Sunday, July 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


100 injured as demolition bid sparks violence, arson in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 19
Unprecedented violence erupted during the demolition drive against encroachments at a colony in Sector 5 here today. The clash between the agitated residents and the local administration resulted in injuries to more than 100 persons, including some senior district and police officials. Traffic on National Highway 2 and the railway track remained disrupted for about three hours due to the violence. The authorities had to give up the demolition of Indira Colony in Sector 5, allegedly built upon land belonging to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), following the violence.

This is the first such incident when violence has erupted on such a large scale after the move to demolish houses in AC Nagar here in February failed. In today’s clash, an MLA, certain political leaders, the SDM who was leading the demolition team, the Additional Superintendent of Police, the DSP of Palwal and a sub-inspector were among those who received injuries. While 12 policemen were injured the cops fired about 30 to 40 rounds in the air and used teargas to disperse the stone-pelting people.

At least 80 persons, including onlookers, received injuries in the cane charge. One JCB machine, a police Gypsy, a motorcycle and a factory were set ablaze. The BJP MLA from NIT, Mr Chander Bhatia, who reached there, received blows from the police. He was also stoned by the agitators. The SDM, the ASP and the DSP, Palwal, were also injured in stone pelting. Certain officials were taken to Escorts Hospital for treatment. The authorities had to give up the demolition work after the violence. Residents of the colony had made prior preparations. They had stocked themselves with stones, lathis and rods besides blocking entry into the colony by laying down cement pillars and other items.

Tension had been prevalent in the colony after notices were issued by HUDA recently. The local administration had requisitioned additional police force from Gurgaon and Sonepat districts as a deterrent during the demolition. The colony is reported to be about 20 to 25 years old and has more than 2,000 houses, including a large number of pucca and double-storeyed constructions. Most of these houses have power and water connections besides the inmates having ration cards. The colony has more than 12,000 voters, according to an estimate. It is reported that the administration had switched off the power and water supply about 48 hours ago. But the MLA had visited the colony yesterday and given an assurance that no demolitions would be carried out.

Meanwhile, the police have been maintaining a vigil in the area. An uneasy calm prevails in the colony.


Transformer blast kills seven
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 19
Managing Director of the Haryana Vidyut Prasharan Nigam (HVPN) Alok Nigam today suspended four nigam employees following a transformer in the Subzi Mandi area exploded late last night, killing seven persons. A departmental inquiry has also been ordered into the blast, as the local residents alleged that the power staff did not respond to an alert one hour before the blast that there was sparking in the transformer.

Addressing reporters here, Mr Alok Nigam said Mr S. K. Diwan, Director (Operations) of the HVPN, would conduct the inquiry. The suspended employees are SDO Ajmer Singh Gill, foreman Ram Bhagat, lineman Ishwar and assistant lineman Anil. They had been suspended to pave the way for an impartial probe, Mr Nigam said. He did not specify any time limit for the completion of the inquiry.

Two persons were killed on the spot and at least 18 others were injured seriously when a 200 kv transformer in the Subzi Mandi area exploded late last night. While Jiya Lal and Kalu died on the spot, Sunny, his namesake, Alam, Mehmood and Anees succumbed to their injuries at the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences at Rohtak today. The injured were shifted to Rohtak in the wee hours of today, as requisite medical facilities were not available at the local civil hospital. Some of the injured have been identified as Sunil, Inderjit, Santosh, Parmod, Satish, Rohtash, Parveen, Sakar, Gopal, Hawa Singh, Sundar, Bir Bhan and Sunny, all local residents. The death toll is likely to mount since a majority of the victims are in a serious condition. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the civil hospital here last night. With the hospital ill-equipped to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude, the relatives of the victims were seen running from pillar to post to get treatment for their kin.

Sources in the HVPN said this was the first major blast in over 1.15 lakh transformers in the state. However, resentment prevails among the local residents. They blamed the Electricity Department for the tragedy. The residents alleged that the department took its own time in responding to a complaint lodged with the authorities one hour before the incident that the sparking in the transformer could be fatal.

There are a number of transformers in the district where sparking is a routine affair and the Power Department seems to be hardly bothered. Before the power authorities responded to the alert yesterday, the tragedy had claimed several lives. Mr Alok Nigam said the HVPN was toying with the idea of covering transformers in the state by concrete structures to minimise the damage in case of similar emergencies.


Contempt notices to Delhi Govt, MCD
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
The Delhi High Court has issued contempt notices to the state government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) over their inability to follow the court’s orders to ensure zero vacancies in schools run by them.

The court expressed concern that neither the Delhi Government nor the MCD had recruited teachers against vacancies in their schools before the commencement of the new academic session this year despite court orders to do so.

Mr Justice Vikramajit Sen issued show-cause notices, returnable on August 18, to Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board Chairman T. T. Joseph, Director of Education with Delhi Government Rajinder Kumar and MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta.

The court was disposing a contempt petition filed by advocate Ashok Agarwal which alleged the state government and the MCD had deliberately not taken necessary steps to fill posts of teaching staff in their schools as per the time schedule laid down by an earlier order of the high court.

The authorities had failed to ensure that there would be zero vacancy position by April 1 in case of Delhi Government schools and July 1 in case of MCD schools, the petition said. There was a shortage of 2,831 teachers in MCD schools as on August 31, 2002, and a shortage of 2,345 posts in state government schools as on April 22, 2002, it claimed.


Shifting of LPG cylinder godowns from cities ordered
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, July 19
In a belated move, Commissioner of Meerut Division Nepal Singh Ravi has directed the District Magistrates and SSPs to initiate action to shift LPG cylinder godowns from the residential areas and towns. This follows Thursday’s incident in which over 300 LPG cylinders being carted in a truck to a godown of a private gas agency exploded in the congested Nousendi area on the Garh road here.

In Meerut city, seven LPG gas agencies have their godowns in thickly populated areas, flouting all rules and regulations. There are altogether 22 agencies catering to 2,25,000 LPG customers and 15 of them have their godowns outside the city. Over 30 illegal mini-cylinder factories are also doing business in the city. The godown of Ram Poorna Gas agency, whose cylinders exploded on Thursday, has been sealed by the district authorities.

Residents of the residential areas where these godowns are situated had demanded their shifting from time to time. But the district administration never paid attention to the demand.

The godowns of Vijyant Gas Service, Begum Bridge, and Pasi Gas Agency, Sadar Bazar, have their godowns on the Eastern Court road near Vaishya Orphanage.

Besides the orphanage, there are a girls’ hostel and a big private hospital nearby. To add to the danger, a petrol pump is behind the godowns.

Another godown of Pawan Sut Agency is in the Mohanpuri area. Residents of the area had complained about leakage in LPG cylinders but the owner of the godown had never paid attention.

Meanwhile, senior officials are passing the buck about Thursday’s explosion. Several of them point their fingers at District Supply Officer Mohan Singh. The DIG, Meerut range, alleged that the licensing authority was responsible for the accident as it had renewed the licence of the godown despite its location in the congested area.

While residents of Nousendi where the blast occurred today blocked the busy Garh road for several hours demanding compensation for the damage caused to their houses, the LPG Distributors Association continued their strike as the owner of Ram Poorna Gas agency was sent to 14 days’ judicial custody. Several residents have filed FIRs against the owner following the blast.


VVIP security compromised as CCTV cameras are shut due to corrupt cops
Cecil Victor

New Delhi, July 19
Additional manpower notwithstanding, the handling of VVIP security by the Delhi Police could well turn out to be an exercise in post-mortem examination instead of pre-empting a disaster, given their cavalier handling of the tools that help better policing.

Acknowledged aids to surveillance and detection of explosives have been given the go-by in spite of the experience of the attack on Parliament in December, 2001, and frequent intrusions into the cavalcades of the Prime Minister and the President of India within the National Capital Territory.

More than 100 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed around the Parliament House complex. However, a disturbing confirmation of continued terrorist interest in the seat of Indian nationhood came from a photograph captured in Hilkaka in the Surankote sector of Jammu and Kashmir during Operation Sarp Vinash, showing a terrorist standing at Vijay Chowk and looking towards Rashtrapati Bhavan – a reconnaissance carried out sometime between February, 2002 and April, 2003.

National security (in spite of the indepth studies conducted by the Group of Union Ministers and the National Security Council) is in a constant state of vulnerability due to the Delhi Police closure of their CCTV network and failure to activate even the three systems that were installed about two years ago.

In a written reply some months ago, Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Maxwell Pereira made the astonishing disclosure that the systems had not been activated because the staff had refused to accept them! This is totally understandable in the context of televised shots of policemen taking bribes from bus operators; it is natural that they would not want systems in place showing them in the act but it is amazing that the top brass has not put its foot down and stopped it.

Nothing will improve unless instruments like CCTVs are utilised not just for traffic management as at present (?) but also for VVIP security, crime control (hijacking, eve-teasing, drug-peddling, and inter-state movement of known criminals), and concurrent handling of civic problems within every police district networked with the Police Headquarters in a holistic approach to internal security/VVIP security. In its current state, internal security in the heart of the nation is being held to ransom by corrupt policemen.

Worse, Parliament Watch and Ward – the last security ring intended to prevent intrusion into the complex – is blissfully unaware of the basics of explosive detection. Last week, a truck stopped outside the entrance to the Reception Office and a Watch and Ward staff stepped out with a dinky little mirror to peer under the truck in his search for hidden explosives!

Explosive detection technology is available with firms in Delhi but it is expensive – more than Rs 20 lakh per gate. Dogs can also do a pretty good job and they are not in sight on the periphery of the Parliament House complex.


Depression drives three of family to suicide
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
A 55-year-old widow, her daughter and son committed suicide yesterday in the AM-Block of Shalimar Bagh in the North-West district. Preliminary reports say that the family took the extreme step because of acute depression due to the daughter’s refusal to marry and the son’s heart problems.

The incident came to light when repeated phone calls by the brother of the woman and a resident of Rohtak, Surinder, did not evoke any response. A visibly worried Surinder, who reached Delhi at around 8 pm, found the door bolted from inside. There was no response from the house but the cooler and fans were in operation.

Surinder contacted the neighbours and broke open the door with the help of the police. Upon entering the house, they noticed Om Vathi (55) hanging from the ceiling, her daughter Tarika (25) lying on the bed with a dupatta around her neck while her son Sumit (23) on the floor with bullet injuries. Sumit had apparently shot himself with the help of a country-made pistol.

A suicide note recovered from the spot said that no one was responsible for their deed. Om Vathi further stated in the note that she was unhappy because her daughter had refused to marry and her son was suffering from heart problems, adding that they were forced to take the extreme step because of depression.

Om Vathi was working as a teacher in a government school and Tarika was employed as a personal assistant to the Director of Pizza Hut, while Sumit was unemployed due to health problems.

The police have registered a case of suicide and are investigating the case to unravel the mystery behind the suicide of the three family members. It is learnt that the girl had refused to marry possibly because of another affair.

JCO commits suicide at Sena Bhavan

A junior commissioned officer (JCO) committed suicide this morning after jumping off from the fifth floor of Sena Bhavan, the Army Headquarters.

The deceased, who was later identified as Subedar Clerk Joginder Pal (43), of 7 Artillery Regiment, whose body was found on the porch of the Army Headquarters at around 9.30 am, said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), Mr Manoj Lal.

He came to Delhi 20 days ago and was staying in the Artillery mess in Sadar Bazar.

He said he could not add anything about the incident till the receipt of the post-mortem report.

Meanwhile, the Army authorities have ordered an inquiry into the death, Army sources said.


Sarna ready to seek fresh mandate
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, today said he was ready to call for an election, dissolve the DSGMC and seek a fresh mandate.

Mr Sarna, who swept the DSGMC general election after 35 of the 51 members chose him to be their leader for a one-year term on July 24 last year, told mediapersons the elections could be held only after July 24. In accordance with the Delhi Gurdwara Act, elections to the DSGMC are scheduled every four years and the members choose a new executive annually.

“The procedure for annual elections can start only after July 24,” Mr Sarna told reporters. (His term expires on that date.) “We are committed to hold annual elections too,” he said.

Mr Sarna thanked a Mehrauli shrine baba for his “blessings” in defusing the crisis after his (Sarna’s) deputy Shamsher Singh Sandhu declared annual elections to the religious body.

Mr Sandhu, who officiated as president in the absence of Mr Sarna, who was abroad, had called a DSGMC meeting for July 24 to elect a new executive. Mr Sarna had then declared it illegal.

The announcement by Mr Sandhu weakened the support for Mr Sarna as only one-third of the DSGMC members attended the emergency meeting called by his party to deal with the crisis.

However, Mr Sandhu, who then received the backing of Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, withdrew his election order this week following Mr Sarna’s visit to Baba Virsa Singh of Gobind Sadan.

Mr Sarna has refused to merge his faction with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) after the patch-up between former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

He accused his SAD predecessors of corruption. “Their conspiracy to take over the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and encourage horse-trading has been foiled,” Mr Sarna said.


Chautala orders probe into waterworks wall collapse
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, July 19
Taking notice of a complaint of wall collapse of newly constructed waterworks at Faugat village, the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has ordered a probe into the matter.

The CM has directed that the material used in the waterworks, still under construction, should be checked.

Presiding over the monthly meeting of the public relations and grievances committee at the local Panchayat Bhawan today, he directed the Superintending Engineer of the public health department that stern action be taken against the contractor in case it was found that inferior material was being used in the construction.

He also ordered the officials to use only standard material in all kind of construction and said that strict action would be taken against those who failed to do so.

The CM asked the officers to inspect development works from time to time in order to avoid irregularities.

On the complaint of scarcity of drinking water at Sui village, he directed the departmental authorities to remove unauthorised connections from the main water line and to provide clean and adequate drinking water to the villagers.

Among others present on the occasion were, Education Minister, Bahadur Singh, Shashi Ranjan Parmar MLA and Deputy Commissioner, Harpal Singh.


Reduce cost of application forms for government jobs: Janata Dal (U)
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 19
The President of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi has demanded reduction in the price of application forms for various government jobs.

The fee of Rs 500 fixed for a single form is exorbitant and unemployed youth, who have to apply for more than one job, will have to shell out thousands of rupees on purchasing the application forms only, he said.

In a press statement issued here today, Mr Vidrohi alleged that the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government, headed by Mr Om Parkash Chautala, Chief Minister, had deliberately fixed higher fee for the application forms. While the state government would manage to collect a large amount of money by charging so high for a single application, it is acting as a deterrent for the poor jobless youth to apply for jobs.

He urged the Chief Minister to reconsider the price structure and fix not more than Rs 20 per application form. Welcoming the state government’s Rs 750-crore scheme announced for increasing the level of groundwater in various districts, Mr Vidrohi said it would help check depletion of ground water level. He, however, alleged that there was discrimination against the southern parts of the state in development works.

Rewari district and the Mewat region should also be included in this scheme so that the people of the area could avail its benefits, he demanded.


INLD and Congress enact the usual blame game in party conferences
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, July 19
Leaders of the INLD and the Congress used recent party conferences in Rewari to run down each other. The usual blame game was enacted by both the parties.

In a conference of the Congress activists of the Rewari block, held here today, the Deputy leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP), Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav, criticised the Chautala Government for its current campaign of targeting former ministers and political opponents.

He alleged that it was known to all that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and his sons had amassed assets through corrupt and dishonest means. He said that it was ironical that political adversaries were being victimised in the name of “clearing the stables of corruption” when the INLD leaders themselves are corrupt. He said if the Congress is voted to power in Haryana, drastic actions would be taken against all such acts of omission and commission of the present Chautala regime.

Describing the SYL canal as the lifeline of south Haryana, Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav said that the CM had failed to secure anything tangible towards the completion of the SYL canal in spite of the apex court’s verdict as well as his government’s partnership in the Centre.

He said the CM should withdraw his party’s support from the coalition, as the Vajpayee Government had failed to do anything in connection with the canal issue.

Quoting several instances of step-motherly treatment meted out to Ahirwal, in carrying out development works and in providing more government jobs, he alleged that Om Prakash Chautala and Bansi Lal had been the biggest enemies of Ahirwal.

He called upon party activists to strengthen the Congress to solve all their problems.

Mr. Baldev Raj Ojha, president of Faridabad District Congress Committee, exhorted the party activists to extensively propagate the policies and programmes of the party among the masses as per the directives of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Prior to this, a conference of Congress activists of Jatusana and Khol blocks of the district was held at Dahina village, 22 km from here, on July 6. Among others, it was addressed by legislator and senior congress leader of Haryana, Mr Inderjit Singh, who flayed the present Chautala Government as well as the previous governments of the state for giving a step-motherly treatment to south Haryana in the matter of canal water. He also critisised the “anti people” policies of the state and the union governments and exhorted the party workers to strengthen the Congress so as to get rid of this distressing situation.

Close on the heels of the ongoing block level conferences of the Congress activists in Ahirwal, the ruling INLD too has stepped up its organizational activities here.

The activity is expected to boost the morale of the INLD activists, many of who had been feeling ‘slighted’, and on the other, it is expected to rejuvenate the party at various levels.

A district level INLD workers conference was held here on July 16. It was addressed by the Haryana Health Minister, Dr ML Ranga, the Rewari district INLD chief, Mr Jagdish Yadav, the state INLD general secretary, Ms Santosh Yadav and the Haryana Tourism Corporation chairman, Mr Inder Pal Singh.

Stating that the workers were the backbone of the party, the leaders said Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala gave utmost regard to the workers irrespective of their standing in the party.

They also said that the CM had particularly focussed on carrying out development works in the southern parts of Haryana.

Emphasising on the urgency of vigorously propagating the policies the Chautala government, the leaders also exhorted the workers to bring in more and more people in the INLD. They also announced that constituency level workers conferences would now be held at Bawal and Jatusana on July 20 and at Rewari on July 22.


Reflectors for pachyderms to save them from accidents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
Elephants on the Capital’s roads will soon be wearing spotlights. To save the animals from becoming victims of road accidents, they have been directed to sport reflectors to ensure that motorists are able to spot them in the dark to avoid accidents.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), in collaboration with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), has decided to provide these reflectors to pachyderm owners, which can be attached to the ‘howdah’ (the seat on which the riders sit) and the ropes, which tie this contraption to the elephant’s back.

The IFAW today said it had attended to three cases of road accident, involving five elephants, during the last two years. The most recent case was in December last year when a female elephant was hit by a speeding truck in the dawn. The elephant was severely mauled in the accident.

The organisations experimented with the reflectors before working out this cheap and simple model that was well received by both the elephants and their owners. IFAW functionary Dr. NVK Ashraf said that they were hopeful that this measure will increase the visibility of the animal on the road at night and reduce accidents.


Vehicle checking leads to traffic jam

Sonepat, July 19
A large number of vehicles, including trucks, jeeps, three-wheelers and canters were lined up on the National Highway No. 1 last evening when the Transport Officer, Mr Jaiveer Singh Arya, began inspecting vehicles for violation of the Motor Vehicles Act.

According to a report, the vehicle operators line up their vehicles along the National Highway No. 1 and disappeared from the scene.

As a result, hundreds of trucks and other vehicles were lined up on both sides of the roads.

The DTO and the police kept waiting to check their licences and other documents. When the situation became unmanageable, the DTO and the police left the place. Subsequently, the operators drove away their vehicles from the highway.

It is stated that a large number of jeep drivers also fled from the scene in a bid to save themselves from getting challaned. OC


Times are a-changing but alcohol still stings

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long at wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. At last it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.’’ {Proverbs 23: 29} Indeed it stings.

There is a belief that among the elite, drinking does not cross the limits as to cause disasters as in poorer homes where adulterated alcohol keep claiming many lives. But cases of drunken driving involving youths from highly connected families again prove that alcohol has disastrous consequences whether consumed by the rich or poor in excess.

If anything, drinking is catching up in middle class families known for their restraint as part of changing life-styles.

It may be argued that drinking is a purely personal matter and consumption in moderate quantity can even be helpful to maintain health. Medical opinion is being quoted in its support. But there is no knowing when moderate drinking gives place to intemperance.

There are any numbers of films, which trace the downfall of a brilliant and promising life to that peg of intoxicating drink taken more out of fun than of choice. The person had prestige, money, a good job and a fine family. Then either through influence of friends or to forget a setback in business or career, he took to the bottle. Very soon under its death-like grip, he sinks to the bottom.

“Drunkenness takes away the man and leaves only the brute; it dethrones reason from its seat; stupefies conscience; ruins health; wastes property; covers the wretch with rags; reduces wife and children to want and beggary, and gives such power to appetite that physically as well as morally, it is next to impossible to cure it,’’ so wrote an American philanthropist and reformer.

Mahatma Gandhi who had known the devastating impact on alcohol, especially among the poor, had made prohibition of intoxicants as one of the anchors of his social reform movement. He wrote: “One of the most greatly felt evils of the British Rule is the importation of alcohol—that enemy of mankind, that curse of civilization – in some form or another. The poor in India, as everywhere are the greatest sufferers. It is they who spend what little they earn in buying alcohol instead of buying good food and other necessities. It is that wretched poor man who has to break the sacred trust of looking after his children, if any, in order to drink himself into misery and premature death.”

It is well known that once a person is hooked on to the bottle, it is difficult to deliver him from tragic consequences. But it has been found that through faith and fellowship of fellow sufferers, alcoholics can effectively rescue one another from the deadly habit. This discovery by a New York stockbroker and a physician led to the formation of the first Alcoholics Anonymous Group at Akron, Ohio in June 1935.

The Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of former and current alcoholics who are striving to overcome the problem through mutual co-operation in what could be termed as a group spiritual therapy. It has no religious affiliation. How does it work?

The alcoholics admit to themselves that they are alcoholic and could not manage their own lives; that probably no human power could have relieved their alcoholism. And then they come to believe that a Power greater than themselves could restore them to sanity.

Having made that honest confession, they in faith turn over their lives to God as “they understood Him.” And in keeping with the confession, they make a list of persons, whom they had harmed and set about making amends, wherever this was possible. In religious terms, it amounts to confession and genuine repentance.

They come together regularly every evening to spend time with each other. They fellowship, pray and meditate improving their contact with God and seeking His will and power to live life anew. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, they try to carry the message to other alcoholics who need help.

Through this spiritual process, the alcoholic quits playing God, takes an inventory of his own misdeeds and resentments, instead of blaming others. He makes amends and undertakes a self-cleansing operation in which he also seeks power from God in all humility and with the co-operation and love of fellow sufferers sets himself on the road to recovery.

Today thousands of AA groups are active in various parts of the world and most of them have amazing success stories to recount of former alcoholics getting freed of the evil. One who is set free from the habit is supposed to attend the meeting of the fellowship so as to resist the temptation to go back to the bottle.

M P K Kutty



Order to shift ‘street’ school
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 19
The District Primary Education Officer (DPEO), Mrs Shanti Dahiya, has ordered the shifting of Government Primary School, Idgah Colony, to a building of a school in the Garhi Ghasita area on the Kakroi road of the city with immediate effect.

It is stated the action followed the orders of the Director, Haryana Primary Education, who has taken a serious note of media reports about the functioning of this school from a public street.

The school had been running from a two- room godown of the Sonepat Cooperative Marketing Society for the last few years.

However, the authorities got the rooms vacated in May and reportedly threw the furniture and other goods of the school on the street before the summer vacation.

Patrol Act promulgated

In view of the incessant rain and possible breaches in canals and other watercourses, the District Magistrate, Mr Balwan Singh, has promulgated the Punjab Village and Small Towns Patrol Act, 1918, making it mandatory for able-bodied persons to perform patrolling duty round the clock in their villages and towns. They will have to monitor canals, drains, ring bundhs and bridges in the district.

According to a report, the order, which comes into force with immediate effect, will continue until September 30. The violation of this order will attract penal action.

Five shops looted

A group of thieves are reported to have cut the shutters of atleast five shops on the Murthal road last night and escaped with cash and other goods worth several lakhs of rupees. The thieves broke into an automobile shop and took away Rs 5,000 in cash, one mobile cell and containers worth about Rs 35,000 from it.

The thieves also broke into four other shops namely Kukreja Oil Company, Lord Krishna Motors, New India Car Palace and R P Brick Kiln Company after breaking the shutters and took away cash and other goods worth several lakhs of rupees from them.

The owners of these shops have lodged complaints with the police.

Notices issued to builders

The Sonepat Municipal Council has issued notices to the builders engaged in selling plots in a residential colony on the Sonepat-Kami road near the subzimandi of this city.


Six killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, July 19
As many as six persons died in a head-on collision between a truck and a jeep at Loharu road, 2 km from here today morning. Five of the seven injured passengers were killed on the spot, while one of the injured died at the Civil Hospital. According to report, a jeep (No. HR 62/0467) was heading towards Loharu from Bhiwani when it collided with a truck. (No. HR 39/6429)

The deceased also included the driver and the conductor. The deceased have been identified as Sajjan, son of Budh Ram of Kudal, Pawan, son of Hanuman, Hawa Singh, son of Krishan of Dhareru, Parmanand, son of Jot Ram of Jui, Jage Ram, son of Jai Lal of Nangal, whereas one is yet to be identified. The injured, who has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, has been identified as Raghuvir, son of Devkaran of Jui Kalan village.

The driver and the cleaner of the truck were absconding. The bodies of the deceased have been handed over to the relatives after the postmortem examination. The police have registered the case.

Teacher suspended

The Director, Department of Haryana Education, has suspended a school teacher, identified as Yudhvir Singh of Government Senior Secondary School Devsar. It is stated that a tussle had been going on between the school administration and Yudhvir Singh and the matter had been placed before the grievances committee last month.

The Chief Minister, who presided over the meeting, had ordered for an inquiry and necessary action. Following the instruction, the Deputy Commissioner instituted an inquiry under the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Bhiwani, who held the principal Atam Prakash innocent. He charged Yudhvir Singh of creating nuisance in the school through groupism and mentioned in his report that the lecturer “was playing with the future of the students”.


Delhi Govt to grant accreditation to editorial staff
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
The Government of NCT of Delhi has decided to grant accreditation to the editorial staff of newspaper, news agencies and television channels as a recognition to the effort made by them in news production. Sources in the Government of NCT of Delhi said a decision to this regard was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit recently. So far, the facility is available only to reporters and cameramen. The demand for granting accreditation to the editorial staff was made by the Desk Journalists Association to the government about a year ago. The accreditation entitles a journalist to get 50 per cent concession in railway travel, free travel in Delhi Transport Corporation’s buses and free medical treatment in hospitals on the panel of the Government of NCT of Delhi and also those which have been aided by the government.

The decision is likely to benefit a large chunk of journalists in the Capital who work on various news desks of national dailies, news channels and news agencies.

Red tape delays supply of processed food in schools

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has failed to provide processed food to the school children this month. During the summer vacation, the Education Department had decided to invite tenders to avoid delay in the supply of processed food to the schools in the new session.

However, even as the schools have opened, tenders are yet to be invited. The Additional Commissioner (Education), Mr H. B. Sharma, said that the department had contacted the Social Welfare Department of the Delhi Government to find out the rate of biscuits and other items. The Social Welfare Department also supplies processed food to the students in the Delhi Government schools. The Standing Committee Chairman, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, flayed the department for the delay, saying that red tape methodology was the cause of the delay. He said that ultimately the children from the poor families suffered the consequences of such delays.

He ordered that the supply of processed food must be started within three days.

Worker killed

One worker was killed and two injured when they were hit by an unknown vehicle near the Noida T-Point on the Outer Ring Road today. The deceased was identified as Paltoo Mandal. The injured, identified as Sujay Mandal and Dhananjay Mandal were admitted to Jeevan Hospital. In another incident, eight people fell ill after having “parsad” distributed by one Munna, a resident of Saurav Vihar near Badarpur.

Free health camp

Realising the corporate responsibility to the society, Coca-Cola today organised a health mela to provide free medical services to women and children of slum dwellers. Residents of slums are the main victims of cholera, dysentery and other seasonal diseases. This was the second of the five health melas planned by the multinational company to provide health care facilities in slums of the national Capital.

The day-long health mela held at Bengali J J camp behind Kidwai Nagar was conducted by medical specialists such as gynecologists, pediatricians, para-medical personnel deputed by Community Uplift Forum, an NGO working in the field of primary health care. Coca-Cola had earlier held a health camp at Begampur and three more are planned for the benefit of slum dwellers at Chunapatty near Kirti Nagar, Nehru Camp near Tughlakabad and Yamuna Pushta near Rajghat.


House tax: Names of defaulters to be made public
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, July 19
The district administration has decided to make public the names of all those defaulters of house tax who have not deposited the same despite several notices.

The move entails serving warrants on defaulters followed by putting them behind bars if they do not pay their dues even after their names have been made public. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Harpal Singh, told this correspondent the outstanding amount, if recovered, would help the municipal council in running its Public Welfare Development schemes. “This time our priority is to collect this outstanding amount and we are going to take stern steps towards recovering the money,” said Mr Singh.

He said the council secretary had been directed to speed up the recovery development charges, fire and trade tax also. The Municipal Council, Bhiwani, had recovered Rs 41.81 lakh till last month. The Charkhi Dadri Municipal Committee had collected Rs 15.25 lakh as revenue with Rs 2.65 lakh being recovered as house tax, Rs 1.31 lakh as rent and Rs 9.60 lakh as trade and fire tax and development charges.

He further said the Siwani Municipal Committee collected over Rs 6 lakh as house tax, fire tax and other charges. The authorities had been directed to intensify the recovery of outstanding dues. The Municipal Committee, Buwani Khera, recovered Rs 4.23 lakh, including Rs 42,000 as house tax and Rs 55,000 as rent. The committee had been asked to take action against encroachers besides launching a recovery move there, he said.

ISI agent held

Meerut: An Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agent was arrested by the Meerut police with some vital documents related to national security while he was on his way to transfer it to his Pakistan-based counterpart in Lahore.

According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Mukul Goel, police received a tip-off that an ex-serviceman was involved in transferring secret information’s related to the Indian military establishment and military movement to his Pakistan-based counterpart in Lahore through fax and telephone.

Boy electrocuted

Sonepat: A two-and-a-half-year-old boy was reportedly electrocuted while playing on the roof of his house at Pio-Maniari, near Kundli Border today morning. His body was handed over to his father after conducting the postmortem examination at the local civil hospital.

According to information, the boy, identified as Sunny, was playing on the roof of his house when he touched the high tension power lines passing over his house. The boy died on the spot. He was the son of Shyam Sunder, resident of a village in Bihar and working in a factory at Kundli. The incident has angered the people of Pio-Maniari as it has been alleged that despite several requests to the Bijli Nigam authorities, the power lines were not removed. The wires are also posing danger to the residents of the other houses in the area.

Demolition drive

A demolition squad led by the District Town Planner, Deputy superintendent of Police and Tehsildar, along with a large contingent of police force and a JCB machine today demolished unauthorised constructions on nearly 30 plots on Kami road on the outskirts of the town.

The squad also reportedly carried out demolitions at Murthal and Bahalgarh.

Boy Killed in accident

Rohtak: A teenaged boy was run over and killed by an unidentified vehicle at Kalanaur town, 25 km from here today.

Metro: Karol Bagh shopkeepers cut up with ‘eviction’ notices

New Delhi: The Shopkeepers and Resident Welfare Association of Karol Bagh is up in arms over the notices issued by the Land Acquisition Collector asking the shopkeepers to vacate their properties for the purpose of laying the Dwarka-Barakhamba stretch of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

The shopkeepers alleged the notices were pasted on their properties in spite of the assurance by DMRC chairman Madan Lal Khurana that the Centre would constitute a high-powered committee to finalise alternative sites for shops and residential units affected by the work on the Dwarka-Barakhamba stretch of the DMRC.

The shopkeepers said the ‘eviction’ notices should be kept in abeyance till the committee submitted its report. TNS


Jewellery robbed from three brothers’ flats
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
Unidentified youths armed with knives robbed jewellery worth lakhs of rupees from the houses of three brothers in Lekhu Nagar in Keshavpuram area of North-West district. The victims, Jaiprakash, Rakesh and Dinesh are brothers living in the building.

The suspects entered the second floor house of Rakesh and robbed his jewellery and tied his family members with cords. Subsequently, they went to the first floor and robbed the family of Dinesh and later, tied his family members with ropes. The criminals then took Rahul (8), son of Rakesh, to the ground floor and asked him to call out Jaiparkash on the excuse that Rakesh was ill. As soon as Jaiprakash opened the door, the robbers overpowered him and looted the entire family and later tied them up with ropes. Rahul untied the family members when the robbers made their escape. The case has been registered, the police said.

Chain snatching cases

Panic gripped North-West and West districts following a spate of chain snatching incidents reported from different areas yesterday. However, no case has been registered in any of the police stations.

The incidents occurred in Rohini, Shalimar Bagh and Vikaspuri. The first incident took place around 9.30 pm in the Shalimar Bagh area when a resident of A-D Block, Mrs Shakuntala, was going to a nearby shop to buy household items. As she reached the shop, two youths came from behind and snatched her chain. She raised the alarm but nobody came forward to chase the fleeing youths.

The second incident took place in Sector 16 in Rohini. Two youths on a two-wheeler snatched the chain of Sudarshan, who was going for an evening walk in the park in the area. Just after a few minutes, another similar incident took place in Sector 3, Rohini.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sanjay Singh, said that no case had been registered as the victims refused to come forward. Another incident took place in Vikaspuri in West district where two scooter-borne youths snatched the chain of Jaspal Kaur, who was walking along with her husband. The victim has given in writing to the police that she does not want any action in the case, the police said.

Residents in these areas complained that women in the area were so panicky that they refused to go out alone. They feel that anything could happen with them because there was no law and order control. When the incidents were reported to the police, no action was taken against the culprits. The last night’s incidents were also taken very lightly by the police, a resident said.

The police would tell the victims that the residents were equally responsible for maintaining law and order. If any untoward incident occurred, the police expected the residents to nab the culprit and hand him/her over to the local police, the resident said.


Notorious criminal arrested
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 19
The Ghaziabad police today claimed to have arrested a notorious criminal of Meerut, identified as Manoj, after a late night encounter near Hindon.

The police recovered a country-made pistol, live cartridges, a stolen Baleno and two-and-half kilograms of poppy husk from him.

No one was injured in the exchange of fire between the police and the suspect. The police received a tip-off that the suspect, a resident of Partap Pur in Meerut and wanted in more than a dozen cases, would be driving to Delhi late at night. A ‘naka’ was organised and a watch kept on all incoming vehicles.

When the police spotted the Baleno, they challenged the occupant, who fired two rounds at the police. The police retaliated and subsequently, managed to overpower the suspect. The police said that Baleno was stolen from the Haus Khas area in Delhi earlier this month.

The police said cases under the Arms Act and NDPS Act was registered against him and the suspect was being further interrogated. The Meerut police have also been informed.

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