N C R   S T O R I E S


Lovers end it all on the altar of medieval norms
Our Correspondent

Meerut, December 27
Distraught over attempts to browbeat them, a boy and a girl sacrificed their lives in Dayampur village, seven km from the district headquarters.

But before they could end their ordeal, the panchayat, in the presence of at least a hundred people, compelled the girl to tie a ‘rakhi’ to her lover. Mortified and unable to bear the ignominy of having tied a rakhi on her lover’s wrist, the beloved committed suicide by consuming poisonous sulfas tablets.

Hearing the news of the death of his beloved, the boy also consumed poison. His family members rushed him to a nearby nursing home, where his condition was said to be very serious.

The affected families of Soraj Singh and RajPal Singh reside in Dayampur village under Kankerkhera police station, seven km from the district headquarters.

Ashok (21), son of Soraj, and his neighbour Gita (18), daughter of Rajpal, fell in love some two years back. The villagers came to know of their affair after a while.

On April 4 last year, Ashok and Gita, a minor, eloped. Both were arrested and the boy remained in jail for more than six months. Tension prevailed in the village over the incident.

On December 21, 2003, Ashok and Gita once again eloped. However, the police arrested them after three days.

According to eyewitnesses Subhash and Indersen, a mahapanchayat was held on December 25 at the community centre in the village to settle the issue. It went on till 1 am on December 26.

Both the lovers were also summoned. Gita was abused and beaten up. When Ashok protested, he was also beaten up.

The panchayat members then compelled Gita to tie a ‘rakhi’ to Ashok. The panchayat also asked Ashok to touch Gita’s feet and tender an apology in public.

The police found a suicide note in the pocket of the boy in which he has held the panchayat responsible for his beloved’s death. The police have sent the body for autopsy.

The senior superintendent of police has ordered an enquiry into the matter.

The village is on tenterhooks and the PAC has been deployed.



Yet another day in quilts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
Chilly winds, a drop in temperature and dense fog continued to make Delhiites shiver and stay indoors, as normal life remained disrupted. This when there was a slight increase in the minimum temperature, which rose one degree above normal to 8 degree Celsius.

The Capital’s tryst with foggy mornings continued for yet another day with visibility down to less than 500 meters, severely affecting rail, air and bus services in the Capital. The slight drizzle added to the woes of the city’s denizens.

Passengers remained in the lurch. Railway stations were mute witnesses to the helplessness of the passengers, who had to cool their heels for hours on the platform.

The railways rescheduled several trains, including the Shalimar Express, Sadhbhawana Express, Shramjeevi Express and the Goa Express. The Met Department said that the cold conditions were likely to continue. The maximum temperature recorded was 13.5 degree Celsius and the forecast is yet another cold day with the possibility of light showers in some parts of the city with fog till forenoon.

Thanks to the weather conditions, the sale of woollen garments has been on the rise. The chilly spell, however, spelt bad news for the homeless. With few night shelters, the homeless were at the mercy of winter’s sting.

The minimum temperature for tomorrow is forecast at around seven degree Celsius. The Capital experienced the season’s coldest day at 12.6 degrees Celsius on December 24.

School closure order issued

Sonepat: Sonepat city and its surrounding areas continued to reel under a severe cold wave today, forcing the people to stay indoors.

According to a report, the dense fog and the chilly winds were the main cause of the biting cold in the region. The District Magistrate of Sonepat, Mr Balwan Singh, has ordered the closure of all private schools till January 10 next and warned the management that any violation of his order will attract penal and legal action.

Most of the private schools were closed today following the orders of the District Magistrate. The dense fog affected the road and rail traffic on the DUK section of the Northern Railway. All long-distance and suburban trains passing through Sonepat were running late by a few hours.

The UP and Down Flying Mail between New Delhi and Amritsar had been cancelled. The late trains running late included Baroni Express, Unchhar Express, Amritsar Super Fast Express, Bhatinda and Paschim Express. Similarly suburban trains, including two DU and the 2 KDM, were also running behind schedule. Thousands of passengers, mostly daily commuters, were stranded at Sonepat and nearby railway stations for hours. OC



urban mess
Bansi finds development in Gurgaon haphazard
Tribune News Service

Mandokla (Gurgaon), December 27
Former Chief Minister and Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) supremo Bansi Lal today expressed lack of confidence in the present pattern of growth of Gurgaon city, describing it as skewed.

Mr Bansi Lal, who was in Mewat here to address a public meeting, said that the present trajectory of growth was not holistic.

The growth was haphazard and a time might come when Gurgaon would have an ugly profile, he said.

He was of the view that only constructions of buildings did not cover the entire compass of growth.

He built up a case in favour of the common man also. The farmers whose land has been acquired for building present Gurgaon find themselves left out. According to him, it was time that somebody drew the line as far as the lop-sided growth of the city was concerned.

He singled out the water shortage as the main sore point, which threatened to defy any solution in the present scheme of things. Some hard decisions would have to be taken and efforts should also be made to kickstart the growth of other towns of Haryana. Addressing the public meeting, he alleged that the law and order had collapsed in Haryana.

The INLD government had come to power on false promises The Chief Minister who had made tall promises of waiving off electricity tariff, has now backtracked.

Mr. Bansi Lal’s criticism has been welcomed in some resident welfare associations which have been attacking the city’s haphazard development.



Not even a roof to protect them from winter’s sting
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 27
The poor in this industrial town have a harrowing time in winter when the mercury plummets. The town does not have a single night shelter for the homeless.

There are about two to three lakh people who live in jhuggi clusters in the town, but still there are others who do not have even a roof of a jhuggi over their heads. These people pass the night on railway platforms, in bus stands, bus shelters, parks and under the flyovers.

As the local administration has failed to provide a night shelter, many persons are seen lying in deserted bus shelters during the night. These include beggars, ragpickers, labourers and rickshaw-pullers, mostly migrants from other states.

Shyam Lal, a rickshaw-puller who operates in the Old Faridabad bus stop area, said that he knew hundreds of youths who had come to the city to earn a living but still did not have a roof over their heads. Many depended on the makeshift jhuggis near Sector-17 and the bypass. When the cold becomes unbearable, many rickshaw-pullers opt to work at night. At least three persons have succumbed to the cold wave in the district during the past fortnight. The victims were shelterless, it is reported.

Though the neighbouring city of Delhi does have some shelters, they can accommodate only a fraction of the homeless. There are 12 permanent night shelters, housed in Capital’s buildings, six makeshift night shelters in tents and nine sites at community halls.

However, there is no proper night shelter in Faridabad. The district Red Cross Society has been involved in the distribution of warm clothes and blankets to the poor, but the effort is far short of the requirement, claims Rishikant, an activist of an NGO based here.

He said a proper strategy was needed if some relief was to be given to the poor and the homeless here. According to Mr Rajkumar Gaur, a local Janata Dal leader, the government had demolished the shelters of the poor in the name of an anti-encroachment campaign.



Mind fiscal discipline, cautions Harshvardhan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The BJP wants the Sheila Dikshit Ministry to demonstrate a modicum of prudence in matters financial and shore up the government’s resources. “Otherwise,” says Delhi Pradesh BJP President Dr Harshvardhan, “We are headed towards bankruptcy.”

Dwelling on the fiscal health of the Government of NCT of Delhi, the physician-turned-politician on Saturday told media persons that with the external borrowing touching Rs six thousand crore in five years, the government has run up a debt worth Rs 12,000 crore.

Accusing the Sheila Dikshit Ministry of spending beyond its means, Dr Harshvardhan said the collection in the current fiscal was far below the target. Against a revenue target of Rs 7,400 crore, the collection by the year-end is likely to be only Rs 6,600 crore.

“There are indications,” he said, “the Government of NCT of Delhi will thrown in extra doses of taxation to bridge the gap … making fuel costlier and water tariff and bus fare higher”. The hike in water tariff, he cautioned, could be more than 10 times.

His prognosis of the state of finances and its likely impact? “The government is living it up in style and borrowing to pay … this could mean the poor could be burdened with a price hike on essential commodities. Life would become more difficult”.

On the roadmap he would like to draw up for the party, Dr Harshvardhan said keeping the organisation prepared to take on the impending challenges would be his first priority. That, and effectively propagating the achievements of the NDA Government.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s vision and achievements on the development front, he said, would be taken to the people ahead of the Lok Sabha election next year. The party, he added, would be working on its strengths to influence the public opinion in its favour.

Dr Harshvardhan, who was a national vice president of the BJP prior to his appointment as president of Delhi Pradesh BJP, has voluntarily resigned from that post. He did not rule out a revamp of the organisation in the weeks ahead.

Elected to the Delhi Legislative Assembly for the third consecutive time from Krishna Nagar, Dr Harshvardhan succeeds Madan Lal Khurana as president of Delhi Pradesh BJP. Khurana stood down after the party’s dismal performance in the recent election.

His appointment as president of Delhi Pradesh BJP signals a generational change in the party. Unlike Khurana and Mange Ram Garg, Dr Harshvardhan is in his late 40s and could emerge as a perfect foil to a savvy Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of the Congress.



crime against women
Married woman found crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, December 27
A married woman was found dead in mysterious circumstances near the Government Girls School on Bahadurgarh-Beri road in Dighal village today morning. The police have registered a case of dowry death against the in-laws.

The deceased was identified as Babita, daughter of Ishwar Singh of Dighal village; she was found lying along the roadside in the morning. She was married to Kaptan Singh of Chamaria village in 1994. She was six-month pregnant and mother of a five-year-old daughter.

The family and other villagers rushed to the spot and blocked the road in protest against the alleged murder. The SDM, Mr Satish Katyal, along with police officials from Beri police station, rushed to the spot and pacified the agitated villagers and accepted their demands. The police have registered a case of dowry death against husband Kaptan, his father Dharam Singh, mother Shanti, brother Ramesh and another relative Satbir. The police sources said that that the deceased was reportedly Crushed under the wheels of a vehicle. The body has been sent to the civil hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Eight farmers injured in group clash

Sonepat: At least eight persons were injured in a clash between two groups of farmers of Baroli (Haryana) and Ninana (UP) villages in the Yamuna bed on the Haryana-UP border about 15 km from here yesterday. According to a report, the injured were identified as Mr Jai Bhagwan, Mr Balbir, Mr Banwari, Mr Ram Singh and Mr Raju, all from Baroli (Haryana). The injured were rushed to the local civil hospital.

Lathis and other arms were freely used in the clash. Farmers from UP were armed with pistols and guns. They were accompanied by two policemen who fired shots in the air to scare away the farmers of Daroli village. The UP farmers are reported to have taken away some bags of fertilisers along with mule carts. A dispute over 250 acres had been going on between the farmers of two villages for the last several years. The authorities of Haryana and UP had arranged for a series of meetings to resolve the issue but in vain. The Dixit Award also failed to settle the matter. During the harvesting season, the farmers of both the states clash. The injured farmers are stated to be out of danger. However, the district and police authorities are keeping a close watch on the situation. No case has been registered so far. Investigations were in progress. OC



Cong activists, traders criticise corporation’s decision
Our Correspondent

Rewari, December 27
The Rewari Municipal Corporation’s decision to abrogate the age-old Tehbazari system in the city markets with effect from January 1, 2004, has come in for sharp criticism by Congress activists as well as traders and shopkeepers of the town.

However, a sizeable section of the citizenry has hailed the decision maintaining that it would lead to widening of the congested markets much to their comfort and respite.

In a conspicuous exercise to register their protest against the decision, a delegation of Congress activists and functionaries of various trade organizations of the town, led by Deputy leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP) Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, met Mr. J.D. Naharwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner, and submitted a signed and written memorandum seeking immediate revocation of the decision.

Among others the delegation included the district Congress president Mr Harish Saini, Rewari city Congress chief, Mr Kotu Ram Dhamija, the HPCC secretary Mr Jawahar Lal Sachdeva, former Municipal Corporation chairman Suchitra Chandna etc.

Capt Ajay Singh Yadav said that it was ironical that the decision had been taken by the municipal corporation in utter disregard of the interests of the traders and shopkeepers most of whom would now be unnecessarily put in an unprecedented predicament.

Simultaneously, the Congress activists and trade associations functionaries have also made a written representation to the Chief Minister seeking his prompt and efficacious intervention to end the impending unsavoury situation.

Taking a strong exception to the decision, the district BJP chief Mr Ratnesh Bansal, who is also president of the Rewari district unit of the Haryana Beopar Mandal, has warned that if the decision was not withdrawn immediately, they would not hesitate to resort to a massive agitation along with the trading community.



The Achiever
His experience and sagacity is in great demand
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, December 27
When he graduated in English literature with a first class in 1965 from the prestigious Hindu College here, there were a spate of lucrative job offers to him. Getting a first in literature was considered to be a real achievement in those days. But this was not for him. The young graduate had star in his eyes and had decided to pursue social service full time.

There was no dearth of money as he belonged to a very affluent family. He could survive without doing any job. His father, late S. R. Anand, was the Rehabilitation Commissioner of Delhi then and he had great plans for his bright son. But when he came to know that the young Subhash Anand wanted to devote his life to social work, he was extremely annoyed. Considerable efforts were made by him and other members of the family to dissuade him from this. But Subhash was adamant.

With or without their blessings he was going to do what his heart dictated. Since then there has been no looking back for him. Now, 60 plus and a councillor from the Punjabi dominated West Patel Nagar area, he has become a household name He claims that his political success has been the dividend of his social work.

After having been associated with many social service organisations, he started his own organisation ‘B. R. Kohli Charitable Trust’ in 1982. It has now hundreds of active members all over the Capital. This organisation is engaged in many charitable works in different parts of the city organising free health check-up camps, awareness drives, distribution of medicines, blankets, clothes, scholarship, books, uniforms etc to the needy. The organisation also arranges mass marriages of poor girls at its own expense.

He recently started another social service organisation with a little support from Bharat Vikas Parishad called ‘Guru Teg Bahadur Foundation’. Its nature of work is the same but the reach is much greater. He is also the founder president of Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of his area ‘Citizens Forum’.

With his single handed efforts, this forum was raised and is now doing a commendable job in providing solutions to local problems, basically related to civic amenities. Apart from this, he is also associated with many social service organisations of the city in different capacities. His experience and sagacity is in great demand and what is most encouraging is his ever availability for any kind of social work no matter what the hour. Even though he runs a motor part business, most of the profits go in for charity.



Special Focus on rewari
South Haryana getting a raw deal in power supply: Vidrohi
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, December 27
The Haryana Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has flayed the state government for its allegedly abject discrimination in the matter of power supply particularly during the on-going rabi season towards the farmers of South Haryana, mainly the Rewari, Mahendragarh and Gurgaon districts.

Furnishing a graphic account to the NCR Tribune regarding the overall power supply situation in South Haryana vis-à-vis the other remaining parts of Harayana, Mr Vidrohi informed that farmers of Sirsa, Hisar, Fatehabad and Jind districts; where 70 to 80 percent of the land was canal-irrigated, had been regularly getting 12 to 14 hour power supply daily. Similarly, the agriculture sector in Yamuna Nagar, Ambala, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts, where canal water-irrigation was available to 70 to 85 per cent of the total cultivable land, had been in receipt of uninterrupted power supply for 10 to 14 hours daily. And power was being supplied for nine to 12 hours daily to the farmers of Panipat, Sonepat, Rohtak and Bhiwani districts where availability of canal water irrigation facilities existed in 40 to 60 percent of the aggregated cultivable land.

But in sharp contrast to the above mentioned districts of the state; the peasantry in Rewari, Mahendergarh and Gurgaon districts of South Haryana, where supply of canal water was extremely negligible and where over 95 percent of the cultivable land entirely depended on power for irrigation, was being provided a paltry five to six hour power supply daily much to their chagrin and dismay.

Describing such treatment in power distribution as unwarranted, unjustified and apathetic, the JD (U) leader lamented that the present foggy and chilly weather had aggravated the predicament of farmers in South Haryana. He said that it was common knowledge that sarson, which was the main rabi crop in South Haryana and which had been sown in over 65,000 hectares in Rewari district alone, was highly vulnerable to such inclement weather, the persistency of which could be disastrous for the sarson crop.

He further said that the farmers here, therefore, direly needed an uninterrupted 14 hour power supply daily as well as augmented supply of canal water throughout the month of January, 2004, to enable them to adequately irrigate their standing sarson and wheat crops to avert the impending disaster.

He urged the state government to abandon its apathetic approach in the matter of power distribution to South Haryana and immediately provide the much-needed relief to the hapless peasantry in Rewari, Mahendergarh and Gurgaon districts.



search within
Going through the New Year anchored in faith

THIS is the time to wish our friends and dear ones a Happy and Blessed New Year. Though such greeting is more of a western custom, it is meaningful in that it provides us an occasion to express goodwill and love towards one another.

The first day of the New Year could be like any other day of the old year! “Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year,’’ according to Thomas Mann. Even when a new century begins, it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols, he adds.

But then Every Day presents before us opportunities for splendid new beginnings. I am fond of repeating this passage from the pages of an old Readers Digest (author unknown). It runs thus: “Every Day is a new birth in time, holding out new beginnings, new possibilities, new achievements. The ages have witnessed the stars in their orbits, but this day hath no age witnessed. It is a new appearance, a new reality. It heralds a new life, a new order, a new society, a new age.

It holds out new hopes, new opportunities to all men. In it you can become a new man, a new woman. For you it can be a day of regeneration, renewal, rebirth. From the past with its mistakes and failures, and sorrows, you can rise a new being endued with power and purpose and radiant with the inspiration of a new idea.”

But what will determine your purpose? Or to put it differently, who will determine your purpose of life? Very often man’s wisdom guides him along.

Determined men do achieve a lot of things in life. Yet much more will be accomplished when we allow ourselves to be guided by the wisdom from above; the wisdom of the One who created us in the first place.

In other words, our purpose will depend on what we believe: our worldview. In one of the Psalms, the psalmist ponders thus: “Know ye that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.’’ This is from the Bible. The Gita, the Koran and other major scriptures speak of a God who made men.

If we created ourselves, we can then conclude that we are masters of our destiny. We can then exercise our reasoning faculties and arrive at a purpose of our own. But if you believe in God, you must then spend time on what your God expects from you. And it is worth spending time on what your purpose for life is. The rest of your life is still before you. If anyone starts to build a house, he first makes a plan of the house taking into consideration his resources etc. How more important it is to have a plan for life — something more than a flat or a house!!

Having a purpose and then developed a plan for your life, you need to have a faith that can see you through the vicissitudes of the journey of life.

Human experience proves beyond doubt that man is not the master of his own destiny. What the future may bring is still a matter of conjecture. Fortunately we have enough evidence to trust in One who is in charge; who has created us in the first place. Religion consists in man-made theories about the Creator, about life and about man’s faith in a creator. False concepts might only lead us to emptiness and frustration. Rightly has a man of God, Richard Baxter, warned of this tendency in man to create a god in his own image: “Men are prone to spin themselves a web of opinions out of their own brain, and to have a religion that may be called their own. They are far readier to make themselves a faith, than to receive that which God hath formed to their hands; are far readier to receive a doctrine that tends to their carnal commodity, or honour, or delight than one that tends to self-denial.”

Faith is variously defined. It is self-confidence for some; for others it is a vague hope that things will turn out well in the end. Yet others identify it with positive thinking. But true faith is more than all these. It is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.

In an ever-changing world, we need to anchor ourselves on faith. It is faith that can make heroes of ordinary people. But this faith cannot be grown within oneself, The right kind of faith is a gift from God. It is available to those who believe as the psalmist: “Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people…’’

We are not masters of our own destiny and we cannot manufacture faith within ourselves. The faith that creates heroes comes from God Himself and it involves certain convictions about the existence of God, about His responsive relationship to us; and it involves convictions about God’s creative work which has brought into existence ourselves and our universe. Man’s hope and eternal longings are associated with such a faith. Death and fear of death and the grave are overcome through such; it is such a faith that goads him on in the face of all tragedies and sorrows. That faith is the light which shines in our dark world.

And when you walk in that light, you will find that the laws of life are written on the tablets of your heart. Therein you find the yearning for love and peace; for justice and righteousness, for brotherhood and unity of the human family. And when you conform to those laws, happiness should follow you this New Year as day follows night. Then we might all agree that life is not all sorrow or pain, but a blessed gift.

M P K Kutty



‘Filmmaking demands dedicated effort’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The well-known cine artist, director and producer, Mr Joginder, said life is indeed God’s best gift to us and every moment of it must be lived purposefully.

Mr Joginder was addressing the students on the 41st convocation of Asian Academy of Film and TV.

The well-known lyricist, Mr Santosh Anand, who was also present on this occasion, rendered some of his popular film songs.

Stating that work is worship, he added that filmmaking demands dedicated effort. Delivering the convocation address, the Karnatak Sangeeet exponent, Dr Leela Omchery, urged the students to develop the sprit of oneness, beside honing their skills.

The Chairman, High Power Committee on Professional Education, UP Technical University, Dr S. Mahalingam and veteran journalist Dr Aziz Burney also shared their views with the students on this occasion.

Director of the academy Sandeep Marwah informed the gathering that film producer Boney Kapoor had agreed to associate three AAFT trained professionals with the production of his latest film Milenge-Milenge.



NCR Briefs
Rly Samiti agitation criticised
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, December 27
Terming the agitation of the ‘Railway Sangharsh Samiti’ for connecting the district headquarters with rail link “an exercise in futility”, Mr Balwan Suhag, a local INLD leader and Chairman of Sales Tax Tribunal, said that the Chief Minister was already lobbying hard with the Ministry of Railways for this purpose.

He said that other parties were supporting the agitation to gain “cheap popularity”. The INLD leader agreed with the demand of the ‘Sangharsh Samiti’ but refused to support their agitation.

Mr Suhag said that the samiti should put its demand to the Chief Minister as he was capable of getting it fulfilled.

He said that following the efforts of Mr Chautala, the Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, had announced he laying the Rewari-Jhajjar-Rohtak railway line and work would start soon on this project.

Prohibitory orders

Sonepat: The District magistrate of Sonepat, Mr Balwan Singh, enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr.P.C. banning the assembly of five or more persons and carrying of firearms like swords, lathis, barchhis, kulharis, jellies, gandasas, knives and other weapons within the areas of 200 metres around the polling booths set up for the by-elections to the gram panchayats in this district to be held on December 28.

According to a report, the villages notified are: Atayal, Panchi Gujran, Umedgarh, Bhogipur in Ganaur block; Gorar, Nizampur Majra, Thana Kalan Palra, Pabsara, Janti Khurd, Shershah, Khewra, Nahri in Kharkhauda block; Jawara in Mundlana block; Bhanwar (Bura) and Kehlpa in Kathura block.

The prohibitory order, which comes into force with immediate effect, will end on December 28. The violation of this order will attract penal action.

This step has been taken to maintain peace during the by-elections to the gram panchayats in the district.

The District Magistrate in his order stated that he feared tension, injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquility within the limit of the above mentioned gram panchayats going for the polls on December 28.

He also warned the people to maintain peace during the by-elections to the gram panchayats in the district.



delhi digest
Nomination papers filed for election of chairman of MCD Standing Committee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
Nomination papers for the election of the Chairman of the all-powerful Standing Committee in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi were filed today. Five contenders have filed their nomination papers, including four from the ruling Congress party and one from the BJP. The Congress councillors who have filed their nomination papers include Ashok Jain, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee, Mrs Shalu Malik, Mr Mukesh Goel, members of the Standing Committee and Sugreev Singh.

The Mayor said that the names were cleared by the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. Mr Vijender Gupta from the BJP has also filed his nomination papers.

The last date for the withdrawal of the nomination was December 30. The election will be held on December 31.

The post of the Chairman of the Standing Committee fell vacant after Mr Ram Babu Sharma, won the Delhi Assembly election from Rohtas Nagar constituency. Subsequently, he resigned from the post. Beside Mr Ram Babu Sharma, three other Congress councillors won the Assembly election and resigned from the membership of the Corporation.

Sena resents ‘five-star culture’

The Shiv Sena has objected to the “five-star culture” of celebrating the New Year and called for a boycott of such events. The party said that the Western trends and practices were corrupting the youths.

Stopping short of demanding a ban on the functions hosted by five-star hotels, restaurants and clubs, the party released a statement condemning the threat to public safety after a binge. Indiscriminate consumption of alcohol that almost always follows such celebrations, could have negative fallout and therefore should be discouraged, the statement read. It said that organisation of such events on the New Year should be regulated in order to put an end to the exploitation of such occasions by corporates and moneyed individuals.

Job reservation demand

The All India Jat Mahasabha urged its members to prepare themselves for mass agitation in order to get reservation in both state and central government jobs. The president of ‘Haryana Jat Aarakshan Sanghrash Samiti’, Mr Tara Chand Mor, said that “it is the right time for Jats to start an agitation to get reservation in state and central government jobs.”



2 killed, one injured as scooter rams tree
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
Two persons were killed and another sustained serious injuries when a scooter on which they were travelling rammed a tree on the Kundli road, about 15-km from here last evening. According to a report, the victims were identified as Mr Shakeel and Mr Rakesh of Azadpur (Delhi). The condition of the injured person was stated to be stable.

The victims were going from Kundli village to Narela (Delhi). It is stated that both of them had consumed liquor before proceeding on their journey.

According to another report, six persons were injured when an auto-rickshaw, on which they were travelling, was hit by another vehicle on the G T Road near Kundli village, about 25 km from here last evening.

The injured persons included Raja, Murari, Shyama Prasad and Durga, all residents of Bihar. They were employed in a factory were going to Pio Munyari in an auto- rickshaw after duty hours.

The injured persons were rushed to a private hospital and were stated to be out of danger.

The driver of the vehicle, which rammed the auto-rickshaw, however, managed to escape with his vehicle. The police have started investigation into the case. A hunt was on to apprehend the driver of the vehicle, who had managed to escape.

Three injured in group clash

Three persons were injured in a clash between two rival groups of taxi drivers near the Tehsil building here last evening. The injured persons were identified as Dharminder Singh of Rohat village, Rajesh and Jaiveer. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and were stated to be out of danger. The police have started investigation into the case. However, no arrest had been made in this connection so far.



Power crisis disrupts normal life
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
There has been no respite from a continuos cycle of loadsheddings, disruption in power supply and low voltage in this city and elsewhere in the district. Normal life has been thrown out of gear as water supply too has been severely affected.

According to a report, the people have not received regular power supply in the last two months, despite claims made by the authorities of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) that a massive campaign to curb power theft had been launched. The authorities have blamed the sudden increase in the demand for power during the winter season. Residents have complained that they have had to face long power cuts since the onset of the winter season.

The situation has worsened in the villages, some of which have remained without electricity for days together.

A number of demonstrations have been organised, which have often led to traffic disruption in the past month. The situation had often deteriorated to the extent that senior officers had to intervene to facilitate the lifting of the road blockades.

The residents alleged that the authorities delayed the replacement of the burnt transformers in their villages for days together.

Residents of Mohalla Kot have been facing power crisis for the last few years.

Even when power supply was restored, the voltage was so low that normal life was severely affected.

The power failure in the city was not confined to a particular area. The entire city, including the mini-secretariat and the judicial complex had been affected.

One could hear the noises of generators regularly in the Railway road area, Gita Bhawan, telephone exchange road and other main bazars and shopping centres.

Political leaders, social and voluntary organisations and trade unions as well as the Sonepat Residents Welfare Association and the Sonepat Citizens Council have expressed their concern over the continuous power crisis and inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the UHBVN. They have urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala to order a high-level probe into the affairs of the UHBVN at Sonepat and other parts of the district.

The high-level inquiry is likely to expose the misdeeds and malpractices of the officials of the UHBVN, who have been accused of conniving with the unscrupulous consumers indulging in power theft, they added.



Central Bank manager held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Police have arrested an Assistant Manager and peon of the Central Bank of India, Badarpur branch, for demanding a bribe of Rs 20,000 for releasing a loan amount.

The accused manager, Ramesh Chand Gupta, and Rakesh Kumar, the peon, were caught red-handed while accepting Rs 2000 as advance to initiate the formalities.

The complainant, Jugal Kishore, resident of Mollarband, had applied for a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana and his application was cleared by the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

The application was sent to the bank for the issue of the loan. The manager and the peon had demanded Rs 20,000 for release of the loan and promised to make it easy for him to fulfill the bank formalities.

They were caught red-handed accepting Rs 2,000 as advance to initiate the necessary formalities.

Constable run over by truck

A Delhi Police constable posted with the Police Control Room (PCR) was killed during patrolling duty died this morning when he was hit by a speeding truck (No RJ-02-G-4772) near Rajokari border. The incident occurred when Constable Nadish Kumar (38), who was attached with the PCR van Zebra 19, tried to cross the road near a petrol pump in Rajokari border.

He was rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital where he died some time later. The police have arrested the driver, Dharam Ram (30), resident of Alwar.



PHDCCI ‘caretakers’ for Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 27
The PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industries has prepared a plan to provide support to the industrial units here.

The chambers has announced to set up a new body named as “we care for Faridabad’’ under the chairmanship of the owner of the Lakhani group, Mr K. C. Lakhani.

Stating this a spokesperson of the PHDCCI said here today that the president of the chambers Mr Ravi Wig had disclosed about the plan here recently.

He said the small and medium type of units in Faridabad face many problems regarding the raw material, power supply and other input costs.

But he said that if these were taken unitedly through a common platform, many of the hurdles could be done away with easily. The PHDCCI had asked the Union Government to form a cluster of small and medium type of units and ensure supply of power at the rate of Rs 3 per unit.

The Chairman of the small and medium entrepreneur committee of the PHDCCI, Mr Rajiv Chawla, has said that there was no doubt that the government and the related quarters had accepted the role and importance of the small scale units in the industrial progress and in the employment sector.

He claimed that unless the basic problems of the SSI were addressed properly and swiftly the economic and industrial development would be affected adversely and it was the high time when this concept was put into practice as the domestic units face a tough challenge from the foreign companies.


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