Saturday, August 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


MCD school students take ill after toxic treat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
Eight students of MCD Primary School at Wazirabad village were admitted to Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital when they fell ill after eating the midday meal supplied in the school today. All students had similar symptoms of vomiting and stomachache, indicating food poisoning.

The students were identified as Sher Mohammad, Dharam Parakash, Arjun, Satbir, Nafisa, Saira, Sanju, More and Bhudev. Doctors on duty said that stomachache and vomiting were symptoms of food poisoning. They were all reported to be out of danger.

According to sources, the students complained of vomiting and stomachache after eating “upma’ served to them by the school authorities as midday meal. The upma was supplied by an NGO, Bhartiya Shoshit Samaj Seva Samiti. The NGO started supplying the midday meal to the students only yesterday after it was given a contract by the corporation.

The news about the food poisoning spread throughout the area within a few minutes and the parents of the victims rushed to the school to see their wards. They said that the school authorities did not follow the norms prescribed by the department. They had been asked to constitute a committee to taste the food but it had not been done so far. The children were served upma, which was not of good quality, they alleged.

The Midday meal in charge and Director of Primary Education, Mrs Indra Yadav, was not available for comments.

Leader of Opposition Subhash Arya, who reached the school after getting the information, alleged that the Director of Primary Education was not aware of the incident in the morning. She expressed ignorance when the Leader of Opposition asked her about the incident. The Director and other officials of the Education Department reached the school four hours after the incident when children were admitted to the hospital.

He said that the Municipal Commissioner assured him last week that the Food Nutrition of India (FNI) would check the midday meals, but no official of the FNI had visited the schools.

Mr Subhash Arya demanded that an FIR should be lodged against the supplier of the midday meal and the upma served to the students in Wazirabad primary school should be sent to the laboratory for examination to ascertain the cause of food poisoning, he demanded.


SAD serves notice on Sarna, tells him to call for polls
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
In yet another apparent bid to wrest control of the powerful Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) ahead of the scheduled November Assembly elections in the National Capital Territory of Delhi here, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today served a ‘call election notice’ on the president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, who has already overshot his term by over a month.

A similar attempt was made earlier this year when certain members had virtually rebelled while Mr Sarna was abroad on a business trip and had announced the elections to the executive. The matter was subsequently sorted out amicably at the intervention of a senior South Delhi-based Sikh religious leader.

Copies of the latest notice, purported to have been signed by 29 members of the 51-member committee, were released at a news conference by Union Minister and SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa here.

The notice informed Mr Sarna, who is considered close to the Congress, that the majority of the Akali members would choose a new executive loyal to SAD on September 4 in case he failed to order the overdue election on his own. Mr Sarna has so far resisted all attempts to merge his faction with the recently united SAD.

General elections to the DSGMC are scheduled every four years while the

executive elections are held every year. ‘’DSGMC chief Sarna should have kept his promise to hold annual executive elections of the committee on time,’’ said Mr Dhindsa.

Mr Sarna, who swept last year’s general elections to the resource-rich religious administration on a wave of a fierce anti-Badal campaign, has ruled out the merger of his faction with SAD despite his mentor Gurcharan Singh Tohra shaking hands with party president and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The Akali minister said he had met Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani for getting the Delhi Gurdwara Act amended to ensure the committee did not jump its scheduled annual elections. ‘’However, this amendment is to be initiated by the Delhi Assembly,’’ he added.

At this juncture, Mr Dhindsa said, he was again appealing to Mr Sarna to dissolve his party in order to pave the way for unanimous annual elections to the committee executive.

Asked who will be the SAD candidate for the top religious office in Delhi, Mr Dhindsa said both Mr Badal and Mr Tohra would together name the new DSGMC president.

Today’s press conference was attended by SAD (Delhi) chief Avtar Singh Hit, senior DSGMC members Jatinder Singh Sahni and Manjit Singh, son of slain Akali leader Jathedar Santokh Singh.

The Sarna faction, however, disputed the authenticity of the committee support-base shown in the notice released by Mr Dhindsa. ‘’Mr Dhindsa’s interference with the gurdwara affairs is as bad as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s much criticised role in last year’s annual SGPC elections in Amritsar,’’ said Mr Harvinderpal Singh Sarna, a general secretary of the faction headed by the DSGMC chief.

He asked why Mr Dhindsa had ‘’kept silent’’ when his party’s Delhi chief, Mr Hit, had remained in control of the committee for 27 months in violation of the one-year norm. ‘’Also, only two-thirds of the members can force election and not less than that,’’ Mr Harvinderpal Singh claimed.


NSUI wants insurance cover; ABVP Hindi medium
Tribune News Service

Indian National Students Organisation candidates canvassing on the DU campus.
Indian National Students Organisation candidates canvassing on the DU campus.

New Delhi, August 29
Apart from the customary calls for more U specials, a safe campus and additional hostels, the manifestos released by the student unions this year contain such demands as provision of insurance cover, remedial programmes and scholarships.

With barely a week left for Delhi University polls, the candidates have begun harping on the failures of their opponents and touting the accomplishments of their party.

The Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) has demanded an insurance cover for all students enrolled in DU. “We have sent the proposal to the Delhi Government and are also discussing it with the insurance companies,” pointed out NSUI office-bearers.

The NSUI, which has “worked hard” on its manifesto, is also seeking scholarships for five students each from the reserved as well as the general categories for higher studies. “Of the five students, at least two will have to be girls,” said Ragini Nayak, who after losing the elections to the ABVP’s Nakul Bhardwaj last year, is trying her luck for the secretary’s post.

The other major party, the BJP-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), having failed to field its “star candidate” Deepti Rawat, is focussing on issues related to internal assessment, which has been implemented in the current academic session, and improvement in the education system.

The party is against the implementation of 25 per cent internal assessment and has raised the issue of 180 working days. While the ABVP is demanding Hindi as the medium of instruction , its arch rival, NSUI, has raised the demand for remedial classes, wherein students from socially and economically weaker sections will be coached in Hindi as well as English.

The NSUI is also seeking job-oriented courses, a department of mass communication and courses in bio-medical and bioengineering. The ABVP is opposed to the proposed self-financing programmes in the university. While similarities in the agendas are hard to overlook, reactions to these common points range from evasive to defensive. Each party claims that issues were first raised by them. “The 45-day evaluation system was raised by us and the ABVP is taking credit for it. We started the whole thing and they are claiming it to be their demand,” asserted Ragini.

A committee against sexual harassment, demand for a safe campus, need for a full-time Student’s Welfare Dean, academic reforms and representation of students in the Academic and Executive Councils are also on the agenda. The Chhatra Lok Janshakti (CLJ), which is fighting the election in alliance with the Student’s Federation of India (SFI), frowns upon fee hike and self-financing coursers. The SFI-CLJ combine has also demanded extra buses, more hostels, reservation and academic reforms.

The newly formed Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) — which has fielded candidates who defected from the NSUI and the ABVP – is demanding more colleges in rural areas, such as Najafgarh and Bawana.


EC orders suspension of three officials
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
The Election Commission (EC) today ordered immediate suspension of three officials for dereliction of duty in issuing voters’ photo identity cards. The EC has also sought disciplinary action against the officials.

The three officials are: the Food and Supply Officer, Circle No 27; the Superintendent of Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Hastsal; and the Assistant Electoral Registration Officer of the Mandawali Assembly constituency. The first two were the Assistant Electoral Registration Officers of the Hastsal Assembly constituency. The officials had not discharged their assigned duties as per the guidelines of the commission and not taken action against certain officials who sought bribe for issuing the cards.

Taking a serious note of the conduct of the three officers, the EC directed the Government of NCT of Delhi to place the officials under suspension with immediate effect and to take appropriate disciplinary action against them and also to replace them with officers of proven integrity and efficiency.

Enforce code: BJP

A delegation of the Delhi Pradesh BJP on Friday met Chief Election Commissioner J. M. Lyngdoh and sought the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct in the NCT of Delhi immediately.

Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana, who led the delegation, said the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) was misusing the government machinery for political ends.

“The government will misuse its powers for the party’s purpose if the code is not implemented immediately,” Mr Khurana told Mr Lyngdoh. Mr Khurana alleged the DPCC had “misused” its powers to convert the official function of the Government of NCT of Delhi into a political rally of INC president Sonia Gandhi.


HUDA vows to address all civic problems
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 29
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will ensure proper and immediate action on problems of civic amenities in various residential sectors and no complaint will go unattended.

This was the assurance provided by the new Administrator of the HUDA, Mr Prem Chand Verma, while interacting with the representatives of the Faridabad Societies Welfare Associations.

Mr Verma promised to get all the streetlights repaired within 15 days; similarly, sewerage connection would be provided to buildings of co-operative housing societies within 48 hours. Mr Verma also promised that the problem of water supply and waterlogging in Sector 21-C would be solved within a fortnight.

He declared that he would meet the representatives of residents association and societies on the first Friday of each month, to review the progress on various works and schemes. He would ensure that all complaints are addressed within a definite time period. The HUDA administrator has already announced his decision to hold open darbars.

Mr S. L. Bhatia, president of the FSWA, said that there were about 80 co-operative housing societies in the town. He told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the work of repairing the roads would start within 15 days. A proper system for garbage disposal would be provided in Sector 46, where a large number of multi-storeyed buildings were coming up, the HUDA Administrator declared.

The officials had also agreed to hand over the maintenance work of the green belt in various sectors to the societies.

Slip between the cup and the lip

A heavy downpour, which lashed the town this afternoon, turned all roads in the residential and commercial areas into rivulets. The water receded after two hours in many areas.

The traffic nearly came to a halt on a majority of downtown roads, except the main Mathura Road, at about 2 pm today. The rain, which started at about 1.30 pm, ceased at around 3 pm. By this time, all roads and open spaces in a majority of sectors and parts of the NIT area and Ballabgarh were flooded in three to four feet of water.

Dozens of cars and two-wheelers were marooned in the sea of water. “Normal life was badly affected for sometime due to the downpour,” said a resident of Sector 9 here. According to Dr Tarun, who practises in the market at the Sectors 7-10 crossing, the main road was flooded and water entered some of the shops and houses in the area. Students and teachers returning from schools had to wade through water. Lawyers and their clients also had to brave the accumulated water which had flooded the court premises from all sides.

The town, with a population of about 14 lakh, faces the problem of flooding in a majority of residential areas due to the poor upkeep of the drainage system.


HC orders filing of murder case against SSP
Our Correspondent

Meerut, August 29
The Allahabad High Court has directed the Director of CBI to register a case of murder against the Senior Superintendent of Police, Meerut, Mr Mukul Goel, and a Sub Inspector of the Lisari police station and two others under the same police station. The high court was disposing of a writ petition (No. 1532 of 2003, Abdul Karim versus State of UP and others) in a custodial death case.

A Division Bench comprising Justice R. K. Dash and Mr Justice V. S. Bajpai also passed strictures against the UP Police and the SSP, Meerut. In the opinion of the high court, SSP of Meerut Mukul Goel does not deserve to occupy such a high post in crime-prone districts. According to the police story, one Abdul Rahim alias Kamman was allegedly killed in an encounter by the police on December 9, 2002, in broad daylight at Lisari Road in a mango orchard. The family members of the deceased had alleged that the police first handcuffed the deceased and then shot him dead.

Court moved on CAS

New Delhi: The Cable Network Association today moved the Delhi High Court for directing the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to introduce Conditional Access System (CAS) in the NCT of Delhi on September 1 as is being done in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The Cable Network Association challenged the deferment of CAS in the NCT of Delhi, saying the cable operators had made huge investments to procure equipment (set-top boxes) needed for it. Also, the ministry had offered no genuine reason for deferring CAS in the NCT of Delhi.

The Cable Network Association, through counsel Jayant Bhushan and Inderjit Singh Alag, opposed the reported deferment of CAS in the NCT of Delhi till November in view of the Assembly elections. They said the only reason forwarded was a political one. A Division Bench posted the petition for September 5. TNS


Two killed by lightning

Sonepat: Two labourers of the Forest Department were killed and four others injured seriously when lightning struck them while they were engaged in planting the saplings at a place between Ahulana and Madina villages, about 50 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, the victims were identified as Sansar Singh (35) of Ahulana village and Sonu (20) of Kathura village. The injured included Pawan (33) of Ahulana village, Sube Singh (32) of Madina village and Satyavan (30) of Mundlana village. The injured persons were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger. Lightning struck when the labourers were trying to hide under a tree. OC


DPCC pooh-poohs Khurana’s claim on statehood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
“Madan Lal Khurana,” said Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Prem Singh, “should hold a sit-in in front of Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani’s house… Mr Advani is posing the biggest hurdle in the way of the NCT of Delhi becoming a State.”

The Delhi Pradesh BJP president had told mediapersons yesterday that the party would hold a sit-in to highlight the failures of the Government of NCT of Delhi and protest against the shortage of milk in large parts of the Capital.

The DPCC president chided Mr Khurana by saying Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani was not in favour of delegating more powers to the elected Government of NCT of Delhi and that he (Mr Khurana) should protest against that.

Mr Advani, he said, wanted to “remote-control” the NCT of Delhi. “Mr Khurana should take up cudgels to get full statehood instead of resorting to political stunts like holding a sit-in to protest against the shortage of milk.”

Accusing Mr Khurana of spreading falsehood, Mr Singh said the Government of NCT of Delhi had taken steps to ensure that milk and milk products were available in plenty and that the situation was not as bad as it was made out to be by the BJP.

“If Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani is trying to mislead the people on the statehood issue, Mr Khurana is trying to deceive the people by claiming that full statehood was a reality. The reality is that the elected government has been stripped of whatever little powers it enjoyed.”

The DPCC president said Mr Khurana had been selling the dream of full statehood but had made an about-turn after it became evident the Delhi State Bill 2003 did not give any more powers to the elected government than what it already enjoyed.

He also criticised the Delhi Pradesh BJP for hoodwinking the people on the Conditional Access System (CAS.) The BJP-led NDA Government, Mr Singh said, had only deferred the introduction of CAS in the Capital because of the impending Assembly elections.


Journalists told to concentrate on facts to 
maintain credibility
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 29
Emphasizing the importance of print media, the senior journalist and former editor of Dainik Tribune, Mr Vijay Sahgal, said that in the struggle for dominance between electronic and print media, the latter will ultimately emerge stronger. Printed words have their own importance and credibility, he said.

He was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on “Grassroot Journalism, Challenges and Concern”, on the death anniversary of journalist Satyapal Saini at the BCCI hall in Bahadurgarh on August 27. Mr Sahgal called upon the journalists to concentrate on facts to maintain the credibility of reports. Paying tribute to Satyapal Saini, he said that Satyapal Saini had made great contribution to grassroot journalism in Haryana.

In a different context, he expressed concern over the non-utilisation of funds released by UGC for diploma courses in Rural Journalism.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Arun Tripathi of Hindustan daily, said that the interests of the common man must be given priority by journalists. He said that it was necessary for journalists to have certain social commitments.

Mr Kulvir Chhakara of Hari Bhoomi also discussed about the challenges and problems of grass root journalism.

Mr R. Prabhu, a former president of National Union of Journalists expressed concern over the fact that more importance was being given to advertisements and hard news were being used as fillers. Pointing out that big newspapers were undermining the basic nuances of journalism, Mr Prabhu said that entertainment was being presented as news, which is very dangerous.

Speaking as the chief guest on the occasion, Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, Minister of State for Defence, said that journalism, as the fourth estate of democracy, has the vital function of putting check on the other three pillars.

Mr Baldev Bhai Sharma from Amar Ujala, Mr Virender Singh Chauhan, president of HUJ and Mr Anoop Ahlawat, district unit president, were among the other speakers at the seminar.


Stadium languishes due to official apathy
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 29
Jahanara Bag Stadium, the only ground for sports persons in this district headquarter, is left to languish due to the apathy of the district administration. The low-lying ground is submerged with water and the entire area is covered with about one feet grass.

The stadium, situated near the bus stand here, is filled with rainwater for last many days. A portion of the ground, which is dry, is used by the children for playing.

The district administration had drained out the rainwater for the Independence Day function, but is still unsuitable for sports activities. The hall of the indoor stadium is also in bed shape. The doors and the windows in the hall have been damaged and there is no power supply.

When contacted, the sports department officials said that there was an acute lack of funds for carrying out repair and renovation work in the stadium.


Sheep development project sanctioned for Bhiwani
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, August 29
Six sheep development projects have been sanctioned for Haryana by the Central Wool Development Board, Jodhpur. Stating this here today, a spokesman of Haryana Animal Husbandry Department said that sheep and wool development work had been taken up at Bhiwani, Bhodia Khera, Hisar, Sirsa, Jhajjar and Mahendragarh districts.

The spokesman He said that the project would undertake selective breeding, healthcare, marketing of wool and impart training to the sheep breeders. The Central Wool Development Board had already released Rs 64.80 lakh out of the Rs 1.71 crore sanctioned for the implementation of these projects.

He said that high quality fodder seeds were being produced at the Fodder Seed Farm, Hisar, so as to give a boost to the production of fodder in the state. As much as 242.02 metric tonnes of quality fodder seeds were produced and distributed among the farmers at subsidised rates during the year 2002-2003.

He said that a production target of 300 metric tonnes of quality fodder seed had been fixed for the current financial year, and about 283 metric tonnes of fodder seed had been produced till date for distribution among the farmers.

Presently, the state had a livestock population of 110.58 lakh, which were being catered by 2,421 veterinary institutions. In effect, every three village on an average had the facility of a veterinary institution. In comparison with the national average of 213 grams of milk per capita per day, Haryana had 646 grams of milk per capita per day, which was second highest in the country, he said.


Record rainfall augurs well for a bumper kharif crop
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 29
The farmers of the region hope to benefit from the heavy rainfall recorded during the present monsoon season. The rain has brightened the prospects of a bumper kharif crop in the region.

The rainfall recorded in the district during the months of July and August has been three times the amount of rain received during the entire monsoon season last year.

The rainfall has been timely and farmers and agriculture scientists regard it as beneficial for a bumper kharif crop this season.

According to reports, except for last year when the total average rainfall in the four segments-Sonepat, Gohana, Ganaur and

Kharkauda-was just 450 mm, the average total rainfall in other years has been ranging between 700mm and 750mm.

However, the total average rainfall recorded during the first two months of this monsoon season has crossed 1400mm.

The Sonepat segment has recorded the highest rainfall of 344mm during the month of July, whereas Gohana recorded the lowest of 204mm, with 271mm in Kharkhauda and 278mm in Ganuar region during the month.

The heaviest rainfall of 120mm was recorded on a single day in Kharkhauda region on July 2 and it was followed by 97mm and 98mm on July 11 and July 21 respectively in Sonepat region, 74mm on July 21 in Ganaur region and 65mm on July 11 in Gohana segment.

The rainfall recorded during the month of August has been 111mm in Sonepat, 119mm in Kharkhauda, 59mm in Ganaur and 30mm in Gohana.

The total rainfall recorded in the region is as follows: 456mm in Sonepat, 390 mm in Kharkhoda, 337mm in Ganaur and 234 mm in Gohana region.

The timely rainfall has increased the area under paddy plantation from 44,000 hectares last year to approximately 63,000 hectares this year. It has even surpassed the Agriculture Department’s target of 62,000 hectares.

Moreover, the sowing of green fodder crop-jowar-has been completed in 24,000 hectares against the target of 16,000 hectares.

Besides, with sufficient rainfall this season, the farmers are expecting good sugarcane crop this year, particularly after the increase in cultivation by nearly 4000 hectares.


Rohtak scribes rally for action against cops
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 29
The journalists of the district have threatened to intensify their agitation by taking it to the other parts of the state if their demands are not accepted by the authorities.

A decision to this effect was taken at a massive demonstration staged by the scribes at mini secretariat here this afternoon. The journalists have been demanding suspension and registration of case against the erring police officials who beat up two scribes during the election to the office-bearers of Maharshi Dayanand University Non-teaching Employees Association on August 20.

A number of leaders of political as well as apolitical organisations and prominent people of the town demonstrated and condemned the police ‘atrocities’ against the journalistic community.

They urged the authorities to arrest the culprits and register cases under appropriate sections against them failing which, they warned that their parties would launch a statewide agitation.

Addressing the demonstrators, Ms Shailja, spokesperson and secretary, All India Congress Committee, criticised the police action and termed it as an assault on the freedom of press.

Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, Dr Raghbir Singh Kadian and Mr Sri Kishan Hooda, former ministers alleged that there had been repeated attacks on the newsmen during the past few years and no concrete action taken by the authorities.

Capt Shamsher Singh Malik, state president, Lok Janshakti Party expressed concern over such incidents and alleged that it was a planned move of the government to crush the voice of the press. He expressed surprise as to why no action was taken against the erring cops who misused their power against the journalists without reason.

Ms Saroj Kaur Saini, state president, women cell, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) demanded immediate registration of cases against the erring police officials. Mr Inderjit Singh, state secretary, CPI (M) described the incident as shameful.

Mr Sheeshpal Beniwal, state president, Samta Party; Mr Pradeep Jain, secretary and spokesman, Haryana unit of Bhartiya Janta Party; Mr Manish Grover, district president, BJP; Mr Kultaz Singh, general secretary, youth wing of Haryana Vikas Party, leaders of Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh, Sarv Karamchari Sangh and Maharshi Dayanand University Non-teaching Employees Association criticised the incident and sought strict action against those responsible for the assault.


First Prakash Utsav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
First Prakash Utsav of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, “The Living Guru of Sikhism, a Unique Secular Holy Granth”, that guides, protects and enlightens the entire mankind of the world, is being celebrated with great religious fervour, under the management of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee on Monday, September 1, 2003 at Gurdwara Moti Bagh Sahib, Dhaula Kuan, Ring Road here.

A number of devotees are expected to offer prayers throughout the day. The programme will start early morning with the recitation of Sukhmani Sahib and Nitnem. Asa Di Vaar and Shabad-Kirtan will be performed by famous Ragi Jatha of Bhai Manohar Singh Joginder Singh.

Bhai Sahib Giani Gurbax Singh Ji will deliver Gur-Shabad Vichar. Thereafter, a number of famous Ragi Jathas will continue Shabad-Kirtan. Renowned lecturers shall deliver lectures, giving philosophy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which conveys the message of unity, democracy, secularism, national integration and above all religious tolerance.

Guru Ka Langar (Free Community Kitchen) will be served to all irrespective of caste, colour and creed.



Residents threaten direct action as power
crisis persists
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 29
There has been no let up in the unscheduled loadshedding enforced by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam in this city and its suburbs. It has adversely affected the normal life of the people, as well as the business activities in the region.

The drinking water supply system was the worst hit and the residents are facing an acute water shortage, as taps have remained dry. The entire city and its suburbs remained in darkness for about two hours last evening. The situation in the rural area was reported to be worse. Many residents alleged that they were receiving only three to four hour of power supply everyday, and often, they have to spend the entire night in darkness.

Representatives of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations and trade unions today urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to order a high-level probe into the public complaints about the erratic power supply and unscheduled loadshedding. They have demanded action against erring officials.

They have also threatened to launch an agitation if the power supply was not improved immediately. They have also warned that the residents would also gherao the officials of the UHBVN if they failed to ensure regular power supply to them.



Festival at Mehrauli Jain mandir
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 29
The annual festival of Jain Mandir Dadabari at Mehrauli in New Delhi will be held from September 2-3. The well-known playback singer, Ms Anuradha Paudwal, will participate in the jagran to be organised on the occasion.

According to Mr Mahender Kumar Bhansali, president and manager of the mandir trust, a fair would also be held to mark the 863rd birthday of Manidhari Dada Shri Jinchandra Suri, known as Dadebari in the Jain samaj. He said thousands of devotees from various states especially from the NCR region were expected to take part in the two-day festival. He said ‘shobhayatra’, bhajans and jagran would be organised on the occasion. He said the programme would start with the lighting of lamp by the Delhi Mayor, Mr Ashok Jain. Besides him, he said, Mr Narender Bhanwar Lalji Nahta, a minister from Madhya Pradesh, and Mr Sunder Lal

Patwa, a former Union Minister will also be participating in the function. He said although it was a religious function of the Jains, anyone believing in the greatness of God, was welcome to participate in the festival.


Campaign against trade tax evaders launched
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 29
The trade tax department is launching a campaign against the traders for evasion of trade tax in G B Nagar district, especially against those who are running their establishments from residential and other unauthorised premises.

For 2003-04, a target of collecting Rs 559 crore revenue has been fixed. During April to July, the department, through trade tax, had already collected Rs 130 revenue, said Joint Trade Tax Commissioner B. D. Agarwal.

A campaign will be launched against all those violating the provision of the Trade Tax Act.

According to the Joint Trade Tax Commissioner, during 2002-03, the department had fixed a target of Rs 462 trade tax to be collected. The department had collected Rs 473 crore as trade tax against the target for the same period last year. The trade tax officials point out that all neighbouring states collect a significant amount of trade tax, which is ploughed into developmental work by the state governments.


Three booked for dowry death
Our Correspondents

Rabupura (Noida), August 29
Three persons, including the father-in-law of a woman, were arrested by the Rabupura police. The woman had been hanged and her body was then torched, three months ago. Her body was later disposed of. She was killed for not bringing adequate dowry.

According to the in-charge of Rabupura police station, Mr Kamal Singh Yadav, Raj Kumar, resident of Javer, had filed a report on May 24, that his daughter, Manju, alias Rajani, was married in village Mirzapur. She was killed by hanging on May 19 and then burnt. Later, her body was disposed of.

Having registered a case under Section 306 and 201, the report had named the husband Promode Kumar, the deceased’s in-laws—Jamuna Prasad, Parmanand, Vinode, Rajbir and Dharampal..

Woman seeks action against daughter’s molesters

Sonepat: A woman of Bari village has lodged a complaint with the subdivisional magistrate, Gannaur demanding action against two persons of the same village allegedly involved in molesting her daughter, causing physical injuries and then threatening her with dire consequences if she reported the matter to the police. In her complaint, Sunita has stated that she is earning her livelihood by working as a labourer. A few days back as she was taking rest after coming from the fields, two persons, Ashok and Suresh, entered her house and started molesting her daughter.

Man writes to NHRC, HC

Faridabad: A resident of a village of Ballabgarh sub-division has written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Punjab and Haryana High Court, demanding action against some policemen for harassing and beating him up in illegal custody recently. The applicant identified as Yusuf of Kunjaripur village, in his complaint sent to the NHRC and High Court, alleged that the Chowki (police post) in-charge of Sihsrona had picked him up recently from his village without any reason and thrashed him up while keeping in a lock-up. TNS

Gang of pickpockets busted

New Delhi: The Crime Branch sleuths have arrested a group of five pickpockets operating in the buses plying in South-West district.

Based on a tip-off that some pickpockets would be assembling near the Dhaula Kuan bus stand, the sleuths nabbed Farukh (42), resident of Banger, Guddu Gulzar (21), resident of Gandhi Nagar, Rau, resident of Shastri Nagar, Rakesh (19), resident of Gandhi Nagar and Ravi Sharma (37).


English books ‘unavailable’ in MCD schools
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
The Leader of Opposition in the Corporation, Mr Subhash Arya, alleged that English books were not provided to the students of MCD schools so far though half of the education session was over.

The corporation was short of books and it had to purchase from the NCERT, but order had not been placed so far. The Mayor ordered an inquiry to know the reason for the delay to purchase books. Around 9.5 lakh students are enrolled in the MCD schools and the Education department had to purchase 9.13 lakh books at a cost of Rs 3.87 lakh. The education department is playing with the future of poor students. The corporation introduced the teaching of English in the MCD schools three years back to help the poor children keep pace with those of convent schools. But, the Congress-led corporation is not serious about the future of the poor students, Mr Arya alleged.

The Mayor, Mr Ashok Kumar, said that he ordered for inquiry to know the reason in delay to purchase the books. If any official is found guilty he will be punished.

Public help sought to identify boy’s kin

The Delhi Police have sought help of the public to identify the relatives of a four-year-old boy whose mother, 30, died in a rail accident at Bankner Village near Narela on August 26. The son of the woman has been admitted to Maharshi Balmiki Hospital at Poothkhurd.

Punjabi Vikas Manch

A meeting of Kendra Punjabi Vikas Manch was held here under its president Navtej Singh Tarsiba. In a joint statement by Tarsiba and the Manch’s general secretary S. Baldev Singh, Singh has flayed Pakistan for sponsoring terrorist activities like the one in Mumbai.


The North Delhi Power Limited has announced load-shedding on Saturday in Model Town I - block A, B and F from 10 am to 1 pm due to maintenance work.


Drunk patwari gives doctor the slip
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 29
Quite a stir was caused when a patwari under the influence of liquor, managed to escape before he was to be examined by a doctor in the civil hospital here last evening.

According to a report, the patwari was distributing the old age pension in Nahri village and was found under the influence of liquor. The patwari allegedly misbehaved with many people and the sarpanch and a panch of the village informed the Deputy Commissioner about him. Thereupon, Mr Satish Kumar, tehsildar and Mr Jagdish, a girdawar were sent to the village. They brought the patwari to the civil hospital for a medical examination.

The incident has caused resentment among the villagers and they have demanded the arrest of the patwari.

Rickshaw pullers protest

Hundreds of rickshaw pullers observed a complete hartal here yesterday to register their protest against the decision of the district and police administration for

producing their photographs and places of birth and other relevant information about their identity to the authorities of the Sonepat Municipal Council.

According to a report, carrying placards and raising slogans in support of their demands, they took out a procession and went to the residence of the Deputy Commissioner for submitting a memorandum listing the demand

of the rickshaw pullers. When they sat on a dharna, they were dispersed by the police by resorting to the cane charge.

Jeeps collide

At least six persons were injured when two maxi cab jeeps collided on Kakroi Road here last evening.

According to a report, the injured were immediately hospitalised and discharged after the first-aid. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

Petrol pumps raided

The officials of the food and Supplies Department, headed by Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, SDM, carried out surprise raids on the premises of five petrol pumps situated on the National Highway No 1 yesterday to check the records and weighing machines of these petrol pumps.


Applications invited for bravery award
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, August 29
The Child Welfare Council of India has invited applications from the children between six and 18 years for giving them the national bravery award by August 31. Giving this information here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Bhiwani said that the Child Welfare Council honoured children displaying exemplary courage every year.

He informed that a child awarded the first place was honoured with a gold medal and a cash prize along with a certificate. Similarly, other children were awarded bronze medal along with a cash prize and a certificate. Besides, these children were also presented with a memento which could be treasured lifelong and become a source of inspiration for them.

He said that the eligible children could send their applications through the office of the District Child Welfare Council and the students selected would also be provided with scholarship for their studies.

SC students to get loan

The Haryana Social Welfare Department has invited applications for providing interest-free loan to the students belonging to the scheduled castes for purchasing books and stationery till September 30.

Giving this information, the Deputy Commissioner, Bhiwani, informed that the department provided this loan to the students which was realised from them after the completion of their studies in easy installments.

He said that the students from 10+1 up to graduation were provided with Rs 800 per student per year.




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.

Principal Madhu Chandra in the write-up, ‘Forgive and Forget: Ensure Your Peace of Mind’ (NCR Tribune August 18), has rightly stated “Anger, resentment and unforgiveness breed diseases of soul as well as the body.”

In this connection, I wish to say that anger is one of the seven major negative emotions which need to be avoided. The other six are jealousy, fear, revenge, hatred, greed and unforgiveness.

In fact all these negative emotions are correlated. One gets angry when one is not ready to give in, feels threatened or thinks that he is being let down by others.

Anger is always associated with confusion and the real issue is always clouded, resulting in one’s getting angry due to wrong reasons.

Synonymous with red, leading to a distorted face, wild bloodshot eyes, choked words, stumbling feet, insults, curses, threats and absurd demands, anger hinders normal thinking process.

It has to be understood that getting angry at people or over some issue hinders our work and keeps us away from efficiency.

Somebody has aptly said – “Anger always begins with folly and ends with repentance.”

SUJATA SHARMA, Sector 15 A, Faridabad

CSE report on pesticides in colas

Referring to the news about pesticides in leading soft drink brands- Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

It is very strange that the results given by the CSE have been struck down by the government by testing in government labs. The results were given in public interest. Giving false reports would not do any benefit to CSE and I believe that the findings should have been enough to make the masses and the government aware of the truth.

Now getting the tests done in government laboratories too does not assure one about the reliability of the reports.

The same issue was raised by Mr Sharad Yadav about pesticides in mineral water some time back but later he too gave a clean chit to the mineral water manufacturing companies.

S. RAJINDER SODHI, Vishnu Garden, New Delhi

Poor conjunctivitis management

It was shocking to learn that thousands of people have become victims of conjunctions and fever in Dadri but there are no medicines available in the government hospital.

The patients have to rush to private hospitals which charge exorbitantly.

It is the duty of state government to provide essential medicines in the government run hospitals as those belonging to the weaker sections cannot afford going to private hospitals and purchasing medicines from the market, resulting in spreading of such diseases.


Need to curb copying in Haryana

Brigadier O P Chaudhary’s alleviation to the chairman of Haryana Board of School Education, Bhiwani, is heartening.

His suggestion that the services of the ex-servicemen should be availed to curb the menace of copying in examination is highly encouraging.

Copying in the examinations is common among the students but in the past few years the entire scenario in Haryana has only worsened. No concrete measure to control copying has been taken.

One measure, which was adopted in the 70s, was the replacement of examination centres from a parent village to the village in the vicinity.

It was implemented successfully but during those years, there were practical problems like transportation, bad roads. However, the same measure can be adopted effectively now.

Other practical measure is changing the sequence of questions in the question paper. Honest centre-superintendents, heads of schools and vigilance staff also play an important role in curbing the menace of copying. Moreover, strict penal measures against those who promote copying can also be adopted.

All these steps will enable the seasoned Chairman to guide and enlighten the campaign to prevent coping in Haryana.


No check on begging

The Delhi Government has put up boards on traffic signals that beggars should not be given alms.

However, despite the government’s ban, there continues unabated, unchecked increase in the number of beggars in the Capital.

There is virtually no public place or signal crossing that is free of beggars, making it tough for the public and commuters to avoid them. They also create confusion and at times since one mostly comes across them near traffic signals, accidents also become unavoidable.

It is sad to notice that children, even five-six year olds, with even younger toddlers clinging to them are begging.

However, it is not only the beggars who are to be blamed. It is equally the duty of the government, NGOs and social welfare organisations to help overcome this deep-rooted social stigma.

These organizations and government together should organise awareness programmes , tell them about the importance of education and also help them in getting some alternative occupation.

KRISHNA R. PATEL, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Proper packaging of medicines

Normally the medicines are packed in foils which are shiny making it difficult to read the name of the tablet. It is suggested that the medicines should be packed in non-shining, readable packs.

P S GUPTA, Sarvapriya Vihar, New Delhi

A beautiful bond

I strongly advocate the views endorsed in the article ‘There’s no life without a sister’ (NCR Tribune).

The relationship between a brother and a sister can hardly be described in words. On Raksha Bandhan, sisters express not only their love by tying raakhi, they pray for a long and happy life for their brothers. In a brother, a sister also sees someone who protects her always.

Brothers also get to learn a lot from their sisters. The sense of responsibility and sensitivity towards women is something they acquire out of their love for their sisters.

I personally feel that those who do not have sisters should develop sisterly feelings towards girls, particularly, towards the needy and the helpless and help them.

The pious relation can help creating a better social environment where crime against women has become very common.



Seller’s racket in cells busted, conmen held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
The North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of three persons who had been cheating Reliance Infocom of lakhs of rupees by selling its cellphones in black market by producing forged documents to the company.

The accused had obtained a large number of cellphones with the connivance of the marketing agents and sold them to undeserving customers. The customers, who had purchased these phones by fraudulent means, used to exceed the maximum limit by making local, STD and ISD calls and never paid for them.

The trio — Chander Shekar alias Shekar (20), resident of Dilshad Garden, Abhishek Sharma (26), resident of Ghaziabad, and Basant Damani (45), resident of Shakarpur — were arrested while their associate Rozi has absconded.

As many as 50 Reliance mobile phones, one computer monitor, one CPU, one keyboard, one printer and photocopies of fake documents of personal identification including driving licences, electricity bills and voters’ identity cards were seized from their possession.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) Praveer Ranjan said that the fraud came to light when the bills, sent to the prescribed addresses by the company, got no response.

The addresses were found to be fake. The company got in touch with the police and raised their suspicion about the involvement of a gang.

Accordingly, the police sent a decoy customer and struck a deal with Chander Shekhar who promised the former of one Reliance cellphone for Rs 1,000. This was when one Reliance phone cost Rs 501 in the Monsoon Hungama scheme. He told the decoy that he need not bother about the documents.

During interrogation, Shekar revealed that he used to get phones from one Abhishek, who worked as an agent with JK Trading Company.

When Abhishek was interrogated, he said that he would meet two of his associates, Rozi and Basabt Damani, who prepared forged documents including driving licences, voters’ identity cards, electricity bills, MTNL telephone bills and so on.

The fraud was a double loss for the company. First, one cheats the company by using the phone for two months without paying.

Later, the customers would approach some touts and get the Reliance CDMA phones converted into GSMA mode so that they can use the normal chip cards provided by Hutch, Airtel, Idea and others.

Mr Praveer Ranjan said that the police were in the process of collecting the other bills with the assistance of Reliance to ascertain the actual loss to the company.


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