N C R   S T O R I E S


Sheila has house in order, almost
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
It was a visibly relieved Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who stepped out of her AB 17, Mathura Road residence on Friday morning. After the proverbial night (or nights) of long knives, Dikshit mingled briefly with her sympathisers before setting out for the Patiala House courts to file her nomination papers.

Nothing, it seemed, could unsettle Dikshit on the day. Not even the protests orchestrated by Romesh Sabharwal, who was peeved at not being nominated from the Gole Market constituency held by her. A confident-looking Dikshit, when approached by reporters, brushed aside all opposition and said she would win the elections hands down.

In what has already been dubbed as the clash of the fair sex, Dikshit will contend with two other women for the prestigious Gole Market constituency. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Poonam, wife of cricketer-turned-Member of Parliament Kirti Azad. Kalpana Kumar of the Janata Dal (Secular) is Dikshit’s other opponent.

Fanfare also marked the filing of nominations by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) President Prem Singh. Friday was the last date for filing of nomination papers. According to the election schedule, the nomination papers will be scrutinised on November 15. The last date for withdrawal is November 17.

The party, meanwhile, chose to delay the announcement of its candidates from Samaipur Badli and Rajinder Nagar till the last minute. That lent ‘credence’ to the talks about a possible adjustment of seats with Laloo Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). That did not happen and the party fielded its own candidates.

The complete list of Cong candidates…

The following candidates figure in the Congress Assembly nomination list:

Gole Market—Sheila Dikshit, CM , MLA; Minto Road—Tajdar Babbar, MLA; Okhla—Parvez Hashmi, MLA; Kalkaji—Subhash Chopra, MLA; Delhi Cantonment—Kiran Chaudhary, MLA; Hari Nagar —OP Wadhwa; Tilak Nagar —Jaspal Singh, MLA; Rajouri Garden—Ajay Maken, MLA; Madipur (SC)—Malaram Gangwal, MLA; Tri Nagar—Anil Bharadwaj; Shahbad Daulatpur—Ramesh Kumar, MLA; Bawana (SC)—Surendra Kumar, MLA; Sultanpur Majra(SC)—Jai Kishan; Mangolpuri(SC)—Raj Kumar Chauhan, MLA; Vishnu Garden—Mahender Singh Sathi, MLA; Najafgarh—Kanwal Singh Yadav, MLA; Nasirpur—Mahabal Mishra, MLA; Palam—Sumesh Shokeen; Mahipal Pur—Vijay Singh Lochav; Mehrauli—Balram Tanwar; Dr Ambedkar Nagar—Prem Singh, MLA; Badarpur—Ram Singh Netaji, MLA; Sarojini Nagar—Ashok Ahuja; Kasturba Nagar—Ashok Chopra; Jangpura—Tarvinder Singh Marwah, MLA; Malviya Nagar —Yoganand Shastri; Hauz Khas —Kiran Walia; RK Puram—Barkha Singh; Janak Puri—Shiv Kumar Sondhi; Shakur Basti —SC Vats; Shalimar Bagh —Harbhajan Singh Walia; Nangloi Jat—Master Vijender; Hastsal—Mukesh Sharma; Saket —Rohit Manchanda; Tughlakabad—Veer Singh Vidhuri; Krishna Nagar—Narendra Jain; Shahdara—Narendra Nath; Rohtash Nagar—Ram Babu Sharma; Seelam Pur—Mateen Ahmed; Karawal Nagar—Hasan Ahmed; Narela (SC)—Charan Singh Kandera; Chandni Chowk—PS Sawhney; Timar Pur—Surinder Pal Singh Bitto; Moti Nagar —Alka Lamba; TrilokPuri (SC)—Brahmpal, MLA; Patparganj (SC)—A Gautam, MLA; Mandawali—Meera Bharadwaj MLA; Geeta Colony—AK Walia, MLA; Gandhi Nagar —Arvinder Singh Lovely, MLA; Vishwas Nagar—Naseeb Singh, MLA; Seemapuri—Veer Singh, MLA; Nand Nagri (SC)—Baljore Singh; Babar Pur—Vinay Sharma; Ghonda—Bisham Sharma, MLA; Yamuna Vihar —Diwan Singh Nayal; Wazirpur—Ratan Chand Jain; Bhalswa Jahangirpuri—JS Chauhan, MLA; Adarsh Nagar—Mangat Ram Singhal, MLA; Paharganj—Anjali Rai, MLA; Matia Mahal—Azhar Shagufa; Ballimaran—Haroon Yusuf, MLA; Model Town—Kanwar Karan Singh, MLA; Kamala Nagar—Shadi Ram, MLA; Sadar Bazar—Rajesh Jain, MLA; Patel Nagar (W)—Ramakant Goswami, MLA; Karol Bagh (SC)—Durgesh Mohanpuria; Ram Nagar—Darshana Ram Kumar, MLA; Baljit Nagar (SC)—Krishna Tirath, MLA; Samaipur Badli—Dharamvir Yadav; Rajinder Nagar—Raj Kumar Kohli.


The ‘rank outsider’ has to watch out for insiders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
Having won a personal battle, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit readies herself for the war ahead.

The Outsider, as Dikshit derisively was called by her detractors, is firmly in the saddle and how. By getting the lists declared at the eleventh hour, the chief minister put paid to any hopes a section of her party might have harboured of fanning dissidence against her leadership.

She had her way, mostly, in nominating “her” candidates. She also forced the hands of her known detractors, who resigned themselves to playing second fiddle after the party high command put its foot down.

Interestingly, several legislators belonging to the camps opposed to Dikshit, who would have otherwise been excluded, were pleasantly surprised to find their names on the list.

The party high command, sources were to say later, reasoned that even those MLAs who stood little chance of winning the election on their own could eventually end up on the winning side on account of the “groundswell” of support for the chief minister.

Nevertheless, the hush-hush manner in which the party released the list of candidates, according to political watchers, is indicative of factionalism and dissension in the party.

The ‘old war horse’ Sajjan Kumar has managed to secure as many seats for his nominees but not so the DPCC president and chief ministerial aspirant Prem Singh.

Such was the bitter wrangling among the ticket aspirants that the party had to announce the names of the candidates in three instalments. The lists were either pasted outside the party’s office on Akbar Road late in the night or faxed in the wee hours.

The road ahead is not paved with roses either. Dissidents are already baying for her blood. The rumours of her contesting from two seats have been scotched but her opponent, Poonam Azad, claims the people will clean bowl Sheila this time.


Suraksha sathi scheme strikes a discordant note
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 14
The state government’s plan to recruit “suraksha sathis” (security assistants) in each village can easily backfire, feel representatives of political parties. They have dubbed it as an immature decision, claiming that discrimination in appointment and faulty implementation of the policy could vitiate the atmosphere in the villages.

While one “suraksa sathi” will be appointed in a village with population of 5000, villages with higher population will have two posts. These persons will be paid Rs 2,000 per month. Preference will be given to those having a phone connection and an ex-serviceman background. They ought to fall in the age group 32-50.

The security assistants will help the police in keeping a tab on illegal activities. The initial appointment will be for three years on contract. The contract can be renewed, depending upon performance. Suraksha sathis will also help in attestation of passports, domicile, caste, birth and death certificates.

Mr Karan Singh Dalal, a former minister and RPI MLA from Palwal, has come out strongly against the scheme. In a statement here today, Mr Dalal claimed it was a political decision aimed at benefiting workers and supporters of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal. He did not expect any fairness in selection as the district police chiefs had been authorised to make the appointments. The scheme was a perfect example of the government using politics to divide and rule the poor. He claimed the so-called “suraksha sathis” would be spies of the police and use their authority to victimise people owing allegiance to opposition parties.

Instead of implementing long-term plans to generate jobs, such schemes were being devised to dupe the people.

The general secretary of the Janata Dal, Mr Raj Kumar Gaur, said the ruling party might use the scheme to appoint its own supporters. Such schemes were superficial and aimed at appeasing the vote bank. The appointment of “suraksha sathis” could also vitiate the village atmosphere. He said there was no justification for claiming that “suraksha sathis” would keep a tab on anti-social elements. Local Congress leader Anand Kaushik has also opposed the scheme, stating that it will certainly vitiate village peace. Besides, interference of the police in the day-to-day lives of the people would also increase. Corruption in the Police Department was no secret, he added.

The BJP leader and MLA from Mewla Maharajpur, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, has also criticised the scheme, stating that it spoke volumes of the seriousness of the present government in solving various problems, including that of mass unemployment. He claimed the Chautala government had not left any stone unturned in trying to antagonise people. He appealed to the state government to put such schemes on hold, which were only aimed at deriving political mileage.


Move to derecognise a dozen pvt schools for irregularities
B. S. Malik

Sonepat, November 14
Following the detection of irregularities in the records of around a dozen private schools by an inquiry team of the Haryana Board of School Education in Sonepat district, the board has reportedly recommended cancellation of the recognition of these schools to the Education Department.

The board’s action has spread panic among owners of these schools. They have reportedly started knocking at the doors of their political patrons for withdrawal of the board’s report. The private school owners association has also come out in support of these listed schools.

According to information available from Education Department sources, in order to improve the education standard in schools the board had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of its Vice-Chairman, Mr Dilbagh Singh, to inquire into the irregularities committed by certain schools which had allegedly filed wrong and false information to the board about the strength of students in the schools and also some records of the schools. After verifying the school records, the committee reportedly found irregularities and submitted its report to the board for action against these schools. The secretary of the board, Mr Rakesh Gupta, confirmed the schools had committed irregularities, filed wrong information with the board and the board was writing to the Education Department for taking action against the identified schools.

The schools which have been blamed for irregularities include Umed Singh Memorial Senior Secondary School, Rohna, Indian Modern Senior Secondary School, Harsh Public Senior Secondary School, Purkhas, Samaj Kalyan Public School, Bajana, Dindayal Public School, Bindhroli, Sarsvati Senior Secondary School, Ganaur, Mikhi Senior Secondary School, Gohana, SD School, Khanda, BMM School, Bilandpur Kheri, Giandeep Senior Secondary School, Rohna, Sharda Shiksha Sadan, Garhi Brahmanan and Gurukul Senior Secondary School, Bhainswal Kalan.


Love match infuriates villagers, youth beaten to death
Our Correspondent

Meerut, November 14
The intolerant attitude of society towards lovebirds is well-known. In yet another instance of this kind, a youth was done to death in Nagla Kater village under the Phalaoda police station. He succumbed to his injuries while on way to the district government hospital here. He held at least eight persons, including the family members of the girl, responsible for his death. The persons named by him had already fled from the village. According to some villagers, Hariom, son of Bhagirath Saini of Nagla Kater village, had a courtship with a girl of the same village for over four years. Family members and villagers knew about this and were opposed to their marriage. But both the lovebirds were adamant about getting married.

On the fateful day of November 9 certain villagers and family members of the girl allegedly caught hold of him in the morning, alleging that he was back after meeting the girl. They beat him black and blue with lathis and hockey sticks. In a bid to save his life the boy entered a dense sugarcane field. But the infuriated villagers again caught him after a combing operation. He was brought to the village and again beaten up publicly. When he fainted the alleged assailants fled. Hariom’s brother rushed him to a private doctor. The doctor referred him to the district hospital, saying that his condition was critical.

Later, the youth succumbed to his injuries. He lost his eyesight before his death due to serious head injuries. The police have sent the body for a post-mortem examination. There is considerable tension in the village after the death of Hariom. All eight persons, including the family members of the girl, were already absconding from the village. NCR Tribune tried to contact Senior Superintendent of Police Badri Prasad Singh in his office but was told the SSP was busy with the visit of the Governor of UP and could only be contacted tomorrow.


Spurt in rapes: SC concerned, issues notices
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
The Supreme Court, while expressing serious concern over the recent increase in the number of rape incidents today, issued notices on a public interest litigation seeking effective measures to halt it.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice V. N. Khare and Mr Justice S. B. Sinha issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police on the PIL filed by the Nari Raksha Samiti, an NGO, and asked them to file their reply affidavits at the earliest.

Terming it as a “serious matter”, Chief Justice Khare at the very outset asked senior counsel F. S. Nariman, appearing for the petitioner, what should be done. Mr Nariman said there was no doubt that the problem was very serious and it therefore required in-depth consideration and necessary direction to the respondents to take effective measures to deal with the problem.

The NGO sought directions to ensure safety of women in the Capital and effective measures for confidence-building in them. It also sought a direction to the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police to constitute a high-powered committee to review the present crime situation and take immediate remedial action, including fixing of responsibility on the authorities concerned, an increase in the number of PCR vans and deployment of a lady constable in each of these as well as an increase in police patrolling.

The samiti said it was compelled to approach the court since the recent attacks on women in Delhi had been hitting headlines virtually on a daily basis.

Statistics may not show Delhi as the rape capital of the world but it was certainly somewhere there in terms of sheer repetitive horror of this crime, the petitioner said, citing eight recent rape incidents, including that of a Swiss diplomat. There were numerous other cases which had gone unreported or where the rapist was scot-free.

If any organisation was to shortlist the worse cities for women to live in Delhi could be there on the top, the petitioner asserted. The petition said it was the solemn duty of government to protect its citizens, including women, in order to enable them to live a life of dignity without fear and work in a safe environment. Referring to media coverage regarding the rape incidents, the petitioner said though the reports on the spate of rapes were in the headlines in dailies the ordeal of Delhi women on and off the roads was no less sordid a saga. The petitioners suggested that a permanent high-powered co-ordination committee should be constituted with representatives of the Union Home Ministry, the Delhi Government, the Delhi Police and social activists to review the crime situation and take remedial measures.


3,000 contractual Noida employees to be axed
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 14
The Noida Authority is understood to have taken a decision to remove some 3,000 contractual employees from its service. As a first step, some 50 data entry operators have been relieved of their jobs.

It is learnt that Jagdev Singh, DCEO, who looks after personnel, has issued an order to all the HODs; this is in perusal of state government’s order dated October 9, 2002.

Under this, all posts of group B, except those filled up to clear the backlog or those reserved for SC/ST candidates, will be kept in abeyance till further orders.

A government order had been issued on September 16, 2003, as per which all posts of data entry operators had been abolished. Since no action was taken on it, DCEO Jagdev Singh has issued another order two days ago, making it clear that the Noida Authority will not pay wages to those data entry operators who are engaged by the department or divisional heads on contract.

According to sources, though this order is directed against data entry operators, it is clear that the services of all those employed on contract will be terminated forthwith.

From casual labourers to some 75 junior engineers will be affected by the order. There are another 45 technical men currently employed in the Authority. Drivers, beldars, gardeners, pump operators, and many other similar contractual jobs basis will be affected.

The Noida Authority, it has been clarified, can allot work on contract basis, but cannot employ contractual staff.


Two boys go missing from school

Ghaziabad: Two boys, including the son of a policeman, who had gone to their school under the Vijay Nagar police station yesterday, are reported to be missing. It is feared that they have been kidnapped.

According to police sources, Pankaj, son of Constable Pali Ram Yadav, was a student of class VII in CSHP Public School in Pratap Vihar. Lokesh, son of Devinder Kumar of Rahul Vihar, was also his classmate. Both had left home yesterday for school as usual. On reaching school, they left their schoolbags in the classroom. Then, they reportedly left the school even before the roll call. They have not been seen after that.

According to manager Promode Gupta, both the students were close friends but their attendance in school had been irregular during the past one month. OC


Cong criticises Chautala for not providing remunerative price
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha declared that the Congress party would campaign against the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidates in Rajasthan and other states to expose the misdeeds of the Chautala government and the deteriorating law and order situation in Haryana.

Addressing a party workers meeting at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here yesterday, he criticised the Chautala government for not providing remunerative price to the farmers for their produce. The farmers had suffered a huge financial loss to the tune of Rs 200 crores so far, he said.

He also criticised the Chautala government for introducing VAT in the state, which had ruined the trade and business prospects in the state. He demanded the reconsideration of the implementation of VAT so that the harassment of the traders was minimised.

Mr Hooda also criticised the Mr Chautala for being vindictive against his political rivals and said that the arrest of the Congress MLA, Mr Jai Parkash, was a clear proof of it. He claimed that the popularity of the INLD government was on the wane and the Congress party would form the next government in the state after the next Assembly elections. He also claimed that the Congress party would get absolute majority in all the states going to polls in December. He further predicted that the next government at the Centre would be of the Congress party headed by Mrs Sonia Gandhi.


BSNL to connect technical institutes, STD booths on net
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to connect all the engineering and technical college as well as the STD booths with the Internet in Haryana.

This was stated by Mr Prithipal Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of the BSNL while inaugurating a new telephone exchange on the premises of the CR State College of Engineering at Murthal, about 8 km from here yesterday.

Other senior officials of the BSNL, including Mr A. K. Nagpal, Chief General Manager, Telecom and Mr R. C. Hooda, General Manager, Sonepat, were present on this occasion.

He disclosed that the educated youths would be allowed to use the Internet service on concessional rate at par with the mobile telephones.

He also said that the subscribers would be provided with all the latest services connected with the new technology system.

Mr Nagpal also claimed that the WLL service has also been provided to all the telephone subscribers in the state.

Mr R C Hooda, GMT, Sonepat, disclosed that there are 1,005 STD booths in the district at present and new telephone exchanges would be set up in the villages of Pinana, Khanda, Tewri, Umedgarh, Chhatehra, Jagsi, Nooran Khera and Ganaur. He also claimed that new telephone connections are being provided on demand at Sonepat and Gohana towns in the district. The system of telephone billing has been improved and the subscribers would not face any hardship in obtaining duplicate bills in case the original was misplaced.

Later, Mr Singh released the new telephone directory of Sonepat district at a function organised on the premises of the ‘Ethnic India Limited’, a tourist resort of the Haryana Tourism Corporation at Rai. A large number of prominent citizens, industrialists, businessmen and traders were present on this occasion.


‘Healing touch’ policy soft on ultras: BJP leader
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 14
The Union Minister of State for Defence, Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, flayed the “healing touch policy” of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Mufti Mohammed Syed. He said it was the displaced Kashmiri Pandits and not the ultras who were in need of a healing touch. Addressing a press conference here today, the Union Minister expressed his reservations on the Jammu and Kashmir Governments soft approach in dealing with the terrorist outfits in the turbulent state.

He criticised the Jammu and Kashmir Government for its refusal to implement the POTA in the state, which was urgently required to check terrorism there. Elaborating an instance, he said that six terrorists, who were arrested for an attack in which 28 persons were killed, were let off in the absence of a strict law like POTA.

He held that Mr Syed had failed to fulfill the hopes and aspiration of the people. Of the 13,000 Pandits who were in employed in government services in the state, only 2,000 remained in their jobs while others had fled to other “safer place”, becoming refugees in their own country, he said.

He maintained that the Union Government was committed to wipe out terrorism from the state and had accordingly implemented tough measures to deal firmly with it.

The Minister said that intensive fencing was being carried out at the international border with Pakistan and along the Line of Control (LoC).

He said the Congress government had earlier also tried fencing the border with Pakistan but had failed as Pakistani forces resorted to heavy firing and shelling whenever the work on the fencing would commence. In effect, fencing materials worth more than Rs 20 crore had gone down the drain as it had remained unutilised and was later plundered by the enemy and looters, he said.

However, the work of fencing now was being carried out speedily and would be completed by the end of this year, he said. Mr Gupta said that of the 550 kilometer of the LoC, fencing work on 150 km had already been completed. As per the intelligence reports, 5,000 well-trained terrorists were ready in the various camps in Pakistan to infiltrate into India and another 2,500 had been recruited for training, he said.

Mr Gupta said that as per the commitment of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, patrol pumps and gas agencies had been sanctioned to the families of 504 Kargil martyrs. The government was considering the removal of anomalies in the package provided to the Kargil martyrs and other military and paramilitary personnel killed in other anti-terrorist operations, he said. He said a number of organisations had made several representations in this regard.

The Minister said that due to the firm anti-terrorist policies of the government normalcy was limping back to the state. He cited the example of about 3 lakh tourists who had visited the state in the current year.

He said the government was launching a number of welfare schemes for the defence personnels, including the construction of 3 lakh dwelling units at the cost of Rs 18,000 crore for them. Later, the Defence Minister unveiled the statue of martyr Pankaj Kumar in Dakala village.

The BJP national secretary, Mr Om Prakash Dhankar, the district BJP chief, Mr Mahesh Kumar, Mr Rajpal Suhag, Ms Sunita Dhankar, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Naveen Vahi, Mr Rajpal Sharma and other local party leaders were present on the occasion.


Advani gift to children: Harry Potter in Hindi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
With the Assembly polls having seemingly obscured the calendar of events, Children’s Day celebrations were a shade paler this year.

The celebrations included various cultural programmes and events intended to woo kids. While the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L K Advani, released the Hindi version of Harry Potter, the Minister of Human Resource and Development, Dr M M Joshi, inaugurated the International Children’s Assembly and Integration Camp 2003.

A part of the celebrations was a photo exhibition on Chacha Nehru and the Railways organised by the Rail Museum. A drawing and painting competition for children was also held. The theme of the competition was animals at zoo, railway engines, my home, a crowded compartment and traffic jam.

A Bal Mela was also held for children, organised by Spandan and Bal Vikas Dhara. The participants were 700 children from slums and their parents. The events included were a song and dance programme, a ‘nukad natak’ and the prize distribution ceremony.

More than 5,000 students took part in the celebrations organised by the MCD. Dressed in bright colours, the students presented folk dances, aerobics and mass drill at Ambedkar Stadium.

Later, Commissioner Rakesh Mehta announced that the MCD aims at providing midday meals to 80 per cent of the children in the next year. At present, the MCD covers only 68 per cent of the children.

Prayas and CNI organised a programme, “Creating Space for the Less Privileged Children,’ at the National Stadium where 1,000 children, of which 500 were from lesser privileged backgrounds, walked from the India Gate to the National Stadium. They later took part in various cultural activities and participated in competitions.

In a separate celebration in Jesus and Mary College, the students witnessed ways to drape a Sri Lankan saree, a Kazakhastan dance, swinging African beats, and dishes from across the world.

Jesus and Mary College put up a show for the first time in Delhi University, which coincided with Children’s Day, with the underlying theme of ‘Practice peace for peace of mind’.

As many as 20 international students put together a colourful programme, which showcased their customs, traditions, music, dance and cuisine. These students represented Mauritius, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Iran, Kazakhastan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, South Korea, the United States and Zambia. The programme was a mix of informative talks about the participating students’ countries and their culture and cuisine.

The grand finale of the two-hour-long programme, organised by the college’s Peace Society, was a food festival. Delicacies like the Iranian Ash-e-Reshteh, a mixture of noodles, beans and yougurt; the Nigerian drink Zobo, made from the Zobo leaf and mixed with pineapple; and the South Korean Kimpam — a dish of sea weeds, fish and rice — were on offer.

Bollywood stars too did their bit: while Raveena Tandon spent time with children from CRY last evening, Lara Dutta came calling to the DPS International this morning. Both Raveena and Lara posed for pictures happily. The latter was there to inaugurate a finishing centre, collaboration between DPS and VLCC.

Amid the flurry of events, kids in schools were greeted with the customary sweets and ladoos and also taken down memory lane for a peep into the life of Chacha Nehru.


Canal breaches affecting supply to tail-end villages
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 14
Cases of unauthorised irrigation and breach of canal have been on the increase in Gohana sub-division in the past few months in the absence of proper inspection by the officials of Gohana Water Service Division.

According to a report, the officials of the Irrigation Department are hand in glove with the unscrupulous and influential farmers and were instrumental in hushing up the cases of water theft.

As a result, the standing crops at the tail-end villages have been adversely affected. Informed sources revealed that whenever canal cuts were made by influential farmers, these were hushed up and shown as mishaps.

In this way, the officials find an opportunity to dupe the government and misappropriate the public funds by preparing bogus muster rolls in connection with the repair works and pocketing the money on this account.

Several farmers alleged that they were not receiving canal water for the past six months, including during the rotation period, which had ruined their standing crops.

The role of the Executive Engineer was also not above board. According to sources money had played a prominent role in the office so as to hush up the issue.

The farmers whose fields were situated at the tail-end and who have been severely affected by the “scandal” have demanded a high-level probe into the complaints regarding the non-availability of the canal water and action against those officials found responsible for it.

Representatives of various farmers organisations have claimed that the farmers were still facing erratic supply of canal water for irrigation purposes and their crops had been badly hit. They also urged the state government and the district authorities to take a serious note of it and take action against the erring officials, who were indifferent to the complaints of the farmers.




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.

The University of Delhi issued a notification recently that the number of hospitals on the university panel has been reduced to 24, and many well-known hospitals on the panel, such as Ganga Ram, Batra, Apollo, St Stephen’s, Escorts etc, have been deleted.

The said notification says that it supersedes all previous notifications. The teachers and karamcharis are now directed to seek medical reimbursement as per the guidelines of the CGHS and avail of government hospitals’ facilities. The reimbursement by and large, as per the rules of St Stephen’s Hospital, is no longer valid. This is indeed a draconian notification. It is well-known that how inhuman the health staff in government hospitals, where life saving treatment is nil and bribe paying is the order of the day. The emergency and life care system in these hospitals are known to be collapsing.

The WUS Health Centre, located on the campus, is only for OPD services and does not provide hospitalisation. The teachers, students and karamcharis are, however, referred to hospitals on the university panel, which includes government and private ones, like St Stephen’s and other well-known hospitals in Delhi and outside. Medical reimbursement was available to the employees at par with that of St Stephen’s and government hospitals. The said notification rests entirely on government hospitals for medical reimbursement. Simultaneously, the total number of hospitals has been reduced to 24, which are now listed on the university panel. This is startling because the university is supposed to broaden the base of quality of healthcare and hospital services available to the teachers instead of shrinking it. The university is defeating the very purpose of upgrading the employees healthcare system and belittling the existence of the WUS healthcare. The WUS has qualified doctors and pharmacists, who know the pulse of the university community, the CGHS staff lags far behind.

It appears that as if the HRD Minister and the UGC are hand in glove to settle some old scores with the university community of this premier university.

Former Reader of Pol Sc, Delhi

One man’s kulfi is another man’s headache

In the walled city residential area in Bazaar Sita Ram Kucha Khyali Ram, the ‘kulfiwala’ has become a headache for the residents. He has been making ‘kulfi’ in this residential area for the last many years. As many as 100 workers are engaged in kulfi-making from 4:00 am to 3:00 pm. For boiling milk in large quantity, they (kulfi makers) keep 25 to 30 gas cylinders under one roof.

At any moment, the cylinders may burst and claim the lives of hundreds of people and damage dozens of houses. To cap it, all this business of kulfi-making causes a lot of noise pollution.

Because of the sound and the foul smell, the people here spend sleepless nights. In this season of dengue, this leads to a serious health hazard. We have appealed to the department concerned a number of times, asking them to check the menace but all our pleas have ended in smoke.


NRIs’ part-time wives

This is not only a question but also a big answer to be sorted out. Marriage gives new birth to the women in her life. Every girl has a dream in her life of getting married. It is a relation between two individuals who are going to spend their whole life with one another.

Parents think that they have chosen the best for their daughter. The groom is settle in Canada or in any other foreign land and should keep their daughter happily. Some times what happens which they did not think even in their dreams.

The base of marriage lies on trust, understanding and sacrificing for each other. But some cases, which arise in our country, especially in Punjab, I think sacrifice is written in the destiny of the girls of our country. It happens with our Punjabi sisters frequently.

The parents spend a hefty sum on the marriage of their daughter. But what they receive in back not their daughter’s happiness but something else. Girls get married to NRIs, and after a few months, they are thrown out by their in-laws because of not bringing adequate dowry from their parents. The life becomes mess for them (girls). They don’t know what to do and where to go in an unknown country.

Some cases raised the issues that the understanding between both husband and wife is not sufficient. And, some cases have also been come up that the groom is already married to some other girl. And, the result is that the husband leaves the wife. Why such types of things happen? Why the parents don’t think that money is not every thing? Why they are looking for NRI boys for their daughter not an Indian who is well-educated and well-settled in our country itself?

At last, it is my request to the parents who are searching NRIs for their daughter must go through the grooms’ life whether he is suitable for their daughter. Concurrently, I request to the government to take strong action against them.

New Delhi

Give more teeth to EC

The election season is here. Political parties are busy highlighting the corrupt practices prevalent in other parties. The BJP is going to town with the infamous ‘tandoor case’ to highlight the culture of violence prevalent in the grand old party.

Even as the incident is the most violent form of “political activism” that the country has seen in the last couple of decades, the blame game is not going to take the country very far.

It is an opportune time for the people to introspect and devise a multi-faceted approach to combat this evil. The truth is that as long as “winability” continues to be the first and the only criteria for the selection of party candidates for elections, the spectre of violence will continue to haunt our political system. Substantial and corrective electoral reforms, which have been firmly opposed by all the major political parties and formations, needs to be pushed through immediately. It is indicative that the only time that all the political parties come together is when they have to raise the remuneration or block progressive electoral reforms. And in their aim they do not even spare the Supreme Court or even the ultimate sovereign in a democracy, i.e. the electorate.

When the Supreme Court authorised the Election Commission to tighten up electoral process by making it mandatory for the candidates to furnish information regarding their income, crime record and educational qualification, they accused both the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of exceeding their briefs, as they said that legislation was the exclusive business of the legislature. Similarly, when the common citizens portray their growing disenchantment with the political class due to the increasing corruption and violence, they accuse the people of being “inconsiderate to the difficulties of the politicians, whose only aim in life is to serve the people”.

Clearly, a systemic change has to be brought about to cleanse our political system. The Election Commission needs to be made into a functionally Constitutional body, like the Supreme Court. Retired bureaucrats, however, sincere they may seem, are the products of the same corrupt system.

Whether it is Seshan or Lyngdow, they will be able to do little beyond tinkering with a provision here and there, always looking for ways to be seen as impartial. Like the Supreme Court, a bench should be constituted exclusively for conducting elections, which would also have the power disqualify candidates playing foul with the electoral process. The business of leaving the legislation of electoral laws to the legislature has done many harms to the country in the conduct of free and fair elections in the country. Corrupt legislators will never allow any law that will curtail their power or their ability to use unfair means to win elections and proclaim themselves as the representative of the people.

Above all, the people will have to play a more active role to deny such people a chance to call themselves the people’s representatives. They will have to make a choice and come out on the street and speak up for their rights.

New Delhi

Judges’ strength

It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Central Government has decided to increase the strength of judges of high courts from 655 to 749. In fact, so many cases are pending in the high courts. It is startling to learn that presently 33,686,21 cases are pending in the high courts. And out of which 21,6182 cases have not been taken up even in first hearing for the two years. One can see the plight of litigants who have to suffer a lot for not getting the justice in time. Justice delayed is justice denied. It is therefore prayed that pending cases may be taken up for hearing at the earliest.

MDU, Rohtak

Menace of eve-teasing

Girl students feel the hardship when they have to go to schools or colleges, which are situated far off from their homes. And the distance becomes more troublesome, if they feel insecure on the way. The girls, who are going to KLP College, Rewari, through Sector 4 bypass road, have to face nightmarish ordeal of eve-teasing by some motorcycle-borne youths. The parents of the girl students find themselves perplexed, whether or not to send their daughters to the college.


Highest form of Charity

Mr M. P. K. Kutty’s article, ‘Making a difference through spirituality’, (NCR Tribune, November 2), has quoted the opinion of Moses Maimonides – “The highest form of charity is to put someone where he or she can dispense with other people aid.”

In this connection, I would like to share with the NCR readers, the views of eminent writers, philosophers and religious leaders about ‘Charity’.

“What is Charity?

*It is silence-when your words would hurt.

*It is patience-when your neighbour is curt.

*It is deafness-when a scandal flows.

*It is thoughtfulness-for other’s woes.

*It is promptness-when duty calls.

*It is courage-when misfortune falls.

To give happiness to others is a great act of charity.

To give money in charity is good, but to bepure, charitable soul is far greater.

The giving of love and mercy to others is also a form of charity.”



Judicial remand for food inspector caught for bribe
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, November 14
Mr A D Gaur, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Sonepat has remanded Chhattar Singh Dahiya, an inspector of the Food and Supplies Department, stationed at Kharkhauda in judicial custody till November 26.

According to a report, the inspector was arrested by the officials of the Vigilance Department on the charge of accepting the bribe of Rs 750 from an ‘arhtia’ Mr Chand Singh, owner of Chand Trading Company Kharkhauda on November 12. He took the bribe for releasing Rs 6.33 lakh outstanding against the department concerned on account of the procurement of bajra on October 24 and November 6.

Sumitra murder case

Faridabad: Arguments in the famous Sumitra murder case of Palwal, in which RPI MLA, Mr Karan Dalal and his elder brother are among the accused, were over today. The district court is likely to pronounce its judgement on Tuesday.

It may be recalled that a case was filed under Section 302 and 34 IPC against four persons including Mr Dalal, his elder brother and Mr Dalal’s nephew and his wife on September 6, 2000 after Mrs Sumitra Dev, a widow was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Kidnapped girl rescued

Rewari: Two Dalit youths Manoj Kumar and Mohan Lal, both residents of Khor village under Pataudi Police Station of Gurgaon district, allegedly kidnapped a minor Dalit girl Sudarshana from a place in between Khori and Rajpura villages while she was going to her school at Khori village, about 10 km from here on Wednesday morning. The girl was later recovered.

It is stated that Manoj, who is a relative of the girl, coaxed her to ride their motorcycle. As soon as she sat on the bike, they sped away.

As her parents got the wind of it, they immediately informed the police which resorted to the nakabandi that eventually led to the arrest of Manoj as well as recovery of the girl. Sudarshana was later restored to her parents.

However, Manoj’s accomplice Mohan Lal managed to escape. The police have registered a case of kidnapping under Sections 363, 366-A of the IPC against the accused. The girl, a student of the sixth class, along with her parents, had been living at Rajpura with the family of her father’s married sister.


New Delhi: The North Delhi Power Limited has announced power cuts in the Moti Nagar area on November 15 and November 17 due to maintenance work from 10 am to 5 pm. TNS


Mason in sleep done to death by five masked men
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, November 14
Five masked assailants had stabbed to death a head mason sleeping in his house under Vijay Nagar police station last night.

While fleeing, the assailants had fired in the air with a local revolver. Police have not been able to get any clue about the miscreants so far.

Jalesh, 40, of Inder Colony in Christian Nagar, was living with his wife and five kids. He was originally a resident of Yakub Pur, Hasan Pur, Loni. His younger brothers Amarpal and Ravinder also lived with him. Ravinder was married last year.

According to Jalesh’s wife Parmeshwari, they heard the sound of someone’s footsteps on the roof of their house at midnight. As Jalesh wanted to check out, Parmeshwari stopped him. Instead, she called out for her brother-in-law Ravinder.

Amidst this commotion, some assailants kicked the door open. A few masked men came in. One of the assailants had a torch in his hand. In its light, they identified Jalesh and started stabbing him in a frenzied manner.

Jalesh had his fingers cut in trying to defend himself. Though they raised the alarm, the assailants did not panic or relent. They left only after Jalesh had fallen on bed in a pool of blood with stab wounds on face, chest and stomach.

As Jalesh’s two brothers and his 12-year-old son chased the criminals, they fired in the air to shoo them away. Profusely bleeding Jalesh was rushed to the district hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

The police reached after two hours of the incident at 3 am.The victim’s wife denied having enmity with anyone. The assailants had not, however, tried to take away anything from the house. They had climbed over to Jalesh’s house through an adjacent school building terrace, the police said.


Five held for bid to rob jewellery shop
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
With the arrest of five persons, the Anti-Robbery Cell of the Crime Branch has claimed to have foiled a robbery bid in a jewellery shop in Kalkaji.

The sleuths acting on a secret information that the suspects would be assembling near the Kalkaji Bus Depot apprehended the five suspects Kuldeep Singh (44), resident of Tuglakabad Extension, Sushil (32), resident of Kalkaji, Padam Singh alias Tinku (38), resident of Sangam Vihar, Raj Kumar (22), resident of Sangam Vihar and Robin alias Chonchu, resident of Mehrauli. During interrogation, the accused admitted that they were planning to loot a jewellery shop in the area.

Pistol seized

The sleuths have apprehended one person Birju (24), resident of Mangolpuri while he was waiting for his accomplices to commit robbery in Karol Bagh. The police have recovered one country-made pistol and a live cartridge from his possession.

Four held for satta

The crime branch has arrested four persons for running the satta racket in Ghantaghar during the India and New Zealand cricket match on November 12. The accused Vivek Jain (35), resident of Laxmi Nagar, Deepak Soni (49), Dharampal Singh (25), resident of Geeta Colony and Suresh Kumar Jain (52), resident of Ghantaghar. The sleuths also recovered mobile phones and cash worth Rs 4450 from their possession.

Crime Intervention

The Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R S Gupta, and other senior officers on Thursday discussed the possibility of strengthening the Crime Intervention Centres in the districts.

The meeting was attended by all senior officers and also the representatives from Prayas, Sanchetan, Prayatan, Snehi, Pratidhi, Umeed, Nari Raksha Samiti and Centre for Social Research. The Crime Intervention Centres were set up in all the nine districts and aimed at coping with the trauma of the victims of violent sexual crimes.


Heroin worth Rs 50 lakh seized, 4 held
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 14
The police have arrested four drug peddlers and seized heroin worth Rs 50 lakh. All the arrested drug peddlers were from Muzzafarnagar district of UP.

According to Superintendent of Police, City, Mr Umesh Srivastava, the district police nabbed these criminals during a special drive to check crime in the district. The criminals were arrested while the police were conducting a special drive near the Railway Godown in Bajarya. The police noticed four persons moving about in a suspicious manner and when they tried to question them, the criminals tried to escape. However, the police managed to nab them.

They identified themselves as Braha Singh, Mehendi, Sahawar and Manzur, all from Muzzafarnagar, the SP said. The criminals confessed that they received the supply of heroin from Dehradun and were tasked to transport it to the different districts of UP. The said that they preferred to travel by train or trucks, which was safer than other mode of transport. However, even as major rackets have been unearthed recently, the police have failed to get to the bottom of racket in the district.

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