Saturday, September 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Shooting in courtroom, judge has close shave
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, September 12
An Additional District Judge had a narrow escape today when a person present in the courtroom fired at one of the undertrials in a murder case. The assailant fired five rounds at the person in the witness box, of which two went off the tangent; the bullets were later found embedded in the wall behind the judge’s chair. The judge, Mr Kuldeep Jain, had the presence of mind to duck when the shooting began. The reader, Mr Vinod Bansal, also had a narrow escape.

However, a police constable, who rushed to the aid of the judge, was hit in the hand. Later, the Naib Court, Satbir Singh Malik, and Havildar Dayanad caught hold of the assailant, snatched the revolver and gave him a sound thrashing. The assailant has suffered a head injury, for which he has been hospitalised.

According to reports, three undertrials in a murder case were produced in the court of the Additional District Judge at about 10.35 am. It is learnt that at the time of the shooting only the Judge and the Reader were present in the court. When one of the undertrials, identified as Raj Kumar, proceeded towards the witness box, the assailant fired at him. However, the undertrial ran towards the judge’s chamber and hid inside the bathroom. The assailant was later identified as Sandeep, son of Mahender, a resident of Bamla village of this district.

It is learnt that Sandeep’s brother Sunil was murdered in Bamla village recently. Raj Kumar and two others are reportedly facing trial in the murder case. Sandeep fired at Raj Kumar, thinking that he was the killer of his brother.

Following the incident, the Bhiwani Bar Association Bhiwani suspended work a day and sought additional security in and around the court complex.

Murder accused shot dead in court complex

Noida: Three unidentified assailants today gunned down Surender Bhati, a notorious bad character, in a crowded court complex here; Bhati was scheduled to appear in a murder case in which he was one of the accused.

The gunning down of Bhati caused a flutter in the court complex, which was teeming with litigants, lawyers and court officials in the morning. All the three assailants managed to escape.

The police said that a case had been registered and efforts were being made to trace the suspects who were described as young and ordinarily dressed. Their description has been flashed to all the police stations and border check posts have been alerted.

According to the police, Bhati had come to the court to appear in a murder case in which he was one of the accused. He had come straight from his house. Since there was still some time for him to appear, he was sitting at a food kiosk in the backyard of the court complex, when the three armed men shot at him from point blank range.

Bhati, out on bail, had been allegedly involved in over a dozen cases of murder and dacoity; he died on the spot. “We are investigating the case, but prima facie it appears to be a case of rivalry and revenge,” Superintendent of Police (City) Vijay Bhushan said.

Additional police personnel were being deployed at the court complex as a precautionary measure.



HC orders release of Uphaar to Ansals within one month
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12
The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the release of Uphaar Cinema to the Ansals within one month of the conclusion of defence evidence in the criminal case pending trial at Patiala House.

Justice Kapoor gave the direction on Ansal brothers’ plea for releasing Uphaar Cinema, where 59 people were killed in a fire during the screening of Hindi film ‘Border’ in June 1997.

However, Justice Kapoor said if the trial court wanted to inspect Uphaar “for the purpose of properly appreciating the evidence”, it shall do it within the said one-month period. Justice Kapoor also directed the trial court that in case it decided to inspect Uphaar, it “shall prepare a memorandum of relevant facts observed at such inspection” and give copies of the same to the prosecution, victims’ association and the accused persons free of cost.

The Uphaar Cinema shall be released to its owners, Ansals, “after the aforesaid one-month period,” the court said.

Justice Kapoor clarified that the directions were issued “to avoid any prejudice of any kind to any of the parties as to the result of the trial on account of the release of the premises”.

Earlier, the court had reserved its order on August 5 after hearing senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and KTS Tulsi, representing the Ansal brothers and the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), respectively.

Ansal brothers had challenged a trial court order rejecting their application for Uphaar’s release. The Ansals, who have been ordered to shell out Rs 12 crore as compensation to the fire victims by a Special Bench, want to dispose of Uphaar in order to meet their liability arising out of the April 24 order.

Tulsi had contended that the cinema being the most important evidence in the criminal case relating to the fire tragedy, it should be preserved for the trial court to inspect at “an appropriate stage”.

Maintaining that it was the discretion of the trial court to decide at what stage it would like to inspect the site of occurrence, he had argued “it would be better if the inspection is done at the end of the recording of the evidence”.

On the other hand, Jethmalani had argued that inspection, if any, has to take place at the beginning of the trial and the building could not be kept sealed for long. The court could order video recording of Uphaar and the same could be used by it to appreciate evidence, he had suggested.

The CBI had adopted Tulsi’s arguments as an Additional Solicitor General, who had to argue the matter, failed to appear before the court despite several adjournments.



CM in a hurry to inaugurate yet-to-constructed hospital
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12
The senior bureaucrats of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi are in a tizzy as the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has expressed her desire to inaugurate a polyclinic in Ramesh Nagar here tomorrow.

The reason for the consternation is that there is no hospital as such. Only the structure of the hospital building has been constructed so far. The corporation is yet to move even a proposal to appoint its staff, including doctors, and procure other infrastructure required for a hospital.

When the scheduled inauguration of the hospital came to the notice of the Director Health Services, MCD, Dr K.N. Tiwari, he immediately wrote a letter to the Additional Commissioner, Health, in the corporation, expressing concern over the matter and giving the exact status of the building. He wrote that approval was not given by the Health Department to inaugurate the polyclinic in Ramesh Nagar and the M. and C.W. Centre in Seelampur as the buildings were yet to be completed and staff had not been recruited. If the approval for inauguration of the building was given by the engineering department, then health department has nothing to do with this. In future, protocol should be maintained and such functions should be organised with prior approval, he advised the Additional Commissioner, Health.

A senior officer said that the health department was already short of staff. If new hospitals are inaugurated without staff being recruited, the health services would be in a shambles.

The sources said that the building was being inaugurated in a hurry as the Assembly election dates are likely to be announced in the last week of September. Once the election date is announced, the chief minister cannot inaugurate any such building without violating the election code of conduct.



IG’s kin sends cops on wild goose chase
Feigns stabbing, robbery to keep Rs 6 lakh booty
Tribune News Service

The police personnel of South District display the Rs 5.50 lakh booty which was recovered from the accomplice of Gaurav Sharma who feigned
The police personnel of South District display the Rs 5.50 lakh booty which was recovered from the accomplice of Gaurav Sharma who feigned the incident of stabbing and robbery at Mehrauli-Badarpur Road at a press conference in the Capital on Friday.—  Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, September 12
The South district police today claimed to have solved a robbery-cum-stabbing case on September 10 in which one person had complained to the police that he was waylaid, stabbed and robbed of Rs six lakh by a group of men travelling in a Tata Sumo. It was alleged that the occupants of Tata Sumo had thrown chilli power in his eyes on the Mehrauli-Badarpur road.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vivek Gogia, the victim had sent the police on a wild goose chase. He had faked the robbery along with his friend, Dharmender Sharma, so that he could keep the money, which belonged to Gaurav Exim Pvt Ltd, a family enterprise where both of them worked. Incidentally, Gaurav Sharma is a nephew of Haryana’s Inspector General of Police Harish Kumar.

The police recovered Rs. 5.50 lakh from Dharmender’s house after Gaurav confessed to the crime.

No arrests have been made so far and the police intend to move the court against the two under section 182 of the Indian Penal Code for misleading them.

On September 10, Gaurav, a resident of Vasant Kunj, called a PCR and informed that he had been stabbed and robbed. After driving the car in a zigzag fashion, he parked it near the Said-ul-Ajab park; he was seemingly unconscious when the PCR reached the spot.

He was immediately rushed to the AIIMS, but the nature of injuries did not match with his statement to the police.

Initially, Gaurav told the police that he had gone to PVR Anupam to meet his friends from Rohtak and he intended to go later to Connaught Place for depositing the money. Since his friends did not turn up, he decided to return. He was waylaid at this time, he told the police.

But, on September 11, when the police called him for questioning, he changed his version and said that he had gone to New Friends Colony for converting the cash into that of higher denomination.

On hearing conflicting versions from Gaurav, the police verified the facts at the bank and again called him for questioning. This time, Gaurav confessed that he had ‘stage-managed’ the robbery along with his associate. He told the police that he had given the money to Dharmender, who had applied chilli power on his eyelids. He disclosed that the firm was paying him Rs 5,000 and he wanted to start his own business. 



Panel begins search for Hisar varsity VC
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, September 12
The search committee constituted by the government to recommend names for the post of Vice Chancellor, Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar, has decided to invite applications for the post from academicians by September 15. The post fell vacant on Thursday, following the expiry of the three-year term of Dr R K Chauhan.

The committee includes Justice K.Ramaswamy, a retired judge of Supreme Court, a nominee of Haryana Governor and Chancellor of the University, Babu Parmanand, Mr M K Miglani, Vice Chancellor, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, and Mr Dharam Vir, Commissioner, Technical Education, Haryana, both nominees of the Executive Council of the university. The committee will hold its next meeting on September 18 in Delhi to shortlist the applicants.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary, Mr A N Mathur, has been given additional charge of Vice Chancellor of Guru Jambheshwar University till the appointment of a regular incumbent. He has reportedly sought department-wise details of all the decisions taken by the outgoing vice chancellor since August 10 till his retirement on September 11. The outgoing vice chancellor, Dr R K Chauhan, had allegedly promoted many employees, allotted houses out of turn and reinstated many suspendedemployees during the past one month. On the last day of his functioning as Vice Chancellor, Dr R K Chauhan had, it is said, appointed Director, Distance Education, also. All these appointments and promotions and reinstatements have been kept in abeyance by the officiating vice-chancellor, according to a circular sent to all departments today.



Voters’ lists to be read out in public meetings
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12
In a unique opportunity for citizens to directly participate in improving the electoral rolls, meetings will be organised where comments will be invited from the public regarding discrepancies in the voters’ list and objections sought for inclusion/deletion of names from the list immediately after completion of necessary formalities. The first such public meeting will be held on September 14. The Campaign for Electoral Transparency and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, in association with NGO Parivartan, is organising the meeting in Sundernagari area (N and O Blocks) in which the electoral rolls would be read out.

The move comes in the wake of the recent orders of Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh, which stipulated that electoral rolls henceforth would be read out in the meetings of Mohalla Sudhar Samitis, JJ / Slum Sudhar Samitis and the NGOs working in such colonies, residents welfare associations or any other forum available in the area and suitable for such an exercise. According to Parivartan spokesman Arvind Kejriwal, the order would help remove the kind of large-scale discrepancies, which were found in electoral rolls during a survey in Seemapuri. In certain polling booths names of eligible voters did not exist on the rolls or still existed long after they had died.

Inquiry into Nisha case

Noida: An inquiry has been initiated by the Sector-24 police against Ms Nisha Sharma, who had hogged media limelight for returning the groom, Munish Dalal, and the marriage party from her doorstep on May 11. After a report was lodged by Ms Sharma in Sector 24 police station, Munish Dalal and his mother were arrested. Munish was later sent to jail. On learning that Nisha was marrying another person, Munish had lodged a complaint with the Noida SSP on September 10, alleging that he was arrested in May under Section 198-a, which is applicable only after marriage has been solemnised and a couple has been declared husband and wife. Since Nisha Sharma was legally his wife, she could not get remarried, Munish contended. OC

CLARIFICATION: Dr. K. N. Tiwari, Director, Health Services, MCD, has clarified that the civic body had not challaned the premises of the Union Law and Commerce Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, in New Friends Colony for being a breeding ground for mosquito larvae as was reported in these columns on Friday.



Official apathy turns loose high-tension wires into death traps
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, September 12
Loose high-tension wires in residential areas are proving to be death traps for the residents in Jhajjar, Bahadurgarh and other areas of the district. According to information available, several mishaps have occurred in the district in the recent past due to electrocution. In some incidents, stray animals and cattle have been killed due to the sudden snapping of overhead wires in the villages.

Two persons were killed due to electrocution in Bahadurgarh town when they touched high-tension wires running close to their terrace. Such accidents have also taken place in Jhajjar town in the past. However, despite the enormous amount of danger faced by the people of the area, the authorities have done little except pass the buck or express their helplessness owing to staff and funds shortage.

It may be mentioned that the state government had announced that all such power cables would be shifted to alternative routes in its ‘Sarkar Apke Dwar’ programmes.

In Jhajjar town, several areas including Kila Colony, Model Town, Subhash Nagar, Kanwar Singh Colony, Rahnia Mohalla, Chhawani Mohalla and Shiv Colony have a web of exposed live wires. Citizens of these colonies said that they were forced to confine themselves to their ground floor due to these loose wires. Moreover, some of them could not even think of raising their constructions beyond the ground floor as live wires were hanging at touching distance from their houses.

They said that they had brought this dangerous situation to the notice of the district administration as well as the local MLA and had demanded that the overhead running wires be shifted. However, little has been done so far, they complained.

In Bahadurgarh town, particularly in the old residential areas like Model Town and main bazar, this problem is extremely serious. In the recent past, two persons were killed when they accidently touched live wires while standing on their terrace of their houses.

Unfortunately, similar situation persists in the rural areas also. The residents of Dujana village have complained to the administration regarding loose wires hanging precariously in the streets. However, the authorities concerned point out their limitation in this regard.

Mr B. S. Dahiya, Executive Engineer, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), said the Nigam was responsible for tightening the loose cables. But, he admitted, that this problem would take time, as the Nigam did not have adequate funds and staff to carry out such a major work immediately.

He said that the lines could be shifted only when alternative routes were available. Moreover, the affected families, who want the loose wires removed from near their houses, would have to bear all the expenses incurred in the shifting process, he said.

He said the estimate amount should be submitted in advance to the department by the people concerned.

On the other hand, another HBVN official in Bahadurgarh blamed the people for inviting such danger by constructing their houses close to such high-tension power cables. 



State govt’s contribution is little, alleges BJP leader
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, September 12
The state mahamantri of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Kailash Chand Sharma, alleged that the funds being used by the state INLD government in ‘sarkar apke dwar’ are actually released by the Central Government under various welfare projects and the state government’s share of contribution is little.

The BJP leader said that his party would expose this fact to the people during the party’s public awareness programme being launched throughout the state from September 25.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Mr Sharma criticised the state government of the issues of affiliation of colleges, fee hike in higher education and loan recovery from farmers. He said that his party supported the protests of the students and farmers and opposed the arrest and slapping of cases against the farmers and students.

He alleged that the region of South Haryana is being neglected under a political conspiracy. The people of the area are the victims of political exploitation, which is a blur in the name of democracy.

“About 80 per cent of the total Haryana budget is spent on non-plan expenditure in paying salaries etc. Then how can Mr Chautala spent money on such scale without the help of the Centre,” argued the BJP leader.

Talking about organisational structure of the party, he said that the BJP is organising its lowest unit on booth level to strengthen the party at grassroots level. There are 692 booths in Jhajjar, on which units are being created. There would be a power centre at every fifth booth, he informed. And their target is to enrol 10 per cent of total voters of a booth as members and to get 40 per cent of total votes at every booth in elections, he added.

Mr Sharma said that it was the decision of the NDA government to spent 60 per cent of total development funds in village. He told that the centre initiated crops insurance scheme, but Mr Chautala did not included wheat and paddy in this scheme.



Even drizzle can turn life topsy-turvy in Panipat
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 12
A minor rainfall is enough to throw life out of gear in the industrial city as was evident here today.
The much-awaited moderate rain early in the morning proved to be a nightmarish experience for the residents. While the lower areas of the city were flooded, long traffic jams on the Assandh overbridge, GT Road and service lanes along the GT Road affected the normal life.

The educational institutions, shopping centres and government offices reported thin attendance on account of rain, which otherwise brought respite to the residents from sultry weather.

A visit to different areas by this correspondent revealed that parts of even posh areas such Model Town, Sukhdev Nagar and the HUDA sectors, were flooded making movement difficult. The rainwater entered the low-lying areas in several colonies and people had a tough time in draining out the water.

In the absence of the drainage system, the local residents were at the receiving end of rainwater.

The condition of the prominent commercial centres was no different. The entrance to the main handloom market near the Amar Bhavan Chowk, which is frequented by traders from all over the country daily, was blocked by rainwater putting the pedestrians to a lot of inconvenience. The condition of the Chaura Bazar where the work on the relaying of the road had been continuing at a snail’s pace was even were. The largest shawl market in Asia, Pachranga Bazar, fell in the same category and the business was affected till noon.

At Assandh Road and GT Road, there were traffic snarls. Since the service lanes along GT Road were flooded, the slow-moving traffic like autorickshaws, horse-driven carts, rickshaws and bicycles spilled over to the GT Road, in the process resulting in traffic jams. In fact, the service lanes resembled huge streams of water.

The business of hundreds of rehri and phari vendors along the service lanes was badly affected. The worst affected seemed to be the poor rickshaw pullers, who ferried the customers in knee-deep water.

Students enjoyed an unofficial off day as the entrances of a majority of the educational institutions were flooded.



Bitta takes a dig at politicians 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 12
The All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) president, Mr Manninderjit Singh Bitta, has blamed the political parties and their leaders for terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country.

He has appealed to the people to reject the corrupt politicians who have double standards.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the RSS district unit on ‘Terrorism and India’ at Modern School Auditorium here last evening,

Mr Bitta blamed the political leadership for the rise in terrorism on the Indian soil.

He said terrorism in Punjab had been checked, but regretted that no one had dared go into the causes, responsible for the ‘evil period’, which had claimed thousands of innocent lives.

He claimed that the root cause of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was also political and alleged that the problem was not being dealt properly.

Mr Bitta said all acts of terrorism in any part of the country were due to inept handling and lack of political will. India could win the war against terrorism if “we adopted the principle of bullet for bullet”.

The country could learn a lot from a country like Israel, he said.

It was time that the Muslim leaders and population of the country should rise to the occasion and wage a war against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

About his relationship with the Congress, Mr Bitta, who is considered close to former Prime Minister P V Narshimha Rao, claimed that the his (Congress) party had run away from him, and not the other way round.

Criticising the globalisation and economic policies, Mr Bitta said, time was not far when there would be foreigners in the Indian Parliament and multinationals would rule the roost.

He also flayed the ‘cultural invasion’ through electronic channels and described it as ‘cultural terrorism’.

Mr Bitta said the cultural terrorism had been misguiding the youth.



YC activists burn CM’s effigies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 12
Notwithstanding the precautionary measures by the police throughout the day on Wednesday, the Youth Congress activists at Sonepat and Gohana managed to burn the effigies of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, in the evening to protest against the arrest of the president of All India Youth Congress Randip Singh Surjewala and others at Chandigarh.

According to their plan, the Congress leaders started arriving at the party office in the town. However, on seeing large number of police outside the Congress Bhawan, they moved out of the office. However, the police followed them.

The Congress workers continued to move from one place to another in the town but the cops chased them and did not give them an opportunity to demonstrate. This drama continued till the evening. The disgusted Congress workers then reached the residence of the state general secretary Sumitra Chauhan.

However, some of the youth Congress workers managed to give the police the slip and about a dozen activists then burnt the effigy of the Chief Minister in Sector-14 market and raised slogans against the Chautala government.

And interestingly, when the police came to know about it and reached the spot, the activists disappeared.

Similar drama took place at Gohana also. When the police remained alert in the main town and outside the residences of the Congress leaders, the Youth Congress general secretary Umesh Sharma along with more than a dozen Congress activists reached near the bus stand on Rohtak-Gohana Road and burnt the effigies in the evening.

However, there were no report of any clash between the police and the Congress workers.



Govt wheat meant for labourers sold in open market
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 12
Two instances of government wheat, which is distributed under the Sampuran Grameen Rozgar Yogna, being sold in the open market have come to light in Ghaziabad district.

In all, 62 quintals of wheat had found its way into the market. The police have been instructed to lodge a complaint in both the cases.

Under the Sampuran Grameen Rozgar Yogna, SC/ST labourers, who live below the poverty line and are employed in hazardous works, are given preference. The SGR scheme is coordinated by the district panchayat through the local panchayats. Labourers employed in projects under the SGRY are paid in both cash and in kind.

One ration shop owner in Dabana village in Muradnagar had allegedly sold about 59 quintals of government wheat directly in the grain market, without even bringing it to his shop.

The wheat had been allocated to him for distribution among labourers and workers under the SGRY.

The village pradhan has, in a complaint to the local Development Officer, alleged that the ration dealer had sold 58.88 quintal of government wheat in the open market.



Speaking out


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.

Bundle of Misery
Bundle of Misery. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

The image of the police has deteriorated over the years. For instance, the atmosphere gets vitiated when policemen visit public places like restaurants etc. Their sheer presence is enough to make the people fearful. More often than not, policeman with walkie-talkie and gun in their hand, become a source of intimidation for the common man.

Moreover, policemen are well-known for their high-handedness and erratic behaviour. The image of the police among the general public is such that the common man wants to stay away from them for fear of getting into any kind of complications. If one has some work with the police, most of the time, we end-up paying bribe in some form or the other.

KRISHNA R. PATEL, Lodi Colony, New Delhi

Anju’s big leap

Anju George has performed a historic act by becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the highest level. Anju created history on August 30, 2003, by becoming the first and the only Indian athlete to win a medal at the world level. In her effort, she placed India on the world athletics map.

She was able to turn the pressure of world championship competition, wet and chilly conditions of Paris to her advantage when she jumped 6.70 mts at the World Championship at Paris. The jump placed her in the medal bracket. This was also the first time in India’s athletics history, when the Indian tricolour flew at such an event.

When “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh and “Sprint Queen” P T Usha had missed their Olympic medal by a whisker in the past, it looked as if no Indian would be able to get into the medal bracket at the world-level.

However, Anju has emerged as the new star and was able to end the medal drought at the world level. This is not just a medal, but an indication of the improving standard of sports in our country and its performance at the world level.

If this trend continues, we would soon be recognised for our sporting ability at the world level. By her performance, she has made every Indian proud. As she said after her performance from Paris, this medal belongs to the 1 billion people of India.

It was heartening to note that our honorable President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam sent her congratulatory message. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jaylalitha announced a cash award of Rs 25 lakhs for her, and sportpersons like Milkha Singh, P.T. Usha, Gurcharan Singh Randhawa, Shiny Wilson and others have praised her performance. These gestures will definitely help her to perform better, and aim for the Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics. Hopefully, it will improve the sports environment in India.


Hats off to Anju for sterling performance

Hats off to Anju Bobby George for her praiseworthy achievement at the World Athletics meet. Her dedication and performance has made India proud. In reality, there is no shortage of good sports persons in our country.

Unfortunately, many of them do not receive proper coaching, infrastructure, diet, incentives and motivation. Good players should be selected at the young age while they are still in schools.

In our country, unfortunately, there is a lack of proper infrastructure and system at the district and school level. Corruption and nepotism are the root causes for the bad performance for our sports persons at the world level.

It is time to think why a country of one billion people has managed only one bronze medal at the highest level. It is a matter we should think over seriously.

Karan Singh Yadav, Rewari


Eye donation fortnight is being observed all over India these days. Cornea is used for corneal transplantation. According to WHO survey conducted in 1986-89, there are about ten lakh corneal blind people in India. It is estimated that currently about 20,000 eyes are donated every year (1995 figure was 11,878 of which 4,431 were used for corneal transplantation). After quality assessment, 40-50 per cent of the donated eyes are used for transplantation. However, we require about one lakh transplantation operations every year, for which we need about 2.7 lakh eyes every year. The purpose of this fortnight is to motivate people and create awareness about eye donation.

However, it needs to be emphasised that corneal blindness should be prevented, as prevention is better than cure.

The deficiency of Vitamin A is one of the leading causes of corneal blindness. New born should be breast fed one hour after birth. Breast-milk contains Colestrum, which contains large quantities of Vitamin-A.

When a child is six-months old, the baby should be given boiled and massaged leafy vegetables. At nine-months, the child should be given measles vaccine. If the child suffers from measles, he should receive a mega dose (2 lakh units) of Vitamin-A, besides increased dietary intake of Vitamin-A. The child should be given green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables (carrot, pumpkin) and yellow fruits (mangoes, papaya) besides milk, curd and eggs.

Children below 3-years should be given six monthly doses of Vitamin-A, which is provided by the government at health sub-centres.

Moreover, children should not be allowed access to sharp objects like needles, scissors, compass, blades and knifes. Their toys should not have pointed or sharp edges. During festivals like Diwali and Dussehra, special care should be taken of small children. During Holi, one should avoid getting colours in the eyes. Water filled balloons can cause severe eye injuries. Farmers working in sugar cane, maize and other large plant fields should wear protective goggles as injuries by these plants can cause corneal ulcer and blindness. Similarly, buffaloes tail can cause eye injury. In case of eye injury, an eye specialist should be consulted, for a minor looking injury can be a serious injury. Often, people aggravate their problem by using steroids containing eye drops (prescribed by quacks or themselves). Never do self-medication.

Trachoma (ROHE) also causes corneal blindness. Trachoma leads to misdirected eyelashes (Trichiasis). For prevention against Trachoma, eyes should be washed with clean water several times a day. One should avoid putting ’Surma’ in ones eyes.

One should use one’s own towel and handkerchief. Home surroundings should be kept clean. If a foreign body enters your eye, you should not rub it. If you are doing welding work, you should use special protective glasses. If these points are taken care of, incidence of corneal blindness can be reduced to a great extent.


Providing basic civic amenities

I would like to highlight and bring to the notice of the authorities some urgent problems of the residents of Sector-29, Faridabad. This sector, unfortunately, has become the most neglected sector in Faridabad. The people had hoped that after the anti-encroachment drive in May, some improvement in the basic civic amenities would take place.

However, the authorities have done nothing so far. The heavy and incessant rain has created new problems for the residents.

Most of the roads in this sector have been damaged due to the accumulation of rainwater, and above all, the callous attitude of the government officials. The road in front of my house (NO. 221) in Housing Board Colony is the worst affected. Rainwater on this road continues to accumulate for weeks together. Some portion of the road here has been washed away. Even the pedestrians fear to walk on this road for fear of hurting themselves.

Moreover, accidents have occurred on this road and there is a fear that some major mishap can occur in future. Hope the administration will take remedial measures in this regard. Moreover, to make matters worse, streetlights are missing on this road. The major portion of the area here remains in darkness at night. This needs urgent attention of the concerned officials, particularly since we are aged people and other retired persons are living in this area. Accidents can easily take place here. The cleanliness work entrusted to a private agency has proved to be a great failure. Sweepers come here after weeks to clean the road.

There is a park, which is under the control of the corporation in front of my house. The corporation charges rent from the people for any ceremony held there, but they hardly care for the cleanliness of the park. This park has become a great nuisance for the residents living around it. I request the Mayor and Commissioner of the corporation to come here and see the condition of the park. Much needs to be done on the water supply front. Though the water supply is regular, it is not pure. Muddy water is common, which can play havoc with the lives of the people. I hope the concerned authorities will look into the matter and set things right.

O.P.SHARMA, Faridabad

Bringing glory to India

We celebrate September 5 as the Teachers’ Day every year. Whether we are young students or old, we cannot forget our teachers, who help mould our personality. This year, our President decided to address the nation on this occasion. He is a visionary and wants to make India a superpower by 2010. He knows that it is an enormous task.

But he knows that we can materialize this dream and empower our country with the active support of young scholars and dedicated teachers.

Igniting the young minds is not an easy task, it needs the support of teachers, adherence of students, co-operation of parents and determination of the government.

Teachers have made their contribution. Our scientists and skillful people working in the USA, the UK and other European countries have enriched the universe with their knowledge in every sphere. India has also made wonderful progress. However, the population explosion in our country has made the progress look small.

Ujjal Pal Singh NIT, Faridabad

Need to end red tape

It is satisfying to learn that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has simplified the procedure for obtaining building completion certificate. In order to avoid problems, people tended to avoid collecting such certificates, leading to huge financial losses to the civic body. Now, one can get the certificate directly from the concerned corporation.

Now, one need not go to the Delhi Urban Commission, where a number of formalities had to be completed. As a matter of fact, the authorities need to help the people instead of harassing them.




Truant teachers to get the stick
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 12
Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Ganaur conducted surprise raids on various government schools and found as many as seven teachers including some women teachers absent.

According to a report, the SDM also checked the ITI and found some instructors and members of the staff missing.

He took a serious note of the absentees and recommended a disciplinary action against them.

Probe against civic body chief

The District Development and Panchayat Officer, Mr V S Malik, has fixed September 17 for conducting the inquiry into the allegations levelled against Mr Satpal Goel, Chairman of the Sonepat Municipal Council and the officials of the Sanitary Department, by at least 14 of the 31 municipal councillors.

According to a report, the Chairman of the Sonepat Municipal Council did not turn up yesterday in the office of the DD and PO for giving his statement in the racket.

Dowry case registered

The police have registered a case of dowry harassment against seven members of the in-laws of Mrs Bindoo who belonged to Nangloi (Delhi) and started investigations.

According to a report, this followed the lodging of the complaint by Mr Hukam Chand, a resident of Gohana and father of the woman. He has alleged that his daughter’s in-laws had been harassing her on some pretext or the other for dowry.

He also alleged that his daughter continued to face harassment even though he had fulfilled their demands twice after the marriage. However, they were not satisfied and forcibly evicted her from the house.

Bar council to move court against five cops

As the police authorities refused to register a case against the five police personnel allegedly involved in beating an advocate in the police chowki about a week back, the District Bar Council has decided to move the court by filing a complaint against the alleged accused.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council and was presided over by the president of the council, Prem Singh Atri. He informed the members of the council that a deputation of the council met the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Arun Singh Nehra, in his office on Wednesday. The DSP said that the five police personnel had been placed under suspension. He refused to accede to the demand for registering a case against the police personnel.

Two booked for gang rape

Faridabad: The police have booked a case of gang rape against two persons of Banchari village in the district. No arrest has been made so far.

According to report, the incident took place on Wednesday, when the woman had gone to collect fodder from the fields. As she was alone, two accused identified as Nehpal and Shispal overpowered her and raped her in a ‘jowar’ field.

The accused fled away. The police have sent the woman for a medical examination.

Meanwhile, in other incidents, a car and a motorcycle were stolen from different places in the town. TNS



Referral Centre for AIDS patients
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12
The Delhi Labour Welfare Board has completed work of setting up a 50-bed Referral Centre in Okhla Industrial Area for AIDS patients. The centre would become operational by the month-end.

The Referral Centre would address the problem of AIDS in the ever-burgeoning migrant population of the NCR. “Lack of awareness among the 45 lakh migrant labour makes them vulnerable to AIDS,” its chairman Sukhbir Sharma told reporters. Nine nodal health centres would come up in each district of Delhi where the working class would get free counselling and medical care. Besides, the centre would provide complete rehabilitation to the AIDS victims.

Minor fire in Karkardooma Court: A minor fire broke out in the Karkardooma Court in East Delhi in the early hours of the morning today..

The fire department sources said that the blaze erupted at 0230 hours in the computer room on the second floor of the court at Shahdara. Nine fire tenders were pressed into service immediately and the fire was brought under control at 0305 hours.

Drugs worth Rs 8 cr seized: With the arrest two men, the Narcotics Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have seized drugs worth Rs 8 crore. The suspects belonged to Bhawani Mandi, Rajasthan. They were identified as Ashok Giri and Ramesh Kumar.

They were arrested from Ram Lila Ground in walled city. During interrogation, they disclosed that they were regular suppliers of heroin in Sahibabad, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Delhi. Both are working in a drug syndicate, headed by a bone transporter who is son of a retired police inspector and resident of Bhawani Mandi in Rajasthan.

Man murdered: An unidentified man was killed in Kamla Market area today. His body was found from Ram Lila Ground with stab injuries in stomach. A murder case has been registered.



Man forges drafts, pulls a fast one on traders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12
Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a racket of bank demand draft with the arrest of one Jatin, alias Rinku.
He was arrested from Prashant Vihar yesterday. The Crime Branch received a tip-off that one person was making fake bank demand draft and duping businessmen and shopkeepers of lakhs of rupees. A special team was constituted to arrest the suspect. He was nabbed yesterday when the suspect went to Prashant Vihar to deliver a demand draft of Rs 70, 000 to a shopkeeper near Rameshwar sweet shop. The draft was issued in the name of the Municipal Commissioner, MCD and to be drawn in the State Bank of India service branch, New Delhi, police said.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he had been in this racket for the last one year. While working as a salesman in Sadar Bazar, he came in contact with one Sudhir, alias Raju, who graduated him in this crime. The police recovered one computer with printer and monitor, blank papers for making drafts, semi-processed drafts, prepared drafts worth Rs 3.5 lakh and various other documents.

He also disclosed that he duped people with different names. The forged drafts were used in Delhi, Surat, Mumbai and Ludhiana for buying goods from innocent shopkeepers. He used to buy goods and offer demand drafts to shopkeepers. The drafts looked so impressive that the shopkeepers and businessmen never had doubt. They came to know about the cheating when told by the bank. the police said.



Businessman robbed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 12
Three unidentified armed youths are reported to have entered the house of Mr Shamlal Gupta, a businessman in the Sardaronwali Gali of Jawahar Nagar Colony here last night and looted Rs 16,000 and a mobile phone. According to a report, the gangsters managed to escape after threatening the inmates that they would come again to get another Rs 50,000 from them. The police have registered the case and detained a youth in this connection. It is stated that the miscreants struck when the members of the family were asleep.


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