Thursday, September 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


83 MPs owe MTNL Rs 2.2 crore
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to start the process of recovering dues from Members of Parliament (MPs) and political parties. Several former and sitting Members of Parliament and political parties owe crores of rupees to the two agencies.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice BC Patel and Justice AK Sikri noted that the elected representatives had used various facilities over and above the benefits granted to them.

“The authorities should not forget that the money belongs to the people and all citizens are to be treated equally,” the judges said. The chairman of ITDC, general manager of MTNL and chairman of NDMC were told to report to the court within two months about the action taken by them in this regard.

Earlier today, the MTNL informed the Court that Rs 9.47 crore was due from 617 ex-MPs and Rs 2.2 crore was due from 83 MPs while Rs 49.46 lakh was due from various political organisations, including about Rs 49 lakh from the Congress party and its affiliates. Only 111 cases had been settled through arbitration, it added. The NDMC said that Rs 5.25 crore was due from MPs and ex-MPs while Rs 50 lakh had been recovered. Only 11 MPs responded to the civic body’s offer to give 50 per cent discount on the surcharge of pending water and electricity bills, it added.

The ITDC said Rs 28 lakh was due from various political organisations, including about Rs 20 lakh from the Congress party and its affiliates; Rs 4.88 lakh was due from the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust and Rs 4.21 lakh from the Asian Junior Athletic Championship.

On September 1, the judges had directed the authorities to file the latest details of the dues accumulated by VIPs and political parties.


BJP hold over MC loosens as four councillors quit
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 10
With four BJP councillors of the Panipat Municipal Council (MC) resigning from the primary membership of the party and forming the Loktantrik Bharatiya Janata Party (LBJP), the MC chief, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, seems to be skating on thin ice.

According to sources, if a non-confidence motion is brought against Mr Bhatia and it is supported by the rebels, the BJP may find it difficult to win scrape through. After the resignation of the four corporators, the BJP has been left with only 7 councillors. Both the INLD and the Congress have 10 members each in 31-member House.

In fact, the four councillors — Mr Harish Sharma, Mr Shyam Sundar Kamal, Ms Sunita Khurana and Mr Amarjit Khurana — had heated exchanges with Mr Bhatia in his chamber yesterday and demanded his resignation. The councillors alleged that the party had been ignoring them for a long time and the developmental works in their respective wards had come to standstill.

Later, the corporators met the local party chief, Dr Manohar Lal Suneja, but the latter declined to accept their resignations. Dubbing the resignations as an act of “indiscipline,” Dr Suneja accused them of seeking publicity by orchestrating the “resignations drama.” If the councillors were serious about their resignations, they should have forwarded the letters to the Deputy Commissioner, Dr Suneja argued.

Coming down heavily on the local leadership, Mr Harish Sharma alleged that they had been getting a raw deal from the party. He alleged that the party did not support them when they tried to raise the issue of corruption in the district administration.

Demanding the resignation of Mr Bhatia, Mr Kamal said the MC chief had no right to stay in office if he could not allow even minor development works to be completed in the BJP councillors’ wards. He claimed that several other councillors and leaders would join them in their fight against the “injustice”. A rally of the LBJP will be held on Wednesday night to discuss the future course of action, he added.

Observers said the split was expected as factionalism was rampant in the party. It also reflected poorly on the organisational abilities of the leadership. With the split, the efforts of Mr Bhatia to carry all sections of the party with him have suffered a setback, it is felt.


HC ends turf war, gives nod to only one Ramlila
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
The Delhi High Court has ruled that the Shri Ramlila Committee be allowed to stage the annual nine-day Ramlila celebrations at the historic Ramlila Ground in Old Delhi and that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) abide by the report of its Standing Committee.

The report of the Standing Committee, submitted in the court today, said it was surprising that despite the Lav Kush Ram Lila not having procured the NOC from the police, the MCD was giving it permission to hold the festivities at Ramlila Ground and sharing the area with Shri Ramlila Committee.

It was not possible to hold two Ramlilas at the ground as there could be a clash between the two parties, especially when processions were carried, besides it being dangerous to public safety when effigies were burnt, the report said.

It was of the view that Lav Kush Ramlila should be asked to organise their fest somewhere else; it could be adjusted at Peti Market near Red Fort or near the IGI Indoor Stadium on the Ring Road or at Ajmal Khan Park in Karol Bagh.

Disposing of a plea by the Shri Ramlila Committee, seeking contempt of court action against MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta for allegedly disobeying a court order asking him to hand over possession of the ground to it, Justice Vikramajit Sen directed the civic body to abide by the report of its Standing Committee.

The Shri Ramlila Committee, which has been holding the fest at the same venue for the last 70 years, through its counsel Arun Maitri, claimed that under political influence, the MCD intended to allot only half of the said ground to it, even though it had the required NOC. It was alleged that this was done to oblige Lav Kush Ramlila, which till last year was being held at the Red Fort grounds and did not get the required permission this time.

The Lav Kush Ramlila and two other Ramlila Committees (Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee and Dharmik Lila Committee) could not obtain permission to organise their functions at the Red Fort Ground as the area was now under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which was trying to restore and recapture the past glory of the Red Fort.

There was a move to adjust the two Ramlilas on two side grounds of the Red Fort while shifting the Lav Kush Ramlila to Ramlila Ground and allot it half of the area, squeezing the space for Shri Ramlila Committee.


CM defends use of dual piping
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today defended the Delhi Jal Board’s decision to go in for dual piping to solve the problem of inadequate drinking water in the Capital and said it was the right step in conserving precious water sources. Inaugurating ‘5th Water Asia 2003’, a three-day International Conference and Exhibition on the Asian water industry here, she said in the dual piping system one pipe supplies drinking water while the other provides water for bathing and other domestic uses. This would help distribute drinking water to more people.

Ms. Dikshit said that ground water sources could be utilised for meeting non-drinking water needs. It was also important that waste water be recycled and used for horticultural purposes, she said.

The Chief Minister went on to say that the good monsoons this year had raised the ground water level in the region, but to overcome the vagaries of monsoons, water harvesting was a must for every building.

Delhi Jal Board Chief Executive Officer P K Tripathi said the water availability in Delhi at the macro level was ‘comfortable’ but there had been a decline in the per capita availability of water in view of the demographic changes, putting pressure on the supply system.

However, in the long run the water resources in the Delhi region would be low because the available supply would not be enough to take care of the growing needs of the population. The DJB was encouraging dual piping, so that the available ground water could be used for domestic consumption. Many colonies in Noida and Ghaziabad had adopted this system effectively and it was worth replicating in other areas also.

LG to sort out row over invites to MPs

The Lt. Governor of Delhi, Mr. Vijai Kapoor, assured the BJP councillors in the corporation that he would try to sort out the issue of inviting local MPs in corporation functions amicably. He told them that he would discuss the issue with the Mayor, Mr Ashok Jain, and Leader of the House, Mr Ram Babu Sharma. A delegation of the BJP councillors, led by Leader of Opposition, Mr Subhash Arya, met the Lt. Governor today and demanded that necessary instructions be issued, so that local MPs could be invited to corporation functions. Mr. Arya pointed out that this was the tradition of the corporation: local MPs were invited in every function. TNS


Spate of daylight robberies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
The city witnessed a spate of daylight robberies in the last 24 hours in Patel Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Samai Pur Badli and Malviya Nagar. In the first incident this morning, four unidentified persons entered a factory belonging to one Jai Kumar Bansal in Samai Pur Badli in North-West district and decamped with Rs 1 lakh.

In the second incident in Krishna Nagar in East district, three motorcycle-borne youths robbed one person of Rs 4.5 lakh after stabbing him in his leg. The victim, Vijai Pal Singh, a chit fund agent, was returning after withdrawing cash from a bank on Parwana Road.

In another incident, three persons robbed the employees of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur of Rs 10 lakh on the Naraina Road.

In the fourth incident, one Gaurav (22), resident of Vasant Kunj, was robbed of Rs 6 lakh by three persons in the Malviya Nagar area. The victim was travelling from PVR Anupam to Malviya Nagar in his Maruti van when three persons in a Tata Sumo intercepted him. The suspects stabbed the victim and escaped with the cash.

The Joint Commissioner of Police, in-charge of Crime, Traffic and Operations, held a meeting to take stock of the situation. All the Joint Commissioners in-charge of districts have been asked to form special teams and prepare a list of robbers and ruffians in their districts.


Plan to decongest Gurgaon comes cropper
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, September 10
The district administration’s proposal to decongest traffic on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road has failed.

As a part of this proposal, a two-km stretch from Sector 29 T junction till Sikanderpur Chowk was converted into one lane on September 8. However, following protests and traffic jams, the trial run was called off.

At week-ends commuters clog this road, on which three shopping malls, the DLF City Centre, the MGF Metropolitian and Sahara Mall are located.

Some residents were not happy with the one-way experiment as they had to take a detour of five to seven km to reach their destinations. Also, the heavy traffic was diverted to roads near residential complexes.

However, Mr Tarun Viz, Secretary of Heritage City Resident Welfare Association, feels that the administration should have been allowed to conduct the experiment to decongest the road.

“If the experiment succeeds, well and good. In any case, the flyover at the Sikenderpur crossing was being taken up on a war footing (The crossing is the main bottleneck on the road),” added Mr Viz.


Four Chinese nationals held with forged visas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Four Chinese nationals, including two women, were arrested by the Indira Gandhi International Airport police while they trying to board a Paris-bound Air France flight with forged visas.

The accused — Teng Hui (24), a student of University of Paris, Jing Wei Wei (31), Len Wen Zhong (33) and Chan Xue Kai (36) — all in garment business, were arrested after the Immigration staff detected irregularities in their visas before they boarded the Air-France flight to Paris.

The Chinese nationals had came to Delhi on September 6and stayed in Karol Bagh. They had offered the carrier, who has been also nabbed, $ 600 for their travel arrangements. A joint interrogation is being conducted by the Delhi Police and intelligence agencies with the help of an interpreter.

The police said that the immigration staff became suspicious when they examined the visas. As the accused had come to India on a tourist visa they were expected to reach Paris on a similar visa.


Khurana bid to scare Sheila with hint of CBI inquiry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana on Tuesday said he stood by the allegations made by him against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and that he was prepared to face any kind of proceedings.

He welcomed the defamation suit filed against him by Ms Dikshit and asserted that he had enough evidence of corruption against her. “I am prepared to face any kind of proceedings.... Similarly, I expect you to welcome an independent inquiry by the CBI,” Khurana stated in his reply, copies of which were made available to the media.

The chief minister had slapped a defamation suit against Khurana after he alleged in a news conference that the chief minister had received money from the private distributors of power to fund her party’s election campaign. Before filing a civil case against Khurana, she had served a legal notice on him.


Society devoted to spreading awareness about
ending cruelty to cows
Our Correspondent

Panipat, September 10
The ‘Gaushala Society of Panipat’, established in 1905, is perhaps one of the biggest social organisations engaged in the welfare of cows in the state. Approximately 1,550 cows are under its care presently at the five separate units, including those at village Sithana, Subzi Mandi area and village Binjhol.

The society is being run by a group of devoted people under the leadership of Mr Hari Om Tayal. The main motive of the society is to safeguard the cows from the clutches of butchers, who mercilessly kill them for their skin and meat.

The head sevadar of the two gaushalas on the G.T. Road, Prof. P.P. Singla, is engaged in this work in an honorary capacity after retirement as professor of History from Sanatan Dharam College, Panipat.

Prof. Singla said that Hindus consider the cow as their “mother” and feel obliged to save them from cruelty. Prof. Singla emphasised the need to “increase public awareness” in order to change the attitude of the people towards cows. He informed that he was running a “Gau Vigyan Kendra”, where “Panchgavya” medicines were prepared, which were popular in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

He said a number of the staff here had come to receive training so that they could open similar gaushalas and related activities in their respective areas.

Prof. Singla said that about 20 different types of medicines were being prepared from cow dung, urine and milk. “Ark of Goumutra” is very popular among the patients from Delhi and Punjab, who come here to collect these arks for their routine drinking, he said.

Explaining the effectiveness of the medicines prepared from cow urine, Prof. Singla said that “Goumutra Ark” could be used by patients suffering from ailments of liver, kidney, gastric disturbances of intestines, diabetics, heart, chronic diseases, swelling in the body and skin troubles without any side-effects.

In addition to “Goumutra”, the society was also involved in the making of tooth powder from cow dung, chandan soap without animal fat, diabetics tablets and medicines for constipation and asthma, Prof. Singla said.

He said the people were slowly becoming aware of the advantages of ending cruelty towards cows and were actively donating fodder, gur, bread, churi, salt etc., to the society for feeding the cows. He said about 1,500 donation boxes had been put up all over the town so that those wanting to make cash donation for the welfare of the cows could do so without any hassle.

A permanent veterinary doctor was engaged by the Gaushala Society in case of any emergency, apart from using the facilities available at the various government-run veterinary hospitals.

The president of the Gaushala Society, Mr Hari Om Tayal, said that their motto was to create awareness among the people, for which they spent about Rs 25, 000 daily on the various expenses of the five gaushalas.

About 50 attendants working at the five gaushalas have been provided residential accommodation so that uninterrupted attention could be paid to the cows.

He said 72 cows were rescued from Mewat, Nuh, Kabru and Nagina areas four years ago with the help of Acharya Baldev ji of Dhadoli. Plans were afoot to motivate schoolchildren by involving them in “Kar Sewa” to build new gaushalas, he said.

Apart from the grants received from the government, the society collected some money by selling milk, medicines prepared from cow wastes and property rent.

He confirmed that the work for the improvement of cow breed was operational at the Binjhol Gaushala under the “Gau Nasal Sudhar” programme.

He said the society had invested Rs 40 lakh so as to improve the breed of cows, and for that purpose, one local bull of Haryana and another of “Sahiwal breed” (now in Pakistan) had been brought here. However, he alleged that the “Gau Nasal Sudhar” programme did not fructify due to non-cooperative attitude of the veterinary doctors of the town and the Animal Husbandry Department of Haryana.


‘Arhtias’ asked to clear encroachments
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 10
The Sonepat Improvement Trust has sent notices to the ‘arhtias’ of local Subzimandi, asking them to vacate the verandahs in front of their shops within a week or face legal action on the issue.

According to a report, this action has created a panic among the arhtias and they are planning to challenge the notices in the court of law. There are at least 50 shops and the Improvement Trust had left the site of verandahs open.

But all the allottees of the shops had covered the sites of the verandahs without permission.

‘Sampuran Swachhta’ drive

The Haryana Government has selected at least 23 villages in the Rai Block of the district for constructing latrines under the ‘Sampuran Swachhta’ campaign during the current financial year.

Teachers caught napping

Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, SDM, conducted a surprise raid on the Government Primary School at Bari village about 15 km from here yesterday and found two women teachers sleeping during the duty hours. According to a report, the teachers were identified as Ms Shakuntala and Ms Dayawanti. The SDM snubbed them and recommended disciplinary action and cut in one-day salary to the Education Department.

Eye operation camp

As many as 235 patients, suffering from various eye diseased, were examined and treated by noted eye surgeons from Delhi at a free eye operation camp, organised by the Hindu Manch on the premises of the Arya Samaj Mandir in Sector 14 here.


Cong activists demand release of youth leader
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 10
The Haryana Youth Congress has threatened that its party activists would court arrest and launch a ‘jail bharo’ campaign all over the state if the National Youth Congress (NYC) president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, was not released by the police with in 48 hours.

Mr Karamvir Maina, vice-president, Haryana Youth Congress, said Mr Surjewala was arrested by the police at ‘Matka Chowk’ in Chandigarh while he was going to gherao the Haryana Assembly along with the YC activists on Tuesday.

He criticised the arrest and alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had been trying to crush the voice of people in an undemocratic manner.

The YC leader said it was the fundamental right of every citizen to stage a demonstration in support of his demands, and he alleged, the state government had been violating this fundamental right of the citizens by arresting them. He appealed to the government to immediately release the NYC president.


White paper sought on number of gurdwaras

New Delhi: In a meeting held at Tilak Nagar here, Bibi Palwinder Kaur, president, Punjabi Sikh Sangat, demanded that a white paper be issued on the number of gurdwaras in the country.

She expressed concern that all the gurudwaras are not covered under the Sikh Gurdwara Act. Several Singh Sabha officials are engaged in corrupt practices. Only people following the principles and traditions of Sikhs should be allowed to head these Singh Sabhas and all the gurudwaras of country be brought under the Sikh Gurdwara Act. She urged the Chief Minister that all the private and government schools of Delhi should teach Punjabi as an optional subject. TNS


Bhagidari close to CM’s heart
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Clean air, traffic decongestion on account of more flyovers, privatisation of Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) are some of the achievements that Mrs Sheila Dikshit is proud of, but it is the Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) Programme, launched four years ago, that the Chief Minister cherishes.

Bhagidari has become the byword for the Government of NCT of Delhi in all the departments. So much so that it has earned worldwide acclaim. At home, the Union Government is toying with the idea of introducing Bhagidari in all the states.

Bhagidari was introduced in 1999 to act as an interface between the administration and people. Starting with a few resident welfare associations (RWAs), the programme has grown manifold to reach several hundreds of RWAs in four years.

Top rankers’ excellence award

Top rankers, Delhi with the support from the International Institute for Special Education, Lucknow are going to organise the IISE–Top ranker excellence award function for the year 2002–3 on September 16 in Delhi.

According to the Programme Director of Top rankers, Mr V.S. K. Sood, awards will be given to the senior professionals in the field of HR, marketing and finance for their contribution to their respective fields. A two-day national workshop ‘Architecting Business Excellence’ will also be organised on the occasion.

The workshop will be inaugurated by the CMD of Indian Air Lines and MD of Air-India Mr Sunil Arora. The keynote address will be delivered by the MD of Dalmia Consumer Care, Mr Sudarshan Banerjee.

Woman poisoned to death

Jhajjar: Poonam, a newly married woman was reportedly poisoned to death in Dubaldhan village of the district by his in-laws for dowry on Monday.

According to the police, Sunil, resident of Prahaladpur village in Delhi complained that his sister was married off to Ombir, son of Ramphal in March this year.

He alleged that the husband and in-laws of Poonam started harassing her for dowry, saying that she had brought inadequate dowry at the time of marriage.

The brother alleged that they threw his sister out of the house and told her to bring Rs 1 lakh and a buffalo. But her parents expressed their inability to do so. On August 26, she was administered poisonous pill and killed.

The police registered a dowry death case against husband, his mother, father and sister-in-law, and started the investigation.

Held for driver’s murder

Noida: One of the three criminals, allegedly involved in the murder of a driver Dinesh, was arrested by the Vijay Nagar police yesterday.

Dinesh’s body, who had been missing for about a week, was found from Muradnagar jungles yesterday. Somebody had slit his throat.

Son of Raghubeer Singh of Bihar Pura Colony, Vijay Nagar, Dinesh had been employed as a driver by his neighbour Pawan Kumar.

On September 5, he had gone to get petrol for the Maruti car of his neighbour where he was reportedly met by his acquaintance Nanak who took him to Muradnagar, promising a payment of Rs 500.

On the way, Nanak invited two of his friends into the car. Later, the trio had allegedly killed Dinesh and threw his body in Mandoli jungles. Muradnagar police had found a body yesterday evening, which was identified as that of Dinesh. His father had already lodged a missing report with the police.


Cases of robbery, extortion solved; two held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
With the arrest of two persons belonging to the Lokesh alias Dimple Tyagi gang, the North-West district police today claimed to have solved two sensational daylight robberies at Shalimar Bagh and Prashant Vihar in which the gangsters took away Rs 10 lakh after intimidating the traders. One US-made pistol along with six cartridges was recovered from Dimple Tyagi.

The gang was involved in at least six cases of robbery, dacoity and extortion, both in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The robbers had created a terror among the traders.

They fired at their houses and cars, asking them to give protection money.

The accused Dimple alias Lokesh Tyagi (26), resident of Meerut and Vikas Yadav (24), resident of Meerut were arrested a hideout in Ghukana, Ghaziabad.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) Sanjay Singh said that based on the modus operandi used by the accused, the police zeroed in on the Lokesh alias Dimple Tyagi gang.

The cops also received information on September 1 that the accused used to frequent a house near Parvati Dharamshala, Gukana, Ghaziabad and mounted surveillance near the hideout. Finally, the police spotted both the accused and nabbed them.

During interrogation, the accused confessed to their crimes in Shalimar Bagh and Prashant Vihar and also in other places.

The police have identified a few of their accomplices and efforts were on to nab them.

The accused had their gang members in the North-West district who used to pass information about the rich traders. The desperate gangsters created panic among the traders, said Singh.



Woman strangled for dowry
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, September 10
A married woman in Kalaunda village under Jaroha police station, has been strangled by her in-laws for not bringing Rs 1 lakh as additional dowry.

Her body was cremated hastily to destroy the evidence. A case has been filed naming her husband and four members of her in-laws.

Sansveer of Mohini village in Eta district had married his daughter Rani (23) four years ago with Harinder of Kalaunda village, the police said.

The in-laws had been asking for Rs 1 lakh as dowry. She had been ill-treated and often threatened to be thrown out of the house if she failed to bring the money.

The hapless woman was quietly strangled one day and her body was secretly cremated. But somebody had informed Rani’s parents of her death.

A complaint was then lodged, naming her husband Harinder, father-in-law Sher Singh, mother-in-law Phuli Devi, brother-in-law Pardip and sister-in-law Reena. Police are looking for the accused.

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