N C R   S T O R I E S


CAS to stay put, rental scheme on the anvil 
Tribune News Service

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Parsad in the Capital
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Parsad in the Capital on Tuesday. — Photo by Kamal Singh

New Delhi, December 23
In spite of the broad consensus that was arrived at in Tuesday’s talks, neither Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad nor Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is certain about the success of conditional Access System (CAS) in Delhi. None would risk a comment but what is certain (and Dikshit and Prasad are categoric) is that there is not going to be a rollback of CAS.

Dikshit, who met with Prasad today, outlined a slew of consumer-friendly measures that would be taken immediately so that the transition is smooth and the consumer is saved harassment and inconvenience. Accordingly, consumers will now have the option of procuring a set-top box (STB) on rent. The government, on its part, would set up a dedicated consumer court to settle disputes.

The chief minister told media persons the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Union Ministry would consider further steps to protect the interests of consumers because the introduction of CAS elsewhere in the Capital would depend on its success in south Delhi. The sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) would be designated as nodal regulators for implementing CAS.

The chief minister said the SDMs would double up as nodal regulators pending the establishment of a permanent regulatory authority. Both Dikshit and Prasad admitted that some hiccups had occurred in introducing CAS in south Delhi but spoke about their intent to make the system consumer-friendly. Dikshit said another advertisement would be brought out to explain all issues related to CAS.

Prasad said his Ministry has issued a notification, making it mandatory for cable operators to offer consumers an option of taking STBs on rent. “Every consumer must be given a choice of either purchasing STB outright or acquiring it through a rental scheme which will entitle him to a refund should he not wish to use the STB for any reason,” the notification said. It will list the guidelines for cable operators.

The two asserted that the teething troubles in introducing CAS in south Delhi would be sorted out in the next 10 days and that the system was expected to be implemented smoothly from January 1. Admitting that the implementation of CAS in south Delhi had been problematic, they re-iterated that there was no decision to review the implementation of CAS in the Capital.

“We would expect all stakeholders to settle any corporate rivalry ... MSOs and cable operators must keep in mind that consumer-friendly measures are essential for the smooth implementation of CAS. Failure to address these issues adequately would certainly jeopardise the implementation of CAS in other areas”, they told media persons after the meeting concluded.



MCD bought sub-standard vaccine?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
The former Chairman of the Health Committee, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and BJP Councillor, Ms Arti Mehra, today alleged that the department concerned had ordered sub-standard anti-rabies vaccine worth lakhs of rupees from the Human Biological Institute in Kerala, in gross violation of the existing norms.

She alleged that the vaccine, Abhayrab, had been declared sub-standard by the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kasauli and the Central Purchase Committee of the Government of India.

She alleged that the Chairman, Central Purchase Committee, had sent a letter to Direct Purchasing Officers, informing them that Abhayrab (batch number AYB-90/01, expiry date 10, 2003), manufactured by Human Biological Institute, had been found to be of sub-standard quality by the Central Drug Lab, Kasauli, Government of India.

In another letter, the Central Drug Laboratory informed the Drug Controller of Kerala that samples of batch number Ayb 91/2001, Ayb 86/2001 and Ayb 85/2001 had been found to be of sub-standard quality.

The BJP councillor said that the issue was raised in the Standing Committee, but the chairman of the committee chose to ignore it and passed the agenda.

She further alleged that while placing the order, the MCD had ignored all norms supposed to be followed by the corporation while passing such tenders. As per the MCD norms, the tenders should be issued only to those firms which are registered with the National Small Scale Industries Corporation of India (NSSIC), DGS, D/DS (Stores), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. She alleged that in order to favour the Human Biological Institute, the terms and conditions were not printed on the tender. They were distributed later among the tender buyers of anti rabies injection groups. Besides, there were some regular conditions: the company should have more than three years experience in manufacturing and marketing and a good manufacturing certificate etc.

She said that normally tenders have two parts – one pertaining to the technical bid and the other to the financial bid. The financial bid is to be opened after the technical bid. If buyers do not meet the technical conditions, they are rejected. But in the case of Abhayrab vaccine, this norm was not adhered to.

The Medical Officer-cum-Director of Health Services, Dr. K. N. Tewari, however, claimed that the Human Biological Institute, which had produced Abhayrab, was a government undertaking. The order had been placed through the proper channel; and while placing the order all terms and conditions were followed. Incidentally, the Abhayrab vaccine should be stored at a given temperature. If this is not done, the results will not be positive.

When the tender was invited for the vaccine, a number of companies, including the Human Biological Institute and some private manufacturers, submitted their forms. The Abhayrab vaccine costs Rs 183 per injection; as against this, the rate of the private manufacturer is Rs 207 per injection. The MCD generally prefers the lowest bid. Besides, the Human Biological Institute is an experienced manufacturer and fulfils other conditions, Dr. Tewari said.

He warned that the corporation would blacklist the man who had furnished wrong information about the medicine. 



Fertility doctors claim success, but still have 
a long way to go
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, December 23
The claim of the medical fraternity — that the success rate of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is better than that of the natural process — sounds incredible and is a bit hard to digest. But even the doubting Thomases cannot deny that the artificial reproductive techniques have given a glimmer off hope to childless couples.

These questions were thrown up during a debate among fertility experts, embryologists and gynaecologists on Sunday; the occasion was the Reunion Day of Delhi IVF and Fertility Research Center. The center has completed 10 years of dedicated service in Delhi, during which the doctors claim to have delivered 1,200 children through ART.

The participants included Dr Sharda Jain, a former head of Lady Harding College, Dr Geeta Kaira, a former professor at AIIMS, Alka Gupta, Dr Deeksha Tyagi and Dr Anoop Gupta of Delhi IVF and Research Center. The Health Minister, Dr Yoganand Shastri, was also present on the occasion.

Despite little divergence of opinion on the claims of the success of the IVF procedure, medical experts veered round a success rate figure of 40 to 50 percent. Dr Anoop Gupta said that when he had initiated the IVF procedures a decade back in India he had butterflies in his stomach. He too was skeptical about its success. But with more than four lakh IVF babies all over the world, all misgivings have been allayed. “And its acceptance in India has stunned all. Its success rate has been better than that of the natural cycle. In the natural cycle the conception rate is 15-20 per cent once or twice in six months. As against this, it is 40 to 50 per cent in IVF technology,” he added.

Dr Sharda Jain also endorsed Dr Gupta’s claim. “IVF is an accepted treatment today.

Thousands of couples are becoming proud parents with the help of IVF.

But more important than the IVF procedures is the attitude of the patient. “The patient has to decide when he wants to visit fertility experts. However, due to lack of awareness, most childless couples keep making rounds of gynaecologists for years rather than making a beeline for fertility experts. By then, often, the men and women are well past the age of conception, and they land at the right place when it is too late,” explained Dr Anoop Gupta after the conference.

He added that the number of dropouts was large as they withdraw after the first unsuccessful cycle. However, what they need is the right kind of counseling.

The right age for women seeking the help of fertility experts is 20 to 26 years; then, the patient has a 60 per cent chance of conception, as against the average rate of 30 to 40 per cent.



More the murkier
23 STD booths in Saudi Arabia identified
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 23
The officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), working in tandem with the local CIA staff, have reportedly identified 23 STD booths located in Saudi Arabia with which the suspected ISI agents had established contact. The agents used to talk on the landline and on mobile phones.

According to a report, the STD booth numbers, which were being accessed by the suspects, were: 0096657892981, 0096652276190, 0096657463149, 0096659935695, 0096659688386, 00966528115771,009665875592, 0096652493051, 0096657134964, 0096657076774, 0096658153962, 0096658096171.

These telephone numbers were located after the mobile telephone (033l96886) used by the suspects was identified.

The two `ISI’ agents, namely, Ramphal and Ramesh, allegedly managed to escape from a house here following a tip-off. The police swooped down on their hideout after they had made good their escape.

The Vigilance Wing of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam has also started investigating the case. The sleuths had even conducted raids on various STD booths in the city and checked their antecedents in a bid to identify the owners, who were possibly in league with the agents.

The officials have also procured the copies of the ration card issued to the suspects by the officials of the Food and Supplies Department. The ration card was produced before the officials of the BSNL for procuring ISD and STD connections.

The BSNL authorities had given the suspects a telephone connection within 14 days and later extended them an ISD and STD faculty.

One theory is that the BSNL was duped by a gang of cheats.

This Superintendent of Police, Mr. Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, who is closely monitoring this case, subscribes to this view.

It is also being alleged that the BSNL authorities are not cooperating with the CIA staff of the district police and helping them in solving this case.

The BSNL authorities had informed the police that the duo had made calls worth Rs 7 lakh to Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries in 20 days. The duo had also used the conferencing service for making calls to other countries.



Fog persists, but flights normal 

New Delhi, December 23
The day temperature in the Capital dipped further, hovering at eight degrees below normal, as the sun refused to come out of hiding.
The minimum temperature, however, went up to 10.3 degrees Celsius, two degrees above normal. It was 9.4 degrees, one degree below normal, yesterday.

Though the fog looked as thick as yesterday, it did not lead to reduction in runway visibility, allowing normal operation of flights, an Airport Authority of India (AAI) spokesperson said.

However, trains arriving in the Capital were delayed due to fog in other parts of north India. According to the northern railway, a number of trains were running late, some by as much as 12 hours.

The weather office has forecast a partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain in some areas during the next 24 hours. TNS



Passengers stranded due to dense fog
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 23
Thousands of passengers, mostly government servants and school teachers, remained stranded for hours together on account of the late running of the long-distance and suburban trains running on this section due to the dense fog and poor visibility today.

According to a report, train services were badly hit and almost all the incoming and outgoing trains ran behind schedule. The Delhi-bound Barauni Express and the Jammu Mail ran behind schedule by 11 hours and 9 hours respectively.

Similarly, the Saryo-Yamuna Express (Popularly known as Flying Mail), which was to pass through Sonepat at around 9.30 pm on Monday, ran behind schedule by 17 hours. The New Delhi- bound Jhelum Express and the Bhatinda-Delhi inter-city also passed through Sonepat behind schedule.

The suburban trains running between Kurukshetra and Delhi as well as Panipat and Delhi passed through Sonepat behind schedule. In effect,

passengers were stranded at the Sonepat and nearby railway stations. Most of the passengers, including women and children, were forced to stay on the platforms of the railway station in biting cold and foggy weather conditions for boarding the delayed trains.

Vehicular traffic on the National Highway No. 1 and other state highways moved at slow pace with their headlights on till 10 am on account of dense fog.

At least five vehicles were involved in an accident on the G T Road near Pitampura village, about 15 km from here today. Two persons sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital and were stated to be out of danger.

In another accident, Mr Jagtar Singh of Nalagarh in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh was killed on the spot by a truck on the G T Road near Murthal village, about 8 km from here today. The police sent the body for the postmortem examination.



SC / ST Commission issues notice on complaint 
by Dalit employee
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 23
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has issued notice to the office of the Chief Post Master General, Haryana, to submit a reply in connection with a complaint filed by a physically challenged and a Dalit employee of the department here.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes asked the Chief Post Master General to submit a reply within 15 days of the issue of the notice, failing which the Commission may exercise the power of the civil court conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India.

The complainant, Mr Rishal Singh Rathi, an employee of HSG grade two (supervisor), in his application to the Commission had alleged undue harassment and victimisation by the senior authorities of the department.

He had stated in his complaint that the department had singled him out to be retired compulsorily without any reasonable grounds or charges.

He stated that he had received a communication dated November 27, 2003 from the office of the PMG, Ambala, that the high-power committee in its meeting held on October 3, 2003, to consider the cases of officials for retention in service on completion of 30 years of service, had decided against the further retention of Mr Risal Singh Rathee, PA (BCR), head office, Faridabad.

Therefore, it was stated that he will retire on the forenoon of the day of the expiry of the three months from August 31, 2003, the qualifying date of 30 years of service. The complainant, who decided to challenge the order in the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), alleged that the decision to retire him compulsorily was unjustifed and there was no ground for such an action.

He alleged that he had been singled out because he had been opposing the corrupt practices of certain officials here and had sought legal relief in the cases of assault made on him on the directions of some officials here a couple of years ago.

He claimed that as he had made some of the officers party in the two cases filed in a local court, the accused were using all kinds of pressure tactics to get him out of service.

According to the complainant, his role in highlighting rampant corruption by certain officials may be responsible for officials taking such an action against him.

The National Union of Postal Employees (Group-C) has also highlighted the issue and has asked the authorities concerned to resolve these issues immediately. The All India Federation of SC/ST, Backwards and Minorities Employees Welfare Associations has also written to the National Commission for SC/ST to take up the case and initiate action against the culprits. 



Government releases Rs 210 cr package for 49 towns
Our Correspondent

Panipat, December 23
Haryana Urban Development Minister Subash Goyal today said that the state government has implemented a scheme of Rs 210 crore in 49 towns of the state for bringing an all-round development of the towns. The steps of the scheme included improvement in environment, repair and construction of roads, strengthening of fire fighting services and shifting of truck unions, piggery and dairy units out of the municipal limits.

Mr Goyal was addressing a meeting after inaugurating a Rs 66 lakh shopping complex here. The complex is named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. For the planned development of the towns, the department has revived the Improvement Trusts, besides formulating a new urban development policy, Mr Gyal said. Such markets were being constructed in all the towns of the state to generate additional sources of income of the municipalities, he added.

He stated that the government has been receiving positive results of its anti-encroachment drive being conducted in the towns and villages of the state. Encroachments had already been removed from nearly 2,000 acres of land in Panipat district alone, he added.

The Minister appreciated the district administration, particularly the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, for rennovation of as many as 52 parks in different localities of the town and disclosed that the administration has set the target to beautify 49 more parks in the historic town.

The Executive Officer of Panipat Municipal Council, Mr. S. K.Vats, informed that the total area of the shopping complex was around 800 square yards and as many as 24 shops on ground floor and 24 office–cum-shops have been constructed at the first floor. These shops will generate an annual income of Rs 12 lakh through monthly rent basis. Besides, the council has also collected a sum of Rs 36 lakh from the allottees of the shops as fixed surety deposit.

On the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner of Panipat, Mr M. R. Anand, the Chairman of Improvement Trust, Panipat, Mr. O. P. Matta, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Panipat Municipal Council, Mr Sanjay Bhatia and Mr Suresh Mittal respectively were also present.



Chief Minister to open state-of-the-art jail in Haryana
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

The jail will have the following facilities for the prisoners:

* A 56-bedded hospital

* Two libraries

* A primary school

* A community centre

* Four hostels

* A colony for the staff of the jail

Faridabad, December 23
Arua Mothuka - a small village of the district, will soon be a known place in the state as a new jail complex, which will be one of the largest in Haryana, is scheduled to come up here. The Chief Minister will lay the foundation stone of the state-of-the-art jail on December 25.

According to sources, the jail complex will be constructed on about 90-acre land area of which 67 acre has been donated by the gram panchayat of Mothuka. The construction work of the complex, having the capacity to lodge about 2,288 prisoners, is likely to be over in next two years and it will cost over 41 crore. The state government will give about Rs 4 crore as compensation to the landowners in the village.

While the total covered area of the jail complex will be around 32,268 sq metres about 1,4540 sq mtrs will be used for residential purpose. Maybe for the first time a jail will have facilities, like a 56-bedded hospital, two libraries, two crèches, a primary school, a community centre, four warder hostels and a colony for the staff of the jail. Among the buildings to be built here include 19 barracks of 84 prisoners each, two special security cell of the capacity of 24 inmates each, two juvenile barracks for 84 inmates each, three female barracks of 84 each, four kitchens four grain cellos two godowns, a factory shed, two B class barracks of the capacity of 72 persons, two administrative blocks about 300 house of various types. The prison will have a four-tier security wall, which include three walls of the height varying from four feet to 12 feet and a barbed wire fencing around it. According to the authorities concerned the jail complex will be among the selected jails in the state, which will the capacity of over 2,000 inmates at one time, besides with many extra facilities, which are not available anywhere.

At present, the district having a population of over 22 lakh have only two sub-jails having the capacity of only 40 inmates each. These sub-jails are reportedly overcrowded and the authorities have to send the undertrials and convicts to jails at Sonepat and Rohtak districts.



RCI launches barrier-free environment programme
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
To address the diverse access needs of the disabled, the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) has announced the release of a manual and a short-term programme on barrier-free environment.

The manual would discuss in detail the ways to create a barrier-free environment and the short-term programme commencing here next month will be based on the manual.

RCI pointed out that the manual is a compendium of the results of various workshops that were conducted to train and sensitise the trainers across the country on barrier free environment.

“We feel that access is one of the most important requirements of a person with disability. The manual will detail the concept of a barrier-free environment and talk about the ways to create such an environment for people with every kind of disability, be it visual impairment, locomotor handicap, hearing impairment etc,” said Padam Bhushan, Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman of the RCI.

The manual will detail the issues such as how to use a wheel chair, white cane, crutches and low vision glasses, how to assist a wheel chair user and the ways to escort disabled people.



in parliament
Govt offices owe Rs 270.63 cr to NDMC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
Various government offices in the national Capital owe Rs 270.63 crore to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
Replying to a question, the Minister of State for Urban development, Mr Bandaru Dattatraya, said the outstanding from the government offices was being taken on regular basis with concerned officials.

Besides this, there was an outstanding of Rs 182.26 crore against the hotels and Rs 14.73 crore from non-government offices, he said.

The Minister informed the house that so far Rs 159 crore had been recovered from other hotels while action was in process against some other government offices.

7,339 car thefts: There was a decrease in number of vehicle theft cases in the national Capital, the Lok Sabha was informed by the Minister of State for Home, Mr Harin Pathak.

He said that this year there were 7,339 car thefts, which was less than the previous year. However, there were no figures provided of the last year.

As many as 58 persons were arrested by the Delhi Police for playing vehicles with fake number plates, he said in reply to another question.

The figure was high as compared to the last year in which only 40 persons were arrested while the figure stood at 26 in 2001.

Red Fort handed over to ASI: A number of steps for conservation and restoration of the Red Fort have already been taken in the area which was previously in the possession of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

The Tourism and Culture Minister, Mr Jagmohan, in a written reply said the Ministry of Defence/Army Headquarters yesterday handed over the entire Red Fort to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture/ ASI. Previously, only about 30 per cent of the Red Fort area was with the ASI/ Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

Stating that renovation of Red Fort has been executed in accordance with the provisions of the conservation manual and established norms and valid documents, he said the ASI has refuted the alleged faults pointed out in a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court about the nature of conservation and restoration work undertaken by it in the Red Fort.

The ASI refuted the allegations in a sworn affidavit and submitted that the entire restoration/conservation work has been carried out by it in accordance with the provisions of the conservation manual and well established norms as well as valid documents and old records, which are in the archives of the ASI, he added.



NCR Briefs
Man killed, another injured on Rohtak road
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, December 23
One person was killed and another injured in an accident on the Rohtak road here today. According to information, one Virender along with his relative, identified as Gurmeet, were going to Rohtak on their motorcycle when a truck coming from opposite direction rammed into them. While Virender died on the spot, his relative, Gurmeet, was rushed to the hospital. A case has been registered with the police.

Man commits suicide

Bhiwani: A man identified as Radhey Shyam, a resident of Bari Mohalla here, committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance last night. He was admitted to civil hospital but doctor declared him brought dead. The cause of the suicide was yet to be ascertained.

Art of living camp

The district unit of the ‘Art of Living’ institution introduced its basic course today. A member of the executive committee of the institution, Ms Aparna Batra, said that practices of ‘Sudarshan Kriya’, which was a prime exercise of this course and taught by Ravi Shankar ji, besides pranayam and yogic exercise, would be conducted during the six-day camp.

Tower installation charges

Sonepat: The Sonepat Municipal Committee has issued notices to four mobile phone companies and directed them to pay installation charges for towers constructed within its territory or face prosecution on this account.

According to a report, the officials of the council have also seized the equipments and other articles used for the installation of tower by a mobile phone company in Jatwara area of this city. The installation work was undertaken without the payment of the installation charge to the council.

Power disruption

Several areas of Sector 14, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) remained powerless for four hours after the snapping of the transmission line. According to a report, the entire area was plunged into darkness and the people faced inconvenience on this account. On receipt of information, the staff of the UHBVN arrived on the scene and repaired the transmission line.

Anti-encroachment drive

New Delhi: The MCD initiated a major encroachment removal action. Encroachment carried around 300 sheds in Okhla Industrial Area, Phase–I and II were demolished today. The owners of the sheds had encroached upon right of way in front and back lanes of the sheds. Of the demolished structures, seven were double storeyed, a spokesman of the Corporation said. TNS



Husband, wife duo held for cheating 
Citibank of Rs 10.05 lakh 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested one husband and wife duo for cheating the Citibank by producing forged documents and obtaining loans. One Skoda Octavia, one Ford Ikon, two motorcycles, 17 fake rubber stamps, cheque books of different banks, three mobile phones, one computer with large number of forged documents were found in their possession.

Based on a complaint from the Citibank that one Vijay Kumar Sharma, had managed to obtain a loan of Rs 10.05 lakh with forged documents for buying a Skoda car, the sleuths found that Sharma’s actual name was Kapil Tyagi, and was a resident of Ghaziabad.

The bank also complained to the sleuths that a woman, identifying her self as Kavitha Sharma, had also applied for loans on the basis of forged documents. The sleuths found out that Kavitha was the wife of Kapil Tyagi and her actual name was Renu Tyagi. The sleuths also arrested their associate, identified as Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Ghaziabad.

The accused had obtained loans from several banks such as Standard Chartered, ICICI, HDFC, Citibank, State Bank of India, ABN Amro bank and Bank of Punjab and cheated them to the tune of Rs one crore by producing forged documents.

MCD officials held for corruption: The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Police arrested two MCD officials on charges of demanding and accepting money. The accused, identified as Rakesh Solanki, was resident of Faridabad and Virender Singh, resident of Badarpur.

Four Robbers Arrested: With the arrest of four robbers, the North-East district police have claimed to have foiled a robbery bid in the Seemapuri area. Based on a secret information that some robbers were planning to commit robbery in the Seemapuri area, the police apprehended Nadeem (22), resident of Bulandshahar, Rahisuddin (22), resident of Seemapuri, Javed alias Siraj (23), resident of Seemapuri and Vali Mohammad alias Sannu (23), resident of Old Seemapuri.



3 Bangladeshi dacoits held, several cases solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
With the arrest of three Bangladeshi dacoits belonging to the ‘Zakir-Khalil Gang,’ the East district police claimed to have solved several cases of dacoities, robberies and burglaries.

One country-made pistol, one live cartridge and two button-actuated knives were recovered from their possession.

The dacoits have been identified as Kamrul alias Suhail (22), Mohammad Jahangir (25) and Mohammad Litun (24), all residents of Bangladesh.

The police apprehended them after receiving a secret information on December 22 that Kamrul and his gang members were present at National Highway-24 in Pandav Nagar planning to commit a dacoity.

During interrogation, the accused told the police that they were involved in dacoities in and around the national Capital. They told the police that some of their gang members were yet to arrive from Bangladesh.

The accused and their associates visited Delhi and other parts of the country and committed dacoities, robberies and burglaries for their survival.

They confessed that they targeted places and people from where they were sure to get cash, watches and jewellery.

They mainly targeted houses near the railway tracks and jungles, and used firearms, knives, iron rods and other house breaking implements during their dacoities.

The criminals attacked the victims even at the slightest resistance and mercilessly terrorized them. The accused transferred the jewellery and other items to the ‘border operators,’ who disposed of the items and paid them in cash. The accused revealed that one such operator had provided the gang with financial assistance and logistical help.

The operator also took his share for providing help to the dacoits, said the accused. The accused had procured the weapons from one of their contacts in the Khoda colony. The police have launched hunt to apprehend others involved in the criminal activities. 



Lift costs dear, car snatched
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 23
Four armed youths reportedly snatched an Indica car from its driver, Ajit Singh of Patiala (Punjab), on the G T Road near Murthal Chowk, about 8 km from here yesterday.
According to a report, Mr Ajit Singh was on his way to Patiala from Delhi. Four youths asked for a lift near the Delhi by-pass. They also agreed to pay the fare for the journey.

While three of them sat behind the driver seat, one of them sat in the front seat with the driver.

When the car reached a deserted place near Murthal, one of them asked the driver to stop the vehicle on the pretext that he wanted to go to the toilet. After sometime, the driver, Ajit Singh, stopped the car, as he also wanted to ease himself.

Seeing an opportunity, the four youths drove away with the Tata Indica car. Thereafter, Ajit Singh informed the Murthal police, which launched an combing operations in the region.

The police also informed the police stations and police posts about the incident. However, the police failed to trace the car and the miscreants. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.



Special Focus on gurgaon
A high-tech shopping mall in Gurgaon soon
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 23
The first and the only integrated township, Ambience Island, located on the Delhi-Haryana border facing Rajokri Greens here, along the National Highway-8, will soon witness the second phase of the development plans in it.

Mr Raj Singh Gehlot, Chairman of the Ambience Infrastructure Private Ltd, which floated the township, said that the Phase-II development plans include ‘Ambi Mall’- a high-tech shopping mall, multiplexes with family entertainment centre, food court restaurants, five star super deluxe hotel, serviced apartments and top of the line first time in India experience of exclusiveness in shopping platinum floors.

The Ambience Island township, which went on floor in 1992, has 150 acres of land at its disposal. The present township includes 325 exclusive condominiums and a club christened ‘Lagoon Club’.

The mall is planned on 14-acres of land as a gateway to Ambience Island and is billed to be the biggest in the country. It shall be spread of four-storeyed complex with floor plate of more than 250,000 sq ft on each floor for shopping and retail. It shall bank upon an artistically designed foyer offering all international brands under one roof. Other special features of the proposed mall would be ‘Food Atoll’ with a food plaza with six speciality eateries and ‘Ambiplex’ with six-in-one state-of-the-art multiplex having two special theatres for private viewing, bowling alley, sports bar and gaming zone for the first time. Also, it would have ‘Ambitheatre’ and a Platinum Tower - an elite-shopping venue for the high-end segment of society.

The most-talked about item of the mall will be a 225-room five-star super deluxe hotel. Claimed to be the first of its kind in Delhi and Haryana it would have ‘serviced apartments’.

The hotel would be a joint venture with Marriot Group - a well-known American chain of hotels. The Marriot shall undertake the conceptualisation of the hotel, besides providing management officials, Mr Gehlot added.

The other development plans of the Island township, which are expected to be completed by 2006,include setting up independent residential towers, commercial towers, a management institute, a research and development institute and a school.

Significantly, already three malls are in operation in Gurgaon and several others in the pipeline. The mall, proposed by Ambience Group, is expected to add to the variety, possibly making Gurgaon a marketing city in the process. 



Creative Candles launches kit  for kids
Our correspondent

New Delhi, December 23
Creative Candles has launched a unique candle making kit for kids, which enables even a child to make candles with fun at home or school without any professional guidance.

According to the director of the company, Mrs Sunita Bhasin, the kit has been designed keeping in mind all basic aspects of candle making process and factors like convenience, excitement, safety, interest and sense of achievement as kids have always been inquisitive and they want to experiment with new things. It comes with eight moulds to give variety candles with added features like wax, wick, colors, perfumes, mould and instruction manual.

The organisation is engaged in the candle making business and the imparting training for candle making for more than four years. As many as 1,000 people have already been trained by this organization so far.

The organisation arranges special classes for NGOs, schools and other interested associations. It is also toying with the idea of imparting this training to the inmates of Tihar Jail. Keeping the spirit of celebration alive, creative candles have come up with unique designs in candles, candles for all occasion, any human being can celebrate, from birthday to bedroom. It has a unique range of candles to add a midas touch to the classy way.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |