Sunday, September 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Goldsmith rescued; kidnappers escape
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 27
In a major breakthrough, police rescued the goldsmith kidnapped yesterday in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The goldsmith was saved from a dense sugarcane field of Sadhan village on Meerut-Mawana Road under Incholi police station while four of his kidnappers escaped taking advantage of darkness and dense sugarcane field.

Dy Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, Sardar Gurdershan Singh and the SSP Meerut, Mr Badri Prasad Singh, told the mediapersons in a joint press conference that the police started checking on the roads as soon as the message of kidnapping flashed on walkie-talkie.

Meanwhile, police also got a tip-off from two of the constables CP 461 Sunil Kumar and CP 544 Pramod Kumar that a car of the same look and a motorbike were seen near the sugarcane field at noon.

On further confirmation, senior police officials rushed towards the area and cordoned off the field around midnight with the help of searchlights.

The miscreants opened fire on the police, but the cops did not retaliate as the victim was still in sugarcane field. When the firing stopped, police entered the field and found the goldsmith Ashok Kumar Rastogi with his limbs tied while the four kidnappers escaped taking advantage of darkness.

A 12-bore gun and two cartridges were seized from the field. IG police Meerut Zone announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for the police party and Mr Ashok Kumar Rastogi also declared a reward of Rs 31,000 to the police party.

The police rescued Mr Rastogi in a record time. DIG himself drove the victim to his house at 2 am in his staff car.



Tiff over ragging leads to caste violence 
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 27
The Chaudhry Charan Singh University campus turned into a caste-based battlefield by the evening after a minor tiff over ragging between two students in the morning. The attacks and the counter-attacks continued till late night after an attempt on the life of the Students Union Mahamantr Dalit leader, Ishwar Chendra Sagar in which Mr Sagar was seriously injured and admitted to an ICU in Meerut Medical College.

The attackers also damaged Dr Ambedkar’s portrait in the students union office. The matter soon turned into a caste-based Dalit students Vs Jat students battleground on CCS University campus. The supporters of Ishwar Chendra Sagar also attacked opposite group students and ransacked Dr Ambedkar Hostel. Late at night, the situation in the area again turned explosive when both the parties fought on the campus. Seeing the situation going out of control, heavy police force and PAC were deployed.

There was a news that several Dalits of an adjoining village also demonstrated and staged a dharna at the V-C office residence and at the Medical police station. Meanwhile, taking a serious note of the incidents during the day, the proctorial board suspended 11 students of both sides late night. These students are Saurabh Chauhan, Ashish Balian, Manish Sirohi, Gaurav Raghav, Anuj Singh, Manoj, Mukush, Sanjiv Verma, Sanjiv Kumar, Sudhashu and Chendra Shekhar. The university vice-chancellor, Dr R P Singh, also rushed to the medical college where the students gheraoed him and shouted slogans. He assured the students of a fair action. Dalit students alleged that the authorities were discriminating and the police were not registering the case against the culprits.



Xen manhandled, house ransacked
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 27
Angered over the delay in the replacement of burnt electricity transformers in village Jagsi in Gohana subdivision, more than two dozens villagers, including women, manhandled the executive engineer of Gohana division of Bijli Vitran Nigam and damaged his household articles on Friday.

The police have registered a case against the village Sarpanch Chander Singh, photographer Krishan, Prem Singh and a woman. However, no arrest has been made so far.

The executive engineer, Mr R.S.Dahiya, said that one of the two transformers of the village had burnt down on September 24 and a new one had been brought from Panchkula to be installed on Friday.

However, the area foreman reported on Friday morning that the other transformer in the village had also burnt down on Thursday night.

Subsequently, it was planned to replace both the transformers on Saturday as Friday was a holiday and a number of employees had gone to Hisar to participate in their union’s rally, he said.

“Moreover, if we had replaced only one of the transformers, the other one would also have burnt down due to overload,” he explained.

Mr Dahiya complained that even as he was discussing the replacement of the burnt transformers with his junior officers at his residence on Friday afternoon, the village sarpanch, Chander Singh, Krishan and Prem Singh, entered his house and demanded the replacement of burnt transformers immediately. The villagers waiting outside the house were asked by one of the officer to proceed to the office of the executive engineer. On hearing this, the village sarpanch called upon the women, who were waiting in tractor-trollies outside, to come inside his residence, Mr Dahiya alleged.

Subsequently, more than two dozen women entered his house, tore his kurta and baniyan and ransacked his entire house, he disclosed.

However, the villagers alleged that the Nigam officers had refused to replace the transformers on the pretext that electricity bills amounting to Rs 30 lakh were outstanding against the villagers.



Where one pays fee to celebrate even Ganesh Utsav!
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
That schools under the pretext of various developmental activities extort money from the parents is a fact well established. While some make no bones about it, others prefer to do it discreetly. Students of the Nutan Marathi Senior Secondary School, Aram Bagh, Paharganj have alleged that the school, which is aided by the government has been charging amounts on various counts like donation fee, computer fee, examination fee and even fee to celebrate occasion like the Ganesh Utsav!

The general secretary of the society that runs the school, Mr Garge told the ‘NCR Tribune’, “I have no idea who paid for the water cooler. If somebody decided to donate money or cooler, we can’t refuse it, but we don’t seek donation.”

He insisted that the school flouts no norms, “We give our auditorium on rent to organisations to stage shows. We pay an electricity bill of Rs 8,000 per month, we don’t need donations.” The school principal on her part claimed that the students were “lying” and “needed to be dealt” with for maligning the school. Students, however, have a different tale to tell. “At the time of readmission to class XI, we had to pay Rs 1,100 as fee and at that time we were made to pay for sports utilities.

Leave alone sports like football or hockey, if a student wants to opt for Physical Education in +2, he is discouraged,” said another senior student.

The agitated students point out that the illegal collection of money has been going on for the last 15 years. “We have to pay Rs 300 quarterly, and students are charged Rs 100 as examination charges, Rs 150 as computer charges,” alleged a student.

It was pointed out that the school issues a receipt of Rs 18 each month. “We are not issued any receipts for the money that is collected from us, we get a receipt for Rs 18, which is officially our fees and a receipt for Rs 50, which the school says is the membership fee that our parents have to pay for being members of the society, which runs the school,” said another student.

The school is run by the Delhi Marathi Educational and Cultural Society and is aided by the Delhi Government. While the school management vehemently denies the charges, the students point out, “We were told that a

water cooler will be installed in the school for the benefit of the students. We paid for the cooler, which is now installed in the staff room and students have to drink water from the broken taps.” It was pointed out that the school has already accumulated more than Rs 1 crore, which is deposited with the society.

“The teachers collect the money and then deposit it with the society as voluntary donation. This has been going on for long and complaints have also been made to the Directorate of Education,” said a student. 



Lt-Governor opens Phool Walon Ki Sair 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
The Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today inaugurated the historical annual festival of “Phool Walon Ki Sair”, a symbol of communal harmony and national integration. The festival got under way with the recital of ‘shehnai’ at Lt-Governor’s residence.

An embroidered ‘pankha’, depicting communal amity, was presented to the Lt-Governor and his wife Manju Kapoor on the occasion, which formally marked the beginning of the eight-day-long festival. “Festivals like Phool Walon Ki Sair symbolise communal harmony and national integration and can play a significant role in bringing various communities together,” Mr Kapoor said. He, however, asked the people to be more vigilant and keep a close watch on criminals and terrorists who were out to disrupt the harmony and peace of the country.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit joined the festival by presenting ‘pankhas’ for the Dargah of medieval Sufi saint Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki and the temple of Yogmaya Ji at Mehrauli in south Delhi.



HC caveat on burn injuries 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
The Delhi High Court has cautioned all government and private hospitals and nursing homes to take care against turning away any patient brought in with burns, and make special arrangements for treating such persons during the festive season, which began yesterday with ‘Navratras’.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice A K Sikri said action needed to be taken in accordance with the court’s earlier directions for being specially prepared to handle exigencies in hospitals during Dusshera and Divali.

Earlier, the court had asked all government and private hospitals in the Capital to make special arrangements to cope with the possibility of increase in the number of patients suffering burns during the season.

They had asked all the Central or Delhi Government hospitals as well as private nursing homes to make arrangements for treating burn victims and not turn away any patient.

The court said arrangements for treating the burn patients, including sufficient oxygen and blood, besides additional staff, should be made during the period. The Central Accident and Trauma Service (CATS) was to be kept ready and one assistant sub-inspector available to deal with any medico-legal case.

The directions came following a PIL, taken up on a letter send by Lt Col Y K Wahi narrating the sorry state of affairs in burns wards in various city hospitals and seeking their development and renovation.



Malaria claims five lives 
Our Correspondent

Noida, September 27
Dozens of villages have been affected by malaria in Javer area. In Kishore Pur Primary Health Centre, Javer, five persons have reportedly died of malaria in Nangla Chhecter village alone. All the deaths have occurred in the past 48 hours and four of the five victims are children. Another child has been admitted to a Palwal hospital in a serious condition.

According to Dr Bhajan Lal, 400 patients visit the Primary Health Centre every day, out of which blood of about 70 is being tested daily. He said the villagers are also to blame for the deaths in the area. While the Chief Medical Officer, Dr M A Haq, has denied that anybody has died of malaria in the area, a health team has, however, been despatched to the village.

Amar Singh, Khazan Singh, Babu Bheema and some others from the village said Tudal, (14), son of Arjun; Nurvi (6), Sanu (2), Ashveer, (50), have all succumbed to the malaria fever while six-year-old Munish, s/o Mahavir has been rushed to a hospital in Palwal, Haryana. According to villagers, apart from Kishore Pur, Ramner, Kuram, Nagla Cheeter, Nagla Shafi Khan, Nagla Jahanu, all come under this health centre. No basic health worker (BHW) has been posted there. Waterlogging has wreaked havoc on the area, causing mosquitogenic conditions. No insecticide or pesticide has been sprayed, which results in sharp increase in the number of patients down with malaria. Mehar Singh, Raj Kumar, Allauddin, Rehana, Nabi Khan and some others are down with fever in Nangla Chhecter and are being treated in the health centre.



Child among seven hurt in wall collapse
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
Seven persons, including a child, were injured when a boundary wall collapsed at Khyber Pass metro depot near Timarpur in North Delhi this morning.
The police said that the incident occurred at around 11 am due to the pressure of the piled-up soil at the site. Senior Metro Rail officials C B K Rao and Mangu Singh who rushed to the spot said that the accident could have occurred because of the tampering of the wall by the encroachers.

The injured were rushed to the Sushruta Trauma Centre and Bara Hindu Rao hospitals. They were later identified as Amar Singh (72), resident of Jharoda Colony, Burari; Avtar Singh (46), resident of Amritsar; Bhupinder Singh, (24), resident of Taran Taran; Satnam, resident of Gurdaspur; Ranjit Singh, resident of Nepal; Pooran Singh, resident of Timarpur; and Jasbir Singh, resident of Batala.

The police said while Avtar Singh was discharged from Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, others were still being treated.



JNU hunger strike ends

New Delhi: Following the orders for the setting up of a joint enquiry committee, protesting students in the Jawaharlal Nehru University today ended their hunger strike. The decision of forming the committee was taken in a meeting attended by the Registrar, the Dean and the Associate Dean. The eviction orders against Sajjan Kumar, a resident of the Mahi Mandavi hostel were withdrawn and students who wish to shift to some other hostel were given a go-ahead. The details and the composition of the committee will be decided after the arrival of the Vice-Chancellor. TNS



Pro and anti-Bhajan Lal factions slug it out
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, September 27
A broad consensus has now seemingly emerged among the political quarters that practically the organisation of two parallel conferences on the Martyr’s Day here on September 23, has tended to accelerate the otherwise-sluggish polarisation of the anti-Bhajan Lal as well as the pro-Bhajan Lal forces among the Congress in Ahirwal.

On the one hand, the non-participation of four Congress legislators of Ahirwal — Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Rao Narender Singh, Rao Dharam Pal and Anita Yadav as well as other prominent office-bearers of the party in the conference, organised by legislator Rao Inderjit Singh in which AICC general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Haryana, Mr Nawal Kishore Sharma, was the chief guest, and on the other hand, the active participation of two Ahirwal legislators—Rao Narender Singh and Anita Yadav, HPCC vice-president Shakuntala Bhagwaria, HPCC member Bhana Ram Saini and several other prominent party leaders in the other conference organised by a non-Congressman and SJJP president Raghu Yadav, seem to lend clinching credence to this vital issue of polarisation of the pro as well as anti-Bhajan Lal factions.

Further, the solemn participation of nine Congress legislators —- HCLP leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Jai Prakash (Barwala), Dharam Vir (Tosham), Raghubir Singh Kadiyan (Julana), Rao Dan Singh (Mahendergarh), Shadi Lal Batra ( Rohtak ), Om Prakash Jindal (Hisar) and Rao Inderjit Singh (Jatusana) in the Rao camp’s conference gives one the impression that they all joined hands to deftly provide legitimacy, with the tacit blessings of party stalwart Nawal Kishore Sharma, to their on-going struggle which overtly and covertly aimed at pulling the rug from under the feet of the HPCC president Mr Bhajan Lal .

In fact, the activities of these dissident party legislators who successfully organised their Martyr’s Day rally at Rewari (September 23) as well as the Jal Yudh rally at Jhajjar in the past some months much to the chagrin of Bhajan Lal and his aides, had been causing considerable embarrassment to the HPCC chief Bhajan Lal who was in quest of a potent Ahir leader who could be instrumental in demolishing the citadel of Rao Inderjit Singh. Interestingly, the choice fell on the firebrand Raghu Yadav who too had been solemnly contemplating to play his second stellar innings in Ahir politics. Consequently, Bhajan Lal recently held consultations in this regard with his confidants, such as HCLP deputy leader Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Rao Narender Singh, MLA, Mrs Anita Yadav, MLA, his former ministerial colleague and veteran Ahir leader Col Ram Singh, HPCC vice-president Shakuntala Bhagwaria and several others following which he made up his mind to accept Raghu Yadav’s invitation to the chief guest in his conference on September 23.

Close on the heels, after obtaining Raghu Yadav’s stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 19, which allowed him to hold the meeting in Rao Tula Ram Park at Rewari on September 23, further fortified the resolve of Bhajan Lal, who virtually gave his nod (on September 20) about his participation in Raghu Yadav’s Rewari conference. However, things went haywire when the HCLP leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rao Inderjit Singh, former HPCC chief Birender Singh and several others approached the Congress president Sonia Gandhi with the request for her specific intervention to stall the impending participation of the HPCC chief Bhajan Lal in Raghu Yadav’s Rewari conference when the AICC general secretary Nawal Kishore Sharma had already confirmed his participation in Rao Inderjit Singh’s Rewari conference.

It could not be ascertained what actually transpired in the above meetings. But, it is a fact that at the last moment Bhajan Lal altered his resolve and did not come to Rewari to participate in Raghu Yadav’s Rewari conference on September 23. Contrary to this, at the apparent behest of Bhajan Lal, his confidants and senior party leaders like HPCC general secretary Rao Narender Singh MLA, Haryana Mahila Congress president Anita Yadav, HPCC vice-president Shakuntala Bhagwaria and many other prominent party functionaries did actively participate in Raghu Yadav's conference.



Wheat, paddy crops may be included in 
insurance scheme
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 27
The Central Government is thinking of including wheat and paddy crops in its ‘Crop Insurance Scheme’ introduced for the benefit of the farmers.
Stating this, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP, who is also the vice-president of the Haryana BJP, told mediapersons here today that the BJP-led NDA government was committed to provide full assistance to the farming community. He said the Union Government had already announced a number of schemes for the welfare of the farmers in the country. As announced by the Union Government, he said, the farmers would get good support price for their produce.

He said the Union Government would grant compensation to the farmers for their crops if these were damaged by natural calamities like drought, hailstorm and floods. He claimed that the Union Government had provided Kisan Credit Cards to at least 4 crores farmers in the country, and steps are being taken to supply such credit cards to the remaining farmers.

Referring to the achievements made by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, Mr Sangwan said that though it is a coalition government of 24 political parties, it had been functioning smoothly for the past four years.

This government, he claimed, had been spending at least 65 per cent of the funds on rural development in the country, including the construction and repairs of the roads in the villages.

He lashed out at the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and blamed him for misleading the people of the state in connection with the sanction of funds from the Centre for the construction of roads and other development purposes.

The BJP leader appealed to the people to take part in the October 14 rally to be held at Panipat, which would be addressed among others by Mr L. K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, the BJP president, Mr Vankaiya Naidu and Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh.



Chautala urged to transfer HSIDC General Manager 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 27
The representatives of various industrial organisations and the individual entrepreneurs have urged Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala to order immediate transfer of Mr L. N. Aggarwal, General Manager of the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC), posted at Kundli and Rai complexes. They have also appealed to the CM to order transfers of other officials who were found responsible for not providing infrastructures to the entrepreneurs who wanted to set up their industries at Kundli, Rai, Murthal and Sonepat as well as the hosiery complex at Bari village.

In a memorandum sent to Mr Chautala, they alleged that most of the new entrepreneurs are being harassed on some pretext or the other and they are not inclined to set up their units in spite of the allotment of industrial plots in the industrial complexes, estates and areas in the district.

The memorandum also pointed out that most of the industrial plots are lying vacant in these complexes and the entrepreneurs are reluctant to start the construction work of their units. It also alleged that most of the roads are in a bad shape and the sewerage facilities are far from satisfactory. Some of the works executed in the industrial complex at Rai are substandard as the funds allotted for this purpose have been misutilised or pocketed by some of the officials entrusted to the job.

It demanded a high-level probe into the racket and complaints of the entrepreneurs and the transfer of the General Manager of the HSIDC and other officials will ensure the independent and impartial probe.

The memorandum also refuted the claim of the General Manager of HSIDC that the entrepreneurs of other states are ready to establish their units in these complexes and said that not even a single unit had come up in them so far.



Prayer builds up faith, character

Capt M. S. Kohli is an internationally known mountaineer and when this sailor-turned mountaineer, excelling in his physical prowess, speaks about the power of prayer, we are bound to listen.

It was an impressive gathering that had gathered at the India International Centre when his book, Miracles of Ardaas, was released by Dr Karan Singh, MP (September 23). Quoting Tennyson, the former Maharaja said that “more things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of.”

Will you believe it to be so on the authority of Dr Karan Singh and mountaineer Captain Kohli? There is hardly any religion, which does not have prayer as one of the cardinal principles of a life of faith. The inclination and the desire to pray ingrained in human nature is one indication that there is a God and that man is not master of his own destiny.

Just look back to the events of your life. How much of it has been planned by you? In other words can you say that you had been in control of your life or that everything had happened just as you wished? We better agree that though a man plans his course in his heart, it is the Lord who determines his steps. The natural corollary is then to learn depend on the One who is in charge. Prayed Jeremiah the prophet: “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”

Prayer is often defined as communion with God. Just as children need to talk to parents, the faithful needs to maintain communication with the heavenly Father and the Father delights in listening to His children. Of course, there can be differences in the way people of different faiths pray, but not much difference in the yearnings and language of the heart. Prayer includes elements like adoration and worship of God, petitions, confessions, thanksgiving and intercession.

Samuel Johnson once was asked what the strongest argument for prayer was, and he replied: “Sir, there is no argument for prayer.” What he meant was that prayer is first of all, a native tendency inherent in man. It is a practice like breathing or eating.

Gandhiji was a man of prayer and his all-religion prayer meetings on Fridays were well known. Not only individuals, but even nations seem to have acknowledged the need for prayer. When the celebrated actor Amitabh Bachan fell ill and later when Mother Teresa got sick, the whole nation rose as one man to pray for deliverance from their sickness. It is said the calamitous attack on the World Trade towers on September 11, 2001, had led to a new fervour among Americans to pray. The sense of insecurity and inadequacy of human defense systems have once again led them to depend on God. According to many preachers there, it is a call to repent from man’s intoxication and dependence on material things to the exclusion of God from their daily lives.

Many are the occasions when a dire situation of need or a crisis drives man to pray. Anything—a dangerous situation, a heavy responsibility, anxiety, grief, disappointments, a bit of bad news, broken relationships—that weighs heavily on our minds make us to pray.

Shortly after World War II, a poor widow entered a grocery store and asked for enough food for a Christmas dinner. When the shop owner inquired how much she could afford, she answered: “My husband was killed in the war. Truthfully, I have nothing to offer but a little prayer. “The man, an unbeliever, was unmoved by the woman’s need and said sarcastically, “Write your prayer on a piece of paper and you can have its weight in groceries.” To his surprise she plucked a folded note out of her pocket and handed it to him. Without even reading he put it on one side of his scales. “We will see how much this is worth” and put a loaf of bread on the other side. Nothing happened. Even with a basketful of goods, the scales did not move! With a tearful ‘thank you’ the prayerful lady left.

The grocer later discovered that the scale was out of order. As the years passed he often wondered if that was just a coincidence. Why did she come exactly at the moment when the mechanism failed? And that too with the slip of paper? The slip of paper had this written: “Please dear Lord, give us this day our daily bread.”

But then prayer is not simply presenting God with a shopping list or seeking to change His will, It is, on the other hand, a preparation for accepting His will and conforming to His plans. The mighty warriors of prayer know that prayer changes situations, people and things.

Prayer is considered a barometer to gauge the life of faith. It is the spiritual pulse of the renewed soul; its beat indicates the healthy or unhealthy state of the believer. Prayer is the innermost form of the fight for character. As Clement of Alexandria in the second century put it, “The aim of prayer is to attain the habit of goodness, so as no longer merely to have the things that are good, but rather to be good.”

M P K Kutty



Delhi Assembly remembers Vithal Bhai Patel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
Delhi Assembly Speaker Subhash Chopra, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and a host of freedom fighters and leaders today paid glowing tributes to Vithal Bhai Jhaver Bhai Patel, the first Indian Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly, on his 130th birth anniversary today.

At a function organised by the Delhi Assembly at the Old Secretariat, floral tributes were paid to the statue of the late freedom fighter. Mr Chopra described Patel as a great patriot who took part in the freedom movement at the call of Mahatma Gandhi.

It was pointed out that the late leader always enhanced the dignity of the Chair and the House by his remarkable landmark rulings, which stunned the British rulers.

His precedents in the House, are still being followed by every legislature of the land pointed out Mr Chopra. 



Woman abducted 
Our Correspondents

Noida, September 27
A report has been lodged in Sector-24 police station naming two persons, Vinod and Gabbar, for the abduction and murder of a woman, identified as Anita. Arvind Singh of Sector-11 has lodged a report against Vinod and Gabbar, both of whom used to live in Arvind’s house. It has been alleged that on September 17, Vinod and three of his friends abducted Arvind Singh and ‘advised’ him to forget his wife Anita.

When he managed to free himself and returned to his house, Arvind found his house locked. When he broke open the lock, he found his wife and Rs 10,000 missing from the house.

Youth commits suicide

A youth in Barola village under Sector-49 police station committed suicide by hanging himself. He was reportedly upset due to domestic strife. The youth, identified as Anuj, sent his 8-year-old nephew to the market and hanged himself from a ceiling fan. The unfortunate incident was discovered by his neighbours who informed the police. Later, the police sent the body for a postmortem examination.

Grievances unresolved

Rohtak: The disregard for the orders of the District Grievances Committee headed by the Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Haryana, Mr Ram Pal Majra, by an Executive Engineer of (UHBVN recently, has shocked the residents and created a piquant situation for the state government.

Reportedly, Mr Daryao Singh, proprietor of Panchhi Sweets here had registered a complaint with the grievances committee alleging that a team from the Vigilance Department, UHBVN, had fabricated a false case of power theft. When the Executive Engineer was directed to redress the grievances of the businessman, he wrote a letter to the Deputy Commissioner that the “inquiry by ADC or direction by the District Grievances Forum was not a part of the redressal mechanism. The consumer, if not satisfied, may approach the court”.



Vocational training for families of MCD staff
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
The Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, today announced that family members of MCD employees, who were killed while serving the corporation, would be imparted vocational training to make them financially independent.

The training would be provided by an institute at Ramesh Park in Trans- Yamuna area, which is run by the corporation. Children and adults would be imparted training in computer operation, cooking, candle making etc., by activists of Mumbai-based NGO, Stree Shakti.

The MCD has plans to open 50 more training centres in different areas of the Capital as nearly 400 MCD employees died while performing their during, and their family members are in dire need of financial assistance.

Commercial Exhibition: The former Prime Minister, Mr. H. D. Deve Gowda and the former cricketer, Mr Kapil Dev, inaugurated the Indian Commercial Exhibition here today.

The fair, which is the first of its kind, has over 1000 stalls and over 350 exhibitors.

The exhibition will be on till October 16 and is being held in the Pushpa Bhavan grounds opposite Sheikh Sarai. Around 12 lakh people are expected to visit the expo. Major attractions this year are cake shaped seven wonders of the world.

Navratra Mela: Shardiya Navratra mela is being celebrated at the historic Badri Bhagat Jhandewala Devi Temple. A large number of devotees visited the historic shrine on the first day of Navratar. The temple remains open for devotees from 4 am. to midnight. The Shardiya Navratra mela, which began yesterday, will continue till October 4.



PHDCCI offer for jobless Kashmiri youths

Faridabad: The PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has offered to train jobless Kashmiri youths for self-employment. This offer was made by a delegation of the PHDCCI to the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, which recently toured Srinagar. The delegation, led by P. K. Jain, met the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and other senior officials and assured that the unemployed youths would be trained and guided in various aspects like selection of business, preparation of project report and required skills. The J&K officials claimed that there were many sops offered for setting up industrial units, including subsides on capital investment, excise duty, freight, with free insurance and zero income tax. TNS



Spreading the message of Mother Teresa
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
The Delhi Catholic Archdiocese is gearing up for a weeklong celebration of “Beatification of Mother Teresa” in October to spread her message and explain the purpose of Church’s social involvement.

The programme will begin with a symposium co-hosted by YMCA on October 17 on the life and philosophy of Mother Teresa at the FICCI auditorium.



Businessman robbed of Rs 1.20 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
Three unidentified youths looted Rs 1.20 lakh from the house of a businessman in Gautampuri area in North-East district. The incident occurred during the night when he was sleeping.

The businessman told the police that while he was asleep, he heard some commotion. When he got up, he saw three youths ransacking his house.

However, when he tried to stop them, they threatened to kill him and decamped with the money kept inside the bed box. A case of robbery has been registered, the police said.

Auto-lifter arrested: The Sarai Rohilla police have arrested an auto- lifter, Prem Singh alias Kalu, from Shahadra. He was arrested while he was driving a Maruti car stolen from Subhadra Colony.

During interrogation, the suspect informed that he had stolen the car from Subhadra Colony. He was involved in a number of auto theft cases in the past, the police said.



‘Festival Season Bonanza’ for PNB customers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
Customers wishing to avail any of the retail loans during the festival season have reasons to cheer as Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched the ‘Festival Season Bonanza’ under which attractive concessions are being offered to the customers in its Retail Credit Schemes.
The rebates under the bonanza are valid up to December 31, 2003. As a part of the bonanza, the bank is offering reduction in interest rates.

Floating rates for housing loans have been reduced by 0.25 per cent to 7.75 per cent for a repayment period up to 5 years and by 0.5 per cent for a repayment period of more than 5 years.

This offer translates to an EMI of just Rs 850 per lakh for 25 years and an EMI of Rs 880 per lakh for 20 years for housing loan.

Customers desirous of availing themselves of a personal loan or wishing to get car loans or a consumer durable finance are not to be left behind as they would reap in the benefits in the form of reduction in rates by 0.5 per cent.

Car loans up to 1 year are available at a very attractive rate of 9.5 per cent.

Moreover, customers can benefit by way of waiver in ‘upfront fees’ and documentation fees as well, which have been waived under the four retail schemes such as housing, car, personal and doctor’s scheme.

Documentation fee has also been waived off for loans to pensioners. With reduced interest rates, this offer in totality would be very difficult to resist.

‘Festival Bonanza’ is another step in the bank’s continuing pursuit for providing the best to the customer.

The bonanza is in line with the marketing strategy of the bank to be aggressive on the retail front and to complement its efforts in this direction.

The bank is in the process of tying up with various corporate, a release said.



HDFC Bank opens four new branches 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
HDFC Bank, India’s leading private sector bank and a one-stop financial supermarket, on Friday inaugurated three new branches in Delhi and one branch in Rewari in Haryana.

Mr Aditya Puri, managing director, HDFC Bank, inaugurated the branches in Delhi while Mr Seshan Ramakrishnan, regional business manager (North-1) inaugurated the branch at Rewari in Haryana. The three new branches in Delhi are located at Panchsheel, Gujranwala Town and Dwarka. With the opening of these four new branches, the total number of branches in North India would now be 80. The bank, which has a countrywide presence, has 250 branches and over 800 ATMs across 132 cities to cater to diverse and ever-increasing customer base, enabling them to operate their accounts from anywhere, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Speaking about these four new branches, Mr Puri said: “It is our endeavour to provide our customers with the most accessible branch network with presence in all the major cities of the country. The introduction of new branches is a concerted effort in that direction and will strengthen our operations in the city. We bring to the table a full range of financial products and services, giving the customer a one-stop window, for all his banking requirements, with technology being the prime enabler for a convenient banking experience.”


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