N C R   S T O R I E S


Flip-flop on test reports of petrol samples
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 25
Utter confusion prevails over reports of samples of petroleum products that were lifted from various petrol pumps here by the district authorities recently. The district administration last night issued a press note stating that as many as 12 samples of petrol lifted by the District Food and Supply Department had failed a few days ago in the test conducted at the fuel test laboratory (FTL) of the R & D Division of Indian Oil at Noida. The official press note has even named seven petrol pumps of Faridabad whose samples had failed.

However, information from the office of the District Food Supply Controller (DFSC) today revealed there was some misunderstanding and miscommunication about the report and the laboratory authorities have now sent a clarification through fax declaring that no sample had failed.

The DFSC office collects dozens of samples of petrol and diesel each month. It was perhaps the first time that the district authorities had reported so many samples had ‘failed’.

The district officials had earlier written to the Police Department, asking them to register a case against pumps whose samples had tested positive. Now, the reported clarification from the laboratory seems to have put the authorities in a tight spot. It is not clear whether the test report is admissible or not.

In another development, the District Petroleum Dealers Association and the Haryana Petrol Dealers Association has opposed the action being taken by the district authorities on the basis of the report. A representative of the District Petrol Dealers Association claimed the samples had not ‘failed’. He said the samples taken to the laboratory for tests were of ethanol mixed petrol while the tests were done on the specifications meant for petrol only. He claimed that the test specifications for petrol and ethanol mixed petrol (supplied by the oil companies) were different and the FTL had issued a clarification in this regard.

He alleged that the district authorities had adopted an adamant attitude. He also alleged that it was a case of harassment and victimisation and the association would be forced to seek legal help, if such tactics persisted.

Meanwhile, it is learnt the district authorities have convened a meeting with representatives of oil companies and the petrol dealers’ association to discuss the standoff. The meeting was on when reports last came in.


Contempt notice to Uphaar on claim about assets
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
The Delhi High Court today issued a notice to the Manager and Director of the Uphaar cinema on a contempt petition filed by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) for allegedly making a false statement on oath in an effort to sell the theatre.

The division bench comprising Justices Vijender Jain and M. A. Khan issued the notice to K. L. Malhotra and V. K. Sehgal, the manager and director of the movie hall, respectively. The AVUT has claimed in an affidavit that the owners of the theatre, Ansal Theatres and Club Hotels Pvt Ltd (ATCHPL), had incorrectly stated that it had no other asset, except a small commercial flat, plant and machinery installed in the cinema building, and a few moveable assets.

The victims’ association, through counsel K. T. S. Tulsi, pointed out that besides the movie hall the ATCHPL had five other properties valued at about Rs 130 crore. It was claimed that the false statement was made to secure a favourable order from the court with regard to the sale of the cinema.

In a landmark judgment on April 24, after six years of protracted legal tussle, the court had ordered payment of compensation of more than Rs 20 crore by the owners of Uphaar cinema hall, the Licensing Authority, the Delhi Vidyut Board and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, after holding them responsible for the fire tragedy which occurred on June 13, 1997, during the screening of Border. Fifty-nine people had died in the blaze

In compliance with the order, the Licensing Branch of the Delhi Police, the Delhi Power Corporation Ltd (erstwhile DVB) and the

MCD had deposited Rs 2.14 crore, Rs 2.45 crore and Rs 2.26 crore, respectively. However, the Ansals did not deposit their share of about Rs 12 crore, including Rs 2.5 crore fine for selling extra seats in the hall.

The theatre owners said the combined value of all their assets was insufficient to discharge the liability imposed by the court and sought permission from the court to sell the hall to generate funds for paying the compensation amount.

However, the court had clarified that it would not interfere in the matter as the issue of the hall’s release was before the criminal court.

On September 12, the high court had ordered that Uphaar cinema, which was seized by the CBI after the fire, would be released to its owners one month after the recording of evidence.

AVUT had opposed the release, alleging that the petitioners could tamper with the evidence by making some changes in the cinema building. Also, certain documents, which were on court’s record, had gone missing and another had been destroyed, it claimed.

The association had voiced fears that changes could be made in the hall, the primary evidence in the case, after its release, which would affect the criminal trial.


MDU unveils Executive Council agenda
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, November 25
The Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) proposes to revise the fee of B.Ed course (Distance Education mode) from Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 20,000 from the 2004-06 academic session.

The MDU also propose to allow relaxation of 5 per cent marks at the Master’s level to physically handicapped persons in the minimum qualifications required for appointment as lecturer in the university and its affiliated colleges. This relaxation of five per cent marks at Master’s level will also be available to candidates of SC/ST category.

These proposals are contained in the agenda of the Executive Council of the MDU scheduled to meet on December 5 next. The agenda containing 641 pages was made available to the members of the Executive Council on Monday. The cases for disciplinary action against certain teaching and non-teaching employees have also been brought on the agenda of the all powerful Executive Council of the university.

These include the case of Dr Himmat Singh Ratnoo, Lecturer in Department of Economics and former Secretary of the Maharshi Dayanand University Teachers’ Association (MDUTA), and that of Mr Kutaj Singh, Lecturer in Physical Education, University College.

The Vice Chancellor has levelled 15 charges against Dr Himmat Singh Ratnoo, who was suspended from service on October 17 on charges of misconduct, indiscipline and insubordination.

The first charge against him is that Dr Ratnoo and Mr Vazir Singh Nehra, Convenor, HFUCTO, created an ugly scene on the road during teaching hours to disturb the meeting of Vice Chancellors of universities in the state on January 30 last year. This act of Dr Ratnoo and Mr Vazir Singh Nehra was neither connected with union activities nor had anything to do with the interests of teachers, it is alleged. Instead, the intention was to malign the image of the university in the eyes of the visiting Vice Chancellors, students and general public. When asked to explain his conduct, Dr Ratnoo denied that any demonstration was held by them, the university said.


Criminal infested village to acquire jail, but will it help?
Tribune News Service

Panipat, November 25
Siwah, perhaps the most criminal infested village in the country, is all set to acquire a jail.

Crime seems to be a way of life here with over 250 residents having a criminal background and a majority of them having served prison terms in Ambala and other jails. To top it all, the village crime graph shows no signs of letting up, giving the beleaguered Panipat police sleepless nights. Government efforts to reform the villagers seem to have fallen flat and the setting up of the jail is seen as the last resort, a top functionary told NCR Tribune.

The reasons behind the resurgence of the criminal activities in the village are not far to seek. A lax police administration, a porous border with UP and Delhi and unemployment among the youth are often cited as major causes of the high crime rate in the village. There is also easy money with affluent industrial community becoming an easy target of anti-social elements. The patronage extended by the politicians cutting across party lines is also a contributing factor.

However, the glamour associated with crime seems to be the dominant reason for the youth taking to nefarious activities. Hardened criminals such as Rohtash and Pradeep, who spread terror among the people and police alike, are considered role models by the village youth. And with the police remaining indifferent, the adage, “Once a criminal always a criminal,” comes into play.

Rohtash, who headed a gang, was a terror for the police of Delhi, Haryana and UP. Wanted in several cases of murder, looting and dacoity, Rohtash evaded the police on countless occasions before being shot by the UP police in Sahibabad in UP last year.

After his death, Pradeep regrouped the Rohtash gang. His favourite pastime seemed to be snatching cars at gunpoint and breaking the police cordons, thus challenging the police authority. He was arrested later last year along with Rakesh, a brother of Rohtash, and is serving a sentence in the Ambala Jail.

Every criminal wants to follow in the footsteps of Rohtash and Pradeep, remarked a village elder.

Moreover, the village is acquiring the dubious distinction of its residents having a hand in every major crime that is committed in the industrial town. For instance, a substantial number of the 20 accused in the infamous “kothi episode” in which the kothi of a retired teacher, Joginder Kaur, was razed to the ground by hooligans were from the village. Later, she was gunned down on the district courts premises in broad daylight on November 26 last year.

It appears the police have come to terms with the rising crime graph in the village. Now, the state government proposes to build a jail in the village. The construction of the Police Lines is already in progress in the village.


She may be the first woman auto driver in Assembly
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
She is not only Delhi’s first woman auto driver but now also wants to be a member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Twenty-five-year-old Sunita Chaudhury of National Panther’s Party from Mehrauli is a social worker and a self-appointed trauma service volunteer besides being a politician. Married of at the young age of 13 to a man from Haryana, Sunita says ‘’My life since then was like living in a hell. I was harassed for dowry.’’

Struggling hard, she managed to free herself from the nightmares, declaring, ‘’There were attempts on my life but I somehow escaped.’’ Sunita belongs to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

After her divorce, she also had to see her two-month-old baby pass away. Life in Delhi’s Mehrauli, which she made her home after her disastrous marriage, has made her a social worker first and foremost. ‘’I came to Delhi with the determination that I will henceforth live a life helping the poor,’’ she says. In fact, she did more than that. She formed a one-person trauma service, picking up accident victims from the road whenever she saw one and rushing them to the hospital. ‘’I beat up auto drivers when they refused to carry the victims,’’ recalls Sunita. She says she has rescued several accident victims. ‘’It was distressing when once I heard from the doctors that a man I carried to the hospital had died.’’

If elected, she says, one of her first jobs will be to upgrade the primary health centre in her constituency and equip it with an ambulance and beds for in-patients because poor people can’t afford expensive private hospitals. Does she take passengers in her auto on metre charges or follow what her fellow auto drivers so brazenly do? ‘’I have to pay Rs 250 per day as rent to the owner of my auto. But I never cheat,’’ says Sunita who would have liked her election symbol to be an auto. ‘’But it is a bicycle”, she says.

Traders welcome Cong manifesto

NEW DELHI: The trading community has welcomed the Indian National Congress’ manifesto. It hailed the promise made in the manifesto to safeguard traders’ vital interests and find solutions to their problems.

The manifesto, which was released on Monday, assures protection of the distributive character of trade in NCT of Delhi and says: “No law shall be introduced without taking the business community into confidence.” TNS


Panic over defused grenade found at Tilak Marg
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
Panic reigned in the high security Tilak Marg area this afternoon when a defused grenade was found in a brief case, which was brought by a retired army officer in connection with a court case.

A policeman, who spotted the unattended suitcase, immediately alerted the control room and subsequently the area was cordoned of and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, along with forensic experts, rushed to the site.

After a high drama for about two hours the grenade was finally found to be a defused one. The army officer, Lt Col (retd) S J Chowdhary, also left behind his papers in the suitcase. Since Chowdhary was accused of killing a man by sending him a parcel bomb in 1983 in the Nizamuddin area, the officer had brought a defused grenade with him to explain the functioning of one to the court.

The case in under trial in the Patiala house.

Since the grenade was found during the lunch hour, a large number of curious onlookers, most of them heading towards Pragati Maidan, thronged the area and witnessed the drama apart from the court staff and lawyers.

The grenade was found in a suitcase kept by the roadside near an apartment building, opposite the office of Tilak Marg police station by a traffic policeman at around 12.45 p.m.

The area is close to the residence of Pakistan High Commissioner, the Supreme Court and the venue of the ongoing International Trade Fair.


Desi bahu Tulsi pitches in for BJP, Reena Roy for Congress
Tribune News Service

Madan Lal Khurana with Shweta ‘Anu’ Keshwani of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, campaigning for BJP candidate Surya Prakash
Madan Lal Khurana with Shweta ‘Anu’ Keshwani of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, campaigning for BJP candidate Surya Prakash

Reena Roy, a Congress campaigner at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara
Reena Roy, a Congress campaigner at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara

New Delhi, November 25
The desi bahu, Smriti Tulsi Irani did what she could to work her magic amid the people of Chandni Chowk. She spoke at length and with ‘conviction’ on why she is doing her bit for the BJP.

The desi bahu went canvassing to ‘Majnu ka tila’ and Purani Chandrawal alongside Vijay Goel and BJP candidate Dharamveer Sharma. Irani was not disappointed. Crowds still not tired of watching her on the telly, almost each night, did turn up to watch her in flesh and blood.

Former actress Rina Roy was honoured by the Youth Akali Dal. She was presented with a saropa by the Dal at the Bala Saheb Gurdwara. Did we tell you, Roy is also canvassing?

Allaying the concerns of the people vis-à-vis the qualifications of the nominees are three candidates from East Delhi. They are qualified doctors.

In the fray for the Assembly polls, these doctors are Dr A K Walia, Dr Harshwardhan and Dr Narendra who are contesting from Geeta Colony, Krishna Nagar and Shahdara.

Dr Walia is expecting to do well in the elections. His counterpart from Krishna Nagar too is banking on his ‘good work’ to see him through.

Even the ‘bad bahus’ on the telly have been roped in to campaign.

Shweta ‘Anu’ Keshwani of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki did her bit for Surya Prakash who went campaigning on foot alongside Madan Lal Khurana in Shastri Nagar.

The campaigners also carried placards that condemned the rape of an eight-year-old girl recently.

Ram Babu Sharma’s campaign too is picking up speed. Sharma went campaigning to Shivaji Park, Ashok Nagar, Nathu Colony, Mansarovar Park and Mandoli. Continuing their show of ‘support’, the supporters weighed him against fruit and ladoos.


Adulteration goes unchecked, food inspectors make a killing
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 25
Adulteration in foodstuffs has assumed an alarming proportion in Ganaur, Gohana and Kharkhauda towns of this district thanks to the failure of the authorities and the inspectorate staff of the Health Department to check the menace with a strong hand.

According to a report, traders as well as shopkeepers have hardly any respect for the anti-adulteration measures. Most of the articles of daily use are being sold adulterated in the market without an fear of being prosecuted. The shopkeepers have formed unions in the towns mentioned and some office-bearers of these unions collect money for giving to the staff entrusted with the job of taking samples of foodstuffs so that they can get information prior to raids by the inspectorate staff of the Health Department.

It is alleged that several cases of food poisoning on account of consumption of adulterated foodstuffs being sold in the market have been reported in the past. The connivance of officials with shopkeepers has encouraged the people indulging in nefarious activities. There have been complaints of even samples seized from shopkeepers being changed. They apparently managed to fulfil the demands of the officials. Some persons act as touts of the officials who even manage to get a favourable report from the laboratory where the samples are sent for analysis.

There are about 41 units manufacturing aerated water but the names of only a few factories are taken every year.

Others are, however, allowed to sell aerated water of sub-standard quality as they have connections with the high-ups in the Health Department. High bids are given by the inspectorate staff to secure appointment as food inspectors in the district. Certain officials of the Health Department enjoy political patronage. A high-level inquiry into the racket is likely to expose the misdeeds of the inspectorate staff and the medical officers as well as the unscrupulous shopkeepers.


Govt loses revenue as malls operate unauthorised gensets
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 25
The district administration has asked the Electricity Department to look into the reports of the malls here operating generator sets without getting the nod from the competent authority.

The Deputy Commissioner, following a monthly meeting of officers of the district, devoted his attention to the issue when this was pointed out to him by a newsperson.

The administration is apparently seized of the matter as it is resulting in a huge revenue loss.

An officer of the Electricity Department told the Deputy Commissioner that the generator sets could be operated only after obtaining sanction from the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Authority.

However, the private builders-proprietors of the malls argue that the Electricity Department has not cleared the applications for power connections. Dr K. K. Bhatacharya of the DLF, which has set up City Centre Mall, pointed out that his firm’s application for the power connection had been pending with the department for about a year.

There are three major malls functional in Gurgaon. Each one of them houses a large number of joints and shops.

According to sources, there are many commercial complexes in Gurgaon whose applications for power connections have been kept in abeyance. Many of the complexes have been functioning with the help of generator sets and often without getting prior sanction from the authorities.

The million dollar question is: why has the department been dragging its feet on deciding the fate of the applications for power connections? The irony of the situation is that the malls and the commercial complexes are doing their business in spite of the apparent “no-nonsense” approach of the authorities. Many feel the approach of the department is merely a facade to keep up its credentials even while business goes on as usual. So, finally it is the government which is the loser.

There are many who are at a loss to understand the attitude of the department, especially as the situation has been persisting for the past many months with regards the malls and in some cases regarding other commercial complexes for years.

The entire development is paradoxical when one considers the apparent overenthusiasm on the part of the personnel of the Vigilance wing of the Electricity Department.

They literally barge on to the premises of farmers and common people to check any irregularities committed in the consumption of power.

There are reports of the personnel visiting houses in the rural areas when the male folks are outdoors.

There are also reports that the personnel, accompanied by police force, impose inflated penalty by exaggerating the lapses which are often construed as power thefts.

There are many who wonder why the enthusiasm evaporates when it comes to taking pro-active measures which would make the government richer by crores of rupees.


Bus collides head-on with truck
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 25
Thirty persons were injured when a UP roadways bus coming from Meerut had a head-on collision with a truck coming at a fast speed near Garh Mukteshwer.

Four persons are reported to be in a serious condition.

The drivers of both the vehicles are also badly injured and the vehicles damaged. Their front portions were fully smashed. The victims were rushed to a local nursing home by the police.

Some 10 passengers had boarded the bus from Garh Mukteshwer. The bus was leaving for Meerut when it collided with the truck coming at a fast speed at about 10 am on Garh Meerut Road. A number of passengers were pressed in between and entangled in the wreckage.

Hearing the shrieks of the trapped passengers, a number of workers of a timber saw mill and its owner Shahzad Khan came running and provided relief to the injured passengers.

Meanwhile, the Highway patrol jeep No 7 of Garh police also reached the spot.

SI Deshveer Singh along with Jeep driver Vinod Kumar, cops Rajinder Singh and Sushil Kumar immediately plunged into rescue operations.

They smashed the window panes and pulled out about eight critically injured passengers, including the drivers and rushed them to Jeevan Rekha hospital, Garh, Bharati Nursing Home, Meerut.


Thousands pay homage to Guru Tegh Bahadur
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
The Martyrdom Day (Shaheedi Purab) of Ninth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was observed throughout the country with religious fervour. Kirtan and Path of Gurbani were arranged in all the gurdwaras.

A function of Saheedi Purab was held at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in which the All India Citizen Committee took part. Thousands of devotees paid their homage to the Guru in the Capital by visiting his shrines at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj and Sis Ganj Sahib.

The All India Citizen’s Council general secretary, Mr Pramod Arya, expressed concern over the growing corruption in all political parties.

He said unemployment was on the increase and scandals of crores of rupees had taken place. The government was just sleeping. No action was taken against the persons who were allegedly involved in the scandals, he added.

Pramod Arya urged the people to revolt against such corrupt people and face them the way Guruji did and follow the path shown by him.

He appealed to the people to unite against the anti-national elements and work for the uplift of the country.

Tehal Singh Taneja, president of the Delhi State Shiromani Gurudwara Sewadar Committee, called upon the Election Commission to hold fair election in Delhi and other states next month.

Bibi Palvinder Kaur, president of the Punjabi Sikh Sangat appealed to the DSGMC to take active part to improve the standard of education in Khalsa School and College.

Paramjit Singh Sarna, president of the Akali Dal, Delhi, expressed that the DSGMC would take jatha to visit the historical gurdwaras in Pakistan.

He has sent a proposal to the Central government to get permission to take jatha to Pakistan.


Symposium dwells on dialogue as key to progress
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
Peace could be established by spreading culture and education in the world, said former President of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art and Culture Kapila Vatsayan.

Giving the keynote address at a symposium on ‘Dialogue with Nature: Role of Education and the Arts’ organisied by Bharat Soka Gakkai here yesterday, Dr Vatsayan said, ‘’Dialogue is the key to human progress and happiness, especially in today’s conflict-ridden world. The first step towards dialogue has to be initiated by educators and artists in our society.’’

Bharat Soka Gakkai, the Indian arm of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a UN registered NGO working in 186 countries, had also organised a photo exhibition specially taken by SGI president Daisaku Ikeda.

Educationist and writer Varsha Das said, ‘’Soka education encourages students to develop courage and humanity so that they can promote peace and understanding within countries.’’

JNU Professor Emeritus and ecologist P. S. Ramakrishnan underscored the need to integrate modern and traditional knowledge systems to create a heterogeneous cultural landscape.

Eminent educationist Prof A. K. Jalaluddin said, ‘’Art is a perception of reality and art education in India is sorely neglected.’’

‘’We must rediscover the strength of engaging children in the process of learning from life around them. Learning is not just physical facts and figures, children need to see reality as a progress of change,’’ he added.

The SGI has over 12 million members in 186 countries who work for peace through the principles of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhist life philosophy. The society beliefs that a fundamental change in a single individual can bring about a societal transformation.


Inter-state gang busted; 10 held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
With the arrest of 10 persons, the Delhi Police Special Cell has claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of dacoits active in Delhi, Uttranchal and Uttar Pradesh.

The sleuths also claimed to have solved more than 17 cases of dacoity, robbery and thefts and nine cases of murder and robbery in Uttranchal and Uttar Pradesh. The sleuths laid a trap for the dacoits in the Laxmi Nagar area and apprehended them. They were later identified as Shahbaz Khan (34), resident of Mandawali, Akmal Hussian (32), resident of Brahmpuri, Ahmed Ali (41), resident of Bijanur, Shah Abidur Rehman (36), resident of Gokulpuri and Ejaz alais Chotto (20), resident of Mandawali and recovered four country-made pistols, seven live cartridges, one button-actuated knife, a car and a motorcycle from their possession.

On their tip-off, another gang was busted. The gang members were later identified as Zakir alias Guddu alias Shah Zakir (23), resident of Moradabad, Ravinder Kumar Sabharwal alias Babbu (26), resident of Chandigarh, Shamim Ahmed alias Chimman (36), Afzal (23) and Niasir (22), all residents of Bijnaur. Three country-made pistols, two button-actuated knives and a motorcycle were recovered from their possession.

Gang of bootleggers

The West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of bootleggers in the Chander Vihar area of Nangloi and seized 70 cartons of illicit liquor.

Property worth lakhs gutted

Property worth lakhs were destroyed this evening when a fire was reported in Radhuplace in Shakarpur in East Delhi. The fire which was reported at around 4 pm destroyed the motorcycles and cars parked in the area. Fifteen fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was brought under control at around 4.30 pm.


Three arrested for snatching money
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 25
The Government Railway Police (GRP) has arrested three youths Sanjeev alias Sonu, Surjeet and Rajesh, all residents of Prabhnagar Mandi, Sonepat, while they were allegedly snatching Rs 500 from a Bihari youth at the railway station here last night.

According to a report, the youths were produced before a Judicial Magistrate of Sonepat who remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days.

According to another report, Mr B L Singhal, District and Sessions Judge has remanded Mr Sube Singh Goyat, an SDE of the irrigation department in 14 days’ judicial remand.

Mr Goyat, it may be recalled, has been arrested by the officials of the vigilance department on the charge of accepting a bribe of Rs 23,000 from a contractor.

Huge haul of country liquor

The Kharkhauda police intercepted a car carrying country liquor and stopped it while the car was coming from the Bahadurgarh side near Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here last night.

According to a report, the police, during the search operations, seized a large quantity of country liquor from the car. The occupants of the car Sanjay and Kuldeep, residents of Bawana (Delhi) were arrested on the spot.

The police impounded the car and a case was registered against the youths under the Excise Act.

Three schools get notice

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has issued notice to the management of three schools opened in the residential areas, asking them to close down their schools within a month otherwise legal action would be taken against them.

According to a report, these schools are functioning in Kothi Nos 482 and 393 in Sector 14 and Kothi No. 251 in Sector 15 of this city. The action of the Huda has caused a panic among the management of the schools.

The Huda, it may be recalled, had already closed down a large number of shops and nursing homes, functioning in the residential areas.

Exemplary conduct by driver, conductor

Mr Suresh, a driver and Mr Satbir, a conductor of the Haryana Roadways bus set an example of honesty by returning Rs 2,700 and other important documents

to a passenger who had left his bag in the bus and got off it yesterday. The bus was on its way from Sonepat to Dabwali. The bag belonged to Mr Jaipal of Pipli village in the district.

Body found

The police have found the body of Mr Azad Singh, a resident of Rathdhanna village lying on the Rathdhanna-Narela Road about 6 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the police believe it to be a case of road accident. The body has been sent for the

postmortem examination. A case has also been registered in this connection.


Crackdown on musclemen; 4 held
Tribune news service

New Delhi, November 25
Continuing the crackdown on the musclemen in Delhi, the Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have arrested four persons providing ‘musclemen’ services in the Najafgarh area of South-West Delhi.

The sleuths spotted four men moving around in a suspicious manner in a vehicle No HR-30-E-0023 and questioned them. They were later identified as Tejvir, Tarif Singh, Naresh Kumar and Chand Singh.

The accused told the sleuths that they were campaigning for the Indian National Lok Dal candidate Bharat Singh, alias Bharte. The sleuths on November 23 also arrested five supporters of Singh from the Najafgarh area.

Meanwhile, the INLD has issued a statement that their workers have been harassed by the Delhi Police to spoil their chances in the ensuing election. Since the party has a bright chance in both Delhi and Rajasthan, this is a deliberate effort to tarnish the image of the party, said spokesman, INLD, Dinesh Dagar.


Call girl racket busted; two girls among 5 held
Parminder Singh

Noida, November 25
The Sector-58 police have arrested five persons, including two young girls from a house in Sector-56 which was being used as a den for flesh trade. The girls were sent to Delhi and other places, Ajay Kumar, SO police station said.

He said the police got a tip-off that a number of young boys and girls were running flesh trade in a house. The youths had rented the house recently. Later, two young girls had also joined them. As some neighbours complained, the police raided the house yesterday. Two girls and three youths were inside the house at the time of the raid. They were arrested.

The girls identified themselves as Sapna and Roopa. They were from West Bengal.

The arrested young men gave their names as Govind, Ashok and Arjun. They said they were from Jarkhand and Garhwal in Uttaranchal.

In the beginning, the young girls and men tried to deceive the police by posing as someone’s sister and someone’s sister-in-law.

But when interrogated separately, they spilled the beans. The call girls confessed that they were being sent to the customers for Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000. Some of the customers used to come to this house only. The police are looking for more people involved in the racket.


Lower interest rates on loans: NCRPB chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25
Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has stressed the need for lowering the interest rates on loans funded by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) to enable the participating states to implement various projects, particularly related to the transport sector, which were not being considered seriously by the organisation concerned.

Addressing the members of the Board on Monday, the minister, who is also chairman of NCRPB, said steps would be taken to get a few important regional infrastructure projects implemented and he would also try to convince the participating states to effectively implement the Regional Plan.

He said big projects such as peripheral expressways and regional rail transport system should be implemented as fast as possible, since this was the key to balanced development of the region.

Appreciating the efforts mooted by the Member Secretary of the NCRPB, Mr B.K. Sudar Ray to bring about change in the ‘thinking’ among planners and administrators while preparing a Perspective Plan, Mr Dattatreya said there was further need to plan housing for the weaker sections, which should be given top priority.

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