacher loses life’s savings to hoodlums
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, July 8
A spate of robberies and incidents of chain/purse snatching in the town during the past few days has generated a sense of insecurity among the residents. The police have failed to solve any of these cases.

As many as three robberies at gunpoint have been reported in the district within the past three days while several incidents of thefts, chain/purse snatching and other crimes have put the town on tenterhooks.

In the most shocking incident and the latest one, a retired teacher, Mr Jeet Singh, was robbed of his gratuity amounting to Rs 1.50 lakh at gunpoint by two youths when he was returning home today afternoon. He had just withdrawn his whole life’s savings from the Labour Chowk branch of Punjab National Bank.

Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the moneybag, containing his hard-earned earnings, at the busy Labour Chowk here at around 12.30 pm and fled towards ITI. The teacher was stunned to find his savings slip away from his fingers in a matter of seconds. The miscreants wore helmets so that nobody could identify them.

In a similar incident, two miscreants on a motorcycle snatched Rs 6,500 at gunpoint from a foreman of Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) near Dobh village last evening.

The foreman was posted at Kahnaur and was returning to his village. The robbers also took away his mobile phone and a camera.

In another incident, a salesman was robbed of Rs 30,000 at gunpoint while he was waiting for an autorickshaw outside the new bus stand two days ago.

Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the amount and escaped. Besides, one incident of purse snatching in the Gandhi Camp area and one incident of chain snatching in HUDA Sector 2 have been reported within the past four days.

Unfortunately, barring one incident of purse snatching, the police have failed to track down the culprits. It is also learnt that the police have refused to register certain cases of minor crimes and have reportedly suggested to the complainants not to insist on registering FIRs, saying that there is no use doing so.

Mr Kultaz Singh, state general secretary of the youth wing of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) and party in charge of Rohtak and Jhajjar districts, condemned the police ‘inaction’ and warned that the youth wing would launch a statewide agitation if immediate measures were not taken to check such crimes.



Cops vanish with official mobike, wireless
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 8
The police have launched a hunt to trace a head constable and a constable of the Delhi Police who have been reported missing for the last three days.
They have disappeared along with the official motorcycle, a service revolver and two wireless sets. The police said that sleuths had been sent to several places in Rajasthan as both the cops hailed from that state.

According to the police, head constable Kalu Ram (35) left the Tughlaq Road police station after taking charge of the motorcycle, revolver and wireless set for his routine patrolling on Saturday night. The last wireless contact with him was at around 10 pm and the set went dead soon after that. Apparently, it was either switched off or was out of range.

When the police checked at his Budh Vihar house, it was discovered that he had not returned there either. Subsequent investigations revealed that constable Mukesh Meena of the Tilak Nagar police station had also disappeared along with him. Both of them were spotted in the Gole Market area on Saturday night.

Investigations also revealed that both of them had gone to constable Mukesh’s house for a while late on Saturday night but had subsequently left without giving details of where they were going.

Mukesh also had a wireless set with him. The police said that the personnel at the border check posts were being questioned to ascertain if the two had left Delhi by road on the motorcycle. 



Varsity tuition fee hike, management quota slammed
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 8
Six opposition political parties have criticised the Haryana Government for the increase in tuition fees and the policy of reserving seats for management.
The state leaders of the CPM, the CPI, the Lok Janshakti Party, the Samajwadi Party, the SUCI and the Janata Dal (S) held a joint meeting here today and deplored the latest decision of the state government to increase the tuition fees for higher education. The parties also described the new admission policy of the state government as anti-people and decided to hold “sammelans” to “protect education” (shiksha bachao). The first such sammelan would be held on July 26 at Kurukshetra and another on the following day at Rohtak. The third meeting in the series would be held at Hisar on August 3 and another at Rewari on August 10. The six parties were unanimous that the new education and admission policy would deprive the poor candidates of the right to education.

The CPI state secretary, Mr Raghubir Chaudhary, presided over the meeting, which was attended among others by Mr Inderjit Singh, state secretary of the CPM, Capt Shamsher Singh Malik, state president of the Lok Janshakti Party, Ms Kanta Ahlria, state Samajwadi Party chief, Mr Zora Singh, president of the Janata Dal (S) and Mr Ram Phal of SUCI.

The meeting felt that the reservation of 15 per cent seats for the management had compounded the anguish of the students from the poor and middle class families who were aspiring to be professionals.

The meeting also opposed sending of the Indian Army to Iraq at the behest of the United States of America. The opposition leaders reminded the Centre that Iraq had always opposed religious fundamentalism and was a close friend of India. Moreover, the government decision to send Indian forces to Iraq would also violate the resolution adopted by Parliament condemning army action in Iraq.

The meeting decided to organise protest dharnas jointly at all district headquarters in the state on July 23 and submit memorandums to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioners opposing the sending of Indian Army to Iraq.



Newly-born stolen from hospital 

New Delhi: A newly-born is missing since dawn today from the maternity ward of the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital. The police are hopeful of retrieving the infant as they suspect a woman and not an organized gang in the episode.

Insiders in the hospital told the police that a woman was helping the patients voluntarily in the ward for the last two days. The woman in question is also missing ever since the news about the missing child broke. The infant went missing between 4 and 6 am.

The police said the infant’s mother, Sudha Devi (22), and father, Shravan Paswan (25), residents of Shahdara, came to the hospital on July 7. After Sudha was admitted to the hospital in the morning, she gave birth to a baby boy last afternoon at around 2 pm. The missing woman is in her 40s and was a very familiar face among the patients and the ward attendants in the maternity ward. The police also said that the suspect must have been looking for any child and that was why she had been helping the patients in the ward. This morning, when she got an opportunity, she vanished with the infant, creating a major flutter in the hospital. TNS



CM has failed on SYL canal front: Hooda
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 8
Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha and a veteran Congress leader, has declared the Jal Yudh launched by the Congress party will continue until the SYL canal water reaches the fields of Haryana.

Talking to mediapersons here last evening, he said the Indian National Lok Dal government headed by Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala had failed to take a clear stand on the verdict of the apex court asking the central government to ensure the completion of the canal within a year.

He criticised Mr Chautala for not sincerely asking Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to take effective steps in this respect.

He also criticised Mr Chautala for implicating the BKU leaders in false criminal cases and demanded immediate implementation of the agreement arrived at between the government and the BKU leaders.

Referring to bickering in the party fold in Haryana, Mr Hooda denied any kind of factionalism in the Haryana Congress.

He said there may be some differences of opinion between the leaders on certain issues but the party was united in facing any challenge in the state.

He also criticised Mr Chautala for pursuing caste-based politics and dividing the communities which, he said, was very dangerous for the democratic set-up in the country.

He also denied any disturbance by disgruntled Congress workers at a meeting at Kaithal. He claimed the supporters of the party had, in fact, raised slogans in his and Mr Birender Singh’s favour.

Mr Jatinder Singh Malik, MLA and president DCC (Rural), claimed the Congress was the only national party which cared for all sections of society.

It had formulated policies after taking into consideration the interests of farmers, workers, Dalits and government employees.

He disclosed that a two-day training camp for the party workers would be held on July 21 and 22 in this city in which all national leaders of the party would take part.

He said the Congress would form a government in the state after the next assembly elections as the people were fed up with the style of functioning of the INLD government led by Mr Chautala.



Vidrohi takes Cong to task on Jal Yudh
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 8
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has criticised the Congress party for fooling the farmers of the state by launching the Jal Yudh to get its share of water from the SYL canal and said that the Congress party had never been sincere in getting the SYL canal completed in the Punjab territory.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said the Supreme Court had given a clear verdict in favour of Haryana but the Congress-led government in Punjab was not honouring the Supreme Court decision and had openly refused to take up construction work in its territory.

He alleged that all political parties in the state were just shedding crocodile tears on the issue and were trying to project they were interested in the completion of the canal.

Reacting sharply to the statements of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and the Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh, regarding the retrenchment of government employees, he contested the claims of both that not one employee had been retrenched.

He pointed out more than 20,000 employees had been retrenched from various government departments and the nigams and boards.

He said the government had already closed down eight nigams and many employees had been rendered jobless.

He also feared that the decision of the government to issue route permits to private bus operators would result in retrenchments of roadways employees as had already happened in many departments which had either been converted into nigams or sold to private parties.

Mr Vidrohi advised the government to consider ways and means to provide employment to the youth instead of wasting money on unproductive schemes. He demanded issuance of a white paper in this regard.



Mahapanchayat wants canal work expedited
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 8
The All India Krishak Khet Majdoor Sangathan will organise a mahapanchayat in Jainabad village of Rewari district on July 13 in support of its demand to avail canal-based irrigation facility and press for the early completion of the SYL canal.

Mr Anoop Singh, state secretary of the sangathan, said in Bahadurgarh today that an announcement with regard to the launch of a statewide farmers’ agitation would be made at the meeting which would be attended by farmers from south Haryana in thousands. He informed that many farmer related issues would be discussed at the meeting as farmers of this region were facing ruin due to lack of irrigation and other required facilities.

Beside the demand for the completion of the SYL canal, the sangathan would also raise the issue of judicious distribution of canal water as south Haryana was being discriminated against in the matter of distribution of water resources. He said that in the districts of Mahendragarh, Rewari, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Bhiwani and Jhajjar there was an acute shortage of drinking and irritation water as the water table had been plummeting in the region due to extraction of groundwater in absence of canal facilities.

Mr Singh held that in Narnaul groundwater was about 16 feet deep and similar conditions prevailed in Mewat region without water channels. He said farmers were being forced to take extreme steps like committing suicide because they were not able to return their loan dues. The sangathan secretary said politicians of Punjab and Haryana were exploiting the sentiments of the people on the issue of SYL. He alleged that these politicians were driven by the interests of regionalism and casteism and were miles away from the fundamentals of democracy.



Civic body dithers on development works due 
to fund shortage
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 8
Development works costing several crores of rupees have been held up in the Municipal corporation Faridabad (MCF) due to ‘acute financial crunch’ faced by the civic body which is the largest of its kind in the state.

According to MCF sources, the work that has been ‘stopped’ owing to shortage of funds include construction of roads, drains, laying and repairs of the sewerage lines and putting streetlights in many parts of the city.

The delay in the development works would not only raise the cost of the projects, but it had also been causing a resentment among all sections concerned including the municipal councillor of the area, residents and the contractors, according to the sources.

It is reported that the total worth of the projects hanging in between is over Rs 5 crore. The corporation had virtually got a setback recently when the state government did not pass its annual budget (2003-2004) stating that it had certain lacunae.

It is reported that the authorities concerned had ‘wrongly’ included some of the funds in the income section and ‘exaggerated’ the particular sources of income of the MCF.

It is reported that the budget would be restructured and presented again to the top authorities soon for approval.

It may be recalled that the annual budget of the MCF is around Rs 125 crore. But the financial position of the civic body has continued to be in dire straits for the past about three years, and the civic body is not able to meet several expanses on time. While the recovery of taxes and dues has reportedly been sluggish, the recent decision of the state government to restructure house tax may invite more trouble for the MCF.

While the body has been awaiting fresh orders and directions to start the recovery, it is learnt that the income of the MCF may decrease and the authorities would have to formulate new strategies to increase the income.

The MCF contractors have been protesting against the delay in the release of their payment and they had even stopped the work a couple of months ago. It has been reported that some cheques of payment had bounced off last year due to shortage of funds in the account.

The MCF Mayor, Dr Attar Singh, admitted that the civic body had been facing a financial crunch, but said that the issue had been discussed with the top authorities.

He said the civic body had demanded the authorities concerned to release its share in the Local Area Development Tax (LADT) collected in the past which comes out to be at least Rs 65 crore. He claimed that while the Chief Minister had agreed to release the funds, he said, this income would certainly improve the financial standing of the body to clear all dues.

The MCF is reported to be owing several crores of rupees as dues towards payment of power bills, payment to contractors and for footing the bills for material purchased. The civic body presently face shortage of machinery and equipment for cleaning drains and sewerage lines and providing the required number of streetlights and water connections.



Women take to streets. All they want is 
potable water & electricity 
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Sohna (Gurgaon), July 8
Residents of Shiv Colony, Hari Nagar and Ambedkar Colony, particularly women, have decided to take to the streets to press for providing them with basic infrastructure like roads, ample supply of power and potable water.

A visit to the three colonies revealed that the Baluda-Sohna road(the only road skirting the colonies) was in poor shape. The colonies fall under the jurisdiction of the Sohna municipality.

Such is the pitiable condition of the stretch of road from Shiv Colony to Hari Nagar that a number of persons have met with accidents.

A few days back a couple of scooterists slipped, leading to injuries.

About a decade back the kutcha road was made pucca. Thereafter, there have been no repairs. There are about two feet deep potholes at a number of places. Big craters like trenches dot the road. Although it is considered to be a busy road grass has sprung up virtually in the middle of the road at a number of places.

Even half an hour of rainfall inundates the road as there is no outlet for drainage of storm water. Of course, there is a nearby nullah but that exist only in name.

According to Amravati Devi, an old but public spirited resident of the area, the inhabitants of the three colonies took up the issue with the municipal council a number of times but to no avail. She said in case the authorities do not respond the women of the three and other surrounding colonies had decided to launch an agitation.

Villagers from Baluda and thereabouts are the most affected as the road is the only means connecting them with Sohna township and Gurgaon city. They pooled their resources to repair a small portion of the road a couple of days back. But the repair is of an ad hoc nature and, in any case, the problem of the residents of the three colonies remain unmitigated.

The residents of the three colonies have poor economic status. Perhaps, this is the reason that their cries for better civic amenities remain in the wilderness.

It is not only the poor condition of the road that rankles the residents. The supply of water is pitiable. Also, the meagre supply is of poor quality. The situation on the power front is the same. The residents go without electricity for hours on end.

The authorities appear to have turned a blind eye to laying of poles for distribution of power to the houses.

Hence, the residents, perforce, resort to the traditional method prevalent in the muhallas of so called “Bimaru” states in the country to tide over their problem.

Face heavenwards and one can find umpteen instances of serpentine makeshift cables forming a festoon in the sky and around housetops. People connect the supply to their houses by

cables from poles or in partnership with their neighbours, who also resort to the same method with regard to the neighbours closer to the few electricity poles. Given the present situation there is every possibility of a major mishap on account of such haphazard private enterprise.

The irony of the situation is that the residents have meters in their houses. Still, the authorities have shown a cavalier attitude in laying proper cables and requisite number of poles for the benefit of the residents who pay house tax and other taxes.



Lightning strikes; seven suffer burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 8
At least seven persons including four women sustained serious burn injuries when the lightning struck a house at Chhanauli village about 25 km from here last evening.
According to a report, five persons were taking a cup of tea in the house when the lightning struck. The injured persons were identified as Krishan, Jagwanti, Monu, Kavita and Paramjit.

The condition of Monu was described as serious and he was sent to the PGIMS at Rohtak for treatment.

A young housewife Mrs Chhoti, wife of Mr Vijay and a girl who were passing through the street of the house also sustained burn injuries by the lighting.

Snakebite victim: Vinod a labourer was hospitalised after the snakebite while he was working in the fields at Bajana village about 20 km from here yesterday.

Ticketless travel proves costly: Officials of the Northern Railway, headed by Mr Vijay Singh, Railway Magistrate, checked the coaches of the New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express at Rathdhanna railway station about 8 km from here yesterday and hauled up as many as 190 passengers who were travelling either without tickets or in the reserved coaches.

According to a report, the passengers were tried on the spot and the railway Magistrate imposed fines on them. A sum of Rs 1,36,230 was recovered as penalty from 185 passengers who were released thereafter. Five passengers who could not pay the amount of penalty were sent to the jail.

RLD rally on July 10: The district unit of the Rashtriya Lok Dal is organising a district-level convention of the workers on July 10 on the premises of the Chhotu Ram Dharamashala near the Panchayat Bhawan in this city.

Mr Bhagat Singh Balhara, convenor and the spokesman of the party told mediapersons here today that Swami Inderavesh, president of the state unit of the party and other leaders would address the convention and discuss the political, economic and social conditions in the state. The construction of the SYL canal in the Punjab territory and the proposed Jal Yudh Yatra of the party will be the main issues in the convention, he added.

He also disclosed that the Jal Yudh Yatra of the party would begin on July 17 and enter Sonepat district on July 27 next passing through the villages of Sonepat. It will enter Panipat district and conclude on July 30 at Rohtak where a big rally will be held and addressed by Mr Ajit Singh, a former Union Agriculture Minister and national president of the party.

Lottery shop owners keep shutters down: Panic prevailed among the owners of lottery shops on the Bawa Taran Road here last evening after a rumour spread about the surprise raid by the special staff of the IG police, Rohtak Range.

According to a report, the owners of lottery shops kept their shutters down and fled from the area in a bid to evade arrest.

However, the situation returned to normal after about an hour when the owners of the lottery shops came to know that it was a rumour.

During the last week, the staff of the IG police, Rohtak Range had arrested as many as 47 lotterywallas who were engaged in the satta gambling in the garb of lotteries.

Mahila Congress rally: The All India Mahila Congress is organising a march from Jantar Mantar to the Parliament House on July 21, the first day of the monsoon session of the Lok Sabha.

Mrs Krishna Gehlawat, general secretary of the party told mediapersons here today that the march will press the demand for 33 per cent reservation for the women in the Lok Sabha and other legislative assemblies of the country. This march has already been approved by the AICC president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

Laurels for city lad: Rakesh Rai of Sonepat has bagged the first prize containing Rs 2,100, a memento and a commendation certificate in the Inter-State Mono Acting/Histrionics competition organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, at Chandigarh yesterday.

According to a report, a large number of artists from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan participated in the two-day competition, concluded yesterday.

Dr Rakesh Rai, it may be recalled, had taken part in the state and inter-state levels of competitions and won the prizes and commendation certificates as well as gold and silver medals.



Two robbers held; pistols seized 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 8
The special staff of Sonepat police has arrested two alleged robbers, namely Pradeep of Guhna village and Jai Bhagwan, alias Sonu, of Pinana village and seized two country-made pistols and 16 live cartridges from them.

According to a report, the police have registered a case under the Indian Arms Act as well as other Sections of the Indian Penal Code against them in the Mohana police station.

Giving the details of the arrests, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that a police party was patrolling the Sonepat-Gohana Road near Rattangarh village when a tip-off was received about the culprits who were engaged in robbing the passers-by near the curve of Garhi Haqiqat village.

The police party, he said, immediately swung into action and reached the spot.

He disclosed that the police surrounded the culprits and overpowered them. The police, he said, also seized a Hero Honda motorcycle from their possession. Further investigations were in progress and the police are likely to solve cases of robbery and loot during the interrogation.

Canal water

Rewari: Legislator and senior Congress leader of Haryana Rao Inderjit Singh presided over a largely attended conference of Congress activists of Jatusana and Khol blocks of the district held at Dahina village, 22 km from here on July 6. In his presidential address, Mr Rao flayed all successive governments of the state for meting out ‘step-motherly’ treatment to south Haryana in the matter of canal water.

Simultaneously, he emphatically reiterated his demand of equitable distribution of canal water in Haryana. He said that it was now a known fact that Haryana received 1.6 MAF water of the Beas in 1976-77, which was meant for south Haryana. However, this was diverted to Sirsa and other parts of the state. 

DSCSC official robbed

New Delhi: Three unidentified scooter-borne youths robbed Rs 2.07 lakh from an official of the Delhi State Civil Supply Corporation (DSCSC) Limited on Monday afternoon. The victim, Yagya Lal Sharma, who was in charge of the DSCSC branch office located in Ghonda in North-East district was going to deposit the sale proceeds of Saturday in the Central Bank of India.

He was on a two-wheeler of his friend. When he reached near Seelampur, the suspects hit his vehicle from behind and as he fell down, they snatched his bag at gunpoint. A case of robbery has been registered, police said. TNS

New tractor

Panipat: The New Holland Tractors India, a part of the CNH Global NV of the USA, the world No 1 in tractors and farm machinery, has launched the state-of-the-art tractor-3630 TX in Haryana.

Launching the tractor, Mr Girish Sachdeva, Director Marketing said, “Our R and D efforts are always focused on introducing risk-free and reliable tractors. The new tractor will go a long way in the advancement of farm mechanisation with its unmatched combination of power, fuel efficiency and speed.”

Talking about the marketing plans of the company, Mr Sachdeva added that Haryana was key to the overall growth strategy in the higher horse power (HP) segment. Mr Rajiv Sharma, in charge of Haryana, said the new tractor was environment-friendly and was compliant to the emission norms of Bharat II stage. OC



Panel to keep tabs on ultrasound clinics
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, July 8
To curb sex determination tests (PNDT) in Mahendragarh district, Dr P P Leekhs, Civil Surgeon, has formed an advisory committee at Narnaul, and instructed the staff to conduct surprise raid on the diagnostic centres and nursing homes which have ultrasound machines.

While conducting the raids, if they find any irregularity with the centres, take strict action against them, Dr Leekha made it clear.

He said the ultrasound machine operators are supposed to maintain a detailed record. The decreasing ratio of female has reached alarming proportions.

Army recruitment: Indian Army will recruit Sainik clerk, Sainik technical, and Sainik nursing assistants in Haryana at Karan Stadium, Karnal from July 28 to 31 between 5 and 7 am.

This was disclosed by Maj Ajeem Ahmad, Joint Director, Recruiting centre Charkhi Dadri here today. He said the recruitment would be done for the candidates falling under Hisar office on July 28, whereas on July 29, the candidates from Bhiwani, Rewari and Mahendragarh districts would be recruited.

14 Old Age Homes: The Government has decided to construct 14 Old Age Homes in Mahendragarh district with an estimated cost of Rs 26 lakh at villages Chitroli, Bewal, Gahada, Kothal Khurd, Kurhavta, Seka, Bighopur, Gulawla, Kutbapur, Tigra, Nasibpur, Neerpur, Sherpur and Badgaon. This was confirmed by Mr O P Indora, DC Narnaul.

Burglary at cyber cafe:
  Unidentified thieves entered a cyber cafe and decamped with computer gadgets worth about Rs 80,000 in Bahadurgarh last night.

According to information, the owner of the cyber café complained to the police that he had left the shop by locking it last night.

However, when he reached it in the morning, both the locks were not in place and six CPUs were missing.



Withdraw VAT, demands Beopar Mandal
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 8
Haryana Beopar Mandal has demanded immediate withdrawal of the Value Added Tax system introduced recently in Haryana.
In a statement here on Monday, Mr Laxmi Chand Gupta, president of the Beopar Mandal alleged that the VAT system had ruined the business and the businessmen in the state.

He said the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, implemented this ‘anti-trader’ system while all the other states had already ignored it.

Mr Gupta condemned the reported statement of the Chief Minister at Samalkha village recently in which he said that only those traders who indulged in tax evasion were protesting against the VAT system.



Dalit basti still tense

Sonepat: Tension persists in Juan village despite the deployment of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) by the state government. The Dalit basti had witnessed arson and looting on Friday evening. According to a report, the jawans of the RAF are patrolling the streets of the basti to instil confidence among the Dalits but none of the families, which had left the village in fear, had returned so far. Only 20 to 25 old persons are cooped up in their houses. OC


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