N C R   S T O R I E S


Delhi Master Plan Draft by Oct end
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
The draft of Master Plan of Delhi 2021 is likely to be finalised by October this year. The final document will be prepared after taking into consideration the suggestions received from stakeholders and the general public alike. Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor on Friday said that the work of drafting of Master Plan of Delhi 2021 was proceeding apace. Twelve sub-groups comprising experts, representatives of general public and departments responsible for provisioning of services and infrastructure have been set up for deliberating on different aspects to be dealt with in the Master Plan.

He said that administrative reforms had been carried out in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) over the past year. The recommendations of a study conducted by ICRA Advisory Services, he said, had been accepted for implementation. Among the measures suggested for customer-friendly operating processes and transparency are the setting up of project management teams that will start functioning within three months. For speedier disposal of cases, groups of officials drawn from the departments of property disposal and accounts were being formed.

To decentralise the working of the DDA, zonal offices would be set up in Rohini and Dwarka and adequate powers delegated to meet the requirements of the user groups. Providing greater transparency and interactivity is the new DDA website. The DDA, he added, had disposed of 900 residential and commercial plots, including shops worth Rs 2,100 crore, as bid money. This was the highest ever bid amount received by the DDA in a single year.

“The DDA,” Mr Kapoor said, “has decided to plough back some funds in improving and upgrading the environment in and around more than 600 commercial complexes for which purpose 97 commercial complexes had been identified in the first phase. The redevelopment works are likely to start by March this year and expected to be completed by August. The Lieutenant Governor said that the upkeep and maintenance of these commercial complexes would be outsourced to professional agencies as had been successfully tried out in Janak Place market complex.

The Lieutenant Governor said that development of two biodiversity parks were also on the DDA’s agenda. The parks will be developed in technical collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystem of the University of Delhi. The 156-acre Yamuna Biodiversity Park is coming up near Wazirabad (Outer Ring Road); the Aravalli Biodiversity Park is located between Vasant Kunj and Vasant Vihar over an area of 690 acres. “The development of parks,” he said, “will be taken up with minimal intervention to the geology, flora and fauna of the area …. The Deputy Prime Minister has been requested to lay the foundation stone of Aravalli Biodiversity Park in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner RS Gupta, who was present during the Lieutenant Governor’s news conference, clarified that individual complaints in connection with the conditional access system (CAS) made directly to the police would not be entertained. The complaints against cable operators will have to be routed through the government. “No direct complaints will be entertained,” he said. The Government of NCT of Delhi had recently asked Delhi Police to entertain complaints pertaining to overcharging by cable operators and blacking out of certain channels.



the first salvo
BJP sets up panel to find lacunae in Kelkar report
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
The Delhi unit of the BJP has constituted a three-member committee to examine the Kelkar committee report prepared for assessment of property tax in the Capital. The committee members include Dr Harshvardhan, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Dr Jagdish Mukhi, and Vijender Gupta, councillor and Leader of Opposition in the Standing Committee in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, sources said.

The committee will identify the weaknesses of the report. The opposition party will go to public with the shortcomings in the report and expose the Congress-led corporation. The party may also move the court.

The Congress-led corporation has claimed that once the report is implemented, the property tax payers will get relief. Further, it will be the end of the Inspector Raj: Officials of the tax department will not be able to harass them. In the report, colonies have been categorised and the rate has been fixed for assessment of tax.

However, the BJP committee members claimed that there has been no proper categorization of the colonies. Colonies inhabited by weaker sections of the societies have been clubbed with posh localities. For instance, the DDA flats near Rajouri Garden have been clubbed with the posh localities in that area. The double-storeyed quarters, allotted to refugees after partition in Lajpat Nagar, also fall in this category. The committee expects to come across more such examples, after they have vetted the report.

The shortcomings in the report are likely to be publicised after January 14 by Dr Harshvardhan.

The sources also said that since the Kelkar committee was constituted by the corporation, its report should be tabled before the Standing Committee of the MCD, which takes all financial decisions. Instead, the report was being discussed in the Delhi Government’s Cabinet Committee. 



Butana panchayat finally intervenes in
simmering feud
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 9
The Butana-12 panchayat has finally taken an initiative to end the enmity between two families of the village. The feud had taken the lives of four youths of one family while the other family left the village bag and baggage.

A seven-member delegation of the Butana-12 panchayat (representatives of 12 villages, including Butana) reportedly met the father Hukam Singh and brother Prakash of the alleged accused of four murders—Sanjay and Krishan in Sonepat jail today. The delegation sought their views for the panchayat, scheduled to be held in Butana village on January 16.

As a first peace step, a panchayat of Butana-12 representatives was held at Butana yesterday. It was presided over by president of Butana-12, Balbir Singh Kundu. It was unanimously decided that the panchayat must come forward to end the enmity between the two families. It then decided to convene a panchayat of 12 villages on January 16.

It was decided that the representatives will meet the members of both families before the January-16 panchayat so that the reason behind this bloodshed could be discussed in the meeting.

The 12 villages include Butana, Jagsi, Siwana Maal, Rana Kheri, Nunan Khera, Issapur Kheri, Nizampur, Bhawar, Garhwal, Gangana, Baroda, and Khanpur Khurd.

The representatives of Bichpuri and Kalwa villages will also take part as special invitees in the panchayat.

It is recalled that former sarpanch Prithvi Singh and Hukam Singh had good relations about 10 years back and used to make joint land deals.

However, after the murder of one Azad Singh of the village in 1995, both the families fell apart.

Hukam Singh and his sons Prakash, Sanjay and Krishan were arrested as the alleged accused in this murder and they suspected the involvement of Prithvi Singh in getting them involved in the murder.

Sanjay and Krishan managed to abscond from the jail custody and started the bloodshed. They allegedly eliminated two sons—Anil and Jasbir of Prithvi and his two nephews—Dalbir and Baljit between March 24, 2003 and January 3, 2004 and are still beyond the reach of police.



No Visitor’s nominees in DU despite orders
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Delhi University’s ordeal, of having no Visitor’s Nominees for all its 12 faculties, continues even as the Visitor, the President himself, gave orders for their appointment about four months ago.

In a meeting with the Vice Chancellors of the Central Universities in August last year the President had been apprised of the Delhi University’s predicament. There are no visitor’s nominees for any of the faculties, which means all appointments as well as promotions in the departments have been put on hold.

The President had recommended the formation of a committee, which would look into the matter and report back within a month. During the meeting, Dr. Kalam had pointed out that there should be breakthroughs in research in the university campuses and stressed the need to fill all vacancies in all the faculties of the central universities.

Four months after the meeting, DU is still awaiting the visitors’ nominees. “The condition is as before, we are going through a bad time. The workload is increasing and the tutorial system is in a shambles, there is one teacher for 20 students whereas the ratio should be one is to six,” complained Prof. Badal Mukherji, Head of the Delhi School of Economics.

The DSE, a premier education institute, alone has 17 vacancies. “ The other departments are not as badly placed as the Economics department … but the whole university is affected. There has been no communication from the ministry and we do not know if and when we are receiving the nominees”, said a university official.

While the DU is awaiting the visitors’ nominees, universities like the JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia are worried about the ban on the recruitment of non-teaching staff. “The non-teaching staff also includes technicians and lab assistants. And with a blanket ban on their appointment, we are going to face problems in running the labs”, pointed out Prof. Sajid of JMI.

His views are echoed by Prof. G K Chadha, the JNU VC, “For universities, where research is conducted, such as JNU, it is mandatory to have well-equipped labs. We cannot have all universities adhering to common design, each has separate needs. If the research work has to be sustained, we need lab assistants and other technical staff for support”.



Bank wakes up to Rs 4 cr fraud with
swindlers ready to flee
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 9
The Allahabad Bank, Ghaziabad, has suddenly woken up to a bank fraud committed about a decade ago by four persons, who had submitted forged documents of a house that they did not own.

The original fraud, worth Rs 1.5 crore, had swelled to Rs 4 crore by the time the bank officials realised the loss.

A report of the fraud was filed by the bank officials in the police station just as two of the swindlers were about to flee to Dubai.

An application for a loan of Rs 1.5 crore had been made to Allahabad Bank, Ritesganj branch, by Deepinder Khurana, director, Uttam Plastics & Containers Private Ltd, Noida, his wife Rani Khurana, Bhart Twakle and Rani Khurana’s mother Ranjit Kaur Chandok. They were all shown to be residents of Delhi.

A personal guarantee for the company was furnished by Ranjit Kaur Chandok on July 5, 1994. The papers of a house, ‘Neelu Anand’, in Rajouri Garden were submitted as guarantee. Ranjit Kaur Chandok had been shown to have purchased the house the same year.

The fake papers of the house were prepared and submitted to the bank for the purpose of loan. The documents of the house registry were also prepared, it is learnt.

When the real owner of the house, P.S. Khosla, came to know of the deception, he complained to the bank officials on October 6, 2003. On examining the case, the bank officials found that even the photograph in the registry documents was fake.

When the matter was checked with the sub-registrar’s office in New Delhi, it was found that the fraud had been committed during the sale-purchase of the house in question.

Ranjit Kaur Chandok had put her photograph in the papers with the bank, while in the original documents Ranjit Kaur’s photo was not there as ‘karta’ (owner) and seller.

A senior manager of Allahabad Bank said Deepinder Khurana and his wife Rani had made all arrangements to fly to Dubai by Emirate Airlines on January 17.

Three half-burnt bodies found in drain

Faridabad: A big sensation was caused after the police found bodies of three youths in a drain on Surajkund-Bhakhal Road last night. The unidentified bodies had been half burnt and were dumped in an open drain near Sidhhata Ashram on this busy road. The police have sent the bodies for a post-mortem examination to the PGIMS Hospital in Rohtak.

This is the second such case in the area during the past three days.

The police had found another body a couple of days ago. The man, it was subsequently learnt, had allegedly been killed by his wife, a resident of Okhla area in Delhi. The woman had latter surrendered before the police and admitted to have strangled her husband, who was reportedly a drunkard and used to beat her.

However, the latest case seems to be quite complex as the culprits had tried to burn the bodies by sprinkling petrol on them, according to the police.

The youths were stated to be in the 20 to 25 age group. They had been killed or rendered unconscious before being set on fire, said a police official.

It is suspected that the ghastly triple murder could be the result of some enmity or a love affair. This has been the first multiple murder case in the new year in the district.

Meanwhile, at least two persons were killed in different road accidents in the past 48 hours in the town. TNS



Fake currency racket busted, nine held

Meerut: Nine persons of an inter-state gang, accused of printing fake currency notes, were arrested by the Meerut police this evening and fake currency worth Rs 40,800 was seized from them.

According to the senior superintendent of police, Meerut, Mr Badri Prasad Singh, fake currency notes were being printed and dispatched from Meerut to Madhya Pradesh regularly. A joint team of MP and UP police then raided a place in the district government women hospital and arrested seven persons: Sarfaraj, Iddu, Aklim, Davendra and others.

A colour printer, scanner, coloured photo copier, fake currency notes of hundred denomination and several other accessories used in printing the notes were seized. OC


Special Focus on jhajjar/Bahadurgarh
Bahadurgarh civic body gripped by poll fever

Jhajjar, January 9
Considering the significance of the elections for the Municipal Council, Bahadurgarh, to be held on January 29, all the political parties, including the INLD, the Congress, the BJP and the HVP, have been striving to ameliorate their present support-base and to show their strength in the township.

The Bahadurgarh sub-divisional town, where as many as 84 thousand electorates live, would play crucial part in deciding the fate of the political parties in the next Assembly elections. The outcome of these polls would not only cast its shadow in the Assembly elections but would also decide the future of some political leaders of the region.

However, so far the INLD led by its district president and the local MLA, Mr Nafe Singh Rathee, has seems to have full sway over the elections as it not only managed to get elected five of its supported candidates unopposed even before a single vote is yet to be cast. The first round, up to the withdrawal of nomination papers, has gone to the INLD that has seemingly outwitted the rival political parties by its networking and sheer resourcefulness. Most of the 32 candidates, who have lifted their papers, have done so in favour of the INLD supported candidates. Now, 112 candidates have left in the fray fighting for 31 wards. While the electorate, who have the trump, are keeping its cards close to their chest and seems to be in mood of giving a surprising outcome in the MC elections. The elections are being held as per the fresh demarcation of the wards after the census. The number of electorate has surprisingly increased in the new census records, which would play crucial part in deciding the fate of Assembly aspirant from politically volatile Bahadurgarh Assembly segment.

Mr Nafe Singh Rathee of the INLD, who is the reigning MLA for last two consecutive terms, is now aiming his third entry to the Vidhan Sabha from here. He is also one of the most confidence lieutenants of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, and has proved his worth to him at crucial occasions. Hence, the MC elections would decide the future course of his political career.

With the allotting of election symbols to the candidates, momentum of the electioneering has picked up. Following the INLD, which released the list of its candidates, the BJP has also opened the names of 16 candidates supported by the party. No other party has announced its official candidates although some local leaders may be extending implicit support to some nominees. Mr Rathee said that he had thrown an open challenge to the other parties to fight the elections on official party symbols. But no party dared to accept the challenge as they foresee their rout as imminent. He claimed that his candidates would sweep the polls. Surprisingly, state BJP president Prof Ganeshi Lal and HVP general secretary Surender Singh held press conferences in Bahadurgarh last week but did not utter a word about the elections of the local body.

The local Congress leadership reported to have showed no guts in fighting these elections united. The block Congress president, Mr Moti Ram Joon, is contesting the elections in ward no 23, where his position is stated to be frail. Another Congressman Mahender Kasaria has also jumped in the battlefield by putting his wife Rajbala in the fray. He, however, tasted the might of the ruling politicians when he was booked in a case of attempt to murder under sections 307, 506, 148, 149 of IPC. He got the stay orders on his arrest from the court. Only the individual Congressmen are left confront the ruling party at the hustings. Former City Congress chief Ashok Gupta and former MLA Suraj Mal are nowhere in picture so far. Another Congress worker, Mr Raj Pal Sharma, is also in the contesting from the ward no 4, where INLD Maha Mantri Baljeet Nandal is the sitting member and hopeful of second term. This ward would witness the fiercest of contests. Mr Ramesh Dalal has also registered his presence by making occasional appearance here.

The Congress has alleged that the candidates are being terrorised and intimidated by the ruling party workers and these pressure tactics would prove futile as electorate of the town has got the chance to take its revenge against the terror tactics of the ruling leaders. The issue of making fake votes was raised by Mr Bhagawan Singh Rathee, another local Congress leader, who is also contesting the elections. He said that as per the voters’ list, as many as 20 thousand new voters have been added to the old total of about 60 thousand voters. This is disproportionate to the population increase in the last ten years, he added. He alleged that candidates are being intimidated by the workers of the ruling party to withdraw their nomination forms.

The BJP accepted the challenge when its district president Mr Mahesh Kumar earlier claimed to hold the chairpersonship by getting majority in the MC. The BJP has contested last MC elections on its symbol. But given the present scenario, the party is likely to win only a couple of ward seats.

However, the ruling party has put all its resources, financial and muscle power to win back this crucial election.

The muscle power of the party, which include unemployed youths from the villages in the constituency, have been deployed in the town who would do the obvious whenever a need arises.



Substantial increase in crimes against
women in 2003
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Despite the best efforts of the Delhi Police to make the national Capital secure for women, crimes against women increased during 2003. As many as 490 rape cases and 1,599 eve-teasing cases were registered in 2003 as against 429 rape cases and 976 eve-teasing cases in 2002.

The Crime against Women (CAW) Cell provided self-defense training to over 6,442 women, covering 79 institutions in Delhi since December 2002 to instill a sense of security among women.

The exercise was aimed at instilling confidence among the women of the Capital so that they could take care of miscreants on roads, buses and at other vulnerable places.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (CAW), Ms Vimla Mehra, said that the Cell provided training in self-defense techniques so that the women of the capital could protect themselves.

Among those who received training in 2003, 83 per cent were urban women, 14 per cent were rural women and three per cent were women staying in the various slum clusters in the national Capital.

Among these, 94 per cent were college and school students, three per cent were housewives and three per cent belonged to the working women category.

The breakup of the various cases registered during 2003 in the national Capital were: 14 cases under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 130 dowry death cases, 489 molestation cases, 490 rape cases, 797 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 1,211 cases under 498-A of IPC and 1,599 cases of eve-teasing.

The ‘Crisis Intervention Centres’ of the Cell rendered help in at least 389 cases, which helped to arrive at a compromise between family members.

Ms Mehra said that reconciliation was successful in about 24 per cent cases. The cell was involved with 2,315 complaints of different nature this year.

A number of women, who approached the cell for help, voiced their satisfaction about the work done by the cell to restore peace in their respective families.

According to Ms Mehra, the Non-Governmental Organizations have played a vital role in providing counseling to the victims.

Their help and support have been extremely useful during the course of our investigation as women are generally unable to open up with the police.

The major thrust areas of the women cell in 2004 are coordination with NGOs, socio-legal awareness, gender sensitisation training to the staff, training to the helpline staff, supervision of the implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and psychological counseling by associating NGOs.



ncr briefs
Villager killed in mysterious circumstances
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, January 9
A villager was reportedly killed in Kadrabad in front of the Tulip Public School. The police identified the victim as Tula Ram, son of Nekaram Jater. Tula Ram, a native of Aligarh district, was reportedly working as an accountant at Yash Brick Kiln in Mohammadpur Qadim for the last 20 years. The Police have, however, taken into custody three of Tula Ram’s colleagues.

They told the police that Tula Ram had been involved in some altercation with his wife.

His angry wife had left his house and gone over to a family living in a nearby brick kiln. These three persons told the police that they had gone with Tula Ram to persuade his wife to come back. Tula Ram said that he will return in the morning. Later his body was found in front of Tulip School. Tula Ram’s wife reportedly accused his three colleagues of having murdered her husband, the police said. According to police, these people were drunk at the time of their arrest.

Lovers on a joyride held, car seized

Sonepat: The police impounded a car after it tried to evade a routine search. Reportedly, the two occupants, a woman and her paramour, were travelling in this car which was on its way from Rai to Sonepat. According to a report, when a police party tired to stop the car for a routine check at Jatheri village, it tired to evade the police.

Suspicious of the intention of those travelling in the car, the police flashed a message to all nearby police stations to stop the car. Finally, the police were able to trace the car in the Model Town area. The police learnt that a man and a woman were travelling in the car. Later, both the occupants of the car were taken to the Civil Lines Police Station. The police impounded the car and let off the two occupants.

Cold wave relents

The weather conditions around Sonepat city and its adjoining areas eased as the sun came out in all its glory after almost three weeks of severe cold and dense fog. According to experts, sunny conditions will persist at least for the next couple of days. However, they warned that a shower in the region could bring back the fog.

However, cold winds continued to sweep the region, forcing the people to remain indoors.

Train services on the DUK Section of the Northern Railway remained disrupted as several trains were disrupted, stranding thousands of passengers at Sonepat and nearby railway stations.

Man killed

One person was killed after falling from a tractor trolley near Ferozpur Bangar village, about 25 km from here last night. According to a report, the victim was identified as Surje and the police have sent the body for the postmortem examination. The victim, who belonged to Hassangarh, was going on a tractor trolley to sell fodder in the national Capital. He fell down from the tractor trolley near Ferozpur Bangar village and was killed on the spot. The victim was asleep when he fell down from the tractor trolley.

Pension distributed

New Delhi: Mr Roshan Lal Ahuja, Congress Councillor and Chairman of Rohini Zone Ward Committee, today distributed pension to 450 destitute. Earlier, the MCD distributed Rs 200 per month as pension, which was later increased to Rs 250 per month. Similarly the number of pensioners were also increased. TNS



Postal staff convicted of cheating
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
A Delhi court today convicted two persons, including a postal staff, on charges of cheating by putting fake advertisements in newspapers. The two convicts, identified as Kulwant Singh and Satish Kumar were involved in placing advertisements in national and vernacular dailies for the supply of electrical and electronic goods through mail order.

The Metropolitan Magistrate, Mr V. K. Khanna, today convicted the duo and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each for cheating people to the tune of Rs 1.3 lakh.

Both were convicted under sections 120 B, 420 and 467 for cheating, forgery and conspiracy. However, another accused, identified as Ram Kumar Gupta, was acquitted whereas the charges against Gyanchand Sharma was dropped. Kulwant Singh, a postal assistant at Railway Mail Service, Nanakpura, was identified as the main culprit behind the whole conspiracy.

Kulwant and Satish had floated several companies such as ‘Japan Agency’, ‘Mukesh Traders’, ‘Vikash Traders’, ‘Homex India’, ‘Satish Super Electronics’ in various parts of Delhi. However, the accused did not dispatch the goods ordered by the customers.

Based on a complaint, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted an inquiry and nabbed both the culprits. The accused used to invite mail orders from the public at RMS Nanakpura.

‘Unit Area Method’ of property tax collection flayed

The BJP Councillor from Defence Colony, Mr Savita Gupta, today criticised the irrational pick and choose policy adopted by the Kelkar Committee preparing the ‘Unit Area Method’ report for assessment of property tax collection.

The double-story quarters allotted to weaker sections of the society has been put in C category. She said that residents in these colonies had limited means and were not in a position to pay such high taxes.

She demanded that these quarters allotted to refugees after Partition should be considered under the ‘E’ category.

Election to zone ward committee

Mrs Shalu Malik, Congress Councillor, has been elected chairperson of Civil Lines zone ward committee today. This post fell vacant due to the election of Surender Pal Singh to the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

Felicitation function

The Amity Institute of Telecom Technology and Management (AITTM) felicitated Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, Chairman and CE, Qualcomm Incorporated, with the ‘Platinum award of the Century for Technology Innovations’.

Qualcomm under the leadership of Dr. Jacobs was selected as a Fortune 500 company. It was pointed out that Dr. Jacobs had led the commercialisation of CDMA technology and its success as the world’s fastest growing, most advanced voice and data wireless communications technology.

Speaking on the occasion at the Amity Campus, Noida, Dr. Jacobs who has several CDMA patents, said, “we are convinced about India’s potential for growth of CDMA based services. Amity’s vision about the developing courses in association with the CDMA University for Indian professionals would go a long way in developing a talent bank to meet the new challenges”.

Mr V P Chandan, President, Qualcomm India, said, “unified licensing has paved the way for an explosive growth in teledensity and CDMA is going to be the future technology. Amity’s endeavour towards imparting training in CDMA technology is really commendable”.

The president, RBEF, Mr. Atul Chauhan, said that under the collaboration, Amity and domain experts from Qualcomm, USA, would conduct technical modules on CDMA technology for students.



Middle-aged man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 9
A middle-aged man is reported to have committed suicide at Aman Guest House in Sector-19, Noida. The deceased is said to be a friend of the guest house owner.

He was said to be upset due to losses in business and used to take sleeping pills. The police have sealed the illegal guest house.

According to Sector-20 police, Aman Guest House was being run in C-512, Sector-19 by Rakesh Sharma, who is currently in the USA.

Rajinder Walia, a friend of Rakesh was asked to manage the guest house on December 27. However, Walia left after two days and reached his house in Delhi. He was in transport business earlier where massive losses had made him a pauper. He became almost a mental wreck and the doctors advised that he should not be left alone.

After having dinner, Walia went to his room in the guest house. One of his relatives, Praveen, knocked at the door in the morning. There was no response as the door was bolted from inside. When Walia did not come out till noon, the Sector-20 police were informed who broke open the door and found Walia hanging from a fan.

The police have sent the body for a postmortem.



Traffic held up

Sonepat: Traffic on the road leading to the railway crossing near the Hindu College remained disrupted for more than five hours following the damage of barriers by a loaded truck late last evening. According to a report, a large number of vehicles lined up on both sides of the railway crossing till midnight.

It is stated that a loaded truck dashed against the barrier, which fell down on the road and held up traffic on both sides of the gate. On receipt of information, the Government Railway Police (GRP) officials arrived on the spot and arrested the truck driver.

Seven dead, 40 injured

As many as seven persons lost their lives and 40 others sustained injuries in various road accidents that occurred during the first week of the New Year in Sonepat district. According to a report, as many as 12 persons were injured in the clashes took place in different villages of the district during the same period. OC



Vegetable competition

Sonepat: In a bid to encourage the vegetable growers, the Department of Horticulture will be organising a state- level vegetable competition on January 27 and 28 in this city.

According to a report, the experts from the Department of Horticulture would provide informations regarding new techniques so as to increase production. Prizes would be distributed to the winners.





Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

Principal Madhu Chandra in her article, ‘God is in Heaven, all is right with the world’ (NCR Tribune December 24), has observed — “Where there is faith in God, there is confidence in all our actions for we know His governing hand is constantly guiding us.”

Many eminent writers, philosophers and religious leaders have written about God in their own way. I would like to share their views with the NCR readers.

* To forget your troubles remember God.

* If you give your heart to someone, they might break it; give your heart to God and have it strengthened.

* When the world becomes a wild storm, the most beautiful shelter is God.

* When you try your best and your best is not good enough, leave it in the hand of God. Pin all our hopes on God, then you will not be pinned down by man.

* The two greatest healers are God and Time. Once you experience God, there is no need to look anyone better. God has love even for sinners. All are children of God and so what right do I have to hate a child of God?

* To have love for God is to love humanity. If you give your heart to God, you will not get heart attacks. Faith in God means no fear.

* When a person surrenders to God, he switches his mind to him, listens to his advice and acts according to it. Nearness to God is sustained by the twin virtues of gentleness and humility.

* God is Ocean of Virtues. If you are burning with any vice, take a dip in that Ocean. To be child of God means to display his qualities. This is a mad world, but it is good sense to be madly in love with God. Love of God makes you love all mankind and hate none.

B. K. ASHWANI KUMAR, Faridabad

Children who torture their parents

It is extremely shocking to learn that the aged couple, Mr S P Kawater and Mrs R R Kawater, are badly beaten and mentally tortured by their own son Naveen and his wife Neeru. The children have got the house fraudulently transferred in their names.

It is shameful that the children who are supposed to help their old parents try to loot the property and then torment their parents. Such children should be ostracised.

The Delhi High Court has set an example by accepting the old parents’ letter as PIL.

It is the duty of all right thinking persons to come forward and educate such children who have lost their way.

S. C. TANEJA, MDU-Rohtak

Faith can move mountains

MPK Kutty in his article, “going through the New Year anchored in faith”, (NCR Tribune, December 28), has observed – “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”.

In this connection, I wish to say that the sum and substance of the teachings and achievements of saints, which may have been interpreted as ‘miracles’, are nothing more than faith. Faith is the basis of all miracles and all mysteries which cannot be analysed by the rules of science. Faith, it is said, is the eternal elixir which gives life, power and action to the impulse of thought.

Faith is the way to achieve strength of will, loftiness of character, and consequent all-round social and spiritual efficiency.

The power of faith was best demonstrated by Mahatma Gandhi. In him, the world has one of the most outstanding examples of what faith can achieve. His faith in the power of ‘non-violence’ gave us freedom from the British. Gandhi motivated his countrymen to unite and fight for freedom. What other force on earth, except faith, could achieve so much?

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Let me bring love where there’s hatred

Mr M.P.K. Kutty, in his scholarly article ‘The meaning of Xmas and its tidings’ (NCR Tribune, December 21), has highlighted the significance of Christmas for the humanity.

Let us pray during Christmas 2003, as according to Tennyson, more things are wrought by prayer, than this world dreams of. Prayer can offer to humanity a programme of vital living. It is best found in the popular prayer, composed by St Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order:

“Lord make me an instrument of Thy Peace! Where there is hatred, let me bring love; where there is injury, let me bring pardon; where there is discord, let me bring union; where there is doubt, let me bring faith; where there is despair, let me bring hope; where there is darkness, let me bring light; where there is sorrow, let me bring joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console others; I may not so much seek to be loved, as love others. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in consoling that we are consoled. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying to the little self that we attain to eternal light.”

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Is MCD hearing?

It is so disappointing to know that anyone can file false documents and get the mutation done in his name despite being an illegal occupant of the property.

This property 8579/80 is located at New Rohtak Road, New Delhi, SP Zone.

Will the MCD devise some ways to avoid the misuse of the residential property in which even two-three firms are run and no house tax is taken from the occupant?


Pl listen, Oriental Bank

I am a victim of indifferent attitude of Merchant Banking division Oriental Bank of Commerce, F-17 Competent House, Cannaught Place, New Delhi and its registrar MCS Ltd, Srivenkatesh Bhawan, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi-110049.

On 8-09-2003, I sent 200 shares of Oriental Bank of Commerce to MCS Ltd, but regret to say that the MCS Ltd. sent me back only 100 shares. It is silent on the remaining 100 shares Folio no. 0115106 District no 0156970401-500. I have made written and personal requests to MCS Ltd. and Merchant Banking Division Oriental Bank of Commerce many times. Till date, neither of them cared to reply or even acknowledge any of my reminders.

I seek your help in this matter.

SUMEDHA BATRA, Pitampura, Delhi

Celebrate Indian New Year also

These days, the TV channels and daily supplements of the Capital’s English national dailies, are full of ads related to the celebrations of the New Year. Special New Year discounted sales, cultural, disco and dancing programmes have been announced by hotels, clubs and various other organisations.

In fact, over-hyped New Year celebrations have become a regular annual affair with the neo-rich middle class Indians, who have started aping the western lifestyle in every walk of life.

In the given context, I request the print and electronic

media, particularly the English print media and the TV channels, to give similar coverage to the Indian New Year, Vikrama Samvat 2061, falling on April 13, 2004, so that the middle class, particularly the youths may spare some time to celebrate the Indian New Year as well, and also understand its cultural significance.


Bonded labour

Thank God that we live in better times. Gone are the days when markets were held in all parts of the world for buying and selling of men and women. Those were really bad times when men and women were made slaves and treated/exploited worse than animals. A proof of this unholy state of affairs can be found in one of the old Indian movie, Anarkali.

In one of the touching scenes in the film, we find a pretty woman is sold through bids. When the bidders are busy to upstage one another for the possession of the prized lady, she prays to the lover pathetically to come at the earliest to seal her fate.

The lover is none other than Prince Sujah who was later enthroned as Shahjehan—the famous Mughal ruler of India..

The practice of slavery in the old form has been exterminated in India, the USA and other parts of the globe. However, the vestige of the bonded labour of children, men and women are quite palpable in India and maybe in other parts of the world. Though social activists like Swami Agnivesh and his followers have been fighting against the evil.

On December 2, 2003, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was held in New Delhi under the aegis of the United Nations Trust Fund.

India has the largest number of bonded labourers.

According to the estimates, India has between 11.28 million and 23.2 million child labourers. Not only this, some 800,000 to 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually. It is not a good trend. Let us get rid of all types of slavery in the civilised world.


Cry for a lost son

January 26 may be just another day for many people, maybe another Republic Day for all of us, but for the Maliks, the day will mark 10th year when their dear one went missing abruptly. Although a long time has passed, the day would again reopen the wounds. The family, especially wife, two children and aged parents, are still waiting for his safe return. Their eyes look towards the door and ears hopeful to catch even a slight sound of their beloved.

Satish, employed with Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank, Daryaganj, New Delhi, had gone on his two-wheeler scooter from his residence at Faiz Road, Karol Bagh at about 5.45 pm on 26th January 1994, saying that he would be back in half an hour. However, he neither returned nor contacted his family. Two days later, the police recovered his scooter near the ITO Bridge, but there is no clue about him. “He was a nice, generous, religious and kind-hearted person and used to go out of his way to help people,” says the family.

Vikram, Satish’s son was only ten years’ old while Jyoti, his daughter was just four. They have grown up with fond memories of their father and really miss him.

For the Maliks, astrological predictions are the only manifestation of their hopes and beliefs. They have consulted a number of astrologers. However, their hopes are shattered when there is no sign of Satish’s return. Tension is palpable in the family. Whether young kids will meet their father or old parents will see their son, no one knows. But hope springs eternal. The family has left two telephone numbers (23675921 and 23636188) at all possible addresses to get any information.

A. K. MALIK, New Delhi



Australian national found dead in Karol Bagh hotel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
One Australian national, who had come to India on a multiple entry visa, was found dead in a hotel in the Karol Bagh area this morning.

The body of the deceased, identified as Paul Josaf Kadane (40), was discovered when the staff of Hotel Ivory Palace found the door locked from inside for the last three days.

Today morning when the staff knocked at the door there was no reply from inside.

Suspecting some foul play, the staff broke open the door in front of the Embassy officials and found Paul lying dead.

The police said that the deceased was in possession of a valid passport from Melbourne and had multiple entry visa from August 6, 2003 to February 6, 2004.

Paul came to India on September 3 and was staying at Pondicherry until he came to Delhi on December 5. It looked like the deceased was a chronic drug addict, but no foul play was suspected in his death, the police said.

Inter-state autolifter held

With the arrest of a notorious inter-state autolifter, Sant Ram and his five family members, the South district police today claimed to have solved more than 14 cases of vehicle thefts.

The police also claimed to have recovered two stolen vehicles and 80 grams of smack from their possession.

Based on a secret information, the police apprehended San Ram alias Santu (33), Ramwati (54), Rajender alias Sonu (29), Mohan (25), Mukesh (21) and Ganesh (27). The arrested persons were staying in Faridabad and South Delhi.

Gang selling kidney busted

The Crime Branch claimed to have busted a desperate gang of extortionists and kidnappers from North-West Delhi. The police received a secret information that the gang was trying to sell the kidney of one of their victim, identified as Jai Kumar Thakur.

Based on the information, the police laid a trap and apprehended the accused persons. They were later identified as Amarjeet Singh Baniwal alias Fauzi (30) and Lalit (21), both resident of Pitampura, and Chasambir Dahiya alias Chinu (24), resident of Sonepat.

The police also claimed to have recovered a Chinese pistol along with nine live cartridges and a Maruti Esteem car from their possession.

Two held in rape case

The North-West district police claimed to have arrested two persons who had raped a 13-year old minor girl on two occasions in the Adarsh Nagar area. One of the accused, identified as Mohammad Illiyas (32), was a neighbour of the victim.

Finding the victim alone in her house on December 23, the accused raped her.

The victim was a sixth standard student of the Government Senior Secondary School, Adarsh Nagar.

On January 8, when the victim was on her way to the school, one Subhash, an employee of Illiyas, accosted her and persuaded her to accompany him to Mukandpur.

The accused took her to the jungle and raped her. The incident came to light when the girl reached home later than usual. When her mother questioned her for the delay, the victim broke down and narrated both the incidents to her. The matter was later reported to the police and the two accused were arrested. Illiyas is married and is a father of eight children.



Contract killer of South Delhi hotelier held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
The Crime Branch sleuths today claimed to have arrested a contract killer, identified as Rishi alias Pradhan (24), who was involved in the murder of a South Delhi hotelier, Mr Dalip Surtani, near his house in Safdarjang Enclave on November 28.

After the murder of Surtani, the sleuths had arrested two contract killers, Manoj Chavanni and Manoj Yadav, and recovered the weapon involved in the murder.

The duo disclosed that one Tule Ram and his son, Joginder, had arranged the murder of Mr Surtani for Rs 10 lakh. Later, both of them were arrested from the ISBT while they were trying to leave Delhi. The accused disclosed the names of three of their other associates, identified as Rishi alias Pradhan, resident of Biswana, Gajje, resident of Dagarpur and Jagvinder alias Jaggu, resident of Nithora. Based on this information, the sleuths formed special teams to arrest them.

Surveillance was mounted and several villages of Gautam Bugh Nagar were combed by the police.

On January 8, the sleuths received a secret information that Rishi would be coming to the Fast Track Court in Noida in connection with the murder case of one Kuldeep, resident of Kasna.

Accordingly, a special team reached the Noida court and spotted the suspect Rishi who was later apprehended and brought to the Crime Branch for interrogation.

During interrogation, Rishi confessed to have committed the crime. Rishi said that he was riding the motorcycle and had helped the contract killers escape from the crime scene.

Later, Rishi had abandoned the stolen motorcycle in Rajnagar crossing, which he had stolen from the Kasna area on November 14.

The sleuths said that Rishi, who belonged to Western Uttar Pradesh, was involved in at least nine cases of heinous crimes, including murder and kidnapping for ransom. He was also involved in a kidnapping-cum-ransom case of a businessman, Om Prakash, resident of Jevar, and demanded Rs 40 lakh for his safe release.



PHDCCI moots ways to fortify trade ties
within SAARC
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 9
In view of the signing of SAFTA to constitute free trade among SAARC countries over 10 years starting January 1, 2003, at the recently concluded SAARC meeting, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has suggested a multi-pronged approach to augment trade and economic ties within the region.

The immediate past president of the PHDCCI, Mr P.K. Jain said here that India must take the bold step of unilaterally removing both tariff and non-tariff barriers on goods that are of export interest to the neighbouring countries. Besides, the interests of the four least developed countries of the region should be protected.

The PHDCCI has set about recommending certain dos on the premise that the dismantling of trade barriers within SAARC would lead to the doubling of trade within the region.

It would also be effective in bringing about a shift from informal to formal channels of trade and in the process raise per capita incomes among the South Asian members.

Mr Jain, who is also the founding member of the Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and who has his industry here, suggested that the pace of moving towards SAFTA trade can be quickened if India takes some unilateral initiatives to correct the existing trade balance with the member countries which at present is in its favour. However, one must hasten to add that India’s neigbours can reduce their trade deficit only if their supply capabilities are considerably expanded for those goods and services in demand in India. Trade creating joint ventures is the proper answer and the proposal of a SAARC Investment Area and institution of norms for investment protection deserves special attention. As in ASEAN, there should be a clear integration between trade and investment activities.

Next, along with the integration of markets, SAARC should also integrate the financial system with effective linkages among financial institutions and financial markets. An attempt should be also made to establish a South Asian Development Bank as a supporting mechanism for coordinated restructuring of South Asian economies.

In order to facilitate the freer flow of capital, technology and information, the SAARC region should be conceived as an area for intensive economic linkages.

It made out a strong case in favour of abolishing barriers to trade in services such as transportation, tourism, investment, insurance, freight, energy as this would facilitate trade in goods. Besides, it sees merit in joint cooperation in agricultural activities, including joint R and D among the members countries and also towards taking steps for water conservation. This was all the more important as the region is primarily agriculture-intensive.

Its other recommendations are for freer flow of personnel, in particular, managerial and technical, and macro-economic coordination between countries of the region. This would mean improved coordination in interest rates, exchange rates and foreign investment policies as well as synchronisation of fiscal policies of the region.


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