Saturday, July 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


SAD unit vows to free DSGMC of Cong control
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Leaders of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today accused Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Paramjit Singh Sarna, who has overshot his one-year term, of gross malpractices and nepotism, claiming that the party now intends to “free the religious body of corruption and proxy Congress control”.

Mr Sarna, who has not announced the annual executive elections despite his term having expired yesterday, has also so far refused to dissolve his faction and merge with the SAD after the patch up between former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his long-time rival Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

An election order passed in the absence of Mr Sarna by his deputy, Shamsher Singh Sandhu, was also withdrawn as part of an understanding the two had arrived at after the intervention by a baba (head) of a Mehrauli Dera (shrine) last week.

“Mr Sarna wants to cling to the office and, to achieve this objective, he is committing gross malpractices involving hundreds of thousands of rupees and encouraging nepotism in the administration of the religious body,” SAD Delhi chief Avtar Singh Hit told a news conference here.

He cited the appointment of 36 new teaching staff at West Delhi’s Sukho Khalsa School, run by the DSGMC, and claimed that the jobs were sold at a price of Rs 2 lakh each. “Is it not corruption?” asked the Akali leader whose party in Punjab is itself under the state government scrutiny for alleged irregularities while it was in power.

“In another school at Nanak Piao, Sarna loyalist Thekedar Surjit Singh got his daughter appointed as vice-principal, showing scant respect for set procedures while a staff of 27 has been appointed there in exchange of huge amounts of money. Is it not corruption?” he asked. Mr Sarna’s recent religious programmes, aimed at “spreading the faith” in the Sikh heartland of Punjab, also came under attack as the SAD leader, a close lieutenant of Mr Badal, accused the DSGMC chief of embezzling Rs 1 crore from donations. Mr Sarna , however, has repeatedly denied these charges and claimed that he has cleansed the DSGMC of graft and corruption. In fact, Mr Sarna’s faction wrested control of the DSGMC last year on this particular platform.

Accusing the DSGMC president, who swept committee general elections last year with the blessings of Mr Tohra, with non-performance, Mr Hit said Mr Sarna had failed to keep his election promise of creating an anti-corruption watchdog and a powerful Sikh Education Council consisting of top academics.

“The SAD will hold protests and go on a hunger strike if Mr Sarna does not declare annual elections within 15 days.”

The DSGMC, which has considerable influence over Delhi’s large Sikh population, is known for skipping both its annual and general elections that come every four years.


DPCC attacks misuse of CBI in Babri case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) today held a sit-in near Parliament House to protest against the “misuse” of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the NDA government and demanded that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee step down for protecting Mr L. K. Advani and Mr Murli Manohar Joshi in the Babri Mosque demolition case.

DPCC president Prem Singh told mediapersons that the CBI came under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office and, therefore, Mr Vajpayee should own up moral responsibility and step down from office.

Mr Prem Singh, accompanied by Mr Jagdish Tytler, Mr Sajjan Kumar, Mr Jaiprakash Agarwal, legislators and councillors, assembled at Jantar Mantar carrying placards and banners that read “CBI ka durupyog band karo, bandh karo” and “Babri Masjid ke maamle mein CBI ka rajneetikaran bandh karo, bandh karo.”

The police prevented them from marching to Parliament House.

The demonstrators then held a sit-in near the Parliament Street Police Station and courted arrest. Mr Prem Singh said the CBI, “under pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office, has tried to absolve Mr L. K. Advani, Mr Murli Manohar Joshi and others for their involvement in the Babri Mosque demolition case”.

The misuse of the CBI, Mr Prem Singh asserted, had put a question mark on the integrity of the investigating agency. These ministers, he said, should be dropped from the Union Council of Ministers and action taken against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal for their involvement in the case.


PG classes: Sonepat private colleges on the mat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 25
The managing committees and students of four colleges here are in a dilemma. They have received a letter from the Commissioner of Education, Haryana, directing them to make their own arrangements for teachers for the postgraduate classes. The colleges in question are Hindu College, Hindu Girls College, CRA College and Gita Vidya Mandir Girls College.

According to the letter, the government will not allow teachers of graduate classes to teach students of PG classes as their salaries are paid by the government.

Pointing out that the PG classes were not funded by the government, the Commissioner has warned that the Higher Education Department can take action against such teachers; their posts, too, can be abolished.

When the private colleges were allowed to start PG classes, their managing committees had given an undertaking that they would neither demand financial assistance nor additional posts from the government for PG classes.

However, the colleges started deploying the teachers in PG classes and the practice has persisted.

According to the authorities, this arrangement tells upon the students of undergraduate classes. The college managements are now demanding more posts of lecturers.

The four college in question have admitted PG students this year also. However, they have not yet started the PG classes. Incidentally, the lecturers, afraid that they may lose their jobs, have refused to teach the PG classes.

Now, it seems, the management committees have no other option but to recruit new lecturers for the PG classes, which would be a heavy financial burden on them.

The principal of one of the colleges, on condition of anonymity, told the NCR Tribune that it might not be a problem for a financially sound management to appoint new lecturers. ``Anyway, we have to make some arrangements to run these classes,’’ he said. However, he refused to clarify what will be the new arrangements.


No bogus voters in my residence: Bandhu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Industries Minister Deep Chand Bandhu, who holds the election portfolio, today denied he had abused his position to register bogus voters in his Assembly constituency.

Mr Bandhu was responding to the allegations levelled by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Jagdish Mukhi, and former president of the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr Mange Ram Garg, yesterday. In a joint news conference, Mr Mukhi and Mr Garg had claimed that 54 voters, who were registered at the minister’s house, were also registered as voters at his brother’s house.

Mr Bandhu told mediapersons there were only 19 voters registered in his house and that they were different from those registered at his brother’s address. The minister said the names of the remaining 35 persons living in his house were the result of an “error” by the Election Office. He, however, failed to explain how the error occurred and why it was not corrected.

Incidentally, officials working in the Electoral Office, except the Chief Electoral Officer, are employees of the Government of NCT of Delhi and Mr Bandhu their boss.

“All these allegations levelled by the BJP leaders are mere accusations aimed at the elections. There is no substance in them,” he said, adding that he would get the error rectified.


Two Home Guards battered to death
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 25
Two Home Guards posted at the state warehouse near Palwal town in the district were battered to death by some armed persons in the wee hours yesterday. The bodies of the victims, identified as Hukam Singh (40) and Nanhe (45), were found in a pool of blood on Thursday morning when their shift was to end.

The warehouse is located between Palwal and Hodal towns on the Mathura road.

It is reported that an unidentified number of assailants, armed with knives, rods and canes, assaulted the guards with a view to looting cash and other valuables from the warehouse. A motorcycle and some cash are missing.

It is suspected that the gangsters wanted to enter the showroom of the motorcycle dealer, which shares the back wall with the warehouse. This is the second such incident in the area. Three guards of a godown located on Mathura road were assaulted in a similar manner about a month ago.


HC Bar Assn boycotts proceedings
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, July 25
The Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) today boycotted the proceedings of the court in protest against the Centre’s decision to enhance the court’s pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

The DHCBA treasurer, Mr Munish Kochhar, said the boycott was complete and successful and that no effective hearing took place.

Terming the July 16 notification of the Centre enhancing the high court’s pecuniary jurisdiction as “arbitrary”, Mr Kochhar said the DHCBA would challenge it in the appropriate forum.

The hearing in several important cases, including that of the Uphaar fire tragedy, had to be adjourned as most of the advocates abstained from work.

In a resolution passed yesterday, the DHCBA had called upon the Central government to withdraw the said notification.

The DHCBA criticised the Centre for going ahead with the notification, even though an earlier notification of the Delhi Government on this issue had been challenged and was pending in the Supreme Court.

The Bar also accused the government of not consulting it on an issue affecting the litigating public and going back on its promise that enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction would be done along with bifurcation of the civil court into five district courts.

Only 150 road spots need repair in Delhi

New Delhi: The Delhi Traffic Police have identified more than 150 places where the roads are in urgent need of repairs. The Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat on Friday said the Traffic Police had been told to identify stretches of roads where potholes had developed due to the recent rains.

On the basis of the report submitted by the Traffic Police, Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor has directed agencies like the Department of Public Works (PWD), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to attend to the repairs urgently.

The Lieutenant Governor has asked the chief engineers of the zones to monitor the progress of the works.


Second HIV positive case in Panipat
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, July 25
The second HIV positive case of the district, detected in village Chhajpur by the health authorities, has alarmed the residents of the village as well as the health circles.

According to information, a young girl, Kusum (name changed), of Chhajpur village was married to an army man, who hailed from a village in Karnal district, about two years back. It was the second marriage of the army man as his first wife had expired around three years back.

It is now learnt that about one year earlier the army man was admitted in the military hospital at Kolkata for an ailment, but when he reportedly tested HIV positive he was shifted to Delhi in May 2003. On receiving information about his hospitalisation in MH, Delhi, Kusum arrived in the Capital and stayed there for 15 days. The army man died a few days later.

When her family members came to know about the death of Kusum’s husband, they brought her back to their village. After some days, they noticed that Kusum was losing weight and brought her to the local civil hospital for treatment.

She was later examined in a Delhi hospital and found to be HIV positive.



This is with reference to the report in the NCR Tribune (July 22), “High Court rebuffs association victims on Uphaar relief”. We wish to bring to your notice that as reported by your newspaper, AVUT did not file any petition or application for releasing the compensation amount in their favour.


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.

In fact, AVUT had simply submitted a letter to the Registrar, Delhi High Court, for releasing the compensation amount, in pursuance to the order (June 27, 2003) passed by the High Court, for disbursement of compensation deposited by the DVB, the licensing authority of the DCP and the MCD.

Since the directions in the judgement (dated April 24, 2003) in CWP No 4567 of 1997 were not clear as to the mode of disbursement, the Registrar, Delhi High Court, had sought clarification from the Division Bench.

It was clarified by the Judges that the compensation amount may be released to the victims or their legal heirs, as the case may be, according to the Registry.

The letter given to the Registrar only stipulated that the compensation amount on released to the petitioner association and it was nowhere mentioned that the money must be given to the petitioner.

Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, New Delhi


News takes backseat in drive to Lahore

The television news channels vied with one another to telecast live the departure of the Delhi-Lahore bus on July 11. Their reporters comments and interviews with some of the passengers, during the journey to Lahore, usage of Urdu words, specially coined for the occasion, however, were not that impressive.

Too much hype, hullabaloo, euphoria and hysteria were generated by the news channels and the resumption the bus service became the only news of the day.

Other news, like the Amarnath pilgrimage, heavy floods in various parts of India due to rains etc were not highlighted in the manner they should have been.

I strongly feel that some of the news channels are being managed by people who are very mediocre and whose only aim is to create sensations so as to score over the other news channels.

The claim that they are the best and the first ones to telecast any news.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad


Railway minister lacks dynamism?

Railway Minister not showing dynamism of an action-oriented man Indian Railways are the backbone of country’s economy and tourism.

Apart from being strategically important, they serve as the most reliable link to promote unity and harmony among people. This also makes the Railway Ministry one of the most important ministries. The railway ministers in India have also been the most responsible and of extraordinary calibre and character.

But of all of them so far, Lal Bahadur Shastri proved a man of the greatest morals.

During the recent years, the Indian Railways have suffered huge losses. Train accidents have become frequent features and the minister, the most insensitive.

The grave loss of human beings and the material losses have sullied the bright image of Indian Railways nationally as well as internationally. If train accidents are not the result of any sabotage, the Railways definitely need a dynamic railway minister.

Mr Nitish Kumar, the Union Railway Minister, may not be responsible for the train accidents but he is not showing the sense of usual urgency. Perhaps the Indian Railways need complete and radical renovation.

The minister needs to have that essential dynamism and the zeal of a man of action, which are distinctly missing and never forthcoming.

President, Dina Nath Public School, Faridabad

Service before self

Principal of Birla Vidya Niketan, Ms Madhu Chandra, in the column ‘Principalspeak’ (NCR Tribune July 14), has aptly remarked that service before self is a beautiful motto and it truly serves to enrich our lives.

In this connection, someone has beautifully said: “Time and again, I have been astonished at re-discovering how great are the rewards of human involvement, when you take the trouble to help a stranger, to protect against an injustice, to assume a civic responsibility or to enter on the rare and wonderful risks of a news friendship. The princes among us are those, who forget themselves and serve mankind.”


Hats off to Delhi Government

Sheila Dikshit’s government has really done a remarkable act by deciding to identify children aged 14 and below, who are not going to schools, and setting up learning centres for them in their neighbourhood.

About 2,500 learning centres will be set up and centre has extended the help of Rs 17 crore. Children of daily wagers will also be able to attend classes as they will have the option of scheduling their classes according to their convenience.

Indeed it is a very good step taken for the betterment of children who are not in a position to get the benefit of education due to poverty and other limitations. Even the other states should follow this example set by the Delhi Government.


Educating people on population

The entire world being burdened with teeming millions, the World Population Day celebrations, on July 11, assumed special significance.

In our country, a very sorry state of affairs exists. However, not much is being done in the direction.

The need of the hours to is sensitise people about the horrendous consequences of ever-increasing population.

Here, I would like to present a few features of the Haryana demography. Mahendergarh district has the highest male-female ratio of 1000:919 against the average state ratio of 1000:861. The worst picture of gender discrimination is presented by the Panchkula district where this ratio is 1000:823.

This, despite the fact that Panchkula is the most literate district in the state with 76.5 per cent literacy rate. This district also boasts of the highest female literacy rate, 56.3 per cent, in the state.

One might conclude from these figures that the most literate people are the least sensitised and involved in the malaise of foeticide.

Only Mohendergarh and Rewari districts, where figures prove that gender discrimination is the minimum, are the only districts which can be appreciated. These districts also top the list when it comes to male literacy.

So far as the density of population is concerned, Sirsa district has the minimum rate of density, 260 against 477 persons per sq km. Faridabad, on the other hand has a density of 1,020 persons per sq km.

The rate of urbanisation in Haryana is again the highest (29 per cent). While Mahendergarh has 19 per cent urbanisation, while Rewari is on the second position in urbanisation.

These facts and figures could have been disseminated and delivered the good to the public for the welfare of the posterity.

Days like the World Population Day are the right time to make people aware of the problems being caused by constantly increasing population.



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