Thursday, July 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Floodgates open in House on waterlogging
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
Pandemonium reigned in the House for more than half an hour as opposition members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi went on a rampage, breaking microphones and generally creating a ruckus, to protest against the waterlogging in many areas of the Capital which they alleged was due to the negligence of the officials. However, the work of the corporation continued during the ruckus as the Congress members managed to pass a record 46 preambles.

Trouble ensued when the Leader of the Opposition in the Standing Committee, Mr Vijender Gupta, demanded a discussion on waterlogging and a reply from the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, pointing out that this was a major problem during the monsoon in the Capital.

Whenever it rains, the city grinds to a halt. In remote areas, the MCD had to even close its schools, it was pointed out.

A livid Mr Gupta broke the microphone when the Chairman of the committee, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, refused to listen to him. He continued thumping the table throughout the meeting which lasted half an hour. Later, he addressed a press conference.

He charged that the Congress-led corporation had tried to wash its hands off the waterlogging menace with the submission of an affidavit in the court, blaming the problem on unauthorised colonies. The Congress party had taken this plea to thwart the attempt of the Central government to regularise 1,171 unauthorised colonies in the Capital, he alleged.

The Delhi Government had privatised power distribution and its maintenance, he said. Yet, today the corporation had taken back the maintenance of streetlights from the DISCOM on the pretext that private companies were overcharging.

The blueprint of the infrastructure needed for the maintenance work had not been tabled. A few months back when the DISCOM had suggested that a corporation be formed to look after the maintenance work, the Commissioner had refused to oblige.

The Commissioner had submitted before the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) that the DISCOM’s suggestion for a streetlight corporation was not technically feasible. He had also said that it violated provisions of clause (O) of Section 42 of the DMC Act, which mandates maintenance of streetlights as one of its obligatory functions.

Mr Vijender Gupta said today’s decision was not in keeping with the Commissioner’s statement given before the DERC.

He said that in 1963 the corporation used to do this job. Later, it was handed over to the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking. After the Delhi Vidyut Board was privatised, it was handed over to private companies, NDPL and BSES. At present, the corporation has just 12 employees to look after the upkeep of three lakh streetlights.

A preamble moved before the Standing Committee said that the maintenance work undertaken by the DISCOMS was not satisfactory despite the civic body paying the amount that was demanded. In addition, the private companies had raised their maintenance rates to an unacceptable level.


MCD officials went without salary in July
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had to manage without salary in July as the coffers of the corporation were empty owing to non-availability of quarterly funds from the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

A senior officer of the Accounts Department said 15 per cent employees of the corporation were not paid their salaries as there was shortage of funds. A large number of teachers in the corporation schools had also not been given salaries for a few months because of lack of funds.

Besides, MCD contractors had not been paid for their work for the past three years. They had to be paid Rs 250 crore under the non-Plan head and Rs 100 crore under the Plan head. The president of the MCD contractors’ association, Mr Satish Lamba, said since the contractors were not paid their dues, they had suspended work and sat on a dharna outside the Town Hall. They were demanding that their dues should be paid immediately.

Mr Ram Babu Sharma, Chairman of the Standing Committee, which looks after the financial matters of the corporation, said that this had not happened for the first time. Officials of the corporation had faced a similar situation earlier too. Salaries were paid under the Plan head, which was sanctioned by the Central government through the state government. The corporation had not received the current installment so far. Salaries would be paid soon after the corporation received the monies. He said the corporation would clear the contractors’ bills soon.

The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Subhash Arya, said the Delhi Government had to provide Rs 165 crore to the corporation for carrying out various development works but it was regrettable that up to June 30 only Rs 46 crore had been sanctioned. No funds had been provided even after a month having been elapsed in the second quarter. It clearly reflected lack of coordination in the Congress which was ruling both the corporation as well as the Delhi Government.

Mr Arya demanded that the balance amount (Rs 119 crore) of the first instalment be immediately paid to the MCD, so that development works could be completed on time. He also demanded that Rs 165 crore of the second instalment be sanctioned immediately.


Stan Chart hauled up for deficiency in
service, overcharging
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
A Delhi consumer court has ordered Standard Chartered Bank to pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 in two separate cases to clients for deficiency in service and for indulging in an unfair trade practice.

Complainant Ms Madhu, proprietor of Delhi-based Sindhu Enterprises, had claimed that she had applied to the bank for a car loan of Rs 6,52,000 on March 22, 2000, and issued a cheque of Rs 22,325 along with 35 post-dated cheques of a similar amount.

However, the bank neither sanctioned the loan nor returned the down payment of Rs 22,325, she alleged and claimed compensation of Rs 80,000 for the harassment caused to her.

Rejecting the bank’s contention that the complainant was not a consumer within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act, the New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said, “Since the bank had already decided not to sanction the loan, encashing the first cheque of Rs 22,325 is an unfair trade practice.… and this tantamounts to deficiency in service.”

Moreover, the complainant had paid the cheque in March, 2000, and even by its own admission the bank stated that it had returned the cheque only in March 2001, which was almost after a year,” forum president L C Jain and members Janak Juneja and R Narayana observed.

Holding the bank guilty of negligence, the forum directed it to return the down payment of Rs 22,325 and Rs 10,000 in compensation and costs.

In another case, the forum ordered the bank to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 to complainant Balbir Singh for overcharging him. Balbir Singh, a resident of Vivekanandpuri in North Delhi, claimed that Standard Chartered had offered him a Gold Standard Card, stating that the scheme provided for waiver of Rs 2,000 as membership fee for the first year; he was also entitled to a credit card limit of Rs 50,000 without any proof of income.

The bank had also told him that there was an interest free period of 52 days, Singh submitted, adding that he had accepted the card.

But when he paid for transactions, the authorised dealer of the bank charged “exorbitantly” on all items, over and above the interest on the purchases, besides late payment charges and overdue limit fees, the complainant alleged.

Singh claimed Rs 1.5 lakh from the bank for causing mental agony, Rs one lakh for deficiency in service and Rs two lakh as damages for causing loss of reputation.

The bank denied that it had overcharged the complainant and blamed the merchants with whom, it claimed, he dealt with. The consumer forum noted that the bank itself had admitted that according to its rules, overcharging by member establishments, like merchants, was wrong.

“If that is so, the surcharge that has been levied on the complainant’s purchases against the credit card by petrol pumps and other merchants was against its rules... The merchant establishments are agents of the bank and, if they levied a surcharge, the bank has to take responsibility,” the consumer court observed.

Holding the bank responsible for deficiency in service, the forum asked the bank to refund the surcharges charged by the merchant establishments from the complainant.


Professional courses: A pie in the sky for the
middle class
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 30
The dream of the lower and the middle class — to join a professional course in their home state — is turning out to be sour. Reason: The manifold increase in the fees of professional courses.

To protest against the rampant commercialisation of education, the Haryana Committee of the Students Federation of India has given a call for a statewide strike on August 8.

In fact, the SFI has even prepared a detailed paper on the unjustified fee structure imposed by the Haryana Government this year on the pretext of following a recent Supreme Court directive.

According to the paper, a student opting for an MBBS course at Rohtak will have to shell out Rs 15,000 per year as against Rs 3,100 last year. A seat in the management quota (20 per cent) will cost a whopping Rs 25 lakh.

The Agroha college, which offers an MBBS degree, has gone a step further. The fee has been hiked to Rs 1.2 lakh as against Rs 12,000 last year. The management seat will cost Rs 20 lakh.

Similarly, the BDS seat will cost Rs 96,000 as against Rs 8,000 last year with the management seat available for Rs 15 lakh. Students pursuing the BAMS degree will have to cough up Rs 54,000, up by Rs 49,000 over that last year. The MBA/MCA students will fork out Rs 30,000, as against Rs 12,000 earlier. This is only the tuition fee. Other expenditure can well be imagined, which is sure to a burn a hole in the pocket.

Mr Ravinder Chandi, state president of the SFI, alleged that the massive fee hike in the recent years had virtually closed the options for the rural population and a large section of the urban population. Mr Jai Bhagwan, general secretary, alleged that the proposed fee hike nails the lie of providing free education to girls.

The SFI fears that the new fee structures for teaching departments could be enforced any time. Under the new fee structure, the tuition fee for BA courses is proposed to be hiked to Rs 10,000 and that of MA courses from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. The fee for the NRI and paid seats would be in the Rs 50,000- Rs 3 lakh range.

The students’ organisation felt that the government was giving a raw deal to South Haryana, where there was not a single university. For political reasons, the colleges of Bhiwani and Mahendragarh were being affiliated to Tau Devi Lal University, Sirsa, compounding students’ problems.


Villagers ‘powerless’ for a fortnight
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 30
Much to the distress of hapless residents, the Faridabad district authorities have failed to address the problem of intermittent power failure and voltage fluctuation.

Several instances of villages going without electricity for four to five days have been reported. The worst affected are the farmers, who, despite an above average monsoon, are not able to make the most of it due to erratic power supply. Raju, a resident of Fajjupur village, disclosed that most houses in his village were managing without electricity for the last four to five days. The local transformer had conked out last Friday, but despite persistent complaints, it had not been repaired, he lamented.

The residents of Neemka village were suffering power pangs for the last fortnight. And this, despite regular payment of electricity bills. Recently livid residents of Fatehpur village staged a demonstration at the local sub-station. Around 300 residents of Daultabad village, near Sector 16A here, had come out on the roads to protest against the blackout caused by the burning of the transformer on July 28. They alleged that the transformer was not being replaced despite several complaints.

The protestors had lifted the blockade only after a senior official of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited assured that the power supply would resume soon. Likewise, the residents of Sanjay Memorial Nagar, NIT, staged a demonstration and gheraoed the office of the SDO recently for not replacing the burnt transformer and resuming the electricity supply. According to the power department sources, there were over three dozen villages where the transformers had burnt down.


Thief off to Nepal with employer in hot pursuit
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 30
When Surender Saini’s servant allegedly escaped after stealing Rs 20,000 in cash from his house, the former decided not to rely on the police to recover the amount. He chased his servant to Nepal and successfully recovered not only the cash, but also jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh. (Incidentally, the jewellery belonged to a relative).

Recounting the tale of hot pursuit, Saini, a former president of the Vaish College Students’ Union and owner of Jogender Machine Tools, said that his servant, Parasram, a Nepalese, escaped with Rs 20,000 kept in the factory office on July 10.

The same day, a relative, Mr Ishwar Singh Saini, a resident of Chunnipura locality, informed him that his servant, Vinod, had fled with Rs 30,000 in cash and jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh.

The fact that both the servants happened to be relatives and had escaped the same evening roused their suspicion. Surender got separate cases of theft registered against the duo at the Rohtak police station.

Not content, Mr Saini dashed off to Nepal, armed with the copies of the FIRs, to ferret out the thieves. Finally, his perseverance paid off and the Nepal police were able to arrest the suspect and recover the booty.

Mr Saini, who returned on Tuesday, is all praise for the Nepal police. He feels that had they waited for the Rohtak police to act on the FIR, they would never have recovered their stolen goods.


Rohtak curbs on pisciculture

Rohtak: The District Magistrate, Mr Ashok Yadav, has ordered that the existing stocks of magur and big head fish should be destroyed immediately. He has also banned the production and stocking of seeds of these exotic fish in the district. Mr Yadav said that these exotic fish have been introduced in the district in contravention of instructions issued by the Centre on December 19, 1997. These fish can pose a threat to the indigenous fish and ecosystem as they may cross-breed, causing genetic degradation. The District Magistrate said that the Union Agriculture Ministry had advised all the state governments to take steps to destroy the existing stock of the exotic magur and big head fish. With a view to protecting our native fish, it had become imperative to destroy the existing livestock of the banned magur and big head fish and also to prevent production of seeds of these fish, which has been illegally introduced by many fish farmers, Mr Yadav said. OC


No let-up in showers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Capital continued to receive showers for the fourth consecutive day today. Though the mercury recorded a dip, the city continued to battle waterlogging, traffic snarls and power cuts.

The showers are due to the monsoon activity over the North-West region. The Met department recorded 11.2 cm of rainfall till 8.30 p.m. The drizzle continued this afternoon, sending mercury down to 26 degree Celsius.

The Met office pointed out that the Capital has recorded over 62cm rainfall till this morning since the monsoon arrived July 5. The rainfall this season has set a record with the average for the whole month being 22.53 cm.


Badal-Tohra truce opportunistic, says Pamma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The National Akali Dal has criticised the joining of hands by Parkash Singh Badal and Gurcharan Singh Tohra as opportunistic and a ploy to deceive the Sikh community.

President of the National Akali Dal Paramjit Singh Pamma today said Mr Tohra had been made to head the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to protect the interests of Mr Badal and his son.

“How come the two have joined hands now when it was Mr Badal who had removed Mr Tohra unceremoniously from the post of SGPC president a few years ago? This is nothing but a ploy to hoodwink the Sikh community and confuse the masses,” he said.

Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma said Mr Badal had politicised the Akal Takht before also and was doing so again to protect himself and his son in the wake of the raids by the Punjab Government.

Eye camp at Shahdara on Aug 3: An eye camp will be organised at Shastri Park, Shahdara on August 3 by the Tarun Mitra Parishad, a well-known social service. According to president of the parishad Ashok Jain, this eye camp will be held at Swastik Nursing Home, C-5, Shastri Park, Shahdara. Patients will be examined and operated on for cataract by a medical team of Venu Eye Institute in the hospital after selection. All patients will be provided free medical treatment along with boarding and lodging facilities, meals, medicines and lens.


‘Powerless’ women cause flutter at substation
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 30
Yesterday was a day of processions and demonstrations at the mini secretariat here. According to one report, hundreds of irate women came out on the road in Garhi Brahmanan village and took out a procession to register their protest against the major power breakdown resulting in darkness in most parts of the village for the last three days.

The women rallyists shouted slogans against the state government and the authorities of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and reached the 33 kv power substation in the mini secretariat where they held a massive demonstration.

According to reports, staff of the UHBVN used objectionable language against the women demonstrators, sparking a furore in the office. Irate women threw down the telephone and tore the register of the substation.

The staff informed the police control room and senior officials of the UHBVN. The nigam officials and the police arrived on the spot and they pacified the women by assuring them that the power supply would be restored immediately. Thereupon, they dispersed peacefully.

According to another report, a large number of residents of Kalupur village held a massive demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in the min secretariat in protest against the erratic power supply for the past few days. They also submitted a memorandum to the DC demanding immediate steps to ensure regular power supply in the village.

Residents of Dewru village also held a demonstration in front of the offices of the DC and the Superintendent of Police and submitted a memorandum to them demanding a high-level probe into the complaint of a married woman against her husband and other in-laws. The memorandum alleged that the complaint was false and baseless and the police had arrested the husband and other members of his family wrongly.

Farmers of Jaji village also held a demonstration in front of DC’s Office and submitted a memorandum to him demanding draining out of rainwater from their fields. The DC directed the authorities concerned to visit the spot and take immediate steps for pumping out the water accumulated in the fields.

Some residents of Jhinjhauli village also made a similar demand by submitting a memorandum to the DC. They pointed out that their fields and standing crops have been submerged with water after the overflowing of Drain 8. They also demanded compensation for the losses they have suffered. The DC directed the authorities concerned to look into the matter and take immediate steps to pump out the water.



Andh Mahavidyalaya: Holding a torch to the future path of blind students
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, July 30
At first look, there is no difference to this school. Like on any other campus, one sees teachers and students going in and out of the office and classrooms. Only that the students are blind.

This is the school for the blind in the heart of Panipat town. It has classes up to the high school level and has hostel facilities. Established in 1958, this Andh Mahavidyalaya run by the Social Welfare Department of Haryana, strives for the all-round development of about 120 blind students from class I to class 10.

When established, the school catered to the needs of blind students not only from Haryana but also from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Now it is confined to Haryana students only as there are similar schools in other states.

Besides providing education as per the syllabi of the Board of School Education, Haryana, this school also imparts technical and practical training to the students. They learn cane weaving of office chairs, music and art and to operate handlooms so as to enable them to earn their livelihood after passing out from the school.

The students are given free boarding, lodging, tuition, books, stationery, clothes, school uniform and shoes etc. The institute is also paying Rs 500 per month for each of the students as food charges.

The main aim of the institute is to make the students self-sufficient and honourable citizens of the society. The state government has specified about 1,259 jobs in the government departments for handicapped persons and the institute has decided to prepare the students for those jobs.

Any blind boy or girl up to the age of 15 years can get admission in the school. And once admitted, the student is entitled to get medical facilities free of cost along with a sum of Rs 50 per month as pocket money.

Music is the area in which a majority of the students have excelled. The school orchestra is famous in the whole state. On July 25, when Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala inaugurated the girls’ hostel, students and teacher Pt Dinkar Sharma gave a beautiful performance. They sang Qawalis, Haryana folk songs and Raginis.

Pt Dinkar Sharma told this correspondent that many students of the mahavidyalaya have won fame. Bilal Ahmad got silver medal twice in the national meet and Shiv Kumar of Aameen village won the gold medal in tabla from Kurukshetra University. They and others like Des Raj and Devender Sharma have shown that they are no way inferior to anyone, he said. Pt Sharma, himself a former student of school, is a national level artiste. Pt Dinkar said that former students like Dr Jai Singh Yadav are teaching music in other colleges.

Besides music, former students have excelled in other fields. Dr S. S. Sangwan, Head of the English Department of Maharshi Dayanand University; Dr Ram Niwas of the Department of English, Kurukshetra University, Mr Dharam Singh Rawal of Karnal College, Mr Ram Pal Singh and Mr Brij Mohan Gupta were students of the institute. A majority of the former students are employed as teachers in schools, colleges and universities, principal O. P. Jain, said.

Mr Jain, who himself was a former student of the institute, told the NCR Tribune that during his student days, facilities were fewer but they were dedicated towards their studies.

He said besides study, games are also necessary for the development of the students. The students of the school are good in athletics, cricket and indoor games like chess. However, there has not been a physical education teacher for some time. This has affected badly the cricket skills of the students. He demanded that the state government must provide a PT teacher as soon as possible.

Again in vocational training, there has been no regular teacher for cane weaving since 1990 when the last one retired. The temporary teachers are not very useful.

The principal said that the institute has a Braille library along with facilities for converting books into Braille script. As many as 87 students, including 17 girls, are presently availing these facilities.

The staff includes principal, senior Braille teacher, two teachers in science, mathematics and music each, one craft teacher, one Braille-cum-typing teacher, three junior Braille teachers and a Librarian. In the absence of teachers for cane weaving, physical education and typing, these programmes are being neglected.

Pt. Dinkar called upon the Panipat industrialists to donate music instruments like tabla, harmonium etc to the needy students.



Sirsa, Kaithal to get silos to raise storage capacity
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 30
As many as ten bulk silos will be constructed in Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and other parts of the country by the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) under a Rs 1,500-crore project of the Union Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs.

This information was provided by Mr K.C. Tyagi, Chairman of CWC, at a press conference here last evening. He said that these bulk silos, with a storage capacity of three lakh metric tones each, would ensure prolonged and immunised preservation of the stored grain.

Two such bulk silos–one each at Sirsa and Kaithal would be set up in Haryana, he added. Making a specific mention of the superb revolution brought about by the latest technological developments in the domain of food preservation, Mr Tyagi informed that there were now about 490 godowns, which had a cumulative storage capacity of 80 lakh metric tonnes.

Thanks to the highly augmented production as well as immunized preservation of grain, India had now become an exporter of grain to 55 other countries, he added.

Mr Tyagi further said that the CWC would soon have its storage centres in Uruguay, Dubai and Kandhar.


Murder accused gets life term

Sonepat, July 30
Ravinder of Panchi-Jatan village under Ganaur police station has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Additional District Sessions Judge of the Fast Track Court. Ravinder is an accused in a murder case.

According to details of the case, one Rajpal of Bhora Rasulpur along with his nephew Sushil was selling crockery items in Panchi-Jatan village on December 12, 2000. There was some dispute between Rajpal and Ravinder and in a fit of anger, Ravinder attacked him with a spade (kassi), causing fatal injury on Rajpal’s head.

On the statement of Sushil, a case of murder was registered at Ganaur police station.

Students honoured

Students who secured the first, second and third positions in the middle and matriculation annual examinations held by the Board of School Education Haryana, were honoured at a function organised on the premises of the S.M. Hindu Senior Secondary School here yesterday. According to a report, Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, gave away the cash prizes of Rs 1,000, Rs 750 and Rs 500 each to such students who secured the first, second and third positions respectively. Speaking on the occasion, the DC asked the students to take to the job-oriented courses so that they could be self-reliant in society. OC


Most of Khosla directions on police accepted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Union Government says most of the recommendations of the Khosla Commission with regard to the Delhi Police have been accepted and implemented either fully or partially.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Harin Pathak said the recommendations that could not be implemented, related to the provision of family accommodations for all the police personnel, setting up of mobile courts to try the accused on the spot, etc.

The minister informed the House that the Union Government had also taken steps to improve the working conditions of the Delhi Police personnel, which included taking precaution not to put the staff on duty for more than 12 hours a day and ensuring one day’s rest to each policeman in two weeks.

Crimes by men in uniform: Replying to another question, Mr Pathak said the cases of crimes by men in uniform had decreased in the Capital. The number of IPC-related crimes reported to have been committed by the Delhi Police personnel during the year 2002 was 38 as against 48 such crimes reported during the preceding year.

The minister said training was imparted to the police personnel to inculcate a sense of discipline.

NDMC contract for ad space: Mr Pathak informed the House that there had been no irregularities in the allotment of advertisement space on the electricity poles awarded by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in favour of M/s Adwel Advertiser (P) Limited in February 1999.

In his written reply, the minister said the NDMC awarded the contract for display of advertisements on 10,000 electric poles on 112 major and important roads for three years from March 9, 1999 to M/s Adwel Advertiser Pvt Ltd, being the highest tenderer.

After the award of the contract, a dispute arose between the NDMC and the advertising agency regarding the actual number of electric poles available for display of advertisements and the proportionate reduction in the licence fee payable to the NDMC. While the matter was presently sub judice, the bank guarantee furnished by the agency continued to be alive.


Two held for carrying contraband
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 30
The National Highway police arrested two youths while they were carrying contraband poppy husk on the G T Road near Murthal Chowk, about 8 km from here last night.

According to a report, the youths were identified as Banti of Rajpur village and Sagar of Bihar. The police also recovered 3.5 kg contraband poppy husk from their possession. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against them.

Both the youths were riding a motorcycle when they were spotted by the National Highway Police. They tried to escape when asked to stop, but were arrested by the police.

Health check-up camp

A one-day health check-up camp was organised by the ‘Tehsil Akipur Biradari’ in a dental hospital of Sikka Colony here yesterday.

According to a report, as many as 306 patients suffering from various diseases, were examined and treated by a group of specialists in the camp.

Army Recruitment

Recruitment for the Indian Army will commence from September 1 to 5 in the Police Lines of this city. According to an official press release, recruitment for the various districts are: Jhajjar on September 1; Rohtak on September 2; Sonepat on September 3; and Panipat on September 4. The wards of the ex-army personnel and widows will be recruited on September 5.

Women injured in clash

Three women were injured in a clash that took place between two groups at Malikpur village, about 15 km from here yesterday. According to a report, the women were identified as Santosh, Mukesh and Sudesh. They were hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

The police were still investigating the case. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Ten booked for killing cow

Faridabad: Ten persons have been booked for killing a cow at nearby Chhainsa village. According to complaint lodged by one Singh Raj, some residents of the Kabulpur village beat up the cow, which had entered into a field, owned by one of the accused.

It is stated that the cow died on the spot after the thrashing. No arrest has been made so far. TNS

Dowry harassment

The police have booked five persons of a family for dowry harassment at Hathin, a sub-divisional town in the district. The accused belongs to Sohna while the complainant hails from Raisina village in the district.

DPCC to take up case of DTC retirees

New Delhi: The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) will take up the matter of disbursal of pension and other benefits to the retired employees of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC.)

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Prem Singh assured the retired employees of DTC that he would get in touch with the transport minister on the issue.

Addressing a function hosted by the DTC Retired Employees Association, Singh said he was aware of the problems of the DTC employees and that he would take up their grievances with the appropriate authorities. TNS


Tree plantation

New Delhi: Shaheed Bhagat Singh College Principal Jitinder Kaur has planted 100 trees on the college premises. College education director Balvinder Singh and other members of the staff were also present on the occasion.

Memorial demanded

The Bairagi Mahan Mandal, Punjab, has said that a memorial to martyr Bairagi Baba Banda Singh Bahadur should be established at Mehrauli, the martyrdom place of Babaji and the route on which Babaji was brought from Nangal Garhi to Delhi after the arrest by the Mughals, should be named as ‘Baba Banda Bahadur Marg’. TNS



Four of family acquitted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
A city court today has acquitted four members of a family who were charged with committing a murder of a woman for bringing insufficient dowry to the house, stating that the prosecution lacked concrete evidence against them. The court has acquitted all the accused giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Additional Sessions Judge R S Arya said as there was ‘insufficient evidence’, against the accused, the court has acquitted them.

Acquitting Nand Kishore (husband), Rama Devi (mother-in-law), Manju and Renu (sisters-in-law), Justice Arya said, “The prosecution case was not free from the shadow of reasonable doubt. Thus, the four accused were entitled to be given the benefit of the doubt”.

The victim, Vandana, tied the knot with Kishore in 1991, but died on October 22, 1992 under mysterious circumstances.

According to the prosecution case, Vandana was administered poison by her in-laws. The case relied on the testimony of Dr L K Barua, who conducted the post-mortem and also the letters written by the deceased to her father, alleging cruelty to her.

The four were booked under Sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (cruelty) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

In his report, Dr Barua had opined that the semi-digested food in the stomach of the deceased was smelling of ‘Baygon’ (an Insecticide), while the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) gave negative test for common poison.

Discarding Dr Barua’s evidence, the court said, “The report of chemical examiner had to prevail for chemical analysis.

If the autopsy surgeon himself was competent to detect poison then why viscera was preserved and sent to CFSL for the test.”

Also rejecting the letters allegedly written by Vandana as evidence, the court said the handwriting of the deceased had to be corroborated before they could be admissible which her father was not able to do. 


Family robbed of cash, valuables
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
Three unidentified desperadoes barged into a house in the Prem Nagar area of Sultanpuri in North-West district this morning and robbed the family of cash and some valuables including a mangalsutra at knifepoint.

The police said that the desperadoes entered the A-block house of one Deepak (22), and robbed Rs 6,000, one mangalsutra and one gold chain after brandishing knives. During the incident, Deepak’s wife, mother and uncle were present, the police said.

The police said that they have registered the case and launched a manhunt to arrest the youths in their early twenties.

Degree racket busted

With the arrest of one person, the North-East district police today claimed to have busted a degree racket in the Ashok Nagar area. The police also claimed to have recovered a computer monitor, a keyboard, one fake certificate, one marksheet of Class X, six blank certificates and four blank marksheets of UP Board from his possession.

Acting on a tip-off that one Neelesh (25), resident of Ashok Nagar, was involved in the preparation of fake certificates, the police laid a trap near Shahdara.

During interrogation, he told the police that he used to prepare the certificates for Rs 1,500, and was supplying them to the students who had failed in their exams.



Thieves with a sweet tooth
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 30
Thieves are reported to have broken into the mess of Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai, and taken away fruit and sweets worth several thousands of rupees.

According to a report, the fruit and sweets were kept for the students.

However, no report has been lodged with the Rai police so far. It is stated that some employees of the school could be involved in the theft.


Call to bidders rekindles hope in closed units
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, July 30
With the invitation of bids for the closed units of Mohta Electro Steel (Bhiwani Cold Rolling) and Rama Fibers, once the leading industrial units of the district and the lifeline of hundreds of families, there are hopes that the units would be reopened.

It may be recalled that the owners of the Mohta Electro Steel had paid additional salaries along with the arrears, besides gratuity of 28 days to nearly 800 employees soon after the closure of the unit on June 28, 1993. This was an encouraging sign for the intending bidders, as in most of the cases, wages and gratuity matters are left unresolved after the closure of the units.

The Mohta unit had completed 20 years before it became a victim of lockout on June 28, 1993. Local political factors along with rivalries among industrialists had played an important role in the lockout. Some of the industrialists in the area feared financial losses if the Mohta unit was revived with its new fully automatic unit at Mikona.

The police had unearthed huge theft last year and booked several industrialists besides security staff in this regard.

Some industrialists had assessed the value of Mohta unit at between Rs 85 crore and Rs 90 crore at the time of its closure. However, when the unit went to the BIFR (Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction), the operating agency invited tenders by fixing its approximate cost at Rs 51 crore. Thereafter, under the new valuation, an authorised agency (by the Punjab and Haryana High Court) valued this unit at Rs 36.59 crore on August 5, 1997. The successful bidder would have to pay the full amount of the accepted bid in three months.


IOC housekeeping awards given
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
“The road to perfect health of the pipeline station is always under construction,” said Mr A. M. Uplenchwar, Director (Pipelines), Indian Oil Corporation, after presenting the housekeeping awards for the pipeline units yesterday.

Mr Uplenchwar stated that all pipeline stations should not only be kept neat and clean with plenty of green foliage, but the running machinery should also be in very good condition. He congratulated the winners in various categories of housekeeping awards at the Pipelines Management Committee meeting. Various activities of the Pipelines Division were discussed at the meeting.

The good housekeeping contest was instituted 17 years back to encourage the pipeline stations to keep the stations spick and span. Over the years, sixty locations of Pipelines Division spread across the country have keenly engaged in this annual contest. Mr Uplenchwar cautioned that some of the stations were not up to the mark and these aspects needed to be looked into with a critical eye so that mishaps could be avoided.

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