Wednesday, October 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


HC spells out details of witness protection plan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
In an effort to fill the lacunae caused by the absence of a witness protection programme in the country, the Delhi High Court today spelled out “witness protection guidelines” to stem the frequent instances of key witnesses turning hostile in important cases.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog appointed the Member Secretary, Delhi Legal Services Authority, as the competent authority to administer the guidelines in the Capital.

The judges directed that it would be the duty of the investigating officer to inform a witness about the protection programme and the Commissioner of Police’s responsibility to provide the protection. The State was also ordered to give adequate publicity to the programme. Such protection would be given to witnesses in crimes where punishment was either death or life imprisonment.

Before granting protection the competent authority would have to consider the threat to the witness from the accused or his associates, the stage of the investigation, the importance of the witness to the case and the value of his testimony and the cost of such protection.

Either the witness himself could approach the competent authority seeking protection or the investigating officer could recommend the witness to the competent authority for protection. Independent of the guidelines, a court could still give directions to the police for protection of a witness in a case, if it deemed fit. The judges, however, made it clear that the said guidelines were only to be in place till an appropriate legislation in the regard was brought in.

The court formulated the guidelines broadening the ambit of a petition moved by Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara, who was allegedly murdered by sitting MP D. P. Yadav’s son Vikas over Nitish’s friendship with his sister Bharati, seeking protection for herself and her family as well as other witnesses in the case.

Earlier today, Mr Justice R. C. Chopra dismissed the bail plea of Vikas and the co-accused, his cousin, Vishal while giving them liberty to move the trial court for bail after the evidence of Bharati was recorded.


SC reserves ruling on FAR changes
Our Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 14
The Supreme Court today reserved its judgement on a petition challenging the Centre’s notification allowing regularisation of certain modifications in the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) by house owners in the Capital on the basis of the Malhotra Committee report. A Bench comprising Justice S. Rajendera Babu and Justice G. P. Mathur reserved the judgement on the validity of the Centre’s notification after hearing marathon arguments from petitioners and the government.

The government had accepted the recommendations of V K Malhotra Committee, allowing regularisation of certain modifications in the FAR by house owners, including those living in the DDA and housing society flats. The Supreme Court had stayed the operation of the notification in December 2001 when the same was brought to its notice during the hearing of a suo motu petition, initiated by the court on the issue of Yamuna pollution. Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appointed as amicus curiae by the court to adjudicate the matter, had opposed the notification on the ground that allowing additions in the FAR would put more pressure on the already hard pressed civic amenities in the Capital.

It would also result in aggravating further the pollution of Yamuna as the expansion of FAR would result in accommodating more people in the dwelling units and discharge of more domestic waste into the river, the amicus curiae said. The notification was also opposed by the Central Pollution Control Board counsel Vijay Panjwani. The Centre’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi had contended that no major modification was permitted in the expansion of the FAR as the government had only permitted the modifications within the existing FAR.


Meerut Walled City tense over incident at temple
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 14
Communal tension gripped the city in the morning when two youths on a motorbike allegedly threw a hand grenade and some pieces of meat in a temple. At least four persons, including the head priest and a woman, were injured in the incident. They were admitted to a private nursing home from where they were released after being administered first aid.

According to eyewitnesses, certain devotees and the pujari of the temple in the Jattiwara area were offering morning prayer at about 7 am. Two youths in their mid-twenties stopped by and allegedly threw a small polythene bag inside the mandir, very close to the road. When the devotees were about to examine the bag, a small crude bomb exploded. At least four persons, including the pujari and a woman, were injured in the incident.

As news about the incident spread people started gathering at the temple. Soon, they were raising slogans against a particular community. At least a 1000-strong crowd had converged at the spot. An hour and a half had elapsed by the time the police reached the spot. Incidentally, the Budhana Gate police checkpost is barely a kilometre away. Later, all senior police officials, including the SSP, the ASP (City) and several circle officers rushed to the spot. Additional police force and the PAC were also despatched. Despite reinforcements, senior police officials had a hard time dispersing the mob.

The entire walled city area was tense following the incident. Mayor Hazi Shahid Akhlaq and the two local MLAs were seen requesting the citizens to maintain peace. This was the second desperate attempt by miscreants to mar the peace and harmony of the city. Last week, a youth was caught red-handed with a dead pig near a mosque.

Meanwhile, security forces in the city, including the PAC and the RAF, have been put on high alert and asked to take regular rounds of the city. The SSP, Mr Badri Prasad Singh, disclosed this to NCR Tribune.


Single window clearance for Noida industrial plots
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 14
Winds of change have started blowing here with the Noida administration coming up with a new strategy for the industrial development of the region.

The Noida administration has unveiled a new policy for receiving and processing applications for allotment of industrial plots, which will be received on all working days. They will be scrutinised every Wednesday and the final decision for allotment of plots will be communicated within a fortnight. The entire process will have a single window approach. A total of 3.50 lakh sq metre area is being thrown open for industrial allotment in various sectors. The sizes of the plots range from a minimum of 800 sq metres to a maximum of 29,000 sq metres.

The prices will be determined by the size of the plot and their location. Application forms against a demand draft of Rs 1,000 can be collected from Canara Bank, Vijaya Bank and HDFC bank in Noida as well as on KG Marg, New Delhi. Application forms can also be downloaded from the Noida administration website. Applications can be sent through post, courier or dropped personally in the box kept at the office of the Noida administration.

The entrepreneurs called for personal interview will have to deposit Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh as registration fee, depending on the size of the plots. According to Additional CEO Debasish Panda, there are large industrial plots in Sectors 63, 65, 80 and 81 in Phase II and III of Noida, of the size 800 sq. mts to 29,000 sq mts.

For plots smaller than 800 sq mts in Phase I, the decision will depend on a draw as there is great demand for these plots. There are only 30 plots of 800 sq metres and 250 of 500 sq metre size in Phase I. The applicants will have to satisfy themselves that they fulfil all requirements and after scrutiny the Noida administration will give its decision within a week.

“We are not only trying to expedite the process but also trying to ensure that only those entrepreneurs get the plots who are technically and financially sound. The Noida administration will also keep tabs on how soon the entrepreneurs set up their units,’’ Mr Panda said.

The Noida administration also intends to facilitate setting up of units with high value and low volume in the open bonded scheme, which has no closing date. “We shall begin a new and balanced approach in which all types of industries will be considered in the area”, he added.

An Udyog Sahayak Samiti (USS), a committee for industrial facilitation, will meet on the last Saturday of each month to coordinate matters and resolve problems. It will be attended by exporters and entrepreneurs.


New PGIMS wards: Square pegs in round holes
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 14
The administration of Pt B. D. Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) has ordered shifting of some of the most essential life-saving and efficiently running services from their present locations to other wards. The heads of the services concerned have raised serious objections and also reminded the administration that the dislocation may spoil the sophisticated equipment installed in these wards.

It has been also alleged that the new space allotted is grossly inadequate and there is a risk of cross-infection. In one case, the ward had been occupied by tuberculosis patients. Especially vulnerable would be patients with a weak immune response. The PGIMS administration has ordered shifting of the Orthopaedics OPD from Block C to Block F adjoining the Gynae OPD, without realising that for the convenience of plastered patients an X-ray machine was installed in Block C very recently and also there is no dressing room in Block F.

The Gynae Department has been ordered to shift 18 beds from ward number 8 to ward number 2. The Head of the Department has told the administration that ward no 2 is already crowded and it is not possible to shift these beds unless alternative space is provided. In ward no 2, at times, there is so much of overcrowding that two pregnant women share one bed.

The Department of Nephrology/Dialysis has been shifted from ward no 25 to 18. The in-charge of Nephrology has informed the Medical Superintendent that there are seven dialysis machines and a water treatment plant was installed in ward no 25 on March 31. The central suction and oxygen pipeline are in the process of being installed. The space allotted in ward no 18 is not only cramped but also occupied by TB patients which could pose a grave risk to patients undergoing dialysis. The amount spent on installing the oxygen pipeline and water treatment plant would also go waste, he said.

The Intensive Coronary Care Unit (ICCU) has been ordered to be shifted from ward no 25 to 16. The Head of the Department has written that currently there are nine beds for heart attack patients. The equipment installed is quite old and difficult to remove. The space allotted in ward no 16 is small and can accommodate only four beds instead of the nine bed monitoring system. More than 1500 patients who have suffered a heart attack are admitted to this ICCU every year and it is not possible to accommodate so many patients in a four-bedded unit. Recently, a pipeline for central oxygen supply and suction facility has been provided in this area. This will go waste.

The Skin Ward is being shifted from ward no 26 to 20. The Head of the Skin and VD Department has written that shifting to ward 20, currently occupied by TB patients, will be a great risk to the health of skin patients receiving cortico-steroid. Not only this, the space allotted is too little for accommodating the 30-bedded Skin and VD unit.

It is believed that the administration wants to convert wards no 25 and 26 into private wards for which there is hardly any demand.

The occupancy rate of the big-sized rooms in ward no 24 is nearly 10 per cent and thus there is no justification for adding another eight rooms to this category by getting them vacated from these essential services.

But, it is learnt, the administration is pressing the heads concerned to vacate the wards immediately and shift to the new space.


Woman, child killed by speeding bus

Ghaziabad: Three persons were killed in two road mishaps here. In the first incident, a woman, Shahjahan, and her daughter Gulshan were crushed to death while her husband Shakil was seriously injured when a bus coming at a high speed near Garima Colony in Sahibabad hit them. The family was residing in Loni. Angered by the accident, people had blocked the Delhi-Wazirabad-Ghaziabad road. The Loni family was hit by a private bus. The driver apparently lost control because he was driving at a very high speed, killing the woman and daughter and seriously injuring the husband. Shahjahan, 28, was killed on the spot. Her daughter and husband were rushed to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Shahdara, where seven-year-old daughter Gulshan succumbed to her injuries. OC


Delhi boy chosen NASA’s student astronaut
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
A dream, a fantasy, a longing to travel to the distant stars is what binds millions of children across the globe. For Saatvik Aggarwal, a class X student, the dream has turned into reality with the 14-year-old being cast in the role of a student astronaut.

The Delhi boy, along with Vignan Pattmatta of Hyderabad, has been selected to represent his country as a ‘student astronaut’ in NASA’s ongoing project on Mars exploration. Saatvik, a student of Amity International School, Saket, is among the 16 students selected from across the world through a global contest.

The proud teenager will now spend about two weeks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s lead centre for robotic exploration of the solar system based at Pasadena, California.

Along with the NASA scientists and fellow student astronauts, he will be a part of the Science Operations Working Group between January-March 2004.

To prepare for his stint at NASA, Saatvik is undergoing intensive web-based training on the US agency’s Mars exploration mission ‘Red Rover Goes to Mars’ besides Mars science, digital image processing and mission operations.

Son of Internet consultant Rajeev Aggarwal, Saatvik was selected through a global contest organised by the US-based Planetary Society, a space interest group, in an initiative to involve young minds in NASA’s mission to Mars.

The Saket boy had earlier won the Original Mind Award instituted by the Infosys Foundation and an award for his website on space, which was presented by Ms Kiran Bedi’s India Vision Foundation. He is now “eagerly waiting” to be at NASA.


Cong leader accused of making anti-party remarks
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 14
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has charged the Opposition leader, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, with weakening the party by releasing statements against the Congress leaders.

In a statement here today, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and spokesman, the HPCC alleged that the general public had been fed up with the ‘anti-people’ policies of the Chautala government. He claimed that the people had focussed their attention on the Congress as it was the only party which could relieve them of their sufferings.

In such circumstances, he said it was unfortunate that the Opposition leader, instead of protesting against the ‘faulty’ policies of the ruling alliance of the Indian National Lok Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party, issued statements against the Congress leaders.

It may be recalled that Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda had recently said that no corrupt leader of the party would be made Chief Minister, if the party was voted to power.

Mr Krishan Murti Hooda suggested that Mr B S Hooda should raise his voice against the ‘misrule’ of the ruling alliance in Haryana instead of tarnishing the party image by describing its senior leaders as corrupt.


Agitated villagers disrupt traffic over police inaction
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 14
Agitated over the police inaction and its failure to arrest the alleged accused in a case of murderous attack on two youths of village Fazilpur hundreds of villagers blocked the Sonepat-Bahalgarh Road for more than two hours on Monday evening. The villagers placed the body of one of the victim on the road.

The blockade was lifted late on Monday evening after the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Arun Nehra, reached the spot and assured the villagers that the accused would be arrested soon.

It may be recalled that two youths of village Fazilpur, Raj Kumar and Charan Singh, were attacked by some wrestlers in the village ‘Akhara’ with sharp-edged weapons on Saturday.

Both the victims were referred to the Trauma Centre in Delhi in serious condition by the doctors of the local civil hospital.

One of the victims, Raj Kumar, succumbed to injuries in the Trauma Centre, whereas the condition of Charan Singh continues to be serious.

Though the family members have lodged complaints against the alleged accused, the police have failed to nab the accused, identified as Ravi and Inder of village Raipur, Neetu of Hassanpur and Bulli of Asawarpur.

The villagers have alleged that the ‘Akhara’ had become a meeting point for anti-social elements involved in eve-teasing incidents and passing indecent remarks at womenfolk of the village. They have also demanded the immediate closure of the ‘Akhara’.

Large number of vehicles were stranded on the road and the tyres of number of vehicles were deflated by the agitators.

It is also pointed out that this was the fourth road blockade within a week and second in the last four days against the police inaction.

Meanwhile, a number of residents of village Kabirpur staged a dharna in front of the police headquarter here in protest against the failure of the police to arrest the alleged accused in the murder of one Jagan Nath of the village and undue harassment of the innocent villagers on the pretext of police investigation. They met the Superintendent of Police and urged him to get the accused arrested.


Rs 2.50 cr scheme makes little difference to sanitary conditions
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 14
Even after the sanction of the Rs 2.50 crore World Bank-aided ‘Solid Waste Management Scheme’, there has been little improvement in the sanitary conditions in Sonepat.

According to a report, the Sonepat Municipal Council had already received two Swaraj Mazda equipped with containers, 199 hand-driven rehris, 1,043 standpost dustbins, 40 tricycles, 13 head carts and other items under this scheme for removing the garbage from the city.

However, majority of these purchased items had become unserviceable, as they had not been used so far by the sanitary staff. In effect, these have been dumped for the past three months.

Even as the population of this city had reached 2.45 lakh, the number of safai workers was only 234. The Sonepat Municipal Council had approached the state government as well as the district administration for the appointment of safai workers on daily wages. However, both the agencies have failed to approve the demands of the Sonepat Municipal Council.

There is a proposal to acquire a number of sweeping machines at a cost of Rs 50 lakh under a scheme of the Central Government. Under this scheme, the Central Government would bear all the expenses for seven years, which would be later taken over by the state government. The ‘Sold Waste Management Scheme’ has been jointly undertaken by the Central and the State government with responsibility in ratio of 80:20.

The Sonepat Municipal Council has placed big containers on the roads for clearing the garbage. Handcarts equipped with six dustbins would be kept in the streets for the purpose of the collection of garbage.

As many as 200 collection points have been identified in different parts of the city, from where garbage and filth would be removed by using trucks and tractor-trolleys.


Socially deserted girls open a new chapter
in their life
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 14
Deserted by the family and society alike, they went through hell for long. However, their suffering seems to be over now as they prepare to live happily ever after. These newly wedded girls have long stories of suffering.

Most of these girls opened their eyes in the Government Uttar Raksha Graha. Some of them landed here due to some mishappening in the family, while others joined the Graha due to other compulsions.

Tara, separated from her parents at the age of 8, reached the Uttar Raksha Graha (GURG) of Jaipur. She was later transferred to Meerut. She has no memory of her parents.

Gita’s story is somewhat different. She went through an ‘Iliad’ of sufferings after the divorce of her parents. When asked whether she would like to call his father to her marital home, she became emotional. Tears welled in her eyes

Mamta, Asha, Aramika, Meenu, Guddi—all have different painful stories to narrate. Samina said that her neighbour left her in Agra, while Kusum joined the Graha due to stepmother’s ill-treatment.

The scene was different on the campus of a local engineering college where the wedding of 21 girls was solemnised. Several senior administrative officials, including the DM, ADM, district probation officer, director, social welfare, were there and waited for the grooms like a ‘larki wale’. Soon a barat of 21 grooms arrived with ‘band baja’ and all the administrative officials and others welcomed them. Of these 21 girls, two were Muslims while the rest were Hindus. All the Hindu grooms were dressed well and performed the wedding rituals, while the ‘Dulhe Miyan’ (Muslims grooms) had to wait as the city Kazi, supposed to solemnise the weddings, was late for two and a half hours.

The officials rushed a local thanedar to arrange for a Kazi. The marriage of these girls of GURG is different in various ways from the traditional Indian marriage. The grooms were selected after an advertisement in the newspapers. Suitable boys are selected by a committee of Chief Development officer, ADM, District social welfare officers and district probation officer after a series of interviews. Subsequently, local intelligence unit of the police is pressed into service to verify the antecedents of the grooms-to-be. And then the grooms are medically examined and finally the wedding is solemnised in the supervision of District Magistrate. The government machinery also keeps an eye on the couples for two years after the marriage. The objective is to protect the girls from any mischief, cruelty, and other difficulties.

Sufficient household articles are presented to the couples to begin a new house and life—from double bed to dining table and from a spoon to pressure cooker..

A local MLA Dr Ranvir Rana, who was present there to perform the ‘kayadan’ of the socially deserted girls, told the NCR Tribune that he felt as if his own daughters were getting married.


Plan to shift dairies to special zone runs into roadblock
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 14
The plan of municipality to shift the dairies from the city to a special zone in village Khedki Majra appears to have run into roadblock as the dairy owners are unwilling to shift to the new site.

The special zone has been set up on a 40 acre land, which the municipality had acquired after shelling Rs 1.7 crores as compensation money.

Presently, 320 plots measuring from 250 to 500 sq yds have been set up in the zone.

As per the official claims, the site will have first class infrastructure like arrangement for a veterinary doctor, proper drainage and sewerage system and provisions of ample water and electricity.

Although only 320 plots have been earmarked for the present, there is scope for setting up more such plots in future.

As per the plan, the dairy owners have to purchase the plots and set up the built in areas as per their requirements within the parameters of fixed specifications of the municipality.

However, although the municipality advertised sale of plots a few days ago, there has been virtually no response from the dairy owners in the city.

Persons involved with issue say that the dairy owners are reluctant to shift to the new zone, which is outside the city, as they are wary that it would have adverse impact on their business prospects.

As the dairies are presently functioning from the city’s urban hub they can afford to sell milk at as high a rate as Rs 21 per litre.

Moreover, the fact that the dairies are scattered ensures that they have limited competition. However, there are many who vouch that the dairy owners have built a powerful lobby and fix the milk rate arbitrarily.

Also, most of them can easily fob the consumers with cheap products as they escape the scrutiny of the Health Department by virtue of being scattered.

The municipality took more than a year to set up the zone following a general directive from the Supreme Court to shift the dairies away from the city in order to safeguard the environment and keep the city clean.

The civic body conducted a survey, which found that 320 dairies, having five or more cattle, were functioning in the city. In fact, any dairy with five or more cattle would have to be shifted from the city.

The dairies in the city have always acted as a stumbling block in maintaining the sewerage system in number of areas.

It has been found that the dairy owners dump cowdung in the drains and sewerage system, choking them round the year.

However, the municipal authorities say that the civic body will crack the whip against the obstinate dairy owners after October 20, the deadline for applying for the plots.

The dairy owners have been informed of the entire plan of the municipality to shift the dairies in view of the apex court’s directive. In effect, the categorised dairies will not be allowed to function in the city after October 20, the authorities asserted.


Malaria stalking Bahadurgarh villages, two die
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, October 14
Malaria is stalking some villages in Bahadurgarh sub-division of the district as two deaths have been reported due to the Plasmodium Fasliforum (PF) in Rohad village recently.

According to information, Khazan Singh of Rohad village was reportedly died of malaria on October 8 in P G Institute of Medical Sciences at Rohtak while another person Abu Sama, hailing from Bihar, succumbed to the fever on August 27.

He was employed in a factory situated near Rohad village. Another neighbouring village Dahkora is also suspected to be in danger of the affliction.

A team of the health department of the district led by Dr Pradeep Sharma has been campaigning in the village for last few days.

The officials are overseeing the situation in the area. A red alert has been sounded in the village. The spray of mellithine power is also being done to check the spread of the disease.

However, the fear of dengue also haunts the people of Bahadurgarh as some suspected cases have been referred to Delhi recently.

Youth shot at

One person was reportedly shot at by four youths in Mandothi village of the district today. According to information, Sandeep, son of Mahender was returning to his house from the fields when four youths identified as Ramkaran, Kuldeep, Satbir and Jaibir attacked him.

Two shots were fired at Sandeep who was rushed to PGIMS Rohtak in a serious condition. The police have registered a case in this connection.


Farmer killed in sleep, body found in tubewell
Our Correspondents

Rewari, October 14
Mangtu Ram Yadav, a young farmer of Dahina village about 25 km from here, was brutally done to death allegedly by another farmer of the same village while the former was sleeping on a cot in a field near the village last night.

It is alleged that the body was thrown into the field’s tubewell from where it was found by the police this morning.

The police have registered a case of murder against the accused Gaj Raj Singh Yadav, son of Samai Singh Yadav who is absconding. The cold-blooded murder of Mangtu Ram Yadav, the only son of Banwari Lal Yadav, has reportedly deprived the family of the lone bread-earner. The accused Gaj Raj Singh Yadav is also the only son of his parents.

A dispute arising out of the recent sale of Gaj Raj Singh Yadav’s buffalo to a third person through the reported mediation of the deceased is stated to have caused the killing.

It is stated that Gaj Raj Singh Yadav, armed with an axe and accompanied by his wife Babli, went to the field where Mangtu Ram, along with his associate Narender Yadav, was sleeping on a cot.

It is further stated that Mangtu Ram’s associate, who was awakened abruptly, fled to a safe place, after which Mangtu Yadav was given violent blows on the head with the axe, resulting in his death on the spot. His body was allegedly thrown into the tubewell soon after. The accused and his wife then fled the place immediately. Later, Mangtu Ram’s associate broke the news to the village elders who informed the police.

HSMITC workers rebut claim

The employees’ association of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC) has refuted the statement of Haryana Finance Minister Sampat Singh in which he had claimed that the state government did not retrench any employee during its tenure.

In a statement here today, Mr Satyavir Singh Hooda, a former president of HSMITC, claimed that around 20,000 employees of HSMITC and other boards and corporations had been retrenched during the regime of Mr Om Prakash Chautala. He welcomed the statement of the HPCC chief, Mr Bhajan Lal, in which Mr Lal had announced that all the retrenched employees would be taken back into service if his party was voted to power.

Anaesthesiologists’ meet

The Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care of Pt B D Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences will organise 4th annual conference of Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists (North Zone) on October 18 and 19.

Dr Dhruv Chaudhary, public relation officer of the institute, said today that the event was being hosted here after a gap of 27 years.

He said the last North Zone conference was held here in 1976. Dr Sarla Hooda, Prof and Head, Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, is the organising secretary of the conference.

Around 500 delegates, anaesthesiologists and Critical Care physicians from Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and other states are expected to attend this conference.


Last date to pay property tax extended
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, today said that the last date for payment of property tax with full rebate of 20 per cent has been extended till October 31 to enable more tax payers to avail themselves of the benefit of rebate.

He said that a large number of representations from the residents welfare associations, industry associations and market associations were received to extend the last date for the payment of the property tax.

The Municipal Commissioner has advised all the property tax payers who could not deposit their tax so far to get the benefit of the rebate. He warned that no further extension would be granted.

MCD to drain out fountains to check mosquito menace

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi today directed its horticulture department to make all the fountains in the parks dry as mosquitoes breed there.

The direction was given following a review meeting taken by the Standing Committee Chairman, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, to discuss the situation of dengue fever in the Capital.

The meeting was attended by Director Health Services, district health officers in zones and all district commissioners. It was discussed during the meeting that the MCD required to take specific steps to eliminate the mosquito breeding in the Capital.

When district commissioners and officers of the health department pointed out the breeding of mosquitoes in the fountains of MCD parks, the Chairman of the Standing Committee told the Director Horticulture to make them dry. The Director of Primary Education was also directed to launch health education programme to make the school students aware which will help control the breeding of mosquitoes.

The Chairman of the Standing committee directed to spray in the Yamuna belt. The New Delhi Municipal Council has established a control room in the NDMC headquarters and it will run round the clock.

The Charak Hospital has kept eight beds for dengue patients in the male ward and four in the female ward. These beds will be kept reserved for the dengue patients with the laboratory facility round the clock.

Opposition leader in the corporation, Mr Subhash Arya demanded that dengue should be notified as dangerous disease. He deplored that due to the negligence of the administration, dengue cases are on the rise.

During the last three meetings of the corporation, the dengue issue was raised by the BJP, but it was not taken seriously.

Consequently, the number of dengue cases has touched the mark of 869 today.


Man kills aunt for unrequited love
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
The North-East district police today claimed to have arrested one Asif alias Zunoor Khan alias Nanhe (21), resident of Seelampur, who had killed his maternal aunt Suraiya in the Subhash Vihar area. The reason? She had repulsed his advances. The accused told the police that he was in love with her but she did not reciprocate the same feelings. Nanhe, nephew of the victim, worked as a tailor in the shop of Suraiya’s husband at Zafrabad. The victim’s husband Shafiquddin, reported to the police on October 7, that his wife was killed by his neighbour Babu Khan. When the police questioned Khan, he told the police that he had personal enmity with Shafiquddin and that’s why he was trying to implicate him in the murder case.

Meanwhile, the victim’s brother gave his version to the police. According to this report, Nahne had told one of his friends that he killed Suraiya for not yielding to his sexual advances. Subsequently, Nanhe was apprehended. During interrogation, Nanhe also confessed to have killed his aunt. He told the police that he was in love with her but she did not reciprocate the same feelings towards him.

Gambling racket busted

With the arrest of 10 persons, the Crime Branch today claimed to have busted a gambling racket in the Paschim Vihar area. Based on a tip-off, the sleuths apprehended Joginder Lal (46), Kamal Mohan (48), Vijay Kumar (40), Pradeep Kumar (41), Malkinder Singh (24), Manjot Singh (34), Jitender Malik (34), Guddu (43), Virender Singh alias Jyoti (33) and Surinder Kumar (40). The sleuths also claimed to have recovered 221 plastic tokens of different colours like white, green and blue color for a total value of Rs 7.21 lakh from their possession.

Three held for smuggling liquor

The sleuths had intercepted a Maruti car and arrested three persons for smuggling liquor in the Nangloi area. They also seized 25 cartons with 48 bottles each manufactured in Haryana from their possession.

The accused Rajesh Kumar, resident of Rohini, Ram Sharan, resident of Shakar Pur and Gugan Ram, resident of Rohini were apprehended when they were transporting the liquor in a Maruti Wagon-R No DL-3CT-0370.


Gang of five dacoits smashed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 14
With the arrest of five armed persons, the CIA staff have busted a gang of dacoits operating in this region for the past few months.

Superintendent of Police Paramjit Singh Ahlawat told mediapersons here today that the bandits were identified as Narinder of Ahulana village, Dinesh alias Baboo of Chhinauli village, Naresh, son of Mr Hem Chand of Rubhra village, Naresh, son of Rajbir of Chiri village and Mukesh of Tihar Malik village.

The police, he said, have recovered four country-made pistols, four live cartridges and two motorcycles from their possession. Giving the details of the arrests, the SP disclosed that the police officials of the CIA staff and the Kharkhauda police station were patrolling the area for investigating a murder case when they received a tip-off. Some bandits were sitting in a deserted ‘kotha’ near the Drain No. 8 on the Sisana-Silana Road and planning to commit a dacoity on a liquor vend at Sisana village. The police, he said, immediately swung into action and conducted a raid on their hideout.

According to the SP, one of the bandits Karambir, on seeing the police, fired shots on the SHO of the Kharkhauda police station but he escaped unhurt.

However, Karambir fled under the cover of darkness. But all other five bandits were arrested on the spot.

The SP disclosed that the bandits, during the course of interrogation, confessed to their involvement in a murder case and a series of thefts of vehicles.

The police, he said, also solved the murder of Mr Sukhbir, son of Mr Chandan of Bidhlan village on September 26. Further investigations were in progress.


Huda colony residents panic after hearing gunshots
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 14
Hundreds of people, including women and children rushed out of their houses in panic when some youths fired shots in the main market of Sector 14, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) here last night.

According to a report, the incident occurred around 10 pm and the shopkeepers put their shutters down immediately after the incident.

It is stated that some youths clashed and one of them fired thrice in the air.

On hearing the shots, a large number of people assembled at the site, but the youths managed to escape on a motorcycle.

On receipt of information, the police arrived on the spot and organised the ‘nakabandi’ to apprehend the youths but failed to arrest them. Further investigations were in progress.

Student injured

Sunil, a student sustained injuries when he was attacked with a knife by Karambir, another student of Class X at Sewli village about 10 km from here last night. According to a report, the student was immediately hospitalised and is stated to be out of danger. The police are investigating the case. The assailant is absconding.

Husband held for dowry death

The police have registered a dowry death case against the husband and three members of the in-laws of Mrs Savita of Rajlu Garhi village in this district. According to a report, Mrs Savita was pregnant. The police have arrested her husband Ravinder whereas other accused are still at large.


Traders hope for a good ‘mela’ season
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 14
It is the ‘Mela’ season in Faridabad. Even as the second annual `Tradefest’ at Surajkund came to an end recently, the local administration has started preparation for the ‘Diwali Mela’ from October 17 to 20 at the Sector 12 ground here.

While the ‘Diwali Mela’ would be organised mainly by the district Red Cross Society, there are several other sale-cum-exhibitions being organised simultaneously in other parts of the town and the district.

Even though the state government and the district authorities left no stone unturned to make the Surajkund `Tradefest’ a success, the response to the ten-day extravaganza was “poor”.

Despite denial by the authorities, it is learnt that the decision to prepone the fair to October at a “far away” venue had played a major role in the low-key response to the mela. However, the Red Cross Society, which organises the ‘Diwali Mela’ each year, hopes to get a good response. The fair will be held for four days and would have all kinds of shops and stalls, besides games and fun rides. The Red Cross Society hopes to collect a good amount through the sale of entry tickets and stall rents.

A similar mela was held at the Gymkhana Club recently here, which received good response from the visitors. The mela at the Gymkhana Club has also become an annual feature in the city.

An exhibition was also held at the Magpie tourist complex here a few days ago, where over 100 stalls had been set up. This exhibition, organised by a private body, is normally held twice a year.

In addition, a number of exhibition-cum-sale festivals at a smaller scale are also organised in the city. A local businessman, who deals in consumer items, said that the dussehra and diwali festivals are the best part of the year for the traders and shopkeepers, as it proves lucrative for them. He admitted that even old stocks were cleared at reasonable rates during these months.

However, Mr K L Gera, a social activist, was against the involvement of the district authorities in these fairs as it diverted their attention away from more pressing issues. He also voiced his concern at the growing tendencies of shopkeepers and traders to encroach upon public land and roads during this period, which resulted in traffic jam and congestion on the main roads. He pointed out that Sector-15 market was the best example of such encroachments during the festive season.

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