N C R   S T O R I E S


Woman succumbs to dengue in Faridabad
Negative publicity worries health dept more
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 20
A 35-year-old married woman of Bhagat Singh Colony, Ballabgarh, died of dengue here last night. The victim identified as Nirmala Devi had been admitted about a week ago to a leading private hospital here. It is learnt that the hospital officials admitted that she had been suffering from dengue. However, the health department is still to confirm this death due to ‘dengue’.

While the rise in the number of cases of dengue, viral and malaria has been worrying everyone in the district, the health department despite being on a ‘high alert’ seems to be more concerned about tackling the alleged negative publicity rather than the ways to contain the diseases.

Several deaths have been reported in the district in the past one month and some of these are suspected to be caused by dengue and viral, although the health authorities claim that no death had taken place so far due to dengue. But according to reports, the confirmed (positive) cases of dengue have touched the figure of 28 so far. As many as 17 cases of suspected dengue were admitted to the Bhadshah Khan Civil Hospital here in the past 48 hours. There is a long list of such cases in the private hospitals and nursing homes. About five deaths due to suspected viral and dengue have been reported from various parts in the past 10 days.

The district health department, however, seems to be unhappy with the figures and statistics put out by the private hospitals and clinics regarding the dengue or suspected cases. The top bosses of the health department of Haryana, Dr B S Dahiya has already toured the district and directed the health officials to take up the measures to contain the disease.

He had asked to intensify the anti-mosquito fogging in all the sensitive areas and ordered to carry fogging during the night in certain parts. It is learnt that about 86 teams of doctors and paramedical staff have been set up to carry out the anti-malaria and dengue campaign throughout the district.


No mismanagement in fighting disease: Walia

New Delhi: Having been accused of mismanagement and negligence in the wake of the dengue outbreak in the city, the Congress government in Delhi today tried to counter the charges and said that if the mismanagement in hospitals came to light, the guilty would be punished. The Delhi Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, said, “We have not come across any instance of deliberate lapse on the part of hospital staff so far but if we find something, we will definitely take action.”

Elaborating on the measures taken by the administration, Dr Walia said more than 10 lakh homes had been fogged and a total of 30,000 homes were being fogged every day. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi had also procured 80 new fogging machines to combat dengue, he said.

Meanwhile, The Mayor of Delhi, Mr Ashok Kumar Jain, said that all efforts would be made to control the dreaded fever in the Capital. With only 20 new cases of dengue were reported today, the total notified cases were 1537. He said, “No shortage of manpower, money, equipment and resources whatsoever will be allowed to come in the way to carry out the anti-dengue operations and maintain adequate standard of sanitation and cleanliness.” The Mayor today chaired a special meeting organised to review the progress made by the MCD to fight the disease. The meeting was attended by the Standing Committee Chairman, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, chairpersons of all the 12 zone committees and Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta. TNS


Dengue snuffs out life; larvae at three places 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, October 20
A youth lost his life due to high fever in the city today while the number of dengue patients reached 106.

Twenty-two blood samples have been sent to Delhi for the lab test. Dengue larvae have been found at three places by the health department teams.

Under the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Inderjit Punjwani, a campaign has been launched against dengue in Sector-9, II and 12 Vijay Nagar as also in Kela Bhatta area.

The larvae of dengue mosquitoes were found in a Vasundhara guest house and house Nos 360 and 562 in Malibara.

In Kavi Nagar industrial area, Anil Kumar, 26, succumbed to high fever today. He had been suffering from high temperature for the last three days. The whole area continues to be in panic because of dengue.

There is still no stemming the disease in the city.

Twelve patients with high temperature were admitted in the district hospital yesterday while six new dengue patients were admitted to hospital today. Blood of 139 persons has been sent for lab test. The dengue suspected patients continue to come to the district hospital, mostly from the urban areas. 


DSGMC chief supports Cong openly
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi (SADD) controlled Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has finally come out openly in support of the Delhi Congress in the run up to the Assembly elections scheduled for December 1.

The recently elected DSGMC president, Mr Prehlad Singh Chandok, joined the Congress Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, at her campaign meeting last evening in Ranjit Nagar, the Assembly constituency of MLA Ramakant Goswami, Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister.

The meeting was also attended by several Muslim leaders, who were apparently expressing their gratitude for according the granting of second official language status to Urdu and Punjabi in the National Capital Territory of Delhi

The DSGMC president, a Sarna loyalist, was accompanied by DSGMC general secretary Harbhanjan Singh Matharu, a lieutenant of sacked Akal Takht Jathedar Ranjit Singh.

The DSGMC leaders and the Chief Minister sat together on the podium in one row flanked by a number of local Sikh and Muslim leaders.

This was perhaps for the first time in nearly two decades that the Sikh religious leaders have thrown their weight behind the Congress whose Sikh support-base had eroded after the events of 1984.

A citation from the International Council of Punjabis (ICP) was also presented to Ms Dikshit, thanking her for according the second official language status to Punjabi in Delhi. In 2000, the Delhi Assembly led by her had passed the Official Languages Bill in keeping with a four-decade-old demand of Delhi’s Punjabi community, especially the Sikhs. The Bill was given Central clearance and notified earlier this year.

“There is still a long way to go. We want to see that both Punjabi and Urdu are implemented as official languages in Delhi and for that purpose we seek re-election,’’ Ms Dikshit said in her address. The Chief Minister also vowed to put Delhi on the list of the world’s most beautiful cities.


21 schoolchildren hurt as bus overturns
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, October 20
As many as 21 schoolchildren were injured when their bus met with an accident on the GT Road near Rai this morning. Two of them, Sunil Badkhalsa and Mamina, who were injured seriously, have been admitted to the local Sharma Hospital.

According to information, the bus of Little Angel School here was returning to school after picking up the children from different villages this morning around 9 am. When the bus came on to the GT Road near Asawarpur village, it was hit by a speeding tourist bus coming from the Delhi side. After the accident, the bus reportedly overturned, but it was a lucky escape for the 21 schoolchildren as no casualty occurred. The injured children were brought to the local Civil Hospital by another public school bus.

Girl raped at dagger-point

Noida: A young girl in Anwar Garh village under the Rabupura police station was raped at the point of a dagger. The rapist’s threat that she would lose her life if she opened her mouth had kept the victim petrified.

But when it became clear that the girl had become pregnant, her family went to lodge an FIR. But police did not take any action in the matter, according to her father.

The SP (City), Mr Vijay Bhushan, however, said earlier that there was some talk about the culprit and the victim being married. But later, some controversy had stalled the plan. A villager of Anwargarh has sent a complaint to the Police Superintendent that his 16-year-old daughter had gone to collect fodder from the field. In the fodder room, one youth, Rijwan of Dankaur, was already there. His friends had bolted the door from outside. The youth had raped the girl, threatening her with a dagger. She was released after a couple of hours, it is alleged.

Before returning home, the girl told the boy’s relations that she had been a victim of his lust. The boy’s family, it is alleged, had warned the girl to keep her mouth shut about it otherwise her entire family would be wiped out. On September 28, the girl felt dizzy and fell down. She was taken to a doctor who told them that the girl was having a five months’ pregnancy, the letter said. On being quizzed, the girl narrated the whole episode to her parents.


60% turnout in peaceful JNU elections
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
Amidst bouts of sloganeering and in the shadow of animated ideological debates, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University today went to polls to elect members to the Students’ Union.

The polls, which continued till late evening, saw a turnout of little over 60 per cent and was peaceful with no major incidents of violence reported. Major parties in the fray for the four posts in the central panel as well as for the councils of each school include the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Students Federation of India (SFI) and the AISA.

With JNU considered a Leftist stronghold, the SFI is confident of winning all the four seats in the central panel. “The students in JNU have been supporting us for the last many years. Communalism and saffronisation have percolated down to the students’ politics, which is what the students want to fight. And for that, students trust SFI,” said a party activist.

Undeterred by their performance in the JNU for the last so many years, the NSUI is riding high on its feat in the Delhi University, as also in the universities of Kanpur, Assam and Allahabad. “We are extremely confident of winning the elections in JNU. The fight this time is between the SFI and the NSUI. Though JNU is considered a SFI bastion, this time we will turn it into a Waterloo for them,” asserted the spokesperson of the NSUI, Kuntal Krishna.

His claims are, however, rejected by the ABVP as well as the SFI. “The ABVP may not win all seats in the central panel, but we are sure to win the councilors’ posts in all schools,” pointed out the ABVP spokesperson, Jatin Mohanty.

The SFI brimming with self-assurance also offered that the NSUI’s performance in other universities, including the Delhi University would have little impact here. “Raising slogans and pasting the maximum number of posters can only attract attention not votes. More than half of these supporters are people from outside JNU,” said Inteshar Ahmed, AISA.

Interestingly, while the ABVP claims to have filed a complaint against the presence of NSUI activists from outside the university, the election office claims otherwise. “We have not received any written complaint from any party. The whole election process till now has been peaceful,” said Nagendra Honalli, Election Officer.

The first phase of the polling saw a modest turnout, but it picked up pace after the lunch break. “This is a usual practice. Students, especially the hostellers, turn up post-lunch. And despite claims that the students seem to have lost interest in politics, we are expecting a decent poll percentage,” said the members of the election office.

The counting will begin late in the evening and results will be declared by tomorrow noon. “We are expecting the results of the school councilors by mid-night,” added Mr Krishna.


CM’s suit against Khurana posted for Jan 22
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The defamation suit filed by the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, against the BJP Delhi unit president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, for accusing her of taking Rs 15 crore from private power distribution companies to fund the campaign for next month’s Assembly elections was today adjourned to January 22 for want of certain documents.

Mr Khurana’s counsel Ashok Kashyap, appearing before Joint Registrar Anu Malhotra, said copies of certain impugned newspaper reports were illegible.

Ms Dikshit’s counsel agreed to provide fresh copies and the matter was adjourned till after the election. On September 16, the High Court had issued summons to Mr Khurana to mark his presence today either in person or through a counsel.

Ms Dikshit in her plaint claimed damages and sought permanent prohibitory injunction restraining Mr Khurana from making directly or indirectly any allegation or imputation of corruption, including the impugned allegation made on September 3, against her.

It had been alleged that money had been misappropriated from the Central grant of Rs 105 crore given under the Accelerated Power Distribution Reform Programme (APDRP).


BJP blames it on Delhi Govt

New Delhi
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today accused the Congress government in Delhi of ‘criminal negligence’ for the 30 dengue deaths in the Capital due to poor hygienic conditions.

Delhi BJP chief Madan Lal Khurana told reporters that the government was not making efforts to improve the sanitation and make the Capital more hygienic to contain the disease.

He said the Sheila Dikshit government did not carry out the cleanliness of sewers and the Yamuna before the onset of monsoon and this had led to the spread of dengue in the Capital.

Mr Khurana charged the Congress government with acting as a mere spectator even as the number of deaths caused by dengue was growing every day.

The women cell of the Delhi BJP today carried out a protest to highlight the insensitivity of the Congress government to the worsening situation. TNS


Educationists for revoking lecturer’s suspension

Rohtak: The Democratic Forum, comprising educationists of Haryana, has urged the Governor-cum-Chancellor, MDU, to direct the Vice-Chancellor to withdraw the suspension of Dr Himmat Singh Ratnoo, lecturer in the Department of Economics. Dr Ratnoo is also a member of the Academic and Executive Councils of the university. During a meeting of the Academic Council of MDU on October 17, Dr Ratnoo had opposed a proposal for delegating powers to the Vice-Chancellor to constitute a committee for granting permission to the affiliated colleges for introducing additional courses.

The Vice-Chancellor, the Forum said, lost his temper and suspended Dr Ratnoo. OC



IYC for greater representation of youths in elections
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 20
The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) will make all efforts to provide tickets to large number of its cadre in the impending Assembly elections in the five states. This view was expressed here today by the IYC president, Mr Randip Singh Surjewala.

Mr Surjewla, who was here enroute to Rajasthan to attend a “Jan Chetna Rally” organised by IYC, said that the central leadership was in favour of the youths coming to the forefront in the Congress party.

Giving party tickets to members from the IYC would be one of the efforts to obtain this objective. According to him, those IYC members who were given party tickets in the past Assembly elections had performed well.

Mr Surjewala refused to give credence to the claims of the BJP that it was ahead of the Congress in all the five state going to polls in November-December. According to him, there was a stiff competition between the two parties only in Madhya Pradesh. In others states, especially in Delhi and Rajasthan, it was smooth sailing for the Congress.

He charged the BJP and other members of the ‘Sangh Parivar’ of vitiating the plural and multicultural ethos of the country by their “fundamentalist and hate-campaign” brand of politics. He urged upon the youths to be on their guard from such fissiparous tendencies sought to be injected by the ‘Sangh Parivar’ in the polity. Mr Surjewala expressed the view that there was enormous talent and resilience among the youths of the country.

The youths only needed to be given the right direction by the political leadership to channelise their energies for the development of the country.

He made special case for focus on the youths in the rural and the hinterlands, which form 70 per cent of the geographical expanse of the country. He argued that the country was still an agrarian economy and hence, there was a need for greater emphasis on the youths in the villages.

Referring to Haryana, he lamented that the state government had hiked the fees in academic institutions in the state. This will adversely affect the youths, especially in the rural areas, he said.

He expressed reservations at the functioning of the government in Haryana. He urged the government to initiate measures to enhance the economic status of the people.

The ultimate test for the INLD Government will be based on the practical implementation of the quantum of welfare projects on the ground, he added.


On the high alert

THE recent surge in crimes against women, especially Swiss diplomat’s rape in the Capital, is quite worrisome. Delhi Police Commissioner R. S. Gupta speaks to J. T. Vishnu on his understanding of the situation.

AT a time when the Delhi Police have been receiving brickbats from several quarters for last Tuesday’s twin incidents in Siri Fort Auditorium, the Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr Radhey Shyam Gupta, is unfazed and busy working out strategies for solving the cases and to improve the efficacy of the Capital’s police force. As in the past, the Parliament attack case in 2001 and the Red Fort attack case in 2000, when he was the Special Commissioner of Police (Security and Operations), a confident Gupta says: will catch the rape suspects soon." The top cop took over as the Delhi Police Commissioner on July 1, 2002, after heading the Intelligence and Administration units of the Delhi Police.

After completing MCom and MBA from Delhi University, Mr Gupta taught Management and Business studies at Shri Ram College of Commerce for three years before he joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in July 1968.

A recipient of both Police Medal for Meritorious Services and President’s Medal for Distinguished Services, Mr Gupta had handled several sensitive postings, including the one as IG (Chandigarh), when terrorism was at its peak in Punjab. He was awarded with the Police Special Duty medal (Punjab and Chandigarh) for his valiant role in the anti-terrorist operations. Being brought up and educated in Delhi, Mr Gupta, it is claimed, is well-equipped to handle the complexities of policing the nation’s Capital.

During his tenure as IG (Tihar Jail), he had also introduced a number of prison reforms and human rights initiatives. He had also visited the Scotland Yard Police for studying about the VVIP security and Denmark and the United Kingdom for Prison Systems.

In an interview with the NCR Tribune he said, "Delhi Police is a fine force, which is proud of its professionalism, efficiency and vision. Crime control, internal security against terrorism and extremism, community policing and attitudinal changes towards the public were the prime focus of the force."


It is seven days since the rape of Swiss diplomat took place in Delhi. Several teams of South and South-West districts with the support of Crime branch and Special Cell were working in the case. What has been the progress so far?

We are handling a blind case, which will take some time. Obviously, it is an importance case to the Delhi Police and we are sure that we will catch the rapists soon.

Who should be blamed for last Tuesday’s rape and the related incident, the police or the society?

The two incidents were most unfortunate and need to be strongly condemned. I am confident that we should be able to catch the suspects soon. After the two incidents, we have suspended five police officials who were posted at the Siri Fort Auditorium at the time of the incident. Police have its own role and responsibility in controlling crimes including rapes. We are doing our best and will not allow the suspects to go scot-free at any cost.

But, otherwise almost 95 per cent of the sexual crimes take place in a circumstance where the victim and the accused are known to each other and have been socially interacting in their day to day lives. In such cases, the accused could be uncle, neighbour, friend, colleague, father, father-in-law of the victims, wherein it becomes very difficult to try the accused as in most of the cases the complainants back out due to family pressure.

Are women safe on Delhi roads?

Police cannot be omnipresent. We need the support and co-operation of the public to maintain law and order in the city. The police have improved security patrolling in certain areas outside the women colleges, buses, universities and outside entertainment places. In fact, more than 4,000 university women students were trained in self-defence to handle miscreants on their own if they were caught in dangerous situations. Besides, the police have also been co-ordinating with various institutions for the purpose of institutional security.

There were some adverse reports about your transfer policy and even most of your officers were unhappy. What do you have to say about it?

It is not possible to satisfy all officers and men and give them the postings of their own choice. Therefore, those officers who do not fall in the merit category express their resentment and disgruntlement. I cannot be held responsible for their unhappiness.

What’s your opinion about the rotation of officers in the force since there is a general feeling in the force that some officers were not rotated?

The Delhi Police have a well-considered policy on transfers and the same has been defined in the standing order. Normally, transfers are done after three years of policing in one place, except those who are in core groups. The officers who are in core groups are rotated only after putting in 6-7 years of experience in one place.

Of late, many middle level officers have been found indulging in indiscipline. What are the steps taken to ensure strict discipline in the force?

With a view to ensure strict discipline among the police officials, efforts were being made to instil discipline among the members of the police force and those who fail to adhere to these orders will face departmental action and subsequent consequences. The rules are well-defined and there is no ambiguity about it.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Delhi Police force as an organisation?

Delhi Police is a fine force, which is proud of its professionalism, efficiency and vision. Crime control, internal security against terrorism and extremism, community policing and attitudinal changes towards the public were the prime focus of the force.

Do you think the Delhi Police are equipped enough to handle the ensuing Assembly elections?

We have geared up the police force in the preparation for elections. A meeting of the representatives of all the political parties have started to discuss the implementation of the model code of conduct and the matters relating to that of electioneering. All districts will be on high alert to ensure a problem free elections. The election cell has been reactivated.

Crime rate has shown a downward trend in the last three years in Delhi. But going by the kind of population explosion, unemployment and floating population in the city, crime graph should rise. How would you explain the paradox?

Crime rate has shown a downward trend because of the increased qualitative preventive action by the police. So, the success should be attributed to the prevention action, which is almost 30 per cent more than in the previous years. The police have contributed extensively for this downward trend. This decrease is more significant in heinous crimes like murder, dacoity, robbery, kidnapping, abduction etc.

In the wake of several inter-state criminal gangs committing crimes in Delhi and taking safe refuge in their respective states, how well the police forces of these states co-operate with the Delhi Police in apprehending them for containing the crime rate in Delhi?

Criminals do not recognise any borders. Criminals, who had committed crimes in Delhi and tried to evade arrest by escaping to the adjoining states, were nabbed with the help of the police force there. Our major emphasise was on the co-ordination and co-operation with the police forces of adjoining states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

The Delhi Police have a State Coordination Cell at the police headquarters and it literally functions as a mini secretariat to help us in our effort. These initiations have started bearing fruits in the crime control.

What are the steps introduced for modernisation and innovation of the Delhi Police?

We have adopted an ambitious scheme of modernisation of the police force like introducing communication, computerisation and procurement of latest weapons.

In communication, we have got latest digital trunk communication system progressing towards development of GIS and GPS. All officers of the level of DCP and above, have been imparted computer knowledge and the provision is now extended to the police stations. We are also procuring latest weapons, which are lighter and more accurate for our police force.

Have you taken any welfare measures for improving the lifestyle of the lower rung officers of the Delhi Police?

We have a number of welfare measures for the lower rung officers of the Delhi Police. Through these measures, we provide financial help, loans and scholarships to the police personnel and their children. The Delhi Police have a public school and it is planning to expand. We have planned to open eight more public schools to impart quality education to the children of the police personnel.

The lifestyle of the police personnel is receiving our due attention. In fact, the Delhi Police had already requested the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to allot us adequate funds for construction of houses for the welfare of our police force.

The senior officials also conduct regular meetings with the constables and other officers to ascertain their problems and to redress them.


Mushroom growers have a number of 
grievances in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 20
Sonepat has become one of the leading districts of India in mushroom production. More than 75 per cent of Haryana’s mushroom are being produced in this district alone. It has become popular not only among the farmers but landless labourers as well. According to official sources, the credit for starting mushroom production in this district goes to some farmers of Bhadana village who in the year 1984 got short duration training in mushroom production from Himachal Pradesh and motivated some other farmers also for starting this occupation.

The Department of Horticulture, Haryana, the District Rural Development Agency and other nationalised and cooperative banks played an important role in giving a boost to this occupation. The Horticulture Department has been imparting necessary training and giving knowhow by organising demonstrations in the villages. The DRDA, on the other hand, provides subsidies and other financial assistance through the banks to the poor mushroom growers.

Other factors which also helped in promoting mushroom culture included proximity of the national Capital for immediate sale of the produce, easy availability of raw materials and an urge among the educated unemployed youths for starting their own occupation.

Today, mushroom cultivation has been started in nearly 100 villages of the district. Prominent among these are Bhadana, Akbarpur Barota, Rohat, Jharoth, Sisana, Ganaur, Rajlu Garhi and Murthal. During the past one decade, mushroom production has witnessed a steep rise.

A number of progressive mushroom cultivators are using ultra modern techniques to constantly increase their production. The mushroom growers of Bhadana and Murthal villages were leading in producing mushroom and installing trays as well as constructing sheds for this purpose.

While the mushroom growers feel encouraged by the trend they are also facing a lot of problems. Many progressive farmers allege they have been facing an acute shortage of good quality mushroom spawn (seed) thanks to the failure of the authorities concerned to supply the same.

Lack of adequate marketing facilities in the villages and at the district level and non-availability of lab facilities to eradicate diseases has led to low production and less price in the market. Sealed tin facilities for mushroom harvest and a moisturiser plant facility for this produce can solve many problems, they add.

Mushroom is considered to be a delicacy with no party being complete without a mushroom dish, which are eaten by one and all. Besides, one can also have mushroom soup, mushroom pickles etc.

At least 1,000 farmers in this district are engaged in mushroom production. The rest of the production is shared by Gurgaon, Panipat and Yamunanagar district.

Mushroom growers have a ready market in Delhi where they take their produce to the Azadpur market. According to the mushroom growers, about 10 to 15 truckloads of mushroom are sent to Delhi every day. Nafed purchases mushrooms in bulk for its processing units at the lower rate, whereas the price fluctuates in the Delhi market.

Instead of having trays, the traditional method is still being practised by many. They have put up permanent structures inside sheds with three to four rows and spread compost and spawn which is the threadlike matter on which mushroom grow.

Many mushroom growers are sore about the attitude of the banks whose officials do not help them in advancing loans despite the profit margin and absence of defaulters. They give an excuse that the particular village does not fall in the service area under which particular areas are attached to branches of a nationalised bank. Most banks do not cater to mushroom growers and despite getting no-objection certificates from such banks the other banks, while processing cases, give all encouragement but in the end wriggle out, saying that that the area did not come under the service scheme.

The mushroom growers are also not happy with the Haryana Agro Industries Corporation and they feel that the corporation not only discourages them but prevents them from getting a neat profit as corporation officials wait for a slump so that they can buy their produce at a cheaper price.



Father, son remanded in police custody in 
dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 20
The police have arrested two accused, identified as Ravinder and his father Nathu Ram, in a dowry death case. According to a report, both of them have been remanded to police custody for three days for further interrogation.

It is stated that Mrs Savita was married with Ravinder on January 29 last and her parents had given sufficient dowry at the time of the marriage.

However, she was continuously harassed and tortured by her husband and other family members for not bringing sufficient dowry. Consequently, it is alleged that she committed suicide on October 8.

Mr Inder Singh, a resident of Chulkana village and the father of the victim lodged an FIR with the police against the husband of the victim and three other members of his family alleging harassment and torture leading to the death of his daughter.

Youth held for sexual assault

The police have arrested a youth Ajmer of Chhichhrana village in connection with the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault on a minor girl of the same village. The number of arrests made by the police in this case has now risen to four.

Buffalo thief held

Meanwhile, a woman helped in the arrest of a buffalo thief. It is stated that a buffalo was stolen around 2.30 am from a house at Narela and it was recovered within eight hours near Kheri Damkan village in this district.

The woman noticed that the buffalo was being taken in a tempo for sale at the cattle fair in Gohana town.

She raised an alarm but the driver drove away his tempo carrying the buffalo. On hearing the alarm, a motorcyclist chased the tempo and managed to catch the driver. The driver was roughed up and handed over to the police for investigations.


Chautala for strict action against quacks
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, October 20
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, yesterday directed the state Health Department to take stern action against quacks as they were playing with the precious lives of the people.

Mr Chautala was redressing the grievances of the people at a meeting of the Public Relations and Grievances Committee in Bhiwani.

Mr Nathu Ram of Golagarh village had made a complaint that someone was practising as a doctor at Jui bus stand but he did not have even a certificate. He said as soon as he injected him he started feeling pain in his hand and thereafter the members of his family had to rush him to Bhiwani for medicare. The investigation revealed that the doctor had used an expired injection.

In his reply, the Civil Surgeon said an FIR had been lodged against the accused and further investigation was in progress.

In yet another complaint, Mr Chautala directed officers of the Transport Department to check unauthorised plying of vehicles.

Dharmender of Bhiwani had made a complaint that some vehicles were plying unauthorisedly ahead of the vehicles of the transport societies.

Meanwhile, the supply of safe drinking water would be augmented in 650 villages of Haryana at a cost of Rs 90 crore during the current financial year.

This was disclosed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala while addressing a largely attended public meeting after inaugurating the second waterworks for Bhiwani at the Tosham bypass yesterday. It has been constructed at a cost of more than Rs 22 crore.

Mr Chautala said with the commissioning of the waterworks about two lakh people of Bhiwani would get 150 litres of water per capita per day and there would be no shortage of water in Bhiwani town. He said a boosting station had also been set up at Dadri road to provide potable drinking water to the people living in the colonies located from railway bridge to Dadri gate. An overhead tank having capacity of five lakh litres of water had also been set up.

While reiterating the commitment of his government to provide safe drinking water to the people in the state, Mr Chautala said a sum of Rs 22.15 crore was being spent to improve the supply of drinking water in 25 towns in the state. Out of these, work had been completed in six towns and in case of other towns the work would be completed within the current financial year. With the completion of these works, water at a rate of 70 litres per capita per day would be provided to the people.

Mr Chautala said a number of programmes were being implemented to improve the supply of drinking water in the state. These programmes included minimum need programme, accelerated rural water supply scheme, schemes of NABARD and desert development schemes as well as Swajal Dhara scheme.


81 shops razed in anti-encroachment operation
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, October 20
In a joint operation, the district administration, GDA and Nagar Nigam razed 81 shops on the Delhi-UP border and freed about 15,000 sq mt. of land worth Rs 30 crore from encroachment. The joint operation was undertaken in order to facilitate the construction of a 4-lane road on the UP-Delhi border, where traffic jams are a daily occurrence.

The transport association had organised a bandh on the UP-Delhi border to protest against the anti-encroachment drive of the administration leading to the removal of 80-odd shops from the area.

The District Magistrate of Ghaziabad, Santosh Yadav, had in a series of recent meetings with officials of GDA and Nagar Nigam decided to carry out a campaign to beautify the city and its surroundings.

The joint team descended on the scene with a heavy police force along with six bulldozers, two cranes and one elevator to remove the encroachment.

The entire traffic from Delhi as well as from Ghaziabad side on the GT Road was diverted and the area was completely sealed before the anti-encroachment drive was undertaken.

When the leaders of the local organisations, including the president of Transport Association, Mr S. S. Bajwa and Motor Parts Dealers Association president, Mr Manjit Singh, objected to the demolition without any prior notice, they were huddled into a vehicle and taken to the police station and detained there.

The Nagar Nigam Commissioner, Mr Ram Bodh Orya, GDA secretary, Mr Shyam Singh Yadav, and ADM City, Mr Rajkumar Sachan, supervised the operations. Though the administration had put a red-cross marks on the buildings to be demolished a week ago, the encroachers had not paid heed to the warning, said Mr Sachan.


Divali Utsav fails to find many takers
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 20
The four-day Divali Utsav organised by the District Red Cross Society, which concluded here this evening, failed to generate much enthusiasm among many residents here. The holding of a tradefest at Surajkund a few days ago certainly affected the response here but certain other factors also led to dampened spirits.

According to Rajesh, a local resident, who visited both the tradefest and the Divali Mela, there was no large difference in the two except the fact that there were more stalls at Surajkund.

He said stalls put up in both the melas were identical and consumers could hardly find an attractive item at a reasonable cost. He said he could not find any electronic item like TV, VCD or refrigerator.

Another visitor to the Divali Mela said due to inadequate watering a lot of dust welcomed the visitors on the spot and people who were allergic to it found it difficult to cope with it. He said the cost of various joyrides was too much and tantamount to fleecing.

Rajkumar, a resident of Sector 15-A, said there were many melas going on and it was difficult for a common man to decide which one to visit or avoid. He said many shopkeepers who had set up special stalls outside their business establishment to attract customers had not shown much interest in the various melas. He said organising the tradefest ahead of the Divali Mela and at a distant place perhaps took away all the charm. He said mela organisers should have also provided proper drinking water and toilet facilities with a place to take rest. He said while a lounge had been provided for the district officials and VIPs at such events no one bothered about the common man who spent money to visit the place. He said parking should be free and the rates of items, especially food and beverages, must be reasonable.


HPCC seeks Health Minister’s resignation
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 20
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has demanded the resignation of the Health Minister on moral ground after his department failed to deal effectively with the rising incidence of viral and dengue fever.

Addressing a public meeting at Titauli village today, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, a former minister and spokesman, HPCC, said the death toll due to viral fever had reached 75 during the last two months in the state.

He claimed that thousands of people had been suffering from viral fever in the state while the state government was not serious about the severity of the problem.

He suggested that the government take immediate and effective measures to check the spread of viral and dengue in the region. He said the government should make the required medicines available at the dispensaries and hospitals to protect those victims of the diseases, particularly those belonging to poor section of the society.

Lecture on national security

The problem national security is a major issue of concern not only in India, but in most parts of the world, particularly in view of the spectre of terrorism having spread all over the globe. Delivering an extension lecture on ‘The emerging strategic environment of India’ at the Defence Studies Department of Maharshi Dayanand University today, Prof R N Mishra, (retd) of Punjabi University, Patiala, said narco-terrorism had emerged as a key threat to all civilised society.

In his lecture, Dr Mishra analysed the security threats confronting the country and threw light on India’s relations with neighbouring countries and its geo-strategic imperatives.


Gang of pickpockets smashed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
With the arrest of five youths, the North district police claimed to have busted a gang of pickpockets today. They were identified as Rakesh Pahari, the leader of the gang, along with his associates Pradip, Raj Kumar, Satish Kumar and Surender Singh.

The gang assembled early in the morning on the Ring Road near Rohini and targeted buses used by businessmen. Members of the gang followed in a Maruti car or TSR and warned the members in the bus through mobile phones if they apprehended any police action.

Rakesh Pahari was involved in running a bulb factory in Sudershan Park area, which had been closed down to pollution norms of the government. Thereafter, he was involved in such criminal activities in various parts of Capital. Five knives were recovered from their possession, the police said.

Load Shedding

The NDPL announced load shedding on Tuesday due to maintenance work at HB Block and 15 B substations in Shalimar Bagh area. The load shedding will begin from 10 am and continue till to 6 pm, a press release said. 


Man shot dead after spat with brother
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, October 20
A man was reportedly shot dead at village Balali in Charkhi Dadri sub division. The assailant, who is a cousin of the deceased, is absconding. The victim has been identified as Rajpal (40), the elder brother of INLD youth wing district president, Mr Sajjan Balali.

According to reports, Rajpal and his cousin, Rajbir, had an altercation after taking alcohol together some two months ago. Rajpal had slapped his brother during the altercation. Later, Rajbir called his brother on the street where he shot him before escaping.

Rajpal was admitted to the civil hospital, Charkhi Dadri, but the doctors declared him brought dead. His body was handed over to his relatives after the postmortem examination. The police have registered a case under Sections 302, 25, 54 and 59 of the IPC.

Man killed

A man was killed in mysterious circumstances. The victim, identified as Surender (50), had gone to the house of the in-laws of Ravinder in village Kanina on October 17. Ravindra said that Surender fell from the roof under effect of liquor. He was taken for medical aid but died of heart attack, he said. However, the brother of the deceased, Mr Om Prakash, alleged that Surender was beaten to death. The matter was reported to the police.

Corruption case registered against sarpanch

Jhajjar: The district police registered a case against the sarpanch of Ukhal Chana village today on charges of large-scale irregularities in the panchayat funds and embezzling various grants for development of the village. According to information, Satbir of the same village has charged the Sarpanch Roshan Lal with misappropriation of panchayat funds and government grants worth lakhs of rupees.

Body Found

Sonepat: The Murthal police found a body of a man lying on the G T Road near Murthal Chowk, about 8 km from here last evening. According to a report, the body was identified as that of Mr Ram Chander of Kheri Gujjar village in this district. It is believed that he was on his way to Karnal. The police have sent the body for the postmortem examination.


Angry passengers delay train
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 20
Angry passengers delayed the New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express at Ganaur, 16 km from here yesterday in protest against the non-opening of the main gates of the coaches by the passengers travelling in them.

According to a report, the coaches were packed to capacity and the passengers had blocked the main entrance by keeping their goods near the main gates of the coaches.

On receipt of information about the delay of the train, the officials of the Government Railway Police arrived on the scene and managed to get the door opened. Subsequently, the commuters boarded the train, which had been delayed by about half an hour.

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