N C R   S T O R I E S


Choppers for night vigil, traffic management
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The government is contemplating providing helicopters to the Delhi Police for preventing terrorist operations, mounting night surveillance and proper traffic management. The government is toying with the idea in view of the difficulties in handling law and order situation through ground patrolling.

Addressing the closing function of an exhibition on safety, security and fire hazards, Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy today said the government was seriously considering providing helicopters to the Delhi Police for managing law and order.

“For traffic management and mounting a surveillance on possible terrorist networks or modules, it is important that aerial surveillance in the Capital was launched,” he said, adding that discussions were being held with the Home Ministry officials to work out the modalities for this.

The Delhi Police have already recommended the provision of helicopters for proper traffic management and also to deal with the possible terrorist attacks.

The decision was taken to avoid incidents like 11/9 terrorist attacks in the United States where aircraft were used to destroy the World Trade Center towers and target Pentagon, the US defence headquarters.

He said that the national Capital has also become a target of the militant activities and in the past, many bomb explosions have taken place. The Delhi Police have arrested a number of militants from different areas of the Capital.

The minister said the government needs to devise methods to fight terrorism and the provision of helicopters to the Delhi Police is part of such steps. The minister disclosed that the government would also station a helicopter at every 50 km as part of the ambitious Prime Minister National Highway project being developed at a cost of Rs 60 crore.

Helicopters would be stationed at the heliports to fly the victims of accidents to the nearest trauma centre.


IES officer jumps to death from Lok Nayak Bhawan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
A woman official posted as an advisor in Tariff Commission in the Ministry of Commerce today committed suicide this afternoon by jumping out of the sixth floor of Lok Nayak Bhawan in the Khan Market area.

The deceased Mona Sharma (46), resident of Sector 31, Noida had been depressed and undergoing treatment in the Noida Medical Centre.

Mona, an officer of the Indian Economic Services had been on leave since May, 2003.

She came to the office today to request for an extension of leave for another week.

After meeting the official concerned at around 11 am, she jumped from the sixth floor.

She was immediately rushed to the RML Hospital where she was declared brought dead.

The police are investigating the case. No suicide note was found. The deceased was a divorcee and survived by one son Siddhartha (19), who is preparing for the Merchant Navy examination.

Mystery death in motel

Faridabad: As the mystery shrouds the death of a liquor businessman at a motel in Surajkund Tourist Complex on Saturday night, the police have sought the help of forensic experts at Madhuban and the doctors of PGIMS Rohtak to know the exact cause of death.

The police had found the body of businessman, Rajender Kumar Handa on Saturday night. It is not clear yet whether he died of heart attack or was given some poisonous substance.

It is learnt that the victim had taken some liquor after checking in the motel room, accompanied by two persons. While one has been taken into custody, it is alleged that a third person reported to be a woman had not been interrogated. The room had been booked in the name of some other person.

It is reported that Mr Handa died at around 9.30 pm and the body was taken to hospital around midnight. While the postmortem examination could lead to any conclusion, the heart and viscera of the victim were sent to PGIMS Rohtak and Madhuban (Karnal) for further tests.


Congress MLAs meet today, venue changed yet again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The newly elected Congress members of the Delhi Assembly will meet here tomorrow evening to elect their leader, said sources in the Chief Minister’s office.

The venue of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting has been changed again and it will now be held at 24, Akbar Road, the AICC headquarters.

Sources said that while Ms Dikshit is likely to be the Chief Minister for a second consecutive time, the swearing-in ceremony is likely to be on Thursday.

Before the choice of Akbar Road as the venue for the meeting, the party had decided to meet in Old Delhi Secretariat.

Incumbent Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who earlier met the Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday and discussed the details of formation of a new government in Delhi, told mediapersons that the new Assembly would meet before December 12.

Ms Dikshit also denied reports that there was any tussle in the party for ministerial berths in the new government.

The parleys between Mrs Gandhi and Ms Dikshit centred around the constitution of the new Council of Ministers, which has two vacant slots, one against the seat of former Industry Minister late Deep Chand Bandhu and the other against the seat of former Finance Minister Mahinder Singh Saathi who lost the polls.

The post of Deputy Speaker is also vacant with the former Deputy Speaker, Ms Kiran Chaudhary, having lost in her constituency.

Ms Dikshit, according to sources, is expected to retain four ministers of the outgoing government, including Power and Transport Minister Ajay Maken, Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf, Health Minister A K Walia and Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan.

Speculations are on for the inclusion of Narendra Nath, Prahlad Singh Sahni, Arvinder Singh Lovely and Krishna Tirath in the new Cabinet.

Present Speaker Subash Chopra is expected to retain his post. Party sources said that with the election of Ms Dikshit as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), the chance of Ms Dikshit becoming the Chief Minister for a second time is a foregone conclusion.

According to political observers, there is widespread appreciation of the spectacular work done by Ms Dikshit during her tenure, which led the party to a resounding victory. The Congress won 47 of the 70 Assembly seats. The CLP, according to party sources, will take this into account and in all probability will endorse her name for the chief ministership.


Consumer panel’s gag orders struck down
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, December 8
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has reportedly struck down the orders of the Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, restraining the president of the Rohtak District Consumer Disputes

Redressal Forum from pronouncing judgements reserved by him.

The national commission has advised the state commission to withdraw its order immediately and ask the president of Rohtak forum, Mr Jagdish Chopra, to dispose of the complaints reserved by him.

The state commission had on December 1 restrained Mr Chopra from pronouncing the judgement after he had sentenced the Chief Administrator, HUDA, Mr N C Wadhwa, to four years imprisonment and imposed on the latter a fine of Rs 80,000 for no-compliance of orders. The district forum had urged the Chief Secretary, Haryana, to deduct the fine from the salary of Mr Wadhwa.

Following the orders of the state commission restraining him from pronouncing judgements, Mr Chopra had on December 4 resigned in protest. In his resignation letter, Mr Chopra had termed the action of the state commission as unjustified and a sin against justice. He had said that an impression had formed among the people that the state commission had restrained him from pronouncing judgements as he had punished Mr Wadhwa.

Mr Chopra took strong exception to the allegations levelled against him by Mr Wadhwa. He said that he had not met Mr Wadhwa since 1998 and as such there was no question of seeking any personal favour from the HUDA chief.

Mr Chopra had also sent a copy of his resignation letter to the national commission. Possibly, on the receipt of this letter, the national commission had struck down the orders of the state commission.


Shiv Sena leader shot
our correspondent

Noida, December 8
A Shiv Sena leader of Dankaur, Harveer Singh Bhatti, who had come to participate in a procession, was shot last night. His body has been found in a car on the Yamuna bank near Latif Pur.

According to police, Shiv Sainiks had collected in Dadri town on December 8. Later, they all came to Noida Sector-19 for a victory procession. But all processionists had returned home in the evening.

After the procession, the police said some of the participants, including Harveer Singh Bhatti of village Surajpur and Vijay Pandit of Dadri, had gone along district president and organiser of Shiv Sena, Shri Pal Rana. Rana had given his car to Harveer Singh Bhatti and asked him to drop Vijay Pandit at the Barola bus stand.

But instead, Harveer had gone to drop Pandit at latter’s house in Surajpur and was returning to Noida.

The police are investigating the case.


Sonepat sisters kidnapped
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 8
Two sisters are reported to have been kidnapped when they were purchasing household articles in Ganj Bazar area on December 5. One of them, Seema studies in the BA part 1 in a local girls’ college.

According to a report, the police have registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 IPC and launched a hunt for the girls and the alleged kidnapers. The parents of the girls had searched for them at all known places where the girls could visit, but did not get any clue. They suspect that a shopkeeper had kidnapped them and took them with him. This shopkeeper is also reported to be missing since the day of incident.

Meanwhile, panic prevailed when about a dozen miscreants, armed with lathis, swords and other weapons, created a scene in Rajinder Nagar area here yesterday.

According to a report, the miscreants inquired about the house of one Hari Om. As he was not present in the house, they started damaging the articles in his house. They ransacked it for about 15 minutes.

However, none in the neighbourhood dared to oppose them


meeting target
Speed up property tax collection, MCD staff told
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, today urged the officers of the property tax department to accelerate the collection of the property tax in order to meet the target fixed for the current financial year.

He said it was necessary to avoid any possibility of taking loan, which could unnecessarily put interest burden on the corporation.

The Municipal Commissioner passed the instructions at a meeting with the assessor and collector and officers of Assessment and Collection Department, which was convened to review the property tax collection.

While passing the instructions, the Municipal Commissioner clarified that the Unit Area Method of the property tax would be implemented only from April 1, 2004 and the liability to pay the property tax under the existing rateable value system squarely lies with the property owners.

He said the property owners seemed to think wrongly that they would pay the property tax under the Unit Area Method and could be absolved of the liability to pay the tax for the current financial year.

He warned the owners that under the amended provisions of the DMC Act, late
payment of the tax would invite interest cost of one per cent per month in addition to prosecution.

He advised all property owners to pay the tax under the current system and not to wait for any rebate or concession under the new tax collection method. The normal rebate of 20 per cent for early or timely payment will be available up to December 31.


Two more girl students missing
Our correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 8
Two class 12th girl students of Vidya Bharati School, Surya Nagar, have gone missing.

Their families have lodged a report with the police and demanded an immediate action in the matter.

Last week, four girl students of Noida’s Kendriya Vidyalaya had also gone missing.

They have since been traced and brought home by the police from Etawa. The police feel that the girls just want a change and have some fun.

Kusum Begani and Anita, students of Vidya Bharati School, had left home for school on Tuesday morning but did not return.

Kusum’s cousin Rajiv Begani and Anita’s father Sekher Singh had lodged a report with the police.


Hooda criticises development model of Gurgaon
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 8
The Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, yesterday lamented that high-rise buildings sans proper civic amenities was being projected as development model for Gurgaon.

Mr Hooda, while speaking at a public function organised to felicitate him, said that Gurgaon was virtually the gateway of Haryana, but the INLD government was not showing interest in the integrated development of the city.

The leaders of the ruling party were only interest in exploiting the city, he added.

The public function, organised by a local Congress leader, Mr Dinesh Khanna, was well attended.

Mr Hooda further alleged that law and order had deteriorated and the masses were reeling under taxes levied by the government.

He said that in spite of poor showing of the Congress in the three of the four states in which Assembly elections were held, the Congress would bounce back to power at the Centre in the coming Parliamentary election under the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. In Haryana too, the Congress will form the government after the next Assembly election.

He said that there was no truth in the reports that there was factionalism in the Haryana unit of the Congress.


District police ‘Sadhbhawna campaign’ only on paper
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 8
Holding meetings at schools and community centres, and going through the rhetoric of ‘do’s and don’ts’ while appealing for public cooperation have been the common features of all campaigns launched by the Haryana Police to improve its image and functioning.

Quite clearly, the campaigns so far have been limited to the records, as working style of the police is yet to show any noticeable change.

The district police will be observing a ‘Sadhbhawna campaign’ from December 1. As the motive of this drive was stated to be to improve its relations with the common man and media, besides seeking their support in maintaining law and order, the district police have started holding meetings at various schools and institutions.

However, the Police Department has not yet issued any press release about the ongoing drive so far. The lack of transparency in the working was clear from the fact that the Police Department does not issue crime reports to the media here on a regular basis.

While the issuing of crime reports to the media by the police in Delhi and several other districts of Haryana and NCR region was common so that the people know about the crime situation in the neighbourhood, the police here has maintained a strict control of such information.

Although mediapersons have demanded the release of crime report on daily basis, the police officials perhaps do not think it necessary to inform the public about the law and order situation in the district. Perhaps, they feel that it is not in the interest of the department to inform the public about the various facets of law and order problem in the district.

While junior and middle level officials of the department, including SHO’s and Chowki incharge, could be seen lecturing on the ‘Sadhbhawna campaign’ (goodwill), senior officials are hardly available for comments when their views are sought by mediapersons, said a journalist here. He said the senior officials seem to have directed their juniors at various police stations and chowkis not to divulge details of a crime or an incident to mediapersons on phone.

Mr Karan Dalal, a former minister and MLA from Palwal, alleged that the Police Department had been turned into a handy ‘tool’ for terrorising, harassing and victimising those who were the opponents of those in power.

He described the campaign as only a formality for maintaining records and claimed that the functioning of the police could be changed if its “misuse” was stopped. He emphasised the need to give a free hand to the police with proper accountability in routine duty.


Chautala goes fleeting from one function to another
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune news Service

Faridabad, December 8
Be it laying the foundation of a new substation, or presiding over the closing function of a kabaddi tournament or inaugurating a computer laboratory in a college, who is better than the chief minister to be chief guest at such occasion. Perhaps none, if the list of programmes attended by Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala in the district yesterday is to be given a look.

The one-day tour of the Chief Minister was perhaps one of the busiest and hectic in the recent days, although hardly any month passes when the CM is not here in the town or district.

Though the Public Relation Department did not supply the itinerary of the CM’s programmes on Sunday, Mr Chautala laid the foundation stone of 66KV sub-station at Baghola village in the district, which is to be built at a cost of about Rs 4.2 crore. Speaking at the occasion, Mr Chautala claimed that the power generation capacity had increased to maximum extent during his tenure and none of the CM’s earlier match the performance in the power sector.

He said the state government was working on the concepts of installing power generation plants in all the sugar mills and using the waste as a raw material for making power. He said while about 476 crore had been spent on power sector, as many as 70 new sub-stations were under construction. Later, the CM attended the closing event of an international level kabaddi tournament at Mewla Maharajpur village, where he stated that Haryana Government had spent 3.75 crore on giving awards and prizes to outstanding sportsmen.

Mr Chautala then visited Chandavali village, where he gave away awards to the winners of Ch Devi Lal Memorial Open Circle Kabaddi Tournament. Praising himself and his works, at this place, he delivered almost the same speech, like sports and their uplift moves were made by him.

Mr Chautala went to local Aggarwal College in Ballabgarh, where he inaugurated a computer laboratory, before proceeding to the Municipal Corporation Auditorium, where the CM presided over the monthly meeting of the district grievances and redressal committee and also gave a cheque to the first beneficiary of ‘Devi Rakshak’, a scheme of social security launched in the state recently.

The extremely busy tour of the CM, proved like a test for the district officials who were on their toes till the CM had not left the district. Despite being a Sunday, the day not only proved that CM was most favoured to be the chief guest at any public, but it also tested the energy level of some of the officials who prefer to enjoy weekends leisurely.


Farmers switch over to new horticulture crops

Jhajjar, December 8
The farming trends have registered remarkable changes from traditional wheat-paddy cycle if the figures of the growth of horticulture crops in last ten years have any indication in this regard. This trend also showed the process of diversification from agriculture to horticulture is peaking up and the peasant community has been adopting new cash crops thereby shedding patterns.

According to the details of the Horticulture Department of the state, the area as well as the production of the horticulture crops, including fruits, vegetables, floriculture and mushroom production, has increased substantially. Moreover, the government is also providing incentives to the growers anticipating it as a potential area for foreign investment.

As per information provided by the horticulture department, the area under fruit has gone up from 12640 hectares during 1990-91 to 31,856 hectares during 2002-03, thereby registering a growth in production from 99,800 tonnes to 236400 tonnes in this period at a growth rate of 152 percent.

The main fruits grown in the state are mango, guava, citrus, pear, peach, sapota, ber and grapes. In vegetables production also, the area and production was 55,360 hectares and 80,2240 tonnes in 1990-91, which have risen to 16,300 hectares with a production of 20.50 lakh tonnes respectively. The progress rate is 194 in vegetables production.

The most encouraging progress was made in the production of flowers and mushrooms. The rate of growth in flowers and mushroom production was as high as 7,100 and 482 percent respectively. The area under floriculture was mere 50 hectare in 1990-91, but it has now increased to 3,600 hectares, whereas Haryana has become the leading state in the country in the production of mushroom by increasing its production from 850 tonnes in 1990-91 to 4950 tonnes now.

The centre and the state government have adopted horticulture as thrust area for development and sees tremendous scope of horticulture in Haryana due to its proximity to the national Capital and better infrastructure facilities. The department is also providing various economic incentives like assistance on growing of fruits, floriculture, aromatic and medicinal plants, spices. It also helps in adopting drip irrigation and setting up poly-green houses, low tunnel, shading nets. The department also organises training camps for the farmers at Karnal by spending Rs 1,500 per trainee.

According to information, the farmers in Jhajjar district have also adopted horticulture and area of 2,000 hectare is under such crops in the season. There is a model shell farm in the district in a bordering village near Gurgaon owned by a Delhi-based farmer, which also export its amwla produce. Kapoor Singh, a farmer of the district, has been a leading farmer in the state in production of vegetables, who has won many prizes in competitions.

The Department of Horticulture was created in the year 1990, with objectives of popularise diversification, improve productivity of the land thereby the economic status of the farmers community. It also aims at enhancing the export and earning of foreign exchange as well as generating employment opportunities in this field and providing latest technology in the farming sector.

The department claims that it has popularised drip irrigation in the state and now 3,112 hectares agriculturable land is being irrigated with drip system. It also help built polygreen house and 191 such houses have been created so far.


Kiln association protest snowballs
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 8
In protest against the punitive measures being initiated by the Haryana Pollution Control Board against the brick kiln owners not following the directions of the Ministry of Environment with regard to the mixing of the thermal ash while manufacturing bricks, the brick kiln association has decided not to ignite fire in their kilns and also not to use ash until their grievances were redressed.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the members of the association at Kharkhauda on Sunday. The meeting was presided over by Karan Singh Chahal and representatives of around 100 kilns participated in the meeting.

It was also made clear in the meeting that a fine of Rs 50,000 would be imposed if anyone defied the decisions taken in the meeting. The meeting also decided to convene a district level meeting of the kiln owners at Gohana on December 14 to decide future course of action and ensure participation of the kiln owners of Gohana region who were not present in the Sunday’s meeting.

The association has formed a six-member committee with district president Satpal Antil, Ranbir Khatri, Ramphal Dahiya, Maman, Fateh Singh and Madan Lal. And the members will be pressing their demands with the Chief Minister and the Haryana State Pollution Control Board.

The association has urged the Chief Minister that he could form a committee to assess the practical problems to be faced by the kiln owners while implementing the directions of the Ministry of Environment and till then the board authorities be directed not to enforce the directions.

Number of kiln owners alleged that there had been a conspiracy against the kiln occupation since 1974, and the owners were required to unite in order to save it from the designs of multi-national companies.

The representatives from the Rohtak and Jhajjar kiln associations also attended the meeting and informed that ash was not being mixed in their areas and announced to support the decisions taken in the meeting.


Normalcy in milk supply restored
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The supply of milk in Delhi dipped by 20 per cent in the third week of August this year, but normalcy was restored later, the government told the Lok Sabha today.

The reason for shortage in Delhi and some other cities was acute drought conditions prevailing during the last three years in various states, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, said in a written reply. He said the drought conditions resulted in delay and poor calving of milch animals and also shortage of feed and fodder.

Encroachment on School sites

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has reported that of the 13 sites meant for schools, complete possession could not be handed over by the Delhi Development Authority due to encroachment, the Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Bandaru Dattatraya said.

AIDS mapping study

The Delhi Government-run State AIDS Control Society conducted a mapping study of high-risk population in relation to HIV/AIDS during June-November 2002, the Minister of State for Health, Mr A. Raja said. As per the study, the estimated size of such groups stood at 35,062, men having sex with men 7,532, injecting drug users 9,605, eunuchs 7,317, street children 35,450, truckers 35,000 and migrant workers 8.88 lakhs, he said.

Monkey menace

A number of complaints have been received from public representatives from all over Delhi mostly on phone and through media reports about monkey menace that needed immediate action, the Environment and Forests Minister, Mr T. R. Baalu said.


Drive launched to check sale of adulterated petroleum
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 8
The district administration has launched a special weeklong campaign to check the sale of adulterated petrol, diesel and other petroleum products at the filling stations in this city and other parts of the district.

According to a report, this campaign was planned following the receipt of public complaints about the sale of adulterated petrol, diesel and other petroleum products, and short supply of these products at various filing stations in the district.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, took serious note of the public complaints and deputed Mr Sujan Singh Yadav, SDM, to conduct surprise raids and take samples of the petroleum products as well as check the records and weight of the petroleum products sold at the petrol pumps.

Accompanied by a team of officials from the Food and Supplies Department, the SDM conducted surprise raids at the Batra Petrol Pump in Sonepat city and the Suraj Petrol Pump on the Sonepat-Gohana road near Barwasni village last evening and found no irregularity on these pumps.

Train services disrupted

Thousands of commuters were stranded at Sonepat and nearby railway stations following the disruption of train services on the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka (DUK) section of the Northern Railway following the detection of cracks on the railway track near Karnal Railway Station, about 90 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, both long-distance and suburban trains running between Kurukshetra and Delhi were delayed on account of the damage of the railway track. Two passengers trains-2 HNK and 2 KDM-were delayed for over an hour whereas the New Delhi bound Jhelum Express was delayed for an hour. Similarly, some other trains bound for Delhi were also delayed. The delay caused inconvenience to the passengers travelling in these trains or to those waiting for the trains at the various railway stations between Karnal and Delhi.



RVC to celebrate 224th Raising Day
Our Correspondent

Meerut, December 8
The esteemed Remount Veterinary Corps, one of the oldest services of the Indian Army, is all set to celebrate its 224th Corps Raising Day and 9th reunion this week.

To mark the occasion, two-day celebrations will start here on December 10. A joint ceremonial parade of man, horses and dogs, first time in the history of the Indian Army is scheduled on the very first day of the celebration.

This will be the main attraction of the 224th Raising Day, said the Commandant, RVC Centre and School, Brigadier K S Rao, while talking to mediapersons in his office.

Quarter Master General, Army Headquarter, and Colonel Commandant of the RVC, Lt-General V G Patankar, UYSM, VSM, will be the chief guest on the occasion while Additional Director General, Remount Veterinary Services, AHQ, Major-

General, B S Pawar, will be the special guest. QMG, AHQ and ADG, RVS, AHQ, will also have inter actions with senior serving officers of RVC, while a special Sainik Sovenir (conference) and a ‘Barakhana’ with serving and retired personnel to go into their grievances and to boost their morale is also planned during the celebrations. Equestrian show, steeple-chase meet and show jumping display and inspection of quarter guard by the QMG, AHQ will be also be held here.


Scooterist killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 8
A scooterist was killed when he was hit by a vehicle on the Railway Road near Ganaur town, about 16 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the victim was identified as Mr Rampal, a resident of Ahir Majra village and an employee of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). He was going to his village after duty hours.

The police have registered the case and sent the body for the postmortem examination. A hunt is on to trace the vehicle and its driver.

Theft committed

Robbers reportedly broke into a house on the Railway Road here last night and took away a CD music set from it. According to a report, the owner of the house, Mr Sat Parkash had lodged an FIR with the police in this connection. The spate of thefts have caused panic among the residents and shopkeepers in the city who are demanding intensive police patrolling.


Trader shot dead in Pilkhua, Rs 1.35 lakh looted
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, (Pilkhua), December 8
In a daring daylight robbery, three armed miscreants shot dead a Hapur trader (sugar merchant) and escaped with his bag containing Rs1.35 lakh. The trader was rushed to a hospital by fellow traders, but succumbed to his injuries on the way. Livid traders downed their shutters and marched to the Kotwali police station, raising slogans against the police. Later, the angry traders also gheroed the Superintendent of Police (Rural).

This daring crime was committed at about 5 pm yesterday at Gole Ghar Math Malayam tri-junction when the Hapur trader, Ashok Kumar, (50), was on a visit to the town for collecting dues from other traders.

The three-armed desperadoes had first tried to snatch the money bag containing Rs1.35 lakh from Ashok Kumar. However, when he tried to resist, the criminals shot him. Waving their revolvers in the air, the criminals escaped with the bag containing the cash.

When some people tried to chase them, the criminals threatened to shoot them. A dog, which attacked one of the criminals, was shot at. Traders rushed the injured colleague in an ambulance to a Ghaziabad hospital in view of his critical condition. However, the sugar trader died on the way.

The traders of Pilkhua town have demanded the immediate arrest of the killers. When the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr J.N. Singh and Superintendent of Police (Rural), Mr B.K. Shekhar, reached the kotwali to make an on the spot assessment, they were gheroed by the livid traders, who raised slogans against them for about two hours.

The police officers assured the traders that the killers will be arrested within 24 hours. However, no FIR had been registered yet.

Meanwhile, the Kotwali, SO, Yoginder Pal Alahavat, was suspended and action was being taken against the CO, Mr Uday Shanker, it is learnt.

Authorities directed not to take penal action

Sonepat: The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is reported to have directed the authorities of the Pollution Control Board, Haryana, not to take any penal action or seal the brick kilns on account of the violation of the norms by the owners in Sonepat district till further orders. According to a report, Mr Chautala took this decision after a memorandum was submitted to him by the owners of the brick kilns during his visit to the city on December 6.

The memorandum pointed out that the direction of the Pollution Control Board to mix flyash of thermal power stations for manufacturing bricks had led to a considerable increase in the cost of bricks. Moreover, it had also caused resentment among the labourers engaged in the manufacturing of the bricks.

The memorandum pointed out that the labourers had complained about eye infection and diseases due to the use of flyash in the manufacture of bricks.

The Pollution Control Board, Haryana, it may be recalled, had already sealed as many as eight brick kilns in the Kharkhauda block of this district for not using flyash in the manufacturing of bricks.


Azadpur trader murder solved, two held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
With the arrest of two persons, the North-West district police have claimed to have solved the murder case of a trader in the Azadpur area. The police have arrested the accused, identified as Sanjay (24) and Sonu (23), both residents of Malkaganj, and recovered a country-made weapon from their possession.

On sustained interrogation, the accused confessed to have committed the murder. On December 6, the victim, Ajay Kumar Banga (32), was shot dead by the accused allegedly over some money dispute. Later, the victim was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Six Car Jackers Arrested

The North district police claimed to have arrested six car jackers of the notorious Satbir Dahiya gang active in Outer Delhi. Based on a secret information that the gang members would be coming near Bawana canal on DSIDC road to commit a car robbery, the police arrested Satbir Dahiya (28), Anoop Dahiya (28), Balwan Dahiya (31), Raju Dahiya (20), Surinder Dahiya alias Sonu Pahelwan (26) and Vinod Dahiya (23), all residents of Sonepat, Haryana. A country-made weapon with three live cartridges were recovered from their possession.


Policemen accused of looting
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 8
A shocking incident has come to light in which the police, whose primary duty is to protect the life and property of the public, indulged in looting in the name of conducting a raid.

The Musori police, which have shown little results in improving the law and order situation in the area, allegedly broke into the house of a vegetable merchant and ransacked it for more than two hours like ordinary criminals.

The vegetable merchant and his family, which had gone to console the death of a relative at another place, discovered the damage when they came back in the morning. The police force descended on Riazu’s house in Rahal village in two jeeps at 1 am, when he and his family were not present in the house. Riazu’s son Irfan alleged that the cops had taken away Rs 5,500 in cash, 5 tolas of gold jewellery, 25 pairs of clothes and other valuables that had been kept in the house for an impending marriage in the family. However, the police maintained that they had raided the house on complaints of cow slaughter.


Upgraded version of Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 launched
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 8
The Union Government may be tom-toying its ongoing massive expansion and linkages of roads in the country under the National Highway Development Project and the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojna, but the car manufacturing major, the Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL), is not impressed, at least for the present.

The Director, Marketing and Sales, MUL, Mr K. Saito, who launched the upgraded version of the firm’s luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV)- the new Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 here today, told TNS that his firm had not yet taken into consideration the major drive underway to expand and improve the texture of the roads in the country while manufacturing its cars.

He said that his firm would like to be on the “conservative side” on the road development projects for the present. However, he added that in future his firm would take cognizance of them for better coordination of the cars and the roads so as to make the vehicles more road friendly. For the present, according to him, the quality of road infrastructure in the country still remained the same.

In response to questions from mediapersons, he said that his firm was all primed up to cater to the needs of the consumers in the car segment, and it would calibrate its business strategy according to the exigency of the situation.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 comes with a higher engine output, which is claimed to be the most powerful SUV in the Indian market.

Like the earlier version, the new Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 will be completely imported from Suzuki Motor Corporation (SML), Japan.

The car is sold in 90 countries, according to Mr Saito.

According to MUL, the earlier version or the Grand Vitara XL-7 had a maximum power output of 154 BHP (at 6000 RPM).

In the new version, the maximum power output had been increased to 166 BHP, making it the most powerful among all SUVs in the country. The new Grand Vitara XL-7 has a power to weight ratio of 98BHP/tonne. This was claimed to be the best power to weight ratio in the SUV category.

Mr Saito further said that the new vehicle has been received well by the Indian customers. The vehicle will be priced at Rs 16.98 lakh (ex-show room, Delhi). This is Rs 21,000 more than existing price of Grand Vitara XL-7, it was added.

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