N C R   S T O R I E S


Triple murder in Noida factory godown
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, October 24
Three employees of a godown in D-5, Sector 2, Noida, were murdered by unknown assailants last night near Narula Hotel, which falls under Sector 20 police station. The murders have created a flutter in the town.

The killers had scaled the eight-feet-high wall to enter the premises and killed two employees, Durga Bahadur (35) and Narayan Prasad (40), who were in two different rooms on the ground floor at that time. The third worker, Santash (25), who is reported to be blind, was strangled in his second-floor room.

The first two workers had their faces and heads smashed with bricks and stones. Some bricks and stones splattered with blood have been found at the spot. The bodies bore other signs of injuries as well.

The murders could have been committed anytime between 12.30 and 4.30 am, the police said. The killers were perhaps known to the victims, the police said. SSP Goswami, SP (City) Vijay Bhushan and the Circle officer, along with the SO, had rushed to the crime spot.

Later, DIG Gurdarshan Singh had also come over form Meerut to personally acquaint himself with the nature of the crime and take stock of the situation.

As no valuable is missing form the premises, it is suspected to be a case of revenge killing. Company accountant Anand Kapur has filed a report with the police, who have registered a case under section 302 of the IPC. Proprietor Ravi Sachdeva had also rushed from his Sunder Nagar residence in New Delhi.

Though the police could not ascribe any motive for the crime, it is believed that it has something to do with a young woman who used to often visit the premises. Another viewpoint is that perhaps the inmates were playing cards with some outsiders and fell out over a game. Three packs of playing cards and some empty liquor bottles were sighted by the scribes.



Who will contest against Sheila, Khurana? Guessing game on
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
Who will the BJP and the Congress pit against Sheila Dikshit and Madan Lal Khurana is engaging the attention of poll pundits more than the constituencies from where the duo will contest.

With Delhi Pradesh BJP President and Member of Parliament Madan Lal Khurana virtually deciding to throw his hat into the ring, his candidature from Moti Nagar Assembly constituency is almost certain. Almost certain also is the candidature of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from Gole Market, although both parties are still in the process of firming up the names of their respective candidates.

The focus, therefore, is on the candidates the two parties will pit against Mr Khurana and Ms Dikshit. The Congress has so far remained non-committal on the name of the candidate it will field against Mr Khurana but it has indicated that a party stalwart will be fielded.

“We will field a strong candidate against Mr Khurana, if he is contesting. Certain names are under consideration,” the election in-charge of media affairs of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) Jagdish Tytler has said.

Against the chief minister, the BJP is considering the name of Poonam Azad, wife of BJP Lok Sabha member from Darbhanga (Bihar) Kirti Azad. Kirti Azad had unsuccessfully contested against Ms Dikshit in the last Assembly elections.

Though a couple of other names have also been floated for the seat, the choice is expected to fall on Azad, considering that she is a woman and has been active with her husband in the area.

BJP had earlier thought of nominating Delhi Pradesh BJP Vice President Vijay Jolly, but a section in the party felt it would not be wise to waste a strong candidate against the chief minister.

Jolly is expected to contest from Saket from where he lost last time. The name of Azad is also being considered as it would reduce the impact of women votes in favour of Ms Dikshit.



In dengue land, falciparam malaria also rears its head
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 24
In the midst of the dengue scare, Faridabad district seems to be also grappling with Malaria and its deadlier version, Falciparam Malaria. At least two persons have succumbed to it in the last fortnight and several others have been found to be suffering from it.

While there have been several deaths in the district in the last four weeks, the health authorities are unable to determine how many died of which disease. The officials are still claiming that no one has died of dengue so far, despite conflicting reports.

However, given the short incubation period, Falciparam Malaria, which is caused by the Anopheles vector, can prove to be lethal if the patient does not receive medical attention immediately.

This strain of malaria had `shaken’ the state government as well as the Union government in 1996 when several thousands of residents of the Mewat area had fallen prey to it. According to official figures, presented at that time, about 4,000 persons had died due to the disease in Mewat alone.

According to physicians, Falciparam Malaria results in brain fever, which could lead to the death of a patient, if it is not treated within 5-6 days.

According to reports, about seven patients of Falciparam malaria have been treated by a leading private hospital here. Of these, two persons hailing from Dhauj and Swamika villages have died.

The authorities of the Bhadshah Khan Civil Hospital admit that 331 cases of malaria and dengue have been reported in the government hospital so far. Of these, 277 had been treated in the hospital, but there were still 25 cases waiting to be discharged.

Although the CMO’s office claims that there has been a 40 percent decrease in the number of patients reporting either dengue or malaria in the civil hospital in the past few days, the private hospitals and nursing homes have indicated that a large number of patients suffering from malaria and suspected dengue are trickling in daily.

It is reported that at least 150 persons have been treated for malaria and dengue in one of the leading private hospitals alone. Of the total 351 cases of suspected dengue, at least 30 have been found to be positive. Dr Vinod Kaul, Director of the Vibles Pathological Laboratory, admits that about 12 cases of Falciparam Malaria had been referred for laboratory tests in the last 15 days. According to official reports, about 140 cases of malaria had been found to be positive in Hathin sub-division (Mewat) in the district in the period between October 13 and October 19. Of these, 15 persons were found to be suffering form Falciparam Malaria.

Meanwhile, the top brass of the Health Department have been visiting the district regularly to supervise the programme launched to combat malaria and dengue. The Special Secretary and Commissioner, Health, Mr Roshan Lal, presided over a meeting of the district and health officials recently and directed them to provide all possible medical aid in rural and remote areas. He also asked them to tour the villages.



Outbreak under control, fears about epidemic allayed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
Allaying fears about the outbreak of an epidemic, the Government of NCT of Delhi on Friday said dengue was “in control” and the number of cases reported had dropped appreciably. The Union Ministry of Health also reiterated that the Centre was monitoring the situation arising out of the incidence of dengue in the Capital and that there was no cause for panic.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who along with her Cabinet colleague and Health Minister AK Walia, held talks with Union Minister of Health Sushma Swaraj, has appealed the people to not panic.

Dismissing rumours about the outbreak of a mysterious fever, Ms Dikshit told media persons that the two governments were working in tandem with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)

Quoting statistical data, she said the 200 cases were reported on October 17; the number had come down to 47. The disease had affected 1,847 people and claimed 18 lives, 15 of whom were from NCT of Delhi.

Asserting that public health was an issue that should not be politicised, Union Minister of Health Sushma Swaraj said the so-called cases of ‘mysterious fever’ were that of dengue and no other disease.

She denied rumours about the outbreak of a mysterious fever and said the Centre was working in tandem with the Government of NCT of Delhi.

Health Minister AK Walia, in turn, said the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) had confirmed that the outbreak in the Capital was that of dengue.

Chief Secretary Shailja Chandra, who attended the meeting, said action would be taken, if there was a complaint that a hospital was unnecessarily recommending platelet transfusion and that too on exorbitant charges.

Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (Secular) has sought an independent inquiry into the handling of dengue cases in the NCT of Delhi. It said there was “gross criminal mishandling” by the administration.

Vice President of Janata Dal (Secular) Romesh Bhandari said dengue had assumed epidemic proportions and it was as bad as the 1988 cholera outbreak.



Sonepat grapples with dengue, mystery fever
Our Correspondent

Sonepat October 24
The number of patients suffering from mysterious and dengue fever has been increasing day by day in the city and elsewhere in the district.
According to a report, this has caused panic among the people in both urban and rural areas of the district. Many people alleged that the authorities of the Health Department have utterly failed to check the diseases and take effective steps to control them. The number of patients in Ganaur sub-division has now gone up to 80 and the villages of Kheri Gujjar, Bilandpur, Purkhas, Sayya Khera, Bari, Ahir Majra, Ganaur and Teha are the worst-hit.

Some villages in the Rai Assembly constituency are reported to be affected by the mysterious disease. These villages include Kundli and Janti Kalan, where the people are said to be suffering from this disease.

Doctors from various hospitals and nursing homes are still unaware about the killer virus identity. This is the second year that the virus has struck. Unofficial sources, however, claimed that the number of patients suffering from dengue and mysterious fever was much higher than the official figure.

Meanwhile, Dr B. S. Dahiya, Director-General of Health Services, reviewed the arrangements made to check the killer virus in the city and elsewhere in the district. He also directed the medical officers to visit each village and take steps to check this disease effectively.

Dr Dahiya also asked them to take effective steps to combat the malaria disease. He said that breeding of mosquitoes is more common in the villages and slum areas.



a QUIETER divali?
Police out with devices to measure decibel level 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
This Divali the Capital’s police force, armed with modern gizmos, is ready to crack down on those violating the 125 db (decibel) level norm. Those indulging in the activity after 10 pm can also fall in the police dragnet.

“Virtually, our entire force would be out to ensure implementation of the Supreme Court order,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Maxwell Pereira.

The apex court, in its order, on September 10 had banned bursting of crackers between 2200 hours and 0600 hours with a warning that the sound of the crackers should not exceed the 125-decibel level.

Following the court’s order, the Delhi Police has decided to launch a virtual crackdown on those violating the directive. Officers of the Delhi Police would be patrolling streets and prosecuting the violators.

Several officers have also been provided with special decibel-measuring devices to enforce the 125 db level norm.



Special Focus on jhajjar/Bahadurgarh
This Divali, people going in for articles of long-term use
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, October 24
The festive season is evident in the region, as the bazaars are abuzz with customers on the eve of Divali.
Most of the markets and the main bazaars in Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh have been spruced up to attract customers.

Apart from the extra decorations, the shopkeepers have built small pandals outside their shops to display their products for the occasion. Most of the shops are adorned with all kinds of gift packets and other household items to attract the customers. The sweet shop owners (halwais) are having a field day, as most of them have encroached upon the roads and built pandals to display their mithais.

In Jhajjar, a major chunk of the customers are from the nearby villages. According to a random survey of the market, customers are spending heavily on the purchase of gifts and electrical gadgets, while the sale of crackers, sweets, garments etc, are on the decline.

The owner of Dhingra Garments in the main bazaar, Mr Vijay Dhingra, confirmed this trend and said that there has been increase in the spending on dresses during this festive season. However, this is not the trend in all the markets of the town.

According to a garment dealer in the market near the bus stand, which gets most of its customer from the rural areas, the response has been poor so far. He said the sale had registered a sharp fall by nearly 70 per cent as compare to last year. He said most of his customers from the rural areas have not turned up this time. He reasoned that the unenthusiastic response from the rural population could be due to the fact that the festival has fallen at the end of the month, which is financially a tough time for the rural people.

The sale of sweets and crackers had also been on the lower side as the consumers have shown preference for items with long-term benefits.

According to customers, however, the low demand for sweets can be attributed to the fact that the sweets in the markets are of poor quality, as there has been excessive use of colours and impure materials.

There has been an upswing in the demand for electrical appliances and gift items. The owner of Chawla Electronics said that the sale had increased by about 40 per cent this year.

He said it seemed that the people wanted to spend money on the purchase of useful items such as television, fridge and motorcycles. Moreover, it could also be due to the fact that people are exchanging gifts instead of sweets as in previous years.

A conspicuous purchase by the residents in Bahadurgarh and Jhajjar is the colourful electronic bulbs strings called ‘laris’ and candles for their homes. It has replaced the ‘diyas’, the traditional symbol of Divali.

Demand for Session division: The District Bar Association has demanded the establishment of Session division at Jhajjar and the filling up of the vacant post of Additional District Judge here. The association has sent letters of their demand to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh.

The president of the DBA, Mr Naseeb Singh Kadian, said that no judge had been posted in the ADJ court following the retirement of Mr Dewan Chand. Another demand of the association, he said, was the establishment of Session division at the district headquarter.



Residents’ confidence dips as crime graph rises
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 24
Five major crimes and a host of minor incidents have shattered the faith of the residents in the ability of the police to provide a safe environment in the area. Above all, the police have failed to solve any of these crimes so far.

A woman was deprived of her purse in broad daylight while she was travelling in a cycle-rickshaw under Sector 24 police area yesterday. The two youths involved in the incident also teased her repeatedly before committing the crime. In another incident, three miscreants harassed a young woman near a cinema hall.

During the week, an entrepreneur was shot in front of his factory in Bisarakh in broad daylight. Later, another gang of criminals “attacked” a transport company and got away with a new truck along with 26 tyres under the Dadri Police Station.

Even before the police could show any progress in the investigation into these crimes, criminals targeted a house in Sector–39 area and decamped with valuables packed in a car three days ago. Unfortunately, the police are still clueless in these cases.

Two days ago, robbers had looted the house of a businessman in Dankaur, which is in the vicinity of the police station of the area. A typical feature of most of these crimes was the ease with which the criminals managed to escape with their “booty”.

According to the police, however, investigating teams have fanned out in the area to arrest the criminals.

According to the Superintendent of Police, Mr Vijay Bhushan, who is currently incharge of the rural area also, the police teams have almost completed their inquiries and the results will be made public soon. 



27 Delhi Police officers complete 
training in Forensic Sciences
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
The Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R. S. Gupta awarded certificates in Forensic Sciences to the students of the Amity Institute of Behavioural Health and Allied Sciences (AIBHAS) at a function in the Police Headquarters today.

Twenty-seven officers of the rank of Sub-Inspectors and Assistant Sub-Inspectors, nominated by the police headquarters, successfully completed their training in Forensic Sciences at AIBHAS.

“Miracles happen, but it is very rare that we get a chance to seem them happening,” said Mr Gupta, while commending the efforts of Dr Ashok K Chauhan. He said that investigations suffer due to lack of technology and knowledge among the officers.

Dr Chauhan said the “zeal with which the officers attended the course speaks about their dedication to serve the nation.”

AIBHAS has been organizing weekend courses in Forensic Sciences for the past one year. Vimla Veera Raghavan, Professor and Head, AIBHAS, informed the gathering that the training for the weekend courses in Forensic Sciences spanned across six modules and dealt with crime scene, forensic investigation, forensic photography, finger print analysis, forensic toxicology, forensic serology, drug detection, criminal profiling, firearms identification, lie-detection and cyber crime amongst others.

Experts like Dr Anupama Raina, AIIMS, Dr G. D. Gupta, Dr Mukesh Kumar, CBI, and Professor Surinder Nath, Delhi University, conducted lectures for the participants. Special visits to NICFS and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) were also undertaken by the participants.

T.N. Mishra, former CBI Director, who was also present, said, “information play a key role in any case. This course would enable officers to reach the core of any case with a proper understanding of both the physical and manual information.”



PWD Mechanical Workers plan agitation 
from November 6 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 24
The Haryana Government PWD Mechanical Workers Union has planned to launch an agitation against the state government for not accepting the “genuine and legitimate demands” of the employees.

Stating this, Mr Sheelak Ram Malik, general-secretary of the union, told mediapersons here today that the employees will hold demonstrations and dharna at all district headquarters between November 6 and December 30 to press its demands.

The programme for organising demonstrations and staging dharnas are: Bhiwani (November 6), Sonepat (November 7), Hisar (November 11), Rohtak (November 14), Panipat (November 16), Karnal (November 18), Jind (November 21), Faridabad (November 25), Jhajjar (November 28), Sirsa (December 2), Gurgaon (December16), Ambala (December 19), Fatehabad (December 23), Rewari (December 26) and Mahindergarh (December 30).

He said that the proposed demonstrations and dharnas would be held between 11 am. and 3 pm. The leaders of the union would submit a charter of demands to the Deputy Commissioner concerned for forwarding the same to the state government.

Mr Malik also warned that if the state government failed to fulfil the demands of the employees, the union would have no alternative but to resort to “direct action”.

He said that among the demands of the union include the enforcement of the agreement between the government and the union for providing benefits to employees after completion of 10 year and 20 years of service, providing of ACP and the end to cut in pension facility.

According to Mr Malik, other demands include the formulation of a transfer policy and providing jobs to the family members of deceased employees.



Thai team briefed on NDMC working
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
A delegation of 36 graduates, led by Dr Corrine Phuangkasem, Dean of he Faculty of Political Science, Thammsat University, Thailand, visited the NDMC headquarters this morning. Mr Ramesh Narayanaswami, Chairman, NDMC, along with the officers of the civic body, interacted with the delegation and briefed it on the day-to-day activities and functioning of the NDMC.

The NDMC made a multi media presentation, highlighting all the activities of the civic body, which was followed by briefings on issues like management, city planning, commercial and welfare projects, road maintenance, system of electricity distribution and solid waste management. The delegation showed keen interest in administrative aspects and the set-up of the civic body, besides seeking information about garbage disposal, sewerage, solid waste management and road maintenance.

The chairman of the NDMC explained to the delegation the causes of insanitation and the way it is being controlled by appointment of Municipal Magistrates with the empowerment of fining the defaulters on the spot. He also apprised them about the further management of the garbage.

Metro Rail: The Metro train services from Shahadra to Trinagar will close after 8 P.M. tomorrow on account of Diwali Festival. However, the Metro Train will run as per the normal schedule from Sunday from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M.

Spurious silver coins: The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have unearthed a spurious silver coins manufacturing unit at village Ghondli in East district. The police team raided the premises and recovered 1082 coins, dyes, chemicals and other accessories. The premises is owned by Satish Sharma, a resident of Ghaziabad. The police are out to arrest him. 



Man crushed on GT Road
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 24
One person was killed and two others sustained injuries in an accident on the G T road near Hassanpur Kurar village, about 10 km from here last night.
According to a report, the victim was identified as Mr Charan singh of Murthal vilage. The police have sent the body for the postmortem examination.

The other two injured persons were hospitalised. The police have registered a case of rash and negligent driving and causing death against the truck driver. The police are on the lookout for the truck driver.

It is stated that Bhola, a resident of Mehndipur village, along with Charan Singh and Jassu of Murthal village, was going on a motorcycle towards the village, when a car banged into them.

Even as the three persons were thrown off the motorcycle, a truck coming from the rear side crushed Charan Singh. The driver of the truck is absconding.

Dengue cases: Two more cases of dengue fever came to light here today. The patients were identified as Nitish Kumar (25) of Model Town and a woman, Raj Rani (35).

According to a report, both the patients were undergoing treatment at private hospitals.

Meanwhile, ten more cases of viral fever have come to light at Kheri Gujjar village in Ganaur sub-division, including four cases in a single family.

BJP district unit election: Mr Bhalley Ram, a close associate of Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP from Sonept and vice-president of Haryana BJP, has been elected unanimously as the president of the Sonepat district unit of the BJP.

According to a report, more than 200 party activists and presidents of 13 mandals were present in the meeting held in the Gosain dharamshala here yesterday.

The Returning officer, Mr Dashrath Singh, received only one nomination of Mr Bhalla Ram for the post of the district president. Subsequently, he was declared elected unopposed. It may be recalled that Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan had joined the BJP at the time of last Lok Sabha elections when he was refused ticket by the Indian National Lok DAl (INLD).

6 sheds gutted: At least six sheds were gutted in a fire that broke out in a mushroom farm at Rohat village, about five km from here late last evening.

According to a report, the loss was estimated to be around Rs 8 lakh. The cause of the fire was still unknown. The fire was brought under control by the residents of the village. Though the municipal fire brigade was also summoned from Sonepat, it arrived after the fire was extinguished by the local villagers.

Motorcycle stolen: A motorcycle was allegedly stolen from Street no 2 of Ashok Vihar, around 8 pm last evening. According to a report, the owner of the motorcycle had lodged an FIR with the police in this connection.

Campaign against use of firecrackers: Hundreds of schoolchildren took out a rally here last evening as part of campaign against the use of fireworks and explosive articles during the Divali festival.

According to a report, the rally started from Mission Chowk and passed through the areas of Rohtak road, Gur Mandi, Gur Mandi Chowk, Kath Mandi, Patharwali Gali, West Ram Nagar and mission road.

The students were carrying placards exhibiting slogans against the use of fireworks and the explosive articles.

The students took a pledge against the use of fireworks and explosive articles on Diwali at the conclusion of the rally. Students also presented a cultural programme here last evening where they took a pledge against the use of explosives and fireworks on Divali. 



NCR briefs 
Man sentenced to 7-year RI for raping minor
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, October 24
The district and Session Judge of Sonepat, Mr B. L. Singhal, convicted Anand, a resident of Nangal Kalan village, under Section 376 of IPC and sentenced him to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,000 on the charge of having criminally assaulted a minor girl of the village. According to a report, the Judge also convicted him under Section 363 of IPC and sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1,000 and ordered that all the sentences will run concurrently. According to the prosecution, the victim’s brother had lodged an FIR with the police that the accused had kidnapped the minor girl on September 20, 1999. The police had arrested the accused and found the girl, who accused him of having repeatedly raped her.

New PG hostel in DU

New Delhi: Delhi University has started a new postgraduate hostel for women at the University Hostel Complex, Banda Bahadur Marg, from the current academic session. The new hostel has been named the DSE and SC/ST Student’s House for Women. In the 100- seat hostel, 50 seats have been reserved for PG students of Delhi School of Economics and the remaining for SC/ST women. The hostel will be formally inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Deepak Nayar, on October 27 at 2.30 pm.

Polling time reduced

Polling in the national Capital will be held on December 1 from 8 am to five pm. According to the draft notification drawn up by the Election Commission, the polling hours in the NCT of Delhi would be reduced by one hour. The last Assembly polls were held from 7 am to 5 pm. The reason for the reduced time was due to use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in all the Assembly constituencies. The Election Commission felt that nine hours polling was sufficient. However, no voter in the queue would be turned back after the polling closed at five pm.

Inquiry demanded into dengue cases

The Janata Dal (Secular) today demanded a full-fledged independent inquiry into the mishandling of dengue cases in the national Capital. It said there was “gross criminal mishandling” by the state administration in its efforts to contain the disease. The vice-president of JD (S), Mr Romesh Bhandari, said “dengue crisis” had assumed epidemic proportions in the Capital. TNS



Speaking out


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi has given shape to his dream by bidding for Commonwealth Games 2010. If we want that our country should prosper, then we must look at every facet of life. And one such aspect of life is sports. Sports is essential for healthy life. Besides, sports unites people and brings honours to a country at the international level.

A few days back, IOA president had proposed that we want to play host to Commonwealth Games. The Afro-Asian Games (AAG) have already begun in Hyderabad. And taking cue from the AAG, we hope that the next step will be the Commonwealth Games. Moreover, if we host the Commonwealth Games, then the sportspersons of our country will get an opportunity to perform on their home turf.

The success of the meet (Afro-Asian Games) will definitely give us some good points, which will be beneficial to us in winning the bid for 2010 Commonwealth Games.

We shouldn’t be concerned about the overall results, which we have produced till date. At present, it would not be exaggeration if we say that we are in a nascent stage. It will be sometime before the toddler learns how to walk. And the day is not far, when we will be running. Therefore, we must support our sportspersons and help them scale their Everest.

RICHA BEDI, Student of Journalism (Hons), New Delhi

Help them before it is too late

By winning the Asia Hockey Cup, our boys have given a befitting gift to their injured team-mate Jugraj Singh. It may help him to recover fast. It is also heartening to note that various governments/bodies have volunteered to bear the expenses of his treatment aboard.

Some of our cricketers, after getting treated abroad, have become a winning combination of our national team.

The case of hapless Rajiv Tiwari, who got injured in a practice match, comes to mind. If I remember correctly, he was declared the best player of Under-19 hockey tournament held sometime back. Now, he is working as a ticket checker somewhere in Western Railway. The government of India/IHF/Sahara India should also rehabilitate this young player by getting him treated abroad. Who knows that he may

prove to be another Jugraj, whose absence was felt in league stage matches in the Asia Cup tournament. If Govt can increase the number of Arjuna awardees, rendering help to a genuine person like Rajiv Tiwari should not stand in the way. Earlier done the better.

MANOHAR LAL, Minto Road Complex, New Delhi

Weed out quotas

This is with reference to the reservation policy in private sector. I am a die-hard opponent of this reservation policy. I feel that this policy is cent per cent politically motivated. As we all know, there are already huge reservations for some castes in government jobs and educational institutions. Announcing reservations in the election year tantamount to cheating the people.

What are the consequences of such quotas? Take the example of Railway, where a minister gave jobs to a number of people simply because they belonged to a certain caste. Needless to say, these people did not have the required training and skills.

The government should not provide jobs to persons who are not competent. Public sector companies, government undertakings and now private companies are also being compelled to employ people, just to fulfil quotas and, consequently, the quality of work is suffering. So, my suggestion to the government is that our country should encourage competition and excellence, rather than racial quotas, which lead to incompetence and breed mediocrity.

PUNEET WADHWA, MBA student, Rohtak

A case of criminal neglect

The recent spurt in cases of dengue fever and consequent deaths in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi is a matter of concern for health departments of the four states. People of the states have been at the receiving end for a long time. But there are few among the authorities to pay heed to their complaints.

Poor sanitary conditions and the menace of mosquitoes go hand in hand in rural and urban areas. They are an outcome of choked sewerage, overflowing nullahs and water-logged streets. This apart, the draining of sewerage water in the canals and their tributaries is responsible for infecting the entire countryside and the length and breadth of the state with mosquitoes.

Indifference has touched dizzying heights. Even the Yamuna is not being spared. The overflow of sewerage water into the river has affected the sanitation and health of the neighbouring states as well.

My appeal to the authorities is to efficiently manage the sewerage system and sanitise the river Yamuna, Agra Canal, its tributaries and its drainage system. Health of the citizens being the primary concern of the states, sanitation and cleanliness should get the utmost attention, or else it may turn into criminal neglect.

There is a reason for pleading thus. There was a time when common people could sleep in the open in the cities and villages. There was no fear of being stung by mosquitoes. The river Yamuna, the Agra Canal and their tributaries always flowed with clean water. But the sanitation now has become a problem. Neither mosquito nets, nor the umpteen number of repellents, serve any purpose.


Crime against women

It was extremely shocking, shameful and painful to learn that in the national Capital 376 rapes cases have been committed in the last 273 days. The heinous crimes have been perpetrated by anti-social elements on girls between 12 and 16 years old . If the Capital of the country is not safe, what would be the fate of females in other parts of the country.

Mrs Sheila Dikshit and her Cabinet have done well to request the Prime Minister and the Dy PM to take very hard and immediate action against the persons who are a slur on the society.

Unless or until strong action is taken immediately, this evil is not going to come to an end. Before shooting them, flog them in public.


A VIP till poll date

The assembly elections of five states are being held in November- December 2003. The parties are busy selecting their candidates. They have also kicked off their election campaigns by coining bewitching slogans and churning out enchanting publicity material, laced with lofty objects and promises.

In India, in the last 50 years, the elections have given birth to some humorous terms, words, definitions, quotes and anecdotes. I wish to share some of these with the voters during the coming elections:

* Voter: A VIP till the poll date.

* Independent candidate: A most-sought-after VVIP, if elected.

* Election propaganda: 75 percent lies and 25 percen cries.

* Election campaign agency: We do not just campaign, but also make sure that the campaign sells you.

* Election time: Best time for sycophants, manip lators, poll-forecasters, Zee-hazoors, history-sheeters — the list is endless.

* General public/voters: People who vote politicians to power, then beg them to keep their promises and assurances.

* Election speech: The art of saying things in such a way that no body knows exactly what you mean.

* Election slogans: Based on hit films/pop songs/tunes such as – ‘Hamara candidate - Balle balle, baki sare thalle thalle.’

* Election promise (s): eight-year-old son to father: Daddy, why don’t you vote for the Reserve Bank of India? Unlike politicians, it at least gives to the bearer what it promises!

* Election period: When politicians run and the taxpayers sweat!

* Election funds: Top secret — not to be disclosed!!

O P SHARMA, Faridabad

Phoren beauty

We Indians are master imitators of everything foreign (phoren in Hinglish). Following this trend, our younger generation has started aping the Western beauty culture, discarding age-old beauty aids. This has resulted in mushrooming of beauty saloons not only in cities, but also in small towns. Besides, schools, institutions and academies, providing training and courses in Western beauty culture, make-up and cosmetology based on synthetic products, have sprung in a big way throughout the country.

Perhaps, we Indians have forgotten that in our country there already exists indigenous beauty culture, since time immemorial, known as “Solah Shingar.”

So, let us ponder and use our age-old cheaper beauty aids for skin, face and hair.

ANUP KUMAR, Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi



Jewellery worth Rs 2.5 lakh looted
Our Correspondent

Dankaur (Noida), October 24
Six armed men raided the house of one Madan Lal in Prem Puri Mohalla, Dankaur, on Tuesday night and decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 2.5 lakh in an hour-long loot.

Interestingly this incident took place a few metres away form the Dankaur police station. While fleeing, the robbers had pushed the ailing Madan Lal from his cot and threatened other family members with dire consequences, if anybody raised an alarm.

According to police, the main door was ajar at the time of the incident as the house was being white-washed. The robbers barged in at about 11 pm and quickly bolted the door from inside. They made all the inmates captive after giving them a thrashing. After this, they ransacked the house.



Man jumps from 12th floor in CP 

New Delhi: Raminder Singh (39), a resident of Janakpuri, today committed suicide by jumping from the 12th floor of Vandana Building in Connaught Place. He had a printing press. A guard in the building asked him to disclose his identity. Instead of doing so, he said that he had to meet someone in the building. When the guard went inside his cabin, Raminder seized the opportunity and jumped from the floor. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. TNS



NFL presents dividend cheque of Rs 292.92 crore 
to government 
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 24
National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) has presented a dividend cheque of Rs 292.92 crore to the government in respect of shares held by it. The company in its 29th Annual General Meeting approved the highest ever dividend of Rs 300 crores to the shareholders.

The Chairman and Managing Director, National Fertilisers Limited, Mr P.S.Grewal, presented dividend cheque of Rs 292.92 crore to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on Wednesday. The Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertiliser, Mr S.S Dhindsa, Secretary (Fertiliser), Mr Nripendra

Mishra and ten officials of the Ministry and NFL were also present on the occasion.

NFL, which is a mini ‘Ratna’ category-I company and has consistently been a profit making company since inception, has paid a cumulative dividend of Rs 644.57 crore to the government till date against the paid up equity of Rs 490.58 crore. According to CMD, Mr P. S. Grewal, NFL achieved a record sales turnover of Rs 3,654 crore with a pre-tax net profit of Rs 448.43 crore during the year 2002-03. NFL produced 32.12 lakh tonnes of Urea during 2002-03 and has recorded more than Rs 1,612 crores pre-tax profits during the last decade alone.

The company has also made the highest ever contribution to the exchequer of Rs 443.74 crore out of which Rs 333.14 crore to the Central exchequer and Rs 110.60 crore to the state exchequer in the form of duties, taxes and dividend.

NFL has maintained its steady growth over the years and has flourished to its present enviable stature with a market share of about 17 per cent urea in the domestic production during 2002-03, said Mr Grewal. NFL is the first fertiliser company in the country with ISO 9001 certification for all its operations and also has ISO 14001 for environment standards for all its units. The company has a strong marketing and agricultural extension programme and is propagating the balanced use of fertilisers to sustain the agricultural productivity. Research and development efforts undertaken in close collaboration with scientists of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, has yielded good results and NFL has developed Neem-coated urea at its Panipat unit. The development of Neem-coated urea during trial runs showed 4 to 5 per cent enhanced crop yield.

The Ministry of Labour (Government of India) has conferred ‘National Safety Award’ to Nangal (Winner) and Bathinda units (Runners Up) of NFL for achieving longest accident-free operations for the year 2002.



Traders threaten stir on identification number
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
The traders have threatened to down their shutters on November 1, if the Government of NCT of Delhi did not withdraw the notification of introducing Trader Identification Number (TIN) by October 27 – the deadline set by the Confederation of All India Traders and Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh. (The last date for applying for TIN is October 31.)

Earlier this week, representatives of more than a hundred trade associations and federations converged at Ghanta Ghar in the Walled City and expressed resentment by burning an effigy of TIN under the leadership of President of Forum of Delhi Trade Associations Vijay Gupta. The traders are annoyed over the details required to be filled in the TIN forms, saying the information being sought was in no way related to the Department of Sales Tax and, if leaked, could put many of them in unforeseen trouble as anti-social elements could use it for blackmailing.


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