Saturday, July 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Queues irritate the NCR resident the most: Survey
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18
Queues are possibly the most irritating thing in the NCR? More time, energy and money is frittered away in serpentine queues than in any other activity. In fact, almost everything we do involves a queue.

According to a poll conducted in the NCR by PRAHAR (Public Response Against Helplessness and Action for Redressal), a group of former army personnel, queues and poor interface with utility service providers are the “biggest irritants” in the region.

According to the survey, which is based on inputs from about 1,000 residents in the NCR, pollution seems to be the least bothersome with just about 18 per cent considering it as the biggest irritant. On the other hand, 65 per cent of the people questioned indicated that “messy and endless” queues, which “affect everyday life”, are the biggest irritant.

While 63 per cent claim “scarce housing space” is a source of anxiety, 60 per cent are concerned at the deforestation and the “diminishing’’ area of public parks. “Safety and security” concerns about 53 per cent and 45 per cent are worried about “pilferage and adulteration”.

Ninety-one per cent voted that the queues before the MTNL billing counters were the worst. The counters of the BSNL and the NDPL come second and third in the list with a vote count of 81 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively. Railway counters got a 41 per cent vote; queues outside cinema halls, tax payment counters, school fee counters, bus stations and banks and post offices trailed in that order.

The public utility service providers earned the dubious distinction of being responsible for the most “painful” queues. Forty-six per cent said that the service providers were guilty of mismanagement of queues at their respective sites.

Tormented by the never-ending queues, the citizens have come up with solutions. While 52 per cent voted for “mechanised” bill payment, 50 per cent suggested increase in the number of collection counters, 32 per cent voted for deploying more efficient staff and 23 per cent said that payments for bills should be accepted at numerous points. A penalty for the service provider, in case the queue exceeds a limit, has been suggested by 10 per cent.

Mercifully the PRAHAR, a body that undertakes issues of public interest and tries to resolve them, has provided more than just the statistics. According to an executive committee member of the NGO, Mr A. Raj, an anti-queue campaign is on the anvil. “PRAHAR would initiate an anti-queue campaign. We will approach the utility and other service providers directly and urge them to keep the queues short.”

Surely an offer that will have a queue of takers.


Liquor vend poaches with impunity on green lung, public domain
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 18
Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala’s assertion that his government would clear encroachments on public land appears to be addressed to a select audience.

One glaring instance of breach of statutory rules and societal norms is a liquor vend near Maharana Pratap Chowk, close to the national highway. Located on the Meharauli road and a stone’s throw from the prestigious Management Development Institute (MDI) on the state highway, the chowk is one of the busiest intersections in the city. The shop is located near the chowk, at the turning that leads to Maruti Udyog Ltd.

The vend is a manifestation of the lethargy, the misapplication and the misinterpretation of rules by the authorities. The shop stands on forest land, the green lung of the city. The district unit of the Forest Department had spotted, albeit lately, this encroachment and challaned Kulwant Singh and Company, which had bagged the contract for selling liquor vends in the district on August 4, 1998.

According to the District Forest Officer (DFO), Mr Prem Singh, the company owner was challaned under Sections 30 and 32 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. However, the culprit did not respond to the department’s notices. The matter was then taken to a Special Environment Court. The offender did not respond to this court’s summons, too, and was declared a proclaimed offender on May 10, 2002.

Significantly, the department has not moved the court again, even though the substantive issue — the blatant poaching – is yet to be settled. Mr Prem Singh, who took charge as the DFO on July 14, 2000, says that his department can do nothing. He has passed the buck to the police, contending that the court had declared the recalcitrant culprit a proclaimed offender. The police, in turn, say that the Forest Department has not written to them, seeking the removal of the shop.

Interestingly, the proclaimed offender is no longer the liquor contractor of the district. Yet the shop is still rooted to the spot, thriving under the charge of the current contractor.

The Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr J. S. Ahlawat, says that his department does not earmark the sites for liquor shops, but only specifies the area or locality. The contractor can choose any site in the designated area. The only pre-condition is that the shop must not be within 100 metres of a place of worship, an academic institute and a hospital.

However, many question this interpretation of the rules.

While the Forest Department accepts that the liquor vend is an encroachment on its land, the Excise Department officials counter that the site is legal as it does not flout the 100-metre norm. However, some residents contest this and point out that the MDI and the DAV Public School campus is located near the shop.

What is worse, the shop owner has started encroaching further in the area around the site. A signboard of the Forest Dept at the site is a mute witness to the blatant disregard for rules.

The liquor vend has also become a great nuisance for the residents of Sector 17 and 14. There is always a great rush at the shop, especially that of truckers, drivers and daily wage earners. There are reports of drunkards jumping across the fence and entering the premises of Sector 17 to procure water from the adjoining park. There have also been reports of people in an inebriated state straying into the HUDA Sector 14 park, sometimes even in daylight. This is a scary prospect for women and kids out for a stroll in the evening.

The shop also flouts the rules regarding timings. The Excise and Taxation Department points out that liquor shops can do business between 9 am and 12 pm. But, it is an open secret that the shop sells liquor round the clock.

According to a former president of Sector 17 Resident Welfare Association, the residents of Sector 17 have taken up the issue with the authorities a number of times. They have even sought the removal of the vend. However, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.


DU Academic Council mulls internal assessment criteria
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18
An emergency meeting of the Academic Council of Delhi University met today to discuss the recommendations of the task force constituted to file a report on the implementation of the 25 per cent internal assessment marks in all colleges from the current academic session.

The task force, which submitted its report earlier, has recommended that of the 25 per cent marks allotted for internal assessment, five per cent should be set aside for attendance, 10 per cent for internal examinations and 10 per cent for assignments.

It has also laid down that students who have between 70-75 per cent attendance will get one mark, those who have between 75-80 per cent will get two marks and for those whose attendance is between 80-85 per cent and 85 per cent and above will get three and five marks respectively. Authorities of colleges have, however, expressed scepticism vis-à-vis the marks allotted for attendance.


Learning centres for kids without access to schools
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18
The Government of NCT of Delhi will identify children, aged 14 and below, who are not going to any schools and set up Learning Centres in their neighbourhood, so that they can get education closer to home and at a time of their choosing.

Certain non-government organisations (NGOs) will be roped in to run the Learning Centres. Children employed in the unorganised sector as daily wagers would have the option of scheduling their classes to their convenience.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says the initiative will help the government enrol more number of children of up to 14 years of age. The Centre, she told mediapersons, has earmarked Rs 17 crore for setting up 2,500 Learning Centres. The Government of NCT of Delhi will contribute a little over Rs 4 crore. The surveys to identify the children will be conducted tomorrow and the day after and on July 26 and July 27. (Ten thousand children are already enrolled in 360 such schools in the NCT of Delhi.)

Some 28,000 teachers will sign up for the survey. The NCT of Delhi will be divided into 1,810 segments and 2,800 teams of teachers and other volunteers will cover these many segments during the survey, which will be completed in two phases.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Directorate of Education will conduct the surveys in association with the Universalisation of Elementary Education Mission, Delhi – a non-profit organisation. The Universalisation of Elementary Education Mission has been set up under the Department of Education.

The Learning Centres will be set up in the community centres. The centres will have classes up to the eighth grade and offer the syllabus prescribed by the government.


No takers for teenagers rescued from traffickers
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 18
The four girls from Assam and West Bengal, who were rescued three weeks back from the clutches of traffickers, are still awaiting their rehabilitation. The authorities in these two states have not even responded to the plea to take the hapless girls into their custody.

Currently lodged in Nirmal Chhaya in Karnal, there seem to be no ‘takers’ for the innocent girls who were victims of sexual abuse for some months. It is learnt that these girls, aged between 12 and 16, had been bought and sold several times. One of the girls, in her early teens, is pregnant.

The officials concerned were not available for comments. It is learnt that the state government is still to take a decision on their fate. Senior police officials of Haryana and the district authorities have written to their counterparts in Assam and West Bengal, but there has been no response.

The police had arrested four persons, including a couple, in connection with the racket, but the main supplier of girls is based in Assam. The district police have not sent any team to arrest him, but merely passed on the information about the racket to the Assam police. A spokesman of the Shakti Vahini, a voluntary organisation that helped in busting the racket, said that one of the girls had been sold for Rs 12,000. Hundreds of girls had been smuggled out of Assam and West Bengal in the recent years, he said.


BSP has joined hands with Hindutva forces: Paswan
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 18
Accusing the NDA alliance partners of being anti-Dalit, the president of the Lok Janshakti Party, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, today announced the party would gherao Parliament on July 21 to highlight the “atrocities being committed against Dalits” and seek justice for them.

Addressing a press conference after leading the Dalit Cycle Chetna March here today, Mr Paswan alleged the BSP was also following anti-Dalit policies. He accused BSP leaders Kanshi Ram and Mayawati of joining hands with the Hinduvta forces and giving slogan of “Shiv Shakti Bhim Shakti” at a rally in Nagpur.

Blaming the respective INLD and Congress governments for the Dulina and Talhan incidents, Mr Paswan demanded the guilty should be punished and brought to book. He announced the party would hold a massive rally in New Delhi on July 30 to press for the inclusion of right to work as a fundamental right in the Constitution.

The former Railway Minister in the Vajpayee government accused the NDA government of relieving the services of one crore public sector workers and selling prime PSUs worth Rs 30,000 crore to the private sector on a platter.

When asked to comment on the resignation and its subsequent withdrawal by the Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, Mr Paswan avoided giving a direct reply, indicating the Lok Janshakti Party’s possible alliance with the Samata Party in the election to the Lok Sahba next year.

Prominent among those present were Capt Shamsher Singh Malik, president of the Haryana unit, Mr Amar Singh Maini, president of the Punjab unit, Mr Surender Singh Hooda, general Secretary and spokesman of the Haryana unit, and Mr Harpal Malik, Panipat district president of the party.


‘BJP, Cong misleading people on statehood’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18
The Third Front believes that complete statehood for the national Capital is not likely to be provided anytime soon, and that attempts by the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) and the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to raise the issue was a charade to woo the electorate ahead of the Assembly elections.

“If the Delhi unit of the BJP has failed to live up to our expectations, the DPCC has only sought to exploit the popular sentiments for votes … neither is interested in NCT of Delhi becoming a state,” the chairman of the Third Front, Mr Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, told reporters on Friday.

The allegation comes at a time when the Union Government is drafting the bill for introduction in the monsoon session of Parliament that begins on July 21. There is no word yet on when the bill will be introduced in Parliament.

“Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana is raking up the issue to mislead the people of NCT of Delhi. The DPCC was also never interested in getting statehood for NCT of Delhi; its attempts are nothing but an eye wash,” Mr Bidhuri said.

The Third Front believes the issue was likely to be dumped after the Delhi unit of the BJP and the DPCC had exploited it in the run up to the polls.

The spokesman of the Third Front, Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma, said the two parties were only paying lip service to the issue.

The political parties that have come together to float the Third Front have sought the resignation of the Members of Parliament from NCT of Delhi for failing to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion.

“Theyshould stop indulging themselves in political acrobatics,” they said.


Crime under control even as cops cope with poor infrastructure
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 18
Despite the shortage of police force the crime situation is described as fully under control in this city and elsewhere in the district.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, and other subordinate officials are making concerted efforts to maintain the law and order situation and curb the activities of the criminals and other anti-social elements. A majority of the crimes have been solved and the culprits arrested.

All six members of the gang headed by Surinder Baba of Kurar village have been arrested by the police and a case of dacoity has been solved. Two members of this gang sustained bullet injuries during the encounter with a police party near Bhatgaon in this district. The SP showed exemplary courage and entered the fields for capturing the dacoits who were hiding there.

Other members of this criminal gang are Joginder of Barwasni village, Sunder of Vikas Nagar, Sunil of Bawana (Delhi), Krishan of Atta village and Somvir of Khairpur.

All of them were involved in a dacoity committed at Satyadev Krishi Farmhouse on July 1. They had taken away a revolver, a mobile phone, Rs 17,000 in cash and a Maruti Zen car after tying up Mr Satyadev Tyagi, owner of the farmhouse, and his three domestic servants.

The population of this district has crossed the 13 lakh figure. There are 13 police stations in the district and these include three police stations, namely Kundli, Rai and Murthal, which are situated on National Highway 1which passes through the district. In Sonepat city, there are four police stations. These are the Sonepat city police station, the one at Civil Lines, the Mahila Thana and the Sadar Thana.

Two police stations are functioning in Gohana subdivision. There are one each at Ganaur and Kharkhauda towns. Two others have been set up at Mohana and Baroda villages. These police stations are in addition to the 19 police posts and 14 police barriers set up in different parts of the district.

The Police Department has 28 jeeps and 29 motor cycles.

The SHOs of 13 police stations have been allotted a jeep each. Fifteen have been given to the CIA staff, the Special staff, three DSPs and the SP. Some of them are in such a bad shape that many a times they are driven like bullock carts. The police officials become handicapped when any major crime is reported. However, the SP comes to their rescue and provides vehicles to them. The police officials, by and large, have been successful in solving loot, dacoity, robbery, kidnapping and rape cases.

The Mahila Thana does not even have a telephone or a jeep. Only one motor cycle has been provided. Cases of dowry death, dowry harassment, exploitation of women and other related crimes are on the increase. Women police have to make inquiries into the cases not only within the district but other districts too.

The woman SHO of this police station has to requisition PCR vans or other vehicles if she has to conduct a raid or make an inquiry related to crime against women.

The lack of telephone facility and vehicles is hampering the investigation of cases.

The SP is reported to have approached the higher police authorities for getting more vehicles for the staff in a bid to curb crime promptly and check the activities of criminals and anti-social as well as anti-national elements.


Officials forget their lessons in rainwater harvesting
Tribune New Service

Faridabad, July 18
The monsoon has been kind to the region so far, but lakhs of gallons of rain and storm water have been going waste. A large quantity of excess water, which ought to have passed on directly to recharge layers underground, has been going waste. Although the officials concerned are making tall claims in seminars and meetings on rainwater harvesting, the issue has failed to get the required attention.

While the authorities have been telling residents about the importance of rainwater harvesting, they have failed to implement it in the various government buildings. The notification issued by the Union Government makes it mandatory to install rooftop rainwater harvesting system at all buildings, but various state governments have failed to put this order into effect.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has also made it compulsory for every plot holders in the urban sectors to install such a system at the time of the construction of buildings.

The number of vacant plots in the already developed sectors is less than 20 per cent.

Though majority of the plot owners have constructed their buildings, only few house have installed such a system.

The town witnesses acute water logging in nearly all the residential and commercial areas after the downpour. The town, which requires about 525 gallons of potable water for consumption daily, is receiving only about 430 gallons at present.

The Central Ground Water Board has already declared the town and nearby areas as ‘critical’ as far as the depletion of underground water sources is concerned. However, the authorities have hardly shown the necessary awareness about the issue.

The excess rainwater leads to severe waterlogging and restricts the movement of residents in the area as the authorities have failed to provide storm water drains on the side of roads and passages.

As a result, water up to 3 to 4 feet accumulates in any pocket, says social activist, Mr K. L. Gera.

He said that the rainwater, which ought to recharge the underground water resources, goes waste or becomes a source of inconvenience for the residents.

The authorities could provide drains on both sides of the roads and near all the roundabouts, and connect these deep-boring pits into the ground so that excess rainwater goes directly for recharging, he added.

It may be recalled that underground water table in Faridabad has been depleting fast and has gone down by 10 to 35 meters in the past several years.

This has led to drying up of tubewells in many areas and the problem of drinking water has become very serious.

The attendance in schools and offices was reported to be thin today as many areas were under knee-deep water. The accumulated rainwater has also damaged a number of roads in the town.


With onset of monsoon, threat of floods looming over low-lying villages
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 18
With the onset of monsoon and good rainfall recorded so far contrary to the predictions of the Meteorological Department which forecast a below normal monsoon, the threat of floods is looming large over some vulnerable areas of the district.

Although the district administration claims to have geared up to meet any threat of floods in the district yet certain villages situated in the low-lying areas of Bahadurgarh subdivision, including Dabodha, Dulhera, Bupania, Mandothi, Kasar, Jakhoda, Rohad, Sarai Opangabad, Sankhol Moona Majra and Kulasi are vulnerable to floods following heavy rain.

People in some of these villages said the rain so far had inundated vast agricultural areas. In Dabodha village, water has touched the periphery of the residential area and entire fields are under four to five feet of water.

Mr Mohinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said here today although it was good news that about 300 mm rainfall had been recorded in the district the administration had made elaborate arrangements to safeguard life and property in case of a flood-like situation.

He informed that all flood control measures like desilting and cleaning of drains in the district and arranging pump sets for draining out flood water had been taken.

The Deputy Commissioner said although the administration had identified about 50 villages as being flood-prone on the basis of the 1995 floods only five to six villages were dangerously exposed. Some villages in Beri block also lie in the low-lying area. Waterlogging is common there. Beri block was the worst affected in the 1995 floods.

Mr Mohinder Kumar informed NCR Tribune the state government had decided to dig a new drain to protect four villages, Dabodha, Dulhera, Mandothi and Bupania, from the flood as almost every year people of these villages faced a flood-like situation due to the low-lying location. He said land in an area of about 5 km had been acquired under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act. Now, progress was being made under Section 15.

This new drain would flush out the water accumulated in these villages in another link drain. The DC said the project was estimated at Rs 55 lakh. It was likely to be completed next year. Another Rs 7 lakh had been allotted for dewatering in the district.

On the health front, the sources said 107 paramedical teams had been constituted and deployed in the villages.

These teams would conduct a check-up of the villagers to thwart the outbreak of any waterborne disease.

These sources said Rs 20,000 had also been sanctioned for the district to purchase medicines in the wake of any epidemic.



I was enjoying the fifth day of my vacations after my Board exams, when suddenly the phone bell rang. It was one of my friends who advised me to join a coaching class. I was flabbergasted to hear this and it seemed to me as if tuitions have become an icon of essential education these days.


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Even the parents these days are positive about the concept of tuitions. One can see a satisfactory countenance on their face if their child is taking tuition from the best tutor in their locality.

In my locality, I have seen children of even Class III or IV going for tuitions. The worst part of the existing scenario is that children these days have started considering special coaching classes as the only way to perform well.

And it is extremely vexatious to see that no one is trying to promote the concept of self-studying.

For school teachers who take tuition classes, these have become a way of extra earning on which they focus even more than their job.

The prevailing scenario hardly leaves any hopes for improvement.

This is not only deteriorating the education system, but also hampering the growth of the students, who remain concerned only about scoring well in examination.

It thus, becomes our duty not to encourage this menace.

An endeavour made to popularise the concept of self-studying will definitely promote a great degree of erudition.

AKANKSHA CHOUDHARY, Class XI, Model School, Rohtak


Harassed commuters want train to be restarted from New Delhi

Prior to July 1, there was a New Delhi-Khurja EMU train that used to leave New Delhi at 7.20 pm and Delhi Junction at 8 pm. This train suited well to thousands of commuters, particularly those who came back at night from New Delhi and Sadar Bazaar.

However, with effect from July 1, 2003, the Northern Railway authorities have shifted this train’s departure from New Delhi Railway Station to Delhi Junction causing great inconvenience to the commuters, particularly the shopkeepers of New Delhi and Sadar Bazaar whose destination points are Delhi, Shahdara and Vivek Vihar. Moreover, at present, there is no train from New Delhi to Delhi Junction in the night hours (after 6.48 pm to 12.30 am), for as long as six hours.

Other modes of transport like auto-rickshaws or taxies are beyond the reach of common man.

The decision of the railway authorities to make this change has served no purpose except causing harassment to the commuters and gains to the private bus owners.

Will the Railway Minister probe into the matter and instruct the concerned railway authorities to revert to the older route?

M.B. DUBEY BIJNORI Secretary, Dainik Yatri Sangh (R) Delhi

Satta centres near school, bus terminus

The report, ‘Pornographic CDs, Cassettes Seized’ (NCR Tribune, June 3), has prompted me to highlight the illegal satta centres being run near sensitive places like a school, the bus terminus of Sector 4, NIT and Bata Chowk crossing in Faridabad.

These centres have been openly functioning in the guise of selling Haryana lotteries.

Even the police here are well aware of these. However, it appears that the authorities are not interested in taking any concrete action against such illegal centres.

It is a known fact that gambling has led to disturbances in many families, particularly those of the daily wage earners, who, once addicted to this menace spend a major portion of their earnings in buying lottery tickets or satta. Moreover, such centres near sensitive areas like a school, make these areas crime prone

Would any of the authorities concerned lend their ears and eradicate the vice of gambling?

UJJAL PAL SINGH, President, Dina Nath Public School, Faridabad

Haryana School Education Rules

It is gratifying to note that in order to rein in the erring and way-ward private schools (mostly affiliated to the CBSE), which had been constantly harassing the parents by charging exorbitantly, the Haryana Education Department has published the Haryana School Education Rules 2003 in Haryana Government Gazette (Extra), April 30, 2003.

These rules, issued in exercise of the powers conferred by sub section (1) read with Sub Section (2) of Section 24 of the Haryana School Education Act, 1995, have come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette.

The Act and the Rules give adequate powers to the Director, Secondary Education, Haryana, to issue directions even to the ‘unaided’ private schools regarding the fee and funds, under Sub-Section 4 of Section 16 of the Haryana School Education Act 1995 read with Section 158 of the Haryana School Education Rules 2003.

As a first step to rein in unaided private schools, the Director of Secondary Education may issue directions on the lines of the order issued by the director of Education Delhi on September 10, 1997.

In fact, the Haryana School Education Act, 1995, and the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003 are modelled/drafted on the lines of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 and the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973 and the directions too can be issued likewise.

It may be of interest to point out that in most of the unaided private schools affiliated to the CBSE, the registration fee varies from Rs 50 to Rs 100, admission fee from Rs 600 to Rs 6,000 and security (caution money) from Rs 800 to Rs 5,000.

O P SHARMA, Faridabad

Hats off to Sania Mirza

Having created history by becoming the first Indian girl to win a grand-slam title, Sania Mirza has made every Indian proud with her achievement.

Recently, she, with her Russian partner Alisa Kleybanova, won a girls’ doubles gold in the Mecca of Tennis, Wimbeldon. And now, she is at no. 10 the World Junior ranking.

She has been in the limelight for the last several years and her success is motivating many young girls to do well in sports.

She was the member of the India-16 team which participated in the Junior Federation Cup in France.

This was the first time that any junior team from India qualified for the World Federation Cup.

In year 2002, she won the Asian Junior Singles tennis championship and became the first Indian woman to win gold in Asian Championship. Sania also won a bronze medal at Busan-Asiad in mixed doubles pairing with Legandary Leander Paes.

Sania has been consistent in her performance and it leaves one with no doubt that she would be at the top in world tennis.



Guru’s birth anniversary celebration
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Harkrishan on July 23 at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj.

Special shabad kirtan will be organised for the occasion from July 21 at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Sis Ganj.

A congregation will meet at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj where the programmes will begin with recitation from the Sukhmani Sahab and the Nitnem.

Ragi Jathas of Bhai Amrik Singh will perform the Assa Di Vaar and Shabad Kirtan. Dr Jaswant Singh will deliver a lecture on the achievements of Guru Harkrishan, which will be followed by more kirtans performed by various Ragi Jathas.

A langar will also be organised on the occasion.

‘SAD unity for ulterior motives’

The unity between the Shiromani Akali Dal of Parkash Singh Badal and Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohar is aimed at checking the ongoing anti-corruption drive by the Congress government in Punjab.

At a meeting here today, the president of the Kendri Punjabi Vikas Manch, Mr Navtej Singh Tarsikka, said that the two faction of the Shiromani Akali Dal have come together only with the aim of halting the anti-corruption campaign launched by the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amrinder Singh.

Tarsikka flayed the role of the NDA government for supporting the Akali Dal and criticising the Punjab Government for the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.

The secretary of the manch, Mr Baldev Singh Sidhu and members Jagmohan Singh Anand and Amrik Singh Parwana also attended the meeting, a press release said.

He praised the Union Minister of State for Sports and Culture, Mr Vijay Goel, for the ongoing beautification drive in and around the Red Fort.

Pakistan trained terrorists had entered the Red Fort and attacked the security forces few years back, killing two of them on the spot.

The terrorists had managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

This incident had shocked the nation. Later, Mr Goel had chalked out a plan to beautify the area around the historic fort, the press release said.


Governor asked to postpone EC meeting
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 18
Political parties and prominent educationists have criticised the decision of Maharshi Dayanand University to hold the executive council meeting two days before the election of teachers’ representatives to the EC. They appealed to the Governor-cum-Chancellor of the university to postpone the proposed meeting to maintain the democratic values of the university.

In a statement here today, Mr Shadi Lal Batra, local Congress MLA, alleged that the university administration intentionally convened the EC meeting prior to the election of the teachers’ representatives to the EC so that certain controversial issues were approved without any hitch.

He appealed to the Chancellor of the university to postpone the EC meeting so that the teachers could express their views while deciding on the various issues concerning the university.

Meanwhile, Mr D R Chaudhary, the former chairman of the Haryana Public Service Commission apprehended that the interest of the university and the teachers could be seriously hurt if the EC meeting was held without the presence of the teachers’ representatives.

He also requested the Chancellor of the university to postpone the meeting so as to ensure the completed representation of the teachers.

Martyr cremated

Sepoy Amir Singh (22) of 19 Raj Rifles was cremated with full military honours at his native village Balambha, 25 km from here today. A contingent of the Army and the Haryana Police reversed their arms and fired in the air as a mark of respect.

Capt Inder Singh, MP, Mr Balbir Singh, MLA, and other officials paid floral tributes to the martyr.

Havildar Major Hardeep Singh, who accompanied the body, said Amir Singh was posted in the Machhal sector in Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the gallant soldier displayed exemplary courage during an encounter with the infiltrators in Machhal sector on July 14. He said Amir Singh sustained bullet injuries and died after a few hours. He is survived by his wife.

Man held for stealing TV

Sonepat: The CIA unit of Sonepat police reportedly apprehended one Vinod of village Shahpur for his involvement in a TV theft case in the town. According to information, Vinod was on his way to sell a stolen colour TV in Sonepat.

The CIA unit apprehended him while he was waiting at his village bus stand and seized the stolen TV from his possession.

In another incident, two armed youths made an unsuccessful attempt to loot a motorcyclist today morning, near Kami Mor here.

The youths asked the motorcyclist, Umed of village Kami, for a lift. The motorcyclist obliged them, but after some distance the youths tried to snatch the motorcycle by threatening him with a pistol. However, the culprits fled from the scene when they saw some people coming towards them.

Ammonia leak

New Delhi: Atleast eight persons, including three fire brigade personnel and two policemen, fell ill after an ammonia cylinder kept in a junk store in East Delhi leaked this afternoon. Three fire officials, two policemen and three others were taken ill while attempting to seal the leaking ammonia cylinder in old Mustafabad.

The cylinder was finally sealed and dumped into the Yamuna, said the police, adding that the affected persons were admitted to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital for treatment.


Man suspects illicit ties, kills wife
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18
Two cases of murder were reported in the national Capital in the last 24 hours. In the first case, one man murdered his wife last night in a jhuggi cluster in Kalkaji on suspecting her of having illicit relationship.

The police said that Basir (35), resident of Bulandshahre, slit the throat of his wife Lal Bano (35) after an altercation after he suspected her of having an illicit relationship with another man. Basir was arrested and a case of murder has been registered against him.

In the second case, a 60-year old watchman was murdered by his son-in-law for refusing to present a gold chain to his grandson in Paschim Vihar in West district.

According to the police, the accused, Dashrath (35), met his father-in-law Thakur Din (60), resident of Uttar Pradesh and demanded a gold chain for his son.

When Thakur refused to oblige, Dasrath attacked him with an iron rod. Thakur was immediately rushed to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital where he was declared brought dead. Thakur was employed as a watchman at a construction site in Jawalaheri.

The police have registered a case of murder and launched a manhunt to trace the accused.

Auto thief held

With the arrest of one person, the North district police today claimed to have apprehended a notorious auto thief. The police also claimed to have recovered one Maruti car, one Hero Honda motorcycle and one Bajaj scooter from his possession.

The police apprehended him after receiving a secret tip-off that the accused, identified as Pradeep Sharma, would be passing through Vivekanandpuri on a stolen motorcycle.

Security for Kawarias demanded

The Samata Sangharsh Party today urged the enforcement agencies and the government to ensure the safety of the Kawarias passing through Delhi on their way to Hardwar.

The party has asked the agencies to watch out for ruffians and unwanted elements to ensure the safety of the pilgrims. Special arrangements have been made to ensure adequate food and shelter for the Kawarias passing through Delhi on their way to Hardwar.

Notorious criminal arrested

The New Delhi district police have arrested a notorious criminal, identified as Baldev Singh Bisht alias Balli (35), resident of Shakarpur near Odeon Cinema this evening. The police recovered a knife from his possession.

The accused was a known criminal of Shakarpur area and was in hiding for quite some time. The police had received information that Balli would be reaching Odeon Cinema to commit a crime. Subsequently, the police laid out a plan and arrested him.

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