Thursday, October 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Professor at AIIMS succumbs to dengue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
An Assistant Professor at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Bibek Anand Mohanty, who was being treated for dengue at the institute for the past fortnight, succumbed to the lethal fever on Wednesday, taking the dengue death toll in the Capital to three.

Two other dengue patients have died in the Capital, though at the beginning of the outbreak. One of them belonged to Haryana.

Dr Mohanty had been admitted in the ICU for the past ten days after undergoing an operation. He died of brain haemorrhage at 4 p.m. today, AIIMS sources said. Dr Nitish Naik is the other doctor being treated for the disease. At present, 36 suspected patients of dengue are undergoing treatment at AIIMS.

In another development, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Delhi Government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, seeking their report within three weeks on the spread of dengue in the Capital. Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report in a national daily — `RWAs blame MCD for dengue cases — the NHRC Chairman, Justice A. S. Anand, yesterday sought a report from the Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary of Delhi and the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta.

Quoting the Medical Health Officer of the MCD, Dr K. N. Tiwari, the news item had stated the toll of dengue patients had risen from 60 to 832. Some Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) had alleged that the MCD had not done any fumigation as required in the months of July and August. It was also stated that some private nursing homes and hospitals had refused to admit dengue patients.

The commission noted that these facts raised a serious issue of violation of human rights of citizens. The NHRC, which has taken a firm stand that health rights were basic human rights, has repeatedly taken up health issues like HIV/AIDS, mental illness, maternal anemia, malnutrition and dengue.

Taking a serious view of the spread of dengue in the Capital, Standing Committee members of the corporation today discussed the situation at length in the weekly meeting of the MCD and questioned the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, about the steps taken to control the dreaded fever.

The Standing Committee members were not satisfied with the arrangement made by the corporation for the treatment of dengue patients. They were of the view that no precautionary measures were taken to control dengue after the end of the rainy season. The disease always breaks out after the rains. The Municipal Commissioner said special wards had been provided in the corporation’s hospital for dengue patients. But that was not enough and such arrangements should be made in other hospitals also, he said.



Gurgaon Health Dept confirms five cases
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 15
The Health Department today confirmed five cases who had tested positive for dengue in Gurgaon district. There are at least 10 more suspected cases of the disease. According to the District Health Officer, Dr S. P. Singh, who is also holding charge as Medical Superintendent of the District Hospital, five of the cases that have tested positive are from various parts of the district.

In view of the outbreak of the disease, the Health Department has launched a major exercise to curb its spread.

Six crack teams have been exclusively constituted for Gurgaon city. The team members are said to be visiting about 150 houses each day with requisite pesticides to fumigate the areas and educate the masses on the importance of preventing mosquitoes from breeding. The sources said that during the visit of the team members larvae were detected in several parts of the city.

According to Dr Singh, when the department launched its exercise following reports of outbreak of dengue in the region the “mosquito density” in the city was nine. Now, the count had gone down to three, which was still alarming.

The Health Department has set up a round-the-clock control room in the District Hospital as well as in all the general hospitals and community health centres.

The department has issued a directive to the private hospitals and private practitioners to report to it immediately detection of dengue virus among their patients. Also, it has issued an appeal to the public not to panic and cooperate with it to fight and confine the possible spread of the disease. Moreover, it has urged the public not to leave water in utensils, tyres, orifices, flower pots etc where the mosquitoes may breed.



health watch
Four die in Ghaziabad

Ghaziabad: Rank apathy and negligence have claimed four victims of dengue in Ghaziabad district, three of them in the Mahanagar, while test reports obtained from Delhi have confirmed another 12 dengue patients.

An 11-year-old boy of Murad Nagar has also reportedly died of dengue. Another four suspected dengue patients from Kela Bhatta have been admitted to the hospital. The total number of officially confirmed dengue patients has crossed 50.

Incidentally, larvae of the dengue carrier have also been found in the coolers of a pathology lab in Patel Nagar. They were also found in coolers at Kumar Pathological Lab and Dr D. Sengupta’s Clinic by the anti-malaria squad.

Ms Renu Mehta was rushed to Narinder Mohan Hospital after confirmation of dengue fever. After a blood test, she has taken to Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. On being refused a bed there, she was taken to Batra Hospital, Delhi, but as here also she could not get a bed she was brought back to Narinder Mohan Hospital where she died after two days. Her 16-year-old son Vikas is also admitted there.

The 10-year-old son of Sheetal of Block-12, Vijay Nagar, has also died of dengue. He could not be given proper treatment due to scarcity of funds, his neighbours said. The third victim is said to be a poor woman of Bharat Nagar. Ferdaus (20) of Kela Bhatta, Jahan Ara (18), Soni (13) and Lokesh of Ramte Ram Road have all been admitted to the government hospital in serious condition. OC



Mob goes berserk over killing of family
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 15
Livid over the killing of four persons of a family a mob went on a rampage here in the morning and damaged at least two dozen vehicles, including eight buses and some police vehicles. The police had to resort to a lathi charge to disperse the mob. Traffic on the Delhi-Saharanpur and Meerut-Sonepat state highway ground to a halt as the frenzied mob also blocked both the roads.

According to information received here, a vegetable vendor, Kushal Pal, his wife and two infant children were stoned to death in the wee hours of Wednesday, barely 200 meters away from the residences of the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police. All four were brutally killed. The hand of the Bawaria gang is suspected behind the heinous incident. The modus operandi also corroborates the theory.

At about 6.30 am the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police arrived at the spot. By that time, a large number of people from the nearby locality had also gathered there. Trouble started when the police sealed the four bodies and loaded them in a tempo for being carried for a post-mortem examination. The mob protested against this and unloaded the bodies from the tempo, which were then exhibited on the Delhi-Saharanpur road. The agitated mob alleged the police had totally failed to curb crime in the area. The angry mob also blocked the two main roads of the district HQ.

When the police again tried to take possession of the bodies, the frenzied mob went on a rampage and started pelting stones on the police force. Considerable panic prevailed in the area with shopkeepers downing their shutters. The mob again wrested control of the roads and damaged several vehicles.

Additional police reinforcements have been sought from Meerut. The Inspector-General of Police, besides the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Meerut range, Mr Gurdarshan Singh, also rushed to the spot.



Foundation laid for stadium yet to be conceived

Jhajjar, October 15
Politicians of all hues have a strange fascination for laying foundation stones. The fate of the project rarely weighs on their mind.
Mr Abhay Singh Chautala, MLA from Rori constituency and son of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had laid the foundation stone of a stadium in Salawas village of the district on October 13, without getting any sanction from the government. Even the district administration had not finalised the shape of the proposal and the village panchayat was yet to adopt a resolution in this regard.

According to a information, a former MLA of the areas invited Mr Abhay Chautala in the constituency and decided to appease him by organising a function. A foundation stone was proposed to be laid. The village panchayat was prepared for the construction of a sports stadium in the village in a hurry. However, when the news of the visit of Mr Chautala reached the district administration, the district officials were at their wits’ end.

The administration immediately prepared a proposal for the stadium and sent it to the Central government. The proposal was sent to the Centre for construction of the stadium at a cost of Rs 3 lakh. An amount of about Rs 75,000 was to be given by the village. Amounts of Rs 75,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh, respectively, were to be contributed by the state and Central governments.

According to the sources, the district administration tried to persuade the INLD politician not to invite the son of the Chief Minister as the project was yet to be finalised and had to be sent to the government for sanction. But their efforts failed and the programme went ahead as scheduled. Mr Chautala laid the foundation stone of the stadium which is yet to be conceived even in the government files.

However, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mohinder Kumar, said that the project was being revised as a bigger stadium had been planned now. He said a Rs 30 lakh stadium would be built instead. He admitted that the proposal for the project was yet to be sent to the government. He said in the new scheme of things the villagers would have to give Rs 7.5 lakh and the state and the Central government would be apportioned a share of Rs 7.5 lakh and 15 lakh, respectively. He said the village panchayat would adopt a resolution for the construction of the stadium soon.

When asked whether land had been earmarked for the stadium, he said there was enough space available in the village for the stadium and that should not pose a problem.



Criminals in uniform ransack two houses
Our Correspondent

Dadri, (Noida), October 15
At least six criminals donning policemen’s uniform barged into two houses in Razzak Colony of Dadri, ostensibly in pursuit of a criminal, and robbed lakhs of rupees and valuables from there.

In one of the houses a girl’s marriage was to take place after a few days. Here the intruders helped themselves to all the valuable dowry items, jewellery and cash kept in Sagar Ali’s house.

The intruders scaled the boundary wall to enter Rafique’s house. They introduced themselves as the Rajasthan police from Jaipur, saying that they had information that a criminal, Javed, was hiding in Asgar’s house. In an hour-long search, they took away Rs 24,000 in cash, jewellery and other valuables amounting to lakhs of rupees.

After the thieves had left, the police were informed who came only in the morning, a couple of hours after the incident.

Livid people have made a complaint to the new SSP, Mr G. K. Goswami, about the laxity of the Dadri police.



Congressmen rally against ‘lawlessness’
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 15
Thousands of Congressmen today held a massive demonstration in front of the Mini-Secretariat building to highlight the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

The Congressmen took out a procession from the HUDA complex grounds to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and raised anti-government and anti-administration slogans. The demonstration was organised by Block Congress Committees, (Urban) and (Rural) jointly.

Addressing the demonstrators, former minister Subhash Batra said that the law and order situation in the state has worsened and citizens were feeling insecure. It appears that the mafia was ruling the roost in Haryana. The law-abiding citizens were feeling helpless, he said.

Mr Batra said that the INLD government had failed on all fronts and corruption was rampant. The government officials were collecting money in the name of ‘development fund’.

The elected representatives of the people, he said, have been ‘silenced’. People in the rural as well as urban areas were crying for water as drinking water has become a scarce commodity these days. The sewerage and sanitation systems have collapsed in the urban areas, he said.

The former minister alleged that Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was ignoring district Rohtak under a ‘pre-planned’ strategy. The Congress government had declared Rohtak industrially backward but the Chautala government has not provided any relief to the entrepreneurs. 



One Hooda blames the other for weakening the party
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 15
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has charged the Opposition leader, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, with weakening the party by releasing statements indirectly against the Congress leaders. In a statement here today, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, spokesman, HPCC, alleged that the people had been fed up with the ‘anti-people’ policies of the Chautala government.

He claimed the people were looking to the Congress as it was the only party, which could relieve them of their sufferings. In such crucial circumstances, he said it was very 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 Janta Party, was issuing statements against the Congress leaders. It may be recalled that Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda had recently issued statements that no ‘corrupt’ leader from the party would be a Chief Ministerial candidate 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 in place of tarnishing the party image by describing its senior leaders as corrupt.

Retrenchment Controversy: All Employees Association, Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC), has refuted the statement of the Haryana Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh, in which he had claimed that the state government had not retrenched 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 also wondered as to when the government would close down the Power Corporation, Haryana, Roadways, Medical and Education Departments as these too had been running into deficit.

He also welcomed the statement of HPCC chief, Mr Bhajan Lal, in which the latter had announced that all the retrenched employees would be taken back into service, if the party was voted to power.

Conference of Anaesthesiologists: The Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care of Pt. B. D. Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences will organise the 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, Head of the 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.



Special Focus on PANIPAT
Creating awareness about harmful effects of tobacco 
Our Correspondent

Panipat, October 15
There has been an increasing neglect by the district administration of the growing menace of tobacco addiction among the rural folks, particularly in Israna, Madloda and Bapoli blocks. Addiction to tobacco use among women in the rural areas is widespread. It has been found that a large number of women are addicted to ‘Biri’, cigarettes, snuff and tobacco chewing in these blocks.

At the same time, experts feel that people in the rural areas are ignorant of the damages caused by smoking, particularly in the light of the fact that in certain areas it is considered a part of their culture.

A large number of women ‘hooked’ to ‘Biri’ said that it provided relief and helped them stay active. Most of them agreed that it would be extremely difficult to leave this habit. A large number of men, on the other hand, said that they were using tobacco in one form or the other from their childhood. The elderly people, particularly those in the villages said that “Hukka” was a “boon for the old age people”. However, “Hukka” smoking among women is prevalent among a small minority only.

In Panipat town, even as a large number of people are addicted to smoking, awareness about its harmful effects are extremely low.

In this scenario, one man, Mr Satish Guglani, has taken upon himself the task of creating public awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine use.

Mr Guglani has been recognised for his efforts in this area and is the recipient of number of awards including the ‘Service Above Self Award’ by Rotary International and ‘Governor of Haryana Award’. He is presently working as the Chairman, Drug Abuse Prevention Committee.

Talking to the NCR Tribune, Mr Guglani said, “it is easy to make a law but very difficult to implement it in a proper way.” He said the directive of the Supreme Court to restrict smoking in public places has had little impact. Everybody can be seen smoking all over the place, including in District Court premises, police stations, civil hospitals, banks, railway station and in roadways buses. The district administration appears “handicapped” unable to take action against those found guilty, he alleged.

Mr Guglani said that he had been inspired by an American member of Rotary International, Mr David, who revealed to him that the low standard maintained by the tobacco companies in India would have attracted stringent penalty in the United States. Mr David’s assertion pinched him and he decided to create awareness among the people of the district.

Later, Mr Guglani approached Dr Ram Chand Malik, who helped him prepare a formula for de-addiction. Since then, he has been fully involved in the various dedication campaigns in the district. People from all religion have come forward to make their contribution to the campaign. In the last 12 years, Mr Guglani has helped thousands of persons in their de-addiction efforts. Moreover, he has also helped 3,240 liquor addicts and 353 drug addicts stay away from the deadly vice.

Speaking about the areas of operation, Mr Guglani said he had organised camps in more than 100 villages and 16 towns in Haryana to spread awareness among the public about this menace.

Besides, he had also organised awareness camps about this deadly addiction in 14 villages in Uttar Pradesh, three villages each in Rajasthan and Maharashtra with the association of Jain Samaj, two villages in Himachal Pradesh with the cooperation of Indian Missionary Services (IMS) and in Shimla with the cooperation of Jesus and Mary College.

Another camp is being organised in Malvia Nagar, New Delhi, to provide relief to about 10,000 addicts with the blessings of Rajender Muni Ji Maharaj of Jain Samaj, on October 19. He has been receiving kits regularly from the World Health Organization (WHO), which had greatly helped him organise such camps in different schools and colleges of the district.

Criticising the association of Bollywood stars with cigarette advertisements, he said about 12 lakh children picked up the deadly smoking habits everyyear. If the present trend continues, different kinds of social, mental, physical and other ailments would become widespread among children. With the help of Mr Ravi Shanker Swami from Bangalore, a large number of addicts had been put on ‘Art of Living’ programme with the help of yoga, ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ and ‘Pranayam’. About 200 persons were motivated under this programme in a short span of two years, he added.

With the assistance of Dr Vinod Kochapille, Head of the Oncology Department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, a joint research on typical cases of tobacco users have been started. The results have been favourable, he added.

He hoped that other social service organizations and NGOs would come forward to coordinate their efforts in similar de-addiction programme and organise a national ‘jan-andolan’ on war-footing so that the future generation would be saved from this menace.

Mr Guglani urged the Haryana Government and district administration to implement the Supreme Court restrictions on smoking in public places and ban public advertisements of cigarettes.



Fresh survey to identify BPL families
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 15
The district administration has decided to undertake fresh survey of the people living below the poverty line (BPL)in Sonepat city and other parts of the district.
According to a report, the fresh survey would be started from next month and the towns of Sonepat, Ganaur, Kharkhauda and Gohana would be covered in the first phase.

The district administration has appointed as many as 140 employees of different departments and 35 supervisors, who are required to visit each household for locating the BPL families. They would cover at least 70,000 houses located in these four towns.

The break up of the houses in the different segments are: 40,000 houses in 31 wards in Sonepat city, 9,022 houses in 15 wards at Ganaur, about 13,000 houses in 15 wards at Gohana and at least 5,000 houses in 13 wards at Kharkhauda town.

Each employee would be paid between Rs 1 and Rs 1.50 for each house, whereas each supervisor would be paid Rs 500 for covering at least 2,000 houses. Hitherto, the government employees had not been paid for conducting such surveys in the district.

The district administration has allotted Rs 2 lakh for the payment of remuneration to the employees who are put on duty for conducting the survey. The employees conducting the survey would also be given articles, including bag and board for keeping the record of the BPL families located by them.

The state government, it may be recalled, had conducted the surveys in 1991 and 1997 for identifying the BPL families in the district. However, a large number of such families had been left out and demanded the inclusion of their names in the list for the distribution of subsidised rationed articles.



Livid villagers burn akhara over killing
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 15
Agitated villagers went on a rampage and burnt a nearby ‘akhara’ in Raipur village, about 4 km from here last night. The incident occurred immediately after the cremation of the body of a youth allegedly murder by one Rajinder from the ‘akhara’.

According to a report, the municipal fire brigade arrived on the spot and brought the fire under control. The loss caused by the fire was estimated to be around Rs 10 lakh. The goods burnt in the incident included the mats of the ‘Akhara’. The building of the ‘akhara’ was also damaged.

It may be recalled that two youths of Fazilpur village, Raj Kumar and Charan Singh, were attacked by some wrestlers in the village ‘akhara’ with sharp edged weapons on last Saturday. Both the victims were referred to a trauma centre at Delhi in serious condition by the doctors of the local civil hospital.

One of the victims, Raj Kumar, succumbed to injuries at the trauma centre, whereas the condition of Charan Singh continues to be serious.

Meanwhile, tension prevails in both the villages of Fazilpur and Raipur, as the victim belonged to Fazilpur village while the ‘akharas’ falls under the jurisdiction of Raipur village.

The SDM, Mr Sujan Singh Yadav, arrived in the village on receiving the information, and made heavy deployment of police force at vulnerable points to maintain law and order.



Haryana gets 90% bajara from two states

Faridabad: About 90 per cent of the bajra, procured by the state government agency in the district so far, has reportedly come from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is perhaps for the first time that special procurement of bajra had been done here.

The authorities have informed that about 17,500 metric tonnes of bajra had been procured, of which 16,670 metric tonnes have been purchased by the Haryana Agro Industries, a state government enterprise.

It may be recalled that a large amount of the paddy and wheat being procured by various agencies in the respective season also come from these states in the mandis here.

Leaders of the opposition parties, including Mr Karan Dalal, MLA from Palwal and Mr Surender Singh, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party, have alleged that bajra of Rajasthan was being procured by the Haryana Government at the MSP of Rs 505 per quintals in many mandis of Haryana on the direction of the Chautala government.

They said, in separate but identical statements, that as the ruling INLD had been wanting to contest the elections in Rajasthan, the Chief Minister had been `misusing’ his authority to indirectly affect the rural voters of that state. TNS



ncr briefs
One killed in scooter accident
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, October 15
Two persons going on a scooter were hit by an unknown vehicle on the G T Road near Nathupur village about 15 km from here last evening.
According to a report, both the youths sustained serious injuries. One of them later died. The victim was identified as Pinku Chauhan of Bahalgarh village. The injured youth was identified as Jagbir Chauhan. He was immediately hospitalised and stated to be serious.

The police have registered the case and further investigations are on. The body of the victim was sent for a postmortem examination.

Firecrackers’ sale restricted

Jhajjar: District Magistrate Mohinder Kumar has issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr Pc in the district restricting the sale of firecrackers and explosive material in the congested place of the market and human dwellings.

Issuing the directives, the DM said that the persons holding valid licence only could sell and store the firecrackers in view of Divali.

BJP workers feel sidelined

Panipat: Resentment prevails among a group of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers over the ‘indifferent’ attitude of the party elders which resulted in the sidelining of old workers. Those who had left the Congress and joined the BJP, are being given the key posts.

This was stated by the ex-Mandal general secretary Kul Bhushan Bhaskar here recently.

Giving details, Mr Bhaskar alleged that Mr Parmod Khera of the Congress has been appointed cashier of the BJP Mandal. The other figure from the Congress who joined the BJP is Sareen Singla and is being offered the job of a spokesperson, he alleged.

Criticising the party’s policy, Mr Bhaskar alleged that the party is not following its own principles under which formula of ‘One Man-One Post’ was practised.

He said that the higher authorities should take note of the simmering discontentment among the group of workers.

Two held for murder

New Delhi: The North-East district police today claimed to have worked out a murder case in Welcome Colony with the arrest of Rizwan and his associate Sabir Pehlwan. They were allegedly involved in the murder of their friend, Akbar committed a few days back, the police said. TNS



Transporters’ meet on Dec 6
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
The All India Transporters Welfare Association will hold its national convention on December 6 in NCT of Delhi. Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat will be the chief guest on the occasion. He will also flag off the nationwide campaign for spreading awareness about AIDS and road safety.

Union Minister of Human Resource Development M.M. Joshi, Union Minister of Labour Sahib Verma, Union Minister of Agriculture Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of Health Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State of Surface Transport B.C. Khanduri would grace the occasion.

Master Plan preparation: A perspective plan for infrastructure will be included in the Delhi Master Plan 2021. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) says it is making efforts to formulate plans for water, electricity, telecommunication, etc, at the earliest so that the preparation of Master Plan is expedited.

The DDA has written to the civic agencies so that the perspective plan for a projected population of 2.2 to 2.3 crore is prepared by the end of November this year. The civic agencies administered by the Government of NCT of Delhi include the Delhi Fire Service, Delhi Jal Board and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

DSGMC urged not to contest Assembly poll: The Sikh Forum and the Sikh Sangat have appealed members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) not to contest the Assembly election in NCT of Delhi.

In case some members are still keen to fight the election, secretary R. S. Chhatwal said that they should resign from the membership of DSGMC. “Alternatively, they should openly declare that they would resign from the membership of the DSGMC if successful in the election,” he said.

Commuters want halt of Bhatinda Express:
The daily Railway Passengers Welfare Association and the commuters from Sonepat to Panipat, Karnal etc, working in various government departments, today demanded the stoppage of the special Inter-city Bhatinda Express train (No 4521 UP) that passes through Sonepat station at 4.50 pm.

In a memorandum sent to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, a copy of which was released to the press here, they pointed out that it is important to have a halt of the train at both Sonepat and Karnal to facilitate a large number of commuters.

There is no express train from Sonepat till late in the evening which causes problem during the peak hours.

Though there is a passenger train at 4.40 pm from Sonepat, it is slow and overcrowded, making it hard for women to travel safely. Sometimes, this train takes two and a half hours to reach Karnal. It gets late and dark, and women find it undependable, they added.

The association also demanded the stoppage of the Amritsir-bound Superfast and the Bhatinda-bound Bhatinda-Delhi intercity express at Subzimandi to facilitate the long-distance and short-distance passengers to board these trains and reach their destinations on time.

The association also urged the members of Parliament from Delhi and Sonepat to take up the matter with the Union Railway Minister and solve the issue hanging for the past few years.

It also threatened to gherao them if the issue was not solved within a couple of days.

Bichpari villagers block traffic: Residents of Bichpari village came out on the streets and held up traffic on the Gohana-Safidon Road for about six hours yesterday in protest against the non-replacing of an electricity transformer burnt on Saturday. According to a report, a large number of vehicles were lined up on both sides of the road and the women demonstrators did not allow any vehicle to pass through.

On receipt of the information, an SDE of the UHBVN accompanied by Mr Sanjay Bishnoi Tehsildar rushed to the site and tried to pacify the women demonstrators, but they refused to lift the blockade till the replacement of the transformer. Thereupon, both the officials left the site of the blockade.

Thereafter, Mr Suraj Bhan Jangra, SDM, Mr R S Dahiya, Xen of the UHBVN and Mr Sham Singh Rana, DSP arrived on the scene, but the demonstrators had already lifted the blockade on the intervention of the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sadar police station.

According to the UHBVN officials, the transformer was burnt on Saturday and it could not be replaced because of Sunday. They have to procure from the stores at Sonepat and if it is not available there, it is to be procured from Panchkula. In this way, two or three days are required to replace the burnt or damaged transformer by them.



Kidnapped child rescued, one held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
With the arrest of one person, the North-West district police today claimed to have solved a kidnapping for ransom in which the accused Sathish Kumar Singh (24), hailing from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, had demanded Rs 5 lakh from the six-year-old victim’s father in the Daulatpur area.

The child Deepak Mahto (6) was rescued from Paharganj where he had been held captive. The police received a complaint on October 12, from the victim’s father Harender Mahto (29), that his child had been missing from outside his house.

The police after reaching his house, obtained a list of names whom he suspected and also Mahto’s financial status. At around 8 pm, the kidnapper called Harender on his mobile and demanded Rs 5 lakh and after negotiation, he came down to Rs 1 lakh. Since the suspect spoke in the Bihari accent, Harender suspected that the act was committed by someone known to his family.

The suspect asked Harender to meet him with the money in two places like Shivaji Stadium and Shiela Cinema but never turned up. Meanwhile, the police traced the calls from a PCO in New Delhi area and made efforts to trace the PCO booth.

Again on October 14, Sathish phoned up Harender and asked him to bring the money to the Lady Harding Medical College and leave it on Pir Baba Mazar at around 8 pm. At around 8.20 when Sathish came to the spot to pick up the money, the police party overpowered him. Sathish, a whitewash contractor told the police during interrogation that he knew Harender for quite some time as both of them belonged to Muzaffarpur. Since Sathish is not employed now, he had approached Harender for a job and some money. But Harender refused his request.

Since Sathish knew his financial status, he hatched a conspiracy to kidnap Deepak and demanded ransom money. On the fateful day, he kidnapped the child on the pretext of offering him sweets and took him to Paharganj area where he kept him with his friends Guddu (35) and Sanjay (32).

Sathish also told his friends that since Deepak’s father was busy attending on his pregnant wife in the Lady Harding hospital, the child would be staying with them for a couple of days.



Youth robbed of mobile phone
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 15
Pankaj Kumar, a youth was robbed of his mobile telephone by some armed miscreants in broad daylight on the platform of the railway station here yesterday.
According to a report, he was sitting on a bench when some miscreants came from the rear side and showed him a knife.

They snatched the mobile from him and fled towards the grain market.

The youth raised the alarm and the miscreants were chased by some people, including two policemen but they could not be caught. The Government Railway Police officials, however, declined to register the case.

Thereafter, the youth and other passengers telephonically informed the SSP Railways, Mr Ravi Azad, stationed at Ambala. The SSP assured them that he would send an officer to Sonepat for inquiring the case. On his assurance, the passengers dispersed.



Husband ends life
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
Deepak, a resident of Gautam Nagar near Defence Colony reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a fan in his house this morning. He belonged to Secundrabad in Andhra Pradesh. He was married to Jyoti three years back. The couple used to fight frequently.

They also had a fight a couple of days back. When he took the extreme step, his wife was not at home. He was seen hanging by the neighbours. No suicide note was recovered from his person, the police said.

Five burglars held: West district police today claimed to have arrested five burglars from Uttam Nagar who were involved in a robbery case in Gulab Bagh. They were identified as Ranjit, Lala Mukhia, Amarjit, Suraj Kumar alias Pawan Kumar and Raju alias Sonu. Twelve colour TV sets, one motorcycle, two VCDs, one music system and jewellery were seized from their possession.



Schoolteacher held for sexual assault

New Delhi: The North-West district police today arrested a schoolteacher on the charge of sexually assaulting a girl student of standard third. The suspect, Brijesh Saini, was a teacher in Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Sector 1, Avantika in Rohini. He lured the victim to the first floor, promising her a lollipop. Unsuspecting, the girl followed him to a vacant room where the suspect allegedly sexually assaulted her. After committing the act, he asked the victim to keep quiet about the incident. However, she disclosed the incident to her mother in the evening. Her parents got a complaint registered in Rohini following which the suspect was arrested. During interrogation, the suspect admitted he had committed the crime. TNS


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